|The Insanity Begins: Under The Dome Of Truth
The scene: the Dome of Truth, of course. Where did you expect it to be? Several score Whitecloaks wander around, studying the paintings or just talking. There are two doors, carved and gilded, one on either side of the great room...
One of the doors swings open.
The person who enters is most definitely not a Whitecloak. Or male, for that matter. A stunningly beautiful woman all in red silk walks in and stands for a moment, looking around curiously. A shawl fringed in red is draped over her shoulders, and a Great Serpent ring gleams on her hand. The Dome is suddenly silent, except for the sound of countless jaws dropping to the floor.
The Aes Sedai glances at them, then starts walking around the room, studying the paintings one by one. Just as a couple of Whitecloaks have managed to overcome their shock, pick their jaws up and draw their swords, the other door swings open.
The person who enters is most definitely not a Whitecloak or an Aes Sedai. A tall, lean man in a black coat, with a silver sword pin on one side of his collar, a red and gold Dragon on the other, and the glint of madness in his blue eyes. Several Whitecloaks faint.
The Asha’man takes a few steps into the room, looking around. Those blue eyes fix, glittering, on one Whitecloak hiding in a corner. Another step forward, and said Whitecloak jumps up and runs, screaming. Several more follow his example.
The Red sister is standing in front of one of the paintings, frowning. With an irritated click of her tongue, she turns around. At the same time the Asha’man turns to look in her direction.
Blue eyes lock with dark. Someone in the room whispers what sounds like a prayer.
Still staring at each other, the two take a step closer. Slowly. Menacingly. Some more Whitecloaks run. The others are frozen still.
Another step. The remaining Whitecloaks abruptly find themselves unfrozen and run, as fast and far away as possible. Only a fool gets between a pair of hostile channelers, especially channelers of the opposite gender. And in this respect at least, Whitecloaks are not fools. The two continue to glare.
The Dome is empty. But for them.
And suddenly, the icy stares melt. Identical grins flash onto both faces.
“So someone had the same idea as me,” the Red sister laughs, extending a hand. “Good acting, by the way. I’m Shani.”
The Asha’man takes her hand, bowing. “Shadar.”
Shani tilts her head. “Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?”
“That would be at the Black Tower.”
“Ah - yes.” Shani snaps her fingers. “I remember you. Have you been practicing your dart throwing?”
“We’ve been working on it. It would be better with a more lifelike target, though. I don’t suppose you can spare Elaida?”
“‘Fraid not. Why not use Mazrim Taim? He must be at least as annoying as Elaida.”
“At least. Unfortunately, he’s off limits for the time being.”
“It’s always that way, isn’t it? So, Shadar, what are you doing here?”
“Well,” Shadar coughs, “there was a little incident at the Black Tower. A matter of a practical joke that wasn’t appreciated. Shall we say, I’m not exactly popular with Taim right now.”
“So you decided to come and have a look around Amador?”
“Something like that. And you?”
“Well,” Shani grins, “there was a little incident at the White Tower. A matter of a practical joke that definitely wasn’t appreciated. Shall we say I’m not exactly popular with Elaida right now?”
“Ah,” and Shadar’s answering grin matches hers, “a kindred spirit.”
“Right. So -”
“Hey, what’s all the fuss about?” A young Whitecloak is standing at the entrance to the Dome. “Where’s everyone gone - Ah.” There is a long pause before the young Whitecloak shrugs and walks across to them. “Welcome to the Dome of Truth. Is this an invasion or just a visit?”
“Somewhere in between,” Shadar replies. “And who are you?”
“Child Sycho Path. Call me Sycho.”
“Does your name fit your character?” Shani asks straight-faced.
“Pedron Niall thinks so.”
“Another kindred spirit,” and all three grin. “While we’re on the subject of spirits, is there anything decent to drink around here?”
“Sure. Niall keeps some wine in his study.” Sycho bows. “In the, ah, not so regrettable absence of my superiors, may I offer you the hospitality of the Fortress of the Light?”
A few minutes later, in the study of the Lord Captain Commander...
“A toast.” Sycho raises his cup. “To confusion!”
“No,” Shani corrects him, filling and raising her own cup. “To chaos.”
Shadar pours a cup for himself, then lifts it. “To us.”
The other two look at each other, decide they can’t top that, and drink.
“Long live insanity!”