|Episode #23: Sycho Sees Seanchan
Ladies and gentlemen, this is your narrator speaking.
In the course of the last three episodes, weve met up with a Black Ajah/Myrddraal couple, a Trolloc Rights Movement and a Rand alThor. The latter was, as you will no doubt recall, distinctly startled at the meeting.
Were now headed south to Ebou Dar to catch up with the long-neglected Sycho, who, after falling into a river in the Borderlands, is about to wash up in the middle of the Seanchan occupation. Dont forget to duck when you see the damane
Lightning cracks across the sky. The narrator falls silent.
Near the river, a wall tumbles.
Also near the river, a metallic clang is heard the kind of sound that might be made by a Whitecloaks helmet hitting a bridge. Not too surprisingly, a groan is also heard.
Oh my Sycho, intermittently groaning, grabs the bridge and manages to haul himself out of the river. Looking around at the scene of destruction, he sighs. Youve really got it in for me today, havent you, Raina?
The only response is another groan from the vicinity of a nearby heap of rubble, which, on balance, probably does not come from Raina. Nevertheless, Sycho stumbles over that way to have a look. A man in a green coat is lying beneath the rubble, half-conscious. Hey - Sycho gingerly shakes the mans shoulder. Hello? Are you all right?
The young mans eyes open. He croaks out a few words.
Blood and bloody ashes!
Well, I have to agree with the sentiment, but -
Lightning strikes again, and sends more rubble crashing down on both of them. Both lose consciousness again.
An indeterminate period of time later, Sycho opens his eyes to find himself surrounded by a number of soldiers in strange, exotic armour, several strange, exotic animals (and people) on leashes, and a strange, exotic woman with long fingernails and no hair. A groan seeming inadequate to the situation, he borrows from the vocabulary of his companion in distress.
Blood and bloody ashes!
See, the woman purrs, isnt that cute?
Sycho blinks. Cute is not a word that has often been applied to him before.
Why, honey, Im not excusing you from anything. Ive been looking for you. She nods to the others. Clear up here and carry on. This is the one, all right.
It is? Sycho says blankly. I mean, I am?
Of course you are. Ever since I decided to come here Ive been dreaming of the man Id marry someday. A fighting man - she eyes his armour but an untidy rogue, prone to swearing and bad language. Oh, dont worry, I dont mind. Its really quite cute.
Yes, Sycho mutters, you mentioned that. His thoughts are spinning despite the fact that the cold water has rendered him, for a wonder, sober.
And that Id find him under a wall, and I have, havent I? The young woman, who Sycho is beginning to notice is really very pretty, smiles. And the final test was that hed be immune to the One Power, which I always thought was impossible, but then I told the damane to Heal you and she couldnt. How did you manage that?
Sycho blinks again. Travelling with Shani and Shadar has provided ample evidence that he is, in fact, anything but immune to the Power. Im not really sure. Noticing a cool sensation against his hand, he looks down to see a silver medallion on a broken thong lying there.
After a moment of thought, he picks it up.
Never mind! Come on, Ill take you somewhere more comfortable than a pile of rocks. She pulls him to his feet. My name is Tuon; the Daughter of the Nine Moons.
What an interesting name, Tuon purrs. She twines her arm in his. You soldiers, clear up here and put that other guy somewhere out of the way, she adds with a disdainful glance at the other man in the rubble. Come on then, sweetie-pie.
Sycho follows her happily. Maybe, he thinks, the author doesnt have it in for him after all.
(Has prophecy been sidestepped? Will Mat continue his life of unwedded bliss, albeit not so blissful after losing his precious medallion? Has Sychos career of butt-of-all-jokes really come to an end? Those are all good questions and the author will answer them just as soon as she decides what the craziest answer would be. Until then )