A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

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Matty
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A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Matty » May 17th, 2018, 12:22 pm

Asha'man Nate "I really don't think this is necessary," Nate grumped as he sat on the Infirmary bed, holding a bloodied cloth against the side of his arm. The Blue huffed impatiently and looked ahead, not really interested in staying there for any longer than was necessary. It was only a light flesh wound, it wasn't as if he was going to bleed out. Honestly...

but it wasn't the cut that he was protesting about, and as the Yellow Dedicated Healed him he cast Nate a wary, but apologetic look. "I'm sorry Asha'man, but I have my instructions to follow as well. I'm sure the Aes Sedai won't be long. But in the meantime I can take a look at your arm?"

Nate nodded his consent and let the man Heal him, his injury zipping closed in no time at all. The Dedicated carefully took the cloth and used a clean one to tidy Nate up, his motions precise and calculated. He was wasting no time, but doing a thorough job nonetheless. "Thanks," he said a tad gruffly. "I'm not annoyed at you."

"It's quite alright," the Dedicated said. "If I may ask, what happened?"

"It was a simple scouting mission," Nate said. "That's all. The tracks between Cairhien and the Three-Fold Land - they don't like it when you call it the Waste - there's been some weird activity there, not quite right. I thought it was a Bubble of evil, turns out it was just some stray bandits looking to attack merchants heading between us and Shara. Travelling folk, don't do violence, easy targets." Nate sighed and shook his head. "Just got a cut from a sword is all."

But that wasn't why he was waiting for an Aes Sedai. Upon his return to the Grey Tower he'd been instructed to "check in" with the Yellows to check his mental health, after the Black Tower and his long stints away at any one time. This was... three trips ago?... and only now had the Head of the Ajah caught him long enough to give him a direct order, to his face, to wait in the Infirmary until he could talk to one of the Yellows. What was the point in talking about his head? They knew he'd gone a bit mad in Viadulo, and they would surely know he'd been Compulsed within an inch of his life at the Black Tower. He was out there doing what a Blue did, why didn't they understand that? But no, now he had a private room and he wasn't allowed to leave like he was some sort of criminal. It was absurd.

"Sir," the Dedicated held out a clean shirt and coat that had been fetched from Nate's rooms, "you're all cleaned up now. Zarayne Sedai will be here very soon I promise..."

"You've been saying that for a while now," Nate said. He looked at his clothes and made a face, plucking them from the Dedicated and setting them on the chair next to his bed. "Look, orders or not, I'm not sitting here all day as the Yellows pick flowers and talk about their feelings. I've got things to do. Have you heard the rumours from the Three-Fold Land? No, you're probably going to go Yellow too aren't you? My point is, I can't sit on my ass all day doing nothing, that's not my style. So you can go find this Zarayne and tell her I'm leaving as soon as I've eaten if she doesn't get herself in here." The Dedicated made a face, but Nate was deadly serious, and he turned to grab his tray of food from the side of the bed with the finality of someone who had said everything he had to say to a trainee. Nate was normally known for his smiles, but lately he'd just been feeling impatient. Why wasn't anyone doing anything? He stuffed a whole sandwich into his mouth to curb his irritation.
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Re: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Craig » May 17th, 2018, 9:12 pm

Zarayne
Zarayne moved through the Yellow Ajah's halls in a very unladylike matter by wetlander standards. For her, it was simple pragmatism that had her holding cream-coloured skirts in her arms as she ran. She had been called for, then she had been held up when she caught two Novices slacking off from their chores, so now she was in a rush. When she arrived at the Infirmary, she dropped the skirts and assumed a brisk walking pace. Words had been exchanged in the past about her appearance within the Infirmary, and how it reflected on the Ajah as a whole.

An eager-eyed Dedicated, the same one who'd come to call on her originally, beckoned her towards a private room. "Asha'man Nate is inside, Zarayne Sedai." She smiled and nodded which was enough to set the Dedicated off to his next duty. Zarayne didn't pause to see him off, delving straight into the room before her patient walked off.

"I see you, Asha'man Nate. I'm sorry for the delay." She paused to take a proper look at her patient. She didn't know much more about the Blue aside from his Ajah and his predilection towards eschewing clothing. Apparently that was worth of wetlander gossip. Squint hard and she could have mistaken him from an Aiel. He was tall, well-built and tanned. She smiled in approval, and in friendliness.

"My name is Zarayne. I'm come to talk to you, if that's alright? I understand your fellow Blues are concerning about you." That was slightly underselling it, but it wasn't a lie. Instructions had been transmitted to Zarayne through the First Weaver, who in turn had received a request from the First Selector. This was clearly a serious matter.
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Elan wrote:Of course, the problems with observing a chain of command arise when the one in command decides to do something unspeakably idiotic, like taking off on his own for no discernible reason in the middle of enemy territory.

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Re: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Matty » May 17th, 2018, 9:28 pm

Nate By the time the woman did bother to turn up Nate was finished with his food, and quite impatient. It was only timely luck that saw him still there when Zarayne let herself in, and he gave her a wary look as she entered the room. Aiel by the looks of her, with that shocking red hair he associated with their esteemed... what was Ravak up to nowadays?... that guy. Nate didn't really follow what other people got up to, it was inconsequential and he was a busy man.

"I see you too Zarayne," he said, trying to keep his voice friendly, but that strain of impatience he'd shown the Dedicated was still simmering. Where she smiled, he just shrugged his hulking shoulders, not really in the mood for idle conversation. "I really don't see what all the fuss is about; this is a waste of everyone's time," he told the Yellow stubbornly even whilst trying to sound at least a little bit friendly. He'd eaten so he wasn't nearly as cranky as he could have been, but the Mayener was still itching to get out of the room and Grey Tower politics were most aggravating. "Busybodies thinking that they know better than I do, what I need. Since when did the Tower become all about cross referencing and asking permission for every little thing? How am I supposed to do my job when-" the burly Blue gave Zarayne a glance and broke off with a huff, "I'm not annoyed at you," he said. "I'm annoyed at the Tower. Can't a guy go out and fight the good fight without people breathing down his neck? People go away for years at a time all the flaming time, this is no different."

Nate took his shirt from where he'd put it down, and tugged the dark blue material on roughly. The buttons he didn't bother with right away. His hammer sat against the wall nearby, strangely enough nobody had bothered to move that. "There's probably people who need Healing, so you should go see to them," he said briskly. "I'm needed at the Three-Fold Land. Too many bandits attacking Travellers and they won't be stopped if I'm lounging around in bed all day."
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Re: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Craig » May 17th, 2018, 10:00 pm

Zarayne
Zarayne listened; that was her role after all. Fortunately wetlanders loved to talk, making everything a lot easier. She stood smiling whilst she considered his words. The busybodies he referred to included the First Selector, perhaps Maever Donovan as well. He didn't like authority. His annoyance towards the Tower was in the same vein.

Talk of the Three-Fold Land interested her on a personal level, but she placed personal interest aside. There's also the possibility it's a ruse. The Asha'man was not Oathsworn and she doubted he used the term 'Three-Fold Land' in his natural speech. She didn't play Daes Dae'mar but she wasn't ignorant to think others didn't.

"Where is 'the good fight'?" She honestly didn't know, and Blues had a tendency to see their personal vocation as a battle against some specific injustice. "Is there a possibility that this 'asking for permission' is simply so your brothers and sisters know where to reach you should they need your counsel?"
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Elan wrote:Of course, the problems with observing a chain of command arise when the one in command decides to do something unspeakably idiotic, like taking off on his own for no discernible reason in the middle of enemy territory.

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Re: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Matty » May 18th, 2018, 6:11 am

Nate "It was a figure of speech," Nate grumped. "The good fight is wherever I'm needed at the time. I go where people can't help themselves, and sort out their problems for them. Villagers who have an overbearing figurehead, refugees being treated badly, borderlanders who need a strong arm against trolloc raids. That sort of thing. I go where they need the Light." It sounded lofty, but Nate said it matter of factly which made it a little less obnoxious, right?

Zarayne asked if the permission was needed so they knew where he was, in case they needed him for something. Nate's response to this was to snort. "Bloody ashes, no," he replied, "they just can't mind their own business that's all." They didn't need to know anything about him outside of his reports... which he definitely filled out when needed and didn't forget about, or keep rather brief... "They don't need me for any "counsel", that's just not how it works. They like to have as much control over the Blue Ajah as possible, inhabitants included, but that's not how it should be. I've got too much to do to sit in the Tower all day writing reports and thinking about what the other Blues are up to. The meetings I've been in are pointless, people are just fluffing their own feathers and acting like they're the most important person in the world.

And I'm too busy for that!"

Nate got to his feet, finally buttoning up his shirt and throwing his coat on as well. The man normally wore his black coat and trousers, if he did wear clothes. "No offense Zarayne but I don't see what this is all for. What do you need me to say so the Blues will get off my back?" Despite the impatience in his tone, his expression did soften slightly for the Yellow. She was doing as she had been asked, and that had to be frustrating even though Yellows loved meetings and talking about their feelings. That was for the Yellows though, not the Blues. Still, she was an Aes Sedai, and Nate did try to show a modicum of respect for his peers, no matter how frustrating they could be.
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Re: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Craig » May 22nd, 2018, 10:07 am

Zarayne
Zarayne watched the flurry of activity, both physical and verbal, as Nate made ready to leave. He sounded determined to return to her work. She still stood near the doorway, not quite guarding it but he'd have to squeeze past her to exit. She wasn't Far Dareis Mai, but she would make him work for it if that was his intention.

"You're a man of action. Yours I presume?" she asked, gesturing to the warhammer resting against the wall. "Mm, it's clear-cut when a physical problem has been dealt with. I can understand the appeal."

Zarayne smiled sympathetically. "That's why you find it frustrating dealing with your Ajah. There's nothing to swing at; at least not anything that won't strike back harder. How have you dealt with similar problems in the past? I would find it challenging to think this is the first time you've run into issues with authority."
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Elan wrote:Of course, the problems with observing a chain of command arise when the one in command decides to do something unspeakably idiotic, like taking off on his own for no discernible reason in the middle of enemy territory.

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Re: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Matty » May 22nd, 2018, 12:17 pm

Nate Nate tried really hard to not let out an exasperated huff because Zarayne was right in front of him, and doing her Yellowy duty. He honestly tried ever so extremely hard, but perhaps it transferred to his expression instead by the way she was speaking to him. It's not just the Blue Ajah that's frustrating! he thought to himself, but as tempting as it would have been to shove past the woman, he was a man of manners and integrity. More the latter than the former, but that was enough to keep him in the room. When did Yellows stop Healing and moving on to their next patient, sheesh.

"I don't like this picture you're painting of me," Nate decided to say, sitting on the edge of the bed. He wasn't relaxed, if anything he looked ready to barge out at the first sign that he could. "I'm not just a guy who hits stuff to get his way. And maybe if people did less talking about more doing, then I wouldn't have to justify myself to anyone." How had he dealt with authority in the past? Well as a Soldier and Dedicated he'd been no worse than most, probably fairly typical as far as trainees and their rule breaking went. Before he knew what he wanted to do as an Asha'man, it had been simple - keep his head down, do his work, and get Raised.

The man folded his arms, looking at the far corner of the room. "Since Viadulo I've been, uhhh, a bit less patient I suppose," he said. Not quite on topic but it seemed relevant. "Whatever it was they did, it was Healed but the brain can be kinda complex. Even mine," he said with a wry smile. "If there's people like me out there then things like Viadulo won't happen again. And the more time I spend at the Grey Tower having meetings and reviews and collaborating with people who like the sound of their own voices, the less I can actually do. It's counter-productive. But my mental health is fine! It's just an excuse to keep a chain on my leg. This is all ridiculous bureaucratic practice of outdated Ajah ideals. I bet they don't have this much paperwork in the Red Ajah," he added, mostly as a mutter.
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Re: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Craig » May 22nd, 2018, 1:10 pm

Zarayne
Zarayne rubbed her right arm subconsciously. "I don't mean to upset you, Nate. My interest is in your well-being, and reducing the strife between you and your peers. You asked earlier if there were any words you could say to get the Blues off your back. There are, but it's not a case of playing lip service. That may buy you some time, but the conflict between you and your Ajah will just deepen."

The Yellow stepped away from the door. It was a risk but she wasn't going to win around his trust by standing in his way.

"You don't wish for the events of Vaidulo to repeat themselves. Aside from those aligned with the Shadow, I believe everyone would agree with that. Your cause is noble, but it is not one you can achieve alone.

"You are not alone in your dislike of bureaucracy and paperwork, but what is the cost of ignoring such tasks? Where would your Ajah be if its members did not communicate with one another? What would happen to the Grey Tower if each Gaidin and Aes Sedai and Asha'man set out into the world alone, each narrowly carving their path under the guidance of their individual agendas?

Zarayne paused to let the words sink in. She hoped they were helping Nate in some manner.

"There is a strength in community and cooperation. It doesn't require complete subservience, but it cannot thrive when its members are in complete isolation from one another."
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Elan wrote:Of course, the problems with observing a chain of command arise when the one in command decides to do something unspeakably idiotic, like taking off on his own for no discernible reason in the middle of enemy territory.

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Re: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Matty » May 22nd, 2018, 8:53 pm

Nate The Blue had to admit, the woman made some valid points. He couldn't just say the words they needed, not because he was bound by any Oaths - he wasn't - but because he wouldn't mean them, and he couldn't say something he didn't mean. Even if it was his own suggestion, when push came to shove he'd simply say what was on his mind, and that would make matters worse. Then they'd have to have this conversation every time he appeared at the Grey Tower, until he was detained or he just never came back.

And burn it all, Zarayne was right about people working together, though too much of the opposite could be just as detrimental. Personally Nate thought that what he was doing was important and didn't need a big party to sing and dance about it, but people seemed to think otherwise and he wasn't in a position to argue at this time. As tempting as it was to bolt out the door, the man stayed put, and his folded arms said he was listening, but he didn't like what he was hearing.

So when Zarayne fell silent the Blue sat there, not looking her way, thick arms close to his chest and his expression stubbornly set on a scowl. He didn't need anyone. He could do what he was doing, by himself. But they wanted to check his mental health and such things so he would have to concede to their points, at least for now. Even if he didn't agree with them, or like them. It was all ridiculous politics but even the Reds and Greens had their own systems to go by, of that Nate was sure. "Fine." It was a bit of a growl, but it was as much as Nate was willing to give. He eventually followed it up with looking Zarayne's way, "I'll fill out their reports and go to their stupid meetings." It really was as much as he could promise, and the working of his jaw said he wasn't a fan of it either. "As long as they don't insist on keeping me at the Tower for weeks at a time, and the meetings aren't all day. I can't sit still all day."

As far as Nate was concerned that was all he had to do, so he added "can I go now?" and got to his feet expectantly.
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Re: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Craig » May 23rd, 2018, 9:29 pm

Zarayne
Zarayne watched him a few moments, leaving the room in silence. Some Asha'man and Aes Sedai prided themselves for making others' wait for their words, but that wasn't the Yellow's intention. A few minutes of conversation hadn't miraculously wiped away Nate's problems, and she still couldn't be certain how much of what he'd said was genuine. The pause was to enforce the idea that she was not an easy mark who would sign off on any future meetings without proper scrutiny.

The Aielwoman turned towards the door, then returned to look at Nate. "You may leave this room, but your issues aren't so easily shed. I would like to spend more time with you." She paused again as a notion came to mind. "You mentioned that you were needed in the Three-Fold Land. May I accompany you? I can provide support, and perhaps also passage."
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Elan wrote:Of course, the problems with observing a chain of command arise when the one in command decides to do something unspeakably idiotic, like taking off on his own for no discernible reason in the middle of enemy territory.

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