Ulrike held the message with shaking hands.Without a doubt - his own seal. And the choice of words banned any uncertainty about that. Holding tightly on her self-control she directed her question to the Far Dareis Mai: "How did this come into your hands?"
"It was given to me before I left my spearsisters to meet Elrys." With a glance at Ulrike's unbelievingly widened eyes she exclaimed further. "It was given to me with the order to hand it over as I get the information to whom, where and when I have to deliver it by the Wise Ones in the World of Dreams, which happened last week. - So I gave the letter to you today."
Ulrike was stunned. How long did he know about her self-chosen task? How could he know what would be happen? "Thank you, Flame. Something else?"
"Yes, - The place is here, the time is midnight! - May you ever find shade and water, Ulrike." And with a curt nod to her the Aiel left the library.
She dropped on a chair, read the message again and again, still hardly realizing what she saw. How? How could he know? and Why just now?, these were the questions whirling in her mind. But her response was undoubtly clear. She would be ready, here at midnight.
Flame left the library and met her waiting near-sister. Together woman and she-wolf glided through the shadowy passages and halls of the palace. Unseen and unheard they made their way through this place of Darkness. Short before they left the gates behind they passed by an absent-minded Darkhound. Flame shaked the head over so much inattention. Dune's feelings drifted through the back of her mind. Not the disgust she had expected, rather an amused desire?! She sent a reprimand to the wolf. This wasn't the right time for flirting.
Running across the Blight to south she wondered about the strange event she took just part. The only conclusion she came to was that Ulrike never was a indifferent watcher in this conflict. She was a huntress lying in wait for a weakness of the enemy. And there was a better hiding place than just under their eyes?
"She is on our side, Dune! She was ever on our side!" Flame laughed delighted as human and wolf reached the stedding of Malkieri.
Ulrike overlooked all her belongings she would take with her, mainly journals and reports. Maybe he would find them useful, though... He must have other eyes and ears here or the Wise Ones had foreseen the future in Ter'aran'rhiod.
"What is that, Ulrike?" She turned to the dragon. And he knew. "Why must you leave? Why does he gives you this order? Why do you obey him?" His mind-voice became louder with each word, finally 'shouting' his thoughts at her. With them an overwhelming sense of his loss and despair filled her. She raised a shaking hand. "Please, Alcair, be still. Everyone here can hear you! I must go and you also know why. I decided a long time ago, to whom I want to give my loyalty." She hugged his sleek neck. "I will miss you friend, I will miss all of you. But I must leave you now and I will return. I promise that! Until then watch your hide, Alcair, don't get in trouble! I want to bid farewell to the others, but it's no time for that, so I can only speak to you for now."
Deeply she inhaled his scent one last time, then she put her arms reluctantly away. "Care for the library, please. Don't let Darkhound mess up my books." She managed a weak grin. "You know how 'spirited' he can be." Alcair'rahien looked sadly. "I will do it. Do not worry about that. And I will be careful." Ulrike swallowed. "It is time for me. Please, leave me alone."
After her great friend had left the rooms, she took up her pack and stood waiting near a wall. She looked across the room through the window. A starry night and a waxing moon. At midnight a gateway appeared before her. As she stepped through he awaited her. "Greetings, Ulrike." With a curt gesture he introduced the darkhaired, ageless woman beside him. "She will be your teacher." And smiled at her surprised face.
Standing before the Turbo-Wax factory, Kiriath waited. And waited. For what seemed like days on end. When would Agelmar ever appear? When? He never did in those seeming days, and so Kiriath, with a seesaw-tilted mouth, returned with Mazrin to the Tower of Ghenjei, leaving him overseer of his white-walled, bar-windowed room, monitors strewn all about. All pertaining to one subject: Agelmar.
That important segment of knowledge over with, the news of Ulrike's departure rang sadly in his ears. Sadly, but yet it brought a curious thought to his mind: the Dragon and its library. Ever since the room had been created, he had been interested in looking it over.
So, of course, he Skimmed his way over, so tempted to Airth but knowing it would be nearly worthless. Absently, he wondered as to DarkHound's reaction ...the head of the Intrigleemen had never set foot near the Dark Palace, except for those highly-esteemed parties. Once inside, the Dragon looked him over curiously. And a voice appeared within his skull. "Greetings."
"Asmo?" Kir perked an eyebrow, "That you? Your voice has cha--"
"It's not Asmodean."
"Then ..who.. what... huh?"
"It is Alcair'rahien." The dragon's eyes glimmered, its jaws seeming to grin.
"You???" Kir couldn't resist googling.
"I thought you knew."
"I didn't ..or... ah.. didn't expect you to be this nifty.." Kir stammered.
Alcair's voice said in a humorous tone, "You are a loon, Light Warrior. A good-natured one, though I detect some oddities in you. Enjoy your time here, Kiriath."
Kiriath blinked. The dragon had occupied his entire time so far; he hadn't even looked around yet. But when he did, he generally near fainted. Books, books, and more books. Many about the BBS, but it was easily the largest library ever to set foot on RandLand. It was huge. Kiriath smiled one of the widest-encompassing smiles he had ever grinned. Ulrike's leaving wouldn't be that bad ---this library could whittle the time away. And when she returned, then he could apologize for that fumbled dinner night. What he wouldn't tell her is what happened afterwards, what with the Intrigleemen and all.
Kiriath, Undercover Intrigleefulmaniac
Swooning at the immenseness of the library...
Ulrike opened the gateway and stepped in her library. And again the use of saidar filled her with joy beyond imagination. The last few weeks her teacher had pushed her hard on the way for the control of One Power. After she mastered the contact with saidar, all seemed easy to her. Of course, she received a lot of warnings to be cautious and careful until her next training sessions. But she was glad to be back now. The time was too long without her books and friends.
Humming a happy melody she looked for Alcair'rahien, and stopped dead as she found him. Light! He laid comfortly across the room, his muzzle in a book, the tail already out off the door and chewing on a half cow. Then he sensed her presence and turned.
"Ulrike, you are back." His excitement made her warm inside and brought a smile on her lips. Nonetheless he recognized her puzzlement. Gesturing to the beef he reassured her: "I am now often very hungry, but I do not become fat how Darkhound insists!" This was true, he seemed rather slimmer as before. "Alcair, do you eat a half cow each day?" "Err, yes, sometimes two. Sundara, she is acting Great Mistress of the Dark now, said that were not a problem." Ulrike blinked. Sundara was what? Then she concentrated on the topic. "Could it be that you are considerable bigger as two weeks before?" His expression was perplexed. "Bigger?" He looked at his body and his tail. "Well, maybe, I did not realize that before." And neither someone else, because they saw him every day. Light help her, a dragon in a growth phase! Where would that end? When would Sundara kick an insatiable glutton out?
"I'm glad to be back, Alcair. Here it is never boring."
Kiriath wandered in the gigantic library, swooning at the nice loads of book lining the walls, walls so sweet, walls so tasty...
"Quit that. Leave your thoughts to yourself."
The lead Intrigleeman continued staring at the walls, eyes glazing over, until the sound of feet clacking through the hallway --finally, someone not wearing high heels around the joint-- and turned. "Ah. Ulrike. Glad to see you're back."
"You?" Ulrike had a look of shock on her face, "You're in my library? Careful with it, mind you."
Alcair's mind whistled into Kir's, "Don't worry, man. I told her you weren't ..exactly.. annoying."
Kiriath nodded absently, not sure whether to take it as an insult or a compliment, "Thanks," and turned to Ulrike, "There's something that's been on my mind for awhile?"
"What's that?" asked Ulrike, her expression looking as though she thought it had something to do with doing something wretched to her library.
"That dinner I intruded on..." Ulrike nodded, remembering and not changing her expression, "I figured I'd better apologize whether you held a grudge or not." Ulrike's expression changed,"I sincerely apologize for the interference, whatever inconvenience it may have caused."
Kiriath, Undercover Intrigleeman
Apologizing whether you care or not
There was a tap on the door, and a young woman with vivid copper-gold hair looked in. There was something odd about her eyes. "Hello, you'd be Ulrike? And Al'cair'rahien? I thought I'd introduce myself. I'm Carramaena L'Var, acting-acting Great Mistress." She came in, shutting the door behind her. "Oh, hello, Kiriath."
Kiriath, as was his wont, said something more or less incomprehensible. Carramaena shrugged and held out a hand to Ulrike. "Welcome back, nice to meet you, join the Dark, all that stuff. I'm kind of new at this, if you couldn't tell. But Ariella's busy, Sundara's off in exam-land, Smoke and Egwene have vanished, that leaves me, and since Sundara was acting Great Mistress, I guess I'm the acting-acting one." She stopped, realising she was babbling, something almost as irritating as rambling.
"Hi." A little startled by the flow of chatter, Ulrike shook the offered hand. She realised suddenly what was wrong with Carramaena's eyes; they were different colours. One was grey, the other purple. It was an odd effect. "Yes, I'm Ulrike, this is Al'cair, and I see you know Kiriath."
"Oh yes, I know Kiriath. Last time I tried throwing a party he tricked me into thinking the room was full, when everyone else was next door. Something with Illusion, I suppose. I might remember it wrong, though, the party got kind of wild." She paused. "I'm starting to ramble as badly as he is, aren't I? Sorry. Anyway, I thought I should pay a courtesy call now you're back, and I'm trying to get to know everyone. Oh, and Al'cair, Sundara left a note to say you can move to a bigger suite, if you grow any more."
Carramaena L'Var, acting-acting Great Mistress of the Dark, still needs practice
In the sleepy warmth of a small hotel, Elrys was unpacking his travelling gear from his journey through the mountains as his companion wolf hunted in the waning light in the forests nearby. Marle, his wolf companion, usually stayed away from cities and towns as most people don't like the idea of a wolf three and a half feet tall at the shoulders wandering through their city. The 4-day backpacking trek from the mountain city of Banff to the remote village of Johnson's Canyon had been a relaxing one, enabling him to forget all of his worries, problems, and annoyances for a while and simply enjoy life as it was meant to be, man and wolf travelling and hunting together. As he laid out his gear to dry out from a mis-step during the crossing of a stream, a faint message intruded on his consciousness. Due to the great distance between him and the sender the words of the message were almost lost but were still there. It was an invitation from a wolf-brother who had been a good friend but whom he had not heard from in quite a while to come down to come down to a cottage he had on Mara lake. Sent along with the message was the general location of the sender and the signature thought-pattern/image which identified the sender as a good friend of his. He hadn't seen him for quite a while and thought it would be nice to go and do so. He felt the gentle contact of his wolf friend's mind wondering whether they would go. The message had been sent to both of them and not just one as Elrys considered Marle his equal and it was equally her decision as well as his.
"Will we go? I'd like to."
"Same here. We'll leave tomorrow then."
With it decided that they would leave, He started to make the preparations needed to go to Mara lake where he and his the wolf would meet their friend.
Elrys ...Sa souvraya niende misain ye...