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Post  Admin on Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:43 am

Kasserine is a small fortified town, but it is predominantly a military staging post. The local garrison is 400 strong, which is effectively two large war clans.

Lorian attends a high level meeting that evening which leaves the war clan, including Aidan, to rest, relax or otherwise indulge in the pleasantries that are available in the town.

While Aidan studies he hears the ever familiar sound of an airship pass overhead. Curious, he looks out of the window and can see the shape of the Zephyr Breeze hovering and touching down on the far side of the town where the landing platform is located. Feeling like he needs a break he dons casual clothing (vest and pockets) and leaves his weapons in the personal secure lock box. He enters the street outside and determines his bearings and heads across town to the platform.

The Zephyr Breeze is docked on the platform and is unloading boxes of military supplies. Aidan notices that Ahilssa's crew are not wearing the usual dragonscale face masks as they had been among the humans and other outsiders in Gideon or Zanarkand. As he watches from below, he wishes he could see Ahlissa as it has been a while since they have spoken.

Then from above he hears her voice and looking up, sees her waving and motioning for him to come up. He climbs the steps to the platform and then a crew member greets him and escorts him to the deck of the Zephyr Breeze. Ahlissa is there, looking as exquisite as usual. “Why Aidan, fancy meeting you here, among all of these warriors.”

“Well I saw your ship and thought I would try to see you or leave a note, or something,” he blabbers.

“Ahhh yes, that's the Aidan I know,” she recalls fondly. “The nervous one, the one who'd rather leave a note than take the most direct action. Tell me ... what's it like now that you're playing at being a soldier. Do you feel as big and strong as they want you to be?”

“Absolutely not, this is not me at all and you know that.”

“And are you still wrapped up in your books, or have they succeeded in knocking that out of you?”

“How would you like it to be? Would you like it to be, as I was or as they want me to be? For as I was is as you found me. And I managed to do a few things without looking staunch like a warrior.”

“Yes,” she says. “Word has travelled about the lost youngling valenar. The scholar who does not know his true heritage, the one who yearns to be complete again, to know everything he can know about his past.”

“Why is there so much interest?” (I am not that special, he thinks to himself)

She looks at Aidan and simply says “Isn't it obvious? You are something they will never be. They have only ever known battle and have been born and bred for war. The valanar are an intolerant people and you bring something very different. You bring tolerance where it should not be. You have experienced the other side, you have witnessed predjudice. The Keepers of the Past believe your rejoining your lst brothers is no coincidence, that somehow it is meant to be. The tests you have endured to be accepted by us, your people, have proven you are worthy and it doesn't matter what any warrior might say about you, they cannot deny that you are one of them. My fiance, Ivistar, does not like you and he always makes that very clear. Yet when I ask him why he will not accept you as being one of us he does not want to believe it is possible that an “outsider” as he calls you ever could belong to the Valenar people. I find him tedious in this matter and there will come a time when he will have to acknowledge you. That time might come far sooner than he realises ... ”

“Look, ummm, to tell you the truth I am who I am and you know that. I don't really want his acknowledgement. I just want to have our continued friendship and hope that his tediousness does not stand in the way of that, or worry you. I find it, well, not the act of a true gentleman to take his own misgivings out on his fiance.”

She looks back at Aidan a little coyly and says “... why Aidan, the gentleman and smooth talker, I would never let Istivar get between us as friends. Never. I am very independently minded and he knows that. So do you. Tell me, what are your plans for the rest of this fine evening ... would you be interested in taking a flight across the sands in the Zephyr Breeze?”

“Just like old times? I'd love to!”

“Then good, that settles it. We'll raise anchor shortly there are some other things I need to discuss with you, in particular your dreams ...”

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