As she crossed
through the gateway from Milliways into her own world, for a single impossible moment everything had seemed to shift, stretching
around her in a sickeningly familiar fashion--(the Tower this is the Tower I am in the Tower of Ghenjei)
(...but the Tower is destroyed...?)
--and then she found herself through, and the portal closed, and the moment now past.
Still dizzy from the violence of the transition, the Aes Sedai had nevertheless wasted not an instant before opening herself to saidar
once again, seeking any hint of residue that might be left in this dusty, unused room from when she had departed from here to Milliways, months before as time is reckoned in the bar. I must know how long it has been, else this whole venture may be worse than a trap.
What she had found shocked her all over again. A day, or a little more,
Moiraine had thought, stunned. No more than that. The distance between here and the bar continues to widen. I must be careful.
Quickly, she had unwoven all traces of her passing, destroying the telltale residues, and then "Syrenne" had left the room and hurried back to the servants' corridor.
All of this had been two days ago-- or she thinks it has been two days, at any rate. It is hard for her to tell, now; the dizziness of the crossing has not faded, this time, but continues instead to worsen. Time itself seems to stretch and slip around her, fading in and out as though she herself is but a ghost moving through a world that does not know her.How can one hope to preserve time when it is endlessly slipping away?
The whisper in her mind is spoken in Rand's voice, although they are not Rand's words -- it had been Lews Therin who had given her that warning
, words of a madman spoken as advice to a woman who had not then felt as if she were going mad herself.
Still, that she remembers, that had happened--
In despair, she closes her eyes and covers them with her hands, trying to clear her mind, trying to focus on what she knows
is true.(so many paths I saw in Rhuidean - have I lost my way?)
"I am in (the Tower of Ghenjei)
Caemlyn, in the palace," she murmurs, almost desperately. "Although I never imagined it, still it is real. It is
"Woolgathering, Syrenne?" As Moiraine's head snaps up in surprise, Melfane walks all the way into the room and continues, smiling, "Or is it daydreaming? Of course you are in the palace-- why, where else did you think you would be?"
Moiraine shakes her head, saying quickly, "Oh-- perhaps it was only a daydream, at that. Sometimes it is still hard to believe that I am here, that is all."
"And where else should you be, but here and helping me look after Lady Elayne?" Melfane frowns, looking at her. "Aren't you getting any sleep at all? Are you sick? One of the Aes Sedai might help, for the Daughter-Heir's sake, if you are--"
"No!" she breaks in, and could bite her own tongue in two for the sudden sharpness of it. Light, woman, you will have the midwife suspicious of you if you are not careful!
"No," Moiraine says again, "There is no need to disturb one of the Aes Sedai -- they have important things to do." Not to mention that the last thing she needs is for any sister to be examining her.
"Well, maybe you are right," Melfane admits, taking her by the arm and starting to lead her toward the kitchens as she chatters. "In that case, you will drink a full cup of my good flatwort and andilay root tea, and you can sit down for a while on the east stairs. Why, from there, you can even hear the new musicians they've hired-- not a patch on the Court Bard back in Morgase's day, I hear, but then that Merrilin had to move quickly to stay ahead of the headsman's axe when he left, Essande says--"(my dearest Thom)
She misses a step at the sudden flash of thought (that was real this is real what is real now?)
, stumbling hard into the other woman. As Melfane exclaims and steadies her, Moiraine bites the inside of her lip until she tastes blood, fighting to clear her mind.Oh, Light, what is happening to me?