Milandra Basene was not impressed. She was not impressed with the horrid clothing they’d shoved her in, she was not impressed with the homely girl in stripes they’d passed her over to (“An Accepted”, the Mistress of Novices had offered by way of explanation), and she was not impressed by the theft of her cases. She still didn’t understand why, as a student, she had to dress so wretchedly. Oh, she had her theories about it bringing people down to the same level, or so they didn’t outshine the Aes Sedai, but none of it made her happy. “I bet this creature here thinks that she’s in a ballgown,” Milla thought bitterly as she plodded along behind the other girl.
She was not a unkind girl by nature, but she was finding the whole situation a shock to the system. Millandra didn’t like feeling naive, but realizing that she had been overly idealistic didn’t give any comfort to rags and the threat of beatings for not cooperating. “Really, how is any of this civilized?” she mused to herself as her cow guide opened a sun-framed door and dragged her through. “This is my room?!” she gasped as the Accepted explained the premises, “Why, there isn’t room for anything in here!” Two squalid little cots were thrust against the walls, faced off by some rickety desks and wardrobes. And then it dawned on her – two. Two sets of furniture, and one already had a few odds and ends on it.
“Wait, I have to share this tiny hole with someone else?!” she shouted hysterically, “There’s not room for once, much less two!”
She attempted to storm out to demand better accommodation, but was stopped by the Accepted just outside the door. Before the other woman could do more than draw her lips into a thin slash across her mundane face, another girl stumbled out of the blue. “Wait, this is my room,” the new girl growled, trying to stop her forward momentum by, apparently falling. Milla stepped back lest she be trampled, and was rewarded by not being fallen onto, or vomited upon. She turned to the Accepted and stomped her foot, “I hope you don’t expect me to clean that up!” she harumphed, wondering if her life could get any more tragic. Her righteous ire was met with silence, and she frowned; her eyes drifted to the creature shaking on the floor. “Shouldn’t we at least find someone to tend to her, then? I hope it isn’t catching…”
And that was how, on her very first day, Milandra Basene got to meet the Aes Sedai who work in the infirmary.
19 October 2010 (1:52 pm)
Kate found Milandra sitting in bed, glaring at her hands. Without looking up from said ruined hands, she began to speak to other girl, “I do so hope you’re not going to make a habit of falling over and vomiting on things, even if these dresses are ghastly. It’s not very proper of you, Kate.” She lowered her hands, sighed, and climbed off of her bed to walk over to the other girl. “I’m Milandra… Milla for short,” she offered to her roommate, along with her arm.
“Come on, you look dizzy; sit here.” Milla murmured, guiding the other girl to her bed. She wasn’t feeling particularly charitable, nor fond of the idea of sharing a room with someone potentially so useless, but she didn’t see the need to be antagonistic, either. “The Sisters in the infirmary are quite rude, if I do say so myself,” she grumbled as she backed herself onto a rudely-constructed stool, “I’m not sure what I did to deserve it, but before I knew it, they were forcing me to sweep and scrub! I don’t care what they say, it can’t possibly have anything to do with being an Aes Sedai!” She glared down at her hands again, before saying in a confiding tone, “The only reason I’ve not taken my things and left already is because it would not do for a Basene to give up quite so easily. Though I’m not sure anyone else in my family would put up with this degree of torture, either.”
She sighed, eying around the tiny crevice that was supposed to pass as accommodation. “How is one, much less two, supposed to ‘live’ in this space?” She eyed Kate pointedly, “I mean you no ill, but how is this even fit accommodation for the lowest of servants? You’d think Aes Sedai to be would be treated better.”
19 October 2010 (2:48 pm)
“Aes Sedai does mean Servant of All,” Kate said pointedly, and Milandra’s face fell in response. Even though she was familiar with the Old Tongue (her parents had made sure she learned some of it so she could hobnob with nobility), she hadn’t really thought about the meaning of the phrase ‘Aes Sedai’. She sighed, and muttered ruefully, “I guess this is what I get before leaping before I look.” She shook her head, and offered her hand to Kate, “Thank you. I really should have thought of that before getting into this mess. I just hope that doesn’t mean a lifetime of scrubbing floors; they can’t be doing that in fancy dresses, you would think.”
Kate then went on to explain about channeling sickness. Apparently, her contact with the One Power was what had made her sick. “Does that mean that I’ll get sick too?” she asked, horrified at the prospect. “Are you a wilder?” her roommate offered in reply. Milandra had no idea what one of those was, and upon further explanation, was satisfied that she was unlikely to join in the vomit brigade. “I’m here to learn to channel, so I guess as long as I do it right things will be okay, and I won’t get sick all over your gorgeous self” Kate added with nearly a leer, but Milla decided to let it slide. She wasn’t into girls herself, but that didn’t make it wrong by any stretch. “And besides,” she thought to herself, “She’s sick, so she might not be completely sure of what she’s saying right now.”
As for sharing the room, she could agree with respecting each others’ respective spaces. She was also pleased to see that this girl thought that the dresses were also awful, but not quite why this fact was that hilarious. Prudently, Milla decided to also chalk this up to her illness; being sick did tend to put people out of sorts in many ways. And then she caught sight of her own maligned hands again and queried, “I take it you’re off the hook for chores for now, then? I’m only getting to avoid slave labour in the pots because those Aes Sedai in the Infirmary told the Mistress of Novices that I should keep an eye on you.” She paused thoughtfully, and asked, “Did you want something to eat? I should probably see about getting us something before the kitchens close until dinner. I don’t know much about healing the sick, but everyone knows the body needs food to help recover.”
19 October 2010 (4:47 pm)
Milandra’s eyes widened – twenty to thirty years?! Why, she’d be an old lady by then, and a grandmother by most normal standards! She shook off her amazement; no need to punish her sickly companion with more complaining about what should be seen as pure torture. Light, she figured the other girl’s lack of apparent shock was more to do with being sick rather than… could she have accepted such a dire thing? Impossible; how could anyone come to terms with giving away that much of their life to be treated like a child. And yet, people had, did, and would continue to; it was definitely something to contemplate.
She had to bite her lip when Kate insisted she was well enough to come down to get food, and almost drew blood trying to not laugh as the poor thing tried to lever herself out of bed. “There’s something to be said of her tenacity,” she thought admirably as the other girl attempted to feebly rise. Milla couldn’t really understand why something as simple as being brought food annoyed Kate, though; she was so used to having servants tend to her that it never occurred that people took pride in their self-reliance. Truth be told, she was slightly miffed that the other woman wasn’t grateful, but Milandra wasn’t going to let that bother her. Instead, she once again chalked it up to the sickness; Milla knew that she herself tended to be less than gracious to her servants when she was feeling under the weather.
The young woman started questioning the wisdom of her offer as she attempted to find her way to the dining room. She had been given the tour on the way to her room, but not much of it had stuck. “Down is probably a good place to start,” she decided firmly, working her way down towards ground level.
And then even finding her destination didn’t simplify this question; it was difficult to find someone to assist her. Or, to say, she tried to find assistance, but the most she got was a grunt and a gesture towards a pile of trays. She didn’t have the foggiest how to balance a tray so as to not spill broth, so it took her a few tries to just give up and grab some bread for the pair of them. “Bread is no fit meal,” she grumbled; her stomach made its protests known too as she attempted to find her way back to the room. But she did make it back eventually, and Light be praised, even found her roommate in her bed, NOT sprawled on the floor in a pile of vomit. She put the tray down and gestured apologetically to it, “It seems I don’t know how to carry broth, so it’ll just have to be bread… I hope that’s okay.”