Helping Hand by Shaule Sachs =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Version 0.2 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Moiraine, Lady of the House of Damodred of Cairhienin, Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah, was lost. To most, that wouldn't be something of note and to a certain bandanna-clad martial artist it was the normal. But it was a new and frightening experience to Moiraine Damodred, once called Moiraine Sedai. Once because she no longer had a claim to that title and upon reflection she didn't think she ever truly had a claim to it. The Lady Moiraine was lost, both figuratively and literally. Literally because she had no idea where she was. And that's saying something considering the number of maps she had memorized and her habit of learning everything there was about a place, any place she might come across at some point in her life. She had been to a number of places since she left her family home in Cairhienin. Figuratively because she now knew the truth. All her plans, all her connections, all her power, and all her knowledge was half made up and the other half didn't even scratch the surface of the truth. Not did that matter much since she was burnt out. How she could continue on? She could still feeling the True Source. It was so close and yet she was unable to embrace it. The worse part of it was, she had done it to herself. Of course, after drawing more of the One Power than was safe she had pushed Lanfear through a ter'angeal Doorway while she and Lanfear fought over a ter'angreal designed to aid a woman in capturing a man by increasing her strength in the One Power and allowing her to see the weaves of saidin. She had hoped that the two ter'angreal, plus amount of Power from herself and Lanfear would cause the ter'angreal to overload and explode thus killing both of them. Unfortunately, Lanfear's knowledge of ter'angreal and the One Power was far greater than hers and it allowed Lanfear to bring them to some strange room instead of killing them. Fortunately, the effort was great enough to burn Lanfear's ability to channel out just as Moiraine's attempt at wrestling the male-capturing ter'angreal out of Lanfear's hands had burned her out. At which point it became a cat-fight with the hissing and scratching cat are known for. All the while, the strange creatures watched in delight. Of what Moiraine saw, she knew them to be the Foxes from a Court Bard's tale she once heard as a child. Again Lanfear's knowledge was superior to hers thus allowing Lanfear to strike while the Foxes distracted her. Fortunately, Lanfear wasn't that much of a fighter and Lan had insisted that she learned some unarmed martial arts moves allowed her to last as all as she did against Lanfear's madness. How long they fought, Moiraine could say. It had ended when someone said, "Mierin!" Lanfear turned from facing Moiraine to look at the newcomer and her eyes widen. The newcomer was a tall, handsome man. His temple had a touch of gray in them, his eyes had some wrinkles, and his shoulders were slightly stooped but it was obvious from worry and not from age. Moiraine's original estimate of the newcomers' age was at twenty, twenty-five tops until Lanfear identified the newcomer as Lews Therin Sedai. At which point Moiraine's eyes widened and her fear and mind clouded over with doubt. Had she failed, she wondered. The doubt held sway until she truly started listening to Lews Therin Sedai and Lanfear discussion. They were speaking in the Old Tongue, too fast and too archaic for Moiraine to understand completely. She did caught a few words which seemed to make up the conversion. Lanfear seemed to keep talking about 'love' and Lews Therin Sedai counter her by saying some about Lanfear wanting 'power' not 'love.' Half way through the argument, Lanfear accused Lews Therin Sedai of being Rand al'Thor, but Lews Therin Sedai seemed to counter Lanfear's complains with too specific details. Then all of a sudden, Lanfear switched from the Old Tongue to the modern language and tried to get Moiraine to agree with her that all she had done she had to help Lews Therin Sedai and fulfill her Oath as Aes Sedai herself. To which Lews Therin Sedai gave both women a truly insightive understanding of what it meant to be an Aes Sedai. Both Lanfear and Moiraine had to agree with Lews Therin Sedai's definition and that neither of them fit it much to Lanfear's anger and Moiraine's surprise. Moiraine had always thought of herself has fulfilling the ideal of Aes Sedai. She never imagined how corrupted the Tower had become simply due to ignorance and self-fullness. Then Lanfear began to defend her wish for power. At which Lews Therin Sedai sighed and said, "Fine. Then Power you shall have..." And for the twice time that day, if it was daytime, Moiraine's eyes widen in surprise. Lanfear was embracing the True Source when just a moment ago, she was as burnt out as Moiraine herself was. It was then that Moiraine truly understand how much stronger in the Power Lanfear was compared to herself. Moiraine had original thought Lanfear was simply a little stronger in the Power than Nynaeve al'Meara, who is thought of as the strongest Accepted in the Tower since the Breaking of the World itself over three thousand years ago. Compared to them, Moiraine was but an ember, next to the bonfire of Nynaeve's strength, and a forest fire of Lanfear's strength. Moiraine, when she was an Accepted was considered to be one of the strongest, if not the strongest, discounting the legends of Caduane Sedai, in the Tower. When she went to the Two Rivers she met two women of even greater strength than her. She was reduced to a mere ember before Egwene's candle and Nynaeve's bonfire. And according to both Lews Therin Sedai and Lanfear, and she had no reason to doubt them, Egwene's strength, the greatest seen beside Nynaeve, was the average strength for women in the Age of Legend. She knew that the Aes Sedai had lost numerous Talents and abilities, but that the average strength had decreased as when, no one in the Tower had admit or realized. What was more shocking was Lanfear's increase in the amount of saidar she was holding. While contemplating all the lose that occurred because of the Breaking of the World, Lanfear was now holding more saidar than the entire Tower combined could and she was only mildly discomforted, and she was getting more! Moiraine saw the ecstasy on Lanfear's face. It was an expression she was on a lot of woman who had enbraced the True Source for the first time. Moiraine could see the glow and feel saidar radiating from her. After a few moments, Moiraine had to look away. It hurt Moiraine's eyes to look at all the Power Lanfear was holding. But before she did, she thought she saw Lanfear's skin start to glow... A few seconds later, she saw a flash and heard Lanfear scream out in a mixture of pain and pleasure. When she turned back, all that remained of Lanfear was a pile of ash. She then turned to Lews Therin Sedai, who had turned slight to the Foxes and spoken a few words to them. The Foxes, with fear in their eyes, backed away and left them alone. At which point Lews Therin Sedai's featured turned into Rand al'Thor's. The transition was so brief, Moiraine thought she had blinked and missed it. While Lews Therin Sedai's hair was black and Rand's was red and Rand didn't have the wrinkled and grey hair of Lews Therin, that was all that truly changed. If Moiraine had any of the slight doubt before that Rand al'Thor wasn't Lews Therin, the Dragon, reborn. She now had proof positive of it. Moiraine could only gasped and asked, "How?" With a slight smile, Rand said, "Shall we go? There's an old friend who's waiting for us and I don't know how long he'll be able to last without us..." A doorway appeared in front of them, clearly made from the Power, which Rand motioned Moiraine to go through. It wasn't until they both step through that they noticed that something was wrong. Although what was wrong, neither would figure out. Moiraine felt as if she was being bathed in warm water and her mother was hugging her. And that was her last memory before she awoke to discover herself lost and alone. As the memories of the previous events receded back into her memory, Moiraine had to wonder where she was and where Rand was. She was standing in an area with grass under her feet and a few tree in view. It remind her of some of the lawns kept in Tar Valon. It was what was beyond the trees that confused her. There was large object which she guessed were towers of some kind in the distance. Each of the distant towers were easily twice the size of the Tower. Although how or why so many Aes Sedai could build such things where beyond her. She saw a wooden bench a little distant away and sat down on it even though it looked like it wouldn't hold her adult weight -- a small child maybe -- but not an adult. No she wasn't fat. But it did hold her weight with no signs of play in the wood adjusting to her weight. "ARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!" a scream came from the behind and the right of her. She recognized the scream as belonging to Rand as she ran to him. As she reached him, she noticed he was on his knees and he was holding his head. Without thought she tried to reach for saidar only to be abruptly reminded that she couldn't touch the True Source. A tear escaped her right eye before she calmed herself. She reached a hand out to Rand... only it passed through him. Although she was irritated at herself she let out an 'eek' before she could stop herself. It had been too long a day for her. Pulling herself mentally together, Moiraine realized that Rand was babbling about 'it being too much.' He seemed to repeat himself in the Old Tongue and then in various languages Moiraine had never heard of before. On impulse and since his was kneeing and eye level with her, Moiraine kissed Rand's forehead. After which she giggled as she remembered her own mother had kissed her forehead after she had managed to bruise her knee before the Healer was able to look at her bruise. The kiss's effect was amazing. All of a sudden, Rand stood up and sighed. He smiled re-ensurely at Moiraine for a few seconds before his eyes widen. Moiraine spun around so fast, she became dizzy but she didn't see whatever had startled Rand. As she continued to look, she realized she had goose bumps along her arms and there was nothing that wasn't there before, so she turned around to face Rand. And for the three time that day, Moiraine was surprised again. There was a glow around Rand, similar to, but not exactly like the glow of saidin that surrounds a woman who was embracing saidin. There was a look of pure joy and awe on Rand's face. He kept repeating to himself, "It's pure... It's pure!" To say Moiraine was confused would be an understatement but confused she was. Her confusion was cut short when she had the feeling they were being watched. Turning around she saw a woman bowing to Rand. The most striking thing about the woman besides the server subservant bow she held towards Rand was the strange woman's hair. It was green! The woman's hair was green! In all her life, Moiraine had seen some weird things in the Borderlands... dealing with ta'verens... confronting the Forsaken... but a woman with green hair unsettled her more. Then the green haired woman said... something. It was in a language unlike any Moiraine had heard before. But Rand apparently understood and replied. To which the woman stood up and Moiraine had another shock, the green haired woman's eyes were red, not the red a person gets from crying or the like but simply red just like Rand's eyes were bluish gray or her own eye color of brown. The next shock was the fact that the green haired woman could channel. Moiraine could feel the woman's strength was somewhere between Egwene's and Nynaeve's. So amazed was she, that she didn't noticed that Rand had asked her a question. Embrassed for acting like a Novice, she asked, "I'm sorry... With all that's happened... What did you say?" Rand smiled and repeated, "Are you okay?" "Yes," she answered and Rand went back to talking with the green haired woman. After a few moments Rand asked, "So what do you think?" "Huh?" Moiraine responded. "About what?" A look of confusion appeared on Rand's face. He thought a moment, blushed and said soulfully, "Sorry... I forget sometime I'm not like other people." Both women watched in fascination as a wind blow by them and seemed to settle into Rand's outstrech right palm. After a few seconds a little cylinder formed and fell into Rand's palm. Rand took the cylinder from his palm and handed to Moiraine with the instructions to put it into her left ear. She was amazed that it fit comfortable. She turned back to Rand to ask what next when the green haired woman said, "Can you understand me now?" Amazed Moiraine nodded her head and said, "Yes." At her amazed look Rand explained, "It's a ter'angreal that translate one language into another so you can understand this Age's language." Moiraine nodded. She had seen too many things the Tower had thought impossible to question his ability to create a ter'angreal. Although the question of why he could understand the newcomer came to mind, so she asked. With a smile, Rand replied, "The Dragon is One with the Land..." The green haired woman finished, "and the Land is One with the Dragon." Both the green haired woman and Rand seemed to think that explained it. Moiraine thought about it and had to agree, although she never both realized the full extent of that saying. She, as most people, never truly thought that much about the Land. The saying was used mostly to show the difference between a king or a queen, whose one with the Land and the Dragon, whose One with the Land and the Land is One with him. No one thught much about the Land or its spirit. It was then that Moiraine realized Rand had said 'this Age's language.' So she demanded, "What Age are we in?" The green haired woman replied, "The sixth." "But," Moiraine began. Rand cut her off by explaining embrassedly, "I overshoot our destination...." Moiraine wanted to ask more questions but a feeling told her that she wouldn't like the answers. Seeing that Moiraine was back to herself, Rand summarized his conversation with the green haired women who introduced as 'Sailor Pluto.' It said to her that 'Sailor' was a title but the only sailors she knew where the Sea Folks and this 'Sailor Pluto' didn't look like them. Sailor Pluto said, "As I was saying, at the end of the last Age, the Dragon...." Moiraine looked at Rand, who said, "I don't know if it's the End of the Age that brings the Dragon or I bring about the End of an Age. Only that I've only been born during the Ending of an Age and 'die' during the Beginning of the next." Pluto rested a hand on Rand' shoulders. She continued as if Rand hadn't interrupted her with, "He allowed the overcrowded people to expand out into the stars by changing the solar system's other planet into habitable worlds. The people thus lived on the other worlds until about thousand years ago... When the Dark One touched the World once more. "The Dark One gathered various being of power to her. She then increased their power of her new disciples. The strongest was Metallia although there are some who call Metallia, the avatar of the Dark One herself. One of the disciples called Beryl, whose a queen of her realm, has invaded our World. My princess, Serenity, plans on confronting Beryl. I can't stop her. I fear that Metallia will interfere... Serenity is strong in the Power and she has the Silver Imperium Crystal but she won't be a match for Metallia..." Rand just thought for a moment, forming a gateway, and motioned the two through. All three stepped out into a blacken field of corpses. The corpses which looked to both Rand and Moiraine like Trollocs. Middle of the field, which was actually a very large hall, was cleared of corpses but at the center stood a young women wearing white holding a wand. From the wand and the woman herself, Moiraine could feel saidar. The woman was holding almost the same amount of the One Power as Lanfear did when Moiraine had tackled her into the ter'angreal Doorway. Rand pointed at the jewel, what Sailor Pluto had called the 'Silver Imperium Crystal' which was a top of the wand, was a sa'angreal which was allowing the princess to use more of the One Power than was safe to due so without it. Still even with the sa'angreal the princess was barely able to hold her own against the onslaught from the dark female shaped shadow. The princess was forced to her knees. Seeing this, Sailor Pluto pleaded, "Help her, my lord Dragon." With tears in her eyes, she repeated, "Help her." Rand shook his head and said, "It's not that simple... If Shai... If the Dark One knew *I* was here... She... He would be justified in destroying the Pattern...." "But you're the only one with the power to save her," Pluto pleaded. "Power..." Rand said quietly. "I can't help with saidin... but saidar?" Moiraine could only look at Rand in confusion. No man could touch saidar, the female side of the One Power, just as no woman could touch saidin, the male side. But was the Dragon human? Wasn't he the exception that proved the rule. Rand turned to Moiraine and said with a smile, "Verin was right. That saying about the fishes and the birds is a bad saying..." Taking a deep breathe, Rand continued, "If you and I linked, with your knowledge of saidar and my strength, we continue tip the balance enough towards the right side... Yes, I know you're burnt out." Pluto gave a start and moved slightly away from Moiraine as if being severed from the True Source was contiguous. Rand continued, "But I can Restore that. The true problem is that saidar, here, in this Age, is tainted." Moiraine could only whispered, "But..." "Each Sailor Senshi is given a Henshin stick, which in addition to being a ter'angreal that changes the Senshi's clothed into their uniforms it also filters the taint from saidar to a degree," Sailor Pluto explained. "The Silver Imperium Crystal, in additional to being sa'angreal, also filters the taint away," Rand added. "But not as well as the Henshin sticks since the princess is drawing so much..." "So I would..." Moiraine began. Rand cut her off with, "Be in the same boat I'm in." Sailor Pluto was puzzled about Rand's statement but turned to Moiraine, whom she had original dismissed since she was so weak in the Power, and said, "Will you help save the princess?" Moiraine could only nodded her head. Rand took her hand and she felt nothing and then saidar came flooding into her. It wasn't the same saidar she was used to. Actually, it was. But there was a oily, slimy feeling to it. Although disgusting, Moiraine drew more of saidar into herself. With a start she realized she was holding more the One Power than any other time in her life with even an angreeal, but she didn't feel any discomfort. She also noted that she could feel Rand in her mind just like she could feel her fellow Aes Sedai in a circle although she didn't remember linking up with him. All matters to the side, she somehow showed Rand how to form various weaves of saidar and he added their weaves to the princess who pushed the Darkness of Metallia aback. Once Metallia was gone, the three noticed the human bodies surrounding the princess. Pluto gave a start and muttered, "But...." Rand said, "Such dedicated soldiers deserve another chance..." Through the link, Moiraine could feel Rand reaching out with saidin to the bodies of the four girls and a young man lying around the princess, who was only now seeing her dead friends. Moiraine could feel as Rand Restored the spark of Life, that was almost completely gone, to the almost dead Senshi. After which Rand broke the link. Moiraine cried slightly at the loss of saidar. Not believing Rand and Pluto, Moiraine reached out for herself for the True Source and felt saidar fill her again with that oily, slimy feeling added to it... Moiraine sighed. She had hoped that somehow the taint had actually come from Rand and saidin but she had reached out herself. So it was true, saidar in this Age was tainted. Moiraine cried some more. Quietly Rand asked Pluto a question to which she nodded her head. Rand formed a gateway, picked Moiraine up, and with Pluto gated to Pluto's apartment at the same time the Sailor Senshi teleported home.