They walked through the Green Man's garden, admiring the different flowers on healthy greenery. "Flowers are meant to adorn, be it plant or human it is much the same." Said the Green Man.
"Everything is so, so amazing. Its like a permanent spring here." Nynaeve whispered. She caressed a Yellowbell flower, taking in it's sweet sent.
"I've never seen such, life before." Mirado carefully plucked a pink rose and sniffed it. Ruby walked over and took it. "It's pretty." Following the Green Man's example, she took two flowers from different plants and wound them in Mirado's hair.
Nynaeve stroked her braid, now filled with flowers of every color. Even Egwene and Moiraine had flowers. Mat found pale blue morning glories and made a crown of them. He walked over to Ruby. "It's now or never Cauthorn."
A great arch, like a doorway was carved into the side of the hill. It sparkled in the sun, white, like the Whitebridge. "In there, lies the Eye of the World. Come, we must not waste time." Moiraine ducked into the doorway and descended down a great flight of stairs.
"Ruby." Mat caught her hand just before she followed the group. He placed the crown of blue on her head. "I love you." Ruby stared deep into his playful brown eyes. She smiled.
"You had better not be fibbing." She kissed him quickly and rushed down passage. Mat looked after her grinning.
"Well, you'd best take good care of that one." Came the voice of the Green Man. "Hurry along."
"It is the essence of Saidin. Just as the Green Man said, the greatest works were always done with both Saidar and Saidin. When the halves came together as they should be. It is clean, stored free from taint waiting for when it's use would be needed." Moiraine said mysteriously.
Egwene wished she had a braid to hold on to, instead she clutched her skirts in fear. "Light protect us. Light…"
The cavern they were in was covered in crystal bulbs. Inner light flowed from with in, and at Egwene's mention they shimmered slightly brighter. The eye of the world was a pool of clear water, water that refused to ripple.
Perrin stroked his axe, glaring at the form of Saidin. "Why did you bring us here. I doubt anyone of us can channel it, and even if we could what good would it do you?"
Logain hungered for the power, power just barely out of his reach. That much, pure Saidin, just lying there waiting to be used. He reached for it, opening up to it as one would an angrel, but was stopped. The voice rang in his head. No. You are not the one. But the One is here, should he show himself.
Moiraine rubbed the sparkling blue gem that normally rested on her forehead. "You are all Ta'veren, the Dark One will strike here, and if the wheel must bend to defeat him once again, this is where it will need to happen. Let us see the sun once more, while we still can."
"It sounds like she doesn't think we will live out the day." Called a concerned Ranma.
"I don't think she does." Mat and Ruby, hand in hand, walked out back into the sunlight. Each hoped that if they did not make it their friends did.
Nynaeve spat, as did Mirado. "I do not like this Moiraine. This is-"
Two figures emerged from the thick branches cutting off the speech the Wisdom was about to make. "I have found you at last." Said the older one.
By the look of his body it by all rights should have been long buried. White hair stuck out in all places, rotting skin fell off. His eyes were shrunken into his head; lips pulled back forever showing black teeth. "Who are you?" Lan's voice was hard as steel, as cold as it too.
Mirado sunk to the ground clutching herself as if in agony. "The Forsaken! I can feel the evil they harbor in their forms, it is the only thing holding them together."
Moiraine whipped out her angrel of the lady. "Forsaken? They have been bound in Shayol Ghul." Murmuring she prepared weaves of both defense and attack.
The corpse like man laughed. His companion shook as if he was laughing to, but no sound came forth. "Were bound. Past tense. For so long we have waited, chained in the dark. Now that they have led us here," he motioned to ward Mat and Ruby. "We will take what was once ours. If you behave and stand aside, we might let you live."
"Never! I am Moiraine Sedai of the Blue Ajah. The only serves the One, if you were him I'm sure you would have come earlier." Wind swirled around forming a cage.
The Green Man came to the clearing. His vine-like arms waving. "This shall not be. You do not belong here Aginor, Balthamel."
Aginor banished Moiraines weaved. "Begone pest, you are the last of your kind, there is nothing you can do."
Lan unsheathed his power-wrought sword and rushed at the two Forsaken. "Lan No!" Nynaeve shouted. He is going to throw his life away!
Aginor waved at the warder dismissing him. He was blasted back against a stone wall and sunk, not rising. The Forsaken turned to the Half-Fade girl. "Kill them. And you will be rewarded."
Her hands reached for the twin short swords at her sides by themselves. "No! I won't! I won't!" She bit her arms and ran past into the forest.
Aginor ignored her retreating form. "No matter." Nynaeve pulled her belt knife and lowered her head running at him. Belthamel saw her to late as her knife drove deep into his chest. He grabbed her neck and raised her high in the air.
"Wisdom!" Shouted Perrin, his axe ready. "Nynaeve!" Egwene embraced the power, letting it fill everything she had.
"Foolish girl." Aginor scolded just as the Green Man charged tackling Belthamel, who tossed Nynaeve to the ground. "Foolish creature." He raised his hand toward the guardian of the Eye. The Green Man smoked, but focused on the task at hand. The Forsaken that never spoke screamed and moss and mushrooms, all things that grew from death, sprung forth from his body.
As the Forsaken was nothing more than a pile of mold the Green Man released him falling half dead himself to the ground. "Remember what occurs here. That was the last thing they said." Croaked the legend. One hand clutched a tiny acorn, and with his last breath that seed grew.
Leaves sprung and reached for the sun. Roots dug deep twining themselves into the soil. When the growing stopped the tree gave one last final shudder, and looked like a five hundred year old giant.
Aginor glance at what was once his friend and rival, the pile of roots and rotting foliage. "Time to end this."
The Aes Sedai raised her angrel high. "Run! Run while I can hold him!" She summoned fire from the earth; wind whipped it into a frenzy.
The small group turned as fast as they could. All of them went off in a different direction, praying it would be enough. One sentence sent shock through Ruby's body as she ran at her maximum pace. "You really must do better than that, Aes Sedai." Moiraine screamed.
Ruby scrambled uphill. She was back in that dream world, the place where everything was so real. This time however, it was no dream, and there would be no waking. The hill was old, covered in stony soil and plants jutted out and random intervals.
When she reached the top she sucked in a deep breath. It was a dead end, with nothing but high stone blocking the way. "Blood and Ashes."
"Ba'alzamon will give rewards beyond mortal dreaming for the one who brings you to Shayol Ghul." Blood turned to ice at that voice. Ruby turned to look at the man coming up the hill with no difficultly. "But my dreams have always been different than others. I always wanted to know, explore."
Ruby made an attempt at forming a blast. She placed her hands in front of her and gathered everything. The tiniest of blue aura's gathered in her palm. "For instance, the Dark One would not care if you were brought to him dead or alive. I might let you live, since you do intrigue me."
Her eyes watered. He was walking on something, threads, yes threads, under his feet. Also a trail of something connecting him to a great dark presence, much like the umbilical cord on a newborn. "How is it a female is the reincarnation of my enemy? How can you possibly be him?"
"Wha- what?" She backed up to the wall, training. Hand to hand combat would be useless against a foe such as this. Oh light, I never wanted this. I never wanted it.
"We never want the duty we are bound to." Called a male voice with in her. It sounded like Ranma, but it was much too melancholy.
"We never ask for more than what must be. Always what must is more than we can do." Different voice this time. Was she going insane, or was she already there?
"We do what we must to survive. To not be ripped away from life. Life is the most precious of things, that is why everyone wants it." This time it was female. Ruby screamed out her fear and frustration. "There has to be way! Some way!"
The cord. The thought was full of greed. Why does something as filthy as him get one. Ruby felt tears form. Her sword hung at her waist, the ruby studded belt buckled. Tam. I have to get away! Away!
From the depths of the mountain hill came a bright glowing tendril. Ruby embraced it much as she normally would have done her chi.
"No! It is mine! Mine!" Shouted the Forsaken.
Ruby saw him grow younger. A man in his prime, healthy and handsome. Away. We must flee. Not strong enough yet. Away, Away!
"No! You shall not have it!"
Aginor sent something at her. Ruby snapped her eyes shut and cringed. She wasn't sure what it was, but she had a good idea of it. Away. Anywhere but here.
At first Ruby was happy she wasn't dead. The cord was still with her, and it filled her power. Like a drug it flowed through her system. The sound of hooves brought her partially back to reality.
A fight was nearing its end. Trollocs and humans alike moved back to lick fresh wounds. Tarwins Gap. Of course, but so many dead…
The voice came back. The female one, but it was small this time, as if losing strength. "Life is precious. So precious. Blood is the price we must all pay in the end."
"NO! It must end!" Light so warm and hot. Light wasa flame, a bonfire it consumed. "Must. Stop."
One hand gripped the heron marked blade her surrogate father had given her. The other had formed a spear of the purest light. Both glowed with the power the cord had given. "Everything. Must. End."
From a distance Ruby had lost form, she was human shaped, but all details lost in the glowing furnace of her power. Soldiers pointed and yelled. Fades took notice and ordered the flying Draghkar to attack. Ruby felt them coming. She felt the taint that ran over them like slick oil on water.
Only having some vague notion of what she was doing, Ruby felt the heat of the light, the power, grow. Raising the spear, she screamed and lighting showered down. Draghkar that survived crooned, pleading for mercy. Not yet little brother. You threw your lot in with them.
"It. Will. Stop." Each breath she took was painful. Her body refused to admit it needed to breath with such power around it. The Spear and Sword twirled in her fingers before striking the ground. Ruby sunk to her knees, crying.
Born from the point her weapons hit the earth, a quake of rolling death headed for the Trolloc army. Air that burned like fire stemmed forth and set bodies on fire. Exhausted, she leaned against her glowing weapons, and let the hot light wash away the pain and sorrow.
Dust hid her form; human fighters plunged toward the now reduced enemy. Caught in the middle, Ruby didn't care if they trampled her. It was only she and the Power. Her and the Light.
"IT IS NOT HERE." Another voice, this one different from all the others before. This voice was power.
"Then where?" Ruby answered back. What did it matter if another bodiless voice spoke? She was a goner. Would Mat still love her if she were insane?
"I WILL TAKE NO PART. ONLY THE CHOSEN ONE CAN DO WHAT MUST BE DONE, IF HE-IF SHE WILL."
"Sure thing. What else can we do?" She heard the far of voices, the voices of men fighting for their homes and families. "The light wills it!"
"THEN GO." Blackness stretched on for miles. Miles and miles a crystal staircase led away from the battle. 'When there is nothing left, there is always light and dark. Always." More people talking, whispering in the back of her mind. Still Ruby pushed on, letting life swirl and memories surface. Mirado, her newest friend, who had such a sad hard life. Mat, whom she loved and always would. Perrin, who cared for her when mother died, and always stayed true. Tam, her father that listened. Loial the Ogier, that had such a big heart. Him and Perrin got along so well. Logain. He held a special place where feelings were left behind. As Ruby slowly ascended the staircase thoughts of everyone she had ever met filled her mind.
The staircase ended at a wooden door. Her blue-gray eyes took in every detail. She looked back at the white pulsing cord that trailed into the darkness. The thought of mushrooms entered her mind. Even in life there is death, just as in death there is life.
She tapped the door with the spear, and the wood shattered like glass. One booted foot stepped into the familiar room, followed by the other. Inside was a chair, a table, and a crackling fireplace. This time there would be no running. She stood, staring into the flames, forcing herself to remember all the faces that screamed in agony.
"Yes, I thought Aginor's greed would over come him. But it makes no difference. A long search but ended now. I know you."
Ruby sat down into the chair. "I am tired of running. Tired of everything you have done to us. I won't run anymore, I can't run anymore."
Mirado huddled in the bushes. Screams echoed in her head, her mother, her father as he died, and her people. Yes. Her people. She felt the evil that they were die far off where the battle would take place.
Her long dark hair fell around her as she shivered. A small number of pink roses still remained in her hair. Astonished Mirado held one in her hands. The girl, Ruby, had put them up for her. Always watch out for your friends. They would do the same for you. Her mother had told her many things before she died. Tips she didn't think would be remembered, but were.
The sun was burning red, not much time left before it began to set. Mirado stood on shaky legs. Closing her mind she knew what must be done. Inside, a battle for supremacy was carried out. Dark or light? She was gray with equal amounts of both. Mirado embraced the darkness. Slowly everything took on a new color. Pink roses were no longer pink, they no longer held form. Around her she saw the life of everything and she wanted it. She wanted to rip it apart.
"No. No. No." She told herself. Eyes wide she searched. It could have been minutes or hours, she didn't know or care. "There." Just beyond, up far away, was the darkest energy she could find. Next to it sat a bright lump, pure. Mirado headed for it, and while she did powers never before opened to her worked. Shadar. Shadow. It was ironic that she turned into the creature she always hated; she became one of the eyeless. For that brief moment Mirado traveled by the Shadow Ways, feeling along corridors of fear and hate to the Evil mass.
"I pull the strings and the Amyrlin Seat dances and thinks she controls events." Ba'alzamon laughed.
To his surprise Ruby laughed with him. "You have absolutely horrible social skills. Take some lessons from the Lord of Fal Dara."
"Fal Dara will soon not exist, it will be swallowed by my Blight. Enough. Look. Look." He moved and a scene appeared. Egwene tied hands and feet, being whipped by nameless creatures. "If this is not enough to make you kneel…" Nynaeve and another woman with gray eyes and auburn hair. Each cried, as they were tortured.
Ruby breathed deep. "Stop your games. Nynaeve and Egwene are safe and alive, beyond your grasp. My mother is dead, you can't have her."
Suddenly the shadow behind the chair rippled. Mirado found her destination and let the darkness seep back into gray. "Ruby. Who is this? They feel worse than Aginor and Balthamel."
"It's the Dark One." Ruby dead panned.
Firey eyes glowed. "A grayling. How curious. Your kind had long since returned to the dust you were made of. Leave, or join me."
Mirado shook her head. "No. I choose the light. The Blessed light."
"Then you die." Ba'alzamon summoned a ball of fire and shot it at the dark haired girl. Ruby ran over with her Sword and Spear crossed forming a shield.
"No! You should not wield it so. You will destroy yourself, join or die!" He cleanched one fist and the figures of Egwene and Nynaeve vanished. Kari al'Thor remained, tears pouring. "Run my child! Run, for he does have me. His reach is farther, and if you die he will have you too." Said the woman. Her clothes were torn and flesh puckered with scars.
"Mother? I won't leave you." Ruby shifted to her defensive stance. The cord she drew power from was thinning, meaning time was running out.
Mirado stared at her feet. She was useless. But if I am a grayling…no one will lose their mother today.
"Ruby, fight him." She nodded and pointed her sword at the being of evil. White hot searing fire launched out, cutting off Ba'alzamon from his source of power. He screamed and at the same time so did Kari and Mirado.
The red head whirled. "What's happening?"
Energy left her, life poured out. Laughter sounded somewhere in the distance. Ruby fell, hitting the hard hilltop. Someone held her. They stroked her hair whispering that everything was going to be just fine. She opened her eyes for an instant while she still had the energy. Gray eyes looked into hers. A pert mouth like a cupids bow kissed her forehead. "Mommy." Ruby whispered as darkness claimed her.
Welcome child. A new story is written. The pattern has been obliterated. You can choose your own fate.End Part One of the Wheel of Time
Credits: (in no particular order)
i love this story
With out any form of reviewsI would have abadoned writing this. Thank you.
A/N Never fear, wait that sounds stupid. Who said Ruby/Lan pairing was given up? Rand got three girls, why can't Ruby have three guys? Well not three, but you get the idea. Don't cha just love, love triangles. I'm going to work on other fanfics beforeI pick this up again. But it is not abandoned, not yet at least. Merry Christmas! Oh, tell me was this ending unexpected or what?