1 - Maidens
Disclaimer: I do not own BtVS, WoT, or the Eiffel Tower.GHOSTS OF RHUIDEANA Wheel of Time Crossover Fanfiction1 - Maidens
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave birth to it comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a cold wind knifed through the air, tracing its way through the peaks of The Spine of the World, and detouring east towards the desert of the Aiel Waste. There it skimmed high above the sands that shimmered with heat, and then dove; buffeting a group of young Maidens with unnatural chill in the searing heat of the Three Fold Land's sun.
It was something of an Aiel tradition for young warriors to go to the edge of the Blight and spend a time hunting Trollocs. This was partly to restore some balance - occasional Trolloc raids at Aiel settlements occurred, although very few made it back to the Blightborder. It was also something about being young - pitting yourself against an undeniably evil enemy simply because you can, to stretch your limbs and find the limit of your abilities.
Jana of the Cosaida Sept of the Chareen Aiel stopped in mid stride, fist held upward to signal to the rest of the Far Dareis Mai that she had spotted something out of the ordinary.
"What do you see?" That was her near-sister, Alys. She loved Alys, but at times her impatience grated.
"A wetlander, hundreds of leagues from where any wetlander should be, and walking in the wrong direction."
Through the distortions in the heated air she could see the blond haired wetlander - small from what Jana could tell, and seemingly without any supplies. She drew her black Shoufa across her face, hiding her features. "We all know what to do with wetlanders who wander into the Three Fold Land." The others nodded, and drew their own veils.
They approached from the south, using folds in the land to avoid being seen. From where they were crouched now they could hear the muffled crunch of the stranger's boot upon the sand, although no Aiel except a child might make that much noise walking across sand. Slowly Jana stood, barely ten paces between her and the wetlander.
The wetlander was small small indeed - few adults among the Aiel were that short. Her hair was blond, and long, and her eyes were a green light enough to be Aiel, but her features were wrong, and her skin too untouched by the sun, even if Jana ignored the odd clothing and boots the other wore.
The wetlander woman hadn't really reacted to the arrival of the ten Far Dareis Mai. She seemed to watch them with eyes that were weary and sad. Weary of what, Jana couldn't tell. Not of walking - although days and perhaps weeks travel from anywhere of note, and with no supplies, the wetlander didn't seem at all travel worn. Her skin wasn't burned, like most wetlanders travelling without a hat, and she didn't seem to be sweating or suffering from a lack of water.
"Do you know where you are, Wetlander?" Jana stood ready for to kill.
"Not really. Is the end of this desert far away?" The wetlander seemed sincere, and puzzled. Still, she was here, and she didn't sweat, or burn.
"You are weeks away from the edge of the desert in the direction and speed you travel. How came you to be here, Wetlander?"
"My name is Buffy. And I'm not sure. One minute we were fighting, and then there was a flash of light, and then I woke somewhere back there," she pointed behind her, in the direction her already fading footprints ran, "and I picked a random direction to walk in, since I didn't know where I was."
Jana considered. "You stand now in the Three Fold Lands, and since we Aiel settled here it has been death for anyone not Aiel to be found here. You are not Aiel."
"This is true, but it's also not my fault. I didn't choose to come here."
Jana considered. "We could take you back to the hold, but we are on our way away from there, to hunt Trollocs. You would slow us, and I cannot leave you to wander the Three Fold land." She adjusted her grip on the spear in her hand.
Buffy nodded. "So that's how it's going to be, huh?"
"Yes. The penalty for being found in the Three Fold Land is death, or to be run back to the Dragonwall naked with only a skin of water. Since we cannot watch you, you must die."
Buffy had already stopped listening, and was instead muttering. "Of course the first people you run across are homicidal desert ninjas. Can't run into a helpful person, only crazies." She looked back up at the Aiel, who stood ready. "I don't suppose there's any way I can talk you out of this."
"No. Come, Wetlander. It is time to dance the spears."
"But I don't even have a spear, and each of you has three!"
Jana considered this. It went against the grain to give an enemy a weapon, but slaughtering an unarmed wetlander went against the spirit of being Far Dareis Mai. She nodded, and tossed the spear in her hand into the air towards the wetlander.
The woman took them by surprise, jumping into the air towards the spear, catching it in an outstretched hand, and then landing in the middle of the warriors arrayed against her. She spun the spear around her, weaving itself into a blur that was both offense and defense. Maidens leapt away, but the Wetlander moved with unbelievable speed. Both the butt and the flat of the spear struck those around her, clipping ears and ankles, all while deflecting thrusts and knocking spears out of hands.
Jana thrust a spear at the Wetlander, only to have the woman duck underneath it, and then dart forward underneath her spear. Jana had no time to draw back her spear as her opponent's fist hit her in the face with more force than an angry mule.
When Jana's senses returned to her she found that she was lying on her back, staring at a sun that had travelled far across the sky since she was last aware. Perhaps two hours had passed. Around her lay her sisters, and Jana grew slightly less frantic when she realized that none of them had been killed. Of the wetlander, if that was truly what she had been, there was no trace except for footsteps continuing deeper into the Three Fold Land. Before she had left, the wetlander had searched the sisters; several pieces of jewelry, three skins of water, and two spears were missing. The remaining spears had been snapped into several pieces, making them much less useful.
Alys turned to Jana, her face a scowl with a truly magnificent pair of black eyes. “What should we do now? I do not wish to return to my sisters in defeat.”
Jana looked at the horizon. “We must go to the nearest hold, and send word to the Wise Ones. We remain alive only because she did not choose to kill us. Perhaps she is shadow-spawn, or one of the Shadowsouled, or something else entirely. I have never seen anything human move so quickly.”
Jana spun on her heal, turning to the nine other girls nursing their bruises. "Come. We will run, and perhaps we will return with more warriors to intercept the wetlander."