Sam parted ways with Luckas and once again scanned the ballroom. All of the people she planned on maybe bumping into were engaged in conversations… All but one… And so she quietly made her way to the girl in white robes. Annie. It would probably be a quick encounter, there was little to be discussed with a healer. It would still be entertaining, however. Approaching the girl from behind, Sam called in a soft tone. “You… Are Annie Turner. Aren’t you?”
Annie smiled in amusement even before turning to face the woman who addressed her, Luckas’ words coming to mind at the sound of the woman’s voice; ‘I feel something tugging at the end of my leash’. They hadn’t met before, and yet something in the woman’s tone gave her away, the tone of someone who never asks a question they don’t already know the answer to. “Aren’t I?” She asked, her tone nearing mockery, but lingering in amusement. “You know who I am. I know who you are.” She stated. “We are both far more perceptive than this conversation has led on so far, so perhaps we should start acting as such, no? Instead of wasting time with silly games. So, might I ask, Milady… How may I be of assistance on this fine evening?”
Sam laughed softly, seemingly delighted by the respectful and yet bluntly aggressive tone of Annie’s replies; no one had ever made her out so easily before. “I am almost absolutely certain that it is not in your best interest to assist me in any way, Miss Anne. I do however have some curiosity pertaining the Myths… If you could spare a few moments of your time of course.” The woman smiled kindly; her green eyes lit up in cheerful curiosity as she stared at Annie. “There are things I always thought to myself, I’d love to ask your mother about, but unfortunately, we never had the opportunity to discuss before she… Passed...” The woman trailed off, visibly fake embarrassment in her tone. “I am certain you can handle my simple questions, however.”
Annie’s dark eyes glared at the woman with an intensity much similar to her mother’s, it was the look of someone not to be messed around with. It was menacing and nearly dangerous. Not something anyone was used to seeing in the, usually cheerful, young healer. “My mother lacked the time for many, many, things… Miss Samantha. Her passing was a rather unexpected and premature one, as I am sure you know. Please, I would be more than glad to shed some light on your view of the Twins. Ask whatever questions you wish.”
Sam nodded in a playful show of respect, not surprised that the girl already knew her name somehow. “Please, do call me Sam. And I am sure you would be glad to enlighten my views. My questions are simple ones, though, as I said… I would simply like some answers as to your clan’s views on the Myths. Specifically, I would like to know what makes you believe in them when you know there is more to the stories than what the public is told.” Sam stated, her tone becoming slightly colder and almost accusing. “What makes you think the Blackhurst Elders had the authority to decide what is true and what is not? What makes their judgment so much better than everyone else’s to the point of your clan basing your entire belief system on their view of what happened despite knowing there is more to the story than that? Please, Miss Annie, do explain to me how do you allow the apprentices taught by your healers to be fed those lies.”
Annie snickered softly, shaking her head in an uncharacteristically condescending way. “Sam, I believe in the Twins and what they represent; regardless of whether they did, in fact, exist in this plane of existence or not. The veracity of the Myths, in the sense which you speak of at least, is irrelevant to our faith. We teach our apprentices faith and acceptance. We don’t tell them the Myths are fact nor do we coerce them to blindly believe in anything. The White Shadows is a clan of healers, scholars, and pacifists. We are not a cult. We do not raise sheep, Miss Sam. Any other clarifications you would like me to make?”
Sam laughed. “You do not raise sheep? Did you honestly, truthfully, just uttered those words? Tell me something, Annie: do you teach your recruits about the parts of the Myths that speak of Terra and her ‘supposed’ origins? Do you speak of Hell to them and all the dreadful things the first Children did to make its existence necessary? Do you tell them of the fact there are several accounts of people gaining enlightened gifts upon entering Valcrest borders and how any records of these accounts were buried by the Elders the moment they were discovered because if they were made public they would cause people to severely question the exactitude of the Myths and the Elders’ own conclusions as to what truly happened between Terra and Life; conclusions that were never really based on any sort of actual proof?”
“There are no actual studies on how magic behaves outside of Valcrest or how outside magic interacts with the Land’s magical source, Sam. Those accounts are proof of nothing, except that there is magic outside the land and that it behaves differently here; which is something we have already established thousands of years ago. Those occurrences were all studied and documented… The records were not buried; they were destroyed along with the City. It is easy to twist words and actions when the entire civilization involved in the actual events has been nearly annihilated. Isn’t it? As for our students… They have access to every bit of written and told history, no matter how obscure, and they are encouraged to take their own conclusions; to have faith in what feels real to them. As long as it harms no one.” Annie’s tone was calm and collected but the look in her eyes remained cold and nearly contemptuous. “I encourage their faith, as I encourage yours… As long as it harms no one, of course.”
“What do you tell them, Annie, when they speak of how the Goddess has personally put you in this world to guide them? Are you going to tell me you also encourage them to worship your existence?”
“I tell them… We are all put in this world with a purpose. On my own personal experience, those who demand or accept worship are those who are the least worthy of praise.” Annie replied simply. “Wouldn’t you say?”
Sam chuckled. “Humility is the only illusion greater than peace; that is my only say on this particular matter. You won’t accept worship because of all the responsibility that comes with it, I think, though… If anyone deserves worship, it’s the leader of the White Shadows. Your level of foolishness and patronizing arrogance are match to that of the Gods themselves.”
Annie smiled a bit more truthfully at Sam’s words and gave a playful shrug at the woman’s offenses. “Well, Miss Samantha… If it means so much to you, you have my permission to worship me. After all, I wouldn’t want to deny anyone of their beliefs. I am a faithful individual, as I am sure you are as well.”
Sam’s eyes hardened slightly at Annie’s words but her tone and overall demeanor never left their apparent tranquility as she gave the teenager a half bow for the insult. “You are a… Fascinating individual… Annie Turner. It is a pity that my faith and yours cannot coexist.”
Annie gave Sam an intrigued look at those words, an almost innocent expression taking over her features as she nodded in acceptance to her statement. “It is a pity indeed…” She opened a half smile, amusement taking over her eyes, causing the dark brown to sparkle a faint golden light. “I trust the Twins will protect and guide whatever lost sheep you may leave along the way.” Taking a surprisingly sincere bow of respect Annie turned to walk away from the older woman. “Until we meet again, Mistress.”
Sam smirked behind the girl’s back as she walked away; amusement in her eyes, mixed with a slightly predatorial glare as they followed the healer across the room. “Sooner rather than later… Healer.” She mumbled to herself.
I was rereading some things and thought it’d be fun to show you guys what Annie is like when she’s.. uh… well…
Yeah, peeved. 😛
Sam, I believe, is the only person Annie hates and I honestly think she’d not save the woman if she was drowning, or bleeding out in front of her.
That scene is honestly the most aggressive I think Annie’s been to anyone as far as I can remember.