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The Gathering Storm/Chapter 50

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Setting: Dragonmount

SummaryEdit

Point of view: Rand al'Thor

Rand al'Thor sits on the peak of Dragonmount and thinks of what point is there to continue. He tried to lead the people and unite them but it had failed. He thought that by making himself harder, that that would work. But it had also failed. He had nearly killed his father. Rand notes that all the deaths he has caused has started to rub his soul raw. The pain started with Moiraine Damodred's name at the top of his list. The quiet voice that is Rand's conscience disappeared the moment he threw down his father and tried to kill him.

Rand rises up from where he was sitting and shouts in fury to the heavens, holding the One Power. He wonders aloud about the point to the Pattern when people are reborn over and over again destined to create the same mistakes. Great deeds and great tragedies are committed, kingdoms are raised and destroyed, and all are destined to become legend and then eventually forgotten. He draws more and more of saidin in through the Choedan Kal as he contemplates the inevitability of it all. He now holds as much of the One Power as could be held, more than the amount used to cleanse saidin, probably more than anyone else has ever held. Rand stands there ready to burn the entire Pattern away so that nothing will ever matter again. Rand remembers his failure at Shayol Ghul, how he caused the taint and the death of Ilyena. He wonders why he was reborn, to do this again, only to fail.

Lews Therin Telamon whispers in Rand's head, shockingly sane compared to Rand. He reverently says that they live again to have a second chance. Rand is frozen with shock, the world goes still as he thinks about Tam al'Thor's words to him: Why go to battle? What is the point? Because each time you live again you get to love again. Rand remembers thousands of loves across the infinity of time and the peace, and the joy and hope it brings each time. Rand realizes that if he lives again then maybe she will as well. Rand knows the answer to Tam's questions -- he fights because he did something wrong and he lives again to fix it. He wants to do it right this time.

Rand drew all the Power he could muster connected with the Choedan Kal, and turned it on itself into the sa'angreal. The Choedan Kal exploded. And the Power winked out. The tempest ended.

Rand opens his eyes for what seems the first time. He has a strange feeling that he will never again hear Lews Therin's voice inside his head. They were not two different men and had never been. He looks into the sky and sees the sun's rays through the gloom. He smiles and lets out a rich and true laugh.

It had been far too long.

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