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|Chapter 3: Discoveries|
Volume I: earth
18th July 2012
Isamu and Emma are detected at their attempt to steal food from the factory. Will they make it out alive?
Chapter 3: Discoveries
Emma reacted immediately. 'Quick, behind the boxes!'
Isamu, who was still woozy about his daydream and needed a few moments to get back into reality, tried to move, but it seemed like his body was glued to the floor.
Emma saw his struggling and grabbed him by his arms: with a lot of gasping, she dragged Isamu behind the boxes and helped him into a sitting position. She was still pale. 'Be very quiet and don't try to pass out. Maybe you'll start yelling again and we really can't have that right now.'
Isamu's fear was growing. They were busted. There was no possible way they could get out of the factory without being seen. It only would take a couple of minutes for the workers to find them. And then... he gulped. He thought about Emma. She would get the most trouble, because she didn't only tried to steal from the Company, but for being a member from the rebel alliance as well. If they found that out, she would at least get a life sentence in prison, or even worse...
He closed his eyes. Why did he even got that daydream? It looked so real... it was almost if he could feel the heat of the fire that came out of the houses... and he saw 2 men, bending earth, just like him... they launched rocks at their opponents with kicking and punching movements...
His eyes flew open, and he turned his face to Emma. 'Emma. I know how we can get out of here.'
Emma, who hold her ear against the boxes to catch the conversation, looked at him. 'How?' she whispered.
'In my daydream...' he paused and tried to look right into the eyes of Emma. 'In my daydream, I saw two people earthbending. They used it offensively, they launched boulders at their opponents... if we can reach the outside of the building, I can use the earth there to fend off the workers.'
Emma's eyes were big. 'You saw people earthbending in your dream?'
'It's a long story.' Isamu tried to peek from behind the boxes. 'I see them coming. When they turn around to check the corridors west of us, we run as fast as we can to the exit. And whatever happens to the other, we don't stop. You got that?'
Emma nodded. Isamu peeked again, and then he saw the workers for the first time: there were two of them, one with long, brown hear and a 6 o' clock face, and the other completely bald. They were both gigantic and armed: they were both carrying large hammers.
'No one here. Let's go check the west' The bald one said. 'Do you think they are still here?'
'No doubt. There is only one exit and when they got through the window, there is no way they could get back.' Said the man with the brown hair. 'It's probably those scumbag rebels, trying to steal food from us. But they won't get far with 7 of us!' They chuckled and turned around.
'7, eh?' Isamu whispered to himself. 'We'll see about that.'
The two man reached the corridor from which they came from. 'I count to three, Emma. One...'
The two split up and started to look into the corridors. 'Two...'
They disappeared into their corridors. 'Three. Run!'
They started running. From the west, Isamu could hear little screams of surprise and feel the vibrations of heavy footsteps. When they reached the main hall of the factory, there were even more screams of amazement.
'Where do those two come from?'
'Don't you all get it, idiots!' A man with a bare chest and a big mustache lifted his hammer. 'Those are the thieves! Get them!'
The workers obeyed the command: with loud shouting, some with their hammers lifted in the air, they started chasing for Isamu and Emma.
Quickly, Isamu discovered that the workers were very clumsy: although they were very strong and fast, and could grab Emma and him with ease without letting them go, they were not very agile. He started dashing between the workers, jumping on machines and boxes. If he could only reach the exit, then he would have the advantage on them...
He jumped from a box onto a machine, took a run-up and grabbed the pipe which hang above him. During the jump, he quickly scanned the area, in search for Emma: he saw her dashing between two workers, sliding underneath the legs of the one that was blocking her way and sprinting for the exit. With a forward dive, she disappeared into the sunlight.
Isamu started swinging to build up speed, and let the pipe loose. With a muffled smash he landed on the earth, and Emma helped him raise. Immediately, he turned to the door, stretching his arms forward. 'Step back. I'm going to block the door!' He made fists of his hand and rose them up into the air. A wall of stone rose in front of the factory, covering the whole exit. The workers tried to escape, but it was already too late: Isamu could hear the muffled banging on the wall.
Emma pulled his arm. 'Let's get out of here! That wall isn't going to hold for long with those hammers!'
The wall indeed started to crumble while she said that: the stone started to show cracks and the voices of the workers became louder. They could hear the voice of the man with the mustache above the sounds from metal against stone: 'faster, faster you lazy weaklings! They may not escape!'
'Let's get back to Dong-zun, Isamu!' Emma's voice had an intonation of panic. Just when they started running, they heard the stone break behind them: with loud cries of victory the men stormed out of their factory.
'Surround them!' The man with the bare chest gave commands, his mustache filled with dust and his hammer directing at Isamu and Emma. 'We'll hand them over to the Company. They'll know what to do!'
Isamu and Emma started running towards the village, but two workers blocked their way: Isamu recognized them as the two who searched for them in the stockings of the factory. They both had a big grin on their face and their hands stretched.
Isamu reacted immediately: he clenched his fists and stamped on the ground. A big boulder raised in front of him, floating into the air: Isamu made a punching movement with his left fist and the boulder landed right into the stomach of the worker with brown hair. He was thrown at least 3 meters far, landed with his face on the ground and didn't came upright anymore.
The man with the mustache, who was obviously the leader of the workers, looked at Isamu with open mouth. Then he regained his voice. 'What are you waiting for? It's obviously a trick! Surround him, I'll take care of the girl!'
The workers obeyed his command and surrounded Isamu, but they all seemed to hesitate: they didn't know what to do against a teenager who could magically summon boulders and was able to knock out a man who was at least 2 times his length. Isamu used the doubt to his advantage: he started stamping on the ground and made kicking and punching movements with his whole body. 3 workers were overthrown by boulders; 2 became trapped between two columns of stone and the last one had his feet attached to the ground. When he tried to hit Isamu with his hammer, he lost his balance and landed with his face towards the earth.
When Isamu saw the worker fell, he immediately turned around in search for Emma. Unfortunately, the dust was too thick: he hold a hand against his eyes and when the dust finally settled down, he was almost overwhelmed by fear.
Emma walked right into the hands of the man with the mustache, who now strangled her. Emma's skin became purple: it was only a matter of time before she would choke.
'Let her go!' Isamu's voice was filled with panic.
'I can't do that, I'm afraid.' The man grinned. 'I know your kind: rebel scum who lives on the streets and is stealing everything that isn't protected. Things that belong to the Company.'
'You've stolen it from us!'
'Really?' The man became furious. 'We are working for our money, our family and our children! We don't choose the easy way like you do!' His grip around Emma's neck became tighter and Emma's face turned from purple to blue. 'How less of your sort on the streets, the better! You may knock over 6 of my men, but that will not happen to me! Prepare to meet your faith!'
Isamu heard enough: angrily and desperate, he stamped on the ground, and the feet of the worker became surrounded by earth, attaching him to the ground. The man looked at his feet, surprised. 'What the-?'
For a second, the man forgot that the man was holding Emma, and that was enough for her to escape: she slipped underneath the arms from the worker and ran towards Isamu, rubbing her neck.
'Are you alright?' Isamu asked.
'Yeah... I'm fine... What are we going to do with him?' She nodded at the man, who was still struggling to escape from his position.
'I know something.' Isamu rose two columns of stone that covered the arm of the man, making him unable to move. He walked towards him, his thoughts filled with anger. He almost killed Emma. He almost killed the only person who was dear to him. He would pay for that.
Why he walked towards the worker, he raised his arms: a huge boulder, at least 3 times as big as the others, rose from the ground and followed his path. When he stood before him, the face he wanted to destroy was filled with fear.
'Please. Don't hurt me! I have a family!' The man started begging. 'What would you do if you were in my shoes? I had to! It's my job to keep the-'
'Stop.' Isamu couldn't take it anymore. 'You almost killed an innocent girl. You tried to kill us both. Why should we let you live? It's just justice. If I couldn't earthbend, you would have killed us first.'
The man stopped begging and closed his eyes. 'I can't deny that. You have all the right to be mad at me. But I made a mistake. We all make mistakes. But if you want to end my life here-' He bowed his head. 'Go ahead. I only wanted to keep my job and feed my family.'
Isamu rose the boulder above the man. This was the moment. He could crush him with a single movement. He prepared to open his hand, which would let the boulder fall...
Someone pulled his arm.
'Not now, Emma.' He focused the boulder. 'This man deserves it.'
'He doesn't.' Emma's voice was filled with grief. 'He only wanted to keep his job. He has a family to feed. When he is gone, who would look after them?'
Isamu looked aside. Emma's face was filled with tears, although she didn't sob. He removed the builder a little bit to the left.
'The rebels are against murdering people' she said, with fire in her chocolate-colored eyes. 'You were once one of us, too. We only fight to create a better world with no hunger and poverty. If you destroy this life-' She gazed at the man, who still faced the ground, '-You will only destroy more lives.'
Isamu looked at him. 'He almost strangled you.'
'I know. But this isn't the way. Please, Isamu.' She pulled his arm again. 'Let him go.'
Isamu sighed and threw the boulder towards the factory. With a loud smack, it rammed into the metal wall. He removed the columns and the earth on his feet with simple movements of his hand. 'You're lucky she's with me and such a merciful person. I would not have hesitated to kill you if you strangled me.'
The worker said nothing. Emma walked towards him and put a hand on his shoulder. 'The Company isn't good for you. You make more enemies then friends. Please, go find a better employer. On some day, you may meet someone who could kill you, simply because you are part of the reason why he lives such a miserable live. We are with many. Take your men with you, tell them the same story I just told you. Only when we defeat the oppressor, we can live without poverty again.'
'That sounds like Rebel talk to me' the man said, while still facing the ground. 'But you spared my life today, even though I almost killed you. Maybe the rebels aren't so violent as I thought.' He came upright. 'I shall think about your words. Emma – that was your name, right?-, you are one extraordinary and clever girl.
And about you, Isamu-' he turned his head towards Isamu. 'Your powers are incredible. I have never seen anyone who could manipulate the earth like that. But maybe I'm wrong. Have you ever thought about the possibility that someone may possess the same powers as you?'
'Same... powers?' Isamu looked surprised.
'This is a big world. There is a chance that someone also may have the ability to manipulate the earth. Maybe you should travel and search for them.' He smiled and looked at the factory. 'We need to repair that... but maybe we leave the factory for what it is. Like I promised, I shall think about your words, Emma.' He made a hand gesture, indicating that they must leave. Isamu heard moaning: the workers gained consciousness. 'And when Hiroto promises something, his word is gold.'
For the collective works of the author, go here.