|and Snip101||Action, Adventure||PG||None Yet||No update page|
|A New Source|
September 15th, 2012
Five years was a short time for the young waterbenders. New and old love ones may have passed and they wouldn't even have known it. Seasons have come and gone and the world changed constantly. But in there, nothing changed. In there, it was so dry you could barely breathe, where a wrong look was taken severely, and tears were forbidden. In this prison, you were here for a very specific reason, because you're a waterbender. In this prison, you have no water, nothing to resist with, crippling, stifling and breaking.
Five years was a long time for the lost....
Ice and snow was all around. She dove into it and rolled around. She focused on the clump of snow before her and bent it to her will, making a key...
A loud clank rang from her ears. Hama woke up as a guard banged his baton against the bars of her cell, "Wake up, waterbender! Or you'll miss your drink!" The man leered at her, knowing the pain and humiliation of the moment.
The Fire Nation had planned this prison marvelously, dry air was pumped in, and there was no water available. Deprived of their element, the prisoners would do anything for it, even be tied up while drinking. They were broken but, they had been that way when she got here.
Hama was the last waterbender to be captured when the Fire Nation began its brutal quest to rid the South Pole of waterbenders. Hama lasted for years, until she was alone. She stood no chance at the end and could only surrender for the safety of the tribe. She hoped they kept their end of the bargain, but she wasn't even sure of that. Now here she was, a prisoner with no hope and no power. Soon, she would be like the others, broken and lost. She had lasted five years in this horrid place.
The only one to last that long before is now across from her and is the most broken, Uric. Uric was the leader of the waterbenders at one point, and he was fierce. Capturing him was one of the Fire Nation's most difficult tasks. And now, he was their most difficult prisoner. He used any advantage to waterbend. The water they drank, spit, vomit, all of it brutally punished, but he didn't give up. He gave hope to the others by his persistence to survive.
But this would come to a tragic end. When his lover and fellow waterbender was captured, Uruk was enraged. He used his own tears to waterbend and temporarily got out of his cell. The attempt cost the love of his life. To ensure he never did it again, they burned his eyes, so that he could never cry. It was as cruel physically as well as mentally, for how could he mourn the death of his love without tears.
Hama was determined to never lose herself, to never let these firebenders break her spirit. She looked up into the sky, a full moon. It was the last grace for her. Every month she had the power of the moon to refresh and restore her and it was always then that she felt it. Waterbenders of a certain caliber could feel their source around them, just like they could feel the moon. For a long time she had forgotten what that sensation felt like. In the South Pole, everything was made of water, but here, there was no water.
Now, in the presence of the full moon, she could feel the water in her presence, small, and insignificant, but there nonetheless. It was no stationary source; it skittered around the cells, and sometimes several. For three moons she had noticed this but failed to see where it was. Was it piping below the floor? Was that where the water was taken from the air? Just as she thought she figured it out, the answer crept in, literally. An elephant-rat had crawled into her cell, to pick at her crumbs like it always did. She looked at it inquisitively. A small rodent, but she could feel water. She outstretched her hand to the rat, it was about to run away when it stopped dead in its heels. She could feel every vein in its body as it struggled against an invisible force. The creature squealed as it turned to her and stood on its hind legs.
She closed her hand into a fist, the rodent rolled into itself, its trunk made a pitiful noise all the while. It rolled to her as she brought her fist closer to her face.
A clank on the other side of the room echoed. No doubt a guard walking, but Hama lost her concentration. The elephant-rat sensed its freedom and ran away too fast for her to realize that her only source of water had disappeared. A guard walked past, paying no attention to her as she leaned against the back of the bars. Perhaps it was best the rat got away, or else her newfound ability would have been severely punished. She lay against the cold metal that made for a floor in her elevated cell and closed her eyes. She would try again the next full moon and the next until she knew the extent of this rare power.
Five months later...
Hama was reinvigorated. She had trouble catching even a single elephant-rat the next month after her discovery, but she had since then only excelled. She had now made many rats bow and follow her every command against their will. The rats kept coming for the food, and over time tried to avoid her cell, but once they were in her grip, they couldn't escape.
And now she was ready. Tonight would be the full moon and Hama was ready. There were only two guards on duty, one who walked the cell lines, and one who watched the door to the outside, to freedom. She would need to take the first guard and make him release her.
The full moon came and she waited. Two hours passed and Hama began to worry why the guard wasn't coming and wondered if they knew. Just as she was about to give up, the man walked the line, oblivious.
A snarl took her face momentarily before it was replaced by a cold stare. She looked out the window to the sliver of the full moon she could see. She looked back at the guard and extended her hands to him. She struck, making him move to her will. He looked at his own hand as it reached for his keys; a look of bewilderment was across his eyes.
The man put the key in and turned it. He opened the door and then fell to the ground. As he lay there, twitching, he tried to get up. Hama replied with a forceful move, her palm rushed to the ground. The man's head mirrored the motion, knocking himself out.
Hama was preparing for a sprint when a thought occurred to her, what about the others? She looked around, only three others were alive. The rest were gone, just like the years in here. She looked at them as they slept, and pity swept her. They were broken beyond repair, they wouldn't know what to do once outside, and she couldn't save them, even if she broke them out.
She left the room, better not for them to see her leave them behind. She felt the blood of the man ahead, he was sitting down, rested, looking away from her. Hama made a palm strike, the man slammed into the wall in front of him so hard, he passed out instantly. She rushed to the door, in case there were more men than usual.
The guards had become complacent, the door wasn't even locked. She stepped out and ran out the hallway. She felt the blood of more men but also heard the snoring accompanied by it.
Rather than awake them by attacking them, she elected to run past them. Finally she made it out the maze of the prison, and out into fresh air. She coughed as the water in the air choked her. But she wouldn't have it any other way. She ran and ran.
She kept running, ahead was a large and dark forest. It was beautiful, better that it was shadowed by a mountain that clearly stood over the forest that surrounded it. A mountain that large would have a cave system; somewhere she could hide for the night and upcoming day and let the search go right past her.
It was hours before she reached the foot of the mountain, two more before she found the entrance to a deep and monstrous labyrinth. Without light, there was no way for her to manage it and she stayed within thirty feet of the entrance. She slept for the night and the day in the breeze at the cave, dreaming restfully for the first time since before the war. She eventually woke up when she heard commotion below. She looked out the cave expecting to find a search party. Instead it was the work of a local town. How she slept through their morning activities, Hama didn't know.
She heard laughter, something she had forgotten, as well. The town was small but peaceful. The beautiful forests surrounded it added a plethora of relaxation. Hama didn't know what to make of it, but she knew there had to be a town close to the prison, so she could find whatever she wanted, or whoever...
For the collective works of the author, go here.