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|"Bathe With the Dogs"|
July 27, 2010
"Bathe With the Dogs" is the 12th chapter of the fanon drama series Council of Five after a war veteran and friend of the council is murdered by The Dogs. Meanwhile, Zuko seeks advice about the Council situation from Iroh., and the seventh chapter of the New Politics Chronicles. It was released on July 27, 2010, a little more than a month after it's predecessor, " ". In the chapter, Aang is sent to the secluded village of Da by the
Upon release, the chapter was heavily applauded by reviewers, being praised for its action sequences, epic scale, and cliffhanger.
I'm still getting over TLA's huge suckiness and lame-ass dialogue, so this chapter is gonna have that much better dialogue just so I can prove there's still hope in this world for actually good lines in fiction. Enjoy and review.
Da—a town known by few, and lived in by even less. Those who do live there have two reasons: either they're poor, struggling folks with nowhere else to go, or they're people who want to distant themselves from society, for whatever reason. Da is, for lack of a better phrase, these people itself—its secluded state, shunned by the rims of the grand Da Waterfall, acts as a type of barrier from the outside world, from the highs and lows of society. For Da is the most detached town in the world, in its nature, in its inhabitants, and in its location.
And one so detached inhabitant in this detached town was Bah. Bah was a tan, broad yet withered man with very thin brown hair. Ten years ago, he had fought on the fronts during The War—the things he saw out there during the five year Campaign on the Eastern Front, the violence he was forced to inflict on others, near drove him to insanity. His family had abandoned him a good half a year after returning from the battlefield—one night he thought they were fighting in the war and nearly burnt the whole house down; this was the breaking point for his wife Kama and daughter She. The hollowness of his home drove him further into insanity, and in his descent into his fifties his vision began to deplete, forcing him to don glasses, he moved from the house and went to the only place where he could shun himself from the rest of the world. To Da.
Inside his two-room wooden house, he sat in the dark, all candles unlit, all windows sealed, surrounded by his weapons from war, staring at the painting of him and his family that hung above his crooked door—there was a gash towards the center, and blood stains on the edges, the results of a violent outburst he had one night while drunk, nearly killing his neighbor who had visited to check if he was alright. He stared at that painting as if he was trying to enter it, to the days before the war destroyed him and he was a happy human being.
And then a sound came from the door. Someone was knocking on it. Bah's heart jumped as he tore his eyes from the painting to pan down to the door. "Who's that?!" he shouted to whoever was knocking.
"Please open the door, Bah," the man said from behind the door.
"What the hell? How do you know my name? And who are you?!" Bah shouted again.
"Please open the door, Bah," the man repeated.
"Not till you tell me who the hell you a—"
"OPEN THE GODDAMN DOOR!!" the voice roared suddenly.
Bah got up from his seat, walked over to the door, and slowly opened it. Behind the door stood a man, a bandanna tied tightly around his thick, untidy black hair, and some raggy clothing—a dirty, sleeveless shirt, loose fitting pants. He had a black left eye, and a bloody crack above his eyebrow, and he bore a smile that sent chills down spines. Behind him were two other people—on his left, a woman, and on his right, a man—dressed similarly. Bah looked confused.
Then the man spoke up. "I'm sorry for shouting there. I just get so really ruffled when people don't comply to my polite requests. Now, allow me to introduce myself—my name is My. Funny, huh? Surely my mother had quite the sense of humor—at least, I would think so. I didn't exactly get to know her very well, what with her dumping me into a canal when I was two days old. I guess teen pregnancy was frowned upon in Garsai. But anyways, I work for an organization known as The Dogs. We are a...classy group of gentlemen—and, of course, gentle women, hehe"—he pointed to the women behind him, who smiled—"who are performing acts of The Lord."
"Well, then what the hell are you doing here?" Bah asked, scowling, his glasses sliding slightly down the rim of his nose.
"I've come to discuss something with you," My said. "The Dogs have a certain interest in you. Might I come in?"
"Bah, please let me into to you freaking house," My said, gritting his teeth, his body shaking in restrained rage.
"...Alright," Bah said, and gestured for Bah and the two people behind him to enter. The three did, and My sat down in the chair in front of the door. The other two stood a few feet from him, while Bah stood next to the chair, an unsure expression on his face that mixed confusion with a restrained anger and the ever-present unwelcomeness directed towards his visitors.
"So, Bah, do you have any tea?" My asked, his fingers crossed into each other. "Jasmine, preferably?"
"No," Bah said bluntly. "Tea d-doesn't sit right with me..." Bah's mind went back to a time when he was drunk one night and on the edge of insanity, and he chucked a tea cup at his daughter She's head when she was trying to talk to him—the scar stayed for the rest of her life, or at least, for as long as he saw her before they left him, and Bah shuttered at the memory.
"Ah, well, that's a shame—I'm parched," My said, shrugging.
"So, what is it The Dogs or whatever sent you to...to talk to me about?"
"Oh, right that..." My got up from his chair, clapped his hands together, and smiled as he turned to face My. "About that, you see—I lied." Suddenly, My shot a Fireball with a punch that went straight at Bah.
Bah quickly tried to dodge the fire, but it still managed to catch his shoulder, burning his flesh as he tried to clamp down on it to get it off of him. Then he grabbed one of the knives he had all over the house and on the wall and charged after My, who went to through a punch to stop him in his tracks. He dodged him—much to My's surprise—and ducked to the side of giving, letting him jab the knife right in My's shoulder blade.
"Gaw! Son of a bitch!" My exclaimed, writhing in pain, pulling the knife from his bleeding shoulder blade.
"My, do you want us to he—" the woman Dog began to say, but My hastily cut her off.
"Shut the hell up, Mao! I've got this." My applied pressure to his wound with his hand for a moment, before returning to the unexpected fight. Bah pulled off a spear from the wall, wooden with a metal blade, and threw it straight at My. My quickly sent a Fireball at the spear, turning the wood into ash and letting the metal blade fall to the floor. Bah charged after My with only his fists, and went to sucker punch him in the gut, but My blocked him, kneeing him in the gut instead. Bah fell to the ground, where My immediately kicked him in the ribs twice, before picking the man up by his collar.
He slammed him against a wall, and then smashed his face onto a table before bashing his head on the floor three times. He stood up straight, panting, blood lining his knuckles. And then loudly, he quoted:
"'And through any transgression, the path paved by the Name of the Spirits will be a path to enlightenment, to everlasting tranquility. For in the Name, may thou be sanctioned by the law and the people, but sanctioned for redemption. And, indeed, in the Name redeemed you shall be.' That's in the scripture, you son of a bitch. I'm a freaking Man of the Lord! You hear th—oh right, you can't hear me, 'cause of the whole dead thing. Almost forgot. Alright, let's go."
"My..." Mao said, gesturing to the doorway where a small boy—about eight or nine—was standing shocked at the sight of the murdered Bah, scrawny, his ribs clearly visible for he was shirtless and dirty, and with mangy black hair.
"Oh, fan-freaking-tastic," My said chuckling in frustration. "Well don't just stand there, get him!"
The kid darted out from the doorway, and the three Dogs immediately chased after him.
A block from the Royal Palace, a few hours later
Aang and Zuko were on their way to the Royal Palace in a cart, driven by a royal guard named Giu—he was rather scrawny, kept to himself. The Council, having just asserting their place as temporary leaders of the Earth Kingdom while the Earth King was in medical recovery for "mental repercussions" from the temple explosion—which Aang and Zuko were positive was completely false, a stepping stone in the Council's further plans—had summoned the two to meet with them that afternoon in the palace. But of course, Aang and Zuko were completely suspicious—and, of course, with perfectly good reason.
"I can't believe we're doing this," Aang said, folding his arms and shaking his head. "Better yet, I can't believe what we're doing. How did this happen? The Council's seized control, which means they're that much closer to achieving whatever 'The Dogs' are planning. I don't understand why we're just letting all this happen."
"Oh, come on, Aang, we have to handle this rationally," Zuko said. "I don't like just sitting here as they begin their Goddamn insurgency, but we have to—they know that we're aware of what they're doing, and they're already trying to take us out of the picture. We can't let this happen. Until we devise a plan, we're gonna just have to play along, and watch where we going."
"Sigh I guess you're right," Aang said. "So what kind of plan were you thinking?"
"I'm not sure yet, but I'm going to see my Uncle after this meeting. He should know what would be best for us to do. Meanwhile, the next political meeting between all the leaders is in just two days—they're probably gonna use that to execute the law they mentioned in the temple. That means, no matter what course of action we take, we need to make sure that they don't pass that law."
Aang nodded in agreement.
A few minutes later, Aang and Zuko sauntered through the hallway inside the Great Palace, and entered through the grand door. The Council had refurnished the thrown to accommodate for the increase of those to be sitting in it, and therefore five seats were placed instead of the single one beforehand. Two guards ran up and place two very nice seats for Zuko and Aang to sit in, and they sat down in them, thanking the guards.
"Good morning, Avatar Aang and Fire Lord Zuko," How declared. "Thank for coming."
"Not a problem," Zuko remarked.
"I see neither of you have been severely injured at all from that explosion," Lie said. "Unlike His Majesty, the Earth King—ever so unfortunate..."
"Have you gone to see the Earth King, by any chance?" Kai asked.
"No, uh, we went to and it turns out he's been moved from the medical bay to a, um, 'undisclosed location'," Zuko remarked, and both he and Aang stared at the Council as if to say, 'We know what you're up to.'
"Ah, yes, um..." How rubbed his hands. "We heard of that. Kai just has a very crappy memory, hehe."
"Right," Zuko said, smirking.
"Well, I suppose now is as good a time as any to move onto the reason behind this meeting," Sung said. "Avatar Aang, have you ever heard of a place called Da?"
"Da? I don't think so—why?"
How said, "It's a very secluded town in the East, near the mountains. Most everyone there are just people wanting to get away from the world. And until this morning, one of these people was Bah, a friend of mine from the warfronts."
"Used to?" Zuko said.
"Yes—this morning, I'm afraid, Bah was murdered. An off-duty solider was passing through the town with his family when he spotted his body in his house. We don't know who murdered him, which is why we asked you to come here. In respect to the memory of my old friend, I would deeply appreciate you going to investigate and find his murder, so we can bring him to justice."
"I-I have no disrespect for Bah, and I'm sorry for your loss, but, um...why me?"
"Aang, as the Avatar, you're the most capable person we know," said How. "Besides, this is your duty, after all—keeping the world balanced, and enforcing justice, tranquility."
"Well, I...I get that, but—"
"Aang, no means for disrespect, but with the Earth King incapacitated, we are the leaders of the country, and at the moment we are requesting a simple favor of you to find out who murdered our friend so he can pay for his sins. I'm sure you wouldn't want to withhold such a high, and simple, request, hmm?"
Aang glanced at Zuko for a moment, and Zuko gave him a confirming look. He looked back at the council.
A few minutes later, he and Zuko walked down the steps of the palace.
"Trap?" Zuko asked.
"Trap," Aang responded. "I'm almost positive that The Dogs were behind this Bah guy's death; I'm actually sorry that he got dragged into this, if he wasn't apart of it to begin with, that is."
"So you're going through with it?"
"Of course. It'll at least give you time to get a plan together with your uncle. Besides, if something's waiting for me in Da, I'll be able to handle it."
"Glad to see you're confident about this."
"Hopeful is really more like it. I really think that we're gonna be able to handle this. It's all about strategy, and when it comes to that, nobody knows it better than Iroh."
"Heh, yep. Are you gonna take a royal carriage or ride Appa?"
"Appa. If this is a honest trap, I'm not helping them along by trusting one of their pawns."
"Smart move. Alright, I'm going to head over to my uncle's shop—good luck."
Team Avatar's apartment
Toph, Katara, and Sokka were all sitting on the table in the apartment—Toph and Katara were beside each other on one side, while Sokka was on the other, his head in his hands.
"Sokka, we're really worried about you," Katara said, making a concerned face. "What were you doing on the roof the other day?"
"I was going to jump," Sokka said somberly, not looking up. "I...I was gonna kill myself. You know this already."
"But why?" Toph asked.
"I-I can't tell you."
"Why can't you tell us?" said Katara.
"I can't...I..." Sokka stood up from his chair, his hands gripping onto his hair with his head back. "Gah! I can't even tell you why I can't tell you!!" He sighed and sat down again, throwing his face back into his hands.
"Can you tell us anything at all about this at least?" Katara asked, getting seriously worried. "Is...is it about your visions?"
Sokka slowly picked his head up, and solemnly nodded his head.
"You, uh, found out more about it?" Toph asked.
"I, uh...Yeah, yeah I did. And b-because of what I found out, I...I can't tell anyone. And...gah..." He rubbed his temple in frustration.
The Dogs' underground sanctuary
Inside the sanctuary, Waku had a room set up solely for discussions between him and other members of The Dogs—it was here, in fact, that he learned of the War to End All Wars and their necessary part in it from a Prophet—in which there was merely a long, wooden table. And at this moment, sitting at the table were Waku, and The Dogs' recent, reluctant member: Lee. And it was also at this moment that Waku finished his explanation to Lee about the purpose of the NL II law—the law of which the Council would be planning on passing in just two days.
"...and that's it," Waku finished. "It's...flawless. And it will all go down in two days! Brilliant, no?"
Lee rubbed his eyes, then covered his mouth in utter shock, in utter horror. "Oh...oh, my...That's...That's insane!"
"Now Lee, what did I tell you about that word...?" Waku said, speaking as well with the gesturing of his hand and the expressions on his face—an explosion of assuredness to match with an upcoming gusto of absurdity. "Everybody here is perfectly sane. I am perfectly. And this law—perfectly sane." He smiled, truthfully happy, almost giddy. In a matter of two days, the War to End All Wars will have begun. And the spirits will be pleased, Lee. And you will play your part it, whatever the spirits have chosen that to be."
Suddenly, the door flew open—and entering the room was Slythrin, a bandage on his cheek. He was smiling. Lee's heart skipped a beat: he really was working for The Dogs. He believed Waku when he told him this the other day, but seeing it, seeing him in the sanctuary, with these people...it was as if he was reliving the revelation all over again. And he was scared.
"Good afternoon, Slythrin," Waku said, nodding his head. "What brings you here?"
Slythrin bowed. "Merely here to alert you that Avatar Aang has been sent to Da—he should be there in but a half an hour."
"Excellent," Waku said, smiling. "We're so close, 'ey, Slythrin?"
"That we are, sir—so close," Slythrin said. He then turned to Lee. "Oh, hello there, Lee. Didn't see you there." He smiled, his creepy smile, but it was...different. In stead of the suspicious, the scary smirk that he gave to Lee in the past month, at this moment, his smile was pure assuredness, pure nonchalant, pure...sincerity.
Everybody here is perfectly sane...
I am perfectly sane...
The words...they echoed in Lee's mind. And he was scared.
Aang approached the small, secluded village on Appa, the tips of his thin yet unruly hair lightly blowing in the breeze. They landed, Appa's massive toes grazing the dirt-sand ground that covered the whole village floor. Aang threw himself off of Appa, brushed some dirt off of his shirt, and walked—holding Appa by his satchel—to Bah's house. The Council had told him that it was a very dark, very rugged house that sat between to completely tattered houses, where the wooden planks were peeling off the walls, if they weren't off and on the dirt-sand floor already.
Aang approached the house, and stopped at the doorway, letting go of Appa's satchel and patting his neck. "Stay here, buddy."
Aang walked into the house, looked around for a second, before his gaze immediately fell on the body of Bah—he was lying face down, blood surrounding his head like a moat. His glasses, shattered, and his hands covered in blood. Nobody had had even the slightest bit of decency, of respect, to cover the body. Aang walked over to the body, and leaned down, trying to get a good view of his face—he wanted to know just what kind of person this was that The Dogs had dragged into their sick plan...whatever it was...and whoever they were.
He stood back up straight and looked around for some kind of cloth—one was a very tattered looking quilt of sorts lying over at the edge of the wall. Aang walked over and picked it up; it was damp, but it was all that seemed to be there. Even the man's bed, which lied in a disgusting looking area at the end of the room, beside what must have been what passed as a kitchen for this man, was missing a blanket. He walked back over to the man's body and threw the quilt over it.
After that, he stepped back and looked around the place. Weapons placed all over the walls—some of them seemed to have fallen down in the fight that lost this man's life. There was ash next to the cough, and in it was a small blade. Firebender...The Dogs are Fire Nation? It would explain a lot...or maybe there several nations...chained together...for some purpose, some...deranged purpose.
All of a sudden, Aang heard Appa roar and quickly turned around to see why. A small boy, about 11, was trying to clime on Appa, apparently to flee on him.
"Hey!" Aang ran out and pulled the boy down, as the boy was climbing on Appa's arm frantically. "What are you doing?"
"I'm trying to get out of here!" the boy shouted. His head, which was very thin yet still scruffy, was bleeding, a large cut that was on the left side of his forehead. "Wait, are you...are you the Avatar?"
"Uh, yeah. Wh-what's your name, kid?"
"My name's Mar—some...people are after. I saw them kill somebody in this house, and they've been chasing me, trying to kill me too."
"People? Who—?" Aang stopped suddenly when he heard a voice echo from up the hill, as a group of people were walking up it.
"How the hell does a Goddamn 11-year-old evade us!? He hides behind a few rocks, and we can't find the twerp? That's bullsh—" The people all stopped, now close enough to be seen fully—it was The Dogs. But Aang didn't know this, and he stood confused as to what was about to happen. "Avatar Aang. Guess that's that—forget about the kid, the Avatar's here."
"Who are you guys?" Aang said. He then looked down at the kid, who was crouching behind his leg. Looking back up, he said sternly, "And why did you kill the man in there—wait. Are you...are you 'The Dogs'...?"
"Oh, wow, you've heard of us," the man, My, said. "That'll probably save some time. Nonetheless...I'm My, and myself and these individuals behind are members of the organization The Dogs. To answer your question, I killed that lump in that house for the sole purpose to get your ass over here. And right now, we're about to kick it." He smirked, and then snapped his fingers. Two of the Dogs stepped out from the group and—in unison—launched one boulder each from the ground, rocketing them at Aang.
Aang gasped, and quickly blocked the boulders with a large gust of sand, though the sand—being as light as it was—left him still to feel the force of the boulders, and he fell back on his bottom. He turned to the boy. "Quick, get out of here; go, go!" The kid did so, darting out of sight fairly quickly. He then looked up at Appa. "You too, Appa! Fly to the apartment—they'll know I'm in trouble when they see you on your own! Now, go—Yip Yip!" Appa flew off then and there.
Aang shot back up, and went into a stance, ready to fight. My smirked.
Zuko entered the tea shop, where not a customer resided—it must have been a slow day. "Uncle?" he called, not seeing Iroh anywhere. "Uncle Iroh?!"
"Good afternoon, Zuko."
Zuko jumped and turned around, where Iroh was standing, smiling.
"Ya know, Uncle, for an old man, you move around pretty fast," Zuko said, smiling.
Iroh laughed, and the two sat down at a table.
"So, what brings you here this afternoon?"
"Well, it's this thing with the Council. I should've brought it up to you earlier, but...the Council's involved in something. They've gotten swept up in some kind of insurgency with this group they call 'The Dogs'. They've already passed this unstable shipping law without the Earth Kings position, and now they plan on passing this new one. As if that weren't bad enough, they've usurped the Earth King's position and falsely sent him to some hellhole under the crap reason that he's 'mentally unstable' from that explosion the other week. With the next meeting happening in just two days, Aang and I...we just don't know what course of action we should proceed with. Could you help us, Uncle?"
"Hm..." Iroh stroked his beard, and took a sip of his tea. "Zuko, have I ever told you the story of Rye? Long ago, when I was a lieutenant, I found out that Ensign Rye was an insurgent, reporting on us to the enemy. I confronted him about it, demanded that he turn himself in. He refused, and the next thing I know I was being sent to the stockade on charges that I assaulted him? But before I could be sent, I charged that Rye was an insurgent, and he couldn't worm out of that situation and was sentenced to life in prison. I myself was promoted to Ensign. Ya see, I tried individually confronting him, which nearly cost me everything. But when took a rational step and forced him to expose himself, to be caught up in his web of lies, my venture proved successful."
"So you're saying Aang and I should just out them at the meeting in two days?"
"Exactly—exposure is an occurrence no guilty man can escape."
Iroh smiled and nodded. "So, where is Aang?"
"The Council sent him to a small village in the east called Da."
"Da? I've heard of that place—nothing but poor, scarred people who are willing to do anything to get by. I hope he's okay."
"Well, with all this going on lately...I can't even be sure..."
A battle quickly erupted between Aang and The Dogs. The two Earthbenders continued launching their boulders at Aang, though Aang continued to block them, and knocked the pair down with his Airbending. A Firebender came shooting out from the group with fire in his hands, but Aang quickly struck the man's wrist, de-lighting his fire, and then elbowing him in the face, sending him to the ground behind him. Then Aang himself shot at the group, and began tussling with them as they swarmed him, taking town three quickly before My grabbed him by the back of the head, pulled him close to the ground, and threw him straight through a door that resided a few feet from them—a good three houses form the place in which Bah resided.
There was a grey bearded, skinny man that was sitting at the far end of the wall, and he gasped as Aang came shooting through his home. The Dogs prepared to storm into the house to attack Aang, but Aang picked himself up with great speed and shot a large air wave at the group, blowing some of them back for feet, while others only a few inches. When The Dogs looked again to see Aang, he was gone.
"Look, he's up on the roof!!" Mao, the woman from earlier, shouted.
Aang started running down the rows of rooftops while dodging and counterattacking assaults from The Dogs from the ground; The Dogs finally climbed to the rooftops to face Aang head on, and the battle grew more furious. Aang began Airbending the tiles on the roofs to block attacks and hit The Dogs, thought he began slipping and allowing himself to get hit. My ran up to him and tried to kick him at his ankles, though Aang jumped before he could, and another Dog ran up to try and hit him, but again Aang dodged, thought more clumsily than the last. In his attempt to dodge, he lost track of his feet movements, and fell off the roof.
Once he fell he hit the ground, and began rolling down a hill and into the small forest edge that resided over the caverns of the waterfall. The Dogs quickly followed him down, but Aang flattened himself on the ground—stomach down—and quickly bended a sheet of dirt to cover him, and he blended into the ground. The Dogs frantically looked around for him.
"I can sense him..." My said, smiling toothily. He looked closely at the ground, and saw that there was a spot that was slightly elevated...Aang... He shot a Fireball at the spot, but Aang quickly jumped out and avoided it, falling back on his feet. He continued to run, dodging shots from The Dogs...They were increasing in numbers, as if they had plenty on standby. He began fighting barely ten people, now he was battling at least 20. And once more, as the battle heated up, he began getting tired, loosing his footing, his balance, his focus, and he tripped.
Aang fell a good ten feet off of the tip of the hill and landed in water...He was in the edge of the cavernous waterfall—it was heavily tunneled, with walls of rock cutting through every angle. But before he could even breathe everything in, The Dogs once again dropped from the hills and continued their battle. But now he was in the water...and none of these Dogs seemed to be Waterbenders...
Aang shot up and sent a wave down upon a bundle of the Dogs, and they reignited their chase, sloshing through the water noisily as he counterattacked them with gushes of water. The minutes passed so quickly...they waded through that water, that dirty water, that bloody water, fighting each other fiercely. Aang stopped thinking about everything, stopped speaking, stopped mourning—he just fought, fought for his life as sloshed in the water and took down the Dogs, and as he himself was getting nearly taken down by them...
But as the minutes passed, everything got quieter...The Dogs had been all but defeated. Aang, breathing heavily, waded down the water for a minute before he reached the heart of the whole cavern—to the waterfall. His shirt torn to shreds, his whole body drenched, his pants, hair, arms, his whole body covered in dirt and blood, and again drenched to the bone. He turned to see if there was anyone left. And indeed, My came sloshing towards him, smiling his ridiculously toothy smile, but he was clearly out of breath.
"Wow, I mean...wow. You, my friend, you...are freaking good at this. I mean, you took down like, what, twenty of us?! Crazy, man...It's...it's that skill, that initiative...that's gonna make it that much more awesome...when I finally kick your nomadic ass! Hahaha!"
My ran at Aang, fire in his hands, and they fought each other—one on one, mano a mano. My sent his Fire blasts at Aang, and Aang counterattacked with water. They continued, seemingly an endless tussle, before My grew frustrated at the length of their battle and decided to take down Aang with his bare hands. He punched the boy, and attempted to ring his neck as he chucked him down into the water, but Aang crouched down and grabbed him by the ankles, sending My tumbling into the water.
My dismissed further physical efforts and returned to his bending, and the ensuing renewed clash of the elements caused the whole heart of the caverns to be filled with thick steam. My couldn't see anything, and struggled to find where Aang was. When the steam cleared partially, Aang was nowhere in sight. My was furious, and his toothy smile and assuredness faded.
"Goddammit!! Goddamn it all!!! Why do you fight like this?! Why do you fight at all!?! I know what you've been through these past months—the murders, the assassination attempts, the violence, the guilt!! How do you fight?! Why do you even bother?!"
"Because I'm the Avatar, you son of a bitch..." Aang came splashing from behind him, and sent a huge gust of wind at My, sending him spiraling backwards, through the waterfall itself, and into the wall. Aang bended rock cuffs to form from the wall and to encompass My's wrists, leaving his bloody face pressed against the wall.
"Wh-why don't you just kill me?! Why are you just gonna leave me here?!"
"Because you're not good enough to finally crack me," Aang said, staring down at the man. "Because I'm never going to stop fighting, to stop doing my job. And you're not worth pushing me over the edge..." And he turned to walk off.
My gritted his teeth, before he huffed and smiled his toothy grin, chuckling angrily, though even his smile, even his chuckle, dissolved into his anger, into his fury.
Team Avatar's apartment
Suki had just arrived at the apartment—she was at Kyoshi Island for nearly a month, training young Warriors, but she had come in the previous night, late, to find that Sokka was in shambles. Katara and Toph had explained the whole situation to her, and the three of them stood in the edge of the kitchen, talking.
"Man, I...I can't believe it," Suki said, shaking her head. "I should've been here for him. Maybe...maybe it would've helped..."
"Doubt it," Toph said deadpan.
"Well, um, should I go and talk to him...?"
"No, I...I think he should be left alone for now," Katara said. "He's got some serious stuff on his mind. He needs time to process it all. Maybe he can work this all out on his o—"
Suddenly, a large roar echoed in the apartment. It was the sound of Appa, and the three girls came rushing out of the apartment.
"Appa? What's going on?" Suki asked.
"Wait, Aang went off on him earlier..." Katara said. "So...where is he?"
"Appa came back on his own? Doesn't that mean—" Toph began.
"Aang's in trouble." Sokka came stepping out from the apartment. They all stared back darkly at Appa.
As Aang sloshed back through the caverns, he approached a steep hill where he would fall back on forest grounds and round back up the town. But then he stopped in his tracks when a hand rose from the water and grabbed his ankle. He gasped and looked down, and saw a Dog, bleeding and wet, lying on his back. He sounded hoarse as he spoke, but cleared his voice as he went along. "Our base...it's up the hill. Down through the forest...cut through it and you'll...you'll see a town, a muddy, filthy town. There's a door leading underground at the edge of it. That's where our base is. Please...uncover us..."
"Why...why are you telling me this?"
"I guess...I guess you could say I'm a Stray..."
Aang looked up the steep and saw the edges of the forest. "Up the hill...?" He sloshed through the rims of the water before finally stepping down on the dirt, which turned to mud with each of his soaked step. Each step...
To The Dogs.
"Bathe With the Dogs" was a title that was changed multiple times before Flash finally decided on the current one. Originally, the New Politics Chronicles included only 8 chapters, but Flash realized that that was not enough to encompass all the events that needed to transpire in the Chronicle. After coming up with two new titles ("Sanctioned for Redemption" and "John the Revelator") Flash still had one title that he disliked, "Our Trespasses." He eventually decided to rename it "Bathe With the Dogs", a title he was immediately praised for coming up with, and later decided to rename "Sanctioned for Redemption" to "Into Here I Am", which would include the events meant to transpire in the "Our Trespasses" working title.
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For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Better World chapters|
| The New World Chronicles
|Bad Start - Hunted - Settling Scores - Eruption - Aftermath|
The New Politics Chronicles
|Bitter Empire - Spare the Innocent - Be Thou a Cain - The Will of All Mankind - Forgive Me, Lord... - ...For I Have Sinned - Bathe With the Dogs - Into Here I Am - John the Revelator - Brothers in Arms|