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July 9, 2012
The familiar chorus of rain hitting the cobblestone streets was getting louder as I pushed aside rubble to gain entry into a one story shop. The few drops of rain were refreshing in the heat of summer, but I wanted to stay as dry as possible. As I entered the shop I noticed that there was debree littering the floor and moss and dust covering the walls. It may have been nearly four hundred years since the "quake", but Republic City was still nothing but ruins. There was a new name for the area: Republic Ruins. I cautiously placed my foot down on the decaying wooden floors to check the stability. After testing a few spots a decided to try my luck and walk across the floor. Somehow I made it to the wall to wall counter a couple meters from the door. It had some display cases showing Cutlery and China but It was nothing special anymore because most of the designs had faded away. I hoisted my self up over the counter, but held myself a few centimeters off the ground, and slowly proceeded to yet again check the ancient wooden floors.
Miraculously this section of the floor held and didn't collapse beneath me. I still had the splinters from falling through wooden floors. I made it to an empty doorway which led to a storage room. There were shelves stacked with glasses, plates and vases. It had a solid floor, so I no longer had to tip-toe everywhere. In the far corner across from the door I spotted what I had come for, a sink. To most people, that wouldn't seem like such a big deal but to waterbenders it is because where there is a sink there is almost always water.
As I approached the sink I started to notice a foul smell, and inside the sink there was a bucket, still full with water, but It had a nasty green film on the top. I pulled my tunic up over my nose and tried both nozzles, but not a drop came out. Dread struck as I realized I had the option of dehydration or drinking the water. I sighed, salmonella wasn't something I was looking forward to.
I was about to pick up the bucket when a lighted flashed through the cracks in the walls and windows, followed by a loud boom seconds later. I smiled to myself, it was raining. My ears had grown used to the noise so I had forgotten all about it, but the thunder and lightning had given me a push in the right direction. I pulled out my canteen and unlatched the top as I ran out into the rain, forgetting about the floorboards and almost falling, placed the canteen outside were rain would fall into it then dashed back in.
Just as I made it back to the door, and unnatural blast of wind sent me flying into the shop. I flew over the counter and smashed into a display case. I fell to the floor with a groan as China fell on top of me and shattered against the floor. As I tried to stand a saw a silhouette coming through the doorway. He had a staff in one hand and my canteen in the other.
"Name and nation!" The silhouette's voice boomed.
"What?" I spluttered, my head still hurting from the impact and I couldn't think straight, this wasn't helping me clear my confusion.
"What is your name, and where are you from?" The voice repeated, with a hint of annoyance. I looked up from the floor at the brick wall of a man that stood before me. He was nearly seven feet with a stocky build and a red arrow on his bald forehead. He wore a gray uniform, with a sleeveless tunic and pants that wrapped tightly around his legs.
I managed to gain control of my mouth and answer him. "My name is Kaine. I'm here from Ba Sing Se."I saw a smile spread across his lips, but instead of being a friendly warming smile, it sent a chill down my spine.
"Well Kaine of Ba Sing Se, I am Jianguo of the Republic Ruins and head scout of the Ming-Hua Nomads." A realization crept up on me, and then slapped me in the face. The red body tattoo, the staff and the gust of wind. "You are trespassing in our city and come here from a Earth Kingdom city." His voice roared over the rain as his hands wound up, ready to unleash a torrent of air. I pressed my forehead against the floor, muttered a prayer before being knocked out cold.
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