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Red Chi



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Chapter 2: Iruka, the Wolf


Fifty years after the blood curdling civil war, a tense air still resided in the city of Ba Sing Se. For fifty years, the Beifong legacy has remained in control, after a twenty-year civil war, after death upon death, after the people tired of seeing their blood run down their streets, they wished for peace. They new that it would be a false peace, fabricated by the Bei fong's lies and ideologies, their convictions and incarned visions but peace it was nonetheless. Although they would hardly go a day without fear and mistrust, the shadows of tall buildings would no longer be a dangerous place, and their precious family, their little rays of hope would no longer walk while looking back over their shoulders, searching, looking out for those magic fingers that shot at them. It had became apparent that Republic City would not help Ba Sing Se and the idea of free land had simply turned into a distant dream, one that would appear now and then like a ghostly whisper, tickling ear lobes and unhinging the ordinary bolts of limited minds only to be subdued. The Avatar was no longer the savior of the world, in fact many people began to doubt he even cared anymore.

Ensuing the war, the Earth King moved to the abandoned city of Taku, and the United Republic, under the orders of Avatar Haku helped build a new capital. Soon the farmers and villagers, the travelers and their wives could see the birth of a new skyline, just over manifesting from yonder daybreak and twilight. Massive cranes stood fourth, their tongues licking the world below, spitting out stone and metal, building towers seen from the greatest of distances. Like that, like a tiny flame growing into a forest fire, the abandoned city became the important center of commerce that was spoken of in history books and a rival for Republic City, a pilgrimage site for warriors, pirates, engineers and business men.

Republic City too was a place of mistrust and awe, no soul truly was aware of the intentions Haku had for them, but they all felt a hot, needle of malice when he brought down Aang's monument with a single stroke of lightning, his gargantuan marble skull decapitated, falling down and breaking into the surface of the sea, submerged in salty liquid. Haku was standing on the tower of Koh, the first of its kind. A beautiful glistening shard, reaching higher than any building or skyscraper. It was just the first, merely the prototype for the greater ones he was building, like the fingers of a curled hand, protruding from the dirt. Most lived in the shadow of the beasts, looking up every 5 seconds, expecting something huge to happen.

Ba Sing Se, under the iron influence of the Bei Fong created their own new city, of purely metal construction. It was named Silver Town, and within its one circular wall was row upon row of iron houses, all of them identical. On every fifteenth street was a market place where one could buy meat, vegetables and the basic necessities. The people shuffled along like drones, barely showing any emotion. They kept silent under strict regime, but on the whole, barely saw any disruptive chaos. It was a prison, with only one way out. The first train to be built cut through from one end of the city to the next. However, underneath the city was a vast network of smaller trains leading around the city. But a ticket outside of the city was almost impossible to obtain, in fact it might as well not have existed.

To add to the feeling of hatred that flooded the streets, evidence of the Bei Fong legacy's victory flourished throughout the town. Towering watch houses dotted the city, each one had a large flowing banner with the winged boar and beneath it read "Silver Town, true peace when the the weak fear the strong!" and other such propaganda. Men and women, boys and girls, all only knew the taste of stale wine, dry meat and all new too well the feel of a leather whip. No one trusted each other, in fear of the secret police. A dark force that patrolled the dark corners of the street, leaving signs of its existence without really showing it self. Nobody knew who they were, or what they looked like, but people would disappear on the way home from work, leaving behind a pinky attached to a bloody letter. Soldiers were posted throughout the city and they preyed on weak men and young girls. In the middle of all this was a couple. Yamato, an ex Dai Li agent who was left behind when the last benders left for Taku or the Republic, and his wife Asami waited in their own small Iron hut.

"Really, is it true? Their going to send for us?" asked Asami with surprisingly obvious emotion. Her wild nature finally crept through her feminine posture, desperation could be seen in her green eyes.

"Yes it's true!. I've been preparing for it for along time...I'm sorry I didn't tell you but it's not safe...they are sending one of the new Soldiers program designed by the militia in the Republic, they won't fight a force they gave birth to but they'll help anyone who come across the border..."

"Ohh...Well it's the best way to avoid needless blood shed, and to keep lives, these new soldiers, I hope we can trust them."

"They used to be strong and honorable, now any scum off the street could be a SOLDIER, how can I trust them to look after you if they know only how to use knives and shoot people and the basics of bending?"

"Just because they're not great benders doesn't mean anything! Give them a chance. Besides they're are our only way out! come on lets go," she said as she pulled her hair into a bun and lifted her slender body up. Yamato could see his reflection in her eyes, stern, muscular with gold eyes and a box beard. His hair was tied into a long plait.

"Fine, but we have to be extra cautious."

She wondered whether to pack a bag...She quickly ran into her room, a tiny grey circle. The window was left ajar, the moon light bathing her bag with star light, reminding her of a cartoon depiction of a poster she had seen, a rainbow flooding into a pot of gold. She grabbed her bag, her body shivered with excitement. She had been growing desperate, hoping for some escape, but she was just a girl and she never did anything to change how she lived. She never spoke of escape, but now it could happen...She wouldn't let anything get in her way. She opened her wardrobe, all its content was depressing grey. She felt sick at the sight of them, she didn't want to wear Bei Fong grey in her new world...She closed the doors and left her bag where it was.

At a train station in the miners district, a tall man wearing a military style long jacket stood at the ticket booth. The worker within was not intimidated by the broad shoulders, dark skin and cold grey eyes of the man before him. The man was wearing a beret but long strands of wavy hair escaped on all sides.

A dark, metallic voice asked, "3 tickets out of the city please?"

Now the man in the booth stiffened, anyone who asked for that many was obviously very stupid, or very important.

"Please," he said again.

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