|More from Doubledom897||Adventure/Drama/Action||PG||None|
|The Journey Begins|
Angered, Noatak runs away from home. This ends up turning into an ambition to seek a new way of living; somewhere with hope. This resulted from Noatak meeting a family of three filled with hope, and Noatak seeks a kidnapped boy in order to restore the family's tragic loss.
Characters in this chapter are:
- Gender: Male
- Weapon: Waterbending & bloodbending
- Political Position: None
- Gender: Male
- Weapon: Waterbending & bloodbending
- Political Position: Noatak's younger brother; later is a council member
- Gender: Male
- Weapon: Waterbending & bloodbending (taken away)
- Political Position: Criminal of the United Republic
- Gender: Male
- Gender: Male
- Gender: Female
- Gender: Male
Story (Chapter 1)
"Let's go," I, Noatak, spoke across the cold, desolate landscape, "We can run away from him! Forever!"
"Run away?" said Tarrlok, fear gripping him. "But what about Mom?" That was just one of the many questions Tarrlok had. "We can't just leave her!"
"I was right about you," I said, looking down on Tarrlok. "You are a weakling." Tarlokk looked down in shame.
Just then, I flung my father, who had been in my bloodbending grasp the whole time. He flew across the snow, and lay motionless as he hit the ground for the last time. Tarrlok gasped.
I ran in the opposite direction I flung my own father, with desperate calls from my brother, Tarrlok. "Noatak, don't leave! Please! Noatak!"
But it was too late. Tarrlok and my father were already out of my field of vision. I didn't even care anymore. Why should I care about the little family I have if they're weak? My father was a coward who couldn't even face the man who took his bending away, the Avatar, and Tarrlok wasn't willing to take any risks. Tarrlok couldn't even leave our mother. That kind of cowardice would only slow me down on my journey.
Thoughts like these kept creeping into my mind as I kept running, mostly out of anger. Tears stung my eyes but I quickly dried them up with waterbending. One thing I've learned is to force yourself to not cry. It shows weakness. I couldn't afford for my father to see me weak... That could make him treat me like Tarrlok. And I couldn't have that. I wouldn't have it. I have no idea how Tarrlok deals with it.
Sometimes I wish I was Tarrlok, however. He seems so hopeful. I don't know what it feels like to have hope. Well, I might've when I was younger, before this waterbending curse was thrust upon me, but I've at least forgotten what if feels like to have hope. Other times, though, I'm glad I'm not Tarrlok. However, this doesn't mean that I'm even sometimes glad I'm me. I hate being me, all day, everyday.
But I couldn't think of such distracting thoughts at the moment, for I have to deal with the matter at hand. The fact is, I'm tired, cold, and hungry, but there aren't any animals around to eat. At least, I can't sense their blood, meaning I would have to stay hungry. But, at least for now, I could give myself some shelter and rest.
I stomped the crunchy snow, and spread my hands out in one sweeping motion. The snow instantly spread out, forming two billowing walls of ice. I did it once more, except on opposite sides. Now I had four walls of ice, all connected, which helped guard against the wind. I was already feeling warmer. Now all that was needed was a roof. I extended my arms at my sides, and quickly lifted up. The snow in the air stilled, and started to gather on top of me. Soon enough, there was enough snow above me to freeze into ice. I was now completely contained in ice. It was awfully dark. But it was warm, and that's all that mattered.
I yawned, and that was when I realized how tired I was. I fell asleep on an empty stomach.
In my dream, I was looking up on my body. I tried to yell out, but it came out as a growl. I realized then that I was in the body of a wolf. My body breathed in through his nose, and glared down at me. I was filled with a searing pain. I was being bloodbent! Just then, I bolted upright. I felt the cold hard ground beneath my fingertips. I had been having nightmares like that often.
Instead of falling back to sleep, and feeling the pain of bloodbending, I decided to continue on my journey. After all, Tarrlok and my father ought to be searching for me, and I didn't want them to find me. I spread out my hands, and quickly brought them in by my chest. The ice that surrounded me melted faster than was possible, and I continued along a snowy path that I was creating using waterbending as I walked along.
After a long time of walking, I realized that I was literally creating a line for my brother and father to follow. I brought my cold hands up, over my head, and brought down at my sides, changing my hands from open palms to fists. All the snow collapsed, then created an even layer. "Now they can't find me," I muttered to myself.
I kept walking and walking even after I started to feel like I was going to collapse. I could see the sun finally starting to rise. I loved the sun, even though it made my bending weaker. This was because my father would always make Tarrlok and I bloodbend at night, so at least during the day I didn't have to spend time with my father. I love bloodbending; that was never the problem that I had with the moon. The problem was that my father was always so mean to Tarrlok, because he isn't a prodigy like I am. I really do care about Tarrlok, which is why I get so protective. He is one of the only people that I care about. Tarrlok, and maybe my mother. But my father...
Our small and humble village would always tell stories about the brave waterbenders of the Northern Water Tribe who gallantly fought back the firebenders who attacked their great village. I also recall a part of the story where a beautiful young lady became the moon. That is what our village's religion revolves around. We pray to that young lady who sacrificed her life to become the moon, for without her, there would be no waterbending. But I never truly prayed to her, because I hate her. Maybe if she didn't become the moon, I wouldn't be in this mess. The way I see it, bending shouldn't even be a part of this world. The only purpose it has is for hatred and violence. There isn't one thing that bending can do that acts in a good way. It always hurts someone, even if it is someone who went evil. Some people, especially the Avatar, might argue that they use bending for the purpose of banishing evil, but if there was no bending, there wouldn't be any evil to banish in the first place! This is why I curse the moon and its spirit. It only brings hatred.
If only Tarrlok were here. We could've escaped our father's death grip together, but Tarrlok was worried about our mother. I too, am worried, but I would rather have freedom over family, at least in this life.
As soon as my father started to gang up on Tarrlok for not wanting to bloodbend me, I didn't think I could bear it any longer. That's when I decided to bloodbend my father. I didn't want to; I didn't want to bloodbend my brother either, but I wanted to see if I had the guts. It turned out, I did. And the crazy thing is, I almost enjoyed it. Almost. But what I didn't enjoy was bloodbending my brother. It felt satisfying while I was doing it, but afterward, I just felt empty. My brother is a weakling for not bloodbending me, but because of that, he will end up a better man than me. I want equality, and for that, I will most-likely go crazy, for I don't think equality will ever happen. I still accept the fact that I might go crazy, for I am willing to risk that in order to change the world. I might even find a way to banish all bending. Then people will really be equal. As far as I'm concerned, that power is only in the Avatar. But there might be another way...
I've been developing a new form of bloodbending. I plan to try it out soon, but I'm worried it won't work. I've studied blood as close as can be, and I've realized that in most animals, if not, all animals, blood cells line their blood vessels. I discovered this along time ago, once when I was training. See, unlike my brother, I am able to sense the blood and the cells in it. I was thinking, that if I pull in the blood cells, the blood vessels will collapse along with it, and the blood flow would stop. Then, of course, they would die. I haven't tried anything yet, but if it works, I would be unstoppable. With the flick of a wrist, I could just kill an animal, or maybe even a human, instantly. It would probably take very long to master, and I'm not sure if I want that kind of power. It could be very frightening. I didn't say anything about this technique I was developing to my father, for I fear that he would make me train for something that might not even be possible. I also didn't want to raise his hopes for revenge even further, for I already had planned on leaving before I thought about this technique. I could just be fantasizing about something that will never ever happen, but it doesn't hurt to at least try.
After a while of thinking and walking, I decided I was going to rest again. There was still snow as far as I could see, and the snow in the air was getting thicker. I also couldn't sense any blood either, except for maybe a few rats underground. I drank some of the snow, and then made my ice fortress again. Once more, I was trapped in darkness. It seems rather fitting, however, that a dark one sleeps in the dark, doesn't it?
I awoke to pounds on the wall. I sensed the blood of one human, just outside my icy fortress. It was the blood of a nonbender, so it wasn't my father or Tarrlok. Also, since he is a nonbender, he didn't poise much of a threat, so I wasn't too concerned. After a while of him pounding on the walls, I decided to release the bent ice. The ice melted, exposing the sun. I hadn't adapted to the light yet, so I couldn't see the man clearly.
"You're a waterbender," said the man.
"Well, aren't you an observant one." I came off colder then intended. "I mean, yes, I'm a waterbender."
"And it looks like a skilled one at that," he replied in amazement. "Are you lost?"
I looked down for a moment. I replied, "You could say I'm lost."
The man hesitated, then asked, "What's your name?"
"You could come back to the village with me."
"Village?" I asked, hoping he didn't mean the very village I was escaping from.
"Yes, it's just north of here." I let out a sigh of relief.
"Sure, that's where I'm headed, actually." We headed North, me feeling more revitalized now that I was traveling with someone.
"So... what's your name?" I asked.
"Me? I'm Otibo."
"Nice to meet you, Otibo." He smiled. A warm smile.
As we kept walking, I started to sense more human blood, all concentrated in one area. "We're getting close," said Otibo, confirming my feelings.
We continued to walk, and the village finally came in sight. It was nothing fancy; it looked even more humble than the village I was running from.
"Well, this is home," said Otibo as we walked through the entrance. The entrance was nothing grand; it was just two walls of snow on either side.
"It's... nice," I said. He beamed.
"Our house is over here! You can have something to eat, and we'll provide for you a place to stay."
"Thank you," I said. Otibo parted the drapes that covered the doorway, and inside was a woman and a child sitting around a crackling fire. They both looked up as we entered.
"This is Noatak," Otibo told his family.
"Welcome, Noatak," said the woman. "My name is Anita." I nodded in greeting. For some strange reason, I was shy. Perhaps it was because I've never had to be welcomed into someone else's home before.
"Please, have a seat." She pointed to a cushion next to a low table. I sat down. "It's time for our blessing," Anita said. The whole family held hands, and Anita and Otibo's son offered his hand out to me. I stared.
"Go on," Otibo smiled. I hesitated. This seemed so out of the ordinary for me. Soon, the boy seemed to get annoyed, and the rest of the family stared intently, waiting for me to make a move. I slowly reached out my hand, and the boy grabbed my hand. Otibo grabbed my other hand. We said out blessing, and then Anita opened the lid to a simmering pot.
"Have some stewed sea prunes," said Otibo, his warm eyes staring down at me. It was strange accepting these kind people's hospitality, because it was hospitality far greater than I had ever known.
"Thank you," I said as he plopped the stew into my wooden bowl. Most people who aren't Water Tribe hate stewed sea prunes, at least that's what I've been told.
The rest of the meal was quite awkward for me, mostly because they were talking to their son about his day, which gave me the perfect opportunity to get my first look at this family. They seemed really loving, like they genuinely cared about what each other had to say. Why? I had asked myself. It's not like whatever they were saying was interesting. The only times that my family cared what others had to say was if it was something about bloodbending, at least nowadays. I remember certain instances when I was young that we had talked and laughed at the dinner table, just like this interesting family was doing now. Maybe that's how it should be. I strained my memory for any other good memories, but none came to mind. For some reason, whenever I thought of something good that had to do with my family, Tarrlok came to mind. Why is that?
"More stewed sea prunes?" Anita asked, interrupting my thoughts.
"No thank you," I replied. Although I was still hungry, I didn't want to eat anymore, for I felt bad because I ate so much of the stew. In my defense, however, I hadn't eaten at all today!
After dinner, the family invited me to come sit on cushions around the fire. Here, we (more like Anita and Otibo) talked about politics. I don't know anything about politics, and it seemed like their son didn't either. He leaned up and whispered in my ear, "When they talk about boring stuff like this, I go to my secret place. Wanna see it?"
"Oh, um--" I began.
"Come on!" He grabbed my wrist and we were off.
"Where are you going?" Anita inquired.
"I'm showing Noatak around!" the boy yelled as we ran out the door.
"Come back before it gets dark!" Anita shouted.
We started running around the igloo. "What's your name?" I asked the boy.
"Oh, my name's Nakem."
"Well, nice to meet you Nakem." He smiled. We arrived at where the boy wanted to go, which was just behind the igloo. The boy pointed, "Isn't it amazing? I stared. There was nothing there. He was pointing to where the wall met the ground.
"What is it?" I asked him.
"You'll see," he replied. He started using his hands to dig up the snow. It was painfully snow. After a while, I couldn't stand it.
"You need some help?" I asked.
"I thought you'd never ask!" he sighed, and with a flick of the wrist, there was a hole in the ground, leading to a different room located under the igloo.
"Isn't it cool?" he asked as we crawled into the hole. It was actually pretty cool. There was a whole room located just under where Anita and Otibo were talking. We could actually hear them, and they weren't even loud. "This is where I spy on them."
"Interesting... I wonder who built this basement here. And you parents don't know about it?" I interrogated.
"Yes, but please don't tell," he smiled a mischievous grin.
"Don't worry," I replied, "your secret's safe with me." All of a sudden, I sensed blood at the door of the igloo. "Shh!" I whispered. The boy looked at me quizzically, but then we heard it. There was a knock on the wooden post of the door. We heard footsteps--probably Otibo's--and I suspected that he drew the curtains.
"Yes?" We heard Otibo's voice. We heard a piece of paper rustle.
"I'm looking for someone under the name Noatak," said the man. "My resources tell me that he's somewhere in this village." There was a pause.
"Well, I don't know anybody named Noatak," Otibo lied. I saw Nakem's startled eyes through the light coming in through the hole we made.
"Okay, well, if you see him, please report it to us promptly."
"Will do," said Otibo. We heard the man's footsteps fading. They got softer and softer, and now they had disappeared. But as long as I could sense this man's blood, I wasn't going to go anywhere near the outside. Nakem didn't dare to say a word. Why did this man want me? It was defenitely not my father or brother, for it was the blood of a nonbender.
Finally his blood faded, and I stepped outside with Nakem at my side. We covered up the hole, and slowly walked inside. I wonder how Otibo and Anita were going to treat me now. I cast aside the curtain, and I walked in to stares. They soon caught themselves, however, and Anita said, "Nakem, show our guest to his room. But then, tomorrow, he should probably leave. We don't have enough money for another member!" She tried to laugh it off, but I could tell that she was hiding the truth, the truth that I knew.
Nakem then showed me to my room. "Thank you," I said yet again as he went to fetch me some new bedsheets.
I lay down on my stripped bed, thinking. Thinking about what had happened, What I was doing, and where I am going. I still had not figured out a destination. I've thought of a few places: Ba Sing Se, Yu Dao, and even places in the Fire Nation. I still wasn't sure what I was going to do.
My thoughts were interrupted by Nakem, who had come back with the bedsheets.
"Thank you." I'm starting to feel like "thank you" is the only word I know.
"So where are you headed?" Nakem inquired.
"I was just thinking about that myself, as a matter of fact." Nakem shrugged, then went on his way. He seemed quieter than usuasl.
Anita poked her head in through the door, and whispered, "Lights out!" I sapped the oil from the oil lamp on my bedside table and fell straight to sleep.
Tonight's dream felt more like a hallucination than a dream. I saw Nakem, and some strange man. Nakem was tied to a post, and the man was asking him questions. Very abruptly, the dream switched. I was running in a forest. I was being chased by something, but I didn't know what. I kept hearing some intermittent extra terrestrial sound, something almost like screaming. My dream switched again. I was tied to a chain by my hands, and someone was swinging me back and forth. All of a sudden, I heard a voice.
"Noatak! Noatak! Please wake--"
I gasped. I saw Otibo's face, and Anita was standing behind him, her eyes red. I felt sweat drip down my face.
"It's Nakem!" Otibo said. The full moon illuminated a worried look in his eyes. "He was taken in the middle of the night! The takers left me this note."
"Let me see it," I ordered him. Otibo had an intense look in his eyes. "I'll help you, just let me see the note!" I got louder. Otibo reluctantly handed me the note. It read:
We have your son. If you want him back, you'll have to deliver me the other boy in your possession.
The note made me think of Tarrlok and my father. "There's no signature," Otibo stated once I looked up. "I don't want to deliver you to this man, but I thought maybe you could get him back by force." His eyes held so much hope. What is with these people? Why does everyone have so much of this hope?
I'm so tired, I can't think straight. Who was after me? I asked myself. Oh yes, that's right. My brother and my father. "I'm sorry, but I can't help you. The men who took your son; I know them. They aren't people that I want to see right now," I told Otibo and his scared wife.
"You're going to let my son be taken to who knows where because you don't want to see a few people?!" yelled Anita, rage billowing out of her mouth little by little with every word. "We opened up our home to you; the least you can do is bring our son back! And plus, these people want you! It's your fault our son is gone!" Her eyes looked at me with fear and anger; almost resentment.
I looked at the floor. I don't know for sure it's Tarrlok and my father. "Fine. I can try, but I won't promise I can get him back." Otibo and Anita let out a sigh of relief.
"We should get going," said Otibo. I'm not sure if I like the idea of Otibo coming with me, but I see that arguing with these people is a lost cause.
As Otibo and I ran out of the house, into the pitch black night, Otibo pointed out a location written on the back of the note. "Let's go!" I shouted into the dark.
During the time it took to get to the place Nakem was at, I thought about what was going to happen when I faced Tarrlok and my Father. I wasn't worried about fighting; I could handle Tarrlok, and my father had his bending taken away, but I was worried they would persuade me into coming home. I didn't want them to exploit my thoughts, or to guilt me for leaving. I didn't want another thing on my mind as I ran away from home.
I know in my heart that running away is the best thing that I can do, but when I face them, I might second guess myself. Even though I'm identifying what could go wrong inside my head before I see them, I still fear that I will want to come home after seeing my brother. You see, there's a difference from thinking about something than actually seeing it face to face. Just like how there's a difference from thinking about the taste of dessert than actually tasting it.
"We're nearly there," Otibo muttered into my ear. I nodded in acknowledgement. I sensed blood, but to my surprise, it was the blood of strangers. Also to my surprise, there was a waterbender among the two people. Of course! The man that came to Otibo and Anita's door earlier, they're the takers! Why on earth would they want me? What good am I to anybody but my family? At least now, all my worries seemed to dissolve immediately. All except the worry of the mystery, of why anybody would want me.
We approached a nearby cave of snow and ice. The cave looked like it was made artificially, confirming my thoughts on there being a waterbender within the vicinity. "This is it. Are you sure you want to come in with me?" I asked Otibo. He nodded. It's strange. One thing I've noticed, is that in an ordinary world with no bending, I wouldn't be in a superior position to him. People in an ordinary world, in a clean world, would be confused as to why I was asking an adult if he wanted to come in with me, as if I could handle danger better than he could. Because in an ordinary, clean world, free from evil, older people would automatically have the upper hand. There would be no tedious formalities with bending, it would just be assumed that children were always inferior to adults. But since I was a bender, they had to treat me right; they had to act as if I was older in an ordinary world. If this world was free of bending, not only would it be a better place to live in, but it would be an easier place to live in.
With my limbs ready to strike, we slowly walked up to the cave. One man was standing outside. He had an eyepatch, and an unshaven beard. "And you mentioned that you know these people...?" Otibo interrogated.
I shook my head. "I thought I did, but it turns out these people aren't who I expected." As we approached nearer, the man snapped his head in our direction.
"Is one of you named Noatak?" he shouted in a gruff voice over the wind. I stepped forward.
"That's me, now give this man back his son!"
"Oh all in due time, believe me. We will be happy to reward this man with his son if you cooperate with us."
"That's not what you said in the note! You just said for this innocent man to deliver me to you, and he would have what he wanted!" Anger came from my lips.
"Silence! Step inside please. You come too, Otibo." We walked towards the cave. As we got nearer to the man, we could see his facial features more clearly. He had ugly, rotten teeth, and wrinkles all over his face. He often frowned, and his forehead was creased multiple times, resulting in a look that made him seem like he was always thinking. Simply put, he looked very sinister.
"This man came to our home earlier today," Otibo whispered. "He was looking for you." In response I looked up at him with worried eyes.
We finally came so close that we could touch each other. I cast a sideways glance at Otibo, who was frightened out of his wits. "It's really you, eh?" the man muttered close to my face. I felt like I was being inspected by a healer, for the man kept looking at me and saying things like "yes, it's true, alright" and "Oh this looks even more defined in person!". Only then did I realize he had an accurate drawing of me that listed all of my characteristics and features.
"How do you know so much about me?" I asked, sounding terrified. I was even starting to get frightened being in this man's presence.
"I will explain all of this, but I'm going to need you to come in." He nodded at Otibo and said, "Oh, and don't freak out!"
This man's words soon made sense after he cast aside the felt door that hung down from the top of the doorway of the cave.
There was another man inside, but more importantly, standing behind the man was Nakem tied to a post. It was just like my dream! Otibo let out a scared gasp as he saw Nakem, lent over a tall block of wood.
"Father," cried Nakem in a raspy voice.
"Shh, it's all okay now," Otibo told Nakem. Perhaps it was a good idea for Otibo to come along. He at least knew how to calm Nakem down.
"The boy is here, sir," said the creepy man to another strange man who was facing the wall.
"I know, Malone. I sensed them a mile away," the man replied to the one named Malone. Immediately after the man facing the wall said that, I felt a cold feeling in my stomach. It was like the little warmth I had left was sapped. A mile away? What is that supposed to mean? Could this man be--
"Yes, I am a bloodbender, Noatak. One more powerful than even you. My name is Keman," said the man as he turned. I felt like bursting out in tears. This was the worst possible situation I could be in, because if this man really was more powerful than me, the trade might actually have to commence.
Although dying inside, I still had enough courage to pretend like I wasn't scared. I turned and saw Otibo run up to Nakem. He cut the ropes that bonded Nakem's hands. They hugged each other. After their awkward embrace, they backed against the wall to see what would happen to me. Keman smiled an evil smile, and spoke, "Well? Didn't you come here to forcefully take the boy so both of you could escape? I'm waiting."
I didn't want to bloodbend, I wasn't planning on doing that. If I bloodbent Keman, Otibo and Nakem would probably be scared and their hospitality would be relinquished. I also didn't want people to ever see the monster inside of me. Bloodbending is mostly a survival technique, at least for me. I've never used it to hurt a person, except maybe my brother and father. But if this man really was a bloodbender...
"Let's go," I exclaimed. Otibo and Nakem ran after me.
"Nope," Keman laughed. He stretched his arms out, and the entire cave exploded. It didn't hurt any of us, it just made it so there was a flat landscape, more suitable for fighting. Nakem whimpered into his father's arms. "You should give up, Noatak."
"I don't understand. What do you want with me? And how do you know so much about me?" I inquired.
"Believe me, you'll find out," he answered. He swept his arms in circles. All of a sudden, a whirlpool of snow opened right under me, Otibo, and Nakem. I immediately thrust my arms out in the direction of Otibo and Nakem, and they were pushed out of the vicinity of the battle. I clenched my hands at my sides and sledded up the frozen whirlpool. I stood motionless, thinking. If this man was a waterbender, he was probably not lying about bloodbending. I need to get out of here fast, I thought.
I saw Malone walk out of the perimeters of battle. It was just me and Keman now. I drew water to my hands and feet, and jumped towards Keman. I thrust the water from my hands at him, and he dodged with ease. Then, using the water as a support for helping me stay airborne, I kicked up at his face. He froze the water on my foot, and I lost my balance, crashing to the ground. Next, he made a twister of water. I formed ice around my entire body to block his attack, then sprang up.
"Enough!" He yelled, and I was immediately filled with a searing cold sensation. My body was rigid, and I was floating in the air. I tried to resist his psychic bloodbending grasp, but it was no use. He was too powerful. I heard gasps from Otibo and Nakem. "That's better," I heard Keman say.
He gently set me down onto the snow, and I was finally free to move. "Foolish boy," he muttered shamelessly.
"Aargh!" I yelled, springing myself off of the ground. "You aren't the only one with a special talent!" I cried at the now trapped and motionless Keman. I felt the same way as I did bloodbending my father, just with a bit less satisfaction. I saw Otibo hugging an even more frightened Nakem, now that I was the one doing the evil work. I looked back at Keman, who had an angry look in his eye.
"You'll regret bloodbending me!" Keman hollered as he struggled to move. After a moment of trying, he completely escaped my bloodbending grasp!
"What?!" I cried.
"That's right," Keman gloated. "I hold more power than you, even when you're using your hands! Yes, I know that you contain psychic bloodbending inside of you, just like me. But you had to use your hands to bloodbend me, didn't you? And you even failed at that. What a disgrace. And for that, you will pay!" Once again, I was paralyzed in Keman's psychic grasp.
Keman walked behind me, and placed his hand on top of my forehead. He forced me down onto my knees. His thumb was placed on my nose, and his palm on the top of my head. All of a sudden, I felt a colder sensation in my head, even colder than it felt to be bloodbent. I breathed out, and my pupils shrunk. After, I collapsed to the floor.
"What did you just do to me?" I asked him in a weak voice.
"See for yourself," he told me.
"What is that supposed to mean?" I was feeling weaker by the moment. He started to laugh. An evil laugh, one that you would hear in a theatrical play. I wanted it to stop. He seemed so full of hatred that I couldn't even stand it.
"Stop!" I screamed in an attempt to silence him. I thrust my arms at him, but the snow that surrounded me didn't move! "What?" I whispered across the dead, silent night.
"That's right," Keman said in a low, oily, and drawling voice. "I took your bending away." As he spoke, a tear rolled down my bruised cheeks. I blankly stared across the pitch black sky. His words reverberated into the depths of my heart, all the way down to the bottom of my soul.
I took your bending away.
I took your bending away.
I took your bending away.
I lay down on the cold snow. You could hear a pin drop. After many aching moments of silence, I recovered enough to ask one question. "Are you... the Avatar?"
The man smiled. A cold smile. "He wants to know if I'm the Avatar," he said to Malone. "Isn't that just the cutest thing you've ever heard? But to answer your question; no, I'm not the Avatar."
"Then who... what are you?" I asked one last question.
He replied, "I... am the solution."
(End of chapter 1)
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