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|The Siege of Ba Sing Se|
Arc One: Autumn
April 13, 2013
This is the fifth chapter in the Fanon series.
As we entered the city walls, we could see men and women, boys and girls, all talking, walking, and doing their normal daily things in the Town Square. Directly in the center of the square, and just in front of the gigantic palace walls, was a huge statue of the former Avatar Korra, who saved the city of Ba Sing Se from siege in her final years.
We marveled in the city for a while, until finally a man walking up snapped us out of our thoughts. "Hello there," the man said, in a kind and gentle voice. "Are you tourists?"
"Yes," I responded plainly. We're just here to meet someone we don't know, I wanted to add, but didn't.
"Well then," the man continued, "May I offer you a room in the Ba Sing Se Capitol Hotel? It overlooks the beautiful Palace, and one night only costs twenty Yuans."
I thought for a moment, pondering on this proposal. Then I decided that we needed a place to stay, and we only had 100 Yuans; two nights would only be forty Yuans. "Sure, thank you," I replied. He nodded in respect, and I nodded back graciously.
Our Hotel room was large; four beds, a large bathroom, a small kitchen, and even a balcony on the backside overlooking the Palace. We all dropped our bags when we got in, and ran to the back balcony. None of us had been to Ba Sing Se before, merely out of cost, and this sight was breathtaking. El hung on the side, and Tal came up beside her, holding her hips as they both looked down at the gorgeous palace.
"The room has limited light," the man said, "You have a telephone if you need to call anyone, which costs half a Yuan a minute, and Room Service is ten extra Yuans, all-you-can eat." We looked over at him as he continued, "Anything else?"
I glanced at the others, and they all slowly shook their heads, a look of surprise on each face. The man nodded then closed the door, but not without saying, "Oh, and the curfew is ten o'clock; you cannot get in after then."
We walked back out into the square, taking in the glorious sights. Merchants were selling items, from gold necklaces and wristbands, to cabbage and bread.
Suddenly, the gigantic Palace doors slowly creaked open, and a chariot pulled by two horses ran its way out. The King himself, now just a figurehead, was riding in the chariot.
"Well that is odd," Brady stated. I was confused at the statement for a moment, until he continued, "The King usually doesn't leave this soon before a celebration."
"Celebration?" I questioned, curiously.
"Yes," Brady stated, "The Avatar celebration, in honor of the past Avatars and the current Avatar also. It starts tomorrow."
It hit me then, like an Earth Shot in the stomach; the Avatar Celebration, the Avatar was in town! But my thoughts were cut short as I heard the sound of the chariot leaving the city, and the sound of air whistling. I looked around in the sky, trying to see what it was.
Nina yelped, "Over there, above the Palace!"
I moved my glance above the Palace just as the bombs hit, sending a fury of fire and earth blowing everywhere. We were all blown back as they blew down the Palace doors; the Dominators were attacking.
They slashed anyone in their way, taking random victims to interrogate later. They came our way, and we tried to run as far away as possible, but they already had us knocked out by the time we reached the edge of the city.
We were the last to be interrogated. I was the last, blindfolded, a man leading me from my right. I remembered taking a right, then a left, then going straight until they sat me down in a chair.
The man ripped the blindfold off me, and I saw a man with dark skin, long Earth Kingdom robes – which made me confused – and a scar on his right eye. His black hair was ruffled in curls around his head.
"Alright, let's start with easy questions." He spoke in a low, mischievous, voice that sounded his curiousness in everything. "What's your name? And why were you in that city at that time?"
"Well, one," I said, sarcastically, "My name is Noah, and two I was in the city because I was meeting someone." I crossed my arms, putting a straight expression on my face, and looking at the wall.
"Alright, who were you meeting?" he inquired.
"I don't know," I said. "I got a message one day that I was supposed to meet someone there, and that they would change everything I think of. That's all."
He glared at me, and then nodded to the man in the corner, the same one that brought me in, to take me out. I sighed as he shoved the blindfold back over my head and on my eyes, and lead me down the hall, going straight, taking a right, a left and finally shoving me back in the cell with Nina, Neville, Tal, El, and Brady. I ripped the blind fold off my head, and plopped down on a seat in the corner.
I heard someone calling from the cell beside me. "So, what're you in for?" he called from behind the bars.
"What?" I asked, confused. "I was captured."
The man gave me a confused look. "You're in the Ba Sing Se prison."
I stopped, shocked, while my mind raced. We were captured by the Dominators, yet we're in prison, I thought. How could this be?
Suddenly a man in Earth Kingdom clothes opened the cell door. "You're free," he said. "We can't find anything against you." He muttered something I couldn't understand, but said out loud, "Get your things and leave."
We all got up, went to the desk, got our things, and exited the building. When we left, the only thing I could think of doing is going back to the hotel. So we did.
We entered our room, and as we walked onto the balcony, my heart dropped into my stomach as I saw the destroyed palace. The walls were crumbled into the courtyard, the palace itself being burned and streaked with bomb marks.
The rain starting falling then, the thunder rolling in the distance, and I could see the people in the square running for cover. I went inside, and dropped on one of the beds. Nina came up and put her head on my shoulder comfortingly.
I gave her a thankful, gracious look, and she looked back up at me, her eyes twinkling in the light. Suddenly, people in the square starting screaming, and Nina and I ran to the balcony. Lightning flashed overhead, as the Dominators came, running every man woman and child away; that is, except one.
An Earthbender boy, probably about 14 or 15, stood in the rain, his hood shadowing his face. As a Dominator neared a small child, the boy edged ever closer. The Dominator grabbed the child, and was about to take a knife out and stab the child, before the Earthbender boy stopped him, and flung him back in a fury of fire.
I looked on in suspense, watching the boy attack every Dominator possible. He took out five, but was yielded by a large soldier that shocked him with their glove. The boy dropped to the ground, his face hitting the hard dirt. He was just able to crawl up on his hands to see a Dominator slam his knife right through a child's chest.
A bolt of lightning hit the ground by the boy, and just a moment after I saw the boy's eyes were glowing. My heart lurched in my chest. Could this be the Avatar? He leapt up in the air, and immediately knocked down two with one bolt of lightning. He killed four more with just water. But suddenly his eyes stopped glowing, and he fell to the ground.
When he fell to the ground, a large Fire Nation man was revealed behind him. I didn't know what I was doing, and before I knew it I was down on the ground fighting the man. He was a Firebender, in fact, and within a matter of seconds he had me pinned to the ground, ready to kill me off.
But he didn't, he backed away, gathered the Dominators, and they seemingly disappeared. When I got up, I rubbed my head and glanced around. The others had come down to me, and the townspeople were already coming out of their huts.
I stood up, and walked over to the boy, who was now up and dusting himself off. "Hi there," I said. He looked up at me with curious eyes. I extended a hand, and helped him get up off the hard ground. 'My name's Noah."
"James," the boy said. "Nice to meet you."
It felt awkward for a moment, until I said, "So, you're the Avatar?"
James looked at me, and then lowered his head to the ground. "Yes," he answered.
"Do you know anything about the Dominators?" I asked.
"I know that I was supposed to meet someone here to help defeat them," he answered, looking back up at me. I finally got a good look at him. He was tall, with broad shoulders and a flat face; his brown hair flopped to one side on his forehead. He wore dirty Earth Kingdom garbs, almost like me, and wore worn-out boots.
It finally connected: We were here to meet the new Avatar, and to help him defeat the Dominators! "Then we were supposed to meet," I said. "I got a message from Ba Sing Se telling me to come here."
"Me too," James remarked, pulling a paper out of his pocket.
"Wait, it didn't tell you who you were supposed to meet?" I asked, curious.
"No," James replied, baffled.
"Then it was a trap," I stated. "They lured us both here to try and kill us. But apparently fates have brought us together." I looked at him, looked at his dirt stricken face, his glowing amber eyes. He was about as tall as me, so we were looking straight at each other. "Will you help us defeat the Dominators?" I asked.
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