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|The Past of Two Unlucky Souls|
One: Mel of the Earth Kingdom
March 14, 2012
This is the seventh chapter of Book One: Mel of the Earth Kingdom. It tells of what happens when Mel of Hope meet. It is told from Mel's perspective.
It was time to finally meet the Fire Nation agent on that ship and find out what he wanted. I had waited six hours after I waterbended the wave at him. But now he was finally awake, at least so the Capitan told me. I would not be surprised if he made a mistake and his video camera was showing something quite different. After all I would say it is quite foolish to disobey an Avatar, and that had already happened once today. Yet I was not a fully realized, as they say, Avatar. So I guess I could let that pass.
As I entered the room, I heard a strange sound. It sounded like thunder, but it was quite different in a way. And as far as I knew, it hadn't started raining out of nowhere. Nonetheless, I could accept any crazy thing these days. After all what could be crazier than me having to save the world with odds a thousand to one. But I had to be on-task if I were to get anything done. So I continued. And then I saw her face.
I never got to see the camera recording of me and how I looked, but I did have a general idea of what it could be. After all, the girl's reaction could explain mine. She was dead confused. And I was dead in love. I had never seen a more magnificent face in my entire life. Her dark eyes seemed to make a light of their own. I hadn't even felt my jaw falling until she said, obviously trying to break the silence, for she didn't seem mad at me for wrecking her ship: "Yes?"
(This is where I realized my mouth had been opened.)"Aaah. Yes," I said. I cleared my throat and I saw her eyes show another sign of utter confusion. "Who are you?" I tried to sound serious, but I knew deep inside that I was failing.
"I, sir, am a rebellious girl from the Fire Nation who shot lightning at the Fire Mistress this very morning, or yesterday. See, I have no idea when I woke up." she answered trying to sound confident, but I could sense a level of fear in her voice. And only after observing this very detail, did I remember that words actually had meaning and that she had just told me something important. I tried to remember what she had said and when I had finally put the pieces back together, just like those puzzles that I did when I was young, I finally "read" the sentence (in my head).
"Who is that Fire Missis or whatever you said?" I asked. She giggled. I was kind of annoyed, because this was the person I wished to be least embarrassed in front of. I cleared my throat. "You consider this funny because...." I waited for a second. Then she continued.
"Because I'd expect the Avatar to know how, what you commonly call the Fire Witch is called in the Fire Nation." Even a snake's jaw could not open as wide as mine had opened just now. One: how did she know I was the Avatar? Two: she was from the Fire Nation and shot lightning at the Fire Witch? I seemed to have been thinking out loud because she answered without me asking:
"I overheard you talking, or to be precise, yelling to your crew. I remember you saying, or yelling, how DARE you disobey your Avatar," she imitated a deep male voice and especially ethicized on the word dare. "Question, or statement, number two: Yes I am from the Fire Nation. I know how to make lightning. And, YES, I used my ability to attack the Fire Witch, or the Fire Mistress. Whichever one suits you better." I—was—speech—less. Not only unspeakably attractive, but extremely brave and, I bet, stunningly clever. That was the girl for me. And then this amazing moment was utterly ruined by the interference of one of my hired crew members. Dang, they were annoying.
"What is it now?" I asked obviously impatient.
"Sir, the Capitan sent me to inform you that we are to be landing soon." he said. Landing? And then I remembered. Phew. I had heard, but never, until now, experienced losing all your senses... over a girl. The crew member was still there. I had no idea why.
"Sir?" he asked. "Is everything fine? Are we going to kill the prisoner now? We got the electrical chair ready and all powered up."
"WHAT?!" I yelled. "NO! Get out you idiot! We are not killing anyone. Get rid of that before you get thrown overboard." I tried to sound manly after my outburst and to impress... I didn't even know her name!! (The guard ran up the stairs fast, but I didn't care.)
"What is your name, young lady?" I asked her. My voice kind of shook. I hoped she didn't notice.
"Hope," she answered. "My name is Hope."
"That is truly a beautiful name," I said. I didn't even think that I could, by any chance, not be telling the truth as it was. "Uh... W-where are, or were, you headed?"
"Omashu," she answered. "And then Ba Sing Se. After Republic City fell and the statue of Avatar Aang was burned down, it was no longer an option to attack the Mistress, or the Witch, and go there. I would get killed. So I had to make a different route."
"You had a plan?" I asked. "Tell me more about it!"
"Well," she began. I listened. "The Fire Mistress, or Witch, is responsible for much bloodshed in our family – my father and the family of my cousin. All of them were made to end first the people they loved, and then themselves. The Mistress had many ways to make them pay. Her ultimately favorite after killing with lightning was the self-bender's death," I had heard of the technique. You were made to kill your own family by shooting fire in their mouths. Then you'd kill yourself. "My father was the last one attacked. My mother had died before. I had also lost my brother. My father was told to end me, but before he was attacked, he hid me and made sure I escaped. I was raised by his cousin. He was not rebellious like my father's bloodline so he wasn't wiped out... at first. It felt that just as soon I had accepted him and his family as a part of my life, the Mistress, I mean the Witch, discovered what had happened. She sent the Seven Fires – the most dangerous Fire Nation assassins known since my grandfather Sokka was hunted by the so-called Combustion Man. My grandfather Sokka had married and Earth Kingdom girl from the island of Kyoshi – Suki. They gave birth to my mother who married my father, a firebender, in Republic City but later moved to the Fire Nation. Then Avatar Korra died. And that is when the Fire Witch came to power. That is when everything changed."
I could not explain how ashamed I was. I felt like I was just going to pop. But now I also felt like I just had to tell her.
"I am a descendant of one of your grandfather's friends, Toph Beifong. Her daughter married a young man she met in Republic City. They had the child that later became my father. I, too, lost my parents. But I didn't get a second family. After my dad was delivered in a sack, cut into pieces, my mother jumped of the cliff around the sea. I—" Was this too private to share? It didn't matter. For the first time in my life I would finally tell someone about what happened. "I tried to save her, but I ended up... killing her." A tear rolled down my face. "Instead of earthbending a flat cliff level on which she would fall, I mixed up the forms and made a spike... I saw my mother's body rip... into two pieces and fall into the ocean. A few years later I was told I was the Avatar. And then I continued to fail over and over again. Every time the world needed me, I failed. I mastered all the elements for less than two years, but it wasn't fast enough. By then all the Air Temples were occupied and made into Fire Nation facilities. Many small Earth Kingdom villages were burned to the ground, and their citizens were enslaved. I should be thanking Tenzin, Aang's son, and his children for their help. They were also very understanding toward having to move out of the Air Temple Island. Nonetheless, I failed."
"Where are you going next?" she asked. There was a note of care in her voice.
"The Avatar always has path, a mission. What is yours now?"
"Why should I trust you?"
"Well you told me enough. And the thundery noise you heard was lightning. So you could say that if I had wanted to... I would have already done away with you." She smiled. I found that amusing, and I had absolutely no idea why.
"Okay then," I said. "I will take you with me. And I will explain to you what I am doing."
For the collective works of the author, go here.