|More from Azulazulazula||Adventure, Drama||PG-13||Highly Positive|
|Civilized Chaos, Part One|
Jong and Partida enter the city of Omashu, where Jong runs into some old enemies and new surroundings.
The city was burning right through him. If the city had eyes, their gaze would destroy him. For he was staring into the heart of a Fire Nation death trap. A captured city. A once-free city, a city he had once known. But now, it was a prison. That word hit him like Long Feng's Earthbending prowess. Fast and painful. But as he had done with everything else in his life, he shrugged it off. Nonetheless, it sat atop his heart, crushing his every breath.
Behind him, he pulled her. Partida. The girl whom he had met just hours before. And yet, they still had a history spanning back an eternity. Love at first sight? Or lonely fate? Whatever it was, it was over. It was a new beginning. And all that had happened earlier had vanished.
They approached the wall in, their hearts pounding at the speed of light. The speed of fire. And the guards surveyed the pair. Ragged, tattered clothes shone through their crooked smiles. Partida, covered in dirt, still looked beautiful, hair streaking her face with color. Jong, on the other hand, looked like he had died, been cremated, put back together, and thrown into the ocean.
"State your names and business," the guard demanded. His golden eyes cut through the viscous fear of their faces. Into their hearts. Words couldn't describe how they felt. But Jong managed to speak, almost casually.
"My name is...Lee. I have, um...I have...orders from Fire Lord...Azulon. I am too speak with the governor about his ruling of the city," he explained. The guards' eyebrows raised, and their eyes narrowed. Jong noticed a peculiar gesture in the tall guard's hand, and two men peering over the wall. He didn't know them, but he recognized them all too well.
Dai Li agents.
His eyes grew to the size of a watermelon, his mouth dropped, and his hair stood. As the guard spoke, sweat began to fall from his cheek. "Fire Lord Azulon? Fire Lord Azulon died years ago. Are you tryin' to fool me?" The guard's angry voice boomed across the mountains, and Jong met his gaze. Nervously, he responded.
"I can communicate with the dead. I was a loyal servant of Azulon, but his son has fired me from the royal procession. I've been communicating with Azulon for years, fulfilling his wants. And now I must fulfill his most recent."
The guards exchanged suspicious glances, but nodded. "Open the gates!" the short, fat one demanded. The Dai Li agents swarmed from all over, and the gates shifted in all directions. Jong and Partida proceeded silently through, and soon found themselves on the other side. "Psycho..." one guard muttered. Jong turned around to see, but the gate was closed. They were inside. Enclosed. Trapped.
They moved forward through the city, containing large metal buildings and smoke pouring from every direction. Jong had heard of this city before. But the city he had heard of was a beautiful utopia powered by Earthbenders.
Then again, they said that about Ba Sing Se, too.
Partida and Jong perused the city. Surrounding them was metal and smog. Two words they could never get used to. This city wasn't a home. But where else would they go? Jong felt himself step on Partida's cloth of red, revealing her tattered pale green shirt and brown baggy pants. Her clothes looked terrible. But they had more important things to worry about.
Suddenly, Dai Li agents surrounded them, taking note of her clothing. They were discovered. Found out. Captured.
And this time, there was no way out.
- This chapter takes place between City of Walls and Secrets and The Tales of Ba Sing Se.
- The Dai Li has, in fact, infiltrated Ba Sing Se. This will be explored in a future chapter.
- Jong says that Fire Lord Azulon ordered him to come to Omashu. This is due to the fact that Jong was in prison for two years, and that news is likely scattered in Ba Sing Se due to the city's issues.
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