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|Comedy Contest Entry: Liberal Ba Sing Se|
October 7, 2012
- This is my participation in contest. 's
- So I included the Dai Li in here. What did you expect? ;)
- My assigned element was "The monorail of Ba Sing Se."
- I wrote this mainly to practice writing action scenes, and it got pretty random. I do not expect to win at all...but it was fun!
- You should probably know the user who hosted this contest if you're reading this. Just saying.
Agent Chi had to agree that Ba Sing Se was a pretty weird city. Of course, he had to call it perfect by default, being part of the Dai Li and all, but there were just certain things a guy couldn't look past without questioning. To begin with...Agent Chi wasn't a guy. She had just wanted to join the legendary Earthbending organization so desperately that she'd somehow weaseled her way in. Like all the others, her smooth black hair stretched down her back, plaited evenly and finished off with a little green tie. Like all the others, the emerald brim of her hat always covered her sleep-deprived eyes... And like all the others, her voice was gruff and masculine – it had a very peculiar quality, of course, but it had been deemed acceptable for Spirits-knew-why.
But it wasn't the weirdness of playing the opposite gender that was troubling her at the moment; she'd gotten used to that for so long that her natural voice felt foreign now. She was on the Ba Sing Se monorail, from which spawned all things strange in the city. Agent Chi's expression matched that of the passengers; they did not expect the ominous Dai Li on their train, and she did not expect to be within 10 feet of freaky peasants. They were all too close to each other for comfort.
Focus, focus... thought the agent, narrowing her shadowed brown eyes. Approach the target slowly...don't make a scene... She'd been the unlucky one that Long Feng Sir decided to send here. Apparently, there was an 'unimaginably dangerous rebel' that had boarded the train, who 'needed to be eliminated before his corruption could further plague the city.' Agent Chi wasn't sure what had made her leader so petrified about this rebel, but one thing was for sure: he was by far the weirdest sight she'd ever seen in Ba Sing Se – and that was saying something.
His attire, for one, didn't resemble anything remotely Earth Kingdom. In fact, he looked too weird to belong in any nation at all; his clean black trousers and his matching coat...thing was made of extremely crisp fabric, finished off with even crispier cuffs and a folded-out, sharpened collar. Showing from inside the open folds of the coat was an unnaturally white shirt, having been adorned at the neck with a strange, thin scarf. This long piece of fabric stood out with its dark, grey and black diamond patterns and was positioned neatly beneath the collar of the white shirt in a flat, triangular knot.
The strange man eventually noticed the agent gazing peculiarly at him from beneath the brim of her hat, and he proceeded to raise a brow in return. "...Yes?" His tone was terribly skeptical, as if she were the one who didn't belong. It only made it more ironic that even his short black hair contributed to his unworldly look. It had been combed neatly (yet weirdly) off to the left, seeming to frame the rather flat top of his head. His raised brow only further pressed the numerous permanent creases in his forehead, his mysterious brown eyes peering quizzically.
Agent Chi cleared her throat uncomfortably. As she continued to look over at the man's face, all of the other strange things on the train suddenly seemed to appear completely normal in comparison. Even the fat peasant, who sat right next to the rebel with a giant cob of raw corn sticking conspicuously out of his slobbering mouth, couldn't divert her attention. "Pardon me," she finally began, "but I have received word that you consistently fail to adhere to Ba Sing Se's policies." The rebel's brow rose even higher at the unnaturally gruff sound of her voice. "Please allow me to take you to headquarters, where you can plead your case, Mister..." She paused. "...Mr. Steve Carell?" Was that his name? She could've sworn...
Strangely enough, the rebel gave a short, yet faintly amused laugh. "I'm not sure why people are inclined to call me that when they first meet me," he replied simply. "The name is Rocks." Agent Chi gazed back dully. "Omashu Rocks, if you may."
Her expression only worsened, if anything. Well okay, so he was named directly after a city. Technically that shouldn't have been too surprising, considering his appearance... "Alright then, um...Mr. Rocks. Like I said –"
"Do you Liberals already find a problem with my very name, if I may ask?" the rebel cut in coldly. "Has your government gone far enough to control our titles as well?"
"Um no, I'm just saying – "
"What is your name, then?" Omashu's eyes flared. "Something constrained and assigned to you like a false label, I presume?"
Taking in a deep, exasperated breath, the agent gazed dully around the train. She supposed she had to play along before the entire freak-peasant population ended up staring at them. "I meant no offense, Mr. Rocks," she sighed. "My name is Agent Minni Chi, though that is the least of our concerns." Apparently the name 'Minni' wasn't one that he was expecting, as his face scrunched up weirdly at the sound. "Mr. Rocks," she started again, growling to emphasize the masculinity of her voice, "please cooperate for the sake of maintaining peace within this public facility. You cannot continue this disorderly behavior."
She took a step backwards when the fat peasant sitting next to Omashu unexpectedly yanked out the cob of corn from between his crooked teeth in a fit of slobber. "Why? Because he's a Conservative?" His previously disoriented eyes were suddenly focused clearly on her, and his accusatory tone rang throughout the train.
For some reason, the effect was instantaneous. Agent Chi swallowed as she glanced around; she hadn't been expecting this. It suddenly occurred to her that the "spread of corruption" that Long Feng Sir so greatly feared was very real. Though she never knew where strange terms like "conservative" had come from, all of the peasants in the train were suffering from whatever it was. Some sat up straighter in their seats as they glared at her, while others had begun to nod along with the corncob-chewing peasant. Omashu leaned back against his seat with his arms crossed, smirking ever so slightly.
Okay...he's gotta go down. Agent Chi marched forward, despite all the steely eyes gazing at her, raising a stone-covered fist threateningly. "Mr. Rocks, we will regretfully have to use force if you do not wish to abide by the law. You will be taken to headquarters, where you are free to voice whatever it is that you - "
"LIES!" screamed a voice from somewhere among the freakish peasants. They had all risen to their feet and were beginning to shuffle dangerously close to her. The fat peasant proceeded to step in front of the black-suited rebel, threateningly waving his spit-covered corncob before her face like a dagger. "You so-called 'liberal' Dai Li don't care anything about our freedom!" he roared. "You're just going to lock him away in your little headquarters, just like the rest of us who try to speak out!"
Her eyes dull, Agent Chi slowly pushed the corncob out of the way with a finger (relieved that she couldn't feel any of the spit because of the stone covering her skin). "I do not know what motivates you to speak with such hostility," she replied calmly. "However, I am only following the principles that have been set so that you, as citizens, can live in peace and –"
"Riiight, because the government always knows what's best for us!"
"Liar! Brainwashing freak!"
"Down with the Liberals!"
She had no idea what had caused such an outburst, and the terrible screams of rage were flying about too quickly to process all at once. Agent Chi had to duck and shield herself with her arms as all of the peasants charged forward in a wild mob, the dull fabric of their poverty-stricken robes flitting wildly across her vision. She toppled over onto her face, which only pressed harder against the hard stone floor of the train when the fat, corncob-chewing peasant cannonballed right on top of the pile of peasants above her. The air having been knocked from her lungs, she wheezed as she slammed both her fists desperately against the floor.
The entire train lurched as its floor gave a loud crack. The impact continued to branch from beneath Agent Chi's fists and split open the flat stone in all directions. All of the enraged yells around her turned into wild screams of terror as the pieces fell away to reveal the rusty silver monorail, with the grassy plains below whizzing past like lightning.
Finally catching her breath again, Agent Chi rose clumsily to her feet as the mob scattered towards the walls to find solid ground. She paid no attention to the uneven floor, as her feet were adhered securely from the bottom of her rock soles. The loud, high-pitched screech of the monorail beneath rang through the air as she glared about the compartment to pinpoint Omashu, her hat lopsided with several misplaced strands of hair hanging crazily.
There he was – curse the freak, he'd already fled to the next compartment! Agent Chi gave a wild yell of rage as her eyes locked onto the black suit flitting away into the distance. She charged across the cracked floor, each of her steps only further shaking the train and causing the surrounding rebels to stumble and fall. The agent leapt over several of their toppling bodies, sometimes stepping on them as a liftoff during her run. She took no notice of the corncob-chewing peasant that howled in pain as she stomped over his face, or the random cry of horror that rang when she stumbled over a cabbage.
Get...Omashu! Stupid...Omashu...! It was the only thought in her mind as she gave a final leap from the edge of the compartment entrance. Her body sailed through the air, over the several feet of metal rail that separated the two compartments. Her gold-trimmed sleeves flapping violently in the wind as she reached forward, she managed to latch onto the bottom edge of the next entrance at the last minute, her rock gloves adhering themselves to the stone. The agent's legs dangled wildly behind her for a moment before she climbed forward and finally scraped her way into the compartment with a loud grunt. Panting heavily as she lifted herself onto a knee, she dully wondered how Omashu had managed to make his way over here so quickly.
As she lifted her face to look around, Agent Chi was sadly unsurprised by the peculiar sight ahead of her. Omashu hadn't even noticed her presence, for he was yelling something at another passenger, his voice high and mortified. "What have they done to you?!"
This passenger was sitting unnaturally calm upon his seat with his arms folded neatly, a content smile stretching across his face. He sported a simple brown tunic and matching trousers, and his greasy black hair was plaited neatly as his dark brown eyes twinkled oddly; he looked pretty much like any other peasant in Ba Sing Se's Lower Ring. Agent Chi guessed that they were supposed to be companions, though it looked like Omashu was wondering whether or not his fellow passenger was even alive. "You can't be one of them!" cried the rebel. "You were one of my first and most loyal supporters here – surely you're better than their twisted system?"
"I do not know of this 'system' you speak of, Mr. Rocks," replied the other passenger, smiling widely. "Frankly, I believe you're worrying over nothing. We are all happy and free in Ba Sing Se."
Agent Chi had to cover her ears to relieve the sound of the deafening "NOOOOO!" that rang throughout the compartment, having been produced by a furious Omashu. Thinking quickly, however, she jumped to her feet in the midst of his distracted rage, whipping her right arm towards his direction. As soon as all of the pieces of her glove had left her skin, she made a tight fist. The stony glove did the same as it shot through the air and struck the black-suited rebel square in the back of his demented head.
Omashu paused mid-yell as his eyes suddenly dulled. He went completely still for a long moment – and out of nowhere, his body flopped across the floor with a clunk.
Agent Chi sighed loudly and dragged herself towards the black mass lying in the distance. Meanwhile, the other passenger continued to sit quietly, still smiling brightly as if nothing had happened.
The bright yellow glow of the lantern in the Dai Li's conversion chamber always made her sleepy. Agent Chi wavered unsteadily to stay conscious as she waited for the crazy rebel across from her to wake up himself. She leaned dully over an elbow on a makeshift stone chair that she'd produced from the damp ground beneath.
Right as she closed her eyes to rest, Omashu's deafening yell of horror as he regained consciousness caused the agent to topple from her seat. Scowling, she dusted off her emerald robe as she stood up, stomping the little stone pillar back into the ground.
"You can't silence me!" roared the black-suited rebel, kicking angrily beneath his metal restraints (precautions in case he was an Earthbender). Apparently he was well-informed of the Dai Li's brainwashing system, as he didn't seem surprised at all to see the curved metal rail and glowing lantern before his eyes.
"Mhmm..." Agent Chi muttered back, giving a single, dismissive wave of her hand. The lantern immediately sped across its rail, its glow illuminating Omashu's enraged face with every round. Rolling her eyes as she prepared the typical protocol of brainwashing, she began her dull speech. "There are no Conservatives – "
"How DARE you –"
"- in Ba Sing Se."
"Oh, really now? Why don't you take off these handcuffs, and we'll see –"
"There are no Conservatives -"
"I beg to differ!"
"- within the walls."
"Argh!" Despite his valiant efforts to resist the lantern, Omashu's glaring eyes were beginning to follow its glow...though Agent Chi was aware that it was taking much longer than it should.
"Here, we are Liberal."
"Here, we are – "
"You expect me to believe we're FREE?" The entire chair was shaking as the black-suited rebel thrashed about. "You Liberals continue to disgust me with your lies about freedom. Look at this – look at this!"
Strangely enough, Agent Chi paused as she dully took in the sight of the freakish rebel twisting about in his chained chair. Hmm...that was kind of ironic, wasn't it? Shaking her head rapidly, though, she cleared her throat. "There are no Conservatives in Ba Sing Se!" Her voice was beginning to turn higher than it should as she spoke the words through gritted teeth.
The rebel suddenly paused. "...Wait, are you a –"
"There are no Conservatives within the walls! Shut up before I change your name to Joe Biden!"
"Here, WE ARE LIBERAL!"
"If you would just stop and look at how contradictory your system is for a moment –"
"Dear Spirits, shut up! Here, we are free!"
No matter how hard Agent Chi tried, the rebel didn't seem to become any less of a Conservative than before. Quite honestly, she was ready to quit trying and just throw him into a dungeon, but Long Feng had pretty much sent her in here with a death threat if she didn't succeed. She groaned loudly, rubbing a finger against her temple. "Look...Mr. Rocks. Either you agree to be a Liberal, or you're walking out of here thinking you're President Obama and working as King Kuei's head spokesman and loyal supporter for the rest of your life." Agent Chi had no idea who this 'Obama' was, but she'd heard several times that Omashu's kind was mortified by the name.
...A little too mortified, it seemed.
With a wild cry, the black-suited rebel somehow thrashed enough so that his chair flew up into the air for a moment. As it landed, the impact of his feet alone caused the ground to crackle loudly. Having been completely unprepared, Agent Chi lost her balance as the entire chamber shook, and to her horror the lantern slipped from its rail and shattered across the floor.
Omashu's chair had fallen over to its side, leaving his feet a few inches from the cold, stony wall – and apparently that was enough. He gave a hard kick, and two pointed shards of rock exploded from within the stone, shooting forth and cracking apart the armrests on either side of him. The entire seat crumbled, causing all the metal chains to loosen. In the blink of an eye, the rebel was standing before the agent with his back hunched, and his black suit seemed to worsen his ominous expression as he breathed heavily through gritted teeth.
Agent Chi blinked a couple of times, and there was a pause. "...Oh, sh -"
She had to duck frantically before finishing the sentence, for he'd already given the broken stone chair a murderous kick in her direction. It scraped across the top of her hat as she threw herself towards the ground, breaking off the pointed gold tip as it went. The agent continued to roll across the ground even as the chair crashed loudly against the wall behind her, for numerous shards of rock had begun to pour down from the ceiling like daggers. The insane rebel stood in the middle of it all, with each wild wave of his arms causing even more spikes to shoot down from the ceiling.
One of the shards stabbed through a fold of her robe and pinned it to the ground. Agent Chi gave it a hard yank to tear it free, nearly being stabbed by another collapsing spike as it soared down towards her head. Raising her arm, she swung her fist and barely shattered the jagged shard in time. She finally managed to scramble to her feet with another loud tear as the loose flap of her robe was pulled free. "Guards – SOMEONE!" she yelled desperately, making a mad rush for the exit. Omashu followed close behind, still hurling a great variety of boulders he'd produced from the ground through the air. The agent twisted here and there as each flew past the sides of her face and crashed along the dark hall they ran down.
The relief spilled over Agent Chi like the cancellation of The Last Airbender 2 movie when a horde of dark green shapes suddenly approached from the other end of the hall. Her fellow members had arrived.
Omashu immediately stood back as the agents aligned themselves perfectly, positioning their gloves at him as they held their threatening palms forward. He began to eye the walls on either side of him, as if pondering a method of escape.
Agent Chi let out a great sigh as she gratefully approached the rest of her organization, and they began to shuffle apart to leave room for her to join the array. Out of nowhere, however, they suddenly froze. Raising a brow, Agent Chi gazed questioningly across their mortified faces. "...What?"
A timid voice spoke up from somewhere within the group. "You're...female. You're a female." The resulting silence seemed to stretch across the entire hall, and even Omashu stood still behind them.
Agent Chi glanced slowly down at herself. Oh...that was right. One of the rock shards had cut loose the green tie in her hair, causing it to cascade down over her shoulders, and her hat was very lopsidedly showing off her entire face. Not to mention she'd been yelling this whole time in her natural voice... She appeared quite female, didn't she? Still, a new thought occurred to her. "Really?" she suddenly exclaimed. "You guys are actually going to get after me when he –" She threw an arm behind herself to motion towards Omashu, who gazed back dully. "- is over there trying to kill all of us?"
There was no response. Instead, the agents began to position their stone-covered palms towards her as well.
"...You've got to be kidding me."
And in a flurry of flying rock gloves, Agent Chi and Omashu ran.
It was a very ominous silence outside of Lake Laogai. Agent Chi still stood at its edge, longing to rejoin the organization that had just banned her forever. She wasn't even concerned with the fact that it was a miracle she was even alive. The successful escape felt like the worst thing that had happened to her all day.
Behind her, Omashu whistled merrily as he brushed off the dirt from his suit.
"Shut up!" the agent snapped immediately, speaking at last. "You...YOU just had to go insane –" She shot her remaining glove in his direction, though she wasn't even looking. It clunked against a tree and caused a flurry of leaves to shower down over her head. "And then they found out –"
"Well, you tried to turn me into a Liberal!"
"Because you're INSANE – "
"Okay okay, I'm completely insane. Well, look at your awesome organization! Sexist, much?"
"Wha – that doesn't have anything to do with -"
"(Sigh) Liberals these days. Still as contradictory as ever, eh? With so many 'women's rights' that they won't even allow one in their own government -"
"Get out! I'll find a way to join again..."
Omashu gave an exasperated groan. "Why? What's the point of being in an organization that can't even look past your gender? Are they really that great?"
Agent Minni Chi suddenly looked over with such a dark and terrifying expression that the rebel backed away unconsciously. "Do...not...ever insult the Dai Li!"
"We are the most epic and legendary organization in the history of epic and legendary organizations -"
"You mean 'they?' After all, they kind of kicked you out -"
"YOU SHOULD BE HONORED TO EVEN BE IN OUR PRESENCE!"
Omashu paused for a moment. "...You're insane."
"GET OUT! I will find a way to join again!" The banned agent threw her arms wildly about, though her unfocused movements only caused a flurry of dust to fly around the rebel.
Coughing slightly as he wafted the dust out of his face, Omashu finally turned his back and headed towards the safety of the city...the city that would one day see his ways. But for now... He glanced for a last time towards the crazed girl standing in the distance, who still stared wildly at the secret tunnel of Lake Laogai as if pondering a way to sneak back down. Giving a long sigh, he shook his head. "Liberals..."
- Do not take any depictions in here too seriously ^^ (Though the author's attitude about the Dai Li is probably accurate)
- The author wrote this to help with her writer's block as well. Always helps to be random!
For the collective works of the author, go here.