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|Fall of a Nation|
In a land with no Name.
What had the spirits planned? For his life to pan out is such a reckless manner. To find himself in a carriage suspended in the awkward, tiny grey zone between the stratos and troposphere. Had men been invented to fly, he was sure they would have had wings. He was a firm believer that there should be a limit to the ability of a bender, and that it was most wise not to venture into the unknowns and distant patches of space only inhabited by spirits. Had the carriage been just, say on the ground he would have been far more comfortable, better yet, had the carriage supported a fuel tank and provided parachutes in case of an unforeseen technological malfunction, then there would be solace. As it was, he was trapped in the company and positive reassurance of 4 republican monks, manipulating currents of air to maneuver his wooden steed.
"Metal is too dangerous," said the monk. "We don't want any of Kuvira's men ambushing us, actually, the men of Zaofu are no better. None of them can be trusted, chivalry is dead and all that we have now is scheming leaders and politics."
"You don't like politics?"
"Men should be free to travel where they want, whenever they want. Who gives us the right to partition land and erect unnatural boundaries...although, of course, it is not my place to say so," he replied.
They were moving forward, fast. The carriage was exposed to the torrents and gusts, the air grew colder and it was all he could do to fight back the nausea and the physical impulses provoked by the aggressive whistling of a tearing sky. The fear he learnt from being able to touch the crepuscular rays would never be forgotten, it was sprinkled with gasps of pure euphoria. The aged man of neat short hair and fiery red eyes heaved in deep breaths and turned to the faceless men that sat opposite from him, seemingly unaffected.
"Your masks are quite intimidating, why don't you remove them, and let me see your face?"
The plain masked men did not reply. They never did reply, even to the temptations of sweet faced, voluptuous women. As of a personal note, the neat man quite approved of the last whorehouse. He preferred the term entertainers, entertainers who were dedicated to the art of passion. It was a good attempt, he was sure the men would remove their masks, instead they made passionate, silent love, while the women could barely bite back their sinful moans. The one with the most unusual cufflink was most proficient, he had heard that this one did not even need to pay.
"Did you enjoy our last venture?"
Still there was no reply.
"What do you say? We turn back? We won't see another cat house in Ba Sing Se, I hear the Dai Li have retaken their seat of power, so the indulgence of pleasures of the flesh has probably become quite the extraordinary feat. Quite conservative they are...you see..."
The man gave up and instead paid attention to the prismatic clouds, weaving in and out of the blue sky like a maidens fingers, interlocked in a passionate hold. Of the things he missed the most, it was passion. He left that behind when he was requested to move to this land of no name, and etch the glory of the Fire Nation into the scrolls of the Earth Nation, as a friend and close ally.
The chaos below
The need to heave became dangerously frequent. Obtaining oxygen in high pressure was an arduous task, and not one he was used to.
"Why are we so high up?" He demanded to know. From the gusts he heard the memories of a far gone voice, from which monk he no idea. It made no difference, they all looked the same to him.
"Safety. It is dangerous below, if were fly in the line of fire, we may be hit."
"I want to see what I'm dealing with. Besides, there is no use for safety, if I die on this bloody carriage."
"Very well. As you wish, My Lord," said another unrecognizable ghost of a whisper.
At least there was flattery to fill the void of love. It was temporary yes, but pleasured him nonetheless. The carriage jolted, and gently began gliding down into the lower atmospheres. The vast spread of green were coming into focus, becoming larger and more terrifying. The yellows and reds and oranges were coming into view, some natural like the distant gold of the gargantuan desert, and some unnatural, like the blacks of fading smoke, and the distant embers of an ongoing conflict. He knew there was conflict, but he was not expecting the throbbing scar that was the Earth Kingdom. And he wondered, was this what it looked like when Sozin's Comet had engulfed the heavens, and his son unleashed hell.
He had a good, horrid view by the time his eyes had accepted that the remnants of the city of Ba Sing Se were just a small example, a microscope of the carnage of this place millions had once called their home. They could see him too by then. Their wooden carriage caught the eyes and the curious glances of survivors and soldiers alike. Soldier there were many. Of different colours and different uniforms, all appearing as though preparing for a blood bath. Prepared to extinguish the tiny specks of life that remained at the sound of a command. The air was calm over this scene of tension and chaos, and everything was clear, every sound, every cry, and every cheer. And the voices of the monks were clear also.
He watched as the many workers went about their daily activities, repairing and reconstructing a city of no walls and no rings like delving into the rooks and crannies in a gargantuan, labyrinth like ant hill. Morbid and full of fear they attempted to remake the city they once knew, and salvage their already fading memories.
"Who are the factions?"
"That we can see? Said the monk on the right platform. "Kuvira's Unionists are the dark green military jackets with the buttons, the khaki coats are Equalists, the light green with the armour that looks like some fairy tale are Zaofu Brotherhood and the dark ones...the ones with black coats, and they are the Dai Li."
"And when did they stop fighting?"
"Just 2 months ago, the Dai Li have managed to maintain the peace during the ceasefire, apparently Kuvira's men are just a little less co-operative however...They don't like the Dai Li," the monk said with distaste.
"I heard they disapproved of everyone."
"Yes but they hate the Dai Li the most. They hate order...." He stated.
"Huh, were you born a bender?"
There was an apprehensive silence before the answer.
"And I assume you were from this city? Did you like the Dai Li?"
The monk stared at him, and the Man held his gaze at those deep emerald eyes.
"My mother was a monarchist to say the least."
"Fantastic," ended the man. "It was most interesting learning about your...politics."
An Open Palace.
When he stepped off the wooden carriage he expected an armed escort into a well-fortified fortress, a fortified fortress seemed appropriate in regards to the severity and significance of the role he was expected to play in Earth Nation History. He had not expected the posse of editors and journalists, do-gooders and well-wishers, excited, babbling soldiers and the vast number of curious bystanders that contributed to the rupturing cheers of political activists. There were soldiers, but none attempted to form a protective wall, they too were present to bear witness. His two guards also stepped down from the carriage while the crowd grew larger, and the whistles became more repetitive. Suddenly there were flags being raised in the air, all of different colors, some of the factions he recognized, others remained an enigma. He was caught unaware by the women who broken lines and caught hold of his arm, yelling full in to his ears.
"You're here! You're here! Oh we have waited so long for this day, oh we wanted you to help save our country and save our nation and most importantly, save our women! Oh I will take you! The palace is over here silly, and remember, we need protection, and keep Kuvira's vile forces out of here, and those angry Equalists, and it is not our fault we were born gifted!"
His back was barraged with pats, his ears assaulted with cheers and jeers and laughter. His hand was vigorously groped and shaken by tough hands and smooth hands and delicate hands. So much, he thought, for the faceless guards. What was happening he wondered, and he realized soon enough. A posse? A political rally? The soldiers were resting, they were happy that no one was carrying a damn sword, grope a man? Who cares? Let the people rejoice in this symbol of hope. He was approaching the towers now, broken, weak, inflicted with many holes and cracks, one quarter was completely removed, exposing the contents within to the elements, the harsh glare of the sun. He looked back, his guard's struggle to break through the crowd as he was ushered in to the broken palace he had heard so much about.
I was doing my Politics course work, and then had an epiphany.
This was before I saw the ending of season 4, talk about wavelengths.
For the collective works of the author, go here.