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The third chapter of Book Two of
October 12, 2010
The journey to New Orleans.
"Are you okay?" Leah asked as she patched the hole in the roof of the plane.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Sierra replied, plopping herself down in the pilot's chair.
"No, something's up. What's wrong?"
"I'm...I'm just still having trouble taking this all in. All this new stuff I mean. I'm not used to having people trying to shoot us down, people stalking us. To put it simply, I'm not used to being alone."
"Why do you feel alone?"
"Because I left everything behind Leah."
"What was there to leave behind? A butler, a nice house?"
"Without a family or any real friends?"
"But I was content with what I had."
"You weren't forced to come with me Sierra, you chose to help me. You can choose to leave me anytime you wish, I only ask for a way to get to New York."
"I'm not going to leave you Leah. I couldn't."
"But would you?"
"What do you mean?"
"Would you leave me? Is this little chase enough for you?"
"I'll be fine Leah."
An awkward silence followed, only broken by the small purr of the engine.
"How far will this plane be able to get us?" Leah asked, trying to change the subject.
"I have enough to get us to Japan."
"We can't stop to refuel, I can keep the plane going. Fly us towards Honolulu, then when we run out of fuel I'll keep us going."
"I stand near the back and bend the turbines of the engines to keep us going. If that doesn't work, I'll get back out on top and push some air currents under the wings of the plane."
"And that's just it Leah."
"What do you mean?"
"You being able to do all this amazing stuff. You can bend the air, the clouds, the earth itself. That's what's hard to take in Leah. Stuff that I never once believed to be possible suddenly coming into my life in one great flash. It's just a little too much."
"Well...is there anything I can do to help you? Maybe answer some questions?"
"I don't know..Fine. Well..what all can you do?"
"Well, since I'm the Avatar, as long as it's related to the four elements I can control it."
"Alright, what are the four elements?"
"Air, water, earth, and fire."
"So, anything related to those four you can bend?"
"What element did you start out as?"
"I started as an earthbender. I fell off my bike when I was 11 and had pieces of sand and dirt and rock ground into my skin. I refused to let my mother touch it, so I tried to fix it myself. After trying for a few hours, I had no luck. I flung my arms up in frustration, and the earth followed it out of my skin. It was purely accident."
"What about the other three, how did you find out about those."
"Well, on my twelth birthday, my mother and I went out on a boating trip on Lake Michigan. The BDA were trying to figure out if I was the Avatar, so they ambushed our boat with a rogue wave. We went under, and suddenly the edges of my eyes started to glow, and I rescued the boat with air and water."
"Then how did the BDA capture you?"
"It's kind of complicated. My mother had an...extreme reaction to what I did on the lake. I was afraid and confused, so I ran away. The BDA arrived in Chicago and conjured an enormous blizzard that caught me nine blocks from my home. They ambushed me. I fought as well as I could, I took out a quarter of the legion sent to capture me, but I was overwhelmed."
"And they took you to Uluru."
"Next thing I knew, I woke up in a cell made of an indestrucable glass. An agent came and escorted me to their leader's office. This man, only known as the Leader, explained to me why I had been brought to the prison."
"And after that?"
"I spent four years wasting away at the prison. The conditions there were overly luxorious, it was way too much effort to convince us that we needed to adjust quickly and accept our "new life" there, forever."
"What did you do?"
"After I was brought, I was pretty reclusive for a month or two, I wouldn't talk to anyone, let anyone speak to me. I was angry and vengeful, furious at my predicament. Two more months passed, and I finally calmed down enough to allow contact with other people. The first person to come to me was a waterbender named Rose."
"What was she like?"
"Kind, considerate, friendly, humble, and a master at her art. I took to her quickly, and I allowed her to introduce me to the other residents at the compound. She introduced me to an earthbending couple named Don and Jane. They trained me in earthbending for the entire time I was there. After I had been there for two years, training in water and earth, I ventured down to the firebenders floor."
"What was wrong with them?"
"They had been through a lot. There are no firebenders outside of the Enforcers or the compound. All of the firebenders at the compound were survivors of an attack in Mexico, only totaling about forty in all. I met a young firebender named Lee who I took a liking too and he started to train me in firebending. After another few months, I heard about a resident who had been a good friend of the Avatar before me, a man named Adrian."
"What was he like?"
"He was amazingly understanding. And very very wise. He tried to talk to me, to get me to accept life at the compound."
"What was he trying to convince you?"
"To not to escape. From the moment I was brought back to my cell, nothing was on my mind more than escape from the compound. Aside from training exercises, it was all I ever talked about. Adrian tried to convince me that life at the prison was not all that bad. When he didn't succeed, he agreed to teach me airbending. The rest of my time was nothing but plans of escape and endless training exercises. Until the time I turned 16. Every four years, if you have a record of good behavior, they let you out for a week long "parole" to Alice Springs."
"Which is how you came to the school?"
"Yes, I chose to go to school. Where I met you. And I also found the key to my escape. Mr. Hardy had talked about how glass was made of sand, and I found a way to bend the glass."
"Then why did you show up at my house three weeks later? If you had this ability, why didn't you escape right away?"
"I had things to get ready, get packed for instance. And there were two more attempts to get me to stay. On the solstices, you can contact spirits from the Spirit World, and on the winter solstice, Avatar Bracken, the first one, contacted me. He told me how he became the Avatar and tried to escape, and how he was killed in the attempt."
"How was he killed?"
"A lightning bolt to the heart. He was killed on the outside of the compound. The other attempt was a government hired psychiatrist, after Adrian noticed I was having nightmares. He tried to psycho-analyze me, and he finally got to me by showing me my mother after I was taken. I was heartbroken that she had moved on without me. But this only strenghtened my resolve to escape. I said goodbye to all my friends, Adrian telling me to go to New York to find the airenders, and on the morning of December 21, I started my escape."
"How did you do it?"
"All the cells are armed with glass bullets. I angered the people watching me by bending in my cell, and I caught the bullets in mid-flight and tore apart my cell. I then proceeded to lay waste to the Enforcers and I eventually came out on the outside of the prison. Where the Leader came to apprehend me. He stripped me of my glass arsenal, and we battle fiercely, but I was eventually beaten. He prepared to strike me down when Adrian came and saved me. I dove into the earth and escaped from the prison, but he sent a group called the Elite to come after me."
"Are they the people who were stalking you?"
"Yes, they chased me through the desert, dealing all the injuries you saw and making me lose all my supplies. I arrived at the southern road to Alice Springs, where they trapped me in a prebuilt room beneath the earth. I battled them and escaped by collapsing the room, where I finally arrived at your doorstep."
Sierra sat there for a moment, taking in the story.
"Wow." was all she could find words to say.
"It has been an interesting few years lately."
After Leah had told her story to Sierra, she remained in silence for the rest of the trip, pondering the details, lost in her thoughts. After the fuel ran out, Leah bended the metal in the turbines and kept the engine going, igniting a small fire to keep the engines going after they crossed into California. When the plane began to dive erratically, Leah awoke with a start and started the process again. Hours passed, but by 9:00 p.m on February the 18th, the newly formed duo arrived in a small suburb just outside New Orleans. Leah got out of the plane, staggering from exhaustion to the shore of Lake Ponchartrain.
- This chapter was added because the author felt too much was being put into one chapter, and also that Leah's time in the prison was rushed and not explored enough.
For the collective works of the author, go here.