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|Her Destiny Shall be Revealed|
November 5, 2012
The Real Chapter 4
It was all ending. She could tell it was all ending. The world smelled terrible: not literally, but in essence. They could not fight off the police. Once this realization set in, all else seemed to fade; the world simple ceased to exist. Time itself stopped. Chryseis couldn't breathe. Her lungs seemed to stop working. Slowly, she closed her eyes.
When they opened, the world around her was not the world she knew. All the colors seemed faded, and she was in a forest. There were no forests around here—all of this country had been developed into city. No longer trapped in the earth, Chryseis rose. Her feet squished the lush forest floor. It was strange, this forest seemed somehow familiar.
She could hear no one anywhere. Slowly, she inhaled the air around her and exhaled. It was fresh, like the wilderness. Chryseis turned. There was a slight ripple in the air around her. At first she thought it was nothing, but then it swirled and swirled until it formed a person.
The stranger was garbed in unusual attire. Green robes, like the forest around him. He had a long beard and bizarre, floppy hat atop his head. When he saw Chryseis's shocked expression, he simply laughed and stroked his beard. "Chryseis," his voice was hollow, as if he was speaking from across a canyon through a deep echo, "I am the last true Convoy. The last Avatar, but you would not know me by that title." Carefully, the man stepped down from his floating position, his curled-toed shoes landing on the same plush ground on which Chryseis stood. "You are aware of your destiny, I take it."
A shiver went down Chryseis's spine when he said the word 'destiny'. "I don't care about my destiny."
He laughed and resumed stroking his beard. "Nor did I. And now I'm f***ing dead in this horrible outfit I was told would increase the power of the Avatar State." Chryseis returned this comment with a blank stare, so he continued nonchalantly, "But that's of no matter. What does matter is that you are the only hope of me relinquishing my title as the last Avatar."
"What's an 'Avatar'?" Chryseis finally asked the question.
The Avatar nodded slowly in response. "'The daughter of blood and steel will bear the child to resume the cycle'. This is what the fortuneteller told you, is it not?"
Once more, Chryseis quivered uneasily. "I don't care what some crazy old—"
Suddenly, the Avatar was right next to Chryseis. His hand literally passed through her lower stomach. She could now look into his eyes. They were sad, deeply pained...
Fire rained from the sky. Building melted. Faces melted. It burned, but it did not blaze. This horrible creation wiped out everyone around. Chryseis was viewing everything, but it was as if she was not actually there. Her body, moving against her will, ran into cover—into a building which was already shriveling before her very eyes. Her hand pressed against the door, but it was not her own hand. It was a stranger's hand. A stranger's hand which pushed itself into the building in a frenzy.
Bodies littered the floor. Their very skin was melted from their bones. Disfigured and distorted. Chryseis did not know them, yet somehow she felt sad. It was as if she had some dormant memory of these people, these strange faces she had never met yet she knew all her life. A noise came from behind her. Her body turned, just as she would have, to see someone rushing forward.
It was a middle-aged man, wearing heavy clothes which covered every inch of his body, save his eyes and the thick rimmed glasses covering them. This man's hands clamped onto Chryseis's shoulders. "Avatar! Please, you must go into the Avatar State! Stop the acid rain; you're our only hope of saving ourselves from total annihilation!"
"I can't!" Chryseis replied in a sob. But it was not her own voice; it was the voice of the man from earlier, the one who called himself the last Avatar. "I'm wearing the clothes, I'm doing everything, but I just can't!" He was breaking down. Somehow, this was sobering to Chryseis, seeming to act as an observer though this felt as if it were herself acting.
The rain dripped into the building, landing on the other. It burned through his clothes in a matter of seconds. His screams pierced Chryseis's ears. She staggered backward, tumbling to the ground on top of one of the corpses. Her hand found a ring on one of the corpses' fingers. It meant nothing to Chryseis, but she could feel the Avatar's rage swell. Then, everything just seemed to vanish...
When the real world came to focus, Chryseis awoke with the familiar feeling of needles in her arm. This time, the room did not follow. Everything simply remained dark. She turned over, her eye catching the vague outline of a switch: a light switch. The knowledge that she wasn't going blind was a relief, but at the same time Chryseis wanted to know where she was. Whatever the Avatar had shown her left and uneasy feeling in the pit of Chryseis's stomach. Maybe it was the sight of countless massacred individuals, or maybe it was the sense of mystery behind the whole matter. With any luck, it had just been a drug induced dream. The monks had talked about the Avatar—she never found out what it was, but it wouldn't be too surprising if the word had simply lodged itself in her subconscious.
Someone entered, and the lights flicked on. The combination of the sudden lights and the surprise at the new arrival brought Chryseis to lean over her bedside and promptly vomit. Whoever had entered turned the lights off once more. What the person would never understand was that she had literally traveled to another world. Even Chryseis believed that it was just a dream. She would never buy into the fact that her body had literally traveled to another world.
The new arrival said nothing. In the darkness, Chryseis could not even make out what gender the person was. He or she simply tapped on the IVs, adjusted a dial, and left. Pretty soon, Chryseis began to drift away again. Considering what had happened last time, she fought violently to stay awake, but eventually drugs kicked in and she was gone.
"Back so soon?" The Avatar asked sarcastically when Chryseis reappeared. He was sitting at some sort of small table, wearing the same outfit as before. No one else seemed to be around, but he was sitting on one side of some sort of board game. Chryseis approached and sat across from him.
"What is this?" She asked, pointing to the board as if she were board.
"Pai Sho," the Avatar replied. "It's an ancient game. We should play." Though it was apparent he had already assumed Chryseis would play, the Avatar beamingly set out all the pieces.
They began playing, Chryseis absentmindedly setting down pieces. Not long after, the Avatar leaned back and folded his arms victoriously. "I win." He stated smugly.
"How?!" Chryseis examined the board, making no sense out of anything that had just happened. "You didn't even explain the rules to me."
"That's beside the point," the Avatar moved on as if he had not just cheated his way through a Pai Sho game for victory. "What matters is that you're in the hands of the enemy. Again. It's my duty as the spirit whose fate rests in your hands to ask why you didn't just stay in the custody of the Air Acolytes. They might have actually been able to help you survive long enough."
Chryseis looked away sharply. "I didn't like their prophecy nonsense." Her voice was a hushed whisper, barely audible above her shame.
"The whole East is perfectly safe. You could have stayed over there, fulfilled your prophecy, and never had to dirty your hands with the West and their backwards philosophies." While he spoke, the Avatar warily put all of the Pai Sho pieces away, not making eye contact with Chryseis. "Hell, you could have even not fulfilled your prophecy or fulfilled it indirectly and still stayed over there. So why'd you come back to the one place on Earth where you'd be hunted?"
"I didn't want to be safe..."
"Then you're a masochist! You're really digging yourself into a hole here."
"I grew up over here, okay?!" Chryseis snapped. "Something pulled me back. I guess I figured if I had to go through with this stupid prophecy, it might as well be back home. Maybe I even hoped that they'd kill me before it had a chance to come true."
"You'd just betray everyone? Betray the world—"
"You're one to talk!" Now, the young woman stood and slammed her hands down on the table. She leaned forward, forcing the Avatar to look her in the eyes. "I saw what happened! You could have stopped all this from happening, but you were too weak! Why do I have to make up for your mistakes?"
The Avatar stood as well, glaring down Chryseis viciously. "I caused this conflict, but I caused it doing exactly what they wanted me to do. When I died, when all the benders died, everything just froze. The Earth Nation figured it out, but the Fire Nation is slow and stubborn. There is no conflict anymore, unless you back down from your destiny."
- Katu, I took out that trippy line. I hadn't looked back over it in context, and it was really creepy...
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