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The eleventh chapter of
|Joel's Old Friend|
August 30, 2010
Leah meets an airbender who was friends with Avatar Joel.
Leah stood awkwardly at the door to the library, waiting for the answer to her knock.
"Please come in." a voice said.
She walked into the library, looking for the source to the voice. Leah spotted it, a middle-aged man, sitting the corner near an extinct fireplace.
"Leah, I've been expecting you. I'm glad you could make it. Please, sit down." the man said warmly.
Leah sat down on an old couch opposite the man.
"I'm glad you could make it to see me. My name is Adrian." Adrian stated.
"Alright Adrian. So, what do you need?"
"I hear you wish to escape."
"How'd you know?"
"Oh, I've been here a while, just know how rumours circulate around here. But I still have to ask you why? Surely it isn't because you're being treated cruelly here?"
"No, the treatment's actually pretty good. But I still feel like a prisoner."
"Ah, I see now. You feel robbed of your life simply because you are different."
"Umm, yes, that's basically it. I feel that I was wrongly brought here. They had no right to interupt my running away."
"You ran away?"
"Well, yes," Leah explained. "I accidentally activated the Avatar State, and it really freaked out my mom. I felt like an outcast, I felt shamed and alone. I felt like I had no other choice."
"But it wasn't your fault."
"No, it was their fault! They made that wave come at me! They forced me into the Avatar State! If it wasn't for them I could've lived a normal life! I could be driving, dating, going to High School, all normal teenager stuff!"
"But you were still never a normal teenager. You found out of your abilities before the incident on the lake ever happened."
"No, I guess not. Either way, I would've ended up telling her anyway. But what angers me more is that she knew. How come she never told me?"
"I'm sure that she only wanted a normal life for you, considering your rough upbringing. She was only trying to care for you."
"By keeping all of this away from me?"
"By trying to love you. She knew that it was going to come to the surface one way or another. She was only trying to let things flow."
"But she still lied to me." Leah said spitefully.
"Then why do you wish to escape? If you are harboring this much anger against her, than what purpose do you wish to accomplish by escaping? The Enforcers did make sure she thought you were dead."
"Then why do you wish to escape?"
"I hate it here. I just don't feel normal here. I know the other "residents" have adapted here, but I just can't do it."
"Your feelings are familiar to me. I knew the Avatar before you, a man by the name of Joel Matthews."
"You knew Joel?"
"Yes, we met once and became friends quickly. Joel was upset with the way the BDA was detaining people, just for being different. He went around Europe, raising an army to oppose the BDA and the Enforcers. But the Leader is a clever man. He used Hitler's hunger for power as a tool to eliminate Joel's army without losing his own Enforcers. But Joel still got away with enough to challenge the Leader."
"Then what happened?"
"Joel and his army of at least two thousand marched to the gates of Uluru, intent on liberating and destroying the prison. The Enforcers, with their own thousand, came out to oppose them. The Enforcers are a force to be reckoned with, but numbers were against them. They lost more than half of their ranks, and Joel still had enough to overrun them. But the Leader showed up then."
"The Leader, using fire and earth attacks..."
"Wait. The Leader can bend two elements?!"
"By some divine prank, yes. He quickly decimated the remainder of Joel's army, forcing him to flee. Joel wasn't a fully realized Avatar, so he journeyed to the firebender colony in Mexico to complete his training. But when he came to the city he found it besieged by the Enforcers. The firebenders in the colony had held them off, so Joel tried to sneak into the city. But the Leader found him hiding at a petroleum farm. He shot lightning at the tanks, and the explosion comsumed him and the majority of the colony."
"So Joel was never detained and brought to the prison."
"No, he said he would sooner join them than be beaten by them. I think it was his greatest regret to see so many die for a cause he never saw accomplished."
Leah sat there for a moment, pondering what Adrian had said.
"I still don't get it. Why have you called me here?"
"I'm trying to make you realize to yourself the reasons why you are thinking of escape. You need a better reason than pure spite against the BDA, that'll get you killed. I believe you will have been here four years in two weeks? The BDA will most likely let you out to Alice Springs. Once you come back, if you've decided prison life is okay, come visit me and I will be more than happy to teach you airbending. If not, than I wish all the luck in the world to you, Leah."
- The previous four chapters mirror the Avatar Cycle
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