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The sixteenth chapter of Book Two of
|Learning to Fly, Part 2: The Master|
June 4, 2011
Leah struggles with both mastering airbending and her feelings about being the Avatar.
Upon arriving to the hotel, Keith and Sierra decided to call it a day. Leah, on the other hand, chose to take her new glider for a spin. She used the stairs to go all the way up to the hotel's roof to use it as her launching platform.
The hotel was by no means the tallest building around, but it did have an open view of the harbor and was a good take-off spot as any other. But, as a cold gust blew in from the harbor, she hesitated. At first she thought it was just the fear of getting caught up in the cold draft, losing control and falling into the harbor. Then she realized there was a deeper apprehension. This was not mere doubt, but rather a profound sense of inadequacy and awkwardness...
"Almost all of the colonies have been captured or destroyed. Another Avatar born into the world would only alert the BDA to the remaining colonies. I don't want to see another innocent person die because of their feelings towards the BDA."
"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 consumed him and the majority of the colony."
"No Avatar has ever beaten the BDA! In fact, all the Avatar ever did was attracting those dogs to us. We led normal, peaceful, productive lives! I used to be a happy man! I did not ask to be a part of his personal revolution!"
One after the other, the voices of defeat paraded through her consciousness. What sense did it make to keep down this path? What precedent could she invoke as an excuse for even the smallest hope of success? What sense did it make to keep Sierra close, if it only would bring her more pain? What was the point? What...was...that?
"Whoever you are you'd best be ready for the fight of your life 'cuz I just had me a really bad day!"
"I must apologize, Ms. Sánchez. I should have warned you my brother can be a bit overbearing sometimes." Hubert said, emerging from a dark corner of the roof. He was wearing a thick coat and was out of his working clothes. Leah stretched her head to see where he had come out from and made out the corner of a folding beach chair, with some newspapers and a thermos gathered at its feet. "Reading and coffee – my two biggest vices."
Leah gave off a dry chuckle "Humberto, isn't it?"
"A su servicio, Señorita Sánchez."
"Sorry, no Spanish here..." Leah felt a little more irritated than stupid for having to apologize twice in a day.
"Of course, please forgive me." He paused for a moment, taking in Leah's frustration. "You know, Ms. Sánchez, I cannot read feelings in the air the way you airbenders can, but it's somewhat evident that you are quite contrived for some reason."
"What are you doing here?" Leah chose to evade the subject and ask her own questions.
"Why, waiting to see the maiden flight, of course! If I may, that is..."
Leah just shrugged, as the lump in her throat threatened to break loose. She took in a deep breath of harbor air and drowned it in a big sigh.
"Yes, Ms. Sánchez?"
"How much do you really know?" She asked as she stared into the engineer-turned-concierge's eyes.
"Well, let's see... You're the only airbender I know that Mr. Levin has kept in the hotel for so long. It's usually no longer than two weeks before he can have someone plugged into the City one way or the other. That translates to only a couple of days here– a week at the longest. You're also the first that can break a glider using sheer bending. But, perhaps, more importantly..." he said, as he walked closer to her "...you are the first new airbender to come to the City in over 15 years..." he stopped, coming face to face with Leah "...that wasn't born here."
Leah's lower lip quivered as the tears began flowing down her face.
"I'm sorry that my brother still holds a grudge. He lost so much and was so hurt."
Leah's face cracked as grief and shame overcame her, and she began to cry. Hubert hugged her and allowed her to vent for a short while. When she had recovered some of her self-control, she lamented:
"God – I had not even been born and I was already a failure!"
"Do not say that Leah. You are here for a reason and I have every reason to believe you will succeed where others have failed."
"And why is that?"
"I met Joel Matthews. He was a down-trodden, beaten man. He was filled with guilt, shame and regret. He was looking for redemption, not victory. A man who thinks like that cannot succeed. You, on the other hand, have much fire in your heart. You are full of life and you seem so guided and directed..."
"Well – it doesn't feel like it...at least sometimes..."
"Happens to us all, Ms. Sánchez."
Leah was pretty sure she knew the answer, but she wanted to hear it directly from him. She mustered up all the bits of courage that were lying around scattered in her soul and asked:
"Why did you choose to leave and not fight?"
"I was tempted to join the fight, but then my brother made me think things through. We had to fight for things that were more important than serving as pawns in this man's shot at redemption. We had families – we felt compelled to guarantee their future."
"You had a family too?"
"Yes, I did." Hubert answered with a mild, sad smile.
"You lost them?"
"Yes. We got separated as we were trying to escape. I was fighting my way back for them when the tanks went off..." his voice cracked as he stared at the ground "I was far away enough to survive, but I was still knocked unconscious. Matías had to carry me. Little Rubén was hurt and my brother had to carry him and Roddy, who was just a baby. I woke up two days later in Texas. We were almost ten families, all crammed together in a motel room, waiting for an envoy from Mr. Levin. When I finally came to, I almost went crazy..." He smiled as tears went down his face.
"Sometimes – I watch the night sky from my apartment, as if they were to come down from heaven and come to me again. They were my everything."
"What were their names?"
"My wife's name was Bhati, and..."
"Bhati?" Leah asked. Hubert nodded
"I don't want this to sound wrong but that doesn't sound so Mexican."
Hubert smiled "Indeed, she was Indian. We got married halfway through my master's degree in Texas A&M. We both worked for the oil industry. When we finished our studies, we moved to Houston. The children were born there. Kendrick was the first. She wanted him to have every advantage being born an American citizen, so we gave him an American name."
"A wife and a son; you lost much too. More than your brother, I'd say." Leah reasoned.
"And my daughter, Kumara."
The mention of the name sent an icy bolt of lightning down Leah's spine. It took her a moment to make the connection.
This is impossible! Wait...
"Kumara was a colonist who lived in San Juan at the time of the attack. When I fled to the city and the Leader massacred it, her brother was killed in the inferno. She chose to join the Enforcers instead of die, a reasonable choice for a six-year-old."
"It was my wife's mother's name. She passed just before my wife gave birth. It was a way of paying homage."
Should I tell him? And if so, how much? He would be crushed to know she's an enforcer – let alone an Elite...the Leader's pet! Should I...
"Is everything all right, Ms. Sánchez?" Hubert asked, noticing the disturbed expression on the young girl's face.
She would never know exactly why she did, but she said it. Maybe a part of her felt he deserved at least that much in return for all of his kindness. She felt she could not deny this man a glimmer of hope:
"I met your daughter in Uluru. She lives."
Hubert's eyes widened with shock, as he let him emotions finally overtake him in front of someone other than his firebending family. He both laughed and cried as he fell to his knees. He took Leah's hands in his and he kissed them, wetting them with his tears.
"¡Dios mío, gracias! ¡Virgen de la Guadalupe, yo sabía que me escucharías!"
He prayed and laughed and wept in this and many other intelligible words before he finally recovered his self-control. Then he immediately asked:
Leah simply shook her head "I'm sorry..." Hubert nodded as he dropped his head in resignation. He once again pursued her eyes. Leah felt the piercing love of this man reach into the very depths of her soul. Nothing could have prepared her for his request:
"If you know my daughter Ms. Sánchez, and there is any chance you can see her again, please save her! I am begging you on my knees! A Mexican man will not do this often, Ms. Sánchez, but I have no pride left when it comes to my princess! Please Ms. Avatar!"
Again he kissed her hands, sobbing profusely, his heart rent completely, tossed to and fro in the throes of desperation. It was then when she pledged her vow:
"I will or I will die trying. I give you my word."
"¡Dios la bendiga! God bless you, Ms. Sánchez! God bless you!"
Leah nodded and stepped back. It was time.
Hubert stood up and wiped his tears. A wide grin overtook his features, as the moment they both had been waiting for had finally arrived. Finally, Leah just smiled:
"Thank You, Hubert! For everything! See you around!" Then she was gone...
Leah sped into the night sky, exploding over the Manhattan skyline displaying an inordinate surge of power. Midair, she killed her propulsion and, just as she stopped ascending, she opened her glider, beginning a smooth descent while curving slightly South, heading straight into the heart of the Money District. She felt confident, free, empowered. She could trust this gilder to do what she needed it to do. Therefore, she could bend her currents anyway she liked.
She deduced that, in order to remain unseen, she needed to keep either high above the skyline or hide in it. Since she was headed for the towers, she decided to climb and see if her new toy was up to it. She stayed below the clouds to avoid getting wet and losing sight of the city, but the glider held up without a hitch. Oxygen was scarce thought, so she dipped as soon as she made the towers. Once she reached the top, she yanked the glider back for a hard stall. When her speed died, so did her lift. Then she just closed her glider and bent an air cushion that broke her fall from some 15 feet above the heliport.
The few airbenders that were practicing were taken by surprise by her unorthodox approach, as they were used to see more traditional take-offs and landings. The unusual construction of her glider only added to their curiosity. Leah had been two weeks in the City, and rumors about the arrival of the Avatar to the airbender community had begun to circulate. Some of the airbenders that were witnessing her unique display of acrobatics could not help but associate her flamboyant style with a superior measure of power. In addition, some of the veteran benders could sense a wide array of intense, conflicting emotions emanating from the teenage girl. One of them spoke up:
"Are you the Avatar, child?"
Leah thought for a moment about her response. At the end, she answered the only thing she felt comfortable saying:
"I am what I am..."
She did not confirm it, nor deny it. Yet, from that moment on until the day of the reckoning, controversy would rage within the airbender community over whether this young, unassuming Latina girl was, in fact, their long-awaited Avatar. She jumped over the fence that contained the tourist area and ventured out among the pipes and the ducts on to the edge of the building. From there, she watched the precipice extend indefinitely below her for a moment. Then, startling the airbenders once more, she jumped.
Fifteen floors into the drop, she opened the glider, continuing her dangerous descent. She then jerked upward as if challenging the glider to break. The fierce pull of the wings was so great that it threatened to jerk the glider clean off her hands. She squeezed on the handles until her knuckles went white and grit her teeth, using every last ounce of strength in her body to level herself once again with the shaft's axis. Once she had leveled off, she tried another sudden direction change. This time, she found that it was much easier if she did a roll as she turned, as Sierra had explained when talking about fighter jets.
Her new course was taking her North of the Island, along Broadway. She zipped past City Hall, the Police Department and Rockefeller Center. A few seconds later, she intersected Canal Street and was flying over Chinatown. Then it was Little Italy to the East, then SoHO to the West, and NYU, until her eyes were captured by the landmark arch at Washington Square. She did a smooth pan until she was approaching the Arch head on. Leah then realized that she had been unconsciously aiming to land on top of the arch. She deduced that pulling off such a stunt, although undeniably fun, would probably end up attracting too much attention to her and the airbender colony. She quickly adjusted her course to land amidst the trees in the secluded, western end of the park instead.
Negotiating with the canopy at night was trickier than anything she had imagined. Several brushes with some of the higher branches told her she needed to recalculate the proximity of the trees. She bent a current to raise herself and then another one to stall. It was this how she discovered the she could both accelerate and decelerate using her own currents, instead of just manipulating the glider. She was glad she had found a way to make things go smoother, since even when it was nice that the glider could withstand abuse, a gentler ride meant less hand fatigue.
She found a comfortable spot upon which to descend and landed among the trees, away from the gravel paths that were usually filled by the students. For whatever reason, she felt the urge to try using her airbending to travel the canopy itself. She used airbending to propel herself during a series of quick, long jumps from branch to branch. She spent nearly half an hour in this exercise, as she found it did a great deal for her self-control when bending the currents around her body. Besides, it was sure to be a useful trick when escaping an enemy in dense vegetation...
This was a boost to her confidence, as she felt her abilities starting to finally develop and her overall airbending starting to acquire some forward momentum. Leah prepared her glider to emerge from the canopy. With an explosive jump, she shot upward from between the tree tops and continued her journey North.
And finally, there it stood...
Proudly piercing the black fabric of the Manhattan nighttime sky, its crest wrapped in floodlights as if wearing a tiara, was the crown jewel of William F. Lamb's architectural legacy: the Empire State Building. Like a bullet Leah sped up Broadway Avenue until she reached 34th Street. She spiraled upward, ascending along the northern face of the building until she was clear of the visitor's fence. She then made her way up until she was at the base of the communications tower. Some tourists had grabbed an eyeful of the odd landing, so she carefully hid between the steel braces supporting the various antennae, hopefully dissuading them from the notion that what they had just seen had really happened.
Finally persuaded that her hideout was secure enough, she allowed herself to relax and drink in the view of the City. Yes – it had been a trying day: she had experienced doubt, guilt, shame and insecurity. However, this single moment made up for it, for as she had promised herself, she had conquered these skies. She followed no formulas, regarded none of the prescribed advice, and paid no attention to any of the hard and fast rules coined by the rest. She had stuck to her instinct and prevailed. She had put in the time and the effort to follow the voice of her spiritual guides and overcame.
"There you go Leah. You made it..."
She emerged from her steel cage and took off once again back to the hotel.
...or at least, that's what she thought...
Leah was already on her way back to the Money District, when, amidst the concrete and steel giants, she found a modest, yet intriguing building made of old brownstone. Something about its shape suggested an old renaissance cathedral, a miniature Notre Dame sitting in the middle of the Money District in Manhattan. Trying to avoid any major light source, she glided down in order to inspect the seemingly misplaced relic. Yes - it was Trinity Church.
She remembered the story about Neil getting married there and, as she loomed closer to the gothic steeples of the old edifice, she also remembered how Aang had instructed her about a Creator that had shaped and arranged her World, and of how mankind in this Planet had been attuned to its existence. For whatever reason, she felt that if anyone were to understand her purpose, if someone could guide her in completing her mission, it had to be this Creator.
However, the idea of approaching this Higher Power was awkward for her, since Leah had never felt close to God. Mom had never been too much of a religious person and her own life experience – especially during the last five years - made her especially skeptic of the loving, caring God some people proposed. If anything this God were He at all real, must have been really pissed at her for whatever reason. Even her powers, which had for some time managed to make her feel special, were now to be considered as some cosmic accident which put her at odds with the Divine Plan.
No – these people definitely had this God thing wrong. Or at least, this is what she thought, since she felt more akin to the titans of old, their pseudo-immortality igniting the flame of their fathers' Olympian Wrath, than the child of anyone, least of all a loving, caring, merciful God. Continually beset by danger and pain in every step of her journey, Leah felt more like Prometheus Bound, only that the ravenous birds chose to go for her heart instead of her liver.
A few minutes had passed since she had landed on the Church's roof when she felt an oddly cold sensation on her cheek. She took her hand to it. Tears. She had been crying – as well as listening:
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
"Someone might ask: 'Was this not the man they ended up crucifying? How could his yoke be light?' You see – he proposes a substitution: taking up the weight of our errors and transgressions so that we may take up the weight of his righteousness and perfect life. And this exchange, where God takes upon himself the sins of all mankind is only possible through the mystery of Incarnation: God takes human form, lives a human life, experiences human needs and desires, is continually beset by temptation and hardship – and comes out victorious. Otherwise, how could we relate to this God, who is so mighty and powerful that can make fire rain from the sky, control the stormy winds, make entire mountains tremble and part entire seas?"
And just like that, a veil was rent; her entire consciousness was altered, as she pondered upon a possibility that had completely escaped her for 17 years of life in this Planet: God was the God of the Elements. This radical experience of being connected to the elemental nature of the Planet, which some may have regarded as freakish, could very well be, not a cosmic accident, but rather a divine design... She now paid closer attention to the sermon:
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
What...? Why was she walking down the aisle...? Why was she shaking? Why, she found she could barely stand without holding on to her staff! The Father had an usher see her to a pew while he sang a last hymn and sent the congregation away. The usher returned shortly after with a cup of hot ginseng tea. After a few sips, Leah had more or less come back to her senses. She then noticed that the Father had been closing and dimming all the lights. He then stood by her pew. He was in all respects, a gentle-looking man: bald, round-faced with large green eyes beneath thin-framed, large glasses. He was a bit on the short side, brawny but with some middle age paunch, and his nearly gone chestnut hair was filled with streaks of gray. The only thing betraying his amiable aspect was a deep, resonant, bass voice:
"Yes, thank you."
"Bring that to my office."
They walked to the back of the temple, where the Father had his small, but elegantly furnished study. The usher said his goodbyes, but not before handing the Father Leah's staff. The Father's eyes were not young anymore, so he adjusted his glasses and brought the staff directly under his lamp. He studied it for a short while and, much to Leah's surprise, was able to deploy the wings.
"Well... This is different... I had never seen metal braces before... Is this aluminum?"
"I thought you were going to pray for me or talk religious stuff..." for some strange reason, Leah found that she could not help expressing her thoughts around this man.
"My Child," the voice soothed Leah as much as the hot tea "I am a man of God. Something that people seldom understand about us is that when we pray, it's not just us speaking: we also have to listen." Father Kimble closed the wings, set the glider aside and began addressing Leah directly. "I came to this parish ten years ago from my native Maine. I had received a vision from God that he was preparing a messenger – a warrior that would set our people free."
Our people he said?
He then raised the staff. "I asked 'How will I know that I've found this person?'. The answer came: 'You shall know by the fruit, for my servant will have uncommon vision and understanding.' This staff here is nothing like I've seen before – the way it's made, the materials that are used. They're unique..."
"So you think I'm this Messenger? This Warrior you dreamed of?"
The Father smiled and turned around in his chair. He took a small key out of his coat pocket and opened a locked drawer. From the drawer, he took a small block of granite and placed it on top of his desk. Then, with his finger, he began drawing a shape. Leah's jaw stood agape, as the hard rock dented like if it had been wet sand. When he had finished, the Father had drawn a flame, a spiral, a wave and a mountain.
"You're an earthbender!" Leah mumbled eyes wide with shock. The Father looked back at her with misty eyes as he stood up from his seat and walked over to her.
"And you, my child, are the Avatar!" The Father opened his arms to Leah "Welcome to the House of God! May it be a Sanctuary!"
Leah once again began shaking and sobbing she stood up to embrace this reverend stranger like if it he had been a long lost relative. Her sobs became fiercer and deeper as the cleansing embrace unlocked the chasm of her anguish. The Father was a wise man. He imagined that the weight of her calling must have fractured her young soul in so many ways. After years of loneliness, violence, the hurt and the pain from all of her unanswered questions, he would make sure she had a haven, a safe place and, above all, understanding. Right now, she was not there to save the World, nor was she there to be blamed for its state. She was there to rest, and to receive compassion and relief.
Leah and Father Kimble talked long and much – into the wee hours of the morning. They talked of their stories, of being born a bender, of the BDA, of their persecutions, of Leah's Mom, her imprisonment in Uluru, with the conversation gradually flowing into and settling around the Spiritual threads that held everything together.
"What measure of revelation you have been given - and what this Avatar Aang tells you - it is clearly not my job to question or contradict, but you heard the Word – God is the God of the Elements. He has shared some of the Power of His Spirit with us mortals so that we can bless and maintain each other and our surroundings. Yet it is the very same sin of pride, which has been there ever since Eden, wanting to be equals with God, which has made us believe that we are entitled to destroy each other and the Planet over whatever petty grievance we can come up with. Unfortunately to an extent, this makes the BDA justified in thinking that the bending gifts need to be committed to absolute secrecy."
"Well – the prison is pretty – but they are still ruthless. I cannot make myself think that they are the good guys."
"And they're not Leah, they are most definitely not. But you need to be aware that there are many sides to this issue. For example, I have heard about a faction of Waterbenders down south who have taken a very radical stance against bender control. I believe they operate out of Arkansas..."
"So you know them?"
"My friend and I stayed with them for some weeks. They were supposed to teach me waterbending but that never happened. We were thrown out by one of the leaders who seemed to fear for our safety..."
"Not even the Avatar herself is safe around people who want benders to be free? Doesn't that strike you as a contradiction?"
Leah nodded as she took in the words of wisdom from Father Kimble.
The Father then looked at his watch. "Wow, it is 4:15!"
Leah mouth opened in surprise. "Geez! Sierra must be worried sick!" She got up and picked up her staff, readying to depart the good Father's company when he interrupted.
"Before you leave Leah – about your mission..."
Leah stood, listening closely to the words she had come seeking.
"My prayers have been very troubled as of late. I sense in my spirit that very difficult times are upon us, probably the likes of which this generation has never seen. The challenges and decisions that you will be faced with will not be easy." Leah's stomach quivered with fear, as these words were even more ominous that those of Avatar Aang or Joel's. This was a messenger from a Higher Power. This, as far as she knew, was it.
"You will face danger and you will face peril, but you need to know that the power that you have been given comes with a God-given purpose. I will daresay that the BDA is not after your life, but after that purpose. Now, a child of God with a purpose cannot be destroyed until the purpose has been fulfilled. Even Samson, who in a way gave up his purpose, did not pass until he had dealt one last deadly blow to the enemy."
"What about the Avatars before me? They all died."
The Father was expecting this question, so his pause was only to choose his words, not his ideas:
"People talk about doing the right thing all of the time. God goes further: He expects his people to do the right thing for the right reasons. If God has a plan, he is then committed to see it through. He does not subscribe to personal agendas, nor is he obligated to support them. You must be careful and wary of your motivations. Revenge, hatred and spite will not get you the favor you need to succeed. Your heart must be pure – unbendable."
Leah gazed at the floor. "I'm not sure I can comply, Padre..."
Father Kimble only chuckled and stared at the young Avatar for a moment. He then offered his gifts:
"I want you to have these, as I believe that they will aid you in times of difficulty."
He once again reached into his desk and brought out a small Bible. The marker lay in Psalms 23.
"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want." Leah read "Yeah, I've heard this before..."
"There are a couple of specific verses that I felt compelled to mark."
"Verses 4 and 5..."
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Father Kimble let out a laugh. "What it means my child, is that God will set you in high places even in front of your enemy. More than a conqueror, Leah; that's how it reads in the Letter to the Romans."
"That's good stuff..."
"Indeed. You told me you were staying at the Marriott?"
"Yeah. Neil is paying for it. He seems like a pretty good guy to me."
"Neil is a good man with a troubled past. He is still learning how to be a leader. He's on a good path so far, I believe." After a brief pause, the Father resumed his instructions "There's another note in there. In fact, I wrote it years ago. I suggest you open it when you land atop the hotel. I tried to be faithful to the Lord's direction. I hope it guides you and blesses you."
Leah said goodbye to Father Kimble one last time. She exited to the street through the office entrance, but she stopped and turned around. She hugged Father Kimble:
"Thank You so much, Father."
The Father had waited nearly a decade for this moment.
"May God Bless You, my child."
Renewed, refreshed and reinvigorated, Leah darted across the city skies towards home base, eager to discover the final clue in the mystery that was her appointment as the Avatar. So many pieces of the puzzle had come together in so little time since her arrival to the city and now it was time to bring everything together. She felt her mind clear, focused, sharp. She had not felt anything like this ever since hatching and executing her plan for escaping Uluru.
As she landed atop the hotel, she closed her glider and sought the small, sacred volume and extracted from within an old, yellowed, sealed envelope. It was dated to the year 1993. At this she paused and recollected: that was the year she had first discovered her earthbending. She trembled with excitement as she opened the envelope and extracted a short note:
To the Chosen One,
My heart leaps at the prospect of being finally able to address you and relay the many things my soul ponders when I think of you and your mission. However, I must quiet all voices in my head to allow for the voice of the Lord to be heard, since distractions could be costly.
As I write to you, the City recovers from the horror of a terrorist attack to the World Trade Center. As you must already know, this place serves as the home base to most of our people in this City. I truly believe in my spirit that this is a sign not to be forgotten. This is a warning that our freedom –of both benders and our Nation - is still a threat to some. It also serves as a reminder that there are people who beseech to vanquish it at all cost.
When I was new to the City, I did some sightseeing. While visiting this particular landmark, I believe that God spoke to me. "Behold my son, for I will yet again raise a woman to shine My Light upon those long denied of freedom and justice."
So, my dear one, having already equipped you with the Word of God, I will have you reflect upon the words of man.
May God Bless You,
Father Ronald J. Kimble
Leah then discovered a postcard featuring Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty. The postcard had the imprint of a poem:
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
- Emma Lazarus, 1883
- Humberto is Kumara's long-lost father.
- Yes, the priest was a gamble, but MM approved...
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Book One: Glass|
|The Message - Leah - The Glow - BDA - Gone - Uluru - Revealed - The Colonies - Brethren - The Survivors - Joel's Old Friend - Alice Springs - School - Sierra - Discovery - Bracken - Visiting the Past - Goodbyes - Escape Part 1: Shards of Glass - Escape Part 2: Confrontation|
|Book Two: Smoke|
|The Outside - Questions - Flight - The Rogues - Forewarned - Keith - The Exiles - Forfeit - Choice - Consequence - Legacy Part 1: Avatar Joel - Legacy Part 2: Avatar Aang - Open Arms - Father - Learning to Fly, Part 1: The Apprentice - Learning to Fly, Part 2: The Master - A Leap of Faith - Negotiations - Twin Towers, Part 1: Successor - Twin Towers, Part 2: The Black Plume of Smoke - Twin Towers, Part 3: The Burden of Atlas|
|Book Three: Storm|
|His Dark Materials - Wounds - Rest in Peace - Somewhere Only We Know - The Mistress - Smoke and Mirrors|