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The seventh chapter of
August 24, 2010
Leah is brought to the Leader
Leah sat on her bed, listening to the silence of her transparent room. Before long, one of the agents that captured her was seen coming to the door.
"The Leader wishes to speak with you. Come with me to his office." he stated.
Leah got off the bed and followed the agent out the door and down the hall. They approached the elevator, and traveled down four floors to a single hallway with a blank wall at the end. The agent went past Leah and opened a gap in the wall, revealing the office.
Leah entered the office, the wall closing up behind her. Sitting behind a desk with his back to the fireplace was this "leader".
"Good morning Leah. I trust you slept well, considering what it took to get you here."
"Where am I? What are you doing with me?"
"Calm down Leah, this is your new home. We aren't going to do anything to you but let you live. This is Uluru Bending Compound, the prison for benders, or in your case, the Avatar."
"Surely you know of your abilities, considering you struck down a quarter of the legion I sent to detain you."
"You sent them?"
"Of course I did, I couldn't let you compromise your identity to anyone else."
"What do you mean?"
"For the last 90 years, this compound has kept the benders of the world away from viewing eyes, away from the rest of society. And we succeeded with this goal, until the Avatar suddenly showed up. Since then it's been a matter of locating him or in your case her. Since our little wave activated your Avatar State, it was a simple matter of conjuring up the storm and bringing you here."
"You're telling me that you made the wave capsize our boat, you made the blizzard?"
"I assure you that our Enforcers are more than capable of doing such feats. It was completely necessary."
"But what about my mother, she knows doesn't she?"
"Your mother will no longer be an issue. She is unharmed, but we couldn't have her looking too much for you. After detaining you, we continued your tracks into the lake. Given her reaction and your embarrassment at the incident on the lake, she assumed you committed suicide."
"You don't know her, she'll keep looking for me." Leah said angrily.
"Don't we? Trust me, we know you two quite well. Leah Sanchez, born November 20, 1984, in Tucson, Arizona. After your mother, Maria, died in childbirth, you were gratefully adopted by her midwife, Allison Wettstein. But she realized your identity after seeing the mark of the Avatar on your back."
"She knew all along?"
"She knew almost from the second you were born, especially after seeing the results of our attack in San Juan. She feared for you, and wanted you to have a normal life, so she gave up her life in Tucson and moved to Chicago. It was only natural for her to have such an extreme reaction after seeing your immense display of power."
"But she didn't know anything else about the Avatar, she never mentioned anything." Leah said skeptically.
"She only feared for you to have a normal life. She shut all of the details from you for your own safety and buried the details from herself. She never knew anything, including your little experiments."
"You saw that?"
"After getting severe road rash eight months ago, you had pebbles ground into your skin. The only way to get them out was Earthbending, which you discovered out of frustration. After being quite shocked, you began to experiment with them, being able to swirl them in your hand in class."
Leah stood there, shocked at this great display of knowledge. They had been stalking her and her mom for their entire lives.
"But why? Why did you do all of this?"
"Because, do you have any idea what the leaders of the nations would do to gain the loyalty of the benders or the Avatar? There would be constant war and strife and deceit to gain more benders, more power for themselves. Without benders in the world they already fight amongst themselves, there is never peace. If the benders were exposed the wars would only increase. In keeping the benders either controlled or destroyed we create the illusion of peace and normality, and we have been doing this for centuries."
"You can't keep all of them contained, there must be some still out there."
"Very true Leah, there were initially too many. About 60 years ago, there was a threat of a bender uprising in Europe, one that would compromise our operation. A man by the name of Adolf Hitler was also aware of it, so we used him and his Nazis to contain the benders and exterminate them."
"You started the Holocaust?" Leah asked, unbelieving.
"We are willing to go to any means to keep the peace, to keep normal people around. We are very close to having every bender here in the compound, with only a few colonies left. And so I offer you this Leah. You can join my Enforcers, and work with us to detain the benders and bring them here. If you decline, you can stay here, and live peacefully in your cell."
"I'll never join you! What you're doing is wrong, how does the government not know about this?"
"We were granted complete secrecy by the government when we first started, and since then they have labeled our attacks as 'accidents.' Since you have declined, you will stay here in Uluru, but I warn you. Any attempt at escape will be immediately stopped, and you will not have a second chance, we will end you right there on the spot. Every few years, if you have been good, we will let you out for some fresh air, but you will be constantly watched. Especially here in the prison, you will be constantly watched in your cell. Your dressing and bathrooms are free from our surveillance, but we check them for contraband every day."
"You can't do this, I have a family, friends, you can't just lock me up here." Leah said, tears welling up.
"We can and we will. This prison is inescapable. Completely made of a bulletproof Plexiglas, any attempts to break it will just bounce off, as you have already figured out. I'm sure you noticed the little holes in the wall; any more attempts to break it and they will fire glass bullets at you. But every prison has flaws, which is why we created the illusion of your death. Even if you do the impossible and escape successfully, you will have nowhere to go. This prison is almost 300 miles away from any town, surrounded by desert and the burning heat. If you escape you will not survive, and we will wait to find your successor."
"How long will you keep me here?"
"You will stay here indefinitely. We can't risk you compromising our facility here, even if no one will believe you. You will die here peacefully or you will die in an escape attempt. Either way this is your new home along with the other benders. We will let you roam the prison, but curfew is at 9 p.m, and we expect you in your cell by then. My agent will escort you to your cell, and dinner will arrive at 6:00. Good day."
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