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Send Out the Dogs
Chapter information

Way Back Home



Written by



The people

Next chapter

Dogs of War

Send Out the Dogs

The market sale and the bazaar earlier was a blast, at the same time Maurice and his daughter, Tina, were there selling crops and fishes. Their stock had been sold out. Although their buyers are cargo and shipments personnel from Ba Sing Se, they had sold out enough crops so they decided to pack up. the night was deep, so they sort out some stuff to finish their business as they both walk back home.

"Daddy" Tina murmured as Maurice was carrying her on his back while she holds tight at her father's back.

"Yes?" Maurice replied, diligently as he continues to walk.

"Where's Mommy?" She said, as she kept her eyes closed.

Maurice was silent after his own daughter asked about his mother; it's hard to answer such question. How do you tell your five year old daughter that her mother is dead? He always wanted to her about her mother long time ago but he still can't have the guts to say it. So Maurice kept calm and answered, "Mommy is just travelling, sweetheart..." Maurice held his tears as he waited for Tina to reply.

"When's she coming back?" Tina asked again.

"Soon," Maurice stopped in front of their old house's gate, as he looked at the bright full moon and added, "Soon she will be," as he shed some tears and entered their house with Tina resumes to sleep on Maurice's back.

The night is tiring for a six year old kid, Tina was sleeping like a giant as Maurice puts her in his bed beside him. He stands up to get some fresh air, but he couldn't take the pain living with a burden in his heart when he really knew he couldn't make his family live when he didn't have the finance he needed. Maurice is a poor zoo keeper from a poor zoo, he needed help financially. He keeps thinking where should he ask for help, Ancestors guide us he thought, he can't find a way to give his daughter a better life, so he cried.

The sun has yet to rise and Maurice is the early bird for today, He suit up for work while he let Tina sleep as he prepares breakfast for the both of them knowing that he runs out of some ginseng tea he decided to buy some.

"Tina" Maurice whispered to Tina's ear as he kissed her in the cheek.

"Hmm...?" Tina replied with a sweet childish tone as she opens her eyes slowly.

"Breakfast is ready," he said as Tina attempts to open her eyes widely "Wake up."

Maurice added as Tina stands up with a tired and sleepy facial expression in her face and Maurice said, "I'm going to buy some ginseng." Maurice winced and holds Tina's shoulders "You better watch the house for me, okay?" he added with a smile and gives her another kiss in the forehead.

"Yes, daddy," Tina replied as she sits at the chair beside the dining table where breakfast is served.

Maurice locks the gate as he sees Tina eating her breakfast from the inside and he waves at her and of course Tina waved back as Maurice walks by the street trying to reach the local market he encounters Fred, his best pal, and Fred runs at him.

"Maurice! hey!" Fred greeted Maurice as he noticed him.

"Fred!" Maurice said as he shook hands with Fred and added "So, What's news?"

Fred frowned down and puts a serious tone and replied "The army is gathering some men". Maurice looks kind of shocked "And that's why I'm here," Fred added

"Here for what?" Maurice asks Fred, he looks worried as he stares Fred in the eyes.

"They had our name in the list," Fred replied.

"No," Maurice mumbled while he frowns as he then turns around "I can't."

Fred grab hold's Maurice's shoulders, "We must report now."

"But how about Tina?"

"How about her?"

"She's my daughter!"

"Well, bring her to your mom instead."

"It's a five mile hike!" Maurice shouted at Fred with a worried tone.

"YOU CAN'T DO NOTHING MAURICE!" Fred shouted as he holds Maurice in his shoulders really tight. "The war is getting worse!" Fred added with a slightly calm tone.

Maurice looks down at his disappointment he almost cries knowing that Tina will be left alone if he joined the war.

"Just...." Fred said as he releases Maurice "Just make a decision..." Fred added with a stressed tone and worried about the war as he turns back and started to walk he added again, "We can't do anything about it..." as he continues to walk forth leaving Maurice staring at the ground brainstorming for what he will do about the issue, he can't just leave Tina alone, he seems to be worried as the rain started very vigorously, Maurice, still thinking for a way to be with his daughter and makes sure that she is safe, at the same time he must join the war.

Maurice's ran to their house as he rushed his feet, maintaining his running pace, he almost fell from the wet path but he manage to stand up and continue to run to his house. He was like an animal running loose, so fast that he almost bumped into a cargo and finally he reach his house as he slides the door open and runs to his daughter. Tina was shock after seeing his father rushed into her. Maurice then search for a saddle bag on a dusty chest.

Tina was curious, "Father? what's wrong?" her tone became worried.

Still looking for a bag, Maurice stuttered his voice "I... uh..."

"Are we going somewhere?" Tina asks out his father and then she stands up.

Maurice grabs an odd looking bag and started to pack up. "Yes, dear." he puts all the reserve food and some medical supplies inside the bag. "We're going to Grandma's house."

Tina looks excited and innocent as she cheers with joy, "I'll clean up!"

"No!" Maurice winced, "We'll be going there right now." he then smiled at Tina.

"Why do you look so scared?" Tina jerks her head and stares at his father.

Maurice stops panicking and smiled at Tina, "No I'm not." he smiled convincingly that the innocent girl bought it as he stands up and packs some things from his chest.

"Come now," he quivered then he clears his throat, "We're going."

Maurice carried his daughter on his shoulders with a bag on the right side of his arm as he walks out the house, he heard a rustling sound, he thought it was the army; he panics so he holds the bag ad his daughter tight. "Hold on now," he said to Tina, the girl only nodded and holds his father. Maurice levels his left hand and closes his knuckle placing it near the stone ground and then he rise his hands up, a stone-like paving board arise from the ground carrying his feet. Tina doesn't look shock that her father is an earth bender. Maurice controls the dirt bound earth board and it moves so fast and they heads to the mountains. Maurice's mother is still at Taku but it is located on the highest top of the hill straight to the mountains and there will be found a lonely house. Maurice maneuvers his board with his bending, he make it faster but all of the sudden a boulder-like wall block his path, he crashed right into it but he still manage to jump and protect his daughter. The wall suddenly descend from the ground and also the board, it puffs up some smoke and there reveal a man wearing an Earth Kingdom general uniform. While still on the ground, hugging his daughter and holding the bag, the general approaches them.

The general seems calm, but rest assure he's mad. "Well, Well..." he chuckled, as he crouches down to meet Maurice's eyes. "What do we have here?" he takes Maurice's bag and opens it. "Are you escaping? Aren't you in the list, Maurice?"

Maurice gulps in his mouth and clears his throat as Tina comes down ad stands and then Maurice stands too, "I'm just taking my daughter to a safe place," he grabs Tina's hand, "Sir."

"Didn't we already told that all men should report at the plaza?!"

"I'm just going to take my daughter to my mom's place, sir." he looks scared, but Maurice keeps his cool and glances at Tina. The girl looks innocent, not knowingly what is happening.

"You should have make your wife do it!" the general shouted, he seems annoyed not knowing the fact that Maurice's wife is dead.

Maurice nods and looks kind of down as he stares the ground. "But..." before he could say a thing a soldier from the plaza suddenly came with a paper rolled in a fashioned way, the scroll was colored red yet it seems like it's from the Fire Nation. "General Gornok, Sir!" The soldier carrying a paper salutes and gives the paper to the general.

Gornok opens up the scroll and read it, the calm face seems to be frowned and stuffs the scroll on his armor, "You there! come with us now!" the general earth bends a stacked rocked formed into a board that carries his feet and follows by the other soldiers, "We're sending out the dogs!" the general shouted at Maurice.

Maurice can't leave his daughter, "No," he said to the general. "I'm taking my daughter to a safe place!" he added and then he grabs his daughter hand.

The general looks angrier now as he bend some dirt from the ground and formed it into a shackle and he sealed Maurice's hands and feet. "You're going!" the general said whilst Maurice is tied both upper and lower limbs, putting him in a cargo-like stone that ascend from the ground.

"Sir! What is our response for the letter?" The soldier asks.

"Send out the dogs of war!" The general replied, grunting his voice and rides the board ad the cargo from his back as they went straight back to Taku's plaza.

"No, wait!" Maurice exclaimed and tries to escape from the binds, "Tina!" he shouted, the general looks annoyed and disturb he then conceals Maurice's mouth with a shackle made from dirt and they continue to ride fast, leaving the young girl behind.

The girl picks up the bag, it seems it fits her, and she gaze at the riding troops with her father in there. She reaches out her hand from the distance, "Daddy?" she whispered to herself.

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