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|More from AtkaSura||Tragedy||PG 13||None|
|Survivors of the Air Nomad Genocide: Chapter 6|
Chapters 3-5: Unwritten
Chapters 7&8: Unwritten
This chapter isn't a 'chapter' per se. It's a collection miscellaneous scenes that will fit somewhere in the larger narrative but currently have no setup. Basically, I haven't reached that point of the story, yet still want them written down. Sometime in the (near or far) future, this will be a complete chapter. Below is a summary of what the chapters leading up to this point would contain.
Atka tries his best to bring Jin back to heath, but the trauma has left her broken. She has become withdrawn and detached, refusing to eat or speak. Once Jin is strong enough to leave the igloo, Atka takes her into the nearest village to see a healer. Mid session, the village falls victim to a Fire Nation raid, forcing Atka to fight his way out while protecting Jin. Due to the close call and increasing number of raids on the South Pole, Atka decides that it is best to flee for the Earth Kingdom. He hopes that they will find safety and security behind the walls of Ba Sing Se.
I also have a strong image of Atka discovering Jin's dead sky bison being picked apart by wolves, but don't know where to include it. Likely something to occur not long after leaving for Ba Sing Se. I can see Jin just starting to try to talk to Atka, and having a first real moment of communication, then seeing the bison and retreating again into herself. - To quote a suggestion.
Most of the story would take place during their journey into the Earth Kingdom, focusing on the hardships endured while evading the Fire Nation. They'd spend their nights in shady taverns, set up camp, or in the home of a sympathetic villager. I'd imagine the Fire Nation's hunt for surviving airbenders involved threatening or bribing locals for information, meaning Atka and Jin would be weary of everyone they encounter. Maybe they witness an accused airbender being dragged out into the streets and executed by firebenders.
I want Jin to start off strong and confident in the Air Temples with Tami, become broken by the genocide, and slowly rebuild to the point where she can crack jokes again. Same goes for Atka, I want Jin to be his support in overcoming the loss of his sister. I want them to form a bond over time; a father-daughter or brother-sister relationship that was hard-fought and tested.
Akta helps Jin overcome her pain and become more like her former self by sharing his guilt over his sister's death, which in turn provides the closure he so desperately needs.
Flashbacks of Akta and Sura/ Jin and Tami.
The Winking Spider-Rat
Atka wearily looked around the small, dingy room, scanning its dark corners for any signs of a threat. A solitary window opened to the world outside. Long, slotted shadows stretched across the moonlit floor from the bars fastened to its base. He could still hear the muffled thuds and cheery laughter of drunken debauchery emanating from the tavern below. No firebender would have the gall to attack this place, or so he hoped. The Winking Spider-Rat was a notorious watering hole frequented by Earth Kingdom soldiers. Spending the night here would be safer than yet another restless night in the woods. Satisfied, Atka called out to Jin, who was anxiously waiting in the hallway. With a few tentative steps, Jin entered the room and cautiously hovered behind Atka. Her eyes darted nervously from shadow to shadow. As Atka closed the door and slid the lock into place with a silent click, he couldn't help but wonder; was the lock keeping intruders out, or trapping them inside? If a firebender burnt the building down around them, there would be no escape.
Atka brushed those thoughts aside and gestured toward the bed tucked against the far wall, "She's all yours, I'll sleep on the floor." He unfurled his bedroll, tossing it beneath the barred window as Jin undressed and climbed into bed. She looked so fragile. Heavy scars twisted around her slender body like a corruption, a disease. She must be in incredible pain. Atka examined his own hand; the long, ragged scars left by a wolf's gnashing teeth. He leaned against the wall and thought back to the healer. Had he waited too long? If he had risked traveling to the village while Jin was still unconscious, would her current pain be lessened? Atka slowly shook his head. No, he had made the right decision. At the time, Jin was too weak. She would have died before he even made it halfway to the village. Sighing, Atka checked the lock one last time before he slept.
Jin stared at the ceiling in frustration. She couldn't sleep. After days on the road and long nights spent sleeping on the cold, hard ground, she finally had a bed and she couldn't sleep. She lay quietly in the dark, listening to the sounds of Atka stirring. He tossed and turned, mumbling incoherently in his sleep. After a while, his movements suddenly stopped. Jin silently rolled over and watched Atka intently. He was sitting against the window, staring vacantly into the night sky. A single shaft of moonlight illuminated his shadowed face. Tears rolled down his cheeks, catching the pale light and glinting as they fell. Jin's heart sank into her stomach. She closed her eyes and turned away.
Jin felt the piercing eyes of every passerby, each passing gaze seemed like hours of scrutiny. Although her arrows were well-hidden beneath several layers of thick clothing, Jin couldn't help but feel totally exposed. One strong gust of wind, one jostle from an inattentive pedestrian, one careless mistake. It was only a matter of time before someone realized who she was. "Just get through town and get this over with." Jin began to fidget with the sleeves of her parka, eying a small group of Fire Nation soldiers conversing nearby. The closest soldier glanced up as she drew near. She braced for a flash of recognition, the sudden spew of flames, but the man merely nodded a disinterested acknowledgement before rejoining his friend's conversation.
"You're really going to do it, then?" The soldier chuckled, "You're crazy."
"Hey, you don't know what it's like!" His smitten friend shot back, wrapped in a dreamy smile. "If I give her a Panda Lily, she has to say yes. That's the custom, right?"
"Count me out, I am not climbing a volcano with you."
Their words faded to inaudible murmurs as she moved beyond earshot. Atka breathed a sigh of relief, causing Jin to jump slightly. She was so focused on other people that she almost forgot about Atka.
"The sooner we leave, the better." He muttered.
Jin was about to voice her agreement when she spied a scrawny man further up the street. Unlike the other villagers going about their daily lives, paying no heed to the Water Tribesman and his companion, this man seemed to be staring intently at something directly behind her. No, not behind her. The man's unnerving gaze was pointed at her. She unconsciously adjusted her stride, moving closer to Atka's side.
"Hey, you!" The man shouted as they passed.
Jin nearly jumped out of her skin. She ignored him and kept walking, nervously tugging her sleeves and hood to ensure that her arrows were fully covered. The man tagged alongside her, "I know who you are. I know WHAT you are!"
"I'm sorry, you must be mistaking me for someone else." Growing increasingly uncomfortable, Jin just wanted this man to go away.
"I'm talking to you!" The man cut in front of Jin, forcing her stop. Atka visibly tensed beside her.
"Been seeing an awful lot of soldiers pass through here lately. They're looking for someone, you see. An airbender."
Panic settled over Jin, Atka's face darkened. They were causing a scene, drawing attention. People on the surrounding streets started to notice them. Passing heads turned in their direction, attracted by this man's loud and aberrant behavior.
"We aren't in the poles, girl. Why are you so heavily covered? What are you hiding beneath those gloves?"
The man suddenly lounged forward and grabbed hold of Jin's wrist. She cried out in shock as he forcibly pulled up her sleeve, revealing the damning blue arrow. In that moment, Atka slammed the man against a nearby wall, lifting him up by the throat so that his feet dangled above the ground. "Don't. Touch. Her." He growled, squeezing hard. The man gasped and gurgled, struggling for air. In the ensuing commotion, the previously idle soldiers stopped their chatting and moved to investigate. "Atka!" Jin shouted, watching the soldiers approach with dawning horror. "Atka! We need to leave!" Atka dropped the man and followed Jin as she ran.
Sputtering on all fours, the man pointed after them and yelled, "Airbender! She's an airbender!" The soldiers broke into a sprint, pursuing Atka and Jin. Atka stopped and wheeled around to face the oncoming soldiers, pulling out his club. Jin slowed, confused. "Go!" Atka shouted back at her, "Jin, run!" Terrified, she hesitated. "I said RUN!" Atka was willing to fight and die for her. No. She would not let that happen. With a swift and fluid motion, she bent a blast of air toward the soldiers, sending them crashing into the dirt. "Come on!" She urged, "Let's go!"
- The Winking Skeever is my Skyrim character's favorite hangout. I tried to think of a shady tavern name that fit the Avatar world, so I chose The Winking Spider-Rat.
For the collective works of the author, go here.