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|Tales of Yukio, Chapter 7|
January 11, 2014
Chapter 7: Part One, Chi-Ji: The Collapse of Ba Sing Se
As soon as I got into Ba Sing Se, I ran to the palace as quickly as I could. As people saw me, they stared. I ran right into a man who looked at me with a confused look on his face. "Princess, it's not a good idea for you to run around in this neighborhood at this time of night," he said. I just ran around him and kept going.
I started to get lost in the middle ring of town. I walked past an alley, and inside, I heard talking. "It's a good thing we got past the Dai-Li. Now that we have uniforms, we can start the uprising. Myung Dae pays really well," a man said. When I saw that he had his back to me, I slinked against the wall. I took my bow off my back and took three arrows out of my quiver.
I shot all three arrows at once, and they pinned two men to the alley wall. I hadn't noticed anyone else in the alley but when I crept into the alley, I saw at least twenty men. There was a bomb strapped to the wall, attached to a detonator. The first thought in my mind was how could I possibly destroy that? I didn't even think about the man's comment about my father. But I decided my best option was to run.
So I bolted.
Part 2, ChoHee: The Collapse of Ba Sing Se
"Taylor!" I shouted. He was running into the palace grounds from the East Gate. He was obviously looking for someone. He locked eyes with me and ran toward me, faster than he had before.
Taylor saw all the people gathered around me trying to pick me up. I was trying to chi-block, but the people had both of my arms tied. I couldn't Earthbend in the situation either because, not only were my hands tied, but I had no sturdy contact with the ground; my feet were useless.
The rebels had blocked Taylor from my view, but I saw a tree twist as all of the water inside was sucked out. Taylor then blasted the soldiers with an enormous water whip. The soldier who had been holding me had been knocked down, but amazingly, I remained standing and almost completely dry.
"That was almost bad," Taylor said, untying my arms. I rubbed my wrists. Just then, a thunderous explosion sounded from the outer wall. Taylor looked at me. "This is now bad." He kept staring at all the smoke, so I started running.
Taylor caught up to me quickly. "Where's Stella?" he shouted. Another explosion resounded, closer to the inner wall.
"I don't know, Taylor!" I shouted back. "But I'm not going to stick around to find out!"
"So what's the plan?"
"To run and hope we find an exit!"
"Sounds legit! Where are the others?" he asked, still running with me. Another explosion went off and shattered the inner wall. The screaming was louder now.
"I don't know!"
Just then, Taylor ran into someone. A girl with long black hair falling out of a top knot with a crossbow in her arms. It was Chi-Ji! "Thank goodness I found you!" she shouted, being drowned out by more screaming and another explosion. "I found a breach in the wall! Come on!"
"I'm not going!" Taylor and I both shouted at the same time.
"Are you crazy?" Chi-Ji yelled.
"Yes!" Taylor said.
"I have to find MiHee!" I said.
"Then I'm staying, too!" Chi-Ji insisted.
"GO!" Taylor and I shouted.
"These are the people I want to protect! I don't want to die a coward!" Chi-Ji yelled.
Neither of us argued with her after that.
The most earsplitting sound roared behind us at the palace wall. Smoke rolled over us. Taylor pushed my head down under the smoke so I could breathe. "I have to get in there!" He shouted in my ear. "Get out of here! If I don't see you again, know that I love you." He smiled at me. I grabbed his hand and hoisted myself up. "Don't leave the princess. I'll find MiHee and bring her back."
"Thank-you," I croaked. There was too much smoke for me to talk anymore.
I couldn't see or hear a thing for what seemed like a lifetime. It was just explosion after explosion after explosion. I couldn't distinguish where sounds were coming from anymore. For some unseen reason, I couldn't move. For some reason, I decided crying was the only option.
And somehow, I fell asleep, wondering what the city would look like when I woke up.
Part 3: Taylor in the Rubble
By the time the sun came up, the rebels were gone. They left the entire city destroyed. The city looked worse than a post-apocalyptic mover. I tried not to look at the dead bodies as I sifted through what remained, trying to find survivors, but they were too many to count. I tried my hardest to count, but I stopped after counting to ninety. I wasn't surprised that I had found no survivors. Who could have lived through this hell? I thought.
The city was unbelievably large. I had walked for maybe three hours and hadn't even cleared one district of the city. I had been able to use Earthbending to move the stone bricks out of my path. I thought, I guess I never had a significant enough reason to Earthbend before. I had found a few radios, and I had picked up every single one of them in hopes of finding a signal, but I was not close enough to a radio tower, and there was no way that I was leaving the city to find one until I found my friends.
I found David first. "Thank goodness I found you!" I said as we hugged each other.
"I was beginning to lose hope."
"I know the feeling, Taylor. I led some survivors out to an airship that the United Republic sent. They said more were on the way."
"Oh that's good. I was thinking that no one even knew what happened here. Where are Caleb and the girls?"
"Caleb and Chi-Ji went back to the Fire Nation to bring help. ChoHee is with the other Kyoshi Warriors. They're looking for MiHee," David answered. I was relieved that they were okay. But I felt for ChoHee. MiHee is roaming the streets looking for survivors like I am. She'll be fine. But I still shuddered at the possibility that she could be captured, or crushed somewhere in the massive amounts of stone rubble.
"Is she with Stella?" I asked, hoping that that might relieve some of my anxiety.
"Probably not. Stella is in Republic City, trying to figure out who had resources to make so many bombs."
"Oh. I'm sure she'll turn up after a while," I said, not entirely convinced, "What about the White Lotus and the Dai-Li?"
"I haven't heard anything about the White Lotus. And many of the Dai-Li members were at Lake Laogai with the Earth King. So he's safe."
"I'm not worried about the Earth King. He's not as important as all these people who are dead around us," I said, surprising myself with the boldness of my words.
David grinned. "Very, very true, Taylor. But even with all the casualties, many more people survived."
"Really?" I asked, suspicious of his words.
"Really. There are bomb shelters everywhere. Ba Sing Se is equipped to handle these emergencies. After all, I don't truly believe that the intent was to kill. I think it was to get attention."
"Do you have any theories?"
"Yeah, but we need to catch up with the Kyoshi Warriors at the palace... er, remains of the palace."
"Then we have a pretty long walk," I stated.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"I saw you Earthbending. You can cling to the cobblestone and slide around on it."
"It's hard to explain. You have to... magnetize yourself to it," David said. I looked at him, confused. "I told you it'd be weird to explain. You have to just do it. It's like bending itself. You don't know how you have the ability to bend, you just do it. There's no explaining it. It just is."
Then I realized that David was supposed to be my Earthbending teacher. When he said it, it connected. It was like lighting a candle. When you do, it illuminates everything in the room. And that's what happened to my brain.
Then, somehow, I just did it. I slid across the ground like I was skating. David caught up quickly, but I barely noticed. The feeling was exhilarating. I was on edge, but I also felt more alive than I ever had. I must have looked crazy as I threw my head back and laughed loudly. When we got back to the palace (in twenty minutes), I didn't feel like stopping.
But when I saw ChoHee, I stopped. "Did you find her?" ChoHee's eyes were red and swollen. I didn't know that she ever cried. She wasn't crying now, but she was visibly upset. Which was very unsettling. I knew she wasn't heartless, but she never seemed to show any emotion toward her sister except annoyance.
ChoHee ran straight into my arms. I just held her as she cried into my shoulder. "We found her. But she's hurt. Really hurt. Her spine is broken. She can't feel anything below her neck," she said. I could barely understand her because the sound was muffled by the fur of my parka.
"Let me see her. I might be able to help," I said. I tried to walk, but ChoHee didn't let go. I tugged on her arms, but she still didn't let go. "Umm... ChoHee? I want to see MiHee. You gotta let go," I said.
Even though I didn't want to let her go.
Part 4: Taylor the Healer
When I walked into the room (Well, it used to be a room. There wasn't much left of it.), MiHee was laying on a bed with her eyes closed. I knew she wasn't sleeping because her breaths weren't completely even. She smiled when I walked in. "Hi, MiHee," I said, cautiously.
"Hi, Taylor. Hi, ChoHee," MiHee said, cheerfully. She beamed when she finally opened her eyes.
I stood at her bedside. "How are you feeling?" I asked.
"I'm fine, I think. I can't move that much, though. I'm not in any pain, though."
"That's good, MiHee. Do you mind if I take a look at your back?"
"Not at all. Just be careful, please," MiHee said. She looked like she was about to lose her cool, but when she looked up at me, she pulled herself back together.
"ChoHee and I are going to flip you over, MiHee. We're going to be very gentle, but if you can feel us, tell us. You probably broke your back, but I need to see if you're permanently paralyzed," I said patiently. MiHee was still a child. And I could tell that she was very afraid.
ChoHee and I picked MiHee up very carefully. MiHee's body was tense, which was a good sign. If she were limp, I would know that I was too late. We put her back on the bed, face down. "Did you feel anything?" I asked. ChoHee unzipped the zipper on the back of MiHee's uniform.
"No. Should I have?" MiHee asked self-consciously.
"No, No. You're fine," I said. "I was just checking. I'm going to try to heal your back, okay?"
"Okay, heal away, Taylor!" MiHee said enthusiastically. I couldn't determine if she was
"I will," I said, swirling some water out of my canteen. I coated my hands with it and laid them on MiHee's back. Her chi in her back was twisted and warped. There was no rhyme or reason to their patterns. But I knew I could fix it. "Well, MiHee, your chi is twisted up real bad. But I can fix it."
"Oh thank Raava!" ChoHee said.
"Will it hurt?" MiHee asked quietly.
"I'd be lying if I said that it would be pain free. I have to reset your spine, kiddo. It'll heal like that if I don't do it soon."
"Okay," MiHee said.
"If you feel it, that's a good sign, actually."
"I'm ready," MiHee said, her voice wavering.
I always carried my vial of water from the Spirit Oasis around my neck. The vial somehow gave me security. It was a reminder of my grandfather and maybe the North Pole in general. All I ever wanted to be was a doctor, so Spirit Water was the only thing that reminded me.
I took the vial and lifted it up over my head. I pulled the catch very carefully so I wouldn't spill it. I drew the Spirit Water out of the vial, coated my hands, and laid them on MiHee's back.
Immediately, her spine reconnected with a loud crack. MiHee started to wail in pain. She kicked her legs and arms. "ChoHee! Help me! I'm not done yet!" I shouted. ChoHee pinned her sister down and I continued to work until her chi was restored.
"I'm done, MiHee. You're going to be okay," I promised. I couldn't tell if MiHee believed me or not, but ChoHee seemed relieved.
Behind the Scenes!
- This is the end of the first "book".
- Taylor won't spend much more time in Ba Sing Se.
- Recap: Taylor has had a crush on ChoHee since Chapter One.
- Ba Sing Se was destroyed with detonated bombs, which were invented by Varrick in The Legend of Korra
- Fun Fact: Taylor used the Avatar State to chase the rebels away.
- The rebels that attacked were working for Myung Dae. The group is called the Shirshu Gang. They are a group of very skilled weaponists from the Earth Kingdom that want anarchy.
- MiHee will get better, don't worry. ^-^
For the collective works of the author, go here.