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The tenth chapter of
August 27, 2010
Leah meets the survivors from the colony in Mexico.
Fire with Fire
Leah knocked quietly on the door to the firebender's cell block. A middle age man opened the door, revealing numerous burn scars on his face and arms.
"Leah," he said with a smile. "We've been expecting you. My name is Peter. I know you would never mean to offend, but please do your best not to stare. Many of the people here are a little sensitive."
Leah entered the cellblock behind Peter, who closed the door behind him. Sitting in the main commons area of the block were the firebenders, only numbering about 40 people all together. She tried her hardest, but it was hard not to notice the numerous scars adorning everyone in the room. Even more noticeable were the almost bullet shaped marks in some of the residents.
"Well, this is it. The firebending portion of Uluru," Peter said with an awkward smile.
Leah looked around the room, searching for a person to talk to.
"Can you introduce me to someone?" Leah asked quietly, as if her voice would blow people away in the silence.
"Of course. I'm sure Lee would like to talk."
Peter and Leah walked over to a young man sitting in a torn up recliner, about 22 years in age.
"Lee, this is Leah, the Avatar. She would like to speak with you, is that okay?"
Lee looked up at Leah, then nodded his head and beckoned for Peter to leave.
"So you're the almighty Avatar huh?" Lee asked gruffly.
"I guess so, except I'm not that powerful."
"I can tell, seeing that you wound up here. How did they get to you?"
"They ambushed me running away. It was pretty easy for them, since they sent about 40 people."
"And I heard you took down a quarter of them?"
"Yes, but I don't really like to think about it."
"Well, I can't say I'm not impressed. The Enforcers are a force to reckoned with, and the fact that you took 10 of them down is quite awe-inspiring."
"Well, um thanks." Leah said awkwardly.
"But I hear you're thinking of escaping here?"
"How'd you know?"
"Oh, I've been here for a while, get to know your way around. But I must advise you against escaping."
"I'm sure you noticed that along with the burn marks, some of us have bullet holes in our arms," Lee said, rolling up his sleeve to reveal one.
"Not to be insensitive, but what happened?"
"Well, it dates back to when we were first brought here. Everyone here, including myself, was part of a firebending colony on the outskirts of Mexico City. We lived in peace there with the local citizens for many years. Until someone came to town. A man by the name of Joel."
"The past Avatar?"
"That's right. Joel was also seeking asylum from the BDA. He was also seeking a firebending teacher. But unknown to him they were already tracking him, and they discovered the colony as a bonus. Joel had caused too much trouble for them, and he was of no use to try to control anymore. Their Enforcers came in first, trying everything to try to detain us. But we chewed out everything they had thrown at us. After all, the Enforcers had about 400 people and we had ranging around 500. And none of the Enforcers were firebenders, so they had no edge against us."
"Then how did you end up here?"
"After a couple of fights trying to round us up, they realized that they had to find a source of fire to use against us. A petroleum tank farm was located on the outskirts of the city. They ignited that, and the explosion took out the Avatar, and about 500 people, 350 of them being our firebenders. So when they came again, the rest of us were too injured to fight them, and we had to surrender. They gave us the offer to join them, and 110 of them joined the Enforcers. The other 40 are the men and women you see here. The forty you see here are the only firebenders left that aren't dead or part of the Enforcers."
"So any firebending used against me were people part of that colony? Aren't there other colonies?"
"Many of the colonies had already been taken out by about the 80's. I believe Rose already told you, and I'm sad to say those are the only ones left. New Orleans, New York, and the rest are only rumours.
"Then the only way to try to get more firebenders is to escape?"
"Bending comes as a gift, not a gene. Firebending will eventually come again. But the only problem is that if any of it does come up it will be easier for the BDA to find it."
"And I can see you've already tried to escape."
"Incredible to say, but we've only tried once. When we first came here, all cell blocks but the airbenders were equipped with the glass bullets. We tried to melt the glass, and they shot those at us, resulting in the scars. They didn't wish to kill us, since we were so new and they wanted some firebenders at Uluru. They refitted the cell block to suck the air out, and we were amazed to see we didn't cause one inch of the glass to melt."
"Then is there any chance of escape at all?" Leah asked desperately.
"I'll give you this advice kid. Do what they did to us. Fight fire with fire."
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