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|The Walled City (The Adventures of Qi)|
"You don't remember anything?" Qi begged. "Anything at all?"
Huo had just suffered from serious damage. The airship that Qi and Huo were on was attacked by sandbenders and Huo had suffered the consequences. The sandbenders had dropped a colossal boulder on him and now he had developed amnesia. Qi wondered how the captain and everyone else aboard the airship were doing, but she didn't have time to worry about them. Huo had lost his memory.
"Well... I think my name is Huo..." he mumbled.
"Yes, your name is Huo. It means fire in a distant language," Qi explained.
"Why would my name mean fire?" Huo asked confusedly.
"Because you're a firebender!" Qi exclaimed.
Huo frowned again.
"What's that?" He asked.
Qi sighed; they were getting nowhere. She turned around to look at the airship, and found it ruined. It was completely destroyed and had no chance of flying again. The captain and all the guards aboard were slowly climbing out; they were luckily in no harm.
"Qi!" The captain said. "Are you all right?"
"Yes," Qi replied. "But Huo isn't."
"What happened out here?" One of the guards wondered.
"Sandbenders... they attacked us for trespassing their territory. They managed to take away Huo's memory," Qi sobbed.
"Qi, I know you are feeling upset, but you need to prioritise yourself," the captain said. "Right now, the most important thing is getting outta this desert alive!"
He was right and Qi knew it. She sighed and stood up whilst supporting Huo. She had no idea how they were going to get out and get to Ba Sing Se.
"Did you manage to radio for help?" Qi asked.
The captain shook his head.
"The radio got busted before I got the chance," the captain sighed in dismay.
Qi gave a shout of frustration; they were getting nowhere!
"What's that?" Huo asked and pointed at the sky.
"What's what?" Qi said.
She turned around and saw a distant object hovering in the sky. It was a deep emerald colour and was shaped in a streamlined shape. Qi looked a little closely and found it was... an airship! Help was on the way! Qi, the captain, the guards and Huo all jumped for joy while screaming to the get the airship's attention.
"Over here!" Qi screamed.
"We need help!" Another guard yelled.
"Come help us!" Huo said, still in a daze.
It seemed that the airship had noticed the group and was now slowly descending towards them. Qi felt blissed to finally be able to escape. When the airship landed, two teenagers stepped out. One of them was a girl, who was tall and skinny. She had curly black hair with locks of blond and dazzling, emerald, sparkling eyes. The other was a boy who was similar in body shape and size. He had hair the colour of sand and eyes the colour of the sky. They both resembled each other greatly; Qi thought they must be siblings.
"Hello fellow travellers!" The girl smiled and grinned.
"Hello," Qi replied. "Who are you?"
"Why I am Maia, a master Earthbender and this is my twin brother Liu, a master waterbender!" She grinned.
"Well... it's nice to meet you guys," Qi said. "I'm Qi and this is Huo. I'm an airbender and Huo is a firebender. We were going to Ba Sing Se when our airship was attacked."
"Oh that's unfortunate," Maia said with a huge smile. "But look on the bright side, you get to enjoy this lovely sand! Yay for sand!"
"Ugh, stupid sand; it gets all over your feet!" Liu complained.
"Is your sister always this... annoyingly bubbly?" Huo asked Liu.
"Ugh, yeah. She's always so... annoying and weird," Liu dully said.
"And is your brother always so pessimistic and dull?" Qi asked Maia.
"Yeah," Maia said.
"You said you wanted to go to Ba Sing Se? Why?" Liu asked.
"What's Ba Sing Se?" Huo said.
Maia and Liu stared at Huo like he was crazy for not knowing what Ba Sing Se was.
"You don't know what Ba Sing Se is..." Liu said.
"Well, it is the delightfully fun and huge Earth Kingdom capital!" Maia said.
"Earth Kingdom? What's that?" Huo was still confused.
"You're kidding, right?" Liu said.
"Sorry, he just developed amnesia. I'm hoping to get him to a doctor in Ba Sing Se," Qi explained.
"Oh, Ba Sing Se has plenty of people to heal him!" Maia smiled.
Just then, Qi thought she heard something moving in a sand dune. It sounded huge, and when she turned around, the dune was moving! Something wasn't right!
"What was that?" Qi asked nervously.
"Oh, that was probably just a sand shark. They roam these deserts. You should probably get inside before it gobbles you up with its adorable little throat, we'll chat on the way to Ba Sing Se!" Maia said.
Qi, Huo, Maia, Liu, the captain and all the guards hurried into the airship and it took flight.
"So apart from healing your friend, why are you going to Ba Sing Se?" Liu asked.
"We were tasked with finding the new Avatar, and we thought we would search Ba Sing Se first," Qi replied.
"Oh, well we are citizens of Ba Sing Se!" Maia said. "Our mother was from Ba Sing Se, and met a wonderful young man from the Northern Water Tribe there. They fell in deep love, got married and started the most awesome family ever! We were on our way home from a visit to the North Pole."
"Oh, well, how are things in Ba Sing Se?" Qi tried to make conversation.
"Not good," Liu sighed. "Ever since the civil war amongst the Earth Kingdom States, the elected leaders that Avatar Korra and former Earth King Wu worked so hard to pick were forced to step down. Wu's grandson took the throne, and lets just say his personality is even worse than Hou-Ting's."
Qi shuddered. She had heard of former Earth Queen Hou-Ting and the way she ruled the Earth Kingdom. She couldn't imagine someone more obnoxious than Hou-Ting. As Qi was thinking, two adults stepped into the room. They walked side by side and looked like Maia and Liu's parents. They both looked fairly young, probably in their early-forties.
"We heard what happened," the dad said. "Are you guys okay?"
"We're fine thanks, sir," Qi said.
"Just call me Jim," Jim said. "Oh, and this is my wife Piaolian. We'll be arriving in a few moments."
Jim and Piaolian exited the room.
Qi looked out the window as they arrived in Ba Sing Se. One look and you would be stunned. Ba Sing Se was enormous! It was vast ocean and expanded for miles and miles and miles. It was full of houses, markets, buildings and almost everything. A gigantic, gargantuan, giant wall that was larger than the Great Wall of China surrounded and protected everything within Ba Sing Se. There was only one word to describe Qi: breath-taken.
"Its amazing," Qi muttered.
"Cool huh?" Maia said.
"Come on, let's go find Huo a doctor!" Liu suggested.
"What's a doctor?" Huo wondered.
The other three didn't reply him. They came out of the airship and into the fresh air. Liu and Maia led them to a large building in the Middle Ring. It was seven storeys tall and loomed over a fair area of the Middle Ring.
"This is the amazingly cool hospital, it was built only ten years ago!" Maia explained.
They went into the building and explained the situation to the receptionist.
"Sixth floor, there will be a doctor waiting for you," the receptionist explained.
The four started to leave when the receptionist stopped them.
"Oh, only the patient can go, the rest must stay," she said.
"What! Why?" Qi asked.
"The experience will traumatise anyone apart from the patient," the receptionist explained with a glint in her eyes.
"It's fine, I can handle myself," Huo grunted.
And he left.
Huo took the stairs. As he was walking, he saw visions, or at least he thought they were visions. They actually seemed to be flashbacks. He saw Qi, airbending at him. She was in a fury, and blew gusts of wind everywhere and Huo could barely keep up. She was screaming something about cheating on her? Huo was suddenly dragged back into the present and he was panting and sweating. He couldn't trust Qi! Qi tried to kill him! Nevertheless, Huo had to see the doctor to learn the truth about Qi. He reached the sixth floor after what felt like a million years and found a sweet, young doctor waiting for him.
"Hello, I received a call saying someone with amnesia would be sent up. Is that you?" The doctor asked.
"Yeah, all I can remember is that my name's Huo," Huo replied.
"Excellent, I am Doctor Kaila, please follow me," Kaila said.
Kaila led Huo into a room nearby. Like almost all hospitals, the water were painted as white as snow. In the centre of the room was a large, rectangular shaped chair. On the headrest of the chair seemed to be this machine just big enough for a head. It looked very complicated and it was covered in wires.
"Now don't worry, this process will only hurt a little bit," Kaila explained. "As technology developed, this machine was created by scientists. In fact, it was only created two years ago. It helps to connect with your deepest memories. Now, please sit on this chair."
Huo nervously sat on the chair. What was this machine going to do? He didn't like the look of the machine on the headrest.
"Perfect," Kaila said and smiled. "Now I'm going to clip this machine onto your head."
"Whoa! Back off! I may have lost my memory but I'm not stupid enough to allow someone to clip a dangerous machine onto my head!" Huo complained.
"Huo, you can trust us, this is the best hospital in Ba Sing Se!" Kaila said. "Now, this will trigger your old memories but it will emotionally hurt a little."
Huo relaxed and Kaila clipped the machine onto Huo's head.
"Any moment now..." Kaila warned.
Suddenly... flash! Huo saw his whole past. He saw the day he was born; he saw the day he learnt firebending; he saw the day he met Qi; he saw everything! However, it was painful, very painful. He saw all the happy memories, yet he also experienced the bad ones. It was painful to see every mistake, every failure he had ever failed thrown into his face. Yet it was delighting to see all the good times. Huo didn't know how he felt, he just... felt.
"I remember," he muttered.
"Good," Kaila whispered.
As Huo was still recovering, he heard a loud boom. It happened all of a sudden really. In almost a flash, the window smashed open and in came four dangerous looking people. One wore the Fire Nation's royal hairpiece. Strange. Wasn't that supposed to be worn by the crown prince or princess? Another one had an air funnel ready to attack; one of them had a gallon of water at her side and the last one prepared a large boulder.
"We found you at last!" Cackled the one wearing the royal hairpiece. "Now where is the girl? Where is she?"
"I'm not telling you anything!" Huo firmly said.
"Now everyone, please don't fight!" Kaila tried to calm everyone down.
"Shut up!" The waterbender replied.
The waterbender then bent the whole gallon of water without moving! She just stood there and the water automatically wrapped itself around Kaila. The water turned to ice and trapped Kaila in there.
"Whoa, you created an iceberg spike without moving!" Huo was amazed.
"Yeah, it's psychic waterbending dummy!" The waterbender replied.
The girl then condensed water from the air and shot it at Huo, who instantly froze in a block of ice.
"Huo should be back by now," Qi worried.
"Don't worry, the poor thing will be fine!" Maia assured.
"You never know, he could've died up there!" Liu said.
As they were talking, a doctor quickly approached them with a worried look on his face.
"There has been an attack on the sixth floor!" He said. "Doctor Kaila was found frozen in an iceberg spike!"
"What about Huo?" Qi asked nervously.
"I'm sorry, but I'm afraid your friend is gone," the doctor said.
For the collective works of the author, go here.