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The seventeenth chapter of
|Visiting the Past|
September 8, 2010
Leah sees what happened to her mother after Leah's supposed death.
Leah stood outside Uluru relieved at how well her escape had gone. The Enforcers inside were fierce, but were no match for her new ability, slicing them endlessly. Looking around the desert scene, feelings of joy and freedom were suddenly replaced by terror as the Leader and the rest of his Enforcers arrived.
With the power of glassbending still at the command, the Enforcers fell before her, their skin pierced by glass shards as their blood watered the desert sand. Before long, only the Leader stood between her and being free and "normal" again. He started the duel, firing fire blast after blast at her, which she easily parted.
After he finally relented on his attack, Leah unleashed sharp shards of glass at him, lacerating him as his blooddrops continued to drop. But even with massive blood loss continuing, he merely shrugged it off and continued his assault. Leah began to launch boulders of massive proportions at him, but he merely dodged or sent them back. A few stray shots hit Leah, knocking her back and winding her quickly.
Exhausted, she launched the full power of a nearby waterfall running off the mountain at him. The Leader launched a wave of heat, instantly vaporizing it. He launched himself with earth and firebending, then dropped like an anchor to send out an enormous earth wave. Leah half-heartedly jumped it, letting it continue on into the desert.
"Can't you just let me go?" Leah screamed, exhaustion creeping into her voice.
"No Leah, you know too much about us now."
"This isn't right! Just because we can bend doesn't mean you can take away our right to live a free life!"
"It's for your own good. Now Leah, you can either come back, and we can forgive your actions. Otherwise, you know what we'll have to do, and you know we can and will do it."
"You had no right to kill Bracken and Joel."
"They were both threats to us. Bracken was in the same situation you're in now, and Joel raised an army against us. We had every right to strike them down."
"They were innocent men!"
"They were enemies of the state."
"What state? I've seen how crappy the government can be, but you bring it a whole new level of shame!"
"The President approves all of our actions."
"Including murder? Terrorist attacks? Genocides?"
"They were and are necessary evils."
"They're cruel and wrong!"
"That's enough Leah."
"I said THAT'S ENOUGH!"
Leah unleashed her current power of the four elements towards the Leader, water splashing him as the earthen wave traveled with the fire stream and air gust. He sunk himself into the earth, surprising Leah as her attacks continued without a target. He suddenly came up behind her, burning her back with a fire blast that knocked her several feet back on her stomach.
Seizing the opportunity, he imprisoned her hands and legs in earthen shackles, flipping her over as well. Leah struggled in vain from the rocks burying her limbs. The Leader walked over to her, reveling in her helplessness and frustration.
"As I said before Leah, we have no choice."
He moved his arms in a circular motion, sparks gathering at the index and middle fingers pointed out. After a moment he stopped, then pointed furiously at Leah, the lightning following his guidance. As the lightning struck her, he released the shackles, watching her body jerk and convulse in violent fury as the burning pain traveled throughout her body. Leah felt her nerves shut down and her heart start to fade as she heard the Leader say,
"We have no choice."
Leah's eyes closed, and she woke up screaming yet again as the dream cycled through her mind endlessly.
Leah's latest ghost traumitizing her fragile psyche continued to haunt her after her meeting with Avatar Bracken. Bracken's gruesome details of his demise espiecally scared her, fearing the same burning convulsing pain.
The Enforcers watching Leah's cell noticed her nighttime hauntings, and brought in a "government" psychiatrist to try to figure out what was wrong. He was a stereotypical man of his profession. Glasses, beard, unconfident, unlistening, greedy.
"So Leah, can you tell me what is wrong?" he asked in a snivelly voice.
"I don't know, I'm just having bad dreams."
"Like what kind of dreams?"
"The bad kind?" Leah said snottily.
"No, what I mean is what goes on during these dreams of yours?"
"Well, I'm outside the compound, I've just escaped."
"Interesting," he said, jotting down what was supposed to be notes and was probably a doodle or a love note. "Go on."
"And the rest of the Enforcers arrive with the Leader to take me either back into the prison or die trying."
"And how does that go?"
"I strike down all of the Enforcers."
"All of them? From what I hear, it would take extraordinary skill to take them down. What perplexes me more is the fact that you got out of the compound in the first place. How did you manage that?"
"Umm," Leah said, improvising fast. "I don't know, I'm just already outside when my dream starts."
"Okay then. Go on." he said, barely listening.
"Well, as I said, I strike down the rest of the Enforcers, and then the Leader steps forward."
"And the Leader and I fight for quite a while. We are pretty evenly matched, and then we take a break and yell at each other."
"About whether it's right for him to imprison me and the other benders just because of what we can do."
"Why do you feel that way?"
"What do you mean?"
"Why do you feel the way you do about the interests of the BDA?"
"It's not right for them to take away our lives, our friends, families."
"Why do you feel that way?"
"It feels wrong, and I feel..."
"I can understand where you are coming from."
"No you don't."
"You don't know me."
"And you don't know me! So why are you trying to be all buddy-buddy with me and trying to unlock my inner secrets!"
"I'm only trying to help."
"No, you're just like the rest of them! A power-hungry government goon who's only loyal because of the power and money involved! If I didn't know any better, you were one of the ones stalking me all my life! Me and mom!"
"YES! You took her away from me!"
"So that's it then. You're angry at the BDA because of your mother."
"Well Leah, we have been watching your mother since your capture to make sure she didn't put up too much of a search for you."
"You were making sure she didn't look for me?" Leah asked angrily.
"She already thinks you're dead."
"No she doesn't, she still thinks I'm out there! She cares about me!"
"Not anymore Leah."
"You don't know."
"Yes we do Leah. We have been watching Ms. Allison for quite some time."
The therapist turned over to a screen beside him, turning it on to reveal Leah's mother, asleep in bed. After a few moments, Leah showed up on the screen, looking at her sleeping mother through the doorway, before leaving into the hallway.
"That's the night I ran away."
The screen switched to her waking up, going to check on her. Allison quickly realized that she wasn't there, panic flooding her aging features. She called the police for search and rescue, then went outside herself into the receding blizzard. Search and Rescue arrived, sifting through Leah's tracks, before coming to the spot where she was ambushed.
Allison followed behind, looking for anything they could have missed. The lead officer came up to her, pointing off towards the tracks leading into the lake. A sullen expression came to Allison, before being replaced by endless tears and uncontrollable sobbing.
The screen switched again to her talking to the divers, reporting that nothing had been found. Allison bought a coffin anyway, needing something to bury and say goodbye too. The funeral came up, with Allison sitting alone in the front row of the chapel before switching to burying the coffin, Allison watching gravely.
The next few scenes showed her in her bed, crying to herself for what seemed several weeks. Before long though, she lightened up, her happy normal appearance returning. Soon enough, it seemed that nothing was bothering her at all, and no traces of Leah were left in her life.
"Do you see now Leah? She's moved on. You returning would only hurt her more."
Leah moved as if in a dream out of the room to an agent waiting to escort her back. Once she entered her cell, she closed the door behind her, lay face down on the bed and silently sobbed to herself.
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