|More from Twilitlink||Adventure||G||None||None|
|War is Kind|
Genesis walked through what was a battlefield, now it was just a plain full of bodies. The young energybender had trouble telling what body belonged to what nation. The only ones he could recognize beyond a shadow of a doubt were the Air Nomads, and that was because of their arrow tattoos. Genesis started searching for survivors, hopeful that if he found one he could get directions to the next town.
While he searched Genesis found one body of an Air Nomad that was impaled with at least five spears. Turning away to vomit from both the sight and smell, Genesis found himself staring into the blank dead eyes of a young boy with a cut open throat.
Takeshi ducked under a broadsword as it arced above his scalp and jammed the end of his staff into his attacker's chest. Moments before the staff connects a small blade of air protrudes from the tip and stabs into his enemy. Then the small blade becomes a mighty gale that shreds the organs of its victim. It was the creation of this attack that had earned Takeshi his tattoos and master status. While the elders had seen this airbending move as too offensive for their peaceful people to use, which Takeshi agreed with, they had seen it's practicality on the battlefield.
Takeshi began spinning his staff in complicated patterns while having the small wind blades extend from each side, creating both a dangerous offense and near impenetrable defense. The more Takeshi fought, the more he killed, the more he killed, the less he felt, the less he felt, the more he hated himself. Stopping his staff halfway through its rotation cycle, Takeshi spun around prepared to kill his attacker. His staff stopped completely though when his eyes met that of a young boy, no older than 14. The child's hands trembled as he shakily held his spear as if to ward off Takeshi like he were a demon. Takeshi backed away slowly, horrified at the concept killing a child. Trying to forget about it he turned and stepped toward an earthbender who was decimating his comrades. Before he could attack however he felt something plunge into his back. Takeshi looked down at his chest to see the tip of a spear protruding from his chest.
Taking his gaze from the spear sticking out of his chest, Takeshi turns his head and found himself looking into the 14-year-old boy's terrified eyes. The child had tears streaming down his cheeks as he backed away and looked at the blood that had stained his hands. Takeshi barely noticed the boy's throat be sliced open by a passing waterbender as more spears were plunged into his body. Takeshi fell to his knees as he took in his last sight, four Fire Nation soldiers letting go of their spears and conjuring fire in their hands.
Genesis tore away from the boy's lifeless eyes and continued his search. As he was turning over the body of a Water Tribe soldier, he heard a faint cough in the distance. Genesis rushed over to find a young Earth Kingdom soldier lying on his back with dried blood caked around his mouth.
"Are you the enemy?" he coughed out between forced breaths.
"I'm neutral." Genesis said attempting to help him sit up. "Although you don't look like you're in a position to be picky."
"True enough I guess." The soldier agreed, grunting in pain. "Could you help me get home? It's not far."
Guessing this would likely be the soldier's last request, Genesis helped him to his feet. "Sure I was heading there anyway."
"Name's Jei by the way." The soldier grunted as he forced his first step.
Genesis and Jei limped into Jei's town three hours later. Within moments of arriving at the town entrance essentially the entire town had come from their homes and surrounded them. Of the entire population that came out only two had rushed up to Genesis and Jei. One was a young woman who profusely kissed Jei between her sobs as they laid him on the ground. The other was an older woman who held Jei close to her as she stroked his blood caked hair and tried to clean the blood from his face.
Genesis watched as Jei's girlfriend and mother wept over their dying loved one.
"I'm sorry Mom." Jei whispered "I tried."
"It's okay baby." Jei's mother lied as she forced a comforting smile. "You'll be okay."
Jei smiled at his mother before turning to his weeping girlfriend.
"Guess the wedding's gonna be postponed a bit." Jei joked as he placed his hand on her tear soaked cheek. Jei's fiancé grabbed his hand and brought it to her lips. The three were silent for several minutes as Genesis and the crowd looked on with pitying eyes.
"Everyone here has probably lost someone in this war." Genesis correctly thought as he prepared to leave.
"Genesis." Jei muttered just loud enough for him to hear. Genesis turned to the dying man and knelt beside him. "Thank you." Jei weakly turned his head and looked into the sky, "Goodbye." And he passed on.
As Choy walked up a giant hill his thoughts turned to his awakening on a bed in the medical building.
"Talk about awkward." Choy muttered as he neared the top. It was one thing to wake up not wearing clothes when you yourself took them off, it was another when you knew for a fact you were wearing them when you passed out. After getting dressed and grabbing his equipment Choy rushed out of there before Lynx returned from wherever she was, avoid several awkward comments. "How can she still be alive? I saw her die myself."
Choy pondered this greatly as he reached the hills peak.
"Whoa." He breathed seeing the carnage of a relatively fresh battlefield. Choy looked at the carnage of the field and immediately saw the battle unfold.
The Fire/Earth forces waited in the sun while the while the Water/Air soldiers began their charge. Once they saw the airbenders take flight the earthbenders launched their attack. As several boulders were thrown into their ranks, the waterbenders stayed true to their element as gracefully maneuvered around them. Once the forces met chaos ensued, any sense of honor and dignity was replaced by one thing. The will to survive at all costs.
As Choy moved throughout the field he took in every sight and investigated almost every disturbance.
Hundreds died in minutes, several were mutilated beyond recognition. As a lone airbender slaughtered his way through the enemy ranks, forgoing his peaceful creed, until he was struck down by several spearmen.
It wasn't until nightfall that Choy found what he sought. A blank spot on the field where there should've been a body.
Two Earth Kingdom soldiers stood back to back as they decimated the waves of soldiers coming at them. Their hammers crushed the skulls and bones of their enemies. An airbender slipped through their defenses and struck the older of the two down. The younger one screamed in anger as he drove his hammer into the airbender's skull, turning his brain into paste.
"Father?" the young soldier said holding his father in his arms.
"Good bye Jei." The father said before moving on. Rage took over.
Jei grabbed his father's hammer and charged through the enemy ranks. The enraged son ignored every blow that was dealt to him and returned ten fold. But soon he too succumbed to his wounds and he fell.
Hours later Jei found himself looking into the eyes of a seventeen-year-old boy. After a short exchange of words the boy helped Jei to his feet and helped him get home.
Choy looked from the disturbed spot and saw two pairs of tracks heading off toward the next town.
"I have a feeling I'll be interrupting a funeral." Choy said before muttering, "War is cruel."
The title and theme of this chapter were inspired by the poem War is Kind
Twilitlink spent many months thinking about what make this chapter. He knew from the get go that the chapter had to be tragic. That in mind the author decided to heavily base it off the poem War is Kind written during the Civil War. Several sections of the chapter took a great deal of inspriation from several stanzas of the poem.
The italicized portions of the story tell the tale of the battle and were heavily influenced by several portions in the poem where it tells what has happened to various people throughout the battles. This would also be the first time Twilitlink has used flash backs as a means of telling a story rather than it happening to the main characters themselves.
The part of the chapter where Jei's mother and fiance weep over him as he dies was directly taken from the first and last stanza of the poem. Twilitlink chose to end the chapter with Choy, who has plenty of expeirence in war, utter the true nature of war and battle, "War is cruel."
The chapter has been very well received by the communitee. It has been called amazing and a great chapter by Avatar. Flash claimed that this chapter has, "quickly bitch-slapped me across the face, spun me around, and showed me a true revelation." and that it has made him a much stricter follower of the series. For full reviews please refer to the talk page., and
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Last Energybender chapters|
|Peace is Fleeting - The Sanctuary - The Recruiters - Crystal Night - The Firebender - War is Kind - Fear - The Companion - Escape|