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1
Misc. Topics and Games / Re: SHOUT!
« Last post by wherewulf on Today at 12:18:46 AM »
July 4th.  I feel like we're under frickin' bombardment.

Hey, when the heck did our house get turned into mother-lovin' Fort McHenry?!?
2
Avatar Fan Fiction / Re: Bonds VIII: Sparks [K+] (7/3)
« Last post by Av on July 04, 2015, 10:16:45 PM »
It's been months, yet the instant I started the chapter the entire story flooded back into my mind. That's a great sign. The writing is strong, crisp, and easy to read through at a brisk and engaging pace. I'm intrigued to see who her friend is. I'm also still wondering where this is all going, and I'm hoping you won't let me down!
3
Television and Movies / Re: TV/Movies that Inspired YOU
« Last post by Die.Toets on July 04, 2015, 08:40:42 PM »
Interesting guys. Very interesting. ^^
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Avatar Fan Fiction / Re: Bonds VIII: Sparks [K+] (7/3)
« Last post by wherewulf on July 03, 2015, 10:57:55 AM »
I'd like to apologize for the ridiculously long hiatus, and Av, I'm sorry you had to wait so long for the next chapter.  I did have taxes to get done, but I also thought about how where this story was going and how parts of it didn't fit.  Then plotbunnies bit, and the story was in parts all over the floor, and... well, here we are.  July.

Bother.

That last part, Av, I completely agree I could have written better; at least the ending of it.  It doesn't really reflect what Lin revealed to us in Season 4 about her relationship with Toph.  That part could have used a bit more work, and I'm sorry I didn't do it.  Too much of a rush to get this out the door.

About the missing quotation mark: maybe I'm wrong, but but if it's the one I'm thinking of, I've seen usage where if a character is still speaking, the author used just open quotation marks until the character was finally done, then used a close-quotation mark.  I stopped using that, though, because it... does feel a little sloppy.

So, now that I've waited four months to bring out the next part, I hope it goes over well.  Thanks again for reading, everyone.



Bonds VIII: Sparks

Trying to be clever when you’ve had trouble doing that your entire life was a challenge.

Trying to do that when your home was in danger of imminent attack was ridiculous.

Lin felt like banging her head on her desk.

I’m about as clever as a box of rocks.  And about as subtle, too.

She slowly looked across the landscape of her desk at all the notes she had made, not seeing very many connections between them all.  She felt exasperated.  I suppose Uncle Aang or Great Sokka could compose a great sweeping master plan out of this, but not me.

So how did they do it?  How did
he do it?

She thought back.

He used to have these grand, elaborate plans, Great Sokka did—which someone always made him trim back.  A slight smile.  Auntie Katara, mainly.  And the plans came from all over, too: some formed from his experience, others… forged from sudden bolts of revelation and genius.  Just out of the blue.

Another scowl at her notes.

So what would he do with all this?

She sat there a moment—then looked to the side at the wastepaper basket.

It was tempting.

Yes—he did a lot of that, too.

o o o

In the middle of another Republic City Council meeting, the Fire Nation Councilwoman sighed.  “Tenzin, why are you foisting this ‘prisoner rehabilitation’ program of yours on us again?”

“Prisoner repatriation program, Councilwoman,” Tenzin answered matter-of-factly.  “And the answer is because the problem is still there.  The people from the Dragon Flats Borough are still in jail, and nothing’s been done about—”

“On the contrary, Councilman.”  The Northern Water Tribe Councilwoman looked at him coolly.  “Something was done about them, several months ago: they were incarcerated.  This matter has been disposed of.”

Disposed of?  First of all, Councilwoman, this matter has hardly been disposed of as they are still there and nothing’s been done about them.”  Disbelief fueled Tenzin’s disgust.  “And second, did you really hear what you just said?  The main crime the vast majority of these people are guilty of is coming out of their houses when the power went out and raising their voices about it—something all of us would have done had we been in their place.  To say that these people are disposed of—”

They—are—Equalists and they’re in the place where they belong!” said the Councilwoman angrily.  “They broke the law!  Where else are they supposed to be besides jail?”

“They broke a law that was specifically designed to keep nonbenders from coming into the streets,” Tenzin said intensely.  “A law, I remind you,” he held a finger up to them all in turn,” that was written by Councilman Tarrlok, that was prosecuted by Tarrlok, and that produced the result that Tarrlok wanted: making nonbenders look like they were in revolt, when all they really wanted was—”

“To protest the power being cut, yes, I know.  You’ve said that.”

Tenzin spread his arms.  “And how is protesting an illegal offense?  That is something that goes to the very heart of our traditions in this—”

“It’s an illegal offense, Tenzin, when they come out to protest after curfew and in violation of the law!

“Which Tarrlok wrote to create that very result!”

“Tenzin, really.”  The Fire Councilwoman leaned forward, trying to placate him.  “They could have just stayed in their homes.”

“Would you, Councilwoman?”  Lin wished she had a camera; the disdain in Tenzin’s answering look was that withering.  “Would you have sat there and taken it, when you knew something was wrong?  Isn’t that what we’re asking them to do?  To sit there and trust us because we know better?  Isn’t that patronizing at best?”

“But we do know better, Tenzin,” said the Fire Councilwoman.  “We sit on this council as representatives of the Four Nations in Republic City.  We are as well-informed as we can be, and much better than the average citizen.  They should let us do what is best for them.”

“I can’t believe you just said that.  So they should trust us to do what is best for them?

“Well, yes.”

“Then why aren’t we doing something to help the citizens of Republic City that we have inadvertently stuck in jail because of something that a clearly corrupt Councilman has done?”

A collective sigh went up from the others.  The Earth Councilman raised his hands to Tenzin.  “Tenzin, you do understand that they fought a war against us.”

Tenzin was still righteously burning.  “Do we have to go through that again, Councilman?  I thought I’d explained…”

Lin drifted out of the meeting at about that point.  The others kept going around and around and around and around about the issues, and Tenzin could make no headway or gain any sympathy from any of them.  Every logical point he tried to make was denied, any spark of empathy he tried to create was smothered.  Yet to his everlasting credit, he wouldn’t give up.

“How can we claim this is fair?” he exclaimed.  “Where is the justice in this situation?  When we won’t look back and examine what happened when the war is over, and with clear eyes honestly look at what we’ve done?”

“These criminals fought a war against us,” said the Northern Water Tribeswoman, more quietly but no less intently.  “There is no justice in this situation because it doesn’t apply.  They decided benders were bad, they decided they wanted to fight a war, and this is where it got them.  I have no qualms about condemning enemies.”

“But they’re not our enemies, Councilwoman,” said Tenzin.  “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you!  They don’t want to be.  They’ve been locked up by an unjust law, and they don’t want to be where they are.  They don’t want to fight us.”

“It’s understandable they don’t want to be where they are,” the Fire Councilwoman said, laughing.  “What criminal wants to be in jail?”

“But they’re not—criminals.”  Tenzin straightened.  “By the definition of Tarrlok’s law, yes, they are.  But look at the situation!  All they did was come outside.  Someone cut the power to spark all this, and then they’re responsible for doing what any normal person would do?  Come outside in response?  Where’s the justice in that?”

“If they had not come out as a mob, we wouldn’t be having this discussion,” the Northern Water Tribeswoman said coolly.  “And who’s to say the Equalists didn’t cut the power?  Wouldn’t that benefit them?”

Now it was Tenzin’s turn to sigh.  He rubbed his face, then looked at them all.  “I will tell all of you now: if we do not do something about this situation, then the Equalists, assuming they’re still out there, will turn this to their advantage.  If the people of the Dragon Flats Borough do not receive justice, then there will be no peace.”

The Northern Water Tribeswoman laughed.  “So let’s do this because the Equalists will attack if we don’t!  Wonderful!  Isn’t that just what they want us to do?”

Tenzin’s face went volcanic red, marking the start of another few rounds of the political merry-go-round—which by now Lin was thoroughly sick of.

o o o

Lin walked back to her office with a heavy heart.  It wasn’t just that watching the meeting first-hand like this was pointless—it was also knowing that any action in Council to help the nonbenders of the city could and would be turned into one more fear-filled brouhaha.  As well as the fact that the Equalists were indeed out there.

Tenzin said it right, though, she thought to herself.  I know it myself for a fact: if the people of the Dragon Flats Borough don’t receive justice, the Equalists will give us no peace.

The voice of the Northern Water Tribe Councilwoman rang in her ears, too. “So let’s let all the prisoners go because the Equalists will attack if we don’t!  Wonderful!  Isn’t that just what they want us to do?”

Lin screwed up her face at that.  Never mind that Tenzin wants to process all the prisoners and let only those go that we know won’t come back at us, no… we’re still doing what the Equalists want us to do, according to her.  Never mind the fact that they were all made guilty by Tarrlok’s law, friend or foe.  And somehow that’s justice to her.

That word kept ringing out, though.  Justice.

Lin sat at her desk once more.  And thought.

Justice.

And scowled.

This situation is as unjust as they come.  It is not the fault of those people that they’re in prison right now; it’s Tarrlok’s.  He deliberately wrote this law so that any nonbender who was out after dark would be in violation of it, regardless of circumstance.  And, naturally, when the power went out, he just happened to be on the spot with his Task Force and my Metalbenders to enforce the law.  Not the least bit suspicious at all.

That, however, sparked a thought.

She crossed her arms and tapped her lip with a finger.

Now, who would know how the power had been cut?  And what if that, too, happens to be… suspicious?  What would the logical result be?

A small, predatory smile.

I think I just found a lead.

o o o

Unfortunately the lead quickly resulted in a dead end.  Lin checked the records at the power company and found nothing.  There were no records that clearly indicated what had happened, only that power had been lost shortly before the incident in the Dragon Flats Borough and that it had been restored soon after.  The people responsible for creating those records and for reporting and repairing any power outage that night were nowhere to be found; they were either killed during the Equalist attacks or were no longer in the City.  Tarrlok had been very thorough.

Combined with the other facts involved, it still was very suspicious—not clear-cut enough to allow for immediate action, but still enough to cast reasonable doubt on the situation for any normal, reasonable person.

Normal, reasonable people not influenced by the Council’s nonbender paranoia, anyway.

Lin stood there at the power company’s offices and seethed with frustration.

And then, unbidden…

Say, Chief?  About the non-benders from the Dragon Flats Borough, the night they cut the power: if you know they’re not Equalists, why do you keep them locked up here?  You could let them go—you have the authority!

Lin growled.  Sato!  Where did that thought come from?  Because I don’t want to undercut the Council, that’s why!  Because if I did that—

Her usual mental answer about Equalists, anarchy, and all the other dangers of not standing with the Council slipped into place.  And then fell out.

If I don’t stand with the Council—

When the Council is clearly in the wrong—

When they were wrong to put the people from Dragon Flats in jail in the first place—

When the corruption of the man who led that effort is so clear—in addition to the fact that he’s
gone and fled, more evidence that something’s not right—

When the Council is wrong to continue to keep them there—


Tenzin’s righteous, furious, futile assault on the Council’s conscience came to Lin’s mind.

When it’s clear the Council will never let them go, no matter how much it’s demonstrated to them in cold, hard fact that this is wrong—

—Do I have the authority?


To accept Sato’s say-so on the subject without question would have been foolish, so Lin went to the City’s main law library and checked the codes and the law herself.  And after a good amount of dusty research…

I can.

She straightened at the desk where she had been examining the law books.

At the very least there are several instances where the arresting officer’s warrant has been countermanded with reasonable proof.  And there’s certainly plenty of that.

Then a new thought struck her.  Lin looked up from the dusty tomes on the research desk in front of her, concerned.

But if I did this, by myself, it would be just me proclaiming to the City what I thought.  The Council could easily just brand me an Equalist conspirator, kick me out, and keep the Dragon Flats people in prison.  But who else would help me?

Sitting there with the weight of Republic City law and history around her and no company except for the lawbooks and the motes in the air, she felt very alone.

Who else could help me?

Then… almost if the motes in the air themselves were talking…

Have you thought about asking your friends, silly?

Lin, still alone, relaxed and smiled.  Uncle Sokka.

She listened, wondering if her memory would suggest more of what he had said… but no specific event came to mind.

She did remember, though, how often what Uncle Sokka did caused things to be better—for herself.  For others.  For the City itself.

So Uncle Sokka thinks I should ask my friends.

Tenzin’s already involved.  Korra…
  She shook her head briskly.  Not in a million years.

Saikhan…


She closed her eyes.  A slow headshake.  I would have asked.  Once.

So who else…


She thought.

Then she smiled.

I think I know who to ask.

She left the law library.
5
Comics and Graphic Novels / Re: Gunnerkrigg Court
« Last post by Crystle on July 03, 2015, 09:10:24 AM »
Yeah. They look angry,  too... sigh.
6
Comics and Graphic Novels / Re: Gunnerkrigg Court
« Last post by Av on July 03, 2015, 07:02:09 AM »
... That fire spirit looks like it's in so much pain.
7
Comics and Graphic Novels / Re: Gunnerkrigg Court
« Last post by wherewulf on July 01, 2015, 05:42:08 PM »
Pretty excited for this chapter!

Also the idea that Tom is literally the one making Rey do silly stuff is both amusing and likely correct. Or it's Tea and her mysterious nature and very possible love of puppies in ties.

Yes.

Yes.

And yes.  :D

I like the idea of Rey talking back to Tom better, tho.

I never really thought about how this page seems to take place in this strange alternate universe where Rey is aware of and breaking the fourth wall and can communicate directly with the audience in a way that hasn't been displayed since Annie stopped providing narration in Chapter 15 or so.

Within this version of reality, who gave Puppy Renard that rose and bowtie?

Are we to assume this page provides Rey with direct communication with Tom, and thus he's aware of Tom's meddling and his annoyance is fueled by being condescended to, is it also an anger as to what's being done to him and his friends on a grander scale by Tom as the writer, or is it a disturbing timeline wherein Anthony is playing dress up with his daughter's plush toy inhabited by the demon that he's imprisoned in his home?

(click to show/hide)

And no.  XD  But boy, if Anthony could do anything to make him talk...  XDD
8
Comics and Graphic Novels / Re: Gunnerkrigg Court
« Last post by Crystle on July 01, 2015, 09:24:33 AM »
Pretty excited for this chapter!

Also the idea that Tom is literally the one making Rey do silly stuff is both amusing and likely correct. Or it's Tea and her mysterious nature and very possible love of puppies in ties.
9
Comics and Graphic Novels / Re: Gunnerkrigg Court
« Last post by Av on June 30, 2015, 11:15:05 PM »
I never really thought about how this page seems to take place in this strange alternate universe where Rey is aware of and breaking the fourth wall and can communicate directly with the audience in a way that hasn't been displayed since Annie stopped providing narration in Chapter 15 or so.

Within this version of reality, who gave Puppy Renard that rose and bowtie?

Are we to assume this page provides Rey with direct communication with Tom, and thus he's aware of Tom's meddling and his annoyance is fueled by being condescended to, is it also an anger as to what's being done to him and his friends on a grander scale by Tom as the writer, or is it a disturbing timeline wherein Anthony is playing dress up with his daughter's plush toy inhabited by the demon that he's imprisoned in his home?

(click to show/hide)
10
Comics and Graphic Novels / Re: Gunnerkrigg Court
« Last post by wherewulf on June 30, 2015, 10:10:15 PM »
Or stuck down by the river.

I know.  I just liked him, and wouldn't have minded seeing more of him.  I'm happy he had a good ending in this world; I just wish he was still in it.
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