Is it War that we face?

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Is it War that we face?

Post by Naraca on Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:16 am

Adviser Roth

Filling in for the Earth King wasn't easy, his sudden disappearance was starting to cause a small panic among council members. Roth was good at performing the duties of the King, however some of these things required the Kings hand and his alone. Roth along with the rest of the council board members had just finished a meeting to try and figure out what to do in regards to the King disappearance.
They lost contact with his ship, the Southern Water Tribe had confirmed with them that he left the location hours ago. The word was that he was going to the Fire Nation Capital. It was the last place he had gone to before all contact was lost.
Also The Fire Nation was acting border line hostile. They weren't responding to any of the messages sent by the Earth Nation that inquired about the location of the Earth King. In addition there was also a couple reports of Fire Nation soldier hostility from the Water tribe natives that were in different part of the Fire Nation. Surveillance reports confirmed a increase of fortifications and soldiers on the borders of the Fire Nation. It was locked up tight and only supply chains that were native to the Fire Nation were coming in and out. Even Fire Nation natives were leaving the Water Tribes and Air Temples, needless to say it was the same with Earth.
They weren't saying anything and didn't look like they wanted to.
Moles within the Fire Nation were able to report the disturbing evidence of mobilizing troops. It was suspicious, and because of that the Earth Nation had begun prepare themselves for the worst. They doubled the guards and placed all soldiers on active duty. Dai Lee are now secretly patrolling vital points of the Earth Nation and keeping a look out for the worst. Fortifications have begun as well.

Through out it all was a very distraught Adviser that was sitting on his desk and reading some papers when he suddenly found himself staring into space.
A pencil in his hand, his other on the handle of a stamp. Amidst the tight deadlines and the work he found himself staring into space.
Adviser Roth, staring into space, the man who was all about business and the most intelligent and formal of the entire council. Hand picked by Naraca for his gifted brain. He now found himself staring into space...

His eye's blinked underneath his circular glasses and he shook his head slightly before getting back to the equations and reports he was writing. The room was quiet, no radio playing, no talking from outside the door, it was just quiet. Roth didn't like outside noise, he liked for things to be quiet so his mind could focus solely on his task. He didn't know the word boredom and took a rather strange entertainment in his work. However as he wrote he found his normally perfect written words taking a rather dark boldness.
Roth's eye's narrowed at this small detail.
He was pushing the lead of the pencil too hard, he had to be more gentle.
Easing up on his writing he flipped the page over and began writing on the back.
Yes that was much better, his words were perfect again, his writing looked like it was typed on a computer, it was perfectly clear and free of any signs that a human with a human hand had written this.
As he continued to write however, he began to notice the edges of his lettering had a slight fade to them.
His eye's narrowed at the sight just they did before.
He was taking the lead off the paper as he got to the ends of the letters, causing a slight fade as the pressure of the lead on the paper would lighten until it broke contact.
Two errors in one day? That had never happened before...

He leaned back slightly off his desk so he could turn his head to his hand that was holding the green colored pencil.
His eye's went to his knuckles. They were still as ever. He looked to his wrist, it was steady. He looked at his fingers. They had perfect form. He felt confused, what was causing these problems? To anyone else in the world they wouldn't see such little mistakes like this, and even if they did it would be anything they would likely care about. Roth however was used to his perfection when it came to business and all the elements and activities it entailed. So how was this happening?
He knew it was good to take a moment to think about this so he could get back to work without anything weighing on his mind. However he felt anxious at the thought of stopping. So he continued to write anyway. He leaned back down on his desk, and continued to write.

About 10 minutes of work went by before the pencil suddenly broke in his hand and he felt a sharp pain run up his palm.
He gasped slightly and his eye's shot towards his hand. It was red and he had a cut on his palm from the broken pencil. He quickly used his other hand to pull a kleenex from a tissue box and wrapped it around his hand.

Why did the pencil break? Was he squeezing it that hard? He felt strange, this wasn't right. Why was he slipping like this? Even going as far as to break a pencil in his hand without even being aware of the pressure he was putting on it.
This was wrong.
Holding his hand with the tissue he used his legs to push his chair back before standing up and walking around his desk.
The office he was in was a decent size, it was mostly full of filing cabinets and office supplies. He walking over to the window. It looked over the rich district of Ba Sing Sae and was placed on the top floor of one of the many palaces that the Rick district had. This particular palace was mostly for council affairs and Advisers.

Roth had to take a moment, his mistakes were becoming to big, he had to think about what was bothering him.
The first thing that came to his mind was surprisingly not about the Fire Nation, it wasn't about a possible war or any of that.

It was The Earth King...No...Naraca. It was him.

Roth made a fist with his injured hand so he could hold the tissue against his palm.
He used his free hand to straight out his Adviser Robes followed by pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose.
Naraca was on his mind.
Although Roth would almost never show any hint of emotion, he held a strong bond with The King. Before any of this Roth was actually a poor man. He acted the part of being a rich political figure but he had his humble beginnings.
He was a beggar actually, a panhandler, and a great one at that. Roth had a way with words, he was a con man before this. He conned people out of there money and used his way with words to fill his own wallet. That all changed however when Ba Sing Sae was invaded by the former Equalist leader known as Arashi Barnetson.
The monster that held that name used his men and his strange power to overthrow the city of Ba Sing Sae and killed almost everyone there.
At the beginning of the invasion Roth was off trying to con some innocent family out of there money when the Equalists hit.

He remembered running. The coward he was who fought with only his words could do nothing more then run as soldiers carrying steam weapons barged in through the front gate and started gunning down everyone they could see with out mercy. They killed men, women and children alike without discrimination. All of which were however were controlled killings as they were all in tight formations.
Roth could just run as everyone around him was dieing. He didn't where to go, every open doored house that looked moderately secure had an Equalist inside who was searching the place or murdering the occupants inside.
Roth found himself in the middle of the street, just running as fast as he could.

It didn't take long for a squad of Equalists to notice him and stop him. One of the men cut him off in front of him by skillfully throwing a knife into his leg. Roth collapsed on the floor, his clean business clothes which he had stolen now stained with the dirt of the road.
He tried to get up and keep running but his leg was in too much pain, and so was his face once a soldier had rammed there boot into his nose.
Before he knew it he was surrounded by soldiers that all took turns in punching and kicking the con man. They were laughing as they continued the sick form of play.
The sector where Roth was had been completely overrun with Equalists and now they had to move on to the next section. Not before picking a random person to have a little fun with though.
Roth was terrified and in pain. He was in too much pain and his face was too swollen to form intricate words that could perhaps be used to diplomatically save himself from these men. So all he could say was "Please don't kill me!" or "I don't wanna die!" It was only words like this that he could yell as the men began to use there weapons to cut open Roths body and watch him slowly bleed on the road.
They were a couple Ba Sing Sae Earth Bender's that spotted the Equalists and tried to help, however these Equalists just killed them then carried on.

Eventually Roth just stopped begging altogether, having lost hope he just lay there, almost playing dead as his last defense against these men.
The Equalists naturally would just bored of a man who didn't give them any more cries to go laugh at. So they decided they would kill him.
It was only at that moment when Roth was picked up from the ground and had a knife to his throat that he was at peace and waited to die. He closed his eye's and waited for the worst. Yet right as the soldier would have finished the job, he suddenly felt the blade leaving his throat and instead he heard some yelling and war cries. He opened his eye's to witness the one who had saved his life.

It was a large man with long black hair, wielding a massive black sword he used to cut down the Equalist men that had been torturing Roth. He was amazed by his saviors strength and skill as the Equalists were cut down like dogs awaiting slaughter. It looked almost effortless for him.
Roth passed out just moment after however, yet when he woke up he was being carried by the same man that had saved him. Naraca found a safe house where some survivors were hiding and helped Roth inside there. Roth had his wounds patched up and he felt the feeling of having a stomach full of food as well that was provided by the safe house.

He had to stay inside from that point on but it once the threat was cleared and everyone was allowed to return to there homes Roth had heard that the same man who saved him ended up saving Ba Sing Sae.
It was at that moment that Roth had realized how corrupt of a man he was.
He conned people for survival, he did it so that he could live. He only ever took things from others, he never knew the joy of giving, he only took.
Yet it was in that moment that Roth had witnessed a man who could have just passed him by, what with all of the chaos and all of the people in the city that were being killed it would have made sense for Naraca to go on ahead. Yet he didn't. He risked his life for a complete stranger, a con man had someone risk there live for him.
He had never known the joy of being given anything, the word give didn't even really exist in his life. He only took things. Naraca however showed Roth that he was wrong in only taking things, and that if a man who had a whole city to think about took his time to save a lowly con man, then he was a man that Roth wanted to know.

Almost like a fan boy Roth frequently visited Naraca, using the money he had stolen to buy the big man lunch, or just leave gifts by his door.
Roth was smart, he knew he was appearing creepy, but he didn't care. He felt he had to repay the man who saved his life.
Naraca was a good sport about it, he talked to Roth, accepted his gifts and told him about what it meant to give and not take.
Almost like a little boy little boy huddling around a fire and listening to his father tell him stories he listened, and even took note on Naraca's advice. He was so different from Roth, his morality based on putting others before himself was amazing to the con man.
Naraca through out it all saw how smart Roth was, how he remembered everything he told Roth, so once Naraca became King, he knew exactly who to pick as his head Adviser.

Looking out the window, Roth couldn't bare the though of something bad happening to Naraca. Roth knew though something happened, he thought about to himself for a while now and deduced that Naraca was likely being held in custody by the Fire Nation. He was probably injured as well, since no simple jail cell could ever hold the man.

So with that, Roth knew that he was now in charge it was his call on what the Earth Nation should do. However he had to ask himself that one question. Based on everything that was happening. Was it really War that we Face?

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Naraca
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Re: Is it War that we face?

Post by Naraca on Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:09 am

Adviser Roth

Although it's been only two years, it feels like it's Roth has been Head Adviser for forever. Right during the time when Naraca was to take the throne he found himself nervous. So nervous that he went to the man who had visited him almost everyday day: Roth.
Roth himself didn't know much about royalty, although he knew how to do business and remain formal he knew almost nothing of politics. However Naraca knew that as well, Roth himself had told him that when Naraca requested that Roth become Head Adviser. However Naraca said he wasn't looking for a man who knew politics, he said he wanted Roth because he was his friend.
Being a poor con man Roth was adaptable and resourceful, Naraca knew this as well. He wanted a friend that he could share the learning experience with. Both of them became students, the previous Earth Kings Adviser taught Roth, while the council members taught Naraca about being King.
Roth learned things rather quickly, it didn't take him long to learn the concept of what it meant to be a political adviser while at the same time adding in his new found morality that Naraca had showed him. Roth took his job very seriously, becoming a very calculating man with a faint cold demeanor. Although he still had the same warmth in his heart that he does today, his job came with having to appear a little harsh from time to time and making tough decisions.
Such as his time with openly yelling out to Naraca and The Avatar that the Avatar parents might be dead. He knew the pain of such a thing was great on her, yet as Adviser he knew he had to do it to gauge The Avatar based on her reaction, and also to bring her and the Naraca together.

Yes, although it seems it's taken a turn for the worst Roth wanted Naraca and Kiara to go to the Southern Water Tribe together.
He did foresee this event though...Things going the way they did with Naraca and her being captured.

Maybe that was why Roth stood here now, looking out the window due to a preoccupied mind and a stomach filled with worry.
He was the one that started this chain of events, telling Naraca and Kiara about what happened. Of course Naraca would want to go, he had such a heavy desire for travel just after a year of being King. The chances of the fire nation being involved were high as well, so naturally Naraca would feel compelled to go there as well. As flawed as he was for going there on his own Roth knew he would do it. He's only been King for two years, like or not he still had the mind of a warrior, of a beast, of a nomad, of a hero. Roth knew this would all happen by his simple announcement.
So was it his fault? By calculations, no it wasn't. Naraca was mostly to blame, his actions caused him to get caught, what he should have done was traveled back to Ba Sing Sae in order to make proper arrangements for a neutral meeting with the Fire Lord. Not some hasty travel right on his door step that was surrounded by loyal guard dogs.
Roth knew this, but his feelings felt differently. He felt he could have just simply told Naraca in private about what happened, then talked to him about solving this properly. He didn't take full blame on himself, Naraca was a tenacious one. Yet Roth directed his tenacity. So now he had to think: Do you blame a dog for chasing a car until he gets hit and dies? Or do you blame the owner for letting go of the leash?

Roth pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, he turned around to go back to his desk to view his report. The entire thing was finished, all he was really writing in were extra details, yet it was substantial.
Only a moment afterwards was there a knock on the door.
"Come in" Roth said out loud in a controlled and proper voice with a posh undertone.
The door opened followed by the appearance of a bearded old man walking.
"Are the reports ready?" The old man asked with a slight rasp.
"Yes councilmen I have all the files right here" Roth replied before walking over to his desk and sorting out the papers in perfect order before neatly stacking them then walking over to the councilmen to hand them to him.
As he handed them to him, the councilmen took the papers while noting the tissue that was wrapped around Roth's hand.
"Is your hand okay?" The old man asked as he motioned his head to Roth's hand.
Roth handed him the papers before lifting his hands up to his chest and placing his fingers on his injured hand.
"Oh it's nothing, a small accident that's all" He replied with a smile to the councilmen.
The old man looked at his hand for a second before bowing his head to the Head Adviser.
"Very well, the rest of the council will be in the board room in ten minutes...You'll need to think about this so that's the most time we can offer you" The councilmen told Roth in a voice that was formal at first before the pause in which case it then took a sour and grim turn.
Roth nodded his head and bowed back respectfully.
"Thank you councilmen, I'll see you in the boardroom" He said with no emotional change in his voice, appearing unphased by the old man's voice.
The old man nodded his head with a bow again before turning around and leaving.

Roth closed the door, his injured hand holding the door knob. He felt pain run up his arm and he tightly squeezed the door knob. He took a deep breath before suddenly jerking his hand away and letting go.
"Damn it..." He mumbled to himself before placing his hands on the door and leaning against it with his head handing down.
Prior to being in his office he was in the board room talking about what the Fire Nation was doing and the evidence that they were preparing for war. They covered the Earth Kings missing whereabouts and that the Fire Nation might have been holding him captive or killed him.
That was where Roth had come from, the report he was writing was all the evidence that was uncovered, he wrote the reports himself as well as what happened in the board room.
So now Roth had ten minutes before he would have to walk in that board room again. Why? Well based on all the evidence, the Fire Nation was prepping for war and the Earth Nation couldn't exactly just go about life like normal only to be taken by surprise.
If the Fire Nation was prepping for war, then it was only natural that the Earth Nation prepare for war as well. Since trying to contact the Fire Lord and failed and all Earth Nation residents of the Fire Nation have been getting kicked out, the decision of either prepping for war or to keep trying to solve things diplomatically despite it's continuous failure was now up to The Earth Kings second in command. Adviser Roth.

He found himself scared at the thought of having to issue such and order. If the Earth Nation began to prepare for war, then there was no doubt that the Fire Nation was respond, maybe even violently. Once the Earth Nation would begin preparations, there would be no turning back, no way out of it. They would begin a war that would signal the end of a peace that was fought so hardly for by all the men and women of the generation before ours.
Avatar Aang's death, Fire Lord Zuko's death, the peace they worked so hard for, it would all be for nothing. Roth would be the one that would have to make the order that would begin a war. It was either that, or stay trying to diplomatic and risk the lives of billions of people by being unprepared for the Fire Nation's attack.
The councilmen was right, Roth needed those ten minutes to think about what to do. This pressure was so powerful.
He took a deep breath before opening the door and quickly walking out of his office to go outside.

He needed time to think about this. He had to process all other possibility's, all the avenues that his decisions would lead to. In ten minutes he would have to decide what could possibly be the fate of the world.

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Naraca
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Re: Is it War that we face?

Post by Naraca on Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:18 am

Adviser Roth

Ten minutes...It was far too short. Time would just feel like it would pass by in just a second. Roth tried not to look at his watch though. He didn't even turn to face the palace. He couldn't right now, his mind was on it and it's events more then enough.
It was turning into the evening, the orange sun partially covered by clouds it slowly descended further down into the moutains that were far ahead and passed the Ba Sing Sae walls.
Roth calmly sat on a bench that was at the apex of a large hill that had the Earth Nation flag right on top of it. Anyone far away from Ba Sing Sae would be able to see the flag, anyone in Ba Sing Sae could see it very clearly. There was a couple bench's that were in a line on the top of the hill. Roth sat on the one in the middle as he watched the sun set. It was gonna go out of site pretty soon. He was able to cauculate that by the time it was fully blocked, his ten minutes would be up.
As he remained he knew he had so much think about, where would he start? Would childhood memories help him? Perhaps Naraca's teaching of morality? He wasn't sure where to go with it.

Maybe he didn't need to go anywhere he thought, maybe for once he should just stop doing all this thinking. Maybe he just needed to go blank, clear his head, instead of fill it with more thoughts.

In the distance, because this hill was so high he could see the city of Ba Sing Sae. It was huge and expanded for miles.
It wasn't very long ago that he prowled those very streets, looking for gullible or rich people with full wallets and small brains. Or he putting together operations with a team of people to make a better profit on crime. He even recalled a few robbery's he pulled off once upon a time.
"A man's gotta eat" he would tell himself or others. With all the crime he did though he did get money for it, lived in a decent house that belonged to a gang that he controlled. However he still always called himself a poor man, he always did. Even before Naraca Roth always believed that your not truly rich until you can smile without any money in your wallet or food in your belly. At the time he didn't have that, he needed money to be happy, he needed food to feel full. Deprive him of those gifts and took away he happiness. At least that's how it was back then. It was something aspired to though, back then he wondered what it was like to be blissfully poor.
How could one ever expereince such joy despite having no joys around them? Roth couldn't understand it at the time, despite how smart he was.

He knew those streets rather well. His eye's looked towards one of the many parks, because he was so far it looked like he was witnessing ants playing in the park, going down the slides, playing on the swings, trying to catch each other in a game of tag.
He couldn't see there faces, but he knew how they looked.
Smiles, laughter, the joy on there faces.
The parents who worked so hard to raise them, who cared for them every step of the way.
Could Roth bear the thought of being the one responsible for this?
It wasn't his fault though right? The Fire Nation started this not him. However that brought up the question of if war would be the right call. Should they continue to try settling things peacefully and diplomatically? Sure the Fire Nation wasn't responding to any of there calls, but certainly they would come to there senses and at least give a reason why right?
Roth knew better then that, based on what the Fire Nation was doing, there would be no changing there mind once the entire country had made that decision. So what was there left to do? What could he do?
Any actions taken by fortifying defenses or sending in agents to investigate despite Fire Nation order for all other Nations to leave will be an act of war. Perhaps a Cold War at first, but a war nevertheless.

It seemed like no matter what war was inevitable, the most that could be done is just having two Nations at gun point on each other, but hopefully just ensure that the triggers aren't pulled. He wished that he could avoid having them even get to this point, but to not prepare and have the chance that the Fire Nation could attack with the Earth Nations back turned was too great. They had to take some sort of defensive position.
That was what weighed on Roth's heart though.
These things can escalate, and the chances of this escalating into a war due to The Fire Nations response of The Earth Nation taking up defenses could happen. Then Roth would feel almost forced to hold himself accountable. Would at least one person ask "Why did you give that order? Why couldn't you wait for the King to return?"

The sun was almost set, only a small line of it remained. Roth took a deep breath through his nose, he was gonna get up to go to the board room any second now.
He leaned forward, placing his elbows on his knees and letting his head hang to the floor, causing his glasses to slide down to the edge of his nose and rest on the tip.

"What would you do now...?" Roth asked himself quietly, referring to Naraca as he wished he could ask Naraca right now.
It was funny almost, the Head Adviser asking the King for advice.
Roth knew that he had no choice but to take up defensive measures and send recon units, however the question was not a matter of Roth's logically, but it was morally. Naraca would always do his best to make the choices that were morally right, and Roth would make them logically right. Yet take away the morality from logic, then you had only the decisions of a lifeless robot.
Roth needed Naraca right now, at the very least the man would be able to tell Roth with his own words that this was the right thing to do.

The sun had completely set, the Adviser didn't need to look up, he felt the chill in the air as the last bit of sun was was blocked.
He got up to his feet, turned to the palace, and walked.
His face however still looked uncertain, his eye's shifted from one side to the other, his mind still conflicted.
The walk would be brief, but it granted him a percise two minutes and fourteen seconds before he would have to come to his decision.

In those two minutes, he did his best to clear his mind and think of nothing at all.
In the end, his heart knew what would be right. So now since his brain had only been able to figure out the facts, his heart would now come to a decision.

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Naraca
Earth King

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