Aug 16, 2018 10:24 AM
then everything changed
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"Most people don't. Waterbenders are all holed up at the North Pole, firebenders're in the army, ain't no earthbenders 'round these parts any more."

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"Aren't there? Why not?"

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"All rounded up, sent off. Or killed in the fighting. This wasn't always a Fire Nation colony."

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"Oh, I see. What does the factory do?"

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"Mostly helmets, I believe."

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"Maybe."

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"You look like a smart girl, I'm sure you'll figure something out."

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"Thanks." Flip look flip look.

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"So, Eliko, did you finish that scroll?"

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"What did you think?"

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"Sapesh had some interesting ideas, but I don't think he ever got off his mountain and actually talked to, say, a village mayor. He sounded very... pretentious."

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"Pretentious, yes. A good word for him. But, if you look at the structure and not merely the content, it is clear that he spent considerable time formulating his thoughts. Contrast that with Debuki, who may have had his ramblings transcribed directly."

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"I suppose..."

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Pageturn pageturn pageturn. "What did these people write about?"

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"The relation of taxation to the power structure of local government."

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"Huh. What did they think?"

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"Sapesh said that lower taxes would breed trust and allow for more communal government. Debuki says that taxes should be high so people are invested in stability."

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"Huh!" She's still flipping through the dictionary page by page; she can't look up specific words. "Are you studying that kind of thing?"

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"Eliko here is studying a bit of everything. She says school bores her. I try to help out where I can."

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"What's school cover?"

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"Basic things. Reading. Writing. Math. History."

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"Does everybody go?"

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"For how long?"

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