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13 October 2018 — As the leaves fade to crisp reds and yellows in Fall of 172 AG, the RCPD is no closer to finding the party responsible for the death of the Reformist activist. Is the RCPD taking sides? It seems only a matter of time before the city is in open turmoil … Read More.

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Republic City Census

There are 003 Firebenders, 003 Earthbenders, 004 Waterbenders, 002 Airbenders, 002 Nonbenders, and 003 Plot NPCs living in Republic City.
Of these citizens, there are 006 Reformists and 008 Traditionalists.

Leaf-wilting Wind

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Never one to romanticise the past, Charumati rubbed her hands together and blew gently on them, trying her best to regain feeling in her fingertips as she silently cursed the building's lack of heat. The Republic City Times building was one of the oldest buildings in the city, and as such it lacked many modern-day conveniences to which Charumati had grown accustomed — such as radiators.

Sure, some people had radiators — her editor was one of them — but overall the rest of the Times staff had to make due with bundling up for warmth. Still, Charu supposed at least for now she should be grateful that it was only autumn. The wind had begun to bite but she had yet to try and defrost her typewriter ink. Thank the Spirits for small blessings, or something like that.

Accepting her lunch tray (curry bread rolls fried in panko, miso soup, and a small offering of matcha cookies) with fingertips still feeling a little numb, scanned the lunchroom to see if there was a table without any other occupants. Unfortunately all the tables had been taken, but she did spy one table occupied by the person she would be least bothered to dine with: Akane.

She made her way to the table and set her tray down with a small half-wave to let Akane know she was there. "Hello," she said in her soft way. "Mind if I sit?"

It wasn't really a question, since all the other tables were occupied and Charumati much prefered to sit alone, but it was the polite thing to say — at least, to keep up appearances.
Akane sat at her table, pulling her jacket around her. It was freezing in here, and she hated it. A few more months and it would be even colder. So, she would wear warm clothes because it was her job, and she enjoyed her job. Even if the building was going to freeze her to death one of these days. She had found an empty table to sit it and had just begun to dig into her food when another tray sat itself down opposite her, accompanied by a familiar voice. She looked up to see Charumati, asking if she could sit. Of course, all the other tables were full. She knew how the older woman hated sitting other people. She seemed to either dine alone or dine with her - at least far as she could see.

Akane gestured to the stop opposite her. "Of course," she said. Despite their differences in opinion - to put it mildly - she didn't mind her company. It was always interesting. There were worse people she could eat with him, all things considered. She would rather it was Charumati than anyone else. "Lovely weather in this building, isn't it? Can't wait for winter."

She didn't miss the sarcasm from Akane's voice when she waxed on about the lovely weather. Charu gave a little chuckle. "Indeed. At least I haven't needed to unstick the keys on my typewriter yet, or unfreeze my ink ribbons."

Just then her editor passed by their table with a small nod in Charumati's direction; Charu waited until he was out of earshot before leaning in conspiratorially. "You know, he has his own private radiator. His office is incredibly comfortable — I saw him actually take off his coat, can you imagine?"

She helped herself to the curry bun, revelling in the warmth as she bit into its steaming hot centre. It was just spicy enough to heat up her cheeks without making her burst into tears, so that made it perfect. Her fingertips were also starting to warm up from holding the freshly baked bun.

The cafeteria was, thankfully, not as draughty as the rest of the office building despite its larger size. Perhaps it was because of all the people in it, or the stoves and ovens giving off blessed heat. Either way, Charumati soon felt a comfortable temperature. It wasn't quite enough to slip off her coat and gloves, but she didn't quite feel the sting of the cold autumn air.

"Do you ever think about taking a vacation away from here?" she asked, her voice returning to a normal volume. "Since we're so close to the mountains and so far up north it feels like autumn and winter bite a little more in comparison to, say, the southern parts of the Earth Kingdom — or at least, so I presume, from tale of those who've been there." The only place Charu had gone was to the Earth Kingdom deserts which, during the fall and winter months, were just as cold anywhere else.
Akane groaned at Charumati's mention of what she would need to do her typewriter when winter came in full force. "Ugh, I am not looking forward to that," she said. Seeing her lean in towards her, the Waterbender did the same. She gave a gasp of shock and disgust at her words. "The jerk! Why do the editors get the heaters and radiators, while all we get is freezing weather and sticking typewriters? We're the hardworking employees!" Of course, that was how it worked - the higher-ups always got the perks, while they were left to bundle up and fend for themselves. Who cared if they froze to death in the meantime? They were replaceable, of course.

Akane thought about Charumati's words. A vacation did sound nice... "Yeah, I've thought about it. It would be nice to see more of this world, warm a bit during the winter." She gave a small smile at her table companion. "Honestly, though, if I did go, I would go up to the Northern Water Tribe. My family is from there. No one from my family left until my parents. My sister and I were little, I was only about two or three when they left and moved here." She shrugged her shoulders as she started in on her food. "I would like to go and see it, you know? See where I was born, where I'm from, where my family's from."
Charu bit down the urge to smile wryly. Akane's indignation at her editor was a perfect allegory to the issue between Reformists and Traditionalists, but the young woman had no clue. She was young, and headstrong, and in some ways reminded Charumati of herself at that age. Instead of pointing out the similarities, however, she simply nodded; there would be time later for Akane to understand. "It's obviously preferential treatment," she agreed. "And it's not about longevity, it's about the role. I've been here a little over twenty years now and since I'm just a columnist — " a small hint of bitterness seeped into her voice at the word 'just', " — I am still without a radiator. Or even an office."

At Akane's musing on her vacation spot, Charu allowed herself a small chuckle. "Weren't you just complaining of the cold?" she teased gently. "But I understand. I've always thought of visiting my grandparents' village in the Earth Kingdom." She took another bite of her curry bun. "Unfortunately the cards haven't played out that way. My parents aren't particularly interested, since they've lived in Republic City all their lives and are quite content. You'd think since they're getting up there in years now they'd want to reconnect with their roots but they just have no interest."

She sighed. Her parents had never seen eye to eye with her on connecting to their shared heritage. As far as they were concerned, they were from Republic City first and foremost.

Turning her attention back to Akane, she smiled a small smile again. "How long has your family been in the city?"
Akane rolled her eyes at Charumati's words. "I can understand the office thing - they are editors, after all - but no one should be allowed to freeze to death," she said, eating a bit of her food.  "And longevity should count for something, though. Doesn't loyalty mean anything anymore?" Apparently not, because they allowed her to freeze just like everyone else. At her comment about the North Pole, the Waterbender could do nothing but laugh - it was ironic. "I know, but... I feel like I want to see where i come from one day, you know? My roots, my ancestry..." She gave a shrug of her shoulders. She heard it was beautiful up there. "Maybe I'll go during the summer, though I bet it's freezing all year around." She chuckled at the thought, eating a bit more of her food.

Akane shrugged her shoulders. "I suppose everyone's different. My parents have no wish to go back, and my sister doesn't really care," she said. "I don't know why, either, I've asked, but... we're not as close as we used to be, so... Maybe I'll meet someone and I'll take them up there. If not, maybe I'll drag my teammates with me. We're all very good friends, though I doubt they'd care about the North Pole...  maybe we could return the favor, visit the Earth Kingdom and Fire Nations?" She thought about it before a moment, before shaking the thought off as Charumati smiled and asked her how long her family had been in the city.

"My parents moved here when I was little - I think my sister was about two or so," Akane told her in between bites. "I was just a baby. They wanted a better life, and thought that Republic City could do that for them. What about you?"
It was a moment before Charumati answered. She wasn't one to give away personal details arbitrarily; one never knew who else might be listening.

"My grandparents were originally from the Earth Kingdom," she finally said, playing off her slow response as the need to fully chew her mouthful. "But this portion of the Earth Kingdom was eventually annexed to be part of the Fire Nation Colonies, and thus my parents were technically born as part of the Fire Nation. I was born here, in Republic City. Technically, though, my family has never changed geographical location."

What she didn't mention, however, was that her grandparents had been part of a small sect of Earth Kingdom residents / Fire Nation colonists who heavily objected to the Fire Nation's colonisation of their land, and objected with brute force and violence. Her sympathies as Dear Rohana weren't hidden, but it was, Charu felt, more prudent to avoid any mentions of her family history for as long as she wished to neglect to mention her involvement with the Equalists.

She offered Akane a small smile. "It's the loss of history I think I lament. The culture of the Earth Kingdom is steeped in history, while relatively speaking Republic City is a newborn babe. The entirety of Republic City's history is only thirty years older than I am, to put it into perspective. My parents were born at the start of Republic City's history, watched it develop as they grew, so they don't have any particular attachment to what came before."
Akane nodded, eating as she listened to Charumati's story. It was fascinating to listen to. Her family had been through so much. She was truly from Republic City. "There is nothing wrongwith wanting some history," she said. "After all, like you said, Republic City doesn't really have one. There's nothing wrong with wanting to know your route, even if your parents don't." 

Akane thought she had a fascinating history as it was, but she understood that being born here meant that she didn't really have that. There was nothing wrong with wanting to explore what you did have. Maybe that's why she wanted to go back to the Water Tribe. It was her history. 

"That's why I want to see the Northern Water Tribe," she said. "It's my history. My father really wants me to see it; he'd like the whole family to go. My sister doesn't really care to. She's happy here." She shrugged.