San Diego Comic Con Character Reveals Day 2: Aaminah

Every day of SDCC 2016 we’ll be revealing the portrait of a character in the upcoming Rebel Genius by Michael Dante DiMartino, co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Legend of Korra. 

In twelve-year-old Giacomo’s Renaissance-inspired world, art is powerful, dangerous, and outlawed. A few artists possess Geniuses, birdlike creatures that are the living embodiment of an artist’s creative spirit. Those caught with one face a punishment akin to death, so when Giacomo discovers he has a Genius, he knows he’s in serious trouble.

Luckily, he finds safety in a secret studio where young artists and their Geniuses train in sacred geometry to channel their creative energies as weapons. But when a murderous artist goes after the three Sacred Tools–objects that would allow him to destroy the world and everyone in his path—Giacomo and his friends must risk their lives to stop him.

Aaminah knelt down and took Giacomo’s wounded arm in her small hands. “Let me see.” She inspected the cut, then reached into her cloak and pulled out a wooden flute. “Just relax.”

“I’m not really in the mood for music,” Giacomo said. The scratch stung, but wasn’t too painful. Giacomo’s Genius flew to him, its left wing torn from Nero’s talons.

“She’s  going to treat the injuries,” Milena explained.

Aaminah’s Genius landed on the back of Giacomo’s hand. He flinched.

“It’s okay. Luna’s a sweetheart.” Aaminah raised the flute to her lips and  gently blew across the mouthpiece. A low tone filled the tunnel. Luna’s circular gem glowed yellow. With each ascending note, waves of light pulsed from the crown, washing over Giacomo’s and his Genius’s wounds.

It felt like the music was seeping into his arm and vibrating inside it, soothing his soreness and calming his frazzled nerves. The bleeding stopped and the cut sealed up, leaving only a faint red welt. The torn flaps of his Genius’s wing mended too. Was this how his stab wound had healed last night? He didn’t remember hearing any music, just the roar of that crazy storm.

Rebel Genius by Michael DiMartino goes on sale 10/4/2016. Subscribe for more character reveals and the latest Rebel Genius news.

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Refugees and Greece's Health Crisis
A public health crisis is looming in Greece's refugee camps.

The Elliniko camp, a few miles outside of Athens, sprawls across a complex of old airport buildings and derelict stadiums built for the 2004 Olympic Games. The venues that once hosted baseball and hockey matches now teem with over 3,000 migrants from Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere, who are languishing in squalid and violent conditions. In June, one of the camp’s medical volunteers, Aaminah Verity, described the conditions there as “post-apocalyptic.”

Unmarked roads and fenced-off roadways surround the camp, the sole signpost a white sheet strung on a wire fence and spray-painted “Hockey-Baseball-Refugees.” The office of the Greek officials who are the camp’s nominal managers is a small room behind the bleachers in one of the old stadiums. At 4:30 PM on a Thursday in mid-June, there were no officials there nor any signs of their presence: no computers, desks, papers, printers, telephones, or posters on the walls. Instead, there were some haphazardly positioned folding tables and a group of migrant children drawing pictures with donated art supplies.

Outside, in the 90-degree heat, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had set up white tents for shelter in neat rows on the old hockey and baseball fields within the stadiums. But few people were using them. The tents offer little protection from the sun and are nearly a 30-minute walk, through empty parking lots and unmarked ramps, from the main road. Many have opted to colonize the concrete walkways around stadium bleachers and old offices instead, turning the facilities into a sprawling shantytown.

Article from Foreign Affairs