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|501st: Sozin's Fist|
August 17, 2012
This story is about the attack on the Southern Air Temple during the Air Nomad genocide. The story is told through the eyes of a soldier who was there when it happened. It follows him and the legion of soldiers who took part in the attack.
We all go up in early morning hours. We went to the showers and put our cloths on. We didn't say anything. We all knew what was about to happen and what we were about to. Even when we went to eat at the mess hall no one said anything. After our breakfast we went into the war room and we were told of the plan. We were going to attack the Southern Air Temple and wipe out all the Air Nomads living in it. On that same day, the Great Comet was coming and we knew why we had to attack on this day. The Great Comet will give us extraordinary power. Some of them men started to ask why don't we attack when the comet has arrived. The comet won't be with us when we began our attack. The general said the comet wouldn't last the entire day and we needed the comet during the attack. No one said anything after that we went to get our gear on.
Some of us felt uneasy about the attack. We knew we were going to commit an act of genocide on a peaceful group of people. We knew why we were doing this, but we felt it was a little extreme to wipe out a whole nation just to kill one person. We got all our gear on and we went on the deck. On the deck our dragons where there to bring us to the air temple. As we got closer to the air temple I started to wonder what the others were thinking. Did they have any doubts or any private traitorous thoughts? Perhaps, but no one said a word. The shipped stopped and we all got onto our dragons. We flew high into the skies and flew towards the air temple.
As we got closer we could see the Air Nomads doing their normal thing. They didn't know what was coming. As soon as we got to the air temple we began our attack. Fire and air blast were all around and in the skies the flying bison were fighting the dragons. Since we caught them off guard we had an advantage. The Air Nomads were confused and didn't know what was going on. Some knew what was going on and were fighting back. Our men were being blasted off the temple and fell to their deaths. Others were cut in half. Some of our dragons came down to help us to wipe out the Air Nomads. We burned alive as many Air Nomads as we can see. Some try to flee, but we shot them down before they could get off the ground.
After a while we couldn't find any more of them. We killed a lot of them, but we knew there were more and they didn't escape. We started to look around. We started to worry. We started to think the Air Nomads were going to ambush soon. It wasn't long before that happened. Air Nomads came out of nowhere and blasted many of us off the temple. Even some flying bison blasted us off the mountain. The battle continued, but the Air Nomads were now organized and they were getting the better of us. We couldn't walk around the corner without an Air Nomad blasting us off the mountain. Even our dragons couldn't do much to help us. They were too busy fighting against the flying bison.
We fought as hard as we could but they were too fast for us. They kept evading our attacks. Some of us started to get frustrated and began to shoot fire wildly. They were toying with us and we almost lost it. Some of the men started not to care about their own and kept hitting our own men. We were losing men fast and we won't receive reinforcements for a while. We started to retreat and regroup at another part of the temple. As we regroup we started to think of plans. We had to think fast because it won't be long before they find us. They knew this temple inside and out. We decided we needed to ambush them. It was going to be hard, but we needed to do something to get the job done.
We hide in the shadows and waited for them. When a group did come by, we struck them down. More Air Nomads came in and we started to fight once more. We were burning them, while they were slicing us to pieces. At first we thought the ambush was doing well, but then a group of Air Nomads came behind us. We were surrounded and we couldn't do anything. Then we saw the Great Comet in the sky. It looked beautiful and then we felt a surge of energy come through us. We burned both groups of Air Nomads to death and our reinforcements arrived. The tide has changed because of the comet.
When our men fell off the temple, they used their enhanced fire bending to rocket back to the temple. The dragons also got a power boost. They were burning everything in site. Soon they started to run away. They knew they couldn't defeat us when the comet was around. They started to go after their gliders and call their flying bison. The dragons took care of the bison, while we struck down the ones trying to escape on the gliders. Everything was going as planned. I walked inside a room and an Air Nomad attacked me. I took him out very fast and I saw a group of children. They were frightened and they couldn't move. They were too scared to move. A soldier came in and asked me why I didn't kill them already. I didn't reply and I walked away. He called me a coward and burned all the children alive. I can hear the children screaming as they were dying. I would never forget the sounds they made.
I saw a group of Air Nomads running and I went after them. I saw them get on their bison, but before I could shoot them down, an Air Nomad stopped me. He was old, but he was very skilled. I saw many groups of dead soldiers around him. He was protecting the fleeing Air Nomads. I was alone and I was facing a master air bender. We looked into each other's eyes and we started to fight. Even with my enhanced fire bending, I couldn't hit him. He was fast, for his age, and I started to hope more men would come to my aid. I kept firing at him and then he shot a blast of air at me. I went flying and hit a wall.
I hit the wall hard and I almost passed out. The old man walked up to me and we looked into each other's eyes once again. One soldier came and started to attack the old man. I started to get up and looked at the two fighting. I was waiting for a good moment to strike. The moment came and I hit the old man in the legs. I jumped at him and we looked at each other one last time before I killed him. We saw a group of Air Nomads escape and the soldier asked if we should go after them. I told him to let them go. I felt we killed enough people for one day.
The fighting ended not long after I killed the old man. We walked around the temple to see if there were any more Air Nomads hiding. Soon Fire Lord Sozin arrived and asked if the job was done. We told him that several Air Nomads escaped, but he wasn't angry about it. He asked if we found any information about the Avatar and told him we found a scroll with the Avatar's description, age and name. We started to check every dead Air Nomad to make sure that we got the Avatar. None of the Air Nomads matched the description and all the dead Air Nomads at the other temples matched the Avatar's description. The Avatar had escaped and we need to find him.
We sent hunting parties to look for the surviving Air Nomads, but we couldn't find any. Fire Lord Sozin then came up of an idea. We took artifacts from the temples and put them in high places. Fire Nation Spies started to spread rumors about these 'safe houses'. At the 'safe houses' we disguised ourselves as Air Nomads, so they wouldn't think it was a trap. When an Air Nomad came, we would strike him down. The plan worked and we killed all the Air Nomads, all but one. We didn't kill the Avatar and Fire Lord Sozin spent the rest of his life searching for him. We were awarded with medals for our bravery against the Air Nomads. Our legion of troops was named the 501st after the genocide and we were under direct command of Fire Lord Sozin. We won many battles under his leadership and many feared our name. Because of our reputation, we were called 'Sozin's Fist'. To this day I can't forget about what we did on that day.
What I remember about the Air Nomad genocide is... is how quiet it was. In the early morning hours we started to travel to the Southern Air Temples. We all knew what was about to happen, what we were about to do. Did have any doubts? Any Private traitorous thoughts? Perhaps, but we didn't say a word. Not when we were given the order, not when we flew in the skies with our dragons, and not even when we marched into the Southern Air Temple. Not A word.
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