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Last time on Survivors
Cong was studying some plants while Ashley decided to look for a way out. She came across a path filled with red crystals, which, as she discovered by following it, led to an underground village. As she was taking it all in, however, she was knocked out by some quick jabs and regained consciousness in a prison cell. Much to her surprise, Cong had been captured as well.
Meanwhile Ken overheard a conversation between his parents at home and decided to bust Ashley and Cong out of prison with the help of his friend, Cheng. Ashley had used her Firebending in the meanwhile to melt down the bars and free herself and Cong, only to run into three guards who had entered the building. The guards were knocked out by Ken and Cheng, who subsequently led the two friends out of the city and told them how to leave the underground maze complex. They all went their separate ways after that: Cong and Ashley, and Ken each went back to their respective villages, while Cheng ventured deeper into the cave.
Cheng was relaxing in the top of a tall tree when he heard some voices. Pushing aside the branches of the lush tree, he discovered a small group of people talking about some kind of "boss." Unable to contain his curiosity, he positioned himself better to better overhear the strange men while keeping out of side.
"Yeah, it's just because you're new, but he is an understanding guy once you get to know him. He just acts all tough to scare newbies."
"How do you know that? Is he like that with you as well? Because if you have been here for eight years, he should have really lightened up by now."
"Well... uhm... he's pretty tough with me as well, but I'm sure he will give you some slack for losing the village."
"Yeah... I'm toast"
Repositioning himself on the branch, Cheng leaned further down. "What the... what are they talking about?" Crawling further up the branch, the wood suddenly broke. With nothing to hold on to, Cheng fell down into the shrubbery below. "Uff! That hurt!" Dazed, Cheng erected himself, rubbing his head.
"Halt! Who goes there?" The two men, now in a battle stance, pointed their spears toward the bush Cheng fell in.
Brushing off his clothes and plucking a twig out of his hair, Cheng calmly stood up. "Relax guys, relax. I'm just a simple traveler."
The two men approached Cheng and grabbed hold of his hands. "You're coming with us, traveler."
"Yeah... Think again. I'm not!" Cheng heated up his hands, burning the two guards. "If you want me, come and get me. I can use some help me with my target practice, interested?" Cheng said, taunting them.
The first man launched two fire balls at Cheng, which he easily dodged and retaliated with a fire ball of his own. Out of nowhere, the second man appeared and showered Cheng with icicles. Shielding himself, Cheng quickly created a fire shield, melting the icicles.
"So let me get this straight, I have gotten me two grown benders on my hands, a Fire- and Waterbender to be exact, attacking an innocent boy for unknown reason. Your boss might not like this," Cheng taunted while assuming his Firebending stance.
The first man created a fire wall and launched it towards Cheng, which he blocked with a fire wall of his own.
"What do you know about our boss?" The second man inquired while trowing several ice spears at Cheng.
"And bake for five minutes on high," Chen said mockingly while melting the ice spears.
"Hey guys, are you okay back there?" A man shouted from about twenty feet away.
"Well, it's been nice hanging with you, but I got to go," Cheng said while creating a fire sphere around himself and launching it in all directions. When the smoke rose, there was no sign of Cheng.
Relinquishing his battle stance, the first man erected himself and lowered his spear while sighing. "As if I wasn't in enough trouble with the boss already."
The Tree House
"So, do you want to go the cave again?" asked Cong casually.
"What?! Are you crazy? After what happened their last time, why on earth would you want to go back to that place?" Ashley inquired shocked.
"Well, what else am I supposed to do? I'm so curious about why the crystals change color near the village." Cong darted a pleaded look at his friend.
Yielding to his puppy-dog eyes, Ashley sighed. "Well . . . I suppose I'm curious as well, but still. . . ."
In an attempt to completely sway her for the idea of a return to the cave, Cong thought of something. "What if we get Ken to help us?"
Pondering about the suggestion, Ashley caved. "Well, I guess it's worth a shot. However, this time we make a map, and we'll bring some paper so we can write down anything that Ken tells us not to do."
"Great! So we can go?"
"Only if we find Ken."
"Sure thing!" Cong broadly grinned excitedly at the thought of a new adventure. "So, what are you waiting for?" Cong signaled Ashley to follow him.
"Ha, and then they say that I am impatient." Ashley snorted as she followed her friend.
"I might have won, but I still feel like I need a Firebending master, but were am I going to find one? It's not like one is just going to fall from the -"
Cheng's sentence was interrupted when two people fell from a hole in the ceiling, not far from where he was standing.
"I told you we needed a longer rope!" Ashley sniped at Cong, angrily dusting herself off while Cong scribbled to his feet.
"But I didn't have a longer rope, and -"
Ashley cut off Cong's sentence as she noticed the dumbfounded young man that was staring at them. "Ohh, hi there. I believe we've met before. What was your name again? Chun?"
"Er, no. It's Cheng actually."
"Right, Cheng, sorry." Ashley scratched her head, slightly uncomfortable at misnaming the boy, but quickly shook it off. "Anyway, Cheng. It's nice to meet you again. My name is Ashley, and this idiot with the short rope is Cong. I wanted to thank you again for busting us out of prison earlier today. That being said, can we ask you another favor please?"
"Uhhm, sure, I guess . . . ." Cheng awkwardly said, slightly taken aback by the girl's forwardness
"Sweet, thank you! We were wondering if you would be so kind as to help us find Ken. We want to ask him a few questions."
"Sure, I can do that. However, you'll owe me another favor!" Cheng said to them.
Smiling, Ashley nodded at him. "Sure, anything."
"Alright then." The boy turned on his heels, ready to head down a tunnel. Before disappearing out of sight, he looked back over his shoulder. "Wait here, and don't break any of the crystals, because that's exactly how they found you last time."
"But we didn't break any crystals, did we Ashley?" Cong surprisedly turned to the girl next to him, who was now awkwardly rubbing her hands.
"Well . . . ."
"Just remember don't go wandering off," Cheng voice echoed from farther down into the cave.
"Don't worry, we won't!" Cong called after him.
"Okay then, let's go this way" Ashley tugged Cong's sleeve and gestured at the opposite direction Chen disappeared to.
"But . . . Cheng said -"
"Relax, I'm just joking" Ashley laughed, looking into the tunnel Cheng disappeared into.
"Okay, it's official: I'm bored. I wonder how Ashley and Cong are doing" Ken mumbled to himself.
"Psst" A whispered voice reached Ken, who quickly discovered its origin behind a tree.
"Cheng, what are you doing here?"
"No time for questions, you have visitors." Cheng answered mysteriously, before slinking away into the shadows.
"Visitors?" Ken yelled after Cheng while giving chase.
"It's obvious you can't do it. I'm going to have to send in the Elite " the cold voice of a wicked man rang through the air.
"No, sir, please give us one last chance. We believe we've located the cave they're hiding in."
"Do you know their numbers? Their machinery? Their defenses?" the man inquired, raising his voice angrily.
"Well no, but -"
"But nothing!" The man intervened. "I don't want to hear any more excuses from you! I'm giving you and your team one last chance. If you fail me this last time, you don't even have to bother coming back. Do you understand me?"
"T-thank you, sir" the man bowed deeply, swallowing with relieve.
"Okay, it's obvious what we have to do. Cong will ask Ken stuff, and Ashley, although bored out of her mind will act interested, so I believe it will be better if we split up the conversation. I'll go talk to Ashley. Come on, Ashley" said Cheng
"But . . ." Ashley said confused.
"I'll see you later, Ken." Cheng said.
"Uhmm, okay then. Bye!" Ken said confused.
"Is he always like that?" Cong asked skeptically.
"Pretty much . . ." Ken shrugged.
Cheng and Ashley
"So, what's on your mind?" Ashley inquired.
"What makes you think I have to tell you something?" asked Cheng
"I just assumed." Ashley shrugged.
"Well, you assumed correctly then. I wanna redeem a favor you owe me." Cheng said.
Ashley stopped in her tracks and stared at Cheng. "This can't be good."
Cheng smiled at her. "Relax, it's not that bad. I just want you to teach me firebending."
"Really? That's it? I can do that."
"Seriously? You would do that? Awesome! This was a lot easier than I thought. Thanks, Ashley." Cheng smiled broadly.
"Wait a second. I will do it on one condition though." Ashley raised a finger to emphasize her words.
"Oh-oh, here comes the catch. . . ."
Cong and Ken
"Let's see if I have this straight," Cong said while starting to read a few of his notes.
"Energybending is the type of bending that was before the Avatar the bending current moves out wards and because energy is in the middle of the chart once. An energybender bends an element rather then energy. It is almost impossible to go back to energy. The chart includes the advanced forms of bending such as lightning, plant, blood, metal, etc . . . and the shared forms of bending, such as cloudbending, which can be performed by water or airbenders; lavabending, which can be done by fire or earthbenders, etc . . . The bending chart has such advanced and old knowledge that it can only be found in a energybender village or Wan Shi Tong's Library."
"Yes, that's pretty much all I know." Ken replied.
"Great. I'll read the rest to Ashley later, thank you."
"By the way, speaking of Ashley," Ken tried to sound as casual as possible, "does she have a boyfriend?"
"Oh, no reason."
Suddenly they heard a loud explosion coming from the direction Cheng and Ashley disappeared to.
"What was that?!"
"I don't know, but let's find out. Come on!" Ken led Cong in the direction of the noise.
"What happened?! Are you okay, Ashley?" Cheng inquired worriedly.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Ashley brushed some of the dirt out of her hair. "But who are these people?"
"Huh? What people?"
"Behind you." Ashley gestured at something behind Cheng, and he followed the motion with his gaze.
"Oh no, not these guys again," said Cheng.
"You know them?" asked Ashley.
"Yeah, sort of. I used them as target practice earlier."
"You must have really made them mad then."
"Yeah, so mad that they brought friends. You know what? I bet that I can beat more of them than you."
"This is no time for jokes. Watch out!"
Ashley quickly raised her hands, creating a fire wall in front of Cheng to stop the two incoming fire balls.
"Fight now, thank later!" and with that, Ashley created a huge fire whip to knock down three enemies.
"Are you guys okay," Cong said, as they pulled up behind the duo in the cave.
"Sort of. Help us!" Cheng said, his voice strained while blocking a fire whip with a fire wall.
"Right," Cong answered while trowing two small bags towards the enemy.
"Ashley, blow up the bags and then create a fire wall to protect us," said Cong.
"Got ya" Ashley answered, blowing up the two bags and creating a huge fire wall as instructed. The bags exploded, creating a huge cloud of smoke. As the smoke cleared, the damage became apparent: all the enemies had been knocked out.
"Now that is what I call a bomb!" Cheng exclaimed impressed. "What was that thing made of? Gun powder? Nitroglycerin?"
"Actually, there are pollen. They're just in a coma that will last for four hours, so we better get them out of here before they wake up. And don't worry, when they do, they won't remember the last twenty-four hours."
"Wow, you really thought of everything" Ashley said surprised.
"Not exactly. When they wake up, they will have a huge rash that's very contagious, so use these gloves when carrying them."
"Well, it's pretty late, we better head back. I'll be back tomorrow to help you fix that hole and clean up the cave. Good night." Ashley said with a yawn.
"Yeah she's right. See ya tomorrow," Ken replied.
"Goodnight," Cheng said.
"Don't let the bed bugs bite, and wash your clothes before you go to sleep or the rash could infect you as well." Cong issued a last piece of advice before following Ashley out of the cave.
This chapter was originally supposed to be called "Explaining", but I later changed the name because it's my first fight scene.
This chapter is pretty long and I will soon add shippings to the page. Which couple do you prefer?
- Ken and Ashley, otherwise known as "Kenshy"
- Cong and Ashley, otherwise known as "Coshley"
- Cheng and Ashley, otherwise known as "Chenley"
This chapter starts to give away info on the masked organization. I will soon change the name, however, because the bad guys don't wear masks.
For the collective works of the author, go here.