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|Avatar: Legend of Kaito - Chapter 9: Bending and Break Out|
- Reunion and Rebirth
- Doubts and Desires
- Prison and Practice
- Companions and Complications
- Short and Sweet
- Bending and Break Out
Kaito had intended for that to sound smooth but Khan ruined his moment.
"Wait a second.." Khan sounded perplexed and he looked to Kaito quizzically. "No diversion right? Without it, how are we going to get Azora's Firebending back?"
Kaito slapped his palm to his head, the hopelessness of the situation was bearing heavy on him. "We're not. We still don't want to run into any guards though."
Khan still looked confused.
"We still need a diversion, Khan." Kaito sighed. "Go to the forge and then follow the plan."
He said calmly despite his nerves. "Khan, if you want to leave when you cut the hole. Go ahead. I don't have to tell you how much harder this is going to be to escape alive without Azora and Yakiri. I won't blame you for choosing to leave."
Khan looked to the ground like he had already been thinking about it. There may have even been a look of guilt on his face but he quickly hid it from view.
"Good luck. See you at the entrance of the landing pad." He saluted Kaito and took off to the forge.
Once he was out of sight Kaito checked his pants for the sack of smoke pellets and felt the heavy bag of little pellets attached to the inside of his waistband. He also saw the small carving of Saia and clutched the figurine tight in his hand. This is for you too, Saia.
He then took a deep breath and headed for the mess hall, alone.
The first stage of the plan was mainly for Azora and Yakiri so without them it wasn't as important but still necessary. Khan was going to start a fire at the forge and Kaito was going to drop some smoke pellets near the mess hall.
The smoke pellets were courtesy of Khan who had multiple friends in the prison, luckily for them, one of them was a decent enough thief to steal a sack of smoke pellets off of a Yi Yang guard. The smoke pellets were mainly to evacuate the area and once it was clear Kaito was going to set the mess hall on fire as well.
The fires would draw most of the guards to both areas so at least the group would know to avoid those spots. It had been Azora's idea to use chaos as a veil to escape. They would waste as much time as possible in hopes of Azora and Yakiri's bending to return.
All the meanwhile Khan was supposed to be cutting a hole in the fence line near the barracks with whatever weapons he stole from the forge. The tarps that covered the barracks would provide him cover from the backside so his chances of being discovered were lessened especially with the patrols dealing with the fires and the other prisoners.
The group would spread the word about the hole behind the barracks and with Azora's Firebending hopefully restored they were going to blast their way out of the front gate to draw attention away from the hole Khan had cut thus allowing other prisoners to escape. The major drawback to the entire plan was that Azora and Yakiri had been captured. A rescue operation wasn't a part of the original plan.
Without her Firebending we'll just have to escape through the barracks. We won't be able to blast our way out of the front. If she was taken by the Yi Yang they've blocked her chi. I'll be the only bender. This plan is idiotic. It's not even a plan. Kaito reasoned with himself and suddenly stopped walking.
You've done your part. This is suicide. You only wanted to escape to free Kazuma. If you die who will save him? You owe him. You could escape through the hole in the barracks after you set the fire and definitely survive. You are walking to your death.
He was conflicted.
The entire time in prison his goal was to learn Firebending to save Kazuma. Kazuma was his real flesh and blood; his brother. For all he knew, he was about to walk into an execution he had been scheduled for. Even if he freed Azora they would be overrun without her Firebending and then he, Yakiri, and Azora would all most likely die. Kazuma would probably end up dying in prison camp too. There was so much life to be thrown away on this one heroic decision and the odds seemed insurmountable.
Kaito wasn't sure what kind of man his father was but he wondered what he would have done. Be decisive.
Suddenly there was a KRA-KOOOOM!
The smoke stacks of the forge were smoking and a fire raged from the top, the steel at the top was charred black and peeled back pointing towards the ground. Kaito had expected a fire but not the explosion; that was a pleasant surprise. Khan had finally come in handy.
Nice job, Kahn. If Khan had just blown the forge that meant Kaito was now running late.
He started running to the mess hall and had to weave in and out of the prisoners who had stopped to observe the smoke plume coming from the forge.
Once he got to the large yard outside the mess hall he was surprised to see it was completely empty despite it being lunch time. It was a strange sight. It must have emptied out once the forge went up and the prisoners were probably spread out watching or maybe even being forced to help put out the blaze.
A few prisoners were still seated in the mess hall eating, either unaware of the fire at the forge or most likely just unconcerned. Go time.
He pulled a handful of pellets from his pants and then fastened the band back. He took a deep breath and stood motionless for a few moments just trying to ready his mind. He ensured no guards were visible and then threw the entire handful high up into the air.
He watched them come plummeting back towards the ground and once they hit the ground they broke open and black smoke poured from each one. A stench filled the air and he heard a couple cries of confusion from inside the mess hall.
Kaito covered his mouth and started slowly towards the mess hall, it suddenly wasn't visible through all the smoke despite it only being a few feet in front of him. He heard the ramp to the mess hall echo with multiple foot-steps and then they scattered off into different directions. He couldn't guess the number but it sounded like a couple of prisoners and assumed it was probably the ones whom had been eating moments before.
Suddenly someone ran into Kaito and knocked him over. He couldn't see them after he fell but he heard them scramble to their feet and run off, the sounds of their footsteps ebbed away as he pulled himself to his feet. At least it wasn't a guard.
He brushed himself off and inched through the smoke until he could barely make out the ramp of the mess hall beneath his feet. Kaito listened closely for voices inside the mess hall. It sounds empty. Here goes nothing.
Kaito inhaled slowly through his nose and tried to clear his mind despite the circumstances.
The practice had paid off. He instantly sensed his chi flowing throughout his body; Kaito could feel it flare up inside of him with every breath.
He locked his knees and drew back his arm and in one lightning quick motion he brought it forward and a stream of fire roared from his outstretched fist towards the mess hall. It was exhilarating.
The energy flowed from his stomach and surged up through his chest and down his arm until it finally exploded outside of his body into flame. It felt harmonious.
He guided his arm like a flamethrower and sprayed the roof to ensure the building was completely ablaze; the more difficult it was for the Yi Yang to contain the fire the more time they had to flee.
He still didn't hear anyone and the only thing he could see through the smoke was the raging inferno that was consuming the roof of the mess hall. You didn't set yourself on fire, now that's bending. Relief flooded through him and his confidence had resurged as well.
After he took a moment to admire his work he started through the smoke again and towards the landing pad.
As he inched along he heard people pass him but because of the thickness of the smoke they weren't visible. He couldn't see more than a few inches in front of his face. You might have overdone it, Kaito.
The smoke started to lessen and he could barely make out a few blurred figures running by accompanied by the sound of jingling keys. It must have been the Yi Yang going to investigate the mess hall. Eventually, the smoke dissipated as he waded through it and suddenly he could see again.There were families clinging to one another looking at him as he emerged from the cloud of blackness.
"Were you at the mess hall? What's happened there?" The father of a family of prisoners asked Kaito.
"It's a fire. Someone is setting them as a means for us to escape. I heard there was a hole cut behind House Seven that leads outside. I'm looking for my own.." He choked on the words; surprised at how naturally they flew from his mouth. " ..family. We're leaving after I find them."
The father's eyes widened at the prospective opportunity to freedom and quickly gathered both of his children into his arms. He nodded to Kaito in thanks and gave his wife a gentle nudge to move and with that they were off towards the Houses and Kaito went in the opposite direction and towards the landing pad. There's one family saved. Let's hope Khan didn't run into any problems.
The sky was filled with smoke that was pouring from the blown smoke stack. Flame still occasionally flared from the top and Kaito could see in the distance a huge mass of prisoners watching the place burn. Yi Yang had come streaking down the path to his right with buckets of water in hand and when they got close to him they split up. Half of them went towards the forge the other half towards the mess hall. Everything seemed to be going smoothly.
He looked to the landing pad and saw that the large zephyr was still docked to its side somehow suspended in mid-air. It got larger and larger as he neared it and his confidence slowly started to fade. You've only dropped some smoke pellets and lit a building on fire, the Yi Yang are going to be a tougher challenge. He looked both ways whenever he crossed an intersection of paths for Kahn but there was no sign of him or anyone for that matter.
He turned a corner around a bath house and saw the entrance to the landing pad. It was a small door at the bottom of a huge column shaped building and at the top was a large flat square for landing airships.
Kahn, must have decided to leave. Kaito figured in disappointment. He was already a little scared to face the Yi Yang and that fear was intensified now that he knew he wouldn't have any aid. Just then he heard a familiar voice.
"You wait till I get out of here. I'll tear you idiots to shreds!" Kahn was snarling at someone out of sight from him.
Kaito ducked back behind the corner of the bath house and waited as he heard them getting closer. It sounded like something large being dragged and occasionally kicked. He peeked around the corner and saw three Yi Yang guards; two of them were dragging Kahn by his arms while one trailed behind them carrying a pair of hook swords very uncomfortably. He had been captured.
I'm going to die.
Kaito ignored his fear and leapt from his cover. He now faced the Yi Yang guards and his captive companion. The self-doubt within himself wasn't shown on his face.
"Kaito! A little help!" Kahn pleaded to him.
"Prisoner 341, get moving. Return to your House or we'll be forced to detain you." The guard carrying the hook swords commanded. He dropped them and pulled his bolas from his belt and started to twirl them on his fingers menacingly.
"341! You heard him, move!" One of the guards dragging Kahn yelled at him. He could sense Kaito had no intention of backing down. "Fine, have it your way."
The guard who had been toying with his bolas suddenly flung one of them through the air towards Kaito.
Kaito hopped to his right and he could hear the bolas go whizzing by him; they missed. He started to run towards the Yi Yang and just as he did the guard in the back threw his pair. Kaito dove to the ground to avoid it but not before one of the chords of the bolas caught his wrist, the two weighted balls spiraled around his arm and clacked together; his left wrist was now entangled but it wasn't hindered except by the weight. He quickly got himself back up from the ground and now faced the guards again. He pulled at the chords and freed his arm.
The two guards carrying Kahn shook their heads and dropped him to the ground.
The guard in the back who had wasted both of his bolas moved forward and grabbed Kahn by his handcuffs. The two guards who had been dragging him pulled their bolas from their belts and got ready to attack.
"Toast." Kahn said quietly and smiled to himself.
Kaito was ready to unleash.
He threw six lightning-quick jabs in the direction of the guard on the left who had attempted to throw his bolas but the force of the first fireball knocked them to the ground. After that, the guard was defenseless and unprepared. The other fireballs collided with the guard one after another and he was overwhelmed with flame and force until he was knocked to the ground; his flame retardant uniform was still smoking but he didn't move.
"Hey! 341 is a Firebender! We're going to need back up." The closest guard to Kaito yelled to the one now holding Kahn.
Kaito wouldn't give them a chance to call back up. He drew his right arm back at the elbow and while doing so moved it in a circular motion as if charging up his attack. He punched forward and stream of fire came roaring from his open palm and completely engulfed the other guard. Once Kaito ceased, the guard had been blown back several feet and was still smoldering but motionless.
Kaito then turned his gaze to the last guard calmly.
The last Yi Yang threw Kahn and then the hook swords to the ground and charged towards Kaito. As he did, he flung his left arm out and a blade extended from his gauntlet. He closed the gap with Kaito and tried to slice his chest open. This last guard was fast; but not nearly as fast as Azora's conks to the skull.
Kaito stepped backwards and the tip of the blade hit nothing but air until it smacked the ground and created a few sparks. The guard stood up and still advanced. He lunged at Kaito.
Kaito sidestepped at the last moment and barely avoided it.
Azora had taught him to never over exert yourself while in combat. He could hear her lecturing him in his head, If you stay calm you'll react without hesitation and conserve your energy. When you panic or are scared you tend to tense up causing more injury from stiffness. When angry or scared you put a lot of power behind your attacks in desperation which waste energy and stamina. Keeping a calm mind is essential to life, not only Firebending and combat.
The guard yelled in frustration and straightened himself to face Kaito again.
All of a sudden, the last guard's feet were jerked out from under him and he fell to the ground with a heavy thud. Khan was standing there and had gotten his hook swords from the ground at some point during Kaito's scuffle and had taken the last guard out by surprise. He held the hooks high over his head and with the blunt side he beat on the Yi Yang's helmet until he stopped squirming.
"Thanks." Khan said and bowed to Kaito. Khan was sweating profusely and some of his white hair was matted to his forehead.
"I should be the one thanking you. Did you manage to puncture the gate?"
"Yep, I used these to pry open a pretty big hole. It took some force." Khan held out the hook swords for Kaito to admire. "A lot of prisoners have already escaped. The guards are still so busy with the fire they still probably haven't found it. They managed to snag me on my way to meet you here; someone must have given them my description."
"You decided to come back?" Kaito asked and it was obvious he was surprised at that decision. He had underestimated Khan's character, after all. He started walking towards the entrance of the landing pad.
"Don't sound so surprised, kid." Khan's face got stern like maybe he had regretted it now; but he still followed Kaito towards the door.
Kaito couldn't afford to lose his help over embarrassment so he brought the conversation back to escaping.
"This is where the plan diverts from the original a little bit." He paused just outside the door that led into the bottom of the landing pad.
Khan nodded. "Right, so what's the new plan?"
"We know they're holding Azora and Yakiri at the top of the landing pad. We bust through these doors and then up the lift, out onto the landing pad. Take out an entire squad of Yi Yang minions, free Azora and Yakiri."
"It's only slightly more impossible than before." Khan said smugly and shrugged.
"I don't think we're going to bust out of the front gate anymore either."
"Darn, that's the part I was looking forward to most." Khan said sarcastically.
Kaito ignored him and continued. "We head for the hole like everyone else. I'm not letting anyone die. Are you ready?" Kaito put his hand on the door knob and braced to open it.
Kaito burst through the door and was surprised to see no one. It was a small room with a tiny desk probably for a guard that was helping with the fires and there was a staircase in the right corner. The entire building seemed like its main purpose was to shelter the staircase leading to the landing pad.
"It looks clear. Let's free the old broad." Kahn started up the stairs and Kaito followed, relieved that he didn't have to be up front.
The landing pad was elevated high from the ground and after a few minutes of ascending stairs both of the boys were relying on the metal banister for support.
"Who is down there?!" A voice yelled from somewhere in the staircase above them. It was distorted. The Yi Yang had something put in their mask that muffled their voices; it was a way of furthering themselves from being recognizable as individuals or even as being human.
Kaito looked back to Kahn, unsure what to do when he was suddenly jarred with intense pain. His nerves were on fire and his body seized involuntarily; Khan was suffering similarly. The pain was too much and the two of them toppled over and rolled down the stairs to the landing just below them. The Yi Yang above must have shocked the banister. There was a ringing in Kaito's ears and his skin was on fire. His brain urged him to move.
Khan had managed to pull himself up much quicker than Kaito and drew his hook swords. He looked to Kaito and said something but he was still too disoriented to understand what was said to him; he only saw his mouth moving.
Two pellets landed right next to them, obviously thrown at an angle from above. They broke open and smoke poured out and within a few seconds he couldn't see anything but black smoke. His body was still painfully numb but out of nowhere something hit his leg hard enough for him to feel and he saw a gray uniformed figured go toppling over top of him. Kahn had tripped over Kaito and he fell backwards vanishing within the smoke. Moments later a Yi Yang guard leapt over Kaito in pursuit of his clumsy comrade.
Kaito ignored the pain and pushed himself to his feet; his legs were still prickling and his feet felt like cinder blocks.
He trudged through the smoke with his fists raised and even though his mind was racing he remained ready to attack. The ringing in his ears had finally died down but now there was a buzzing noise he recognized as an electrified-rod which attached to the Yi Yang's gauntlets, and occasional clangs of metal; obviously the sounds of a struggle but Kaito couldn't make out where they were.
A moment later he found Khan but not in the way he had expected. His bunkmate was obviously losing in his fight with the Yi Yang because he had been thrown through the smoke and collided with Kaito.
"Can I get a little help, kid?!" Khan snarled once the two hit the floor.
"I was electrocuted over there!"
"Really?! Me too!! You took your sweet time getting up, huh?!" Khan's sarcasm wasn't masking his rage at all.
"I'll help you out, alright!!" Kaito argued back and had momentarily forgotten they were in the middle of a jail break. He still hadn't seen the Yi Yang but considering the direction Khan had been thrown from he must have still been in that same vicinity.
Kaito jumped forward, he drew his elbows back and then thrust his arms forward and brought his fists together and produced a stream of flame. It roared from his outstretched fists and washed over the area still veiled by smoke that Khan had been thrown from.
After a few seconds, Kaito stopped and both he and Khan listened intently for the sound of their attacker.
The guard suddenly came into view. He was holding up one finger and his entire uniform was still intact but it had been scorched black and was still smoking. He was wobbling while hunched over and without a word the guard fell to the ground in a burnt-smelling heap.
"Let's move." Khan said; he was obviously satisfied.
The two didn't have time to comment on the comicality of the situation and with intent determination they started up the stairs. They left the smoke below and ascended the staircase quickly and just as Kaito's legs had started to burn they finally reached the top. They stood on the threshold and the only thing that stood between them and the landing pad was a black door.
Khan looked to Kaito. The two nodded to one another.
Kaito kicked his leg high into the air and then slammed it back down. A streak of flame came screaming off of his heel vertically and tore the door off of its hinges.
Kaito roared instinctively and the two then charged through the doorway and out into the sunlight.
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