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|By The Bos||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|More from The Bos||Action/Adventure||PG||Very Positive||None|
|Bitter Reunion Part 1|
12 November 2010
Bitter Reunion Part 1 is the forty second chapter of.
On the way to Haru's village, Zuko recognizes the village of his young friend Lee, who rejected him after discovering his identity.
Aang steers Appa south, heading almost over the Si Wong Desert. "Sokka, are you sure you know where you're going?" Aang calls back to Sokka, who is dozing off in the saddle.
"Huh, what?" Sokka mumbles as he regains consciousness. "Yes, I know where I'm going! I know where Haru's village is, and this is the best way."
"We've had some bad memories here, haven't we boy?" Aang asks Appa, who lets out a loud moan in agreement.
"What happened here?" Zuko asks the group.
"Well, we met up with this professor, and he told us about a mystical library, which contained vast knowledge. We helped him search for it, and we actually found the library!" Sokka exclaims, answering Zuko's question before anyone had a chance to respond.
"That actually sounds pretty interesting," Zuko responds. "How did you make bad memories out of that?"
"While we were in the library, Sandbenders kidnapped and stole Appa. We barely made it out of the desert. We found about the Day of Black Sun while we were there, and we needed to get the information to the Earth King. We managed to make it to Ba Sing Se, but Long Feng black mailed us with Appa," Katara finishes, recounting the despair that she had to pull the rest of the team through.
"Until I set him free," Zuko adds.
"How did you find Appa?" Aang asks.
"I set up a trap, and I caught a Dai Li agent. I knew that they controlled Ba Sing Se, after they took Jet to Lake Laogai. I had him take me there, and I managed to find Appa. I cut his chains and he knocked me down with his tongue. I lost him after that, but he didn't really matter to me at the time." Zuko replies, remembering the day before his intense sickness.
"I'm sure Appa thanks you," Sokka adds, as Appa confirms this with a moan.
"You're welcome Appa," Zuko jests, much to the enjoyment of the rest of the team. "I remember that village..." Zuko recalls out loud while looking over Appa's side.
Aang steers Appa a little closer to the ground, and Toph jokes "Do you see what's going on down there?"
Everyone looks over to the side Toph was pointing to, and all the villagers were seemingly gathered in the center of town. "I don't know! We need to check!" Aang announces as he steers Appa further down.
"Something was actually happening?" Toph asks, shocked that she accurately pointed something out.
"Yeah, lucky guess," Sokka notes, drawing his sword and preparing for what he expected to be a long battle.
Appa touches down on one end of town, close to where the gathering was. The team jumps off of Appa and sprints into the crowd. "What's going on here?" Aang asks as he arrives. The others catch up to find the townspeople crowded in a circle around something in the center. "Please move," Aang asks the townspeople, nudging them out of the way to arrive in the center. When he arrives, he sees a soldier with a spear jabbing it at a defenseless woman. "Get away from her!" Aang screams as he Airbends the soldier into the air and out of the circle. The soldier lands outside of the circle, and Aang jumps in front of him. "What were you doing?"
"She didn't bow when I walked past! It's a rule that citizens must bow to soldiers in this town." Zuko made his way through the crowd that was forming a barrier between the area that Appa landed at and Aang. Upon looking at the soldier in front of him, Zuko almost bursts out laughing.
"You guys again? I thought I got rid of you last time I was here," Zuko declares.
"Wait, I recognize you! You're Prince Zuko!" the soldier says as he crawls backwards. "What do you want with me? Get away!" The soldier quickly gets onto his feet and begins to run away.
"No you don't!" Toph exclaims as she anchors the soldier's feet to the ground. "What did he do to you?"
"He just showed up one day. He threw eggs at us, and undermined our authority. He somehow managed to defeat our leader. That almost ruined our position in the town." the soldier replies, trying to justify his actions that occurred more than a year prior.
"That's not true at all. You were senseless bullies in the town. You robbed the villagers who didn't agree with you, and you intimidated the rest of them. You deserved to be removed. The real soldiers aren't here, and no one else would stand up to you. They had something to lose. At the time, I had nothing to lose; I was the kind of person you didn't need to meet." Zuko replies. "Now leave this town and never come back," Zuko adds with a glare.
The soldier's bonds fall apart as Aang waves his hands. He twirls his staff and the soldier is pushed ten feet away from the team. "Leave this town. Never come back." Aang commands, staring menacingly at the soldier. The soldier seems to understand the severity of the situation and the soldier sprints off, leaving his spear on the ground.
Aang bends down and picks up the soldier's spear, snaps off the top and drives it into the ground. "Who is that soldier?" Katara asks a nearby villager.
"No one really knows his name. We don't know any of their names. He's just one of those thugs who ruined our village," one old man replies. "Glad you got rid of them though."
"Don't mention it," Toph mumbles towards the villagers.
One woman staggers forward, teary eyed. She slowly approaches Zuko, and looks him in the eyes before focusing almost exclusively on his scar. "It's you again, isn't it?" the woman asked.
Zuko's eyes widen. "You're Lee's mother, aren't you?" Zuko asks, remembering the woman from about a year ago.
"Yes, I'm Sela. Please, I need your help again. They got them both this time. Those soldiers are tearing my family apart! Please, help me!" the woman pleads, collapsing to her knees and breaking out into tears. "I will do anything to get them back."
"Where are they?" Zuko asks with a tense tone.
"No one ever tries to follow them. No one knows," Sela explains.
"They always come into town the day after someone somehow disrespects them," the old villager from before calls. "You'd have to wait until then."
"Aang, we've got to go. We need to rescue Haru's village," Sokka appeals to Aang in a slight whisper.
"No. I'm not going to leave these people. They need us," Katara replies, ignoring Aang's opinion.
"Katara's right. They need to get rid of these people for good," Zuko adds.
"We'll stay. I'm not letting these villagers live like this anymore," Aang concludes.
The lonely mother
The villagers fed Appa during the hours while they were waiting for the soldier's patrol to arrive. Team Avatar followed Sela back to her farm and the team was having dinner with her. She was explaining how her family had crumbled in the past year. "Gansu went looking for Sensu for months. He traveled all over the Earth Kingdom and couldn't find him. We have given up hope on him returning," Sela explains.
"What happened to him?" Katara asks.
"Gansu returned months later, and he couldn't find Sensu. We told him about what you did, and how the soldiers captured Lee. When he came back into the village, the soldiers knew he returned, and confronted him. He couldn't fight back against that many of them. They captured him, and sent us a ransom note. We had to pay every month to keep them from killing him. One day, Lee stole a pair of swords and went to attack them. I haven't seen him since," Sela finishes, remembering his history of attacking the group of soldiers.
"I trained him," Zuko adds. "I caught him practicing in the middle of the night, and I gave him a few tips. Right now, I wish I hadn't."
"We'll have to get them back," Sokka decides. "Capturing children like that just isn't right."
"You're right. We'll get the soldiers to take us to them," Aang replies, affirming what Sokka decided.
"We need a plan. Sokka?" Katara suggests.
"Give me a minute. What am I, some idea machine?" Sokka asks.
"You did say you were the idea guy," Toph points out.
"Fine, I've got it. We'll set up an ambush, then put the villagers in their houses, and wait on the roofs. When they come in, Toph will raise an earth wall that won't let them leave, then we jump out and get them," Sokka finishes.
"Sounds good to me," Aang agrees, while the rest of the Team nods and mutters in agreement.
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