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|The Final Task, Part 2: Azula's Army|
February 15, 2011
The gang finds the last two Spirit Amulets. They prepare to remove Azula's Avatar powers by destroying the amulets, which would destroy her amulets (the source of her powers) as well, but their ritual is cut short when Azula arrives, and she's not pleased...
Book 3 Chapter 10: The Final Task, Part 2: Azula's Army
Sokka opened his eyes a crack and grunted in pain. He rolled to his side and spat out thick saliva that stuck to the roof of his mouth. He attempted to haul himself up to a sitting position, but the moment he moved his leg a surge of red-hot pain shot up his entire frame and he cried out in pain and shock.
He looked down at his leg to see his space sword jammed clean through the bone. All the rest of his body was battered and bruised. He couldn't reach the sword, but when he bent his knee and retracted his leg to try to reach it, another deluge of pain seared down his nerves.
"Aagh," he cried weakly. Again and again he reached desperately for his leg, but he could never grasp the sword. He turned and rested his head back against the ground, staring up at the storm-battered sky, gasping for breath and wincing against the steady flow of throbbing pain pulsating throughout his body. He stayed in this stagnant position of helplessness for what must have been at least ten minutes before a noise from his right shook him from his reverie.
He weakly tilted his head to the side and saw Hei Bai stumbling through a thick field of leafy plants. The great Spirit had a limp and was alternating between its two forms: the peaceful panda it was in times of peace and the monster it became when it was threatened or angry.
It transformed into the monster and bellowed a great sonic roar into the air. It toppled over and writhed on the ground, changing back into a panda and howling in pain.
Sokka could do nothing to help the beast. He couldn't even help himself. He could only lay there and watch as the spirit clawed at the air in great pain. It emitted a great scream and blue sonic energy from the beast's mouth pierced the sky upwards for miles. As the scream intensified, a blackish mist began wafting off of its fur.
As quickly as it had started, the panda's wail ceased. All of the black smoke dissipated into nothingness and the spirit slowly stood back up, no longer in pain. It walked over to a terrified Sokka and raised its paw ceremoniously over his head.
Sokka vividly remembered the last time that he had encountered this spirit. It had kidnapped him and trapped him here in the Spirit World for over two days! He closed his eyes and braced for the worst as the panda's paw came down and gently touched Sokka's forehead. A blue light emanated from the paw and traveled down the extent of Sokka's body. As he looked down, he saw all of his wounds heal and close up, and in the blink of an eye his sword dropped painlessly through his leg and clanged onto the floor. Sokka stood up completely healed.
"Why did you save me?" Sokka asked as he grabbed the hilt of his sword.
The ever-silent spirit simply lowered its head. Sokka somehow wordlessly knew that the spirit wanted him to climb onto it, and he complied. The great bear then turned and trotted away with Sokka on its back. Sokka gripped the creature's fur and hoped that it knew where it was taking him...
Zuko concentrated his mind on the howling gale of the wind that was slowly tearing the Spirit World apart. He reasoned that there was nothing better to focus on to find the Air Amulet than wind of that strength.
He lost focus as the ground shook, but he grimaced and squeezed his eyelids shut again. Air, he thought, it's all around me. And I need the amulet of air so that we can save the world...
Again, Zuko's thoughts and wishes triggered the will of the elements as the wind picked up around them and swirled in concentric circles over his head.
"Ow!" Zuko grumbled. The Air Amulet had solidified in the air above him and fallen onto his head. He rubbed his scalp gingerly as the others celebrated their small victory. Only one amulet left to find...
"The Fire Amulet," Zuko said, breathing smoke out his nostrils. "Piece of cake." With a roar he punched the air in front of him and his Firebending ability granted to him by the crumbling Spirit World worked like a charm. A bout of flame burst forth from his closed fist and the final amulet clattered to the ground, falling from within the embers. Zuko picked it up and for the first time since this ordeal had begun he felt a sense of pride. They were finally getting the upper hand on Azula. With these four amulets, they could finally beat her.
"Now," said Aang as he laid down the two amulets that he was holding, "to destroy them and finally end this."
"Right," Zuko agreed, laying his two amulets on the ground beside the two Aang had been holding. "On my mark," Zuko said. "Four...three...two..."
"One," said a displeased voice behind them. A plume of scorching fire hit the ground dividing Zuko and Aang from the others. Azula dove to the ground and slammed her fist to the floor. Enormous chunks of Earth were sent tumbling in all directions. Toph firmly raised her arms and a wall of Earth was quickly lifted from the ground, shielding them from the blunt of the attack. Aang, however, was caught off guard, and he and Zuko caught the full force of the rocks. Zuko flipped backward in the air and landed with a thud on his left shoulder, which instantly began throbbing painfully. Aang crashed onto his back and was instantly pinned to the floor by several weighty boulders. He quickly bended one to sand and another back at Azula, who dropped to the floor before hopping back up and continuing the assault.
"Minions!" she shouted. "Am I alone in this?"
Spirits of all shapes and sizes materialized all around them. A large white polar beat with matted fur snarled, revealing jagged, gargantuan teeth. Another, a small blue monkey, chattered mindlessly. Its pupils were dilated and unseeing, its irises a chilling shade of crimson.
Azula stopped running and surveyed her army with pleasure. "Kill them," she said, "and don't leave a trace of them left to be found."
Zuko broke into a mad dash for the amulets still sitting where they had been left; evidently Azula hadn't noticed them. He made it halfway there before a huge badgermole scooped him up off his feet and slammed him headfirst into the ground.
"Zuko!" Aang cried. "NO!" He grabbed his staff and moved in to save his friend. "Katara! Toph! Suki!" he cried. "Fight them, but don't let them die. They're under her power, but they're still spirits!" Aang used his staff to propel himself into the air and he landed a forceful kick directly into the possessed badgermole's side. It howled and dropped Zuko, who crashed almost noiselessly to the floor. He wasn't moving.
Meanwhile, Toph and Katara had teamed up to fend off the spirit ambush while Suki raced to reach the amulets before Azula could get to them. Suki made it halfway there before she felt a tight whip of water slap the side of her head and she was knocked sideways to the ground. Katara looked up and saw Azula standing cockily on a small plateau of earth, a water whip held in her hand and a devious grin covering her twisted expression.
"You think you're so great," Katara shouted at her, "but becoming a true Waterbending master takes years of practice. Even I'm not a true master...but I've had more practice than you have!" She flicked her wrists back and water droplets solidified out of the air all around her. She circled her hands around each other and brought them behind her back, where the water came together, and then pushed forward with her arms and let out a formidable yell. The water turned into an array of icicles that pierced the air, heading straight for the princess.
Azula let out a squeal of delight at the challenge and sunk effortlessly into the ground with Earthbending. She emerged behind Katara and came down on the Waterbender's head with a thin line of blue fire. Katara twisted around and blasted Azula with a face-full of water and she was sent faltering backwards.
"You don't deserve the power of Waterbending!" Katara shouted. "And you're insane!"
Azula balanced herself and without a word broke into a sprint straight for Katara. Katara flicked a whip of water at Azula, but the princess somersaulted underneath the attack and sprang to her feet directly in Katara's face. Katara's stomach turned as she had a cruel sense of deja vu. But this time, Katara thought, there's no water underneath her to stop her attack...
"No!" Suki yelled. She intervened, striking Azula in the jaw with the blunt handle of her fan.
Azula again stumbled backward as Suki got into an offensive position in front of Katara. "Don't worry," she said. "She killed Sokka. She's mine."
Toph was having a fight of her own as she fended off all of the spirits. She thrust rocks in all directions and spewed insult after insult at the possessed spirits. "You think you're so tough? You can't even beat a blind girl!"
Suddenly, she was overpowered when the barrage of spirits all simultaneously charged forward. She dove out of the way just in time to avoid being trampled to death. She placed her hand on the ground and realized why they were running. A small ways ahead of them, Zuko stood with all four amulets in hand. He was about to destroy Azula's power for good...
But before he had a chance to do a thing, a crowd of spirits surrounded him. He clutched the amulets close to his chest as he turned round and round in the center of all the evil spirits. They growled and snarled and screamed at him, clawing at the earth and preparing to charge.
He thrust the four amulets to the floor and with an almighty scream he unleashed an inferno of fire at the ground beneath his feet. In that exact moment, all of the spirits unleashed their own sonic attacks of blue light and deafening sound. In the midst of the tumult of energy came the largest explosion that anyone had ever seen. And Zuko was in the center of it...
This was a long one, so I hope it makes up for me not pulling through yesterday (sorry, again!). And with that, now we're on to the finale. This is it: the final showdown. Place your bets, because this is one conflict that won't end quietly... :P
EDIT: So I posted this a couple days ago on my user page, I'm not sure if anyone would even go there to see it but I've finished writing this fanon and while I finish refining and uploading the remaining chapters I've begun a new fanon. This time it's a prequel about the story of an Airbender named Chuan, and it takes place before the TV series as opposed to afterwards. Anyway, I just wanted to throw out there that after these final chapters come out in the next few days, I won't be gone, and keep your eyes open for that, which should be released pretty soon! :D talk • contribs) 01:46, February 16, 2011 (UTC)(
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