|More from Taekwond1||Action/Adventure/Suspense||PG||Here||None|
|Worlds Collide, Part 2: Out of Balance|
February 20, 2011
The fight continues on Earth as everyone is transported to the mortal world after the Spirit World's destruction. Mai and Ty Lee join the fray as Zuko makes a mistake with drastic consequences...
Book 3 Finale: Worlds Collide, Part 2: Out of Balance
Katara coughed and rolled onto her side. She spat at the floor and shakily cracked her eyes open. The blinding light was gone and in its place was a horrible reddish aura that covered everything around her. It was eerily reminiscent of the time when the Moon Spirit had been killed at the North Pole. Katara felt just as weak now as she had then, too.
She again coughed thickly before drawing up her legs and attempting to drag herself to her feet. She was on her knees by the time she finally had the strength to open her eyes completely. Just as she did, a tremor shuddered through the ground and sent her back down. She again got to her knees, this time a little more confident, and she opened her eyes wide enough to survey her surroundings.
She gasped and stared with awe at the scene around her. She was back on Earth, and in front of the Fire Nation Royal Palace no less. But it was nearly unrecognizable.
The ground had been torn apart and the town was decimated. The Palace had collapsed in on itself, and the entire street was completely devoid of any signs of life. Katara shielded her eyes against the reddish glare of the sky and glanced upwards. High up in the sky, two balls of white light circled each other at supersonic speeds.As she wiped dust from her face and pushed herself to a standing position, several figures began materializing all around her. An unconscious Aang faded into existence on the ground in front of her, and she rushed to his side with healing water shimmering on her hands. As she treated his wounds and her own, the unconscious figures of Suki and Toph materialized on either side of them.
When Aang groaned and weakly opened his eyes, Katara reached down and pecked his forehead with a quick kiss. She patted his forehead and then went to tend to Toph and Suki's injuries. Meanwhile, more and more Spirits began appearing all around them. But unlike the humans, the Spirits quickly regained consciousness...and they were angry.
Katara finished healing Toph and Suki while Aang pointed his staff out in front of him in an attempt to keep the possessed spirits at bay until they were ready to fight back. Toph got to her feet and kicked a rock up in front of her, rearing for battle. Katara helped Suki up while Aang and Toph went on the offensive. They didn't want to have to hurt these spirits, but at this point they didn't really have a choice.
Meanwhile, up in the sky, the blurred figures of Zuko and Azula stopped chasing each other.
"Mom always did like me better," Zuko spat offhandedly at Azula, knowing that at this point a psychological approach would create the chink in her defense that he would need to finally end this fight. "You were father's favorite child, but then again he was mad. He's locked up in prison without his bending now. Maybe you could join him!"
"Shut up!" Azula shrieked. She drew her index and middle fingers out and brought her hands in low archs in front of her body. Blue sparks sped through the air around her fingertips as she prepared a lightning attack...
A large boar spirit slashed its claws at Aang. He jumped backwards to avoid the blow, but the creature's nails still managed to graze his clothing and his shirt was ripped to shreds. He tossed the pieces aside and braced himself to reenter the fight.
Toph rushed past his left side and slid to a stop. The ground ahead of her, however, continued to rush forward, unleashing a cruel blitz of rock from the ground onto several of the spirits who howled in pain as the sharp rocks pierced their skin.
One particularly angry wolf-bear charged at the Earthbender, and the power of its Earthbending quickly overwhelmed her own. The spirit's forearm slammed hard into Toph's jaw and she was sent hurtling backward, directly into Suki.
"Oof!" they both yelled as they crashed to the ground.
"Don't worry about us!" Suki yelled as Aang turned to help them. "You have to stop these spirits before they destroy the Earth!"
Aang glanced up at the sky and wondered if defeating these spirits would be able to stop what seemed to be Earth's inevitable destruction. The red glow in the sky only seemed to intensify with each and every moment, and Aang couldn't help thinking that everything around him appeared as if it were covered in thick, curdling blood.
Katara grabbed Aang's hand and they ran together back into the fray, desperate to fight for the Earth until their final breaths. The Spirit World had been destroyed, so that meant that the Earth was all that remained. It was said that one side could not exist without the other; so perhaps stopping these spirits wouldn't do a thing to reverse the damage that had been done. But they had to try...
Zuko breathed out deeply and cleared his thoughts. He knew that to redirect Azula's lightning he would need complete peace of mind, as his uncle had told him so long ago...
"Uncle!" Zuko remembered suddenly. "I completely forgot. I'm so stupid! Uncle! Mom! No!" He recalled with grief his final moments in the Order's headquarters. But the ceiling had collapsed on the underground fortress. Had they made it out alive?
In his moment of distraction, Azula released the strongest lightning assault that she had ever accumulated. Three simultaneous bolts of lightning clanged from her fingertips and twisted around each other as they sped straight for Zuko heart...
"Aughh!" he screamed as the lightning pierced his chest in exactly the same place that it had a year earlier during their Agni Kai. He felt the electricity pass right beside his heart and exit out of his right arm. He lost all sense of the world as he slipped into unconsciousness and plummeted toward the ground.
Sokka opened his eyes and jolted upwards. He stared around and realized in an instant that he was in the middle of a war zone. All around him spirits were clawing and biting at each other, and here and there he saw a few people he recognized amidst the masses of feuding spirits: Katara and Aang were tag-team battling a group of tall spirits to his left, while Toph and Suki had teamed up to face off against a pair to his right.
Beside Sokka, Hei Bai appeared out of thin air. With a groan of determination, the great panda transformed into its monstrous form and charged into battle with Sokka right behind it. Sokka was so consumed by the adrenaline rush that this battle had given him that he didn't even notice that when he passed by the Royal Palace's crumbled remains, several pieces of rubble shook side to side.
As he charged onward into the skirmish, Mai lifted the debris off of herself with a resolute cry and then laid back, worn out from the exertion. Ty Lee climbed out of the space cleared in the rubble and cartwheeled back into the street.
"Come on!" she called. "This is a complete disaster! We have to help!"
Mai sighed. "Fine." She unenthusiastically got up and trudged through the ruins of her palace. But then, she looked up and realized what Ty Lee was talking about. Animals of all shapes and sizes were battling each other all throughout the Palace City. She smirked and reached inside her shirt, hooking her fingers around a handful of deadly shurikens.
"You're right," she said. "Let's help out." She broke into a sprint and thrust several shurikens at a nearby spirit, a purple-faced chimpanzee the size of a building and with the tail of a squirrel. The spirit howled in pain and turned to face its attacker. With an almighty scream, it pounded on its chest and then bounded straight for Mai, who gladly accepted the challenge despite Ty Lee's sudden reservations to join the firefight.
Katara and Aang stood back to back with their hands raised defensively, Katara's in Northern Water Style and Aang's in Southern Air Style. Aang sprang up into the air, staff in hand, and unleashed a torrent of wind that did nothing to stop the large furry lion-tiger that they were battling. Aang landed on the beast's nose and kicked off backward as it snapped its jaws at him. He landed firmly on the ground and now it was Katara's turn to strike.
She spun around, condensing water from the surrounding air. The water was sent crashing to the ground, and Katara used it to push up into the air as Aang had done. She brought the water back around, up over her head, and down on the spirit's head, where it solidified into solid ice. Aang was right behind her. The moment she touched ground, he slammed down in front of her and with a terrible display of Earthbending he uprooted the ground underneath the beast's feet and sent it tumbling backwards. The lion-tiger staggered back for a few steps and then fell onto its back, at which point the ice around its head shattered and it lay unmoving.
It was a victory, but nevertheless it was a small one, as there were still thousands of spirits throughout the city, and no doubt the world, that were held helplessly under Azula's control.
Katara wiped a bead of sweat from her forehead and gazed up tiredly at the crimson sky. Her heart stopped; she watched with horror as Zuko's limp body plunged downward. Aang told her to brace herself for the next wave of possessed spirits, but she didn't even hear him. She whipped her arms around and summoned more water from the air, which she then molded into a wave beneath her feet that lifted her off the ground and sent her whizzing off toward Zuko. She stretched out a hand but hopelessly realized that she wasn't going to reach him in time. She watched with horror as his body crumpled against the rough earth and his body lay limp in the dirt...
The finale is half over!! :'( How's it going for you readers?
P.S. For those of you wondering, yes Aang is still a spirit. He's still dead. That little (more like huge) problem gets solved in the next chapter, so hold out a little longer!!
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