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|Chapter 12: The Last Man standing|
3: Turned Tides
Air. Water. Earth. Fire.
After a long, fulfilled and yet exhausting life, Avatar Korra passed, being succeeded by Sari of the Earth Kingdom, who died early and didn't play a role in history.
The current Avatar is Asura of the Fire Nation, who mastered the elements quickly.
Although she thought she would never play an important role in history, she was proven wrong when the black ships arrived. The first one came in peace, but all the following carried a deadly load: WAR.
A war even the Avatar and her allies can barely end, one that threatens to end the worlds involved.
Now, more than ever, ending the war is urgent, for that for both sides it is either victory or death, for that this war could be the end of all of mankind.
Previously in Avatar: The War of the Worlds
A rift forms between Mike and Asura, and Mike's hesitation to reveal information of utmost importance leaves the Team badly prepared for their mission. The European Space Fleet defeats the League's forces in the Tau Ceti system severely, sinking four of their Space Fleets. Johnston/Tanook are about to disembark on a mission on their flagship Germania to destroy an entire planet as a demonstration of firepower, and to urge the Allies to surrender.
Mike opened his eyes after hours of uneasy sleep, blinking a few times as if to check if he was truly awake, before he turned to his side and wrapped himself in his blanket to continue his rest, before his, just as he was falling asleep again, eyes opened widely at a realisation he made. "Today's the day.... Damn... ", he murmured, pushing away his blanket, and sitting upright, before he stood up and went to a bathroom to change to his everyday clothes, and also because he had an urgency of using the toilet. After emerging from there after the little time it had taken him, he decided to make himself breakfast, presuming he was, as usual, the first one to awake. But as he made his way towards the massive staircase, he realised something was odd - Zolu's room's door was opened a bit, barely enough to notice it. Wondering about the unusual occurrence, as Zolu always was very tidy, he pushed it open, finding the room, as he expected, tidied up ad nauseam, only one thing missing: Zolu. His bed was looking exactly as it would when Zolu had stood up, but that was impossible, as the noise he would've made using the bathroom surely would've awoken Mike. Suspicious, he went to the nearest room, and opened it. It was Malu's, empty as ever. Only the most necessary objects were present. Except for her staff, and herself, both were missing. Mike narrowed his eyes as he decided to check on the other rooms as well. When he forced his way through Luo's chaos, he stumbled over something in the marble floor. When he, after mourning about hitting his nose, stood up again, he could identify it as a hastily earthbent message, though only part of one. "SS... take... we?", Mike tried to decipher the messy characters, finally understanding it, "Aha! The SS is taking us... and that one means... execution... Oh, damn, Luo, you're genius when it comes to earthbending!"
As he entered Kiruya's room, which was, much alike Zolu's, very tidy, he found, like before, nothing uncommon, only Kiruya's absence. He then decided to examine the bed more accurately.
"No signs of a struggle. They must've taken them on surprise, but how they managed after what Luo did is a mystery to me... ", Mike told himself, before he continued to the final room he had to examine, Asura's. When he entered the room, he found utter chaos. "What the- ", was all he could comment. Burn marks decorated the walls, the ceiling and the floor alike, parts of all laid around, earthbent against the SS-soldiers in vain, and bullet hole-like holes dotting the walls, indicating the use of icicles as well. Mike could only wonder, "So much for 'No signs of a struggle'... How could I not awake at this?"
Mike soon noticed a cheering outside, and looked there through the demolished room's window. There, he could see crowds lining the street, many enthusiastically shouting "Sieg Heil!", and rising their right hand as a column of cars passed, in the second car standing a person he recognised all too well, his right hand raised, his swastika-armband being shown. He shook his head at the sight, went for his weapons, and then hurried down, downing a cup of coffee and afterwards eating a few slices of bread, before he ran to the back exit to leave there. "I hope I'm not late, or else I'll have to take the Valkyrie... ", he whispered under his breath as he hurried towards the huge building the Führer's parade was headed to, Huston Space Port.
Sneaking through narrow side streets was far more difficult that Mike had imagined it to be at first, especially because there were no side streets. As he swung himself over a fence, he looked to the boulevard, trying to keep up with Johnston's car, which he had found impossible, He lost count of how many gardens he presumably had ruined by sprinting through, before he then climbed over the low fences, but after that one, he had enough. He went to the partly rotten wooden fence and sliced through with his bayonet, before breaking through with his body. Seeing as the fences around all were in a similar state, he repeated the action several times, before he realised how long it would take him to get to the Space Port that way, and, seeing most of Huston's population were observing the Führer's ride to the Space Port, he decided to take a parallel street. He jumped over yet another fence onto a street and turned to his left, as to the right the parade was. Panting already from his exhausting way of travelling before, he leaned against the fence to catch his breath, and then pushed himself away from the wooden fencing, and ran off. The Space Port had been, alike the rest of the city, rebuilt in colonial style, in this case with an enormous glass cupola over each hall the complex possessed. The structure's tower was visible from the street Mike turned into, and was, in his hurry, his only landmark. His presumption proved to be correct, as the whole street, as far as he could see, was empty. The rush of his needed to be disrupted every few minutes for he his exhaustion didn't cease, and that, until he found a deserted motorbike parked unconventionally on the footpath. As he reached it, he realised the owner had forgotten to take his keys with him. Mike smirked and swung his left leg over the vehicle, took the key, and started the engine. After having erected it, he put hi feet into place, and then sped away at lightning speed. At first simply driving fast and straight ahead, it soon became boring for the Grand Admiral, and so he decided to drive some kind of slalom between the street-lamps, before he then was urged by the street to turn right and cease his foolish activities. Because there began the Space Port's area, bordered by a fence of barbed wire. Testing if it was electrical, Mike, having parked the borrowed motorcycle by the street, took a stalk of grass and tossed it there. After it had done nothing for several minutes, connecting two of the pieces of wire, he decided to cut it through, but encountered a problem: he forgot to take a wire-cutter. After little thought, he then took the obverse side of his bayonet, which was ridged, and slowly cut through wire after wire. Following that, he bent the pieces aside and crawled through, before running to one of the many side entrances the huge complex possessed, the parade ending at the very same time. As he took notice of that, he narrowed his eyes, approaching the guarded metal door, muttering under his breath, "Bring it on!"
Two SS-soldiers stood guard by the side entrance, side by side, which made it difficult for the Grand Admiral to approach unseen. The two black-clad failed to notice the closer-creeping soldier, who pressed himself against the wall of the huge building in order to remain unnoticed. As the his next move would reveal himself to the two enemies of his, he unsheathed the bayonet and carefully crawled to the closer soldier, before rising and cutting his throat, much to the other's surprise, who had no time to react, as only a split second later the very same blade that had stuck his comrade had as well cut his airway. Mike then opened the door slow enough not to make a sound, before closing it again the very same way. He found himself in a dark corridor ordinarily used for maintenance and security employees at the Space Port, but this time it was a little different. He scouted the hallway into both directions, and found a few doors of which he was uncertain where they lead to. As the voices of three SS-soldiers, or possibly officers, could be heard, Mike ran to the next best one, and escaped them through it. The chamber he'd entered was pitch black, wet and smelly. He could hear several squads of soldiers passing the door, and after he was sure of their absence, he decided to continue his search for a way into the hall, but he crashed the door into an approaching soldier. The soldier got up immediately but found that the collision with the steel door had rendered his sub-machine gun useless. Mike acted quickly, he pulled the enemy close and rammed his bayonet into the man's chest, before putting the corpse down gently. His nervousness rising, the Grand Admiral looked around trembling. What he looked for was a fast and stealthy way in the hall, and, having no other option, he went to an air vent he'd found. Missing any other tool fit for screwing, he took his bayonet, and removed the cover from it, before crawling into the narrow tunnel. After the first metre he managed to get forward, he decided that his rifle hindered his attempted quiet locomotion, and took it in front of him, always ready to shoot anything in front of him. After having crawled through the ventilation system for a few minutes, he noticed something odd. All of sudden, the way made a sharp turn - upwards. "Great. Just great.", was all he could muster in his exhaustion, before he jumped up, and began his climb. He pressed against the metal walls with both his hands and his left foot as he moved his right one, and then repeated the process with the left, before moving his hands upwards, and beginning anew. The climb seemed to go on for forever, but when Mike already thought he was losing his grip, the chute formed a turn into the horizontal. As he saw the bright sunlight at that day, he kicked out the cover, and swung himself out - onto the slippery roof tiles. He caught hold of the vet's edge before he noticed some sort of roof-light, to which he carefully half walked half climbed. Having reached it, he found it as open and big enough for him to get through, even with equipment. Once he had made his way in the building again, he turned around to find - brooms. Tens of thousands of brooms. Raising an eyebrow, he further examined the room he came to have entered, finding a door. He approached it carefully and opened, encountering a very compact staircase, or rather, ladder, which he descended, encountering another door. "Who constructed this place, I mean, seriously?", he muttered opening the door. Beyond laid the circuit gallery that overlooked one of the Space Port's departure halls, this one, just like the others, being roofed by a massive glass cupola. However, something about the circuit gallery was odd, it was manned by SS-soldiers, every ten metres one of them. Mike then got an idea and retreated to the room he'd entered through, took a few brooms with him, and silently positioned them on the floor, before taking out the bayonet again, creeping up to the soldier, and slicing his throat. This time, however, did he take the broom, and straightened the dead body from falling by strapping the broom to his back. Always stealthy, like the time in the Siberian woods had taught him, he moved around and sliced throats, and yet letting the dead ones seem alive by their sole posture. After some time, he had finished his little preparation, and noticed how Johnston entered the enormous hall below, accompanied by three dozen guards, a dozen each of the SS, the Dai Li, and the Royal Procession, and his brother, Olizon. Mike took his rifle and mounted the bayonet of his, but then realised that panes of bullet-proof glass divided the hall from the hallway. Disappointed, he shook his head, and turned around only to notice an elevator. A diabolic smile crept on his face as he entered it and completely without effort neared his target. After less than a minute, the elevator made a "ding" sound and stopped at once, opening its doors as well. Mike made the last preparations and then stepped out in the hall. It was time to end the war.
The Last one
The two brothers were halfway through the hall, accompanying each other completely silently, until Johnston/Tanook decided to have a look on the other guards he had placed above the hall, and exclaimed, "These are all men of the SS, as you probably see. They are highly trained, and equipped only with the best of the best weaponry, to guarantee that the enemy cannot disrupt our mission. Once we're on my yacht however, it will matter little, since- "
"If they are highly trained, why are they all bleeding from their throats?" Olizon's rhetorical question was asked in an almost playful way, and his brother instantly stopped when he noticed it as well. "Damn... "
Mike had found out that the elevator had brought him into a section of the hall that was being used as a storage area, with many boxes stacked over each other. He checked his weapons again, before walking out onto the open area, where he then spoke sarcastically, loud enough for the dictatorial brothers and their guards to hear, "Possibly the reason is mounted on my rifle, thought about that possibility?"
"Grand Admiral, it's an honour you have joined us to witness your cause's failure. Please, join us.", Johnston remarked in a similar manner as his nemesis had before. Mike narrowed his eyes and readied himself to reach any of his weapons and defend himself as the guards turned towards him, but found himself in the offensive as he thrust one of his grenades in the guards' midst, before retreating behind a stack of crates. The Dai Li agents managed to shelter all others from the explosions with earthen walls, except one unlucky individual being a member of the SS, between whose feet the grenade detonated. Before Mike peeked forth from his position, an agent emerged from the other side, but Mike dealt with him quickly, stabbing him with his bayonet within a split-second. The enemy got up again, but the rifle's butt shattering his skull ended him at last. Mike then leaned out from his little emplacement, and saw the SS soldiers as the greatest threat, and thus needed to eliminate them first. As if to prove his unspoken assumption, a grenade landed near the Dai Li agent's corpse, and urged Mike to change his position. He leapt over his wall of crates and crouched in front of it to protect himself from shrapnels, but being met with heavy - partly literal - fire as he did so. The Grand Admiral saw that the guards were assembled in a small crowd, and fired his rifle without aiming, hitting one of the Royal Procession in the stomach. Hearing the explosion of the grenade, or possibly another, he decided to go back to his old position, until the Royal Procession soldiers set the crates aflame. Retreating to a position farther in the hall's back, the Fire Nation elite soldiers followed and repeated their action. Thrusting their arms forward, they created a massive stream of fire that consumed everything in its way, but it also exhausted said soldiers, which Mike made use of. As they stopped, he leaned out and shot an unsuspecting one in the head, before he noticed what the other elite forces had begun to do. The SS was approaching from the left, the Dai Li from the right, leaving Mike only one place to run, backwards. Sprinting from cover to cover, he managed no to get hit by anything, until, however, the SS had zeroed him in. They fired their sub-machine guns at the fast running target, and a single bullet managed to strike him in the upper leg, rendering the leg almost useless. Mike then took aim, and fired, hitting the one who had wounded him in the head, before the others took notice of his position. He then crawled over to the next cover, laying down on the floor flatly, before jumping up and shooting at a Dai Li agent who tried to sneak up, wincing in pain. The bullet was the first to miss, but the second projectile struck him into the chest. Hearing the enemies gathering again to find a new way of approaching him at once to minimise their causalities, Mike saw that his chances of winning this were slim, but he knew a way of increasing them.
I am the last one able to stand up against him. I am the last man standing between him and victory., he thought bitterly, I mustn't fail. I must win at all costs.
The enemy elite soldiers began to swarm out.
All my allies are either gone or too far away to aid in any way... And if I fail, the far greater evil will prevail and conquer all that we know... He closed his eyes in pain as he thought of losing the Team. That's it. They're gonna pay for that.
He stood up and opened his eyes, a more that simply confident expression having taken the painful one's place, and he walked towards his enemies without showing any complications caused by the bullet wound. He stopped halfway between his cover and his arch-enemies.
"Mein Führer, your majesty, ", he addressed the two bewildered ones sarcastically and yet serious, "I will end your reigns today. Prepare to meet your fate."
Notes and Trivia
- The finale, obviously, has begun.
For the collective works of the author, go here.