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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
Mike attacks Johnston and Olizon alone, and almost dies taking out their guards, before, heavily if not gravely wounded, charging the two dictatorial brothers themselves. Meanwhile, the firing squad executing Asura gets killed by her unlocking her metalbending abilities, as Jan Svoboda, Marshal of Central Europe, launches a second invasion of the Reich's homeland.
The sweet taste of death
Mike charged. As he was only about five metres from his opponents, he leapt upwards. His previous sprint had provided him with sufficient energy to let him fall forward, exactly like he'd planned to. As he reached the two brothers, he separated his legs at lightning speed, striking them in the stomach, before extending his arms into the same direction, his fists clenched, which then struck them in the midst of their faces. To not hit the ground hard, he rolled away from Olizon and the Führer as he landed, observing the amount of damage he'd done. Both were getting up slowly and seemed to have broken noses, but that was it. Mike, on the other hand, could barely stand without becoming unconscious, having lost too much blood. After having picked himself up from the surprising strike, Johnston used his expertise in bloodbending to heal himself and his brother, while forcing Mike to stand upright about ten metres away. Olizon was repeatedly slipping in the pool of blood he'd landed in, and thus, it took him long to get up. After having accomplished the feat, he looked at the beaten-up Grand Admiral. "You are one foolish boy...." was all the Fire Lord could muster at the moment, before straightening his back and circling his arms in a special way, electricity soon following his fingertips. Mike, weak and bloodbent, used all the strength he found to extend his arms, like Asura had described it to him once. The lightning bolt hit his right arm, and so he moved his left one to guide the lightning. It's only electricity... , he thought as he lead it down his arm, towards his stomach. If I'm careful I'll survive it... Having reached his belly's centre, the electricity was close to the three bullets that had penetrated Mike before, and, as it is electricity's nature to be attracted by metal, most of it sprung over to the three projectiles as Mike extended his left arm to redirect the lightning somewhere else. But his previous luck of a bullet missing both his lungs and his heart now was his damnation - it stopped both. The high voltage made the Grand Admiral's body shake heavily before the bolt left it again, striking the glass cupola roofing the hall. He fell at last, having used up all his strength. The two dictatorial brothers then turned and proceeded walking as if nothing had happened. Their mission had priority.
It's a long way...
Asura soon had realised that when both of them were taking the same way, walking was the worse alternative. She hopped on the lorry as her brother, who was driving, wondered, "What in Koh's realm is going on here? We're past the door where we started? What the... "
Malu looked around and too recognised the concrete building to the right as the one they should've been executed in. She then looked behind their vehicle and noticed a wheeled, armoured one following them, as well as soldiers bursting out of civilian houses. "This is a disguised military camp! Those bastards! C'mon, Zolu, find us a way outta here, hurry!"
The Captain had noticed it as well and tried to pick up speed, but when he hit the accelerator, the lorry refused to go any faster. The armoured car behind them opened fire with an auto-cannon, while the infantry around them shot the tires and the engine, trying to slow them down. "What the fuck do you think I'm trying to do?" shouted Zolu back at the Air Nomad, who then shattered the back window completely and ordered Luo, who was trying to take cover, alike Kiruya and Asura, after bent material, "Hey, Luo! Get the three of you outta here! I'm taking Zolu with me, now go!"
She took her glider staff in to one hand, and grasped hold of Zolu with the other, and climbed onto the lorry's driving cab's roof, where she opened the glider and, pulling Zolu as close as possible to prevent him falling down, took off. Following that, she could hear rumbling as Luo, Kiruya and Asura submerged in the earth. The infantry and the armoured car both tried to hit them, but Malu accelerated and rose up as well. At their altitude, they could see why they hadn't found a way out - it was disguised as a garage, while the street they had been driving was basically leading around the camp, with many small inconspicuous alleyways branching off it, only to discharge into the main street again. It was perfectly hidden in Huston's cityscape, which also made it difficult for Malu to determine where it was safe to land. After her and Zolu's hands slowly were becoming sweaty, she decided to land at a spot where the other three popped out only a few moments later. "Great. Now we all have to walk," was Luo's bitter remark at the situation. He then went over to an empty newspaper kiosk, returning with an example of that day's newspaper, reading aloud, "The Civil Space Port is reserved for the festivities of the Führer taking off, whereas the last remaining few military spaceships will naturally depart at the Military Space Port... "
The five looked at one another, Kiruya quietly asking, "And where would that be?"
"Well, at the other end of the city. Good thing is, we're in the middle!" Malu exclaimed. She earned weird looks from the others, but then they decided she was kind of right. They all took leave of Asura, she commenting, "It might be the last time we meet each other. Farewell, lads."
Asura then took a run-up and then jumped, shooting a massive stream of fire from both her feet, propelling herself towards the Space Port. The four left wordlessly into the direction, just as Zolu noticed a seemingly hastily abandoned car in the middle of the street. He ran towards it and tried to find a way to start, before Luo came up to him and just turned the ignition lock with his metalbending, seating himself in the back. "Seriously? Ever steal a car, Zolu?" was Malu's only comment as she sat herself next to Zolu when he drove off to the Military Space Port.
She'd landed just before the huge, colonial-style-built complex, and now was surprised at the ease she could enter it after finding no guards or the like, not that she had anything to fear now she had unlocked her ability to bend metal. She walked in through the front door, through all the imposing halls that formed the long way to the take-off and landing area, before she could hear two or more soldiers talking to each other in German. Spinning around, she caught a glimpse of the men, three in numbers, and took notice of their black uniforms. She hid herself around the corner of the corridor they were walking through, and waited until they were out of earshot. Afterwards, she hurried down the very same corridor, finding out it was meant for staff, and leading to toilets. She was about to leave as she took notice of someone approaching quickly. She looked around, desperate for a hiding spot, and found the toilet an excellent place for it. She hurried inside it, and stepped up on one of the toilets, until she noticed that the door opened. "...if the Führer is gonna take just a little longer, I can still take a-" the entering person spoke. She was a woman, wearing her entire SS-garb. Not only did that surprise Asura, but also did it surprise the woman to find another one trying to hide from her, in the bathroom stalls of all places. " -before we leave?" she finished, almost opening the door, but found a little earth column locking it. She then took out a walkie-talkie, but Asura blew it against the wall, before jumping out of the stall and throwing a few quick punches at her opponent, which made her fall, completely immobile. After gagging her with her own dressing material, Asura took each and every piece of equipment the SS-soldier had been carrying with her from her, before she went over to disguise herself. The female soldier showed little to no resistance against the taking of her uniform, as Asura had bound her to the ground using earthbending, until it came to the uniform's shirt. The woman shook heavily in protest to hinder Asura in whatever she was doing, but the Avatar then ceased the woman's movements with a simply punch in the jaw. Only a minute later, Asura stood over the SS-soldier in her black uniform, aiming the sub-machine gun's muzzle at her, before deciding to leave at the sound of footsteps coming closer. She opened the door to the corridor, only to almost strike an SS-soldier in the face, whom she asked, "What is going on?" adding after comparing his and her own rank insignia, "Oberscharführer?"
The soldier turned to face her briefly, speaking enthusiastically, "The Führer has arrived, at last!"
Without further ado, Asura followed the soldier and came up to a field at which a spaceship stood, supported by its extendible pillars, a ramp at its bottom opened to provide access into the ship, SS-soldiers lining the way to the ramp. Asura filled the last gap and did her best to imitate those around her. The Führer and his brother, the Fire Lord, passed through and walked up the ramp, none noticing Asura. As they had climbed up the ramp, all the soldiers stepped forth at once, and then turned to face the ship, and started marching. They entered it, the Führer's personal yacht, the Aria. All she had to do now was to end the two dictatorial brothers.
Finding the Military Space Port on a map had already been difficult enough, but finding a way to get there was the foursome's horror, they couldn't come to an arrangement and Zolu had almost challenged Kiruya to a duel. Malu had had enough of arguing about which way was better and got out of the car, opened her glider, and took off with the words, "I'll see if Asura needs my help!"
Zolu took hold of the map the Air Nomad had held before, and summed up, "Alright, let's see... We're currently here, and that's the Space Port... So we have- "
"That's the Civil Space Port you were pointing at," Luo remarked, finishing with a chuckle, "I'll go find a way. Just follow the trail of destruction."
As Luo propelled himself into the air with an earth column, Zolu started the car engine again and decided to look for street names. After only finding numbers, Kiruya looked at him, shook her head and returned to looking for a way on the road map Zolu had previously held. The minutes passed and Zolu decided to look for some way of listening to European Broadcast using the car radio, but decided to give it up after a few minutes while Kiruya got confused by the grid-like layout of the whole city. That was when they heard a cry for help from behind. Kiruya looked there, and noticed Malu running towards them, obviously nervous. She went over to the driver's side, opened the door, and pushed Zolu aside by sitting herself there. She closed the door, and hit the accelerator hard. The car sped towards the Civil Space Port, which they reached within five minutes. There, Malu rammed through the fence and the main entrance of one of the main halls, into the one whose glass cupola was shattered. There, she braked and got out of the car at once, sprinting towards the body in the hall's centre. It wore a British World War Two uniform, a rifle and a revolver from the same country and age laying nearby. As Malu heaved the seemingly dead body at the back seat of the car, which made Kiruya exclaim, disgusted and surprised, "Mike?!"
She looked at the Grand Admiral, and then asked Malu, who refrained from driving this time, "Do you expect me to heal him?"
"Yes," was the plain answer.
"You expect me to revive him? He's dead!" Kiruya's voice was desperate. She simply couldn't help.
"I think the amulet you stole in Ba Sing Se tells another story..." Malu remarked, referring to the infamous amulet Kiruya's ancestress Katara had used to resurrect Aang after he had been struck by lightning. Kiruya remembered taking it with her, and took it out. She opened it, but then realised something as Malu kept on driving. I need to get the bullets out first, she thought, and thus, she bloodbent his remaining blood, and gathered it around his three bullet wounds. The projectiles shot out the same way they had entered, before Kiruya had employed any healing. First, she pulled water out of the air, and then took the amulet, opened it and bent the water from the Spirit Oasis separately. Without knowing what exactly she was doing, she applied it to the wound the nearest to his heart. The circling liquid flowed in, and then spread through his whole body, his veins glowing, alike the water, in a bright blue. As she added ordinary water, the wounds and the burns healed partly, but then cicatrised. The healing was far from complete, but at the time Malu stopped to drop him, Mike's heart was beating. He reopened his eyes tried to sit up, but Kiruya pressed him down, to make him rest. "What's.... What has happened?" was his first question.
"You were... dead. Like, actually dead," answered Kiruya smiling as he rose to sit upright, before falling again due to his severe lack of blood. "I noticed that... What else?"
"My dear foolish sister went to confront Johnston and Olizon alone," stated Zolu. Upon hearing the news, Mike rose faster than before, but didn't fall back. "That's idiotic. I must help her."
Kiruya shook her head and defiantly ordered, "Mike, I just resurrected you, but that doesn't mean you can do heroic actions now, you need to rest!"
"Well then, I'll take my rifle as a cane then," Mike decided confidently. As Malu handed him the Lee-Enfield and the Webley, he advised, "You try to hold up the enemy space fleet for as long as possible. Capture one of the enemy's fighters and try to hinder them from the inside or something similar. I must go now, farewell!"
The three then headed for the Military Space Port, a facility surrounded by electric barbed wire, minefields, watchtowers and the like, where Luo hopped on as soon as they passed by. Malu accelerated to the car's maximum and then burst through the open gates, starting the alarm, and through the whole complex right to the spaceships, where she drove to the nearest, before getting out of the car and aboard the ship, where they hid in a storage room. As the alarm ended, Zolu got out of his hiding spot in the room, unsheathed Space Sword and took his electrified glove, intending to open the door to the outside, but right when he's reached the door handle, the whole ship rattled heavily as it took off, throwing Zolu off balance.
Thousands of landing crafts dispatched as aircraft and naval artillery struck the coastal defences. Operation Agamemnon, the greatest amphibious landing operation of all time, was beginning. The Central European, both German and the British Army Groups, all at full force, were entrusted with the mission of capturing the Reich's capital city, Washington D.C., and bring an end to the war. Rebellions in the African Union, the Latin American Republic, and even in Canada, as well as Japan's betrayal, had severely weakened the Reich's position, but that operation's sole purpose was to bring it down at last. Two and a quarter million soldiers were making sure of that. Jan took a look over the small tactical map installed in his tank, before the boat hit the beach. The tank jolted, before the driver started the engine and it began to move. The Marshal took the radio unit's headset and began giving orders to his subordinates, when an artillery shell struck the turret's roof. The detonation sent jolts through the tank, and the sound of it briefly made Jan deaf. Also had he fallen from his seat, and clung onto the headset, thus the wire had ripped. As he, bruised, got there again, neither he nor any of his crewmembers found time to fix it. He opened the hatchway into the turret, and was surprised to find the AA-machine gun mounted atop the turret intact. Without thinking much, he loaded it and took aim at the nearest enemy position. He pulled the trigger and made an enemy machine gunner in a bunker fall, never to rise again. Infantry advanced behind the tanks, using them as cover, but this tactic was of little use when an enemy tank opened fire. The land around, still devastated from the failed Operation Phoenix, was ideal for ambushes of that kind, having once been a suburb of Washington. However, the enemy tank commander made a grave mistake in ordering to attack, as his vehicle was met with heavy direct fire. What remained of it wasn't even worth being called "wreck". The units advanced through former houses, braking down everything in their way, until shells began to explode everywhere around them. The lights glowing up to the West, in Washington, gave away the artillery's position, and so, Jan ordered, his voice hoarse, "Come on! Hop on the tanks, and keep driving as fast as you can! Washington is just ahead!"
The surviving soldiers did as they were ordered, and crawled on the tanks they had used as cover, just before those vehicles doubled their speed. Still being shelled heavily, the spearhead of the invasion force, the Central European Tank Corps, advanced with high speed, mechanised and motorised infantry units following closely. The shelling continued, even intensified, and was aimed at the whole spearhead, but then, it all worsened. The unmistakable sound of turbines was heard throughout the area, and then, all of sudden, an aircraft emerged from a storm cloud and came down on the armoured units, whose machine guns opened fire - for naught. Three of the tanks went up in flames, while all others kept moving. Then, when the three unlucky exploded, another aeroplane came bursting down, but Jan managed to fire his machine gun in time to hit the cockpit, just so another machine gunner could strike the missiles. The artillery battery came into sight a mere minute later, only to reveal itself being guarded by tank units, which, simultaneous with the artillery, opened fire on the European units. As tank after tank was hit, Jan returned into the turret, took out a small knife and duct tape, handed them to the tank's assistant gunner with the words, "I'm holding off the enemy for as long as I can, you fix the radio."
He seated himself in the gunner's position, and loaded it, aiming at the nearest tank's turret. He then pulled the gun's trigger.
The Commander had been expecting them. Admirals Visconti and Janssen were unlikely to hinder him, Leonard T. Stuart, to win the war, especially after a devastating victory over him like the recent in the Tau Ceti system. But this time, it would be different. He walked over to the newest of the control tables on the bridge. It was situated in the centre, and formed a semi-circle around the commander's seat. It seemed to him that the use of an Anti-Matter cannon was of utmost complexity. He did not fear the advancing enemy of his, the European Space Fleet. He did not fear the Nemesis nor the Red October, he was in possession of the greatest weapon mankind had managed to produce.
The flash of light was blinding. The Nemesis was the first to emerge from hyperspace, all other ships following a second later, all at once. The Europeans had gathered their forces after their victory at the Tau Ceti system, and now were striking. No other Space Fleet could possibly make it to the Solar System in time to hinder the Germania's mission's start, which would be the end of the Allies. Anna looked over the Solar System before them. She could distinguish not a single one of the planets, only the sun, as the biggest speck of light amongst millions of millions of millions. Olaf stepped to her side, and grasped her hand, looking to the Nemesis' bow.
"We're gonna use it, won't we?" he asked his superior and - so to say - girlfriend, referring to the most powerful addition to the ship's armament.
"Yes." The answer was plain, and silent. The ships were arranging in an arrow-like formation as she surveyed the plane, that the Solar System formed, below closely. A few moments of silence passed, until the Nemesis' engines roared to life, as well as the other ships', and they began moving in. Minutes passed, until the enemy force was visible. They were floating over the Gulf of Mexico, only few ships still missing. The three understrength Space Fleets which the League's Space Navy compromised were only a shadow of their former selves. They once had been the most advanced, the proudest force in the Galaxy - unlike now. Now, they were little more than a bunch of hyperspace-going scrap-piles. The two remained at the bridge's front, until they noticed the only battleship that hadn't been sunk that was comparable with the Nemesis - the Germania. The two moved farther to the bridge's back, after breaking from each other, frowning. Anna decided to speak a few motivational words once everyone had noticed the battleship's presence, "Okay lads, we've all waited for this moment. Now let's not fuck it up."
Notes and Trivia
- Every storyline, except Arzawa's, which basically has already ended, is coming to an end pretty soon. But do not despair, for I have planned a sequel!
For the collective works of the author, go here.