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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 tries to assault the Führer and Olizon, but fails and gets struck fatally. Asura leaves Luo, Kiruya, Zolu and Malu to confront Johnston and Olizon alone. Kiruya resurrects Mike, before the four (without Mike) leave to aid in fighting the League's Space Force. Jan's invasion force's spearhead reaches Washington D.C., while the European Space Fleet arrives in the Solar System to stop the League's forces.
Engagement - in battle
Zolu got hold of a stick of some sort, and pulled himself up on it, until someone pulled it away from him. He fell again, and realised that this someone had been Malu. Noticing it had been Zolu who'd grasped her staff, she got to him and helped him up, careful not to touch his left hand, which was covered by a very improved electrified glove. Zolu took a glance around, seeing Luo trying to burst the door open, but failing. Zolu shook his head as Kiruya handed Malu three cans, which Zolu only swiftly saw, noticing them bearing colours, each another one, red, white and blue. However, the Captain then got up and walked to the metal door again, and turned the wheel locking it. After it didn't swing open, he kicked it open, and swung Space Sword to eliminate any potential resistance to the door's left, as it swung to the right. An injured soldier clothed in a similar uniform as the Wehrmacht's fell to the ground, and tried to rise up again, only to be met with the sword's cold and ancient steel, which was stuck through his chest. After Zolu pulled the blade out again, he made way for the other three, and they began their sprint to what Malu determined to be the hangars. They ran down a narrow corridor, being fired at from behind after about a dozen metres. Luo spun around, and, making use of his own uniform, he shot his metal cables forth, and crashed one of the three approaching riflemen into the other two, only to resume running afterwards, to catch up with the others. They had chosen a steep set of stairs leading upwards, and so Luo followed them that way, overwhelming two charging soldiers, who tried to sneak up on the others, who fended off an attack from the front. Kiruya had encased a few bullets mid-flight, while Malu tried to hold them off for Zolu to strike, but as he failed to come close, and almost was struck by a bullet, he just thrust his sword there. It impaled one of the shooters who constantly increased in numbers, before Luo managed to rip off a sheet of steel off the ceiling, which he hauled towards their enemies, knocking them all down.
The four followed the track of destruction, soon coming to a loud room, with dozens of soldiers positioned around a stairway which lead downwards. The room was just above the ship's reactor and propulsion units, and the constant sound made it nearly impossible to communicate, or to hear anything in general. So, it went unnoticed that Kiruya's icicles struck down soldiers from the rear rows of soldiers, until Zolu managed to get close enough, and decided to shock one of the soldiers. The glove, which was connected to a small generator through a wire, emitted a lightning, one that threw Zolu back and struck the soldier he'd aimed it at, before it jumped over to the one nearest to him, and went onwards in striking down soldier after soldier, and electrified the metal ground, before Zolu had found a way of turning it off. The result was a smoking stack of dead or unconscious bodies around the stairway into the hangar area. Without much thought, Malu leapt down, and sprinted, armed with the three aerosol cans of hers, to the next - and only - fighter bomber she found. It was, alike any vessel of the Reich, marked with swastikas, which Malu now began to cover with the European insignia, a red circle surrounded by a white one which itself was surrounded by a blue one. Soon enough, the hangar's personnel had got reinforcements and had opened fire on the sole Air Nomad, until however the other three came to her aid. Heavy fire from all around met them when they had arrived at the spacecraft's open ramp. Luo instantly began to rip pieces out of the floor, ceiling and the walls, to shield themselves, but found it dispensable when the first bullets began to penetrate it. He threw the massive pieces of metal at the few riflemen around, crushing their bones, before he noticed Zolu taking out a soldier who had managed to sneak up on them on the fighter-bomber's left side. Due to the great number of enemies, Zolu decided to take the man's rifle and all his ammunition for it, and crawled on the spacecraft's top, drawing the attention towards himself, sniping several of the enemy soldiers, before resuming to a direct assault, jumping on the ground again, and charging towards the nearest aggregation of enemies, firing the assault rifle as doing so. Just then, the massive gates of the hangar began to open.
"I'm finished, get in the plane! They're gonna suck us out into space!" Malu yelled, and so, Zolu ran as fast as he could towards the closing ramp, tossing away the rifle and ammunition as he leapt through. He landed inside and almost instantly took the pilot's seat.
"And what exactly should that be?" Malu asked, and gestured towards Kiruya, whose bloody hands now operated the radio unit, and to Luo who had taken control of the AA-machine gun.
"Er... I thought I'd fly this- "
"Well, you won't. You don't have any training flying such a fighter bomber, I even saved our lives once, remember?" Malu spoke as the Captain, grunting, stood up and chose the co-pilot's seat instead. Malu turned on anything she could find switches for, and, once the ship was floating, opened fire and it around, leaving the other ships destroyed or damaged. Then, she flew it out into space, her - and everyone else's - jaw dropping at the sight. Hundreds of spaceships, opposing each other. The League's force being led by the massive Germania, the European by the infamous Nemesis.
"Kiruya, get word to whoever leads the European Space Fleet now that we're on their side," were Malu's orders as she approached the battle formations' centre, where the two battleships were to meet.
"Alright, you all know the procedure. We strike first, and we strike fast. While the Germania is immobilised, we can send our fighters to destroy it, before we break through the centre, and then encircle one of the two halves of their forces, and annihilate it as quickly as possible, before we deal with the rest. Oh, and get word to all forces of the Allies that should we fail, they have to prepare for the hardest battle ever fought. Got it?" Anna shouted, walking around. "Yes ma'am!" was the only answer she could hear, and before long, one of the communications officers rose his voice, "Ma'am! We've got an incoming call from a fighter-bomber!"
"And why exactly should I care?" Anna responded uninterested.
"Well, they demand to speak to you."
Anna rose an eyebrow and walked to the communications section, and took a headset. "...Anna Visconti? Can you hear me?" a female and distantly familiar voice sounded through.
"Yes, loudly and clear. Why are you disturbing our preparations, and... WHO THE HECK ARE YOU?!"
"Malu of the Air Nomads. You met me at Aang Memorial Island, when you discovered our planet, remember? With me are Kiruya of the Water Tribe, and Captains Zolu and Luo Beifong. We journeyed the past two years with your official superior, Grand Admiral- "
"Oh, Mike... I assume he is alive then, he survived Operation Phoenix?" Anna sounded relieved and worried at the same time.
"Yes. Or rather, he was when we last met him about half an hour ago, though, he WAS dead... Anyway, we disturbed you because, well, we pilot an enemy fighter-bomber and want to aid you in any way possible, and... "
"You may, in case you have painted European insignia on it. Just shut up already," Anna spoke before throwing down her headset, and turned to walk to the bridge's front again, as suddenly a fighter-bomber sore past the Nemesis' bridge, and then turned and headed for the Germania.
"Open fire already! Fire at will!" Anna ordered, as Olaf entered the bridge from behind, asking, "Don't you want to fire the Tesla Gun first?"
Anna shushed him at naming the secret weapon the Nemesis had been equipped with, but then realised he was right anyway. But by then, the electricity had already been directed to the coil- and plasma guns, which now opened fire on the mighty battleship in front of them.
"Sir! We are under attack!"
"I noticed that, idiot! We need time to prepare the Anti-Matter Cannon, we need another ship covering us! We need all the energy to prepare the weapon, and for that period, we haven't got the shield, nor any other weaponry, so we need another ship! FAST!" the enraged Supreme Commander shouted. His scared subordinate obeyed, and soon enough, the last other ship of the Germania-Class arrived at her side, the Bismarck. The volleys coming from the Nemesis and her sister ships, the near Red October, the Garibaldi, the Napoleon, and the Gustav Adolf were piercing the massive armour of the flagship as if it was paper, but then the sister ship arrived and countered, flying in the Nemesis' line of fire. Stuart smirked as other ships grouped around his, guarding it from every side. Victory was, at last, at hand.
Both Anna's and Olaf's eyes widened at what they surveyed happening around the Germania, especially the Bismarck guarding it. "Keep firing! But more importantly... we need to get our Tesla Gun going! Hurry up!" Olaf ordered as he noticed Anna running towards the radio section.
"Malu! Or Kiruya! Or Captain Zolu or Beifong or whoever! We are in need of your help now..." Anna's voice emitted from the radio. Malu's and Zolu's glances met as they both shared a thought, and they grasped the levers controlling the propulsion, turning it up to the maximum, before both grabbed their respective steering sticks, and narrowed their eyes at the massive accumulation of enemy spaceships before them.
The battered Grand Admiral stumbled through the gate of the estate he had called his own for the past days. His two guns were of no use anymore, without ammunition and the strength to hold any of them. Kiruya had healed him with Spirit Water, she had resurrected him, actually, but its miraculous powers began to wear off. Using his rifle as a crutch, he made it to the house's massive portal. He believed he had too little strength to push the door handle, not to speak of opening the door, but somehow, by leaning his weak body against it, it swung open. He only knew one room in the building to have a first-aid kit, the bathroom, and so he hurried to it. Growing weaker with every step, he couldn't hold himself upright any longer after he pushed the door leading into the bathroom, which was lavish as any room of the house. Laying face-down on the floor, he lifted himself up, and crawled forward on all fours, to the mirror, below which a sink was installed. He took hold of the porcelain, and pulled himself up with support from his legs, and leaned on the sink as he examined his reflexion. A massive burn scar ran from his left cheek over his nose bridge and the area around the right eye to end just above his right temple. His hands were burned altogether, all covered in burnt flesh of his own, the scar stretching up to halfway between his wrist and elbow, on both arms. He pulled himself together and let go of his hands' support to wash his face. He turned on the water and formed a bowl with his hands, to gather water which he then splashed over his face - only to discover that the ordinary water burned the scar, which now opened up again, like the fire that had caused it. At the same time, his strength left him once and for all, and his feet slipped. His upper arms and the elbows crashed into the porcelain sink, smashing it into pieces. The cry of pain following would've been deafening, had Mike found strength to scream. Instead, he just laid there, the previously cicatrised wounds bleeding again. The first-aid kit he had come for was just below the former sink. He closed his eyes at the pain of raising the hand and his burn touching something. After opening it, he took the dressing material and attended his three bullet wounds. The projectiles which had caused them weren't in his body anymore, therefore dressing the wounds was all he could do. First, he opened his uniform, and then just wrapped the part of his chest the wound contained with dressing material. Then, he clothed his upper body again, before slipping down his trousers a bit to reveal the second wound of his, which he then dressed the same way as the previous. Pulling up his trousers again, he faced a dilemma: he couldn't sit upright or move his twice wounded leg to dress his third bulled wound. Looking around, he noticed his rifle laying just out of reach. He then pushed himself towards it with his left, uninjured leg, before using the rifle for the same purpose, to get to the wall, against which he leaned. There, he used his two arms to get his right foot close enough to take off the shoe and the sock, after which he fished for the distant dressing material using his rifle. Then, he proceeded as twice before, but was careful using dressing material so the foot could still fit in the shoe. After the long and painful procedure, Mike found the pain in his hands unbearable. He remembered a pair of gloves he always carried around but never used, which were in his haversack. He took them out, and, under greater pain than anything he had done since his resurrection, he put them on. At first, the leather severed the burnt skin and flesh, but then, it fit perfectly, almost merging with his hands, forming an artificial, robust skin. Mike remained laying there and inhaled heavily for a couple of minutes, before he took his Lee-Enfield and pulled himself up, being supported by the wall. He had a grim, determined expression. "I'm going to help Asura, and nothing or no one can stop me! Neither gods nor spirits, no king or man can stop me! Hold out Asura, I'm coming!" he screamed to no one in particular as he limped forth to the garage, where he had hid the Valkyrie. After a few minutes of painful and exhausting walking, he had reached it, the massive fighter-bomber of his, and opened the ramp in the back. Slowly making his way to the pilot's seat, he pulled several levers, and the ship came to life when he had reached the seat, and sat down on it, it was fully operational. Pushing a small button, the ramp closed, and pushing another, the four forty millimetre coil-autocannons switched from ordinary to explosive ammunition. The battered Grand Admiral then turned on the engines, and grasped the steering stick once the ship floated. On it, two trigger-like buttons were installed, which he both pressed at once. Four autocannons ejected explosive shells, all aimed at the unopened garage gate. Through of the massive fireball he created, Mike flew his Valkyrie. As he took a look up, into the sky, he noticed that the Team was not alone in this fight, for the European Space Fleet had arrived already. Smirking, he piloted his obsolete fighter-bomber towards the rapidly rising armed and armoured yacht Aria.
Another. The tank's fuel burnt after the shell's explosion had ignited it. Jan had destroyed yet another tank, but still, his gunner failed to reconnect the headset with the radio. The invasion's spearhead inched forward slowly, coming under heavy - direct - artillery fire. Furthermore was infantry now advancing as well, armed with AT-rocket launchers. He switched to the machine gun installed directly beside the main gun, and opened fire on the few advancing soldiers, mowing them down like a scythe mows down the meadow. And yet, the resistance intensified, no matter how hard his tank unit pressed forward. Finally, the gunner shouted something to the marshal, and the two switched their positions, Jan taking the headset on as he climbed up to man the AA-machine gun again. "Attention all units! The Reich has constructed an anti-matter cannon, with the capability of destroying an entire planet, in the past months, and have scheduled its first use today. Should the European Space Fleet, which encounters the League's forces now, fail, you must prepare to fight with utmost valiantness to still bring defeat upon the Reich and their sparse allies, or else we shall all fall. Allied Headquarters over and out," spoke a voice through the radio all of sudden. Jan was startled at first, but then, once it had ended, he established a connection with the Air Marshal, Paul Miller, whom he ordered, "Paul! I need you to hit the enemy lines immediately! We need to advance as fast as possible! No time to debate, just do it already! Jan over."
He truly didn't give his Air Force colleague any time to answer, only time to obey, as he switched to the naval commander, Admiral Sally O'Brien, whom he then ordered, "Sally! Can your ships reach the enemy artillery positions in Washington with any kind of weapon? If so, shell said positions with all you've got, now! We've got no time, just hurry!"
After a few minutes of silence that followed Jan's orders, the enemy launched another counterattack. A few tanks had gathered, and opened the attack by taking out three European tanks, hitting another nine. Infantry streamed towards them, trying to distract the European forced from the tanks and the AT-units advancing through the vastly destroyed city. Jan had noticed their attempt, and also noticed something more important: their own motorised and mechanised infantry had arrived. Hundreds of machine guns opened fire on the sparse enemy infantry, while tank guns slowly took out enemy tank after tank, before, however, all of sudden, shells and missiles joined the Europeans in their fight - the naval and aerial bombardment had begun anew. In the chaos it was causing, the enemy attack attempt soon had given up and retreated as fast as possible. Noticing it, Jan yelled, "After them! What are we waiting for?!"
The armoured vehicles then slowly moved towards formerly bitumised roads, and then, in columns, slowly moved into Washington D.C. proper, Jan's tank leading them all. The bombardment had hauled up much dust, but now it was decreasing in intensity, the dust settled, and revealed something Jan had never thought of seeing. The massive flag pole, which the Nazis had erected in place of the Washington Monument, flying a flag - the only flag it ever was meant to fly, the Victory Flag, the Siegesflagge. It was an ordinary Reichskriegsflagge, with golden ray-like figures emerging from the swastika, only fabricated for one purpose, to be flown at the day the Reich defeats its enemies. Today's not that day, Jan thought, before screaming it out loud, "Today's not that day!" later, after a few seconds, adding, "We can't let them win neither, this battle, nor this war!"
Following his shout, he ordered his tank's driver, "Get me to that flag pole, no matter the resistance we will encounter, get me there. I need to do something about it."
The driver only nodded, and turned the tank directly into the flag pole's direction.
"Attention all units! The Reich believes it has achieved victory. But we are going to make sure to prove them wrong. All ground units participating in Operation Agamemnon, advance into Washington D.C. Marshal Svoboda over and out."
The woman walked hastily into the next room she could find, and there, closed the door behind her and took off her hat. It appeared to be a toilet room, so she had to hurry. She moved to the mirror and began to arrange her hair in the topknot she was used to arrange it in. After a few minutes, she had skilfully committed her task, and took her hat to see if it could hide the topknot. After noticing it fitted perfectly, she left the room again and, instead of reporting to her superior like she should have, she ran down the corridor to the back of the ship, only to take the stairs leading upwards there. After having found the lavish staircase she had searched for after having sped down the corridor, she examined her surroundings. A gas pipe for the heating system disguised as a column was all she could notice to be unusual, and so she decided to scan the pipe further, until she realised the gas inside, according to the label Natural gas, was highly flammable. She smirked before making her way up the stairs, and pushing the heavy wooden twin door open, behind which she found the room of the two dictatorial brothers. Lavish, was all she could think, so lavish. What she was doing wasn't exactly her idea of sneaking into something, but still she tried to be as quiet as possible. The room was enormous, it had a glass cupola, a parquet floor, and its walls were decorated by marble and granite reliefs.
"It escapes my memory that I have ordered you here now... "
The cold voice the Führer had pulled her out of her little daydream, as the Fire Lord and the Führer together approached her. She decided that it was upon time, and she took off her hat again, and ripped the swastika from her uniform.
"I don't recall you intended to call me here at all, in fact," Asura stated. Tanook/Johnston and Olizon both were shocked at the realisation that she was not dead, but in fact standing right in front of them, the Führer stuttering, but yet remaining calm, spoke, "But that's imp- impossible! You should- should've been reincarnated by now!"
"As you can see, I have not," Asura stated, before she decided to haul a chunk of granite from behind them at them, and she added, "AND AS YOU CAN FEEL!"
The rock struck the two into their respective backs, throwing them forward. Asura took the moment of confusion to get a better position. As the two got up, they were met by an air swipe in their faces, but Johnston drew water from the air and skilfully launched ice spikes at Asura, while his brother incinerated everything in his path before attacking the Avatar directly with a heavy barrage of blue fireballs. Asura met those attacks by ripping out a sheet of metal from beneath the stone cover, which she used as a shield. Without thinking about possible consequences, Olizon generated lightning and fired it at the barrier. It shattered upon the bolt's contact, and the Avatar had to think of a new way of fighting two masters of their arts. Tanook used her moment of weakness to strike her with a number of icicles he drew from thin air. Asura shattered them with her fists, and drew pieces of rocks from behind her forward, and shot it at the two like bullets. However, Olizon anticipated it, and raised a wall of fire, which he then shot towards her. Asura parted it, and herself generated lightning, hauling the bolt at the Fire Lord, who redirected it to join forces with his brother, who bent water from a pipe Asura had broken to use the metal. Tanook rode towards her on a wave, while Olizon shot her own lightning at her, and she had no means of evading - or so she thought at first. She made use of her airbending once again, this time she made herself fall faster, and so out of the way of both attacks. Spinning around to stand again, she bent the Führer's water, and grabbed Olizon with a water whip, throwing him into the attacking Johnston. The two, however, didn't strike each other as hoped, instead, Tanook ducked, unleashing a water jet at her, while the Fire Lord propelled himself over his brother and then resumed to use his most powerful attack. He snapped his index and middle fingers, extending them at once, while stretching his had. A ray of pure heat shot forth towards Asura, but she took a piece of rock, a little water, fire and air to form a barricade against the powerful attack. Nonetheless, it blew her back, and threw her against the glass of a window, which then started to crack. A fireball hit the weakened Avatar in the stomach and threw her out of the ship, but only seconds later, she burst through the glass cupola roofing the room with a massive fire blast. She stood up, but before she could strike another time, Johnston had grasped her in his bloodbending grip, and Olizon was preparing to end her with combustion. That was when her eyes lit up. She simply redirected it into the roof with a powerful air blast, briefly knocking Olizon out with another one, before directing her attention towards Johnston. It was not her, but a past life of hers who controlled her, and so, she bound his hands and his feet together with chunks of stone she had bent before, and was about to end his life, when the glow leaved her eyes. She slid down to her knees, and tried again to end him with a simple fire blast, and again, the third time with lightning, but she failed to put it to an end. She stood up and spoke, somewhat regretting, "I killed dozens of soldiers who surely were less guilty than you, but yet I fail to kill you, a mass murderer, a totalitarian dictator?"
It then was the Führer who struck first.
Notes and Trivia
- The scene of Mike struggling to even stand was partially inspired by the British/German film Rush, and thus by the story of the Austrian Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda.
For the collective works of the author, go here.