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Not one single Step backwards?
Chapter information
Series

Avatar: The War of the Worlds

Book

1: Collision

Chapter

15

Written by

Sep0815

Editor(s)

Sep0815

Release date

13.4.2013

Chronology
Last chapter

Chapter 14: New Year's Battle, Part One

Next chapter

Chapter 1: Beneath the Surface

Opening sequence

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 almost 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 cargo: WAR.
A war even the Avatar and her allies can barely end.
But the question is: Will there still be a world to save?

Previously on Avatar: The War of the Worlds

The Four Nations' Legion begins its battle against the 6th Shock Army. Their tank division, under command of Mike, their infantry, commanded by Luo, their naval forces, commanded by Zolu and Kiruya, and their air force, which is commanded by Malu, are pushing forward, while the bending division is keeping the 6th Army at bay.

The sun's zenith

The Legion's tank division rattled forward faster than it should have been possible to aid their infantry. The Shock Army's last tank exploded behind the hundreds of tanks in v-formation, which prepared for the battle ahead. Mike, sweating heavily, looked at his watch and announced, "It's noon now... Just four hours since the call came! Good work lads!"
They had driven hundred kilometres over the huge, rocky plain and were just half an hour far from the ridge Luo and his men had dug themselves in, the ordinary infantry arriving at around the same time. The sun burned down at the snow-covered ground and everything atop it, which caused every human there to sweat heavily, like in the desert south of there. Mike opened the breechblock and inserted a heavy 105-millimetre shell, which was followed by a cartridge, before he closed it again. He then opened the hatchway to reload the machine gun up there, just to be ready. When he had finished the action, the ridge, resembling a sieged fortress, came into sight.

"Sir! The two other infantry divisions and the tank division are on their way and are most likely to arrive at the same time!", a Water Tribe officer reported to Luo, who nodded, observing the enemy movements below, who had summoned the last of their tanks, most of their infantry, which was about four divisions, and heavy equipment for the latter, such as IFVs. The Legion could withstand them, but the chances to win this battle were slim. The enemy was too close and the artillery too distant to strike the infantry crawling below. The terrain between Full Moon Bay and the 6th Army's camp was plain, but most of it were impassable, and the enemy's camp was closer to their own than where the battle ended up to be fought. "Though, it's not too far for our air force!", Luo thought aloud, grabbing his binoculars and observing the IFVs and tanks, which appeared to be equipped with AA-missiles. So the infantry prepared for the inevitable, to face the enemy's infantry, who charged at their positions. The - mostly grey - mass streamed against them like a river against a dam about to break. The enemy rolled, climbed and walked up the slope, laid under heavy fire such as of machine guns. Though it seemed to take a high toll, the enemy just streamed forward, unstoppable, invincible, until the latter struck back. Shells and bullets rained at the ducking soldiers of the Four Nations, who quivering reloaded their guns, attached their bayonets or detached their heavy weaponry from their mounts. The enemy soldiers, always covering their faces beneath gas masks, stormed in and were immediately hit by metalbending and bullets, shells and grenades. However, they seemed to begin to shiver when shells penetrated the last of their tanks, killing the latter's crews and the soldiers around them. As scythes cutting down corn, the machine guns cut down the grey, armoured and uniformed masses that didn't manage to get out of the bullets' way. The grey mass, although superior in numbers, panicked and made an attempt to flee back to their camp. Answering this were detonating shells which boosted this effect. Accompanied by the now arriving two infantry divisions on foot, the Legion's motorised infantry streamed down the ridge, driven by the actual chance of emerging victorious. The grey uniformed mass fled into the - for tanks - impassable parts of the plain that were dotted with hills. The tide in the battle had turned within a few minutes, but that changed little in the aerial battle above their heads.

Malu's twin engine aircraft flew in front of a squadron of similar aircraft, as hundreds of alike formations soared over the rocky, arid plain, towards the enemy encampment. The roaring of the engines filled the air, but soon, some other kind of roaring became audible, similar to the one of rockets, or jet aeroplanes, a sound Malu had heard enough for that day: the engines of the 6th Army's (atmospherical) fighters. These soon came into sight, their coil guns firing at the head squadron, Malu's one. Reacting faster than any other pilot, Malu directed her aeroplane beneath the attacking ones, which came in similar numbers as the Legion's ones. Her plane beneath and unspotted for the next split seconds, she could think of what to do. Turning the plane around its vertical axis, she aimed it at the closest enemy fighter before firing her cannonry. The bullets hit the fighter hard, smoke emerging from the holes. It fell without a certain target, before a second of its kind opened fire at the Air Nomad's fighter, which shot up all of sudden.
"I... will... never fly with you again! NEVER!", Malu's radio operator complained, grabbing the handles of the still installed rear gun, firing it at the chasing fighter. Malu gave her best to evade the enemy's bullets, but some still managed to hit the wings. All around her, the tide was turning to the Legion's favour, just she was losing. The wings' ends detached themselves from the rest of the aeroplane with the help of the bullets that now hit more often, and both, the front and the rear guns were running low of ammunition. The engines ripped apart, setting the aircraft on fire. Just in the moment the enemy fighter would have completely torn Malu's apart, the former was shot down by one of the few of the Legion's jet fighters. Malu looked over her shoulder, witnessing the radio operator's last breath, which made her wanting to help instantly, "Dammit! Why do I have to be an airbender, why can't I be a waterbender...? Wait... I'm an airbender... "
She took control over the radio unit, contacting Mike with the words, "Uh, Mike, I kind of got shot down. If you could pick me up... I'm somewhere halfway between our and the enemy camp... "
Shortly thereafter, a response came in, noises of battle in the background, "Well, I believe I actually see your falling plane. Bend yourself out or something."
She cut through the safety belt that held her in the seat, took her staff and, assisting herself with her airbending, breaking the cockpit's glass cupola, realising just how close she was to the ground. She created a small tornado in her right hand and directed it to the cupola and, strengthened by the fall wind, broke up a bigger hole in it, which she used to rise from the sitting position she had been in for over twelve hours straight. She leapt up into the air, as her former aeroplane crashed in an explosion beneath her, setting the surrounding (few) trees on fire. She landed again in front of a squad of the 6th Army's soldiers, whom she dealt with after it had taken them half a minute to realise Malu was their enemy. She swung her staff, crashing half of the soldiers into the burning wreck her plane had become, while the other six were eliminated by a machine gun that appeared to be fired from atop a tank's turret.
"This terrain turned out to be more suitable for tank operations than anything else", the machine gunner stated, before continuing after reloading the mounted machine gun, "Well, just as the Ardennes in southern Belgium/north-eastern France... Wait... You're Malu! Come, hop on!"
Rolling her eyes at the soldier with the red beret, she asked, "Do you really have room for someone like me?"
Mike smiled at her, answering, "Only if you want to aim and fire the main gun... "

The rumbling of track vehicles and marching soldiers was clearly coming closer. Their commander had lost contact to each sergeant by now, mostly two at once. Their enemy made use of their separation, using the tactic "divide and conquer". None of the twenty-five denied that they were trembling, even Asura, who silently meditated in her foxhole. The two squads didn't even try to set up proper defences, their defeat was certain.
"So... What do we do then, when... they come?", one of the soldiers asked his commander.
"We surrender. If we fought, we couldn't even buy some time, we would be slaughtered, and those who already have surrendered as well. No, we'll surrender."
When the dust cloud following the enemy could be seen close, the two squads split and lined up, the earthbenders to the left, the firebenders to the right of Asura, who raised her foxhole's ground. Soon, the tanks moved in accompanied by IFVs, which all stopped at the sight of the meditating Avatar. The 6th Army's commander, a marshal, climbed out of the first tank, and walked past the lines the two squads had set up towards her, where he stopped, stating, "Well, who do we have here, huh? The Avatar - not that invincible after all!"
She remained calmly although a part of her wanted to rip the Marshal into a thousand pieces, and said, even more calm than she thought she could, "We surrender. Conditionless. I cannot guarantee for the Four Nations' Legion's surrender, but the last part of its bender division surrenders."
The marshal ordered them to march in chains and guarded by soldiers to the latter's camp. However, before they had reached the place, they came to a destination where the small ravines led into one, where she displayed her and her unit's skills of mental earthbending. They blocked the ravines' entrances with landslides, forbidding vehicles to pass through, much to their guards' dismay, who electroshocked them in return. Although it hurt, Asura managed a smirk as her unit had completed their objective, to trap the 6th Army in their own camp.

With both their lines engaged in combat, their naval aviation commander returned and the 2nd Fleet inclusive their reinforcements being defeated, it could be said that the Legion's navy was more or less successful, if there wouldn't have been the one thing, the shell right in front of the Nemesis' bridge. Now, the metal complex was heavily damaged and many, including their two commanders, were laying on the ground wounded. This state remained for half a minute, when Kiruya finally rose, pulled her healing water out and began to do the job she had had before the war, until she reached Zolu, who apparently had been hit worse than anyone else on the bridge. She searched for the worst injury, but as she looked over his body, she could find dozens of such, which, alongside the officer's blood loss, urged her to start healing. As she did so for over half an hour, she looked out of the - surprisingly big - hole in the superstructure the shell's detonation had caused. There, she witnessed the helplessness, the disorientation of the ship's crew after several more detonations. The rear turret itself had been penetrated by several shells, the hull bore holes through which water entered - the Nemesis had met her fate. After covering Zolu's wounds quickly with a few pieces of cloth, Kiruya stood up and screamed, pointing at an enemy aircraft carrier, "Enemy ship, larboard, all batteries, open fire!"
Though being confused, the crew obeyed and the two remaining main turrets and a few other, smaller ones, turned to the left before volleying. The attack caught the last of the enemy's capital ships completely off-guard, as hundreds of explosive projectiles pierced both the flight deck and the superstructure of the huge, afloat aerodrome. Soon, the carrier joined many of the other Fourth Reich's ships, which all were shot burning and, following after around an hour, sunk, broke apart into several pieces. Kiruya watched as the fifth volley was shot at the already sinking ship, as a hand was placed on her shoulder. A right hand of a man, who advised Kiruya, "You now better call some destroyers or something to tow the Nemesis into the harbour, since I don't believe you want her to sink. Oh, and what I believe is that the enemy's retreating."
Knowing it was Zolu, Kiruya helped him to sit down where he could command the ship, while she leapt down into the Eastern Lake, where she formed an iceboard, on which she raced towards the nearest ship, a cruiser named Iroh, where she jumped, using her waterbending to propel her, up to the bridge. She went in and straight for the radio unit, where she hijacked it and contacted four destroyers that currently weren't fighting any enemies and close to the Nemesis. As she had sent her message, she said a short "Thanks", before jumping into the waters and leaving the Iroh's bridge in confusion. Arriving at the Nemesis' bridge again, she saw Zolu collapsed on the floor, breathing heavily. Knowing what to do from years of practice, she pulled out her healing water and looked, again, for the worst wounds. After another half hour of healing with shells detonating in the distance and the four destroyers arriving, Zolu reopened his eyes, seeing the Legion's Navy returning to Full Moon Bay weakened - but victorious.

Closing in

Asura was dragged to the Marshal's tent harshly, while the news of the battle could be heard, such as "2nd Fleet defeated... No capital ships left..." or "Tank division and air force destroyed, our infantry on the run...". She decided not to listen, until the Marshal stood before her, a brown-haired man with small, blue eyes, who apparently held an old knife in his hands, sharpening it.
"You know, this knife's around three-hundred years old, but treated correctly, it still can be used for its purpose... ", he paused, grabbing Asura whom he held tightly so he could whisper in her ear and threaten her at once, continuing, " ...So... You are going to tell me what I want to know... ", backing it by taking out a pistol, whose muzzle he pressed against her head.
She laughed as if she didn't care for her life, and stated, "If you kill me, how do you want to get your answers?"
The Marshal answered this outburst with a slap that powerful the Avatar's cheek reddened and almost began to bleed. As she was cowering on the earthy floor, her kicked her, asking her over and over again, "Who is commanding your forces? WHO?!"
She refused to answer every time, and though her ribs and most of her entire body complained, she kept her mouth shut.

The sun was already setting, as the combined force of tanks and infantry rushed southwards over the vast plain, a vehicle getting struck every few minutes, spotting enemy soldiers they were chasing then and now, but never much of them, always less than a dozen. The few they managed to encounter seemed to be fleeing them, towards their camp to prepare everything to defend themselves, as a Shock Army would never retreat. The rumbling filled the air all around for kilometres, sometimes the roaring of aircraft engines joining it, though it did little to change the situation. Tired of the turret, its closeness and sitting within it for hours, Mike decided to stand up and stand, if possibly walk, on the outside of the tank. He jumped around a little atop the armoured vehicle, until Malu told him she also wanted to stretch her legs, so Mike went inside again, where he desperately looked for something eatable, however, ending up unsuccessfully. As Malu came in again, all hopes of ever getting something to eat this day were fading, but this way, the two could concentrate on Operation Nightfall. Hours passed and due to breakdowns, the motorised infantry and the tank ones were as slow as the ordinary infantry. After hours of driving, sitting and shooting, the silhouette of a vastly destroyed encampment came into sight, and Mike prepared to face the Marshal.

Arriving aboard one of their own aircraft carriers, Zolu and Kiruya ran as fast as they could to the nearest two-seated aircraft they could find, a so-called bomber destroyer, and hopped in, Zolu in the pilot's seat and Kiruya operating the rear gun. Confused at this sudden constellation, the two agreed to swap their positions, and took off just seconds later. After a few minutes of flight, the cliffs around Full Moon Bay were passed, and their camouflage was needless, but it was irrelevant due to the lack of enemy aircraft. The aeroplane, which appeared to bear Water Tribe and URN insignia, kept flying with the two high officers on board, and they saw the remnants of the land battle: destroyed tanks, burning halftracks and IFVs, and corpses dotting the landscape. After a flight of an hour, their land forces came into sight, and Kiruya asked something they should have considered earlier, "And... How are we going to land this thing?"
Answering this was Zolu by adjusting the simple radio unit in the aircraft to signal the forces below. Just after he had finished his call, an earthbender cleared a strip of land from boulders, with which he filled the holes, and created a landing strip this way, which the naval aircraft circled several times before landing with difficulties as night had fallen already. After they had landed and got out of the cockpit, the earthbender who had created the landing strip greeted them, revealing himself as Luo, "Nice landing strip, isn't it? However, how's the naval battle going?"
The two were, again, a little confused before Kiruya answered, "The landing strip could be better, and we've kind of won the naval battle."
Luo considered the said, before Zolu realised, "Wait... This is a little odd... If you're the only bender 'round here, save for Kiruya, doesn't that mean my sister hasn't returned yet?"

After Twenty-four hours

Mike, Malu, Luo, Kiruya and Zolu were sitting in Luo's halftrack as it was nearing the camp's centre, the Marshal's tent, and the hours had flown by, as it was quarter to twelve p.m. The five of them couldn't reach Asura via radio, nor could the aerial reconnaissance find them anywhere within a radius of hundred kilometres, which was the farthest from Full Moon Bay the battle had been fought. Pointed out by the fact none of the bender division could be found anywhere, they, according to Mike, must have been captured and possibly were held hostage. Snipers surrounded the central few tents as they divided themselves to different armoured vehicles, each one of them commanding it for the final encounter. The entire tank division rattled towards the group of tents in the burnt sea of such, which laid beneath a cliff. The floodlights that had been installed on the tanks' turrets now illuminated a strange scenery: the Marshal holding Asura tightly before him, using her as a human shield and pressing his pistols' muzzle to her right temple, while the rest of the bender division was tied up and stringed in lines and guarded by an equal number of the Shock Army's soldiers, who were missing their gas masks. Of the five Team members only Mike showed himself, aiming the machine gun at the Marshal's head.
"You won't do this, Grand Admiral, you could kill her! I demand your surrender... Or I'll shoot!", the latter cried out in desperation. He was right - concerning the part of shooting him with the machine gun. He pulled out his trustworthy Lee-Enfield as stealthily as possible, but when the Marshal cried, "And don't think your rifle could do any better.", he thought about what to do. He vanished into the turret for a minute, which seemed to be an eternity, just to inform Luo of his plan, "Luo! Listen up! I believe you've too seen the situation outside, and I'll shoot the Marshal, no matter what or how. Your snipers are going to shoot each of the guards once I've shot him. Understood?"
On the other end of the electromagnetic connection, Luo nodded, though Mike couldn't see it, and forwarded the order to his snipers. After he informed Mike about his snipers knowing, the Grand Admiral could be seen halfway through the hatchway, the Lee-Enfield laying in front of him.
"You demand my surrender? Well, it doesn't look like you win, thus I demand yours.", the European officer told the Marshal, knowing the latter wouldn't do as he said, instead, he replied with a sadistic laugh, almost pulling the trigger. The former decided to let another eternity that only lasted five minutes pass until the latter asked, disappointment and sadism in his voice, "Has the Grand Admiral made his decision yet or do I have to move my right index finger?"
Mike responded with a clear, "Yes, I've made my decision.", before drawing, aiming and shooting his Webley revolver at the Marshal within a split second. The bullet caught the officer off-guard and hit him in the forehead. As the sound of the shot resonated around the camp, the snipers opened fire and eliminated the guards. The loud sound of the gases propelling the bullet forward surprised everyone, and Mike's aim surprised them even more, especially Asura. Just after he had pulled his revolver's trigger, the Grand Admiral jumped onto the turret's roof, grabbed his rifle and leapt off right in front of the Avatar, who had freed herself with her breath of fire, while the tanks' crews and many infantrymen hurried to free their bending comrades. The Team gathered around Asura and exchanged compliments, before Mike ran into the Marshal's tent, where he found a bottle of sparkling wine which he took outside, before he opened it, shouting, "Bloody well done, lads, and a happy new year!"
New Year's Battle, or Operation Nightfall, had proven, once again, that, to win a battle, it wasn't ultimately necessary to have great numbers and technological advantages, but rather to have good tactics and strategy, and also that a good commander must be a good improvisator.

Notes and Trivia

  • And once again, I try to improve my fanon by mixing in some logic then and now, as well as... uh, I guess you know.
  • Hehe. If you didn't know what happened with the 6th Army at Stalingrad, well, you know it now. (Okay, they surrendered and were soviet POWs afterwards, but yet... )
  • Oh, and an IFV is an Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
  • Just for you to know, the battle was fought within a radius of ~100 kilometres, including the naval one. If you don't use the simple metric system, well, it's ~62 miles.
  • This was the finale of Book 1. I'll change several things in Book 2, such as the opening sequence.

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