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June 11, 2014
A new evil has risen; a darkbending nation. The world may be fighting, but only the Avatar can defeat the Dark Lord and bring peace to the world.
Book Two: Light
Chapter Four: Bender's Hideout
Previously on Naton
After the Ben Hai meet with President Raiko, Naton begins to question his ability to defeat the Dark Lord. Beeno discovers his parents were kidnapped by darkbenders. Their investigation leads them to a bar, where they find out a terrible truth.
Chapter Four: Bender's Hideout
"You're not the President!" Aeron cried, and pointed to the bald man. "You're an imposter! You don't even look like him!"
"Just saying, Raiko isn't bald," Beeno said.
"Who are you?" Onza said, holding up his staff.
"Relax, old man. I'm just his secretary," the bald man said. "He's busy. I'm just filling in."
"I don't think so. You're a darkbender!" Naton said.
Han Beifong and several officers fired their metal cords at the man. From behind him, water pots burst open and the cords were frozen in ice. Then he jumped up, and the Ben Hai were pushed back by a wave.
"Call me Zhen Wong," he said, and froze the police officers.
"Where is the President?" Han shouted, and fired the metal cords.
Zhen Wong dodged them and shot Han with a stream of water. "Not here." A blast of air knocked the waterbender back.
"Not helping," Meelo said. "Get him!"
The Republic Guard rushed onto Zhen Wong. He created a water tornado, and escaped their grasp. The metalbenders helped the Ben Hai onto their feet.
"Something's happened, and it's not good," Gardie said. "We have to go under. Zhen Wong's probably connected to them."
"We don't have much time," Onza said. "The darkbenders are planning something."
"Meelo and I will look for the President. You guys follow Zhen Wong," Han Beifong said.
The Ben Hai exited the building. Outside, Metalbending Police Force airships filled the sky, and Republic Guard members stood guard. Rohan ran up to them. "This is horrible! We knew there were spies, but this? We never expected it."
"Me either. This could turn out very bad," Onza said. "There's a certain waterbender who seems to be involved in this."
"Very bad indeed. Naton, the police arrested those two criminals, correct?" Gardie asked.
"Yeah. Shin and Bai," Naton replied. "They're at the City Jail."
Onza stroked his beard. "Aeron, Gardie and I will go get those criminals. Naton, Beeno and Karrie, go with Rohan and go underground. You must find that secret base."
"No. We're not splitting up. We don't know if Kaaju's going to do something. We have to stick together," Naton said.
"I know, but this is a crisis. Republic City is under attack," Onza said, and he, Aeron and Gardie jumped into an airship and flew off towards the jail.
Rohan put a hand of Naton's shoulder. "Should we go, Avatar?"
"Yes," Naton said. "Let's go."
They stood in front of the wall next to the building door. "The secret base is underneath the building somewhere."
Beeno touched the ground with his hand. "I can feel something under. It's like... a secret base!"
"Gee, thanks Beeno," Karrie said sarcastically. Several metalbending officers gathered, and began to dig into the ground. A hole opened up in the ground, and they created a rock staircase. Naton created a small flame, and they descended down into the ground. The officers continued to earthbend the ground. Beeno felt the earth.
"We're getting closer."
The officers stood back. "Look." A large circular door came into view. Naton put a hand out.
"No. It might be a trap. It's like they expected us to come down here."
The officers ran forward, and busted open the door. They jumped through the frame, and they landed in a storage room. "Whoa." Beeno flipped on a switch.
"There's a lot of machinery, but nothing suspicious," Karrie said.
Rohan walked up to a closed door. "Maybe this leads somewhere." He pushed the door open. "Hey. This looks promising." The new room was well lit, and a map was spread out across the table. Rohan picked it up. "Looks like a map of the underground base. We're right here." He pointed to the second storage room. "The main room is right here. We'll take the fourth hall, and then take a right. We'll sneak through the first storage room, and get to the main room by the air vent."
"I dunno," Beeno said. "Looks confusing. Can't we just bust through everything?"
"Sounds fun," Karrie added.
"We'll follow my plan. We'll have to be quiet," Rohan said, and pulled out a flashlight from his pocket. "This way." They walked down the hall. The hideout was surprisingly silent.
"I don't like it. This place should be crawling with darkbenders," Naton said.
Rohan followed the map. "All right. We should take a right, right about... here."
It was a dead end. "Or not," Karrie said.
Beeno took the map. "It's a trick!" The floor opened up, the they fell through a dusty shaft. They landed in a large vat filled with grey liquid. All around, benders stared at them. Zhen Wong approached them.
"Ha ha ha ha! Looks like you fell into my trap!" Zhen Wong laughed. "You really think I'd just leave a map randomly in my base? Not so!"
Naton struggled to stand up. But the liquid began to harden. "What the-?"
"It's cement!" Rohan cried. "Urghh!!"
Zhen Wong lifted his hands, and the cement quickly turned to hard rock. "Without movement, none of you can bend! Not even the Avatar." Zhen Wong led the benders out of the room, and the door was locked behind them.
"This is so stupid! We come all the way here, and we're trapped by cement!" Beeno complained. "My fans would hate this!" Time began to drag by.
"Republic City is probably being captured right now," Rohan said. "For once, I think we can't do anything."
"Don't say that. But it's easier said than done. We can't bend out of this," Naton replied. Suddenly, the door opened, and a short old man entered.
"Hey! Over here!" Karrie called out. The old man turned to them.
"O, hi! Ya need help?"
"Yeah! Could you like, help us get outta here?"
"Sure!" The old man ran over to a cabinet, and pulled out a large pike. "Get outta the way!"
"We can't- whoa, watch it!" The old man slammed the pike into the cement, and the rock flew everywhere. They all stood up and stretched their limbs. "Thanks, old man. What's your name?" Naton asked.
"Call me Shao. Not Zhao, that's someone different," the old man said.
Rohan stood up. "You look familiar. Are you Han Beifong's dad?"
"Of course. I used to work with the Metalbending Police Force. Used to," Shao replied.
"So you're a metalbender?" Beeno asked.
"Nope. Non-bender. But that ain't stopping me!" He ripped off his shirt, revealing the largest set of muscles Naton had ever seen. "Don't think just 'cause I'm old I can't handle myself!"
"Did you know about the bending spies?" Naton asked.
"Sorta. I knew something was going on. That's why I created the Shoalin soldiers. They're a secret group designed to strike at the spies," Shao explained. "Speaking of which, we should get back to the surface!"
Shao led them back up the stairs and back to the surface. Meelo and Han ran up to them. "Dad! Bad news. The two bending criminals have escaped, and the bending spies are attacking the government buildings!"
"What bending spies? No one tells me anything!" Shao said.
An airship landed near them, and Onza, Gardie and Aeron jumped down. "It's a disaster. Did you get Zhen Wong?"
"No. We fell into a trap. Did you find the President?" Naton asked Meelo.
"Negative, Mr. Avatar. We searched all over Republic City," Meelo replied.
"What?!" Shao walked over to Meelo. "Republic City may be a big place, but you can at least get some benders and whip some information outta them! Use your head!"
"Shao, it's not that easy," Onza said.
"Onza! Long time no see, my old friend!" Shao slugged Onza in the elbow. "You look different. What's with the new getup?"
"He sorta died and came back," Naton said.
"Can't Naton go into the Avatar State?" Karrie asked Onza. "It could work."
Onza shook his head. "I don't think so. We have to find the root of this problem."
"Guys?" Beeno pointed to the sky. "Is that one of your airships?" An airship floated above them.
"No. That's not," Han said.
A microphone poked out of a window. "Greetings, Republic City citizens. You are probably wondering what has happened with all this chaos. Let me tell you; the President has been kidnapped and an army of darkbenders are on their way. Surrender and your lives will be spared. There is no way out."
"Zhen Wong's probably in there," Gardie said.
"Please cooperate and our city will not suffer any more damage."
"Shin's probably in there, too!" Beeno fired several rocks at the airship. A stream of water shot of the window and collided with the rock.
"Wait, Beeno," Onza said.
"Any more signs of resistance and we will destroy Republic City. Please standby for your imminent doom."
"NO!" Naton flew up to a tornado of air, and fired a blast of fire at the airship. Water doused the flames, and Naton pulled his hands back, and a bolt of lightning shot through the heart of the airship. It descended and crashed into the president's building. Naton then fired several fire blasts at the wreckage, and then spun around, creating an air sphere. Suddenly, his eyes glowed white.
"It's the Avatar State!" Gardie cried. "Run!" Rocks and boulders rose of the ground and struck nearby buildings. Powerful air blasts pushed people back and water streams flooded the streets.
Onza lifted his staff, and a ball of light lifted them and they safely landed on the top of City Hall. "I will try to calm his down!" Onza said. Zhen Wong, Shin and Bai crawled out of the wreckage, and stared at Naton. "He really is the Avatar!"
"Naton, stop! If you keep going, you will destroy the entire city!" Onza shouted. Slowly, Naton descended and landed next to Onza, and collapsed.
"You went into the Avatar State."
Onza stared at the ruined Republic City. "Look!" In the distance, a fleet of small boats approached the harbor. Aeron recognized the flag.
"It's the Flare Rebels! They're here!"
"Look." Naton pointed beyond the Rebel boats. Following close behind them, was a fleet of darkbender ships. "We're dead, aren't we?"
For the collective works of the author, go here.