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|Chapter 3 - Prison Break|
Earth, Fire, Air, Water.
Only the Avatar can master all four elements. Unfortunately, the Avatar is never around enough and the world needs her. There is a depression ravaging civilization, leaving thousands to go hungry and go mad. The Avatar is too busy resolving international disputes and spirit conflicts to help the common man. In times like these, real heroes will rise from the ordinary folk and try to restore peace and prosperity to the world.
Just outside the warehouse that doubled as an Equalist hideout, Li viewed the place from around a dumpster. She used her binoculars to see if anyone was there. Once she spotted a sentry, she decided to walk up to the warehouse. She walked up to the aluminum door and knocked it five times.
"Hello? Anyone home? I would like to, well, join," she said.
"We don't take your kind here," a sentry said while looking through a slot.
"Sexist," she said under her breath.
"No, you're a firebender. We don't like you. I don't care how guilty you feel, but go hang!" he said.
"How dare you call yourselves Equalists! Don't want equality for all people?" she asked while turning her empty pockets inside out.
"Look little doll, don't you read the papers? Get out of here," he shouted.
"Don't yell at me like that you dumb son of a ..." Before she could rant, a bola flew from out of nowhere and knocked her off of her feet.
"So what do you think they are doing in there?" Baijin asked the others in the cell.
"Whatever it is, it can't be good," Warsh frowned.
Everyone in the cell had blindfolds over their faces. The Anil, having nimble hands, managed to remove his bounds but he had neglected to tell the others until now. "Say, I think I have a way out of this," he whispered just to where his cell mates could hear, but not the guards outside the cell.
"What now, windbag?" Zed asked rudely.
"Well, obviously, this detention block of the chi-blocker base lacks in enough cells, or else they would have separated us. Also these cells are made of non-bendable material," Anil stated.
"Well no crap!" Zed nearly shouted.
"I'm not finished," Anil continued. "The only way out is to use the keys, or kick the bucket. And since the fact that there are less than a dozen airbenders in existence, they will not be expecting 'breeze'." Anil smiled and revealed his unbound hand.
"Hold on, dumbass. You think you're just going to escape and leave our brother behind?" Warsh asked.
"Yeah, saving the guy who tried to kill me this morning is definitely on my priorities list," Anil said sarcastically.
Before anyone else could say anything the guard walked up to the cell and banged his fist on cell door. "Shut up!" he shouted.
Grei laid half-conscious in the interrogation chair while Amon stroked his spirit pet. He then placed the spirit back in the kennel and then felt Grei's pulse and chi pulse.'
"Damn, I thought it would work on this one. However he is to strong. At least we have the information." Amon sighed and leaned over the desk. Then he gestured for the guards to haul Grei away. "Take him bag to the cell; I want him and his fellow prisoners to be executed."
"But sir... Those five benders will fetch a hefty sum on the exchange. There are warlords who will fetch a hefty some on muscle like this. And Airbenders are incredibly rare..." the guard leader stated.
"I don't care; they will be an example to the others," Amon said.
Then the guards untied Grei and lifted him out of the chair. Grei couldn't walk at the moment so the guards dragged him across the floor. He Grei was nearly passed out, barely able to talk and unable to stand. The guards decided to have fun with him and gave him a few bumps along the way to the cell.
Anil sat there in silence until he heard Grei moaning and groaning. The guards tossed Grei into the cell without his blindfold or binds. Anil then reached over and tried to help Grei before he shrugged him off.
"What the hell did they do to you?" Zed asked.
"How should I know?" Grei responded but was unable to move or chuckle.
"Say, Anil I think you're plan will work," Zed stated. "Now that we have our brother, we can use his whistle to call Beast."
"Okay then. Where is it?" Anil asked Grei.
Grei managed to barely move his elbow to where he pointed to his left coat pocket. Anil lifted his blind fold and reached for that pocket. Once he removed the whistle he looked at it for a second. It consisted of fantastic Water Tribe craftsmanship, with intricate grooves and a fine whistle and slot. Then he inhaled a huge breathe and blasted his airbender blast into the whistle. The sound blasted out of the tunnels and throughout the city to where thousands of people and animals heard it. However only animal to respond to this call was Beast, Grei's pet wolf.
"I hope that worked," Anil stated when he saw the guard approaching the cell.
"Hey, how did you take your blindfold off?" the guard said then he opened the gate.
"After one hundred and eighty years of near extinction, people tend to forget what your kind can do," Anil smiled. Then he formed a small funnel in his hands and then blasted a powerful blast of wind at the guard, sending him flying into the wall. Anil ran up to the guard and took his keys and his dagger. Then he ran back to the others and cut all of their bounds.
"It's time to leave my friends," Anil stated.
Zed and Warsh stood up and carried Grey on their sides while Baijin bended the stone walls to block the path of the guards. Then Anil took point and used the map of the guard to find his way through. Anil led the team through the tunnels and past many cells and empty rooms. However, Anil's stopped at a particularly empty cell but had a strange staff inside.
"Is that a – a glider?" Anil opened the door in amazement.
"Hey airhead, guards are probably coming for us we shouldn't linger to long," Grei managed to say while limping between his brothers.
"Hold on, I don't think that I will get a chance like this again," Anil said as he picked it up. He saw the typical Air Nomad engravings on the staff and felt the hatches where it extended. "I found one. She's a beauty."
"Quit playing with a stick and let's go!" Warsh shouted impatiently.
"It's a glider, very important to my people," Anil said as he stroked it.
"We can play with staffs later, we got to move," Baijin said as he saw a squad of chi blockers charging down the hallway.
Beast heard the whistle from several blocks away. The creature looked up at the sky and noticed the near full moon but it was on the waning side. It was past dusk and beast was ready for action. He sprang from his resting spot and charged down dark alleys. Within minutes, the creature arrived at the warehouse to see several chi blocker guards holding a woman hostage. That woman was Li. The creature growled and prepared to pounce on the guards.
"Hey you guys are going to pay for this," Li stated when she saw Beast.
"Yeah, I've probably heard that from at least five of my victims," one thuggish guard said.
"Me too." A few others chuckled in agreement.
Suddenly, Beast leaped out of the shadows and pounced upon the thuggish guard. He gnawed and tore at his shoulder giving Li a chance to blast the others. So she wiggled her pinky finger and burnt through the binds to cut the ropes. Then she conjured huge flames and likewise blasted them at her enemies. The remaining guards retreated in utter fear. Beast then relinquished his grip on the guard to let the man limp away. Then beast tore off the rest of Li's binds and freed her.
"Why thank you little one. Who's a good dog?" Li began to pet and stroke beast as if she was her own. It then laid it's 2 meter long body on the ground while Li rubbed it's belly.
"Now where's your master." Li helped the creature onto its feet. Beast pointed it's nose towards the warehouse and sniffed heavily.
"He's inside?" she asked and beast nodded.
"I'm assuming that your owner doesn't really like chi blockers?" Li asked then Beast shook its head in affirmation.
Anil twirled his staff and then blasted the group of chi blockers with his wind. Zed followed that with a few fire blasts. While Baijin obstructed the guards path, Anil led the others down the corridors. Baijin then turned around and followed the rest.
"Say I like this new glider. If only I knew how to fly it," Anil stated.
"Enough chatter, let's get out of here," Grei demanded.
The group finally made it to the warehouse level of the hideout. Fortunately the warehouse was empty but had a bunch of paperwork and such. Zed sadistically lit the papers on fire while everyone else ran out through the front door. The team barged through the exit and found Li petting and befriending beast.
"That's new; usually he doesn't like strange people," Warsh said.
"Not true at all," Li laughed over the creature. "He's a wonderful little angel."
"Little? He's larger than the average polar bear dog," Grei stated.
"It's rhetoric," Anil interjected.
"We better get out of here before the cops arrive," Zed stated.
Beast stood up on all fours then wagged its tail. Warsh and Zed placed Grei on top of the creature and likewise mounted on it. Anil then prepped his glider while Baijin and Li took off running. Beast followed the runners while Anil dragged behind.
"Wait up guys," he said but then took off running. Then he opened his glider and soared above the rest. "It's been a while since I've done that." Anil flew in front of the rest and then shouted. "Follow me, I'll take you to a safe spot.
None of them argued so each of them followed along. The chi blockers, however did not chase them, but instead stayed behind to put out the fire.
Anil soared above the roof tops struggling to stay in the air. He hadn't trained quite enough with the glider but he was still doing better than expected. Grei slowly regained his strength but everyone was suffering from fatigue. They had walked and ran for about three hours, but there long haul was complete. Anil had led them to his home and their destination. It was a twelve story hotel that went out of business due to the depression.
"Welcome to my home," Anil presented to the weary group.
"You own this whole place?" Li asked.
"I don't own it, but I do live here. This place was shut down a year ago due to lack of mortgage payments, but the city never bulldozed it or even repossessed it," Anil explained. "So I decided to move in here."
"Isn't that against the law?" Li questioned.
"It's a minor misdemeanor really, but the police are too occupied with other crime to come my way. So make yourselves at home. Choose a room on the top floor or something. I forgot to mention that they sealed the front door so the only way in is through the roof. So take the window washer elevator or the fire escape to get to the roof," Anil said.
The group gratefully accepted Anil's hospitality. Baijin, Li, and Beast went up the sturdy fire escapes and the brothers took the window wash elevator. Anil however decided to use airbending to get to the top of the roof. Then Li picked a room to herself as Baijin picked a separate room. The Naite brothers shared a larger room while Anil went to his old room. It had been a long day, and now it was time for some shut eye.
For the collective works of the author, go here.