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|The Unexpected Betrayal|
October 18th 2013
Katara couldn't believe her dazzled eyes, she even tried to tell herself it wasn't real but it was. Aang was completely obliterating the ice caps.
As Aang had lost consciousness and was being drowned by the water, he'd entered the Avatar State. It was insanity. As Katara, Appa and Momo flew even higher into the air; they beheld quite a monstrous sight.
Aang was completely out of control. His tattoos were a bright white –almost blinding them. He swirled his arms round his body forcing the water to become like a dome encasing him in the middle. He had a ring of fire around it, melting the ice, and was able to breathe as he was in an air sphere. It was surreal. He didn't look like he was in control. If something like this was to happen he would simply blast himself out using water or air but he wasn't. He was rampaging with the water. He wouldn't stop; that was the scary thing.
Katara knew that she had to do something but what? This was the Avatar State. He was an all out monster. Katara tried shouting his name but he couldn't hear her. There had to be something. The dome was now leaving the ocean. It was about fifty feet high. It left behind a whirlpool of sorts in the water which Aang was still spinning it. It sucked in the fish nearby, sending them in any direction. Katara scanned the chaotic water to see if any ships were being affected by this. To her horror she saw a Southern Water Tribe ship being drawn right to the center.
Sokka felt the ship shake violently. It was out of control. He struggled to his feet from his bed in his state room almost falling over as the ship rocked again. He fumbled for his sword and telescope and stumbled out onto the deck. He saw Toph holding onto side out the boat being sick over the side as she got nauseous very easily on boats. He saw one of his men trying to command the men to steer away from the humongous dome figure that was almost of top of them. It was like a storm was all around them. The rain just came splashing at them from all angles.
He toppled over and crashed into the wooden deck. The noise went quiet all of a sudden. He struggled to his feet; picking up his sword as he did so. He looked round in confusion and horror. His eyes caught the sight of huge wave of fire encase three men and the bow of the ship setting it ablaze. He turned to see men frantically trying to turn the ship around but to no avail. Men were getting caught in the rain and fell overboard. The sight was too much for Sokka. He dropped his sword and fell back again and shut his eyes as he did, trying to drown out the images in front of him. He felt something grip his arms. With great effort, he opened his eyes.
He couldn't see anything else except Bato shaking him and the huge dome in the background. Sokka saw his friends' mouth move but no words could be heard. The dome was closer than before. Sokka knew it was over. He closed his eyes and prepared himself. Bato suddenly punched him. He opened his eyes in shock. The noise of his surroundings came back to him. His senses returned and he remembered himself.
"Sokka we need to get out of here!" Bato shouted.
Sokka picked himself up. "Get everyone to man the submarines."
"Sokka we don't have enough water benders to man all the boats. Some fell overboard and others just got caught in that blaze of fire!"
Water splashed into Sokka's face followed by the ship losing its balance once again. Toph crawled towards Sokka.
"We have to do something! That fire is getting closer!" She said although Sokka couldn't tell he she was talking to him or Bato.
He grabbed Toph by the shoulders. "Toph, I need you to go below deck with Bato and get into the submarines.
"But Sokka-" Bato and Toph both said in unison.
"We don't have enough water benders for all three boats" they both screamed.
Sokka clasped both of their mouths shut before they could speak again. "I know. That's why we're going to cram everyone into one boat so we can get out of here"
Bato whacked Sokka's hand off of his mouth "We won't have enough air if a crew of thirty people are crammed into a small submarine"
Sokka grinned. "Yes we will. We only need a bit of time to escape the pull of the dome. With that many people, we will have enough air for roughly five minutes with that many people in them. So we spend those five minutes to escape this dome."
"No more buts we don't have time. Now go"
With that they all ran below and cramped the whole crew into just one boat. Toph straight away felt uncomfortable but did as Sokka told and helped Bato inform everyone to hang on and prepare to dive. Sokka stumbled over to the front and ordered the Waterbenders to get them away from the dome. They dived. Everyone was silent. They listened to the waves around them bang on the submersible. Some gasped in shock or panic. Sokka knew they weren't going to last long. They were almost away with roughly two minutes worth of air left. They were going to make it. "Yes...come on...surface" mumbled Sokka. "Yes". The light of the surface gleamed in. Some smiled, some side but they were all relieved to have made it through. Sokka turned around and smiled at Toph.
"WE DID I-"An enormous jerk halted Sokka's cheer in a heartbeat. He looked around yet all he saw was a frightening wave heading right for him.
Katara had to do something. There was a Southern Water Tribe ship heading right towards State Aang's uncontrollably water dome. She had to do something to get him to stop this. Appa encircled Aang again and again but still no chance to get closes enough for him to hear Katara helplessly cry for Aang to stop it. The tyrant wave that was being warped into creation from the dome's violent, infinite spin was enticing the now flooded boat ever closer to its undesirable grasp. Katara had to act. She had to but what? Katara stared towards the dome, her eyes flashed with sadness. Aang was crying. It was as though he knew what he was doing but couldn't stop himself. Tears leaked through Katara's eyes of sadness. She blinked, allowing the tears to drip down her already soaked face. She turned away not wanting to watch on any longer. She just wanted it to end.
She shook her head vigorously and got to her knees. "Appa take us NOW!" With that Appa went straight up to the top, dodging the viscous domes attempts to make them flee to its base to be swallowed by its ever growing wave of death. Katara held on for dear life not letting her grip loosen in any possible way. The dome successfully struck the worn saddle, throwing Katara from its safety and falling to her death. She thought she was done in, defeated when she realised she was not falling.
She was safe (or as safe as you could be in this circumstance) she had landed on the back of the saddle which barely held her in place. She dared a glance below. The wave's mouth opened up, waiting for her to fall and meet the depths of its ocean belly. She returned her eyes upwards. She felt sick as though she would pass out. Her stomach was in her mouth now. She dared not move. Not even a muscle. They finally reached the top. Katara glanced over at the intimidating dome. It was now almost as high as Omashu's highest point. Katara felt sick just looking over it.
She wiped her forehead and quickly pulled her robe over her head and pulled the sleeves out with all her strength to get its wet cloth off of her skin. She was soaked in water but knew that there was only one way to have a chance of getting Aang to stop what he was doing. The dome stretched towards the ice that surrounded it. It was ripping it all to shreds. She stood up and prepared to do it. She took a deep breath. All her instincts told her not to do it to sit down and fly away to safety but she wouldn't she couldn't. She needed to do this for Aang's sake and her people. She took a deep breath she raised her arms. In the distance she saw a woman in Water Tribe clothes for a second it looked like..."Love you" Katara broke down into tears... then jumped.
Sokka awoke. All he could feel was a cold force of what must have been a thousand knives jabbed into every muscle in his body stroking his drenched face. He didn't understand where he was until he saw the icy shore no more than ten feet away from him. He tried to swim but could not. His leg prevented him. He stretched out his hand but soon buckled up causing his head to under. He struggled to return the surface. He threw his hands all around him, trying to stay afloat. His legs kicked violently. He was losing air now. He didn't care if he worsened his leg. He'd rather have unimaginable pain than drown so close to home. His leg suddenly hit something. The unbearable pain forced Sokka to open his eyes. He saw he close to the ocean bed. He closed his eyes in a panic. He panicked so much that he screamed. His lungs filled with water. He didn't want to die. He didn't want to. He didn't. With that he felt himself begin to fade, his body began to still. He opened his eyes. He prepared himself. To die.
"Oh you're not dying yet lad!" Sokka suddenly saw the floor zoom out of view. He entered the surface, coughing up water then gasping for air as he did. "There now told you he'd make it said a strong and firm voice.
"Antsy Pants, what are you doing?" Sokka recognised the voice. He felt something hit his right arm. He tried to open his eyes; to see who his rescuers were but couldn't.
When he finally did open them the first thing he saw was the sun penetrating his burning eyes. In front of it was a man and a small girl. He blinked to focus his vision. It was Toph and a Water Tribe soldier (shown by the insignia on his chest). He sat up wiping his eyes as he did. He felt a hard punch to his left arm this time.
"Owww. What was that for?" He shouted at Toph who had obviously thrown the punch by her face.
"I was only making sure you were okay. Unless you want me to hit you in the face this time." she yelled.
"Okay? I was drowning with a broken leg!" he replied.
"Don't be so thick. Your leg is no were near broken. You were messing with us" said the soldier.
"It's shallow" he said in a very monotone voice.
Sokka was dumbfounded. He'd been in such a panic he hadn't realized he had simply slipped off the edge of a small slope. He sighed, looked up as though he had heard something coming from above, then raised a weak smile. He unsurprisingly just dropped back in whispering something about a hawk.
"What's wrong with him?" asked the perplexed Water Tribe man.
"Oh he just can't believe I punch so hard" Toph happily replied with a smile lighting up her face.
"What do we do now?"
"I don't know. I was just kind of here because he said I was in danger but I've almost drowned twice today so maybe I was better off at home" Toph smirked slightly, the soldier raised a small smile in response but quickly turned his attention to Sokka who was flat out on the icy floor.
"We need to find the others and get this one some help" the man said pointing as Sokka's clear white face. Toph didn't know the face completely white with shock but she could at least make out that Sokka and the soldier were there. There were traces of earth in the ice but it seemed all separated and in groups.
She remembered how she was suddenly drowning and that something grabbed and the next thing she knew she was facing this Water Tribe man. He told her how he rescued her from the water and that she needed to relax.
Toph had reacted in fear and had struck him with a shard of rock from the icy surface when she could not see him. She threatened to do it again after fumbling to her feet if he made any sudden moves. She even made him give his makeshift sword and scabbard to her and his club.
Once she was sure she had the advantage over him, she began to search for Sokka despite spending most of the walk wondering why she wanted to find Sokka after all the mess he had got her into. The man had helped her search the shore for Sokka. Not long after they started walking the man cried that he could see something flailing around in the water in the distant.
No sooner had she ran over there, he had run over and helped the person out of the water which turned out to be Sokka (Toph was no were near as fast as the soldier). Now they had found him they were talking about what to do next.
"What should we do now" asked Toph staring blankly out to the ocean.
"Well you can first tell me your name miss" said the man quite quickly.
"Why?" said Toph curtly.
"Look, I told you my name is Alex. I know it isn't easy to trust a stranger. Please tell me your name."
She didn't reply. She was not really interested.
"Okay. So where do you live?" asked the man.
"Far away. Oh so very far away". She stood up and brushed the frost off her overcoat and began trying to squeeze the water from within the coat.
"Okay then. Well...maybe we could take this one to the village"
"What village?" asked Toph, still blankly staring at the ocean.
"My village not far from here, I was just out fishing but since you need help and this man-"
"I don't need help" Toph snapped.
"Err...sorry miss I meant this man needs help and since you are a friend of his I assume?"
Toph was annoyed now. "All he says are questions" she thought. "Let's just move him then" she said realising he was staring at her.
"Good. So err...shall we get going?" Alex said slowly.
Toph sighed and turned away from the ocean she could not admire and said, "Fine."
"Alright then, I'll put this one on my back and we can get going" the man said whilst getting to his feet. He brushed the frost off of his blue overcoat, bent down and lifted Sokka onto his back with some effort.
They began to walk up the shore towards what seemed like a flight of steps (or at least that's what the intended them to be). They climbed them with Toph having to be guided so she didn't fall on the ice because of her lack of sight and because she didn't feel safe on ice. When they finally reached the top, Alex noticed that in the distance there were lots of people roughly twenty of so. They walked towards them to see who they were. As they got nearer, Toph began to recognize some of the voices. She began to speed up and search for the voice. She found the source. It was Bato. He was talking to a man in soaked attire to tell them that they had to find Sokka and Toph. Toph pushed past and placed herself in front of him.
"I'm right here" she said even more curtly, cutting in on them.
Bato stood up and patted Toph's shoulder and smiled. Toph looked up but couldn't help but look over his face. Alex came over carrying Sokka. Bato quickly turned his attention to Sokka. He helped the man gently lay Sokka down.
"He panicked and almost drowned sir. I rescued this one and the girl from the water. The girl won't give me here name. Do you know these children sir?"
"Oh course I bloody know them. He my best friend's son and that's his friend" Bato said raising his voice and throwing his hands up and down in anger.
"Okay sir. Err...sorry sir" Alex said, his voice drying.
Bato ignored him, stood up and called to his men "We need to get this one to the settlement right. His leg is bleeding we can't afford him catching a fever, hurry!" Three men in soaked armor ran over lifted Sokka onto a makeshift stretcher.
"All right everyone. Gather you things. We're heading home...now!" Most began to fumble for their swords, shields. Some just got up and walked as they had no swords or shields to take. Only Bato, Toph, and Alex stayed. Toph wanted to go but Bato told her to stay. She tried to run but jolted back as she felt something pull her back.
"Why can't I go?" Asked Toph trying to go ahead but couldn't free herself from Bato's grasp. She felt him yank free the club and scabbard she had took from Alex.
"Because of the dome" said Bato angrily.
"What dome" Said Toph, tears crawling into her eyes.
"The dome that destroyed the ship and the submersible you idiot, it's gone"
"What the hell do you mean?"
"Then be damn thankful" Toph tried to punch him but Bato grabbed her arm, twisted it then threw her to the ground.
"What are you doing" Toph felt Bato and Alexia grab her and pin her against the ice wall.
"The Avatar is here. We know it and you're going to tell us why. She felt Bato punch her in the stomach. She dropped. She coughed uncontrollably. She rolled around the floor unable to catch her breath.
"Get up. You dog" Bato said kicking her in her groin. They went to grab her again.
"No!" Toph threw her arm up. Fragments of the earth beneath them rose up and struck all three of them. Toph had unintentionally cut her lip and ripped the hood on the overcoat off with the sharp fragments but the others got the worse of it. They both recovered quickly and went to grab her. Toph went to lift the fragments again but it was pointless; she had removed them from the ground beneath her and could no longer see them. She panicked. Alex drew his sword.
She could feel them getting closer. They gripped her overcoat. She braced herself. There was suddenly a big whoosh. Toph was splashed with water. Bato's and Alex's grip vanished.
"Toph are you all right"
"Who there?" She called.
Someone ran over and pulled Toph up. "Toph are you okay?"
Toph finally recognized the voice. "Katara"
"That's right Toph" Katara softly said.
"What did you do? What is going on?"
Katara began to pull into a walk then slow jog. "It doesn't matter. We have to go"
As they ran away, Katara looked back at the drenched bodies of Alex and Bato not far behind, getting to their feet with malice gleaming in their eyes.
To be continued...
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