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|Chapter XI:Desert Tales|
Clay Palace, Si Wong
", I assure you, we can handle this," Yu said, as he attempted to restore his employers confidence in him.
"No," Alden responded. "You can't, and that's why I'm coming with you to oversee this transaction. Also, there's someone who I'd like you to meet." Alden pointed to a dark corner of the room. Yu looked into that corner, not knowing what to expect, as he saw a tall muscular man walk out of the shadows. "Meet," Alden said.
"Okay, Si Wong rock, here we are,"said.
"What exactly is the plan here?" Ka-Boom asked.
"We go to the top, and hope we can see Alden," Blade responded. Quiver, Blade,, and Ka-Boom began the walk up, but turned around when they saw was not following.
"Um, I'll feel safer, down here, where I can bend, then I will up there with the buzzard-wasps," Grain said.
"Okay, suit yourself," Blade responded. The group went up to the top of the rock, took out their telescopes, and began to search. "Quiver, anything?" Blade asked.
"Not a thing," Quiver responded.
"What about you Hammer?" Blade asked.
"Nothing," Hammer responded.
"Can't see past that sand cloud over there," Ka-Boom said, as he pointed to the cloud.
"Uh, Ka-Boom, you do realize that a sand cloud means sand sailers, right?" Blade asked.
"I do now," Ka-Boom answered.
"They could be just regular Sandbenders," Quiver stated.
"Couldn't hurt to check," Blade said.
"Blade," Quiver said.
"Alright, it could hurt to check, but we're checking anyway," Blade ordered. The group climbed down to where Grain was, and told him to go to the sand cloud.
"Just so you know, when we enter the sand cloud, sands going to get in your eyes. Very painful, not pleasant," Grain said.
"Then we'll put on our goggles for the ride," Blade responded. The group put on their goggles, and began the trek across the desert after the sand cloud.
Alden the Mushroom's sand sailer
"We're awfully close to the edge of the Si Wong, aren't we, Alden?" a Sandbender asked.
"Yeah, so?" Alden said.
"Just so you know, we won't be able to bend when we leave the desert," the Sandbender responded.
"I know," Alden acknowledged. The group continued their journey further and further from the center of the Si Wong. After a while, they reached the edge of the desert. There were some people there waiting for them. Two on ostrich horses, and one on a Shirshu. Alden got off of his sand sailer and spoke. "June, we've got the stuff."
"Great, give it to me."
"Ah ah ah, the money," Alden said. June snapped her fingers, and the two men brought two chests of gold forward. "Xin Fu, Yu, Nid," Alden ordered, the trio knew he meant get the cactus juice, give it to June, and take her money.
"Sir, we see a sand sailer coming this way. From the looks of it, it belongs to Blade and his crew."
"Tear it apart," Alden ordered.
"Yes sir," the Sandbender said. Two of Alden's sand sailers left and went into the desert to intercept their enemy.
Grain's sand sailer
"I'm coming!" Grain yelled. He steered the sailer to avoid a collision with the two that were headed to him. He couldn't. The two sand sailers crashed into his, destroying it. The group was sprawled out on the sand after the crash.
"Everyone okay?" Blade asked.
"Ugh, do we have to answer?" Ka-Boom asked.
"My sailer, they destroyed, my sailer," Grain said.
"Grain, are you okay?" Blade inquired.
"Yeah, I am, but they won't be," Grain answered. Grain raised his hands. The ground began to tremble. Suddenly, the sand began to rise, moving around the people and sailers. When Grain saw the sand was high enough, he relaxed his hands. The sand dropped on the people and sailers. Some of the Sandbenders tried to save their sailers, but they were buried in doing so.
"Run," Alden called. June and the two men rode off with the cactus juice. Nid got onto a sand sailer, and called to Alden.
"Boss, come quick." Alden ran onto the sailer, and Nid began to bend the sand so the sailer would move. In doing so, he unearthed a Sandbender. The Sandbender began to make his way to another sand sailer, but Quiver shot him. Grain got onto the sailer, and bent some sand into the sail to make it go. When he did this, he uncovered Xin Fu. As the sailer pulled away, Xin Fu got up. He could not got back into the desert, there was no way. He did not know what had happened to Yu, and he did not care.
Nid pulled up to the clay palace. He and Alden got out. They walked into Alden's throne room. "We're going to need to start recruiting more Sandbenders," Alden said.
"Not gonna happen Alden," a voice called. Alden looked to where the voice had come from. He saw Blade and his friends ready to place him under arrest.
"You'll never take me alive," Alden shouted, as he began to bend the sand floor of the palace. Grain ran forward, and began to counter Alden's bending with his own. Nid began manipulating the clay on the walls, and he began shooting it at Blade. Blade used his hooked swords to counter the clay being shot at him. He slowly advanced on Nid, and swung his sword at his neck. Nid stuck out his hand, caught the blade, and crumpled the metal. Blade stepped back in surprise.
"How did you do that?" Blade asked.
"My ex-girlfriend in Ba Sing Se taught me," Nid responded. He lunged forward, and grabbed Blade by the neck. He began to tighten his grip. Blade struggled for air. Quiver, seeing Blade in trouble, notched an arrow to her bow, and fired it at Nid. The bounty hunter recoiled in pain, giving Blade the opportunity to escape him. Blade ran around Nid to his back, and used the hooks on his swords to strangle him. Nid struggled and struggled, until finally, he collapsed, dead.
Grain smiled. He was easily the more experienced Sandbender of the two as he pushed Alden back with his attacks. Hammer ran behind Alden, and swung his hammer into his back. Alden was knocked over by the force of the attack. Ka-Boom ran up to Alden, and placed handcuffs on him. He then began to put a bending inhibitor on Alden. "Okay, you took me alive," Alden said.
"Next stop, Ba Sing Se prison," Blade said.
"Wait, you gotta see this first," Ka-Boom said. He walked to the hole in the wall that Nid had made, and looked through it. There was a colossal room filled with nothing but live cacti.
"What should we do?" Blade asked.
"I know," Ka-Boom said. He put some explosives in the cactus room, Alden's throne room, the sand sailer docking room, everywhere. When Ka-Boom returned to the throne room, Blade asked him a question.
"Are you going to blow this place up?"
"That I am Blade, that I am. After I light the fuse, we have about a minute," Ka-Boom said, as he lit the fuse. The group ran out of the palace and onto the stolen sand sailer. They ran, and managed to put about twenty feet between them and the palace before the explosion occurred.
- Nid Veelis is an anagram of Vin Diesel
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