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|Chapter XXIV: Battle for the Fire Nation|
Zysor looked through a telescope out to the sea, towards the Fire Nation. As he looked, he wondered what the cities were like. Were they being destroyed? Were they being populated with those who agreed with the philosophies of Sozin? He stopped wondering, and regained focus, looking for any sign of crafts from the Phoenix Estates. He saw a red airship off on the horizon, and knew the battle would soon begin. Running as fast as he could, Zysor raised the alarm, letting the people of the island know of the attack.
"Attack, attack, the Phoenix Estates are coming to attack." woke up immediately upon hearing this. He got up and swiftly got dressed. He ran out of his room seeing several other soldiers preparing for battle. Running towards where the field where the gliders were, he saw several other pilots running there as well.
Aang and Katara ran out of their temporary home, heading towards the beach. Once there, they saw Lo Gan and Rin. Four Firebenders, each holding a glider, ran up to the Avatar and his wife. "We're ready for the mission sir", a Firebender from the group said.
"Good, come on", Aang said. He walked up to a fishing boat. The fisherman was attempting to drag it inland, but he was failing. "I need to borrow this", Aang said.
"Who are you, and why should I let you have it?" the fisherman said.
"I'm the Avatar, and if you don't let me borrow this, the Phoenix Estates could take over this island", Aang answered.
"Nice to meet the Avatar, glad you're fighting on out side, and feel free to use the boat", the fisherman responded, clearly convinced by the statement that the Phoenix Estates were going to attack. Aang began to prepare the boat, when he saw Sokka and Suki drilling for the battle. Aang and Katara ran up to their relatives, and hugged them. They then separated, and got ready to head out to sea.
"In case we don't make it", Sokka said. He then kissed Suki on the lips.
"Sir, I'm ready to fight."
"Me too." Sokka and Suki pulled away from each other, and turned to see Rajit and Ty Lee prepared for battle.
Airship Field, Factory Island
As Azara got ready for the battle, Zysor ran up to her. "Why do I need to go with you?" Azara asked.
"Your mother made it very clear I had to make sure you were protected. It's easy for me to do that if you're with me." Zuko walked up to his daughter and gave her a hug.
"Be safe", he said.
"I will dad, don't worry", Azara responded.
"I'll protect her well Fire Lord, don't worry", Zysor said. Zuko then went back to his airship, and prepared for the battle.
Kumaro saw the elite glider pilots he had selected earlier getting ready. Three of them had rocks tied to the backs of their gliders. "Atenar, why are you tying rocks to your glider?" he asked.
"I'm going to use the rocks to hit the man who can use combustion. We'll turn, the rocks will keep going, and hit him in the head. It's brilliant."
"Hope it works", Kumaro responded. He began to practice breathing fire through a small hole he made with his mouth to make the flame travel farther, when he sawwalk up to him.
"Aditi, I need to talk to you", Kumaro said.
"Yes, what is it?", she asked, eager to hear what she wanted to hear.
"The offensive is just going to be me and three squads of gliders, the rest stay behind for defense. You're in charge of the glider defense, okay?" Kumaro answered.
"Sure", Aditi said, expecting a different response to her question. "But, fifteen gliders? Against an entire fleet? That's suicide."
"Well, if I bring in the rest of the gliders, not only are they more likely to get shot by those airships, but our friends like Wei and Neza are more likely to get killed from above. You need to stay behind and lead the defensive", Kumaro said. Aditi could not disagree with her friend. Kumaro then got his glider ready for take off. "All gliers check in."
"Ra 1 standing by."
"Helio 3 standing by."
"Ra leader standing by." Kumaro listened to the pilots call in with their squad names and their position in the squad.
"Helio leader sanding by."
"Sun 2 standing by."
Kumaro checked in with his own identification. "Sun leader, standing by. Squadrons, take off." The three squads then began to take off, and head for the incoming airships.
Factory Island, beach
Wei stepped on the beach. He looked at his friends he had met in the Si Wong, each one prepared to look out for the other. Quiver, , Ka-Boom, and , all ready to fight to defend the island and each other.,
Toph sensed her friends all around her. He fellow officer, Aknur and . Her troops, Ila and Kun. And the troops lead her friend, Sokka, and his wife, Suki. She felt as Lo Gan and Rin began using waterbending to sneak behind the Phoenix Estates., and his troops
Airship Field, Factory Island
Zysor watched his airship begin to take off. He saw the Fire Lord's airship take off, and head towards the beach, and as he followed, he hoped his cousin would come back from destroying the Sun Generator.
looked through a telescope. He saw the Island where Zuko was, he saw the island where he would kill Zuko. Technically, it would be Ynder who killed Zuko, but Bharato knew he would be the one who gave Ynder that order.
Over the ocean
Kumaro had expected the battle to be difficult, but he was still surprised at how difficult it was. He was fortunate that the gliders had been sent to attack the beach, but his squads still had to deal with Firebenders stationed on the airships and several bombs and projectiles. He watched as several of his pilots got shot down. By the time he reached the Sun Generator, he had lost nine pilots.Kumaro, and one other prodigy, Shun, used the fact that they could manipulate hotter flames then their allies to speed up. They sped around towards the back of the airship.
Bharato saw the pair of pilots headed towards his airship. "Choy, you're in charge, guards come with me." Bharato said.
"Where are you going?" Choy asked.
"I'm going outside to kill Kumaro", Bharato responded. "And the guards are coming with me to help me do so", he added. The two guards followed Bharato to the hanger bay.
Over Factory Island Beach
Aditi knew Kumaro had told her to stay behind and protect the people on the beach, but she didn't think that staying would make a difference. After all, the battle was so confusing she doubted that anyone would even notice she was gone. She headed into the Phoenix Estates fleet, preparing to help Kumaro.
"We've gotta get clear of this thing once it blows, keep up Shun", Kumaro called out.
"Will do Kumaro", Shun responded. The two Firebenders were speeding past the propellers of the airship, when a blast of purple fire shot past them. They looked over ther shoulders to see Bharato chasing them. "I'm going to kill Bharato", Shun said. He then stopped Firebending, and used his glider to catch the wind. He slowed down, and was soon behind Bharato. He began to speed up again, getting ready to kill Bharato. He shot fire at him, but it missed. He was about to shot at Bharato and hit his glider, but suddenly he felt heat coming from his glider. He turned around to see two Firebenders had caught up to him and shot him. He also noticed that he was beginning to spin out of control. He spun into the Sun Generator, hitting it head on. His limp body then fell down towards the ocean.
Bharato saw he was gaining on Kumaro. "I have you now", he said aloud. He got ready to shoot at him, but as he did, he was blown off course. He looked up to see Aditi flying in from above. Bharato had to compensate for that attack, and flew lower down, closer to the ocean. Kumaro and Aditi flew down to shoot Bharato down.
Atenar flew up towards the from to the Sun Generator, prepared to do what he had to do. He saw a man inhaling, and, knowing he must be the one with the Fire Ruby, sped up towards him. Calculating his turn so that when he did, the rock attached on the end of his glider would hit the man on the forehead, he made the turn. The rock struck the man directly on the forehead, knocking him over.
Choy was surprised when Factory Island did not become a massive charred wasteland. He had given Yender the order to fire, and did not know why he had not. "What are you waiting for, fire!", he yelled into the announcing pipe.
"Chill out, Zhao face", a voice responded.
Ynder struggled to get up, and saw the Fire Ruby near the edge of the Sun Generator's catwalk. Reaching for it, carefully so he wouldn't accidentally knock it over the edge, he picked it up. Yender stood up, and aimed for Factory Island. He felt the power of the Sozin's comet, and inhaled.
Atenar flew away, seeing only two other pilots. Helio leader, the third who had made it with him, had been shot by the crew of the Sun Generator. "She's gonna blow, fly away", he called. The other two pilots instantly followed.
Just over the ocean
Kumaro and Aditi were gaining on Bharato. Kumaro was getting ready to Firebend at the former governor. Suddenly, a loud noise filled all their ears. All three pilots turned around to see what had happened. There was a large cloud of fire and smoke where the Sun Generator had been. Bharato saw a twinkle in the sky, and knew it was the Fire Ruby. He flew towrds it, followed by Aditi and Kumaro. He grabbed the gem, and used its power to speed himself up.
"Come on Aditi, we need to follow hm", Kumaro said.
"No", Aditi responded. "We need to help with the defense. Plus, going into enemy territory is not smart. I know stopping Bharato will end the war quicker, but this isn't the time Kumaro", Aditi argued.
"You're right", Kumaro said. He and Aditi flew back to Factory Island, to finish the battle that was far from over.
- Shun is a Japanese name meaning fast.
- Ynder saying "Chill out Zhao face", was a reference to a line from the Terminator films.
- This Chapter is very similar to A New Hope, in which a seemingly impossible target must be hit to stop a weapon of mass destruction.
For the collective works of the author, go here.