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|Chapter XXIX: The Capital|
Mai and Katara looked as the ship they were on drew closer to the Fire Nation capitial city. They watched as the airships they had command of flew ahead of the ships, approaching land and preparing for battle.
Fire Nation capital
A guard through her telescope at the incoming forces. She immediately identified them a hostile, and ran to the palace to tell Azula of the attack.
Azula was sitting in the throne room, the flames that burned in front of the throne her infamous blue. She was truly enjoying the newly acquired power she had been craving for twenty years, and thought things would finally start to go her way. A female Firebender ran in wearing the standard golden armor of the Phoenix Estates, panting. "What is it?" Azula asked.
"The Fire Nation is attacking", the Firebender responded.
"Then launch a counter attack", Azula responded, her voice telling the Firebender she should have done the obvious. The Firebender then ran out of the throne room to prepare the capital for the attack.
Fire Nation airship
Captain Lyy watched at the battlements of the capital attacked the airship fleet. "Launch our gliders", she ordered. The crew of her airship rushed to do her bidding. She watched as the gliders from her airship were launched. The gliders then moved to attack the battlements. Lyy thought that the battle would be a quick one, when suddenly dozens of golden gliders sped towards the fleet form the capital. She watched at the gliders attacked the airships, causing the crews to have to divert firepower from the battlements to the gliders. She noticed that her airship was beginning to sink, as was the one to the left of hers.
Katara looked as troops from the Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation landed at the capital. She saw that two of the Fire Nations airships were beginning to fall down, and the gliders from the Phoenix Estates were destroying the landing craft. Katara's hand dropped down to her water skin where she carried the Water Sapphire. She then wrapped her hand around the gem, and ran off the bridge to the deck of the ship. She then jumped off the ship, and began bending the water in the ocean. Her mind flashed back to the ocean spirit creature that Aang had become a part of during the siege of the Northern Water Tribe, and began bending the water to duplicate the shape. She was successful, and attempted to attack the gliders with Waterbending. Unfortunately, the gliders from the Phoenix Estates were too agile for her to land a blow. Katara watched as the airships began to fall towards the soldiers on the ground, and hastily created a dome of ice to protect the soldiers. She then turned to an Earthbender who wore a uniform to signify that he was a captain, and began to talk about the battle. "We're getting beaten", she said.
"I know", the captain responded.
"We need to retreat. I'll create a...." Katara was cut off by one of the Fire Nation airships crashing through the dome of ice she had made. The captain used Earthbending to move himself and Katara out of the way, as did several of his troops. The door to the airship opened, and several Firebenders came out. Their leader began to speak to Katara amidst the roar of battle.
"We have to get out of here", she said.
"I know, I'll create an ice block and soldiers can get on it", Katara said. She began to bend the ice and created a block for soldiers to stand on.
"It's not big enough", the Firebending captain said.
"I'll make trips", Katara responded. Several soldiers got on the block, and Katara joined them. She began to bend the ocean and transport the ice out to the fleet. She looked over her shoulder, and saw the troops fight for their lives against the Phoenix Estates forces.
Lyy watched as Katara brought a fraction of the landed forces towards the fleet. She hoped that she would survive long enough to be brought back to the fleet. Suddenly, several gliders flew down and attacked the soldiers. Lyy was able to defend herself with Firebending, but then she noticed tanks coming in from either side, killing her troops. Two Phoenix Estates soldiers attacked her, and she shot fire into their chests. She would have killed them, but there were too many soldiers closing in on her. She continued to fight as the forces of the Phoenix Estates overwhelmed her.
Mai and Katara were brooding over the loss, both of battle and of lives. "We need a new strategy to take back the capital", Katara said.
"I have an idea", Mai said in an emotionless voice.
"What?" Katara asked.
"There's and admiral in the Fire Nation named Zysor. He may be able to help us", she said.
"Well then lets contact him and get him over here", Katara said. Mai then wrote and note and sent it with a messenger hawk to where Zysor was fighting
2 days later
Zysor looked through the glass windshield of the airship as it mover to attack the capital. He could not believe that Mai and Katara had managed to lose two airships in the previous battle. But, he knew that he had to find a way to retake the capital, and he had and idea. "Launch the gliders", Zysor said. The crew of the airship launched the gliders and the airship began to attack. Zysor thought that he would be able to handle the battlements, when he saw two airships heading towards him, along with hundreds of gliders. He then realized that the Phoenix Estates had repaired the crashed airships after the previous battle. He continued to fly forwards to the capital, and engage the Phoenix Estates in air to air combat. "Divert all fire to the battlements", Zysor said. The crew of the airship opened heavy fire upon the battlements. Within moments, the battlements closest to the water were destroyed. Zysor then took command of the airship, and watched as the other two airships slowly approached. He then sped up, and steered the airship so it would ram one of the others. The upper right of Zysor's airship cut through the metal of the lower right part of the former Fire Nation aircraft. Zysor then began steering the airship frantically, in an attempt to use it as blockage for the path to the capital. Several soldiers that were landing began to use the fallen airships as cover, dodging attacks from above to get there. An Earthbender ran up to the airship, and Zysor went out to meet him. "We need to secure those battlements", Zysor said. "Otherwise we won't be able to take out that airship."
"I'll get on it", the Earthbender said. He then assembled a group of twenty Earthbenders. Zysor quickly got twoscore Fire Nation soldiers to assist in the climb. The groups then split up, with Zysor leading one group and the Earthbender leading the other. Soon ten Earthbenders and twenty Fire Nation soldiers were on level ground with the battlements. Zysor ran into one and shot fire at a Phoenix Estates soldier. The soldier fell over, dead.
"I surrender", the other soldier said. An Earthbender quickly used the earth to hold the defeated soldier in place.
"Take out the other ones and then fire on the airship. Once it falls, attack the ground forces or gliders, whichever is more convenient", Zysor shouted. The troops then left the battlement and moved to the next one. Zysor then loaded the ballista, and took aim at the bridge. He knew that if he hit the bridge, he would damage the controls of the airship, allowing his allies to have less of a challenge defeating the vessel. He watched as the shaft hit the bridge, and as shafts from the other battlements struck the Phoenix Estates craft. As the airship fell, Zysor ran outside and began Firebending at the gliders. The troops that had taken the battlements followed his lead, and began to attack the gliders with bending. Zysor then knew that the Fire Nation would win the battle.
Fire Nation capital
Azula observed the battle through a telescope from the top of the crater. She could see that not only had the enemy gained control of the battlements, but that her airships were grounded, and her gliders were being shot at from the battlements. She could also see that hundreds of soldiers were pressing her forces back at the beach. She thought about using the Fire Rubyhad given her when he fled from Ember Island, but realized it wouldn't make a difference. "Captain", she said.
"Yes Empress", the captain responded.
"Gather my things. We're retreating to Aggni."
"Yes Empress", the captain said as he ran to do Azula's bidding.
Later that day
Zysor sat at a table on the bridge of a ship with Mai and Katara, discussing the results of the battle. "You should be able to repair two of those airships with parts from the third.
"Great", Mai responded.
"I'll be returning to the south to help Sokka and Suki, if that's okay", Zysor asked.
"Go", Mai responded. "Thank you Fire Lady", Zysor said. He then left the rom, and prepared to return to the south.
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