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|Clash of the Warriors Part 1|
11 February 2011
Clash of the Warriors Part 1 is the fifty sixth chapter of.
The Kyoshi Island.arrive on
The ships had been assail for days. The sole stop that they had made was made in the pitch black of the darkest night. Something needed to be picked up, and so they sent their best to secure it. The crews were anxious; they had a mission they would remember for many years.
Jiang stared at the setting sun while waiting. This soldier was always punctual, and Jiang was growing irritated with the length of time until the meeting was to begin. Jiang's wait was over, as he heard a knock at his door. "Come in," the Admiral says, listening to the opening of the ship door. "Do you have the map?"
"Yes, sir. That store in the port only had a low quality map, but it will have to do." Zhian enters and unrolls a scroll, placing it on a table. "Anyway, the island is large enough for three of our ships to dock in the harbor. I recommend an ambush."
"And how exactly would we do that?" Zhian had aroused Jiang's interest, and the Admiral was anxious to see the plan the young officer would concoct.
"It's fairly simple, really. We arrive, we burn, we leave."
"Ready the troops." Jiang's order was just what Zhian wanted to hear.
"Yes, sir." Zhian turns, leaving the room and closing the door behind him.
"Come on, boy." Aang's pleading did little to actually speed up the bison, who had been sprinting for the past few days on end. Appa replies with a groan and a temporary increase in speed, but he eventually returns to his initial speed, unable to keep up the new pace.
"So, what do we know about their plan?" Katara asks, trying to piece everything together.
"Not enough," Zuko notes, his tone revealing how much more he needed to know.
"That Cho guy said that the Phoenix Warriors are planning to attack close to home," Sokka begins, logically going through the information in the Team's possession. "I guess they already got to Aang."
"And Zuko," Aang adds, with Zuko scowling off into the distance.
"Who else could they go after?" Katara wonders out loud.
"They could go after Toph's family." Aang was unsure about this, but knew that someone else may be able to utilize the information for something better.
"No, they couldn't do that. Gaoling is too far inland. The Phoenix Warriors never had a presence in the Eastern Earth Kingdom, only the West coast. Your family is safe, Toph," Sokka replies.
"If those Warriors touched my family..." the Earthbender's voice trails off, only to reemerge a second later. "They wouldn't know what hit them!" Toph exclaims, thrusting her fist into the inside of her other palm.
"They could attack the Southern Water Tribe, you know, to get at Sokka and I," Katara suggests.
"Why? That would be very unwise. They want somewhere where they could attack easily."
"We don't know how many members they have, but since I know my entire nation isn't missing, they must be running low." Zuko's interruption broke his stare, bringing him back into the planning process.
"So, somewhere close to us that can be taken with a small number of people?" Aang asks, hoping to clarify. The group agrees by default.
"So, who is close to us?" Katara asks.
"Mai is in the Capital, but they've taken everyone else from me. I know Mai's safe. They wouldn't try anything that bold."
"They've already attacked the Northern Air Temple," Aang adds.
"My family is safe already," Toph begins. "And the Southern Water Tribe is covered."
"What does that leave?" Sokka asks, scratching his head in the hopes of sparking ideas.
Aang shrugs his shoulders, and glances around Appa's saddle. He moves from Zuko, to Sokka, to Toph, finally settling on Katara. Aang's eyes widen in shock. "Sokka... I think it's Suki."
Adjusting her headpiece, the young lady rises from her seat. She leaves her house to walk to her studio, where she plans to better herself. As she walks, another girl dressed identically races towards her. "Suki! Suki!" the girl calls, almost running into Suki as she tries to stop herself.
"What's wrong? Did someone get hurt while you were practicing?" Suki asks. "I thought I told you to be more careful."
"It's not that! There are ships in the harbor!" Suki's jovial expression vanishes.
"Sound the alarm. Go!" Suki orders. The girl runs away, and Suki heads towards the Warrior dojo. On her way, she glances at the statue of Avatar Kyoshi. "Please help us now," she thinks to herself as she continues on.
Ending in Fire
Zhian stands on the deck of the ship. His soldiers fall into place, waiting for the order to attack. When they all have assembled, he decides it's time to begin. "Men, today this island will burn. This will crush the spirits of the land's inhabitants as well as the Avatar's friend. Now, end this island in fire!" The soldiers put on their masks, small but built for protection, and let out a loud roar. Zhian knows that they're ready and orders the ship's bows to be let down. He points towards the village, signaling his intentions.
The soldiers respond, swarming towards the island with the intent of destruction. Zhian walks down the ship's bow, wondering if he'll find a challenge on the island.
The soldiers in the front of the group didn't know what hit them. While scoping out the village, they were ambushed. Teenage girls in green robes drop from the roofs of the buildings, already prepared to attack. The girls' blows were impossible to block; the soldier's limbs would go limp at the girls' touch. The girls would move on, disabling limbs before taking the soldier down. A Warrior began attacking the nimble girls, launching arcs of fire towards them.
He is surprised when they somehow avoid the blast, each in a different ways. One flips over the blast and one goes under. The third girl goes around the blast while the fourth bounces off a nearby wall. The attacking Firebender is hit with a swift jab to the neck, knocking him to his knees. Another blow to his side forces him to lose consciousness. Finally realizing her wound, one girl kneels clutching her side.
The other three girls turn and surround her. "Are you okay?" one girl asks her injured friend.
"I'm fine, I just-" the girl stops abruptly, looking beyond her friends in shock. "Look out!" she yells, pulling her hand from her burn to point behind the girls.
The three turn to see a Firebender charging a blast. "Say goodbye!" As he moves his hand forward, a green blur swipes down from the building's roof. The fire surrounding the Phoenix Warrior dissipates as he looks up to see a girl, dressed identically to the other four save her headband. The Warrior moves to attack with his other hand, but the newly arrived girl blocks him and uses her other hand to numb his remaining arm. Turning quickly, she raises her foot and kicks it across his face, tossing him aside as she runs over towards her comrades.
"Suki! You came!" the injured girl exclaims, struggling to rise to her feet.
"Stay down there," Suki suggests, in a tone that implied she wouldn't take no for an answer. "Go get help for her," Suki adds, turning to the other three Kyoshi Warriors. "Keep her safe." With that, the leader sprints off towards the inner village where there are more Warriors.
In the nick of time
"How could I put her in that kind of danger?" Sokka exclaims in frustration. Katara puts her hand on Sokka's back, slightly soothing his anger.
Toph has a question, and doesn't hesitate before asking. "How did they even find out about Kyoshi?"
"That is a good question," Zuko adds.
"I don't know. They could-" Sokka begins in a defensive tone, but remembers his battle from days prior. Not bad for a move learnt by the Kyoshi Warriors. "I told them..." Sokka mumbles, shocked that his carelessness had put anyone in danger.
Glancing over his shoulder, Aang catches glimpse of an island over the horizon. "Sokka, you'll have a chance to redeem yourself."
"I'm coming Suki," Sokka mutters under his breath, putting his sword and boomerang around his shoulder.
Appa flies over the island, with Aang and Zuko preparing to jump off from above the battle. "Aang," Sokka begins.
"What is it?" Aang replies.
"Create an air cushion on the ground." Sokka's order was both swift and cold; Aang was unsure what to think of it until Sokka threw himself over the side of the saddle, shocking everyone aboard the bison. Aang opens his glider and plummets toward Sokka.
Aang reaches Sokka and extends his hand, but Sokka refuses to accept. Relenting, Aang accelerates downward, passing Sokka and landing on the ground. Aang begins sending air currents upward, slowing Sokka's descent before forming an air dome directly under Sokka, stopping the Water Tribe Warrior before he makes contact with the ground. "What were you thinking?" Aang screams as Zuko jets down towards them.
"I needed to get down here as quickly as possible. That was the quickest way," Sokka explains, glancing from the Avatar to the Fire Lord. "I'm going to find Suki," he adds, turning and running towards the village.
Zhentu had heard the thunder and roar of the Warriors leaving the ship. He gets up from his crouched position, only to be almost crippled from the pain of standing up straight. After spending a precious moment doing absolutely nothing productive, he glances out the door into the hall of the ship. Not a sound echoed through the halls, and Zhentu would prefer to get out of Jiang's range if at all possible. Inching through the halls, Zhentu made sure not to make a sound. He looked before making any turn, eventually making it out of the ship and onto the deck.
What he saw shocked even him. He was in the Earth Kingdom, on some island he had never seen. Several of the small huts were ablaze, others were not. As the breeze blew, another house caught fire. He saw fire blasts from those he could clearly identify as , though he couldn't discern who they were attacking. He knew that he couldn't stay on the ship, so he quickly ran down the ramp of one ship and onto another.
The new ship was just as abandoned as the one before, and Zhentu quickly managed to find an area to stay. It was just as dark and dank as before, but it provided him with a better opportunity for food. After moving several boxes to provide a better shelter, he quietly curls up on the floor.
Aang runs towards the fray of battle, followed by Zuko. The two encounter a group of Phoenix Warriors, who decide that the Kyoshi Warriors aren't enough of a threat anymore. The Warriors in the rear defeated the last Kyoshi Warrior, knocking her over and leaving her on the ground.
The Phoenix Warrior in front decides to bait an attack. Turning his gaze towards a building, he gives the two a smirk. With two fingers, the Warrior sends a small fire ball into the building to his right. Aang and Zuko watch in horror as several other soldiers do the same. Aang, reacting as fast as he could, raises an earth wall in front of the buildings. Zuko disperses a fire blast, but the two cannot stop them all.
"You'll regret that," Zuko says, sending a fire blast at the group of Phoenix Warriors. The group disperses the blast, but Aang sends a jet of air before the group can retaliate.
The soldiers are blown back and several lie on the ground. Aang quickly raises an earth wall behind Zuko before pursuing his two targets. The Fire Lord responds by turning and looking around the rock slab.
"It's the Fire Lord," a young officer says. "I must bow in respect." The officer enters into a small, feigned bow, keeping eye contact along with a smirk.
"Who are you?" Zuko asks, cutting to the chase.
"My name is Zhian. You're just some pretender to the throne." Zuko scowls back as Zhian gives the Fire Lord a look that tortured him. "After you're gone, there will be no one to take the throne."
"Well, you won't be around to see that," Zuko says, sending a fire blast at Zhian. Zuko noted that the blast was weak, and sends another that is slightly stronger.
Zhian deflects both, deciding to let the Fire Lord know his secret. "I saw to that personally."
Zuko's eyes widen upon seeing the face of his suffering. In a blind rage, he begins jabbing small fire blasts while advancing towards Zhian. The Phoenix Warrior dodges and blocks the blows, eventually diverting Zuko around him. Zhian places his foot on Zuko's back, pushing the Fire Lord away and onto the ground.
Zuko turns to face Zhian, rising to his feet seething with rage. "What's wrong with you?"
"Me? What's wrong with you?" Zhian retorts, angry at Zuko's question. "You believe that these savages are our equals? We are the greatest nation to ever exist! You are degrading all of us by even suggesting that!"
"I have traveled all over the world, and I have met many different kinds of people. Some were just like you, and others believed that the world could achieve peace again. You're the one who is dishonoring them by believing in your superiority!" the Fire Lord responds in anger.
Zhian coldly responds with a fire blast aimed at Zuko's face, Zuko dodges and decides he wants to end his opponent. Swinging his arms in an arc, Zuko prepares to utilize lightning. He is unsure why Zhian smiles, but he continues creating the bolt. Upon thrusting his two fingers forward, an explosion from his fingertips knocks the Fire Lord back into a building.
"You're pathetic," Zhian mocks, turning and running back towards the fray of battle.
Zuko moves to get up, but cannot summon the energy.
The right direction
Sokka sprints towards the battle, looking for a certain person. He glances left and right as he runs, eventually finding a group of Phoenix Warriors attacking some Kyoshi Warriors, one of whom is injured. "Stay away from them!" Sokka yells, throwing his boomerang and he charges closer. One Phoenix Warrior is knocked out, though the other three push their opponents away to find the source of the Boomerang.
"Who'll make us?" one Phoenix Warrior asks while the others laugh at the Water Tribe swordsman. Sokka never gets to answer.
The Warrior in the front was wrapped in a coil of water that flung him onto the ground, knocking him unconscious. The second was knocked away by an earth pillar that knocked him into a building. The remaining two Warriors look around in shock, trying to figure out what had just defeated their comrades. "Did you do that?" a Phoenix Warrior asks Sokka.
"Don't look at me, I'm just as shocked as you," Sokka replies.
"I did!" Toph's voice calls as the blind Earthbender erupts from the ground. She encases a Warrior in earth before launching the final opponent into the air. Before hitting the ground, the Warrior is caught by a water whip, throwing him towards the same building as the other Warrior. Katara runs into the area, seeing both Toph and Sokka standing there.
"Sokka! What were you thinking?" Katara yells, running up to hit her brother.
"I had to get here. I need to protect Suki," Sokka replies.
Before Katara can respond, Toph interrupts. "Katara, they need your help."
Katara glances over and sees the four Kyoshi Warriors. She runs over and pulls water from her pouch, crouching down to get a better view of the wound. Katara places water on the wound, inhaling deeply and watching the wound slowly vanish. "Is that any better?"
"Yes, it is. Thank you."
"Where is Suki?" Sokka asks a different Warrior.
"She helped us then ran into the village. I hope you find her," the Warrior replies. Sokka nods his head, picks up his boomerang and runs off.
"How many are there?" Katara asks the same Warrior.
"A lot. More than we have living in our entire village," anothe Warrior says.
"Let's go," Toph says with a grin. The two girls run off after Sokka, leaving the Warriors to fend for themselves.
- The title "In the nick of time" has nothing to do with Nickelodeon. It is a simple coincidence.
For the collective works of the author, go here.