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|Clash of the Warriors Part 2|
18 Febuary 2011
Clash of the Warriors Part 2 is the fifty seventh chapter of.
The Phoenix Warriors encounter more than they bargained for on Kyoshi Island.
sits in his cell, staring at the wall for lack of an alternative activity. The voyage to his prison was not entertaining at all, as he had been incarcerated in a room that was divided by bars. The bars were irritating; his face was slammed into them when the ship came to a sudden halt. As Cho contemplated his hatred of his position, his door opens with a guard uttering the sole word "Food."
"Took long enough," Cho begins. "I was beginning to think you'd forgot about me." He inches closer to his cell bars and the guard walks towards him. The guard kneels down and moves his hands to the bars to give Cho the food that passed for a meal.
Cho grabs the guard's arms, pulling them back and forcing the guard's face into the metal. The guard slumps to the ground and Cho pulls his limp body closer to the bars. Cho finds the guard's keys and unlocks his cell. "Good bye," Cho says to the unconscious body of the guard.
Cho leaves the room and slams the door closed. He inches through the halls, trying to find the captain's quarters. He knows that the captain should be in his room at this point, and he only had to determine where that room would be. Looking into the nearest room, he sees a sleeping old man. "Not him..." Cho thinks to himself before moving on to the next room. He sees that the room is empty, and despite his frustration, moves on.
He approaches another room, which he can see is filled with soldiers on their break. He hears a mention of the ship's captain, and decides to listen in. "Yeah, I want to know who this new captain is," he hears a soldier say.
"Me too. I heard he's new and nervous."
"Hasn't he been in his cabin the whole voyage?" a third voice says.
Cho stops listening and moves towards the center of the ship, having created a plan. He checks several rooms on his way, eventually finding his target's domain. The captain is starring through the room's window, a perfectly defenseless target. Cho opens to door quietly, though the captain hears him.
"Who are you?" the captain asks. "I have ordered the crew to stay out of my room."
"I'm no crew member," Cho replies, sending a fire blast at the captain. The captain dodges and sends a fire ball towards Cho. Cho disperses the blast and moves closer to the captain. The captain continues sending attacks, though Cho dodges and diffuses them all. Cho is finally within attacking distance and manages to grab the captain by his armor. He slams the officer into the wall before throwing him out the window and into the ocean.
Cho turns and closes the door to the captain's quarters. He opens the officer's closet and finds several sets of armor. "Just my size," Cho notes after picking up his new clothes. He also finds what he was looking for, a Firebender mask that would hide his face. "Perfect," he exclaims. After changing, he decides to implement the final phase of his plan. Cho opens the door to the room and waits for a crew member to walk by.
"You!" Cho exclaims as one finally walks past.
"Yes, sir!" the soldier replies, standing sharply at attention.
"I need something."
"Arrange a meeting with the crew. I have a message for them," Cho says through the facemask.
"Right away, sir."
"Dismissed," Cho says, waving the soldier away so he can fulfill his duty. "This is too convenient..."
Aang blows a Phoenix Warrior away from a Kyoshi Warrior. He creates an earth wall in front of a building to prevent a fire blast from setting the structure ablaze. He uses a jet of air to blow a Phoenix Warrior from in front of him, revealing a familiar Kyoshi Warrior. "Suki?" Aang asks, ducking to avoid a fire blast.
"Aang?" Suki replies, performing a back flip to avoid the same blast. "Have you seen Sokka?"
"No, he's looking for you!" Aang says, sinking into the earth and emerging behind a Phoenix Warrior. Aang sends an air ball into the Warrior's back, blowing him away from the battle.
"Suki!" The voice called from behind the Kyoshi Warrior. Suki looks behind her to see the face she had missed for almost a year.
"Sokka! Look out!" A Phoenix Warrior arrives behind Sokka and prepares a fire blast. Sokka ducks, draws his sword and pulls the Warrior's feet from underneath him. Spinning his sword, Sokka thrusts the hilt of his blade into the Warrior's head, knocking him out. Suki raises her foot, kicking her opponent's chin. The Warrior falls to the ground, and Suki leaves the battle.
Sokka runs towards Suki, and Suki towards Sokka. The two catch each other in their arms, and hold one another tightly. "I missed you..." the two say at the same time, entirely unintentionally. An earth wall emerges from the ground in front of them, blocking a fire blast from a Phoenix Warrior. Sokka looks around the rock slab to see a young Fire Nation officer.
"Cute," the Warrior says in a sarcastic tone typical of Sokka.
Aang runs towards the Warrior, stopping and assuming a fighting stance. "End the attack on this island!"
"Hello Avatar," the Warrior begins. "This isn't just an attack on the island." He glances up to the statue of Kyoshi on its column. Inhaling, the Warrior sends a jet of fire at the statue, setting the effigy ablaze.
Aang's eyes open wide at this sight. His tattoos glow a bright white and he sends a jet of air at the Warrior's back. He is blown forward, coming into contact with the pillar keeping Kyoshi's statue in the sky. Air currents are thrown into disarray within a ten-foot radius of Aang. Dust rises from the ground and surrounds him, blocking the view of the young Air Nomad.
The tornado intensifies, seemingly darkening the landscape as it begins to fade away. Standing in Aang's place was a tall woman, the founder of the island. Kyoshi steps forward, staring at the man who had started the invasion of her homeland.
Kyoshi and Phoenix Warriors alike stood in place, with neither side making a move. The Kyoshi Warriors then fell to their knees and bowed while the Phoenix Warriors began inching towards the beaches, hoping to escape.
Kyoshi paces towards the lone Warrior, who slowly rises to his feet. "Great," he mumbles as he sees his new foe. "Avatar Kyoshi, I am Zhian. I have come to burn your feeble village to the ground, and you will not stop me."
"Zhian of the Fire Nation, leave this village or you will regret it," Kyoshi sternly replies.
"Don't worry, I'll leave. Why would I want to stay on this trash heap of an island?" Zhian says with a smirk. He sends a fire blast towards Kyoshi, who blocks the blast with an air shield. Zhian jets himself into the air, leaping over Kyoshi. As he descends to the ground, he sends a fire ball at the nearest building. Before he landed, the structure was on fire. Zhian lands facing the Avatar, who had turned to see her village ablaze.
"Over two hundred years ago, I defended my home from invaders," the Avatar says as she takes a single step forward.
Ignoring the Avatar, Zhian decides to give orders. "Men, back to the ships and gather the defeated. I'll deal with this on my own." Zhian launches a fire blast, though Kyoshi effortlessly deflects it. The next blast is stopped by her fan and pushed to her left, but it diffuses before coming into contact with the home.
"I will not let that labor fall in vain." Kyoshi still remains focused on Zhian, blocking the volley of fire he insists upon using. She retaliates, whipping he fan forward and sending an air blast towards the Phoenix Warrior. Zhian rolls out of the way while sending an arc of fire at the Avatar. Kyoshi stomps the ground, raising an earth wall to block the blast. She punches the wall, sending the entire slab towards the Firebender.
Zhian tries in vain to block the wall, shooting many fire balls at the wall, eventually moving out of the way instead of attacking. As he rises, Zhian's arms swing in arcs, creating blue sparks in the surrounding air. Zhian thrusts his fingers forward, sending a powerful lightning bolt forward. Kyoshi slides out of the way, though the looks behind her. She sees the figures of Katara and Suki, standing limp in the path of the lightning. Kyoshi quickly stomps the ground, moving the ground underneath the girls and putting them out of harm's way.
Kyoshi again stomps the ground, raising a large boulder from behind her. She brings the rock over her head, punching it and sending the stone towards Zhian. Zhian shifts out of the path of the boulder, turning and seeing that the Island was clear of any Phoenix Warriors.
"It's been nice knowing you," Zhian yells at the towering Kyoshi Warrior. He turns and runs towards the boats. Kyoshi initially lets him run, but he begins sending fire blasts at the buildings. The Avatar propels herself at Zhian, hitting the Warrior with an air jet from his rear. He lands face-first on the ground as the Avatar approaches. She stomps the ground, lifting the Warrior off the ground and leaving him suspended in the air. Using another powerful air gust, Kyoshi sends Zhian through the air, aimed at the deck of the center ship docked on the beach.
When Zhian rises to his feet, he is on the deck of the Phoenix Warrior's flagship. "Prepare to leave!" he orders, turning to the Warriors standing idly nearby. Before Warriors can obey, Kyoshi takes action. She pulls the ocean further in, allowing the ship's to float on the water's surface. She sends the ocean out, pushing the ships out into the open sea. Kyoshi's arms pull back, creating a massive wave in front of the ships. The wave straightens out, eventually freezing into a massive ice wall separating the island from the ocean. Kyoshi rises into the air utilizing a massive air spout, landing on the top of the wall.
"Sail to the Fire Nation!" Zhian orders, and the Warriors on the deck salute. His orders carried out, Zhian walks calmly under the deck and into his room.
As Kyoshi watches the Phoenix Warrior ships vanish over the horizon, she lets out an exhale. A dome of air forms around her, with her eyes glowing white. The sphere grows taller, eventually forming into a cyclone around the towering Avatar. The tornado begins picking up sand from the beach, becoming entirely brown and obscuring the view of the Avatar.
Aang is on a rock in the Spirit World, waiting for Kyoshi to finish defending her home. As Aang looks around, Kyoshi appears, ready to travel back to the Spirit World. "So, did you defeat the Phoenix Warriors?" Aang asks, springing to his feet. He is ready to go back to his body already.
"I repelled them." Kyoshi's voice was calm, but still serious.
"But you didn't capture any of them?" Aang asks, irritated that she wasted the opportunity to catch more Warriors.
"No, I didn't," Kyoshi bluntly states.
"It is not my fight. Avatar Aang, these struggles were forged during your time, and they are yours to deal with," Kyoshi says calmly.
"But you defeated the Dai Li! Why didn't you capture the Phoenix Warriors?"
"I defeated the Dai Li because they were a problem I caused. I assisted today because it was my home in jeopardy. Had I dealt with this invasion in my way, you wouldn't have let me finish. The rebels who attacked my home would not have gone unpunished."
"So you let them get away?"
"Had I defeated the invasion force, the rebels would have sent more. I defeated the Phoenix Warriors so that they would leave my island and never return. It was my goal from the beginning."
"Thank you for your help," Aang says, both sincerity and a desire to end this conversation.
"Take care, Avatar Aang. Your coming struggles will test you, but you have risen to the challenges before. I know you are capable of doing it again." As Aang acknowledges Kyoshi's statement, the large Avatar fades away as Aang sees the inside of brown tornado. The storm settles, and Aang is back in Kyoshi's place.
Zhian removes his armor and sets it on the floor of his room. The ships were well on their way and he knew the Warriors were safe for the next few days. He moves towards a chair, but stops when he sees a figure in his doorway. "Are they all dead?"
"No, Admiral. They made it," Zhian states, bowing but still continuing his routine.
"And you dare come back here?" Jiang Rha was growing tired of his officers failing him.
"Obviously," Zhian coldly replies, prompting a furious stare from Jiang.
"And now you disrespect me?"
"I meant no disrespect, sir. I felt that the mission was accomplished. I was told to burn the village and terrorize the citizens; both ends were finished. It was going very well until the Avatar summoned Kyoshi."
"You fought the Avatar?" Jiang's anger was suppressed, replaced by a curiosity as to the extent of the Avatar's abilities.
"Yes, he was just like the Air Nomads were supposed to be, he never killed a single soldier of mine. But he is still a powerful opponent. But then Kyoshi came out... She repelled us on her own. I managed to get all of the soldiers off the island. And the only reason we lost at all is that the Nomad kid summoned Kyoshi. That is due to her ties to the island, but believe me when I say we don't have to worry about them on our next mission." Zhian's eyes narrow as he continues. "It's too important for them to be there."
"How can you be certain?" Jiang asks, his serious tone returning.
"Trust me. I injured too many of the villagers. That Water Tribe kid won't leave until that village is fixed, neither will with Avatar. We've got days until they're ready to leave the island, then they'll need to catch up."
"Are you prepared for the next mission?"
Zuko comes to, sitting up and holding his head with his right hand. "What happened?" he asks himself as he slowly rises to his feet. He glances around, but sees no Phoenix Warriors. He puts out a fire while he trudges towards the center of the town.
When he arrives in the town's center, he is horrified to see the damage. Homes are up in flames, several Kyoshi Warriors are defeated, and he sees a figure standing on the top of a massive ice wall. He stumbles further into the village, catching sight of Katara, Suki, and Sokka. "What happened here?" the injured Fire Lord asks.
"Zuko, what happened to you?" Katara asks, ignoring his question to focus on his health.
"I don't know what's wrong, but I can't seem to fight. Some Phoenix Warrior named Zhian beat me."
"He was just here!" Suki exclaims.
"Is everyone alright?" Zuko asks, looking around for any trace of the Phoenix Warriors.
"We're fine. Aang fought him, but then he attacked the statue of Kyoshi," Katara begins.
"She came out and literally blew Zhian off the island!" Sokka exclaims.
"So, we have no idea where they're going?" Zuko asks.
"Didn't think about that," Sokka replies, his excitement vanishing.
"Is that Aang?" Zuko asks, looking past Sokka towards the massive ice wall dominating the horizon.
"Yes. That's where Kyoshi left him."
Aang turns around, leaping onto the beach and running into town. He sends a gust towards one of the houses, putting the fire out. He then propels himself onto the roof and faces the ocean.
Aang's eyes glow as he pulls his arms back, lifting a massive amount of water into a sphere above the island. He spins and pushes his hands forward, splitting the water into smaller sections and sending each to a different area of the island. One comes into contact with the statue of Kyoshi, putting out the flames that were slowly engulfing it. In a matter of minutes, the island was free of fire.
Katara had not remained with Suki. By the time the Kyoshi Warrior turned around, Katara was on the move, healing injured civilians. Zuko began walking towards Aang, hoping to find out more information, but also to leave Sokka and Suki alone. As Zuko approaches the building Aang stands perched on, the Avatar sees his discouraged friend. He slowly descends, landing on the ground three feet in front of Zuko. "There you are! Where were you?"
"I lost. I couldn't even summon the energy to move."
"I don't know." Zuko's head drops in shame, but Aang reaches his arm out.
"Cheer up, Zuko. You lost, it happens. We need to focus on making sure that the Phoenix Warriors get caught. You'll get another chance."
"Cheer up? Were you happy after Ba Sing Se fell? When you didn't find my father during the invasion?" Zuko barks, causing Aang's arm to fall back to his side.
"I wasn't. But I realized that my duty was bigger than I am. My job is to keep balance, so I made sure that I did better the next time. You are just stressed from all the battling. Relax for a bit." Aang's hand returned to Zuko's shoulder, patting the Firebender's back while motioning for him to return to the village. "Head on back and rest, we can handle fixing the village."
Zuko silently nods and walks calmly towards the village. He glances at the damaged statue of Kyoshi and his mind wanders to the subject of Avatars. He was acutely aware of his relation to Roku, and he couldn't get his great-grandfather out of his mind.
His uncle's voice appeared in his head as well, reiterating the same advice he had received a year prior: "Evil and good are always at war inside you, Zuko. It is your nature; your legacy. But there is a bright side. What happened generations ago can be resolved now, by you. Because of your legacy, you alone can cleanse the sins of our family and the Fire Nation." Zuko couldn't get the phrase 'restore balance to the world' out of his head either. He decided he needed rest, and continued on, passing the statue of Kyoshi.
A Decision to Leave
As Zuko walked towards Aang, Sokka decided there was something he needed to do. He held Suki tightly for the first time in what seemed like ages, despite it being only since the middle of the battle. As Zuko walked past, they realized that they had pressing matters at hand. "What should we help first?" Sokka asks, looking and seeing little to do for non-benders.
"I don't really know. After the last time we were attacked, many of our villagers learned the skills needed to repair their homes. Specificly,can fix a roof twice as fast as any other person on the island." She gestures towards the front man in a group of Islanders who had gathered around Aang. He was staring in shock and foam began foaming at his mouth. After a brief bout of screaming, Paomo collapses, being dragged into the crowd by several other villagers. Aang scratches his head awkwardly before leaving the crowd to see what was wrong with Suki and Sokka.
"What else needs to be done?" Aang asks.
"Well, the villagers can handle rebuilding the houses. You've put out all the fires, and now we just need to wait for Katara to finish healing."
"So we're leaving soon?" Sokka asks, glancing towards Suki before returning his gaze to Aang.
"I don't think Appa can handle another trip like the one he just had. We'll have to rest for at least a day before we can leave. I think everyone needs a break," Aang replies.
"I'm going with you," Suki says. "I don't want to stay here without you."
"I wouldn't have it any other way," Sokka says softly, looking towards Suki. "I'm glad you're coming with us."
"I wouldn't have it any other way," Suki replies, smiling at Sokka while walking into his arms. Sokka returns the hug, smiling and closing his eyes.
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