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27 December 2010
Denial is the forty ninth chapter of.
Team Avatar takes a detour on their way north.
walks through the halls of his flagship. Everything was according to plan; the troops were mobilized, the territory was secured; now came the task of wiping away the faces of those who were unfit to inhabit the area. He was heading to his war chamber, so that he could have the mission explained to him in detail for one last time. He parted the curtain that separated the room from the hallway and took his seat. Several other advisors entered the room as well, and the presenter walked in.
"Greetings, esteemed council. I am Airbenders. Airbending hasn't been observed often in the past hundred years, so I will elaborate." The officials in the room nod, motioning for him to continue. "Airbending is a peaceful art, much like the monks and nuns who practice it. That is why this invasion will be so easy: many of them will refuse to fight back! As for those who choose battle, Airbending is said to be a weak 'art'. If the four elements are on a progressing scale of power, air is at the bottom. It relies on defense, so the casualties we risk suffering are miniscule at best.", and it was my task to plan the invasion of the Northern Air Temple." He finished his opening and bowed. "I have done both historical research and tactical research, and I have reached a conclusion. We are attacking the Air Nomads, a race of
"So, you're recommending a full invasion?" an older officer asks.
"Exactly. We need to crush them swiftly and absolutely."
"I'll lead," Jiang says menacingly, interrupting another question. "These Nomads will be destroyed just as they were a century ago. We will bring the Avatar to his knees with the one thing he can't protect... His people." Jiang ends the meeting by exiting the room, leaving the other officers to be let in on the plan.
Arrival at the temple
Appa soars through the sky, heading north east from Taku. "I can't believe that the Phoenix Warriors are going to try and attack the Northern Water Tribe!" Katara exclaims as she looks down at the ocean.
"I figured that they would have learned not to mess with the Water Tribe after getting thrown out after their siege," Sokka replies.
"You would have, but these people don't think like you do. They want to rid the world of non-Fire Nation, so they would risk anything to further their goal," Zuko responds. His glance falls as he completes his sentence, as if in awe of the atrocities his own people had brought about.
"But that's why we have to stop them!" Katara exclaims, trying to lighten the mood.
"I'm mad that I can't fight them. Stupid non-earth ice..." Toph scoffs as she wishes she could help end the Warriors.
"These mountains..." Aang mutters.
"What is it Aa-" Zuko begins, until he recognizes the range himself.
"What? I still don't get it!" Toph moans.
"We're near the Northern Air Temple!" Zuko exclaims.
"You're right, Zuko." Aang is then cut off by Appa's loud moan. "I think Appa wants to rest," Aang adds.
"Couldn't hurt to rest some before we go to the Northern Water Tribe," Sokka says, stretching his arms towards the sky while stretching his legs out in front of him.
"Doesn't make any difference to me," Toph says nonchalantly. Aang steers Appa to the right and follows a path he remembered flying several times.
The Final Word
Ozai's room. He had been summoned earlier, but Ozai refused to see him at that moment. He thinks about the impending invasion of Air Nomads, and what needs to happen this day. He is stopped in his tracks by the opening of Ozai's door. "Enter," Ozai says. Jiang passes through the doorway, and Ozai is waiting for him. "Get out," he barks at his servants, who obediently bow and exit the room. "Rha, I expect you to explain to me what this mission entails," he says, turning to Rha and sitting down on his recently completed throne chair.paces in the hall near
"Well, sir, we are going to be invading the territory of the Air Nomads today. As they are a peaceful people, we are going to wipe them all out to deal a blow to the Avatar on a personal level. The Nomads will be slaughtered today. I will lead the conquest over their nation."
"No, you will stay here."
"But sir, I have organized this mission to-"
"Silence, Rha! My word is final. I have my reasons. You are to have someone else lead the mission."
"Silence yourself. I will not tolerate this insolence. Remove yourself from my presence and find someone else to replace you. Good bye," Ozai says dryly.
Jiang stands up, bows to Ozai and slowly walks out of the room. He was absolutely stunned, and felt rejected. He walks into his room and sits down to ponder his situation. He remains there for an hour, staring at the ground and wondering about his next move. He is stirred by a knock at his door.
"Admiral Rha?" a voice calls from the door.
"What?" Jiang asks bitterly.
"Sir, it's," the timid voice calls as Zui walks into the room. "We are ready to begin the invasion. Are you ready?"
"I'm not going." Jiang sounded ready to kill based off his tone.
"But sir, if you don't lead us, who will?"
"I've thought about that. Have Zhian do it."
"But sir, he's prepping for his mission. He's locating his target, and he left this morning. He's not here," Zui replies timidly.
"Then you do it!" Jiang orders.
"Yes, you! I am under orders from the Phoenix King to remain here, so you are going to lead the invasion," Jiang tells him. "Out of my sight," he orders quietly, forcing Zui to bow and exit the room.
Appa touches down in the center of the Northern Air Temple. The children of the temple gathered around the bison; he was one of their favorite excuses to avoid their chores. Several gliders were seen circling the temple, lead by a glider with a chair. "We're home, buddy..." Aang whispers to Appa.
Aang's New Nomads were a marvel, resuming the duties of the monks who occupied the temple a hundred years prior. The temple was also inhabited by those who weren't able to live a monastic lifestyle, those like the Mechanist. When Aang announced his plans to create new Nomads, the Mechanist asked for the right to stay. Aang couldn't refuse him after all he had helped with, so the non-benders were permitted to stay. Aang opened the temple up to refugees from around the world, offering the freedom of a new life as an Air Nomad. Several who arrived were deemed worthy of becoming monks, while others became disillusioned by the lifestyle. The temple had been mostly refurbished, with the metal piping removed and Airbending mechanisms restored.
The team hops off Appa as the bison lands on the temple floor. Katara, Sokka and Zuko are shocked at the sight of flying bald people in the sky. "Whoa..." all three say in unison.
"Yeah, I'm glad too," Aang says from behind them. The Air Nomad children swarm around Aang, looking joyfully at their leader, much like the children of Kyoshi Island. "Would you mind fetching Master Boreas for me?" the child nods quickly and runs off and into the main temple building. "We usually meet in the courtyard, so we shouldn't keep him waiting!" Aang adds, motioning for the rest of Team Avatar to follow him.
Zui paces through the hall outside the commanding officer's study. He was just ordered to lead the invasion, but he had little military experience. He would have to address the officers, and so he finally works up the courage he needs and opens the door.
"Prepare yourselves, gentlemen, for a battle of legendary proportions! The last time the Air Nomads battled, they were wiped out in an event that has marked the history of the world! Today, we will achieve the level of the mighty Sozin! It is time to prove the superiority of fire! Only we are able to rise from the ashes of a so called defeat! We will burn them to the ground!" Zui screams, thrusting his fist into the air, and prompting applause from the officers in the room. That actually worked? he thinks to himself, but manages to retain his 'strong leader' persona.
"What now, sir?" one of younger officials asks Zui.
"To the tanks!" Zui declares, motioning out of the room and exiting swiftly. "Let's hope this works..."
Team Avatar walks into the temple courtyard, an open area blooming with all kinds of plant life. The new Nomads had bloomed much like the garden, with many Airbending children playing throughout the temple. The courtyard was reserved for meditation, and so it remained quiet.
Aang was the first in the courtyard, closely followed by his companions. "See everyone, this is a lot like the Air Temple was a hundred years ago! It was exactly like this, only more bald people!" Aang exclaims, scratching the back of his head briefly.
"I wouldn't have liked it. I couldn't see anyone..." Toph says, forcing a small frown from Aang.
"I like this place," Sokka starts. "Where's the Mechanist?"
"He should be around here somewhere... I haven't heard anything about him leaving," Aang replies.
"He should be here eventually," a voice from above calls. The team looks up, and sees a middle aged man slowly floating down, encircled by air.
"Way to go Boreas! You got it!" Aang exclaims, jumping into the air and descending with the Airbender.
"I've understood this move for the past week, but the congratulations are still appreciated," Boreas says with a smile.
"Who's this, Aang?" Katara asks, slowly approaching the two.
"What didn't you understand about the first time, Katara? He's an Airbender!" Sokka exclaims.
"I'm no Airbender!" Boreas says, leaning towards Sokka. "Oh wait, I am..." he jests with a smile.
Sokka laughs, though the rest of the group doesn't see the humor. "I like him," Sokka announces, grabbing him around the shoulder.
"Good, maybe he likes you too!" Toph replies, flat lining Sokka's smile.
"So, Boreas, how have things been?" Aang asks his most advanced pupil.
"Things have been amazing. Teo has been teaching the gliding classes, and he's really improving with his own mastery of Airbending. His style is pretty unique. All in all, everything is peaceful, everything is in balance, and everyone is learning."
"Anything out of the ordinary?" Aang asks Boreas.
"Nothing suspicious. We have recently noticed some Fire Nation encampments at the bottom of the mountain. When we asked them about their purpose here, they said that they were sent by the Fire Lord to help in any way that they could," Boreas responds.
"What? I haven't ordered any assistance team to come any where near the Northern Air Temple!" Zuko reveals.
"It's them, isn't it?" Aang asks somberly, afraid of the answer.
"It's who?" Boreas asks.
"The the War again, and they took several towns in the Earth Kingdom. Now we think that they want another massacre," Zuko explains. "I won't allow it!". They want to start
"Excuse me for a moment," Aang says quietly. He slowly and quietly exits the room, with neither Boreas nor the rest of Team Avatar saying a word to him.
"What are we going to do?" Katara wonders out loud.
"I'm not entirely sure, but I know something I will do to help," Zuko elaborates, briskly leaving the room and heading in a different direction from Aang.
"Well, I'm not sure what to do now..." Sokka says awkwardly.
"From what I've been told, that young girl is a very powerful Earthbender. I've even heard that she is capable of bending metal!" Boreas exclaims.
"Yeah, keep going," Toph says with a grin.
"Well, I've also heard that she can't see without touching the earth."
"Yeah, that's the downside. You can bend metal but you can't see fire balls coming at you," Sokka says calmly.
"I think we need to come up with a way so that you can be used in the foreseeable battle," Boreas decides.
"I'm sure we can think of something," Katara says soothingly, glancing around the room and trying to come up with an idea.
The Battle Ahead
A middle aged man walks up to Zuko, bowing to the Fire Lord before rising to give his report. "Welcome, Commander Shan," Zuko says first. "Your report?" Zuko asks calmly. "What sort of firepower did they bring?" he asks, changing to a more serious tone.
"Sir, our scouts have reported that the insurgents possess some of the most state-of-the-art weaponry. Their ships are some of the fastest the Fire Nation has ever produced. They also seem to possess several Tundra Tanks, though they may not be used. Most of the tanks we possessed were destroyed following the end of the War, so we won't have very many to combat them. We can still win this day."
"We will win today. We have to..." Zuko says as his voice trails off. "I'm not going to let Aang down. Mobilize all of the troops, tell them to be sure to avoid bending near any Airbender they see."
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