Prison bars
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The Lost Air Temple


Book 2 Rise of the Deathbenders


28 Escape!

Written by



Minnichi the Wise

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Stained Footprints

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Struggle Part 1: Enter the Killer

Last Time On TLAT The battle vs. life and death continues. Osla was mercilessly killed by Wong. He used the forbidden art known as deathbending. Finosa, however was able to fight back, so both herself and Cori could flee.


"This is insanity..."

Sulu was alone. He was sent by someone he did not trust into a bomb zone. Needless to say he was not too happy. He walked down the halls with his assassin-like precision. Sulu noticed everything that could be noticed. He saw blood, strands of cloth, and metal fibers. He was following the trails to wherever this "bomb" went off. Sulu could see where the drops led. A bead of sweat rolled down his face, he knew where they were leading. It was all going back to the room.

"No... this impossible."

She had escaped...

Cori and Finosa barreled down the hallway. They did not know who could be following them. Cori and Finosa had this look. It looked like everything, all their emotions, were being held off until later. They could not mourn, they didn't cry any longer. They had no choice but to hold it all in and keep moving.

"Finosa?" Cori sniffled.

"Yeah?" she said as their running started to slow down.

Cori looked at the corridor, that they had now entered, "Do you know where we are going?"

"Well," Finosa paused. She now was a little worried. "Actually, I don't..."

Clanging. They could hear it getting louder as they went further into the depths of the temple. Next they heard screaming, or at least the sound was close to it. The temple's interior changed. It looked like a hastily built dungeon more than some off-putting temple.

"When do you think Barry will be up?" it was a voice that cam from around the next corner.

"I don't know, but he needs to get up. Joest," the other man paused, "give him a shake."

"What if Barry gets mad? Barry doesn't like to be woken up, especially in a place like this. It is so spooky. Kind of reminds me of those catacombs, except more..."

"More what?" the man said puzzled.

"Evil... y."

"Seriously, Joest?" the man growled. "Wake Barry up. That is an order!"

Finosa thought she understood what these people were talking about.

She whispered in Cori's ear, "I know who these people are I think." She was hastily cut off by a nervous Cori.

"Don't get close to me like that," there was then a mutually awkward look they gave each other. "Sorry, so who are they?"

"Assassins, maybe even Black Lotus."

"So they are allies of Wong, and this horrible place?" Cori asked. He had the same look as when he had fought Wong right before Osla died.

"Yes..." Finosa looked at Cori as he began to walk in that direction. She grabbed his shoulder. "Don't do anything, you're still hurt."

"If what I think is around the corner, I trust you'll understand." With a tense face he yanked away his arm from Finosa. He charged around the hallway.

Finosa peaked around the corner. She could see some startled assassins. They definitely looked like the ones from the Fire Nation, except now they had an insignia on their vests, similar to that of a Black Lotus Tile.

"What is this kid doing here?!?" "Barry" yelled. Finosa ducked her head from around the corner. First she heard someone get hit or pushed up against some metal bars. Then she heard the roar of a fire blast. Next someone else hitting bars, and finally someone falling. Finosa could feel the heat that was coming from around the corner. She did not want to look until Cori gave her an all clear sign, or an assassin talked. Finosa felt like minutes or even hours had gone by in a matter of seconds. She inched close to the corner, as if to see if anyone was there.

"I got 'em," said a shaky voice from around the corner. It sounded like a kid. Finosa looked around the corner. There, on the ground, sat Cori in front of a cell door. He was looking inside of it. Finosa could tell his arm was burnt, but other than that he was still okay. Finosa's eyes drift to inside the cell. She saw a prisoner. The prisoner was skinny and look like he had not eaten in a while. It was a boy who looked around Cori's age.

Cori put his hand through the cell bars. He seemed to know whoever was inside. The look on Cori's face was that on his was shock. It was as if a ghost was there, right in front of him. The cold figure backed into a corner. It looked as if it feared for its life. His eyes seemed to be wide like an abused caged animal. Finosa slowly stepped toward Cori. Cori now had a cautious smile on his face. He stuck his hand through the door as a sign of friendship.

"Remember me?" Cori's soft voice asked.

The crisp night wind hit Gatton's face. The dragon weaved around the sky. It was getting a little bumpy, however Smoke just sat motionless. He seemed totally detached from the situation.

"Smoke," Gatton said puzzled.

"Yes," Smoke sounded a little impatient. His eyes now focused on the Avatar.

"What are you doing?"

"Channeling my internal energy to darkness. It will give me power."

"How exactly are you doing this?" Gatton seemed a bit concerned. "You seem different." Smoke relaxed, "In this world my powers don't come as easily. There is less darkness flowing, so I have to concentrate on my own darkness in order to have power. It insures I will be able to use my newer technique are powerful."

"Sounds a little bizarre, almost evil. What kind of techniques?"

"Being able to turn into my dark spirit form, some powerful physical attacks, focused dark energy pulses, and..." Smoke gripped his back pocket. Hew felt the otherworldly knife. It was like gold.

Gatton smiled, "I trust you. After all me and my family owe our lives to you. Just make sure you don't lose your alliances here in the physical world."

"Mother says I need to be careful with the bonds I make here.

"I see," Gatton jerked the dragon's reigns to stay straight.


"Not again," mumbled a scorched person. Wong was burnt so badly He could barely crawl. His entire face was in folds. It was beat red and horrible looking. The pain was incredible. Wong eyes were watering. His clothes were mostly charcoal and he laid on the ground motionless. Wong cursed and whimpered in pain. He attempted to crawl, but instead he dragged the rest of his body with his arms.

"Disgraceful, to think I have been beaten twice by mere children. Even if they are the Avatar's family, how can they be this powerful?"

Wong stopped for a moment. He knew he couldn't lose. He slowly made a ball of air. The Skywalker crafted it in his hand like a sculptor makes fine art. Wong then let the air drop on the ground. It formed a cloud, or at least something similar. He shoved some air forward and propelled himself across the hall.

"I am not going to let this end in defeat. Father would kill me if I let these fools escape me."

Wong moved down the hall. He knew where they would try to go. The children had gone opposite the main door and towards the prison. They were already trapped.

"Everything is coming together," Sid had a crooked smile. Finally he had what he wanted. He had killed his old master; the one who had given him so much trouble. One less closed mind in the world. He felt a fraction of doubt. Did he do what was right? In his mind he knew however, the old fools life was not sacred, no ones was. It was the strong who survived. Sid knew he was the strongest.

He flew behind the dragon. The two of them were approaching the temple. It would on;y be a few more minutes before Father Geno's plan would be complete. Finally the new leaders dream would be accomplished. Sid was going to be especially nice that the world's ruler would have him to thank.

"I am in the rare class. Maybe even one day I will take Geno's place when he dies. After all I will be the strongest."

Sid thought for a moment. Was it even possible for the man to die?

Sid noticed that the Avatar looked directly at him in the cloud.

The Avatar looked at Smoke, "Is that cloud following us?" The Avatar's voice seemed a little paranoid.

"You are probably just a little on edge, Avatar."

Gatton looked at the cloud for a moment. It was definitely keeping pace with them. The cloud was also going straightforward. The Avatar returned to looking ahead, as if he was going to ignore the cloud. Sid breathed a sigh of relief.

The Avatar turned back around and with extreme prejudice blasted the cloud with a huge fire ball. Sid jumped out of the cloud, barely dodging the blast. He fell for a short while, before he created a new cloud.

"Down there!" yelled the Avatar. He steered Duma around and the dragon charged straight for the boy. Sid stood up and kicked laterally. The slice of air was massive, and Gatton had to pull Duma up at the last second.

"That all you got?" Sid taunted as he increased his speed. He passed the dragon and was ready to lead them to the temple.

Smoke closed his eyes as if in deep concentration. He moved his hands like a madman and Sid disappeared and the cloud vanished. Smoke breathed slowly. His inhale was very long. He opened his bag very mechanically, as if not to break his focus. A long piece of rope came out. It to suddenly vanished.

"I think I understand what you are doing," the Avatar told Smoke.

"Shh... don't break my focus. I am using a lot of dark energy for this."

Smoke suddenly clapped his hands together. In a puff of blackness, Sid appeared. His hands and feet were tied up. He sat between Smoke and Gatton on the bison.

"It is too late, old man. Father Geno is already in control, and no Avatar on his last leg is going to beat him," Sid spat at Gatton.

"Didn't they teach you to respect your elders?" Gatton said gently. He thought Sid was only a confused boy who had been corrupted by evil. On the inside, Gatton became even more mad at his foe that he was quickly approaching.

"I don't respect weak minded fools like you. Father Geno says that the world is changing. He will be in control, and you'll help him destroy everything. Nay you are the foundation for the birth of a new era."

"Don't be a fool, child turn back while you still can."

"And you are the spirit spawn Father Geno talks so fondly about. Why do you feel like you need to push back against the will of the greater spirits. You are the one who has sided with darkness."

"This Geno guy knows about me?"

"Geno knows everything. He can enter the Spirit World. He has acquired great knowledge. All the children at the Central Air Temple here of his feats."

"So you are just a parrot of your master?" Smoke looked down at the kid.

Sid became red in the face, "No, I have respect for my master. I respect the strong."

"Funny, I haven't heard of him when I traveled to the Spirit World, surely I would have heard of someone like him."

Sid chuckled, "Perhaps you have heard of him. He has another name."

Smoke and Gatton looked at each other. Sid had a grin that was jut evil on his face. There was silence for a while as they approached the temple. Sid was holding his breath for a while, he didn't necessarily want to call Geno by his other name, but he felt backed in to a corner. Sid had know clue where he would go when they were done with him, and he definitely did not want to go to the dark place.

"He is known as Seishen Kira, the spirit slayer."

Cori saw a friend, "Reek? Are you alright?"

The kid looked at Cori's outstretch hand. He did not know what to do. This outstretched hand meant two things. Either he was descending into madness, or his friend had joined him in this terrible place.

"You are free," Reek said in a toneless voice. "Get out while you still can. Min, Sid, we all are insane. Not even she could save us."


Tears began to stream down his face, "You really want to join us we descend into madness. I don't need another friend lost forever."

"What happened to them. Calm down. We are safe for now," Finosa voice was calming and slow. She had a feeling she was not going to hear a nice story.

Reek sighed, "They got us. We go wherever they want us. We wake up and people tell us we were gone for days. They slowly unravel your mind. Even Sid went insane, he had such a strong will, but they broke him. Those whose minds are lost become their pathetic soldiers. Osla promised us she'd come back for us, but she was no different from the rest of us.

Cori's face suddenly sunk. He got up and turned around. He did not want to make Reek upset again.

"What's a matter Cori? The truth would be especially helpful, now," Reek needed to here the truth.

"Osla..." Cori bit his lip, "Osla gave her life for us. She is a hero. Wong, that..."

Finosa looked at Cori, "Calm down. Don't we have more to tell."

"I had to stop," Cori sighed.

"Why?" Reek asked confused.

"Remember, monks aren't supposed to curse. Wong killed her and Baizken, Finosa's brother, but it is safe to assume he won't bother us anymore."

Finosa walked up to the bars. She grabbed them tightly.

"Finosa, what is it?" Cori asked.

Finsoa slowly melted the iron bars with her hands. It burned her a little, but it was nothing to complain about. She ripped the melted bar off.

"Let's get everyone out of here!"

Baizken had not made it very far, but it did not matter to him. He was just happy to be alive. His body, however still was shaking.


That's what Baizken heard. He grabbed what was left of the sword. The swordsboy looked at where the blade had broke. He could see inside the sword, where the dragon tooth was. Baizken thought it could have been rattling in his pocket.


There it was again.

Clang. Clang. Clang.

Footsteps. They were metal footsteps.

"No this isn't good. Not good at all."

Baizken started to limp down the hall, but he realized he was trapped. Suddenly the window did not sound like that bad of an idea. He hobbled back through to the room. It was almost day now. The sun had barely started to rise. Baizken could already tell that the building was too high up for him to jump.

"Maybe if I stab the wall. Baizken heard that the footsteps were growing louder. Baizken balled up his fist. He punched the ancient glass, shattering it. From that moment on the footsteps quickened.

"Well, here goes nothing," Baizken gulped."

The swordsboy left his hunter behind. He slowly fell like a feather. He saw the ground, and realized it was getting to close for comfort. He stabbed his broken sword into the bricks. It bounced off. In a matter of seconds Baizken's heart dropped. Baizken immediately stabbed it back into the wall. He wanted to live. The sword went through and everything was great. Suddenly he felt his arm snap. He lost his grip on the sword. Fortunately for him it was only five feet from the ground. He landed on his knees with great force.

Baizken eyes began to water, "Well that was a stupid idea!" he yelled.

His right arm did not want to move, so he grabbed the sword with his left hand, and slowly pulled it out of the wall.

"Not bad, Baizken, not bad at all," Baizken told himself. A smile appeared on his face.

The dawn had almost come. Gatton could see the temple hiding in the shadows. He knew he had to win. He was the Avatar. Smoke looked at the temple like it was a beacon.

"I have a feeling I will be very powerful in the fight... I can feed off the negative energy. You should realize that this means we are going into the most evil place in the world, Avatar."

"We can do this," Gatton raised his voice. "We will defeat this spirit slayer."

Sid, still tied up interrupted them, "You two are at oblivion's door. He is slayed spirits, he can certainly crush you."

Smoke chuckled, "What was that about those who have power?" The son of a dark spirit smiled. He snapped his finger, and in an instant the child was sent back to the darkness.

"Well that was a little harsh," Gatton said with a straight face.

"We have a much bigger fight ahead. Besides, I just teleported him to a place where I can pick him up later. No need for a child to get in the way."

Gatton's eyes stared at the temple, "There it is...."

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