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|Friend or Foe?|
Chapter 4 - Friend or Foe
Mai awoke, her body was still hurting from the battle in the Fire Nation and her vision was blurred. She tried to move her arms and legs to find that they were restrained. As Mai's sight gradually returned she was greeted to the sight of a room she'd seen before.
It took a few seconds to stop herself from doubting it, but she was in the Earth Kingdom in a room where they brainwash the Joo Dees. She'd seen it during the coup of Ba Sing Se when she and Azula had to cut through here to get to their Dai Li allies.
Footsteps could be heard in the background as it appeared people were moving towards her, Mai struggled against her restraints but gave up due to her still weak body.
Two guards walked through and took positions at either side of the door,then walked through the middle as spoke.
"I will give you one chance to join us willingly," he said.
Mai simply sat in the silence as if not even acknowledging Josik's presence.
"Very well, I suggest you remain still," he said.
"One question, why would you use Earth Kingdom technology" she asked.
"Earth Kingdom?" mocked Josik. "We have been in this war longer than you know."
Josik took a position in the centre of the room and stretched out his arms. Mai began to feel faint as Josik's eyes glew red.
Her head began to grow heavy as she couldn't focus on anything, the room went dark as all Mai could see were Josik's glowing eyes.
Within seconds it was over and the restraints on the chair released, Mai looked at Josik and bowed.
"Master," she said.
Fire Nation, Five Days Later...
Zuko was slumped in his throne, he still blamed himself over Mai's disappearance. Iroh entered the room and bowed.
"You should not blame yourself Fire Lord," he said.
"How can I not, It was my duty to protect her!" replied Zuko.
"Look Zuko, just calm-" Iroh said before he was cut off.
A soldier was thrown through the door as Iroh and Zuko watched in shock. Mai walked through the doors and threw a Sai, which narrowly missed Zuko.
"Mai what is the meaning of this" asked Iroh.
"I no longer serve pitiful fools," replied Mai.
"Mai, what happened?" asked a concerned Zuko.
Mai responded by throwing a sai at Zuko which struck him in the shoulder and before Iroh could attack she kicked him into a wall.
As Zuko regained his footing Mai rushed towards him, Zuko could easily blast her but he couldn't do it to his friend.
Iroh blasted Mai in the side knocking her across the room as Zuko stood in shock. As Mai knocked Iroh down she turned to Zuko and started to walk towards him.
Zuko removed the sai from his shoulder and spoke.
"Why are you doing this?!"
"To serve my new masters" responded Mai.
"And who are they?!" demanded Zuko.
"Why should I tell you" asked Mai.
Zuko growled and rushed towards her, he grabbed both of her wrists. Zuko spoke again but in an agitated voice.
In Zuko's rage he had left himself wide open. Mai struck him with her leg in his chest. Zuko recoiled as Mai continued to beat him, this only made Zuko's anger grow.
As Mai back flipped over Zuko he spun and prepared to attack, he relented at the last moment. Mai took it with a smile and proceeded to kick the Fire Lord into a wall.
As Zuko jumped onto his feet he knew he couldn't hold back, he had to fight Mai even he did have feelings for her.
"How has Mai become so cold" asked Zuko as Iroh regained his footing.
"She doesn't seem that different to me," replied Iroh.
As much as Zuko wanted to laugh he couldn't, Mai was already sending sai after sai towards the Fire Lord as he narrowly dodged each one.
Mai rushed towards Zuko as he jumped to the side to avoid her attack. Mai and Zuko exchanged blows until she kicked the Fire Lord in his face, and he lost control of his anger.
Zuko retaliated by knocking Mai to the ground and pinning her down. As he did, Mai spoke.
"Help me!" she pleaded.
"What why?" Zuko asked releasing his grip.
"Fool. Never hesitate" Mai replied.
Mai lifted her arm and stabbed Zuko with a sai hidden in her robe. The Fire Lord fell back as Iroh jumped into action.
As Iroh rushed to save his nephew he was stopped by Mai who sent him flying back. Iroh attempted to use firebending in a last ditch attempt to save Zuko. He generated a massive flame and sent it flying towards Mai, her hand glew green deflecting to blow back at Iroh.
As the Dragon of the West lay defeated, he continued to shout to his nephew in attempt to save him from the approaching Mai. Zuko didn't move as Iroh didn't give up.
"Zuko! Zuko!" he continued to shout.
Three Emperors Throne Room, around the same time...
"One less Fire Lord" muttered Josik as the image on the portal faded.
"I have to admit, nicely done," replied
"Yes, I have to admit even I have to admire that one," replied Josik.
"Sorry friends, did I miss the action?" asked a mysterious voice.
"Xercxes?!" shouted Malefic and Josik in shock.
"Forgive me, it seems your failures have cause me to come early..." said Xercxes.
"Failures?" asked a confused Josik.
"He's still alive," said Xercxes as he pointed to a portal below them.
The portal glowed as it showed an Airbender floating along the sea, he was battered but still breathing. Secretly Malefic smiled in his head, he knewwould fail.
"They believe your errors are causing the construction to grind to a halt," said Xercxes.
"We serve them loyally, we only live to see it finished!" declared Josik.
"I believe their response would be, excuses," replied Xercxes."And mine is mind your place!" said Malefic. "I suggest that you remember that we rule here".
Xercxes raised his hand as a green ring formed, it shot towards Malefic stopping inches from his throat. Malefic then fell silent and Xercxes smiled.
He stepped out of the shadows revealing his true appearance, he had red skin and was over six foot tall. He wore a large blue outfit with a massive white belt.
"Remember your place Emperor," said Xercxes. "Now finish that Avatar!"
Southern Seas, around the same time...
Aang opened his eyes to find himself floating along the sea, he weakly swam to a nearby block of ice. He clambered onto it as the water on him glew, healing his wounds.
He looked out to the ocean with a tear in his eye. "Appa," he said tearfully.
He stood and looked out towards the horizon, as far as he could see it was just ice. He began to walk forward using a combination of Air and Fire to create an Air sphere that was just the right temperature.
As he began to walk across the icy wasteland he didn't notice a green glow from under the ice, what it was hard to make out, but resembled the seal in the sky from the Fire Nation
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