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|GB's Last Stand|
Team Avatar continued off for about a week. Traveling much farther and safer now that Violet's not with them. But for most of the time, Weed still doesn't know very much about his brother, Joe. He does remember him as a brother now but he hardly remembers anything about him.
As for Joe, he was getting very much well known with everyone else. The person he grew closest to was GB and Toph. They shown a lot in common with each other.
One night, Joe was telling some of his stories, true and pure (because of Toph's lying ability). He was just finishing up an exciting story of him and a deadly bear attack when Aang went over.
"Hi Aang, what's new?" Joe asked.
"Nothing much...Zuko? Can I talk to you? Alone?" Aang asked, turning to Zuko. Zuko didn't seem to surprised that Aang wanted to see him. In fact, he needed to say something too. He gave Mai a kiss on the cheek and he walked off with Aang. Aang and Zuko stopped a bit sways from the story-tellers circle and they sat down facing each other.
"Zuko?...can I as you a favor?"
"Anything Aang. What is it?" Zuko asked. Aang looked to his feet.
"Well...before I ask...I need to tell you something."
"No Aang. I have to tell you something." Zuko said. Aang looked up at Zuko, not feeling surprised really.
"Listen. This maybe a shock but it needs to be said...you remember back at the ship Aang?...what Smith said about the avatar?...well I-"
"I already know Zuko." Aang said, giving Zuko the hand.
Aang put down his hand and sighed "Zuko look...while I was in the spirit realm, I came across Smiths spirit...he told me who you really are... And that is why I need you to train me."
They both were silent for a while, Aang keeping his head down the whole time. "He needed me as your firebending teacher...that's it?" Zuko asked.
"Yea...me. Katara. And you. We each have to keep balance in this world...we have to get Hougen before he gets the world." Aang concluded. They both made the decision.
As late night turned into early morning, oddly some of the group, though just a bit tired, can't sleep. GB was keeping an eye on Weed throughout the night. He was getting very worried over the Ohu and his closest friend. Thoughts were pacing through his mind. All the things they've done, all of what Weed did, and what might happen when he OR Aang meet Hougen.
"Lord. Please...I would give my life If I have to...just keep Aang, Weed, and everyone else safe." GB thought. But he knew he wasn't very serious on the last part, with the "giving his life away" part. He was trying to convince himself that he was brave...but he soon realized that there was no hiding it. Tears started down his face.
"If only I can be brave enough." He thought through his tears. But as he was thinking, Toph woke up and saw him crying.
"GB? What's with you?"
"Huh?...oh nothing." GB said, knowing that Toph caught him lying. Toph turned over and looked right at GB.
"The truth GB." Toph said. GB looking back at Weed.
"I can't say."
"Sure you can GB. What's the trouble?"
"Nothing, Toph, go back to sleep." GB insisted, a bit frustrated. But then a few others saw him stressed and asked him the same thing.
"Stop it will ya!" GB snapped quietly, trying not to wake up Weed.
"Then what's wrong?" Mel asked.
"Nothing's wrong! How many times do I have to say it?!" GB snapped.
"GB that's enough! You're hurting, we know that, but-"
"I'm not hurting!" GB snapped, shoving his head into Mel's.
"Yes you are GB. Quit acting scared and just say it." Smellerbee said. That comment right there did it. GB hated being a coward and never EVER liked admiring to it, and now he's acting like one now!...he had it.
"ALRIGHT! I'M FREAKED OUT FOR WEED AND AANG!!! YOU HAPPY NOW?!?!" He hollered. Everyone now was silent.
"He has been my closest friend out of this god forsaken crowd! and if they get killed by Hougen, I have nothing left, YOU HEAR ME?! NOTHING!!! I CAN'T HELP IT IF I'M A COMPLETE COWARD!! I CAN'T EVEN PROTECT MYSELF, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO PROTECT MY FRIENDS?!?!?!" during that, he broke into tears, and is now wailing and sobbing, so much so that he fell on the ground with a thud. His crazy screaming woke up everything in a two-mile radius. Everyone was quiet for a bit until Joe walked over to him. GB looked up and saw an important yet peaceful look in his eyes, same eyes that Aang would see him with. GB calmed down after seeing him.
"...come here GB. I need to talk to you." Joe said. His voice was firm yet gentle. Something that the whole group, including the Avatar and Ohu, had never heard before. GB got to his feet and walked with him.
Joe and GB walked into an open dry lake bed. The moon shown as bright as the twilight sun, as GB and Joe can see everything crystal clear, plain as day. GB never seen ANYthing like it before, EVER! Something so misleading can be so...so calming. The only thing out on the dry lake was an old dead tree. Its skeletal remains stood upward, as if trying to catch a shooting star with its branches. Its roots were set firmly into the ground, stretching out in all directions. GB walked over to the dead tree, eyes transfixed upon the trees branches aiming for the heavens. Joe walked over and sat down next to him.
"GB. I understand that you're worried severally for my brother and I appreciate that...but I know for a fact that you're not a coward. You've gone through so many things that many true fearful animals wouldn't dare to do... GB listen. I understand how you feel, worrying over someone you love. Someone who's truly close to your heart...I've been there before. So many years ago, when I was just a pup with my brother back at the Southern Air Temple. Hougen's platoon came and invaded the main temple where I lived. I've tried to run, but I was caught by Blue. And was torn apart... But it wasn't the scars and cuts that hurt the most... It was the fact that I left my only brother behind. Just to save myself...I'm relived that Weed was alive...but it still hurts that I just left him for so long...GB. Weed is a great dog, and so are you. A true dog won't worry for his own life to protect others...like Smith-sama."
"Wait. You met Smith-San before?"
"Yes...he nearly got killed to save our pack once before...in fact it was thanks to him I gave up being a live coward, and rather go as a deceased hero... Do you know what I'm saying here?"
GB was silent for a bit...but agreed. He knew what he was saying. Joe then got up and started to walk back.
"I'll leave you two alone now. You...and GB." Joe said.
GB wasn't really as surprised as he used to be. He looked over at the tree, seemingly the only thing he was referring to...but when he turned around Joe had already left...only he and the tree.
"It's just you and me now..." GB sighed, and he sat down, starring at the tree standing alone. But then the strangest thing happened...the tree started to move! GB got spooked at first, but he remembered what Joe said to him and he stayed put. Two of the trees branches started to reach out to him...one on his chest...one on his forehead. GB then felt something much different inside of him...the ultimate power shown before his very eyes.
Morning came, and GB still hadn't returned. Everyone was ready to go, and were about to head out for their final stretch towards Ba Sing Se. "I can't find him!" Tesshin called after searching for him.
"Well Aang. We can't keep looking for him, if you wanna leave, we have to leave now." Kaibutsu told him.
"But we can't leave GB."
"We can't stay here neither. Let's handle Hougen first and then well go look for him, okay?"
Aang simply sighed and said, "alright Kaibutsu...let's head out to Ba Sing Se!"
It took about a full 24 hours of non-stop running, they had finally reached the great city. Aang flew on ahead over the walls as the rest were finding their best way in. As Aang flew over the wall oddly easy, he could see no signs of activity anywhere in the city...it was much more dead than alive. It was strange though. Much of Hougen's troops weren't even around anymore. No patrol, no slaves, no guards...nothing. Ba Sing Se. Once a fertile and lively city. Now a ghost town. Aang quietly landed at one quiet home...his home. From when he came before. The shutters were locked tight, and the doors unmovable. Aang shaded a small tear in front of the building.
"How can this happen?...the most populated and lively city. Now a ghost town...how is it possible?" Aang thought. He stood there for a while, motionless at the doors front steps. The only sounds around was the sound of his soft breath and the distance wings of a passing bird. One of these small birds fluttered on the rooftop right above him, looking down at him. Aang looked at the little blue bird and turned to the castle.
"How can he do this?...it's impossible. Even to Hougen himself." Aang thought. He opened his guilder and started off to the palace.
As for the rest of the group, they had managed to get in and were catching up to Aang. For those whom been here before. It was a changed world. There weren't any people or animals to be seen except for the small birds fluttering around. They past through the now silent market, where Katara, Ty Lee, and Korra gained their spiritual stripes. Past the alluded where Alam told GB of Zuko and Azula's decision...so many places...with no one else around besides Team Avatar.
They all then came upon the steps of the palace...the scars of the invasion still show. As the marks and burns of the battlefield still show on their way up the steps. Despite the fact it's been only 3 months since they last visited Ba Sing Se. It seemed as if it was abandoned for years longer than it should. Aang was already at the front doors when the rest had arrived. The doors creaked open, echoes spreading throughout the thrown room. Aang walked in, slung his staff and aimed it into the thrown room.
"I'm back Hougen." Aang said. His voice was unanswered at first. But then footsteps was being heard as Bruge walked in pulling a Phoenix blaster behind him. "Who are you?" Aang asked. Bruge simply shrugged and turned to him, not surprised to see him.
"What do you want?" Bruge asked.
"Answer me first."
"I'm Bruge. One of Hougen's platoon leaders. Now go away, we don't have time for such a nuisance." Bruge ground. He pulled his Phoenix blaster a little bit before Aang raised apart of the earth in front of its wheel.
"What do you mean by that?" Aang asked, dropping his guard a little bit. Beige let go of the rope and turned to him.
"Listen Arrow head. Hougen's going through some rough turmoil right now since the Fleet came by a month ago. What happened to the fleet, I have no idea. But I do know that Hougen wasn't feeling well since then. Why are you here anyways?"
Aang then aimed his staff again and said, "Team Avatar came for Ba Sing Se."
"...Arrow head... You know for a fact that Hougen won't like that right?...do you want me to get him or what?"
"You know what? Forget it. Hougen's getting in a duel this afternoon anyways, so the Avatar fight will have to wait." Bruge sighed. With that, he pulled the Phoenix blaster out of the palace. Aang just didn't know what to say. But then he quickly jumped in Bruge's way.
"Now wait a minute Bruge. I still have more questions here."
"*sigh* what? Just get them over with Aang, I have this blaster to deliver." Bruge said. But he quickly slapped his paw in front of his muzzle. But Aang had already heard him.
"How do you know my name?" Aang asked. Bruge knew he heard.
"Now Aang, you've been on wanted posters around Ba Sing Se, it's pretty odious."
"But that isn't where you got the name from." Toph interrupted. Bruge quickly turned around and saw Toph, Weed, Alam, and a few others standing there. Bruge knew now there was no where to hide.
"Okay fine...Aang. Weed... You know of when you two ran away from the temple?" Bruge started. Aang tried to remember, but again he got a headache.
"Look...*deep breath* I was the one who shot you down. Your memory would still be around if I didn't shoot you." Bruge said. Aang didn't say anything, standing there shocked...the fall...the memories...he was getting it all together when suddenly a voice yelled "Bruge! Come on, Hougen's waiting!"
"Coming!...I'm so sorry Avatar. I'm so sorry Ohu...I have to go for the duel." Bruge said. Everyone was silent as Bruge walked away, pulling the weapon behind him. Aang and Weed just watched him walk away, finally finding the final piece of their past...how they got to the South Pole.
At the arena building a bit aways, Hougen was sitting in the middle of the ring. Waiting for his challenger to appear. Their battle was about to start when Bruge walked in. He set his Phoenix Blaster over by the others, aimed into the arena...then the challenger walked in. Poised to end the war once and for all...Great Britain was ready to fight.
"Your crimes in this world had gone through long enough! Prepare to be defeated!" GB announced.
"That's what you think!" Hougen snapped. He and GB charged at each other and the fight started. For 10 minutes tops, Hougen and GB were fighting it out, getting more and more pain as the fight went on. Hougen can see GB having trouble standing. "What's the matter?! Can't take a hit?!" Hougen laughed. GB growled at him and lunged at him again. But Hougen whacked him to the ground and gripped his neck. Hougen thrashed GB around until GB stopped moaning. Then he threw his body up high, nearly hitting the ceiling, and landing in the balcony. GB laid there for a bit. He's still alive but barely. Hougen was about to leave when suddenly.
The screech came from Aang as the team rushed in. Toph, Katara, Sokka, and Zuko cornered Hougen so he can stay out of trouble. Aang looked around and he saw GB up on the balcony. Hougen tried to stop him but he was being held back by the others. "GB! You alright?!...GB!!!" Aang shouted. GB did react and opened his eyes slowly.
"...Avatar Aang..." GB moaned. He struggled to his feet. But Hougen was seeing everything and gave a horrifying order.
A Phoenix blaster was aimed right at him. GB was seeing this and turned to Aang. He thought about getting out of there to stay alive...but the words rang in his head again.
"GB. Weed is a great dog, and so are you. A true dog won't worry for his own life to protect others."
Then the move that changed Aang's fate...just as the shot was fired, just before hitting him...he got in the way of the fire orb. The shot was so intense that it shot GB and Aang out of the arena, rocketing them both out of Ba Sing Se... The last thing Aang saw was the calming waters. He landed in it good and hard. The impact cooled the fire almost instantly...but GB was not so lucky. Aang weakly swam to the surface as GB's body just floated up. Aang held GB to keep afloat. It was only now though that he realized what truly happened...Great Britain...is dead.
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