Gyatso's Last Stand

It's been days since I've last seen Aang, or has it been weeks? Months? I cannot remember, he was all that mattered to me. Now, he is gone. I informed the other Monks of his disappearance, yet none were as angry as Pasang. His head was light, I thought to myself, even in this time I still continued to joke with myself, even though I knew I shouldn't have been, for this was an important matter.

"What do you mean the Avatar is not in his room?" Pasang replied with skepticism and disbelief, thinking me to have been lying to him.

"Aang had left this note..." I then pulled the note from my robe, hovering it above my hand as I passed it over to him using a swift and small gust of air. He took hold of it, unraveling it in his hand, his eyes opened wide at the message, he quickly rolled it back up and put it to the side.

"This, this is unbelievable...How did he find out? And where could he have possibly gone in this storm?" his hands flailing in the air in disbelief as he brought his palm to his forehead with a small slap, rubbing it as he looked over to me. "We, we must inform the other monks..." He looked away, his face saddened. He was younger than most monks, yet a very wise man, and an excellent head monk. He knew what to do in dire situations, even if it meant total disregard for individual feelings.

"Very well, I will tell them..." I turned away from the monk and began to walk towards the exit. Pacing slowly, upon reaching it, leveling my hand with the brass knob as I turned it, and just before I was about to exit, he called out to me.

"This is a troubling matter, Gyatso. I'm sorry for my earlier declaration, I know you only meant well for the boy, yet the world needs him, and we need him. Yet he is gone now, and we can only hope for the best. I have a single request. Do not let the younger airbenders know of what has become of Aang, this is a dire situation and must be handled with clandestinity and care. The future seems dark, Gyatso, and I do not want them to lose hope in the future..." He looked back up, yet I only responded with a silent nod and walked out the door.

I walked through a few hall ways and up a few flights of stairs, to where monk Tashi would supposedly be. As I reached his quarters, I hesitated a bit. How would he feel? I wondered. Who would he blame? Himself or I? What would he do? I balled my fist and knocked on he door, yet he was already on his way out, and there took place a moment of awkwardice and silence.

"What is it you want, Gyatso?" His tone, austere as always, and his face, wrinkled, layers of skin, once young and healthy, now overlapping each other. He's always been an adamant man, ever since I could remember, but now, ever since I denied him any additional training of Aang, we have not been seeing eye to eye on many things.

"I came to inform you of a rather dire and pressing matter. A tragedy has occurred..." I looked down, and he stopped walking and faced me, his hands in the air as he looked at me straight, and not angrily, as he would always look at others.

"What is it you would like to tell? What has happened?" He was now concerned, as evident in his tone.

"It is Aang..." He did not let me finish my sentence, he quickly interrupted me.

"Have they already sent him away? But no, not in this storm...Has something happened to him?" He began his descent down the stairs, not minding my own sorrow.

"He is gone...He ran way last night, it appears he must have overheard plans to relocate him..." My voice cracked a bit..."Now we must prepare for what is to come. We know troubling times are imminent, and we do not have the Avatar for protection. We do not know what will happen, all we fear is that war may be upon us. The sky warns us and speaks to us, yet we do not know how to respond..."

"If you had not gone and gotten yourself so close to the boy, maybe he wouldn't have minded a trip to another temple!" He turned around quickly, a gust of wind following his flailing arms as he raised them, walking back towards me. "You are weak! And you weakness spread into the boy! That is why he ran away, because he did not know this world was only temporary! You made his time seem like everything, but you did not teach him anything other than materialism and weakness!" His diaphragm, expanding and deflating quickly as he walked down the stairs. I had walked back into my own chamber, sitting on the cushion as I drifted into my slumber.

That night, I had a very strange dream, almost like a vision from the future. I saw an icy landscape, and two Water Tribe teenagers, one a boy, and the other his sister, discovering a block of ice. I then saw numerous images from my past, of my time with my friend, Roku, of time spent with Aang, teaching him what he needed, and the rest was unfathomable.

I awoke in a daze, looking at the window, I could only see a few of the children had been standing stiff, as if in some form of confusion or so. I looked up at the sky, and a miraculous thing had occurred. The storm clouds had disbanded, and gave way to a comet crossing the horizon, tinting the sky an orange red. The child, Jinju, had been calling for Pasang and the other monks. I quickly descended the stairs and flights, but as I arrived to the courtyard, my eyes opened wide and I could not believe what I had just seen.

Fire Nation soldiers had been standing in our courtyard. I did not know why, yet they were tall and strong, and did not look to friendly.

They did not come to talk, however. They quickly spotted the monks approaching, and the front line of about fifteen of them or so, jumped forward, their arms pulled back as they punched the air in front of them forward. I had seen firebending, but not on this scale. Huge jets of fire, racing across the courtyard, aiming at killing the monks who were unsuspecting, yet they managed to dodge in time. They quickly faced their gaze on me as one of them called out to the others.

"You three, round up the children, they should not be of much difficulty" The soldier, standing in front pointed towards three other men behind them as they quickly ran towards where the children were standing in awe and confusion. I shot a jet of air behind me, racing towards the children with incredible speed which astounded the soldiers, as I quickly ran in front of him, throwing my hands in a circular motion as I placed my open palm towards his chest, blowing him off of the cliff side, where he hit his head, his helmet falling off into the grass, near where the children played air ball. I quickly turned towards them and ushered with my hands.

"Go quickly! Run, now!" They were still confused, and I heard the two remaining firebenders shot individual balls of fire, as I forced my palms together, concentrating on creating a sphere around the children and I, giving them enough time to run and hide in the temple. The other monks in the temple ran out quickly, as to see what was going on. I looked over to where Pasang, Tashi, and the other head monks were, and they were fending off a barrage of huge fire blasts ferociously. Although old, Tashi was quite a fighter, and his combat prowess was amazing, dodging running around like a young man, blasting left and right. I had been distracted, and the sphere around me was getting weaker. The other soldiers quickly ran up the stairs and into the temples, and I could hear screams of horror.

"Please, no! What are you doing?!" Screamed an elderly man, shrieks of terror and death plagued my ears, yet I chose to ignore them, to protect myself and the children. They hid quickly, and I then assumed my fighting pose, facing them as they looked at each other, then back at me.

"Look at this old man, he can barely stand, He reeks of weakness, and so do his people." The first one said. He was a brute, a man in his thirties from the sound of his voice, and the other one followed in a hysterical laugh.

"Never underestimate an opponent, young firebender." I smiled at him, yet he threw his head back, his hands on his gut as he continued laughing, and they were soon joined by a third firebender.

They all blasted huge balls of continuous fire balls, and I had evaded quickly, leaping into the air gracefully as their huge flames subsided, as I was in the air, I looked down at them, who looked up at where I was in the air. They soon followed with more streams of fire, but I defended myself with another sphere of air, reaching the ground, as I blew myself towards them, running quickly, as I reached the first, looking up at him, as I remembered my thirty sixth tier of training; Deadly finishing moves, only to be used in dire situations. I thought this was dire enough, we were faced with possible extermination for reasons we did not know. Then, a made my hand straight, my arm extended outwards near my hip, as I looked into his eyes, and he back into mine. They were amazed with the speed I still possessed, and had little time to react. I'd soon then making a chopping motion across his neck, as a thin and sharp blade of air came from my finger tips, hitting his throat slitting it as I looked away, blowing him back as I stood straight and faced the remaining two who opposed me.

"D-did you see what happened?" One took a step back, yet resumed his fighting position, yet the other was a bit of a coward, and trembled in his own boots. They both shot a blast at me, and I ducked and swerved out of the ay of both blast, as they shot repeated huge blasts of fire towards me, I did nothing but evade.

"Quit running and face us head on!" The cowardly one said, frustrated and scared, he became angry at my evasive maneuvers and unleashed a barrage of fire, one blast after another, barely any time as the other soon followed his example. A kick followed by a few punches, followed by another jet. I was forced to evade and dodge. These balls of fire, I thought, were not normal, perhaps they were a by product of what was crossing the sky? I had no time to think, only fight back and dodge. I soon found their blind spot, at about seventy degrees from the first eye sight to the right, and 40 from the other one's. I soon an there, and sucked them in close as I formed a fist of air around my own fist, making hard contact with him, knocking him into the wall with hard impact, I do not know whether this first one survived the impact or not. The other, desperate for survival, instinctively breathed fire towards me, as I quickly blew it away with my own breathe. Drawing him in close enough as I formed then blew him off the cliff side.

I then ran to assist the other monks, looking over at the Temple, which was engulfed in flames, I stood in horror as I jumped in the air and shot a quick and powerful blast from my foot, blasting one of the soldiers to the ground as I stood next to Pasang, who was evading and running, tiring out the firebenders who followed his every move with a blast or jet of fire. One of them did something I never knew was capable of a fire bender. With his index and middle finger extended, and the rest of his fast balled up, he generated electricity, and then shot it right near my head, as I heard the chirping, it barely missed me, yet I heard a quick grunt of pain, followed by the collapse of a body. I looked back, and there laid tashi, twitching with electricity as I quickly ran to his side. Pasang, however, became infuriated with the loss of our brother. He ran quickly, almost unseen, as he stood behind firebender soldiers whom they were fighting, breathed in a huge gulp of air, then screamed, at the top of his lungs. We knew to cover our ears, yet they did not, and they were soon deafened by the boom of sound. They fell to their knees, clutching their ears, shooting random blasts of fire as they held them in pain. Pasang quickly incapacitated them, standing in front of each, releasing a high velocity gust of air from his finger tips, making them whiplash severely, killing them. I had been on my knees, holding Tashi in my arms as I looked into his eyes and held his hand.

"Gyatso, I am sorry, for the trouble I may have caused you. I only wanted what was best. But now my time comes to an end. I hope there is a life after this one, so that I may find you when it is your time, and then, we won't need to argue anymore, it will be better...For both of us...S-survive" He'd began coughing heavily, as I sat in horror, a tear brought to my eye." Survive Gyatso, and find the boy, find the Avatar, he is our last hope..." He'd smiled at me, he then held up his trembling, weak hand, clutching a White Lotus gambit, I took it from his palm.

"I promise you, Tashi...I will do all in my power...Goodbye, my brother..." I looked down at him with half open eyes, Pasang standing near me as the other monks soon stood near us. He passed away in my arms, an old friend, a master, gone.

"Gyatso, we must escape the temple. I know, we will be abandoning who ever is left, but round the children, I fear this invasion has touched upon all the temples. We will escape and hide. That is what's best." Pasang said, his arms crossed as he looked away in sorrow. The children that moment had come out of hiding, and we all boarded the same sky bison which had belonged to one of the children. We fled, looking back out our destroyed temple.

"No, I refuse to do so. I am going back." I then took my glider, and jumped off of the back of the bison.

"Gyatso, No!" But I was already too far to turn back. Firebenders had rounded up the remaining inhabitants, and began killing them off, one after another, monk after monk, and they had a few children. Heartless monsters. They spotted me coming back as they shot fire into the air, and I did my best to evade, but it was not enough, and seeing an oncoming fireball, I stared at it for a while before letting go of the glider, putting it beneath my feet, and I began to air surf, just as I had done in my youth. I evaded the fire quickly, seeing as though I still retained some of my skills, and I laughed at them. Blowing air behind me to go faster as I raced across the sky, unable to get me. They then released a barrage of fireballs, one after another, I would dodge, until soon, there was about forty or so, now trying to shoot me down. One of them had caught the tail of my glider, and I then went down quickly. Bracing myself as I was about to make impact with the grass, I jumped off and looked at all of them. They looked back at me, and I panicked. I looked behind me, and saw a secluded room or tent which I ran in to. They soon follow. I was backed up, against the wall as they soon had me cornered. I looked around, thinking, This is where I meet my end , yet I was determined to not go down without a fight. When they were just about to blast, I recalled my old mentor, teaching me the final technique. He called it "Asphyxiation" in which when in desperate situations, you take the air out of their lungs, along with taking your own. It was a suicide move, but seeing as I was about to die, I had no choice but to use it.

"I'm sorry Aang, if only I could live to find you, I truly saw you as a son, and I loved you. I'm sorry Tashi, Pasang, and all my brothers..." A tear came to my eye as I saw them unleash their final barrage. I then began the technique. First, I created a sphere around myself, as to shield from their fire, then expanded it as it soon encompassed them all. They looked around, at the air bubble, as they soon felt themselves short of breath, choking and gasping for air as I felt myself also choking, holding my breath, suffocating them all as I watched them slowly and gradually get down onto their hands and knees and die, one after another. When they had all bend on the ground, and I made sure they were of no threat, I feel back and hit the wall behind me with a thus, sliding down as my arms lay limp to my sides, my head falling to one side

Visions plagued my sight, it was all I could see. I could see Aang, in front of my, in an uncontrollable state. I saw him fighting a young man with a burned face. I saw him playing and laughing, his blush made it apparent he liked that young Water Tribe girl. I saw him embark on adventures, meeting Roku and Pathik, my old friends. I felt my life dwindling, and my eyes closing, and one final vision. I saw Aang in front of me, a grown man, handsome and tall. I smiled and laughed a bit, as I stopped breathing, closing my eyes as my life came to a gradual stop.

Later that Month

Pasang and the remaining Airbenders had come in search of survivors, yet found countless slain people, and found the body of Gyatso. "He used...The technique...The forbidden one..." Pasang had commented at Gyatso's ability. They then found that they were lured and cornered, where they were then slain unsuspectedly by Firebenders hiding amongst the dead.

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