|By Agent Slash||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|More from Agent Slash||Action/Adventure, Drama||PG-PG13||Positive||N/A|
|Nightmares, Part 1|
Yakone paced around the dim, gray room. The only thing audible was the sound of his footsteps.
Lin Hui sat, meditating in the corner. Yakone's pacing was quite vexing to her. She tried as hard as she could to drown it out, but then Yakone started mumbling to himself. Lin Hui couldn't tell what he was saying and she didn't really care either. She opened one eye and saw him pacing around the room like an idiot. She then closed her eye and inhaled deeply, attempting once more to drown out his noise. One thing her mother always told her that in order to meditate, you can't focus on anything else and you must instead focus on the positive energy around you. When that failed once more, she finally snapped. "Would you stop pacing?!" she yelled. "Spirits' sakes, Yakone! You're driving me crazy! I'm trying to meditate over here!"
"Meditate?" Yakone snickered. "Who do you think you are, an airbender? And who do you think you are giving me orders?"
"Since Hong Shu is in the Spirit World, it's up to me to keep you in line," Lin Hui retorted.
"Well, then I guess it's up to me to keep you in line," said Yakone. "And how much longer do we have to wait here anyway?"
"We should have the new weapon any time now," Lin Hui said.
"Oh, good. I thought your answer was going to be vague," Yakone replied.
"Shut up," said Lin Hui. "And for the love of the spirits, stop pacing."
Hong Shu stood opposite a blue spirit. This spirit, however, was naturally blue as opposed to being blue only when visiting humans. Her skin, her eyes, her lips, everything on her was blue. She towered several feet above the crime lord, looking down on him as they conversed.
"So, can't you see?" Hong Shu asked. "I have always been a believer of the spirits. Were I not, myself, a spirit inside a living man's body, I would not even have been able to reach you here."
"You are a fascinating man, Hong Shu," said the spirit. "And I am flattered you took the time to read about me in the ancient texts you possess, but my fear gas is a weapon that must be wielded with it's full strength. Not for some inexperienced criminal to fool with like a child playing with a match."
"My lady, I assure you, I have thirty years of experience as an assassin. I know how to use weapons," Hong Shu replied. "If you allow me to possess this fear gas, I will use it to wreak havoc on all of the world's nations just as you have always desired."
The spirit thought about this for a moment. "Very well," she spoke. "I will let you use it. But know this, Hong Shu, if any misuse of this fear gas occurs, then you will face the unspeakable wrath of Kela the Screamer."
"I understand," Hong Shu replied. "Thank you very much for bestowing this gift upon me."
And with that, Hong Shu walked off. He kept walking until he reached a circle of statues. He then went to the middle of the circle, closed his eyes, and, in moments, he was back in the physical world. However, he was taken aback as he found himself face to face with two razor-sharp swords. "Well, isn't this a pleasant surprise?" he asked.
"Since when can you enter the Spirit World?" asked Ju.
"Why do you care?" asked Hong Shu.
"I don't. I was just curious is all," Ju replied.
"Do you have anything you want to say before we slice you open, you worm?" asked Raijin.
"Think fast!" Hong Shu exclaimed, thrusting his palms forward.
The two warriors found themselves sprayed with a sort of blue gas. "What have you-" Ju started. She then stopped, completely frozen. Her eyes stretched to the fullest amount they could, her mouth gaped like a crater, and she shook as if she were standing in the middle of the Northern Water Tribe tundra. She saw before her, all of her loved ones burning to death slowly. Her mother, her father, and Raijin. Their skin melted off of their faces as they roasted and screamed in agony. Ju broke down on her knees and started to weep.
Raijin also saw this, but in a different way. He watched as thousands of evil men and women slashed and stabbed Ju, killing her over and over again and spilling her blood all over. He lay down on his side and wept like an infant as he watched this.
Hong Shu looked down on the two warriors who, to the untrained eye, seemed to be having mental breakdowns, and laughed before walking away. "Sweet dreams."
Suki and Sokka sat in Suki's home, the dining table littered with cards and pictures. "This is a lot harder than I thought it would be," said Sokka.
"Yeah, no kidding," said Suki. "We have to sort out all of this stuff before we can even invite anybody to the wedding."
"Relax, guys, that's why we're here," said Ai. "To make sure things are easier for you."
"Yeah, no worries, guys," said Bo. "We'll get this sorted out in no time."
"Thanks for helping us out, guys," said Suki.
"Yeah, because we have no idea what we're doing," said Sokka. "I mean, you have to arrange for the flowers and the music and the seating and the minister and the clothes and the ice sculptures and the-"
"Sokka," Suki said, interrupting her fiancé. "It's alright. Calm down."
Sokka's breathing slowed and he regained his composure. "Sorry, you're right. It's just so much to do."
"And don't worry, because we're going to get it done," Suki assured him.
Just then, Miki and Ning came running through the door. "Okay, good, she's here," said Ning.
"What's going on?" asked Suki.
"Yeah, what's happening?" Sokka chimed in.
"It's Hong Shu," said Miki. "He's still alive after all."
Suki's expression shifted to one of concern. "I knew it. It was only a matter of time before he came back."
"Well, what's he up to now?" asked Bo.
"He has some new kind of weapon," said Ning. "We were out taking our two-week vacation when we passed through Senlin and, get this, we came across Ju and Raijin."
"They looked like they had just suffered some kind of mental breakdown," said Miki. "They hardly even spoke to us."
"Did they tell you what the weapon was?" asked Suki.
"No, but whatever it is, it's very, very dangerous," Ning said.
"Alright, we're going to Senlin," Suki declared, standing up. "Let me get my face paint on and we'll go."
"Wait, hold on, you're just going to leave me with all of this stuff to do?" asked Sokka.
"No, honey, of course not," said Suki. "Bo and Ai will help you out." She then left to change into her Kyoshi Warrior outfit.
Sokka looked at his two friends and asked, "Do either of you have any idea what to do?"
"No," the two waterbenders replied.
"I didn't think so."
Suki then rushed out the door and she, Ning, and Miki mounted Feng and took off.
"Well, I'm going to go bash my head into a pillow," said Sokka, leaving to go to his room.
"So, Sokka and Suki are getting married," said Ai. "Isn't it exciting?"
"Yeah, really exciting," said Bo. "It makes you wish you had someone of your own that you could be close to."
"Yeah, it does," said Ai. "But, I mean, this isn't about us."
"Oh, no, of course not," said Bo. "This is about our friends getting married."
"Yeah," said Ai.
"Still, other things could be set in motion," said Bo.
"I suppose they could," said Ai. "Like two people who agreed to be just friends deciding they want to be something more."
"Something like that," said Bo. The two leaned in close to each other when they heard a voice.
"Alright, I'm back," said Sokka.
The two waterbenders pulled away instantly and attempted to act natural. "Good, good, let's get some stuff sorted out," said Ai.
"Yeah, I am ready!" said Bo.
Sokka gave them a weird look and sat back down.
Meanwhile, Suki and the Kyoshi Warriors were on their way. "So, what exactly were you guys doing?" asked Ning.
"Planning our wedding," said Suki.
Ning and Miki's eyes widened. "Your what?!" asked Miki.
"Our wedding. Sokka and I are getting married. I told you this, didn't I?" Suki wondered.
"No, we've been away for two weeks," said Ning.
"Oh, right," Suki said. "Well, I guess you guys know now."
"Congratulations!" said Ning, hugging her leader.
"Yeah, congratulations, Suki," said Miki, slugging her leader in the arm.
"Thanks, guys," said Suki. "Hopefully Hong Shu's death will be an early wedding present."
"So, let me get this straight," said Lin Hui. "She gave you fear gas?"
"That's right," said Hong Shu. "She gave me the ability to spray it at people, but I think I have a better use for it. I am going to harness the gas into cans and all kinds of machines that my soldiers will use to terrorize everyone else."
"That's a pretty good idea," said Yakone. "That way there's more fear all the way around."
"Exactly," said Hong Shu. "And besides, bending, if you can call it that, isn't really my style."
"Alright, I'll order the workers to get to it right away," said Lin Hui.
"Is there anything you need me for?" asked Yakone.
"Yes, there is," said Hong Shu. "Keep an eye out for the Kyoshi Warriors. I expect we'll be seeing them soon."
Feng was speeding through the United Republic territory known as Dao Fei. The three Kyoshi Warriors on his back were eager to reach their destination.
"How many bases does this guy have?" asked Miki, rhetorically.
"I know, it's unbelievable how much money he's made," said Ning.
"Well, all the yuans in the world won't save him from a sword in the throat," said Suki.
"Do we even know what we're looking for?" asked Ning.
"We'll probably know it when we see it," said Suki.
The team only had to wait for a little while before they saw the base. It was a bit larger than the last few of Hong Shu's bases that they had seen, but that didn't discourage them. Suki whipped Feng's reigns, signaling him to go even faster.
"Uh, Suki, aren't you going to slow down?" Miki asked, worriedly.
"I wasn't planning on it," Suki replied.
As the three warriors raced towards the solid metal base, Ning and Miki's eyes widened and a panic alarm started whirring in their heads. "Stop!" They both shouted, but Suki did not comply. Instead, she had Feng ram through the metal door, sending it flying across the room. The workers in the room all turned their heads to see the giant eel hound standing there.
"I'm only going to ask this once," Suki declared, dismounting Feng. "Where is Hong Shu?"
"Don't throw a tantrum, sweetheart," said a voice from above. The Kyoshi Warriors looked up to see Hong Shu standing on a platform before them, about forty feet in the air. "I'm right here."
"It seems like you keep yourself out of trouble," said Suki. "You've got a new weapon, I hear?"
"You heard correct," said Hong Shu. "Here, why don't you take a closer look!" he said, hurling several canisters down at the warriors.
Like lightning, Suki had her katana unsheathed. The canisters hurtled down to meet her sword, all of them getting sliced in half. The warriors all jumped back as the canisters emitted a strange, blue gas. They all covered their mouths and noses as the gas spread all over the room, prompting the workers to do the same. Once the gas dissolved, Suki uncovered her mouth. "Really, Hong Shu? This is the best you've got? Gas?"
"Well, had you not covered your mouth, it would have killed all of your vital organs instantly!" Hong Shu deviously lied.
"Some weapon," said Miki.
"Now I cannot allow you to take it back to Republic City and study it!" said Hong Shu. "I'll have to destroy this entire factory!"
Hearing this, all of the workers put down their things and cleared out immediately.
"You damn Kyoshi Warriors keep forcing me to blow up my bases! These cost money, you know!" Hong Shu stated. Suddenly, the glass ceiling shattered and a rope ladder descended. Hong Shu climbed the ladder and took off with his airship. "Until next time, Suki!" he shouted as he left.
"Grab some of those canisters, quick!" Suki ordered. All of them grabbed two canisters each and fled the building with Feng just as it exploded. The three warriors mounted the eel hound and were off again. "Now we have to study this thing," said Suki. "Hopefully it won't be too time consuming."
"Did you hit them with it?" asked Lin Hui.
"Yes," Hong Shu said. "I hit them with the slow-acting kind. It won't hit them until they fall asleep tonight."
"So what does that mean?" asked Yakone.
"It means that they'll never wake up."
On Air Temple Island, Aang was giving Katara a foot massage in their bedroom. "Thanks so much for this, Aang," said Katara. "You have no idea how badly my feet are killing me."
"It looks like I'm the one with the magic hands for once," Aang joked.
This got a laugh out of Katara. "I guess so."
The two of them then took notice as Suki walked in. "Oh, hey, Suki," said Aang.
"Hey, guys. I hope I'm not disturbing you," Suki said.
"No, not at all," said Katara. "What do you need?"
"I need help examining this," said Suki, holding out the canister.
"What is it?" Aang asked.
"It's Hong Shu's latest weapon. I need someone to analyze it."
"Try asking one of the others," said Katara. "They're all in the living room waiting for us to come back."
"They told me to come to you," said Suki. "But I guess I can tell them you're busy." Suki quickly left the room and joined the others in the living room. "Alright, they're busy, so I'm going to need you guys to help me out."
"Alright, fine," Ling mumbled. "Put it on the table."
"So, you said this stuff is a kind of gas?" asked Toph.
"Yeah," said Suki.
"How does it work?" asked Rong.
"I'm not sure," Suki replied. "Just cover your mouths and your nose. I'm going to open it."
"What? Why?" asked Yukio.
"I think Hong Shu might just be bluffing," said Suki. "This may just be gas, but I don't want to take any chances, so cover up."
Everyone did as they were told and Suki opened the canister, releasing the gas everywhere. Just as before, nothing happened.
"Does anybody feel anything?" asked Suki.
"I feel fine," said Sokka.
"Me too," said Ai.
"I'm good," said Ling.
"Alright, I think we have nothing to worry about," said Suki. "But I'm going to mess with it tomorrow just to be sure."
"It's getting pretty late and I don't think the two lovebirds in there are going to come back any time soon," said Ling. "I'll show myself out."
One by one, everyone else did the same, leaving the island.
Meanwhile, in the Fire Nation, Zuko heard a knock at his door. He got up to answer it at once and saw Jin standing there with a canister in her hand. "Sir, this was sent here anonymously for you," she said.
"What is it?" Zuko asked.
"She said not to open it until it was delivered to you. Seems pretty suspicious to me."
Zuko opened the canister, releasing the gas all over the room. "Is this a prank, Jin?" Zuko asked.
"No, sir, I'm not pranking you," said Jin. "It looks like someone else is, though."
"Probably some kids who thought it would be funny," said Zuko. "But this is why we have to inspect whatever packages come through."
"My bad, I guess."
"It's alright," Zuko said. "Goodnight, Jin."
"Goodnight," said Jin as she closed the door. "And sweet dreams."
- The concept of the character of Kela the Screamer was thought of by Agent Slash and Omashu Rocks while working on .
For the collective works of the author, go here.