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|Race Against Time (The Adventures of Qi)|
Escape From Omashu
Qi sat in the main hall of the airship next to Huo, Maia and Liu. They had just taken off from their campsite and were currently on their way to Omashu.
"So what happened? Why are we leaving?" Liu asked.
"Yeah! You made us collect so much wood for nothing!" Maia complained.
"I'm sorry, but we just found out the location of the Avatar," Qi said.
Maia and Liu looked at each other in surprise.
"How?" They both said at once.
"We were chatting down by the lake when a spiritual projection of a young fourteen-year old girl appeared. She explained how one of her parents was an earthbender but the other was an airbender. She also said how her brother kept on entering the Avatar State," Huo explained.
"Well, is Aimei there yet?" Liu asked.
"Yes, but they're being held up by the soldiers of Omashu. Hopefully they'll be brought to justice," Qi said.
Qi had to count on the soldiers to capture or at least slow Aimei down. The group was only half and hour away from Omashu, if they could just make it before Aimei... or if they couldn't... Qi didn't want to think about the consequences of that. She got up and headed towards her room. She had to get ready for the inevitable fight in Omashu. Aimei may have beaten her in Yi but Qi had vigorously trained since then. This time, Qi refused to lose.
Aimei, Cici, Wang and Sha were being taken further away from Omashu. Four soldiers were taking them to a nearby prison, just like the one near the Village of Hope.
"If you think prison can contain us, you're about to be very wrong!" Cici exclaimed.
The four soldiers slowly looked at each other mysteriously. "Yes... she's right, isn't she?" Said one of the guards.
"Maybe we should give them a harsher punishment," another agreed.
"Great, thanks a lot Cici! This is all your fault!" Aimei yelled.
"Sorry," Cici muttered.
"Sorry doesn't cut it!" Aimei furiously said.
"Hey! Cut her come slack!" Wang retaliated.
"It's Cici's fault!" Sha argued back.
"Are you guys done squabbling?" Asked a soldier.
"Yes," Wang replied.
"About that punishment... I recommend a death penalty," said the fourth soldier.
At that moment, all four of the friends stopped whatever movement and tensely stared at the guard.
They all thought a death penalty was far too harsh.
"Yes, after all, they have taken lives of many at the State of Yi!" One of the guards agreed.
Sha protested. "No! You can't do this to us!"
"TAKE THEM TO THE EXECUTIONERS!" Ordered the biggest soldier.
Tears started streaming out of Cici's eyes. "NO! NO!"
"A warrior never shows weakness!" Aimei criticised Cici.
"Then I don't want to be a warrior!" Cici cried.
The guards shoved them forwards, bringing them closer to their death...
"We're here, Omashu is just below," Huo said, entering Qi's room.
"Good, it's time to teach Aimei a lesson!" Qi smirked.
"Are you sure you're ready?" Huo asked.
"Of course, I have trained weeks for this moment!" Qi replied.
"Good," Huo said.
Qi ran a finger through her hair. "Where are the two siblings?"
"They're already in Omashu," Huo explained. "Now come on."
Qi and Huo walked together and slowly descended out of the airship and into the borders of Omashu. It was still as tall and grand as sixty years ago but the border was now covered in bodies of dead or injured soldiers from the battle. Even from below you could hear the people of Omashu panicking. According to the soldiers, Aimei had called backup from the Fire Nation. Omashu would be at war any moment and all of their soldiers were either half-dead or too hurt to fight. Qi and Huo walked over to Liu and Maia, who were standing worriedly together.
"What are we going to do?" Maia said. "I'm pretty sure the four of us can't face the whole Fire Nation Army!"
"We have at least try, for the citizens," Qi said. "Even if it means making our last stand here, today."
"At least they got rid of Aimei," Liu said.
"Aimei was the least of our worries! What about the Avatar? We have to get the Avatar to safety!" Huo explained.
The four took one glance at each other before racing through the borders and into Omashu. They had to find Aura's family before it was too late; they were literally racing against time itself. They raced through as many houses as they could. They opened doors up; smashed them down; anything to find Aura and Avatar Di. They split us slightly, but they didn't split up too far in case they couldn't find each other again.
"It's not this house!" Maia called.
"Not this one either!" Liu yelled.
"No luck here!" Huo called.
Qi smashed down a door to find several old grandmas sitting at a table, looking terrified.
"Get out our house!" They yelled.
"Sorry!" Qi apologised.
The four guards took Aimei and her friends deeper into the woods.
"Where are you taking us?" Aimei interrogated. "Where is this executioner?"
Aimei was still strong and firm, unlike Cici, who was having a mental breakdown. She sobbed and she cried and struggled with the guards.
"NO! NO! I DON'T WANT TO DIE!" Tears leaked every out of Cici's eyes.
Wang and Sha were silent and didn't speak to each other.
"PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER!" Aimei yelled.
"Oi! No fighting!" The guards yelled back.
Wang had taken Cici's side in the fight and Sha had taken Aimei's side. The two didn't say a word; they just sulked at each other. Suddenly, Aimei kicked her leg, sprouting a ring of flames. They guards scattered and readied themselves for a fight. Aimei, Wang and Sha began to duel the four guards while Cici stood at the side, bawling her head off with tears. As Aimei fought vigorously, she wondered what was wrong with Cici; this was the first time she had seen her friend emotionally breakdown.
"Guys! I think this is the one!" Maia called.
Qi, Huo and Liu rushed over to Maia's voice. Maia stood by a small brick house with a bright red door. It looked like a cottage with a small chimney and several glass windows. From the windows, Qi could see a fourteen-year-old girl with airbender tattoos and shoulder-length, curly and dark brown hair: Aura. Aura was feeding what seemed to be a baby with glowing eyes; that must've been Avatar Di. In the corner of the room were two adults, the parents.
"Is that Aura?" Liu asked.
"Yes," Qi quietly whispered.
She went over and gently knocked on the door exactly three times. Knock! Knock! Knock! The door opened was opened to Aura, who immediately lit up.
"You came! You actually came!" Aura smiled.
"Hello Aura," Qi said. "I'm Qi and these are my friends Huo, Maia and Liu."
Aura invited the four inside. The house was very small. There was a wooden table with four chairs on one side of the room and a sofa with four blankets underneath on the other side of the room. Qi knew Aura's family was poor but she never knew how poor they were. It was so sad seeing the family having to sleep on the floor in one tiny room. The mother stepped forward. She was wearing an apron over her clothes and had her jet-black hair tied up in two plaits.
The woman took turns in shaking everyone's hand. "I'm Meili and I'm the mother of Aura and Di, it's good to see you." Meili gestured to her husband. "That is my husband, Gao."
"Nice to see you," grunted Gao.
"Qi, you have to take Di before the Fire Nation gets their hands on him!" Aura hurried.
Qi and her friends walked over to the baby, who was sitting on the table.
"How long has he been in the Avatar State?" Huo asked.
"About a day," Aura replied. "It must be because he can sense danger!"
"Don't worry, we will get your dear little brother to safety!" Maia assured.
"Supposing we make it out of here alive," Liu said.
"Liu!" Qi chided.
"Just kidding..." Liu sourly muttered.
"Well, how are we going to get Di out of the Avatar State?" Huo asked.
Di started crying and waving his arms around.
"We have to get him away from danger," Aura said.
"Come on, let's go before the Fire Nation gets here!" Qi said.
Before anything else happened, the door was smashed down. Meili, Gao, Aura, Qi, Huo, Maia and Liu all simultaneously pivoted their heads towards the door. From the wreckage was... Aimei, Sha, Wang and Cici. This time, Cici seemed to have recovered from her breakdown but her eyes were still puffy and red and her hair was still matted with sweat.
Aimei grinned at everyone. "Yes, let's go before the Fire Nation gets here."
For the collective works of the author, go here.