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"Ahhh the Si Wong Desert." Kaine sighed as he, his masked ones, and Sokka stood at the edge of the vast desert that stretched before them. "I've always wanted to try and cross this vast plot of death and sand."
"Yeah well now you get your chance." Sky said wiping the sweat from his uncovered scalp.
"Man I'd hoped I'd never see this place again." Sokka groaned upon the familiar sight of the horrid desert.
"You've done this before?" Rha asked as they started into the desert.
"Yeah about 13 years ago and I got to tell you it wasn't fun." Sokka said remembering his last "adventure" through the desert.
"What happened then?" Tien asked knowing he would regret it.
"Well to begin..." Sokka uttered before he told of the thieving sandbender tribes, the "Crazy Owl Spirit Librarian" that tried to kill them, the buzzard wasps and their hive with foul tasting gooey stuff and the worst of all. The dreaded cactus juice. Sky burst out laughing like a mad man once he heard what it did to Sokka, and Momo.
"You mean you got wasted off of juice from a plant?" Sky yelled, cutting off Kaine's question. "Man what a dunce."
"Hey! I was dying of thirst and the only alternative was Katara's bending water!" Sokka yelled at the masked archer. "Water that she used on slimy swamp people! I'd dare you to do better in this desert!" The next few hours went on with Sokka and Sky constantly arguing while Kaine, Rha, and Tien ignored them. After several hours of the hot desert sun however, Kaine's patience was wearing thin.
"Would you two shut the hell up!" he yelled, "We have a job to do here and I would like us to focus on that."
"Well put Kaine." Tien said as the sun started to set, "Although I think it would be wise to settle down for the night and continue first thing in the morning."
Kaine turned to Sokka who'd positioned himself as far from Sky as he physically could while still being able to be in the conversation. "Well boss?" Kaine asked.
"Sounds fine to me." Sokka called over, unaware of the creature rising from the sand behind him.
"Um, Sokka." Rha said pointing behind him. "Maybe you should..." the rest of her warning was interrupted by a strange sound. While Sokka attempted to decipher what Rha was saying a giant scorpion snake rose from the sand behind him, eagerly but quietly waving its stinger back and forth.
"Sorry Rha but I'm staying over here. I'm not getting anywhere near Sky for the rest of this..." Sokka stopped once the giant scorpion snake's shadow passed over him. Sokka looked up into the serpent's eyes and back at the Masked Ones. With in the next second everyone was sprinting away with the scorpion snake in pursuit.
"What are we going to do?" Sokka panted as he caught up to Sky, "We can't outrun it forever."
"We don't have to outrun it. Just you." Sky replied as he started to pull ahead.
"What!?!" Sokka yelled as the scorpion snake barely missed grabbing him. "I hate this desert!"
"Tien!" Kaine yelled, "Throw me a bomb!" In a swift and practiced motion Tien pulled a small bomb from his pocket and lit the fuse and tossed the bomb to Kaine, who started sprinting backwards caught the bomb then pitched it into the serpents mouth. Seconds later the scorpion snake's head exploded.
"Now we can rest." Kaine panted as everyone came to stop.
The Dreaded Cactus Juice
Sokka, Kaine, Sky, Tien, and Rha continued their hike through the Si Wong Desert the following morning. As they walked Sky started to complain about his thirst. Kaine had restricted them from drinking their remaining water unless it was 100% necessary.
"I'm dying over here Kaine." Sky whined as he unscrewed his water canteen. Only to have Kaine take before he could take a swig. As Sky stared at his leader, Kaine walked over to a cactus and cut the top off it. Kaine grabbed the cactus "cup" as it fell and handed it to Sky.
"Drink this if you must." Kaine said while Sokka turned around. Sokka mouth gaped open as Sky lifted his mask and put the cactus to his lips.
"Nooooooo!" Sokka cried as he tried to stop Sky from drinking from the "cup". But he was too late, the liquid poured down Sky's throat and almost immediately his pupil's dilated and his cheeks flushed red. "Oh this is not good." Sokka said slamming his palm to his fore head as Sky began to wobble.
"Helloooooo everrryyyy booooddddyyyy." Sky shouted drunkenly in the air. Sky then began to do many strange things ranging from waving his hands in the air while running around in circles to doing some rather strange and vulgar dance moves known only to him.
"Why did you do that?" Sokka asked Kaine, "You heard what I said about the stuff didn't you?"
"Yes I did." Kaine answered grinning behind his mask as Rha and Tien tried to capture Sky who stripped down to his underwear and started running around claiming he was "on fire".
"Then why?" Sokka asked again.
"Two reasons. One I wanted to see if you were telling the truth." Kaine began, "And two, I wanted to shut Sky up." No sooner had he said this than Sky let loose an ear shattering scream that probably alerted every predator in the desert to their location. "I seem to have failed the second reason however."
"You think?" Sokka groaned slapping his forehead again. At this point Tien and Rha had finally caught Sky and were forcing his clothes on him. Afterwards the tied him up and started dragging him along. By the time they reached their destination Sky had recovered from the juice and they had untied him. The five of them set up camp not a mile away from a Black Lotus Base.
Dreams do Come True
The next day the group stood outside the base ready to begin their mission, infiltrate the base plant bombs throughout its structure and blow the place straight to Hell. The best part is they didn't even need to go higher than the first floor. Kaine however planned to take the long way. He uncoiled the grappling hook around his torso and tossed it up. After giving the rope several tugs to make sure it was secure he started his ascension.
"Be back down in a few minutes," he said as the others positioned themselves by the door. Kaine continued his climb and once he reached the roof he took the time to pull the rest of his rope up. When he finished Kaine turned and found an assassin pointing a sword at his heart.
"Who are you?" the assassin asked trembling.
"I'm sorry sir." Kaine said feigning innocence, "I was hoping I wouldn't have to..." Kaine grabbed the assassin's wrist and threw him off the building, "throw you off the roof." Kaine looked over the edge and saw the assassin lying on the sand his neck bent at an unnatural angle. Satisfied Kaine walked to the center of the roof and placed a long cylinder on the ground. His present delivered Kaine reattached his rope and repelled down.
After navigating through the bases hallways, and following some corpses, Kaine eventually rejoined the others as they planted their first bomb.
"How'd it go?" Sky asked.
"The package is in place." Kaine answered with a thumb up.
"What are you talking about?" Sokka asked as they made their way to the next bomb spot. The rest of the mission went off with out a hitch. The bombs were each set to go off in ten minutes thanks to a contraption made by the Mechanist and Tien. Which gave them plenty of time to get a safe distance away.
"Ready and..."Tien said raising his hand, "boom!" As soon as the words left his mouth the bottom floors of the building blew up while the package on the roof launched a large flare in the air. Two seconds after the flare is launched it explodes into a fireworks display, while the base collapses on it self.
"I always dreamed of blowing up a base full of assassins in the middle of the desert." Tien said lifting his mask with a wide grin on his face.
"That seems oddly specific." Kaine commented while everyone else enjoyed the show.
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