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Nero walked through the gates of Omashu as dusk fell four days after his trip through the desert. He had given the last of his food to Sid, he was starving and thirsty, and he had no money. Fortunately he had accounts in almost every bank in the world, including the one in Omashu. After he took some money from his account he found an inn to stay at. Nero sat down at the bar and ordered some tea and food. While he was drinking a large, well muscled man walked up behind him.
"Are you Nero?" he asked in a gruff voice Nero could tell was forced. He ignored the man. "Hey punk I'm talking to you." the man said grabbing Nero's shoulder.
"You have five seconds to let go of me." Nero threatened calmly.
"Oh I'm soo scared." the man laughed. "What are you going to do about it boy?"
"I warned you." Nero said grabbing the man's wrist, pulling his arm over his shoulder, then yanking down, snapping his arm. As he screamed Nero reached behind him, grabbed the man by his collar and pulled him onto the counter. Nero then grabbed him by his hair and slammed his head through the counter.
Nero rose from his seat and grabbed the man's money pouch and threw it onto table. "This should cover the counter, and the meal... and his medical bill."
Nero walked through the city listening to anything that could lead him to his target. While walking he heard something that sounded promising. Apparently a blind earthbending girl was living in the city. If it matched up with Nero's information, then Toph Bei Fong was near. Nero followed his intel to a grand mansion. As he approached the front gate he heard his targets speaking to each other.
"Okay so we leave tomorrow to start looking for this guy, what was his name Zuko, Bero?" a buffoonish voice, definitely Sokka, said.
"Nero," Zuko corrected.
"I swear Sokka, sometimes I wonder if you listen at all." a slightly motherly voice, most likely Katara, cut in.
"Well sorry for not knowing the name of the crazy man trying to kill us." Sokka said sarcastically.
"Would you guys shut up!" a loud boisterous voice rang, probably Toph, "Some of us are trying to sleep here!"
"Yeah we should probably get some sleep too." Zuko said.
"Eh, goodnight." Sokka called as he went to his room.
Nero stood at the gate for a moment before turning around and going back to the inn. They deserved one last night of sleep.
Ready for Departure
When Aang woke up the others were already in the courtyard ready to leave. Zuko was sharpening one of his dao swords, as Sokka, Suki, and Katara were throwing their packs onto Appa's saddle. Toph was nowhere to be seen.
"Where's Toph?" Aang asked Zuko.
"Not awake yet." Zuko answered giving his sword a test swing.
"I'll go get her." Katara called jumping off Appa. Katara jogged to Toph's room and slid to a stop at her door. "Toph are you awake?" she asked gently knocking on the door.
"Just a moment." Toph's voice called through the door. After a few moments the door slid open and Toph walked out, and they started back for the courtyard. "So we already to go?" Toph asked about halfway there.
"Yep they're waiting on us." Katara answered as Toph stopped dead in her tracks.
"I don't think we have to go anywhere," she said calmly as Nero dropped from the ceiling behind them. Without warning Toph turned around and stomped her foot, causing jagged rocks to shoot out of the floor and launched Nero back through the wall at the end of the hallway. "I think the guy we're looking for is here," Toph said with a small grin.
Six Against One
The others waited patiently for Katara and Toph to come out for about five minutes.
"What is taking those two so long?" Zuko asked while pacing back and forth.
"I'm going to go check on them." Suki said heading for the door. As her hand reached the handle there was a loud crash and Nero flew through the wall next to the door. Nero rolled a few feet before righting himself as Toph and Katara walked through the wall. The six of them surrounded Nero as he prepared for an attack from any side. Aang and Toph moved simultaneously, raising two pillars of rock from opposite sides to crush Nero. The assassin ducked under them and tried to launch a fire blast at them, only to hit directly by a wave of water from Katara. As Nero slid back Zuko launched himself high in the air and sent a giant stream of fire at him. Nero sent his own fire at Zuko's attack, Nero's black flames consumed Zuko's standard flames and were about to take him. Zuko used firebending to propel himself out of their path. As Nero stood Sokka charged at him swinging his jian sword down on his head. Nero caught the blade by clapping his hands on the flat of the blade, stopping it only centimeters from his scalp. As Sokka tried to wrench his weapon free, Nero jumped up and slammed his feet into his chest. Sokka let go of his blade and flew backwards, while throwing his boomerang. The boomerang grazed Nero's arm leaving a small cut. Nero took Sokka's sword and was about to impale Sokka with it when the boomerang came back and struck him in the back.
Stunned by the pain that shot through his spine, Nero was helpless as Suki flipped through the air and drop kicked Nero in the chest. As Nero rose Katara sent another wave of water at him, freezing it once it covered all but his head. Nero stood there frozen as his Zuko walked up to him dao swords in hand.
"Who hired you?" Zuko asked crossing the blades at his throat. When Nero didn't answer Zuko tensed, about to end the assassin's life before Aang stepped in.
"Why? He deserves this." Zuko said glaring into Nero's eyes, a bit angered at the assassin's lack of emotion in them.
"Maybe he does, but it's not our place to pass judgment." Aang said placing his hand on Zuko's shoulder. "Let me take away his bending, like I did to Ozai." Zuko stepped aside as Aang melted the ice around Nero's chest. As he was about place his hands on Nero's forehead and chest, Nero's arms suddenly burst from the ice and grabbed him by his wrists. The ice around Nero melted away he heated his entire body, his palms burning against Aang's wrists. Once all the ice was gone Nero fell backwards and threw Aang over him, sending him sprawling on his back. As Zuko lunged forward with his swords, Nero flipped on to his hands, bringing his feet crashing into Zuko's chin. While Nero was on his hands, Toph raised a pillar of rock underneath him. Nero used the pillar to send himself high in the air. During his ascension Nero launched numerous fire balls at Toph and Katara, who tried to block them but were overpowered. As they were sent sprawling Nero landed between Sokka and Suki. He grabbed Suki's wrist and tossed her into Sokka, while he laid on the ground Nero stomped on his chest, cracking a few ribs.
Nero raised his hand to finish Sokka, but was interrupted when Appa swept a blast of air with his tail. The blast sent Nero flying back into the house, and gave Aang and the others a chance to escape. As Nero emerged from the rubble Appa was flying away. Seeing this Nero broke into a hard sprint, when he came to the stairs to the lower levels Nero jumped up and propelled himself forward with firebending. "You won't get away." Nero whispered as he flew after them.
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