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|Run The Blockade|
September 7th, 2012
The sun was barely peaking over through the trees as the group set to packing up the campsite. Nearby, Lee waited patently by his mount for them to get moving so he could follow. Aang noticed the rider waiting nearby, so he motioned for him to approach.
"You really are going to try and follow us aren't you?" he said. Lee nodded slightly, his brown eyes bearing into the young boy. But he didn't speak.
"We're crossing an expanse of water today, how do you plan on following?" asked Aang.
"Maybe I could get a ride?" asked Lee, his hand resting on the hilt of his gun.
"You have to pull your weight around here," said Sokka as he walked up Appa's tale and into the saddle. Lee shrugged.
"I can hunt and gather," he said.
"That's my job," said Sokka. Lee thought for a moment.
"I can cook," he said.
"That's Katara's job," Sokka replied. This earned him a smack upside the head by his sister.
"It would be nice to have a break every once in a while," she said. Aang nodded.
"Alright, climb on board," he said. Lee turned, took both saddlebags from the ostrich horse, and then slapped the beast's flank. The lumbering creature trotted off into the woods as Lee climbed onto Appa with relieve ease. Sitting at the back of the saddle, he watched as the last of the gear was loaded onto the bison. Aang Airbended his way onto Appa's head and took the reins. The beast let out a rumbling growl as before he took to the air.
Momo flew around the bison for a few times before landing in front of Lee. He chattered at the newcomer for a few moments before scurrying over and sitting on Toph's shoulder. The forest passed below them as a great field of green, the sea spread out ahead of them in a great shining blue. Sokka brought up his telescope and scanned the horizon to the north while Lee brought up his field glasses and looked to the south.
"We got Fire Nation ships about five miles out," he said. Sokka shifted to the other side of Appa and looked down as well.
"It's a whole blockade," he said, his breath catching in his throat. A red light flew up from the sea, a black trial following close behind. Aang swung his staff, sending out a wave of air that knocked the fireball away. Hundreds of fireballs suddenly began to fly up from the sea, coming from all sides to them. Aang, Zuko, and Katara did their best to force the fireballs away, but one flew straight at them. They realized that there was nothing they could do to force the ball away. A deep reasoning boom suddenly filled the air around them. They all clutched their ears as the fireball exploded into a thousand pieces. Looking up, they found Lee with his gun drawn and the barrel having a thin wisp of smoke coming out of it.
"What are you doing?" asked Toph.
"Saving our lives," came his reply. The bison shifted to the right and then to the left as more fireballs streamed up from the ships below. Lee quickly dug through his saddlebag and came up with his small crossbow. Leaning over the side of the saddle, he took careful aim at a ship below. Then he squeezed the trigger. Sokka and the others watched as the bolt flew into the ship's hold and detonated. Coal powder in the engines ignited, consuming the ship in a massive fireball. They watched as a red-hot chunk of a chimney from the ship shot past the bison before falling back into the sea.
"Whoa," breathed Katara as they left the blockade behind. Lee opened the cylinders on his gun and replaced the spent shell with a new bullet.
"So what happened to no demonstrations?" asked Aang as they flew. Lee returned the gun to its proper place and sat at the back of the saddle again.
"Well, I figured what the hell," he said as he took the helmet off and ran his fingers through his hair.
"What about all that talk about consciences?" asked Zuko. Lee shrugged.
"Aang's no good to me dead," he said simply. Aang looked back at him, trusting the bison to fly himself for a moment.
"So what exactly is it that you want from me?" he asked. Lee thought for a moment before he reached into his jacket and pulled out a small circular device. Three metal arms sprang out from it. An image shimmered into existence between the three tips. It was a single golden orb.
"This is a Ritcherdson Orb. Its sole use is to transfer energy from one object to another. Aang, one of your past lives handled this orb, somewhere deep inside of you, you know where this is," he said. Aang watched the image with a since of amazement. Never had he seen anything like this in his whole life. The image suddenly disappeared and the arms snapped back into the device.
"So is that all that little do dat can do?" asked Sokka, leaning forward to study the device before it was put away.
"No, that is not all," Lee replied as he returned to his seat.
"Well what else is it?" Toph asked.
"It's a gateway, the thing I used to get here in the first place," he answered before he looked out over the open sea. Suki leaned forward slightly.
"So how are we going to pass the time? I mean practicing is impossible as long as we're on Appa," she said.
"Know any good songs Lee?" asked Katara as she leaned near Aang. Lee thought for a moment.
"Not any that you'd understand," he said. Everyone else shrugged while Zuko remained indifferent. Lee cleared his throat slightly.
"At Easter 1916, when Peirce called them out. The men from the Dublin battalion roved out. And in that post office, they nobly did show: how a handful of heroes could out fight the foe," he sang slightly, not really liking to be the center of attention.
"Let me guess, it's a song that has to do with the big war you were talking about," said Sokka. Lee shook his head.
"It's a remembrance song, over a brave group of resistance fighters, dang thing's older then me by a long shot," replied Lee.
"So what was that big war about anyway?" asked Toph. Lee thought for a moment, still not liking the fact that he was the current center of attention.
"Oh, some fought for ideologies, others for land, still others for resources. But a few, like the Gunslingers, fought for survival," he said. Everyone was taken back a bit in surprise.
"You were hunted," said Aang. It wasn't a question. Lee nodded slightly.
"Yes, we were hunted. And very efficiently at that. About two months after Ic...the Avatar was killed; we made our final stand on the steps of the Great American Library," he said, his vision lowering to his feet. For Zuko, it all suddenly fell into place.
"You're the last of your order," he said. Lee simply nodded, but refused to speak. Grief and guilt had finally overtaken him. Aang knew how he felt, as he knew what it was like to be the last of your kind.
"So what are you going to do?" asked Katara.
"Set things right in my world, start to rebuild the order, and hunt down those responsible for the fall of the Avatar and the Gunslingers."
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