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|Samson and Delilah|
October 15, 2009
"Samson and Delilah" is the twenty-fifth chapter of the popular fanon series. Written by guest-writer , it sees Chen being captured by the Fire Nation and tortured by Quanlee. His leads him to remember his dark childhood and his life with Quan Lee as his best friend. Meanwhile, Mina and Kail enlist the help of a psychic to locate Chen and rescue him.
"Samson and Delilah" contains immense amounts of parallels to the Biblical story for which it is named upon, Samson and Delilah. SuperFlash had much delay in writing the chapter due to multiple personal priorities and general procrastination. However, he finally released the chapter on October 15, 2009, two months after the release of the previous chapter, " ."
After stepping out of bounds from Kein Forest, Chen is captured by Mitsuki and taken to an island where bending doesn't exist to be tortured. But Mitsuki doesn't wish to torture him - she leaves that to Quanlee, who is outraged at Chen's treachery and is quenching for vengeance. Meanwhile, Mina and Kaila enlist the help of a blind psychic to find Chen.
Chen, Kaila, Mina, Giu, Kambi, and Ray are sitting around a bonfire at night, the other rebels celebrating with fireworks and masks around them. Giu expresses his enjoyment of the festival nights, taking a large bite of a leg of chicken lizard. He then tries to put his arm around Ray, but she bends some water from her pouch and whips it at his face, soaking him, remarking, "Don't even think about it, bed wetter." Giu, wiping himself off, protests that he did that once when he was five, which Kambi jokingly retorts to with, "Yeah, five minutes ago." Everyone laughs and Giu notices Chen hasn't eaten any of his meat. Chen then mutters indecipherably, causing everyone to ask him to repeat it. Chen finally spits out that he is a vegetarian, which causes Giu to laugh uproariously and everyone to chuckle a bit. Chen then looks angry and Giu laughs that he's never heard of an Avatar who's never eaten meat. Kaila then quickly says Avatar Aang and all the other Air Nomad ones were vegetarians. She mutters slightly that she thinks it's cute and the two both blush.
Chen drifts off and finds himself flashing back to when he was five-years-old in the Fire Nation; he, Mitsuki, and Azula are eating dinner, exactly what he's feasting on in present time, on a long table. It is generally silent until Mitsuki begins explaining she mastered another Firebending move this week, loudly so Chen can hear it, and Azula praises her for doing so, saying "I wouldn't expect anymore from my favorite child." Mitsuki then quietly says towards Chen that that's way more than she can say for him, which makes him quietly shout "Shut up" through gritted teeth. Mitsuki smiles and after a while of more silence, she asks Chen how long it has taken for him to master a move – "Since you've been born, right?" He shouts for her to shut up and Azula tells him to silence himself, remarking that if he was a peasant his tongue would be cut off. Mitsuki smirks and adds "Just like Dad," which makes Chen stand up and shout at the top of his lungs for her to shut her mouth. Azula tells him to leave the room immediately and to learn to be civil and not a pathetic animal. Chen leaves with tears in his eyes.
Chen pops back into reality and starts listening to the Giu's story, involving an Avatar who was the strongest man alive and beat any challenger. Then one day, he was assassinated at a large parade. But his strength was so great his spirit reclaimed his body and he lived once more. Giu laughs and tells Chen he'll never be like that if he doesn't start getting some meat on his bones. Chen is furious and tells him to shut up, storming off into the forest, out of the city grounds. He flashes back to him walking through the thick Fire Nation woods at seven-years-old with a cut on his face from an "accident" caused by Mitsuki. He starts to hear rustles around him and gets nervous, walking faster, until he is running. Suddenly, three well-dressed older boys surround him. The tallest bends a small fire and explains they want to play a "game;" Chen tries to defend himself by telling them he's the prince, but the tallest says that everyone knows Azula hates him. Another one of the boys leans down and grabs Chen's shoulder from the back, hissing that he'll never become Supreme Fire Lord either. He starts to quiver and looks scared out of his wits.
Chen is grabbed back into the present after hearing Kaila calling his name. She runs up to his side and tells him Giu was only kidding and he shouldn't let it bother him. Chen looks down and says he doesn't want to talk about it but is interrupted by her scream. He looks up and sees a roaring lion-bear that jumps out of the bushes and corners them. It goes after Kaila who tries to hit it with her bladed but she misses as she knocked unconscious. Chen charges after it and it cuts him across his right cheek. Taken aback, Chen is thrust to the ground by the lion-bear and it goes for the kill, but he shakes and angrily charges upward, ripping through the beast's jaw with Fire and killing him. He pants over it, covered in blood, and is suddenly chained to the ground. Fire soldiers drop from the trees and drug him, leaving him unconscious, and drag the boy away.
Chen awakes to find himself dressed in rags and in a metal room, chained with long chains going to the far walls on both hands and a ball and chain wrapped around both feet. He angrily looks up and, to his surprise, sees Mitsuki standing at the door. She smirks and starts walking towards, saying she is happy to see her "sweet older brother." Chen scowls and asks her where he is. She smoothly remarks he is on a remote island separated from the mortal and Spirit World, which only appears once every other decade. She then adds devilishly that "That means you can't bend or connect with your precious past lives." Chen is furious and asks her if she's going to kill him now; Mitsuki says they have no desire to do so, as that would mean another Avatar would be reincarnated and it's best to "keep this in the family" – all they intend to do is "shake him up a little." Chen knows she means torture and asks her how she expects to do without any bending. Mitsuki says she has no intention of doing it herself and says she'll leave that to her associates, just as Quanlee walks into the room with a long cloak.
Meanwhile, Mina and Ray go looking for Kaila and Chen in the forest and find Kaila unconscious. They wake her up and ask where Chen is, which makes Kaila realize he was taken and swears. Mina is flabbergasted and they go back to the campsite to tell Giu and Kambi what has happened. Back on the island, Mitsuki leaves the room, whispering to Quanlee to "show no mercy," which makes her remark with "Of course." Chen laughs and says he really hates irony, "but then again, you clearly hate me more." Quanlee quietly nods and begins putting things from her cloak (several blades and knives, along with a saw) onto a table in front of Chen. Chen tries to explain himself, saying "You were going to slaughter everyone there, what was I supposed to do?" Quanlee immediately shouts that he could have joined them and not betrayed his country. She sighs and grabs a knife, smiling slightly as she says, "But it doesn't matter now. Now we get to play." She gets in his face and thrusts the knife into his shoulder, then turning it and saying "Let the games begin." Chen screams in pain.
Back in the campsite, Kambi asks Kaila if she has any idea where the men took Chen. She shakes her head and explains that she was knocked out before they even came. Kambi says that the only thing they can do now is piece together what little information they have and lay out a list of possible locations. Giu abruptly says that that never works and that what they really need to do is find a psychic; "I just so happen to know one a little bit over the mountain top," he says. Ray rolls her eyes and says she doesn't believe in psychics, but Mina stands up and says that it's the best they got. She gestures for Kaila to come and they leave.
Chen is breathing loudly and his shoulder starts pouring out blood. He exclaims that he can't believe Quanlee is doing this after all their years of friendship. She says he killed their friendship back in the Rebel City, the second he chose the rebels over her. Chen looks thoughtfully at the ground and begins to flash back to when he was cornered. The boys start pushing him between themselves and one knees him in the gut. Another runs up and kicks him in the side as he falls to the ground. The oldest one goes to whip a fire blast at Chen but a stiletto hits him in the shoulder and makes him fall. He tells the other two it must be the royal guards and they run away. Chen coughs blood on the ground as he picks himself up and Quanlee comes to his side, saying she can't believe those thugs tried to attack them. Chen coughs that he cannot either then thanks her for saving him. She turns her head, blushing, and says it was no problem.
Back in the present, Mina and Kaila start trekking the pathway to the psychic Giu suggested to them as the sun has yet to reach the horizon. They walk several miles until they reach a small shack at the top of a tall hill. They enter, Mina asking if anyone is there and an Eastern European-like voice starts groaning. They gasp and an average sized man steps out of the shadows, dressed in silk Earth Kingdom clothing with tattoos of animals on his bald head and scars over both of his blind eyes. He has bags under his eyes and bottles of wine all around him, and then starts to mutter "Always remember, kids, never mix Fire Nation beer with Earth Kingdom wine – gives you sunburn in places no person should have to have sunburn at..." Then, revealing him to be named Yang, he starts saying that he knew they were coming, and that he never expected the Fire prince to be the Avatar, as it's "like a rat destined to kill his demented rat family." After he says he needs a sample from Chen, Kaila hands him a shred of his shirt and puts in into Yang's hand, which has a picture of an eyeball on the palm. He breaths in deeply and shivers, saying he hasn't felt a sense this strong since he was looking for a child possessed by a Haizi. When Mina and Kaila become quiet and look odd, he asks if he touched a taboo. Yang remarks, "Never mind. I got some serious mojo from this thing – but I can't seem to find his spirit. It's like...like he's somewhere outside human or spirit range." He tells them he must be at Nowhere Island, a place separated from the Mortal and Spirit World, and that he can take them there. They both smile and say they would greatly appreciate it.
In his torture chamber, Quanlee begins to tell Chen about a time in the Fire Nation, not long after he betrayed them, when an assassin broke in trying to kill Azula – her mother quickly tossed a knife through his throat before he could reach the Fire Lord's thrown, but some of the blood got on Quanlee's clothes. She scrubbed for hours but it refused to come out, so she just disposed of the entire outfit, "like a bug." Chen says that must be an analogy to him, but it's not going to scare him. Quanlee asks him why but Chen retorts that he doesn't know. "Wrong answer," Quanlee says, and starts sharpening a long blade. Chen sighs and mutters "I know."
Yang, Mina, and Kaila set sail off the bay at the edge of the forest on a small metal boat. Mina asks Yang where he got it and the psychic pauses, finally saying "I have no idea," then starts looking around the boat, muttering his wonderment about what he does on Friday nights. Kaila asks him if Chen is alright – Yang says there's a lot of energy blocking any real view of him, but as he's the Avatar he can catch a glimpse of his spirit. He says it has not left his body, but there's a lot of negative energy spewing around him and that he's bleeding. He mutters that he might be able to get better sight of him if he connects with him mentally, and starts to meditate, shaking a bit as he hasn't done so since an alcoholic herb trading summoning in the Foggy Swampy. His eyes begin to glow and his tattoos follow; he starts to float slightly in the air. Suddenly, his blue spirit becomes red and he starts groaning in agony. Mina asks him what's wrong and he says he doesn't know, just that there's so much negative energy it's choking him. He struggles a bit and falls out of the trance. Panting, he tells them Chen is in a lot of mental pain that could kill him before the physical stuff does – "Oh, right, he's also being tortured, looks like some Goth chick with knives doing it." Kaila and Mina each exclaim Quanlee's name in unison.
As Quanlee prepares her blade, Chen tries to break her focus by saying he is tired and wondering when he can "go nappy-poo." Quanlee is unscathed and tells him trying to act tough will do nothing for her - she knows all of his tricks. Chen is then reminded of a time when they snuck out the watch the cattle be branded. Though Chen tries to act untouched by the branding, Quanlee sees that he truly is disturbed and grabs his hand to walk away. When the flashback ends, Chen stays persistent and asks Quanlee when the interrogating will being. She immediately retorts that they don't need any information from him and that he should once more stop trying to break her. Chen says that she may not know him as well as she used too, that he's changed, but Quanlee adds, "Oh, what, just because you know you're the Avatar?" Chen, beginning to yell, tells her yes and that because of it he'll stop Mitsuki's plans; Quanlee yells back that he will just get himself killed like his father, and Chen roars back that she should never talk about his father. Quanlee yells that she knows and they get quiet, until Chen tells her to cut off his hair to brand him. Quanlee does so yelling, then breaks down into tears and falls into Chen's arms, yelling at him for their friendship, then slowly embraces him in a kiss.
Meanwhile, Mina, Kaila, and Yang begin to approach the immense island where Chen is hiding. Yang stops the boats and tells them he can't go any farther, gesturing them to leave. They swim until they reach the shores of the island, which seems to be fading around them. They sneak around the corner and take out two guards, then dart into the metal building Chen is being held in. Mina fires an arrow at an approaching guard, pinning him to the wall, and Kaila holds him by Kunai-point and demanding he tell them where Chen is. After he does, Kaila is persistent to leave as she wants to kill the man for taking part in Chen's kidnapping, but Mina stops her and they proceed into Chen's chamber. Chen is unchained and alone, so they all run out of the room, Chen smiling back at the empty chains as he goes.
Chen, Kaila, and Mina run through the halls and fight off several guards that throw themselves out at them. When they become surrounded, Chen spots a large container of blasting jelly and throws one of Kaila's Kunais at it. It explodes as the three jump out of the window and out of the building. As they run off, they are blocked by Quanlee on their trails. Kaila and Mina put up fighting positions, but Quanlee moves to the side, telling them that she'll "give them this one." They dart off and swim back to the boat, where Yang is waiting for them. As they pull off to leave, Kaila embraces Chen in a hug, thanking the spirits that he's not too hurt. Mina queries about Chen's cut hair, which Chen explains is "Just, uh....just something from an old friend." He stares off thoughtfully at the smoke arising from the annihilated, where thousands of soldiers lay destroyed.
"Samson and Delilah" was written by guest author IRC. Vaznock was thrilled by the idea and supported it; when SuperFlash pitched the idea to the other series creator, , he was given yet more approval and began to write the chapter out on a Word Document., creator of the fanon series , who has written two popular Kyoshi Revolts chapters previously. SuperFlash had conceived the story in mid-2009, interested in writing a chapter surrounding Chen being tortured, and suggested it to Kyoshi co-creator on
Due to the title of the chapter being "Samson and Delilah" - which is a story in the Bible about an man blessed by God with unmatchable strength who is deceived by an assassin named Delilah - SuperFlash decided to make the central theme of the episode encircle around parallels to the actual story. In the beginning of the chapter, Giu tells the story of an Avatar who was immensely strong and was assassinated, which is loosely based on the plot of Samson and Delilah. Chen, who represents Samson throughout the chapter, is attacked by a lion-bear and tears it in two, mirroring the part in the story where Samson rips a lion in two in a similar manner. Quanlee, who throughout chapter represents Delilah, cuts off Chen's hair and in the original Bible tale, Delilah cuts off Samson's hair as well so he will loose his strength. At the climax of the chapter, Chen brings the entire building down, killing thousands of guards, in the manner of Samson and Delilah's ending where Samsons brings down the Philistines' manner, killing all ten-thousand men there, including himself.
"Samson and Delilah" faced multiple amounts of delay during its developing. SuperFlash faced several states of writer's block and took long breaks in between writing it. Overtime real-life priorities left him unable to work on the chapter, along with other obligations on other websites and generally his pure procrastination. Finally, though, after approximately two months, SuperFlash finished the chapter and released it on Avatar Wiki.