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Qi sat in her room on the airship. It was awfully hot in the room. There was a large coffee table with paintings of dragons embedded on the table. Four golden sofas that sparkled under the chandelier above surrounded the table. Qi's bed sat in the corner of the room. Qi walked over to the window, where she saw they were just above the Si Wong Desert.
"We're an hour away from Ba Sing Se," a voice said from behind.
Qi spun around to find Huo standing at the doorway.
"Huo!" Qi was surprised. "Um... okay... thanks for telling me."
Things were still awkward between Qi and Huo. Qi turned around to look at the beautiful view from the window. Sand stretched out in every direction for miles... and miles... and miles. Qi looked and to her surprise, she thought she saw a gigantic dust cloud. However, when she blinked, it disappeared. Qi thought she was just seeing things and shrugged it off. Then, Huo came and stood next to her. Huo reacted wildly and pointed at a sand dune.
"Did you see that?" He asked.
"What?" Qi replied.
"That gigantic cloud of sand!" He said.
Something wasn't right. Qi looked, and it was gone.
"It's... gone!" Huo said.
"The same thing happened to me not long ago!" Qi exclaimed.
Then, the puffy dust cloud appeared, and this time, it didn't go away. The sand cloud kept on coming, closer and closer! It was thirty metres away... twenty... ten... five... four... three... two... one. The sand cloud was right beneath the airship.
"Uh, should we do something?" Qi asked.
"Look, you probably can't handle it, let me do the job," Huo smirked.
He turned around and was about to leave when Qi lost it completely. She bent a gush of air at Huo that knocked him right off his feet. She then created a tornado and spun Huo into the air so he couldn't move.
"I'M TIRED OF YOU TREATING ME LIKE SCUM!" Qi screamed. "I'M THE LEADER OF THIS MISSION, NOT YOU! YOU KNOW I CAN BEAT YOU IN A FIGHT ANY TIME, ANYWHERE!"
Qi dropped Huo onto the ground and he sank to his knees.
"If you really think you can beat me, go ahead, I challenge you!" He argued back.
Qi was confused, wasn't there a bigger problem?
"Now? What about the dust cloud that is right beneath us!" Qi argued.
"You said anytime, anywhere, so go on. Do it." Huo sneered.
Qi sighed. She couldn't admit defeat.
"Fine," she said. "Let's go to the training arena."
Qi and Huo were in the training arena. It was completely barren and made of rock from head to toe. Suddenly, a loud rumble filled the room.
"Look Huo, I really don't think we should be doing this when there is-" Qi started.
"-Enough talk, let's fight!" Huo interrupted.
He blasted a stream of fire straight at Qi, who swerved and extinguished the fire with a powerful gush of air. Qi rose on an air spout and created a funnel made of air. Then, she sent an almighty blow of wind at the ceiling, causing bits and pieces to crumble. The crumbled rock then fell into the funnel and was blasted directly at Huo. While Huo was on the ground, he had a disadvantage. He dodged as fast as he could but the rocks kept coming. Bang! Rock on the left. Bang! A rock on the right. Boom! A huge boulder. Huo decided it was no use being on the ground, so he used one hand to create a jet propulsion to boost him into the air. On the other hand, he created a long, large, slender fire whip. He whipped it at Qi, who countered it with a mini tornado. She kept the tornado going, and it slowly expanded to grow bigger and bigger. Soon, Huo couldn't keep up his jet propulsion anymore. He soon got caught in the tornado and Qi had complete control over him. Then, a loud rumbling came and the room quaked so strong that both Qi and Huo fell to the ground.
"Huo, admit I beat you!" Qi said.
"Never! I'm not beaten yet!" Huo stubbornly refused.
"Whatever, we have bigger problems right now!" Qi said.
Qi ran out of the room, panting. Her normally plaited hair was now running loose and matted with sweat. She rushed out to the nearest window and looked outside to see a group of sandbenders. They were wrapped up in what looked like sandpaper and they wore beige clothes that looked tattered and torn. Some of them were creating a heavy sandstorm and some were intensely spraying the airship with large chunks of hardened sand. One of them eventually managed to break the window.
"What do you want?" Qi screamed over all the commotion.
"You're trespassing on our territory!" The lead sandbender yelled.
"Please!" Qi begged. "We just want to go to Ba Sing Se!"
"No one crosses this area of the Si Wong Desert except us!" They argued back.
Qi whipped around to ask Huo for help, but he was nowhere to be seen.
"Ugh! Where are you Huo?" Qi muttered.
The airship shook and vibrated hard, until eventually Qi heard something crack and explode. She rushed back to the arena to find Huo, but he was gone. Qi decided there was nothing she could do except for one idea. She was going to use her astral projection to try and find Huo. However, were they connected enough? It was worth a shot. Qi sat down and tried to concentrate despite all the rocks crashing around everywhere. She focused herself on Huo, and thought of happy memories they shared together... but there were all tainted with hatred. When Qi and Huo first met, they were the best of friends. As time passed, they grew closer and closer until one day they started to go out. However, after a month, Qi caught Huo kissing another girl... and she felt a great surge of hatred. She attacked Huo and almost killed him; it took Huo month's to recover. Ever since then, the two had been mortal enemies until now. Qi was trying so hard to make amends but it wasn't easy to get Huo to be on her side. All of their previous memories were buried deep; Qi couldn't find Huo with astral projection. She thought of all the times they were friends, but every time she did, she remembered how she attacked Huo that day. She had to look deep, and eventually, she found those memories. She remembered... she remembered how they first met a year ago... she remembered the first kiss... she remembered everything. Suddenly, her spirit was thrown into the desert where she saw Huo fighting the sandbenders. Huo could easily take down a sandbender, but this time there too many. The sandbenders circled Huo and struck him with sand. Whiz! A blow of sand. Whoosh! A blast of fire from Huo. Wham! A ball of sand. Huo duelled the sandbenders furiously, but he was outnumbered ten to one. He sent beams of lightning directly at the leader, but they were avoided and dodged.
"Huo!" Qi's spirit called.
Huo turned his head and saw Qi. He slightly freaked out but soon recovered.
"Qi! I need your help! There are too many of them!" He called back whilst fighting.
"I'm on my way!" Qi said.
Qi awoke in her normal body and got up quickly. She rushed towards the exit while continuously avoiding debris. She ran out into the hallway and towards the airship's exit. Once she was out, she created herself an air spout so she had higher ground. She was directly above Huo and the sandbenders. She assisted Huo with her airbending. Together, Huo and Qi pushed back the sandbenders to their very limits. Despite the fact there were many sandbenders, they couldn't take Huo and Qi. Qi flung gushers of wind so powerful they literally sent the sandbenders flying miles and miles. Eventually, the sandbenders gave up. They gathered all the sand they could possibly muster and compressed it into a huge boulder. The boulder was colossal, bigger than your house. Qi soon realised they were going to launch it at them. Qi could avoid it easily being an airbender, but Huo... he was on the ground and he wasn't very evasive.
"Huo watch out!" Qi warned.
Too late. The sandbenders had already launched their powerhouse. It was about to land directly on Huo when Qi sent out all her might. She gathered a gust of wind big enough to blow away the boulder, but not before it landed directly on top of Huo. The boulder was sent flying away, but at a great cost: Huo. Qi rushed over to him and found him unconscious.
"Huo!" She cried. "Huo!"
Huo was covered in dust and dirt; his neatly gelled hair was completely messed up and he wasn't looking good. Blood trickled slowly out of his nose and onto the sand, staining it red. He was battered and bruised and had a black eye.
"Huo! Speak to me!" Qi yelled.
Ever so slowly, Huo began to awake. His eyes fluttered open and he groaned heavily.
"Who are you?" Huo asked Qi.
"What do you mean? I'm Qi, I've known you for a year!" Qi was surprised.
"Are you sure? I don't remember... I can't remember anything."
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