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April 26, 2010
Tainted Sanctuary is the third chapter of Honor Thy Father.
Dangerous surprises await The Avatar Family in the Northern Air Temple.
The Warmest Welcome
"Be careful, don't dO IT ON APPAAAA.....!!!!"
It was too late. Appa roared as he now wore an orange-colored stripe along his tail. Katara had had mangoes for breakfast.
"I'm sorry Aang, I just can't hold it in"
Baby seemed to have been waiting to go pubilc to go all out: full-blown acid reflux, toss-n-turn nights, and her personal favorite – morning sickness.
"Don't worry honey – I'll have Tengu wash him at the fountain."
"Sorry Appa..." she apologized for a last time before laying down on her back on the saddle.
Aang did his last circle around the Northern Air Temple before heading for the courtyard. He noticed things were a strange sort of quiet. No children gliding around. No smoke coming out of the stacks. Nothing was going on. Appa's roar carried well at those heights. Someone must have surely heard – yet the gong was not played. He felt uneasy. He chose, however, to play it close to the vest, as Katara had had enough stress already from crossing half the world pregnant to get home. He landed Appa on the courtyard and began rubbing his head - "Good boy, buddy! Great job!"
Tengu came out immediately to meet him: "Master Aang, welcome home! Master Katara – you look as ravishing as ever."
Aang waved back at Tengu and smiled a forced smile as he told Katara between his teeth "Stay on Appa."
"What? Aang, what are you do.."
In a split second, Aang jumped up from Appa, and threw the reins at his wife, who caught them midair. "Appa! YIP-YIP!"
Appa took off just in time to dodge a fireball. He roared as he sped out of its way.
Meanwhile, seemingly out of nowhere, Master Lin jumped on her glider and caught up with Appa. She landed on the saddle, closed the glider, and began deflecting fireballs left and right. Meanwhile, Katara was taking Appa back around into the courtyard so she could launch an attack, but Lin noticed and took the reins "Excuse me, Milady, but I couldn't help but noticing the Master sent you away." Amidst Katara's very vocal protest, she managed to drive Appa to a ledge in a secluded mountaintop, where they could observe the action safely from afar.
Rise and Oppose
Tengu pulled out his sansetsukon from its hiding place beneath his robe and began fighting three swordsmen that jumped out into the courtyard. He engaged the first two doing wide swings, eventually disarming and knocking out one of them. The third one he blew away with the flick of a wrist – he fell over the courtyard wall and fell into the abyss... Having done away with the first two swordsmen, he engaged the remaining one at close range. He swung his weapon underneath his legs and jumped – the assassin had his legs knocked out beneath him and fell to the floor. Tengu placed his foot on his chest and removed his mask – a Black Lotus tattoo was etched on his forehead. He immediately recognized it: it was the mark of the Black Blades, the famous elite team from the northern mountainous region of the Earth Kingdom. The assassin went for a leg hold, but Tengu knocked him out cold with his staff.
Masters Yao and Chang were keeping busy with five other swordsmen, and Tengu quickly stepped in to help. Three more were sent flying into the abyss – the remaining two were neutralized. Some of the older teenage benders were intermittently rushing in and out of the courtyard, dodging the attacks while dragging out the unconscious assassins and putting them in bondage. Master Kuan-Yin was in charge of this part of the operation. She made sure no one was able to escape, but also that they would not be terminated unnecessarily.
Aang was left to deal with the firebender. A small, slender kid, about his age and height, was proving to be hell on two legs. Aang was usually able to fight his way around an opponent, being quicker and more agile. However, this was something like Azula part two: too fast, too powerful, and equally relentless. Aang was careful not to do Earthbending on the temple, since he respected the structure (or rather what was left of it) too much. Therefore he limited himself to the other three elements. He bended water from the fountain into a water whip – Gao steamed it mid-air. Aang sent an air blast to Gao's feet – he jumped and shot a fireball that sent Aang to the ground. Gao landed and immediately went for the spinning flame kick. Aang did a fire block at the very last split-second.
It was not that Gao was necessarily better. But the split personalities were getting on Aang's nerves and distracting him from the actual fight:
"Go for the jugular, idiot – THE JUGULAR!
What are you talking about, I don't even have a dagger on me!
You would if you hadn't forgotten to pack it at the last minute you MORON!
I DON'T NEED A DAGGER YOU TWIT!!"
The self-exchange went on an on as the fight progressed, further confusing and distracting Aang. However, none of the other airbenders had been able to pitch in. If it wasn't Gao pushing them away with fireballs, it was Aang blowing them away. Gao didn't want interruptions handling the Avatar and Aang did not want anyone else to get hurt. The masters eventually got the message and left the fighting to Aang.
Then Gao's multiple personalities made their big mistake:
"Hey Gao – Do you think we can keep the Water Girl as a prize if we kill this jerk?
I sure hope so – she DOES look pretty yummy. It's a shame Lian is the only one who gets to date her.
I'm sure I could show her a better time...
You naughty boy you!!!"
The Tiniest Crack
Aang was about to give in to his anger, but then, he noticed half the courtyard was scorched to bits. It's obvious: lots of power, but no control.
"You know – she does have morning breath...and that temper – boy!!"
Gao was fascinated "Really??"
He tried grabbing Aang, but Aang jumped high in the air.
"Yeah..." He replied while perched atop the fountain. "However , that's not your real problem."
Gao stood and listened.
That's right sucker, go for the bait. "You see - she's kind of a perfectionist."
"So?" Gao asked, a hungry twinkle going off in his crazy eyes.
"Well – no offense – but you're kind of a slob, you know? Bad breath, messy hair, bad taste in clothes, and a real sloppy bender."
"You see – even he notices you're a disgrace...
SHUT UP, BUTCHER!!!
Why should I shut up? You're a pathetic excuse for a killer and he's called your bit!!
SHUT THE HELL UP!!!"
Gao screamed in rage as he put everything he had into a ferocious fire blast. Aang jumped over the blast, blasted a jet of air into the fire, dissolving it and went into a somersault. He landed behind Gao and with one strong swing of his staff, knocked his legs from under him. Gao fell face forward on the ground. Aang quickly bent hand, feet and neck restraints out of the courtyard stone.
Gao laughed hysterically as he blurted "He's good, he's good... HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!– He fights with his brain, you know...HAHAHAHA!!!! A master, a true master...WOOHOOO!!! – I told you, he was dangerous, HAHAHAHA!!!!!...a dangerous guy – he's tough, he's a tough one – HOOOHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!......."
Aang bended the entire slate to an upward position so he could address Gao.
"I'm going to let you go this once with a warning: stay away from my home, my people, and my family. If I ever see you near them again, you will be sorry..."
Gao's sweaty face was pressed against the stone slate. He began to say something when all of a sudden, Aang swung his staff and the slate crashed back into place, giving Gao a good thrash in the process. He then removed the restraints and swung his staff again, sending him flying over the courtyard wall. With a second motion of his staff, he thrust him over the river. Gao splashed a good deal, since he fell from quite high. As soon as he managed to get to the shore, he ran like the crazy individual he was – it was the first time an opponent had managed to scare him in years.
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Honor Thy Father Chapters|
| Hope Against Hope - A Change of Pace - Tainted Sanctuary - A New Home - Recovered - Empowered - When In Doubt - The Hunt - Full Moon - Reckonings - Sora
The Love of the Daughter - The Wasted Warrior, Part 1: Cycles- The Wasted Warrior, Part 2: Regrets- Daddy - The Charade, Part 1: The Shadow - The Charade Part 2: The Beast - The Charade, Part 3: The Fool - The Breakthrough - Redemption, Part 1: Dejection - Redemption, Part 2: Dominion