Appa soaring
Targets, Part 2
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Avatar: Into the Light





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Agent Slash

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Targets, Part 1

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Light Lessons

One, two, Bai Lung's coming for you.

Three, four, wants to start total war.

Five, six, he kills for kicks.

Seven, eight, filled with hate.

Nine, ten, the Light Clan will rise again.

"So what are we waiting for?" asked Bo. "Let's get out there and stop Bai Lung before he murders more people."

"We can't do anything until we know what his plan of attack is," Sokka replied.

"Sokka's right," Katara said. "We don't even know where to start looking for him."

"Think of a connection," said Rong. "The murders have to be connected in some way."

"How can we establish a connection if we only know one of the people he killed?" asked Ling.

"We can't," Aang said. "There's only one way I can find out what to do. I have to meditate. Maybe the lion turtle can help me find out where he is."

"And you're sure that'll work?" asked Toph.

"He's done it before," said Ai.

"Yeah, it's worth a shot," said Suki.

Aang sat down, closed his eyes, and put his fists together. As he inhaled and exhaled, his mind drifted, slowly falling into the Spirit World. The Avatar opened his eyes and saw the great lion turtle before him. Aang stood and bowed to the beast and spoke. "Great lion turtle, I need your wisdom once more."

"I am aware of this, Avatar," the lion turtle said, it's thunderous voice booming in all directions. "You need help seeking Bai Lung."

"Yes. I don't know where he is. I need to stop him before he murders more people," Aang explained.

"Indeed. His murderous rampage is only beginning," said the lion turtle. "After he murders his remaining targets, he will come after you and your friends next."

"Why is he killing all of these people?" Aang asked.

"He is murdering everyone with knowledge of the prophecy. Anyone who knows about it will meet their end at his hands unless he is stopped," the lion turtle explained.

"Who is he targeting next?" Aang inquired.

"An adversary of yours. Someone whom many of your friends, one in particular, will be very opposed to saving."

Not needing any further explaining, Aang nodded. "I understand. Thank you, great lion turtle." Even quicker than he arrived, Aang was back in the mortal world.

"So, what happened?" asked Katara. "Did you find out who he's going after next?"

"I did," Aang replied.

"So who is it?" asked Sokka.

"It's Hong Shu."

Immediately after hearing the crime lord's name, Suki tensed up, which everybody noticed.

"Suki, I know you hate him, but we have to-" Aang started.

"Don't worry, Aang. I'm not going to argue," said Suki. Everybody, even Ling, was so stunned it was as though they were struck by a shirshu. "You're not?" asked Aang.

"No. Finding Bai Lung is what's most important," Suki said. "If everything goes the way I want it to, both of them will end up dead."

"Well, alright then," said Aang. "Somebody tell Teo we're leaving."

"I'll go tell him," said Ai.

As Ai went into the other room to find Teo, everybody else left out the front door. Everyone except Sokka and Suki who remained in the living room. "Hey, Suki, I just want to make sure you're okay," said Sokka.

"I'm fine, Sokka," the Kyoshi Warrior replied.

"Okay, I was just making sure. It seems like we never talk anymore."

"Well, what do you want to talk about now?" asked Suki.

"Well, I don't really know," Sokka admitted. "But I want you to know that even though we haven't been around each other very much lately, I still really care about you."

Suki smiled and kissed her boyfriend. They held the kiss for a few seconds and then broke it. "I love you, too, Sokka," she said. "Thanks for your concern."

The two of them looked over to see Ai and Teo were standing in the room once again. "Well, don't let us interrupt," Ai said.

"Let's get out there already," said Teo. And with that, the four of them left.

Yakone walked through his room towards his door. According to Hong Shu, Light Clan soldiers would be there any minute and he was supposed to fend them off. Before he reached the door, he heard a voice. "Where are you going now? To serve that Fire Nation cow pig?"

Beads of sweat started running down Yakone's face. "Not again," he said to himself. He turned around and saw an old woman standing before him. "Please, you need to stop talking to me!" Yakone pleaded. "I'm the only one who can see or hear you! When I'm talking to you everyone thinks I'm insane! They think I've been having conversations with myself!"

"Shut up and answer my question!" the old woman demanded.

"I already told you he's not Fire Nation," said Yakone. "He's technically Fire Nation, Earth Kingdom, and Water Tribe. He's diverse!" "If he's got Fire Nation blood in him, then that's all that matters!" said the old woman.

"Hama, please, just leave me alone," Yakone pleaded once more.

"What did you just call me?" Hama asked. "I am your mother, Yakone! And you will address me as such!"

"Please, I beg you! Leave me alone!" Yakone cried, desperately.

"Have you forgotten what I taught you? It's your duty to use your gifts you've been given to eradicate the ones who tried to wipe out our culture!" Hama continued.

"Leave me alone!"

"Perhaps I'll have to pay you a little visit on the Winter Solstice and make sure we understand one another!"

"LEAVE ME ALONE!!!" Yakone roared, thrusting his arms outward. He looked at the spirit of his mother and saw she was shocked. He wondered what he had done when he looked back to see several guards who had entered his room were frozen. "What... what did I do?"

"You've bloodbent them," Hama said in a near whisper. "You're a bloodbender."

Yakone gazed at his victims, dazzled by the power he suddenly possessed. He released them and smiled, clenching his fists. "Now listen here, mother dearest," he said in a completely different tone. "I'm calling the shots now. You take your stinking, rotten, wretched, old hide far into the Spirit World and don't ever make contact with me again or else I'll have to come over there on the Winter Solstice and teach you a lesson. Understand?"

Hama nodded.

"Now get out of my sight," Yakone ordered. Hama complied, disappearing and leaving Yakone and his guards.

"Sir, is everything alright?" asked one of them.

A loud noise was then heard throughout the building and the security alarms went off. "Everything is just fine. Now follow me!"

Hong Shu sat in his safe room facing the wall. There wasn't anything special about the safe room. It was just gray and dull, but Hong Shu still stared intently at the wall as if something was there. He heard the noises outside of his guards being cut down, but he had expected that to happen so it mattered little to him. Then came the bang on the door. Then another one and another after that. Then the door was freed from its hinges. Bai Lung and Chong entered the room and saw Hong Shu slumped in his chair, staring at the wall. "Nice of you to drop by," said Hong Shu. "I trust all of the others are dead."

"Not everyone. We have one more of your cronies to deal with after we kill you," said Bai Lung.

"They aren't my cronies anymore," Hong Shu replied, standing and turning to face them. "How did you find me here anyhow?"

"We used to work together, remember?" Chong said. "I took the liberty of finding out where all of your little hideouts are located and this one was marked as your safety bunker so it looks to me like you knew we were coming for you. How did you figure that out?"

"Through the power of the radio," Hong Shu replied.

"Enough!" Bai Lung ordered. "You have failed to avoid us now die!" He raised his arm, but before he fired a light blast of any kind, he and Chong both found themselves unable to move. It was as if they were marionettes on strings. Hong Shu, puzzled at what was going on, looked past them to see Yakone and Lin Hui standing behind the two Light Clan soldiers.

"Are you bloodbending?" asked Hong Shu.

"I didn't know he had it in him," said Lin Hui.

"Neither did I," Yakone said. "So, boss, what do you want me to do with these guys?"

"I want you to lock them in a room with no light and-" Hong Shu started.

"Light? Light?! You think you know anything about light?!" Bai Lung shouted. By concentrating hard enough, he used his eyes to materialize the light particles in the air into a laser and shot it straight at Yakone. The waterbender stepped out of the way to avoid the blast, losing his grip on the two lightbenders who immediately sprang into action. Bai Lung fired a light blast at Hong Shu who ducked to avoid it. Hong Shu then hurled three knives at his opponent's knees, but he eradicated them.

The crime lord stood back up and locked eyes with the leader of the Light Clan. "Your move."

Bai Lung fired a ray of light directly at Hong Shu, making his move as Hong Shu requested.

Team Avatar was closing in on Hong Shu's base. While some of the team soared on Appa up above, the rest rode on Feng down below. And then there was Teo who traveled by glider. "Are you sure we're going to the right place?" asked Ai.

"Yes," Aang replied. "The lion turtle let me know where to go."

"Let's hope we're not too late," said Katara. Then, without any warning, she leaned over the left side of Appa's saddle and vomited. Aang looked back at his wife with concern. "Katara, what's wrong?"

"Nothing, Aang, I'm fine," Katara said. "I guess it must've been something I ate."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Don't worry," said Katara.

"Alright, if you say so," Aang said, still filled with worry.

Then it appeared in the distance. "There it is!" Rong called out.

"Alright, let Suki know," Aang said.

Rong leaned over the right side and pointed at the structure in the distance. Suki acknowledged with a thumbs up and Rong leaned back in.

In just a few minutes, the team had arrived at Hong Shu's base. They quickly dismounted Appa and Feng while Teo landed his glider and they all ran inside, being careful to avoid any rays of light that came their way. When they got inside, however, all was clear. Without wasting any time, Suki sprinted through the halls, intent on locating her nemesis.

Aang turned to address everyone else. "Alright, everyone, move fast, but be cautious. You never know what might be waiting for you behind a corner." Everyone nodded and the team moved forward. The first few hallways were clear and Team Avatar moved through them with no problem, but as they got closer and closer to the center of the base, more and more soldiers started to appear. It still wasn't that difficult, though, as the heroes greatly outnumbered their opponents. Suddenly, Katara stopped and winced in pain.

"Katara, are you alright?" Aang asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine, Aang," Katara said. "My feet just hurt. That's all. I can keep going."

"Are you sure? You don't seem well," Aang said.

"Aang, please trust me. I'm alright," said Katara.

Aang nodded and the team moved on. Aang rounded the next corner and ran into a woman dressed in white. Everybody else halted and saw the woman on the ground. She was absolutely stunning. Luscious, golden hair flowed off her head like sunrays and looking into her eyes was like being in your warmest dream land.

"She's wearing white!" said Ling, snapping out of it. He bent a chunk of metal out of the ceiling and almost dropped it on her, but the woman put up a light shield in front of her and thrust it back through the ceiling.

"Please, don't attack me!" she said. "Come with me if you want to live!"

"You're a lightbender!" Teo shouted. "That means you're our enemy!"

"No, please, I am a friend," the woman explained.

"No lightbender is any friend of mine!" Teo spat.

"Teo, please," said Aang.

"This whole place is about to blow!" said the woman. "Bai Lung is charging all of the light particles in this building so when you guys get to where he is, you all die!"

"How can you trust her?" asked Teo.

"Yeah, it's probably a trap," Ling concurred.

"We can't take that chance," Sokka said.

"Sokka is right," said Aang. "We need to clear out of here now."

"Hurry!" said the woman.

Everyone started running back the way they came when Sokka stopped. "Suki!" he screamed. He sprinted twice as fast as before towards the center of the building, intent on saving his love.

"Keep going!" the woman in white ordered.

"Sokka will be fine," said Aang. "We have to keep moving!" And they did just that. In about five minutes, the team made it out of the building.

Meanwhile, Suki was just seconds away from Hong Shu's safe room. She rounded the corner and saw only Bai Lung standing in the room. Suki's eyes widened. Realizing she had just run right into a trap, she turned around and ran. She was met by Sokka who took her into the room nearest them and leaped out of the window just as the explosion went off. The couple closed their eyes as they plummeted many stories downward.

The rest of the team, on Appa and Feng's backs, shielded their eyes as well. The flash of light was blinding and was three times brighter than the one the woman had created. Everything vibrated madly for what seemed like forever until it finally simmered down. Everyone opened their eyes to see Sokka and Suki falling and were mere seconds from hitting the ground. Quickly, Aang flew Appa over to where they were falling and caught them before they hit the ground.

"This whole thing was a setup," said Sokka. "Bai Lung lured us out here to kill us and Hong Shu with one stone."

"Do you think he killed Hong Shu?" asked Ling.

"We'll have to wait and see," said Suki. "It seems likely that's what happened, but you never know with Hong Shu. He always manages to come back somehow."

"What about Bai Lung?" asked Teo. "Where did he go?"

"Right here, you crippled maggot!" Bai Lung bellowed from above. The lightbender and his second-in-command stood on a platform of light a little above and it seemed he wasn't finished yet. He raised his fists and prepared to attack until he saw the woman in white. "Yukio?" he asked, stunned.

The woman, named Yukio, glared at Bai Lung and spoke, "That's right, Bai Lung! I have come here to end your mad injustice! Leave the United Republic of Nations and never return or I will inflict a wrath on you so great, you will be begging for mercy!"

Bai Lung, now appearing as frightened as an infant turtle duck, retreated with Chong aboard their light path. As the two retreated, he vented. "I can't believe it. Yukio, the Woman in White herself."

"What now, boss?" asked Chong.

"Now we listen. We don't dare attack Republic City or any place in the United Republic again. Instead we will bide our time and wait for the right moment to destroy them all."

Chong nodded as the two sped away.

Team Avatar looked back at the ruined base, now accented with the sight of vaporized plants, as they went back to Republic City. "I can't believe I let him get away!" Teo said. "I swear, one day I'll kill him!"

"Teo, please stop this," Aang said.

"What do you mean?" asked Teo.

"I mean you're letting your father's death turn you into a completely different person. You have one of the greatest spirits a person can have. Don't let it be corrupted by hatred and vengeance."

Teo took this in and pondered it for a minute. "I won't be corrupted. I'll be right back to my old self after I kill him."

"Do you want to know how I know that isn't true? Look at Ling. He used to be the most tranquil person in the world and since he and Rong split up, he's been corrupted with hatred and despair. Don't let that happen to you, Teo. Please. We need more good in the world like you."

Finally, Teo let out a sigh and grinned. "You're right, Aang," he said. "I'm sorry I overreacted. Thanks for talking me out of something I may never have gone back from."

"No problem, Teo," Aang said. He then turned to Yukio. "So who are you?" asked Aang.

"My name is Yukio," said the Woman in White. "I am one of the oldest lightbenders in history."

"Well, you look pretty young to me," Bo stated, slyly.

"I assure you I am quite old," said Yukio. "I am simply unable to age until my work is done."

"What work?" asked Katara.

"My mission is to wait until a warrior of light tries to fulfill that awful prophecy and then help the Avatar defeat him by teaching him how to master lightbending."

Aang's heart skipped a beat. "You mean you can teach me how to use lightbending?"

"Indeed," said Yukio.

"Wow," Aang said. "This is unbelievable."

"Aang," Katara started. "I have something to tell you."

"What is it, Katara?" Aang asked.

"You know how I've been acting weird all day? The cereal cravings, the vomiting, the foot aches?"

"Yeah?" Aang said.

"Aang, I'm pregnant."

Author's Note

Be sure to look out for the final Slash Trilogy prequel, Avatar: The Assassin's Essence, coming soon.

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For the collective works of the author, go here.

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