City Hall
The Assault, Part 1: The Warrior Cometh
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Avatar: Into the Light





Written by

Agent Slash

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The Assault, Part 2: Enter Bai Lung

Hong Shu sat in a small room. He was facing a desk with two of his colleagues sitting beside him. To his left was Lin Hui and to his right was Yakone. "How long does it take those damn lightbenders anyway?!" Yakone asked aloud.

"Patience, Yakone," said Hong Shu. "Remember we only use force to deal with our clients if they give us a reason."

"I know that," said Yakone. "I'm just tired of waiting in this boring, gray room." Silence once again filled the air for a few moments more before Yakone spoke again. "Yes, but only 50%." Hong Shu and Lin Hui looked over at him oddly.

"What was that you just said?" Lin Hui asked.

"He's diverse," Yakone said. "And you shouldn't judge him just because he's-" the waterbender stopped halfway through his sentence. "Don't yell at me! We've had this discussion before!"

Hong Shu and Lin Hui were baffled as to what Yakone was talking about or who he was talking to. "I'm sorry," he said. "No, really, I mean it. I shouldn't have said that. Please don't-"

"Yakone!" Hong Shu said. Yakone turned his head to see his colleagues. "Is everything alright?"

"Yes, everything is just fine," Yakone said, shakily.

"Who were you talking to?" Lin Hui asked, suspiciously.

A bead of sweat ran down Yakone's face. He looked as if he was afraid to answer the question. After a few moments he answered. "Nobody."

Hong Shu and Lin Hui looked at their companion quizzically.

"Really, it's nothing," Yakone assured them.

Just then the door opened and a man in white robes and a black beard walked in and sat down at the desk. "Good day, everyone," he spoke.

"It's actually not that good of a day, Lieutenant Chong," Hong Shu replied. "Our factory has been blown up, the Avatar and his friends are on our tail, and we have a limited amount of resources to combat them now since they just keep escaping all of my death traps!" he said, exasperatedly.

"Yes, indeed," said Chong. "And that is why we have decided that you are no longer of use to us."

"What was that?" Hong Shu asked, surprised.

"The Light Clan has decided that there is ultimately no point in us doing business anymore. It's over," said Chong.

Hong Shu paused before speaking. "Very well," he said. "Just give us our payment and we'll be out of your hair."

"Of course," Chong replied. He opened a drawer in his desk, took out several wads of yuan bills, and handed them to Hong Shu. "There you go. All 3 million yuans," said Chong.

Hong Shu and his companions looked oddly at Chong. "The deal was 6 million," Hong Shu said.

"Yeah, what's the big idea?" Yakone asked.

"You only delivered half of what we ordered so you only get half of the payment."

Hong Shu took a deep breath. "I don't think you understand. I told you when we first started this that if I didn't get all of my money I would make you regret it."

Chong smiled. "And that is why I took the necessary precaution of placing two dozen lightbenders out in the hall in case you decided to get feisty with us."

Everyone's eyes widened on the opposite side of Chong. Nobody made any sudden movements. "Alright, fine," Hong Shu conceded. "We'll go." He stood up and Yakone and Lin Hui did the same. They slowly walked over to the door, opened it, and stepped outside. The hall was lined with lightbenders, each of them ready to attack if necessary.

Lin Hui observed them as she walked. "Geez, you guys really need to lighten up," she smirked.

"Just keep walking, you Water Tribe savages," said one of the lightbenders.

Hong Shu stopped upon hearing this. "Actually, I'm not Water Tribe. Although the person I'm inside of was."

"That's very interesting. Now keep moving," said another lightbender.

"I'm sorry; I know it's not that big a deal to you, but I simply hate being referred to as a member of any specific nation," said Hong Shu.

"Yes and what are you going to do about it?" asked yet another lightbender.

Hong Shu pulled out a knife from under his trench coat and hurled it at one of the lightbenders. The others started firing light blasts at them, but Yakone and Lin Hui bent the water in their pouches to form ice shields. They then converted them into waves and bent them at their attackers. Meanwhile, Hong Shu was hurling knives at a remarkable speed. Once one blade was released, the next one zipped out immediately after it.

Chong burst from his office to see nearly all of his soldiers dead. The last two were taken out by Lin Hui. She water whipped them across the face and they dropped to the ground. "You reckless, barbaric-" Chong started. Lin Hui walked over to the second-in-command and shoved him up against the wall. Chong noticed the rose in her hair and took note of it. "That's a beautiful flower you have there in your hair," he said.

"I know," replied Lin Hui.

"The rose is my favorite flower of all," Chong stated.

"Well, that's one thing we have in common," said Lin Hui.

Chong was taking in the beauty of his attacker. Her hair was like a gorgeous, black wave of perfection and her lips were a beautiful shade of red and her eyes, Chong thought, were mystifying. "And you my dear are quite a beautiful rose yourself."

Lin Hui brought her face closer to his. "Don't think flattery will get you out of this, honey. This rose has thorns." She used her one free hand to form a rose out of water and then froze it. She brought it up to Chong's arm and stabbed him with it. Chong let out a scream of pain as he held his arm. "Now let's get out of here," she said.

"Not yet," said Hong Shu. He walked over to Chong. "Where is the rest of the cash?" he asked.

"I didn't bring it with me?" Chong replied.

"Are you sure?" said Hong Shu.

"Yes, I swear!"

"Then don't consider this over, Chongie." And with that, Hong Shu pressed his foot against Chong's arm, causing him to cry out again. The three companions walked away from the man.

"What nationality are you?" asked Lin Hui.

"Well, my mother was Earth Kingdom and my father was Fire Nation. I guess you can say I'm diverse." The group reached the exit and walked out.

Bo was sitting in his house listening to the radio. "Wow! These players' rage is amazing! I don't think I've seen intensity quite like this since Phoenix King Banhen was dethroned! Ooh, and Aku is beaten out of the ring by Kilak! The Camelephants win with a knockout! I tell you folks, this is quite an impressive turn out today. To think that this sport which was only invented seven months ago has become so popular is unbelievable. This is Pinglu Shinobi signing off."

"Wow, how cool would it be to be in one of those matches?" asked Bo. He heard a knock on his door and turned to see who was there. "The door's open," he said.

The door opened and Ai was on the other side. "Hey, Bo. Just came by to see how you were doing after last night."

"I'm doing well," said Bo. "Do you want to come in and listen to the pro-bending match on the radio?"

"Okay, sure!" said Ai. She sat down and the two were waiting for the matches to come back on.

"I hate these stupid ads," said Bo.

"I know me too. Everybody has something they want to advertise," said Ai.

The two sat in silence, still waiting. The silence was awkward, somewhat at this point. Realizing this, Ai decided to speak about something else that had been on her mind. "Hey, Bo, do you remember that moment on Ember Island on that crazy night when everyone was arguing when we were down on the beach?"

"Oh, yeah," Bo said, slowly.

"Did that mean anything?" Ai inquired.

"W-what do you mean?" asked Bo.

"Did it mean anything, like, romantically or anything?" asked Ai.

"Oh!" Bo said. "Oh, um, I, uh," Bo stuttered. "I don't know, did it – did it mean anything to you?"

"Well, sort of," said Ai.

"Oh, really?" Bo asked.

"Is that weird?" Ai asked.

"No, no, because I've felt the same way ever since it happened."

Ai and Bo were silent. Neither of them knew what to say. "So, what does this mean?" asked Ai.

"I don't know," said Bo. "Do you think we're ready for a romantic relationship?"

"How weird would that be?" asked Ai. "The two of us? I don't know if we are ready for that yet."

"Yeah, you're right," Bo agreed. "Besides we're better off as friends."

"Yeah, and with all of this chaos with the Light Clan we can't afford to be distracted, right?" said Ai.

"Right, yeah."

"Okay then. So we're just friends."

"Right, just friends."

There was another knock at the door.

"Come in," Bo called out.

The door opened and Aang, Katara, and Suki were standing there. "Oh, good, Ai's here," said Aang. "I guess that means we can go."

"Go where?" asked Bo.

"Mayor Qian is holding another press conference. We think we should all be there for this one. A lot has happened lately and we need to hear what he says," said Suki.

"Alright, I guess we should get going then," said Ai. She stood up and walked over to the door. Bo slowly followed behind her.

"So what were you guys doing?" asked Katara.

"Oh, nothing. Just hanging out... as friends," said Bo.

"Okay, sleaze ball," said Toph. "I'm sick of you not saying anything. I'm going to give you one more chance to tell me what I know and that's it."

The lightbender did not speak at first. Then he moved his head up and looked at Toph. "He is coming soon," he said. "Soon you will all burn."

Toph couldn't help but smile. "So, you finally feel like talking?"

"I don't see what difference it makes now. It is too late to stop him now. He will be here within the hour."

Sokka's eyes widened from the other side of the glass and Toph became more alert as well. "So he is coming soon Wait, who is he?"

"Bai Lung, our leader. There is nothing you can do to stop him. Oh, I have counted down every hour since I have been in here – waiting for the time to come."

Toph rushed out of the room and joined up with Sokka. "Come on! We have to warn everyone!" She and Sokka bolted out of the room.

Mayor Qian stood at the top of the steps leading up to City Hall. To his right was Zhu. Beneath him were many reporters with cameras as well as Aang, Katara, Suki, Bo, and Ai. "I will repeat myself once more. I had no knowledge of these gargoyle attacks until this morning and I can assure you that I had nothing to do with the kidnapping of Avatar Aang's friends."

"But you've hated the Avatar for years! It's the perfect motive!" shouted a reporter.

"Listen to me, please; I assure you I had nothing to do with it. While you are correct in your assessment that I despise Avatar Aang, I did not kidnap his friends. And besides, do you think I have some sort of Spirit World portal in my office? For crying out loud, your assumption is ridiculous! Next question."

"What do you guys think?" asked Katara.

"It's hard to tell," said Aang. "He's a pretty good liar. I wish Toph was here."

"He's telling the truth," said a voice from behind them. Everyone turned around to see Ling standing behind them.

"Where did you come from?" asked Bo.

"I've been looking for you guys for almost 20 minutes," said Ling.

"How do you know he's telling the truth?" asked Suki.

"Trust me, I know when someone's lying or not. I can hear it in their voice."

"Well, then-" Aang started.

"Stop the press conference!" shouted a distant voice. Everyone looked to the back of the crowd to see Sokka and Toph running up to everyone. "Everyone needs to get out of here right now!" Toph shouted.

"And why is that, chief?" Qian asked over the microphone.

"The leader of the Light Clan will be here very soon!" Sokka explained.

"And how do you know this?" asked Qian.

"One of them told us," Toph explained. "We capt-"

"So you have been meeting with the lightbenders, have you? You see, everyone? This is exactly what I have been saying! The Avatar and his team have been conspiring with the Light Clan all along and now they are trying to lead us into some kind of trap!"

Aang Airbent himself into the air and up to Qian's podium. "Please, everyone, don't listen to Qian! I'm sure my friends' fear is very real. If what they say is true then we need to evacuate the area now and get everyone to safety!"

"Qian, maybe we should listen to him," Zhu said.

"Silence, Zhu!" Qian ordered. "If you can give me one good shred of proof that the leader of the Light Clan is coming to attack the city, then I will believe you!"

Suddenly, a blast of light destroyed Qian's podium. Aang bent an air dome around himself, Qian, and Zhu in order to protect them. Everyone looked up to the top of City Hall to see a man with a large, black beard and long, black hair standing atop it. "I am the only shred of proof you need, Mr. Mayor," said Bai Lung.

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