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26 November 2010
The Camp is the forty fourth chapter of.
Team Avatar arrives in Haru's village, but realizes it was too late.
"Turn some to the south," Sokka's voice called from the back of the saddle.
"Which way is that?" Aang asks, not being sure which direction is which.
"That one!" Toph says, pointing in a random direction.
"Wrong south Toph," Sokka says while looking back at the map. "Hmm... The other way, Aang."
"How far away is this town anyway?" Zuko asks while looking backwards. "I can't see anything I recognize. I must have never even came to this part of the kingdom."
"It shouldn't be too much-" Sokka begins.
"There it is!" Katara exclaims, pointing down towards a clearing with dozens of tents, nearby a town with quarries all dotting the landscape.
A Dark Plan
That morning, a messenger hawk flies towards the camp of an older Fire Nation officer, along with all of his soldiers. The officer's aide knocks on his office door, interrupting his daily breathing exercises. "Sir, a message from the Admiral."
"Come in," the voice from inside calls. Upon entering the room, the aide bows in respect. "What is the message?" the officer asks.
"You've told all of us, never to open your mail. Uhh... sir," the aide finishes.
"Go ahead and open it."
"Certainly, sir." The aide unravels the scroll and begins to read the opening, when the officer spins around.
"No one opens Captain Zifu's mail!" the officer yells, coupled with a fire blast aimed at the aide. The aides body dropped the letter as it fell to the ground. "No one can find good help anymore..." he mutters to himself as he walks over and picks up the letter. "So, Jiang Rha wants me to go and invade that village now. I'm certain that could be arranged."
Appa touches down in the center of the camp. Every head in the camp turns towards the large bison as it touches down.
"It's the Avatar!" the group hears a voice call. Other comments are lost in the commotion of the new arrival.
Aang waves awkwardly, as does the rest of the Team. Eventually, the largest tent in the area opens, and a familiar face walks forward.
"Welcome, friends!" the large Earthbender says as he walks out. The face of Tyro hadn't aged a bit since the end of the War almost a year ago.
"Tyro!" Katara exclaims in reply. She quickly hops off and gives Tyro a hug.
"Welcome back Katara. I'm sorry to say we haven't defended the freedom you gave us very well."
"Wait, what happened?" Aang asks, getting off of Appa and entering the conversation.
"I'll tell you. Please, come into my..." Tyro pauses as he tries to think of the right word. "Humble home." He motions towards his tent, and the group gets off Appa and follows him in.
The Rebel Son
Zifu walks around the town his troops just conquered. He sees a fire blast erupt over the horizon. No mutiny among my troops! he quietly thought to himself. He broke out into a sprint over the hill to see what was happening in his new town. What he sees was unexpected: an Earth Kingdom teenager is dueling two Phoenix Warriors. The Earthbender was doing very well, blocking all of the attacks dealt at him while attacking some himself. Then, the boy gained the upper hand. As one of the Phoenix Warriors charged a fire blast, the boy stomped and swiped his hand sideways. The pillar of earth came up and hit the Phoenix Warrior in his side, knocking him far away from the battle and rendering him useless in battle.
The remaining warrior ducked to avoid a rock aimed for his head, and made a sweeping motion with his leg. The arc of fire almost hit him, but the boy managed to jump over the blaze. He plants his hand on the ground, covers it with a rocklike armor, and uses it to punch the Phoenix Warrior away. The Earthbender stomps and his legs are covered in the same armor. The rocks continue their rise up his body, and eventually, he is covered in rock armor.
The Phoenix Warrior expects Haru to be slower with the armor, so he begins a charged attack, aimed at breaking the armor and its inhabitant in one blow. Haru's speed was unchanged, and the gloves of the armor are quickly thrust into the Phoenix Warrior's chest. The Phoenix Warrior is knocked into a house, and falls to the ground.
Zifu knows that this is the time to attack. He creates a dense fire ball, and aims it for the boy's chest. He happened to move, and the blast missed its target. Zifu's anger grows, and he sprints off into attacking the teen.
"Who are you people?" the bender covered in rocks asked.
"I could ask you the same. You're all inhabiting the world that should be ruled by the Fire Nation. And so, what would your name be, since mine won't be very important in a few minutes..." Zifu says in a dark and taunting voice.
"My name is Haru, son of Tyro. I am an Earthbender, and the Fire Nation will not keep my village enslaved!" Haru exclaims.
"We don't want to. In fact, my orders are to rid this village of all foreign inhibitors. So I am." Zifu replies, forming a fire whip. He begins slashing at Haru, who blocks the blows with his armored arms. He performs the same move that defeated the first Warrior, but Zifu dodges. He uses the column as a cover, charging an attack and firing from behind the makeshift shield.
Haru underestimates this attack, and when it hits the legs of his armor, the armor begins to fall off. Zifu jumps from behind the pillar and begins a fiery assault. He sends jet after jet of fire at Haru, who has little time to counterattack. Parts of his rock armor fall of quicker than he can replace them, and eventually, the armor crumbles entirely. Throughout the whole barrage, Haru is backing up, trying to come up with a way to stop the attack, but was unsuccessful. Zifu takes a second to inhale again, and begins launching more fire blasts.
Haru cannot block all of the fire blasts Zifu launches, and slowly is backed towards a building. Zifu's attacks do not relent, and Haru raises an earth wall as his last defense. Zifu launches a jet of fire into the ground, and the blast catches the nearby ground on fire. He pulls the fire up and condenses it into a ball, and sends the blast directly at Haru's wall. The wall didn't stand a chance; Zifu's fire ball shattered the wall, forcefully sending Haru into the wall of the house behind him. Haru's body slumps to its knees, and onto its back.
Zifu runs over, creates an arc of fire with his foot, and begins swinging it down towards the center of Haru's chest. The fire around his foot vanishes, and Zifu's foot lands calmly on Haru's chest. Jiang told me not to kill them... yet.... "Men! Take him to the rest of the Earth savages!" Two nearby Phoenix Warriors pick up Haru and carry him off to a prison, while Zifu looks at the remainder of them. "What are you doing? Back to work! I want this village ready for burning by sunrise!"
The Tale of the Recapture
"It was a normal day... But it hasn't turned out well," Tyro begins. "I sent Haru to the mines to get us more coal. I told him that I would meet him there, but I never got to. Little under half an hour later, a battalion of Firebenders invaded. We weren't expecting them to be aggressive, and we were caught off guard. We're waiting for the right moment to go back."
"The Phoenix Warriors beat us here," Zuko begins. "We've been sending the Fire Nation military after them, but they haven't been very effective."
"I would know. Anyway, we don't know when we can go back to take our village back, but we know that we won't wait much longer."
"I won't leave until this village is free," Aang says.
"When do you plan to take back your village?" Katara asks.
"Tomorrow morning. We won't stand for this anymore."
"We'll help. This village will be freed," Aang decides.
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