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|The Legend of Atka: Chapter 10 - The Phoenix Rises - Part Two|
Book 1: The Journey
The ground shook as Atka and Kann moved the slab of rock up the mountain, they had to get up to the city as quickly as possible. They soon reached the lip of the volcano and Piazzo told them to stop.
"Right, we need to make sure we're ready before we go down there," he said.
Kann peered over the edge, "Doesn't look like anything's happened yet" he called back to the group.
Piazzo nodded, "That's what I thought. I think they wanted us out of the way so we couldn't interfere in anything happening in the city.
Akeme took off the silk from here arms and threw her heeled shoes to the ground. "I can't fight in this," she said as she looked at her dress. "Atka, can you use waterbending to cut it down a bit?"
"Um, but its such a nice dress! Why would you want to ruin it?" Atka replied
Akeme groaned, "Fine, I'll do it!" she ripped the dress off just above her knees to allow her self greater movement.
Masaru took off his shirt and just left the light-fitting waistcoat on his chest. "There! Much better!" he declared as he shot a couple of flames to prove the point.
Kann tore off the long fancy coat, revealing the same yellow sleeveless shirt and brown shorts he'd been wearing since he'd left the barracks.
Atka looked confused, "Have you been wearing that for the last 4 weeks?"
Kann inspected himself, "Pretty much!" he grinned.
Atka shook his head and removed the fur lined shawl and the long robe. He was now wearing a dark blue shirt and light blue trousers. Like Akeme he decided to cut the trousers to give himself better movement.
Piazzo stood up; he had removed the armoured shoulders and taken off the long robe. "Are we ready?" everyone else nodded, "Then let's go."
Atka and Kann used earthbending to move the rock down the side of the volcano and into the city. Once they got to the bottom they realised that everyone walking around was oblivious to what had gone one down below on the Plaza.
Atka looked around him, "They have no idea..." he said, "We should tell them!"
But Piazzo shook his head, "No, that may cause these people to attack the palace sooner than we want, we should get over there as soon as possible."
The group ran down the street into the palace square, this place was full of stalls like the Plaza although there weren't as many. They went up to the gates of the palace, which was heavily guarded.
Piazzo spoke to one of the guards, "We have to get into the palace," he said.
The guard snapped into attention, "Prince Piazzo, of course. Are these two with you?" he pointed at Atka and Kann.
"They're the guests of honour" Piazzo replied, "Now let us through."
The guard saluted and opened the gates; the group went through and quickly went into the great hall of the palace.
The hall was filled with a hundred or so nobles and high-ranking military officials from around the Fire Nation.
There were long tables along the left hand side of the hall and a band was set up along the other side. At the front of the hall a long and elaborate was set up where Zuko and the rest of the royal family were sat. There were five empty seats at the table, presumably for Atka and the rest of the group.
The group bee lined to the table and quickly spoke to Zuko, "Sir, you are in danger you have to get out of here" Atka said.
Mizan leaned over, "Danger?" he asked
Atka turned to him, "There has been an attack on the Royal Plaza!" he said with exasperation.
Roku joined in, "Please Atka, this is very serious if you are telling the truth. Slow down," he said calmly.
Mizan retorted, "Don't encourage him brother, it's fairly clear that the Avatar has been enjoying too much Fire Brandy down at the festival. Its preposterous to say that there's been an attack."
Then Zuko spoke, "Please you two, tell me what has happened Atka."
Atka opened his mouth, "There was an explos..."
The doors of the great hall slammed open with a burst of flame. A dozen robed firebenders entered the room.
"The time is now!" one of them cried
From amongst the crowd in the hall another twenty robed figures revealed themselves, many throwing off their formal robes to show them wearing the heavy brown ones.
A cry rang out from the robed people, "The Phoenix Rises!" they threw smoke bombs on the ground which left everyone around spluttering and coughing on the ground, including Atka and his friends.
Atka's eyes were watering as he stumbled around trying to find someone he recognised. There was a clinking from behind him as a chain wrapped itself around his ankles, another attached to his wrists, and pulled him towards the wall.
The smoke eventually cleared, everyone around was either chained up or kept in place by groups of the robed benders.
Zuko was still by the table, only he was being held by two of the robed figures, Mizan and Roku were also being held next to him "Who are you people?" he shouted.
One of them stepped forward in front of him, "We are the Phoenix Cult. We aim to bring the Fire Nation into a new, glorious age, the age of the Phoenix Empire! We will follow Fire Lord Sozin's glorious vision for our world; we will begin the world anew. It shall be reborn from the ashes. A paradise!"
"You're mad!" Zuko shouted
The cultist spoke with more anger, "You have shamed our nation! You have destroyed our nation! The Colonies belong to us! The Earth Kingdom belongs to us!" he moved his hands in an arc, creating bright blue electricity. "Good bye, Fire Lord. You will be remembered as a traitor!" the cultists holding Zuko pushed him forward as the lighting shot towards him.
Time seemed to slow down. Roku broke free of his captors, as did Mizan. Piazzo struggled to break free of his chains. Mizan rushed towards Roku and tackled him to the floor. The lightning was within inches of hitting the elderly Fire Lord who had very little time to respond but still managed to get into some sort of defensive stance, despite being off balance. A bright blue flash faded and Zuko's left shoulder was smouldering, he was unconscious on the floor.
Roku screamed and pushed his brother off him. He shot fire at Zuko's assailant who blocked them with his own bending. Piazzo broke free of the chains and joined his father in attacking the cultist.
Atka struggled to free himself from the chains; the cultists were focussing their attention on Roku and Piazzo. Atka desperately wanted to help but he was still helpless to remove the chains.
Out of nowhere Kann ran across to him, he had no chains on him. "Stay still..." he said as he got to work on Atka.
"Kann? How did you get out of these things?" Atka asked.
"I tugged really hard" Kann replied
Atka spoke with indignation; "I've been doing that for ages now!"
There was a snap as the chains fell of Atka, Kann stood up with a proud grin on his face, "There you go!"
Atka didn't stop to thank him, shooting flame at the cultists; he rushed to join the fray. There were great urns of water around the room so Atka gathered the water from them and controlled it into a ring around him. He shot ice shards at the attackers, hitting some but others managed to block it.
Kann had obviously freed more of the group as Iroh, Akeme and Masaru ran in. Iroh went straight to his father and picked him up, checking his pulse, Akeme followed him. Mizan jumped up and fired at Akeme, who just managed to respond to it by putting her arms up to block it. However, Mizan continued his attack on his niece. Akeme was doing a good enough job of blocking the shots but Mizan was a better firebender and he managed to knock Akeme to the ground. Iroh jumped up to aid her, he immediately went onto the front foot and used a number of quick strikes to put Mizan off balance.
"Why are you doing this Mizan?" Iroh demanded
Mizan smiled evilly, "Because people like you have ruined our nation!" he slid his foot along the ground to produce fire that was aimed at Iroh's feet. Iroh fell to the ground and Mizan jumped down to attack Roku.
Atka had managed to take out two of the cultists but more seemed to appear, Kann and Masaru were now fighting alongside Atka with their own bending. Amongst them they managed to take down a great number of the cultists, many more fled the scene.
Roku and Piazzo stood opposite Mizan and the main cultist, they both hand their hands raised and were ready to attack each other.
"How could you Mizan?" Roku begged
Mizan scowled, "I'm afraid its time for a change of regime, our dear father has turned our once glorious nation into the laughing stock of the world! The situation developing in the Colonies has forced my hand, a true leader would fight back and protect our lands!" he shouted Atka, Kann and Masaru had taken down most of the other cultists so they stood behind Mizan in a fighting stance. Akeme and Iroh stood to the side, trapping Mizan and the cultist in the middle.
"Its over Mizan! Give yourself up!" Roku shouted
Mizan chuckled, "I don't think so..."
There were a number of explosions from above as the ceiling collapsed, sticks of explosive were being dropped from an airship flying above the palace.
One explosive was falling directly onto Atka before flicked it away with a water whip. Roku and Piazzo fired at Mizan but he managed to control the fire into a ball around him and shoot it back.
Kann pushed his hands forward at the wall and made a hole to the outside, "Lets get out of here" he shouted. Iroh picked Zuko up with Masaru's help and they ran out of the hole with Akeme and Mira in tow. Atka didn't move, "Come on Atka!" Kann shouted.
"No," Atka said. "I'm helping, get down to the harbour and get out of here."
Kann sighed, he realised Atka wasn't going to change his mind, and ran out to join the others.
The sky was red because of the flames that were engulfing the city. There was a battle going on between guards and robed cultists.
"We have to get the Fire Lord out of here as soon as possible" Iroh said, "We can still save him."
Kann nodded, "Hold on tight then..." He raised a platform from the ground and moved it forwards through the crowds of people.
Akeme looked back towards the palace. "Wait, what about the others?" she asked.
"We can't wait around for them, we have to get down to the harbour. Hopefully those soldiers will still be down there". Kann said as the platform went over the lip of the volcano and down the other side.
The group looked down in despair at the harbour in the distance. A blockade of ships had been formed in the entrance to the harbour, five large airships flew overhead them.
Masaru spoke with resignation, "We can't get out..."
Back inside the palace the battle was still raging. Mizan was easily dealing with Roku and Piazzo whilst Atka was caught in a close fight with the cultist. Atka sent a water jet at him and knocked him down, as he fell his hood slipped. Underneath there was a long head of hair and a face that Atka recognised.
"Takato?!?" Atka said with shock
Takato smirked, "Surprised?" he jumped up and shot a large flame at Atka who used the water he had as a shield. Atka responded by shooting more ice at Takato, who ran into the middle where his father was still fighting Roku and Piazzo.
Mizan shouted triumphantly, "Give up! You have been beaten! I am in control of the Fire Nation now!"
In the sky above the airship was now dropping ropes into the palace, more robed cultists dropped in. Atka, Piazzo and Roku were now surrounded, no amount of bending was going to get them out of the palace.
Mizan chuckled, "I'm afraid there isn't going to be any place in my new Fire Nation for you two," he said, referring to Roku and Piazzo.
"Mizan, stop this now!" Roku shouted.
The cultists moved in closer, making it even more difficult to escape. Piazzo let his arms drop in resignation and Roku did the same. Only Atka kept his arms up, the water now covered them. He wasn't going to give up so easily.
A group of soldiers ran to where Kann and the others had stopped, near the bottom of the volcano.
"Lady Mira, it's not safe for you to be here!" one of them safe.
"Nowhere is safe!" Kann said with indignation. "We have to get out of here somehow!"
The soldier held his arm out towards the harbour, "We're trapped here, we can try fighting but we have very few ships available to us."
Iroh then spoke, "We have to try..." he said quietly.
The soldier nodded, "Very well" he turned to the other soldiers, "Ready our artillery, and get the royal family over to the ships as quickly as you can. We're only going to have one shot at this..."
Iroh checked Zuko, "We have to make this work, for his sake..." He and Masaru held him between them and they made their way down the Plaza.
The Plaza was full of people sat down waiting to escape, citizens being driven away from their homes. It was a mix of high-class nobles from the volcano and lower class workers from the harbour city, they all looked dejected.
The group soon reached the harbour and saw three warships docked there, they were Cruisers, much smaller than the Empire Class ships that formed the blockade.
Akeme looked up at them, "How many people can these things hold?" she asked
The soldier looked at her, "We can house around 100 troops on one of these, although they aren't really designed for invasion forces."
Akeme scowled at the soldier, "I don't care about invasion forces!" she swung her arm around and indicated the gathered citizens, "What about them? You can't just leave them here!" she shouted.
"We don't have much choice, our priority is to get you and your family to safety. We are not going to risk losing citizens by packing them into a battleship!" the soldier replied. "Now please get on board."
Akeme's face fell and she felt tears forming, Mira hugged her daughter. "Don't worry, everyone is going to be fine..." She said softly.
"We have to hurry..." said a desperate Iroh, "I'm sure how long Zuko can hold on for."
The soldier nodded and waved them up a gangplank and onto the ship. Zuko was taken downstairs and placed on a bed, the ships doctor quickly saw to him.
Above, on the deck, Kann looked over the bay. With the huge ships blocking the way out and the great airships defending the skies, it would take a miracle to get them out alive...
Mizan and Atka were standing off inside the palace and both were ready to attack. Roku and Piazzo had all but given up, their faces showed signs of defeat.
"I don't particularly want to kill you Atka, that would make things rather complicated, but if you leave me with no other option then I will have to..." Mizan said.
Atka roared at Mizan, "I'm the Avatar, I have powers that you cannot match Mizan!"
Mizan laughed, "You have no idea how to control them though. And besides, I have ways of dealing with that little Avatar State of yours..."
Roku joined in, "Impossible! There is nothing more powerful than the Avatar State!" he shouted.
"I'm afraid that's where you are wrong brother. I have spent years inside the great library here in the palace and I have studied many things, including the Ancient Spirits..." Mizan said menacingly.
Roku's eyes burst wide. "No...Mizan you can't!" he said loudly.
Mizan chuckled, "It sounds like you want a demonstration..." Mizan clicked his fingers and the cultists surrounding the group fell into a circular formation with Mizan and Takato joining them. He counted numbers in the circle, '12...yes this should work. But chain them up first, I don't want them to miss this!"
The cultists shot chains that wrapped themselves around Roku, Atka and Piazzo, they couldn't move at all.
Mizan clapped his hands together, "Perfect!"
He stretched his arms out and produced a flame in each hand. He began to recite a haiku:
"The Great Phoenix Sings Of Glorious Victory On Its Wings We Rise"
Mizan passed the flame to Takato and another cultist who was to his left hand side; a tendril like flame made its way along the circle and joined each of their flames together. They continued to recite the haiku until the flame was connected to all 12 people in the circle. With a final bellow of the poem the cultists thrust their hands into the sky and golden flame shot out. The twelve flames joined in the middle of the air above Atka, they formed a spiral and sparks flew out of it.
Atka felt himself going faint as the energy was overwhelming him. His vision was blurred but he managed to steal a glance at the statue of Avatar Aang through the hole in the ceiling.
The statue's eyes began to glow.
"Ready to depart! Prepare to defend ourselves!" the captain called from the conning tower above. Kann leant on the edge of the ship with Masaru next to him; Akeme and Mira were sat inside a cabin with Iroh positioned in the control room.
Masaru gripped Kann's hand, "We're not going to make it out are we?" he said with his voice cracking.
"Don't talk like that. We have to try," Kann replied, gripping tighter.
"What about the others? My dad and my brother are still up there, Atka as well. If we can't get out then they don't have any hope!" Masaru said loudly.
Kann quickly kissed Masaru, "Calm down! Those three are incredibly powerful benders, if anyone can get out of that situation it's them."
Masaru looked sadly at the bay, "I guess you're right. I can't help but worry though..."
The ship began to vibrate as it moved out of dock, they heard jeers from the crowd gathered in the Plaza.
Masaru heard this, "Listen, they hate us. We've abandoned them..."
Kann pulled Masaru into a hug, "It's going to be okay. Lets get below deck, things might be about to get hairy"
The two of them turned around and walked towards the conning tower. Kann spotted something above the volcano.
Something was glowing.
Atka felt like he was weightless, he imagined himself in a cloudy realm and he couldn't see anything. He could hear whispering around him, a million voices all saying unintelligible things.
But one voice spoke louder, "Don't worry, I am here..."
There was a stunned look on the faces of everyone in the room; they couldn't understand what they were seeing.
There was a whirl of light and the image of an airbender appeared, his eyes and tattoos were glowing and his whole body had a blue hue to it.
"Impossible..." Mizan said under his breath.
The airbender put his fists together in front of his chest and produced a large air ball that expanded and blew back the cultists and Mizan.
After this the image of the airbender faded, revealing Atka underneath it. His Moon Guardian tattoos were glowing but his eyes were closed. He slumped to the floor.
Piazzo rushed over to pick him up. "He's unconscious, lets get out of here. We've lost today."
Roku nodded, "We have to find an airship, it's our only realistic hope."
Piazzo picked up Atka and ran out of the hole that Kann made earlier. They made their way onto the street but made sure they stayed out of the way, the Phoenix Cult controlled the city now.
Once they had found a safe location Piazzo put Atka gently on the ground. He was still unresponsive.
"Why isn't he responding to anything?" Piazzo said with worry.
Roku reassured his son, "I think he's in the Avatar State, that's why he's glowing. He'll be back with us soon."
Piazzo wasn't convinced. "But nothings happening, there's no bending..."
Roku stood up. "The world of the Avatar is a strange one, don't let it trouble you."
Piazzo reluctantly nodded and picked up Atka. "So are we going to get out of here?"
"I know where we can find an airship..." Roku said.
They walked out of their hiding place and looked around, the coast was clear.
Roku beckoned to Piazzo, "Follow me" they rushed across the street towards the lake along the edge of the city. They followed a small path along the edge of the lake until they reached a brush of bushes and a cave.
Roku pushed the bushes aside to leave the cave visible; there was a small war balloon inside it.
"I used to fly this thing when I was young, there are many stories to tell about that" Roku said with a hint of nostalgia. "Help me pull it out."
Piazzo and Roku pulled the basket out of the cave; it was an original design and was powered by firebending. A deflated balloon was packed up inside it and Roku set to work putting it back together. He used the heat from a small flame to fill up the balloon; he then attached it to the balloon with some ropes.
"Are you ready?" Roku asked Piazzo
Piazzo nodded, "Lets get out here" He climbed aboard and carefully placed Atka in the bottom of the basket, unaware of what was happening behind his closed eyes.
Atka didn't feel normal; he was floating in the air in a crossed leg position. Clouds surrounded him and everything had a sepia hue to it, he could barely see.
Something formed in front of him, a man, and glided closer to him. As he came closer it became apparent that it was an airbender, and Atka felt that he recognised him.
"Hello Atka" the man said in a deep voice. He had a knowledgeable face and a beard that went along the bottom of his chin and up to each ear.
"You know who I am?" Atka replied
The airbender nodded, "And deep down you know who I am as well..."
Atka looked down for a moment but looked back up, "Avatar Aang..." He lowered his head in respect.
Aang nodded, "Yes. I don't have much time but I have something incredibly important to tell you. You must come to the Northern Water Tribe to speak with me."
Atka frowned. "How can I talk to you?"
"You will find a way, there are people in the North who will help you" Aang replied. He closed his eyes and projected an image into Atka's mind; it showed the harbour and the blockade, along with the ship that the others were on. "Your friends are in danger and they will not make it out on their own. I must leave you but you can help them, are you ready?"
Atka opened his eyes, they were glowing, "I'm ready" Atka declared
The war balloon was now about to head over the harbour and reach the blockade, only now did the scale of their task become clear.
"There's no way we're going to get through that..." Piazzo said with worry.
Roku put more fire into the engine. "We're going to have to try though."
Piazzo looked down into the water, he saw the ship that carried the rest of his family. "They look ready to fight down there." He referred to the catapult that been erected on the deck of the ship.
The war balloon sped up as yet more fire was added, Roku shouted over the sound of the engine and the rushing wind, "If we can distract the airships then we give those guys a decent shot of running the blockade, we'll have to be quick though."
Piazzo nodded. "I'm ready, Dad, I'll do what ever you say."
Roku bowed to his son. "Thank you, Piazzo, you have great honour." He looked towards the airships ahead with a sense of defiance.
At the end of the basket Atka was stirring, and Piazzo noticed, "Dad! He's waking up!" he went over and put his hand on Atka's shoulder, "Come on buddy..."
Atka's eyes burst open with a great light burning in them and his tattoos were the same. He stood up and faced the oncoming blockade.
Piazzo and Roku looked on in shock, "Incredible..." Roku said quietly.
The ship was nearing the blockade and everyone was getting anxious, they were sat in the main room of the ship trying to stay calm.
Akeme was sat with her mother trying to calm her down, "It's okay mum, we're going to get through this..."
Mira sobbed, "But your father and brother are still up there. What if something happens to them! And Atka as well!"
Akeme hugged her. "They'll be fine..." He then whispered to herself, "They better be."
Masaru joined his sister in comforting Mira, "Dad and Piazzo are going to make it, Mum." He hugged her.
Kann stood up and went outside, Iroh stood there with the ship's captain.
Iroh turned to Kann. "Is everything okay down there?" he asked, the captain went inside the ship.
Kann shrugged. "I wanted to give them some space..." He leant on the railing at the side of the ship and looked out to the edge of the harbour.
Iroh joined him, "Kann, in the event that we get out of here, who do you know is on our side in the Earth Kingdom?" he asked.
"What do you mean?" Kann replied.
"Against Forr," Iroh said.
Kann stood up straight. "Well, my dad's gathering some allies from around the Kingdom, so there's him and the Omashu military for definite. Other than that..."
Iroh nodded. "Can you contact them easily?" he asked.
"Probably. I know they're operating out of Omashu," Kann replied.
"Very well, when we get to the Colonies we will need to contact them and bring them in," Iroh said.
Kann looked surprised. "Are we planning to fight the Earth Kingdom then? I thought we wanted to negotiate with them?"
Iroh chuckled. "The situation has changed somewhat. And we're not going to attack anyone, we're going to defend from them."
Kann leant on the railing again. "You sound confident of getting through the blockade then..."
Iroh chuckled again. "You could say that." He looked up. "I'm even more confident now." He pointed to a war balloon in the skies overhead, little more than a speck compared to the colossal airships.
Kann wasn't convinced. "Um, no offence but that thing is tiny..."
"Yes, but I was rather referring to who's on it..." Iroh said.
Kann squinted and could see something glowing inside it, the same glowing that he'd seen earlier from the statue.
It suddenly dawned on Kann. "Atka?"
The war balloon was now bathed in ethereal light, Atka stood in the middle of it as a defiant figure. He jumped out of the balloon and into the harbour bellow.
Piazzo rushed to the side of the basket and looked over the edge, into the water. The water was glowing blue, but Atka didn't rise up again.
Suddenly a great waterspout rose with Atka at the top of it. He looked out towards the blockade, with the smaller ship quickly approaching it. Atka raised his arms and flicked his wrists creating a wave, which scattered the ships. The smaller ship saw its opportunity and went full speed ahead through the blockade. The airships ignored the ship and turned their attentions to Atka, they fired a barrage at him but Atka protected himself using an air sphere around him. The airships changed their tactics and instead flew straight towards Atka; they planned to use their large metal prows to knock him out of the sky.
Atka dropped down to sea level and created a huge water octopus to reach up and knock the airships away. Two of them took a full blow to their engines and crashed into the sea whilst one more had its balloon burst. The remaining three rested on their laurels and fled the scene.
No more enemies remained, the small ship had cleared the area and the war balloon was about to land on it. Atka's work was done; he fell beneath the waves and swam with speed towards the ship.
Roku and Piazzo climbed out of the balloon, they were now aboard the ship, and their family ran up and hugged them.
Mira kissed her husband, "I'm so, so happy you're here."
Roku held her tightly, "And I'm happy to see you as well."
Kann stepped forward, "Did you see him!? Did you see Atka!?"
"Yes, it was the most incredible thing I've ever seen. So much power..." Roku said in awe.
Iroh looked back towards the city, he could see a wave quickly approaching the ship, "I think he may be about to join us..." he said.
The wave stopped moving as it reached the ship and Atka used the water to propel himself onto the ship.
Atka was still in the Avatar State as he stood in front of the group, who looked on in complete awe. Atka felt himself get pulled out of the Avatar State, he felt himself losing consciousness. Akeme ran up to support him as he fell towards the floor.
"Atka, you're okay..." Akeme whispered as she held Atka.
The others joined her and soon Atka was being carried back towards the cabins and placed on a bed. Kann, Masaru and Akeme stayed with him, as he lay on the bed, unconscious.
Akeme lightly held his hand, "That was incredible Atka..." she whispered, knowing he could not hear him.
"I've never seen such powerful bending," said Kann in response.
Masaru sat on the end of the bed. "We owe you everything..."
There was a knock on the door, Iroh walked in. "Any response yet?" he asked
There was a collective shaking of heads and Iroh sighed, he walked fully into the room.
"I expected as much, it sounds like he spent a long time in the Avatar State. In an inexperienced body that will take its toll," Iroh said, rubbing his chin.
Kann looked at Iroh. "Any idea when he'll be back with us?"
Iroh shook his head. "I'm afraid not, it might take a couple days up to a few weeks." He put his hand on Atka's forehead. "Hopefully he'll make a full recovery"
Masaru had his own concerns. "What about Granddad?" he said.
Iroh took a deep breath. "The Fire Lord is in a bad way, we've sent a message forward to the Colonies and we're hoping for a healer to be there for him. If there isn't then..." He couldn't bring himself to finish the sentence.
Masaru went to comfort his uncle. "I'm sure he'll be fine..." He tried to put a brave face on it but still had a sense of uncertainty in his voice.
Iroh sighed. "I hope so..." He turned towards the door. "I think we should leave Atka to rest, you should get some sleep as well."
Kann and Masaru went out of the door; Akeme stayed briefly and left a light kiss on Atka's forehead, "Please be okay, Atka..." She walked out of the door.
Roku was stood on the gantry outside the bridge of the ship, he gripped the railing tightly and his knuckles were white. Iroh, who looked out to the horizon, soon joined him.
"I never knew Mizan was capable of such madness..." Roku said through gritted teeth.
"None of us did, don't be too hard on yourself," Iroh said softly.
Roku sighed. "He's forced us from our home and taken away everything..."
Iroh looked away sadly. "Not everything, we still have each other. And, most importantly, we still have Atka."
"That is true." Roku stood up straight and looked at Iroh. "Everything has changed now, I know you're not much of a military man but can I trust you to be by my side?" He held his hand out to Iroh.
Iroh smiled. "You don't even have to ask that." Iroh overlooked the handshake and instead hugged his older brother.
The siblings released each other and looked out over the ocean, the ship was carrying on over the horizon. They were headed towards a new life in the Colonies; a new age was dawning in the world.
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