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|Timeless Security Part 1 - Preservation|
7 January 2010
Timeless Security Part 1 - Preservation is the fiftieth chapter of.
Aang is forced to defend his new homeland.
Teo rolled up to Aang, who was looking over the horizon. As Teo stops, he glances towards the sky to watch the sun rise along with the following Boreas. "Master, our scouts found a large number of people in red on their way here. They appear to be the Fire Nation rebels you mentioned before."
"I know. I've already failed my people once. I won't let them fall again. This time is different," Aang replies somberly.
"You've already brought the Air Nomads back. I'm proof of that. All of us are proof of that," Teo begins.
"I won't let you all risk your beliefs. I want you all to stay back here."
"What do you mean, risk our beliefs?" Boreas asks, confused by the words of his master.
"The Air Nomads are peaceful. We won't use violence unless it is necessary for defense, and never to take a life. I'm not sure if I trust all of the new Nomads to not resort to their old beliefs."
"If I may, you did trust us enough to make us the successors to your legacy. You can trust us enough to hold to the beliefs of that legacy," Teo says, looking into Aang's face with a passion that Aang couldn't refuse.
"You're right," Aang replies, unable to deny his favorite apprentice. "If you want to fight, you may. You may tell the others as well."
"We don't want to fight, but we know that it will be needed. We won't let you down," Teo says, rolling away. Boreas silently agrees and walks off, leaving Aang alone.
Aang nods his head, looking over the calm landscape before turning to follow his apprentices. As Teo rolls out of his sight, Zuko and Sokka arrive from a nearby corridor. "Aang, the Army is here!" Sokka yells to Aang.
"Really? That's great!" Aang replies optimistically.
"Yeah. I got as many ships here as I could to block off their escape route, but I'm not sure how many ground troops are left. We're probably in for a rough battle," Zuko replies, with less optimism than his two friends.
"Well, some is better than none!" Sokka counters, but Aang and Zuko remain unconvinced.
"We're ready. I won't let my people be a victim of anything, ever again." The two friends of the Avatar walk away, leaving him to prepare himself for the battle ahead.
A Nervous Commander
"Sir, we're ready to leave the ships," a voice called from behind.
"Very good," Zui says calmly. "Send the tanks first, be sure that they make it up the mountain."
"Very well, sir," the officer replies, leaving Zui alone.
"What am I going to do now? I'm not cut out to be a leader..." Zui thinks to himself. "But the Nomads are a weak people... Maybe they won't be a fight..." He picks up his helmet and walks out of his room.
Aang paced into the courtyard of his adopted home. As he looked around, there were few Nomads who believed it their place to fight. Aang walked over and thanked each one personally. As Zuko walks into the courtyard, followed by Shan and the small group of soldiers he brought, Sokka followed, stretching obnoxiously.
"Sokka, where are Katara and Toph?" Aang asks the sleepy warrior.
While yawning, Sokka leaning down to stretch again. "I don't exactly know. They said that they'll be here later."
"Master, smoke is coming over the horizon," Boreas says calmly, interrupting the conversation between the three males.
"Zuko, do you think that could be the rest of the Army you said is coming?"
"With all of that smoke, I hope it is," Zuko says in shock.
"Me too..." Sokka mutters while rubbing his eye.
Aang turns and looks to the small group gathered around him. "Thank you for your sacrifices to be here today. You are risking your security to help defend the legacy of the Air Nomads. To my Nomads, I thank you for everything. Your willingness to sacrifice anything for your new lives and your determination to protect what you have grown to love has proven your devotion to your new lifestyle. I truly thank you for everything." Aang turns towards Zuko and the small group of Fire Nation soldiers around him with a look of gratitude. "To the Fire Nation soldiers, thank you for risking your lives to protect a culture that you have no knowledge of. Our goal is to prevent these rebels from entering the temple courtyard. I know we can do it, and we need to capture as many as possible. Today will be challenging, but-" Aang's speech is cut off by a fire ball that soars over head.
Aang can't help but watch as it passes over, but Boreas springs into action. The aging Airbender soars into the air and sends a powerful jet of air into the fire ball. The blast is deflected and it falls to the west of the temple. "Master, I don't think we have much time," the Airbender calls as he floats down to the courtyard ground.
"Men, onward!" Shan orders, pointing his hands towards the direction of the fire ball. His soldiers break away from the crowd as he gives another order. "We'll have to hold them until the reinforcements arrive!"
"I guess that's our cue," Sokka moans as Aang, Boreas and Zuko charge forward. Sokka follows behind, drawing his sword.
Saving his ship
As Jiang stared at the ceiling of his room, he hears the ship alarm ringing. Stunned, he quickly springs into action, sprinting out of his room. He enters the ship's control room, and begins taking hold of the situation. "What's happening?"
"Sir, we've been hit. We're being attacked by a Fire Navy ship!"
"Then get the cannons ready! Where is the ship?"
"It's on the port side, sir," the captain replies.
"Have your best benders meet me there," Jiang orders, exiting the room with as much vigor as when he entered.
As Jiang passes through the halls he feels a rocking, and he knows that the ship has been hit. He emerges on deck to see several catapults aimed at his ship. Looking into the air he sees a fire ball aimed for his position. He sends a fire blast into the center of the ball, causing it to crumble as it falls to the water.
Jiang again sees the row of catapults, glances at the opposing ship and grins. He sees the workers and decides to attack the weak links. As the soldiers on the other ship load their catapults, Jiang charges a fire blast. He releases the attack, destroying the catapult directly in front of him. The opposing soldiers, realizing that they are in danger because of this one man, begin turning their catapults in Jiang's direction.
Fortunately, the soldiers ship's crew appears behind Jiang. Jiang turns and points to the catapults. "Those are our targets! Destroy them first, then we will sink the ship!"
Jiang turns to a catapult, charges energy around his body, and shoots a lightning bolt at the furthest threat. The soldiers follow his lead as best they can, creating a massive fire ball and destroying the catapult in front of them. One fire ball is launched before its catapult is destroyed, but is brought down before it can damage the Phoenix Warrior's ship.
"Time to strike back," Jiang mutters to himself. "Ready the catapults!" Jiang then begins launching his own fire blasts towards the hull of the other ship, attacking with a blazing ferocity. The soldiers nearby begin loading the catapults with the rounds, and launch the fire balls into the sky. As the fiery rain falls from the sky, the opposing captain rushes onto the boat. He manages to deflect a single fire ball, but the rest damaged the hull of his ship beyond immediate repair.
The captain launches a fire ball aimed towards the tower on Jiang's ship. In response, he creates a fire wall directly in front of him and increases its height, intercepting the fire sent by the captain. Jiang then curves the tops of his hands while leaping into the air. The fire begins flowing, and upon Jiang's descent to the ground, the fire began moving towards the opposing ship. The wave of fire was intimidating enough, but it came at a time when the soldiers began firing new catapult rounds. The captain and his soldiers focused on the fire balls, but were incinerated when the wave hit. As Jiang looked at the ship, he saw no one moving and a grin flashed on his face. He turns to his soldiers, who return his gaze. "Do you all see what happens when the might of the Phoenix is opposed? We will rain fire and destruction on all who stand against our might!" Jiang pauses briefly, and the Warriors cheer. "The whole world will soon tremble and bow at our feet!" Jiang calls out to his crew. His words are met by more resounding cheers, and the admiral is pleased.
Shan sprints down the mountainside, being the first of his unit to view the enemy. He deflects a fire ball from the front Phoenix Warrior while slowing his pace. Shan shifts right to avoid another blast while quickly thrusting his elbow into the Warrior's face. Shan abruptly grabs the soldier by his armor and throws him into another approaching Warrior.
As he lifted the soldier, he caught a glimpse of the Airbenders soaring out of the Temple. One in particular caught his attention, for he sat in a wheeled glider. The Airbender flew low, using strong gusts of wind to disorient the Phoenix Warriors below. Shan knew that the Nomad was vulnerable, and quickly made up his mind to protect the Airbender. Shan bolted in the direction of the Nomad, taking out the Warriors the Airbender knocked around. Shan was focusing more on the sky than he was on the ground path he was covering, and he eventually ended up on the edge of mountain. The Airbender pulled up, climbing in altitude as he headed back into battle.
Shan was left without a direction. He turns to look at the brawl covering the cliff side. Many of the Air Nomads travel over the mountain with their gliders, but one catches Shan's attention. This Airbender leaps through the air, battles soldiers, then goes back up into the sky. Shan sees a Phoenix Warrior launch a fire blast from the ground and moves to intercept it. Shan incapacitates the Warrior, but fails to deflect the jet moving towards the Airbender. The Airbender stops his jump to deflect the blast, sending an air current slicing through the fire. The Nomad comes gliding down, supported by nothing but the air around him.
"Thanks for the help," the Airbender calls as he descends, touching down gently.
"No problem," Shan calmly replies. A fire blast grazes Shan's head, and they turn to see a group of Phoenix Warriors approaching. The two defenders briefly exchange glances, and decide to divide and conquer. The two sprint towards the group, who are temporarily stunned by shock.
Shan first came up against a soldier with a spear. He side steps to avoid the thrust, and catches the spear by its handle. The two struggle over the spear for a few moments, before the Airbender sees the difficulty Shan is having. The Phoenix Warrior is knocked back by an air ball, weakening his balance while simultaneously loosening his grip on the spear. Shan takes the opportunity and kicks the Warrior in the chest, knocking him to the ground while prying the spear out of his hands. Shan swings the blunt end of the spear at the Warrior's face, knocking him out. Shan looks over at the Airbender, who is struggling against two Warriors at a time. Shan quickly aims and throws the spear at a Warrior, impaling him and allowing the Airbender to focus on one opponent.
"Thanks," the Airbender calls to Shan as he blows his opponent to the ground.
"Shan," the Fire Nation soldier replies upon realizing the Airbender doesn't know who to thank. As he finishes, he deflects a fire blast from a Phoenix Warrior.
"Boreas," the Air Nomad replies, Airbending a Warrior over his head and tossing him over his back. The two benders move closer to each other, shaking each other's hands and agreeing to switch opponents. Boreas creates a vortex around a Warrior, spinning the Warrior where he stands. Boreas stops the vortex and sends a compressed jet of air at the disoriented Firebender.
Shan dodges a punch from a Phoenix Warrior, grabbing his wrist and twisting it behind his back. He then uses his leg to take the Warrior's out from under him, knocking the rebel to the ground. Reaching down and grabbing the Warrior's leg, he throws the Warrior towards his final opponent. The unconscious Warrior hits the other, almost knocking him out as well. Shan approaches quickly as the Warrior rises. The Warrior manages to get to his feet, but Shan's elbow brings him back to the ground.
Shan turns to see Boreas with only one Warrior remaining. Boreas uses the air around him to effortlessly dodge the Warrior's barrage, dancing around the blazing attacks. After he side steps, Boreas swipes the legs out from under the Warrior. Before he hits the ground, Boreas lifts the Warrior into the air and is sent into the distance by an air current.
Shan approaches the Airbender, placing his hand on his shoulder. "That was a good fight, wasn't it?"
"Yes, it was. I always enjoy exercise," Boreas says. Glancing back to the battle, the Nomad lets out a sigh. "I've stayed in one place for too long. I need to keep the temple safe." The Airbender nods his head in farewell, and leaps off to continue protecting his home. Shan realizes that he must move on as well, and so he turns to look over the foot of the cliff. While changing his view back to the battle, a glisten from the bottom catches his eye. He manages to see war machines rolling up the mountain, the type he had heard too much about.
"Great, Tundra Tanks..." he mumbles as the sun's light reflects into his eyes.
The tanks rolled up the mountain followed by scores of Phoenix Warriors. "Zuko, where are those soldiers?" Aang says as he deflects a fire blast from a tank.
"How should I know? I was only told that they would be here before the Phoenix Warriors!"
"Well, they're clearly wrong!" Sokka screams as he ducks to avoid a fire ball. He rolls and throws his boomerang before catching sight of the legion of rebels approaching. "Great..."
"Katara and Toph... Where are they?" Aang asks, scouring the high ground for signs of earth or water rising.
"They said that they had some plan. I don't know exactly what it is, but they say it will enable Toph to be helpful despite the snow," Sokka says, looking in a different direction. No sooner than when he finished, Aang and Zuko saw a wave of water erupt from the snow near a tank. The snow liquefied and engulfed the tank, flipping it around as if it were weightless and almost knocking it off the mountain.
"There they are!" Sokka exclaims.
"We all know that," Zuko adds, dampening Sokka's excitement. Adding to Sokka's dismay, the tank's center rotates and a fire blast erupts from the center. A wall of ice swipes up from the ground and intercepts the fire blast before forming into a row of ice severing a wheel from the tank.
The true fury of the plan swept into action. Once the snow from the ground was cleared off by Katara, the ground opened up and revealed a blind girl covered in earthen armor. The tank launches another fire blast, but it's dispersed by the rock around her. The rocks around her hands fall away as she reaches for the tank. The moment she grabs hold of the tank, the struggle was over. The tank's metal opening was crushed closed and all escape hatches were sealed as well. Toph let her armor fall away and used the metal around her to form a new set of armor from the metal.
"That was a good plan," Aang notes from afar. The battle on Katara and Toph's side seemed to be going too easily. Katara cleared the ground of snow and distracted the tanks, and Toph was then able to visualize the tanks and render them useless.
"Take that!" Toph declares as she crushes the nearest tank. Katara sends a water blade that separates the wheels from the tank nearest to her and promptly turns to clear the snow from the path to Toph.
"Come here, Toph!" Katara calls. While Toph runs towards her, Katara freezes the door of the tanks shut. Toph arrives and thrusts her hands towards the tank. With a screeching sound, the tank's body is crushed and twisted by the blind Metalbender.
"That takes care of this side of the mountain," Katara says, glancing around and not seeing any tanks for a reasonable distance.
"I'll take your word for it," Toph replies.
"Let's go find Aang!" the Waterbender exclaims, seeing more troops going towards Aang's position.
"Fine..." Toph replies. Katara clears the way as the two girls run towards the battle.
Early in Book 2, The Bos came up with the idea of the Phoenix Warriors attacking the Northern Air Temple. The Bos planned no details, simply writing the idea down and continuing on other ideas he had envisioned. When Book 3 came along, The Bos had already brought up the idea of Teo being an Airbender, and decided that he needed to be involved in the battle. The Bos also felt the need for there to be more Airbenders, and one that could become a developed character. After the invention of, The Bos began writing the chapter.
The chapter was written fairly quickly, as many of the scenes had been conceptualized at earlier dates and only required minimal additions. As production continued, The Bos had many more ideas, and the chapter swelled in size, eventually reaching three times the normal size of a Guardian chapter. The Bos created another new character during the writing process,, who was much like Boreas. The final scene written was "Kindred Spirits", as it was the last idea finalized. Upon completion, The Bos began splitting the chapter to create the parts needed for a continuous chapter. Unfortunately, The Bos accidentally deleted the first half, the part that would become Chapter 10. The Bos had saved all but "Kindred Spirits", and had to write the entire section over again.
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