[19:11:59] <@AangPlushie> A beautiful day was in progress at the Southern Water Tribe. Just two days after a blizzard, the sun had broken free and gave the tribe a quiet day. Everything seemed largely at peace, perhaps too much so.
[19:16:59] <@KataraPlushie> "And you're positive you want to go through with such an assault? You're confident that everything will turn out according to plan?" In a small office on an off-shore island near the Fire Nation, two men, the previously retired Yon Rha, and his brother, Zhei Li, were discussing over a series of papers. "Absolutely. I must show I'm not the pathetic, empty man I was made out to be."
[19:18:53] <@AangPlushie> "With all due respect," Admiral Metang, the former Southern Raiders commander said, "Fire Lord Zuko is watching over military operations like a hawk. Are you sure we'll be able to get this attack by? We need ships."
[19:22:25] <@KataraPlushie> "I'm fairly certain we'll be able to slip past his watchful eye. The launching point will be set on some extremely remote region, even farther off-shore. And we still are in command of quite a few ships. We are a naval unit, after all," Yon Rha replied.
[19:26:51] <@AangPlushie> At the Southern Water Tribe, business was going about like normal. It had been almost two years since the War ended, and reconstruction was continuing. The tribe was now looking more like a small city. With seemingly each passing day, it was another step closer to its former glory.
[19:30:47] <@KataraPlushie> Katara roamed the streets near her house, observing the ongoing construction of a large building, perhaps a city hall, in the distance. Thanks to the Waterbenders from the North Pole that were now here, building was easier than ever.
[19:33:46] <@AangPlushie> "Sir, are you sure you feel fine?" Metang asked Yon Rha. "After all, that waterbender horribly tramatuized you two years ago." Yon Rha gave a confident nod. "Yes, I have gotten over that. She did shake me up, but now it's time for her to regret the decision that she made."
[16:05:41] <Ultimate> Meanwhile, in the South Pole, Katara was walking back to her house, unaware of anything amiss, and saw Aang step outside his own home. "Hey," she greeted him brightly, walked over and gave him a peck on the cheek, receiving a bright smile in turn. "Going out for a walk?"
[16:09:35] <@KataraFanboy> "Indeed," Aang said with a smile. "It's a beautiful day outside, so I figure, why not?" He gave Katara a hug and a cheek kiss back. "What are you up to?"
[16:15:08] <@KataraFanboy> Aang nodded happily. "Yes, of course! How about..." He took a second to think of where they could meet. "Hmmm....perhaps by the statue of the koifish after your class is done?"
[16:20:17] <@Ultimate> "Sounds like a plan," Katara told him brightly. At that time, Yon Rha and his brother were taking a break from planning their strategy and sat idly in his office. "To be frank, I thought after that incident you told us about, you were too far gone to even think of organizing something like this," Zhei Li said.
[16:23:23] <@KataraFanboy> "When Fire Lord Azulon promoted me to commander many a year ago," Yon Rha began, "I knew full well what the goal was...to eliminate all waterbenders. I thought I did...then that little girl came along. Now that I know she's out there...I know she can be eliminated. I was a different man two years ago...my drive was gone...I was ruined...now, I want it back. I don't care what Zuko does, personally...I want to accomplish my goal."
[16:28:42] <@KataraPlushie> "I'll be honest once more, I don't feel this is your brightest plan in your career," Zhei Li said, organizing a few maps and papers. "That girl came very close to ending you and she turned back instead. You're very fortunate. I wouldn't push that luck if I were you." A look of anger flashed across Yon Rha's face.
[16:31:12] <@AangPlushie> "The Southern Raiders nearly conquered the South Pole once before, and it can be done again!" Yon Rha snapped back. "They defeated many powerful waterbenders! Look Zhei Li, you're my brother, and I know you care about me, but this has to be done. It is time to eliminate this girl once and for all. Then, we can move on to bigger and better things."
[16:35:14] <@KataraPlushie> Zhei Li scowled at his brother's confidence, but backed away at this. No need to add fuel to the fire, he told himself. Later in the day, at the Southern Tribe, Katara was wrapping up her Waterbending class, an honor given to her by her own master. "Good work today, everyone, and keep practicing," she said to her departing students.
[16:38:32] <@AangPlushie> Aang was walking along a snowbank when he ran into two girls who donned green kimonos, some shielding, and facepaint. "Suki? Ty Lee?" He quickly recognized them as the two Kyoshi Warriors whom doubled as Team Avatar members. "Aang, you didn't know we were coming?" Suki asked. "I thought Katara and Sokka would have told you." Ty Lee then took over. "Yeah, we're taking a little vacation here for a few days! Where's Katara and Sokka?" Aang shrugged his shoulders. "Well, I was on my way to meet Katara now. Sokka? I don't know what he's up to. I think he said something about going to the weapons shop today if you want to check there." Suki nodded. "All right, I'll go that way." (cont'd)
[16:40:18] <@AangPlushie> "You go ahead Suki," Ty Lee said. "I'll go with Aang to meet Katara." Aang nodded and thus he went with the Kyoshi Warrior towards the koifish statue in the western half of the developing city. "Wow..it looks really good down here," Ty Lee remarked. "Yeah, things have been progressing smoothly over the past few weeks," Aang added.
[16:46:18] <@KataraPlushie> Katara walked briskly through the streets of the city and soon saw the koifish statue looming in the distance. She spotted Aang at the base along with a girl who looked familiar. A few steps further and she saw it was one of her closest friends. "Ty Lee!" she exclaimed, rushing over to the warrior and hugging her tightly. "It's so great to see you! I didn't think you'd get in until nightfall."
[16:49:38] <@AangPlushie> Ty Lee returned Katara's embrace warmly. "We just got here a little ahead of schedule, I guess!" The two girls then separated from the embrace. "By the way, Suki ran off to go find Sokka, so I guess she'll be back later. So, what's up? Anything going on with you?"
[16:54:19] <@KataraPlushie> "I just got back from teaching a class," she replied. "Oh? You teach Waterbending?" Ty Lee asked curiously. Aang stepped forward and smiled. "Yes, she does and she's one of the best out there, too." "Oh, stop it." Katara rolled her eyes good-naturedly and said, "But yeah, I do. How are things at Kyoshi?"
[16:57:08] <@AangPlushie> "Things are going great!" Ty Lee exclaimed. "All the warriors are well-trained in chi blocking now, and we're considered one of the premier defense groups in the land!" The couple smiled. "That's great to hear...I knew the Kyoshi Warriors always had it in them," Aang remarked. (Cont'd)
[16:59:19] <@AangPlushie> Back at the Southern Raiders' headquarters, final planning was starting. "We need about four to five hours to reach the South Pole," Metang said. "So, if we leave soon, we should make it by tonight." Zhei Li stood up with a quick objection. "If we try to attack tonight, it may as well be a suicide mission. There's a full moon tonight, Metang! The waterbenders will be at their strongest, and as I recall, you were bloodbent when she came at you during the last one."
[17:04:44] <@KataraPlushie> "Nonsense," Metang scoffed and said. "She can't be powerful enough to Bloodbend an entire renegade of soldiers at once. And from what I've seen, it requires a great deal of concentration. If she resorts to that, one of us will strike her dead in the process. And according to statistics, we outnumber their Waterbenders practically two to one."
[17:07:16] <@AangPlushie> "I still don't think this is worth the risk at all," Zhei Li said. "When Zhao attacked the North Pole during the War, his forces were nearly defeated because he attacked during the full moon. It was only because he found the Moon spirit that the attack still had any form of success. We don't have that advantage this time."
[18:20:17] <@KataraPlushie> "Look, this cause is very important to me," Yon Rha said icily, rising from his seat. "And I'm prepared to take this risks, no matter what the cost. That's what battle entails, doesn't it? I have faith in my men that they will slay every last waterbender in that tribe and I suggest you do the same."
[18:22:13] <@AangPlushie> "We are not going to attack at night and that is final!" Zhei Li yelled. "We need to attack when our advantage is at its greatest. We should wait until sunrise, when we have the clean advantage. Yon Rha, I know you want to get this done, and so do I, but we need to not our temptation drive us and get some logic here!"
[18:26:33] <@KataraPlushie> "Alright, that's enough yelling!" Metang ordered. Turning to Yon Rha, he said in an even tone, "Sir, I must say, I agree with your brother on this one. We should postpone the attack until sunrise. It'll allow our men more time to rest and prepare for the battle, so they'll truly be ready." Yon Rha sighed, defeated, and gave in. "Is you so wish... Sunrise it is. But no later."
[18:29:25] <@AangPlushie> Back at the Southern Water Tribe, the day was starting to near its end. Katara, Aang and Ty Lee had spent most of the day enjoying themselves, with the Avatar and his girlfriend also taking the liberty to introduce the Kyoshi Warrior to penguin sledding, which she enjoyed greatly. The sun was faded out of the atmosphere, and the skies were darkening to signal the arrival of the night.
[18:33:14] <@KataraPlushie> "I never thought penguin sledding would be so exhilarating," Ty Lee said, still bright-eyed from the day's events. "Suki should try it, too. Maybe we'll get her to come along next time." "We should," Katara smiled and said. "I assume you have a place to stay?" Ty Lee nodded and said, "It's not too far from here."
[18:35:25] <@AangPlushie> Aang nodded. "Well, enjoy the remainder of your night, Ty Lee. Katara and I are going to head home and get some dinner...her Dad invited us tonight." Ty Lee nodded back. "All right...I'll see you two again tomorrow. Enjoy your night as well!" She then hugged them both.
[18:40:09] <@KataraPlushie> "Good night," they both wished her as she began retreating for the night. The two then started walking to the chief's home, their feet crunching in the snow. "What a day... Ty Lee sure knows how to have fun. Sorry, I should have told you she was coming when I received the letter," Katara told Aang.
[18:42:09] <@AangPlushie> "It's okay," Aang assured her. "Sometimes things just slip your mind. It's happened to me, too." They looked towards the sky, seeing the moon bright and full, shining down to the snow-covered ground below them, casting sparkles in the snow. "Man...it's these nights that are the most beautiful of all..."
[18:58:08] <@KataraPlushie> "I'll say," Katara mused. Little did she know what trouble was brewing not too far away. "The troops are all ready to set out at dawn and the ships have been geared and readied," Metang reported to Yon Rha as the commander prepared to turn in for the night. "Excellent," he remarked, surprisingly calm, even to himself. He and his brother had made up after their falling out earlier and decided to bury the hatchet and simply focus on the upcoming fight.
[19:05:27] <@AangPlushie> "Very well...we should set out just after midnight," Admiral Metang urged. "That will get us to the tribe right on time with sunrise...after that the advantage will be all ours. For now, we should rest and prepare for that sailing."
[19:11:21] <@KataraPlushie> "Very well, midnight it shall be," Yon Rha said. "We'll strike just as they're opening their eyes to daylight." Meanwhile, Katara and Aang arrived at Chief Hakoda's house and were greeted with a warm welcome. They stepped inside and found Kanna up and about, making preparations. "Well hello you two," she said warmly. "Lovely out, isn't it?"
[19:13:16] <@AangPlushie> "It certainly is," Aang answered. "It was a beautiful day...and now it's a beautiful night." Also joining them outside was Pakku, who seemed to wear a more worried look on his face. "I don't know what it is...but something just strikes me as being off...I had this exact same feeling in the hours prior to the attack on the North Pole."
[19:18:25] <@KataraPlushie> Katara glanced curiously at Aang and straightened up. "What do you mean?" A slight pause then, "Are you suggesting that something could be... wrong?" Aang appeared both quizzical and concerned. "How is that possible? I don't want to doubt a wise man like you, but do you really speak of danger?"
[19:20:41] <@AangPlushie> "It feels like that..." Pakku said, somewhat droning his words. "It might be another storm...I just don't know." Kanna came up and put a hand on her husband's shoulder. "Pakku, honey...I'm sure it's nothing. Let's just relax and enjoy the night. Come on Aang, come on Katara...dinner will be ready soon."
[19:23:20] <@KataraPlushie> "You're probably right. Forgive me," the master said, although he still seemed tense. The couple exchanged another quizzical glance, but simply shrugged it off and tried to avert their attention elsewhere. They followed Kanna into the dining room where a table was set for five beneath a chandelier.
[19:25:30] <@AangPlushie> "Only five?" Aang asked. "Well, Sokka informed us him and Suki are going out on their own," Kanna explained. As they walked in the door, Hakoda greeted his daughter and the Avatar. "Aang, Katara!" He said, and then walked up to them both. "Good evening, Chief," Aang said, and gave Hakoda the Water Tribe handshake.
[17:39:46] <@Ultimate> Katara embraced her father who then told them to take their seats. Kanna began sweeping back and forth from the kitchen to dining room, setting up everything. A slightly stiffened Pakku also took his place at the table. "I hope your classes are running well," he said to Katara.
[17:41:41] <@KataraFanboy> "They are going quite well," Katara answered. "I am pleased with how the students are progressing, a lot of them know a lot of mid-level moves already. How are yours going?" "Some of my students are a bit behind the curve, it seems," Pakku answered. "However, most are more like yours, progressing well. So, overall, things are going as I hoped."
[18:07:26] <@Ultimate> "That's good to hear," the young waterbender said. "Training those kids certainly keeps you on your feet." The master chuckled and said, "Yes it does. But I'm not looking at retirement any time soon." With everything set and in it's place, the family sat together and began the meal, all giving their compliments to the cook.
[18:09:14] <@KataraFanboy> After the dinner was over and all the dishes cleaned up, Aang and Katara took their leave. They stepped into a night that was just as quiet as it was when they went inside. The moon continued to cast a bright light on the snow, and all seemed so perfect.
[18:19:41] <@Ultimate> "Well, I guess this is good night," Katara said as they stood before her house, smiling lovingly at Aang. "The end to another picture-perfect day." Blissfuully unaware of the uglier side as the commander spent time pacing his cabin, knowing he should try to work in a few hours of sleep, yet mulling over everything that might happen.
[17:17:49] <@AangPlushie> "Yon Rha," Zhei Li began. "Try and get some sleep. We must be ready in a few hours if we are to get to the South Pole for sunrise." The aging commander turned to his brother. "I know, but this is our biggest day in seven years...taking the Southern Tribe and finally ridding the world of their waterbenders."
[17:22:37] <KataraPlushie> "I'm well aware of that, but I really think you should lie down and try to rest. An efficient commander is a well-rested one," his brother told him. "Alright, I'll try, I'll try. Just leave me be for now," Yon Rha beckoned. "And perhaps you, too, should be getting some rest." His brother nodded sheepishly and walked away. Away in the South Pole, Katara and Aang were still wrapping up the evening, content but sleepy-eyed.
[17:24:29] <@AangPlushie> "Well, Katara, another day down," Aang said. "Can't wait for tomorrow...we have a date for lunch, I believe?" He laughed, taking a hold of one of Katara's hands. "Because I'm looking forward to it."
[17:27:29] <KataraPlushie> "Yes, we do and so am I," Katara replied. "So I'll see at noon then." She flashed a grin and gave him a tight hug.
[17:28:38] <@AangPlushie> Aang hugged his girlfriend warmly, looking forward to the day ahead. "Yes, you will." With that, he looked at her shining grin, her crystal blue eyes somewhat twinkling in the moon. He knew this was the perfect time for another kiss. With that, he moved his lips towards her and instigated it.
[17:35:10] <KataraPlushie> Their lips brushed each other and a warm sensation filled the air that not even the night's cold could disturb. They stood there for a few moments, wrapped up in each other, until they slowly broke away. "I love you so much," Katara said, taking in the lit-up expression in Aang's tourmaline gray eyes.
[17:36:22] <@AangPlushie> Aang smiled from ear-to-ear, looking at her with the same look of amazement he had always graced her with in these moments. The words moved like a smooth, tranquil river. "I love you too, Katara. More than you'll ever know."
[17:39:34] <KataraPlushie> "If it's as much as I do, then I think I have a pretty good idea," she said with a light laugh. Letting out a contented sigh, she then said, "Well, it's getting pretty late. I guess I better be heading off to catch some shut-eye."
[17:40:17] <@AangPlushie> "Right, so should I..." Aang said, finishing with a yawn. All the meanwhile, miles away, storm clouds were starting to gather. (cont'd)
[17:41:36] <@AangPlushie> Very early in the morning, no more than an hour past midnight, the old shipyard near Whale Tail Island was active. Old Fire navy soldiers were climbing aboard, getting ready to start the most aggressive mission in the postwar era.
[17:45:52] <KataraPlushie> Yon Rha stood near the port, dressed in his armor and Southern's Raiders regalia, feeling anxious to set out and confident. "We're set to leave in less than a half hour," Metang came up and reported to him. "Excellent," he nodded and said. He looked southward at the horizon. "Time to show who was the pathetic, sad and empty one all along..."
[17:47:50] <@AangPlushie> A small crack of sunlight began to creep into the night air over the ocean as the night faded to morning. Some distance away, two warriors stood at the front of a watchtower, keeping an eye out for any problems. Behind them, a few citizens were stirring, getting a start to their days. At his home, Hakoda stepped out and stretched, ready to oversee another day in his tribe. Aang, Katara, Sokka, Suki, and Ty Lee all slept peacefully in their respective homes or places of stay.
[17:52:16] <KataraPlushie> For a while, everything seemed to carry out as usual. A light mist had settled over the waters overnight. Obscuring one's view of the distance, that is, until one the watchmen stiffened. At first, he refused to believe what he thought he saw, but doubt soon swept in.(cont'd)
[17:54:25] <KataraPlushie> Noticing his partner's attention was now on something afar, the other watchmen asked, "Is anything the matter, Kaito?" The other hesitated then said slowly, "What do you suppose that is? That black figure in the fog?"
[17:57:21] <@AangPlushie> Kaito pulled out his telescope to take a look. "I'm not sure, but I don't like the looks of it...black ship, Fire Navy. But I don't think the Fire Lord or anyone was due for a visit..." As he looked, he saw a black flake come into view. Soon, these black flakes began to rain down from the sky. "No...this can't possibly be..." Kaito's voice trailed off.
[18:03:31] <KataraPlushie> "I..." The other watchman, Nakilo, kept his eyes locked on the approaching ship then looked up at the sooty snow that was falling in even greater amounts. "We better sound an alarm," he said quickly. "I don't think this is any ordinary visit." He raced over to the site of a brass bell and, pulling a rope, the bell pealed repeatedly.
[18:09:32] <@AangPlushie> The villagers stopped moving as the bell tolled and the black soot continued to fall. Hakoda looked around, stunned. The last time he had seen this soot, his wife died moments later. "No...they can't be...impossible!" He ran back inside and rapidly knocked on Katara's and Sokka's respective bedroom doors. "Katara! Sokka! Come quickly!"
[18:12:10] <KataraPlushie> Katara jolted up from her bed at the sudden, frantic knocking and sprung out of bed. She flung open the door and saw her panick-eyed father. "What's wrong?" she asked frantically as her brother also dashed into the hall.
[18:14:57] <@AangPlushie> The two made their way downstairs. "Look outside!" Hakoda directed to his children. They stood on either side of a window, watching the black soot fall to the ground. Katara grew horrified, remebering what happened the last time this event occurred at the South Pole. "Oh no..." Sokka uttered. "Dad...let's get everyone we can mobilized. Now."
[18:17:42] <KataraPlushie> Hakoda nodded. "Before things turn out like last time," he said gravely and they moved to prepare emergency defenses and herd everyone else to safety. Outside, Sokka laid a hand on Katara's shoulder and said, "You better make sure Aang is awake and fully ready to face this threat." She nodded and raced to his house.
[18:19:36] <@AangPlushie> Aang was still peacefully asleep, smiling as he continued into his sleep. However, he quickly awoke when he heard his door slam open. Katara stepped in, out of breath, her head hanging down as she breathed faster than a hurricane's wind. Aang's look quickly turned towards one of shock and worry. "Katara? Is everything okay?"
[18:21:59] <KataraPlushie> She raised her head, concern written all over her face. "A Fire Nation ship... approaching the South Pole...," she said in exasperation. "It just happened so suddenly... Soot is falling outside... You know what this means..."
[18:23:34] <@AangPlushie> Aang's look fell quickly. He remembered the day when Katara told him the story of her mother's death, and also recalled back to Admiral Zhao's large-scale attack against the Northern Water Tribe. "How...forget it. Come on, Katara! Let's get Suki and Ty Lee while we're at it. We'll need them too!"
[18:26:10] <KataraPlushie> The two bolted out of the house, kicking up a flurry of snow and weaving their way through terrified citizens whom Hakoda and a few others were trying to get to safety. They quickly reached their friends' house and knocked on the door, pleading that they would answer soon.
[18:30:21] <@AangPlushie> Soon, Ty Lee came down the stairs, rubbing her eyes as she opened the door. However, her eyes opened in shock as she saw Aang and Katara's looks. "What's up?" Ty Lee asked. "We're about to be under attack!" Aang said. "Get Suki as soon as possible!" Ty Lee quickly turned back inside and yelled up the stairs. "Suki! Suki! Get down here!" As this was in progress, Hakoda tried his best to organize a situation which was becoming chaotic."
[18:34:00] <KataraPlushie> Many of the warriors were unprepared to handle the crisis, but they flew into action and prepared as best they could. "Please, if everyone can just take cover in their houses," Hakoda tried to reign them in. "Get inside! We can't afford to have anyone hurt!" Suki, in the mean time, raced to the door, looking pale and worried.
[18:36:34] <@AangPlushie> "Anyone who is capable of fighting, report to the city center as soon as possible!" Bato added, running through the mess of people. "Anyone who can't, follow Hakoda's directions!" All the meanwhile, Suki looked towards the three. "What's wrong?" "We're under attack!" Ty Lee yelled. "Come on, let's get into our Kyoshi Warrior gear!" She started directly at her fellow Kyoshi Warrior. "This is what we trained for." "We'll see you guys in the city center shortly," Aang said.
[18:40:11] <KataraPlushie> Suki raised a hand up in understanding and disappeared upstairs while Katara and Aang then sprinted towards the city center, soldiers running past them in a hurry, some of them armed. They arrived there soon, feeling completely caught off-guard. "I-I can't believe it... After all these years," Katara said meekly.
[18:42:21] <@AangPlushie> A distance away, the Fire Navy ships closed on the village once again, just like they did continuously doing the war. Yon Rha stood at the front of the lead ship, smirking evilly. "Time to finish what we started over sixty years ago." Standing alongside him were Admiral Metang and Zhei Li.
[18:45:58] <KataraPlushie> "Let's hope this battle is short and ends in our favor," Metang said as the ship rushed forward. "I believe this will be over quite soon," Yon Rha assured him. "They won't be hiding away any waterbenders this time. Not when they'll need whatever defenses they can get. Prepare for first strike."
[18:48:24] <@AangPlushie> Upon the delivery of Yon Rha's order, two firebenders lit an oil-soaked ball, turning it into a raging fire. It was set on a trebuchet, ready to go at any moment. All the meanwhile, at the South Pole, Hakoda was finally getting things into order. Some villagers continued to scramble into their homes. "Everyone, listen up!" Hakoda began. "The second you see fire, I want you all to get into action! If you need a weapon, the weaponry base is right off to our left here. This will be a rushed defense, but with hardly any lead time, it's the best we can do."
[18:51:59] <KataraPlushie> The soldiers and waterbenders listened intently to the chief's commands, knowing they had to be on their feet and ready to strike back, no matter how off-guard they were. At the city center, Aang shook his head and said, "I know... It's terrible... Just keep a watchful eye and fight your hardest. Here come Ty Lee and Suki."
[18:54:02] <@AangPlushie> The two girls came running over, fully decorated in their Kyoshi Warrior attire. "We're ready," Ty Lee said. "Let's do this," Suki added. "Stay close to me Suki," Sokka said. "We'll get our job done together."
[18:58:46] <KataraPlushie> Suki nodded firmly and everyone braced themselves for battle. On the frigate, Yon Rha held up his hand in gesture. "Ready... Aim... Launch!" The trebuchet was activated and the fiery missile was released, streaking across the sky straight for the village.
[19:00:30] <@AangPlushie> The fireball hit the outer wall, sending snow through the air, and the two watchtower guards flying as the tower was destroyed right on the spot. Roaming villagers scattered quickly upon the Southern Raiders' pre-emptive first strike.
[19:07:00] <KataraPlushie> "They've begun firing!" Bato cried out in alarm. "You and several waterbenders need to position yourselves outside the city walls to stop anymore incoming fireballs," Hakoda told him. Bato nodded in agreement. He then turned, faced his troops and issued the order as Yon Rha prepared to strike once more.
[19:09:00] <@AangPlushie> "What should we do, Dad?" Katara asked. "You and Aang should follow Bato and the rest of the waterbenders for now," Hakoda answered to her daughter. "When the time comes...believe me, I'll call on you each. I have the utmost faith in you...remember that. For now...I have to lead these warriors."
[19:13:39] <KataraPlushie> "Good luck out there," Sokka added. "And stay safe." "We will," Aang said as he and Katara began advancing along with the other waterbenders towards the walls of the city. Metang received orders and fired another fiery missile. In no time, they will have arrived at the shores and would truly be able to storm the town.
[19:16:23] <@AangPlushie> The third fire missle made impact, leveling another portion of the wall. "These things just keep coming!" One of the waterbenders yelled. "Just stay in an attack position!" Pakku yelled. "I think we're about to see some firebenders."
[19:20:27] <KataraPlushie> The ship drew nearer and yet more projectiles were launched. Aang, Katara and several others raised up columns of ice in an attempt to stop them. At last it appeared the ship had reached the shores. The missiles were no longer fired and the fighters gathered together in a phalanx to face the firebenders.
[19:25:06] <@AangPlushie> Quickly, three northern waterbenders charged to the front lines and began shooting water bullets and ice spikes at their opponents. Some of the spikes impacted the firebenders, causing them to fall to the ground on the spot. All that Yon Rha and his two fellow leaders did in the meanwhile was just stand at the front of the lead ship and wait for their moment to strike.
[19:29:27] <KataraPlushie> The firebenders kept coming, dropping to the ground and charging forward, sending out streams of fire to scatter the warriors. More reinforcements came and began counterattacking. Katara quickly took notice of the uniforms and recognized the unit immediately, one she never thought she'd have to see again. This only added fuel to the fire.
[19:31:14] <@AangPlushie> The warriors and waterbenders were dodging shots, while some continued to attack the invading forces. "It's the Southern Raiders!" One of the older warriors took note of. The others ignored the shout, and remained focused on defending their home tribe. "Katara, look out!" Aang yelled as a fireball closed in on her.
[19:35:15] <KataraPlushie> Katara looked up for a split second and leapt out of the way, using waterbending to sped away as the boulder landed forcefully just feet from her. She looked hatefully forward at the Southern Raiders and sent a jet of water at one of them, successfully taking him down.
[19:39:15] <@AangPlushie> The fight continued at the front of the village. Outside of Aang and Katara's fight, the warriors were struggling, except for the two Kyoshi Warriors. Frustrations were building amongst some of the soldiers who were tasked with taking down Ty Lee. The young warrior was making all sorts of acrobatic movements, dodging fireblasts, and then turning around and engaging her chi blocking skills. Firebenders and non-benders alike fell before her.
[19:44:18] <KataraPlushie> Sokka and Suki stayed close by one another, the Water Tribe warrior striking down soldiers with his whale tooth spear and keeping his sword by him, ready to be drawn at any moment. Suki, while not as deft as Ty Lee, still took down many with chi blocking. From their vantage point on the ship, Yon Rha grew discouraged as he saw the firebenders being blown left and right.
[20:04:23] <@AangPlushie> Three firebenders then combined to reverse the tide. They joined attacks in large streams of fire, throwing some warriors clean out of the fight. Whether they were injured or killed was not truly known, but they were disabled and fire lit up the middle of the snowy ground.
[20:08:57] <KataraPlushie> Seeing the force of three simultaneous attacks, a few waterbenders imitated this tactic and disabled several soldiers themselves with sharp water whips. Soldiers and warriors alike ran about over red-stained snow, sometimes attacking from afar but often times getting close up and exchanging blows. Katara assumed the octopus stance and swept away firebenders as if they were nothing more than mosquitoes.
[20:13:00] <@AangPlushie> Three sword-wielding soldiers surrouned Aang, but the young airbender was quick on his feet. He ducked and dodged the swipes, and then used an air blast to knock them away. He may have harmed them in the progress, but he didn't truly care. It was all about protecting his new homeland at that point.
[20:22:13] <KataraPlushie> Sokka's spear had become mangled in a fight with two soldiers, forcing him to draw his sword. He dealt swift and deadly blows, some soldiers shouting as they were struck with the blade. For a split second, his mind traveled back to the last attack when he was only nine, so young yet still competent. He had grown into a true warrior and this time there was no mercy.
[16:15] <@KataraFanboy> A reserve of Fire Nation forces came through the city wall, further increasing the strength of the opposition. Yon Rha and his allies continued to watch, having mixed feelings as some of his forces advanced, but others were falling.
[16:20] <@Ultimate> Warriors fought their hardest to keep the oncoming Fire Nation forces from breaking into any of the houses where they knew families lay in fear during the attack. "We don't have many more backup forces," Metang stated solemnly. "If the tide doesn't change considerably, we may have to go out there soon ourselves."
[16:21] <@KataraFanboy> "Patience," Yon Rha stated. "We just put some of our best firebenders out there. Give them a few moments." As he spoke this, his firebenders began gaining an advantage. Two men gathered up whips of fire and began knocking Water Tribe warriors everywhere. They charged through the defenders and forced the Water Tribe forces to fall back further. "Sir, we're losing ground fast!" Bato said to Hakoda.
[16:26] <@Ultimate> Hakoda looked at the situation anxiously, knowing that they didn't have any additional forces as they had called on every last fighter at the beginning of the attack. "Just stay low and keep pushing," he said, as he knocked out a soldier coming his way.
[16:29] <@KataraFanboy> Towards the front lines, Aang and Katara were getting pushed back along with the rest of the forces. However, the Avatar held up in the face of receiving a lot of flames. Katara was just as resilient; she was showing just how much she had grown up since the last time the Southern Raiders attacked. She and Aang combined water bullets to drive back soldiers.
[16:34] <@Ultimate> The waterbenders in the city were growing more desperate as they continued to fall back, retreating further into the residential areas. Pakku arrived on scene, easing the strain as he froze over firebenders and blasted away others, yet a few firebenders landed hits on houses, causing frustration for the other side.
[16:38] <@KataraFanboy> Citizens ran out into the streets as some of their homes caught on fire, adding chaos to the situation. Hakoda turned to the fleeing villagers. "Move to the shelter on the west side of town!" He yelled to them, hoping to disperse the panic. As he did this, more firebenders knocked off warriors, dwindling the tribe's already thin numbers even further.
[16:52] <@Ultimate> Yon Rha looked with pleasure at the change of events. "And to think you had doubts about this attack..." he said confidently to his brother. Katara continued to fight alongside Aang, although they were slowly being separated by hordes of firebenders. She resorted to using deadlier tactics, lashing out with water razors and causing the demise of many.
[16:54] <@KataraFanboy> "Katara!" Aang yelled. "Try not to fight with anger so much! You'll exhaust yourself faster!" As he shouted these instructions, more firebenders came towards the Avatar. He used airbending to disintegrate their attacks and drive them away, but it was proving harder for him. However, on the other side of the field, help was about to come from the Kyoshi Warriors.
[17:00] <@Ultimate> The young fourteen year-old girl proved to be quite a match for the fully-trained firebenders who were immobilized with just a few quick strikes. Ty Lee noticed how deft Suki was at chi blocking, the latter also using her fans to strike at different pressure points. Soldiers fell to the snowy ground, now helpless and feeble, without bending or movement. Seeing the Avatar in trouble, Ty Lee somersaulted over to help.
[17:05] <@KataraFanboy> Aang saw the Kyoshi Warrior jump out in front, and he knew that he had just gained a powerful advantage. Ty Lee ducked and dodged fireblasts and then got alongside soldiers and disabled them as quickly as they tried to attack. Aang continued to hold off soldiers for as long as he needed before Ty Lee finished them. With the Kyoshi Warriors starting to knock out soldiers, the tide was turning.
[17:09] <@Ultimate> Following Aang's advice from earlier, Katara put less force into her attacks. Even so, her masterful bending skills proved overwhelming for the enemy as she used waves of snow and water to clear away soldiers with ease. On board, Yon Rha became grim at the turn yet again, but kept firm and hoped for the best.
[17:11] <@KataraFanboy> As good as the chi blockers and master benders were, they alone could not hold up. Sokka was in trouble, with several firebenders continuously surrounding him. Soon, a fire blast burned him significantly in the arm. The young warrior dropped to the ground before he was rescued by another tribesman.
[19:01:04] <@KataraPlushie> Sokka felt dismayed at having to drop out of the battle. My tribe needs me and now I've been taken out of the fight, he thought with dismay as the tribesman led him through the disasterous battle scene, fire raging, snow whipping about, bodies falling to the ground. He hoped the others would stay in the fight and win out in the end.
[19:04:49] <@AangPlushie> Aang and Katara kept going as hard as they could. Aang was using all three elements that were accessible to him at that point. He whipped fire to counter the hard-hitting firebenders, knocking some of them back. Ty Lee and Suki were staying upward against the multitude of fire coming at them, using their fans to keep it directed away.
[19:11:20] <@KataraPlushie> In the city, it appeared there was some success with Hakoda and the others beginning to drive the firebenders farther back to the outskirts of the town. New Fire Nation troops had stopped coming in and, although slightly outnumbered, they didn't seem horribly outmatched. Yon Rha was growing agitated, gripping the railing hard and silently willing for a hard blow to the enemy.
[19:14:37] <@AangPlushie> The battle continued to shift back and forth, neither side really grabbing a significant advantage. There was success on each side. A couple firebenders would take out a waterbender or warrior, but then a series of tribesmen would pop up and drive those firebenders back. The wild card continued to be the Kyoshi Warriors. Ty Lee and Suki, between themselves, had to have taken down about fifty soldiers each with their chi blocking. Back on the ship, Yon Rha was trying to decide what to do, when to jump in.
[19:19:58] <@KataraPlushie> "I would wait a little while, sir," Metang advised. "Things aren't looking too terrible for us yet. The main concern is those four fighters banded together near the city's outer wall." "The Avatar, that little Water Tribe girl I told you about and two unknown girls," the commander said with hatred that was almost palpable. "If they go first, the rest should be easy to take out."
[19:22:43] <@AangPlushie> Aang continued to hold back firebenders with his air blasts, while Katara was keeping up the waterbending prowess she had commanded for the past two years. "How many more of these are there?" Suki yelled across the battlefield. "And where's Sokka!?" Aang quickly turned to Suki. "I don't know where he is! Just keep fighting, we have to get rid of these guys!" The men continued to shoot fire, one blast nearly burning Aang on his arm, but he dodged the blast just in time.
[19:28:04] <@KataraPlushie> "I wonder if the commanding officer will show himself," Katara wondered as she froze over another three soldiers. "Hopefully we'll be able to force him to surrender before he can do any real damage!" Ty Lee shouted as she hurled a fan at a firebender, knocking him unconcious. She barely had time to retrieve it as a fire whip blazed in her direction.
[19:31:32] <@AangPlushie> The Kyoshi Warrior barely dodged the attack, the fire almost catching her as well. Aang finally had seen enough. "Everyone...back off." The Avatar's eyes and tattoos lit up as the three girls took some steps back. With a few seconds, the tattoos stopped glowing, but Aang could feel the energy coursing through his veins as his strength increased. With that, he whipped the snow up into tornadoes, sending several Fire Nation soldiers flying back. Aang then slammed his staff to the ground, sending a wave of snow that drove another series of soldiers backward. Yon Rha twitched as the Avatar's strength increased.
[19:35:19] <@KataraPlushie> As attacking firebenders fell back, other firebenders arrived at the scene to take their place, throwing punch after punch, but with the flames merely brushing past the empowered Avatar who used waterbending aided by airbending to pummel them. Several more joined forces yet they all fell in the end.(cont'd)
[19:36:52] <@KataraPlushie> The commander shook his head vehemently, livid at the sight of it all. "Sir, what should we do know?" Metang inquired. "We're in a downward spiral. More troops focus on defeating the Avatar, they fall and more come to take their place. This will spell the end, if something isn't done right away."
[19:39:16] <@AangPlushie> "If something isn't done..." Yon Rha's words dropped from his mouth along with his head. "Sir?" Zhei Li asked his brother. "That's it..." Yon Rha said, looking at the battlefield. "It's time to enter. Let's take care of the Avatar...and that filthy, no-good waterbender." Metang gave him one quick reminder. "Don't forget the Kyoshi Warriors, sir."
[19:44:21] <@KataraPlushie> "Them, too. All of them," Yon Rha spat as he straightened up and reached for his helmet. "Enough of this hiding... Ready yourselves." Zhei Li and Metang nodded obediently and the three men adjusted their suits of armor and began making their way off the ship. Aang continued to bring devastation to the Southern Raiders. Many soldiers were keeping their distance, trying to attack without being knocked out.
[19:49:29] <@AangPlushie> "Look out!" Ty Lee yelled as she saw the three elderly firebenders come off the ship. Aang and Katara popped up as the masters quickly began knocking off Water Tribe fighters, several going down within seconds. "Where did they come from?" Suki yelled. "I don't know," Aang answered. "Katara...let's get them. Suki, Ty Lee, continue working to get the other soldiers."
[19:53:25] <@KataraPlushie> The warriors nodded quickly before diverting their attention back to the battlefield, the firebenders from before drawing closer now that Aang had ceased his torrent of attacks. They took off towards the shore where the three new soldiers unleashed brutal attacks on unsuspecting warriors, evading attacks along the way. "I'm willing to bet they're the ones behind this," Katara said.
[19:58:27] <@AangPlushie> "I am sure they are," Aang said. "Regardless, no time to dwell on it right now. We have to get them before they decimate the entire defense." The couple attempted to make their way to the three, but several firebenders stood in their way. "All right, I see what the deal is..." Aang muttered to himself.
[20:52:27] <@KataraPlushie> The Avatar deflected a number of fire blasts sent his way and conjured up a sharp gust of wind that blew seven away. Katara herself used a water torpedo to clear away the remaining five away. With the path cleared, they were able to run towards the three who strangely stood statuesquely, as if lying in wait. As their faces came into view, however, Katara slowed down a bit, zeroing in on one right away.
[20:54:18] <@AangPlushie> A few more soldiers surrounded them, but Aang was able to clear them away. He then noticed Katara starting to come to a slower pace. "Katara, come on! We got to stop these guys before they go any deeper into the defense!"
[20:57:44] <@KataraPlushie> Right, he doesn't know who's standing right there..., Katara thought to herself. She picked up her pace a bit, but she could feel old anger she thought she had let go of two years ago stirring. She wiped out another couple of soldiers bitterly. So you've decided to come back..., she thought.
[21:00:13] <@AangPlushie> Behind the couple, soldiers continued to fall on each side. The Water Tribe warriors could feel a surge of momentum as the Kyoshi Warriors continued to knock out firebenders and non-benders alike. Suki and Ty Lee went in the clear for a moment, looking at the three older firebenders driving attacks just in front of the city wall, along with Aang and Katara continuing to battle. However, they couldn't wait much longer, watching other firebenders charge ahead.
[21:04:15] <@KataraPlushie> The three men stood by the shore, viewing the battle scene and watching as Aang and Katara advanced towards them at a fast pace. "Sir, shouldn't we take an offensive position or strike? While the two are preoccupied with the fighting?" Metang asked. "Don't go after them just yet," Yon Rha replied. "They'll come to us and they'll meet their match."
[21:07:02] <@AangPlushie> Aang and Katara continued to tear through the firebenders that tried to attack then, showing their superiority despite their lesser age to the invading forces. They were almost like a two-man army. Behind them, as long as the warriors did their job, taking down the three men up front would mean the end of the invasion. Aang could feel worry though as he saw Katara's anger increasing.
[21:10:54] <@KataraPlushie> The warriors were growing increasingly successful in driving the firebenders outside the city walls. Hakoda looked towards the shore and saw what appeared to be the commander of the Fire Nation troops. He then caught sight of Aang and Katara who were only several feet away. As they drew near, they slowed down, preparing for any first strikes.
[21:13:12] <@AangPlushie> The troops continued to be defeated, the three old firebenders waiting. "Do we move now?" Zhei Li asked. "Absolutely not," Yon Rha responded with a snap. "If they want to deliver themselves to us, let us do so. I've been waiting for this re-match for two years...and here we sit on the edge of getting it. We will wait."
[21:16:56] <@KataraPlushie> The couple was very near those in command and took defensive positions. It was extremely suspicious that not one of the Southern Raiders made a move. Katara still couldn't believe her eyes, that the man she thought had been broken had returned. Her face took on a dark expression.
[21:18:30] <@AangPlushie> "Focus!" Aang continued to yell at Katara. He may have been overdoing it, but he was not going to let his new homeland fall, and he didn't want to see Katara blow her energy on this man, whomever he may be. He continued to wipe out opposing soldiers with combinations of airbending and waterbending moves. Behind them, the situation was about even. Suki and Ty Lee were almost single-handedly holding things up for the Water Tribe.
[21:21:47] <@KataraPlushie> The firebenders were beginning to lose morale as they watched their comrades fall which only increased the spirits of the Water Tribe. "Things are looking well for us. If we keep up this momentum, we can claim victory," Bato said. The couple meanwhile stopped just a couple feet shy of the leaders, an anxious feeling in the air. Yon Rha simply smirked.
[21:23:56] <@AangPlushie> "Come to Yon Rha, little girl," the old commander evilly said. "You and that sad, pathetic excuse for an Avatar. The Water Tribe girl and the Avatar in the same day...the spirits are still very kind." He laughed an evil chuckle, as his commanders stood alongside. "Metang, Zhei Li...head out to the fight. These two are mine."
[21:27:49] <@KataraPlushie> The two quickly bowed and ran out into the thick of things. Katara didn't move, but Aang tried to stop them with an air blast that was merely dodged by the two. He then turned back to the commander who was staring coldly at Katara. "Come on... I won't bite," he sneered. "I can't believe you," the waterbender said almost inaudibly.
[21:29:51] <@AangPlushie> Aang watched as the lead officer gave his look to Katara, but then tried to direct his attention over. "Why are you trying to destroy the Southern Water Tribe? For that matter, who are you, and why are you staring at Katara the way you are?" Aang's voice grated anger as Yon Rha's cold look shifted over to the Avatar.
[21:35:05] <@KataraPlushie> "Amazing how ignorant you are, Avatar," he said mockingly. "But if you must know, I am Yon Rha, long-time commander of the Southern Raiders. And this young girl has had a few run-ins with me in the past. First, when I dealt with her dear old mother and then when she spared me. And oh, what a mistake you made that day," he told her.
[21:37:32] <@AangPlushie> Aang's eyes opened wide when the name "Yon Rha" came from this old commander's mouth. His look then grew to incredble anger. "YOU! YOU'RE the one who killed Katara's mother! I can't believe you!" Katara turned towards her boyfriend. "Now do you see why I lost my focus?" Aang nodded. "I'm sorry...I didn't realize we were dealing with /him/."
[21:41:20] <@KataraPlushie> Yon Rha merely barked out a laugh. "You thought you left me completely broken down...," he taunted, dragging out every word. "That whole speech about my worthlessness, the whole act of pity, deciding not to kill me, but let me live with myself... And you thought that was it and you were safe. But when people forget the past, it always comes back to bite them."
[21:43:02] <@AangPlushie> "I can't believe you, of all people," Aang continued, "Would DARE have the audacity to step back here after all that has happened." Yon Rha turned back to the Avatar. "Look, quiet down, you, you have no role in this," he said with a snap. "This is between me and your girlfriend."
[21:47:36] <@KataraPlushie> "Don't tell me I have no role in this!" Aang shouted. "And as if I would be stupid enough to leave Katara to deal with vermin like you. I can see how she thought you pathetic. You come here seeking revenge and expect you'll find it? We're slaughtering your men out there." Ire settled over Yon Rha's features.
[21:49:03] <@AangPlushie> "Why haven't you said a thing, little girl?" Yon Rha decided to finally address Katara. "Letting your silly boyfriend do all the talking for you? Are you back to the hopeless little girl you were when I came for your mother so many years ago? Come on...say something!"
[21:55:07] <@KataraPlushie> "I am /not/ the helpless little girl I was years ago," Katara argued through gritted teeth. "And I spared you that day because I was better than that. But then you have the nerve to come back here and take that for granted? I stand by what I said about you that day, but I don't think mercy is much of an option now. You've sealed your fate."
[21:57:01] <@AangPlushie> "Then let this fight begin!" Yon Rha yelled, and quickly fired a burst of fire at the two. They each dodged, moving in separate directions. Aang moved to airbending, slamming his staff to the snow and using it to try and move Yon Rha back, however, the old firebender held his ground. "I know full well of the airbending tactics, boy!" He yelled to the Avatar.
[22:00:13] <@KataraPlushie> While momentarily distracted, Katara was able to send a jet of water his way, causing the commander to stagger back several feet. "Keep talking," she said hatefully while Aang sent a blade of air at him.
[22:01:55] <@AangPlushie> Yon Rha ducked the air blade and then struck back at Aang, using a fire whip. The whip knocked Aang over. "I told you to stay out of this, Avatar, and I gave you a chance to get out," Yon Rha said. "But if you would like to die today too...so be it." He sent another fire blast at Aang, but the Avatar used a quick ice shield to stop it in its tracks.
[22:05:08] <@KataraPlushie> "I refuse to back away from this fight," he said defiantly. Yon Rha shook his head in mock disapproval, thinking of the glory that would come for eliminating the Avatar along with an old enemy. He swept his arms along the ground, sending out a wave of fire, but Aang merely leapt out of harm's way and Katara extinguished the fire with a wall of water.
[22:07:30] <@AangPlushie> "Leave Aang alone!" Katara snapped to her mother's killer. "I'm the one you came for." Yon Rha refused the offer. "Why take just you when I can also have the Avatar?" Aang quickly sent a fire blast at the distracted commander, but Yon Rha turned quick and augmented the flames. "I may be old, but I can still move fast, young man!"
[22:11:27] <@KataraPlushie> "You're delusional," the young waterbender retorted. "And if spirits forbid, we go down, you go down with us." She hurled a few ice disks his way, but they were quickly melted by his flames. Yon Rha then conjured two fire whips and lashed them about in an attempt to knock down his opponents.
[22:13:53] <@AangPlushie> The two again dodged, as the battle moved towards the right side of the city wall. Yon Rha whipped fire at both Aang and Katara, trying to knock one of them down. He knew that if he got one, the other might just crumble that much easier. Soon, his mind continued to craft a sinister move. /I broke her down by killing her mother...ending her boyfriend might just do the same./ All the meanwhile, some distance away, Suki and Ty Lee watched the battle dwindle to that 2-on-1 situation. "Should we go help?" Ty Lee asked. "I don't think that will be possible," Suki replied, seeing another division of firebenders charge.
[22:17:41] <@KataraPlushie> Drawing her fans, she quickly added, "The battle looks pretty heated. And it's their fight, we have our own responsibilities." With that, she blocked out flames sent her way and disabled the soldiers once they got within range, Ty Lee doing the same. At that time, almost all the firebenders had been driven from the city and forced to fight on the outskirts. Several warriors, however, struggled against Zhei Li and Meta
[22:18:30] <@KataraPlushie> Several warriors, however, struggled against Zhei Li and Metang, who proved extremely capable.
[22:19:35] <@AangPlushie> Zhei Li used a fire bomb to send some warriors out of the way, but Suki and Ty Lee used their agility to duck and dodge. "Come on Suki, let's get them!" Ty Lee yelled. "On it!" Suki added. (cont'd)
[22:20:56] <@AangPlushie> Back at the forefront of the battle, Yon Rha was holding up well against the Avatar and waterbending master. However, he still needed to plot a finishing move against one of them. He was trying to target Aang, but every time he did, another shot came in from Katara. He then knew what he needed to do -- find a way to get Katara out for even just a minute, and then gain his opening on Aang.
[08:58:37] <@Ultimate> With a strategy in mind, his focus was drawn more on her, as he sent jets of fire raging towards her, one after the other. Katara managed to hold her ground the first couple times, drawing up water shields and lashing out herself. However, the torrents grew more and more forceful and she was having trouble keeping steady.
[09:02:11] <@KataraFanboy> Finally, Yon Rha launched a fireblast which blew through Katara's defenses and knocked her down for that moment. /That's all the time I need/, Yon Rha thought evilly. He then turned to Aang. The Avatar used a blast of snow, but the old commander melted it with a fire blast. He then gathered up a fire bomb. "Time for you to leave this earth," he declared with an evil smirk, and launched the bomb into the ground. (Cont'd)
[09:04:48] <@KataraFanboy> The fire bomb hit near Aang's feet, and as a result, he was launched backwards into a portion of the city wall. The impact of the Avatar slamming into the wall at such a rapid speed knocked him out cold. Aang fell, having lost consciousness, and just lay there out in front of the wall. Yon Rha simply smiled as one of his harshest foes was nown out of it.
[09:09:25] <@Ultimate> Recovering from the impact of the blow she had received, Katara rose to her feet and grew horrified at the scene before her. Yon Rha stood smugly, appraising her boyfriend who was now lying in the snow, knocked out. She clenched her fists, all her fury threatening to flood over.(cont'd)
[09:14:03] <@Ultimate> Yon Rha looked over to where Katara now stood, his smirk growing wider. "What are you going to do now, little girl, now that your weak little boyfriend's out of the fight?" At that point, she had had enough. "You sick piece of trash! You're a waste of air. But that'll change now..." With that, she sent a pillar of water his way.
[09:16:56] <@KataraFanboy> The commander dodged the attack. "I have you right where I want you. Go ahead, fight with anger." He then sent a blast of fire at Katara again. As this was happening, a number of Water Tribe warriors surrounded Aang. "This is not good..." one of the warriors said. "He's out of it...and I mean really out of it." "What are we going to do?" Another one asked. "Let's just stand by and keep watch,
[09:17:11] <@KataraFanboy> the warrior answered. "The healers can't do anything about this; this is a knockout."
[09:23:15] <@Ultimate> Katara thought back to when Aang had advised her to remain calm and focused, but she knew, no matter what, the anger would just return; it was do or die at this point. She dodged the fire blast and sent a few ice spikes in the commander's direction, but he merely melted them. He shook his head, saying, "Still the same old moves as last time? I expected more from you," and drew up a wall of flames.
[09:26:03] <@KataraFanboy> The wall of flames knocked Katara down for a second time, but she quickly recovered. There was too much on the line for her to remain down. A distance away, the rest of the fighting continued. Numbers were fading on each side, but the Kyoshi Warriors were still leading the way, though they too were fading. Ty Lee was nearly out of breath. "I've never...fought like this...ever," she managed to get out. "Come on...we have to finish," Suki added, and they kept at it.
[09:32:48] <@Ultimate> Hakoda noticed that the Avatar was out of the fight and grew slightly worried even though they were still holding strong. Katara, still fueled by rage, drew up a water cloak and tried to swipe at Yon Rha from afar. The commander appeared more agile than she had thought, though, and was firing bullets at break-neck speed.
[09:35:26] <@KataraFanboy> "I've had about enough of you, little girl," Yon Rha snapped as Katara barely escaped another round of attacks. It was then time for him to try the same move he had knocked Aang out with earlier. He gathered up another ball of fire and prepared to launch it in a bomb. He threw the bomb towards the ground, close to Katara.
[09:39:48] <@Ultimate> The waterbender was shaken up by this blow, but managed to still stay standing. She saw Yon Rha preparing another bomb and attempted to diffuse the flames, but he launched it before the jet of water could wipe it out. The second bomb threw her back even farther and she grew more concerned, feeling her energy being spent. Anger had seemingly caught up with her.
[09:43:22] <@KataraFanboy> Yon Rha smirked as he finally appeared to have gotten what he wanted. He gathered up a third fire bomb which, upon impact, threw Katara back to near the city wall. A distance away, Ty Lee and Suki were watching the harrowing scene unfold. "No! Not Katara too!" Ty Lee yelled. "That's it...I'm going in. I'm ending this...once...and for all." "Are you crazy!?" Suki yelled. "He's trying to murder everyone!" "I don't care," Ty Lee replied. "Katara's my best friend, and I won't let her die." She tried to move as fast as her weakened feet could carry her.
[09:48:36] <@Ultimate> Suki considered running after Ty Lee to help her, but seeing a few firebenders approach her, she knew she had to remain where she was. Katara struggled to stand up a third time. She tried to regain her energy to fight as she knew Yon Rha could not go home victorious today, but her attacks were fewer and less forceful. Still Yon Rha relentlessly fired bombs.
[09:50:17] <@KataraFanboy> Firebenders came at Ty Lee as she moved towards the battle scene, but even in her weakened state, her agility was still solid and she ducked and dodged. She put her chi blocking attacks aside for the moment, saving that for a certain someone. Time was running out. (Cont'd)
[09:52:40] <@KataraFanboy> Yon Rha was relentless, continuously hitting Katara with fire bombs. She was now very close to the city wall, and any more bombs would likely put her in the same state that her love now lay. Katara was now desparate, unable to attack, she was looking for any hope, anywhere.
[09:57:35] <@Ultimate> "Katara!" A familiar voice rang out from not too far away. The shadowy figure of a girl, who appeared to be using every ounce of her strength to run forward, came into view. Ty Lee was growing light-headed, but she sprinted across the snow, now only several feet away from Katara. Yon Rha looked on in disgust, but prepared another bomb.
[10:00:05] <@KataraFanboy> The bomb came down and slammed Katara into the wall. She fell, almost losing consciousness herself. Her eyes were barely open, and her vision was fading. Yon Rha gathered up one more fire bomb. "Say hi to your mother for me," he evilly declared, ready for his finishing attack. "At the end of the day, you were weak, just like your pathetic tribe." (cont'd)
[10:03:07] <@KataraFanboy> Ty Lee picked up her speed, putting all little of her remaining energy left. "No...not my best friend...you..." She charged as Yon Rha began to launch the final fire bomb. Katara closed her eyes, preparing for fate. However, she then heard a gasp from Yon Rha, and the flames died. The old commander was struck. Ty Lee had reached him. The Kyoshi Warrior hit his first chi point, then a second, a third, and for good measure, a fourth. The old man fell to the ground, his movements stopped. Ty Lee stood behind him. "You...do not...mess...with my best friend..." she choked out.
[10:06:40] <@Ultimate> It took a few moments for Katara to register what had just happened. Her vision was dimmed and she was still in a shock from everything, but things on the other end had gone quiet. Ty Lee bent over to try and catch her breath then began staggering over to where Katara lay in the snow.
[10:08:19] <@KataraFanboy> Ty Lee examined her best friend. Her look turned to fear and worry as some tears lit up her eyes, fearing that the worst had happened to Katara. "Katara...are you...okay? Say something..." She was kneeling down in front of where Katara had fallen.
[10:14:14] <@Ultimate> Katara was able to make out the faded image of her best friend standing over her, pain written over her face. Although exasperated and hurting, she managed a faint smile and said, "I'm fine, just shaken up. I can't believe it... You took him out?"
[10:16:47] <@KataraFanboy> Ty Lee wiped a tear that had fallen down her cheek. "Yes..." she replied slowly. "I...well, you know...how chi blocking is..." the Kyoshi Warrior could barely speak. "I'm just...he was about to kill you...I couldn't let that happen..." her breaths were short, her heartbeat was rapid. Attempts to speak were becoming harder and more strained.
[10:21:33] <@Ultimate> Katara saw her friend beginning to slip away and grew worried. She propped herself up into a sitting position and laid her hands on Ty Lee's shoulders. "It's okay... Just...lie down," she said, looking around to see if any warriors were around to help her and her friend.
[10:24:03] <@KataraFanboy> Ty Lee lay down in the snow, trying to catch her breath. As this happened, Katara turned to the fallen Yon Rha, who was now surrounded by five Water Tribe warriors. He was arrested and taken off the battlefield where he would be detained. Katara simply gave him a poisonous look, which Yon Rha returned as he was led away.
[10:27:56] <@Ultimate> She cast her gaze over to where warriors still stood over Aang and silently pleaded for him to be alright and wake up soon. Seeing their commander out of the fight, Zhei Li and Metang ceased fighting and looked out onto the battlefield littered with bodies, many of them their own men. They knew surrender was inevitable. A few warriors came over to Katara and Ty Lee to appraise the situation.
[10:30:49] <@KataraFanboy> "Are you two all right?" One of the warriors asked to Katara and Ty Lee, noticing that they were both wounded and exhausted. "I'm...okay," Ty Lee said. "We just need to catch ou r breath," Katara added. "Please, sir...tell me...is Aang okay?"
[10:34:55] <@Ultimate> The warrior nodded and told her, "He's still out from that blow he received, but we're certain he'll be just fine." Relief flooded her; so it was only a matter of time. Another warrior arrived on scene and said, "Captain Metang has just officially declared surrender," which only brought more relief.
[10:37:46] <@KataraFanboy> "All right," another warrior said. "Let's re-gather everyone. Arrest all the surrendered troops. Hakoda and Fire Lord Zuko can discuss what do with them, we should detain them for now so none of them tries anything else." After a few moments, Ty Lee began to rise again, holding her hand over her heart as her energy returned to her, her heartbeat stabilizing. "I think I'm okay now..." she said. Katara smiled and quickly hugged her best friend.
[10:44:28] <@Ultimate> The two looked out at the scene where the firebenders were being apprehended one-by-one, including Metang and Zhei Li. "We did it... We won," Katara said in a hushed voice. She then turned to Ty Lee and said, "And because of you. You saved me." Ty Lee smiled modestly.
[16:22:32] <@KataraFanboy> "It wasn't anything special," Ty Lee replied. "I know you would do the same for me if it came down to it." Katara then pulled Ty Lee back into a hug. "The fact of the matter is, you did save me. You also may have very well just saved this entire tribe...thank you." Ty Lee returned the hug. "Don't mention it...I just did what any friend would at that moment."
[16:26:51] <@Ultimate> At that moment, Suki came over to them along with Hakoda, both equally worn out yet triumphant at having defeated the enemy. Suki knelt down and hugged both girls. "Thank goodness you're both okay... I was getting worried then." Hakoda embraced his daughter and said, "Well, once again, we're victorious and safe. Perhaps we should get you guys inside someplace."
[16:29:28] <@KataraFanboy> "I want to go see Aang," Katara replied. "I want to make sure I'm there when he wakes up." "Aang will be fine," Hakoda promised his daughter. "Come on, Katara...we should get some rest." Katara wasn't having it. "Please, Dad...just let me go see him. If he doesn't get up...I'll come then."
[16:32:44] <@Ultimate> Hakoda sighed and gave in. "Alright then... Do you want me to help you there?" Katara slowly got to her feet and shook her head. "No... I'll be fine, honestly." "We won't be too far, if you need us," her father told her. She nodded and said, "Hopefully Aang and I will see you three later." Then she started off.
[16:36:17] <@KataraFanboy> Katara made the walk over to the corner of the city wall where Aang had fallen moments ago. On the way, she encountered a fleeing firebender, but a waterbender froze him in his tracks. Katara just walked past the scene, because all she needed to see at that moment was /him/. She arrived to where the warriors were standing. "Excuse me, please..." the warriors then stepped aside and let Katara through.
[16:41:41] <@Ultimate> There he lay, eyes still closed, an almost peaceful look on his face. Katara drew in a deep breath, feeling tears come on; even though she knew he would be okay, she couldn't help it. She sat down beside him, propping him up, each second dragging by silently.
[16:45:10] <@KataraFanboy> As moments ticked on, Katara was still holding him up, hoping for anything. Ty Lee was still giving the occasional look over to the city wall to see the young waterbender holding Aang close. Finally, she turned and made her way back over to her best friend, and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Katara...you should really come back. It's been ten minutes now..."
[16:48:58] <@Ultimate> The waterbender shook her head vehemently and said, "No, I'm staying here." Ty Lee tried to protest, but Katara just said, "Aang stood by me during the fight with the commander. And I'll do the same now. Please..." Ty Lee nodded solemnly, knowing there was no use arguing anything. "If you need anything, though, let us know."
[16:50:59] <@KataraFanboy> "I will," Katara responded. With that, Ty Lee walked away, a worried expression continuing to cover her face for both Katara and Aang. She sighed sadly as she walked away. "I can't get her to come," the Kyoshi Warrior told Hakoda and Suki. "It's not hard to see why," Suki added. "She loves Aang more than anything...and she already lost him once."
[16:57:02] <@Ultimate> The warriors surrounding the two had cleared for the most part, either sensing something more personal or to aid elsewhere. Katara brushed her hand across Aang's cheek, wishing more than anything that he'd come to. "Please, spirits, let him be alright..." she quietly pleaded. Several moments passed in the cold and things looked bleak until she felt him stir slightly.
[17:00:03] <@KataraFanboy> Aang was laying there, and could feel his consciousness coming back on. His eyes began to open somewhat, his vision and memory each foggy. He didn't remember what had happened to him, and hard a time seeing what was in front of him. "Wha...what's going on?" He finally spoke in a whisper.
[17:05:00] <@Ultimate> Katara's gaze fell to the young Avatar as he slowly but surely roused. For a moment, she couldn't speak, simply looking upon him, tears beginning to race down her cheeks as she held him closer. "Oh Aang... You're finally awake..." She felt the way she did two years ago after the fall of Ba Sing Se.
[17:07:11] <@KataraFanboy> Aang's vision was still not the best, but he knew that voice anywhere. "Kat...Katara...it's you..." he gave a weak smile through his exhaustion. "You made it..." His eyes lit up as his vision continued to clear up, making it entirely clear that it was Katara holding him. He finally put his arms around her.
[17:11:01] <@Ultimate> She let out a sigh of pure relief and continued to hold him tightly. After a while, they separated from the hug and she tried to explain all that had happened, still feeling tired and overwhelmed. "We... we won. Yon Rha, he's been arrested. Ty Lee was able to take him down. We've done it yet again."
[17:14:06] <@KataraFanboy> "Ty Lee got him?" Aang asked in amazement. "I didn't see her anywhere nearby us...then again, I missed all what was left." Regret swarmed him at this statement, and he tilted his head down. "Katara...I'm so sorry....I abanonded you and left you on your own to deal with Yon Rha...who knows what could have happened. The tribe may have been lost...or worse...you would have..." he shuddered. "I guess I owe a big thanks to Ty Lee...though I know you also fought hard."
[17:17:51] <@Ultimate> "You don't have to apologize for anything," Katara told him, casting him a sincere smile. "You stood by me even when Yon Rha told you not to and you fought your hardest. What happened out there - it couldn't be helped. And yes, we owe her so much. She saved both of us."
[17:20:03] <@KataraFanboy> "I certainly was not going to stand down and let you take on that evil man on your own," Aang said. "I know I should respect all life...but for Yon Rha to do what we did was incredibly uncalled for...I can't believe he'd dare try it. Nevertheless...I just wish I could have stuck with you all the way." He noticed a couple of burn marks on her face. "It looks like he did hurt you, a little..."
[17:25:45] <@Ultimate> "I'll be fine," Katara assured him. "I was more worried about you. And don't dwell on it... It's all over and we're safe once again." She embraced him once more. She then noticed Ty Lee and Suki approaching them, relief visible on their faces as well.
[17:28:39] <@KataraFanboy> "Looks like the lovebirds are re-united," Suki said light-heartedly. "Welcome back, Aang...you scared us." Aang laughed off Suki's joke. "It's good to be back," he replied, then turned to Ty Lee. "Hey...Ty Lee...I owe you one. You saved Katara's life, and quite possibly the entire tribe. Thank goodness you came around, and stepped up..." Ty Lee shook her head while smiling. "Don't worry about it, Aang. The act is its own reward."
[17:39:24] <@Ultimate> "And we owe you a huge thanks as well," Aang told Suki. "You took down firebenders like no one else. Both of you." Suki smiled and said, "Anything to defend the tribe. How are you feeling?" "I think I'm alright," he replied. "Still feeling foggy, but I'm not concerned with that. I'm just happy we all made it out alive in the end."
[17:41:32] <@KataraFanboy> "I think we should get back to Dad now," Katara suggested. "Actually..." her mind wandered over to another loved one. "Has anyone seen Sokka? I haven't seen him since early on in the battle...and I'm a little worried about him."
[17:57:27] <@Ultimate> "From what I remember, he had to be taken out of the fight after receiving some wounds," Suki said in a downcast voice. Katara gasped. "Will he be alright?" "I'm sure he will. I don't recall his injuries being too severe. With a healing session or two, he should be just fine," the warrior told her, hoping this to be true.
[18:00:16] <@KataraFanboy> Aang placed a hand on Katara's shoulder."Don't forget, Katara, when Pakku and everyone came from the north, they brought along some of the Northern Tribe's best healers," he said with an assuring smile. He still could feel the sting of burns on his arms from the fight. "Maybe I could some healing too..."
[18:06:09] <@Ultimate> "You're right. He is in good hands. But we should get you somewhere inside for a healing, too. Do you need help?" Katara asked, offering a hand. "I think I'm okay," he replied, propping himself up and rising to his feet, albeit a little off-kilter. Katara stood next to him and helped keep him steady. "Are you guys coming?" she asked the two warriors.
[18:09:06] <@KataraFanboy> "Yeah," Suki replied. "I should also come to find Sokka as well." "We're right with you," Ty Lee added. The Kyoshi Warriors came up on either side of them, and they began the walk across the snowy battlefield which had been stained by blood in spots. All the Southern Raiders had now been removed from the field, leaving Water Tribe citizens to stir across the city, in shock of what had happened. It was nearly midday, a few hours gone by since the surprise attack began.
[18:58:24] <@KataraPlushie> It was a slow and slightly agonizing walk, with only a few venturing outside but many still inside out of wariness. They eventually made it to a healing hut, however, where several other wounded men were stationed. "I wonder where Sokka could be," Ty Lee wondered aloud.
[19:00:52] <@AangPlushie> "I think I see him," Aang said, turning his eyes to a younger warrior who was laying down, being worked on by an older woman. The four drew closer, and soon they could see the familiar look. "Yeah, that's him." They all started to smile, none stronger than Sokka's girlfriend or his sister.
[19:04:02] <@KataraPlushie> Sokka, sensing someone approaching, raised his head and immediately lit up. "You guys made it out alright!" he exclaimed excitedly. "Indeed we did," Aang told him brightly. "We were worried about you. But you seem to be fine and in high spirits."
[19:08:22] <@AangPlushie> Katara bent down and embraced her brother the best she could. "Yes, we're very glad to see that you're okay." She noticed the large burn mark on his arm. "You took quite a lick there, big bro." Sokka just kind of laughed it off. "It's okay, nothing to worry about. Just another thing to remember a battle by." Suki then walked in and kissed her boyfriend on his cheek. "Well, we're just glad you're fine, Sokka." Sokka smiled at Suki lovingly. "I'm glad you are too...not just you, Suki, all of you. So, tell me...how did it go? Did you whoop those leaders' butts?"
[19:28:10] <@KataraPlushie> "We emerged victorious in the end, thanks to Ty Lee over here," Katara told him, nodding her head in the warrior's direction. "But, um, you won't believe who was behind the attack..." Her expression grew uncomfortable, almost grim. "Yeah, I didn't see. Who was it? Did Ozai somehow break out of prison?" he asked. "Don't get too carried away," Suki told him.
[19:28:21] <KataraPlushie> "Was it Azula?" Sokka asked. "I'm afraid not," Aang replied. "It was...uhhh...gee, how do I say this?" Katara then stepped up and knelt down next to the bed. "It was Yon Rha..." she finally said, her words coming down to a whisper-quiet tone. "WHAT!" Sokka yelled out, briefly catching the attention of everyone in the vicinity.
[19:26:59] <@KataraPlushie> The group winced slightly at his outburst as a clouded look crossed Sokka's face. "Yes, as much as I hate to admit it, it was," Katara said, still speaking in a hushed tone. Sokka buried his face in his hands. "I can't believe it," he said sorrowfully. "That vile man. I would've killed him if I had only known."
[19:30:35] <AangPlushie> "Sokka," Aang started. "It's like I told Katara a while ago...if you were to kill him, it wouldn't have accomplished anything. You would have just fallen to his level. I know you're stronger than that...though I guess it doesn't matter now. I don't think Yon Rha will see much more light of day in his life."
[19:34:11] <@KataraPlushie> Sokka let out a disgruntled sigh and said, "I guess you're right... So he was arrested? Won't have the chance to plot anything else?" Aang nodded and told him, "Yep. We won't be seeing any more of him, I don't think." "Good," Sokka said. "And I'm sure these guys have already been showering you with gratitude, but really, thank you so much," he told Ty Lee.
[19:37:22] <AangPlushie> Ty Lee again smiled modestly. "Really, it's nothing." "No, it's a lot more than that," a much deeper voice said. They turned to see that Hakoda had returned to the area. He placed his hands on Ty Lee's and Suki's shoulders. "I got big news for the both of you. I have conferred with all the members of my council, and later tonight, we are going to have a ceremony to celebrate the victory today. For you two...you will be presented with something nice." "What is it?" Suki asked curiously. "Ah, you don't want to ruin the surprise, do you?" Hakoda replied. "Meet us at the city hall tonight. You'll see." With that, he smiled and left everyone to themselves again.
[19:43:08] <@KataraPlushie> The five friends exchanged curious glances with one another. "I wonder what that will be all about," said Sokka. "But I think a celebration is in order and a tribute to you two. From the little I saw out there, you guys had firebenders dropping like flies." "Just doing our job. All in a day's work of being a Kyoshi Warrior," Suki smiled and said. At that moment, a few healers came up to them to check up on their condition.
[19:46:25] <AangPlushie> "Is everyone doing all right?" One of the nurses asked. "Yeah, we're fine," Katara replied. "I think we've shaken everything off now." Another nurse came up and noticed the burn mark on Katara's face. "Are you sure you're all right? That burn does look a little ugly."
[18:43:38] <@Ultimate> "I guess having it healed wouldn't hurt," Katara consented. The nurse sat her down and busied herself while another healer turned to Aang. With their skills, it only took a few moments to fix things up. They all thanked the healers who then went on to attend to other matters.
[18:46:02] <@KataraFanboy> "You know, thinking about things," Aang started, "I wonder if Zuko knows anything about this." Sokka turned towards Aang. "I doubt he does. This attack came out of nowhere. If Zuko knew, I'm sure he would have stopped it. Though I guess now it's up to him to look over things. But I highly doubt he'd let this happen if he had knowledge of it."
[18:48:53] <@Ultimate> "Sokka's right. There's no way Zuko would tolerate this," Suki agreed. "Although I'm sure he'll be pretty angry to hear about this." Katara turned to both girls and said, "I'm sorry you're trip here was kind of ruined by this whole thing. So much for relaxing and having fun while you have time off."
[18:53:26] <@KataraFanboy> Ty Lee sighed and placed a hand on Katara's shoulder. "Hey, don't worry. It's not like you could have seen this coming either." Suki nodded. "Yeah, come on Katara. It's not like we knew this was going to happen either. No one did. We're just glad we could help when it came down to it."
[18:56:41] <@Ultimate> "How long are you guys staying for?" Sokka asked. "We plan to stay for four more days," Ty Lee replied. Sokka smiled and told her, "Well, then it's not over. You can still have fun. Plus you have the rest of today. It's still pretty early; I don't think the ceremony will be for a while."
[19:00:19] <@KataraFanboy> "Dad said it wouldn't be until tonight," Katara added, "So yes, plenty of time for us all to rest." Sokka felt his stomach growl. "Not to mention eat. Fighting firebenders really helps make an empty stomach. Let's get lunch!" Katara smiled and shook her head. /You never change, Sokka.../
[19:03:58] <@Ultimate> "I'm fine with that. But Ty Lee and I should change out of our uniforms," said Suki, facing her fellow warrior who nodded in agreement. Katara looked over at Aang and said, "That reminds me. Didn't we plan to go out to lunch together?"
[19:06:10] <@KataraFanboy> Ty Lee and Suki headed off to change into better clothes, as their uniforms had been tattered and burned somewhat in the fight. Aang turned to Katara and nodded. "Yeah, we did. I don't see any reason why we can't stick with that plan, though, unless your Dad and others want to do something else."
[19:09:11] <@Ultimate> Katara shook her head, saying, "I think my dad is busy with clearing up the battle scene and assessing the damage done. And he also has the ceremony to plan. So I think we're okay. Unless Sokka has anything else in mind." She faced her brother.
[19:10:35] <@KataraFanboy> Sokka also smiled and shook his head. "Nah, don't worry about me. You two go ahead and get some lunch. I think I'll just go off with Suki and Ty Lee. Go on, have lunch, hang out, just make sure you're back for the ceremony tonight." [19:12:34] <@Ultimate> "Don't worry, we'll be be there," Katara reassured him then turned her attention back to Aang, a smile spreading across her face. "Shall we then?" She and Aang locked hands and bade Sokka a goodbye before making their way out of the healing hut.
[19:17:39] <@KataraFanboy> Later that night, after the battlefield was cleaned up and the damage assessed, a small gathering of citizens arrived at the City Hall. Suki and Ty Lee were now dressed in Water Tribe clothing that Katara had sent them not too long ago as gifts, while the rest of Team Avatar was dressed in more of their typical get-ups. Warriors and cityfolk alike entered for the ceremony that Hakoda had planned.
[19:21:49] <@Ultimate> The villagers were still buzzing about the day's events and there was still a feeling of surprise in the air. The night was crystal clear, stars shining overhead, such a contrast to earlier that day. The five gathered 'round. "We're almost ready to kick off the ceremony," Hakoda told them.
[19:23:49] <@KataraFanboy> With that, the crowd turned to the attention of the Southern Tribal Chief. "All right, good evening everyone," Hakoda began. "We're glad you could join us tonight after this, to say the least, hectic day. It's been long, but it was still a rewarding day, as we again held our territory. The Southern Water Tribe still stands strong!" The audience applauded at Hakoda's booming words.
[19:26:43] <@Ultimate> "And we owe it all to the soldiers who fought so valiantly. Even outnumbered and unprepared, they stood their ground and wouldn't back down. It's disheartening to say that we lost quite a few out there, but rest assured, they won't be forgotten," he continued, followed by a moment of silence.
[19:30:01] <@KataraFanboy> The members of the audience bowed their heads in respect for all those that had fallen as a result of the events of the day. Their memories would certainly never be forgotten. "Thank you," Hakoda then broke the silence. "Now then, in the events of the today, there was certainly plenty of good news, and many soldiers who distinguished themselves. First off, every soldier who is here that fought today, please stand up and be recognized."
[18:39:47] <Ultimate> Several men and women rose from their seats, some bearing wounds from that day but also smiles on their faces for having won the day. The crowds applauded the fighters. "Without each and everyone one of them, where would we be today?" Hakoda said proudly. "And let us not forget the members of Team Avatar, who were right there on the battlefield alongside them."
[18:43:07] <@KataraFanboy> Aang, Katara, Sokka, Suki and Ty Lee all gave modest smiles and waves as the attendees cheered for them loudly. "All hail the Avatar!" A crowd member yelled out. "Go Katara!" Another member yelled through the applause. This continued for a couple of moments before they eased.
[18:46:30] <@Ultimate> "And that's why we're here tonight. It's only right to celebrate these heroes," the chief said to the crowds. The cheers and ovation at last quieted down and the soldiers and Team Avatar took their seats again.
[18:51:37] <@KataraFanboy> "So now, I have tonight, some important medals to give," Hakoda resumed. "First, for any one who becomes a hero of the Water Tribe or passes an important ceremony to do so -- an honor which was already presented upon Avatar Aang, but now goes for two of the most important women in the fight today. It is my honor to officially decree Kyoshi Warriors Suki and Ty Lee honorary members of the Water Tribe!"
[18:55:25] <@Ultimate> Suki shot a quick glance at Aang and Katara as if to say, Wow, really? She and Ty Lee stood up, exchanging bright grins as the clapping once again broke out, and stood before Hakoda to receive the medals, an official mark of induction.
[19:01:07] <@KataraFanboy> As this finished, a warrior came out with a blue box, marked with the emblem of the Water Tribes. The marking on it read "UNDER THE HIGHEST CIRCUMSTANCES ONLY". Hakoda then took the box and placed it before him. "Now, ladies and gentlemen," Hakoda started. "It is time for a medal of perhaps the highest honor in combat. It is to be awarded to any soldier who demonstrates the highest order of bravery and fighting for our side. This is a medal that has only been awarded twice...and not at any point in the last 46 years...until today." The crowd and the members of Team Avatar murmured as Hakoda spoke, wondering just what the situation was. (Cont'd)
[19:15:12] <@KataraFanboy> "Today, that 46-year drought is over," Hakoda resumed. He then opened the box and revealed a medal of gold, a blue ribbon around it. The charm was a full moon with stars dotting it. "This is the Water Tribe Medal of Honor, and given the events of today, there is one person in this room deserving of it. When the fate of my daughter and potentially the entire tribe hung in the balance against the evil Yon Rha, this brave woman, who had already exhausted herself knocking out over a hundred firebenders, stepped up, and knocked him out." Katara placed her arm around Ty Lee's back and smiled at her warmly. Hakoda then said, "For the first time in almost a half-century, I am proud to officially present the Water Tribe Medal of Honor to Ty Lee of the Kyoshi Warriors!"
[19:20:59] <@Ultimate> "Wow, way to go!" Suki exclaimed, giving her arm a squeeze. I really didn't expect all of this..., Ty Lee thought giddily as she once again returned to the chief who slipped the medal over her head. "Don't be looking so surprised, young lady," Hakoda told her. "You've done this tribe a greater service than you may think."
[19:23:46] <@KataraFanboy> "Speech!" One of the audience members declared. Soon, another memeber caught hold of this, and the yell began to spread through the crowd. Soon, the chant was on. "Speech! Speech! Speech!" Ty Lee looked around nervously, sheepishly smiling and waving, not entirely sure what to say.
[18:58:52] <KataraPlushie> Aang and others shot her encouraging smiles and she took a deep breath and began, "Oh gee, all I can really say is that I wasn't expecting all this. I was fine with just receiving a mention and a round of applause, but two medals? But thank you for considering me an official member of your tribe.(cont'd)
[19:01:48] <KataraPlushie> Two years ago, I wouldn't have thought to be a member of the Water Tribe, or even the Earth Kingdom really." She gestured towards Suki. "But I appreciate the open arms. Even with all the turmoil today and a change in my original vacation plans, something great has come out of this."
19:04:41] <@AangPlushie> The crowd applauded for her before she resumed. "I just feel greatful and humbled to receive these honors today...especially the Medal of Honor. I mean...wow. I never thought I could be considered deserving of that. In any event, thank you, Chief Hakoda, for bestowing these honors today. Thank you, citizens of this tribe, for being supportive of me despite my past." She stepped down to a loud applause.
[19:10:10] <@KataraPlushie> Hakoda stepped up once again as Ty Lee received the praise from her friends on the sidelines. "It's too bad Toph, Zuko and the others can't be here for this," Sokka remarked as the chief said, "Indeed, this young fighter has come a long way."
[19:13:09] <@AangPlushie> Another warrior then came out with a message in a rolled up piece of paper. Hakoda took it and saw it was marked with the emblem of the Fire Nation. "It appears we have a message from Fire Lord Zuko," Hakoda said. He then proceed to open it. "Rip it up!" A citizen yelled. "Cut it to pieces, the Fire Nation hasn't changed!" Another warrior did. "Now, come on guys..." Hakoda said, and opened the message and began to read it. (cont'd)
[19:15:59] <@AangPlushie> "To Chief Hakoda and all Southern Water Tribe citizens: It is my understanding that an attack from the old Southern Raiders came down against your tribe today. I was not made aware of these events until later in the morning. I assure you that myself and none of the military was involved in this attack -- Yon Rha and all associated members acted on their own behalf. I would like to come to the South Pole and speak with you, Chief, on anything the Fire Nation can do to help you guys recover. Please respond as soon as you can. Sincerely, Fire Lord Zuko."
19:19:28] <@KataraPlushie> A few of the skeptical citizens exchanged wary looks as if to express their disbelief. There were some who were just surprised that Zuko wasn't even aware. Before they could make any protests or raise any suspicions, Hakoda said, "Well, I think a visit from Fire Lord Zuko is definitely in order. We could use all the help we can get."
[19:23:11] <@AangPlushie> "No way!" A citizen yelled. "Let the Fire Nation burn, Zuko's just like his ancestors!" On this word, Aang stood up and addressed the crowd. "Excuse me, please!" He yelled, seizing the crowd's attention. "I have known Zuko as a close personal friend for the last two years, as have Katara, Sokka, and Suki, and Ty Lee for even longer. We all know what type of a person he is, especially as Fire Lord. Zuko works his hardest for the balance of the world; he even risked his life to join us during the War. He recognized the mistakes he made and made amends for them all. He knows that he too has to work to ensure the world's balance; look no further than his efforts around the world with the colonies. He would not knowingly allow such a disturbance to happen. I am telling you all, please give him a chance. He has earned it."
19:27:03] <@KataraPlushie> "I'm not questioning his true morals and willingness to repair the world," another citizen called out. "But isn't it rather ignorant of him that he wasn't even aware of the attack?" This earned the approval of others. Aang let out a sigh and said, "It is rather unfortunate that the attack was unknown until now, but if he had known about it, please know that he would have done anything to stop it."
[19:30:20] <@AangPlushie> "I agree with Avatar Aang," Hakoda stood up and said. "I too have met Fire Lord Zuko, doing so at a global summit in Ba Sing Se five months ago. He has reformed himself greatly, and is genuinely backing the plan to restore the world's balance. I fully throw my support behind him and Aang's words. We need to stick together...a world divided can not rebuild." At the conclusion of those words, a number of citizens stood up and started to applaud. Sokka encouraged the positivity by waving his arms upward.
[19:33:38] <@KataraPlushie> Even the cynics were left contemplating these words and the vocal protests ceased. "I expect that will we welcome and treat the Fire Lord with the utmost respect when he comes. I won't stand for any troubling reactions," the chief said to his people. "I'll write to him tonight," he told Aang. "The sooner he comes, the better."
[19:35:51] <@AangPlushie> Aang and Katara each nodded in agreement, hearing the plans. "All right, now let's settle and get back to order," Hakoda said. "This is a night of celebration, not a night to hurt our alliances."
[19:49:48] <@KataraPlushie> "Would any other members like to say anything more?" he asked, eyeing Team Avatar who felt all that had to be said was summed up earlier. A question entered Suki's mind and she spoke up, saying, "Where are Yon Rha and the soldiers being held right now?"(cont'd)
[19:51:20] <@KataraPlushie> "They're being held in a prisonhold not too far from here," the chief answered. "Once Fire Lord Zuko comes in, I would like to say, a few days or so, we will be able to properly escort them out and to a more appropriate prison in the Fire Nation."
[20:07:01] <@AangPlushie> "That is a good course of action," Aang replied. "Keep them where it can be ensured that they can't cause trouble. They'll keep a good watch. I'm sure Zuko will have no issue with it." With that said, Hakoda continued his speech. "Once my meeting with Zuko is held, and we can get resume normal operations, we will restart the reconstruction project. Is that clear with everyone?"
[20:11:05] <@KataraPlushie> The citizens nodded obediently at this. "Luckily, it seems as though our actual residential areas haven't been damaged too severely and not many are displaced. Our main focus will be the defense walls and watch towers. And we owe the two guards on duty this morning for their quick action," he said.
[20:13:57] <@AangPlushie> The two guards stood up and they were applauded. Hakoda was right; if it weren't for them, the tribe would have been totally blitzed with no possible line of defense, given the early morning timeframe. "Also, let us give thanks to the tribe healers, for making sure everyone was treated properly for their injuries and acting in a timely manner despite the rush," Hakoda dded.
[20:16:59] <@KataraPlushie> The healers received their just due, especially from the soldiers who displayed injuries. "I don't think much more is to be said, only that we appreciate the show of heroism and the cooperation of all the citizens this morning," Hakoda concluded and bowed before stepping back.
[20:19:23] <@AangPlushie> "I think all that is left to say," Sokka said, "is that everyone deserves their thank you. This was a situation we were totally unprepared for -- these types of things take days, even weeks to train for, and we had to be ready in a matter of minutes. The fact of the matter is, we still got it done, and everyone in attendance today should be praised for that. So, a thank you, to everyone today."
[17:13:27] <@KataraPlushie> The crowd gave their approval once more. Afterwards, some began to disperse while others lingered and talked among themselves. "Good speeches, you two," Katara told her father and brother. "What now?"
[17:14:42] <@AangPlushie> "Well," Hakoda began, "There's really not much else to do. If you guys just want to head off and do whatever you want, be my guest. Aang, Katara, Sokka...I would like you three to be with me when Zuko comes down here. I think it's crtical because some people don't seem to trust the Fire Lord, and you're all friends with him."
[17:17:06] <@KataraPlushie> "You can count on us," Sokka assured the chief. "Just tell us when he's due to come here." "Of course," Hakoda said. "If you're going off somewhere else, I guess I'll see you later tonight." He walked off the stage to join the villagers, leaving the five to decide where to go next.
[17:19:15] <@AangPlushie> Katara noticed Ty Lee chatting with Suki, and decided she wanted to talk a little more with the girl who had just saved her life. "Aang, wait for me a minute," the waterbender instructed to her boyfriend, to which Aang nodded. "Hey, Ty Lee? Could I see you for a second?" Ty Lee then turned around on Katara's words and simply said, "Sure, Katara." The two then went up to a balcony atop the city hall, where the quiet night befell the Southern Tribe, the only noise coming from the villagers.
[22:45:14] <@KataraPlushie> "What's on your mind?" Ty Lee asked, she and Katara leaning on the balcony railing overlooking the city. "I... I just don't know how I can really express my gratitude towards you for what you did out there today," Katara said. "I know you say it's all part of your duties, but for me, it's more than that. Because the whole thing runs on a more personal level."
[22:48:36] <@AangPlushie> "Katara," Ty Lee said. "Like I told you while we were out there...I know it's something you would also do for me. I mean, we're best friends...we aim to be there for each other." Katara looked at Ty Lee, the former's eyes welling up with tears somewhat. "I know...but like I said, it just means a lot to me. You risked a lot...Yon Rha is a murderous man, and you had drained yourself so much. You worked all that last little bit up...to save me. I mean...you could have kept fighting firebenders...but you chose to save /me/. That means so much." A couple of tears dropped down her cheeks as she smiled greatfully at the Kyoshi Warrior.
[22:53:00] <@KataraPlushie> Ty Lee smiled sincerely and laid a hand on her shoulder. "Like I was going to stand by and watch him finish you off like that? Not on my watch." "And you did it in a more civil manner than I think any of us would have," Katara admitted. "I wouldn't like to think that I would've ended him, but... I don't know... Just because of what's happened in the past." She stared lamely up at the sky.
[22:55:14] <@AangPlushie> Ty Lee moved her arm around Katara's back. "He certainly has caused you and your family a lot of strife in the past. To spare him the first time was a very noble and strong act of you. If you did kill him...I hate to be harsh, but he would have deserved it. Trying to take that act for granted."
[22:58:03] <@KataraPlushie> Katara gazed over at her friend, slightly surprised given her usually sweet, cheery nature. But she appreciated the support and simply said, "Thanks for understanding." The two embraced before breaking away and staring back out over the city. "So what do you plan to do now?"
[23:00:03] <@AangPlushie> "Well...just want to enjoy the rest of this trip," Ty Lee said. "Though, Katara...there is something else I want to tell you...and given the moment, and all that has happened, I think it would be appropriate."
[23:01:11] <@KataraPlushie> Katara tilted her head and gaved Ty Lee a curious look. "And what would that be?"
[23:04:12] <@AangPlushie> "Over the last few weeks," Ty Lee began, "I've really begun to notice how much you mean to me. We're best friends...and you just...you're always there for me, Katara. I feel like I'm also always there for you. We're closer than ever...you're far more of a friend to me than Azula, and now even more than Mai...and...in light of essentially being without a family, having no sense of being unique...Katara...I've come to take you in like a sister...like you're part of my family now. I just...I love you like a sister..." tears were falling down her cheeks as she thought of her past and present, thinking what her new friend had brought her. "...and I can't afford to lose you."
[23:09:02] <@KataraPlushie> The young waterbender could feel tears of her own beginning to pool and mustered a compassionate smile at the girl who saw her as family and whom she had begun to see as a family member herself. "Wow, I don't know what to say," she said happily. "But you yourself are like the sister I never had.(cont'd)
[23:09:56] <@KataraPlushie> I'm so happy that you've come to think of me in such a way. And you need to know that it's the same for me." She pulled her into another hug, tighter this time.
[23:12:28] <@AangPlushie> Ty Lee hugged Katara tightly as tears continued to stream down her face. "Thank you, Katara...I'm so happy you think of me this way, too..." The Kyoshi Warrior couldn't have been any happier than she was at that moment. She had a best friend who shared a mutual feeling of being like a sister, after many years of struggle without family love in her life. "You don't know how happy I am to hear these words coming from you."
[23:16:34] <@KataraPlushie> Katara knew what this must have meant to Ty Lee who felt isolated from her own sisters. Never did she expect to become one to her in her own unique way, but she couldn't have been happier with the ways things had turned out. They separated from the hug and wiped away their tears. "And it'll only get better," Ty Lee told her. "We have a whole life ahead of us."
[23:18:13] <@AangPlushie> "I look forward to the years ahead," Katara added. "It will be great to have a close friend like you right along with me." Ty Lee continued to smile brightly, and then said, "Not to mention...as an honorary member of your tribe." She looked down at her medals. "I just...I never thought I would receieve these. I mean, honorary tribe member was enough...the medal of honor....I mean...wow."
[23:23:04] <@KataraPlushie> "Well, it wasn't like you didn't deserve it," Katara replied, grinning. Even so, she herself still found it surprising and slightly amusing just how much had changed in life. She let out a contented sigh then said aloud, "I wonder what the others are up to."
[23:26:07] <@AangPlushie> "Maybe we should head back downstairs and check in," Ty Lee suggested. "I'm getting a little chilly...still not really used to the cold of the South Pole." Katara nodded. "All right...and don't worry, it does take a while to get adjusted. After a few more trips, you'll settle in to it." With that, the two made their way downstairs. Awaiting them were Sokka and Aang, whom had each decided to stick around. "Katara..." Aang came over and said. "I want to talk to you. I know you were just up there...but let's head up to the balcony."
[23:29:09] <@KataraPlushie> "Sure," Katara told him. Sokka called after them, saying, "We'll be right here, if you need any of us." Aang nodded and then he and Katara made their way to the balcony.
[23:30:50] <@AangPlushie> Aang looked out to the city, which was just as quiet as it was when Ty Lee was with Katara moments earlier. The Avatar, however, held a more upset and somewhat regretful look. "Katara...I...I am so sorry for not being able to stay with you today. I had a chance to help you finally turn away that evil man from you for good...and I let myself go down early. I failed you..."
[23:34:23] <@KataraPlushie> Katara frowned, upset to see him so down, and put her arm around his shoulders. "No, you didn't," she said in a near whisper. "Never think that you've let me down. I know you gave it your all while you could and that's what counts. Don't be sorry..."
[23:36:08] <@AangPlushie> Aang let some tears drop from his eyes. "But...I mean, for half that fight, you were left on your own. It took Ty Lee to save you...and she was on her last legs. I should have been there for you all...and I let Yon Rha beat me badly. I could have done so much better...could have done more...I blew it when it mattered most."
23:41:11] <@KataraPlushie> Katara wrapped both arms around him, resting her head against his neck. "I wish I could take away any guilt that you have and I hope you know that I don't see it that way. Admittingly, I was upset when you were taken out, but not for those reasons. I just feared what might have happened."
[23:44:53] <@AangPlushie> "I know..." Aang said, his voice trailing off, and then gave a sigh. "It's just...the same thing happened in Ba Sing Se...I left you all out on your own after being struck by lightning..." Katara cut his speech off quickly. "Shhh..." she whispered into his ear, then kissing it lightly. "Aang...you couldn't have predicted what Azula did that day or what Yon Rha did today. You gave it your all then, and you gave it your all today. I'm so proud of you...and you could never fail me. Ever. Today, we won...and that's what matters. All else that should matter is that I love you so much."
[23:48:03] <@KataraPlushie> Aang cracked a small smile at these words. "I love you, too," he replied, returning the embrace. "And you're right... We did win and things couldn't be better than they already are now."
[09:25:17] <@AangPlushie> "Exactly," Katara said. "Come on, Aang...this is a day for celebration. Don't feel so down." The Avatar turned to smile at his girlfriend. "I think I feel better, now. Also...you too fought so hard today. It just shows how far you have come since I've known you."
[09:28:49] <@KataraPlushie> Katara smiled appreciatively at this compliment then said, "Good. I hate to see you beating yourself up." She shivered slightly and then said, "I think maybe we should go inside. It's getting kind of cold."
[09:31:41] <@AangPlushie> Aang too also gave a slight shiver as a small breeze ripped through the air. "Yeah...it's very cold tonight." He looked out to the city again. "Though...it's also so quiet. This time, though....I can feel that it is a peaceful quiet. Not like last night, when it seemed too quiet, like the calm before the storm...but this time, it's just...a serene quiet." He then turned to her with a bright smile, looking into her eyes.
[09:35:19] <@KataraPlushie> A wide smile of her own began growing and she could feel heat rising to her cheeks. Knowing it was the right moment, with this serenity, she slowly leaned in.
[09:37:20] <@AangPlushie> Aang wrapped his arms around her and closed his eyes as he moved in, forming his lips into a pucker. Within seconds, his lips made contact with hers, creating a warm feeling that was invulnerable to the biting cold of the Southern Tribe night. The Avatar felt himself drifiting away into a world that belonged only to him and Katara as he kissed her.
[09:41:50] <@KataraPlushie> Katara herself embraced him, the kiss soft and deep. They stood there as they did two years ago on the balcony outside the Jasmine Dragon when they were just beginning anew. Moments passed by slowly until they finally broke apart, a light-hearted smile on both their faces.
[09:44:27] <@AangPlushie> "I'll say this," Aang said. "Given all that has happened today, that was the ending that I think we both needed." Katara gave a dreamy sigh. "Yeah...you can say that again," she added with a whisper. Below them, the silence was pierced by a whistle. The couple looked down to see Suki and Ty Lee looking at them. "Yeah, go lovebirds!" Suki yelled with a playful tone.
[09:47:22] <@KataraPlushie> Katara could feel her cheeks burn slightly in surprise and turned to see Aang had the same bashful look. The two girls down below giggled. "Aren't they so cute?" Ty Lee asked. "Well, I think we better leave 'em alone."
[09:49:25] <@AangPlushie> "Right," Suki added. "Hey!" Katara yelled down, also in a teasing tone. "Want me and Ty Lee to team up and walk in on you and Sokka, Suki? You got your look in, now you're asking for it!" Suki put her hands on her hips. "Oh, I'd like to see you try!"
[09:52:20] <@KataraPlushie> "Oh, you will," the waterbender yelled back down at her. "What do you say, Ty Lee? Want to join forces with me?" "I'm all for it," Ty Lee called back up. Suki feigned a look of annoyance.
[09:54:42] <@AangPlushie> "Geez, you two are just like sisters," Suki remarked after this with a laugh. "We know!" Katara replied. "Don't we...sis?" She said as she turned her face to Ty Lee. Ty Lee gave a thumbs up to Katara and said, "You'd better believe it!" "All right," Suki finally said. "We're going home. We'll see you lovers tomorrow!"
[09:57:47] <@KataraPlushie> "Alright, see you tomorrow!" Katara bade them a goodbye and with that, the two girls started their way home. "Wow, I didn't realize you and Ty Lee considered each other as sisters," Aang said to her. "You guys have really grown close. Great to see that."
[10:00:03] <@AangPlushie> Katara nodded happily. "Yeah, that's actually what we were talking about when we were up here earlier. I'm not just saying this because of all she went through with her past. We are very close to each other and, besides you, she's the person I feel like I can confide in the most. We are definitely like family to one another."
[10:04:08] <@KataraPlushie> "I can see. I'm glad you two have come to think of each like family," the Avatar told her. Another breeze picked up, colder this time, and he said, "I think we should go inside now... But thank you, Katara, for being a comfort earlier."
[10:06:32] <@AangPlushie> "Anytime...especially for you," Katara replied, and then proceeded to kiss his cheek. "Come on, it is getting late. We have had a very long day, and we each need rest. Not to mention Zuko's probably going to be coming in a few days. I wonder if Dad will want us to do anything.
[10:08:46] <@KataraPlushie> "I'm sure he'll want us to help prepare for his arrival and I think he said he'll want us present during the meeting," Katara replied. She took his hand and they began making their way off the balcony, both feeling weary from the day's events. Inside, the city hall had almost cleared out.
[10:12:47] <@AangPlushie> A couple of people who were still roaming spotted the two. "Avatar Aang! You're the best!" A citizen shouted. "Go, Sifu Katara!" Another one yelled. The two were taken aback by the focus that was placed on them, feeling a little awkward, but they simply waved and added a quick hello before they went on their way and out into the night, ready to return home and settle after a long day.
[10:17:45] <@KataraPlushie> Word had been sent out to Fire Lord Zuko that night and he announced that he would be able to make the trip within four days. Time passed and the waterbenders were working 'round the clock to rebuild their fortifications. The four days of waiting were soon over and the tribe prepared for Zuko's arrival.
[10:22:42] <@AangPlushie> On the morning of the planned arrival, a series of warriors lined up out in front of the city entrance with spears, planning to protect the Fire Lord from any possible trouble as several in the South Pole were remaining untrusting of him and his nation. Katara, Sokka, Aang and Hakoda stood at the end of the line, waiting to greet Zuko.
[10:26:13] <@KataraPlushie> It was mid-morning when the dark bow of a Fire Nation ship appeared on the waters. No one needed to double-check; they all recognized it as a royal vessel. A few citizens from within the city also saw the ship approaching, some growing excited, others not so much. At last, the ship docked on the shores.
[10:29:14] <@AangPlushie> Off the ship stepped Fire Lord Zuko and his girlfriend, Mai. Along each side of them, two Imperial Firebenders walked to keep them safe against any trouble. A few citizens made their way up as close as they could and began heckling Zuko. "You haven't changed a bit! You're greedy just like your forefathers, you no-good thief!" One citizen held. "Who are you going to attack next?" Another one yelled. Zuko, however, ignored the detractors and made his way up to the chief and his old friends.
[10:33:32] <@KataraPlushie> The three friends and chief bowed respectfully. "Aang, Katara, Sokka, it's great to see you," Zuko greeted them. He bowed to Hakoda, saying, "And you as well, Chief Hakoda." "Likewise," Hakoda replied. "I apologize, though, for the commotion back there." He gestured to the discontented crowd.
[10:37:14] <@AangPlushie> "Don't worry about it," Zuko said. "I'm kind of used to it...there are people who don't trust the Fire Nation all throughout the world." To this, Aang grew sort of upset. "That's very unfortunate," the Avatar said. "You've done really well since the War. I guess some people never change."
[10:42:55] <@KataraPlushie> "Well, it's only been two years. People can be very set in their ways, especially after one hundred years of knowing otherwise," Zuko told him. "But we're trying to make amends as best we can and hopefully things will change for the better. For now, I guess we should get down to business."
[10:45:36] <@AangPlushie> "Yes," Hakoda said. "My advisors are waiting for us over at City Hall. We do have some things to discuss." With that, the chief, the Avatar alongside his associates, the Fire Lord and his girlfriend, and Zuko's guards all made their way across the city towards the still-expanding City Hall. Along the way, Zuko got mixed reactions. One citizen yelled "No good imperalist! We worked hard to stop the war, and you want to start it again!" However, another citizen was kinder. "We believe in you, Zuko! Keep up the good work!"
[10:48:32] <@KataraPlushie> Zuko simply kept his head held high as they made their way through the snowy streets, trying not to let any comment get to him. They arrived at the city hall in a short time and made their way inside to a board room of sorts. All took their seats and the meeting commenced.
[10:52:33] <@AangPlushie> "Fire Lord Zuko," one of Hakoda's advisors began. "It is our pleasure to welcome you to the Southern Water Tribe, and we thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us." Zuko nodded. "I too am glad that I could be here today."
[10:54:58] <@KataraPlushie> "Well," Hakoda began, folding his hands together on the table. "As you know, the Southern Raiders attacked the city only four days ago, led by a previously retired commander. Thankfully we emerged victorious in the battle. However, there are concerns about the plans going unnoticed."
[10:59:13] <@AangPlushie> "I opened an investigation into the attack as soon as I heard about what happened," Zuko started. "What we found out is that they made their way to an old naval shipyard a good distance off the east coast of the nation. Unfortunately, as it turned out, some ships that were decomissioned never returned home after the War. They used those ships to come to your tribe. They seemed to have mostly operated at night, when they were out of the public eye."
[11:04:22] <@KataraPlushie> Hakoda nodded thoughtfully and said, "We're hoping that with a more watchful eye, something like this doesn't happen again, not to offend, Fire Lord Zuko." Zuko shook his head and said somberly, "No, I understand. I take full blame for having this slip by unnoticed. Greater measures to prevent attacks are taken in the mainland itself, but off coast, we haven't been too diligent, I'm afraid."
[11:07:47] <@AangPlushie> "We're going through a very challenging time still," Hakoda added, "We were just very fortunate we stopped them." "In light of that event, I have ordered all decomissioned naval ships to be either returned home or destroyed, depending on their status," Zuko responded. "Also, we will increase secruity at naval ports to ensure no one is trying anything. I promise you, this will not happen again."
[11:11:44] <@KataraPlushie> "I have faith that you'll ensure that," the chief stated. "As I said, we're still undergoing construction and unfortunately, this has caused a bit of a setback for the workers, but we'll get on the right track soon. Now what is to become of Yon Rha and his men?"
[12:08:12] <@AangPlushie> Zuko placed his chin to rest on his hands, thinking about what he could do. Soon, he came up with his decision. "We would like to take them all back to the Fire Nation and we'll decide their fate. They got away from us, trying to defy our plans for peace. I assure you, they will be dealt with swiftly, and never become a threat to the South Pole or any other part of the world."
[12:11:13] <@KataraPlushie> "That's good to hear," Hakoda replied. "But what of the soldiers who participated in battle? Will they automatically be imprisoned or will there be a trial held first?"
[12:13:41] <@AangPlushie> "They will face a military tribunal," Zuko began, "For defying the Fire Nation oath. As you know, after the war ended, I changed the military oath so that they swore to also help uphold the world's balance. All these soldiers have defied that oath, and will face trial and imprisonment for the defiance. The commanders, on the other hand, will face more severe sentences for using the miltary to betray the oath."
[12:21:38] <@KataraPlushie> "I see... Well, they have that coming to them for such a thing," the chief stated. "Yes, and we are deeply regretful for our ignorance to the attack. If there is any way in which we can repay you. I know reconstruction is still going on. Some of my men are willing to stay and aid you," Zuko offered.
[12:26:02] <@AangPlushie> Hakoda nodded again. "Very well. Our efforts have been setback somewhat. If you can get us any form of aid whatsoever, we would readily accept that. This reconstruction is a process that is still years away from reaching its desired goal. With that said, it is quite apparent some of the tribefolk do not trust you. Is there anything else you think you will have to do to change that?"
[12:30:37] <@KataraPlushie> "I would go to great lengths to try and sway them to believe otherwise," Zuko told him. "I can understand why some are distrustful, though, and I'm not saying it'll be easy to persuade them. The Fire Nation is willing to pay tribute to the tribe, however. And perhaps speaking with them might have an effect."
[12:34:21] <@AangPlushie> "That's probably the best we can hope for at this point," Hakoda added. "I certainly don't like to see these behaviors amongst my people...they need to know that you are now on our side. When I got the message from you that you were going to arrive here during our ceremony following the victory...some of the vilagers were spouting off some rather....uncivilized opinion."
[12:38:47] <@KataraPlushie> Zuko sighed and said, "In a way you can't blame them, given the past. And you can't erase history either, so we just have to aim at the future and hope we can help most people understand where we stand now. In any case, do you yourself have any concerns you want to address?"
[12:42:32] <@AangPlushie> "You can't fault yourself for what your ancestors did," Hakoda replied. "I will ensure you personally that you have my support and all the higher-ups in this tribe, and most of the people do trust you nonetheless. With that said, I think it would be in our best interests to give a joint address to the people to help restore trust between our lands."
[12:47:35] <@KataraPlushie> "Certainly." Zuko rose from his seat, all the others following suit, and they made their way through the city hall. Hakoda sent one of his men off to peal the bell, alerting the citizens of something important for which they needed to come. Several moments later, the bell tolled and people stopped their work.
[12:50:06] <@AangPlushie> "Citizens, to the front of the city hall for a joint address by Chief Hakoda and Fire Lord Zuko!" A bell-ringer added. "Also, do not cause any trouble! Maintain a civil fashion. Any uncivilized behavior will result in arrest and fining as would be determined by the proper authorities." The citizens began to move towards the city hall, discussing the upcoming event amongst themselves. "This had better be good....I still don't trust the Fire Nation as far as I can throw that no-good Zuko," an angry citizen muttered.
[12:53:45] <@KataraPlushie> The crowd thickened, some looking on with wonder and admiration, others less satisfied but not willing to step out of line. Hakoda cleared his throat and began. "Good morning to you all. We're sorry for disrupting you at this time, but the Fire Lord and I felt a public address was in order."
[12:56:37] <@AangPlushie> Citizens looked towards the Fire Lord, some with a distrustful look, but maintaing their civility. Also present to keep order were Aang, Katara, Sokka, Suki, Ty Lee and Mai. Soon, Zuko began his address. "I'd like to thank everyone for taking time out to come today. As you know, there was a large-scale attack against your tribe four days ago. It was a truly devastating attack, and something, that I regretfully announce, I failed to catch onto."
[13:01:14] <@KataraPlushie> There were a few mutters at this, but he ignored this and continued. "I will not stand here and deny that the Fire Nation has done terrible deeds in the past. Our people, including myself, are responsible for unspeakable acts of cruelty and that's something that cannot be revoked.(cont'd)
[13:03:40] <@KataraPlushie> But I can assure you one hundred percent that we are ready, willing and able to make up for past losses. I know these are hard things to swallow for some and perhaps you'll still think bitterly of the Fire Nation; I just ask that you accept our apologies and our willingness to repair the world."
[13:06:40] <@AangPlushie> Citizens' murmurs continued, trying to tell if Zuko was for real or if he was still not to be trusted. Hakoda then stopped the murmurs with his speech. "With that, we have struck a deal. Fire Lord Zuko has personally assured us he will take the imprisoned soldiers back to the Fire Nation to receive justice for defying the trek to peace. In addition, he has also pledged aid to help us in our reconstruction efforts."
[13:11:24] <@KataraPlushie> This received quite a bit of approval as the chief said, "He stated that the Fire Nation is willing to pay tribute to the tribe to make amends and promised us that the government will keep a sharp eye on all that goes on within their country. We don't want anything else like this to happen, to us or to any nation."
[13:15:22] <@AangPlushie> "I personally hope I can restore your faith in the Fire Nation," Zuko added. "I assure you that I do not want to see this tribe or any other nation negatively impacted. The attack by the loose faction of the Southern Raiders was an unfortunate oversight. I promise that we will work to further peace and harmony in the days, weeks, and years to come."
[13:20:30] <@KataraPlushie> A good majority of the villagers applauded and whistled at his promises, more than ready to move on. Some still seemed to be debating the credibility of his claims, wanting to believe him but finding it hard. Others still seemed stuck in the past. "How do we know this isn't just a set-up, a way to sucker us into feeling secure?" one questioned.
[13:23:31] <@AangPlushie> Hakoda took the liberty of answering the question to quell his people's fears. "I personally assure you, the Fire Lord was sincere in our speakings earlier. He desires to help our tribe and demonstrated nothing but a path to peace in his entire reign. He remains sincere now, and I also promise you, if there was any sense of distrust, the Avatar, his friends, or myself would have caught on to it."
[13:27:50] <@KataraPlushie> A few of the doubtful looked on over at the members of Team Avatar thoughtfully, knowing that was probably true. "Zuko is a very good friend of ours," Aang spoke up. "Yes, we have had a rocky past, but we were able to forgive and we hope you will do the same."
[13:33:20] <@AangPlushie> "We all had a tough time accepting Zuko at first as well," Katara added. "Over time, though, he proved to be trustworthy. I know you all can see him the same way. He is very sincere about atoning for the mistakes of the past." Suki also intervened. "He made his personal amends when he burned down parts of Kyoshi Island, as well. We definitely assure you all that he is to be trusted."
[23:11:22] <@KataraPlushie> Some still seemed on the fence about the whole thing, but they weren't about to deny the Avatar or his closest friends. Aside from a few low mutters, there wasn't any more real confrontation. "Well, I believe that's in order," Hakoda stepped in. "And I trust that you will all treat the Fire Lord with the utmost respect."
[23:12:13] <@KFB|KU56OHST59> Members of the audience began to nod. "Fine," one citizen said. "If the chief agrees...and he seems honest..." The Avatar and his friends couldn't help but smile at the crowd accepting him.
[23:14:42] <@KataraPlushie> Zuko himself was satisfied and simply bowed, saying, "Thank you all. My men will get to work as soon as they possible can with the reconstruction project. In the few days that I will be here, I'll make sure everything is set on the right path."
[23:16:17] <@KFB|KU56OHST59> "With the Fire Nation behind us," Hakoda began, "We will be able to speed up the reconstruction process. I hope and expect you all will cooperate with us."
[23:18:27] <@KataraPlushie> The villagers all nodded obediently. "Well, with that, we thank you for your compliance. Meeting adjourned; you may go about your daily business," the chief decreed and the citizens began filing out of the building.
[23:20:57] <@KFB|KU62OHST61> The chief, the Fire Lord, and all their allies gathered. Mai turned to Ty Lee and shot her a rare smile. "Ty Lee! I heard about all you did." Mai then hugged her old friend, which Ty Lee gladly returned. "Yeah...it wasn't much, really."
[23:23:33] <@KataraPlushie> "Oh please, don't listen to her," Katara teased good-naturedly. "She's the reason this tribe is still standing; she just won't take the credit. So how are things for you and Zuko? We haven't heard much about what's going on in the Fire Nation lately."
[23:24:56] <@KataraFanboy> "Things are quite well," Mai said. "We've had a nice sense of calm. There was some dissatisfaction the first year of Zuko's reign, but, pretty much everyone has thrown their support behind him now. It's a great feeling." Aang smiled, happy to hear that his close friend was being accepted warmly as the Fire Nation's ruler. "Great to hear."
[23:28:21] <@KataraPlushie> "Indeed, it is," Zuko said brightly. "We're reaching out to whoever we can to show our nation's change of heart. You guys should visit us at the Capital soon; we'd be happy to have you over."
[23:31:31] <@KataraFanboy> "We'll definitely consider it," Aang said. "It would be preferred to be there on better circumstances...you had to come here because of an attack." Zuko nodded. "Well, it happens. But...it's over now. By the way...did any of you hear from Toph? We'd love to have her too."
[23:34:11] <@KataraPlushie> "When we last heard from Toph only a couple months ago, she said she was enjoying her position as head of her earthbending academy," Sokka told him. "We could always write her and ask her to come along. I'm sure she could use a little break."
[09:57:37] <@AangPlushie> "Those students have to get to even her at some point," Katara noted. "Given the way she is, I'm sure she definitely feels like she needs a rest. I'll send her a letter, and maybe she'll come along too. It's been too long since we were all gathered together...really, this is the closest we've been to the whole team in weeks."
[10:00:30] <@KataraPlushie> "True," Suki said, surveying the team members that were all grouped together now. "And it feels nice to have so many Team Avatar members reunited once more. We should all get together soon. In the meantime, where are you and Mai staying?" she asked Zuko.
[10:04:03] <@AangPlushie> Zuko looked towards a more upscale building near the City Hall. "That place over there, the Tui and La Inn. We've been given a complementary suite for the night. We'll be returning to the Fire Nation tomorrow afternoon; we only came in for the purposes of this emergency meeting."
[10:06:09] <@KataraPlushie> "Oh wow, so soon? Well, when you leave, we'll be there to say goodbye and escort you out," Katara said. "And we hope you enjoy your stay at the Southern Tribe."
[10:09:30] <@AangPlushie> As their idle conversation continued, two soldiers, one Water Tribe and one a Fire Nation escort of Zuko's, approached them. "Avatar Aang, Fire Lord Zuko, and all allies," the Water Tribe soldier began. "We're about to have the prisoners board a ship bound for the Fire Nation." The Fire Nation soldier took over. "We request that you help oversee the movements, so as no one steps out of line."
[10:12:28] <@KataraPlushie> "Certainly," Fire Lord Zuko agreed followed by nods and mutters of agreement from the rest. "Very well. Follow us please," the Water Tribesman beckoned and they filed out of the city hall through the streets of the city. At last they made their way to the shore where a ship lay in wait for the prisoners to board.
[10:14:55] <@AangPlushie> The moving of the prisoners took place towards a more deserted part of the tribe, so as no further trouble would attempt to be incited. Additional soldiers from each of the nations stood as further guard, though having the elite benders and warriors of Team Avatar there would likely quell any revolts. (cont'd)
[10:18:08] <@AangPlushie> One by one, the soldiers were moved from the prison, all handcuffed tightly so they wouldn't go anywhere. Every guardsman looked at the soldiers with a stare to make sure they were all orderly. Humbled by defeat, these men didn't try to attempt anything, especially on sight of the Kyoshi Warriors, the Avatar, or the master waterbender, seeing as a good chunk of them were defeated by the aforementioned. Yon Rha then stepped into sight.
[10:22:53] <@KataraPlushie> A few soldiers supervised him, knowing full well his fury and brute power. Bitter expressions settled over the faces of Team Avatar. Yon Rha looked ragged from his days in the jail yet still hungry for revenge. As he drew closer, he grew more restless and even spit in their direction.
[10:26:41] <@AangPlushie> Most of the members of Team Avatar didn't really react to this, just taking it as the reaction of a bitter old man. However, not everyone stood pat. Katara tried to attack him, but Aang grabbed hold of her. "We've beaten him enough...leave him be. Not like he'll be doing much of anything anymore." Sokka also tried to attack, but he was restrained by Suki. Meanwhile, the soldiers surrounding Yon Rha tightened up his handcuffs. "Enough of that," one of the soldiers said. "Get to the ship."
[10:31:58] <@KataraPlushie> "Don't stand there all smug," Yon Rha offered as final words, the hatred in his voice almost palpable. "Your little victory doesn't take away the fact that you're all insolent vermin. And in the end, my dear little waterbender," he said, turning to Katara, "your mother is still in her watery grave and always will be."
[10:35:08] <@AangPlushie> Katara again tried to charge at Yon Rha, but Aang and Ty Lee each restrained her. "You are the most disgusting person I have ever come across!" Katara yelled. "You'll get what you deserve in that prison! You should be thankful neither myself, Aang or Ty Lee killed you where you stood!" Yon Rha continued to glare poisonously at Katara as soldiers attempted to hasten his trip to the prison ship.
[10:39:17] <@KataraPlushie> It took a few moments for her anger to wear away, but eventually she just sighed and remained rigid where she stood, watching the lowliest man she ever knew making his way up the ship. The two generals who had stood by him came onto the scene, but just looked defeated.
[10:42:22] <@AangPlushie> Aang and Ty Lee dropped their restraint of Katara as her anger eased up, and continued, like every one of their friends and allies present, watch the other soldiers step off. As they approached the Fire Lord, specifically Yon Rha, Zuko looked at all of them with looks of disgust and said, "You've disturbed the peace for the last time."
[10:47:10] <@KataraPlushie> "Maybe /I/ have," was all Yon Rha would say. "But I wouldn't say that for everyone else in the Fire Nation." Zuko merely shook his head. He was positive the new security precautions to be put in place would prove successful.
[10:50:09] <@AangPlushie> Most of the soldiers ignored what appeared to be empty threats from the defeated commander and led him, along with the remaining soldiers, onboard the prison ship. Moments later, the march ended. "That's all of them," the ship's commander said to Zuko. "Very well," Zuko said. "Send them on their way." The commander nodded and made his way back to the ship.
[10:54:01] <@KataraPlushie> The team members gathered close together to watch as the men prepared to set sail. "Well, that's the last time you'll be seeing Yon Rha or any of them," Zuko said with a hint of relief. "They'll be getting their just due. Once this ship is well on its way, I'll organize a team of soldiers who will help in the reconstruction effort."
[10:58:01] <@AangPlushie> "It's going to be some great times ahead," Aang said. "With the Fire Nation's help, Zuko, we'll be back to the great days Gran-Gran told us about," Katara added. "It is certainly my honor to bring the Fire Nation's assist to the tribe, everyone," Zuko said, smiling again. "Right now, Mai and I want to get settled at the inn." Mai walked up to Zuko and grasped his hand. "Yeah, and it's also a little bit on the chilly side out here," Mai added.
[11:01:13] <@KataraPlushie> "If you need any more blankets or coats, we'll be happy to give some to you," Katara offered. "We'll be sure to let you know if we do," Mai replied gratefully. She took Zuko's hand as they began setting off for the inn, their friends waving goodbye for now.
[11:03:49] <@AangPlushie> "Well, outside Yon Rha's little...problem," Aang said, "I think it's safe to say that went over quite well." Sokka nodded. "I agree. Zuko handled things pretty well, given the circumstances of all that happened." Katara then turned to Aang and Ty Lee. "Hey, I'm sorry for sort of acting out before, and you guys having to hold me back. It's just...it's bad enough he took my mother from me...him taunting me like that just set me off."
[11:07:41] <@KataraPlushie> Aang laid a hand on her back, saying, "It's okay. I understand how that can get to you." "I probably would have done the same, if I were in your place," Suki added. "That was crossing the line. Luckily, you won't have to deal with him again."
[11:11:08] <@AangPlushie> "Yeah, like you said, Katara," Ty Lee said, "He's going to get whatever he deserves." She then placed a hand on Katara's shoulder as the waterbender smiled at her gratefully, still remembering that Ty Lee had saved her life from that evil being just days ago. Ty Lee remained modest, giving a smile back. "Well, what should we do now?" Sokka asked.
[11:14:27] <@KataraPlushie> "Ty Lee and I are going to start getting ready. We're leaving the Southern Tribe today," Suki told them. "Aw, that's too bad," Katara said. "I hope you guys had fun during your stay." "We sure did," Ty Lee assured her. "And next time we'll be sure to take you penguin sledding with us," she said to Suki, nudging her slightly.
[11:17:32] <@AangPlushie> Suki chuckled at the concept. "I guess you'll have to teach me, since you learned from the best," she said to Ty Lee. "Me, a teacher?" Ty Lee said modestly. "Hey, wouldn't be the first time...chi blocking, duh!" Suki added. "Yeesh, you guys really have a lot to say about me!" Ty Lee remarked, keeping herself modest. "I'm just like any other girl." With that, some goodbyes were exchanged as they prepared to head back. (Cont'd)
[11:23:09] <@AangPlushie> Katara grabbed hold of Ty Lee's shoulder. Ty Lee then turned back to the girl she had taken in like family and said, "What's up?" "Hey...listen," Katara began. "I just...I'm not sure I'll ever be able to thank you enough for what you did during the fight. That took a lot of bravery to face him, especially on your last breaths." She rested her hands on the warrior's shoulders. "I'll never forget what you did." Ty Lee just smiled at her. "Katara...you being like a sister to me is enough. Don't worry about repaying me or anything. I value our friendship enough." She then drew her into another tight hug.
[11:27:19] <@KataraPlushie> It was a heart-warming scene as the two girls embraced one another, accepting each other as family, something they never thought they would have done a few years back. "Be sure to write me as often as you can," Katara said. "And hopefully we'll be able to see each other again soon." "I will," Ty Lee promised.
[17:24:45] <@KataraPlushie> The other team members expressed their gratitude before the two warriors began heading for their place of stay. "Hopefully we'll catch you later when we're leaving," Suki called over her shoulder as they waved to one another. "We'll be there," Katara promised. Sokka stretched lazily and said, "I think maybe I'll go on a little hunting trip soon."
[17:26:31] <@AangPlushie> "Well, I am glad this is all over," Aang said. "It's been too long of a past few days. The attack, and the meeting...it's been exhausting. I don't know about the rest of you, but some time to rest sounds good to me right about now...or maybe just a little spin on Appa."
[17:28:31] <@KataraPlushie> "I'm pretty tired myself," the young waterbender agreed. "But I'd be happy to go along for a ride on Appa if you're up for it."
[17:29:57] <@AangPlushie> "I think a ride will be nice and relaxing, and maybe help us get to sleep if we need it," Aang added. "Sokka, you're welcome to join us if you want to."
[17:32:08] <@KataraPlushie> "Nah, I'll leave you two to do whatever you want," Sokka told him, waving his hand dismissively. "For now, I'm off to the house to rest and get ready for my expedition. I'll catch you guys later."
[17:34:21] <@AangPlushie> "All right, bro," Katara replied. "See you later." With that, the waterbender and Avatar locked hands and made their way over to the large sky bison, who was in a crafted stall. The two boarded him on top of his head, with Aang grabbing the reins, and they each made their way out into the open air. "It's been a while, but....Appa, yip yip!" Aang declared, and the bison rose into the air.
[17:38:20] <@KataraPlushie> The wind surged past them as they took to the skies which were stunningly clear. Soon enough, they were soaring above the vast expanse of ocean, Katara leaning her head on Aang's shoulder and taking in the scenery.
[17:40:45] <@AangPlushie> The scene over the ocean was again calm after the last few days of bustling activity. Aang could feel himself relaxing in the quiet, as he wrapped an arm around Katara's back. Things were finally back more to what he set out to achieve as the Avatar. He smiled brightly, also doing the same for his girlfriend as their stress eased.
[17:44:36] <@KataraPlushie> Katara peered at the shore where she saw the ship loaded with the Fire Nation prisoners beginning to set sail. "I'm glad Yon Rha and his men are going back to the Fire Nation," she said. "I'll admit, I was kind of nervous with him here these past few days. Even if he was in prison."
[17:48:17] <@AangPlushie> "He certainly didn't show signs of easing up, either," Aang added. "He still even seemed to want to get at us even when he was being led away. I'll admit...even though I did hold you back, what he said about your mother at the end was way over the line. I couldn't believe even a man like him could be that...disgusting. But he was."
[18:03:17] <@KataraPlushie> Katara shook her head slightly. "I can't say I'm surprised, though. I know his nature; he's the kind of person who would do things like that. But even after everything... well, we still won." She couldn't help but smile at this. "And I'll never have to see him again."
[18:05:18] <@AangPlushie> "Right," Aang replied. "We got the most important thing at the end of the day. He's gone, we're all safe and healthy, and the Southern Tribe will soon rise again, especially now with Zuko's help. I look forward to every day in the future."
[18:10:59] <@KataraPlushie> "I am too," Katara agreed. She idly stroked Appa's fur as the bison flew past the site of the old Fire Nation shipwreck that no one had ever dared to explore, not since the day the two set off the flare.
[18:17:10] <@AangPlushie> The vast ocean remained out in front of them, now nothing left of note besides the icebergs and other chunks of ice that were typical of the Southern Tribe waters. Aang and Katara continued to feel more relaxed as the small breeze and sense of calm gave the perfect stress-easer.
[18:21:49] <@KataraPlushie> "Oh yeah, I meant to tell you," Katara spoke up again. "When I was cleaning out my room a couple days ago, I found that necklace you had made for me out of flowers and Sokka's fishing line. I never thought I'd chance upon that," she mused.
[18:25:21] <@AangPlushie> Aang's old memories were triggered as Katara said about the necklace. "Wow...I made that for you a while ago," he finally said, and then added a chuckle. "Man, that was way back when I just had a little crush on you..." he rubbed his head as he grew a goofy smile and blushed. "Talk about the old days...what crushes can do to people."
[18:29:54] <@KataraPlushie> Katara grinned as she saw her boyfriend grow slightly shy then sighed. "I was still pretty oblivious to the way you felt at that time. I remember I even compared you to Momo. Heh, sorry for that," she said, growing sheepish herself.
[18:32:10] <@AangPlushie> "It's okay," Aang began. "Love does take a while to develop, especially beyond just a crush. It was kind of a disappointment at the time, but the fact is, we did fall in love over time...and that's where we are now...and I certainly couldn't be any happier." He leaned down and kissed Katara on her forehead.
[18:36:35] <@KataraPlushie> "Neither could I," she said, wrapping an arm around his back. Her mind lingered back to the fortune she had received from Aunt Wu and the epiphany she had after Mount Makapu had erupted, pondering it.
[18:44:19] <@AangPlushie> Aang continued to think back to all the moments they shared together during their original journey to save the world, the moments that eventually led to their current relationship. He sighed happily as the flight over the South Pole continued. Once again, the peace setlled in, relaxing the Avatar, and he could feel his eyes beginning to close. "Maybe we should head back now...I'm starting to fall asleep," he said.
[18:47:15] <@KataraPlushie> "Fine with me. It'll be nice to be able to sleep peacefully again," Katara replied, she herself pretty worn and they changed their course back to the city, turning their backs on the departing ship back home.
[18:50:45] <@AangPlushie> Back at the tribe's city, Aang landed Appa back on the snowy ground and guided him into his stall. He then stroked his bison's fur with an appreciative look. "Thanks for another ride, buddy," he said, and Appa growled approvingly. He then turned back to Katara. "I guess we should get some rest before dinner, then."
[18:53:20] <@KataraPlushie> "I think that'd be best. And afterwards, we'll met up with Ty Lee and Suki to say goodbye when they leave," said Katara, also giving Appa a grateful pat on the head before they made their way out of the stable.
[18:55:35] <@AangPlushie> The two then again locked hands as they made their way to their respective homes. They first arrived in front of Katara's house. "So, what are we doing? Are we going out on our own or are we gathering with your family?" Aang asked.
[18:58:11] <@KataraPlushie> "I'd be fine going out on our own, although Sokka invite us over, especially if he's going hunting and bringing back something fresh," she told him. "But I don't mind that either."
[19:00:21] <@AangPlushie> "I guess we'll see what happens when Sokka returns," Aang said. He then gave Katara a kiss on the cheek. "Have a good rest for now...either way, I'll see you later."
[19:03:24] <@KataraPlushie> "You too," Katara replied, giving him a quick hug before making her way to her house. She eased open the door and shot him a final parting smile before going inside to catch up on sleep.
[16:38:08] <@KataraFanboy> Later that evening, after the couple had slept off the day's events, they each returned to the small street, awaiting the return of Sokka. "I wonder just how far he went to go hunting...it's been almost all afternoon," Aang said.
[16:41:48] <@Ultimate> "It was pretty successful, if I do say so myself," came Sokka's familiar voice, almost as if on cue. The warrior appeared around the corner, carrying three arctic hens and several fish all strung together. "But then again, what else would you expect?" he asked, flashing a pleased smile.
[16:44:23] <@KataraFanboy> "Well, I guess this settles dinner tonight," Katara noted with a laugh. "I guess we have known that to expect for the last several years." Sokka continued to smile confidently. "You're darn right about that sis. Well, I'm hungry. Let's get to eating this stuff!" "Just remember Sokka, I can't have the hen," Aang reminded the warrior.
[16:48:47] <@Ultimate> "I know. But I really ought to break you out of that habit," Sokka said, slinging an arm around his shoulders and pointing a finger at him. "When I tell you, you don't know what you're missing..." The two walked off, Katara following behind, rolling her eyes in amusement at her brother.
[16:50:32] <@KataraFanboy> "It's just always been my way," Aang said. "Hard to shake the old traditions even after all this time." "Someday, you'll come around, Aang," Sokka replied. "Believe me...you'll be taking that first bite of meat before you know it."
[16:53:49] <@Ultimate> An expression that read "I hope not" crossed Aang's face and Katara pushed her brother lightly from behind. "Not if I have anything to say about it," she told him. "Okay, okay, I'm just teasing," her brother raised his free hand in surrender.
16:57:00] <@KataraFanboy> A short time later, they made their way over to Katara and Sokka's house, wherein Hakoda was waiting for them. Sokka came in with the bag of the day's catchings, and laid it on the floor. "So, Dad, any question about dinner now?" He said, continuing to chuckle. Katara rolled her eyes amusingly and placed her hands on her hips. "Yeah, the great Sokka has done it again," she said in an amused tone.
[17:01:22] <@Ultimate> "Very impressive, Sokka," Hakoda complimented, observing what he had brought before sweeping it off the floor. "I'll have your grandmother prepare some of this. You three are free to sit and do whatever you like." He headed off to the kitchen.
[17:05:23] <@KataraFanboy> "Actually," Sokka began, "Gran-Gran's not coming tonight. Her and Pakku are going out themselves. So, it looks like it's just us." Hakoda nodded and said, "I understand. Well, let's not waste any time. How about we get a fire going, and we can cook all this over them. I have a firepit right outside." Hakoda then brought the food out to just in front of the house, and mounted the foodstuffs over it. Aang used his firebending to get the pit started.
[17:10:50] <@Ultimate> Sokka sat near the fire and Hakoda went into the house again to get dishes. Katara picked up one of the hens and began plucking out the feathers. The night air was still and not too cold, a crescent moon blazing overhead.
[17:14:05] <@KataraFanboy> Silence was present for a moment before Aang broke it. "After dinner, should we send a letter off to Toph? I wonder if she has heard about what happened. Also, I mean, Zuko invited us all over to the Fire Nation. So, I think I should write her, and ask her about things."
[17:19:24] <@Ultimate> "That's a good idea," Katara agreed. "It's about time we see her again. We might actually be able to all visit the Fire Nation in a month or two, if things are going smoothly." Hakoda came back out with the dishes and utensils.
[17:23:23] <@KataraFanboy> They all took hold of their own dishes as the cooking began to wind down. As the food grew more cooked, Aang eased the fire down somewhat his bending. "There, and we still have the fire going to keep warm if we need it," the Avatar said. "All right, let's dig in!" Sokka exclaimed, grabbing a piece of arctic hen.
[17:31:12] <@Ultimate> They all began the meal, four happy family members seated around the fire on a clear night. No one viewing them at that moment would've guessed all that had gone on in the last few days. Sokka practically inhaled the meat as soon as Katara had it skinned and gutted which was a funny sight.
[17:34:18] <@KataraFanboy> "I can't thank you three enough for all your help on the battlefield a few days ago, and the help you gave the Fire Nation guards today," Hakoda said. "You helped make sure things went smoothly, and also that people remained civil and understood our position with Fire Lord Zuko. A very well-done job, all of you."
[17:36:50] <@Ultimate> "We should be thanking you really," Sokka replied. "We were all running around like chickens with their heads cut off that morning until you stepped up and readied everyone."
[17:38:27] <@KataraFanboy> "Very true," Aang began. "Hakoda, you got everyone in order and made sure we had a stable defense." Also in agreement was Katara. "Dad, you were also fast to act. You got us all right up and moving so we could be there to stop them all." Hakoda smiled modestly. "You guys did your fair share as well, don't sell yourselves short."
[17:43:39] <@Ultimate> "I'm just glad it's all over," Sokka said with relief, sitting back and staring up at the sky. "I just remembered, we should go over to where Ty Lee and Suki are staying and see them off," Katara brought up.
[17:47:00] <@KataraFanboy> "I guess they'll be leaving soon," Aang said, looking to see that the sun had already gone down, and an Earth Kingdom ship was closing in on the tribe. "They said they would be leaving on an Earth ship, so this might be that time coming up."
[17:52:09] <@Ultimate> "Then we should probably get going soon." Katara slowly stood and began collecting all the remnants of the dinner. "This was nice, though. We should do this more often," she told her father, who smiled appreciatively. He himself rose and said, "I'll clear all this up. You kids go ahead."
[17:54:37] <@KataraFanboy> The younger folks propped themselves up onto their feet and began the walk towards the docks, where they would meet the two Kyoshi Warriors before they returned to their home island. Soon thereafter, Suki and Ty Lee left their place of stay, their medals draped around their necks.
[17:59:44] <@Ultimate> "This was a pretty nice stay," Suki remarked. "Even if we didn't get to do too much relaxing." "Yeah, but I think it was worth it in the end. Winning, becoming part of the Water Tribe," said Ty Lee. She slung her travel pack over her shoulder and together they walked forward.
[18:03:23] <@KataraFanboy> "Hey, look," Ty Lee said, seeing the three out in the distance. "I think I see our friends waiting for us!" Suki looked straight ahead as well. "I believe you are right," she replied. "Guess there's no harm in bidding them one last goodbye."
[18:20:37] <@Ultimate> The two advanced towards the shore, finally catching the attention of the three waiting at the docks. In no time, all five were standing together, a slight sadness in the air to see the two warriors going. "I guess this is it," Suki said with a contented sigh. "Thanks for inviting us to come visit here."
[18:23:51] <@KataraFanboy> "Anytime," Katara replied. "It's just too bad it went haywire. I hope you two can come back again soon." Ty Lee reached out and rested her hand on Katara's shoulder. "Try not to let that get to you too much," she said. "It's not like you could have planned for that, it was a surprise attack." Sokka then walked over to Suki and gave her a kiss. "Hey, promise you'll write to me when you get back?" He asked of his girlfriend. "I will," Suki replied.
[18:28:49] <@Ultimate> "I'll be writing to you as well," Ty Lee told Katara, pulling her into a hug. "Let's hope we'll all be able to get together in the Fire Nation soon, Toph too," Katara told her. "I look forward to that," the warrior replied giddily.
[18:31:30] <@KataraFanboy> The two girls then separated from their embrace. Aang then looked towards the warriors. "Thank you both for your service over the past few days," he said. "And tell the remainder of the Kyoshi Warriors that they have my personal blessing. You have done your work in keeping the world in balance." He then bowed to them respecetfully, a motion which the two girls returned.
[18:34:17] <@Ultimate> The dockworker waved from several feet away, signaling that it was almost time for the boat to depart. "Well, we better get on our way," Suki said, gathering what they had brought with them on the trip. "Goodbye to all of you. It was really great being here." "Safe travels," Aang wished them.
[18:36:30] <@KataraFanboy> They each waved to each other as the boat departed out into the sea, leaving the three back to their own again. "Well, that's all for that," Sokka said. "I'm going to head back home. You guys coming?"
[18:39:18] <@Ultimate> "I guess," Katara answered, "although I'm not all too sleepy after getting some rest this afternoon. What about you?" She faced Aang. [18:40:26] <@KataraFanboy> "Well, we may as well get going," Aang replied. With that, they locked their hands together and made their way back to Aang's house, ready to call an end to another day.
[18:43:03] <@Ultimate> In a short time, they arrived at his house, Sokka continuing on his way to his and Katara's own house. "Night, you two," he said as he walked away and went into the house.
[18:44:13] <@KataraFanboy> "Good night," they each replied to Sokka, watching for a short time before he moved out of sight. Aang then turned to Katara and took her hands into his. "Well, it appears as though this whole mess is finally over. Now it's time for things to return to normal."
[18:46:42] <@Ultimate> "I'm glad. Let's hope something like this never happens again. We've worked too hard in rebuilding this tribe; we don't need any more setbacks," the young waterbender said hopefully.
[18:48:16] <@KataraFanboy> "Soon though, everything will be better," the Avatar replied. "If there's one thing I do know...we'll be in this the whole way, together. We'll help restore this tribe to what it was ages ago. I will always be alongside you, Katara, now and forever. We'll make this happen."
[18:51:04] <@Ultimate> Katara grinned at his words, idly twirling a strand of hair around her finger, saying, "And I can say the same thing for you. We do make a great team."
[18:53:04] <@KataraFanboy> Aang placed his hand over Katara's cheek. "We always have, and we always will," he added. He then took a moment to gaze into her eyes again, feeling that moment coming on one more time.
[18:57:38] <@Ultimate> They slowly leaned into each other and shared a soft kiss. They embraced one another, the two fitting together perfectly, standing under a sky of diamonds. Several moments ticked by before they gradually pulled away.
[19:00:17] <@KataraFanboy> Aang settled out of the moment of great happiness before saying his final words of the evening. "Good night, Katara. I love you so much."
[19:03:13] <@Ultimate> "I love you more than words can say," Katara told him in a near-whisper. "And a good night to you as well. I guess I'll see you tomorrow."
[19:04:22] <@KataraFanboy> "Indeed, you will," Aang replied. "Finally, it will be a normal day. I've got to admit, for all this action and up-temponess, we could all use a day that's just like any other."
[19:08:21] <@Ultimate> "I couldn't agree more. Well, I shall see you then," Katara smiled and bade him farewell. She slowly turned around and began making her way to her own house.
[19:10:57] <@KataraFanboy> As they left for their homes, ready to draw a close to their respective days, the moon cast a beautiful light down on the tribe below. It was indeed a signal that all was finally at peace, and things were settled down for the times to come. The Southern Raiders were long gone, and the Southern Water Tribe's future was ready to start in motion again. Another victory was acheived, and peace once again ruled the world.
- First appearances of Ty Lee, Zhei Li, Metang, and Bato.
- Only appearances for Zhei Li Metang, and Bato.
- Yon Rha's first and only significant appearance.
- Last appearances of Hakoda, Pakku, and Kanna.
- Second roleplay where "Honorary Citizen of the Water Tribe" is given; Aang received it in RP 2011-10-22. First and only time multiple characters receive it.
- Only appearance of Zuko and Mai in the Southern Water Tribe.
- First and only roleplay to heavily feature the Southern Raiders.