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#101
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The Okrin Je camp was quite literally on fire when they arrived. Tae Jin had been disappointed to have to leave the southern area of the island, they had been so close, but Yao had been right. They weren't going to get anywhere if they didn't have more help. Unfortunately, it looked as though they would have to come to the aid of their friends before heading back to save Karina. Looking upon the scene from a distance, it was hard to tell exactly what was going on. Smoke was rising from the settlement, people were yelling and screaming. And, Anyu and Shinya were being held at spearpoint. 

 

"Oh, father..." Lady Isha whispered in distress, her hand covering her mouth as she watched things unfold. 

 

Truthfully, Tae Jin felt like she was missing a piece to this puzzle. Or, perhaps a lot of pieces. Perhaps she just wasn't as informed on the tribal politics as she needed to be to understand, or maybe there was something else at work. Either way, she could hardly tell who the 'bad guys' were in this situation. Of course, the one's pointing spears at their friends probably weren't friendly. 

 

Fortunately, the four of them had yet to be noticed in all the chaos, hanging back on the outskirts of the village where they could find easy cover. "Let's hit them before they even know we are here." Tae Jin said, giving a decisive nod to the group. She tried to appear confident but her palms were slick with anxiety. This seemed so much more real than the rest of the fights they had been in. 

 

Stealthily as she could, Tae Jin got closer to Raine and his remaining men. "I think the tables just turned. Would you mind turning yourself in quietly now and making this a lot easier for everyone here, yourself included?" Anyu said with her special brand of bravado. It seemed like Anyu and Shinya were still ready to fight they just needed their opening.

 

Pressed up against the side of a hut, Tae Jin's eyes lingered on the rising smoke nearby. An idea struck her. She had been able to funnel the smoke out of the temple when she and Yao had lit that fire. Perhaps she could do the same here. Taking a moment to steady herself, Tae Jin felt the soft breeze that loftily carried the smoke away from warriors. She breathed in and out deeply, matching her pace to that of the wind. She recalled watching the Air Benders, their movements. She twisted half way to the left and back again, her arms antithetical to her body's movement. Anyone paying attention might have noticed a brief gust of wind, nothing too strong however. Inhaling again, Tae Jin sharply twisted her wrist, imagining, the smoke being pushed together, settling in the eyes of Raine's men.

 

She continued these cyclical movements, she feared she may have given herself away when she heard a tribesman shout, but it was too late. The smoke had already begun to settle. "Go!" She hissed at Yao, Kin, and Lady Isha, urging them to make use of the cover she had given them. She would try to keep the smoke settled, but it was a harder process than she thought. 


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#102
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Raine and his men were caught off guard.  There were benders among them!?  An eruption of earth smashed, crushed, and incapacitated half of Raine's followers.  He took a step back, as Anyu antagonized him.

 

 "I think the tables just turned. Would you mind turning yourself in quietly now and making this a lot easier for everyone here, yourself included?"

 

He sucked his teeth.  "Brat!  I'll cut your throat for this!  Seize her!  Take her, and her friends, and tie them down!"

 

But before Raine's men could bind Anyu or Shinya, there was a powerful gust of air, and a waft of smoke that burned from the village, directly into Raine and his follower's eyes.  They hacked and coughed, choking on the smoke as their eyes were stung by the fumes.  They covered their faces with their hands, unable to see or defend themselves.  Raine tried to speak, but his throat was hoarse and dry from the smoke.  "Kill them!  Kill them all!"

 

But Raine's men couldn't move.  The remaining twelve soldiers had become suffocated beneath the grey cloud, and inhibited by Tae Jin's stealth tactic.  All that was left, was to put them all down.


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#103
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Yao gulped when he saw the destruction of the Okrin Je camp. This was the group they would need to get help from? Honestly, they didn't look all that reliable, what with them being under attack and such. Still, he supposed beggars couldn't be choosers. He did almost panic when he saw Anyu and Shinya being held at spearpoint. Scratch that, he panicked. I guess we were lucky... he thought. Lucky that they didn't go this tribe first.
 
The two didn't look like they were down yet, though. Glancing over at Tae Jin for direction, Yao saw Tae Jin twist her body like an...air nomad. Oh. So she was attempting to airbend? But why? The answer to that question was soon answered when the nomad funneled the smoke into the eyes of the tribesmen attacking their friends.
 
One of the men, who gave off the arrogant air of a leader, coughed out, "Kill them!  Kill them all!"
 
"Go!" Tae Jin hissed, and Yao nodded, gritting his teeth as he leaped into the fray. Glancing around, he picked up a nearby rock and bashed it over the head of the nearest tribesman, aiming to grab his spear from him if he succeeded. The whole time, he tried not to think about the fact that he was actually fighting people. As in, trying to hurt them. If I don't try to hurt them, they'll try to hurt my friends, he thought, and that was reason enough to do so.
 
Meanwhile, Mimi tackled a nearby fighter, hissing like a cat as she did so. Unlike her best friend, she had no such reservations about fighting. Especially when they were trying to hurt Anyu, the one who had made that yummy squid dish.


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#104
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Okrin Je Camp

 

One by one, Raine's men fell.  Overwhelmed by the clever tactics of Tae Jin, and the relentless assault by Mimi, Yao, Shinya, and Anyu, they were forced to lay down their weapons, and surrender.  Raine's takeover of his father's camp had failed, and thanks to the courage of the island's guests, order had been restored.

 

Lady Isha addressed her brother first, before anyone else.  He had been restrained by one of Jeaunau's strange ropes.  The good doctor had also seen to it that he would assist Chief Boa's men in putting out the fires, with assistance from his own Water Bending.  While the flames were being doused, Lady Isha berated her brother.  "How far you've fallen," she began, examining the pitiful excuse for a man that stood before her.  Raine kept his head low, blood trickling from his temple and over his face, down the bridge of his nose, and around the corner of his mouth.  He smiled, still staring at the dirt at his feet, spitting blood as he answered his sister.

 

"And how blind you still are.  I could have made the Okrin great.  Powerful, once more.  But instead, you've put your trust in the hands of strangers.  Outsiders.  Something grandfather would have never done.  You put all of us at risk, the two of you.  And when your heads are on spikes--oof!"

 

Udal silenced Raine with a punch to the jaw.  He'd long since had enough of this man's rambling.  "Forgive me, my Lady.  But your brother is a damn pest."

 

Lady Isha shook her head.  "He's been this way since we were children.  But enough about our family fighting.  Udal.  Tae Jin.  Yao.  Mimi.  All of you.  Thank you," she said, bowing her head.  "Our family conflict has come to an end at last.  You've saved my father's life.  And though Jugo rests, I'm sure he would have thanked you too."

 

Chief Boa nodded, standing beside Lady Isha.  "Without your assistance, I would surely be dead.  Women, men, and children would have suffered.  And Lady Isha would have been none the wiser until Raine sought to take everything from her.  We are truly grateful for your help, Okrin Nehin."

 

Udal scratched his head.  "Well we--wait, Okrin Nehin?"

 

Chief Boa laughed heartily.  "Though you are not born into the Okrin tribe, you are Okrin Family.  And if ever you are on the island again, this Nehin will be restored to its great glory.  And you will be welcome."

 

Udal grinned, thinking himself a hero.  But there was still much to do.  "Chief Boa.  Forgive me.  I hate to ruin the celebration and all, but we're still missing a friend.  She--"

 

"We know.  We believe she's been captured by an exiled group of Okrin," said Lady Isha.  "Kin and I led Tae Jin and Yao to a southern part of the island.  There are many guards, and men who once belonged to the Okrin Nehin.  Take caution, Udal.  I believe you may find your friend there.  I would offer my assistance, but grandmama and father would be worried sick."

 

Chief Boa grunted.  "I would send men with you, but alas, many of my men were killed by this traitor.  And with most of our camp burned, and our crops short in supply, we will need to work hard to restore the family.  I'm afraid you will be on your own, for this part of your venture."

 

Dr. Jeaunau returned from putting out fires, just in time to catch the end of the conversation.  "I would go, Udal.  But I believe I can assist better here.  With my water bending, I can heal the wounded, and tend to those in need."

 

Udal nodded.  He understood the situation well.  He hoped the others did too.  "Simply locating our friend--Karina--is more than enough."  He stretched his metal arm, then withdrew it, steam hissing from his 'wrist'.  "We will handle the rest."

 

Lady Isha put a hand on Udal's shoulder.  "You've been through enough for one night.  Come.  Rest.  Tomorrow, you can save your friend, and complete your journey."

 

Udal looked around to the others in his party.  Tae Jin had gone from being trapped in quick sand to having spears in her face.  Yao nearly lost his best friend.  Anyu and Shinya were nearly killed in the middle of a coup.  And Mimi was probably hungry.  Lady Isha was right.  "Okay," he said at last.  "We'll get a good night's rest.  Recover our strength.  Tomorrow," he said turning to the other half-benders.  "We rescue Karina."

 

Jeaunau clapped his hands together.  "Take what you need from my place of residence.  I'll stock up on supplies when I can.  As it stands, I rather like it here on the island.  I could get used to it," he said with a grin.

 

For the evening, the benders could spend their night at the Okrin Sa camp, after gathering necessary supplies from Jeaunau's treehouse.  There was plenty of food and water available, and newly erected tents and huts were created especially for the injured and the new Okrin Nehin.  There was a much smaller, more controlled bonfire in the Okrin Sa camp, celebrating the return of the soon to be while Okrin Nehin.  But in the back of Udal's mind, he anxiously awaited the sun rise for the next day.  

 

"Karina."  He thought himself a failure.  Not even more than several days into their journey, he'd allowed one of their members to be captured.  "I'm coming."

 

Trying to happily partake in the evening's festivities, Udal put on his best smile, as he listened to the elder share tales of the Okrin Nehin, and describe them as heroes of the Okrin.  There were drums, whistles, and very creative shadow mimicry coming from the Okrin camp that evening.  They had to enjoy themselves one more time, before they got back to work.


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#105
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Okrin Island:  Genko Volcaono

 

"Mmmm!  Mmph!  Mmmm--MMMPH!"

 

An angry man ripped the cloth bandanna out of Karina's mouth.  "What!?  What is it!?"

 

"I need to go to the bathroom, you prick!" she retorted.

 

"Grr," he stomped the bandanna into the volcanic rock at his feet.  "Make it quick."

 

Karina's eyes darted around.  "I can't go if you're looking. . . " she said softly, shyly.  

 

The Okrin man rolled his eyes and turned around.  "Go in the corner or something."

 

Karina shimmied away, her hands tied behind her back, but her legs free.  She was hot, tired, and scared.  She hadn't eaten much outside of the puny rations they distributed to her.  Surprisingly enough, they at least kept a water supply in this cavern.  But how?  Karina fidgeted with the rope around her hand, trying to use the time she was allotted to hopefully slip away.  With her teeth, she grabbed at a loose end of a knot near her wrist, and gave it a tug.  At least if her hands were free, she could fight back.  A bludgeon to the head with one of these heavy rocks would give her a chance.  Being as quiet as she could, she managed to loosen a knot.  The rest of the rope fell into place.  Her eyes widened with anxiety as she realized her hands were now free.

 

She rubbed her wrists, trying to regain some of the feeling in them.  No thanks to that damned glove, she had a hard time getting the rope off in the first place.  She looked around carefully from the stalagmites in the corner she had ducked into.  The guard's shadow was bobbing up and down to her north-east, as he stood near the pooling lava stream just around the corner.  There was an opening before her, leading back towards the large slope that she was carried up, and into the created staging room in the lower part of the volcano, nearest the entrance.  She knew that the boulder would be moved soon for daily operations.  She'd been timing the guards patterns for days now.  All she had to do now, was dash away when she saw the boulder begin to move.

 

There was a soft rumbling.  "Go!" she encouraged herself.  The boulder was being rolled out of place, and they wouldn't be able to close it back in time before she made it!

 

"Hey!  Stop her!" one of the Okrin guards called, chasing after Karina.

 

Running with all of her might, Karina leaped over their heads, using the slope of the ramp to add height to her jump.  She leaped over two of the guards' heads, and ducked beneath the arms of the last man standing in her way.  "Daylight!" she thought, anxiously.  The boulder that had been blocking the cavern entrance was moved enough that Karina could slip past it, and hopefully into the jungle where her pursuers would lose track of her.

 

She was mere feet from the entrance, when a Stranger rounded the cavern from the outside, and she ran directly into them.  She fell backwards onto her butt, her hands bracing her fall.  Looking up into the glare of the sun and the shadow of the Stranger, Karina shielded her eyes until they could adjust to the person standing before her.

 

She noticed that the guards stopped chasing her, and that the Stranger stooped to meet her on the ground.  Their hands fell lazily between tjeir knees, as they spoke to Karina.  "I sheltered you.  Fed you.  Kept you safe.  And you repay me by running away?  C'mon, we haven't been that inhospitable, have we?"

 

It was a male, his voice muddied and his face hidden behind a black gas mask.  It had tinted green lenses, surrounded with a silver lining.  Beneath the mask, Karina could make out soft, silky black hair, with silver tips at the end of every strand.  His hair stretched to the nape of his neck, where he had an unidentifiable tattoo, hidden behind his hair.  

 

"Tell ya what," the Stranger said, standing up straight.  "Your friends will be here in about a day.  You cooperate with me, and everything will go smoothly.  We'll all have a talk.  Whaddya say?"  He extended Karina a hand, to help her from the ground.  She cautiously accepted, noting the Stranger's creepy, but charismatic ways.  He was of average height, standing about six feet tall.  He wore nothing on his torso, but his legs were covered in thick metal platelegs.  On his feet were black, Earth Kingdom, military issued combat boots, which Karina noted carefully.

 

"So.  Why don't you tell me which one of these big burly bastards has been givin' you the blues, huh?  I told 'em, I said 'don't go pissin' her off.  She's important.'  But, I mean, I don't expect much from a bunch of stupid savages," he chuckled.

 

Karina said nothing.  She peered over her shoulder, as two of the Okrin men rolled the boulder back into place.  She watched the fading daylight and her only escape be closed off once more.  

 

"Here.  You must be thirsty.  It's hotter than hell in this place."  Suddenly, before Karina, the Stranger held out an empty bowl.  With a balled fist over the bowl, cool water flowed from his soot covered hand.  It was clean, and almost untouched.  Karina snatched the bowl from the Stranger, nearly choking as she hungrily downed the refreshment.

 

"Whoa, easy!  Easy!  I've got plenty of ice shards to spare, I can give you more water," he said chuckling, as he held out his balled hand.  As the Stranger opened his hand, Karina stopped drinking, to oggle at the marvelous translucent blue crystal in his hands.  "Pretty ain't it?  Heck of a story.  I found it--well, maybe I'll tell you some other time.  Maybe when we leave.  But the cool thing about it is, no amount of heat--"

 

Karina interrupted.  "Wait, wait.  When we leave?  But. . .my friends are coming.  I--"

 

"Oh.  Oh, I'm sorry sweetie. I thought you understood.  I can't let you go back.  No, not now.  I told ya.  You're important.  In fact, you might just be the last piece of the puzzle that I need.  That thing on your wrist is going to open up a lot of doors for us.  But you specifically, have to be involved."  

 

Karina trembled at the thought.  What kind of plans did this man have?

 

 

Okrin Sa

 

Udal awoke the next morning, early, before dawn.  He sat upright, with his hands on his knees.  He'd ended up in a not-so-cozy tent with the other half-benders.  Yao and Mimi were curled together in a heap.  Tae Jin slept peacefully, and it almost seemed like she was meditating in her sleep.  Anyu was stretched wildly about, with her foot landing in Shinya's forehead.  Somehow, he slept through it.  Udal chuckled softly to himself, as he stood up and popped out of the tent.

 

Kin was awaking as well, relieving another Okrin male of guard duty.  

 

"Is it time?" he asked Udal, as he passed.

 

Udal nodded.  "I'll wake them up soon.  We should leave while its still cool out.  It will make our travels to the south easier."

 

Kin nodded.  "What will you do when you rescue your friend?"

 

Udal paused.  They still needed to complete a much bigger mission.  "We need to get off of the island.  We have a lot to do.  A disease to cure.  And it means traveling further south."

 

Kin scratched his chin, stopping beside Udal's tent.  "I may be able to have a few of my brothers assist with a boat.  It won't be fancy, but it should take you where you need to go."

 

Udal nodded, with a smile.  "Thank you.  It will be a great help.  Shall we meet you back here?"

 

Kin shook his head.  "Go to the eastern cove of the island.  It's easier to get out that way."

 

Udal shook Kin's hand.  "Thank you.  We'll be going soon."

 

"I'll leave the gate open for you."

 

Udal went back into their tent, and lightly tapped Yao on the shoulder.  Yao stirred, waking slowly.  Mimi purred softly in his arms, her eyes suddenly wide as they were disturbed.

 

"It's time.  Wake the others.  I'm going to grab our supplies."

 

Yao nodded, as Udal disappeared from sight.  Within minutes, he'd managed to gather one of Jeaunau's fancy ropes, and use it to band together a make-shift bag, carrying the team's food that Jeaunau had supplied.  They had more than enough, with extra supplies being donated to them by the Okrin.  Fruits and vegetables, cured meats, all of it carefully wrapped individually and stored now on Udal's back.  They would gather water from the river before they went too far south.

 

Udal stood with his arms folded as he stared into the early, deep blue of the morning sky.  As his friends awoke one by one, they stood beside him. 

 

"Remember.  This is a rescue mission.  It looks like you guys finally have some basic tools.  I'm sorry that I haven't been able to teach you much.  But I'm sure that will be all we need to get in, get Karina, and get out."  They were stoic.  Silent.  But Udal knew if he was nervous, so were they.  "Yao.  Tae Jin.  Lead the way."

 

They passed the gate of the Okrin Sa camp, bidding Kin goodbye.

 

"Thank Lady Isha and Chief Boa for me," Udal said, shaking Kin's hand again.  

 

He nodded.  "I will.  Safe travels.  And I hope you find your friend safe and in good health."

 

They disappeared into the jungle, the early wildlife scattering out of their way.  Kin watched with anxiety and concern, but he had hope for the Okrin Nehin.  All of them.

 

 

Genko Volcano

 

It was just as Tae Jin and Yao had previously described.  The area was fraught with danger.  There were now well over a dozen unclaimed Okrin men standing around a large boulder that blocked the entrance to a large cavern in the volcano.

 

The sun was just cresting on the horizon, and it was starting to get warm out.  They huddled quietly in the forest, out of earshot of the guards.  "We don't know what's inside.  But, I can move the boulder myself.  It comes down to taking these guys out and getting inside.  But with no idea what's behind that rock, this is risky.  Any ideas?" Udal asked softly to the others.

 

 

Mission Start:  Operation Rescue Cat

 

Mission Goals:

 

  • Formulate a plan.  There are twelve Okrin guards outside of the large boulder blocking the cavern's entrance, and your way to Karina.  You can go loud, and wail on them.  Or, you can stealthily take them out, and hope to get some more information about the cavern.
  • Locate Karina.  She's somewhere in the volcano cavern.
  • Meet the Stranger.  Wherever he may be, surely will Karina be also.
  • Save Karina.  You can't go anywhere without her.
  • Get off Okrin Island, alive.  There's still a lot of people in danger with E.D. running rampant.  It's imperative that you continue your primary goal of finding a cure to the disease.

Drowning in your silence.

#106
Eevee

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The fighting was tough, but it had all ended. Mimi had been ferocious, but Yao knew she could very well be when she wanted to be. They were labeled Okrin Nehin, which was apparently a big deal. All the brunette knew was that he wanted to go to sleep for twenty or so hours. But there were still things to do, people to observe.
 
Yao watched keenly as Lady Isha met Jeaunau, but seeing no particular reaction from her, he sighed. Maybe I really am getting too paranoid, he thought. After the man offered the use of his house for supplies, Yao poked around a bit, hoping and dreading that he'd find anything incriminating. But he didn't. So with that, the hopeful firebender decided to lay his suspicions to rest.
 
During the festivities, he approached Tae Jin, "You...you're okay right? You're not injured or anything?" his heartbeat clamored as he spoke for some reason. Mimi had separated from him a while back to munch on some fish, so it was just him and Tae Jin. Alone. For some reason, the thought made his palms sweat. Why am I so worried, anyway? She's not going to bite my head off or anything, she's far too gentle. Probably the nicest person I've met. He calmed down at that, the nervousness replaced with a warm glow. "I'm glad the fight didn't last for very long," he said.
 
--
 
The next day, Yao was the first to awaken, blinking sleepily at Udal above him.
 
"It's time.  Wake the others.  I'm going to grab our supplies."
 
Nodding, the brunette yawned, ruffling Mimi's fur absentmindedly. "All right, Captain," he quipped, grinning, before gently shoving Mimi off of him. The lion-dragon shook her body like a cat, letting out an indignant meow. "Could you help me wake the others?" Yao asked her, ignoring the look she shot him. Turning her nose up in the air, the lion-dragon stalked off in high dudgeon. Chuckling at her antics, the man decided to wake Tae Jin first. Nervously, he shook her shoulder. "W-wake up, Tae Jin," he murmured.
 
Anyu and Shinya would find their rest disturbed by a curious lion-dragon, who nudged the two awake with a cold nose. "Mrr?" she chirped, waiting for the two to wake up. If they didn't wake up soon, she'd just pounce on them. That's what she did with Yao, anyway, and it worked wonders. He always acted really funny when it happened too, yelping and twitching as he woke up.
 
Once everybody was awake, they all came to stand next to Udal, who stood with his arms folded as he stared at the deep blue sky of early morning. "Remember.  This is a rescue mission.  It looks like you guys finally have some basic tools.  I'm sorry that I haven't been able to teach you much.  But I'm sure that will be all we need to get in, get Karina, and get out." A pause. "Yao.  Tae Jin.  Lead the way."
 
They passed the gate of the Okrin Sa camp, bidding Kin goodbye. Yao made sure to say a few kind words to the now-confident guard, before wishing him good luck with Lady Isha in lowered tones.
 
--
 
Eventually, they reached the place from before. Multiple Okrin men stood guard around a large boulder blocking the entrance to a volcanic cavern. They huddled quietly in the forest, out of earshot of the guards.  "We don't know what's inside.  But, I can move the boulder myself.  It comes down to taking these guys out and getting inside.  But with no idea what's behind that rock, this is risky.  Any ideas?" Udal asked softly to the others.

"Do you think there's another way in?" Maybe he had read too many adventure novels as a kid, but the idea seemed sound. "There can't just be the one entrance, right? Having to move a huge boulder every time they want to enter the volcano seems like a pain." If they could just find a different way in, that might be the key to getting this done quickly and stealthily. "Either that or we perform a sneak attack on the guards,the brunette grinned. "If we can convince one to tell us what's in there, we'd be all the more prepared."


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#107
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"We don't know what's inside. But, I can move the boulder myself. It comes down to taking these guys out and getting inside. But with no idea what's behind that rock, this is risky. Any ideas?"

"Do you think there's another way in? There can't just be the one entrance, right? Having to move a huge boulder every time they want to enter the volcano seems like a pain. Either that or we perform a sneak attack on the guards. If we can convince one to tell us what's in there, we'd be all the more prepared."

 

"Not a bad idea..." Shinya nodded, before holding a finger up. "However, I got an idea as well, Yao." he began, before addressing the group. "There's a little plan from history, perhaps it will work in our favor if done correctly." Shinya crossed his arms and sighed.

 

"Ba Sing Se..." Shinya started, before nodding at Yao. "With us at the Fire Nation, we're constantly taught about the past, and one of those lessons happens to be about one of the sieges of Ba Sing Se. Namely...when there was the Fire Nation drill making contact with the wall." he said with a small smile. "Now, keep in mind that this is a huge drill...but it literally was stopped from the inside. Of course, history mentions that it was Avatar Aang that took care of it. But regardless...it was literally taken out from the inside."

 

Taking a breath, Shinya rubbed the back of his head. "Of course, what I'm suggesting isn't too great. It's basically mirroring the drill scenario, we take them out from the inside. Basically we have someone else get nabbed and then do what we can to save Karina that way...at which point, we'd have two points of attack. One from the outside...and then one from the inside." He looked at Udal with a small nod. "Its your call though, sir. I know you'd prefer to keep anyone else from being in harms way like that, but its what I got."


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#108
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"If we can convince one to tell us what'sin there, we'd be all the more prepared."

 

"A sneak attack, huh?" Udal thought aloud.  "It could work.  But if we goof up, they're bound to either overwhelm us, or alert everyone else inside."

 

"Its your call though, sir. I know you'd prefer to keep anyone else from being in harms way like that, but its what I got."

 

The Ba Sing Se attack.  Udal had only read about it.  From what Shinya had said, it sounded about right.  The attack was halted from the inside, by the Avatar.  That was genius, and it took the enemy by surprise.  Maybe they could do the same.    "First, don't call me sir.  I ain't that old.  Second.  You read me like a book.  But I like this.  I like it a lot," Udal said, huddling closer to the others.  "So here's what we do."  Udal relaxed himself a bit, and tried to ease the tension he was about to put on himself.

 

"I'm gonna get myself captured.  I'll scope out the place.  These few Okrin guys shouldn't be able to handle our bending.  But there's no telling what's in there.  We only know that Karina is somewhere inside."  Udal backed away slowly, inching closer to the edge of the brush.  "I count twelve guards.  I'll struggle and try to bring two of them inside with me.  That leaves you with ten."

 

Udal stood up slowly, still barely hidden from view.  "Wait until they move that boulder and take me inside, before you make your move.  Even if they put it back in place, I can move it again."  He stretched his arms, and rolled his shoulders, stepping slowly out into the sunlight.  "Good luck," he whispered back to the others.

 

Udal ran out into the daylight, creating as big a ruckus as he could muster.  "Hey!  Ya big brain dead jackasses!  Who the hell guards a rock!?  You guys must have a really terrible boss!"  He whistled and jeered, taunting the Okrin who protected the entrance.  "Soo wee, pigs!"  

 

He ran quickly off to the west of the volcano, being chased by three Okrin Guards.  As he rounded the corner of the volcano, he was cut off by two more guards.  He put his hands up slowly, as they pointed spears in his face.  He grinned as they got closer, and he stepped into their defenses.  Udal managed to drop two guards with a right hook and a knee to the gut.  The remaining three restrained him, and began dragging him by his torso, towards the entrance of the volcano.

 

"Let me go, you damn savages!  I know my rights!" he protested.

 

"You have no rights, here!" one of the guards retorted.  "Ytach!" he commanded of the others, standing in front of the large boulder before the volcano.  They struggled, but the guards slowly moved the boulder out of the way.  Udal was dragged inside by two of three guards, leaving ten to be dealt with by his allies.

 

"I hope this was the right decisions," he thought to himself.  Daylight slowly faded away, as the boulder behind Udal was pushed back in front of the cavern entrance.  He was dragged up a rugged incline, before being thrown into a boiling hot room, carved in the volcano and filled with numerous wooden crates.

 

He was admittedly impressed at how well carved the entire volcano was.  Each room was squared, and served a purpose.  The flow of magma ran through the center, and didn't fail to make each room unbearable to exist in.  There were six rooms total, including the one Udal was being held in.  As he was thrown to the dirt, one of the crates beside Udal shook, and he could hear its contents clanging together.  It sounded like glass.

 

"Move, and you die!" one of the Okrin Guards said, immediately. 

 

Udal rolled his eyes, as he sat with his back to one of the crates.  The guards walked away, likely to inform whoever was in charge.  Now was Udal's chance.  But first. .  .

 

He slowly removed the lid on one of the crates, and had a good look inside.  There were hundreds of packed syringes in glass casing, unused.  "What the hell?" Udal whispered to himself.

 

Judging by the size, shape, and number of crates in this room, they were likely all syringes.  But for what?  Udal closed the lid, and inched near the doorway.  He'd already worked up a sweat, just being inside this blasted cavern.  He had to find Karina quickly, and get out.  But he would need help.

 

Sneaking around the entryway of the Syringes Room, Udal's eyes landed on the guards who brought him in.  They stood talking at the end of the slope that they dragged Udal up through.  In front of them, a third man with a gas mask and metal platelegs, folded his arms and listened attentively.  He nodded as they reported to him, seemingly understanding of what had happened.

 

Suddenly, the gas mask wearing leader was livid.  He snatched one of the two Okrin Guards by the throat, and shoved him backwards onto the edge of the slope.  The Okrin Guard slipped, and fell, screaming, into hot magma.  His cold, shrill screams filled the cavern, and made Udal cover his mouth.  

 

". . .and don't let it happen again."  He left the one single guard behind, and walked away, becoming invisible in the darkness of the rooms below Udal.  The other Okrin Guard stood, frozen, and shocked at the loss of his friend.  Things had changed rather quickly.  Whoever it was they were dealing with had Karina somewhere in the volcano.  And was she even alive?  Udal balled his fist, and ducked back into the Syringe Room. 

 

He couldn't risk hurting anymore of the Okrin Guards.  He would have to knock them out if he was going to get anywhere, however.  But perhaps, using this now broken guard, he could get some more information.  

 

"Psst.  Hey.  Buddy.  I'm sorry for your loss," Udal began.

 

The guard turned around, spear in hand.  "I should kill you.  This is your fault."

 

Udal shook his head.  "That crazy asshole just killed your friend.  You should've ran that spear through his back."

 

The guard sighed, holding his spear tight.  "It's not that simple."


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#109
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"First, don't call me sir. I ain't that old. Second, you read me like a book. But I like this. I like it a lot. So here's what we do. I'm gonna get myself captured. I'll scope out the place."

 

Shinya was actually surprised that his plan and suggestion was the one that was chosen. What was more, Udal was the one being captured. Of course, that's was the obvious choice for them, since he can handle things a lot better than they can.

 

"Yeah. And with us finally being able to bend, its a bit easier now." Shinya nodded, before watching Udal leave, telling them to wait until he was taken into the cave and the stone was rolled back into place. He mentally prepared himself, just as he did back at the camp. He and the others would soon hear the ruckus that Udal was putting on.

 

It was almost time for them to strike. Shinya exhaled slowly before looking over from the brush to see the Orkin guards drag Udal into the cave...and then tightly moving the boulder back into place. There it was...the time to strike. With ten guards out in front of the cave, they had their work cut out for them. Upside, however...they could now bend. Shinya's fists slowly clenched as he exhaled once more...he needed to get their attention to allow the others to strike at them.

 

"Just remember, they have poison on the tips of those spears." he said with a nod. "Avoid being hit at all costs." Shinya moved back a bit, before leaping into air.

 

-BGM-

 

Shinya directed his forward momentum in front of the Orkin guards, before slowing his breathing down. He sent a forward punch into the air, before watching a fireball be launched down from it, making its mark by the guard's feet. However...this wasn't the end.

 

He moved slightly, keeping his footwork in time with his breathing, as he began to shoot more fire in the direction of the guards, mainly to have fire cover their sides and fronts, keeping them from escaping and literally having them with their backs against the wall...however he knew the others had plenty of room to strike from the back.


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