A/N: Hey there, AntiHero here with another chapter of Five Elements! I don't really have much to say other than sorry for taking so long to update, but managing school and work is hard and leaves little time for anything I enjoy doing. I will try to do better.
Disclaimer – I do not own Dragon Ball Z or Avatar The Legend of Aang
Chapter29 - The Desert
When we last left the Gang, they had just escaped Wan Shi Tong's Library after acquiring the Intel on the Day of Black Sun. Toph held up the sinking building as Goten attempted to stop the Sandbenders from stealing Appa and Icarus but was defeated which led to their animal friends' capture. Now the group was just standing around in the endless desert with no means of transportation. Katara tended to Goten's injuries, Gohan was channeling his Ki hoping to sense Appa or Icarus' energy. Momo, Sokka, Toph and Aang were just staring out to the wasteland as the wind blew in their faces; the latter was more than furious.
"How could you guys let them take Appa and Icarus? Why didn't you stop them?!" the Monk asked angrily.
"We tried, but the library was sinking! You guys were still inside and–" the Earthbender started to defend but was cut off.
"You could have come to get us! I could have saved them!" Aang argued.
"I can hardly feel any vibrations out here. The Sandbenders snuck up on us! I thought Goten could handle it! There wasn't enough time for –" Toph tried to defend herself again but still did not get to finish.
"You just didn't care! You never liked Appa anyway! You wanted him gone!" Aang yelled at her.
"Aang, stop it. You know Toph did all she could. She saved our lives." Katara told the Avatar.
"Who's going to save our lives now? We'll never make it out of here." Sokka points out.
"That's all any of you guys care about: yourselves! You don't care whether Appa and Icarus are okay or not!" Aang yells furiously.
"Aang, you need to calm down." Gohan said.
"We're all concerned, but we can't afford to be fighting now." Katara tells the monk.
Aang remains silent for a bit before losing patience, "I'm going after them!" without another word, the Airbender opens his glider and flies off into the desert.
"Aang, wait!" Katara tried to call him back.
"Let him go." Gohan said as he stopped channeling Ki. "Maybe he'll have better luck finding them than me,"
"You can't sense them?" Sokka asked.
Gohan shook his head "Their energies are too far away for me to pick up, I can't distinguish them from any other creature in the desert." He then limps over to the Waterbender and his brother. "How is he Katara?"
"He'll be fine; he just needs time to fully recover." Katara replies.
"We don't have time to wait for that. We need to go after Aang and help find our friends." Goten urged as he tried to stand but staggered in his brother's arms.
"I don't think so bro. You're in no condition to fly." Gohan says.
"We'd better get going. We're the only people who know about the solar eclipse. We have to get that information to Ba-Sing-Se." Katara suggested.
"You think if we dig out the giant owl, he'll give us a ride?" Sokka inquired.
"I doubt it, but I can fly us. Only, I can't tell where we'll be going, and I'm not used to flying in this environment for long." Gohan said. He then grabs the girls clothe with his right hand and the boys in his left before flying off from where the library once was.
On a different trail, Zuko, Iroh and Trunks were riding on their ostrich-horse with the elderly man groaning in pain, as he had not fully recovered from his past injury. "Maybe we should make camp." Zuko suggested.
"No, please, don't stop for me!" Iroh insisted though kept on groaning; the prince eventually pulled on the reigns for the animal to stop and Trunks led Iroh to a flat rock to sit and rest. Pretty soon, the Ostrich-horse's ears perked up as it detected something. "What now?"
"We've got company," Trunks replied as he and Zuko took defensive stances.
Five armored fie soldiers armed with weapons and riding Komodo Rhinos appeared and surround the fugitives. "Colonel Mongke! What a pleasant surprise!" Iroh greets the leader of the group.
"If you're surprised, we're here then the Dragon of the West has lost a few steps." Mongke says as he and his men prepare to attack.
"You know these guys?" Zuko asked.
"Sure. Colonel Mongke and the Rough Rhinos are legendary." Iron explained. "Each one is a different kind of weapon specialist. They are also a very capable singing group."
"We're not here to give a concert! We're here to apprehend fugitives!" Mongke stated.
"Would you like some tea first? I'd love some. How about you Kachi? I make you as a jasmine man." Iron replied. "Am I right?"
"Enough stalling! Round em up!" the Colonel ordered. The specialist with the ball on a chain hurled t at General Iroh but the old Firebender kicked it away and it tied around the leg of one of the Komodo Rhinos; Iroh then rolls out of the way of two arrows and slaps the backside of Kachi's rhino, making it rush off while pulling the bounty hunter who uses the chain. The archer of the group fires another flaming arrow that Trunks deflected before shooting a Ki beam to destroy the archer's bow. Colonel Mongke steps towards the fugitives and hurls fireballs at them. Iroh blocks them and Zuko jumps onto Mongke's rhino, deflecting a fire attack and knocking the Colonel off his animal. Iroh quickly mounts the Ostrich-Horse and starts to ride before he's joined by his students. The bomb specialist chases after them, lighting a grenade and throwing it at the fugitives but they managed to evade the blast and kept going.
"It's nice to see old friends again." Iroh said.
"Too bad you don't have any old friends that don't want to attack you." Zuko commented.
"Hmm... Old friends that don't want to attack me..." the Fire General pondered.
In the Desert, Gohan continued to fly though he was sure where he was going; everyone was getting seriously hot from the prolonged exposure to the sun. "Gohan, maybe you should take a rest," Katara suggested.
"I'm fine, besides, we need to keep moving." Gohan replied.
"I think I can fly now," Goten said.
"No. I can sense your energy hasn't been replenished." Gohan argued.
"Aw come on bro, we're getting all sweaty down here!" Goten complained.
"Katara, can I have some water?" Toph requested.
"Okay, but we've got to try to conserve it. The Waterbender pulls out water from her pouch and splits it into five parts to give to her friends; Goten, Toph, Momo and Sokka accepted it as she offered one to Gohan.
"No thanks," he declined.
"We're drinking your bending water?" Sokka asked as he tried to familiarize the taste. "You used this on the swamp guy! Uh!"
"It does taste swampy." Toph points out to which Goten and Momo agree.
"I'm sorry, it's all we've got." Katara apologized.
"Gohan stop!" Sokka exclaimed getting the Energybender to halt in the air.
"What is it?" Gohan asked.
"Look!" Sokka points to a cactus before slipping out of his friend's grasp and approaches it. The tribesman cuts pieces of the plant with his blade and starts to drink from it.
"Sokka, wait! You shouldn't be eating strange plants!" Katara warns her brother as they land beside him. The Tribesman cuts more parts of the cactus and gives them to Goten and Momo.
"There's water trapped inside these!" Sokka replies as he cuts another one and offers it to his sister and friends.
"I don't know." Katara said with uncertainty.
"Suit yourself. It's very thirst-quenching, though." Sokka assured them with a smile. His pupils then start to dilate as he shakes his head side to side rapidly. He then starts to speak in a strange echoing voice. "Drink cactus juice. It'll quench ya!" he starts squirming across the sand as he continues. "Nothing's quenchier. It's the quenchiest!"
Katara gives him a questionable look before taking the water filled cactus he offered. "Okay, I think you've had enough."
"Who lit Toph on fire?" Sokka inquired while staring at the blind girl who clearly not. Gohan and Katara looked up and saw Momo flying in a circle rapidly before crashing into the sand.
"What was in that juice?" Gohan asked as he watches his brother acting loopy.
"And can I have some?" Toph asked.
"I don't think that's a good idea. Come on, we need to find Aang." Katara said. Gohan picks everybody and proceeds to fly.
"How did we get out here in the middle of the ocean?" Sokka questioned making his sister sigh.
Not too far away, Aang flew through the desert in search of the Bison and Dragon; he blew on his Bison whistle hoping his friend would hear it and respond.
Gohan was still flying when he suddenly stopped and began looking around. "Gohan, what's wrong?" Katara asked.
"It's Appa! I can sense his Ki!" Gohan alerted. "This way!" Wasting no time, the Energybender rushed over to the energy signal.
"Appa! Icarus!" Aang called out. He landed on the dunes and looked around. "Appa! Icarus!" He still received no response as he couldn't spot anything but sand for miles. His distress grows into anger as tears form in his eyes. "No... NO!" The Avatar slams his staff into the ground, causing a wave of sand from the force of his impact.
His friends were still heading towards their pets. "The energy signal is getting faint, but we might still make it!" Gohan thought. He was suddenly blown over by the sandstorm causing him and the others to crash into the sand. Gohan held everyone together as he slid across the desert and stopped. "Everyone okay?"
They all stood up and saw the mushroom of sand dust in the distance. "What is that?" Katara asked.
"What? What is what?" Toph asked as she glanced around.
"It's a giant mushroom! Maybe it's friendly!" Sokka said with delight.
"I like mushrooms!" Goten replied.
"That's Aang!" Gohan said as he closed his eyes and channeled his Ki.
"Is he okay?" Katara inquired.
"Just upset." Gohan replied before his energy faded. "Oh no. I can't pick up on Appa or Icarus' Ki anymore. They must be inactive again and my Ki too low to focus."
"Friendly mushroom! Mushy giant friend!" Sokka exclaims while waving his arms.
"Let's walk for now, we'll try again when Aang get back." Katara said as she took Toph's hand and led the way. Gohan followed while his brother and Sokka still expressed interest in the dust mushroom.
Back at the Oasis, two Earthbenders were questioning a random man on the whereabouts of a certain blind bandit. "Yeah, a little barefoot blind girl and her friends passed through here a few days ago." The man told them.
"Did they give you any indication where they were headed?" Master Yu asked.
"Maybe you could give me a little 'incentive'?" the man said while rubbing his fingers.
"You suggesting I break your fingers?" Xin Fu asked.
The man took back his hand and pointed to the desert. "They went in the desert! Too bad there's almost no chance they survived." The man explained.
"That's okay, cause she's wanted dead or alive." Xin Fu replied.
"No, she's not! I'm certain her father wants her alive." Master Yu argued.
The host of Earth Rumble six glanced over and spotted a board with five posters. "Hey, look... Fire Nation wanted posters!" he said looking at the poster of the Fire General and Princes.
"So?" the Earth instructor asked.
"So, look who's here." Xin Fu said as they spotted Iroh, Trunks and Zuko going into a bar.
With the Gang, everyone was still walking aimlessly as the sun began to set; at that moment, the Airbender flew over their heads and landed behind them in failure. "I couldn't find them," he muttered. "I don't even know if they're still in the desert."
"They might be, Gohan sensed Appa's energy earlier." Katara said.
"What? When? Why didn't you come get me?" Aang asked as he rushed to his friend, grabbing his shirt.
"I tried to get to them, but your sandstorm knocked me off course and his Ki disappeared before I pinpoint where it was." Gohan explained.
"You've gotta keep trying to find them! You've just got too!" Aang urged.
"I'm still trying, but it's hard to focus my energy in these conditions." Gohan said. "I don't know if I'll ever be able to sense them again."
The Avatar stepped away from the Energybender and fell on his knees in despair. "I'm sorry, Aang. I know it's hard for you right now, but we need to focus on getting out of here." The Waterbender told him.
"What's the point? We won't survive without Appa or Icarus. We all know it." Aang said sadly.
"Come on, Aang. We can do this if we work together, right, Toph?" she turned to the Blind girl.
"As far as I can feel, we're trapped in a giant bowl of sand pudding." Toph answered, not feeling hopeful. "I go nothing."
"Sokka, any ideas on how to find Ba Sing Se?" Katara asked her brother.
"Why don't we ask the circle birds?" the tribesman suggested while pointing to four buzzard wasps that were flying over their heads, probably waiting for the group to die.
"Hi birdies." Goten waved at the scavengers.
Katara looked at her friends, most of them were either too loopy to focus on the situation or too depressed to care. She grasped her head before pulling herself together. "We're getting out of this desert, and we're going to do it together!" she begins to rally her friends. "Aang, get up. Everybody hold hands. We can do this. We have to."
"Want me to fly us again?" Gohan asked.
Katara shook her head. "No, save your energy. We might need it when we finally find a way out of this desert." The Waterbender takes the lead followed by Aang, Gohan, Toph, Goten, Sokka and Momo as the Gang treks across the sand. After some time, the sun had set, and the Gang hadn't gotten any closer to leaving the endless desert. "I think we should stop for the night." Katara suggested and everyone minus her and Gohan groaned as they collapsed onto the sand.
"Is there any more water?" Toph asked.
"This is the last of it. Everyone can have a little drink." Katara said as she opened her pouch and pulled the water out. The winged lemur flew right through the water causing it to sink into the sand.
"Momo, no! You've killed us all!" Sokka screamed.
"No, he hasn't." Katara said before pulling the water out of the sand.
"Oh, right. Bending." Sokka said.
"This cactus juice better wear off soon," Gohan said.
Katara gives the last of the water to the Blind Bandit before reaching for her brother's bag "Sokka, let me see the things you got from the library."
"What? I didn't steal anything! Who told you that?!" the tribesman asked as he clutched his bag; he points an accusing finger at the lemur. "It was you! You ratted me out!"
"Sokka, I was there." Katara tells him before taking the bag. She brings out a map of the desert and places it on the sand.
"It doesn't matter. None of those will tell us where Appa is." Aang said.
"No, but we can find out which way Ba-Sing-Se is." Katara replied as she and Gohan looked at the map.
"We should use the stars as a guide." The Energybender suggested.
"Good idea Gohan. That way, we can travel at night when it's cool and rest during the day." Katara said. They look behind and see all their friends lying in the sand looking very tired. "Everyone should try to get some sleep. We'll start again in a few hours."
The Fire Fugitives were sitting around at a table looking for someone to aid them. "No one here is going to help us. These people just look like filthy wanderers." Zuko commented.
"And we don't?" Trunks asked.
Iroh glanced around and spotted something. "Ah, this is interesting. I think I've found our friend." The old General pointed over to another elderly man sitting at a table with a Pai Sho board.
"You brought us here to gamble on Pai Sho?" Zuko questioned.
"I don't think this is a gamble." Iroh said before going to approach the man. As his nephews followed him, the duo of Earthbenders were watching them from the sidelines.
"Let's take them now!" Xin Fu suggested.
"This place is full of desperate characters. If they find out we're collecting a bounty, we might have to fight them all just to keep our prize. Patience." Master Yu advised.
"May I have this game?" Iroh asked the man.
"The guest has the first move." The Pai Sho player offered. Iroh sat in the chair and placed a tile on the board. "I see you favor the White Lotus Gambit. Not many still cling to the ancient ways."
"Those who do can always find a friend." Iroh replied.
"Then let us play." The player placed his own tile on the board and does the same; the young teens watched as the elderly men continue to place their tiles on the board at a quick pace until all the tiles together formed a large shape, the lotus symbol. "Welcome, brother. The White Lotus opens wide to those who know her secrets." The Pai Sho player gave a welcome gesture to the retired general.
"What are you old gasbags talking about?" Zuko asked.
"I always tried to tell you that Pai Sho is more than just a game." Iroh replied while rolling a tile in his fingers.
"I'm not waiting all night for these geezers to finish yapping!" Xin Fu yelled as he marched over to the fugitives followed by Yu. "It's over! You three fugitives are coming with me!"
"I knew it! You three are wanted criminals with a giant bounty on your heads!" the Pai Sho player got in front of the Earthbenders and jabbed his finger at the Fire fugitives.
"I thought you said he would help us!" Zuko said to Iroh.
"He is. Just watch." The old Firebender assured him.
The Pai Sho player then faced the bounty hunters and yelled "You think you're going to capture them and collect all that gold?"
"Gold?" one of the men in the bar repeated. Pretty soon all the shady desperate characters in the bar got up and surrounded the Pai Sho table brought their weapons while wearing greedy looks on their faces.
"Uh... Maybe we shouldn't." Master Yu suggested but his partner only smiled. Two thugs jumped in front of Xin Fu and were knocked aside by a chunk of earth; another character tried to sneak attack Master Yu but was buried into the earth by the old master. Xin Fu kicked away three Sandbenders before tossing the two in his hands; throughout the ruckus, the three fugitives and their new friend managed to slip away and exit the bar. The fight was soon over and the duo of Earthbenders were victorious, but their prize was now gone. In anger, Xin Fu raised a column of earth from right under one of the downed Sandbenders, sending him flying out the bar window and into a desert tree.
In the desert
The Gang was still resting as their loopy Lemur bat had buried the water tribesman in the sand; Katara tapped her broke to wake him. "Come on, get up. We need to go." Sokka sat up as did Gohan and Toph.
"Yesterday my mouth tasted like mud. Now it just tastes like sand. I never thought I'd miss the taste of mud so much." The Earthbender complained.
Katara goes over to tap the Airbender. "I'm awake. I couldn't sleep." Aang says without turning to face her.
"Well, we need to get moving if we want to get out of this sand pit." Katara states. The Gang then spots something flying in front of the moon.
"Appa!" Aang exclaims.
"Appa? But why would Princess Yue need him? She's the moon! She flies by herself!" Sokka comments.
Upon further inspection, they saw that it was a bison shaped cloud not an actual bison. "It's just a cloud. Wait! A cloud!" the Waterbender then hands her pouch to the Air Nomad. "Here, fly up and bend the water from that cloud into my pouch." Though upset, the monk takes the pouch and does as instructed; after doing so, he drops the pouch, letting the Waterbender catch her pouch and landing on the ground. "Wow... there's hardly any in here." She said after looking inside it.
"I'm sorry, okay! It's a desert cloud; I did all I could! What's anyone else doing! What are you doing?" Aang says in anger while pointing his staff at her.
"Trying to keep everyone together." Katara mutters before looking at the map. "Let's just get moving. We need to head in this direction."
The Gang follows the Waterbender through the desert. As they trekked the Earthbender suddenly tripped over an object that was buried in the sand. "Ow! Crud! I am so sick of not feeling where I'm going! And what idiot buried a boat in the middle of the desert?!" Toph questions while grasping her foot.
"A boat?" Katara asked.
"Believe me, I kicked it hard enough to feel plenty of vibrations." Toph replied.
Aang swings his staff, blowing away the sand and revealing the object to be a large boat. "It's one of the gliders the Sandbenders use! And look! It's got some kind of compass on it! I bet it can point us out of here!" Katara says while tapping the compass. "Aang, you can bend a breeze so we can sail it. We're going to make it!" She tells her friends while her brother buries Momo in the sand and smiles.
In a small village close to the desert, the Pai Sho player led the fugitives to a flower shop in a small village. "It is an honor to welcome such a high-ranking member of the Order of the White Lotus. Being a Grand Master, you must know so many secrets." The old man praised the Fire General.
"Now that you played Pai Sho, are you guys going to do some flower arranging, or is this club going to offer some real help?" Zuko questioned sarcastically.
"You must forgive my nephew. He is not an initiate and has little appreciation for the cryptic arts." Iroh apologized.
"He just has a lot of questions, as do I." Trunks said. "What exactly is this Order of the White Lotus, Iroh?"
"I'll explain afterwards; for now, please trust me." Iroh requested.
The Pai Sho player knocks on a door to a secret room; the small window on door slid open and a man peeked through it. "Who knocks at the guarded gate?" the man asked.
"One who has eaten the fruit and tasted its mysteries." Iroh replied. The man accepts the answer and opens the door. Iroh and the Pai Sho player stepped in but when Trunks and Zuko tried to go in the door was immediately closed on him. Iroh opened the small window and informed them. "I'm afraid it's members only. Wait out here." The boys stood outside the secret room waiting patiently.
Back in the desert, the Gang was riding on the sand boat with Aang using airbending to get it going. "The needle on this compass doesn't seem to be pointing north according to my charts." Katara said while comparing her map to the compass.
"Take it easy little lady. I'm sure the sand folks who built this baby know how to get around here." Sokka said.
Katara frown before looking at where they were headed. "That's what the compass is pointing to! That giant rock! It must be the magnetic center of the desert."
"A rock? Yes! Let's go!" Toph cheered.
"Maybe we can find some water there!" Katara said.
"Maybe we can find some Sandbenders." Aang said in a dark tone.
The teens made to their destination and climb to the top of the large rock. "Ahhh... Finally! Solid ground!" the Earthbender says joyfully as she flops onto the ground and makes a stone angel as the others rest a bit.
"I think my head is starting to clear out the cactus juice. And look!" Sokka tell them as they enter one of the caves. He picks off a sticky substance from and licks it while feeding it to Momo, it was not a pleasant taste. "This tastes like rotten penguin meat! Awww, I feel woozy." Sokka gagged.
"You've been hallucinating on cactus juice all day and then you just lick something you find stuck to the wall of a cave?!" Katara scolds her brother.
"I have a natural curiosity." Sokka defends himself.
"How are you feeling Goten?" Gohan asked his brother.
"Better now that the juice has worn off," Goten replied.
"I was actually asking about your injuries." Gohan said.
"Still hurts a bit but it's not as bad as before." The 2nd Son of Goku answered.
Gohan then turned his attention to the cave; he closed his eyes and channeled hi energy. "Guys, I'm sensing multiple Ki signals here."
"I don't think this is a normal cave. This was carved by something." Toph explains.
"Yeah... look at the shape." Aang points out.
"There's something buzzing in here. Something that's coming for us!" Toph alerts everyone.
"Everyone out! Now!" Gohan cried. The teens quickly rush out of the cave as giant buzzard wasps fly out after them. Before long, the group was surrounded by multiple bug-like creatures. One approaches Aang and is blown away by an air wave. Another gets blasted to the ground by Gohan; then one lands on a rock beside Toph, alerting her of its presence through her Seismic sense and she attacks by hitting it with an earth pillar. Another bug flies but Sokka and Toph throws a chunk of the earth to hit it, nearly hitting her friend instead.
"What are you doing?! That rock almost crushed me!" Sokka complains.
"Sorry, I can't tell where they are in the air!" Toph reminds him.
A buzzard wasp flies past the tribesman. "I got this one." He says before yelling and swinging his blade madly.
"Sokka, there's nothing there." Katara tell him.
He stops swinging and sees that his sister is right. "I guess my head's not as clear as I thought."
"Power Pole Extend!" Goten commanded, getting his staff to grow longer before using it to whack two buzzard wasps away. "They're outta here!"
"We have to get out of here! I'm completely out of water to bend!" Katara said.
One of the buzzard wasps grabbed the defenseless Lemur bat and flew away from the hive. "Momo!" Aang yelled. "I'm not losing anyone else out here!" The monk opened his glider and quickly flew after the desert creature.
"Come on, we're going down." Katara instructed as she led her friends to the bottom of the hive. As they made their way down, the Waterbender turned the Earthbender in a certain direction and ordered "Toph, shoot a rock right there. Fire!" Toph did as told, striking another buzzard wasp to the ground.
"Yeah! You got it!" Sokka cheered before asking to confirm. "She got it, right?"
"Yes. Now let's move." Katara continued to lead the group down with the Sons of Goku covering the rear. The Airbender caught up to the giant insect before flying under it; he kicked, releasing an air wave that blew the winged lemur out of the buzzard's grasp. Once Momo was flying right beside him, Aang decided to finish the job. He conjures up a gale force and hurls it at the buzzard wasp, swatting it out of the sky to the earth before walking away with Momo crawling behind him. The group were still being surrounded by the desert bug when Katara directed Toph to attack another one. "On your left!" the blind girl knocks it down but more still come. Gohan holds up his hands, and yells, firing multiple energy blasts to ward off the buzzards and while some hit their mark some did not. The Energybender then falls to his knees once he's done and take a few breaths.
"You okay Gohan?" Goten asked.
"Yeah, just have had anything to eat or drink in these harsh conditions. I'm low on energy." Gohan replied as he pulled out his sword to defend.
As the buzzard wasps continue to swarm the teens, giant waves of sand shoot out of the ground and scare them back into their cave. The Gang looks to see a large group of Sandbenders standing before them; the Avatar soon descends and stands defensively in front of his friends.
At the flower shop, Zuko and Trunks were still waiting for Iroh to the point where the two had dozed off; suddenly the door opened and Iroh stepped out as did the Pai Sho player. "What's going on? Is the club meeting over?" Zuko asked as he and Trunks woke up.
"Everything is taken care of. We're heading to Ba-Sing-Se." Iroh explained.
"Ba-Sing-Se? Why would we go to the Earth Kingdom capital?" Zuko questioned.
"The city is filled with refugees. No one will notice two more." The old man replied.
"We can hide in plain sight there. And it's the safest place in the world from the Fire Nation. Even I couldn't break through to the city." Iroh added.
"I'm not sure this is a good idea Iroh. You've been captured by Ba-Sing-Se soldiers before." Trunks argued. "Besides, this is the same place where…" he didn't finish as the three fugitives knew what he would have said and grew a bit saddened.
"I understand how you feel about this Trunks, I feel the same way; but this our only chance to be safe from any more bounty hunters or the Fire Nation." Iroh told the Energybender.
Trunks took a deep breath, accepting the circumstance. "Alright then, when do we leave?"
At that moment, another member of the group came in through the door. "I have the passports for our guests, but there are two men out on the streets looking for them." He alerted.
The three fugitives looked out the window and saw the two Earthbenders from the bar asking around while carrying their wanted poster. "You see these guys?"
"I think we can take em," Trunks said as he grabbed his sword.
"Perhaps, but maybe we don't have too." Iroh said while rubbing his beard.
At the desert, the Sandbenders got off their sailors and immediately questioned the Gang. "What are you doing in our land with a Sandbender sailer? From the looks of it, you stole it from the Hami tribe." The lead Sandbender said accusingly.
"We didn't steal anything,"
"We found the sailer abandoned in the desert. We're traveling with the Avatar. Our bison was stolen, and we have to get to Ba-Sing-Se." Katara explained which surprised the Sandbender once the Avatar was mentioned.
"You dare accuse our people of theft while you ride in on a stolen sand sailer?" another Sandbender said to the teens. Toph paid close attention to his words.
"Quiet, Gashuin. No one accused our people of anything." The Sandbender named Sha-Mo ordered. "If what they say is true, we must give them hospitality."
"Sorry, father." Gashuin apologized.
Toph's eyes widened as she said "I recognize the son's voice. He's the one that stole Appa and Icarus."
"Are you sure?" Katara asked.
"I never forget a voice." Toph assured her.
The Avatar then steps forward and jabs his staff at Gashuin. "You stole Appa! Where is he? What did you do to him?" he asked angrily.
"They're lying! They're the thieves!" Gashuin told his father.
Enraged, Aang swung his staffs to release an air blast that reduced one of the sailers to splinters. "Where are our friends?!" Aang asked.
At the flower shop, a man had just left carrying three large flowerpots on a wagon. Xin fu and Master Fu burst into the shop, knocking a flowerpot to fall and shatter on the ground; they were greeted by florist tending to some flowers. "Hey you, where are these men? I got a tip that they're in your shop." Xin Fu questioned him.
"As you can see, no one is here but us." The florist replied.
"We know all about your secret back room." Master Fu said before addressing his partner. "Kick it down."
"Hey! That room is for flowers only!" the florist exclaimed as Xin Fu ran up to the door and kicked it. The door fell flat on the ground and the two Earthbenders stepped into the room, only to find a Pai Sho piece on the floor.
"Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set." Fu said as he picked up the tile.
Xin Fu grunts and smacks the piece out of his hand. "Let's go back to finding the girl." He said before the two left the shop.
Not too far from the shop, the man was still dragging the flowerpots when the fugitives poked their heads to look around then resumed hiding.
"You tell me where they are now!" Aang demanded as he destroyed another sailer.
"What did you do?" Sha-Mo asked his son.
"I-It wasn't me!" Gashuin said nervously.
"You said to put muzzles on them!" Toph said.
"You muzzled Appa?!" Aang asked furiously. His eyes and tattoos began to glow frightening Gashuin as another sand sailer was blasted to bits.
"I'm sorry! I didn't know that it belonged to the Avatar!" Gashuin said, but Aang was having none of that.
"Tell me where Appa is!" Aang demanded with his Avatar State voice.
"I traded him! To some merchants! He's probably in Ba-Sing-Se by now! They were going to sell him there!" Gashuin replied. His answer seemed to infuriate the Avatar even more as the wind around him began to magnify. "Please! We'll escort you out of the desert! We'll help however we can!" he pleaded but Aang was too angry to listen.
"Just get out of here! Run!" Sokka tells them as he grabs Toph and starts to run from the Airbender along with Goten and the other Sandbenders. Katara and Gohan stay behind as a sand twister forms around their friend; as his anger grows, the Avatar is encased in a giant gale sphere and begins to float upward. Gohan and Katara approach him and grab his wrists before he gets too high. Aang stares at them fully enraged but is quickly pulled into a hug by the two. The others shield their faces from the strong winds til it dies down, and they watched the Energybender and Waterbender comfort the Airbender. While still in the Avatar State, Aang begins to cry as does his friends; the wind finally stops and Aang returns to normal expressing great sadness on his face.
A/N: Another chapter done and over with. Sorry it wasn't all that eventful, couldn't really think of much to add. It'll be different for the next chapter though. Hope ya'll are still reading this fanfic and continue to send your reviews. Until next time, BBFN! AntiHero out! Oh, and Happy New Year!