The Avatar and The Emblim

Chapter 8

The Dessert Rebels

Sokka spat the sand out of his face as they tromped through the dessert. The wind blew hard and the sun was baking hard on him and the others. It reminded him almost too much of the time when they had to search for Appa after their escape from Wa Shi Tong's library.

"Why again are we walking through the oh so hot, oh so sandy, oh so awful dessert", asked Sokka.

Everyone gave him a look. "Because", said Soren, "The apostle asked us to look at a group of bandits that's operating out here."

"That's all well and good but. . why is HE here", asked Toph pointing to Makalov.

"Ah Makalov, Marcia's sister", said Ike. "Let's just say he's in our debt now. We payed of his debts but. . ."

"Ah since it came out of your mercanies wallets that means he has to pay you back", said Aang.

Makalov groaned as he is reminded of that.

"Serves him right", said Katarra, "But it's odd, you said the apostle just paid you and gave you a new job without saying a word about what was in the cargo?"

"Afraid so", said Titania.

"Ooooh she likes to keep secrets", said Ty Lee.

"What's our business out here", asked Suki.

"According to the apostle there is a group of bandits out here, and we need to deal with them", said Soren.

"Bandits. . in a dessert. ." said Aang.

"It's alright Aang. That's why we left Appa back at the Mainal Cathedral", said Katarra.

"I know but it's still hard for me not to forget", said Aang.

"So where do we find these bandits," asked Suki.

"I believe we are being greeted by one of them now", replied Gatrie pointing to someone wearing a cloak running on up to them.

"HALT! Who dares trespass into our territory", he shouts.

"We are but a bunch of mercernaries", said Ike, "We were hired to find and deal with a group of bandits in this area."

"HA" said the cloaked figure, " You label us as thieve so you can murder us and hide your guilt! But we will not be defeated! Mark my words, one day there will be a day when all slaves are free! When that happens you will pay for your crimes!"

"Woah" said Aang, "What are you talking about? I don't understand."

"Enough words" said the cloaked figure, "Come brothers, take them!"

At this lots of laguz emerged, one went with the cloaked figure, which was obviously the leader. They ran to a nearby ruins, the leader ran in while the laguz transformed into a green tiger and guarded the entrance.

"This is not good", said Suki, "They are all laguz!"

"Even so, they are still brigands, this changes nothing", said Soren.

"I have to agree with him on this", said Sokka.

"I agree", said Ike. "We must take them on."

Aang nods but adds, "But try not kill them unless it's necessary."

"All right", said Ike, "Far be it from me to argue with the Avatar."

Toph smirks and bends the sand solidifying it and used it on a few laguz in their beast form. The solidified sand slammed them so hard they fell onto the dunes

Mia dove right on into the fight and used her sword to defend herself well. She almost got hit behind from a crow laguz until Sokka hit it with his trusty boomerang.

"Thanks boomerang boy", said Mia with a smirk.

"Watch your back, this guy can't protect you all the time", said Sokka. He was caught up in his victory he failed to notice another crow laguz coming at him, fortunately Rolf took care of that, causing Sokka to scream at the sound of the arrow being shot.

Sokka observed the scene and gasped.

"Watch your back", said Rolf, "Can't protect you all the time."

"Ooooh you can't say that! Only. . I.. . .", Sokka strangled to say.

Ike meanwhile managed to defend himself easily from another beast laguz and tried to move, but found that difficult.

"Careful, this sand is very hard to move in!" he shouted.

"Tell me about it", said Mei as she flicked a few knives nearly hitting a beast laguz but was enough to stop it in it's tracks.

Lethe and Mordecai had transformed into their beast forms and were aiding the fight as much as they can. At one point one of the laguz caught Lethe head on.

"Why do you help the beorc?!" the beast laguz asked, from the sound of it, it was a female like her. "You should be on our side! You should be helping us!"

"I will never aid bandits like you", responded Lethe hissing.

"Then you are blind to the facts!" shouted the laguz before she head butted Lethe.

Lethe was temporarily airborn before she landed hard in the sand. She as not injured but she did see stars for a moment as she managed to pull herself out. She noticed she landed near a small grove of trees that were growing the dessert, she turned to leave when her nose picked up a scent.

"Hmm? What is that? Is someone there", she asked. Curious she reverted to her human form and ran into the trees. She looked around the barely full of life landscape but saw nothing.

"Must have been my imagination", she said.

"Ah a female cat", said a voice from behind her. "We don't have you around these parts that often."

Lethe jumped and turned to face who spoke. It was a man with green hair, a purplish long coat.

"Woah! Where did you come from?!" exclaimed Lethe.

"Did I startle you? My apologies", said the man.

Lethe's face turned fierce, "Who are you?"

"I am sorry but I think you should be the one giving ones name, before asking mine", said the man.

Lethe let a growl escape her lips before she said, "I am Lethe. . from Gallia."

"And I am Stefan", said the man, "I live in this dessert playing the role of a hermit."

"Ah well don't let me interrupt your life", replied Lethe.

"I have no intention of you doing so", said Stefan. He keeps looking at her which annoyed Lethe.

"Why are you still staring at me?" asked Lethe.

"I must admit", said Stefan, "I have been interested in Gallia's beast tribes for some time. Perhaps we can go somewhere and talk?"

"I can't! My companions and I are in the middle of a battle right now", said Lethe with more fire in her voice. "I can't stand by and chitchat with you.

"Well in that case said Stefan as he holds up a sword in it's sheath, "Let me help you, then once it's over we will have time to converse, right?"

Lethe sighed and shrugged, "I suppose."

"Then let's be off", said Stefan as they left the area.

"Who is this guy", asked Lethe as she shrugged it off.

(insert break)

Aang managed to use his air and earthbending to keep a few of the laguz at bay.

"Watch it" shouted one of them. "They got benders, and I think that's the Avatar!"

Some of the laguz recoiled a bit in realization and back a bit, til the green laguz shouted. "DON'T LET THEM INTIMIDATE YOU!"

"Guys we need to get to those ruins, the leader is in there", shouted Gatrie and he hit a beast laguz with his spear.

"GATRIE WATCH OUT", shouted Titania. A beast laguz was about to ambush him when suddenly as if out of nowhere a man with green hair and rough purple clothes managed to hit it aside without ease.

"You got to watch your back", he said.

"Ike", shouted Lethe as she ran into the scene. Ike h ad just managed to get a bird laguz off him.

"Lethe", said Ike, "Thank goodness you are okay. Who is that?"

"That's Stefan, he is a supposed hermit here but he seems interested in us laguz and has decided to help us in this battle so we could talk", said Lethe then rolling her eyes said, "I don't really get him."

"Even so, he seems like a big help", said Ike. "But unless we can get to the ruins this battle will be drawn out."

Mordecai lept over them and towards the green tiger laguz as if to respond to Ike's concern.

He growled at him. "Stand down brother tiger, I do not wish to hurt you", said the green one.

"I don't wish to fight you either", said Mordecai. "But I must do this, for you are a criminal."

"I don't wish to do this", said the green laguz.

Moredcai however growled and lept at him and the two started to fight it out. They bit and clawed hard at each other, they were being merciless at each other.

Aang saw t his and blew them apart. "ENOUGH!" Using his earthbending he pushed the green laguz into a boxed area. Knowing he didn't have a chance of escape he shifted back to human form.

"Looks like we lose", he said panting. He then shouted, "Everone stand down!"

The other laguz halted their attacks.

"Wait you are in charge?" asked Ike. "Not the one that was with you?"

"Yes, if you wish to execute me, please do so, but could you please let my comrades go", he asked.

"NO!" shouted a voice. "I WON'T ALLOW IT!" The robed figure from before ran from the building and took his hood off. It was a young boy, about Sothe's age.

He threw himself in between Ike, Aang and the laguz. "I won't let you take Maurium!"

"Grr. Get back little one", said Maurium.

"No", said the boy, then to the two, "If you want Maurium you have to kill me first!"

"Hey", said Aang, "You're a kid."

"And he's not a. ." said Ike.

"Yes", said Marium, "He's a beorc child. Claimed him no more than when he was an infant. He has nothing to do with us.. . . 'sub-humans'.. ."

The boy just groaned and turned to Maurium. "Don't lie like that! I am here on my own free will! I am in charge of the laguz liberation army" he shouted. "Stop covering up for everyone and trying to get yourself killed!"

"Woah hold up", said Ike. "I don't care who the real leader is but I can't make heads or tails of what you all are talking about."

"Neither am I", said Aang. "Could you please explain things?"

The boy nodded, "Very well come with us.. . "

To be continued. . . .

AN: I hope you guys enjoyed this. Sorry it took so long, my written mind is not what it used to be. . *chuckle* That and I have been busy with other things. Anyway 'See you in the future.'