Chapter 8: Arrival

Having promised not to fly within Ba Sing Se's walls, Goku took a train from the outer wall into the city. Relaxing in the comfort of not having to travel under his own power, Goku took a nap while the train moved through the Agrarian Zone that separated the outer and inner walls. Before he knew it the train passed through a tunnel into the lower ring of Ba Sing Se, stopping at a station for everyone to disembark.

When Goku stepped out of the train there was a strange woman in a yellow uniform staring at him, which Goku ignored and walked past. The strange woman took a few steps to get in Goku's way, giving a clear view of her face with a strange smile on it. Goku gently pushed the woman to the side and kept walking, oblivious to her intent of handling him.

The strange woman got in Goku's way again and introduced herself. "Hello, I am Joo Dee, welcome…"

"That's nice," Goku muttered, pushing Joo Dee out of his way again.

Undeterred in her mission to keep the newcomer under close watch, Joo Dee got back in front of Goku. "I have been given the great honor of showing you around our fair city."

"No thanks," Goku said, picking Joo Dee up by the shoulders and setting her down behind him. He resumed walking away from the station, but Joo Dee was back in front of him in seconds.

"Leaving you all alone would make me a bad host," Joo Dee claimed.

"Ma'am, please stop that," Goku asked, shoving Joo Dee aside one more time. He didn't get two steps before Joo Dee was back in front of him. Before Joo Dee could say another word Goku held up a hand with his palm facing Joo Dee, and used a small burst of energy to propel her away.

Joo Dee's back hit the side of a building and she slumped to the ground, where she could watch Goku walk away without any further interruptions. "Long Feng's not going to like this," she muttered.

Without anyone getting in his way Goku freely explored the city, starting with the lower ring. He got some awkward looks from the locals, but didn't notice them. Several agents of the Dai Li caught Goku's attention, sensing their presence in spite of their attempts to remain hidden. Goku let them follow his movements through the city, wondering if they had witnessed his actions at the outer wall.

During his walk Goku looked at a map of the city that General Sung had provided, which marked a house in the middle ring for him. Free housing was a reward for saving the city from the drill, as well as saving Sung's ego. While the general believed Goku had earned a home in the upper ring, he knew better than to put someone with so much destructive power that close to the Earth King. Unaware of the political motivations behind the free house, Goku followed the map through the city.

After passing through a gate in the wall between rings Goku walked through the middle ring. Following the map took Goku to a small house near several restaurants, which was very appealing for him. Goku opened the front door and walked inside, seeing a living space with basic furniture. He sat down on a couch and relaxed, while wondering if he could find a set of training equipment somewhere in the city.

Several minutes after Goku arrived there was a knock on the door, and Goku got up to answer. When Goku opened the door he met a middle aged man with a receding hairline. "Who are you?"

"I am Long Feng," he introduced himself, giving a small bow. "May I come in?"

"Umm, okay," Goku said, stepping away from the door to let Long Feng in.

Long Feng walked inside and looked around, finding the interior rather bare for someone that earned a fancier home. He made a mental note to correct it later, after his current business was finished. "I trust you're settling in well?"

"Not really," Goku said. "I prefer the countryside."

"That can be arranged," Long Feng offered. "But I'm more interested in hiring your services."

"Services?" Goku muttered.

"I'm well aware of what you've already done for Ba Sing Se," Long Feng said. "Someone like you can become a very wealthy man as a mercenary, one that I am more than interested in hiring."

During Long Feng's speech Goku stopped paying attention, his gaze drifting upward towards something very distant. "Someone's coming," Goku muttered. "Someone powerful."

Meanwhile, far outside the walls of Ba Sing Se, Princess Azula was riding a mongoose-dragon through the wilderness. Her friends Ty Lee and Mai were beside her on their own mounts, always willing to help. They were scouting the terrain around Ba Sing Se in search of a covert means of penetrating the city, as the direct approach could no longer work. Not when the Earth Kingdom was aligned with a power capable of obliterating the Fire Nation army on a whim.

The only lead so far was a clump of white fur, shed by the Avatar's sky bison. Azula was already devising a plan to use the bison to coerce the Avatar into fighting the threat, as the Avatar State was the only power in this world that could possibly have a chance against the destroyer of the drill. Tracking down the sky bison was a simple matter, following strands of fur left on trees in the forest. Eventually they found the sky bison, along with six Kyoshi Warriors.

"My my you're easy to find," Azula claimed, letting a clump of fur in her hand disperse in the wind. "It's really astounding that my brother hasn't captured you yet."

All at once the Kyoshi warriors drew a war fan and raised a shield. "What do you want with us?" the leader demanded.

"Who are you? The Avatar's fangirls?" Azula asked.

"If you're looking for the Avatar, you're out of luck," Suki claimed. She glanced at her fellow warriors, giving a wink to each of them in turn. This was the perfect opportunity to test a new group technique.

Not in the mood for further delays, Azula jumped off her mount and shot blue fire at the Kyoshi Warriors. In unison the warriors joined their shields and blocked the attack, but the defense gave Ty Lee and Mai time to get off their mounts and attack. The warriors kept their distance from Ty Lee's fists and blocked Mai's knives with their shields, while slowly spreading out around their opponents.

Once the warriors were positioned in a circle around their foes Suki gave the signal, holding her right palm towards Azula and her left hand on right wrist. "Give up yet?" Suki taunted, watching the other warriors assume the same pose.

Azula halted her attacks for a moment, perplexed by the strange gesture. "What, are you going to try firebending?" Azula asked.

"Something like that," Suki answered, as a small orb of light formed in front of her palm.

Similar orbs formed from the palms of the other warriors, aimed at Azula, Ty Lee, and Mai. It would have been mind boggling, if Azula didn't have a possible explanation in mind. "Goku…" she grumbled, suspecting his hand in this development.

All six Kyoshi Warriors fired rapid energy blasts at the same time, converging where Azula and her friends were standing. Azula firebended at every incoming blast she could react to, creating small explosions where the attacks collided. Ty Lee dodged the blasts with the skill of an acrobat, weaving around the attacks and having a little fun doing so. But Mai lacked the agility or firebending that her friends possessed, and after just a few dodged blasts one of them hit her shoulder.

"Ow!" Mai screamed, seeing her shirt with a burn hole at the shoulder and slightly burned skin. More blasts struck her, hitting Mai's legs and back and her other arm.

"Mai!" Ty Lee yelled, seeing her friend in pain. But that distraction slowed her down just long enough for a blast to graze her leg, destroying a patch of clothing and making a light burn. That hit threw off Ty Lee's balance and allowed another blast to hit her, followed by another and another.

Seeing her friends in trouble Azula tried to cover for them with her firebending, shooting down energy blasts all around them. She held them off at first, but one blast slipped through Azula's defense and hit her back. Pain from the hit broke Azula's concentration, shattering her defense and letting more energy blasts through. The barrage overwhelmed Azula and her friends, only stopping when all three of them collapsed.

One Kyoshi Warrior looked at her enemies, seeing them in tattered clothes that covered the essential parts and a bit more. "Should we finish them off?" she asked her leader.

"No," Suki ordered, crossing her arms. "I'm sure the embarrassment is more fitting here."

Without another word, the Kyoshi Warriors left with the sky bison in their care. After a few minutes Azula got back on her feet, furious that she had been caught off guard again. Her friends were had light burns all over but they would live, and they were slowly getting back up. All three of them needed new clothes, as what they now wore was little better than rags.

"What else could go wrong?" Azula muttered, rubbing her temple next to a twitching eye.

As if on cue a shadow appeared and moved past, covering the area Azula stood in for just a second. She looked up and saw a large disk shaped craft in the sky, with alternating orange and blue windows ringing the edges. Azula saw the craft descent into a nearby meadow, extending a dozen small legs to land on. With her friends beside her Azula hurried towards the craft, stopping at the edge of the meadow to observe its landing.

When the craft landed a circular hatch on the top opened, and three humanoid alien beings rose out from it. They wore matching light green armor with a brown right shoulder plate, and were a blue skinned alien with yellow hair, a green muscular alien with black hair, and a red reptilian alien. Each had a device attached to their left ear, which had a glass screen covering the left eye.

Following the aliens into the sky was a fourth one, with purple skin, a tail, and white sections on his chest, legs and forearms that resembled armor. "Find that monkey."

The three aliens saluted to the purple alien. "Yes, Lord Cooler."