Aang finds himself agaisnt Thirty One other Fire, Earth and Water Benders. Pema has set up an elaborate tournament as a game? What could the prize be?!
Authors E-Mail: RealGateGuardian@gmail.com
Warnings: Scenes of a martial arts nature and action/adventure elements.
Avatar & the Night of Games
Chapter Two: The Elimination Round
APRIL 12, 2008
As Aang touched the crystal ball Appa began to awake. However, the moment he tried to stand up Aang was gone and Appa lost his balance looking at the large crystal ball. He stared at the crystal and blinked several times thinking.
"How did he do that?"
Aang blinked his eyes several times to find himself in a room filled with thirty one other people like him. He noticed many Fire Benders as well as Earth benders and Water Benders. He looked around and surveyed an open platform much like in the Earth Kingdoms' Earth Bending Arenas. He kicked a stone off and the pit seems to continue on, he couldn't even hear it hit the ground below. To one end, he saw his new enemy: Pema. Pema stood up before them, with his staff once near him. He raised his hand and with authority spoke out.
"WELCOME CHAMPIONS! I have hunted all thirty two of you down to participate in a special game. From each and every single one of Fire Benders, Earth Benders, Water Benders and even the last Air Bender, the "all mighty" avatar. This game is to entertain me and my pupils." Pema tapped his staff against the ground and several braziers light up with fire.
"This is the first of five games. The Elimination Round. We want to see only four of you left. For all those who survive, you will move the next round. Lose... well that's a different story. The object of this game we're playing is to entertain us. With something dear on the line, you'll be fighting as if YOUR lives were at stake." He stopped and noticed an Earth Bender not paying attention to him.
"Oh I'd pay attention. The winner will get spoils beyond their wildest imagination. Maybe you want the Earth Kingdom to keep the Fire Nation at bay forever? MAYBE you want the Fire Nation to rule the world that belongs to them. I don't know. That's up to the winner. This is our game; and you're our puppets for now." Pema finally looked at an Earth Bender who seems to have a group of other benders behind him.
"This is a game for all of you? What makes you think that the Earth Kingdoms Best Fighters are going to fight each other and not you?" The Earth Bender bolstered at Pema who gave him little respect in return.
The Earth Benders cheered their leader on. He stomped on the ground and a large square block popped out. He jumped on top of block of stone and launched himself at Pema. He flight across very quickly. However Pema pointed his staff at the Earth Bender shattered his stone and he fell into the pit unable to stop himself. Aang watched him, trying to forget he allowed a man to fall down a bottomless pit. Pema just laughed at his mistake.
"Anyone else want to take a shot at me?" Pema looked around the platform.
Not even Fire Benders wanted to challenge Pema. He sat down in a pearl white marble chair carved to look like throne made of bones. The Benders looked around at one another waiting for the other to strike first. Aang had to think quickly and keep the Benders from fighting one another instead of Pema and his pupils. One of the assistants tossed a bucket of very large bucket of water out to help the water benders fight. Because of this action, the Fire Bender attacked first. First four walls of fire came to back the Earth and Water Benders to the edge, but instead the Water Benders blocked the fire, taking this time the Earth Bending sent fissures to break apart the field. Four Fire Benders fell into the pit.
"Oh so sad, Twenty Seven left to go." Pema and his pupils began laughing.
Aang looked to see a bald young girl dressed in green and yellow clothing like any normal Earth Bender. He ran to her as a Water Bender summoned a large ball of water to knock her off the end. Aang ran over to stop the ball as it was launched; and he stopped it just in time. However she ended up causing the ground to collide tougher, pushing up and towards the edge knocking the Water Bender over. Aang however using his Bow staff as a glider recovered quickly; and returned to solid and safe ground.
Once he landed softly on the ground. He would catch a familiar face with a large burn scar over the left side of his face with long black hair. His jaw dropped as he knew that Zuko would try and eliminate him as soon as possible as well as possibly harm anyone in his way. Aang tried to get behind other benders but it was too late; Zuko turned to see Aang.
"THE AVATAR!?" Zuko sent a large first of fire out to greet Aang.
Keep in on his feet he swatted the fire ball out. Aang ran up to Zuko exchanging fists of air against his first of fire. Several of their strikes nearly knocking over other participants.
"Zuko! What are you doing here?" Aang locked their hands tougher to stop their attacking momentarily.
"What business is it of yours?" Zuko kicked Aang away from him.
Aang backed up, and Zuko sent some fire his way. He ducked under the fire; however five more benders were caught on fire. Two of which were also Fire Benders, but they could not handle the fire… literally and would fall over the edge into the pit. Aang blocked a boulder flying at him, and threw it away near Pema.
“Nice try Avatar, but you missed me. There are only Twenty One others left to play!” Pema laughed as he tapped his staff on the ground.
The ground quaked as Ni was back. His armor shining brightly as it was quickly polished. He stood among them and let out an awesome roar getting the attention of several benders around him. Two Earth Benders came at him quickly striking his armor. It didn’t give and he tossed them out of the ring with no trouble. The Water Benders took their time, carefully gathering enough water to make a giant water snake. It hissed at Ni; but he doesn’t fear it and allowed it to take hold of him. Their first attempt was to drown him; but he didn’t give in after being under longer than most people can hold their breath. The Water Benders froze him into ice and attempted pushing him off.
“Toss him over the edge!” A male water bender shouted.
“I don’t think so!” Ni screamed from with in the ice block.
He moved his arms to his chest and flinging them out, a massive fire erupted from his body and melted the ice. The ice quickly melted and water evaporated. The Water Benders backed away but as he crashed on the ground, he swung his hand and a long trail of fire extended, cutting through the ground and the platform that the Water Benders were on severed. Six Water Benders and Four Earth Benders fell. Using his glider once more, he tried to rescue anyone he could. But he couldn’t handle more than two people’s weight. Combined with their exhaustion he couldn’t save anyone. Aang tried desperately to save the other benders and get them to unite as one. But it would not work.
“Good try Avatar! But only Nine benders remain standing. Who’s going to be left when all is said and done? I wonder!” Pema and his pupils began cackling.
“There has to be a way to defeat Pema and Ni before I’m the only bender left.” Aang landed behind Ni.
Aang ran around him very quickly trying to build up enough speed for a tornado to toss him out of what remained of the platform. As Ni began to lift off the ground, one of the remain three Earth Benders saw what he was doing, and with the aid of the other two they attempted to toss stones into the building gale strength winds. The four remaining Fire Benders including Zuko threw as much fire as they could conjure into the hurricane, and finally the last remaining Water Bender tried to gather the remain water and create a four element tornado that would hopefully defeat their enemy.
“WATCH OUT!” Aang jumped out of the tornado and blew his air at the tornado.
The other benders did as Aang suggested and hit the deck. The four elements combined into a large crystal dome over Ni, he was stuck inside with strong winds feeding flash boiled fire and charred black earth Ni slammed his fists against crystal. As hard as he struck his new home it would not break.
“Now to deal with those annoying Earth Benders!” The Fire Benders turned and resumed their fighting with the Earth Kingdom Warriors.
Aang turned to find the last remaining Water Bender standing next to him. A boy with long black hair, dark skin, brown eyes, the same black pants and blue dress robe that Sokka wore, but this finer and darker material than that used at the South Pole, where Sokka and Katara were from. He was from their sister tribe at the North Pole.
“Hello, I’m Rou Umi, I’m a Water Bender from the Northern Water Tribes.” He extended his hand in a friendly gesture.
“I’m Aang; I’m from the Southern Air Nomads.” Aang shook his hand.
“South Air Nomads? I thought the Air Nomads were extinct, no offense.” They looked at the feuding Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom warriors.
“You could say that, I’m One Hundred and Twelve years old, and I’m the Avatar.” Aang exhaled as he couldn’t think of a way to stop all but Zuko and one bald female Earth Bender from knocking the last over the edge.
Pema stood up from his seat and took notice of who was left. He snapped his fingers and suddenly Ni was free from his crystal prison. He breathed out fire from his helmet but didn’t do anything but jump of the edge for some unknown reason. Pema snapped his fingers again and the room became quiet as he stood between the four remaining benders.
“CONGRATULTIONS! Especially to you Avatar Aang, last of the Air Nomads on surviving the elimination round!” Pema raised his hands.
“Hey! I want answers!” Zuko stormed up to Pema.
In one swift motion, Pema had Zuko on his knees with his wrist behind him and on fire. He pushed the fire against Zukos’ back; as he leaned to his ear.
“Patience little boy.” He tosses Zuko off.
“The next round is going to be very good. You see it will put you four against one of my guards. But for now the four of you shall rest.” Pema tapped his staff on the ground and the four dropped into a different room.
The four fell down four different tunnels going at speeds they were not familiar too. The deeper they went, the darker it got. The darker it got, the more it felt like they were dropping form smooth stone to jagged gravel.
The four remaining benders all landed with a thud on the ground in the same room. It was dark and no one could see if another bender was sneaking behind them or not. Zuko stuck his hand out and created a fire ball so he could see if anyone was going to attack him especially the Avatar. Aang landed in front of him as gently as feather. Zuko thought a moment about taking an offensive stance, but decided to wait a little longer.
“Why are you here Zuko?” Aang flat out asked.
“I’m here for my own reasons, why would you care?” Zuko shot back offensively to Aang.
“Calm down. We’re all here for a reason.” Rou come out of the darkness and stood next to Aang.
“What’s your reason for being here and what’s your name?” Zuko rudely asked.
“My name is Rou Umi; I’m from the Northern Water Tribe. I’m here because my brother was taken captive from me. Pema told me that if I win in this cruel contest, I’ll have my brother back. That was two days ago” Rou reached into his pocket and pulled out some black make-up to fix his war paint.
“And you two?” Zuko took noticed of the Earth Kingdom warrior standing in a corner.
He looked at them for a minute and steps forward after spitting in their direction. He has green and yellow clothing like Toph, short brown hair, a lightly tanned skin with much dirt on his hands and bare feet. He stood behind Rou and Aang.
“My name is Jin Chun; I’m from Ba Sing Se. Unlike him, my sister was stolen. NOT kidnapped, but STOLEN like a horse. Pema destroyed our village and told me if I wanted to see my sister alive, in three days time I’d participate in this tournament if I liked it or not.”
Jin spat on the ground by Zukos feet. He almost his temper to get the best of him as the fire ball flared brighter. Aang and Rou stood in front of Jin ready if Zuko attacked.
“Zuko, I know you don’t like any of us. But we have to work tougher if we want to get out of this in one piece.” Aang stuck his staff in front of him ready to strike at a moments notice.
“Why are you here young Avatar?” Rou held out two small knives that were attacked to a sheath around his ankles.
“My friends Katara, Sokka and Toph were kidnapped by Pema. Earlier I was told if I wanted to see them alive, I would come here. I didn’t have the slightest idea it would turn out to be a game for Pema and his creep friends.” Aang kept his eyes locked on Zuko.
“Your turn exiled Prince Zuko” Jin shot back aiming to hurt Zuko.
“Why should I explain to you? I’m your sworn enemy! Why would you care why I’m here? Would you even believe me if I told you?” Zuko shot back at Jin.
“We have the Avatar. A bender who has mastered all four elements. We can use him to defeat Pema.” Jin smirked at Aangs general direction.
“Um I haven’t begun to master Fire Bending and I know just enough Water and Air Bending to defend myself.” Aang choose to flat out lie, not wanting to be used as a weapon.
“Are you serious?” Jin freaked out hearing this coming from Aangs mouth.
“Yeah… sorry.” Aang apologized dropping his guard.
“It’s not your fault Avatar Aang. No one is perfect. I haven’t mastered Water Bending myself, but I’m sure I can be of assistance to you in taking out Pema.” Rou bowed his towards Aang in respect.
“FORGET THAT! HE’S USELESS! We’d be better fighting on our own! What can a Avatar do if he has only mastered ONE element?” Jins’ anger started to get out of his control.
“What makes you think we can team tougher? Didn’t one of you say that he’ll only allow one of us to be the winner of this stupid tournament?” Zuko spoke up making a good point.
Pema raised his staff upwards to the ceiling. The remaining bit of platform moved with him. The two servants that he had that confront Rou, Jin, Zuko and Aang were standing next to him along with his five pupils. As the platform rose to the next level, it began to change. The fissures and up ridden earth smoothed out in to cold and merciless metal. This time the room they were in was nothing short of gladiator arenas just like before, only without the pit fall.
“Are you ready Aisu?” Pema looked over to his servant.
Aisu stood up, as he did so the others could see he is on the short and fat side. Blue plate armor, he wore a green mask instead of a helmet and was armed with only a shield. He walked up to Pema and waited.
“Here, the power I give you will make you immune to any freezing, burning, lifting or crushing effect caused by those benders. Let see if they can defeat you when their powers are near pointless?” Pema pointed the staff at Aisu and began chanting a spell.
Back in the outdoors. Appa sat before the crystal ball groaning and staring at it. He tried licking it, but nothing happened. He even tried to eat it, but it got caught in his throat and almost made him sick.
“How did Aang do that? That was neat trick; as neat as it was he still shouldn’t have left me and Momo here alone.”
Appa dropped onto the ground from his feet. He just couldn’t exactly it out. He went everywhere with Aang. Momo, after gathering his confidence back from almost being scared to death from Ni, Aisu and Pemas attack rose up on Appa. He was at first picking parasites out of his fur. But suddenly got an idea. He picked out a large flea-tick and tossed it at the ball. When the flea-tick landed on its legs, it too disappeared just like Aang did. Momo and Appa immediately freaked out jumping onto their feet. Appa moved closer to the crystal ball, and with Momos’ aid, both were also teleported from there.
“Hey Katara, wake up water maiden!” Toph kicked some dirt onto Katara.
Katara tried jumping at Toph. But her wrists were shacked tougher behind her. She stood up and looked around. The moonlight that came from above with one brazier was the only source of light in their room. She looked to see Toph was blankly staring in her general direction.
“Awake sleeping beauty?” Toph sarcastically spat out.
“What’s with you and the name calling Toph?” Katara tried to keep calm with her.
“Nothing, except you’ve been asleep longer than the lazy sack of bones behind me.” Toph pointed her head behind her, as her hands were also bound behind her.
“I’m not lazy! How can I be lazy if I have only one and half legs?” The other woman tried to slink over like a snake.
“Who are you?” Katara asked looking at the woman.
“I’m Tae Chun; I’m from Ba Sing Se. I already know who Toph Bei Fong, the only daughter of the Bei Fong family in Gaoling. I can tell you’re from the Water Tribes, PROBABLY the Southern Water Tribe from the looks of you clothes Katara.” Tae tried to bow her head in acknowledgement to both young women.
“Wow, you know a lot just from simple looks. Did you two talk while I was out?” Katara moved a few steps closer to Tae and Toph.
“No, I work at a library in Ba Sing Se and I read a lot while I’m there. I only know Toph because I heard about her.” Tae finally sat up on her knees.
“Great… where is Sokka?” Katara looked around the room for her brother.
“He’s safe. He’s across the hall with me.” An older male voice came out from across the hall.
“An old friend I met not too long ago.” Toph walked over to the bars to see them.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Authors Note: Don’t be afraid to rate an review folks.