Avatar: A Legend Reborn

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[BCOLOR=transparent]After being twirled around like a doll by the elderly woman, along with having a few loose threads tightened, Tanvi was finally free to go. She bowed, thanking the woman and then wandered into the market as well. SHe realized she narrowly missed the announcement that overcoats would be needed. Despite her attire being perfect for their travels, she decided to grab a thick coat that would protect when winter approached- or even if they decided to ever go to the Northern or Southern tribes, which Tanvi hoped they would. Picking a nice, dark colored coat with enough pockets, she noticed Suzzio off on his own in search of clothes. While Zarina and Tao where getting along quite nicely, she decided to see if he needed any help. "So mister firebender," Her footsteps were quite as they always were, and she didn't know how deep in thought the male was. So, Tanvi deemed it best to quietly announce herself as she approached. Leaning against one of the tables, she looked at him with a curious brow. "Need any help?" The look on his face answered that question for her. With a small nod and a smile, Tanvi helped Suzzio find a decent pair of clothing to wear for their future travels. "Don't forget the coats. We won't have summer forever." The reminder she made was loud enough for all three of them to hear. [/BCOLOR]

[BCOLOR=transparent]Krane had slipped off, and Tanvi assumed it was to gather supplies. Assuming such, she looked at the others as they gathered the last of their things. It wasn't her place to direct them around or tell them where to go. For all she knew, Krane could have planned on heading back to the room they had sat in previously. Whatever the case was, she headed towards the front and spoke. "Krane will be back soon. In the mean time, we'll just wait around here until he returns." Around that time Fei had returned to her shoulder as well. After a short stretch, Tanvi crossed her arms. "Man, I can't wait to get out of here and start traveling again," It was loud enough for the others to hear, however she spoke to know one in particular. [/BCOLOR]
For a brief moment, Suna thought that redemption was upon him. The idea of utilizing Naomi's cannon, Rae-Lee's guidance and direction, Suna's ammunition, and Dhune's balancing should and would have been the Firebenders' demise. Following a draconic motion of his hands and fingers, the tentacle of different earthen materials shattered and was molded into large spikes. The young Sandbender compacted this further to maximize its potential to devastate and destroy. It would appear then, that Suna's ecstasy and willingness to cooperate and lead his team right fell once more into failure's hands. It was difficult to see overconfidence in Suna's suggestion to bring the manifestation of his team's unflawed collaboration into the theatre of war, but it appeared nonetheless in that the Sandbender failed to comprehend the difficulty to even steer the great weapon, let alone use it. It was then that Suna vowed to invest more time in practicing with these people instead of lazing out and about, like he usually did. Still, he wanted to end this, right here, right now.

Dhune's order to regroup was abrupt albeit well timed, in spite of the Sandbender's wrongly placed courage. He had no Seismic Sense, so Suna raised a brow in utter confusion. How could they flee from a fight where they are obviously winning? "What're we doing!? We can take 'em!" Suna bellowed, motioning his fingers as if controlling stringed puppets. In response to his subtle movements, his large thorns of earth and sand pointed to the downed soldiers. There were about twenty medium sized spikes. Then, from the distance, silhouettes of armored soldiers came rushing towards the team with a gung ho sense of both stupidity and bravery. "Argh!" He groaned, having no choice but to believe in his mentor's plan, but not without a scowl on his pallid face. His hand movements became erratically swift, boxing the air with pointed fingers as he imitated the movements of a striking snake. The twenty spikes were all shot towards the soldiers in the trees, the disoriented soldiers downed by Dhune's shockwave, and the soldiers that slipped on Naomi's ice – finally giving the peace and silence of death to those that originally assailed them.

At this moment, the new soldiers came flooding into the battlefield. They were not mere black figures in the distance, but now posed a great strength with their number, not their skill. Suna noticed Dhune leaving the group and slipping to the side. Whenever Dhune withdrew himself from the company of his friends, it was already a sign, and an obvious one at that. To his enemies, it was a symbol that must be dreaded. Either way, the team's mentor glimmered a green light and, just like in their training sessions, elementals of earth and rock emerged from the very ground – Suna and his team weren't the only ones who had backup that day. The situation, though far from being in control, was calming. Suna looked at Naomi, "Help him out, I'll secure the caravans with Rae!" He said, rushing to their goods.

With a great front flip and latter leap, Suna found himself riding on the Dragon Moose's saddle. Rae-Lee was with him in the vicinity, most probably ending more Fire Nation lives with her swift and deadly knife tactics. Providing her with cover, Suna commanded solid rocks to emerge from the ground to trip incoming soldiers. While he did this, Suna was getting ready to escape with the caravan and Rae-Lee, as he had confidence in both Dhune and Misty. He did not intend to leave them be, just procure the caravan alongside his pupil-to-be. Mounted on the Dragon Moose, Suna motioned his flat palms downward, pressing the soil with his normal Earthbending. At once, he flipped his palms so that they could face the skies. The motion made the earth below him and the caravan rise. With a push of a palm, he created an Earth Wave that he and the caravan rode to safety. As the caravan's protector, it is paramount for Rae to follow Suna, while Naomi and Dhune pick their targets. Suna bent the earth to lead them into the woods, and should only come out when the situation was under control. Though he was a Sandswimmer, he could not sink things as big as the caravan underground, lest he destroy their wares and kill the Dragon Moose.
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The pressure from the singular stream of water was making it hard, no, difficult for Rae to hold the air funnel. Rae began to feel quite strained from the pressure even more so when Water-Girl released what she was doing. Great, just great, Rae thought to herself. Naturally, she was grateful for Duhne calling it off. She let the air funnel dissipate and took a ragged deep breath from the strain she endured. Her gratefulness lasted about thirty seconds as she was told to get the caravan ready to run. There were so many Fire-Benders now, so many she could kill and she was being told to ready the wagons.

She was about to say just how she felt about his orders when a fire blast came at her. Unfortunately, she had little time to go after the fire-bender as the fire-blast was on a collision course with the caravan. Scrambling to get in the way of the blast and making a quick air shield; the blast collided with the air-shield instead of the caravan. The heat from the blast and its intensity nearly penetrated her shield but she barely managed to hold it up; the caravan was saved from what could have destroyed the goods. With Suna now riding one of the Dragon Moose she didn't have much to worry about it. Only the two or three fire-benders who managed to slip by Duhne's Golems and Naomi's water bending became her targets.

"Now, we can't have you getting away," Rae-Lee said. Though her tone was friendly, it held the ill-intent she was eager to deliver to them. Swiftly removing her knife from her belt she brought it down in a forceful arc on the soldier. The soldier standing mere inches from her was now split from his naval to nose up the middle. There was no scream, only a bloody gurgle. The two soldiers who were racing towards her as Suna's sand wave carried them further from the fight now stood there in horror.

"Heh, Suna looks like we have become a nightmare for them," Rae-Lee said. Watching as the still glowing green tattoos on Duhne's arms gave him his spiritual advantage. The occasional fire-blast would come their way which Rae would then create her pliable air-shield around them. She was not keen on being set aflame and doubted Suna was.
Naomi's water cannon lost allot of it's power when Rae-Lee broke away, her airbending providing allot of the precision which made the cannon so powerful. Even so with the earth barrel she was able to deliver a few more direct blasts before she abandoned the platform as blasts of fire were sent in her direction. The water reserves were depleted now, leaving a small amount of water for her to work with alongside the puddles on the ground from her previous attacks. There was a technique where waterbenders could harvest water from the moisture in the air around them as well as the plants and flora, but she had not yet learned this skill which meant she was limited to some degree. When Dhune began to call upon the earth for aid she began to demonstrate her strong defensive forms as she stretched the water around the two of them, deflecting all incoming fire blasts while Dhune was busy summoning his earth golems.

She raised walls, whipped away blasts of fire and struck stray enemies with water which she'd freeze on contact, locking limbs and bodies in place where they stood. Naomi was still getting used to fighting like this and because of this it was understandable that she was becoming exhausted. The young women was physically fit and healthy, so her physical endurance was fine, but the concentration required for many of these skills were starting to take a toll on her. Though she remained resilient as she continued to defend Dhune, up until the caravan began to move beside them towards the forest. "Dhune, time to leave" she said before a tendril of her water lashed itself to the caravan wagon, pulling her onto it like a grappling hook. She turned and looked for Dhune to join her, ensuring he was not left behind before she used the last of her water to create some cover. She moved her arms around her body before changing the water into a mist which exploded outwards like an exhaled breath in all directions. It consumed the caravan and much of the battlefield, slowing down the fight as many wouldn't be able to pick targets or might mistake friend for an enemy. Hopefully it'd provide them some time for them to make distance between them and the fire nationalist.
"No survivors,"​

Duhne repliedquickly to Naomi as the rest of the group boarded the caravan. As long as there were remaining police—remaining witnesses—Duhne could not leave. They had seen their faces, their caravans and the Canyon Bending style. These stragglers couldn't be allowed to live; they couldn't be trusted with what they had seen. This was the cost of the mistake and not only would the caravan have to escape, but there could be none that could identify it. Duhne looked back to Naomi with his half-dead eyes; he was obviously upset with himself and what he had to do, but it had to be done. "Do not worry: I will find you by the end of the night. But for now, run and run far," Duhne added to his brief explanation. There were no fireballs, no fighting, no conflict, but that was what made this particular mission difficult. Duhne was no longer defending the caravans, he was hunting men down to take their lives. Seek and destroy. Cat and mouse.

Before Naomi or even Suna could make a comment, Duhne stomped his foot forward to create a platform of earth, then jumped onto it. He launched himself forward, creating ripples in the earth as he did and leaving a torn trail behind him. His former golems had returned to the ground, and now he was searching through the area using his seismic sense and creating a general parameter that the police could not escape through. Worst case scenario, a straggler reached a new platoon and Duhne had to slaughter them all over again. Duhne was prepared for that scenario, but moved quick in an attempt to avoid it. He was gone with nothing bot the roaring of the sundered earth in his wake. Duhne lacked finesse, that was certain, but he had no lack of raw power. He had no lack of confidence, either. He rushed headfirst even deeper into Phoenix Kingdom territory where he had no allies, where there were no outposts for the Freedom Fighters and where few members of the Rising dared venture. How Suna got them this far East was beyond Duhne, but it made sense. They were searched more and more frequently, there caches found with more ease by these more veteran police. All the signs were there and even Duhne overlooked them. This was a failure on all parts, and Duhne had every intention of mending it before attending to Suna.​
It was then that the danger had dissipated, albeit only a little. Still, about one or two of the Phoenix's soldiers, crawling back to their homes in fear of these agents of the Rising, were far better than a platoon or two, each having twenty Fire Nation dogs in them. Suna and Rae-Lee rode the Sandbender's wave of sand into the forest, laughing at the fear and weakness that the Phoenix King's forces exuded with every retreating step. He could do naught but snicker at the crimson sight his partner Rae had painted, and nod in agreement to the words she said. That was all the two did as they waited for both Dhune and Naomi, whom Suna held great confidence in – crack jokes about how faint their enemies tactics were. Still, Suna was unaware that even one straggler could end their efforts right then and there. As the Sandbender waited with arms crossed and back leaned upon the caravan, a familiar sight came into view – from the thickness of the sand-covered woods, Naomi zoomed into the scene via a tendril of water with a frozen hook for a tip, which was stabbed into the caravan's wooden walls. Upon landing safely in a grove, Suna unsaddled himself from the Dragon Moose and crossed his arms.

"Where's Dhune?" He asked Naomi. It was not long after his question did she answer him with the truth – he was out to kill the rest of those cowards, whose trail was as cold as their fires hot. He pinched his forehead, having naught but disappointment and guilt in the mind. Suna blamed himself, and no amount of confidence in his mentor's skills was enough to blanket the genuine worry that brewed within him. Although the mission was far from a failure, the fact that Suna and the two ladies needed to continue without their confidant was a failure in its own right – one that weighed heavily upon Suna's shoulders. He vowed even more to change, and began to pull the Dragon Moose's caravan – a look of despondency clearly etched upon his face. "I... I guess we don't have a choice… let's just get to New Taku before the end of the week. The agent might be waiting." He said, with no tone of bravado or impatience. It was not Suna talking, but rather a very guilt-ridden Suna who wished not to display any sort of weakness, talking as if Dhune, his mentor, his friend, were already dead.
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Rae was caught up in the mirth, the thrill of the bitter yet joyous kill. This was one of the many reasons she had little friends. Her nearly insatiable need to kill those she disliked. She even wondered why the Rising would take her in when they knew of her problem. It was also why she had taken to Suna so easily. His eagerness to kill just as insatiable as hers if not more had strangely quelled hers. But even with it tamed, the kill still excited her. They were now far enough away from the initial scene to not worry so much about a straggler, she doubted a fire-blast could reach them now. Rae was now sitting cross-legged atop on of the wagons as the sandwave came to an easy stop.

Seeing Naomi come into view had her on her jumping off the wagon and staring at the girl. "You left Duhne?" Rae-Lee asked. Even as a question, there was an acustatory tone. Rae thought it was a cowardice act, to leave behind an aly. Her eyes narrowed as her fist clenched. She spun on her heels to face Suna who wanted to move on without Duhne. "What? You can't just leave him there to face the Platoons by himself," Rae-Lee bit out at him. Rae honestly didn't care for his spiritual ways or his lectures, but she would never leave an aly behind. It wasn't right. It seemed like Suna was set on moving on without them and Naomi was just standing there. "Coward" she hissed before going back to sit atop the wagon again.
Naomi was mostly silent as the two interrogated her for the whereabouts of Dhune. She didn't feel good about leaving him behind, but he had chosen to stay and staying herself wouldn't have changed that. She was needed with the caravan and Dhune would have known that. "He chose to stay behind, I think he want's to make sure there are no survivors... " she said before interjecting as Suna mentioned heading to New Taku. "Suna, Dhune believed we should make our way to New Ba Sing Se, he might look for us there so it's probably a good idea we go there to wait for him. At least till midnight... he told me he'd find us and I believe him... " she said, hoping to convince him and install some faith into Suna for the skills of their earthbending friend. Dhune never let her down... she knew he'd make it back to them, she just knew it. When Rae-Lee jumped down and began to accuse her Naomi furrowed her brow, feeling her calm serene like nature slipping away as the younger girl demonstrated her hard hardheadedness, calling her a coward which began to make the young waterbender clench her fist. "You know what Rae, why don't you do me a favor and disappear into thin air. I care for Dhune just as much as everyone else but the mission takes priority and he knows that. He could have come with me but he didn't and I have complete faith he will do as he told me and find us by the end of the night. I don't have time for your pathetic bravado... " she said, checking her water pouch before she moodily strode to the head of the caravan where she'd walk with Suna. Usually she'd stay around the middle of the caravan but she had no desire to remain around Rae when she behaved like this.
The stillness of the grove, much like the chaos of battle, dissipated into the air, reluctant, perhaps, to make way for the noise of the arguments thrown back and forth by the Sandbender's two female companions. Rae was snake-like in her tongue, lashing out to and fro to envenom both Suna and Naomi with guilt and shame. Naomi, on the other hand, was as if a turtle that retreated into her shell of defensiveness and justification. Suna had no qualms about Naomi being the last one with their friend as he held the blame upon his shoulders. He gripped the noose around their animal's neck tightly, pulling forth until abruptly stopping himself to intervene and go between Rae-Lee and Naomi's verbal skirmish. "You're right Naomi," he said, his tone tapping into the authority that Dhune, Smellerbee, and even Jet instilled within him as leader. "The mission does take priority, but waiting for Dhune isn't the mission. We're heading to New Taku because that's what he would've done." His voice was stern albeit caring, as he too, was verily human. He turned his back and paced forth towards the Dragon Moose, caressing its neck with contempt. "… I'm sorry. I should have been more aware and less of a total jerk." Suna pulled the caravan again, walking forth. Pulling out the map from his pocket, the Sandbender marked the forest and deduced that, with the number of Phoenix Forces that came their way, he was somewhere near New Ba Sing Se – the land of the lord himself, Ozai. It was then that the sun already made its slow descent, flooding the skies the warm pigments of orange and afternoon yellow. Time was of the essence, and Suna only began thinking like a leader. "Rae, you're not the only one who doesn't want Dhune out there – we all do, okay? I'm telling you, he would've wanted us to go and finish the mission."
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Rae naturally had a short attention span, Naomi's words all but went through one ear and out the other. But what irked her is last bit of her commentary. Pathetic? Rae-Lee could be described as many things, but pathetic was not one of them. She gripped the handle of her knife tightly and sat there cross-legged atop the wagon. Don't say anything, Rae thought to herself. Hearing what Suna said to Naomi wasn't as satisfying as she wanted to be it. It was not the reprimand she wanted to hear for Naomi. It was something. Guess her blood won't join the others on my knife, Rae added silently. Even without using her knife to calm her boiling anger she still pulled one out and decided to clean it off. Unfortunately, it would require her to get off the wagon. What Suna said only a second ago was not a big help either nor would she accept anything less if Duhne didn't return to the caravan. "The mission isn't a success unless we are all present to see it through and because of her, we are down one aly," Rae-Lee said. Climbing down from her spot on the wagon and finding her gear as she didn't like the added weight on her. Strapping her gear on and climbing back on the wagon to resume sitting crosse-legged. Rae tuned out all the sounds, dedicating her limited attention and concentration to cleaning the slender blade of her knife.
Naomi wasn't happy with that response at all, "If that's what he would've done he wouldn't have mentioned New Ba Sing Se in the first place... " she replied before letting out a sigh as she walked ahead, shaking her head. This whole day had gone from bad to worse in the space of an hour and by each passing minute she was brought to question multiple aspects of those she traveled with. The attitudes and lack of thought or concern for the lives of others, the negative way that they held themselves in light of a situation and everything which accumulated in the atmosphere from the way these two behaved did nothing but cause her grief and stress. She wished for Dhune to return now more than ever, to bring her mind some peace with one of his sessions or merely his company. At the thought she decided to put into practice a teaching he'd began to work with her on, taking a couple deep calming breaths as she refocused her mind and looked upon the situation with perspective. Dhune was competent, he would make his way back to them that she was sure, Rae was a stubborn, likely blaming her as a way to cope with the looming unanswered question of where Dhune was and if he was safe. Suna, she didn't really know what he was doing or what he was thinking, but she felt far too irritated to question him more. As she walked she remembered the expression upon the earthbenders face as he told her he'd catch up with them, knowing what he was about to do. The lives he would be forced to take was a burden no one should have to suffer, but it was the price for mistakes and they all knew too well what was at stake.
Tenten was immensely relieved to see their Earthbending friends come to their aid. There was hardly time to sit back and decide on how to proceed, though. Makki was quick to get her attention, with the warning that their unarmed foe was the boss of these goons. Not only that, he was an Earthbender. That wasn't good. "We'll get 'im," she assured with a gruffness that paired well with her predatory stare. Making a snarl, she turned her focus to the leader of the pack. The foolish leader, she might add. They chose to mess with the wrong group.

Makki had a plan, that much was obvious. Curiosity was visible on her face as she watched the young lady put that plan into action. Meanwhile, Tenten was collecting water so she could provide sufficient backup to her teammate. The fluids moved gracefully in a spiral around her, however it wasn't going to be necessary. Makki demonstrated an impressive combination of moves that had her watching in awe. There were a couple of mistakes, but nothing fatal. Except for the dumbest of the bandits getting killed. This tickled the side of her that had morbid humor.

The swamp woman let out a heavy sigh and stretched now that they've won this fight. She was listening in, since Makki had already asked the most important question of the moment: is everyone okay? "No harm done, darlin'. Glad you're okay. Now, let me see what I can find out from our friend here."

She then faced their remaining attacker, putting on a toothy grin as she leaned forward. Tenten couldn't exactly use charm to get her way, so she normally went with intimidation. Sometimes, that happened to be through some of the creepiest behaviors you'd ever witness. "Sooooo. I'm going to be askin' a few questions. And if I don't like your answers, I'm goin' to bite your nose off! I'm a nutty swamp lady, I could get reeaalll crazy at any moment!" Her jaw clicked as she chomped at the air in front of him. Seconds later, she backed up, batting her lashes coquettishly as she awaited his answer. He was clearly uncomfortable, especially since he was frozen in place. This lady was all sorts of messed up.

Her prisoner cleared his throat, analyzing the awkward situation as the wild woman stared him down. The questions she had were simple, but highly important. She asked if they should expect to be ambushed by anymore of his people, how many more bandits were hiding out in the wilderness, and what direction they should go in. When he nodded to his side and made a start to explain how to get back on the right trail to Omashu, Tenten interrupted him with a flick to the forehead. "Shaddup for a minute, I need to talk to my friends."

When she turned to the other three, she gave them a question of their own: "Do we leave him, or do we take him with us? He's got others who hang out here, but they won't do anything unless he commands it. Supposedly." Having input sounded like a good idea. Making him lead them to the right path would be beneficial. He wouldn't be able to lie about what way to go, and it might keep other lurking bandits off of them. There was no way he was smart enough to lead them into any traps, but Tenten learned to use caution rather than rush a decision.
The sun delved deeper into the skies, cooling the afternoon orange with indigo and dark blue. Still, the morning star was still before them, making its slow descent behind the horizon line – a signal for Suna and his troubled group to stay the night. Hidden by the thickness of the woods and the darkness that would soon befall them, the woeful Suna pulled their caravan's noose to a steady halt. The breeze blew ever so frequently; playing its part in reminding the group that day has turned to night. Their spiritual confidant Dhune was still AWOL – most likely ending lives… or worse. He looked at his companions who still seemed irritable and emotionally, mentally, and physically drained. There was no turning back now, they were significantly further away from New Ba Sing Se than ever, which meant they were far from their brother as well. At this time, the sun was halfway beyond the skyline and the skies were darkened even more. The newfound blackness of the skies gave way to the stars that seemed to peek into the earth as if the many eyes of countless infants, opening for the very first time. The Dragon Moose laid on all fours; the sign that they needed to camp for the night. Fortunately, the three caravans were enough for the three people. If they didn't want to sleep inside such a cluttered area, they need not fret, as Suna's fabrics were thick and strong. "Naomi," he whispered, his nonchalant voice mixed with the frosty mist that escaped such cold, crisp lips. While he said this, Suna got spare firewood from one of the caravans that held the team's supplies instead of sellable items. He also got their firestarting kit – a flint, an old fire striking iron, and an oil soaked cloth. "Dhune can do this. He didn't fail us the last two times we failed. He won't fail a third time." He said sternly as he ignited a flame to create a calming campfire. He was tired of hearing them talk about Dhune; it would only make things worse. It was rare, but this was one of the times that Suna wasn't in the mood to joke. "Rae, come with me. Let's get some food. Naomi, I guess the air's cold enough to take the water from it. Fill your pots so we have stuff to drink. And get Tiny some hay from the caravan. Give her some water too," He referred to their Dragon Moose. He stood up as the flame flickered in the darkness. It would've been easier for them if there were a Firebender within their ranks but sadly, no. He stood up, motioning his hand to invite Rae in his hunting expedition before leaping forth into the trees. If they were lucky, Dhune would find them in the midpoint of New Ba Sing Se and Gaipan, where they currently were.
Rae looked up after tiresly cleaning her bloodied knife and glanced at Suna who halted their trek. Jumping off the wagon she had occupied and sauntering over to Suna, she eyed the Dragon Moose. She guessed it was why they stopped before she realized just how dark it had gotten. Her process of cleaning her knife had made her unaware of the Suns falling and the moons rising. Thinking of the current state of the group, Naomi's frustration with her, Suna's exhausted authority and Duhne still absent was depressing. "Should we try a smoke signal to let him know where we are? Or do we just let him wander trying to find us?" Rae-Lee asked as she followed Suna to get their fire starting kit. Her eyes darted to the fire that warmed their campsite, the flames danced in her sight and she almost felt compelled to reach out to touch them. "Hey Water-Girl, you should give us a show with your fancy water tricks," She said and snickered. Looking back to Suna before nodding eagerly. "On second thought, wait till we get back before doing your water tricks," she added hurriedly. As she was beckoned to follow Suna, she did so without complaint. It was an excuse to use her knives and daggers which she excited her.
Reckoning and Retribution

[spacer]It was late. The stars had already hung high and long into the night while the heads of group had hung low and for good reason. While at first they argued and bickered over whose fault it was, over whose attitude was worse and even apologized to each other only to rebuke those apologies later, they eventually realized the futility of their situation. No one was at fault. Everyone was at fault. Suna made mistakes, no one caught them and no one maintained themselves as they should have. Silence is what rang through the evening and carried over into the night while the group huddled around a campfire waiting. Duhne said he would return, and his words were never untrue. Still, hours passed. Guilt grew stronger. Anxiety grew worse. The night blurred into early morning, leaving the only waking soul to be Suna — consumed by more guilt than anyone and berated by his peers the most. Maybe what they said hit a nerve. Maybe he couldn't handle more unwanted death on his conscience. Either way, his dry eyes peered into the fire while Naomi and Rae-Lee slipped off into bittersweet slumber.

Suna would have heard the footsteps of Duhne far before he arrived, but the silence in the air was a burden to heavy to be lifted when he was already weighed down by immense guilt. Long, slow steps began to mingle with the sounds of the night: the distance hoots of owls, the gentle wind through the leaves, crickets and critters disturbing the bushes of the forestry around them. "Five platoons—over a hundred soldiers—a hundred men—a hundred lives, Suna. Probably far more; I lost count. That is what I stole, and yes I stole. I stole their lives with a power given to me to prevent that kind of bloodshed," Duhne spoke as he drew near. His voice was quiet at first, but only because of the rage he held back. That rage, however, seeped into his words as he spoke and when he finally said the name of the sandbender, his tone, volume and rage all picked up.

"These wagons? They're only safe from the incompetent guards of outlying cities. Your sense of direction will get us killed. Your entire fighting style is so out of touch with the earth that you cannot even feel it. You pretend that because you fight for Jet that you are better than these police, but the fact is, who you fight for doesn't matter if you don't value what he does," Duhne continue his speech, still on edge. He was tearing into the petulant sandbender to a far greater degree than ever before, and he was willing to fight if Suna demanded it. If he had to put Suna in his place through force, he would. "Jet has a burning hatred for the Phoenix Kingdom, Suna, and at a point in his life he would have slit their throats with no remorse. What you don't seem to understand is that Jet grew up, and so did the Freedom Fighters. We are not here to destroy, demean and kill these police; we are here to bring an end to all tyranny. To save all people, regardless of which side they fight for. Tell me, Suna, how do you know none of those men were secretly informants? How many allies did I kill? How many families did I tear apart? How many sons will mourn their fathers and fathers their sons?"[/spacer]
The young waterbender looked up as Suna spoke, pulling her from her thoughts as he told her to fill the pots and feed the Dragon Moose. She stood and moved away from the fire, the burning flames making the air far too dry for her to pull water from before she settled herself into a relaxed stance. She would take a deep breath before exhaling, her hands raising in front of her as her arms moved in a gentle motion which caused water to collect on her finger tips. Eventually as the water continued to gather she'd pull and stretch the water into a long snake before directing it into the pots where it would sit till it was needed, which she sorely hoped wouldn't be anytime soon. With the pots filled she turned her attention to the hay, taking a good amount which she laid beneath Tiny who gave a happy groan before tucking into his food. Naomi sighed to herself, patting a hand on Tiny's side before making her away back towards the fire, but not before looking into the dark abyss of the woods. 'Where are you...' she thought to herself, hoping that at any moment her eyes would adjust to see Dhune walking from between the silhouette of the trees. She was still awake when Suna and Rae returned, though there wasn't much more she said before eventually turning in for the night. That was until voices disturbed her from her sleep.

At first she wasn't sure what was going on and for a moment she was drawn into a panic as she suddenly suspected they might be under attack. But her mind came to ease as she heard the familiarity of the voice, sitting up as she turned to see Dhune had returned, now giving Suna a verbal punishment for what had happened. She could hear the hurt in his voice and in the pit of her mortal core she knew what it was he'd done, what he'd had to do as the situation forced his hands to bring nothing but death and pain onto countless lives, offering the burden of suffering to the families and friends of his victims. Once again she was made to wonder the toll it would have on him, the weight of one life alone already being more than one person should ever have to deal with. She didn't try to intervene as he spoke, he wasn't wrong and to some degree she felt the same, recalling her irritation at Suna's attitude towards the fire nationalist. Never the less she rose from her sleeping mat, walking over towards the two as Dhune would finish his lecture. She put her arms around Dhune in a friendly embrace, holding it for a moment before taking a step back, her hand resting on the side of his head for a moment as she looked into his eyes, her own conveying the sadness and understanding for what it was he'd had to do. She said no words for they weren't needed, and merely let out a small sigh before turning away again, giving Suna a small reassuring smile before she made her away to Tiny to give him some water in a smaller more bowl like pot.
"The smoke'll just give our position away," Suna followed upon hearing Rae's proposal. It was noble of her to suggest such an action, but Dhune had other ways of tracking the trio down. Suna and his troupe needed not fire, but simply, to move. As the benders of both air and earth leapt forth deeper into the forest to hunt for meaty game, the Sandbender decided to enlighten Rae-Lee with facts. "He'll be able to find us. He can sense us moving. It's called Seisemic Sense." He referenced Dhune's ability to feel the vibrations on the Earth, and so long as they treaded on the soil, their brother in arms would know exactly where they were.

A couple of hours later, the two returned with the carcass of a Fox Antelope, thoroughly stabbed by the kife-wielding Rae. They cooked the meat for themselves and ate it all but merrily. All through the night, they waited, until the familiar steps of a fourth; an unknown individual filled the stillness of the night with words. Tired, groggy, and still verily filled with guilt, Suna erected himself, walking towards the man under the cover of darkness. The veil of blackness the man wore on his face immediately disappeared, for the light of their campfire reintroduced Dhune back into the team. For a while, Suna was happy and his guilt was relieved. He was glad to have his brother both in arms and in the element back. However, it quickly returned when Dhune opened his mouth. Filled with rage, the Earthbender's words stabbed the Sandbender like Rae viciously stabbed their quarry just hours ago. Dhune's words, at first hushed and restrained, turned into short bursts of reasonable irritation. Suna's head fell down, his eyes peering naught but the ground they stand on. It wasn't surprising then that Naomi woke up from her uneasy slumber and gave Dhune a friendly embrace.

Silence was Suna's only response. Dhune opened the Sandbender's eyes and at once, Suna felt what Dhune did – remorse for killing not those wretched Fire Nation dogs, but the ones would were secretly with the Rising. Of course the hatred for the men and women who severely beat and dragged Suna's mother Bast could never be extinguished, there was a burden and a confusion brewing within the Sandbender. It wasn't his fault that his connection to the very planet was unique and untraditional, but it was wrong for his mentor to dismiss the Sandbender's connection to the earth as nonexistent. He destroys rocks and earth and turns them into powder as easily the sun gives light and life to the planet and its inhabitants. It was indeed very likely that Dhune's golems would just give Suna more ammunition. His mind digressed, and immediately, with a scowl but a guilty heart nonetheless, Suna spoke. "I'm sorry." He chose not to answer his mentor's questions that would make him feel even more at fault. He walked away and wished to sleep it off; a new day would be Suna's new chance at life. Tonight, however, he got a rug from the caravan, retreated into an isolated part of their camp and, with a swift movement of his hands, created an Earth Tent around himself.
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The hunt had been disturbingly satisfying, the new blood on the slender blade of her dagger now covered in the slickness of the prey. It was one thing she learned from being on the run, the countless days she had spent eluding the Police Force and taking the lives of those who got too close. Prey was a state of mind, if you acted like prey then you were prey. But Rae-Lee was not prey, the sight of the Fox Antelople's blood covering her dagger gave a sick satisfaction. Rae had learned to become the predator. Knowing that Duhne would find them with his Seismic Sense and along as they moved on the ground then they need not worry for him. As they returned back to the camp site and indulged themselves on the Fox Antelope's meat, she stayed silent.

Once Rae was done with her share of the game, which wasn't a lot as she did not have much of an apepite these days, she placed her sleeping mat out and laid herself down on her back. The night sky always had a calming effect on her, maybe it was the peace or the unmarred beauty it held. Drifting off to the stars, she found herself asleep in mere minutes of closing her eyes. Though as the sound of footsteps sounded in her ears and her eyes snapped open, her fingers curling around the handle of her dagger. Prepared to launch herself at the stranger and then coming to a stop at a familiar voice. The malice left her eyes as his face became clear and she settled back into a more laxed position, her aggression turned into passivity. Everyone was back where they belonged now, no longer out of place or strew across the Forest. She gave a distasteful glance at Duhne as he began to talk of all the lives he had to take. Rae-Lee knew quite well how much he disliked taking the lives of others. Despite knowing how he felt on the matter, she found no problem or issue with the loss of the Fire-Benders. To Rae, they were merely an obstacle to overcome with no other value than to be cut down by their group. The Fire-Benders were disposable.

Her distasteful glance turned into a glower as the Naomi went and embraced him, such sentiment was pointless. Relationships and attatchments only got in the way. Clouding the mind and preventing clear judgement. Rae shook her head in disgust at the show of sentiment and laid back down on her back. As she watched Suna move away and isolate himself in his earth tent, Rae sat up and glanced about. She was no water bender who could use to make a shelter nor was she an earth bender who could use the ground to shelter herself. But there was a nice tree, the branches provided some sort of sheltering. Getting up and sauntering over to the tree, Rae scaled it quickly before settling into a nice place.
Yoshino watched with a serious look at Karan performed his part in a good manner, following what she had told him to do to the letter. Makki then went and took care of the bandit who had a spear, before freezing the other one on the spot, warning Tenten he is a bender.

It appeared as if Tenten was unphased by it and went to question the bandit who was frozen on the spot. Yoshino turned to look at Makki while they waited for Tenten to finish interrogating their captive "Those were some fine moves Makki, but next time try to leave more people alive. The more we have to interrogate, the more information we can get. And I'm perfectly fine, you should cover up that scratch though. You don't want to get it infected." She said after noticing the torn part in Makki's shirt and the scratch on her stomach.

Once Tenten returned to them and asked them for their opinion on what they should do next. Yoshino closed her eyes and considered both options "If we take him with us, there is a chance the ones following him may try to attack us in order to release him, or just stand down. But if we leave him behind, he will most likely try and get himself released by calling out to the others. I think the better option would be to take him with us, because if he is a bender then its likely there are other benders in his group of bandits that can release him with ease. We could try and ensure that no one attacks us while he is with out." She said, and then turned to look at Karan and Makki to see what they think about the matter.
Duhne knew his words had hid Suna far harder than any boulder he could have lunged at the sandbender, and he took great pride in that. Suna needed to be hit hard because the impact of what happened had to truly be invested in him. Although they weren't terribly far apart in age, Suna and Duhne acted a whole world apart in matuity and Duhne was always looking to close that gap. He was harsh. He was cruel even. The words he spoke to the sand bender from the Wi Wong Desert would likely echo with him for time to come, merging with terrible memories of his past and only reminding him of pain. That was the point. Death was pain. The death of the people he loved and the death of the people he didn't. Duhne had to remind Suna every chance he got that a thousand other people felt the same heartbreak he did when he lost those he cared about. That was why they fought. They fought to create a world where that kind of loss didn't happen, and if there was a way no blood had to be spilled while making that world, then fated demanded they put every ounce of effort they could into making that happen.

Naomi embraced Duhne while Rae-Lee reviled in disgust at the notion. Duhne didn't like Rae-Lee, and he was against her even joining. Jet thought time with Duhne would show her the err of her ways and that she would reflect the growth in Suna. Jet believed it would be healthy. Duhne still didn't like it. They didn't need her; they didn't need another wagon-riding trader to look after. The only difference between her and Suna was a couple years, a change of heart and the fact Suna could move sand. Aside from that, Rae-Lee was little more than a less mature and more sardonic Suna, and Duhne already had his hands full with the first Suna. Even still, Duhne allowed Naomi her moment of embrace. He was glad to see her, too, but he was in no mood to show any kind of affection. If anything, this was a time of remorse. A quick moment passed and Duhne disembraced Naomi while Suna stormed off.

Duhne could feel emotions running through Rae-Lee through the earth. His skills weren't so refined that he could detect a lie, as some earthbenders could, but he could feel her body heat up in irritation and even more so he could see it in her eyes and demeanor. Duhne had enough. He was tired of being disregarded, disrespected and treated like a tyrannical parent. Suna was dishearted, sent to his room like an unloved stepchild. Naomi got all the attention and special treatment. But, Rae-Lee? She was the problem child, always acting out and lashing out in whatever way she could to get at Duhne. To get at anyone who didn't allow her to release her inner turmoil onto those she thought deserved it. She didn't care about anyone but herself and she was prone to getting caught up in those times of release; she would forget why she was even fighting. She had no ability to discern when to kill and when to not, she just did it. It was time Duhne showed her what happened when others behaved that way. In an act completely unlike Duhne, he stomped his foot forward and sent a thick pillar of earth into the chest of Rae-Lee. It was slow, weak really. It wasn't meant to kill her. Crack a few ribs, at best. But, it would hurt. It would thud. It would be aggressive. It would knock the wind out of her and it would be the first time Duhne ever struck anyone. "I'm tired of you, too, Rae-Lee," Duhne said, "if we let you in charge, you'd just slit throats until we got ours slit. You're useless as you are and you need to learn your place."
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