Avatar: Forsaken

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Hirohashi, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. [​IMG]

    Gen awoke with a terrified shout, startling Mabu, Gen's Sabre-tooth Moose Lion and waking him as well. Mabu quickly looked around and upon realizing that there was no imminent danger glared irritably at Gen. "Sorry, Mabu." Gen apologized, reaching out with a shaky hand and laying it against his companion's snout. "It was just another nightmare." he added, taking his hand away to wipe the cold sweat from his face. After combing his fingers through his thick black hair and with a heavy sigh he stood up, only to bend over due to forgetting his dark green Earth Kingdom jacket on the ground. Once he finished dusting it off he tied it around his waist by the sleeves and looked down his nose at Mabu, who had laid back down to resume his nap despite the sun coming up. "Come on now! It's about time we woke up anyway. We need to keep moving, remember?"

    Mabu reluctantly stood up with a yawn that could easily have been mistaken for a roar and complied with Gen's wish.
    The two of them had been traveling alone for a few weeks now, ever since Gen's sixteenth birthday. Ordinarily Gen would have ridden Mabu from atop his back to their next destination. Given their current state however, that would have been cruel. The two were exhausted and hungry, leaving Mabu in no shape to walk very far with a passenger on his back. They had been surviving on berries and nuts, once they were even fortunate enough to find a juvenile porcupine-boar. It was a pain to pluck the quills and Mabu had injured his paw in catching it but the meat was worth the effort. They had no such luck in scavenging food for the past three days however. They were running out of options.

    Having walked for another hour, the sound of running water struck Gen's ears.
    "Hear that? A stream! It's gotta be just ahead! Maybe we'll luck out and find a fish or two!" With the mention of food Mabu bolted ahead of Gen, his jaws open while he panted in excitement. Mabu jumped clear over some bushes, landing on the other side and out of Gen's sight with a heavy THUD.
  2. Zara (open)

    "Alright, just pull and...AGH!"

    For the umpteenth time that afternoon and not a second sooner, the water from the small river rippled, quaked, and broke down under the elemental force that tugged from Zara's fingers. The water hadn't risen in the slightest no matter how hard she tugged the air. A bead of sweat and a vein of frustration lined the side of her face, but those two also did nothing t bend the water. She growled in frustration, louder than she intended to, all the while, throwing her hands up and grabbing two fists fulls of her cacao hair.

    "Rrraah! I can't do this stupid move! What's the point of showing someone a move without teaching them the stupid thing first!"she shrieked to no one in particular. That was only because there was no one around to shriek at. Zara was as alone as she could have possibly made herself, going into the densest part of the forest to train the move. It was weird, having a water tribe in the middle of the forest close to the Earth Nation, but there was no choice in the matter. Water those days were being used as exports and imports of goods: coals, mining products, vehicles. Zara nearly shuddered at the idea of riding around on one of those atrocious 'road riders' she liked to call them. She would rather walk, or Water Bend her way at that matter. Bending, however, came rare in her village. if it wasn't to help cook, clean, or build, there was no real use for it.

    Despite her attire, she shuddered as she stared into the stilled waters. Her reflection winked back at her, mimicking her expression of distant thought. The only two real water benders she had left was herself and Jao-Tin, the man who had sent her on this very mission to learn the Vertical Cyclone move in the first place! Her face suddenly dropped in frustration, left eye twitching until she kicked the edge of the water with her shoe. The response was a satisfying splash of water....and a thud from behind her. Zara wasted no time, bending into her stance: One arm down, pointed in a 45 degree angle to the ground while the other hand was chin level, fingers loose and free as the water.

    "I hope you have backup!"she called out with no fear. There was a river behind her. That was all she needed.

  3. "Mabu wait up!"

    Gen shouted after his sabre-tooth moose lion to no avail. As he got closer to the bush Mabu had jumped over, Gen could hear the sound of Mabu growling.
    "What is it, boy? Did you find us something to-" Gen pushed his way through the dense shrub, his chest huffing while he tried to regain his breath. He was hoping to see a large fish or anything else edible. Instead there was nothing but a girl standing by the river. "-eat?" Gen groaned with disappointment, his head and shoulders slumping for emphasis.

    ...Wait. A girl?

    Quickly regaining his composure and steadying his breathing rate, Gen's dark brown eyes then settled on her. She was in a stance that Gen recognized as one that belonged to a water bender. She looked the part as well. Even her outfit, despite it looking a bit old fashioned was one that belonged to a Water Tribe girl. Like most water bending forms, hers was defensive so hopefully she was not likely to strike until one of them made an aggressive move. He would need to defuse the situation before she decided he needed to make use of that river behind her. Reaching out his left arm towards Mabu he gestured towards himself with his hand.
    "Whoa now, Mabu! Easy, easy. This girl isn't food. There's no need to growl like that."

    Mabu eyed Gen, evidently not quite sure if he should be believed in this instance. Again he obeyed and with one more growl Mabu straightened up from his hunched over position he had been in, ready to pounce if the need came. "Sorry about that. Mabu was just... We were both just looking for something to eat. We're not here to fight you." he could only hope she would believe him after seeing Mabu back down as instructed. Gen himself was also unarmed. At least in terms of carrying a weapon with him. So far he had given her no reason to suspect he was a bender as well. On top of all that, he was counting on her not being hostile. If she was, they could be in some serious trouble depending on her bending skill.
  4. Zara was all too ready for the threat that was coming for her! She was pumped! Being so close to the water had boosted her confidence and arrogance, but hopefully one was stronger than the other. Actually, it had been so long for her to need to use her bending for something other than work! But this was self defense, so it was as good a time as any. Zara was anticipating the arrival of her peeper (even though she was not bathing), holding her hands at bay as Jao-Tin had taught her so many times before. Zara hated the basic lesson, quite frankly, but having it burned in her head for years upon years, she understood why it was needed.

    A shadowy figure jumped from behind the bush just as she was in mid thought. Time tricked hr by slowing down, giving her a good glimpse of the animals wide claws and bared teeth. Her turquoise eyes doubled in size and were likely to pop clean out of their sockets if there wasn't another rustle in the underbrush to tug at her attention, even though it was hard to pull her eyes away from a giant sabre-tooth moose lion. Still, Zara's stance was more ready as ever, eyes darting from the beast to...a boy. An Earth kingdom boy by the looks of his forest green attire. She could not help but tilt her head and scowl at his disappointed expression. Whatever he was hoping to find sure wasn't Zara, but it didn't seem like the moose lion cared one way or another. He...She...It was growling in her direction.

    No matter what the boy was saying to it, Zara felt threatened and threats from a giant sabre-tooth moose lion were not good.

    Alright...Do like he said...Just pull and...

    "AH! FORGET IT!"she shouted, throwing her hands into the air in an angry defeat. Two pillars of water rose behind her in the same motion, but Zara hadn't noticed. Her eyes were shut tight while she grit down on her teeth, spinning into her own rampant. "What kind of master does he think he is! I bet the stupid moose lion could teach me better than that old bag can!"she shouted.

    "--for something to eat. We're not here to fight you." Zara had actually forgotten the boy was there.

    "And by food, do you mean me being Bamboo's food or you trying to steal mine?"she questioned, shooting him a daring look. She squinted her eyes at him as hard as she could, trying to bluff him out, but making her look like an intoxicated fool.
  5. The Water Tribe girl didn't seem to catch everything Gen had said. If she did, she would have specifically heard him telling Mabu that she wasn't food. He shot her a narrow eyed glare back, "No, It's nothing like that at all! I'm not here to steal from you and you're certainly not going to be fed to Mabu!" he explained for a second time. His stomach suddenly made it's irritation known, upset that it was still without good and Gen lost his will to stare her down out of embarrassment. "Look... when we heard the running water I thought we might find fish here or anything else to eat, really. That's all."

    Gen rattled his brain for a strategy to calm the defensive girl down. Going by her actions so far, she wasn't likely to just take his word for it. An idea struck him pretty quickly. The girl had to live with the rest of her tribe somewhere near here. They probably didn't know anything about him or why he and Mabu were left to fend for themselves.

    "I really just want something to eat. Is the rest of your tribe near by?" failing to notice how suspicious that sounded when said so directly, he flailed his arms before placing his left hand against the back of his neck nervously. He decided that maybe showing a little of what he could do wouldn't be so bad. "I mean -- I can work for it! I'm an earth bender..." with that he shifted his feet to his shoulder's width for stability and held out his right hand. Small pebbles and rocks, things that wouldn't appear threatening took to the air and drifted over his palm, spinning in a slow orbit. "See?" he stated with an innocent smile. "What do you say? It would be a huge favor." dropping the rocks around him he brought both hands together, clasping the fingers in a pleading manner.
  6. Through the entire ordeal, her face held the same expression of confusion and annoyance.There was a time or two where her left eyebrow would lift in amusement. Whatever he was saying seemed to be pretty important, but it was kinda hard to pay attention to what he was saying while there was a giant moose lion in front of her face. She looked from the boy to the animal in the same expression.

    "Okay, first, I think your crazy to walk around with a giant sabre-tooth moose lion in the middle of a forest . Second, I wouldn't tell you were my village is if you hadn't eaten for mont-"

    As soon as the last word left her mouth, he started freaking out again. He was waving his arms everywhere and most of what he said didn't make any sense. Zara went back to standing with a blank look on her face, until he finally said something interesting. He was an Earth Bender. Her turquoise eyes blinked once in surprise, but the expression was wiped clean off of her face when he demonstrated his powers. He...can't even lift a boulder. A laugh got caught in her throat momentarily, but she managed to zip her head away just in time so that he wouldn't catch her making fun of him.

    "Um, *cough* Yeah, that's great and all, but I don't think our village needs your...umm....services."she said with another forced snicker. "I mean, not to be rude, but we haven't needed an Earth Bender's help in the past 170 years. There are machines that can do your sort of thing."she added in morose. Sure, he was a pathetic excuse for a Bender, but facts were still facts. Zara was absolutely right. Everything the Benders could do, the machines could do just as well. It cost less, there was less labor, and less accidents. To Zara, all it was, was less fun.

    She noticed that she had grew terribly quiet in the presence of her two strangers. Her head snapped back to the boy and the moose lion who apparently hadn't budged.

    "Look, I'll help you trap a platypus bear. There are a lot scattered ones around this particular area. I help you catch one, you eat, I go home. Got it?"she snapped, throwing her hands on her hips and leaning toward the boy to give him the most peircing glare she could muster.
  7. The girl's words dripped with mockery when she explained she had no use for an earth bender. Particularly with the inflection she had said "your... umm... services." in regards to his demonstration. Gen's lips tightened in irritation that she seemed to have taken that little display as his best effort and not for what it was; proving that he was telling the truth about being a bender. He opened his mouth and was about to make a snide comment about her tribe being up to date enough to have machinery and yet she still opted to wear those old fashioned clothes when she offered him a different proposal. One that Mabu swayed his tail to and fro over the sound of and completely disarmed Gen's urge to be snippy with her even if she appeared unhappy with the idea of helping them at all.

    "Oh, yeah. Got it! That's would be... terrific, thanks." he responded, glad for the help yet disappointed that he missed out on the chance to have a place to rest up for a day or two. Maybe if they had machines then her village might even have some of his favorite treats there! The frozen fruit pops that the Water Tribe vendors back home would sell. He got one every day in the summer as a boy. Gen had to stop himself from thinking about it too hard, less he remember the sweet, refreshing taste of a cold snack on a hot day and his mouth started to water-- Darn it! I'm getting way ahead of myself!

    Gen shook his head clear of the pointless distraction and walked closer to the girl, holding out his left hand towards Mabu as a signal to stay put since the Water Tribe girl seemed to keep a closer eye on Mabu than Gen. If nothing else, at least she had common sense somewhere in that head of hers. Face it, as far as she was concerned he could only manipulate pebbles and small rocks! What kind of threat was that compared to a sabre-tooth moose lion. That of course is ignoring the fact that she must have seen Gen giving Mabu directions, which Mabu followed by the way, a few times now.

    "So... uhh... miss,"
    his attempt at provoking a name out of her was rather tactless and he knew it. "why don't you show Mabu and I the way to breakfast?"
  8. Zara knew he was going to take her offer in finding a platypus bear, even though she was bluffing. She hadn't seen one of the creatures in over a week! Now, what she said wasn't necessarily false. There were a great many of the bears scattered in the distant part of the forest. They just hadn't been seen in a while. Jao-Tin was the only one in the village to find the disappearances of those animals strange and ominous, but speaking out was not an option. The people of the Water Tribe village already didn't like him and barely listened to anything the man said. A cruel fate for a master, yes, but that was just it: Jao-Tin is a Water Bending Master. Zara looked up to the man to teach her everything she knew and didn't know. He knew the defensive moves, offensive attacks, and even some secret techniques that hadn't been tought since Katara's time. That was just it, however. Water bending in the tribe was frowned upon, just like Zara told the boy.

    Speaking of the boy, he had agreed to follow Zara into the forest, even though she had no idea where to find a platapus bear. Zara avoided her eyes from the pair, chuckling awkwardly while she tugged at the feathers on top of her hair.

    "Well, Mister,"
    she replied smoothily, "I'd be glad to show you and Wazu where the bear is, but that's just the thing. They never stay in one place. I mean really! What kind of platypus bear stays in one spot waiting to be skinned? They're bears, of course!" Zara was starting to get awkward, darting her eyes from one end to the other. Drat! I should have never agreed to do this! A shallow gulp later and Zara burst out in an unnecessary fit of laughter. She had no reason why she was doing it, but she was never good at handling awkward moments such as though. Her laugh barked in the forest worse than a deer rabbit! Her face burned in embarrassment as she turned around on one heel, continously messing with her feathers.

    "I'm Zara of the Middle Eastern Water Tribe. I've met Wazu, but who are you?"she questioned, opening her eyes and blinking innocently toward him.
  9. Gen watched with a raised eyebrow while the girl started to toy with the feathers that decorated her hair and suddenly began to laugh. Before she managed to spin and face them Gen shot a look at Mabu, who had his head tilted to the right while he eyed her curiously, as though he were no longer sure about the soundness of her sanity. Gen entertained the idea that even if they tried to catch anything now, she had frightened everything away.

    Eventually she managed to get a hold of herself and turn on her heel to look at the two of them again. She continued playing with the feathers, Gen figuring it must have been a nervous habit of sorts. She introduced herself as Zara while trying to look like she didn't just lose her cool over some joke she probably thought up. She also managed to call Mabu some incorrect name for about the fourth time since meeting her not three minutes ago. Deciding to ignore that for now, he instead wanted to get proper introductions out of the way.

    "The name is Gen. I'm from Baoleng City of the Earth Kingdom. Wazu-- err MABU is my sabre-tooth moose lion and my companion."
    he replied, lowering his eyes while Mabu growled under his breath over Gen falling victim to Zara's repeated use of the wrong name. Regardless, Gen waved Mabu over to signify he was no longer required to stay back by the bushes. "Mabu has been with me since we were both small. He wouldn't harm anyone who didn't have harmful intentions of their own."

    Gen had left out some key details. Not that he had a lot of choice, it would be safer for both of them if she didn't know his whole story.
  10. "Oh, Baoleng!? I have never been there before! I heard it was like stepping out from the past and into the future."she said with a breath of awe. Not that her Water Tribe was anything less than advanced, Zara just refused to flow along with the tides of advancement. To start with, and probably the most obvious thing about her, was her clothes. She didn't stray too far from the Water Tribe's attire in the past 170 years. Since she lived in the Middle Eastern Water Tribe, things were low cut and woven with the pelts of animals other than the cotton they used for other closed. Take Gen, for example. He wore the usual pants and shirt of an Earth Kingdom city, and it wasn't as if it looked bad, it was only that Zara's Water Bending was never its best with the clothes on. Her body had to be free and shifted through each and every one of her stances. if she wore a lady, form-fitted tee, her arms may have to use more strain than usual when bending. She had to find that out for herself, swimming back into the nostalgic memory of Jao-Tins's smiling face when Zara greeted him in her outfit she had on now.

    A snort later and Zara had remembered she was entertaining guests! Her memory hadn't always been so short termed. She only had a lot to think and worry about thus far, fun not being an option. One look at Gen and Mabu told her that the two of them may not have been having it rough like she had. Not with the Tribe becoming so...tentative of her. Her blue eyes flicked back up to Gen as she continued to walk backwards.

    "Lucky. The closest thing I had to an animal companion was the poisonous bristle snake in my tent one night. Not fun."she said. Every so often she peered behind her, hoping to hear a branch crack off in the distance or some sign of a platypus bear. So far, she came up short. Zara tugged, pulled, and twisted the feathers on her head, walking backwards and looking down nervously at the pebbles beneath her feet. She knew very well that the trail will eventually branch off into the more thicker part of the forest, so thick to where the trail would not even be a trail anymore, and she surly didn't want to bring some puny Earth Bender there.

    "So...um...Gen. You're from Baoleng, right? Well...what are you doing here and hungry, at that?"she asked, anxious to get some talking done.
  11. "Huh? Oh! Y-yeah, it's... something like that." his answer to Zara's remark about his hometown was severely lacking the excitement or pride that he normally would have described Baoleng City with. Zara was leading Gen and Mabu deeper into the forest but she wasn't even looking where she was going. Every so often she would turn to look behind her while she walked backwards but otherwise she managed it just fine. It was admittedly impressive. Gen was hoping she wouldn't have more questions about Baoleng and brought his right hand up to rub nervously at the back of his head. The last thing he needed right now was to think too much about everything he'd been forced to leave behind... Mabu had been the only part of his old life he had been allowed to bring with him. He had the suspicion that was only because they couldn't have kept Mabu from following him even if they wanted to.

    The sound of Zara talking again snapped Gen back to reality. He hopped she hadn't been talking the whole time. She mentioned something about never having an animal companion before and that she once has a bristle snake inside her tent. Despite his best efforts, Gen smirked at the imagined havoc that must have caused for the poor girl. Luckily he sneaked it in while Zara had her back turned, but the smile soon faded when she asked her next question. Awe man...

    "That's a good question," he spoke weakly before looking back at Mabu who was trailing a few steps behind them. A look of concern spread over Gen's features. He didn't like the idea of lying directly to her face but he didn't see any other option short of telling her who he was. Which was not an option. He turned back to Zara to tell the only story he could come up with. "I'm away from Baoleng because my family thought it would be good for me to get a little real world experience on my own. Well, not entirely on my own! I still have Mabu with me, but so far that's only resulted in him going hungry with me." Gen lowered his brown eyes to the pebbles the three of them were walking on, kicking one in passing. "We're not very good at this rural life-style." Mabu whimpered, trying to help sell the story.

    "So, why were you out here all by yourself? You life with your tribe, you're a Water Bender. Shouldn't that teacher you yelled about -- umm, mentioned earlier have been here to instruct you? Trying to learn bending on your own can be frustrating."
    he spoke from experience, diverting his eyes when he spoke that last sentence. The fact he had just lied to her didn't help any, either.
  12. "That's crazy!"she exclaimed right after he told her why he was traveling. Crazy was one word for it. Insane was what she wanted to say, but he seemed like a family sensitive person, so Zara held her tongue. She learned to do that every now and then when she had something to say. Zara was notorious for speaking before thinking, and that led her into a lot of trouble, especially with Jao-Tin. If Zara learned anything from him, it was never talk while he was talking. Bad things ensued. Still, his reason for traveling in a dense forest such as this one just because of real world experiences?

    "Well, your family must be as tribal as I am! What kind of real world experiences could they possibly hope for you to learn in a forest? How to pick berries?"she added, face falling in a retarded expression before returning back to her incredulous stare. "I don't get it! Baoleng is a wonderfully huge city! I'm surprised that haven't completely banished any of you Earth Benders! They must have a machine for washing clothing, don't they?"she joked with a spree of laughter. Somewhere in that laughing, however, Zara's mood dropped a notch or two. She was joking, true, but she was probably dead right about it. The days of the bender were over. They were fall from being needed. If anything, they were useless. She...was useless. Attention brought back by Mabu's sad whimper, Zara gave him a sympathetic smile before answering Gen.

    "Pft! You think Jao-Tin needs to teach me everything? I'm not some two-cent bender like yo...uh...like most of the people in my tribe. In fact, me and Jao-Tin are the only two Water Benders left in the Middle Eastern Water Tribe." She added the somber truth with a smile, leaving her feathers alone for the time being as she smiled with her eyes closed. "But don't worry! I know how to bend perfectly fine on my own. I was just practicing this stupid move that Jao-Tin didn't bother to explain to me!" And, with that, the pink frustrated color was back on her cheeks.

    "I mean, who does that? Really, Gen! What kind of master leaves their pupil alone with no idea of what to d--


    Zara whipped her head to the direction of the sound...a second or two too late. Before she could even register the roar of the bear, a blinding white light sparked across her head. Zara felt her body go weightless before having it slammed to the ground. The paw had come at her so fast she didn't even get enough time to scream or warn Gen for that matter! Another roar, louder than the first one, filled the forest while Zara forced her aquamarine eyes open as she lay sprawled on the ground.

    "...F-Found them..."she murmurered.
  13. "Well, we didn't start by wandering around in the forest. Mabu and I just wound up here." he responded, knowing he should have come up with a better lie. "My... family thought it would be good for me to experience more of life than what I had available in the city." he added, hanging his head. Zara probably wasn't buying a word of it, but it was too late to change his story now.

    She followed up with a joke about the idea of banishing Benders from big, industrialized cities. He figured she was trying to only lighten the mood but the comment struck a nerve. Zara didn't know how close she had come to figuring out why he had really left Baoleng. She revealed that she was one of the last two Water Benders in her tribe. Her and her master Jao-tin, huh?

    Mabu began to growl, making Gen turn to see what was bothering his moose lion when a sharp CRRRRRACK came from behind Zara. Gen turned back around to the sound or a roar and in time to see Zara being knocked to the ground by a platypus bear. Another roar from a second bear split the air before Mabu himself roared at the small group of them. Yet two more bears revealed themselves, getting Gen to take a shaky step backwards while Mabu fearlessly jumped to his companion's side.

    "...F-Found them..."

    "Good job," Gen responded without taking his brown eyes off of the bears. If Zara was still able to kid around like that, she must not have too bad of an injury. "Maybe too good of a job. There's four of them! That wasn't the deal! You were supposed to find us ONE! To eat... not get eaten!"

    The shouting did nothing but anger the bears from the look of things.
    "Did I say eat? I meant... uhh... Mabu a little help?" with that, Mabu stomped his front right paw and loosed another roar at the group of platypus bears before charging the foremost bear. In an attempt to help, Gen quickly shifted into an Earth Bending stance. With a straight arm, closed fist and an upwards swing the ground moved to his elemental will. The pebbles before him shot up, into one of the bears. The attack didn't have a lasting effect other than angering it, though.

    "Pebbles... right. Not particularly effective Earth Bending."
    he sighed before digging his feet harder into the small stones. He'd need to improvise in front of Zara. Now using both arms to control the rocks, Gen raised them into the air before clenching his hands into tight fists. In response, the pebbles clustered together into one large ball, becoming compressed into one large, very unnatural looking mass of earth.

    "Now that's more like it!"
    he declared with a grin. Maybe now Zara wouldn't think he was some 'two cent' Earth Bender. With a solid punch, the pebble-ball launched into the bear that Mabu was keeping occupied and sent it reeling. Mabu looked in the direction the bear went before turning to look at Gen as though he was upset over having his fight interrupted.
  14. The forest was a cacophony of roars and angry shouts from Gen, not so much as Zara's angry whimpers of annoyance. The smack surprised her more than hurt. She lifted her body back up in level ground, dusting off the dirt that she picked up along the way. To her dismay, 4 giant platypus bears were there to await her sight. She bit her lip when two roared at the same time, trying to drown out Mabu's roars. No matter how big the moose lion was, he was no where near as powerful as 4 bears combined!

    "Oh, you've gotta be kidding me! The one time I can't find a single platypus bear, 4 show up?!"she said, quickly realizing she slipped. "I mean...look out!"she yelled as one of the bears reared it head to charge Gen head on. Fortunately for him, he had a handy dandy moose lion at his whim. Mabu went crashing into the charging bear sending a loud sound of head to head contact into the canopies ahead. Zara would have winced if she had not seen the two beats recover as if they had just headbutted a pillow!

    "That wasn't the deal! You were supposed to find us ONE! To eat... not get eaten!"

    "You think I planned this!? How was I supposed to know that we were going to get ambushed! I wasn't even looking where I was going!"she shouted in return, realizing her mistake a second later. "....Oh." A blur of brown flew past her eyes and Zara yelped before doing a back flip to avoid being turned into seal shark blubber! Without a solid source of water around, Zara was as good as useless. Useless... No, Zara! Now is not the time! Zara's head snapped above her just in time to avoid another swipe of the bears paws. One paw alone was bigger than the upper half of her body!

    "Gen..."she said, keeping her eyes directly on the black pebbled eyes of the bear in front of her. Two mistakes were enough; she didn't need to have an accident now. It sounded as if Gen was handling things great by himself, though she wasn't going to take her eyes off the bear just to watch him! Hopefully he managed to lift up more than a pebble or three when encountering the bears. Another loud, gurgling roar later and that was Zara's cue to duck or be decapitated.

    "Gen...!"she cried a little more desperately, backing away from each thundering step the bear was taking towards her. It stood high on tow legs, opening its beak to let out another gut wrenching snarl. Zara's back pressed against a tree, staring directly up at the beast and at the saliva dripping down the side of its mouth.

    "GEN!"she screamed, closing her eyes in hear as the paw swiped directly toward her.
  15. The small victory quickly became hollow when Gen remembered they still had three platypus bears to deal with. One had moved away from the others, but making the large pseudo-boulder had drawn the aggression closer of the two. Gen's face went from a look of confidence to terror now that he was faced with an angry platypus bear running headlong in his direction. Mabu pounced after the other leftover bear to keep it away from Gen, engaging in a new fight of his own.

    "Gen..." Zara called out his name. He was too preoccupied to answer her.

    Shifting his right shoulder in their direction Gen thrust out his right foot, the force carrying on through the pebbles and rocks to the bear's feet. The act was simple but effective enough, tripping up the bear and buying Gen time to lift the boulder he had made before up to use for a second attack.

    "Gen...!" she said a second time, more assertive than before.

    "Not now, Zara. I'm a little busy at the moment!" he yelled back to her over his shoulders, trying to concentrate on his bending. The tripped platypus bear was gaining their footing back. Mabu and his bear were now nowhere to be seen. With some adjustments to Gen's stance, pulling his right foot back to make a shoulder length gap with his left and raising both hands over his head the mass of rock burst back into view. Bending his elbows and throwing both arms to the right the rock obeyed his will, careening towards the unbalanced platypus bear--

    A shrill whine came from out of view. Gen recognized the sound as Mabu in pain, throwing off Gen's focus. The boulder went hurdling over the who was now back on it's feet. With tremendous force it went crashing into a thick tree and getting embedded into the trunk. "Mabu?!" Gen shouted, forgetting about the angry, growling bear in front of him to look in the direction the first bear and been sent in. There was no answer from Mabu but Gen was instead greeted with the sight of three bears, blood decorating one of their beaks. Where was the last one? What was Zara? If she had beaten her's by now shouldn't she be helping him?

    Wait... what was she bending with?


    That was the last thing Gen heard before things went blank. A powerful instinct to protect Mabu overruled his conscious decisions. With a quick kick, the three bears in front of him were bombarded with a rush of pebbles before whirling around to see Zara cornered against a tree by the last bear. His Earth Bending would be too slow and ineffective with the rocks that were available. Without a second thought, Gen thrust his fist in the bears direction, loosing a stream of fire from his knuckles. The fire collided with the platypus bear's raised arm and side of it's head, scorching the fur of the animal and keeping it from clawing Zara's head off. He snapped back into things when the sound of the three bears at his back regathered themselves and were charging at him in a collective effort to take him down.

    Oh COME ON!
  16. "GEN!"

    Yes, Zara was indeed desperate to be saved. She normally did not ask for help from anyone, even if she were stuck between a rock and a hard place. Would one suspect anything less? She was one of the last Water benders on that side of the Earth Kingdom! Not only did she had a reputation to keep up, the people of her tribe had no wish for her skills! Still, Zara would never stoop as low to ask for genuine help with something she could do by herself. Still...taking on a large platypus bear with eyes filled with blood lust and absolutely no water to be found, she had no other choice. It was either scream of be severed in two.

    A spark caught her eye. A single spark, and, for that slow second, Zara thought she was going insane. She thought her eyes were playing tricks on her because she was so near the edges of death. A beam of light and a blast of heat later, and Zara was saved. A rush of flames collided with the paw that was risen into the air, ready to plummet down and smoother her into nothing but a grain of sand. Zara's blue eyes were forced open at the sudden rush of heat followed by the guttering roars from the platypus bear that reared its head in pain, stumbling to the right and out of the way from Zara. Zara, on the other hand, could not move for the time being. Her eyes darted from left to right, trying to find the source of the fire.

    As if he weren't right in front of him.

    Zara caught the last flickers of flames leave Gen's fist, catching the angry and determined burn in his eyes before realizing that he was going to be attacked by 3 bears. A Fire Bender...? But didn't he...

    "I mean -- I can work for it! I'm an earth bender..."

    Zara put two and two together slower than she thought she would. No one could bend more than one element. No one but the Avatar, of course. Zara's eyes squinted as she looked over the forest floor at Gen, black hair falling in strands around his brow as he snapped his attention to the bears charging straight forward. There was something new in his eyes...something Zara didn't get a chance to see. Her attention was brought to the left by a sudden snapping of branches. There, leaping into the middle of the clearing, was a man she really wasn't looking forward to seeing.

    "Uh oh." she muttered. Jao-Tin's entrance caught the attention of the three bears as each one reared its head to the new comer. Jao-Tin bent his back leg behind him while both hands flew upwards simultaneously. Zara's nose wrinkled in confusion, wondering if she should speak out and remind him that there was no water anywhere. She didn't want to risk making noise to alert the bears. After coursing them in a pinwheel motion, Zara caught a tree shudder next to the bears. The trio of animals didn't notice it, but Zara saw exactly where Jao-Tin was looking to. The tree suddenly bent downwards as Jao-Tin lowered his hands with little strain, arms shaking with the elemental will. The tree snapped and crashed down on all three of the bears, making a thundering thud in the forest. He just bent the water in the trees...

    "Uh oh is right." Zara's head snapped up to his, eyes wide like a deer caught in a pair of headlights. Jao-Tin looked to Gen and back to Zara with a raised brow. "I sent you out here to train the vertical cyclone technique and you nearly get an Earth Bender mauled to death?" She knew his question was rhetorical...but how wrong he was about the Earth Bending part. Zara avoided Gen for the moment, bowing in front of her master when her legs finally found the will to move.

  17. "Uh oh."

    --was all Gen heard from Zara after saving her from one bear only to turn and see the other three closing in and about to tear him apart. Right as Gen braced himself to create a wall of stone, the sound of trees creaking and snapping filled the air. A moment later and what seemed to be an entire tree fell directly over all three of his attackers, stopping their charge in one fell swoop. The heavy impact seemed to rattle the entire forest, nearly numbing Gen's feet up to his ankles, his soles sensitive to vibrations in the ground as an Earth Bender. He was left blinking in confusion, sure that it had to be dumb luck until he saw the figure of a man approaching Zara.

    Judging from his appearance, he was from Zara's tribe. He was adorned in similar clothes, decorated with the same style of feathers that Zara herself wore in her hair. Gen silently stood to the side while Zara approached him, bowing her head after the man spoke. A bow? This act led Gen to understand that he was her Water Bending master and the reason for that fallen tree. He was powerful enough to bend such sturdy plants, then? That was no easy feat.

    The fact that Zara didn't look Gen in the eye was not lost on him. So she saw, did she? Tch, Of course she did! Even if a situation like that, who could fail to notice a blast of fire sent their way? Ugh... what a disaster. He skittishly approached Jao-Tin, at least wanting to give him his thanks for saving their lives. "Please, you don't need to be so hard with Zara. When I first saw her she was by the river, doing what I can only assume was the task you sent her out here for. She stopped to help find food for me and my--" Gen's heart sank into his stomach when he remembered what had happened. Mabu had been hurt! Without another word he ran past Jao-Tin and the fallen bears behind him. From around a thick tree trunk he saw the plume of the tip of Mabu's tail, laying motionless in the dirt. "Mabu! No..." he exclaimed with a weaker sounding voice than he normally would have liked in the presence of strangers. Fearing the worst, he approached his friend, seeing the damage that had been done. He had some pretty nasty bite wounds from the platypus bears. One on the right side of his chest and another on his left hind leg. The first bear must have sneaked up on him while he was dealing with the other. He was breathing, but they were shallow, ragged. The pressure of tears began to build up at the sight of his friend in such bad condition.

    The two Water Benders! They might be able to do something!

    The relief of having a solution washed away as quickly as it had come when Gen again remembered that they had no water on hand.
    "Zara..." the words escaped him, he was barely aware he had spoken her name at all. "We've got to help him! There must be something we can do. Are... are either one of you healers?" he asked the two of them in pure desperation. His dark brown eyes pleading for some kind of reassurance.
  18. Both Jao-Tin and Zara exchanged glances when he zipped off, face a tad lighter than it was before he left. She remembered him whispering something about Mabu before thundering off. Jao-Tin's eyebrow raised at the name while Zara shared Gen's concern. She remembered hearing the whimper of pain come from the opposite side of her before one of the bears felt the need to direct its attention to her. There was nothing she could do to help the creature, however, seeing as though she had been stuck in between her own problem at time. Gen's face fell in horror when he realized that his companion may have been extremely injured or worse. Zara could not fully share is worry for Jao-Tin's brown, burning glare was still directed to her.


    "Don't 'sir' me, Zara. You know how dangerous it is to travel in this part of the woods by yourself."

    "By myself? But I--"

    "Even knowing full well that something has gotten the platypus bears all riled up! I sent you to do a simple move, and you couldn't even accomplish that task."

    "Simple? That move is--"

    "Now you dragged some poor, innocent bystander in the midst of your mistakes! Almost getting the guy killed!"

    "Bystander? No, he's the Av--"


    The attention of the two was suddenly turned back to Gen when he came back, face somber and white stoned like someone drew chalk all over him. It could not have been good news. Jao-Tin lifted another brow in amusement when he asked if one of them was a healer while Zara flinched. She just couldn't see passed the fact that he was the Avatar...the most wanted person and all of the world...The Avatar that was asking for her help. Zara bit down on her lip while she reached a tentative finger or two to tousle the feathers upon her head.

    "I know a bit...but for that, I'd need--"

    "I got it." Jao-Tin interjected, petting a pouch that lay on his right hip. Right...Always keep a spare source of water...A stern look from Jao-Tin told her that he was thinking of the same exact scolding. Zara bent her head in embarrassment, following Gen to where Mabu lay. The moose lion didn't look so well and Zara was feeling...less than confident. I have never healed anything this big before. A horribly painful snuff from Mabu's nose and Zara straightened her entire body to attention. She could feel how close the water was to her from where Jao-Tin was standing behind her. Taking a deep breath while closing her eyes, Zara coaxed her hands up into a steady rise, feeling the water pull from the pouch and come to her hands at her beckoning. The water split itself into two, wrapping around her hands in a soft, cooling glove around both hands. She took another deep exhale, hovering her hands over the nearest wound at Mabu's chest. Her hands glowed in the familiar hue of her eyes, though she doubted the other two noticed too much.

    "Its...kinda hard..."she said softly, feeling her eyes lower in strain.
  19. Some of the color of Gen's face returned when Jao-Tin revealed that he did in fact have some spare water with him. It wasn't a hopeless idea, after all! Better yet, Zara admitted to knowing a bit of healing. Gen audibly sighed with relief, glad that he didn't need to run all the way back to the river and carry water back to Mabu in his jacket, or something ridiculous like that.

    The process began, with the water of Jao-Tin's pouch emptying and coating Zara's hands with a mystical glow. Gen knelt down beside Mabu's snout, giving his friend the comfort of a familiar hand on his fur while Zara did her best to heal the multiple puncture wounds that dotted his chest. She admitted to having a little difficulty, but whatever she was doing still seemed to be working.
    "You can do this, Zara." was the only encouragement he managed to say before stopping himself. This would make the second time that she was helping him, someone that most of the world now saw as a person to be hated. She had seen him Firebend, even if it was to save her. She knew who he was and still offered to help him. Did she not hate the Avatar, unlike most people he met? Even if she didn't, she would probably tell her tribe when she returned to them. How she had met the Avatar. When her village found out, they would only send him on his way like everyone else... even his parents.

    I'm such a worthless Avatar. I wasn't even able to--

    Gen was snapped out of his self pity when Mabu began to stir. Small movements, a flicker of his tail and moving of his front paws. Gen's expression lifted, a weak smile and soft look in his dark brown eyes replacing the grim look of defeat he had been wearing up until that point. He looked over to Zara in admiration and appreciation. This Water Tribe girl he happened to met by accident was proving to be more helpful than he, the Avatar, was. Humbled, Gen lowered his eyes in disappointment in himself. She had the wonderful gift of healing! What could he do with all of his Avatar might? Lift and throw rocks, or get lucky with the other elements on occasion?

    Gen idly began to pet the short hairs and soft skin of Mabu's nose while looking over to Zara once again. He could at least do her the honor of looking at her while he spoke.
    "Thanks, Zara. This makes the second time you've helped Mabu and I. I'll... do my best to not cause you any more trouble." he then looked over to her master, Jao-Tin. The man has rescued them, too. He deserved his rightful thanks. "and you. Thank you for your help, too. If you hadn't shown up when you did I don't think we'd still be here." Mabu began to move his head. They were slow, sluggish movements, but he was clearly doing better.

    "Hold still, buddy. Zara isn't finished patching you up, yet." Gen spoke to his moose lion calmly. Mabu grunted before laying his head back down into the soft dirt.
  20. Somehow, Zara managed to throw all of her concentration and focus on healing Mabu's wounds, despite knowing the truth about Gen and the ensuing scolding Jao-Tin was going to give her. The blood was warm but it was doing nothing against the cooling healing from her hands. Bending water was one thing; Concentrating on the purity of the element to heal wounds was another. There was a lingering pressure in the air wavering over Zara's head. Mabu's state was in her hands.


    Jao-Tin was scrutinizing Zara's every move. His bending did not go as far as healing wounds like Zara's did, but he did know a thing or two about the process. For one, if there was no concentration in the procedure, the healing would not seep all the way into the deepest parts of the wounds. Zara kept all 5 of her senses on Mabu's cuts and gauges, waving her slender fingers over each and every wound. The moose lion sighed out of either peace or fatigue. Whichever one, it was a good thing. The third time Gen said her name was the charm, dragging her eyes away from Mabu's matted fur that was swimming back together, sealing the large gashes.

    "I'm nearly done. He's just fine. He just needs some rest and a good bit of food."she said. A smile tugged at the corner of her lips when she realized that the three of them had taken down 4 platypus bears! They'd be eating for months! Jao-Tin cleared his throat as if he could read her mind Zara instantly brought her attention back to the task at hand. Food and inquiries about the...Avatar...would have to wait. Mabu's breathing was slowing down, meaning that he just as soon rest as they would. Moving her fingers over the last wound under his left hind leg, Zara coaxed the light blue water to sink into Mabu, not only healing him, but giving him a calming reassurance that he would get his rest soon.