Icy cold air blew through the mountain pass between Merchant Town and Ba Sing Se, swirling a cold mist through its depths. Through the mist a single figure strong, a cloak drawn in close against the cold. The figure seemed to be walking purposefully down the centre of the pass, making little attempt to hide themselves. It was the bold behaviour that allowed the bandits in the pass to first notice the figure's movements.
It was the water benders who noticed first, they slid down from their rocky eyrie to sneak silently through the mist. Their bloodlust was palpable as they snuck up behind their prey, they had sharpen their bending skills until they were bloody tools of killing. A quick shout of victory and they struck down the cloak figure. Their water whips smashing through the fabric and striking it down......empty. The waterbenders looked at each other in dewilderment, their target should be prone before them yet nothing.
"Ganging up on a lady? Your mothers would be so ashamed of you!" The voice came from behind them low to the ground. They spun around lashing out with the water again, but hit nothing but mist. "Splash about all you want, you're not going to take me down like that.". The bandits cast their eyes around wildly, looking for their target, but found nothing. "Show yourself weakling!!" the boldest of the bandits shouted.
"AAAHHHHH!" the next second there was a scream followed by a slam of steel, then silence. The water benders slashed out into the mist, but hit nothing but air. "Be careful what you wish for!" Another man screamed and the ground shook, then silence once more. Only three bandits remained now and they were grouping together. "Take the water from the mist! Clear the air!" The leader was taking control now, the bandits drawing the moisture from the and clearing the air around them. The ground cracked and from it burst a girl with long black hair, her slim for sailing through the air as she lashed out with her hands.
The sleeves of her chainmail shirt flew apart, lashing out light great cords and wrapping around two bandit's necks before she slammed them both head first into the ground. Only one very scared looking waterbender who watched terror stricken as the woman flicked her arms across her front and her chain sleeves reformed. "Where can I find the man with the scarred face?!" The waterbender tensed up and went to swing her hands and bend. The woman stamped and rock pieces flew up pining the bandit's neck between them. "I was trained in earthbending and metalbending by Toph Beifong" She twisted her foot and the rocks squeezed a little tighter "Answer my question truthfully, I will know if you lie to me"
By this point the bandit was positively panicking, this was not the easy pickings he had come to know. This was a true earthbending master and he was hopelessly outmatched. "I'll talk! I'll talk! He's.." There was a powerful shockwave that resonated throughout the valley then a rumbling sound that seemed to shake the air. A moment later a boulder pierced the mist and slamming down and crushing the waterbender below.
"Death is nothing, strength is all!" A woman's voice viciously called from the top of the valley "Those who would betray The Bloody Thorns must die!". Terra sense the next attack coming, the wave of soil being thrown down from the top of the valley. The dirt showered ahead of the wave gathering the water from the mist and clearing the air. The woman in the valley ran forwards then dived at the ground, disappearing below it just before the wave struck.
The mudslide had buried the low ground and the benders sat on the heights were laughing maliciously. Thinking their plan had worked, until the first man shouted out in pain. The chain shirted earthbender him striking down. She was out of breath as she stood on top of the mountain her chains reforming into her sleeves. "Well, well, well" said the woman's voice at the head of the valley "if it isn't Terra Shayu, Republic City's 'Land Shark'. We are honoured.".
Terra stood glaring up the valley at the earthbenders waiting for her. The situation was bad enough with her so outnumbered, but with her identity revealed they would know when she disappeared she'd be using her ground swimming technique and could attack her. That meant she'd have to face them straight up; one bender against at least 6, one of whom who had just buried a valley by herself. This was going to be hard battle, she'd need all her skill to make it through.
She felt the first of the stamps on the ground as the earthbenders began their assault. She threw up a rock wall to give herself some cover, but she dared not dived below the surface again. She heard Sifu Toph's words ringing in her head as she did "If an earthbender knows you're down there, they'll crush you like a bug". She cringed from the harsh tone and remembering the smack on the head she'd been given.
She gathered and reshaped the chain metal of her shirt into the shaped metal cords that she'd been trained with. They may be earthbenders, but she knew Sifu Toph would never have trained such people to metalbend. She felt the first volley of rocks hit her wall and she lashed the tip of her cord into the wall and swung herself around the wall. Shaping the tip of her other cord in a heavy ball like a mace and slamming it into the nearest man, 5 on 1.
She dropped low as the rocks flew her way and felt them sail past above her, then raised another wall for cover. The rocks struck more forcefully now, they were taking turns to launch larger rocks in order to pin her down. She pulled in her cords and reshaped them into blades, there may be more of them but