Chapter 1: Painful Memories
A pillar of fire lit up the evening sky. The echo of a loud roar flowed across Ember Island. Katara, Sokka, and Sukki watched, in amazement, the skill and power of the young Avatar. Zuko smiled at Aang’s performance. Aang closed his mouth and the island grew dark and silent again. He took a deep breath then opened his eyes to face his teacher. “Now that’s what I call fire bending.” Zuko clapped his hands. Aang bowed to his tutor then turned and faced his audience. Sukki clapped with Zuko and smiled. Sokka sat wide eyed and mouth wide open. Sukki elbowed him hard in the ribs and he snapped back to life. Aang chuckled and looked at Katara. When they made eye contact he winked and walked toward the shade of a palm tree. Katara’s cheeks grew hot and turned a cherry red.
When Aang reached the trunk of the tree he air bended himself up to the top and grabbed a coconut. He gently landed on his feat and sat down. Aang sent a sharp slip of air through the coconut which cut it in half. Aang put one half of the coconut down and took a sip of the sweet liquid. He suddenly dropped the coconut spilling it all over the grass. He grasped his head and rubbed his temples. His mind was showing him pictures and sights he couldn’t bare to see. Aang winced and pushed his fingers hard into his head as if he were trying to reach in and pull the pain out.
Katara came over to Aang and looked at him, her bright blue eyes filled with concern. “Are you alright?”
Aang looked down at his feet “No Katara. I’m not alright. My mind is filled with pictures of death and failure. The failure like when I left my people behind and ran away when they needed me the most.” Aang remembered Monk Keyotso and his eyes filled with tears. Aang tried to hold back sobs but he couldn’t. Katara sat behind Aang and wrapped her arms around his neck. She grabbed his head and rested in on her shoulder. Seeing Aang cry was always hard for Katara but this was different. She could feel all the sorrow and guilt flowing through Aang’s body. “Aang, if Monk Keyotso and your people were still alive they would be just as proud of you as they are now.” Wrong thing to say. When Katara mentioned the other air benders more guilt flowed into Aang and he let out a loud wail.
“What on earth!?” Sokka and the others turned around and ran toward Aang and Katara. “What happened?” Katara said nothing. She didn’t need to. When she looked up at the three, her eyes told the tale. Sokka saw Aang crying and he and Sukki knelt on each side of him and hugged him. Zuko was even concerned. He put his hand on Aang’s shoulder. Aang continued to cry but his sobs lightened up. The comfort of all of his friends around him calmed him down.
“I…” Aang started.
“We know Aang” Katara said, still gripping him tightly.
“Listen Aang” Sokka started “You are only a twelve, well nearly thirteen year-old boy. Yet you carry this heavy burden on your shoulders. And let me tell you that you fight and are as brave as a full grown man. You’re ready to end this war. You’re strong enough to defeat the Fire Lord and restore peace to the world. We all know you can do it”
Aang sniffed and wiped his eyes “Thank you Sokka.”
“I’m sure you remember the first time I met you. When my mind was clouded and I was foolish enough to believe that you were young and un-skilled. I thought capturing you was going to be as easy as picking up a pebble. But boy was wrong!” Zuko smiled “You turned out to be harder to catch then anything in the entire world. I learned that you were strong, keen minded, and very stubborn.” Everyone laughed including Aang. The young air bender stood up and wrapped his arms around everyone he could reach. “I want you all to know that although I have to carry this burden, I am glad I am the one to do it and no one else has to do it. Also if I hadn’t been frozen in that block off ice, I wouldn’t have met Katara and Sokka, and without meeting them I would have never met Sukki, Toph, Zuko, and everyone else we have run into in during the year. I could never even dream of having friends as good as you all!” Everyone hugged each other in one tight group hug.
“Aww a love fest!” Toph’s voice sounded from behind the house. She walked out of the shadows and stopped a few feet from the group.
“Get over here Toph!” Katara said. She grabbed Toph’s arm and yanked her into the hug. The group stood there for two long minutes then separated. Everyone smiled at each other and then one by one walked into the house and fell asleep.
Chapter 2: Old Friends
The next morning Aang was the first up. He walked down too the beach to work on his water bending. Aang could bend air and water at the same time but only those two. Any other combinations would take many weeks to master.
Two hours later an exhausted Aang made his way back to the house. He walked into the courtyard and sat on the edge of the fountain. Sokka made his way outside and his sword was, like always, hanging on his belt. The sword never left Sokka’s body with the exception of sleeping. But even then the sword stays right next to his body for easy access. Aang chuckled to himself thinking how anyone could be so attached to a sword. “Morning Aang” Sokka said stretching. “I’ve been meaning to practice with my sword but I haven’t had the time. Would you want to have a friendly duel?”
“Sure.” Aang stood up “Let me just get my sword.” Sokka made Aang a sword so he could have someone to practice with. Sokka had been teaching Aang the basics of sword fighting and Aang was already fairly good.
A minute later Aang returned with his sword. The blade was pure iron and the handle was black with a gold lining. As a special treat Sokka put the Air Nation insignia on the handle. Aang would never use this sword in a real battle but he enjoyed practicing with Sokka. Aang set his feet and lifted the sword to his face symbolizing he was ready. Sokka drew his sword and did the same. Aang attacked first. He lunged at Sokka to the left. Sokka quickly jumped to the side and with a strong swing knocked Aang’s sword to the ground and put his blade to Aang’s chest. Aang rolled to the side and, using air bending, pulled the weapon back to him. He got up and raised the blade in front of his head. Aang stomped his foot and the ground Sokka was standing on launched him into the air. Sokka was taken by surprise the sudden attack but maneuvered in mid air and landed right on his feet.
By now the entire group was out sitting on the steps enjoying the show. Sukki and Toph cheered for Sokka and Katara and Zuko cheered Aang on.
Aang flipped in the air and landed on the roof. Sokka drew his boomerang and flung it at Aang. Aang swung his blade and knocked the boomerang aside. The sudden lunge threw Aang off balance and he had to jump off the roof. Sokka greeted him on the ground with a few slashes. Aang’s face was covered in sweat and straining with concentration. Sokka swung his blade high at Aang. He ducked and using his foot tripped Sokka. Sokka fell hard on his back and his blade flew high in the air. Aang jumped up and grabbed the blade. When his feet touched the ground he handed Sokka his precious sword. Both laughed and Aang helped Sokka up. “You’re getting good Aang.”
“Heck if it wasn’t for air bending I would have lost that fight early on.”
“Yeah you would of.” Aang rolled his eyes then noticed the group sitting to the side watching.
“Boy was that a show!” Toph said laughing. She threw each boy a fruit. Just as Sokka was going to take a bite, Momo swooped in and snatched the fruit from his hand. Sokka frowned when he noticed that he could see his palm. Everyone laughed and Aang offered Sokka his fruit. Sokka took it with greed and started eating. In less than a minute the entire fruit was in Sokka’s stomach.
“Hey Zuko what time is it?” Aang asked.
“Twenty minutes to noon.”
“What!” Sokka’s eyes grew large. “We’ve got to get going!”
“Always Mr. Schedule” Katara rolled her eyes.
“Alright guys, we need to be flying by noon. So finish up eating and go grab your things. Aang is Oppa out back?” Aang nodded. “Okay you get him saddled up. I will grab your things for you.” The group finished their brunch and went inside to grab their things.
Ten minutes passed and Aang waited outside with Oppa. Sokka was the first out (of course) carrying Aang’s staff and three bags on his back. He handed Aang the staff and threw the bags on Oppa. Five minutes later everyone, and their things, were on Oppa. “Yip yip!” Aang yelled. With a huge thrust of his tail Oppa was in the air, the group looked back at the small house on the hill they have all grown to love. They watched it until it shrunk to a tiny speck then vanished from sight.
Oppa landed in a mile long patch of grass surrounded by rocks. It was sunset and everyone was glad to be able to walk again. They got to have one rest stop earlier but only for about ten minutes. The boys started unloading and setting up camp while the girls walked to a small creek to wash up. The field they were at was seven miles from the great walls of Ba Sing Se. The wall was in sight but there was a huge gap in one point of it where the Di Lee broke in. By the time camp was set up the sky was dark with the exception of the bright moon and stars. The boys went to wash up then sat around the fire. Due to the summer heat Aang took his shirt off. Katara sat on the opposite side of the fire from Aang but she was staring at him through the flames.
Aang started talking but stopped when he saw four dark figures in the distance. Zuko, Sokka, and Aang stood up ready to fight the figures off. They smiled when the glow of the fire lit up the figures faces. Standing in front of the group was water bending master Paku, earth bending master and king of Omashu, Boomie, fire bending master and Fire Nation deserter Jong Jong, and Fire Nation General Iroh. The sight of his uncle lit up Zuko’s face. He ran and was greeted with a bear hug. Katara and Sokka ran to Paku and gave him a small hug. Aang walked over to Boomie and before they said anything they started laughing. After all the greetings the four masters set up their tents and joined the gang around the fire.
“Avatar Aang.” Paku and Jong Jong bowed to Aang who bowed back.
“So Zuko, you finally joined the Avatar huh?” Iroh said mockingly.
Zuko smiled “I found my destiny.”
Iroh nodded “I am very proud of you.” He gave his nephew a pat on the back then turned to Aang. “It is great to see you again young Avatar.”
“Look I hate to be a bearer of bad news but Sozin’s Comet arrives tomorrow night. Do you know where the Earth Pillars are?” Aang shook his head.
“Oh I know!” Sokka yelled “It’s about a mile long piece of land with tall rock pillars that go up for about a quarter of a mile. Each is about ten yards wide but not all of them. I’m pretty sure they are about twenty three miles from the Serpents Pass.”
“Right, the Fire Lord is preparing to use the comet’s energy to burn all the land around Ba Sing Se. He will start there. Aang that is where you must stop him. If he sets fire to the land it will destroy all life and it will take weeks to put out. Unfortunetly he is going to be on a large airship along with Princess Azula. You cannot take them both on your own.” His gaze turned to the rest of the group. “One of you must go with him.” Aang looked around at his friends.
“I will go!” Zuko said.
“No! That’s not your fight. I need you to help me take back Ba Sing Se.”
“No offence Aang but being that high in the air is very risky for me. I am going to stay and help take Ba Sing Se.” Toph said.
“That’s quite alright Toph” Aang said.
“I want to stay with Sukki.” Sokka said.
“It’s okay guys. I think I can take them. I will go fight the two on my own. The rest of you must re-capture Ba Sing Se.”
“Wait Aang, I will go with you.” Katara stood up. Sokka looked at her and his face showed signs of irritation.
“No Katara! It’s not safe. I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“And I don’t want you to get hurt. I’m going!”
“Katara…” Sokka started.
“No Sokka. Don’t try to talk me out of this one.”
“Katara please, you don’t have to do this.” Aang said trying to get her to reconsider.
“But I want to Aang.”
Aang sighed and admitted defeat. He knew he couldn’t change her mind. “So it’s settled” Iroh said “Katara and Aang will go stop Azula and Ozi and the rest of us will join up with a small earth rebellion hidden in the city. Tomorrow we will take back Ba Sing Se and end this war once and for all!”
Aang lay on his back with his head resting on Oppa’s tail. His eyes opened when he heard Sokka’s voice. “Aang will you please meet me in my tent?” Aang sat up and made his way to Sokka’s tent. He moved the flap and walked inside. Sokka was sitting in the corner of the tent staring at the ground. “You called me Sokka.” Aang said.
“Yes Aang, sit.”
Aang sat down and looked at Sokka. “What’s gong on?”
“Katara isn’t going to change her mind. She is so stubborn sometimes. I want you to promise me something.” Sokka got up and then got on his knees in front of Aang. “Promise me you won’t let anything happen to Katara. Don’t let her get hurt. She means everything to me. Do you understand?”
“I promise Sokka. If anyone gets hurt it’s going to be the Fire Lord, Azula, or me.”
“Thank you Aang.” Sokka pulled Aang into a hug. “You are like a brother to me. You always have been.” Aang stood up as did Sokka. Both walked out and said goodnight. Aang made his way back to Oppa and in an instant fell asleep on his tail.
Sokka walked toward Sukki and Katara’s tent. He poked his head inside “Katara can I speak to you for a minute?” Katara looked at Sukki then stood up and left the tent. When she got outside she saw Sokka sitting with his back against one of the boulders. She made her way over to him “What’s wrong Sokka?”
“I know the real reason you wanted to go with Aang.” This took Katara by surprise “You just wanted to be with him. I saw you watching him tonight at the camp fire. I know you love him. I had a hunch you did after we went to see Aunt Wu (the fortune teller).”
“What! I don’t love Aang!” Katara lied “I… I just don’t want him to get hurt.”
“Don’t lie to me Katara. I know you do. I suggest you tell him before the battle tomorrow. That may be your last chance.” Sokka stood up and walked to his tent leaving Katara out in the darkness all alone.
Chapter 3: Sozin’s Comet
The group sat in a large circle by one of the boulders. It was now three forty two in the evening. Everyone was quiet. Each person took a deep breath and spent a short moment with their thoughts. Aang opened his eyes and he looked at all of his friends he grew to love: Sukki, the brave and pretty Keyoshi warrior, Toph, the tough and strong earth bender, Aang smiled when he remembered how he first met her in a wrestling arena when she was known as The Blind Bandit. Aang’s gaze tuned to Zuko, his once worst enemy now one of his closest friends. Sokka was next, Aang remembered how little trust Sokka had in Aang but then they became the best of friends.
Finally Aang looked at Katara. He remembered the first time he saw her face. He always thought she was so beautiful, like an angel from heaven. Her face swelling with beauty, it was so gentle and passionate. Katara looked up and saw Aang looking at him. She was about to smile when suddenly her body turned. She looked away from Aang and ended up with her back to him. When Aang saw her do this his eyes filled with hurt. He leaned over and whispered in Sokka’s ear, “Did I do something to upset Katara?”
“No Aang. She has a lot of things on her mind. She needs some time to think.” Everyone started to stand up except Katara. “I’m going to grab a little snack before dinner.” Sokka said. Aang and the others followed him. They all sat on a log and talked while they eat. Aang craned his neck and noticed Katara still sitting all alone. He couldn’t stand to see Katara like this so he stood up and started to walk towards her. Sokka noticed Aang stand up and watched him until he reached Katara. He turned away and looked at Sukki. Sukki looked at Sokka “Turn around and watch Sokka.” Everyone sat and watched Aang and Katara.
The two sat next to each other for a few minutes then Aang stood up and started to walk away. Sokka sighed when he realized that Katara hadn’t said anything. Suddenly Katara’s arm shot up and grabbed Aang’s wrist. She pulled him down and rested her head on his chest. Sukki smiled and Zuko started laughing. “It’s about time!” Zuko said. Katara turned to face Aang but was interrupted by a loud call.
“Everyone meet at the fire pit!”
Everyone sighed “So close” Toph smirked. It took three minutes to get everyone quiet and around the pit.
“Alright everyone,” Iroh stood up “It’s already four o’clock. The comet will be here at exactly six thirty. It’s about an hour and a half flight to Earth Pillars, so Aang and Katara need to leave in a couple minutes. You won’t need your things except the tools you need to fight. The group of eight that is attacking Ba Sing Se, we need to strike at six. If we aren’t in the city by the time the comet arrives it will be impossible. So you two get your things and say your goodbyes. Then get flying.” Both nodded and stood up.
A few minutes later both returned and looked at the eight men and women in front of them. Aang walked and gave Toph a strong hug. When they separated Toph gave him a hard punch on the arm. Katara hugged Sukki, Toph, Paku, and Zuko before she got on Oppa. She ignored Sokka
Aang walked up to Sokka and hugged him. “I promise you Sokka. Katara and I will return without any injuries.”
A tear ran down Sokka’s cheek. “Thank you Aang… my brother.” Aang bowed to everyone then jumped on Oppa’s head. Both waved and the group of eight cheered until Oppa was just another speck in the sky.
It was five by the time the two landed. Aang jumped off Oppa and offered his hand to Katara. She jumped off with too much force and she landed. She also managed to yank Aang’s arm behind him. He winced with pain as his arm twisted behind him. Katara stood up and using her one free hand to wipe herself off. “Uh Katara, do you mind?” Aang did as best he could to speak without yelping about the pain.
“Oh sorry!” Katara dropped Aang’s hand. The sudden stop of pressure made Aang fall flat on his face. Katara laughed and helped Aang up. Aang always loved Katara’s laugh. He smiled himself when he saw the kind grin on Katara’s face.
“Well now that I’ve gotten a feel for the ground I should probably get on up their.” Katara nodded. Aang opened his glider and pulled Katara next to him. He wrapped his arm around her waist and she grabbed his shoulder. As Aang flew up Katara stared at his face. The face of the young man she had grown to love. She noticed his hand on her waist and she blushed. Aang flew over the closest one to the ocean then closed his glider. The two fell ten feet to the tall rock.
Aang pulled out two pieces of bread and gave a piece to Katara. He walked to the edge and sat down, legs dangling off. Katara sat next to him and both watched the sun set. Over half the sun was already blow the water. The sky showed streaks of orange, pink, and purple. “Sure is a beautiful sunset.” Katara said. She rested her head on Aang’s shoulder. “I’m glad I am here with you.” Aang blushed and looked at the sky. His smile quickly turned to frown when he noticed what was in the distance. A bright streak of light turned the beautiful evening sky into an orange, hot, disgusting one, and in front of the bright light was a huge airship bearing the Fire Nation insignia.
Chapter 4: The Battle of Ba Sing Se
Sokka tied his black blade to his side and put on his wolf head. He walked out of his tent and stood in the middle with the small army. All eight now stood outside, ready for battle. It was five forty five and the group needed to be inside the walls by the time the comet arrived. Sukki had her full Keyoshi warrior outfit on and the custom white face paint. Toph wore a green Earth Kingdom outfit and a large helmet. Zuko had his normal Fire Nation clothing on. On his back sat his two blades. The four masters wore the same white robe with the White Lotis tile on it. “You all ready?” Iroh asked. The other seven nodded. “Alright let’s go.” He nodded at Toph. She pushed the earth in and started a tunnel. She kept on bending making it long and deep. Boomie walked in the back and help Toph when she needed it. The rest walked in single file behind Toph. The walk through the tunnel took twenty minutes but finally they were behind the outer wall. Toph dug upward and ended the tunnel.
“Listen guys, there are a group of twenty three good men out by a fire only fifteen yards away. As soon as we get out they will see us.” Toph said.
“It’s six ten. Ill go first to block the incoming fire, when you all get out just charge ‘em. Let’s go.” Iroh stepped out into the evening sky. Suddenly a bright light showed. “Go!” Iroh yelled. Toph jumped out and started chucking rocks. Zuko drew his swords and ran out next, followed by Sokka, Sukki, and the rest of the masters. As soon as the last man got outside an alarm went off.
“A good hundred men are about two hundred yards away. We are in for the fight of our lives.” Toph warned.
“Form a line!” Sokka commanded. Each bender got in a line and started marching towards the fire benders.
“Fifteen Di Lee agents behind us!” Toph yelled.
Sokka and Zuko turned. “We will take care of them!” Sokka and Zuko ran forward using their blades to cut through incoming rocks. Sokka lunged and cut off the hands of a Di Lee agent. The man screamed and fell backwards. He was dead in a few seconds. Zuko and Sokka spun around and blocked incoming fire. Zuko took both swords and lunged at a man. Both swords went clean through him. Sokka knocked five more out with hard kicks to the face. With only eight men left the Di Lee fled. Sokka and Zuko turned and rejoined the others.
Every bender shot at the incoming fire benders. Iroh and Jong Jong made a large wall of fire around the hundred men. Blinded by the flames and smoke the warriors didn’t see Zuko, Sokka, and Sukki jump through the flames. One by one a solder fell either dead or knocked out. The soldiers looked around but could see nothing in the thick smoke. In about five minutes every soldier was down.
The eight moved into the city but were greeted by tanks. Paku cut the wheels off of the tanks with water bending. The team battled into the middle of the city where they met a fresh, strong three hundred earth benders. Surrounded the small army fought off wave after wave of soldiers. They slowly but effectively made their way to the palace. It was dark when they arrived at the palace.
Only two hundred and seventeen earth benders actually made it to the palace. The group continued to fight off wave after wave of fire benders, and it looked as if the fire benders weren’t planning to back down anytime soon. Suddenly the night sky turned bright orange. “Sozin’s comet!” Iroh yelled.
Sokka stopped fighting and looked towards Aang and Katara “Good luck. God protect you.” He whispered and continued fighting. Zuko dropped his blades and used the power of the comet to fight off the soldiers. More and more earth benders started to fall at the power of the fire benders. They still held the palace and the fire benders continued advancing over mountains of dead bodies. A fire soldier punched Sokka hard in the face knocking off his helmet. He returned the punch and knocked the soldier off his feat. He heard a scream and turned to see three fire soldiers kicking Sukki, who lay on the ground. Sokka was outraged by the sight and yelled. He jumped in the air and swung his sword as hard as he could. His blade went clean through all three soldiers. Sokka helped Sukki up and then nearly dropped her when he looked up. Above the palace were four huge Fire Nation ships and they were raining down fire on the group.
Chapter 5: The Horror of Fire
Aang stood up and pulled Katara close to his side. He leaned over and whispered in her ear, “If you run out of water, get some from the clouds.” Katara looked around and noticed the clouds to their right and left. Man they were high. “If you ever need help just call ok?” Katara nodded and Aang let go of her and jumped to the next pillar to the right. Katara took a deep breath and watched the ship get closer and closer. Suddenly it stopped. Two figures jumped off and fire bended through the air towards the two. Azula landed in front of Katara and Ozi in front of Aang. “So this is the ever powerful Avatar?” Ozi mocked.
“Your rain of terror ends here!” Aang yelled. Ozi leaned his head back and laughed then sent a huge ball of fire at Aang. At the same time Azula attacked. Katara jumped to the side and whipped Azula hard on the neck with water. Azula recovered and kicked blue flame at Katara. Katara bended a wall of water in front of her and then froze the water and maneuvered it connecting the pillar to another one. She jumped and slid across the ice. Azula shot a bolt of lightning at the ice and broke it. Katara was close to the edge but started to fall. Aang swooped down on his glider and grabbed her. He set her down on the pillar then jumped to another one in front of Ozi. Ozi sent blast after blast of fire at Aang. Aang used his glider to split the fire in half.
He jumped and kicked Ozi hard in the face. Ozi fell backward but quickly got to his feat and punched Aang hard in the gut. He tumbled on the ground and coughed trying to get air back in his lungs. He weakly stood up and threw big rocks at Ozi. He dodged the first few but the last one hit him in the arm. He screamed in pain and grabbed his arm.
Katara shot slips of ice at Azula. All missed but not by much. Azula grabbed Katara’s arm and turned it behind her back. Katara flipped and kicked Azula hard in the breast. Azula jumped back and shot fire at Katara. Katara blocked and lunged at Azula. The two continued to through attacks at each other on the small pillar. Suddenly the pillar shook and started to fall. Katara looked over the edge and saw Aang pinned to the rock. He hit it so hard that the rock started to collapse. “Aang” Katara yelled. His arm lifted up and moved to the side. The rock Katara was standing on stopped falling and moved over to another pillar. Katara jumped off and looked down at Aang. He kicked off the pillar and hit feet first on another pillar. He ran straight up it and stood on the top. Ozi flew in front of Aang and Azula flew to Katara. Katara took Aang’s advice and gathered a wave of water from the clouds. By now the comet was directly overhead and Azula and Ozi’s fire bending was really strong.
The water Katara gathered turned into hundreds of icicles and she lunged them at Azula. Azula jumped back and to the side. With lightning fast reflexes she reached out and grabbed one of the icicles. She threw it towards the pillar Aang was on and then shot a rocket of flame at it. The flame sped up the icicle and it flew through the air at ninety miles per hour.
Aang threw attack after attack at Ozi but none succeeded. He was growing tired but so was Ozi. He put his hands on his knees and took deep breaths. He heard a loud whistle sound and turned toward Katara. He saw the icicle and tried to jump out of the way but it was no use. The sharp blade hit him right in the center of his chest.
Chapter 6: Turning the Tide
Iroh shielded what was left of the rebellion from the incoming fire from the airships. “We’ve got to get up their and bring those ships down!” Sokka yelled.
“Who’s going up?” Toph asked
“Sokka and Zuko, you two go!” Iroh commanded.
Sokka nodded “But how are we going to get up there?” Boomie and Toph flicked their wrists and the ground the two were standing on catapulted them up to the first ship. Zuko landed on the main deck but Sokka landed on the top of the air ship. “Try and get into the bridge, I will meet you there!” Sokka shouted against the wind. Zuko ran towards the front of the ship out of Sokka’s sight. Sokka turned and drew his blade. He made his way towards the front of the ship. He ran against the wind on the top and couldn’t help looking down at the big city below. He gulped and moved forward but a lot slower. It took him five minutes but he finally reached the front. He leaned over and noticed four fire benders standing on a platform shooting large balls of fire down on the rebellion. He leaped down and rolled right behind the first bender. He grabbed his mouth and stabbed him right through the back. He flung the body over the edge and watched it fall and bounce off the roof of a building below.
The other fire benders had no idea what had happened and continued to shoot. Sokka drew his boomerang and threw it at the next fire bender. The boomerang hit him right in the back of the head and knocked him off the platform. The other two heard his scream as he fell and turned to see Sokka on the far platform. They turned and shot at Sokka. Sokka turned and ran for cover. As he ran he looked into the large window of the bridge and saw Zuko fighting off three fire benders with his swords. Sokka ran behind cover, took a deep breath, then popped out and sprinted toward the attackers. He dove and rolled on the ground, dodging fire, the leaped up and tackled one of the soldiers. He hit the man on the head with the handle of his blade and then stood up and kicked him off the platform. He stood up and came eye to eye with the other soldier. The soldier had a knife too Sokka’s neck. Sokka slowly dropped his blade and stuck his hands in the air. The soldier was so focused on Sokka’s hands that he didn’t notice Sokka’s knee. His knee came up and contacted with the soldiers “happy place”. The man dropped to the ground but he unfortunately landed on his knife. Sokka picked up his blade and walked towards the bridge where Zuko was waiting.
When Sokka got in he smiled at Zuko “Too easy.” Zuko smiled then snapped back to the real problem.
“How are we going to take this thing out?”
Sokka thought for a moment then grabbed a blade of a dead soldier. He spun the steering wheel completely to the right towards the ship right next to them. He stuck the sword through the wheel to keep it steady then looked at Zuko. “We need to get too the roof now!” The two ran up to a ladder and climbed up to the roof again. The two looked at the ship they were about to hit and waited. As soon as they came in contact the two jumped and successfully landed on the other ship.
“You started a chain reaction!” Zuko yelled. He had indeed set up the chain reaction the ship crashed into the other two.
“We have to jump!” Sokka yelled.
“Jump!” The two jumped right as the ship exploded. The two flew down towards the city. Suddenly a pillar of water shot up and grabbed the two. Paku maneuvered the water down and he set the boys down gently.
“There retreating!” Iroh yelled. The entire group held up their weapons and shouted in triumph as the wave of soldiers broke and fled.
“Now it’s up too Aang and Katara.” Zuko said. Sokka turned and looked towards the two then turned away to join the cheering soldiers.”
Chapter 7: The Extinction of the Air Benders
Katara screamed when she saw the sharp hunk of ice hit Aang. Aang fell to his knees and coughed up blood. “Aang!” Katara started to run towards him but Azula grabbed her and held her arms behind her back. Ozi laughed and put his large hand on Aang’s head. He gripped it and then pulled it up to him. “Come on Avatar!” He swung his other fist and hit Aang square in the cheek. Aang fell hard from the blow and coughed out more blood. Ozi lifted him up again and again and punched him each time.
Katara fell to her knees sobbing “Please stop this!” Ozi enjoyed seeing Katara so helpless and continued to beat Aang. He laid Aang’s head on the ground and started to kick it with hard blows. Aang screamed in pain but when he opened his mouth only more blood came out. “So this is the mighty Avatar? Ha!” Ozi mocked Aang’s crippled body on the floor. He slowly made his way to his feet but was sent back down with a hard punch to the stomach.
Katara thrashed and kicked trying to get to Aang. “Oh shut up!” Azula slapped Katara hard in the face and kicked her in the leg. Aang saw this and grew furious. He quickly stood up and pulled the icicle out of his chest. He dropped it to the ground then jumped at Azula. Azula had no time to react and was hit hard in the face. Aang started throwing rocks at Azula in rage. Azula blocked the rocks but they were knocking her off balance. Aang jumped up and grabbed Azula’s neck. He picked her up and hung her over the edge. “This is for hurting my friends, and my people!” Aang let go and watched Azula fall screaming. When she hit the bottom he fell to his knees in weakness.
Katara ran over to Aang and helped him to his feet. Aang looked up and saw Ozi charging Katara from behind with the icicle in hand. Aang quickly grabbed Katara and threw her to the ground just as Ozi lunged. The icicle flew right over Katara’s head and hit Aang right in the arm. Aang screamed and fell to his knees again. Ozi took the icicle out of Aang’s arm and then jabbed it right into Aang’s chest. Only a few inches from where he was first hit. Aang froze and then fell backward. Katara stood up and kicked Ozi right below the belt. She grabbed the icicle from his hand and quickly returned it to his face. The sharp end entered his skull and instantly killed him.
The comet was now all but gone. Katara ran to Aang and rested his head on her chest. “Aang! Come on Aang you’ve got to wake up!”
Aang groaned “Katara” he said weakly.
“Shhh, don’t talk.”
“I… I made a promise… to Sokka that… that you wouldn’t be harmed… and I didn’t intend to… break that promise.” Aang grunted and coughed. “I… I’m sorry Katara.”
Tears poured out of Katara’s eyes. She swallowed and finaly said “There is no need to apologize. You are the greatest friend I have ever had.”
Aang put his hand on Katara’s cheek “I will always remember your face.” He said weakly “I wish you well in your days to come. This is unfortunately where my road on this Earth will end.”
“No! No Aang!” Katara started sobbing again, “You can’t leave me now. I need you! You just can’t die!” Katara looked down then back up at Aang “Aunt Wu told me that I would marry a powerful bender. And I finally see that it’s you!” Katara started sobbing. “It’s you Aang. I have always had mixed feelings but it is finally so clear that… that you are supposed to be the man in my life. You’re the…” Katara was interrupted by Aang’s lips. He leaned in and lightly kissed her on the lips. She wrapped her arms around him and kissed him hard. While she kissed him she sobbed. “I have loved you since I first saw your face.” Aang said. He ran his fingers through her hair. “I never had the courage because I thought you wouldn’t be happy if I told you.”
“Oh Aang, I could never say no to you.”
Aang smiled “I love you Katara.”
“I love you too Aang.” Aang coughed once more, took a deep breath and then he was gone. He closed his eyes and would never open them again. Katara noticed this and shook him. “Aang… Aang!” His hand fell limp to his side out of Katara’s. “Aang… god no! Aang please wake up.” She sat there sobbing then lifted his head to her shoulder. It was indeed the end of the Avatar… and all of the Air Nation.
Chapter 8: Praising the Avatar
The courtyard in front of the Fire Nation palace was crowded with people from all three of the remaining nations. Although the war was over no one was cheering. They all stood with their heads down in silence. In the front row stood in a row: Toph, Boomie, then Jong Jong, Zuko, Hakota (Katara and Sokka’s father), Paku, Sukki, Sokka, then Katara. Iroh was standing at the top of the steps. “We are gathered here today to honor the Avatar, a brave, strong, and intelligent young man. He gave his life to save all of ours and his dear friend, Katara.” Everyone looked at Katara with pity and disgust. Many thought it was her fault Aang had died. “Don’t look down on her. She played a valuable roll in the fight, killing the Fire Lord. His sacrifice was out of love and compassion. He didn’t want anyone to get hurt.” Katara fell to her knees crying. Sokka sat and hugged her and Hakota ran over to his daughter. Everyone watched the two men try to calm her down. Iroh stood with a look of grief on his face. People in the crowd were starting to tear up as well.
When Katara started to calm down Iroh continued “We would like to give all of Aang’s friends and masters a chance to say a few words on his behalf.” Iroh walked down the stairs as Jong Jong started to walk up. He reached the top and began to speak “I first started to teach Aang fire bending. He was so eager to play with the fire he wasn’t listening to the basic movements. As punishment he burnt his dear friend Katara, and he then knew the full power of fire bending and the horror and destruction it could cause. The Avatar became an amazing fire bender and I couldn’t ask any more of him.” Jong Jong bowed and walked down the stairs and Paku started to walk up.
“When I first met the Avatar he wasn’t the young man he became. He was small and eager to instantly master water bending. He and my new granddaughter Katara came to me for training and at first I didn’t allow Katara to be trained. She, out of confidence, challenged me to a fight and proved her skill. She started to train with us and she became the best student I’ve ever had. Anyway, the Avatar was a fun loving kid but turned out to be a strong warrior and I owe him my life.” Paku bowed and headed back to the crowd.
Boomie walked up “I was the Avatar’s friend when we were kids and we got in plenty of trouble. When I was reunited with him I gave him three hard tasks. The first two he completed with ease but the third one surprised him. We had a duel and even though I was the better fighter, Aang put up a heck of a fight. I actually believe that we ended with a draw. I loved the boy and was his dear friend. It pains me to see him go but I know he did what he was destined to do. He died with magnificent friends and the pleasure of a job well done.”
Next up was Hakota “I didn’t know the Avatar that well but he befriended my son and daughter and let me tell you, the first time I met him I felt like I was shaking hands with an adult. He was confident and compassionate for my daughter and I…” Hakota started to tear up. “I owe him everything… He saved my daughter and I just want to thank him… thank him so much for what he has done for my family… and our world.” The crowd started to tear up. Hakota wiped his eyes and left the podium.
Toph made her way up and faced the crowd. “Aang became my dear friend and taught me many things. I ran away from home to travel with him and teach him. He was my first student and I couldn’t feel any more proud as a master. He was my first friend and then I quickly befriended the others. I will remember his sacrifice for as long as I live and I will remember his kind voice.”
Sukki was next “I met Aang in sort of an awkward place. We ambushed him, Katara, and my boyfriend Sokka on our island of Keyoshi. He was a great friend and gave hope to our village. Unfortunately with him he brought fire nation soldiers. We fought them off to defend him and as he ran he used the Eunagi (Big Sea Monster) to put out the fires and save our village. I will be forever grateful and I am so glad that he came into my life.”
Zuko was next. “When I first met the Avatar my mission was to capture him and stop him from saving the world, but now I realize how wrong I was. If I had successfully captured him I would have gotten all I have ever wanted. After I betrayed him in Ba Sing Se I returned home and realized I didn’t want what I thought I did and I felt horrible. After their unsuccessful invasion on the eclipse I followed them and after a few convincing tries I was welcomed into their group. I taught Aang fire bending and I realize that this was my destiny. My enemy became my best friend and I couldn’t be any happier with what he has done. But… if he had survived… I… I would have felt a whole lot better. Praise the Avatar!” The entire crowd yelled Zuko’s last words and clapped for the Avatar.
Sokka made his way up the stairs and faced the crowd. “My friends, I want to say that Aang is probably the greatest warrior I have ever met. He became my friend and my brother. I loved him as well as I could and I could never ask more of him. Before… before the battle I asked him to do something. I asked him to protect my sister as well as he could. He promised me Katara would not be harmed.” Sokka started to tear up “He… he kept his promise and saved my sister! He is my hero and he will always be remembered in my heart… as my brother.” Sokka wiped his eyes and walked down.
Katara hesitated then walked up the stairs. “I met Aang directly from the ice berg. I have been with him ever since that day… exactly one year ago. He was so cute and just wanted to have fun.” Katara started to cry. “Overtime he matured and became a young man. A strong and handsome young man. He was my best friend. In our journey we stopped at a fortune teller who told me I would merry a powerful bender and I realize… I realize that it was supposed to be him. He changed my future with his sacrifice. I loved him! I have loved him since that day but I never told him. Before he died I got the chance and I was happy to hear that he had loved me since the day we met. I lingered to long and paid the ultimate price. The man I loved is now gone. I will always love him for as long as I live. I just wanted him… and everyone to know.”
Katara sat on the step and started to cry. Everyone clapped for her and wanted to help her but couldn’t do anything. Sokka ran up to her and sat next to her. The crowd started to part and six men carried a black coffin. Sokka and Katara watched as they placed it at the feat of a covered statue. They uncovered the statue to reveal a statue of Aang standing tall with a staff in hand. Momo suddenly flew down and landed right next to Sokka. Momo was carrying a tied scroll. Sokka picked it up and opened it. Everyone looked at Sokka with curiosity. Then Sokka realized it was a letter… written by Aang.
Chapter 9: The Letter
Sokka untied the scroll and opened it slowly. When he saw that it was from Aang his face lit up with happiness and confusion. “It’s from Aang!” Katara snapped back to life and ripped the scroll from Sokka’s hands. The crowd turned around when they heard. Their faces were covered with confusion. Sokka quickly grabbed the scroll out of Katara’s hands. He walked up the stairs to the top and waited for the crowd to quiet down. Katara headed back down to the crowd and stood next Sukki. Sukki held her close as they, and everyone else, waited to hear what Aang wrote. Sokka cleared his throat and began.
Dear all of my great friends,
I hope you will never have to read this letter. I thought I should write it just incase. I asked Momo to give this to you if I didn’t make it through the battle. I just want to thank you all for the support and kindness you have shown me. Master Jong Jong, I am very sorry I abused the power of fire bending and didn’t listen. I thank you for your courage and strength to stand up to your own nation and fight for what is right. Master Paku, I thank you for teaching Katara many of the moves you know. Without her knowing I never would have become the water bender I am today although I am sure Katara would have eventually learned and mastered the moves. Boomie, you’re the best friend any kid could ask for. I thank you for the fun we had together and I wish you the best of luck ruling Omashu. General Iroh, you have been a great help to us all both in wisdom and action. I thank you for raising such a good man and future Fire Lord Zuko turned out to be. Sukki, you are an amazing and brave warrior. I hope you and Sokka spend a lifetime together. I apologize for the fire nation raid on your village and getting you caught up in this war. I meant no offence in that at all. Toph, I have had the pleasure of being the student of the worlds greatest earth bender. Also thanks for getting me out of a few jams in the past. You’re a great friend and I hope you live a good life. Zuko, I know we started out bad but things turned out good right? I want to thank you for helping me escape the fire nation fortress earlier and teaching me fire bending. It must have been hard to betray your father and sister but I am most certainly glad you did. Praise to you my friend, my Fire Lord. Sokka, you have been my greatest friend through all of this and I want to thank you for everything you have done for me. You are an amazing sword fighter and I know you will become the greatest sword
fighter in the world. Also I certainly hope that no harm went to Katara. I promised you nothing would happen to her and I intend to keep that promise. Katara, you have been the biggest help of all. So supportive of me and kind. You always believed in me and trusted in me. And I wanted to tell you something. I love you! I have loved you since the moment I first laid eyes on you. Your beautiful, smooth skin, bright blue eyes, and gorgeous brown hair. I am very foolish to have waited this long to tell you and I blew it big time. I really hope you don’t read this letter and not because of the “I love you” part, but the “I am no longer part of this world” part. I love you so much and I wish you well on your life to come. I also ask of you two that you take my staff, Oppa, and Momo in remembrance of me. And finally to all the people of this earth. I wish you good luck in the rebuilding the crippled world and I will meet you all again as a water bender. Please do not grief over me, look to the future and be happy that we are at peace. I love you all and I hope you live good lives.
Chapter 10: Katara Enters the Spirit World
Katara lay on her bed staring at the ceiling. Her mind was racing with thoughts and her body was full of grief. She sat up and looked at a painting of Aang on the wall of the large palace bedroom. Zuko, being the new Fire Lord, gave everyone a large room in the palace. The painting was done by a man when they went to Ba Sing Se. It showed Aang standing on a cliff with a serious look on his face. His cloths were blowing in the wind and his staff was in his hand. On his shoulder sat Momo. Katara then looked to the other picture next to it. This picture was in a solid gold frame and was painted by a painter on Keyoshi Island. The picture was of Aang and Katara sitting on a log. Katara had her head leaning against his and her hand was in his. She smiled and a tear fell from her eye. It slid down her cheek and parked by the chin. Katara smile turned to a firm blank stare and more and more tears started falling from her eyes. She closed her eyes and started to cry softly.
Sokka walked in just as she started. He slowly moved over to her and sat next to her. She turned and looked at him her eyes wet with tears. “Oh Sokka.” She managed to say. She fell against him and continued to cry. He held her close and stared at the two pictures of Aang. Sukki walked in next followed by Toph and Zuko. They all three watched the two on the bed. Sokka whispered something into Katara’s ears and then slipped the scroll into her hand. She opened it and then held it to her chest tightly. It was obviously the letter from Aang. Sokka stood up and motioned for the others to get out and he left himself.
Out in the hallway Sukki asked “Is she ok?”
“No Sukki she isn’t. I knew she loved Aang and I was afraid this was going to happen. I think we need to give her some time alone.” Sokka started to tear up. “I’m going to miss that kid.”
Sukki hugged him “We all will. He died but not without filling his destiny. I think he died happy.”
“We are all very grateful for what he did. I don’t know how I will be able to rebuild the Fire Nation without him.” Zuko said.
“He will always be with us,” Sukki said “Inside.”
Everyone nodded then headed off to bed.
Katara rested her head on her pillow and continued to cry softly. She held the scroll in her hand and closed her eyes. “Aang,” Katara whispered, “Aang I need you. I can’t live without you. Please come back to us… to me.”
An hour later she woke up and grabbed her blanket. She headed out to the candle lit hallway. Everyone was fast asleep. She made her way down the hall and stopped to look at the clock. It was eleven fifty two. She made her way out to the steps leading to the courtyard where the memorial took place. She looked down at the large statue of Aang and made her way down towards it. She stopped at the feat of the statue and sat down. She leaned against his leg and closed her eyes. Suddenly the wind started blowing fiercely.
Katara looked up and saw that she was no longer sitting by the statue. She was sitting on a rock in the forest. She looked down and saw that she was just a light blue. She tried to water bend water from the nearby creek but she couldn’t. Her bending was gone!
Chapter 11: Reunited
Katara looked around and rubbed her eyes. “Where am I?” she said to herself. She panicked and started to run around “Sokka! Toph! Sukki!” She continued to run until she stepped in a mud hole. “Uggh” her face clenched up. She took her foot out of the mud. She shook the mud off her shoe then continued but a lot more cautiously. She jumped over tree roots and climbed over mossy logs. Her face was covered in sweat. When se reached a clear spring she sighed in relief and ran to the edge of the water. She got on her knees and cupped her hands. She splashed water on herself then looked down to get more water. A slight ripple ran through then a figure appeared.
A body appeared, covered in a long red robe. She looked up to find a head but the face was fuzzy. She turned around but nobody was behind her. She looked back at the water and a face appeared. It was Avatar Roku. She rubbed her eyes and looked down again. The figure was still there. “A…Avatar Roku?”
“I must be dreaming.” Katara told herself.
“You’re not dreaming Katara. Welcome to the spirit world.”
“What! The spirit world!”
“Yes Katara. This is the spirit world.”
“I can’t be here! I need to get back! How do I get back?”
“Calm down. Someone is waiting for you. Follow the creek and he will be waiting.”
“Follow the creek.” Roku faded and Katara stood up and looked at the creek. She took one more drink of water then moved on. She started to walk down the creek. The entire walk she spent debating weather to keep going or turn and run. But she kept going until she reached four large oaks. Each tree had one of the four nation insignias. She stared up at them for a moment then continued walking. She walked around the trees and saw a tent. It was a tent from her water tribe.
She curiously walked towards it then stopped and held her breath when something started to come out of it. The figure was wearing water tribe cloths and had long brown hair like Katara. The figure turned and faced Katara. Katara finally realized who it was. “Mom!” She ran towards her mom and was greeted with a tight hug.
“Hi sweetie.” Her mom said.
They hugged for about thirty seconds then Katara stepped back. “What are you doing here? Have you been here all along? Are you with anyone?” Katara’s mom just smiled at her daughter. “What?” Katara asked. Katara’s mom stepped to the side and revealed another figure coming out of the tent. It was Aang! Katara’s face lit up and she ran over to him. She hugged him tightly and he hugged her. Tears started streaming out of her eyes. “I missed you Aang.”
“I missed you to Katara.” She stopped hugging him and then kissed him hard on the lips. He kissed her back and wrapped his hand around her waist. She wrapped her arms around his neck and stroked the back of his head. They kissed for a good minute and then pulled away from each other. He ran his fingers through her hair and stared into her eyes. “I missed that face.” Katara smiled. The three sat around a fire and caught up on everything.
After three hours of talking Aang said, “Katara you need to head back. Remember your body is asleep against the statue in the courtyard. It’s almost sunrise there. You should get going.”
Katara’s mom agreed. “Your brothers going to freak if you aren’t back by sunrise. You need to go.”
Katara nodded then stood up she looked at Aang and her mother. “Will I ever see you again?”
Aang stood up and handed he four medallions. “Keep one and give the others to Sokka, Toph, and Zuko. At midnight on the day of the solstice, hold the medallion and say… spirit world, nation oaks. You will appear right here. We will always be here.”
Katara faced her mom and hugged her tight then looked at Aang. “I love you.” She said. They kissed softly then she turned to face the fire. She closed her eyes and felt a strong wind push her body. She opened her eyes and looked at the palace. She stood up and looked at the four medallions in her hand. She took off running up the stairs and through the palace doors.