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|The Water Tribe|
April 17, 2014
Aang and Appa both, still following the fire, eventually were close enough to see the village, but still far enough to avoid being detected. If anything about what Katara said is true, then flying in on a sky bison may not be the best option in the world. Of course, he can't just stand by either, he needs some bearings on what to do, and there's nowhere else to go. Appa and Aang landed by an icy hill, outside detection if anyone is out.
"You stay here boy. I'll call you when it's okay to come alright?" Aang assured. Appa gave him a friendly lick as Aang went off to the village. He decided to run instead of fly mainly because to not draw too much attention on himself. He still was a bit worried on the chief in this village, but he's the main person he has to clear it up with in order to not get in trouble.
It took a good while before Aang finally reached the village. He remained by the entrance, waiting for the chief to show on up but there isn't any escort or introduction, but he did see some of the villagers notice him. On a whim, he went on in. He didn't know where the chief is, but everyone was just giving him a confused stare, as if they never saw an Air Nomad before. Aang can slightly make sense of it, them in the South Pole.
"Excuse me. Does anyone know where the chief is?" he asked, to no one in particular. No one really wanted to answer him, still weary of him. Aang looked around but someone snuck up behind him. When Aang turned around, a sharp-ended club was aimed right in his face, making him jump. Aang saw a teenaged boy holding the club at him, with two guards behind him.
"Exactly who are you?" he asked.
"Uh...I'm Aang sir...can you put that club away?"
"I'm not taking chances. No strangers wander in here without any guard knowing."
"What guards?" the boy looked at the entrance, noticing no guards there. He looked to one of the guards by him, looking guilty to not be at the right post when Aang came in. The boy, despite the fact, pulled his club away. Aang gave a sigh of relief but he was still in rough water right now.
"Okay Aang. Why are you here?"
"I'm sorry. I'm looking for the chief...have you seen him?" Aang asked, slightly naive for the moment. The boy looked at him annoyed and shocked Aang when he simply said, "you're lookin' at him."
"Oh!...Okay then...and you are?"
"Sokka. Water Tribe chief. Exactly explain how did you find us? Our village is outta range of other danger for miles." Sokka said, strong demand in his voice. He isn't trusting Aang at all, especially for the kid's odd get up of the Air Nomads.
"Well it's kinda vague. I was trapped in an iceberg when someone let me out. I guess I saw your fire from your main hut, see?" Aang pointed to the smoke stack just at the village main chief hut to emphasize the idea. Sokka though wasn't buying it.
"Very funny. Like I'm gonna believe you were stuck in some iceberg."
"It's true! I was running away from the Fire Nation when they attacked the Southern Air Temple!" Aang blurted out. Aang didn't know what to think other than the truth. Sokka was simply blank faced, and again wasn't believing him.
"Very cute. Now I know you're lying."
"I'm not lying! The Fire Nation attacked my home for no reason! And the Air Nomads did nothing to them!" Aang was starting to get rather beat up, having to remind himself of what happened to his home. Sokka aimed his club at Aang again.
"You're a complete idiot. As if you need any reminding, The Air Nomads had died out 100 years ago. And this attack you're talking about was the first one done to start this Fire Nation war," Sokka explained. Aang just stood there blank-faced...and then broke into laughing.
"And here I was thinking you have no sense of humor." Aang laughed...his laugh was short-lived when he realized Sokka wasn't laughing, but looking at him like he was crazy...Sokka isn't lying to him.
"Oh come on! Of course I am. Everyone knows that by now, has anyone told you already?" Sokka asked.
"No...no one did." Sokka was becoming rather confused. Everyone has heard of this war at least once, and if he didn't hear of any of it...Sokka got the thought out of his mind, after all he could just say this from the iceberg this freezing his brain.
"Okay, you're really starting to bug me. First you come in and talk on about this, and adding to the fake get up. Please."
"Fake get up?! I'll have you know these are official Air Nomad clothes!"
"Sure they are. And I suppose that tattoo's real too?" Sokka asked, sarcastically.
"We'll see about that. Give the kid a wash down will ya?" Sokka told one of the guards. The guard, who was a waterbender, did what he was told and soaked Aang head to toe in water. Sokka was surprised that the tattoos didn't come off. He gave the order over and over again but it still isn't coming off.
"Cut it out will ya?!" Aang yelled. Sokka made one order, too many, and Aang finally stopped it himself by air blasting the guard...silence all around him as everyone stared at the example of airbending. Sokka's jaw dropped in complete shock. The airbending finally convinced him.
"You...you used airbending...you really ARE an Air Nomad!"
"Like I said. Sorry about your guard, I just don't want to get soaked anymore," Aang said with a smile. Now knowing the 100 year timeskip, he can understand the utter confusion. He was still hurt from knowing what happened to his people though...
"I should be sorry. I should have believed you from the start."
"It's okay Sokka. You were concerned for your people and I understand."
"Do you now...that reminds me, you still didn't explain why you came here."
"Oh right. Well I'm kinda lost right now. You don't mind if I stay here for the night do you? until I figure out where to go at least." Sokka had to think a little bit. The airbender didn't seem very threatening, to say the least.
"Alright then, you can stay. Come on in and warm up," Sokka offered, a bit more friendly this time. Sokka was about to go in when Aang remembered something and asked, "Wait. Can I bring my friend in too?"
"Yeah. He came with me and I was hoping he can rest and warm up too."
"Sure, bring him over," Sokka agreed. Aang got over to the centre of the village and made a good and loud whistle to call him. Sokka was a bit puzzled...until his friend, Appa, called back and flew over! Appa landed right behind Aang. Sokka was again speechless as he walked over to Appa.
"Chief Sokka, this is Appa. My sky bison," Aang introduced, as Appa gave Sokka a good hearty lick. Looks like the last airbender has a place to stay now.
Later on that day, Aang was resting inside the main hut enjoying a good meal. Aang was glad he got well acquainted with the chief, even though it was a bit rocky at first. As Aang was inside, Appa was outside resting himself, a bit hard though with the curious children always looming around. Inside, Aang was explaining to Sokka what had happened to him, and just finished saying about when he concealed himself in the ice orb.
"That's some back story Aang. How did it feel being stuck in an ice cube for 100 years?" Sokka asked.
"It was mostly quiet and calming. Like you're in a dream mainly. Funny thing too, it felt like I was just in there for a few hours."
"Yeah being knocked out will do that. To think you're really 112 years old. You sure know how to keep your youth on you," Sokka joked. Aang laughed along with him as he had some more bread.
"So Sokka? You must be proud to being the chief of your village at such a young age," Aang complimented. Sokka sighed as he had some fish.
"Well actually. I'm just holding down the fort here. My dad is the main chief, I'm just taking care of the village for him."
"Your dad is the chief? Then where is he?"
"He's off to help in the Fire Nation war. He left me in charge of the village while he's away as a favor," Sokka explained. Aang was impressed, leaving a village up to him by his father. As far as he knew, that meant that Sokka is very trustworthy to keep charge over the place.
Just outside, Katara had returned from her fishing trip, getting some help with her catch from the other villagers. She felt good for getting so much food but her mind was still over the Air Nomad boy. Should she tell or should it be kept secret? Honestly she wasn't sure.
"Thanks for the help guys," Katara said.
"It's no trouble. We should thank you for the excellent work." one of the guys said as he got the fish to the hut. Katara smiled and went on over to the main hut. She was going to go in but quickly noticed the unmistakable animal that is Appa right by the entrance. Some of the kids were still checking him out when Katara came over.
"Auntie! You're back!" One of the kids said when they saw her. Auntie was Katara's well known nickname since she helps the children out in the village.
"Did you see this cool bison?" another kid asked.
"How did he get here?" Katara wondered aloud. How did Appa get here? one of the kids heard her and answered "A funny looking arrow boy brought it here."
"That arrow boy Auntie. He's in the main hut now!" the kid pointed to the hut entrance. Intrigued with wonder, Katara almost immediately went right over to the hut entrance after it was mentioned. She entered the hut to find that it was who she thought...Aang! Katara stood there surprised, along with Aang.
"Hi Katara! You're back," Sokka said, getting up and walking to her. Katara didn't answer though, looking right at Aang. Sokka caught to look after a bit.
"Oh yeah right. Katara, this is -"
"Aang?" Aang looked away after catching himself, blushing up a bit. Sokka now was becoming confused and asked, "How did you know?"
"We've met before. She actually helped me out of that iceberg I told you about," Aang explained. He still refused to say about that "mistake kiss" from the start so that's nothing to worry about.
"She did? Katara?" Katara chuckled nervously.
"Well I found him on my fishing route, what else was I supposed to do?" Katara admitted. Sokka didn't like things like this, but he simply sighed.
"I'll allow this one. Next time though tell the tribe first okay?" Sokka asked. Katara agreed and sat down next to Aang while Sokka sat cross from them.
"It is nice to see you again Aang."
"Same to you...Now Sokka, mind if I ask you something?"
"Ask away." Sokka said.
"Okay. You keep mentioning some sort of Fire Nation war going on that has lasted 100 years. What is that about?" Aang asked. Sokka understood but Katara was very confused with such a question. Sokka got up from his spot and went over to the wall of the hut, where he showed Aang a large world map he had with him from his father. Aang got up and followed as he was explaining. He also grabbed a thin stick as a pointer to further show the ideas as he goes.
"Listen Aang. During the time you were gone, the Fire Nation here (aims the stick at the main Fire Nation on the map) has, for some reason, decide to expand their colonies against the other nations. Already they have taken land from the Earth Kingdom (aims to the main continent) and are trying to reach the main capitol. They have already gotten the northern and southern islands of the air temples (aims to the Northern Air Temple, then the Southern Air Temple), and are trying to wipe out the north and south poles. If they do that, the Fire Nation have the entire world in their name." Aang was simply dumbfounded. He was witness to the very first attack of this war, and now all of this happened?! it's just crazy.
"I know, it is bad. But I believe that we can keep them back until the war is over." Sokka set down the stick and decided to walk out for a bit. Aang simply stared off at the map. Aang knew he had to bring peace to the world...but this...He has a lot of work to do...
For the collective works of the author, go here.