|By Agent Slash||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|More from Agent Slash||Action/Adventure, Drama||PG-PG13||Positive||N/A|
|A Little Taste of Power|
Night had fallen in Republic City. Aang crawled into his bed next to Katara, turned off the light, and slowly lay down. He wished Toph, Zuko, and Suki the best of luck with their endeavors and shut his eyes. It did not take long for the Avatar to drift off to sleep and into a dream. The airbender saw a place where the grass was black and deathly. He recognized it as the Yinying Valley. The wind was rapidly blowing by and the black grass was blowing along with it. In the middle of the grass, a little girl with a hood appeared in a dark, purple flash. It was the same little girl from Aang's previous nightmare. This time he decided to approach the child. "What do you want from me?" he asked.
The little girl looked up at Aang with beady, bloodshot eyes and grinned, showing off her unnaturally sharp teeth. "I don't want you. She does," said the little girl.
"Who is she?" asked Aang.
"She is Yazdalia," the child replied. "Meet her tomorrow. You will be able to meet her tomorrow for the solstice draws near."
"The solstice?" Aang asked. Then he remembered. The Winter Solstice was tomorrow. Then that must mean a spirit was trying to summon him. Should he face this Yazdalia? Yes. As the Avatar it was his job to deal with spirits. "Alright," Aang replied. "Where does she want me to meet her?"
"Yazdalia wants you to meet her on Weilai Island," the little girl answered.
Weilai Island. That was just minutes from his home. "Alright, I'll be there," he said.
"Good," the little girl said. "Be there at midnight." She then disappeared in another purple flash.
Aang woke up facing Katara in their bed. Hoping to slip out unnoticed, he slowly and quietly got out from under the covers and started walking towards the door. He silently tip toed the whole way. He was almost there, just a few more steps. Bam! The Avatar felt himself falling forward as he tripped over his glider and hit the floor. Katara popped out of bed and saw her husband on the floor. Aang groaned in frustration as he got back on his feet and faced his wife. "So close," he sighed.
"What were you doing?" asked Katara.
"I was going to Weilai Island," said Aang.
"Why?" Katara asked, suspiciously.
"Someone wants to meet me there. Some spirit; the one from my nightmares," Aang explained.
"And you want to go alone?"
"Aang, haven't you learned by now that going it alone isn't the right way to do things?" Katara asked.
"Katara, there isn't any reason you should have to get involved in this. I don't trust this spirit. Whoever or whatever it is may want to hurt me and I'm not going to risk your safety."
"Aang, I can handle myself!" Katara yelled. The Avatar was quite taken aback by his wife's outburst. "Don't treat me like I'm helpless! I've saved your life plenty of times before!"
"I understand that, but if you got hurt I would never be able to forgive myself!" Aang shot back.
"Aang, if you won't even let your own wife help you then who will you let help?" Katara got out of bed and walked over to Aang, putting her hand on his shoulder. "Let me help, Aang. We can do this together as a team."
Aang turned around to face her. He brought his face closer to hers and their lips met. The two of them shared a brief kiss and then Aang brought his face away. "I'm sorry, Katara, but I'm going to do this alone." He picked up his glider and made for the exit. "Besides, spirits aren't exactly in your area of expertise," he slightly joked, showing off his Air Nomad sense of humor. He left the room, leaving Katara alone and, even so, she still found herself grinning. She followed after him, intent on keeping an eye on him from a distance.
As he flew away from Air Temple Island, Aang couldn't help but feel guilty. He really did feel bad about leaving Katara, but something about this situation was too unpredictable. He could not tell what might happen so he felt it best to keep her out of it. Just minutes after his departure, he found himself approaching Weilai Island. It was a small, flat island with a rocky terrain located in Republic City's Yue Bay. He landed on it and waited. It was only eleven o'candle so he would have to wait for a while. As the time went by, he thought about several things. He thought about how Zuko and Toph were doing on their journey or if they had returned to the city yet. He thought the same about Suki and her Kyoshi Warriors. There was never any telling if she would end up killing Hong Shu. It seemed like that scumbag would never die. Then he realized that he hadn't seen Bai Lung or any other Light Clan warriors in a while. Where were they? Were they hatching a new scheme or were they simply embarrassed by their defeat at his hands and afraid to show their faces? And maybe it was just him, but there seemed to be something going on between Bo and Ai. He couldn't tell for sure, but he noticed them acting weird around each other ever since that night on Ember Island. The Avatar had gotten so lost in his thoughts that he had completely lost track of time. A dark, purple light appeared before him and a woman appeared as well. The light faded away and Aang could see the woman standing before him was beautiful. She wore black and purple robes and had long, dark, black hair that covered her left eye. "Are you Yazdalia?" asked Aang.
"I am, Avatar," said the woman. She eyed him up and down, checking out his features. "You're look almost as handsome as the last time I laid my eyes on you," she said with a naughty delight that made Aang uneasy.
"Why did you ask to meet me here?" Aang proceeded.
"I sent my messenger to ask you to come here, because I have an offer for you, Air Nomad," Yazdalia said.
"And what might that be?"
"You currently know how to bend five different elements: air, water, earth, fire, and energy. Am I correct?"
"And although you have used lightbending once, you still have no knowledge of how to use it to even it's slightest potential beyond what you used it for during your battle with a previous Avatar?"
Aang nodded once more.
"My offer to you is to teach you one more element," Yazdalia said. She walked over to Aang, getting closer to him than he was comfortable with, and whispered into his ear, "Darkbending."
Aang jumped back upon hearing the word. "You can teach me darkbending?" Aang asked.
"Yes," Yazdalia replied. "I can teach you everything you need to know."
"No offense, but I think I'll pass. I've seen, felt, what darkbending can do. I don't want to wield what kind of power."
"Think about it," Yazdalia persisted. "With the power of darkbending at your disposal, you could easily wipe out the lightbenders. They would be nothing against you."
Aang thought about it. The woman did have a point. With darkbending, fighting off the Light Clan would be much easier, but there was something about this woman that he didn't trust. She made him feel uneasy and Aang suspected she had another motive. And on top of that, he was dealing with a power that was so agonizingly painful that it could kill a man in a mere minute. He did not like the thought of having to deal with that kind of power. Still, this was not all about him. There were many lives at stake in this war. The Light Clan would not rest until they destroyed the other nations. Aang could not risk them all just because something made him feel uncomfortable. "Alright, I'll do it. Teach me how," Aang said.
"A wise choice," said Yazdalia. She walked over to Aang and touched his forehead. "In the era before the Avatar, people bent not the elements, but the energy within themselves." Aang's eyes then began to glow purple and he found he was unable to move. Still, Yazdalia went on. "In the era of the first Avatar, before we bent air, water, earth, and fire, we bent the darkness and light that filled our world. By studying the lion turtles, some learned to impart these teachings into others by simply touching their foreheads, supplying them with whatever amount of knowledge they wanted." As Yazdalia spoke, a massive surge of darkness was building. "I now impart the knowledge of darkbending to you!" Yazdalia shouted. Aang felt a sting of energy through the center of his body, realizing that he had been deceived. Yazdalia moved closer to him and whispered into his ear, "Farewell, my former betrothed." As the woman moved away and he was taken by the darkness, Aang's last thoughts were his realization that this woman had once been Jun's lover. She disappeared in another flash, her work done.
Having seen the whole thing from a distance, Katara raced across the water, desperate to get to Aang as quickly as possible. She reached the island and ran over to her husband just as the surge of energy stopped. Aang simply stood there, not moving or saying a word. Katara ran up behind him and put her hand on his shoulder. "Aang, are you okay?" she asked. Aang turned around. Katara was horrified to see his eyes were lit up purple.
"Never better," Aang said eerily in a voice that sounded similar to the one he had when in the Avatar State. He leaped off of the ground and headed towards the city. Katara watched her husband fade into the distance as he left to do spirits knows what.
"Keep it down in there, you bunch of rapscallions!" came the shouts of an old woman banging on Bo's door.
"Okay, okay, we'll keep it down; sheesh!" Bo yelled back. "Just stop hitting the door! You're going to break it!"
With a loud scoff, the old woman hobbled back to her apartment.
"Well, guys, I guess we'll have to have a quieter celebratory party now, because some people can't handle a little noise!" Bo apologized, shouting the last part out the door before intentionally slamming it as loud as he could to annoy his neighbor.
"There's really no need to get so upset, Bo," Ling said.
"Well, I might not be so upset if I had at least a thousand yuans to keep me company," Bo replied. "And besides, not all of us are emotionally dead."
Insulted, Ling began advancing towards Bo. "Is that the thanks I get for agreeing to help you guys out?!"
"Guys, guys, calm down," Ai said, coming in between them.
"Yeah, this is a celebratory party, remember?" Rong reminded them. It would be a shame to let all of that bonding go to waste not to mention, it's rude to Ai who was nice enough to take time out of her schedule to come over."
"Yeah, you're right," Bo agreed.
"Whatever," Ling replied.
Then, like a bolt of lightning, something stuck the ground outside, causing a near-deafening explosion of sound. Bo, Ling, Rong, and Ai went outside to see what the source of the commotion was and saw Aang crouched down before them; his head facing down.
"Aang, what's going on?" asked Rong.
The Avatar's head did not move upward.
"Aang, are you okay?" asked Bo.
"What's that purple energy that's surrounding him?" Ling inquired.
"I don't know. I've never seen anything like it," said Rong.
"Aang, buddy, snap out of it," said Bo, urgently.
Aang finally looked up, revealing his glowing, purple eyes to his friends. The sight of him took the four friends aback. Needless to say they were frightened by Aang's otherworldly appearance.
"Aang, what is going on?" Rong asked again, this time in a slower, bewildered tone.
"I've seen something like it," said Ai. "It's-"
"Bye, bye," Aang said. He outstretched his palm and unleashed a purple energy beam at his friends. Totally and utterly terrified and taken by surprise, the four friends threw up their arms as Aang destroyed what was in his way. He then got up off of the ground and flew away.
Feng emerged from the shores of Yue Bay. Upon the great beast's back were Toph and Zuko who were discussing something rather random.
"Okay, I've got a great plot twist," Toph said. "What if, instead of your mom hiding out in Yu Dao, she had her face reconstructed through plastic surgery, or something, and was living in her hometown all along in plain sight?"
Zuko stared at the blind earthbender blankly as if he had no response. Finally, the words formed. "Why did you even think of that? Where are you getting this from?"
"I'm just saying. Nobody would expect it," Toph replied, proud of coming up with such a complex plot twist.
"That's not even realis-" Zuko was cut off by the sound of a nearby explosion. He and Toph looked up to see yet another explosion in the city.
"Something's wrong," said Zuko.
"Not in my city," said Toph. She shot a cable onto a nearby building and grappled up to it. Trying to keep up with Toph, Zuko whipped Feng's reigns and rode towards the city.
As Toph grappled from building to building, getting nearer to the area in which the explosions were happening, she suddenly felt multiple presences and heard a woman's voice call out to her. "Toph!"
The blind earthbender recognized them and responded. "Katara, Sokka, what's going on?"
"It's bad, Toph. Really bad," said Sokka.
"Our worst possible fear has come to light," Katara said.
"So to speak," Sokka quipped.
"Not the time, Sokka," Katara said, sternly before turning back to Toph. "Aang has been infected by some sort of darkbending spirit. He's not himself. He's laying waste to the entire city."
"Then it's up to us to snap Twinkle Toes out of it!" Toph stated.
"I'm glad we ran into you, because that's what we were on our way to do."
"So, where's Zuko?" asked Sokka.
"He's riding down there now," Toph answered.
"Good. He can give the Kyoshi Warriors some help until we get there," Sokka said. "They got back a little while ago."
"What about everyone else?" asked Toph.
"We went to Bo's house. It was completely destroyed," said Katara. "And there was no trace of Bo, Ling, Rong, or Ai."
"You don't think they-"
"We don't know," Sokka said. "Right now we just need to stop Aang before any more people get hurt."
"Alright, well, what are we still doing standing around? People need our help here!" Without waiting another moment, Toph grappled onto the next building followed quickly by Katara and Sokka.
Having heard explosions in the distance, Qian had decided to ignore them. He decided he'd just let the police handle it. It wasn't until they got closer that he even bothered to concern himself with them. Now they were alarmingly close and he found himself getting up and going over to the window. Just then, Zhu entered the room in a panic. He looked as though a dark spirit was chasing him. His eyes were wide, his hair was ruffled, and he was panting as if he had just run a marathon. "Zhu, what is all of the ruckus outside?" Qian asked.
"It's unbelievable, sir," Zhu replied. "It's Avatar Aang. He's destroying everything. You were right. I don't know what his motives are, but it's unlike anything I've ever seen."
"Oh, Zhu. Sweet, naïve Zhu. You seem so surprised. I told you he was a menace, didn't I?"
"What are we going to do?"
"I'll have the entire police force mobilized right now," Qian replied.
"But, sir, your relationship with Chief Beifong is already rough. If you mobilize all of her officers without her approval-"
"Just see that it's done!" Qian bellowed. "I've been given the perfect opportunity to destroy that ancient relic for good and I'm not going to waste it! See that it's done!"
Without uttering another word, Zhu nodded and left to do Qian's bidding. Having gotten caught up in their discussion, Qian had not noticed that the explosions had gotten much closer. In a second, the windows in his office were shattered and Aang came flying through. The Avatar and the mayor glared at each other for a brief moment. Beads of sweat were running down the politician's face. He was unsure of exactly what his adversary was going to do. Without speaking a word, Aang ran over to Qian, grabbed him by the shirt collar and took him over to the window. He held out his arm and Qian looked down to see the ground three stories beneath him. In a quiet, eerie voice, Aang said to him, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Not so tough now, are you, asshole?" He let go of Qian and the mayor screamed as he was plunged three stories down and hit the ground below.
Zuko, Suki, and the other Kyoshi Warriors were sprinting towards City Hall. "He went this way, I'm sure of it!" Suki called out. She and the others stopped when they saw a body lying on the ground. Noticing that they had halted, Zuko did as well. He saw the body of Qian lying on the ground and his jaw dropped with horror. They looked up to see Aang standing in the window. At that moment, Zhu came bursting out of the building. He ran down the steps and then saw Qian's body lying on the ground. "Oh, spirits!" he yelled.
Seeing Qian's assistant, Aang flew over to him, but was met with a fire blast from Zuko. "Leave him alone, Aang!" Zuko called out.
As Aang prepared to blast his firebending teacher into oblivion, he was hit in the head by a metal disk. He looked up to see Katara, Sokka, and Toph transporting themselves down from the roof of a building. "Snap out of it, Twinkle Toes!" Toph shouted.
Aang bent a landslide at his three companions, but Toph elevated the three of them off of the ground. They landed right next to Suki and the Kyoshi Warriors and the whole group assumed their fighting stances. The second Aang flew in their direction, Zhu took off in the opposite one. Katara, Toph, and Zuko each bent their respective elements at Aang at the same time, knocking the Avatar backwards. Apparently angered by his friends' vicious attack, Aang bent all four of the regular elements as well as a dark blast at his friends all at once. Just as it seemed all of Team Avatar was finally about to be wiped out, two streams of water, a fire blast, and three chunks of earth nullified Aang's attacks. Everyone looked over to see Bo, Ling, Rong, and Ai standing in front of Appa and Feng. "Sorry we're late," Bo said. "We found Appa flying towards the explosions and we had to stop and pick him up." As if he knew exactly what was going on, Appa raised his massive tail and stomped it onto the ground, sending a huge gust of air at Aang.
"We can fight him all night, but we still don't know how to fix whatever that spirit lady did!" Sokka pointed out.
"I think we can. I need you guys to distract him so me, Ai, and Bo can get near him. I think if all three of us come together to heal him, we can heal his chi as well as his mind," said Katara.
"You got it," said Rong. She lashed out at Aang with a fire whip, moving away from the waterbenders so Aang would not focus on them. Aang fought back with a roar of darkness escaping his mouth. Sokka hurled his boomerang at him and Suki lunged at the Avatar with her katana. Everyone was doing their part to distract Aang; even Appa who blew wind at him and Feng who whipped his tail.
While the fight was raging, the waterbenders snuck up from behind. "Alright, we all go for it on my signal," said Katara. "Ready... GO!" The three waterbenders launched themselves at Aang and placed their hands on him, healing him. The last airbender shook. He violently convulsed as his chi and his spirit were cleaned. Then all of the dark energy left his body in a purple flash.
Aang sank to the ground and slowly opened his eyes. "Guys, what happened?" he questioned. "Where is Yazdalia?"
"Who?" asked Ai.
"I think that dark stuff messed up his head," said Toph.
"The woman who did this to me," Aang explained. It took him a minute to gather what he could about the situation. "What am I doing here?"
"You just took out a third of the city," Miki explained.
"I what?" Aang asked, struggling to comprehend it.
The team then saw what appeared to be the entire police force running towards them.
"Oh, no. They still think you're evil," Katara said, worriedly. "Wait, stop! He's fine!" she called out.
Toph took several steps forward and yelled at her officers. "Stop! I didn't give you any order to do this! None of you have the authority to make this arrest!"
"But I do," said Zhu, emerging from the back of the group.
"Sorry, Chief Toph," Penga apologized.
"I hate people who have higher authority than Chief Toph," said The Dark One.
"Qian was right all along. Avatar Aang is a menace to society and should be dealt with. He shall stand trial for crimes against the United Republic of Nations."
"Now, wait a second!" Zuko protested. "I'm afraid I can't allow this to happen."
"With all due respect, Fire Lord Zuko, you have no authority here," Zhu replied, coldly. It was like he was a whole different person all of a sudden.
Team Avatar watched as the metalbending officers dragged Aang away.
- I apologize for taking three months to write a new chapter, but I am going to finally pick up the pace from here until the end of book 2.
- This chapter is in honor of the one year anniversary of Avatar: Into the Light.
For the collective works of the author, go here.