Royal Palace Gardens
Abandon All Emotion
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Avatar Brek

Written by

Omashu Rocks

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Secrets of the Sun, Part 2

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Thinking Like an Airbender

Brek sat on his stone bench in utter silence. He gazed at the gleaming Sun through the small reflecting pool at his feet as a small breeze traveled through the tranquil garden, forcing the chimes to sing their all-to-peaceful song. Even weeks after the vicious and barbarous battle that had erupted in the Sun Warrior's city, the Avatar couldn't stop thinking about what had occurred and the lives that were lost. The Southern Air Temple. Even what seemed to be the safest place on Earth couldn't protect Brek from his own thoughts, his own emotions, that ate at him until he felt sick.

"Brek, you've been like this for days," the Avatar glanced up to Zola's worried eyes looking down on him.

"I don't know how you can take it," he responded.

"Take what?" Zola asked softly as she sat beside her friend.

"The loss of a life."

Zola took a deep breath and responded, "It isn't easy. But," she paused to think, "Sometimes we have to remember how heroic our loved ones were when they passed. They died for what they believed in."

"No. They died for what I believed in. If it wasn't for me, nobody would have perished back in the Fire Nation," Brek's voice grew raspy as he began to tear up.

"If it wasn't for you, more people would have died. I would have died. Nothing would be preventing the world from falling into the grip of the Isha."

"But I didn't have to go to the Sun Warriors' city. Those men and woman didn't have to lose their lives."

"That isn't true, Brek. I know what they showed you high in the mountains. You learned something."

"I didn't learn anything! All I saw was a bunch of colors."

"You know it was more than that, Brek. Besides, Mosha was like a hundred years old." Zola gave a fake smile.

"What about Chief Pajum?" Brek was clearly becoming frustrated.

"Pajum happily gave his life to defend the Avatar and world peace."

At that point, Brek burst out, "But what about Berani! She almost died!"

"I think- I think if she had died then-"

"Then what, Zola? Would we just move on!"

Brek could see that Zola wasn't angry at him, rather she was deeply concerned.

"I'm sorry," he muttered. "Zola, why did you come with us? With your resources, you could be safe somewhere else, out of danger. Why did you stay with me?"

"So, you really haven't figured it out yet?" Zola asked, staring into her friends eyes.

"Figured out what?"

Their conservation was interrupted when the temple's oldest monk called out from a deck above. His sweet, soft, elderly voice rang throughout the temple. "Everyone! Ayala's back!" Brek looked up to see the monk hobble down a few steps with his cane and walk closer. "Ayala's back!" he announced again, pointing towards the sky.

Brek and Zola scanned the air in search of whatever Ayala was. Finally, they could see a figure high above the ground.

"Somethings falling towards us!" Brek exclaimed.

"Not falling," the monk corrected "flying! This is what we've kept you waiting for!"

Meanwhile, Onjing had made a long hike up a tall, steep Fire Nation mountain and was staring into the stormy sky in fury.

"Kofaru!" he called through the harsh rain into the thundering clouds. "You failed me! Your soldiers were weak! You're not powerful spirit, you're useless!" At these worlds, a bold of lighting struck at Onjings feet, causing him to tumble down a rocky path before hearing a booming voice.

"You are the useless one. I gave you all the power you have. It is you that serves me and if you fail, you shall pay for it with your life."

Back in the Southern Air Temple a young Airbending woman known as Ayala had introduced herself to Brek and Zola as the one who would teach the Avatar the element of freedom.

"I had always thought that the Air Temples were segregated by gender," Zola stated.

"They are," Ayala looked down and size. "At least they were until the other women in the Western Air Temple were massacred by my brother, Onjing."

"Onjing your brother?" Brek exploded.

"Yes, and he is my worst enemy. Shortly before destroying my home, he killed our younger brother."

"I never imagined Onjing with a family. He always seemed inhuman," noted Brek.

"He wasn't always this way. My brother was a great kid, constantly looking for ways to help others. That all changed when he discovered great power."

"What is this power?"

"He found a spirit, an evil, bloodthirsty spirit, and by managing to detach himself from any worldly things, any people, and objects, any emotion at all, Onjing managed to become one with the spirit. At least, that's what seems to have happened."

"How did he abandon everything like that?"

"He became the world's greatest Airbender, and mastered the Airbending tenant of detaching oneself from all things."

Brek gasped. "Does that mean that I-"

"Yes. If you want to defeat Onjing and defeat this spirit, you must detach yourself to the same extreme my brother did. You must become the monster he is."

Brek couldn't believe what he had just heard. How can I abandon emotion? Abandon my father? Abandon Kaeta and Zola? Abandon the Earth Kingdom?... Abandon Berani... Thoughts flooded his mind.

"Well then," Ayala continued, "Let's get started."

The Avatar began his lessons on the third element in the same garden he reflected in earlier. He wore a smile on his face when Kaeta and Berani showed up to spectate as party of Berani's daily walks that the self-proclaimed expert healer, Kaeta, allowed.

"Now," Ayala began, "cup your hands together in front your body, take a deep breath, and..." she jerked her arms up, and her body shot off of the ground in a straight line, then gently floated down until her feet made a soft landing.

"Alright," said Brek confidently. He made the same motions with his hands and arms, took a deep breath, and sunk waist-deep into the ground. His friends and the monks nearby chuckled. Flustered, Brek tried to ignore them as he dug himself out.

"Typical Earthbender," Ayala stated. "Do you know what you did wrong?"

Brek shook his head in total awe.

"You stomped. There is no stomping in Airbending! The move didn't require any lower body body strength at all. You have to feel yourself lifted into the air by the wind currents around you. Try again."

Brek assumed the position, took another deep breath, and this time, he soared upwards. He laughed in amazement... until he began to fall. "What do I do now!" he exclaimed flailing his arms around. He pushed his arms out, propelling himself into the tree behind him.

"Hmmm. That was better," Ayala commented. "Let's do that again, except this time, trust the currents more on your way down."

Brek sighed. "This is going to be a long day," he muttered.

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