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January 9, 2012
...Twelve Years Later
Water. Earth. Fire. Air.
I grew up in a time of war, hoping for a time of peace. Just when the Fire Nation was near victory, the Avatar returned and restored balance to the Four Nations.
Firelord Zuko pulled back his armies and returned conquered lands to their people. At the Firelord's request, Jeong-Jeong returned to the Fire Nation as both an admiral to retrain troops and an advisor who truly had the people's interest at heart.
The world watched in wonder as peace began to ensue, but some were skeptical. For a time the balance quavered. Remnants of the Water Tribes and 'Earth Kingdom rebelled. They launched an attack against the Fire Nation but Avatar Aang repelled the onslaught. He declared that all the nations must stand if the world were to survive.
Even within the Fire Nation there was turmoil. Some embraced the peace, others rejected it. An enemy rose from within that waged war with Zuko, a group who called themselves The Loyal. The Loyal quickly divided the Nation against itself. Years of uncertainty were fought on the brink of a civil war before the rebels were finally overcome.
After a time, Kuei returned to Ba Sing Se, unfortunately not before his frightened people had demanded a new king. A much wiser man for his travels, Kuei respectfully requested his crown be returned to him. The people were not eager to welcome back the king who abandoned them, but the Council of Five found a way to weave him back into the royal lineage. Kuei's replacement had an unwed niece. His second coronation is finally approaching, but he has already begun assuming his duties and ensuring justice and equality for the city. He's set his eyes on nothing less than breaking down the Rings within Ba Sing Se. But there are those who oppose him.
Twelve years have passed since the war and the world remains in harmony.
For a few years, Sokka, Toph and I traveled with Aang. As a fully realized Avatar he had numerous new responsibilities, and we all became trusted ambassadors between the Fire Nation and the rest of the world.
But as the years passed and it became evident the peace would truly last, the others followed their own paths. Sokka returned to the Southern Water Tribe to help our father rebuild. He spent almost as much time visiting Suki and six years ago they finally wed. They work together to train Kyoshi Warriors and to raise their two children.
Toph went on to travel the world on her own, learning and inventing new bending techniques and perfecting the art of metalbending. Where her travels may have led her I cannot say. She doesn't write often, but when she does she sounds happy. I hope to see her very soon.
I never left Aang. I couldn't. Our paths are entwined by destiny and we haven't parted since.
In some ways, the years have passed slowly. I still feel like the girl who hoped for the Avatar's return. In other ways, time has gone by so fast. I look around at the world and I almost don't recognize it. I see that same hope everywhere; hope of a bright future.
And yet...somewhere there is unrest. Aang feels something teetering on a brink, unbalanced; what, he can't yet tell. But he'll mend it; I know he will.
After all, Aang is the Avatar. It's his job to save the world.
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