Art of Dying
Chapter information

Avatar: Past Masters





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Release date

06 January 2010

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Two of Us

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Nowhere Man

Art of Dying is the sixth chapter of the fanon series Avatar: Past Masters. It has two parts: "Helter Skelter" (1) and "Art of Dying" (2).


Team Lotus arrives to a town where a mystery of successive deaths will oblige to Lear and his friends to help the inhabitants of the strange situation and uncover the culprit of the murders.



"Where are you going?", Sokka asked to Lear; "You'll see soon", "Do you know where are you going?", Sokka insisted; "Yes, I know"; "Because..., Hira, I think he doesn't know"; "Ask him, Sokka. I don't know where he's going to", Hira answered; "To a nowhere land. If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there", Lear said; "So, you don't know?", Sokka repeated; "Yes, I know. You'll see the place, the island, soon"; "Okay", Sokka said unconvinced; "And why there?", Toph also wanted to know; "I don't think he's going to tell you that, Toph", Sokka answered; "Right", the leader Lear, confirmed, laughing.

After some days of travel through the sea, they arrived to an Earth Kingdom island. They leaved the sub in the shore and walked towards the city.

- Where ar...? – Sokka asked immediately.

- We are in Patmos, an Earth Kingdom island –Lear informed.

- And why ar...? – Sokka continued.

- Look, a local villager has seen us – Lear interrupted.

The man welcomed them and, after he knew who they were, he invited them to a formal dinner with the leader of the island; he needed to talk something important. "It's something about Azula or the Fire Nation?", Hira asked him. "No, it's about a local problem, only of this island. Something strange is happening here". Team Lotus attended the dinner with the leader of the island: Nehru. He welcomed them and told them:

- In these last months in the island, many people have been disappearing and then, they have been found dead. We have tried to investigate the reason and the guilty of all these murders, but we couldn't settle anything. Once, we thought we caught the man, but he was not the right one; people continued dying while he was imprisoned. The citizens are very frightened with this situation and have demanded a quick solution to the problem. I knew I needed someone to help us and when I heard you where here, I thought that you.... We need your help, people are dying and we don't know how to stop it. Won't you please, please help me?

- Of course, that's why we are here – Lear accepted.

- Count on with us, we will help you – Hira continued.

- Yes, we will catch the assassin in a few days – Lear assured.

- Thank you very much, I knew you would help us, the team...

- Team Lotus – Sokka interrupted to Nehru.

- Team Lotus. Thank you very much – the leader of the island repeated, and he said to Toph – And, why you don't say anything?

- I just don't have anything to say – Toph said and Lear laughed on the inside.

The team stayed in a small log hut near to Nehru's house. Lear couldn't sleep, he thought in the problem they had to solve now. At midnight, the lamp was burning, and Toph woke up because she also wanted to think about the murders. "Lear. Have you slept this night?", "No, I've been thinking in the case", "Because you want to or because you're really worried about that?", "Please, Toph, you know that, I don't need to answer to that question", "I know. So, what have you thought about it?", "I'm just discarding suspects, people we already know. For example, the man who found us in the beach", "What about him?", "I think he's not the assassin", "Why are you sure about that?", "I'm not sure about that, I think that because he wouldn't invite us to a dinner with Nehru, the man knew that he was going to tell us about the murders, if he's the assassin, he wouldn't tell us anything about that, and he did it after he knew who we are", and Sokka said: "Maybe he did that because he doesn't want to be a suspect. If he would not tell us anything, another person would do that and, after we know the case, we would suspect of him because he didn't tell us", "Sokka, I thought you were asleep", Toph said, "Yes, I was. I immediately wake up with you started talking", "You're right, Sokka. He could do that, it's very unlikely, but it's possible and we don't have to think he is innocent yet; even Nehru could be the man we are looking for", Lear concluded.

Six hours later, Hira woke up and he saw his friends talking in the living room. When Lear saw him, he said: "Hira, how do you sleep at night?", "Why? I was the only one who was asleep?", "Yes, we have been talking all night", Toph said, "I don't feel so good, I think I'm sick". "That's not good, dude, – Lear said – or..., no, wait, that's perfect, it's the plan we need if we want to catch the assassin!". "I don't understand yet", Hira said. "Yeah, what do you want to do, Lear?", Sokka asked. Lear said:

"This is the plan: we have informed all the people in the island Hira has dead. Then, we think the responsible of the act has been the assassin, and we have proofs that it was a murder; so, the man we are looking for will think that another person is trying to imitate him and is a kind of competition with a false version of himself because we will send messages to people (the assassin will read it) saying he is the same assassin, something like: look, now I have killed one of the new investigators, no one can stop me; making people think it's actually a message of power and threating to the citizens. The real assassin will get enraged when he sees that another person is trying to replace him and spreading different ideas and purposes, he will try to do something in the matter and we will have more clues and we will catch him. We will create a battle against the real assassin and a false one that we can control. What do you think? Hira, could you be dead for some days? The only thing you have to do is stay home."

"Great plan, Lear. I can do that, but it's a bit boring for me, but it doesn't matter; we have to hope now this plan works out", Hira backed to his partner.


Next morning, the three "alive" members of the team visited Nehru and Lear said:

- Good morning. I have come here to communicate you something, a very frightening thing. Our friend Hira has dead. He disappeared last night and we found him dead this morning, I've already buried his body – he announced.

- That's terrible! You've already lost a friend, I'm really sorry. If you don't want to keep working in this mystery, you don't have to, we all will understand you.

- No, on the contrary, we have to find the assassin and avenge our friend. We will catch him – Lear said with tears in his face.

- Thank you, I know this is difficult for you. But, again, if you don't want to do it..., you know.

- Okay, thank you very much – And they three returned to the hut.

Hira was waiting anxious:

- And? Did he believe it?

- Of course he believed it. He tried to convince us to leave the case, twice. That's a bit strange – Sokka told him.

- Twice? Well, so, I think I'll have to wait here until you catch the man who killed me.

- Yeah, possibly. But you can help, every day we'll tell you everything we know – Top added.

- Okay, I like to think.

- In some minutes more all people in the island will know about your death, even the assassin – Lear said.

- Lear, and if he thinks it's a trick? – Sokka asked.

- He won't think that.

- How do you know?

- Because he will hear the new from citizens and not from us or Nehru. Sometimes gossip is useful. The bad thing is that the information will not be the same that things we said today, maybe the assassin will hear that you were quarter or, more probably, decapitated.

- Maybe – Hira finished.

Next morning Lear, Sokka and Toph went out and they saw a woman next to the hut's door. She said: "Kids, I'm sorry. I've heard about your friend's death and I feel very sad"; "What have you heard about that?", Lear asked, "I have heard that he was... he was... decapitated by the assassin you're trying to catch, it's that true?"; "Tragically yes, that's true", he answered; "I've also heard that some people have found his grave, they are not sure about that, but they think it's the real one"; "Where?", Lear asked now 'surprised'; "They saw the grave in the forest, that's the grave of your friend, right?"; "I can't tell you, it's personal. Well, okay, I'll tell you because you're the only woman who has talked with us and has tried to help us. But you can't tell this to anybody, okay?"; "Of course, nobody will know anything"; "Okay, that's not the real grave, we put that false grave because we knew people would want to look for it, so we made a false grave. The real one is in one of the hillsides of the Kapa Mountain"; "Oh!"; "Remember, don't tell anything"; "Okay, thank you, I knew you could trust me"; "Thanks to you, see you later". And the woman fled. "We have to wait some hours and we will see all the people (and the assassin) in the mountain", Lear said to Toph and Sokka. "Yeah, you're right, he will try to look like a normal person", Sokka added. "I don't understand people, what's the objective of seeing graves, even if he would be really dead, what's the objective of burying people? They are dead", Toph said. "I don't know – said Lear sharing her opinion – I buried Hira, but only because it would help us, people would believe it. I wouldn't do that if it's not necessary". "Let's visit our dead friend in his boring 'grave-hut'", Sokka said. "He will want to know about his grave", thought Lear.

- Hira, you have your own grave in the Kapa Mountain – Lear informed him.

- Really? Great! I have always wanted to have one.

- As Lear said, people think that you were decapitated – Sokka continued.

- And many people are going to visit your grave in some hours more, we have to be there to identify the assassin – Toph added.

- Yes, to identify him – Lear clarified.

- Him? Why 'him'? – Sokka asked.

- I'm just guessing.

Five hours later they decided to start walking through the mountain; when they arrived they saw a lot of people looking for something in the ground. A crowd of people stood and stared when they saw the team, a woman asked them: "Where's the grave of your friend? We have brought him flowers". "I'm sorry, but there's not any grave here, we had to inform about a false location because we knew all people would visit it and all we need now is calm to think about a death that has hurt us, please leave us alone. We won't say the real location; it's a secret and we have the right to keep it safe and free of curious people" Lear said expressing anger. A crowd of people turned away, scared and feeling guilty. When all the people were gone, Toph said: "Amazing speech, Lear", "Thanks, Toph. Did you see that? That guilty and scared faces. Did you notice the only person who didn't change his facial expression?" – Lear asked them, and Sokka said – "Yeah, the man with the foolish green, red hair, big glasses and moustache", "Exactly, Sokka, that's the man I saw too; do you remember his face?", "Perfectly", "Excellent, so, we know what we have to do now", "That easy "Yeah, why not?".

In only two hours the team identified the home of the 'suspect'; Toph knocked the door: "Is there anybody in there?". The man with the red hair opened the door:

- Hi. Are you okay? I'm sorry about your friend. I know you came here to help us, and you are now suffering like us – the assassin said.

- Yeah, we have heard that so many times, it doesn't matter. We want to make you some questions about the murderer of our friend – Lear answered.

- Okay, I don't have any problem. Enter, please – the man said opening the door.

Lear entered and Sokka while Sokka and Toph were waiting outside. He told them to sit anywhere, so they looked around and they noticed there wasn't a chair; they sat on a rug starting with the questions, Lear said calmly:

- Did you kill our friend?

- Of course not! I didn't. I have been looking for the assassin of your friend, secretly.

- And...? – Lear asked simulating interest and noticing that he was telling the truth.

- Sadly, I don't know anything yet.

- Me neither. Well, and did you kill the other persons? – Lear continued.

- No, I didn't. Why are you making these questions? Do you think I did it? Am I a suspect?

- Yes, because we think you did it and you are a suspect, I'd say that it's very possible that you're not only a suspect, you're the murderer; but I have to be completely sure about that. You better run for your life if you can – Lear noticed that he was not telling the truth now.

- My head is filled with things to say, but I prefer to don't say anything until you know there's not any proof because I didn't do anything.

- I'll try anyway. See you tomorrow; I'll bring the proofs and all the necessary stuff for an arrest, okay?

- Good luck – the assassin said with a defiant look.

- Ah, if you think we could find the proofs, you should find 'real' ones to proof you're not the assassin, so, it would be better if you catch the assassin of our friend today.

Lear went home with Sokka and Toph. In the hut, Lear told everything to his friends, "so, we have to start looking for the proofs now, right?", Hira asked and Lear answered, "No, we don't need proofs, we need things that he will think there are real proofs because we can't find them in one day. Hira, write, the things we need are: tomatoes, a woman neighbour of the assassin, Nehru, guards, red hair, dirty clothes and your resurrection", "I have all that things", "Excellent, wait, the neighbour is not necessary".

Next morning Team Lotus, including Hira, visited Nehru, they asked him for guards to arrest the assassin. Nehru was surprised when he saw Hira, but Sokka said that they will explain him everything later. Then, all they enter to the assassin's house, except Hira (according to the plan). The assassin had an arrested man in a room, he said: "As you said yesterday, Lear, I have caught the man who killed your friend. I know you have not any proof because there is not anyone". "And how do you know he is the man?", "He has admitted it. Look; did you kill him?", the assassin asked him. "Yes, I did" the man answered. Lear laughed: "That's impossible. You're lying, that man too, but, probably because he have been threatened by you. My friend, Hira, is not dead, he's outside right now". The assassin, now without possible avoids, had to confess that he was lying, "Okay – he said – He's not any murderer. But that's no reason to think I'm guilty of the real deaths", "You're right but my friends, Sokka and Toph, found bloody clothes with some red hairs in your house yesterday and your neighbour told us that she saw you when you killed the second victim in the forest", "That's impossible, they could enter to my house yesterday when I went to caught this man, but I threw out all the blood-stained clothes. Moreover, there was not anybody in the forest that day, you're lying, that proofs are not true", "You're right, I'm lying but you have confessed now, that's a real proof". Nehru knew that was the moment to give the order of arrest. The assassin was caught and imprisoned for twelve years. Nehru thanked the team:

- I really want to thank you for all you effort, Team Lotus.

- You're welcome. But I didn't do anything – Hira said.

- I know, and I'm happy to see you alive – Nehru laughed.

- You have helped Patmos so much. We will pay you, with money, you deserve it.

- Thank you very much – Toph continued.

- Don't you think we should say sorry for have Nehru as a suspect? – Sokka asked Lear secretly. He answered:

- I don't think so. First, he doesn't know that; and second, only stupid people say sorry.

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