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|The Children in the Iceberg|
An anonymous user
An anonymous user
Two siblings drifted lazily down through the water in their canoe. Icebergs surrounded them on all sides and light glistened off the snow like tiny diamonds. The older of the two had a spear in this hand and was aiming it at the water as he saw a fish swim past.
"It's not getting away from me this time," The older boy said, "Watch and learn, Katara. This is how you catch a fish." The younger girl sat at the back of the canoe with an oh-really look on her face. She looks into the water and spotted another fish passing by. She tentatively took off one of her gloves and faced the water. She hesitantly started moving her hands and the water with the fish in it started to rise. Smiling she kept moving the water over the canoe towards her brother.
"Sokka look!" she said excitedly to her brother. Her brother almost oblivious to what she had said replied, "Shush Katara, you're going to scare it away. Mmm... I can already smell it cooking." Sokka licked his lips in anticipation.
"But Sokka I caught one." She kept moving the fish till it was over the canoe and near her brother. Unfortunately this was the exact moment when he decided to raise his spear. The end of the spear hit the small globe of water making it burst and soak Sokka. "Hey!" Katara cried at the loss of her prize and concentration.
Angrily Sokka turned around, wringing out his gloves, "how come every time you play with magic water I get soaked."
"It's not magic its water bending and its a-"
"Yeah an ancient art form unique to our culture... Blah blah blah. Look, I'm just saying if I had weird powers I would keep my weirdness to myself."
"You're calling me weird? I'm not the one who makes muscles at myself ever time I see my reflection in the water." Sokka, who was doing just that, turned back to her about to say a comeback but was thrown forward from the force of getting hit by a small ice floe. He quickly grabbed his oar and quickly started to try paddle their way out to the rapids they had been knocked into. Katara who started to go frantic started yelling unhelpful orders.
"Watch out! Go left, go left." The canoe continued down the rapids until it was crushed between to pieces of ice, trapping them.
"You call that left?" she asked it a sarcastic tone.
"You don't like my steering, and then maybe you should have water bended us out of the ice."
"So it's my fault," she said starting to get angry.
"I knew I should have left you home. Leave it to a girl to screw things up." Furiously, Katara started to throw her arms around accidentally bending the water. "You are the most sexist, immature, nut brained, I'm embarrassed to be related to you... ever since mum died I've been doing all the work around camp while you've been off playing soldier..."
Sokka seeing the iceberg behind her start to started to try and get her attention. "K-Katara..."
"I even wash all the clothes, have you ever smelt your dirty socks? Let me tell you, not pleasant!"
"Katara, settle down..."
"No that's it! I'm done helping you! From now on, you're on your own!" She finished her rant throwing her hands down shattering the iceberg. Waves from the shattered iceberg pushed their ice floe back. Sokka held himself protectively over his younger sister as they were washed away. He moved away and looked at her from their lying down position.
"You've gone from weird to freakish, Katara."
"You mean I did that?" She asked not completely believing it.
Suddenly the water in front of them started to glow with an eerie blue light. The glow started to get brighter and larger until another larger, circular iceberg burst through the surface. They stared at it seeing a person shaped object sitting in to. Strange arrows appeared to lighting up on him. Still curious she kept looking until the eyes of the person opened. They too glowed with the other-worldly light.
"He's alive..." She was shocked, then with new gained conviction said, "We have to help!"
She picked up her brother's war club and jumped from ice floe to ice floe, using them as stepping stones
"Get back here! We don't know what that thing is!"
When Katara reached the iceberg she started to hit it with all her strength. After a few hits the iceberg shattered in a straight line. Air seemed to explode from the ball and a beam of light shot into the sky.
As the wind stopped and the mist cleared they looked up. They watched in excited fear as the boy climbed on top of the ridge of ice and looked down at them. "Stop!" Sokka called to him, raising his spear. The boy's tattoos and eyes stopped glowing and the boy fell off the ridge. Katara gasped running towards him, catching him before he hit the ground. As Katara continued staring at him Sokka started to poke him with the end of his spear.
"Stop it!" Said Katara, pushing Sokka's spear away. Then she turned back to the boy as his eyes flickered open. The boy took in a sharp breath as he looked up at her face.
"I need to ask you something," He said in a weak croaky voice, his eyes slowly opening and closing.
"What?" Katara asked softly.
"What is it?" she asked, leaning her head closer to hear.
"Will you go penguin sledding with me?" He asked cheerfully, his voice no longer croaky and his face brightening.
Katara looked puzzled and drew away saying: "Er, sure. I... I guess." the boy pushed himself up from the ice with a gust of air and looked around as Sokka leapt away from him and pointed his spear in the boy's face.
"What's going on here?" the boy asked, scratching his head.
"You tell us," Sokka said fiercely, as Katara got up and stood next to him." How d' you get in the ice? And why aren't you frozen?" he added, poking the boy's side with his spear.
"I'm not sure," replied the boy, pushing the spear away. There was a faint growl and he gasped and scrabbled up the ice wall and slid down the other side.
"Appa! Almia!" the boy said in delight and jumped on a large, furry creature and stroked his head. He then slid down and shook a nearby girl lying in the snow awake.
"Aang?" she mumbled. "Is that you?" She stood up. The boy, Aang, tried to wake the animal, Appa, by pulling up his eyelids. When that didn't work he tried opening Appa's mouth.
"Little help?" He asked and the girl, Almia, rolled her eyes and walked over to Appa to help, they were still trying when Katara and Sokka came round the wall and Katara gasped at the sight of Appa. Appa finally opened his mouth and Aang laughed: "You're okay!" as Appa lifted him and Almia up on his tongue. They jumped off and Appa shook himself.
"What is that thing?" Asked Sokka as he and Katara approached Appa, Aang and Almia
"My flying bison," replied Aang.
"Right. And this is is Katara, my flying sister," said Sokka sarcastically. Appa rose his head and his nose began to twitch, Aang and Almia stepped to one side warily and Appa sneezed, sending snot flying at Sokka. Almia stifled a giggle.
"Uhhagh! Ahhh" Sokka groaned as he tried wiping the snot off his arm, when that didn't work he started to rub himself on the ground.
"Don't worry, it'll wash out!" Said Aang cheerfully, stroking Appa's nose as Sokka pulled gooey threads of it from the side of his face and his sister Katara covered her mouth.
"So... d'you guys live around here?" Asked Aang.
"Don't answer that!" Sokka yelled, poking his spear at Aang and Almia's faces. "Did you see that crazy bolt of light? They were probably trying to signal the Fire Navy."
"Oh yeah, I'm sure they're spies for the Fire Navy," said Katara sarcastically at her brother. "You can tell by that evil look in their eyes." Aang flashed her a cheerful wide eyed face in reply.
"The paranoid one in my brother, Sokka." Katara said. "You two never told us your names."
"I'm Almia" Said Almia happily.
"I'm aaaah.. aaaah.. ahh. Achooooo..." Sneezed Aang and flew ten feet in the air. Everyone looked at him as he slid back down the ice walls, "I'm Aang." he said matter-of-factly and rubbed his nose, sniffing.
"You just sneezed! And flew ten feet in the air!" Exclaimed Sokka.
"Really? It felt higher than that," said Aang looking up in the air.
"You two are airbenders!" breathed Katara.
"Sure are!" replied Almia.
"Giant lightbeams, flying bison, airbenders, I think I've got Midnight Sun madness. I'm going home to where stuff makes sense," said Sokka and silence fell as he looked out over the wide sea where lay no means of transport.
"Well, if you guys are stuck, Appa, Almia and I can give you a lift," suggested Aang and he and Almia airbended themselves onto Appa's head.
"We'd love a ride, thanks!" Said Katara and walked over to Appa.
"Oh no, I am not getting on that fluffy snot monster," said Sokka firmly, turning around.
"Hey!" protested Almia. "He is not a fluffy snot monster!"
"Then are you hoping some other creature will come along and give you a lift? Y'know, before you freeze to death." Katara gave him a look that said; you-know-you-can't-win-this-argument. Sokka looked up at them and opened his mouth to protest, but he closed it again and slumped.
"Okay, first time flyers, hold on tight!" Said Aang later when they were all seated "Appa, yipyip!" Aang flicked the leather reigns and Appa roared and took off... and crashed into the sea.
"C'mon Appa, yipyip," encouraged Aang as Katara climbed to the front of the saddle.
"Wow, that was truly amazing," said Sokka sarcastically, Almia and Katara glared at him.
"Appa's just tired, a little rest and he'll be soaring through the sky. You'll see." Explained Aang, and he smiled at Katara. She turned away, and then looked back uneasily. "Why are you smiling at me like that?" She asked.
"Oh...oh, I was smiling?" Asked Aang, Katara just smiled at him. Sokka tipped his head back and groaned, Almia looked at him. The rest of the journey passed mostly in silence until the night began to draw in. Katara climbed to the front of the saddle and looked over at Aang and Almia who were lying on Appa's head, Almia's eyes were closed and she was half asleep.
"Hey," said Katara
"Hey," said Aang in reply. "What'cha thinkin' about?"
Katara looked uneasy and Almia rubbed her eyes and sat up next to Aang. "I guess I was wondering, you two being airbenders an' all, if you ever had an idea what happened to the Avatar?"
Aang looked surprised, "Er.. no," he said quickly and elbowed Almia before she could say anything different. "I didn't know him, I knew people that knew him, but I didn't. Sorry." He grinned at her.
"Okay, just curious. G'night." She replied.
"Sleep tight," said Aang and Almia together, Aang looked troubled as he turned over to get to sleep and many different thoughts were whizzing through Almia's head.
"Aang, Aang wake up!" Katara's voice pierced through Aang's nightmare and he woke with a gasp.
"It's okay, we're in the village now, Almia's here too," Said Katara gesturing to Almia who was standing fully dressed at the other end of the tent. "C'mon get ready, everyone's waiting to meet you two." Aang hurriedly got dressed and Katara looked curiously at the sky blue arrow tattoos that twined around his body and gasped softly, then the moment he was dressed pulled him and Almia out of the tent. Sokka was sharpening a boomerang outside the tent when they came out.
"Aang and Almia, this is the entire village," said Katara gesturing to a group of about 20 people. "Entire village, Aang and Almia." Aang and Almia bowed respectively to the villagers, Their glider-staffs clutched in their hands and the villagers clutched their young children.
"Er... why are they all looking at me like that?" Asked Aang.
"Yeah, why are they?" Pressed Almia.
"Did Appa sneeze on me?" Aang looked at himself warily.
"Hey, that was my question!" Almia joked.
What looked like the oldest of the people stepped forwards to them and said: "Well no one has seen an airbender in a hundred years, we thought they were extinct, until my granddaughter and grandson found you two."
"Extinct?" Asked Aang, bemused. Almia's stomach clenched in horror, "they can't be!"
"Aang, Almia, this is my grandmother," said Katara, attempting to break the tension.
"Call me Gran Gran," she said.
"What is this, a weapon? You can't stab anything with this," said Sokka, walking up to Aang and grabbing his staff, breaking the silence that had befallen them. Almia held protectively onto her staff.
"It's not for stabbing," laughed Aang, airbending the staff out of Sokka's hand into his own. It's for airbending." He opened up the glider and wings shot out, Sokka yelped and leapt away from Aang towards Almia and she opened her glider and he leapt away behind them. Everyone laughed at them and a little girl said: "Magic trick, do it again!"
"Not magic, airbending," said Almia. "It lets us control the air currents around our gliders and fly!" She said and twirled her glider around her body for emphasis.
"Well, last time I checked, humans can't fly," said Sokka.
"Check Again," Said Aang and took off, with Almia following. The village gasped and the children laughed in delight. Almia looked down and laughed at Sokka's expression,
"Told you!" She smirked, as Aang did a series of loop-the-loops and a little child said: "He's amazing!"
Almia smiled, and Aang grinned as he flew over their heads. "Aang, look where you're-." The rest of Almia's sentence was cut off as Aang crashed into a tower of snow, he strained to get out and Almia landed next to Katara and Gran-Gran. Aang finally came out and landed in a pile of snow, leaving a big hole in the tower. Almia laughed, but for Sokka's sake tried to disguise it as a cough as he ran forward to the tower saying; "My watchtower!"
"That was amazing!" Said Katara, running over to help him up as Sokka reached out to his watchtower and Aang spun his staff, closing it, but unfortunately making a glob of snow fall on Sokka's head, knocking him to the ground.
"Hey, don't give him all the praise, I did it too!" Almia ran over and grinned at Aang.
Sokka got up and brushed himself off, "Great, you two are airbenders, Katara's a waterbender, together you can just waste time all day long," he said sarcastically and walked off looking peeved and they stared at his retreating figure.
Aang turned his attention back to Katara, "You're a waterbender?" He said, amazed.
"That's exactly what Grumpy-Sarcastic Head just said, Aang!" Teased Almia, but he and Katara ignored her.
"Well, sort of, not yet," replied Katara.
"All right, no more playing, come on Katara, you have chores," said Gran-Gran and lead Katara away. Aang opened his glider and closed it on his tongue, "See, now my tongue is stuck to my staff!" He said and a little boy, probably of about 4 or 5, came up to Aang and pulled on the staff, pulling his tongue and the little gathering of toddlers laughed, even Almia had to giggle slightly.
Sokka came over and rounded up Sokka toddlers and took them off for a lecture about "Courage" Almia and Aang went off to explore and Aang found a little tunnel, discovering it to be a loo, while Almia waited outside. She was sitting around looking bored when a troupe of boy toddlers walked up and Aang came out.
"Wow," he said. "Everything freezes in there." He pointed with his thumb back at the loo-tunnel-thing. The toddlers laughed and from a distance, they heard Sokka say; "Ugh, Katara get him out of here, this lesson is for warriors only. While he said this, Almia looked over, and Sokka's spear was lying a couple of feet from his foot. He wasn't paying attention to it so Almia quickly airbended it over to her. Aang started laughing.
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Almia asked, and he nodded.
"Then what am I thinking?" She asked with a smirk.
"Uhh... I was going to make a slide with Appa's tail," he said looking around nervously.
Almia smiled, "Bingo!". then she made the "follow me" gesture with her hand and ran over to Appa. When they finished, the toddlers came out of the loo-tunnel and ran over, getting onto Appa's back and sliding down his tail, only to be flicked up into a pile of snow. Sokka turned round, glared at them and ran over.
"Stop! Stop it right now!" He yelled, "We don't have time for fun and games with a war going on!" He snatched up his spear and glared at the retreating toddlers.
"What war? What are you talking about?" Asked Aang and Almia in unison.
Sokka looked bemused, "You're kidding, right?"
Aang stared at him, then his face lit up; "PENGUIN!!!" he yelled, and used his airbending to zoom super fast over to it.
Sokka turned to Almia and Katara and asked: "He's kidding, right?" Almia shook her head and Katara walked off to find Aang. Almia followed Sokka back to his 'warriors' as he started another lecture on 'bravery'.
After a while, Almia got bored and opened her glider-staff, took off and began to circle the village, distracting the 'warriors'. She gasped as an orange-yellowy light engulfed the sky as a flare shot up into the sky. Every head in the vicinity which wasn't in a tent or igloo turned to look at it and gasped. Almia landed next to Sokka and closed her glider-staff.
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