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The boat was almost at the other side of the river. Berani and Brek were looking over the side into the dark, tranquil water below, thinking about the experiences to come.
"That was amazing what you did back in the harbor," remarked Berani. "Of course, you couldn't have done it without me."
Brek looked at her and gave a friendly smile. She was so pretty.
"Brek, can I ask you a serious question?"
"Of course, Berani."
"Do you even want to be the Avatar?"
Brek paused. He had never really thought about it. He was always thinking of others and how important it was for him to learn the elements for the good of the world.
"Yes, I think I do," he finally responded.
"That's good. I'm glad you are too."
Brek could tell that she wasn't just saying it. Berani never held her opinions back. If she didn't want him to be Avatar, she would have told him.
Meanwhile, Kaeta was trying to learn the ropes of boating. He made an effort to start up a conversation with one of the sailors. "So cutting this rope would release the sail?" he inquired.
"Don't touch that," the man grunted.
Kaeta attempted to think of something else to say, but he ended up walking away awkwardly.
Within a few more minutes, the small vessel had arrived at the other river bank. Brek turned back to realize that he could no longer see Kekuatan, the town he had never been outside of. He looked forward, putting it all behind him.
"This is where we leave you," the captain declared. "Good luck, Avatar." With that, the sailors prepared to depart for their next destination.
"Alright!" said Kaeta with a kick of energy. He paused. "Now where do we go?"
Berani noticed something on a nearby tree. "Guys, look at this." The others walked over and examined a poster calling on people to join the Revolution of Democracy in the Earth Kingdom. "No longer will we be oppressed by the monarchy!" the poster read.
"Do you think the Revolutionists are going to win?" asked Berani.
"My dad sure hopes so," noted Brek. "Hey guys, if there's a poster on this tree, then there must be people who walk by here often. I bet there's a town nearby." The other two agreed with his logic, and they began to walk. After a short hike, they reached a town once devastated by Firebenders. They entered the village to notice mostly women and young boys filling the population.
The largest building nearby was the local hospital. The door had a plaque on it with a clear message. "If our treatment center was good enough for Firelord Zuko, it's good enough for you!" The message is, of course, inaccurate as it was Iroh who was treated there, not Zuko. Regardless, the trio entered the building hoping to get the scoop on the town.
"Hi there!" exclaimed a short, cheerful woman as they walked in. "How can we help you this evening?"
"We're just travelers," stated Brek. "We were wondering if anyone could tell us about this town."
"You're in Lalu, home of the best healers in the Earth Kingdom!"
"You must have Waterbenders here," noted Kaeta hopefully.
"Nope! All of our healing is done by local herbs."
"Oh," he said in disappointment. "How come we didn't see any men around?"
"During the Great War, the Fire Nation killed or captured most of our men. Since then, it has been tradition for all men from Lalu to join the military when they turn twenty. They get to come back and visit their wives and kids often." She paused and then thought of another thing. "It's getting late. You can all stay upstairs if you want."
"That would be wonderful," Brek responded. "We could all use some sleep."
They were escorted upstairs to a room filled with beds, and occupied three. Slowly, the newest reincarnation of Team Avatar began to drift to sleep.
A few hours later, in the dark of night, several Earthbenders sneaked into the village. Immediately, they began their work of destroying homes. Brek and his friends were awoken by this tremendous noise and rushed downstairs to find the short woman cowering under a table. "I never thought they'd come here! Why us? What did we ever do to them?"
"Who? Who's here?" Brek demanded.
"The Isha," uttered the shaky voice of the terrified woman. "A new group whose main goal is to wipe out non-benders. They want revenge for the Anti-Bender revolts. Our town is all non-bending! We're doomed! How can we escape?"
"We won't", said the Avatar. "We're going to fight them."
"You can't possibly defeat them!"
Brek ignored her and rushed outside. He witnessed eight men in green and brown jumpsuits of some kind wreaking havoc on Lalu. "Stop!" the Avatar cried.
Without hesitation, two of the benders pushed a wave of Earth at the teens. Kaeta and Berani dove to the left, and Brek launched himself over it, popping a rock out of the ground when he landed. By thrusting his head and arms forward, he charged the rock at the men. One of them jumped forward and smashed it with his forehead.
Kaeta jumped in a pond, formed a small cylinder of ice, and began sending sharp ice discs at his enemies. It cut one severely, causing him to fall to the ground. Strengthened by the full moon, Kaeta manipulated the pond water around him in the Octopus Form. He blocked two rocks and then thrust an ice spike into one of the Earthbender's chest.
Berani was also in a struggle. She sprung to the right to dodge an Earth line, then swung at a man with her katana, missing. She spun and attacked again, skimming the Isha member's uniform. She swung a third time, but in this attempt her blade was caught by the bender's rock glove. With a strong flick of his other wrist, she was thrown back into a small cart. She would have been killed if Kaeta hadn't immobilized her attacker with the Ice Creeper move he learned the week before.
A large, muscular, man with a shaved head stepped into the scene. He punched the air in front of him twice, sending two metal fists in Brek's direction. He blocked one with a rock, but the other hit him square in the chest, knocking him off his feet. Before he could get up, a large metal strap pinned his legs down. The Metalbender was positioning himself for the final blow when Brek's eyes began to glow.
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