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Bad Start
Chapter information

Avatar: Better World


New World



Written by


Release date

September 18, 2008

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"Bad Start" is the first chapter of Avatar: Better World. Aang and Zuko go to the island of Haroon, but are sought after by a ruthless assassin who welds flaming knives. Aang almost goes against his nature, almost killing him.

Author's Note

Behold! The exciting new story by yours truly! Like I said, this story is about the Gaang's life after the events of "Sozin's Comet, Part 4, Avatar Aang". It's more intense than the "Sokka's Days" story that has some affect on the events in this story, but it's still awesome. So, enjoy chapter 1!

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Thump! Thump! Thump!

The sound echoed through the corridor as Aang's footsteps hit the floor with great audibility.

Thump! Thump! Thump!

Aang turned at a corner and raced out until he reached the light.

He sighed. "Where is he?" He looked around: tall trees; long, stretching plains; water running down a calm stream; blood stained on the grass in the pathway in front of him. He gulped. He ran more, following the path of the blood. When he reached a point, the blood had gotten bigger and bigger. He looked at the source: hunched over on a withered fountain, Zuko. "Zuko!!"

He ran over to him, full speed. He picked up his sagging head, his eyes showing, and small driblets of the blood dropping from them. He held his side, where a tear showed, a slit cut into it, and said, "Aang..."

"It's okay, Zuko," reassured Aang, hanging his bleeding arm over his shoulder and dragging him along. "I'm gonna get you out of here, I promise!"

"No, n-not that," he said, struggling, pointed to the overhead, as he grabbed his wound in agony. A man with a bandage wrapped around the whole bottom part of his face, leaving only dark gold eyes visible was there. He had red headband that covered his forehead, and long black bangs hung down like vines in the jungle of the rainforest. He had blood on his hand, which was covered with a red elbow-high fingerless glove.

The man has been chasing them throughout Aang and Zuko's entire time here on the island of Haroon in the east Fire Nation. They were here on a peace mission, but were interrupted by this man. He appeared to be a master of both shuriken and Firebending, as he had been firing flaming metal knifes at them, one of which had sliced Zuko's side, and others that had hit him in several other places. Aang had been hit in the arm, tearing a bleeding cut into his left arm.

The masked man chuckled under his mask, before he shouted, "You can't run anymore; now is where you die!!" He shot a dozen flaming knifes at them, Aang creating an air wall that deflected most of them. The others had pierced and skimmed his arms, cutting several cuts on him and tears in his shirt.

Aang bended a pillar in order to shoot him and Zuko up and into the air on. The masked man shot more flaming darts at them, barely missing them as Aang narrowly jumped out of the way.

I've gotta get Zuko out of here, Aang thought, looking around for a place to put the young Fire Lord. He saw a place, a burnt down building in the corner. He had to get him there. He fired two huge rocks at the man, before jumping off and creating a rolling rock to move him and Zuko. He was starting to put a strain on him, and he didn't think he could hold onto him anymore. But he had to keep moving. He could hear the laughs and shouts of the man hopping around behind them. He pressed forward, and in a little while, he had reached 25 feet in front of the house. Aiming right, he hopped off the rock, and landed through a hole in the roof. He placed Zuko on a pile of soft ground, and turned around to see the masked man.

"Now I've got you, Avatar!" he shouted, pulling out a sharp knife and setting it on fire.

"In your dreams!!" shouted Aang as he bolted in the air with fireballs blazing around his hands like a tail. He punched a flaming hand into the masked man's gut, knocking him to the ground with a stream of fire and steam extending from his abdomen.

Smashing into the ground, the man twitched as Aang dropped to hang onto the branch of a tall tree. His heart raced like a stampede of animals, and sweat pored from his face. He breathed heavily, teeth grinding. He didn't know what to do; the man barely moved. Did he just kill him? He didn't know. His stomach twisted like a snake, and his eyes were as wide as the ocean.

Then, in an incandescent and raucous fashion, he burst from the ground with a wave of fire behind him as powerful as a jet engine. His eyes burned with intensity, and he looked like he was a fierce animal ready to kill. He pounced on Aang, smashing through the trees, eyes closed, fists clenched, teeth gritted together. As they smashed through the 10th tree, Aang, cuts and blood all over his cheeks in deep slashes, socked the man in the chest with an air-blast.

He rocketed back, as Aang continued moving back, spine facing the towering oaks. Turning himself around so his body was facing the tree that was now in front of him, he positioned himself so his head was like the cone of a rocket, and he smashed into the tree, shattering it into millions of little pieces. He pounced into the ground, creating a crater in the ground that impelled things miles around him.

The man stood, shaking and bleeding from cut forehead to bruised feet, and began to cry tears of anger, wrapping his hands in fists as if the air in between them were a person's neck being strangled. His heart pounded violently, and his breaths became colder and more deadly with every move of his lungs. He was ready to kill.

Aang was looking at him as he jumped in the air, forming an earth rover made of rocks, and thundered off. Aang wasn't ready to kill, he wasn't ever ready to kill, it was against his morals, but he was ticked at this masked man. This man had not only beaten Aang to a point where he could taste blood, but he had also almost killed his friend, destroyed this island, and caused Aang to go to an anger level he tried to steer clear of.

Aang thundered through, until he reached the man. He towered off, and jumped to man's perimeter. A half of a millisecond after he had formed a fireball, bending it into the masked man. The man was smashed into the tree behind him. Aang ran at him with the speed of light, and furiously punched him with rock-covered hands. He picked him up and threw him to another tree. Aang's hands lit ablaze as he punched the man in the face, melting the mask off him. His eyes began to burn and light, his Avatar State raging on like a tiger, and he lifted into the air, fire surrounding him. His face looked like a monster's, eyes like fire, mouth filled with flames, and his body engrossed in flames.

The man's face, showing as it was, scars over his mouth and nose black, was a dead color, and his eyes were filled with fear. He had been sent on a mission, to kill the Avatar to bring back the former world. But he didn't expect this; he didn't expect to be about killed by him.

Aang moved forward, closer and closer to the man, and once he got to him, wrapped his hands around the man's neck. It signed and it burned, and the man was gasping as Aang's face stood angered. He gripped tighter, but he stopped and dropped the man. He slopped to the ground, ash falling off of him and onto the dirt, a huge pile of it forming around his bare feet.

Aang panted, his shirt torn almost completely off, his bare chest shown cut and bleeding, his pants torn and bloody, and his feet scratched and covered in black ash. The man was cowering, bleeding, gasping for air. And that was when Aang realized what he had done: he had almost killed this man.


Aang dropped on his knees, tears forming, dripping down his face like the blood, only stronger and more painful. He looked at the man, and breathed sobbing, "Leave...NOW!!"

The man did so, running off into the forest, panting and bleeding. At the end of the beach, a group of fire soldiers were waiting to take action to help the boys. This would involve taking the man hired to assassinate them to the Boiling Rock for life.

Aang stood up, and ran to Zuko to get him, face gripped. He picked Zuko up and slumped him over his shoulders, ready to jump out.

"Like I promised, Zuko," Aang told him before he jumped. "And I won't go against my word. I never will..."

He jumped with the force of the rock pillar, and ran to the edge of the island's woods, where the beach and soldiers were. He let Zuko slide on the sand softly and told them, "He needs help. Get him to a medic as fast as you can."

The men shook their heads and picked up Zuko to go and put him on the rover-boat. Aang wiped his bleeding mouth, and grinded his teeth.

This was a bad day, to say the least.

See more

For the collective works of the author, go here.

Better World chapters
The New World Chronicles
Bad Start - Hunted - Settling Scores - Eruption - Aftermath

The New Politics Chronicles

Bitter Empire - Spare the Innocent - Be Thou a Cain - The Will of All Mankind - Forgive Me, Lord... - ...For I Have Sinned - Bathe With the Dogs - Into Here I Am - John the Revelator - Brothers in Arms
v - e - d

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