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May 10, 2011
Book 1 Recap!
The Fire Nation has succeeded in starting a war of global conquest. They have harnessed the immense power of Sozin's Comet and used it to lay waste to the Air Nation. Two survivors from the Northern Air Temple, Chuan and Mayana, now find themselves heading toward the Southern Air Temple on Chuan's surviving bison, Noma, in a desperate attempt to find the Avatar. Only with his help, they have realized, do they have any chance of stopping the Fire Nation before it's too late...
Chuan and Mayana reach the Southern Air Temple and encounter Monk Aguma. Chuan attacks Aguma and reprimands him for betraying the Air Nomads to the ruthless Fire Nation...
Book 2 Chapter 1: The Murder
By the time the Patola mountain range came into view, it was once again almost sunset. Noma began to descend out of pure exhaustion; she had been flying for more than twenty four hours straight.
"You're amazing, Noma," said Chuan, passing his fingers through her fur.
She groaned happily in response and ascended a little higher, motivated by his words to finish strong as the mountains in the distance slowly came closer and closer.
"Brrr," said Mayana from Chuan's side as he steered the bison. "Cold tonight, huh?"
"Yeah," Chuan smirked. After a few minutes, the tip of the sun grasped the edge of the world and began to spew colors all across the sky. Reds and yellows and oranges of all varieties and shades cascaded all across the sky as the sun dropped ever lower and the light began to dim.
Halfway through the sunset, the shadowed outline of the Southern Air Temple came into view in the far distance. Noma roared at the sight of the building and grappled her six paws toward it, rapidly picking up speed.
"Whoa, hold on!" Chuan cried, grasping the saddle with one hand and Mayana's hand with the other. The faster they went, the colder and more quickly the air whipped against their faces. Just when they feared they would become frozen to the spot, the bison began to descend, and in a minute she was nearing the temple entrance.
She entered a careless freefall as she approached the temple, and Mayana and Chuan both leapt from her saddle in fear of such a brutal landing. Noma crashed side-first onto the land and immediately began rolling around happily, relieved to finally be out of the air.
Mayana chuckled at the sight as Chuan landed beside her. She took a couple steps toward the beast but by the time she was halfway to her, Noma was already asleep.
Chuan put his hand on her shoulder. "She's exhausted," he said, smiling at his bison. "She's been flying for days."
"You're right," Mayana said resolutely.
They turned to face the temple and realized for the first time that everything was eerily quiet. Besides the steady rising and falling of Noma's stomach as she slept, there was not a sound or living being in sight.
"This isn't good..." Chuan said as fear took hold of his voice. "Follow me, and stay close."
Mayana complied and the two of them hurried up the remainder of the steep trail that wound its way up to the temple. As they ran they saw the temple's Airball field to their left and Chuan's stomach turned. The ground was littered with debris and he spotted a few Fire Navy helmets strewn across the ground.
He said nothing, not wanting to discourage Mayana when he may not be right, and the two continued in silence the rest of the way up the mountain. They reached a small stone-cobbled bridge, across which they spotted the statue of a monk.
They hastened across the bridge and then stopped a moment to survey their surroundings.
"There's no one here!" Mayana exclaimed, tears forming in her eyes.
"No, this can't be!" Chuan whined. "The Avatar...can't be dead."
Just then, they heard some shuffling from inside a nearby room, and they both raised their arms in front of their bodies defensively. Mayana nodded a wordless approval and Chuan led the way into the building.
By this time, the sun had all but set, and the temple grounds were rapidly darkening. There was no light in this room except a small fire that was burning some stray supplies in the corner of the room. Chuan grabbed a stick from the floor and laid the tip in the flames.
He waved his makeshift torch around and the room instantly lit up wherever he pointed the fire. In the corner of the room, the flames pulled away the darkness to reveal a familiar figure pilfering noisily through a container of old food.
Aguma turned to face Chuan and dropped the fruit pie he was holding in shock.
"You!" he said. "How are you here?"
"Wouldn't you like to know, old man?" Chuan asked spitefully. He thrust the torch aside and tightened his fists.
"No, Chuan! What are you doing! Stay calm," Mayana called to him. The torch clanged to the floor and was extinguished, leaving the three in total darkness.
"You'll pay for this, Aguma," Chuan called angrily from the darkness.
"No, no! Young Airbender, you don't understand!" Aguma called from somewhere in front of Chuan. "Allow me to explain myself!"
"Did you let the others explain themselves? Huh? Did you?" Chuan cried. "NO! And now everyone is dead, and it's all your FAULT!"
Mayana looked helplessly around in the blackness but could see nothing. "Chuan, Chuan!" she cried, unable to see what was happening. "Come here, Chuan. Just leave him!"
Suddenly, the stillness was shattered by a rapid series of powerful gusts of wind. She heard someone crash to the floor and then a figure brushed forcefully past her.
"Stop him!" Chuan screamed from the darkness as Aguma sprinted out into the open air.
Chuan got to his feet and scrabbled after the old monk. Aguma ran as fast as he could from his pursuer, but Chuan had youth on his side and had caught up in a matter of seconds using Airbending to run faster than air.
Chuan elbowed the man in the ribs, and he gasped as he fell backwards to the floor. The man looked up into Chuan's face with fear in his eyes.
"Please," he gasped. "Let me explain!"
"Chuan!" Mayana screamed as she rushed toward them. "You have to stop this! CALM DOWN!"
"He's responsible!" Chuan cried, tears forming in his eyes. "He's why they're all dead. Think of Charini, and Kaizan, and Saicho!"
"CHUAN, NOO!" Mayana shrieked. She watched, horrified, as Chuan took a couple steps back. Aguma scrambled to his feet, but it was too late. Chuan uttered a terrible cry of rage and spun round and round through the air, amassing an enormous amount of airpower. Then, with one final cry of grief, Chuan stopped spinning and thrust his arms forcefully forward.
A massive gale of wind swept from around Chuan and toward Monk Aguma. The old man had barely time to utter a quick gasp before he was lifted from his feet. He spun twice in the air before slamming into the wall of the temple.
His lifeless body slid to the floor and Mayana screamed...
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