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Fanon:Break the Cycle

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Origin of firebending mural Zuko, something happened to Break the Cycle in the last hundred years.

This fanon has been discontinued, but is still available to read for your enjoyment.

An old Avatar in a brave new world.
—tagline

Break the Cycle is the working title for another fan project that the author conceived of while writing up an article for another project. It uses elements from dystopian futuristic fiction with the Avatar world to... well, because the author thinks it's cool.

This page serves as a general overview; ensuing pages may contain spoilers and self-depreciation for this work and others.

Plot

"You are the answer to everything that is wrong with our world - you are the Avatar."
"The Avatar? Me? ...What's the 'Avatar'?"

As is typical of dystopian fiction, the overreaching plot of this piece concerns the oppression of a people through various horrible means by a select group in order to create what they consider a perfect world and you can easily see it a kilometer away. This plot, however, is only a frame for a deeper conflict between the Avatar and the people. More to the point, this Avatar is a bit... backwards, not only in modern aptitude but in morality and beliefs as well. This is a world that has given up hope in man, a world where death is cheap and life is cheaper, but the Avatar hasn't given up - he's stubborn like that.

Major Characters

  • Hong - Sing's sister, an escaped slave trying to find a way to beat the system
  • Sing - Hong's brother, an escaped slave who would prefer to enjoy what he can of life
  • Sabat - a slave soldier who deserted to help Hong, Sing, and others
  • Teach - an ornery old nomad who has had many students, hence his nickname, seeks the Avatar
  • Zu - air-headed Airbender and student under Teach, romanticizes over legends and folklore
  • Owan - a Firebender who tries to help whoever needs it most, which is practically everyone
  • Sho - a Waterbender, but he doesn't know that
  • Zhao - a metalbending grandmaster who "cuts off loose ends," no relation to Zhao, probably
  • The Avatar - the current Avatar, hidden away until the right time - that time is now

Setting & Background

This story is set an undetermined amount of time in the far future. Like, way far in the future. Robots and flying cars and ominous towers that control your life future. The world is in crisis after a long war over resources has ravaged the land and divided the people. Spirituality is at an all-time low as materials and machines have become commonplace. Even the Air Nomads have been reduced to a shell of what they once were. Again. An iron hold has been established on most of the world; those that do happen to be free live in poverty or in fear and hiding as the arm of the Kingdom is long and swift to punish.

The Air Nomads are broken and disbanded, and for the first time not all in their order are benders, in fact not many are benders. Many are recluses and wish only to spend the rest of their lives in whatever peace they can find, honing whatever spirituality they have left, but others remember the times when the nomads sought to spread goodwill and peace in the world. A small band of nomads are on the lookout for the Avatar, but this task is compounded by the fact that they are unsure as to where in the cycle the Spirit should be.

The Earth Kingdom is the victor, insomuch as being the last man standing can be called a victor, of a drawn-out, centuries-long war over resources. As the perennial largest nation in the world, the Empire had a distinct advantage in the multi-disciplinary and nationality of its people that had been built up over the years; where the Air Nomads had only Airbenders and Water nations had only their tribesmen and so on, the Earth Kingdom grew tremendously in size and power as it took in those who were cast out from elsewhere. From their metal spires and fortresses, the ruling classes and the Overseers control the world at their leisure.

The Fire Nations have been reduced to a pile of smoldering embers; the Kingdom has exacted a terrible price for daring to fight back. Those Firebenders who were not already enslaved have been now and must work day and night in the Kingdom's metalworking facilities. Any resources and products the Fire Nations make are given first to the Kingdom before they can satisfy their own needs and wants. Practicing of Firebending beyond parameters set by the Overseers is strictly prohibited.

The Water Nations have also suffered greatly as they never had the staying power of either the Earth or Fire Nations, the Great Fleets having been retired long before. Benders or not, their people are commonly extolled as miscellaneous labor. On the other hand, because they do not have an affinity for metalworking, the Water Nations are, to a degree, left to their own devices in their little corners of the world, and they unwittingly serve as a "promised land" for those who ever dream of living free.

The Avatar is nowhere to be found and hasn't been for quite some time. As can be seen, the very idea of the Avatar, the spirit of the planet reincarnated in human form, is viewed by some as nothing more than a myth, if they know of it at all.

Break the Cycle is set in the same continuity as the author's other works, but is not a direct sequel and only has a spiritual connection to them as it takes place hundreds of years after the fact. Still, it is recommended that those works be viewed first. The tone of this work is also more forthright; despite the opening pages, the world is in turmoil with seemingly no hope for improvement even after the Avatar makes his debut. The cynical views of practically every other character are also at odds with those of the Avatar who still believes in man being good at heart. Even so, the Avatar is still only one man himself and, no matter how powerful, the most critical battles are not won by one man alone.

Controversy

The story is probably controversial in itself, as dystopian and other "socially commentative" fiction tend to be sometimes; rest assured, the focus should be on character interaction and other conflicts which drive the plot. It should be similar to the original Avatar in that sense; the fight scenes are cool, but without strong characterization, that's all they are.

But, let's be honest, it really is just a vehicle for mass metalbending and giving people an excuse to punch out robots.

And the tagline is so corny. Seriously.

Release Date

No release date has as of yet been given aside from "The Future," but then, of course it is.

Author Comments

You may have noticed that the Avatar goes unnamed. This is partly due to the author not being able to decide upon a suitable one but also to reflect upon the fact that the Avatar is not the primary focus of the story. Although his actions have a significant impact, they are primarily viewed through other characters. This also helps to sharply contrast the Avatar's thoughts and beliefs even more against the dark backdrop of reality.

And, also, this Avatar is a Mary Sue. Just getting that out there. It's not so much that the Avatar is so much better (well, he is, but that's beside the point) than the world being so much worse. And, again, the Avatar's conflict comes not from his own struggles but finding a way to help others through theirs without letting them succumb to their own dark desires or getting killed. As can be quickly seen, even a near-omnipotent being like the Avatar is going to have a tough time attaining that task. It may also seem like the exploits of past Avatars have been undermined if the world inevitably ends up in trouble; well, yes and no. Just as previous Avatars had their own problems to solve, so does this one. Because if everything was perfect, things would be boring.

See more

For the collective works of the author, go here.

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