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December 22, 2014
Chapter 1: Legacy
Berg's life starts with a terrible tragedy. As he grows he makes new family, new friends, and new hobbies. While a Fire Nation Shaman is set on a path that is surely to gain the attention of the world.
The windows of these halls have the most beautiful view of Tu Zin, I always enjoy admiring it. I don't have time right now though, I'm running, now sprinting as fast as I can calling out for Uncle Rohan... I mean Master Rohan. He wants me to be as proper as I can, regardless that my mother is Ikki, his older sister. Mother has encouraged each of us to spend a year with Master Rohan down at the Southern Air Monastery to be trained in the classical ways of pacifism and peace widely practiced by the Air Nomad's from when Great Grandpa Aang.... I mean Avatar Aang was still a child. I am the last one to come down hear all of my other siblings have grown and begun adventures of their own, me being the youngest I have some time to go. I am most certainly enjoying my time here at the monastery, it was built on a cliff side overlooking Tu Zin, also known as the jewel of the Southeast Coast. Tu Zin first begin to grow rapidly when it started exporting goods to rebuild Republic City after Kuvira's attack. Now, some could argue that it rivals Republic City in its metropolis status, but the population is far less and has a ways to go if you ask me. Republic City doesn't even compare to the magnificent architecture of the domed skyscrapers in Tu Zin though. The monastery was mostly built out of necessity, as the new Air Nation was acting as the grand peacekeepers here before an official police force was established. The entire structure is on the Cliffside slightly similar to that of the Western Air Temple, but a much more modern design.
Back to me running through the halls calling my Uncles name, I have a message for him from Master Jinora concerning the Avatar. I finally find him but struggle to get out the words "Master, Jinora just called the monastery, she has said the Avatar is in trouble on the South Merchant Highway!"
"Trouble? What kind of trouble?"
"I can't say for sure, only it was of the most urgent concern." The reason this is so serious is because the Avatar is just boy, just turned 5, if I remember correctly. He was born to a merchant family that travels the highway from Tu Zin to Omashu making many stops to trade along the way in places like Goaling, Zaofu, and the Misty Palms Oasis. Every year since his birth his family has traveled the route, I am pretty sure he was, in fact, born on the highway. Master Jinora knew instantly who and where he was from her connection with Raava, but she and other senior members of the White Lotus opted to not alert his family, that they would watch over him in secret until he was old enough to begin training.
"Norbu, gather a group of the White Lotus sentries and meet me at the sky bison stables as quickly as possible!"
I turn away and jump through one of the open windows, so quickly I neglect to respond, but I am sure Master Rohan will forgive me considering the circumstances. I'm gliding up towards the White Lotus Camp atop the hillside to gather them just as Rohan had instructed. Master Sahana, already a Grand Lotus despite her young age, is the first person I see. I explain the situation and request volunteers, but Master Sahana turns around selects a few and we are all on our way to the stables. Everyone respects and adores Sahana, and it's no mystery as to why either, beauty beyond words, wise beyond her years, as fierce an earth bender as any of the Beifongs, yet the gentle caring soul of the most compassionate air benders. She was already selected to finish the Avatars earth bending training and begin his spiritual training. What a wonderful woman indeed.
The ride to the South Merchant Highway is longer than it has ever been, I overhear Master Rohan explain to Sahana what he thinks is going on. Some of the desert states have been at war with each other for the past month or so and most of the trade convoys have been canceled, but the Avatar's family isn't too well off and could not afford to not go decided to take the risk for the money, regardless of the raiders patrolling and sabotaging everyone on the highway. His father is an earth bender, not nearly proficient enough to properly fend off the raiders, which he believes is why Jinora sent out the emergency call to us.
We don't have an exact location so we weave across the highways route hoping to spot something to alert us of his location. Then, almost all at once, everyone on the two bison notice the armored vans and mecha suits fleeing from the destroyed convoy where we see a young boy, hovering mid-air bending all four elements eyes glowing. Master Sahana is the first of us to speak breaking the fearful silence "I fear we are too late Rohan." Before anyone can respond she leaps off the bison lifting rocks from the ground to soften her fall leaping from rock to rock to reach the Avatar. Rohan glided down and I knew that I should follow suit. As we get closer to the ground what Sahana said was confirmed when I see the Avatar's family, and likely a few of their fellow travels, slaughtered. I am mostly rendered speechless by what I am looking at. I see Sahana is focused only on the Avatar and calming him down, I had heard of the Avatar State and the power it held, but to see so much power coming from such a small boy was frightening to me. I hear Sahana call his name a few times "Berg! Berg! Please we are here to help to you just please calm down." Even in the face of all the power I could see that look of genuine concern on Sahana's face. I think to myself that is actually the first time I had ever heard what the Avatar's name was. The glow in Berg's eyes slowly faded and he fell to the ground caught by Sahana before actually hitting the ground. The White Lotus began to pursue the raiders, when Master Rohan called them off.
"This attack was random, they didn't know who the family was. Chasing them would only be a waste of resources. Everyone back on the bison's, we're going back to the monastery."
Back at the in the private study of the monastery, I am tending to young Berg as he sleeps in bed, while Master Rohan and Sahana speak to each other. I suppose the see me old enough to hear the conversation since I haven't been asked to leave yet, or their minds are too occupied to notice that I am still here.
"I am so saddened by this tragedy, Sahana."
"As am I friend, but we saved the Avatar and he is safe now. No need to worry any further." "How am I to do anything but worry? What should we do with the boy? I am certainly not fit to care for. We are unaware of any extended family the boy may have to send him to. He is certain to have questions as to what happened to his family and why he is with us. I am unsure where to begin to answer any of those questions, and I am overcome with sadness."
"Worry no more, Rohan, I will care for the boy. Train him and answer all his questions. You cannot deny that there is any other more suited for the job."
"Right you are. We will make the arrangements immediately. Thank you, Sahana."
Just when I thought I couldn't respect master Sahana any more, she does the most selfless thing I had ever seen, but I hadn't seen Master Rohan so sad since Grandpa Tenzin had passed, I hope to never see him this sad again
Today is an odd day for me. Ten years to the day I lost my family, I was so young then and the memory of that day is so fuzzy and gets fuzzier every year that passes. I don't know whether to feel sad for a family I barley remember, or angry at people I never really met. I have the same conversation with Sahana every year, she says "Respect their memory, honor them by staying on the right path, and be happy and thankful for what you have today." Always has said the right thing to me and never once has she ever lied to me about the events of that day, so every year when we have this conversation I say that I am thankful for her. Which couldn't be truer, I have been to so many great places that are not the Si Wong Desert. She introduced me to motor sports, even bought me my first motor cycle a few months back which gets nearly all my attention outside of my Avatar training. I have already mastered earth bending, well on my way through fire bending too. Although I should be thankful towards Master Enzo for that as he has been the on the train me, but Sahana hand picked him for that duty. She says it's because the formed Sun Warriors practice the truest form of fire bending, the kind that's best for the Avatar to master. If you ask me though I'd say it is because his daughter Kimiko is my age, and I needed a friend, which was perfect because I did and it is exactly what I got. Kimiko does make me look like a novice when it comes to fire bending though, a true prodigy in her own right. She could have passed the trails to be granted the title of master months ago but she insists on taking them with me. Not that I am struggling with learning, just that she has had this one element her whole life I only started training a little over a year ago.
Today is also an off day for training, a special request I made a few weeks back when I found out the Fire Nation Grand Prix would be holding a race at the local track and Kimiko and I are going together. I wanted to apply for one of the amateur races, but Master Enzo talked me out of it saying I should focus on one thing at a time that one thing being fire bending right now. You see Enzo was a very strict and serious man, it took a large amount of convincing on Sahana's part to even get him to agree to allow Kimiko to attend the event since when the two of us asked we received immediate no's. Whatever Sahana ended up saying to him I need to figure out so I can use that line on him one day too.
I walk out of the quartering building and see Kimiko in the courtyard waiting for me. I rush over to her and as I get within talking distance I see her father right behind her, how perfect. Enzo was a tall man, with a thin black goatee. Usually wearing some sort of formal Sun Warrior robes with a yellow chest tunic giving him the perfect blend of ancient and modern as he would put it, just seemed conflicting to me?
"Good Morning, Master Enzo, beautiful day isn't it?" Enzo wasn't much for small talk so he cuts straight to the point after a quiet grunt.
"Young Avatar, I do not approve of the days scheduled activities, with that said do not make me regret my decision to allow such a thing. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes, Master Enzo." I know Enzo is a great teacher but I am praying to the powers that be my air bending master is nowhere near as uptight, because I'll need a break from this.
We gather our things and make our way down to the garage where my bike is parked, Sahana is there to say good bye and to remind us to have fun. With everything loaded up we're off to the track. It isn't that far of a drive but we don't get there as fast as I would like because Kimiko is on her tiger phoenix, Tala. Tala can fly but still not as fast as my bike. After all my bike is a SatoLotus 2500 right off the Future Industries production line, so it is one of the finest brands in the world, but still not their best model. The best model is the Asami 6000sp, actually runs on spirit energy designed by the one and only Asami Sato. We pull through the gates and the crowd is larger than expected and is growing in popularity. Pro bending still reigns supreme when it comes to spectator sports.
"Doesn't this make you want a bike, Kimiko?"
"....No, I have Tala. She is the best, you should have your own animal companion, and most great Avatars do."
"Yeah yeah yeah, I got all the animal I need right here in this engine, gets me where I need to go, doesn't need as much attention, and best of all she is faster than Tala." I begin to laugh, then I'm cut off by an awfully upset looking tiger phoenix. "Oh I didn't mean it Tala you are plenty fast." "I bet your bike could never make me apologize!"
"Touché, Kimiko, touché. Come on, I want to go back to the garage area get a closer look at the bikes." "Isn't that area only for racers and mechanics?
"Yes, but I can't let that stop me."
We find a nice spot to park my bike and leave Tala, then we trick a guard to leave his post and walk right on in the garage. I'm like a kid in a candy shop right now, nearly drooling over all the magnificent bikes from Future Industries, Cabbage Corps, Varrick Enterprises, and Beifong Engineering. I find a racer and quickly school him with facts about his own bike, but I see Kimiko and know I might as well be speaking a foreign language to her. The racer didn't seem too happy with me embarrassing him and he ends up calling security on us. They start to chase us and the only thing I can think is Enzo is going to kill me for this. We turn the corner thinking we got away and we are in the clear when two more very large guards step in front of us. Absolutely sure we're done for, I give up and let them take us out. Then just in the knick of time a racer comes up to all of us "Guards, guards! What are you doing these are my mechanic's?"
"We are" I say back, but Kimiko may be slightly smarter than me elbows me quite hard in the side before I get what is happening here, "Oh, yes we are!"
"Yes they are now unhand them I'm Kaito Onot rookie racer extraordinaire! And I need my mechanics!" "Yes, sir, Mr. Onot, sir. Sorry about the mix up."
I had been following the grand Prix for about two years now and had never heard the name Kaito Onot before. He did say he was a rookie, so that's probably why. But he also said extraordinaire and that doesn't make since?
"Thanks, pal...er Kaito? So you say you are a racer huh?"
"Yes, a racer one of the finest around!"
"Oh well that's strange, I have never heard of you, and I have watched ever race and qualifying race this year and never seen you compete once?"
"Some extraordinaire you are." Kimiko follows up with.
"FINE! Look I'm a rookie and haven't exactly raced yet but I am really good, just one small problem, I can't afford to pay a mechanic to do my pit stops during to race so I really stand no chance of winning without one."
"So its safe to assume that you saved us from the guards so I could be your mechanic?"
"Yes, that is actually that exact reason, but you sounded like you knew what you were talking about when you embarrassed that other racer, and could really use your help so please please please just do this for? Plus you a great view of the race from the pits area?"
"Believe me, Berg here didn't need that much convincing. I'm Kimiko by the way."
The Bhanti Tribe is intensely spiritual, with deep connections to the spirits. Almost all the tribe members are fire benders, pretty powerful fire benders actually. Except for me, the eldest son of the chief. I know what everyone is thinking, Urzo the non-bending son of the great Chief Loz! How can a non-bender ever lead these people? Certainly not me! I sit here alone in this temple tomb, surrounded by darkness except for the small torch by my side, to give me light to read this ancient scroll. You see a few months back I was in reading up on some history on Harmonic Convergence, which led to people all over the world getting air bending. Just waking up one morning not a bender then the next they were. How empowering it must have felt! I asked a few of the sage's in the tribe how such a thing could have happened just from a shift in energy. He responded with mostly nonsense about energy shift, most of which I knew already, then he said something extremely interesting to me. He explained that a spirit, named Feng Bo, controlled the winds in ancient times. He was tormented by the other spirits that his favored air benders where nearly wiped out. The opening of the portals gave Feng Bo the power to restore air bending to the physical world. Right after he finished his story, he followed it up with a "but that is just a children's story to tell young new air benders."
I let my fascination fade over the few weeks that had followed, just going through the motions of my boring, powerless, non-bending life. One night I had a dream of myself fire bending. I saw myself empowered and happy and as the set my powers diminished until they were gone altogether. I am tormented every day by my lack of bending and then to watch myself have what I most desire only to watch myself loose it. Day and night I am in agony as the dream repeated itself every night. I decided I could take no more, when I overheard the children talking of their stories saying what if it was real?
What if it was real? Well what if? What if the spirit Feng Bo really did give the humans the ability to air bend? If it can be done for air surely earth, water, and most importantly fire should be no different! Suddenly my life had meaning again, I devoted all the hours of my life to research to find the truth as to how. Once I knew the how fire bending should be quite easily attained. I meditated and pleaded with the spirits to aid me in my quest. I finally found a story of the Lion Turtles giving bending to the humans in the time before the Avatar. If the Lion Turtles had this ability certainly it must still exist. I was off to find this power searching the old tombs and catacombs across every temple throughout the tribe. Endless days of reading scrolls, ending in failure...until today!
This scroll depicts the story of a nameless man, who challenged the first Fire Lord to an Agni Kai duel. The only problem with this idea was the nameless man was not a fire bender at all. The scroll continues to tell the tale of the man's quest to gain fire bending to properly participate in the dual. The man gained many followers to support his ambitions, mostly those that opposed the Fire Lord. Together the nameless man and his followers developed a ritual to give them all fire! I grow more excited as I read on only to feel my heart sink when I read that the Fire Lord had the nameless man and his followers executed after learning of their plans. When I go to the next scroll I am elated to find a complete set of instructions to conduct the ritual that promised the power I have dreamed of having for as long as I can recall. Towards the bottom of the scroll the beginnings of a warning are written, but the time has faded away the remainder of the words. I disregard what the warning may have at one time said, and decide the reward is worth the risk! I recognize my destiny after reading this scroll, I gather it up and make my way back to the village. The nameless man was foolish to challenge the Fire Lord before he was able to go through with his plans, but wise I the fact that he gained many supporters. I should do the same, as it should not be difficult to convince any non-bender to join my cause.
Months pass many shamans support me and my goals. They are all so dedicated I cannot, will not let them down. We are nearly ready to start the ritual only few weeks away, I can almost feel the power already. I sit in my father's chamber waiting for him to arrive he, said to meet him here at noon, as he wished to speak to me. No doubt it is of my recent endeavor. My father arrives, slightly late as he had done his entire life, once a powerful and stoic man. Now, nothing more than a shadow of the man he used to be. He has not aged well, no hair, cannot walk without a cane, on the days he decides to even get out of bed. Anyone close to him knows he is also losing his wits as well, forgetting where he is and what he is even talking about at times. But he is still greatly respected despite all his current flaws as he is Chief Loz, fire bender.
"Son, I am glad you have agreed to meet with me."
I bow as customary "Of course, Chief, I would not deny it."
"Good, I am tired so I will get to the point. This crazy ritual of yours has gone far enough, I am glad to see you so focused on a goal, but think you should focus that same energy on something productive for the tribe. I know they are shorthanded at the school"
"Father, this ritual is why I am so focused I can be a fire bender and finally lead my people! Like I was born to do. It is unjust of you to ask me such a thing."
"I am the Chief of this tribe and all its shamans, what is just and unjust is completely my decision! I am also not asking you to give up this ritual idea of yours I am forbidding you from carrying it out."
"But Father, I am a grown man you cannot forbid me from such things."
"Yes, but I can as your chief, no do not go through with this ritual."
"But, what of my birthright to one day be chief, I can't be chief and not be a fire bender, it you be a great shame to our people?"
"Yes, it would. I know my days left are few, it is no secret that my body and mind are failing me. Which is why I have decided to name Shaman Khang as my successor, it will be announced when he returns from his pilgrimage."
Rage is the first and only emotion I can feel right now. I stand, look at my father angrily, as he averts his gaze. I disregard any type of formalities and storm off not a word more."
The last lap, just don't screw up and you win Kaito, be cool! I really can't believe that random kid Berg and the pretty girl he was with really came through for me. Man, she was pretty good trophy for the win I suppose. Long black hair, nice fit body, was even a little feisty earlier down in the pits before the race. The last turn is coming up the win is almost yours just stayed focused, on what is gonna be waiting down in the winner circle for me, the firebender gal Kimiko. No focus, Kaito!
"Kaito, Berg here, you've got one coming quick don't lose focus."
"Focus, of course I'm focused!"
Some hot shot racer veteran from Republic City, just passed me and gets the checkered flag. How did I let myself lose focus on the last turn of the last lap in my first race when I had the lead? All I had to do was not lose focus and I blew it. This makes me quite upset. I'm walking my bike into the garage area, were I fond Berg as excited as if we did just win the race.
"Woo! That was epic wouldn't you say Kaito?"
"Epic? We lost?"
"Oh cheer up, Kaito, you got to race, Berg and I got to sit in the pits and be a bigger part of it then we had first expected to be."
That pretty gal Kimiko sure did have a good point. "Suppose that's all true, after all we did come this close bringing home that prize money."
"Wait there was prize money? Ugh you blew it big time man."
"Wow thanks Berg, but I was thinking since you guys did so well, I'm offering you the position as my full time crew, you'll travel the world with me going to all the different tracks. I kind of can't pay you though, not until we get a win or two under our belts." Before I finish my offer Berg is already agreeing.
"YES! YES! A thousand times yes!"
"Wait, no Berg."
"No, you can't say no he already said yes it's a deal, you much can't go back on deal."
"Yes, we can, we have very important responsibilities right now until pretty much forever."
"What could be more important than traveling the world and making some and then eventually a ton of money with me?"
The pair look at each other oddly like they have some huge secret. I must admit this has peaked my interest. Kimiko does look like she is part of the Sun Warriors, but Berg is just an average looking boy, maybe from the Earth Kingdom I can't really tell.
"You see Kaito, I'm kind of really important, maybe not yet, but I will be in a few years and traveling with you doesn't really fit into my plans."
"Please Berg, relax. He is the Avatar so it has to be no."
"Avatar huh? That's a good reason."
A very tall slim man approaches from behind, with an expression that looks like anger. He pulls Berg and Kimiko to the side, it's very apparent he is angry with them. Also his anger isn't allowing him to whisper successfully, as I make out almost every word he is saying. A bunch of stuff about your responsibilities, breaking trust, going against my wishes, and so on and so forth. I always thought about how cool being the Avatar would be, but right now it looks intensely lame. Berg replies yes Master Enzo and comes back to me.
"Sorry Kaito, Kimiko should not have told you who I am, and I must say good bye now, Training session first thing in the morning with my fire bending master."
"Hey, no problem, I get it. If you want to come back here and talk bikes and run some laps with me feel free, I'll be staying here at the garage, considering I didn't win any prize money, I can't really afford to travel to the next track."
"Sure thing man, great meeting you."
We are leaving the track, I am surprised Master Enzo still allowed me to ride my bike back to the compound. The mornings training session will surely be a brutal one, although all the recent sessions with him have been brutal. That is clearly because the White Lotus and a few Fire Nation nobles are coming to watch me complete the trials in a few weeks. They will collectively decide if I am ready to move onto to air bending.
Speaking of air bending, it looks like there is an air bender gliding above me, and I think I saw him a few other times throughout the day. I had just dismissed him as a fan of the races. Now I know for sure he is watching me because the road is entirely empty aside from the three of us. This air bender is wearing a blacked out wing suit, not like all the orange and yellow ones I have seen the Air Nation wear normally. This just seems odd thinking of speaking up about it or confronting him myself he diverts his path before I take action.
I wrote off the air bender earlier as completely coincidental, yet still couldn't seem to get him off my mind who was he and why was he there?
End Chapter 1 Legacy
Chapter 2 Visions Coming soon!
-12/23/14- just posted another part of the story earlier today from Urzo's point of view. Kaito will have the last part of the chapter, most of it is written hoping to post that by tomorrow. 12/24/14-Chapter 1 complete
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