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January 16, 2011
The group travels to the Spirit Oasis to heal Aang while Azula and Long Feng secure their third amulet. Katara uses the Spirit Water on Aang but it does nothing. The Avatar is dead...
Chapter 7: The Crossroads
"Aang, oh Aang," Katara cried. She laid him down on the ground on his stomach and pulled more water out of her pouch. It glowed as she moved it gently over his lightning wound. "It's no use. I need more water from the Spirit Oasis at the North Pole!" She gently picked him up and carried him back into the labyrinth, no idea which way to go...
Azula was running as quickly as she possibly could. She was just about to start descending the mountain when she heard Long Feng's footsteps behind her. Although she was a little disappointed that Long Feng had caught up, Azula hid her emotions. They clambered down the mountain together. Azula wasn't worried. She would get rid of him soon enough...
Katara carried Aang, and Suki carried Toph, the rest of the way through the maze and back to the temple. When they finally made it back to Appa, Sokka was still sleeping soundly as if nothing had happened. Katara and Zuko carried their injured friends onto Appa.
"So, what now?" Katara asked Zuko, as Sokka groggily rubbed his eyes.
"Now, we have to fly to each of the other Air Temples and grab the other amulets before Azula can get to them. The only problem is, we don't know which amulet comes from which Air Temple, so we could end up going to a temple that Azula has already been to!"
"The only problem?" Katara shrieked. "In case you haven't noticed, only half of our group isn't in fighting condition. We need to go to the North Pole and visit the Spirit Oasis so that I can heal Aang before it's too late! He's the Avatar; if he dies then it's all over!"
"But if we do that, then we might be too late to stop Azula!" Zuko cried.
"ZUKO!" Katara screamed. "Even if we did catch up with Azula, what makes you think that we'd win? We had our whole group fighting her this time and we lost. Now you're saying that we should sacrifice Aang's life to try again with even less of a chance that we would win?"
"Katara, if we go to heal Aang, then we'll probably be too late to stop Azula, and then nothing will matter! You're letting your feelings for Aang cloud your judgment. We need to do what's better for the world as a whole!"
At this, they were silent. They all looked at Aang, knowing that his life hung in their decision. After much fighting, it was decided. They wouldn't stand a chance against Azula without Aang's help. They needed to get to the North Pole to heal him. Without Aang, any attempts to stop Azula would be futile.
It took the group several days to finally reach the North Pole, by which time Azula was probably close to getting the third amulet, and Aang's condition was becoming fatal. Time was definitely short. They flew Appa straight over the icy city; they didn't have a single second to waste. By the time Appa finally touched down next to the Spirit Oasis, Katara feared that it was already too late to heal Aang...
Meanwhile, Azula and Long Feng reached the third Air Temple. They made their way through it until they came to a blank wall. Azula pressed one of the Elemental Amulets into an indentation in the wall as her subordinate ventured a chance to speak.
"So Princess," Long Feng began, "I've been thinking. Since I've been helping you, do you think you could let me keep these stones? You know, after you're done with them, of course."
She pretended not to hear him, and she opened the trap door and descended the stairs, leaving Long Feng fuming back in the temple. After regaining his composure, he followed her down the stairs. They left the temple a few minutes later with three amulets under their belt and their sights firmly set on visiting the final temple...
Katara laid Aang down on the grass next to the pond. She flipped him onto his back and Waterbended water from the pond onto his wounds. The water did nothing. Katara began to panic. The last time she had used this water, Aang's tattoos glowed and he awoke for a moment, affirming that he had come back to life. This time, he didn't even stir. Sokka and the rest of the group watched sadly from atop Appa as Katara put her head to his chest to feel his heart. Nothing. They were too late...
Katara burst into tears as she sobbed into Aang's shirt. She held him and embraced him, not letting go. Even Zuko had tears in his eyes. Momo flew over and licked Aang's forehead, his ears down by his feet. Even Appa came over and nudged Aang to try to wake him. Nothing worked, and Katara only held him tighter.
Aang was dead; there was no doubt about it. They had failed him in his time of need, and now Azula was on her way to the last amulet and they didn't even know which Air Temple to go to..
Zuko offered to perform a cremation, but Katara refused. Sokka told her that they needed to go no, or they wouldn't be able to stop Azula in time. To this she also refused. She laid Aang down again and bended more water onto his wound, not wanting to believe that he was dead. In the end, the group was forced to leave Katara behind or risk being to late once again. And this time, too late to save the world...
And the plot thickens...dun dun DUN!
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