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|Delivery to Eternal Rest|
3 December 2011
Events of chapter five of the series
The story continues...
Delivery to Eternal Rest is a minisode of, and is split from the story's main continuity.
Ty Lee was killed in battle against the Meteorologists. After a discussion amongst the team, they agree to have her body sent to Kyoshi Island for her funeral and burial. The team is unable to make it, and can only hope to see her at a future time. For now, the people of Kyoshi Island, including the Kyoshi Warriors, gather to remember her.
The sun tried to brighten up the day on the southern Earth Kingdom island, but this mood was not going to be reversed. One of the island's proud defenders was returning to the island..but her life was gone.
A life taken.
A life stolen.
She only got to live sixteen years.
The only ones left to avenge her were her friends.
She left them all behind.
She never got to say goodbye.
The march began right from the island's entrance, at the base of Kyoshi's statue. Slowly, the pallbearers walked through the village streets, people looking with sadness. The story of how she died had spread; as a result, some tossed roses and other various flowers at the coffin. Others said "thank you" ever so quietly, along with other words of praise.
The funeral was coming full-circle at the Kyoshi Warrior headquarters, where Ty Lee had spent the bulk of her last two years of life, with some of her new friends. It was there where she would be buried. The warriors removed their headpieces and placed them over their hearts in a show of respect for their fallen ally. Most were crying.
"Sixteen years...so short," Lana whispered. "Why is this world so cruel?" Tears streamed down her cheeks.
"Shhh..." Mianna, the acting leader whispered to her. "She died honorably...she gave her life for others. I wish she didn't go so young either..." tears were choking her words. "But...because of her, someone else's life was saved. That can be celebrated."
The pallbearers took her casket up to a podium, just outside the town hall, and placed it to rest on a small table. On top of this table was a bouquet of flowers, and over this was a picture of her that was painted after she had come to Kyoshi Island. The casket was opened to show her body. It was still clothed in the Kyoshi Warrior uniform, but had been cleaned up to remove the blood that spilled over it. Some holes remained from the ice spikes, but for the most part her body was cleaned of the injuries.
Over the next thirty minutes, the crowd paid their respects to the fallen warrior. Some shed tears, others said quiet prayers to the spirits, some left more flowers out of respect, others just whispering "goodbye" or even "thank you".The Kyoshi Warriors found it especially hard, as she had been a good friend to all of them.
When the crowd finished up their final respects, Oyaji stood in front of Ty Lee's casket and addressed them.
"Fellow citizens of Kyoshi, visitors from all throughout the world, those who have all come to pay their respects to our fallen warrior, I welcome you on this somber occasion. Today, we are saying goodbye to Ty Lee. Before I go any further, I regret to inform you that the Avatar, the Fire Lord, and their group, inclusive of the Kyoshi Warriors' leader, Suki, are not present today. They are working to extinguish the newest threat to our world. At this time, please take a moment to ensure you keep them in your thoughts as they try to once more save us."
The crowd followed Oyaji's request, in silent understanding of the reasoning for Team Avatar's absence, and hoping for peace once more, delivered by them, as they had done before. After this, the mayor resumed his speech.
"Thank you all. Ty Lee was not born of our nation, yet she fought to defend us like it was her very home. She was just sixteen years old, a life cut short long before her time. After fighting against us and for the former Fire Princess Azula, she bravely defied her and became allies of the Kyoshi Warriors. It was because of her that our Warriors have become stronger with the ability of chi-blocking. This, however, is only a mere part of this brave young woman's legacy. She came to us and it was quite clear that she was going to be a memorable young woman. She proved herself, distinguishing herself from the warriors, and becoming a legend. When called out for duty, she did not hesitate, and accomplished her task. This has proven true, all the way up to her final moments. A few days ago, she was called back to serve our world, and save us from a new threat. Her last battle proved to cement her legacy. When her friend's life was threatened, she knew what she had to do. Bravely, against death, she jumped out to shield her best friend, and gave up her life. But it was not a waste. Because of her, one of Team Avatar's strongest members remains alive, and they continue their march to bring the global threat down. For her bravery, we posthumously award Ty Lee the Guardian of Kyoshi Award."
Oyaji took out a gold piece, inscribed on it a picture of Avatar Kyoshi, and text encircling it. He took this award and put it on top of her planned gravestone. After this, he returned to the podium. "Now, acting leader Mianna would like to say a few words."
Mianna walked up to the podium to some applause. Tears remained in her eyes as she looked towards the crowd. She wiped them away and prepared to say her words about Ty Lee. "As Mayor Oyaji hinted at...I could clearly see that Ty Lee was going to be one to remember. To stand up against Azula, who was essentially death in the face, was a noble act not many could perform. She was one who could clearly understand and perform the meaning of being a Kyoshi Warrior, and someone who could make Avatar Kyoshi proud. Like Kyoshi stood up against the deadly Chin, Ty Lee stood up against the forces of death, many times, to protect the people she loved...starting with her close friend Mai, and then...going out by saving her close friend, Katara. One can not fault this brave girl. She overcame her past misgivings and made friends of all of us...not to mention she made us stronger. Not just physically, by instructing us in chi-blocking, but mentally. She taught us from her heroic act during the War, and helped made us all the more brave. A great, energetic young girl who will sorely be missed. We haven't just lost a warrior...we've lost someone who has been a friend. Whenever we were feeling down, Ty Lee would find a way to cheer us up." Mianna began to cry and choke on her words. "T-T-Ty Lee...if s-s-he were here..." the acting leader was breaking down emotionally. She stepped away from the podium for a second to wipe away her tears and regather herself. "I know...she would help us. All we can do now...is remember why we fight. One reason is to avenge our fallen...and we will avenge Ty Lee. Her heroic act will never be forgotten. Thank you all."
Mianna left the podium, her tears resuming. The Kyoshi Warriors surrounded her in a group hug, as some of them teared up as well. Oyaji once again took the podium. "At this time, if any more of Ty Lee's friends would like to speak, they are welcome to now. We have time for up to three more."
Lana, who had been crying earlier, stepped up and said her words. "I don't know how much more I could have said than what Mianna just said. However, what I will add, is a story of Ty Lee's great personality. A day after I had lost my father, I came to drilling in a rough state. Suki allowed me to sit out for some time to recollect myself. During that time, Ty Lee also was excused, and she came outside to see me. She offered me comforting words, and helped me slowly but surely recover mentally. She also hugged me, and let me cry on her shoulder. As you can see, Mianna is not embellishing her words. Ty Lee was indeed a good friend to all. No doubt that she will be missed. We can all be thankful that she did pass away honorably." Lana finished up her words and returned to the Kyoshi Warriors' gathering, a couple more tears streaming down her face.
After a couple of more people spoke, sharing their memories of Ty Lee, Oyaji prepared to move the funeral to its second half; the burial. "At this time, we will now move Ty Lee's body to its final resting place, just outside the Kyoshi Warriors' training facility." The pallbearers took their required holds on the casket, it having been closed once again. Oyaji carried Ty Lee's Guardian of Kyoshi Award in a small case, to be buried with the casket. Slowly, the funeral attendees, Oyaji, the Kyoshi Warriors, and the pallbearers walked up the hill. Moments later, they were positioned near the small walkway that led to the Kyoshi Warriors' training facility. Halfway up the walkway, then directly to its right, a rectangular hole had been dug out. At the top of it was Ty Lee's gravestone. The casket was moved to a position where it was being supported at the top of the burial location. Everyone surrounded Ty Lee's casket as close as they could. Oyaji moved behind the gravestone, and said the final goodbye. The goodbye was to follow the exact description inscribed on the stone.
"Saying goodbye is never easy," the mayor began. "However...I am afraid that we must. To Ty Lee, a Brave Warrior, a great friend, a daughter, a sister, and a savior. She was born the thirteenth day of March, 86 AG, and deceased on the nineteenth day of August, 102 AG. She died with others in mind, a truly honorable individual."
As soon as he finished this, two men slowly began to lower the grave into her permanent resting place. Slowly, being gentle, it was placed, along with the award, into the grave. As this process went on, a musician played a familiar tune with a tsungi horn. Mianna began to sing this tune, changing some words around. Quietly, she sang, with only the Kyoshi Warriors in earshot:
"Leaves from the vine... falling so slow... like fragile, tiny shells... drifting in the foam. Brave little warrior girl, comes marching home... brave little warrior girl, comes marching home."
After finishing this, the Kyoshi Warriors sang it all together, in harmony, and more vocally, as the lowering continued. Soon, the entire audience picked up on it, and sang it all together a third time. It was a familiar tune, with just some changes. Still, it was proper, meant to honor those who served.
The lowering was finished. Several men then shoveled dirt over the casket, keeping it safe from any grave-robbers.
"This funeral has concluded," Oyaji said. "Everyone is now welcome at the town hall for a reception."
Just outside the town hall, Mianna was approached by Tilan, a rookie warrior. "You know...that was really cool what you did with the 'Little Soldier Boy' song," she said, placing a hand on the acting leader's shoulder.
"Really?" Mianna said. "I didn't think it was all that special...to be honest, I thought my change of words was kind of lame. I just wanted to do a little something for Ty Lee...but I couldn't say 'soldier boy', so I just went with warrior girl."
"Believe me," Tilan said. "It wasn't. We'll all miss her...but that song is true to her legacy."
"Yeah," Mianna said, wiping a couple of more tears away. "It is."
Ty Lee would not be forgotten.
Especially by a select few who were not there that day.
Ty Lee deserved a proper funeral; but I had to split it off from the continuity as there wasn't enough time to keep it within the main flow.
Team Avatar has to recover and keep fighting, sadly, this leaves them not enough time to see her burial.
For the collective works of the author, go here.
Changing Weather - Not Your Typical Days - Regathering the Team - Into the Fire Nation - The Masters of Weather - The Meteorologists Attack - Recovery and Disasters - Searching for Instruction - Reeaki's Arrival - Training - Reverberations - A Dire Warning - Can We Hold Together? - Last Preparations - The Final Showdown, Part 1 - The Final Showdown, Part 2 - Survivors of the Conflict - Moving Forward
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