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Fanon:Chapter Seven: Fleeing Fate
Jason was sitting on the side of a cliff, his legs dangling over the edge. The forest below him was a sight to behold, a wonder to his eyes. The lake was crystal clear; the mountain was as earthy as ever; the very air itself was fresh and light. He was enjoying the spectacle so much he didn't notice someone walk up behind him.
"You know this place wasn't always like this." Thoth said, sitting down next to Jason.
"I know, I know. You told me what Aang and Ty Lee did, and what this place is. You even told me who you are, which surprised me."
"Sometimes the truth is all you need." Thoth said, "But you need to know what caused you to end up like that."
"I told you, it was like a haze. I don't remember what I did, thanks to that explosion. The only thing I know was that I was moving."
"Then I'll show you." Thoth said.
"You can show me?" Jason asked.
"I am your spirit. Who says I can't?"
"You got a point." Jason said, nodding his head, "Just show me."
Thoth swiped the air in front of him with his open hand. The air shimmered and the space was distorted. Jason was able to make out a fuzzy image in the space and soon it clarified. Images then appeared for Jason.
As Jason watched, his face filled with shock. When the image of Dai Lu's death showed, Jason turned away, but his ears still heard the terrible screaming. He turned when the screaming stopped, and continued to watch, his eyes heavy with horror. Finally, the images faded.
"That's... that's not me." Jason said unconvincingly. Thoth only nodded.
"How?" Jason asked.
"Your anger, I believe," Thoth said. "Now the only question is what are you going to do?"
Jason thought for a while, often glancing back at the place where he saw the vision. Finally, he came up with an answer.
"I have to go."
"You mean run away. Again." Thoth replied.
"This time I have no choice. I'm... too dangerous. If that... that happens when I'm extremely angry, what happens if I go off again, only when the Avatar isn't around? I can't threaten them like that again."
"But they aren't-" Thoth began.
"I know they don't think it, but why try my luck? As long as I have... that... I can't stay. I have to go."
"To where, Jason, where? This is not like home! You don't know where to go!" Thoth argued.
"I can't believe I'm arguing with myself." Jason said, shaking his head.
"You're trying to do the right thing, but I can't agree that running away is the best answer." Thoth said.
"It's the only answer!!" Jason screamed. "Unless you want me to destroy everything every time I lose control?!"
"Of course not. But running away does not bring any answers to mind either."
"Maybe I'll find a way to cure it or something in my travels. In any case, I have to go."
"It is your choice Jason. Just be aware of what consequences might come out of it." Thoth said.
"Now, how do I get out of here?" Jason asked. Thoth didn't reply, only held out a clear crystal.
"Touch it." Thoth said.
Jason hesitated, but he touched the crystal and disappeared.
The crow of a rooster eagle woke Jason up. Looking around, he realized that he was in a comfortable bed. He had woken up! He looked outside his window. A small crest of the sun was starting to rise beyond the horizon, bathing the city in a pale light. Unfortunately, it also reminded Jason of what he had to do, so the sight was bittersweet. He quickly scanned the room, and saw his pack at the end of the bed. He packed it with some clothes he found in the drawers in his room, his tent, and some food he found on a tray next to his bed.
"Time to go." he muttered, before walking out the door.
A few hours later, Ty Lee woke up. She felt refreshed after yesterday, and was ready for the new day. She changed into her regular clothes, and walked downstairs to eat some breakfast. She was awake earlier than the rest of the gang, actually; she was awake earlier than many of the servants. She had always been an early bird, but this was early even for her. After having some delicious Fire Toast for breakfast, Ty Lee decided to check to see how Jason had been doing since her 'trip'. Aang had said that it might take a while before Jason woke up, but Ty Lee was curious. She walked for what seemed like an hour through the halls until she finally came to Jason's room's door.
"Jason?" Ty Lee whispered, tip-toeing into the room. However, when she peeked in, she saw no one there. Seeing a servant passing by, she tapped his shoulder.
"What is it, Lady Ty Lee?" he asked.
"Has anyone gone in or out of this room?" she asked.
"Not that I know. I would have to ask the monitors for specifics." The servant answered.
"Okay." Ty Lee said, clearly worried, as the servant walked off.
Jason had made through halfway across the city. A vendor selling cabbages early in the morning had kindly showed him how to get to the gates leading outside. All Jason had to do was figure out how to follow them. He knew nothing about the city. He wouldn't be surprised if he ended up back at the palace! As he walked around, it reminded of when he had run away from his home.
Jason had gone a few blocks away from his house. He turned around, looking at it for what he thought would be for the last time, and walked away. It had seemed so easy, maybe too easy. He looked all around quickly, expecting to find someone trailing him in the shadows, but his paranoia ended quickly and he relaxed. He was free. All of the pain, the shame, the anger, was far behind him. All he had to do was keep walking, keep putting one step in front of him. The road would be his guide, the ground his home, common sense his teacher. Faster than he expected, the house was already right at the point where it would disappear into the horizon. He looked one last time at it, almost longingly. His expression hardened after a minute, and checking his backpack to see if he had brought what he had needed, turned around, and started walking away again.
Ty Lee had been waiting for hours, wandering while she waited for the servant's response. Everyone seemed to look the same to her, so she couldn't tell who was who. Finally, someone put a hand on her shoulder.
"Ty Lee?" Mai asked, causing Ty Lee to turn around in surprise.
"Mai? What do you want?" Ty Lee asked.
"I was about to ask you the same thing." Mai replied dryly.
"Well, Jason isn't in his room, and I was wondering if he went anywhere."
"Are you his mother or something?"
"Hey, I just don't want to see my efforts wasted. Aang would agree with me."
"Well, he did leave. Very early in fact, and he hasn't returned yet," Mai said. "The servant told me."
"But... we have to find him! We don't know what these shadow-people can do! Besides, I think Jason was supposed to come to this world. Was it really coincidence that he was the only one who wasn't destroyed with his world? He might be here to help us!"
"Or be a weapon that causes our destruction." Mai said cheerfully.
"Still..." Ty Lee persisted.
"Fine, it'll be something to do. Everyone is awake anyway. Besides, I have a hunch once Aang hears about this he'll be as paranoid as you." Mai said, and she led Ty Lee to the throne room.
The Isle of Many Names
It had a while since Jason's house had disappeared from his view. The ground was wet from last night's storm, and the overcast sky darkened the day a little, making the dew around Jason almost invisible to him as he walked next to the street, cars whizzing by. The tree's leaves were heavy with the sky water as well, and with help from a breeze, poured water onto Jason's hair, soaking it. Jason put down his bag, and tried to dry his hair with his hands, with minimal success. He leaned on the trunk of the tree, his feet tired of walking. As he rested there, his mind started to wander. It started at school, at home, even at the track team he had joined earlier this month. He had abandoned all of that, all for one mistake. One stupid mistake he would never make again. He sighed as he thought of the new life he might have. No matter which way he put it, nothing ended in light, only darkness. He sighed again, and putting his bag back on, he started walking again, not knowing what his true destination was yet....
Jason waltzed out of the gates. The guard had been a little grumpy that someone wanted to leave so early, but eventually relented and opened the gate for him. He strode on the road, and continued until the gates were out of sight. Looking around to make sure no one could see him, he climbed through the underbrush next to the road and onto the other side. He swiped some stray twigs off his shirt before continuing in the new direction.
Aang, Katara, and Sokka had been flying above the city for about an hour, straining their eyes for any sign of Jason. Sokka had finally given up, but Katara and especially Aang still hunted for Jason.
"Give it up guys. Jason is probably already at the Palace wondering where the heck we are." Sokka said.
"I doubt that Sokka." Aang retorted, "If he was there we would be notified."
"Well, we ain't seeing anything from up here. Let's go down to see how the others are doing."
"Fine." Aang agreed, and he steered Appa down to the ground.
Mai and Zuko had split from the rest of the Kyoshi Warriors to look for Jason on their own. Everywhere they asked, no one had seen Jason, though he didn't know whether they were telling the truth or just lying so they wouldn't get in trouble with them. Finally, they came upon a cabbage merchant.
"Do you want to buy any cabbages Firelord Zuko? Or what about you, Firelady Mai?" the merchant asked.
"We are not here for food. We're here because we're looking for someone. This morning, did you see anyone?" Zuko asked.
"Why I very well did. A young boy, almost your age, maybe a nudge younger. He asked me where the gates were. He looked packed for a trip by the way. Strange, starting out so early, but I guess not everyone can sleep deeply." the merchant replied.
Zuko grinned. "Thank you! By the way, how much are the cabbages?"
"Two gold coins." the merchant replied.
Zuko dropped the coins on the cart and walked away with a fresh cabbage.
"Finally, someone who respects cabbage." the merchant said, but then a childish yell distracted him.
"I'll get the ball this time Lyu!" one boy cried.
"Hmph. You couldn't catch your own head, Tay!" the boy named Lyu replied. But just then he tripped on a stone. The ball flew from his hands and hit the cart where the cabbages were held. The merchant tried to grab one of the beams, but he missed and the cart rolled down the hill. A guard was walking in the way of the runaway cart, and startled by the spectacle of a cart about to crush him, blasted it with fire. The cart and the cabbages crackled as they were incinerated.
"My cabbages!" the merchant yelled. He glared at the kids behind him, who were watching the scene with interest.
Lyu and Tay looked at each other before yelling at the same time:
Appa landed in the courtyard, where Suki, Ty Lee, and the rest of the Kyoshi Warriors were waiting for them.
"Did you find him?" Ty Lee asked the trio.
"Not one sign of him." Aang replied, "What about you?"
"We didn't see any sign of him. Zuko and Mai went to look for him on their own, and we came back here to wait for them." Suki said, but just then Zuko ran into the courtyard.
"I... found... out where ... Jason...went!" Zuko gasped, exhausted from his sprint.
"He left the city," Mai continued while Zuko caught his breath. "And by the looks of our witness, it didn't look like he was coming back."
"Wait what? After all we did for him, he ran away?" Sokka said, surprised.
"It seems that way." Mai replied shortly.
"Well, why would-" Ty Lee muttered, extremely confused.
"I don't know, but now we know what we have to do, right?" Aang said.
"You don't mean find him? If he wanted to get away from us, let him go!' Sokka replied grumpily.
"He's a shadowbender. As much as we might not like it, if an enemy convinces him that we're are the enemy... well, you know what he can do!"
"But what enemy could? He hates the shadowbenders for destroying his world, so that rules them out." Suki said.
"It doesn't have to be a living person." Aang replied darkly.
"You don't mean... a spirit? But I thought they were good." Katara said.
"Not all of them. If Koh or any other malevolent spirit tries to convince him to turn to the side of evil... Well, I don't want to even think about what might happen." Aang replied, shuddering at the thought.
"Then there's only one person who can find him now." Zuko said.
"Not her again." Katara said, rolling her eyes.
"Yes," Zuko said, ignoring Katara. "We have to get June."
Jason had been walking on the rocky shore after his foray in the tangled woods had led him to the coast. The only sound Jason could hear was the crashing of waves and his own thoughts...
The massive intersection was filled with cars, rushing in every direction possible. Jason observe calmly as he sipped his orange juice in the small deli. The man at the cash register had looked at him a little strangely, but had given him the bagel and the juice for his money. As Jason was finishing the bagel half he had been eating, the baker from the counter walked over to where Jason was sitting.
"So, I have to wonder, what is a kid who should be in school eating at my deli?" the baker asked, raising an eyebrow at Jason.
Jason thought quickly for a minute or two before answering.
"No school today, there was.. .a teacher's conference." Jason said hesitantly.
"Oh really? I can tell you're lying. But you don't look like one who cuts. So what's the real deal?" the baker remarked.
Jason lowered his eyes. "It's complicated."
"Ah, trying to get away from your troubles eh? Well, if this old guy can give you one piece of advice, you can try all you want. Eventually, it'll catch up to you, either in the old way or the new way. That's life."
Jason only stared at the man strangely.
"Kid, life is always gonna be trying to bite you in the ass. But running from the teeth only makes it want to bite harder. What you really want to do is turn around, forget about that pain in your keister, and kick right back by making something good out of your life. That's the way to truly make most of your life kid. If you just keep running away, what's the point of even trying to run if it keeps catching up?" the baker asked. Jason didn't answer, only got up, grabbed his bag, and walked out with the baker sighing behind him.
Jason waited for the crossing light to turn white, then started to cross the huge intersection to the train stations across. As he reached the tiny strip of concrete between the two streets he stopped. He lowered his head in thought for a few moments. He turned his head in the direction of the trains, and in the direction he had come from. Finally, he sighed heavily, and walking back across, started walking home.
Meanwhile the baker, who was peeking out the window, saw what Jason did, and with a big grin returned to his work, whistling the rest of the day.
Jason had been walking for a mile or two when he saw lights on the coast. Knowing that meant people, he ran towards the light. Finally, he came to a port of some kind. The port was small, with only a little building where Jason guessed they kept the boats. Seeing someone working on the pier, Jason walked over to the person.
"Um, do you know who I can talk to about getting a boat ride?" He asked the person, who turned out to be a thin man.
"That'll be me, son. Indu's the name. You want a boat ride?"
"Yeah, umm, but I don't know any good place to go."
"What about Black Springs Isle?" Indu suggested.
"Black Springs Isle?"
"It's a very lush island not too far from here. It's had many names over the years. In fact, one of the island's names was 'The Isle of Many Names'. It's a relaxing place."
"Sounds good," Jason agreed. "Okay, I'll go there then."
"Excellent choice." Indu said. He helped Jason put his bag and himself into the boat before entering it himself. Indu shifted the water around the boat, and soon they were running at a good speed.
Later that day, Indu came back from dropping Jason off at the island. He was tired from his trip; however, a man was waiting for him at the pier.
"So you brought the boy to the island?" Gyochi asked Indu, who nodded wearily.
"Good. That should keep him in place for a while. Long enough to be found. I should thank you; I didn't think you actually wanted to."
"I helped the boy once," Indu replied. "I am glad I was able to help him again."
"True. But now that he's there, take the mirage away. You have played your part 'Indu'. This will help enormously." Gyochi said. Indu nodded, and him and the port turned into white smoke, and blew away.
Once Indu was gone, Gyochi took out the crystal from his pocket. Tapping it twice, a dark figure appeared in the crystal like a reflection.
"The boy has successfully been placed at the island. Indu, Maiso, whoever the spirit was did his job well," Gyochi said to the dark form. "Now it's only time before they find him, Aides!"
"You have done well my faithful servant." Aides said, his voice a rasp, "or should I say, 'Gyatso'."
"You know I don't use that earthly name anymore master, now that I have been enlightened." Gyatso answered smugly.
"None know true enlightenment besides the great Excaliburn and its guardian." Aides said.
"Of course, Your Majesty. I apologize."
"Good," Aides said. "Soon, the war of the worlds shall begin, and all the pieces must be placed for the Core to win."
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Book One: Air|
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