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|Back From The Other Side|
December 10, 2012
Aang felt more cold than he ever felt...even the cold from the snow at the South Pole had nothing compared to this. Before he was cold on the outside that was gone easily...now he was cold on the inside...and couldn't get warm. His pain had dwindled away from what seemed like ages ago. His eyes slowly opened and he gazed upon a world unseen by normal eyes of other mortals. He saw a dark room all around him. No light what-so-ever. He slowly managed to find where his feet and legs and got up. It was so dark, he could barely make out his own hand. He looked around, but couldn't make out anything.
"Where...where am I?" Aang thought. He looked around a bit more, trying to adjust to the darkness...but nothing. He can only see nothing.
"Hello?! Is anyone there?!" Aang called. But no one replied...he was all alone. He walked over a few feet from where he was, trying to find something, ANYthing...as he walked onward. All he could hear was the calm sound of his own feet taking each step forward to who knows where. He could feel the coldness slowly lift...but instead of relief he felt a strange sense of disbelief...he was getting worried on what he might find. He then finally saw something in the darkness...a small yet bright gap. He looked through it and there...in front of him...was his own body! Bleeding badly on the concrete walk back at Ba Sing Se. He saw many of his friends shouting for him to get up...he didn't move an inch...but then a blur. The dog blur...it was blue! He found him and finished him off!!...Aang rushed back, not wanting to see anymore. But them he looked through it again and saw something else. He looked through it again. But the gap turned into a huge entrance like that of a cave. He can't ignore this one anymore...the image showed his friends but there were many others that he didn't even meet yet. One was a young small yellow dog, looking down to him. Then a boy walked over to him. He was Tom. He set his hand on the dog's shoulder and they both walked away. Aang was having enough of this. He tried to reach out to them, but his hand hit something hard, like glass. He called to them and whacked at the barrier, but they didn't hear a thing...he was more alone now than he ever was. He fell to his knees, crying a little bit. He turned to walk away, thinking he didn't make it,but then he heard a voice from behind him.
"Aang. Come to me."
Aang turned around back at the cave sized window and saw a dog looking down at him. He had brown fur, a tuff of hair on his head like a Mohawk, and a few spots on his face and chest. Aang slowly walked back.
"Aang. Answer me. Can you hear me?" He asked.
"Yea...yea," Aang said, unsure I'd he can hear him. But before he can say anything else, another much more familiar voice said, "Tesshin. What are you doing?" Aang recognized the voice as Akame's, a calm yet firm voice unmistakable.
"Wha? But how did he?" Aang thought.
"Akame I can do this."
"Do what?! You only said you'll get Aang back. We have Aang, now what?" Akame demanded. Tesshin looked back at Aang, right in his eyes. Aang saw Tesshin reach his paw and it somehow got through the barrier. Aang reached out and it only took one small touch to suddenly a huge light beamed through. Tesshin got off and Aang found himself gasping for breath, in the same room as Tesshin and Akame. "Tesshin-San. Nice work." Akame said.
"Thank you Akame. Now Aang you just rest up here and I'll tell the others." Tesshin said.
"Others?! The whole gang?! Are they here too?!"
"Oh sure. A lot of familiar faces are here, but many unfamiliar faces are here too. Now you should rest up...unless you want to meet them." Akame said. Aang tried to find his feet and managed to stand with Tesshin's help. Then Akame grabbed a staff from the doorway.
"This is for you Aang. It was your staff when you came to Kyoshi Island. We were gonna give it to you but an invasion made us lose it." Aang looked at it and examined it, accidentally opening its wings.
"Thanks, Akame...but how did you get here? I last saw you on Kyoshi Island last time we met."
Akame helped Aang down the halls as Aang looked around. He still didn't feel right, but if Akame felt good, he's sure he can be too...but something just didn't feel right.
"Aang?...you okay?" Akame asked.
"Akame, he just woke up, he probably just confused right now." Tesshin said. But as Akame and Tesshin were talking, Aang was still trying to think about what he had seen before he was brought back...but then on a wall ahead, he saw a fire navy flag...he was on a Fire Nation ship! Akame and Tesshin stopped at a point when they both realized Aang stopped.
"Wha?...Fire Nation?...oh no." Aang took one look at the dogs and used the staff to air slice them both, throwing them at the wall. He ran past them as they came to. "Oh great, Aang! Wait!!" Tesshin called, running after him.
"They lied to me. My friends aren't here, they just want me to think that. Well they are gonna have to try harder to catch me." Aang thought. He ran as fast as he could, cutting corners and trying to lose them. He ran into more soldiers and managed to get past them, he only just made it outside and onto the deck when Akame finally caught up and pinned him.
"Aang stop! It's not what you think!" He yelled, but as others were coming towards him, he threw off Akame and began throwing air punches and kicks at whoever came to close. He stopped when everyone kept a good distance. Aang kept his battle position so he was ready. But then a figure walked out of the crowd, and he finally realized his mistake...Weed came out of the crowd.
"Aang. Relax. Were just in disguise that's all, not real Fire Nation...at least not most of us." Weed explained, as his friends Katara, Sokka, and Korra removed their masks so he can believe what Weed was saying. Aang dropped his guard but was still cautious of what Weed had said.
"What do you mean by most of you?" Aang asked. Weed moved out of the way and saw Azula, Zuko and Alam walk forward, bowing in respect. Aang was about to attack when Korra and Tom grabbed him and held him back. He calmed down after a while.
"You better Aang?...now listen. These disguises were only so we can get to the Fire Nation continent. For those without disguises we consider prisoners. For acting it out anyway. You shouldn't be running around yet, not in you condition." Aang didn't know what to say. He felt his head in confusion and got another surprise. He felt something different with his head. Tesshin chuckled by his reaction.
"Okay Aang. Now before you ask anything how's about you catch up onto what happened eh? Might explain a few things. Like why you have hair."
"I have hair?" Aang asked. Sure enough he felt his whole head and had a full head of hair. "How long was I out?"
"Let's see...today is Friday so eh...4 weeks at best." Katara said.
For most of the day and parts of the night, Aang had spent it on both catching up with his old friends and introducing himself to new friends. What happened was that his friends had to leave Ba Sing Se because Hougen had taken over. During their traveling they had went to different places and met new people that agreed to help them out. They decided to go to the Fire Nation so they can get the lay of the land for a counterattack on the Fire Nation and to end the war. They had met their old friends at the docks where they were getting ready to go and agreed to take them too. Aang was very impressed at the amount of strong Hellers they had gotten in just 4 weeks. During this he kept getting surprises.
"All that happened? And I was out cold the whole time?" Aang asked.
"Yea. You took a deadly hit from that creature back at Ba Sing Se. You feeling good now though right?" Mel, one of the new friends said.
"Well I guess so...it just feels a bit odd for me waking up on a Fire Navy ship with all these new people."
"Don't worry Aang-San. Everyones a friend here." Ty Lee assured. Aang still was a bit worried but not as much as he was when he woke up. He looked around him with many people around resting up, talking among one another. The Kyoshi clan, the Scroll Wolves, the Dai Le, all his allies were with him...but one person wasn't there...Appa.
"Hey guys?...Where Appa?" Aang asked. Most of his friends were quiet at first, looking down at the ground.
"Appa...he's was a great bison. Tried to help us with all his power...I just wish he didn't sacrifice." Weed said, crying a bit.
"What happened to Appa?"
Weed tried to get it out of him but before he can say anything, a group came to him. Aang was shocked upon who came to him. It was a small group of boys and girls. Eastern Air Nomads. One of them was holding something in his hands. "Avatar Aang. I know this is hard to take but Appa...he...is gone."
"Gone?...you don't mean." The Air Nomad boy nodded. Aang was shocked and tears began to go down his face.
"No...you're kidding! You have to be!!"
"I'm sorry...this is the only thing that was left of him," an Air Nomad girl said, handing him Appa's horn. Aang didn't say anything at first, just starring at the horn, eyes tearing up.
"Okay, Hope. Thanks for clearing that up for him. You and the other nomads can let Aang be for a bit okay?" GB insisted. Most of the Nomads left but Hope stayed along with another nomad. Aang felt very miserable. He held the horn tightly in his hands and he ran off. "Aang-San! Wait!" Hope called. But Aang was already out of sight.
Aang ran off over to the back of the ship, crying over Appa's horn. He felt very guilty that he was attacked and entered Avatar State. He looked at the horn in his hands. He just didn't know what to do now. Not only did he lose an old friend during his stunned state, he also lost a well way to get from point A to point B. Without Appa, how is he gonna fly? As he was thinking, someone managed to find him. "Hey Aang. Katara and I want a word with you."
Aang turned around to see one of the Scroll dogs standing there. She was a blue dog from head to toe. Aang wasn't in much of a mood for another talk.
"Look I Uh...need to be alone for now." Aang sighed.
"You sure Aang-San? Katara really needs to speak with you."
"I'm sure...now you just tell her Aang's not interested." The dog agreed and walked away. Aang turned back out to the quiet ocean. He could see only water.
"*sigh*...water, water everywhere...and not a drop to drink." Aang sighed. Muttered that saying every once awhile when he looked out to the ocean. He looked at the horn and a tear fell onto it. "*sigh*...for every tear that falls. Misery grows...but for each one you keep. Misery fades away." Aang sighed. But then...
"What a saying to go by. Did you just make that up yourself?"
Aang turned around slowly, this time he saw Mel with Tom alongside him. Aang didn't feel much surprised this time. "Oh. Hi there you two."
"A neat saying there Aang...were you into poetry?" Mel asked.
"No...I wasn't ever in poetry. I just feel miserable about Appa."
"Appa? Who's that?" Aang showed him the horn in his hand. Mel still wasn't sure exactly who Appa is, but he knows now that he's dead. "Oh dear. What happened?" it was now that Aang was a bit surprised. He wasn't told exactly what happened or who killed Appa anyways.
"I think I'll answer this Aang." Tom started. "You see Mel before we met you, our group had went to the Eastern Air Temple. We stayed there for awhile and we met the other air-benders...but then we were found by the Fire Nation. We managed to escape but...Appa fought them off and was mortally burned...he didn't make it." Mel turned to Aang after Tom was finished, but Aang now had a confused look on his face. It takes at least a good week, 3 weeks on foot if from the temple to the sea. And they said he was out for 4 weeks at best.
"Wait. But then how did you get here so fast then?" Aang asked.
"Oh...well for that you should thank Wan Shi Tong for. Turns out he was there after Appa's death."
"He's here too?!... But I thought he was stuck in that library!" Aang gasped.
"I know, I know, but he explained that he I guess was with you the whole time. Weird I know. So anyways, how's about we get some sleep huh? It's very late and we all need sleep." Mel and Tom then went back inside with Aang to get some sleep.
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