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Tales of the Avatar World

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Incertitude is a one-shot by Dcasawang1 and part of Tales of the Avatar World. It takes place a week after the end of the Anti-bending Revolution. It tells of Bumi's story and his decision on whether to join the United Republic Council as Tarrlok's replacement or to maintain his position as a Commander of the United Forces.


Bumi slammed his fist on the table in order to gain everyone's attention during dinner. Their alerted faces proved to be the effect he was looking for. He observed Korra turning her head quickly at the source of the loud sound. The young Avatar had become a good friend of him, a week passed since his arrival at Air Temple Island and he had gotten to know her and share those days with the place's tenants. Bumi chuckled and stood up, coughing a little to start his announcement.

"Now we're all gathered here. In peace. I would like to thank you for accepting me in the temple this time. It has been an amazing week and I'm happy to have come, though later than I was expected to arrive." he let out a laugh undisguisedly, "It's good to live peacefully again, isn't it? I especially want to thank Korra for all what she did to stop the revolution. And her friends, of course. Mako. Bolin. Asami. You are the best! Iroh doesn't deserve such credit though, he couldn't even send me a message properly." his face showed a broad grin.

"Hah, what credit do you deserve then?" the general commented a bit annoyed, even if he had understood the joke.

"None!" he responded happily, "Because of your incompetence!"

"Oh well," Iroh stopped, still with the same look, much to the airbending kids and Team Avatar's amusement.

"Well, it was my duty as the Avatar to free the city from the Equalists, but I thank you for the kind words, Commander Bumi." Korra stood up and performed a slight reverence, to which Tenzin's brother replied bowing his head. Asami, sitting next to Jinora, commented with her the last book they both had read. At her other side, Iroh seemed focused on his food, he had found Pema's dishes delicious since he was a little boy. Bolin friendly discussed with Ikki about Pabu's new tricks, while his brother enjoyed the good time staring at Korra's face every now and then, their held hands confirmed their happy relationship, and the Avatar's smile, her happiest moment of her short life. Tenzin gently glanced his wife, but his look soon changed to a worrying one.

"Where's Lin, dear?" he randomly noticed her absence.

"She's with Meelo. Why?" she asked with a smile.

"Oh, it's nothing. She just missed Bumi's "speech", but that's okay. I will ask her if she wants to join us." the airbender left the room excusing himself.

Bumi had finished eating, and the fact of not being doing anything was starting to get him nervous. Thanking for the food, he withdrew to his room, and sat on his bed to think. The leader of the revolution, as well as his most close adepts, were now dead or imprisoned, but their ideals still prevailed to a big part of the non-bender population; this was not something easily fixable in a couple of days, but several years. The council would have to make important decisions in the not too distant future. Now Tarrlok had passed away along with his brother according to the evidence the Metalbending Police had found, the council needed a new Northern Water Tribe representative. He loved his position in the United Forces, but if his father's city was in need of a trustable person to participate in its government, it wouldn't be too much of a problem to become the new councilor. A quick decision, not too uncommon for him. His particular way of making them had always shown to have successful results. He heard a knock on the door.

"Come in!"

"Bumi, have you seen Lin and Meelo?" his concern was noticeable.

"Not at all. But they must be somewhere outside, don't worry, lil' bro."

"Okay, I'll go check." he sighed, "And what are you doing?"


"That's good... Anything in particular?" he inquired.

Bumi nodded his head. "Yes, about something in particular."

"Er... Is it something private or may I ask if everything's okay?"

"It's not something private, so you may ask if everything's okay."

"This is not going to take me anywhere, right?" Tenzin half-closed his eyes.

"Good thinking, Tenzin!" Bumi laughed, "Don't worry, I'll tell you later."

Tenzin left his brother's room without saying a word. The commander opened his wardrobe, took out a flute, and started playing a song he had learned when he was young, his uncle Sokka had taught him a lot. He really enjoyed his company, they were even known as best friends among his family and friends. Their adventures were countless. Bumi remembered him every time one of those songs was interpreted by his instrument. The sweet melody started coming out of the flute, quickly reaching the diners' ears. He heard another knock on his door.

"Come in!" Bumi separated the flute a few inches from his lips.

"Excuse me..." a timid voice said.

"Oh, Mako! Come in, come in!"

"I heard the melody from down the hall. I followed it and ended up here." the firebender smiled.

"This! My flute! It was Sokka's before, but he gave it to me some time before he left us. Look." he stretched his arm to hand the instrument to Mako.

"Interesting, though I don't have idea how to make it make so beautiful sounds like you do," he said while analyzing its structure.

"If you're interested, I could teach you some things."

"That would be really nice, sir!" Mako nodded enthusiastically.

"I know some romantic songs too!" Bumi winked, "You could play them for Korra. I'm sure she would love them. Everyone does."

"Haha, I shall." he laughed, "Thank you very much, sir. I'm looking forward to this already."

"My pleasure, young one!" a paused followed his words, "So, how's your relationship with Korra going?"

"As perfect as it could be..." Mako blushed, "I am very happy. And she seems to be too."

"I find that completely admirable. Just an advice: be always careful and don't screw things up. Believe me, it's definitely the most atrocious thing you can pass through."

"Thank you, sir. I'll try not to." he affirmed firmly.

"Don't try, do it. Now go back with her, she must be missing you. Go tell her you will learn to play the flute or something." and the non-bender continued playing the same song.

When Bumi went to walk outside, he spotted Lin and Meelo in the distance. The kid played with Oogi while the earthbender kept an eye on him sitting on a large rock she herself had moved there.

"Hello, Lin." he approached.

"Bumi!" she stood up.

"My brother was looking for you two; kind of worried, you know." Bumi informed with a tone of indifference.

She nodded. "Well, let him keep looking," she said seriously.

Bumi chuckled. "So, when will your re-induction take place? I plan to attend."

"Next month. The exact date is still unknown." Lin lost sight of the child.


"I'm here!" the airbender screamed from behind the bison.

"Very well. Will you attend mine?" Bumi continued.

"Yours?" she looked puzzled. "Since when are you becoming Chief of Police?"

"No. I'm not becoming Chief of Police. That's your position since Saikhan resigned. I'm becoming a Councilman, Tarrlok's replacement." the commander explained as if that had always been the plan.

"Oh. Well, I was never told about this. When was it decided?" her surprise increased.

"I kind of decided it myself an hour ago." he scratched his head. "It's a good idea, don't you think?"

Both of Lin's eyebrows rose, at first astonished at the man's quick decision, but then finding it to make sense. It wasn't a bad idea. "I see. Is Tenzin aware of this yet?"

"No, he isn't. I have made the decision, but it's good to ask the opinions of others too before it's definitive." he added while toying with his United Forces' uniform gloves. "So, what do you think?"

Lin pondered about it. "Hmm... It's a good idea. The Council already knows you and you wouldn't do a bad job, certainly not as bad as Tarrlok. But are you sure you want to do it? I would have never imagined you there."

"Hey, I can do it. It will not be as good as the United Forces but it's not that bad." An idea suddenly crossed his mind when he saw Meelo on the bison's back.

"Well, thank you, Lin, for your opinion," he said as he started leaving. When he walked next to Oogi, the commander muttered, "Yip yip." and he saw the bison lift off with the kid on him.

"What?! Why did you do that? Are you stupid?" asked an enraged Lin because she didn't have any idea on how to stop Oogi.

"Good luck babysitting, Lin." Bumi walked away laughing while the earthbender tried to call the bison back.

Bumi headed to the meditation pavilion, where he stayed for some time. His gaze landed on Republic City, the city his father and Zuko had founded years ago. A memory came to his mind, the moment he was told about Aang's death. General Shoji had given him the terrible news directly from the Southern Water Tribe when he was explaining to his men about a mission to ambush some Fire Nation pirates. His immediate reaction wasn't what the general expected, the commander's expression didn't show any apparent change, but thanked for the information and continued with what he was doing. Once he finished, Bumi approached General Shoji and asked for more details. The next day, Bumi was already heading toward the South Pole in one of the battleships. Her sister, Kya, was the first person he saw in the tribe. She looked devastated, her face showed how long she had been crying. He welcomed his sister with open arms as he shed a tear.

"How's mom?" Bumi asked worriedly.

"Not good. Go see her, she's at home."

Bumi knocked he door, which Katara soon opened.

"Mother..." he said, his tears continued to ran down his cheeks.

"Bumi..." Bumi heard clearly. He turned back and saw her mother standing in the entrance of the pavilion.

"Mother! You're back!" he hugged her happily, "Did you just arrive?"

"Indeed." she smiled. "How have you been, Bumi? I noticed that you have a lot on your mind, lately."

"I'm just thinking about crazy things. For example, what would happen if I ask Korra to give me bending abilities?! It would be great to become an earthbender!" he said excitedly.

Katara laughed. "Or other things like joining the council, maybe?"

Bumi sighed. "Yes."

He wasn't surprised that her mother could read his mind, she always knew if there was anything unusual.

"Well, I know you'll make the right decision, and I say so because I know what's the right decision and I know what you'll decide." she winked. This again, didn't surprise Bumi, but calmed him down. "So, how's your wife?"

"Yuki is fine. She went to visit her mother at Kyoshi Island with the kids."

"Oh, I haven't heard of Ty Lee for some years, but I have heard she's feeling better now." the waterbender said while clasping her hands.

"Yes, Yuki also told me about it." Bumi smiled and made a pause, "It's nice to see you again, mother, I'm glad you're here. But now, if you excuse me, I want to go to talk with the Avatar."

"Go ahead, son." Katara moved aside, letting him exit the pavilion.

Bumi soon found the Avatar training with Bolin. The two seemed to be having fun dueling.

Korra created an air sphere to throw at Bolin, which he easily blocked with an earth shield, then launching several earth projectiles at her, but she evaded them by performing a high jump that elevated her ten feet in the air. An air blast was at the same time directed at the earthbender, making him roll back a good distance and fall to the ground.

"Watch out!" Bolin warned Bumi while standing up again. Korra was already preparing a new attack to the commander. He performed an agile spin, successfully dodging the swipe and rapidly running toward Bolin to help him up.

"Stand up, my friend." Bumi told him with a serious and deep voice. "We can defeat our enemy despite how strong she may look like."

"Sure! What's the plan, Commander Bumi?" Bolin asked him covertly.

"You attack her from behind when I get her distracted. I think I can handle this for some minutes. I'll give you the signal when it's the right time." he grinned.

"Yes, sir!" the earthbender nodded and ran to hide somewhere, much to Korra's confusion.

"You! Oppressive bender!" Bumi started. "I will bring you down." He unsheathed his sword.

"Oh, really?" Korra said sarcastically. "I want to see you try." She adopted a fighting stance.

Bumi started running towards her wielding his sword with both hands. Korra did the same and prepared to airbend. Before they could meet, he created a large cloud of steam by detonating a smoke bomb he drew from his belt, leaving them both unable to see anything. The commander thought that had been the best tactic to use in that moment. In terms of battle experience, he overtook her by far, and this was a situation where that was an important detail. Bumi used his hearing acuity to sense Korra's footsteps, quickly identifying her location. While the Avatar was still trying to make her way through the fog, Bumi used this moment to approach his opponent.

When Korra finally dispersed the steam with airbending, she found herself with a sword pointed at her neck. She laughed, pretty sure the duel was not over yet, thus she bent over, sweeping the floor under the commander with her leg, trying to get him down, but Bumi, expecting this, dodged the attack with a single leap, then grabbing Korra's arm, pulling it, and interrupting her attempt to maintain balance, causing her body to hit the ground.

"Bolin, now!" the commander yelled, to which Bolin quickly reacted creating an earth shield around the Avatar.

"Trapped!" Bolin laughed at her. "What can you do now, airbender?"

Korra destroyed the shield with earthbending. "I'm the Avatar, remember?"

"That's cheating!" the earthbender reacted hysterically. "You were supposed to use only air!"

"I know, I know, Bolin. Calm. I admit my defeat." Korra said humbly. "I still need to master this element."

"Hah! You admit your defeat, loser!" Bumi scoffed. "Give me five, Bolin. Now we can say we have defeated the Avatar herself. In Avatar State." They high-fived.

"What? I never activated the Avatar State." Korra complained.

"We saw her use it, right Bolin?"

"No doubt she used the Avatar State. Waterbending, earthbending, firebending, airbending, metalbending, bloodbending, energybending, fartbending, and all those Avatar tricks." Bolin concurred.

"Go tell Tenzin that his pupil is a failure." he sighed and shook his head, "My brother... He has never been a good teacher."

"What are you talking about? I'm not a failure." Korra said a bit annoyed. "I can control every element, you know? If I fought seriously, I'd beat you two while sleeping."

"Oh, I would like to see that." Bumi continued. "Run, Bolin, run. Go tell my brother about his pupil... if she deserves to be called like that." And he actually went to tell the airbender the story.

"He won't believe it." Korra added once they were alone.

"I don't care." Bumi laughed. "Okay, now that we are alone, let me ask you something."

"Okay... So all this was to make Bolin leave?" she asked disconcerted.

"Not quite, it was a good detail, indeed. But it was fun, wasn't it?"

"I guess so..."

"Accept it was." Bumi tapped her back.

"Okay, okay. It was... So, what is what you need to ask me?"

"Ohh, right! About the council. Me. Joining. Tarrlok. Replacement."

"What?" she gave him a confused look.

"Sorry, I've been saying the same so many times today and I didn't want to repeat everything again. I mean that is my plan to replace Tarrlok in the council. And, as the Avatar, I would like to hear your opinion on this." He crossed his arms waiting for a response.

"Well... I don't know you enough, Bumi. And, according to what I have been told, you're one of the most valuable members of the United Forces, and your resign would be a significant loss for it. I'm sure that Tenzin and the rest of the council will find the perfect person to replace Tarrlok." Korra said gently.

"Don't let your talent be wasted in a boring council." she now winked.

Bumi laughed. "You're right about that. It's actually the best reason I have heard all day."

"What does Tenzin think?"

"Nothing. He doesn't know anything. I prefer to tell him the decision when I'm sure or not tell him anything if I won't join." He looked more determined now.

"I see. So what will you do?" Korra asked.

"I'll talk to my brother now and I'll decide while I look for him."

After looking for Tenzin for some time, he found him feeding the lemurs. Four of them, anxious, ran around the airbender while another one waited peacefully on his shoulder. Their feeder, standing on a ladder, cautiously chose every pear for his pets, added the good ones to the cage, and put apart the ones with the slightest rot. Another lemur arrived to the place and climbed to his other shoulder.

"Good, Yone and Oki. The others should learn from you to be patient." Tenzin said, concentrated on the fruits. Once he finished, he noticed his brother had been watching.

"Oh, hey Bumi. Uh, how long were you standing there?" Tenzin asked, quite surprised.

"All my life, actually." He sat on the ladder.

"I see..."

"So, did you find Lin and Meelo?"

"Yes, I did... Lin was trying to get Oogi back to earth with Meelo on him," he said.

"Wow. That woman is not good at babysitting."

"I know what you did, Bumi, she told me." Tenzin frowned.


"So stop doing that, Bumi. Don't bother her, she's a good babysitter."

"Oh, so you're defending her." Bumi grinned while standing up, "I see what's going on. You still have feelings for her, don't you?" he prodded his brother. "So that's why you like to keep her close, babysitting your kids."

"Bumi. Stop." Tenzin sighed trying to stay calm. "I'm married to Pema, and I love her."

"I don't doubt that, but one doesn't exclude the other. You know bro," he said putting his arm around Tenzin. "...that polygamy isn't allowed in Republic City or between Air Nomads."

Tenzin removed Bumi's arm from him, ignoring the last comment. "So, what did you want to tell me?"

"Yeah, right. So I don't accept. I don't want to be part of the council. But I thank you for the offer." he bowed.

"What? What offer? I never..." he started, confused.

"Oh, I forgot to clarify that. I was thinking in replacing Tarrlok, seeing that you would need a new member now. However, after thinking it well, I have decided to maintain my position as a commander in the United Forces. I just love it."

"Oh, I wasn't aware of this, but... thanks, I guess, for thinking about it. We already have a replacement. Unalaq will come next week."

"Really?!" Bumi now laughed because he had wasted all this time trying to decide something that wouldn't have had importance. "Well, Unalaq is a good choice. I haven't talked to him since... I think it's since we fought those enemy forces that were besieging the Northern Water Tribe. Ohh, those were good moments."

Bumi started walking back to the temple, the moment of his departure had come. Mixed feelings began to arise. He was sad to leave his brother, part of his family, and the new friends he had made. But happy for returning to work in what he loved most, the United Forces.

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