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|By Olorin The Black||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|More from Olorin The Black||Adventure||G (all ages)||Here||No update page|
The group floats downstream, in the middle of a river that seems to be mostly brown sludge. With little chance of catching any food, they decide to buy some food in the village of Jang Hui. This conflicts with Sokka's "Master Schedule", planning every minute up to the Invasion Day.
The village happens to be in the middle of the river, which has been polluted by a nearby military factory. They are ferried to the village by Dock, a rather eccentric man. The village is in a deep depression. Many villagers are sick, and there is a lack of food because of the polluted water. Katara wishes to help these people, but Sokka says their overall mission is too important to stop to help everybody they come across. They buy some food from Xu, a shopkeeper who happens to bear a strong resemblance to Dock, save for a new hat. Before they leave, Katara gives one of the fish they bought to a small child, but as she sees him give it to his sick mother, she wishes she could do more.
That night, Sokka is trying to find a way to rearrange their schedule, and mentions that the solar eclipse will only occur for about 8 minutes. In the morning, Appa is found lying on his side, and his tongue is purple. Katara suggests that the village might have some herbs that can heal him.
When they get to the village, everybody happens to be in much better spirits. According to Xu, a legendary local river spirit known as the Painted Lady came and gave them some more food. But there is no medicine in the village, as the factory takes it all. Katara suggests letting Appa rest for another day.
That night, a thick mist comes across the village. The Painted Lady arrives and heals several of the sick. The child Katara helped earlier thanks her, and the Painted Lady leaves across the water.
The next day, Appa is still sick, so they return to the village. The village is in even higher spirits, and the people have erected a large statue of the Painted Lady in thanks for healing their sick. Xu/Dock suggests that maybe the Painted Lady could help Appa out. Sokka skeptically notes that the Painted Lady's work will be all for nothing unless she helps them all the time, as long as that factory is still there, and jokingly suggests that the Lady should use her "spirit magic" to just blow it up.
Sozin and Azula were seen briefly, having dinner while obviously on a date. They both had a smile on their face and didn't notice Zuko, Ty Lee, and Mai watching them from another table.
"Wow, they really look happy together" Ty Lee said.
"Yeah, it makes me think Azula isn't completely a monster" Zuko said.
"Why are we spying on them again?" Mai asked in her nonchalant tone.
"I want to see why they have been sneaking around. I thought they would be going off in secret so they could train" Zuko said.
"Okay but I do not want to have lightning through my body" Mai said.
"I don't think Azula would ever do that to us" Ty Lee said confidently.
"Is that really what you believe?" Azula asked after she led Sozin around every one so they could sneak up on Zuko, Ty Lee, and Mai.
"Yes. I do believe that" Ty Lee said.
"I guess you are right, somewhat" Azula whispered.
"How did you know we were here?" Zuko asked.
"You three are very easy to spot" Sozin said.
"I am sorry we followed you today" Ty Lee said.
"It's okay Ty Lee. Just don't do it again" Azula ordered. Zuko, Mai, and Ty Lee agreed immediately, and left Azula and Sozin to finish their dinner.
The next night, the Painted Lady turns out to actually be Katara. She once again puts on her disguise, but as she leaves, Momo wakes up, rousing Aang in turn. Seeing the Painted Lady, he tries to ask for her help, but she runs away. Aang chases her all the way to the village. Katara then gets very far ahead, since while Aang was running, he ran into a pole, and she thinks that she has lost him. But suddenly Aang pops out of nowhere and tells the "spirit" (Katara) that he is the Avatar. He then tells her that she was very pretty for a spirit and how the other spirits he meets are not very attractive.
Aang then eventually starts to see that the "spirit" looks very familiar to him and attempts many times to find out why, eventually Airbending the hat off her head, which is when he finally finds out Katara's secret Appa's "illness" was the result of her feeding him berries that stained his tongue. Katara sadly confesses and apologizes for holding them there to help the village, but Aang naturally likes the idea, saying that it was great and that Katara was like a secret hero. Together, the two infiltrate the factory and wreck it, stopping the flow of pollution.
In the morning, the two arrive back at the camp and find Sokka and Toph waiting for them, having found out the truth on their own. As they prepare to leave, they see a squad of Fire Nation troops heading towards the town on Fire Nation jet skis, and realize that they must believe the villagers had sabotaged the factory. Katara is determined to stop them, and despite their argument, Sokka readily agrees to help her once he sees that she's set on helping.
At the village, General Mung accuses them not only of destroying the factory, but also for stealing the food and medicine that Katara (as The Painted Lady) had given them before from them as well. The soldiers start attacking the village, but a gust of wind blows their flames out. Suddenly, a large mist began enveloping the town. With help from Appa, Toph, and Sokka providing spooky sound effects, Aang and Katara stage an encounter with the Painted Lady to defeat the troops and drive them away.
The villagers cheer the Painted Lady, but Dock/Xu notices that her facepaint has smudged, and recognizes Katara. Several of the villagers get angry, but Katara apologizes, tells the villagers that they need to deal with their own problems, and offers to help them clean up the river. Dock/Xu goes to get his brother Bushi, which consists of switching hats yet again. Bushi also confides that Dock happens to have Multiple Personality Disorder and is crazy.
The gang stays behind long enough to help the villagers clean up their river. That night, as Katara examines the water, a thick mist appears out of nowhere, and the real Painted Lady appears to thank her before disappearing into the mist.
For the collective works of the author, go here.