|By Olorin The Black||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|More from Olorin The Black||Adventure||G (all ages)||Here||No update page|
The Southern Water Tribe
In the Fire Nation Sozin is 32 and Azula is 30. But in the Southern Water Tribe, Haru is 34, Ty Lee is 31, Zuko is 32, Katara is 30, Sokka is 32, Suki is 31, Toph is 28, and the new Avatar is 16.
Haru and Team Avatar sat down in a crescent shaped line on the Earth that surrounded the Southern Water Tribe to watch a young Waterbender practice some very basic Waterbending. Haru was sitting in the middle with Toph and Zuko on his right and left sides respectively. Sokka and Suki were sitting to the right of Toph. Katara and Ty Lee were sitting to Zuko's left side. Haru then lifted up the ground underneath him and Team Avatar. The rock seats were raised in such a way that Haru's was the highest with every one else's just a little bit lower than his.
After a little bit Haru had seen enough of the Waterbending display and called the Waterbender over to them.
"Mara, could you come here for a minute?" Haru called. Mara nodded and walked over. She sat down in front of the group and looked up at them. Haru rose up the rocks under Mara so she could sit comfortably before looking over to his left and right sides, making sure they are ready before the meeting started. Before Haru could start the meeting Iroh came around and gave every one a cup of tea. He left before Haru finally started the meeting.
"Do you know why you are here Mara?" Haru eventually asked.
"No" Mara replied slowly.
"Do you know the story of the Comet Fire Lord Sozin used to begin the war?" Zuko asked.
"Yes, Fire Lord Sozin used the power of Sozin's comet in an attempt to wipe out the Air Nomads and the Avatar, but the Avatar escaped. After that battle the Water Tribes and the Earth Kingdom accepted the full scale war the Fire Nation launched on the Water Tribes, Earth Kingdom, and Air Nomads" Mara said.
"That is correct. Now for Sozin's comet that appeared just over 16 years ago" Haru said.
"We all had very important parts in the battle of Sozin's Comet" Toph said.
"Toph is right. Toph, Suki, and I were forced to stop Dragon Emperor Sozin's airships from burning down the Earth Kingdom" Sokka said.
"While they were doing that The Order of the White Lotus liberated Ba Sing Se. Zuko and I also traveled to the Fire Nation and defeated Azula" Katara said.
"At the same time I defended Omashu from the Fire Nation forces" Haru said.
"The final battle was when Aang battled Dragon Emperor Sozin over Wulong Forest" Suki said.
"In that battle the Avatar was killed" Zuko said.
"I know all of that but what does that have to do with me?" Mara asked.
"When an Avatar dies he is reincarnated into the next nation in the cycle. Water goes to Earth, Earth goes to Fire, Fire changes into Air and then finally back to Water. You are the Avatar now Mara" Haru said.
"What?" Mara asked.
"Don't question it Mara. You are the Avatar" Zuko said.
"Are you sure you didn't make a mistake?" Mara asked hopefully.
"We are sure" Toph said.
"What will happen to me now?" Mara asked.
"Well, first you need to master all 4 elements. Then you need to learn to control the Avatar State. Only when you have done all that then you will face your destiny" Hakoda said, as he took a sip of tea.
"I will be your Waterbending teacher" Katara said.
"Once you master Waterbending you will then be trained to master Earthbending. We will teach you Earthbending" Toph said, referring to her and Haru.
"After that is complete you will need to master Firebending. I am going to be responsible for teaching you Firebending" Zuko said. Mara waited but nothing came after that.
"What about Airbending?" Mara asked. Team Avatar looked at each other and looked at Haru who also didn't have an answer for them.
"The Airbenders are extinct. We don't know how you are going to learn Airbending, but we do know you will need to travel the world with us to find an answer to that question" Haru said.
"After you master Firebending you might be able to learn Energybending. While on a pirate ship Katara and I found an Energybending scroll and took it from them" Sokka said.
"When do I start training?" Mara asked.
"Later, first Ty Lee has something we all need to hear" Haru said.
"Every one knows Dragon Emperor Sozin is pure evil, but now he has a new plan. He wants to kill you Mara, and then the Earth Kingdom Avatar" Ty Lee said.
"Why would he want to do that?" Suki asked.
"Once the Fire Nation Avatar is born he will be under Sozin's control. You all might not know Sozin well, but I do. Let me be the first to tell you he is just like Azula, only much more powerful" Zuko said.
"How do we stop him?" Mara asked.
"We need to take Sozin's life, before he takes Mara's and the next Avatar's. It also wouldn't hurt us to kill Azula also" Zuko said.
"We will deal with that when the time comes. You need to master all 4 elements and the Avatar State to have a chance against Sozin" Haru said.
"How long will that take?" Mara asked.
"Many, many years" Sokka said.
"We should start now then" Mara said enthusiastically.
"Not today. We will start your Waterbending training tomorrow" Katara said.
"What is my destiny?" Mara asked.
"What do you think your destiny is?" Katara asked.
"I think my destiny is to stop Sozin and Azula" Mara said.
"That isn't your destiny alone. We will all help you" Toph said.
"Toph is right. We are a team. Welcome to Team Avatar" Sokka said. Mara looked up in shock at the name of the group.
"That is just what Sokka calls us all. We are kind of like a family" Suki explained.
"So I will start training tomorrow then?" Mara asked.
"Yes. You will be training for many, many years just to master Waterbending. We want to do this right" Katara said slowly.
"We will see you tomorrow Mara. Have fun with your last day without training for many years" Haru said before he led Team Avatar back to their respective tents, leaving Mara to wonder about her destiny.
Mara walked back to the ocean after the meeting was over and pushed and pulled the ocean water back and forth to give her some time to think. Mara was afraid, and for good reasons, she would have to kill, or at least help kill Sozin.
Mara woke up early in the morning and looked up into the top of her tent before slowly getting up. She got dressed and walked outside to look at the sunrise. She was ready to learn Waterbending, but she was not ready to face her destiny. It was nearly an hour until the next person woke. Iroh came out of his tent and walked over to Mara.
"Is something bothering you young Avatar?" Iroh asked.
"That is just it. I don't think I am actually the Avatar" Mara replied.
"You are the Avatar. I can see the Avatar Spirit within you" Iroh replied. Mara looked at Iroh in shock.
"How do you know?" Mara asked.
"Ever since my journey to the Spirit World I have been able to see spirits and know their true identity" Iroh said. Mara looked over in envy at Iroh's vast knowledge.
"I am not ready to face my destiny. I am scared" Mara said.
"Fear is natural. This is something I told you in a past life. You may not always be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you just keep moving, you will come to a better place" Iroh said.
"Thank you General Iroh. That helped me" Mara said. Iroh smiled and left Mara for her training. Katara and Zuko then came out of their tent and prepared for their day. Within the hour every one woke up and they had breakfast. Once every one was finished eating the happy conversation time was broken.
"Are you ready for training Mara?" Katara asked.
"Yes. I am ready for everything" Mara said. Katara then stood up and led Mara to the ocean for her first day of training.
"Okay, let's see what you can do. We are going to start with simple pushing and pulling the water back and forth" Katara said. Mara nodded and got into her stance before Katara lifted a very small mass of water and slowly moved it toward Mara. Mara propelled it back at Katara slowly and they slowly pushed and pulled the water between each other.
"Keep breathing. Waterbending is all about using your opponent's offense against them. Wait for your opponent to strike and then turn their own strike against them" Katara said.
"Okay. I think I can do that" Mara said.
"Alright, then let us test that theory" Katara said before launching a weak water whip at Mara. Mara caught it and launched it back at Katara who easily returned the attack.
"Now let's see what you can do. Send a wave of water at me" Katara ordered. Mara obliged and shot a weak wave at Katara.
"The key is in the movements. You need to propel the movements all the way from your toes, then up your legs, then finally to your arms creating the wave" Katara said. Mara nodded and tried again. She then created a much larger wave that Katara was impressed with. Katara nodded and worked with Mara more on pushing and pulling the water before they went to bed late that night.
After that day Mara wanted nothing less than to be a master at Waterbending, as she worked even more than Katara asked her to. Mara spent the days Katara gave her to rest practicing the forms Katara has taught her. Katara noticed Mara was a very slow learner, unlike Aang. Sokka just told her to be patient. Soon enough Mara will be a great Waterbending master. Katara agreed with him and kept working with Mara but attempted to convince her to get some rest. After nearly 4 months of non stop training for Mara Katara decided to ask Iroh to talk to her. Iroh was able to get Mara to take a break by talking to her about her destiny. Iroh made sure Mara was going to take a break by telling her, "Training too much can cause your decent into homicidal madness. If you want proof of that ask Zuko."
"Zuko, General Iroh told me you know about too much training leading into homicidal madness" Mara said. Zuko's smile was wiped right off his face before he led Mara away from the rest of the group.
"Yes. I do know about it. It didn't happen to me, but it almost happened to my sister. When I saw her during Sozin's Comet it looked like Azula was going insane. During her life she trained night in a night out with my father. That combined with her two closest friends betraying her nearly led her into madness. Luckily for her she was saved when her absolute closest friend of all time, Sozin, returned to the palace to take the rule from my father, thus saving her. No one here wants you to end up like Azula could have ended up" Zuko told her. Mara noticed the hurt that Zuko attempted to hide while he told the story. It was obvious to her Zuko still loved his sister but she did not confront him about it.
"Thank you, I now know what could happen if I train too much. I will take breaks whenever breaks are offered in front of me" Mara told him. Zuko nodded and went to get some meditation done. Meanwhile Mara made sure she meditated during the time she got off so she could get in touch with her spiritual being. Iroh helped her meditate and eventually he convinced Mara she is the Avatar.
Her work over the three years she spent practicing her Waterbending finally paid off as she went from a student that had much trouble learning Waterbending all the way to having a chance to become a Waterbending master.
Finally, after over three years Katara and Mara returned to the ocean for training. Mara had no idea that day would be her last day of Waterbending training for many years. Katara and Mara worked together with masterful techniques, such as creating an Ice Dome, Ice Ramp, and Razor Rings. Then combined with the two Waterbenders they created an extremely powerful whirlpool of water. After that short display Katara and Mara returned to the rocky shore outside the shores of the South Pole.
"Have I done well Sifu Katara?" Mara asked as she tried not to pant.
"Yes. Congratulations Mara, you are finally a Waterbending Master" Katara said.
"Thank you master" Mara said. The two Waterbenders walked into the Southern Water Tribe and every one wondered why they were back so early.
"Why are you back so early" Sokka asked.
"Mara has mastered Waterbending" Katara said.
"Is that true?" Suki asked.
"Yes. After three long years I have finally mastered Waterbending" Mara said. Mara got congratulations from every one and even Haru looked at her with praise.
"Tomorrow morning you will start your Earthbending training" Haru then said. Mara smiled and looked at him intently.
"I wouldn't have it any other way" Mara said.
Haru was up before dawn and waited for Mara until dawn. Mara showed up right at dawn with Toph so they could practice.
"Good morning Haru. Shall we start?" Mara asked. Haru motioned for her to sit down and she obliged instantaneously.
"For the next three to four years you will be training in a hope to master Earthbending. You will spend your days in training in one of 2 ways. Way 1 will be Toph teaching you Earthbending while I watch over intently. Way 2 will be with me training you myself, with Toph as my assistant. Toph will be your sparring partner when you are ready. While you are training will refer to me as either sir or master, you will call Toph either Sifu or mam. You will train correctly or you will never advance past the basics. Am I understood?" Haru shouted menacingly.
"Yes sir" Mara said.
"Today I will observe what happens when Toph is training you Mara. Now, I want you to move that rock" Haru ordered, pointing at a boulder sized rock next to them. Mara nodded and walked up to the rock and attempted to move the rock. The rock didn't move and Mara looked up in disappointment.
"What did I do wrong?" Mara asked Toph.
"You are not thinking like an Earthbender. Earth is a stubborn element. To be able to move a rock, you have to be like a rock yourself" Toph replied.
"Alright" Mara said before attempting again. This time she moved the rock, but not very far.
"I guess it is time to try something else. We can try some of the techniques that I used to help Aang master Earthbending" Toph suggested while Haru simple paced back and forth watching the two.
"That sounds good. Let's get started" Mara said enthusiastically.
"Come over here" Toph said as she pointed over to a sand barrel. Toph and Mara walked over and Mara looked into the barrel.
"What is this for?" Mara asked.
"You need to use Earthbending to propel your hands through the sand. This sand is very packed so your hands will not be able to get through the sand without using Earthbending. First watch me" Toph said as she drove her hands through the packed sand, impressing Mara.
"Now you try" Toph said. Mara mimicked the movements of Toph perfectly but hurt her hands as she failed at getting her hands through the packed sand. Haru closed his eyes in disappointment as he watched his protégé fail. Mara was ashamed of herself that she couldn't Earthbend, even a little after a full day of training. Haru walked over to the two girls to close out the day's training.
"You will continue training tomorrow. Until then, enjoy your night" Haru said. He dismissed Mara but held Toph back.
"How are you going to help her tomorrow?" Haru asked.
"I will use all of the techniques I used to finally get Aang to move a rock when I started his training" Toph said.
"Alright, that sounds like a good plan. We need to get Mara to at least be able to move a rock in a couple days. The longer we take to train her is the more time the world suffers under Sozin's rule" Haru said as he then walked back to his tent. Toph then went back to her tent hoping the next day of training would end better than Mara's first day of Earthbending.
The next morning Mara woke up just in time to get dressed and meet her Earthbending teachers on the rocks by dawn. Mara ran over to her teachers and said good morning before waiting for her first assignment for the day.
"We are going to work on some different challenges today" Toph said.
"What are we going to do?" Mara asked.
"We are going to work on some exercises that I used to train Aang" Toph said. Mara nodded and got ready for training. After Mara completed the day or Earthbending training she returned to the rocks where Haru demanded her to move a rock. She failed, seemingly ignited by her failure Haru screamed at her to do it again and threatened her. Mara then summoned all of her energy and finally moved a rock. Once Haru saw her move a rock he calmed down. Mara looked over at him in fear and realized it was all a tease.
"Why would you do that?" Mara demanded of Haru.
"I did that so you would have the reasons to move a rock. Earth is a stubborn element. In order to move it, you need to be like a rock yourself. I forced you to be like a rock" Haru said.
"Well, when you put it that way, thank you master" Mara said.
"Your training will resume in 2 days time at dawn. Take tomorrow for a time to rest" Haru ordered before allowing Mara to go. When Mara turned her back to walk away Haru couldn't help a little smile from escaping him.
It took Mara over 3 years after that to master Earthbending. Haru told her from the start she would be considered a master Earthbender once she defeated Toph in a duel of earth. Mara finally defeated Toph after 40 months of Earthbending training. Toph was not happy when she was defeated so she asked Haru to put his money where his mouth is and fight Mara. Haru readily accepted and Mara got into a fighting stance. When the bout started Haru took the early advantage and made a couple of attempts to put Mara away but Mara was able to dodge the attacks. Toph watched the duel intently and was not surprised when Haru finally defeated Mara, despite the very valiant effort. During the battle Haru was commending Mara's increased skill during their fight and it was noticed that Mara was shocked her master was still complimenting her, despite the two being involved in a duel at the time.
"Very good, Mara, you have proven yourself over these last 40 months and now you have finally earned the rank of Earthbending master. Congratulations" Haru said. Mara led her two Earthbending instructors back into the Southern Water Tribe to relish in her accomplishment. She once again got hearty congratulations from every one in the tribe before she came to Zuko.
"I assume I will start Firebending tomorrow at dawn master?" Mara asked.
"No Mara. You deserve some time off. We will start your Firebending training the day after tomorrow at dawn" Zuko said.
"I will be ready master. I am not afraid" Mara said.
"Really, you will be, you will be" Zuko said menacingly so quietly only Mara could hear. Mara nodded and waited in envy about finally learning Firebending.
She hid her envy as the group had a feast in honor of Mara mastering 2 bending disciplines. She was well on her way to becoming a fully realized Avatar.
Mara woke up 2 days after finally becoming a master Earthbender and prepared to learn how to Firebend. Mara got up and walked outside, to notice that the sun was nearly directly overhead. She was so used to training starting at dawn she ran out to the rocks but didn't see Zuko. She then ran back into the Southern Water Tribe looking for Zuko. She found him simply sitting, talking with his uncle. She ran up to the two Firebenders and apologized for oversleeping.
"It is quite alright Mara. I was not planning to start today until the sun was high in the sky" Zuko said. He looked into the sky to see the sun nearly directly overhead.
"I think we can start if you are ready" Zuko suggested. Mara nodded and followed Zuko out to the rocks so they could start Mara's Firebending training. When they got out to the rocks Zuko told Mara to sit down.
"Firebending is a privilege. I learned that the hard way when I burned some people I am close to. I would much rather have Admiral Jeong Jeong teach you, but since he isn't here I guess I will have to do. My uncle always told me power in Firebending comes from the breath. Before we work with actual fire you need to master proper breath control. Mastering proper breath control can take years, but once you have completed it you will be ready to work with fire" Zuko said. Mara nodded and stood up in front of Zuko.
"First, feel the sun. The sun is our greatest source of fire. Feel the heat that the sun gives off and you can use it to your advantage" Zuko said. Mara closed her eyes and calmly felt the sun.
"Breathe. Long slow breaths. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth" Zuko said. Mara obliged and did exactly as Zuko said.
"Good, power in Firebending comes from the breath, not the muscle. Remember that" Zuko said. Mara continued her breathing exercise as Zuko watched intently.
"Good. Now without stopping your exercise I want you to create a fire blast" Zuko said. Mara obliged and attempted a fire blast but couldn't create any.
"Perhaps I would need a demonstration?" Mara asked. Zuko nodded and shot some fire into the distance. Mara smiled and tried again, but failed once again.
"What did I do wrong? Maybe I am not moving my arms enough" Mara suggested and tried again. Before she started the move Zuko stopped her.
"You are thinking like a Waterbender. You need to change that attitude and think like a Firebender. You don't move your arms much in Firebending. You strike fast, for offence, not defense. Try again" Zuko said.
For the rest of the day Zuko and Mara worked tirelessly in their attempts to get Mara to Firebend, but all their efforts were not good enough. It took many days before Mara even could control fire. It was many weeks before Mara finally created her first fire blast, on the day of the Summer Solstice.
Mara woke up early on the morning of the Summer Solstice just as Zuko instructed her to do. She was very frustrated at her failure to create a fire blast but did nothing but stop working the entire time. Mara walked out to the rocks for her day of Firebending training and could already feel the heat down on her. Mara could feel the insane heat of the sun and she liked it.
"Good morning Mara. Today is the day you will finally create a fire blast" Zuko said confidently.
"What makes you so sure?" Mara asked.
"Today is the summer solstice. It is the longest day of the year, so the sun is out for a long time. Now, try" Zuko said. Mara tried and failed again.
"Maybe you will do better if I show you a demonstration" Zuko said. He created a ball of fire and prepared to shoot it off, but heard his uncle calling his name. Zuko turned back toward the village and released his fire blast at his uncle, unintentionally. Iroh looked in shock at the fire coming toward him. Mara looked at Iroh with her eyes wide and shot her first fire blast in a successful attempt to change the course of Zuko's fire blast. After that she sat down and looked at the two Firebenders, who both had smiles on their faces.
"Thank you for your help uncle" Zuko said. Iroh smiled before leaving back to the Southern Water Tribe.
"What are you talking about?" Mara asked.
"We had this entire charade planned out so we could trick you into using your first fire blast. Congratulations Mara, you are a Firebender" Zuko said happily. Mara stood up and shot another fire blast into the sky over the ocean. She turned to Zuko with a smile on her face and got ready for her day of training.
It took Mara a total of 64 months to completely master Firebending. Mara had to defeat Zuko in an Agni Kai. Their Agni Kai was a long one, but showed Mara's progress as a Firebender.
Little did Mara know when she woke up that warm morning, it would be her last day of Firebending training. She got up and went to the rocks, where she always met Zuko for her training, but she found it odd to see every one there. She also saw some lines cut into the earth and stepped onto the rocks, not knowing what to expect.
"What's going on here?" Mara asked.
"Today could be your final day of Firebending training. Today you are going to face me in an Agni Kai" Zuko said. Mara's eyes got wide in anticipation. Both Firebenders then took their positions on opposite sides of the arena. Zuko and Mara looked at each other before shooting a fire blast at each other. The fire blasts connected into a great display of lights which blinded Mara. Despite all of that, she was still able to block Zuko's next attacks. Zuko and Mara battled in a full battle that took both Firebenders to the limit.
Zuko had the advantage most of the time but near the end Mara started to get the advantage when she used fire to sweep Zuko's legs from under him. Mara attacked Zuko by shooting fire down at his feet. Zuko saw it coming and shot fire into Mara's face, knocking her down, causing her to admit to her defeat at the hands of her old Firebending master.
"Very good Mara, I am very impressed. You are finally a Firebending master" Zuko said happily. Mara stood up and bowed to Zuko before every one left the arena, because Sokka was hungry.
Iroh's Journey to the Spirit World
It was nearly 7 days since Mara mastered Firebending, yet she felt something was wrong. She walked back into the Southern Water Tribe so she could see what was going on.
"What's going on? I feel like something is wrong" Mara asked Katara.
"General Iroh has asked all of us to appear in his tent. He has something to tell us" Katara said. Mara nodded and ran to Iroh's tent. She noticed Zuko, Suki, Sokka, Haru, Ty Lee, Hakoda, and Toph already around Iroh's bed. As Iroh sat up Katara came in after Mara. The two master Waterbenders then surrounded Iroh's bed.
"Good, you are all here. I have something to tell all of you. I currently feel my own life dimming. I will not survive the rest of the day. I will be gone by dusk" Iroh said.
"You can't leave General Iroh. We need you" Mara said.
"That is very nice young Avatar, but every one in this tent knows you don't need me anymore. You all want me here, but you don't need me" Iroh said. Every one remained silent so Iroh could continue.
"I have called you all here for 1 reason. How is it I can see spirits when they are in the Spirit World?" Iroh asked. No one had an answer for him.
"When I was much younger, I met an ancient spirit, Hei Bai. He came to me after Lu Ten's fateful passing. He took me with him so I could have a chance to journey to the Spirit World in the slightest hope to bring back my son. When I got to the Spirit World Hei Bai deserted me and left me to talk to a monkey. That monkey taught me the errors of my ways" Iroh said. He saw the others look at him, obviously very confused.
"Before I tell you the story about the monkey, I must tell you how Lu Ten was killed. Lu Ten was killed on the final day of the Siege of Ba Sing Se. He was killed when I led the troops into the city, and I watched as Lu Ten was surrounded by 6 Earthbenders. He defeated 5 of them, but the final one was able to hit him from behind and kill him. Once Lu Ten hit the ground he disappeared. Every one on the battlefield looked in shock as Lu Ten disappeared, but then my spirit went to the Spirit World. When I was in the Spirit World time stopped in the mortal world and my journey truly began" Iroh said softly.
"When I got into the Spirit World I saw Hei Bai. I didn't know exactly where I was until Avatar Roku explained everything to me" Iroh said.
A young Iroh was seen walking in the Spirit World, unknowingly. He walked, searching for Lu Ten, before he saw a figure in the distance.
"Hello? Who are you? Where am I? Is that you Lu Ten?" Iroh asked.
"Hello. I am Avatar Roku, if you have not seen the resemblance. You are in the Spirit World. You were brought here so you could see the error of your ways and the error in the Fire Nation. Time in the mortal world is not moving, so you are not dead. You will remain here until the lesson is learned" Avatar Roku left Iroh to ponder before Iroh saw a monkey.
"Hello, you there. I need to find my son" Iroh called out. The monkey opened his eyes out of him meditation in discust.
"Go away, now" the monkey said.
"Please. I need to find him, and bring him home" Iroh begged as he took a step toward the monkey.
"No. Go away, now" the monkey ordered.
"I am begging you. I love my son more than anything in the world. I will do anything to bring him home" Iroh begged.
"Fine, come here and take a drink of tea. Jasmine?" the monkey replied. Iroh obliged and nodded.
"To find the answers you are looking for you need to go see Wan Shi Tong. Wan Shi Tong is the knowledge spirit. He knows everything" the monkey said. Iroh thanked the monkey and walked off.
"Wait, you need to remember, patience is the key. Patience won't make you any happier instantaneously, but it will make things much easier in the long run" the monkey said before returning to his meditation. Iroh walked off and looked for Wan Shi Tong so he could find his son. Iroh called to Avatar Roku and waited for Roku to show.
"I need to find Wan Shi Tong Avatar Roku. I was told he can help me find my son" Iroh said.
"Wan Shi Tong is over there, in that clearing over there. You should hurry, he doesn't stay in the Spirit World for long stretches of time" Roku said. Iroh nodded and ran into the clearing. He got there just as Wan Shi Tong was preparing to leave.
"Wait, wait. Are you Wan Shi Tong?" Iroh asked.
"Indeed. I am Wan Shi Tong, he who knows ten thousand things. What do you want?" the knowledge spirit asked.
"I was told by a monkey you could help me find my son" Iroh said.
"Why should I help you? The Fire Nation has killed many people heartlessly, and for what? You all think you are doing the right thing. Now you have lost your son and expect me to go out of my way to help you get him back. What about all the other people the Firebenders have killed? Are they not children of some one? How do you think their mothers feel about the Fire Nation? They hate you. You want your son back. Then here's your ticket. I can arrange for you on one condition. Your nephew, Prince Zuko, is going to be banished by Fire Lord Ozai in the near future. When he is banished you are going to do whatever it takes to steer him into the path that allows him to help restore balance to the world. If you can do that, you will be reunited with your son once your lesson has been learned. Now leave" Wan Shi Tong said angrily. Iroh tried to talk but Wan Shi Tong returned to the mortal world before Iroh had a chance. Iroh was stuck in a trance but he gained control of himself when Roku started to talk to him.
"Iroh, are you ready to return to the physical world?" Roku asked.
"Yes. How will I do that?" Iroh asked.
"I can take you back" Roku said. Then a bright light flashed and Iroh was back in Ba Sing Se. Iroh looked at the battle that ensued and did the only thing that he could think of.
"Full retreat" Iroh called. His army looked at him in shock but they followed the order nonetheless.
Iroh finally broke from his story as he opened his eyes and looked at the group that was surrounding him.
"That was my story. That is why I left the Fire Nation. But that will be the last story I ever tell" Iroh said.
"Wow. That story was amazing General Iroh" Mara said.
"I hope you all can stop this madness. I wish you all the best of luck. I love you all" Iroh said. He then closed his eyes for the final time. Every one in the room put their hands on Iroh as their final goodbye. Iroh's body then disappeared despite all the hands on him. Every one left Iroh's tent and went to their separate tents. Zuko stayed out and looked over the ocean to see the spirit of a younger Iroh and the spirit of his cousin Lu Ten over the ocean. They waved and put a smile on Zuko's face before disappearing into the night. Zuko then went back to his tent with half a smile on his face.
Revisiting The Spirit World
Mara woke up late a morning a few months after Iroh's death. She went outside to see Team Avatar sitting in a circle on the rocks. Suki motioned for Mara to take a seat.
"What's going on?" Mara asked.
"We have all been out here trying to think of a way to get you an Airbending teacher" Haru said.
"Sokka was the one who came up with the idea, and I think it works" Toph said.
"Sokka, would you like to debrief your idea?" Ty Lee asked. Sokka nodded and looked over toward Mara.
"Tomorrow is the winter solstice so you, being the Avatar will be able to go to the Spirit World and talk to Aang about getting you an Airbending teacher" Sokka said.
"How do I get to the Spirit World?" Mara asked.
"We don't know. You will need to get there on your own. Aang always just meditated and he got there on his own" Katara said.
"Once you are in the Spirit World you will not be able to bend. The only way you can return to the physical world is if we make sure your body is not moved" Zuko said.
"If you can keep track of everything here I will go to the Spirit World. I will try to be as fast as I can" Mara said.
"You should meditate in the middle of the tribe, away from every one just in case something happens" Sokka suggested. Mara nodded and walked to the middle of the tribe. She bended a big ice tent around her and sat down to meditate. Katara stayed with Mara until her eyes started to glow. Katara then left Mara alone to try and find an Airbending teacher.
Mara opened her eyes and stood up. She knew she wasn't in the Southern Water Tribe anymore, so she figured she made it to the Spirit World. Mara stood up and looked around. The others didn't tell her what Aang looked like, but she figured she could figure it out on her own. She then walked forward and stepped off the platform she was sitting on. When she got into the water she tried to Waterbend herself a wave to move faster but realized she couldn't bend. Mara looked down and saw a young bald monk in the water. He stood up and smiled at her.
"Hello Mara. I have been waiting for you" Aang said.
"Avatar Aang, I am sure you know of the state of the world today. We have some very important things to discuss" Mara said.
"I realize that. But first I need to introduce you to another past life. Avatar Roku" Aang said as Roku stood up next to Aang.
"I am the Avatar before Aang. We are the only three Avatars to have anything to do with the war" Avatar Roku said.
"Didn't you die before the war began Avatar Roku?" Mara asked.
"Yes. But I was a close personal friend to Fire Lord Sozin before he started the war. I should have seen the war coming and prevented it. If I would have been more decisive I could have stopped the war before it began" Roku said.
"Okay. So how does that relate to the war today?" Mara asked.
"128 years ago, Fire Lord Sozin used the power of a comet to wipe out the Air Nomads. There was no one there to stop him except for the Air Nomads, who do not have a formal army to my knowledge" Roku said. Aang nodded.
"28 years ago, Dragon Emperor Sozin used the power of the same comet in an attempt to wipe out the Earth Kingdom. This time I was there to stop him. While my friends stopped the airship fleet I had to stop Sozin. I failed, and was killed by Sozin" Aang said.
"The next comet won't come for over 60 years. Why does any of that have to do with me?" Mara asked.
"You do not have a chance against Sozin unless you master all 4 elements and gain control of the Avatar State" Aang told her.
"How do I do that? I don't have an Airbending teacher or an Avatar State teacher" Mara said.
"We can help you find an Avatar State teacher and Airbending scrolls. The Air Nomads are extinct. So you will not have an Airbending teacher" Roku said.
"Sokka and Katara also told me about an Energybending scroll. Should I learn Energybending also?" Mara asked.
"Yes. Do not try to use Energybending on Sozin" Roku warned.
"How will I get an Energybending teacher?" Mara asked.
"You already have one. Haru is an Energybender" Aang said.
"Alright so what will I do about the Airbending scrolls?" Mara asked.
"There is a hidden cellar underneath the Earth Kingdom Palace. It is an ice cell so no Earthbenders have been able to find it. There is a box down there that holds 12 Airbending scrolls" Roku said.
"What about learning how to control the Avatar State? How am I supposed to do that?" Mara asked.
"There is a guru living at the Southern Air Temple. He can teach you to control the Avatar State. I must warn you it will not be an easy process" Aang said.
"That doesn't matter. I will do whatever it takes to bring Sozin down" Mara said confidently.
"Oh, and about the Airbending scrolls, there are many Firebending guards there that will be guarding the palace, so it will be very difficult to get" Avatar Roku said.
"I think you should ask Zuko about the Blue Spirit" Aang said. Before Mara could ask anything Roku stopped her.
"We have helped you all we can young Avatar. You need to get the Airbending scrolls, then master Airbending, then master Energybending, then the Avatar State. Only then will you have the power to face your destiny. Good luck" Roku said.
"The solstice is ending. It is time we go our separate ways. Remember, all of your past lives, all of their knowledge is at your control, when you need to use it. Tell every one I miss them" Aang said.
"Okay. Thank you both for everything. How do I get back to the physical world?" Mara asked. Aang looked over his shoulder and looked at Hei Bai. Mara was shot by a bolt of light and she closed her eyes.
When Mara opened her eyes she had returned to the physical world. Mara departed out of her ice tent and saw every one waiting for her.
"Did you have any luck?" Haru asked.
"Yes. We need to go to Ba Sing Se" Mara said.
"We will leave tomorrow" Sokka suggested. Every one agreed with him and they went to pack their bags. Mara held Zuko back for a second to talk with him for a moment.
"Aang told me to talk to you about the Blue Spirit" Mara said to Zuko, who was left speechless.
Leaving The South Pole
Team Avatar was packing all of their personal belongings onto a lone Water Tribe ship. They said goodbye to every one before they left on their ship, though only Mara knew where they were going. Once the ship started sailing away from the South Pole Mara told them where their destination would be.
"Alright, set a course for Ba Sing Se" Mara said.
"Why are we going to the Earth Kingdom capital?" Katara asked.
"There are Airbending scrolls under the palace. If I get them I will be able to train myself to master Airbending" Mara said.
"Are you going to use the Energybending scroll we found?" Sokka asked.
"Yes. I was told to master Airbending, then Energybending, then the Avatar State, then I will face my destiny" Mara said.
"Where are the Airbending scrolls?" Ty Lee asked.
"They are underneath the capital" Mara said.
"In the crystal catacombs of old Ba Sing Se..." Toph said slowly.
"It is going to be very difficult to get under there. How are we going to do that?" Haru asked.
"I can help you there, but I will need to get a mask" Zuko said.
"What are you talking about Zuko?" Suki asked.
"I am the blue spirit. I am going to use the mask and sneak under the palace to get the scrolls" Zuko said.
"You can't do that alone" Toph said.
"I am going with him. Two men in masks, we will get those scrolls" Sokka said.
"Are you sure that is a good idea? Wouldn't it be better if we all attack at once? Katara asked.
"No. It would be too noticeable and we would get attacked for sure" Ty Lee said.
"That's it! Ty Lee, you're a genius. All we need to make Ty Lee's plan work is Sokka to allow Zuko to go alone" Haru said.
"What are you talking about?" Mara asked.
"While Zuko finds the scrolls we are going to create a diversion. We will battle above the ground and allow Zuko to sneak under and get the scrolls without to much difficulty" Haru replied.
"That is too dangerous. There has to be another way" Katara said.
"There is no other way. This is the only thing we can do" Sokka said.
"Let's go to the market. I need to get that mask" Zuko said.
Sozin and Azula were in a war meeting with General Shinu in the palace.
"These war meetings have gotten very boring. Get to the point quickly this time" Sozin demanded.
"The Earthbenders are continuing to rebel. We will not be able to achieve victory in this war until the Earthbenders stop their rebellion" General Shinu said.
"The Earth Kingdom will never stop fighting until we completely destroy them" Azula said.
"Yes, you are correct Azula. We will not be able to stop them for a while. The next Avatar's training should be completed soon and once that happens we will be in for the fight of our lives" Sozin said.
"What do you want us to do sir?" General Shinu asked.
"I want you to... no it's a bad idea" Sozin started.
"What is it Sozin?" Azula asked. Sozin motioned for the general to leave.
"Azula, you and I are going to take a trip to the Eastern Air Temple" Sozin said.
"Why?" Azula asked.
"The new Avatar is going to learn Airbending somehow, and what better place then the Eastern Air Temple?" Sozin asked.
"Once they see us they are going to attack" Azula argued.
"No. We will stay hidden. Then once we see a good time we will attack your brother and his allies" Sozin said.
"I don't know about this" Azula said.
"Since when did you become the voice of reason? Are you coming with me or not?" Sozin demanded.
"Yes. I will go with you" Azula said, finally giving into Sozin's demands.
Team Avatar hit the market, but they were forced to sink their ship to avoid detection before they landed in the Earth Kingdom. They were forced to walk the rest of the way to the market. When they got there Zuko got a Blue Spirit mask. Then Team Avatar split up. Katara, Haru, and Zuko went for a little walk while every one else went to get some food.
After over 1 hour every one came back together, with Haru, Zuko, and Katara leading an Eel Hound.
"Mara, all Avatars have an animal guide. We decided to get you an eel hound to congratulate you on being over half way done with your Avatar training" Zuko said.
"From your teachers, to you" Katara said. Mara looked at the Eel Hound with much thanks and slowly moved towards it.
"She likes you Mara. I can tell" Suki said. Mara beamed at her new Eel Hound and smiled. The animal got on the ground expecting Mara to get on and Mara obliged. She was very happy and rode her new pet to the outskirts of the town with Team Avatar behind them.
"What is the plan?" Mara asked.
"We need to get to the palace. All Earthbenders can use earth waves to propel ourselves, but every one else needs to get on the Eel Hound. We will travel fastest this way" Haru said. Every one obliged but Mara stayed on the Eel Hound. They all then went to the palace as fast as they could, with an earth kart with wheels made by Haru.
After an expedition, of sorts, that took many days, and many nights of demanding, death-defying travel did Team Avatar finally reached the outer wall of Ba Sing Se. They looked at the wall once again before setting up camp for the night. Zuko looked down at his new blue spirit mask that was an exact replica of the original as he looked back to the outer wall, remembering what happened at Lake Laogai. Katara made an attempt to comfort him but Zuko would have nothing of it. Zuko was ready to get the scrolls, but he wasn't sure he was ready to be the blue spirit again. Zuko then went to sleep before eating dinner, as well as before every one else went to bed. Every one knew Zuko was troubled but didn't know why. Katara then looked at the blue spirit mask as she was obviously worried about her husband. That night, Katara told the rest of Team Avatar about what Zuko was going through. They all told Katara that Zuko would be fine. They all knew Zuko is tough, and he could endure whatever happened. Katara was skeptical but Sokka reminded her how much Zuko has gone through in his life, from hunting the Avatar to his messed up family, to his attempts to help Mara save the world. Haru also told her how much hope the blue spirit gives to the Earth Kingdom. Only then did Katara agree with the idea of Zuko going in alone.
Return of the Blue Spirit
Zuko woke up before every one else the morning he was planning to become the blue spirit once again. His plan was to get out of camp before any one else woke up so there would be less of a chance of being followed. Zuko got up slowly and put on some clothes that were normally worn by regular Earth Kingdom citizens. He then got his mask and his dual swords. Zuko tried to leave but he felt a hand on his shoulder before he left camp. Zuko saw Haru and looked into the Earthbenders eyes.
"I have a good reason for leaving so early. I didn't want any one to try and come with me, but I guess that is why you are here" Zuko said.
"No. I am here because you will need money to get food just in case you need to hide out until the palace guards leave you an opportunity to enter" Haru said as he gave Zuko some Earth Kingdom money.
"Thanks Haru. I will be back with the scrolls as soon as I can" Zuko said. Haru chuckled before getting ready for the day. Zuko then disappeared into the far reaches of the wall, looking for a space to get into the city.
Zuko eventually was able to sneak through the main gate of Ba Sing Se without being detected, by hiding out under a merchant's cart. Zuko got into the city and was able to stay hidden until the merchant stopped in the upper ring of the city. Zuko then was forced to jump out of the cart to avoid detection.
Zuko easily blended in to the commoners in the upper ring of Ba Sing Se, but had to deal with merchants attempting to buy his dual swords right from under him. Zuko eventually escaped and got to the front of the Earth Kingdom palace but the palace was being guarded by dozens of Fire Nation warriors and benders. Zuko decided it would be best to hide and wait until night fall to attempt to infiltrate the palace.
Later that afternoon Zuko went shopping for a small bag and pitch black clothes. The shop dealer was suspicious to Zuko's intentions but Zuko just told him not to worry about it.
"Hey, wait up" the shop dealer called to Zuko. Zuko turned around intently.
"You better be careful around these parts, especially with those nice swords you have. Dragon Emperor Sozin is coming to Ba Sing Se soon and he usually is not in a good mood" the shop dealer said.
"Thanks for the warning. I will be careful" Zuko said before walking out the door of the shop with the dark clothes and the big bag Zuko got. Zuko then went to the back of the Earth Kingdom palace, using a distraction to sneak by the guards. Zuko was able to get through to the back of the palace where he stayed hidden until the sun set. Zuko then put on his black clothes and put his Earth Kingdom citizen clothes inside the bag. Zuko then put the bag on his back and hid behind a rock until he had a chance to run into the palace. Before running into the palace Zuko put on the blue spirit mask, so no one would recognize him.
Zuko was wondering where the box of scrolls would be. Mara told him what the box looks like and how many scrolls are inside it but he didn't know how he would get underground to look for the box. Zuko remembered Mara telling him the box is below ground. His first instinct was the Crystal Catacombs of Old Ba Sing Se. At first, Zuko had no idea how to get inside the Crystal Catacombs of Old Ba Sing Se, but then he remembered how to get in. Zuko silently walked into the throne room, relieved no one was in the room. But before Zuko could relish with victory in sight, he heard voices and was forced to hide in the shadows. He was able to see the two men come in without being noticed himself. Zuko could even hear them clearly. Zuko could recognize one of them but he had never seen the other man before in his life.
"I can't believe Sozin is coming here again. I am so sick of taking his orders about how we should stand, walk and talk" the first man said.
"I used to have control of Ba Sing Se, and even if I regain control I would have to give control to him, weather I like it or not" Long Feng said.
"We really have no choice. We need to give him this box of Airbending scrolls" the unknown man said. Zuko's heart then skipped a beat.
"How did he know we were hiding them here? You are right though, we have to give him the scrolls" Long Feng finally agreed.
"Why don't we just destroy the scrolls?" the first man asked.
"If anything happens to these scrolls Sozin would burn us to a crisp" Long Feng retorted.
"Your right sir, what are we going to do with the scrolls then?" the man asked.
"Leave them on the throne. Sozin will be here in a few hours" Long Feng said. Zuko's heart skipped a beat once again as he watched Long Feng and the other man leave just the way they came, leaving the scrolls right in Zuko's grasp. Zuko stood up once the large door shut and grabbed the box of scrolls. Zuko took all of the scrolls out of the box and put them in his bag. Then Zuko made a hasty escape out the door, not running into any guards.
Zuko knew he would have to move fast to avoid a confrontation with Sozin, that would surely lead to Zuko's death. Zuko also had a good feeling Azula would accompany Sozin. Zuko thought he would have a chance against Azula 1 on 1, but he knew Sozin's power and didn't want to challenge him.
Zuko was out of the palace quickly as he kept an ear open, listening for mention of either Sozin or Azula. He heard nothing but right before Zuko reached the main gate he saw a Fire Nation airship flying overhead. Zuko immediately took a low profile. He knew it was Sozin and Azula, so Zuko made a hasty retreat out the gate without being noticed by any one.
Zuko went right back to the position where Team Avatar was camped, still wearing his blue spirit mask. Zuko got into camp and looked at every one before finally removing his mask to be showered with questions from his friends. Zuko motioned for them to be quiet before talking.
"We need to move now. I got the scrolls, but Sozin and Azula want them" Zuko said. Every one packed their bags inside Haru's earth cart and prepared to shove off. Once they moved Zuko saw fire rise up over the top of the outer wall of Ba Sing Se.
"We need to go. Sozin is furious" Zuko said.
"Why don't we get them now? It would be 8 on 2" Toph said confidently.
"We are not ready. Mara needs to master Airbending and the Avatar State first" Haru said, talking some sense into his sister. Team Avatar then set a course right to the Eastern Air Temple, simply hoping they would be leaving Ba Sing Se for the last time.
To The Eastern Air Temple
Team Avatar walked away from Ba Sing Se with Mara riding on her pet eel hound. Then Ty Lee brought up something that no one else had thought of.
"Hey Mara, what are you going to name her?" Ty Lee asked.
"I don't know" Mara said. She then looked over and around all of her friends walking alone beside her.
"I am going to name her Nini, in honor of the Water Tribes" Mara finally said. That got a smile from every one, even Sokka who was unusually glum that day.
"So what is our plan?" Sokka asked.
"We need to get to the Eastern Air Temple so Mara can learn Airbending, Energybending and to control the Avatar State" Katara said.
"What are we going to do when Sozin finds us?" Ty Lee asked.
"Why do you say when?" Haru asked, skeptical of Sozin being able to track them. Zuko saw Haru's look of annoyance in Ty Lee thinking Sozin would be able to find them.
"Ty Lee is right. I have known Sozin for many, many years. He can do anything once he puts his mind to it. It isn't a question of if Sozin will find us. It is more a question of when" Zuko said.
"Okay. So what will we do when Sozin does find us? Is he going to bring a giant army and burn the Eastern Air Temple to the ground again or is he going to lead a small force and attack us with agility?" Mara asked.
"From the years that I have known Sozin, I know to expect the unexpected. Sozin will do whatever Sozin feels it is time to do" Zuko said.
"So basically we are going to wait at the Eastern Air Temple until it rains fire?" Toph asked.
"When you put it like that it sounds suicidal, but basically yes" Suki said.
"That doesn't sound like a good plan, but you're right. Hopefully Mara will complete her training before Sozin arrives" Haru said.
"I will complete my Airbending training as fast as I can" Mara said.
"We don't want you to be in such a rush you don't train correctly and don't become a true Airbending master" Katara threw out.
"Katara is right. You need to train fast but train right. Let's pick up the pace on the road. We don't want to risk some one picking up our trail" Haru ordered. Haru and Toph stood next to Nini as the Earthbenders created earth waves in a hope to keep up with Nini. Mara directed Nini away from Ba Sing Se at full speed while Haru and Toph tried desperately to keep up with the eel hound. Once the sun set they were well out of range of Sozin and Ba Sing Se. They set up camp before continuing the next morning bright and early.
Team Avatar got food when somebody was hungry and stopped when somebody was tired. Other than that they moved right on to the Eastern Air Temple.
"So who is going to be able to teach you to control the Avatar State?" Ty Lee asked.
"I don't know, Aang and Roku didn't really tell me who would help me" Mara said.
"Maybe it will be the same guru that tried to teach Aang to control the Avatar State" Katara suggested.
"What do you mean tried?" Sokka asked.
"It was a hard process and Aang told me he just couldn't do it" Katara said.
"That makes me feel a lot better guys. Thanks for all of your help" Mara said sarcastically. That display of sarcasm got a laugh out of every one.
"Shouldn't we take a break for a day or two?" Mara asked.
"No. We should work and work until we get to the Eastern Air Temple. Then we can take a short break" Haru said.
"Maybe we should take a break for just 1 day. Every one is exhausted" Ty Lee said.
"So you want us to take a break and risk Sozin catching us?" Sokka asked.
"That doesn't matter. We can escape from the Fire Nation" Katara said.
"Sozin controls the world. How do you expect to get away from the world?" Zuko asked.
"That is a good point. We should reach the water tomorrow morning, or today if we hurry" Toph said.
"Let's try to get to the water tonight, so we will be nice and rested for our time at sea" Haru ordered.
"Well we will need to go very fast. Let's move" Suki said confidently. Every one got in position and got ready for travel. Mara got nini to go fast as Toph and Haru attempted to keep up. The Earthbenders did keep up with the eel hound, but just barely, since when Team Avatar finally reached the water Haru and Toph nearly fell to the ground in exhaust. Haru was the only thing that was keeping Toph from falling on her face after they finished.
"Good night every one" Haru said as he allowed Toph to fall on the ground before falling to the ground himself. Haru created an earth tent big enough to cover up the siblings before going to sleep.
"Aren't you going to help us unload?" Katara asked before realizing the siblings fell asleep.
"Never mind, I guess Haru and Toph won't help us unload" Katara said before turning around, realizing every one went to sleep.
"Katara, go to sleep. We need to get up early tomorrow" Zuko said. Katara immediately obliged.
Early the next morning Haru woke every one up before dawn with a Fire Nation Navy cruiser ship docked next to them.
"Come on, let's get moving lazy bones" Haru said.
"How did you pay for that?" Katara asked.
"You get back here with my ship!" an angry man shouted.
"Does that answer your question?" Haru said before rushing every one onto the ship. Every one got on the ship before Katara and Mara used their combined Waterbending power to get the ship moving.
After they left every member of Team Avatar had their own specific job. Haru and Toph worked down in the boiler room Earthbending coal into the fire to use as fuel. Zuko made sure the fire stayed hot. Mara and Katara helped keep the ship moving by using Waterbending to propel and steer the ship. Sokka, Suki, and Ty Lee kept the ship on track while thinking of a plan to take Sozin and Azula out of the picture, thus ending the war. Every one kept up with their respective jobs and only stopped to eat and sleep. Running the giant ship was a punishing process for every member of Team Avatar, especially for the benders who were forced to bend over 8 hours each day at sea.
Though the distance to the Eastern Air Temple wasn't great it was extremely difficult to guide such a large ship with only 8 people working in the ship.
The Eastern Air Temple
After nearly a week of slow travel at sea every one had fantasies in their mind about what was going to happen once they finally reached the Eastern Air Temple.
Mara was wondering how difficult it would be to learn Airbending without a true master. Ty Lee was wondering if Mai got back to her family after they were banished. Zuko was wondering what would happen if he faces Azula again. Toph and Haru were wondering what it would be like to see an Air Temple. Suki and Sokka were wondering if they would have any space to get a good workout in the temple while Mara was learning Airbending.
On the tenth day of slow sea travel Team Avatar finally reached the Eastern Air Temple. No one could hide the excitement in their eyes. It was still going to be a long walk up the mountain, but no one cared. Every one was ready to finally get the opportunity to visit the Eastern Air Temple. The ship was left on the shore but Team Avatar had to make the trip up the mountain on foot. There were no complaints about the journey, but Mara kept every one moving, despite the fatigue from most. Eventually they got to the top of the mountain and didn't see any one.
"This doesn't make any sense. Sozin ordered the Fire Nation to inhabit the Air Temples. Why is no one here?" Ty Lee asked Team Avatar.
"Every one just left all of a sudden. It certainly seemed like they were living in terror of this place" Guru Pathik said, coming out of nowhere.
"Who are you?" Haru demanded.
"I am Guru Pathik. I was a spiritual brother of the Air Nomads" Pathik replied.
"Are you able to teach me how to control the Avatar State?" Mara asked.
"Indeed. In order to bring balance to the world, you must first achieve balance within yourself" Pathik replied.
"I am not ready to learn to control the Avatar State yet. First I need to learn Airbending and Energybending" Mara said.
"What better place then here? Just come and find me when you are ready to be enlightened" Pathik said before leaving once again.
"That guy was old" Toph said, though no one really paid any attention.
"Are you sure he will be able to teach you to control the Avatar State?" Suki asked.
"What better shot will I have?" Mara retorted.
"There is no better shot. You need to try this Mara. I also want to learn what he is going to teach" Haru said.
"We all have some things that we are going to want to do. We have many years to get it done" Zuko said.
"What are you saying Zuko?" Katara asked.
"Every day we can all go our separate paths, but we can all stay together during the nights" Zuko said.
"That is a great idea. Shall we start today?" Suki asked. She was met with nods from every one.
"I am going to really miss you all" Ty Lee said.
"We are going to see each other every night Ty Lee" Sokka said.
"Still, we normally spend all day with each other" Ty Lee said.
"Well we are going to have to get used to living like this, because until I finish my training we will be stuck right here, at the Eastern Air Temple" Mara said. Team Avatar embraced in a group hug before they all went off on their separate paths. Zuko gave Mara the bag of Airbending scrolls before leaving her for her training.
Mara stayed where Team Avatar first met Guru Pathik to start her Airbending training. She started by studying the scrolls and putting them in order from easiest to hardest, so she would have an organized way to learn Airbending. Somehow, she felt some one other than Team Avatar very proud of her, though she didn't see any one. Mara didn't expect Aang and Roku were looking down on her.
Zuko went to another end of the Eastern Air Temple so he could practice his Firebending, so he wouldn't be rusty when Sozin comes. Zuko was extremely anxious to fight his sister again. He knew his uncle would be unhappy with him wanting to fight his sister, but he knew it was meant to be.
Sokka was on his own, working on some new sword fighting techniques in a distant part of the Eastern Air Temple. He was also working on making a new sword that fits his personality more as well as making dual swords the same way. Sokka also kept his training up with his singular sword as well as learning how to use dual swords.
Ty Lee and Suki were training together. Suki was teaching Ty Lee the Kyoshi Warriors' style of fighting while Ty Lee taught Suki how to block another person's chi. They became even better friends while they were training due to the extensive time they spent together.
Katara used the Waterbending in her pouch to practice Waterbending with small amounts. She also had to go down to the ocean a couple times to refill her water pouch, since some was evaporating over the extensive time she worked. Katara also was in charge of checking on every one to make sure their training was going well while Haru was training with the Guru.
Toph was generally down on or near the ship practicing her Earthbending, Sandbending, and Metalbending. She was working on compressing earth boulders like Haru tried to teach her. She worked on using Sandbending to build extensive castles or diagrams. She used her Metalbending to try and repair some metal items, like Haru told her, instead of destroying everything.
Haru began his training with Guru Pathik. Haru was amazed at the load of experience, knowledge, and wisdom Pathik possessed. Guru Pathik told Haru he would help Haru to open his chakras and also confirmed to Haru that opening chakras could help his Earthbending skill. Haru sat down in front of the guru and waited for his first task. Haru's first task under the training of the guru was to drink a large bowl of onion and banana juice.
Team Avatar still met every night before going to sleep just as they planned before their training started. Every night they would tell the other members the stories of what they got accomplished that day. During most of the early days at the Eastern Air Temple every member would have something exciting to say to the group. Later in their days that number went down, due to them doing mainly the same things each day.
When Haru's training was finished he generally went around to the rest of Team Avatar to check on their progress. When he wasn't doing that Haru was busy Earthbending with Toph.
Mara was looking at her Airbending scrolls, getting ready to try to learn how to Airbend without a teacher. Mara was worried about her training but finally got to the time where she was ready to get ready. Mara had spent her first day at the Eastern Air Temple organizing her Airbending scrolls and looking them over to learn all she could before actually trying Airbending.
It was finally time for Mara to learn Airbending. She opened the easiest scroll to start her Airbending training. She looked at the first move on the scroll was a called air manipulation. That sounded easy enough to Mara but when she tried she couldn't manipulate any air. Mara wasn't happy but she tried again. Mara again failed at manipulating the air around her. She then looked at the top of first Airbending scroll and read the description under air manipulation.
"Air manipulation is an Airbender's main attack. By using circular, evasive movements, you will build up massive inertia. You will use this energy for wind-based counterattacks that will knock your opponent off-balance, mimicking the sudden directional shifts of air currents. Attacks can vary from simple gusts of wind to miniature tornadoes and cyclones, maintaining the circular theme. Even a simple movement can create an air gust, and the Airbender can increase the power of the move by performing larger sweeps and spins, using the momentum of their movement to simulate larger gusts. Talented Airbenders can use their staves to increase or create precision within the air currents" Mara read. Mara had no idea where she what materials she was going to make a staff. She also read that her staff could be used as a glider as well. Mara was completely shocked at that revelation.
Mara then took another scroll that had the design of an Airbenders' staff on it. Mara knew she could use that design to help her create a glider for herself. Mara was intrigued by that thought of herself making a glider. Creating her own glider would be her first step of her training. Mara was ready for that step.
Mara put away all of her scrolls except for the scroll on the Air Nomad's gliders. She then went to talk to Haru, to see if he could help her make her glider. Mara was looking for Haru but she couldn't find him. Mara went to talk to Sokka, hoping he would know where Haru is. Sokka told her Haru was down at the dock at the ship. Mara thanked him and ran down to see Haru.
"Haru, can you help me with something?" Mara called once she saw him. Haru was lying down on the ship and he sat up once Mara called his mane. Haru motioned for Mara to come down to the ship. Mara ran there and sat next to Haru. Haru sat up and looked at the young 29-year-old girl sitting in front of him.
"How can I be of assistance Mara? Haru asked.
"Yes. I need to create an Airbender glider but I don't know what materials I am going to use for it" Mara replied.
"You are asking for my help?" Haru asked.
"Yes. Why else would I be here?" Mara asked.
"Do you have a design for a glider?" Haru asked.
"Yes. It is right here" Mara said as she handed it to Haru. Haru studied the schematics before turning back to Mara slowly with a slight smile on his face.
"Let's do it" Haru said as he stood up. "What materials are we going to use for the staff?" Mara asked.
"You will see" Haru said. For the rest of the day Mara and Haru worked together to create Mara's glider out of the materials they found in the Eastern Air Temple grounds. The two worked together day after day for many hours out of the day before they finally completed Mara's glider. Unfortunately Mara couldn't use it yet due to not being an Airbender yet. Once they were done Mara thanked Haru before returning to her Airbending training.
It was a few months before Mara finally was able to Airbend. Mara worked on her Airbending all day most days out of the week. Mara continued working on her Airbending for over a year before she decided she was ready to try out her skills with her glider.
Mara worked on flying by using her glider directly above ground for many months before she decided she was finally ready to attempt to fly at high altitudes. She told Haru to watch her so he could save her if she fell. Haru agreed and watched Mara. He did not have to save Mara from falling. It seemed like she was a natural with a glider. Mara landed very smoothly right next to Haru. She closed her glider and looked up at Haru.
"Very impressive Mara, your skills with a glider are most impressive" Haru said.
"Thank you Haru" Mara said before working more on her Airbending attacks.
Haru continued his normal day of going all over the temple, making sure every one was alright and no attacks were happening. Overall, nothing exciting happened at the Eastern Air Temple for years to come. It was actually until Mara finally thought she had become an Airbending master, did something exciting happen.
It was a warm, sunny morning on the day Mara finally thought she could become an Airbending master. Her goal was to put on a little show for her friends to show them what an Airbending master could truly do.
Mara had called the rest of Team Avatar to come watch her big Airbending display. Once every one was sitting down in front of her Mara started her display. Mara used many great Airbending moves with extreme precision. Mara started with basic attacks such as an air blast, an air punch, an air kick, an air swipe, and air suction at the end to bring her staff to her.
Then Mara took to the air using her glider. She flew around the Eastern Air Temple with such precision and beauty that every one smiled at her obvious ease and happiness at being up in the air. Team Avatar smiled at the girl that they knew as the person who never stopped working flying around at play like a little kid. Mara finally landed back in front of Team Avatar and bowed to every one to cap off her performance.
"That was amazing Mara. So what is going to happen now?" Zuko asked.
"Well. I have some more to learn from Haru" Mara said.
"What are you talking about Mara?" Katara asked.
"Yeah. What are you thinking Mara? Don't over train. You still have to fight Sozin" Ty Lee said.
"Ty Lee is right, but what can Haru teach you?" Suki asked.
"Yeah. You have already mastered Earthbending" Toph said before every one looked over at Haru.
"Mara wants me to teach her Energybending" Haru said. With that no one challenged Haru and Mara because they knew there was no stopping Mara once she has her heart set on something.
After taking 36 months to master Waterbending, 40 months to master Earthbending, 64 months to master Firebending, and 60 months to master Airbending most Avatars would be done with their training. Mara, on the other hand was not a normal Avatar. Most Avatars don't take that long to master the 4 elements, and most Avatars do not attempt to master Energybending. Mara had spent 200 months of her life, over 16 years mastering the 4 elements and now she wanted to attempt to master 1 more.
Mara got up early to meet Haru outside in a relatively open area. Mara saw Haru and walked out to meet him. She sat in front of Haru and got ready for the speech she knew was coming.
"I can tell you know I am going to spend a long time talking" Haru said.
"You have already taught me Earthbending. I know how you start" Mara joked but Haru waved her off.
"Well I am glad you know my style. But Energybending is much different then any of the other 4 bending arts. If you do not use Energybending correctly the effect could kill you. I learned Energybending the old fashioned way. I learned it from the original source, a lion turtle. I still remember what he told me about Energybending" Haru said. He closed his eyes before continuing.
"The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can touch the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginning-less time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light" Haru told her.
"What does that mean?" Mara asked.
"It is saying, a truly kind being can Energybend with out being harmed. It also says that sense the beginning of time good has outlasted evil. It is our job to make sure that doesn't change" Haru said.
"Okay" Mara said slowly.
"To bend another's energy your own soul must be unbendable or you will be corrupted and destroyed" Haru said.
"Now I don't know about this Haru" Mara said with a worried look on her face.
"Kneel down" Haru ordered. Mara wanted to argue but agreed to kneel down in front of her master. Haru put a hand on Mara's forehead and breathed slowly. Haru smiled as Mara's eyes glowed for a second before returning to normal.
"What did you do?" Mara asked.
"I gave you the ability of Energybending. I saw inside your body and knew the energy inside you is unbendable. You will be able to Energybend" Haru said.
"But if you gave me the ability to Energybend how is my energy unbendable?" Mara asked.
"You energy is unbendable, but instead of taking an ability away from you I gave you an ability, which I could do to any one" Haru replied.
"So now I am an Energybender?" Mara asked.
"Yes, you are now a master Energybender" Haru replied.
"That was too easy. How am I a master? I haven't even used Energybending yet" Mara argued.
"From the look on your face I assume you have a plan" Haru said.
"Yes. Let's go. I need to tell this plan to every one" Mara replied.
"I will go get every one" Haru said and he hurried off.
Haru quickly summoned Team Avatar and they all waited for Mara's big announcement.
"Okay. I have an announcement that could decide the fate of the world" Mara said.
"What announcement could be that big?" Sokka asked.
"Most of you probably know we will be fighting the Fire Nation again soon" Mara said.
"Just get to the point Mara" Zuko said.
"After I learn to control the Avatar State we need to go to the Northern Air Temple" Mara said happily.
"Why would we go to the Northern Air Temple?" Ty Lee asked.
"There are people who life there. I don't know what Mara is thinking though" Katara said.
"Katara is correct. We got a letter from Teo and the mechanist this morning while you and Haru were out Energybending" Suki said.
"How did they know we are at the Eastern Air Temple?" Haru asked.
"We sent them a letter a few weeks ago" Sokka said, referring to him and Katara.
"Okay. So why are we going to go to the Northern Air Temple?" Ty Lee asked.
"We are going to go to the Northern Air Temple and I am going to use Energybending to give every one at the Northern Air Temple the ability to Airbend" Mara said.
"She is going to bring back the Air Nomads" Haru said.
"You can make people benders?" Sokka asked.
"Yeah, do you want to be made a bender?" Mara asked.
"Well we have 2 Earthbenders, 1 Waterbender, 1 Firebender and 1 Avatar. If you make Ty Lee a Firebender, Suki an Airbender, and if you make me a Waterbender then we will have 7 master benders plus the Avatar to challenge Sozin and Azula. If we do that our chances will be much greater at finally ending this long war" Sokka suggested.
"I don't know about that Sokka" Mara said slowly.
"I think it is a good idea. We will need all the help we can get against Sozin and Azula. This could give us the edge we need to take them out for good" Haru said.
"Is that safe?" Suki asked.
"It is completely safe. You have nothing to lose" Mara replied.
She then walked over to Ty Lee and used Energybending to make her a master Firebender.
Mara then made her way over to Suki. Mara used Energybending to give Suki the abilities to master Airbending.
Finally, Mara went over to Sokka and used her Energybending to give Sokka complete mastery of Waterbending.
Mara smiled at her work and watched Sokka Waterbend, Suki Airbend, and Ty Lee Firebend.
"Tomorrow I will go see Guru Pathik and master the Avatar State. We will leave as soon as we can" Mara said.
Every one went to practice their bending.
Katara and Sokka practiced their Waterbending.
Haru and Toph practiced their Earthbending.
Zuko and Ty Lee practiced their Firebending.
Mara and Suki practiced their Airbending.
Soon, Mara and Haru was the only two people who were still awake. They were planning how they were going to get to the Northern Air Temple.
"We should just sail there on the ship" Haru said.
"I agree with you, but it might look odd to sail a Fire Navy ship to the Northern Air Temple" Mara suggested.
"That doesn't matter. We need to move quickly. Tomorrow, when you are with the guru, the rest of us will pack the ship so we can leave once you are done" Haru said. Mara agreed with him and then they both went back to their respective tents for a well deserved night of rest.
Mastering the Avatar State
Mara woke up and was ready to master the Avatar State. She wanted to know some more about the Avatar State so she sat down and reached deep inside herself for Aang. Her eyes glowed momentarily and Aang's voice was heard.
"The Avatar State is your most powerful state. It gives you all the power and the knowledge of all the past Avatars. You are the 1201st Avatar Mara. The Avatar State may be your most powerful state, but it is also you're most vulnerable. If you are killed in the Avatar State the reincarnation cycle will be broken, and the Avatar will cease to exist" Mara heard Aang say. Mara then got up out of her tent and went right to see Guru Pathik. The guru was waiting for Mara and Mara sat down in front of him.
"Good morning Mara. Drink up" Guru Pathik said as he gave her some onion and banana juice. Mara took a drink and nearly spit it out.
"What is this?" Mara asked angrily.
"Onion and Banana juice, yum" Pathik said before showing Mara his empty bowl. Mara looked over in disgust before finishing her bowl.
"Today, we are going to open your chakras. What do you know about chakras?" Pathik asked Mara.
"What are chakras?" Mara asked.
"There are 7 chakras. Each chakra has a purpose and deals with a different emotion, and each chakra can be open and closed depending on the individual's state of mind. When a chakra is open, energy is free to flow about the body, but when a chakra is closed the energy can no longer flow" Pathik said.
"Alright" Mara said.
"The first chakra is the Earth Chakra and is located in the base of the spine. It circulates through survival and is blocked by fear. What are you afraid of?" Pathik asked. Mara meditated and saw she was standing in a circle of fire. Sozin was in the shadows and breathed fire at her. Mara got out of her meditation and looked at the guru.
"You are concerned for your survival. In order to open the Earth Chakra you need to let go of your fears" Pathik said. The image of Sozin appeared in Mara's head and she breathed slowly. Sozin's image disappeared and Mara opened her Earth Chakra.
"The second chakra is the Water Chakra and is located in the sacrum. It circulates through pleasure and is blocked by guilt" Pathik said. Mara meditated again and thought about the last 134 years of war. She saw images of Fire Lord Sozin leading his troops to wipe out the Air Nomads and she saw Dragon Emperor Sozin kill Aang by creating an explosion with lightning.
"The war has happened. You can not change that, but you can save the world. You need to forgive yourself" Pathik said. Mara breathed and her Water Chakra was cleared.
"The third chakra is the Fire Chakra and is located in the stomach. It circulates through willpower and is blocked by shame" Pathik said softly. Mara meditated and saw how long it took for her to complete her Avatar Training. She was obviously troubled by the images of her long training.
"Some Avatars have more trouble mastering the four elements than others. You are now a master of the 4 elements. You have succeeded in your goal. Let your shame flow down the river" Pathik replied. Mara opened her eyes and got a nod from the guru, since she had opened her Fire Chakra.
"The fourth chakra is the Air Chakra and is located in the heart. It circulates through love and is blocked by grief. What is it that you grieve?" Pathik asked Mara. Mara meditated and saw Avatar Roku, Avatar Aang, and General Iroh.
"Love is a form of energy. Their love for you has not left this world. It is still here for you, in new love" Pathik said. Mara closed her eyes and remembered the rest of Team Avatar and remembered that they were willing to fight for the fate of the world. Mara let go of her grief and opened her Air Chakra.
"The fifth chakra is the Sound Chakra and is located in the throat. It circulates through truth and is blocked by the lies we tell ourselves" Pathik told Mara. Mara meditated and recalled when she told Haru she wanted to keep working through her Earthbending block so she could save the world, however she actually wanted to complete her training quickly so she could get out of the rut she was in.
"You are nearly a fully realized Avatar. You are out of the rut" Pathik said. Mara smiled and told herself that truth, clearing her Sound Chakra.
"The sixth chakra is the Light Chakra and is located in the forehead. The Light Chakra circulates through insight and is blocked by illusion. The biggest illusion is the illusion of separation" Pathik told Mara.
"Are you talking about the 4 nations?" Mara asked.
"Yes. We are all 1 people, except we live as if we are divided" Pathik said.
"You're right. Even Sozin is just another person living in the same place as me and you" Mara said.
"Exactly, congratulations Mara, you have opened your Light Chakra" Pathik said to a smiling Mara.
"The seventh and final chakra is the Thought Chakra. The Thought Chakra is located in the crown of the head. The Thought Chakra circulates through pure cosmic energy and is blocked by earthly attachments. What attaches you to this world?" Pathik asked. Mara meditated and saw Team Avatar. She saw all of her friends bending and having fun.
"You need to let them go" Pathik said.
"How can I let go of my friends?" Mara asked.
"You need to let them go in order to allow the pure cosmic energy flow in from the universe" Pathik said.
"Why would I choose pure cosmic energy over my friends? Why is it a bad thing that I feel an attachment to them? 3 chakras ago that was a good thing" Mara said angrily.
"You can still be friends with them, but they can not attach you to this world. You need to let them go" Pathik told Mara.
She meditated and attempted to let go of her friends. Images of Team Avatar flowed across Mara's meditation. Mara saw herself being taken high above the planet to walk along a purple stream of cosmic energy. The stream is radiating from a gigantic image of himself in the Avatar State, which surrounds her in a sphere of energy radiating from its palms.
Mara broke out of her meditation and looked at Guru Pathik.
"Congratulations Mara. You have gained control of the Avatar State" Pathik told her.
Mara automatically knew how to activate and deactivate the Avatar State at will. She did not know how she knew but she knew. She told Pathik Team Avatar was going to need to depart the next morning. Pathik told her he would see them the next morning.
Back to the Northern Air Temple
It was before dawn on the day after when Mara mastered the Avatar State. Team Avatar was packing all their things under the light of the moon. They wanted to get all the way back to the Northern Air Temple as soon as possible. Guru Pathik went down to the dock to say his final goodbye to Team Avatar.
Every one had something to say to the guru and they told him as they passed Pathik for the last time.
"Thank you sir" Suki said.
"You need to take care of yourself" Sokka said.
"Be careful" Toph said.
"Thank you for your help" Katara said.
"I am guessing the Fire Nation will invade shortly. Good luck" Zuko said.
"Keep your aura clean. You are doing a great job" Ty Lee said.
"Thank you for your training. It has helped me" Haru said.
"Thank you for helping me to control the all powerful Avatar State" Mara said. The Guru was so happy with the thanks he received from Team Avatar it seemed like the old man was beaming.
"Goodbye every one, I hope you will bring peace to the world. You are our last hope" Pathik said once Team Avatar was on the Fire Nation ship. Every one waved goodbye to the guru before setting off full steam ahead toward the Northern Air Temple. It was a very long trip to the Northern Air Temple since they had to travel all the way around the world, but Team Avatar never stopped the ship other than to get more coal for fuel for the ship and when they needed more food.
When Team Avatar was in port with their ship they split up to maximize efficiency. Toph, Haru, and Mara used their Earthbending to get the coal into the engine room as fast as they could. Meanwhile, Zuko, Sokka, Katara, Suki, and Ty Lee went to get food for the humans as well as hay for Nini. They all then went back to the ship as fast as they could so they could keep moving.
Team Avatar's ship sailed around the Earth Kingdom at very fast speeds. Team Avatar sailed around the Earth Kingdom at intense speeds until they saw a giant pirate ship. The pirate ship was easily larger than Fire Nation ship that was holding Team Avatar. The pirate ship was over 5 times as long, 2 times as wide, and 1.5 times as tall. The pirate ship stopped Team Avatar from getting by. Haru told the rest of Team Avatar to hide before he looked up at the giant ship to see the ship's captain.
"What is the meaning of this?" Haru called up.
"Why do you sail Fire Nation colors?" the pirate retorted.
"This is a stolen ship. We are just trying to get away from the Fire Nation" Haru replied.
"I do not believe that. Where is your crew?" the pirate asked Haru. Haru motioned for the rest of Team Avatar to come out to meet the pirate ship's captain.
"Well, I see some of you are from the Earth Kingdom and some of you are from the Water Tribes" the pirate captain replied.
"That is correct. May I ask why you are stopping us from resuming our travels?" Haru called back.
"You all look like you are fighters. Why don't you come up to our ship and fight" the captain called down.
"You expect us to be stupid enough to go up there to meet your giant crew of pirates to get mugged?" Haru retorted sarcastically.
"Well it seems like you are scared of a few pirates" the captain replied.
"Well I guarantee you just the 8 of us could destroy your ship" Haru said confidently.
"I would love to see you try" the pirate said.
Haru looked over to the rest of Team Avatar and they prepared to spring into action. Team Avatar launched an all out assault on the larger ship. Haru went under the water and used Metalbending to rip the hull of the other ship apart. Mara, Toph and Zuko used the cannons to launch flaming fireballs at the larger ship. Katara and Sokka used Waterbending to push the two ships apart from each other, while Ty Lee and Suki went to the control room so they could take control of the ship and steer it away from the larger pirate ship. Haru got back on the ship before they sped off away from the giant sinking pirate ship.
"I told you we would destroy your ship" Haru called to the captain with a smirk on his face.
Team Avatar laughed at the dozens of pirates abandoning the giant ship and throwing a fit in the water as Team Avatar's ship sped away.
Team Avatar sailed away as fast as they could on the way to the Northern Air Temple. The ship stopped the night before they reached the Northern Air Temple for their final dinner before they reached the Northern Air Temple.
"Tomorrow we will reach the Northern Air Temple" Haru said.
"You're right. Tomorrow the Air Nomads will return to the world. What would my Great-Grandfather say about that?" Zuko asked jokingly. Every one laughed at that point.
"I can't believe tomorrow I will rebuild the Air Nomads. Thank you for all your help" Mara said.
"It was our pleasure to continue traveling with the Avatar" Sokka said.
"Sokka is correct. We all enjoy your company" Suki said.
"Yeah, your aura is very strong" Ty Lee said.
"Thank you all. Am I the only one that is nervous?" Mara asked.
"Nervous for what?" Katara asked.
"Eventually we are going to have to fight" Mara said.
"I know. I think I have a plan as to when we are going to fight, but I won't tell any one before we reach the Northern Air Temple" Haru said.
"Why can't you just tell us?" Toph asked.
"I am not going to tell any one before we reach the Northern Air Temple. This is something I need to think over. For now, we need to get up very early tomorrow morning. Goodnight" Haru said. Every one gave in to Haru and went to sleep so they could wake up early the next morning.
The next morning, Haru woke every one up very early so they could get up to the Northern Air Temple. Haru led the ship in close enough for every one to get off the ship without any problem. Every one packed up their personal belongings nice and neat, just in case they would need to make a quick getaway, though no one really expected to need to make the quick getaway.
Mara, riding Nini, led Team Avatar up to the Air Temple by foot and they went right to the temple, looking for Teo and the Mechanist. They found them quickly, since the Mechanist was working in his study while Teo went to greet Team Avatar. He took Team Avatar to his father after hearing the urgency in Mara's voice.
Return of the Air Nomads
"Dad, the Avatar is back" Teo called in to his father's study.
"Come on in Teo. How are you all doing?" the Mechanist replied.
"We have something to do. Mara is the new Avatar. She has an idea that could save the world" Haru said.
"Alright, if the idea is of that importance then you should go ahead and speak" the Mechanist replied.
"I know how to bring back the Air Nomads" Mara said.
"How would you do that" Teo asked.
"I would like to use Energybending to give all of the people living here at the Northern Air Temple the ability of Airbending" Mara said.
"Is it safe?" the Mechanist asked.
"Completely, she used that ability to give me the ability to Waterbend, Suki the ability to Airbend, and Ty Lee the ability to Firebend" Sokka said.
"Well how will you do it?" Teo asked.
"I just need to see every one living here one by one" Mara said.
"Will you need a break in between the people you see?" the Mechanist asked.
"No. I just need enough time to complete the maneuver" Mara replied coolly.
"Alright, would you like me to get every one lined up?" the Mechanist asked.
"Yes, but let me give you and Teo Airbending first" Mara said. She stood up and walked over to Teo and the Mechanist. Mara put her right hand on the Mechanist's forehead and her other hand on her own heart. After she gave the Mechanist the ability to Airbend she did the same thing to Teo.
"Go and get the people in line. Team Avatar will be here to help keep order" Sokka said. Mara stayed put in the Mechanist's study while Team Avatar went out to control the people. The Mechanist and Teo then went to get the people.
Sozin and Azula were at the Fire Nation palace looking over a war meeting. The war meeting was small with only General Shinu, Admiral Liang, and Captain Kuzon were sitting before the Dragon Emperor and the Dragon Empress.
"So we all need to do is destroy the Avatar, and then the world will be ours?" General Shinu asked. General Shinu, Admiral Liang, and Captain Kuzon waited for a while but he didn't get a reply from Sozin.
"Excuse me sir?" Captain Kuzon called up.
"What?" Sozin asked bluntly.
"We need to figure out how we are going to win the war" Admiral Liang replied.
"I could have answered that for you. All we need to do is destroy the Avatar" Azula replied.
"We just need to wait for the perfect time to strike. I have heard from a band of pirates that the Avatar stole a Fire Navy ship and was seen sailing around the Earth Kingdom recently" Sozin said.
"Where are they headed?" Kuzon asked.
"We don't know. However I do have spies that followed them across the Earth Kingdom, but I have not received word back from them yet" Sozin replied.
"That is a good plan sir" Shinu replied.
"So we will keep you posted on the Avatar's location" Azula replied.
"Go and get all your troops ready. They need to be ready to go at a moments notice" Sozin replied.
"Yes, sir" Liang replied. The 3 highest-ranking officers in the Fire Nation Military bowed to Sozin and Azula before leaving. Sozin then looked over at Azula.
"How are we going to track the Avatar?" Azula asked.
"We won't. Eventually the Avatar and allies will have to come out or risk the war being won" Sozin replied.
"Then what are we going to do when they finally show their faces again?" Azula asked.
"We are going to fight. What else would we do?" Sozin asked.
"It will be 5 on 2, with one of them being the Avatar" Azula said.
"So what, we are the most powerful couple in the history of the world" Sozin replied. Azula did not have a retort for that but smiled at her husband.
Mara was still giving the people of the Northern Air Temple complete mastery of Airbending. It took her all day but she finally was able to give every one at the Northern Air Temple Airbending.
Once Mara finished giving every one at the Northern Air Temple Airbending she was invited to a feast in the honor of Team Avatar, held by Teo and the Mechanist. Every one was having a great time and the Mechanist had some words for the people.
"Today, we welcome Avatar Mara as well as her allies. We welcome back Katara and Sokka of the Water Tribes, Zuko and Ty Lee of the Fire Nation, as well as their new friends from the Earth Kingdom Suki, Toph, and Haru. They have all been traveling together in a hope to bring balance back to the world. That is why Avatar Mara has asked to see each and every one of you. Today, the Air Nomads have returned. We, the people of the Northern Air Temple, are the new Airbenders. We owe our new abilities in thanks from Avatar Mara" the Mechanist called out. Every one cheered since they knew Mara had given them Airbending.
"That is why it will soon be time for us, the Air Nomads, to join the war effort against the Fire Nation. My father and I will talk with Avatar Mara and her allies tonight after this feast. We will do whatever she says would be best to stop the Fire Nation from winning this war. But for now, you all may eat and give thanks to the Avatar, along with her allies, orchestrating the return of the Air Nomads" Teo said right after his dad finished talking.
The mass of crowds ate their food and dispersed quickly, leaving Teo, the Mechanist and Team Avatar as the only people left in the courtyard.
"I hope you all enjoyed the feast" Teo said.
"Thank you. The food was delicious. I realize you would like to talk about plans for the war effort right now, but do you mind if they could wait until tomorrow? I am very tired" Mara told Teo and the Mechanist.
"Of course, that works well" Teo replied.
"Can I see some of your new inventions?" Sokka asked the Mechanist.
"I have not invented anything new recently" the Mechanist replied sadly. With that note the Mechanist returned to his study while Teo showed Team Avatar to their rooms. He even gave them a place they could keep Nini for the night. Team Avatar thanked Teo before he walked away to get some sleep himself. Team Avatar then went to sleep for the night, before they decided to talk to Teo and the Mechanist the next morning. Haru knew it was truly the last peaceful night Team Avatar would have until the war ends.
The War of the Worlds Part 1
Team Avatar was sitting in front of Teo and the Mechanist, waiting to start their war talk.
"Alright, so what are we going to do about the war?" the Mechanist asked.
"In order to end the war we need to take out Sozin and Azula" Mara said.
"Why do we need to get both?" Katara asked.
"If we only get Sozin then Azula will take over the war efforts, but if we only get Azula then Sozin will just be even angrier" Zuko replied.
"How are we supposed to take Sozin and Azula out? Sozin killed Aang and Azula has probably been trained by Sozin since Sozin's comet" Sokka said.
"That is a hard one. The only way I can think of to take them out is to get them away from all of the guards" Toph said.
"But how are we going to get Sozin and Azula on their own?" Haru asked. Every one pondered that question for a few minutes before Mara finally had an idea.
"I have an idea" Mara said with a twinkle in her eye.
"What is your idea?" Haru asked.
"In 4 weeks time the 3 nations of the world are going to launch a full assault on the Fire Nation. We need to talk to the Water Tribe leaders and the Earth Kingdom leaders so we can coordinate that" Mara said.
"That is a good plan. Where are the Earth Kingdom leaders and the Water Tribe leaders?" the Mechanist asked.
"The Earth Kingdom leaders are Earth King Kuei and the Council of Five. They are stationed in the Crystal Catacombs of Old Ba Sing Se. I can tell them this plan and I guarantee they will be ready to strike in a heartbeat" Haru said.
"What about the Water Tribe leaders?" Teo asked.
"Chief Hakoda is still the leader of the Southern Water Tribe. He is currently stationed in Chameleon Bay along with Chief Arnook of the Norhtern Water Tribe. They are stationed there with all of their troops, waiting for the right time to mount an attack on the Fire Nation" Sokka said.
"This would be the last chance we have to mount a rebellion against the Fire Nation" Suki said.
"Are you sure you are going to be able to convince the Earth Kingdom and Water Tribe leaders to agree to this plan? It sounds like a suicide mission" the Mechanist said cautiously.
"Chief Hakoda is our father. He will trust us" Katara said, referring to her and Sokka.
"During Sozin's comet I singlehandedly defended Omashu from the Fire Nation troops. I have earned my reputation in the Earth Kingdom for my war knowledge. They will trust me" Haru said confidently.
"It will take an extreme amount of time for you all to get to them" Teo said.
"We can move fast, but once we leave I don't think we will have time to come back" Toph said.
"That is fine, as long as this plan goes into affect" the Mechanist said.
"We can leave today if you think that would be the best thing for us to do" Mara said.
"Yes. Just get going so we can prepare our troops" the Mechanist said.
"Alright, good luck when you help us face the Fire Nation" Haru said. Team Avatar thanked the Mechanist and Teo for their hospitality before leaving to the Earth Kingdom. Team Avatar used the ship to get to the tip of the Earth Kingdom. At the tip of the Earth Kingdom Haru, Toph, Sokka, Katara and Nini got off the ship. Ty Lee, Zuko, Suki, and Mara worked on sailing the ship to the crescent island, which would be the meeting point. The 4 travelers traveled together until the outer wall of Ba Sing Se. While Haru and Toph prepared to infiltrate the Crystal Catacombs of Old Ba Sing Se Katara and Toph remounted Nini before leaving toward Chameleon Bay as fast as Nini could move.
Toph and Haru used Earthbending to travel underground Ba Sing Se to avoid detection. They traveled right to the Catacombs without any difficulty; however they were captured by the Council of 5 before they realized who Haru and Toph were. Once they remembered Haru and Toph were let go. Haru was allowed to talk to the troops that were stationed into the Catacombs.
"Attention every one, you may know me as the man who singlehandedly defended Omashu from the Fire Nation during Sozin's comet. Now, I come to you in need of your help. The Fire Nation is nearing victory in the war, and our last chance to rebel is coming up. In 25 days time we are going to fight the Fire Nation. It will be the Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, and the newly revived Air Nomads all teaming up to take the world back from the Fire Nation" Haru said. That was met by cheers from the Earth Kingdom troops. Haru smiled at his work and looked toward General How.
"Make sure your troops are ready at a moment's notice" Haru said before leaving with Toph the way they came right back to the outside of Ba Sing Se. Toph and Haru then went toward Chameleon Bay as fast as their earth waves could carry them.
At Chameleon Bay Katara and Sokka were getting ready to tell the Water Tribe troops about Mara's plan.
"Attention every one, we are the children of Chief Hakoda and we have been traveling with the Avatar recently and there is a plan where the Water Tribes, Earth Kingdom, and the revived Air Nomads fight the Fire Nation in our last chance" Sokka said.
"The Avatar will be leading us through the battle. Be ready and make sure your troops are ready at a moment's notice. In 25 days time the battle will begin and after the battle, one way or another, the war will finally end" Katara said. Sokka and Katara then went to see their dad before they left.
"We will be ready shortly. Are you leaving now?" Hakoda asked.
"Yes. Haru and Toph should show up here very soon, then we will need to go to the Crescent Island. We will meet the rest of our allies there" Katara said.
"Okay. Haru and Toph are up there" Hakoda said, pointing at the 2 Earthbenders on a ridge above Chameleon Bay.
"We will see you after the battle dad. Good luck" Sokka said before he followed Katara up to the ridge. They jumped on nini before they all went to the Crescent Island as fast as they could.
While Team Avatar went toward the Crescent Island a Fire Nation guard was seen on a ridge also above Chameleon Bay in easy hearing distance. He was seen writing a letter that told about Mara's plan and hoped Sozin would be able to come up with a plan that would allow the Fire Nation to repel the plan of the Avatar. The Fire Nation guard sent the letter via messenger hawk to Sozin and Azula, unbeknownst to the Avatar and her allies.
The War of the Worlds Part 2
Sozin and Azula were seen at the Fire Nation Capital reading the letter from the Fire Nation spy. Shockingly Sozin looked happy as he looked down at his messenger.
"Move the army to the Crystal Catacombs of Old Ba Sing Se, move the navy to Chameleon bay, and move the air force to the Northern Air Temple. Then we will draw the Avatar to the Fire Nation capital so we can end them in short fashion. All of our guards will be gone and it will be just us waiting for the Avatar. We will end the war with this one battle" Sozin ordered. The messenger bowed and ran to talk to the leaders of the army, navy, and Air Force.
"What if it is a trap?" Azula asked.
"What if it is a trap? I am counting on it! We are going to draw the Avatar's allies to us and we can destroy the leaders of the rebellion in one swift swoop" Sozin said before laughing evilly. Azula joined him in the laugh and the couple prepared to counter the Avatar's plan.
Later that day, Sozin and Azula took an airship to the Crescent Island while the army surrounded Ba Sing Se, the Air Force flew toward the Northern Air Temple and the Navy traveled to Chameleon Bay.
Sozin and Azula arrived via airship at the Crescent Island first out of the Fire Nation Military. They departed off of their airship using Firebending and let it land harmlessly in the water. Sozin and Azula used their Firebending to propel themselves the rest of the way toward the Crescent Island where they landed on the beach and stayed hidden until early the next morning.
The Fire Nation Army surrounded Ba Sing Se shortly after Sozin and Azula landed on the Crescent Island. General Shinu remembered Sozin telling him to go to the Crystal Catacombs of Old Ba Sing Se to go and find the Earth Kingdom army. Shinu did just that and he led the Fire Nation Army right through the Outer Wall of Ba Sing Se.
The Dai Li opened the front gates quickly and allowed the Fire Nation troops to get into the city. General Shinu led the Fire Nation Army right to the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace. General Shinu waited until all of his troops surrounded him before preparing to bust their way into the Crystal Catacombs. Shinu lit a bomb on the secret entrance to the Catacombs and the place was engulfed in smoke.
The Fire Nation Navy went right to Chameleon Bay to attempt to oppose the Water Tribe fleet. Admiral Liang read the report about the Water Tribe fleet since this would be the most difficult mission he would ever face. Liang knew he is the Fire Nation's top admiral and he knew there were going to be 4 battles that day. Liang didn't give himself the option of failure.
Chameleon Bay looked like a place where the Water Tribes would have the advantage, but Admiral Liang was a master of exploiting his adversaries' weaknesses. He knew the Water Tribes would draw their strength from the moon so he stopped his attack until daybreak the next day.
The Fire Nation Air Force traveled right to the Northern Air Temple. Captain Kuzon was leading the airships. It was his first time leading the Fire Nation troops into battle and this battle was referred to by Sozin as the battle to decide the world. Captain Kuzon was in the lead airship and he looked forward at the Northern Air Temple. Kuzon had never seen an Airbender before but he didn't expect the Airbenders to be a force to him.
Kuzon's airship led the Fire Nation Air Force up the mountain. Kuzon did not know what to expect when he eventually would see an Airbender but he remained confident that his troops would be able to handle any Airbender threat that he would come up against.
Chief Hakoda and Chief Arnook looked over at the Fire Navy fleet stationed outside Chameleon Bay.
"That is an extensive fleet of ships" Arnook said.
"It looks like the entire Fire Navy is here. I guess we will battle much sooner than expected" Hakoda replied.
"Should we attack now, while the moon is out?" Arnook asked.
"Hmm, I think we should wait until they attack before mounting a counter attack" Hakoda replied after some thought.
The next morning Sozin and Azula woke up early, and started walking up to Team Avatar's camp. Sozin and Azula saw Team Avatar just sitting around, waiting to attack the Fire Nation. Sozin looked at Azula and both of them jumped down into the middle of Team Avatar's camp.
"Hello Zuko" Azula said menacingly.
"What are you two doing here?" Zuko asked.
"We are here to form a settlement. What do you think we are doing here?" Sozin asked sarcastically.
"You are severely outnumbered and outmatched. It is 8 on 2. You can't win this fight" Haru said.
"We may be outnumbered, but we are not outmatched" Azula said.
"You two have done so many evil things to the world. You do not deserve to live anymore, this will be a duel to the death" Mara said.
"So, you are the young Avatar. I will enjoy killing you, just like I killed Aang" Sozin said confidently.
After that comment Mara couldn't take anymore of the verbal abuse from Sozin and Azula. Mara led a full attack on Sozin and Azula, who blocked every attack that came their way. Mara was foolish enough to try to fight fire with fire, literally, against Sozin. It was no surprise to any one, no matter which team, that Sozin got the advantage. Sozin then created a giant wall of fire that separated the two teams. He launched the wall of fire at Team Avatar, but they were all able to block it with their respective bending disciplines.
"Young Avatar, you should know from your friends you should never attempt to use Firebending against me. My Firebending is far superior to yours" Sozin told Mara coolly.
"I must admit it Zuko, you have gotten better but you are still no match for me" Azula said.
Sozin and Azula created a circular wall of fire while Team Avatar all used bending to attempt to attack them. Sokka and Katara used a Waterbending attack. Toph and Haru used an Earthbending attack. Ty Lee and Zuko used a Firebending attack. Suki and Mara used an Airbending attack. There was an explosion so bright that blinded every one involved in the battle momentarily.
The War of the World Part 3
The smoke in Ba Sing Se was finally starting to clear. General Shinu and the Fire Nation Army fought General How and the Earth Kingdom Army in a battle of Fire vs. Earth. The Earthbenders put everything on the line against the Firebenders but the Firebenders just kept on coming.
The battle was brutal as both sides knew it would be a fight to the death. General Shinu and General How both led their troops fearlessly, knowing it was all or nothing that day.
It was daybreak at last over Chameleon Bay so the Fire Nation Navy attacked the Water Tribe force. Admiral Liang and his fleet of Fire Navy ships started their engines and advanced on the Water Tribe fleet.
The Water Tribe fleet was ready for a fight, as always, even before the Fire Nation started their attack with shooting flaming fireballs at the Water Tribe Navy. The Waterbenders used their Waterbending to create waves, thus protecting the ships and neutralizing the effect of the Fireballs.
The Fire Nation Air Force was ready for their attack and they were making the long climb up the mountain in their airships. Captain Kuzon refused to stop the airships for anything due to the direct orders he received from Dragon Emperor Sozin. Once he got to the top of the mountain Kuzon began his attack on the Northern Air Temple.
The Mechanist commanded his troops to attack the propellers and bring the Airships down to the ground so they could fly above and land bombs on the Fire Nation Air Force.
As the explosion cleared Sozin and Azula attacked Team Avatar and were on the offensive rather quickly. Sozin and Azula launched quick fire streams and fireballs at their opponents but were quickly surrounded by the superior numbers. Sozin and Azula went back to back to each other, as they kept on the offensive.
Team Avatar, led by Mara, was kept on the defensive. Mara was completely shocked by Sozin's pure power, and she finally knew why she needed to finish her training to stand a chance against him. Despite all of that Mara refused to go into the Avatar State just yet, due to the dangers of the Avatar State.
All though Sozin and Azula were fighting their fight they were soon forced on the defensive and surrounded by Team Avatar.
In Ba Sing Se, the battle was brutal but the Fire Nation Army was slowly overwhelming the Army of the Earth Kingdom. General Shinu was leading the troops with great ease and joy, as he watched the Earthbenders fall to the ground. General Shinu wanted the currently vacant position of War Minister due to War Minister Qin's recent death. That gave Shinu even more reason to end the battle as fast as he could. Shinu also wanted to keep most of his troops alive, for the same reason partly, but also because Sozin was bloodcurdling enough when he was in a good mood.
Meanwhile, at Chameleon Bay the Firebenders were battling evenly with the Waterbenders until another Water Tribe ship was sank by the fireballs of the Fire Nation ships that were firing from behind. After that the Fire Nation Navy started sinking Water Tribe ships and killing the Water Tribe warriors and the Waterbenders as fast as they could.
Admiral Liang also had his reasons for winning the battle at hand. He wanted to return to the Fire Nation and see his family again. Liang was on Shinu's side in the case of Shinu wanting to become the next War Minister and Liang also wanted to end the battle quickly for the same reasons as Shinu.
The fight at the Northern Air Temple was reaching its peak and the Fire Nation Air Force was dominating the newly revived Air Nomads. Captain Kuzon knew he was supposed to kill all of the Air Nomads and had every intention of achieving that goal. He looked down into the battle to see the surrender of the Air Nomads.
Kuzon made sure all of his troops were out of range before dropping a large bomb on top of the Air Nomads. The smoke and fumes from the explosion blurred every one's vision, but Kuzon knew the Air Nomads were extinct once again even before he could see the ground.
Kuzon then wrote to General Shinu and Admiral Liang about his victory. He had a good feeling about his victory being the first one completed. Captain Kuzon then followed the orders he received from Sozin before the battles even started and steered the Airships back to the Fire Nation.
Back in Ba Sing Se, the Earthbenders were being decimated and could not fight back anymore. On more than one occasion General How, who was leading the Earth Kingdom forces, thought about surrendering but he thought against it. His troops were being decimated and the Fire Nation was slowly gaining the advantage in the battle.
General Shinu knew victory was coming but he was upset at the Earth Kingdom forces refusing to surrender. He, along with his troops, slowly started to kill all of the Earth Kingdom forces. The Fire Nation was nearing victory and every one knew it.
At Chameleon Bay the battle was all but over. The Fire Nation troops had killed every Water Tribe force except for Hakoda, Arnook, and Waterbending Master Sangok. Most people, when faced with the situation that faced Hakoda, Arnook and Sangok, would have surrendered instantaneously.
The Fire Nation did not stop their attack and quickly killed Chief Arnook and overwhelmed Chief Hakoda and Waterbending Master Sangok. They were both killed shortly after but Hakoda's last words would be in Liang's mind for years to come.
"As long as the Avatar lives the Fire Nation will never win. You have lost" Hakoda yelled before he finally died.
The battle of Chameleon Bay was finally over. Even as Hakoda was saying his last words the Fire Nation Navy began the long journey back to the Fire Nation, in anticipation of the celebration that was going to be before them once they got back.
The battle in Ba Sing Se was ending in a similar fashion as the battle of Chameleon Bay. This time it was the Fire Nation Army surrounding the Council of Five. Every member of the Council of Five looked toward General How for the cue to surrender but General How kept fighting.
The Fire Nation forces did not stop their attack until General Shinu acknowledged every Earthbender's respective deaths. The battle was over and Shinu knew the Fire Nation was within one battle of having the war won.
Shinu also turned away from Ba Sing Se and returned to the Fire Nation just like the Navy and Air Force did at the end of their battles.
The War of the World Part 4
On the Crescent Island the battle was still going basically evenly. Sozin and Azula were on the defensive but no attacks connected on either side. Sozin and Azula were forced to spin around and around in attempts to block the attacks. They did block all of the attacks but they were not able to get through the thick defense of Team Avatar. Sozin and Azula did all they could to keep Team Avatar on the defensive but .the numbers game overwhelmed them.
Despite all of their quick defensive maneuvers from Sozin and Azula were soon separated. Sozin and Azula attempted to stay together but they couldn't do it against the pure power in the numbers of Team Avatar. Azula was quickly surrounded by Haru and Toph while Sozin was forced to fight the combined forces of Mara, Zuko, Katara, Suki, Sokka, and Ty Lee. Both Sozin and Azula were severely outnumbered but they kept fighting despite that fact.
Sozin eventually was able to use Firebending to propel himself toward Azula and save her from the Earthbenders. They looked like they were going to attempt to retreat but Sozin landed 10 feet away from Team Avatar. Azula stood behind him and watched silently as Sozin rose up both of his hands. Azula smiled as 8 simultaneous bolts of lightning came out of Sozin's fingers. Team Avatar ducked and dodged the lightning and every one, including Azula, was shocked when Sozin stopped his lightning based assault.
Mara thought Sozin was showing he had a conscience but admonished that thought when Sozin shot a fire blast at every member of Team Avatar. Mara had never even imagined any one with the pure raw power of Sozin. Not even Mara attempted to block the fireball. Every member of Team Avatar dodged the fireball thrown their way successfully.
"I have to give you credit Azula. You are married to the most powerful man alive" Zuko said.
"Did you just realize that Zuzu?" Azula asked.
"No. Ever since I met Sozin I knew you two would be perfect for each other and I knew he would be a threat to the throne. He took over the Fire Nation before the arrival of Sozin's comet and today it will be our job to stop him from taking over the world" Zuko said, referring to him and Team Avatar.
"You can not stop us. You are all weak" Sozin said calmly.
"We are not weak. Unlike you, we have the power of friendship" Mara said as she watched Sozin chuckle at her.
"You can not defeat Team Avatar" Sokka said confidently.
"Watch us" Sozin said as he attacked once again. Sozin and Azula charged up a combined attack and they fired it right at Mara who dodged the blow, but the rocks behind her were not so lucky. It took the combined strength of Mara, Toph, and Haru just to hold the rocks up long enough for Team Avatar to escape with their lives, but just barely.
"I hope you know we have not been using all of our strength on you all. We don't need to" Sozin said. Team Avatar decided to ignore that comment and attack with a blast of their natural element. Azula jumped behind Sozin as he created a circular wall of flames that stopped the attacks from connecting with him or Azula. Once the attack stopped Sozin stood up and stopped his wall of fire. He looked into the eyes of Team Avatar who obviously had something on their mind.
Team Avatar then encased Sozin and Azula in a barrier that sealed them from the outside world. Each member of Team Avatar used their natural element in an attempt to keep Sozin and Azula inside and eventually they thought they succeeded but then they looked up in shock as Sozin breathed fire out of his mouth. Sozin and Azula both used pressure control and superheated the dome, causing the ice and earth to melt as the air increased.
The explosion was loud and ice flew everywhere. No one was injured in that explosion and Team Avatar faced Sozin and Azula once again.
"That attempt was futile" Sozin said.
"Stop toying with us. Stand up and fight" Toph yelled.
"You do not want to see a full display of my power" Sozin warned.
"Well let's see what you got. Bring it man" Haru said confidently.
"Believe me, in due time I will. But before that I would like to know one thing. How do you live with yourself Ty Lee? You left behind your family, your friends, and every one that supported you in your life to help the Avatar. What do you have to say for yourself?" Sozin asked confidently.
"I left the Fire Nation because I could not stand your rule anymore. My patience had ran out so I left to look for the Avatar. I told them everything I knew and together we will take you and Azula out forever" Ty Lee screamed.
"The chances of you lot taking us out is about the chance of Zuko getting a halfway decent girl" Azula said.
"I am married to Katara" Zuko said confidently.
"I said decent Zuzu" Azula said, igniting her brother's rage. Zuko wanted nothing more than to shoot a bolt of lightning at his sister but he held himself back.
"You are one to talk Azula" Zuko finally said.
"You are criticizing me for marrying the most powerful man in history? He killed the last Avatar and will do the same to this one too" Azula said.
"Not if we have anything to say about it" Suki said.
"Well you will have something to say about it but you will not be able to stop us. You don't stand a chance" Sozin said.
"Stop wasting our time. Just surrender and we won't have to kill you" Haru said.
"Kill us? Brave Earthbender, don't you remember what happened last time you and I dueled?" Sozin said confidently.
"I will never forget. You defeated me then, but this time it is 8 on 2. You are clearly outnumbered" Haru said.
"True, but you are clearly outmatched. Before the solar eclipse I performed a move that I have only needed to perform once. That day I used 1 move and took out half a legion of Earth Kingdom troops. With that one move I ensured I would survive until I would be able to return to the Fire Nation to take the throne from Fire Lord Ozai" Sozin said.
"Why are you telling us all of this?" Mara asked, obviously annoyed.
"You said you wanted to see a full display of my power. You are about to see it" Sozin said.
"I have a bad feeling about this" Zuko said as he looked toward the rest of Team Avatar. Sozin was obviously charging his Firebending for a sudden attack.
The War of the World Part 5
Team Avatar quickly surrounded their adversaries, but suddenly Sozin's eyes opened wide and Azula jumped on his back. Sozin used Firebending out of his feet to get airborne as he created a cylindrical wall of fire that surrounded him completely.
As quick as a whip Team Avatar launched their natural element at Dragon Emperor but no attack could get through the wall of fire surrounding Sozin and Azula.
Even during the attack, Sozin launched fireballs out of the air that were sent crashing all around his adversaries. Then he rapidly increased the diameter of the cylinder sending a wall of fire outward that took out every human around. Azula jumped down as she and Sozin looked down at the knocked out bodies that were down in front of them. Suddenly Zuko and Mara started moving slowly, but it caused Sozin and Azula to back away from the bodies. They waited for more bodies to start moving but they never did. That led Mara and Zuko, to be forced to attack Sozin and Azula 2 on 2.
Zuko stood across from Azula as Mara looked into Sozin's evil eyes. Mara's eyes flashed light blue for an instant. Every one knew Mara was in the Avatar State and was ready for the war to end.
Sozin attacked Mara with a quick fire stream that Mara used Airbending to block. Azula smiled and attacked her brother with a fire bomb who easily blocked his sister's attempted attack.
Both battles raged on and on with no one able to get an advantage in these heated confrontations.
Sozin attacked with brutal barrages Firebending in vain as Mara was able to use the 4 elements at her disposal to block Sozin's attacks. Mara finally was able to launch some attacks at Sozin but they were all blocked. Mara then launched an Avatar State powered fire stream at Sozin but Sozin stopped the attack and powered the blast more before he launched it back at Mara. Mara was able to block mort of the attack but was still blasted back a little bit due to the force of impact.
Zuko and Azula were also fighting each other across from Sozin and Mara. Azula was the aggressor but none of her attacks fazed her brother at all. Zuko's defense was as ruthless as Azula's offense. The two siblings knew they were fighting for the final time. Zuko told himself he would have to kill Azula quickly and try to double team Sozin, with the help of Mara. Zuko was not surprised with Azula's increase in power since the invasion, but Azula was surprised how much punishment Zuko could take.
Sozin and Mara were still fighting each other, with neither person able to get the advantage. Sozin was launching white fireballs at Mara, who was blocking all of them, by channeling her bending with her staff. Sozin is the only person on earth who would have a chance against the Avatar State, and he was the aggressor most of the battle. Mara launched an attack with all 4 elements that Sozin blocked without the ease he implied earlier in the battle.
Zuko and Azula went for a punch at each other, loaded with orange and green fire respectively. The punches connected with each other in a great explosion, driving each other back. The force drove Azula way back behind Sozin and drove Zuko right next to Haru, in Team Avatar's circle of mangled bodies. Despite all of that, Sozin and Mara barely noticed and kept their assault going the entire time.
Then Mara was able to connect with an Airbending attack that pushed Sozin away with her Airbending. Even before Sozin's momentum stopped Mara attacked him with Earthbending and Waterbending, damaging Sozin. Sozin tried to stand up and got driven into the air with Earthbending. Sozin tried to use Firebending to counter Mara but she did not stop her attack. Mara used all 4 elements to attack Sozin. Sozin was doing whatever he could to counter but it was to no avail.
Mara then created a barrage of all 4 elements and prepared to finish off Sozin for good. She launched the attack at Sozin but Sozin was able to launch an extremely powerful jet of fire, deflecting the attack enough to avoid the killing blow. Both, Sozin's attack and Mara's attack, connected with their target enough to do damage, but not enough to be the killing blow.
Both, Mara and Sozin were knocked down after that attack but they were moving. Sozin and Mara stood up, clothes tattered, and started circling each other again.
Sozin made sure Azula was behind him before working to drive Mara into the middle of Team Avatar's mangled bodies. Sozin then shot a bolt of lightning out of each one of his fingers and launched it right at Mara, who was still in the Avatar State, surrounding her in a blue nimbus. But Mara, being in the Avatar State, knew what it was like to face Force Lightning but was knocked on her back due to a fireball tripping her. Despite the shock, she deflected the first session easily and tried to redirect it. The lightning bent, arcing back toward Sozin.
Sozin redoubled his attack. Hurling lightning out of all ten of his fingers, Sozin backed away so he was right in front of Azula. To Mara, the barrage of lightning felt like hurricane winds, even though she was still in the Avatar State. Mara had never faced some one so strong in his own bending.
Sozin's lips curled in anticipated triumph, and the lightning pulsed as he drew even more power to his lightning. Mara caught it. The lightning was immensely strong and Mara was ready to throw the attack back at Sozin once the attack stopped. But Sozin didn't stop; the lightning came in a steady crackle, the intensity building more and more, until finally Mara could not hold it anymore. The lightning exploded in a blast that was far more powerful than the blast that killed Aang. The blast killed Mara, and in turn made sure Team Avatar was dead as well, due to Mara being in between Team Avatar's broken bodies. Once the explosion began Sozin used Firebending to propel himself right in front of Azula and used Firebending to shield her from the explosion.
Sozin was knocked down by the force of the explosion and he fell right in front of Azula. Despite that, Sozin kept up with his shield, doing everything he could to protect Azula.
Sozin and Azula shared a kiss while standing above the scarred, mangled and broken bodies of Team Avatar. The Avatar State has been ended and the world remains in Sozin's control.
For the collective works of the author, go here.