Sunrise at Eastern Air Temple
"I will die, and he will live.
All I ask is to be remembered..."

Older Sokka
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"All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope."
— Winston Churchill


Yakone stands trial for his crimes. What actually happens behind close doors to find him guilty? Sokka debates with the other council members; hilarity ensues.


The entire room noticed a tense pressure and anxiety. Witnesses and reporters filled all the rows in City Hall, ready to take a picture or write the next headline. A metalbender cop stood in front of every pillar, focused on his or her task. If the rumors are true, this is no ordinary criminal they are dealing with.

Slight whispers reverberated through the air:



"Life in prison..."

In handcuffs, Yakone waited at the front of the room. He said nothing, but he could feel every living heartbeat. He sensed the warmth in every body. He felt the blood coursing through the veins of every person in the room. With his eyes closed, Yakone could tell you the height and weight of every living thing sitting or standing in City Hall. Aang sat directly behind the potential convicted, unsure how to feel about the situation. Years ago, in that moonlit forest he witnessed Hama and Katara duel. He remembered the icy chill of another reaching in and taking control of his every movement; he would never forget the awful sensation. The memory of Katara breaking down into tears beneath the full moon lingered in Aang's thoughts. Bloodbending is the darkest, most sinister form of bending. He hoped, with all his heart, that the witnesses were wrong about Yakone.

"Yakone has ruled Republic City's criminal empire for years. Yet he has always managed to stay out of the law's reach, until now. You will hear testimonies from dozens of his victims and they will tell you, Yakone has maintained his grip on the underworld by using an ability that has been illegal for decades: bloodbending."

The tips of Sokka's fingers went numb at that word, "bloodbending." He winced at the memory of Hama controlling him like a marionette, cackling as she manipulated his every limb. If it hadn't been for Katara, he surely would have died during that fateful encounter with "The Innkeeper".

"The prosecution's entire case is built upon the make believe notion that my client is able to bloodbend at will, at any time, on any day. I remind the council that bloodbending is an incredibly rare skill and it can only be performed during a full moon. Yet, the witnesses will claim that my client used bloodbending at every other time, except for the full moon. It would be a mockery of justice to convict a man of a crime that is impossible to commit."

The five council members looked at each other doubtfully then left their seats and made their way inside the locked chamber to discuss the verdict.

"I don't know what to say...even with all the witnesses, there is no actual, physical proof."

"I agree, even though Yakone is a crimin-"

"Can you believe this guy? Did you see that smug look on his face?! Someone needs to slap some sense into that guy!"

The council members turned to Sokka with mixed groans.

"Come on! You know he's bluffing! He wants you to think he's not a bloodbender, so then you won't be expecting his next strike! I've seen this before back in-"

"Sir, is there any logic behind anything you just said?" the Northern Water Tribe representative sighed.

"Just hear me out. I've been all over the world, and I've seen some crazy stuff: pirates, sea serpents, meteor showers, weird giant mole creatures, volcanic eruptions, greasy people living in a swamp, a mythical library with an annoying owl, not to mention that lovey-dovey cave that everyone said was cursed but I kept telling them-"

"Just get on with it already!" the others cut in.

"As an outstanding storyteller it's crucial that I set the scene and really paint a detailed description of my travels.

"Some people just don't appreciate the linguistic arts," Sokka thought to himself.

"Anyways, what I meant to say is that just because nobody has ever performed bloodbending without a full moon doesn't mean it's impossible. There are all kinds of prodigious, talented benders out there. Aang mastered the thirty-six tiers of airbending faster than any other human in history. Toph Beifong singlehandedly invented metalbending at age twelve, which helped destroy Ozai's fleet of airships, might I add. There was even this metal guy with a creepy third eye on his head that allowed him to create explosions with his mind. We never really figured out his name but I came up with Combustion know....since he can-"

"We know."

"All I'm saying is, Yakone poses a grave threat to the city. He already controls the underbelly. If he is, in fact, a bloodbender of incredible talent then it's only a matter of time until he takes over the whole city. I say we deal with him severely."

The Air Nation councilman spoke up, "I understand your concern, and I would be inclined to get rid of such a threat, but the evidence here is sparse and far between."

"Whatever...If all of you want to let an all powerful bloodbender waltz around Republic City playing puppet-master, be my guest. It will be like a play...we can charge twenty yuans for admission and maybe fifteen for kids under the age of twelve. Tourists from all over will show up! Besides the chaotic violence that will ensue, it sounds like a fun time for families...ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?!"

"Sokka please calm down, you're blowing this out of proportion."

"I'm just acting in the best interest of the city. None of you have fought in a battle. You have to make decisions based on instinct-"

"I heard you'll get yourself killed doing that," the Earth Kingdom representative interrupted, with a smirk.

"Shush! I'm still alive aren't I?" Sokka continued, "Sometimes you will be faced with a pressured decision. People from all sides will be yelling opinions and drowning out your thoughts. Look deep within yourself. What do you really feel is right? Think about what I said. Think about Yakone. Think about Republic City."

Sokka rose, nodded to the rest of the council and left the chamber. He returned to the crowded main room and took his usual seat in the middle as he waited for the others to return. He spotted Aang sitting behind Yakone.

He thought to himself, "Look at Air-boy, copying my style and trying to grow a beard."

Aang waved and yelled something inaudible, beaming that classic grin. Sokka just shook his head and rubbed his temples.

"Sometimes I forget he's forty years old and not that goofy little kid in frozen in an iceberg."

The other four council members emerged from the chamber, took their seats around Sokka, and faced the crowd. The Fire Nation representative whispered in his ear:

"We thought about what you said, and we agree. Justice must be dealt for the good of Republic City."

Sokka smiled to himself, "Still got it."

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