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|New Arrivals, Part I|
December 3, 2013
Chapter Two: New Arrivals, Part One
Sokka's Mansion, Republic City (Spring, 126 AG)
Katara strode out of the bedroom, tying her robe's sash around her waist. Aang was still fast asleep, tired from the long trip and the brief entry into the Avatar State during the flight. After the incident, she had him sleep the rest of the way, watching over him so that he wouldn't re-enter the Avatar State. Once they had landed at Sokka's home, he woke up and greeted the chairman of the United Republic Council with a tired smile before heading to bed.
Walking into the massive kitchen, Katara yawned and twisted her hand slightly. A blob of water floated in front of her as she searched for a tea kettle. Bending the water into the kettle, she placed the kettle on the stove and turned it on.
As she turned, she spotted Sokka striding into the kitchen, already dressed in his traditional warrior's uniform. Today, he was meeting with General Kuruk and the leaders of the United Forces to discuss increased military spending and upgrades needed for the fleet. Sokka's strong support of a military for the United Republic had allowed the United Forces to begin in the first place a decade before.
The chieftain turned to his sister and smiled. "How are you this morning, sis?" Even at forty-one years old, he still wore the same grin from all those adventures twenty-six years ago. Walking over to the mirror, he stroked his beard before putting his sword into his sheath. Turning from the mirror, he strode back into the kitchen and hugged his little sister. "It's good to see you again, Katara. When the kids and Suki are away, I just feel so lonely in this house by myself."
"I know, Sokka. I just wish we could live up here near you so we could see you more often." As she said this, he tensed up and pulled away from the hug. Grinning again, he tried, and failed, to hide something from her. "Sokka, what are you hiding? You are a horrible liar and you know it."
Rather than face his sister's questioning, he turned to the door. "Sorry. I can't talk right now. I have to go to the meeting. Bye!" The proud chieftain now ran from his sister out the door. Wiping sweat from his forehead, Sokka turned around on the front walk and looked up at the second floor bedroom, where the Avatar still slept. "You owe me big time, airhead."
Back in the house, Katara frowned as she poured the jasmine tea into a cup, which she held closely for warmth. Why is Sokka acting so strangely? What is he up to now? Before she could delve deeper into the mystery, Kya slid down the banister into the front hall.
"Good morning, Mom."
She was dressed in a blue dress which reminded Katara of something that she wore all those years ago. Wearing her hair in loopies, she was the spitting image of her mother, with bright, blue eyes which matched her clothing. Grabbing an apple, she turned around and tossed it in the air. Katara turned back to grab her tea cup, as well as to pour her daughter a cup.
"What are your plans for this week, Kya? Do you want to meet anyone while you're here?
"Yeah. There's an old friend who is in town for the week. I'm gonna take the tram downtown and meet him today."
Katara smiled as she took the milk out of the icebox. "Are you telling me that you are going on a date? Kya!"
"I'm sorry, Mom, that I didn't meet my true love at age fourteen. I need to get out more. The boys in the South are cute, but I want to see the world. And Dad won't take me on any of his trips, so I barely get out."
Katara sighed and put down the milk. She closed her eyes and wrung her hands out. Turning to Kya, she took her hands into her own, and looked into her blue eyes. It's like looking into a mirror and seeing myself at that age.
"Listen, I know it's hard just living at the South Pole. After you are done with school, we can look at letting you go to Ba Sing Se or the Fire Nation. I want to let you have the same experiences I had when I was your age. I mean, when I was nineteen, you weren't even around yet and we were still flying between Ba Sing Se and the Fire Nation, trying to build Republic City. We didn't settle down in the South Pole until you were five and even then, your father has always been working here to save the world."
Katara's voice trailed off and she blinked twice. Kya noticed her mom drifting into thought. Mom must really feel alone sometimes, especially when Dad isn't around. They had me and Bumi when they were so young, but Tenzin is only six. They must love each other a lot, or else I don't think that they would be so happy.
"Mom! Are you serious about the traveling thing? Can I really go to Ba Sing Se this year?" Katara sighed and stared at her. A spark lit up her eyes, and she grinned so crazily that Kya was reminded of her uncle. "You know what? I'm coming with you. Bumi can take care of himself, Tenzin can stay with Aang or Gran Gran, so we can go as mother and daughter. I can show you the world."
Kya lit up as she heard her mother's plan. A trip away from the family with Mom? This is a dream come true. "Mom, pack your bags. We're going!"
"Going where? What's going on?" The two women turned to see Aang standing in the doorway, dressed in his Air Nomad robes. He looked revitalized after the harrowing experiences of his entry into the Avatar State.
"Nothing, Dad." Kya winked at her mother and laughed. She was ecstatic: she was finally finding the freedom she had always craved. As the last Air Nomad, her father always took her younger brother on trips, leaving her and Bumi at home in the South. While they had fun with the other Water Tribe kids, both yearned for adventure. Guess that's my inner airbender talking, Kya thought.
Even her bending was not enough to draw her father's attention: at age 18, she was on the path to becoming a waterbending master. But her father never taught her any techniques, too busy with Tenzin. Her mother had taught her everything, from simple pushing and pulling to the octopus form and healing. That particular sub-skill was the most difficult to master: her best friend Roku, Zuko's son, had mastered lightning generation faster that she had mastered healing. Kya lacked the innate talents of her mother or father, but possessed raw bending power similar to Aang.
Southern Water Tribe (Winter, 122 AG)
When she was fourteen, she was in a training duel with Roku on one of his many visits to the South. He was in his element: the sun shined down on them that day, and he had pushed Kya to the edge of a cliff overlooking the village. As Kya bended an ice shield rather clumsily around her, Roku saw his opportunity and flipped backwards. As he hung in the air, he launched a flurry of fire blasts, too weak to shatter the shield. Kya saw what he was doing, but was too late to stop it.
As Roku landed, sparks danced around him. A single bolt of lightning ignited from his right hand, strong enough to shatter the shield, but not lethal. Kya crumpled as what energy remained struck her in the right shoulder. Roku relaxed his stance and began to approach. The young waterbender heard the prince's approach, and filled with rage, stood shakily. As he produced a flame in each hand, she screamed and began to swing her arms, creating a flurry of water whips.
Roku, shocked by the sudden offensive, conjured an immense fire shield, protecting him from the whips. To throw her off balance, the firebender fired two quick shots through the shield. Kya dodged and threw her arms back. Thrusting them forward, a massive wave shot forward, engulfing the Fire prince and extinguishing the fire shield.
Kya, grimacing still from her shoulder wound, breathed in and out. Raising her left hand and clenching it, she broke the ice under Roku and transformed it into liquid water. Suddenly, the firebender was encased in a block of ice and stood defeated.
Walking over to the vanquished prince, she smiled. "Not feeling like yourself, Roku? Come on, that was all you had?" He laughed and stared deep into her eyes. The ice slowly melted off his body and he stepped out. "Kya..." She had turned to start walking back to the village.
Turning around, she grinned at the young prince. He blushed and mumbled something. "What do you want, Roku?" He shook his head and grinned sheepishly. "Nothing." Kya's eyebrows scrunched together as the waterbender began to walk back to the village.
"Kya!" Kya was snapped out of her daydream by her father. She blinked twice and looked at him. "When are you headed into the city? I can take you there if you need to." Kya brightened up. "Sure!"
A few minutes later, they flew low over the city, which was shrouded in fog. "I'm meeting him by the train station, Dad. Just drop me off there." Appa landed with a groan and Kya disembarked. Aang blanched as he remembered his vision. "Kya, be careful."
She turned and grinned just like her uncle. "I'll be fine, Dad. Bye." With that, she turned and disappeared into the crowd gathering around the station. Aang smiled weakly and flicked the reins. "Appa, yip yip!" The sky bison slapped his tail and took off, ascending into the sky.
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