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|Prologue: A Shadow in the Light|
Sound and Silence
March 4, 2015
Please note, this is still a work in progress. I don't own any characters, nor the Avatar Universe. If you do not want to know what I would do if I had control over the universe, then turn away, because it's right here.
The illustration is from blue horse-rmd on DeviantArt.
Prologue: A Shadow in the Light
This is not darkness.
At least, it isn't emptiness. There's darkness, to be sure, but there's no feeling of space, no vast expanse. There is only silence, and that silence is suffocating. No movement can push it back, no sensation can quench it. Even trying is pointless; locked into place, the only thing to be understood is what goes on in the mind.
All the sensations in the world lie beyond the silence, all the complexity of life and the earth. But it isn't here; perhaps it's a dream. Light and noise...where did they go? Perhaps there was only ever darkness and silence. But there are still faint signs of consciousness in this chaos, this endless, suffocating chaos. Somewhere, there are others. Outside, the world is falling. But there are memories, inaccessible though they are.
And then a white beam shines forth, breaking a light in the dark, with two words, breaking the muffling quiet:
Raava...the spirit of light. The bringer of restraint. The cause, the effect.
The memories explode.
The pressure is released, and he feels, she feels, they feel the bracing air of a summer's night. The shallow waters of Yue Bay send up a fresh smell of saltwater. The humming of the earth is loud and strong, and a metropolis, covered in vines but still standing tall and proud, rises up from the horizon, the fires of electricity burning in its windows yet. All of this, and all of them feel it. And there...
There stands Korra, once the Avatar. She is larger than life, and she glows with blue light, but it is her. They feel a swell of pride mingled with a tinge of sadness: she is alone, in every sense of the word, a champion of the cause she believes in. At this time, she alone is the hero, turning the dark into light, the amber curves of the water consuming her enemy, their enemy.
Because Korra was the Avatar.
"Go in peace," she says, softly, and Aang, the thoughts in his mind mingling with one hundred and thirteen other Avatars, wants to hug her tightly, though whether to comfort or to congratulate he isn't sure, and nor are any of them.
It happens in less than a second.
Every Avatar, from Wan to Roku, starts to talk at once, a cacophony in the echoing chambers of the spirit's being. The volume is intense, but every sound is there, every minute detail of their thoughts. Aang can hear every word they utter, but he waits his turn.
Raava, he thinks, and feels the light on him as the spirit's own thoughts cascade one way and the other. You'll remerge with her, and she'll be able to speak with us. She never spoke with us, not once I opened her chakras, but now she will. We'll tell her...I'll tell her what she's done. That I'm so proud of her.
There is joy there, emanating from her, but there is also sadness. Can't you feel it, Aang? she asks him, sadly. Can't you feel him there? Use your eyes. Look inside.
Aang has seen only through Raava, how she perceives the world. Now, he looks inward, into the center of her being.
There, in the light, there is a tiny shadow. A small sliver of darkness, drifting aimlessly. And there, in the center, Aang can see the figure of a man, hunched up, shuddering in the glow. The man's eyes glow a deep red.
The fight isn't over, Raava goes on. We survived in Vaatu, but now he will grow in me. By the time Harmonic Convergence is over, we will be two once again. And he will have the powers of the Avatars before him; our memories are shared, Aang, if we share the same form. All the work of today, will be nothing.
The echoes are quietening in Raava's being, as the Avatars of the past turn to listen.
Aang finally speaks.
"He's still growing," he says.
"He is a threat to all of us if he leaves," says Roku.
"But here, smothered by the light..." Kyoshi begins.
"He is harmless," finishes Kuruk, "and can't hurt her or any future life."
He will grow, says Raava. I cannot hold him off. And if he broke away inside Korra, it would kill her.
"Then we will hold him," says Yangchen. "We will hold him, and you will resound while he silences us."
There is cacophony.
Finally, Wan, whose thoughts have been quiet, looks up.
"We can't let Vaatu eat at Korra," he says, and the others turn to him. "We can't let him take over you."
You will not be able to speak to Korra. When she enters the Avatar State, you will not be with her.
"But she will be safe," says the first of the line. "Heh, with all this change, she might not even need us to talk to her anymore."
"She will," says Toutai, firmly, her shawl fluttering as if in a light breeze. "The world needs all the Avatars. But they need their own Avatar as well."
"We'll drown him out," says Lu, nodding her head. "Korra will be at peace. No dark passions, no mood swings, nothing that will give Vaatu a chance to strike."
"Do you think she'll be alright if we do that?" says Aang.
"Her personality will change dramatically," says Shenyu. "But with luck it'll just be mistaken as experience."
"Let's hope it works," says Vyakara. "And let's hope she makes the best of her life without us, and comes to join us in the future."
Harmonic Convergence is nearly over, Raava tells Korra. We must return to the Spirit World, so we can fuse once again.
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