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Reverberations
Chapter information
Series

The Weatherbenders

Chapter

Ten

Written by

PSUAvatar14

Editor(s)

TBD

Release date

27 December 2011

Chronology
Last chapter

Training

Next chapter

A Dire Warning

Reverberations is chapter ten of The Weatherbenders.

Plot

After receiving Iroh's letter, Team Avatar heads to Ba Sing Se for important information. Meanwhile, the reverberations of the Meteorologist uprising are felt.

Advanced author's note

As stated at the start of chapter nine, the events that lead off this chapter took place during that chapter's continuity.

The Story

Fire Nation Navy Base, 3 September, 07:30

Fire Lord Zorro, dressed in his ceremonial robes, made his way down to see his soldiers, as they prepared to attack the Southern Water Tribe, the first major combat action by the Fire Nation against the world since the end of the War. They were going back to where one of their serious acts took place, trying to wipe out the South's new success. Also with him was Ezan. Some of the men he was visiting were his old allies from when he started in the Southern Raiders.

"Good morning, gentlemen," Zorro began. "Today, you will sail towards the Southern Water Tribe, and lay siege to it. The Southern Tribe has been one of our biggest issues from the War. They had all but one Waterbender, and she managed to help 'save' the world. Now they are on the rise again. It is time to reduce them to their deserved state. You will blockade supply routes from the Earth Kingdom coast and Northern Water Tribe. You then know the rest of the strategy from there. Please note, if you are a Weatherbender, you are not to use it unless it is needed."

A man dressed in Navy wear stepped up to where Zorro was. "I am Admiral Xian. I will be leading this mission to the South Pole. All orders will come from me, with those orders provided by Fire Lord Zorro. Myself and Zorro expect the fullest cooperation from everyone on this mission. You have been fed the strategy many times over, so I will not repeat it. I wish all of you the best of luck, and success as we do exactly what Ozai and his ancestors aimed to do, and reverse the damage Zuko did to our reputation."

The soldiers cheered, and began to make their way to the boats. Xian and Zorro shook hands before the former made his way to them as well. Kianna and Baktan stood behind everyone. They would not come in unless Aang, Katara and Sokka were to go to the South Pole and defend their home. For now, they waited, and hoped to share in the new world domination.

Ba Sing Se, 11:00, 5 September

Team Avatar landed near the Jasmine Dragon. Zuko was given a request from Iroh when his letter came back to him. Though it was far out of the way of where Team Avatar wanted to be, Iroh's words, they knew, were important to receive.

The members walked inside the shop, increasing the clamor of all the customers inside. However, they quickly settled down by various workers. A waiter also took notice of the group. "Iroh," he called to the old man, working behind the counter. "Your audience is here to see you."

The Dragon of the West looked up to see them, and put down his present work. He made his way out to the front of the group. "Welcome back to Ba Sing Se, everyone," he said. This was followed by Zuko giving sort of a downbeat look to his Uncle, whom he felt like he had let down. However, Iroh embraced his nephew. "Zuko...it is not your fault." The old general had an eye for such things, and he knew Zuko was still in regret over losing the Fire Nation.

Zuko hugged Iroh back. "Uncle...I'm so sorry...I promised to restore our honor...I lost it."

"It's in the past now, nephew," Iroh told him, breaking from the hug and placing a hand on his shoulder. "I know you can get it back."

"Getting honor back is your specialty!" Sokka said, chuckling, but Zuko shot him a frustrated look back. "Okay, sorry..." Sokka responded.

Iroh turned to Reeaki. "So, you are the one who comes from another world?"

Reeaki nodded. "Yes, General Iroh."

"Please, call me just Iroh," the living legend requested. "I am not a general anymore, and those days I would prefer to have behind me."

"I understand," Reeaki said, before giving him a bow.

The Team made their way to a large round table, which was meant for larger parties. Ten seats were available, which was just enough for all the members to fit.

"I understand the current conflict surrounds the art of Weatherbending," Iroh said. "When I was younger, and while I was receiving education, I studied that art."

"How much did you know about it, Uncle?" Zuko asked.

"I knew enough to understand that it shouldn't be out there," Iroh responded. "But, it appears some people did not follow that principle."

"The Meteorologists," Suki said. "Believe me, we have had our run-ins with them."

As the talking continued, the team was given several teacups, in which their favorite teas were poured into.

"Yes, I am aware of their existance...and I regret that I actually trained one of them while I was in the army," Iroh replied, his head down slightly. "Zorro, the man who overthrew the Fire Nation. He served under me for some time...now I didn't train him in Weatherbending, of course, but still..."

"You couldn't possibly have known what he would become," Katara said to the legendary general. "At that time, he was just another soldier."

"I am just a little ashamed to say that one of my apprentices has become the new face of evil," Iroh replied. "You are right though, Katara...it's true I could not have known."

"It's all okay, Iroh..." Reeaki said, his head now hanging down. "I was..." he gulped. "I was once a member of the Meteorologists."

Iroh was somewhat shocked, but turned to him, and instead of being angry with him, he gave him a look of assurance. "You too, made a mistake, but like my nephew did, you redeemed yourself, and I see you are now here to support the Avatar, my nephew, and their friends."

"I was just so excited to learn about changing the weather," Reeaki sort of drifted his head off to the side. "I...didn't know what they were planning...and in my world, I had felt weather should not be messed with. But...I got overexcited, sometimes I did dream about controlling it. I just let myself become lost. Then I found out what they wanted to do...not just abuse the weather but use it to overrun the world."

"You got out of there at the right time," Iroh said, placing a hand on his shoulder. "You were wise enough to realize you were not meant for the Meteorologists, and knew you had to support this cause. We all make mistakes; occasionally, our path is darkened, and it is up to us to re-light it. Reeaki, you re-lit your path, and you found your way to Avatar Aang, Zuko, and their allies."

"Yeah, Reeaki...don't beat yourself up for making mistakes," Katara said. "You did get away, and joined us."

"Believe me," Zuko added. "I know what it's like to be on the wrong side, and change over."

"Thanks, everyone," Reeaki turned back to them and smiled, before taking a sip of tea.

"That said," Iroh resumed. "Weatherbending is a bad art. Like was said, the weather should be up to the spirits. They took their chance with letting it go into the mortal word thousands of years ago, and it failed. I hope you all understand that when you resolve this conflict, you will need to ensure that it never comes back to this world again."

"As the bridge between the worlds," Aang said with confidence, "I will ensure that does happen. I had the same beliefs. The only reason I am doing this is because we have to, as the guardians of Weatherbending told us."

"The guardians of Weatherbending..." Iroh mused. "Avatar Zentai, Pokai, Grand Monk Algaion..."

"Those are the ones, Uncle," Zuko responded.

"I understand," Iroh nodded. "If it is what needs to be done, I wish you the best of luck. I assure you, you will encounter the individual Meteorologists again."

"They already took someone from us," Suki's head dipped. "Ty Lee.."

"Yes, I am aware of your encounter with them two weeks ago, and my belated condolences on your loss," Iroh turned to the Kyoshi Warrior. "Right now, I don't know the exact circumstances, but word from Earth King Kuei's top generals is that Zorro is rebuilding the military in the Fire Nation. We may need to prepare ourselves over time. You folks as well should be preparing."

"We've gotten instruction in Weatherbending," Katara said, after taking another sip of tea.

Iroh nodded. "Very good, how did that go?"

"As their instructor," Reeaki started, "I assure you that they performed quite well."

"Yep, my boyfriend can change the temperature," Mai said with a smile, taking a grasp of Zuko's hand.

"Keep it up," Iroh said. "It is what is needed to take down the Meteorologists, and do what you promised to do. Like I said, though, after that, you should remove Weatherbending from this world."

"And like I said," Aang spoke with the same tone as earlier, "I promise that will happen. Weatherbending is just too dangerous."

"With all that out of the way," the Dragon of the West again assumed flow of the conversation. "Reeaki, I know someone who can help you explain your circumstances. He lives outside the capital, but not too far."

Reeaki re-focused his attention on the elder man. "Really?"

"Yes," Iroh responded. "He is also someone who came here from your world, about twenty-five years ago. I fought against him for a year or so, and re-met him when I was on my to Ba Sing Se to liberate it at the end of the War, as it turned out he was later a member of the Order of the White Lotus. He lives in a small shack a few miles from the outer wall. It is accessible by the monorail. You should go talk to him. There are reasons why people are brought across worlds, and how they get here. You folks probably won't be here for long, so you should go see him as soon as possible. His name is Hashidi."

"Very well," Reeaki said. "I shall go seek him out once we are done here."

After that, the rest of the team enjoyed their tea. They left a tip for the workers, and made their way outside towards the monorail. "Keep an eye on Appa while we're gone," Aang requested of Iroh.

"I shall," Iroh assured them. "Your sky bison will be in safe hands."

As they made their way to the monorail, a small family came to them. The parents had a little girl alongside them, who was about seven years old, and she carried a stuffed komodo rhino. "Aang!" The little girl yelled.

"Who's that?" Toph asked in confusion.

The Avatar took a look at the little girl. "I remember her...she was on that Fire Nation train with me and Sokka a couple of years ago when we were disguised. Her name is Sho."

Sho came up and wrapped her arms around Aang's waist, which was all her height would allow her. "Aang, you remember me, right?"

Aang rubbed the young girl's head. "Of course I do, Sho. Don't you, Sokka?"

Sokka took a second to think of the day they met. "Now that you say about that train, I do. I didn't see her as much though."

"Hello, I'm Sho's father, Shizu," her father said. "My little girl told me about you. We are very glad that you ended the War...I never wanted to see us overrun the world."

"Good to meet you Shizu, and you're welcome," Aang said while shaking his hand.

"A special thanks for keeping Sho safe the day she was on that train," Shizu added. "Whatever happened to that assassin who was tracking you down, anyway?"

"He actually sort of blew himself up," Aang responded. "In any event, he is dead now."

"Avatar Aang, I'm Azmi, Sho's mother," the young girl's mother began. "I'd just like to extend the thanks."

"You are welcome," Aang told her. "So what brings you all to Ba Sing Se?"

"We fled the Fire Nation when Zorro captured it," Shizu explained. "It was the fact that they created a blizzard, and our family started to suffer. Just three days after Zorro's capture, we caught a boat to the Earth Kingdom, and made our way across it on trains, carriages, you name it. We just arrived here three days ago, and we are starting anew here."

"It was scary," Sho said. "The bad guys were changing the weather! Then my mommy and daddy said we had to leave, and I was sad."

Aang again patted Sho's head. "I'm really sorry this happened to you and your family."

Azmi gasped at the sight of the scarred teenager. "Fire Lord Zuko! It's you!"

Zuko sighed. "You know I'm not Fire Lord anymore."

Shizu gave Zuko an assuring look. "The Fire Nation does not seem to blame you for the capture, nor does most of the world."

"Maybe they don't," Zuko replied, his head down. "But I still wish I didn't let it happen, especially after my promises when the War ended." Mai hugged Zuko to comfort him.

"We have faith that you can restore the world to the postwar status," Shizu said. "Don't give up, any of you. It certainly is a rough time. But, you all came from humble roots and ended the War."

The group nodded. "I promise we will bring the world back to peace...after all, it's my duty," Aang said.

"It's all of our duties," Katara added. "When we joined you, Aang, we all became meant to save the world."

"Exactly," Sokka said. "You guys can count on us," he added to say to Sho and her family.

"Don't forget the breathing exercises when you need them!" Sho spoke in her squeaky voice. "Remember that you taught me those, Aang?"

"Yes, I do," Aang replied. "Do you still use them?"

"Yeah, I did them when we were leaving home," the young girl responded.

"Well, we must be going," Shizu said to the team. "Once again, we have the utmost faith in you, Avatar Aang, and all your friends. We wish you the best of luck in your journey." Sho's father finished with a bow to them, which the team returned. "Come along, Sho. Take care, everyone."

"Bye Aang!" Sho said, as she went with her parents.

"Bye everyone," members of the team said as the family went on their way.

A ten-minute monorail ride later, the team found themselves outside the mighty wall of Ba Sing Se, and into a seemingly abandoned area just outside the Serpent's Pass. Aang looked on the mighty path with some admiration, recalling it as the first place he truly fell in love with Katara. He looked at his girlfriend lovingly, which the Water Tribe girl saw. She smiled at Aang, the memory coming back to her.

All the meanwhile, Reeaki looked ahead and saw the small home that Iroh had told him about just moments earlier. "Well guys...guess it's time to see what's going on," he said back to the team, and entered the shack.

Before him, a man sat at a desk with a map in front of him. Reeaki expected it to be a map of the Avatar World, but to his surprise, it was one of the United States, which some Xs on it. He looked up at the man, who was sitting with the chair turned away from the entrance. "Hello?" Reeaki asked.

"You Reeaki?" The old man asked.

"Yes...are you Hashidi?" Reeaki responded.

The man turned around. He had green eyes, had the look of someone around age seventy-five, and was dressed in common Earth Kingdom citizen wear. "Yes...I am. Welcome to my humble home. I have been expecting you, Reeaki."

"As you know my name, I figured as such," the younger Fire Nation citizen responded.

"I have seen many of your type come," Hashidi said. "I have sort of become the official guy for those of our world to come do, when they cross to this world. "I was the first man from our world to make it here...almost thirty years ago...it was 1979...77 AG or so over here."

"What happened with you?" Reeaki wondered. "How did you get here?"

"I had served for our country in Vietnam," Hashidi responded. "However, even when we were pulled out, I stayed, because I wanted to help the people of South Vietnam. I knew that when we pulled out, the Communists would over run the capital. In 1975, as I feared, that's what happened. I helped evacuate Saigon when the Vietcong took it over."

"Vietnam...I had read up on that, and the fall of Saigon." Reeaki responded. "I didn't hear of many citizens who stayed behind to help their citizens leave."

"After that, I fled Vietnam, and returned to my home, which was in Maryland," Hashidi continued. "My only regret was not being able to rid Vietnam of the Communists. Four years later, I was leaving my job in Baltimore. It was a late night, and I was nearly falling asleep. The weather was poor, so I pulled over for a time to re-gather myself."

"The weather was poor the night I was taken here too!" Reeaki exclaimed. "Is there a connection?"

"I'll get to that shortly," Hashidi explained. "All I knew is that for some reason I left my car. I saw some strange light that appeared to be calling to me...so I went closer to it. I then found myself near this city. Some time later, I was signed up with the Army of the Earth Kingdom. I am not sure how word of my crossing of worlds got over, but it did. Many people came to me, and told me of where they were from."

"But, why were you brought here?" Reeaki said.

"I was getting to that," Hashidi explained. "Near the end of the War here, I was brought into a group called the Order of the White Lotus. Eight years ago, we helped to fight when the Fire Nation tried to break the walls down. Then, days before the War ended, we reconvened to save Ba Sing Se. What I am telling you, Reeaki, is that I had a purpose for being here...and that was to liberate Ba Sing Se, after not doing so with South Vietnam."

"Then what?" Reeaki explained.

"I was given a chance to return to our world," Hashidi responded. "However, given that I was doubling as a guide for people who crossed over here, I decided to stay and keep that position."

"So, what does this have to do with me?" Reeaki wondered.

"You too, have a destiny," Hashidi explained. "Yours is to help save the world from the Meteorologists, by allying with Team Avatar and teaching them Weatherbending, which I understand per the Dragon of the West you have started on. In essence, everyone here has a destiny...they don't just come here nor can they do so all willy-nilly."

"That's right," Reeaki said. "It's a strange thing though, I was intended to help stop the Meteorologists, yet they captured me and brought me here..."

"Things work in mysterious ways," Hashidi nodded. "Hey, you had to learn Weatherbending somehow."

"Just one more thing," Reeaki continued. "How did I get here?"

"That's my next point," Hashidi continued. "For all the stories I have been given, I have been given similar locations from where they're from. The Baltimore area appears to be a popular fall-through spot...I have had five cases come through there in the last seven years. Tell me, where were you when you were brought here?"

"I was in State College, Pennsylvania...specifically University Park, right in the vicinity of Penn State," Reeaki said. "Right...about...here..." he pointed to central Pennsylvania. There, an "X" was located.

"I have had four cases in my time here come through the State College area," Hashidi looked at his map and said. "That area is not quite a hotspot, but it's definitely warranted watching. You are now my fifth case, then."

"So, all these Xs indicate the locations where people have come from, then?" Reeaki asked.

"Indeed," Hashidi looked back towards his map after a nod. "I have plotted twelve American cities where the people have gone through. I told you about Baltimore, also State College...these Xs indicate multiple cases. Also we have here, near Dallas, Texas, a couple here in Florida, somewhere here in Colorado, far from Denver, and others you can see."

The map had other Xs near Philadelphia, Atlanta, one in western Washington state, two in California, with one close to Los Angeles, and a last "X" in southern Illinois.

"That explains how I got here...the Meteorologists took me to the portal in State College," Reeaki said. "Still...my Firebending abilities? How did they know about me?"

"The Meteorologists probably sneaked through that portal for a while," Hashidi explained. "Of course, for every entrance, there is an exit. There's one in each of the nations...I oversee this one, others oversee them in the Fire Nation and Water Tribe. As for your bending abilities...it depends what nation you go to, which is determined randomly when you enter through a portal. Not everyone gets bending abilities though...it's only if your destiny requires it. Yours required bending, hence, you were granted Firebending abilities. Your abilities also start at a certain point based on how critical your destiny is...you probably started out high."

"I didn't need to do much Firebending training at all," Reeaki recalled. "It all seemed to come so naturally."

"Exactly," Hashidi said. "My determined destiny was years away when I started, so my Earthbending abilities were basic at the start."

"So, I only get one chance to go back?" Reeaki again asked.

"Yes," the elder crossover responded. "If you decide not to go, the portal is declared off-limits to you, and it won't work for you. Also, if you don't get to the portal two weeks after your destiny is satisfied, the same thing will happen. Be weary, Reeaki. If you want to go back to Penn State, complete your education...I can tell you are young, a lot of your life ahead of you."

"I am twenty-three," Reeaki turned his head off to the side. "I am behind on my education...I really like it here...but I do miss Pennsylvania, and I have had my goals for a long time."

"It's your decision," Hashidi told him. "If you want to go back to State College? Go ahead. You want to stay here? Go ahead. For now...focus on your destiny. You can't leave this place with an unfulfilled destiny...the portal won't open for someone who has not fulfilled their destiny."

Reeaki nodded. "You are right...I guess I can always decide later. We'll cross that bridge when the time comes."

"Earlier, you said you were taken during bad weather, a rainstorm to be specific," the young man restarted. "I was, too! Did anyone else come here under those circumstances?"

"Indeed," the elder answered. "It seems when it is time for people to come here, days with poor weather are chosen for the portals to open. Anything from fog, to blizzards, to rainstorms, and others. I am guessing it's because people are less likely to see what's going on during days like that. It was also pouring rain the night I came out of Baltimore."

Reeaki nodded. "That does make sense. It's harder to make out a portal during poor weather days."

"Anything else you wish to discuss?" Hashidi asked.

"That is all," the younger of the crossovers replied, and then shook hands. "Thank you, Hashidi...not just for this information, but your service to America and then for this world."

"Glad to help," the veteran said, smiling.

The handshake ended and Reeaki returned out to the team.

"So, how did it go?" Sokka asked. "What did that guy tell you?"

"In essence," Reeaki started. "Where I come from had some type of portal to your world. I was given my bending abilities because my destiny is to help all of you save the world from the Meteorologists, and I have to fulfill that or I have no chance of returning to my world. When we do save the world, I will have to decide between staying here or returning to my world. It's my decision."

"What will you do?" Toph wondered out loud.

"I don't know...for now, let's focus on the task at hand," Reeaki reminded Toph. "The Meteorologists are still out there, and we still have to stop them. I am in this for the whole run, no matter what. Only later will I have to decide what to do."

The team members gave understanding looks, some nodding. "We'll be happy with whatever decision you make," Katara assured him. "We're just happy you came to us...we would be lost with the Weatherbending thing."

"As I said, glad to be here," the crosser of worlds replied. "We will take the Meteorologists down!"

The team gathered around in a group hug.

No one knew if Reeaki would stay or go.

For now, he was there.

A part of Team Avatar.

01:00, 6 September

The team elected to spend the night in Ba Sing Se, for however long they felt it needed. So far, they had gotten nothing new about the situation in the Fire Nation, but should rebel action launch, they would be set to help.

At the Council of Five headquarters, the generals stirred, looking over their map. On it remained weather observations and also troop positions; the map was now serving a double-purpose because of the circumstances. It was after midnight, but they knew they had to work out things.

"If Zorro heads for the Earth Kingdom, we should contact Fong about reinforcements," Sung said.

"Are you sure?" How looked him with a disturbed look. "I don't trust Fong as much ever since he tried to force the Avatar into the Avatar State!"

"Regardless of that act," General Moketo said, "Fong is still one of the best generals we have; his base was not even touched by the Fire Nation during the War. If it comes to it, we should utilize his operations. The guy knows what he is doing."

As this was finished, a messenger came in. "Guys...important message from the Southern Water Tribe."

How took the message an opened it. After reading, he grew a shocked look.

"I'm afraid we are headed for world war again," was all How got out.

Southern Water Tribe, 03:00

The attack was now twenty-one hours old. At sunrise the previous morning, Fire Navy ships arrived, and began launching attacks on stationed warriors. Once they were defeated, ships began to surround the main village, cutting off supply lines. The Fire Navy had cut off the routes that were needed to help the tribe re-gather itself.

Hakoda sat at his desk. Despite the Northern reinforcements, there was no real way for his forces to take out the entire siege force. The South was once again held hostage by the Fire Nation. "This is terrible..." he said to himself.

"Sir," Hiyoki entered. "We have lost half of the primary line. Our numbers are thin."

"Cease our offensive for now, and shift the troops to defensive position," the exhausted chief responded. He had been awake since the attack began, and it was nearing twenty-four hours without sleep for him. "Right now, we need to let Chief Arnook now that we are under siege. His supply lines are presently cut off."

"Reinforcements from the North would be best," Hiyoki nodded. "I'll send out as soon as possible."

"The issue was that we got caught off-guard, Hiyoki," Hakoda continued. "Their attack at dawn was unexpected."

"That is the case," Hakoda's adviser replied. "I will explain that to Arnook. For now, chief, you should get some rest. Siege or not, you're exhausted."

"Have Bato oversee things while I rest," the chief told him, and then he headed for sleep. "Wake me up no later than an hour after sunrise."

Hiyoki nodded, and Hakoda made his way to his bed, uncertain about the future of his tribe for the first time in two years.

Fire Nation, 07:00, Rebel Army headquarters

At an old naval base, Generals Tizou, Azai, and Bujing had been granted large success in the last week in gathering an army. They had several civilians and many deserted soldiers. Further, they now had a building and barracks to hide their soldiers, keeping security against Zorro's forces.

The three generals assembled, sitting at a roundtable.

"Your head count, Bujing," Tizou asked.

"We have 348 soldiers," Bujing said. "A good start. However, we should gather some more before we launch our rebellion."

"We shouldn't need too much more," Azai said. "By taking so much military over to his global mission, Zorro has weakened his domestic forces greatly. They are now mostly inexperienced soldiers, first and second-year men, not very many Firebenders. We have a good chance of taking them on and overthrowing Zorro as it stands."

"Two more days of gathering soldiers, plus additional training, should have us ready for the rebellion," Tizou concluded. "I don't want to wait much longer. Zorro has already conducted his military action against the Southern Water Tribe...it won't be long until he continues with the rest of the world. Let us continue gathering forces in secrecy today."

"Indeed," Bujing said. "A couple hundred more soldiers never hurt."

"We shall reconvene at midday," Tizou said. "You two go on...I will get back to training the soldiers in the meantime."

The army was building.

Rebellion would start.

Would it be too late?

Ba Sing Se, 08:30

"I think we should discuss our next moves," Zuko said, as the team prepared for another day. "At some point in the future, we need to move to support the rebellions in the Fire Nation."

"What rebellions?" Sokka asked. "We haven't gotten anything about any such rebellion."

"You know there will be a rebellion, Sokka," Zuko told him. "I want to be there, to save our nation...I promised the world I would do this."

"Zuko..." Mai whispered to him. "You need to calm down a little." She placed her arms around his shoulders and hugged him closely. "We will get back to the Fire Nation in due time. Take it easy..."

Zuko sighed. "I just don't want to lose everything we worked for at the end of the War."

"Within a few days, I want you all to resume your training," Reeaki explained. "If we are going to get back to the Fire Nation, we should be ready. We can't rush this, and then it blows up in our face."

"What would you know, Reeaki? You just got here days ago!" Zuko yelled back to the new ally. "You think you can just give us orders, when our nation is on the line?!"

"Zuko," Reeaki fired back. "You guys are not ready! You've only gotten to mid-level temperature changes! Zorro and his staff are masters! You will lose to them again if you rush back! Be realistic! I want to see the Fire Nation out of Zorro's hands as much as you do, but we can't be premature!"

"Reeaki's right," Aang said. "Zuko, you don't remember, in fact, only Katara and Sokka do. During the War, General Fong tried to rush me into the Avatar State before I had an understanding of it. The results were ugly...I wound up wiping out his base, and he also tried to take Katara from me."

The young Waterbender shuddered at the memory. "General Fong, more like a general of jerks..." she muttered.

Zuko simply sighed. "I guess you're right. I don't remember you telling us about that, though, Aang."

"Maybe I didn't," Aang looked at Zuko, "but I am telling you now. If we rush before we're ready, everyone will lose. It's better that we wait, and try to let cooler heads prevail. The last thing we want is to not be on the same page when it does come time."

Again, Zuko gave a sigh. "All right." He then looked back at Reeaki. "I'm sorry. I've just been sort of on edge since the Fire Nation fell."

"It's okay," the Weatherbending master replied. "This is not an easy time. But it's better to take our time and be ready for these guys, when we see them again."

As Reeaki finished this, a knock was heard at the apartment door. Suki walked over and answered it, and General How revealed himself to the team.

"Team Avatar," How began, bowing before them. "We received some...bad news overnight on the state of the world. We need all of you to come to the Royal Palace, and join me and the Council of Five for an important meeting."

Team Avatar looked at each other, but later settled. "We'll be there," Aang said.

"Come with me," How replied. "I have an escort ready for you."

Author's notes

I have added a minisode to take place during this chapter: Where We Fell For Each Other. Click the link for more info.

As the next three chapters play out, you will see glimpses of the Fire Nation rebellions and the battles at the Southern Water Tribe.

Fulfilling destinies -- there has to be reasons you're pulled into other worlds, right?

Hashidi will appear again.

The initial attack against the South Pole was not seen...however, the idea of a surprise attack was drawn from the American Civil War, when Confederate general Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson attacked the Army of the Potomac at Chancellorsville while they were at rest, destroying the XI Corps, thus giving the Rebel side a victory. Will the Fire Nation have similar results? Time will tell...

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