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Tales of Jason
"Dinner? I'm in!" Sokka cried, but Katara restrained him from running over to Jason's side.
"Dinner? How can you be thinking about dinner? THINK ABOUT WHY WE CAME!" Katara yelled.
"I agree with Katara." Zuko and Aang said in unison.
Jason shook his head sadly. "I didn't think you thought so badly about me. Maybe I should've left sooner."
"That's the reason why we think so not highly of you, dummy." Toph said, annoyed.
"There's a reason, but come on, can't we eat together in peace?" Jason asked, looking at Sokka arguing with Katara, Aang, and Zuko. Toph's stomach growled as the smell of roasting meat adorned her nose. With a reluctant nod, she shot the ground below the arguing group, shooting them into the air and down to the ground again. Only Aang avoided injury.
"What was that for?" Suki complained, as Sokka helped her up.
"C'mon, we're all hungry, and there's steaming hot food. Are we gonna starve ourselves because we're angry at Jason? Well, I won't!" Toph said in reply.
"Exactly what was I was thinking!" Sokka agreed, ignoring the mass of rolling eyes behind him.
"Well..." Aang said hesitantly.
"I guess we could." Ty Lee agreed.
"Fine, but I'm not sitting next to him." Katara muttered, and with that said, everyone huddled around the campfire. Only Sokka and Toph sat next to Jason, the rest keeping their space. Finally Sokka decided to break the silence.
"So Jason, what was your uh, world like?" Sokka asked. The others looked at him like he was crazy, but Jason wasn't bothered by the question.
"My world was very different from yours."
"Really? How different could it be?" Mai asked.
"Well, for one, my world was a bit more... advanced." Jason said with a laugh.
"Advanced? How advanced?" Sokka asked.
"Well, for one, we had machines that could fly hundreds of people miles away."
"What?" Aang gasped.
"Yeah, and we had trains, cars, and even space shuttles!"
"What the heck are all those things?" Zuko asked, and it prompted Jason into a huge ramble of the different things of his world.
"You could travel into space!" Aang exclaimed
"Wait, how fast was that car?" Ty Lee asked.
"Damn, there were trains underground too?" Toph said in awe.
"Wait, they had factories twice as big as Fire Nation ones?" Zuko asked.
"Man, your world sounds way cooler than this one!" Sokka said.
"I doubt that" Jason said in a serious tone, "My world was just as flawed as yours. We had wars, we were polluting the wildlife, and then the crime... well, let's just say there was a lot of hate in our world."
The group stopped their questioning. Sokka, however, was excited.
"Jason, if your world was so advanced, when we go to the Northern Air Temple, you can help me and the Mechanist build weapons!"
"Unfortunately, I can't help you." Jason said sadly.
"Don't tell me you have absolutely no idea how the machines worked?" Sokka asked nervously.
"No, not that. I'm not going with you guys."
"What? but-" Ty Lee started.
"I've decided that now, I'm not going to be concerned with the problems of this world. I'm just gonna stay and watch."
No Tears to Shed
Aides rose from his chair, looking out at the rest of members gathered. The faces looked back at him anxiously, waiting for Aide's verdict. However, before he made a decision, his eyes spied an empty spot.
"Where is Koh? Does he know that he has been summoned?" Aides asked angrily.
"Koh lives by his own rules. I am not surprised he isn't here." Gyatso said, shifting his eyes over to where Koh usually was.
"I agree with the airbender. Besides, I rather not have Koh here. He does not make for the most... pleasant member," Kuruk commented. "I'd rather have the King of Blades here then him."
"Don't be so simple minded, you fools," Kyoshi scolded the two, "Koh is what he is. He is an important part of the Council."
"Kyoshi is right." Aides agreed, throwing everyone into silence, "He must be found. Jason's choice does not sit well with me. I need Koh's advice on the subject. He is the most knowledgeable on emotions."
Another man sat upon his seat, however, instead of the Spirit World, he sat in the Fortress, home of the Burning Bandits. His commanders, including the disgraced one, had joined him. The man looked over at the disgraced one.
"You have failed me, Hrui. We finally had a clear shot at eliminating top targets, and of course your lightning had to be redirected."
"I am telling the truth, Red Spirit, I swear! The boy, he was somehow able to redirect it!"
"Idiot, do you think I would believe such a lie? Few people are actually able to redirect, especially a young boy! The technique is very advanced, and I doubt one skilled in it's technique would just happen be walking by." The Red Spirit said harshly.
"I suggest we burn him." the commander opposite Hrui said, an evil grin on his face.
"Kyno, that might actually be a good idea..." the Red Spirit said, eying the two of them, and turned to Hrui. "In order to return your honor, you must face Kyno in an Agni Kai."
A few hours later, the small arena was alight with flames. Most of the Bandits had come to see the Agni Kai, mostly out of the Red Spirit's orders, but also because they wanted to see which commander would prove themselves to be the most powerful. The two had always fought for the title of the greatest commander, and this Agni Kai would end their arguing for good.
At opposite ends of the arena the two men stood back to back, their bare torsos bearing the stinging, mountainous gusts. With a sound of a horn, the two turned around, pulling their shoulder garments off, letting them fly in the wind. With another cry from the horn the two lowered into battle stances and circled each other.
"So where do you want me to blast you? In my opinion your face is a grave mistake that a good blast can erase, but it's your call." Kyno sneered, and mocking laughter followed. Hrui became tenser.
"Your sense of humor is a mistake." Hrui said in reply, and blasted fire Kyno's way, but he dodged it easily.
"I hope you can do better than this, or else this will become boring." Kyno said, and returned fire to Hrui, who also dodged it. Hrui blasted a sweep of fire Kyno's way, hoping to unbalance him, but Kyno jumped over it and shot a ball of flames at Hrui from his foot. The blast hit Hrui square in the chest and blasted him off his feet, to the roar of the audience. Kyno jumped again and attempted to smash Hrui's face with another blast, but Hrui was quicker. He rolled to one side and blasted Kyno to the side with a sweep from his foot. Hrui made a low blast at Kyno, hoping to neutralize him quickly, but Kyno suddenly slammed his fist in the ground, making a large pillar of fire, which blocked Hrui's fire. He then shot it at Hrui, who was unable to dodge it. Hrui was sent flying into the arena wall and rolled over with a groan. Kyno walked over to where Hrui landed and cried to the crowd "So where should his mark be?"
"HEART, HEART, HEART!" the crowd roared back. Hrui always talked about how the heart was where a firebender's true power came from. How funny would it be to shove those words down his throat!
The last thing Hrui saw was Kyno standing over him, his fist in flames, saying smugly, "This is gonna hurt you more than it hurts me."
Back at Black Springs Isle, everyone was shocked at Jason's words.
"What do you mean you're not coming with us?" Aang said, shocked.
"Well, this isn't my world. Why should I be concerned with this world's problems?" Jason replied.
"Because you're in it! Eventually someone's gonna find you here!" Aang cried.
"I can defend myself." Jason replied.
"But... but, c'mon, why not?" Sokka asked.
"Why not? Why not?" Jason started angrily, "I'll tell you why not! First off, the whole reason why I left was to make sure I didn't go crazy when you were all around!"
"We can protect ourselves you know. We're not defenseless." Mai said.
"And what if Aang wasn't with us when I go nuts?" Jason asked, but no one answered him. "Exactly."
"But why wouldn't you want to? At the meeting you wanted to help us!" Katara said.
"That was when I had the foolish dream that my world was still alive." Jason said darkly.
"Hey, I know how you feel Jason." Aang said, "All the Airbenders were massacred too. It's hard-"
"You know nothing about how it feels." Jason growled.
"Of course I do! If you just-" Aang started.
"You have no idea!" Jason yelled, cutting Aang off. "You might not have the people anymore, but at least you still have your home! You can visit your damn temple anytime you want, revisit all those memories you had! I can't! First I thought it be a long time before I see my house, now I can't even go to my own city! Ever since that dream....my life has gone NUTS!" Jason cried, and shadow erupted from him, causing everyone else to go into battle stances.
"I'm not that unstable." Jason muttered, and the shadow sunk back into him.
"So you're really not coming with us?" Zuko asked.
"Do I really have to tell you again?" Jason asked back, and he looked up to the now dark sky. "You guys should get some shut eye, or else you'll never get to that temple of yours."
"Come on guys, he's right. Whether he wants to come with us or not, we have to go tomorrow." Sokka said sadly.
"Let's set up camp here." Toph said, who had already made her earth tent a few feet away from Jason's small camp, and everyone started toward the site for the night's sleep.
The darkness on the island was surprisingly easy to see through, as fireflies lit the black of night. Unfortunately, they also kept Momo up. The lemur kept itching his nose as the bugs landed on it. Finally sick of his itchy nose, Momo flew off of Appa, looking for a more suitable place away from the fireflies. However, their light also showed something Momo didn't want to see. They showed him smoke, which meant fire. Shooting into the nearest tent, Momo knew that these people, the friends who he flew with, would be able to help him. Pulling hair and poking everywhere, Momo finally got the tent's occupant awake.
"Momo!" Ty Lee groaned sleepily. However, Momo would not stop until she dragged herself outside. Seeing Ty Lee finally up and out of the tent, Momo flew rapidly in circles, showing Ty Lee the smoke's silhouette.
"Smoke... that might mean fire." Ty Lee mumbled. She looked toward the campsite, and was about to wake Katara up to help her take out the fire, but then she thought about it. If she woke Katara up, that would not be pretty. Second of all, why couldn't she stop a tiny fire? If anything, her cries would hopefully wake the others. Grabbing a bucket from Appa's saddle, she filled it with water and headed for the smoke, which was on top of a large hill down the crater's ramp. Reaching the top, she looked from behind a tree, to see how big the fire was. However, what she saw was much different.
Jason was sitting cross-legged on the ground, staring at a painting in front of him, candles surrounding it. As Ty Lee got closer, she could hear Jason murmuring what seemed like a song:
"Yearning, yearning, for what's left of loving
To stay myself longer
Calling, calling, spirits I am calling
To stay myself longer
Aeria gloris, aeria gloris"
Ty Lee inched closer as Jason continued to murmur, but before she got closer, she stepped on a stick, and froze there. Jason stopped mumbling.
"I heard that. You don't have to hide." Jason said, and Ty Lee guiltily stepped out from the trees.
"Ty Lee? What are you doing here?"
"I saw the smoke from your candles. Well, Momo did and he kinda woke me to get rid of it."
"Oops, sorry. I didn't think the candles would wake anyone up." Jason said, and blew them out, leaving him and Ty Lee in darkness.
"Nah, it's okay. Who are these people?" Ty Lee asked, pointing at the painting.
"My brother and parents. I had a painter paint their portrait before I... left." Jason said, looking at the painting.
Ty Lee looked at the painting more closely too. The man on the left, Jason's dad, was one with a huge stature, with muscles that could probably make wrestlers cry. The woman on the right was much thinner, but with gentleness about her, as if she could calm a rabid animal. However, Jason's little brother was what really stood out. His hair, much like Jason's, was a dark brown, but his eyes were lighter brown, almost crimson. Jason's brown eyes were also light, but closer to yellow. Finally, just by the boy's face she could tell that he was lively, one that had almost unlimited energy.
"What was your little brother's name?" Ty Lee asked.
"Azrael." Jason replied.
"I've never heard of that name before." Ty Lee said, which only added to her curiosity of Jason's brother.
"Well, in my world, it was the name of the Archangel of Death."
"Archangel of... Death?" Ty Lee asked.
"Oh, it wasn't because he liked killing or anything like that. He's... he was ...actually quite the opposite. When my mom was going to give birth to him, the doctors said that a complication might kill her and the baby. The night before she gave birth to him she prayed to Azrael that he may survive. The next day they both got through it alive. She named him after Azrael because she thought he had heard her prayer."
"Wow..." Ty Lee murmured.
"Yeah," Jason said. "I wish I had that kind of strength, to be able to make it through something life and death."
"Wow, your mom was really strong." Ty Lee said, sitting down.
"I know," Jason said sadly. Ty Lee lowered her eyes, and noticed a glint at the edge of her sight. Reaching over, she grabbed a pendant, and after looking at it for a minute, realized whose it was.
"Jason, you dropped your pendant." Ty Lee said, reaching over to give Jason the necklace back, but he pushed her hand away.
"I don't want it. You can keep it if you want to."
"What? But wasn't this in your family for generations?"
But I can't-" Ty Lee began
"Look, either someone takes it or I'll throw it over a cliff. I can't wear it anymore. It reminds me too much of... them, and of me, their failure." Jason replied, looking away.
"What?" Ty Lee said, surprised. "They would never think of you as that! They would forgive you. Maybe if anything, they'd be disappointed. They would want you to help your friends... unless you don't consider us that?"
"Of course I do!" Jason said.
"Well, just think about it." Ty Lee said, and started to walk away. But before she left she stopped and said, "You know, you can cry. It's not a horrible thing, you know."
Jason stayed quiet for a long time before answering her.
"I have no more. I have no tears to shed."
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Book One: Air|
|Visions - - - - - - - - - - - -|