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August 17 2009
Tensions is the first chapter of Avatar: Guardian.
Aang, Katara, and Toph are flying toward the Earth Kingdom on Appa. They are talking about the natural disasters that they have had to fix over the last few months. Aang thinks that they are too suspicious. He decides to talk to Zuko about them. The group flies back into the Fire Nation and are talking to Zuko when an explosion cuts their meeting short.
Appa is flying over a vast ocean with Aang steering. They're headed towards the Earth Kingdom with Katara and Toph in the saddle. Aang looks back at the two and says, "Wow, that was a freak flood."
Toph turns her head in Aang's direction and says, "Well duh, Twinkle Toes, that village hasn't had any time to settle since we cleaned their river for them. No one expected that."
Katara looks down thinking about the uprooted lives and expresses her sorrow for them.
Aang says cheerfully to Katara, "But lucky we were passing by to be able to help them, and they were lucky that Doc had his boat ready!"
Katara thinks about the flood and exclaims "Wait, that water was higher than it should have been!"
Toph points out "Well, it was a flood so of course the water was higher!"
Aang sees what Katara means and says "Wait, that is strange, just like the cave in of the crater around the Fire Nation capital."
Toph proceeds to lean her head back and whines about her desire to be able to relax now that the war is over.
At that moment, Aang mutters "That's just too strange." He proceeds to pull Appa's reigns and turn him around abruptly.
"HEY! Watch it Twinkle Toes! Some of us can't expect unnecessary turns like that!"
Aang just looks back at her and says "Trust me, it was completely necessary."
"Why do we need to go back to the Fire Nation, Aang?" Katara asks, confused.
"I need to talk to Zuko. Maybe he knows about that forest that burned down in the Earth Kingdom. It damaged so many lives. It's just too suspicious."
Into the Fire Nation
A few hours later Zuko is in a dark room with candles that grow brighter as he inhales. He hears a massive thud outside of his palace and the candles go out as he opens his eyes. He exits the room and yells to his staff "Everyone, we need to go outside! We have important visitors. I want them treated well!"
Zuko leaves the palace with the staff following him. He greets Aang with enthusiasm. Upon seeing the grave look in the Avatar's eyes, he calms down a bit.
Aang remarks coolly, "Hello Fire Lord. Unfortunately, this is not a visit of leisure."
Zuko understands the nature of the visit immediately and remarks "Is world peace just impossible?"
Katara gets off of Appa and cheers the two up. Zuko asks Aang why they need him. Aang responds with, "We just think that there are suspicious things happening around the world. We want to see if you can detect any pattern with them."
Zuko asks "What kind? Good... or bad?"
At that, Toph responds with "Since we're not here for fun, it's obvious that it's bad."
Zuko briefly rolls his eyes before asking "Okay, what has been happening then? Since we stopped the war, everything should be back to normal. Is this how it was a hundred years ago Aang?"
Aang looks down before answering "It will never be the same. But there have been natural disasters around the world that seem to be more than coincidence."
Zuko asks if there have been fires, growing noticeably angry. He quietly thinks about his qualifications to be leading if people from his own country are out terrorizing the other nations.
Katara says "There have been a few fires, but we are worried about what is happening in the Fire Nation. There have been floods and that collapse of the crater right here in your capital!"
Zuko remembers barely making it away from the collapse in time before telling the group. " I thought that may have been a result of the Agni Kai I had with Azula. The entire city was almost destroyed."
Katara leans towards Toph and mutters "And so were you" before laughing quietly with Toph.
Zuko, oblivious to the joke, looks towards Aang and says "I'll have my people look into the fires as best they can, but its possible that the world just needs a while to heal on its own."
Aang optimistically says "You may be right, but I want to help it on its way as fast as possible." Just as he finishes talking, there is a giant explosion coming from outside the city.
Frantically, Katara asks, "What was that?"
Toph said, "That felt like an explosion coming from outside the crater!"
Aang glances quickly at Zuko and they both said, "Let's go!" before getting on Appa. With a mighty roar, Appa takes off into the sky, towards the explosion.
- If you're wondering where the rest of the team is, you'll have to keep reading. I left some of them out on accident, and others I had a purpose the entire time for where they are.
For the collective works of the author, go here.