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|By Agent Slash||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|More from Agent Slash||Action/Adventure, Drama||PG-PG13||Positive||N/A|
|The Avatar's Trial|
Aang was thrown into a dark cell in Police Headquarters. Once the two officers who escorted him in shut the doors, there wasn't a lot he could see. He ran his hand against the wall, looking to see if there was some sort of light switch. It didn't seem likely, but he figured he might as well try. No such luck. Oh, well. Aang thought. I've got more important things to worry about.
Just then, the doors opened. All of Team Avatar stood outside the doors and, somehow, slowly entered the room. "Don't worry, Aang," said Katara. "One way or another we're getting you out of here."
"Katara, it could be at least a year until I go to trial. With the Light Clan out there, I can't afford to wait that long," Aang replied.
"Don't worry, Aang," said Zuko. "The trial is tomorrow."
"Tomorrow?" Aang asked, "How did you manage to arrange that?"
"Toph said that since Zhu made the call to bring you in without her approval, she could decide when you went to trial!" Sokka said, excitedly.
"That's right. I've got your back, Twinkle Toes," Toph said.
"And don't worry. I'm a very capable lawyer," Sokka added.
"Thanks, guys. I just can't believe this is happening." A certain thought had been buzzing through Aang's mind like a buzzard wasp. He was afraid to ask it, but he figured that since this was the last time he would see his friends until the trial he should ask them now. "I didn't seriously hurt anybody, did I?"
Nervous glances were exchanged throughout the room. The first person to muster up the courage to speak was Suki. "Uh, you may or may not have killed Mayor Qian," Suki said.
"What?!" asked Aang. It really did amaze everyone in the room, even those he had known since he escaped the iceberg, how much concern he had for his enemies.
"You sort of dropped him out of a three-story window," Bo said.
"Where is he now?" asked Aang.
"They rushed him down to intensive care in the closest hospital nearby," said Katara. "He's in critical condition, but the doctors say he may pull through it."
Aang furrowed his brow. This simply was unbelievable. "Is that why Zhu was so angry?"
"He's going to rip me to shreds out there," Aang said. "He won't rest until I'm locked away for good or worse. He's probably even willing to pay off the judge."
"Don't worry. We'll all be there to support you," said Ai.
"Thanks, Ai," Aang said. "You guys go. I'm going to need some rest for tomorrow."
Everyone nodded and complied with Aang's request. One by one, they all left the room, leaving Aang to the darkness once more. The Avatar felt he'd had more than enough darkness for one night. He lay down, trying to get some sleep, but, just as those long nights when Appa had been ripped away from his family or when the Harmony Restoration Movement had taken a turn for the worst, he couldn't fall asleep. He just lay there and listened to the convicts in the numerous prison cells around him moan about how they didn't belong there and the things they wanted to do to Toph if they ever got out. It wasn't until an officer told everyone to shut up that things got quiet. "All of you shut up! If I hear so much as a spider-rat fart in here for the rest of the night, every single one of you will spend the night in the infirmary! Every last asshole in here!" That shut them up. Aang was able to relax more after that. Eventually, his eyes closed and he drifted off to sleep.
Aang awoke the next morning greeted by the three stooges themselves: Ho Tun, Penga, and The Dark One. "Chief Toph told us to escort you to the trial," said Penga.
"Thanks," said Aang. He stood up and walked outside his cell, following the three metalbending stooges outside the police station and into an ostrich horse carriage marked 'Police Carriage'.
Once they climbed in, it was silent for the majority of the trip. All four passengers kept thinking of things to say, but the three metalbenders were reminded of the fact that they didn't know Aang very well. Once they pulled up outside of the courthouse, Ho Tun finally broke the silence. "Please, Mr. Avatar Aang, don't let yourself be doomed! We need the Avatar or else all of Republic City will be doomed!"
"I'll try my best not to let that happen, Ho Tun," Aang replied. "You three take care." The Avatar stepped out of the carriage and saw his friends standing before him.
The Dark One whipped the reigns of the ostrich horse and turned the carriage around, muttering as he left. "I hate escorting people to court."
Aang approached the rest of Team Avatar, waiting for someone to explain how this was going to play out when Katara spoke up. "Don't worry, Aang. We've got this whole thing worked out. Sokka is going to be your lawyer while the rest of us sit and watch."
Aang glanced over at Sokka who had a smile a mile wide. "I thought Sokka was kidding when he said he was a lawyer," Aang said, doubtfully.
"I'm not officially," said Sokka. "But that doesn't mean I can't give Zhu a run for his money. Don't worry, buddy. I'll have you back on the street by lunch."
"Alright, Sokka, I'm counting on you," Aang said. He walked up the steps along with the rest of his team. They strode through the glorious halls of Republic City's finest courthouse until they finally reached the courtroom they were looking for. They entered and everyone already present inside turned around to see the team of heroes. While most of the team sat down, Aang, Sokka, and Toph moved on. Aang and Sokka sat at their table, while Toph moved over with two other police officers standing to the side of the room. Aang and Sokka looked over to their right to see Zhu sitting with a lawyer. She appeared to be in her mid-thirties, had short, black hair and was wearing glasses.
Katara saw her and scoffed. "I can't believe they actually found a lawyer in this city to prosecute Aang. I mean, he's the Avatar for crying out loud!" she whispered to Zuko and Suki who were sitting right next to her.
"I know. It's unbelievable," Suki said. "After all he's done for these people."
"That's exactly why you don't have to worry," Zuko said. "Because of all he's done for these people."
"I don't know, Zuko," Ai said. "I mean, I want to believe we have nothing to worry about, but the destruction speaks for itself. I just hope the jury can be reasonable about this."
"All rise!" the bailiff announced. Everyone did so. "The honorable Judge Roido will be presiding over this trial today." The bailiff continued.
After the judge entered, everyone sat back down. "The prosecution may state their case," he said.
Zhu's attorney rose and started pacing around the courtroom. "Your honor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, citizens of Republic City, I stand here today appalled. Appalled at that man sitting right over there," she said, pointing towards Aang. "Because a third of our great city has been damaged by that man and his recklessness. Of course our great city could never be permanently damaged. Oh, no. This city is much too strong for that. But dozens of citizens were brutally assaulted last night in the streets by this man. Some may even have died. I ask you, my fellow citizens of Republic City: Where is a city's foundation if not within it's people? And to attack the foundation of our city is truly a despicable crime."
"Objection!" Sokka shouted. "None of the people Aang attacked were killed!"
"This is true," said the judge. "What have you to say to this, Ms. Aya?"
"All I have to say to Mr. Sokka is he shouldn't say that just yet. It is unknown if Mayor Qian will survive what your client did to him," the prosecutor, known as Aya, said.
"Mr. Sokka, you may now proceed with your defense," the judge instructed.
Sokka arose from his seat and took the floor. "Okay, first thing's first. Let's lighten the mood in here. Who wants to hear a joke?"
Aang drooped his head downwards while Katara gave herself a face palm.
"Okay, so there is this guy who walks into a bar and the whole time he's there he hears nothing, but compliments, but he can't figure out where they're coming from. Then suddenly it hits him! He's eating a bag of complimentary peanuts!" Sokka laughed at his own joke and then stopped once he noticed no one else was. The entire courtroom was silent. For a brief moment, a rather loud cough was heard. "Um, now that I've... lightened the mood..." Sokka continued, his demeanor snapping into a more serious one. "I have a few questions to ask. By a show of hands, how many of you are from the Water Tribes? Northern or Southern." About fifteen people raised their hands, including three people on the jury. "Alright, now many of you are from the Earth Kingdom?" Sokka inquired. This time, about thirty people raised their hands. "And how many of you are from the Fire Nation? Come on, get those hands up!" About twenty people raised their hands, including Aya and Zhu.
"Your honor, what is the point of this?!" Aya asked, annoyed.
"Yes, Mr. Sokka, please do get to the point!" Judge Roido demanded.
"Don't worry, your honor, I am. Don't all of you see? If it wasn't for Avatar Aang, then every single one of you who just raised your hands would be under a dictatorship! All of you from the Earth Kingdom and Water Tribes would be under the rule of Former Fire Lord Ozai right now if it wasn't for Aang! And all of you from the Fire Nation would still be under the rule of Former Phoenix King Banhen!" Sokka stated, concluding his opening statement.
"Ms. Aya, do you have anyone you wish to call to the stand?" asked Judge Roido.
"Yes, your honor," Aya replied. "I call the man named Bo to the stand!"
Bo stood up from his seat and walked up to the stand where the bailiff put a book under his hand. "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?" he asked.
"I swear," Bo replied.
Aya moved over to him and looked him in the eye. "Mr. Bo, where were you exactly around one o'candle in the morning?"
"I was at my house celebrating my victory in the amateur pro-bending tournament," Bo responded.
"And did you receive a visit from this man last night?" Aya asked. It was beginning to vex several of Aang's friends how Aya only referred to him as 'this man'.
"Yes, ma'am, I did," Bo answered.
"And what was the nature of his visit?" Aya inquired.
"He landed in front of my house and he had these creepy, purple glowing eyes-"
"We don't need to get that specific, Mr. Bo, just tell us what he did once he arrived," Aya said.
"Once he got there, he, um, well, destroyed my house," Bo stated.
"There you have it your honor! From one of the defendant's own personal friends!" Aya hollered.
"But he didn't know what he was doing! He was-"
"That's enough, Mr. Bo. You may have a seat," Aya dismissed him.
Bo reluctantly went back to his seat, feeling bad about not being able to follow up his statement.
"I now call Ms. Suki to the stand," Aya said. Suki approached the stand, took the oath, and got on with it. "Now, Ms. Suki, where were you around the time the aforementioned events occurred?"
"I had just gotten back from Yu Dao with two of my warriors when I saw some explosions in the distance. The three of us went over to check it out and saw Aang wrecking stuff," Suki stated.
"See, your honor? Yet another witness claims-" Aya started.
"However," Suki continued. "I witnessed his eyes were glowing purple and a strange purple, black aura surrounded him."
"Ms. Suki, we don't need anything more from you," Aya started.
"You asked me to tell the truth? The whole truth? Well, that's exactly what you're omitting!" Suki retorted.
"Who do you think you are to yell at me in a courtroom during a trial?" Aya asked.
"Who am I?" Suki asked. "I'm the woman who ensured that Ba Sing Se is still free. That's who I am."
"Listen, honey, we all appreciate what you did for Ba Sing Se, but that was nine years ago. Nobody really cares anymore, so please stop thinking you're so important that you don't have to keep a civil tone in this courtroom."
This set Suki off. "How dare you?! You think I risked my home, my life, and watched my friend die in the sand of the Si Wong Desert for you to tell me what I did was unimportant?!"
"Your honor, can we please get back to the topic of discussion?" Zhu asked.
"Yes, indeed. Ms. Suki, please step down from the stand." Suki furiously marched back to her seat.
"Are there anymore witnesses you need to call up?" asked the judge.
"Yes, there is one more," said Aya. I call Fire Lord Zuko to the stand."
Zuko arose from his seat and went to the stand. After taking the oath, he awaited Aya's questions. "Fire Lord Zuko, where were you when the aforementioned events transpired?"
"I was returning from the Earth Kingdom with Toph," Zuko replied.
"And what happened once you returned?"
"I saw explosions in the distance so I rode to the scene of the disturbance and saw that Aang had been affected by something," Zuko said.
"How do you know he was affected by something?" Aya asked, not having anticipated Zuko's clever wording.
"Because, for one thing, I saw the purple, black glow coming off of him and for another thing, Aang would never do anything like that unless some otherworldly force made him do so."
"Fire Lord Zuko, stop being ridiculous!" Aya snapped. "Whether you want to admit it or not, this man has committed a heinous crime against the United Republic of Nations!"
Zuko was indignant. "Avatar Aang created the United Republic of Nations! And so did I! If it wasn't for me and him transforming the Fire Nation colonies into a haven for people from all of the nations, then none of us would even be standing in this room having this trial! Why would he so suddenly and recklessly destroy what we devoted several years of our lives to? The long, unbearable nights, the headaches that would never go away, the blood that was almost spilled outside of the gates of Yu Dao were all the result of our dedication to building this place! And as for your little insult to my friend, Suki, tens of millions would be under the rule of a cold, iron fist if it hadn't been for her courage, bravery, and sacrifice! There is a reason there is a statue erected in her honor in the upper ring of Ba Sing Se! So, there; that's all I have to say."
The courtroom was hysterical. People were shouting left and right. Judge Roido banged his gavel and shouted. "Order in the court! Order, order!" After a minute, the courtroom was silent once more.
Aya was dumb with silence for a moment. All she said to the Fire Lord was "You may sit now." Zuko walked over to his seat and did so.
"Has the jury reached a verdict?" asked the judge.
"We have, your honor," said one of the jurors. We, the jury find Avatar Aang not guilty of the charges brought against him."
"Yes!" Sokka cheered.
Zhu furiously smashed his fist into the table. "This isn't over, Aang!" he declared, storming out of the courtroom with Aya following behind him.
"See, what'd I tell you?" Sokka said.
"As relieved as I feel, I still feel like I need to take responsibility for what happened to Qian," Aang said.
"You can apologize once he gets out of the hospital," Sokka said. "Let's go celebrate the big win! The others are probably waiting outside."
"Alright, fine," Aang agreed.
Outside the courtroom, Zuko was feeling pleased with himself. He knew that even though Sokka had warmed them up, he had ultimately convinced them of Aang's innocence.
Just then, Aya approached him. "Hey, Fire Lord Zuko," Aya said in a much more seductive voice than she had used in the courtroom. "I really admired the way you stood up to me in there. It was kind of hot. I guess you'd know all about that, wouldn't you? Being the Fire Lord and all?"
Zuko could not possibly think what had brought on this attitude change. "What are you trying to do?" Zuko asked.
"Nothing," Aya said. "I just want you to know I like the aggressive type." She pulled Zuko closer to her and brought their faces closer together. "And you, my friend, do not disappoint." She brought her lips to his, but Zuko, as off guard as he was, did not notice the dagger Aya had pulled out. She moved fast, plunging the dagger towards his back, but she was quickly thrown off of her feet.
Zuko looked to see Toph striking an Earthbending pose. "She's got a dagger!" she shouted.
Aya got back to her feet and saw every head in the building facing her. She wasted no time in trying to escape. "Get out of my way!" she commanded, shoving people to the ground. Team Avatar chased her out the front of the building, but she was gone.
"What was that all about?" asked Rong.
"How much you want to bet she followed me and Zuko here?" Toph said. "'Cause I'm willing to bet a lot of money that she works for Mai."
This made sense to Zuko. It was the perfect scheme. After she locked Aang up, she would have killed the Fire Lord just as Mai wanted.
"Mai? What's this about Mai?" Aang asked.
"Who's Mai?" asked Ling. "Is this the same one you were talking about on Ember Island?"
"It's a long story. I'll explain," Zuko said as the group went to celebrate the victory.
- For those of you who noticed, yes, there was a reference to The Shawshank Redemption in here.
For the collective works of the author, go here.