|and Rassilon of Old||Action/Adventure||G||Positive||None|
|The Avatar, the Warrior, and the Waterbender|
19 February, 2011
The Avatar, the Warrior, and the Waterbender is the first chapter of Book 1: Earth in
Three strange travelers appear on the Bay of the Unagi, and the Kyoshi Warriors suspect them of being Fire Nation spies. After capturing them, it is revealed that they are in fact the Avatar and his friends. Just when Kyoshi Island seems safe from the Fire Nation, they are proved so horribly wrong.
The only sounds were the soft swishes of the fans. The green clad warriors moved through the stances in perfect harmony. To the innocent onlooker, it would look as though they were performing a ceremonial set of dances. In a fight, the innocent onlooker would realize that they were dead wrong.
All six warriors completed the set in harmony, sheathing their fans after one last spinning flourish. Suddenly, one of them, towards the back of the dojo jumped.
"Suki," she said softly. "Someone is coming." The girl at the front of the group, wearing a grand gold headpiece, looked at her quizzically.
"What? I don't hear anything." But as she spoke, hurried footsteps sounded outside of the open door. A small girl clad in a blue coat panted, out of breath. She stepped inside the dojo.
"Suki," she said, plainly referring to the girl in front. "Oyaji sent me." She looked up at the warriors with trembling brown eyes. "There are strange people on the shore."
"Strange people?" Said a girl from the back of the group. "Koko, what do you mean? Like, strange how?"
"Well..." said Koko, taking a deep breath. "The fisherman Huon was casting his nets on the Southwest side of the island when he saw a strange beast, flying overhead. He said it looked like a giant flying buffalo. He was curious, because he had never seen an animal like this. So he followed the beast's path until he came to The Bay of the Unagi. There, he saw two people dressed in strange blue clothing on the shore. And in the bay, there was a little boy riding an Elephant Koi!"
Koko scoffed and shook her head. "What could he have been doing on an Elephant Koi?" she asked rhetorically. "It seems strange, Suki. Oyaji has heard rumors of this beast elsewhere. He wants The Kyoshi Warriors to bring the strange people back here. They could be Fire Nation spies. They did have very poor imitation Kyoshi clothing." Suki nodded.
"Warriors, let's check it out. Aya, bring rope and bags. I don't know how this will work." All of the warriors started towards the door. "Oh, wait." Suki suddenly seemed to remember something. "Zhe, you stay back and make sure nothing happens here." A visibly disappointed warrior nodded, and the rest of them started towards the beach.
Finally! Miekka thought, her face shining with joy as she ran with the other warriors to The Bay of the Unagi. For once I'm not the one staying behind! It was a bright, sunny day. The rocky, snow capped landscape was refreshing. Miekka imagined what it would be like to grow larger than the mountains, and be able to pick up the whole island in her hand. She smiled. A ridiculous idea, but a thrilling one. To have all of that power, and to have everyone know her name... That was the power she craved.
Miekka felt better than she had in weeks. She was going on an exciting mission, she had mastered the Lotus formation with her fans, and Suki had made snotty Zhe, who was always kissing up to Suki, stay behind.
The warrior next to her, Aya, nudged her. "So," she said. "What do you think this flying buffalo stuff is all about?"
"I don't know," replied Miekka. "Could just be a joke, or a false alarm." Aya looked her in the eyes, an impressive feat, as they were running at full speed. "I don't think so. I have a feeling about this."
The group slowed to a crawl as they neared the path leading to the bay.
"Who's the stealthiest?" Suki muttered to herself. "Su. Go check out the situation down there. Come back and report what you find." Su was gone in the blink of an eye as she turned and ran into the woods. The warriors waited in silence for Su to return.
It's funny, how we all have our talents, Miekka pondered. Yet we all work for the same purpose. Aya has her sword. Su is stealthy and quick. Zhe is powerful and strong. Caili has her earthbending. Suki is great at everything, of course. She's the leader for a reason. Miekka bit back a pang of jealousy. Suki had celebrity status on the island. Koko practically worshipped her, and every little girl dreamed of being like her.
She is the leader. Don't kid yourself. You are simply a member. Miekka's thoughts were interrupted by the return of Su.
"The boy riding the Elephant Koi is being attacked by the Unagi. The two on shore are distracted. There is a giant bison and a lemur-bat-monkey thing." Su's use of the expression 'lemur-bat-monkey thing' toned down the professional manner of her report.
"We need to attack while they're distracted. An ambush from the trees, perhaps?" Miekka suggested, hoping that she didn't sound as stupid as she thought she did.
"Yes, perfect strategy. Let's go!" Suki said in her most leader-like manner, and the warriors took off for the borderline of the forest. Aya flashed Miekka a thumbs up and mouthed, nice one. Miekka glowed.
The warriors quickly scouted for the perfect tree. Through an opening in the brush, Miekka could see a blur of tan running quickly away from the Unagi, on the water. "Is that- the elephant koi boy? Do you see how fast he's going? He's walking on water!" Miekka whispered to Aya in disbelief as she climbed the chosen tree.
"Shh!" Caili shushed her. There was a sudden thud from the beach. Peering out from the tree, Miekka saw that the Elephant Koi wrangler, a small boy, had run into one of the figures in blue.
"What was that thing?" said a girl's voice from the beach.
"I don't know," replied the boy who had walked on water.
"Well, let's not stick around to find out," said a tall boy dressed in blue, brushing dirt off of his hands. "Time to hit the road."
"NOW!" Suki whispered, and all five warriors swiftly jumped down from the tree. There was instant confusion among the people on the ground. As the boy in blue struggled to find his attackers, Su quickly used her fans to knock him to the ground. As Su ran off to help the other warriors, Aya knelt down with her rope and began to tie him.
Caili easily jumped to the girl in the blue coat with the aid of earthbending. The Earthbender quickly pulled the girl's hood over her face, blinding her, and threw her swiftly to the ground. Aya was there in a flash, binding the newly disarmed target. Suki took down the boy who walked on water by simply pulling him to the side by his yellow sleeve. She slammed him to the ground and bound him on her own in an instant.
Didn't expect him to go down that easily, thought Miekka as she opened a drawstring bag, leaped to the lemur-bat-monkey thing, and tightened the string around the creature's neck as it fell inside. The warriors slammed all four targets to the ground, blindfolded and helpless.
"Or, we could stay a while," said the blue clad boy, his voice cracking with fear. Aya stifled a laugh. The whole ambush was over in a matter of thirty seconds.
"Let's take them to the village." Suki said, slinging the tied up blue-clad boy over her shoulder. He gave a muffled '"Ow."
As the other warriors bent down to pick up the remaining hostages, Miekka said, "Wait! What about the giant bison?" Realization spread across the warriors' faces.
"Yes, where is this fabled 'flying buffalo'?" Suki asked, putting down her prisoner. "Scout the area!" she ordered.
The warriors spread out over the beach. Miekka went with Su to search the woods on the opposite side of the path. Lead to the spot by deep grunting noises; they found a giant furry buffalo, licking the sap from a tree.
"See?" said Su. "I told you. There was a lemur-bat-monkey thing and a giant bison." Miekka smiled.
"I guess that was the best way to describe them. Let's bring this 'giant bison' back to Suki." Su nodded. "Agreed."
After coaxing the massive beast out of the woods with tree sap, Su ran to get Suki. Miekka stayed behind, stroking the fur of the bison. It really was massive, big enough for all six of The Kyoshi Warriors to ride. And it had a handy saddle already on its back. Despite its size, the great creature was surprisingly gentle. It allowed Miekka to stroke all around its face and up to where she could reach on its towering body.
Miekka was so absorbed in the peculiar arrow running down its back that she didn't even notice the footsteps of the rest of the warriors coming down the path. There was a sharp intake of breath when they saw the bison.
"Wow," said Suki. "It's amazing. And it's just what we needed. Put them in the saddle." she gestured to the hostages that the warriors carried over their backs. Caili Earthbent the warriors up to the beasts back on earth pillars, and they threw the odd assortment on the bison's back.
"To Kyoshi's statue!" shouted Suki. The warriors began guiding the bison down the path towards the village.
After adjusting the ropes binding the prisoners so that they were tied to the statue of Avatar Kyoshi, Suki ran to fetch Oyaji while the rest of the warriors, minus Zhe, watched the prisoners. Somehow, the whole village showed up as well.
"Rumors spread quickly," Miekka said to Aya.
"They sure do," replied Aya. Looking into the crowd, they saw that even old Grandfather Mong had showed up. "This ought to be good," said a grimly smug Aya as Suki approached over the hill with Mayor Oyaji. The watching crowd quieted as the Kyoshi Warriors lined up behind Oyaji and Suki.
"You three," Oyaji began, addressing the hostages, "Have some explaining to do."
"And if you don't answer all of our questions, we'll throw you back in the water wit the Unagi." Suki added. Apparently, the threat had little affect on the boy in blue.
"Show yourself, cowards!" he shouted. In response, Suki pulled off his blindfold. Caili and Su did the same for the other two. Confusion was instantly splattered across the boy's face as he saw the warriors.
"Who are you? Where are the men who ambushed us?" he demanded.
"Typical." Aya whispered to Miekka. She nodded.
"There were no men. We ambushed you." Suki replied, looking wary. "Now tell us, who are you and what are you doing here?" her fierce words echoed across the town. The boy's face instantly displayed amused disbelief.
"Wait a second!" he said, grinning coyly. "There's no way a bunch of girls took us down." Suki jumped forward, grabbing the front of his shirt.
"A bunch of girls, huh? The Unagi's gonna eat well tonight." That shut the boy up.
"No!" shouted the girl in blue, speaking for the first time. "Please, don't hurt him! My brother's just an idiot sometimes."
"You can say that again," Miekka muttered. "A bunch of girls..."
The water walker sighed. He had a baldhead with a blue arrow running along it. Interesting tattoo choice, kid, thought Miekka as the small boy began to speak.
"It's my fault. I'm sorry we came here. I wanted to ride the Elephant Koi."
Weirdo! Miekka couldn't help but think.
"How do we know you're not Fire Nation spies?" Oyaji asked, voicing everyone's thoughts. "Kyoshi has stayed out of the War so far, and we intend to keep it that way." The bald boy perked up.
"This island is named for Kyoshi? I know Kyoshi!"
Okay, now we know he's crazy. Miekka thought with a smile.
"Ha! How could you possibly know her? Avatar Kyoshi was born here four hundred years ago. She's been dead for centuries!" Oyaji scoffed.
The bald boy thought for a moment, and then said, "I know her because I'm the Avatar." What? Miekka thought.
"That's impossible!" Suki shouted. "The last Avatar was an Airbender who disappeared a hundred years ago."
Miekka glanced to her right and saw Aya whisper, "No."
"That's me!" Baldy shouted.
"He's telling the truth. I can feel it." Aya whispered. Apparently, Oyaji did not feel the same way.
"Throw the impostors to the Unagi!" he ordered. All five Kyoshi Warriors stepped forward, unsheathing their fans. Aya did so rather reluctantly.
"Aang..." the blue clad girl muttered to the bald boy. "Do some Airbending..." Suddenly, the bald boy shot into the air, and over Kyoshi's statue. He cut the rope binding his hands on her fans and drifted gently back down. The entire village gasped.
An Airbender! Miekka thought. That explains the tattoo. He's a living relic!
"Told ya so," Aya muttered.
"So it's true!" Oyaji gasped. "You are the Avatar!" The bald boy grinned as he pulled several marbles from his coat.
"Now," he said, "Check this out!" The marbles spun in the pattern of a circle in the air above his hand. The village erupted into cheers. One man had foam pouring from his mouth as he collapsed onto the ground.
"I am Avatar Aang." Aang said. "And this is Katara and Sokka, of the Southern Water Tribe. We are pleased to meet you."
As the news spread around the island, Miekka was very busy with the Kyoshi Warriors. They had sudden, wild "long live the Avatar" parties to deal with, and were summoned to protect the young monk from a screaming crowd of fans on several occasions. Zhe was very upset that she missed all of the action of the mission that found Aang. She confronted Miekka after a training session a few days in to the Avatar's visit.
"Hey, you." she shouted as Miekka polished her fans. She purposely waited until the remaining warriors left the dojo. "I am not happy. You hear me, Miekka? Not happy." Miekka braced herself. Deflect the insults. She repeated over and over in her head. Deflect the insults. Deflect the insults. Deflect the insults... Her positive thoughts faded as Zhe opened her mouth. "Why is it that I was chosen to stay behind on the most exciting mission yet?" she asked angrily.
"Why don't you talk this over with Suki?" Miekka meekly suggested.
"No, I don't think I will. Because it's your fault." Zhe angrily glared at Miekka. "You're the weak one! They could have used my strength. I'm sure you were only a hindrance." Zhe groaned. "Why does nothing ever go right for me? You can't fool me. I saw you begging Suki to go on a mission." Zhe raised her voice to imitate a whine. "Suki, oh Suki! I just love you so much! I'll do anything to go on a mission! Leave Zhe behind! Wah, wah, wah!" Zhe took an angry breath. "I'm better than you, Miekka. There's no other way to put it. I'm prettier and stronger. And let's face it." Zhe leaned in so that she was right in Miekka's face. "Suki will never like you as much as she likes me." With a sly smile, Zhe flounced out of the dojo, leaving Miekka emptily polishing fans that were already clean.
She's lying. Miekka told herself, as she told herself every time she spoke with Zhe. She's just jealous. Suddenly, another voice inside of her popped up.
Jealous, of what? What's so great about you, anyways?
Miekka retorted, Well, I am a Kyoshi Warrior.
The evil voice instantly bit back, A Kyoshi Warrior who's accomplished what?
Suddenly, scenes flashed before Miekka's eyes. Her house ablaze, Zhe laughing in her face, the dead corpses of her parents...
You couldn't stop any of that, could you? Although it was phrased as a question, it was obviously a statement. You are weak. You couldn't stop any of it.
Miekka approached her grandfather's house shivering. The temperature must have dropped ten degrees since she entered the dojo. Or perhaps it was her imagination. Her own mind had been treating her coldly lately.
I'll talk to Grandfather Mong, she told herself. He'll know what to say. He always does. Miekka had lived with Grandfather Mong ever since her parents had died in an arson fire. She was only twelve years old. From that day forward, she had known that she wanted to dedicate her life to the Kyoshi Warriors. They kept things like arson from happening.
Miekka opened the door to her house gently and walked inside.
"Hello, Miekka." Mong called from the sitting room. "How was practice?" he asked. As she approached him, he could read the answer on her face.
"It was going great until Zhe opened her mouth. I'm sick and tired of her! She aggravates me until I boil over! And the thing that bugs me is that I can't stop myself. It was all I could do not to punch her in the face." Mong smiled.
"The mere fact that you didn't punch her in the face is what makes you human and her... something else." Miekka couldn't help grinning. "Want to play a game of Pai Sho, Miekka?" he asked. His soothing voice drew her to the armchair on the other side of his Pai Sho table.
"Why not?" she said as Mong set down his first tile, a white lotus.
One lost game of Pai Sho later, Miekka went up to her room. She sat down on her bed and pulled a small gold amulet, in the shape of a panda, from her pocket. It was all she had left of her parents, and she took it with her everywhere. She had a sudden vision of her and her parents laughing in a green meadow... and then it was gone.
Strange, she thought. Never seen that meadow before... I guess I am going crazy.
Miekka blew out the lantern beside her bed and closed her eyes.
She was walking over hills towards a large open plain. The sky overhead was dark and stormy, and thunder rumbled in the distance. She walked over one final hill to emerge onto the plain. The battlefield. A darkly beautiful woman dressed in blood red stood waiting in front of her. She raised a black metal blade.
"Let the games begin."
Miekka woke up with a death grip on her panda amulet, which was strange, because she didn't remember getting it out. Could it have something to do with the strange nightmare she'd had last night? Miekka staggered over to the basin of water near her bed and splashed some on her face. Perhaps practice at the dojo would help.
At the dojo, Suki had decided to have the warriors work on the Swan formation. It was very relaxing, which was just what Miekka needed. She'd gotten a poor night's sleep, and with the combined affect of Zhe and her nightmare, Miekka needed to work off some stress. She was just going into the meditative state that Grandfather Mong had showed her when she heard someone walking through the door.
She looked up to see Sokka, the Avatar's friend, stroll into the dojo.
"Sorry ladies, I didn't mean to interrupt your dance lesson. I was just looking for somewhere to get a little workout." The warriors sheathed their fans and shared a smile. They were in for a good show.
"You've come to the right place. Sorry about yesterday. I didn't know you were friends with the Avatar." Suki said.
Sokka, stretching to display the theme that he needed a workout, replied, "It's all right. Normally I'd hold a grudge, but seeing as you guys are a bunch of girls I'll make an exception."
Seriously? Hasn't this whole 'bunch of girls' thing gone too far? Miekka thought. The Water Tribe boy was the most sexist person she had ever met.
"I should hope so," Suki said, smiling at Sokka's grudge-free attitude. "A big, strong man like you? We wouldn't stand a chance." The warriors could hear the sarcasm in Suki's voice, but it went unnoticed with Sokka.
"True," he said, "But don't feel bad. I'm the best warrior in my village." Suki leaned closer in mock admiration.
"Wow," she said, batting her eyelashes. "Best warrior, huh? In your whole village? Maybe you'd be kind enough to give us a little demonstration."
Sokka, stunned at the request, said in a cracking voice, "Oh! Well, I mean, I..." Suki turned to face the warriors.
"Come on! Girls, wouldn't you like him to show us some moves?" The warriors laughed and nodded. Sokka finally succumbed to the peer pressure.
"Well, if that's what you want, I'd be happy to." He grabbed Suki's shoulders and steered her backwards. "All right, you stand over there." He took several steps backward and instructed, "Now, this may be a little tough, but try to block me." He bent himself into a ridiculous stance, and lunged at Suki.
In response, she shoved a fan in his armpit, shoving him backwards, remaining otherwise still. As Sokka staggered back, he chuckled nervously.
"Good. Of course, I was going easy on you." Sokka said embarrassed. Suki rolled her eyes.
"Of course." she said.
"Let's see... if you can handle THIS!" Sokka attempted to kick Suki down with a bizarrely angled leg. She swept underneath him and propelled him backwards through the air. As Sokka hit the ground, Suki opened her fan and began casually waving it back and forth.
"THAT DOES IT!" Sokka exclaimed. He drew back his fist and ran at her for a clean punch. Suki grabbed his arm and swung him around in a circle, suddenly changing directions for the purpose of hearing Sokka scream like a little girl. As she let go, she ripped off his belt and used it to tie his hand to his foot, using her quickest knot.
Sokka hopped one-footed across the dojo, shrieking, until he fell face first to the ground.
"Anything else you want to teach us?" Suki said smiling, as laughter rang through the dojo.
For the next few hours, the girls continued to practice their skills. This afternoon's session had most of the Kyoshi Warrior's present. The nine of them swished their fans about the room, when Sokka entered the dojo, and awkwardly began to speak.
"Ugh, hey Suki," he started.
"Hoping for another dance lesson?" Suki mockingly interrupted.
"No, I, well," Sokka said, dodging the real reason he had come here in the first place. "Let me explain."
"Spit it out," Suki said angrily. "What do you want?" Staring into Suki's eyes, Sokka bowed his head and descended to the floor, seated on his knees.
"I would be honored, if you would teach me," Sokka said humbly.
"Even if I'm a girl?" Suki demanded.
"I'm sorry if I insulted you earlier, I was, wrong," he said sincerely. Suki considered, arms crossed.
"We usually don't teach outsiders, let alone boys."
"Please make an exception, I won't let you down," Sokka said, bending further forward towards the ground.
"Alright," Suki said. "But you have to follow all of our traditions."
"And I mean all of them!" Suki said smiling, walking to a cupboard and taking out the traditional Kyoshi Warrior kimono. The happiness from Sokka's face disappeared instantly.
Whilst Suki trained Sokka, the rest of the warriors left the dojo. As Miekka headed for home, she was stopped by Aya.
"Where do you think you're going?" she asked.
"I was just heading home, why?" Miekka asked.
"Well we were going down to the shore to swim, wanna come?" Aya asked smiling. Miekka nodded and followed the rest of the warriors down to the shore, where Su and Caili began to undress to go swimming. As Miekka began to untie her belt, Zhe grabbed her shoulder and turned her to face her.
"I'm surprised you know how to swim," Zhe said bluntly. Miekka laughed.
"And why would that be?" she responded. Now Zhe laughed.
"I just presumed your parents were already dead by the time you wanted to learn," Zhe mocked, and began to cackle. Her laughter was the only sound that could be heard, as the rest of the Warriors had gone silent from Zhe's insult. She had been mean, but never gone that far. Miekka turned away to leave, when something snapped inside of her.
Without warning, she span around and kicked Zhe to the ground. Miekka then took out her fan and pounced at the winded girl, who used her hands to push herself up off the ground, and kicked Miekka in the stomach, throwing her against a tree.
Zhe landed on her feet and dropped into the standard fighting stance, Miekka did the same with flourished fans. Zhe took her closed fan and threw it at Miekka powerfully. But Miekka used her own fans to deflect it, then jumped into the air, and brought her fist down on Zhe, who blocked the punch with her wrists, then proceeded to wrap her leg around Miekka's, then attempted to trip her backwards.
Miekka recovered from the attack by cart wheeling backwards onto her feet again, then closed her fans and threw them at Zhe's face. Zhe deflected both fans, then looked to see Miekka's fist hit her across the face, throwing her backwards onto the ground.
By now Aya was holding Miekka back, who was secretly proud of taking down Zhe, whilst Zhe, dazed and confused, clambered to her feet.
"You'll regret that, orphan!" she mocked, turning and running back up to the village. The rest of the warriors slowly gathered around Miekka, who was shocked from what she had just done.
"Are you all right?" Aya asked her.
"I just want to go to bed," Miekka replied quietly.
"No time for that I'm afraid," said Su, putting her clothes back on. "Look!" she said, pointing out into the bay, where the warriors could see a large gray vessel, with a plume of black smoke billowing from its' massive exhaust pipes, and sporting a bright red flag, instantly recognizable as a Fire Nation insignia.
"Girls," Su said quietly. "I think Kyoshi Island is at war."
|"This is what I call a masterpiece! You really have a gift for writing, AvatarHaiLi! The character development is amazing and the story is just absolutely incredible. I'm certainly looking forward to what's in store next!
|— The Ultimate Waterbender|