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This article is considered humorous and should not be treated too seriously.
|Total word count||
February 22, 2011
The Consultant is a one-shot fanon by The Chase. It is not related to his other fanons or and takes a lot more of a light-hearted tone.. It's a short story that takes place about midway through the Book Two episode
NOTE: This fanon was revised in several places on July 30, 2016, based on past reviews.
Team Avatar had just crash-landed on their tired sky bison into a small clearing in the woods by the bank of a river. They were exhausted and on the verge of passing out from lack of sleep. They had been chased all night by three girls from the Fire Nation who they fought in Omashu. Everyone was ready to go to sleep, but they were soon alerted again by a heated disagreement about who was to blame for their inability to get any significant amount of sleep. Although they had been through a handful of adventures by each other's side, now they were in a state of discord.
Little did they know that there was a man lurking just behind one of the nearby trees, watching them. He was a very peculiar man, not from any of the four nations and the Avatar was not yet aware of his presence.
With a shake of his head and a smirk on his face he emerged from his hiding place. "Now, now, what's all the fuss about, Team Avatar?"
Aang had been about to shout at Toph for blaming Appa for their misfortunes, but instead turned, bewildered, to this new stranger on the scene. "Well, we were about to go to sleep last night when our earthbending friend here noticed that there was a giant metal tank following us. After trying to escape a few times, we finally decided to stand and face them. Then we found out that it was those three girls from the Fire Nation that we fought in Omashu. So..."
"Don't tell him all this, Aang!" yelled Sokka. He turned to point his boomerang at the stranger. "We don't know who this guy is. We can't trust him. He could be Fire Nation!"
To everyone's surprise, the man laughed. "Relax, Sokka, I mean you no harm. I'm here to help. I can see you've got that warrior spirit in you." The man turned to the rest of them. "You must be Katara, master waterbender and of course you are Avatar Aang, the hero of this adventure. And you are Toph, the earthbender and the newest addition to the group."
"Yeah, what of it?" said Toph, crossing her arms.
"Ummm...how do you know all our names?" asked Katara with a quizzical look on her face.
"I know many things," said the man. "You can just call me the Consultant. And I see you're all a little stressed because of those three girls you just had a battle with and then ran away from. By the way, their names are Azula, Mai and Ty Lee. I can help you defeat them."
Their situation was quite desperate at the moment, but everybody appeared to be calming down now. "That's great, we need all the help we can get," said Aang. "So, what's your specialty? Are you an airbender?"
"Or a waterbender?" asked Katara.
"Or an earthbender?" asked Toph.
"Or an expert sword-fighter?" asked Sokka.
"I am afraid that I cannot do any of those things well, no. I must clarify – when I said I could help I meant I could only give you some really good advice. All the actual fighting I'm afraid you'll have to do on your own," said the Consultant. He noticed everyone's look of disappointment. "But don't underestimate the importance of what I'm about to teach you. It's going to work wonders – by the end of today you won't even recognize yourselves. But come now. We shouldn't just stand here talking in the middle of the wild. There is a town nearby. We should go there where we can strategize safely."
"Hang on," Sokka raised his voice in objection. "You still haven't told us how exactly you got here. Why should we trust you?"
"I mean you no harm," said the Consultant. "You must believe me, Sokka. My only desire here is to help you all. As for how I got here...that's too long and complicated for me to explain to you, and we only have so much time."
"That doesn't sound reassuring," replied Sokka, crossing his arms.
"Let's give him a chance," Aang interjected. "We could use a little extra help at a time like this."
Toph nodded in agreement. "If worst comes to worst, we outnumber him four to one and he's not a bender."
The Consultant beckoned to Team Avatar, who followed him through the woods for several minutes. Before long, the weary adolescents lost track of how many trees that they had passed by, all of which looked fairly similar. The Consultant, by contrast, seemed to know exactly where he was going and did not second-guess his course that he took them on. At last they came to a small village. Once they were inside the wooden walls that lined the enclosure filled with tiny buildings, the Consultant faced them again.
"Okay, now that we're in a town, we are safe. We can discuss our plan without worry."
"Hey, ummm...Mr. Consultant...I just realized that they were tracking us before when we were on Appa. He was shedding hair and they simply followed the trail," said Toph. She held out a clump of shaggy white fur which had previously attached itself to the giant sky bison on which they road/ "Maybe we should do something about that first."
"Yeah, we should give him a bath," said Aang.
"Ha! That is completely unnecessary. We are in a town now. It is a safe zone," said the Consultant matter-of-factly. "Our enemies will not bother us as long as we are here. Don't worry about Azula for now."
"But, won't they just come into the town, too?" said Katara. She took a worried glance back at the woods from which they had fled, half-expecting the same metallic monstrosity to come tearing through the wild at them once again. "We've seen the Fire Nation attack tons of places along our journey. They raided Earth Kingdom towns where we happened to stop by. They laid siege while we were at the North Pole. They've been raiding our village at the South Pole for years."
"Shhh!" the Consultant replied irritably. "Forget that, that's not how it works. As long as we are in this town, they will not attack. But now that we are in this town, it is time we got down to business. I want you all to start by talking to everyone in this village. Every single person – make sure you don't miss anyone."
"Ummm...why?" asked Aang.
"Talking to people is essential to completing your quest. Some of these people may have valuable information about what you need to do next. They'll be able to point you in the right direction," said The Consultant.
"But what would these people know about Azula and taking down the Fire Lord," said Sokka, looking around at the quaint agricultural village.
"Every new place you go to someone will know something crucial to your journey. Start at one end of town and make sure you talk to every single person – whether they are on the streets or inside their houses. Now, before you do that – let's talk about a couple other things." The Consultant looked at each of them for a couple moments, sizing them up. "Avatar Aang, you've had that glider since you first started your journey with Sokka and Katara, yes?"
"Well, it's probably time for an upgrade then. When you get a chance, pay a visit to the town's weaponry store and see what kinds of stronger gliders they have there."
"What?!" said Aang, bewildered. "This is an Earth Kingdom town. They won't sell hundred-year old Air Nomad gliders here."
The Consultant looked confused, as if this had not occurred to him. "Hmm...usually you can find any kind of weapon you need when you travel to a new town. Well, anyhow, I'm sure you can use some new armor. What you're wearing now doesn't look like it would defend you very well."
"Well, this doesn't matter," Katara interjected. "We don't have a lot of money with us. We can't afford to buy anything this drastic now."
"No matter," The Consultant waved away this objection. "As you explore town, you'll come across some treasure chests inside of people's houses. Just open them up and you'll find some money and items that you can use."
"But that's stealing!" said Aang, shocked.
"Nonsense. You need those to help you on your quest. Remember, you're the hero. If anything, these people will be happy about it."
"Wait a second," Sokka interjected. "You want us to go around, entering people's houses, taking stuff from their chests and having conversations with them at the same time? This is insanity!"
"This is what you need to do," said the Consultant firmly.
"But suppose we do find all this gold and supplies in people's houses," said Katara. "I don't think we could carry all that around. Appa can barely handle what's on his back already."
"It won't be a problem. The amount of gold you have is just an increasing number at the bottom of the screen." He was not used to facing so many objections from those he advised at once, but the Consultant composed himself and calmly addressed them one-by-one.
"Screen?" said Katara, confused.
"Never mind. Well, now that you know what you need to do, get to it. Meet me back here when you're done." The Consultant then gestured to them, signaling to start putting his instructions into practice.
The town was fairly small, so it did not take that long for Aang, Toph, Sokka and Katara to talk to everyone, open all the treasure chests they could find and gather what was inside. They ran into less trouble than they had expected. And to their relief, Azula did not show up with her tank. The people's reactions to them were somewhat mixed. Some were excited to have the spontaneous chance to meet the Avatar while others stated that they were busy and did not want to be disturbed. Most were confused in the end, when they asked what they could do for Aang and his friends and did not get a straight answer, as Team Avatar did not fully know it for themselves. When they were done, they returned to the Consultant.
"Well, did you find anything that will help you on your adventure," the Consultant said, smiling.
"Not much," said Aang. Each of the four of them was holding a small bag now.
"Well, don't worry about it," remarked the Consultant. "We'll just go ahead and move on. This Azula you're facing is a powerful enemy, yes?"
"She seemed that way when we faced her at Omashu," shrugged Aang. Facing her the night before had been challenging as well, especially when they lacked proper sleep.
"And her friend has chi-blocking abilities that disabled my bending. That's something we'll have to watch out for," said Katara.
"Hmmm...yes," the Consultant muttered. "Now, how much battling have you done recently?"
"Ummm...battling? Not much," said Aang. "I try and only fight when I have to. I was raised by the monks to be nonviolent by nature."
The Consultant slapped his hand to his forehead and shook his head.
"What?" asked Aang.
"Well, if you want to defeat this Azula and stand a chance against the Fire Lord, you should be battling every chance you get. Do any of you know what kind of animals live in these woods?"
"I think there are a lot of boarcupines and some fox antelopes too," said Toph.
"Okay, well you should go fight a whole bunch of them before you face Azula," said The Consultant. They were all staring at him now as if he had gone crazy. "You may also find some money and items on them after you defeat them."
"Excuse me, but why would some random animals in the forest have gold and weapons on them? That seems a little far-fetched," Sokka stated logically.
"Enough," said The Consultant impatiently. "Just do it. You'll have to fight a lot before you're ready to face Azula."
They hesitated. But, since they had been able to follow along so far without too much trouble, Aang, Sokka, Katara and Toph left town and went into the forest to fight whatever boarcupines and fox antelopes they could find. They split up to cover more ground. Aang went in one direction with Katara by his side. Sokka set off by himself toward the river bank where they had crash-landed earlier. Toph hiked out due East. Momo followed her. The Consultant stayed behind with Appa and held onto the four bags of loot that they had gotten from the treasure chests. He eagerly awaited their return. At last, he saw Aang and Katara return and enter through the town gates in his direction.
"Well, how did it go?" asked the Consultant. "How many did you kill?"
"None," Aang replied simply. "I'm sorry, but I couldn't bring myself to go around needlessly killing animals. It's not how I was raised."
The Consultant batted his eyes in alarm. "Well, that's surely will not do! Remember, Aang, this is for the greater good of your cause. You are the Avatar and that means that you are destined to defeat the Fire Lord. Anything you can do to make that happen, you must do."
On this matter the Avatar was undaunted by the Consultant's scolding. "It's not something that I can bring myself to do, and frankly I don't see how it helps any."
"It will help by making you stronger," the Consultant replied through gritted teeth. "If you don't fight enough weaker foes now, it will only get harder for you as you go along." With that, he turned to Katara. "What about you? Did you hunt the creatures like I asked you to?"
"Yes," said Katara. "But like Aang I'm not sure what this is supposed to accomplish."
The Consultant turned back to Aang. "For now, if you can't stomach to fight yourself, just stand beside her as she does. Then when she vanquishes the enemy you can gain status through her."
Neither of the two benders understood the logic behind this. "There's something else," Katara continued. "We ran into a man who was off for a hike while we were fighting. He told us that some of these animals are endangered and we shouldn't be hunting them."
"Ha! Forget that," The Consultant said dismissively. "Whenever you come back here you'll find all the same kinds of creatures here and ready for you to battle them again."
"I think he might have just been in shock at how I did it," Katara remarked. "When he was passing by us, I had just bent a water jet out of the stream at a small herd of boarcupines and froze it in midair so they could not get away/."
The Consultant shook his head and took a palm to his face yet again. "Katara, why did you do all that? You could've easily defeated them with some less-advanced attack than that."
Aang and Katara both looked confused. "What's wrong with how she did it? She got the job done and she was efficient about it," Aang pointed out to him.
"Those are your special moves. You only have so many of them. You can't waste them on weaklings like that. You need to save them up for when you fight stronger enemies – like Azula," The Consultant said, exasperated.
"Okay, whatever you say," Katara said while rolling her eyes.
Just then, Sokka came into view, holding several animal carcasses on his arms and looking angry and exhausted.
"Well, looks like you've been pretty busy, Sokka," The Consultant said, looking somewhat impressed. "Perhaps these two could learn some lessons from you."
"I have had it! What you've told us makes no sense whatsoever. You've had us talk to people and steal and hunt and look for items and stuff. This is crazy. This has absolutely nothing to do with fighting Azula whatsoever," Sokka yelled at The Consultant. "And I didn't find anything of value from hunting all these. We certainly don't need this much food for just the four of us."
The Consultant winced at him and then lectured again. "What you are doing now is in preparation for when you are ready to take Azula on. It is important that you do things by the book. Don't try to reinvent the wheel here. It doesn't matter if you didn't acquire much from your battles. The main reason you're doing this is to gain experience."
"Experience?" said Sokka.
"Yeah, you have to fight a lot of weaker enemies along your journey so that you can level up and take down the stronger ones when the time comes."
"Leveling up? What's that?" Aang asked.
"Never mind. It's too complicated to explain. I've dealt with these scenarios before. This is how it works."
Just as Sokka was about to open his mouth again, Toph came running toward them, panicking. "They found me. I ran into Azula and her friends while I was hunting in the forest. I managed to escape. But they took Momo with them."
"What?!" Aang was in shock. "They took Momo?"
"They didn't seem too bothered by my escaping since it's Aang they're after. They shouted after me as I was running. 'If the Avatar wants his little pet back, he'd better meet us at the bank of the river in one hour."
"Oh, this must be your side quest," said the Consultant. "Excellent. It's quite brilliant."
"We have to go now!" declared Aang. He drew out his glider and prepared for takeoff.
"No, we're not finished here yet," said the Consultant.
"But they said we only had an hour," said Katara. "They'll probably kill Momo if we don't show up in the time frame they gave us."
The Consultant waved this objection away. "That's just something all bad guys say. You have as much time to prepare for this as you need. Now that you've all battled gained plenty of experience in the last few hours, it's time to make sure you have the right kind of gear. Aang, go to the store near the center of town. I scouted it out already. You'll find a suit of armor that fits you perfectly for this fight as well as a chain mail I think would do nicely for Sokka."
Aang calmed himself down. Then he nodded and followed The Consultant's advice. He took one of their bags of money, ran to the store, then emerged moments later with a small suit of armor and a chain mail.
"Excellent. Now, equip it!"
"Ummm...equip it?" said Aang. "You mean...put them on?"
"Yes, put them on. Whatever."
Aang slid his light and nimble Air Nomad body into the heavy suit of armor that The Consultant had picked out for him. It was not easy and he required some assistance from both Katara and Sokka to do so.
Sokka took a look at the chain mail and waved it away. "Here, you want this?" he asked Toph, turning to her.
Toph shrugged and slipped the chain mail over her chest. She felt even tougher than usual, although it was a bit big for her. At last, they were all geared up and ready to go. The Consultant faced the four members of Team Avatar lined up before him.
"Well, thanks for all your help, Mr. Consultant," said Aang. "You taught so much. I can't believe we didn't know any of this on our journey so far."
The Consultant smiled. "You are all strong and ready. When, I first met you, you were lost. But now you are prepared to battle the evil boss Azula and her minions Mai and Ty Lee. You'll do great. Remember, Katara – when it's your turn use your healing abilities to restore your teammates health in between attacks. And depending on what their weaknesses are some of your attacks might prove more effective than others. Whoever's dealing the most damage to them – be sure to keep them the strongest while the others absorb some damage for them if necessary. Good luck, brave heroes."
After a couple sideway glances at each other, Team Avatar marched out into the woods toward the river bank. Aang was having trouble getting used to his suit of armor, and each step took a surge of effort under the heavy weight. Meanwhile, the chain mail draped down to the bottom of her legs like a dress and rattled so loudly it could be heard a mile away. The Consultant smiled to himself. He had done such great work with the Avatar and his companions. They were clueless and hopeless the way they had been going about their journey before. But at last they were acting like real adventurers and his work with them was done. The Consultant eagerly waited for them to emerge victorious from their task.
But this moment did not seem to come. The Consultant grew impatient and restless. Maybe Azula turned out to be easier than they thought but she had hidden Momo in a dungeon for them to find, where they had gone off to search for him as the next part of their journey. Or maybe they had gotten caught up getting some new items from her and putting them into their inventory. At last, he saw Team Avatar running through out of the forest toward him. They did not seem to have Momo with them. Rather, Aang, Katara and Toph were running frantically while carrying a bloody Sokka in their arms. He appeared to have a stiletto inside him.
"What happened?" asked The Consultant.
"Mai hit him in the chest with one of his stilettos. He started bleeding right away," answered Katara. "I tried to heal him there like you said, but they wouldn't let me take my turn to do that. They wouldn't stop attacking. It didn't play out like it sounded when you described it earlier."
Aang and Toph were kneeling down now. They lay Sokka on the ground. The Consultant was surprised that things had turned out this way, but he kept his cool. "Everyone calm down. Let's just try and think about this in a rational manner and we'll find a solution to this. These kinds of setbacks happen sometimes."
Everyone was in silence for several long moments. Then Katara looked up. "You're right, Consultant. Harsh words won't solve this problem. Action will." She reached down and picked up a small vial. "I've still got my spirit water with me. He'll be just fine."
The Consultant thought for a moment. "Wait a second. That's the spirit water you got at the Northern Water Tribe. You only have one of those. It's probably a very special item. And you're not even halfway to your final boss battle with Fire Lord Ozai yet. I'd hate for you to use such a precious item already when you might need it later. There's got to be another way to solve this."
She was beginning to wonder how the Consultant had such a detailed knowledge of their past travels, but put that from her mind. "Like what?"
"Well, let's see. He's almost dead but he's not dead. Is that right?"
"Yes, that's right," said Katara impatiently.
"Well, just let him rest at the inn then. When he's done with that his wound will be gone and his health will be fully restored."
"How will that happen?" asked Toph. "He's bleeding. He needs to be treated fast."
"Is he poisoned?"
"What – no!" answered Aang. "We already told you, he had a stiletto thrown into his chest."
The Consultant ignored his outburst. "If he's not poisoned, then his hit points will not deteriorate over time. As I said before – you're in a town now. You're safe. As a matter of fact, why don't you take the opportunity to all rest at the inn. You look worn out."
"But we don't have enough money to get four beds at the inn now," said Aang. They had blown most of what they had on the bulky armor that lined his shoulders like a curse. "And it's the middle of the day."
"You don't need four beds. One should be fine."
"What?" asked Katara. "One of those little beds at the inn. That would barely fit one person."
"You're all in the same party. All four of you can rest and heal there just fine."
"I still think that I should heal my brother first," said Katara. "He looks in bad shape."
The Consultant opened his mouth to object, but then closed it and pondered for a moment. "A waste of time, and it'll cost you energy. But your energy will be back as soon as you wake up, so no real harm done. Do what you will."
"Maybe I should use the spirit water, though," Katara went on uncertainly. "A regular healing might not be enough."
Both Toph and Aang were too baffled to have any input into the matter. Finally, Sokka spoke up. "Maybe he's right. After all, we did get some more spending money earlier on his tips. If a simple heal and a rest is enough, then using the spirit water on me now is fruitless."
Katana continued to hesitate, but then nodded. They carried Sokka along with them and went toward the inn. The Consultant was disappointed by this turn of events, but was sure that things would turn around soon. Once they were all fully-restored they could fight Azula again. Maybe they just didn't have enough experience points built up from before.
Later, the Consultant went to meet with them again inside the inn. Aang, Katara and Toph came down to meet him and sat on one of the benches.
"Well, we tried your plan," said Aang.
"Did it work?" asked the Consultant.
"No. He's dead," Aang said firmly. Katara was sobbing onto his shoulder.
"Oh. I see. Dang. That can be really inconvenient. How much gold do you have left?"
"What?" said Katara. She had clearly had enough with the Consultant at this point.
"Well, we'll have to get a revival potion of course. And they tend to be a lot more expensive than normal healing potions."
"A revival potion. Are you serious?" asked Toph.
"Oh yeah, every time a member of your party expires you have to get a revival potion to get them fully-restored. You should expect to have to get several of them over the course of your adventure."
Aang, Katara and Toph were looking at each other. They had had enough.
"Okay, look Consultant," said Aang. "Thanks for all your help. We've listened patiently to a lot of the crazy suggestions that you've given us and put them into practice. But I think we'll do things our own way from now on. I think it's time we parted ways."
The Consultant was ignoring him. "Actually it really doesn't matter if three of you have fallen at once. As long as one of your party members is still active, they can revive the other three later on. It's only once you've all gone that it's game over. But let's not even go there..."
"You're fired," said Aang flatly.
"What?!" said The Consultant, bewildered. "You can't fire me. You all need me more than you know!"
He was very angry. But moments later, Toph earthbent a rock out of the ground which threw The Consultant through the door of the inn and far out of their sight so fast they couldn't hear his screams.
"Why did it take us so long to do that?" Aang wondered aloud. "It must have been the lack of sleep getting to us."
"Yeah," said Katara. "If we had been properly rested we never would've entertained his crazy talk for so long."
"It's too bad about Sokka...I kind of liked him," said Toph with her head hung low. "Oh well, guess I'll have to settle for the next best thing. Looks like you and me got something else to fight about, sugar queen."
NEXT UP: Taang vs. Kataang!
For the collective works of the author, go here.