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|The Era of Darkness|
The Darkness Revealed
Book 1: The Uprising
When the war against the Fire Nation ended, the people rejoiced. Yue blessed the people with many moon flowers, enough to create a carpet that tinted the land yellow. Those who were a part of Team Avatar returned to their homes, and there were many celebrations. Until the day when Toph Bei Fong returned home. That day changed the world in a way that can never be reverted. This is the story of the Dark Avatar, the lives she took, and the unlikely hero who would eventually end her reign.
The Bei Fong Estate
"So, Toph, are you ready to see your parents again?" Sokka asked for the umpteenth time. "Hm? Oh, yeah. Right. My parents. Yep, I'm ready," Toph lied. "What's on your mind Toph?" Katara asked, hoping for an answer. Toph replied, "It's nothing, really." The truth was, Toph was worried her parents would still be overprotective and not understand her. She still remembered the futile exchange after rescuing Aang from Xin Fu and his cohorts. She had proven herself as a true Earthbending prodigy - a skilled fighter, a powerful bender, and a natural warrior. Nevertheless, her father oppressed her further, threatening to implement a round-the-clock surveillance policy that would further isolate her from the world - a world she was desperate to be able to experience...on her own terms. She remembered the hot tears, the anger, and that inexplicable bitter taste in the back of her throat. Her parents had given her no other choice - she had to run away with Aang.
"There it is! Appa, just land here. Let Toph surprise her parents," Aang commanded Appa.
"Good luck Toph!" "Take care!" "We'll miss you!" the Gaang called.
Toph didn't hear them. Her mind was simply too busy worrying about what her parents would say. Yes - things had changed much. Over a year had passed since she left the town of Gaoling. At the beginning, Aang was little more than her Golden Ticket - her way out. A noble cause that would make the perfect alibi for her escape. However, these goofy kids had become her family. Even Katara, had gone from an intolerable authority figure to closest friend. With these people, she had laughed more than ever, she had cried more than ever, and she felt more loved than ever. They faced danger, trouble - even death itself - as one, and had overcome. They had changed the world. SHE had changed the world. Would that be enough?
She took a deep breath and knocked on the door. Her mother opened. Tears instantly ran down her face as she threw her arms around her young daughter.
"Toph! You're okay!!" Toph's mother exclaimed.
"Yes, Mom. I'm fine." Was her voice breaking up?
"Oh Toph, we were so scared for you! You had us so worried! Lao, Toph is home!"
Toph's father appeared in the door way. He wore a doubtful squint on his face. "What!? Toph!?" And, at last, he saw her: "Toph, you're safe!" He almost fell to his knees beside his wife, but something grabbed him before he thrust himself at his daughter. "Young Lady, you know running away was wrong! You should know better than to run off! You could have been hurt!"
His wife stared in disbelief. "Lao? Are you not going to hug your daughter?"
Part of him wanted to, but his hurt ego was firm and resolute: "From now on you will have guards watching over you twenty four hours a day!" Toph's father chided her.
"WHAT!?!? You're yelling at me for running away to save the world?! How can you not be proud of me?!" Toph replied. She didn't understand. She had laid waste the Earth King's Palace Guard, fought the Fire Nation army in their very capital during the Invasion in the Day Of Black Sun... She helped the Avatar save the world from Fire Lord Ozai, and her parents still did not think she could take care of herself.
Her father spoke once more, only this time to Poppy. "Why was our daughter born blind and helpless? I wish she were normal." That was the final straw. Toph had finally realized that her parents did not love her: they simply pitied her. She was overcome with grief.
Suddenly, her eyes welled up with hot tears, as the anger rose uncontrollably in her chest, and the metallic aftertaste climbed up her throat once again. She pushed her mother away, now trembling with rage. And so, it came to pass...
She had been born blind, so her eyes never hurt before. That is, until now. Her beautiful, pale green eyes, suddenly became dark. Even the whites of her eyes were now pitch-black, darker than the darkest shadow. As the now familiar taste rolled over her entire tongue, she felt her feet leave the ground. She rose into the air in a cyclone of circling shadows, as she summoned columns of pure darkness. She would have been desperate to lose feet contact with the ground, were it not for the fact the she could now see... She saw her mother, screaming with fear as the house walls trembled violently. She saw her father, his face now frozen in a horror-induced stupor, watching her rise in the air... The visuals however, did not last long - since everything faded to black again shortly after...
She woke up dazed and confused. Her outburst had destroyed the entire estate, leaving no survivors. Not even her parents were spared. If anything, their deaths were more painful than anyone else's. She retched as she saw their bodies. And then she cried - and cried. City guards were circling her as she sobbed uncontrollably, but they were afraid of her. Being the Blind Bandit was bad enough, but this was simply unnatural. There they stood for what seemd like hours, until the Captain, who was a wise man, dispatched the troops. When the little girl had risen to her feet, he approached her gently and said: "You and I both know there's only one person who can help you solve this. Go to him."
This was Toph's first entry into the Dark Avatar State. Sadly, it would not be her last. Realizing what she had done, she became terrified and fled to the Southern Air Temple, where Aang now resided. She only hoped that Aang would agree to help her...
The Southern Air Temple
"No, no, the sanctuary door should go here."
"What are you talking about, Sokka? Why would the sanctuary door be right next to the bath house?"
"Wait, that's the bath house? I though those were the council chambers."
"Why would the council chambers be on the second floor!? Wouldn't it make more sense if they were in the highest citadel, where the council housing is?"
The reconstruction of the Southern Air Temple was not going well. Sokka, for all of his mechanical genius, couldn't figure out which rooms were which. Aang seemed fixed on the idea that everything should have been exactly the way it was, and Zuko was tired of dealing with the both of them while Katara complained about everyone else bickering.
Nobody wanted to bring up the fact that if Aang and Katara would just make up they might get somewhere, but neither of the two wanted to admit that they had contributed to the break up. Yes, Aang had admitted to Sokka that he though Ty Lee was cute, but Katara was just as guilty for telling Suki she thought Zuko looked good with his hair down. In all honesty, neither had meant it in the way it was interpreted. Suki and Sokka had told each other what secret they had been entrusted with, they told a few people, and before you knew what happened Aang and Katara had been arguing about the other one cheating. It didn't end well for Mai, the only one who had decided to attempt to break up the fight and as a result was able to say she had dodged all four of the elements at the same time. Zuko hadn't been particularly happy about that. "Alright, ENOUGH!!" Everyone was completely shocked by this sudden outburst from Ty Lee. She was the last one anybody expected to end a situation by yelling. "IF YOU GUYS CAN'T GET ALONG, WHY DON'T YOU ALL JUST GO SOMEWHERE ELSE, BECAUSE YOU GUYS ARE REALLY DIMMING MY AURA!!!!" Ty Lee ordered. That was the last anyone ever argued in front of Ty Lee. Nobody wanted to get their brain chi blocked. That had been a very unpleasant experience for Suki.
-There is a large bit of foreshadowing in this chapter, but it can't be well understood until the first Avatar gives Aang his wisdom later on in the series.
-The fact that Ty Lee had chi blocked Suki's brain is a nod to Ty Lee's crush on Sokka in the television show.
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|The Darkness Within Chapters|
|The Era of Darkness - Death of a Waterbender - Severing the Ties - Injuries|