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|The Second Avatar of the New Age|
The Second Avatar of the New Age
"What?" Both Sai and Yang were stunned. Yang's mouth had literally fallen open, while Sai could only stare at Chief Mako while trying to get his thoughts back together, but he miserably failed at that. He was finally snapped back into reality when the cigarette he was still holding reached his finger, and burned him.
"I'm the Avatar? How... How is that possible, and how do you know?"
-"Well, the Avatar could be anyone born at the right time, which you were. You were born when Avatar Korra died. I've spent years afterwards trying to find you. I knew you would be born to an earthbender, but my search yielded no result. That was, until a friend gave me the idea to ask spirits. They are able to sense the presence of Raava, the spirit of light."
"I'm sorry, I'm still a little blown away by this. I'm the master of all four elements?"
-"Not yet, but yes. You have to master all four bending arts, and you can bring balance to the world."
"The world seems pretty balanced from where I'm sitting."
-"No it isn't. You're both too young to know this, but the Republic is breaking under its own weight. The boroughs are segregating. Ever since the Battle for City Hall, people have started to become distrustful of the other elements. Fire, of course, bears the brunt of it, with firebenders having been the instigators of that fight. But it had another effect; tensions with the Earth Federation are on the rise again. Many people there, especially the upper classes, consider the United Republic to be stolen from the Federation after the Hundred Year War. They see this as an opportunity."
"And you expect me to stop that single-handed? I don't know if you've noticed pal, but I'm not exactly what you'd call "the man for the job." I barely know how to write my own name, I don't know anything about politics and ancient grudges between nations!"
-"Anything can be learned if you want to."
"But... where would I start? I dropped out of school years ago, and I never bent anything other than earth."
Mako smiled. "That's perfectly alright. Most Avatars aren't made aware of their true identity until they are sixteen. Most of the time, they only have a connection with their native element, in your case, earth."
"You must have lost count somewhere, because I'm fifteen, not sixteen."
-"I know. But we need you, Sai. This gives you a head start, and you'll need it. Like I said, tensions have been rising for fifteen years, and there will be a breaking point. I'd prefer to avoid that if possible."
"Okay, but still, how would I learn the other three elements? Earth took me nearly ten years, and you make it sound like I don't have ten years."
-"Well, the cycle is earth, fire, air and water. So you should start learning firebending, once you've mastered earthbending."
"And how am I supposed to do that? Like I said, I've never produced so much as a spark in my life, while I've been chucking rocks since before I could see over the table. And I can't afford, like, to go to a dojo of sorts to learn it."
-"I got something for that. My cousin lives in the Fire Nation, on Ember Island. He has a dojo, and he owes me. I could make arrangements for you to go there and master firebending, once you've wrapped up everything you need to here in Republic City."
"Well, great, that means we can leave in five minutes, I don't have anything to wrap up. Unless you do, Yang."
She snapped out of it again. "What? Uh... No, I don't either."
"Good, then we can leave right now."
-"Hold on, cowboy, not so fast. I need to make certain arrangements. Since I don't want to lose you again, I need you to stay with my brother on Air Temple Island." Yang unexpectedly interrupted: "No way. I've have sworn never to set foot on that island."
Mako chuckled. "Look young lady, it's going to take some time for me to inform the right people and get the right equipment to get you two there, and this isn't even about you. It's about him," he said, as he nodded to Sai.
"I'm sorry, but no. If she's not going with me, we're not going anywhere. We've stuck together for five years now, and I'm not about to abandon her because you tell me to."
The Chief looked at Sai, and saw the determination with which he said that. He looked over to Yang again, and she slowly nodded. "Okay. You can stay at the police station, but it means sleeping in a cell. I can leave the door unlocked if you want to."
Sai looked over to airbender again. "I'd rather do that than go to Air Temple Island."
"I guess that's settled than."
-"Now, you finish your breakfast, I have a lot of phone calls to make. I'm going to leave two patrol officers here to make sure we don't lose you again." "Fair enough."
-"Take care." Before he walked out, Mako turned around one more time. "Oh and kid... Happy birthday."
With that, he took off, leaving the bewildered bending duo. Tea and food arrived soon, but neither of them were hungry.
-"Sai, you're the Avatar! That is awesome!"
"I don't know. I mean, how am I supposed to stop two nations from going to war with each other? Doesn't exactly sound like a one-man job to me."
-"It's not. But you're not alone. I'm with you 'til the end, alright?"
"Thanks Yang. Are you going to learn airbending with me? You could become a master, get some tattoos."
She smiled. "Maybe. I guess we'll have to find out. By the way, thanks for sticking up for me about Air Temple Island."
"Don't mention it. I know what it means to you. Like I said, we have stuck together for five years and I'm not about to stop now."
They sat there for a while, gradually gaining their hunger again, eating the food Mako bought them. Yang asked the obvious question that had been hanging around them.
-"So now what?"
"I guess we have to go to the police station. If this Mako guy says he can get us to the Fire Nation, I guess we can check it out."
-"Am I the only one with a sinking feeling about this? Feels like walking into the rat viper pit to me."
"He bought us breakfast. I don't think he wants to arrest us or anything."
-"I know, but still... What are we going to end up in? The next ten years in school, training?"
"That's a chance we have to take, if you ask me. Look Yang, I know you don't care much for authority and neither do I, but some things just have to be done.
The doubt in her voice was unmistakable, and Sai couldn't blame her. She had more reason than most to hate authority, and now she had to rely on some guy, who was sitting at the top of the authoritative food chain. He had to admit, he had his doubts as well. He'd never done very well when he was still in school, at the orphanage, his own lack of authority was noticed, and now he was pretty much told the world is counting on him before it has another go at self-destruction.
"Well, no matter what, I have to start somewhere, and this Chief guy does have a point: if I can have a head start, it's best I take it."
"Come on Yang, have I ever given you any reason to doubt my judgment?"
"Good point, but I've got a good feeling about this. Let's just go to the police station and see what this guy can do for us."
They went to the station, where they were led to Mako's office. He was on the telephone when they came in.
-"Okay, I have to go. Get those keys to my desk as soon as possible. Bye." He hung up and turned to the teenagers. Sai was curious.
"Your cousin in the Fire Nation?"
-"No, this was for your transport there. You're probably going to like it. I've already talked to him, he agreed, on one condition: you either do it his way or not at all."
"What does that mean?"
-"Means that you have to take it seriously. I pulled your files from the orphanage, they said you were quite a handful."
"I bet they did." Sai's voice was sharpening, and he leant on Mako's desk with his fists. "They made that entire file up. We didn't leave the orphanage, we were kicked out. They kept the ones who they thought couldn't take care of themselves, but you know what, they were a poor judge of character. I don't give a shit about what that file says."
He was pulled back by Yang. "Sai, calm down." She did manage to calm his temper somewhat, but he still remained on edge. "So when can we leave?"
-"By all indications, tomorrow." His tone suggested he was clearly not used to being scolded by teenagers. He did not take it very kindly. "I pulled quite a few string to drop a lot of charges for you two. If it were up to others, your friend here would spend the next ten years behind bars, so you might want to be a little more grateful. Now get out of my office, and be back by sundown, or else you have to arrange your own training." He picked up the phone again, dialed a number and turned his chair around.
Sai and Yang went outside again. This time they actually did make it to the park, and spent their last day there. It was weird, walking around with the knowledge that when they would return, the world would know who he was. Sai bought them both an ice cream, and they sat down near the statue of Avatar Korra. Perfectly content with where they were, in a warm afternoon sun, they gazed upon said statue.
-"Isn't it weird to think that you were her in a previous life?"
Sai didn't answer. He just minded the task at hand, which, for the moment, was eating his ice cream before it melted. He didn't want to think about what he had to do just now, he just wanted to enjoy his last day in Republic City. Probably his last day in anonymity as well.
He lost his train of thoughts when Yang gave him a nudge with her shoulder. "Hey, stop being so down. It's probably going to be fun. It used to be you and me against the city, now we get to take on the world!"
"You sure came around. This morning, you seemed very unsure whether or not to do this, and now you're optimism itself." -"I thought about what you said. You were right, it has to be done, so we might as well make the best of it. No more stealing, and if you spin it right, you'll be the hero of the entire world!"
"Well, it does sound attractive when you put it like that. You have a good point. We're in this together, and we're going to make the best of it."
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