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|The Last Hope, Part 1|
December 27, 2011
The first part of the finale for Around the World (Again). It's all led up to this.
The Last Hope, Part 1
The sky rumbled, dark clouds filled the air. There was an eerie feeling about the day.
Appa flew through the Patola Mountains.
"So," began Zuko. "Where to next?"
"The Southern Air Temple," said Aang.
"And we're going there why?" asked Zuko.
Aang shrugged. "Don't know. I just want to visit my home."
"Okay, and after this is?" wondered Zuko.
"The Southern Water Tribe. And that's it."
"Yeah, but what about Long Feng, Aang? Where are we going to face him? He could be anywhere."
"I've been thinking about that... What about Ba Sing Se? He could be there, right?"
"I don't think so," said Sokka, interrupting Zuko. "Something tells me that he's not there."
"What, your instincts?" asked Katara. "What have we learned about that? Let's see, your instincts made us run into the Fire Nation, didn't they?"
"But, it did get us to the Treetop Hideout," spoke Sokka.
Aang moved his hands. "Guys, let's calm down," he said. "We can think about it later."
"No, we can't!" yelled Zuko. "What are we going to do once we reach the Southern Water Tribe? Yeah, Sokka and Katara can visit their family, but then what? Where do we go next?"
Aang sighed. "I don't know."
"Let's just wing it," said Sokka.
"Remember what happened last time we 'winged it?' That's right, we nearly got trapped in the Boiling Rock."
"But we didn't. We managed to escape, along with my dad, Suki, and Chit Sang. Calm down, Zuko."
Zuko sighed. "I'm just... I don't know. I'm just afraid of the world getting thrown back into war. All our hard work, gone."
"It'll be okay, Zuko," comforted Katara.
"We'll just get the final destination and then we'll see what we do next. Okay?" Aang looked at all the members of the gang. "Don't worry, guys. Everything will be okay."
But Aang wasn't sure about this at all.
The Southern Air Temple was a large temple, located in the Patola Mountains. It had an airball arena and an Air Temple sanctuary. There was a pathway leading to all parts of the temple.
Aang filled with happiness as Appa soared down to the temple.
"Welcome home, buddy," he said to Appa, patting his furry head. Momo jumped on the Air Nomad's shoulder. He scratched his head. "We're home, Momo."
Their feet hit the ground after Appa landed. Aang turned to face him.
"You can stay here, buddy."
He and the other members walked up the pathway, heading toward the highest tower.
"Let's just stop by the sanctuary and then we can leave. I just want to see it," explained Aang. "I'm not sure why, but I just want to..."
They walked on and, eventually, reached a giant door. Momo had left on their way there; he went to look for food. ("Bring me some food, please, Momo, buddy. Come on, Momo, share your catch. I won't attempt to eat you this time. Please, Momo.").
Aang Airbent the door open. They walked forward, a humming noise ensued, and they found themselves in a room full of statues.
"These are Avatars, aren't they," questioned Zuko, looking at a statue of an old man wearing the Crown Prince headpiece. Aang nodded.
The others crowded around the statue of Avatar Roku. Sokka walked over to the empty space next to Avatar Roku's statue.
"This is where your statue will be, Aang," commented Sokka.
Aang looked up and saw countless statues. Being in the sanctuary gave him a weird feeling; he was looking at himself in various forms. He was wondering if he should contact Roku about Long Feng's whereabouts, but quickly pushed that away as it was very unlikely that the Fire Avatar would know.
Suddenly, there was a humming noise; someone walking in. The light from outside shielded the person.
"It's just Momo," said Suki.
But there was a shadow; it had no ears sticking up above its head nor hanging under it.
"Long Feng!" whispered Sokka. "Hide!"
They hid behind the statues, kneeling down.
"What do we do?" asked Katara.
"Attack him!" whispered Sokka.
"When?" asked Zuko.
"On three," began Sokka. "One, two, three-"
"I know you're back there, Twinkle Toes."
It was a familiar voice; a girl's voice. The gang peered out from behind the statues to see a little girl standing there, the light still shielding her. However, she walked forward and they saw, in her green clothes and black hair, who it was.
"I know you're all back there," said Toph Bei Fong, smiling. "Boomerang boy, Sugar Queen, all of you."
The gang stared in disbelief. Katara wasn't even offended by the "Sugar Queen" comment; she was too busy joining the gang in running into a group hug with Toph. "You're back!" yelled Sokka. "Momo all over again!"
The others, with the exception of Aang and Katara, looked confused, but asked no questions, because everyone was asking Toph how she had gotten there and why she had returned.
"One at a time!" yelled Toph over the noise. Everyone silenced themselves.
"Now, how did you get here?" questioned Aang.
"Earthbending," explained Toph.
"But the temple," began Aang. "You can't get up here without a flying bison. And how did you find us?"
"It's hard to explain one thing without getting into detail of another."
"Why don't you just tell us the whole story, Toph?" asked Katara.
Toph nodded. "But there's one important thing I have to tell you first... Long Feng has the map."
"We know," said Sokka.
"He was in Gaoling."
"That we didn't," commented Sokka.
"He was looking for you guys. I was walking around town after my parents let me have more freedom and I heard him. He said he was going to stop at every single place you guys were going to."
"So, that means he must be at the Southern Water Tribe or at least heading there now," assumed Aang.
"Well, let's go. What are waiting for? He could be attacking it as we speak. You all know what we have to do: Face Long Feng and defeat his army. To the Southern Water Tribe!" Sokka raised his hand in the air and led the way outside, the others following.
They found Momo waiting outside the door, covered in water. They soon found out why; it was raining, and hard at that.
"Luckily, there's no thunder," said Katara, looking up at the sky. "We should be able to get to the Southern Water Tribe in peace."
They all looked around as they walked down the temple to Appa and found an elevator platform made of rock on the edge of the temple.
Appa kicked off the ground and flew into the rainy sky, Aang wishing he could have spent more time in the temple; but there was work to be done.
"Let's hear your story now, Toph," said Katara.
"Well, after you guys left, I hadn't been spending time with my parents at all," explained Toph. "I just roamed the garden and the town, all by myself. I was regretting my decision to leave you guys and I was thinking of how to get back to you all.
Then I overheard Long Feng talking to some people, probably the Dai Li, and that he had the map and all that. I knew I had to warn you guys. This time I thought long and hard to make sure I didn't make the same mistake. I decided to help you guys. I told my parents and they let me go, saying that it was my choice.
I had to find a way to get to you guys and, more importantly, find out where you were. I remembered the map Sokka presented to us the day before we left on the trip, saying that we'd be staying at most places for a day or so. I counted how many days it had been since I left you guys and concluded that you guys were probably in Omashu. But getting to Omashu from Gaoling would take about day and you guys would be gone by then.
I would've asked my parents to send a messenger hawk to you, but it would probably miss you all, and I had already decided that I'd be better of going to the next location: Kyoshi Island. Again, it would take too long to reach the island, so I decided to go to the Southern Air Temple. If I had stopped at Kyoshi Island, I might've missed you guys, so I went straight to the temple.
I asked a merchant to give me a ride on his ostrich horse, to which he agreed after seeing the Bei Fong family document. He took me to the edge of the land. There, I asked some people if they could give me a ride to the Southern Air Temple. Most of them laughed, but I finally found someone who did help. "They took me to the Patola Moutains and left me near the bottom of a large mountain. I created an elevator platform of rock, like when we invaded the Earth King's palace, and went upward.
I felt Appa nearby and heard footsteps. I followed them and found you guys in that room." She paused. The others said nothing, for they knew she had more to say. Finally, she spoke. "I'm sorry I left, guys. I didn't even ask if you'd let me join again-"
"Once a member, always a member," said Aang.
Before they could continue with their conversion, thunder roared. The clouds were rapidly changing, and Aang knew what was going to happen.
"Yip Yip!" he yelled to Appa.
Appa sped up, but still the clouds around them continued to change. Another thunder. And another. And another. Together they formed a sound. A terrible, earsplitting sound.
Cries and shrieks of people were heard. Cries of terror. And then something else was heard. A terrible, nightmare inducing laugh. A sinister deep laugh issued from the clouds, or at least it sounded like it.
And it suddenly struck the gang, especially Aang. The stakes were high. They hadn't even told many people. Who would put an end to Long Feng and his followers if the gang failed? Bumi would. And the Mechanist would build machines to help.
There was nothing to worry about.
And yet, this didn't assure Aang at all.
"Come on, buddy. We're almost there," Aang said to Appa, patting his wet head.
It seemed like decades later when the Southern Water Tribe was finally in view.
"Yip Yip, buddy!"
And seconds later, the rain stopped and the thunder died, leaving the gang with the haunting laugh in their heads.
"Gran-Gran!" yelled Katara after Appa had reached the ground.
The Southern Water Tribe had improved greatly. It had more igloos and tents than before. It's size had increased and more people lived there. The gates around the tribe were still there, but the height had increased and it was sturdier.
Katara jumped off Appa and ran to an old woman standing near Appa. She had gray hair and was wearing a blue parka. They embraced.
The others jumped off and walked over to Katara and her grandmother, Kanna. Toph, who had jumped before thinking of the icy surface, waited near Appa. Momo stayed with them as well.
"Sokka," said Kanna, pulling him into the hug.
"Gran-Gran," said Sokka.
After they pulled out of the hug, Kanna stood there, looking at the others.
"And Aang." She hugged the Air Nomad. "How you've grown."
Kanna looked around once more. Her eyes rested on Zuko.
Zuko walked up to her. "Er..hey. Um..Sorry about destroying your village and..er, threatening you."
"All is forgiven." Kanna smiled.
"And this is Suki," explained Sokka. "Zuko, Mai, and, that over there is Toph. Where's Gramp-Gramp?"
"He means Pakku," said Katara.
And their question was answered when non other than Pakku himself came running through the gate entrance, along with a few Waterbenders. He ran to Kanna.
"What's the problem?" asked Katara.
"Oh, hey, Katara. Sorry can't talk. A ship just landed on the shore. It's cut through the ice."
"Who was on it?" questioned Sokka.
"We didn't see."
"Let's go, guys," said Aang, walking towards the entrance gate.
"What are you doing? Aang?" asked Pakku.
"Sorry, Master Pakku, but we've got business to attend to. I think I know who it is," replied Aang, continuing to walk to the gate.
"It'll be okay, Gran-Gran," began Katara. "Keep everyone inside, okay? Stay here, Pakku. Don't let anyone leave the village."
Kanna and Pakku, though reluctant, nodded. Katara followed Aang.
The others had already reached the gate and were waiting for Aang and Katara. The duo stopped by Appa, Toph, and Momo.
"Stay here, guys," said Aang.
"You want me to stay here?" asked Toph.
Aang nodded, but then remembered that Toph was blind. "Yeah. You won't be able to see on this frozen tundra. Sorry, Toph."
The duo walked away. They reached the gate where Sokka, Suki, Mai, and Zuko were.
A large frozen tundra lay in front of the village. And there it was: The ship. It was made of metal and it cut through some of the ice, but was quite a distance away from them.
And suddenly, something was moving. There were dots, moving towards them. They grew bigger and bigger, and soon Aang's suspicions were proven to be true.
"What? No welcome party?"
Long Feng stood before them, his minions behind him. Long Feng looked tired, as if he hadn't sleep in days. There was an ambitious feel about him. Something was off. But he wasn't the only one.
Hama stood there, slouched, looking horrid. Her face had many bruises, her hair all over her face. Her face was pale and she seemed very paranoid. The Dai Li agents stood behind, expressionless.
"I would have thought that the monks raised you properly. It's amazing what a hundred years can do to someone."
The gang scowled at Long Feng as he continued to speak.
"The game's up, Avatar. No where left to run. It's over."
The gang said nothing. They weren't going to let Long Feng provoke them.
"Giving me the silent treatment, eh? I'd let you continue, but I've got business to attend to. There's a world that needs a ruler. I gladly put my name in for consideration."
The gang kept silent. This seemed to irritate Long Feng, as his gave them a dirty look. His tone became serious.
"What are you waiting for!?" he yelled. "Here we are, waiting, letting you make the first move. Come on, attack, you cowards." And when they did nothing, he said, "This is Team Avatar? This is the Team Avatar. This is the famous group that ended the War? No, that was pure luck. But luck won't save you this time! You fools! You'll die a very painful death, and you will be reunited with all those idiots that died during the War!"
He had gone too far, for Katara had stepped up and bent some water from her pouch, which she had filled during the rain, towards Long Feng. The water smacked him right across the face, Katara furious at him. Aang knew that she was thinking of her mother and Jet, and how the war had separated her and her father.
"You're not going win," she said.
Sokka called, "Yeah, Long Loser!" An awkward silence would've followed, but Katara continued to yell at Long Feng.
"Do you know how many families have been separated by war, how many have lost friends? You're a heartless thug! An idiot! You're a sad, pathetic thing!"
This time Katara had gone too far. Long Feng faced twisted in anger.
"Enough!" he yelled. He turned to his minions. "Don't just stand there, attack! Show no mercy! KILL THEM ALL!"
The gang formed their battle stances as the enemies charged at them.
Wow! Can't believe it. Part one of the finale, excluding the epilogue of course. Anyway, there's a reason Long Feng and Hama look the way they look. You'll see in Emerging and Eliminating. I've got little to say here. One little bit of info. I actually planned for Toph to return to the gang back in, but I felt that was too early.
This next chapter will be really good. I've planned out the entire battle and it's gonna be great. The battle will be seen with multiple points of view, just because there's so much happening at the same time to different characters.
Finally, the title is a reference to the caption on themain page. It is "His one hope, his last chance." A little tidbit, the title for the final chapter of Emerging and Eliminating will be "The Last Chance."
Edit: Post your speculation theories below in a comment. I'd love to hear what you all think will happen in the next chapter. What will happen during the battle? Who will live? Who will die? Of course, you don't have to if you don't want to. But, feel free to do it. :)
Thanks for reading and sticking with the fanon this far,
This chapter is dedicated to KataraFanboy. KFB, a fanon admin, is incredibly helpful, kind, and funny. He's written many fanons and one shots, all of which are of quality (I've only read a bit of his fanons, but judging by the comments, they're written really well. KFB, thanks for being so nice!
Please don't ask to be dedicated. And please don't think that I'm singling out users when I dedicate them. You all are great and friendly users (as long as you're not trolls or rude). Don't worry, I have a great idea that will benefit everyone. You'll all see in the epilogue.
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Around the World (Again) Chapters|
|Prologue - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Epilogue|