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|The Masters of Weather|
15 November 2011
The Masters of Weather is chapter four of "".
After Aang's trip to the Spirit World the previous night, he returns with Katara and Zuko, where they receive knowledge of the art from the original masters. In the meantime, the Meteorologists set their attack.
With Aang's meeting with just Katara and Zuko over, the Avatar allowed the remainder of his friends back in and informed them of the news.
"Wait," Sokka said. "So you had some Spirit World thing, Aang, and now you have to drag Zuko and my sister along? Apparently some crazy bending is why there's some freaky weather?"
"That's all there is to it. We will find out more when we go to the Spirit World," Aang explained. "There we will learn more about this art."
"Not to mention that we're the only three capable of it," Katara said, referencing her, Zuko and Aang. "That's probably why we're being asked to join Aang."
"I don't know about you," Mai spoke up, "but I don't want my boyfriend getting involved in some freaky spirit stuff!"
"Mai," Zuko said as he placed a hand on his girlfriend's shoulder. "This is for the best. If it relates to this problem, and how we can stop it, I have to do this. Don't worry. You should be able to trust Aang by now."
"I just don't know anything about the Spirit World or these spirits, Zuko...I just want you to be okay," Mai said as she grew worried, and took a hold of Zuko's hand.
"I'll be fine," Zuko gave her an assuring look. "We'll take care of this, get back, and see just what is going on here."
Mai nodded. "All right, Zuko."
Sokka also wore a look of concern, as none of them had ever been in the Spirit World before. Suki cupped one of her boyfriend's cheeks in her hand. "Aang knows what he's doing, don't be so worried," she said.
"I know Suki, it's just like Mai said, we don't anything about the Spirit World..." Sokka looked away from Suki and towards his sister. "Be okay, will you sis?"
Katara nodded. "I'll be fine, Sokka. As long as Aang is with us; I mean, he knows more about the Spirit World than any of us do."
"Isn't that the truth," Toph chuckled. "Well, good luck with your freaky spirit thing, Twinkle Toes. Yeah, we kind of want Sugar Queen and Fire Boy back safely."
"I promise you," Aang stood up and spoke. "We will all be alright. Now, Roku will take us to the Spirit World around midnight. We will return around morning."
The members of the team nodded, understanding Aang's plan. It was now time for his friends to learn just what they were capable of, and what they needed to do to stop the evil that was threatening to take the world out of balance once more.
Aang, Katara and Zuko made their way to just outside the palace, with the Avatar and the Water Tribe girl hand-in-hand. They waited in the courtyard, with Aang meditating, keeping the two close by. He waited for his predecessor to arrive and whisk them away to the Spirit World, for them to receive their education on the art of Weatherbending. Of course, only Aang knew what it was; to Katara and Zuko, it remained a mystery.
A few minutes went beyond midnight, before the next thing they knew, they were in the Spirit World. Their figures all turned blue.
"What's going on, Aang?" Katara looked at him anxiously.
"We're in the Spirit World now," Aang explained. "Now, Avatar Roku should be here soon."
Not even a moment had passed after the young Avatar said that, did Roku come in on Fang. He was smiling as Aang had kept his promise. Katara and Zuko looked at the old Avatar with amazement, their first sight of any spirit. For Zuko, it was even moreso, he was looking at his maternal great-grandfather.
"Avatar Aang, welcome back," Roku said. "Welcome, Katara and Fire Lord Zuko. All three of you may come up onto my dragon. Katara and Zuko, you two will need this information."
"What exactly are we getting here?" Katara wondered out loud.
"It is time for you two to learn," Roku said as Fang took off into the air. "Aang already knows most of what will be said, but this is all new for you. You will learn just what you are capable of, and the history behind this art, and some other important details."
The group made their way through the Spirit World, traveling across the same path that Aang took last night with Roku. They saw all sorts of spirits, from creatures to past Avatars, to even some typical humans. Katara and Zuko were left with shock and amazement as they looked at all the sights of the Spirit World, now seeing it for the first time. A few moments later, they made it to the building where the guardians rested.
"The Guardians of..." Katara read to herself. "Weather?"
"That's right," Aang replied. "The Guardians of Weather."
"I have never heard about this," Zuko said with amazement as he looked at the structure in front of them. "I didn't know weather came from the Spirit World."
Roku nodded. "That is correct. For many millennia, the spirits controlled the weather. Things, however, do not last forever. When we meet the guardians, you will know what I mean."
Aang, Roku, Katara and Zuko all made their way through the same hallway that the Avatars had crossed through the preceding night. They saw all the scrolls and pictures, much to the confusion of Katara and Zuko, who continued to remain puzzled. Katara was amazed at the sight of a Waterbender performing what seemed to be new moves, the image of him being shown in positions that even the young master had not seen.
Zuko looked at the Firebender. "Wait a minute, for some reason," the Fire Lord looked at the inscription below it, which had the bender's name, Zentai. "This man seems familiar."
"He was a past Avatar," Roku explained. "That Avatar was an important figure in this art, which you will soon know about. Come, we are about to enter the room where they are awaiting our presence."
The four walked in, and there the men stood.
"Greetings once again, Aang and Roku," Zentai said. "Welcome to the Spirit World, Katara and Fire Lord Zuko," the old Avatar turned to the other members of the group. "It is good to see you here. I am Avatar Zentai, who roamed your world three thousand years before the War. Congratulations to you two for your role in helping Aang end it."
Katara and Zuko each bowed to Zentai.
Pokai then stepped up to Katara. "Greetings, Sifu Katara. I am Pokai, also a member of the Southern Water Tribe. Like Avatar Zentai, I was part of your world about three thousand years ago. I understand that you are the last Waterbender of the Southern Water Tribe."
Katara nodded, saying nothing as she looked at the old Waterbender in amazement. It was the first time in her life she had met a spirit, not to mention that it was a fellow Waterbender and Southern Tribe citizen.
"Welcome to our realm," Algaion said to Katara and Zuko. "I am Algaion, a former Head of the Council of Elders at the Northern Air Temple. I too lived in your world three thousand years before the War broke out."
"So, what's going on?" Zuko asked. "Why are we here?"
"Patience, young Fire Lord," Zentai responded. "We are getting to that. It is because you, Katara, and Avatar Aang are able benders of an ancient art that is currently being used to take the world out of its delicate balance."
The two first-time Spirit World entrants arched their eyebrows up in curiosity at the eldest Avatar in the room.
"We have asked for you two to come here with Aang so we may enlighten you on the knowledge of this art," Pokai said. "You three are the only benders on Earth we could find who can still use this art to save the world. The other group out there is using this art for malice."
"What is important," Algaion explained, "is that when we do enlighten you with the knowledge, you are now capable of performing these moves in some way. However, that does not make you a master. You must still take training."
All three nodded their heads, while Zuko and Katara awaited what exactly this art was.
The three men gave the same story of Weatherbending that Aang was told last night, and also just exactly what each bender was capable of. When this story ended, Katara was left in a somewhat state of despair, knowing that her nation, albeit not the Southern Tribe, was responsible for why Weatherbending had been pulled from the world 2,500 years before the War broke out.
The second thing the three were told was of the Meteorologists, again, with essentially the same words Aang was given the night before.
"So that's why Uncle saw a spirit that day in Ba Sing Se," Zuko said. "It must have been one of you..."
"Indeed," Zentai nodded. "When I figured out that Weatherbending had been being used maliciously, I quickly reported back to Pokai and Algaion. We have been trying to find uses of it ever since the art was rediscovered."
"That is also why I flew across the skies at the Southern Water Tribe," Pokai said, "which was what Aang saw during the blizzard, Katara."
Katara nodded in understanding. "So, this is a spiritual issue," she whispered. "Aang, you were right all along..."
Aang nodded, albeit not happily. "I guess so...I wish I was wrong though."
"You may wish it was fiction all you so please," Algaion said with a sharp tone. "What it is though is all fact, and we now have this problem on our hands. Aang, Katara, Zuko, the fate of their world rests in your hands. You are the only three members of Team Avatar capable of engaging the Meteorologists in a Weatherbending fight."
"However," Zentai said. "That is not to say your other friends are not important. Regardless of them not being able to manipulate the weather, their skills are just as important to your survival and claiming victory over the Meteorologists. You will need everyone to get this done."
"The master you seek," Pokai said. "We don't know much of. However, what we can tell you is that he is in your world under unusual circumstances. He is a Firebender who broke free from the Meteorologists. You will find him when your journey reaches a tough point."
The three young people gasped.
"What do you mean, tough?" Zuko asked.
"You will see," Zentai said. "Your journey to stop these evildoers will not be easy, but when the time comes, your master will reveal himself to you."
"This man," Algaion said, "will save you from a perilous situation. At that point, that is when the revelation will come. I cannot say what this situation is, but, you will know it when it happens."
"We wish you the best of luck during your journey," Pokai said. "Before you go, however, we must take care of the original task we brought you here for. You shall now be enlightened with the knowledge of the art of Weatherbending!"
The three masters made their way in front of the people who represented them. Algaion came up in front of Aang, Pokai in front of Katara, and Avatar Zentai in front of Zuko.
The elder monk placed his hands on Aang's forehead. "With the knowledge of manipulating weather within Airbending...from changing the flow up the upper air to manipulation of the wind speeds...Avatar Aang of the Southern Air Temple, I hereby enlighten you!" Algaion took a deep breath and, slowly, his knowledge traveled down his chi paths and into Aang.
Pokai did the same thing with Katara. "The knowledge of manipulating weather within Waterbending..in terms of controlling the moisture and precipitation...Sifu Katara of the Southern Water Tribe...I hereby enlighten you!" This act was short, and similar to what happened with Aang and Algaion.
Finally, it was up to Avatar Zentai to perform the same act on Zuko. "May Weatherbending within Fire be with this young man. The art of temperature control...Fire Lord Zuko...you are hereby enlightened!" The knowledge took the same pathway as it did between the other masters.
After this was done, Avatar Zentai enlightened Aang with the other forms of Weatherbending, as he was the Avatar, thus being capable of all other forms. This process took nary a minute.
After it was all done, the three appeared confused.
"So, wait, did anything actually happen?" Zuko asked with a skeptic tone.
"Actually, yes, something did happen," Zentai said. "We have enlightened you with the knowledge of Weatherbending. You are now capable of performing the moves related to it. That's how it used to be when we were first introduced to it, before people began learning the art for themselves."
"Like we said, however," Algaion said, "you still need to encounter your master and do your training. That is the only way you will master every technique and be able to defeat the Meteorologists."
"Only then," Pokai finished, "will the world be back in a state of balance. Your task is not an easy one, as I'm sure you understand."
"Make no mistake about it, the Meteorologists are extremely powerful....but you must be careful not to overuse Weatherbending," Zentai said.
"Well, if we need to use it so much," Katara wondered, "why are you telling us not to 'over' use it?"
"Because, what the Meteorologists do not know, is that if taken too far, Weatherbending can cause irreversible effects on climate," Pokai explained.
"When the Northern Tribe attacked the Earth Kingdom using precipitation control, the world was fortunate that no severe drought was encountered," Algaion said.
"The effects of Weatherbending moves, if powerful enough, could take weeks or even months to wear off," Zentai warned. "I would expect what was done in the Fire Nation and in Ba Sing Se could possibly take a month to undo. Any more Weatherbending done in those areas could make the extreme cold or heat stick around for the long-term."
"Well, it looks like we know what we're up against," Aang said. "We have got to stop them before they cause irreversible damage to the world's balance."
"From this point onward, we will be spiritual guides for all of you," Zentai smiled. "If you ever need to talk to us, Aang, you will be a medium to help them there. Now, go on, you may explain all that is happening to your friends. As we said, although they cannot perform Weatherbending, they will be just as needed."
The three nodded and bowed before the masters of Weather.
The next day
The three returned to the mortal world and gathered up the rest of Team Avatar.
"Bear with us, guys, what we are about to explain is going to tell everything as to what is going on," Aang said, a look a seriousness shaping his face.
"Well, what is it?" Sokka asked.
"Guys...there is a group out there that's responsible for what happened," Aang said. "They are called the Meteorologists, and they have mastered the art of Weatherbending."
"Weather-WHAT!?" Sokka yelled out in shock.
"Yep, that's the art I told you about...people can manipulate the weather around us," Aang explained.
"Geez, and I thought Energybending was freaky enough," Toph shook her head. "Now people can change the weather?"
"That's right," Katara replied. "Airbenders, Waterbenders, and Firebenders can do this."
Toph dipped her head in disappointment, knowing that Earthbending was not a part. "Oh..."
"Don't think this means you guys are off the hook though," Zuko addressed them. "Just because Aang, Katara and myself are the only ones capable of it, doesn't mean the rest of you are un-needed."
"Zuko's right," Aang followed up. "Just like when Sozin's Comet came, we will need all of you to get this done. The Meteorologists are dangerous, and everyone has to have a role here."
"But wait," Ty Lee said. "How will you learn Weatherbending?"
"That's the hard part," Katara responded.
"The spirits told us," Aang began, "That there will be a person who is apparently here under mysterious circumstances. He is the person who will be able to teach us."
Suki looked worried. "Where can we find him? They didn't say?"
"I'm afraid not," Zuko said, looking somewhat downbeat. "All we know is that he will reveal himself to us in some sort of perilous situation."
"Perilous?" Sokka wondered out loud. "Not good..."
"All we know for now," Aang said, "is that we will have to set out on a journey to find this guy, and then bring down the Meteorologists. It won't be easy, but we have to learn Weatherbending, since they utiilize it."
"We should set out as soon as possible," Zuko said. "Who knows what they are all up to."
"All right!" Sokka exclaimed. "Get ready world, Team Avatar is back! Water! Ear--"
Toph punched Sokka in the arm. "We got it the first time you did it, Captain Boomerang!" She referenced the time Sokka pulled the same act on Ember Island, just days before Sozin's Comet arrived.
The team packed up all their belongings onto Appa and prepared for their journey. Everyone was coming along. All the meanwhile, Zuko appoined General Tizou to oversee the Fire Nation while the Fire Lord was away.
As Sokka said, Team Avatar was back.
Some things though, were unavoidable.
Team Avatar was about to learn...
The hard way.
A day after Team Avatar set out on their journey, the Meteorologists convened.
"My sources tell me that Team Avatar is heading south from the Capital," Ezan said. "I believe they are now seeking out Reeaki."
"What!?" Zorro shouted out and pounded the table. "Does this mean they now know of Weatherbending?"
"They would have to," Ezan said. "Otherwise they wouldn't seek him out. Perhaps they learned from those spirits we read about in the spirit library."
Zorro buried his head in his hands as he shook it. "That was not what I was hoping for."
"Why is this so bad?" Kianna asked. "If we get them at their strongest, we can say we beat them at their best."
"We need them when they're weakest!" Zorro yelled. "If we're going to get our plan properly into action, we need to shut down Team Avatar while they are still weak. Otherwise, the challenge gets that much more."
The group nodded.
"When we defeat Team Avatar," Baktan asked, "how exactly do we go about taking the Fire Nation Capital? They'll have the military waiting to crush a revolt!"
"It's simple, Baktan," Zorro smirked. "All we have to do is use our Weatherbending again and we will leave them hopeless. A little bit of snow might send a shock to their system. Perhaps 3°C is a little on the warm side..."
"So, shall we set out then?" Kianna asked.
"Yes, let us gather our belongings and begin our journey. It is time to end Team Avatar once and for all," Zorro nodded and grew a poisonous look, as if setting his sights on the heroes right there.
Yep, if you didn't get it then, Reeaki is going to be Team Avatar's Weatherbending master. You just got a spoiler. Heh, I was in a kind mood when I wrote this. ^^"
So the mission starts. Oh, chapter five...prophecies may be fulfilled.
For the collective works of the author, go here.
Changing Weather - Not Your Typical Days - Regathering the Team - Into the Fire Nation - The Masters of Weather - The Meteorologists Attack - Recovery and Disasters - Searching for Instruction - Reeaki's Arrival - Training - Reverberations - A Dire Warning - Can We Hold Together? - Last Preparations - The Final Showdown, Part 1 - The Final Showdown, Part 2 - Survivors of the Conflict - Moving Forward
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