Fire shield
The Message
Chapter information






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Release date

August 15, 2010

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The first "prequel" chapter of Alone.


The current Avatar, Joel, flees from the Bending Defense Agency in the firebending colony of San Juan.


Joel peeked from the side of the container, eyes scanning the night horizon for any sign of his pursuers. Confident that no one was there, he stepped out and started walking towards the town.

Gone, finally gone, Joel thought.

As Joel walked towards the town, he thought back on the last month. On the run, always on the run. Ever since escaping Uluru he had been hiding from the BDA and the Leader. They had sent assassins and their own bending teams after him, but they all proved worthless against the Avatar.

Joel thought on his identity. After falling from an office tower at the age of eight, his eyes had started glowing and he bent the earth beneath him to cushion his fall. Soon after, the BDA had captured him in a freak car accident and taken him to Uluru. There they explained the reason of his captivity, and his ancestry.


Benders had been around since the first appearance of humans. With modern technology arriving, the BDA was formed to keep the benders away from the rest of humanity. Through the use of mercenaries, power-hungry leaders, and cruel persuasion, every bender was either killed, joined their cause as "enforcers", or rounded up to Uluru.

Only 70 years ago had the Avatar arrived. A man named Bracken, currently residing in Uluru, mysteriously bent himself out of the Earthbender's metal prison wing. He had made it to the outside, so close to glorious freedom, but was killed in the attempt.

This was Joel's story as well, except that he was lucky. He had escaped. He had made it to Mexico before losing them, seemingly for the last time. Since escaping, his air and earthbending had been mastered. He had come to Mexico on account of rumours of firebenders living in the area, willing to teach.

How this colony of benders had escaped the BDA's notice was a mystery to Joel, but he only worried himself on persuading them to teach him. We must not think on what was, but must act on what is. An old friend had told him that shortly before he was captured. Since the car accident had listed his death as an excuse for his disappearance, he could never go back to thank him for his advice.

The Call

Joel's phone suddenly rang, echoing out in the silent darkness. As he answered it, he was shocked to hear the voice of the Leader speaking. You have been quite a nuisance to us, and you are becoming too powerful for us to effectively control. We no longer have any use to try to control you. Hopefully your successor will be more cooperative. The dropped call sound rang out, oblivious to Joel's confusion and shock.

Before he even had time to process this, the petroleum spheres he had been hiding behind suddenly exploded, expanding out to envelop and consume Joel. With nothing to stop it, the inferno expanded out to massacre the town and one of the last safehavens for free benders.

Production Notes

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For the collective works of the author, go here.

Book One: Glass
The Message - Leah - The Glow - BDA - Gone - Uluru - Revealed - The Colonies - Brethren - The Survivors - Joel's Old Friend - Alice Springs - School - Sierra - Discovery - Bracken - Visiting the Past - Goodbyes - Escape Part 1: Shards of Glass - Escape Part 2: Confrontation
Book Two: Smoke
The Outside - Questions - Flight - The Rogues - Forewarned - Keith - The Exiles - Forfeit - Choice - Consequence - Legacy Part 1: Avatar Joel - Legacy Part 2: Avatar Aang - Open Arms - Father - Learning to Fly, Part 1: The Apprentice - Learning to Fly, Part 2: The Master - A Leap of Faith - Negotiations - Twin Towers, Part 1: Successor - Twin Towers, Part 2: The Black Plume of Smoke - Twin Towers, Part 3: The Burden of Atlas
Book Three: Storm
His Dark Materials - Wounds - Rest in Peace - Somewhere Only We Know - The Mistress - Smoke and Mirrors

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