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|The Seventy-Fourth Avatar: Sokka Part 2|
Published on Avatar Wiki by
December 9, 2012
Water. Earth. Fire. Air.
Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed during the Spirit War. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, gave us hope, but when the world needed him most, he could barely walk. A few years have passed and Avatar Sokka has grown into a powerful warrior. And although his skills are great, he is still skeptical, abrasive, sexist and immature. But I believe Sokka can save the world.
(continuing from part 2)
Suddenly, the ice that had encased Acquised shattered. Free from its prison, Acquised let out a strange sounding roar and charged Sokka. Now prepared to deal with the spirit, Sokka used his teaching and transformed into Avatar State. A fierce battle, the two attacked each other both physically and with unbelievable elemental attacks. Lightning deflected off massive pillars of ice and hail pounded into swirling whirlpools. The two were even in ability, but while Sokka soon became exhausted the spirit looked like it had limitless amounts of energy. It was at a nearby island that Sokka took his first hit and fell hard into the snow. Getting up from the attack, Sokka looked around and found himself on an island his parents had once taken him long ago. A sacred island covered in totems, the place had long been deserted after it broke off from the South Pole and drifted away.
Fearing the worst, Sokka grabbed one of the totems to use as weapon, but was surprised to find the spirit... hesitant. Seizing the opportunity, Sokka attacked Acquised with the totem, but no matter how hard he tried, the spirit would simply dodge it. No attacks, no crazy storms, the spirit was merely watching Sokka as closely as spirit could. Eventually, Sokka caught on. It wasn't attacking him, because it couldn't. He had heard about spirits needing an "anchor" to keep them in the physical world, an item similar to the Avatar, but he didn't believe it. Sokka raised the totem above his head and threatened to break it, which made Acquised completely silent.
The two stared at each other until Sokka heard a voice in his head telling not to be too hasty. Feeling confident, Sokka pondered at the possibilities, but was conflicted by what had happened to him and his brothers. Before him was a deadly spirit and who could tell what kind of world the rebel spirits or the Mutinous had created. Then he had idea...
Sokka told the spirit that he was now in control and unless it wanted to be stuck in the Spirit World... it would listen to him and only him. Furious, but understanding the situation, Acquised agreed to Sokka's terms. Sokka had won one battle and even gained an ally, but the war was far from over. He needed a plan.
Making the island his temporary home, Sokka decided to spend two weeks gathering supplies and interrogating the spirit for any information. In this time, Sokka got to know Acquised, the spirit of storms and why it became a rebel spirit in the first place. Eventually, the two felt like they could trust each other. He didn't need to make threats and it didn't need to fear being sent back. It even gave Sokka the suggestion to talk to Wan Shi Tong, a spirit who had once helped the Avatar and resided in the old Earth Nation city of Koh. Sokka had a plan, a boat made of ice, and was ready to set out for the closest nation.
While traveling, Sokka was amazed at how calm Acquised was and how it had made the seas for him. Was this really the same spirit that had attacked him, killed his brother, and had declared war on the world? How would the world react to the Avatar associating with the enemy? As if Aquised had read his mind, the spirit emerged from the water and told Sokka that it cannot swim further. Sokka was unsure how to continue, but the spirit again gave the suggestion to remain in the totem, so that he may travel unheaded. Sokka agreed and the spirit was sucked into the totem, but this did not prevent Sokka from worrying about the future.
At last, Sokka's boat landed on the shore of the Earth Kingdom, but without a map, the journey would be impossible. With the help of the spirit, Sokka soon found a large mountain by which he could use to see any nearby towns or villages. At the top, Sokka looked around and was amazed by how far he could see. He was surprised by the lack of snow and ice, but what surprised him most was the red glow from nearby trees. At first he thought it was a fire from a town, but it's size and growing light disturbed him.
Sokka rushed down the hill only find the trees around him alight with fire, slowing burning away. Sokka ran through the burning forest, until he encountered a young earth nation girl... crying. Impatient, Sokka asked the girl where the fire came from, but through the whining and crying he barely understood her. Suddenly, a platypus bear emerged from the bushes and knocked Sokka off his feet. Sokka got up to attack the beast, but stopped when he saw an older girl also emerge from the bushes. Using a flurry of blows she beat the platypus bear until he fled into the wild. The girl who beat up the platypus bear grabbed the crying one and then yelled to Sokka that he needed to get out of here as fast as possible. When Sokka asked why, her reply was very clear... the Mutinous were attacking the town.
Feeling clever and heroic, Sokka asked which direction to flee and then ran the opposite direction towards the town. Eventually, the girl who had fought the bear caught up to him. She told him she didn't need his help, but Sokka ran faster, while yelling back to her that she should not worry, since he is the Avatar. In no time at all, the two were running neck and neck introducing themselves. The girl introduced herself as Tora and explained how her town was attacked after the town's famous earthbenders, the Tu Ying, refused to join the Mutinous within that now occupy Ba Sing Se.
Together, the two ran towards the town, but were too late. Buildings were a flame and most of the townspeople had fled the scene. They yelled at their top lungs, trying to see if anyone was stuck or trapped, but nobody answer. Suddenly, Tora stumbled upon a Mutinous soldier, trying to drag an old man who had been hiding. Sokka leaped into action and saved the old man, but when Tora tried to help the old man she was rejected. The man said quietly that he didn't need a coward to help him. Sokka grabbed the old man and demanded that he explain, but the old man shrugged him off. He argued that Tora could have helped them if she hadn't kept her stupid promise and ran off when the village needed. As the old man walked away, Tora yelled to him that they had treated her like trash, but her words didn't stop him.
After the fire was put out, Sokka asked what the old man had meant. Tora explained that she had sworn off bending forever, but when Sokka asked why, she ignored him. Not wanting to explore the world without a guide, Sokka asked her if she could lead him. Thrilled, Tora decided to join him and together they set out... but not without taking some supplies that had survived the town's destruction.
With Tora as his guide, Sokka got to the city of Koh in no time, but when they got there, they found city and the library completely empty. No citizens in the streets, no people exploring the libraries depths, and certainly no Wan Shi Tong. Sokka was disappointed, but not yet empty of ideas. Sokka told Tora to search the library for information while he searched the city. Outside, Sokka called to Acquised and told it of his plan. The spirit agreed and called out to the closest rebel spirit. Hiding nearby, Sokka watched as a massive centipede emerged from the ground to talk to Acquised. After a couple minutes, the spirit descended and disappeared into the shifting sands. Acquised motioned to Sokka that everything was safe and told him that Wan Shi Tong was captured during the assault and taken to Galgassas the Hollower, the spirit of flight, in Ba Sing Se. When Sokka asked who the spirit was, Acquised told him that it was Koh, the spirit of sand. A rebel spirit who has earned the name the "face stealer" after he assaulted the city and stole the face of the many who tried to defend it.
Recalling Acquised, Sokka ran into the library to find Tora. Finding her amongst a heap of books, Sokka lied to Tora and told her that the good spirits just told him to rescue Wan Shi Tong in the city of Ba Sing Se. Completely skeptical; Tora reminded Sokka that it was under enemy control, but Sokka argued that it was necessary to save the world. Unable to argue in the middle of a desert, Tora continued with Sokka towards Ba Sing Se.
After two months of traveling and various minor encounters, they finally made it to Ba Sing Se. However, Tora was right; the Mutinous had the city completely under their control. Patrols were everywhere and whoever made caused uproar was quickly taken away. Fearing others recognizing them, the two disguised as Mutinous soldiers for a week. In that time, they learned how the Mutinous captured and witnessed Galgassas the Hollower himself flying over the city.
Searching high and low, they finally found Wan Shi Tong's prison after a guard slipped to them. Opening the cage, they found Wan Shi Tong chained down to the floor and completely exhausted. Sokka rushed over to chains and tried to break them, but could not no matter what he tried. He thought about calling out Acquised, but then rescinded the thought since Tora had never seen it and would probably accidentally alert the other soldiers. Kneeling close to the large spirit, Tora unleashed a flurry of blows into Wan Shi Tong's face and belly before he finally woke up. Noticing the Avatars attempt at breaking the chains and Tora still trying to "wake him", Wan Shi Tong chuckled. He told Tora to stop and explained to the Avatar that the chains are unnatural and cannot be broken. After a couple moments of silence, Sokka told Wan Shi Tong that someone had said he could help him win this war. Wan Shi Tong agreed, but told Sokka that he needed to be free before he could do anything. The chains were created by Galgassas and could only be dispersed when it is sent back to the Spirit World. Which meant, that only by destroying his spirit anchor could they save Ba Sing Se and rescue Wan Shi Tong.
Unsure where to even start looking, Tora asked Wan Shi Tong about the Earth King. Wan Shi Tong told her that he had hidden in his vault, but was eventually found and locked in a different cell. For another week the two stayed hidden, but questions and rumors about them were growing and they knew they didn't have much time. Finally, they got lucky when the same guard who helped them earlier told them about how Galgasses would patrol the city, but would always begin and end its day in the king's palace.
Choosing a time when the guards and Galgasses would be away, Sokka and Tora infiltrated the palace and tried to search for any trace of spiritual power. After an hour of searching, they found nothing and would have given up if Sokka didn't remember the story about the vault. Waterbending the vaults massive doors open, the two found a huge trove of treasures, but also a huge stash of useless junk. Immediately, Acquised whispered to Sokka from the totem that the item was in front of them. Sokka waved Tora over and too their surprise found what looked to be a young Air Nomad's glider. Just a plain, small, boring glider meant for children.
Suddenly the two heard something behind them and turned to find Galgasses... staring at them and blocking their only exit. Immediately, Sokka tried to break the glider, but wasn't fast enough as a gust of air landed it right at the spirits feat. Curious, but angry, Sokka demanded an explanation. Galgasses then explained to Sokka how he once enjoyed watching the Air Nomads and their beautiful gliders. One day, a young Air Nomad decided to fly into Ba Sing Se on his new glider. Jealous of the boy's new glider, the greedy Earth King took the child's glider and promised to return it later, but instead locked it in his vault. Saddened by the boy's denial of freedom, but more upset that he could not intervene, Galgasses decided to take matters into his hands by taking over the Earth Kingdom and becoming the spirit of the earth as well so that he may rule both the sky and ground.
Without any thought to her safety, Tora charged at the spirit, but was knocked back by a huge gust of wind into a pile of gold coins. Telling her to stay back, Sokka charged at the spirit, but found he could not even get close to it without any water. Realizing possibility of losing, Sokka thought about to go into the Avatar State, but stopped when Acquised said that it would help him. Taking the risk, Sokka told Tora that would explain later and released Acquised from her totem.
In a climactic battle that shook the entire city, Sokka battled Galgasses with the help of Acquised's storms providing him constant water to bend. Doing whatever he could to keep the fight away from the palace, Sokka tried desperately to grab the glider while protecting Tora. Finally, he did it... using the clouds as cover, Tora ran in at the last second and grabbed the glider from midair. Smashing it with a flurry of blows, Galgasses let out a deafening scream and then faded away as it tried desperately to make one last nose dive at Tora.
After taking a moment to catch their breath, they are greeted and congratulated by Wan Shi Tong, now free of his bindings. Jumping on to his back, Wan Shi Tong flew Sokka and Tora out of the city. Landing in a field just near the cities walls, the three talked about what they needed to do next. Sokka suggests that Wan Shi Tong join him and teach him the other elements, but Wan Shi Tong declines as must he must begin the restoration of the Earth Kingdom to prevent any further corruption and help the Devoted retake the city. Not wanting to feel useless, Wan Shi Tong tells Sokka about his brother, who might be able to teach him, but is also currently missing. Remembering the monkey, Sokka tells Wan Shi Tong that he already met him, but Wan Shi Tong tells him that that is but one of his two brothers. He himself is the spirit of knowledge, the "monkey" is the spirit of wisdom, and the brother he must seek is the spirit of understanding.
Thus, he gives Sokka three goals. The first is to free the capitals and restore the moral of the people slowing losing hope. The second is to find his brother, the spirit of understanding, and learn the other arts so that he may use the Avatar State to its fullest extent and not rely on Acquised. The third is to find the leader of the rebellion and destroy its spirit anchor.
Without a leader, the rebellion would crumble.
To be continued...
-Part two of the four part series.
For the collective works of the author, go here.