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|"You cannot hide from your fate now. You have a duty to the world, to liberate these people and end the Fire Nation's tyranny...Your selfishness has cost the world dearly, but now you can find the FireLord, and end this war."|
|— The Avatar Spirit's orders to Ain.|
The Undesirable Destiny is the premiere episode of Avatar:The Last Airbender Revised.
|The Undesirable Destiny|
Avatar: The Last Airbender Revised
January 2nd, 2011
Behind The Scenes
Update: Please, reader, do not go into this blind, whatever you do. Fanon:A:TLAR < - Read the description of the series' concept so that you are not thrown off by the characters and universe of this story. Then feel free to read my work and enjoy yourself, or not enjoy yourself. All constructive comments and criticisms are appreciated.
For those of you that would rather not read through that entire page, here's the short version: A:TLAR is, in simple terms, a translation of the concepts and ideas within Avatar: The Last Airbender through the harsher, more cynical scope of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. A:TLAR is intended as an original story, a tribute to Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino's animated masterpiece, which is inspired by said series, not directly based upon it. A significant factor in the quality of most fanfiction is how much it is faithful to the established canon. Atlar is not meant to be faithful to the established canon. It is not set in ATLA's universe, and it is not about the characters from that universe. Yes, in hindsight, that title, as well as some other creative decisions, were probably the worst possible choices to convey my intentions for this story. I have learned from those mistakes.
The original intro from January 2011 is no longer present. Feel free to read it in the page's history if you're so inclined to.
Episode's Theme: Break On Through by the Doors. Relevance of song: We've certainly broken through to a new side of the canon-verse, haven't we? Okay, I mostly just chose this song because I love it. I'll have more thematically relevant themes for the series, in future chapters.
Everything has a Beginning- Kyasin & Sakodi
Sakodi dangled upside-down over the edge of the cliff, held by only one leg. The young warrior glanced downward; merely two or so meters below him lied the surface of the ocean. He considered possible logical reasons for why his sister would do this, but swiftly determined that there were none. The blood that was pumping to his skull did nothing to aid his deduction capabilities, however. With false sincerity, he asked, "Oh, undoubtedly wonderful chieftess Kyasin. . Why does Sakodi deserve this?"
She cheekily responded, "He does not deserve this, but his unquestionably almighty and brilliant chieftess sister simply finds it too amusing to stop."
Sakodi had lost all traces of his patience by that time. "Let me go, Kyasin!"
She shook her head in mocking scorn. "Bad word choice, brother. ." The semi-solid coil of water that was wrapped around his leg and holding it in place suddenly dispersed, leaving him to flail and tumble through the air before clashing into the undisturbed ocean, as graceful as a swan with two broken legs. A large bubble formed around Kyasin, the surface of it boiling and shimmering to hide her body as she shed her exterior clothing. The siblings had intended to go hunting, but had been informed that the village currently possessed a plentiful bounty of food, and that they could take the afternoon off. She stared down from the steep cliff face and marveled at at the glimmering beauty of the sea, then boldly stepped over the side and swan dived into the infinitely deep blue waters.
Not a single droplet of water was splashed out of place, a purely aesthetic perk to being a waterbender. As she emerged from the depths, her brother chuckled, remarking, "Do I get to hang you over the cliff-side next time?"
Ignoring him, she took a quick peek beneath the surface to admire the view. At the bottom, amid the gnarled coral and mesmerizing, beautiful array of fish, lied a pack of resting sharkgators. Kyasin pulled her head out from under the water, and spotted her brother backstroking several meters away from her. With her father away at war and her mother being long-gone, he was the only familial support she had left. Yes, there was Kanna, but she was weak physically and mentally. She could not help in the hunt, nor could she defend their people or even be able to support Kyasin's efforts to protect their tribe, as she was steadfastly and needlessly old-fashioned. Such childish idealism was a death sentence in the time of war. Showing an enemy mercy was a display of weakness, and nothing more.
Kyasin was utterly grateful to have Sakodi, but had no idea whatsoever how to show it, so she would taunt him and bully him as a sign of affection. She often worried that he misinterpreted her taunts as being intentionally insulting. The chieftess swam though the calm and nicely chilled water over to her brother. Nearly twenty years of swimming in the icy water had conditioned her body to like the low temperatures. Kyasin called to him, "Do you mind if I ask how my dive looked from your point of view?"
Sakodi turned to her and retorted, "Yes, but I'll give my opinion if you want to hear it."
"Of course I'd like to hear it, brother."
"You are disqualified from the competition for using waterbending to do a splash-less dive."
She teasingly cried "Bastard!" and converted the water, that he was submerged in, into a massive jet of steam, blasting him into the air.
After he fell back into the water, Sakodi swam over to her and calmly stated "That never happened."
Kyasin just quietly nodded, thinking that it'd be best not to irritate him further. She gestured for him to follow her as she began to propel herself beneath the water to admire the coral beneath. The two descended approximately forty meters until they were at optimum observation distance. Kyasin formed two air bubbles around their heads so that they could communicate and breathe. The two siblings quietly perused the field of coral, which contained a high variety, each as unique as the last. Kyasin was particularly put in awe by one coral, which was bright red, but had structures branching off of it, each with a different colour and shape pattern.
Kyasin was entirely at peace, immersed in the beauty of the oceanic environment and enjoying the calmness that the silence gave to her. Sakodi interjected, asking if they could return to the surface for a snack. In response, she popped his air bubble. She thought about how frustrating it was to have that lovely and peace-inducing silence broken by an idiotic question like that. As he could not ascend to the surface quickly enough without disturbing his organ systems, she waited until he was in a frenzied panic before restoring his air bubble. "A word to the wise, little brother...next time you want to ask something stupid like that, don't ask it when I have control of your access to oxygen. I hope you know that I'd never allow you to suffocate. . Not intentionally, anyway."
Sakodi nodded, promising not to ever irritate her in that situation again. With a satisfied grin on her face, Kyasin said that she'd greatly appreciate that. Then he pointed out a large block of ice nestled within the coral. The waterbender gently swam closer to take a better look at it. There was a boy that looked to be around her brother's age encased within the ice. The siblings, in cooperation, hefted the ice tomb out of the coral and brought it to shore. The two got dressed and grabbed their weapons, then returned to determine how they could open it. Sakodi unsheathed his machete and began to hack at the roof of the tomb, barely making an indention in the process.
Kyasin grabbed the machete by the handle and pulled it out of Sakodi's hands. "Oh, you're just going to break that blade of yours, brother." Then, the eyelids of the boy that had been sealed in the ice for, perhaps, an immeasurable number of eons, suddenly opened. Sakodi leapt three feet in the air and collapsed onto the ground in shock. Even Kyasin was taken aback by this. "You didn't wet yourself, right brother? Those clothes are going to have to last you all winter, you know." The boy in the ice slowly raised his hands and pressed his palms against the roof, which began to look aflame, and quickly melted the ceiling of the tomb. All of the ice had converted to water, and extinguished the fires that had been in his hands.
The boy slowly raised his torso, and carefully climbed out of the ice tomb. He took a step or two, before stumbling and clutching his head like a bomb had gone off inside of his skull. Then his body suddenly began to quake, as tremors of anguish rippled through his body. He collapsed on the snow in front of them. Kyasin stared at the boy's crumpled body, wondering who he was. He wore a simple tunic bearing the colours of the airbenders, but they had been exterminated a century ago... "We should probably help him, Sakodi."
"You must be kidding. We should just abandon him here, nice and easy. It'll save us the trouble of having to kill him later, if he's a threat. I'm sure he'll find his way out of the area, and the tribe will remain secure."
"I'm pretty sure that he's not a threat, brother. He looks younger than us."
"It doesn't matter how old he is, we don't know if he's a threat or not. All we do know is that he's some guy who was frozen at the bottom of the ocean, and that he apparently has epilepsy. If we leave him here, we don't have to worry about who he is. The tribe is better off safe than sorry."
"At the very least, he should be given the benefit of the doubt. If he wakes up and starts shooting fireballs at us, then go ahead and slit his throat."
"Oh, just slit his throat? That's awfully merciful of you, Kyasin..."
Kyasin pulled Sakodi off of the ground with a coil of water wrapped around his neck and calmly asked, "What was that remark, little brother?"
"Oh, come on sister, don't play dumb, you're terrible at it. You broke both of the arms of that Fire Nation mercenary just last week, and then drowned him!"
"He was trying to KILL US, you dunce!"
"Admit it Kyasin, you always go for the overkill."
Kyasin snapped back a fierce retort. "If I'm fighting a man who is twice my weight and uses blazing fire as a weapon while I'm defending myself with flimsy water that I can't even turn into ice yet, I'm going to be thorough, damn it!" Kyasin dropped Sakodi back onto the ground, and quietness reigned over the siblings like a tyrant king.
After the heavy silence became unbearable, Kyasin calmly said, "It really is just being thorough, you know. I'm ensuring that he is dead and we are alive. A leader has to be able to protect her village and we need every advantage possible if we're going to keep the tribe safe. You'll have to acknowledge all of that someday, brother. Eventually, I'm going to have to leave and aid father in the war, leaving this tribe to be your responsibility."
Sakodi whimsically thought to himself about how much he missed his childhood. He observed the ice floe-peppered ocean surface and thought of his great father, Hakido, former chieftain of the Southern Peak tribe and now a war hero. Could he live up to his father's legacy, and his sister's reputation? "I know what my duties to the tribe are, Kyasin. I swear, I'd give my life to protect these people, if it was necessary."
"Then I trust you to be able to manage it well." Sakodi waited for her to say something else. "I take it you that want me to carry him, sis?"
"Damn straight, baldy."
"It's a ponytail."
"You think that's somehow an improvement?" she asked jestingly.
Duty to the World- Ain
Someone had hauled Ain out of the ocean, and awoken him from his slumber. He was not entirely certain where he was, but he sensed that he was still near the South Pole. The only event that the monk could remember was climbing out of the ice, before stumbling because of an agonizing pain in his skull, and then going into convulsions before finally collapsing in the snow. Ain had not intended for anyone to be able to find him...or perhaps he had chosen to seal himself in a more shallow part of the ocean because he subconsciously wanted to be found...or the Avatar convinced him to seal himself there. Oh dear. . The Avatar was not going to be pleased.
Ain was trapped in a state somewhere between semi-conscious and asleep, with a dash of nightmares for the sake of spice. He was surrounded by horrifying images, of Fire Nation soldiers razing nomadic campsites to the ground and incinerating all of the nomads. Was this his fault? He had known there would be consequences for fleeing his destiny, but this. .this was beyond terrible. What else had the Fire Nation done in his absence? Out of nowhere, an omniscient voice began to thunder and roar in fury. "The Fire Nation has massacred the nomads and the monks, Ain. .and then they invaded the Earth Kingdom. This planet has been plunged into nearly a hundred years of war and you are responsible!"
"You cannot hide from your fate now. You have a duty to the world, to liberate these people and end the Fire Nation's tyranny. You must redeem yourself for being the catalyst that allowed FireLord Sinzo to declare war. The planet's balance has been thrown askew, and it is your destiny to put it right. You were comfortably unconscious for the entire century of being frozen, but I was forced to watch as my own creation began to destroy itself, while I was trapped and could do nothing to stop it! Your selfishness has cost the world dearly...but now you can find the FireLord, and end this war."
Ain drifted back into consciousness. There was a woman, a few years older than him, standing over him. She turned to the entrance of the cottage that they resided in and called, "Sakodi, he's awake and has, thankfully, not yet attacked us."
"Good to know," remarked this man as he strode in. While handing the boy a cup of arctic tea, Sakodi stated, "Now, we don't need your life story, but we'd like to know who you are, and why the hell you were frozen at the bottom of the water around our island."
Ain sat up and considered his options for a few moments. These two were clearly members of a Water Tribe, based on their clothing, and presumably southern, unless his tomb of ice had somehow been swept from its location. From the depths of his mind came the urgent encouragement of the spirit. It insisted that this woman was a waterbender of strong caliber, and that if he were to stay true to his word, she would probably make for a decent mentor. "I am a monk from the Southern Avatar temple. They took me in after my parents recognized that I had the airbender birthmark. I froze myself beneath the ocean. . .as a form of self-exile. I sought to escape the life that was laid out for me."
The woman thought to herself for a few moments. "Thank you for complying with our inquiries. I am Kyasin, chieftess of the Southern Peak, and this is my brother, Sakodi. He assists me in leading our tribe." She paused, as if she was deducing something. "How old are you, and what might be your name?"
"I was endowed with the name of Ain and am sixteen years of age. Why do you need to know how old I am?"
"You say that you are an airbender, and you are sixteen years old. ." The chieftess pondered what she had heard for a moment. "Look at the calendar that we have mounted upon the wall of our home. And if you had to estimate, how many years have you been frozen?"
Fearful of how she might respond if he was to refrain from answering, Ain meekly stated, "I've been absent from the world for approximately. .one hundred years-"
Upon Ain's words reaching the chieftess' ears, she suddenly rushed toward him and gripped him by the edge of his tunic, slamming him against the wall of her home. "You're the Avatar. The world has been trapped in a massive war because you froze yourself? Did you know that the Fire Nation has taken countless lives because you weren't there to keep them in line? My mother was murdered! All of the other waterbenders in our tribe were murdered! You killed them, Ain! You killed your own people! And what exactly do you intend to do to redeem yourself?"
"I don't know. ." The Avatar subconsciously brought about the skeleton of a plan to bring the war to a resolution. "I. .I could begin a liberation of the occupied Earth Kingdom, and after mastering the other three elements, I'd confront the Fire Nation directly, hopefully with an army by my side. I am just one kid, you know. I can't just wave my hand and end the war because I have an aggressive and omniscient spirit in my head."
Kyasin allowed Ain to stand up. "I'm so sorry for that. It has not been easy, living in a world that has been consumed by war. But the world has changed because you disappeared at such a crucial time, Ain. You should know that."
"I do know, Kyasin, and there's nothing I can really say to make up for it. My mistakes sentenced this world to an invasion, extermination and a war. But I will redeem myself for that. You don't need to forgive me, because I certainly haven't yet. I'd like your help on learning to waterbend. Do all of the waterbending masters still live at the Ice Citadel?"
"Yes, but Ain, I can't go there with you. I have a duty of my own, it may not be saving this spirit-damned planet, but I still have to lead and defend this tribe."
Sakodi spoke up. "Actually, Kyasin, a boat carrying some of father's men is scheduled to return tomorrow. With the extra soldiers, this village could probably do fine under grandmother's leadership."
"You really trust her to serve as a good leader?" Then she stopped, considering her options. She turned to Ain and said, "I'd be glad to help you. My people, they need to feel safe again, and this world has been under the FireLord's thumb for too long. We can help liberate the occupied territories and fight back against incoming Fire Nation soldiers. But for right now, you need to rest. We can set off in the morning."
After the monk had returned to his rest in the guest room, Sakodi made an offhand remark about how his sister could reach the other side of the Windswept Canyon itself is she were to make a leap of the same caliber as her jumps to conclusions.
This Dead Legend - Zotu
Zotu scoured the ocean surface that extended endlessly in front of him, from the top deck of his warship. His crew's foremost firebenders were launching fireballs to clear a gap through the immense glacier that obstructed their course into Tribal waters. But the passage through the colossal obstacle was still too thin. Someone was not pulling his or her weight. Infuriated by this, Zotu roared like a thousand wild beasts. "Which of you is not doing their duty?" He turned to his servicemen and recognized that one was significantly younger than the rest. His armor's inscription read Lee. "Where is Lee, and who are you, boy?"
He meekly replied, "I am Lee."
Zotu fiercely grabbed the boy by his throat and lifted him into the air. He growled, "Dishonesty is a sin boy, and if you are deceiving me, I can and will feed you to the sharkgators."
"I'm Ranji, Lee is brother."
Zotu smugly wore a smile on his face, satisfied that he had intimidated the boy. "And where is Lee?"
"He asked for me to fill in for him while he stayed on the mainland with his girlfriend for the day."
Zotu's smirk vanished in an instant. "That was sweet of you, boy. And what is the name of your town?"
"The name of our village is Rhao Han."
Zotu scowled, and said, "Very well, then." He angrily paced over to the edge of the deck and threw Ranji overboard. "Better warn your brother, boy!" he called out to the arctic waters. He immediately summoned a messenger, ordering him to travel to the nearest ship that answered to Zotu and deliver a message to the captain of that ship.
"Tell him that his course has been officially changed."
"Where do you want him to go, sir?"
"I want his warship to go to the mainland village of Rhao Han...and burn it to the ground. Tell him that there's a young man named Lee there. He is the prime target." Zotu called upon his next best firebender to finish off the passageway with the others. Zotu was restless...he was wasting his time sailing to take over a Water Tribe for the Fire Nation when he could be off on his personal mission. He relished the thought of torching a few waterbenders, though.
. . . (This symbolizes the passage of time.)
Zotu was sitting in his dimly lit study near the bottom of the ship. He was contemplating all that he had lost...and everything that he could gain if he could find his target. A messenger came into his study, bearing a piece of new information. "There are rumors that the Avatar has awakened at the Southern Peak tribe, an island that is just barely to the side of our intended course."
"Excellent...we will head towards this island at once."
"Sir, could I ask you a question?"
Zotu sighed with impatience. "Yes, you may..."
"Why do you pursue this dead legend so doggedly? What do you have to gain from it?"
"Kid, if you were mutilated, disowned by your family, and exiled from your homeland. . You'd cling to any opportunity of redemption as well."
"I'm sorry sir, I had no idea."
"Don't give me any sympathy. Just leave me to wallow in my quiet fury."
An hour or so passed, and the ship pulled itself onto the wide shore that was on the island. With the enthusiasm of a small child, Zotu leapt from the top deck to the frozen beach below. Though he was surrounded by seemingly fearsome tribals, they all cringed in fear and loathing at the sight of him. "I am certain that your powers of retention. .are wetter than a seal's backside. But as thick as you people are, pay attention. My words are a matter of pride. I have no intent of invasion or extermination. I am merely looking for the Avatar. Surrender him to me, and you will all be spared from any violence."
A strong looking woman that appeared to be his age stood stoically in front of him, showing no signs of being intimidated. Behind her was a young man in war paint, armed with a machete. He recognized that she must be the leader of the tribe. She spoke to him with pure contempt in each and every word. Zotu was prepared to assault the woman, but then a bald teenaged boy leapt from a slope hanging overhead. He dropped to his knees before Zotu and stated, "I am the Avatar. Take me, and leave these people peacefully." Zotu was flooded with joy, as the hour of victory was upon him.
The Fog of Destiny - Kyasin
The tides lapped at the edges of the immense warship that was surging through the ocean. She summoned a dozen of her best warriors, along with their leader, Sakodi, and led them to the beachhead for when the ship reached their shores. The front of the ship sliced through the oceanic foam and the sand beneath the water's surface like her brother's machete through thin tissue. The presumed captain of the vessel leapt from its deck directly in front of her warriors. The left side of his face had been completely incinerated off, and his original eye had been removed from its socket, probably because it was too damaged to serve any use; a mechanical eye was in its place. She could not help but stare at the disgustingly exposed sinews and muscles, the teeth that had no flesh to cover them, the singed cartilage on his nose, the missing ear.
Despite the overwhelming and intense storm of fear that raged within her body, she defiantly looked at the Fire Navy soldier in his eyes and spoke with the ferocity of a mother lioness, guarding her cubs from the pathetic scavengers, the hyenas. "The Avatar is not here, firebender. Leave this place or forever regret crossing the path of the legendary Chief Hakido's daughter and her people." The captain seemed ready to blast her with fire upon the spot, but Ain abruptly jumped from the cliff above and knelt before the disfigured soldier. He gave himself up to the Fire Nation in return for their peaceful departure. She was overwhelmed with fury, desired to strike down the captain and pull Ain back to where he belonged. She gently shut the blinders over her eyes and breathed calmly. When her eyelids opened again, the warship was gone.
Kyasin had attempted to drift into the sweet sensation of numbing sleep, but the sight of Ain surrendering to that firebender had lingered aimlessly in her thoughts, branded onto her psyche's exterior like the name that was inscribed on the captain's armor: Zotu. She cursed his name and his unforgettable mutilated face, disregarded his 'prestigious' title.
She sighed and thought to herself that it was pointless to focus on the firebender. What was more significant than her own feelings was springing Ain from imprisonment. Their journey to the north needed to begin as soon as possible.
As restless as ever, Kyasin abandoned her residence and stared aimlessly into the midnight sky, past the dispersing clouds that hung above her island like pieces of a fractured shield, and through the lanterns that shined infinite miles away. The chieftess and revolutionary saw the entire universe laid out before her, the vast depths of the cosmos spread out over a blanket of sky. She saw all the roads of destiny, roots indefinitely stretching between the celestial bodies from a great tree. The world had been gripped in civil war for far too long. She knew which path in fate she was meant to take. As Kyasin strode past the barren trees and rocky outcrops on the isolated piece of land that she claimed as her own, her mind returned to the young monk that she had harangued before regretting her actions.
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Fanon: The Undesirable Destiny - Fanon:The Journey Begins - Fanon: Hell Hath No Fury - Fanon:Revolution 1 - Fanon:The Mad Genius - Fanon:The Runaway - Fanon:The Winter Solstice|