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Northern Water Tribe houses
The Visitor
Chapter information

Fate's Cold Hands



Written by

Agent Slash, Omashu Rocks

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The First of a Thousand Steps

Not a single flake of snow could be found during one of the nicest evenings the Northern Water Tribe had seen all year. The moon was full, and the people of the great city enjoyed a night out, families strolled down the lantern-lit streets, a couple kissed while riding a gondola, and children laughed and played a neighborhood-wide game of tag. Outside the bustling downtown area, however, two people were not using the night to relax.

Breathing heavily, a girl with light brown hair and blue eyes somersaulted forward, then thrusted her arms in a wavy motion, unleashing four furious water whips at a boy of the same age who had darker brown hair and ice-blue eyes. Without even struggling, the boy redirected each of the streams and sent them back at his attacker in the form of ice spears. The girl stepped back, terrified, but she did not have enough time to react. Four of the spears flew through four corners of her clothing, the cloth surrounding the two shoulders and ankles, and pinned her to a snow wall. The fifth, narrowly missed her forehead. Had the shard been six inches lower, she'd be dead. The girl flinched, but soon realized she was unharmed, and she growled before melting the wall behind her and firing two water jets. Again, the boy redirected her attack, this time combining the jets into one blob of water and lobbing it over the girl, only to hit her in the back and knock her on her stomach. She struggled to get up, furious, but she gave up and flopped back onto the icy ground.

"Why can't I beat you just once?!" The girl asked, infuriated with herself.

"Sorry sis," the boy started, "but you just can't beat me when it comes to Waterbending." He walked over to his opponent and offered his hand.

The girl, accepting her brother's help to get up, replied "Every time! How do you do it, Kembar?" She was dumbstruck by her brother's power.

"Well for starters, I use the correct style of Waterbending. The way you attack so impatiently and straight-forward, you might as well be an Firebender or an Earthbender."

"Fine! I'd take either of those over Water any day."

"Come on, sis. All you need is a little practice."

The girl nodded, and the two began to walk home. When they arrived, they kicked the snow off their boots before walking inside, where they were greeted by their mother.

The woman turned upon hearing the door open and smiled. "Ah, there are my two favorite, fifteen-year-olds!" She thought it was hilarious to remind them of their age until they turned sixteen the next day, on the birthday they both shared.

"Mom, let me help you with those dishes," the girl offered.

"It's alright, Kiama. Go do whatever you want."

At that, the brother and sister scurried up two flights of stairs and climbed out of a window onto a ledge. There, they used a ladder to reach the roof of their house. The duo lied down and gazed at the stars, best of friends.

"Hey Kiama," Kembar said softly. "Remember that time we got in a fight over whose snowman was bigger, and we ended up destroying each other's?"

Kiama chuckled then said, "Yeah, we can still act like we're little kids sometimes."

"Even though we fight every now and then, I'm glad to have you around."

"Same to you, Sifu Kembar." Both laughed heartily, and after another hour of chatting, they retired to their bedrooms.

As Kiama drifted to sleep, she thought of her wonderful brother. He was always there for her. Every time things seemed dim, he had her back, and she had his.

Kembar lay in his room, reminiscing all of the wonderful memories he and his sister had. The time they tried to catch a Turtle-Seal, the pranks they had pulled when thy were kids, how they had cried with each other after their dad passed away. He loved his sister and she loved him too.

The next thing the siblings heard was their mom calling from downstairs. It was morning and light beamed through Kiama's window on to her bed. She wanted to sleep a few more minutes, but heard her brother slam his own door shut and tumble down the stairs. Now she was holding him up. Reluctantly, she pulled off her covers, slid her feet into a pair of seal-fur slippers, threw on a comfy robe, and made her way to the kitchen.

"Happy sixteenth Birthday!" Her mom rushed to embrace her children, and they hugged back.

"Thanks Mom. Happy Birthday to you too, Kembar."

"Happy Birthday, Sis."

"So, how does it feel to be sixteen you guys?"

Kiama shrugged. "Okay, I guess."

"Oh, don't be like that! C'mon get changed! I invited all your little friends over!"

"Mom, you really didn't have to do that."

"What's wrong Sis? Be excited."

Within the hour, the twins' home had become a party. One of Kembar's friend made sure to punch him sixteen times, and one of Kiama's, who Kembar simply refers to as "Pigtails", couldn't shut up about her new boyfriend. Everyone was having a blast, and the twins' mom could barely hear a knock at the door. She swung it open, revealing an old man with long gray hair in blue robes with a white color.

"Okay, you don't seem like one of my kid's friends," the woman stated bluntly.

"Ma'am, I'm an official of the government, so if you are through being rude, I'm going to need you to clear your house of all these guests."

She thought for a moment, remembering that it was the day her children turned sixteen. Could it be? No, that's crazy. "Of course, sir." It took her a while to get everyone but her family to leave, but when they were all gone, she invited the mysterious man to come in.

"My name is Yansu," he began without even saying hello to either Kembar or Kiama. "I am the leader of a secret organization dedicated to keeping balance in the world known as The Order of the White Lotus. You may want to sit down."

The three obeyed and took seats on a couch. The mother, in the middle, held her twins' hands nervously.

Yansu took a deep breath. "I have come to reveal the identity of the Avatar."

Kembar and Kiama shot each other astonished looks. "Who is it?" Kiama demanded.

"Actually, an unheard-of incident has occurred. The Order has confirmed that in fact, you were both born the Avatar."

For minutes, Kembar and Kiama sat in total silence, staggered. Soon, the news settled in, and they were excited beyond belief. "Yes! Yes, now we can both learn all four elements!" Kiama shouted happily.

"And we can both help people together!" Kembar added.

Yansu's expression became one of frustration. "Shut up!" He ordered. The twins silenced themselves and were taken aback by the hostility of this man. "The Order has decided that in order for there to be balance in the world and for everything to be as it should be, only one of you may be the Avatar."

Kiama and Kembar shot each other glances. "Well, that's impossible," Kiama stated. "We are both the Avatar and there is not much you can do to change that."

"Actually, there is." The twins were puzzled, but they listened intently. "You must each master the four elements, and when you are both fully realized Avatars, you will fight to the death and the victor shall keep his or her Avatar title."

The twins' mother immediately sprang up from her spot on the couch. "Are you insane? This is madness! I am not allowing you to let my children murder each other for such unnecessary reasons!"

"Ma'am, the Order has decided that this is what is best for the balance of the world. I am going to have to ask you to stand down."

"I am not abandoning my children, and I am not letting you do this to our family!" The mother had tears in her eyes, and her throat was stinging.

"Sentries, get this old fool out of my sight!" Yansu ordered. Suddenly, three men enterred the home and grabbed the twins' mother.

"Let me go! You can't do this to me!" she shouted as she was dragged away. "Kiama! Kembar! Please, don't forget you love each other! Promise me!" These were the last words they ever heard their mother speak.

"Mom!" Kiama shouted.

"Bring her back now!" Kembar demanded. "Or else I'll-"

"I think it advisable to stand down, boy," Yansu commanded. "Both of you, pack your things; you are going on a trip."

By the end of the hour, Kembar and Kiama were forcefully escorted by Yansu and his companions through their magnificent city, to a half-frozen dock, and onto a massive sailing vessel with an ominous feel that made the twins cringe. They were informed that the ship would leave them in the city of Omashu where the two would be left completely independent from the Order. They would then decide their own path to master the elements. The man in robes concluded the briefing with "I'm terribly sorry it had to come to this."

It didn't have to come this, you old jerk! Kembar cursed the White Lotus in his thoughts, outraged that the Order would come to such a harsh, barbaric decision. He did not speak with his sister. Both twins felt uncomfortable even looking at each other in the eye, much less conversing. He dully moped to the stern deck of his ship to Hell and threw his arms over the side, staring down at the blue water hopelessly. He didn't cry; he had trained himself never to cry because he was a hero to Kiama.


"Mom?" The boy spun around, only to see a glowing woman in the apparel of an Air Nomad. She had an arrow on her head, and her body was surrounded by a sparkling mist. All Kembar could do was gasp and step back.

"Do not be afraid young Waterbender. I am Avatar Ai, a past life of yours. I come in peace and in wisdom."

"You... you were the Avatar?"

"Indeed. And I still am."

Kembar grew a quizzical look on his face.

"You are young, and you still can only go forward in time, but soon you'll see that time has no beginning or end. Time simply is and always will be."

"And how do you see it then?"

"Like all the enlightened spirits, I see it sideways. This way, I can focus on the best parts of life, something you should work on in the journey ahead."

"That's great and everything, but don't you understand how awful this is? I have to fight my sister! I might kill her! She might kill me..."

"You shouldn't be afraid to die, Kembar. Death is only one moment, but time goes on."

"I'm not afraid to die! I just don't want to lose my sister! Things will never be the same."

"This is true, but change is good. As an Air Nomad, I understand change quite well."

Kembar wiped tears from his eyes. "What does that even-" The Avatar was gone.

Kiama, weeping on the other side of the watercraft, heard loud footsteps behind her. When she turned to see who was approaching, a tall, bulky man in green stood before her.

"I am Avatar Youke. Three lifetimes ago, I guarded the Earth Kingdom, and the world, from evil and unbalance."

The girl tried to stop sobbing. "You, you're one of my past lives? I learned in school that Avatars are reincarnated into the next nation."

"Correct. When one dies, another is born. Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Simple as that."

"If it's so simple, how did this happen. How did two people become the Avatar?"

"How it happened isn't important. You'll never solve a problem by dwelling on how things could have been different. You, Kiama, must focus on what you can do to make the future a better place, while you still can. Take what you are given, and use it as best you can."

"But I won't be able to use it if I lose to Kembar."

"Then don't lose! Take control of your own destiny. That is the best thing anyone in this world can do."

Before she could respond, Youke became nothing more than a faint blue light, and the glow ascended into the sky.

The twins stared into the mountains that proudly stood tall in the distance. That's all there was to see other than the port in which their ship was docking. Kiama and Kembar were shoved off of the ship and stumbled onto the docks below. "Hey, aren't you guys going to drop us off at Omashu?" asked Kiama, stunned at what was happening.

"I am certain you two can find your own way there," Yansu replied.

He and the rest of his crew prepared to depart when Kembar called out. "Wait a second!" The White Lotus members turned their attention back to the boy. "I'm not training with her!" Kiama was a bit hurt by Kembar's words, but she knew why he did not wish to remain with her. She knew it was for the best.

Yansu was suspicious. "What do you mean, you won't train with her?"

Kembar spoke boldly. "I want to learn Airbending first!"

T"Very well, boy. We shall send you to the Western Air Temple to begin your training immediately," Yansu decided. Kembar moved towards the ship and looked back at Kiama as the two shared a silent moment together; as siblings.

"Bye, sis," Kembar said his final words to Kiama before he would have to battle her.

"Bye, Kembar," Kiama choked out while tearing up. Her brother got back on the ship and the White Lotus set sail while Kiama set a course for Omashu.


  • Avatar Ai was named for a character from The Adventures of Team Avatar
  • Ai's description of time was inspired by the Tralfalmadorians in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, an unconventional novel about WWII.
  • Avatar Youke gets his name from the Chinese word for "visitor".

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For the collective works of Omashu Rocks, go here. For Agent Slash, go here.

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