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One: The North
Book One: The North
~The Rebellion Gathering Hut~
"Let the Moon and Ocean spirits be with us tonight. For Freedom!" Dakko yelled and the crowd applauded the leader of tonight's revolt. The tall dark haired man looked out onto his followers. He had never thought he would lead anything in his life, yet tonight he was chosen to execute their biggest operation yet.
Dakko raised his arms to his side and his hands perpendicular to them. He took a deep breath in and then exhaled quickly. Suddenly everyone's torches were extinguished as a mist surrounded the crowd. He was as close as ever to being considered a waterbending master. He was trained under Mokolo's tutelage and excelled faster than most of the other students.
"It is time. Let us begin our mission." Dakko said aloud. "Team Blue Moon, Go!"
A group of waterbenders wearing blue wolf masks ran out of the building, howling. They were heading towards the chief's palace.
"Excellent. The rest of you disperse to your assigned locations. Team Alpha Wolf follow me." A group of waterbenders wearing white wolf masks aligned behind Dakko. Dakko raised his arms and then slowly exhaled as he spun in a circle. A heavy mist surrounded the team and when it dissipated they were gone.
~The Waterbending Academy ~
Avatar Jong-Mu looked out at onto the bay. Just as quickly as the lights had assembled, they disappeared. His breathing became short. He quickly searched his mind for a plan. Nothing.
Chief Toko unfroze the raft in the canal. "Take this and stop them before it's too late!"
"Toko, this matter is more complicated than just stopping them. They don't feel your traditions are for them anymore. It's not just a few people. It's half of your city if not more."
"What of your traditions!? What of the great walls of Ba Sing Se? Built to protect the customs and traditions of the Earth King and his laws. Well our customs and our laws need to be protected. They are not just my traditions. They are the Water Nations'. They are here for a reason. I called you here because I expected you to handle this like you did the air colony or like Ba Sing Se!"
"I can't exactly build a wall of Ice in this situation. That won't fix the problem!"
"TOKO!" Jong-Mu cut him off in rage. He stepped upon the raft and faced the young chief. "I will find out what they are going to do, but I will not do harm to these citizens. This is not the air colony and it is certainly not Ba Sing Se!"
"Of course. It's not your land so why bother with our tribal customs. They're meaningless to the Stone Blooded Avatar of the Earth Kingdom, devoted to his nation and his nation alone."
"I suggest you stop, Toko. I could make this a whole lot harder for you and join the rebellion's side if I feel your leadership is more of a dictatorship than—"
"Just go!" Toko yelled and bended the water around the raft. He sent Jong-Mu down the canal with a wave. Toko looked down at his hands in shock. "What did I just do?"
Jong-Mu was furious at the chief, but he let the wave push him towards the bay. He would deal with Toko later. First he had to see what the revolution had in store for the city.
When he arrived at the bay, he saw no one. It was completely empty.
"Where are you?" Jong-Mu said to himself.
~The Chief's Palace~
Toko returned to his palace, ready to make a move. He watched down at the bay. The Avatar was not moving. What were they up to?
In the depths of the city, a wall of water slowly began rising. Toko heard the noise of the wave but couldn't see where it was coming from. He ran to the back of his Palace. His steps slowed and his jaw dropped. In front of the Spirit Oasis a large wall of ice was forming.
Toko suddenly understood the plan—they were taking the Spirit Oasis as a hostage. Within the Oasis contained the physical forms of the Moon and the Ocean spirits. If they controlled the Oasis, the city was sure to fall to the revolution as they would have all the power.
Jong-Mu returned to the Palace. He found Toko there confused. Toko brought him around back and showed him the gigantic wall of ice that was being created.
"I don't know how they got past the Palace without anyone noticing!" the chief yelled.
"Good question. Do we know of any specific huts or temples they would meet at?" the Avatar questioned.
"Their hut is down there," Mokolo shouted as he came running towards the two benders. "Our intel has found their meeting place. We also discovered how they got past the palace. There were pools of water in the floor. Except they're not just pools—they're tunnels. They used waterbending to go underneath the city and emerge in the Oasis."
Avatar Jong-Mu quickly went off to the hut. Once he discovered the underwater tunnels he jumped into one and traveled to the Oasis.
"Chief Toko, what are we going to do next?" Mokolo asked him.
"Nothing. The Avatar is the only one who can bring peace now. I'm staying here to guard the palace. You should join the Avatar though."
"Yessir," Mokolo replied and ran down to the tunnels.
~The Spirit Oasis~
Dakko smiled at the wall of ice that was slowly rising above the Oasis. Their plan was finally in motion. It had taken months to get their numbers, but now the revolution was going to change the city. The North Pole would have a new government that's laws would enable all citizens the freedom to bend if they could do so.
The wall of ice was finished and sitting just at the top was the full moon, shining in all its glory. Dakko went over to the pond and sensed a strange connection between the koi fish, the moon, and the water. He knew the fish were powerful, but never bothered to learn their real identity.
Dakko suddenly became entranced. His vision blacked out and suddenly he saw an image of waterbenders traveling away from the North Pole with the Ocean spirit. Then Dakko snapped out of it and saw the full moon at the top of the wall.
Dakko knew his destiny in that instance. He had never thought in a million years he'd have a 'purpose.' Now Dakko had a mission for his life, for the revolution, for the world.
All he had to do now was wait for the leader to return for their next phase. Until then, the rebellion would not act. They simply meditated in the warmth of the Spirit Oasis.
Kilo watched from inside the military building. He was terrified of coming out. He wasn't sure which side of the revolution he was on. So far he had stayed out of the whole situation, hoping it would resolve itself.
What he didn't count on was the group of waterbenders from the Rebellion entering the Academy.
"You there, are you a student here? Why don't I know you?"
"Yes. No. I mean I will be. I just signed up for waterbending lessons as well as the military. I'm Kilo."
"A waterbender. Perfect. We're in need of more new water benders, Kilo. And as for the military—we're it," the man in the blue wolf mask exclaimed.
"You guys? You're part of the revolution!"
"Correct. You should join us, if you don't want to get hurt."
The revolter's arms were quickly shrouded in water. They all chuckled.
"Yeah, I mean. Why not? I was on your side anyhow," Kilo lied and laughed along.
"Perfect," said the waterbender. "We're storming the Palace now. Come with us."
"Okay," Kilo mumbled and followed the group out of the building. Kilo was sweating. He moved to the back of the group. The leader of their group told them to be quiet. At his first opportunity, Kilo slipped around a corner and sprinted away.
~The Spirit Oasis~
"We've done it. We've taken over the Oasis!" Dakko shouted. The citizens of the revolution cheered in excitement. "Everything is going according to plan. As soon as our leader arrives, we'll commence the next step!"
Dakko was standing by the wall, facing the citizens and the oasis. His smile faded as the crowd began to talk amongst themselves. Their conversations were cut short due to the ground shaking. Suddenly the bottom of the wall burst open and out from the ground came the Avatar. The side of Dakko's mouth twitched.
"Hello Jong-Mu," Dakko greeted the Avatar without turning around.
"I assume you're the leader of this revolt?"
"You can call me that. I prefer Dakko."
"Dakko, tell your followers to return to their homes. The Spirit Oasis is not to be messed with. This coup is over."
"You cannot silence us Avatar!" Dakko shouted and pointed at him.
"I'm not silencing you. I'm asking you to return to the city in peace. We can work this out another way, but taking the Spirit Oasis as a hostage is not—"
The Avatar was cut off by a stream of water that several waterbenders whipped him with. The Avatar was instantly angered. He stomped his left foot onto the ground and rose above the citizens on a block of ice.
"Listen up. You all don't know the danger you're in right now. You must leave. I order you to!" The rebellion didn't move. Jong-Mu clenched his fists. "You aren't just a water nation; you're a tribe. As such you must not hurt one another. You're family."
People began moving. Jong-Mu wasn't sure they were leaving though, in fact it was quite the opposite. The Waterbenders started producing a sheet of water above the crowd. The Avatar was facing a man made ocean. They began producing waves, ready to strike the Avatar if he chose to get in the way.
Jong-Mu clenched his jaw and stared furiously at the sheet of water that was up against him. He entered the Avatar State and his eyes glowed.
"Attention citizens. You are no match for me, even united. I am the Avatar and I cannot be taken down!" Jong-Mu and his previous lives yelled.
Another whip of water attacked the Avatar. The Avatar was knocked off his ice pedestal. When he got up, he lifted his hands to his sides and rose them. The entire city began to shake. Suddenly the moon disappeared to the revolters. The wall of ice was rising, covering the moon. The Avatar picked it up from the ground and melted it into a wall of water.
The sheet of water before him quickly began disappearing. The members of the revolution began to open their underground tunnels and travel through them back to the city. Dakko was the only one who remained. The Avatar sent the water back to the ocean in a large stream.
As he exited the Avatar State he moved forward to Dakko.
"Come with me to the chief, Dakko," the Avatar stated and walked off to the palace. Dakko slowly followed behind, not making a sound. Jong-Mu caught a glance of his expression—he didn't look angry or sad, just compliant.
At the bay of the Northern Water Tribe a group of Air Nomads flew down onto one of the main docks. There were seven in the group. It was led by an airbender named Yinlo and his wife Melora. They each carried their glider staffs as they walked into the city. They could pick up the tension immediately.
Yinlo was greeted by a young waterbender named Wato. Yinlo was hesitant to answer the boy, but was curious what was happening in the city. Melora took over before he could choose what to say.
"Something seems off here, Wato," Melora said.
"Our city was almost overcome by a revolution. The Avatar stepped in and stopped it from happening!"
"The Avatar is here?" Asked Yinlo.
"He is," Taizo interrupted. "Welcome to the Northern Water Tribe brothers and sisters."
"They're all your family!?" Wato asked.
"Not related by blood," Taizo laughed.
"Where is the Avatar now?" Yinlo interrupted.
"In the Chief's Royal Palace, clearing up all this revolution nonsense," Taizo replied.
"Right. Well we must be going. Have to find a place to sleep and such."
"You can stay with me!" Taizo offered. Melora instantly declined and Yinlo agreed. The group left the injured airbender behind without another word. Taizo tried catching up but they quickly fled. He finally gave up and headed back to his temporary home.
~Chief's Palace ~
The Avatar was standing in the doorway of the Palace. Toko was staring into the waterfall behind the Chief's throne. Dakko was in between the two, looking down at the floor.
"Dakko, your revolution plan was more severe then you know! The moon and ocean spirits are not to be tampered with!" the Avatar bellowed.
"We were never going to tamper with the spirits Jong-Mu," Dakko replied.
"You took the Spirit Oasis hostage! That is messing with the spirits!"
"I'm sorry but this city is behind the times. We had to do something drastic or nothing was ever going to change!"
"I understand this, Dakko. But you could've all been killed."
"What?" Dakko asked, confused. He rarely involved himself with the knowledge of the spirits.
"The Spirit Oasis is one of the most spiritual places on this planet. It is practically a portal to the Spirit World. You don't think the Spirit World has guards at the ready should anyone try to attack the Oasis!?"
"The Northern Guardians," Toko said while continuing to gaze at the waterfall, "are spirits that protect the Oasis. Legends of their power have been passed down over the years. I was never certain of their existence but Jong-Mu sounds like he has experience that would confirm their existence."
"Experience?" Dakko repeated to the Avatar.
"My past life dealt with the Northern Guardians. But that was indeed a lifetime ago. We're talking about now. Those spirits could have killed you all. This is not the way to change the city!" Jong-Mu said sternly.
"Tui and La were never going to be hurt, I assure you this."
"Dakko tell me what you know of Tui and La," Toko interrupted. He finally turned around and faced Dakko.
"I'm afraid I don't know much about the spirits," Dakko admitted.
"Near the beginning of time the moon and ocean spirits crossed the bridge to the physical world. They took the form of two koi fish. They represent the nature of waterbending: the push and pull, the balance of the artform," the Avatar answered for him.
"The moon brings us power, it gives us the ability to bend the water, to continue its ever changing form," Toko continued.
"What does the Ocean bring us?" Dakko asked. The Avatar squinted his eyes for a brief second at this question. Toko answered hastily.
"The Ocean brings us life. It shows us destruction and teaches us control. It teaches us to adapt and learn to control what we can and let go of what we cannot."
"Control," Dakko repeated.
"Yes. Control. Together they bring us balance. Without them they would throw off not only our balance, but the balance of the world. They can sense any form of danger, including being used to throw a coup!"
"The spirits do not control our customs!" Dakko shouted back at the Chief.
"Enough!" the Avatar bellowed.
The sound of the waterfall took over the palace. The Avatar realized his spiritual warnings had to come second in this case.
"I have a solution," the Avatar said at last.
"What?" Dakko and Toko said in unison.
"We'll put the city to a vote. If more than two-thirds of the city wishes to change the customs of this Nation—then they change."
"Vote!?" Toko screamed in disbelief.
"Yes. You said yourself that waterbending is about change and accepting as well as adapting to that change. Your city's belief's are changing. If it the majority of the city's will then the city should follow that change."
Toko couldn't help but agree.
"Fine," Dakko said, "But I must warn you that the citizens involved with the revolution may not be happy if the change doesn't happen. In that case—who knows what could occur." Toko shot a glance at the Avatar.
"You must be willing to accept what may not be as well, Dakko. I suggest you tell your rebellion forces that should the vote not go your way."
With that, Dakko exited the Palace.
"Is anyone here?" Kilo asked as he entered the temple. There was a lantern lit in the back of the main room. Kilo walked to it. "I was injured in the revolt and I need some help." He was lying. He just figured the healing temple was the safest place to hide until the Avatar brought peace.
"Where's your injury?" the healer asked.
"Um, it's internal." Kilo grabbed his stomach. He let out a fake cry of pain.
"Quick, onto the bed," Kyla responded. Kilo got onto the bed and closed his eyes.
Kyla rose her hand and brought water from a fountain to the bedside. It quickly surrounded her hand and began glowing as she brought it over Kilo's stomach.
"Does this feel better?"
"Um... sure," Kilo responded.
"Get up then, see if there's pain." Kilo realized his lie was in jeopardy. He got up and pretended to fall to the ground in pain. Kyla quickly bended more water over to Kilo and started working furiously to heal him.
"What's going on? Why isn't this working!?"
"I think I'm fine."
"You're not fine! You almost fainted." Kyla began moving her arms rapidly in a circular motion over Kilo. His entire body began glowing.
"Stop! Stop!" Kilo screamed.
"What's wrong?" Kyla asked.
"It's not working. I think I just need rest."
"Or maybe the water isn't effective enough!" Kyla said, getting ahead of herself.
"Rest. I think rest is fine."
"Nonsense, if I can heal you now then why bother with rest!"
"Well what water is more pure then the water in this temple?" Kilo asked, curious as to what her plan was.
"The Spirit Oasis!" Kyla exclaimed. "It has special healing properties. We just need to go get some!"
"You don't have any here?" Kilo raised an eyebrow to her.
"There's only a few left and the elders would know if I took one of them. I've been told that it requires a master bender of unforetold strength under the full moon to even begin the process of taking spirit water. It's apparently a perilous task but I'm the best young healer this city has. The elders tell me so every day. I can get you this water and heal you!" Kyla was more excited at the thought of just trying to get the water then healing the man in the temple. She quickly grabbed an amulet and raced off to the Oasis.
Kilo was left alone on the bed. He slowly got up and followed her to the Oasis.
~The Chief's Palace~
"Thank you Avatar Jong-Mu," Toko said with a hint of disdain.
"Toko, you must accept the change. If your city is ready to grow, let it grow. Tomorrow your voting will tell you what step you must take next. Just remember that peace is the main goal, and change is inevitable. I wish you the best of luck."
"It sounds like you're getting ready to leave."
"The revolution is over, Chief. You can work it out amongst yourself and the council now. I must return to Gwali. I left her behind in Taku and I hate being apart. If something should happen send a snowy owlsquirrel message. I'll return as quickly as possible. But only for an emergency. Any other reason and I melt your palace." Toko and the Avatar gave a quick chuckle.
Though to be sure the Chief knew he wasn't kidding, the Avatar raised a nearby iceberg out of the water. He melted it instantly and the water fell down back to the ocean. Toko's eyebrows raised in astonishment. The Avatar smiled and headed out to the bay to leave the North Pole behind. He was excited to be reunited with his badgermole.
~The Spirit Oasis~
Kyla moved her arms left and right fiercely. She brought them down slowly while exhaling and then raised them up quickly. The oasis water remained calm and untouched.
"Ugh. This is so hard. I don't get it. Why can't I bend this water?"
"It's okay, really," Kilo tried stopping her, "I think I'll be fine. Let's just go back."
"It's not okay! You're injured and I need to heal you!" Kyla shouted while trying even harder to bend the water out of the oasis and into the amulet.
"Why not just fill the amulet yourself?" Kilo asked.
"It's forbidden to touch the spirit oasis water. Besides, I can't even bend it out of the water. Who knows if I'll be able to heal you with it. Maybe only waterbending masters can for all I know!" Kyla was furious and she didn't understand why.
"Hey it's okay. Look I have something to confess. I'm not really hurt," Kilo admitted. Kyla stopped trying to bend.
"I'm okay. I wasn't hurt. I was just—"
"Whatever!" Kyla yelled. She shrugged off the lie and became enraged at her inability to bend the water once again. She fell to her knees.
"I'm sorry. I just—"
"Stop. I just..." she trailed off.
They both looked at the Oasis and became entranced by the koi fish. Kilo had never felt more calm in his life.
"It's so tranquil. I can't believe I've never been here before," Kilo said aloud, barely even realizing Kyla was still there.
"I can't believe we almost lost this place to the revolution." Kilo snapped out of the trance and looked at the healer.
"I know. To be honest, that's why I came to the healing hut. The revolt was happening and a group of them came up to me and asked me to join. I didn't know what to do so I ran at the first chance. I figured they wouldn't touch the healing hut so I... I'm sorry I lied to you."
"That's okay. To be honest I'm not sure the revolution is the worst thing anymore. Maybe if I learned how to waterbend I could get water from this stupid oasis!" Kyla yelled and tried bending the water again. It didn't budge. She stopped after her first try.
"I only just learned I was a waterbender. Spent the first sixteen years of my life thinking something was wrong with me because I didn't fit in and then I learn I was a waterbender the whole time!"
"How did you not know?" Kyla asked in astonishment.
"I was told my parents weren't, so I never bothered trying."
"Oh," Kyla gasped. She wanted to ask what happened to his parents but opted not to out of sympathy. "Well at least you get a chance to learn now."
"True. Hey, maybe I could teach you whatever I learn some time."
"That would be kind of cool," Kyla replied and smiled. "I'm Kyla, by the way."
"Well I suppose I should be on my way home now.""What about the healing temple?"
"I was only there to retrieve my comb. It's been passed down for generations and I didn't want to lose it." Kyla pulled out a whale tooth comb from her pocket. It was her prized treasure.
"Can I walk you home?" Kilo asked. Kyla took his hand and lifted her off the ground. The two waterbenders headed back to the city under the moonlight.
~Avatar Ice Temple~
Dakko stepped into the temple. He was immediately drawn to the statue of the previous Avatar. He picked it up. A flash of the full moon clouded his vision. The prophecy was plaguing him wherever he went. He knew what he would do next, when the time was right. Until then he would focus on the revolution alone.
Another man entered the temple.
"Tonight's plan went perfectly," Dakko stated. The man nodded. "What is our next step, Sir?"
"Our next step is to fight. With the Avatar gone we can commence our real plans. We must gain control of the city by force. It's time for the civil war of the North to begin. Tomorrow is the last night of the full moon. We will need its power to take the city by force. Then we will have succeeded in our revolution."
Dakko smiled at the thought of the plan. It was perfect. "Chief Mokolo, you are a genius."
The chief gave a quick smirk and then exited the temple. Everything was going according to plan. The Avatar had been tricked into leaving and Toko didn't know anything about Mokolo's place as head of the revolution. The time to strike was now.
Mokolo gazed up at the full moon. He could feel its power rushing through his veins. He exhaled, a shroud of mist engulfed him and he disappeared.
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