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One: The North
Book One: The North
~ Military Academy ~
"Where am I?" the young waterbender asked.
"You're in the Academy. It's being used as a temporary healing center since the Healing Temple went down," Mokolo answered him.
"Am I injured?"
"No, you were just in a coma-like state. Good to see you're awake. The Avatar and a young healer brought you here."
"Kyla! Where is she?" Kilo quickly questioned.
"She's resting in the next room. Kilo, I must ask you a question and it's very important you answer. As I understand it, you were in the Spirit World?"
Kilo's face went blank, as if the memories were washing over him taking him out of reality and back into the moment. He met the past life of an Avatar as well as his Polar-Leopard. He was taken on a journey to a land far away and before he knew it he was back in the Mortal Realm. The only thing he couldn't remember is why he passed out.
"Yes. I was taken by a spirit. And the next thing I know I was taken to a place like this city. A place far away but exactly like this. It must be below the Earth Kingdom. It was amazing. When I got there I had a vision of a small city of waterbenders! I mean this could change our entire life! We should tell Toko."
"Toko isn't part of the revolution," Mokolo quickly retorted.
"No, but why would that matter?" Kilo looked at Mokolo. Mokolo was staring directly at him and it clicked for Kilo.
"So what side do you want to be on?" Mokolo asked.
"I'm... I'm not sure."
"You want to become a master waterbender don't you?"
"Are you saying you won't teach me if I choose to be against your revolution?"
"Sorry I should rephrase," Mokolo laughed, "You are going to learn waterbending under my tutelage."
"That doesn't sound like much of a choice to me."
"And that sounds like the answer I didn't want to hear," Mokolo stated and then quickly left the room.
Kilo closed his eyes and imagined the village that Avatar Palokk led him to. His vision seemed so real. Was it his destiny? Or was it simply his job to inform the others, and stay here to learn waterbending? Would there be any masters left after the revolution ends? His mind was racing with questions that had no definite answers.
~ The Middle of the City ~
The Avatar chased the airbender into the city. Upon exiting the Spirit World he was greeted by Yinlo. Yinlo was in a panic as the city had finally begun to battle. With the Hail Storm finally over, the entire city was at war. Each side began using the fallen hail as there weapons. Few crossed over to the opposite side of the city to attack directly. It was a war of mostly projectiles.
Yinlo brought the Avatar into the middle of the city. Jong-Mu watched as the city was deteriorating into piles of snow. He had to do something, but he wasn't sure what.
"Please stop this! My wife is pregnant! She could be killed!" Yinlo pleaded with the Avatar. "You are powerful. I know of your escapades in Ba Sing Se!"
With that, Jong-Mu went into the Avatar State. Toko's plan of building a wall was about to be tested.
The Avatar shot his arms up in the air, causing him to stand on a giant pedestal of ice towering above the city. He shot his arm to the left and rose it, then did the same with the right. A giant wall of ice separated the city.
"Citizens of the Water Nation. This war is over!" Jong-Mu yelled. He gazed down at the waterbenders from each side. Then he heard a loud cracking sound. Over the course of one minute, the entire wall was breaking apart by the waterbenders—and then used as a weapon.
Blocks of ice were flying left and right in the city. Jong-Mu's footing gave way. A chunk of ice flew at him, knocking him unconscious as he began falling to the ground.
~ Wato's Home ~
"Stay here," was all he was told by his parents. They both rushed out into the city to help with the revolution.
Wato watched his parents leave. He suddenly realized how fast his heart was beating and how rapid his breath was. He tried to calm himself. He took deep breaths. His arms raised and water encased him from his shoulders to his hands.
He ran out into the city. Wato was stunned to see a wall of ice slowly being brought down by the benders surrounding him. He made his way to the opposite side of the city. He climbed over the remains of the ice wall.
It was becoming impossible to tell who was on what side as more and more civilians began entering the war and crossing sides. There was no sign of his parents. It was like they instantly disappeared into the frenzy of blue and red shades covering the city.
He whipped up the snow around his feet to create a cover of mist around him. He first headed to the ruins of the Healing Temple, hoping he would find someone in the Revolution who could point him towards his parents.
No one was there. He headed for the Palace, taking a sidewalk by a canal. He saw guards at the front, so he decided to go around to the back, hoping his father was somewhere nearby. Wato turned a corner and found himself surrounded by waterbenders. As to which side they were on—he couldn't tell.
~ Ice Temple ~
Mokolo and Dakko came out from their underground tunnels into the Ice Temple. There was a different feel to it. Not so much that the room was different, but rather that they were not alone. Yet the room was empty besides the two.
"We're at war! Why did you pull me into this temple!?" Dakko yelled.
"Because you're a murderer!" Mokolo yelled back. Dakko wasn't sure what to do, except look down at the snow. "How could you go behind my back? Our whole cause could be ruined because of this!"
"Will you look out there? We're having a civil war! Our cause is either going to win or die!"
Mokolo looked out into the city. The canals were filling with blood. Mokolo ran his hands through his hair repeatedly out of frustration. "You went behind my back. As far as I see it you're a traitor. Stay here or join the other side. But let me be clear—if I see you I will have no mercy."
"Oh so if you kill me it's okay because we're in a war?"
"The people in the war know that they can die. You killed innocent sick civilians!"
"I won't join them. But I'm not staying here either."
"Do not participate in the war. That is an order."
"I'm not. I'm just... going to see my girlfriend. Well ex-girlfriend. She broke up with me earlier and I just need to make sure she's all right.
"Fine," Mokolo said behind gritted teeth. Dakko stayed behind in the temple, waiting to dig underground and go to the Oasis. Mokolo exited the temple and was greeted by Sokka.
"Sokka, what are you doing here?" Mokolo asked him.
"It's time. Toko wants to face the leader of our Rebellion in a one-on-one spar to decide the fate of the city."
"Like an Agni-Kai but with waterbending."
Mokolo swallowed instantly. "I've decided Dakko is not longer allowed to participate in this war. He can't be our front man anymore. I have to reveal to Toko that it's me."
"Look, I could do it!"
"No! Sokka, you have a wife who cares very much for you. This could mean death. Toko is more skilled than you would think." Sokka looked away. His forced marriage to a woman was due to the traditions they were fighting against. It was illegal for two men to marry, let alone be together. It was one of their biggest secrets. "This is my fight. Just stay back. Please," Mokolo pleaded.
"Go then!" Sokka urged him. Mokolo went underneath the city and traveled to the Palace. When he emerged he found Toko waiting at the top of the stairs.
Toko's eyes grew intensely. His breathing became rapid and he felt betrayal in every bone of his body. His most trusted adviser in war, one of the few Master Waterbenders left and he was leading the rebellion the whole time. He felt like his heart was shattering apart, piercing his insides.
Instantly they both began shooting ice spears at one another.
~ Military Academy ~
"You're awake!" Kyla screamed. She had a huge grin on her face and went over to hug Kilo. "I was so worried I would never see you again!" Kyla looked down for a second.
"You were?" Kilo raised an eyebrow.
"Because the spirit took you. I didn't think you were ever coming back. I didn't mean in like, a romantic way or anything," Kyla said. The words spewed out of her mouth; she couldn't have said it quicker.
"Oh, okay," Kilo accepted the answer and lowered his eyebrow.
"So tell me! Where did you go? What was it like?" Kyla asked, and this instantly gave Kilo a tiny smile on one side of his mouth. He took a deep breath before answering.
"It was amazing. A city just like this, though a bit smaller, but it's in the South. There's land in the South Pole and I believe a city is meant to be built there—by the people of this city! I was led there by the past Avatar! It was incredible. He just called his Polar Leopard and the next thing I knew my spirit was riding all the way to the South Pole."
"The South pole? But there's no land down there."
"Yes! There is. No one's gone far enough, they all speak of arriving at an island that looks like a whale's tale. But they never go any further—too dangerous. But I know a way. I think it's my destiny to tell the chief about this. This could solve all our problems?"
"What do you mean?" Kyla asked.
"The rebellion is half the city, no? So half of them can just go to the South Pole and have their own tribe!"
Kyla's eyes widened. She smiled. "That's incredible. We can stop the war and bring peace! We'll be heroes!"
"Exactly!" Kilo said, just as excited and jumped out of the bed. Kyla instantly kissed him, to which he pulled away.
"Oh no, I am so sorry. I did not mean to do that. I was just caught up in the moment of being in all that glory." More word vomit.
"Okay then. Well with that I think we should make our way to the palace and tell Chief Toko about this as soon as we can." Kilo quickly walked past her, avoiding the awkward moment that had just happened.
"Toko?" Kyla's smile quickly disappeared.
"Yeah why wouldn't we?" Kilo questioned her. Kyla felt like her ribs were pushing outward, her chest full of confusion. She wasn't sure why she felt like she was against the idea, it made perfect sense. So what was wrong then?
~ Spirit Oasis ~
Dakko watched the koi fish circling each other. He almost became entranced. Then he remembered his plan, his fate. He mustn't waste time. Yinlo had made sure the Avatar was gone from the Oasis so Dakko wouldn't be circumvented.
There they were, so innocent. So harmless, yet they were the Waterbender's source of power and control. Why would they leave themselves so vulnerable? Dakko wasn't sure. It was almost too easy.
He raised the Ocean spirit out of the water and encased it in a shell of ice with water inside to sustain its life. Then he began walking away. He wasn't going to steal the moon, hoping this would leave any guardians unaware of his plan. As for the airbenders who wished him to do this, he wasn't sure why they specifically asked for the moon to be stolen. He didn't care though. He now possessed the spirit of the ocean, the spirit that brought life, the spirit that brought control.
A light snow began to fall. The waters in the bay started thrashing against the docks. Dakko was unaware, as he already entered his underground tunnel. He began heading to his ex-girlfriend's house. He smiled, thinking to himself that at least he didn't lie to Mokolo completely.
The Oasis water began thrashing just as the ocean was. Out of it came the guardian spirit, in rage.
It was Whatali. She burst out of the Spirit World to find no one around. Whatali heard the war going on in the city, so she headed to the nearest building—the Palace.
~ Canal by the Palace ~
Wato tried not to cry as the waterbenders raised icicles to attack him with. They were definitely not part of the revolution and it didn't help when he immediately proclaimed that he was.
The four water benders were ready to attack. The first of the four raised his arms and the icicle followed. Out of the blue, a man slid in on a path of ice he created. He turned their ice to water and stepped in front of his child.
"I told you to stay home, Wato!" his father screamed.
"I came to help!"
"You're too young," his mother said coming from behind them.
"Mom!" Wato yelled.
"Hate to break up the family reunion but—" suddenly a ball of ice was shot at Wato's father. Wato quickly planted a foot in the snow and pushed his arms to the left, redirecting the ice.
"I'm not too young. And we can take these guys on together. Three versus four is better than two versus four!" Wato tried to reason. It worked. His parents, Lotak and Kaytonna began to stand in an offensive position.
"There's a tunnel underneath them," Lotak said under his breath. "On my count then."
The trio raised their hands and then brought them down along with their right foot. The walkway their enemies stood upon suddenly melted and they fell below into a tunnel. Wato smiled, proud of his family's victory.
As they gave a little time to have a quick embrace, the trio was swiped into a building by Whatali. The spirit took off to the front of the Palace.
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