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|Heritage of the Earth|
Two: The Oceans
Book Two: The Oceans
Heritage of the Earth
"Thanks for saving me, Dad" Shofini said sarcastically as she sat down on the ground. Yinlo was at a desk, looking at a map of the Galapagos they were currently inhabiting.
"You don't seem to have needed my help."
"After two days!" Shofini yelled.
"Is that why you didn't show up in the Tower of the Sun?" Yinlo asked. Shofini told of her travels with the Water Tribe. She explained how she got sick in the village and it wasn't until Mokolo abandoned her that the medicine began working. Then, under attack by the ones that were still sick, she hid in a ball of rock, and then tunneled under the village to escape. She had spent her time sailing down here since then, hoping to get revenge on Mokolo for leaving her behind.
"So what did happen in the tower?" Shofini asked.
"Your mother masqueraded as the Green Spirit. We found and killed the Avatar. Unfortunately the knife that was supposed to keep the Avatar in the Avatar State didn't work. So he was reincarnated."
"No need. Your mother has him."
"So why haven't you killed him?" Shofini questioned.
"I don't know where your mother is."
"You lost your wife? Hilarious."
"I'm not sure. That's why I need you. You must find her so we can kill the Avatar."
"Wait, why isn't Mom killing this new Avatar?"
"It's complicated. Look, I just need you to find her and then tell me where she is. Then you're free to do as you like."
"I recall you saying that at the Serpent's Pass," Shofini replied.
"You shouldn't have called out for me," Yinlo replied—referring to when Shofini called out Dad when the Avatar was about to be crushed by the rocks. This caused Jong-Mu to leave the Avatar State, allowing the cycle to continue.
"I was calling out to him. I didn't know it would take him out of the Avatar State! I didn't want to seem like I wasn't his daughter!" Shofini yelled.
"You're not his daughter! You are mine! You follow MY plans! Now go find your Mother!" Yinlo screamed at his only daughter, but not only child.
"Fine. I'll find her. Just tell me what's up with Mom. Why won't she kill the Avatar?"
"Because the Avatar is..." Yinlo hesitated to answer.
"Is your mother's friend's child. She is afraid to do it because of her friend," Yinlo lied.
"Oh, well she'll get over it. This is more important," Shofini responded. Her father's indoctrination over the years had brainwashed her to want to kill the Avatar as much as he did.
Shofini left to find her mother as Yinlo continued looking at the map.
"It's perfect. There's plenty of fruit and vegetation thanks to the river. We can build the temple up on that mountain. I think this is your new home," Omu told the Air Nomads.
"Thank you," their leader said. "We shall start construction as soon as possible!"
Omu shook hands with the leader and headed off to his tent on the beach. He was excited to get this temple started. He wanted to build it in honor of Jong-Mu. Omu named the temple after him, in fact, even before it was finished. The Water Tribe helped collect the resources for the roof. They colored it blue, to show their support in the name of peace.
Omu first began by creating a gigantic tower at the top of the tower coming right out of the mountain. It took him all day, but he was eager to finish it. He had been practicing his bending since making the deal with the Airbenders.
At the end of the night Omu went back home and made a fire outside of his tent. He was pleased with his work. He felt useful for once. He began making plans in the sand to continue building the temple, and even add a bridge that connects to where the vegetation grew.
He quickly grew tire and let the fire go out on its own. He got up to get in his tent when he noticed someone watching him from afar. The person ran off, but Omu was certain he had just seen Shofini. He had heard she died but he was sure that was her. He decided to chalk it up to being too tired. He decided to get some sleep and reassess in the morning.
Shofini was looking for Melora along the beaches of where the Water Tribe stopped. They had begun building tents and gathering materials to help build their village. Shofini hid among the trees, watching from afar for any sign of her mother. She was caught completely off guard when she bumped into Sokka.
"Oh my! Hello," Shofini said, startled.
"Hello, Shofini," Sokka said.
"How did you know my name?"
"I've been sent to find you, actually."
"Sent by whom?" Shofini asked.
"The same woman you're looking for," Sokka answered.
"You know where my mother is?"
"Follow me," Sokka ordered and turned around. He led her through the forest to a small tent pitched near a river. "She's in there waiting for you." Shofini entered the tent.
"Melora. We both know I'm not your real mother."
"You could never get over that, huh?" Shofini responded. Melora wasn't technically her real mother. Yinlo had cheated on Melora a long time ago with an Earthbender. It resulted in Melora being unable to fully love Shofini.
"Well you have me. Go ahead, begin," Melora offered.
"Why do you have the baby?"
"Why aren't you attacking me? If I know my husband, he wants me killed."
"Oh he does. But it's not my job to do that," Shofini replied. "Why are you keeping the Avatar? Just because it's your mother's friend you can't kill the baby this time?"
"Is that what your father told you? He sure does have a great ability to lie."
"What are you talking about? Who is the Avatar? Why won't you end him?"
"He's your half-brother, Shofini. Meet Akuji," Melora said and raised a hand towards her son.
Shofini stood in silence. She was unsure of what to do next. Her father had lied to her. He intended to kill his own son.
"You don't have to do what he says," Melora interrupted her thoughts.
"I know!" Shofini defended herself.
"Go back. Tell your father where I am and who I'm with. He'll do the rest."
"But what about Akuji?" Shofini asked, trying to hold back her tears.
"My husband is good—but I'm better. Now go. But once you tell your father, leave. Forever."
Shofini left her mother alone to think. She found a messenger hawk and sent a message to Yinlo about Melora. She couldn't bear seeing him after learning of who the Avatar really was. After letting the Hawk go she went out onto the beach to look at the waves, wondering if her father was a monster and what that made her.
SHOFINI & OMU
Omu watched as Shofini sat on the shore of the beach. She bended a chair in the sand and watched the waves come in and out. Omu marched straight up to her, angry at her mere existence.
"How are you alive!?" Omu screamed. "How are you here? You're supposed to be dead!"
"Go away!" Shofini shouted and waved up a wall of sand. Omu swiped it down and stepped over its remains. He stopped at the side of her sand chair and stared at her directly in the eyes.
"What happened to you?"
"I killed the Avatar. And I think I just did it again," Shofini said as she continued staring at the ocean, confused at who she really was anymore.
"You killed your father?"
"Jong-Mu was not my father. Yinlo is," she stated, void of any emotion. She was numb.
Omu felt himself become enraged. His idol had been killed because of her father. She was in on it too. She lied to him.
In a fit of anger, Omu raised his hands to the air, causing the sand around Shofini to surround her completely. Omu buried her alive. The sand burst in every direction very quickly. Shofini had her fists out to her sides with her arms extended.
"I helped kill the Avatar. Do you really think you can take me?" Shofini asked.
Omu suddenly felt extremely guilty. He wasn't sure what he was thinking. He almost killed a person. He decided to run away and darted into the woods. He began throwing walls of rock up, unsure if he was even being followed.
He was. Shofini burst through his defenses as she ran through the forest. She followed him until he was cornered in the crevice of a cliff. Shofini looked up at the top and found some loose rocks. With the flick of a wrist she bended the boulders to fall of the cliff.
Omu looked up, terrified of the oncoming rocks. He extended his arm, creating a sheet of rock to shield him. The sheet his the falling boulders, pushing them sideways. One of these hit Shofini, effectively killing her.
Omu was breathing deeply at the horror he just saw. He slowly walked back to his camp, looking for someone to talk to about what had just happened.
Lily was building a fire on the shore when she noticed the Earthbender heading towards her. He was visibly shocked.
"Omu? What's wrong?" Lily asked.
"Shofini just died."
"Shofini died in my village. We saw her tomb essentially."
"No, she escaped somehow. And she was here. She wasn't the daughter of the Avatar. She was lying. She was lying to us and to Jong-Mu. She's really Yinlo's daughter!"
"Are you serious?" Lily asked, surprised.
"After I found out she had caused Jong-Mu's death, I buried her in sand. She escaped and I ran away. Then she caused her own death. She tried hitting me with rocks but they fell on her."
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. I'm fine."
"I'm glad," Lily said and kissed him on the cheek. Omu gave a slight smile. "You should get some rest. Enough rooms have been built today that we can leave tomorrow. We'll be in the South Pole soon."
"Oh... I don't think I'm going."
"What? Why not?"
"I like being here. I can build the temple. I have something to do. I have a purpose. I don't know what I'll do in the South Pole. The city will be built of ice. I can't bend water."
"Neither can I!"
"So stay here with me!" Omu suggested. Lily simply shook her head and turned away.
Lily walked away, thinking about only one thing—Omu tried to kill Shofini. And even though she accidentally caused her own demise, Omu was still an accomplice. It was at that moment she decided she needed revenge on Yinlo.
Omu returned to his camp and packed up his tent and belongings. He moved himself to the air temple and built himself a small house rather quickly. He was satisfied. He was ready to get to work to build a dedication to Jong-Mu and name the place the Jongmu Temple.
The following day he began building a special room to honor all the Avatars. He began make stone statues of all the Avatars, ending with Jong-Mu and Zola. He bowed down in front of the fallen Avatars and whispered to them.
"Thank you for your service."
Kyla watched the Airbenders flying in the sky. She smiled, happy they had found their home. It was the first smile she felt she had done since the bloody caverns.
Mokolo came from below deck with Kilo. They were talking about their final route to the South Pole, and the earliest they could arrive there.
"Kyla, just the person I was looking for," Mokolo called out.
"Hello, Chief. How long until we get to the Pole?"
"Kilo thinks one week. I think half a week. We'll see. But I wanted to ask you a favor. Could you go through Dakko's things? Sort out what can be used and toss the rest."
"Sure," Kyla agreed, unhappy about doing it though. Mokolo departed and Kyla went downstairs, followed by Kilo.
"Are you okay?" Kilo asked.
"No," Kyla responded honestly.
"It's not your fault. You couldn't have saved Dakko."
"Maybe if I had just waterbended I could have. I was too scared."
"Dakko could have as well! But what's done is done. You can't beat yourself up for what you could have done. You can only change what you do now."
"Well now I have to go through the possessions of a man I couldn't save."
"I could do it with you," Kilo offered. Kyla declined, however, and found Dakko's room. She entered alone and began rummaging through his possessions.
Among them she found love letters to Koko, a photo of his family, and an odd block of ice. Kyla knocked on the ice, trying to figure out what the forms were inside. The block of ice suddenly started glowing brightly. Kyla almost fell over due to the sheer intensity of the glow.
Kyla then sliced open the top of the cube, revealing it to be full of water. Kyla peered in and watched as the black and white koi fish swam around each other in a small circle.
"Thank you for sending me my daughter," Melora told Sokka. He had just entered her room. They were sitting on opposite ends of her bed.
"How's the baby?"
"Great. He's great."
"Did your daughter have anything to tell you, Master?" Sokka asked.
"She told me something I did not want to hear. My husband is coming for me and my child."
"What should we do?"
"We'll have to put my plan into motion as soon as we arrive."
"Then I shall see you when we land," Sokka declared, and then turned to exit. Melora stared at the closed door. She moved over to the crib and picked up her baby. She carried him over to the porthole and looked out at the sea. She was amongst the rest of the fleet of ships of the Water Tribe that was traveling South, hiding in one of their own ships.
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