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|The Southern Water Tribe|
Three: The South
Book Three: The South
The Southern Water Tribe
5 HOURS BEFORE THE PROPHECY
He didn't very much enjoy leaving his home behind, but without very much protection from the Spirits in the South Pole—staying would have been useless. Bonyo departed with his fellow companions of the Black Lotus. They headed for the docks immediately, having no destination in mind other than to permanently leave the South Pole.
The rest of the Bloodbender's city was feeling the wrath of Shotarko. Most of the city was destroyed by the ice rain is brought down upon them. Many of the citizens were crushed by blocks of ice the size of houses. It was only a cluster of one hundred remaining survivors that escaped the attack. Their home was in ruins with no other survivors.
They raced along the ice towards the base the army was located at. They knew it would not be long before the spirit caught up to them. In the distance they could see the base getting larger. On the horizon they saw the Southern Water Tribe and in the air was the Avatar attacking every direction.
Akuji saw the bloodbenders running from the Spirit in the distance. He raised his arms and exhaled. A large wall of ice flew up in front of the survivors. Two more walls came up on their sides, trapping them. Shortarko came flying at them and before the group could run out of the only opening—the spirit closed it up with a wall of ice himself, as well as a ceiling above him.
The Bloodbenders began feeling drops of water on their forehead, until finally a torrential downpour fell on them. The spirit left the ice entrapment as they were forced to drown.
4 HOURS BEFORE THE PROPHECY
"They've stopped attacking!" Toko shouted. "Resume battle!"
Toko's troops left their hiding places and began invading every corner of the city once more. The city was a foggy haze of water and blood. The Bloodbenders were attending the Spirit attack and left the posts they were at in the city.
The Southern Water Tribe citizens kept hiding though, unsure of what to do next. Kilo was the only one fighting left. He continued throwing shots at Toko. Meanwhile, the Pincher stood behind the scenes and watched closely, waiting to make a move.
Toko spiraled shards of ice at Kilo as he threw up walls of ice to stop them. Kilo remained on the defense for most of the attack, trying to remain wary of the Pincher. Toko threw punches of water at Kilo's head, one hitting him smack in the jaw. He flew up into the air and fell on his back.
Kilo scrambled to pull himself up and build another shield. Toko had already thrown a spear of ice at Kilo that just skimmed his right arm. Followed by the spear was a stream of water that pushed Kilo back down on the ground.
Toko created handcuffs of ice and shackled Kilo to the ground, leaving him immobile and unable to bend. Kilo tried melting the ice but everytime he tried he was interrupted by a stream of water from Toko.
"And so, the great Toko, ruler of the North, conquered the South. King Toko, ruler of the North and South Poles!" Toko declared to Kilo, holding a shard of ice at his neck. "And now, there's a spear with your name on it!"
Toko raised the icicle in the air and proceeded to plunge the icicle into Kilo's heart. Kilo closed his eyes tight and could only think of one word.
Toko stopped before he could drive the entire icicle into his chest. He slowly turned his head, as if he were in pain. He stared at the Pincher.
"What—what—what are—are you doing!?" Toko stammered.
"I can't believe you didn't see this coming," the Pincher plainly stated.
"You can bloodbend!"
"You call me the Pincher. I pinch your veins? I bloodbend them! I've been keeping my skill a secret while practicing it this entire time! My parents taught me. They were from the South Pole."
"You will pay for this!" Toko screamed as the Pincher twisted her hands, snapping Toko's neck.
"I spent my entire life paying for this moment. It was worth it," the Pincher said and smiled.
She took the shard of ice from Toko's hand and sliced off his head. "There's a spear with your name on it." Toko took the head to the spear and then left to find the tribe of her ancestors.
Kilo finally exhaled. He was stuck under the limp body of former King Toko. The blood from his neck was pouring out over him, staining his skin. He looked at the icicle on top of his chest. He was surprised that thinking 'melt' while under such drastic pressure actually made it melt before killing him. The body was almost too heavy to push off from him. Plus the blood made it quite slippery.
When Kilo finally exited the Palace they were battling in, he was surprised to see most of Toko's troops retreating. He understood why when he saw the Pincher placing Toko's head on the second of the three remaining spearheads, right next to Dakko's lifeless head.
The fourth spearhead remained underneath the water of the lake in Sokka's dead hand.
3 HOURS BEFORE THE PROPHECY
It was cold and hard. It was ice. She was propped up against a shard of ice. Kyla opened her eyes to see a large man standing in front of her. He was standing in a position in which he could easily bloodbend Kyla if he needed.
"Oh I accidentally knocked you out. It's fine. I had to do it, you were about to attack me after I started speaking about your daughter."
"My daughter?" Kyla asked.
"Yes, your daughter. The one we took away from you so many years ago."
"Oh yes, you named her after those silly carvings on our prison walls."
"You killed her."
"I killed her. And much more but I'm afraid that's a story for another time. For now, let's just focus on the part where I killed her."
Kyla didn't speak. All she could think of was how she wanted to destroy the monster in front of her. Her waterbending still wasn't working.
"We took her from you right after she was born and placed her with a surrogate mom. Raised her for a while, tried to see if she had your bloodbending power."
"She was useless. So we decided to use her to steal the spirits from you. After all, once you revealed the Spirit Oasis to us and we let you go—did you really think we were done with you?"
"Is she dead?"
"Interesting question. She was killed, that's for sure."
A blade of ice flew right to Kyla's face, nearly hitting her. Another blade of ice hit Zygo in the calf, knocking him to the ground. Kyla looked up and saw the spirit heading right for them. She knew immediately who he was looking for.
Kyla turned to the remains of the Oasis and began conjuring Whatali once more. Zygo was still getting to his feet, trying to understand what was happening. Shortarko continued attacking the two benders. Kyla eventually gave up and decided to make a break for it, leaving Zygo behind fighting the spirit.
2 HOURS BEFORE THE PROPHECY
"My sisters. My brothers. I have come back to join you!" the Pincher announced to the camp of Bloodbenders outside the city.
She was left silent at the scene in front of her though. The Avatar was blasting the remains of the camp from the Spirit attack. Akuji couldn't be bloodbended, as he knew the skill himself. A man from the right of the Pincher came sweeping by, grabbing her arm.
"Come with me," the man ordered.
The pincher could barely keep up with his strides.
"I know what you did, and I thank you for your legience. But we have another problem now. The Avatar has turned his back on us. He, along with the enemies, will destroy us before the sun rises."
"Surely you have a plan?" the Pincher asked Zygo.
"I do. And I need you to do it."
"Do not act as if you are incapable. You just took out the leader of the Northern Water Tribe. Surely you can kill a fish."
"What? NO!" the Pincher protested.
"You must destroy the Ocean spirit. No one will be able to waterbend, but we can still bloodbend. It is the only way to win this war!"
"And what of the Avatar? He knows how to bloodbend! Even if our entire tribe tried to bloodbend him at once he could still break free!"
"I have a plan for that. You must go off and do as I say."
"Where are they?"
"I have written directions for you. Take this," Zygo stated and handed her a small piece of parchment containing the directions to the spirits of the ocean and the moon.
The Pincher headed off as Zygo began climbing the top of the city's wall. He looked at his surroundings. The destruction had spread to every corner of the city. The Avatar was flying above them all, striking anyone who moved.
"Attack the Avatar!" Zygo began shouting. "Attack the Avatar!"
It wasn't long before his followers began shouting the same thing. They all began attacking him, and soon the other tribes began attacking Akuji as well.
1 HOURS BEFORE THE PROPHECY
"What did I do?" Lily asked herself as she watched the Avatar fly through the air, being ripped in different directions as the Bloodbenders each tried to attack him. Lily felt the usual heart sinking drop in her chest at the occurrence of yet another bad event in her life. She fell to her knees, unsure of what to do next.
And then, it hit her. Her mind traveled back to when she was still in the Fire Nation, taken prisoner by the Army of Creators. She had seen glimpses of the future in the billowy fire Tu Kon had conjured. There was fire everywhere, fire directly from the sun.
Lily looked up at the sky. She couldn't see the sun, but she knew it was out there still. She also figured out it would take nearly eight minutes for it to arrive. She glanced at the ongoing war below. Akuji didn't have eight minutes—not with every soldier slowly turning against him.
"How can I stop this for eight minutes?" she asked herself.
A large crashing sound broke her train of thought. Behind her stood the large spirit of Shotarko. Lily smiled, finally seeing the good in her situation.
A few moments later Lily was sitting alone on the roof of a tall skyscraper made of ice. Outside, the Avatar was battling the spirit. The armies of the tribes in the South took the distraction as a time to rally the troops and rest. It was the first moment of peace within the tribes since the war began.
Lily created a small fire in her palms as she began breathing deeply. The warm air flowed quickly through her nose, and then softly out through her mouth. She concentrated on her life. She focused on all the major events she had been through.
Her mind drifted back to the moment it all began. Her town was infested with sick people that would attack others. Her mother was away and her father had been gone for some time. She only had her grandparents. Their faces were barely recognizable in her memory any more. Lily could sense who they were, but if asked to describe them physically she could only see a faint smeared resemblance of their faces.
"I miss you," Lily said to herself. "I lost my grandparents. I was almost sacrificed to dragons. I lost my mother and my sister. I lost my nation."
Lily paused and thought about the warm tropical climate of the Fire Nation. She was gone from there for so long she tricked herself into liking the cold. She decided if she should survive what she was about to do, she would return to the Fire Nation for a brief visit.
"I lost my best friend and I don't even think I got to tell him I loved him," she whispered to herself as a tear fell down her face. She was referring to Omu. Her break up with Kilo was far from her mind at the moment.
"But I survived. I kept surviving. Everyone around me died but I survived."
Lily began crying hysterically, her sadness overwhelming her. She began moving her arms in a circle but could sense it wasn't working. She wasn't connecting with herself in a powerful enough way to accomplish what she wished to do.
She sat in silence for a moment before casually repeating the last words she said. She continued saying them out loud, unsure of where it would lead.
"I survived. I survived."
Lily thought back to her suicide attempt. She wasn't sure if she could admit to herself that she was happy she survived it. Lily was certain she just wasn't thinking at the time; she wasn't herself. But she survived. Again and again she always survived. She remained resilient against all forces. She was an unstoppable flame.
"I survived!" Lily said with a hint of excitement in her voice. Then she felt it. The movement in her arms was drawing something warm from a very far distance—but it was working. Lily was able to pull the fires of the sun through space and down to Earth. The fire traveled in a wave as it came down and encircled the army of one thousand men and women.
The Spirit was separated from everyone, and the Avatar from all the people. Lily slowly walked through the shining light—the light that made nighttime into day; the light that stopped a war.
"Akuji," she called out.
"Leave me alone! It's time these people pay for what they've been doing!" Akuji shouted out, trying to break through the wall of the sun's rays.
"Stop. Listen to me. I understand what you're going through isn't easy. You've lost a lot. I know what that's like. I've lost a lot too. But getting angry and destroying everything in your path... it will just make you lose more."
The Avatar turned his head away from Lily, unable to stand what she was saying.
"We survived Akuji. And we have to keep moving forward. We can't ask the world to stop just because things are permanent."
"I don't know how to do this. I don't think I can come back from this. I'm supposed to be the Avatar and I've caused so much evil. It's too late."
"Who says? You can always start over."
Akuji looked up at Lily. He gave a slight smile at the idea she had just put in his head. The Avatar stood up and bowed to Lily.
"Thank you. I have my solution."
"It's simple. I end my life and become a new Avatar. One without the burden of all the evils I have done."
"No, Akuji you don't need to do that!" Lily pleaded.
"Goodbye and thank you," Akuji said quickly and then burst through the wall of sun surrounding them. The light disappeared leaving the soft glow of the moon. and the armies of the separate tribes began gearing up for the continuation of the war against the Avatar. To their surprise, all they saw was the Spirit.
The Spirit began attacking the Southern Water Tribe's City once more. The Bloodbenders began gearing for war as well. It was only for about five minutes however for the moon turned red once again. The Waterbenders in the south could no longer control their waterbending.
Kyla looked down at the ongoing scene. Her tribe was being destroyed and the Bloodbenders were on their way—and now she wasn't the only one who couldn't bloodbend. Her whole tribe couldn't.
"I have to help," Kyla said to herself, realizing she had been holding back because she thought she couldn't bend. Now her whole tribe was still fighting even though they couldn't bend so what excuse did she have? She had to do whatever she could.
Kyla took a deep breath.
THE TIME OF THE PROPHECY
There are moments in time that change everything. Moments that can change the course of history forever. At the time, Kyla was not aware that she would be at the very epicenter of this change—but she knew her actions would have major consequences whether she succeeded or failed. She couldn't fail though. The lives of the only people who remained her life that she loved were all hanging in the balance.
Kyla sprinted to the edge of her city, the docks that opened up to the ocean. She wasn't sure if this would work but she had to try. Closing her eyes, clenching her fists, and taking a deep breath, Kyla began concentrating on the spirit of Whatali. She raised her arms and made her fingers rigid, as if controlling a puppet.
Finally, the ocean began to glow and the spirit rose from the depths of the water. Whatali burst out of the sea and let out a shrieking yelp.
"Okay, Whatali. I'll make you a deal. I'll give you the love of your spiritual life if you give me a little boost."
The city was erupting in war once more, only there was clearly a losing side this time. The bloodbenders could still attack while the waterbenders could only resort to ambushes—most of which failed.
Shotarko was attacking the city, killing many people simply by destroying buildings rather than attacking individuals. It could send Whatali was near, and was growing anxious. It let out a loud yelp and rose into the air to wait for his mate. When she finally appeared, the eyes of both spirits glowed.
Kyla climbed to the top of the highest remaining building. She could see the entire city at war surrounding her. The spirits were circling above her. She breathed deeply once again and then gave a signal with her hands. The Spirits both screamed loudly, stopping the war below.
Kyla covered her ears and looked up. Like a gust of wind, the spirits swept through her body, combining together and forming a temporary bond. Kyla rose up into the air, her eyes glowing. The entire city watched her in awe.
"People of the South Pole. Bow Down to me!" she ordered.
Every single man and woman flew down on their names as Kyla raised her arm and bloodbended one thousand people at once. It was this moment that the moon returned to its normal state as well.
"This war is over! I declare the South Pole to begin a time of peace once more! We continue to divide ourselves but it just makes us weaker. If we're going to survive we need to work together. Which means no more senseless fighting. We will form a new tribe. One tribe. The Southern Water Tribe. If you want to go against me then fine. Give me your best shot," Kyla stated and released everyone from her bloodbending grip. The spirits shot out of her body and continued to circle above her.
At first, no one resisted. The sheer power of Kyla was legendary in the least. Coupled with the fact that most people were tired of fighting, and more importantly losing their loved ones—the war coming to an end sounded pretty ideal. There was one man who could not accept this though.
Kyla looked out in the crowd to find the source of clapping. It was Zygo. He was preparing to bloodbend Kyla.
"Congratulations, Kyla. You did it. You avoided becoming what I wanted you to be. You've done it. You were scared of becoming a monster that would bloodbend people and control them to do what you want rather than out of their own free will—oh wait, that's exactly what you've just become."
"I was stopping a war."
"You were using power to get your way."
"Not my way. The way of Peace."
At this point Zygo and Kyla had reached one another and were standing face to face. "So let's see, how will you fight me. Bloodbending or waterbending? Are you a monster or a healer? Can you resist the power? Because I don't think you can. I think your daughter agrees—"
Zygo was cut off by a blast of water and ice hitting him square in the chin, knocking him back on the ground. Kyla walked up to him and placed her foot on his chest. She raised her arm and a giant icicle came flying directly over Zygo's head.
"Don't you ever speak about my daughter again!" Kyla bellowed.
"Monster it is."
Kyla looked at the icicle in front of her. Her heart sunk at the realization that she had no idea what she could do. She could be a monster and stop this evil from existing in the world or she could be good and let others get hurt. She suddenly needed to draw in a quick breath. It seemed there was no black or white answer this time.
Kyla raised the icicle, letting Zygo stand up. Zygo dusted himself off and smiled. "You think this doesn't make you a monster?"
"I didn't kill you."
"Yet. But I know the monster is in there. I just need to say six simple words."
Kyla didn't say anything. Zygo slowly walked over to her and whispered the six words into her ear. Tears began rolling down her cheeks. She almost let out a whimper. She felt a fire in her heart grow and the next moment she found herself holding the icicle over his head.
"Hello Monster," Zygo laughed playfully. His laughter turned maniacal and continued on.
"The world will be a better place even if I'm the new monster," Kyla replied and began directing the icicle to Zygo.
Zygo took a deep breath and prepared for the moment he was so certain was coming. What he wasn't prepared for was only getting soaked as the icicle turned into water and drenched him.
"There are real monsters in our world," Kyla smiled and proceeded to watch at Whatali and Shotarko bloodbended Zygo and dragged him away.
They flew off to the remains of the Spirit Oasis. Whatali cleared the remains and stared into the Oasis. Shotarko played with Zygo as if he were a toy.
Shotarko and Whatali proceeded to open the Southern Spirit Portal together and crossed to the other side with Zygo. The spirits left both portals open. Immediately after their departure from the physical realm, a forest sprung up around the pond of water that used to contain the moon and ocean spirits.
Kyla and Kilo stood on top of his Palace, looking out at the citizens below. The city was in silence as the sun began to rise. Kilo and Kyla held each other, taking a moment from the disaster that had just occurred.
Kilo kissed Kyla. They both smiled and looked down once more at the Southern Water Tribe.
ONE YEAR AFTER THE PROPHECY
"Are you ready to depart sir?" the guard asked.
"In one moment. I just need to send this message to my wife."
"She's not coming with you?"
"No, she's got her own mission for now," Kilo replied and sent the Snowy Owl Squirrel off into the sky with the message around its ankle.
"This way sir," the guard offered. Kilo followed him. They gathered a collection of soldiers and proceeded out into the cold arctic desert. They arrived at the Spirit Forest within a few hours and ultimately made their way to the portal that was left open by Whatali and Shotarko.
They traveled through the Spirit World, passing a large ominous tree that neither enjoyed passing. They walked as far around it as they felt comfortable. They crossed the Northern Spirit Portal and made their way to the remains of the Northern Water Tribe.
"Are you the elected chief?" Kilo asked a man that greeted them.
"No, I'm the interim chief. They election is still being processed. Are you sure you don't want to appoint anyone, Kilo? Or even rule yourself?"
"I have enough trouble ruling one city, let alone another that I don't live in. I want the people to be led by someone who speaks for the people."
"Well, let me show you the construction progress and future plans we have for the city," the interim chief said and showed Kilo around the city.
The Firebender had not been to the South Pole since the Spearheads War and quite frankly did not want to return. Under the circumstances it was her only choice. She was the only one who had been to the tribe before so she was the only one could lead the expedition.
Since the fall of the Bloodbender's Nation, the spirits of the ocean and moon had all but disappeared. The last person to have been around them was the Pincher. Kyla had been able to sense the Pincher's presence, but could never define her location despite having bended her blood.
Once the war was over and the restoration efforts were mostly complete, Kilo enacted a special task force to retrieve the Spirits and give them back to the North Pole in order to restore ties with the leftover Northern Tribe. Their expedition initially led them to the Swamp Tribe, but a dead end caused the mission to come to a stand still for months.
Kilo discovered the Pincher was still living among their tribe, and asked she talk to Lily if she wished to remain in the city. The Pincher unhappily agreed, wanting only to remain by herself for her last years.
When Lily finally found her, the Pincher did not have much to say. She told her of the incredible sensation of being bloodbended when no one else was around. Her story did not reveal much of what she had done to the Ocean Spirit to turn the moon red and affect everyone's waterbending—but Lily suspected she simply bloodbended it.
"So what happened to them?"
"A man named Bonyo took them," the Pincher explained as she began brushing her hair with the brush that once belong to Kyla. "I didn't know this at the time, but I'm certain now it was him. After the war, I revisited where I kept the Spirits and came upon a man stealing them. I tried to bloodbend him but he was able to resist. He had a large scar on his arm which I recall Bonyo having."
"Do you have any idea where he was heading?"
"In fact I think I do. I believe he was headed to the Fire Nation," the Pincher responded.
Lily smiled, happy to finally be returning to her home land.
"I'm looking for a man named Olly."
"Who's asking?" the large slow man behind the door scoffed.
"I have many names in this world, but most know me as the Peace Slayer."
"The Avatar!" the man screamed in horror. "Olly was here an hour ago. He's headed to Ba Sing Se! If you leave now you'll—"
But he didn't even get to finish his sentence. Akuji flew away on a red glider in search for a tall blond haired man in his early twenties named Olly.
Akuji caught up with him rather quickly. He flew down right in front of his path and held out his hand.
"Stop. Are you—"
"Hello Akuji. Nice to finally meet you," Olly interrupted. He wore a thick smile on his face.
"How do you know who I am?"
"I was told I would be meeting you soon."
"I'm not supposed to tell you."
"What? Why not? Who are you!?" Akuji yelled, getting angrier by the moment.
"You know perfectly well who I am. You've been searching for me for months. Even if my source had not warned me of your arrival, well the whole Earth Nation knows you're looking for me."
"Who warned you?"
"You haven't met her yet."
Akuji looked down, confused and intrigued. The man seemed to only speak in riddles.
"I do have something for you, but I'll only give it to you once you tell me why you need me so desperately."
"What is it that you have for me?"
"It's from the person who told me of your arrival. But I can't say any more than that."
Akuji paused for a moment, unsure of what was going on here. Finally he agreed to tell him why Olly was needed.
After departing the South Pole, Akuji made his way to the Swamp tribe when he met a woman along the way. She was an Airbender that had lost her child and husband in a horrible tragedy on a cliff. The woman revealed she was on her way to see a great library filled with every piece of knowledge in the world. Akuji asked if it knew about the Avatar's past along with his father's fate and the woman seemed positive that it could.
Akuji decided his new mission would be to discover more about his lineage as well as his father before ending his own life. He was referred to man named Olly who had reportedly been to the library in the past.
"Have you been there?"
"I have. And I'll take you there but only if you explain to me what this means," Olly replied and showed him a piece of parchment. It was from the person who warned Olly of Akuji's search.
Akuji plucked the note from Olly's hand. It read:
The Avatar must kill the Moon.
She ripped the letter of the Snowy Owl Squirrel's leg and read it as fast as she could. The smile on her face grew with every word. She had never been as happy as when Kilo was able to affect one of her five senses.
She placed the letter in her bag and continued through the swamp, trying to remember where the Swamp Tribe was located. She was quite fond of the Swamp, perhaps because of its strong Spiritual connection it held to the physical world.
"Hello Kyla," a familiar voice called out.
"I was just thinking of you," Kyla stated, a little confused.
"Which is why I appeared," Palokk replied.
"What are you doing here?"
"I simply wanted to thank you. You have righted a wrong that has plagued me for a long time."
"You are welcome. Thank you for your help."
Palokk nodded his head.
"Before you go, I've been thinking about the prophecy you told me of. There's one thing I never quite made sense of. What did beware the Clarity mean?" Kyla asked.
"I did not say clarity," Palokk replied and looked down. "There are dark days ahead."
Kyla frowned and looked down as well. When she looked up Palokk was gone and she was surprised to see a man in front of her.
"Kyla, you have returned," the villager stated.
"I have. I'm wondering if anyone can help me. I'm looking for someone."
Kyla thought back to the battle she had a year ago. It was her fight with Zygo that led her to this place here. The six words rung in her ears.
Your daughter's alive. But she's dying.
"Who are you looking for?" the villager asked again.
"A young girl. A Waterbender in fact. She has brown hair and green eyes. She might go by the name of Clara," Kyla stated and smiled. "She's my daughter. I saw her here almost a year ago. I didn't realize it at the time because I thought she was dead but—she's alive. And she's not just anyone. She's a legend. I gave birth to a legend. And I think she's here. Do you know of anyone that fits the description?"
The villager smiled and motioned for her to follow.
For the collective works of the author, go here.