Aang had a flashback about his life in the Southern Air Temple. Then, he and his friends discovered a gate that leaded to Ozai's office. There Aang found a scroll that told him that the Air Nomads could still have survived. Also, Zuko tortured his sister to find out about his mother who is in Ba Sing Se. Meanwhile in Ba Sing Se an old Fire Nation Admiral held Zuko's mother hostage.
Book 4: Air
'Chapter Two: Wrath of the Firebender Part One'
Aang, Katara, Toph, Sokka, Momo and Suki were flying on Appa. They have flown for a day and since they left the Fire Nation they still haven't seen any land until today.
"There, land!", Toph yelled.
"Where, I don't see it!", Sokka yelled back.
"I'm blind, you silly! Of course I can't see land!", Toph said.
"Oh, yeah. I knew that. Of course I did."
"But Toph's right. There is land! Right over there", Suki said, pointing in front of her.
She was right. There was land in front of them and a small village, probably an Earth Kingdom village. Aang decided to descend Appa to the ground and he gave a gentle pull on Appa's supports, so the giant flying bison descended. Once on the ground Aang and his friends decided to stay there for the night.
"Toph, you and I will use Earthbending to set up a camp", Aang said.
"All right", Toph said to Aang.
"Katara will ask food from the other villagers and Sokka and Suki will find some wood so I can Firebend it."
"As you wish, Avatar Aang", Sokka said, bowing to him.
"Please, Sokka, you don't have to do that. I'm your friend, remember."
"Aang, I was just teasing you", Sokka said.
"Anyway, just go with Suki and find some wood, got it?"
"Yes, we're on our way", Suki replied before Sokka could say anything back to him. Then they left.
"I'll be on my way too", Katara quickly added and she left as well.
"Well, that leaves just you and me, Toph", Aang said. "And Appa and Momo, of course", he quickly added.
"Yeah, I guess. We'd better build up the camp soon. It's getting dark", Toph said.
Meanwhile, Fire Lord Zuko escaped his Throne Room and changed his clothes to wear a regular Fire Nation soldier uniform. Then he snuck before two guards and made his way to the hangar. When he got there, he jumped on an air balloon and heated it up using Firebending. The air balloon took off and Zuko left his home once again. "To Ba Sing Se!", he said to himself.
Later that night Katara walked into the village and saw there was something wrong. There was nobody on the street and all windows were closed.
"Hello? Is anybody out there? Hello?"
Until she saw someone. It was a boy who quickly ran away when she spotted him.
"Boy, wait!", Katara said and she chased him. He tried to stop her by Firebending in her face. Katara responded quickly and blocked his attack by Waterbending.
"So you're a Firebender, huh?", Katara said.
She made a ball of water and shot it at him, so he'd freeze. She missed. Another ball was shot at him. This one was blocked by his fireball. Katara now saw a fountain in front of her and used that water to her advantage. She froze the boy and ran to him. She then defrosted his mouth and ears, so he could talk and listen.
"Listen, boy! Where are all the people from this village?"
"I-I-I don't know", he said carefully.
"What do you mean you don't know. You do live here, right?"
"No", the boy replied. "I'm a traveler, just like you."
"Oh", Katara said surprised. "I didn't know that. In that case I'm sorry."
"It's okay. I'm Poluka by the way", the boy said.
"I'm Katara", she said while handshaking.
"Nice to meet you, Katara", he said.
"It's nice meeting you too", Katara said, blushing.
"Well, I wanted to ask you something. Will you please release me from this iceberg?", Poluka asked her.
"Oh, of course. I'm sorry I did that", Katara apologized.
She made a quick move with her arms and the ice melted right away.
"Thanks. That's a lot better", he said when he was free.
They started to walk further into the village, talking.
"Where do you come from", Katara asked him.
"Oh, I'm from the Colonies, but the rebelling Earthbenders destroyed my village a few months ago. Since then I've been on my own, looking for food everywhere I come. You must be the from the Northern Watertribe", he said pointing at Katara's necklace.
"Well, actually I'm from the Southern Watertribe", she said. "I got this necklace from my mother who got it from my grandmother who was engaged to someone from the Northern Watertribe."
"But if you're from the Watertribe. How did you end up here, deep in the Earth Kingdom?", Poluka asked.
"Well…", Katara started, "that's kind of a long story and I don't want to bore you with that."
"No, please, I like long stories and it looks like we still have a long road to walk on."
He smiled at her. She smiled back and started talking: "So, we, my brother Sokka and I were on the South Pole and then we found a huge iceberg with a boy inside of it and then…"
Meanwhile, Sokka and Suki were in the woods, trying to find some wood somewhere. Sokka took a sniff: "Ah, fresh air. I haven't breathed that for a while. The air in the Fire Nation is always so thick and full of ashes. I wonder how the Fire Nation's citizens can endure such conditions."
"Sokka", Suki said. "You are looking for wood aren't you?"
"Of course I am", he replied. "I'm always looking for things to burn." He imitated admiral Zhao and put on his helmet. "I'm a Fire Nation admiral!"
Suki laughed. "Hahahaha, oh Sokka. Sometimes you're still just a kid. But that's what I like about you."
"You do?", he asked with disbelief.
"Yeah, you silly. Isn't that obvious? Your misplaced jokes are always funny."
"Yeah, I guess you're…", he abruptly interrupted. "Wait a minute…misplaced? My jokes are misplaced?"
"No, no, no. I didn't mean that. Sokka, that's not what I meant."
"So you think my jokes are MISPLACED?", Sokka asked raising his voice.
"Sssssh…Not so loud. You might be attracting predators."
"Oh, so now I'm a prey too? Isn't it wonderful? They can come and eat me!"
There were some growls behind him.
"Very funny, Suki. Now stop", Sokka said, not impressed
"What? I didn't do that", Suki said.
The growling grew louder.
"Be-be-behind you", Suki whispered in fear. "Wo-Wo-Wo-Wolfmole."
"I already got you, Suki. It's not funny anymore."
A giant wolfmole spread it's claws above Sokka's head, ready to strike.
"Just look behind you!", she yelled.
"What?" Sokka slowly turned his head and somehow his head began to glow and the sun blinded the wolfmole. It ran away, because it couldn't stand the light.
"Aaaaaaaah!", Sokka screamed, wildly waving his arms around.
"Relax, warrior. It's already gone", Suki reassured him. "It has somehow been blinded by light. Then it ran away."
"I know it's gone. I just added the screams for the show."
"Right", Suki said with disbelief, but she nevertheless smiled at him. He smiled back at her.
"But Sokka, your head glowed too", Suki added.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, when you turned your head it began to glow and the wolfmole was blinded by the light, so I thought that you can somehow emit light with your head." Sokka looked at her as if she had lost her mind. "It was just a silly idea of mine", she quickly added when she saw the look on Sokka's face.
"Anyway", Sokka continued, "the sun is setting, so we have to hurry finding that wood."
"The wood… Right", Suki said.
Suddenly her eye and his eye spotted a piece of wood and they quickly reached out with their hands, touching each other. She quickly drew her hand back and blushed. His face also turned red and he laughed a bit. They smiled to each other and they made eye contact. Then Sokka's hand reached out to Suki's hair and their heads slowly moved to each other. Then they closed their eyes and drowned in a very long kiss.
Meanwhile in the Royal Palace…
A guard entered the Throne Room and said there has been an attack, but he was surprised there was no one there. "Hello, Fire Lord Zuko? Hello? Where are you?"
Then he saw some shadows, growing larger and larger and then it jumped at him. The man screamed in terror.
Fire Lord Zuko was on his way and he felt great euphoria when he finally reached the city. That's not because he was about to save his mother, but it was about seeing his uncle again. Standing on top of the air balloon he said to himself: "There it is, Ba Sing Se. Mother, here I come."
He (crash)landed his balloon somewhere near the palace, assuming that his mother would be there somewhere and he stepped out of it. It was almost dark, so there weren't much people outside, so he did draw a lot of attention.
"Hey, aren't you the new Fire Lord?", some farmer asked him.
"Yeah, I recognize him. That's Zuko", another farmer confirmed.
"Zuko?", a girl in front of him asked. "I thought your name was Lee."
"Jin", Zuko said and his mouth fell open.
"You're the new Fire Lord? So you weren't a simple tea merchant after all." Her eyes began to grow tears. "You lied about everything! You lit the candles using Firebending, didn't you? And most of all, you broke my heart." She started crying. Zuko reached out to comfort her.
"No!", she said, waving his hand away. "In fact, I lied about something too." She raised her hands, pulling a rock out of the floor. "I'm a secret agent of the Dai Li." She shot a rock at Zuko who barely blocked it.
"And therefore I'm an excellent Earthbender", she concluded, shooting another rock at him which also barely missed him. After that Zuko began shooting fireballs at her.
The fight drew much attention and shortly afterward even at the Palace they knew about it.
In the Guest Room a Dai Li agent warned Zhao that Fire Lord Zuko had arrived and that he was taken care of by their secret agent.
"Good", Zhao said. "But do not allow her to finish him. I want to do that."
"As you wish, sir."
"Soon this Fire Lord will fall and then I will be crowned as Fire Lord Zhao! I personally think that that sounds a lot better than Fire Lord Zuko."
"I agree with you, sir."
In the streets the fight went on.
Jin appeared to be quite agile and evaded every fireball Zuko shot at her. But Zuko could block most of her attacks too, so their forces were nearly equal. But then Zuko shot one fireball that did hit his ex-girlfriend. She fell down from the air, smacked on the street and had a large burn on her belly. Zuko started to run to her when he saw she was hurt.
"Jin! Jin! Are you all right?", he asked concerned.
"Ow, you burned me! Don't think I'll ever date you again!", she said in pain.
"Don't mind, I already have another girlfriend", he said. "That looks like a pretty severe burn. If only Katara were here…"
"Is that your new girlfriend?", she asked him.
"No, but with her Waterbending she could heal your burn", he replied. "Now I have to take you to my uncle. To the Jasmine Dragon."
He lifted her up and lay her over his shoulder, walking to his uncle's tea shop. When he entered the shop he didn't see his uncle. He quickly put her down on a bench in the corner.
"Uncle! Uncle! Uncle, where are you? Uncle Iroh? UNCLE!" Zuko looked for him everywhere, but he couldn't find him.
"Well, well, if that isn't my nephew." Iroh just walked into the shop.
"Uncle!", Zuko said and he ran downstairs to hug him. "I'm so glad that you're still alive. I can't believe you actually conquered Ba Sing Se on your own."
"Well, I must admit the Dragon of the West did have some help in achieving this great goal", Iroh said. "I was assisted by the Order of the White Lotus. That's how we conquered Ba Sing Se."
"I'm still proud of you, uncle", Zuko said, hugging him tighter.
"Oh, Zuko. Why didn't you tell me you had a visitor coming over", Iroh said when he saw Jin sitting in a corner. He greeted her. She smiled back.
"Actually, uncle, that's not just any visitor. She's a secret agent of the Dai Li. Doesn't she seem familiar to you?"
"Yes she does. That's the same girl as the one who used to come here a few months ago. What is she doing here?", Iroh asked.
"She's hurt, uncle. She's been burned", Zuko replied.
"Oh, how'd it happen?"
"Well, she kind of had her revenge on me and we started to fight and eventually I burned her", he explained.
"Oh, so she knew who you were, didn't she?"
"Not until today!", Jin said. "Why didn't you just tell me who you really were? Or were you afraid of telling me?"
Zuko walked towards her and replied: "Yes, I was afraid of telling you. I'm sorry."
Jin started to cry. "I really liked you, Zuko, even though you seemed a little rough on the edges and you didn't say much. I was in love with you, but you lied to me and I will never forgive you."
She tried to stand up, but she couldn't. It was too painful. Zuko immediately stood next to her.
"Uncle, first aid, now!", Zuko commanded and a few moments later Iroh came back with a small box in his hands. He took out some bandages and Zuko bound them tightly, but not too tightly, around her belly.
"There, that's better, isn't it?", Zuko asked her.
"Yeah, thanks Zuko. You're not that much of a jerk after all."
"I said it was complicated!", he said annoyed.
"I meant about the lying", she said.
"What did you want me to say then? Well, I'm actually a banished Fire Nation prince who's looking for shelter here in Ba Sing Se. Wouldn't you turn me in to the Dai Li then?"
"No, because I was in love with you and I didn't want to lose you. I just wanted and I still want to hear the truth, then you earn my friendship."
"I should listen to what this girl has to say, Fire Lord Zuko", Iroh said to him. She must be an extremely powerful Earthbender and she could be a really great help."
"I think you're right, uncle. Very well, I will tell the truth and be honest with you, but you then owe me your friendship. Does that sound fair?", he asked.
"It would be an honor to serve you, Fire Lord Zuko", she said and she bowed to him, smiling.
"Okay, where should I start? Ok. Uhh…I started hunting the Avatar when I was banished. I've been hunting him for nearly two months, but then I changed…"
Poluka and Katara were still walking and Katara just finished the story of Avatar Aang.
"Well, that's an amazing story. I'm impressed", Poluka said.
"But it's true, I really accompanied the Avatar in his journey to master the elements. You don't believe me, do you?"
"Of course not. The Avatar disappeared a hundred years ago. Why'd he be back now?", he asked disbelieving.
"Well, believe it or not, he defeated the Fire Lord on his own and, of course, we defeated the rest of the Fire Nation, including Azula."
"You know Azula? The Lady of Fire?", he asked.
"Lady of Fire? Is that her nickname?", Katara asked laughing.
"Yes, it is. In the Colonies we've got a lot of other nicknames for her, but this one is the most popular."
"Anyway, if you don't believe me I can take you to him", Katara suggested.
"To the Avatar of course. I will take you to Aang."
"Really, can you?"
"Sure, as long as I", she paused and looked around her, "…can find the way back to the camp."
In camp Avatar Aang and his friends were worried. It was almost dark and Katara still hadn't returned. Suddenly he took his glider and said: "This doesn't feel right. I'm going to look for her."
He opened it and flew off to the horizon.
In the Jasmine Dragon Zuko finished his story about his past.
"Wow", Jin said, "I never knew you were so strong. I always thought you were just like the regular guys, but you are so strong and I'm glad you finally told the truth. I now know I can fully trust you."
Suddenly two Dai Li agents came in. They broke down the door using Earthbending and they tied Zuko's arms together, also using rocks. Iroh and Jin were about to intervene, but he waved them aside. "Let them take me. Whatever they want me for, I'm ready for it."
"Come with us", one of the Dai Li said. "There is someone at the palace who wants to see you."
He obeyed and his makeshift handcuffs were released.
There she was! His own mother who he hadn't seen in five years was now standing before him on the Palace Stairs. Zuko began running to her.
"Zuko?", she asked. "Is that you?"
"Mother!", he said while he ran across the streets of Ba Sing Se.
"Not so fast Fire Lord!", Zhao said. "If you want to save your mother you'll have to win a duel."
"I'll do whatever it takes to save her!", Zuko yelled.
"Then you wouldn't mind for an AGNI-KAI TO THE DEATH!", Zhao shouted.
"I accept", Zuko said.
They took off their robes and began shooting fire at each other!