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Appa and Momo Screwed the Timeline

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Jade sighed, anxiously pacing in her room. She was close to tears, muttering under her breath and trying not to outright bawl.

Her son was gone.

Her husband had been gone from her life for years.

Five years since her little town had been taken by Fire Nation. Five years since her husband had been taken prisoner.

Being without her husband was not the only hardship she and her town had endured. They had been taxed to near destitution. She’d made only just enough money to feed herself and her son, and that was with tight budgeting. And without Tyro, there was one less source of income to feed their little family.

It was hard, without Tyro being there as a great pillar of support, firm and calm.

She also worried about her son. She’d ordered him not to earthbend, but she knew that that was a fool's hope. She couldn't prove it, but she had a feeling that Haru had been practicing behind her back. And now her son had been taken away by firebenders.

They had stormed into her shop, led by an old man with few teeth.

(She would always remember that old man with seething fury, selling out her kid after he had saved him from a mine collapse. The honorless gall for throwing the life debt he owed at Haru's face. She would make sure that the old man was no longer welcomed into their little mining town.)

One really cannot prevent a bender from using their elements without some physical, psychological, and spiritual harm.

They took her son to the coal rig and she had no hope of ever getting her son back herself.

She also had no faith that a group of three children would get her son back, no matter if one of them was an airbender. Not against what felt like a small army of fire-wielding soldiers.

Jade dropped her face down into her hands, with only a single candle illuminating the room she was in, wallowing in her tears, her fears running rampant at the idea that she would most likely never see her son again.

But the hope remained, a stubborn thing. Tiny, just like the single candle right next to her.

She looked up and sighed, not really focusing on anything, and then saw a flash of golden light.

Like a flicker of the sun.

Then it came again and again.

Then shouting and a single solitary scream that abruptly cut off.

A cold chill traveled down Jade’s spine and she discreetly shut the blinds to her window. It was best that she didn’t get involved in that.

---

They started off really well. The Kyoshi Warriors managed to knock out more than half of the occupying forces in the main town before they were noticed.

Luckily the Fire Nation presence was smaller than what it could have been. They obviously felt confident that they had the town under control with the Earthbenders gone. They were just there to keep order and shake things a little once in a while, enforce colonial taxes and make sure the people knew their place.

With an unspoken signal, they took down the rest of the soldiers with brutal efficiency, Zuko throwing his fire at the surprised men with all the feeling of the righteous anger of a Great Sun Spirit – just to mess with their superstition – with none of the harmful heat.

If Ami and the rest of the Kyoshi Warriors hadn’t been warned of the… empathetic nature of the fire, she would have been caught off guard in feeling emotions in such a very tangible way.

In any case, it worked to their advantage and they took down the rest of the soldiers before they could get their bearings.

Ami did notice something interesting about their resident firebender.

He never talked when wearing the mask. And since he didn’t talk while wearing the mask, Momo also didn’t make a peep.

Momo lithely jumped onto the Blue Spirit and skittered into the side bag and the Blue Spirit motioned for them to follow to the docks.

When they tied up the unconscious soldiers, they were accosted by grateful residents and told that a couple of soldiers just took their last earthbender to the coal rig in the middle of the ocean.

Suki thanked them and told them, on behalf of the Blue Spirit, that they would rescue them along with the rest of the earthbenders.

“You're the Kyoshi Warriors! You’re working for the Blue Spirit?” One asked in awe, a young boy barely out of his tweens and Ami saw Suki pausing at that.

The Blue Spirit shook his head and Suki pursed her lips in contemplation, not looking at the silent teen behind her, still staring at the boy in front of her.

There was a moment of silence before a gleam entered her blue eyes that Ami was all too familiar with. It spoke of scheming that would either be brilliant or get them in trouble.

Like the one time when Suki threw small pouches of dung at the merchant who was a pirate in disguise, humiliating him enough to leave. Suki may present herself as a stoic wall, confident and powerful, but she did have her moments of vicious creativity that were let out every once in a while. Though those moments had not happened in a long time since Suki settled more into her role as the leader of the Kyoshi Warriors.

“Do you have any gold colored fabric, or anything similar, like yellow?” Suki asked and the Blue Spirit twitched like he wanted to look at her but he did not, not willing to act like he didn’t know what was going on in front of strangers.

The mother frowned in confusion but she went inside her shop. She then came back out and handed Suki a slightly faded straw colored fabric.“Keep it, please. It’s the least we can do for what you have done for us.”

Suki nodded, pleased. Then she proceeded to tear off long strips of the fabric and tied the cloth around her wrist guard, leaving a short trail of loose end dangling, just long enough to touch the second knuckle of her pinkie fingers on her right hand.

It took a minute for Ami to realize what Suki was going with this and Ami smiled. To show her support, Ami handed out her hand to Suki and the leader handed her the fabric, which Ami then ripped a piece of fabric for herself and tied it around her right wrist. With this, Suki and Ami were loudly proclaiming their partnership to the Blue Spirit, the rest of the Warriors following suit.

“No,” Suki finally answered, “We’re working together.”

---

The Blue Spirit led the group from the town down to the docks.

“Your lemur can be terrifying in the dark,” Ami commented under her breath, just loud enough for Zuko to hear. He slightly turned his head to face her and, though she couldn’t see his face due to the mask, his body language told her that he was smirking proudly.

Momo tilted his head at Ami and she had to repress a giggle of her own because that was cute… and honestly a little bit terrifying with the solid green reflection off his eyes. She knew it was due to the nightvision, but the large bulbous gleam off the black body made the lemur look like a shadow demon, all spindly-limbed, skittering across the ground.

They hid behind a row of bushes overlooking the dock for several minutes. Ami looked up and saw why they were waiting, most likely trying to think on how to get through the pier. It was guarded by several firebenders in armor, idly chatting with each other to stave off boredom. One, further into the dock, right next to the steam boat, was squinting at the scroll in his hand, trying to read in the relatively dim light under the torch.

“Now seems like a good time as any,” Umi said, and Ami nodded.

The Blue Spirit shifted and all of the girls turned to look at him. He pointed to the air twice, one right next to the other, and then pointed at the two sentries closest to them. Then, holding the finger in place, he traced the air around from the left then straight at the two imaginary dot in the air with his other hand, pointing to Ami and Umi right after. Then he did the same motion to the left but went beyond the two dots, pointing to Suki and Aka.

Then he pointed to himself and traced a direct path to the two dots.

Suki translated haphazardly, “You want Ami and Umi to go from the left and target the two sentries, Aka and me to charge into the ship behind them towards the steam boat, and you will charge directly ahead, startling them while Ami and Umi take them down, going straight to the ones behind the two sentries?”

Blue nodded, and Ami had to wonder if he was really that into character or if he was compartmentalizing to the point he’s two different people.

She was actually a little worried about that. It sounded like a recipe for disaster if he needed to use his fire when he was not wearing his mask. Could he use his own fire outside the mask? In public?

“Come on,” Umi nudged, bringing Ami out of her reverie. She sighed, a little irritated at herself for being lost in thought lately.

They both snuck into place, just beyond the edge of firelight from several torches lining the dock. The left side had a shorter reach into the dark. But it was long enough that the men would react two seeing two Kyoshi Warriors sneaking towards them from the left side.

One spoke and Ami had to strain a little to hear them. “Are you sure we don’t need to be up there? I’m certain I heard a scream.”

“It didn’t sound like a scream. Sounds more like a bird shriek.”

“Like a bird of prey?”

“Yeah.”

There was silence. Then the first, younger looking man turned to the older man, who sighed like he knew the topic wasn’t dropped. “Are you sure we don’t need to be up there? I just have a bad feeling about this.”

The elder of the two sighed again, this time in irritation, “Kiba, look, if there were any problem we would be called. We weren't, so we need to stay here and guard this boat.”

The younger of the two grumbled too lowly for either Ami and Umi to hear, but they both heard the older man scoff, “Kiba, really? It’s not like the Golden Firebender himself will show up here in his spiritual glory, in that blue mask of his, steal this ship to the coal rig, and free all of the earthbenders.”

The younger looked at the older askance and…

Ami and Umi looked at each other in utter delight.

Umi stifled her laughter as Ami moaned breathily into the air like a spirit of the dead trying to contact the living through the Spirit World. That caught the two’s attention, the third beyond them still squinting at the scroll, oblivious to what was happening further in towards land.

The younger hissed at the older, “If something comes out of the dark, turns out to be a spirit, I’m blaming you.”

The older glared, “It won’t be a spirit.”

Umi ducked her head to hold the snort of laughter back and Ami bit her lip before moaning louder with a bit of scraggily sound at the back of her throat.

The two men shifted closer towards each other and the younger pushed the older man, “Well? Go check it out.”

“I outrank you!” the older protested, to which the younger responded like a whip, “Yeah, by one rank.”

The older was about to protest again. But then he looked out to the front where Blue was still hiding in. Momo prowled back and forth just beyond the barrier of the firelight, like the light itself was keeping him back. Both the Kyoshi Warriors grinned widely. A near formless black mass, shifting and undulating in the trick of the dim flickering light, prowled low on the ground. The form moved from left to right and back to left again, the only clear features a pair of reflective green glows from his eyes.

The two men didn’t realize it but they started hugging each other in mute fright.

For the grand finale, Ami let out a low, hoarse cackle and the two men whipped their heads to their right.

The younger squeaked, “Oni!”

That’s when the Blue Spirit burst out of the dark and both men screamed shrilly, causing the third man behind them close to the boat to yelp and throw the scroll into the air. Ami and Umi took their chance to charge straight at the two sentries and knocked them on the wooden dock and their helmet went flying out, allowing Blue to jump over them straight to the third man, Aka and Suki following right at his footstep.

The two sentries were knocked out in short order with a hard thump on their heads with their battle fans.

The third man recovered his wits and threw a fireball right at Blue. The Royal-in-hiding blocked it with a hard swipe of his dao swords and lit it up with his paler fire. Blue ducked under the still extended arm and swung himself behind the soldier, hooking his foot under the other’s feet and jerked forward. The soldier grunted when he very nearly went down into a split and his arm windmilled, trying to keep himself from falling. Suki and Aka continued past them straight into the boat.

Blue twisted, landing on one hand, palms splayed out flat over the half dao sword that clanged onto the wooden pier, and kicked the man on his chest. The man fell on his back with a wheeze. Before he could get his breath back and try to regain his footing, his neck was suddenly pinned in place by two dao blades crossed over him, the pale golden fire exuding a very clear warning to not move if the sharp blade on either side of his neck wasn’t an enough warning already.

Some smacking noise and a yelp came from the steam boat before a head popped out from the ramp and Aka cheerily called, “All clear!”

Ami walked up to Blue and directed a sharp grin to the pinned man on the floor, “We’ll be taking over your ship.”

---

“This is your fault.”

“Kiba.”

“You literally invoked the Great Spirit’s wrath by saying this.”

Kiba…

Word for word.” Ami smirked while Umi giggled as they hauled another bucket full of rocks into the steamer boat and tossed the contents into a large pile in the middle of the deck. Blue didn’t say anything but the tilt of his head suggested he found this just as funny as they did.

“What was it you said? Oh yeah,” Kiba started then cleared his throat to emulate the older man, “‘Kiba, really? It’s not like the Golden Firebender himself will show up here in all his spiritual glory, in that blue mask of his, steal this ship to the coal rig, and free all of the earthbenders.’

This caused the other two bound soldiers to glare at the older man who sighed. All four of them were thoroughly tied, hands behind their back, stripped to their undershirts and pants to preserve modesty and relieved of any weapons or tools for any potential escape. Blue had been more thorough in his frisk for even the tiniest hair pin than the sole female soldier had, for which she glowered at him.

At one point Blue had paused and held out his hand expectantly. The rest of the Kyoshi warriors were bemused when the captain of the steam boat grumbled and spat out a lock pick from between her teeth.

When Blue was satisfied that the Fire Nation Soldiers were at their lowest risk for escape, that’s when they started to stock up on what an earthbender needs. Dirt.

Lots and lots of dirt and rocks.

Aka chucked a bag full of fresh dirt – as much as she could carry at a time – with a grunt towards the pile. “You couldn’t have set that up better even if you tried.”

“We thank you for that opportunity. It will stay with me as a fond memory for the rest of my life.” Umi added in, just to rub it in. Just a little.

Blue gagged them before they could voice their complaints and they finally set out to liberate the earthbenders from their prison.

---

It was the middle of the night.

Almost a whole day since he’d been sent to this rig to spend the rest of his life on. On one hand, it was terrible, facing the possibility of never getting out here, of dying in a labor camp.

On the other hand, it was really nice to see his father again after being taken away years ago.

And if he had a third hand, he would count it right in the middle, with Katara off to the side. Despondent that her passionate speech did nothing to rouse them to revolt against their prison guards.

He looked at her sleeping form and sighed, turning around to turn his back on her. He felt bad, really, but there was no way off the rig. He’d woken up far too early for his taste but he couldn’t help it. He was upset, at her for following him in a fool’s hope of a rescue, at himself for landing himself in this position to get caught in the first place (though he would never regret saving a person), at the Fire Nation for stealing him away, his father, and the rest of the earthbenders.

Sighing, he tossed again and blinked.

Because there was a black creature with wide green eyes right in front of his face, holding a rock in its paws and Katara's wide-eyed look, staring straight at the creature with a glint of familiarity. She quickly looked up at him and held up a finger to her hand for silence.

Haru nodded, utterly confused, but there was a sense of anticipation in the air, his heart thundering in his chest. The creature insistently shoved the rock into his hand and then took off, stopping to look at them as if to say Are you following or not?

Katara grabbed his hand and they both quietly followed the little creature to the edge of the rig, trying to keep their guards from noticing them. They both looked down to see...four Kyoshi Warriors and the Blue Spirit?!

They cheerily waved at the two and Haru can see a rather large pile of dirt and rock in the middle of the small steam boat, making it sink uncomfortably close to the edge of the water – it looked almost like a single pebble more would cause it to sink.

Haru and Katara looked at each other and he noted the ecstatic recognition making her brilliant blue eyes sparkle and she smiled triumphantly, “Now’s your chance, Haru!” She whispered.

Haru tentatively smiled, slow at first, then it gained strength when he realized that, yes, this was his chance and he really did not want to spend the rest of his life doing slave labor in a labor rig.

“Yeah,” he started, gaining the steely determination, “yeah, you’re right, Katara.”

---

It was a quick fight.

Haru climbed down to the steam boat and catapulted the mounds of dirt and rocks into the air while the Kyoshi Warriors and the Blue Spirit climbed up to start the fight.

Katara hollered for the earthbenders to wake up and Fight! Don’t let this chance go to waste!. If the sound of raining dirt and rocks startled them awake, the sound of Katara’s battle cry galvanized them into attacking, if only to keep the kid from getting fried.

They didn’t need to worry though. A waterbender in the middle of the ocean did not need to worry too much about a lack a resources like the earthbenders had before and despite the lack of experience, Katara was incredibly intuitive with her bending. She was milking what little moves she’d learned so far from the scrolls that Zuko had given her, and it made her all that more scarily competent.

The Kyoshi Warriors, nonbenders, were scary in their own right, knocking down the firebenders in the middle of the chaotic battle.

The addition of the Blue Spirit, fighting with his dao swords on fire like pieces of flame directly from the Sun Spirit himself was guiding the swords, devolved the chaotic fight.

When a boomerang, a flying bison, and the Airbender joined the fight out of nowhere, the chaotic fight lost all meaning in the midst of screaming, battle roars, and childish laughter while guards and wardens were blown off the rig.

It was a quick fight.

---

Zuko shook his head while he was looking at his lemur talking to the Bison. Both of the animals gave a confused earthbender an enthusiastic greeting before going on their merry way.

Somehow, both of the animals were radiating smug accomplishment. Come to think of it, it was a little suspicious how quickly Appa and the others showed up as soon as the fight started.

Zuko squinted his eyes at the long haired kid, suspicious.

“Hey Zu- OW!” Sokka yelped when Suki smacked his head and he whined at her, “What was that for?!”

“That’s the Blue Spirit.” Suki answered primly and he pouted, rubbing his arm where she had slugged him.

The Prince was glad that Suki prevented the kid from blurting out his name in public because he was not ready for that. Zuko turned to Suki and Sokka, waving his hand to get their attention.

When he had both of their eyes on him, he pointed to his eyes through the mask, shivered exaggeratedly running his finger down his own back, then pointed to the earthbender. Then he waved his hands side to side with his palms up and his head tilted in a question.

Sokka was confused but then understanding dawned on him a split second after Suki looked at the kid with a suspicious hmm.

“Haru? Are you asking if there is any of that weird connection hoo ha with him?”

Zuko nodded, then sighed in relief and a slight bit of disappointment when Sokka shook his head, “No, there was none of that.”

Zuko nodded to let him know that he understood and then started walking away, hoping to get away before there was another demand for a trade. He didn’t have anything to trade with right now. He sped up a little more and caught Momo’s attention, who then skittered on the ground and crawled up his leg into the side bag.

There was a glint on the ground that caught his eye. Walking up to it, he saw that it was a necklace, the clasp broken and the edges of the fabric frayed. He bent down to pick it up and looked at it, noting the smooth flat stone pendant.

Sodalite? Lapis? He wasn’t too well versed on rocks and minerals. What he did know was that he should return this to Katara. He bit back a groan, shoulders slumping in resignation, and he trudged back to the main group. Aang caught sight of him and he tensed when Aang opened his mouth. Don't say my name! he mentally pleaded.

Luckily Sokka nudged Aang and with a quick exchange Aang changed his greeting, “Blue! Good to see you again!”

Sokka must have updated him on what name he wished to be called by.

Haru ambled towards the group with his father, “You know each other?” And looked at each other with curiosity and no small bit of awe and jealousy.

Sokka noted the jealousy and smirked, “Oh yeah! We’re really good friends.” He swung his arm around Zuko’s shoulders and Zuko sharply poked Sokka’s side. Sokka let out a strangled yip and jumped away.

Oh…?

Zuko let out an evil grin behind his mask at this precious new information – Sokka was ticklish.

“That sounds great!” Haru inadvertently interrupted, “I’ve been hearing so much about you Blue Spirit! Thank you for coming to save us!” Katara frowned severely at that, utterly unimpressed with being unacknowledged but the smile was then directed to her, earnestly, “Thank you for inspiring us to take a stand.”

"Oh!" Katara blushed and ducked her head a little, pleased as she habitually reached to touch her necklace. The smile dropped as panic crossed her feature, “My mother’s necklace!”

Before she could turn her head to frantically look around for her lost necklace, Zuko nearly shoved the necklace right in front of her face, causing her to go crossed eyed. She reflexively snatched it, and he turned on his heels and stormed out, passing Appa with a wave and a wide berth.

“Wait!” Zuko cringed when he heard her voice, “We can give you a ride back to the mainland,” Katara finished, running up behind him and standing in front of him with a peace offering, “Just a ride.” We’re not going to kidnap you, she didn’t say, her earnest face open and just a slight bit pleading.

Zuko looked at her and found himself believing her. He then turned to look at Sokka who looked at him with Come on, come with us!

Aang had a pleading look on his face, the begging turtleduckling look absolutely crushing Zuko’s resolve.

To avoid giving in, he looked away and straight into Appa’s soulful brown eyes who ambled forward closer to Zuko to nudged his hands with his nose.

Zuko’s strength and will ran away and he slumped. Suki came up to him and patted his back in consolidation, “You had no chance.”

---

They left the steam boat behind for the rest of the earthbenders so they could systematically destroy the rig while boating the people, a few at a time, to land. It would take several hours.

But that wasn’t on Zuko’s mind at the moment.

He was thinking. Before, he liberated people from various bad situations like concentration or labor camps, war prisons, slavers, pirates, and now, just recently, liberating a small town from Fire Nation presence.

All were something he believed in, but that was before he considered doing this as a political ploy to ultimately usurp his father from the throne.

He didn’t leave immediately, helping the returning earthbenders scare off the fleeing soldiers at the light of the new day because he refused to allow his people to be killed when they had been defeated. That was a tense conversation in itself. Zuko, silent in his Blue Spirit mask, standing in front of the earthbenders who were about to kill the pale, terrified, incaptiacated soldiers.

Who were his people.

It made it easier when Aang stood by him with a determined look on his youthful face. “I won’t allow you to kill them when they are down.”

“They will come back and kill us all!” one spat, and the Kyoshi Warriors came and stood in front of Aang and Zuko, a solid wall between them. Then the water tribe siblings joined up, though Sokka was much more reluctant than Zuko was comfortable with.

Unable to stand the tense stand off, Zuko turned around to face the pale, shaky soldiers and took out his dao swords with a menacing flourish. The soldiers whimpered and shrieked when Zuko charged at them and sliced downward, cutting their bonds at their hands and feet. He then pointed his sword at them.

Suddenly the sword tip leveled at the nearest man's face burst into pale gold fire and Zuko poured into a sense of justice, warning, anger, protection, protection, protection. and he poured all of his thoughts into Leave and don't come back! Hoping, praying that his men in front of him understood what he was trying to say.

When they didn’t move despite feeling his emotions, Zuko advanced menacingly and instilled a sense of danger into the air and sliced the air diagonally, a streak of angry gold fire slashing right at the soldiers who screamed and bolted. He knew that they suffered no burns, it was just a scare tactic to get them to move.

Setting his swords together and sliding them into the sheath, he turned back around and bit back the urge to bristle defensively. He felt uncomfortable being the center of the stares. But he kept his back rigidly straight, walked to an unlit torch in the light of the new day and took it off the handle.

He walked back to the earthbender standing at the forefront, Haru’s father, and lit the fire with his own flame and bowed to Tyro with the symbol of the flame, the torch in the fist and the palm flat against the handle.

Tyro’s eyes widened at the respect. “You’re Fire Nation.”

It wasn’t a question but Zuko nodded anyways.

"I would have thought you were a mix born of Fire and Earth."

Zuko shook his head even before Tyro finished his sentence. No.

Suki spoke for him, “He’s here to help. He’s going to remove the Firelord from the Throne.”

“It’s true.” Katara responded and Sokka sighed but nodded, “He’s actually a very honorable person and I want him on the Throne rather than the one who is continuing the decimation of my people. Do you want to keep that monster on the throne?”

“I’d rather the whole nation was grounded into dirt!” another earthbender shouted and there were some grumbling agreements. Tyro said nothing, still staring at the Blue Spirit.

Aang shouted over the rising volume, “Then you would be no better than them, who killed my entire culture!” Some reared back in shock at the response, Zuko’s shoulder tensed but did not break eye contact with Tyro, still holding the torch with the golden fire as an offering.

“I’m the Avatar and I will not allow another genocide to be the response to this war. Two elements do not make the world balanced.”

There were some surprised mutterings at that declaration. The Avatar came back?

The surrounding area around the fire felt of draining tension as Zuko relaxed his shoulders, opening his body language, and breathed out his anxiety. There was a heavy blanket of protection-thankfulness-apprehension and Zuko prayed to Agni that this would work.

Aang continued, his voice somehow sounding a lot more older than his twelve year old visage would suggest, “The only way to achieve that Balance is if we all work together in harmony.”

Like that was the cue, Zuko extended the torch halfway to Tyro’s hand, waiting for him to take it in acceptance.

The tension outside of the empathetic field of the gold fire was tense. Finally, Tyro took the torch from Zuko’s hand and bowed.

There were a few grumblings but everyone seemed to have accepted Tyro’s decision.

Katara, Zuko, Aang, and the rest of the Kyoshi Warriors beamed. Sokka grumbled under his breath, but sighed again when Aang shot him a look.

Zuko wondered what he said.

---

Zuko hefted himself onto Mina and looked down at the Kyoshi Warriors: Suki, Ami, Aka, and Umi. He took off his mask and Momo popped his head out of the bag with a chirp.

He smiled at them gratefully, “I… I want to thank you for that. For– for everything.”

Suki smiled. “Just don’t get killed. I’ll have to go to the Spirit World and bring you back myself for leaving us.” Then the smile softened, “In all fairness, Your Highness” – she teased the title with an amused grin – “I found myself growing attached to you. We’ll see each other again. All of us,” she added knowingly, looking at the direction of the town where the Avatar and the two water tribe siblings were.

He grimaced. He would really rather not. But deep within his gut, he knew that her statement was true.

“I’ll see you later then,” he responded as a promise, and clicked his tongue to urge Mina forward. Momo chattered, displeased to be leaving Suki behind, but he preened some small bits of dirt off of Zuko’s shoulder.

---

Long after the Blue Spirit left, the single torch was placed back onto its hook by the door frame of a small shop. The residents found it warm to the touch. Some curious earthbenders and children would touch the fire and draw their hands back in awe at seeing their hands whole and unharmed. Days would pass and the residents would find that the fire had not guttered out, the oil reserve inside the torch untouched.

Soon the torch was placed in a stand, planted at the entrance of the town as a statement that the Blue Spirit was in town and he offered his protection to the town, warning off any invaders with ill intent.

Unknown to the Earth Kingdom residents, the Fire Nation citizens viewed the eternally burning golden fire as Agni’s blessing to the town. Most soldiers, seeing the fire, refused to invade the small town again.

When ordered to invade, the majority of the small company of firebenders mutinied.

(The citizens of the small mining town were confused by the sudden infighting but suddenly so much more grateful that the Blue Spirit offered them his fire.)