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Avatar's Regret

Chapter Text

Korra

"Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Long, long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them, but when the world needed him most, he vanished. A hundred years passed and a waterbender named Katara and her brother Sokka discovered the new Avatar, an airbender named Aang. Although his airbending skills were great, he had a lot to learn before he was ready to save anyone. But from the first day they met him, they believed Aang would save the world. And you know what? They were right. With the help of his friends, Aang defeated Fire Lord Ozai and ended the Hundred Year War. Zuko, Ozai's son and our ally, became the new Fire Lord. Together with Earth King Kuei, Aang and Zuko promised to return the nations to harmony. When I was young I was told the stories of how Avatar Aang and Fire Lord Zuko transformed the Fire Nation colonies into the United Republic of Nations, a society where benders and nonbenders from all over the world could live and thrive together in peace and harmony. They named the capital of this great land Republic City. Avatar Aang accomplished many remarkable things in his life, but sadly, his time in this world came to an end. And like the cycle of the seasons, the cycle of the Avatar began anew."

That's when I came in by the way. Who am I you ask? I am Korra the next avatar after Aang. In the beginning when took on my role as the Avatar I think I was ether too naïve or maybe just too optimistic but. One way or the other it has been one rough ride for me so far and I can't say everything has went as well as I would have liked but. Between having my bending stolen by a crazy bloodbender, losing my connection with my past lives in a fight against an anti-avatar, and almost being killed more then once. I have managed to make a lot of good friends, I restored the lost air nation it was by accident mind you but still, and I opened the spirit portals reconnecting our world with the would of the spirits. Would I do things differently if I had the chance? Well sure, at least I use to think I would but. I have learned that there is no such thing as a free do over and the greatest mistake I have ever made was giving it a try.

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174 AG — Year of the Dog

This story begins where most stories end in the place were all must one day go, the spirit world. The sky was a dark and twisted array of colors and the landscape below it was a warped jagged canyon stretching as far as the eye could see. In the center of this rocky wasteland sat a massive leafless tree. The tree seemed to emanate power from every branch and every root. With the trees massive size, it wouldn't take a specialist to tell you that the tree is ancient but, nobody knows just how ancient it really is. Some say that it is thousands of years old and others say it has simply always been since time began. It is also known to hold an archive of the world's whole history. It is for this reason that the tree has come to be known as the Tree of Time.

Flanking the tree on three of its sides were three pillars of light that lit up the sky for as far as the eye could see. These pillars light weren't just for show. They were really the portals that linked the human and spirit worlds together. One leading to the north pool the second is connected to the south pool and finally the third portal was recently opened somewhat by mistake, smack in the middle of Republic City.

Despite the spirit world's chaotic nature it was normally a relatively quite uneventful place but, this day was a different story. On this day destiny had different plans.

The portal connected to Republic City began to flash and surge with energy as a small group of people step through one after another into the twisted wasteland. The group consisted of six people of varying age and gender and it was lead by none other than Avatar Korra. Avatar Korra is a young dark skinned woman with even darker hair hanging down to her shoulders. She hails form the southern Water Tribe and is dressed in a slightly modified version of their traditional blue and white clothing. Most Water Tribe clothing is heavy and designed with a cold climate in mind. Since the young avatar spends most of her time in Republic City which is a relatively well tempered area there is no need for such heavy clothing most of the time. And as such, she has had much of it ether removed or completely cut off. The group spread out in front of the portal with five sets of eyes taking in the strange and for some of them very unfamiliar surroundings. The sixth set of eyes in the group was blank and completely devoid of movement. The owner of those dull almost colorless eyes was an elderly woman almost half the height of Korra. Her hair is pulled back into a large bun and it is completely gray. She's dressed from her head to ankles in the traditional brown and tan Earth Nation attire. Her feet are bare and her toes seem to wiggle in sync with her changing expressions, most of these expressions indicating some form of displeasure.

The elderly woman stepped out in front of the group and turned to face them. She then placed her hand to her month and cleared her throat before speaking. "So Korra, care to tell us why you dragged this pile of dusty old bones half way across the planet and into another plane of existence? And you better not tell me we're here for sightseeing or so help me I will bury you so deep you won't be able to dig yourself out for days."

Korra crosses her arms and scoffs before responding. "Gees Toph give me some credit I wouldn't ask you all to come here if it wasn't important."

A light chuckle spreads across the group as a second elderly woman steps out from the crowd. This woman was also dressed in Southern Water Tribe clothing but they seemed to have a more traditional design then that of Korra's attire. Her hair was long gray and it was pulled back into a braid and had two loops of hair connecting her forehead to the base of her braid. "I see you have not changed much have you Toph? Always so grumpy, I am starting to think you were born old and it has just taken awhile for your true age to show."

Toph turns so that her side is facing the water tribe woman and lifts her hand in a pointing motion. "You're one to talk Sugar Queen. At least I know how to have some fun every once in awhile, I bet your still as over dramatic as ever."

The water tribe woman's eyes start to narrow. "You're right you're still a child even at this age. When are you going to drop those ridiculous nicknames?"

The shorter earth nation woman starts to grin before leaning in close to the Katara. "Well as soon as they no longer fit of course." After this statement the two women start to stare each other down.

Korra steps in between the two in an attempt to break up the argument. "Now come on you two. Katara, Toph, we are here for a reason remember." Korra is interrupted as the two elders break into a spirited chuckle. Korra is stunned for a moment not sure what was going on.

Katara the water tribe woman turns toward Korra and starts to explain. "Come now Korra you didn't think we were really fighting did you?"

Toph starts to speak in between laughs. "That's just how Katara and I say hello. On that note why did you come with us through the Republic City portal when there is a perfectly good portal connected to the south pool?"

"Oh that? I just so happened to be in town visiting my son and his family. Isn't that right Tenzin dear?" Katara says while motioning to another member of their group.

"Yes, mother has been spending time with Pema and the kids. Unfortunately I have been wrapped up in meetings with President Raiko and Fire Lord Izumi about how we should handle the remaining Earth Empire loyalists. So I have not been able to spend much time with them myself."

Tenzin is a tall and slender middle aged man. His head is shaven clean but a small brown beard covers his chin. He is dressed completely in the Air Nomad's traditional tan and red robes. His head and hands bear blue arrow shaped tattoos, which symbolizes his air nomad heritage and his mastery of the air bending arts. During the one-hundred year war the air nomads were almost completely wiped out. So not long ago seeing an air nomad would have been quite the oddity but. A few years ago during an event that is known as harmonic convergence. Korra battled and defeated the dark spirit Vaatu and reconnected the human and spirit worlds. This event jump started the dormant air bending blood in people around the world. Thus restoring the Air Nation and bringing balance to the four elements.

Though it was far from what you would call a complete victory. You see all avatars have a connection to one another through their past lives. This connection grants them all the power and wisdom of every avatar before them. An Avatar is able to tap into this power during mediation or through use of what is known as the Avatar State. During the battle against an evil spirit known as Vaatu this connection was completely severed, leaving Korra unable to make use of her past lives experience. This is a problem that has haunted her greatly over the last few years. She worries not just for herself but for the avatars to come after her time has ended.

"I hope that stubborn daughter of mine is not giving you too many headaches Tenzin." Another member of the party broke into the conversation. The man is the oldest of the group but seems quite spry for his age. His left eye is covered by a large burn scar, his hair is also completely gray, and a large beard covers his chin. He is covered in the Fire Nations classic black and red battle armor. The armor has all the features you would expect from a high ranking Fire Nation solider, such as heavy plating and jagged edges but. It is clear by the gold trimming around the edges along with a golden hair ornament holding his long hair in place; he is not just any ordinary soldier.

"Not at all Lord Zuko, Izumi is a very reasonable leader. After all she just wants to know exactly what she would be getting your people involved in before taking action. With that said I really hope those two can agree on something soon, because if I miss another family night Pema may kill me."

Zuko lets out an audible laugh. "Sounds like she is doing well, be sure to send them my regards. Now onto the main topic at hand, why have you asked us to come here Korra?" He says while turning to face the Avatar.

"Well about that…" Korra motions to the last member of their group, a very tall young woman with long raven black hair. She is wearing a black and red uniform that at first glance resembles Fire Nation attire but, it bears the symbol of Future Industries one of the largest manufacturing companies not only in republic city but in the world. "Asami come over here real quick it's time to tell them the story!" Korra said with an air of excitement.

The young woman quickly compiles slipping her way through the crowd and raping herself around Korra's arm. Korra's face quickly turns a bright shade of red. Which soon earns her a few raised eyebrows, several confused looks, and an amused chuckle from the girl holding onto her. Asami leans in and speaks directly into Korra's ear. "What's the matter you didn't have any problem with it a few days ago."

Katara smiles at the two of them and asks the question many of them have been thinking. "So how long have you two had that kind of relationship?" After she finishes everyone quickly moves in closer to hear Korra's reply, which makes her become redder by the second.

Korra moves her hand to her mouth and clears her throat before speaking. "Well it's hard to say when are feelings started to become like this but, when me and Asami went on vacation here last week we just kind of realized just how much we meant to each other so we thought why not."

"So, you made us come to the spirit world to tell us your coming out of the closet?" Toph asked.

Asami lets out a laugh before quickly releasing her grip on the embarrassed avatar and starts to address the group herself. "Of course our relationship is part of it but that is not what brings us here. The reason why we asked you all to come here is that we seen so much and did so many enjoyable things during are vacation here that we were really sad when the last day of are vacation came. We decided that we wanted to have are last day here be a memorable one so we saved are visit to the Tree of Time until the end of the trip. It would be right here on the way out anyway right?"

Now recovered Korra cut in. "That's right, I wanted Asami to see the tree no matter what but. I was worried that it may show her some less then enjoyable memories just like it did for me when I first entered. So we saved it until the very end of the trip as to not kill the mood."

"Thanks for the warning on that by the way." Asami said in a sarcastic tone. "Really though after I entered the tree it felt like my whole life rushed back to me as clear as day. I seen memories I didn't even know I still had. I almost lost it until the memories of Korra started to play. That's when I came to realize just how much she meant to me."

Then the rough and annoyed voice of Toph came out again. "That is cute and all girls but, I hope I was not dragged down here to hear you gloat about your love lives!"

"Toph!" Katara barked.

"We are getting to the important part if you would just give us a minute." Korra continues. "After Asami's visions were over we talked for a long time. Before we knew it, it was time for us to return home but. We both really wished that are trip could last a little longer, even if it was just one more day."

Asami picks it up again. "When the thought went through my mind the tree started to behave strangely. It was pulsing with energy and it started to glow. I remember seeing a bright light and then Korra and I woke up outside of the tree."

"So you sleep walked a little bit? I still don't get what the big deal is."

"Toph would you just let them finish."

"Whatever Sugar Queen."

"Anyway Asami and I didn't think much of it ether at the time, so we just went home but. Then we realized that we had come home a day early!"

Now both Toph and Katara spoke in sync. "So you lost track of time!"

"NO! It was more than that we checked Asami's time piece it was out of sync with all the other clocks even though we made sure to set it before leaving. Also we were there for seven days we were sure of it. There is just no way we lost track of time."

Zuko spoke up this time. "Korra you couldn't possibility be suggesting that you time traveled could you?"

Tenzin followed soon after. "Of course not it's preposterous. If such a thing could be done surely the spirits would know about it."

Korra picked up from there. "You're right Tenzin. After we returned to the tree this morning I meditated inside the tree and asked Raava about it. She told me that the tree is even older then she is and that she has heard of the tree having the ability to link the past and the present but. She was not sure of the best way to trigger it until now!"

Everyone's interest was now at their peak. Toph took the role of asking the question they were all thinking again. "So assuming this is not a load of sky bison crap, how do we trigger it? And to what end?"

Asami spoke last. "We tried several things and we found the tree only reacts to one thing and that is our emotions and our memories. The more feelings we have tied to a memory the more powerful it becomes. And the powerful the memory the more energy the tree seems to emanate. Of course this means not all memories are equal. And it seems the strongest memories are those connected to feelings of regret."

"As for why we want to trigger it." Korra began. "Well there is one regret I simply cannot bare."

Chapter Text

After some minor convince Korra and Asami lead their party away from the Republic City portal and toward the center of the Tree of Time. Once there they began the climb up it’s trunk into the hollow its hollow core where Vaatu was once imprisoned. Once they reached the opening a sitting circle began to form in the center. Toph was the last to enter the tree and take her seat completing the six person circle.

Once seated Toph began to stretch out and wiggle her toes on the wooden surface. "I have to say it may be hard to see on this wooden surface but, it's an upgrade from that strange spirit world earth down below. The ground is so rough and jagged which makes it hard to find good footing. And even though it seems solid on the surface it feels all shifty underneath. And even further below that it feels almost like it completely drops off like we are floating in the air. It makes me feel sick and uncomfortable."

Korra follows up Toph's statement with one of her own. "Oh ya Bolin said the same thing last time he was here! I guess the spirit world doesn’t agree with earthbenders."

Toph looks as though she is thinking for a moment. "Bolin? Oh you mean that lava bender boy who is dating my granddaughter right? Hmm come to think of it. I would think him and his fire bending brother would be here with us. Why is that? Don't they follow you around on all your little misadventures? You would think they would all be on board with something like this.”

"Well like I mentioned earlier, Bolin isn’t the biggest fan of the spirit world. Besides he has a date with Opal right now and he hasn’t completely gotten himself out of the dog house he put himself in during the Kuvira incident. So the last thing he wants to do is stand her up." Korra responded.

Toph chuckles slightly. "I can't say I blame him! So what about his bother?"

Asami answers this time. "Mako is too busy with his work at the precinct, your daughter Lin has seen to that it seems."

Toph's chuckle quickly turns into a full blown cackle. "I guess all the girls in my family are stubborn and demanding. My mother was like that too…" Toph's laughter came to an abrupt end as these words left her lips. An awkward silence soon followed.

Korra was the first to break the silence. "Hey Toph now that I think about it, I have never really heard what happened between you and your mother after the war. Did you guys ever manage to patch things up?"

After Korra finished asking her question Asami noticed that the expressions of the older members of the group became very grim. She leaned over to Korra and whispered into her ear. "Hey Korra I think this may be a touchy subject, maybe we should talk about something else."

Korra leaned back to reply. "No this is what we need right now. You can trust me right honey." Asami face turned slightly red before she quickly returned to her upright sitting position. "So Toph how about it got anything you want to let off your chest?"

An annoyed expression appeared on Toph's face. "You are just like those daughters of mine, you are always wanting to bring up the past. I don't understand what you people find so interesting about things that have already happened."

"That does not answer my question Toph." Korra retorts.

Toph begins to shoot Korra one of the meanest looks she can muster with her blank eyes. This action puts the rest of the group a little on edge. Asami leans back over to Korra. "Korra this is starting to look real bad, I really think you should drop it!"

"Sorry but we are almost there just give me a little more time." Korra gets to her feet and moves to the center of the group standing in front of Toph. "Well Toph?"

"You got some guts kid! Why are you giving me the third-degree huh?! What does this have to do with anything?!" Toph asks.

"If you don't want to talk about you don’t half too but. If you don’t want to talk about it then it means everything!"

"What are you on about?!" Toph snapped.

"Remember what we talked about before coming up here?" Korra motions around the room to the other group members and the tree. "We are here to activate this tree and restore my connection to my past lives I need a bridge to Aang."

"And me talking about my shaky relationship with my mother is somehow going to do that!?"

"Well that depends Toph, when it comes to your mother do you have any regrets?" Korra inquires.

Toph's blank eyes widen. "Oh I get it now. The reason for bringing all us old farts up here is because you want our sub stories?"

"That's right Toph, each of you knew Aang personally giving you a strong link to him. Also each of you has lived far longer than me so I figured you would have your fair share of regrets. Surely one of those memories will be strong enough to bring me to Aang. And through him perhaps I will be able to bridge the gap between us."

"Alright fine but I don't see why I am the only one getting integrated. Why don't you ask Sugar Queen or Sparky? I know for a fact they got a few skeletons in their closet. Even Tenzin has a few ever since he had the bright idea of breaking up with Lin."

Tenzin springs to attention. "Your bringing that up now of all times Toph!?"

Toph starts to chuckle. "Now seems to be the perfect time to bring it up Tenzin, so what’s the big deal?"

"This and that are completely diff…" Tenzin started to retort before he was cut off by Katara.

"Toph is right son. We all have things we don't like to talk about. Normally they are our weakness but, today we have a very special circumstance. We can use these painful memories to create a better future. Even if it’s only a small chance, if we can help restore the Avatar to her full power we must try. And if doing this for Korra’s sake is not enough, we should do it for all the Avatars that will come after her. I know Aang would want us to help."
"Oh well I am glad you think so. That means you can start us off then." Toph stated while giving Katara a crocked grin. Which caused the room to become silent once again and by this time Korra was back in her sitting position next to Asami and was listening intently for somebody to speak.

Finally Katara cleared her throat and began. "Well if you ask me if I have any regrets then yes I have had many but. If there is any regrets that I have that have stuck with me my whole life, then that's a different story. I do wish I could have spent more time with Aang but, it was his time and I have long since accepted that. If he had lived a long life then we may not have ever gotten the chance to meet Korra. And that would have been a true shame." Katara then looked across the circle toward the young avatar and Asami who was now grasping onto Korra’s arm. Korra seemed focused on what's being said and didn’t notice the contact. "So what does that leave? Well I guess my biggest regret would be the current state of the Southern Water Tribe."

A look of confusion appears on Korra's face. "What do you mean by that? I know I have been away from home for awhile but last time I checked the Southern Water Tribe was prospering. Is that not the case right now? I mean we have not been doing this well in decades."

Katara nods in agreement. "Indeed our Tribe is doing very well now that we are in peace but. During the war the South suffered great loss. All of our benders killed or imprisoned by the fire nation raiders. I was the only one that was spared. If I was not so young I could have helped them, helped my mother."

An apologetic look appeared on Zuko's features. "I am sorry Katara.”

"There is no need for you to apologize Zuko, you had no control over it. And have done everything you could to atone for the sins of your people."

"Yes but even with all my efforts the damage that has been done is only now beginning to heal. If it was not for my weakness I could have claimed the throne a long time ago. If I did I could put an end to this war far sooner, stopped all this suffering." Zuko then placed his hand over his burn scar. "This mark has always been my greatest shame for one reason or another. At first it was a mark of dishonor. Then once the war had ended it became a constant reminded of who I use to be, who my father was. I always felt as though I could have been a better ruler but, in the end I just couldn't escape my father's shadow."

While Korra was focused on listening Zuko and Katara’s exchange she was nudged by Asami. Korra turned towards the Raven haired girl next to her and whispered into her ear. “What’s up Asami?” Asami directed Korra’s attention towards the roof of tree. Korra quickly noticed a light glow being emitted from it. It was clear that the tree was beginning to react. Korra sprang to attention and began to speak. "That's it guys, its working keep it going!"

Zuko and Katara shared a glance before looking toward their other companions to continue. Noticing this Tenzin began to speak. "I don't have many grand regrets. My biggest dream was seeing the air nation restored. It was a day I never thought I would live long enough to witness but I did. And I have you to thank for that Korra. With that said saving and replacing are two different things. The nomads of the past can never be saved and that I do regret. The people that Aang called family before us and so many of their teaching have been lost forever. I know if there was anything he could have done to see them spared from their fate Aang would have done it." As he spoke the tree’s reaction started to grow slightly stronger.

Seeing this Korra starts to ask more questions. "Katara, there is something I have been wondering about. What is your history with blood bending? I know firsthand that it's a really messed up form of water bending but what made you hate it so much to have it outlawed?"

Katara’s eyes widened before a grim expression came to her face and her lips began to quiver. It was clear she was trying to form words but her voice was failing her. Finally after several failed attempts she managed to force one word to escape her lips. "Hama."

Asami eye brows rose slightly before breaking in. "I heard that name before. She was the first blood bender right? She created the skill in order to escape from the Fire Nation's prison that held her after being captured while defending the south pool from raiders. She was a great bender but her imprisonment caused her go mad and she used her to kidnap fire nation civilians and hold them captive for revenge."

"Yes that's right child but, that is only the half of the story. You see Hama was just as much a victim as my mother was. Even though she lived a full life she spent it haunted by her demons. She was a master before she ever far before she ever held that evil skill and once and as you know she fought against the raiders to defend our home. If it wasn’t for that wicked bending perhaps she could have been remembered as a hero and not as a monster."
"But wouldn't that mean a life of imprisonment? Surely you're not suggesting that's a better fate?" Asami inquired.

"Hama died in that cell Asami. All that was left of her was a shell filled with negative emotion. She was filled with pain, tainted by hatred, and the fueled only by the desire to share those feelings with the world."

The tree was glowing brightly enough now that everyone in the room with the exception of Toph had notice but. The blind earth bender could feel her companions uneasy and excitement. "Well I guess it's my turn huh? You know after me and my father had finally come to an understanding I held hope that maybe mother would be able to understand me one day too but. No matter how much I tried or for how long that woman just couldn't see me as anything other then a poor frail blind girl. And you know what the worst thing about it is? At the end of the day it was true! I have never even seen the world as you guys know it. I have known you all for years now and I don't even know what any of you look like. What I look like for that matter. Spirits I don’t even know what color is. I always wanted to see it just once, even a peek would satisfy me but. That’s why I left to travel the world. I figured if we didn’t have the answers maybe somebody would right? And during my travels across the world I searched everywhere for a way to cure my blindness. I talked to doctors, healers, and spirits around the globe and you know what I found?" Toph paused a moment for dramatic effect. She then grinned and pulled a small bottle with a strange glowing liquid inside it from her robe. “I found this.”

Everyone snapped their focus on Toph as Korra asked her the important questions. "Wait you found a cure to your blindness? When? How? Also if that’s true why haven't you used it?"

“Curious now are we? To answer your question it is both yes and no. You see I got it from a group of traveling water bending healers who had a child with the same condition as me. They claimed that it had work but. I had to have it examined and tested a few times to be sure it was safe and to learn what it was made off just in case I ever needed to make more of it. As it turns out it’s really just water but not just any old water. It’s spirit water much like the kind found in the North. It is also known as the Water of the Moon Spirit. There is only one problem with this so called cure though."

"What's that?" Korra asked.

Toph sighs as she slips it back into her sleeve. "It has no effect on old wounds. And I have had these eyes for over eighty years. Which means in the best case it would only work on young children and not on over the hill hags like myself. I wouldn’t say I regret the way I have lived my life given the cards I was dealt but. I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if I could play a different hand."

"Toph I…" Korra tried to speak but was cut off by a sudden violent rumbling started to come from the Tree of Time. Korra could see the energy shifting and she instantly knew it was time. "Everyone this is it,the tree is responding! I don’t know how all this works myself but just try to think very clearly about what it is we want! I need to see Aang no matter what!" Korra then noticed that this reaction was far greater than it was last time. She rushes over to grab hold of Asami as a bright light completely over took them.

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When the light faded and the world stopped spinning Korra suddenly found herself laying face down on the ground outside of the Tree of Time once again. A sharp pain echoed in her head almost as if a hornetwasp had crawled into her ear. "What just happened?" Korra force herself to sit up and tried to gather her thoughts. While doing so she noticed that she was in the spirit world and that she was currently facing away from where the Tree of Time should be. "Oh ya I had Asami and the gang help me activate the tree. Since I’m still here I guess it didn't really work out did it.” She then began to glance around for her companions. “Hey Asami are you alrig…" Korra turns herself all the way around expecting to see Asami laying next to her like she was the first time but nobody was to be seen. Korra rushed to her feet and began to yell. "Asami! Katara! Zuko! Toph! Tenzin! Come on you guys come out! Where are those guys don't tell me they woke up first and left me."

Then a chilling voice ripped through the silence. "There is nobody here but us young avatar."

Korra jumped back in shock as the familiar voice echoed through her already throbbing skull. Korra gases as she looks up at the Tree of Time with her eyes widened in horror. "Vaatu?!" She screamed with her eyes now locked on the dark mass imbedded in the Tree of Time the Dark Spirit Vaatu. Vaatu looks just as Korra remembers him, a giant black and red mass of chaotic energy. He is more function than form so it can be hard to describe him but. If Korra had to say he resembled anything it would be a Giant Whalesquid. "Vaatu how are you still alive!?"

Vaatu became to let out what sounded like an amused chuckle. "Young avatar you seem to be confused. Now why would I be dead?"

"I destroyed you during harmonic convergence!" Then Korra took notice of the state that Vaatu was in. Avatar Wan's seal was still in place, Vaatu had not been released. Then she scanned the area surrounding the tree and realized that the portals were all still closed "Wait your not…"

"Starting to understand now Avatar Korra?"

"Yes but wait, if your still here and the portals are still closed then this must be before harmonic convergence! That means I really did it, I went back in time! Wait hold on, if it's before the convergence maybe I can skip a step and just prevent myself from losing my connection in the first place."

"What are you babbling about child? A frail human like you couldn't possibly live long enough for that."

"Oh I could ask you the same thing. You seem to know who I am. That means that this has to be right before the convergence!"

"I have been trapped inside this tree for a long time Avatar. I see time very differently than a mortal Such as yourself. I have seen everything from the beginning of time to my final defeat at your hands."

"I say you're full of it! If that was really true why didn't try to change the outcome of our battle!"

"It was not my destiny to be victorious in that battle! Now tell me young avatar what do you think your destiny is? Do you think you are on the path to salvation or a path of ultimate destruction?!"

"I have heard enough of your poison Vaatu, I’m leaving!" Korra shouted as she made her way to the southern portal. Once she reached it she reaches out her hands and channels her energy into it opening the portal and stepping through it.

Vaatu watches motionless as Korra leaves the spirit world and the portal quickly closes behind her. "I look forward to your choice Korra. I have been waiting a very long time."

Chapter Text

A gentle midday snow fell over a small costal Southern Water Tribe village. The villages humble market place was about as quiet as it would ever get but, it was still fairly alive. The sounds of fishermen and traveling merchants bartering back and forth with one another while children played around them filled the air. A young woman made her way through the crowds while greeting each person she passes on her way as if they were part of her own family. The girl had chest length dark brown hair which was parted down the middle and she wore a dark blue parka with white fur trimming around its neck and the sleeves. Her wardrobe was not a rare site to see in these parts of course but. What set her apart was her fair complexion and bright sliver eyes. After walking past the market she just managed to avoid a pair of young waterbenders bending snow balls at each other. As they passed she called back to them. "Hey watch it kids, that's dangerous you know."

The kids turned back to her and gave her a spirited wave. "Sorry Hama we will be careful!" They said while giggling.

Hama smiled at them and quickly moved on toward a small hut on the edge of the village. Another young woman that looked about Hama’s age was stud in front of it with a large basket in her hands. The girl seemed to notice Hama approaching and waved her over. "Hey Kanna, how's it going!?" Hama asked the woman.

The woman's expression dipped slightly in response to the question. "Well not that great, have you not heard the news Hama?" She inquired.

Hama's expression changed to one of confusion. "Heard what news Kanna? Wait, this wouldn't have anything to do with that Pakku guy right?! Don't tell me he tracked you all the way down here? If so you don’t have to worry, I can go kick his but for you if you want." Hama said while griping her fist in the palm of her hand.

Both Kanna and Hama started to giggle knowingly. "No, this is not about Pakku. I think he’s finally given up the search actually." Kanna corrected.

"If it's not about Pakku, then what has you so worried?" Hama inquired with new concern in her voice.

"There have been a lot of rumors floating around lately, rumors of Fire Nation ships raiding nearby villages. Kidnapping and killing every waterbender they come across. Really horrible stuff Hama." Kanna responded.

"What, you can't be taking those ridicules rumors seriously right!? Even if they were true, do you think I would let anyone take me down without a fight?" Hama stated while crossing her arms.

"They are not ridicules Hama! Haven't you noticed that less and less of the merchants from our neighboring villages have come through lately? Something is going on and we can’t just ignore it!" Kanna argued.

Hama placed her hand to her chin as she put Kanna’s words into thought. "Now that you mention it I didn't spot any of the regulars in the market today. Even still, we have warrior’s here and we won’t just be pushed around. And I swear I won’t let anyone take me Kanna."

"It's not just you I am worried about, what about the children who can't defend themselves yet?"

"I will defend them too! I won't let the Fire Nation do whatever they please with my family!" Hama shouted.

"You can't beat an army on your own Hama! Maybe I should return to the north, I could bring back help." Kanna said with a sad expression.

"No Kanna, that is out of the question! If you go back there they will never let you out again. Have you tried talking to the Chief about this?" Hama inquired.

Kanna nodded in response. "Yes I have but all he told me was that I don’t need to get involved with political affairs."

"Typical, all men are the same!" Hama scuffs while rolling her eyes.

"Hama he really isn't like that he was just…" Kanna was cut off as noticed something odd. The bright white snow falling around them was beginning to change. It was darkening, turning black. “Kanna reached out to catch a snow flake in her hand and robbed it between her fingers.

Horror and confusion soon spread across the two girls faces. Hama turned and stared up into the sky. "Kanna is this black snow what I think it is?"

"The rumors all said that black snow always fell before a big attack! Hama we need to warn everyone right now!" Kanna shouted.

Hama’s eyes narrowed as she turned towards the walls of their village. She could see the dark clouds approaching them and it caused her fists to clench. She then turned back toward her friend to see her already pale complexion had turned white as a ghost. "Go to the Chief Kanna, he will have to listen to you now!" Hama commanded before marching further from the village center towards the walls.

"Wait, Hama what about you?! What are you doing?! Kanna questioned as she ran out in front of her friend.

"What does it look like I’m doing? I’m going to the walls. I will hold them for as long as I can.” Hama responded in a serious tone.

"Hama your talking crazy, you should at least wait for back up! Besides we don't even know for if it really is the Fire Nation!" Kanna retorted.

“We can’t take that chance Kanna!” Hama shouted as she pushed her way past.
“Hey wait, you stubborn little!” Kanna shouted as she gave chase. Kanna followed Hama until they both reached the top of the nearest wall. Once at the top they looked on in horror a small fleet of Fire Nation ships came into view. Several were already approaching the shore. And the sounds of heavy machinery and panicked screams of their water nation kin soon echoed across the white tundra as the ships readied their catapults.

Hama turned back around and yelled at her companion. "Kanna, get down!" As soon as the words left her lips a volley of massive fireballs flew over the small icy walls of the village. Their walls began to crumble and melt away as several low arching shots collided with them. And the rest zoomed across the sky into the heart of the village destroying several homes and setting fire to what little burnable mistrials the small ice covered village had to offer.

The village was quickly sent into a panicked frenzy as parents rushed to find their children, merchants stashed their wares, and what few warriors they had at hand rushed to prepared for the battle that was sure to be ahead of them but. There was not nearly enough time. Within moments the fire benders were descending upon them. Worst of all they marched right in through the front gates and began setting fire to everything in sight.

Hama stud back up to take in the carnage and Kanna came up beside her. "Stay low Kanna I am going in!" Hama shouted as she leaped from the wall down to the ground several feet below. Not trusting the snow to soften her fall Hama then lifted her arms up in a waving motion to turn the white powder into water and bend the water up from the ground to meet her. The water rapped itself around her body and she road it all the way down to the surface.

Right after landing she popped out of the liquid slide and was instantly met by gaze of two startled fire benders who quickly took bending stances. Hama did the same and for a moment all they did was stare each other down. Both of them were dressed in the traditional fire bending armor. The traditional armor of a fire bender is normally painted in red and black and is sharpened at just about every possible point. It also tends to have a strange white mask attached to the helmet that makes its wearer look more like monsters then a man. A disturbing design but Hama can’t help feel like it's a fitting look for them. As far as it being used as a fear tactic goes it falls a bit short however, since all it really does is make it easier for her to forget she’s fighting a real human being.
The fire benders shift their feet as they begin to move in closer. Hama remains motionless carefully watching their movements and waiting for an opening. A moment later and the fire benders went into action by taking a large step forward and releasing two incredibly hot blasts of fire in Hama’s direction. Wasting no time Hama flicked her wrists to pull water up from the ground around her and using it to create a thick wall of ice in between her and her attackers. As the flames made contact with the frozen wall it began releasing plumes of steam at an explosive rate that instantly blanketed the area in the mist.

“Did we get her?!” One of the fire benders inquired to his partner.

“I don’t know, stay sharp!” The second bender replied while both of the fire benders franticly searched through the blinding haze to locate their opponent but. Their visibility was all but completely cut off and was clearing at a snails pace. Meanwhile Hama had used the chance to bend her way under the icy surface and into the frigid water bed below. By the time the steam had cleared Hama already managed to bend away the thick plate of ice above her effectively carving a massive hole under the fire bender’s feet.

Then Hama shot back up from under the ice and landing back on its surface behind the fire benders. Noticing the water bender had come out of hiding the fire benders quickly spun around to face her but before they could even think of launching another attack Hama shifted her weight and widened her stance while raising both her arms up into the air in a thrusting motion. In quick response to her movement the now thinned lair of ice holding up the fire benders broke away as a large pillar of water erupted from the opening beneath them. Then she shifted her stance again and thrust both her hands downward reversing the waters flow pulling both her opponents under the surface before she used what water remained to freeze the opening back up sealing them under the surface.

With her first opponents dealt with Hama relaxed her stance slightly. "That should do the trick, now whose next?" She asked herself before turning towards the rest of the village in order to take in the battle. To say it was complete chaos wouldn’t be an understatement with the fire benders employing more then unusual tactics. It seemed like they were focusing on capturing the water benders and seemed to be paying no attention to the warriors and the non-bending civilians. She also noted that they were all equipped with heavy hand nets and were using them to snare the benders before dragging them out of the village. Seeing more then enough Hama launched into fray before going into a flurry of attacks. She began bending waves of water at every enemy that came near and doing what she could to support her fellow villagers until. All of her nearby comrades were captured and dragged off and before she could do a thing to stop them, they turned their sights on her by launching a net at from behind. Hama quickly spins in place and swipes her hand along the ground to summon up a razor thin wave of water to split the net in half.

After doing so Hama prepares another counter attack but is met with silence as the bender who had thrown the net had already begun to retreat. Confusion quickly came over Hama as she turned back and forth to see that all fire nation soldiers were now retreating at full speed, each dragging nets holding her comrades behind them.

Angry begun to flared up inside Hama before she strained her lungs to convey it. "Come back you here you cowards!" Receiving no response she broke into a sprint to give chase while bending up water from the ground as she went to fire icy spears at her enemies hoping to ether pin them down or at least cut her comrades free. She was soon joined by the other warriors and what remained of her fellow water benders, and they chase the raiders all the way back to their ships. Unfortunately they could only save a hand full of their people before they were dragged onto the fire nation ships and were out their reach.

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A few days have pasted since then and the attacks have continued relentlessly. And in each battle Hama can always be found on the front lines fighting to defend her home with everything she has. Many of those who she had managed to save in the previous battles have begun to rally behind her. They say that it’s their gratitude towards their champion that gives them the strength to keep fighting. Hama knew better however. She has even been honored for her valor several times but it only makes it worse. In truth all this was to keep her fighting, to keep her going in a war they had no chance of winning. She felt like she was failing them, that she didn't deserve their praise. After only a few battles they had already lost nearly a third of their water benders. On top of that a third of the benders they had left were ether elderly or children, both of which were not seen fit for the battlefield. If they continued on like this they would need a miracle just to survive.

Hama was now sat in her small home nestled in center of the village. She was leaned over a small table examining a map of the surrounding area and several locations were marked in red or black. Her eyes tracked back and forth over the map as if searching for something. After a moment of this she leaned back in chair and let out an exasperated sigh. “It’s hopeless, how am I supposed to figure out where they are holding their captives. They could be days away by now and there is just no way to track them. If something doesn’t change soon next battle could be our last.” Hama then shifted in her seat as hairs began to stand on end. Moments later almost as if an answer to her prayers the space behind her erupted in a blindingly bright light that completely enveloped her and her small home. The light was brighter and more stunning than anything Hama had ever seen before. So much so it was frightening.

"What in the name of the Moon Spirit!" Hama shouted as she jumped out her chair and faced the light as it began to fade. As it’s blare lessened the Hama released that there was a human like figure standing before her. It was unfamiliar but not alien. It was the figure of an elderly women water tribe woman and she appeared to be laying flat on the floor of her home. Hama's heart was pounding out of her chest at this point but, the women looked as if she could be hurt so she pushed back her terror and rushes to her side. "Hello ma’am, who are you? Are you hurt anywhere?! Can you hear me?!"

The after some mild prodding from Hama the old woman begins to stir and a moment later her eyes finally flutter open and dart back and forth through the room before focusing on Hama herself. The woman then lets out a soft groan before addressing her. "My head feels so hazy, where am I?" What happened to me?"

Hama helps the woman sit up before answering. "This is a village in the southern water tribe and this is my home. As far as how you got here, I would like to know that myself quite frankly. All I remember seeing was a bright flash of light before I found you laying here on my floor."

The elder simply nodded as if this was a normal thing. "Is that so? Hmm, now you say this is your home correct? Who mite you be young lady?"

"Pardon me but is it not common courtesy to introduce yourself, before you ask for some one else’s name?” Hama's tone clearly conveyed slight annoyance with the sudden and ridiculous nature of the situation.

The woman chuckled slightly before speaking. "This young one calling me on my manners, very well child my name is…" The woman seemed to stop mid sentence and a long pause followed. This made Hama worry that the woman had gone senile or perhaps she was just mad but ether way she just wanted to be through with this. Then the women's expression suddenly changed. It was as if the haze that had been clouding her had finally lifted. The woman stud up on her feet and gestured for Hama to do the same. Once they were both back on their feet the woman cleared her throat so she could speak clearly. "I am Katara, I am also from the Southern Water Tribe."

"I see it's a pleasure to meet you Katara. I am called Hama. Now you say you’re also a member of our tribe but, I am guessing you're not from this village since I have never seen you around here before. Is that the case?" Hama inquired.

Katara's eyes widened and she quickly stepped back to put distance between herself and Hama. "I see, so this is what you were like.” Katara mumbled to herself.

Katara’s odd behavior granted her a few strange looks from Hama as she began to seriously consider the idea that the woman before her was be a few fish shy of a basket. “Right, what are you talking about?”

Seeming to ignore Hama’s question Katara’s eyes went back to taking in her surroundings before settling back on Hama. “Tell me Hama, what year is it?"

“What a strange question to ask, maybe this women really has gone senile if she doesn’t even know what year it is. No wait Hama the woman arrived in a flash of light lets at least just humor.” Hama thought to herself before answering. “It's 40 AG the Year of the Monkey of course."

Katara's eyes instantly became as sharp as razors and they were still focused directly on Hama. "I take it that the Fire Nation's raids have already begun then?"

Hama was a bit taken back by this question. Something about the way she asked the question seemed off. Almost as if she expected the raids. "Yes they have but wait how did you know about the attacks?!"

"Tell me Hama do you wish to defend your people from the Fire Nation?!" Katara shouted completely ignoring Hama's question once again.

"Wha.. Of course I do! That’s what I have been trying to do this whole time but this war is hopeless! We can't win!"

Katara nodded in agreement. "Indeed the way things are going now you won't win."

At this point Hama had about had it with this woman’s strange questions and cryptic responses. If Hama didn’t get some answers soon she was likely to snap. "Oh is that right? Then why are you here?! What is it you are trying to say?! Who are you really?!" The anger and frustration in Hama's voice could only be missed by the deaf.

"I told you already, I am Katara of the Southern Water Tribe but. What’s important right now is not who my identity Hama. It's what I have come to give to you is what’s truly important. For the survival of our tribe, our home land depends on it."

"And that would be?!" Hama howl.

Katara’s eyes and voice softened as she reached out to place her hands on Hama’s shoulders and give her a smile. "It's hope Hama. What I have come to give you, its hope.”

Hama thrashed in Katara’s grasp as she spoke. "Hope? What kind of hope could you possibly have for us!?" The anger and frustrations was still present in her words but there was something else as well. She was tired, very, very tired.

"Hope comes in many forms my child. The kind I have come to offer you is the kind that comes when you have power. And I have come to give you the greatest power of all, the power of knowledge." Katara offered.

Hama started to chuckle. "Knowledge, is that what all this build up has been for? What kind of knowledge could you possibly have that could turn the tides here?"

Katara’s tone became serious as she responded to Hama’s question. "I am glad you asked my dear because it seems we have a much to discuss. Perhaps I should start at the beginning."

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Hama’s Journal

It has been a few months since master Katara has come to the village. Where she came from is still a mystery but, that does not matter anymore.

She has become are savior in our greatest moment of need. We don’t know how but, she has predicted all of the raider’s movements. When they will attack, which direction they will come from, even where they will drop anchor for the night. With this information we are able to launch a far better defense. Also during full moons we are able to track down their camps and launch counter attacks. During one such full moon we have even managed to free several of our tribesmen from captivity. On top of that master Katara has began training are benders for combat. Male, female, young, and old it matters not to her she trains everyone without restraint. She is truly a master of the water bending arts and I have learned much from her myself.

With that said there is one skill she has been hiding from me. A skill I didn’t think was possible until I seen it for myself. On the night of the last full moon I seen her use it. We walked into a trap, we would have all been killed if it was not for that ability. She turned the enemy against each other. She moved them around like puppets on strings. I have asked her how she did it but, the look that enters her eyes when I do is of pure terror. I have tried to bring it up few times since then but, Katara will not go into the subject.

A few weeks have passed since my last entry. I still have not convinced Master Katara to teach me. She says it’s a cursed skill, one that is never meant to be used. She says it would be better if it never existed, and that it should die with her. I just can’t understand why she is trying to bury something so valuable. The ability has so many possibilities. It could be the power that restores the Southern Water Tribe’s former glory.

The full moon is coming soon, if Master Katara does not wish to teach me I will have to do it myself. I will master this ability and show her what good it can do for are people.

It has been almost three years since my last entry. I guess things have been so busy lately I have not had time to ink down my thoughts. The tribe has begun to prosper again. We have united the tribes and have started construction of what will be the new Capital City of the Southern Water Tribe. We have decided that we shale name the City after are greatest hero. The very hero who had saved us from the Fire Nation threat and that made one of the greatest discoveries in water bending history. The city shale be called New Hama.

Chapter Text

97 - AG Year of the Snake

The Fire Lord's war room was alive with chatter and arguing. A long table depicting the map of the world was set out in the middle of the room and it was flanked by five male figures on each side. At the head of the table is a curtain of roaring flame that separated the fire lord's throne from the rest of the war room. And Zuko the young prince of the Fire Nation sat at the end of the table closest to the throne and his father. This was the first time he had been allowed to take part in an official war meeting but he was egger to prove his worth.

To that end he listened quietly as the seasoned generals around him bicker back and forth about each other's failures with the Water Tribe invasions and how the avatar still had yet to be found. He watched as one of the older Generals got to his feet and cleared his throat to speak. It seems he has been tasked with invading one of the Earth Kingdom's most defended areas. Zuko glanced over to his uncle, General Iroh otherwise known as the Dragon of the West. Iroh's normally cheerful expression was nowhere to be found as was normally the case during these meetings. Iroh was feared on the battlefield for his military strategy and firebending mastery but he was a gentle soul at heart. And he seemed to have a great dislike for this general and it wouldn't take long for Zuko to understand why.

The old general in question begins to address room. "The Earth Kingdom defenses are concentrated here a dangerous battalion of their strongest earth benders and fiercest warriors." The general says while motioning to a location on the map at his feet. "So I am recommending the 41st division." He continued before he slid a small figure marked as the 41st forward across map.

Several of the other Generals shared a few confused glances before one of them spoke up. "But the 41st is entirely new recruits, how do you expect them to defeat a powerful Earth Kingdom battalion?"

The first general chuckled slightly before responding. "I don't, they'll be used as a distraction while we mount an attack from the rear what better to use as bait than fresh meat?"

Such a cruel plan didn’t sit well with Zuko but he knew that if he spoke out against the general right here it could bring him trouble but. He couldn't let this dishonorable plan stand. Zuko got to his feet and yelled. "You can't sacrifice an entire division like that! Those soldiers love and defend our nation how can you betray them!?" Then after Zuko had finished his rant he was met by wide eyed stares from the rest of the room. He looked down towards his uncle and he seen that he was as white as a ghost. "I really messed up didn't I?" He thought to himself.

The curtain of fire between Zuko and his father suddenly erupted behind him. The fire shot up to nearly twice its size and when Zuko spun around to see what was had happened he realized that his father was now on his feet. He then felt his fathers tempted voice ring in his ears. "Zuko! You have forgotten your place! This act of disrespect cannot go unpunished!"
"Father I…" Zuko tried to speak but was cut off as his father continues.

"Zuko, there is only one way to settle matters such as this. You must fright and prove yourself in an Agni Kai! Will you fight my son?!” The Fire Lords words were commanding. It was clear he was not asking this of him but telling him.

Zuko shutters slightly at the words mention. An Agni Kai is a fire bending duel between two Fire Nation citizens who have found themselves in a disagreement. Zuko has never battled in an Agni Kai before but he has seen many of them during his time in the palace and they rarely ended well. He turned towards the older general who suggested the dishonorable plan and his eyes measured the man before him carefully. He knew better to underestimate the people on his father's war council but. He knew that this general had not seen combat in many years and Zuko was improving every day. "I am not afraid!" Zuko declared.

"We shall see Zuko. Now guards remove him from my sight!" The Fire Lord shouted causing a group of armored guards to step into view and grab Zuko by the arms.

Zuko was then quickly escorted out of the war room by the group of royal guards. From there he was taken back to his room where he was held until the details of the Agni Kai had been decided. Later that day a messenger was sent to his room to inform him that the duel would take place in a weeks' time and that he was forbidden from leaving the palace grounds until then. That detail mattered little to the young prince though since he had no intention of running away. His honor would never allow him to show such cowardice. After he settled his mind Zuko decided it was time he got some rest and laid down for the night.

*Bang* *Bang* *Bang*

Several hours later Zuko was violently awoken by an incredibly loud banging on the door to his chambers. Zuko jerked up out of his bed and looked around to inspect his surroundings. He quickly realized that it was still in the middle of the night. There would be no reason for a servant to knock so loudly, not unless they had a death wish. And so he had no idea who would want to see him at this late hour. "Who's there!?" He called out towards the door but only louder banging followed. Zuko was now on his feet and had taken up a fighting stance as he slowly approached the door. "Answer me!" Zuko commanded but still there was no response was given. Only louder knocking followed. Zuko's hands began to glow red hot as fire danced around his finger tips. His flames fueled by both fear and anger. Once he finally reached the door, Zuko took a moment to prepare himself for whatever may be waiting for him beyond it. He then rapped his and around the handle feeling the metal sizzle as it made contact with his fiery palm before he ripped the door open and pulled back is burning fist for an attack. His attack was stopped dead in its tracks as his visitor came into view. His fear quickly subsided but his anger remained. "Azula, what are you doing here?! And why didn't you answer me when I called out to you?!"

In front of Zuko's door stud a young girl with long dark hair. She was dressed in a black evening gown with red and gold trimming and her face wore a small crooked grin. She giggled to herself before responding. "Come now Zuzu what's wrong with a worried sister coming to visit her dying brother in his final moments?"

"What are you babbling about Azula?!" Zuko snapped.

"Dear brother, don't you know? Have you any idea what it is you have done? Azula said dryly as she pushed her way into Zuko’s room. She then leaned in and placed a finger to his chest. “I heard about the Agni Kai you know? I figured I would come and see you one last time before it became too late."

Zuko's brows narrowed as his hands ignited once again. "What of the Agni Kai! Do you suggest that I will lose to that washed up excuse of a general?!"

Azula's eyes seemed to light up as her grin became wider. "You really have no idea do you? Oh this is going to be fun to watch!" Azula quickly turned on her heels and dashed out of Zuko's room laughing like a complete manic before disappearing down the hall.

Zuko slammed the door behind her and swore under his breath. "What in the name of the spirits is wrong with her? No, don't let her get to you! Azula always lies, Azula always lies." He said to himself over and over again. After a moment of chanting he was finally relaxed again and makes his way back to his bed. Right when he was about to lie back down again he noticed a bright glow emanate from underneath the entrance to his room. "What now?! Don't tell me Azula went and set fire to my door?!" Zuko shouted before jumping back up and rushed towards the door and ripping it open once again. "What the hell is going on…"
When Zuko opened the door he was stunned as he came face to face with an unfamiliar elderly man dressed in royal Fire Nation armor. The light that had drawn him to the door seemed to have disappeared completely and the man began to speak to Zuko in a familiar tone. "Hello young prince Zuko, tell me do you know who I am?"

Zuko found himself unable to form words and so he shakes his head in response. Zuko feels as if he has seen the man somewhere before but for the life of him he just couldn’t place it. The man bears a rather striking burn scar on one side of his face. And Zuko felt like he would remember somebody with such a defining feature. "Who… Who are you? What are you doing here?" Zuko finally manages.

"Who I am is not so important.” The man says jokingly. “And I am here to see you of course. I have come to give you a warning."

"What could you be here to warn me about?" Zuko inquired.

"It's about your future, our future." The man responded.

Zuko was becoming tiered of the man’s cryptic answers and his earlier interruption didn’t help his mood ether so he was becoming quite frustrated. "What do you mean by our future? Who are you?!"

The elderly man reaches out toward the young prince. "Zuko I…" Zuko bats the man's hand away sending a flash of light and sparks flying as they made contact.

The sudden jolt caused Zuko to jump back in fright, afraid his visitor may be trying to attack him. "What was that just now?! Did you just try to hit me with lightning!?" Zuko notices that the man's whole body was now glowing with the same bright light that he had seen before. And the man's image was becoming more and more blurry with each passing second. “What in the name of the spirits is happening!?”

The old man glanced down at his fading arms and back towards the prince. "It seems like we shouldn't be this close. I don't have much time then." The man quickly pushed his way past the threshold of the door and into Zuko’s chambers and towards the young prince himself.

Zuko was startled by the sudden movement and retook his firebending stance. “Don’t come any closer! I’m warning you!” Zuko threatened but the man pressed onward. “Fine you asked for this!” He shouted before taking a step forward and thrusting his first forward causing a cone of flames to be released from his fist in the direction of the elder. The man flicks his wrist and splits the cone of flame in half before extinguishing it completely. Zuko was stunned by the relative easy his attack was dealt with and before he could ready another the man had already closed the distance between them and grabbed hold of Zuko’s forehead. The light emanating from the man intensified and lightning began to shoot out in every direction while the man begins to flicker even more violently. "What are you doing, let go!?" Zuko shouted before sudden mass of images rush through his mind. He was seeing so much at once he didn’t know how to process it all. He saw himself dueling with his father. Then he saw himself begging for mercy and a burning pain shoots through him as his father shows him none. Tears begin to flow from his eyes as he sees himself searching for the avatar and failing again and again. He falls to his knees and trembles as he sees himself traveling with his uncle and his own betrayal. Then his expression shifted as images of himself back home with Mei by his side began to appear. Then he saw himself training the avatar, and then dancing with dragons, and then a comet and his sister trying to kill him. The images were moving faster and faster now, almost too quick to take in. He felt like his mind was about to break.

The man finally released Zuko from his grasp now causing Zuko to fall flat on the floor. Zuko gasped for air before grasping his head as if he was in pain. He struggled to refocus himself on the barely visible specter in front of him. The man opened his mouth and began to speak. The words were barely audible but Zuko some how knew what he was asking him. "Do you know who I am Zuko?"

Zuko sucked in another breath of air and tried to straiten himself as much as possible. "Fire Lord Zuko?" The young prince managed to squeeze out in between gasps.

The old man mouth curled into a smile. "Remember what Uncle has taught you Prince Zuko, he is wiser then he seems…." The old man's voice begins to fade as the light over takes him and he dissipates.

Zuko reaches up from the floor grasping at the fading light. "No! Wait I have so many questions I want to ask you!" It was too late the man was gone. As the light faded away Zuko reeled back as he was hit by a second wave of images, things were different some how. These images were even more unsettling. They were broken and distorted but without a doubt off. "Something has changed, something is wrong!" Zuko said as mind numbing pain shot through his head. Zuko rolled back and forth screaming in pain until he finally passed out.

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It has been one week since Zuko's Agni Kai was declared. Nearly the whole court had been relieved of their duties to insure they were in attendance. An Agni Kai was common place in the palace and rarely would such an audience be gathered to witness one but. This was a special case however. A royal Agni Kai would have ripple effects no matter who the victor was and none wished to be uninformed. The time of the duel had arrived and the audience waited patiently for the duelists to arrive. One of the doors leading to the arena creaked open and Zuko was the first to enter. His movements were sluggish but steady, it was clear he was nervous but also had an air of confidence about him. Zuko took a moment to look over the arena that he would be fighting in. It was one of their oldest arena and it was simple in design. It was small, rectangular, and made of tiled stone. At each corner of the arena stud a large burning torch and a large Fire Nation Banner hung from the far wall. On each long side of the arena were stone bleachers filled with Fire Nation generals and nobility that filled the air with both exited and horrified chatter. Zuko heard many whispers that indicated that his subjects lacked faith in him but he ignored them.

Zuko moved toward the arena itself to take his position but was blocked as his sister Princess Azula stepped in front of him. Her face was curled up into its usual devilish grin. "So Zuzu have you figured it out yet? Do you know what's about to happen to you?" She inquired.

"Those who are not involved are forbidden from entering the arena Azula. Now step aside I must get into place!" Zuko commanded while ignoring her question.

Azula's eyes narrowed with a touch of annoyance. "Gees you have been no fun lately! And to think I even considered asking him to go easy on you but, fine you're on your own now. Good bye Zuzu." Azula huffed before storming off to take her spot in the stands next to General Iroh who was as pale as a ghost.

Zuko shook his head as he moved on and repeated his mantra. "Azula always lies. Azula always lies." After calming himself Zuko signed as came to the edge of the arena and began to scale its steps. A moment later and he had finally entered the arena and had turned his back toward the center before kneeling where he waited in position for his opponent to arrive. Several minutes had passed without any activity which put him a little on edge but. Then finally the crowd’s relentless chattering finally fell completely silent. Zuko takes this silence to mean that his opponent had entered the arena and the sound of footfalls behind him supported the theory.

A moment later and they were given the signal for the Agni Kai to begin. Zuko stud up and spun around to face his opponent. Zuko flinched slightly as his own father came into view instead of the aged General but, Zuko didn't feel surprised by this outcome. He felt he should be but for whatever reason he was more collected then he can ever remember being. It was almost as if this was meant to be. It was almost like it was destiny.

Despite this Zuko didn’t care for the idea of battling his father if he could avoid it. "I don't wish to fight you father. Surely there is another way." He said in a calm tone.

"I am not your father here boy! I am Fire Lord Ozai and there is no running away from this! You will fight Zuko! You will learn respect!" The Firelord said in a condescending voice.

Fire Lord Ozai was a large well built man. He had long black hair and a large goatee hanging from his chin. Despite seeing little combat within the palace, he is still seen as one of the greatest fire benders in the world. Not an opponent Zuko would normally be any match for normally but. Zuko had a new strength, one Ozai would never expect. One Zuko would have never thought possible before a few nights ago. He still wasn’t completely sure what had happened to him but. He knew what he had to do now and he wouldn’t hesitate any longer. Zuko quickly took on a sturdy firebending stance.

Seeing Zuko ready himself caused Ozai to chuckle slightly. “Willing to fight after all are we? Maybe there is some hope for you yet.” He stated before rushing towards Zuko with embers seeping from the edges of his mouth. Once he had closed the distance between himself and Zuko to about a few feet he let loose a roaring breath of fire from his mouth which quickly over took Zuko’s position. Rather then try to avoid the roaring flames Zuko stepped into the fire and clapped his hands together and parting the flame as he bent it around himself. The move created a gap in the flame wide enough for him slip through. When he did Zuko leapt up and over his father and he landed on his feet behind him. Ozai spun around with a slightly surprised expression on his face but, before he could react Zuko had created a pair of fiery daggers in the palm of each of his hands and was charging his father head on. Zuko stabbed and slashes at his father wildly but Ozai easily evades his attacks until he spun in place creating a wave of fire to force his son back.

"Zuko, I must emit you are doing better then I expect. Tell me when did you improve this much?" Ozai said with a condescending tone.

"I can't remember, maybe I have always been this way. With how little you pay attention, what makes you think you would notice such things to begin with?" Zuko retorted in the same condescending tone.

Ozai’s expression quickly clenched up in anger. "You dare mock me child!?" He shouted while stomping on the ground and extending his hands upward. In response to Ozai’s movements the torches on the far corners of the arena all erupted in towering pillars of flame before the massive waves of fire were sent bearing down on Zuko.

Zuko swung his arms and feet to shot jets of flame from them to propel himself across the arena and out of the fire balls strike area just before it was completely scorched. He followed it up by jetting back towards his father and releasing a pair of twin flame throwers from his hands with both were aimed directly at the Fire Lords feet. Ozai jumped into the air and held himself up off the ground by creating his own jet of flame until Zuko accelerated and rammed into his father knocking him out of the air and down onto the red hot stone tiles below. Ozai yelped in pain on contact with the hot stone and quickly used his bending to once again propel himself only this time into a roll to get himself off of the burning tiles before his skin piled. Once he came to a stop on the cooler end of the arena his expression began to twist even further into anger. He then glanced over to see his son Zuko now completely out of control. Zuko finally decides to stop bending and finally came crashes down on the opposite side of the arena with a thud.

Ozai was the first back to his feet. And now he had pure rage and anger now fueling his already intense flames. "I see now that normal discipline will not be enough for you!" He shouted as electricity began to dance around his finger tips.

Seeing this Zuko quickly jumped back up to his feet and had taken up a defensive stance. "What’s wrong father you seem rather upset?" Zuko taunted causing a wave of murmurs to come over the crowd again, most of them questioning his sanity and most quickly being sorted out as he focused on the task at hand but. One voice broke through.

“Brother, stop this madness!” General Iroh shouted as he jumped to his feet causing Princess Asula who was sat next to him to cover her face in a mix of shame and horror.

Ozai glanced over at his brother and began to release a sinister chuckle. “This is not your place to speak General! This is for Zuko’s own good!”

The expression on Iroh’s face was one of pure horror as he spoke. “You can’t seriously think shooting your own son with lightening is for his own good!? Have you gone mad brother!?”

“Silence or I will have your head!” Ozai shouted before refocusing on Zuko who was still waiting in his stance. "Now Zuko, you will learn respect. And suffering will be your teacher!" Ozai roar as he took a step forward and released the built up charge of lightning from his finger tips. The lightning snaked its way across the arena toward the Prince with incredible speed but. Zuko was prepared for this. No he was counting on this! Zuko extending his right ring and index fingers in front of the incoming lightning and pulled the lightning charge into his own body. This action caused the collective breath of the audience to catch.

"I will have to turn you down there, I have suffered enough to last me a life time already and it has already taught me more than enough! Like for example how to beat you father!" Zuko shouted while stealing a glance down towards his uncle and sister. Shock was spread through the whole court but. For once Azula seemed speechless, and Iron had a look of both confusion and horror painted on his features but, Ozai’s expression was the most shocked of all. Or at least it would be momentarily.

Zuko channeled the lightning through one of his arms before directing it down into the pit of his stomach and finally back up through his second arm which was now pointed directly at Ozai. The moment this action was completely the lightning shot out with even more power than it had before it entered. Ozai simply stud frozen like statue until the bolt hit its mark. A surge of electricity struck Ozai directly in the chest knocking him backward several feet onto to the ground just outside of the arena. Ozai's body twitched violently for a moment as the remaining electricity made its escape before going completely limp.

Zuko was now completely exhausted and every bone, muscle, and fiber of his being still felt like it was on fire. Still Zuko managed to push through it and limp his way over to his fallen father and leaned over him to speak. "There, looks like I win. Are you surprised, you are right!?" That’s when Zuko noticed that his father's chest was not moving. A feeling of dread quickly set in as he dropped down to his knees and put ear to his father's chest. Zuko's eyes widened and tear's began to escape his eyes. The crowd focused their gaze on the young prince as royal doctors stormed the arena to attend to their fallen ruler.

Moments later the doctors turn toward the crowd and pick Zuko up onto his feet. One of the doctors stepped out in front of the crowd to speak. “Noble citizens of the Fire Nation, it is my duty to inform you that the Fire Lord is dead.” He then turned towards Zuko causing the crowd’s gaze to follow. “Long live the Fire Lord!"

Chapter Text

98 AG — Year of the Horse

Deep within the icy tundra of the south pool sits an ancient forest of great spiritual power. In the center of this small forest rests one of the two portals that connect the human world with the spirit world. The two portals have lain dormant in both worlds for thousands of years. And they should have remained that way for about a hundred more but. The fate of the world has begun to shift and what direction it will go from is still a mystery and only time will tell.

The center of the forest where the spirit world portal rests was and quite until it suddenly sparked to life and erupts and a bright pillar of light shoots into the sky. It reaches further than the eye can see and the dark sky lights up with a beautiful spectrum of color. And a moment later a long girl steps out from the massive pillar of light and turns to face it.

The girl turned to face the portal as if inspecting it. "Well I better close this back up I suppose. It would be really quite bad if a few spirits decided to come out and I think it could be even worse if humans found their way in." The girl said before she reached to the portal and placed her hands inside of it. When she did her eyes began to emanate a similar bright white light. And a moment later the pillar of light faded and the portal was sealed once more. "I just can't take any chances with Vaatu still around."

A shrill voice echoed from behind the girl. "Oh so you don't like Vaatu ether? I guess you wouldn't with you being the avatar and all."
“Who’s there!?” Korra shouted as she spun around in a panic to locate the source of the voice. She didn’t see anything at first so she glances back and forth for a moment trying to fide whatever it was that had just spoken to her but, to no avail.

"What are you doing miss avatar?" The voice returned and it was now right next to her ear now.

She slowly turned her head to see a nearly transparent serpent resting on her shoulder. "EEHHH!" Korra shrieked as she tries to bat it away.

The serpent quickly dived off her shoulder and out of the way before it began to hover in the air. "What's the matter haven't you ever seen a spirit before? You are the avatar aren't you?" It asked.

The full form of the serpent like specter finally came into Korra’s full view. And now realizing that it was a spirit she was dealing with she managed to relax herself slightly. "Oh you're a spirit, sorry about that. I just wasn’t expecting a spirit to pop up like that. And to answer your question, yes I am avatar and my name Korra. Now that I answered your question, why don’t you answer one of mine? How did you get out here? Did you slip through the portal just now?"

"Yes, it seems your observation doesn’t not completely fail you avatar.” The serpent retorted before going into an explaining. “I had always wanted to see the human world for myself. I have only been alive for a few hundred years now so I didn't get to see it before Avatar Wan sealed the portals. I have to say though it's a lot darker and colder than I had expected." The serpent said as it looked around the dark cold forest.

Korra chuckled slightly. "This is the middle of the south pool and its night time right now. Most of the world isn’t this cold and half of the time it has the light of the sun to brighten things up a bit. So as it is now, it's not really a very good example." Korra explained.

"Oh I see.” By the serpents tone it was clear it didn’t really understand. “The human world is a strange place isn't it?" It asked.

"You know, most humans would say the same thing about the spirit world.” Korra said jokingly. “Oh by the way do you know what year it is?"

The serpent looked confused for a moment before responding. "Sorry avatar but us spirits don't tend keep track of time like you humans do. We only know how long we have existed."

"I see, well I’m sure I will find out soon enough." Korra stated before turning and starting on her way out of the forest.

The spirit watched Korra walk away for a moment before quickly giving chase and snaking its way up Korra's sleeve. "Hey what the heck are you doing!?" Korra shouted.

The serpent scrummed around inside of Korra’s shirt for a member before finally settling and poking its head out of her collar to speak to her. "I could ask you the same thing Avatar. I told you I wanted to see the human world didn't I so what's the harm in me coming along with you?"

"Hey look here, I’m very busy right now and humans aren't really use to dealing with spirits at the moment. And besides I can't really afford to draw attention to myself." Korra responded with an air of annoyance.

"Oh, is that all? You don't need to worry about that, most humans won't even be able to see me anyway. Also I can't even go home now that the portals closed so I have no where else to go. Surely the bridge between worlds isn’t thinking of abandoning me here all alone?"

Korra looked back at the sealed portal and breathed a sigh. "I guess I don't have much choice do I? I don’t want to open the portal again and risk letting anymore of you guys out right now. Just try not to cause me any trouble snake."

"That won't be a problem and you can call me Ataxia. That is my name after all."

"It's nice to meet you Ataxia. That's a strange name you got there."

"You know most spirits would say Korra is a strange name." Ataxia said in an annoyed tone.

"Right, sorry about that.” Korra said while letting out a half hearted chuckle. “Now let's head out!" She cheered before making her way out of the forest.

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Korra didn’t know what year it was or what to expect to find so she just marched in the direction she expected Katara's old village to be in. Even if she didn’t know what year it was she thought that surely there should be something in that area. The trip across the frozen tundra took several hours and by the time she arrived the sun was rising over the horizon. “It’s the sun.” Korra said as she stopped for a moment to watch it rise into the sky. Unlike most places in the world the amount of time the sun spends in view varies greatly depending on the season. And based on it’s position and the thin lairs of ice she could spot in the distance she figured it was some time in the summer.

"So that's the human world sun? It feels really warm indeed." Ataxia said in an exited tone.

"Yeah, that's it all right. I can't remember the last time I got to see a southern sunrise. It really feels like home.” Korra said in somber tone before spotting something out of the corner of her eye and turning to look at it. “Though that on the other hand doesn’t look like home at all!" Korra shouted while motioning to a massive fortress of ice in the distances. The walls of which were decorated with red and blue banners.

"What is that place avatar Korra? I’ve never seen a mountain quite like that in the spirit world." Ataxia inquires.

"It's not a mountain! It's a human City!" Korra responds.

"Oh I heard of those! It's a place where a lot of humans live together right?! Are they all so big?" Ataxia inquires.

"That’s what it's for but as far as I know the Southern Water Tribe never had such a large city before. Also what's with those banners? They don't look like any water tribe crest I’ve ever seen before?" The crest on the banner looked like a swirl of red and blue. It reminded Korra of a caffeinated soda drink that Varrick had developed resonantly. It had become very popular in Republic City. Though she highly doubted the two things were related in any way, so she moved in closer to take a better look.

Korra quickly sneaked across the snow covered land landscape until she had made it to the city gates which as you would expect were a lot bigger up close. Once she arrived she hid behind a few crates as a par of armored guards walked by. The crates seem to be shipments waiting for inspection now that she looked at them. Once she felt the coast was clear she carefully peered over the crates to inspect her surroundings. It didn’t take long for her to notice that there was a grouping of what armored guards stationed at the gates themselves. Their clothing did resemble that of water tribe attire but the color scheme was more then a little off. The traditional blues and whites had been switched out for reds and blacks. She also noticed that every one of the guards stationed at the gates seem to be a woman and only a few of them were holding weapons.

Korra inspect the design of the guard’s equipment carefully looking for anything she may have seen before and the unarmed guards catch her eye. "They have no weapons huh? Could they be benders? If there’ waterbenders in the south that would mean whatever time I’m in, it must be before the raids right?" Korra asked herself.

"Halt! Who goes there?!" Korra dunked down as she heard one of the guards shout in her direction. A moment later Korra peeked back out again when she realized that they were talking to someone else. She looked over to see a young water tribe girl wearing the standard blue and white clothing she is familiar with standing in front of the gates with an older man with a strangely beard standing by her side. The pair looked like they were equipped for a long journey with both of them hoisting heavy looking backpacks strapped with nap sacks and cooking pots. And based on their tattered clothing, they had already been on the road a long time.

The young water tribe girl gave the guards a low bow before she began to speak to them. "I am Yuko of the Northern Water Tribe. I have come to learn Hama's teachings."

"Oh, is that so?” One of the guards asked as she approached the young girl and began circling around her. The guard eyed the girl up and down and looked almost like a predator preparing to pounce. The guard finally stopped in front of the girl and leaned in to ask her a question. “You wish to learn how to fight?”

The girl forced down the lump that was building in her throat to respond. “Yes, more than anything!”

The guard finally gave the girl a kind smile before responding. “Well, in that case we welcome you too New Hama City." The guard turns back towards the rest of her companions and began to address them. "Looks like we got ourselves another new sister today, let her through." The group quickly stepped aside to allow the girl pass but once she did they stepped forward again to block the way as the older man tried to follow after her.

"What is the meaning of this?" The older man asks with a look of confusion painted on his features.

The first guard stepped in front of the older man. "Men aren’t allowed entry to the City without gaining approval! So you will have to wait out here until the council deems you worthy of entry."

"What, surely you jest!?” He shouted and the guard gave him a look that suggested otherwise. The man slinked back in response. “But, that's my daughter I can't leave her all alone!"

Seeing her father being held back the young girl turned and rushed back towards the guards. "Please let him come inside with me! We have been travelling for weeks?!" She pleaded.

The guard shook her head and gave the girl an apologetic look. "The rules of the city are very clear on these matters and there can be no acceptations! If you have been traveling that long you surely he can wait a little longer! If you don't want to be separated then you can both wait out here if you so choose.” She then turned back towards the man to address him. “Otherwise we can assure you that your daughter will be well taken care of until you have been approved."

The pair stared at one another for only a few seconds but the tension in the air made each one drag on for what seemed like forever. Finally the father let out a sigh stepped back. "Its fine, I will wait here. Yuko go ahead of me and get some rest my dear."

"But father…." The girl was cut off by her father giving her a stern look and the guard women's glare. "Alright I will see you soon father, try to get some rest ok." The girl was quickly led away into the depths of the massive city by a pair of guards and the father was directed away from the gates by another.

"Well that was strange but, I think I just found my way into that city." Korra said excitedly. Korra quickly sneaked around the crates and put some distance between herself and the gates before turning back around and coming down the main path that was carved into the ice.

Just as she expected the guards call out to her as well. "Halt! Who goes there?!"

Korra gave them a similar bow and introduced herself just as the girl before her had done. "I am Korra of the Northern Water Tribe. I have come to learn Hama's teachings."

"What the heck is this?!” The women shouted as she looked Korra up and down. Korra had not expect this kind of reaction so she suddenly found herself feeling nervous, as if she had done something wrong. Korra had to resist the urge to deck the woman as she look directly into Korra’s eyes. Good thing she resisted because a moment later and the guards smile returned. “Two new sisters in one day, we are going to bleed those northern fools dry at this rate!" The guardswomen shouted causing the rest to laugh amongst themselves. She then turned towards them and called out to two of them. "Ren! Su! Take our guest and show her to her new home."

"Yes ma'am!" The two guards responded as they waved Korra over and started on their way into the city.

As Korra walked down the main street she tried to take in as much of her surroundings as possible. The city was massive easily rivaling the Northern capital in scale. Though there was something strange about it. Not just the unknown crests decorating their banners and the color schemes of their clothing but also the population. The city was fairly crowded despite its large size but the distribution was heavily weighted. Out of the few hundred people she passed in the streets only about a tenth of the people she seen within the city was male and most of men were ether elderly or children.

This realization was slightly unsettling for Korra so she leaned over to one of her escorts to see if she could get more information. "So, why are there so few men here?"

"What you don't know?” The guard asked while giving Korra a strange look. “What have you been living under a rock or something?"

"Kind of, it was more like a tree." Korra said with a light chuckle.

The guards exchanged another funny look and there was a moment of awkward silence before they both started to laugh. "You’re a real country girl aren’t you? You know I kind of got that feeling with how lightly you're dressed. Gees girl how are you not frozen solid wearing that?"

Korra glanced down at her attire and realized that she was still in her Republic City clothing. Which was normally fine but it’s not really designed to handle the harsh weather of the south pool. If it wasn’t for her ability to generate extra body heat through her firebending she’d likely be freezing right about now. Korra rubbed the back of her neck nervously. “Well everyone always tells me that I’m hot blooded.” She responds while letting out a half hearted chuckle herself.

“I see, in that case you should fit right in around here.” The guard said before she started to laugh along with Korra for a moment before speaking again. "Anyway to answer your question, by Chief Hama's command men have to gain approval before they can enter the city walls. It sounds strange I know but, many of our citizens here are northern tribe girls trying to escape the repressive ways of their former home. As I am sure you may have heard the northern Water Tribe still follows the old ways of thinking. That means that regardless of the person’s potential or their willingness to fight, they will allow their women to learn how. And possibly even worst is the fact that they force them into arranged marriages. Master Hama wanted to create a safe haven for all water tribe women to learn and grow. Also as of recently we have begun taking in Earth Kingdom girls as well.

"I see, she sounds like a great women." Korra responded not sure what else to say on the matter.

The guard gave her a smile. "Indeed, with that said I personally think that the biggest foolishness of the northern Water Tribe is their failure to see the value in Hama's teachings. I just don’t understand why they don’t see the benefits of our bending."

Korra latched onto the word ‘bending’ whatever these teachings were, they seemed to be bending related. With her curiosity peak she decided press for a bit more information. "Yeah, so I have been hearing about that a lot lately. Could you tell me just what Hama's teachings are exactly?"

The guards turned towards Korra with very confused expressions on their faces. "You mean you came all the way down here to learn and you don't even know what you came here to be taught?" Suspicion was clear in their tone.

Korra quickly realized what she had done and readies herself for what was sure to follow. "Well I kept hearing about girls coming down here to learn. I couldn't shake the feeling that I was missing out, so you know…"

The guards stare at her with suspecting eyes until one of them took a fighting stance. "She’s a spy! Seize her!" The guard shouted as the second one took up her fighting stances.

Knowing her cover was completely blown Korra decided to take the first move. She quickly shifted her stance into a low well grounded one and pulled her fists backward. Using her earthbending she shifted the ground out from under both the guard’s feet causing them to lose their balance. "She’s an earth bender!?" Is all the guards could managed to squeeze out before Korra thrust both her firsts forward causing twin pillars of stone shoot up from the ground to meet them. The pillars nailed them both in the chest knocking the wind out of them and sending them stumbling backward. Then Korra rushed towards them and she grabbed hold of both their heads before slamming them against the icy ground knocking them both out cold. A moment later and Korra heard movement in the distances that told her reinforcements were on their way.

“I better get out of here.” Korra said to herself before quickly dunking down the nearest alleyway and using her earthbending once again to create a stone blockade to keep anyone from following behind her. Though since she didn’t know where to go from there she just ran through the city for what seemed like a mile until she no longer heard anyone giving chase. Once she felt safe she began to take in her surroundings again. It’s then that she noticed she had made her way into some kind of park. At the center was a statue surrounded by benches. She didn’t see anyone around so she took this chance to sit down and rest for a moment.
After catching her breath she looked up at the statue in front of her. The statue seemed to depict an elderly women performing waterbending of some sort and it doubled as a fountain. The statue seemed a little strange though. It seemed like it was in fairly good condition for the most part but the face was badly damaged and the name plate was completely missing. "I wonder what the story with this statue is. Was she somebody important? Maybe she did something wrong." Korra wondered to herself as she stud up to get a better look.

Then Korra’s shirt began to rumble slightly before Ataxia poked his head back out of her collar. "Hey, there is something I should tell you Korra."

"Not now Ataxia, I’m investigating right now!" Korra responded.

"I feel like this may be important." Ataxia said in a monotone voice.

"Fine what is it?!" Korra shouted in annoyance.

"Your friends from earlier are here to see you.” Ataxia responded.

At that moment a voice rang out from behind the pair. "You there stop were you are and don’t move!"

Korra spun around on her heels to face a group of five guards once again all female. They were spread out in front of her like a firing squad and the one in the center was the one who had called out to her. The center guard’s clothing was slightly different than the other guard’s. Her clothing was a mix of blue and red with black trimming. Her hair was long dark and hung past her shoulders completely unrestricted expect for two golden hair clips depicting dragons that were holding her hair out of her face.

The center guard stepped forward while holding a fighting stance. "You are under arrest for suspicious behavior! You can come quietly if you wish but by all means you can feel free to struggle."

Korra chuckled slightly as she took her own stance. "I will have to go with option two I’m afraid. I am far too busy at the moment to be hung up here."

The center guard smiled as she motioned to the other guards to move forward. "Very well, take her!"

All four of the guards rushed towards Korra with two of them bending streams of water at her while the other two began to bend water into spears before turning them into ice. Korra jumped and spun in the air to avoid the waves of water pouring over her before pulling the streams in to form a shield of ice in front of her to block the icy spears the second two had begun throwing at her. Then she jumped backward towards the fountain she had been stud at a moment ago and stuck both of her hands into the cool water pooling at its base. She bent the water out of the fountain and around her arms turning her appendages into a set of long watery whips. Afterward she proceeded to jump forward and kick the ice wall she created earlier at the guard's leader which she quickly evaded by flipping out of the way. The other four guards charged at Korra with water and ice weapons in hand. Korra spun in place to knock them back with her whip like appendages. She struck two of them sending them flying across the park while one flipped over it and the other bent her way through it. Korra then shifted her stance and bent the earth at their feet causing them stumble before lashing out with her whips once again. Only this time she nailed both of them and set them to join their companions on the other side of the park. Now with only one left Korra set her sights on their leader and lunged forward thrusting out with both of her arms spraying a massive way of water in her direction. Their leader quickly created a wall of ice in between them but was blown backward as the wall collapsed under the pressure.

Seeing her opponent go skidding across the snow covered ground filled Korra with a sense of satisfaction. “Is that all you got? You will have to do better if you want to take me in!” She gloated.

"Why you little!" The leader hissed before she sprang back to her feet and going into a bending stance.

"What's the matter not so confident now are you?! You don't know who you are picking a fight with!" Korra boasted.

"No you’re the one who doesn’t know who she’s up against! Don’t worry though, you will learn soon enough!" The woman shouted before she extended her arms and spread out her fingers like claws. A moment later and Korra's muscles began to shift and spasm out of control.

“What the heck is this!?” Korra screamed as she tried to regain control over her body. Then that’s when Korra remembered this feeling. She thought she had forgotten but how could she. "This is bloodbending, how!?" Korra asked as she fell to the ground. In this moment she looked up into the sky and the moon was where to be seen. "How is this possible!?"

While Korra struggled to break free of the grip their leaders grip the other guards had returned to her side and began to bend water around Korra’s arms and legs before they froze it in place. With Korra restrained the guard’s leader then approached Korra who was now flat on the ground and completely defenseless. The woman looked down at Korra with a wicked grin. "Master Hama has a lot of questions for you!" The woman then lifted her foot up to strike Korra in the head knocking her out cold.

Chapter Text

A group of red and blue clad guards drag the bound and unconscious avatar through a long hallway. The structure was made up of mostly stone with wooden walls and floors. Only the outer lair was coated in ice which is an unusual design for a Water Tribe building. Notably the building was also heavily ornate, littered with silken rugs and art work. As the group past through the threshold of a set of gilded doors Korra finally began to stir. The guards laid Korra down in the center of the room and quickly stepped back as their blood bending leader approached.

The woman looked back at her subordinates. "We have reason to believe this woman has an earth bending accomplice somewhere in the city. We don't know what their objective is but they could be targeting our special guests who should be arriving before the sun sets. I want you all to report back to the gates to assist in the escort. I will handle this one myself." The guards all bowed in agreement before departing.

At this time Korra was fading in and out of consciousness and could just make out a crackly voice of an elderly woman coming from the back of the room. "So Quen, are you going to tell me who this girl is? Why have you decided to bring her before me?"

The woman called Quen cleared her throat before responding. "Well, that's actually what I'm trying to fide out grandmother. I confronted her because she was acting strangely and I had heard reports of somebody matching her description taking out two of my girls. The strange thing is that the reports all stated that she used earth bending to do so. However after confronting her in battle myself I can say without a doubt that she is indeed a water bender. And she is a rather skilled one at that."

"How many times must I tell you its Chief Hama when we're in this room Quen?" The women responded in a slightly annoyed tone. "Now why don't we just ask the girl herself? That will surely be the fastest way to sort this all out, don't you agree?"

Quen bows her head in apology. "I'm sorry, everything is as you wish Chief Hama." Quen flicked her wrist to bend the ice bindings off of Korra's legs returning them to their watery from before dumping the cold pool of water onto of the avatar's head.

When the ice cold water made contact with her head Korra's brain jumped back to life as her eyes popped wide open and began to track back and forth to take in her surroundings. Her eyes continued to jump around frantically until they locked onto the throne in front of her. Sitting in the gilded chair was an elderly woman wearing traditional Water Tribe robes. Her hair was long and gray and her eyes were dull silver. "Where am I?! Who are you?!" Korra asked.

"You're in the presence of Master Hama, Chief of the Southern Water Empire and you will act as such!" Quen commanded before quickly stepping in front of Korra and lifting her up by the collar of her shirt. "Now, it's about time you answer some of our questions. Who are you?! Why are you in our city?! Who are you working for?!"

Korra wasn't sure how to respond. Funny enough she doubted they would believe the truth, heck she could barely believe it herself so she needed to come up with something. However her mind was still slightly hazy so she had to really push it to come up with and even reasonable excuse. "My name is Korra. I'm a native of the south but I've never been inside the city before so I was just exploring and got a little turned around. I'm not working for anyone."

"You think I would believe such lies?! If you don't start giving us real answers soon you won't like what comes next!" Quen threatened as she threw Korra to the ground and began bending the blood inside her limbs, forcing them into unnatural and painful positions. Korra screams out in pain but persists that she's telling the truth.

Quen was finally interrupted by the sound of Hama's voice. "That is enough Quen, I will deal with this child myself."

"But grandmother…" Quen turned to face Hama and was met with a baneful glare.

"The ambassador from the Fire Nation will be here any moment. If what you said is true and there is indeed another troublemaker out there then we can't take any risks. I want you to go out and great them yourself. I can deal with this girl."

"I will do as you wish Chief Hama." Quen bows before quickly storming out of the room and slamming the doors shut behind her.

Hama's eyes followed Quen along the way and when she was out of sight she let out a long sigh before glancing down at Korra and flicking her wrists to bend off the rest of her bindings. "What a strange turn of events this is. So tell me now, just what is the next unborn avatar doing in my city?"

Korra's eyes became wide and she jumped back with a look of confusion and shock spread across her face. "How do you know who I am?"

Hama expression shifts to form a grin. "My old master told me much about you and your time. She also told me about the tree and the spirit portals as well. When I seen that beacon of light appear in the sky last night I knew something special was about to happen. Just who would have thought it would be the future Avatar paying me a visit."

Korra was stunned. She couldn't make heads or tails of what was going on but one thing stuck out to her. The women before was told about her by somebody. There were only a few people who could have done that and it took her thoughts back to the talk she had with her companions before the tree activated. "When you say your old master who are you talking about?"

"I think you already know the answer to that Korra. The real question at hand is what will you do now?"

/////////////////////////////////////////

Meanwhile squads of waterbenders and armed guards stand watch as small fleet of the Fire Nations iron battle ships pull into port outside the walls of New Hama city. The moment the ships reach the dock dock hands quickly jump into action to tie them down. Moments later a small group of Fire Nation soldiers disembarks from each craft and they all gather together around the ramp of the largest and most ornate vessel in the fleet. Then the group of soldiers spread out to form neat lines and remained at intention until a voice called from the deck of the ship. "Make way, Princess Azula is disembarking!" Soon after the man spoke a group of three young women began to descend the ramp and as they were instructed all the soldiers stepped aside to allow the women to pass by while making sure to lower their heads in a polite bow as they passed. Once the girls made it to the end of the formation the soldiers quickly filed in behind the women so they could follow after them while making sure to keep a fair distance between them.

At the head of the red parade leading the way was a young women dressed Fire Nations customary red and black armor however her armor had a slightly different design than the ones of the soldiers following behind her. Her armor was far more ornate and was trimmed with gold around the edges. The girl's hair was black as night and was pulled back into tight bun that was held in place by golden hair ornament in the shape of the Fire Nations crest.

While walking across the length of the girl in question decide to glance behind her to make sure her guards weren't getting too close before turning back to her two companions to speak to them. "I am so sick of acting like Zuzu's little messenger! I am the princess of the Fire Nation! I should either be relaxing at home or crushing are enemies on the battlefield. Not doing this grunt work."

Beside the armored woman was another girl with long dark hair pulled up into a set of buns each with a long pony tail hanging from them. This girl was also dressed in Fire Nation reds and blacks however she was only sporting a heavy robe with no armor plating of any kind. In response to her complaints the second girl turned towards the armored woman and the gloomy expression she was wearing turned into a glare. "Azula! He is not your little brother anymore he is the Fire Lord, so how about you show some respect."

"Gees Mai, relax will you. It's not like I'm not proud of our little Zuzu…" Mai's glare began to intensify causing Azula to back peddle. "I mean Fire Lord Zuko. I meant that I never would've thought him capable of defeating our father, let alone being able to run our Nation so well. However with all that said, uncle is giving him a fair amount of help and I still think I could do a better job."

The third girl in the group was a girl with long brown hair tied up into a braid. Her clothes were a mixture of several different colors but most of which were either tan or pink. What was strange about this girl's choice of dress was the fact that she seemed to show far too much skin for the incredibly cold climates of the South Pool. However rather than seeming cold or bothered she seemed quite energetic and exited. "Hey Azula, what do you mean by that?" The girl inquired in a cheerful tone.

"Well Ty Lee, the first thing I would start on is making these southern dogs learn their place. Ever since Zuko decided to form an alliance with them, they have become far too arrogant. It's almost as if they consider themselves our equals. And it's especially true when it comes to that bloodbending witch Quen. I don't believe that I have ever encountered another person fuller of themselves than her. It's quite infuriating at times that all I want to do is tie her down and make her feel my fire slowly engulf her!" Azula emphasized her last statement by creating a set of blue flames in the palms of her hands and quickly snuffing them out.

Mai and Ty Lee each exchanged a knowing glance before Mai turned back to Azula and spoke in her usual mono toned manner. "It sounds to me like you just have a thing for this Quen person Azula."

"What!? That is completely!... Oh forget it, I'm not even going hummer you on that notion." Azula hissed while Mai tried in vain to stifle a laugh. "By the way, why are you even here Mai? Didn't your new brother just get born?" Azula asked while raising a finger to Mai's face. "Your presence isn't always requited, so shouldn't you be home with your family?"

Mai let out a groan before responding. "I'm here because my brother has just been born. My parents will not stop with the baby talk and it was seriously grossing me out. Besides I can't believe they decided to name him Tom-Tom, it's just so stupid."

"Ah I think it's a cute name. You guys are so lucky to have brothers. All I have is six sisters." Ty Lee chimed in gleefully. "Oh speaking of brothers, how are you and Zuko coming along? Have you made your move yet?" She asked Mai.

Ty Lee's question was met with a disgusted look from Azula and a strangely distant look from Mai. "Yeah about that, to tell you the truth Zuko asked me to marry him."

Azula and Ty Lee spoke in almost perfect sync but each used very apposing tones. "What?! When did this happen!? What did you say?!"

"It happened about a month ago when we all took that trip to Ember Island. He forced me to go on a Moonlight stroll with him down at the beach. After about an hour of him thumbing over his words he popped the question." Mai explains dryly.

"AHHH, that is so romantic!" Ty Lee cheer while she jumped up in down in between Azula's gags. "So when is the wedding?! Can I be one of your bride's maids?! I know Azula has the maiden of honor slot but I would love to be involved in some way!"

"Yeah about that, I kind of turned him down." Mai said hesitantly.

Mai's words seemed to cause Ty Lee's and Azula's expressions switch places with one each other almost instantly. Ty Lee quickly broke into another rant of questions without leaving any time to respond to any of them. Until the dead lock was finally broken by Azule. "Well Mai, I got to say I didn't expect that. I thought you were head of heels for Zuzu. Did you finally wise up?"

Mai looked slightly annoyed by Azula's choice of words but decided to ignore them this time. "It's not that I don't like Zuko. It's just that he is the Fire Lord now, marrying him means becoming the Fire Lady."

Azula gave Mai a confused look. "I don't really see the problem. I mean you would be the most powerful woman in the whole Fire Nation, well I mean besides myself of course. I figured you would jump at the chance."

Mai let out a sigh. "I'm not like you Azula. I am not interested in the throne. It's a chain that would only tie me down and I am still young. I want to enjoy my freedom just a little bit longer and besides." A look of concern came over Mai's face as she paused.

"Besides what Mai?" Ty Lee asked.

"Well it's just that Zuko hasn't really been acting like himself lately. He keeps spacing out and talking to himself. And it seems all he's ever doing in his free time these days is looking over field reports and mumbling something about them being wrong or different. That trip to Ember Island was meant to relieve some of his stress but, it seemed to only make it worse."

"No thanks to you Mai." Ty Lee pouted. Mai only rolled her eyes at Ty Lee and ignored her comment.

"I kind of always expected that Zuzu would crack eventually." Azula said in a snarky tone.

"Oh and how did you come to that conclusion Azula?" Mai asked with her annoyed tone returning.

"Think about it Mai. First our mother runs out on us. Then he accidentally kills our father and is forced onto the throne before his time. The loss of both parents with one at your own hands, together with the pressures of the throne would be enough to make just about anyone crack. Especially somebody as weak minded as Zuzu." Azula explained.

After Azula's explanation an awkward silence took hold of the trio and it persisted until they finally reached the Gates of New Hama City. Once they arrived another large group of guards came out to greet them. Quen stud among this group and quickly made her way from the back of the group to greet them face to face.

The moment Quen and Azula made eye contact Quen gave her a small bow without ever breaking eye contact. "Welcome back to New Hama City Princess Azula. I trust your trip went smoothly?"

Azula's gaze shifts toward Quen's dragon shaped hair pins then back down to her face. "Hello Quen, it went as well as it could have I suppose. I truly hate the sea." It was obvious to everyone within ear shot that Azula's comment was a jab at the Water Nations but no one called her out on it which made a smile come to Azula's face. "Enough formalities it has been far too long Quen. I'm happy to see you are making use of my gift." She said while motioning to the dragon hair pins.

Quen began to grin. "Of course, I couldn't let such a nice gift from such a good friend go to waste now could I? Now then shale we head for the palace?" Quen responded before she motioned for them to enter the city.

"May as well." Azula huffed and motioned for Mai and Ty Lee to follow her.

The rest of their guards also tried to follow after their princess but were blocked by the Water Tribe guards. One of the Fire Nation guards became angry and began to yell at the ones blocking their path. "What is the meaning of this?! Let us through!" He commanded.

"Men cannot enter without approval! No exceptions." The female guard responded in an equally commanding tone.

Mai turned back towards the group and motioned to the guards to have them stand down. "It's fine, we don't need protection!"

After that the guards stud down and the Fire Nation Trio followed Quen and her personal guard into the city. Once inside Azula turned towards Mai to speak to speak to her. "Speaking of protection, the security here seems to be much tighter today than it usually is. There was at least twice as many guards at both the docks and the gates then there was last time I was here and the streets are completely cleared of civilians." She noted before turning back towards Quen. "Did something happen here Quen?"

Quen turned back towards Azula to respond. "We had an intruder this morning. I captured her but we have reason to believe she had an accomplice that could still in the city. So until we find them we don't want to take any risks."

This new information seemed to bring a smile to Azula's face. "Oh how interesting. Do you know what they were after? Perhaps they are trying to assassinate me?"

"We don't know what their intentions are yet. The girl that we captured is still being questioned but none of you need to worry. As long as I am here any would be assassin will think twice." Quen responded.

"Ah you need information? Do you want me to help question her? I am quite good at getting people to talk you know?" Azula stated in a less than serious tone.

"That will not be necessary Princess. We have the matter under control. Besides, we have far more important matters to discus." Quen retorted.

"Fine spoiled sport but once were done with business how about we go out for some sparing practice. I am in desperate need of a challenge." Azula responded.

Quen smirked. "Sure if we have the time."

Mai and Ty Lee exchanged another awkward look before the group finally arrived at the center of the city and at the entrance to the palace grounds. "Come, Chief Hama is waiting for us." Quen stated as she waved them Along.

Chapter Text

Avatar Korra had just been captured by a group of unknown water benders and their blood bending leader and taken to their chief. Then once she was alone with their chief who was an elderly woman that went by the name of Hama. Hama began to reveal many things she claimed to be the truth of the world to the young Avatar. Many of which clashed with what she understood to be fact.

"So let me get this straight, you're the same Hama that Katara told me about? The same person that created blood bending in order to escape from a Fire Nation prison during the one-hundred year war?" Korra asked in a serious tone.

Hama's eyes narrowed. "Well saying that I am the same Hama is debatable. Master Katara told me that such a Hama did exist in your time but. As you can see, that was not my fate."

"But you did create blood bending right? The most twisted form of water bending ever conceived!" Korra pressed her early question.

Hama shook her head as if disappointed. "Twisted you say? You sound just like those old fools from the north. Tell me child, what makes you think such a thing. Rather as a southern yourself, why aren't you able to see the good things this power has given our people? To us blood bending is not just a tool to enact violence but rather it's our way of life." Besides it's all thanks to Master Katara that blood bending has come as far as it has. She's the one who first showed me the ability was possible." She explained.

Korra was taken back for a moment. It was as if she didn't understand what she just heard. "Wait what, could you come again?!" Hama just gave Korra a confused expression so Korra elaborated "That can't be right, Katara would never condone the use of blood bending let alone use it herself! She even went so far as to have it completely banned in the future where I'm from."

Hama began to chuckle slightly as if recalling an amusing memory. "Indeed, it's certainly true that Master Katara didn't take much if any pride in her mastery of the skill. And she was anything but thrilled with the idea of teaching it to others. With that said after a little convincing…" Hama stopped for a moment when she noticed Korra's suspecting look. "Alright after a lot of convincing and many heated arguments I finally managed to get her to show us the basics. And it's thanks to that skill that our tribe has been able to survive and now even thrive. Blood bending has given our people a powerful weapon as well as a flexible medical tool."

"A medical tool, what do you mean?" Korra inquired now genuinely curious.

Hama gave Korra a small smile as if she was happy she asked. "There is a reason that important things are referred to as the Life Blood. You see blood much like water the substance that makes it up is needed for life to exist. So it only makes since that having control over blood would give us control over life itself. With us able to practice and research the bending form freely, our understanding of the element has grown greater every day. One of our most recent achievements is discovering that with the use of blood bending we can pass blood between a healthy person and someone suffering from extreme blood loss to save their life. And before that we also found that healing a person from the inside out to be far more effective than traditional water healing methods. Which means our blood benders are considered to be the best healers in the world and because of this fact, many young people come here seeking to learn from them."

Korra lets out a sigh of defeat. "Alright fine but, there are a few things that still don't add up. For starters if she started all this, where's Katara now? And for that matter if she is the one responsible for all of this, why isn't she credited for it? Lastly why is the Fire Nation here!?"

Hama's eyes narrowed once again. "Well to answer your first question, Master and I first met about fifty-four years ago and she was my age back then. Needless to say she's long past away child. As for why she isn't given credit, well know should know the answer to that. Even after seeing the good it could do, Master still couldn't let go of her hate of blood bending. So at the end of her life she had asked me if she had over stepped her bounds. She wanted to know if she had done too much, if what she had done was damaging history. Of course I disputed herself blame but. She made me make her a promise. Her dying wish was to be forgotten. She had seen herself as an extra page in a book that had already ended. So she had me remove her name from the records."

Yet again Korra sighed in defeat but still had one major question hanging in the air. "Fine I guess that makes since but what about the Fire Nation? You said Katara helped you fight them off in the past, so why are you letting them walk right through the front door like they own the place?!"

Hama freeze and took a moment to run her boney fingers through her grey locks. It seemed as if she was gathering herself for what she was about to say. "My people would never let themselves be ruled by the Fire Nation or anyone else if that is what you're suggesting. They are merely our ally and nothing more."

It was clear this explanation didn't sit well with Korra as she stud up and began to shout at the aging Chief. "Why in the name of the spirits would you ally yourself with a Nation that was trying to destroy our tribe and is still trying to take over the world?"

Hama just shook her head. "Do try to understand young Avatar. We had little choice in the matter. Much has changed from the world you knew Korra. Our tribe has been locked in a civil war with our Northern sister tribe for years now. You see after our tribe finally began to thrive once again, we felt it was time to reach out to our northern kin. We expected a warm welcome but, when our ambassadors arrived they were shown only contempt. Much like yourself they called our bending, our pride, our very life blood, a twisted affront to the very element itself!" Hama shouted as she slammed her fist down on the arm rest of her throne causing it to crack. "And if that wasn't cruel enough, they even refused to let our female warriors display their skills. Oh and that's not even the worst of it!" Hama's expression seemed to twist in anger as she continued. "My old friend Kanna and her family were acting as ambassadors. She tried to reason with them, she was so sure she could do it. She was born in the north after all, so if there was anyone who could it would have been her. However, when they realized who she was they took them away. They refused to let Kanna and her family leave and they forced the rest of our people out!"

Korra now felt a headache coming on. "Another civil war between water tribes, well that is just great! You know I've already dealt with one of these. This should really be Aang's job right now!" Korra looked lost in thought for a moment. "Wait where the heck is Aang? If it's year 98 AG and Kanna's grandchildren aren't here, does that mean he hasn't even woken up yet?"

"No, unfortunately Avatar Aang has already been awoken. It accrued by accident about three years ago. He was found when we were adding an expansion to the city." Hama responded.

"I see, wait what do you mean by unfortunately? Isn't it a good thing?" Korra asked in a confused tone.

Hama suddenly takes on an uneasy disposition. "Well I guess it can't be avoided, you do need to know about this after all. Avatar Aang, he has allied himself with our northern kin and the Earth Nation."

Korra's eyes became so wide they even rivaled her gaping mouth. "Wait, wait, wait what do you mean he allied himself with the north? Our job is to keep the balance why would he take sides like that?"

"Is it really so hard to understand? Avatar Aang hates the Fire Nation for what they did to his fellow Air Nomads. It's something I can understand but, I can't understand his unwillingness to meet with Fire Lord Zuko." Hama says.

"Nothing makes any since anymore! Aang shouldn't even be awake for another year! And what's this about Zuko being the Fire Lord what happened to Ozai?!" Korra asked while nearly trying to pull her own hair out in a confused frenzy.

"Oh yes, I had forgotten to mention that haven't I? It seems that this is also a detail that's different from your time. About a year ago now Fire Lord Ozai was killed in a dual with his only son Prince Zuko. Following Fire Nation rite of succession Zuko was quickly crowned as acting Fire Lord. Which was good for us since once Zuko took the throne. The Fire Nation had become far more reasonable. It's thanks to him that this alliance was possible to begin with. And on that note…"

Korra held up a hand to halt Hama. "That's enough, if you say anymore I think I am going to have an information overload." Korra need time to process everything. Make since of it in her head and figure out how it all happened. So she thought back to the Tree of Time and her friends. She started to think about what each member had said was their greatest regret. "So Katara helped created this city, Zuko has become the Fire Lord, and Toph has, hmm." Korra paused for a moment to think. "Hey Hama, do you know a girl by the name of Toph Bei Fong?"

"Toph Bei Fong? You mean that bothersome Earth Nation girl who calls herself a researcher?" Hama asked.

"Well that king of sounds like her but that can't be right, Toph is no researcher." Korra said while waving her hand dismissively.

After Korra finished speaking the door to the throne chamber was thrown open to reveal a short girl in formal Earth Nation winter attire. The girl had black hair that was pulled up into a tight bun and she had bright emerald eyes that were covered by a pair of small glasses. She was also flanked on each side by a female Earth Nation warrior. The warriors faces were painted in white and red and they both held fans at their side.

The young girl in the center of the trio quickly focused her gaze on Korra and called out to her. "I thought my ears were burning and sure enough, here I find an unfamiliar face doubting my credentials." The girl paused for a moment to adjust her glasses before stomping over to the dumbfounded Avatar. "Look here don't you dare go thinking that I don't know my stuff just because I'm a little bit on the younger side! I will have you know that I'm the greatest bending researcher in the world and don't you forget it!" She declared while marching offer to Korra and directing an accusatory finger down at the now very confused Avatar.

Korra looked up at Hama for some clarity. Seeing the desperation in Korra's eyes Hama cleared her throat to get their attention. "Korra, this is Toph Bei Fong. She is a troublesome child who came to our village saying she wanted to study our bending forms. That was about a year ago now and she won't go away. And as for her two friends, well I am sure you're at least vaguely familiar with the Kyoshi Warriors. The Warriors of Kyoshi Island are currently our newest allies and these two in are acting as Toph's body guards during her stay here."

After hearing Hama's explanation Korra instantly jumped to her feet and grabbed the much shorter girl by the shoulders. "You're really Toph Bei Fong!? That can't be right, this must be some kind of mistake. You're wearing shoes and your eyes they are…" *Bang* Korra's rant was suddenly interrupted by a punch to her solar plexus delivered by the small Earth Nation girl. Korra grunted and hunched over gripping her stomach in pain. "Ouch! Never mind, that's Toph alright." She groaned.

"I'm sorry did I interrupt you? Not like it matters, I already know what you were going to say. My eyes are like beautiful emerald pools? Yeah, yeah I hear that kind of stuff all the time. Though I do wish they worked a bit better." She said while adjusting her glasses. "Also what was that about shoes? Of course I'm wearing shoes! Why wouldn't I? It is not as if I am some sort of cave dwelling barbarian right!? Also have you ever tried walking on this icy terrain bear foot? Not a very good idea if you ask me."

After Toph finished giving Korra the third degree she finally takes a moment to look down at the girl she just crippled. The annoyed expression Toph had been wearing until that point was soon replaced by one of confusion before she seemed to become lost in thought for a moment. "Wait, who is this anyway? I've been here for months already and I've never seen this girl before. If she's speaking with Hama directly at all let alone by herself she must be a big shot around here." Toph thought to herself. When she snaps out of it she motions for one of the Kyoshi Warriors to approach. The warrior hands her a small scroll and she unfolds it in front of Hama. "I almost forgot why I came here in the first place. I'm sure you've had enough of me by now, so why don't you just give the okay for my expedition team and supplies!?" She asks Hama.

Hama waves the paper away. "I told you already Bei Fong, we're fighting a war right now! We don't have the man power to spare for such an expedition and even if we did it's a wild goose-frog chase. You will never find Wan Shi Tong's library in that massive desert. And that is only assuming it even exists in the first place."

Toph stomps her foot on the ground in frustration. "It's real, I am sure of it! Think of all the information we could gain from that library. We could learn ancient bending forms lost for generations. If that's not enough to motivate you I'm sure there will be something there that can give us a tactical advantage over the northerners."

The name Wan Shi Tong rings a bell in Korra's head and the conversation sparks interest in her. She easies herself back up into a proper sitting position and joins in. "Wait you are looking for Wan Shi Tong's Library? I know where that is!" Korra interjected now completely recovered.

Both Hama's and Toph's eyes snap towards Korra. "Hey Hama, you still haven't answered my earlier question. Just who is this girl?" Toph inquired.

Hama gives her a wicked grin while responding. "She's a very special guest and has very special talents. If she says she knows where it is she likely does."

Hama's words instantly peeked Toph's interest. "How do you know where the library is? Have you been there before?" She inquired.

"Well I've not been there myself but I know somebody who has. If it's indeed 98 AG I have a fairly good idea of where it would currently be located at this time." Korra responds.

Toph's eyes narrow. "What would the year have to do with it? Does the library move?"

Korra starts to scratch her head. "Well yes and no. It can move but I don't think it has yet."

Korra's response gave Toph even more questions but she figured she could save them for later. Instead she turned back towards Hama. "She doesn't seem to be lying, how interesting. So tell me Hama how about now? Do you still think it's a wild goose-frog chase? Or shale I start packing?"

At that moment the main doors to the chamber flung open once again to reveal Quen along with Princess Azula of the Fire Nation and her two companions. Quen looked down at Korra and instinctively jumped back into a fighting stance when she noticed that she was free from her bonds. "What is the meaning of this grandmother why is she free?!" She asked.

Hama gave Quen an agitated glare before responding. "Oh would you calm yourself child. This girl is of no danger to us. As a matter of fact it looks like she will be our latest ally."

"Wait what?!"Both Korra and Quen shouted in sync with each other.

Hama looked down at Korra with a very serious expression. "You are on our side, aren't you Korra?" She asked in a menacing tone, almost daring her to respond with anything other than a yes.

"Ah yeah, of course I am!" She responded promptly while letting out a half hearted chuckle.

"Good that means you can assist Miss Bei Fong on her latest expedition!" Hama stated.

After a moment of silence Toph realized what Hama's words meant and literally jumped for joy. "Yes, that means we are approved! Wan Shi Tong's library here we come!" She cheered while running over to her two bodyguards and pulling them both into a headlock.

Then another slightly agitated voice cut through the air of excitement. "Sorry to interrupt whatever this is but, I do believe we have more pressing matters to attend to here Hama." Azula declared while stepping into the center of the room.

Hama straitened up slightly before speaking. "Yes, indeed we do Princess. Korra why don't you go with Miss Bei Fong to gather the things you will need for your journey. Quen I want you to go with them as well."

"Wait, go where? What is this about gran…" Quen noticed another sharp glare being directed her way. "I mean I shale do just that Chief Hama." Quen quickly turned and walked out of the chamber as Toph and Korra quickly followed behind her.

Chapter Text

To say that Avatar Korra has had quite the interesting day would most certainly be the understatement of the year. The only question would be which year it applied to. And as such this crazy day has left her with almost as many questions as it has answers. She now knew that Zuko had killed his father Fire Lord Ozai in an Agni kai and had become the Fire Lord himself. She also found out that rather than nearly wiping them out the Fire Nation had allied itself with the Southern Water Tribe. And that the Tribe was now lead by Hama and filled to the brim with bloodbenders. There were also several Earth Nation factions allied with them but the war itself is far from over. The current Avatar Aang had woken up several years early by mistake and was currently sided with the Northern Water tribe along with most of the Earth Nation. And the Air Nomads still seemed to have been wiped out which makes the young Avatar wonder what happened to Tenzen. So far she has accounted for almost everyone. She knows what hand Katara had played and though she couldn't be completely sure, she has an idea of what happened to Zuko. Then there was Toph who not only seemed to be able to see but had also become a researcher of all things. Because of all this craziness Korra had some how been recruited into helping the new Toph in her quest to find Wan Shi Tong's library. Korra can only hope that the library can offer her a few more clues to the whereabouts of her friends and hopefully tell her how to fix everything they had screwed up.

With all these things weighing heavily on Korra's mind she practically auto-pilots herself out of Hama's palace with the rest of Toph's new search party until a hushed echoing voice called out to her. "Korra? Hey Korra... Korra!"

"Ahhh! What? Who's there?!" Korra screeched as she jumped slightly. Her train of thought was completely derailed and she began to look around to find the source of the voice she just heard. Around her Korra sees several faces such as the two girls who she knew to be Kyoshi Warriors. Then there was the ever pleasant Quen who she had met earlier that day. Quen was the grand daughter of Hama and a powerful bloodbender. Then finally there was the greatest oddity of the group, Toph Beifong 'the researcher'? Korra looked over each of their faces but based on their confused expressions none of them had been the one speaking. That left only one possible option.

"Korra I'm down here!" The voice called out again.

Korra looked down at her shirt as the spirit snake known as Ataxia wiggled its way out from inside and around Korra's shoulders causing Korra to have a mild panic attack. "What the heck are you doing!? They will find you if you come out here! And where the heck have you been anyway!? I almost forgot you were here!" Korra ranted in a panicked whisper.

"Don't you remember the whole most people can't see me thing? Also they can't really hear me ether so you are looking awfully foolish right now." Ataxia said in a matter of fact like tone before letting out a small yawn. "As for where I've been, I have just been sleeping."

Korra took on a slightly confused expression. "Wait spirits sleep?"

The dark serpent spirit shifted its body so it could tilt its head. "Of course we sleep, don't you humans sleep?"

"Umm, never mind." Korra said dismissively feeling rather silly all of a sudden. Then Korra looked up at her companions and noticed that their once confused expressions have changed to that of worry and concern.

One of the Kyoshi Warriors made her way over to Korra and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Pardon me but miss are you feeling alright? Do you need to sit down for a moment?"

"No, no I am fine! I just have a habit of thinking out loud!" Korra said waving the girl off. "I am very sorry for troubling all of you." She said while taking a bow.

"Well as long as you're sure your okay then…"

The warrior was cut off by Quen. "I suggest you get some rest anyway. Grandmother seems intent on having me oversee this farce and the last thing I need is a mental breakdown before we even set off. Besides it will take several hours to get the supplies and recruits together. So we will not be leaving till tomorrow at the earliest."

"Oh alright but, where shale I do that exactly? I just arrived here and don't have any money on me." Korra inquired.

"How about you stay with us?" Toph chimed in while motioning towards her two female body guards. "We have a nice room reserved for us in a nearby inn."

"Really, are you sure? I wouldn't want to intrude." Korra asked.

"Of course the room is more than big enough for one more person. Besides there is a few things I really wanted to ask you about." Toph responds.

Korra looked hesitantly back over at the two fan wielding warriors for conformation and they both gave her a nod of agreement. Korra gave them a wide smile before speaking. "Thanks you guys you really helped me out. And there was also something I had wanted to talk to you about anyway."

"Is that settled then?" Quen inquired and before they could answer she moved on. "Good, I will be on my way then. I have to begin preparing. And I strongly suggest you try to getting some of that done as well. This won't be a field trip. This will be a long trek through a harsh environment deep within enemy territory, so you need to be prepared." She warned and after giving her words a moment to sink in Quen turned away and walked off towards the city's main gates.

"Well you heard the woman!" Toph shouted causing Korra and the two warriors to jump before sharing a glance and shrugging it off. Then they all began to make their way down the city streets.

Along the way Korra noticed that despite the fact that the sun had yet to set the streets were very quite. They were much quieter in fact. At the very least the streets were much more quite than they had been when she had arrived in the city. "Hey what's up? Why did city turn into a ghost town all of a sudden?

Toph chuckles slightly. "Well it would seem that they had a disturbance earlier today. I couldn't get all the details but from what I have heard they captured an Earth Nation spy or something and they think they had an accomplice. And the timing has every a bit on edge with the Fire Nation ambassadors being here and all. Because of that Quen doesn't want to take any chances. She up security and ordered the streets cleared. And of course she also made it a point to question the local Earth Nation citizens. And of course as one of the few earthbenders in the city Quen made it a point to give me a hard time as well. Luckily I had not left my body guards side or stepped foot outside the inn around that time."

"Oh my, sorry about that, it was most likely my fault." Korra said while rubbing the back of her neck.

"Oh, is that right?" Toph asked curiously but rather than waiting for an answer she just turned her head back to the road and continued forward. "Well I trust that will be something you explain once we arrive at the inn then." Toph said while adjusting her glasses. "By the way I don't think you two have properly introduced yourselves yet have you?" Toph asked the two warriors at her side.

The warrior's both gave Toph a nod of agreement before turning their heads back to face Korra. After a moment one of them began speaking. "Hmm, I guess we haven't, have we Koko?"

"No I suppose that is true." The second warrior responded before coming to a complete stop and giving Korra a small bow. "My deepest apologies for our rude behavior, I am Koko and my partner here is Loca." The girl then proceeded to bow once again. "It is a pleasure to meet you Miss Korra."

The first warrior began to giggle before slapping Koko on the back nearly causing the girl to stumble. "Gees, your always so formal Koko! You need to try to loosen up a bit every now and then."

Koko's expression became slightly panicky. "I umm, my apologies I didn't mean to come off as being stiff."

Korra chuckled lightly and shook her head. "Don't worry about it! It's a pleasure to meet both of you."

After their short exchange of greetings the group continued down the road and began to chat idly about random things. Korra discovered that the pair of warriors had been with Toph for quite some time now. They had been hired by Toph's family and have been her bodyguards since long before they arrived in New Hama City. And that they have stuck with Toph despite having multiple chances to switch off with another pair of warriors. Before long the group found themselves in front their goal. A large Earth Kingdom themed inn called 'The Bloody Boulder Inn'. As they made their way inside Korra couldn't say she was surprised when they told her Toph picked the place out.

Once inside the warriors Koko and Loca both stretched out and spoke in sync. "We are going to head to the baths and get out of this armor, is that alright?" They asked. Toph gave them a nod and the pair gave her a bow before quickly making their way down a hallway and out of sight.

Noticing that Korra was still standing behind her, Toph turned around to face her. "You don't want to go with them?" She inquired.

It was clear to Korra that this was more of an offer than a question and she had to pondered it for a moment before responding. "Tempting but, this seems like a good chance for us to have that talk we promised each other. And besides, I take it this place has public baths right? I like to have a bit more privacy when I take a bath anyway, so I can wait."

Toph smiled. "A little shy are we? Well I can understand. Those two are always splashing around in the bath, well at least Loca does while Koko usually just tried to restrain her. Regardless It makes it nearly impossible to focus on my reading when I am so busy trying to keep my books dry."

"So, you really enjoy reading then?" Korra inquired.

"Of course I love it! Why wouldn't I?" Toph responded as if it was a silly question.

"Well that's a good question. I was kind of wondering about that. What I want to know is why do you enjoy reading so much? Correct me if I am wrong but didn't you use to be blind?" Korra inquired. Then a releasing what she had just said caused a panicked expression to come over her face. "Umm what I mean is…"

At this point Toph was staring up at the young Avatar with an incredibly sharp gaze. "How do you about that?! I haven't been blind in nearly five years and before then my parents wouldn't even let me step foot off the estate on my own. So how could you possibly know that?!" Toph asked in a accusing tone while pressing a finger into Korra's chest.

"Oh looks like you slipped up Korra." Ataxia jabbed.

Ignoring the spirits prodding Korra straightened herself out and cleared her throat before responding. "Look it's a long story and you may not believe it but if you will tell me yours then I will be sure to share it with you. Is that alright with you?"

Toph opened her mouth to most likely protest but was interrupted when a loud cackling voice rang out through the room. "Boom, read'em and weep ladies now pay up!"

Both Toph and Korra's gaze was pulled to the back of the room were a group of young women were sat around a table covered with playing cards and coins of just about every type and nationality. One of the women had a wide crocked grin spread across her face and was raking in the coins from the center of the table. The women had long dark hair that hung slightly below her shoulders and was held up by a skull shaped hair ornament. Her clothing was that of a dark sleeveless tunic. She seemed to have separate leaves to go along with it but they left her shoulders exposed. And on both of her shoulders she had the same tattoo, a tattoo that depicted a coiling snake.

When Toph's eyes caught sight of the women she seemed to completely forget about Korra and became quite exited. Without another word Toph began running towards the older women and calling out to her. "June, your back!"

The women instantly noticed Toph calling out to her and quickly stuffed her winnings into bag before she walked over to meet her. She had to brace herself however when Toph jumped into her for a hug. The older women accepted the embrace and began patting Toph on the head. "Hey there my little bookworm, how have you been?" She asked.

"I've been great! I have learned so much during my time here! And best of all I finally got approval for my expedition to that spirit library I told you about!" Toph reported happy. "Hey since you're here do you want to come with?! We should be leaving soon."

"Really that's amazing Toph! I am really happy for you but I don't think I will be able to come. I am in the middle of a job at the moment. It seems a Fire Nation Noble went and let themselves get kidnapped and their family wants me to track them down for them. I was just was just stopped here to resupply and hopefully catch a ride to the Fire Nation with the visiting ambassadors."

Toph's expression seemed to become slightly downcast. "Oh that's too bad. It's still really good to see you though. I wasn't sure I would get the chance to look at your again."

"Ah gees don't be so gloomy, come here!" June proceeded to pull Toph into an even hug tighter hug.

After a moment a voice came from the table June was sitting at a moment ago. "Hey June we're starting another hand want us to deal you out!?"

June turned her head back to address her companions. "Yeah I'm done for now. My old friend and I have some catching up to do." She told them before looking over at the confused looking avatar and back down at the tiny earthbender she still had clapped in her arms. "Speaking of catch up, Toph who's this girl you have with you? One of your new body guards perhaps?"

Releasing she was talking about her Korra snapped to attention and extended her hand for a hand shake. And for a moment hesitates unsure if shaking hands was even a custom at this time. Much to her relief June quickly expects her hand and gives it a firm grip. "Hello my name is Korra, me and Toph just met today but I will be going along with her on the expedition as her guide. So we decided to get to know one another a bit better." Korra explains.

"Yeah that's just about the long and the short of it." Toph adds. "We were just about to go tell each other stories before we ran into you. Come to think of it this is perfect!"

"Perfect, how so?" Korra inquires.

"June and I go way back. If you want to know my story then she is the perfect person to tell it with." Toph explains.

June chuckled. "Stories huh? Well alright, we can start with your old story but once we are done boy do I have some tales to tell you!"

The group made their way out of the main hall of the inn and into Toph's room. Once in side Korra could tell that they were not joking. You could easily fit six people in this room but. She battled the urge to kick off her shoes and relax. She needed answers and she wanted them now. They made their way over to a small coffee table in the corner of the room and took their seats.

"Alright so what's the big story? What happened to bring you all the way down south?" Korra asked.

"Well were to begin." Toph said rubbing her chin in thought.

"I think I can handle this Toph." June stated. "You see it all began about five years ago. I had just gotten started in the tracking business and wasn't too picky about the jobs I did back then but work was slow coming. So I was just sitting around at my family home when an old blind woman came to my door. She claimed to be some sort of prophet and she told me that I was needed. She said that there was a noble family Gaoling who would pay me well if I found what they lost. I was skeptical but figured it was at least worth checking out. Sure enough the Beifong family had lost their blind daughter Toph. And the crazy thing was that she had only been missing for a few days. I hadn't even began on my way there before the Toph disappeared. Anyway Toph's parents were willing to do just about anything to find her. So they hired me at a very reasonable price."

Toph scoffed. "That is if you can call your prices reasonable."

June gave Toph a smile but otherwise brushed off her comment. "Anyway it was an easy enough job. I found Toph wondering around inside a cave just crawling with bunch of badgermoles. But she didn't really feel like coming with me at the time, now did you Toph?"

"Nope not really." Toph responded.

"Oh and why is that Toph?" Korra inquired.

Toph began to laugh. "Well here's the thing…"

Chapter Text

"Well here's the thing," Toph began while letting out a weak laugh. "As I'm sure most of you all know by now, I was born blind. And of course this little hiccup caused my parents a lot of grief. Like most people with the gift of sight my parents couldn't comprehend how one could live without it. So this made them very protective. They feared the outside world would devour me if I ever stepped foot in it so they kept me locked away like their dirty little secret. Of course I was still a living thinking person so obliviously I would get curious right? I mean even if I couldn't see it, I still always wanted to know what the outside world was like. So one day when I was about six years old I decided to go exploring."

"How did that go?" June cuts in while stifling a laugh.

Toph rolls her eyes knowing full well that June knew the whole story. "Things didn't go too well for me at first. I ended wondering outside the city limits and some how found m way into a cave system. It was at that point when I realized that I completely lost. I know a blind girl getting lost, what a shocker."

Toph's comment triggered a short series of laughs that lasted until Korra posed a question. "So what did you do?" Of course Korra had some idea since something similar happened in her timeline as well but with how different things have become she wanted as many details as possible.

"Well lucky for me I didn't have to do much you see the badgermoles that made the caves their home took a liking to me. Why I'm not quite sure, maybe it's because we both had the whole blind thing going on. Though I have no idea how they could tell. I didn't figure that out until somebody told me much later. Anyway, after spending a few days with those big guys I started to pick up on their earthbending techniques. Before long I was able to find my way around, not just the caves but the whole city without assistance. And it was about that time that I started thinking about making my way back home on my own. However that was about the time that I first met June."

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94 AG — Year of the Tiger

The sun was high over the earth kingdom town of Gaoling the home of the famous Bei Fong family. An at the edge of the town a young teenage girl road out of the gates on a large four legged animal known as a shirshu. Once past the gates she darted in the nearest tree line and zipped through foliage with a wild zigzagging pattered and blinding speed. The whole way the shirshu had its long snout pressed to the earth and was completely focused on its objective. Before long the beast and its rider approached a large unnaturally shaped cave entrance and the shirshu finally began to slow down. Its sniffing became more controlled and even more focused. The rider took this as a good sigh and reached down to pet the creatures head before addressing it. "So the girl's in there huh Nyla?" The rider said before taking a good look at the large caver in front of her. "It's so dark in there I can't see a thing. Is this brat even still alive? Oh well, I got half my pay up front anyway so it won't be a complete bust if she's dead." The women mused before flicking her reins to get signal to her mount to proceed into the cave. Once inside she reached into a satchel mounted onto the side of shirshu for a small lantern and a set of stones. Then she quickly struck the stones together to create a spark which she used to light the lantern.

Then the girl pushed onward quickly making her way deeper and deeper into the caves while trying her best to avoid contact with the dozens of badgermoles that made it their home. By the way was no small task since they were literally crawling all over the place. Though the shirshu seemed to pay the moles and the darkness little mind as it just remained focused on tracking down its prey. "I guess you and these creatures have something in common isn't that right Nyla. It's a good thing you don't need to see to get around or we would both be in trouble." The rider mused before her thoughts went back to just a few years ago when she first got Nyla. Shirshus have always been quite rare so her father didn't complain when he managed to get one as payment for a job. However he didn't have much interest in the creatures himself so he decided he would give it to her as a present. Since then Nyla had grown much larger and far stronger. And the great bounty hunter June couldn't ask for a better partner.

After about thirty minutes of crawling around in the deeps of the dark cave, Nyla made her way into a very large and open area of the cave system. And that's when June noticed an unnaturally box like structure standing right in the middle of the open area. "Well that's weird." June stated as she illuminated it with her flare and began examining it closer. When she did Nyla began to claw at the side of the box in a manner that suggested they were close to their goal. "She's here girl? Hello Toph Bei Fong, are you there!? Toph, can you hear me!?" June shouted towards the box.

A moment of silence followed before a loud annoyed voice came through the box and one of its walls collapsed into the ground to reveal its small owner. "Who the heck are you?! What are you doing all the way down here?!" The little girl asked.

June was stunned for a moment as the small girl came into view. She was without a doubt the right girl, her dress alone was a dead give away. However they didn't tell her anything about her being an earthbender or so free spirited. And for a blind six year old to have survived out here for days and look so unaffected by it was quite something. "So you're alive after all! You must be a lot more tuff than your parents led on." June stated.

"Oh, so mother and father sent you? I was beginning to wonder if they even bothered to look for me." The girl said in a dry tone.

"That's right I came to bring you back home. So how about you hop on and let's get a move on." June said while extending her hand to help the girl up.

Toph simply swatted June's hand away before turning her back on her. "No thanks." She said before returning to her stone hut and closing the wall up behind her.

June froze there for a moment not sure what just happened. "Hey what's the deal kid!? Don't you want to go home you folks are worried about you, you know!?"

"Oh I am sure that they are. That's all they ever do is worry and fight over me. They would be better off if I wasn't around. Maybe then they will finally be able to have a normal child that's not such a burden on them." Toph responded somberly.

And again June was taken back by the girl's strange behavior but pressed on. "Ah come now, you don't really think they would be happier without you do you? I have you know I have done a few jobs like this in the past but your parents are some of the most well paying of the lot. I don't think anyone would drop so much gold on a kid they didn't care about."

Toph let out a mirthless less before responding. "Oh is that right? Well even if that is the case they will never be able to see me as anything other than a helpless child. All I want to do is go out and explore the world but because of these stupid eyes of mine I will never be able to do that!"

June was about to lose her cool when she hear the soft sounds of crying coming from inside the stone structure. "What if I told you I know a way to cure your blindness?"

In response June heard a loud thud coming form inside the structure followed by a broke but very frustrated voice. "You think my parents haven't already tried everything! Do you know how many healers and doctors they have had treat me?! My eyes can't be cured!"

"Oh is that right? Well it just so happens that I have something all of them didn't. This item is something that you can't get in any market." June said before reaching into one of the sacks on the side of Nyla and pulling out a small flask of glowing water. "This right here kid, is what they call Spirit Water. It's from Spirit Oasis in the North Pool and it is known to be able to treat any injury or illness. The Northern Water Tribe has banded its export to prevent it from falling into the Southern Tribes hands. And even before that it was hard for anyone to get their hands on. However if you behave yourself and come with me, I will let you have it. What do you say kid?"

Toph scoffed before responding. "If it's that special how did you get your hands on it then? And why would you just give away something so valuable if you are just doing this for a job? I may only be six but I still wasn't born yesterday."

June actually had to stifle a laugh at that statement. "What is with this girl?" Is she really the Bei Fong's daughter? She isn't at all how they described her." She mumbled to herself. "Listen kid, I know this might sound a bit crazy but stay with me alright? A few days ago I met an elderly woman who called herself a prophet. She was the one who gave it to me and when she did she also told me that she heard of a family who had used the same type of water to cure their own child's blindness. And the prophet herself was also born blind just like you. That's why she had it, she got a hold of it to cure her own condition. Unfortunately, she had been blind for over eighty years and her old dead eyes couldn't adjust. However she told me it would be different for somebody much younger then herself. And so she told me I could have it with the condition that if I found somebody who needed it I would let them have it instead. Besides I kind of like you kid, you remind me of myself when I was your age." June explained.

Another long moment of silence followed before the stone wall slid separating them slide away to reveal a tiny, dirty, and incredibly tiered looking Toph. "Fine let's go." Toph said as she stepped forward.

"You believe me then?" June inquired in a slightly surprised manner.

"It's not really about belief or disbelief. I know your not lying so either you really have something or you're a complete fool. Either way I'm tired and I don't feel like arguing anymore." Toph retorted.

June let out another laugh before reaching out a hand to help Toph up into her mounts saddle. "You're an interesting one Toph. Oh you can call me June by the way."

Toph accepted June's hand and with that June snapped the reins and they set out to return to the Bei Fong house. During the return trip June took her time and chatted with the kid about random things. June told Toph about her life growing up as the daughter of a bounty hunter and how she got her start in the business herself. Travelling with her father June had seen most of the earth kingdom already and told Toph about a few of its more interesting people and places.

///////////////////////////////////////////

"And after that June took me back home, claimed her reward, and went on her way. June and I here didn't meet each other again for quite some time after that but she did stay in touch. So I guess you could call her my childhood friend." Toph explained.

"Oh that is an interesting story. What about the spirit water I am guessing your parents got a healer to use it on you?" Korra inquired.

"Yep that's right and just like June had said my eyes were healed, as good as new. Well almost anyway, about as heeled as I could have hoped for." Toph said while adjusting her glasses. "I still can't get use to wearing these things but they help a lot."

"I see, Well I guess that brings us to the next topic at hand. How did you become a researcher? And how did you end up all the way down here in the south pool?" Korra asked.

"Ah well let me think, I guess it all started shortly after my eyes were restored. My parents couldn't have been happier to have me home safe and sound at home of course but they were also overjoyed to finally have a some what normal daughter." Toph said with a shrug and a sigh. "So they wanted to start introducing me to their business partners and potential suitors as soon as possible. However they soon realized that because I had been cooped up for so long, I wasn't really very good at interacting with others quite yet. On top of that since I was blind my whole life up until that point they never even thought about teaching me how to read. So they put everything else on hold so I could be sent off to a school that specialized in the 'education' of noble young ladies such as myself in hopes that my social skills could be improved while they also worked on my reading skills."

"Oh and how did that go? Did you enjoy your time in school?" Korra asked.

"It wasn't bad I got to meet some interesting people and learn a lot about the world. And more than that once I figured reading out to some degree. At first I really did hate reading. It was so foreign and frustrating. However after I got use to it, I found that I didn't just enjoy reading but rather I loved it. I guess it could be because it was something so new to me. Almost like a forbidden fruit if you know what I mean. Once I caught the reading bug it wasn't long until I had read every signal book in both the schools library and my home estates privet study. And I still didn't feel satisfied. I was still starved for more information, I wanted to know everything. When the teachers noticed this they moved me up through the grades at a faster rate. By the age of nine there was nothing left for me to learn there at all." Toph explained.

"That is when I happen to come back through town by the way." June interjected.

Toph nodded in agreement before going on. "That's right. June was passing through Goaling on her way to Kyoshi Island after she had captured a thief that had stolen one of Avatar Kyoshi's artifacts. It was a set of her famous fan weapons to be more precise. I had heard of them through my studies and had become quite fascinated by the warriors and their fighting techniques so I begged my parents to let me go along with June to see them for myself."

"Were your parents against you going to Kyoshi Island?" Korra asked.

"Yeah of course they were they are the same people who wouldn't even let me walk out side by myself a few years earlier after all. Of course they were only against it at first. Once June informed them that the Kyoshi Warriors were well known as skilled bodyguards and that the island itself was considered a neutral area in the current war they figured there were few places that could be considered safer than on Kyoshi Island." Toph said with a shrug.

"So I'm guessing that's when you met Koko and Loca right?" Korra questioned.

"Oh yeah those two were…" Toph began before hearing the door to their room open and a familiar voice call out to them.

"Did somebody just call our names?" The voice asked.

Toph, Korra, and June all turned to see the two Kyoshi warriors Koko and Loca now dressed in simple robes and their face paint removed standing in the doorway.

June waved at the two girls and began to speak. "Hey you two, Toph here was just about to tell Korra the story of how you girls met."

Loca's expression suddenly became very excited as she ran over to June. "Welcome back June, how have you been!?" Then without waiting for a reply Loca turned back towards her partner and waved her over. "Koko look June's back!"

"Yes I can see that Loca." Koko said while stifling a laugh. Then she walked over towards the group and gave June a curt bow. "It is good to see that you are well June."

"It's good to see the both of you as well." June replied.

Then Toph got everyone's attention by clearing her throat. "Anyway like I was saying, I met these two about two years ago now. It was right after we had just arrived on Kyoshi Island. You see we had asked their current leader at the time if I could hire a few of their warriors while I explored the surrounding area. Of course since Kyoshi Island and Goaling our big rely on each other for trade and I was the daughter of the most powerful family in Goaling they instantly agreed to protect me. However they were short handed at time and so we decided on accepting a pair of their trainees until proper replacements could be made available. This of course ended up being the two of them." Toph said while pointing her index finger at the pair in question.

"Yep, it took awhile but we ended up getting used to each others company. It wasn't easy either. Believe it or not, Toph is a hard nut to crack. And even after getting her to open up a bit I still don't really know if she even has a soft side." Loca added.

Toph nodded and let a small smile come to her lips. "Yeah and once I was settled in that was when my greatest passion really came to me. You see it was about that time that they found Avatar Aang in that iceberg. And after the news of the Avatar returning became wide spread, it was all anyone could talk about. I was familiar with the Avatar and the four elements of course. I am a bender myself after all. However the war had put a bit of a stigma on bending as a whole and it wasn't until the Avatar's return that the people in the Earth Nation started to became vocal about their bending abilities again. So of course I became fascinated with the different types of bending forms. I thought I already knew just about everything there was to know about earthbending but I was wrong. There was so much to learn and I wanted to spread my wings you know? So over the course of the next year I traveled all over the place researching bending. And not just earthbending either. And of course these two were with me the whole time. I never really needed their protection to begin with but you know." Toph explained.

"We came to enjoy each others company." Koko interjected.

"That's right and that is why we chose to stick with Toph even after our assignment was supposed to end." Loca added.

"Indeed though originally I had no plans to come here to the South Pool but my plans changed after one certain event." Toph said.

"What event was that?" Korra asked.

"Well that's a whole big thing actually. You see one day when I was on the island, the island got a few other visitors…" Toph began before group heard a knock on the door.

"Who could that be?" Loca asked before walking over to the door and pulling it open to reveal. "Quen?"

After Loca opened the door sure enough Quen was standing in the hallway and quickly bowed and stepped into the room before glancing around. "So what is this, some kind of reunion? I hope that I am not interrupting something am I?" She asked.

"Not really, did you need something Quen?" Toph inquired.

"I only came to tell you and your party here that we should be ready to go in a few days time." Quen said before she looked down to see June with Toph still sitting on her lap. "I heard you had come back into the city. I trust you are behaving yourself June."

June rolled her eyes before responding. "Of course I am dear, I wouldn't want to upset the great blood bender Quen now would I?" June spoke with a great deal of sarcasm in her voice. "Though this is good timing since you are fairly important to this part of the story as well aren't you Quen?"

A look of confusion came over Quen's face. "Story? What story are you talking about?"

"They were about to tell me how Toph came to be here in the South." Korra responded.

"Oh then you must mean the raid on Kyoshi Island? Though surely she has already heard about that event right? It's kind of old news at this point." Quen stated.

"Well I am sure she has but. Barely anyone has all the facts straight. So how about it Quen want to join us and talk about the good old days?" June asked.

Quen sighed before taking a seat with the rest of them. "Fine but I can only stay for a short time. I can't let grandmother handle all the work on her own when we have the Fire Nation Princess and her shady friends around."

"Alright I guess we should start since its kind of the beginning right Koko!?" Loca shouted. Koko nodded in agreement. "Ok here we go!"

Chapter Text

Korra sat and listened intently as Loca and Koko began to describe the events that had transpired before the event known as 'the Raid on Kyoshi Island' had taken place.

"Alright there we were, Koko, Toph, and myself had just returned to Kyoshi Island from a short trip to the main land to gather the supplies we needed for our next big adventure. And since we were there anyway, we decided to check in with our leader Suki. She always wanted us to check in when we could, if for no other reason than to make sure we were still alive." Loca stated with a light chuckle.

Koko nodded in agreement before adding to the explanation. "We figured we would just check her home first since it would make the most sense for her to be there. However that was not the case, so we began asking around the village a bit and we found out that she was taking part in a meeting between Quen and the Island's council."

"At this time Quen had already visited the island a few times before. And the purpose of her visits was to get Kyoshi Island and the warriors to join the Southern Alliance. Of course she was turned down every time so far and to no ones surprise this time was no expectation. After all Kyoshi Island had some how managed to remain natural for decades of continues war and had no interest in changing that any time soon." Toph continued.

"But you guys are allies now right? What did you do to change their minds Quen?" Korra inquired as she turned to face the red and blue clad bloodbender.

Quen leaned back in her chair and laced her fingers together before speaking. "Well I wouldn't say it was I who changed anyone's mind. My greatest helper during this event was ironically our greatest enemies."

////////////////////////////////////////

About one year earlier.

Toph, Loca, and Koko were walking together threw the village on their way to the council building and were nearly at its entrance when the sound of shouting erupted from within. The three jumped back on in surprised and shot each other worried glances before listening more closely. The shouting was hard to make out, there were too many voices talking over each other. And shortly after the shouting had died down the doors were thrown open and to reveal a very annoyed looking Quen marching out with a group of red and blue clad bodyguards in toe. Quen never even shot Toph's group a glance as she marched away.

Then after Quen's group had put a fair amount of distance between themselves and the council building, one of the group's guards stepped closer to Quen and placed her hand on the woman's shoulder to get her attention. "Pardon me Lady Quen may I have a word with you?" The Guard inquired.

Quen stalled for a moment to glance back at her fellow tribesmen. Her eyes were still filled with fiery anger but since it was meant for her comrades she quickly averted them and continued to walk forward. "Very well Su, what is it?" Quen asked.

"I think we may be wasting our time here on this island. This is already our fourth visit and it's very clear that they aren't going to change their minds any time soon. Perhaps its time we took military action." The women suggested.

Quen sighed while pinching the bridge of her nose. "I am well aware of that Su. I doubt these people will ever pick a side without some kind of divine intervention."

"What? Then why do we keep coming here my lady?" Su asked in a slightly confused tone.

"Because as much as they don't want to get involved Grandmother umm, I mean Chief Hama is dead set on them joining the alliance. Don't ask me why, because I don't know either. I understand the tactical advantage this island would offer but I don't understand why we need to be so diplomatic about it. She always just feeds me some nonsense about similar values. Don't get me wrong though, this location would be a very nice supply route and the Kyoshi Warriors quite impressive. So having them on our side as well would be a nice bonus." Quen explains.

"I see, so what are we going to do now my lady?" Su inquired.

"Well I guess we could set sail for home since there's no way we will… be.." Quen's train of thought was suddenly derailed when she stared off over the sea and spotted a large group of ships baring the Earth Kingdom crest coming into view. "Oh no."

Noticing her commanders sudden distress Su spoke up again. "My Lady what's wrong?!"

Quen quickly shook herself and glanced back towards her fellow tribesmen. "Everyone head for the shore we need to get off this island right now!" She commanded.

///////////////////////////////////////////

Meanwhile outside the council building Toph and her group had remained standing at the entrance watching council members pour out until they had spotted Suki exiting the building herself and they rushed over to great her.

"Hey what's up Suki!" Toph shouted as she waved to girl in question.

Suki looked over to see Toph and her fellow warriors and greeted them with a wave of her own. "Hey guys I didn't think you would be back so soon."

Koko shrugged. "Toph ended up getting bored so we came back as soon as we had all the supplies we needed. We will likely be setting out on another extended expedition soon though." She stated.

"It's going to be great! Though we haven't decided where we will be visiting this time. We have already covered most of the Earth Kingdom." Loca continued.

"Oh is that so. You guys haven't been to Ba Sing Se yet right? Why don't you check it out? It is the capital after all." Suki suggested.

The mention of Ba Sing Se instantly made Toph's expression become that of pure distain before she began to make gagging sounds. "No! My parents took me there once. They were paying a visit to the King and decided it would be a good chance to have a family vacation. So I can tell you from personal experience that the capital is the worst city ever!"

This decoration earned a giggle from Loca before she spoke up. "So anyway, Suki what did scary miss bloodbender want?" She asked.

Suki let out a grown. "It's the same as always. She still wants the Island as well as our warriors to join them in the war."

"Ah how did that go this time?" Loca inquired.

"Come on Loca, you know how it went. I haven't even been leader for a year now and I am expected to make these harsh dictions it's not fair I tell you." Suki complained while running her hands through her short brown hair.

"What do you mean harsh?" Loca asked.

"Really Loca, this is a war we are talking about you know? I can't just sign us up for something like that without good reason. Besides we have remained neutral in this conflict so far and I can't see a benefit in changing that now." Suki retorted.

"Hmm I guess so, but you know it kind of feels like we should do something right? I mean Lady Kyoshi battled for the sake of balance? If you ask me the world is fairly out of balance right now." Loca argued.

"Maybe but if I make the wrong call here it's not just me who's going to suffer the consequences. With how chaotic everything has been getting lately it's almost impossible to tell who's in the right and who's in the wrong. So staying out of it may be the best thing for everyone." Suki explained.

Loca looked like she was deep in thought for a moment before speaking. "Yeah I guess your right Suki! That's why you're the leader!" She declared with a smile.

A half hearted smile appeared on Suki's face as well. "Yeah thanks Loca."

"By the way Suki if Quen keeps paying you visits like this, strange rumors might start to pop up. I hear she is not a big fan of men after all." Toph said with a wide grin.

Suki just rolled her eyes. "Whatever Toph, I just hope I don't have to deal with anymore of this war stuff for awhi…"

"Suki!" Suki was cut off when another Kyoshi Warrior ran up to her shouting and waving her arms desperately. "Suki! We have an emergency!"

"What is it now!?" Suki asked in a slightly annoyed tone.

"A small fleet of Earth Kingdom ships were just spotted off shore. And they sent us a massager Hawk with this note attached to it!" She says as she pulls a small scroll from her robes and hands it to Suki."

Suki promptly snatched the note and began to read it to herself. When she did her eyes winded and then narrowed in what appeared to be anger. "Oh for the love of the spirits! Why today of all days!" She roared in frustration.

"What does the letter say?" Toph inquired.

"It states that General Fong of the Earth Kingdom army demands an audience Suki and the council immediately!" The messenger responded.

"Hey I have heard of that General. Isn't he the same guy who tried to force Avatar Aang into the avatar state and got half of his men hospitalized or worse? It's amazing they still let that guy control a fleet." Toph said with a shrug.

"Indeed, that man is completely unbearable! Despite their objective being the same, he's even worse than Quen. At least she knows when her welcome has worn out!" Suki huffs before turning back to the messenger. "Send a welcome message back and make sure you let them know that only his ship is allowed in the port! And send word to the rest of the council members, we need to get them back here!"

"Yes right away Suki!" The warrior shouted before giving a bow and dashing off.

Suki then turned and made her way back towards the council building signaling the other girls to come along with her.

////////////////////////////////////

About an hour later after the council members were gathered back up in the council building and word was sent to the Earth Kingdom fleet, a group of Earth Kingdom soldiers along with their large black bearded and bare footed commanding officer stepped down the gangplank of their battle ship onto the docks of Kyoshi Island where they were met by a small group of Kyoshi Warriors who would act as their escort to the council building. Once he was on dry land the bearded man began glancing back and forth between his escorts. "Your leader isn't here to great me today?" He asked in a condescending manner.

The first warrior to speak was the same warrior who had acted as a messenger earlier. "Greetings General Fong and no, she is currently awaiting your arrival together with the rest of the council members. Now if you'd come along we will guide you there." She said in as welcoming tone as she could manage while putting on a fake smile.

The General scoffed. "I'm well aware of this village's layout child. I could navigate these roads in my sleep with how much time I have been forced to spend here."

"Far be it for me to be a judge of your competence General. However my name is not 'child' it is Maka so we're not off to a good start and we have our orders and they are to escort you to the meeting location. I trust you understand." The warrior retorted without her tone or expression changing.

The General put on an annoyed expression before he glanced around at the other warriors who all looked like they were ready to reach for their weapons and he couldn't help but let out a loud ear rending laugh. "So serious today, very well lead the way." He said dismissively.

And with that the General and his men were led through the village to their destination. Once they were there they encountered another pair of warrior guarding the entrance to the council building. stepped aside to allow them through and close the doors behind them. After that it was just a short walk down a hallway to a set of double doors. When they reached the doors Maka pushed them open and led the general into a large room where Suki, Toph, Koko, Loca, a few other warrior's, and the village's officials were waiting all waiting for them.

Once he entered Suki was the first one to welcome him. "Hello General Fong, what brings you to our island this time? And if you would be so kind as to inform us why you have brought such a large fleet along with you with sending notice?"

The General chuckled as he gave a small bow that lasted such a short amount of time that if one had blinked they would have missed it. "Straight to the point as always I see. Well that's just fine with me, I don't really have time for pleasantries today either I'm afraid. Miss Suki and members of the council I am here to ask you once more to join our fight. The Southern Alliance threat is growing larger every single day and must be crushed if the world is to survive. We have the Avatar on our side so it is only a matter of time before victory is achieved. However with your aid we could bring this war much sooner and minimize the bloodshed."

Suki and the members of the council all shared a glance before one of their members an elderly woman spoke on their behalf. "General we understand the situation and have made already made our stance on this matter quite clear time and time again. What makes you think we will change our minds now?"

The General chuckled again before responding. "Indeed, I have to admit I didn't really think this speech would be enough." The council women gave Fong a confused look. And Fong took it as his queue to elaborate. "Confused? I can understand that. After all in the past a simple refusal would have been enough to silence me and send me on my way however." Fong paused for a moment to gauge the room and noted the sudden uneasy amongst them. "You see things have changed a great deal since we last met. The war has reached a critical point and your island is perfectly positioned to conduct a counter offensive against the heart of the enemy. If we work together we could cut off the Southern dogs supply lines and cripple their forces. We won't even ask your warriors to fight along with us. We only ask that you allow our forces to make use of this land until the threat has been removed. So with that in mind, I will ask again. Will you help us in our fight?"

"The council members began to speak among themselves before addressing Suki. "Suki what do you think of this matter Lady Suki?"

"My feelings on this matter have not changed. Surely you understand General, if we allow you to set up a war front here on our island. The island itself will become a target for Southern Alliance attacks. And we have a duty to our people, we must keep them safe." Suki responded.

"Then our thoughts are the same then." The council women agreed before turning back towards the General. "I am sorry General Fong but Kyoshi Island will remain neutral. And we will have to ask you and your fleet to depart from our waters."

General Fong looked solemn for a moment before speaking. "No I am sorry councilor. I didn't want it to come to this."

Looks of concern and confusion quickly spread throughout the room. Until everyone's attention was drawn back towards Suki. "What are you talking about General? What has it come to?!"

"You see Miss Suki my orders were clear. I must bring this island under our control no matter what it takes. If you will not join us willingly than that makes force our only option." The General then pull a scroll from his robe that was stamped with the royal seal and began to read from its contents while his men quickly took up fighting stances. "I General Fong by the authority invested in me by the King of the Earth Kingdom place you all under arrest under suspicion of conspiring against the crown!" Fong declared.

Hearing this declaration caused Suki to shoot up out of her seat before she slammed her fists down on top of the council table in front of her. "Conspiring against the crown!? We have done no such thing! What proof do you have of such insanity?!" She asked.

"Lady Suki, do you think us fools?" The General asked with a frown. "We have noticed on multiple occasions that you have been paid visits by the Southern Water Tribe ambassadors. The Southern Water Tribe is part of the Southern Alliance and the enemy of the Earth Kingdom and there for the Earth King. Kyoshi Island may be independently governed but it is still part of the Earth Kingdom. And knowingly allowing an enemy of the Earth Kingdom step foot on our soil is no different than pointing your blade at the King himself."

"Fong you no good son of a…" Suki began to snarl before being cut off by Fong.

"So what will it be Suki? If you come along quietly I will have no reason to involve the civilians." Fong stated as he also took up a fighting stance of his own.

"I…I… am not going to let you do whatever you please!" Suki shouted as she flicked her wrists to draw a pair of fans from her sleeves. And this action prompted the other warriors in the room to spring into action as well. They all jumped to their feet drawing their fans and taking fighting stances around the Earth Kingdom soldiers and their General.

"Suki please we shouldn't be so rash here! Surely there is some other way!" The council woman pleaded.

"You should listen to her Suki. There is no need for bloodshed today." The general warned.

"The Kyoshi Warriors will never surrender their home!" Suki yelled.

"Very well, you had your chance and you made your choice!" The general shouted before lifting his arms up above his head casing the room to shake before a large stone pillar thrust itself up through the wooden floor in the center of the room. Then the earthbending soldiers quickly began to pull large chunks of rock off of the pillar before pelting them around the room aimed primarily at the Kyoshi Warriors. Suki and her warriors quickly transformed their fans into shields and began to block and deflect the incoming rubble to the best of their abilities. After a few seconds of battle without either side making any headway the General decided a change in tactics was in order. "Target the civilians, their just as guilty as the rest of them!" He commanded.

"General Fong you wouldn't!" Suki yelled before a soldier ripped a large chunk of stone off of the pillar and took aim at the head council woman. After he had it centered in front of him he took a step forward and delivered a solid thrust that shattering the rock into pieces and sent its fragments flying across the room directly at the defenseless elder. "Loca! Koko!" Suki screamed at the pair who were the closes to the council woman.

"Were on it Suki!" Loca shouted before the pair jumped in front of the incoming barrage with their fans at the ready. They transformed their fans and held their shields together to from a wall between themselves and the Earth Kingdom Soldiers. Most of incoming stone bounced off of the shields harmlessly but a few fragments made it through to strike Loca in the left shoulder and Koko in her right knee. And the blows caused both of them to let out a cry of pain but they both remained in place.

Another soldier pulled out a smaller rock and chose to take aim elsewhere settling his sights on a young girl that was mixed in with the crowd. Why such a young girl was at this meeting was beyond him. She didn't look to be a Warrior or even a trainee for that matter. Perhaps she was one of the councilmen's daughters, or maybe she was simply one of their pages. Of course the reasons for her presence didn't really matter. She was an easy target and even if he didn't like the idea of attacking a defenseless child orders were orders. So the soldier closed is eyes to avoid seeing the gruesome outcome that was sure to follow and thrust his fist forward to send the rock soaring in her direction.

Toph for her part was not happy. She didn't sign up for this madness and couldn't believe the people of her homeland would sink so low. She would have to teach them the error of their ways. So she reached out with one of her hands to stop the incoming stone dead in its tracks before she crushed it in her hand. "This is just crazy, and you're all a disgrace! I am putting an end to this right here and right now!" Toph shouted before removing her glasses and placing them inside her sleeve. Then Toph took up a bending stance and thrust her hands upward summoning a small pillar to burst up out through the floor directly below her feet. When the pillar appeared it lifted her up off the ground and sent her flying across the room and she landed right on top of larger pillar that had been summoned by the general.

///////////////////////////////////////

"Keep it up men don't give them a moment to counter attack! Soon the island shall be ours!" The general shouted before he reached back to grasp another chunk of earth from his stone pillar and was surprised when he found nothing. He quickly spun turned around to see the stone pillar he summoned had been sunken back into the ground from which it came. And when the rest of his men noticed they also all turned around to see a small girl standing where the pillar had once been with an angry expression on her small face. Seeing this strange sight caused a look of confusion quickly come over the soldiers faces.

Shaking himself out of his stupor one of the soldiers reached out to grab the traitorous girl. "Hey you little brat, what do you think you're doing!? Do you want to…AAHHH!" The man was cut short as the girls stance lowered and she thrust her arms forward to summon a small pillar to strike the man in the chest and send him flying across the room to smack against the back wall.

Then the other soldier's eyes began to widen with realization. "She's an earthbender get her!" The general commanded before he went to grab hold of the pillar that struck his soldier and pulled it from the ground to use as a weapon. As they came after Toph she thrust her arms up into the air raising the general's large pillar back up from the ground before she jumped up off the pillar to land back on top of it with a heavy smack causing the pillar crumble and shatter sending rocky chunks of stone flying in every direction. The soldiers were completely caught off guard by the sudden and furious attack and were all knocked off their feet. Then before they could get back on up the Kyoshi Warriors were on top of them forcing the far larger men onto the ground and quickly ripping off their own belts and sashes to restrain arms and legs to prevent them from attacking. So in just a moment all the soldiers had been captured.

"Toph that was amazing!" Loca shouted as she ran over to pull the smaller girl into a hug.

"It wasn't anything special." Toph said dismissively as she reached into her sleeve to fetch her glasses and slot them back in their proper place.

"It wasn't nothing Toph you saved our island. Now that we have the general as our hostage there's no way they will be able to launch another attack." Suki declared causing the other warriors to cheer.

The celebration was cut short however when General Fong began to laugh out loud causing everyone to look at him like he was crazy. "What are you laughing about Fong? Did Toph hit you too hard or something?" Loca inquired.

"Capturing me changes nothing! My men have their orders, if I don't return within the hour they will begin their attack. I told you Suki this island will be ours by the end of this day!" Fong spat.

"Damn you Fong!" Suki shouted before letting out a sigh and turning to face her companions. "Alright how are we going to fend off a whole fleet?"

Toph began to smile. "You know the Earth Kingdom didn't even have a standing navy before the Southern Water Tribe joined up with the Fire Nation? Rocks don't float after all. When out on the open seas an earthbenders options are very limited. We may not be able defeat them on land but while they are still out at sea we have the advantage."

Suki nodded in understanding. "Hmm maybe but there are far too many of them, we couldn't possibly hold them all off."

"We don't have to Suki, we just have to hold them long enough for you to bring us our reinforcements." Toph responded with a smile.

"Reinforcements, what are you talking about Toph?" Suki asked with a confused tone.

"What isn't it clear? What warrior is the most powerful on the open seas and couldn't have gotten too far away from the island just yet?" Toph inquired.

Suki's eyes narrowed as realization hit her. "Quen…."

///////////////////////////////////

Meanwhile Quen and her guards had returned to their ship and sat a safe distance away from the island. Quen watched as the Earth Nation fleet began to approach Kyoshi Island.

"My lady shouldn't we get out of here? If the Earth Nation spots us it could be trouble?" Su asked in a worried tone.

"No, I need to see how this plays out. If worse comes to worse I think we can manage." Quen responds as she glances up at the glowing full moon in the sky and she takes a deep breath before releasing it.

Chapter Text

Suki was in a panic, her heart was hammering in her chest, and her feet were the only thing able to keep with its frantic rhythm. After leaving the village she had dashed across nearly half the Island so she could reach the unoccupied shore line.

Suki was here because she had a mission. Her people and their very way of life were at risk they alone didn’t have the strength to protect it. That meant their only hope rested on her finding them help before that could happen. However, there was only one such source that could be close enough to reach in time. As much as she didn’t want to go to her, she needed Quen and her bloodbenders.

Quen’s group may have been were few in number, Suki knew that those warriors were her elites. After all it wouldn’t do for the next in line for the Throne to travel so close to enemy territory without a capable guard. Though they would still be vastly outnumbered, but luckily the night was nearly upon them, and the moon would be full. Even a single waterbender of average ability would pose a serious threat on a night such as this. Add that together with the fact that her enemies were on open water and the scales began to tilt drastically in their favor. So all she needed to do is reach Quen and all of this could be resolved.

Unfortunately, getting to Quen was easier said than done. The woman had a fairly sizable lead on Suki and there was no way to be certain that they were still nearby. However, that is way she was here on the far side of the island. Not only did lack any enemy ships to block her path, but it was also home to a type of massive fish known as the Elephant Koi.

Over the years the warriors have become adapt at controlling the Elephant Koi and they made for a very fast ride in a pinch. This part of the island only had one small problem which could and very well would hinder her efforts. Well perhaps small wasn’t quite the right way to describe it. The problem was that along with the Koi there was also a massive sea serpent they called the Unagi making these waters its home and it didn’t take very kindly to intruders.

Suki knew that she would need to take heed. While the Unagi primarily fed on the Koi, it had never been very picky about its meals, hence the reason they would often throw their prisoners out here. So to disturbed the Unagi would likely cause her to become its next meal. Suki couldn’t have that, but she couldn’t back down either so she ran down to a small shack built on the waters edge and reached inside to retrieve a bucket of what they called Koi bait.

She was never really sure what the bait was made of, she had asked one of the villages fishermen before, but they had simply told her that some mysteries are best left that way so she never pressed the issue. Of course one thing she could tell you about the stuff was that it was one of the worst smelling things in the world. However, for whatever reason the Koi seemed to love it.

“Meals on eveyone, Bonaparte!” She called out as she broke into a spin and used her body’s momentum to send the bucket flying through the air and into the water a good few feet away from shore. Then almost instantly the water seemed to explode as nearly a dozen massive Koi fish shot up from below the surface to join in on the spontaneous feeding frenzy.

“Gees, such gluttons these guys are. It’s no wonder they grow to be so huge.” Suki mused to herself as she worked to wrap a rope around a nearby wooden stump and tied the other end into a lasso. With practiced easy she twirled the rope once over her head before letting it fly. Of course she hit her mark on her first attempt and had begun to pull one of the Koi back towards the shore. Once the fish was close enough for her to climb on she cut the rope holding them to the shore and the Koi instantly made a break for it, swimming back towards the promise of food that it had been yanked away from. However, Suki had other plans and came prepared. Holding out another bucket of bait before the hungry creature caused it to mindlessly swim forward in whichever direction she wanted it to. “That’s right, get the treat!” She laughed. “Now all I have to do is find Quen’s ship and tell her to bring her ass back here.”

//////////////////////////////////////////

Meanwhile on the other side of the island, the Kyoshi Warriors were being led by Toph were currently making their way down towards the shore with the intention of cutting off the Earth Kingdom Fleet’s advance. Each one moved with purpose in their step and determination in their eyes.

Toph didn’t know most of the warriors following behind her, at least not nearly as well as her own two attendants, but she could tell that they were ready. She could feel their heartbeats through the soles of her feet and while most of them were faster than normal, none of them felt like they were about to have a nervous breakdown. They were ready to defend their homes and since she was already involved she would need to do her part as well.

With that in mind, when Toph and the warrior’s reached their destination, Toph came to a stop and spun on her heels to face the group. When she did the warrior’s paused to look towards the pintsized earthbender and that’s when she showed them a wide smile and began to address them. “Alright listen up you lily-livered fan dancers! We got about nine Earth Kingdom battleships heading our way and their more than likely filled to the brim with highly trained and/or well equipped Earth Kingdom soldiers. Many of which I assume will be Earth Benders, and since they will almost assuredly outnumber us, once they reach shore and have access to unlimited earth it will be our loss. Luckily our job isn’t to beat them, but rather to keep them from winning long enough for your fearless leader to bring us some back up. Is there anyway questions so far!?”

One of the warriors raised her hand. “Miss Toph, how are we suppose to stop nine Battle ships?”
Toph gave the girl a toothy grin before she replied. “Very simple my dear, we’re going to use their numbers against them!”

////////////////////////////////////////////

An Earth Kingdom soldier looked out over the sea from the side of his ship. He had a long telescope in hand and a scowl painted across his features. His job was simple enough, but not one he felt was a good use of his time. He had been ordered to keep an eye out for any signs of General Fong and his Men and/or any unusual moments from the island. However with their general’s return becoming quite late, and there being little else to see, he was beginning to lose interest.

Right after letting out a yawn the soldier heard the sound of foot falls behind him and when he turned to see who was approaching he stiffened. The new arrival was a middle aged woman with short black hair and a decorated military uniform. Seeing her, the soldier quickly took on a more professional looking posture and fired off a salute before greeting her. “At ease soldier, now then has there been any change yet? Any sign of General Fong?”

“No sir, I haven’t seen Fong since he disappeared into that build over there.” The soldier said while he vaguely motioned towards a large building at the center of the village.

“I see.” The woman said before taking a step closer to look out over the sea, her sharp eyes cutting through the horizon. “Is there anything else to report then?”

“Well there is that group of Kyoshi Warrior’s gathering at the shore right now.” The soldier mentioned while pointing out the small group in question.

The woman’s eyes shot towards the group before narrowing. “Why didn’t you mention them sooner you fool?!” The woman barked before she ripped the telescope out of the other man’s hands and looked through it herself. Now able to more clearly see the enemy forces she noticed that they were gathered around a small girl, or maybe it was a boy, it was kind of hard to tell from this distance. However, they seemed to listening intently. “What are they up to?”

////////////////////////////////////////////

*Achoo!*

“Are you alright Toph? Your not getting sick on us are you?” Loca asked jokingly.

“No, and don’t jinx me or I swear I will wipe my nose all over your uniform!” Toph warned. “Somebody is probably just talking bad about me somewhere. Now then do all of you guys understand the plan? I don’t need to go over it again right?”

Each of the Kyoshi Warriors gave a nod to the bespectacled earthbender before splitting up and taking their positions. There were a total of about twenty-four warriors in total and they were split up into two teams of ten on each side with one extra team of four with the in the middle of their formation. Toph stepped into the center of the team of four woman team and quickly took an earth bending stance, stomping a foot on the ground and causing the ground to crack around them.

It was at that moment that one of Toph’s personal friends among the warriors decided to pose a question. “Are you sure this is going to work Toph.” Koko inquired.

Toph took a moment to think about it, which didn’t seem to inspire much confidence from the group then she shrugged. “Don’t know, haven’t done it with so many people before. So I would suggest you girls try to hold onto something because it’s going to be a bumpy ride!” She declared causing Koko to go pale, but before she could protest Toph was already back in motion, thrusting her arms forward and causing three large slabs of rock beneath the feet of the groups to break off of the shore and began skidding across the waters surface heading straight for the Earth Kingdom ships and taking the Toph and the warrior’s along with them.

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“We have incoming!” A man shouted as he took in the ridicules spectacle of about two dozen fan wielding girls wearing face paint surfing their way on giant slabs of rock.

“What is it!?” Another soldier asked as he rushed over to meet with their spotter.

The first soldier shrugged. “I’m not really sure what to make of it sir, here why don’t you take a look.” He replied before handing his telescope over to his superior officer.

The second took one look through the scope, and then he gave a questioning look back at the soldier next to him who gave him a shrug. Then he doubled checked the telescope to make sure it was working properly and looked again. Then he surged up right and yelled to the rest of the crew. “Ready the catapults! Everyone to battle stations, we’re under attack!”

At their commander’s orders the ship instantly sprang to life as soldiers began to rush across the deck, some went below deck to the lower levels, while others made a beeline for a set of large wooden contraptions at the center of the deck. One solider pulled open a hatch that lead to the lower levels and working together with a few other earthbenders below, they began bending massive rocks from below up onto the deck and then into the contraptions.

After this process was repeated for each contraption one of the soldiers yelled out to their commanding officer. “The catapults are ready Sir!”

The officer gave a nod and then motioned towards the approaching enemies. “Take aim and fire at will!” Not needing any further instruction the catapults were up into action, letting loose a deadly hailstorm over the bow of the ship.

The stones that were now aching across the sky came in all shapes and sizes and nearly numbered in the hundreds, but they were all heading the same way, directly for Toph and her warriors. Toph was prepared for this though. As the first volley was nearly upon them, Toph quickly thrust her fists up towards them. This simple movement knocked several of the rocks off course and caused them to slam into one another shattering them to pieces. Then with another flick of her wrists she scattered most of the resulting rubble, allowing it to splash harmlessly in the water around them.

Meanwhile the warriors had drawn and shifted their fans into their shield forms before moving to a defensive position. This allowed many of the smaller stones to be easily deflected without their earthbender’s assistance, however more than a few of the rocks were too large to deal with in this way so Toph tried maneuvered the stone slabs around these as best she could.

The rock bombardment continued this way for a few more minutes until finally Toph felt like they were close enough to begin phase two of their plan. “Alright everyone, get ready because its time for the hard part! Just remember to jump off before you land!” With that quick warning Toph shifted her stance and thrust her arms upward towards the bows of three nearby ships in quick succession. With each of her thrusts, one of their stone slabs was shot up off the waters surface to sail over the front of one of the leading enemy ships before crashing down in the center of the deck.

Just as they (or rather Toph) had planned the warriors of Kyoshi held on as best they could as they were sent hurtling onto the decks of their respective ships, and they waited until right before their stone slabs landed before leaping from the platform. Now unmanned and little more than a projectile, the sheet of solid stone slammed into the deck with enough force to cause each vessel struck to momentarily lisp. Also upon impact the slabs of rock shattered sending stone fragments in just about every direction. Some fragments slammed into equipment and leaving it inoperable while others collided with a few of the nearby crewmembers knocking a few of them either out cold or some less fortunate souls overboard.

Moments later after weathering their landing, the warriors once again drew their weapons and fanned out. (No pun intended.) With quick and graceful precision, the warriors began taking down anyone still left standing before they could get a chance to regroup.

The smallest team that had landed on the center ship had a slightly different battle plan however. They were more focused on defending Toph while the earthbender mopped up the stragglers herself, and Toph was doing just that. With each flick of her wrists or step she took, one soldiers after another feel to her onslaught. Even if their enemy had earthbenders of their own, they couldn’t match her raw power or skill. So easily she was able to rip control of the stone away from them and turn their counter attacks back on them.

“Toph we need to take the helm!” Toph heard Loca shout as she deflected the swing of an enemy sword before delivering a savage roundhouse kick to the side of her attacks head. Glancing over, Toph had to stifle a laugh as she saw the soldier’s poor fitting helmet spin a whole three-hundred and sixty degrees before the man wearing staggered backward and collapsed on the deck at their feet.

“Alright, I will get you up there!” Toph shouted as she motioned for Loca to stand on a nearby piece of stone rubble. Loca quickly complied and leapt onto the fragment. “You ready!?” Toph asked as she adjusted her stance. Then when Loca gave her a nod Toph thrust one of hands towards ships wheel house sending the stone beneath Loca’s feet flying up off the deck and right through the wheel house’s observation window.

Loca used the rock to shield herself from impact with the glass and the back wall of the wheel house and with a quick roll she was up on her feet and ready to engage the enemy. Good thing too since the moment Loca made it inside the wheel house she found herself face to face with an angry looking enemy soldier. The man in question spun around to face her and quickly drew the sword he wore at his waist before taking a swing at the intruding girl.

Loca easily dunked under the man’s first swing and then quickly rolled across the floor in an attempt to circle around her opponent. However, the soldier was quicker than she expected and when he spun around to take another swing at her Loca had to back peddle to avoid being struck. However the man showed no signs of letting up there and quickly tried closed in on her, all the while taking measured swings with his weapon.

Needing to deal with her opponent’s weapon Loca unfolded her fan and used them to deflect the man’s blade before delivering a kick to his chest sending him staggering backward. Then Loca gave the man a bright smile as she began to fan herself. The mocking gesture seemed to be beckoning the soldier to attack and attack he did.

“Damn brat!” The man snarled angrily before he rushed towards the offending girl slashing wildly. Unfortunately, the only thing he was managing to hit was air. At least until Loca decided it was time to go on the offensive by striking the underside of his wrist with one of her fans, knocking his blade from his grip and sending it flying up into the roof of the wheel house and pinning itself there.

Realizing that he was now unarmed against a clearly superior opponent the man began to back away in fear, but Loca took this as a chance to press her advantage and attack. She jumped up into the air grabbing hold of the hilt of the soldier’s blade and using it as a pivot point to land a double heel kick to the man’s face. Then as the man collapsed on the ground unconscious the blade popped free allowing Loca to land back on the floor with the blade in hand.

“Well that’s that I guess.” Loca said before she took a moment to inspect her new blade. Swords weren’t really her style, but it was a nice one it might come in handy. Then she heard ruckus coming from the door leading out into the rest of the ship and when she realized it was drawing closer, she took on another fighting stance and prepared to face whatever new threat might come through.

Not a moment later and the door to the wheel house swung open and a pair of soldiers panicked and angry looking soldiers rushed in with weapons drawn. Loca could see more moving about behind them too, she didn’t like these odds. Acting fast Loca rushed over the important looking man she had just knocked out and placed his own blade up against his throat. “I would surrender if I were you. Otherwise this guy is going to have a very bad day.” Loca threatened the whole while wearing a bright smile.

The men were stunned for a moment unsure of how to respond, but they remembered their orders, victory at all cost. So they raised their swords and readied themselves for an attack. Loca in turn pressed the blade closer to the unconscious man’s throat as a warning, but it seemed to do little as the men began to draw closer. For a brief moment Loca had begun to worry, but it quickly dissipated when she saw a set of gloved hands creep out from behind the two men and in one lightning quick motion they grasped their heads and slammed them together with a heavy thud. The pair sputtered for a moment before they dropped down to their knees and pasted out on the floor.

Loca looked down at the two men before refocusing on their attacker. “Hey Koko took the long way around I see.”

Loca’s friend shrugged before responding. “Yes well I figured we would have to clear out the inside as well.” She reasoned before motioning into the hallway which a moment ago had been filled with battle ready Earth Kingdom soldiers, but now was lined with motionless bodies.

“Whoa Koko, you are seriously amazing you know that right!?” Loca shouted as she pulled her friend into a bone crushing hug and causing the girl to turn a deep shade of red.

“Th-thank you Loca, but isn’t there something important we should be doing right now?” Koko asked.

“Oh yeah the plan! Almost forgot about that!” Loca said with a laugh as she unceremoniously dropped Koko onto the floor and rushed over to the wheel of the ship so she could seize control of it. Then she began rapidly spinning the wheel causing the ship to begin a turn.

Taking a moment pick herself up and to dust off her uniform, Koko made her way over to observation window to get a better look. From there she could see the other two ships also moving into position forming a blockade around the shore.

“Good work girls!” Koko and Loca heard a voice call out from behind them causing them to spin around to see Toph entering the room with the other two members of their team close behind. “Now those ships will have to think twice before trying to make it to land.”

“Yeah, your plan worked like a charm Toph! Using their own ships to block their path was inspired!” Loca cheered.

“Indeed with most islands this wouldn’t be a very effective tactic since they could simply go around, but our island is mostly cliff side. With only two good ports and one of them being the domain of Unagi, this makes it rather easy to blockade our shores.” Koko added.

“Thanks girls but we’re not out of the woods yet, not by a long shot. This plan only works while we stay here to defend the ships. If we leave them here, they will just board the ships and move them away. The problem is that the Earth Kingdom fleet still has us outnumbered. So all we can do now is keep holding our position here until Suki can come with our help.” Toph explained.

The moment Toph had finished speaking a loud crash was heard outside and their ship began to sway and shake. Toph ran over to the window beside Koko to get a better look at what was happening. Her eyes widened as she saw that the rest of the fleet had begun firing on them with their catapults.

“These damn jerkbenders!” Toph snarled before she leapt out the broken window and down to the deck of the ship. Then like she had done while riding the slabs she began bending the incoming rock in an effort to redirect or destroy them before they could rip their new ships apart. With one particularly oversized projectile, Toph had to focus on the center of the massive rock, and with a flick of her wrists she cut it into two pieces. Each piece was then sent flying right past the wheel house of her ship to splash harmlessly in the water opposite them. That was right before another rock slammed into the stern of the ship causing it to go into a slow spin.

“Toph if this keeps up we are going to be in big trouble! I mean it, Koko will get motion sickness and it won’t be pretty!” Loca shouted as she tried to maneuver the ship back into position.

A few of the warrior’s glanced towards Koko and she shrugged in response, but she then looked away and place a hand over her mouth said that Loca wasn’t bluffing.

“I am doing everything I can! There is just too many to stop them all! At least like this! So I hope Suki hurries up with those reinforcements, because this is going to get old quick!” Toph yelled back.

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Suki was making haste in the direction she believed Quen’s ship would have taken if she was leaving these waters undetected. Luckily her instincts paid off and she soon spotted a red and blue sail in the distance. When she did, her face lit up with excitement. “Thank the spirits, she is still close! I was beginning to worry they would’ve been long gone by now.” She thought allowed. However, her excitement quickly turned to terror when she noticed that the water around her was starting to become unnaturally turbulent. Suki’s gaze quickly shot down to inspect the water below and that is when she noticed it, a large dark shadow moving underneath the surface.

“Oh please don’t be what I think you’re! I have to get out of here right now!” She said in a panic before she smacked the side of the koi in an attempt to make it swim faster. The koi did indeed pick up its speed, but quickly became clear that it wasn’t because of Suki’s efforts, but rather the massive sea serpent that had just emerged from water directly behind them and was now bearing down on them with hunger in its eyes.
“Not good, not good!” Suki said as she yanked desperately on the koi’s fin to make it veer to the right just in time to avoid the massive eel like creature as it swooped down in an attempt to take a bit out of them. “You won’t be making a meal out of me today! I have too many people counting on me!” She declared.

Whether the creature understood Suki’s words or not was unclear, but if it did it showed no reaction to them before it swooped back down with its jaw unhinged and its teeth at the ready. Once again Suki pulled hard on the koi’s find to make it veer out of the beast’s path just narrowly avoiding it. The chase continued on like this for a few more seconds and several failed bites, but now the creature seemed to be visually annoyed and dived back underneath the waters surface.

“Did it finally give up!?” Suki wondered as she looked back and noticed its absence. Her question was quickly answered though when the Unagi suddenly emerged in front of them blocking their path forward. “AHHHHH!” Suki screamed in terror as she pulled back on the koi’s fin to try and bring it to a stop, but the Unagi was too fast and came down on top of them. It bit down into the koi with all the force its powerful jaws could offer, killing the oversized fish instantly and knocking Suki off into the water in the process. Then now with its prey caught, the beast tipped its head back, tossing the koi up and allowing it to swallow its kill whole. Suki hoped for a moment that the beast would be satisfied with that and leave her in peace, but that hope died an ugly death when its large menacing eyes refocused on her.

Suki having lived on an island her whole life was a strong swimmer and was familiar with this creature’s habits, but she knew that none of that would help her in this situation. She couldn’t hope to out swim the massive creature and she had even less hope of fighting it off on her own without even solid ground to stand on. As she watched the Unagi open its jaw and prepare for a strike, Suki closed her eyes and prayed that it would at least be quick. The Unagi roared and the water ripped as it lunged forward, and then there was nothing. That was odd, Suki thought to herself. She could still hear the beast, she could even smell its breath, but she was still alive. She slowly opened her eyes to see the Unagi’s teeth surrounding, but not clamping down. It was almost as if the Unagi were frozen in place.

That is when Suki heard her voice. “You know you’re as lucky as you crazy!” The voice called out to her.

Suki’s head snapped around so fast she felt like it might snap. When she did, she saw Quen standing on top of a block of ice, bobbing in the sea a short distance away from her. She was in a blood bending stance. “Quen! What are you doing out here!?” She asked, while trying to keep the joy and relief out of her voice.

“I spotted this monster from my ship! When I noticed it was chasing somebody I had to at least come check it out. Though, I have to say I wasn’t sure if my bending was going work on something this large. Of course we may have the full moon to thank for that.” Quen replied, before glancing up at the glittering orb in the sky.

Suki quickly swam out from between the Unagi’s gapping maw and over to Quen’s side before pulling herself up onto her tiny iceberg. “Thanks for the save! Don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see you!”

Quen shrugged her shoulders carefully, not wanting to lose her grip on the beast. “I wouldn’t go thanking me just yet Suki. My help doesn’t come for free and I get the feeling you didn’t come all the way out here to play with the koi fish.”

“You would be right about that unfortunately. I came to see if your offer of an alliance still stands.” Suki said with a serious expression.

Quen allowed the faintest of smiles to come over her features. “Indeed it does. Are you interested now?”

Suki gave a nod in response. “On behave of Kyoshi Island I Suki leader of the Kyoshi Warriors accept your offer to join the Southern Alliance.”

“Welcome on board, now is there any other business you have with me or shall we be on our way?” Quen asked jokingly.

“Kyoshi Island is under attack by enemy forces! We request reinforcements! Please!” Suki pleaded.

“Request accepted. Now what should I do with this thing? Should I kill it?” Quen asked while motioning towards the greatly confused and some what terrified Unagi.

Suki shook her head. “No the Unagi may be a monster but it has its uses. I think it will be more valuable to leave it alive.”

“Very well, this is your island after all. You should remember this mercy beast, next time you may not be so lucky!” Quen declared before she shifted her stance, lifting and throwing the Unagi back into the sea several yards away. “Now than let’s get back to my ship so we can get the others.”

Suki gave another nod of agreement and without further ado Quen began to bend the water around their block of ice and soon enough a massive wave rose up to lift them up and the pair sped off back towards Quen’s ship at a breakneck speed. Then once they had closed the distance, Quen summoned a gush of water to blast them up onto the deck where a group of guards quickly swarmed around Quen and begin to question her. “My Lady, are you alright? What was that monster? Why is that islander here?”

“That monster was nothing to worry about.” Quen said replied while waving her hand dismissively. “More importantly, Suki came here to notify us that their island is joining the alliance!” With that decoration, there was a wave of murmurs throughout the crew. “However, there is a condition. They’re currently under attack by our common enemy and are in need of reinforcements and those reinforcements shall be us!”

“But my Lady we only have one squadron and there is a whole fleet out there!” One of the crew members warned.

“We are not alone in this fight we also have our allies here on this island and thanks to them it looks like that fleet had already taken quite the hit. Also this is our element, a stone sinks in the water but we thrive! On top of that we have the power of the full moon! With that our bending is unbeatable! Now who’s ready for battle?!”

The red and blue clad woman around Quen all exchanged looks of mixed emotions, some of exited and others of worried and uncertainty. Of course none of them made to argue with their leader.

“What say you? Are you men or are you mice!?” Quen asked.

Then every warrior on the deck became serious and replied as one. “Neither ma’am, we are women!”

Quen smiled. “And what else are you ladies?!”

“We are blood benders! We are invincible!” They shouted in sync.

“That’s right! Now let’s go kick some serious Earth Kingdom ass!” Quen declared before she made her way over to the edge of the ship bow. Then she quickly turned back and pointed to one of the guards. “Expect for you Su, somebody has to stay here and look after our guest and our ship!” Then with that she dove over the edge, her body cutting into the water below before and she burst back up from below and formed a block of ice at her feet. Then she sped off towards the far side of the island and the ongoing battle.

The other blood benders shrugged and quickly followed Quen’s lead, jumping off after her until all that remained was an overwhelmed Suki and a sulking Su. “So is she always like that during battle?” Suki inquired.

Su just shrugged. “Yeah she always gets a bit more excitable during the full moon though. I think it may be her predator instinct more than anything else. I just wish I knew why she always feels the need to stick me with the boring jobs. If it’s not guarding the gates I get stuck baby sitting! Whatever, you want some tea or something? We’re going to be here awhile.”

Chapter Text

The Earth Kingdom had always been known for its spirit and fortitude. Always stubborn and unyielding when faced with any opposition. So it was no surprise to anyone that even after having three ships stolen and turned against them that they continued their assault on Kyoshi Island with no regard for their positional losses.

With no end to the bombardment in sight, Toph continued to stand her ground against the rain of rock and stone. With each movement she made, she bent massive stones aimed directly at her ship off course and causing them to splash in the water behind them or she would bend several of the smaller stones into each other, causing them shatter.

For awhile this endless dance continued until Toph shattered a pair of rocks a bit too close to the ship and sent large fragments hurtling towards her. “Toph look out!” Loco called out as she and the other three Kyoshi Warriors on deck rushed out in front of the small earth bender and deployed their shields to deflect the incoming fragments. While doing so, Loca noticed that Toph was breathing heavily and was becoming paler by the second. “Toph what’s wrong!?”

“Nothing I’m fine!” Toph replied instantly before gasping for air.

“You don’t look fine my Lady.” Koko retorted.

“It’s just all this rocking back and forth is making me feel a little off. I will be fine, just give me a minute.” Toph tried to assure them.

Koko and Loca share a worried look before Loca spoke. “Toph this is no time to be getting sea sick! Without you we’ll be sitting ducks out here!”

“I know, I know already dang it! I’m doing all I can here!” Toph snapped before reaching out and diverting another massive rock into the water causing the ships to sway once again. That seemed to send Toph over the edge since she then became completely pale and her hands shot up to clamp around her mouth in an attempt to hold down her lunch.

“Toph if we’re unable to hold our defense here, perhaps its best we move the ships into attack range.” Koko suggested, with some desperation creeping into her tone.

Toph swallowed hard and shook her head. “There’s no way we can do that. We had the element of surprise before. Now that their prepared for us, we wouldn’t stand a chance of getting these battered ships in attack range without being torn apart by their earthbenders. All we can do for the time being is hold our ground and hope Suki comes through!”

“Speaking of, look over there! Do you see what I see!?” Loca shouts while motioning towards a few fast moving red and blue dots on the horizon.

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The Hai Juren that is what the flagship of the Earth Kingdom naval forces was called. Among the Earth Kingdom’s fleet this one vessel easily dwarfed the others in all dimensions, which included its arsenal. Where most of the ships in the fleet were only equipped with two to four catapults as their primary offensive weapons, this ship sported six catapults and four extra ballistae. While the catapults were their best option for ship to ship combat, the ballistae were especially useful for dealing with smaller fast moving targets.

On the deck of the flagship there spotted was currently gazing out over the sea with his scope. The man was acting normally if not a little bored, but suddenly he seemed to jump panic before opening his mouth to shout back over the deck. “Madam Brigadier, come quickly!” Hearing the mans call a very tall woman with long brown hair tied up in a very tight bun and dressed in an unusually tidy and an ornate Earth Kingdom uniform turned towards him and began to approach.

“Don’t command me soldier!” The woman roared once she got a bit closer. “Now what is it!? Haven’t we sunk those traitors yet!?” She asked.

The soldier seemed to reel back slightly and began to stammer. “No Madam Brigadier sir! I am very sorry sir!”

The woman’s already distasteful expression twisted into a frightening glare. “Oh and why is that? It’s embarrassing enough that those face paint loving wenches managed to take three of our ships. However, they should be easy pickings out there, so what the hell are the man doing?!”

“Sorry Madam Brigadier they seem to have Earth Benders on their side, they are misdirecting our shots. However, there is a more pressing matter at hand Madam Brigadier sir!” The woman raised an eyebrow in question. The man drew in a deep breath before going on. “We’ve spotted what seems to be a squad of waterbenders heading this way, from what I can tell they came from the far side of the Island.”
“Waterbenders you say?! Give me that!” The woman commanded before she snatched the man’s spy glass and began to look out over the sea herself. Not long after she caught sight of about a dozen fast moving blue and red dots heading straight for their location. “What are Quen’s witches doing all the way out here!? I thought that whole conspiring with the enemy thing was just an excuse to take the island. I guess it really was true.”

“What do we do Madam Brigadier!?” The soldier inquired.

A wicked smile came over the woman’s face before she spoke. “What do you mean? This only makes our goal that much more valuable. We can’t let those southern dogs get their hands on Kyoshi Island even if we have to sink it to the bottom of the sea.”

“What you want us to engage?! Madam Brigadier Sir, it’s the full moon right now and we can’t get anywhere near the land with those ships blockading us! We will be in big trouble if we have to fight those waterbenders on the open sea! I think General Fong would order a retreat!” The soldier declared.

The woman’s glare returned more blood thirsty than ever. “General Fong has fallen and that leaves me in charge! Now you will obey my orders or I will throw you over board! Do I make myself clear soldier!?”

“Y-yes Madam Brigadier Sir!” The soldier shouted as he gave a sloppy salute.

“Good, now tell the men to spin the catapults around and ready the ballistae. I want them to take aim on those waterbenders! This battle will be ours no matter what!” She commanded. The soldier gave another salute before running off to single the others and the woman returned her gaze to the horizon and the approaching red and blue dots. “I know those color’s anywhere, it’s you isn’t it Quen? You’ve been a thorn in our side for long enough. Once I take your head back to Long Feng I will finally get the promotion that I deserve.”

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Quen and her bloodbenders were making good time. Though, with the tides so calm and the moon so high it was not surprise to any of them. Once their target came into view, Quen craned her head to see her warrior’s following behind her in a wide triangular formation.

Then Quen took a deep breath and called out loud enough for everyone to hear her over the sound of their ice rafts skidding off the waters surface. “Alright everyone listen up, the current condition may give us the advantage for moment, but we are vastly out numbered here. That means I don’t want to see anyone showing off! We just need to get in there and cripple their ships artillery, especially those catapults!”

Then after Quen took note of her warrior’s agreement with the plan she turned towards one of the near the front of the formation directly behind her. Then she addressed her directly. “Ren I need you to take a few of our girls and provide some support for our allies over there on those ships!” Quen instructed as she pointed towards the ship blockade. “I am sure they will have few injured so take a few good heals. Also while you’re at it, see if you can set up some cover for them! Until we take out those catapults, they’re still sitting docks out there!”

“Yes my Lady!” The girl responded before she motioned to two of the other women further behind her. Then they quickly broke off from the formation and headed towards the shore line and the blockade.

Quen watched them as they went and her attention was snapped back in front of her when one of the warriors called in a panicked tone. “We have incoming!”

When Quen looked back towards the enemy she spotted dozens of massive rocks arcing across the sky and barreling right for them. “Spirits, everyone spread out and take evasive maneuvers!” Quen ordered and her benders didn’t need to be told twice as they immediately broke from the formation and spread out in every direction.

Before long Quen and her benders were dunking and weaving around the large projectiles and were riding the resulting shockwaves as they impacted the water. Their small size and lightning fast movement made them a difficult target to hit to say the least. “We are closing in! Remember our objective. Find a ship and take it down, leave the flagship to me!” Quen shouted before making a beeline for the rear of the enemy formation.

“Yes my lady!” Quen could hear her benders reply and though she could no long see them she could feel their moments through the waters surface. They knew what they were doing.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////

“They finally stopped shooting at us!” Loca declared joyfully.

“Yeah it’s about time Quen showed up! If she’d been any later I think I would’ve blown…” Toph began before turning pale again and running over to the side of the ship and hanging her head over the side. A gurgling sound could be heard slightly after, but the four warriors on deck with her wisely choose not to watch and see what happened.

After the gurgling sound had faded Koko made her way over to Toph and rubbed a soothing circler patter on her back. “Are you feeling better now Miss Toph?” Koko inquired.

Toph looked up at her and let out a half hearted chuckle. “Yeah I’m feeling much better, thank you Koko. I’m just feeling a little embarrassed.”

Koko smiled and said. “There is nothing for you to be embarrassed about. That was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen and we all owe you our lives.”

The other warriors each gave a nod in agreement. “Yeah I’ve never seen anyone earthbend like that. You could be the greatest earthbender in the whole world with those skills!” One of them declared.

Toph rubbed her chin as if she were in thought. “Hmm, the greatest earthbender in the world you say? You know it does have a nice ring to it, but in order to claim that spot I would have to be able to best Avatar Aang. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that yet. Though, in the mean time I am still the greatest bending researcher in the world so it doesn’t really matter.”

Loca and Koko just gave each other a knowing look before they started to giggle. However, their cheer was cut short when a sudden gush of water shot up from the side of the ship facing the enemy. All at once, the warriors spun around and went into their fighting stances with their fans drawn. Their actions were proven unnecessary when a girl dressed in Southern Water Tribe reds and blues water landed on the deck.

Seeing the Kyoshi warrior’s armed and staring at her, the waterbender put her hands up to wave them off. “Hey relax we’re on your side.”

The warriors all breathed a sigh of relief and lower their fans. At the same time Toph picked herself up off the railing of the ship and approached the waterbender. “Sorry about them, their just a little on edge. We’re really grateful for your help. Though, I do have one question. What are you doing over here?” Toph inquired.

“Quen sent us to tend to your injured and sure up your defenses while the rest of our group deals with the fleet itself.” The waterbender explained before she motioned to the other ships in their blockade. Following the woman’s direction, everyone saw two more waterbenders each boarding one of the other two ships. “Now if you will pardon me for one moment.” The girl said before she stepped back towards the side of the ship before taking a bending stance.

Then in sync all three waterbenders began lifting up a massive chuck of water and forming a single wall around the three ships. Then once the wall of water had completely separated them from their enemy, they froze it solid.

Now satisfied with her work, the waterbender on Toph’s ship brushed off her hands and turned back towards them. “There, that should keep us out of harms way for awhile. Now let’s check up on those injured shall we.”

With a nod of agreement everyone went to work and a few moments later the waterbenders had created a set of ice bridges to connect all three ships together in a chain. Then each of the Kyoshi Warriors that could still move under their own power made their way over to the center ship and the rest were carried there on their friend’s shoulders.

Many of the warriors had cuts, scrapes, and a few bone fractures as a result of being struck by rock bombardment, but most managed to avoid anything life threatening. However there was one unlucky warrior who had struck in the chest and suffered a serious rib bone fracture. The impact had caused one of her ribs to puncture her left lung and now she was struggling just to breathe.

When the wounded girl was carefully moved over to the center ship Loca and Koko instantly recognized the girl as Maka and nearly broke into tears before running over to their comrade’s side. The other waterbenders were not far behind. Together the girls began inspecting Maka’s injuries.

“Is their anything you can do for her?” Toph inquired.

“We can’t completely heal a wound of this size,” One of the waterbenders began before looking closer and nodding to one of her comrades. “But we shouldn’t have any trouble stabilizing her condition.” She assured.

“So she will live then?” Toph continued.
“Yes, at least for now.” The waterbender replied before she and the other benders all pulled their element into the palms of their hands and began moving it around Maka’s chest in a circular pattern. Before long the water began to give off a green glow and Maka’s breathing became far steadier. At the same time that Maka began to breathe properly all the other warrior’s did the same. It seemed that the suspense had caused them to hold in their breath without them realizing it.

“Thank’s again for this, you guy’s are literally life savers.” Toph said.

“No need, were just following orders.” The girl responded, but threw in a smile to show the gratitude was received. Then the girl’s eyes were drawn back towards on the enemy fleet that was still position on the other side of their defensive wall. The reason was because she had heard an explosion and when she looked to see the cause, another one rang out over the water. She could now see a plume of smoke beginning to rise from one of the smaller ships. “It looks like things have begun over there as well.”

//////////////////////////////////////

Quen’s bloodbenders had finally engaged the Earth Kingdom fleet and were keeping themselves spread out across the waters. This tactic allowed them to avoid enemy focus fire while still allowing them to dish out maximum damage.

Around one of the enemy vessels a pair of Quen’s elite had begun to circle. They were freezing the water underneath the ship to trap on an ice sheet. If they succeeded then the vessel would likely suffer serious damage to its hull, which would effectively cripple it.

“Stop those witches!” An Earth Kingdom soldier shouted obliviously realizing the waterbenders plan. In response to call, several earthbenders rushed out to the sides of the ship and began pelting head sized stones down at their attackers.

Seeing the attack coming, one of the bloodbenders leapt off her ice board right before a stone struck and shattered it. From there she dove under the water allowing her element to surround her, then she began to reach out and pull it in before adding a whirl. Then she shoot back up from under the waters surface riding inside a twisting cyclone of whirling water.

“There she is! I got her!” One of the Earth soldiers shouted as he bent a rock from one of the nearby stockpiles into his hand and took aim. With a bit of a wined-up he let the rock fly towards the head of the girl towering above him.

The bloodbender smiled viciously as water evolved her arms. Then she spun and lashed out with her watery appendage to snatch the stone out of the air before whirling around a few more times and flinging it straight back to the sender. Caught of guard the earthbender was nailing square in the chest and was sent sailing across the deck before striking the opposing railing and flipping off the other side of the ship and into the water below.

She then noticed that one of the soldiers had spun the main catapult around and was not taking aim at her. “We have you now!” The man screamed as he reaches for the firing lever.

The bloodbender had other plans and reaches out her hand and found perches deep within the man’s body stopping him in his tracks. The man’s arm was now pulling itself away from the lever independent of his will. “Damn you monster!” The man hissed knowing full well who was causing this betrayal.

“Bye, bye!” The bloodbender said before she moved her hand in a swiping motion pull out a stream of water from her cyclone and slam it into the man’s body sending him flying across the deck and plowing into another earthbender who was preparing an attack of his own.

Then the waterbender whipped another soldier in the side of the head causing him to tumble into their stone stockpile and pass out. Then she lowered herself down from her whirlpool and out onto the deck proper. There were only two men left to upright to face her at this point and they seemed to be too stricken with fear to actually do much of anything.

As the bloodbender continued to approach her opponent’s they in turn continued to back away from her until she was at the center of the ship beside the main catapult and they were on the far edge of the ship. The girl’s wicked smirk widened as she watched a set of watery appendages creep up from behind the men to grab hold of their necks. The men gasped in surprise, but had little time to do anything else before they were yanked over the railing and down into the waters below. Then coming up to take the men’s former place was the second bloodbender.

“You finally finish icing the ship?” The first girl asked the new arrival.

“Yep this thing isn’t going anywhere for awhile.” The second girl responded.

“Well just to be sure, do you want to give me a hand with this?” The first girl asked while she motioned towards the ships main catapult. The second girl shrugged before making her way over to stand beside her ally. Then with both of them together, they physically pushed the catapult into their desired position pointing directly at the ships own wheel house. Then the first girl reached out to grab hold and pull the back the firing lever sending a massive rock flying into the wheel house and smashing it. When it did, it must have ruptured a few fuel lines or something since everything around the impact zone erupted in a fiery explosion.

Pleased with their handy work, the two girls proceed to disable the catapult and turned to look out over the sea. When they did they saw that several more ships were currently suffering a similar fate to this one. Though, there was still much to do so they decide to continue to press the attack and leapt off the ship into the water and reforming their ice boards before speeding off towards their next target.

/////////////////////////////////////

The battle didn’t appear to be going well for the Earth Kingdom. They were losing one vessel after another to the enemy and to say that the crew of the Hai Juren flashship was worried they might be next would have been a substantial understatement.

“Madam Brigadier the enemy is breaking through our line! One of them is heading this way!” One panicked soldier shouted.

“Then stop gawking and fire the ballistae! That’s why we have them!” The Brigadier commanded without turning to look at any of her panicked crew. Instead her eyes were focused on the sea spread out before her and the red and blue dots cutting through her forces. Unlike the others she wasn’t afraid, she liked a challenge, and for once it looked like her opponent’s wouldn’t disappoint.

“One off the starboard side, they’re closing in fast!” Another soldiers shouted.

“The ballistae are ready to fire!” Yet another soldier declared.

Hearing this the Brigadier raised her hand to get the crews attention then directed it back towards the sea at the dot closest to their ship. “Focus all your fire on that one!” She commanded.

“Yes Sir!” The crew members all declared in sync before taking aim and opening fire.

The waterbender in the distance must’ve seen the attack coming since they immediately picked up speed and began moving in serpentine patters across the waters surface. Even with the Hai Juren’s full attention, all they were managing to hit was air and ocean. At one point when it looked like the waterbender might actually get hit, they bent a massive chunk of the ocean up to incase the harpoon before freezing it in place. Then they used their new ice sculpture to ramp themselves up into the air, making them even harder to hit.

“Madam Brigadier those slippery water snakes are too strong with the full moons power aiding them! At this rate our whole fleet will be obliterated before we can make shore! We need to retreat!” A soldier pleaded with his commanding officer.

The Brigadier shot this soldier a mean glare before she grabbed him by the neck and hoisted him up off the deck kicking and squirming. “You call yourself a soldier of the Earth Kingdom!? Where the hell is your backbone?! You’re fighting spirit!? You sound like a frightened child! If you’re so afraid of getting a little wet, then perhaps some shock therapy is in order!” The woman declared before she held the soldier’s body out over the side of the ship.

“Wait please… Mad..am..Brigadier…don’t..” The soldier managed to squeeze out.

“Oh my, that is no way to treat your subordinates Miss Brigadier.” A female voice called out from somewhere nearby.

The Brigadier’s ears perked up and her eyes became razor sharp before they snapped towards the source of the sound. That’s when she saw her, a young woman dressed in the Southern Water Tribe reds and blues climbing over the ships railing onto the deck.

Recognizing the Water Tribe Woman before her, the Brigadier smirked. “Quen, well isn’t this just a treat. Here I am thinking I was going to have to track you down, but instead you went and came straight to me.” The Brigadier said before she tossed the soldier she had been holding back onto the deck behind her and leaving him there forgotten.
“Oh so you know who I am do you? Isn’t that quite the honor? To think the Iron Brigadier knows me by name.” Quen jabbed.

A wicked smile appeared across the Brigadiers face. “It seems you’re familiar with me as well. I must say though, I am not very fond of that name.”

“Oh?” Quen said sounding genuinely surprised. “That’s a shame, I think it’s a nice name and I can see why they call you that. You are the only woman to ever achieve the rank of Brigadier in Earth Nation history after all.”

“It will be general once I claim this island and bring your head back with me. They will have no choice but to give me what I truly deserve then.” The Brigadier replied.

“Well it seems that you’re as ambitious as I‘ve heard. I guess it makes since though, some one with a will strong enough to resist the Dai Li’s brain washing would have to have an iron clad will.” Quen shot back.

The Brigadier’s expression turned sour. “What, how did you hear about that you witch!?” She hissed.

Quen shrugged. “I have my ways, but I see no value in telling you about them Miss Iron Brigadier. So shall we do this?” She asked as she slipped into a proper waterbending stance.

“Very well, prepare to die witch!” The Brigadier roared before she glanced over to the other men lining the deck. They all seem to be frozen in fear and unsure of what to do. “If you lot are to afraid to fight then stay out of my way is that understood!?” The soldiers only silently moved further away from the pair causing the Brigadier to scoff. “These useless cowards call themselves soldiers?”

Then while the Brigadier was distracted Quen threw herself back off the side of the ship and allowed her body to splash in the water below. The Brigadier didn’t seem bothered by her opponent’s actions and instead of perusing them instead she took this chance to run over to one of the ship’s rock stockpile. Then she slammed both her fists into the heap and when she drew her hands back out they were covered in a rock like armor. Then she reached out with her bending pulled apart half a dozen stone projectiles to cover the rest of her body in her element.

It was then that moment Quen soared back up out of the water in a whirlpool of water and once she was hovering over the deck, she began forming and launching large ice lances down at her enemies. The Brigadier dodged away from the first volley, showing impressive speed despite being weighed down by her armor. Then the earthbender began to swing her rocky fists in rapped succession to deflect or shattering every other lance that came close to hitting her.

The Brigadier then punches forward with both her fists sending her rock gauntlets flying toward Quen. Quen sinks herself down into the whirlpool to evade the attack and leaps out of the whirling water onto the deck of the ship and bends the whirlpool around and begins spinning it around her. The Brigadier jumps backward towards the rock pile and thrusts her fists forward sending several rocks flying toward blood bender. Quen quickly hardens the water around her forming an icy wall causing the stones to smash into it sending stone and ice fragments sailing in every direction.

Though smashing the icy lances caused shrapnel to fly everywhere, the Brigadier had no trouble simply allowing the fragments to bounce off her rocky frame. Then when she found a short opening between Quen’s attacks she thrust her fist forward to launch a large chunk of her armor at the waterbenders head. Seeing the attack coming Quen slipped down deeper into her whirlpool to avoid it. Then she went into a spin, causing the whirlpool to intensify and when she reached out one of her hands, a long thick watery tendril extended from spinning mass of H2O and struck the Brigadier hard enough to knock her back into the rock pile.

“You’re not down already are you?” Quen asked as she steadied her whirlpool and allowed it to despite and lower her down onto the deck. “That would be quite disappointing.” She jabbed.

The Brigadier shook off some rubble and grunted. “Not bad witch, but I am just getting warmed up!” She roared as she reared back up onto her feet and thrust her fists deep into a set two large rocks. Then she hoisted them up off the ground before punching them together like they were extensions of her fists. “Let’s see how much you can take!” She declared before charging at her bloodbending opponent.

Seeing the Brigadier charge at her, Quen allowed a smirk to appear on her face as she readies herself. Once the Brigadier had closed the distance between them, she released a savage right hook that just narrowly misses Quen’s face as she dunked to the side. However Brigadier wasn’t done yet. She then used the moment from her heavy swing to spin around with the intention of to backhanding Quen with her left. Quen dunked underneath that one with a roll.

Then springing back up onto her feet, Quen pulled her hand back reaching out for her element to form a whip of water before she lashed out at her opponent. The water whip moved with an unnatural speed as it reached out and snared the Brigadier’s arm right arm. Then while the Brigadier struggled to get herself free from Quen’s grip, Quen formed a second whip and used it to snag her opponents other arm before she pulled her up off the ground. Now off her feet the earthbender began to squirm and panic before she was thrown across the deck and straight through one of the catapults and into the wall below the wheel house.

Upon impacting the wall, the Brigadier’s rocky armor crumbled before completely falling apart. Then she slumped down onto the deck motionless. Seeing this, the other soldiers who were still on the deck became speechless and eerily still. It was clear to Quen that they were unsure of what to do now, so Quen decided to help them out. “Why don’t you lot just do yourselves a big favor and jump of this ship right now?” She told them. The message that she would do it for them otherwise was clear.

The soldiers took a moment to look at one another, assessing their options. However, before any of them could make a move a rocky fist slammed into Quen’s gut and sent her flying off the front of the ship. The soldiers looked back to see their leader had gotten back onto her feet and had her arm extended out towards where the waterbender had been.

“This is not over yet damn it! Don’t get so full of yourself!” The Brigadier sheathed.

“Oh and why shouldn’t I? Right now I have all the power and you can only fain control.” Quen declared as she rode another water whirlpool back up to the deck. “I will admit though, that was a good shot. I actually felt that one.” Quen said as she licked up some blood from her lips. “I will have to pay you back for that.”

The Brigadier began to chuckle manically. “It seems even witches can bleed! You see that men!? Even with the power of the full moon they are not invincible! Now fight for your Kingdom!” She shouted back towards the soldiers lining the deck. Getting the message the soldiers all nodded to each other before finally taking their own fighting stances. Some drew weapons while others lifting up small rocks from the deck before charging towards Quen.

“It may be true that we’re not invincible, however we’re still far out of your reach. Though, I suppose you will not truly be able to understand that until you have seen it. So why don’t I give you a taste of our true power?” Quen said as she took a new stance then with a subtle move of her fingers, every soldier near her seemed to halt in their tracks and began to spasm. Then the sounds of agonized screams and popping bones erupted from the group a moment later.

“I won’t let you do whatever you…” The Brigadier began before she was suddenly forced down onto one knee by an invisible force. Though she couldn’t see what was holding her down, she knew it was Quen’s cursed bloodbending. “Damn, you witch!”

“Give up Miss Brigadier you can’t win this battle.” Quen declared.

“I…. won’t let it end… like this you monster!” The brigadier shouted as she bent the nearby rock fragments around her body and forcefully moved her body back onto its feet with the help of her bending. Then she forced her body to charge in Quen’s direction. Quen was momentarily caught of guard, but quickly shook it off and bent some water onto the floor in front of her before freezing it in place. This caused the Brigadier to lose traction and go into a slide. Then Quen stepped out of the way and allowed her opponent to slide all the way to the other side of the ship, only being stopped once she collided with guardrails. Then Quen pulled the water into a whip and smacks her off the side.

“Now then where were we?” Quen asked before she refocused on the other crew members. “You know I didn’t really have time to look at before now, but this is a rather nice ship. Since it doesn’t look like you lot will need it anymore I think I will be taking it. That means all of you can get the hell off.” Quen then used her bloodbending to force to stand and throw themselves over the side of the ship. With that done she made for the wheel house, just to make sure there wasn’t any dead weight left on board.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////

“Wow don’t you think you went a bit over board there Quen?” Toph inquires.

“Toph it was the Earth Kingdom soldiers that went overboard, weren’t you listening?” Loca asked jokingly.

Quen hummed in amusement before replying to Toph’s question. “I don’t see what the problem is? They were the enemy and I dealt with them. It was combat between soldiers, nothing more and nothing less.”

“Well ethics aside, what’s important is that Kyoshi Island is now an ally of the Southern Water Tribe and by extension the Fire Nation. I hope this has given you some insight Miss Korra.” Koko added for clarification.

Korra looks dumb stuck for a moment not sure what to think. “That was some story. I can see why you made the choices you did and I think I would likely do something similar. I have to say though that Brigadier sounds a lot like a woman I knew from back home.”

“She was quite the nasty character. Tough to since it turns out she survived that encounter and is already back on the front lines. I will have to be sure to put her down for good next time we meet.” Quen Added.

“Speaking of back home, you came here all by yourself didn’t you Korra? Do you have anyone special back home?” Loca inquired with excitement in her eyes.

Korra’s expression seemed to dip slightly. With everything that has happened so far she had almost forgotten. Asami was with her when the tree activated but was nowhere to be found afterward. “Where could she have been sent?” Korra thought to herself.

Chapter Text

Korra’s group had just finished recalling the events of the battle for Kyoshi Island. Korra found the tale to be quite amazing but. It was Loca’s question for her that caused her distress. Loca reminded Korra of something she should have never forgotten about.

“Korra what’s wrong you’re kind of freaking out right now?” Toph inquired.

Korra was sitting with her head in her down and cradled in her hands. She lifted her head to look at the young earth bender. “I just remembered that I forgot something very important.”

“What is that Korra?” Loca inquired.

“There is somebody I had to leave behind and I am not sure if they are ok.”

“Were you in some kind of danger when you left her?” Koko asked.

“No but she might be freaking out right now and knowing her there is no way she would sit around and wait for me to comeback for her. I just hope she doesn’t get herself into to much trouble wherever she is.”

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

9,829 BG — Year of the Ox

A flash of light erupts from inside the Tree of Time before quickly fading. A lone woman with raven black hair wearing red and black clothing appears in the lights place. The woman is laying flat on her back and seems to be unconscious but her eyes soon flicker to life. She sits herself up and places her hand on her head to quiet its throbbing.

“What happened? I can hardly remember a thing.” She mumbles as she begins to look around. “This is… The Tree of Time, right? What in the world am I doing here? Where is Korra?” The girl then gets on her feet and shakes her head in an attempt to clear the haze. “Alright Asami just calm down and think what is the last thing you remember?! Korra had just defeated Kuvira and stopped the Earth Empire’s advance. Then we went on our vacation to… That’s right we went to the spirit world. Is that why I am here? No there was more to it then that think Asami!”

Asami was at a loss she just could remember what had happened so she decide to take a look out side and see if she could gain any clues that way. She gazed out of the hole in the Tree of Time and took in the strange scenery of the spirit world. “Everything looks about right though not right at the same time. It fells a bit more colorful perhaps.” She thought. “It’s almost like the world is using a different art style.” She said jokingly. “Wait something is missing isn’t it?” Asami looked back and forth but there was no sign of the Republic City Spirit Portal. “Why isn’t it here!? Was it closed!? Or could it…” Her train of thought was derailed as a flash came from what she believes to be the Southern Spirit Portal.

A cloaked figure appeared from the portal. He was dressed in simple robes with a red cloak covering his head. He was riding on top of what seemed to be a Catelope. He was cradling something small in his open arm. It was hard to make out from so far away but it looked like a tea pot and it appeared to be glowing. The man removed his cloak revealing a young man with dark shaggy hair and a goatee. He began to make his way towards the center were the Tree of Time sits. “Who is he? He looks to be human but what would a human be doing here alone?” Asami soon got her answer as another flash of light erupted from the Northern Spirit Portal and a familiar menacing voice entered her hears.

“Are you ready for are final battle Raava? Thanks to our friend separating us, I think this time I think I may be rid of you once and for all.”

“No it can’t be! If Vaatu is here does that mean that man down there could possibly be… No that’s crazy I can’t be witnessing the birth of the Avatar! Could this be the battle between Vaatu and Wan the first Avatar?” Asami thought to herself.

The man then stepped down from his mount and approached Vaatu. “Before you get to her you will have to get through me!”

“No human can stand against me!”

“Haven’t you heard the legends? I am not a regular human anymore!” The man said as he began his attack. He shot massive bursts fire from his figure tips directed at Vaatu but, Vaatu lashed out with one of the dark tendrils that make up most of his body and deflected the first shot. He then sped off into the air evading the rest of his flame before spinning around and lashing out with his tail striking the ground under Wan’s feet and sending him flying. Into the air before crashing back onto the ground with a rolling thud. The sound of the impact made Asami cringe slightly.

Vaatu then hovered above him as he began to gloat. “I lived ten-thousand life times before the first of your kind crawled out of the mud!” Vaatu’s body then began to swell and glow a dark purple like color before releasing a massive blast of spirit energy directed at Wan. The blast struck near him once again and sent him flying even further back.

“Oh my, this is not looking good for him! He is supposed to win this battle isn’t he!?” Asami thought to herself. With that said it is amazing that blast didn’t kill him on the spot. The power Vaatu is releasing with every attack is about as much as Kuvira’s massive war machine.

Vaatu once again made his way towards Wan and continued his gloating. “It was I that broke through the divide that separated the plane of spirits from the materiel world!” Vaatu once again blasted Wan with his energy blast striking Wan directly and knocking him backward once again. Without missing a beat Vaatu pressed his advantage. “To hate me is to give me breathe, to fight me is to give me strength. Now prepare to face oblivion!” Charged up for another blast with the intent of finishing Wan once in for all but. Wan fire bend downward sending himself up and out of the way but the force of the blast still pressed him backward.

As Wan landed he collapsed onto his knees. His strength was now at its limit. “How is Wan going to pull this off!? Vaatu is too strong for him to handle! Should I do something?!... No what are you thinking Asami?! I can’t mess around with time like that who knows what could happen! Besides it’s all going to be ok I am sure of it.”

Wan turned to his mount and looked at the tea pot sitting atop of it. “Raava, the only way to win is together!” After Wan said these words Asami noticed a white glow leave the pot and fly into Wan. After that Wan went on the attack once again bending air underneath his feet to help him keep up with the flying spirit. Wan was hitting Vaatu with everything he had, blasting him with fire, lashing at him with water, and ripping whole chucks out of the ground before flinging them into Vaatu’s face but. It all seemed to be to no avail as Vaatu showed no signs of weakening. Wan on the other hand was soon back on his knees on the verge of break down.

Moments late Vaatu was throwing Wan’s body around like a rag dull until finally pinning him up against the base of the Southern spirit portal. “The Harmonic Convergence is about to begin! The era of Raava is over!” The spirit portals began to ark and met above the Tree of Time creating a surge of energy to erupt from the point of contact.

Asami could feel the tree reacting to the surge of energy. She could fell it surging through her whole body. “What is this feeling going through me!? It feels like every fiber of my being is on fire but it doesn’t hurt it feels amazing!” Then a sharp pain shot through Asami’s head as visions began to enter her mind. It wasn’t like before when Korra showed her the tree powers. These visions were not from her past but of the worlds. She could see everything but it was going so fast she could grasp it all. “What is all this!? What is this all of this mean!?”

Asami’s mind had fallen into complete chaos. By time she had come too Wan had subdued Vaatu and was moving him towards the tree. “That’s right Wan imprisoned Vaatu in this tree! If I don’t get out of here I will be trapped for ten-thousand years!” Asami sakes off the mist and leaps into action jumping out of the gap in the tree right before Wan forces Vaatu into it and seals it for good.

Wan notices the raven haired girl barreling down the tree trunk and is stunned for a moment. He couldn’t comprehend what a human girl was doing here and inside the Tree of Time no less. He was shaken out of it when he heard the voice of Raava speak to him from within his body. “Wan that girl she is in trouble!” Wan sees the girl roll off one of the roots and fall towards a grouping of jagged rocks at the base of the tree.

“Let’s go Raava!” He shouts as he bends air under his feet and zooms off towards the girl.

Asami’s eyes widen and her body clenches as she realizes her dire situation. “It can’t end like this somebody help!” She screams right before she is swept away in gust and pulled into the arms of Avatar Wan.

“Hey are you alright there fair maiden?” Asami heard a voice say to her. She slowly opened her eyes to see Avatar Wan looking down at her. Then she looked below to see they were hovering in the air.

Asami then refocused on Wan and opened her mouth to speak. “I am fine, thank you for the save. It’s Wan right?”

Wan looks confused for a moment as he lands on the ground and sets the girl down. “That’s right but how do you know my name. Have we met some place before?”

“Yes sort of anyway. There is no way you’d remember it though.”

“Is that right? I feel like I would remember meeting a beauty like you. With that said why were you inside that tree? How did you even get there?”

Asami blushed slightly at his first comment. “It’s a very long story and I am not completely sure myself at the moment. What I do know is that I have somebody waiting for me so I have to get back as soon as possible.”
“Get back where, Miss?”

“It’s Asami, Asami Sato. And I wouldn’t say it’s a where per say.”

“How cryptic. Well Asami can you at least tell who is waiting for you?”

Asami looks into Wan’s eyes for a moment and after a long awkward pause she replied. “The Avatar.”

“Avatar, what’s an Avatar?” Wan inquired.

“An Avatar is a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form. In a since you are my Avatar Wan.” Raava responded.

“Oh I see. Wait I am still lost. Are you saying there are other people like me out there!?” Wan inquired.

“No there shouldn’t be any other humans like yourself right now. Though there will likely be more in the future.”

“Alright now you’re being cryptic, what do you mean Raava.”

“She means that when you bonded your souls together during the convergence a moment ago, the effect will not end with your life. When your life is over another will be born in your place. A reincarnation if you will.” Asami answered.

Wan’s eyes widen at this. “Is what she says true Raava!? Will I be reborn after death?”

“Yes Wan, though you will not be reborn as you are. The soul will remain the same but everything else will depend on your surroundings.

“Alright now that just leaves a few questions. Who are you really Asami? And how do you know all this?” Wan said as he glances over to the Tree of Time. “I am guessing you’re not from around here are you?”

Asami smiled. “No, I am from very far way. As for how I know all this, I guess you told me yourself.” After speaking Asami looked back over at the Tree of Time with Vaatu now imprisoned inside of it. “I can’t make use of the tree anymore can I? Will I be trapped here forever? No I can’t remain here for rest of my life I have to find Korra no matter what!” Asami shouted as bolt of energy shot out and struck Avatar Wan. Sending him flying back as Asami vanished into thin air.

“What the heck was that!?” Wan inquired. “Where did she go?” He asked right before she reappeared in the same place in a flash of light.

Asami looked down at her hands that were still releasing a familiar energy. “This is my ticket out of here! And I will need your help.” She said as she gave him an irresistible smile.

Chapter Text

9,829 BG — Year of the Ox Asami Journal Entry Week Three Day Three

It has been two Weeks and three days since I arrived in the past. It still isn’t easy to believe that I really went back ten-thousand years.

As one could imagine, things are quite a bit different now, than they are in my time. So one of the most surprising things is how similar our cultures still are. Even despite such a huge difference in environment, our language hasn’t seemed to change much over the years. Of course there are a few here and there. For example, there are many words that are used, but have vastly different meanings here. There are also many words that are missing from the dialect all together and have no equivalent.

Despite my best efforts, I have made the mistake of using slang and technical terms a bit more than I would like to admit. Though, I am also learning so much about our history that I never new before. It is all very fascinating and I would love for a chance to study the culture a bit more, but I can’t help find the irony in saying this, there is just not enough time.

I need to focus on finishing my project and getting back home as soon as possible. I am worried about Korra, she may need my help, and I can’t sit around and do nothing. Or at least that is what I would like to think. Korra has always been able to handle herself one way or another. Even after she was almost killed by the Red Lotus she never gave up. And truth be told, I just can’t stand the thought of us being apart again. Those three years she spent away were some of the longest of my life and we weren’t even involved back then.

As for the project itself it is moving along better than I had expected. These strange abilities I have been given, I wasn’t sure what to make of them at first. After I used them for the first time, it didn’t feel like anything even happened. I just saw a flash of light, and felt my hair stand on end for a moment, but according to Avatar Wan, I had vanished into thin air.

After further testing I have begun to realize my powers true nature, the power to Bend Time itself. Yes, its crazy I know, but if there is anything I have learned in my life, its that when spirits are involved, you should expect the unexpected. With that said, I still can’t control it very well. I can only seem to travel a few minutes in either direction regardless of how hard I try.

After becoming frustrated I consulted Raava about it, I figured if anyone could make since of this, it would be the Great Spirit. And she gave me some very useful insight. She told me that while she didn’t know how I received such a power, the power seemed to be drawing on spiritual energy around me to function. This was a slight problem though, since I’m a normal human who couldn’t even bend a normal element. That meant that I didn’t have much spiritual energy to spare, and that was likely what was blocking my power from working.

At first I despaired but soon came to realize something. There was a way I knew of to draw on spiritual energy. If spirit vines could be turned into a weapon, than surely I could turn them into a power source. I would just need a few things, and once Wan returns from his outing today, he should have what I need with him. Then I can finally move on to phase two.

////////////////////////////////////////

Asami was sat at an oak table which she had converted into a make shift workbench inside of a small hut that she had claimed as her temporary workshop until she could figure out a way home. Currently she was now in the middle of a new daily routine of hers, and that was writing a new entry in her old Journal. Her fingers were still a bit clumsy with the ink quill she using but she didn’t have many other options given the time period and she found that she was enjoying the oddity of it more then she would think she would.

Right after Asami had finished her entry and was setting down her quill the front door to the hut was suddenly swung open. Asami quickly spun around to see Avatar Wan stepping inside while carrying a large crate in each of his arms. “Lady Asami, I have returned. I got what you asked for!”

Asami quickly closed her journal and full turned around to face the former Avater with a bright welcoming smile. “Speak of the spirits.”

“What? What about the spirits?” Wan asked obviously slightly confused.

“Oh it’s nothing, don’t worry about it.” Asami said while waving it off. “That was really quick did you manage to get everything that I needed?” She inquired.

“Yeah, at least I think so.” Wan replied before he stepped forward and set the two crates down in front of Asami for inspection. Asmai glanced down to inspect the contents of the two creates and was pleased to see that just as she asked, one was filled with metal scraps of varying shapes and sizes while the other was packed with freshly cut spirit vines.

“Wow, you got a lot. This will really help me out.” Asami cheered gleefully.

“The spirits were not very happy about me taking the vines though. I will end up spending the great part of tomorrow trying to making it up to them.” Wan said while rubbing his neck nervously. “So what do you need all of this stuff for anyway?” He asked before glancing around the small workshop. Scattered around the space were different pieces forged metal that seemed to make up a women sized suit of metal armor. “I kind of get why you need the spirit vines and all but, what is the armor for? I hope you’re not going to tell me that you’re going to war.”

Asami raised an eyebrow at this before responding. “Why, would that be a problem if I were?”

“Don’t take this the wrong way Asami but I don’t believe a beautiful maiden like yourself belongs on the battlefield.” Wan responded.

This statement caused Asami to scoff. “Well there is no need for you to worry, because this suit is not meant for combat. I simply need something to sturdy to channel the spiritual energy of the vines through safely and the armor should in theory be able to do that. And besides, I’ve never been the type for rushing blindly into battle.” Asami declared causing Wan to breathe a sigh of relief.

“However it should be noted that if my loved ones were in trouble, I would fight to protect them. Also I think it would be wise to avoid saying things like that in the future. Because if your latest reincarnation heard you say something like that, she would probably punch you in the face.” She said with a light laugh before pulling out a few large pieces of scrap from the crate and making her way over to the main body of the suit. “This should do just nicely. Hey Wan can you help me out for a minute? I need you to fire bend this piece in place for me.”

“Sure!” Wan replied before he quickly made his way over to stand beside Asami. Once he had Asami directed explained how she wanted it done and without delay he began blasting the metal with concentrated heat as directed while Asami struck it with a hammer to mould it in place. “So do you think you could tell me more about my reincarnations?” He asked in seemed like a casual tone.

Asami shrugged, she didn’t think it was a good idea to share too much information about the future with Wan, but she supposed that minor stuff couldn’t do that much damage. “Anyone in particular you want to know about? I’ve done quite a bit of research in regards to the Avatars and there are many who have achieved great things.”

Wan looked thoughtful for a moment before replying. “Well, you said the name of the current reincarnation is Korra right? From what you’ve told me so far, it seems like the two of you are quite close. This might come off as being a bit forward, but could it be that the two of you are…”

Asami stopped working the metal to fix Wan with an appraising look. Wan met her look with a raised eye brow and that caused Asami to let out a sigh before responding. “Are we lovers? Is that what you’re asking?” Wan gave her a curt nod in response. “Yes, I suppose we are, but that is more of a recent development. We were friends for years before any of that came about.”

That statement caused a smile to creep its wave over Wan’s face. “This Korra guy is so lucky. I can’t wait to be him.”

Asami let out a light giggle as they finish wielding the metal in place. “Korra’s a girl Wan.” Asami clarified before she broke away from the old Avatar who was now wearing a dumbfounded expression, and she made her way towards the back of the hut where the rest of the crates were still located.

“I guess a lot of things are going to change in ten-thousand years huh Raava?” Wan whispered to himself.

And on queue Wan could hear the soft echoing voice of his spectral companion enter his mind. “Indeed, not even I can predict all that fate has in store for this world. I am sure there will be as many hardships as there will be triumphs. However, it brings me joy to know that the generations to come will be ready to face it.”

“And that we will be there to help them. Isn’t that right Raava?” Wan added.

“Yes, we are not just ourselves anymore. We are the Avatar, and we shall protect this world from those who would seek its destruction. From now, onto eternity if need be.” The Great Spirit agreed.

///////////////////////////////////////

Several Days Later

“Alright all set, you ready for the big moment!?” Asami asked excitedly as she stepped out in front of Avatar Wan in the middle the secluded meadow they had been using to test Asami’s creation. The raven haired inventor was now covered from head to toe in the fruits of their labor. A set of patchwork metal armor with large wires running back and forth between the different pieces, and clear tubes stuffed with spirit vines were attached to her back.

“Yeah I suppose so, but I have to ask you once more. Why are we doing this out in the middle of nowhere?” Wan inquired.

Asami deflated slightly as she let out a groan. “I already explained this to you at length, did I not?”

“You did,” Wan replied as he nodded in agreement. “However, your explanations always use a lot of big words. Many of which I didn’t really understand.” He admitted sheepishly.

“Fine, I will try to put it in similar terms. If my knowledge of geographical history is correct,” Noticing Wan’s eyebrow raise at the mention of geographical history Asami sighed before clarifying. “The study of landscapes and how they change over time. Anyway, if I am correct, then this should be where my home estate will be in the future. This will make things easier for me when I get back to my time period. Besides, since nobody is around this area at the moment, I won’t have to worry about drawing unwanted attention when I activate this suit.”

“Oh I get it, that’s cool. Though, it will be kind of sad to see you go. Sure you can’t stay any longer? You know you’re welcome too?” Wan asked.

Asami gave him a sad smile. “Sorry Wan, I don’t belong here. Besides, Korra needs me right now, I can just feel it.” She said as she looked off into the distance, as if she was expecting Korra to appear before her. “And I wouldn’t worry too much, I’m sure we will be seeing each other once again. It will just be in about ten-thousand years.”

Wan chuckled at that before giving a cheerful retort. “For a woman like you, it will be worth the wait.”
“Okay, here we go!” Asami declared before she promptly began twisting metal nubs on her wrist and chest. As she did this, the suit began to spark and hum. “Alright Asami, just clear your mind and think about only Korra. I need to go back home. I need to go to where Korra is!” She told herself while the spirit vines on her back started to glow. The vines were becoming brighter and brighter with every passing second until, they erupted in a bright display of light that completely engulfed her body.

Wan had to shield his eyes from the intense glow and when he opened them again, Asami had vanished without a trace.

//////////////////////////////////////////////

174 AG — Year of the Dog

Another flash of light signaled Asami’s arrival, and a pile of rubble greeted her before it was is quickly blown away as the raven haired girl appeared from within it. Now slightly confused and very disorientated, she began to look around, carefully taking in her surroundings.

“Did I make it? This place doesn’t look like home at all.” Asami pondered before her gaze went out over the surrounding landscape. It looked like a war had taken place. As far as she could see, there was nothing but ruined buildings and cracked pavement. “What the heck happened here?”

Deciding to investigate further, Asami made her way through the wreckage in hopes of finding clues. As she reached the closed standing structure, she reached out and ran her hand along the wall. “This building certainly seems like it’s of modern design, but this couldn’t possibly be Republic City. I mean there is nothing out…” Asami trailed off as her eyes spotted something in the distance, something massive peeking out from the sea. It was a building sized statue, built upon a small island not far from shore, and at first she thought it might have been Avatar Aang’s statue, but her eyes widened and her mouth fell agape when she recognized the imposing figure. “Korra!? What’s a statue of Korra doing there!?” She asked in shocked bewilderment.

Then after taking a moment to calm herself she focused on the statue again, looking closely just to be sure. “Well, at least I think its Korra.” Asami stated with uncertainty clear in her voice. While the person greatly resembled Korra in many ways, the figured depicted looked to be in their forties. Also their hair was long, stretching down past her waist in a messy unkempt mane. Korra wasn’t much for hair care, but she had never allowed it to get so out of control before. “If that is a statue of Korra, why does she look so much older?”

Before Asami could get the answers she was seeking however, she heard an gruff voice call out to her. “Hey! Who are you!? You are not allowed on palace grounds!”

Asami swung around to see several people in black robes approaching her. She promptly straightened herself out on instinct and began to speak in the most formal tone she could manage. “I’m Asami Sato, I’m the CEO of Future Industries. Can anyone tell me what’s going on here!? What happened to Republic City and why is there a statue of Korra here?!” She inquired while pointing in the direction of the statue.

The robed man who had originally called out to her glanced at each of his companions. Each of the men sharing a few unsure looks. “This girl isn’t making any since. What should we do?” One of the men inquired.

“Our orders are fairly clear that nobody is to enter the Avatar’s palace. We are free to kill anyone who approaches with no exceptions.” Another man stated as he drew a blade free from his within his cloak. The rest of the men seemed to agree as they promptly nodded along and began drawing weapons of their own. Then they started to slowly approach Asami.

“Wait a minute, what?!” Asami shouted in surprise before a look of panic came over her face. “You know what, never mind, I think I can figure this out on my own!” She declared before quickly turning and booking as fast as her legs could carry her down the shore line and away from her robed attackers.

For a moment the men stood there as still as the statue towering over them, but quickly snapped out of and giving chase. “After her, the Avatar will have our heads if we let anyone escape!” One of the men declared as he readied a crossbow and began taking pot shots at the fleeing inventor.

Asami glanced back at her pursuers just in time to spot a crossbow bolt heading right for her head causing her to scream as she dived to the side to avoid being hit. Then she quickly jumped back to her feet a second before another shot struck the ground where she had been laying. Realizing she was too exposed out here near the shore she broke away and made towards the city ruins. “I have to find some cover! I am a sitting duck out here!”

The group of robed men didn’t seem the slightest bit deterred by Asami’s evasive maneuvers as they chased her deep into the city ruins ducking and weaving between buildings. Even though Asami considered herself quite quick on her feet, her armor was weighing her down too much to out run her pursuers. And since she couldn’t just ditch the armor she might still need to get home, she had to come up with something else.

With that in mind, Asami waited until she had managed to get just out of the robed men’s sight and when she did, she broke right and hoped over a smashed wall into one of the many partly destroyed buildings lining the street. There was no ceiling in this building, and only three of the walls were still standing, but it gave her just enough cover to stay out of view.
When the robed men realized that Asami had evaded them, they split up and began systematically searching the area for her. Luckily for Asami, it didn’t appear as though any of them were heading in her direction just yet. Once they were out of ear shot, Asami let out a breath she didn’t realize she had been holding and took a moment to sit back and think. “What the heck was that about? Why did those men try to attack me?” She pondered before glancing out through the hole in the wall toward the statue from before. “And what connect do they have with Korra? I have to get to the bottom of all of this.”

Asami’s train of thought was derailed when she heard a low rumbling noise coming from somewhere below her. “Huh, what is that sound?” She questioned as she placed an ear to the floor. “It sounds like somebody is digging? Or maybe earth bending.” Then her train of thought was cut off once again when she heard footsteps approaching her location.

Asami spun around just in time to make eye contact with one of the men who had attacked her only a moment ago. This man wasn’t the same who had called out to her originally, he was quite a bit younger, but he looked quite haggard, like he hadn’t had a shower or a good night’s sleep in weeks. Upon seeing her, the man’s eyes widened in surprise and for a moment he looked unsure of what to do. However, the man quickly snapped out of his bewilderment and his mouth began to crack open to yell. “Over here! I foun…” His mouth was forcibly clamped shut by Asami’s gauntlet covered hand and before he had time to react a sudden jolt of electricity was channeled through her glove putting the man down almost instantly.

Even though Asami had acted quickly, it was too late to prevent the words the man had already spoken from reaching the ears of the rest of the men. Upon hearing their companions call they all dropped what they were doing and began heading right for Asami’s position. If that weren’t bad enough, there also seemed to be more men than there were before and they would soon have her surrounded.

“Oh spirits, this isn’t good! Should I try warping again?” Asami pondered as she began evaluating her surroundings, looking for possible escape routes. After coming up with no better plan, the decision was made. “I guess I will need to before it’s too late!” Asami thought allowed before she reached for the dial on her gauntlet to reactivate the suit, but after turning it, much to her dismay, nothing happened. She could only assume that after a ten-thousand year jump, the energy was far too low and it would at least need some time to recharge. “No, are you kidding me!? What am I going to do now!? Alright clam down and think girl, there hast to be a way out of this!” She ranted.

Despite her brain working triple time, Asami couldn’t come up with a good solution before a volley of arrows began pouring into the building from above. It was all she could do to watch as the arrows rained down around her cutting off any chance of escape she may have still had and with no where to go and no proper cover to protect her, she readied herself for the worst. She pressed herself against the nearest wall and held her armored gauntlets over her head and prayed.

Then as if by some sort of divine intervention, a stone slab shot up through the worn floorboards of the building to form a wall between her and the rain of metal. Then, maybe a second later, several more stone pillars shot up from the ground around the building, striking many of the robed men who were preparing to charge in side to confirm Asami’s demise. The pillars, hit their mark hard, practically embedding themselves in the chests of the men and sending them hurling backward screaming in pain and surprise.

That is when Asami’s eyes snapped back open and began flicking back and forth between the stone wall next to her and the groaning men outside. And that’s when she noticed a third part springing up from below the ground, they were earth benders, there was no doubt about that, but she wasn’t sure who they were. Who they were wasn’t really all that important to her right now anyway. What was important was the fact that they weren’t friends of the robed men and were currently forcing them back.

“Rebels!” Asami heard one of the robed men shout out right before she saw a ball of fire came out of no where and slammed into his face causing him reel back, and scream in horror and pain.

Asami’s eyes quickly snapped to the side in an attempt to find the source of the fire ball. When she did she was shocked to see a familiar face come into view. She couldn’t get to her feet, and bring out her voice quick enough “Mako?!” She shouted as she began to dash towards the man in question.

Hearing his name being called the man to turned to look towards the blasted out house he had just defended to find a raven haired women in what appeared to be a full suit of armor running towards him. On instinct he went into a firebending stance but once his tangerine eyes met the girl’s light green orbs, he became frozen. His eyes instantly become as wide as saucers, and his jaw hang low in bewilderment. “By the spirits, Asami!?”

While Mako was lost in his stupor, he failed to notice the enemy charging at him from behind, but Asami did not. “Mako, watch out on your six!” She warned.

With out hesitation, Mako quickly snapped back into fight mode, but he didn’t have enough time to react as the man attempted to slice off his head with a broadsword. Luckily for him, right before the blade made contact with his neck, another pillar of stone shot up from the ground between them, striking the robed man in the chin and sending him flipping backward several feet before landing face down and becoming still.

Then the earth bender responsible for the interference ran over to check on Mako’s condition. Asami instantly recognized him as Mako’s younger brother Bolin. “Mako what the heck was that?! You completely zoned out there for a minute, what’s wrong!?” Bolin asked. Mako didn’t bother to respond in words, perhaps because he couldn’t think of what to say, so instead he simply pointed his finger in Asami’s dirrection.

Of course Bolin’s eyes followed his brothers direction, and once he did, his face took on a very similar expression to the one Mako had worn only a moment ago, though he shook himself out of it a bit more quickly. “Asami!?” He shouted after his recovery. Then without delay he rushed over to pull the girl into a spine crushing hug. “I can’t believe it, you’re alive!”

“Bolin… you’re… crushing me!” Asami managed to squeeze out causing between gasps for air, causing the earthbender to instantly drop her back onto her feet and issue her a quick apologe. “It’s good to see you too Bolin, but what do you mean by that? Why wouldn’t I be alive? And for that matter, what in the world is going on around here!? Is this even republic city?” She questioned.

The two brothers gave each other a questioning look, but since they both seemed equally as lost, Mako opened his mouth to speak. “Asami, don’t you remember?”

“That depends, what is it that I’m meant to be remembering precisely?” Asami inquired.

“You don’t remember the attack on our camp?” Mako asked only causing Asami to raise an eyebrow. “Okay, how about the cave in?” Asami just shook her head, making Mako and Bolin share concerned looks before Mako went on. “Asami, I seen you… you were…” Mako tried to explain before pair of female figures stepped up next to them.

Both women were dressed in dirty, worn down, green uniforms with metal armor plating covering their chests and arms. One of the two was a middle aged woman with short graying black hair and she had a scare on her cheek. While the other woman was a fair bit younger, maybe in her mid to late twenties and she had a beauty mark under her right eye. The scared woman was the first to speak. “I can see that the three of you are in the middle of a touching reunion and all, but more cultists are on the way and I think we have worn out our welcome!” She warned.

Mako turned towards the scared women to respond. “Right, sorry Lin, lets get out of here!” He said before grabbing hold of Asami’s wrist and pulling her in close to him. Then before Asami could make a complaint, the ground around them opened up to swallow them whole. A moment later and they were all sliding down stone ramp into a very dark and very large underground tunnel system.

At the bottom of the ramp, a single touch hung from the wall which one of the earthbenders promptly grabbed, while Mako created a flame in his open hand and the group then proceeded to rush into one of the many tunnel entrances and as soon as they had, an earthbended closed the entrance up behind them. They didn’t slow down though, they kept running at full tilt in this near darkness, only stopping momentarily to open a new passage or close one behind them as they went.

After a few minutes of this, they were beginning to slow down and Asami’s eyes were also starting to adjust to the dim light of the caves. She still couldn’t make out much, but she figured it couldn’t hurt to take a look around. By the looks of it, these caves were almost entirely man made. And given the complexity of the tunnel network, it seemed like it was designed to be like a maze. And it was likely nearly impossible to navigate without an earthbender on hand. It confused her. “Why would they need to create something like this?” She thought to herself, before she recalled something. The robed man from before had called them rebels. “Were these tunnels made so they could hide perhaps?”

Asami then glanced back at the young armored woman who had aided in her escape. She was currently bringing up the rear of the group. Asami, hadn’t recognized her at first glance since her hair was down and her dirty appearance was so unlike her usual self, but there was no doubt about it. The woman before her was Kuvira and that realization raised all kinds of questions. “She should be in prison right now right?! I really have no idea what’s going on around here, but I don’t like it. I really hope wherever they are taking me will have some answers for me.” She thought to herself.

Not too long after that, the group had finally made it to their destination. Kuvira bent aside a large stone slab, revealing a hidden tunnel leading into a massive open cavern. And said cavern was filled with crates filled with food, materials, and weaponry. While throughout the space, Asami could also make out multiple groupings of tents set up. And it wasn’t hard to see why since there were hundreds of people moving about, and making the cave their home. “What is this place?” Asami inquires.

“You really don’t remember do you?” Mako asked Asami.

“I guess I don’t.” Asami replied with a shrug. “Maybe you could fill me in?” She inquired.

“I think we should take you to see Chief Toph. I am sure she would know what to do about this.” Bolin suggested.

“That’s a good idea bro. Besides they just had the council meeting right? That means Mr. Sato is probably still there. I am sure he will be overjoyed to see his daughter alive and well.” Mako replied.

Asami went still, at the mention of her father and she turned towards Mako slowly. “Mako did you say… Mr. Sato?”

“What’s wrong Asami? Don’t you want to see your father?” Bolin inquired.

//////////////////////////////////////////

In the place Tenzin’s air temple once stood. There was now a massive black structure with an unnatural shape too it. It seemed to twist and lean, in such a way that would give most structural engineers a heart attack. However, it showed no signs of instability. Rather some parts actually looked as if they might be floating in mid air. This structure was known as the dark palace, the home of the Avatar. And with dark spirits of every shape and size freely walked the grounds as if they belonged there. Together with the dark towering spires and jagged edges the palace sported, it was practically a sight ripped right for a horror movie.

Just about no human life could be found there either, with the one except being a single cloaked figure running through the grounds and up into the center spire at break neck speed. The man rushed up several flights of stairs desperately trying to avoid contact with the many dark spirits flooding the halls. And once he finally made his way to a set of massive gilded doors that lead into the thrown room. He proceeded announce himself to whoever lied beyond. “My Avatar, I bring important news!”

Almost instantly, the doors swung open to reveal a dark skinned woman in black robes sitting atop the thrown in far end of the room. “You may speak human, but if you waste my time I will send you into oblivion.”

The man lowered his head and made his way into the chamber before getting down on one knee. “My Avatar, this morning during our patrol we encounter a young women dress in strange armor. She was approaching the palace, so as per your orders we attempted to eliminate her.”

The woman didn’t seemed too pleased by what she was hearing and displayed this by shooting the man before her an icy cold glare. “Attempted?”

The cloaked man almost choked on the venom being released from the question, but he pressed on. “Yes, my Avatar, while we did have her cornered, the rebels interfered and we weren’t able to…” The man could suddenly feel a pressure in his chest and the surprise caused him to choke.

“So you came to tell me about your failure? Do you think I would let it slide? Do you think I care about your excuses?” The woman inquired dryly.

“My… Avatar… I came… to tell you… that we managed to identify… the girl!” The man struggled to say.

The man was then lifted up off the ground by the same force that gripped his chest like a vice, while the woman began to levitate up out of her thrown. Then once in the air the woman began gild forward to hover above her subordinate and stare him in the eyes. “And what interest would I have in hearing that human?”

“Her… na… name… is… Asami… Sa…Sato!” The moment that the man managed to get these words out, he was unceremoniously dropped to the ground gasping for air.

Meanwhile the women tried looking eyes had become wide and panic stricken. “Asami, Sato?” She pondered, her voice losing all of its malice, if only for a moment before she began craddling her head in her hands and releasing an agonized scream.

After catching his breath, the man looked up the woman, and he gasped in shook. “My Avatar, what’s wrong!?”

The woman’s voice seemed to soften again as she spoke. “Asami… is… alive? I… I… AHHH!” She screamed as she grabbed her head in pain once again. After a moment of silent anguish, she final spoke once again, this time with all of anger restored. “That woman shouldn’t exist! I thought that I had already gotten rid of her!” She roared before glancing back down at the man who was now trembling below her. “Where!? Where is this woman!?” She hissed.

The man got back onto his knees, and bowed as low as he could manage before replying. “She is with the rebels my Avatar. We think we have finally pin pointed their headquarters. My Avatar, if you lend us your power we can crush them tonight, once in for all.”

A dark smile spread across the woman’s face before she replied. “Very well human, this will finally be the end of these foolish games. Gather the army!”

Chapter Text

Due to the fact that a council meeting was currently in progress and the tent that acted as their meeting hall was off limits, Asami was quietly led to the entrance of the council tent so they could observe without disturbing it.

Of course as far as Asami was concerned, that was fine by her. After all, she had no idea where she was, or even what time she was in. This would give her a chance to observe and perhaps garner some information on the situation. Once she began her observation she found that the council was made up of a small group of men and women of varying ages and they were all gathered around a large stone table protruding from the ground. The group seemed to be discussing many different matters of varying importance, but all of them seemed to be related either their community or their personal projects.

Asami also noticed that an elderly woman who was dressed in traditional earth nation clothing was sat at the head of the table, and seemed leading the proceedings. One thing she noted was that the women looked familiar, but Asami couldn’t quite pin down where she had seen her before. The elder was small in stature and behind the pair of think glasses she had on, Asami could just make out a set of dull emerald eyes. Another thing Asami noticed was how bored the Elder looked, with her posture hunched over one of the arm rests on her stone seat, and how she propped her head up with her hand.

To Asami’s credit, her assessment had been quite accurate. The Elderly woman was more than a little bored with this whole affair, so bored in fact, that she had to struggle just to stifle a yawn. To her these meetings were always just a big bore fest, but today’s was running exceptionally long.

The Eldar’s dull eyes lazily gaze over the table at the people who were sat around it. She is very familiar with all of them at this point, after all many of them are people she has known for years, if not decades, and not one of them were new to these meetings.

Councilor Katara and Councilor Koko the Elder had known since childhood. Koko is one of her best friends, while Katara on the other hand was more of a long term acquaintance, the women was nice and all but a bit too bossy for her tastes. She supposed that’s just what happens when you spend your whole life fighting and taking care of others, you never have enough time to settle down and start a family of your own. With that said, the two of them had always been reliable allies in a time of need so they were comforting to have around.

It was the more resent members to join the council that were a bit questionable. Councilor Sato was one of was one of these aforementioned council members. He was a man in his middle ages and despite his Earth Kingdom Heritage, and his obvious distrust of firebenders, for whatever reason, the man liked to dress himself in black and red suits. This man also liked to argue. Heck, he like it so much that he would start an argument in just about every meeting he was a part of. And when Asami’s group entered the tent, they were greeted by one such argument.

Councilor Sato was shouting back and forth across the table at different members of the Council before he turned toward the Elder leading the meeting and met her gaze. “Chief Toph, surely you agree with me don’t you?” He asked in an almost pleading tone.

Hearing the elder’s name spoken allowed finally made it click in Asami’s head. “Wait, that’s Toph!?” She thought allowed.

“Yeah, you telling me you didn’t recognize her? You didn’t hit your head or something did you?” Bolin asked, showing clear concern.

“No, I’m fine.” Asami assured them before taking a closer look at the elder who was supposedly the self proclaimed, greatest earthbender of all time, Toph Beifong.

“I’m sorry, agree to what Councilor? You all have been bickering for so long that I think I may have forgotten. Short comings of old age I suppose.” The elder replied with oblivious disinterest.

Okay that snarky personality fit with the Toph that Asami knew, so that was a good thing. Also upon closer inspection, the resemblance was uncanny. Given normal circumstances there would be no question to this woman’s identity. However, there was one thing that just didn’t match. This elder was wearing classes. The Toph she knew was blind, so if this truly was the same Toph Beifong, then why would she be wearing glasses. “I just thought Toph was blind.”

“Blind?” Mako repeated. Bolin and Mako seemed to be slightly surprised by Asami’s comment and each shared a curious look before Mako finally decided to speak again. “Oh, so you knew about that huh? Most people around here don’t know about it. After all, Toph never really talks about it and it was cured way before most of us were ever even born.”

After hearing Mako talk, Asami only found herself feeling more confused. Toph was definitely blind when she had met her at the Tree of Time, yet for some reason Mako was claiming she hadn’t been blind for a long time. She couldn’t take anymore of these surprises, she needed some real answers and she wanted them now. “Cured? What are you talking about?” She inquired.

Asami’s question seemed to catch Mako off guard since he instantly gave her a curious look. And it was clear that he was struggling to figure out how to reply to her questions. Before he could get the chance though, Councilor Sato let out an annoyed sign before he began to speak once again. “My apologies Chief Toph, allow me to summarize. As of last night, one of my surface scouts had finally reported back with me. The scout had managed to locate another one of Avatar’s accursed weapon factories. It is because of those factories that the Avatar’s cultists are so well equipped. With that in mind, I believe that it would be in our best interests to organize a strike on the facility as soon as possible!” He explained.

Once Councilor Sato had finished, Toph looked like she was about to respond when another young member of the council dressed in a white and blue suit interrupted. “With all do respect Councilor Sato, I do not believe that to be a wise course of action at this current time. Do you not remember what happened during our last raid? Three of our benders lost their lives, four more suffered serious injury. And for what, so you could get your hands on some tools and metal scraps? I think you need to reevaluate your priorities before you start speaking about what’s in our best interests.”

“That is easy for a bender to say Tarrlok!” Councilor Sato snapped angrily. “May I remind you that it’s only thanks to those supplies that we were finally able to finish our new line of battle suits? It may have come at a steep cost, but as a result all of our people now have the means of defending themselves against the Avatar’s pawns. If we are to win this war we need to keep the bigger picture in mind.”

“Look,” Tarrlok begins with a sigh. “I understand that, but with each raid the Avatar’s grip has become tighter and we keep suffering greater losses. I won’t ask my men to take on such a risk unless we can be sure that is worth it.” He explained before rising from his stone seat to become eye level with Sato. “Also I feel as though we are becoming too comfortable. The Avatar may not have attacked us directly in quite some time, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t waiting for a good opportunity. With that in mind, I feel that we should be focusing on fortifying our defenses for the time being.” He reasoned.

Sato scuffed at the idea. “And what are you suggesting we do then? You want us to just sit around twiddling our thumbs while that monster gains more power and slowly wipes us out?! We can’t let her get away with that. We need to bring the fight to her!”

“That’s enough out of you two!” Toph commanded while bending the stone chairs underneath them into their legs forcing them both back into a sitting position. Then she directed her gaze toward Councilor Sato to address him. “I understand where you are coming from and believe you me, I would like nothing more than to wipe the floor with that monster. With that said, I must agree with Tarrlok on this matter. As things stand we’re struggling just to give our people what they need to survive and our job is to make sure they have that.”

“You have my gratitude, Chief Toph. I am glad that at least you can see reason” Tarrlok said as he shot his fellow Councilor a shit eating grin causing the man to huff, but otherwise remain silent. Then satisfied in his victory he directed his attention back to his Chief. “I would also like to apologize for causing such a disturbance. I know Councilor Sato means well, even if he isn’t able to express it very well.”
“Good now with that out of the way, I believe that we only have one last order of business to discuss.” Toph announced before she motioned towards a scrawny younger man who had been sitting quietly at the table. He was dressed in a white and blue suit and his hair was short and messy.

After being addressed the man gave the group a wide smile before rising from his seat and addressing the room. “Right, I would like to thank you for your time Chief!” He said with a bow before glanced over to a young woman who had been sitting beside him. “Zhu Li, do the thing!”

“Yes, right away sir.” The woman replied before she quickly stood up and pulled a case out from under the table before opening it and spreading papers out across the table.

“Thank you Zhu Li, now then” The man said as he waved the woman away and redirected his gaze towards Chief Toph. “So what do you think?!”

Toph did not reply, but instead motioned for Councilor Koko to take a copy of the papers for inspection. “What do we think? That is hard to say. These appear to be blue prints of some kind but, Councilor Varrirk I don’t know what this device is or what its function is. Do you care to explain?” Koko inquired.

“But of course, madam Councilor! This is the design I have come up with, for our new water treatment plant. With this system in place, we will be able to process two or even three times the amount of water we do now!”

“Is that so?” Koko asked in skeptical tone.

“Yes, though there is one little thing.” Varrirk began.

“Let me guess Councilor Varrirk, it will require a lot of materials and man power?” Koko deadpanned.

“Well yes but, doesn’t everything worth doing? I can assure you that it will be worth it in the long run!” Varrirk explained.

Koko hummed in thought as she set down the blue prints and turned to address her old friend. “What say you Chief Toph?” She asked.
Toph shook her head. “It is rejected of course! Our tunnels are already filled with way to much noise and clutter. We can’t risk being found again. At the very least, we can’t be found until we are ready to face the Avatar of destruction and her pawns.” She declared, and it looked as if Varrirk was about to start pleading with her, so she cut him off with a halting gesture and went on. “Besides, it is as Councilor Sato and Tarrlok have pointed out, we are low on both metal and man power. So we should be focusing those into our defenses.”

“Chief if I may.” Councilor Tarrlok cut in and awaited a nod from Toph before going on. “I personally support the idea. It’s at least on the right track, and it’s likely a better use of our time and resources than more of Sato’s war machines.” Tarrlok allowed a smirk to come over his face when he seen Sato begin to foam out of the corner of his eye.

Toph had already made up her mind however. “The decision has already been made Tarrlok. Now this meeting has gone on too long, if Varrirk wishes to pitch his idea again, it will have to be at a later date.” She declared as she rose from her seat. “Now I would like to call this meeting…” Toph suddenly stopped speaking and became eerily still, as if she had been frozen in place. Of course this uncharacteristic display, caused the other councilors to give her curious or concerned looks.

“Toph is everything alright?” Katara inquired.

“Yeah, everything is just fine.” Toph stated as her bare feet began to wiggle on the stone floor. Her feet had been suspended when she was sat in her chair, which had dulled her ability to sense her surroundings. And she had to mentally kick herself from allowing that ability to slip. “It seems the scout team has returned.” She announced while motioning towards the entrance of the small stone tent.

All the council members turned to face the entrance as a pair of young men stepped through the thin cloth that covered the entrance. A man sitting at the stone table jumped up to greet them. “Bolin, Mako, its good to see my boys made it back in one piece, but you know I told you not to come in here during our meetings!”

“Yeah, we know dad, but we figured this was important. We have something you got to see!” Bolin replied.

“Oh is that so? Did you guys find something out there?” The man asked with a curious look in his eyes.

“Not a something, it’s more like some one?” Mako corrected before slightly parting the cloth covering the entrance and reaching a hand out to grab hold of something. “Alright you can come in now.” He told some one who was just out of few, and then he guided a tall woman with long raven colored hair into the tent. The moment the girl entered, the whole tent/council hall became dead silent.

Mako’s father seemed to go pale and his eyes became wide as if he had just seen a ghost, and in this case it wasn’t too far from the truth. “B-by the spirits, is that who I think it is?!” The man asked, his voice filled with bewilderment.

Bolin nodded while Mako began the introductions. “Dad, I’m sure you know Asami. Asami, do you remember my father?” He said while motioning to the frozen man in front of him.

This introduction seemed to catch Asami off guard and she began to sputter. “Wait, this is you-your father?! It’s a pleasure to meet you! My name is Asami Sato a friend of your sons!” She said while reaching out a hand to shake.

The strange action shook the man who was supposedly Mako and Bolin’s father out of his stupor and caused him to glance at his sons for the meaning behind it. They both just shrugged, unable to give an answer. Realizing that his sons would be no help, the man decided to hummer her and reached out to shake her hand. “It’s a pleasure to, umm, meet you Miss Sato.” Then the man glanced back toward Councilor Sato who had now stood up from his own seat with a look of complete disbelieve.

Almost on queue Councilor Sato ran over to Asami and pulled her off her feet and into tight bear huge. “Asami! You’re here, how?!” He asked in a tone of both joy and disbelief and tears were beginning to well up in the man’s eyes in the process.

“Father!?” Asami sputtered, being just as stunned as everyone else for a moment until she noticed her father’s tears. “That’s my line.” She mumbled as she returned the embrace.

“Asami, your really here right? You’re really alive!? And this isn’t my old mind playing tricks on me!?” Sato asked in a pleading voice.

“I’m right here and I am very much alive, but I am a little confused, what’s going on around here? What happened to the city, it’s completely destroyed?! And for that matter, why is there a massive statue of Korra on Avatar island?!”

In response to his daughter’s odd questions, Councilor Sato looked at her with an uncertain expression. Then he grabbed hold of her chin and turned her head from side to side to search for any injuries. After a few protests from Asami and once he was sure his daughter was okay, he looked back at the two who had found her. “What happened to her? Why doesn’t she remember anything?”

Mako shrugged before responding. “We’re just as lost you are Mr. Sato. She memory has been funny since we found her. Even though, she does seem to recall who we are, she acts like she’s been living under a rock.” He explained.

“Haven’t we all been living under a rock lately?” Varrirk decided to add before getting shot a set of cruel glares from the rest of the room.

Then Bolin cleared his breath to get their attention. “Look, I think we are all missing the point here. Asami has been missing for nearly three whole years now. Any number of things could have happened to cause this, but is it really important? The fact is that she is alive and well, we should be celebrating!” Bolin interjected before glancing across the room towards a young woman water tribe woman who was looking on with interest. Well, it at least looked like interest to Bolin. The girl’s expression was actually fairly blank, but he had learned to identify the subtle changes in her expressions. “Oh, how could we forget, Asami, there is still one more person who I’m sure is dying to see you again!” He declared before waving the water tribe woman over. “Eska, what are you doing over there alone?! Get over here and say hi!”

“Eska, you mean the princesses of the Northern Water Tribe?!” Asami inquired as she tried to steal a glance at the girl in question. However, the girl had seemed to almost teleport from where she had been standing and was now only a few feet in front of Asami. Caught off guard Asami yelped as the smaller girl suddenly pulled her into one of the most awkward hugs she had ever been a part of.

Then the Water Tribe Princesses began to speak in a monotonous voice without letting up the embrace. “I am not good at expressing my feelings but, I am very happy to see you again my dear friend.”

“Dear friend?” Asami thought allowed. She could only recall brief and usually unpleasant interaction with Eska in her time line, so this was certainly unexpected. “You and I are dear friends?” Asami questioned, causing the princesses to give her an odd look before nodding in agreement. Then Asami glanced while around the room for conformation and no one seemed to be disputing the girl’s claim.
Then Eska finally pulled away a little, but she still kept her hands firmly placed on Asami’s shoulders. “Do you truly not remember Asami? You are the one who introduced me to my beloved turtle-duck. You stayed by my side all night after the Avatar took my brother Desna from us. I will ask again, do you truly not recall our bond?”

Asami shook her head in response garnering sad and worried expressions throughout the room. “Though, rather than saying that I am lacking memories, it would be more accurate to say that I remember things very differently.” She explained.

This statement caused Mako to raise an eyebrow before speaking. “Okay, maybe we should start from the beginning.” He suggested before leading her over to an open seat at the table to sit down.

Once she was seated and everyone had crowded around them, Mako addressed her again. “Alright Asami, now why don’t you tell us what you do remember?”

Asami sighed. “Well that’s a very long story, and you may not believe me, but here we go.”

//////////////////////////////////////////////////

Several Confusing Hours Later

“Alright, just to make sure we got this clear. You’re telling us that you’re a time traveler and you’ve come from another time line in which we’re friends with the Avatar of Destruction?” Bolin asked causing Asamai to nod. “Okay and you’re saying this all happened because the Avatar was attempting to reconnect to her past lives?”

“That’s right, Korra, myself, and a few others all went back in time and whatever the others did, must have been what caused everything to be so different from what I remember” Asami responded.

“Wow this is making my head hurt.” Bolin stated as he began to rub his temples.

“It is okay my turtle-duck, even I am having difficulty following Asami’s wild tale. However, I am just glad to have my good friend back.” Eska reassured them before awkwardly patting Bolin on the head.

Mako was silent and still looked like he was in shock after hearing Asami’s story. When he finally managed to shake himself out of it, he turned himself towards Chief Toph, who was now standing nearby. He wanted conformation, and if anyone could tell it was her. “Chief, is everything she said true?”

Toph shrugged before replying. “I can’t say with certainty that it is true, but I can say that she truly believes what she has just told us to be fact. Even still, I must admit that it is hard to believe. Though, it would explain her being here now. After all, we all remember when cave in took her. I have a hard time imaging how she could survive such a thing.”

After hearing that bad memory brut up, Mako suddenly felt weak in the knees and slummed down on a stone seat. “Please don’t bring that up.” He said with a sigh before trying to change the subject. “That story is still crazy though. And I can’t believe that the other version of me could have been such and idiot! I mean, not only did he cheat on Asami, but with the Avatar of Destruction of all people! Was he insane!?”

“I told you that her name is Korra, and while it was an offal thing for you to do, it wasn’t as bad as your making it out to be.” Asami corrected.

“You say that, but she is evil!” Mako retorted.

“She is not evil.” Asami spat. “Look, I don’t know how all this came about, but I will do whatever it takes to set things right again. There hast to be some reason why, Korra is acting this way and the sooner we get to the bottom of it the better. Now, can anyone tell me when the Avatar of Destruction first appeared?” Asami inquired.

Toph hummed in thought for a moment before replying. “Well if this old woman’s memory serves, then the first time the Avatar of Destruction showed herself was during the summer of 99 AG.”

Hearing that the date was right at the end of the one-hundred year war, seemed to peak Asami’s interest. “99 AG, are you sure about that?” She asked.

“Of course I’m sure, I was there after all.” Toph retorted.

“And did you meet her? Korra I mean?” Asami inquired.

Toph gave a nod as she went on. “Yes, I met a woman by the name of Korra. And if you’re Korra and the one that went on to become the Avatar of Destruction are truly one and the same. Then it could be said that she was once a noble hero of the Southern Water Tribe. I even battled along side her on the side of the Southern Alliance during the one-hundred year war.

“Then, what happened to her?” Asami asked.

That question caused an expression to come over Toph’s wrinkled features. “I really wish I knew child. All I can remember is it happened during the day of Black Sun when Avatar Aang along with the Northern Alliance launched an all out attack on the Fire Nation Capital. Korra, myself, and our allies were there, and prepared to defend the capital, but something went wrong. Once Aang realized that he wasn’t going to win, we expected him to flee, but he wouldn’t. And when Korra and Aang clashed something changed in Korra. Her anger, her rage, it was like nothing I had felt before and she unleashed it all on Avatar Aang, he was so overwhelmed that his rein as the Avatar was put to an end right then and there.”

“She killed, Aang?” Asami asked, her voice shaking. Toph gave her a nod, causing her to blink in and shake her head in disbelief. She just couldn’t believe that Korra would do something like that. “Wait, what about the Avatar’s after that!?” Asami asked.

“The Avatar of Destruction seen to it that there wouldn’t be anymore Avatar’s. After Aang’s death she hunted down and kill the next three Avatar’s before they could complete their training and with the last of the air benders gone the cycle ended there but. She is not satisfied with that. She wants control of the whole world and all benders are in her way. She has been laying waste to city after city across the globe and killing every single bender she has come across. Along with whoever got in her way, such was the case with you my dear.” Toph continued.

“What do you mean by that?” Asami inquired.

“Well do you remember, when we mentioned that cave in?” Toph asked earning her a nod from Asami. “Well, the Avatar of Destruction kind of caused it.”

“Are you saying that the Korra, tried to kill?!” Asami asked in a shaky voice.

“Yes, well tried wouldn’t really be the right word. At the very least it was no accident. From the moment she appeared, the Avatar had been aiming for you. It is unusual for the Avatar to take notice of non-benders like that. That is why her cultists are allowed to live in the first place. As none benders, she doesn’t see them as a threat. Though if everything you said is true, we now know why she wanted you gone.” Toph said as her toes began to squirm wildly. “Wait, something is going on outside!”

Then almost on queue, the curtain was pulled away from the entrance to the stone tent to reveal a very panicked looking Kuvira. “Chief Toph, the Avatar’s forces have been spotted inside the tunnels and are heading this way!”

Chapter Text

“Chief Toph, the Avatar’s forces have been spotted entering the tunnels and are heading this way!” Kuvira shouted as she rushed inside the small stone hut that made up the councils chambers.

Hearing this socking announcement, everyone in the chamber froze and focused their attention on Kuvira. Asami looked like she wanted to say something, but before she could Toph had jumped down from her seat and onto the table. Then in rapid succession she pointed to each person in the room to begin issuing commands.

“Varrirk, Koko, and Mr. Sato I need you to start evacuate the city. The rest of you are to come with me, I will pinpoint their point of attack and we’re going to set up a defense! We will slow the enemies advance for as long as possible!” Hearing their orders Eska along with Bolin, Mako, and Kuvira quickly made their way towards the entrance while Tarrlok and Katara bowed and followed soon after.

“Wait what about my daughter!? You can’t expect Asami to fight!” Mr. Sato complained causing everyone to stall.

Toph briefly glanced back over her shoulder towards Mr. Sato and scoffed. “Who said I was? If what Asami has told us is true she’s not mine to command. So that whether she chooses to fight or not is her decision.” Toph declared. Then she turned towards Asami and hopped down on floor in front of her before speaking again. “So tell me child, what do you plan to do?”

“Everything that has happened in this world could very well be partly my fault. I can’t just stand by and do nothing, so I will help you fight!” Asami responded.

Toph chuckled and showed the raven haired girl before her a wide toothy grin. “Why am I not surprised. I guess Asami is Asami no matter what.”

“Wait! I object!” Mr. Sato interrupted.

Asami pushed past Toph and stud in front of her father. “Father I have to do this. Korra is one of the most important people I have ever had in my life. If she is truly behind this destruction then something is gravely wrong and I need to stop her.”

Mr. Sato placed his hands on Asami’s shoulders and began to plead with her. “It’s to dangerous Asami! I just got you back! Losing you again would destroy me!” Tears were beginning to form at the edges of his eyes.

Asami let out a sigh as she pulled her father into an embrace. “I know father, believe me I do. I have missed you every day since I lost you. Seeing you again like this has given me so much joy but, I don’t belong here. I have to make things right again and I can’t do that if I run away now.” Mr. Sato finally conceded and pulled away from the embrace.

“You’re as stubborn as your mother.” Mr. Sato signed then turned to Toph once again. “It seems she has made up her mind but, if she is fighting I should too!” He declared.

Toph shook her head. “Sorry but I need you to help in the evacuation. The people have a great deal of faith in you. If anyone gets out of this alive they will need you and Varrirk’s skills to rebuild. Do you have any complaints?” Toph asked this time directing the question at Varrirk.

Varrirk was still stood at his seat and scrambling to stuff papers into his case. “Hey no complaints here, I have no interest in facing off against those psychos.” He said with a shrug. “Well I’m out of here!” He declared as he shut his case and rushed for the entrance stopping only to call back to his assistant/wife “Come along Zhu Li we’re catching the next ride out of here! Oh and don’t forget those papers, I couldn’t fit them all!” He shouted back at Zhu Li causing her to quickly gather up the documents on the table and rush out after him. As she reached the entrance she turned and gave a quick bow to the other council members before exiting.

Mr. Sato shook his head before giving Asami one last sad look and following after them.

Now all that was left was Toph, Asami, and Koko. Koko walked over to her Chief and life long friend to address her. “Toph, are you sure you don’t wish for me to fight?” She asked.

Toph gave a nod. “To be honest I would rather have you by my side for this, I really would. However, we have to face facts here, neither of us are spring chickens anymore. I’ve lost more then a few steps over the years, but we all have to do our part. Since fighting is all I’ve ever been good at, it’s what I have to do now. Your different though Koko, you are the voice of reason that has held us together all this time. The people will need you more than they will me.” Toph stated while letting out a half hearted chuckle.

Koko frowned. “Good luck old friend.” She told her. Toph nodded and Koko quickly made her way towards the entrance.

Now with all that sorted, Toph and Asami were finally able to rush out of the hut and into the open where the sounds of battle quickly filled their ears. They both glanced around to see Eska, Bolin, and Mako on stand by. “Where are the others?” Toph asked.

The group began to look at one another and collectively shrugged. Eska was the first to respond in her usual mono tone. “They already left. Your daughter Lin came by and asked Kuvira, Katara, and Tarrlok to assist her in battle. She also told us to wait for your orders ma’am.”

Toph nodded before slammed her foot on the ground and a moment later she pointed to the right. “There! They are focusing their forces in that direction!” She shouted before slamming her foot on the ground again to cause a pillar of stone to shoot up under her feet and launch herself in the direction she had designated. Asami the others quickly gave chance.

Along the way Eska turned towards Asami spoke. “It must be nice, to have such a caring father.” Asami along with Bolin and Mako all turned their heads to stare at Eska. “Sorry, I know I must sound catty but I really mean it.” Eska corrected in a softer tone.

Asami let out a sigh and smiled. “Thanks Eska, he is nice. Maybe even nicer than the father I had back home.” That statement seemed to earn her some odd looks so she decided to explain a bit. “Don’t get me wrong, I loved my father. We just had some really bad rough patches. There had even been a few years in which I couldn’t bring myself to speak to him. I was just so angry and disappointed in his actions.”

“Wow, what could have caused that?” Mako inquired.

“I found out that he was using our family’s fortune to fund a radical anti-bending group who tried to kill my friends.” Asami explained in a matter of fact like tone.

“Oh, yeah that would do it.” Mako deadpanned.

“Does craziness just follow you around or something?” Bolin asked.

Asami shrugged. “Hey when you spend most of your time with the Avatar it kind of comes with the territory. You two got into just as much craziness as me though, maybe even more. Like I said before, Korra was, or rather is our friend. All of ours.”

“What about me?” Eska inquired. “You said the two of us weren’t close in your world, yet this Korra is supposedly my relative. Was I close to her? What about my Bolin, were we together?”

“You and Korra? I don’t really know to be honest. Korra talked about you every now and then, but her feelings towards you seemed quite mixed. I know you two went through a rough patch of your own when you tried to kill her for stealing Bolin away from you right before your wedding.” Asami said.

“She did what!?” Eska hissed, uncharacteristic rage slipping into her tone.

Asami began to laugh. “She didn’t actually try to steal him away from you. It was all a big miss understanding.”

“Oh,” Eska said, all of the rage vanishing in an instant. “So me and my Bolin wed?”

Asami’s expression became slightly less cheerful. “No, unfortunately your father died shortly after that. He was still the Chief of your tribe and you and your brother needed to succeed him, but Bolin couldn’t leave his home to join you in the north. The two of you decided to part ways.”

Eska’s eyes became wide and she struggled for words, but couldn’t find any. Then she looked towards the man she loved, the one who had supported her since even before the loss of her brother. He was somebody she could never even consider living without now. So the thought that there was another version of her out there somewhere that had done so willingly, felt so strange. She was now asking her self if their love could also be destroyed that easily.

Sensing his partners inner struggling, Bolin reached out and grasped her hand. He squeezed tight and when Eska looked in his direction he gave her a reassuring smile. That seemed to calm her down. Then he addressed Asami himself. “So do you think you missed out, not being friends with Eska I mean?”

“Yes.” Asami replied instantly before looking in Eska’s direction and giving her a smile of her own. “I wish I had gotten to know you better in my world. I was friends with Bolin and dating your cousin, I would have had all the excuses in the world to come and see you. It really is a shame.”

“Well I’m sure once this is all over, we will have plenty of time to catch up. Won’t we?” Bolin asked hopingly.

“I would like that. I would like that a lot.” Asami replied.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Lin, Kuvira, Tarrlok, and Katara along with several other benders and warriors were holding their ground as waves of black clad cultists poured into their cavern home from just about every entrance. Though the cultists had no benders among them, they made up for it in weaponry and relentless determination boarding on insanity. No matter how many times one was knocked down, they would rise to attack again until they were dealt with permanently. This turned the battle into a brutal exchange with blood soaking the ground on both sides.

“Die scum!” One of the hooded figures screamed as her chucked a long spear in Lin’s direction.

Lin quickly ducked forward out of the spear’s path allowing it to embed itself in the ground where she had just been standing. Then she sprang back up onto her feet and charged forward uprooting rock after rock and immediately lobbing them into the faces of the nearby cultists until she could get in closer.

“You’re all going to die!” The nearest cultist screamed while he pulled his sword free from the scabbard on his waist and proceeded to attempt cutting Lin down with it.

Lin was prepared however and had no trouble catching the blade in between the palms of her hands. Then Lin quickly bent the metal backward turning the once keen blade it into a useless piece of scarp before delivering a devastating knee to the unprepared man’s gut.

“Damn bender!” The man wheezed as he knelt over in pain. Then with the man leaned over and his face pointing towards the ground, Lin slammed her foot down causing a pillar of stone strike him in the face and send him flying backward into another pair of cultists who had been closing in on her knocking them both over.

The cultists were injured but not finished so before they could return to their feet Katara and Tarrlok both glided in on separate waves of water and once they got close they jumped off of their waves and redirected them into the piled up cultists pushing them back into an even larger group. Then with a few simple movements they froze the water in place trapping them all inside a icy prison.

However, even with that display the rest of the cultists showed no signs of stopping as several more pushed pass the frozen cluster and began firing arrows at the pair of water benders. Reacting quickly, Katara pulled up some water from several waterskins at her side and formed it all into a solid wall of ice between them.

Meanwhile Tarrlok took a blood bending stance and began to twist the arms and legs of their attackers causing them to stumble and drop their weapons. “Strike now while they are weak!” He shouted causing several more water benders to charge forward freezing and or cutting down the disabled enemies.

Then a powerful blast erupted from the outer wall a few feet above them creating a new entrance to their cavern and a group of cultist began to pour out onto a rocky outcropping not far below it. Unfortunately for the defenders, that placed their enemy above them on their left side. Now with the high ground, the cultists quickly took aim with their ranged weapons, in this case their crossbows and rifles and began taking shots as the benders below.

Several water tribe warriors were caught unaware and were hit causing Tarrlok’s face to twist in anger. Then he unleashed another blood bending attack on several of his new attackers causing them to shoot aim into their own ranks and shoot each other.

So focused was Tarrlok that he missed the cultist running up behind him with a spear at the ready. Luckily Lin had him covered. She raised a spear of her own from the ground directly in the path of his attacker. The cultist however was also too focused for his own good and his vigor proved to be his downfall as he failed to stop himself in time and was impaled on the stone before he could reach his target.

The sudden gut wrenching scream coming from directly behind him, seemed to be enough to catch Tarrlok’s attention as he instantly spun around to see Lin and her latest victim. “Thanks!” He shouted to her before he had to spin back around to raise a wall of ice to block a sudden rain of arrows. “There are too many of them!”

Lin nodded before slamming her foot down on the ground and practically collapsing the outcropping under the cultist feet. She then turned to the rest of her earth benders and began shouting orders at them. “We have to close off some of those entrances and force them into a bottleneck!” Following her orders, Kuvira along with the other earth benders all moved as one and pulled down several massive slabs of earth from the ceiling of each tunnel leading into the city and causing them to collapse under their own weight and making them impassible.

Now at least until they blew open another one, there was only the main cavern entrance. It was far too large to close off and trying to do so could lead to the whole chamber that contained the city to collapse on top of it. That wasn’t really an option so they would have to make do.

“There that should slow them down for awhile!” Lin shouted before feeling foot steps approaching them from towards the city. Still feeling on edge she spun around to see who was coming and spotted Toph and her group. “Chief, Shouldn’t you and the kids be helping the people escape?!” Lin asked.

Toph shook her head. “No these kids all wanted to fight and I couldn’t let them go alone now could I? Isn’t that right?” Toph asked the rest of her group, who all gave noncommittal shrugs in response. “See, now then let’s get down to business! What’s the situation!?”

Use to her mother’s rash actions and happy to get the backup Lin just sighed before speaking. “We are vastly outnumbered so we are trying to funnel them into one entrance. So far is so good but we are steadily losing ground. We won’t be able to keep this up forever at this rate.”

“I see.” Toph responded before turning towards Bolin. “Bolin how about we play a game of the floor is lava?”

Bolin looked confused for a moment, but then as realization hit him a smirk spread across his features. “That sounds like fun to me ma’am!” Bolin replied.

Then Bolin charged past everyone and slammed his palms down onto the ground casing it crack and shutter before liquefying and becoming a pool of red hot magma. Then with another subtle motion the magma began to spread out in front of the main entrance and along the outer wall. Before long it had completely cut off the cultist’s path forward.

Also the new pool of lava put them in ever increasing risk of falling into the burning pit before them. The cultists stuck behind the pit seemed both furious and annoyed. Then one of them pointed towards Bolin and shouted. “That was the one who did it! He’s a lavabender! Kill him!”

With the source of lava’s appears revealed the cultists quickly took aim at Bolin with their ranged weapons. Soon after and an arrow zoomed past Bolin’s head and he had to jump back as a rifle shot struck less then an inch from his foot. As he lost his focus the lava stopped its encroachment and began to cool. The cultist also began to push rocks into the pool in an attempt to build a path while continuing to lay down cover fire. “Crap these guys are persistent! Hey, could I get a little help here!?” Bolin shouted back at his companions.

Turning away from his enemies proved to be a mistake as he wasn’t able to see the arrow heading directly for the back of his head. “Bolin look out!” Mako shouted causing Bolin to turn just in time to see the arrow get frozen in a solid pillar of ice an inch from his face.

The shook of nearly being shot caused Bolin to fall over and when he did he found himself looking up into the worry filled eyes of his saver. “Oh hey Eska, thanks for the save there.” He said with a half hearted laugh.

Eska responded by shooting him a angry glare before reaching down and pulling him back up to his feet. “You should be more careful my little turtle duck. If you let yourself get hurt without my permission the Avatar will be the least of your worries.” Bolin rubbed the back of his neck trying to find a response but before he could Eska turned him around and smacked him in the rear causing him to jump. “Now get back to work we have a job to do. I will be your shield!”

“No we will all cover you!” Lin said as her along with the rest of their group came up behind him and assumed bending stances.

Bolin dusted off his rear and patted his face to get himself pumped up. “Alright let’s do this!” He shouted as her took his stance once again causing the earth to shake and boil and turn red hot.

From there on the cultists continued to fire on their position, but the water benders quickly created a wall of ice to protect them while the earth and fire benders began firing rocks and fireballs across the pit to strike down their shooters.

Now that Bolin was going uncontested, his lava pool was filling up quickly and causing the cultists to be pushed further and further back into the entrance. For the first time in this fight, it looked like things were going well. Of course that wasn’t meant to last.

There was another explosion. This time the cultists had blasted through a thin wall above them on the right side. This time it was closer to the ground safely out of the lava’s reach. With their path unimpeded, the cultists quickly charged down the rocky platform towards Bolin and his group.

Seeing their new enemies coming, Toph, Mako, and Asami moved to intercept them. The cultists opened fire on them and Toph responded by bending a set of stone plates in between them and the cultists blocking their attacks before breaking them off and launching them into the cultists flanks before slamming them together effectively pancaking them. Then she slammed her foot down causing a set of stone pillars to burst out of the ground thrusting Mako and Asami into the air above the cultists.

Mako released a wave of fire down towards the ground, not only slowing his decent, but also taking care of the cultists unlucky enough to be underneath him at the time. Asami on the other hand directed herself to land directly on top of one of the men. While she wasn’t heavy on her own, her metal armor together with her momentum added more than enough punch to knock the man over. Then before he could recover Asami reached down to grip his head and activated her gauntlet to deliver a powerful electrical shock to his brain.

The cultists still kept up their attack however and charged the pair. A female cultist set her sites on Asami and drew a pair of short daggers and rushed towards her intent on slicing open her throat. Asami saw the threat and quickly side stepped to evade one of the cultist’s thrusts. Then she stepped in and grabbed hold of the woman’s arm before flipping her over onto her back and activating her gauntlet to deliver the finishing shook.

With another opponent subdued, Asami then glanced over to see Mako who was charging up his chi to perform lightning bending and a moment later when he fired it towards the entrance that the cultists had just blown in the wall, it stuck with enough force to cause it to crumble and closed up once again.

Then Asami and Mako proceeded to dispatch the remainder of the cultists that had broken through and gave each other a quick glance to make sure the other was unharmed before they both glanced back towards Bolin and the rest of their group.

At this point Bolin had created a massive pit of lava in front of him and short of growing wings or adapting to survive in lava, the cultists had no way of getting across. With the enemy halted, Toph took it as a good chance to go on the offensive and leapt forward towards the pit and planted her hands into the ground in front of it.

Then Toph begun to pull up causing the ground to shift and crack but quickly let go as a pained expression came over her features she then began to rub her back as she turned to face the group. “I am getting to old for this! Lin, Kuvira get your lazy butts over here and help me lift this thing!” She commanded.

Lin and Kuvira shared a quick glance at each other before shrugging and jumping into action. Both slamming their hands into the ground along with their Chief and lifted up a massive slab of earth with the lava rested on top of it. “Alright we’re going right up with it! Let’s give these dirty nut jobs a little bath shall we!” Toph declared with some manic glee slipping into her voice.

Now realizing what their leader had in mind, Lin and Kuvira didn’t have to be told twice. They quickly dug in and hoisted the slab strait up causing the lava to spill out and pour right down into the cavern’s entrance.

The cultists screamed in horror as they turned away and rushed down cavern, but it was too narrow and the lava was coming to fast. Most of them were washed away in its flow. Katara and Asami both gasped as the screams intensified and the rest of the earth benders joined in to push the giant slab of stone in front of the entrance blocking it off. Then after things had settled a bit Toph let go and dusted herself off. “There that should hold them long enough for us to get are butts out of here.”

Many of the benders let out a sigh of relief, but before they could celebrate the massive stone slab was blasted away with an insane amount of force. So intense was the blast that stone fragments and red hot magma were sent flying in every direction and several poor souls who happened to be right next to the entrance were met with a fiery end.

“Look out!” Bolin shouted as he created an earth wall to protect them but when the rock fragments begun slamming into the wall’s face, pieces instantly started splintering off while other fragments knock holes right through it. Then much to his dismay, that left opening for his own lava to start pour through his shield. Which was very unfortunate since a moment later, the flood gates opened and a wave of lava fell upon them. Tarrlok caught to brunt of it, the whole right side of his body got covered. Instantly his hair, skin, and clothing began to burn away and he screamed in complete agony.

“Tarrlok!” Katara screamed as she quickly bent water onto the burns putting out the fire and beginning to heal his injuries. Tarrlok’s screamed turned to hisses of pain as the Katara went to work healing him and now that she was able to get a good look at his injuries, she was even more horrified. She hadn’t seen such serious burns since the war had ended. Half of his hair had been completely burned off and she doubted it would ever grow back. As for his flesh, it didn’t fair much better. The right side of his face along with half of his upper body was little more then scar tissue now and he was likely going to lose that eye. She quickly looked over his right arm and it was not in much better shape. She decided to focus healing that for now. Without at least the use of his bending, he would suffer greatly.

“How… bad… is it Katara?” He managed to squeeze out between pained gasps. Katara looked into his remaining good eye with a sad expression. “That bad huh?” He then glanced back at the rest of the group and asked the question he was sure they were all thinking. “What the heck was that!? I thought you said it would hold Chief!”

He notices Toph begin to shake slightly and her feet along with the other earth benders feet all seemed to scrunch up uncomfortably. He instantly knew what was coming. He then spotted a wide eyed Asami pushing her way to the front and then she opened her mouth to shout. “It’s Korra!”

Asami looked on in horror as the one known as the Avatar of Destruction appeared in the reopened cavern entrance. Her eyes glowed with an unsettling energy and her body hovered slightly over the ground in a way Asami had never seen before. She couldn’t tell what was keeping her aloft, but it didn’t seem to be air bending. Then there was the fire. Her body was surrounded by it and the fire seemed to dance around her while the rocks below her seemed to tremble. “Korra, that’s you right!?” Asami shouted at the dark figure.

The dark figure seemed to stir slightly at the sound of her voice. Then the glow of her eyes seemed to fade slightly and she slumped down on the ground. The figure began to gasp as if struggling to breathe and then opened her mouth in an attempt to speak, but no words came out. The figure looked up at Asami with desperate eyes. “It is you right Korra!? Please speak to me! What happened here?! And why did you do all of this!?” Asami questioned but the figure still did not respond, it only looked more desperate.

Noticing all of this Toph leapt forward. “I don’t know what you did to her Asami, but its working! The Avatar is vulnerable! Now is our chance to end this!” Toph shouted while motioning for the rest of the benders to move forward who all reluctantly did so.

“No! Everyone wait! Stop!” Asami tried to tell them as they rushed forwards towards Korra, or at least what resembled her beloved. Asami looked back towards Korra who seemed to be mouthing something to her. Asami began to mimic the movements of Korra’s mouth in an attempt to figure out what she was trying to say. “A-S-A-M-I I C-A-N-T H-O-L-D H-I-M R-U-N A-W-A-Y. Run away! Everyone stop, don’t go any closer!” Asami warned but it was too late.

“Take this monster!” Toph yelled before pulling a bolder that was easily six times her size from the ground before slamming it down on top of the knelling Avatar. However, before the bolder had hit its mark, the Avatar’s eyes changed, the menacing glow had once again returned and with one arm easily caught the bolder halting its momentum.

It was at that moment, that Toph couldn’t help but think that the Avatar perfectly resembled the mythical titanic spirit known as Atlas. The spirit was known for carrying the world on its back and was thought to be the key behind the earth benders powers much like the moon and water spirits are for the water benders. However, despite many of research expeditions she could never find any evidence of its existence thus it has never been seen as anything more then a myth. She has had many regrets in this life, but never being able to finish her research was certainly one of her greatest. She then briefly wondered what she would do differently if she could do it all again, maybe it wouldn’t have come to this.

The Avatar put an end to Toph’s musings by lifting the bolder up over the elderly earthbending master’s head and causing her to shake herself out of her stupor just soon enough to leap out of the way before being crushed when the Avatar brought it back down.

Then the Avatar lifted the bolder back up again and held it over her head before speaking. Her voice distorted. “Stop your senseless struggling, you are nothing before me! You are just insects that will soon draw your last breath!”

Asami gasped as she heard Korra speak. She knew this voice, she new it all to well. “Vaatu!?” Asami screamed. “How it can’t be!”

The Avatar must have heard that since she then turned towards Asami and began to grin. “It has been awhile since anyone has called me that. How do you know that name…” The Avatar then cocked her head as if inspecting Asami, it was like she was seeing her for the first time. “Wait this energy… I see, you are not of this world are you? So you are the missing one? I guess that makes this much easier. All I need to do is send you to oblivion!” She declared before the bolder in her hands began to ignite and smolder. She then chucked the molten ball directly at Asami knocking over several other benders along the way.

“I won’t let you!” Eska yelled causing Asami to gasp and dunk in cover as Eska jumped out in front of her and began bending water at the fast approaching flaming ball of molten stone.

Then Katara and a freshly healed Tarrlok quickly jumped out to join her. They each bent a current of water into the stone putting out the fire and then freezing it in place. Eska then stepped back and offered a hand to Asami who accepted it without question. “Asami, it seems she is indeed after you. You must flee.” Eska declared with genuine worry in her voice.

“What!? I can’t do that! That’s Vaatu, he is controlling Korra! I have to stop him! I have to save her!” Asami argued.

“She is right Asami!” Katara shouted while bending a wave of water at the Avatar who easily dissipated the attack with a single flick of her wrist while at the same time she was deflecting several rocks and shielding herself from a wave of fire. “This opponent is too far beyond us! We won’t be able to hold her for long!” She warned.

Then at that moment the Avatar seemed to have grown bored with defense and reach a hand towards the frozen bolder and the ice around it instantly liquefied before being drawn back towards her. The moment the stream of water reached her hand the water that was still in contact with the bolder rapped around it and froze back in place. Then the Avatar flicked her wrist and the water lifted the bolder up off the ground and she began to swing it around like a massive fail. Making use of her new weapon, she slammed it into the ground in front of Asami and Eska obliterating what was left of the defensive wall and throwing them both backward.

“Asami! Eska!” Mako and Bolin both cried as they rushed over to their friend’s side. The girl’s stirred shortly after showing that they were alive and relatively unharmed. Then the brothers looked out onto the battlefield and were struck by complete horror all over again. While the Avatar of Destruction stayed true to her title.

Tarrlok and Katara rushed towards the Avatar bending what little water they had left at their disposal around her body and freezing it in place. However, the Avatar’s body suddenly burst into the flame instantly burning away the icy prison.

Then the Avatar spun her bolder flail around in another attempt to crush her attackers. That’s when Toph and Kuvira jumped in, stepping in front of the bolder to stop its movements, while Lin went to attack the Avatar directly. The metal bender bent her armor off of her body and began rapping the Avatar up in the iron mesh. Then all of their earth and fire benders began firing everything they had at her. The Avatar just laughed as her arms ripped right through the metal vice and she bent the incoming rocks around her, using them to block out the flames. She then burst forth throwing the flaming rocks in every direction striking and knocking out if not doing worse to most of the remaining earth and fire bender s.

“Is that all you can bring against me? Come, give me more of your hate! More of your scorn! I will give it all back to you a thousand fold!” The Avatar taunted.

Tarrlok and Katara nodded to one another before going into blood bending stances. They both tried to force the Avatar to the ground. And though she showed some reaction at first it quickly faded and she tightened her fist causing both of the bloodbender’s bodies to stiffen. Then she thrust her hand’s downward causing both of them to fall to their knees. “Not enough, this is the end for you!” The Avatar declared as she raised her hands up, lifting them both up into the air and causing them to gasp as their bodies began to twist and contort. The action was followed by a sharp cracking sound as bones began to give way.

“Stop you monster!” Toph screamed as she leaped up behind her with the same boulder from before, threatening to cave her head in with it.

The Avatar glanced back with an amused look in her eyes. “You creatures will never learn?” The Avatar slammed her foot on the ground causing a stone spike to shoot up from the ground impaling Toph in the chest and the Avatar quickly retracted the spike leaving Toph to gasp and bleed.

“Chief!” Kuvira and Lin screamed as they watched her gasp in pain and fall to her knees while still holding the bolder above her head. They both ran over to catch the bolder just before Toph fell over. The Avatar then sent out a wave of water cutting right through the bolder slitting it perfectly in half and causing both of the earth benders to lose their balance and fall over backward.

“Enough… You… Evil…AHHH!” Katara tried to squeeze out before the Avatar’s grip on her tightened.

“Yes I guess this is enough isn’t it?” The Avatar said right before she thrust her hands downward slamming both Katara and Tarrlok into the ground with a heavy thud. With that the two waterbenders became motionless.

Kuvira had just managed to struggle to her feet when she saw this. She then turned towards Lin who had Toph’s head in her lap. Lin looked up at Kuvira and could see the fear and uncertainty in her eyes. “Go!” Lin cried.

“What?!” Kuvira asked, uncertain.

“I said go! Get out of here while you still can!” She pleaded.

“What about the Chief!” Kuvira asked.

“Leave her to me, now take Asami and the others and get out of here now! That’s an order!” Lin said commandingly. Kuvira jumped to attention and rushed back towards the city passing the Avatar along the way. The Avatar turned towards her and began go into a bending stance but turned around to block an incoming metal blade. “It’s just you and me now monster!” Lin growled.

“The order of your demise matters not to me. If you wish to die next then so be it!”

///////////////////////////////////////

Meanwhile Kuvira following her mentor’s instructions had rushed Asami along with Eska, Bolin, and Mako back towards the City. “We have to get out of here!” She shouted at them.

“Wh-what about th-the others!?” Asami inquired still a little groggy from earlier.

Kuvira only looked down in shame before she glanced back the direction they had come. In the distance she could just make out a dark figure hovering in the sky. She was holding something, it looked like a body. Kuvira didn’t have to guess who it had belonged to, but she didn’t want to think about it. However, when the figure chucked the body aside and turned towards them. “We can’t stay in the open!” She warned as she slammed her foot on the ground and opened a hole in the wall of a nearby building. She then pushed everyone in side and closed the hole back up behind them.

“Okay, what now!?” Bolin asked his voice desperate. “There is no way it will hold her!”

“I know but we can’t out run her either!” Kuvira stated.

“And you think hiding will work any better?!” Bolin asked.

“No.” Kuvira said with a shaking voice.

“Then it’s all lost?” Eska asked her voice showing no emotion. When Kuvira didn’t reply she spoke again. “Well at least I get to spend my final moments with the people I love most.”

“It’s not over!” Asami shouted causing everyone’s attention to come to her. “I know a way we can get out of here! Though I’ve never tried it with other people before, but it should work in theory! We also don’t have many other options so we have to try!”

The whole group turned towards her and Mako began to speak “What are you talking about Asami?”

“No time to explain everyone hold onto me!”

Meanwhile the Avatar had up rooted a massive stone pillar. “This should end it! To oblivion!” She shouted before slamming it down on top of the structure they had taken cover in completely leveling it. The Avatar then looked down at the rubble, her eyes glowing brightly. “Their lives have been extinguished. Now let’s go kill the last of those rats!” Let out a twisted laugh before flying off.

Chapter Text

98 AG — Year of the Horse

“Korra, hey Korra you still with us?” A worried voice called out to the seemingly down cast avatar.

“Huh what, sorry did you say something!?” Korra mumbled as she was shaken out of her stupor. She then glanced around the humble tavern in which her party had gathered in. Sat around her were several people who she had met recently. Quen the bloodbending granddaughter of Hama, June the beautiful bounty hunter, sat on June’s lap was a bespectacled earthbending master and the only person she had any personal relationship with before her time jump, she is also known as Toph Bei Fong, and next to the two of them stud Toph’s Kyoshi Warrior body guards Koko and Loca. The latter of which seemed to be the one who had been questioning her. She also felt a strange since of Déjà vu for some strange reason.

“Gees, did I hit a sore spot or something? I just asked if you had anyone special back home and you just zoned out on us.” Loca stated in slightly apologetic tone.

“Oh no, it’s nothing like that! I was just thinking what they could be up to is all.” Korra corrected while waving her arms dismissively.

This statement put an exited grin back on Loca’s face. “Oh, so there is somebody then? So does this guy have a name?” She asked while leaning in closer to hear Korra’s response.

Korra rubs the back of her neck nervously before responding. “HER name is Asami, Asami Sato.” Korra was soon met with several blank stares as the information they had just gained settled in.

Loca didn’t seem detrude though. “My mistake, though aren’t you quite the bold one Miss Korra.” She said jokingly.

“Wait, so your lover is a woman?” Quen inquired and her tone suggested that she had a surprising amount of interest in the matter.

“That’s right, though I suppose by your reaction that such relationships aren’t common place here huh? I guess I just assumed that with how many women that live here compared to the number of men that such relationships would just appear naturally.” Korra responded.

Quen chuckled slightly before leaning back into her chair and putting on a more serious face. “Well you wouldn’t be wrong there. I do see such relationships spring up here, quite often actually but there’s a slightly problem. My Grandmother really doesn’t seem to approve of them and has put several laws into place to prevent any form of open fraternization between them. So because of these laws and my position I’ve ended up having little choice but to break them up. I’ve even had to go as far as imprisoning a few of my own bloodbenders for repeat offences. To be quiet honest I think Grandmother just hates romance in general and that’s why she keeps the men out but. Men are mostly just a waste of space anyway so that’s something I agree with.”

“I see.” Korra simply responded not sure what else to say in the matter. And of course not wanting to say anything that could get her arrested again.

Then Loca began to rub her chin like she was deep in thought. Moments later and a light bulb must have gone off in her head because another look of exited came to her face and she switch her focus from Korra over to Quen.. “So Quen, does that mean that you’ve never been in love with anyone before?”

Quen seemed a bit taken back by the question while the rest of the group became slightly more interested in the conversation all of a sudden. “That’s a good question Loca. You know I’ve never seen you mingle with anyone outside of work before Quen.” June added.

After listening to June’s two sense Toph also decide to join in, if for no other reason to bother Quen. “Yeah that is true and about the only people I have ever seen her alone with are her Grandmother Chief Hama and that Crazy Fire Nation Princess. What is that about anyway? Despite how much you complain about her visits you two spend an offal lot of time together.”

Quen Scoffed in response. “I’m not sure what you are implying but keeping an eye on her is just one of my many duties here. Some bodies got to guide the Princess while she is in our care. Besides she’s dangerous and has a habit of making enemies so it’s not a task I can just entrust to anyone.”

“Is that so? And what about the constant sparing matches you guys always have? Surely that can’t just be part of your duties. I mean you really seem to enjoy yourself well enough during them.” Toph countered.

Quen clicked her tongue before responding. “That’s all they are, just sparing and they were her idea to begin with. Admittedly I do think she is a skilled opponent and it is enjoyable to push myself in combat with a worthy adversary. And its worlds better then sitting around drinking crappy Fire Nation teas and pretending to have a conversation.”

“I hear that.” Toph stated in agreement. “Now onto some real talk, how many people are you bringing with us and when are they really going to be ready to leave? All you’ve told us so far is that it will take a few days. I have already been stuck in this frozen purgatory for way too long now.”

“Do you think I am speaking in code? When I say everything should be ready in a few days. I mean in a few days. If you have waited this long, what’s a few more days Miss Bei Fong?” Quen replied dryly.

“A few days, is more then enough time for me to freeze to death in this weather. And seriously I can’t even practice my bending properly with all this snow and ice everywhere. I’m losing my mind here, and how long could it take?!” Toph argued.

“Toph you shouldn’t be so unreasonable.” Koko reprimanded.

“Indeed, surely you realize the scope of this endeavor. We are talking about the Earth Kingdom desert here. I will not only be leading my people out of their element but deep into enemy territory. We will need enough food, water, tools, and camping supplies for at least twelve people. And I must notify my contacts in the area to prepare for our arrival.” Quen retorted.

“You even have contacts all the way out in the desert?” June inquired.

“The Earth Kingdom is a large place, the Hand of the King can’t reach every corner and it is often in the most inhospitable places that you find the most dissent.” Quen responded.

“Who are they?” Korra asked.

“They are just a group of nomads. They know the land well and have the ability to traverse it quickly. So they have been quite useful when we have needed weapons or basic supplies smuggled through the area. And I am sure they will make for fine guides.” Quen answered.

“So you’re saying that they are a group of nomadic desert dwellers? Let me guess, you’re talking about sand benders aren’t you?” Toph inquired.

Quen’s eye brows rose as she gave Toph a slightly surprised look. “Yes… How do you know that?”

“I’ve been around you know. I have met just about every kind of earth bender this world has to offer on my travels and trust me there are a lot of them. Sand benders are quite the interesting bunch though. I spent quite a bit of time researching them. It was during my research that I heard about the library in the first place. What I know is that they tend to stick to themselves. Much of their habits bear striking resemblance to that of the air nomads. And it is strongly believed that many of their bending techniques were derived from a combination of both earth and air bending styles. The key difference is that most sand benders don’t consider all life sacred and even though they do tend to avoid conflict when they can, they are not pacifists. Not that anyone can blame them. The deserts they call home aren’t what you would call forgiving and so their mentality tends to mirror that.” Toph explained.

“That is all very interesting Miss Bei Fong but I didn’t ask for a report. Now then I have told you what you need to know and I have other appointments, so I must be on my way.” Quen stated as she got to her feet and moved towards the taverns entrance.

“Well she’s a bundle of fun.” Korra said jokingly once Quen was out of ear shot.

“Ah she isn’t too bad when you get use to her. She’s just an awkward grandmother’s girl at heart. And to be honest with everything that’s happened with her family I kind of feel sorry for her.” Toph adds.

“Pardon me but what do you mean by that? I don’t mean to pry but did something happen to her?” Korra asked.

The room became slightly tense for a moment before Toph rubbed the back of her neck and responded. “Well kind of. I’m sure you know that the North and South are not on good terms with each other by now right?” She asks and Korra nods in agreement. “Well, right now Quen’s mother is being held captive by Northern Water Tribe.”

“What but, why in the name of the spirits would the North do such a thing?!” Korra inquired.

“Well here’s the thing. The North has deemed Bloodbending to be an evil perversion of the element and as such practicing the skill in their territory is grounds for emendate imprisonment. They are going as far as calling bloodbenders witches. Not that it’s working too well since more and more girls keep abandoning their tribe to come here and learn.” Toph explains.

“That’s just horrible. I can only image what it must be like for a girl to live in the North right now.” Korra exclaims with a sigh.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Northern Water Tribe Capital City

The Northern Capital City is an icy fortress rested on the edge of the frozen tundra that makes up most of the North Pool. Massive walls of ice separated the city from the surrounding snowscape behind it and the endless frigid ocean waters in front of it. Not unlike the Southern Capital, large ice carved buildings make up its interior but. Unlike the south many waterways are carved out of the ground allowing small gondolas to pass through and carry its people to and from. Rested in the back of the city was the royal palace.

Within the palace’s walls sat a group of young woman dress in the traditional Water Nation blues and whites. They sat together before an elderly woman watching intently while she demonstrated different healing techniques that are possible to perform using waterbending. For the most part the class looked content and listened carefully as their teacher displayed her abilities on another young female volunteer who had scraped her elbow but. One student seemed uneasy, almost as if she would rather be anywhere else. She sat with her arms and legs crossed and continuously tapped her arm and jittered. Finally after their teacher had finished healing the injured girl she turned back towards the class to speak. “Now then, do any of you have any questions about the lesson so far?”

The jittery girl instantly threw her hand up and responded to her teacher’s question. “Yes, can I go now Sensei?”

Her teacher’s eye brows rose slightly. It was clear she found the question quite strange. “But Katara there is still more to this lesson. Is there some important matter you need to attend to? It is fine if there is but, you really should tell me about these types of things before the lesson begins.”

Katara shakes her head. “No, that’s not it Sensei. I already know this lecture. I have already read through every scroll we have on healing twice. Why do you insist I sit through these classes?”

“Katara my dear, you have a thirst for knowledge unlike any I have seen before. And I believe that one day you will be one of the greatest healers in the North Pole but you must always remember the basics. If you don’t work on your foundation then all of your knowledge will be for not.” The teacher responded.

“I will be the best healer huh?” Katara mumbled before letting out a deep sigh. “Sensei is there truly nothing more you can teach me?”

“What was that? Is something wrong my dear?” Katara’s teacher asked with worry now painted on her face.

“No it’s nothing. Oh, I just remembered I did have something important to attend to good day everyone.” Katara says as she rises to her feet and bows to both her teacher and then to the rest of her class before exiting the room without another word. Once out in the hallway she let out another deep sigh only this time much louder.

A few moments after she left the class and entered the palace hallway Katara heard a familiar voice coming from behind her. “It seems I’m not the only one having a rough day.”

Katara spun around to see a young boy about the same age as her walking towards her. The boy’s head was shaven and blue arrow tattoos decorated his hands and scalp. He was dressed in brown and tan robes that seemed far too thin for the cold climate of the north but he didn’t seem the least bit bothered by it. “Oh Aang… I mean Avatar Aang it’s a pleasure to see you again!” Katara stated as she went into a small bow.

The boy gave her a wide smile and waved dismissively. “Oh, stop with the formalities already. You can just call me Aang alright? So why don’t you tell me what’s got you so down?”

“It’s nothing important. You don’t need to concern yourself with me Avat… I mean Aang.” Katara responded.

“Oh come on you can talk to me about anything.” Aang pleaded.

“Really it’s nothing, what about you Aang? You said you have been having a rough day right?” Katara said while trying to change the topic.

“Ah that, well Pakku and my Earth bending teacher have really been running me ragged lately. I mean day in and day out. I guess they are trying to make up for my lack of firebending. Pakku said he may be able to get me a firebending master soon but, that was about a month ago now and there is still no one here to teach me.” Aang answered.

Katara let out her third sigh. “It must be a nice problem to have. Having so much you can still learn. I wish I could at least learn waterbending properly.”

“What do you mean Katara? Master Yunaka is always bragging about how you’re the best student she’s ever had. I’m sure you will become one of the greatest healers ever.” Aang says happily.

“There’s that word again. What if I don’t want to be a healer?” Katara retorts.

Aang’s expression changed slightly to one of confusion. “What, but I thought you liked to heal?”

“I do like healing, that’s not what this is about Aang!” Katara snapped.

“Then what is it about, I don’t think I understand the problem?” Aang asked.

“I just… I feel like I’m meant to do more then that. There is still so much about waterbending that I don’t know but, I want to learn. I want to help our people in everyway that I can.” Katara responded.

“You want to learn how to fight?” Aang inquires.

“Yes, more than anything!”

“They may accuse you of being a witch if they hear you talking like that.” Aang warns.

Katara expression quickly shifts between different emotions. First to fear, then to sadness, to finally land on anger as she brings her arms up across her chest. “I don’t care! I’m from the south originally anyway, so that’s how most of them see me already!”

“Well aright then, let’s do it.”

“Do what?” Katara asks while giving Aang a confused look.

“Let’s get to practicing!” Aang announces.

Chapter Text

New Hama City

It’s been a few days now since the perpetration for the up coming expedition to Wan Shi Tong's Library had begun and now all the supplies had finally been gathered, the “volunteers” have been gathered, and the messages to notify their contacts along the way have been sent. All that remained was to notify Chief Hama that they were ready to depart. And that is why Korra, Toph, and Quen were currently making their way through the halls of the palace towards Hama’s throne chamber.

“Finally we can get out of this frozen dump!” Toph cheered while throwing her hands up in celebration.

Quen instantly shot Toph a cold glare. She was clearly unhappy about her home being labeled as a dump but she didn’t comment on the matter. “You truly have no patience Miss Beifong. You do realize that we’re a day ahead of schedule?”

A cheeky grin comes to Toph’s face as her arms drop down from the air and rap around the back of her neck. “Yeah thank the spirits! If I had to wait one more day I think I would’ve lost it but, you really came through for me Quen! I owe you one.”

Korra remained silent during Toph’s and Quen’s exchange but noted that Quen seemed quite pleased with Toph’s sudden praise and quickly halted any further argument. Korra could almost make out the hint of a smile on Quen’s normally stoic face. What bothered Korra about this was that when she first met Quen she had thought she was a lot like Kuvira with how she commanded her warrior’s and fought with such confidence but. After spending a few days in the city with Quen always close by to keep an eye on her, Korra has started to notice different sides of her. The strange thing was that the more she got to know her the less clear the picture became. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it but something was just off about Quen.

Before Korra could ponder this matter further their party of three had reached the doors leading to the palace throne room. Quen reached out to grasp the door handles but seemed to stall in hesitation when she heard the sound of voices coming from the other side. It looked as if she was contemplating something serious for a moment but. Whatever it was would be left a mystery however as Toph pushed passed her and threw both doors open. “Hey Hama, are you in here!?” Toph shouted knowing full well that not only was Hama inside but she was not alone.

Sat in her throne was a slightly irate looking Hama and before her sat a few of her advisors and the three female ambassadors from the Fire Nation. “What is the meaning of this?” Hama hissed as she directed her gaze to the three new faces in the room. “Beifong, didn’t your parents ever teach you to knock before barging into a room like that! You have no manners what so ever!” She roared at Toph who just gave her a half hearted apology and began digging wax out of her ears, paying her no further mind. Since she wasn’t going to get anywhere with the earth bender she directed her anger at Quen. “Quen, I thought I told you not to interrupt our council meetings!”

Quen quickly lowered her head in a bow. “My deepest apologies grandmother…” Quen was cut off as a cup made of ice slammed into her head and shattered into pieces causing the eyes of most people in the room to widen. Shaking off the blow as if nothing had happened and taking the hint Quen started over. “My deepest apologies Chief Hama, I should have kept Beifong in line.”

Letting out a deep sigh Hama settled back into her throne causing everyone else in the room to also don a more relaxed posture. “So since you have our attention, what is your business here?” Hama asked.

With out missing a beat Quen straightened her posture and her arms snapped behind her back as she gave Hama her report. “We’ve finished all the necessary preparation for the expedition and will be leaving in a few hours. I will be departing along with Miss Beifong and her bodyguards, Korra, and a small squad of bloodbenders.”

Hama simply gave Quen a slight nod before responding. “Is that all?” She asked in a dry tone.

“That will be all Chief Hama.” Quen responded with another small bow.

“Good, now go so we can finish our meeting.” Hama commanded.

Quen’s expression tightened slightly before turning around and preparing to leave when one of the Fire Nation ambassadors rose to her feet. “Actually Chief Hama it is time for us to leave as well.”

Both Quen and Hama turned towards the young Fire Nation princess and gave her a curious look. “Leave you say?” Hama asks.

Azula puts on a crude smile as she motions for her two companions to rise to their feet. “We have finished all of our business here and so it is time for us to depart. We had intended to wait until the end of the meeting but this is as good a chance as any. On behave of the Fire Nation I Princess Azula would like to offer my gratitude for your hospitality.” Azula stated while placing one fist in her palm and lowered into a bow.

“Well in that case I suppose we can call this meeting adjourned. You all may go.” Hama stated as she waved off her advisors along with the rest of the leaving party. Then she directed her gaze at Quen and called out to her once again. “Quen, while you’re here and since you’re heading that way why not make yourself useful and escort the Princess and her companions to the docks.”

“Yes Chief Hama.” Quen stated as she motioned for Azula, Mai, and Ty lee to come along.

Everyone quickly dispersed and went off towards their destinations with the exceptions of Korra. Korra was now giving Hama a slightly judgmental look. Noticing this Hama decided to address the glaring Avatar. “Is there something I can do for you Korra?”

Korra nodded as she stepped forward and closed the doors to the throne room behind her. “I was just wondering why you’re so hard on Quen. This wasn’t even her fault so striking her like that seemed like it was a bit much.”

Hama let out a light chuckled causing Korra to raise an eyebrow. “Tell me Korra what do you see when you look at Quen?” She asked.

Korra had to think for a moment before answering. “Quen is a strong and loyal person. She cares about this nation and its people in equal regard. And she is also a skilled warrior. With that all said she I also think she has a valuable heart. I think she might be lonely.” Korra explained.

Hama nodded in agreement while giving Korra a pleased smile. “It seems you have gotten to know her quite well despite only knowing her for a short time. That is however part of the problem. Quen has always been a very proud person even since childhood. She has never been the type to try to hide how she feels. And normally that would be fine but as things stand she is next in line to sit in this throne. This has been a known fact for years now and it has begun to go to that child’s head. Unfortunately after seeing what she can do on the battlefield there isn’t a single person her who dares to stand against her.”

“Wait I don’t understand, isn’t it a good thing that Quen is so well respected?” Korra asks.

Hama lets out a sigh before continuing. “Normally yes but it’s not that simple. Quen may be well respected here but to the rest of the world she is little more than a monster. Not all battles must end in bloodshed and a leader must be able to compromise and show humility.”

Korra crosses her arms still not convinced. “So you’re saying it’s ok to be cruel to Quen as long as it makes her a good leader?”

Hama lets out another light chuckle. “This reminds me of a conversation I once had with my daughter, Quen’s mother. Tell me Korra, do you know the origin of Quen’s name sake?” Korra shook her head unsure of the names meaning. “The word quen is an old Earth Nation term. As I’m sure you know their Nation is normally controlled by their Kings and Queens. However who has these positions isn’t decided by their competence but rather by bloodline. Mind you it is not uncommon for leadership to remain in the family here in the south or even the Fire Nation but. A Fire Lord can be challenged by anyone, even the lowest peasant and the Chief position has moved from family to family quite often in our history. The fact that I am sitting here before you now is proof of that.” Hama explains. “Now as for what I am sure you are really interested in. Quen is an intentional miss spelling of the word queen to show those who’re given the title that they are far from being a queen of anything. Are you fallowing me so far?” Hama asks causing Korra to nod in agreement. “Good, now I’m sure you’re wondering what this all means for Quen. Basically that name was decided for her so she could remain humble. It was choose so she would know that she was not above consequence or reproach. At least that was the intended effect but. Quen took a very different meaning from the name. To her it means she can be anything other than a queen.”

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Meanwhile Quen, Toph, Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee had just made their way down the palace steps and were now heading towards the docks. “So that was a thing.” Toph stated jokingly.

Quen shot the bespectacled earthbender another cold glare. “Why is it that you insist on stirring up trouble Beifong?!” Quen questioned.

“Hey you were taking too long! Besides it’s not my fault, I’m your responsibility remember?” Toph said in a heckling tone causing Quen’s fists to clench. “Really though how can you be such a pushover when it comes to that old hag? I mean I get that she’s family and all but I would never let my folks treat me like that.”

“You have no idea what you’re talking about Beifong!” Quen snaps.

“Indeed, there is no way you could understand Quen’s position.” Azula cuts in while giving them both a seemingly fake smile.

“And what would you know of it Princess?” Quen asks.

Azula’s smile widens as if she were hoping for Quen to ask. “Well I am sure you have heard the stories about my family. You and I aren’t so different when you think about it. If anything you’re lucky that only your Grandmother hates you.”

“You and I are nothing alike Azula, and Chief Hama doesn’t hate me.” Quen retorts in dry tone.

Ignoring Quen’s comment Azula switch gears. “So you’re going on an expedition? Don’t tell me you are going back to the front lines?”

“No I am not going to the front lines.” Quen responds.

“So where are you going then?” Azula pressed.

“I don’t really think that is any of…” Quen began before being cut off by Toph.

“We are heading for the central Earth Kingdom’s Si Wong Desert.” Toph said happily.

“Beifong!” Quen roared angrily.

Azula cooked an eyebrow before turning back towards her two companions and whispering to them. “The Si Wong Desert is a wasteland, why would anyone want to go to that spirit forsaken place?” Both Mai and Ty Lee shrugged and shook their heads unsure of the answer. Azula quickly spun back around with a strait face. “Oh is that so. It just so happens that we also have business in that area. Perhaps if you fill us in on your objective we may be able to assist you in your endeavor.”

“That will not be needed Princess we…” Quen began before once again being cut off by Toph.

“Really that would be great! We are looking for Wan Shi Tong’s Library! Have you heard of it?” Toph says.

Mai, Azula, and Ty Lee exchange another look before Mai decides to step in. “Pardon me I have heard of it before but I was under the impression that, that library was nothing more than a fairytale.”

Toph chuckles slightly. “Well all of my research so far tells me otherwise. And if that’s not enough a member of our group apparently has been there once before. She said she would be able help lead us there. If you’re really interested you can come along. We could also use a few extra hands and if we’re heading the same way regardless than why not.”

“Perhaps you don’t like having your blood on the inside of your body Beifong!” Quen hissed.

Toph spun around meet Quen’s glare. “What, you want to go!?” She retorted.

A wicked grin appeared on Azula’s face as she stepped in between them. “Yes, I do want to go. This will be quite interesting. It will be easier if I just travel on your ship. I will go inform my men to have them bring the necessary supplies.” Before Quen could get in a word edge wise Azula and her companions had already moved ahead of them.

Quen let out a deep sigh. “When this is all over I hope you never come back here Beifong.”

“Why are you so grumpy?” Toph asked.

“Because you can’t keep your mouth shut! Of all the people in the world Azula is the last one you want to be open with. And how do we even know that Korra can really get us to the library? I’m still not convicted that this place exists.” Quen asks.

“Trust me I know. At the very least Korra really thinks she can help us. Speaking of which where did Korra go?” Toph asks causing both her and Quen to begin looking around to find the missing face. Then Toph felt a set of quick moving feet heading right towards them. She turned to see who was coming and sure enough it was Korra. “Hey there you are!”

“Where were you?” Quen asked as Korra cot up to them.

 

Korra leaned over and took a moment to catch her breath before speaking. “Sorry, just need to have a little chat with Hama before we left. We should be all set now.” She announced.

Quen and Toph shrugged before the three of them continued on their way to the docks. Along the way they met back up with Koko and Loca who had been doing some last minute shopping and informed them all that Azula would be joining them. Once they arrived at the docks they spotted Azula having a disagreement with guards. Azula ended when she pushed a freshly written letter into the guard captain’s hand and ordered him to take it to the Firelord. The captain reluctantly accepted and him along with all of Azula’s guards boarded their Fire Nation ship and began preparing to set off. Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee on the other hand made their way over to board the Southern Water Tribe Ship set to go on the expedition.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Fire Nation Capital City A Few Weeks Later

The sun was setting over the palace and for its young ruler it had been a rather uneventful day. Of course Firelord Zuko rather liked it that way. Even though his uncle had been a great help to him over the last few years. Ruling a country at such a young age is not an easy task. It is even more difficult when you’re constantly plagued by strange fragmented visions. Zuko couldn’t remember when the visions had started but he couldn’t get them out of his head. He has had visions of a woman from the Water Tribe clashing with the Avatar. And visions of black and red creature unlike any he had ever seen before.

Zuko was currently locked away in his study tearing through scroll after scroll looking for answers to these strange visions. So far he has found nothing of anything of value. Perhaps he was just not looking in the right places. He thought as he leaned over his desk and rubbed his head. “Maybe I should take a break. I could always have uncle bore me with one of his cryptic stories and have some tea.” He said while letting out a light hearted chuckle.

Then Zuko heard a knock on his chamber door causing him to instinctively snap to attention. “Announce yourself!” Zuko commanded.

“It’s Lee my lord.” A quite male voice called out from behind the door.

Lee Ko was one of Zuko’s must trusted servants. He had known him since before he ascended to the thrown and had chosen him for the position himself. “You may enter.” Zuko stated.

The door creaked open to reveal a young dark haired boy around the same age as Zuko. “Pardon my disturbance my lord. A messenger hawk has just delivered this letter to us.” Lee stated as he presented Zuko with a rolled up scroll stamped with his sister’s royal seal.

“Oh great, what has she done now.” Zuko thought to himself as he claimed the message from servant and quickly broke the seal to read its contents.

“Shall I leave you my lord?” Lee asks. Zuko quickly motions for him to say where he is while he reads.

The message read as. ‘Dear Zuzu I have set you this letter to inform you that I have finished talks with the Southern Water Tribe and of course everything went splendidly. As a matter of fact everything was settled sooner than we expected so I have decided to join them on a little expedition to the Pi Wong Desert. It seems they not only proof but know how to find the fabled Library of Wan Shi Tong. If this proves to be true I feel it is in the best interests of our Nation to make sure no information they gain can be used against us. And as Princess of the Fire Nation I feel it is my responsibility to see to this matter myself.’ Zuko’s eyes widened after reading this.

Then he read on. ‘PS. I have Mai and Ty Lee with me so I will not need my ship or guards so I sent them back.’ Zuko tensed slightly. He wasn’t happy about her being unattended to. There was no telling what she would do.

Then he read even further. ‘PPS. Mai told me everything. Poor little Zuzu, who would have thought it would take you ascending to the throne for her to come to her senses. Don’t worry though when sis comes home I will be sure to make it all better.’ Zuko eye began to twitch after reading this last part. He promptly crumpled the message and threw it onto his desk.

“Lee I want you to prepare a message for me. Send for General Zhao. Tell him I have reconsidered his plans.” Zuko states.

Chapter Text

Northern Water Tribe Capital Training Grounds

It was mid day in the North Pool and the palace training grounds were alive with activity. Several waterbenders were engaged in one on one sparing matches of their own while many of the others blasted away at distant icy targets. Of course there was also no shortage of onlookers that were either trying to learn by observation or simply looking for a good fight to entertain themselves for awhile. The latter of which was primarily concentrated around a young boy dressed in the traditional robes of the Air Nomads. The boy’s robes did offer a wade range of easy movement which would normally be well suited for training but, they were dangerously thin for the unforgiving climate of the North Pool. However if the boy felt any form of discomfort he didn’t show it as he easily dunked and weaved around the relentless attacks of his sparing partner. The boy’s sparing partner was a much older man with graying hair that was thinning on top. The man was fairly tall in comparison to the boy but had a similarly thin build. The man’s dressed was that of the Water Tribe’s traditional white and blue furs.

The pairs sparing match had been going for several minutes now and to the untrained eye it would have appeared as a stalemate. However the older man had been pulling his punches for some time to allow his opponent easy into the fight. Now figuring that the battle had gone on long enough the elder took on a much shaper fighting stance and flicked his wrist to draw out a stream of water from a nearby fountain before launching it in the young boy’s direction. The boy quickly lowered his stance and flicked his wrists upward causing a chunk of ice at his feet to turn back into water before being pulled out of the ground and freeze back ice in between him and his attacker absorbing the blow. “Ha, Nice try Pakku!” The boy taunted as the stream of water cascaded past him in every direction. The corner of the older man’s lips curled upward in response as he flicked his wrists again causing all the cascading water to freeze in place. “Wait what!?” The boy said as all the water formed into large shards of ice with pointed edges all pointing in his directions. The boy let out an audible gulping nice right before the man swung his arms causing the shards to fly towards him in every direction. The boy quickly gripped the sides of the icy blockade he had created moments ago and pulled it free from the ground. Then he bent a hole in the ice below him and allowed himself to fall into with the icy wall held above his head shielding himself from the borage of shards.

Once the boy was sure the attack had ended he breathed a sigh of relief and then he launched into his own counterattack. He leaped back out of the hole still holding the block of ice in his hands and with the aid of his bending turned it back into water and sent the stream flying towards his opponent before freezing it back into a solid slab of ice in mid air. The boy’s opponent began to smile again as the block of ice came barreling towards him. “You’re improving Aang. However,” He began as he swiped his hand upward in an arc sending a razor thin wave of water gliding across the ground towards the young boy. On its way the wave of water cut right through the block of ice splitting it in half and sending each piece soaring harmlessly past the older man while his wave of water kept going towards the boy. The boy yelped as he leapt out of the way of the wave just narrowly avoiding the attack and shaving off a piece of his robes in the process. And before the boy could do anything else he noticed that his opponent had just liquefied the two blocks of ice and launched twin steams of water directly at him. He quickly pulled a stream of water of his own out of the ground to intercept the incoming streams but it wasn’t enough to hold off the raging current and the water slammed into his chest knocking him to the ground and soaking him completely. Then before the boy could get back to his feet the old man froze water locking him in place. “You still got a ways to go.” The man said while letting out a light chuckle.

A wide smile came over the boy’s face before he joined the man in his laughter. “Thank you Master Pakku, I will do even better next time!” The boy declared joyfully before seeming to become lost in thought for a moment. “Speaking of, do you want to go again?” He inquired.

The waterbending master smiled before bending the ice off the boy. “No, that will be all for today Aang. You still have earthbending training later and I don’t want to hear Sud complaining that you’re to worn out to train properly,” Pakku paused for a moment as a grimace came over his face. “again.”

“Yes Master!” Aang said before breaking into another laugh and blowing a gust of air out of his hands to propel himself back up onto this feet and air dry his clothing. “I guess I should go eat and get some rest then. You know, before its time for earthbending.” He declared before running over to a nearby spectator who had been holding onto to his glider staff and retrieving it. He then snapped it open and a moment later he kicked off the ground releasing a gust of wind to propel himself upward and began soaring up into the sky out of sight.”

“Well he sure seems spirited today.” A new gruff sounding voice stated.

Master Pakku turned around to see a large well built middle aged man walking in his direction. The man was dressed in the attire of a high ranking Earth Nation soldier with a few patches of blue and white fur on laid over top of it. The man had dark green eyes and short dark hair with a small goatee covering his chin. Instantly recognizing the man Pakku’s smile quickly fell away. “Good afternoon Master Sud. It’s rare to see you out and about before training hours.”

The Earth Nation man scoffed. “Don’t get use to it. I don’t want to spend anymore time out in this cold than I need to.” The man responded while raping his thick arms around himself and letting out a shiver. “I seriously don’t know how you people can deal with it being so bloody freezing all the time!”

Master Pakku shrugged. “We’re use to it. It kind of comes with being a member of the Water Nation. With that said, to what do I owe the ‘pleasure’ of your visit today?” He said in a slightly sarcastic tone.

The earthbender let out an annoyed grumble and straitened himself out and puffed out his chest before responding. “I just came to make sure you weren’t running my student into the group again. Every day it seems like he shows up more haggard than the last. Yesterday he even dosed off in the middle of his warm up exercises.”

This statement caused Pakku’s eyebrow to lift and give the other man a confused glance. “He dosed off yesterday? That seems odd since I released Aang from training early yesterday. Are you sure you’re not just a bad teacher?” Pakku asked in a condescending manner.

“What was that you old goat!?” Sud roared.

“I’m just saying it’s a possibility. You were here for nearly half a year before Aang could even bend the element on command. Perhaps you’re just not the right person for the job.” Pakku jabbed.

Sud’s faces twists in anger as he jams his finger into the chest of the water tribesmen before him. “Listen here, I have you know that I am General Sud the Third, great grandson of Master Sud the First. Sud the First was the very same man who instructed Avatar Roku in earthbending. So tell me who could be better suited for training the new Avatar in earthbending?” After finishing his defensive rant Sud removed his finger and took a step back before clearing his throat to continue. “Also let us not forget that earthbending is Avatar Aang’s opposite element. From what I have heard and read it is rarely easy for an Avatar to master their opposite. And it certainly doesn’t help that there isn’t many good places to train in this frozen wasteland. Half this city is built over the ocean and has no earth underneath of it. And the rest is buried under literally tons of snow and ice.”

“I will give you this Sud, you’re truly a master of coming up with excuses. I will have you know that Aang’s progress has improved substantially over the last few weeks. At this rate his training will be complete within the year.” Pakku retorted in a dry tone.

Sud’s fists clinched as he leaned over the slightly shorter water tribesmen. “Oh, I’m a master of excuses? Look who’s talking! How’s the search for that firebending teacher going by the way?” Sud jabbed. Pakku opened his mouth to retort but quickly clenched it shut again without saying a word. Sud scoffed. “Yeah, that’s what I thought. You’re not as well connected as you claimed huh?” Sud said in order to twist the knife, before glancing off toward the horizon in the direction that the Avatar had gone. “So the Avatar has been improving quickly?” Sud asked in a more serious tone causing Pakku to nod. “Have you been letting him go early a lot lately?” Sud asked.

Pakku nodded once again before elaborating. “Last week he asked me if we could end training early. Since you had started complaining and he had been showing a lot of improvement I decided to allow it. Since then we have cut training short a few times.”

“Does he always speed off the moment training is over?” Sud asked causing Pakku to nod once again. Then one of Sud’s eyebrows shot up. “Where is the Avatar heading?” He asked.

Pakku scowling face quickly returned to a natural one as joined other master to look over the horizon. “He said he was going to eat and get some rest before it was time to train with you.”

“If I recall the Avatar’s is currently living in the palace and that’s not in the direction of the palace. Doesn’t that seem odd to you?” Sud inquired.

Pakku shrugged. “My job is to teach the Avatar waterbending. As long as it doesn’t interfere with his training, what he does in his free time isn’t really any of my concern.”

“Is that so? Well it just so happens that I overheard a little rumor about our little Avatar. I heard he has been spending a lot of time with a certain healer girl lately.” Pakku’s neutral expression cracked ever so slightly at the mention of a healer girl. And though the waterbender made no effort to focus on Sud it was clear that he was now listening intently. “Oh what was her name again. Kara, Katra, oh it’s right on the tip of my tongue.”

“Katara?” Pakku finally asked now giving the earthbender his full attention.

Sud lips curled up into a big smile. “Yeah, that’s the one. She’s your step granddaughter isn’t she? I hear she is quite talented. Perhaps the Avatar has taken an interest in her. It would explain why the Avatar’s mind has been preoccupied as of late. Ah, I remember what it was like to be young and in love.” Sud said while letting out a bellowing laugh.

Pakku took on an incredulous look. “Have you gone daft? Katara is only thirteen years old.”

“Only thirteen you say? Oh Pakku, she isn’t a child anymore you know. She will be turning fourteen in a few weeks and then it’s only two more years before she’s of marriageable age. And the Avatars only two years ahead of her, I was five years older than my first wife.” Sud explained.

Pakku’s expression was now very serious. “Perhaps this matter does require investigation.” Pakku stated before starting across the training grounds towards the direction in which Aang had gone.

“Hey wait for me!” Sud shouted as he started after the older man. “This should be good.” He thought to himself.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Meanwhile Katara stud in her home packing a change of cloths and water skins into small handbag. She had just returned from her healer training and was in the middle of preparing for her real training that was going to begin the moment Aang arrived after his own training. She still couldn’t believe that she was finally learning real waterbending. Not to mention that the Avatar himself was teaching her. Of course Aang was not a master yet but it was still an honor. And she has already learned so much from training with Aang. The only thing that bothered her was the fact that she couldn’t share what she learned with others. “There that should be everything.” She said as she finished stuffing her back. Then she swung it over her shoulder and made for the piece of hung up cloth that separated her room from the main living room. She pushed the cloth aside and stepped out into their small living space. In the center of the room was a large fire pit with a pot of boiling water hung above it. Her grandmother was sat on a pile of furs beside the pot keeping a watchful eye on it. “Hey Gramgram.” Katara greated.

The elderly women gave Katara a wide smile and a quick nod. “Hello Katara, you going to meet with Aang again?” She asked.

“That’s right I will be back before nightfall.” Katara stated as she turned towards the wooden door that led out of their small home and began walking towards it. She nearly had her hand around the handle when stern female voice called out to her.

“Hold it right there young lady!” The voice said causing Katara to flinch and freeze up before slowly turning her head to look in the direction of the voice. Now stud in the back of the living room was a middle aged water tribe woman who was otherwise known as Katara’s mother Kya. “Aren’t you going to stay for dinner?” Kya asked but from the way she said it, it would seem more like a demand.

“Sorry but I’m not really hungry. And besides Aang will be waiting for me, so I should really get going.” Katara argued while trying desperately to avoid eye contacted with her mother.

Katara’s mother crossed her arms and began marching towards her daughter until she was directly in front of her. “Funny, you haven’t been ‘hungry’ for weeks now. And you’ve been going to see Aang nearly every single day lately. Don’t think you’re mother can’t tell when something’s going on! Now spill what you are really doing Katara!”

“What do you mean, nothings going on mom.” Katara said while shaking her head and waving her hands as if trying to shake off her mother’s suspicion.

Clearly not convinced Kya leaned in closer forcing Katara to slouch slightly. “Oh, than care to tell me what you have been doing everyday?” She asked.

“He’s my friend mother! We were just hanging out that’s all!” Katara argues.

“Ah, sounds like young love.” Katara’s grandmother cuts in.

Katara’s face flashes red for a moment. “No way Gramgram we aren’t like that!”

“Well I hope not,” Kya states while grabbing and lifting up Katara’s arm so she can pull down the sleeve of her parka. When she does she reveals several small cuts and scratches spread out across her arm. There were also several areas that were slightly discolored either from swelling or frost bite. “Because if you are, it makes these wounds much more concerning. How did you get all these wounds Katara?” Kya’s voice was lased with a mixture of anger and concern.

A panicked look came over Katara’s face as she struggled against her mothers iron grasp. “These are nothing mom, I just fell off my sled.”

Kya placed her free hand on Katara’s cheek to force her to look her in the eyes. “Katara its ok, if you’re having trouble you can talk to me. You know that don’t you? Are the other kids picking on you again?” Katara gave her mother a confused looked and tried to open her mouth to refute her claims but she had already broken into a heated rank. “Typical, just because we’re from the south everyone thinks we’re just like those crazy witches! Katara tell me who did this and I will set them straight even if I have to take it to the chief himself!”

“Mom, no, you got it all wrong!” Katara shouted while tugging at arm but before she could break free her grandmother had stud up and walked over to the two of them to inspect Katara’s wounds. “Umm, Gramgram?”

“Hmm this is…” The elderly hummed thoughtfully as she looked closely at Katara’s finger tips and down her forearm. After a moment of this the woman’s eyes widened in what appeared to be realization.

“What is it mother?” Kya asked.

“These wounds were inflicted by a waterbender, some of them are self inflicted either intentionally or accidentally.” The elder explained in a serious tone.

Both Kya’s and Katara’s eyes widened before Kya’s once again became laser focused on Katara again. As Kya spoke her voice was soft but stern. “Katara dear, have you been waterbending?”

Katara gulped and tried her hardest to steady her heart before speaking. “I was just showing Aang. He wanted to know how to perform healing so I was giving him some pointers.” Katara decided to go with a half truth in hopes it might be more convincing.

“Well that doesn’t explain these wounds! What, were you practicing on yourself!?” Kya roared as she tugged on Katara’s arm to make her look at her own injuries and the force caused Katara to wince. “You weren’t just healing were you?! Honey, don’t tell me that you were fighting!? You know what they will think if they see you right!?”

“I just want to learn mom! I don’t see what’s wrong with that! Do you think our enemies will care that I’m a woman! I can do so much more for our people as a warrior!” Katara argued.

“Look honey I understand what you’re going through but…”

Kya was cut off when Katara finally pulled herself from her mothers grasp and shot her a defiant glare. “Do you mom!? How could you possible understand what I’m going through when your not even a bender!?” Katara roared before turned back around and pushed her way through the door.

Aang was waiting for her outside her house. Based on his uncomfortable expression Katara figured that he must have overheard their conversation. Noticing Katara approaching he forced a smile and waved to her. “Hey Katara, is this a bad time? I could come back later or something.”

“No, let’s go.” Katara huffed as grabbed Aang by the arm and began to drag him away.

At that moment Kya finally broke out of the shocked stupor she was put in when Katara snapped at her and rushed out the door. “Hey we’re not done here yet! You get back here right now young lady! I mean it!” Katara ignored all of Kya’s commands and continued her march. Once Katara was out of sight Kya let out an exasperated sigh and groaned. “That girl is going to be the death of me.”

“Is everything alright Lady Kya?” A soft familiar female voice asked.

Kya looked to her side to see none other than Princess Yue causing Kya to quickly straighten her posture and lower her head into a bow. “Oh Princess, everything is quite alright. I just think Katara has reached her rebellious phase.”

Yue lifted her hand over her mouth to suppress a light chuckle. “There’s no need to be so formal. You can just call me Yue if you wish.”

Kya lifted her head to meet the princess’s gaze and they both gave each other a warm smile. Then Kya noticed that the princess usual escorts were nowhere to be found. And instead in their place was a single young man with short black hair. He was a boy who she had seen much of as of late. If she remembered correctly his name was Hahn. Hahn was currently a soldier in the army and seemed to have a promising future ahead of him. She knew this because her son Sokka had recently joined the army himself, despite her objections. And so he had been spending a lot of time with the older boy. “Thank you Princess, so to what do I owe the honor of your visit?” She asked.

“Oh sorry, we’re here in search of Sokka. He promised that he would join us on our outing today. Would he happen to be home?” Yue asked.

Kya once again found herself stunned, as she just couldn’t believe that her son had managed to make friends with the princesses. Before she could break herself out of it she heard the voice of her son call out from within their home. “Hold on guys I will be right there!” He shouted as he stepped out from inside and past his mother to great them. “Good to see you again Yue.” He said as he gave her a slight bow.

Yue seemed to light up as she greeted him. “Hello Sokka it’s good to see you. Are you ready to go?” She asked with an air of excitement.

Then another older male voice cut in. “Go, go where? Is there a party going on that I haven’t been told about?” The group all turned to see Pakku and Sud approaching from the opposite direction as the one Aang and Katara fled in. Sud looked cold and disinterested while Pakku was wearing a much more serious expression. After a moment of taking in scene his eyes stopped on Princess Yue. “Princess what’re you doing out here without your escorts? You know your father doesn’t like it when you go out on your own.” He reprimanded.

Yue smiled and gave both the older men a polite bow. “Hello Master Pakku, Master Sud. It is good to see you both again. However I’m not alone today. You see I have Hahn and Sokka acting as my escorts.” She corrected while motioning to the two boys in question.

Pakku raised an eyebrow before stepping forwards and placing a hand on Sokka’s shoulder. “Is this true by boy?” He asked causing Sokka to nod in agreement. “Very well, in the case I will be counting on you. Don’t let her out of your sight okay.” Sokka nodded again with more enthusiasm than before. Clearly he had no intention of doing so from the beginning. This realization caused Sud’s words from earlier to play in his head once again ‘to be young and in love.’ Not wanting to think of the consequences if those words rang true here he quickly switch gears and refocused on his original goal. “By the way Sokka have you seen Avatar Aang or your sister recently?”

Sokka looked back towards his mother who saw her signaling him to keep quite by placing her index finger over her mouth. So of course Sokka quickly began trying to think up a good accuse to tell his step grandfather and just when he felt like he got something Hahn answered for him. “If you’re talking about the bald kid and the angry chick with the hair loops they went towards the eastern gates. I think they said something about going to the ice fields.” The boy declared while pointing in the direction the two had gone.

Pakku gave Hahn a nod before marching past the group stopping only for a moment to address them one more time. “Thank you Hahn, we will go see what those two are up to. In the mean time you all better stay out of trouble.” Once he finished he promptly pushed onward with Sud pulling right up behind him.

Once he was out of sight both Sokka and Kya’s focus was turned back on Hahn. Noticing the sudden and intense stares Hahn decided to address them. “What?” Hahn asked in an innocent tone.

“You need to learn how to read the mood boy. The ladies won’t like you if you don’t pay attention to them you know.” Kya lectured.

“And it wouldn’t hurt if you stopped ass-kissing for five minutes!” Sokka ranted causing Kya to smack him in the back of the head. “Ouch! What did I do?!”

“Watch your language Sokka!” Kya reprimanded before motioning in the princesses direction.

Sokka’s face turned slightly red before he bowed his head low in front of Princess Yue. “My deepest apologies Yue, it was a slip of the tongue.”

Yue began to giggle energetically. “It’s quite alright Sokka, I’m not bothered by such small things.” She assured him causing Sokka to let out a sigh of relief.

“Now then,” Kya began while clapping her hands together to gain everyone’s attention. “I know you all had plans to go out but, we were just about to have dinner. I don’t know if it would be to your liking Princess but you and Hahn are free to join us if you like.” She offered.

Yue and Hahn shared a thoughtful look before focusing on Sokka who shrugged. “Hey my grandmothers sealturtle soup is to die for.” His words caused the three of them to share a light laugh before they all followed Kya into her home to join them for dinner.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////

Some time later and Aang and Katara were in the middle of the warm up exercises. They were simply passing a large clump of water back and forth in a circler patter. This was an exercise they had preformed often since it was one of the first exercises Aang had been taught and it usually had a relaxing effect on the pair. However today was a bit different, there was clearly a nervous edge to all of Katara’s moments. “Was it really alright for us to just leave back there?” Aang asks.

Katara sighs. “Its fine, mother is just being over protective as usual. I still don’t see why it’s so wrong for a girl to learn how to fight! Our southern sisters allow it and seem to do just fine. If anything it puts us at a disadvantage and we could use all the help we can get against them.” She complained.

“Hey there’s nothing wrong with your mother being protective. At least she’s here with you. And they might not like you fighting now but when they see what you can do they might think differently.” Aang reasoned.

Katara let out a sigh before nodding in agreement. “Yeah I know your right. I’m sorry for getting so wound up Aang.”

“Its alright really I just didn’t want to see you…” Aang completely stopped in his tracks when his eyes lit up white for an instant. Causing the water the two were bending to fly off to the side splashing across the ground. “What was…” Aang began before his eyes flickered again and he collapsed onto the ground griping his head in pain.

“Aang what’s wrong!?” Katara shouted in a state off panic right before she rushed over to the older boy’s side to pull his head into her lap. “Aang talk to me, are you ok!?”

Inside Aang’s head it was like a maelstrom had suddenly erupted. All his past lives were talking over each other. It was as if they were trying to remember something, or perhaps some one. Aang called out to the voices trying to get a straight answer from them. “What are you all talking about? What do you want?” The voices didn’t calm down with Aang’s inquires. If anything they became more ramped. Aang focused as hard as he could to make since of the chaos and after a moment of effort he managed to pick a few of what he could only guess were names out chaos. ‘Raava’ This name sounded very familiar to Aang but he couldn’t quite place it. And the other was. “Korra.” He spoke this name allowed causing his eyes and tattoos to flare up with bright white light once again. An image played out in his head. The image in his head was that of a tree and a water tribe girl. There was something else there too. What was it? He wondered, he couldn’t quite make it out. Before he could derive the answer the image was ripped away just as suddenly as it came and finally the voices fell silent.

Finally released form his own mind Aang released he had been holding his breath and sucked in greedily in an attempt to fill his lungs. Then Aang’s eyes met Katara’s. Her eyes were full of panic and concern. “Are you alright Katara?” He asked.

“That’s my line Aang! What the heck was that?! And who is Korra?!” She asked. Concern was still clearly audible in her voice.

Aang just shook his head. “I don’t know but whoever it is, they have my past lives spooked so they can’t be good news.” Aang reasoned before falling back into Katara’s lap and trying to relax. “Korra. Who are you?”

Chapter Text

Several days had passed since Korra’s expedition group had left New Hama city to embark on a journey to find the legendary Library of Won Shi Tong.

Initially the promise of action and adventure had created quite the air of excitement and anticipation amongst most of those involved, Korra included of course. However after only a few days of nothing but cold open-ocean and constant complaining from many of the southern water tribe soldiers who had by Quen’s orders been dragged along on this escapade and the enthusiasm had began to drastically wane.

Not that southerners didn’t have good reason to complain of course. Of course they weren’t strangers to the open seas or the cold tempters, rather they felt right at home in them. However, that was the main problem at hand. Many of the soldiers didn’t even think the library really existed, so stud to reason that most of them would think that this whole excursion was a huge waste of their time and energy. At least here in the southern seas they were in their element but sooner or later they knew that would change. They would not only be walking right into what is effectively enemy territory but would also be venturing into one of the harshest deserts on the face of the planet. And as anyone could imagine a desert is far from the most idly place for a waterbender to visit.

Fortunately for everyone involved the desert was still later to come, for now they had more a more pressing problem to address. And unfortunately that problem was themselves. You see as it turns out, sticking a bunch of strangers together in a confined space for an extended amount of time was more than enough to get them at each others throats. Who would have guessed it? Now add the fact that they were all headstrong young women with differences ranging from age, social standing, and nationalities and you got yourself a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off. And the fact that there wasn’t much in the way of entertainment on board the vessel didn’t help the situation at either. When they weren’t bickering amongst themselves, most of the crew had been spending their time either sparing, sleeping, or doing other tedious work around the ship just to keep themselves busy.

Korra on the other hand had been spending most of her free time sparing. She figured she could use the practice for whatever could lie ahead of her. Though you can’t just keep fighting all day so when she needed to take a breather she would just pick out a spot on deck and sit back to watch the sparks fly between the others. Most of the time it was verbally but in a few cases it was actually literal. Seriously, drama like this was solid gold and if she ever made it back to her own time line, the first thing she planned to do was pitch the idea to Varrick. They could call them “Reality Movers”, yeah she liked it, had a nice ring to it.

With that said, she would not be doing anymore sparring today. Rather she may have had her fill of it for quite awhile. Not that sparing with the others was lacking of course. In fact just about everyone onboard was quite the warrior in their own right. And most of them were just as bored as her, so there were normally more than enough opponents for her to test herself against. And they each offered a fair enough challenge but, no one knew about her being the avatar. And with any luck she planned to keep it that way. After seeing how much her meddling had already messed up the timeline she didn’t want to know what would happen if her companions found out about her more unique abilities.

And since she was already identified as a waterbender she couldn’t openly use any of her other bending forms in front of the other crewmembers and of course that included during their sparing matches. And no matter much as she loved her native element it got old after awhile. And anyone that knew her could tell you how competitive she was. Which was a problem since it meant that she had trouble holding back in a fight, even if it was just friendly spar. The urge she been getting to bend the other three elements could almost be too much for her to bare some times.

The feeling kind of reminded her of her first probending match when she was adjusting to their rules, just stretched out over a few weeks rather than a few minutes. So with not much else to do she figured it was a good as time as any to put her airbending training to work and meditate. On top of being a good way to pass the time meditation would help her clear her mind and potentially help her connect with the spirit realm. If she managed that it could offer her so form of guidance, which was something that she so desperately in short on right now. Unfortunately this hadn’t been her first attempt and so far despite her best efforts she hadn’t heard a thing from Raava. And she hadn’t since the moment she had arrived here in this timeline. And of course this got her more than just a little worried to say the least.

At the moment Korra just getting into her latest session. She was sat cross legged in the middle of a blue and red mat that covered the wooden floor of her personal cabin. The Cabin itself was located deep within the bowels of their ship. And the room was, well, roomy for a combat vessel at least if the united republic ships she had been on in the past were anything to go by.

The ship in question was of course a Southern Water Tribe warship. And at some point she had found out that it was named the Crimson Tide. She remembered the name because it had made her laugh out loud the first she had heard it. If only the rest of the crew knew what kind of implications that name had they would likely have done the same but, after spending some time on it she found that she liked the ship. The ship had an elegance that one would come to expect from a Water Tribe vessel. And at the same time it also incorporated many of the Fire Nation’s sea fairing advancements such as a steam powered engine. Which she thanked the spirits for since it not only made their trip a heck of a lot faster but, the steady hum of it together with the sound of the waves crashing against the wooden haul gave Korra the perfect amount of white noise to prevent her mind from wondering. And anything that kept her focused on her meditating was welcomed.

Like usual Korra was starting off with some breathing exercises. Taking in a deep breath before exhaling it slowly, this exercise was meant to help her gather and focus the Chi in her body. If done correctly it would allow her to release her spirit and enter the spirit world. It had worked for her in the past but now she has already done it a dozen times before at this point no success. Over and over she has repeated this action for at least the last hour or so. And though she could feel her Chi flowing and her bond to the world weakening she just couldn’t seem to break through. She wasn’t sure why this was but she did have a few theories. The biggest season she could come up with to explain why it wasn’t working was due to how unstable her Chi had been ever since she had arrived here in this timeline. Though she wasn’t sure quite sure what was causing her Chi to act up. At first she just assumed it was a side effect of time travel, like a form of motion sickness. However it’s been days now and it feels like it’s only been getting worse and since Ravaa might be the only person, well spirit that could possibly have some answers for her she had to press on. And with that in mind she took another deep breath and used all the concentration she could muster to gather up her Chi once more.

This time, however Korra’s Chi seemed to react a little bit more. She quickly latched onto this and began to focus with everything she got. “Come on Korra, you can do this.” She told herself as her whole body seemed to clench. “No, no too much! I need to relax!” She scolded herself as her posture loosened back up slightly and she took another deep breath. And as she exhaled something seemed to shift within her. The candles lighting the room began to flicker and an otherworldly wind seemed to pick up and flow around her. Then finally Korra’s closed eyes snapped open wide as a blindingly bright white light began to emanate from them. And suddenly Korra felt herself slip away.

//////////////////////////////////////

Spirit World

Korra now felt like she was falling. She couldn’t say for sure if she was or not though since she was blind to the world around her. Despite the fact that Korra couldn’t recall closing them once again she knew her eyes were closed and her eyelids felt heavy. She could feel the wind rushing past her and her instincts told her that she needed to do something break her fall. She tried to move her arms in an attempt to air bend but they were limp and unresponsive. Panic was beginning to set in until she finally remembered what she had been doing only seconds ago. And the moment her mind settled so did the rushing winds and a moment later her eyes finally snapped open. She was now on solid ground and it was almost as if she had never been in free fall at all.

It was a strange experience, to say the least, but even as strange as it was, it was still far less strange than the fact that her surroundings had completely changed in the blink of an eye. Instead of her small chamber on the ship, she now found herself laying flat on her back the middle of seemed to be a dark grass covered meadow. “Is this the spirit world?” Korra wondered as she sprung up from the ground and began scanning the area.

After a moment Korra was fairly sure that she had made it but wasn’t certain. Her doubts were mainly because she thought the place looked a little bit off. She couldn’t say for sure why she felt this way but the place just seemed different from how it had been the last few times she had been here. Something about the place just didn’t seem right. It could have been the ominous darkness enveloping everything around her. The same darkness that was so deep she could barely see more than a few feet in front of her. That could certainly be it but it felt like it was more than that. “Hello, is anyone there!?” She cried out into the darkness but much to her relief and frustration, nobody came. Instead, she was greeted only with silence, not even echo’s returned from the void. All the sounds of nature and of the wild spirits that made this plane their home had been muted. “Okay, now I’m starting to get a little freaked out. Just what in the world is going on here?” She pondered.

After a moment of consideration she shrugged. “I guess there’s only one real way to find out.” She reasoned before she snapped her fingers in an attempt to call forth a ball of fire to light her way. Only to then remember that she had left her physical body behind and therefore couldn’t bend. “Oh yeah, well I’m a big girl I can handle this.” She told herself in an attempt to calm her nerves.

With that, she finally began to move deeper. Not moving in any particular direction of course. After all, other than the fact she was in the spirit world she had no idea where she was. And even if she did, she had already learned from past experiences that just because you’re going in the right direction doesn’t mean you will arrive in your desired destination. Not in this crazy place. So she decided to just follow her gut and keep moving.

“Ravaa! Ravaa are you there!?” She called out as she pushed her way past the darkened meadow into the desolate void beyond. The soft cushion of the grass was soon replaced by the rough and shifty feeling of sand. “Great now I’m going to get sand in my boots, well my spirit boots I guess.” She muttered.

“Ravaa, please if your out there I need to talk to you!” She called out to her guide again. And after another moment of silence Korra felt herself deflate. “What am I even doing? If it was that easy to contact her I wouldn’t have had so much trouble the last time we lost contact. With that said, why did we lose contact again? Ravaa said that she would always be with me so why is it that I can’t reach her no matter how hard I try?” Korra pondered for a moment before out of the corner of her eye she spotted a flicker of light in the distance. Korra’s eyes instantly snapped towards the one source of light in the vast dark abyss that engulfed everything around her. And she was instantly felt reinvigorated when she recognized the white and blue glow.

“Ravaa!” She shouted gleefully before breaking into a dead sprint towards the glowing figure in the distance. Once she had drawn a little closer to the figure she opened her mouth to shout again. “Ravaa, over here, can you hear me!?” Yet again the figure some how failed to notice her and seemed to begin drifting further away. Korra wasn’t deterred however and just continued to pick up her pace and call out to the figure. “That’s you isn’t Ravaa!? Please wait it’s me! It’s me Korraaaahhhh!” Korra let out a scream as she felt her leading foot sink into a pool of water and suddenly her whole body was pulled along with it completely engulfing her in her native element.

Korra began to flail wildly in the dark pool, struggling to figure out which way was up only to realize that the water was only a little over waist deep when she hit the bottom. Now knowing which way led to the surface she quickly pushed herself up off the bottom and burst out from below the dark waters gasping for air and breathing heavily. When she did she was shocked to find Ravaa hovering over her staring down at her in a way that Korra had come to recognize as contemplation. “Ravaa! You finally… heard me! I… was beginning to think… you were ignoring… me.” Korra said in between strained gasps.

The great white spirit lowered itself down closer to Korra as if to inspect her. After a moment of close examination, the spirit floated back up to tower over the young avatar before finally speaking. “Who are you child? How were you able to call me here?” The Great Spirit inquired in a commanding but not quite threatening tone.

Ravaa’s unexpected questions cause a look of complete bewilderment to come over Korra’s face. “What… what are you talking about Ravaa!? It’s me!” Korra shouted causing the spirit to only become more rigid. “Wait you… You really don’t recognize me?!” She asked as horror began slipping into her voice.

Ravaa once again leaned in closer to inspect Korra. “Am I supposed to? You appear to be a child of Tui and La but there are far too many to recount them all.” She said as she slowly circled around Korra, looking over her from every angle. Seeming to notice something she seemed to come to a stop. “Hmm however, you do have a strange energy about you. It feels so familiar, though I can’t quite place it.”

“That’s because I’m the Avatar! Come on Ravaa, it’s me, you know Korra! How is it possible that you can’t even remember who I am after all we’ve been through!?” Korra shouted in frustration.

The Spirit seemed taken back by this declaration. “Avatar, you!? Do not test me child! You couldn’t possibly be the Avatar, Aang is already the ava…” The Great Spirit seemed to trail off as Korra’s words finally seemed to stir something inside her. “Wait, did you say your name was Korra?” The spirit inquired.

“Yes! My name is Korra! Ravaa I need your…”

Korra couldn’t finish her thought since the spirit jerked back and began to ramble to itself. “Korra, korra, korra.” The spirit repeated over and over again as if trying to puzzle something out and then something clicked or perhaps snapped would be more appropriate. “KORRA! KOORRRRRRRAAAAAAAAA! How could I have forgotten!?” As Ravaa spoke these words ripples of energy flared out from her form while it seemed to flicker and hiss like a light bulb on the verge of going out.

“Umm, Ravaa are you…” Korra said nervously while trying to reach out to the spirit only to jump back and nearly fall back into the water when the spirit spun around to press itself close to Korra’s face.

“Korra you must listen to me, I don’t have much time! The balance of the world is in grave danger! No matter what happens we must not clash. If we do it will spell the end of everything we know.” The Spirit warned with an air of panicked urgency in her tone.

“Huh, what are you taking about Ravaa!? I don’t want to fight you! I would never!” She declared desperately.

“You most promise me Korra!” The spirit commanded.

Korra quickly conceded. “Ravaa you’re my friend! I won’t fight you, I swear it! Now what is all this about?!”

“There is no time to explain young avatar. You must seek out those that you have lost. They will have the answers you seek! And you must beware of the serpent! It will lead you down a twisted path, a path that leads only to destruction!” The spirit warned her voice echoing through the void while the flickering of her form began to intensify. “I am running out of time, I must… before… or…” The spirits voice began to break up and become muted as if speaking through a failing radio.

“Wait, those I have lost!? Who are you talking about?! And who or what is the serpent!? Ravaa I need more information, please!” Korra pleaded but before she could get any more answers the spirit flickered one last time before blinking out of existence entirely with a bright white flash. And when the flash dissipated, the darkness returned to claim the world and Korra was left alone in the dark waters of the spirit world. “No, no, no! Not yet!” Korra screamed as her head snapped back and forth trying in vain to pick out the white light of the Great Spirit from her surroundings. After a moment of fruitlessly searching the bleak darkness, Korra placed her head in her hands and let out a frustrated groan.

“Please, could somebody please explain to me why spirits always feel the need to be so bloody cryptic!? I think I may know less now than what I did before I came here!” She roared before completely deflating. Her arms fell limply to her sides creating ripples in the water as they fell below its surface. “Now what do I do?” She asked herself before letting out a long sigh. “What would my past lives do in this situation?”

Korra remained there for some time, wallowing in her despair while trying to discern some meaning from what Ravaa had told her. When she was finally shaken from her thoughts it was due to another flash of light entered the corner of her vision. Instantly she spun again to locate its source and when she did her mouth fell open and her eyes widened in shock and disbelief. This was due to the new ghostly form now sitting atop the water beside her. The ghostly figure was a young air nomad dressed in their traditional robes. The boy’s body was white and transparent so it was clear that his physical body was not with him and he appeared to be in a meditative state much like the one Korra had used to arrive here. His legs were crossed and his eyes were shut tight. Though that wasn’t what struck Korra, what was important to her was who the boy seemed to be and despite the fact that she had never seen him in his youth it didn’t take long for Korra to recognize the ghostly figure. “Aang, is that you?!”

In response to Korra’s call the ghostly figure’s eyes lazily fluttered open and when they did, their gazes instantly met. Upon seeing Korra the figure’s eyes began to display a mix of fear and confusion before he jumped backward out of his meditating posture to distance himself from her. “Who… what…” The figure sputtered as he began taking in his surroundings. “What is this place!?”

“Aang, you’re Aang right!? I can’t believe it!” Korra said as she slowly reached out a hand to touch the boy if only to see if he was truly there.

Finally shaking off the confusion the boy straightened himself and jerked away from Korra’s hand. “Who are you?! Are you an evil spirit?! This is the spirit world isn’t it! Were you the one who called me to the spirit world?!”

Korra vigorously shook her head to dismiss the accusations. “What no, I’m not an evil spirit! Though there is a good chance that I am the reason you were called you here.” Noticing Aang’s eyes skeptical eyes Korra slow her approach and explain herself. “It’s not what you think! You see I don’t know if you would believe me if I told you everything or not but I really need your help. I’m currently on a mission I need to figure out what’s going on and how to fix it. And if I don’t figure this out then everything could…” Korra was cut off when the hand she had still been trying to reach out towards her fellow avatar finally made contact with his robes. The moment the two of them made contact however both Korra and Aang were blown backward by a sudden surge of energy.

Since Korra was not prepared for the energy surge she was blown off her feet and all she could manage to do was keep her head above the water when she splashed down. Aang faired slightly better since gravities pull seemed to have little effect on him and he simply landed atop the water a few feet away. However it didn’t end there, a moment after they were blown backward they began cupping their heads in their hands as they felt a sharp unyielding pain course through their skulls. They both let out horrific shrieks of pain as images began to play in their heads. The images were disjointed and distorted but they all painted a similar picture, so after seeing enough of them a few details started to jump out at them. They were images of a world engulfed in war, a world reduced to ruin. And there seemed to be a dark shadow cast over everything and growing larger.

“What the heck was that!?” Korra gasps once horrific visions saw fit to release her. However when she had gathered herself, she was once again met by a silence void. The ghostly figure of Aang had vanished and she was alone once more. “No! He was just here, Aang don’t go yet! Is the universe laughing at me or something!?” She cried out before sensing another, no many more presences. Releasing how valuable she was she sprang back up to her feet as her head glanced across dark waters. That’s when she realized she was completely surrounded by more ghostly figures. There were hundreds if not thousands of them and they stud around her in a tight circle. And much like the first she had no problem recognizing them in an instant. Her eyes tracked across the faces closest to her as she recounted their names. “Roku, Kyoshi, kuruk, yangchen, everyone you’re here?! Did I do it! Did I finally reconnect!?” She cheered.

However the specters didn’t seem to mirror Korra’s excitement. Rather her questions were met only with cold and confused stares. And with out addressing her directly they began to whisper amongst themselves as if they were trying to decide how to handle her. “What’s wrong guys, everyone it’s me Korra! Come on would somebody just please recognize me already!” She pleaded causing the figures to break from their conversation to give her one more long intense stare. “Umm…” Then without another word they all turned away and began to leave. “Wait! Dang it not this time! Don’t go I still need answers!” Korra shouted angrily as she tried to dredge her way through the water to chase after them.

However after only a few steps she suddenly lost her footing. The ground below her feet seemed to fall away leaving her to plunge into the dark waters and sink into it’s their seemingly bottomless depths. Now realizing what was happening she quickly began kicking her legs in a frantic attempted to get back to the surface. However her progress was halted when her head slammed into a thick sheet of ice that couldn’t have possibly been there a moment ago. Feeling her anger and frustration come to a boil she began pounding her fists into the ice as hard as she could. Each time she slammed her first into the ice it cracked a little more. Again and again she struck until finally after her fifth hit the ice gave way and she push through to break the surface.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////

Human World

Korra blinked away the white light in her eyes while she began to gasp trying desperately to fill her lungs air only to realize that she wasn’t even drowning to begin with. Her eyes began darting back and forth through the small cabin she now found herself in looking for any sign of her past lives. And of course they weren’t there, only wooden fixtures, animal pelts, and iron pipes. “What the heck was all that about!” She groaned as she flopped back onto the floor exhausted.

“That’s what I would like to know human.” Korra heard the voice of Ataxia call out from within her robes right before its dark scaly head popped out of her collar to meet her face to face. “You were shouting and scrumming so much I couldn’t sleep a wink.” The spirit complained before narrowing its eyes on her. “So human, what were you doing anyway?” It inquired.

Korra leaned up on her elbows and unfolded legs to take on a more comfortable position before replied. “I was just meditating. I wanted to get in contact with Ravaa, umm you know the Avatar Spirit.”

“Oh is that so? And how did it go, did you succeed?” The spirit asked with sudden interest.

Korra shrugged. “Sort of I guess. We didn’t talk long but I did manage to make contact.”

“How interesting, I have never met Ravaa myself but I have heard much about her. Tell me what did she tell you?” Ataxia asked as it wiggled out of Korra’s robes and coiled around her neck.

Korra was slightly taken back by the snake spirits usual interest but didn’t see the harm in explaining. “Well she gave me a warning. She told me that the world was in danger and that I needed to find those that I have lost in order to fix whatever it is that’s wrong. And she also told me that I needed to beware… beware the…” Korra trailed off as she recalled the Great Spirit’s words. “Beware the serpent!” Then Korra focused back on the spirit coiling around her neck staring intently at her and she felt a pit grow in her stomach.

“Beware the…? Beware the what Korra?” The spirit asked impatiently.

“I umm…” Korra sputtered before she was interrupted by a knock on her cabin door.

“Hello, Korra is everything alright in there?” The voice of Loca called out from behind the door.

Korra glanced back at the spirit who seemed to suddenly lose interest and dart back into her robes. Breathing a sigh of relief she called back. “Yeah, I’m fine. Can I help you with anything?” She asked.

“We should be reaching Kyoshi Island soon so everyone is gathering on the bridge for a meeting. They sent me to fetch you. I think they want to discus our next move.” Loca explained.

“Yeah alright be right there.” Korra responded before letting out a deep sigh and pushing herself up off the floor to begin making her way towards the door. She decided for the time being that she would just have to table Ravaa’s words until she could put more thought into them.

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

0 AG — Year of the Dragon

Tenzin wasn’t quite sure what he had just experienced. One minute he was sat inside a tree in the spirit world and the next, well he couldn’t quite recall. That was the problem. He remembered bits and pieces, like a bight flash of light and a strange falling sensation, but past that everything had gotten really hazy. It was like of like he was hearing everything from an old worn out radio. There were some voices, they were shouting, panicked, but he couldn’t really make out what was being said, or who had been speaking. He distinctly recalled hearing the name of his father being shouted a few times.

Then there was darkness. The next thing Tenzin knew he was flat on his back on top of something soft and warm. He wasn’t sure what he was on top of, but it far more comfortable than the hard wood of the tree in the spirit world, so he assumed he was no longer there. However, that begged the question, where was he now?

Seeking answers Tenzin’s forced his eyes open and he found himself lying in a small bed. With that revelation the logical part of part of his mind just wanted to write everything that had led up to it as nothing more than a strange dream. However, something still didn’t seem right. When he pulled himself upright and took in his surroundings, he found them to be unfamiliar. That raised a lot more questions.

“Where am I?” He pondered while he rubbed the sleep from his eyes.

Then once Tenzin was fully awake and able to properly take in everything, Tenzin could say with certainty that this room was not his own. While did it have all the bells and whistles one might have expected from an Air Nomad’s living space, such as scrolls, spare robes, pray beads, incense, and few other distractions. It was far too small to be his home. This room, if it could truly be called that, was so small in fact that even most of the guest rooms back on Avatar Island would have dwarfed it in comparison. And if that wasn’t enough to convince him, his wife Pema would’ve never allowed a room in their home to become this cluttered let alone so unkempt and dusty.

Still, this did seem to be the room of an Air Nomad. Tenzin wondered for a moment if he could be in the Northern Air Temple. Perhaps he had been visiting with the new recruits, it had been awhile since he had the opportunity. However, it just didn’t add up. The last he recalled, he was in Republic City, or at least the spirit world equivalent. Even if he had made use of the Northern Spirit Portal and proceeded to charter the fastest ship he could find, it would’ve been at least a few days time before he could reach the temple proper. Surely he would’ve remembered such a journey.

Before he could make heads or tails of this odd situation, Tenzin’s thoughts were interrupted by the sound of movement coming from out side his room. When he strained his neck to look towards the source of the sound he saw a wooden door. The door in question seemed to be the only way in or out of the room he was in. There didn’t even appear to be any windows in the confided space.

A moment later and the wood door creaked as it slid open an elderly man stepped through the threshold. The man was dressed in the traditionally robes of an Air Nomad and he had a long thin mustache, but didn’t seem to have any other hair to speak of. Weather the elder was shaven or just naturally bald was unknown, but the airbending tattoos on his head and forearms suggested the former.

When the elder’s gaze met Tenzin’s, the elder’s eyes widened slightly before relaxing again. Then he gave Tenzin a warm smile and took a few measured steps into the room before he spoke. “Oh, good you’re finally awake. You really gave us a bit of a scare there brother. We were beginning to fear that you wouldn’t awaken.”

“I’m sorry Elder,” Tenzin interrupted. “I am a bit confused. Do you think you could tell me what happened? Also have we met? I don’t recognize you, so I assume you’re a new recruit?” Tenzin inquired.

Seeming to find something that Tenzin said amusing the elder began to chuckle to himself, but when Tenzin gave him an odd look, he calmed himself. “Sorry, I don’t mean be rude. It’s just been quite some time since anyone has referred to me as new in any capacity. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Gyatso and I am a member of Council of Elders here. As for where here is, well your at the Southern Air Temple.”

As Tenzin listened to the Elder’s explanation, he found himself only becoming more and more confused. There were was a lot wrong with what this elder was telling him. This man had just claimed to be a member of the Council of Elders, but there hasn’t been such a Council for over one-hundred years. Even assuming the Council had been reinstated, surely he would have been notified.

Then there was the fact that he was supposedly at the Southern Air Temple. However, Tenzin could think of no reason why he would come to the Southern Temple. This Temple has remained empty since his father’s time. Only a few dedicated acolytes ever even bothered to make the journey to this place and even when they did, it is mostly to just pay their respects to the lost generations. Even the name Gyatso seemed odd, if only because it sounded so familiar, but he couldn’t for the life of him place where he had heard it before.

“This is the Southern Air Temple?” Tenzin asked just to make sure he heard the elder correctly. The elder gave him a nod. “And you are a member of the Council of Elders?” Again the elder nodded. “So that makes you an airbending master then?”

Tenzin’s last question seemed to make the elder falter for a moment, his warm smile being replaced by a bewildered stare. “Yes I am a master. I earned my tattoos many years ago.” As he said this his smile returned, but it was some what subdued now. “I still remember the day. My old friend Roku, the former Avatar was still alive back then. He had personally come to attend my ceremony. Of course everyone made such a big deal about it at the time. We both thought it was so silly.”

Tenzin froze. If he was hearing this man correctly, then something was defiantly wrong here. Avatar Roku died nearly two-hundred years ago now. The man before him certainly looked well aged and Airbending masters had been known to live long lives, but two-hundred years!? He would be giving Avatar Kyoshi a run for her money. No, it just couldn’t be. If there was another airbender around, his father would have told him about it. That left only one possible conclusion, one he wasn’t entirely prepared to accept.

“Umm, elder. If you wouldn’t mind could you tell me what manner of transport I used to get here?” Tenzin inquired.

“Please there is no need for formalities. You may simply call me Gyatso. As for how you got here, well I don’t really know what to tell you?” Gyatso explained.

“What do you mean?” Tenzin inquired.

Gyatso shrugged. “I couldn’t see what brought you here. None of the other Monks could either. It was cloaked by in a bright white light and by the time the light had dissipated, whatever had brought you here had vanished. That is unless,” He trailed off, looking deep in thought for a moment before speaking again. “It was the light itself that dropped you on our doorstep. Does any of that mean anything to you brother?” After asking this, Gyatso took a long meaningful sip of the tea as his eyes scanned Tenzin’s face for a reaction.

“I-I umm.” Tenzin wasn’t sure where to begin. He still didn’t completely understand his own situation, but he felt like he was on the verge of something. He just needed to put the pieces together. “May I ask a strange question Gyatso?” Gyatso raised an eyebrow and waited. “What year is it right now?”

“It is the Year of the Dragon.” Gyatso replied with some curiosity slipping onto his face and into his tone.

“The Year of the Dragon!?” Tenzin screamed internally.

The Year of the Dragon was one of the twelve years on the zodiac colander. On its own it means very little, just a way to gauge how many years have passed. However, last time Tenzin checked it was the Year of the Dog and the Year of the Dragon should have been six years away. On top of that, it was the same year that the one-hundred year war had begun and his people had been wiped off the face of the world. That set off alarms, Tenzin needed more information.

“Sorry elder, do you think you tell me the numerical year?” Tenzin clarified, now with some desperation slipping into his own voice.

Gyatso gave him another odd look. One Tenzin couldn’t quite make heads or tails of. “I’m sorry, I don’t think I understanding the question.” The elder stated as he set his tea down. “Do you think you can explain?”

“I, hmm.” Tenzin tried to begin but he didn’t know where to start.

The official calendar that was the standard of his time was originally created after during the one-hundred year war and it used Sozin’s first offensive against the Airnomads as its starting point. Before the war, the four seasons along with the zodiac were the only ways one could really gauge how many years had past. Sure they kept track of the days so winter wouldn’t sneak up on them, but there really wasn’t much reason to keep track of how many years had past.

Tenzin figured he was just asking the wrong question. There was one thing he could ask that would surely give him answers. “Never mind, I suppose it’s not that important.” He said dismissively before taking a deep breath and speaking again. “I just have one last question to ask you. After that I will try my best to answer any questions you may have for me.”

Gyatso nodded. “Very well, you may ask.”

“Who is the current Avatar?” Tenzin inquired.

Gyatso’s eyes winded and his body became still. This question seemed to catch him off guard, but all surprise soon replaced by sharp scrutiny. “What makes you believe that I would have such information?” He asked.

“Do you not know?” Tenzin inquired.

“It’s only been twelve years since Avatar Roku passed. Even if the next avatar was born her in our temple, his identity wouldn’t be revealed until he comes of age.” Gyatso explained with a shrug, but Tenzin could tell it was stiff. He was hiding something.

“I see.” Tenzin said before he fell silent and his head fell into his hands. He didn’t need to hear anymore anyway. He had a good idea why he was being secretive. He also finally remembered where he had heard of this man before. His father had told him about him. This man was his father’s mentor and guardian. He was trying to protect him.

It was all coming back to Tenzin now, the Tree of Time, Korra, and the bright light. If there was no calendar but there were nomads, it meant the war hadn’t happened. Or rather it hadn’t happened yet, but would eventually. This was the trees doing, he was now sure of it now. He had really been sent back in time. With that revelation Tenzin looked up to meet the elders questioning gaze and finally spoke again. “I think I could try to explain, but it might be difficult to understand or even believe. However, I think it is of great important that you listen to what I have to tell you.”

“Go on.” Gyatso told him.

Tenzin’s eyes took on a hard line as he spoke. “Our people are all in grave danger.”

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Year Unkown

This falling sensation, Asami was beginning to get use to it. At first it had been very unsettling, almost like somebody pulled the world out from under you and left you to fall into the void, but now it felt slower more stable. It almost felt like diving into a deep pool of water. Kind of like the one she had back at her estate.

“Hmm, dive. Maybe that was a good name for this.” Asami thought to herself.

It made since when she thought about how people liked to compare time to a stream of water, always flowing, constantly in motion. Though, usually it would only move in one direction. Kind of made her wonder what it is she is doing. Is she swimming against the current? It certainly didn’t feel that way. Then could it be that she was changing the direction of the currents flow? It seems like a ridicules notion at first. How could she alone have such an impact on something of that scale? However, after seeing what she saw, that horrible future that was created due to their interference, she wasn’t so sure anymore. Of course there was always the possibility she was way off base on both counts. It was just food for thought.

“This is sure taking a long time.” Asami thought. Her last few dives had been over in a matter of seconds, well maybe the term seconds didn’t really apply here since she was technically outside of time. Regardless, it was taking longer than before. Was it because she was carrying others along for the ride? Perhaps, but on her first dive she had Korra and the others with her. It didn’t take this long then. Though, that could have to do with the fact we had different points of arrival.

“Wait a minute, a point of arrival!” Now that Asami thought about it, she never decided where she was jumping too. She had been in too much of a hurry to think of one at the time. Could that be why this was taking so long? Maybe she had been standing still this whole time without even realizing it. Wouldn’t that be embarrassing? Well assuming that she needed to come up with an arrival point what should she choose? Obliviously she wanted to see Korra, however the last time she tried to go to her she ended up getting the evil spirit version, not ideal. She couldn’t risk jumping them to any point in time in which that version of Korra exists. So what did that leave her?

Asami pondered on where to go for awhile. “Hmm, there wasn’t a Tenzin in the timeline she had just left. There was a Katara, but she had never had children. Assuming she was currently tied to this timeline that meant Tenzin didn’t exist. However, did that mean that their Tenzin was also erased? He had dived in along with her and the others so he was technically outside of time. That meant that there was still a possibility of him existing somewhere. It was perfect. If Tenzin exists it would be their Tenzin. They wouldn’t have to worry about screwing up the timeline anymore by interacting with another version.

Her mind made up Asami began to concentrate. She focused on who she wanted to see, the moment she felt the steam begin to pull her along. “Oh, so that was the problem.” She mused before returning her focus to the task at hand. After a moment she felt herself drawing closer. She zeroed on a landing zone and with a flash of light she felt time beginning to flow once again.

//////////////////////////////////////////////

0 AG — Year of the Dragon

“Well that could have gone better.” Tenzin sighed in exasperated as he stepped out of the Chamber of Elders with Monk Gyatso at his side.

“It will be okay brother, I’m sure we can get them to come around in time.” Gyatso reassured.

“Perhaps, but how much time do you think we have? The comet could arrive any day now and we’re nearly prepared.” Tenzin replied, a mix of panic and frustration evident in his tone.

Gyatso frowned and hummed in thought. He new full well why Tenzin was so distraught. After all it has been nearly a full week since he had arrived here at the Southern Air Temple and during that time he hadn’t been able to accomplish much. Tenzin had told him about the impending threat of the Fire Nation and while he didn’t completely believe it at first, when Tenzin finally told him everything, including the fate of his disciple Aang and the future of the Air Nation, he decided he wanted to believe. So of course he decided to help in whatever way he could, starting with giving Tenzin an audience with the rest of the Council. However, the Council turned out to be a far harder sell.

Tenzin, like what he had done with Gyatso had told the Council about how the Fire Nation intended to use the power of a comet to raid their temples and destroy their people. He also urged them all to evacuate the temples and scatter to the winds until the comet passed. Unfortunately, they couldn’t make such a decision lightly. They demanded to know how Tenzin had come to possess such knowledge and since he and Gyatso had decided it best not to delve into the time travel part of the story, he was left with no answer.

The Council also reasoned that even if the Fire Nation were to launch such an attack, which they clearly seemed to doubt, they would be far better off staying in their temples. The mountainous terrain would offer them a natural defense making it difficult for an invasion force to maneuver and thus easier for them to defend. They also offered said that Tenzin could be a spy sent by the Fire Nation to lure them into a trap. While Tenzin assured them otherwise, he couldn’t offer any proof to his claims so he was dismissed.

After quite moment of thinking Gyatso finally spoke again. “Perhaps we should tell them the whole story after all. At the very least about Aang, that way we could call of the search.”

Tenzin shook his head. “Few are as open minded as you are. Do you really think they would believe a word of it?” He asked and when it looked like Gyatso was about to respond Tenzin cut him off. “They weren’t wrong you know, I can’t offer any proof to my claims. None that cause even more problems, so even if I could offer it, doing such might prove to be very unwise.”

“What do you mean by that?” Gyatso asked. “Does this have to do with why you won’t tell me where Aang is?”

Tenzin gave a nod. “Yes to some degree. Right now I know that my father is in a safe place and if we leave things be he will be able to restore balance to the world in time. However, if we do nothing then our people will parish. I don’t want that and I know it is something my father would have wanted to change if he could have. The quest is if it is really okay to do so, because changing anything here and now could have drastic effects on our future. I mean, how much damage am I causing the world just by standing here and speaking to you right now? What if my actions have already caused my father to some how be discovered and awakened too soon? If the Fire Nation some how found him before he’s ready, the repercussions would be immeasurable.”

“And what do you plan to do then?” Gyatso questioned.

“I don’t know.” Tenzin admitted. “I know I want to help I people and I know my father would agree with that. However, I don’t know if what I’m doing is right. Maybe I should have never come here. What do you think?”

Gyatso shrugged. “That is quite the pickle you got yourself there my brother. To be honest I have no idea what you should do. Up until recently I didn’t even no time travel was possible, so I can’t pretend to know how best to use it if at all. However, I do know from personal experience that fate works in mysterious ways some times and perhaps you were always meant to come here and meet me. Perhaps it doesn’t matter so much what you do, because it was always what you were meant to do.”

“If that were true then what would be the purpose? That would mean I couldn’t change anything and if that were true, then our people would be destined to perish. You think I should accept that?” Tenzin replied.

Gyatso let out a deep sigh before responding. “Like I said, fate works in strange ways. It isn’t necessarily fair or just, but it always has a plan for us all. So if you are here before me right now, there is most certainly a reason for it. So the question you should be asking yourself isn’t if you should be here, but rather what is it you are meant to do now that you are.” He explained.

Tenzin became tense and it looked like he wanted to say something to that, but was struggling for words. Before he could manage to come up with anything, he found himself suddenly blinded by a glaringly bright light. “Spirits what now!? Don’t tell me the comet is already here!” He shouted.

“No, I don’t think this is the Fire Nation!” Gyatso declared as he tried to both shield his eyes from the glaring light and examine it. The light was being admitted from a few feet above them. It took the shape of a sphere almost making it appear as if the sun had descended from heavens to pay them a visit, though Gyatso new better. He recognized this brilliance. “This is just like the light I saw before you arrived here!”

“Wait does that mean what I think it means!?” Tenzin asked.

Tenzin didn’t need to wait long to get his answer as a moment later the ball of light began to grow brighter and brighter before it finally seemed to implode on itself. Then just as quickly as it had appeared it had vanished. The only remaining trace of its existences coming in the form of five humanoid figures that were now left suspended in mid air. Tenzin noticed that the new arrivals were all huddled closely together around one person in strange armor and when he focused on that person he recognized her immediately. “By the spirits, Asami!?”

Hearing her name called out like that must have broken Asami’s concentration since the moment the words left Tenzin’s lips, the girl in question seemed to realizing she was floating and a moment later she and her group were plummeting. The other quickly realized their current plight the five began to scream as gravity took hold of them and they began tumbling down to earth.

“Oh my, that’s no good. Should we help them?” Gyatso asked in the type of tone you would usually use to talk about the weather.

“Yes we should help them! Now hurry!” Tenzin shouted before he went into an air bending stance. Gyatso laughed as he assumed his own stance and then the two of them each released a powerful gust of air that collided at ground below the falling people. When the two air currents met they began to spin around one another transforming them into a single cyclone that cushioned the new arrivals fall.

Once back on solid ground Asami and her group let out a collective sigh of relief before they began to inspect themselves for any injuries. Satisfied that she was in one piece Asami looked towards the others. “Is everyone alright?”

“Define alright?” Bolin asked.

“We are both unhurt.” Eska said on Bolin’s behalf.

“What the heck was that!?” Mako shouted.

“I’d also really like to know what just happened. Did anyone else feel like they were swimming through a void there for awhile?” Kuvira asked before she stud up and began to properly examine her surroundings. “Though before that here is a better question, where are we now?”

“I umm,” Asami started to speak but was stopped by uncertainty. She had a general since of when they were, but the where was something she was lacking in. Figuring the easiest solution would be observation she began to take in her surroundings. When she did it didn’t take her long to notice that she was now surrounded by a few dozen people in old Airbender garb and each of them were giving her and her group a mix of curious and weary looks. Most of them were keeping their distance, but two of them were approaching and quite quickly at that. The other must have noticed this too since they had all rushed to their feet and took bending stances. “No, it’s okay!” She reassured them.

“Do you know them?” Kuvira inquired.

“Yeah, at least one of them.” Asami replied.

“Asami, is that really you!?” Tenzin asked as he came to a stop in front of the group.

“Yeah, hey Tenzin!” Asami greeted then she glanced offer at the unfamiliar monk standing beside her old friend who greeted her with a nod and a warm smile which she returned. “Who is your new friend?”

Tenzin opened his mouth to reply, but Gyatso beat him to it. “Greetings Miss Asami?” He said in a way that suggested he wasn’t sure if that was her name or not.

Asami gave the monk a nod. “Asami Sato, but you can just call me Asami. And you are?”

Gyatso’s smile widened. “Ah I am Gyatso, I am an elder here at the temple and an old friend of Tenzin’s father apparently.” That last bit caused Asami to raise a questioning eyebrow at Tenzin who shrugged in response. “And who might your companions be?” He asked while looking past the raven haired girl towards the group of dumbstruck young adults who looked like they had just went ten rounds with a platypusbear.

“Oh right sorry was a little distracted, this is Eska, Bolin, Mako, and Kuvira.” Asami announced as she motioned to each person in question who greeted the older man in turn.

However, when it came time for Kuvira to make her interdiction Tenzin cut in. “What is she doing here!?” He shouted.

“Excuse me?” Kuvira asked in confusion.

“You are supposed to be in prison!” Tenzin seethed before turning to Asami. “What is the meaning of this!?”

Asami scratched the back of her neck and racked her brain for a good way to explain all of this. “Relax Tenzin, this isn’t our Kuvira.” Tenzin’s eyes widened before he looked back towards the woman in question as if she would yield some answers. Kuvira only gave him a shrug. “Look this is going to be a long story, so how about we all sit down.”

“Oh this should be good. I will make us some tea!” Gyatso declared, clearly enjoying the absurdity of the situation. Then he began walking away from the group and when nobody made to follow him he turned back and waved them along. “Come now, I know the best place for story telling.”

Asami and Tenzin gave each other one more look before shrugging and making to follow the elder monk. Asami waved along her new/old friends to follow.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////

97 - AG Year of the Snake

“I look ridiculous this is never going to work.” Korra said as she looked herself over in the mirror in her room chamber.

“What are you talking about? This uniform looks great on you! So brave and bold, I dare say you could pass for Avatar Kyoshi herself!” Loca reassured as she put the finishing touches on Korra’s Kyoshi themed face paint.

Korra felt like laughing at the irony of that statement, but decided it was best to restrain herself or risk messing up the paint. “Can you remind me why we’re disguising ourselves like this?” She would seriously because it seemed like a waste of time, there was only so much an outfit and some make up could do. It couldn’t mask her clearly water tribe features.

“Hey it’s like we discussed in the meeting. We’re making landfall in Gaoling soon and that means we will be entering into enemy territory. You guys can’t just strut in there wearing Fire Nation Reds and Southern Blues. That’s why we stopped by Kyoshi Island on the way an picked up all these uniforms for everyone.” Loca explained proudly.

Korra sighed. “That’s all well and good, but isn’t Kyoshi Island also an enemy of the Earth Kingdom now? Do you really think dressing up as Kyoshi Warriors is going to buy us any extra points with the Earth Army?” She asked.

Loca just laughed. “Well that’s true, were not really on the best terms with the army anymore. However, the people in this area still respect and do business with us. Though the Earth Army has been trying to cover it up, many people along the coastal areas know the real reason we sided with the South and agree that the Earth Kingdom’s attempt a recruiting us were heavy handed.”

“So as long as we avoid contact with the army itself we should be alright?” Korra inquired.

“Yep,” Loca replied before making one final flick with her brush and directing Korra’s gaze back towards the mirror. “All done, what do you think?”

Korra had to do a double take. She looked so different. The thick uniform covered almost all of her skin and what parts it didn’t were now shaded a pale white. The power of make up was not one to be underestimated after all it seems. Her bright blue eyes still shown through the guise, but there wasn’t anything she could do about that. “Not bad.” She would have to show Asami when she got the chance.

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

97 - AG Year of the Snake

“Finally land, oh sweet merciful land!” Toph cheered gleefully as she sprinted down to the bottom of their ship’s gangplank before leaping off onto the stone pier of Goaling harbor. Then she took a big whiff of the air and sighed in satisfaction. “Ah it smells like fresh fish, old dirt, and bad decisions. It is just like I remember it.”

“Minus the fresh fish part I don’t really see the appeal.” Korra said as she stepped off the gangplank behind the younger earthbender. The sound of her steps was heavy as she adjusted to the added weight of her new Kyoshi Warrior garb.

Following close behind the Avatar was Loca and Koko, the only two real warriors in their group and they were watching on with amusement as Korra nearly tripped over her own feet while stepping off the gangplank.

Ignoring Korra’s near tumble, Toph snorted and turned back to face the Avatar. “Of course a water tribe girl wouldn’t get it. I’m an earthbender Korra! That means I thrive in the dirt and mud! I’m meant to be on solid land with stone beneath my feet. However for the last few weeks I’ve been trapped on a wooden ship in the middle of the freezing ocean, and for months before that I had nothing but snow and ice between my toes.” She complained. “So yeah, it’s good to be home. Heck I might even go down to the Earth Rumble pits later and knock a few heads just for fun.”

“I don’t really care for that place.” Koko interjected. “Who even lets somebody your age into a place like that?” She asked sounding none too pleased with the idea children wondering around in an underground fighting arena.

“Do you really think anyone could stop her?” Loca asked while giggling.

‘Her parents maybe.’ Korra thought to herself.

“Considering what she can do, I would wager not.” The group heard the voice of Quen answer. In unison Korra, Toph, and the two warriors turned to see the bloodbender walking down the gangplank with Azula, Ty Lee, Mai, and everyone else that would be joining them in this little adventure in toe and everyone was now dressed in Kyoshi Warrior armor.

Once Toph saw the others she adjusted her glasses and whistled. “Wow, look at this lot. I was kind of worried going into this, but you guys are really rocking those uniforms.”

Korra had to agree with Toph’s assessment. She only had to take one look at Quen in her armor to know it suited her well. With most of her skin covered by armor and face paint, you really could tell she was Water Tribe, let alone a southerner. Though, she did feel like something was missing from her attire. It took a moment of thinking to figure out what it was and the conclusion she came to was that Quen’s golden dragon hair clips were gone. The two golden clips had been a permanent feature of the bloodbender’s hair ever since Korra first met here, but now they were nowhere to be seen. Now without them, her long dark hair was left to fall freely obscuring most of her face from view. Luckily that had the bonus effect of hiding her grey eyes.

Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee were the most convincing surprisingly. Even though their obviously Fire Nation features were still on full display, there was just something about the way they carried themselves. They really gave off the feel of graceful female warriors.

“Thank you Miss Beifong. Miss Koko’s assisted with the fitting and was of great help.” Quen said as she shared a nod with the real Kyoshi Warrior in front of her. “Anyway as far as going to these fight pits, I’m afraid I can not permit it.”

“Huh, why not?!” Toph complained. “This is my expedition if you recall.”

“Because Miss Beifong this might be a home to you, but for the rest of us this is still very much hostile territory. That means staying low key is a high priority. Hence the whole reason for these disguises.” Quen said while motioning to the warrior armor.

Feeling curious Korra decided to ask about the clips. “So did your hair ornaments not match your armor?”

Quen looked in Korra’s direction and gave a nod. “We all agreed that wearing something that is so clearly Fire Nation in design might give us away. Well almost all of us.” She added sparing a glance back at Azula who had spent the last half hour trying to convince her to leave her clips on and was now not so subtlety avoiding her gaze. Quen couldn’t really understand why the princess seemed so affronted, but didn’t want to stir the pot any more than it was already so she moved on. “Besides the gold it is made of would’ve no doubt drawn its own unwanted attention.”

“Anyway back on topic.” Quen said. “We’re only stopping here for today to rest and gather more supplies because we have a mission. One that does not involve these Earth Rumble pits that you speak of and one that would be best served by avoiding unnecessary things and advertise our presence here.” She explained.

Toph pouted. “Fine whatever, but if you really want to keep a low profile you may want to cut the Beifong stuff. That name holds a lot of weight in this town.”

Quen hummed in thought before replying with. “Duly noted, now you said you knew a place we could all stay for the night?” She inquired.

“Yeah, the best digs in town.” Toph replied proudly.

“Knowing you earthbenders, I wouldn’t be surprised if these ‘digs’ you speak of were literal.” Azula snorted. “Just so you know I’m not sleeping in a dirty cave.”

Toph rolled her eyes before retorting with. “Oh don’t you worry princess, I have it all figured out.”

“We shall see then.” Azula retorted not sounding the least bit convinced with Toph’s claim.

“Lead on Miss, umm Toph.” Quen declared after stumbling with her words for a moment.

“Alright, let’s get a move on then.” Toph declared as she turned and began to lead everyone into the heart of the village.

Along the way to their intended destination Korra’s group passed through a lively market area. While none of the villagers or local merchants seemed overly fearful or offended by their presences, many stalled and stared as they passed. This fact did not go unnoticed by any of them.

“I was under the impression people in these parts were use to seeing Kyoshi Warriors pass through.” Mai stated before looking towards the two real warriors in their group. “Is this level of attention normal?”

Loca hummed in thought as she tapped her chin with her index finger. “Well, we still trade in these parts all the time and I wouldn’t say this behavior is normal. You got any thoughts on this Koko?”

Koko looked towards the surroundings villagers to gauge their expressions carefully before replying. “Well it is usual for us to travel in such great number. There aren’t many of us to begin with so moving in groups larger than five is almost unheard of. I imagine that is what has them on edge, but as long as we don’t do anything to make ourselves seem like a threat we should be fine.”

“We should be fine?” Azula scoffs. “This plan is sounding shakier by the second. If we had just made land in New Ozai like I had suggested there wouldn’t be any need for all of this.”

Toph shakes her head as if she was disappointed. “And what would be the fun in that? Part of the adventure is stepping outside of one’s comfort zone and into the unknown.”

“Nice words, but don’t you live here? In what way does this count as you stepping outside of your comfort zone?” Mai inquired.

“Oh it doesn’t,” Toph replied unabashedly causing a few eyebrows to be raised amongst the group. “However it is just like what I said when we got here. I’ve already spent the last several months of my life outside of my comfort zone just to get this chance.” She quickly added. “I think I’ve earned a little rest and relaxation before the real work gets underway.”

Hearing Toph’s words the rest of the group shared a glance. No one seemed willing to argue Toph’s point and so they simply shrugged and moved forward.

A few minutes later and the group found themselves at the edge of the village. “Almost there, the place is right on the other side of these hills.” Toph declared.

“It’s outside the main village?” Mai inquired. “We aren’t heading for a farmstead are we?”

“A farm, will there be animals?! Oh, does that mean there will be Chicken Pigs!?” Ty Lee asked excitedly. “They’re so cute! I really want to see some!”

“Sorry Ty Lee, but we don’t own any Chicken Pigs. Though, we do have is something similar.” Toph replied.

“Do you have pig sheep!? They’re really cute too! Their wool is just so fluffy!” Ty Lee declared as she made a high pitched squeal.

Listening to their friend’s excitement about livestock had Mai shaking her head and Azula grinding her teeth. Meanwhile everyone else had to struggle to contain their amusement.

After a few more moments Toph came to a stop in front of a large walled in estate with the insignia of a Flying Boar depicted above the front gate. Smiling up at the symbol of her family Toph turned back to her companions. “Welcome to the Beifong estate everyone! What do you think?”

A few awes rang out from a few of Quen’s warriors and Ty Lee while Azula’s eyebrows arched ever so slightly before she spoke up. “Well, I suppose this will do.”

Likely having noticed Toph and her rather large group, the sound of frantic shouting could be heard from the other side of the large gates. “Lady Toph has returned! Notify the lord and lady at once! Open the gates, the young miss has returned!”

Hearing this Toph sighed happily. “It is good to be home.”

/////////////////////////////////////////////////

City of the Northern Water Tribe

Aang’s little incident a few days ago had caused quite an uproar within the tribe. No one was quite sure what had accrued, but they all knew it had left the young Avatar weak. So fearing the worst, he had be rushed away to the healers hut to receive emendate treatment.

Meanwhile Katara had been left mostly forgotten. Of course mostly does not mean completely. Almost everyone had caught a glimpse of what her and Aang had been doing prior to the incident and few were happy about it.

Once Katara had returned home with her family, she had been told that they would be expecting answers when things settled down. When the time came however, there weren’t any excuses she could give them that wouldn’t sound hollow so she came clean. She had been learning waterbending, real waterbending. Not just the simple healing forms she had been learn up to that, but combat forms that their warriors learned.

Of course Katara’s family had figured that much out already, but that didn’t stop them from giving her disappointed looks and banishing her to her room until further notice. At least her mother and grandmother having grown up in the south had been somewhat understanding of her desire to learn and hadn’t pushed her punishment any further than that.

However grandfather Pakku had the worst reaction to the news. He still hasn’t so much as glanced in her direction since then, let alone spoken to her. Not even a word of anger or disapproval. He just acts like she doesn’t exist.

Katara had never been the biggest fan of her new grandfather. He was always so old fashioned, strict, and most of all grumpy. Sure he had his warmer moments, but they were few and far between and none of them made up for his blatant sexism. She heard stories about how her grandmother had fled the North when she heard she was to marry him during her youth. Honestly she couldn’t understand why she had taken him back upon her return.

Then again, it wasn’t like her grandmother was getting any younger and Pakku had at least been all to willing to help them settle down. Though, Katara secretly wishes they had stayed in the South. At least there she would’ve been able to learn bending properly. She also didn’t completely comprehend why they had left. She had heard that her grandmother had a disagreement with the Chief, but Katara has never gotten anymore detail then that.

If all of that wasn’t bad enough, she hasn’t been able to see Aang either. Whenever she would ask about him the most she would get is a “He’s fine, you would be worried about yourself.” Or a “The Avatar is too busy right now.” It was clear that they were keeping the two of them separated and it frustrated her to no end.

Katara herself was lying in her bed wide away and trying just about anything to distract herself from her brooding mind. However little helped, she had already long since read every book she owned and cleaned every nook and cranny to perfection. However, there was little else to do without being able to leave the confines of her home.

Daring a glance at the half eaten and long forgotten meal sitting at her bedside, she considers finishing it, but ultimately decides she still isn’t hungry. Then she eyes the cup of water resting beside it wearily. Her hand reaches out for her element reflexively. Since she got trapped here she hasn’t even been able to practice her bending for healing and the itch to do so was becoming unbearable. She wants to take command of the water and bring it to her side, make it move in sync with her, but she knows that’s what got her into this situation to begin with so she doesn’t. Instead she just stares at the cup longingly.

“Why does it have to be like this?” She grumbles before letting out an explosive sigh.

Katara’s was finally rescued from brooding by the sound of light knocking coming from the wall beside the entrance to her room. Her room didn’t have a door, wood was too hard to come by out here to use for unnecessary things. So her room was only separated from the rest of the house by a pair of animal skin pelts that were hung over the threshold.

“You awake sis?” Katara heard the voice of her brother call out to her from the hallway.

“Yeah I’m awake, Sokka. You can come in.” Katara replied.

After getting the okay from his sister, Sokka pushed his way through the animal pelts and into the room proper. “Hey sis, how’re you holding up?” He asked.

Katara rolled over on her bed to meet her brother’s gaze, but she didn’t bother sitting up. “I’m holding up I suppose.”

“I see.” Sokka replied curtly. Though her brother’s expression itself gave away little Katara could see the concern in his eyes and he must have noticed since he quickly averted them. Sokka’s eyes roved over his sister’s poorly lit room for a moment before landing on the half eaten meal on the table beside her bed. “You still not eating? Mom is getting worried you know?”

Katara snorted before rolling back over to face away from her bother. “If mom really wanted to make me feel better she wouldn’t keep me cooped up in here. That or at the very least she would’ve let me see Aang by now.”

“Katara you know none of this was mom idea right?” Sokka asked.

“That doesn’t change the fact that she’s going along with this. She always does this. It was the same when Gran-Gran decided we needed leave our home in the South Pool and it was the same when dad put off our ice dodging trip to go fight in the war!” Katara spat angrily.

Sokka signed. “Not this again. Katara you know how crazy things were getting back there. What would you have had mom do huh? Do you think she could’ve stopped any of that?”

“She could’ve thought about how I felt! Any of you could’ve asked! Of course none of you bothered because you just didn’t care! I’m just a girl after all am I right?!” Katara screamed as tears began to leak from the edges of her eyes.

“Katara I…” Sokka begins as he tries to step closer to console his sobbing sister.

As her brother approaches Katara swats at him to keep him away before speaking. “And you know what the worst part is? Nobody even pretends anymore. I bet that they’re just waiting for a good chance to marry me off and finally be rid of their problem child.”

“Katara!” Sokka shouted as he grasped his sister’s shoulders and forced her to look him in the eye. “That isn’t true, I love you, we all do and I don’t even want you to think otherwise you hear me!”

Katara tried to look away, but her brother wouldn’t let her. “Let go.” She said.

“No, not until you get through that thick skull of yours that I don’t care what these stuck up northerns think. So what if you miss the south, it was your home and you have a right to miss it. So what if you want to use your water magic to do something other than healing, that doesn’t make you a witch and it certainly doesn’t make you any less my sister!” Sokka declared.

Katara looked down and continued to sob softly before muttering. “But Grandpa Pakku was so furious, he will never accept it.”

“Again who cares what these stuck up northerns think about us! I’m not a girl, nor am I a bender, but I know what its like to want something more than anything else, but unable to take it because you’re afraid of what others will think.” Sokka began before pausing and looking away with an almost melancholy glint in his eye.

This caught Katara’s attention and caused her to look up her brother once again. “You do?” She asked curiously.

Sokka shrugged. “Yeah, I do.”

Katara gave her brother an uncertain look. “What is it?” She asked causing an odd reaction in her brother. His cheeks darkened and he would no longer meet her gaze. “Why are you blushing?” She asked now sounding a lot less sad and more grossed out.

“It’s a girl.” Sokka finally admitted.

“A girl?” Katara asked earning her a nod from her brother. “The thing you can’t have?” Sokka gave another nod. Katara was very interested now. Her brother was quite well known around the village as a notorious flirt, but he had never had a steady girlfriend before. “So you’re in love with this girl then?”

“Yes, I love her very much.” Sokka replied.

“Oh, is she somebody I know? What’s she like? Also why can’t you be together? Is she taken? Does she hate you?” Katara inquired.

Sokka hummed in thought before answer. “Well she is somebody you know I suppose. She’s really pretty and she actually laughs at my jokes if you can believe it. She isn’t spoken for quite yet and I don’t think she hates me, but there is no way anyone would approve of us being together.”

Katara arched an eyebrow. “Why wouldn’t they approve of the two of you? If she isn’t spoken for and she isn’t repulsed by you then what’s the problem?”

“It is just complicated.” Sokka said while scratching the back of his neck and trying not to meet his sister’s eyes.

Katara’s eyes narrowed. For a moment she wondered if her brother might have made the whole thing up just to make her feel better, but she doubted even he would go that far. However, that only left her with more questions. Katara wondered who her brother could know that he couldn’t be with. He had said it was somebody she knew as well so she started going through a check list in her mind to narrow it down.

After a moment of thought, only a few possible candidates came to mind. She had seen Sokka interact with a few older women around the city whose husbands had been lost in the war. She had even noticed some of them tease him, but otherwise their interactions had been limited.

So there were only two that matched. The first candidate was the princess of the Northern Water Tribe herself, Princess Yue. The two had spent a lot of time together since they met a few years ago and seemed to be good friends, but Yue was the Princess and as such was married to her duty. There was no way she could accept somebody of low status as her partner and even though our family had once held the southern throne that was a long time ago and may not be recognized.

If her brother truly did love Yue Katara could see why he was reluctant to act on his feelings, but she didn’t feel like her brother’s romance was a hopeless as he made it out to be. However there was one more possibility, a girl who he could be with because of a negative public opinion, one that when it came to her, it dyed her own cheeks bright red. Then she violently shook her head to banish the thought from her mind all together. Nope, she wouldn’t even hummer that one, not a chance.

Besides Sokka said the girl laughed at his jokes. With that alone Katara could be sure that there was just no way he could’ve been talking about h… Nope, she wasn’t even think about it. That train of thought leads to madness.

“Anyway, we’re supposed to be talking about you not me!” Sokka declared breaking Katara from her unsettling thoughts. “Like I was saying, I know what you’re going through, and I know it hurts. I just want you to know that if you really want to learn water magic, then you should learn. To hell with what everyone else says you should do, it’s your life and you should just do what makes you happy. And if anyone gives you grief about it, they will have to deal with me you got that!” He declared while buffing out his chest.

Katara let out a soft laugh and the beginnings of a smile began to play at the edges of her lips. “Thanks Sokka, that means a lot.”

Sokka smiled be spreading his arm and pulling his sister into a hug which she easily accepted. “No problem sis, now eat your food. I got to go have a word with mother.” He said before disentangling himself from Katara and making for the entrance.

“What are you going to say to her?” Katara asked before Sokka could make out.

Sokka shrugged. “That you’re ready to talk to her.” Then with that he slipped outside.

Katara sighed and fell back onto her bed. After that emotional journey she was now feeling quite drained. She also felt a bit thirsty now that she thought about it. She supposed that made sense with all the crying she just did.

Seeking a reprieve from the dry inching in her throat, Katara leaned back up and eyed the cup of water beside her forgotten food. For a moment she thought about leaning over to pick it up by hand, but decided screw it. She reached out with her bending and pulled causing the water to spring from the cup and form into a liquid glob in the palm of her hand.

For a moment she played with the glob in her hands, changing its size and shape, freezing it, and thawing it. Then she formed it back into a sphere and took a bit out of like one would a fruit. The water was nice and cool after being frozen, so it was very refreshing. However, the act of eating the water like a solid caused her to realize just how hungry she was.

Once again glancing at the food abandoned food, Katara flung her water glob forward like a whip. Then at its apex the end of the water whip nearest the food formed into a hand to grasp a real fruit before Katara flicked her wrist again snapping it backward and bring it to her hand. Like she had the water, Katara took a big bite out of the fruit and then sighed happily.

“You seem to be enjoying yourself.” Someone said from the entrance of her room interrupting Katara’s and causing her to lose control of her water. The glob promptly slipped from her hand and splashed across the floor.

“Grandpa Pakku!” Katara gasped in horror as she quickly sat up to see the master waterbender standing at her room’s threshold, one arm propping up the pelts. “This isn’t what it looks like, I was, and you see I just wanted…”

Pakku waved dismissively. “Save it. I don’t care if you want to play with your food, even if your mother may not agree.” He said in tone that made it hard to tell if he was trying to tell a joke or not, but the next words he said were unquestionably serious. “With that said, I do believe you and I have something to discuss.”

“Do we, what could that be?” Katara asked in a standoffish tone.

“You know full well girl.” Pakku said calmly.

“Haven’t we had ample opportunity to talk about that already? You didn’t seem interested before, so what’s different now?” Katara asked then she smiled cruelly. “Did Aang decide to put his foot down and demand to see me or something?”

Pakku grumbled something under his breathe before speaking. “The Avatar has nothing to do with this. This is simply a matter between a grandfather and his granddaughter.” Katara scoffed, but Pakku didn’t seem to notice or care. “I am aware that your desire to learn has recently gone beyond what is expected of you.”

“I wouldn’t really say it’s a recent event.” Katara declared.

“Be that as it may,” Pakku cut in. “This kind of behavior could put you on a dangerous path. It would not be strange if you were branded a witch and banished from our lands. Are you sure the power you seek, is worth that risk?”

“I can do so much more good for our people than just healing their wounds grandfather. I can fight. I can help put an end to this war. I want to help and all I need is to be given a chance.” Katara said.

Pakku’s expression was neutral as he spoke. “Those are some bold and naive claims girl, though I don’t completely disagree with them.”

“Wait what?” Katara asked sounding dumbfounded. “You agree?”

“I agree that there is more all of us could be doing to aid in this war. I will also admit that perhaps our old traditions no longer work in this new world that we live in.” Pakku explained.

Hearing this for a moment caused Katara to hope, but then her hope shattered when Pakku’s eyes sharpened like ice icicles and his voice was no less cold. “However, that doesn’t mean people can simply change their ways over night. If you want the world to believe you can do something, then you have to show them that you can. So allow me to ask again, do you wish to fight?”

“Yes.” Katara said uncertainly. “I want to fight.”

“And you think you can?” Pakku asked. “You think you can fight against our enemies?”

“Yes!” Katara said her tone more determined.

“Then show me.” Pakku declared as he took a step forward and stared icy daggers into Katara’s heart.

“W-what?” Katara muttered.

“Show me you can fight!” Pakku demanded.

“R-right here?” Katara said as she looked around her small room that was now completely devoid of water since what little she had, had slipped through the floorboards.

“Our enemies have no problem attacking us in our own homes, in our own beds, they don’t care if you’re a man, woman, or child. That is the nature of our enemy and you must be ready to face them at any time, in any place, and without your element at hand.” After saying these words Pakku took up a bending from that Katara had never seen before and reached out towards her.

Katara didn’t know what was happening until she had lost all control over her own body. Her knees had given out and her arms were now twisting themselves behind her back and forcing her down to the ground. It hurt, every fiber of her being hurt, and it felt wrong. Like something was controlling her from the inside. She knew what this was of course, she had heard of it, just never seen it in practice. How could she when it was forbidden to even speak of it.

Using every ounce of strength she could muster Katara raised her head to look up at Pakku who was looking down on her expectantly. “You’re a bloodbender?” Her voice shook as she spoke.

“In order to defeat your enemy, you must know your enemy.” Pakku said in reply. “I want you to remember this feeling Katara, this is the type of power our enemies wield. This is what you wish to fight against. If you still wish to do that, you must first learn to resist this twisted power. Knowing this, do you still wish to fight!?” He asked.

Katara expression shifted rapidly. It went from horror, to anger, to sadness, to anger again, before finally landing on determination. “Yes!” She declared.

Pakku sighed as he finally released his hold on his granddaughter causing her to slump on the floor and gasp for air. “Then your training begins at dawn tomorrow. Know that you will be receiving no special treatment. Until you can properly resist this hold, I will not teach you any fighting forms.”

Katara coughed and hacked, but quickly forced herself up onto her feet. “I won’t give up!”

“We will see.” Pakku said before he slid back out of the room.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////

Wan Forest, two Miles North West of Gaoling

“Captain, Captain!” A man in light green armor yelled as he pushed his way into his commanding officers tent with a letter in hand.

At the center of the room was a table covered with a map of the surrounding area and several simplistic colored figures arranged on it. Around the table stood several more armored men and the one in the fanciest armor was the one to reply. “What is it, have those cowards showed themselves yet!?” He asked.

“No sir, this isn’t news from the front. It is from Gaoling sir!” The soldier replied.

“Gaoling, what do they want?” The officer questioned. “Don’t tell me it was those bandits we’ve been hearing about decided to finally raid them?”

“No it doesn’t seem to be a bandit attack sir!” The soldier replied.

“Then what is it then!? We have a war to fight here, so unless you want to be cleaning the ostrich horse pin for the foreseeable future I suggest you spit it out boy!” The officer commanded clearly losing his patience.

“Yes sir!” The soldiers shouted as he quickly handed the officer the letter he had received. “We just received word that an unusually large number of Kyoshi Warrior’s has just appeared in Gaoling. The locals claim that they have never seen so many of them off the island at once and so it is believed that they may have come to reinforce the enemy sir!”

The officer quickly unraveled the letter he had been handed and skimmed through it. It did indeed back up his subordinate’s claim of enemy reinforcements. “I see, so those traitors have finally decided to make their move. We’ll show them what happens to traitors like them.” He said before looking back towards his messenger. “Boy, notify all officers that they are to prepare their men for battle, we’re mobilizing.