"Water. Earth. Fire. Air.
My grandmother used to tell me stories about the old days, a time of fear when the Avatar struck vengeance down on the Water Tribes, Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and Air Nomads. But that all changed when the Fire Nation fought back.
The Avatar is the price we pay for our gifts. To bend we must first break. But together the Air Nomads and the Fire Nation locked him away somewhere no one would find him.
A hundred years have passed and the Fire Nation has taken the glory of chaos and replaced it with peace. Two years ago, my father and the men of my tribe journeyed to the Earth Kingdom to raid and pillage the Fire Nation, leaving me and my brother to look after our tribe. Some people believe that the Avatar was never reborn into the Air Nomads, and that the cycle of terror is broken. But I’m too old for the hope they cling to. I still know the truth, that somehow, the Avatar will return to destroy the world.”
Katara could feel the water chanting beneath the boat.
Drown him, it said. She licked her lips for a moment considering it but pushed the thought aside. She needed her brother. Sokka was a good hunter and a great friend. There were no merits to murdering him yet.
The boat rocked back and forth under them and the sky hung right and red above.
She looked to him then and he smiled at her from beneath his war paint. It should have been a warrior beside her but Sokka was all she had. “Are you ready?”
Use me, the water cried. That Katara could do. She bent it up and forward with all her might. Katara began to speak the words Gran Gran had taught her for summoning creatures from the depths. Words for a priestess when worshiping a Spirit too large to contemplate.
From beneath the ice something began to glow.
Uncle wasn’t saying anything. Never a good sign.
Over the years they’d spent together Zuko had learned to read each expression Iroh made and to do his best to predict the incoming storm. But somehow he still never did what was right. His strategy was as weak as his Firebending stance. “We should try the Southern Air Temple next.”
Iroh sighed and moved another piece on his pai sho board. “If you doubted my methods you shouldn’t have come, Prince Zuko.”
“I just—“ He just wanted to save the world from the Avatar and Uncle was the best chance he had. Uncle banished, Uncle the Monster in the dark, but strong in a way Zuko still didn’t quite understand. The Fire Lord would be terrified and horrified to know this was what his son had run off to but—after the accident it has seemed like such a good choice. Not that Zuko had time to regret it. Better to just fold his arms and scowl. “Never mind.”
But then the Light hit them- ripping through the universe- and Zuko felt the world shifting under his feet.
Aang looked up at the prettiest girl in the world and wondered what it would take to get away from her. But before he could regain his balance she smiled at him.
“It’s okay,” the girl said. Somehow she’d gotten a gash on the side of cheek- Aang blushed despite himself as he watched the blood run down her face. “You’re in the Water Tribe now. Are you—”
He sprang forward and bounced with all the youthful energy he’d been wasting. It felt like he’d been asleep forever. “I’m Aang.”
“Yeah, Katara, this is definitely the Master of all four Elements here.” The boy beside her clapped lightly. “Good job. Maybe with some training he might conquer a whole igloo.”
Katara shoved him. “Oh- you don’t know he’s not, Sokka!” She looked at Aang expectantly. “Are you though?”
When he didn't answer right away she ran her fingers over Appa’s fur and gave a little gasp of delight at the sight of his sharp teeth.
Aang knew his smile had turned into more of a smirk but he couldn’t help it; this was going to be fun.
“I don’t understand,” said Zuko. He counted to ten in his head to keep his temper from going off in self-defense. “You’re only a child.”
Children can’t be harbingers of destruction. But children aren’t supposed to stare like that either.
The girl who claimed to have summoned The Avatar laughed at him lightly and the Warrior boy smirked despite the beating he’d received. Zuko tried to remind himself of what his Father had said about other cultures. About how people may look different but in the end they were all connected. They just didn’t understand what the Avatar was.
From the way The Avatar looked at him maybe he didn’t either. The boy scoffed. “You’re just a teenager.”
And though the Villiage burned once Uncle came off the ship the Avatar ran with his followers strong behind him.
“You know I want to be a Master Waterbender. But what about you? Should we go to the Air Temple?” asked Katara shyly. Her tone was light but she dug her fingernails into her brother's skin in anticipation. Aang felt himself go pale. Nononono never the Temple, never again, where the Monks smiled wide and drugged him in his sleep. Tried to lock him away in the bottom of the sea. He’d gotten them back in the end, in his dreams he’d pushed them all off the edge in glorious sacrifice, but the Avatar had no interest in tombs. People were only really fun alive.
“The Northern Water Tribe will still be there when we get there.” said Aang with the widest smile. "Lets explore!"
He couldn’t wait to see what had become of his world.