The world of the Gaang and the next hold their breath, waiting for calamity. The calm before the storm hangs in the air, like peanut butter dripped in the eyes of civilians. Water sits in the ocean but feels no peace, for the elements of this world know calamity. The end of many is coming. Ends come when they are least expected. Where are our heroes? The heroes that will stand in the way of the end?
Ember Island on a beautiful, ordinary night
The boredom of Aang, Katara, Toph, Zuko, and Sokka was unquenchable. They stabbed each other with forks! They shifted uncomfortably in the wooden bench they sat in; trying to decipher the cryptic play they were watching.
"I tell way funnier jokes than that!" Sokka raged at his imitation self. The Ember Island Players, Sokka felt, did not do a good job of portraying the Gaang.
"Yeah, and they make me look totally stiff and humourless!" Zuko fumed and squeeked as he folded his arms in annoyance. The only one who wasn't disgruntled by their portrayal by Ember Island Players was Toph. She sat smiling and laughing at the other's discomfort, like the filthy sadist that she was.
"You may not like it, but what you see there is the truth!" she spat at the others. Zuko also spat angrily into the box below them (he often imitated what others did). Fortunately, it was empty, because Zuko's acidic saliva would have (and has) burned through flesh and bone! A single tear rolled down the banished Fire Prince's cheek as he reflected on his dark, desperate, and unquenchable past. The banishment, his father, his sister, his unrequited love for Katara. It was all getting to be too much for Zuko, and he felt the pressure seeping into the cracks of the armour he had built around himself over the years (metaphoric armour). He felt he would surely die of this. A loud cry of objection snapped Zuko out of his reverie; Toph had stood up. The portrayal of her had just gone onstage, and swaggered around in awful bell bottoms.
"That sounds like… a guy. A really unquenchably buff guy!" her shrill voice rang out, causing other audience members to turn around and shush her.
"Oh, shush. Who even wants to see an awful play like this?" Toph muttered to those who had shushed her. She resented others telling her to be quiet; it reminded her too much of her overbearing parents (whom Sokka had helped her kill to escape. Toph couldn't escape the nightmares about their bodies, though.). Luckily for her (and the others), the show was about to get better.
The audience had a collective intake of breath, as if aware that something unusual was about to happen. Even the performers felt uneasy.
Without a slice of warning, a sound like a gunshot echoed through the theatre. The audience turned in their seats uneasily, unsure if this was part of the production. They were not alone in their confusion.
The theater filled with an eerie blue light, as if seen from underwater, rising up through the depths of time! The Gaang shifted uneasily in their seats. Even Toph could sense that something was very wrong, and she was usually an oblivious fool. Total dunce. Class A idiot.
"I'm pretty sure this never happened to us, guys! Does that mean this is… The Future?" Sokka said, wiggling his fingers. He was trying to lighten the mood but it was not working. Something about the light, Sokka thought uneasily to himself. What is this feeling? What is awakening in me? His faked carefree attitude was betrayed by the fact that his eye was twitching uncontrollably with fear. A cold wind rushed through the rows of seats, up into the darkened ceiling of the theatre.
The voice Obama rang out through the theater, curiously high and cold. "Please remain seated through this rip in the space time continuum, my lads!" Of course none of Gaang recognized this voice, but Sokka felt his bones resonate. The uneasy feeling had grown in him. A primal understanding clicked into place.
"Obama? Is that you?" he whispered unquenchably. Sokka didn't have time to get a response however, because onstage, the cold, blue, swirling light had concentrated into a single spot, roughly three feet above the stage. The Actors scampered off stage in fright, knowing full well that this was not part of the production. The stage was empty, save for the Director walking slowly towards the expanding circle of blue light. The swirling, blue spot of energy had expanded to the point where you could see shapes moving inside of it, like shadow puppets on a projector.
"The show must go on! I will fight the blue light!" whispered the director to himself, as he slithered forward on his nose towards the opening fissure in the air.
The blue janky boi in the air let out a great blast of pure energy, which shattered windows and blew over the front row of the audience. The audience's panic now boiled over, and people began to clamour to escape the sight of the terrible blue light and cold wind. Aang screamed with his high-pitched voice,
"NNNEEEEYYYYEEEGHHHH! I MUST BE THE CENTER OF ATTENTION! NOT THE BLUE BASTARD! I'm going to get a closer look, FOR PUBLICITY!" over the noise of the wind, and the shouts from the other panicked theater patrons. He unfurled his glider and sailed down, against the strengthening wind. The Gaang followed suit. Katara uncorked her water pouch, and splashed water at the ever-expanding portal. It seems to have no effect, though a very quiet cry of objection came from within, as though someone had been hit by it. Katara didn't hear this though, as the wind had now risen to 300 km/hour (Aang knew the exact measurement, being an airbender and an advanced mathematician and nuclear physicist). Bereft of her beloved water, Katara screamed with aunguish and grabbed the fire extinguisher and hurled it into the portal. A very audible and nasal cry of pain came through the portal, sounding like EEeeeUUUUuuUGGGHHHH!
Suddenly the portal gaped wide, and darkness covered the theatre. The blue light was entirely gone. It was as if cotton wool had covered the ears and eyes of all those there. The silence was absolute and unquenchable for about 8 bloody god damned hours. The Gaang and the Others who were now in the room were like flies caught in amber, paralyzed by the lingering strands of time! Toph was the first to hear again (if not see or move). There were very few vibrations, the room seemed entirely still. However, by shifting her feet ever so slightly, she could make out faint outlines of the 11 figures in the room. Something isn't right, Toph thought to herself. There are five things by the stage that weren't here before… what is going on? Not only was the Gaang starting to stir (not that they had been asleep-just stuck in place), but the other five figures at the other end of the room were also stirring.
Katara was able to dimly see soon after Toph could move, and she gazed balefully around the room. Aang, Zuko, Toph, and Sokka were all there, all frozen in place. Dark, unusually tall and broad figures who had definitely not been there before were outlined by the soft blue light coming from the corner of the stage.
The source of it was a yellow sponge, looking hella bad, the mangled body of the Director at his feet. The sponge held a blue cube in his hand, and wore a sinister grin on his face. He held a spatula in his small, three fingered hand. It gleamed in the light, and was dripping blood. Katara wailed softly, looking at the carnage. By the look of it, one of the tall, unfamiliar figures had already thrown up. Katara stood staring at the yellow sponge, unable to look away. She realized in a detached sort of way that her whole body was shaking uncontrollably. The young waterbender was an experienced fighter, but she had never seen anything that was so horrifying, so otherworldly, so gruesome, so... spongy. The sponge's blue, round eyes shifted til he was looking straight at Katara. Then his mouth opened.
His voice softly crept around the corners of the room, oozing into the deepest part of Katara's effervescent soul, awakening all her deepest, most secret fears and memories. Suddenly, by some sick, twisted magic, Katara was a young girl again, in the water tribe after the fire nation raid, standing over the carcass of her mother, terrified and horror-struck. But the sponge was there in the corner. Katara breathed deeply, trying to calm her ever tightening, stiff soul. To reassure herself that she wasn't really back in the water tribe. She was here, with her friends, in the theater. She was a herculean water bender. She wasn't a helpless little girl any more, and she could sense the sponge's intent to murder them all where they stood. She made up her mind. She would tear the sponge limb for limb. Then she would feed its brains to her friends.
Katara took a step towards the sponge. She was exceedingly aggressive. She strode towards the sponge in the corner, sensing where the water in the room was. And the most water was in the sponge himself. Katara knew that if she didn't take him down quickly, he would surely kill her friends and then probably lick their legs. She waved her arms in waterbending-ness, drawing the water out of the sponge, and shattering the blue cube. A shockwave emanated from it, a strange warmth passed through Katara's body. But the sponge merely laughed, a high pitched, short-interval laugh, grating on the ears of all those around. He then took a breath, leaned forward, and became a blur. Katara gasped, shocked by this inhuman speed, and jumped back instinctively. This was what saved her life. The sponge rematerialized in front of the waterbending, lunging with his serrated spatula.
I WILL TURN YOU INTO A KRABBY PATTY, YOUNG ONE
Katara's hands shot up to cover her ears against the noise of the sponges' nasal, high pitched voice that seemed to be scraping her brain with a spatula. She didn't have long to think about that though, as she felt a sharp pain explode in her gut. She looked down. A long, jagged cut was slashed across her torso. Her vision started to blur as the dark red seeping out began to match the red of her fire nation disguise. Katara realized that had she not jumped back, she would have been cut into to separate halves. With her remaining strength, she turned and drew the water out of the supernatural sponge. His already-wide eyes became rounder yet; with the realization that Katara could potentially kill him.
IMPRESSIVE SKILL. BUT YET NOT ENOUGH. I, ROBERT OF SPONGE, CANNOT BE KILLED BY THE LIKES OF YOU. I AM PAIN. I AM FEAR. I AM CHAOS INCARNATE. AND YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE LAST OF ME.
Then Katara died. But... she didn't because she was just unconscious! Or was she? I don't know, I'm not a doctor, leave me alone.
To be continued...