Book 4 - Air
Episode 1 "Unfinished business"
I do not own Avatar, its characters, themes, etc… (I believe Nickelodeon does ^^)… this is just a fan-fiction, read and enjoy! ^^
Hello all. As the title would suggest this is the first episode of my version of Book 4 "air". I have stayed as close as possible to the TV episode style of writing so that it would feel like you were reading transcripts of new Avatar episodes ^^. As such, I hope that this is something for all those people who would have loved to have seen a forth season of this fantastic series! The rough story and titles of all episodes are already planned, it's just a matter of hammering them out, something I hope to do regularly. So then, here is season 4, episode 1!
Also a quick format note, the document manager has killed my formatting, look for the - symbols, they indicate a change in scene ^^
- Sokka trudged sleepily down the halls of the comfortable Earthkingdom house he and the gang were staying at. The young warrior's back was half bent over and his eyes were barely open. Passing a large open window, he turned to see the morning sun shining over the picturesque upper ring of the Earthkingdom capital of Ba-Sing-Se. Seemingly unimpressed by the breathtaking scenery, and still in a daze, he scratched himself inelegantly before arriving at the sliding doors that led to the bath house,
"Aaaagh!" screamed Sokka, stumbling backwards into a wall.
Bosco turned his large head to see who had interrupted his morning bath.
"Sokka! What is it?" called Aang, rushing around the corner, staff in hand.
"Bosco! Are you ok?" called a worried Earthking, who came rushing from the other direction, Toph, Mai and Zuko in tow.
Bosco roared, happy at all of the sudden attention.
"waah?" voiced Sokka, who's sleepy mind was trying to catch up. He turned to see that the Earthking was dressed in similar clothes to those he had left the group in. The royal still looked more like a beggar then a king.
"When did you get here?" asked Sokka, picking himself up.
"We arrived this morning" said the Earthking happily, offering his hand to Sokka in greeting. Sokka looked at the hand hesitantly, taking it, he receiving a hearty shake.
"Little habit I picked up on my travels amongst my subjects" said the Earthking happily. "As my re-coronation is tomorrow, I thought I would get here early today, it takes some time to become royally clean after all. Doesn't it Bosco."
The Earthking walked over to his furry friend, giving the large bear a friendly pat on the head.
"Obviously your travels haven't managed to bring any animal back into the bear" said Sokka sceptically.
"You'd be surprised" said Mai, her expression indicating a hint of respect.
"He was just telling us of his adventures" added Toph enthusiastically.
"If you got up at a proper hour, you could also have listened" said Aang teasingly.
"Hey" stated Sokka defensively, "this is the first time in ages we've been allowed to sleep in, I'm not going to waste the opportunity."
- Iroh was the last to arrive at the large table in the kitchen, having returned from an early morning errand. At the table was seated the entire group, including the Earthking and two of his highest generals.
"General Iroh" greeted general How upon the old Firenation general's entry, "I never thought I would say this, but thank you for taking Ba-Sing-Se."
"It would not have been possible if 'you' had still been leading the defences general How" Iroh said calmly and with humility. The two generals bowed respectfully before Iroh took a seat near Firelord Zuko.
"We were just discussing the security arrangements for tomorrow" said the Earthking with a smile.
"Yes," continued General Sung with less cheer, "unfortunately the end of the war has not meant the end of the conflict, Long Feng was able to escape and is suspected to be leading members of the Dai-Li still at large."
"Weren't most of the Dai-Li agents arrested after the fall of Ba-Sing-Se?" asked Katara.
"Many were" stated General How, "but as they ran the prisons here in Ba-Sing Se, many managed to escape or were broken out."
"Yes, it was unfortunate that they were forced into a corner" said the Earthking seriously.
"They were traitors" said general How in defence of the actions, "they are too dangerous to be allowed to walk around freely."
"And seemingly too dangerous to be backed into a corner" said the Earthking calmly, "I will nevertheless pardon all but the leaders as soon as I regain my title, and integrate them into my personal guard and the army."
"Isn't that a little dangerous?" asked Aang.
"You don't want another coup" added Sokka.
At this point Iroh interrupted calmly, "Most soldiers I have met are normally just as interested in their own survival as they are in any ideology, often more so."
Zuko nodded in agreement, knowingly.
"Those are my thoughts as well" continued the Earthking, "Without a leader they will no longer be a threat, not once dispersed."
General Sung continued "Unfortunately the situation is still dangerous until Long Feng is re-captured." The old general gave a disapproving side glance towards his soon to be king, "Particularly considering the king's planed coronation wrought. With all the unknown tunnels under our fine city there is a danger of an ambush at any time."
The group looked intently at the calm former king.
"My isolation from my subjects was what facilitated the last coup, my new reign must start on a different footing, the people mast be part of the process… all of them."
Aang smiled approvingly.
"It looks like I will have to call on your assistance once again young Avatar" said the Earthking with a smile.
"We would be glad to be your personal bodyguards on the day of your coronation" said Aang with a smile, on behalf of his group.
"With the Avatar and legendary Miss Beifong by my side I'm sure to be safe from these devilish earth benders."
"So much for a nice holiday" moaned Sokka suddenly, his head slumping.
Suki patted her defeated boyfriend tenderly on the back of the head.
- A middle aged man looked around with suspicious eyes before opening an inconspicuous door to a derelict building in the lower ring of Ba-Sing-Se. Daylight streamed thorough holes in the roof to illuminate the empty room. Long Feng was seated next to a crate which upon sat a small pot of Tea, he was dressed in common civilian clothes, just like the man who had just entered.
"The Earthking has returned" the middle aged man said calmly, "he has arrived at the residence of the Avatar."
"Excellent" said Long Fang assuredly.
Leaning backwards in his seat, Long Fang retrieved a small satchel, rummaging around in it until he found the desired item. Removing the scroll he quickly checked its contents before re-rolling it and throwing it towards the waiting Dai-Li agent.
"Here is a list of the suitable "candidates", I would pick one of our younger members for this mission… you know what has to be done,"
The agent bowed in acknowledgment then went the same way as he had come.
Long Feng watched him go, picking up a small cup and calmly blowing onto his hot tea before taking a sip.
- Toph leaned with arms crossed against the doorpost of the large room she shared with the other girls of the group.
"Come on ladies" the young earth bender said impatiently, "the Earthking will be coroneted already by the time you're finish getting ready."
"I'm afraid not all of us have the luxury of working without tools" said Mai matter-of-factly, as she fixed a series of darts to one of her temporarily exposed ankles.
"We have to be able to act the part, and look the part, after all," said Suki, finishing her guard uniform and positioning her sword and fan. The young warrior had decided to use her normal guard uniform while in Ba-Sing-Se, partially because of the time it took to get the Kyoshi warrior outfit ready.
"Luckily I'm not one that has to worry about appearances" said Toph confidently, while casually digging a finger into her ear.
"That will change soon enough" said Katara with a knowing smile. This comment also generated a smile from Mai and Suki.
Quite obviously ignoring the comment, Toph taped her foot a few time, mildly annoyed at the three girls seemingly ganging up on the younger one.
"It's not like you girls have to worry about anything, the war is over, all our former Firenation enemies are either in prison, or on our side."
"There is a never ending supply of new enemies" said Mai calmly, "Firenation or otherwise."
There was a slight pause as the girls thought about the idea… suddenly they all felt a little tired.
"Even if, you have an Earthkingdom hero to ensure that you don't have to get your precious little hands dirty" said Toph, a little over confidently.
"For someone who supposedly doesn't care about appearances, you sure are enjoying your new found fame" said Katara with a raised eyebrow.
"What can I say, I can't help that the people know of my deeds, and worship me for it" said Toph with a broad smile. With that said, the young earth bender turned and walked happily away.
"Pride comes before the fall" said Katara in her lecturing tone, while finishing her hair.
- Over by the boys, Zuko was admiring Sokka's new sword.
"And he gave you this, just like that?"
"Yep" replied Sokka happily, "Master Piandao must have heard what happened on the airship and had it sent straight over as a replacement."
"It's an original Xirling, these are very rare" said Zuko, impressed
"That's what was on the note that came with it, a rare sword for a rare warrior."
Sake sat happily for a second with a goofy smile on his face and a tear in his eye.
"And that's not the best of it" he continued enthusiastically, suddenly pulling out a new boomerang, "don't ask me how he got the details for this, but I swear it's almost exactly like my old one, weight and all."
"You'd be surprised what information White Lotus members can dig up, I know I constantly am" said Zuko. Giving back the sword, he went and retrieved his own double blades before slinging them comfortably to his back.
Aang was sitting nearby playing with Momo
"Speaking of the White Lotus, how are Jeong Jeong and Master Piandao doing keeping order back in the Firenation" Aang asked suddenly.
"Well enough I hope" replied Zuko, though without too much enthusiasm.
"The situation is ridiculously complicated" he continued, "I'm just glad I have people I can trust, otherwise I wouldn't be able to get away at all."
Sokka's expression turned serious again in empathy with his burdened friend.
"Even so, we'll have to head back as soon as the coronation is done. Things are too unstable at the moment…"
"Anything we can help with?" asked Aang sincerely.
"I'll let you know" said Zuko darkly.
The three boys had to steady themselves as the house shook momentarily.
"Will you all hurry up already!" came the shout of an impatient young earth bender outside.
- Back in the girl's room, Suki had to make an impressive dive to save a glass bottle that was rattled off a table.
"I can pin her down until we're ready if you like" said Mai deadpan, recovering from the shake.
"Better not" Katara replied automatically, but a moment later she added with a smile, "maybe later."
- It was already the middle of the afternoon when the gang, minus Iroh, found themselves in the lower ring of Ba-Sing-Se close to one of the main gates into the city.
Toph walked a few steps along the proposed coronation wrought before putting her hand to the ground.
"There is nothing under here" she said after a few seconds, "it looks like most of the tunnels were in the upper rings."
Zuko looked around at the area he had first lived in as a refugee, "I suppose there is no need for them to sneak around so much in the lower circles, they could do their dirty work in the open down here."
"I'm glad" said Aang, "we would have had to collapse any more found tunnels ourselves. We left the remainder of your escort to explore the last group of tunnels."
Suki looked around, even here in the lower circles people were doing all they could to prepare for the coronation with decorations and flags.
"Looks like they're really getting into it" Suki commented.
"I think they see it as the official end of the occupation, and the start of a new era, most have never seen the Earthking before after all" said Katara with a smile.
A group of Earthkingdom children ran by, giggling while waving small Earthkingdom flags.
"And it's a chance to party!" said Sokka enthusiastically. "Should be quite a show tomorrow night… and us as guests as honour." Grabbing a nearby loose, long flag, Sokka draped it around him like a cape, tilting his head in a snooty pose.
"Even with the clothes of an Emperor, you barely have enough elegance to pass as a servant" said Toph teasingly.
Sokka gave her an incredulous look.
"Don't worry Sokka, I'll be there to prop up your manners" said Suki in support. Sokka nodded approvingly, and then looked suddenly doubtful.
- Unbeknown to the gang they were being watched, a determined young man was loitering by some nearby stalls, keeping an eye out for their movements… in addition for something else, it was as if he was waiting for someone.
- "There's a half decent eatery nearby," suggested Zuko suddenly, aware that it had been a long time since breakfast. "Lets have a quick bite to eat before heading back, my treat."
"You know, I always knew there was going to be lots of perks when you became Firelord" said Sokka happily.
"Zuko…?" began Aang.
"Yes Aang, they serve a good salad."
- The group walked off, the young man following them at a respectable distance, still looking around impatiently.
- The gang had already been served and were talking amongst themselves.
"So Toph" said Aang from opposite her, "how is it to be called a legend by your own king?"
"I am what I am," said Toph happily, raising her hands behind her head before smiling broadly,
"Modest as always" said Katara teasingly from beside Aang.
"I can spot any earth-bending a mile away, he knows he's safe with me."
"I hope the Dei-Li have the same thought," said Katara happily, honestly hoping for no action.
Mai was quietly eating near Zuko when Momo suddenly appeared on her shoulder, leaning over to look intently at what the young Firenation lady was eating.
"You want something huh?" asked Mai sceptically. Taking a ball of meat, she presented to him on the end of her chopsticks. Just before the lemur could grab it she tossed it into the air, Momo waited patiently for the catch but was again denied when Mai snatched it back out of mid air with her chopsticks.
"You're going to have to work for it, and get off my shoulder" she said with a half smile. Momo ran impatiently around her neck before stopping again, this time sitting ready to jump. Tossing the meat into the air again, the lemur pounced. Fumbling the catch, the little flying animal dove after his prise before it was snatched away again. Landing hard on the edge of a large salad bowl in the middle of the table, the contents were catapulted towards Aang, who air bended the contents upwards as a reflex. The large bowl flipped over to trap the surprised lemur, as large salad leaves rained down on the youngsters. Zuko removed a salad leaf from his shoulder, while Aang took a piece from his head before eating it, seemingly unperturbed and slightly amused.
"Sorry about that" said Mai, chuckling a little at the amusing scene. She quickly grabbed the upturned bowl before the trapped rampaging Momo could cause any more problems. Lifting its edge, she looked into the lemur's big eyes.
"You sure are a trouble maker aren't you? Here, I'll give you a second one if you promise to behave."
Momo dashed out from under the bowl, grabbing the second meatball before returning to Mai's shoulder to eat his prises.
Sokka was sniggering at Toph who had not noticed a large salad leaf had fallen onto her hair. Sukki and Katara also laughed as Zuko calmly reached across and removed the offending item.
"What?" said Toph, unsure of what was so funny.
Sokka turned to the smiling Mai, who was stroking Momo absentmindedly with her non eating hand.
"You sure have changed a lot since your days with Azula" he said.
She gave an ironic smile before replying.
"You be one of Azula's closest friends for most of your life, and see how you end up."
"No thanks" replied Sokka honestly, "she was bad enough as an enemy."
Suki continued, "Have you seen her since…well since she was imprisoned."
Mai's expression returned to its more well known emotionless state.
"Only once, with Ty Lee"
"How is Azula?" asked Katara, honestly interested.
"Not better" replied Zuko darkly, effectively bringing an end to the line of questioning.
There was an awkward silence for a moment before Aang spoke up,
"Have you heard anything from the Kyoshi warriors and Ty Lee?" he asked Suki.
"Good save twinkletoes" said Toph approvingly. "there's an 'always happy' topic"
This generated a smile from all at the table.
- The young Dei-Li agent who was watching nearby was becoming nervous. He only became calmer when he saw a larger middle age woman approach, she was wearing elaborately coloured clothing with a bamboo cane in her hair with many colourful hairpins. Making his way over to her through the crowd, he began to walk beside her for a few steps.
"Raitee, The Earth King has invited you to Lake Laogai."
The woman suddenly stopped, her gaze fixed for a second, the young man walked on a few steps, staying just in view of the woman and the Avatar's group.
The large woman automatically removed the bamboo cane from her hair. Taking an elaborately feathered hairpin, she loaded it into the pipe. Looking around calmly, her dilated pupils focused on Toph.
- Toph was talking to Katara when she suddenly felt a jab in her neck.
"Aaah!" she yelped, grabbing at her neck, "someone just shot me with something!"
The group instantly jumped from their seats.
Aang barely saw the woman out of the corner of his eye, having just enough time to air-bend and duck out of the way of the deflected second dart. Spinning in the spot he shot a rush of wind towards the woman, scattering the crowd and throwing the woman back into the side of the cart. A second later a series of darts pinned the woman's arms into the woodwork.
Mai stood back up from her throwing pose.
"It's him!" shouted Toph, pointing with her free hand towards the Dei Li agent while her other hand still clutched at her neck.
"He's the only one who's not shocked."
Aang grimaced, the agent panicked and earth bended off with speed in classic Dei-Li fashion. Aang and Zuko immediately gave chase, Toph was close behind as the three raced down the street after the fleeing agent.
Katara ran over to where Toph had dropped the dart that hit her.
"Toph wait!" called Katara, having inspected the dart.
Zuko had taken to the rooftops while Aang flew and Toph slid forward in pursuit. Due to the large crowd, none of the three could bend an attack, though Toph had her work cut out for her as she deflected desperate attacks by the agent in an attempt to shake her off.
Realising he was unable to shake the determined earth bender despite ever desperate manoeuvring, the agent made a sudden turn to the right.
From above, Aang spots his moment, closing his glider he dove at the ground in front of the fleeing agent. The air bender's impact causes a localised explosion which tripped up the young man. Coming out of the crater with a sheepish smile Aang turns to see Toph accelerate around the corner as the surprised civilians continued to scatter. Spotting Aang, she slowed down. Faltering, Toph seemingly lost control of her bending and tripped up unceremoniously, landing roughly before sliding through the dirt.
"Toph! what's wrong!?" Aang called out in concern.
Behind Aang, the agent had shaken his head clear. Getting up, The Dai-Li agent was about to make a run for it when a fireball blocks his way.
With one jump from a nearby rooftop, Zuko rolled into a fighting stance, blocking the exit.
"Toph!?" Aang called again in concern. The young female earth bender had still not gotten back up.
Looking desperately around, the agent punched a large hole into the ground, disappearing into it a moment later.
"Aang!" called Zuko, in an attempt to snap his friend out of the daze which had been caused by Toph's seeming condition,
"You get the agent! I'll get Toph back to Katara."
Nodding is seeming approval, Aang quickly air bended his way over to the newly opened shaft, before flying down it with renewed haste.
- Mai, Suki, Sokka and Katara were helping up the stunned woman, who was still apparently in shock after regaining consciousness.
"What… what happened?" asked the stunned woman suddenly.
"You attacked one of our friends" answered Mai with little sympathy
"What?" replied the women "I wouldn't attack anyone… I, I don't even know how?"
"It's probably one of those brain washing things" said Sokka knowingly.
"A what?" asked Suki.
"Brain washing, like what they did with Jet out at Lake Laogai."
Both Mai and Suki looked unsure.
"The Dai-Li agents use some type of trick to brainwash people, it makes them do things against their will, it's activated by a simple phrase" added Katara, moving over to inspect the older woman.
"And I thought the old Firelord was a crafty operator" said Mai, crossing her arms.
"Katara!" called Zuko.
The entire group turned to see Zuko racing into the scene, Toph in his arms.
All four quickly moved over to see what was wrong.
"Toph, are you ok!" called Katara moving over quickly.
"I…I don't know" said Toph hesitantly, feeling her neck again "...I don't feel so good"
"I knew that dart was poisoned" said Katara angrily. Pulling out some water, she immediately began to heal the area around Toph's neck, "you shouldn't have chased after the agent" Katara continued crossly while working away.
The rest of the group watched on with concern.
"It's in your system now, there's not a lot I can do."
"What about…you know" suggested Sokka after a moment, referring to blood bending.
"It's not full moon" replied Katara "and even if it was, I would probably do more harm then good."
"So what do we do?" asked Toph, a little distressed, know that she knew Katara could not simply make the worrying new sensation go away.
"We should head back to the palace, they have their own healers" instructed Zuko, he and Sokka immediately moved to both pick up Toph.
"We should take her along as well" said Suki, referring to the hypnotised attacker, "we may get some clues out of her."
- Aang was, in the meantime, making progress against the fleeing agent. By now the two had travelled a considerable distance underground. Breaking through another attempt by the agent to bring down the tunnel behind him, Aang released a fireball. The young agent raised a wall to deflect the flames, shortly having to catch his breath before attempting to earth bend the tunnel further. He looked shocked as his efforts seemingly had no effect. Trying again he was only rewarded by a crack in the wall. A second later Aang emerged in front of the agent, sending a stone silhouette of his body flying forward to collecting the agent roughly and pinned him against his own defensive wall.
"Got you!" said Aang triumphantly, obviously still upset.
Catching his own breath for a second, the Avatar advanced towards the agent menacingly.
"Now" the Avatar growled, a flame suddenly springing to life in one of his upturned hands, "what did you do to my friend?!"
- The sun was already setting as Iroh made his way towards the Earthkingdom hospital where Toph was being treated. He found the group waiting on a large balcony. Aang was talking to a physician, a frown visible on his face.
"I'm sorry young Avatar. We simply are not familiar with this poison. Our most senior healer believes it to come from a reptile only found on the Northwest coast, but which kind, and what the antidote is, we can not say."
With a courteous bow the physician turned to walk away.
"What is the diagnosis?" asked Iroh as he walked up to the group and put a reassuring hand on Zuko's shoulder. Looking around at the faces of the youngsters, he already knew the answer before he was told it.
"They don't know" said Katara, looking concerned.
"She doesn't seem that bad… but she just keeps getting slowly worse" added Suki.
"It's just like the Dai Li to use some distant poison that no ones has ever herd of" said Sokka bitterly.
"Where you able to get anything out of the agent or the woman attacker?" asked Iroh.
"No, nothing from the agent" answered Zuko, "he only knew about his part of the plan. It looks like Long Feng deliberately used him because he knew that if the agent was captured, he would be of little use to us."
"And the poor woman?" asked Iroh.
"She was originally brainwashed at Lake Laogai" said Katara. "I tried to help her memory along, but all she could remember additionally was an old warehouse."
"A wearhouse?" asked Iroh.
"Yeah" said Sokka, his tone serious, "we took the woman home and had a snoop around. It looks like she disappeared for a short time about two weeks ago, something she couldn't remember."
"The Dei-Li probably reconditioned her then to attack Toph and Aang" added Suki.
"We asked around" continued Sokka, "looks like there have been a few unexplained short disappearances of late."
"Hmmmm" said Iroh, scratching his chin thoughtfully. "I may have something there."
"What?" asked Firelord Zuko.
Iroh was walking alone down one of the less savoury alleys in the lower rings of Ba-Sing-Se, looking calmly around in his normal pleasant state; he smiled when he saw what he was looking for.
The small group of rough looking youths broke up a bit when they noticed the old man approach, forming a confrontational half-circle.
"What do you want old man?" said the scruffy leader, arms crossed defensively.
"Wait, I know you" said one of the grimy looking younger ones, "you used to work at that tea shop, my dad said you made the best tea in Ba-Sing-Se."
"One and the same" said Iroh with a blush,
"So are you going to serve us some tea?" asked the leader, seemingly unimpressed.
"No" replied Iroh, good natured, "I have come to ask for your help."
"And why should we help you?" retorted the leader.
"Because it concerns a mutual enemy" replied Iroh, "The Dai-Li."
The youths took a step back, memories still fresh regarding the hated secret police.
"I am looking for information" continued Iroh with a smile, "and naturally there is a reward if you are able to provide what I want."
- End Flashback.
Back at the hospital, all were still listening to Iroh. Aang however was seemingly becoming more distracted.
"So that's were you were the last couple of days" said Mai.
"I thought you were just off playing Pai-Sho and drinking tea" added Zuko.
Iroh laughed, aware of the irony.
"That still doesn't help us get Toph better" interrupted Aang impatiently, seemingly annoyed that the subject had drifted from a more important topic.
Iroh thought about this for a second before answering.
"If the poison is from the Northwest of the Earthkingdom, we have no choice but to go there and hope that one of the local healers knows of an antidote" said Iroh calmly.
"You're right!" said Aang, suddenly regaining his enthusiasm, "the Herbalist is in that area around the ruins of Taku, I know how to get there."
"Hold on a second" interrupted Sokka, "you can't just head off Aang, you're our last master earth bender… the coronation is tomorrow, it's obvious the Dai-Li is planning something."
Katara continued as the voice of reason, "you talked to the king yourself Aang. He already said he can't postpone the ceremony, it's critical he officially takes power again if he is to act against Long Feng."
"For the love of Agni!" said Aang in frustration.
"There is another option" said Zuko suddenly.
Iroh nodded in agreement, already anticipating his nephew.
- It was already getting dark by the time the group prepared Appa for a mercy dash to the Northwest coast. Sokka appeared from the hospital carrying a grumpy and unwell looking Toph, Mai followed with Toph's bag slung over her back.
"How are you doing?" asked Aang, walking over as Sokka placed the earth bender on a rock near Appa.
"Feeling really stupid" replied Toph, frustration evident in her voice, "I feel ridiculous being carried around, but when I get up… I can't really walk properly."
In the background the others were preparing the sky bison.
"So what's the plan?" asked Toph, "Sokka wouldn't tell me anything."
Katara walked up beside Aang.
"Zuko knows of a good hospital in the area were the poison is thought to come from. I'll be coming to try and slow down the effects until we get there."
Aang took one of Toph's arms and slung it around his shoulder, then earth bended himself, Katara and Toph up to the saddle.
"You can't do that!" protested Toph, "you're losing almost all of your benders, that's just what Long Feng wants."
"And what are we? Chop liver?" asked Sokka, while helping Suki lift some previsions.
"We'll cope, you're more important" said Aang sincerely, helping her across.
Toph blushed at the sweet comment, then promptly punched the Airnomad in the arm before he got out of reach.
"Thanks Aang, now I feel even more useless" she said, but in a kind way.
A goofy grin appeared on Aang's face while he rubbed his sore arm. With everything now set, Suki jumped down from Appa to join Sokka.
"Hope you get better quickly Toph" called Suki.
"I'll make sure Toph is comfortable" said Katara kindly to Aang, "Just make sure 'you' stay safe."
With a quick hug and a short kiss the two parted.
"Give them a smooth ride buddy" called Aang to Appa.
The large sky-bison roared in seeming acknowledgment. In the meantime, Iroh moved over to his nephew.
"Here" said Iroh, handing over a small satchel, "a small token of our regret regarding our previous actions. Make sure you give my sincerest regards to Song and her mother."
"And bring back some of that lovely roast duck if you are offered any" the old man added, putting a hand on Zuko's shoulder.
Zuko chuckled slightly, but then looked concerned.
"What's the matter" asked Mai, noticing his expression while coming closer as Iroh left.
"Nothing" said Zuko, "It's just that I wish I was taking something a little more personal then just money."
Mai looked at him for a second with a sympathetic expression.
"This is for that Earthkingdom girl and her mother you stole from isn't it?" she asked.
"Yeah. I was hoping that the next time we met I would have a little more to repay her kindness then just money and a sick friend."
Mai looked at her boyfriend for a second before kneeling down to retrieve something from her ankle.
"Here, take this" she said, offering a small gold anklet decorated with a few precious stones.
"I can't take that!" said Zuko "It's yours, it wouldn't be right."
"Rubbish" dismissed Mai, "anyway, I would also like to thank the people who helped you."
Zuko did not look convinced.
"If it makes you feel better you can get me a new one when we get back, then everyone wins."
Before he could answer she gave him a small kiss as goodbye and simply walked away.
Zuko blinked a few times before putting the bracelet away. The young Firelord jumped onto Appa's neck, before turning to the remaining group.
"Best of luck" he said simply, "Yip yip."
"We'll be back before you know it!" called Toph confidently.
"I hope so" said Aang sincerely.
The remaining group watched as Appa took off, flying off quickly.
- The dark silhouette of a figure could be seen on one of the rooftops of a building nearby. Watching as the sky bison flew off, the figure suddenly began to crawl down from his perch, his technique quickly revealing him to be a member of the Dai-Li.
So, that was the first episode, I hope it was entertaining and has caught your interest. To further wet the appetite here are the titles of the next 4 episodes:
EP 2: Return of the Earth king
EP 3: Toph's home coming
EP 4: The fire colonies
EP 5: Blossom of the white lotus
For each episode I've made a bit of fan-art, which you can see under in my Deviantart account. I have the same account name: Bizmarck (just google 'Bizmarck' ^^)
Let me know what you think!