By Tempests Never Shaken
Disclaimer: Avatar:the Last Airbender duly belongs to Bryke. No profit is made from this story other than the sheer gratification of reviews.
NOTE: Here I go again. I don't know if I'll have enough time to finish this soon. But suffice to say that the idea for this story has been floating in my head for a long time but it took a while for me to get it together. It's going to be shorter than Sojourn or Alliance but hopefully not lacking in quality. The style will be slightly different though the theme might be similar to my other works. I still hope you enjoy this though. I'll try my best. Please review and let me know.
This prologue might seem confusing first because this is in the form of a dream. And I wanted it to be a little mystical, spiritual, and detached to set the mood for the story. Don't worry, the whole thing won't be like this. The characters will emerge in the next chapter for sure.
Look how the
pale queen of the silent night
Doth cause the ocean to attend upon her,
And he, as long as she is in his sight,
With her full tide is ready her to honor.
But when the silver waggon of the moon
Is mounted up so high he cannot follow,
The sea calls home his crystal waves to moan,
And with low ebb doth manifest his sorrow.
So you that are the sovereign of my heart
Have all my joys attending on your will;
My joys low-ebbing when you do depart,
When you return their tide my heart doth fill.
So as you come and as you do depart,
Joys ebb and flow within my tender heart.
- Charles Best, 16th - 17th century
Dark clouds shrouding the sky. Large, ominous waves crashing against each other. The waters in a vicious rage as they clash, melding against one another, one form with so many shapes and sizes.
The blackness is only pierced by shots of lightning. The world echoes and trembles with the roar of thunder in the distance. Gales are everywhere and the great, powerful winds howl as rain pours relentlessly into the ocean, water meeting with water, the ebbing of the tides growing stronger and stronger. Danger grows with every drop of rain that falls upon the furious ocean.
The cacophony of the typhoon's noises drowns the echoes of distant screams. These nameless cries are banished by the night, swallowed by the gigantic waves, left unheard of, helpless and alone. Nothing but the endless black depths to surround them completely.
Everything is an endless flood. There has never been a storm as wild as this one in the history of the world.
But such are the circumstances that even the ancient spirits have grown restless and wary. The world is not as it once was. So much has changed, and not for the better.
The harmony in which all four nations existed had been grossly disrupted. And the madness which had ensued was a burden to all those who still lived.
As the storm progressed, the rain seemed to fall like endless streams of tears from the heavens as it mourned the sorry state of the world. So much was lost, so much was destroyed, and the world was on the verge of its own tragic end.
One hundred years of bloodshed, pain, and the darkness of human ambition and greed. Wounds inflicted were deeper than ever before. Hapless victims living in fear and uncertainty.
Now, even the Spirits were concerned, divine and detached though they might seem. Some had learned to live among men and so experienced the same hardships. Their consternation grew and the great storm was testimony to their growing involvement in the affairs of mere mortals.
The Ocean was not pleased. As he followed the courses of old, he could feel the pain of the world.
As his silken surface was pierced by the sharp, metal ships, bringing destruction and oppression across his vast distances, he mourned for the world. These hard, cold, heartless metal fleets traversed his waters and found ways of wreaking more havoc among even those living in peace.
The Ocean saw it all.
He felt as other boats set sail, not the steel monsters, but kindly, sturdy wooden ships which were never steered from the proper course. But he was saddened even as these vessels passed along because he knew what bore them hence, away from their homes and towards foreign lands.
One hundred years of toil and torture. And the Avatar was nowhere to be found.
But the Ocean knew it all. He knew where the savior of the world had been hiding but he also knew that it was not yet time for the boy to emerge from his slumber. But the airbender would rise very soon, he was certain of it. Great and ancient spirit though he was, it was not within his control.
For the time being, the Ocean had to content himself with watching and learning about all those who travelled across him. Nevertheless, there were times when he would lose some of the restraint that had allowed the steel ships to travel for so long.
Now was such an occasion. No one was likely to be spared from his wrath.
And yet, there was always one Spirit who was able to still even the wildest of waters.
Timely as ever, she gently illuminated the night, her radiance seeping through the storm clouds, and filling the sky.
The Moon grieved over the world as well but she did so in a more detached manner. She was not apt to spurts of anger like the Ocean and she always stepped in to remind him of his own destructive strength.
The rain slackened and the waves began to shrink. Little by little, the storm died down. The Ocean was once again calmed by the arrival of a kindred Spirit.
Then, together they danced, circling each other as they always had and as the always will be, for the rest of eternity. Opposites finding harmony in each other.
They whispered to one another, recounting their adventures, sharing all their thoughts and observations.
And on this night, the Ocean found something – or someone – worth paying some attention to. It was unusual because an individual mortal was often of very little concern to the great spirits.
But this time it was different. This one soul seemed to have an inexplicable force about him and the Ocean knew that this one was meant to do great things in the future. The Ocean also sensed, with a growing thrill, that this was one who would help end the war if he could only be led along the right path.
The Moon too had found someone worth her interest. She was pleased with the humility and inherent kindness in this one, and most importantly, the Moon smiled at the glow of hope that this one kept kindled in her heart. Such a person was needed in these trying times.
The Moon also noted that this person had an awesome power in her which was yet to be harnessed.
So the two Spirits conversed and shared their thoughts on these special mortals in whom they had some confidence.
This one is not completely lost, said the Ocean of his charge, but he needs to be reminded of what is good and true. His heart is in the right place but he is too wounded and blinded to follow it.
A face appeared, that of a pale young man with a distinctive scar. His eyes were shut tight because he was wincing in extreme physical pain. Somehow tears were spilling out of them as well.
Then, give him to my care, the Moon replied, for he is in need of the kind of healing only my charge has the power to give.
A smiling girl with long, dark hair and startling blue eyes. Hope seemed to emanate from her face in spite of the sorrow that was also somehow etched in it.
I deliver him to you, then, the Ocean offered, for I trust that this will somehow ease the world's pain.
When broken souls find solace in each other, the Moon explained, the world comes closer to its healing.
So they agreed, and destiny took its course.