The Duties of the Avatar Chapter 1
This fanfiction is rated T for violence, language, and suggestive themes. Please review and enjoy reading!
Avatar Aang opened his eyes softly. He was sitting passively in an unusual, misty forest in complete solitude. He wore the traditional robes and beads of his people the Air Nomads, with a particular resemblance to that of his deceased guardian Monk Gyatso.
It had been over a month since the war had ended. When peace was at first declared, it was difficult enacting it. There was no mass communication in this world and news traveled slowly. It wasn't until very recently that the Fire Nation soldiers at the far eastern tips of the Earth Kingdom learned that it was no longer their job to fight the Earthbenders but to help them rebuild their homes. These policies had of course been put in place by the Avatar's close friend Fire Lord Zuko who had recently taken over rule from his father Ozai.
As Aang waited patiently a tall figure wearing red robes with white hair appeared standing before him. It was Avatar Roku, the Avatar who had lived directly before Aang.
"Hello Aang" Roku greeted. This was the first time they had spoke since before Aang had dueled Ozai for victory in the war. In their previous conversation Roku had urged Aang, who had moral objections to his duty of slaying the evil Fire Lord, to be decisive and do what was necessary.
Aang stood up and bowed. "Hi Roku" he returned. When faced with the choice of whether or not to kill Ozai, Aang discovered the ability of Energybending, using it to remove his ability to bend to elements and effectively eliminating him as a threat.
Aang felt nervous as to whether or not his past life would approve of his decision.
Now or never. Aang thought
"I didn't kill Ozai, Roku" he admitted.
"I know Aang" Roku replied as though it was silly to believe he didn't know. "I am very proud of your decision."
Aang sighed relieved. He had thought Roku had called him here, to the Spirit World, to scold him.
"You are?" Aang queried. "But you said I had to be decisive and act quickly."
"You did" Roku assured. "You just did so in a way no Avatar before you has."
"Yes. As the cycle continues each Avatar is expected to be even better than the one before him, though you had a considerably tough act to follow."
"Now come with me Aang. There is a matter of business to attend to."
"What is it?"
"Follow me. You shall know soon."
For a short walk, Roku lead Aang through a thicket of trees until they reached a circular clearing with a large stone plate on the ground. On that plate rested a strange, large beast. The beast stood up as it saw Aang and Roku. It was obviously a Spirit but it also closely resembled a tiger, not a hybrid animal that was common of that world, but a normal tiger. It stood as it saw Aang and Roku approach.
"Young Avatar" a deep voice started. "I am Tao, the Spirit of Balance. It is an honor to meet you." The Spirit's mouth did not move as its voice rang.
Aang bowed to the Great Spirit.
"There is a very important reason I have brought you here Aang" Roku informed.
"What is it?" Aang asked.
Tao let out a roar. "It is not the former Avatar's place to explain that to you!" the tiger boomed. He roared piercingly again. "It is mine!"
Aang jumped back as his heart missed a beat. He didn't see why the Spirit needed to be so intimidating.
"Okay" Aang acknowledged fearfully. "Why have I been brought here?"
Oddly, Tao's voice turned calm and gentle as the Spirit said, "Avatar Aang, you have a very important duty to perform that, without my help, could prove almost impossible."
Tao let loose another vengeful roar. "Do not interrupt! Anyway, it is my place in the universe to keep balance in the Physical World. I control all blessings and curses of your world. Every time someone dies or is born I have judged it to be in the name of keeping balance. Whenever someone even finds a coin lying on the ground I have determined that it will tip the scale of Yin and Yang into balance, the same for when someone happens to not notice that coin on the ground and never picks it up. All events that occur have the power to tip the scale, no matter how slightly, towards or away from balance. For example, I allowed the war to happen. I could have had Fire Lord Sozin struck by lightening or infected with a deadly disease but I did not. For without evil there is no balance. "
"So what does that have to do with me?" Aang asked perplexed and mesmerized that this Spirit held so much power.
"Avatar Aang you helped restore balance to the world greatly by ending the war; however the world will never again be in harmony unless the great Air Nation is restored. As the Last Airbender it is your obligation to see to it that this happens."
Aang was shocked at this revelation. "But how can I do that? How can the Air Nation be rebuilt if I'm the only one left?" he asked.
Tao roared once again and immediately responded, "Life, death and luck are not all that I control! For you see it is I who decides who is born with the ability to bend the elements and who is not! It is I who decides who the Avatar is reincarnated as!"
"Are…" Aang stuttered. "Are you saying you can make more Airbenders be born?"
"RRRRRAAA! I can! And I will!" Tao boomed. His voice changed to become soft again. "I have done so before. Airbenders have been born in the Earth and Water, and even Fire Nations in the hopes that their skills may flourish. For you see my powers work like knocking over dominoes. I make one small thing happen hoping that it will make other things happen but the dominoes don't always hit the next one. The Airbenders born in the last 100 years have had no one to teach them and had little, if any impact. But, now that you have returned their can be a teacher."
"Teacher?" Aang repeated. "I…I've never taught anyone before."
"I know." Tao roared again. "You may not yet be ready to lead the Air Nation but hear this; you may meet any of the already existing potential Airbenders and you may not, I haven't yet decided but in the name of restoring your culture and your race I hereby declare…" he freed a powerful roar and proclaimed, "…any children whom you sire no matter who the woman, shall be born as Airbenders!"
"Really?" Aang asked. This was unexpected. But he also felt a little eager. He had missed seeing other Airbenders, and had missed his people achingly since he had lost them and now if he chose he could bring them back himself. But then…a different thought hit him.
"Uh…any children I had would be born as Airbenders?" he asked cautiously. Tao nodded.
"Uh…even if I had like 1,000 kids they would all only be Airbenders?" Tao nodded.
"You seem troubled by this Aang" Roku pointed out.
"Well sort of…" Aang replied. "Uh… you see Great Spirit…I have this…girlfriend who is a…Waterbender….and I think that if we ever…"
Tao interrupted, "I noticed you said 'girlfriend', and not 'wife'." Aang nodded. "There is no point at putting the future of your entire nation at risk because of a slim chance that you may one day have a wife who could want Waterbender children. My decision stands!"
"May I say something Great Spirit?" Roku inquired.
"Of course Avatar Roku" Tao answered.
"The children of one man are not enough to replenish the population of an entire country."
"I am aware! So I offer this suggestion. There are many refugees from the war who are displaced and without homes. Offer them sanctuary at the Air Temples; teach them what plants to grow, how to live in the Temples, and show them your culture. And once your children master Airbending allow them to help with this."
"How can I do all of this in just my lifetime?" Aang asked in a pleading manner. This seemed like an impossible task.
"The Earth King and Fire Lord will help you. Also I recommend marrying and having children early, though right now is a little too early."
"I…I don't know…"
"Do you not wish for your people to come back? Do you not want your culture to survive? Do you want to not be the Last Airbender?"
"I do but…"
Aang sighed and took a deep breath. "I will do whatever it takes to restore the Air Nation and the Airbenders."
Roku and Tao smiled. "Thank you Aang" Roku bade
"Farewell and good luck AVATAR!" Tao boomed as the Spirit released an earsplitting roar that blasted Aang back dozens of feet. Roku and Tao's forms faded father and father away until Aang found himself sitting in the Fire Lord's Palace, in the chamber right outside the throne room.
"Aang" a female voice called. Aang stood and saw Katara walking towards him holding a box.
"What are you doing sitting around? Zuko's waiting for us" Katara scolded.
"Uh yeah sorry" Aang apologized dazed. "Uh Roku called me to the Spirit World for something really important."
Katara no longer seemed annoyed with him. "Really, what?" she asked.
Aang was about to answer but then he realized something. "I should tell you when we're with Zuko. He really has to know about this too."
"Ok then let's go" she insisted, grabbing his hand and moving him forward.
"Oh yeah and Katara…" Aang started, thinking about what Tao said about any children he would ever have.
"What? Is something wrong Aang?" Katara asked kindly.
"Well…uh…" he stuttered nervously. "I….uh…" he smiled goofily. "…I just hope Zuko is going to like the gift we got him."
Katara kissed Aang on the cheek. "There's no need to be so worried. Let's go."
I guess it probably is too soon. Aang thought.