TRTSS41: The Return of the Avatar? – By Ocramed
Disclaimer: R1/2, SM, ST, ATLoK and other properties belong to their respective owners.
Note: This is a limited story.
Special Note: This story takes place between Korra's departure from the lands of the Southern Water Tribetrek and her arrival to Republic City.
Author's Note: Depending upon mood and time, a sequel to this story could occur. Nevertheless, as always, C&C are welcomed.
A few days later…
With plans for Korra's training firmly in place, the latest Avatar of Jeegoo begins her trek towards Republic City, the nominal capital of the four nations. However, it was the way the journey to that great city began that left a sour taste in Korra's mouth.
"We should have gotten on that steamship," Korra complained, as she practiced her balancing exercises by standing up on the bow of the large rowboat. "But NOOOOO. We have to train from here to all the way to Republic City with no break in sight."
"Quit complaining, kid," Ranma said, as he continued to row the boat. "You're not the one who is doing the rowing."
"Not yet, at least. And stop using Naga as back support!"
"I don't think she minds," Ranma said, as he glanced back towards the bear-dog…or was that dog-bear?
"Grrrrawf," Naga replied, as she shifted her body a bit to get comfortable.
"You want to know what I think?"
"Not particularly, but go ahead."
"I think that you're upset that a part of you is in me, and that you're trying to make me suffer in order to be worthy of having a piece of you inside me."
"Putting aside that ridiculous thought for a moment, the point of me pushing you hard is so that you are prepared for what lies ahead," Ranma said. "I push you because you have great potential, and not just because you hold a shadow of who I am."
"Then why this?" Korra complained. "I've been training since I was four years old. I'm ready."
"Yeah, I am."
"Okay, then," Ranma said, as he stops his rowing, before placing his hand into the water. "Try this for size…"
Suddenly, a shark made out of solidified water leaps out of the ocean, and slams into Korra.
"And she says she's ready," Ranma said as he shook his head, before Korra surfaces.
"What the heck was that for?" Korra yelled.
"Lesson One: never assumed that what you know is all that is known," Ranma said, as he leans over to the edge of the boat. "Lesson Two? You should never assume that you won't be 'sucker-punched'."
"I think you just made THAT up," Korra said. "Although, that is a neat trick, you have. Did you learn it from Avatar Aang or something?"
"I never learned that particular water bending technique here," Ranma said. "Even after I had mastered all four elements, and then some, I always make it a point to continue to train."
"So…there are other elemental bending techniques out there?"
"There are techniques that many present-day benders have been forgotten. However, that doesn't mean you don't strive to develop your own unique style and knowledge-set."
"Cool," Korra said, as she was about to pull herself out of the water when Ranma raised his hand.
"What do you think you're doing?" Ranma asked.
"I'm getting back into the boat, duh!" Korra said.
"Lesson Three: when presented with a challenge, use challenge as a training mechanism."
"In other words…?"
"You can swim until we hit an island or something."
"But…but that's miles from here!"
"I KNOW. Since water bending was your first element, being a member of the water tribe, you can swim. Or, you can improvise by using your abilities to reach our first pit-stop faster."
"You know, I really, really hate you at the moment," Korra said.
"Stick and stones, kid," Ranma said, as he began to resume his rowing. "And complaining isn't going to work on ME."
Eventually, Korra makes it to their first stop: the Southern Air Temple, thanks to using the water to propel herself forward at rapid speeds.
"Augh!" Korra yelled, as she flops down on the beach. She was tired, and sore, and she really, really hated being wet at the moment.
"I really, really hate that guy…"
Korra then noticed the familiar scent of cooked fish in the air. She sniffed the air, and breathed deeply.
"Mmmmm," Korra said, as she savored the smell. She then decided to have her revenge on Ranma for putting her in such a bind.
"Well, I'll show HIM," Korra said, as she grinned mischievously, as she gathered water from the oceans…
Korra was floating a house-sized water spheroid when she came upon Ranma. Ranma, who was playing a string instrument that she has never seen before, was sitting on a log near an open fire.
'Okay,' Korra thought, as she prepared her attack. 'Here goes nothing-!'
Korra released the spheroid on command. However, nothing seemed to happen.
"Uh?" Korra said, as she looked up. Virtually sitting over her head was the spheroid.
"You do know that, unless you're in the 'Avatar State', a competent master can achieve a 'saving roll', yes?" Ranma said, as he released the water spheroid over the head of a confused Korra.
"Augh!" Korra yelled in outrage, as she spits out water from her mouth.
"Here," Ranma said, as he throws Korra's pack to her. "Get yourself cleaned up."
"Humph," Korra replied, as she turns towards Naga. "Thanks for the help!"
"Urrf," Naga said, as she continued to chow down on her fish.
With that, Korra stomps to a nearby bush to change behind.
"Ah, memories," Ranma said, as he looked up at the night sky.
Aren't you being a bit rough on her?
"I don't think I'm being rough enough, Aang," Ranma said, as he prepares to play again on his violin. "Take this violin, for instance."
I didn't know you could play…anything.
"I picked up the violin a while back on a dare from one of my old girlfriends," Ranma said, as he reflected on the time he had dated a fellow crewmate, a communications officer, from his days as a Security Officer aboard the first USS "Enterprise". "She convinced me that taking on the task of learning a musical instrument was a sign of maturity. But, what I really learned that by stretching my talents, I could see how to stretch the imagination, and, in turn, seek new ways of doing the same thing. That's why I push Korra beyond just being a brawler; I want her to be an artist in whatever endeavor she enters, including being the Avatar of this world…"
You're a wiser person than you've let on, Ranma.
"No, I simply learned the hard way, something that I don't want Korra to go through when she faces these Equalists…"
"I really want her to be best Avatar she can be, ultimately."
With that, Ranma resumes playing his violin.
Meanwhile, Korra, who was changing out of her wet clothes, sat there and stared at Ranma before resuming the changing of her clothes. Since first meeting the strange visitor from another planet, Korra felt a mixture of awe and derision towards Ranma. Now, having overheard her latest teacher speak so eloquently about the need to be a better fighter, Korra might just have to reconsider her opinion of Ranma.
'Nah,' Korra thought, as she shook her head while putting on dry clothes. 'Maybe later, I'll consider changing my opinion on Ranma AFTER he finishes training me…'
A short time later, Korra is munching away on fish. For some time, she and Ranma ate in silence…
"Ranma?" Korra asked.
"What?" Ranma replied.
"You say you're from another planet called 'Earth'," Korra said. "What is it like?"
"Since when have you've been interested in my background?"
"I'm just trying to get to know you better. Is that a crime?"
"No, I guess not," Ranma said, as he tossed his kebob stick into the fire. "So, you want to know about Earth, huh?"
"Yeah. I mean, is it like Jeegoo?"
"In many ways, yes," Ranma replied. "Earth is bigger than this world, that's for sure."
"There are 9 billion people living on the planet at any given time-"
"What?" Korra exclaimed.
"What?" Ranma said with annoyance.
"Nine BILLION people?" Korra said in surprise. "That's a lot of people. I mean…wouldn't that make the planet crowded or something?"
"Well, Earth, being what it is, does help somewhat. Plus, Earth has floating cities, and cities that dwell underwater. And then there's Luna, Earth's moon, to consider, where people can live as well, not to mention that humans can live within Earth's star system."
"Star system?" Korra asked. "You mean, like other planets that orbit the same star as this Earth."
"Correct," Ranma said. "In fact, let me show you…"
Ranma pulls out what appeared to be a flat disk from his "pocket space", a sub-dimension perfected by martial artists who wish to hide weapons in plain sight.
"Watch," Ranma said, as he touches the disk's side.
Suddenly, the disk lights up, and projects a holographic image of Earth.
"Whoa," Korra said with awe. "Your Earth is…beautiful…"
"It took some effort to make it that way," Ranma replied. "On Earth, two hundred years before, Earth had gone through decades of tragic events, from outbreaks of deadly diseases to wars, and sometimes those wars involved attackers from other planets. But, the humans on Earth survived those dark times, and worked to create paradise…"
Ranma adjusts the holo-emitter to include Luna, Earth's moon.
"It's like a miniature Earth," Korra replied.
"Yep," Ranma replied. "Eventually, Luna was terra-formed, and made inhabitable for humans to live on. But, it was not the only place beyond Earth that had been changed…"
Ranma adjusts the emitter again, this time to include the rest of the Sol Star System.
"The Sol Star System has billions and billions of residents living within it," Ranma said. "Each planet was terra-formed, although, in the case of Jupiter, it was made into a miniature star by an alien device known as the Monolith during Earth's early dark times. As a result, even the moons can support life."
"I was taught that Benders are to respect nature by living with nature," Korra said. "To force change is something that the Fire Nation used to do here on my world."
"I guess if Earth had Benders, we probably believe in the same thing," Ranma replied with a shrug. "But, it was changing the nature of these other worlds that allowed humanity to expand, and thus not ruin the cradle of humanity: Earth."
"So, what are these places like?"
"Let's see," Ranma said, as he points to the planet Mercury. "Here, humans had learned how to harness speed to manipulate Time and Space to alter dimensions. In fact, we were able to create hyper-dimensional cubes called 'tesseract cubes' to harness vast amount of energy for less, because of the research done on 'Mercury'."
"I have no idea what any of that means, but it sounds cool," Korra said.
"Anyway, the next world is 'Venus', where there are only women warriors, called 'Amazons', live," Ranma said.
"Like the Warriors of Kiyoshi Island?" Korra replied.
"Yep, except bigger and stronger. Also, it is here where the 'Venusian Nature Preserve' is here, which is managed by the Amazons."
"Then, there is Earth, of course, but directly on the other side of Sol is 'Autocthonia', or 'Counter-Earth', as it is sometimes called," Ranma said. "It is a machine planet that has existed for thousands of years at least, and has only been made to look like a regular planet—a duplicate of Earth, in fact—and is home to machines and other artificial lifeforms."
"Next is 'Mars', which is a major industrial planet," Ranma said. "It is here that much of the military and weapons are kept."
"So, the planet is really red?" Korra asked.
"Yep. Some say that there used to be a civilization on Mars before there were humans, but that they died mysteriously and suddenly…"
"What is known is that fire consumed the entire planet so fast that no one was able to escape."
"Oh," Korra said, as she looked down at the fire. "I heard…stories that Fire Lord Ozai tried to burn the entire Earth Kingdom when 'Sozin's Comet' flew by."
"I know, I was there," Ranma replied. "Ultimately, Ozai was confronted by Aang, even as Aang wasn't sure if he could take on a powerful Fire Lord."
"What did you do, if you were not around to help Avatar Aang?" Korra asked.
"Oh, I convinced his daughter Azula to stand down when I agreed to be her fiancée," Ranma said, as he looked away in embarrassment. "Although, for reason, she disappeared after marrying some other guy who had my face and name. Weird."
"What?" Korra asked in confusion.
"Anyway," Ranma said quickly. "There is the Asteroid Belt, which used to be a planet before something destroyed it. Now, it's a major place to mine raw materials."
"There is Jupiter, which is a miniature star that supports several moons that have life on it," Ranma said. "Interestingly, one moon, Europa, is completely off limits, thanks to a warning from the Monolith."
"Indeed, just as the tenth planet, 'Planet X'," Ranma said. "No one goes there, and anyone that does, doesn't return."
"Have you…been there?"
"Didn't you hear what I just said?"
"Yeah, but, I figured that you might have made the attempt."
"I thought about it. In fact, I was asked to make a run through that planet's atmosphere. All I can say is that I barely recovered from the near-crash landing, when, for some mysterious reason, the power was cut-off…"
"Luckily, my awesome piloting skills got my out of that jam."
"Lucky you," Korra said sarcastically.
"Yeah, it is. Anyway, one other place I wouldn't try to visit is 'Saturn', the ringed planet," Ranma said, as he adjusts his holo-emitter. "In many ways, it is a place where you go to the planet, and end up in another Time, and anywhere in Space. So, while it is safe to visit the moons of Saturn, visiting Saturn itself is not a good idea, because you don't know where or when you'll end up."
"Next up is 'Uranus'-"
Korra began to snicker.
"Oh, stop it," Ranma said. "That joke is so old…"
"Sorry," Korra said, as she regained her compassion. "Go ahead."
"Well, I was about to say that THIS PLANET is a colony of a powerful group of superhumans called 'Kryptonians'."
"Oh?" Korra asked. "What is so special about those guys?"
"They are physically more powerful than humans, can fly, even through space, and are geniuses."
"Yeah. When humans set about colonizing the rest of the planets, Uranus—NO LAUGHING—was the least desirable. So, we gave it to the Kryptonians, since they needed a home, after their own planet of Krypton blew up eons ago. They ended up living in the Sol Star System about a few hundred years ago, created an artificial moon, which they called 'New Krypton', and lived around Earth's orbit, counter to Luna. Unfortunately, relations between humans and Kryptonians were not the best, so, they moved New Krypton to Uranus, where it is orbiting to this day. Years later, a deal with finalized that allowed the Kryptonians to have sovereignty over Uranus for good, and, the rest is history."
"Then, there is 'Neptune', which was terraformed to be mostly one big ocean, with a few islands sprinkled about. There, all manner of aquatic life dwell there, including humans who learned to live underwater without a breathing device."
"Cool. I can imagine men with fish tails."
"You imagine correctly. There are merfolk who live there, as well pink-skinned, blue skinned and even yellow and red-skinned aquatic types, some more human-looking than others. But generally, they keep to themselves."
"The last place of interest is 'Pluto', although there is a debate on whether or not is should be seen as a planet, instead of a planetoid."
"Pluto is basically a prison, where the worse of the worse is housed and, if possible, rehabilitated," Ranma said. "It also serves as a first-line of defense in case the Sol Star System is ever invaded, so there is a major military installation. In fact, it is disguised as one big mobile battle station."
"Oh, that make sense," Korra said sarcastically. "I mean, what could wrong when weapons and criminals exists side-by-side?"
"Hey, for the record, I have always thought that having such an arrangement was a dumb policy."
"Sure, I believe you…"
"Whatever," Ranma replied. "The point in all this is that humans were able to achieve great things, so I don't expect any less from you."
"That's…good to know, I guess," Korra replied.
"You guess," Ranma said with a sigh. "Go get some sleep; we train in the morning…"
As Korra drifts off to sleep, she can't help but be awed by where her teacher came from.
'Maybe, one day, I'll get to see this place,' Korra thought, as she falls to sleep. 'And, hopefully, Republic City will give me such a 'taste'...'