Beginning of a New Era
The roar of thunder passed overhead vibrating through the Air Temple on Air Temple Island one Autumn evening.
"It's kind of scary with the thunder outside." Korra said as she looked outside the window. "I can't imagine anyone being outside on a day like today."
"No kidding!" exclaimed Bolin as he his older brother Mako sat at the table playing a game of Pai Sho.
Brown-haired, dark-skinned seventeen-year-old Korra turned to face her friends. Even having spent weeks in Republic City, Korra was still not use to the changing weather forecast, as it only snowed at her former home in the South Pole.
There was a small moment of silence, as the only noise that could be heard was the thunder that continued to clap outside.
"So...how's Asami holding?" Korra asked, breaking the silence.
Mako shrugged his shoulders. "Hard to say," he said, "I mean, she's still trying to get use to the thought of her father being an Equalist, after everything he did for us in the Pro-bending Tournament. I imagine it must be hard for her—or anyone—to get use to."
The young Avatar nodded her head in understanding. It had only been a few days since Asami's father Hiroshi Sato had gone on a rampage and used mecha tanks to capture the Avatar and her friends. Had it not been for Asami turning against her father, Korra and her friends would've been taking to Amon.
Another clap of thunder filled the air and a yellow streak of lightning flashed just outside the window. Everyone in the room was so captivated by the scene outside that they didn't hear someone come into the dining room and asked, "Is everyone alright?"
Korra jumped when she heard the voice and the brothers quickly stood up from the table. They turned around to find Tenzin standing by the doorway with a worried look. "Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to startle you." the airbending master apologized.
Korra let out a silent sigh of relief when she saw her airbending teacher. "It's okay, Tenzin." she said. "We're actually doing just fine."
Tenzin nodded his head at the young Avatar. The elder airbender was a man of just over fifty. Sporting a small mustache and a long, thin beard the airbender looked around the room before telling them that it was almost time for bed.
"I've already got Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo tucked in just a few minutes ago and Pema wanted me to make certain that you were going to bed too." he said.
"We'll go to bed in a few minutes Tenzin." Korra stated, her gaze began to shift back outside watching the thunder and lightning continue to clap outside.
Mako and Bolin looked between their friend and her teacher and silently decided to go back to their rooms and get ready for bed. There was another brief moment of silence, as Tenzin walked silently next to Korra another streak of lightning flashed in front of them, causing Korra to back up slightly.
"Hm, I suppose I'll have to cancel our airbending training until the storm stops." Tenzin mused, breaking the silence.
Korra turned her head to face her teacher and sighed. "Tenzin, I know your trying to help me with my airbending teaching—and not that I'm ungrateful. —but if I can't even learn how to manipulate a single puff of air, than how am I suppose to learn how to airbend?" Korra asked with sadness in her voice.
Tenzin looked at his young pupil with sympathy. "Korra, airbending isn't just another form of bending. It's also considered by many to be a form of art. Many have used the airbending teachings as a form of understanding. To achieve unity and eternal peace, is what my father strived for. However due to unseen forces—"
"Your dad died before he could finished bringing peace to the world." Korra finished with a look of understanding.
Tenzin nodded. "And now that honor has now been given to you. To finish what my father had tried to accomplish and restore order to the world is you calling. You may have difficulty understanding airbending now, but I promise—you will become an airbending master before you know it."
Korra was silent for a few seconds before smiling. "Thanks for the support Tenzin. Maybe I just need to concentrate more in order to get the basics." she said.
"Well, if you need any help, I'm right here for all of you."
Korra smiled even more when she heard that and gave Tenzin a small hug, telling him she appreciate it.
Just then, another clap of thunder was heard outside, causing both of them to jump. They gazed outside the window, watching as lightning continued to scatter the area.
"This sure is one strange storm," Tenzin commented, his eyes glued to the scene.
"But, don't you guys have thunderstorms around here once in awhile?" Korra asked, a bit shaken from the roar of thunder.
"Yes, but not at this time of the year." Tenzin stated. "And observe how the lightning seems to strike at certain areas instead of just striking at random. It's like it's being directed to certain locations."
Suddenly, the thunder began to boom louder than usual. Korra and Tenzin covered their ears as the thunder grew louder and louder. Korra looked outside and noticed the lightning began to turn from yellow to blue and began to scatter, striking close to the suspension bridge, landing in several places inside the city, and then making its way to Aang Memorial Island. She looked at Tenzin to see what was happening, but he had his eyes closed as he tried to cover his ears. Korra turned back to look at the scene and then gasped.
A stray bolt of blue lightning fell from the sky and struck the tip of the statue's staff!
And then the storm suddenly stopped. The thunder stopped clapping and the lightning ceased.
Tenzin pulled his hands away from his ears and looked at the scene. His face of pure surprised and shock. "Wh-What happened?" he asked incrediously.
Korra, finally able to put her hands down, looked him. "I don't know," she stammered, "The thunder just got louder and the lightning began to go all crazy and then—stopped."
Tenzin looked at her and then looked outside. The weather had calmed down and the clouds began to move apart. There was a long pause as he simply gazed outside. "That was no ordinary thunderstorm," he finally said. "Whatever that may've been, I'm sure that it must mean something. I'll check with the weather forecast and see when that thunderstorm started."
With that said, Tenzin began to turn and leave. However, he stopped at the doorway and turned to see his student still looking outside the window. "Are you coming?" he asked.
Korra turned to look at him and nodded, but not before having one last gaze at the scene outside. As she began to walk to her bedroom she began to replay the scene in her mind and wondered why the weather became so violent all of a sudden and stopped so suddenly.
When she finally laid down in her bed, Korra looked outside the window in her room and stared at the giant statue of her past life. I wonder if that had anything to do with Amon or the Spirit World? she thought, before going to sleep.
Earlier that night, on Aang Memorial Island, a tour guide was directing a small crowd of tourists that night in the underground museum. The people listened as he explained the history of the giant monument and answered any questions they had. However, their questions were drowned out from the loud claps of thunder outside.
A fellow tour guide came up to him and spoke in his ear for a few seconds before running off. He then turned to his group. "Sorry folks. This storm is getting pretty bad. We'll have to cancel the tour early." he announced.
Their were several groans from the group as they were upset for leaving the monument so early.
"Can't be helped, I'm afraid," the tour guide said. "But the administrator is willing to refund your fees because of the storm."
Several adults smiled at this statement and quickly followed the man back to the boat. However, a young girl who was about seven-years-old was curious about everything around her.
The museum itself was a sight to behold. Most were documents and portraits of Avatar Aang and his friends before and after the the Hundred Year War with the Fire Nation. Then their were a few items which belonged to Aang before he died. These included his famous airbending staff, his airbender robes which were slightly brittle from age, and a necklace with airbender markings that belonged to his people in the Southern Air Tribe.
The young girl let her eyes travel across the museum pieces with interest when suddenly she heard a loud noise coming from the other end of the hallway. She quietly moved away from her parents as she walked to the source of the noise.
At the end of the hallway, was a door that had a sign on it. It said:
Twisting the knob on the door, she realized it was unlocked. As she opened a door, she peered inside the small room.
The tour group and the tour guide were about to head outside, when all of a sudden a scream could be heard from the hallway. One of the adults looked around before he shouted, "Suzie!"
Quickly everyone ran back towards the hallway, fearing the worst. They soon found Suzie at the end of the hallway, petrified as she stared inside the janitors closet. The parents, grateful that their daughter was save, embraced her with relieve.
The tour guide peered inside to see what made the young girl cry, suprised to see someone laying down on the floor in the janitors closet. "Hey, kid, you can't sleep in here. You have five minutes to get out." he stated.
The figure groaned as he started to wake up. The figure carefully started to stand up, stretching his arms as if they've been stiff and then slowly walked out into the light. The figure appeared to be a fourteen-year-old boy with a light skin tone and wore light-brownish robes and held a staff that was a few inches taller than him. But what really made him stood out was the blue, arrow-shaped tattoo on his clean shaven head. Also on his shoulder was a small, furry animal that looked to b a cross-breed between a lemur and a bat.
The tour guide looked at the young boy before shaking his head. "What do you know, another fan boy?" he said to himself. He then looked at the kid. "Okay, kid, listen. I'm gonna be nice and ask you to kindly leave the museum before you decided to scare anyone else with that Avatar Aang costume. Okay?"
The boy, who now held a bewildered expression, merely nodded. The tour guide looked pleased at this and kindly directed everyone to go back outside.
The young boy, still not certain of his surroundings, began to walk slowly down the hallway, looking at each individual museum piece carefully before moving down to the next one. He suddenly stopped at the wall of portraits, simply letting his gaze lock onto the largest piece of art work in the room.
The painting itself, while brittled with age, showed nine human individuals and two animals positioned to strike. Under each figure was a small tag with a name, going from left to right in order: Mai, Ty Lee, Zuko, Toph, Aang, Katara, Sokka, Iroh, Appa, and Momo.
The boy stared at the picture for the longest moment, looking at the still picture of Avatar Aang before turning his gaze towards the small creature on his shoulder. "Momo," he said slowly. "I don't think we're in Makapu anymore."
Momo merely looked at his friend with lime-green eyes and gave a small nod of its head.
The boy shook his head in silence. His grip on the staff tightened, but his arms started to tremble as he began to stare into space with a solemn stare, as he began to recall something that happened to him very recently.
Avatar Aang and his girlfriend Katara leaned against the railing of Wu's house, staring at the beautiful scenery of Makapu Village. The sun was just setting over the horizon, the red, orange, and gold rays striking against the flowers, radiating a spectacular show of color.
"This place is beautiful," Katara commented, as she watched some of the flowers bloom in the suns rays.
Aang shifted his gaze from the scenery outside to that of his girlfriend. The rays reflecting off her hair in a stunning veiw. "Yes, you are." Aang said, completely love-struck from the female waterbender's appearence.
Realizing what her boyfriend had just said, Katara turned around and had a big grin on her face. "Aang, I was talking about the flowers, not my looks." she clarified.
"Those too," Aang added, but still kept his gaze on Katara.
Katara held a hand up to her lips to try and hide the giggles that were threatening to escape from her mouth. "Oh you! What would I do without you?" she retorted.
"Probably not being able to master your waterbending, had we not found him in the ice berg. Though he would've still been trapped in there, had I not gotten you to use you bending to—Ow!" Sokka was interrupted by a solid punch in the gut from his girlfriend Suki, causing him to fall to his knees.
Katara, angry at her brother for interrupting her playful banther with Aang, saw her brother wince in pain from the inflicted wound. "Sokka, I thought I told you not to sneak up on us like that!" Katara scolded, acting like a mature adult talking to her children.
Sokka groaned as he tried to speak, but Suki spoke up. "Sorry, Katara," the Kyoshi warrior apologized for her boyfriend's behavior. "I tried to stop him from interrupting the moment."
Katara looked between her brother and his girlfriend before sighing. "It's okay, Suki. It's not your fault," Katara said before putting a scheming smile on her face. "Besides, if I wanted to, I would've asked you to hold him down while I punished him!"
Suki, realizing Katara's scheme, also had a smile on her lips. "What kind of punishment?" she asked.
"Let's just say, it envolves Sokka being frozen to a chair and I leave you to deal out the punishment." she said, her mischievious smile never leaving her face.
Suki smile grew even more. "Well, maybe you should strain him down later," she suggested, "so that I can have fun with him while you have some fun on your date with Aang."
"What!" Sokka said, quickly ignoring the pain for a moment, and tried to stand up to his sister. However, his girlfriend gripped his right arm tightly, causing him to wince even more. Both girls glared at him for a moment, as if asking him to try and say something.
Aang chuckled at the amusing banther both girls were sharing. "You better listen to them, Sokka," he advised his friend. "Katara and Suki are dangerous opponets. Even without their bending, I'm sure that they would defeat you before you even pulled out your trusted boomerang."
Both girls looked at the airbender with pride in their eyes and nodded. Sokka groaned as he felt his pride slip away from him in seconds.
The scene was suddenly interrupted, when a door flew opened, and small, black-haired girl walked in. She wore traditional earthbender robes, but what stood out from her person was her eyes, which were a hasty grayish-white. "Are you guys almost done yet? Zuko and his friends just got here, ready to start the banquet, and you're keeping everyone waiting on account of your romantic squabble!" she said, with a fierce strength that would surprise most people.
Everyone looked at the young girl with wide eyes, almost forgetting about tonight's banquet celebrating the end of the Hundred Year War against the Fire Nation.
"We'll be outside in a moment Toph," Katara said. "Just tell everyone we'll be ready in a minute."
The blind earthbender seemed skeptical, but nodded her head anyways. "Whatever you say, Sugar Queen." Toph said, using her personal nickname for Katara. She walked out of the room quietly, making certain to close the door.
Suki and Katara helped Sokka to his feet, now feeling a bit stronger after recovering from his girlfriend's punch. Aang then wrapped an arm around Katara's waist. "You ready?" he asked.
Katara responded with a kiss on the lips. Aang sighed as he moved in with the kiss, before pulling his lips apart from her. He looked at her as she respond to his question:
"I'm always ready to face things with you." she stated.
Aang smiled as the two young couples headed out towards the party outside. Just when they opened the door they heared Toph's voice screaming:
"Guys, come outside! Quick!"
Aang turned his attention back to the painting, completely mesmerized by the portrait before the tour guide from before walked up to him. "Alright kid, I think it's time for you to go." he advised, oblivious to the pre-teen's constant stare.
Aang, who nodded his head, watched as the tour guide begin to leave. He sparred one last look at the picture of his friends before following the guide outside. As he finally made it up the stairs, his eyes threatened to burst from what he saw.
Across the bay was a large city that was bathed in a glow of bright lights. Tall structures rose from the ground and dominated the view of the shore. A large, iron suspension bridge loamed in the distance.
Aang looked around, perturbed and confused by the new enviroment. He had been taken to strange places before by bounty hunters during the Hundred Year War trying to collect the bounty Fire Lord Ozai issued. But he thought the bounty was removed after Zuko became the new Fire Lord, making certain to punish any who tried to harm him and his friends. So what happened and why did the bounty hunters—if there were any.—decide to leave me here? Aang thought.
He was so confused as to what happened to him, that he accidently bumped into someone. "Sorry sir," Aang quickly apologized, helping the stranger up.
The stranger, grateful for the boy helping him out, accepted his apology. "By the way, that's a nice Avatar Aang costume. You almost look just like the statue of him," he commented.
The young Avatar, confused by the man's words, turned around and looked back to where he came from. He gasped as he noticed the giant statue of himself, glimmering in the moonlight. Aang could hardly believe the sight before him and scratched Momo behind the ears, as if that calmed him down.
Meanwhile, the stranger, now noticing the small winged-lemur for the first time, commented:
"And you even have a winged-lemur just like Avatar Aang. You must really be into him," he said. "Pity he died before he could achieve world peace."
Aang's eyes widened when he heard this. "What!" he asked, almost screaming.
The stranger looked at him for a few seconds before shrugging his shoulders. "Yeah. Didn't you hear? He died in his sleep almost seventeen years ago." the stranger said.
Aang started to tremble as those word's registered in his mind. Then another thought came to him. "Wait! W-W-What year is it?" he asked, shaking in fear for what the answer might be.
"It's 170 ASC," was the reply.
The young Avatar almost keeled over when he heard this. He couldn't believe what was happening right now but here he was, almost sixty-six years in the future and suppose to be dead.
The stranger noticed Aang's body started to shake and asked if he was alright. "Yeah. I-I'm fine," Aang stammered. "I-I just need to...find my friends." It wasn't a lie. He did need to find his friends and figure out what happened.
The stranger waved goodbye and hurried off. Aang walked around for a bit before finding a bench to sit down in. He plopped down on the seat and sighed. He looked up to the stars, which were shining brightly amongst the blackness of night. "What am I going to do?" he asked, hoping the spirits can give him a sign.
Momo looked at his friend's face with his lime-green eyes and then mirrored his actions, looking at the dark sky. There was a small moment of silence, when all of a sudden a piece of paper slapped across Momo's face! Momo, frightened, jumped up and down as he tried to get the paper off his face.
Aang watched his small animal friend and laughed at his friend's silliness. He gently lifted the paper of Momo's face and smiled at the winged-lemur. "Thanks for making me laugh, Momo." he stated.
Momo, his face now free of the paper, looked at the human next to him and nodded, happy to help his friend.
Aang then looked at the piece of paper that attacked Momo and his eyes widened suddenly. "Hey! Look at this!" he said excitedly.
Apparently the piece of paper that hit Momo was part of a newspaper. On the front cover was a picture of a young, dark-skinned girl wearing the traditional Southern Water Tribe robes. Underneath was a long article titled "Avatar Korra discovers secret Equalist factory underneath Sato Estates!" It described the attack on the estate of world-renowned motorist Hiroshi Sato and the discovery of the secret weapons factory for the Equalists. It also told of a character named Amon and his threat to Republic City.
Republic City? I never heard of this city before. And who are these "Equalists" anyway? Aang mused in thought.
Aang looked up from the article and shifted his gaze across the waters to the city. "If we really are in the future, then so are the rest of our friends, Momo. I can't explain it but I just know." he said with absolute certainty. "And I think our best bet of finding them—and getting us home—would be with the help of my—er, successor. So what do you say, buddy?" he asked his travelling companion.
Momo gave the supposedly-deceased airbender a look and nodded and flew off of Aang's shoulder, heading in the direction of the city.
Aang smiled, understanding Momo's response. He stood up from the bench and activated his spring-loaded glider staff. As the thin, blue wings folded out from the sides, the back of his staff popped open to reveal a tail fin of similar construction.
Aang shifted the air currents under him with the use of his airbending and flew after his furry friend with a new feeling of adventure. It was a whole new world to him and he felt that this was just the beginning.