Her screams rang his ears.

The shock of lightning had thrown him across the courtyard. He was doubling over, clutching his chest, his heart. His limbs jerked and his back arched as agonizing pain coursed through his body. He rolled over to his side, writhing. He slowly propped up onto his elbows, with all the energy he could muster, and he lifted his head. Blurs of blue flames and water flew everywhere as two female figures battled, the smaller girl creating ice to slide across, while the other girl was close at her feet.

He felt faint and collapsed onto the hard ground.

The next thing he knew, a girl was hovering over him, crying his name, over and over. She drew out some glowing water and bended it over his lightning stricken wound, her blue eyes overwhelmed with worry. She was trying to heal him, but it was useless. He could already feel himself fading.

A wicked cackle echoed from somewhere behind him. It was a female voice, and she was saying something taunting, but he couldn't make out the words. He couldn't even remember whom the pitiless voice belonged to, though it sounded familiar.

He struggled to hold on, but everything – his whole life – was slipping away. The world was turning black and it was becoming difficult to think straight.

Eventually his body started going numb, and a dull ache had replaced the pain. His arms and legs went slack, and he finally let himself succumb into the darkness.


He felt like he was on fire.

As if a million flames were licking his body. His chest ached and he could hear blood pounding in his ears. The pain was excruciating and it prevented him from thinking clearly. He wanted to cry out, but he couldn't seem to open his mouth. He prayed for someone, anyone, to help him.

Him.

Who was he? What was his name? Why couldn't he remember who he was?

His thought was suddenly cut off by a stabbing pain at his temple. The throb was becoming unbearable and he desperately tried to call out for help. He parted his lips, but only a struggled wheeze escaped; his throat and insides were burning. His head was pounding and he felt fear grasp his heart.

He did not dare open his eyes out of fear of what he would see. He was suddenly aware of how his fingers were tingling as if electricity was pulsing through his veins in place of blood. He felt so tired - he could just fall asleep for hundreds of years without waking up, and he wouldn't care.

An unfamiliar voice echoed through his head.

"Go to sleep," it whispered.

His eyes fluttered shut.


He didn't dream.

His mind was blank during the moment of darkness that cloaked his mind. Had he just slept? What just happened? He could feel a deep void within him, as if somebody had hollowed out his body, leaving nothing but an empty shell.

He had the urge to open his eyes, to figure out what was going on. Slowly, carefully, he peeled them open, revealing a pair of fiery irises.

The harsh light blinded him and he quickly squeezed his eyes shut, but it still shone red through his eyelids. He cracked them open once more, squinting.

A white fiery halo seemed to dance behind a black circular orb in the sky. It hurt to look but he kept his eyes open in tiny slits, enough to take in the phenomenon that was occurring right before his amber eyes.

It was a solar eclipse. And it was so, big, so bright, and so hauntingly beautiful.

But how did he know that? Had he ever seen one before? He wasn't sure, but he felt some surpressed memory creep into the back of his mind. Whatever he had seen before, it probably wasn't as breathtaking as this.

He gradually realized that he was not on solid ground. It felt like he was floating somehow; there was no solid resistance under his feet, just empty air. His arms fell limply against his sides. He suddenly felt terrified and began to panic.

What was going on?

Then a deep, soothing voice spoke to him - the same unfamiliar one he had heard before - dissipating any fear he had.

"Don't be afraid," it said. "You are special."

The shadow of the moon was passing over the sun, and beams of light shone brightly, lightening the sky a little.

"You are special, Zuko."