The Last Air Bender: Water

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 7 (v.1) - Imprisoned

Submitted: July 17, 2012

Reads: 42

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Submitted: July 17, 2012




Aang and Katara are sitting on a natural stone patio under a forest canopy. A noisy little stream runs underneath the stone ledge. Katara is folding her sleeping bag while Aang lies back in the exposed roots of an overturned tree. Sokka is walking up the stream path, holding a sack.
“Great, you're back! What's for dinner?” the Avatar asks.
“We've got a few options. First, round nuts and some kind of oval shaped nuts, and some rock shaped nuts that... might just be rocks. Dig in!” Sokka throws one of the nuts that might be a rock over his shoulder. It lands near Momo. Aang and Katara look at each other then back at Sokka.
“Seriously, what else ya got?” the water bender says, disappointed.
Sokka peers with one eye into the bag, hoping to find something else. Momo is eyeing the nut like object with suspicion. He chitters and picks it up. He taps it on a nearby stone to no effect. The he cocks back and raps it hard on the stone. At that moment, a huge, startling noise disrupts the forest's calm. The group and Appa look up at the noise.
“What was that!?” Sokka shrieks. Momo, looking befuddled, turns to Sokka. He turns to look back at the nut like object in his hand. He drops the nut onto the stone and another huge sound echoes through the forest, startling Momo again. The three look to the distance where Aang is pointing. “It's coming from over there!”
Aang and Katara rush off in the direction of the noise, leaving Sokka waving his arms at them. “Shouldn't we run away from huge booms – not toward them?”
Katara and Aang appear from behind a fallen tree, followed closely by Sokka. They are looking down a river bed. The river has been reduced to a small stream. A young earth bender is practicing his art in the river bed, and the three watch him move around a huge boulder. 
“An earth bender!” Katara yells.
“Let's go meet him!” Aang replies.
“He looks dangerous, so we better approach cautiously.” Says the pessimistic Sokka.
Katara has clearly ignored her brother's warning by running way out into the river bed to address the young earth bender. “Hello there, I'm Katara! What's your name?”
The young earth bender looks over at Katara in surprise, drops his rock and runs back down the river bed. As he runs, he earth bends a load of rock into the riverbed, blocking pursuit.
“Nice to meet you!” Aang says.
“We just wanted to say “hi”.” Katara says in disappointment.
“Hey, that guy's gotta be running somewhere, maybe we're near a village and I bet that village has a market!”
Katara becomes excited. “Which means no nuts for dinner!” The two benders run off towards the direction the earth bender fled.
“Hey! I worked hard to get those nuts!” Sokka yells as Momo flies off to join the other. Sokka looks downcast. “Yeah, I hate ‘em too.”
~ ~ ~
A walled Earth Kingdom village sits in a steep valley. Aang, Katara and Sokka walk among the village’s market. Aang is at a stall trying out a hat. “Great hat. I'll trade you some nuts for it.”
Aang turns to Sokka with the hat on and laughs. Meanwhile, Katara has noticed the young earth bender from the river bed enter a nearby building. “Hey!” Katara runs off in pursuit. The young earth bender runs into a long, mostly empty room with an older woman, his mother. “Hi, mom.”
“Where have you been, Haru? You're late! Get started on your chores.” The older woman commands. 
Katara opens door and enters, framed in sunlight pouring in behind her. “Hey, you're that kid! Why did you run away before?”
“Uh, you must have me confused with some other kid.”
Aang and Sokka enter. “No she doesn't, we saw you earth bending.” Aang defends Katara’s last statement.
The building’s door closes and the windows get shut. “They saw you doing what?” Haru’s mother asked forcefully with hands still on the window she just closed.
“They're crazy, mom, I mean, look at how they're dressed!” All three look at their clothing.
“You know how dangerous that is! You know what would happen if they caught you earth bending!”
From outside a heavy knock on the door is heard and Sokka quickly parts the window blinds to identify the intruders. “Open up!” a man yells.
“Fire Nation! Act natural!” Sokka whispers.
Haru's mother opens the door and a Fire Nation soldier enters. The others are caught freeze-frame in the midst of some very unconvincing normal poses. The top of the barrel that Aang is leaning upon shifts and his hand goes into the water up to his shoulder. 
“What do you want? I've already paid you this week.” Haru’s mother angrily says to the soldier.
“The tax just doubled. Wouldn't want an accident, would we?” The soldier produces a fireball in his hands and smiles. Everyone takes a step back from the soldier. Fire is sometimes so hard to control.
Haru's mother's expression melts from defiance to fear and resignation. Her hands place a small chest on a table. She opens it to reveal a few miserable coins. She takes most of them out and gives them to the soldier. He dumps the small ones on the ground. “You can keep the copper ones.”
The rest of the gang are all unhappy. Haru's mother picks up the copper coins.
“Nice guy. How long has the Fire Nation been here?” Sokka asks the woman.
“Five years. Fire Lord Ozai uses our town's coal mines to fuel his ships.” She answers.
“They're thugs; they steal from us, and everyone here is too much of a coward to do anything about it.”
“Quiet, Haru. Don't talk like that.”
“But, Haru's an earth bender, he can help.” Katara defends.
“Earth bending is forbidden.” The woman explains. “It's caused nothing but misery for this village. He must never use his abilities.”
“How can you say that? Haru has a gift. Asking him not to earth bend is like asking me not to water bend. It's a part of who we are.”
“You don't understand.”
“I understand that Haru can help you fight back. What can the Fire Nation do to you that they haven't done already?”
“They could take Haru away! Like they took his father.” Both Haru and Katara drop a look of pain on their face.
~ ~ ~
It is late afternoon. On the surrounding hillsides, there are outbuildings of a farm. Inside one of these barn-like structures, Haru and our group have entered. The late say sun pours in. “My mom said you can sleep here tonight, but you should leave in the morning.”
“Thanks. I'll make sure Appa doesn't eat all your hay.” Aang reassures. Appa sits with his mouth stuffed with hay. He looks over at Aang, stops chewing for a few seconds, then begins chewing again. Haru and Katara leave the group of buildings, apparently going for a walk.
“I'm sorry about what I said earlier. I didn't know about your father.”
“That's ok. It's funny, the way you were talking back in the store, it reminded me of him.”
“My father was very courageous. When the Fire Nation invaded, he and the other earth benders were outnumbered ten to one, but they fought back anyway.”
“He sounds like a great man.”
“After the attack, they rounded up my father every other earth benders and took them away. We haven't seen them since.”
“So, that's why you hide your earth bending?”
“Yeah. The problem is that the only way I can feel close to my father now is when I practice my bending. He taught me everything I know.”
Katara and Haru have now walked up onto the crest of a small hill that overlooks the surrounding countryside. Haru kneels down and begins twirling some small stones by earth bending while he speaking about his father. When he is done, he turns the stones to sand in his hand, which falls through his fingers. Katara comes up and sits next to him. She points to her necklace and says, “See this necklace? My mother gave it to me.”
“It's beautiful.”
“I lost my mother in a Fire Nation raid. This necklace is all I have left of her.”
“It's not enough, is it?”
“No.” she says, holding her necklace. Katara and Haru sit on the hill, the fading glory of the setting sun visible in the space between them. Soon, Katara and Haru are walking down a path towards an open mine entrance some way ahead. A boom is heard and rocks and dust come out of the mine entrance. The sound of an old man, probably hurt, can be heard screaming, “Help!”
“The mine!” Haru yells. They both rush to the mine. In the blocked up mine entrance, the old man has almost been buried by the cave in. “Help me!” he pleads.
The ground still shakes a bit, and more earth threatens to fall on and crush the old man. Katara and Haru. Haru tries to prevent any more earth falling on the old man by bracing the collapsed mine entrance frame, while Katara tries to get the old man free but she struggles, “It's not working, we have to get help.”
“There's no time – pull harder.” Haru replies.
“Haru, there's a way you can help him.”
“I can't.”
“Please, there's no one around to see you, it's the only way.” 
Indecision dominates Haru's face for a few moments, but then he moves in front of the old man and turns to look back into the mine entrance. He concentrates and with a quick move of his hands and feet he pushes the obstruction of earth and stone back deep into the mine, freeing the old man, whom they help get up.
“Haru, you did it!” Katara yelled.
~ ~ ~
Night falls and Momo is sitting in the window of the outbuilding on Haru's farm that the group is sleeping in. The group ready for bed and in their sleeping bags. Aang lies over the top of Appa, looking at Katara.
“It was so brave of Haru to use his earth bending to help that old man.” Katara tells the group.
“You must have really inspired him.” Aang comments.
“I guess so.”
“Everyone should get some sleep. We're leaving at dawn.” Sokka requests.
“Dawn? Can't we sleep in for once?” his sister protests.
“Absolutely not! This village is crawling with Fire Nation troops. If they discover you're here, Aang, we'll be eating fireballs for breakfast. Good night.”
A sly grin comes upon Katara’s face, “I'd rather eat fireballs than nuts.”
“Good night.” Sokka says, irritated. Aang and Katara laugh, then Katara blows out their lamp. 
Some time passes Fire Nation troops begin to walk along a path leading to Haru's farm. Lamps on polls swing back and forth as they march. The soldier who extorted the money from the previous day leads the column. He wears a helmet with horns on either side of his head. He knocks on Haru's house's door. The door opens to reveal Haru. He draws an intake of breath in surprise. In between Haru and the Fire Nations soldier, pointing an accusatory finger at Haru, is the old man saved by Haru earlier in the day. “That's him! That's the earth bender!”
The solder pushes the old man out of the way and approached Haru. He is grabbed and pulled away forcefully from his home.
At dawn, Katara leaves the outbuilding. She walks up to a water pump to get some water. She carries a pot which she places under the spout. Rather than work the pump, however, she gracefully water bends some water out of the pump and into the jar. She picks up the pot and, as she turns to go back to her friends, she notices Haru's mother looking out over the farm. She turns and it is clear she is crying. Katara drops her water pot and it breaks. Katara's eyes betray her realization that Haru has been captured. Inside the outbuilding, the others are packing their gear. The door opens and Katara steps in, tearing at her hair in anguish. “They took him! They took Haru away!”
“What?” Aang says, as if he didn’t hear her.
“The old man turned him in to the Fire Nation. It's all my fault, I forced him into earth bending.”
“Slow down, Katara, when did this happen?” her brother questions, putting his arm around her shoulder and holds her hand in genuine concern.
“Haru's mother said they came for him at midnight.”
“Then it's too late to track him, he's long gone.”
“We don't need to track him. The Fire Nation is going to take me right to Haru.”
“And why would they do that?” Aang asks.
Katara’s face becomes determined. “Because they're going to arrest me for earth bending.” Sokka and Aang both looked concerned.
~ ~ ~
Katara and Sokka roll a boulder on top of air grate. “I thought you were crazy at first, Katara, but this might work. There are ventilation shafts throughout these mines, all Aang has to do is send an air current from that vent to this one right here. The boulder levitates and – tada! Fake earth bending.”
Behind a wall of rock, Aang awaits at the opposite air vent, waiting for his cue. Sokka leans on the rock they have just moved with a self-satisfied grin on his face. When he is done, Katara, not too pleased, standing with her hands on her hips, is looking over at Aang. “Aang. Did you get all that?”
Aang is paying no attention at all. He sits cross-legged in front of the vent, blowing air and a little butterfly in front of him while Momo watches. “Sure, I got it.”
“Do you remember your cue?” Sokka asks.
“Yeah, yeah, just relax. You're taking all the fun out of this.”
“By “this” do you mean intentionally getting captured by an army of ruthless fire benders?”
“Exactly! That's fun stuff.”
A band of Fire Nation soldiers comes down to the path towards them.
“Here they come! Get in your places!” Sokka directs.
Sokka runs in from the left, Katara from the right, meeting right in front of the soldiers.
Sokka yells, in a slightly exaggerated voice, “Get out of my way, pipsqueak!”
Katara also holds a slightly exaggerated voice. “How dare you call me “pipsqueak” you giant-eared cretin!”
“What did you call me?”
“A giant-eared cretin! Look at those things.” She puts her hands up to her ears and fans out her fingers in imitation of huge ears. “Do herds of animals use them for shade?”
“You better back off!” Sokka yells, placing his hand to partially block his mouth from the soldier's view. “Seriously – back off.”
“I will not back off! I bet elephants get together and make fun of how large your ears are!”
“That's it – you're going down!”
“I'll show you who's boss – earth bending style!” Katara assumes a mock earth bending stance as she shouts her challenge. Katara stands frozen, with the rock she is supposed to be “earth bending” still sitting over the grate. After a few moments of embarrassed silence, she repeats herself angrily.
“I said, ‘earth bending style!’”
On the rock Aang finally reacts, jumping up into the air and coming down onto the grate. He air bends into the grate. The air rushing up raises the rock to reveal Momo behind it.
The head soldier points at Momo. “That lemur! It's earth bending!”
“No, you idiot! It's the girl!” Sokka yells.
Embarrassment wreaks the soldier’s face. “Oh, of course.”
The rock falls back onto the grate as Sokka yells in an exaggerated voice “I'll hold her!” He places his hands on Katara's shoulders and whispers in her ear, “You've got 12 hours to find Haru, we'll be right behind you.”
Katara is led off by the soldiers. She looks back to see Sokka and Aang, with Momo on his shoulders, standing in the road. Sokka turns to Momo. “Momo, you have some big ears!”  
~ ~ ~

In the village's port, a Fire Navy ship is docked. A downcast Katara wearing a brown sackcloth over her blue robe. She is in a wheeled transport with other prisoners being taken to the prison ship. Aang and Sokka are in the crowd watching her being taken aboard.

 ~ ~ ~

Above open waters, Appa follows the Fire Navy ship from afar. In the distance, an offshore platform is seen. This is the Fire Navy ship's destination. The rig is huge, dark, industrial and foreboding. In the background a bloody sunset casts its last rays of light over the complex. Aang sits in Appa's driver's seat, Sokka in the passenger section. “She'll be fine, Aang, Katara knows what she's doing.”  

~ ~ ~

On the prison rig, the sun has now set. The new prisoners stand in a line up. The Warden is addressing the new prisoners. “Earth benders, it is my pleasure to welcome you aboard my modest shipyard. I am your warden. I prefer to think of you not as prisoners, but as honored guests, and I hope you come to think of me as your humble and caring host. You will succeed here if you simply abide –“

The Warden's speech is interest by a prisoner, who is visible behind the warden, who begins to cough. The Warden's look hardens instantly. He suddenly leaps away from the prisoner line up, turns and fire bends a huge gout of flame at the coughing prisoner. The targeted man jumps backwards. “What kind of guest dishonors his host by interrupting him!? Take him below! One week in solitary will improve his manners.”

 He puts his face up to Katara's, but still speaking to the group. “Simply treat me with the courtesy I give you and we'll get along famously. You will notice earth benders that this rig is made entirely of metal. You are miles away from any rock or earth, so if you have any illusions about employing that brutish savagery that passes for bending among you people, forget it. It is impossible. Good day.” When the Warden is done, he turns and walks off as the prisoners are led away.

On an open area on the rig, hopeless and forlorn looking prisoners roam around. Katara and the other prisoners are trusted through a narrow door and out into the open area. A double gate drops behind them. Katara surveys the prisoners on the deck. As she passes a prisoner sitting on the deck, he turns and it is Haru. “Katara?”

She runs and hugs him. “Haru!”

“What are you doing here?”

“It's my fault you were captured. I came to rescue you.”

“So, you got yourself arrested?”

“It was the only way to find you.”

Haru folds his arms across his chest and smiles. “You got guts, Katara, I'll give you that.” He takes her shoulder, “Come on, there's someone I want you to meet.”

Haru and Katara have approached the last group of prisoners in the area. “Katara, this is my father, Tyro. Dad, this is Katara.”

The older man is sitting on the ground in one of the groups of prisoners. He is eating, but he turns to his son's voice and sees Katara.

“It's an honor to meet you.” Katara bows to the man.

“Have some dinner, Katara.” Tyro hands Katara a bowl.

“Eruhh!” She grunts as her hungry expression turns to disgust.

“It's not as bad as it looks.”

She sits down and eats a spoonful, “Erahh!”

Tyro smiles apologetically, “It's still pretty bad though.”

A hand appears on Tyro's shoulder, another prisoner trying to get Tyro's attention. “Tyro, the prisoners are complaining there aren't enough blankets to go around.”

“I'll talk to the guards. In the meantime, make sure the elderly are taken care of. The rest of us will simply have to hope for warmer weather.”

“If you don't mind me asking, what's your escape plan?” Katara directs to Tyro.

“Excuse me?”

“You know, the plan to get everyone off the rig? What is it? Mutiny? Sabotage?”

“The plan? The plan is to survive - wait out this war. Hope that one day some of us can get back home and forget this ever happened.”

“How can you say that? You sound like you've already given up.”

“Katara, I admire your courage and I envy your youth, but people's lives are at stake here. The Warden is a ruthless man, and he won't stand for any rebellion. I'm sorry, but we're powerless.”

Katara stands up with grim determination on her face. “We'll see about that.” She runs to and stands on a small raised platform in the open area. She bangs the lid of a pot with her spoon several times to get everyone's attention. “Earth benders! You don't know me, but I know of you. Every child of my water tribe village was rocked to sleep with stories of the brave Earth Kingdom and the courageous earth benders who guard its borders.”

The Warden is watching from one of the catwalks above as Katara gives her speech. “Some of you may think that the Fire Nation has made you powerless. Yes, they have taken away your ability to bend, but they can't take away your courage and it is your courage they should truly fear! Because it runs deeper than any mine you've been forced to dig, any ocean that keeps you far from home. It is the strength of your hearts that make you who you are, hearts that will remain unbroken when all rock and stone has eroded away. The time to fight back is now! I can tell you the Avatar has returned! So remember your courage, earth benders, let us fight for our freedom!”

Katara's face is etched in determination. After a few moments pass, her expression weakens. The groups of prisoners turned away from her and go on with their conversations. Katara is crushed. The Warden smiles and walks away.

~ ~ ~

The rig's lighthouse lamp rotating in the darkness. Aang peeps up over the edge of the rig. Katara sleeps on her mat. Aang wakes her up and she starts to cry out, but Aang “shh's” her. He leads back to the edge of the rig's main platform where Appa and Sokka are waiting.

“Your 12 hours are up, where's Haru? We've got to get out of here.” Sokka whispers.

Aang hops off the platform and onto Appa. Sokka holds his arm out to Katara.

“I can't.”

“We don't have much time, there are guards everywhere. Get on.”

“Katara, what's wrong?” Aang asks.

“I'm not leaving. I'm not giving up on these people.”

Sokka and Aang jump off Appa, who floats in the air beside the platform, and are sitting in a triangle on the rig's edge.

“What do you mean you're not leaving!?” Sokka says irritated.

“We can't abandon these people. There has to be a way to help them.”

“Maybe she's right. What do you say, Sokka?”

“I say you're both crazy!” A searchlight comes close by and they hunker down until it passes. “Last chance, we need to leave – now!”

“No.”Sokka shakes his head. “I hate when you get like this.” Another search light comes close. “Come on, we better hide.” 

The three exit the frame after Aang whispers something to Appa, who flies off silently. Two Fire Soldiers turning the corner on the grounds. As the round the bend, Appa flies by and the guards notice and look up. “Look!”

The Warden turns quickly to address the guards who just saw Appa. “Tell me exactly what you saw.”

“Well, Sir, it looked like a flying bison.”


“It was a giant flying buffalo, Sir, with an empty saddle.”

“Which was it? A buffalo or a bison?”

“Uh, I'm not sure what the difference is, but that's not really the point is it, Sir?”

The Warden becomes angry, “I'll decide what the point is, fool!” The Warden throws the Captain over the railing. A scream trails off into nothing as a splash of water is heard.

“You! Wake up the Captain. Search the entire rig!”



“That...was the Captain you just threw overboard, so...”

“Then wake up someone I haven't thrown overboard and search the rig! There's something going on here and I don't like it.”  

~ ~ ~

The same night on the loading docks, Momo peeps over one of the several crates. Katara, Aang, and Sokka crouch amongst the boxes.

“We don't have much time. What are we gonna do?” Sokka asks.

“I wish I knew how to make a hurricane.” Aang ponders as Katara and Sokka look at him, unhappy at this idea. “The Warden would run away and we'd steal his keys!”

“Wouldn't he just take his keys with him?” Sokka points out.

“I'm just tossing ideas around.”

“I tired talking the earth benders into fighting back, but it didn't work. If there was just a way to help them help themselves.”

“For that they'd need some kind of earth, or some rock... something they can bend.” 

“But this entire place is made of metal.” Katara comments.

Aang looks up, “No, it's not. Look at the smoke. I bet they're burning coal – In other words, earth.” As Aang is speaking, the other look at the smokestacks on the upper reaches of the rig. Behind the stacks, the sky is clearly getting lighter. 

Katara and Sokka back in the prisoner deck area where Katara gave her speech. They are looking down into an enormous ventilation shaft which is capped by a grate similar to the ones near the mine where Katara got arrested.

“It's almost dawn, we're running out of time! Are you sure this is gonna work?” Katara asks.

“It should. These vents reminded me of our little trick back at the village. We're gonna do the same thing, but on a much bigger scale.” Sokka replies. “There's a huge deposit of coal at the base of the silo, and the whole system is ventilated. Aang closed off all the vents except one. When he does his air bending, the coal only has one place to go – right back here.”

~ ~ ~

It is now morning. A moment later, however, Sokka and Katara are surrounded by six Fire Nation soldiers pointing there spears at them and prisoners, including Tyro and Haru. More Fire Nation guards ring.

“There's the intruder!” a soldier accuses.

Sokka draws his boomerang. “Stay back, I'm warning you!”

“Katara stop! You can't win this fight!” Tyro yells. Haru looks stunned at his father's pronouncement. Katara stand with an equally stunned looked. 

The Warden soon arrives. “Listen to him well, child. You're one mistake away from dying where you stand.”

The soldiers begin to close in. Air begins to rush out of the grate, followed by dust and pebbles. Then a living river of coal erupts from the grate, eventually tearing it away. It shoots high into the air over the deck, blasting the grate away. The Warden is clearly shocked and dismayed. The coal lands in a massive pile between the earth benders and the fire benders. The prisoners look at the pile of earth that has just appeared. Aang drops from the sky and lands on the pile, covered in coal dust. He coughs it off as Katara runs up to the top of the coal. “Here's your chance, earth benders!” She grabs a lump of coal and raises it high. “Take it! Your fate is in your own hands!”

Haru begins to move forward, but Tyro stops him. Various prisoners begin to shrink backward, eschewing open conflict. Katara still holds up the lump of coal, with the Warden and his men over her shoulder. “Hahaha! Foolish girl! You thought a few inspirational words and some coal would change these people? Look at these blank, hopeless faces. There spirits were broken a long time ago. Oh? But you still believe in them?” Katara lowers the coal, shock on her face. How sweet. “They're a waste of your energy, little girl. You've failed.”

Katara stands on the coal, her shoulders slumped, looking defeated and lonely. The Warden turns to walk back into the rig. As he does, a lump of coal flies and hits him in the back of the head. He turns in anger. Haru is twirling some lumps of coal above his raised left hand. His expression is severe. The Warden launches a blast of fire at the boy. The gout of flame is about to engulf Haru, who braces for death, when it is blocked by a wall of coal. Tyro is off to the side in an earth bending stance, who has clearly stepped forward to protect his son. The Warden and his men now stand in a firing line. “Show no mercy!” The Warden demands.

The Fire Nation line charges forward, unleashing a wall of flame. Tyro and the three nearest earth benders, including Haru block it with a huge wall of coal. The coal absorbs the flames. “For the Earth Kingdom, attack!” Tyro shouts.
Tyro slams the palms of his fists on the deck of the rig, throwing the wall of coal forward towards the Fire Nation line. The Fire Soldiers deflect some of the rocks with flame. All of the prisoners have joined the rebellion and have assumed earth bending stances. 
General melee ensues. One on one the earth benders block fire attacks with coal shields and knock out fire benders by striking the huge lumps of coal thrown at high speed. Heaps of burning coal now litter the deck. Katara, Sokka and Aang are rushing forward across the middle of the deck. A Fire Nation soldier runs in but Sokka cuts off the head of his spear with his boomerang and throws the spearhead with a small shaft still attached to it to Momo who is flying close overhead. Momo then collects spears as they are thrown by Fire Nation soldiers, rendering them harmless. 
Tyro and Haru are in front of the coal dump. They raise a huge amount of coal, and then mash it between them to create a boulder. The Warden rapidly shoots fireballs at other prisoners before switching back to Haru and Tyro throwing the boulder at the door into the rig. It blasts a boulder shaped hole in the door.
“Get to the ship! We'll hold them off!” Tyro aids the others.
“Do not let them escape!” The Warden shouts. He rallies a few his troops and they begin to barrage the exit with flame. 
Aang, Katara and Sokka try to exit. When they see the flames hit the wall in front of them, they turn and Aang air bends a small tornado into existence, the end of which is aimed at the fire benders. “Guys, throw me some coal!”
Sokka and Katara start dropping chunks of coal into the top of the little whirlwind, which accelerate down the wind tube and exit at high speed towards the Warden's men. Then all get knocked down. 
Tyro and two other benders earth bend the entire coal dump, with the Warden and all his men on it, out of over the open water. “No, please! I can't swim!”
“Don't worry, I hear cowards float.” Tyro taunts the Warden. He drops them all into the ocean below. 
Several Fire Nation ships are now under the command of the former prisoners, steaming away from the rig. Appa with Sokka and Aang swim next to the point ship. Katara, Tyro and Haru are on the deck of the point ship. Katara beams, looking back at the prison they leave behind. She is missing her necklace.
“I want to thank you for saving me. For saving us.” Haru says gratefully. 
Katara drops a look of embarrassment. “All it took was a little coal.”
“It wasn't the coal, Katara, it was you.”
Tyro puts a hand on her shoulder. “Thank you for helping me find my courage, Katara, of the water tribe. My family and everyone here owes you much.”
“So, I guess you're going home now?”
“Yes, to take back my village.” Tyro starts, raising his voice and raising his left hand in a fist, just as Katara had done and looking back over the ship to address the former prisoners. “To take back all of our villages! The Fire Nation will regret the day they set foot on our land!”
Tyro's ship moves forward in the middle of the three ships and ahead with Appa swimming on the right. Cheering earth benders are on the decks of every ship
“Come with us.” Haru suggests to Katara.
“I can't. Your mission is to take back your home. Ours is to get Aang to the North Pole.”
Aang is sitting on Appa, air bending a little chunk of coal around. Katara and Haru are visible on the upper deck on the point ship.
“That's him, isn't it? The Avatar. Katara, thank you for bringing my father back to me. I never thought I'd see him again. I only wish there was some way...”
“I know.” She reaches for her necklace and starts in surprise when it is gone. “My mother's necklace! It's gone!”
~ ~ ~
Her necklace is lying on the deck of the rig. An arm in a Fire Nation uniform grabs it. Zuko is revealed, wreathed in the glory of a fiery red sunset holding the necklace. He looks out over the ocean to the setting sun.


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