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 [AtLA] "Spirit Night", Prologue and Chapter 1

  • Wednesday, 07 February 2007 at 14:33
Disclaimer: I don’t own Avatar: the Last Aibender. The series is © 2005-2007 to Michael Dante Dimartino, Brian Konietzko, and Nickelodeon. I do, however, own Hotaru, Amaterasu, Lanying, Tengfei, Wuzhou, and Zhiquiang. Delasaer Chval owns Jinhai. alilnightmusic owns Amaya. martyfan owns Tatsuo. damostaranth owns Shoushan. polar15 owns Yusheng. kawaiispinel owns Suzume. piscesearth1985 owns Xiaotong. Character thieves shall be cast into the Spirit World and mobbed.


Author’s Note: Let’s get one thing straight before I begin. I will not tolerate flames. Especially since this an OC fic where my friends have (very generously) contributed characters. They all put a lot of work into their characters and most of them weren’t even familiar with AtLA when I asked them to contribute. In fact, Polaris and PiscesEarth1985 were the ONLY ones familiar with AtLA aside from myself. Contrary to popular belief, there IS such a thing as a well-made OC and we have tried to make the characters here as three-dimensional as we possibly can.

That’s why this story takes place 100 years after the series. None of the canon characters are alive any longer. None of the characters in this fic have any connections whatsoever to the characters of the series. None of the characters is the new Avatar. They’re all ordinary (so to speak) Benders. Talented Benders, granted, but ordinary nonetheless.

So. NO FLAMES. Constructive Critique is welcome on my writing style, or the plot, but not on the fact that the characters are OCs.

That said, I’ve been having a lot of fun with these characters, and with the plot of the story. (Thanks very much to Damos Taranth for helping me with that, btw; he is an excellent Plot Muse, he is.) I’ve found it very intricate, especially with the sort of… “Six degrees of separation” thing I’ve got going on between the characters. (You’ll see that develop later.)

There is no slash here. There’s only one romance pairing, and it’s het. Slashseekers should go elsewhere.

Above all, enjoy the story. And apologies for the long A/N, but I had a point to get across.
     ::Dark Jedi Princess::



Title: “Spirit Night”
Author: darkjediprinces
Category: Avatar: the Last Airbender
Rating: PG-13/T
Warnings: Crude humour, violence
Genre: Action/Adventure, Humour, Suspense, Drama
Chapters Planned: ?
Summary: 100 years after the war, tensions are running high between the four Nations. Two Firebenders leave their home to escape its militaristic ways, only to uncover a plot that may mean the end of the world if it succeeds…


TEXT KEY
Narrative
“Spoken”
Thoughts
Written
Stressed/Emphasized
ONOMOTOPOEIA


“Spirit Night”
Prologue: 100 Years Later…


One hundred years have passed since the defeat of Fire Lord Ozai at the hands of Avatar Aang. All of the Avatar’s companions have either died or disappeared. The Avatar himself has been reincarnated into the Water Tribes.

At the moment, there is a tense peace between the Four Nations. Suspicion of foreigners, particularly of foreign Benders, runs high everywhere.

The Fire Nation, while it has no plans of conquest, remains at the back of everyone’s mind. No-one has forgotten the last war they started and the toll it took on the other three Nations. The Fire Nation itself, fearing retaliation form the Earth Kingdom for the last war, is keep its army well-trained.

The Water Tribes have withdrawn themselves from the rest of the world, perhaps to limit their involvement should a second war break out. The rest of the world frowns this isolationist attitude, thinking that the Water Tribes believe themselves superior to the other Nations.

However, slowly but surely, the Air Nomads have begun to rebuild, with help from Avatar Aang. Airbenders are scarce, but they are no longer extinct.

Tired of her country’s militaristic outlook on politics, 19-year-old Firebender Hotaru leaves the Fire Nation with her brother Tatsuo, in search of her own calling…

* * *



Chapter 1: Dragon, Tiger, and Firefly


“I can’t believe I let you talk me into this.”

“Talk you into it? Tatsuo, all I had to do was grab you by the arm and drag you. I’d hardly call that ‘talking’.”

“You’re a pain in the ass, you know that?”

The sun was beginning to sink below the horizon as Hotaru sat down on the side of the dirt road that she and her older brother, Tatsuo, had been travelling on all day. The two siblings were Firebenders, the best their teacher had ever trained, or so he said. Hotaru, however, did not agree with the Fire Nation’s militaristic outlook on politics, so she had taken her brother and left the country. They were now in the north-western part of the Earth Kingdom, only two days walking distance from the port where they had landed.

Hotaru was tall and slim, with well-toned muscle earned from years of Firebender training. Her hair was long and black; two thin sections were braided at either side of her neck, while a third braid was bound in a tight topknot. She wore a red and gold kimono her brother had given her when she turned sixteen.

Tatsuo was an inch or two taller than his sister. They looked almost alike, with the same eyes and hair, thought Tatsuo kept his shorter than Hotaru’s. He wore his hair in a high ponytail at the back of his head.

Between the two rested a large feline creature, with rippling red, orange, and yellow fur and black stripes. This was Hotaru’s pet, Amaterasu. Amaterasu, named for the Fire Nation’s favoured spirit, was fierce in combat but otherwise docile. Hotaru had found her as in the jungle as a cub when she was twelve and raised her. Amaterasu therefore thought of Hotaru as Mother, and she would protect “Mother” with her life.

“Hotaru,” Tatsuo began as they set up camp for the night, “I realize you have your heart set on finding this guy, but… It’s been three years since that bar fight. He’s probably dead.”

“That Earthbender is alive, Tatsuo,” Hotaru stated, stubbornly. “His fighting style is almost entirely defensive, and he was pretty young when we met him… I just can’t picture someone like him getting himself killed.”

Tatsuo said nothing.

“…We were taught all our lives to strike first and ask questions later,” Hotaru continued, quietly. “But that Earthbender only used his abilities to defend himself and those kids. From what Sifu Longwei taught us, Earthbenders usually use their abilities to attack as well. There’s a different way to things, and that Earthbender knows it!”

“That doesn’t mean he’s alive.”

Hotaru scoffed and hit Tatsuo over the head. “Have a little faith, will ya?”

Tatsuo rubbed the spot where Hotaru had hit him, but didn’t press the subject. They ate their dinner in relative silence until Tatsuo spoke up again, this time on a different matter.

“Has it occurred to you that we might not be welcome in the Earth Kingdom?”

“They have nothing to fear from us.”

“They don’t know that, though.”

“Maybe so, but still. No-one wants another war. They won’t kick us out just because we’re Fire Nation.” Hotaru sat back against Amaterasu’s belly. Amaterasu lifted her head a little and chuffed before closing her eyes again.

As the sun sank completely below the horizon, Hotaru shut her eyes and sighed. “I guess I don’t blame them… the Fire Nation started a war that lasted one hundred years. We only stopped when the Avatar killed the Fire Lord… and his son disappeared. His daughter was executed and his brother refused the throne. A new dynasty began, and now, the world thinks we want another war. We’re still building up an army, although the government claims it’s for defence only… who can blame them?”

Tatsuo sat up, watching his sister.

“I wonder if the Earth Kingdom wants revenge… we conquered them for a time, after all,” Hotaru said, after a moment.

“Even if they do, they won’t exact it,” Tatsuo replied softly. “Like you said… nobody wants a second war.”

A rustling sounded in the nearby bushes. Hotaru leapt to her feet, standing in a ready position. A tall, burly man stumbled out of the bush, clutching a bottle of beer in his hand. He had long black hair, green eyes, and a rough beard. He dressed in dark, muted green, and he looked completely drunk.

“Oh heeey,” he slurred. “Fellow travellers! You wouldn’t hap—” he hiccupped. “Sorry. Do you know the way to Ba Sing Se?”

“Uh, no,” Hotaru answered, arching an eyebrow. “We’re not from the Earth Kingdom.”

“Whoops, sorry… haha, its way too dark out here, I can’t tell the colour of the clothes you’re wearing.”

Hotaru took a close look at the drunk’s face. After a moment, she recognized him.

“You’re the Earthbender I met three years ago!”

“…Eh?” The drunk hiccupped again.

“Three years ago… You got into a bar fight in a tavern in the Fire Nation,” Hotaru explained. “You protected a bunch of little kids from the guys who started it. You never attacked, only defended. I… I admire that. My training included almost no defensive manoeuvres. I… want you to help me understand how to do that. I’ll follow you to the end of the world if I have to.”

“Uh… sure, if ya want to, pretty lady.” He leered suggestively at her.

Hotaru blanched and Tatsuo conked the drunk on the head.

“Hold your tongue!” He snarled.

“…Ow.”

“What’s your name?” Tatsuo demanded.

“It’s Shoushan. Got any beer?”

“No. Besides, you’ve had too much already.”

Shoushan shrugged, then wavered, fainted, and started snoring.

Hotaru sighed. “…This guy is absolutely ABSURD.”
accomplished

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