Well... After this, you cleared Book 3! That's 24 down! And some more to go!
Lan Se Edit
Elena strikes, Tian dodges. The fight continues. Kassandra isn't really paying attention. She's looking at the ocean.
"Lan, what is that over there? On the sea. I can't see it clearly..."
I follow her look, simply to see nothing.
"What do you see? I don't see anything."
I try to focus back on the battle, but Kassandra can't relax.
"Nothing is going to happen here. We're in one of the safest places in the world."
She nods, but I know she doesn't believe it. Deep in my Avatar spirit, I don't believe myself. The way the wind blows or the waves roll just isn't natural. Even the snow seems to be preparing for something.
The bell rings. The match isn't done, but Elena calls a time-out. The two enter their chambers, and we decide Kassandra will go to Tian and I'll cheer up Elena. I enter her room.
"How are you?"
She looks at me with a glare that should make me silent, and I don't know why I start laughing. She can see the humor in it, too.
"Oh, nothing big. Tian might defeat me and then I can't fight you in the finals."
"There is still a chance I might lose", I say, while examining her face. She looks tired. She gives me a deadly stare.
"No, Lan, there isn't. You're a better bender in every element than most of the world."
"Except with earth."
"We really need to start your training in that, don't we?"
The bell rings, and Elena leaves for the arena. I meet up with Kassandra outside. She looks energetic again.
"How did your peptalk go?"
"Tian has got this one. He told me he's simply wearing her out. How was Elena?"
That tactic did seem fitting for Tian.
"She was sorry we're probably not gonna go up against each other."
"I can understand her. She wants to prove she can beat you, too."
As we walk back to our front-row seats, I catch myself worried. Kassandra was right, but there was one word she said I didn't get. Too.
There is something coming. Something big. I can feel it on the ocean, riding the waves towards me. I don't know if it is coming for chief Suluk, Lan or even me... The bell rings. I keep focussing on determining what is coming.
"I did not see that coming! She hit him like he was a fly! He just went flying! Kassandra? Kassandra! Are you paying attention? Elena won!"
I hear words, but I can't place them. Who is that next to me? Where...? As I feel myself falling, my brain starts working at quadruple speed. There is an invasion coming...
I can't believe I lost to Elena. I was a good sport. I still don't know if Elena timed it really well or if it was just luck... We walk back together.
"No hard feelings?", she asks.
"Nope. We are friends, after all."
She seems delighted.
"I really thought I had you there! That rock just came out of nowhere!"
"But that wasn't luck, or was it?"
"Let's just go with right time, right moment."
She laughs and I smile. My joy, that filled my spirit even after losing, disappears when I see Lan kneeling over Kassandra.
"No time! Elena, make a platform so I can heal her better. Tian, keep the crowd away and search for a doctor."
He bends the snow around him into water and starts healing her.
I run away to find a doctor. The bell rings. I found one pretty soon in here. He said I can't do much right now, so I get back to my seat and watch Lan. In the last few matches, he made it last a little longer, but now he isn't playing. He finishes the match within one minute, and rushes back here. His opponent Onartok was rushed out of the arena with deadly accuracy. Chief Suluk starts to speak.
"Today, we have seen great fighting skills. Tomorrow, our two best benders will square off against each other!"
Lan has reached us. I try to calm him down.
"Lan, relax. You have to be prepared for tomorrow. Kassandra is in good hands."
"She felt something. Tian, something is coming via the ocean."
He needs to calm down.
"Lan. She'll be fine, and we will be, too."
We all walk home together, while Elena tries to calm him down as well. He doesn't want to sleep. Elena and I just let him be, knowing that even the Avatar can't fight without some rest. When we hear his breathing become more regularly, we finally go to sleep as well.
Ai Lun Na Edit
I couldn't sleep that well. I was simply too excited to fight Lan. When I woke up for the third time that night, I knew I wasn't gonna sleep anymore. I rose up, only to see the never-ending darkness of the night. It should have been clear to me then already, when I could see nothing. I remember opening my eyes, and then waking up. I wasn't asleep then, I just wasn't at my best shape. The first thing I should have noticed was Lan and Tian. Perhaps I should better say their absence. The thing I did notice, was that I wasn't at home anymore. I was being dragged. The man who carried me told me to keep my head down. In him, I saw a bright light, but there was something dark in his spirit. His shade looked a bit like Tian or Ketu. He was accompanied by men, who were dark. Nobody seemed to think something different about us. Was I just the next prisoner? And if so, where was my prison?
I remember seeing Ekata. After it happened, I didn't remember how I did it, but I managed to free myself and fly away on Ekata. I don't remember anything else from that night, and something deep inside tells me I don't want to remember.
I know the Tribe has fallen. I know the Air Nomads are sided with Soyun. I know the Fire Nation won't hold out for much longer.
I've ran away for too long, but I won't run away now.
I will attack the Earth Kingdom, before it is too late.
Nobody can stop me.
"So, how did the siege go?"
Soyun may think he's funny, because he already knows, but I decide to tell him anyway.
"Look in the mission briefing. It's all in there."
I already know what is in there.
Final mission report on the siege of the Northern Water Tribe
TOP SECRET (Addressed to Soyun)
The Tribe was overtook, the chief replaced with Onartok, who is a member of the Independent Nation.
Avatar Lan Se: Captured, taken to a secret location
Chief Suluk: Captured, now held hostage deep in Omashu
Kassandra: Killed in an attempt to capture her
Ai Lun Na: Escaped
As I walk out of the room, I realize that the Avatar only has one chance left. I know Tian hasn't escaped. He is my personal prisoner.