Chang has never seen anything like the Northeastern Air Temple. The warm sun bright against his eyes as he takes in the beautiful stone work; it looks largely identical to the four Great Temples of the North, South, East and West. Like all the sub-temples though it has its own subtle differences. A sister welcomes him; the orange and yellow clothing a stark contrast against her dark skin. He follows her through the outer courtyard. The slightly uneven stone patterned in elaborate swirling mosaics.
It’s all gone. His home is all gone. The Northern Temple has been taken over by refugees; the Southern has become a graveyard of corpses and bones. The East and Western Temples are nothing more than stone coffins filled with ashes and memories. He can’t bear to think how damaged the sub-Air Temples are.
It hurts, oh four winds it hurts to remember. It hurts too remember his brothers and sisters and their bright, happy faces. To remember the Monks who raised him and how it feels to be suddenly cut off from their support. How empty he feels that only he and Aang have any knowledge of their people’s traditions. That a fifteen and a twelve year old are the final Air Nomads on this entire planet, it shouldn’t be like this.
Aang decides to play a round of air ball and for a few moments he forgets. He forgets that his little brother is the Avatar. He forgets that Aang and Appa are all he has from his life before. What monsters could do this? How could anyone do this?
His stomach hurts and his eyes mist over as tears run down his face. Choked sobs make his throat ache. He just wants to go back. He wants to see the sisters and monks and know what he’s supposed to do? He wants someone to tell him what he’s supposed to do?
The world is suddenly before him and more dangerous than he ever realized. Aang needs to learn waterbending, earthbending, and firebending, and save the world? What were the spirits drinking to make a twelve year old the savior of the entire world? His head throbs as the questions circle his brain like a million stinging hornetbees with no answers. He puts his head in his hands and cries.