Hundreds of years after the death of Aang. All hope of there ever being another Avatar has been lost after his Water Tribe successor died in the Avatar State. But then a visitor from another world ...
I haven’t always been blind, in other words I wasn’t born that way. I remember being a small child and all the blurred colors, my favorite color was the green of the earth and the trees, I can still remember what my mother’s face looks like. I’m not really bitter about being blind, I’ve come to terms with it and I happen to have a little secret, I’m not completely blind. My eyes may have fibro mialgia and they may not work but like a bat with sonar some how I can feel vibrations through the earth. Some how when I move my feet on the ground I can sense the shape and basic features of the objects the vibrations bounce off of. So as long as I have my bare feet on the ground I can see as well as anyone can in twilight. I haven’t told anyone about this ability because I don’t really want to become any more of spectacle than I already am and even though my mother suspects I can see better than I pretend she hasn’t said anything. It’s hard in this day an age to go around barefoot so when I’m at school or out in public I wear really long baggy pants or if I have to, a long skirt that covers my feet effectively. I’ve had a lot of practice at this, seeing as how I’m now almost 18 and at the end of this year I’ll be heading off to college. Sometimes I think the only good thing about my condition is all the college scholarships offered to me, because we couldn’t afford it with out them. My mom works as the clothing department manager in our local Wal-Mart and we live in a small house in the wooded area just outside of town. It’s on my way back home from school one late summer after noon when things get very interesting in my rather mundane life. I could smell it on the air, it was heavy and sticky, which meant storms. As I walked home the wind started to pick up and the air got suddenly cooler, not good. I practically ran up the front steps when I heard thunder, I hate thunder, it makes the ground vibrate all over so it comes from every where and yet no where, it’s disorienting and scary for me. I quickly stomped downstairs to my basement room and flipped on the TV quickly. There was apparently a tornado warning for the county right next to ours and I cursed loudly. I hated bad storms, so I grabbed a blanket off my bed and then our emergency kit and tried to call my mom on her old cell. And what do you know, it wasn’t working like always, and she didn’t pick up, I cursed adamantly again. All of a sudden the thunder stopped and it got terribly silent, but the scariest part was the horrible funnel I could feel ripping up the ground only just up the road from my house, then the eerie howling of the winds. I paled and made a mad dash for my bathroom shower, but halfway there I felt my mother trying to run up the hill to our house out against the wind. I immediately flipped around and ran up the stairs, as I struggled to open the door I could feel my mothers feet suddenly leave the ground and I screamed. But it was as if all the air had been sucked out of my lungs and the scream was lost forever in the howl of the wind. Suddenly there was a white flash across my retinas and a horrible cracking pop of heated air, and then there was cold black nothingness.
Kara, Southern Water Tribe, World of the Avatar:
I had a bad feeling about today and usually my feelings were never wrong, but unlike my sister who was a seer, I had no evidence to back up this feeling except the uneasiness in my stomach. I was right. I found out I was right when around lunch time my father approached me innocently enough. I was getting ready to go inside to eat lunch when he walked up next to me and said the words I have been dreading for months now,
“Kara we need to talk about your future.”
I knew this could only turn out one way, and I had been dreading this talk since my impending 18th birthday is only two days away. It was water tribe tradition for a girl to be betrothed at age 16, but through some hefty maneuvering I had managed to postpone that, until now that is. I cringed as my father continued,
“Lodi’s son had asked for your hand again and so had Moran’s eldest son, but Kara my darling I’ll let you choose any man in this village, you just have to pick one to announce your engagement to in two days.”
My father patted my shoulder and walked into the dinning hall and I decided I had suddenly lost my appetite. See, the problem wasn’t that I didn’t want to be betrothed, it was that I didn’t want to be betrothed to some guy. I had learned from my first love that I had no interest in men what so ever and I never would. This put me in a horrible position, I would end up in a miserable loveless marriage, forced to have children to carry on the royal line of the water tribe. That was the worse part, I’m the only child of Shota, ruler of the Southern water tribe. I didn’t want to disappoint my father, but then I also hoped and prayed for many years he would get remarried and have other, less freakish, children. He did get remarried but to Lara, who already had a 12 year old daughter and they haven’t had any children together. So since that hasn’t happened yet, and with only two days till I am to be condemned, I don’t think that’s going to save me. I wasn’t really supposed to learn water bending combat (I was supposed to be a delicate princess, when all the other girls were aloud to if they wanted to), but I had secretly been learning from grandma Hana for over ten years now. So I was sneaking out to the ocean to practice on the glacier I go to when I get mad, the water was looking as dark and as angry as I was and storm clouds were rumbling across the horizon. Still, even though I knew I should head back, I kept swinging my arms angrily over the water making the boat slice effortlessly through the water. I got to my chunk and that’s when I saw the first bolts of lightning and all the anger seeped from me and I started to get afraid. I looked back to were I froze my boat to the glacier but it had broken away and was at least a hundred feet gone by now.
I cursed as I cracked a good raft sized piece from the glacier and started bending my way towards the runaway boat. The water was rumbling and the wind had made it cold and choppy, the lightning cracked and the thunder boomed directly over head. I had almost made it to the boat even though now my arms felt like wet noodles, suddenly a huge burst of lightning struck the ocean only a few hundred feet in front of me. It was a bright blue white flash and blinded me for 30 seconds after it struck. When I was finally able to open my eyes the storm had started to die down, I reached my boat and sighed with relief. At first I thought it was the black spots still flashing in front of my eyes, but it looked like a person was laying on top of a piece of ice up ahead of the boat. I blinked a couple times and realized it really was a person. I paddled closer and realized it was a girl about my age all dressed in green and floating lifelessly on a white piece of ice ahead. I immediately bended a wave to wash me up to the piece of ice and then pulled her on board with the help of my water whip. She wasn’t breathing and I quickly pulled all the water from her lungs, the girl coughed up a little more water, but still didn’t open her eyes. I hurriedly wrapped her in an extra parka and blanket I had brought and started waving my arms back and forth over the water as fast I could go in my exhausted state back to the village.
Phoebe, Southern Water Tribe, Kara’s Dwelling:
I had a sharp intake of breath as I woke, my body hurt everywhere but my lungs hurt the most. I tried to sit up and I couldn't do it so I moaned and lay back down slightly. Just then I head a girls voice say,
“Oh you’re awake! Thank Yue! I’ll go get grandma Hana so you can tell her where you hurt and she can heal you some more.”
I tried to struggle against the pain to speak, but the only thing that came out was a struggled cough. I wanted to ask where I was and why I couldn’t see even a little. That’s what scared me the most, was that for some reason I couldn’t feel the earth’s vibrations here, I was completely blind for the first time in my life. Then I heard two people enter the room, they both kneeled beside me and one placed her hands on my chest. There was a cool tingling feeling and suddenly my lungs felt much better. I breathed in then said hoarsely, but without pain,
“Where am I, and what did you just do?”
The girl's voice from earlier answered,
“You’re in the Southern Water Tribe Capital, and more precisely you’re in the royal guest room of the chief's lodge.”
I merely stared on blankly, and when I didn’t say anything, the girl’s voice spoke up again,
“I was about to ask you were you are from, we all figured because you’re clothes are all green you’re from the earth kingdom, but none of us have seen such clothes before so,”
She was cut off by the voice of an elderly woman,
“Kara! Leave the poor girl be a little longer, I just healed her lungs and she should rest for a few more hours before you bombard her with questions, now go child and bring me some more water.”
I heard the girl named Kara grumble and then leave the room, and the old woman spoke again. This time to me,
“To answer the question my pupil didn’t, I healed you using water bending, it’s something only very gifted water benders can do. Kara wanted to heal you when she brought you in but she was exhausted from paddling in through the storm. I would very much like to know how you came to be in the middle of the ocean, but let’s start with your name.”
“My name is Phoebe and both the answers that you and Kara gave me make no sense to me, I don’t know where the Southern Water Tribe is or what water bending is, or how the hell I ended up in the ocean when I was smack dab in the middle of the United States the last time I checked.” I managed to say briskly.
There was a slight pause when she asked,
“Tell me, was it storming in the place you call ‘The United States?’”
“Yes, now that you mention it there was a really bad storm right before I was hit by lightn..” I paused, I had been hit by lightning, I should be dead!
I heard what might have been fear or excitement in the old woman’s voice when she said,
“You were hit by lightning and then you woke up here in a place that you have never heard of, a world you have never lived in then!”
I didn’t say anything and she continued,
“I have heard of strange things happening during storms, but never of people being transported between worlds, amazing, this is just astonishing! And yet I think we should keep this between you and me and maybe Kara, yes?”
I merely nodded warily and said,
“Tell me, are we floating in the air?”
I thought it might be plausible seeing as how I was in a different world, where healing with water was possible. So floating on some sky city didn’t seem too far fetched. But the old woman seemed surprised by this and said,
“No we are not, why do you ask that?”
“It’s just when I’m on solid earth I can see but right now I’m completely blind.”
I didn’t feel like I would be deemed a freak for admitting my secret here because they could heal with water and that was pretty freaky.
“Open your eyes Phoebe.” The old woman said gently.
I did so and I heard her gasp, then she said,
“You’re her spitting image, I wonder then if you are an earth bender?”
“I have no idea what an earth bender is, let alone if I am one!” I almost shouted.
“Relax child, I was merely musing over it, for you see there was once a great earth bender, no the greatest there ever was, and she was completely blind except she could see fine through the vibrations in the earth.”
At hearing this I shivered, how was it possible that in this world doing that, being able to see with the earth, was normal and had been done before?
“You look a lot like the great Sifu Toph even though she lived over three hundred years ago, do you not have earth bending and water bending in your world then? For you look surprised.”
I nodded and said,
“If any one in my world found out I could see through vibrations in the earth they would deem me a freak and probably imprison me some where.”
The old woman sighed at this,
“That’s so awful, to be banished for ones bending, here you will be accepted. Although right here it might be difficult for you to live because we a currently on a giant shelf of ice, that’s why you cannot see, the ground here is made out of water.”
I sucked in a great breath, so I was currently in a place very similar to the South Pole back on earth, and apparently here people could do strange magic with water and earth. There were so many questions I wanted to ask, but the only one I got to ask before she left me to rest was,
“What’s your name?”
“My name is Hana, but you may call me grandma or grandma Hana if you prefer.” I could hear the smile in her voice as she said this. Then she said,
“You should rest awhile longer, then I will answer all those questions you have about this world.” I then felt the cool tingling again on my forehead and I became very sleepy and drifted off.