I don't own Avatar the Last Airbender or Pokemon.
Categories: Avatar the Last Airbender and Pokemon.
Zuko of the Pokemon - Discarded Divergence Version 1 Part 2
(The Winter Solstice Part 2 Avatar Roku)
I've talked with the three villages who were taken by Hei Bai and they all seem like they will be okay. Nothing else needs my attention so indicating for my soldiers to stay back I approach the Avatar and his companions.
"Avatar," I stop at a distance close enough for conversation but far enough to seem mostly unthreatening. "Considering that if you do something dumb that enrages a more powerful Spirit it could have disastrous effects on everyone I consider it in the best interest of the Fire Nation to tell you where you went wrong with Hei Bai."
Sokka is thoughtful while Aang is eager. "Firstly, not even the Avatar can command Spirits. You can negotiate and reason with them but commanding them is very unlikely to work and may just make the situation worse. Secondly if you have the opportunity to research a Spirit before confronting it then you should do so. Thirdly, attempt to find out what sort of Spirit it is that you are facing. Fourthly, see if anything as changed in the area nearby that may have triggered the Spirit's change in behaviour. Fifthly, always be polite and respectful."
Aang looks like he's trying to commit my quick lesson to memory. "Now, I think you should be leaving."
They look at me in surprise. "This is a bad place to fight you. So unless you surrender or force me to fight you I will allow you to leave." I arch my eyebrow and sharpen my tone. "Go!"
There is a moment's pause were I think they might argue then they are scrambling to leave. I watch them mount the Sky Bison and idly ask, "So, do we know where they are going next?"
"It sounded like Crescent Island, sir." Hyousuke sounds slightly puzzled. I give him an approving smile for taking the initiative to do some tactical ears-dropping and listen to his report. "The Avatar said he could speak with Avatar Roku if he went to a temple on a crescent-shaped island in the Fire Nation on the solstice."
"Hmm. Good work." I Call Fletchinder. "Follow the Avatar's Bison." I nod at the Sky Bison flying west. "Try not to be seen."
Watching Fletchinder climb high into the sky I consider. They looked tired and who knows how well they can navigate at night so they will probably stop to camp somewhere. We need to head back to the Ship. Fletchinder will make sure we don't miss them when they try an cross the Mo Ce Sea.
"We are heading back to the ship."
Cutting it close aren't you. I eye the Sky Bison flying overhead. Given the Bison's speed they should arrive before sunset but they won't have much time for mistakes. On the other hand they wouldn't want to linger in the Fire Nation.
"You're not planning to sail into Fire Nation waters are you Prince Zuko?" my Uncle checks.
"Of course not." I glance at him. "You don't really think I'd risk my crew like that?" I turn my gaze back to the bison. "No, I've told the helmsman not to enter Fire Nation waters. We will try and catch the Avatar before his Bison enters the Fire Nation but this ship shall not follow if he passes into territories that I am banned from entering."
I grimace as the catapult is loaded. Luxio whines, "Luuuux." I pet him, silently apologizing for the terrible smell.
"Un, really Prince Zuko, couldn't you shoot them down with something more fragrant?" I ignore Uncle as he waves a fan in a futile attempt to direct the stench away from his nose.
"On my mark!" A single fire punch sets the projectile a fire. "Fire!"
The soldier besides the catapult slices the ropes. The flaming ball launches towards the target.
I indicate a second attempt should be made. Another projectile is loaded, set aflame and launched.
On the horizon a line of ships stretches. This is as far as the ship goes. For now we are still in Earth Kingdom waters but continue forward. "Helmsman! Turn and head back for Earth Kingdom." And I wouldn't be surprised if they try to sink us. The Banished Prince caught in a catapult barrage aimed at the Avatar? It would be a convenient accident.
"Uncle." I stare in disappointment after the Avatar. "I will be in my room. I do not wish to be disturbed for the rest of the day."
Setting words into action I head for my room. The helmsman knows the course I have set and my men know better than to disturb me when I ask for privacy.
Entering my room I close the door and quickly strip. From a hidden compartment of my chest I remove a blue and white theatre mask and manuvorable dark clothes. Dressed in my disguise I take down the duel Dao from where they are set on display. I make sure the water proof wrapping covers them completely. Means I can't draw them straight away but it is worth having to unwrap them once I reach land to be sure that no sea-water rusts the blades or rots the hits
Carefully and stealthfully I make my way off the ship. Dropping into the ocean I Call for my Pokémon. In a soft white shimmer Chinchou appears, a round blue body with tiny fins and feet, big cross pupiled yellow eyes and two long antennae that curve from his back to in front of his face ending in round yellow orbs that glow softly.
Treading water I smile at my Pokémon and wrap one arm around his body. "Chou." He greets me and then starts to swim. Clinging to my Pokémon as he drags me though the water I eye the approaching blockade. Hopefully they will be too distracted by the Avatar getting past them to look too closely in the water. And even if they do, we are quite small from this distance not to mention a strange sight. Still I wouldn't risk swimming past them in broad day light.
Relaxing I breathe in, out, wrap both arms securely around Chinchou and take a deep breath. Dive.
Water rushes over me, presses against me. I keep my eyes shut, hold my breath and trust Chinchou.
Minutes pass. The urge to breath slowly grows stronger. I focus on nothing but keeping hold of Chinchou and not breathing. I'm a firebender and I've practiced this. Breath control is at least a quarter of firebending and my lung capacity is exceptional. The minutes stretch on.
Chinchou swims upwards and the pressure lets up. My face breeches the surface and I breathe in deeply. Opening my eyes I glance back, we are fully past the blockade. "Good work Chinchou."
I adjust my grip and Chinchou swims forward.
Hours later I wonder again why I am doing this. Curiosity. I glare at the sky above then look at the island we are approaching. Crescent Island, location of a Fire Temple best known for being where Avatar Roku trained and housing his statue. Guarded by the Fire Sages and most certainly a part of the Fire Nation which means the Banished Prince Zuko can't set foot there without being executed.
The sky bison is lying on at the base of the stop bridge that leads up to the Fire Temple but that doesn't matter to me. Chinchou stops in the shallows rocky waters just outside of the islands wards.
I gather my will, my utter conviction that what I say is true and tell the Wards of Crescent Island, "My name is Zuko, Son of Ozai whom is the Fire Lord Ozai, and Son of Usra who is the Granddaughter of Avatar Roku. I belong here and so do my Pokémon."
There is no way to tell if the Wards have accepted me or not.
Letting go of Chinchou I swim over to low rock and climbing on. Finding my footing I carefully stretching to loosen my muscles for the climb ahead of me. Reaching for my Chi-bonds I Recall Chinchou and Call Vibrava. The green four winged, four legged insect like Pokémon shimmers into existence hovering above me.
I flex my fingers, discreetly steaming the water out of my gloves and check that they aren't going to slip off as I climb. I make sure that my sword sheathe is securely attached across my back and look up at the rock face. Not the easiest climb but not the worst either.
Vibrava keeps watch so I focus on the climb alone. Quick, efficient movements push off with my legs, use my arms to pull me up only when I have to.
It can't be more than ten minutes later that I am almost at the top of the island-hill. I cover the last distance swiftly, halting in a crouch against the Fire Temple's walls. Vibrava clings to the temple walls above me.
I spot an entrance into the temple. Glancing up at Vibrava once I shrug and Recall him. Next to me Riolu appears in a muted shimmer of white-light. I tilt my head at my chosen route into the temple. Riolu nods and darts forward. I follow each step as swift and silent as I can manage.
I can't afford to be seen but I want to know what is happening. Luckily places like this are full of secret tunnels and between Riolu and I we notice anyone approaching with easily enough time to hide. The Fire Sages are in an uproar. So the Avatar and his companions are definitely in the Temple. I make my way towards the sanctuary. It holds Avatar Roku's statue and I can't think of any other reason for the Avatar to be here. I pause for a moment -was that an explosion?- and continue with a barely perceivable shrug.
Glance quickly into the room. The Avatar is slicing airbending at the door while the two Water Tribe stand next to him. Most interestingly is that there is a Fire Sage standing with them. A traitor? Exchanging a look with Riolu I sneak into the room while the four are talking and distracted.
Watching the three hide I consider their plan from my own hiding place. It's not a bad plan. I eye the Avatar hiding near me and unaware of my presence as the other Fire Sages arrive. I could grab him.
"Come quickly!" the traitor Fire Sage says, "The Avatar has entered the sanctuary!"
"How did he get in?" the old man I recognize as a Great Fire Sage asks.
"I don't know. But look at the scorch marks! And down there!" the traitor points at a shadow under the door.
"He's inside!" they've convinced the Great Fire Sage, "Open the doors, immediately! Before he contacts Avatar Roku."
I could grab him. It would be easy. I watch Aang move into position as the Fire Sages use their Firebending to open the doors. But I won't. I am here to figure out what's going on that as the Avatar coming into the Fire Nation so he can talk to his predecessor not to capture the Avatar.
"It's the Avatar's lemur." The Great Fire Sage exclaims. "He must have crawled through the pipes! We've been tricked!"
I smirk behind my mask as the lemur leaps onto the Great Fire Sage's head, clinging to his hat. The water tribe girl charges out of hiding and pulls a sage's tunic over his head. The water tribe boy grabs a sage's skirt and lifts it over his body to cover his face. He then grabs and pins the last sage, "Now, Aang!"
The airbender sprints out of his hiding place and right through the open doors. I can see Aang stand, staring up at the statue of Avatar Roku, then the doors shut themselves and flash with white light.
This alternative continuity will probably have another part: In Which Zuko Kidnaps a Fire Sage. (And is grudgingly impressed by his great-gandfather.)