Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar or Star Wars, but I love them both dearly.
Water, Earth, Fire, Air...
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away...
There was a disturbance...
FINAL ROUND: The Disturbance
Chapter 3 - The Evil Prince
Night had fallen at the Lars household, and Luke had not yet come home. Yangchen was worried and panicking, and a furious Gyatso was pacing the floor.
"Where is he?" Yangchen cried. "Where could he be? Why hasn't Luke come home?"
"He'll be back," Gyatso snarled, "and when he does come back, he's in for a heap of trouble."
"How can you think of punishing him? We should be out looking for him!"
"Don't get the notion in your head, Yangchen. It's dark out, and the sand-people could be out tonight.
That didn't help at all, and Yangchen started up her weeping again. Gyatso sighed angrily and put a palm to his face.
"The droids are up above, watching for him. When he comes back, they'll detect him from a parsec away."
There was an unexpected knock at the door, which startled the Lars couple in a most unusual manner.
"Could that be Luke?" Gyatso wondered, "How did he get in without the droids seeing him?"
His answer came quickly, and it was not one either of them wanted to hear.
A deep and intimidating voice shouted, "Open up in the name of the Empire!"
Gyatso turned to Yangchen. "Go. Hide. I'll see what they want."
He turned back to the door, "What do you want at this ungodly hour?"
Then a different voice, higher and fueled with rage, answered,
"Open this door or we will burn your house to the ground!"
Gyatso limped toward the door, muttering to himself, "It's already in the ground...stupid Imperial bantha-brains."
He pushed the button on the wall, and the door slid up into the wall. A small troop of Imperial Blazetroopers marched into the room, followed by an young but intimidating figure in black armor and a black cape. He wore no helmet, had his jet-black hair up in a topknot, and had a gruesome red scar over his left eye. This was the owner of the other voice Gyatso had heard.
"Who are you," Gyatso snarled, "and why are you here?"
The young Imperial glared him right in the eyes and said, "I am Lord Zuko of the Galactic Empire. Where is the Avatar?"
Luke woke up groggily in the old dwelling Katara had brought him to. He sat up and rubbed his eyes. The first of the binary suns was just beginning to edge over the horizon. Luke let out a big yawn, and strongly considered going back to sleep. That was when he realized that Katara was not in the hut.
"Oh no, Katara."
He grabbed his rifle and ran out of the hut in a frenzy. He stopped dead in his tracks. Katara, already dressed her in heavy robe again, was holding twin spheres of water aloft, with no clear sign of any tool she might be using. This must be more of that water-bending, Luke told himself. Presently, Katara began to swirl the water in tight circles, then it leapt out to a wide ring around her as she spun like a dervish. She came to a stop, again with her back facing Luke. She gathered up the water with a sweeping gesture and somehow stored it in a pouch in her robe. She finally turned to face him.
"Good morning, Luke. How did you sleep?"
"Like a baby," Luke lied. He thought back to his dream that night. Being frozen in a giant iceberg. Waking up to see a beautiful native girl in a blue parka. Traveling the world on a giant flying thing that looked like a big, white bantha. They were strange things he dreamed about. What did they mean?
"That's great. You ready to start back to your place?"
"Yeah, sure, I..." He stopped. A strange rumbling sound echoed in his ears, and whatever made it was coming closer, and fast. Something in his mind clicked, and he knew at once that they needed to move.
They ran away from the hut as fast as they could, just as a rushing herd of bantha stormed by. The huge yak-like animals stopped for no one when something had them whipped up in a panic like that. Luke wondered what could make them so scared, and his question was answered before he could ask it. A huge six-legged shadow loomed over-head briefly, then a giant white bantha crashed down next to them...almost as if it had...come from the...sky. A light came on for Luke when he saw the thing.
"I know what you are! You were in my dream!"
"Luke, don't! That thing is dangerous!"
In response, the huge creature stuck out its enormous tongue and gave Luke one solid lick from toes to head. He started to laugh.
"Katara, I don't think he'd hurt anyone."
"Well, then what caused the stampede?"
Luke shrugged, "I don't know. They came from that way." He pointed to a dune to his right. "Let's go check it out."
"Wait! Not yet." Katara ran back into the hut and came out with a long wooden staff, with metal on the end. She handed it to Luke, saying,
"Here, this was your staff in our world."
Luke took it curiously, and inspected the metal bit at the top, "What is this thing?"
Katara stared at it too. "That's strange. That wasn't there last night."
"Hey, look. A button!"
Luke pushed a small red button on the staff, and bright blue light extended from the metal tip. He jumped in surprise, and Katara suddenly remembered.
"Ah! I know what that is now! I was told by an old man that that is called a light-saber. It was used by the Jedi; a more elegant weapon of a more civilized time. At least, that's what the old man said."
Luke bobbed the light blade a few times, then turned it off. With a skillful spin, he stowed the staff on his back, as if by reflex. Katara gave him an odd look, and Luke stared at his hands for a moment, mouth gaping wide. He then regained a little composure, and they looked at the dune.
"It's a long walk to even clear that dune," Luke said perceptively.
The white bantha gave a grunt and kneeled over. Katara pointed at it.
"It almost looks like that thing wants to take us."
"Katara, I don't know what kind of bantha they have in your world, but it would be quicker for us to walk on foot than to ride him."
"I don't know about that. Did you see how he came here?"
"It almost looked like he..."
They got the same idea at once, and they jumped up on the flying bantha's back. When he jumped on, Luke got the strangest feeling. It was as if he had been there before, on the back of a big furry creature with Katara, flying across a desert. But that couldn't be possible, could it?
"Luke? How do we get this thing to fly?"
"I don't know. Do I look like an expert on big, white, flying bantha to you?"
"Come on, buddy! We need to go see what caused the stampede!"
Luke's eyes flashed bright white, for only a moment. "Okay, Appa, yip yip!"
"Yip wha..." Katara started to say, but the bantha decided it was time to go, and it jumped into the air and started to fly. "Whaaaaaa!"
"Did you call this thing 'Appa'?"
"Did I say that?"
"Yeah, you did. And you got him to fly by saying 'yip yip' or something."
"I think I'd remember something that stupid. If saying 'yip' would make bantha fly, we would have figured it out a long time ago."
"Don't think so. This guy seems special."
"Yeah...I was thinking the same thing. Oh no!"
They had cleared the dune, and Luke spotted something on fire. And that something was his house.
"That's my uncle's place! We have to help! Come on, buddy! Fly faster!"
They landed a few feet from the smoldering wreckage. The first thing they found was the disembodied head of the golden translator droid.
"C-3P0? What happened?"
"Oh, Master Luke, it was terrible! Some men from the Empire came here last night. They burned down the whole house!"
"I can see that. Where are my aunt and uncle?"
"I'm sorry, Master Luke. I'm not quite sure. I lost my head a little in the confusion."
"Looks like you lost your head a lot."
"Oh no! I'm just a head! This is awful!"
Then Luke heard Katara scream. He looked up in a hurry, and found Katara staring at a pile of charred bones.
He ran to the remains and collapsed on the ground. "No! No! I should have been here! I could have stopped them!"
Katara changed moods to that of reason, "No, Luke, if you had been with them you surely would have been killed."
Katara then had an epiphany. She ran over to the golden head, which was still spouting eloquent depression.
"Threepio, be quiet! I need to know. Did you see the men that burned down the house?"
"Yes, as a matter of fact, I..."
"What did they look like?"
"They were Imperial Blazetroopers, young miss. Well, except for the one."
That struck a note all too familiar. "The one?"
"Yes, I believe one of them was dressed all in black. He had pale skin and a topknot, and a horrible scar. Simply atrocious. He said his name was Zuko."
Coming up next is Chapter 4, and the beginning of the Last Avatar's quest for revenge!