Book 1: Water
Chapter 3: The Island of Kyoshi
Sokka read the map. He was sitting atop Appa with an exasperated expression on his face. "You have no idea where you're going, do you?"
Aang turned his head to answer Sokka. "Well, I know it's near water... but Appa can only fly for about a day, so we'll need to stop."
The Avatar steered Appa towards a nearby island and landed in a small forest. They noticed a giant eel in the island's bay shooting water out its mouth at an elephant koi. "We'll set up camp here for the night," said Sokka. "This island seems uninhabited, so we should be able to get food from the natural resources."
Katara then noticed that Appa was eating something. "No, Appa! Don't eat that!" she ran off to stop the sky bison.
Suddenly, a pack of warriors in armored green uniforms lunged from the tree branches. Katara had stopped Appa from eating that thing, but one warrior got her when she got back. The Avatar's group had been brought down, their heads pressed into the grass. A woman wearing a golden headpiece spoke up. "You are all intruding on the sacred forest where Avatar Kyoshi trained her earthbending. State your reason for visiting Kyoshi Island, or we'll throw you in the water with the Unagi."
Aang responded, "My sky bison Appa needs to rest so that he can travel in the morning."
The leader of the warriors stamped her foot against Aang's face. "You're a bad liar. All of the sky bison live in the Air Temples. Unless..." She pulled her foot off of Aang's face and saw the tattoos of the Air Nomads. "A costume?"
Aang looked up at the girl and said, "This island is named after Avatar Kyoshi? I know Kyoshi."
"Ha!" laughed one warrior, "How could you possibly know her? She died over 200 years ago!"
"I know her because I'm the Avatar," Aang plainly said.
The warrior's leader and the other girls had expressions of shock and disbelief on their faces. The leader shook her fist at Aang. "That's impossible!" she snapped, "The last Avatar was an airbender who disappeared 100 years ago!"
"That's me!" Aang exclaimed, grinning wildly.
"Throw the imposter to the Unagi!" yelled one warrior.
"Wait, Fengshan." She looked back at Aang. "If you are the Avatar, then prove it," the leader said.
Aang picked up a pebble and cupped it in his hands. He then did some airbending to make the pebble whirl around and around in midair as he grinned like a fool. The warriors gasped.
"It's true," said Fengshan in awe, "You are the Avatar!"
The leader pulled Aang off the ground, and gestured to her followers to do the same with Sokka. "My name is Suki, and I'm the leader of the Kyoshi Warriors. The Avatar is welcome on our island."
The group was then brought to the center of a nearby village, where a statue of Kyoshi was in the center. A crowd of villagers began cheering for Aang. A man from the crowd began to convulse and foam at the mouth in excitement before fainting.
At a seaside town, a girl ran across the pier and over to a fisherman, who had reeled in his most recent catch. "Did you hear the news?" she asked. "The Avatar's on Kyoshi!"
The fisherman dropped his basket in shock. "HUH?" he answered, obviously surprised.
On a small street in the town, the fisherman tells a merchant the news.
In front of his shop, the merchant sells fish to a man and tells him the same thing.
The man is Zuko's cook, and hands the cooked fish to the prince and Iroh. After Zuko placed the plate on the table, he stood up in anger. "The Avatar's on Kyoshi Island?" He stormed out of the room while speaking to Iroh. "Uncle, ready the rhinos. He's not getting away from me this time."
Iroh points at the fish. "Are you going to finish that?" he questioned.
"I was going to save it for later!" shouted Zuko, leaving the room with his meat. Iroh pouts at not getting to eat the fish.
Back at Kyoshi Island, everything is peaceful and quiet in the sunlight. Two villagers were cleaning the statue of Kyoshi.
Meanwhile, Appa is laying on his side, munching on fresh hay. Two more of the townsfolk were caring for him. One scrubs his fur and the other was buffing his horns. Appa grunts happily, clearly enjoying all the attention.
Inside a nearby house, Aang and Katara were seated in front of a long wooden table. The table was covered in eighteen different plates of food. A villager enters and places another plate on the table. Aang rose his arms up in the air happily. "All right! Dinner for breakfast!" he exclaimed. "These people sure know how to treat an Avatar!"
"Hey, don't get too comfortable," Katara reminded him. "It's risky for us to stay in one place for very long."
"I'm sure we'll be fine," he reassured. "Besides, did you see how happy I'm making this town? They're even refurbishing the statue in my honor!"
"Well, it's nice to see you excited about being the Avatar. I just hope it doesn't go to your head."
"Come on, you know me better than that. I'm just a simple monk." Aang then stood up and goes to the window. He looks down to see a crowd of girls. Aang's face then broke out in a large smile and he blushed.
"THBPBPTHPT!" That seemed to have come from Katara, who had just blown a raspberry at him.
An artist began to paint a picture of Aang sitting next to Koko, one of the young girls from the village. "Painting the Avatar... that's easy enough..." he mumbled. He put down his parchment for another look and there was now a second girl. "Oh... there's another one... I'll make an adjustment here, and..." When he put down the painting again, there were now four girls. "There's more... what..." Now when he views it, it seems like every girl in the village is now there. The artist just got up and walked away. The girls then collapsed on top of Aang in a laughing pile. More things happened like this, much to Katara's annoyance. But she laughed when she heard Sokka was training under the Kyoshi Warriors now.
And now he had to wear the dress. "Do I really have to wear this?" he asked. "It seems a little... girly."
"It's a warrior's uniform. You should be proud," Suki replied. "The silk threads symbolizes the brave blood that flows through our veins. The gold insignia represents the honor of the warrior's heart."
Sokka stood proudly. "Bravery and honor," he recited.
Aang then peeked in. "Hey Sokka! Nice dress!" He then raced off as Suki smiled at Sokka's discomfort. "Now we need to do Kyoshi's Rite."
Sokka, Suki, the rest of the warriors, and Katara stood at the torii at the top of a hill outside the village. The torii had 教師 written on it. Aang was with them, as he sat down beneath the archway... and wearing the clothes of Kyoshi. One woman named Yin Xiang walked forward to speak. "By undergoing the rite of Kyoshi, you'll be one of the few men who have ever joined the Kyoshi Warriors. Suki may have deemed you worthy, but your feelings are the most important. The principles Avatar Kyoshi put above all others were self-worth and independence. Many people may think that she was the most bloodthirsty Avatar, but that is completely wrong. Now Sokka, do you consider yourself worthy?"
"I do," Sokka said.
"In that case, the spirit of Avatar Kyoshi herself shall now judge you." Aang began to meditate, and after a minute or so he was suddenly surrounded by a whirlwind. When it dissipated, there was Avatar Kyoshi herself, resplendent in her kimono.
"Your spirit captures the best qualities of mankind, and the very principles that I taught. I will gladly accept you as a pupil of mine, Sokka of the Southern Water Tribe." And with that, she disappeared, leaving Aang in her place.
Katara then noticed a ship in the bay. "Zuko!" she cried. "It's the Fire Nation! They're here!"
"Girls, get ready for battle," Suki told the Kyoshi Warriors.
"Hey, I'm not a... oh, whatever!" said Sokka.
The ship landed as the prow is let down. Zuko departed the ship on a komodo rhino, along with several other soldiers, who were also riding komodo rhinos. "I want the Avatar alive," he told them.
As they entered town, a green form rushed silently past them. Then the Kyoshi Warriors jumped Zuko's army, kicking soldiers off their rhinos. One used their fan to intercept a spear, then kicked another firebender off. Suki ran at Zuko, dodging flames. She then jumped at him, only to be swatted away by the tail of Zuko's rhino.
The prince then aimed a fire blast at her. But Sokka then stepped in between Suki and the fireball, deflecting it. Zuko, taken by surprise, falls off his rhino.
"I guess training's over," commented Sokka. He, Suki, and another warrior named Yong Gan cautiously approached the prone Zuko. Zuko spins around on his hands, shooting fire bolts out his feet at the warriors. He knocks them all to the ground and pulls himself to his feet. Zuko leaps to the middle of the street.
"Nice try, Avatar!" he called, "But these little girls can't save you."
"Hey! Over here!" Zuko turned to see Aang, holding his staff.
"Finally," whispered the prince. He then shot two fireballs at Aang, who dodged and used his staff like a helicopter to fly over to Zuko. But another fireball knocks the staff out of his hands. Aang then picked up two fans that were dropped in the chaos and used them to make a gale that knocked Zuko into the wall of a house, knocking him out.
Aang then flew above the village, looking over the burning town. He then saw Katara helping Suki inside. Landing, his expression was one of sorrow.
"Look what I brought to this place," he said.
"It's not your fault," Katara said back.
"Yes it is," countered Aang. "These people got their town destroyed trying to protect me."
"Then let's get out of here," Katara told him. "Zuko will leave Kyoshi and follow us. I know it feels wrong to run, but I think it's the only way."
He hung his head. "I'll call Appa."
The Kyoshi Warriors began to chase off more firebenders, as Sokka and Suki were behind a house. "There's no time to say goodbye," she said.
"What about, 'I'm sorry'?" Sokka asked.
"For what?" Suki said with curiosity.
"I treated you like a girl when I should have treated you like a warrior," Sokka answered.
Suki leaned towards Sokka. "I am a warrior," she began, kissing him on the cheek. "But I'm a girl, too." Sokka touched his hand to his cheek, his eyes wide with surprise, and he blushes. "Now get out of here! We'll hold them off." She then ran back into battle.
Sokka ran up Appa's tail. "Appa, yip yip!" Aang yelled. Appa grunted and flies out of town. Zuko saw them leaving.
"Back to the ship!" he commanded. "Don't lose sight of them!"
The three of them were above the bay now. "I know it's hard, but you did the right thing," reassured Katara. "Zuko would have destroyed the whole place if we stayed! They're gonna be OK." Aang then remembered something about the bay, then got a determined look on his face, grabbed his glider, and flew down to the water. "What are you doing?!" Katara called.
Aang got to the surface, took a deep breath, and went underwater. Katara and Sokka watched in horror as they looked at the ripples. Several seconds go by until... the Unagi burst out of the water, Aang riding on it. He has hold of both of the whiskers and forces the Unagi's head towards the burning village. The Avatar then pulled back on the whiskers and the Unagi spews water over the town. The stream continues long enough to put out all the fires... and Zuko and his soldiers got soaked.
The airbender then let go of the Unagi's whiskers, and the giant eel rears its head. Aang proceeded to jump into the air as Appa flew down.
Expecting a lecture from Katara, Aang said, "I know, I know. That was stupid and dangerous."
"Yes, it was," Katara replied. She then hugged Aang, whose face lit up in joy and surprise. They then flew off into the sunset, and all was calm and quiet.