Book 1: Water- Begin Anew

*follows the plot of Avatar the Last Airbender*
Yukika is just a simple girl with a complicated past. A misfit in her family and a mistake in her mother's eyes. As she journeys, will she find herself or lose what little she had left?

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1. The Girl In The Iceberg

Chapter One- The Girl In The Iceberg


                "It won't get away from me this time," Sokka vowed. He intently stared at the water, waiting for the fish to appear. Katara laughed. She searched the water carefully as she removed her glove. She spotted the fish and began to move her hand in a gentle, back and forth, push and pull movement. A sphere of water rose up, the fish trapped within it. "Sokka look!" She cried out. Her brother ignored her, focused on the water. "Sokka, c'mon!" Sokka frowned. "Shush Katara, you'll scare it away." Katara called out again, "but Sokka! I caught one!" Her sphere of water headed over the canoe the siblings were fishing in. Sokka sat up, the butt of his spear colliding with the sphere of water. Ice cold ocean spray drenched his fur clothes. He turned and glared at Katara. "Why is it that every time, YOU play with magic water, I get soaked?!" Katara replied crossly, her voice echoing off the icy glaciers surrounding them, "it's NOT magic, it's waterbending! And it's- " Sokka interrupted her, annoyed. "Yeah yeah, an ancient art, unique to our culture, blah blah blah... Look, I'm just saying, if I had weird powers, I'd keep my weirdness to myself." Katara laughed. "You're calling me weird? I'm not the one who makes muscles at myself every time I see my reflection." True to her word, Sokka was grinning at his reflection in the water, his parka sleeve pulled up as he flexed. Katara rolled her eyes. The two siblings were jolted out of their squabble when the boat reached a patch of strong rapids. The small canoe was pulled into the flow, and Sokka plunged the paddle into the water as fast as he could, desperately trying to avoid the sharp, pale blue glaciers that threatened to tear a hole in the fragile vessel. "Look out!" Katara cried out as the boat neared two large glaciers. The space in between was too narrow, but Sokka tried anyway. The siblings were thrown out of the canoe onto a glacier as a sickening crack echoed off the sheer ice cliffs. The two looked back to see the canoe splintered between the two islands of ice. Katara glared at Sokka. "Guess my warning wasn't important." He scowled back. "Oh so you don't like my steering? Well maybe you should've waterbended us out of the ice." "Oh so now it's MY fault." "I knew I shouldn't have brought you along. Leave it to a girl to screw things up." "You... Are the most SEXIST, IMMATURE- I'm EMBARRASSED TO BE RELATED TO YOU! "A jet of water spiraled up the iceberg behind Katara as she ranted, sending a large crack through it." EVER SINCE MOM DIED, I'VE BEEN TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR EVERYTHING AROUND HERE WHILE YOU'VE BEEN OFF PLAYING SOLDIER!" Another crack slid through the ice. "I EVEN WASH ALL OF YOUR CLOTHES! HAVE YOU EVER SMELLED YOUR DIRTY SOCKS? WELL LET ME TELL YOU, GOD DAMNIT!" Another crack spiraled through the ice. Sokka looked scared now. "Katara, settle down!" "NO! THAT'S IT! FROM NOW ON, IM DONE HELPING YOU!" She finished. A loud crack resonated through the cliffs as the iceberg split in two. The siblings were sent backwards by the waves of water as the two halves sank. "You've just gone from weird, to freakish Katara." Katara looked in wonder at the sinking remains of the iceberg. "You mean I did that?" "Yep, congratulations. " Sokka rolled his eyes.  Suddenly, the water beneath them begins to glow a brilliant blue. As strange bubbles began to rise out of the dark waters, the two siblings cowered back from the rim, scrambling back onto their feet. Without warning, an enormous iceberg burst to the surface. The pair stared in wonder for a minute. Katara strayed closer and stared at the iceberg while Sokka behind her stretched out his hand as if he wanted to hold her back. "There's someone in here... A girl..." Katara said sadly, thinking whoever it was must be dead. She looked back at the glacier only to see her eyes open, glowing white. "She's alive! We have to help!" Katara said, grabbing Sokka's club and running towards the iceberg. She began to swing the club, over and over, slamming the blunt end into the ice. A fissure slithered up the glacier, and air whistled out. The fissure grew deeper, and the sides of the glacier shattered. A bright blue light erupted into the air from where the girl was in the iceberg.


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                The ship floated silently through the icy waters, a solid cast-iron hull invincible against the icebergs. A teenager stood on the main deck. The boy had black hair tied back in a ponytail and a red, raw scar across his left eye. His eyes were wide as he traced the beam of light down to a point between two glacier cliffs. "Finally..." He turned to an older man cross legged on the floor of the deck, playing solitaire. "Uncle, do you realize what this means?" The pudgy, gray haired man replied, "i won't get to finish my game?" The teen scowled. "No. It means my search; it's finally come to an end!" His uncle sighed. "That light came from an incredibly powerful source! It has to be him!" The teenager snapped angrily. His uncle replied in a calm tone, "or, it's just the celestial lights. We've been down this road before, Prince Zuko. I don't want you to get too excited for nothing." Zuko's uncle placed another tile down in his game. "Please, sit. Why don't you enjoy a cup of calming jasmine tea," he continued. "I DON'T NEED ANY CALMING TEA!" Zuko yelled. "I need to capture the avatar! Helmsman? Head a course for the light!"


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                Katara staggered backwards, and Sokka held out his spear fearfully. He lowered the spear as the two siblings stopped to watch the lights. A figure stumbled out of the ice, eyes glowing white. Sokka raised his spear. "Stop!" He commanded. The girl's eyes faded to pink and she crumpled to the ground as the lights faded from the sky. Katara rushed to catch the girl as she fell from a mountain of snow and ice. Her stark white hair billowed out in soft curls around her face, a rosy hue dusting her cheeks. Her skin was stark white, without a hint of color. She wore a loose, pale blue shirt and a matching pair of pants tucked into tight, brown knee-high boots, with a dark blue belt. A mantle covered her delicate shoulders, the same blue as her belt. Katara lay her out on the snow, and she groaned, her eyes fluttering open. Sokka rushed to her side as she sat up. "I need to ask you something... " she whispered hoarsely. "What?" Asked Katara. "Please, come closer..." She said, her voice slightly stronger. Katara leaned in. "What is it?" The girl sat up completely, smiling brightly. "Will you two go penguin sledding with me?" Katara leaned away, smiling in a confused way. "Uh... Sure! I guess..." The girl literally flew up, and asked, "what's going on?" As Sokka aimed his spear at her. "You tell us!" Sokka said, his feet shifting into a fighting stance. "How'd you get in the ice!? And why aren't you frozen?" Sokka demanded, poking her with his spear. The girl ran her hand through her white curls, thinking. She pushed the spear away unconsciously. "I'm not sure..." She answered, looking around. Suddenly, a groan echoed from behind the snow mountain that the girl had came from. "Nala!" She cried out, scrambling over the mounds of snow and ice. She nimbly jumped over the top, sliding down the other side and flying to her feet again. "Nala!" She smiled as she hugged a giant furry animal. "Are you all right?" She worried. "Wake up, buddy!" She yelled in its ear. The animal was a giant mass of dark tan fur, with a reddish brown arrow on its head. The girl lifted up one of the creature's eyelids. It dropped back down again. It was clear that this animal was in a deep sleep.


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                Katara and Sokka walked around the ice mountain, and when they reached the other side they were met with the sight of the girl trying to lift open the mouth of a giant creature. She strained uselessly, it appeared, untill the creature growled. It licked the girl like a polardog would, showing love and affection. "Yay, you're okay!" She said happily. Sokka raised his spear. "What is that thing?" The girl smiled. "This is Nala, my flying bison." She announced proudly. Sokka frowned. "Riiight. And this is Katara, my flying sister." Sokka's sarcasm was met with a growl from Nala, as her lips pulled back over her bared teeth. She raised her head- and let loose an earth-rumbling sneeze, spraying Sokka with green slime. Sokka retched, and began frantically wiping the snot from his clothes. "Eww yuck yuck euck ewwww..." He finally managed to get most of the slime off . The girl laughed apologetically. "So, do you guy live around here? She asked. Sokka picked up his spear once more and pointed it at the girl. "Don't answer that!" He said to Katara. "Did you see that crazy bolt of light? She was probably trying to signal the fire navy!" Katara rolled her eyes. "Yeah, I bet she's a spy for the fire navy. You can just tell by the eevil glint in her eye," she said sarcastically. The girl sat still, wide eyed and innocent. "The paranoid one is my brother, Sokka," Katara said. "You never told us your name..." She looked at the white-haired girl. She flashed a grin, her teeth as white as the rest of her body. "I'm y- ah... Ahh... Ahhh-CHOO!" She sneezed, flying 10 feet in the air. She landed daintily. "I'm Yukika." She smiled again. Sokka stared at her in disbelief. "You just sneezed... And flew 10 feet in the air!" She shot him a quizzical look. "Really? It felt like more than that." Katara gasped. "You're an airbender!" Yukika grimaced. "Uhm... Yeah." Katara looked at her in confusion. Yukika smiled in reassurance. Sokka grumbled. "Girls in ice, flying bison, Air-Benders- I think I have the midnight sun madness. I'm going back home to where stuff makes sense." He reached the edge of the ice and realized he couldn't get back home- after all, the canoe was shattered. Yukika noticed that they were stuck, and said to Katara, "I can give you a ride on Nala!" Sokka shook his head. "Oh no. There is no way I'm gonna ride that flying snot monster!" Yukiko was helping Katara onto Nala's back, where a saddle was already in place. Yukiko climbed over the saddle and grabbed the reins, a staff tucked securely behind her back. Katara looked at her brother. "Oh are you hoping some other kind of monster is going to come and offer you a ride home? Y'know, before you freeze to death?" Sokka pointed at her, trying to think of a witty comeback. He came up dry, and hung his head. "Fine." Sokka boarded Nala with a little help from Yukika. "First time flyers, hold on tight! Nala, yip-yip!" Nala surged forward, lifting off into the air for a few seconds before plummeting down with a roar. Nala landed in the freezing ocean with a splash. She began to swim through the icy waters. "C'mon Nala! Yip-yip!" Yukika cried again. "Wow, truly amazing," Sokka said sarcastically. Yukika smiled at Sokka. "Nala's just tired. A little rest and shell be soaring through the skies!" Yukiko continued to smile at Sokka. "Why are you smiling at him?" Katara asked. Yukika looked confused. "I was smiling?" Sokka groaned. "Well, with Sokka'a attitude he could use a few smiles." Yukika laughed quietly and Katara smiled. The trio sat in silence as Nala swam through the dark water.


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Zuko looked out from the balcony at the ship. His uncle walked towards him, and announced with a yawn, "I'm going to bed now. Yep, a man needs his rest... Prince Zuko, you need some sleep. Even if you're right, and the avatar is alive, you won't find him! Your father, grandfather, and great grandfather all tried and failed!" Zuko spoke sharply without turning around. "Because their honor didn't hinge on the avatar's capture. Mine does. This coward's hundred years in hiding are over."


•    •    •


The sun was set, and Nala plowed through the inky black waters as her three passengers sat silently. Yukika was relaxed against Nala's furry head and Katara and Sokka sat in the saddle. Katara leaned over the saddle and looked at Yukika. "Hey," she said simply. Yukika smiled faintly. "Hey... Whatcha thinking about?" She asked nonchalantly. Katara looked down. "I-I guess I was wondering, with you being an Air-bender and all, if you knew anything about what happened to the avatar."  Yukika bit her lip. "Um... No, I-uh, didn't know him. I mean, I knew people that knew her-I mean him, but I didn't know him personally. Sorry." Katara looked at Yukika suspiciously. "It's okay. I'm just curious. Goodnight!" She said as she curled up in the saddle to sleep. "Good night!" Yukika said.


•    •    •


                As she slept, Yukika dreamt of memories. Riding Nala through a fierce storm, the thunder crashing and rain falling in sheets, her hair whipping against her face. A foam-capped wave forced Nala and Yukika deep into the briny sea. She felt herself slipping from the reins, when suddenly she felt stronger. The water swirled around her, forming a shielding of ice. She was locked in the lotus stance, and then-
"Yukika, Yukika wake up!" Katara yelled. "It's okay, we're in the village now. Come on, everyone's getting ready to meet you!" Yukika sat up and had barely put her mantle on before Katara was yanking her outside. The animal skin tents and crude snow forts looked almost laughable. A huddle of young children and older tribe members stood in the middle of the village. "Yukika, this is the entire village. Entire village, Yukika." Yukika smiled brightly. She took a step forward. "Hi everyone!" The older members of the tribe pulled the children back. "Uhm... Why are they looking at me like that? Did Nala sneeze on me?" An elderly woman with gray hair stepped forward. "Well no one has seen an Air-bender in a hundred years. We thought they were extinct. Untill my granddaughter and grandson found you." Yukika looked surprised. "Extinct?!" Katara looked at Yukika. "Yukika, this is my grandmother." The old woman nodded and said almost tonelessly, "call me gran-gran." Sokka ran up behind Yukika, grabbing her staff out of her hands. "What is this, a weapon? You can't stab anyone with this!" Yukika pulled her staff away from him. "This is for airbending. Watch!" Yukika pressed a button and the staff turned into a glider. She jumped up, holding onto the glider. A gust of wind pushed her along at a steady pace as she did tricks in the sky. She came to a stop next to Sokka and bopped him on the head lightly with the staff. "And I could hit someone with it too." She smiled. Sokka faked a frown and started chasing Yukika around the village, bopping her on the head with the blunt end of his spear.


•    •    •


                "Hey Sokka! Come penguin-sledding with me and Katara!" Yukika yelled. Sokka poked his head out of a tent. "Sure. But this does NOT mean you're a friend. Yukika rolled her eyes.

Sokka led the way to a secluded area with many penguins yapping and waddling about. He pulled out thre tiny fish, handing one to Yukika and Katara. The penguins flocked to them, and each person grabbed one and pushed off down the slope. The landscape rocketed by as they pew down the mountainside. The winds rushed in their ears as they laughed loudly. Up ahead Yukika saw a dark spot against the white landscape. Sokka turned around, yelling something about having to go tend to his responsibilities. Katara and Yukika sped towards the dot. It got bigger and bigger untill she could see it- a fire navy ship trapped in ice. She pulled to a stop, and the penguin knocked her over and waddled away. Katara pulled up as well, waterbending the snow to make her fall softer. "You never told me you were a Water-Bender!" Yukika smiled. "You're looking at the only Water-Bender in the whole South Pole..." Katara said sadly. "I could teach you a few tips and tricks," suggested Yukika. "But I'm an Air-bender, so I'm not sure." Katara smiled. "I'd like that." Yukika smiled back, then said, "hey, wanna go explore the ship?" Katara backed up. "It's a bad memory. It's not something we're supposed to do." "C'mon, if you wanna be a bender you have to face your fears!" Yukika tried to encourage her friend. Finally, Katara gAve in and the two boarded the ship ".


•    •    •


                "Again," Zuko's uncle called out. The two guards took their places and ran towards Zuko. Zuko sent flames billowing from both hands as he maneuvered around the guards and sent a flaming kick towards their heads. The guards stumbled and Zuko had them beaten. "No!" His uncle said, standing up. "Firebending comes from the breath, not from the muscles ! The breath becomes energy in the body. The energy extends past your limbs and becomes... Fire!" A burst of flame flickered inches from Prince Zuko's face, yet he remained expressionless. "Get it right this time." Zuko's uncle backed away. Zuko stepped forward. "Enough. I've been drilling this sequence all day. Teach me the next set. I'm more than ready." His uncle stood his ground. "No, you are impatient. You have yet to master the basics. Drill it again!" Zuko snarled and sharply turned to send a kick at waist height. Flames rammed into a guard and sent him flying. He approached his uncle. "The sages tell that the avatar is the last Air-bender. He must be over a hundred years old. He's had over a century to master the four elements. I'll need more than the basics of firebending to defeat him! You WILL teach me the advanced set!" Zuko yelled. His uncle sighed. "Very well. But first, I must finish my roast duck." He pulled a bowl out from behind the chair and began eating the roast duck with vigor.


•    •    •


Katara and Yukika snuck into the ship through a breach in the hull. The corridors were dark and musty, the walls and floors covered in grime. Their footsteps echoed in the empty halls. Mice and rats scurried across the dusty floor. Yukika walked slowly into a weapons room, all manner of grisly tools lining the walls, covered in cobwebs and caked with dust. "This ship has haunted my people since Gran-Gran was a little girl..." Katara said softly.
"It was part of the fire nation's first attacks." Yukika stared wide-eyed at the weapons as she listened to Katara. "Okay, back up..." Yukika said. "I have friends all over the world, even in the fire nation. I've never seen any war." Katara stopped moving. "Yukika... How long were you in that iceberg?" Yukiko shrugged. "I don't know, a few days maybe?" Katara looked somber. "I think it was more like a hundred years..." Yukika frowned. "What? That's impossible. Do I look like a one-hundred-fifteen year old woman to you?" Katara shook her head. "Think about it! The war is a hundred years old. You don't know about the war, because somehow, you've been in there that whole time!" Yukika shook her head. "No...." She sat down. "A hundred years... I can't believe it." Katara knelt next to her. "I'm sorry Yukika..." Yukika stood up. "There has to be a reason for this. Until I figure it out, I'll just keep moving." Katara followed her as she entered another room. She walked farther in, towards a pile of dust on the floor. She took another step forward and a barred gate slammed over the door. "Booby traps..." Yukika murmured as a lever was pulled and engines turned on. There was a sound like a firework, and they looked outside to see a flare had been launched. "Oh no..." Katara muttered. A hole in the roof led to their escape. Katara grabbed Yukika’s arm as she airbended them out.


•    •    •


                Zuko watched Yukika through a telescope as she airbended herself and Katara out of the ship. "The last Air-bender..." He breathed. "Quite agile for his old age." Zuko had mistaken Yukiko's white hair as proof of the theory that she was over one hundred years old. Zuko turned to a guard. "Wake my uncle!" He ordered. "Tell him I've found the avatar." He turned back to the telescope and scanned the area, seeing the village. "As well as his hiding place."

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