Avatar Roku (Winter Solstice, Part 2)
Written By: Michael Dante DiMartino
Directed By: Giancarlo Volpe
Storyboard By: Giancarlo Volpe, Chris Graham, Kenji Ono
Animation By:: JM Animation Co, Ltd
(Scene opens with a shot of the bright full moon over a mountain range. The camera pans down to Aang and Appa in the square of a village. Aang is frustratedly pulling on Appa's reins.)
Aang (groaning and pulling on the reins): Let's go Appa! Come on, boy!
(Appa and Aang face each other.)
Aang: Look, I'm sorry, but Katara and Sokka aren't coming to the Fire Nation with us. If they got hurt, I'd never forgive myself. (angrily) So get your big butt off the ground and let's go!
(Aang continues to pull on Appa's reins. Appa continues to remain immovable. Aang pulls so hard on the reins that he falls to the ground. Camera zooms in on his dejected face. Suddenly, Aang hears Sokka's voice and turns around. Sokka, Katara and members of the village are standing behind Appa.)
Sokka: I think his big butt is trying to tell you something.
Katara: Please don't go, Aang. The world can't afford to lose you to the Fire Nation. Neither can I.
(Scene cuts to a close up of a comet racing across the sky. Cut back to Aang. He gets up from the ground and walks towards Sokka and Katara.)
Aang: But I have to talk to Avatar Roku to find out what my vision means. I need to get to the Fire Temple before the sun sets on the Solstice. That's today.
(Aang jumps up onto Appa's back and looks back hesitatingly at Sokka and Katara. Sokka and Katara jump in front of Appa.)
Katara: We're not letting you go into the Fire Nation, Aang.
Sokka: At least not without your friends. We got your back.
(Scene cuts to Momo jumping up onto Aang's arm. Momo chitters happily. Scene cuts to a wide view of Aang, Appa, Katara and Sokka. Appa licks Sokka from to head.)
Chief: It's a long journey to the Crescent Island. (He hands Aang a parcel.) You'll have to fly fast to have any chance of making it befor/ie sundown. Good luck.
Aang: Thank you, for your...
Chief (urgently pointing away): Go!
(Appa takes off and the scene cuts to an aerial view of the village. Scene cuts to the Chief coming out of a door. He is sighing and rubbing his forehead. He walks directly into Prince Zuko. Zuko is accompanied by General Iroh on the back of a war rhinoceros.)
Zuko: Having trouble sleeping? (Zuko pushes the Chief back into the doorway. Camera cuts to a close up of Zuko's face.) Seen the Avatar lately?
(Scene cuts to an ocean view. The sun is high in the sky. The camera pans to Appa flying through the clouds and zooms in on Katara, Sokka and Aang on Appa's back. Aang looks over his shoulder at the rising sun. He turns forward with a determined look on his face.)
Aang: Come on, boy! We've got a long way to go! Faster!
(Scene cuts to a wide view of Appa flying. He pumps his large tail and growls in assent. Scene cuts again to Zuko's ship racing through the ocean. Camera zooms in on the ship's deck. Cut to a close up of General Iroh's face.)
Iroh (concerned and frustrated): Sailing into Fire Nation waters... of all the foolish things you have done in your 16 years, Prince Zuko, this is the most foolish.
(Scene cuts to a close up of the deck of Zuko's ship. Zuko is in the forefront looking through a high powered spy glass. A guard is behind Zuko to the left. Iroh is behind Zuko to the right.)
Zuko: I have no choice, Uncle.
Iroh (angrily): Have you completely forgotten that the Fire Lord banished you?!?!? (With a look of anguish and worry) What if you're caught?
Zuko (turning around from the spy glass): I'm chasing the Avatar. My father will understand why I'm returning home.
Iroh: You give him too much credit. My brother is not the understanding type.
(Zuko turns back to the spy glass. Scene cuts to Zuko's view of the sky through the glass. He searches the skies for a few seconds and identifies Appa's flying form in the distance.)
Zuko: There they are! Helmsman, full steam ahead!
(Scene cuts to Appa flying in the foreground with Zuko's ship gaining on them in the background. Camera zooms in on Katara and Sokka.)
Katara: Aang, we got trouble.
Sokka: Yeah, and its gaining fast!
(Scene cuts to a close up of the bowels of Zuko's ship. A catapult is raised from below onto the deck of the ship. The catapult is loaded with a steaming and smoldering projectile. The camera pans to Zuko and Iroh standing behind the catapult. Iroh, fanning himself, wrinkles his nose in disgust.)
Iroh (groaning): Really, Prince Zuko, couldn't you shoot them down with something more fragrant?
(Zuko shoots a fire ball at the projectile and it ignites. He raises his arm in the air.)
Zuko: On my mark.........Fire!
(A Fire Nation soldier cuts the catapult's rope and the fiery projectile is hurtled into the air. The camera follows the track of the fire ball and zooms in on Katara and Sokka on Appa's back. Katara turns around and shouts to Aang.)
Katara: Fire ball!
Aang: I'm on it!
(Aang pulls hard on Appa's reins. Appa swerves just in time. The fire ball sails over his head. Scene cuts to Sokka, Katara and Aang on Appa's back.)
Katara (covering her nose with her hand): We have to get out of Zuko's range before he shoots another hot stinker at us!
Sokka: Can't you make Appa go any faster?
Aang (holding his nose): Yeah, but there's just one little problem.
(Camera cuts back to a close up of Zuko's face. His eyes widen.)
Zuko: A blockade!
(Scene cuts to a panoramic view of the ocean with a double line of Fire Nation war ships as stretching to the horizon. The camera zooms in on the deck of one of the war ships. It is lined with trebuchets. Scene cuts back to Zuko's face. Behind him are the Fire Nation soldier and General Iroh.)
Iroh (pulling on his beard thoughtfully): Technically you are still in Earth Kingdom waters. Turn back now and they cannot arrest you.
(Zuko glares at his Uncle. Scene cuts to a close up of Aang on Appa's back. He is looking at the line of war ships.)
Aang: If we fly north we can go around the Fire Nation ships and avoid the blockade. It's the only way.
Katara: There's no time.
Aang: This is exactly why I didn't want you to come. Its too dangerous.
Katara: And that's exactly why we're here.
Sokka: Let's run this blockade.
Aang: Appa! Yip! Yip!
(Appa growls affirmatively and soars swiftly off screen. Scene cuts to a long distance view of Zuko's ship. Camera zooms in on Iroh and Zuko.)
Zuko: He's not turning around.
Iroh: Please Prince Zuko, if the Fire Nation captures you, there is nothing I can do. Do not follow the Avatar.
Zuko (bowing his head): I'm sorry, Uncle. (Turning to his helmsman, he points forward) Run the blockade!
(Scene cuts to the view from another spy glass, this one belonging to Commander Zhao. He focuses first on Appa and then on Zuko's ship.)
Zhao: The Avatar...and the banished Prince. This must be my lucky day.
Soldier: Commander Zhao, what are your orders?
Zhao: Shoot the Bison down.
Soldier: But there's a Fire Navy ship out there, Sir, one of our own. What if it's hit?
Zhao: So be it. (The soldier starts back in alarm.) It belongs to a traitor. (Zhao turns towards a soldier standing ready at the trebuchet.) Ignite! (The soldier ignites one trebuchet. The camera pans down the length of the ship as each soldier ignites his assigned trebuchet.) Launch!!!
(Fire balls fly into the air on either side of Zhao. Scene cuts to a long distance view of all the war ships in the blockade launching fire balls at the same time. The camera zooms in on Zuko and Iroh on the deck of their ship as they watch the approaching barrage of fire balls. Scene cuts to a close up of Appa, Aang, Sokka and Katara. They all scream as the fire balls come racing towards them. Appa swerves and dips and dives to avoid the fire balls. The camera zooms in on Aang's face. His teeth are clenched. His hands are tight around Appa's reins as he tries to help the Bison avoid the fire balls. Scene cuts to a close up of a fire ball. The fire ball grazes Appa's back. Katara, Sokka and Momo beat out the fire on Appa's back. Appa growls in anger and pain.)
Aang: Appa! Are you ok?
Appa (affirmatively): Grrrrrr!
(Scene cuts to the fire balls sailing towards Zuko's ship. The camera zooms in on the deck of the ship. A soldier is trying to keep his balance as the ship is rocked by waves created by the fireballs hitting the water close to the ship. One fireball lands extremely close to the ship and generates a wave that breaks across the deck. Another fireball hits the back part of the ship. Prince Zuko braces himself against the catapult. He turns towards the front of the ship. The engine master calls to him from off screen. Zuko turns around to speak to him. The engine master points to the billowing fire and smoke behind him.)
Engine Master: Prince Zuko, the engines are damaged! We need to stop and make repairs!
Zuko (turning back towards the front of the ship): Do not stop this ship.
(Scene cuts to a close up of Commander Zhao. Trebuchets stand ready behind him.)
(Scene cuts to a panoramic view of Zhao's fleet. Each ship launches multiple fireballs into the air. Scene cuts to Appa bursting through the clouds, a cumulus trail in his wake. The camera zooms in on Aang from behind. He is trying to help Appa avoid the fireball bombardment. In front of them, 12 fireballs shoot through the clouds, smoke trailing behind them. Appa swerves to miss one on his left. The camera zooms in again on Aang's back as a fireball bursts in front of them. Aang, Katara and Sokka all scream as Appa swerves. Scene cuts to a long distance view of Appa diving to avoid the fireballs. The smoke trails from multiple fireballs surround Appa. Appa flies directly past the camera. The camera now picks up the view from Appa's eyes. Fireballs continue to shoot through the sky. Two fireballs collide and explode directly in front of Appa. Appa growls and rears up to avoid the combustion. He bucks and Sokka is thrown from his back. Katara screams and reaches out for Sokka. Sokka begins to fall and disappears into the clouds below. The camera zooms in on Aang's face. He screams Sokka's name and pulls hard on Appa's reins. Appa dives to catch Sokka before he hits the ocean. The camera follows Appa's dive and Sokka's fall. Appa gets beneath Sokka. As Sokka continues to fall, Katara reaches out her hand to catch him. The camera zooms in on Katara and Sokka's hands as they clasp. Appa hits the water, each of his six legs using the ocean's surface like a trampoline. He begins his ascent. The camera cuts to a close up of Sokka and Katara sitting in Appa's saddle. A large pink fish is thrown up from the ocean and hits Sokka directly in the face. Sokka gasps and falls backward. The fish bounces off his face to be caught by a chittering Momo. The scene cuts to the Fire Navy ships as they let loose another barrage of fiery missiles. Appa, still close to the surface of the water, swerves back and forth as fireballs land in the ocean. The camera zooms in on Aang again. He is fully concentrated on avoiding the fireballs. The scene cuts to the deck of Zhao's ship. Zhao is standing in the foreground, a fully loaded trebuchet in the background. He raises his right arm.)
(Scene cuts to a close up of Appa flying headfirst into the Fire Navy blockade. The tension mounts as Appa flies closer and closer to the blockade line. The scene cuts to an aerial view of Appa, Aang, Katara and Sokka. The scene cuts again quickly to a close up of Zhao's face.)
(A single fireball is shot at Appa. The scene cuts to a close up of Aang's left eye as he watches the fireball approaching. With a determined look on his face, Aang leaps from Appa. He assumes the airbending pose. The camera zooms in on Aang and the fireball headed on a collision course for one another. Aang grunts and kicks a burst of air directly into the center of the approaching fireball. The fireball explodes from the inside out as a result of Aang's blast. The fragments form a halo of smoke and debris around Appa. Appa flies through the center of the halo. Aang loses his balance amidst the flying rubble and is thrown back onto Appa's shoulders. Sokka and Katara grab his arms to steady him. Appa flies through the Fire Nation blockade. The camera zooms out. Appa is merely a tiny, white bison-shaped speck as he passes the blockade line. Scene cuts to an euphoric Aang. He raises his left fist into the air.)
Aang: We made it!!!
(The camera pans up to a shot of Sokka and Katara. Both have looks of shock and amazement on their faces.)
Sokka (in pure disbelief): We got into the Fire Nation......(his shoulders slump)...Great...
(Scene cuts to Commander Zhao. He is approached by one of his soldiers.)
Soldier: Where do you think the Avatar is headed, Sit?
Zhao (bowing his head): I'm not sure. (turning his head towards Prince Zuko's approaching ship) But I bet a certain banished prince will know.
(Scene cuts to Prince Zuko's ship approaching the Fire Navy's blockade. As Zuko's ship gets closer, the ships of the blockade move towards each other in order to bar his way. Scene cuts to Iroh and Zuko on the deck of Zuko's ship.)
Iroh: We're on a collision course!
Zuko: We can make it!
(Scene cuts to the deck of Zhao's ship. A large group of Fire Nation soldiers stands at parade rest behind him. Their leader snaps to attention and speaks.)
Soldier: The boarding party is ready to apprehend Prince Zuko, Sir.
Zhao: Wait. Cut the engines. Let them pass.
(Zhao does not respond. Zuko's ship slides easily through the blockade. The camera cuts back and forth between Zhao's and Zuko's determined faces. The scene cuts again to Zuko and Iroh. Iroh looks at the blockade fading into the distance. He looks pensive and strokes his beard. He is not sure what to make of Zhao's move. Scene cuts to Appa flying through Fire Nation air space. Appa grunts. Appa continues to fly. His tail begins to droop and his legs slacken as he gets more and more tired. Appa, Katara, Sokka and Momo relax on his back. The scene cuts to Aang falling asleep on Appa's head. Momo is sleeping on Aang's head.. Suddenly, Aang's face lights up in recognition.)
Aang: There it is! The island Roku's dragon took me to!
(A crescent shaped island appears through the clouds. In the center of the crescent is a large, active volcano. Fire and steam belch forth from it's cone. Appa flies towards the island. The camera zooms in on the Fire Temple Aang has been seeking. The temple sits on a promontory directly below the volcano. Appa lands near the temple. Aang pats Appa's face lovingly.)
Aang: You did it buddy. Nice flying.
(Appa groans and rolls onto his side in pure exhaustion. Katara walks towards Appa and begins to rub his tummy. Sokka is stretching in the background)
Katara (to Appa): Oh! You must be tired!
Sokka (thinking that Katara is talking to him) No. (grunting and stretching) I'm good. (jogging in place) Refreshed and ready to fight some firebenders.
Katara (turns towards Sokka a wry look on her face): I was talking to Appa.
Sokka (stopping in mid jog): Well, I was talking to Momo.
(The camera zooms in on Momo hanging upside down from a nearby tree. He chitters and looks quizzically at Sokka. Scene cuts to a close up of the steep path leading to the Fire Temple. Aang, Katara and Sokka walk hesitatingly up the path. They continually look to their left and right in anticipation of an attack. Scene cuts to a close up of the Fire Temple. The camera pans down the temple. Sokka, Aang, Katara and Momo are crouched behind a low wall in front of the temple.)
Sokka: I don't see any guards.
Katara: The Fire Nation must have abandoned the temple when Avatar Roku died.
Aang: Its almost sundown. We'd better hurry.
(Aang leaps over the low wall. Sokka, Katara and Momo follow him. The camera cuts back and forth between the setting sun and Aang, Katara, Sokka and Momo running through the temple. Scene cuts to Aang, Katara and Sokka tip-toeing through the center of the temple. Sokka stops in mid tip-toe.)
Sokka: Wait......I think I heard something.
(Sokka, Aang and Katara turn around. Behind them are 5 elderly men in red robes. One of the elderly men speaks and identifies the group as Fire Sages.)
Fire Sage: We are the Fire Sages. Guardians of the temple of the Avatar.
(Scene cuts to a close up of Aang, Sokka and Katara. All have puzzled and startled looks on their faces. Aang steps forward.)
Aang: Great! I am the Avatar.
(Scene cuts back to a close up of the Fire Sages.)
Fire Sage: We know.
(The Fire Sage assumes the firebending pose and shoots a fireball at Aang. The camera zooms in on the fireball as it races towards Aang. Fade to black.)
(Scene opens with a wide shot of the interior of the Fire Temple. Three fireballs are swiftly approaching Aang. Aang assumes the airbending pose and deflects the fireballs. He turns towards Sokka and Katara.)
Aang: I'll hold them off. Run!
(Aang turns back to face the Fire Sages as Sokka and Katara run down the corridor. His face is determined. He bends low and swipes his leg in an arc sending a burst of air directly at the feet of the Fire Sages. All five of the Fire Sages are knocked to the floor, face first. They grunt as they fall. Aang runs after Sokka and Katara. The Fire Sages slowly pick themselves up off the floor.)
Fire Sage: If the Avatar contacts Roku, there's no telling how powerful the boy will become. Split up and find him!
(The camera zooms out into an aerial view of the temple corridor. The five Fire Sages all move off in different directions. Scene cuts to a close up of Katara, Sokka and Momo running through the temple. As they approach a corner, Aang comes running towards them. They stop abruptly to avoid running head first into Aang.)
Aang: Follow me!
Sokka: Do you know where you're going?
Aang: Nope! (Aang disappears around the corner. Sokka, Katara and Momo begin to follow him. Suddenly, Aang comes running back around the corner. A Fire Sage is hard on his heels.) Wrong way!
Shyu: Come back!
(Aang, Sokka, Katara and Momo continue to race around corner after corner trying to lose the pursuing Shyu. Finally, they run into a corridor that turns out to be a dead end. With no escape, they face the Fire Sage.)
Shyu: I don't want to fight you. I am a friend.
(Scene cuts to a shot of Sokka, Aang and Katara in battle positions.)
Sokka: Firebenders aren't our friends.
(Shyu moves carefully towards them. As he approaches Aang, he drops to his knees and bows.)
Shyu: I know why you're here, Avatar.
Aang (surprised and relaxing his poise): You do?
Shyu: Yes. (standing up) You wish to speak to Avatar Roku. I can take you to him.
(Scene cuts to a close up of Sokka, Aang and Katara. Their faces are quizzical and wary.)
(The Shyu reaches towards the wall and turns the light fixture. The fixture is a lever. Behind the fixture is small hole in the wall. Shyu takes a deep breath and shoot fire through the hole. Fire frames one of the panels in the wall. The panel slides back and to the right. The secret passage is revealed. A long staircase carved into the rock of the mountain disappears into the dark below.)
Shyu (gesturing towards the secret passage): This way.
(Scene cuts back to Aang, Katara and Sokka, their faxes still showing apprehension and distrust. Suddenly a voice from behind Shyu says, “Find them.” The camera cuts back to Shyu. He looks quickly and nervously behind him and turns back to Aang, Katara and Sokka.)
Shyu: Time is running out. Quickly!
(Scene cuts back to Aang, Katara and Sokka. Aang and Katara look at each other and nod in agreement. All three start towards the opening to the secret passage. Shyu follows them into the passage. He touches a lever and closes the door behind them. Scene cuts to Prince Zuko's damaged ship sailing through the water. Dark black smoke billows from the back of the ship. The camera cuts to an extreme close up of Prince Zuko's hand gripping a bar. His hand clenches. The camera zooms out to Zuko and Iroh on the deck of the ship.)
Zuko: What's he up to, Uncle? Why didn't Commander Zhao arrest me?
Iroh: Because he wants to follow you. He knows you'll lead him to the prize you're both after...the Avatar.
Zuko: If Zhao wants to follow our trail of smoke, then that's exactly what I'll let him do.
(The camera zoom in on Zuko's determined face. Slowly the shot fades from Prince Zuko's face to the Fire Temple. The sun is setting to the left. The temple is silhouetted in shadow on the right. Scene cuts to Aang, Katara, Sokka, Momo and Shyu walking down the stairs and into a vast and cavernous system of tunnels. They continue to walk through the tunnels, the live magma from the volcano to their right.)
Shyu: Avatar Roku once called this temple his home. He formed these secret passages out of the magma.
Aang: Did you know Avatar Roku?
Shyu: No. But my grandfather knew him. Many generations of Fire Sages guarded this temple long before me. We all have a strong spiritual connection to this place.
Aang: Is that how you knew I was coming?
Shyu: A few weeks ago, an amazing thing occurred. The statue of Avatar Roku, its eyes...began to glow!
Katara: That's when we were at the Air Temple. Avatar Roku's eyes were glowing there too!
Shyu: At that moment, we knew you had returned to the world.
Aang: If this is the Avatar's temple, why did the Sages attack me?
Shyu: Things have changed. In the past, the Sages were loyal only to the Avatar. When Roku died, the Sages eagerly awaited for the next Avatar to return. But he never came.
Aang (pausing and leaning against the tunnel wall): They were waiting for me.
Sokka (putting his arm around Aang's shoulders): Hey, don't feel bad. You're only a hundred years late.
(Aang glares at Sokka. The camera zooms in on Shyu as he speaks.)
Shyu: They lost hope the Avatar would ever return. When Fire Lord Sozen began the war, my grandfather and the other Sages were forced to follow him. (shaking his head in dismay) I never wanted to serve the Fire Lord. When I learned you were coming, I knew I would have to betray the other Sages.
Aang (bowing slightly to Shyu): Thank you for helping me.
(The camera cuts to a close up of Shyu's face. He smiles warmly at the young Avatar. Scene cuts to Shyu, Aang, Katara, Sokka and Momo climbing up steps in the tunnel.)
Shyu: We'll follow these stairs to the sanctuary. (Scene cuts to a long deep spiral of stairs. The party continues to climb up and up.) Once you're inside, wait for the light to hit Avatar Roku's statue. Only then will you be able to speak with him.
(Scene cuts to the light from a single window shining into an otherwise dark room. Suddenly, the floor lifts up and Shyu's head appears. He walks up the final steps into the temple, followed by Aang, Katara, Sokka and Momo. The camera zooms out as they proceed towards the doors to the sanctuary. Shyu gasps suddenly.)
Aang: Shyu, what's wrong?
Shyu: The sanctuary doors, they're closed.
Katara: Can't you just open them with firebending? Like you opened that other door?
Shyu: No. Only a fully realized Avatar is powerful enough to open this door alone. Otherwise the Sages must open the doors together with five simultaneous fire blasts.
(The camera cuts to a close up of Sokka's face. He scratches his chin thoughtfully.)
Sokka: Five fire blasts, huh? (Sokka's face lights up with an idea. The camera pans up to a lantern, in lieu of a light bulb, directly above his head. The “ding” of discovery sounds.) I think I can help you out.
(Scene cuts back to Prince Zuko's ship. Smoke is still pouring out of the damaged rear engine. The camera pans to the back of the ship. Zuko has instructed the men to open the back hatch of the ship. A smaller vessel is being lowered into the ocean. Scene cuts to a close up of Prince Zuko. He is speaking to Iroh.)
Zuko: Uncle, keep heading north. Zhao will follow the smoke trail while I use it as a cover.
(Camera cuts to Iroh. He grunts, strokes his beard and shakes his head disapprovingly.)
(Scene cuts to the smaller ship being deployed. It lands safely in the water and disappears into the smoke. Scene cuts to the view from Commander Zhao's spyglass. Just as Zuko predicted, all he can see is the black smoke from the damaged ship. The camera cuts to a close up of Zhao's face. He lowers the spyglass. Scene cuts back to Sokka, Shyu, Aang and Katara standing in front of the doors to the Fire Temple Sanctuary. Sokka is sitting on the floor, Momo on his knee. Sokka is filling small sacks.)
Sokka: This is a little trick I picked up from my father. I seal the lamp oil inside an animal skin casing, Shyu lights the oil soaked twine and tada! Fake firebending!
Katara: You've really outdone yourself this time, Sokka.
Shyu: This might actually work.
(Sokka stuffs the animal skin sacks into the mouths of the five lion heads guarding the door to the sanctuary. Sokka runs away from the doors. He joins Katara, Aang and Momo behind the nearest columns for protection from the blasts.)
Shyu: The Sages will hear the explosions, so as soon as they go off, you rush in.
Katara (turning towards Aang): Its almost sunset. Are you ready?
(Shyu sends a small stream of fire past the five lion heads. The twine ignites. Shyu joins Aang behind the column. Sokka crouches and holds tightly onto Katara's skirts. The small bombs go off and smoke fills the chamber. Aang runs towards the doors and pulls on the handles. The doors will not budge.)
Aang: They're still locked.
Shyu: It didn't work.
(Aang sinks to the floor. Scene cuts to an outside view of the Fire Temple. The sun is setting. Fade to black.)
(The scene opens with a shot of the Fire Temple lit by the setting sun. Scene cuts to Aang. Katara, Sokka, Shyu and Momo standing in front of the doors to the sanctuary. Aang is angrily hurling air blasts at the locked doors.)
Aang: Why won't it open! Aargh!
Katara (grabbing Aang's arm): Aang, stop! There's nothing else we can do.
Aang (hanging his head): I'm sorry I put you through all this for nothing.
(Sokka approaches the doors. He runs his finger through the soot produced by the blasts. Momo chitters and crawls over the lion faces.)
Sokka: I don't get it. That blast looked as strong as any firebending I've seen.
Katara: Sokka! You're a genius!
Aang: Wait, how is Sokka genius? His plan didn't even work.
Sokka: Come on Aang, let her dream.
Katara: You're right. Sokka's plan didn't work...but it looks like it did.
Aang: Did the definition of “genius” change in the last hundred years?
(Scene dissolves to Shyu leading the four other Fire Sages to the sanctuary's doors.)
Shyu: Hurry! The Avatar has entered the sanctuary.
Fire Sage: How did he get in?
Shyu: I don't know. But look at the scorch marks and down there!
(Shyu points to the space between the doors and the floor. A shadow, as if of two feet, moves back and forth.)
Fire Sage: He's inside. Open the doors immediately before he contacts Avatar Roku.
(Scene cuts to Aang perched on the dragon's tail wrapped around the columns. He slowly inches he way to the floor, ready to run the minute the Fire Sages open the doors. The camera pans to the five Fire Sages in firebending pose. They shoot five fire blasts into the lion's heads on the face of the door. Smoke appears around the door jambs. Scene cuts to a close up of the lock mechanism on the face of the doors. As the fire blasts work their way through the lock, the doors begin to creak and open slowly. The light from the interior of the sanctuary is initially blinding. As it begins to dissipate, the Fire Sages see a lone Momo inside the sanctuary. Momo sneezes and looks quizzically at the Fire Sages.)
Fire Sage: It's the Avatar's lemur! He must have crawled through the pipes! We've been tricked!
(Momo suddenly leaps at the Fire Sage's face, knocking him down. Katara and Sokka jump from behind two columns and grab the two nearest Fire Sages. They pull the Fire Sages' clothes over their heads. Shyu grabs the last Fire Sage. All four Fire Sages are subdued.)
Shyu: Now, Aang!
Katara: Aang! Now's your chance!
(Prince Zuko and Aang appear from behind a column. Zuko has taken Aang prisoner. He is holding Aang's arms tightly behind his back.)
Zuko: The Avatar's coming with me!
(The tables turn for Katara, Sokka, Shyu and Momo. Momo flies towards the ceiling. Katara, Sokka and Shyu are tied with chains to the nearest column. Zuko pushes the struggling Aang towards the opening in the floor that leads to Avatar Roku's secret tunnels.)
Zuko: Close the doors! Quickly!
(Aang looks over his shoulder at Sokka and Katara. As he and Zuko reach the opening, he makes several swift moves and knocks Prince Zuko off balance. Aang kicks Zuko down the stairs and turns around quickly. As Zuko tumbles down the stairs with a grunt, Aang runs towards the doors of the sanctuary which are beginning to close.)
(Aang banks left and jumps into the air to avoid a fire blast. He does several turns in mid-air. Aang uses the heads of two of the Fire Sages as stepping stones on his way to the doors. He sails through the doors just as they are closing. The doors shut and the locks grind.)
Katara: He made it!
(A blast of bright white light comes from behind the sanctuary doors. Scene cuts to Aang inside the sanctuary. He crouches on the floor in front of Avatar Roku's statue. The setting sunlight comes through an octagonal window at the top of the sanctuary. The light is reddish and moves slowly up the great statue.)
Aang (standing up): The light hits the statue and I talk to Roku. So why isn't anything happening?
(Scene cuts back to the entryway. Four of the Fire Sages and Prince Zuko assume firebending poses. They shoot five simultaneous fire blasts at the doors. This time, however, the lock mechanism does not respond. The camera cuts to a close up of Zuko's face. He is extremely aggravated.)
Zuko: Why isn't it working? It's sealed shut!
Fire Sage: It must have been the light. Avatar Roku doesn't want us inside.
(Scene cuts to a panoramic view of the outside of the Fire Temple. The sun is sinking slowly into the sea. Scene cuts again to the interior of the sanctuary. Aang stands in the center of the sanctuary facing Roku's statue. The light from the window is now on Roku's chest.)
Aang: Why isn't anything happening? I don't know what I'm doing! All I know is airbending! Please, Avatar Roku, talk to me!
(Scene cuts to a close up of the Avatar Roku's face. The sunlight moves up his face. When the light hits the statue's eyes, they begin to glow. The sanctuary is filled with white smoke. When the smoke clears, Aang is standing face to face with Avatar Roku. They are on the top of a mountain range.)
Roku: It's good to see you, Aang. What took you so long?
(Camera cuts to a close up of Aang's face. He is shocked and amazed. He bows deeply to Avatar Roku. The scene cuts back to the entryway to the sanctuary. Shyu is kneeling on the floor in front of Prince Zuko. His hands are tied behind his back. The four Fire Sages stand behind him.)
Zuko: Why did you help the Avatar?
Shyu: Because it was once the Sages' duty. It is still our duty.
(Suddenly, from behind Prince Zuko, comes the sound of one pair of hands clapping. Scene cuts to Commander Zhao approaching with Fire Nation troops.)
Zhao: What a moving and heartfelt performance. I'm certain the Fire Lord will understand when you explain why you betrayed him.
Fire Sage (bowing): Commander Zhao...
Zhao: And Prince Zuko, it was a noble effort. But your little smoke screen didn't work. Two traitors, in one day, the Fire Lord will be pleased.
(A Fire Nation soldier moves towards Zuko and grabs him. Zuko struggles.)
Zuko: You're too late, Zhao. The Avatar's inside and the doors are sealed.
Zhao: No matter. Sooner or later, he has to come out.
(Scene cuts to a close up of Sokka and Katara. They exchange worried glances. Scenc cuts back to Avatar Roku and Aang.)
Roku: I have something very important to tell you, Aang. That is why, when you were in the spirit world, I sent my dragon to find you.
Aang: Is it about that vision? The one with the comet?
Aang: What does it mean?
(The camera pans so that Roku's face is on the left of the screen. The light of the mountain range fades into a starry night sky. The comet slowly crosses the screen from left to right as Avatar Roku speaks.)
Roku: One hundred years ago, Fire Lord Sozen used that comet to begin the war. He and his firebending army harnessed its incredible power and dealt a deadly first strike against the other nations.
(The camera follows the arc of the comet across the sky. The scene slowly fades to the light of the mountain range as the comet approaches Aang.. Aang is standing on the right of the screen as the comet fades away.)
Aang: So the comet made them stronger?
Roku: Yes. Stronger than you could even imagine.
Aang: But that happened a hundred years ago. What does the comet have to do with the war now?
Roku: Listen carefully. (Scene cuts to a close up of Fire Lord Ozai. His body is black against a wall of flames.) Sozen's comet will return by the end of the summer. And Fire Lord Ozai will use its power to finish the war once and for all. (Ozai takes a deep breath, raises his head, and screams a burst of fire from his open mouth. Scene cuts back to Avatar Roku.) If he succeeds, even the Avatar won't be able to restore balance to the world. Aang, you must defeat the Fire Lord before the comet arrives.
Aang: But I haven't even started learning waterbending, not to mention earth and fire.
Roku: Mastering the elements takes years of discipline and practice. But if the world is to survive, you must do it by summer's end.
(The camera zooms in on Aang's face. Fear and worry wash across his features. The scene fades into bright white light. When the light fades out, the scene is a close up of Commander Zhao and his troops standing in front of the sanctuary doors, waiting for Aang to emerge. The troops assume the firebending pose.)
Zhao: When those doors open, unleash all your firebending power.
(Scene cuts to Sokka, Katara and Shyu chained to a column.)
Katara: How's Aang going to make it out of this?
Sokka: How're we going to make it out of this?
(The camera pans to the Fire Nation troops, standing ready to attack. A bright white light takes us back to Avatar Roku and Aang.)
Aang: What if I can't master all the elements in time? What if I fail?
Roku: I know you can do it Aang, for you have done it before. The solstice is ending. We must go our separate ways...for now.
Aang: But I won't be able to come back to the temple. What if I have questions? How will I talk to you?
Roku: I am a part of you. When you need to talk to me again, you will find a way. (The camera zooms in on Roku's face. He closes his eyes. The scene dissolves to Commander Zhao's ships waiting in the bay outside the Fire Temple.) A great danger awaits you at the temple. (The scene dissolves back to a close up of Roku's face.) I can help you face the threat. (The scene dissolves from a close up of Roku's face to a close up of Aang's face. Dissolve to Commander Zhao and his troops in battle positions outside the sanctuary doors. Dissolve to a close up of Aang's face. The arrow on his head begins to glow.) But only if you are ready.
(Aang opens his eyes. They are glowing. He opens his mouth to speak. His mouth is glowing.)
Aang: I'm ready.
(The camera zooms out to a shot of Roku and Aang on the top of the mountain. Smoke begins to swirl faster and faster around them. The scene dissolves to the door of the Fire Temple sanctuary. A blinding white light is coming from inside the sanctuary. Commander Zhao and his troops are silhouetted against the light. Smoke billows out into the entryway from the bottom of the door. The camera follows the smoke to where the Fire Sages are standing. They look at the floor in shock and fear. Scene cuts to Sokka, Katara and Shyu tied to a column. The light from the sanctuary continues to grow. All three turn their heads away to shield their eyes. Scene cuts back to Zhao and his troops in front of the door. The door begins to open, slowly. Scene cuts to Prince Zuko tied to another column. He too turns his head away from the light. Scene cuts back to a close up of Zhao and two of his soldiers standing ready to attack. The camera pans to the left, showing the rest of Zhao's soldiers.)
(The camera continues to pan to the door of the sanctuary. The light fades. As the doors begin to fully open, two large glowing eyes are visible in the dark of the sanctuary. Smoke continues to emanate from the sanctuary. Scene cuts to Sokka and Katara struggling against their chains.)
Katara: No! Aang!
(Scene cuts back to a close up of Commander Zhao in firebending pose.)
(Zhao shoots a fire blast into the sanctuary. Scene cuts to several pairs of hands shooting fire blasts into the sanctuary. The camera zooms out to take in all of Zhao's soldiers. In total, nine soldiers, including Zhao, are concentrating all their fire power at the entrance to the sanctuary. The fire blasts are not entering the sanctuary. They are being held at the door and manipulated into a gigantic ball of swirling fire. The camera zooms in on the fire ball. It slowly begins to open. At the heart of the fire ball is Avatar Roku, his eyes glowing. The camera cuts to a close up of Zhao's shocked face. Scene cuts to Sokka, Katara and Shyu.)
Shyu: Avatar Roku!
(Scene cuts back to Avatar Roku. He draws the fire ball back towards himself and shoots it out into the room. Zhao and his soldiers are knocked to the floor. The heat of the blast melts the chains holding Sokka, Katara, Shyu and Zuko. Zuko, now free, runs. Scene cuts to the outside of the Fire Temple. Avatar Roku's blast has breached the temple walls. Scene cuts back to Avatar Roku. His entire body is now glowing. The camera zooms in on his face as he turns to look at the cowering Fire Sages. They take fright and run for their lives. Scene cuts to Sokka, Katara and Shyu.)
Shyu: Avatar Roku's going to destroy the temple! We have to get out of here!
Katara: Not without Aang!
(Scene cuts back to Avatar Roku standing in the doorway to the sanctuary. He raises his arm and brings it down on the floor of the temple. The force of his strike rends the floor. Molten lava rises to the surface. The camera zooms in on Roku's hand. He lifts it up, pulling the magma from deep within the volcano. Scene cuts to the volatile lava spurting and rising. A wall of magma shoots up through the entire temple structure. The lava explodes out of the very top of the temple. Scene cuts to Zhao and his men racing down the stairs. Scene cuts back to the entryway to the sanctuary. Sokka and Katara are crouched behind a column for protection. Avatar Roku lowers his hands. The camera zooms in on Roku. He takes a deep breath and pushes his breath down. Scene cuts to the statue of Avatar Roku. The sunlight moves up his face. The eyes of the statue are no longer illuminated by the setting sun of the solstice. Scene cuts to a close up of Avatar Roku. The smoke created by Roku's pyrotechnics are sucked back towards him. He is completely shrouded in the smoke. As the smoke swirls and dissipates, Aang is standing in the entryway to the sanctuary. His eyes are glowing. He closes his eyes, groans and sinks to the floor. Katara and Sokka run to his side.)
Sokka: We got your back.
Aang: Thanks. Where's Shyu?
Katara: I don't know.
(Scene cuts to the outside of the Fire Temple. Molten lava is pouring down the sides of the volcano. Smoke is billowing from the bottom of the temple. The temple begins to sink. Scene cuts to Sokka, Katara and Aang. They approach the stairs that will lead them out of the temple. Lava has reached all but the top few steps. They realize that they are trapped. One of the columns crashes to the floor behind them. The gasp and run towards the hole in the temple wall created by Roku's blast. They see that the temple is being devoured by the volcano. Scene cuts to their dismayed faces. Suddenly, they gasp. Scene cuts to Momo and Appa flying full speed towards the temple. Sokka, Aang and Katara slide down one of the peaks of the temple onto Appa's back. Appa zooms away just as the temple sinks further. Scene cuts to a close up of Aang, Sokka and Katara on Appa's back. Aang is in the foreground. His arm rests on a bundle of scrolls. Momo hops up onto his lap, chittering. Momo has the hat of one of the Fire Sages on his head. Scene cuts to a panoramic view of the temple with Zhao's ships in the bay. The temple explodes. The camera zooms in on Zhao as he watches Appa fly off into the sunset.)
Zhao (angrily): No prince. No Avatar. Apparently the only thing I do have is five traitors.
Fire Sage: But Commander, only Shyu helped the Avatar.
Zhao: Save your stories for the Fire Lord. As far as I'm concerned, you're all guilty! Take them to the prison hold!
(Scene cuts to Appa caught in Prince Zuko's spyglass. He watches the bison fly away. He slowly lowers his spy glass. The scene cuts to Zuko's ship sailing away from the ruined Fire Temple. Scene cuts to Appa flying through the night sky. He is surrounded by puffy clouds. Scene cuts to Appa flying towards a bright full moon. The moon is large in the background. Aang, Katara Sokka and Momo are silhouetted against the light of the moon. Aang has drawn apart from his friends. His head hangs down with the weight of what he has learned. First Katara gets up and moves towards Aang. She sits next to him and puts her arm around his shoulders. Next Sokka, gets up and moves toward Aang. He sits next to Aang, his hand on Aang's arm. Finally, Momo flies towards Aang. He chitters and comes to rest directly in front of Aang. Appa growls lovingly, his tail rising and falling. The light from the moon grows brighter and brighter. Fade to white.)
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