The Waterbending Scroll
Written By: John O'Bryan
Directed By: Anthony Lioi
Storyboard By: Bryan Konietzko, Anthony Lioi, Ian Graham, Bobby Rubio
Animation By: JM Animation Co, Ltd
(Opening shot of Appa flying through a mostly cloudy sky, broken only by a few shafts of sunlight that pierces the cloud cover dramatically in certain areas. Cut to Aang pacing up and down Appa's back, a worried expression on his face and then Sokka driving Appa.)
Sokka: Would you sit down? If we hit a bump you'll go flying off! What's bugging you anyway?
Aang: It's what Avatar Roku said. I'm supposed to master all four elements before that comet arrives.
Sokka: Well, let's see, you've pretty much mastered airbending and that only took you 112 years... I'm sure you can master three more elements by next summer.
Aang (a frightened expression on his face): I haven't even started waterbending and we're still weeks away from the North Pole! What am I gonna do!?
(Aang has put his head in his hands in frustration. Cut to a view of the side of Aang's body, his left arm now hanging loose. Katara's arm appears as she grabs his hand. She pulls him to her where she is kneeling in the passenger area. Aang kneels beside her as she takes his hands in his.)
Katara: Calm down. It's going to be okay. If you want, I can try and teach you some of the stuff I know.
Aang: You'd do that?
(Katara nods her head and smiles. She and Aang then crawl over to the edge of the saddle to look down.)
Katara: We'll need to find a good source of water first.
Sokka: Maybe we can find a puddle for you to splash in.
(Cut to a shot of a huge waterfall followed by a rapid zoom backward to show the river running away from the bottom of the fall. Katara, Sokka, Aang and Momo are on the left bank. Cut to close shot of Sokka and Katara. He looks a little sour, she looks up in excitement and happiness at the mighty waterfall. Screen pans left to show Aang with an expression similar to Katara's.)
Sokka: Nice puddle.
(Cut to a shot of the three from a p.o.v. out in the catch basin of the water fall. Appa swoops in overhead, grunts loudly and drops himself into the water. Cut to Momo on a rock in the catch basin. The sun is blotted by a shadow – the wave of water from Appa's messy swan dive. The wave crashes over him and he is soaked. Cut to Appa rolling over in the water, relaxing. Switch to Aang who has removed everything but his underwear and is ready to join the fun. Katara, visible in the background, does not look pleased.)
Aang: Yehhh! Don't start without me, boy!
Katara: Remember the reason we're here.
(Caught at the moment of running to jump in the water, stops and looks back to Katara.)
Aang: Oh right, time to practice waterbending.
(Cut to a long shot of the three on the bank. Aang pulls up his pants.)
Sokka: Great. So what am I supposed to do?
Aang: You could... clean the gunk out of Appa's toes?
(Aang picks up a leafy branch and holds it out to Sokka, who folds his arms across his chest.)
Sokka: So, while you guys are playing in the water, I'm supposed to be hard at work picking the mud out of a giant bison's feet?
Aang (smiling): Mud and bugs!
Sokka (pausing for a second): Okay.
(Sokka grabs the branch and walks away, resigned to his task. Cut to Appa resting low in the water, where he is blowing bubbles. Fade to a view of a Fire Navy ship's prow as it breaks the water. As the camera zooms backward, a jet of fire erupts off the main deck. Cut to Prince Zuko firing blast after blast of fire at his sparring opponent. Suddenly the ship tilts to starboard, knocking both combatants off balance.)
Zuko: Someone's changing our course!
(Cut to a shot of the bridge from Zuko's p.o.v., then cut to a shot of helmsman at the wheel. The screen pans right as Zuko enters.)
Zuko: What's the meaning of this mutiny? No one told you to change course!
(Cut to a shot from behind Zuko and the helmsman to reveal Iroh and some other crewman playing Pai Sho nearby.)
Iroh: Actually, someone did. I assure you it is a matter of utmost importance, Prince Zuko.
Zuko: Is it something to do with the Avatar?
Iroh: Even more urgent. It seems... I've lost my lotus tile.
(Iroh moves a piece forward on the Pai Sho board. Cut to Zuko, who is mystified.)
Zuko: Lotus tile?
Iroh: For my Pai Sho game. Most people think the lotus tile insignificant, but it is essential for the unusual strategy that I employ.
Zuko (incensed): You've changed our course for a stupid lotus tile?
Iroh: See, you, like most people, underestimate its value. Just give me ten minutes to check the merchants at this port of call. Hopefully they'll have the lotus tile in stock and I can get on with my life!
(Zuko works hard to contain his anger, ultimately releasing a gout of flame from his mouth the licks over the ceiling. Cut to a smiling Iroh, who is soon clouded with smoke.)
Iroh: I'm lucky to have such an understanding nephew.
(Fade to a shot of Appa's paw, with one of the gaps between his toes flossed with Sokka's leafy branchy. Cut to a wider shot of Appa floating on his back, Sokka hard at work on his toes. Appa grunts happily.)
Sokka: Yeh, don't get too happy. You gotta do me next.
(Cut to Katara and Aang on the river bank. As Katara begins to explain, she starts to waterbend the move she is describing.)
Katara: This is a pretty basic move, but it still took me months to perfect, so don't be frustrated if you don't get it right away. Just push and pull the water like this...
(She begins to bob gracefully back and forth, the water on the river edge moving back and forth with her.)
Katara: The key is getting the wrist movement right.
Aang (getting up and imitating Katara): Like this?
Katara: That's almost right, if you keep practicing, I'm sure eventually –
Aang: Hey, I'm bending it already!
(View pans left to show Aang moving around a respectably sized wave of water. Cut to a surprised Katara.)
Katara: Wow, I can't believe you got that so quickly. (Looking a little unhappy.) It took me two months to learn that move.
Aang: Well, you had to figure it out on your own. I'm lucky enough to have a great teacher.
(Cut to an overhead shot of Katara and Aang from the p.o.v. of the top of the waterfall.)
Aang: So, what's next.
Katara: This is a more difficult move. I call it "streaming the water."
(Cut to closer view of the pair. Katara moves her hands and pulls out of a stream of water from the river and begins to loop it around.)
Katara: It's harder than it looks so don't be disappointed if...
(Cut to a wider shot that shows Aang has already mastered this move. He is moving around his stream of water as if it were a toy as Katara stands motionless. After a few minutes of frolicking, cut to Katara who definitely looks sour. She drops her water stream. Aang plays with his for a few more seconds and then dumps his back into the river.)
Katara: Nice work, though the over-the-head flare was unnecessary.
Aang: Sorry. Well, don't stop now, keep'em coming!
Katara: Well, I kinda know this one other move, but it's pretty hard. I haven't even totally figured it out yet. The idea is to create a big, powerful wave...
(Katara concentrates, raises a blob of water out of the river, but it falls back upon itself when Katara's concentration collapses. Aang sets up to try.)
Aang: So, like this?
(He raises his hands and a huge wall of water shoots up into the air. Cut to Sokka with the wave building visibly behind him. He turns and his eyes go wide.)
(He gets soaked as the wave breaks over he and Appa. Cut to Sokka coming up out of the water since he had been washed off Appa. Cut back to Katara and Aang.)
Aang: Looks like I got the hang of that move! What else ya got?
Katara (crossly): That's enough practicing for today.
Sokka: Yeh, I'll say! (Cut to a shot of a bunch of bags floating down the river.) You just practiced our supplies down the river!
Aang: Uhhh... sorry. I'm sure we can find somewhere to replace all this stuff.
Sokka (sinking back under the water): Ugh, it was hard enough when you were just an airbender.
(Cut to a pan shot of a port village, then shift to the kids walking down a market street. Various shots of tough looking sailors, merchants and shady types run past each other. In the background a big man is holding up a much smaller one for an unknown reason, as the smaller one yells, "Please, put me down!" Another shopkeeper in blue is addressing a crowd, holding up a sack and asking, "Who's brave enough to look into this bag?" Fade to Katara and Aang sitting in a shop window. Sokka exits the shop.)
Sokka: We've got exactly three copper pieces left from the money that King Bumi gave us. Let's spend it wisely.
Aang: Uhh, make that two copper pieces, Sokka. I couldn't say no to this whistle!
(Aang produces a white whistle in the shape of a bison from behind his back. Aang draws in a great breath and blows into it, cut to Sokka with his fingers in his ears to stop the sound he believes is coming. Nothing happens – only the sound of rushing air.)
Sokka: It doesn't even work. (Momo chitters into Aang's ear as his master stops blowing into it.) See, even Momo thinks it's a piece of junk.
Katara: No offense, Aang, but I'll hold the money from now on.
(Aang looks guilty and then hands over the money to Katara. Fade to an overhead pan right shot of the port. Cut then to one of the larger ships at the dock where one of the crew is soliciting customers.)
Pirate Barker: Earth Nation! Fire Nation! Water Nation! So long as bargains are your inclination, you're welcome here! Don't be shy, come one by!
(Cut to Aang, Katara and Aang walking by the ship. The pirate runs right up to them, but they keep walking.)
Pirate Barker: Oh! You there! I can see by your clothing that you're world traveling types. Perhaps I can interest you in some exotic curios?
(Aang pops back into the frame at this.)
Aang: Sure! What are curios?
Pirate Barker (pausing): I'm not entirely sure, but we got'em!
(The pirate takes Aang by the shoulders and bustles them onto to the ship. Cut to the three looking around the Pirate's hold, gawping at their wares. Katara is momentarily mesmerized by a stone monkey richly jeweled with large, blood red rubies. Then from o.c., a sinister voice is heard.)
Pirate Captain: I've never seen such a fine specimen of lemur. That beast would fetch me a hefty sum, if you'd be interested in bartering.
(In the midst of speaking, the Pirate Captain enters from a dark doorway. He wears a wide brim hat and has a huge green parrot like creature on his shoulder, which screams several times when the Captain is finished. Cut to Aang, who hugs Momo protectively.)
Aang (defensively): Momo's not for sale.
(Cut to Katara, who walks over to a scroll rack. One of them, the thinnest, has the water symbol on its end. She opens it and sees the instructions on how to perform various waterbending moves. Her eyes light up and she draws an intake of breath as the view zooms backs a bit to reveal Aang behind her.)
Katara: Look at this, Aang! It's a waterbending scroll. Check out these crazy moves!
Aang (to the Pirate Captain): Where did you get a waterbending scroll?
(Cut to a view of the open scroll. The Captain's hand suddenly slams down upon it. Cut to a wider shot of Aang and Katara, the Captain between them rolling up the scroll and smiling.)
Pirate Captain: Let's just say I got it up north at a most reasonable price. Free!
(Cut to a view of the Pirate Captain replacing the scroll in the rack, Katara visible in the background eyeing the scroll hungrily. Cut to Sokka looking at some merchandise, then he turns around, puzzling something out.)
Sokka: Waaait a minute...sea-loving traders...with suspiciously acquired merchandise...and pet reptile birds...You guys are pirates!
Pirate Barker (putting his arm around Sokka's shoulders and smiling): We prefer to think of ourselves as high risk traders.
(Cut to Katara looking at the two measly copper pieces in her hand. She turns to the Pirate Captain.)
Katara: So, how much for the, uh, "traded" scroll?
Pirate Captain: I've already got a buyer, a nobleman in the Earth Kingdom. Unless, of course, you kids have 200 gold pieces on ya right now?
(Aang and Katara withdraw slightly to speak in private. Aang puts his hand out.)
Aang: I know how to deal with these guys, Katara, pirates love to haggle. (She gives him the 2 copper pieces). Watch and learn. Aang walks over the Pirate Captain.) What say to the price of... one copper piece!
(Aang holds the copper piece up to the Captain, a wide grin on his face.)
Pirate Captain: Hahaha! The price is 200 gold pieces. I don't haggle on items this rare.
Aang: Okay – two copper pieces!
Pirate Captain: It's not as amusing the second time, boy.
Katara: Aang, can we get out of here, I feel like we're getting weird looks.
Aang (to the Pirate Captain): Aye, we be castin' off now!
(Aang grabs his staff and follows Katara out. Cut to the three leaving the ship.)
Aang: What was that all about, Katara.
Sokka: Yeh, I was just starting to browse through their boomerang collection.
Katara (hugging herself protectively): I'll just feel a lot better once we get away from here.
(Cut to wide shot showing the dock and the prow of the pirate vessel. The pirate who solicited them originally runs across the deck shouting.)
Pirate Barker: Hey you, get back here!
(Cut to the group who turn to look back.)
Aang: Well, well, look who's come to their senses. Told ya the haggling would pay off.
(Cut to the groups p.o.v. Like angry bees from a beehive the pirates are exiting their ship to come after Aang, Katara and Sokka. Suddenly, the group is faced with a dozen or so well armed and obviously angry pirates. Cut to a terrified Aang, with the others behind him and obviously frightened as well. Fade to commercial break.)
(The show returns to the face off. The pirates crowd around the kids, yelling things like, "There they are!", "Get'em!" and "Nobody's goin' nowhere!"
Katara: I...I don't think these pirates are here to trade with us!
(The kids run off with the pirates in pursuit.)
Random Pirate: Get back here!
(The kids run down an alley and the pirates split into two groups. One follows the kids while the other, led by the pirate salesmen, goes in another direction.)
Pirate Barker: This way! Let's cut'em off!
(Cut to the three kids turning the corner around a building, pirates in pursuit. As he rounds the corner Sokka skids and yells "whoa!", but they keep going. As she passes the corner, Katara waterbends some water from a nearby stall onto the ground and freezes it. The lead pirate slips and hits the ground. Cut to the same cabbage dealer seen in "The King of Omashu." He is nuzzling a cabbage happily. He puts the cabbage in his portable stand, which is full of cabbages and begins to wheel it away. As he does, Sokka and Katara run by, bumping the cart and knocking off cabbages. The shopkeeper saves the cabbages from hitting the ground, but then Aang launches himself between the cart's canopy and the cabbages and emerges out the other side. As he does, he turns and airbends the cart up the street to strike the pursuing pirates. The cart disappears in a clouds of dust as do the pirates. The cabbage dealer enters the view, back to the screen and clearly irate.)
Cabbage Merchant: My cabbages! (Turning to the camera) This place is worse than Omashu!
(Cut to a view of the pirates who just got knocked out by the cabbage cart. They groan pitifully. Cut to the kids running down another alley, but when they turn the next corner they are met by the pirate salesmen and his men. The kids run back the way they came, the pirates again in pursuit.)
Random Pirate: I hope that lemur of yours has nine lives!
(The kids turn into a blind alley. They turn around to face their pursuers. Cut the to Pirate Barker and his mates now blocking the entrance.)
Pirate Barker (dual wielding a pair of long knives): Now, who gets to take the steel of my blade first?
Aang: No thanks!
(Aang airbends a huge gust of wind at the Pirates, who are blinded with dust and disoriented. Aang begins to rush forward while opening his glider. Katara and Sokka run along behind and then latch onto to Aang's legs.)
Aang: Hold on tight!
Katara: Aang, I thought we were running away from the pirates!
Aang: Just hang on!
(They have trouble gaining altitude at first, in fact they bounce off the heads of many of the pirates they are trying to escape. They eventually get airborne, however, and look back to see the pirates and the port receding behind them. Fade back to the waterfall where the three and Momo stand once again on the river bank. Cut to a closer shot of the three as Aang closes his glider.)
Aang: I used to kinda look up to pirates, but those guys are terrible.
Katara (smiling): I know, that's why I took – this!
(Cut to a close up of the waterbending scroll in Katara outstretched hand. Aang gets up, an unhappy look on his face.)
Aang: No way.
Katara: Isn't it great?
Sokka (entering from right): No wonder they were trying to hack us up. You stole their waterbending scroll.
Katara (self satisfied): I prefer to think of it as "high-risk trading."
Aang (smiling): Haha! Good one, Katara.
Katara: Sokka, where do you think they got it? They stole it from a waterbender.
Sokka: It doesn't matter. You put all of our lives in danger just so you could learn some stupid, fancy splashes!
Katara: These are real waterbending forms. You know how crucial it is for Aang to learn waterbending.
Sokka (turning and walking away): Whatever.
Aang: Well, what's done is done. We have it. We might as well learn from it.
(Screen cuts to long shot of Aang and Katara on river bank as Aang speaks. When he is through, the camera pans up to the sky, where the scene fades to another sky scene, but this one with seagulls. When the view pans back down, Zuko's ship is docked at the village the kids have just left. Cut to Zuko and Iroh in the market area. Zuko's arms are folded across his chest and he stares into the camera, clearly unhappy.)
Iroh: I've checked all the shops on this pier. Not a lotus tile in the entire marketplace.
Zuko (turning to shout at his uncle): It's good to know this trip was a complete waste of time for everyone!
Iroh: Quite the contrary. I always say the only thing better than finding something you were looking for, is finding something you weren't looking for at a great bargain!
(In the middle of Iroh's saying, a parade of Fire Nation soldiers walks by carrying armloads of merchandise that Iroh has just bought. One of them is some kinds of brass musical instrument.)
Zuko: You bought a sumki horn?
Iroh: For music night on the ship. Now, if we only had some woodwinds.
(As they begin walking down the dock, cut to a view of the pirate ship.)
Iroh: This place looks promising!
(Cut to a view of the red jeweled monkey Katara had eyed earlier. Cut to Iroh's face , Zuko visible in the background.)
Iroh: Ooo! That is handsome! Wouldn't it look magnificent in the galley?
(Cut to a view from behind the Pirate Captain, who is speaking with the Pirate Barker that the kids escaped from a few scenes before. Zuko listens to their conversation. Meanwhile, Iroh picks up the jeweled monkey with a huge grin on his face.)
Pirate Barker: We lost the Water Tribe girl and the little bald monk she was traveling with.
Zuko (walking over): This monk, did he have an arrow on his head?
(Iroh makes monkey noises in the background, then fade to a shot of the open waterbending scroll. Katara begins to speak from o.c.)
Katara: I just want to try this one move first and then it's all yours.
(Cut to wider shot of Aang and Katara by the river, with Aang now holding open he scroll for her. She leans backward, assuming the waterbending stance prescribed in the scroll.)
Katara: "The single water whip"... looks doable.
(She raises a stream of water and whips it around, but it hits her in the forehead, leaving a bruise. Sokka, visible over her shoulder sitting cross legged on a rock, laughs.)
Katara: What's so funny?
Sokka: I'm sorry, but you deserve that. (Screen expands to show Aang on the left. Sokka turns to him.) You've been duped. She's only interested in teaching herself.
Katara (guiltily): Aang will get his turn once I figure out the water whip!
(She tries again, but the whip behaves erratically and unintentionally zaps Momo, who screams at her in protest. Cut to wide shot of Katara in the foreground, Aang in the background.)
Katara (angry): Why can't I get this stupid move!
Aang (walking to the river): You'll get it.
(Katara looks displeased at this pronouncement, undoubtedly expecting Aang to show her up once again. Cut to Aang making the water whip correctly on the first try.)
Aang: You just gotta shift your weight through the stances... (He gracefully manipulates the whip for a few seconds and then drops it back into the river.) There. See, the key to bending is...
Katara (angry, shaking her fists in front of her): Will you PLEASE shut your air hole! Believe it or not, your infinite wisdom gets a little old sometimes. Why don't we just throw the scroll away since you're so naturally gifted! (She looks over at Sokka, who is not impressed.) What?
(She looks at Aang, who is frightened and looks on the verge of tears.)
Katara (now abashed): Omigosh, Aang, I'm so sorry. I don't know what came over me. But, you know what, it won't happen again. (She rolls up the scroll and hands it to Aang.) Here, this is yours. I don't want to have anything to do with it anymore.
Aang: It's okay, Katara
(Cut to Sokka still sitting on the rock, Momo in the foreground rubbing his sore behind where the whip struck him.)
Sokka: What about Momo? He's the real victim here.
Katara (stroking his ears as he chitters): I'm sorry Momo.
Sokka (clearly milking the situation): And... what about me? There was that time you –
Katara (angrily again): No more apologies!
(Fade back to a shot of Zuko's ship. The prows opens and deploys a small cutter craft that steams away. Fade to a scene on the river where the cutter craft and the pirate ship are moving up the river in parallel. Cut to a scene on the deck of one of the ships. Zuko and the Pirate Captain, green parrot still on his shoulder, are in conversation.)
Pirate Captain: Shouldn't we stop to search the woods?
Zuko: We don't need to stop. They stole a waterbending scroll, right?
Pirate Captain: Uh huh.
Zuko: Then they'll be on the water.
(Fade to a night scene, the camera focused on the full moon in the sky. The view pans down to the kids camps, fire still blazing. The boys are asleep, but Katara is awake. She gets up and silently removes the scroll from Aang's bag. She backs guiltily away from the camp, turning around only to be confronted by Momo's luminescent green eyes. He is sitting on some sort of tree trunk as he chitters at her.)
Katara (whispering): Shh! Momo, go back to sleep.
(She walks by and he chitters again, but she "sh's" him once more. Fade to Katara by the river practicing, but failing to produce, the water whip.)
Katara (frustrated): Shoot! Come on water, work with me here!
(She lifts a globe of water out of the river and tries to manipulate it, each of her mistakes being punctuated by a verbal exclamation of "okay", "stupid!" or something else. Cut to Zuko and the Pirate Captain on the deck of one of their ships, who are clearly now close enough to hear this noise. They look at each other, then cut back to Katara wielding a stream of water.)
Katara: Okay, Katara, shift your weight through the stances...(the stream collapses)...ugh!
(Suddenly she hears the noise of grinding metal. She runs over to a row of bushes on her left and parts them to reveal Zuko's cutter craft now beached on the river bank. She turns to run, but there stands a pirate, who grabs her.)
Katara: No, let go of me!
(She bends a water whip around and smacks the pirate in the face. He lets her go, but she runs right into Zuko's arms, who holds her fast.)
Zuko: I'll save you from the pirates.
(Cut to commercial break.)
(When the show returns, Katara is bound to the trunk of a small tree, her hands behind the trunk. She is surrounded by the pirates and Zuko's soldiers.)
Zuko: Tell me where he is and I won't hurt you or your brother.
Katara: Go jump in the river!
Zuko (trying to be reasonable): Try to understand, I need to capture to restore something I've lost. My honor. Perhaps in exchange I can restore something you've lost.
(Cut to a shot of Katara's neck, where suddenly her mother's necklace appears. The shot expands to reveal Zuko holding it in place and shock moving across Katara's features. Zuko walks away with the necklace.)
Katara: My mother's necklace! How did you get that?
Zuko: I didn't steal it, if that's what you're wondering. Tell me where he is.
Pirate Captain (walking forward): Enough of this necklace garbage. You promised the scroll!
Zuko (producing the scroll and making fire in his hand beneath it): I wonder how much money this is worth? (The pirates gasp and some cry, "no!"). A lot, apparently. Now you help me find what I want, you'll get this back and everyone goes home happy. Search the woods for the boy and meet back here.
Pirate Captain (sullen): Fine.
(Cut back to a dawn scene at the waterfall. A shot of the waterfall is replaced by Aang and Sokka still sleeping. Sokka rolls over, starting to wake. He notices Katara's empty sleeping bag in the foreground.)
Sokka: Huh? Where did she go? (Cut to Sokka searching Aang's bag, Aang waking up in the foreground.) I don't believe it.
Aang (yawning): What's wrong.
Sokka: She took the scroll! She's obsessed with that thing. It's just a matter of time before she gets us all in deep –
(He is cut off when his hands get wrapped in a sling thrown from off-screen. He is pulled right off his sleeping bag screaming. He lands on the ground and is faced by a pirate who throws another sling at him. He rolls out of the way, picks up his spear and charges the intruder. Aang, in the background, turns to see a huge beefy pirate hefting two crossbows with a net tied between them. He aims and fires. Aang fires an air ball at the approaching net, but the air passes right through it. The net rolls him up into a nice neat bundle and he is thrown backwards onto the ground, where another pirate begins dragging him away. They instantly leave Sokka alone, who gets up, his pride hurt.)
Random Pirate: I got him, come on!
Sokka: Oh, what? I'm not good enough to kidnap?
(He is answered by another net which scoops him up. He screams as they drag him towards the camera and then o.c. Cut to a view of the pirate ship beached on the river bank, the pirates, Zuko and his men lined up facing each other. Katara is still bound to the tree, Iroh standing next to her. The pirates have Sokka and Aang tied up, Zuko holds the scroll.)
Zuko: Nice work.
Katara: Aang, this is all my fault.
Aang: No, Katara it isn't.
Iroh: Yeh, it kind of is.
(Cut to Zuko's face.)
Zuko: Give me the boy.
Pirate Captain: You give us the scroll.
Sokka: You're really gonna hand over the Avatar for a stupid piece of parchment!?
Zuko (pointing at Sokka): Don't listen to him! He's trying to turn us against each other.
Pirate Captain (looking at Aang): Your friend is the Avatar?
Sokka (appearing at the Captain's side): Sure is, and I'll bet he'll fetch a lot more on the black market then that fancy scroll.
Zuko: Shut your mouth, you water tribe peasant!
Aang (concerned): Yeh, Sokka, you really should shut your mouth...
Sokka (looking sweetly at the obviously very interested pirates): I'm just sayin', it's bad business sense. Just imagine how much the Fire Lord would pay for the Avatar. You guys would be set for life!
(Cut to a wide shot of the two opposing groups. The Pirate Captain points to Zuko.)
Pirate Captain: Keep the scroll! We can buy a hundred with the reward we will get for the kid.
(The pirates begin to walk away with the kids. Cut to Zuko's face.)
Zuko: You'll regret breaking a deal with me!
(Zuko and the guards on either side of him unleash a torrent of flame, which bathes the ground underneath the pirates who jump out the way. General melee begins. The Pirate Salesmen jumps into the midst of the firebenders with a cry. Zuko and his men bear down on the still bound Aang and Sokka. As the get near, four pirates jump into the frame to defend their captives. They drop smoke bombs and the battlefield instantly becomes a foggy mess. The remaining Fire Nation soldiers approaches the edge of the crowd and are instantly pulled in by the arms of pirates emerging from the smoke. Cut to an overhead shot of Katara still bound to the tree. Momo climbs down the trunk and chew open her bonds.)
Katara (smiling): Thanks, Momo. I owe you a bushel of apples.
(Cut to Aang running through the smoke, coughing, his hands still bound. Near misses with a throwing star and a spear cut Aang's bonds. Cut to the exterior of the smoke cloud where Zuko emerges. He puts the waterbending scroll through his waistband on his back. He turns around to just avoid a sword stroke. Zuko assumes a firebending stance, then cut to the Pirate Captain pointing a sword at him. They struggle, but no one gains advantage. From off-screen a sling removes the scroll from Zuko's waistband. Cut to the pirate who threw the sling. Momo intercepts the sling as it returns to the pirate and takes the scroll, flying o.c.. Momo in turn is pursued by the Pirate Captain's green parrot, which tackles Momo in mid-air. The lemur drops the scroll and it falls back down into the smoke filled battlefield, jets of flame erupting from it at various points. Cut to Sokka crawling on the ground, the sound of steel on steel all around him. Out of the smoke a machete buries itself in the ground in front Sokka, scaring him. He uses its blade to cut his arm bonds.)
Sokka: Aang, are you there?
(Cut to Aang airbending himself up over the smoke cloud, then dropping back down.)
Aang: I'm over here, follow my voice!
Sokka (from o.c.): Where? I can't find you!
Aang: I'm right here!
(The Avatar assumes an airbending stance and blows away the smoke from the immediate area to reveal a mix of Fire Nation soldiers and pirate in combat. They freeze and look at him. He closes the smoke back up around them.)
Aang: Uhh, never mind! I'll find you!
(Cut to Sokka crawling out of the smoke and getting up. As he does, Aang jumps out of the smoke over Sokka's head.)
(They run towards the pirate ship, which Katara is trying to push off the beach.)
Aang: Katara! You're okay!
Katara: Help me get this boat back in the water so we can get out of here!
(All three begin to push on the boat, but nothing happens. They stop and look up at the prow.)
Sokka: We need a team of rhinos to budge this ship.
Aang: A team of rhinos... or two waterbenders.
(Katara looks at Aang and smiles. Cut to Aang and Katara pulling the river back and forth up the beach, slowly raising the water level around the prow. The ship floats.)
Katara: Everybody in!
(Cut back to the duel between Zuko and the Pirate Captain. Iroh breaks it up.)
Iroh: Are you so busy fighting you cannot see your own ship has set sail?
Zuko: We have no time for your proverbs, Uncle!
Iroh (pointing o.c.): It's no proverb.
(Cut to a quick shot of the pirate ship sailing downriver, then back the Captain, Zuko and Iroh.)
Pirate Captain: Bleeding hog-monkeys! (He runs o.c..)
(Cut to pirate ship, now far away, as the screen pans left to reveal Zuko's ship following it, loaded with pirates, one of whom moves to moon Zuko and his Uncle, but is cut off by shift back to Zuko and Iroh.)
Zuko: Hey! That's my boat! (He runs o.c.)
Iroh (scratching his chin): Maybe it should be a proverb.
Zuko (from o.c.): Come on, Uncle!
(Cut to shot of Aang's back. He looking astern at the pirates as the close in. He turns to yell forward.)
Aang: Sokka! Can't you make it go any faster?
(Cut to Aang's p.o.v, showing Sokka's back as he stands at the wheel of the ship).
Sokka: I don't know how. This thing wasn't made by the water tribe.
(Cut back to side view of Aang, where the smokestack of the cutter ship is visible in the background. The pirates are passing them. When they draw parallel, pirates begins jumping onto the kid's ship. Cut to a view of the aft deck, where Katara faces the camera in the background and two pirates advance on her in the foreground. As she backs up, Aang, who is visible on top of the cabin, waterbends a huge wave onto the deck that washes one of the pirates overboard. Katara, afraid at first, but then gaining confidence and determination in her continence, creates a water whip and smacks the other one overboard. Cut to Katara, beaming, Aang visible in the background still on top of the cabin.)
Aang: Hey, you did the water whip!
Katara: I couldn't have done it without your help!
(Cut to Sokka on the bridge with a beefy pirate and the pirate salesmen on him.)
Sokka: Will you two quit congratulating each other and help me out!
(Momo flies across the screen at this point, closely pursued by the Captain's parrot. The pursuit ends when Momo traps the parrot by wrapping him in the pirate vessel's black flag. Cut back to Sokka being held aloft by the beefy pirate. Sokka screams as the pirate throws him into the sail in front of him. Sokka falls with a thud to the deck below.)
Pirate Barker: That's good!
(Aang drops into the scene from the left and throws the Pirate Salesmen threw the guard rail and o.c. with a huge blast of air. He twirls the beefy pirate around on a whirlwind of air for a few minutes before ejecting him high into the air. He comes back down in the background, landing with a splash in the river. Cut to a view from the floor of the foredeck, Sokka's supine form in the foreground, Katara and Aang visible on the bridge deck above. Aang jumps down to Sokka.)
Katara (pointing forward): Aang, look!
(The sound of falling water is heard as she speaks. Cut to p.o.v. down the river looking back upriver at the ships. Camera zooms out to reveal that they are rapidly approaching a large waterfall. Cut back to Aang as the screen expands to reveal the Pirate Barker behind him.)
Aang: Oh, no!
(The Pirate Barker draws his blade, making a distinctive sound. Aang turns to face him and draws his bison whistle in response. He blows the whistle furiously to no seeming effect. Cut back to the unimpressed Pirate Barker, who is promptly round-kicked overboard by Sokka who has just entered the shot from the right.)
Sokka (tapping the side of his head): Have you lost your mind!? This is no time for flute practice!
(Cut to Katara and Aang looking over the starboard railing at the rapidly approaching waterfall. Cut to a view of the prow almost at the lip of the fall. Katara speaks from o.c.)
Katara: We can stop the boat! Aang, together, push and pull the water!
(Cut to Katara and Aang on the foredeck waterbending in unison, making pushing and pulling motions. Cut to overhead shot of the boat, which is now turning around right at the lip of the fall.)
Katara: It's working! It's slowing down!
(Cut to Aang and Katara bending, then back to the ship which is now at a 90 degree angle to the lip of the fall and motionless. Cut back a side shot of Aang and Katara, Sokka in the background. Beyond Sokka, the smokestack of the cutter can be seen growing larger.)
Katara: We're doing it!
Sokka (pointing to the cutter): But we have another problem!
(The camera zooms over the railing to show a close of the cutter bearing down on the pirate ship. Cut to a view of the pirate ship hovering at the lip of the fall from the p.o.v. of someone sitting on the river bank. From the left the cutter enters the scream and rams the pirate ship amidships. Cut back to the kids who yell "whoa!" at he impact, which lifts the starboard side of the pirate ship out of the water and, consequently, making the ship list badly to port. The list rapidly becomes so bad that the three fall off the ship and over the falls, the pirate ship falling behind them. Cut to the three falling. Appa swoops in and they land on his backs. He exits just in time to avoid the falling pirate ship. Cut to a wide shot of the waterfall from its base. The pirate ship disintegrates when its hits the bottom in a cloud of water and debris. Appa and the kids swoop out of the scene. Cut to a close up of the bison whistle, then zoom backwards to reveal the kids on Appa's back, Momo landing on Sokka's shoulder in the background.)
Aang: I knew a bison whistle would come in handy. Thanks, Appa.
Sokka: Yeh, we owe ya one.
(Cut to Appa's face. He grunts back to them. Then cut to Zuko running up to the river bank near the waterfall, Iroh huffing and puffing behind him.)
Zuko: My boat!
Iroh (finally regaining his breath): Hehe, Prince Zuko, you're really going to get a kick out of this. The missing lotus tile was in my sleeve the whole time!
(He produces the missing lotus tile with a huge smile on his face. Cut to wide shot of Iroh still holding out the piece, Zuko trying to control his breathing and his temper. Cut back to Iroh holding the piece, which disappears fast as lightning when Zuko snatches it from him. Zuko throws it as far as he can. Cut to the pirates floating downstream. The piece lands on the Pirate Barker's head. Cut to a long shot of Aang breaking through the clouds.)
Katara: Aang, I still owe you an apology. (Cut to the three in the saddle, Katara kneeling and looking down at nothing.) You were just so good at waterbending without really trying. I got so competitive that I put us all in danger. I'm sorry.
Aang: That's okay, Katara.
Katara: Besides, who needs that stupid scroll anyway.
(Pan left to reveal Sokka's hand holding the scroll.)
Sokka: Is that really how you feel?
Katara: The scroll!
(She reaches for it, but Sokka pulls it away and gives her the heisman with his other hand.)
Sokka: First, what did you learn?
Katara: Stealing is wrong. (She takes the scroll.) Unless it's from pirates!
Aang: Haha! Good one, Katara.
(Cut to Appa flying off into the clouds. Fade to white.)
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