Written By: James Eagan
Directed By: Dave Filoni
Storyboard By: Miyuki Hoshikawa, Justin Ridge, Dave Filoni
Animation By: JM Animation Co, Ltd
(OPEN on a pale blue sky, panning down to reveal the tops of a vast deciduous forest. The trees are blanketed in leaves of fiery reds and oranges; there is just a hint of green left on one or two. The air is alive with the CHIRRPS and WHIRRS of insects. The pan stops on wide branch. A little yellow beetle scuttles from around the backside of the branch, toward the trunk. The bug is suddenly covered in a rapidly growing shadow as MOMO swoops in from above. Before he can catch it, the beetle's carapace opens like a ladybug's, and it flies off while he peeks under his paws to see if he got it. Discovering he hasn't, Momo leaps after it.
Cut to the forest from just below canopy level, looking up. The beetle flies up the tree trunk with Momo climbing in pursuit and CHITTERING. They ring the tree then descend.
Cut to the base of the tree. A pile of slightly lumpy red nuts sits in the foreground. The beetle enters from OC and lands on the ground. Momo lands in a pounce from the same direction, but once again the beetle flies off before he can catch it. He watches it, then notices the fruit.
The camera pulls back to reveal the neat pile of about a dozen or so apple-like nuts sitting on a pile of leaves. Other than the leaf pile, the ground is bare dirt. Momo's ears prick straight up.
Cut to the little clearing with the pile of fruit. Momo pounces on it from OC. Suddenly, copper-colored slats snap up from the leaves and surround him in a globe. The snare's slats run longitudinally; the “poles” are parallel to the ground. The globe shifts so that the ‘north pole' is on top and the camera pans up into the canopy as the snare and its cargo spring into the air, where two other snares hang.
Cut to a place just below canopy level. Momo's snare comes to a jerking stop at about the same level in the air as the two other snares. They are also occupied: large brown baboon-like animals BARK noisily, as they hold onto the slats like prison bars and pull on them. The momentum of the ascent leaves Momo's snare—and Momo—spinning.
Cut to another clearing in the forest. Between trees AANG, KATARA, SOKKA and APPA are visible at the far end, taking a break from travel.)
Aang: Where's Momo?
(Momo's yowl echoes through the forest.
Cut to Aang standing in the foreground with Katara and Sokka sitting on the ground. They look around, trying to tell where the call came from.
Fade to the clearing with the snares, looking up from ground level. Aang wanders in from OC, drawn by Momo's urgent CALLS. With a sweep of his arms, He airbends to leap, climbing to Momo's height by rebounding up off close-by tree trunks.)
Aang: Hang on Momo!
(Cut to a tree branch. It extends out of a main part of the tree. Attached to the trunk is a small winch. A rope enters the winch from lower on the trunk OC, then continues up to an eyeloop bolt attached to the underside of the branch, before hanging straight down. Aang ascends in from OC. He sits, then flips over the branch and dangles beneath it like an acrobat on a trapeze. He grabs the rope, releases a latch on the winch, and carefully feeds more line.
Cut to the ground, as Sokka and Katara ease the snare down to the ground between them and together pull the squeaky slats apart enough to make an exit. Momo immediately hops out and runs to the foreground to finish a handful of the nuts, his peril forgotten. Sokka and Katara release the snare, and Sokka GROANS and slaps his forehead at the lack of gratitude. Aang jumps down from above and looks up. Sokka and Katara also look up.
Cut to the other two snares. The Hog Monkeys in them MOAN pleadingly. The traps are suspended near each other on a different branch.)
Aang: All right—you too.
(He crouches, then springs up in a spiraling column of airbent wind that carries him up to the camera and OC. Sokka reaches behind.)
Sokka: This is gonna take forever.
(Sokka throws his boomerang in one fluid move; with a WHIZ it zips up and OC.
Just below the branch, the ropes come from opposite directions, but they parallel each other as they hang down from curved staples. With a WHIZ, the boomerang enters and exists the scene, cutting the both ropes in the process. The ropes fall away; There's the sound of CRASHES and panicked beast BARKS.
The camera pans slightly as Aang arrives from OC: he's hanging below the branch and hugging it as he inches over to the first staple. He pauses to look upside-down at the ground below.)
Aang: That works...
(On the ground, the hog monkeys are loose; their cages like open clamshells. They walk on all fours to the foreground. One disappears between the framing trees, the other climbs up the tree framing the left and disappears. Sokka approaches one of the busted snares and kneels to examine it, as Aang enters by skidding down the trunk and root of a tree in the background.)
Sokka: These are Fire Nation traps—you can tell from the metalwork. We'd better pack up camp, and get moving.
(Sokka's hands pull taught the bindings on a roll of gear.
Cut to the clearing from over Aang's shoulder. Katara hands a gear roll up to Aang, who is sitting on Appa's head. Sokka sees this. He leaves his roll and walks over to them.)
Sokka: Ah-ah...no flying this time.
(Aang hands the roll to Sokka, who puts it on the ground.)
Aang: Why wouldn't we fly?
Sokka: Think about it. Somehow Prince Zuko and the Fire Nation keep finding us. It's because they spot Appa—he's just too noticeable.
Katara: What! Appa's not too noticeable!
Sokka: He's a gigantic fluffy monster with an arrow on his head—it's kinda hard to miss him!
(Appa turns his head and GROANS at Sokka. Aang is in the ‘driver's seat' holding his reigns.)
Aang (gently to Appa): Sokka's just jealous ‘cause he doesn't have an arrow.
Sokka (to Aang OC): I know you all want to fly, but my instincts tell me we should play it safe this time and walk.
Katara: Who made you the boss?
Sokka: I'm not the boss—I'm the leader.
Katara (incredulous): You're the leader? But your voice still cracks!
Sokka: I'm the oldest and I'm a warrior. (tries to speak deeper) So...I'm the leader!
Katara: If anyone's the leader, it's Aang. I mean, he is the Avatar.
Sokka: Are you kidding—he's just a goofy kid!
(Cut to Aang, dangling from Appa's horn: upside-down by his hands with his legs sticking out into space. Appa looks rather unimpressed.)
Aang: He's right.
(Cut to Katara and Sokka again. Sokka has his pack on his back.)
Katara: Why do boys always think someone has to be the leader? I bet you wouldn't be so bossy if you kissed a girl.
Sokka: I-I've kissed a girl—you...just haven't met her.
Katara: Who? Gran-gran? I've met Gran-gran.
Sokka: No—besides Gran-gran. Look, my instincts tell me we have a better chance of slipping through on foot and a leader has to trust his instincts.
Katara: Okay, we'll try it your way Oh Wise Leader.
(Aang steps over, now wearing a backpack. Momo is sitting on the top.)
Aang: Who knows—walking might be fun.
(Cut to the forest. Between trees the group trudges along, with Sokka in front, followed by Aang/Momo, Katara and Appa)
Aang: Walking stinks! How do people go anywhere without a flying bison?
Katara: I don't know Aang. Why don't you ask Sokka's instincts—they seem to know everything.
Sokka: Ha ha. Very funny.
Aang: I'm tired of carrying this pack.
Katara: You know who you should ask to carry it for a while? Sokka's Instincts!
Aang: That's a great idea! Hey, Sokka's Instincts, would you mind—
Sokka: Okay, okay—I get it. Look guys, I'm tired too. But the important thing is that-- (He pushes the branches from two rust red-leafed bushes and holds them, focussing his attention on Aang and Katara.) --we're safe from...the— (He finally turns around to see what's beyond the bushes.) --Fire...Nation...
(Sokka, Aang Katara and Momo have just walked into a clearing with a Fire Nation encampment in it. On the opposite end of the clearing are three Pavilion tents, and an active fire pit with logs as benches on two sides. The camp is occupied.
Cut to the reaction of the soldiers—most of them seated or crouching near the fire with bowls in hand. The surprise of others. On a couple of soldiers seated closest to the tents, which have doorflaps with the Fire Nation emblem on them. One of these soldiers has a patch over his left eye.
Back to Momo and the Trio.)
(As they drop their packs, The soldiers leap up from the logs, swords out. The one-eyed soldier takes a bender's stance and launches a fist-full of fire at them. The fire misses them—mostly—but sets the bushes behind them alight.)
Sokka: We're cut off! (Meanwhile, the left sleeve of his tunic is on fire.)
Aang: Sokka, your shirt!
(Sokka looks, and YELLS in panic.
Katara uncorks a skin container and begins to bend the contents—water—into a flowing ribbon. The ribbon splashes against Sokka's tunic, putting it out. Katara redirects the ribbon back into the waterskin and replaces the cap.
The trio is surrounded: the burning bushes behind them, the soldiers all around. They put their backs together and face the warriors, ready to fight if necessary.)
Sokka: If you let us pass, we promise not to hurt you.
Katara (quietly): What are you doing?
(The One-eyed Captain smiles from his lines.)
Captain: You? Promise not to hurt us?
(There is a quiet ZIP and THUD. The Captain looks surprised for a moment, then groans and collapses face first on the ground. His men lower their weapons a little.)
Aang: Nice work, Sokka! How'd ya do that?
(She points to somewhere above. Blur to a figure standing on the massive branch of a nearby tree. The person drops something and draws two blades from the middle of his back.. He steps off the back of the branch, his weapons held high. Instead of falling straight down, the weapons seem to catch on the branch, allowing him to sling himself in the direction of the camp. The stranger kicks over two of the soldiers farthest from the Trio; he lands with a foot on each of their backs.
He is JET. He is a young man—about Sokka's age. Except for a red vest, he's dressed from neck to toe in dark green clothing. What little armor he has (shoulder caps and hip/upper thigh covers) are mismatched. He has a shaggy mane of brown hair, and a twig held in his teeth.
He rushes forward, his shuang gou (twin hook sword) in each hand. He hooks a leg each on another pair of soldiers and sends them head over heels. With a polished body flip, he launches them through the air. They end up in a heap on top of their prone captain.
Jet lands on his feet, ready for more.)
Jet: Down you go.
(The trio looks up from the little pile-up at him. They've gone from surprise to varying degrees of pleasure (Katara) awe (Aang) and incredulity (Sokka).
A soldier rushes up from behind Jet, sword raised. The young man hooks his opponent's sword hand as he spins. Jet finishes where he started—ready to face a new opponent—while his opponent is sent flying. The man lands at the feet of a quartet of sword holders. The closest then looks up.)
Soldier: They're in the trees!
(A small boy drops from above and lands on the soldier's shoulders, then spins his helmet around, blinding him. He staggers off, his small attacker still on his shoulders and laughing all the while. Before the remaining three swordsmen can react, arrows ZIP from above, disarming each man without hurting him.
Blur up to the archer sitting on a branch. He reaches for a quiver on his back and fits two arrows to the string of his bow. The archer swings backward, until he is hanging beneath the branch by his knees. He lets his arrows fly.
Cut to another quartet of soldiers. The foremost two have their swords knocked from their hands by the arrows, while an individual leaps from a low branch to the ground.
As the two disarmed soldiers run off, a swordsman charges the newcomer. This freedom fighter ducks, lets the swordsman run into (and across) his back, and tosses his opponent up onto the branch with a shrug. The second swordsman is more cautious, but with speed and strength the rebel grabs him, spins him around and throws him. The barehanded rebel turns and heads for new targets before his old one hits the ground. Meanwhile, a boy with a knife and red facepaint drops to the foreground and runs off to fight.
Cut to Jet, who watches over his shoulder as Katara uses her water to take on an OC foe and beside her Aang bends the air, dragging two soldiers in a dusty circle around the pair.
Cut to Sokka, boomerang raised in both hands, shouting a war cry. A soldier charges him, but before they meet Jet enters the scene. He uses his swords to pole vault him into the chest of the swordsman, who goes flying in the opposite direction OC. Sokka stops shouting and sags out of his battle stance.)
Sokka: Hey, he was mine!
Jet: Gotta be quicker next time.
(Jet turns and rejoins the battle. Katara is left impressed, while a grumpy Sokka walks off.
Cut to two soldiers backing towards the forest, but before they can escape, a massive rebel drops to the ground. As they turn to face him, their faces register shock as he comes out of his drop crouch...and towers above them. Quickly however, they recover and take a battle stance. The grinning giant simply reaches over his shoulder and pulls out a log thicker than a man's leg. He raises it two-handed over his head, and with a growl lowers the boom.
Jet turns from his current opponent to watch the two swordsman backing away, their swords bent beyond use. They drop them and flee. He grins and turns to face the determined spearman. The man jabs for his throat, but he catches the spearshaft with the hooks of his swords. They struggle for a moment, before Jet spins and sidesteps the spear. With one sword free, he hooks the man, who goes flying. The soldier's spear is also sent flying. Its butt-end strikes the back of a nearby swordsman's helmet, knocking him out. The sagging soldier reveals his opponent to be Sokka, ready to receive an attack with his war club. He looks at the downed man.)
Sokka (frustrated): Man!
(Another spearman attempts to strike at Jet from behind. Just in time Jet catches the spearpoint in the space between the grip and the crescent-shaped guard of his sword and redirects it away from his head. The soldier quickly follows the spear, pushing it free and facing the young man again with a flourish. Jet also quickly recovers his stance. Jet catches the speartip with his hooks this time and angles the spear into the ground. He runs up it, leaps, kicks off the back of the soldier's helmet and stumbles a few steps forward before stopping in front of Katara as if he'd meant to do all of it.)
Jet (nonchalantly): Hey.
(Together they turn to take in the camp, now deserted by all but the newcomers.)
Aang (awed): You just took out a whole army almost single-handed!
Sokka: Army? Pfft. There were only, like, twenty guys!
Jet: My name is Jet, and these are my Freedom Fighters. Sneers-- (The Weaponless rebel, who is eating from one of the soldier's bowls) --Longshot (The archer; he raises his paddy-hat covered head at his name) --Smellerbee (The rebel with the facepaint and knife. His knife between his teeth, a captured Fire Nation Sword slung across his back and he has one in each hand. He brandishes them when Jet names him) --The Duke and Pipsqueak. (They are standing next to each other. The Duke is the littlest rebel, the one who rode the soldier's shoulders. He raises his quarterstaff slightly at his name. Pipsqueak is the giant, who puts his log away as his name is called.)
(Aang walks up to the Duke and Pipsqueak.)
Aang (to the Duke, chuckling): Pipsqueak—that's a funny name.
(The Duke sniffles, his nose is runny and his helmet hides shed tears. Pan up to the "real" Pipsqueak, slightly glowering. He bends down.)
Pipsqueak: You think my name is funny?
(Aang looks a little nervous. He plasters a smile on his face.)
Aang: It's hilarious.
(Back on Pipsqueak, who goes from glower to guffaw in a heartbeat. Aang, Pipsqueak and the Duke share the laugh together. Pipsqueak slaps Aang on the back, which unintentionally knocks the Avatar flat. The Duke stops laughing, but smiles again when Aang looks up and chuckles weakly: all among friends. FADE OUT.)
(FADE IN on the Fire Nation camp. The central fire is out, and members of Jet's freedom fighters are near it, checking weapons (Longshot) or investigating supply crates (Sneers). Sokka watches as Smellerbee passes him with an armful of staves.
Jet is reclining against the trunk of a tree on the perimeter of the camp. Katara approaches.)
Katara: Um...thanks for saving us Jet. We were lucky you were there.
Jet: I should be thanking you. We were waiting to ambush those soldiers all morning—we just needed the right distraction. And then you guys stumbled in.
Katara: We were relying on instincts.
Jet: You'll get yourself killed doing that.
(Sokka is close enough to hear the conversation. He closes his eyes in frustration at his bad call and walks away. Behind him, Pipsqueak and the Duke investigate the inside of a barrel next to one of the pavilion tents. The Duke reaches in and pulls away a finger coated with green goo. He sniffs it experimentally.)
The Duke: Hey Jet—these barrels are filled with blasting jelly.
Jet: That's a great score.
(Pipsqueak holds up a large crate.)
Pipsqueak: And these boxes are filled with jelly candy!
Jet: Also good. Let's not get those mixed up.
(Aang and Momo watch Pipsqueak, the Duke and Sneers loading up a four-wheeled wagon.)
Pipsqueak: We'll take the stuff back to the hideout.
Aang: You guys have a hideout?
Jet: You wanna see it?
(Katara literally slides up to him from OC. Her hands are clasped together; she's practically begging.)
Katara: Yes we wanna see it!
(Cut to Jet's face. His brow softens, but his self-assured smile never wavers.
Fade to everyone walking along the forest floor. Pipsqueak pulls the laden wagon next to Appa. The trunks are massive enough to make even Appa small. In front, Jet has stopped)
Jet: We're here.
Sokka: Where...there's nothing here!
Jet: Hold this.
(Jet hands Sokka a rope with a loop on the end. The other end is somewhere above them.)
Sokka: Why...what's this do?
(The loop ends up around Sokka's wrist. Without warning, he is pulled up by his arm into a nearby tree canopy. As a final insult, Sokka gets momentarily stuck in the leafy branches before he disappears.)
(Jet offers a similar rope to Aang and Momo.)
Aang: I'll get up on my own.
(Momo launches himself from Aang's shoulder. Aang follows with an Airbender leap. Jet holds a rope and offers his free hand to Katara.)
Jet: Grab hold of me Katara.
(She takes his hand. The colors take on a softer quality as he pulls her into a spin that ends with her against his chest. She blushes noticeably. The rope slowly pulls them into the air, the embrace Katara's only means of support. She smiles nervously then looks around and up at Jet. He focuses on their ascent: the handsome heroic rogue.
Cut to a plank-covered platform high in the canopy. Color is back to normal. Jet and Katara rise through a hole in the 'floor' then land on it with a jump when jet lets go of the still ascending rope. Wooden stairs spiral up the trunk and suspension bridge links their platform to elsewhere. All workmanship is of 'treehouse' quality.
Aang and Momo slide across the scene on a foreground rope.)
Aang: Nice place you got!
(As Jet and Katara walk towards the bridge, the shot pans to reveal several nearby trees have the same platforms, stairs and bridges. Several platforms have tent-like huts.
Cut to Jet and Katara surveying the parts of the tree village below them.)
Katara: It's beautiful up here!
Jet: It's beautiful...and more importantly the Fire Nation can't find us.
(Smellerbee releases his rope and lands near them.)
Smellerbee: They would love to find you. Wouldn't they, Jet?
Jet: It's not gonna happen, Smellerbee.
(A couple of sentries watch from above as Momo and Aang zipline by again. The others are walking along a bridge.)
Katara: Why does the Fire Nation want to find you?
Jet: I guess you could say I've been causing them a little trouble. See, they took over a nearby Earth Kingdom town a few years back.
(cut to Jet and Katara leading the group. Pipsqueak is right behind.)
Pipsqueak: We've been ambushin' their troops, cutting off their supply lines, and doing anything we can to mess with ‘em.
(Sokka is doing his level best to see over Pipsqueak—he keeps hopping to get a peek over the giant's shoulders.)
Jet: One day, we'll drive the Fire Nation out of here for good and free that town.
Katara: That's so brave.
(Sokka comes up from behind—he's somehow made it past Pipsqueak.)
Sokka (Sarcastically): Yeah, nothing's braver than a guy in a treehouse.
Katara: Don't pay any attention to my brother.
Jet: No problem. He probably had a rough day.
Katara: So, you all live here?
(Sokka, ignored, sinks back behind them.)
Jet: That's right. Longshot over there? (cut to Longshot and the Duke walking silently. Longshot's head is slightly bowed) His town got burned down by the fire Nation. And we found the Duke trying to steal our food. I don't think he ever really had a home.
Katara: What about you?
(Jet stops. The group, except for Katara moves on.)
Jet: Fire Nation killed my parents. I was only eight years old. That day changed me forever.
Katara: Sokka and I lost our mother to the Fire Nation.
Jet: I'm so sorry, Katara.
(Fade from the two of them alone on the suspension bridge, looking out, to the blue sky above the canopy. A cloud of cawing birds is disturbed as Appa raises his head through the dense leafy branches with a grumble.
In the hideout below, Ropes with Glowing lanterns hang between branches. Sentries keep watch on several upper platforms while the group sits at a banquet table on a huge platform.
While the group eating and drinking. Jet stands and climbs onto the table.)
Jet: Today, we struck another blow against the Fire Nation swine.
(His followers at the table and on upper platforms cheer. Katara and Aang watch with smiles, Sokka looks grumpy.)
Jet: I got a special joy from the look on one soldier's face, when the Duke dropped down on his helmet and rode him like a wild hog monkey.
(The helmet-less Duke is sitting on the platform between Longshot and Smellerbee. He stands, joins Jet on the table and amid cheers takes a victory walk around a fish platter.)
Jet: Now, the Fire Nation thinks they don't have to worry about a couple of kids hiding in the trees. (He prepares to take a drink from his wooden cup) Maybe they're right.
(His followers BOO at that.)
Jet: Or maybe...they are dead wrong.
(His face is bathed in an angry red from the lanterns. His followers CHEER wildly. He leaves the table and sits on the platform between Sokka and Katara)
Katara: Hey Jet, nice speech.
Jet: Thanks. By the way, I was really impressed with you and Aang. That was some great bending I saw out there today.
Katara: Well, he's great. He's the Avatar. I could use some more training. (She blushes.)
Jet: Avatar huh? Very nice.
Aang: Thanks Jet.
Jet: So I might know a way that you and Aang can help in our struggle.
Sokka: Unfortunately we have to leave tonight. (He stands and walks away.)
Jet: Sokka, you're kidding me! I needed you on an important mission tomorrow.
(Sokka stops, and turns.)
Sokka: What mission?
(Fade to the top of the forest the next day. Jet and Sokka are perched in branches on the same tree. Jet cups his hands and makes a whistle like a birdcall; several trees down Pipsqueak and Smellerbee step into view from their branches. There is a reply call.
Sokka rams his jawbone knife into the trunk of the tree.)
Jet: What are you doing?
Sokka: Shh...it amplifies vibrations.
Jet (impressed): Good trick.
(Sokka cups his hands around the pommel ‘bone' and puts his ear to it.)
Sokka: Nothing yet. (Lowers his voice) Wait! Yes, someone's approaching.
Jet (low voice): How many?
Sokka: I think there's just one.
(Jet whistles again.)
Jet: Good work, Sokka. Ready your weapon.
(Sokka pulls the knife out of the tree and waits. His eyes go wide when the 'someone' comes into view: a stooped OLD MAN with a cane. He wears a simple red robe.)
Sokka (Low): Wait! False alarm...he's just an old man.
(Jet stands and extends his hook swords anyway, then leaps to the ground in front of the traveler. Sokka watches with horror.)
Jet: What are you doing in our woods, you leech.
Old Man: Please sir, I'm just a traveler.
(Jet takes a step, and with one swipe of his sword sends the man's can flying from his hand. The old man backs away, but when he tries to flee the way he came, he runs face first into Pipsqueak's chest. The force of the impact knocks him to the ground; the giant looms over him. He tries to crawl away, but Pipsqueak's foot on his backside effectively pins him.)
Jet: Do you like destroying towns? Do you like destroying families? Do you?!
Old Man (frightened): Oh...please let me go...have mercy...
Jet: Does the Fire Nation let people go?! Does the Fire Nation have mercy?!
(Jet winds up a kick, but his foot is snagged by Sokka's club before it can be delivered. Sokka releases him)
Sokka: Jet, he's just an old man!
Jet: He's Fire Nation! Search him!
(Pipsqueak holds the prisoner and Smellerbee steps up)
Sokka: But he's not hurting anyone!
Jet: Have you forgotten that the Fire Nation killed your mother? Remember why you fight!
Smellerbee: We've got his stuff, Jet. (He holds up a shoulder satchel the old man was carrying. The old man is back on the ground.)
Sokka: This doesn't feel right.
Jet: It's what has to be done—now let's get outta here.
(Jet pushes past Sokka. Pipsqueak and Smellerbee follow. Sokka looks at the old man still on his hands and knees.)
Jet: Come on Sokka!
(Sokka slowly turns then runs after the others.
At the hideout, Aang and Momo are playing with the ziplines again. He leaps to a platform.)
Aang: Sokka! Look what the Duke gave me!
(Aang is wearing a satchel—not the old man's—and pulls a small pellet from it. With a sly grin, he tosses it at the platform next to Momo, where it explodes with a pop. Momo puffs up like a startled cat. He GROWLS, then lunges for the satchel. Momo then sits on Aang's shoulder and tosses pellets at his feet. Aang dances about wildly.)
Aang: Ow! Quit it!
(Sokka is oblivious of it all. He's sitting with his back to the trunk and staring at the platform before him, frowning. Katara walks up.)
Katara: Hey Sokka. Is Jet back?
Sokka: Yeah—he's back. But we're leaving.
Katara: But I made him this hat.
(She pulls from behind her back a cap made out of stitched leaves with a flower on top. The workmanship is unimpressive.)
Sokka: Your boyfriend Jet's a thug.
Katara: What? No, he's not.
Sokka: He's messed up Katara.
Aang: He's not messed up, he's just got a different way of life—a really fun way of life.
Sokka: He beat and robbed a harmless old man!
Katara: I wanna hear Jet's side of the story.
(Cut to Jet.)
Jet: Sokka—you told them what happened but you didn't mention that the guy was Fire Nation?
(Jet and the trio are in a lantern-lit hut: at least one wall is made of wood. Jet is sitting on a hammock-bed, the others stand. Sokka stands grumpily as far away as he can get. Aang is wearing the hat Katara made; he looks like an acorn)
Katara: No, he conveniently left that part out.
Sokka: Fine! But even if he was Fire Nation, he was a harmless civilian
Jet: He was an assassin, Sokka.
(Jet pulls out a knife and thrusts it into a nearby block of wood. It is a sinister looking curved blade. There are four spikes evenly spaced along the grip, with enough space for fingers to go between them. There is a ring on the butt of the knife.)
Jet: See? There's a compartment for poison in the knife. (He pulls on the ring and removes a small glass tube filled with red liquid). He was sent to eliminate me—you helped save my life, Sokka.
Katara: I knew there was an explanation
Sokka: I didn't see any knife!
Jet: That's because he was concealing it.
Katara: See Sokka? I'm sure you just didn't notice the knife.
Sokka: There was no knife! I'm going back to the hut and packing my things. (He leaves.)
Jet: Tell me you guys aren't leaving yet. I really need your help.
Aang: What can we do?
Jet: The Fire Nation is planning on burning down our forest. If you both use water bending to fill the reservoir, we could fight the fires. But if you leave now, they'll destroy the whole valley.
(Aang and Katara look at each other. Fade to them entering their hut. Sokka is tying up a roll on the floor.)
Katara: We can't leave now with the Fire Nation about to burn down a forest!
Sokka: I'm sorry Katara. Jet's very smooth, but we can't trust him.
Katara: You know what I think? You're jealous that he's a better warrior and a better leader!
Sokka: Katara, I'm not jealous of Jet. It's just that my instinct—
Katara: Well my instincts tell me we need to stay here a little longer and help Jet. Come on Aang.
Aang: Sorry Sokka.
(They leave the hut. Fade to the night sky above the canopy. A full moon shines on Appa, who is on his back and snoring up a storm as he sleeps.
Inside the Trio's hut, Sokka sleeps propped up against his still-packed gear while the others sleep in their bedrolls.)
Jet: Let's go.
(Sokka stirs then snaps awake. He pulls the door flap aside enough to see some of Jet's followers descending on the rope lines. He leaves the hut, and takes a rope line down to a lower branch. On the ground below him, Jet's freedom fighters are quietly pushing the loaded wagon as Jet leads them out of the camp. Sokka stealthily follows.
In the dark valley, the walled town sits on the far side of a river that cuts through the forest. Upstream, and up toward the wall of the valley there is an old falls, and beyond that a man-made dam. A bare cliff off to the reservoir's left provides the view.
Jet and his boys emerge form the forest. He goes to the edge and looks down on the dam below. The reservoir behind it is low. He turns back to the wagon.)
Jet: Now listen—you are not to blow the dam until I give the signal. If the reservoir isn't full, the Fire Nation troops could survive.
(The Duke jumps off the wagon.)
Duke: But what about the people in the town—won't they get wiped out too?
(Jet places a hand on the Duke's shoulder.)
Jet: Look Duke, that's the price of ridding this area of the Fire Nation. (to Longshot): Now don't blow the dam until I give the signal—got it?
(Longshot nods. Sokka watches incredulously from the bushes. He frowns, and hears rustling just before Pipsqueak drags him out by his topknot. Smellerbee's knife is instantly at his throat.)
Smellerbee (sneering): Where do you think you're going, ponytail?
(FADE IN on Jet, standing near the edge of the cliff. As he watches, Pipsqueak and Smellerbee drag Sokka between them. Pipsqueak still has a handful of Sokka's topknot.)
Jet: Sokka. I'm glad you decided to join us.
(His captors send Sokka to his knees. He rubs his shoulder.)
Sokka: I heard your plan to destroy the Earth Kingdom town.
Jet: Our plan is to rid the valley of the Fire Nation.
Sokka: There are people living there Jet—mothers and fathers and children.
Jet: We can't win without making some sacrifices.
(Sokka points an accusing finger at Jet.)
Sokka: You lied to Aang and Katara about the forest fire!
Jet: Because they don't understand the demands of war. Not like you and I do.
Sokka: I do understand. I understand that there's nothing you won't do to get what you want.
Jet: I was hoping you'd have an open mind, but I can see you've made your choice.
(Pipsqueak and Smellerbee grab for Sokka. Before he can even react, Jet has his wrist pinned with the hooks of his shuang gou. Sokka's other hand is forced behind his back.
Jet: I can't let you warn Katara and Aang. (Jet releases Sokka's hand; it is immediately forced behind his back.) Take him for a walk--a long walk.
Sokka: You can't do this!
Jet: Cheer up, Sokka. We're gonna win a great victory against the Fire Nation today.
(Fade to the riverside upriver from the dam. The collected water behind it is much less than the larger cavity of the reservoir. The river leading to down to it is a thread compared to its ‘rainy season' gully. Jet, Katara and Aang are seen walking upriver along its west bank.)
Katara: Jet—I'm sorry about how Sokka's been acting.
Jet: No worries—he already apologized.
Aang: Really? (Aang and Katara stop and look at one another.) Sokka apologized?
Jet: Yeah—I was surprised too. I got the sense that maybe you talked to him or something.
Katara: Yeah, I did.
Jet: I guess something you said got through to him. Anyhow, he went out on a scouting mission with Pipsqueak and Smellerbee.
Katara: I'm glad he cooled off. He's so stubborn sometimes.
(They are now walking in the gully, beside the ‘river'. Aang pauses after noticing something strange, then is launched into the air by a blast from the geyser he was standing on.)
Jet: All right, we're here. Underground water's trying to escape through these vents. I need you guys to help it along.
Katara: ...I've never used bending on water I can't see. I don't know...
(Jet stands behind her and places his hands on her shoulders.)
Jet: Katara. You can do this.
Aang (back on the ground): What about me?
Jet: I know the Avatar can do this.
(Aang and Katara stand on either side of one of the many smoking holes in the gully. While Jet looks on, they perform bending gestures: they look like they are encouraging something up. After a few minutes, a bloby stream of water emerges from the hole. They pull it to their height, then send it toward the river where it continues to flow like a giant garden hose. The water quickly joins the river.)
Jet: Yes! Good job! This river empties into the reservoir--a few more geysers and it'll be full.
Aang: Look, there's another steam vent.
(Aang and Katara walk off in its direction.)
Jet: Okay. You two keep it up—I'll go check on things at the reservoir. (He turns and walks away.)
Katara: When we're done we'll meet you over there.
Jet: Actually...probably better if you meet me back at the hideout when you're done.
(Jet resumes walking away Aang and Katara bend the next geyser into another fountain.)
Aang: ...I bet that's enough—and I'm not just saying that to be lazy.
(Around them, a half dozen fountains flow into the river.)
Katara: Let's catch up with Jet at the reservoir.
Aang: I thought we agreed to meet Jet back at the hideout.
Katara: Well, we finished early--I'm sure he'll be happy to see us.
(Fade from Katara to a path in the forest. Pipsqueak and Smellerbee follow Sokka, who has his hands tied behind his back. Smellerbee gives his prisoner a shove; Sokka stumbles but remains on his feet.)
Smellerbee: Come on—move along!
Sokka: How can you stand by and do nothing while Jet wipes out a whole town?
Pipsqueak: Hey listen Sokka, Jet's a great leader. We follow what he says, and things always turn out okay.
(Sokka notices a couple of snare leaf-piles nearby. They identical to the one that enticed Momo, right down to the pile of nuts.)
Sokka: If that's how Jet leads, then he's got a lot to learn.
(Sokka sprints off in the direction of the snares. Smellerbee makes a grab for him, but misses.)
(They give chase. Sokka leaps over the leaf piles. Pipsqueak and Smellerbee don't, and end up snared and hanging many feet up in the air.)
Sokka: While you two are up there you might want to practice your knot-work. (He holds up his now-worthless bindings, then turns and walks away.)
Pipsqueak: Hey Smellerbee—you gonna eat your leechee nuts? (A nut strikes him in the head and lands in the pile he's holding.) Ooh. (He picks one up and licks his lips.)
(Katara and Aang are standing on the edge of the cliff. At the base of the dam, four of Jet's people are unloading barrels from the wagon and arranging them.)
Katara: ...What are they doing?
Aang: Hey, those are the red barrels he got from the Fire Nation.
Katara: Why would they need blasting jelly?
(Zoom on Aang, as he gets it.)
Aang: Because Jet's gonna blow up the dam.
Katara: What? No--that would destroy the town. Jet wouldn't do that.
(Aang snaps his glider wings open.)
Aang: I've gotta stop him. (He runs for the edge.)
Katara (less convinced): Jet wouldn't do that.
(Before Aang can reach the edge, Jet crosses his path from behind and snatches the glider. Aang is left wobbling precariously on the edge, and uses an airbending move to get himself back on stable footing.)
Jet: Yes I would.
Jet: Katara, you would too if you just stopped to think. Think about what the Fire Nation did to your mother—we can't let them do that to anyone else, ever again.
Katara: This isn't the answer!
Jet: I want you to understand me Katara. I thought your brother would understand, but—
Katara: Where's Sokka?
(Tears fall from her eyes. Jet reaches out and touches her face.)
(She bows her head, then with a SHOUT sends Jet flying with the water from her waterskin. She draws it back into the skin when she's done.)
Aang: I need to get to the dam.
(Aang's closed glider is on the ground. As he reaches for it, the crescent end of one of Jet's shuang gou pins it like an axe. Jet has the two weapons hook to hook; with a yank he pulls the sword and Aang's glider to him.)
Jet: You're not going anywhere without your glider.
(Jet swings the swords—still hook to hook—at Aang. Aang summersaults backwards to avoid the extra reach. Aang finishes his retreat in a nearby tree.)
Aang: I'm not gonna fight you, Jet.
Jet: You'll have to if you want your glider back.
(Aang retreats back into the forest, as Jet hooks the branch and pulls himself up. Katara follows on the ground. Jet attacks; Aang defends himself with balls of air, which Jet ducks. Jet attacks head on, but Aang blocks with his arms and sends his opponent flying into a tree trunk with an air kick. Jet combines his swords again and advances. Aang avoids the flail-like move and sends another air blast. Jet stoops down and lets the air flow over and past him, then lunges.
They continue the chase through the many levels of the forest. Jet catches up to Aang and sends them both freefalling, attacking as they go. They both end up on a branch. Jet continues his attack. Aang avoids it all. Jet charges again, but Aang hits him with a jetstream of air. Jet falls. He recovers, but looses the glider in the process. Before Aang can get to the ground Jet kicks him into a trunk. He lands with a thud next to his glider.
A small tributary flows past him. Aang is slow to get up. Before Jet can take more than a step however, he his hit by a large water strike. Katara is there; she uses water from the river to throw Jet against the trunk of the tree. Over and over she attacks; Jet is unable to cut the water and its force plasters him against the trunk. She bends the water to ice; the soggy renegade is left frozen from toe to neck.)
Katara: Why, Jet? I can't believe I trusted you. You lied to me—you're sick and I trusted you!
(A signal call is heard. Katara and Aang are startled, then look to the valley beyond—where it's coming from. Jet gives an answer call.)
Katara: What are you doing?
Jet: You're too late.
Katara (horrified): No!
(Aang snaps open his glider and runs for the nearby cliff/waterfall. His glider's wing is so shredded however, that he has no lift and slams back into the ground near the edge. Katara runs over to help him.)
Aang: Sokka's still out there—he's our only chance.
Katara: Come on, Sokka. I'm sorry I ever doubted you. Please.
(Cut to a tree. Longshot stands on a branch, his bow pulled. He has a fire arrow on the string He sights, then lets it fly.
It arcs down to the base of the dam.
Katara (whisper): No...
(The center of the dam explodes in a cloud of smoke and fire. Katara and Aang watch a massive wall of water go over the ‘dry' falls and down to the town.
Inside the town the streets are empty except for the occasional barrel and a market table with cabbages. The water rushes through the open gate, as a cresting wave dwarfs it. The wall and gate are swallowed as the wave strikes the town.
The flotsam carried away includes a smiling doll in a purple dress.)
Aang: Sokka didn't make it in time.
Katara: All those people...(She turns in rage back to Jet.) Jet—you monster!
Jet: This was a victory, Katara. Remember that. The Fire Nation is gone and this valley will be safe.
Sokka: It will be safe—without you.
(In shock, Jet looks up to see Sokka, Appa and Momo rise from below the level of the cliff. Sokka has Appa's reins.)
Sokka: I warned the villagers of your plan, just in time.
Sokka: At first they didn't believe me. The Fire Nation soldiers assumed I was a spy. But one man vouched for me—the old man you attacked. He urged them to trust me, and we got everyone out in time.
(What Sokka describes is seen in monochrome pictures.
The townsfolk are seen on high ground above the river, on the bank opposite the town. A LITTLE GIRL runs down to the water's edge as the doll floats by. She retrieves it.)
Little Girl (Happily): Missus Pretty! (She hugs her doll.)
Jet: Sokka, you fool! We could've freed this valley!
Sokka: Who would be free—everyone would be dead.
Jet: You traitor!
Sokka: No, Jet. You became the traitor when you stopped protecting innocent people.
Jet: Katara. Please—help me.
Katara: Goodbye Jet.
(Sokka gives Appa's reigns a flick.)
Sokka: Yip yip.
(Jet is left behind on the ground, still frozen to the tree.
The sky they fly in is empty, save a few wispy clouds.)
Aang: We thought you were going to the dam. How come you went to the town instead?
Katara: Lemme guess—your instincts told you.
Sokka: Hey—sometimes they're right.
Aang: Um...Sokka? You know we're going the wrong way, right?
(Sokka is surprised, but quickly recovers.)
Sokka: ...And sometimes they're wrong. (With a grin, he pulls Appa's reigns. They fly off screen, then reappear going in the opposite direction. FADE OUT.)
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