The Siege of the North, Part 2
Written By: Aaron Ehasz
Directed By: Dave Filoni
Storyboard By: Dave Filoni, Miyuki Hoshikawa, Justin Ridge, Ian Graham
Animation By: JM Animation Co, Ltd
(Opening shot of four massive fireballs arcing over the Water City walls and into the city. It is daylight and the battle for the survival of the Northern Water Tribe has begun in earnest. Cut to an overhead shot from behind the citadel. The four fireballs land at various points within the city and explode. The camera pans back to the sanctuary, where Appa and the others are. Cut to a close up shot of the black and white fish circling each other in the sanctuary pond. Katara begins to speak from o.c. at first, then cut to wide shot of her, Yue, Sokka, Momo and Appa. Katara is kneeling at the pool.)
Katara: I can't believe I lost him.
Sokka: You did everything you could and now we need to do everything we can to get him back.
(Sokka leads Yue over to Appa. Cut to a shot of Katara's back. She turns to look at her brother o.c., tears brimming over her eyes.)
Sokka (continuing from o.c.) : Zuko can't have gotten far. We'll find him. Aang's gonna be fine.
Katara (getting up): Okay.
(She walks by Momo, who looks out over the pond. He chitters softly and sadly. Cut to Katara now standing atop Appa, Sokka at the reigns, Yue beside her.)
Katara: It's all right. You stay here, Momo, in case Aang comes back.
Sokka: Yip! Yip!
(Appa launches himself into the air and out of the sanctuary into the frozen, snowing wasteland above. Cut to Appa flying over the ice dunes, the snowing coming down hard from the dark, gray sky.
Shift to a long trail in the snow that goes to the horizon, then cut to a shot of Zuko's feet tramping through the drifting snow, Aang's feet dragging behind him. After a few shots of Zuko dragging him through the blizzard, the shot cuts to a close up of Aang's face. His eyes are closed, but his tattoo arrow on his head glows white. The screen flashes white for an instant.
When the picture returns, it is of a split second close up of Aang's face. The camera almost instantly zooms backward to show sitting cross legged on a platform in the middle of a bamboo swamp. He is in a meditative pose as his eyes open. Cut to a long shot of Aang sitting on the platform amidst the swamp. A white bird flies by in an instant. Aang gets up and runs off the platform Cut to a shot of Aang's upper body as he looks around the swamp. Behind him is a small island. A temple like structure, like the one behind the pond in the Water Tribe sanctuary, but thicker and cruder, rests on top of the small island. Underneath the cross bar of the structure a figure sits cross-legged.)
Mystical Monkey: Ohmm... Ohmmmm...
(Aang hears the chanting and runs up the island to the see a white haired monkey sitting in meditative repose. He wears a brown monk's shawl.)
Aang: Hello? I'm sorry to disturb you, but I just really need to find the Moon and the Ocean spirits.
Mystical Monkey (without opening his eyes): Go... away.
(He pauses for a moment, then opens one eye at Aang.)
Mystical Monkey: You're still here?
Aang: Yes! I need –
Mystical Monkey (shutting his eyes tightly): Ohmm!! Ohmmm!
(A blue will-o'-the-wisp enters from the right, emitting a slight crystalline noise.)
Mystical Monkey: Perhaps that thing will help you? Chase it!
(Aang runs after it. The mystical monkey keeps his eyes shut for a second more, then opens one to confirm Aang's departure. He shakes his head.)
Mystical Monkey (sighing): Finally!
(Cut to Aang chasing the will-o'-the-wisp through the swamp. He chases it up a tree and out onto a large branch. He catches it, a huge smile on his face. As he does, the tree branch liquefies underneath him and he falls, screaming, to the water below and lands with a splash. As he lies in the water the will-o'-the-wisp gets away from him.)
Aang (getting up): Come back!
(He moves to follow the will-o'-the-wisp, but stops to look at the water. As the ripples from the splash dissipate an image forms where his own reflection should be. It is Avatar Roku.)
Avatar Roku: Hello, Aang.
(The screen flashes white and returns with a shot of Zuko carrying Aang through the snow. After some steps, the ice underneath Zuko begins to crack and cave in. Within a few seconds most of the ground around him is collapsing. He begins to run with Aang on his back. He manages to keep just ahead of the yawning hole that his footsteps over thin ice have caused to appear. The hole finally stops expanding as Zuko trips and falls. They are now on the lip of a newly formed canyon. He looks ahead to see a rock ledge overhanging a small cave.)
(Cut to a shot from inside the cave. Zuko appears, dragging Aang inside by the collar. Outside the blizzard continues. He dumps him at the back of the cave and ties his hands behind his back with some of the rope he is carrying. Cut to a zoom in close up shot of Aang, his tattoo aglow. The screen flashes white and when it returns we once again see Aang looking down at the reflection in the water of the Spirit World swamp.)
Aang: Roku, the Water Tribe is under attack. I need to find the Ocean and Moon spirits!
(Cut to a profile shot of Aang looking at the water. Suddenly, maroon colored water fountains up and solidifies into the shape of Avatar Roku.)
Avatar Roku: The Ocean and the Moon are ancient spirits. They crossed over from the Spirit World to the Mortal World very near the beginning. There is only one spirit I know of who is old enough to remember.
Avatar Roku: The spirit's name is Koh. But he is very dangerous. They call him... the Face Stealer.
(Cut to close up of Aang looking shocked and frightened. Then cut back to an overhead shot of the two.)
Avatar Roku: When you speak with him you must be very careful to show no emotion at all – not the slightest expression or he will steal your face!
(Aang forces the fear from his face and nods to Roku stoically.
The screen flashes white and we return to the frozen wastes where the blizzard rages. Appa's forepaw enters the picture and slams deep into the snow. He rumbles. Cut to Sokka looking out over the canyon created by Zuko and Aang's passage. He turns around to look at Katara, her eyes wide with concern and fear. She lowers her face, fearing the worst.
A long shot of Appa and the others is quickly replaced by one of Zuko blowing fire into his hands to keep warm. He looks over at Aang.)
Zuko: I finally have you. But I can't get you home because of this blizzard. (He walks over to the cave entrance to look out at the falling snow, his back to the camera) There's always something. Not that you would understand. You're like my sister. Everything always...came easy to her. She's a firebending prodigy – and everyone adores her. (Cut to a frontal view of Zuko) My father says she was born lucky. He says I was lucky to be born. (Cut to view of his back again.) I don't need luck though, I don't want it. I've always had to struggle and fight and that's made me strong. It's made me who I am.
(Cut to a shot of Fire Nation assault on the city below. A line of Fire Navy ships abuts the outer wall, which continue launching fireballs deep into the unoccupied portions of the city. The shot pans left to reveal that the invaders have penetrated the outer wall with infantry and armor. The Water Tribe still holds one of the towers in the foreground, but it is clear the defenders are losing this battle.
Cut to a close up shot of a couple Fire Nation war rhinoceros, each with small catapults on either side of its saddle. One after the other the soldiers on the rhinoceros fire their catapults.
The scene shifts again to a wide shot covering the middle half of the city where the secondary wall still holds, a thin moat of water in front of it. The defenders are few, however, and a deadly rain of fireballs enters the frame, spreading destruction deep inside the city. Cut to a close up of rank upon rank of Fire Nation tanks, firing as they advance toward the secondary wall.
The defenders rally atop the secondary wall, where a line of waterbenders returns fire. Right under the top of the wall is a line of portholes through which water pours into the moat below. The waterbenders motion in unison and the gentle streams become mighty jets of water. Two tanks are washed away, but several others behind them fire massive grappling hooks into the secondary wall. The hooks penetrate the wall clear through to the other side as the waterbenders scatter. The tanks with the grappling hooks then begin to reel back on the lines. The tanks are anchored in the ice to prevent the tank from just hauling itself to the wall. The wall cracks slowly, then gives way as more fireballs fly overhead. A huge breach has been opened, revealing a war rhinoceros and other infantry ready to pour through.
Cut to a wide shot from the p.o.v. of the outer wall. Three more tanks on the left pull down large sections of the secondary wall. The space in between the primary and secondary walls is brimming with Fire Nation soldiers, tanks and rhinoceros. Numerous fireballs have landed in the residential section beyond and parts of the city are on fire.
The scene shifts to show the ornate prow of Zhao's flagship and the other surrounding vessels.)
Iroh (voice over): I don't need to remind you we have a time limit. (Cut to Iroh standing next to Zhao on the bridge's observation deck) If we don't defeat the Water Tribe before the full moon rises they will be undefeatable.
Zhao (smiling evilly): I assure you I have everything under control. I intend to remove the moon as a factor.
Iroh (incredulously): Remove the moon!? How?
Hahn (entering from behind, spear in hand): Admiral Choi! (He takes off his helmet and throws it aside.) Prepare to meet your fate!
(He rushes forward to Zhao, who casually throws him overboard. Hahn screams as he falls o.c. and then a loud splash is heard. Iroh looks down and shakes his head, then turns back to Zhao.)
Zhao (ignoring the pathetic assassination attempt): As I was saying...years ago I stumbled upon a great and powerful secret...the identity of the Moon Spirit's mortal form.
Iroh (shocked): What?
(Cut to a close up of Zhao's face in profile. His eyes are closed, a cruel smile on his lips. The screen pans right and fades to the show the memory Zhao begins to describe.)
Zhao: I was a young Lieutenant serving under General Shu in the Earth Kingdom...
(Fade to a long shot of Zhao sitting at a desk in a windowless room, perhaps a basement of some sort as stairs lead up in the foreground. In front of Zhao, the candle on the desk illuminates a map of the middle Earth Kingdom on the wall in front of the desk.)
Zhao: I discovered a hidden library, underground in fact. I tore through scroll after scroll. One of them contained a detailed illustration and the words "moon" and "ocean." I knew then that these spirits could be found – and killed. (The memory ends with a close up of Zhao's eyes, then fade to the present.) And that it was my destiny to do so.
Iroh (angry): Zhao, the Spirits are not to be trifled with!
Zhao (patronizingly): Yes, yes, I know you fear the Spirits, Iroh. I've heard rumors about your journey into the Spirit World. But the Ocean and Moon gave up their immortality to become a part of our world – (cut to a shot behind the two, showing the assault on the city) and now they will face the consequences!
(The screen flashes white again, transitioning back to the Spirit World. Here was see a long shot of Aang hopping across the top of a line of wooden pylons on his way to a huge gnarled tree in the background. The tree is partially silhouetted by a light source behind it that is too dim to be the sun, but too bright to be the moon. Aang stops as a monstrous coyote or other dog like creature passes behind the tree – it must be the size of small mountain. Aang continues his approach to the base of the tree. There is a dark hole at the base of the tree. Aang approaches the hole fearfully. Cut to Aang's p.o.v. as the camera zooms in on the hole, but it stops short as the a monkey's screech is heard. The camera pans left to show a monkey sitting on the root of the tree, looking away from the camera.)
Aang (with relief): Oh! Whew! You're just a curly tailed blue nose.
(Cut back to the monkey, who turns around to reveal that it has no face. Aang starts in fright, then drops all emotion from his face. He breathes deeply.)
Aang (in unison with voice over from Roku): Show no fear. Show no emotion at all.
(Aang walks into the hole, then cut to commercial break.)
(The show returns to shot of the Koh's tree silhouetted against the unseen backlight. As the shot pans down the scene fades to show Aang descending the staircase into Koh's lair. The lair opening is still seen above, light pouring in through it. The lair is dark, though not the pitch black scene at the entrance. Roots stick out from the ceiling, but no creature stirs.)
Aang: Hello? I'm looking for a spirit named "Koh."
(As Aang says the spirit's name, some "roots" on the ceiling begin to move. Aang looks around, sensing movement, but sees nothing. Cut to a close up of Aang's face, that pans slightly left, leaving the right hand portion of the screen over his shoulder momentarily empty. A moment later a white face appears, with grey patches around its eyes and luscious, blood red lips. The face is vaguely clown like. Cut to a close up of the lips, which smile. Cut to a profile of Aang, his face emotionless. He is prepared. Suddenly, a huge cockroach like body arcs around Aang and appears in front of his face. The white, clown like face of Koh is inches away from Aang. Around the spirit's face are eight legs that are attached to a centipede like body.)
(Aang's face remains inscrutable. Cut to a long shot. The monster hangs from the ceiling in front of Aang, who bows with his hands clasped in front of him in a gesture of honor.)
Aang: Thank you.
(Koh wheels around Aang to look at him from the back. His voice is low, melodic, almost purring. His voice oozes danger.)
Koh: My old friend, the Avatar. It's been a long time.
Aang: You know me?
Koh (now facing the camera, away from Aang): How could I forget...
(At this moment Koh's face changes from the clown mask to a middle-aged mustached man. This change occurs with a "winking" effect, as if some sort of nictating eyelid or membrane closes briefly over the old face to reveal a new one. It also bears some resemblance to switching slides in a slide projector.)
Koh: ...you! One of your previous incarnations tried (sticking his face right up to Aang's) to slay me! It was eight or nine hundred years ago.
Aang: I didn't know that. Why did he... or I... try to kill you?
Koh: Oh...(his face changes to that of a beautiful, flowing haired young woman) it was something about stealing the face of someone you loved... (the face changes to the curly tailed blue nose face as Koh begins to laugh cruelly). Of course, that's all behind us. Why should I hold a grudge against you for something in a past life? After all, you're a different person now. (Sticking his fanged, monkey face up to Aang's ear from behind him) You've come to me... with a new face.
(Aang closes his eye and breathes. Cut to the Mortal World, where his physical body does the same as his spirit. Zuko looks over at him, then looks out of the cave.)
Zuko: Guess we'll be here awhile.
(A brief shot of the blizzard outside is replaced by the kids flying on Appa, scanning the ground for signs of Zuko and Aang.)
Princess Yue: Don't worry! Prince Zuko can't be getting too far in this weather.
Katara: I'm not worried they'll get away in the blizzard. I'm worried that they won't.
Sokka: They're not gonna die in this blizzard. If we know anything it's that Zuko never gives up. They'll survive – and we'll find them!
(The crystalline sound that signals to the audience that something related to the Spirit World is about to happen resurfaces at the end of Sokka's statement.
The screens flashes white, and we are back to Aang's interview with the sinister Face Stealer. Aang stands on the stairs, Koh wraps his body loosely around him.)
Koh: It's been a long time since I've added a child's face to my collection. (His face is now that of an owl) So... how may I help you?
(During the conversation Koh continues to wrap around Aang, making endless circles.)
Aang: I need to find the Moon and the Ocean.
Koh: Their spirit names are Tui and La. Push... and Pull... and that has been the nature of their relationship for all time.
Aang: Please, help me find them. An entire culture could be destroyed if I don't get their help.
(Cut to Koh's face, which flips to that of an old man, Aang visible below him.)
Koh: Oh, you think you need their help? Actually, it's quite the other way around.
(In an instant, Koh turns and bolts to Aang, pressing his face within inches of Aang's. Koh's face has changed again from the owl to a blue ogre like face with red eyes and huge fangs.)
Koh: Someone's going to kill them!
(Aang closes his eyes briefly, then opens them to look at Koh.)
Aang: What do you mean? How can I find them and protect them?
Koh (flipping back to his white face): You've already met them, actually.
(Cut to a shot from behind Aang, as Koh has reared himself up, so Aang must look up to see his face.)
Koh: Tui and La, your Moon and Ocean, have always circled each other in an eternal dance. They balance each other... push and pull... life and death... good and evil... yin... and yang.
(Aang's eyes open wide, as he gets a flashback of the white and black fish circling each other in the pond and the vision he got of them turning into the yin and yang symbol just before he entered the Spirit World.)
Aang (smiling): The koi fish!
(Koh, hearing the emotion in Aang's voice, appears instantly with his blue ogre face in front of the Avatar, ready to take his face. But no luck – Aang's face is once again a model of impassivity.)
Aang: I must be going now.
Koh (flipping to the face of a bald young man): We'll meet again.
(Koh recedes back into the shadows, then cut to Aang emerging from Koh's lair. He looks down at his reflection on the ground.)
Aang: The spirits are in trouble. I need to get back to the physical world.
(Cut to a view over Aang's shoulder. Avatar Roku is visible on the ground.)
Avatar Roku: A friend is here to guide you back.
(Roku fades to the panda form of Hei-Bai, the forest spirit from "The Spirit World, Winter Solstice Part 1". Aang's turns with a smile.)
(Cut to a wide shot. Hei-Bai is indeed behind him, reared up on his hind legs. He gets on all fours and Aang jumps onto his neck. Hei-Bai then begins to take Aang back to where he came in.
The screen flashes white and returns the audience to the beleaguered Water City. Night has fallen, but the Fire Nation assault continues unabated. Fire balls now blast the residential section in front of the citadel, which is protected by the third and final wall. The secondary wall has been fully compromised and Fire Nation troops and tanks are pouring through. Water Tribe citizens run through the smoking streets as tanks smash through everything in their path.
A quick shot of the tank assault is replaced by a shot of the massive full moon rising behind the Fire Navy fleet. Drawing strength from the full moon, the defenders manage an uncoordinated counterattack. A group of Fire Nation soldiers corner a waterbender on a foot bridge over a canal, but the waterbender breaks the ice bridge and sends the soldiers flying. Cut to another shot of a tank chasing a waterbender, who turns and melts the ice under the tank. It sinks as the waterbenders damages the turret with a powerful jet of water. Cut to a line of defenders atop the third and final wall. In unison they fire ice daggers at a line of Fire Nation soldiers below who block them with their shields.
Finally, cut to Master Pakku, who squares off alone against three tanks which are closely supported by three infantry platoons. Exercising his mastery over his art, he cuts the treads off all three tanks with jets of ice. As he cripples the Fire Nation armor, the infantry close in around him. With a motion he raises them up and encases them all in ice. Then, mustering all his might, he raises a water tornado, much like Aang used when his Avatar Spirit was activated in "The Avatar Returns." Pakku rides at the pinnacle of the tornado as he brushes aside both fire bolts and Fire Nation soldiers. He is unstoppable.
Cut to another group of waterbenders who raise up a tank on a block of ice and throws it at a group of Fire Nation soldiers on war rhinoceros. Cut to Zhao, a soldier visible over his right soldier. The soldier gets covered in snow from the impact of the tank that was just thrown, but the guard heats the snow and it melts off him in a cloud of steam.)
Zhao: We'll be following this map to a very special location. And when we get there... (cut to a shot of Zhao's head silhouetted by the moon, a cruel smile spreading over his face) ...we're going fishing.
(The screen flashes white again and the crystalline, Spirit World noise is heard. When the image returns, Hei-Bai and Aang run straight at the camera. Cut to a profile shot as they reach the paifang where Aang entered.)
Aang (dismounting): This is where I came in. (He jumps onto the platform underneath the paifang) But how do I get back?
(In response, Hei-Bai rears up on his hind legs and breathes a pulse of blue, spiritual energy out of his mouth at Aang, who freezes, engulfed by the energy and disappears. Cut to the mystical monkey on the ground nearby, still meditating. He opens his eyes to make a comment.)
Mystical Monkey: Good riddance.
(Cut to a wide shot as Hei-Bai, now in his Spirit Monster form, appears beside the grouchy monkey and blows him out of the frame with a blast of spiritual energy. Hei-Bai then transforms back into panda form before the screen goes white again.
When the image returns, Aang is back in the Water City sanctuary, but the blue nimbus around him suggests that he has not returned to his body.)
(He walks over to Momo, sleeping on the ground. He does not stir.)
Aang (looking at his hands): Momo? (Realizing his predicament) Oh no! Where's my body?
(He looks around frantically. He stops as a blue ball of energy forms around and he is lifted or beamed by it right out of the sanctuary valley and out into the wasteland above. Like a comet he arcs over the frozen landscape. He is seen by Katara as he flies over them.)
Katara: Look! That's gotta be Aang!
(Sokka flips Appa's reigns to fly follow the spirit comet. They quickly arrive at the cave where Aang and Zuko have taken refuge. The comet enters the cave, briefly illuminating it from inside. Cut to Aang, still bound on the cave floor. His tattoos stops glowing and Aang wakes up. He struggles briefly against his bonds, then sits up to face Zuko.)
Zuko: Welcome back.
Aang (threateningly): Good to be back.
(With a mighty breath, he blows Zuko against the wall while simultaneously propelling himself out of the cave and into the open. He begins to grunt as he moves forward, caterpillar style, along the ground. Zuko enters the frame and grabs him by the collar and lifts him up.)
Zuko: That won't be enough to escape.
(Appa appears over Zuko's head.)
(Appa lands and Zuko drops Aang in the snow. Katara dismounts Appa to face him again.)
Zuko (assuming a firebending stance): Here for a rematch?
Katara (beginning to waterbend): Trust me, Zuko, it's not going to be much of a match.
(She blocks a fireball that enters the screen just as she finishes her sentence while Sokka and Yue look on from Appa's saddle. She sends a shock wave of ice hurtling towards him. When it reaches Zuko, she encases him in a pillar of ice that she raises up high, then drops. Zuko falls to the ground unconscious. Sokka runs over and cuts Aang's bonds.)
Sokka: Hey! This is some quality rope!
Aang: We need to get to the oasis! The spirits are in trouble!
(Aang gets up and runs to Appa. Both Sokka and Aang get onboard, Aang at the reigns. They are ready to go, but Aang stops and looks over at the Prince.)
Aang: Wait, we can't just leave him here.
Sokka: Sure we can. Let's go.
Aang: No, if we leave him, he'll die.
(Aang jumps down, grabs Zuko and brings back to Appa.)
Sokka: Yeh, this makes a lot of sense. Let's bring the guy who's constantly trying to kill us!
(Appa takes off, then cut back to the black and white fish circling each other in the pool. A pair of hands reaches into the frame. The right one grabs the white fish. It struggles, but the hand forces it into a bag held by the left hand. Cut to Zhao standing up holding the back. The moon, visible behind him over his left shoulder, colors over a blood red while the fish struggles in the bag. Cut to commercial break.)
(The show returns to a close up of the blood red moon. Cut to a pan shot of the back third of the city. The blood red light washes over it. The counterattack against the invaders falters as this happens. Shift to Pakku still riding his water tornado as the blood red light sweeps over him. As it does, his tornado collapses. Cut to another waterbender whose water whip disintegrates as the light changes. In another part of the city, a war rhinoceros is getting washed away, but the force driving the wave vanishes as the light turns red. The soldier on the war rhinoceros is once again able to advance on the waterbenders who flee in panic. Cut to a line of Fire Nation soldiers who fire volley after volley in unison.
Shift to Appa flying silhouetted against the red moon, then cut to Yue holding her head in pain in Appa's saddle.)
Princess Yue: Ugh...
Sokka: Are you okay?
Princess Yue: I feel faint.
Aang (his hand on his head as well): I feel it too. (Aang's looks up) The Moon Spirit is in trouble.
Princess Yue: I owe the Moon Spirit my life.
Sokka: What do you mean?
Princess Yue: When I was born I was very sick and very weak. Most babies cry when they're born...
(Yue's story takes over here and we see a little baby with black hair all bundled up.)
Princess Yue: ...but I was born as if I were asleep. My eyes closed.
(Cut to a wider shot of the baby resting on a table, surrounded by healers who try their art to try and save the child.)
Princess Yue: Our healers did everything they could. They told my mother and father I was going to die.
(A younger Arnook holds a beautiful, but devastated dark haired womanly tightly. Cut to Arnook looking up to the Moon, praying.)
Princess Yue: My father pleaded with the spirits to save me... (scene shifts to the sanctuary where Arnook, his wife and the baby stand by the pool) ... that night, beneath the full moon, he brought me to the oasis and placed me in the pond. My dark hair turned white, I opened my eyes and began to cry – and they knew I would live.
(The story ends, and the shot fades back to the present.)
Princess Yue: That's why my mother named me Yue, for the moon.
(Cut to a shot zooming backwards of the red moon. Underneath its light basks Zhao and his entourage by the pond in the oasis.)
Zhao: I am... (raising his fist to the heavens) a legend now! The Fire Nation will for generations tell stories about the great Zhao who darkened the moon! They will call me Zhao the Conqueror! Zhao the Moon Slayer! ZHAO THE INVINCIBLE!
(At this moment Momo jumps onto Zhao's head and starts pulling at his face and chittering.)
Zhao: Huh! Get it off!
(Momo flies off as the guards surround Zhao to help him. He lands on an outstretched arm – Aang's arm. Appa has landed and the kids square off against Zhao and his men.)
Zhao: Don't bother!
(A close up of Zhao zooms backward to show Zhao holding a knife or sword to the bag with the Moon Spirit in it. Aang drops his staff and raises his hands in surrender.)
Aang: Zhao! Don't!
Zhao: It's my destiny... to destroy the Moon... and the Water Tribe.
Aang: Destroying the moon won't just hurt the Water Tribe. It will hurt everyone – including you. Without the moon, everything would fall out of balance. You have no idea what kind of chaos that would unleash on the world.
Iroh (from o.c.): He is right, Zhao!
(Cut to a wide shot, that shows Iroh, Aang and Zhao in a triangle around the pond.)
Zhao (in a bored, lecturing tone): General Iroh, why am I not surprised to discover your treachery?
(Cut to a close up of Iroh who lowers his hood.)
Iroh: I'm no traitor, Zhao, the Fire Nation needs the moon too. We all depend on the balance.
(Cut to Zhao, still holding the weapon to the bag, then back to Iroh who points a finger at Zhao and thunders...)
Iroh: Whatever you do to that spirit I'll unleash on you ten-fold! (He assumes a firebending stance) LET IT GO, NOW!
(Iroh and Zhao lock eyes for a moment, then Zhao falters, lowering the bag. He kneels and releases the fish back into the water. The red light of the moon vanishes, replaced by its normal color. Cut to a close of Zhao's face which is quickly overtaken by a look of madness and desperation. With a cry of rage he stands and smites the water with a blast of fire. The frame rate slows as the fire blast passes Iroh, who recoils in horror. Aang and Momo's face is briefly illuminated by the fire. The Avatar looks up to witness the moon wink out of existence.
Iroh springs instantly to the attack. Crossing the foot bridge, Iroh fires blast after blast. Zhao blocks one blasts and backs away while Iroh expertly dispatches Zhao's four guards. Zhao looks on in horror as his men are wiped out by the aging General with such ease and precision. He flees.
Cut back to Iroh standing over the guards who struggle to get up, then back to the pond where the black fish swims frantically and white, a huge gash in its side, floats. Iroh gently lifts the white fish from the water, an expression of sadness on his face. The guards are now gone.)
Princess Yue (on the verge of tears, Sokka's hands on her shoulders): There's no hope now. It's over.
(Cut to Aang, who's sad expression turns to determination as his eyes and tattoos glow white. His Avatar Spirit speaks through his mouth.)
Aang (voice deep and other-worldly): No, it's not over.
(Cut to a wide shot of the five. Aang walks forward into the pond. Katara moves to follow, but she is stilled by a motion to halt from Iroh. Cut to a profile shot of the four, Katara, Iroh, Yue and Sokka looking at Aang. He stands in the middle of the pond, arms in prayer. He looks down at the black fish, whose eyes and white mark on his spine begin to glow white. Aang is then seen in profile, his feet in the pond which now glows bright white. Then he drops into the pond as if the bottom had fallen out of it and he disappears.
Cut to an overhead shot of the oasis. The water in the pool around the oasis itself begins to glow a deep blue veined with white. As the effect spreads, the shot cuts to a view of the citadel area behind the third wall. The glow spreads from behind the citadel to encompass the entire citadel area of the city. Cut back to the four who look with wonder at the awesome power coming to life before them. A huge, incandescent blue wave rushes under the footbridge as if some huge creature were moving underneath it. Cut to an overhead of the sanctuary. Appa stands on the oasis, but he is dwarfed by the creature that rises from the pool, the citadel and the city visible beyond it.
The blue, white veined creature is a huge fish like being. At its center is a blue white bubble in which we can see Aang, who spreads his arms wide. A moment later, the Ocean Spirit, for this is truly he in communion with the Avatar, duplicates the motion. Cut to a wide, long shot of the Ocean Spirit from the p.o.v. of Fire Nation soldiers who stand in front of the last wall. The Ocean Spirit towers over the citadel, it's arms still spread wide, it's blue spirit lighting the city like a beacon. The Spirit begins to move down into the city. Master Pakku and his waterbenders instantly bow to the floor in honor of their god. Across the canal, some Fire Nation soldiers raise their spears in defiance, but are swept away by a wall of water sent by the Ocean Spirit. Cut to Aang inside the body of the Ocean Spirit, flailing his arms about, directing the power of the Ocean Spirit against the violator's of the Moon Spirit and the Water Tribe City.
Fire Nation tanks fire blasts of fire at the Ocean Spirit, but they are absorbed with no effect. The soldiers and tanks are washed away as if they were toys. The Ocean Spirit passes by the Water Tribe citizens who make obeisance to their lord. Cut to the Fire Nation army in full retreat, trying desperately to escape the vengeance of a living Spirit. The Ocean Spirit reaches the main canal in front of the third wall and melts into it.
Cut to Zhao running over a foot bridge somewhere in the city. He exits onto a parapet an is almost hit by a blast of fire that hits the wall in front of him. As the smoke clears, Zhao looks up to see Zuko on the wall on the tier up above him.)
Zhao (incredulously): You're alive?
Zuko: You tried to have me killed!
(Zuko launches a few fire blasts at Zhao with a cry of anguish, but his target dodges, rolling along the parapet wall.)
Zhao (with much venom): Yes, I did. You're the Blue Spirit – and enemy of the Fire Nation!
(Cut to a wide shot of the two facing each other. Between them is the panorama of the city. The Ocean Spirit's essence travels down the main canal in the background.)
Zhao: You freed the Avatar!
Zuko: I had no choice!
(Zuko continues his attack firing volley after volley at Zhao, who breaks them with his hands held together in a wedge in front of him. As the blasts subside, Zhao drops his smoking cloak to the ground.)
Zhao: You should have chosen to accept your failure – your disgrace! Then, at least you could have lived!
(Zhao returns fire. They trade volleys as the fight rages back and forth in the darkness. At one point Zuko is able to exploit a moment when Zhao leaves his chest unguarded. Zuko blasts him and Zhao falls off the parapet wall onto the tier below.
Cut to Iroh placing the dead Moon Spirit fish back into the pond, then to a view of Katara and Iroh looking with concern into the pond.)
Katara: It's too late. It's dead.
(Cut to a profile shot of Yue, Iroh and Katara mourning the passing of the Moon Spirit. Suddenly, Iroh looks up at Yue in wonder.)
Iroh: You have been touched by the Moon Spirit. Some of its life is in you!
Princess Yue (looking up): Yes, you're right. It gave me life. Maybe I can give it back.
(She gets up and goes to the pond's edge.)
Sokka (reaching for her): No! You don't have to do that!
Princess Yue (holding his hand behind her, but looking down): It's my duty, Sokka.
Sokka (from o.c. as the camera shows a close up of their clasped hands): I won't let you! Your father told me to protect you!
Princess Yue (looking up): I have to do this.
(The frame rate slows as she releases his hand. She walks to Iroh, who holds the dead fish in his hands. She puts her palms over the Moon Spirit which begins to glow. She closes her eyes for the last time, exhales a final breath, and falls over into Sokka's arms.)
Sokka (in despair): NO!
(He places his hands on her cheek and looks away.)
Sokka (softly): She's gone. (He hugs her body tightly) She's gone.
(Cut to a shot of the outer wall where the Fire Navy ships try desperately to flee. The bowsprits raise quickly as the ships back out. Cut to an overhead shot of the water outside the main gate. The incandescent blue of the Ocean Spirit flows out past the city wall in front of the Fire Navy fleet. The Ocean Spirit reforms and, towering over the fleet, reaches out. He pushes two ships back out to see at amazing speed. Cut to a close up of Aang in the bubble making a slicing motion. Cut to a shot of the Ocean Spirit making the same slicing motion and making a razor cut through the bridge tower of Zhao's flagship. The cut section slides down to the foredeck and the ship's forward trebuchet is wrecked. Cut to a wide shot of the Ocean Spirit standing over the fleet. The Spirit raises its arms, forming a huge wave which upends many vessels and pushes the rest far out to sea.
The scene shifts back to Sokka cradling Yue's inert form. Her body glows briefly and disappears. The fish in Iroh's glows and he drops back in the water. It begins to swim in the pond. The pond glows white as they look on and a ghostly rises from it. It coalesces into Yue's form, but now she is dressed in white. Her hair floats around her. Cut to a close of her face, then a profile shot of her and the others. She addresses, Sokka, her voice now echoes and is other worldly.)
Princess Yue / Moon Spirit: Goodbye, Sokka. I will always be with you.
(She kisses him, their hands on each other's faces. She fades away, but in the sky, the moon shines bright.
Cut back to a pan left shot of the Ocean Spirit standing at the city walls. The Ocean Spirit looks up to see the moon alive once again. Instantly, Aang begins to wilt inside the creature, which dissipates into the ocean. The Spirit's essence flows back to the wall and deposits Aang atop it. There his glows leaves him as he puts his hand to the side of his head, spent with the effort.
Cut back to a long shot of Zuko and Zhao continuing to battle on a foot bridge over a canal. They trade blows, but a series of direct hits from Zuko lays the Admiral flat. As Zhao tries to get up, he sees the moon over Zuko's shoulder.)
Zhao (in horror): It can't be!
(Cut to a long shot of the bridge. The essence of the Ocean Spirit approaches fast and coalesces around the bridge. It grabs Zhao and begins to pull him off the bridge. Zhao struggles and Zuko reaches out for him.)
Zuko: Take my hand!
(Zhao tries to reach for it for a moment, but then draws back, an expression of hate on his face. The Ocean Spirit drags Zhao under the water and disappears. Fade to white.
The white screens resolves itself into a morning shot of the heavily damaged Water Tribe City from the citadel. Several figures survey the scene from below. Cut to Master Pakku standing in front of Katara.)
Master Pakku: I've decided to go to the South Pole. Some other benders and healers want to join me. (Turning to face Katara) It's time we helped rebuild our sister tribe.
Katara: What about Aang? (Cut to a shot behind Katara and Pakku as they look at Aang and Momo in the background) He still needs to learn waterbending.
Master Pakku (turning to her with satisfaction): Well, then he better get used to calling you "Master Katara."
(Cut to Sokka and Chief Arnook looking out over the city, backs to the camera.)
Chief Arnook (wistfully): The Spirits gave me a vision when Yue was born. I saw... a beautiful, brave young woman...become the Moon Spirit. (Closes his eyes) I knew this day would come.
Sokka: You must be proud.
Chief Arnook: So proud. And sad.
(They look up to moon, still visible in the morning sky before a fade to scene among the wreckage of the Fire Navy ships destroyed in the battle. Among the sunken shifts a small rafts sails. Cut to Iroh and Zuko on the raft.)
Iroh: I'm surprised, Prince Zuko, surprised that you are not at this moment trying to capture the Avatar.
Zuko: I'm tired.
Iroh (putting a hand on his nephew's shoulder): Then you should rest. A man needs his rest.
(Iroh stands as Zuko lays down. He looks up into the sky, a pained look on his face. He closes his eyes.
Fade to Aang looking out over the city. The camera view swivels to reveal Katara behind him. He turns and they look at each other for a moment. They come together and hug fiercely. A chittering is heard and Katara looks down to see Momo looking up at them.)
Katara: You too, Momo.
Aang (extending a forearm and laughing): Come here.
(Momo jumps up and Sokka, entering the frame from the left, puts an arm on Aang's shoulder. Cut to a view from behind the four as they look over the city. With a rumble, Appa rises from below. He floats patiently, awaiting his comrades so they can depart as the course of events pushes them all ever onward to their destinies.
Fade to the throne room of the Fire Lord himself. Cut to a view from behind the Fire Lord, seated on his throne. He is silhouetted by the flames that wreath his dais. Before him kneels a cruel looking young woman in a Fire Nation military uniform and a cloak.)
Fire Lord Ozai: Iroh is a traitor and your brother Zuko is a failure. (Cut to a close up of Azula's face as she looks up at her father with a smile) I have a task for you...
(Fade to white.)
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