Return to Omashu
Written By: Elizabeth Welch Ehasz
Directed By: Ethan Spaulding
Storyboard By: Miyuki Hoshikawa, Justin Ridge, Ethan Spaulding, Tomihiro Yamaguchi
Animation By: DR Movie
Transcribers: Acastus, Unbridled Joy of Flight
(The scene opens with a shot of the sun in the sky. An instant later the camera zooms back to reveal a Fire Nation flag in the foreground, fluttering in the wind. Cut to a wide, long shot of the fallen city of Omashu. The Fire Nation flag hangs over the newly installed front gate. The path up to the city gate has been recently broken along a good portion of its length and been repaired. Around the fortress the scaffolding of what appear to be siege towers can be seen. Columns of smoke still rise from various places in the city. The camera zooms back again to show Aang in the foreground, back to the camera.)
Aang: I can't believe it. I know the war has spread far, (he turns to face his friends) but Omashu always seemed...untouchable.
(Cut to a frontal shot of Aang, again looking at the fallen city. Aang, Katara, Momo and Appa are behind him.)
Sokka: Up until now, it was. Now Ba-Sing-Se is the only great Earth Kingdom stronghold left.
Katara: This is horrible, but we have to move on.
Aang: (firmly) No. I'm going in to find Bumi.
Sokka: Aang, stop. We don't even know if Bumi's still...
(Aang turns to look at Sokka, his expression hardening.)
Aang: (defiantly) What? If he's still what?
Sokka: (refusing to meet Aang's eyes) ...around.
Katara: I know you had your heart set on Bumi, but there are other people around who can teach you earthbending.
Aang: This isn't about finding a teacher. This is about finding my friend.
(Cut back to a wide, long shot of the smoking city, with the kids in the foreground. Then cut to a shot of the new city gate. It's turrets, guard house roofing and even the paifang in front of the main gate are all built in Fire Nation architectural style. Behind the city wall, smokestacks and scaffolding are seen.
The camera pans down the city wall and fades to indicate a location skip. The fade ends to show a long shot of Appa floating deep down in the city's moat. Appa floats beside a ledge at the base of the Omashu side of the moat. Appa grunts a bit as he floats.)
Sokka: (from o.c.) A secret passage?
(Cut to a shot of Katara, Momo on her shoulder, and Sokka standing in front of a capped drain pipe emerging from the wall. Aang is atop the pipe, using his staff as a lever to try and open the drain. Appa floats peacefully in the background.)
Sokka: Why didn't we just use this last time? (The cap pops off, releasing a huge gout of greenish sewage, some of which washes over Sokka.) Ugh!
Aang: Does that answer your question?
(Cut to a shot from inside the pipe. The greenish sewage continues to pour out of the pipe as Aang swings inside and disappears up the pipe, a smile on his face. Katara, Sokka and Momo look into the pipe and the flies that are buzzing around it. Sokka jumps into the pipe and covers his nose as he moves forward.)
(Cut to a side shot of Aang, a determined expression on his face, as he airbends the sewage out of his way with his staff. The camera pans slowly down the pipe to reveal Katara traveling in his wake, and then Sokka, who is making plenty of "ew!" and "ick!" noises as he is slowly covered in sewage from Aang's receding wake.
Cut to an exterior shot of an Omashu city street and its skyline. The camera pans down to reveal a sewer manhole in the middle of the road. A puff of air pops the manhole open for a second. It settles back for a moment before Aang pushes it open with his hands and peers out. Cut to his p.o.v. as he looks around. The street is empty. Cut to a wide shot of the street as Aang drops the manhole cover and jumps out into the open. Katara emerges behind him.)
Katara: That wasn't as bad as I thought.
(Cut to a shot of the manhole, where a blob of green sewage emerges. An alien like sound effect plays in the background as the things lifts itself onto the street. It moans like some monster from Scooby-Doo. Cut to Aang and Katara, who both look horrified. Katara spies something to her left, then cut quickly to a wider shot where she bends some water from a nearby water barrel at the monster. The water washes the gunk away to reveal Sokka, who yells in surprise, then slumps, sopping wet. Aang swings his staff at the water tribe boy, whipping a gale that blows him dry, once again producing an outcry from his target.
Cut to a close shot of Sokka, who raises his head to reveal two purple octopus like creatures stuck to either side of his head. He is unaware of his guests until a second later they both palpitate a bit and squeak.)
(Sokka grabs one creature in each hand and tries to pull them from his face, but their suckers keep them attached. He stretches them out to an absurd distance, but still they hang on.)
Sokka: Aaahh! Aahhh! They won't let go! Help! Aaaak!
(Cut to a wider shot of the three as Aang pounces on Sokka, pinning him to the nearby wall, then releasing him. Sokka now sits on a crate, a sour and resigned look on his face.)
Aang: Stop making so much noise. It's just a purple pentapus.
(Cut to a close up of Sokka's face. The pentapus' begin to palpitate again, making slight squishing noises. Sokka's eyes bug out as he looks to either side of his face in horror and terrified, but slightly choked noises emerge from his throat.
Aang's hand enters the frame from the right and grips the nearest pentapus. He rubs its head with his finger. It raises its tentacles from Sokka's cheek and pops off his face without further fuss. Cut to a wider shot of Sokka and Aang. While rubbing his free cheek, Sokka repeats the process on the other side of his face. The other pentapus squeaks a bit and releases Sokka's right check with another little popping sound. The suckers on the tentacles have left little round red dots all over Sokka's cheeks. Sokka rubs his cheek for a second and Aang's removes a third pentapus from behind Sokka's neck before they are interrupted.)
Guard: (from o.c.) Hey!
(Cut to a patrol of Fire Nation guards entering the street, then cut back to the kids. Sokka and Katara close ranks to obscure Aang for a moment, who disappears and reappears a second later with a red, flat top hat on to hide his airbender tattoo.)
Guard: What are you kids doing out past curfew?
Katara: Sorry. We were just on our way home.
(The kids turn and walk away, Sokka bringing up the rear. The guard notices the red welts on the back of Sokka's neck.)
Guard: (from o.c.) Wait! What's the matter with him?
(The kids stop and turn around. Katara puts her hands on her brother's shoulders.)
Katara: Uh...he has pentapox, sir.
(The guard walks up to Sokka, and moves to touch him.)
Katara: (a pleasing, earnest look in her eyes) Um...it's highly contagious!
(The guard hesitates, then pulls his hand back. Cut to a close up of Sokka's face, who realizes the ploy and begins to act ill. He raises his hands in front of him in a zombie-like fashion and begins to moan.)
Sokka: Uuuuuu....It's so awful...I'm dyiiiing...
Katara: ...and deadly...
(Sokka continues to moan and lurch forward, the guards begin to lurch backward to avoid contact.)
Guard: Wait, I think I've heard of pentapox. (to one of his comrades) Didn't your cousin Chang die of it?
(Sokka advances, coughing and spitting up gunk at them)
Guard: We'd better go wash our hands...and burn our clothes!
(Guards exit the left of the frame at a run. Sokka stops his act and straighten up. Cut to a shot of Aang in the foreground, Sokka behind. The Avatar, smiling, is rubbing the head of a pentapus he holds his hand.)
Aang: Thank you, sewer friend!
(Cut to a long, overhead shot of Princess Azula's ship beside a beach. It is night, and the full moon hangs overhead. The beach is filled with tents and is populated with people from Azula's royal procession. Cut to a long shot of Azula sitting within her litter which rests atop the dais on the deck on her ship. She is flanked on either side by her crone teachers. Below them on the deck, a row of Fire Nation soldiers lie prostrate on either side of the ship.)
Crone Teacher #1: (from o.c. at first) When tracking your brother and uncle, traveling with a royal procession may no longer be an option.
Crone Teacher #2: May no longer be wise...if you hope to keep the element of surprise.
Azula: You're right. The royal procession is dead weight. If I want to catch my prey, I must be agile....nimble. I need a small, elite team. It's time to visit some old friends.
(Cut to a shot from somewhere in Omashu. The camera pans down to show the kids looking around and moving ahead while trying to escape detection. The hide behind some construction material as a patrol passes.)
Katara: Let's find Bumi and get out of here.
Sokka: Where would they be keeping him?
Aang: Somewhere he can't earthbend. (looking up and around, cut to Aang's p.o.v. as he pans around) Somewhere made of metal.
(Cut to a close up of a young woman with a large quantity of well coifed black hair. Her expression is emotionless, her eyes golden or light brown. Behind her walk two Fire Nation guards.)
Mai: There really is no fathoming the depths of my hatred for this place.
(Cut to a wider shot to show Mai walking next to an older woman carrying a baby. They are being escorted by Fire Nation guards down a tunnel or passage.)
Governor's Wife: Mai, your father was appointed governor. We're like royalty here. Be happy, and enjoy it.
(Cut to a long, overhead shot from higher up in the city as Mai's party exits the fortress passage and emerges out into the open. It is still night and the torches of Mai's party can clearly beseen below. In the foreground is the beginning of one of Omashu's famous chutes which ends near where the party is walking below. The camera zooms back to show an overhead view of an Earth Kingdom resistance fighter who looks down at the torches, then back to someone off screen. In front of him are some rocks or other objects ready to be dropped down the chute.)
Resistance Fighter #1: The targets are approaching.
(Cut to a close up an earthbender's bearded face, his eyes obscured by his helmet.)
Resistance Leader: Take them out.
(Cut back to Mai and her party walking below.)
Mai: (distressed, but in a dull tone) I thought my life was boring in the Fire Nation. But this place is unbearably bleak. Nothing ever happens.
(Cut back to the resistance fighter above. He launches the rocks into the tube which go crashing down at high speed. Cut to Aang who looks in horror at the falling debris, then over at the party of people passing to his left who will soon be crushed by the falling objects. Shift to a side view of Aang, Katara and Sokka behind him. Aang stands just next to the bottom of the chute as the rocks enter the frame from above. Mai and her party are slightly below him on the plaza itself. The Avatar raises his staff and pulverizes the rocks into pebbles and dust as it passes with a blast of air. Cut to a wide, overhead shot from across the plaza, clearly showing Mai's party, the kids, and the huge cloud of dust from the foiled assassination attempt. A few moments of silence pass as Mai looks at Aang and Aang looks back at her and the rest of her party. Cut to a wide shot of Mai's group looking up out of the frame at Aang.)
Governor's Wife: (pointing at Aang) The resistance!
(Cut to Mai, who smiles slightly and in an instant fans out her arms, releasing a hail of small arrows. Cut to Aang, who dodges the arrows which embed themselves on the stack of construction material he is standing on, then to a wider shot as Aang, Katara and Sokka run out of the frame to the right, pursued by Fire Nation soldiers who climb up a couple ladders from the plaza below. Katara turns and using the water from water skin she whips them off the ledge and onto the plaza below.
Cut to a stylized shot of Mai running at Katara, her arms spread to either side. A close of up shot of Mai's hand appears a split second later. She fires another hail of from some unknown mechanism around her hand and forearm. Her nails are long and black. Cut to Katara, who creates a wall of ice in front her, stopping the arrows. Mai continues the pursuit as Katara flees. Aang lets Katara pass as he turns to face Mai. As his assailant approaches, Aang causes some construction scaffolding on his right to collapse between them. As the scaffolding collapses, Mai is able to get one, ornate throwing star through the falling debris. Aang twirls his staff in front of him and stops it just in time. The dust from the falling scaffolding clears, once again giving Mai a clear shot. She throws another hail of arrows, but the kids disappear through a large trap door which closes instantly above them. Cut back to Mai, who sighs amidst the wreckage, turns, and walks away.
Cut to a tunnel scene which the kids have just fallen into. Green sewage drips from the ceiling. Pan down to reveal the kids sitting on the floor of the tunnel where they fell from above. Aang and Sokka rub their heads. Cut to a shot of the bearded Earth Kingdom soldier who gave the order to go ahead with the failed attack.
Cut to an upside down shot of some grass. The camera pans up to reveal an upside down frame showing some red and pink circus tents with mountains in the background. A few people are working on finishing tent set up and rolling barrels around. Azula, also upside down, walks into the frame and addresses the camera.)
Azula: Ty Lee, could that possibly be you?
(Cut to a right side up shot of someone performing a head stand on their index fingers. The camera pans up to reveal a pretty, bright eyed girl with a long black pony tail, dressed in pink and red. She smiles widely.)
Ty Lee: Azula!
(Cut to a wider shot from near Azula's p.o.v. Ty Lee breaks her head stand with a couple graceful moves. She prostrates herself on the ground, then runs and gives Azula a bear hug. Azula smiles and returns the hug.)
Ty Lee: It is so good to see you!
Azula: (smiling) Please, don't let me interrupt your... (raises an eyebrow, searching for the right word and failing) whatever it is you were doing.
(Ty Lee, still smiling, flips over backwards and ends up lying on her chest, with one of her feet arched over in front of her head, the other pointing straight up into the air. In the background, three circus people try unsuccessfully to coax a platypus bear dressed in red vest and wearing a fez to move.)
Azula: Tell me, what is the daughter of a nobleman doing here? Certainly our parents didn't send us to the Royal Fire Academy for Girls to end up in... (cut to a shot of the efforts with the platypus bear, Azula continues, with a slight note of contempt in her voice) places like this.
(The platypus bears groan and then gets up with a slight popping noise to reveal that it has laid an egg.)
Azula: I have a proposition for you. I'm hunting a traitor. (Looking at her wrist a bit absent mindedly) You remember my old fuddy duddy uncle, don't you?
Ty Lee: (still resting on her chest and elbows, but now with both feet planted on her head) Oh yeah. He was so funny.
Azula: I would be honored if you would join me on my mission.
Ty Lee: Oh...I...uh...would love to. (Springs back to her feet in a single, fluid motion) But the truth is, I'm really happy here. (Smiling serenely) I mean, my aura has never been pinker!
Azula: I'll take your word for it. Well, I wouldn't want you to give up the life you love just to please me.
Ty Lee: (bowing slightly and clasping her hands in a gesture of thanks) Thank you, Azula.
(Azula walks away as Ty Lee turns and with a smile raises her leg to her head in an impressive stretch. Azula turns to address her once more.)
Azula: Of course, before I leave, I'm going to catch your show.
(An expression of panic spreads over Ty Lee's face, which faces away from Azula, and she loses her grip on her leg. She recovers and grips her leg once more, a sad and worried expression on her face.)
Ty Lee: Uh...yeah...sure...uh...of course...
(Azula walks away in the background.
Cut to an underground cavern under Omashu. It is filled with Earth Kingdom resistance fighters. The kids and the Resistance Leader stand on the ledge in front of the main exit tunnel from the room, which is lit by several lamps hanging from the walls.)
Aang: So, is King Bumi with you guys? Is he leading the resistance?
(Cut to a close shot of the resistance leader.)
Resistance Leader: (With quiet intensity) Of course not! The day of the invasion, we readied ourselves for battle. We were prepared to defend our city...to fight for our lives and for our freedom. But before we even had a chance, King Bumi surrendered.
(Cut to a zooming in shot of Aang, clearly disconcerted at this news. Katara looks at Aang in concern. Cut to black for commercial break.)
(Return to another shot of the underground cavern filled with resistance fighters. Cut to a shot of the kids standing in front of the Resistance Leader, their backs to the camera.)
Resistance Leader: The day of the invasion, I asked King Bumi what he wanted to do.
(Cut to a zooming in close up of the Resistance Leader)
Resistance Leader: He looked me in the eye and said...
(The screen flashes white and the audience enters a flashback from the Resistance Leader's memory. King Bumi stands atop one of the city walls, the Resistance Leader next to him. They look in front of them off screen. Fireballs arch into the city overhead. Cut to a profile shot of Bumi's head.)
King Bumi: I'm going to do... (he turns to face the camera) nothing!
(At this Bumi begins to laugh and snort maniacally. In the background, the carnival music often heard when Bumi was onscreen in "The King of Omashu" returns again here. The flashback ends and is replaced by a close up of the Resistance Leader.)
Resistance Leader: It doesn't matter now. Fighting the Fire Nation is the only path to freedom. And freedom is worth dying for.
Aang: Actually there's another path to freedom. You could leave Omashu. You're directing all your energy to fight the Fire Nation. (Cut to a panning shot of the resistance fighters around them, all clearly listening to Aang, the camera ultimately resting back on the Resistance Leader.) But you're outnumbered. You can't win. Now's the time to retreat, so you can live to fight another day.
Resistance Leader: You don't understand. They've taken our home, and (making forceful hand motions for added emphasis) we have to fight them at ANY cost!
Resistance Fighter #1: I don't know, (unintelligible word that sounds like "Ya" and might be the Resistance Leader's name), living to fight another day is startin' to sound pretty good to me.
Resistance Fighter #2: (stepped forward from behind Resistance Fighter #1) Yeah, I'm with the kid!
(Cut to a close up of the Resistance Leader who looks down into the cavern where the other fighters and displaced citizens of Omashu whisper their agreement.)
Resistance Leader: (turning back to the kids) Fine. But there's thousands of citizens that need to leave. How're we going to get them all out?
(Cut to Sokka, stroking his chin, thinking. He comes up with an idea.)
(Cut to a shot from Sokka's p.o.v., the rest of the group staring at him. Momo chitters questioningly. Cut back to Sokka whose eyes dart back and forth to a sound effect.)
Sokka: You're all about to come down with a nasty case of pentapox.
(Camera pans down at high speed indicating a scene change. A bucket of water and about a dozen pentapi appear. A hand reaches in and grabs one, which squeaks. Cut to some resistance fighters, now above ground somewhere in the city, applying pentapi to their exposed skin. The pentapi undulate a bit and leave their red marks when removed. After some time, Sokka addresses a crowd of sick looking citizens and resistance fighters.)
Sokka: The marks make ya look sick, but you gotta ACT sick, too. Ya gotta sell it!
(An old man walks between Sokka and the crowd, groaning pathetically and holding a hand to his allegedly aching back.)
Sokka: (putting his arm around an earth kingdom citizen next to him) Now that's what I'm talkin' about.
(Cut to a shot of the old man looking back at Sokka. He taps his wooden leg with his cane and smiles.)
Old Man: Years of practice.
(Cut to a profile shot of Sokka, Aang and Katara behind him, pointing toward the city and raising his voice to address the crowd.)
Sokka: Okay everyone! Into sick formation.
(The citizens and Sokka walk left out of the frame. Katara moves to join, but turns as Aang heads in a different direction. Momo chitters excitedly.)
Katara: Aang, what are you doing? Aren't you coming with us.
Aang: (turning to face her) No. I'm not leaving until I find Bumi.
(Momo jumps onto Aang shoulder and chitters. He grabs Aang's mouth, but Aang picks him up and drops him on the floor.)
Aang: Sorry Momo, I'll feed you later.
(Aang airbends himself to the surrounding rooftops and bounds away.
Cut to a shot of the sun in the sky. The screen pans down in a flash to some Fire Nation soldiers. Zombie like noises are heard from o.c., before a cut to an approaching crowd of "sick" Omashu citizens. Soon it is clear that several mobs of people are approaching the soldiers, all moaning, some even falling over, "dead". Cut to a close up of Sokka, Katara visible over his shoulder, both covered in red splotches and moaning, then cut back to the Fire Nation soldiers who are now terrified.)
Soldier: Plague! Plague!
(The soldier turn and run back to the citadel behind them. Cut to a view from above where a Fire Nation soldier is banging an alarm. Below, the moaning citizens advance as the guards run away.
Cut to a panoramic shot of the city from the one of the balconies of the Governor's mansion. The Governor, his wife and their baby son, Mai and some guards enter the screen from the bottom of the frame. Cut to a frontal shot of them as they look out over the city.)
Governor: What is going on down there?
Guard: I saw some kids yesterday who were sick with pentapox. It must have spread!
Governor: Pentapox! I'm pretty sure I've heard of that.
Governor's Wife: Oh, this is terrible.
Guard: What should we do?
Governor: Drive them out of the city...but don't touch them! We have to rid the city of this disease!
(The guard bows and leaves. Mai offers her father the bowl she is carrying.)
Mai: Fire flakes, Dad?
(Cut to a shot from behind. The Governor's wife hugs her husband.)
Governor's Wife: (gasping) How awful!
(The baby toddles away from the group and out of the frame. Cut to Aang airbending himself through the city. From a rooftop he spies Flopsie, chained to a millstone. On his hind legs, Flopsie pushes the turnstile that drives the mill. He is alone while performing this backbreaking work. Aang jumps down.)
(Aang stands with his hands outstretched to receive a hug, but Flopsie is restrained by his chain. He makes unhappy noises. Aang jumps onto the turnstile, waterbends some water from a nearby cistern and freezes it around the chain where it is connected to the turnstile. Aang then breaks the chain with his staff. Flopsie lunges forward, scoops Aang up in a hug and licks him.)
Aang: (climbing on top of Flopsie) Come on, Flopsie. You gotta help me find Bumi. Yip Yip! Oh...I guess that doesn't work with you. Let's go!
(Flopsie and Aang take off at high speed into the streets of Omashu.
Cut to Momo flying through the air and landing in the Governor's palace. He enters through a window into the Governor's baby son's room. Cut to Momo's p.o.v., where he sees a little teddy bear bouncing up and down over the top of a set of art or dressing panels near the back of the room, which is filled with toys. The sound of a baby playing is heard.
Momo spies a platter of berries on a nearby table and jumps over to it. He begins to eat the berries and spitting the seeds over the art panels. Cut to the baby who stops throwing the teddy bear around when he notices the seeds falling around him. He crawls around the panel and underneath the table Momo is sitting on. The child is captivated by the flying lemur's tail, which hangs over the side of the table. The child reaches up, grabs Momo's tail and pulls him to the ground in mid bite.
Dragging the child behind him, Momo tries to escape. The child lets go and Momo runs out onto the railing of the balcony. He turns to see the child, still laughing and smiling, has followed him. He lunges for Momo, but misses. Momo flies off, but the child falls down the tiles of the roof beneath them and lands in a box of berries traveling down one of Omashu's many chutes.
Momo lands on the box of berries and begins eating again, only to have the child emerge from the berries behind him. Momo looks over in some horror at the child, who grabs his tail before he can react. The lemur jumps into the air, beating his wings frantically trying to get away. Finally, the box drops off beneath them as it drops down another chute. Momo gets the airborne, but can't bear the weight for long. Soon, they are both dragging on the floor of a nearby plaza. The child lands on top of Momo, who is pinned to the floor.
Suddenly, a host of moaning Omashu citizens begins to pass by them. Momo gets up and runs after the citizens and the baby follows Momo out of the city's main gate.
Cut to a night shot of a brightly lit circus tent, which cuts quickly to a shot of some performers in two Chinese style dragon costumes. The dragons jump out of the frame to reveal the Circus Master addressing the crowd. Behind him is the circus' main ring.)
Circus Master: We're deeply honored to have the Fire Lord's daughter at our humble circus.
(Cut to a shot from behind the Circus Master. Azula and two guards reside in a box seat high above him, richly decorated in Fire Nation livery. The rest of the circus looks empty.)
Circus Master: Uh...tell us if there is anything we can do to make the show more enjoyable.
Azula: I will.
(Cut to wide, long shot of the main circus ring. A net is stretched across it. Pan up to show Ty Lee wearing colorful clothing and a golden tiara like head piece doing a head stand using one hand holding a short stick. This stick in turn is balanced on top of what looks like the frame of a small tent. Incredibly, this tent frame, in its turn, balances on a high wire. Cut back to the Circus Master and Azula.)
Azula: Incredible. Do you think she'll fall?
Circus Master: Of course not.
Azula: Then wouldn't it make it more interesting if you removed the net?
Circus Master: (concerned) Uh...the thing is...the performers...
Azula: You're right, you're right. That's been done. (After a short pause) I know. Set the net on fire.
Circus Master: Of course, Princess.
(He stands and shoots a gout of flame at the net which promptly catches fire. Cut to a close up shot of Ty Lee's face, the fire from the net reflecting on her face as she still remains balanced on the high wire. Sweat pours down her unhappy face. Cut back to Azula and the Circus Master, who looks up tensely towards Ty Lee off screen, his fists balled in frustration.)
Azula: Brilliant, just brilliant! (She looks back down at the Circus Master) Oooo, what kind of dangerous animals do you have?
Circus Master: Well, our circus boasts the most exotic assortment...
Azula: (cutting him off) Release them all!
(Cut back to a zoom in shot of Ty Lee's terrified, sweaty face, then cut to an exterior shot of the tent as the sound of wild animals erupts from within. The camera pans up to a shot of the full moon before cutting to shot panning down on the newly formed camp of Omashu citizens somewhere outside the city.
Cut to Aang and Flopsie walking towards the camp, Flopsie making vaguely tired grunts. Sokka and Katara get up from a nearby fire and come over to him.)
Aang: (sadly) We looked everywhere. No Bumi.
(Katara hugs Aang. Flopsie makes sad noises, and Sokka hugs him. The Resistance Leader walks up behind them.)
Resistance Leader: We've got a problem. We just did a head count.
Katara: Oh no. Did someone get left behind?
Resistance Leader: No, (pointing o.c. to the right) we have an extra.
(Cut to Momo walking to the left of the frame, a terrified expression on his face due to the baby attached to him around his neck. The baby is laughing as he hugs the befuddled lemur. Momo drags off the left side of the frame. Cut back to the kids and the Resistance Leader watching Momo drag the baby around.
Scene shift to an exterior shot of the Governor's palace, the cut to Governor's wife seated in a chair on the balcony, sobbing. Mai stands next to her and offers her a handkerchief.)
Governor: So, the resistance has kidnapped my son. (exasperated) Everything so clever, so tricky. Just like their King Bumi.
Guard: (from behind) What do you want to do, sir?
(The Governor turns from him and looks back out over the city and the full moon above it.
Cut to a shot of a bouquet of what look like dead roses dropped unceremoniously on a table, then cut to a wider shot of Azula standing behind Ty Lee who is seated at her dressing table. The roses had been dumped on her dressing table.)
Azula: What an exquisite performance. I can't wait to see how you'll top yourself tomorrow.
(Cut to a closer shot of Ty Lee looking at Azula's reflection in her mirror, smiling.)
Ty Lee: I'm sorry Azula, but unfortunately there won't be a show tomorrow.
Ty Lee: (hanging up her tiara) The universe has given me strong hints that it's time for a career change. I want to join you on your mission.
(Cut to a profile shot of the two as Ty Lee turns to face Azula, then cut to a close up of Azula who looks satisfied at having gotten her way again.
Cut back to the camp of Omashu citizens, then to a quick shot of Aang and the others around a campfire. Cut again to the baby wandering around after Momo and making cute noises. They arrive at Katara and Sokka, his water tribe club lying on the ground. The baby picks up the club and starts to suck on it. The screen expands as Sokka grabs it and holds it away.)
Sokka: No! Bad Fire Nation baby!
(The baby begins to cry. Katara looks over at her brother crossly, whacks him across the face and places her hands on her hips.)
(The baby stops crying and begins to play with the club.)
Katara: (leaning over to hug the baby from behind) Ooo, you're so CUTE. Mmmmm...
(Cut to the Resistance Leader sitting on the other side of the camp fire.)
Resistance Leader: Sure he's cute now, but when he's older, (cut back to Sokka and Katara, still hugging the baby, he continues from o.c.) he'll join the Fire Nation army. You won't think he's so cute then. He'll be a killer.
Katara: (picking the baby up, who still clearly wants to play with the club) Does that look like the face of a killer to you?
(Cut to a brief shot of the Resistance Leader's grave face before cutting to a messenger hawk screaming across the moonlit night. Cut to the p.o.v. from a nearby rock that overseas the camp. The hawk lands on the rock.)
Resistance Leader: A messenger hawk!
(Fade to Aang unrolling the message brought by the hawk.)
Aang: It's from the Fire Nation governor. He thinks we kidnapped his son. So...he wants to make a trade. His son (the camera rotates around Aang for additional effect) for King Bumi.
(Cut to black for commercial break.)
(The show returns to a shot of a partly cloudy sky. The camera pans down to reveal Aang looking out over an expanse of mountains, his back to the camera. After a moment's pause, Aang walks down the hill and out of the frame. Cut to a profile shot of Aang, carrying the baby in his arms, walking down the hill towards Sokka, Katara and Momo below him.)
Sokka: You realize we're probably walking right into a trap?
Aang: I don't think so. I'm sure the Governor wants his son back as much as we want Bumi. It's a new day. (Cut to a wide, overhead shot of the group and the sun and mountains behind them) I have a good feeling about this.
(Cut to a shot of several Fire Nation guards carrying Azula's litter on their shoulder through one of Omashu's plazas. Cut to a profile view of Azula sitting in her litter. Cut to a short, pan right still of Mai standing at the foot of a large, white staircase, then cut to an overhead shot of the guards lowering the litter to the ground in front of Mai. Azula gets out walks over to Mai, joined quickly by Ty Lee.)
Mai: (bowing, speaking in a dull voice) Please tell me you're here to kill me.
(Cut to a close up of Mai, who looks up slightly and smiles. Cut back to a wider shot of the three as Mai and Azula begin to laugh.)
Azula: (hugging Mai) It's great to see you, Mai.
(Ty Lee runs over and hugs Mai.)
Mai: (somewhat surprised) I thought you ran off and joined the circus? You said it was your calling.
Ty Lee: (releasing Mai and smiling widely) Well, Azula called a little louder.
Azula: I have a mission (she puts one of her hands on each of their shoulders) and I need you both.
Mai: Count me in. Anything to get me out of this place.
(Cut to a shot of the Fire Nation flag which quickly pans down to reveal Azula sitting in the Governor's chair, flanked by guards. In front of her stand the Governor, his wife, and Azula's friends.)
Governor: I apologize.
(Cut to a closer shot of the Governor kneeling on a red pillow, looking up at Azula off screen in trepidation, his hands held out before him in a pleading gesture.)
Governor: You've come to Omashu at a difficult time. At noon we're making a trade with the resistance to get Tom-Tom back.
Azula: Yes, I'm so sorry to hear about your son, (she crosses her legs in front of her) but really, what did you expect by just letting all the citizens leave? (She stands, suddenly angry, and looks down upon him) My father has trusted you with this city (she makes a slashing gesture with her left hand) and you're making a mess of things!
Governor: (prostrating himself) Forgive me, Princess.
(Azula walks between the Governor and her two friends. Cut to a view from the Governor's p.o.v., Azula looking down at him.)
Azula: You stay here. (Mai and Ty Lee stand up behind her) Mai will handle the hostage trade so you don't have a chance to mess it up. (Cut to several exterior shots of the still smoking city and several construction projects within, continue Azula voice over) And there is no more "Omashu". I'm renaming it in honor of my father, the City of New Ozai.
(Cut to a long, overhead shot of Aang, still wearing his hat, Katara and Sokka at the bottom of the scaffolding of a huge statue that is under construction, then cut to close shot of them that pans slowly left. Each of them looks ahead with defiance. Sokka holds the baby.
Cut to their p.o.v. as Mai, Azula and Ty Lee mount the platform. Mai leads the group. Cut to a wide overhead shot from somewhere near the top of the statue under construction. The two groups face each other at opposite ends of the construction platform. The scene is filled with tension. Cut to the stop of the scaffolding where a crane is lowering a metal coffin suspended by a chain. Inside, the laughing and snorting King Bumi can be heard. Sure enough, the coffin twists on the chain to reveal Bumi's face, visible through a porthole just large enough for his face.)
King Bumi: Hi, everybody!
(The coffin lands standing straight up behind Mai and her friends.)
Mai: You brought my brother?
Aang: He's here. We're ready to trade.
Azula: (to Mai, Bumi grinning behind them all) I'm sorry, but a thought just occurred to me. Do you mind?
Mai: (turning to Azula) Of course not, Princess Azula.
Azula: We're trading a two year old for a king. (She turns to Bumi) A powerful, earthbending king.
King Bumi: (smiles, closes his eyes, and nods at her) Mmm hmmm!
Azula: (turning back to Mai) It just doesn't seem like a fair trade, does it?
(Mai looks away from Azula and o.c. towards her brother in Sokka's arms. Cut to a shot from behind Aang and Sokka, the baby cooing over Sokka's shoulder, then cut back to Mai who begins to walk forward.)
Mai: You're right. (To Aang) The deal's off.
(She raises her left hand and Bumi is lifted back off the ground as the chain is reeled in from above.)
King Bumi: (enjoying himself) Whhhoa! See you all later!
(Cut to Bumi's p.o.v. to show Aang, Sokka and Katara receding below as he is hauled up. Bumi continues to laugh and snort from o.c.)
(Cut to a shot from behind Aang as he rushes forwards towards Mai, Azula and Ty Lee. As he approaches, the shot cuts to a profile view of Azula on the left of the frame. She bends a plume of whitish blue fire at knee level towards Aang, who enters the frame from the right and jumps high into the air to avoid it. He lands and part of the partially constructed building and jumps off again. He opens his glider in mid air, but loses his hat, exposing his tattoo. He grabs the hat with his mouth before it flies away, but it is too late, Azula has recognized him.)
Azula: (in surprise) The Avatar! (Cut to a quick shot of Aang spiraling upwards with his glider, then back to Azula, who looks smug) My lucky day.
(Azula runs over to the elevator winch and releases the break with a blast of blue fire. The winch begins to spin rapidly as Azula grabs one of the chains attached to the mechanism. The winch raises her rapidly toward the top of the construction scaffolding.
Cut to Aang landing atop Bumi's coffin as it continues its ascent.)
King Bumi: Aang, is that you? Where did you come from?
Aang: Hang on! We're gonna get you out of here.
(The Avatar takes a deep breath and begins to blow on the chain connecting the coffin to the crane, slowly freezing it.
Cut to Mai and Ty Lee charging Katara and Sokka. Several blades extend from Mai's right hand during a very short close up that is followed by a shot of Katara and Sokka behind her watching the charge. Katara is in a waterbending stance while Sokka blows on the bison whistle in the background.)
Katara: We've got to get the baby out of here!
Sokka: (stopping his whistling to answer, a smile on his face) Way ahead of ya!
(The baby grabs the whistle, then cut to an overhead shot of Katara and Sokka running to the edge of the construction platform. Suddenly, a fist punches Sokka's foot as he passes from a hole in the floor. Sokka goes sprawling to the edge of the platform, but lands on his back, protecting the baby.
Cut to a shot behind Katara. She looks down the platform to Sokka and sees Ty Lee vault out of a trap door in the floor and head towards Sokka and the baby. She creates a water whip and prepares to strike Ty Lee, but turns just in time to use the whip to raise up some wood from the floor to block the blades that Mai has just thrown at her. The blades bury themselves in the wooden planks. Katara then uses the whip to throw the wood at Mai, then turns and catches Ty Lee's ankle with it. Ty Lee falls flat on the ground as Sokka climbs down a ladder with the baby. In the background, Katara whips Mai away once again. Cut back to Sokka sliding down the ladder and running off below with the baby.
Cut back to Bumi and Aang still being raised with the coffin and Aang still blowing on the chain.)
King Bumi: Aang, stop your blowing for a minute.
(The chain is now encased in ice where it meets the coffin. In the background, an explosion of dust announces the arrival of Princess Azula. Cut to a wide shot of the coffin and the top of the construction scaffolding to which it is now adjacent. Azula jumps high into the air after having been carried up at high speed by the mechanical energy of the winch below. The frame rate slows as she reaches the height of her arc. The frame rate speeds up again as she unleashes a blast of blue fire from her foot at Aang. Cut to a wide shot of Aang on top of the coffin as the blast comes toward him. He partially deflects it with his staff, but the chain holding the coffin breaks.)
King Bumi: Now hold on just a (the chain breaks and they fall) duahhh!!!
(Cut to a shot from near Azula's head as she watches the coffin fall. Cut to Aang atop the falling coffin. As they are about to hit one of Omashu's chutes, he creates a huge airball that deflects their fall. They land in the chute and begin to ride down it.
Cut to Azula, watching from a perch high above. She scowls, jumps into a nearby box, which falls into a nearby chute. Cut back to Aang surfing atop Bumi's coffin as it rockets down the chute.)
Aang: (smiling and laughing) Just like old times, isn't it, Bumi?
King Bumi: Aang, I need to talk to you!
Aang: (not understanding because of the noise) It's good to see you too!
(Aang looks up to see Azula riding a box in a chute just above them. He begins to twirl his staff rapidly to dissipate the blue fire bolts rapid fired at them by the Princess. Their chutes merge and Azula is now behind them. Aang launches a gale at her, but she parts it with her hands steepled in front of her. She follows, launching more fire blasts at him. Finally, they enter a portion of the chute that has arches over it at short intervals. Aang blasts these with wind and they come tumbling down on the chute between Azula and them. Cut to a profile of Azula riding atop the box. She and the box disappear as they enter the dust cloud of the fallen arches. The box emerges from the other side without Azula. Cut to Aang who breathes a sigh of relief, but he screams as she stands up from where she had been crouched in the box. She launches another blue blast of fire, but Aang ducks and avoids it.
Cut back to a wide, overhead shot of Katara facing Mai on the construction platform. Katara whips Mai, but misses as Mai leans back to avoid the water. As she leans back, Mai launches another blade from her a device around her ankle, but Katara blocks it with a wall of ice. Cut to Mai charging Katara, her arms sweeping back behind her in a herring bone formation. As she approaches, Katara encases Mai's arm in water and freezes it. Mai tries to break the ice with her free arm, but fails.
Ty Lee jumps up onto the platform and bounds toward Katara. She systematically jabs various pressure points on Katara apparently causing her whip to fall to the ground, useless, and the ice around Mai's arm to melt. Ty Lee jumps over to stand by Mai. Startled, Katara recovers and assumes another stance. She tries to raise the water from the platform, but very little happens. Cut to a frontal shot of Mai and Ty Lee, both waiting for Katara to do something.)
Mai: (taunting) How are you gonna fight without your bending?
(Mai pulls out another blade from her robe, this one a three pointed device that unfolds into a talon shaped throwing star. Katara gasps as Mia gets ready to throw. As she does, Sokka's boomerang enters the frame from behind Mai and knocks the star out of her hand.
Cut to Sokka atop Appa, who catches his boomerang.)
Sokka: I seem to manage!
(Sokka and Appa land between Katara and her would be killers. Appa's tail comes down is huge arc, smashing the platform in behind him, throwing Mai and Ty Lee way back and making a huge hole in the floor.
Cut to Sokka and Katara now atop flying atop Appa. Katara looks to her left and points.)
Katara: There's Aang!
Sokka: We can catch him!
(Cut to a shot behind Katara and Sokka, the chute where Aang and Azula are battling clearly visible below.
Cut back to Azula throwing blasts of blue fire ahead of her. Aang deflects them with his staff as Appa and the others pull up alongside.)
Aang: Hang on, Bumi! Our ride's here!
(Aang strikes the side of the chute with his staff, launching the coffin out of the chute. Katara and Sokka try to grab the coffin as it passes overhead, but they miss. The coffin sails over Appa and falls down the other side. Bumi screams on the way down. Cut to a wide shot as they land crosswise on another chute and break right through it. They fall through to another chute, this time landing lengthwise and they begin to slide down once more.
Azula continues to pursue them in her box. She creates a circular saw blade of blue fire and launches it at the coffin. As it approaches, Bumi strains in his bonds and causes a pillar of earth to rise up through the chute just in time to absorb the blast. Azula jumps out of her box just as it impacts on the pillar of earth. She slides to a halt in the chute, looking displeased, then cut to her p.o.v. as she watches Aang and Bumi slide away, then back to a close up of her displeased expression.
Meanwhile, Bumi's coffin begins to plane out as it reaches the bottom of the chute.)
Aang: You could earthbend all along!?
King Bumi: Well, they didn't cover my face.
(Bumi strains again within his bonds, then cut to a shot of the end of the chute. An outcropping of rock appears. The coffin hits it as it exits the chute and ends up standing straight up on the newly raised rock. Aang now looks up at Bumi in his coffin.)
Aang: I don't understand. (Getting angry, the questions becoming rapid fire) Why didn't you free yourself? Why did you surrender when Omashu was invaded? What's the matter with you, Bumi!?
King Bumi: Listen to me, Aang. There are options in fighting, called jin. It's a choice of how you direct your energy.
Aang: I know! (holding up his fingers as he counts them off) There's positive jin when you're attacking, and negative jin when you're retreating.
King Bumi: And neutral jin (the camera zooms to a close up of Bumi's face) when you do nothing!
Aang: (startled, looking at his hand which now has three fingers raised) There are three jins?
King Bumi: Well, technically there are eighty five. But, let's just focus on the third. Neutral jin is the key to earthbending. It involves listening and waiting for the right moment to strike.
Aang: (with dawning understanding) That's why you surrendered, isn't it?
King Bumi: Yes, and it's why I can't leave now.
(Aang looks down and turns away, clearly sad and disappointed, Bumi in the background.)
Aang: I guess I need to find someone else to teach me earthbending.
King Bumi: Your teacher will be someone who has mastered neutral jin. You need to find someone who waits and listens before striking.
(Momo jumps onto Aang shoulder and chitters.)
Aang: Hey, Momo!
King Bumi: Momo's mastered a few jins himself!
(Cut to a close up of Momo, who looks at Bumi and screams, then cut to Bumi.)
King Bumi: Goodbye, Aang. I'll see you when the time is right.
(Bumi leans back and his coffin tumbles back into the chute. Laughing maniacally, Bumi uses his earthbending powers to drive his coffin back up the chute.
Cut to a shot of Aang from the p.o.v. of the now empty chute. Behind him, Appa and the others appear.
Cut again to a shot of Azula's litter driving out of the city. Shift to a closer shot of Azula sitting in her litter, partially obscured by the litters veil, her friends walking at beside her.)
Mai: So, we're tracking down your brother and Uncle, huh?
Ty Lee: (teasing) It'll be interesting seeing Zuko again, won't it, Mai?
(Mai turns sideways, looks at the camera, and smiles for a brief second before looking ahead again.)
Azula: It's not just Zuko and Iroh anymore. We have a third target now.
(Fade to Aang peeping over a balcony, then cut to the Governor holding his wife on the patio below where Aang is hiding. It is night, or just past dusk. Cut to a shot behind the Governor. Aang glides silently down from above and releases the baby, who toddles over to his parents. Aang departs as silently as he came. The baby is greeted with joy.)
Governor's Wife: (gasping) Tom-Tom!
(Aang watches from the roof with a smile, then flies away. Fade to white.)
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