The Serpent's Pass
Written By: Michael Dante DiMartino, Josh Hamilton
Directed By: Ethan Spaulding
Storyboard By: Miyuki Hoshikawa, Justin Ridge, Ethan Spaulding, Tomihiro Yamaguchi
Animation By: JM Animation Co, Ltd
Transcribers: Isidorios, Avatar_Mom, Aangster
["Previously on Avatar" sequence, including clips from "The Desert", "Avatar Day", "The Warriors of Kyoshi", "Jet", and "The Library".]
(The Scene opens in a box canyon on a peaceful sunny afternoon. A waterfall cascades into a deep pool, and we see Aang and company enjoying some off-time. Sokka is sitting on a rock studying a scroll while Momo observes from his shoulder. Toph splashes her feet from the pool's edgel, while Aang swims on his back. Aang encases his body in a block of ice, floating along peacefully. The cameral pans up to the highest point in the canyon, as Katara prepares to dive off).
Katara: Waterbending bomb! Yeah!
(Katara performs a tumbling cannonball into the pool. She sends up a massive column of water that washes Aang ashore, shattering his ice block. As water drenches them all, Toph and Aang laugh with delight.)
Sokka: (holding out dripping map) Sure, 5000 year old maps from the spirit library, just splash some water on 'em.
(Katara emerges from the pool as she says this, wringing water out of her hair. She then uses a waterbending technique to draw the water out of the map Sokka is holding up. Everyone gathers around as Sokka spreads the map out on the ground.
Aang: So, did you figure out what routewe're gonna take?
Sokka: (pointing out map features) Okay. We just got out of the desert, so we must be around here, and we need to go to Ba Sing Se, which is here. It looks like the only passage connecting the South to the North is this sliver of land called the Serpent's Pass.
Toph: You're sure that's the best way to go?
Sokka: It's the only way, I mean it's not like we have Appa to fly us there.
Katara: (in a hushed voice) Shush up about Appa. Can't you at least try to be sensitive? (Sokka and Katara glance up at Aang)
Aang: (calmly) Katara, it's ok. I know I was upset about losing Appa before, but I just want to focus on getting to Ba Sing Se, and telling the Earth King about the solar eclipse.
Katara: (surprised) Oh, well, ok. I'm glad you're doing better.
Sokka: (rolling map) Then to Ba Sing Se we go, no more distractions.
(Just as Sokka finishes saying this, a trio of Earth kingdom civilians appear in the background.)
Than: (calling out) Hello there fellow refugees!
(In a closer shot, we see a waving young man in his twenties, a very pregnant young woman and a teen-aged girl. Sokka expression changes to consternation. Scene switches to both groups gathered in conversation.)
Aang: So, are you guys headed to Ba Sing Se too?
Than: Sure are, we're trying to get there before my wifeYing has her baby. (rubs her large belly)
Katara: Great, we can travel through the Serpent's Pass together. (the three travelers react with horror.)
Ying: (fearfully) The Serpent's Pass?! Only the truly desperate take that deadly route.
Toph: Deadly route. (whacks Sokka's arm painfully) Great pick, Sokka.
Sokka: Well, we are desperate.
Than: You should come with us to Full Moon Bay. Ferries take refugees across the lake. It's the fastest way to Ba Sing Se.
Ying: And it's hidden, so the Fire Nation can't find it.
Katara: (sarcastically) Hmmm, peaceful ferry ride...or deadly pass?
(Cut to a gloomy cavernous inlet; Full Moon Ferry Landing, where three large wooden ships are anchored past a fortified wall. Behind the harbor wall hundreds of people have gathered on a stone landing. Cut to two earth nation guards standing at attention. One of them bends down a wall section behind them, revealing a hidden tunnel. Our heroes and their new traveling companions emerge from the tunnel. A view over Katara's shoulder shows the crowd of refugees.)
Katara: I can't believe how many people's lives have been uprooted by the Fire Nation. (cuts to a scene of refugee camp, showing a woman feeding a crying child)
Tahn: (voice over) We're all looking for a better life. Safe, behind the walls of Ba Sing Se.
(Cut back to the three ships, lying side by side, as the center vessel launches. It emerges from the inlet and out onto the great lake. Cuts to show a close-up of Iroh, standing on the ship's deck and looking out at the water.)
Iroh: (solemnly) Who would have thought, after all these years, I'd return to the scene of my greatest military disgrace...as a tourist (as he says this last bit, he turns to Zuko, putting on a flowered straw hat and a wide grin)
Zuko: (grimly) Look around, we're not tourists, we're refugees. (sips from wooden bowl) Ugh! (spits over railing) I'm sick of eating rotten food, sleeping in the dirt... I'm tired of living like this.
(Zuko leans on the rail despondently.)
Jet: Aren't we all? (camera pans to show a stalk of prairie grass, leading to the silhouette of Jet's face as he adopts a sly grin) My name's Jet, and these are my freedom fighters, Smellerbee, and Longshot.
(Jet steps out toward the rail, his companions behind him.)
Smellerbee: Hey. (Longshot nods a greeting)
Zuko: (looking out over lake) Hello.
Jet: (stepping closer) Here's the deal. I hear the Captain's eating like a king, while us refugees have to feed off his scraps. Doesn't seem fair, does it?
Iroh: What sort of "king" is he eating like?
Jet: The fat, happy kind. (Iroh's mouth gapes open, drooling) You want to help us "liberate" some food?
(Zuko stares down into at the bowl of gruel, considering a moment before hurling it out over the rail.)
Zuko: (turns) I'm in.
(Cuts back to the Ferry Landing, where an cruel-looking Earth kingdom woman stands at a podium, stamping papers.)
Bureaucrat: (angrily) I've told you already, no vegetables on the ferry! (A familiar old man looks up in desperate denial) One cabbage slug could destroy the entire ecosystem of Ba Sing Se. Security! (points offscreen)
Cabbage Merchant: (horrified) Dah! My Cabbages!!
(As he says this an enormous platypus-bear, dressed in a uniform, rears up and destroys his goods, cart and all. The merchant falls to his knees, paralyzed in despair. Two guards pick him up by the arms and carry him away past Aang and friends.)
Bureaucrat: (stampingpaper) Next!
Aang: (hesitantly) Um, four tickets for the ferry to Ba Sing Se, please.
Aang: Uh, no one told us we had to have passports.
Sokka: (stepping forward) Don't you know who this is? He's the Avatar!
Bureaucrat: (unimpressed) Ah, I see fifty Avatars a day, and by the way, not a very impressive costume.
(She points over the the left, showing a motley group of boys in avatar costumes lounging together. Aang smiles and nods in their direction, as Momo jumps up on his shoulder.)
Bureaucrat: Besides, no animals allowed. (threateningly) Do I need to call security?
(Cut to platypus bear chomping a cabbage, back to Momo cowering on Aang's shoulder.)
Aang: (holds up hands) That won't be necessary.
Toph: (strides forward) I'll take care of this. My name is Toph Bei Fong, and I'll need 4 tickets.
(Toph pushes up a document bearing a gleaming golden emblem.)
Bureaucrat: (awed) Oh! The Golden Seal of the Flying Boar, it is my pleasure to help anyone of the Bei Fong family. (The Bureaucrat bows with a flourish.)
Toph: (arrogantly) It is your pleasure. As you can see I am blind, and these three imbeciles are my valets.
(She gestures back to the others, who are grinning foolishly in a group hug.)
Bureaucrat: (hesitantly) But the animal ...
Toph: Is my Seeing-Eye Lemur. (Momo hops up on her shoulder.)
Bureaucrat: Well, normally it's only 1 ticket per passport, but, this document is so official, I guess it's worth 4 tickets.
(She rapidly stamps four papers.)
Toph: Thank you very much.
(She reaches up and gathers them off podium, then walks off.)
Sokka: (in file behind the others) Alright, we scammed that lady good!
(Sokka is grabbed from behind and spun around by an attractive young woman in Earth kingdom uniform.)
Suki: (firmly) Tickets and passports please. (holds out hand)
Sokka: (intimidated) Is there a problem?
Suki: (menacingly) Yeah, I've got a problem with you. (pokes
finger at his chest) I've seen your type before, probably sarcastic, think your hilarious, and let me guess, you're traveling with the Avatar.
Sokka: (eyes narrowing) Do I know you?
Suki: You mean you don't remember? (yanks him close by his collar) Maybe you remember this. (She places a kiss on his cheek.)
Sokka: Suki!! (They hug.)
Suki: (delighted) Sokka, it's good to see you!
(Cut to a covered tower on the harbor wall, overlooking both the landing and the harbor. Suki and the heroes continue their reunion inside.)
Katara: You look so different without your makeup, and the new outfit.
Suki: That crabby lady makes all the security guards wear them. And look at you sleeveless guy. Been working out? (looks at Sokka approvingly)
Sokka: I'll grab a tree branch and do a few chin touches every now and then, nothing major. (stretches and flexes casually, pats his bicep)
Aang: Are the other Kyoshi warriors around?
Suki: Yeah, after you left Kyoshi, we wanted to find a way to help people. We ended up escorting some refugees, and we've been here ever since. (looks out over refugee camp, as Momo jumps up next to her) Hi Momo, good to see you too. (scratches his ear) So why are you guys getting tickets for the ferry? Wouldn't you just fly across on Appa? (everyone else suddenly looks down)
Katara: (sadly) Appa is missing. We hope to find him in Ba Sing Se. (she looks over at Aang, who looks away)
Suki: I'm so sorry to hear that. (looks at Aang with concern) Are you doing okay? (everyone now looks to him)
Aang: (annoyed) I'm doing fine. Would everybody stop worrying about me!
Ying: (from below) Avatar Aang, you have to help us! Someone took all of our belongings. Our passports, our tickets. Everything's gone!
(We see Than and family standing at the tower's base. Ying begins to cry as Than comforts her.)
Aang: (calling down to them) I'll talk to the lady for you.
(Scene abruptly cuts to bureaucrat's scowling face.)
Bureaucrat: No passports, no tickets!! (stamps the arrow on Aang's brow)
Aang: (pleading) But she's pregnant, and all of their stuff was stolen. You have to make an exception.
Bureaucrat: (shouting) No exceptions! If I just gave away tickets willy nilly to anyone, there would be no more order, and you know what that means. No more civilization!
Aang: What if we gave them our tickets?
Bureaucrat: (spraying spittle onto Aang) NEXT!!!
(Well back from the podium, Aang walks back to the waiting Than and family.)
Aang: (reassuringly) Don't worry, you'll get to the city safely. I'll lead you through the serpents pass.
(Cut to commercial break.)
(Scene opens to show a second ferry emerging out from the hidden inlet. Cuts to show Aang leading his friends and Than's family through the refugee camp.)
Sokka: I can't believe we gave up our tickets, and now we're going through the Serpent's Pass.
Toph: I can't believe you're still complaining about it.
Suki: I'm coming too. (she rushes to catch up to group, clad in her Kyoshi's warrior garb and makeup)
Sokka: (cautiously)Are you sure that's a good idea?
Suki: (surprised) Sokka, I thought you'd want me to come?
Sokka: I do, it's just...
Suki: (growingannoyed) Just what?
Sokka: Nothing. I'm glad you're coming. (Suki walks past him angrily, Sokka looks down and then follows)
(Cut to an aerial view of the lake showing the Serpent's Pass, a narrow sliver of land extending out across the great lake.)
Sokka: (voiceover) This is the Serpent's Pass I thought it would be more windy, you know, like a serpent. Hmm, I guess they misnamed it.
(Camera pans at the beginning of the pass to show everyone gathered at a large wooden oriental archway, the pass rising straight and steep beyond.)
Ying: (approaching gatepost) Look at this writing, how awful.
Toph: What does it say?
Katara: (stepping forward, reads) It says, "Abandon hope".
Ying: (miserably) How could we abandon hope? It's all we have. (buries face in husband's chest)
Aang: (evenly) I don't know. The monks used to say that hope is just a distraction. So maybe we do need to abandon it.
Katara: (incredulous) What are you talking about?
Aang: Hope isn't going to get us into Ba Sing Se, and it's not gonna find Appa. We need to focus on what we're doing right now, and that's getting across this pass. (steps through gate)
Katara: (somberly) Ok, if you say so. (everyone begins to follow Aang through the gateway)
(We see the pass from the side, a narrow sliver of peaks rising jaggedly from the water. Seen from the air, the group walks single-file along a perilously narrow path high along the cliff face.)
Suki: The fire nation controls the western lake. Rumor has it they're working on something big on the other side, and they don't want anyone to find out what it is.
(As she speaks, a Fire nation war vessel is noticed cruising off in the distance. Everyone glances at it nervously as slowly patrols alongside. Suddenly the path gives way underneath Than, who is caught by a quick earthbending move from Toph. Her rock protrusion flips him back to the path and into his family's arms.)
Than: (calling out) I'm okay.
(Cuts back to show the piece of pathway tumbling to splash into the lake. The passing warship suddenly launches an attack towards them from its deck catapult.)
Sokka: (shouting) They've spotted us! Let's go, let's go!
(Aang leaps up and launches off of the cliff face, toward the fiery projectile. Intercepting it in the air, he sends it arcing back with a sweep of his staff to crash among the warship's smokestacks. As the ship catches fire, it launches another attack from its second catapult. This one impacts into the cliff side above, and Sokka shoves Suki forward as rocks tumble down toward them. Toph turns and bends out an awning of stone to divert the rocks away from Sokka. Realizing he is safe, Sokka rushes forward to gather up the prone Suki.)
Sokka: Suki, are you ok You have to be more careful! (leads her past Toph) C'mon!
Toph: (muttering) Thanks for saving my life Toph. Hey no problem Sokka.
(Toph turns and races after the others, as Aang kites in behind her. We see the Fire nation warship burning on the lake, then cut to a sunset view of Serpent's Pass disappearing over the horizon.
Cut once more to a fire-lit camp on the pass, as everyone prepares to turn in. Than is rubbing Ying's feet as she lays propped up, and Suki begins spreading out her bedroll.)
Sokka: Suki, you shouldn't sleep there. (walks up and takes bedroll) Who knows how stable this ledge is? It could give way at any moment.
Suki: (calls after him) Sokka, I'm fine. Stop worrying!
Sokka: (laying bedroll near his) You're right, you're right. You're perfectly capable of taking care of yourself...Wait! (abruptly leaps between her and bedroll) Oh, never mind. I thought I saw a spider, but you're fine. (pats Suki's shoulder reassuringly, while she looks mortified)
(Cut to Earth kingdom ferry cruising beneath a moon-lit sky, then to the upper deck. As a guard passes by with a lantern, Zuko stealthily leads Jet and Smellerbee upstairs and around corner. They pause to look in kitchen window, then slip around back. Jet forces the lock while Smellerbee keeps watch, then the Zuko and Jet burst into kitchen. Jet sweeps several hanging bird carcasses into a sack. The prince uses his swords to nimbly stack eight bowls of food together, securing the stack with a ribbon. Both shoulder their sacks and turn to the doorway.)
Smellerbee: (whispering) Guards coming!
(The three of them rush to the balcony edge, while below, Longshot fires a line-strung arrow into the railing. Both bundles slide down the line, followed by the three sneak-thieves. The arrow is pulled free just as another lantern-bearing guard walks past. Panning down two levels to the main deck we see the three steal away safely.
Cutting back to the Serpent's Pass Camp, we find Aang standing out on a dark outcropping, staring out across the lake. Katara walks out to stand a few paces behind him.)
Katara: You know, it's o.k. to miss Appa. What's going on with you? In the desert, all you cared about was finding Appa, and now it's like you don't care about him at all. (walks up beside him)
Aang: You saw what I did out there. I was so angry about losing Appa, I couldn't control myself. I hated feeling like that.
Katara: But now you're not letting yourself feel anything. I know sometimes it hurts more to hope, and it hurts more to care. But you have to promise me that you won't stop caring. C'mon, you need ahug. (She holds out her arms to him, but he bows politely to her)
Aang: Thank you for your concern Katara. (He walks away, Katara watching him leave with a worried look)
(Cut to Sokka staring up at the moon,as clouds begin to pass before it. He is seated below a small stone arch, and Suki quietly walks up to stand next to him.)
Suki: (softly) It's a beautiful moon.
Sokka: Yeah, it really is.
Suki: (sitting close) Look, I know you're just trying to help, but I can take care of myself.
Sokka: I know you can.
Suki: Then why are you acting so over protective?
Sokka: It's so hard to lose someone you care about. (looks away) Something happened at the North Pole, and I couldn't protect someone. I don't want anything like that to ever happen again.
Suki: (thoughtfully) I lost someone I cared about. He didn't die, he just went away. I only had a few days to get to know him, but he was smart, and brave, and funny. (Sokka begins to look worried)
Sokka: (indignantly) Who is this guy? Is he taller than me? (rises to his feet)
Suki: (coyly) No, he's about your height.
Sokka: Is he better looking?
Suki: It is you stupid!
Sokka: Oh... (looks to her wistfully)
(They draw close to kiss, eyes closed, the bright moon hanging between them. Just before their lips meet, Sokka looks away with a pained expression.)
Sokka: I can't.
Suki: I'm... sorry.
Sokka: (turning away) No, you shouldn't be. (leaves her standing beneath arch)
(Cut to the Ferry, passing below us, then the main deck as Jet passes out food to the thankful passengers. In the next scene, Iroh and Zuko sit eating with Longshot and Smellerbee.)
Iroh: So, Smellerbee, that's an unusual name for a young man.
Smellerbee: (peeved) Maybe it's because I'm not a man. I'm a girl! (shoots Iroh a look, rises and walks off)
Iroh: (calling after her) Oh, now I see! It's a beautiful name for a lovely girl!
(Longshot quickly rises and follows,catching Smellerbee with a hand to her shoulder. He steps in front of her, giving her a hard look.)
Smellerbee: (contrite) I know. You're right. As long as I'm confident with who I am, it doesn't matter what other people think. Thanks Longshot. (he nods a stern approval)
(Zuko and Iroh are joined by Jet, who calmlt sits down with them.)
Jet: (eagerly) From what I heard, people eat like this every night in Ba Sing Se. I can't wait to set my eyes on that giant wall.
Iroh: It is a magnificent sight.
Jet: So you've been there before?
Iroh: Once, when I was a different man. (looks away with regret)
Jet: (glancing around) I've done some things in my past that I'm not proud of. But that's why I'm going to Ba Sing Se, for a new beginning. A second chance.
Iroh: That's very noble of you. I believe people can change their lives if they want to. I believe in second chances. (shares a meaningful look with Zuko, while Jet studies them both)
(Cut to a far view of the twisting Serpent's Pass, panning to follow its winding course across the lake. Ang leads the party down a steep slope. The group stops as the path abruptly drops off into the lake, disappearing then reemerging several hundred yards distant. Everyone stands stunned until Katara strides forward resolutely.)
Katara: Everyone single file.
(Bending aside the water in her path, Katara descends down below the water level, lifting up walls of water to either side. As everyone falls in behind her, a capsule of air forms around them.)
Katara: Aang, I need help. (smiling, he hands staff to Toph and begins bending)
(Than and his family stare about amazed as they travel under the waves. Momo, perched on Toph's shoulder notices a school of fish passing by, and plunges through the water-wall after them. Suki and Sokka turn to see Momo swimming in pursuit. Suddenly, a massive black form passes near Momo, sending him leaping back to Toph, to cower dripping wet on her shoulder.
The enormous bulk of the creature passes over the bubble, and is dimly seen from within.)
Katara: What is that thing?
(As Ying and her family huddle in fear, something huge crashes through the walls of the bubble, breaking Katara's concentration and threatening to drown them all. Reacting quickly, Toph bends up a column of rock that rushes everyone to the surface. Toph hands back Aang's staff back just as the others notice a long spiny dorsal fin circling their sanctuary. Everyone watches it with growing dread, until the head of a colossal monster explodes from the lake. It is a gigantic jade Sea Serpent, whiskered head resembling a seahorse's, long tongue lashing whip like from its maw. The monster roars deafeningly as it rears back its long neck to menace our heroes.)
Sokka: (pointing upward) I think I just figured out why they call it the Serpent's Pass.
(A final close-up of the Serpent's gaping toothy jaws, from which issues a shrill scream of rage. Cut to commercial break.)
(Scene opens back to the titanic Serpent arching menacingly over our circle of heroes)
Sokka: Suki, you know about giant sea monsters. Make it go away!
Suki: (angrily) Just because I live near the Unagi doesn't mean I'm an expert!
Sokka: (beseechingly holds up Momo) Oh great and powerful sea serpent, please accept this humble and tasty offering. Thank you.
Katara: (outraged) Sokka!
(The Serpent lunges toward them, but Aang sweeps an arc of wind at its head, punching it backwards.)
Aang: I'll distract him. Katara, get everyone across.
(Aang opens his flyer and swoops off as the serpent recovers and snakes after him. Katara begins casting a path made of ice across the lake surface, running forward to connect it to the far shore. Urging the others past her, Katara watches Aang elude the serpent in the distance. She hops onto the water, forms a pontoon of ice around her feet, and propels herself toward the fight.
When Aang races past her, the enraged Serpent close behind, she begins to freeze ice around the passing monster's midsection. With a twist of its body the Serpent bursts free, turning back to chase Katara the opposite direction. Cut to Sokka rushing on shore behind the others, then turning to see that Toph is still stranded atop of the
Sokka: (calling out) Toph, come on. It's just ice.
Toph: (puts a foot out onto ice, shrinks back) Actually, I'm gonna stay on my little island where I can see. (A huge coil of the Sea Serpent crashes down behind her, sending her out onto the ice with a cry of fright.) Ok, I'm coming! (begins inching sideways across the ice span)
Sokka: (shouting encouragement) You're doing great! Just follow the sound of my voice!
Toph: (acidly) It's hard to ignore.
Sokka: You're almost there. (the serpents tail crashes through the bridge, shattering its entire length and sending Toph plunging into the lake)
Toph: (screams and thrashes helplessly) Help! I can't swim!
Sokka: I'm coming Toph!
(As Sokka struggles to remove a boot, Suki dives into the water towards Toph. Standing amazed, Sokka watches her swim furiously to the rescue as Toph slips beneath the waves. Reaching the place where she disappeared, Suki dives down and brings her gasping to the surface.)
Toph: (dramatically) Oh Sokka, you saved me. (plants a big kiss on Suki's cheek)
Suki: Actually, it's me.
Toph: (fatally embarrassed) Oh...well...heheh. (limply) You can go ahead and let me drown now.
(Cut to a shot of the Serpent's head thrashing in the distance. Cutting closer, Aang and Katara are shown circling the Serpent at tremendous speed, stirring up a irresistible whirlpool that holds it helpless. The spinning monster's neck cracks like a whip against the cliff-side, and it slinks off into the depths. Walking up a rise, the others cheer as Aang flies by with Katara.
Cut to a view of the far shore, then another showing the weary travelers descending down the last rise of the pass.)
Sokka: (pointing excitedly) There's the wall! (view pans past rocky barrens toward a vast wall that fills the distant horizon) Now it's nothing but smooth sailing to Ba Sing Se.
Ying: (gasps) Oh no! (doubles over, clutching her belly)
Sokka: (apprehensively) What's wrong?
Ying: The baby's coming! (the refugee family ease Ying to the ground
Sokka: (in rising panic) What! Now! Can't you hold it in or something?
Katara: Sokka, Calm down. I helped Gran-Gran deliver lots of babies back home.
Sokka: (completely panicking) This isn't the same as delivering an arctic seal! This is a real... human.... thing!
Katara: It's called a baby, and I helped todeliver plenty of those too. (speaking with authority) Aang, get some rags. Sokka, water. Toph, I need you to make an earth tent. A big one. (Toph creates a tent of stone slabs around the refugees) Suki, come with me. (both enter the tent)
(Cut to the ferry, making progress through the early morning mist. Zuko stands at the prow looking toward the nearing shoreline. Jet approaches him from behind.)
Jet: You know, as soon as I saw your scar, I knew exactly who you were. (Zuko glances warily at Jet who now stands next to him) You're an outcast, like me. And us outcasts have to stick together. We have to watch each other's backs, because no one else will.
Zuko: (grimly) I've realized lately, that being on your own isn't always the best path.
(The rocky cliffs of the opposite shore come into full view, and behind them a looming wall.
Cut to the darkened interior of the stone tent, where Than and the girl hold each of Ying's hands. Ying herself is laboring heavily, gasping for breath and sweating profusely. Katara is seated between her blanket-covered legs, back to the tent's entrance.)
Katara: You're doing great Ying. (calling back) Sokka! Where's that water? Get ready to push. (Sokka enters behind her) One, two, three...PUSH!
(As Ying cries out in effort, Sokka, watching over his sister's back, slumps unconscious to the ground.
Cut to the tent's exterior. Momo is perched overhead on a tree branch, while Aang, Toph and Sokka wait outside the tent entrance. Aang is huddled despondently to one side. Toph leans on the other side of the entrance. Sokka sits next to her, mopping his face with a cloth.)
Katara: (from inside) It's a girl!
Toph: (leaning over to Sokka) So, you want to go see the baby? Or are you going to faint like an old lady again?
Sokka: No no, I'm good this time. (Sokka stands and follows Toph into the tent. Moments later Katara appears at the entrance.)
Katara: Aang, you have to come see this. (steps back inside)
(Aang rises and walks morosely to the tent entrance, raises his head and looks inside. Everyone is gathered around Ying, who sits propped up on a bedroll. All attention is on the small bundle cradled in her arms.)
Toph: She sounds healthy.
Katara: (awed) She's beautiful.
Sokka: (dubiously) It's so...squishy looking.
(Camera draws close to the sleeping newborn, then back to Aang, as his expression melts into a bittersweet smile. Than is kneeling next to his wife, as both serenely watch their sleeping daughter.)
Than: What should we name her?
Ying: (turning to Than) I want our daughter's name to be unique. (looks down at her) I want it to mean something.
(Aang is still smiling as tears well up in his eyes, streaming down his cheeks before he wipes them away with his arm. He finally enters into the center of the tent.)
Aang: (softly) I've been going through a really hard time lately. But you've made me... hopeful again.
Ying: I know what I want to name our baby now. Hope.
Than: That's a perfect name. Hope.
(Cut to the outside, where Aang and Katara stand beneath a tree, away from the others.)
Aang: (thoughtfully) I thought I was trying to be strong, but really I was just running away from my feelings. Seeing this family together, so full of happiness and love, it reminded me of how I feel about Appa.....and how I feel about you.
(Katara wipes a streaming tear from her eye as Aang finishes speaking. Both step forward and embrace lovingly, tears welling up in Katara's closed eyes. They disengage as Suki, Sokka and Toph step toward them. Katara straightens Aang's collar before backing away.)
Aang: I promise I'll find Appa as fast as I can. I just really need to do this. (Tophhands him his staff)
Sokka: See ya in the big city.
Toph: Say hi to that big fuzzball for me. (slugs Aang's arm, who winces and rubs it painfully)
Katara: (gently) You'll find him Aang.
Aang: (softly) I know. Thank you Katara.
(As Aang snaps open his glider and prepares for takeoff, Momo stands next to him and spreads his wings in imitation. Toph, Sokka, Katara and Suki all stand back a few paces.)
Aang: (glancing over) You ready Momo?
(Momo chitters his assent. They both crouch, then hurtle into the sky as everyone waves farewell.
We see a shot of Aang and Momo soaring over the barrens toward the far-off walls of Ba Sing Se.
Cut to Sokka kneeling over his pack, as Suki walks up to him.)
Suki: Sokka, It's been really great to see you again.
Sokka: (standing) Whoa, hold on. Why does it sound like you're saying goodbye?
Suki: I came along because I wanted to make sure you got through the Serpent's Pass safely. But now I need to get back to the other Kyoshi warriors. (gestures back)
Sokka: (stunned) So you came along to protect me?
Suki: (blushing) Listen, I'm really sorry about last night. (looks askance) We were talking, and saying things, (closes eyes) I just got carried away and before I knew it I... (Sokka surprises her with a tender kiss, draws back)
Sokka: (gazing into her eyes) You talk too much.
(Both begin kissing passionately. Suki slips her arms around Sokka's neck. The camera pans upward past the rocky cliffs and into blue sky.
Fade into a shot of Aang and Momo swooping over an open desert towards the outer wall, nearly disappearing into the distance. Cut to a shot of them soaring up the vertical face of the wall, giving an impression of the walls awesome height as they pass through low clouds. Finally reaching the wall's summit, they perform a backwards loop and glide in for a landing. Aang, with Momo riding on his shoulder, looks serenely out over the wall. Turning to look back, the Avatar's expression changes to shock and dismay.
Cut to a ground level shot of the wall's base. As the camera pans away and out to the open desert, we see a formation of approaching vehicles kicking up a huge dust cloud. Various shots show us two groups of Fire nation tanks, dwarfed by the monolithic drilling machine they flank.)
Aang: (looks sadly to his lemur friend) Sorry Momo, Appa's gonna have to wait.
(Final shot of the towering wall over the back of the approaching drilling machine, fade to white.)
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