Transcript for 217 - Lake Laogai
Lake Laogai
Written By: Tim Hedrick
Directed By: Lauren Macmullan
Storyboard By: Lauren Macmullan, Chris Graham, Kenji Ono, Dean Kelly, Tomihiro Yamaguchi, Joaquim Dos Santos
Animation By: DR Movie
Transcribers: Avatar_Mom, Isidorios



["Previously on Avatar" sequence includes clips from "Jet", "City of Walls and Secrets", "Appa's Lost Days".]



Act I

(The Scene opens on the house in the upper ring the heroes have been using in Ba Sing Se. It shifts inside, to show a series of childishly drawn pictures of Appa lying on the floor. We see Sokka lying on his stomach, working intently on yet another sketch. A more distant shot shows Toph reclining on the floor nearby, while Momo licks her foot. Katara and Aang rush in through the front door.)

Katara: We found a printer to make our posters. (holds up a poster with an expert rendition of Appa, picture of Aang, and dense script, while Aang smiles and points to it)
Sokka: Hey, I thought designing "the lost Appa poster" was my job. I've been working all day on my Appa. (holds up a crude drawing with a proud smile)
Aang: (perplexed) Sokka, the arrow is on Appa's head. (Katara struggles to contain her laughter)
Sokka: (pointing to the sketch) This IS his head.
Katara: (taking it to study up close) Why are feet coming out of it?
Sokka: (snatching the sketch back indignantly) Those are his horns! (hangs his head) I haven't seen him awhile ok?!
Toph: (ironically) It looks just like him to me.
Sokka: (flattered) Thank you, I worked really... (realization sets in) Why do you feel the need to do that?
Katara: Let's just stick with the professional version.
Sokka: Grrrr! (violently rips the drawing to tiny shreds)
Aang: (enthusiastically) Come on, let's get busy! (holds up two stacks of leaflets)

(Cut to show Aang and Momo soaring at rooftop level over Ba Sing Se, dropping a stream of leaflets behind them into the city streets. We are then shown the tiny Tea Shop wherein Iroh and Zuko have been working. Inside Iroh is pouring tea for a wealthily dressed man and his bodyguards. As Iroh walks away, they sip the tea and smile, then rise to approach him.)

Quon: So you're the genius behind this incredible brew. The whole city is buzzing about you. (holds up the teacup in a hand glittering with jeweled rings) I hope Pao pays you well.
Iroh: (smiling) Good tea is its own reward.
Quon: But it doesn't have to be the only reward. How would you like to have your own tea shop?
Iroh: (stunned) My own tea shop? This is a dream come true.
Pao: (scampering to join conversation) What's going on here? Are you trying to poach my tea maker? (throws himself protectively between Iroh and Quon)
Quon: Sorry Pao, that's business for you, am I right?
Pao: (increasingly desperate) Mushie, if you stay, I will make you Assistant Manager. Wait, Senior Assistant manager.
Quon: I'll provide you with a new apartment in the upper ring. The Tea shop is yours to do whatever you want. (Zuko glances over from busing a table) Complete creative freedom.
Iroh: (elated) I even get to name the shop?
Quon: Of course!
Pao: (pleading) Uh, Senior Executive Assistant Manager?

(Iroh sets the teapot into the hands of shop owner Pao, who grimaces in pain. Pao walks off as Iroh and Quon exchange respectful bows. Zuko crosses in the foreground, pausing as Iroh speaks to him.)

Iroh: (excitedly) Did you hear nephew? This man wants to give us our own tea shop in the upper ring of the city.
Quon: That's right young man. Your life is about to change for the better.

(Zuko continues to walk away towards the front door, setting down the tray of cups)

Zuko: (gravely) I'll try to contain my joy. (steps outside)

(Closing the door behind him, Zuko steps out to lean against the front of the teashop. One of the Appa leaflets flutters out of the sky, Zuko catches it out of the air and reads it. Realizing the import of it, he begins scanning the sky for the source of the paper. He climbs to the roof of the shop just as another scattering of them settle to the street. Looking at the leaflet once more, his face becomes set with determination.

Cut to the interior of the upper ring house, where Katara and Sokka are playing a card game on a wooden table. Toph lies on her back nearby, bouncing a small ball off of a wall. Aang and Momo burst though the front door. Both approach the table.)

Aang: I just finished dropping all the leaflets. Has anyone come in with news about Appa?
Katara: (studying her cards) It's only been a day, just be patient.

(Aang settles to rest his chin on the table dejectedly. A moment later there is a rapping on the front door.)

Aang: (popping up eagerly) Wow, you're right! Patience really pays off. (rushes to open the door) Joo Dee?!
Joo Dee: (with usual eerie grin and careful speech) Hello, Aang and Katara and Sokka and Toph. (the other three gather to talk to her)
Sokka: What happened to you? Did the Dai Li throw you in jail?
Joo Dee: (dismissively) What, jail? Of course not. The Dai Li are the protectors of our cultural heritage.
Toph: But you disappeared at the Earth King's party.
Joo Dee: Oh, I simply took a short vacation to Lake Laogai, out in the country. It was quite relaxing. (Sokka's face shows clear suspicion)
Katara: But then they replaced you with some other woman who also said her name was Joo Dee.
Joo Dee: I'm Joo Dee.
Aang: Why are you here?
Joo Dee: (pulling out leaflet) Dropping flyers and putting up posters isn't permitted within the city. Not without proper clearance.
Sokka: (annoyed) We can't wait around to get permission for everything.
Joo Dee: (cheerfully grinning) You are absolutely forbidden by the rules of the city to continue putting up posters.
Aang: (red faced and steaming with frustration, shouting) WE DON'T CARE ABOUT THE RULES, AND WE'RE NOT ASKING PERMISSON!! (flails his arms in outrage, starts backing an alarmed Joo Dee out the front door) We're finding Appa on our own and you should just stay out of our way! (slams door shut)
Sokka: (thoughtfully) That might come back to bite us in the blubber.
Aang: (glaring at the door) I don't care. From now on we do whatever it takes to find Appa.
Toph: (raising arms in the air) YEAH! Let's break some rules!

(Toph turns and blasts out the nearest wall with earthbending.

Cut to the outside. As the dust clears from the destroyed wall, the heroes leave out the front door. Panning back, we see a pair of Dai Li agents watching from atop a roof across the street. They lie on their stomachs, peering down over the peak of the tile rooftop, then slip away.

Shift to the exterior of the Dai Li headquarters, then to the fire lit interior of Long Feng's private audience chamber. Feng sits on a small chair, while Joo Dee kneels before him.)

Long Feng: (calmly) I am very disappointed in your work with the Avatar and his friends, Joo Dee. I had hoped that you would be able to control this situation.
Joo Dee: (distressed) I'm so sorry, but they don't trust me anymore. I don't think I can keep working like this. (covers her mouth, terribly upset)
Long Feng: (softly) Joo Dee, the Earth King has invited you to Lake Laogai. (she looks up, and her pupils dilate)
Joo Dee: (calmly) I am honored to accept his invitation.
Long Feng: (nods) Good. Now go await further orders.

(she rises and exits past two Dai Li)

Long Feng: (rising and pacing) If the Avatar keeps searching for his bison, it could upset the delicate balance we worked so hard to achieve in this city. (picks up a scroll from a stand) It could even cost us control of the Earth King. (he stops to gaze into the green flames of the fireplace)
Dai Li Agent: Should we take care of him?
Long Feng: (holding the scroll, gazes into the fire) No. It's much too dangerous to confront him directly. Let's see if we can still handle this... quietly.

(Cut to the cramped apartment complex where Zuko and Iroh live, then inside, where Iroh is packing into a chest. The door slides open and Zuko enters.)

Iroh: So, I was thinking about names for my new tea shop. How ;bout the Jasmine Dragon? It's dramatic, poetic, has a nice ring to it.
Zuko: The Avatar's here in Ba Sing Se. (holds out the leaflet) And he's lost his bison.
Iroh: (takes the leaflet) We have a chance for a new life here. (Zuko walks to stare out a window) If you start stirring up trouble, we could lose all the good things that are happening for us.
Zuko: (spins around to face Iroh, clearly irate) Good things that are happening for you. Have you ever thought that I want more from life than a nice apartment and a job serving tea?
Iroh: (earnestly) There is nothing wrong with a life of peace and prosperity. I suggest you think about what it is that you want for your life, and why.
Zuko: (turning to look outside again) I want my destiny.
Iroh: What that means is up to you. (Zuko walks away from the window) The Tea Weevil! (shakes his head in disgust) No, that's stupid.

(Cut to Sokka brushing paste onto a stone wall, and plastering up an Appa Poster. In a narrow alley, Katara and Aang are pasting more of them up. Toph leans against the wall with arms crossed, near Sokka. Momo perches above their heads.)

Sokka: Well split up to cover more area. Toph, I guess you should just come with me.
Toph: (peevishly)Why because you think I can't put up posters on my own?

(grabbing his brush, she slashes glue across the wall, then slams a poster against it, face down)

Toph: (dolefully) It's upside-down isn't it? I'll just go with Sokka. (she hands him back the brush, and they all split up)

(Cut to an open square, where Katara is affixing another poster to a stone plinth near a flowing water stream. Behind her, a familiar voice calls out.)

Jet: Katara?

(Jet is seen emerging from an alleyway at the edge of the square. Katara wheels around with a startled gasp, as Jet walks strides toward her.)

Jet: (smiling confidently) I think I can help you.

(Katara's shocked blush transforms into a look of pure outrage. With a sweep of her arms she bends up a pair of towering waves from the stream behind her, sending them crashing towards him.)

Jet: Katara! I've changed!

(Jet is overwhelmed by the tremendous cascade, and is swept backwards into the alleyway. Sliding into view, Katara draws a puddle up into a spinning sphere, ready to attack.)

Katara: Tell it to some other girl, Jet!

(Freezing the globe of water, she unleashes a barrage of ice spikes down the alley toward him. Whirling off-balance, Jet nonetheless manages to cut them out of the out of the air.)

Jet: I don't want to fight you! I'm here to help.

(Holding out his hook-swords, he drops them to the ground as Katara draws closer. She stops, not sure what to think. He reaches behind his back for something, and Katara pins him with a flurry of ice blades. Sokka, Toph and Aang come rushing up behind her.)

Sokka: Katara, what is it?
Katara: Jet's back.

(A long close-up of Jet's face, then fade to black.)



Act II

(The scene then re-opens in the alleyway.)

Katara: (resolutely) We can't trust anything Jet says.
Sokka: But we don't even know why he's here.
Katara: (with a hostile tone) I don't care why he's here. Whatever the reason is, it can't be good.
Jet: I'm here to help you find Appa.

(Still pinned to the wall, Jet opens his hand to let a leaflet unroll.)

Aang: (turning from the leaflet back to Katara) Katara, we have to give him a chance.
Jet: (earnestly) I swear, I've changed. I was a troubled person, and I let my anger get out of control. But I don't even have the gang now. I've put all that behind me.
Katara: (bitterly) You're lying!

(Toph pushes past Katara, and places her palm on the wall close to Jet.)

Toph: He's not lying.
Sokka: How can you tell?
Toph: I can feel his breathing and heart beat. When people lie, there is a physical reaction. He's telling the truth. (Toph, Aang and Sokka turn to Katara)
Aang: (beseechingly) Katara, we don't have any leads. If Jet says he can take us to Appa, we have to check it out.
Katara: (shoulders sagging in resignation) Alright... (suddenly stabbing a finger at Jet) but we're not letting you out of out sight!

(She stabs her finger at Jet once more for emphasis, eyes narrowed.

We cut to Jet entering a dimly lit warehouse, which sits empty except for a few sacks and a pile of canvas and rope.)

Jet: This is the place I heard about. (everyone begins looking around)
Aang: There's nothing here.
Katara: (angrily) If this is a trap...! (she readies an attack)
Jet: I told you, I work nearby! Two guys were talking about some giant furry creature they had. I figured it must be Appa.
Toph: (offscreen) He was here!

(Toph has discovered a handful of white fur, and the other rush to her side.)

Aang: (stroking the clump of fur sadly) We missed him.

(An old white haired man with a push-broom crosses behind the slumping Aang.)

Janitor: They took that big thing yesterday. (Aang straightens with a shocked look) Shipped him out to some island. About time, I've been cleaning up fur and various, uh leavings all day. (begins walking off again)
Aang: (frantically catching up with him) What island?! Where's Appa?!
Janitor: (wearily) Foreman said some rich royal type on Whaletail Island bought him up, guess for a zoo or such, though could be the meat would be good.
Aang: (anxiously) We've gotta get to Whaletail Island. (turns to the others, where Sokka is reading a map) Where's Whaletail Island?
Sokka: (glumly) Far. Very far. (lays the map of the world on the floor, pointing) Here it is. It's near the South Pole almost all the way back home. (Everyone kneels around the map.)
Katara: Aang, It'll take us weeks just to get to the tip of the Earth Kingdom. And then we'll need to find a boat to get to the island.
Aang: (standing) I don't care. We have a chance to find Appa. We have to try.
Janitor: (passing in the background) Must be nice to visit an island. I haven't had a vacation for years.
Katara: (crossly) Don't you have some more hair to clean up?
Janitor: (dismally) Shuffle on, I get ya. No more need for "old sweepy."
Katara: You're right Aang. (places hand on his shoulder) Right now, our first concern has to be finding Appa. We can come back when we have him.
Sokka: (setting off) All right, let's get moving.
Jet: (steppingtowards them) I'll come with you.
Katara: (firmly) We don't need you help.
Jet: Why won't you trust me? (walks after Sokka and Aang)
Katara: (arms crossed) Gee, I wonder? (turns and raises her head in a huff)
Toph: (standing beside her) Was this guy your boyfriend or something?
Katara: (startled) What? No! (turns her head the other direction)
Toph: (teasingly) I can tell you're lyyyyying.

(Katara stomps off blushing. We cut to the streets of Ba Sing Se, where Jet walks beside the four heroes.)

Sokka: We can take the train out to the wall, but then we'll have to walk.
Aang: (cheerfully) Don't worry, on the way back, we'll be flying!
Toph: (with exaggerated relief) We're finally leaving Ba Sing Se. (thows her arms wide) Worst city ever!

(As Toph starts to catch up with the others, we see Smellerbee and Longshot emerge from a side-street in the distance. Both seem astonished to see Jet in the street.)

Smellerbee: (shouting) Jet!

(Katara turns in surprise, as Jet continues walking indifferently. She looks to Jet angrily.)

Katara: (accusingly) I thought you said you didn't have your gang anymore?
Jet: (turns with a bewildered look) I don't.

(Smellerbee throws herself against Jet, wrapping her arms around him with a look of utter relief)

Smellerbee: We were so worried. How did you get away from the Dai Li?
Katara: (aghast) The Dai Li?!
Jet: I don't know what she's talking about? (everyone stops and draws closer to Jet and Smellerbee)
Smellerbee: He got arrested by the Dai Li a couple weeks ago. We saw them drag him away.
Jet: (baffled) Why would I be arrested? I've been living peacefully in the city.
Toph: (kneeling down, with a palm on the street between them) This doesn't make any sense. They're both telling the truth.
Katara: That's impossible.
Sokka: (thoughtfully) No, it's not. Toph can't tell who's lying because they both think they're telling the truth. Jet's been brainwashed. (points at Jet accusingly)
Jet: (distressed) That's crazy! It can't be. (starts looking around in a panic) Stay away from me.

(Everyone encircles Jet, and they begin to close in around him.

Cut to the night sky, lit by the full moon. A lone Dai Li agent walks down the street past the entrance to an alley. Charging up the street behind him is the masked figure of the Blue Spirit.)

Blue Spirit: Out of my way, skinny.

(He knocks the Dai Li to his knees, and continues rushing past him. The agent readies his stone-glove attack, but the Blue Spirit turns and disappears down a side street. Rising to his feet, the agent rushes in pursuit. Rounding the corner, he sees the Blue Spirit waiting in the darkness, and launches his stone gloves at him, one after the other. The second stone fist removes the Blue Spirit's head, which we now see is a straw-filled dummy. The dummy collapses to the ground. )

Dai Li Agent: (perplexed) Huh?

(There is the whisper of a drawn blade behind him, and the Blue Spirit appears at his back, placing a sword at his throat.)

Blue Spirit: (menacingly) If you don't want to end up like him. You'll do what I say.

(Cut to the outside of an apartment, where Momo suspends by his tail from a clothesline. Inside, from Jet's point of view, we see the Heroes and the Freedom fighters crowded together, regarding him suspiciously.)

Katara: The Dai Li must have sent Jet to mislead us, and that janitor was part of their plot too.
Aang: (looking to her) I bet they have Appa here in the city. Maybe he's in the same place they took Jet. (turns back to Jet) Where did they take you? (Jet is seen sitting on a stool, his head hanging low)
Jet: (befuddled) Nowhere. (raises his head) I, I don't know what you're talking about.
Aang: We need to find a way to jog his real memories.
Sokka: (provokingly) Maybe Katara could kiss him. That should bring something back.
Katara: (annoyed) Maybe you should kiss him, Sokka.
Sokka: (slyly) Hey, just an idea.
Aang: (peeved) A bad one.
Sokka: Oo, wait. I got it. (Sokka plucks a straw from his mattress, pokes it into Jet's mouth in trademark fashion, then regards him thoughtfully)
Jet: I don't think its working. Puh! (spits it onto the floor)
Toph: Try to think of something from your past that triggers your emotions.
Smellerbee: The Fire Nation, remember what they did to your family.
Katara: Close your eyes. Picture it.

(Jet closes his eyes, and sweat beads on his forehead. They suddenly snap wide as a light seems to flash inside his head, and we are transported back to the scene of his burning village. A screaming woman flees the blaze, as a young Jet stands transfixed at the dreadful scene. Surrounded by flames, the leader of the Rough Riders turns slowly to glare at him. Young Jet stands there helplessly, tears streaming down his face as the bright embers waft about him. We return to a close-up of Jet's horror-struck eyes, then he droops for a while, exhausted.)

Jet: (shaken) No! It's too painful.
Katara: Maybe this will help.

(Katara steps behind him, drawing out a portion of her bending water. She places moves the water and her hands to the sides of his head, and we see the glow of her healing powers. Jet stares down at the shadow cast on the floor before him by the light of her energies. As his eyes follow the floorboards, gaps appear, revealing blue waters. The far side of the room is replaced by the distant shore of a great lake, and Long Feng can be seen standing in the distance upon its surface. Long Feng regards Jet grimly, and suddenly Jet plunges down into the dark depths of the lake. He emerges inside a vast man-made subterranean chamber. The scene flashes to show him being subjected to the hypnotic light of an orbiting lantern by a pair of Dai Li agents. He shuts his eyes against the light, and the scene changes to the closed eyes of Jet inside the apartment.)

Jet: (tentatively) They took me to a headquarters under the water, like a lake.
Sokka: Wait! Remember what Joo Dee said? She said she went on vacation to Lake Laogai.
Jet: (jumping to his feet) That's it! Lake Laogai.

(The scene fades to black.)



Act III

(Scene opens to the aerial view of a vast lake, surrounded by rugged hills. In a shot from the shore, we see the Freedom Fighters and the Heroes lined up on the misty shore.)

Sokka: So where's this secret headquarters?
Jet: (scratching his head) Under the lake I think.
Toph: (pointing to her right) There's a tunnel right there near the shore.

(She walks that direction, whistling. Reaching the water's edge Toph jumps up in an earthbending move, and a stone pathway rises to the surface. Toph walks along it to a stone disc, which she bends aside. Everyone peers down into the dark shaft, and Momo flies away chittering nervously. From the depths of the shaft, we see a narrow ladder leads up to the tiny circle of light where the heroes stand, far above. The scene changes to a view of the underground base similar to the one in Jet's vision, a crosshatch of large passages lit by greenish firestone lanterns. A pair of Dai Li walk off into a side tunnel, and we pan back to see the assembled group cautiously descending a dark stairway to the main chamber.)

Jet: (leading the group) It's all starting to come back to me.

(Jet edges quietly to a partially opened door, then moves on, followed by the others. As they peer inside in turn, they see rows of identically dressed young women standing hypnotically before a Dai Li agent.)

Dai Li Agent: I'm Joo Dee. Welcome to Ba Sing Se.
Joo Dees: (in perfect unison) I'm Joo Dee. Welcome to Ba Sing Se.
Dai Li Agent: We are so lucky to have our walls to create order.
Joo Dees: (in perfect unison) We are so lucky to have our walls to create order.
Jet: (once more leading) I think there might be a cell big enough to hold Appa up ahead. (he stops before a sealed stone door) I think it's through here.

(We see the stone door slide away from the other side, and light spills into a chamber. Inside Appa is chained to the floor, and the light from the doorway casts the shadow of a figure on him as the bison rises. Appa moans uncertainly.)

Zuko/Blue Spirit: Expecting someone else? (stepping into the chamber, he draws a sword, while Appa shifts nervously in his chains)

(An identical door slides open, revealing Jet, with the others behind him. Inside a massive shadowy cavern, the dark shapes of Dai Li can be barely seen suspended from the ceiling. Far below, the heroes cautiously enter, and the stone door abruptly slides shut behind them. They spin around in surprise, as the room is plunged into darkness, then green lanterns flare to life, illuminating the vast cave. Only now do they notice the Dai Li high above them, suspended from chains or clinging to the ceiling itself. Ahead, Long Feng waits with several more Dai Li.)

Sokka: (as everyone stares up) Now that's something different.
Long Feng: (grimly) You have made yourselves enemies of the state. (The camera pans across the determined faces of the heroes, as Longshot notches an arrow.) Take them into custody.

(The Dai Li drop down to the floor, encircling the heroes. Two agents launch a stone fist attack, but Toph disintegrates them in mid-flight. As the dust clears, she launches them across the room with a pair of rock pillars.

Behind her, Jet turns and rushes another pair, cutting their stone fist projectiles from the air. Sliding along the ground past the first, he trips the second with his hook sword, slamming him hard to the ground.

Long Feng watches dispassionately as Aang deals with two more of his Dai Li with air and earthbending. Katara and Sokka manage to destroy two more of the glove projectiles before being seized by two more. Toph intervenes with a stone wall before they can be drug to the waiting Dai Li. They send a rush of stone towards Toph, but she rises high into the cavern on a pillar of rock, forcing them to pursue her the same way.

Two more Dai Li race up the walls to either side of her, to strike out at Toph with horizontal columns of stone. High in the cavern, Toph swats aside the first two agents, then leaps to avoid the two columns as they crash together beneath her. Landing atop them, she bends up a pair of stone blocks from the columns, using them to drive away both of the remaining agents simultaneously. A fist of stone grabs the back of her shirt, and she is hauled through the air toward a waiting Dai Li. Jet intervenes at the last moment. Leaping past he hooks her belt with his sword, pulling her to safety as the agent kicks a stone foot attack after them. Longshot covers them as they land, intercepting the missile with one of his arrows. Joined by two of his brethren, the Dai Li retaliate with three fist attacks at Longshot, but Jet cuts them from the air with a whirlwind of slashes.

Meanwhile Long Feng has seen enough. He flees from the room, sealing a stone door behind him. Back at the battle, Aang lands and blows two Dai Li aside with a burst of air.)

Aang: Long Feng is escaping!

(Aang and Jet break free from the melee to pursue him. Aang blasts open the stone door, and they race down the passageway after the minister. They follow him as he turns into yet another chamber, a large room filled with pipe openings. As the enter, the door seals behind them, and Long Feng drops from the ceiling behind them.)

Long Feng: (threateningly) Alright Avatar, you've caused me enough problems. This is your last chance, ifyou want your bison back.
Aang: (outraged) You do have Appa. Tell me where he is!
Long Feng: Agree to exit the city now, and I'll waive all charges against you and allow you to leave with your lost pet.
Jet: (raising his swords) You're in no position to bargain.
Long Feng: (haughtily) Am I not?
Aang: (brandishing his staff) You're definitely not!
Long Feng: Jet, The Earth King has invited you to Lake Laogai.
Jet: (pupils dilating) I am honored to except his invitation.

(Jet suddenly makes a brutal double slash at Aang's neck, which he nimbly avoids.

Leaping away from him, Aang reels backward in dismay as Jet charges him, snarling with anger.

Cut to Appa in his cell. He is growling and stamping his feet at the Blue Spirit, who stands just beyond his reach.)

Blue Spirit: You're mine now.

(The door behind the Blue Spirit, and a shadow is seen in the light spilling inward. The Blue Spirit turns and readies both his swords to attack. Iroh enters the room, closing the door behind him.)

Blue Spirit: (taken aback) Uncle?
Iroh: (feigning puzzlement) So, the Blue Spirit. I wonder who could be behind that mask?
Zuko: (removing his mask) What are you doing here?
Iroh: I was just about to ask you the same thing. What do you plan to do now that you have found the Avatar's bison? Keep it locked in our new apartment? Should I go put on a pot of tea for him?
Zuko: First I have to get it out of here.
Iroh: (incensed)AND THEN WHAT?! You never think these things through! This is exactly what happened when you captured the Avatar at the North Pole! You had him, and then you had no where to go!
Zuko: (heatedly) I would have figured something out!
Iroh: (shouting angrily) No!! If his friends hadn't found you, you would have frozen to death!
Zuko: (looking away in anguish) I know my own destiny uncle.
Iroh: (forcefully) Is it your own destiny? Or is it a destiny someone else has tried to force on you?
Zuko: (in torment) Stop it Uncle. I have to do this. (turns away, toward Appa)
Iroh: (pleading furiously) I'm begging you Prince Zuko! It's time for you to look inward, and begin asking yourself the big questions. Who are you? And what do you want?

(With a cry of frustration, Zuko hurls both of his swords to the ground, followed by the Blue Spirit mask. The camera rises towards the opening in the distant ceiling. Appa is shown anchored by chains on each of his legs, as Zuko's shout continues to echo throughout the chamber.

We return to Jet and Aang, as Aang backpedals in a desperate attempt to avoid Jet's furious assault. He pleads with Jet as he continues to dodge his attacks.)

Aang: (desperately) Jet, it's me Aang! You don't have to do this.
Long Feng: I'm afraid he no longer has a choice.

(Standing between them, a panting Jet, pauses to catch his breath. His eyes remain inky pools, and sweat runs down his face. With a shout, he renews his attack, showing evidence of tiring as Aang evades him. The Avatar propels him backwards with a blast of air. Jet slows himself with the hooks of his swords, which spark against the stone floor. Aang takes this opportunity to resume pleading with him.)

Aang: Jet, I'm your friend! Look inside your heart! (Jet, gasping, seems conflicted)
Long Feng: Do your duty Jet. (Jet slowly approaches Aang, swords raised)
Aang: He can't make you do this! You're a Freedom Fighter.

(At these final words, Jet straightens in shock. Everything goes white, and a tableau of images from his past flood his mind. We see Smellerbee, brandishing two swords in front of a tent, a dagger clenched in her teeth. The Duke and Pipsqueak are shown standing together. Scenes of him standing against a shy Katara. Cheers of the Freedom fighters as they feast in the tree fortress. Standing with Smellerbee and Longshot aboard the ferry. Sitting and speaking with Iroh and Zuko on the ferry deck. Handing food out to the passengers. Being dragged away by the Dai Li, and the brainwashing beneath the lake. Faces flash by rapidly, Iroh, Colonel Mongke, Long Feng, his own at various ages. Jet stands motionless, overcome by the thoughts racing through his brain. Behind him, Long Feng's voice cuts through his mental fog.)

Long Feng: Do it! Do it now!

(With a snarl of rage, Jet whirls and hurls one of his swords directly at Long Feng. It shrieks toward him, imbedding its pommel-spike in the stone wall as Long Feng avoids it. Long Feng simultaneously attacks with his earthbending, sending an out-thrust of stone rocketing towards Jet. When the dust clears, we see Jet is lying on the ground motionless, having taken the full brunt of the brutal attack. Momentarily stunned by the ferocious attack, the Avatar starts to rush Long Feng, who lifts himself to the entrance of a tunnel on a column of stone.)

Long Feng: (contemptuously) Foolish boy. You've chosen your own demise.

(He turns and vanished down the dark passage, as Aang moves over to where Jet lies.)

Jet: (weakly) I'm sorry, Aang.
Aang: (sitting at his side) Don't be.

(Behind Aang, the doorway slides open, revealing the rest of his allies. They all rush forward to surround the stricken Jet, wearing sorrowful and shocked expressions. Katara draws forth her bending water, kneels beside him, and applies her healing powers to his chest.)

Katara: (turning to the others) This isn't good.
Smellerbee: You guys go find Appa. We'll take care of Jet.
Katara: We're not going to leave you.
Longshot: (speaking for the first time) There's no time. Just go. We'll take care of him. He's our leader. (The four heroes look at him with expressions of wonder.)
Jet: (tenderly) Don't worry Katara, I'll be fine.

(Jet smiles weakly up at her, and she closes her eyes in grief before rising to her feet. The heroes file off somberly, leaving the Freedom Fighters behind. Toph and Sokka bring up the rear.

Toph: (softly) He's lying.

(Behind them, Smellerbee weeps over Jet. Longshot watches the heroes disappear down a passageway, before readying an arrow to cover the other entrance. Smellerbee gently strokes Jet's forehead as he prepares his final stand.

Cut to a stone door, which slides aside to reveal Toph, with the others close behind her. They step into a room where the six manacles lie empty within the prison.)

Aang: Appa's gone. Long Feng beat us here.
Sokka: If we keep moving, maybe we can catch up to him.

(An outcropping of rock bearing a circular stone plug arises at the edge of the lake. Cracks form on the plug, and it shoots off to shatter on the nearby cliff face. The four heroes emerge and start racing along the narrow shoreline. Glancing over his shoulder, Aang sees nine Dai Li emerge in pursuit from the hole behind them.)

Sokka: (running beside Aang) Do you think we can out run them?
Aang: I don't think it's gonna matter.

(Ahead we see six more Dai Li flanking the waiting Long Feng. The six agents bend up a thirty foot wall of stone beneath Long Fengs feet, sealing the strip of land between the cliffside and the lake. The heroes draw to a stop, and behind them the Dai Li raise up another wall, boxing them in. They are enclosed and surrounded by eighteen Dai Li, who cling to the edges of the walls and the cliffside while Long Feng watches from atop the first wall. Momo, sweeps down out of the sky and lands on Aang's shoulder chattering excitedly.)

Aang: What is it Momo?

(Momo launches upward, past Long Feng, to disappear into the bright midday sun. Moments later Appa emerges from the dazzling light, hurtling downwards towards them. The four heroes look upwards with expressions of delight.)

Aang: Appa!

(Appa swoops down and smashes through the first wall, continuing onward through the second. The Dai Li perched on the wall are knocked senseless by the bursting walls, and fall to the ground or spill into the water. Aang and Toph bend the cliff that the remaining agents are perched on, flinging them far out into the lake. Appa circles around to land heavily near the shaken Long Feng, as the remaining Dai Li flee. Turning from his fleeing men, Long Feng faces an enraged Appa.)

Long Feng: I can handle you by myself.

(He launches a kick at Appa, who catches his leg in his teeth. With a mighty toss of his powerful neck, Appa sends him skipping far out across Lake Laogai, to disappear with a final splash. The sky-bison pauses momentarily before spitting out his shoe. Aang, Sokka, Katara and Momo throw themselves onto the shaggy bison, while Toph strokes his nose.)

Sokka: (hugging his leg) Yeah! Appa!
Aang: (head pressed in his fur, crying) I missed you, buddy.

(Appa's great brown eyes close in contentment. We cut to the heroes riding Appa over Lake Laogai. Katara stares down wistfully at the lake's surface, eyes brimming with tears. Aang puts a hand on her shoulder, and she turns back to them, wiping a tear. All four of the gather in an embrace, as Appa carries them off into the distance. Panning to the shore, we see Zuko and Iroh emerge from the passage originally uncovered by Toph.)

Iroh: You did the right thing, nephew. (Zuko pulls out the Blue Spirit mask, regarding its demonic visage as Iroh rests a hand on its shoulder) Leave it behind.

(Zuko walks to the edge and drops the mask into the lake, where it slowly sinks into the depths.)



[End Credits]

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