Written By: John O'Bryan
Directed By: Joaquim Dos Santos
Storyboard By: Ian Graham, Oh Seung Hyun, Kenji Ono, Tomihiro Yamaguchi, Joaquim Dos Santos
Animation By: JM Animation Co, Ltd
Transcribers: Avatar_Mom, dragonofthewest
["Previously on Avatar" sequence includes clips from "The Awakening".]
(The episode opens with the camera panning up the outer slope of the Fire Nation capital city volcano. It pans up to the crater wherein lies the royal city, and pauses. Cut to the Fire Lord's palace. Cut to Zuko's bedroom. The prince is tossing and turning, unable to sleep. He rises from bed and dons a hooded cloak. Slipping by an unguarded path over the crater's rim, he makes his way to a prison tower embedded in the slope of another, nearby volcano. As he stands in the prison courtyard, looking upward, a guard spots him.)
Guard: Who's there?
(Without a word, Zuko turns and leaves. Cut to the Fire Nation outer islands, daytime. A mysterious cloud is scudding rapidly over the water. As it lights on one of the islands, voices emanate from it.)
Aang: I think I see a cave below.
Sokka: Shhush... keep quiet! (The cloud disperses with a blast of airbending to reveal the kids, riding Appa. Sokka dismounts and begins a furtive reconnaissance.) Great job with the cloud camo, but next time, let's disguise ourselves as the kind of cloud who knows how to keep its mouth shut.
Toph: (sarcastically) Yeah, we wouldn't want a bird to hear us chatting up there and turn us in.
Sokka: Hey! We're in enemy territory. Those are enemy birds.
(He points upward to four of the enemy, perched on a rock just behind him. One hops down onto his head and squawks plaintively. The kids laugh. Sokka is unamused. They walk toward the cave, Sokka lurking behind. Of a sudden, he leaps over their heads to ward off some [entirely imaginary] threat. Peering suspiciously about, he dashes into the cave, followed by the rest of the gaang.)
Sokka: Well, this is it. This is how we'll be living until the invasion begins. Hiding in cave after cave...after cave...after cave... (His head drops further to his chest with each repetition of the word.)
Katara: Sokka, we don't need to become cave people. What we need is some new clothes.
Aang: Yeah, blending in is better than hiding out. If we get Fire Nation disguises, we'll be just as safe as we would be hiding in a cave.
Toph: Plus...they have real food out there. Does anyone wanna sit in the dirt and eat cave-hoppers? (She punches the cave wall and several hoppers hop out. Momo catches one and begins chowing down. The kids appear revolted.)
Sokka: (to Momo) Looks like we got out voted, sport. (To the kids) Let's get some new clothes.
(The scene shifts to a nearby Fire Nation laundry. Several items of clothing are hung on lines outdoors, suspended over steam vents. The kids, hiding in some rocks close by, survey the scene.)
Aang: I don't know about this. These clothes belong to somebody.
Katara:I call the silk robe! (She leaps from the rocks, runs to her prize and snatches it from the line.)
Aang: But if it's essential to our survival...then I call the suit!
(Plunder ensues. The laundry's lone attendant, stealing a nap in the doorway, is oblivious.
Cut to a secluded beach nearby. The kids are trying on their new duds. A shot of Aang from behind, tying the belt from his suit around his forehead to conceal his arrow. He turns around.)
Aang: Ta-dah! Normal kid.
Toph: Hmm...I should probably wear shoes, but then I won't be able to see as well. Sorry shoes! (Sitting down, she brings her knee up to her chest, pulling on the shoe's upper and popping out the sole with her foot, which propels it into Sokka's face. She stands up and evaluates her new customized footwear.) Finally, a stylish shoe for the blind earthbender.
Katara:(partially visible in the right side of the screen, from behind) How do I look?
(Cut to a full frontal shot of Katara, presumably from Aang's p.o.v. The camera slowly pans upward from toe to top to reveal a ravishing Fire Nation beauty... with one false note. Aang, smitten, blushes, and then suddenly realizes the problem.)
Aang: Uh...your mom's necklace.
Katara: (chagrined) Oh...oh, yeah. I guess it's pretty obviously water tribe, isn't it?
(Relunctantly, she removes it.
The scene changes to the bazaar of a nearby town, where Katara buys some new, more fire-themed neckware. Cut to an alley, where she puts it on and Toph and Sokka try on their own new accessories - a new headband for Toph and a topknot clasp for Sokka. For his part, Aang smoothes down Momo's ears and tucks him beneath his coat.)
Aang: I used to visit my friend Kuzon here a hundred years ago. So everyone just follow my lead and stay cool. Or as they say in the Fire Nation - "Stay flamin'"! (He saunters out, the kids following. A man is eating a meat shish kebab on the sidewalk. Aang waves to him as they walk by.) Greetings, my good Hotman!
Fire Nation Citizen: (surprised) Uh, hi. I guess?
(Aang's lingo is perhaps a little out of date. Sokka leads the way to a butcher's shop.)
Aang: Oh, we're going to a meat place?
Sokka: Come on, Aang. Every one here eats meat...even the meat!
(He indicates a nearby cow-hippo, greedily scavenging a pile of fly-blown fish.)
Aang: (unconvinced) You guys go ahead. I'll just get some lettuce out of the garbage.
(They enter. Aang turns around and begins dispensing affable greetings to his new countrymen.)
Aang: Hotman. Hotman. Hotman. Hotman. Hotman.
(Three imposing, official-looking figures approach him.)
Fire Nation Officer: It's over, we caught you.
Aang: Who me?
Fire Nation Officer: It couldn't be more obvious that you don't belong here. (Aang cringes, expecting the worst.) Next time you play hooky, you might want to take off your school uniform.
Aang: Heh, heh. Uh!
(He is seized by the collar and pulled towards the camera.
Cut to the exterior of the Fire Nation school, dominated by a large statue of Ozai. Cut to an interior classroom. The door opens and Aang is thrust in. He and his new classmates stare at each other in mutual astonishment.)
Teacher (Ms. Kwan): Oh! Is this a new mind ready for molding?
Aang: That's right. (He knocks himself on the head to indicate its lack of contents.) Let the molding begin.
(The truant officers turn to leave.)
Ms. Kwan: Wait a minute. (The officers stop and turn around.) You're not from the Fire Nation! (Suspenseful moment as Ms. Kwan approaches Aang with a critical eye.) Clearly you're from the colonies.
Aang: (relieved) Yeah, the colonies. Of course. The Fire Nation colonies in the Earth Kingdom.
Ms. Kwan: Your etiquette is terrible. In the homeland, we bow to our elders. Like so.
(She bows her head, making a fist with her right hand, holding her left hand open and pointed upward so that the palm is perpendicular to her body, and bringing the two hands together so that the proximal phalanx of her infolded right index finger just touches the base of her left palm, again perpendicularly. The effect is of a small, stylized flame.)
Aang: Sorry ma'am.
(Aang attempts the salute, but reverses hands and meets his right palm with his entire left fist, instead of just the index finger. Ms. Kwan taps his fist with her ferrule, obviously disapproving. Aang looks around for help. A girl in the front row [On Ji] catches his eye and demonstrates the proper technique. Aang smiles, reverses hands, and lowers his fist.)
Ms. Kwan: (tapping his head with her ferrule) And we don't wear head coverings indoors.
Aang: Um, I have a scar. It's really embarrassing.
Ms. Kwan: Very well. What is your name? Or should we just call you, "Mannerless Colony Slob"?
Aang: (chuckling) Just "Slob" is fine. (This doesn't go over well. He tries a different tack.) Or, uh... Kuzon.
(He turns to face the class with a friendly smile.
Cut to a shot of a bell ringing, signaling school's out. Kids stream out the doors. Aang walks toward the camera, pulling open his jacket and whispering to Momo.)
Aang: We made it through the day, Momo. And...it was pretty fun!
On Ji: (from behind him) Don't let the headmaster catch you with that monkey.
Aang: (concealing Momo and turning around with an innocent grin on his face) What monkey?
On Ji: Don't worry, I'm not a tattletale. My name's On Ji. I like your headband, by the way.
(Aang smiles, meditating a reply, when he is suddenly jostled from behind by a tall Fire Nation boy [Hide], who walks past him to stand by On Ji.)
Hide: (contemptuously) On Ji, you don't have to baby-sit the new kid.
Aang: (amiably)Wow. (He bows, Fire Nation style.) You must be one of those popular kids I've been hearing about.
Hide: That's right. Now listen, friend...I know you're from the colonies, so I'll say this slowly. (He enunciates carefully, getting in Aang's face as he does so.) On Ji...is...my...girlfriend. Don't forget it.
(He pokes Aang in the chest. Momo stirs and complains beneath Aang's jacket. Aang smoothes him down and grins sheepishly at Hide's suspicious glare. Hide points at his eyes and then at Aang to indicate that he'll be keeping an eye on him. He turns and walks away with his arm around On Ji.)
Aang: It was nice meeting you.
Small Fire Nation Boy (Shoji): (approaching Aang) I don't believe it. He didn't beat you up. Not even a little.
Aang: (modestly) I guess I'm just lucky.
Shoji: We were on our way to play hide-and-explode. You wanna come?
Aang: I'd love to!
(Cut to the exterior of the cave, night. Aang slides down the roof of the cave to its entrance and walks in. The kids are seated around a fire.)
Katara: Where have you been? We've been worried sick!
Aang: (covered in burn marks) I got invited to play with some kids after school.
Sokka: (standing up, flummoxed) After what?
Aang: (happily) I enrolled in a Fire Nation school, and I'm going back tomorrow.
Sokka: Enrolled in what?!
(He keels over.
Cut to the prison tower. An interior shot of feet walking down a corridor. The guard from the beginning of the episode hears the footsteps and spins around, leveling his spear. He recognizes the hooded figure.)
Guard: You again? Stop where you are. (The figure raises its head, revealing a well-known face with a telltale scar.) Prince Zuko?! (Zuko grabs him by the collar and slams him against the wall.) Ugh!
Zuko: (in a tone of insolent menace) I'm going in for a visit. You're gonna stand guard here, and no one is going to know about this.
(Cut to an overhead shot of Iroh's cell. The cell is bisected by a wall of bars so that one half is accessible from the door and the other half serves as a cage. Iroh, unkempt and dressed in rags, is seated crosslegged on a mat, facing the wall to the right of the cell door as one enters it. Zuko walks in and up to the bars.)
Zuko: Uncle. It's me.
(He removes his hood. Iroh turns away to face the back of his cell, scowling. Cut to commercial.)
(Scene: the interior of the cave. The kids are seated around the fire.)
Sokka: Aang, I'm trying to be mature and not immediately shoot down your idea. But it sounds...really terrible.
Toph: Yeah, we got our outfits. What do you need to go to school for?
Aang: Every minute I'm in that classroom. I'm learning new things about the fire nation. I already have a picture of Fire Lord Ozai.
(He holds it up towards the camera.) And here's one that I made out of noodles! (He displays his masterpiece to the camera.)
Sokka: Impressive, I admit. But I still think it's too dangerous.
Aang: (deviously) I guess we'll never find out about the secret river then. It goes right to the Fire Lord's palace. We were supposed to learn about it in class tomorrow...
Sokka: Hmm... I am a fan of secret rivers. (relenting) Fine, let's stay a few more days.
Aang: Flamey-o, Hotman! (He runs off in excitement.)
Sokka: (turning to Katara) Flamey-o??
Katara: (shrugging her shoulders) Mmm-mm?
(Cut back to Iroh's cell.)
Zuko: (standing at the bars) You brought this on yourself, you know. We could have returned together. You could have been a hero! (Iroh turns a shade further away from Zuko.) You have no right to judge me Uncle. I did what I had to do in Ba Sing Se, and you're a fool for not joining me. (Iroh is silent.) You're not gonna say anything? (Enraged, he kicks a stool and bends a blast of fire at the wall.) Argh! You're a crazy old man! You're crazy, and if you weren't in jail, you'd be sleeping in a gutter!
(He leaves, slamming the door behind him. Iroh bows his head, closing his eyes.
Cut to the Fire Nation classroom. Ms. Kwan enters and the children rise.)
Ms. Kwan: Good morning, class. Recite the Fire Nation oath.
(They turn to the larger-than-life portrait of Ozai that dominates the room's rear wall, bow Fire Nation style and begin reciting. Aang stands up awkwardly, a few beats behind everyone else, and does his best to follow along.)
Students: My life, I give to my country. With my hands, I fight for Fire Lord Ozai and our forefathers before him...
Aang: Fire Lord...forefathers...
Students: With my mind, I seek ways to better my country, and with my feet...
Aang: (desperately) Firebenders...Fire Lord...blah, blah, blah, blah.
(The other students stop reciting and begin giggling helplessly. Ms. Kwan scowls. The kids turn back around and sit down.)
Ms. Kwan: (rising and striking the open book before her with her ferrule for emphasis) Since it's obviously hilarious to mock our national oath, we'll begin with a pop quiz on our Great March of Civilization.
(The students groan and take pens and paper in hand.)
Ms. Kwan: Question one: What year did Fire Lord Sozin battle the Air Nation Army? (Aang raises his hand. She acknowledges him suspiciously.) Kuzon?
Aang: (rising) Is that a trick question? The Air Nomads didn't have a formal military. Sozin defeated them by ambush.
(The entire class stares open mouthed at this brazen heresy.)
Ms. Kwan: (flustered) Well, I don't know how you could possibly know more than our national history book. Unless you were there a hundred years ago.
Aang: (thinking better of it and sitting down) I'll just write down my best guess.
(Cut to band practice, in a different classroom. The music teacher taps his stand and the amateur orchestra commences playing. Aang, armed with a Tsungi horn, pauses a few moments to draw in a deep breath and suddenly lets fly a boisterous blast of something resembling music, maniacally dancing in place as he does so. The rest of the class stops playing, dumbfounded.)
Music Teacher: Kuzon?
Aang: (stops playing) I know. I'm a terrible Tsungi hornist.
Music Teacher: No, child. That hullabaloo going on with your feet. Is that a nervous disorder?
Aang: I was just dancing. You do dances here in the homeland, right?
Shoji: (sitting beside him) Not really, no.
Music Teacher: (walking to the window) Dancing is not conducive to a proper learning environment. Young people must have rigid discipline and order.
Aang: But what about expressing yourself?
Music Teacher: (walking back to his stand) I know sometimes we're so moved by our love for our nation, that we can't control our own bodies. (Overcome with emotion, he claps his hand to his face and reconsiders.) If you must, you may march in place quietly next time the urge hits you.
(The orchestra recommences, Aang marching quietly as directed but clearly malcontent.
Cut to the school courtyard. It appears to be recess, or lunch, and kids are scattered about the yard. As Aang exits the school building and enters the yard, the kids spot him and begin whispering; clearly, he has caused a sensation.)
On Ji: (approaching him) Oh, hi, Kuzon. I really liked that crazy dance you were doing.
Aang: Thanks, On Ji. I could show it to you again, if you'd like.
(He starts and yells as a blast of fire hits him from off-screen. Cut to Hide, across the yard, who has thrown the blast.)
Hide: What'd you say, colony trash? You're gonna show her something? (He approaches them.)
Aang: Just some dance movements.
Hide: Nobody shows my On Ji anything, especially movements.
(He lunges at Aang, who steps neatly out of the way. For the next several seconds, Hide tries to land a blow on Aang, who is too quick and agile to be caught. At last, Hide is propelled by his own momentum onto the ground. At this unfavorable juncture, the School Headmaster enters the scene, and naturally assumes that Aang has been bullying Hide, rather than the other way around.)
School Headmaster: Picking fights on your second day? We need to have a conference to discuss your punishment. Bring your parents to my office after school.
Aang: Parents? But...
School Headmaster: Don't be late.
(He turns and leaves, followed by a smirking Hide. Aang is momentarily crestfallen - but suddenly appears to have an idea.
Cut to the Headmaster's office. Pan down from the obligatory portrait of Ozai on the wall to the Headmaster, sitting directly beneath it.)
School Headmaster: Thank you for coming, Mr. And Mrs...
(The camera cuts to Sokka, Aang, and Katara, in that order, seated facing the
Headmaster. Sokka is wearing a fake moustache and beard. Katara's hair is tied up in two buns on either side of her head, and her waist is padded to mimic pregnancy.)
Sokka: Fire! Wang Fire. This is my wife, Sapphire.
Katara: Sapphire Fire, nice to meet you.
School Headmaster: (dubiously) Mr. and Mrs...Fire, your son has been enrolled here for two days, and he's already causing problems. He's argued with his history teacher, disrupted music class, and roughed up my star pupil.
Katara: My goodness! That doesn't sound like our Kuzon.
School Headmaster: (indulgently) That's what any mother would say, ma'am. Nonetheless, you're forewarned. If he acts up one more time, I'll have him sent to reform school... (cut to a menacing close-up of the Headmaster's face)... by which I mean the coal mines. Are we clear?
Sokka: Don't you worry, Mr. Headmaster. I'll straighten this boy out somethin' fierce. (He blusters in Aang's face.) Young man, as soon as we get home, you're gonna get the punishment of a lifetime!
School Headmaster: (with an air of subdued sadism) That's what I like to hear.
(The kids rise and leave, Sokka swaggering proudly...the role of overbearing father figure seems to suit him.
Cut to a sheltered little plateau on the rim of the royal volcano. Zuko and Mai are enjoying a sunset picnic and a chance to canoodle in private.)
Mai: (referring to the sunset) Orange is such an awful color.
Zuko: (snickering) You're so beautiful when you hate the world.
Mai: I don't hate you.
Zuko: I don't hate you, too. (They kiss.)
Azula: (off-screen) Ahem! (The two lovers look up at her in irritation.) Zuko, could I have a word with you?
Zuko: Can't you see we're busy? (He and Mai resume their "business".)
Azula: (not to be put off) Oh, Mai... Ty Lee needs your help untangling her braid.
Mai: (complaisantly) Sounds pretty serious. (She gets up and leaves. Walking past Azula, towards the camera, she shoots the princess a quick, poisonous glance behind her back.)
Azula: So...I hear you've been to visit your Uncle Fatso in the
Zuko: (standing, incensed) That guard told you.
Azula: (smugly) No, you did. Just now.
Zuko: (sitting back down) Okay, you caught me. What is it that you want, Azula?
Azula: (solicitiously) Actually, nothing. Believe it or not, I'm looking out for you. If people find out you've been to see Uncle, they'll think you're plotting with him. Just be careful, dum-dum.
(Zuko looks up at her suspiciously.
Cut to the cave and a close-up of Sokka's face, still bearded, as he bends over Aang and rants at him.)
Sokka: That settles it. No more school for you young man!
(He straightens up and strokes his beard imperiously.)
Aang: I'm not ready to leave. I'm having fun for once, just being a normal kid. You don't know what it's like, Sokka. You get to be normal all the time.
Toph: (mockingly) Ha, ha.
Aang: Listen, guys, those kids at school are the future of the Fire Nation. If we wanna change this place for the better, we need to show them a little taste of freedom.
Sokka: What could you possibly do for a country of depraved little fire monsters?
Aang: I'm gonna throw them...(he does a quick tap dance flourish ...a secret dance party!
(The kids are stunned. Sokka is the first to recover.)
Sokka : (pointing) Go to your room!
(Cut to commercial.)
(Scene: the interior of the cave, later that same night. Toph earthbends a bandstand from the cave floor.)
Sokka: (arranging candles) I can't believe we're having a dance party. It seems so... silly.
Aang: Don't think of it as a dance party, but as a cultural event celebrating the art of fancy footwork.
(He demonstrates his fancy footwork as Katara bends beverage into an earthbended punchbowl in the background. Cut to a shot of Fire Nation kids approaching the cave. Cut back to the cave interior, where Toph has suddenly felt the vibrations of their feet.)
Toph: They're coming! Everyone stop bending!
Aang: (approaching Appa) Sorry, buddy. You should probably wait out back. (Appa grumbles and shuffles into a tunnel at the back of the cave.) I know, you've got fancier feet than anybody...and six of 'em!
(Cut to a quick montage of Fire Nation kids playing various musical instruments on the bandstand. Cut to a wide shot of the entire band. Aang leaps in front of them exultantly and, facing them, spreads his arms wide.)
Aang: Ladies and gentlemen, The Flamey-os! Yeah, this ought to get everybody moving.
(He turns around. It hasn't. The Fire Nation kids are standing, huddled together, uncertain.)
Shoji: Now what do we do?
Aang: This is when you start dancing.
Fire Nation Boy 1: (as his head disappears into his collar like a turtle's into its shell) I don't think my parents want me dancing in a cave.
Fire Nation Boy 2: Yeah, what if someone finds out? (He looks around anxiously and scuttles off-screen.)
Aang: Oh, boy. Listen, guys...dancing isn't something you think about. It's a form of self-expression that no one can ever take away from you.
Shoji: Maybe it was different in the colonies, Kuzon. But we don't do that here.
Aang: Sure you do. You have for generations. It just so happens that I know several classic fire nation dances. A hundred years ago, this was known as "The Phoenix Flight."
(He runs in a circle, squatting and kicking his legs in the fashion of Russian folk dance, his arms stretched straight out behind him in imitation of wings. The students ooh and aah.)
Aang: And this was the "Camelephant Strut".
(He hops on one foot toward the camera, alternating feet with each hop, passing his palms in front of his face as he does so.
He turns a somersault through the air and lands in front of two girls, who giggle, embarrassed. He somersaults backwards and lands expertly on one foot, bowing. The students are amazed. Cut to Toph and Katara, sitting to the side, drinking beverage.)
Toph: Who knew Twinkletoes could dance?
Cut to the interior of Iroh's cell. Zuko kneels and passes a packet of food through the bars.)
Zuko: I brought you some komodo-chicken. I know you don't care for it, but I figure it beats prison food. (Iroh, sitting down, is silent, his back to his nephew.) I admit it. I have everything I always wanted, but it's not at all how I thought it would be. The truth is, I need your advice. (He clenches the bars.) I think the Avatar is still alive. I know he's out there. I'm losing my mind. (desperately) Please, Uncle, I'm so confused! I need your help. (Iroh is motionless. Zuko stands, enraged.) Forget it! I'll solve this myself! Waste away in here for all I care!
(He walks to the door and opens it, turning back for just a moment, and then quickly slams the door. Cut to a close-up side profile of Iroh's face. A single tear rolls down his cheek.
Cut back to the cave. Aang, somersaulting through the air, lands in front of On Ji, who is looking away bashfully. A friend nudges her and she looks up at Aang, who extends his hand to her. She blushes as he leads her out to the dance floor.)
Aang: And this is how they do it in the ballrooms of Ba Sing Se.
(He passes his arms in an undulating motion across his chest, stepping from side to side as he does so. On Ji imitates him.)
Sokka: Wow, they look pretty good together.
Katara: (dismissively, looking away) Eh, if that's what you like.
(She steals a jealous glance at the couple.
More of the kids join Aang and On Ji. The crowd is loosening up.)
Aang: Yeah, that's it. That's the sound of happy feet. All right, go with that. Everybody freestyle!
(Cut to a lengthy shot of a Fire Nation boy doing an elaborate "freestyle" dance, reminiscent of juba dancing. Cut to a shot of the remaining crowd, who are slowly beginning to get their groove on. Cut to Katara, sitting alone at a table with her head in her hand. She looks up. Aang is standing in front of her, hand outstretched.)
Katara: I don't know, Aang. These shoes aren't really right for dancing, and I'm not sure that I know how to...
Aang: (masterfully) Take my hand.
(He leads her out to the center of the floor and whispers in her ear. They stretch out their arms and touch wrists, circling around the axis thus formed.)
Katara: Aang, everyone's watching.
Aang: Don't worry about them. It's just you and me right now.
(She looks into his eyes, blushing, and then confident. They begin an elaborate dance that seems to be based off capoeira, cartwheeling through the air, crouching, and kicking over one another's heads. The crowd stops dancing and watches them, entranced.
Cut to the exterior of the cave, some distance away. The Headmaster, accompanied by three truant officers and Hide, sees the light and hears the music from the cave and scowls.)
School Headmaster: It is a dancing party. You did the right thing by telling me, Hide.
Hide: (bowing) Anytime, Headmaster, sir.
(Cut to the interior of the cave, where the party is in full swing.)
Fire Nation Boy 1: (dancing) This is incredible. It's like my inhibitions just disappeared. (The Headmaster and his entourage enter the cave, and the dancing grinds to a halt. The boy's head shrinks back into his collar.) Okay. They're...back again.
(Aang, oblivious, dances across the screen.)
Headmaster: He's the one we want. (Aang looks up, alarmed.) The boy with the headband!
(He points and the truant officers make a beeline for Aang.)
(Aang dashes into the crowd, an officer following close behind. The crowd parts in front of the officer to reveal a lone figure with his back turned to the camera, wearing a headband.)
Officer: Got ya!
(He grabs the figure by the shoulder and turns him around. It is Shoji, who has tied his belt around his head in imitation of Aang.)
Shoji: (smiling) Looking for me?
School Headmaster: That's not the one! He's here somewhere. Don't let him leave the cave!
(The officers dart through the crowd, the Headmaster joining them. Headbands are multiplying everywhere. One by one the officers snag them, only to discover one wide-eyed innocent face after another.)
On Ji: Yes?
Fire Nation Boy 2: Hi there.
Fire Nation Boy 1: How we doing?
Fire Nation Boy 3: Looking for someone?
(The officers, disoriented, back into a small knot in the middle of the cave as the students encircle them. By now the entire student body has morphed into replicas of Aang. The camera sweeps across them.)
Fire Nation Student: Who are you looking for?
Shoji: Do you need something?
Students: Over here.
(Cut to the back of the cave. The gaang are escaping down the tunnel Appa disappeared into earlier. Aang, last out, stops and turns back for a moment. Shoji, at the edge of the crowd, turns and winks at him. Aang bows [Fire Nation style] and runs down the tunnel. Two walls of rock abruptly slam across the tunnel's entrance, sealing it off. Shoji gapes as he realizes his new friend is a despised earthbender.
Cut to the Headmaster, who is still standing, fuming, in the center of the cave, flanked by his officers. Two of them cannot restrain themselves and are discreetly swaying to the music [which miraculously is still playing]. The Headmaster admonishes them.)
Headmaster: Stop that. Stop that!
(They quickly stand to attention.
Cut to the gaang, safely ensconced in Appa's saddle and flying away through the night sky.)
Katara: We're safe, Sokka. You can take off the moustache, now.
Sokka: (smugly) Oh, no, I can't. It's permanently glued to my skin. (He strokes it, unaccountably pleased with himself.)
Toph: Way to go, Dancypants. I think you really did help those kids. You taught them to be free.
Aang: I don't know. It was just a dance party, that's all.
Katara: Well, that was some dance party, Aang.
(She leans over and kisses him on the cheek. He blushes. Cut to Sokka, sitting crosslegged near the pommel.)
Sokka: (rocking lazily back and forth and clapping his hands slowly like a tranced-out beatnik) Flamey-o, sir. Flame-ee-o.
(Cut to a seedy industrial quarter somewhere in the Fire Nation. Smokestacks cloud the night sky. Pan downward to a small yard bisected by railroad tracks. Zuko, hooded, walks into the middle of the yard and removes his hood. A clanking noise is heard off-camera. Two large boots, one of them metal, stamp into view to frame the screen, Zuko visible between them, facing the wearer of the boots.)
Zuko: You're sure you weren't followed? (Cut to a side view. Zuko is speaking to an ominous looking figure twice his height.) I've heard about you. They say you're good at what you do. And even better at keeping secrets. The Avatar's alive. I want you to find him. (Cut to a close-up of Zuko's face.) And end him.
(Cut to a close-up of Combustion Man's face. Cue the scary music. Zoom inward to the inverted eye tattoo on his forehead. Fade to credits.)
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