The Boiling Rock, Part 1
Written By: May Chan
Directed By: Joaquim Dos Santos
Storyboard By: Joaquim Dos Santos, Ian Graham, Lauren Montgomery, Kenji Ono, Yu Jae Myung, Tomihiro Yamaguchi
Animation By: JM Animation Co, Ltd
["Previously on Avatar" sequence, including clips from "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse".]
(The episode opens up to night time at the Western Air Temple.)
Zuko: (Cut to a tray full of tea cups with Zuko's hand holding a kettle and filling up the empty cups) No one can make tea like Uncle. (Camera pans up to Zuko's face) But hopefully I learned a thing or two. Would you like to hear Uncle's favorite tea joke?
Katara: Sure. (Cut to an overhead of the group sitting around a fire)
Aang: I like jokes.
Toph: Bring it. (Zuko stands up with his tray)
Zuko: Okay. (Cut to Zuko kneeling between The Duke and Haru) Well, I can't remember how it starts but the punch line (the boys help themselves to the tea) is, "Leaf me alone, I'm bushed." (They give a dead panned look. Cut to show the rest of the group giving Zuko the same look as well) Well, it's funnier when Uncle tells it.
Katara: Right. Maybe that's because he remembers (grabs a cup) the whole thing.
(Aang laughs and helps himself to a cup. Cut to show the group laughing as well. Cut back to Zuko who smiles.)
Toph: It's nice to get a chance to relax a little. (Zuko walks between Toph and Teo and hands them their drinks.) It hardly ever happens. (They proceed to drink their tea)
Sokka: (Cut to Sokka who is sitting by himself at the side, thinking) Hey, can I talk to you for a second?
(He gets up and walks away. Zuko places his tray down and follows. They walk to the area where Appa is resting.)
Zuko: So (Appa wakes up and looks at them) what's up?
Sokka: (Cut to the side view of the area as they continue to walk further into the dark) If someone was captured by the Fire Nation, where would they be taken?
Zuko: What do you mean? Who was captured?
Sokka: When the invasion plan failed, some of our troops were taken. I just want to know where (gestures both hands out) they might be.
Zuko: I can't tell you.
Sokka: What? Why not?
Zuko: Trust me. Knowing would just make you feel worse. (He turns around and Sokka grabs his shoulder)
Sokka: It's my Dad. He was captured too. I need to know what I put him
Zuko: It's not good Sokka.
Zuko: (closes his eyes) My guess is... (opens his eyes) They were taken to the Boiling Rock.
Sokka: (frowns slightly) What's that?
Zuko: (off screen) The highest security prison in the Fire Nation. (Sokka's mouth goes slightly agape) It's on an island in the middle of a boiling lake. (Sokka turns towards the camera, folds his arms and looks serious) It's inescapable.
Sokka: So where is this place?
Zuko: Why do you need to know? What are you planning?
Sokka: Nothing. Boy, you're so paranoid. (waves his arm dismissively)
Zuko: (warily) It's in the middle of a volcano between here and the Fire Nation. You guys actually flew right past it on your way here.
Sokka: Thanks Zuko. (yawns and pats Zuko's shoulder as he walks past) Just knowing makes me feel better.
Zuko: Yeah, I'm sure it does.
(Cut to an area behind both of them as they walk back to the fire. Camera fades to show Aang snoring in his sleep. A boot walking tip-toed comes into screen. Cut to show Katara sleeping in her sleeping bag. Camera zooms out to show the others are asleep as well as Sokka silently walks towards Appa with his belongings. Cut to Sokka as he lets out a sigh after successfully not waking anyone. He turns as the music lets out a surprised tune. His eyes widen. Camera pans down to show that he nearly tripped over a sleeping Momo. He walks over him and patters his way towards Appa.
He starts to climb up as Appa wakens. Sokka shushs him and Appa goes back to sleep. Cut to an overhead view of Sokka as he ascends. Cut to his hand reaching the saddle and pulling himself up to reveal Zuko already waiting for him.)
Zuko: Not up to anything, huh?
(Sokka yelps in shock and loses his grip ashe falls down on the hard stone floor with a loud thud and groan.)
Sokka: Fine, you caught me. I'm gonna rescue my Dad. (puts back his belongings back into his bag) You happy now?
Zuko: I'm never happy.
Sokka: Look, I have to do this. The invasion plan was my idea. It was my decision to stay when things were going wrong. (Cut to a side view of Sokka walking towards Appa as Zuko jumps off the bison) It's my mistake and it's my job to fix it. (Cut back to Sokka who looks determined) I have to regain my honor. You can't stop me Zuko.
Zuko: You need to regain your honor? Believe me, I get it. I'm going with you.
Sokka: (Sokka climbs up near the saddle) No. I have to do this alone.
Zuko: How are you going to get there? On Appa? Last time I checked, (Cut to a back view of Sokka) prisons don't have bison day cares.
(Sokka touches the saddle before he sighs and looks at Zuko.)
Zuko: We'll take my war balloon.
(Sokka jumps off. Cut to show both boys walking off screen as Momo and Appa continue to slumber. Time quickens and shows the same scene again but it's already morning at the temple. The Duke walks into screen with an armful of hay as he throws it into Appa's mouth. Katara walks into screen as well. Cut to Momo sleeping on his back with a piece of crumpled paper in his arm like a blanket. Katara's gloved hand retrieves it.
Cut toToph and Aang who sleepily rubs his eyes as they walk to Katara's side.)
Toph: What does it say?
Katara: Need meat. Gone fishing. (Turns the paper and her head as she tries to decipher the handwriting) Back in a few days. (Aang turns around and yawns.) Sokka and Zuko. One more thing. (Cut to an area in Aang's sleeping bag as he walks back) Aang, practice your firebending while I'm gone. Do twenty sets of fire fists and ten hot squats every time you hear a badger frog croak. (Aang lies down and proceeds to go back to sleep) Zuko.
(A badger frog croaks and Aang opens his eyes with irritation and stands up.)
Aang: Nobody else has homework. (Cut to an overhead view of Aang as he proceeds to squat with his hands behind his head) One hot squat. Two hot squat. Three hot squat. Four hot...
(Cut to an area full of clouds as Zuko's war balloon appears from behind them. Cut to show the burner's flame. It grows bigger for a while before going back to its normal size. Cut to a side view of Zuko to show him firebending into the fuel tank with one hand and Sokka resting in the background. They look at each other. Zuko firebends again. They stare at each other again before looking away in awkward silence.)
Sokka: (looks up) Pretty clouds.
Zuko: (raises head) Yeah, fluffy.
(Cut to show a full side view of the war balloon as it sails through the air. A whistle pierces the silence. Cut back to inside the basket to show Sokka was the source of the whistle.)
Zuko: (turns towards Sokka) What?
Sokka: What? Oh, I didn't say anything. You know, a friend of mine actually designed these war balloons.
Zuko: No kidding.
Sokka: Yep. A balloon. But for War.
Zuko: There's one thing my Dad's good at, (turns back to the tank and firebends) it's War.
Sokka: (nonchalantly) Yeah, it seems to run in the family.
Zuko: Hey, hold on. Not everyone in my family is like that.
Sokka: I know, I know, you've changed.
Zuko: I meant my Uncle. He was more of a Father (Cut to Zuko who looks saddened) to me. And I really let him down.
Sokka: (emphatically) I think your Uncle would be proud of you. Leaving your home to come help us, that's hard.
Zuko: It wasn't that hard.
Sokka: (Cut to a side view of the basket) Really? You didn't leave behind anyone you cared about?
Zuko: Well I did have a girlfriend. Mai.
Sokka: (He goes closer to Zuko with a surprised look on his face) That gloomy girl who sighs a lot?
Zuko: (Cut back to show Zuko grinning goofily) Yeah. (his face turns serious) Everyone in the Fire Nation thinks I'm a traitor. I couldn't drag her into it.
Sokka: (Cut back to Sokka who leans back on the basket) My first girlfriend turned into the Moon.
Zuko: (looks up) That's rough buddy.
(Scene changes to night as the war balloon is still sailing in the sky. Cut to an overhead shot of Sokka who is snoring with his mouth open. Cut to the inside of the tank as Zuko firebends into it. Cut to the outside as Zuko closes the door and wipes his hands. He leans on the basket and spots something.)
Zuko: There it is.
(Sokka awakens instantly. Cut an area behind the balloon to show them nearing a volcano-like area with steam coming out from it.)
Zuko: There's plenty of steam to keep us covered. As long as we're quiet we should be able to navigate through it without being caught.
(Cut to an overhead view of the steaming crater. Cut to the fuel tank's door opening and Zuko's hand appearing into screen, firebending into it. Cut to the burner as it flames weakly. Cut to show the war balloon slowly descending into the crater. Cut to the inside of the basket as Sokka looks down at the steaming water.
Cut back to the burner again as it begins to lose its power. Cut to an outer view of the war balloon as it rapidly goes down into the crater. Cut to an overhead view of the balloon getting lost through the sea of steam.
(Cut back into the basket as Zuko rapidly firebends into the tank.)
Zuko: We're going down. The balloon's not working anymore!
(Sokka appears frantic as he rushes to the other side of the basket.
Cut an area inside the vent looking down at the tank of fire and Zuko who decides to firebend into the vent instead.)
Sokka: The air outside is just as hot as the air inside so we can't fly.
(Cut to show the war balloon continuing its descend. Cut back into the basket as it slants and Zuko loses his balance.)
Zuko: So what are we supposed to do?
Sokka: (Cut back to Sokka who grabs onto the tank) I don't know. Crash landing?
(Cut to show the war balloon dangerously near the water. Cut to show the basket touching the surface of the water. Cut back to Sokka as the water splashes onto his hand. Sokka flails his hand as he covers his mouth and struggles not to scream. Cut to a side view of the balloon as it glides on the water and crashes onto land, shattering the basket into pieces.
Cut to the ground as both guys get thrown into screen with their belongings. Cut to show the vent slowly deflating onto the broken strips of wood and metal. Zuko and Sokka gets up as he spurts out the stuff in his mouth. Both of them slowly turn towards the carnage.)
Zuko: How are we gonna get off the island if the balloon won't work?
Sokka: We'll figure something out. I suspected it might be a one-way ticket.
Zuko: (looks at Sokka as he walks away) You knew this would happen and you wanted to come anyway?
Sokka: (Cut to a back view of Sokka walking towards the fallen vent) My Dad might be here. I had to come and see.
Zuko: Uncle always said (Sokka proceeds to gather more of the vent and places them into the broken basket) I never thought things through, but this, ugh, (grabs his head) this is just crazy. (Cut to a front shot of Zuko as he throws out both arms)
Sokka: (Cut to an area inside the basket as Sokka turns back to Zuko) Hey! I never wanted you to come along in the first place. And for the record, (throws the fallen cloth into the basket) I always think things through. But my plans haven't exactly worked, so this time I'm playing it by ear. So there.
(He pushes the basket but yelps as his hand automatically withdraws since the basket scorches him. He proceeds to kick it. Cut to a side view of the broken balloon as it slowly sinks into the water)
Zuko: What are you doing?
Sokka: It doesn't work anyway. (Cut to an area behind their heads as both of them look at the vent slowly going underwater) And we don't want anyone to find it.
Zuko: I hope you know what you're doing. (Both of them turn around) There's no turning back now.
(Cut to show a huge metal building hidden behind the steam. Cut to commercial break.)
(Scene returns back to the metal building the next day. Cut to a dark room with lights only illuminating the shelves full of helmets, shoulder pads and boots. The door closes as the light diminishes. Cut to the outside of the door to show 2 guys in prison guard uniform closing the door.)
Zuko: I hope these disguises work.
Sokka: We just need to lay low and find my Dad as soon as possible.
(The corridor is suddenly filled with running guards. Sokka and Zuko grin nervously, hoping that they won't be noticed.)
Guard: (stopping at the opening of the corridor to address the 2 boys) Guards! There's a scuffle in the yard, come on.
(Cut to the corridor as Zuko and Sokka run behind the last of the group. Cut to the legs of the running guards to show them running towards a mass of people wearing red in the yard. Cut to an overhead view of the yard to show prisoners forming a circle around 2 people in the centre as they circle round each other.
Cut to show the guards shoving the spectating prisoners aside. Cut to the front shot of the prisoner in the centre as the guards attempt to form a barricade in front of the crowd.)
Chit Sang: I didn't do anything. I'm going back to my cell.
(He walks away. Cut to the ground looking up at Chit Sang and the guard as the guard firebends a whip and lashes it near Chit Sang's legs.)
Bully Guard: Stop right there Chit Sang.
(Cut to Zuko and Sokka as Zuko walks forward, trying to interfere. Cut to Sokka gripping onto Zuko's elbow)
Sokka: (whispers) We can't blow our cover. (Cut back to a front show of Chit Sang as the guard approaches him from behind)
Bully Guard: I've had it with your unruly behavior.
Chit Sang: (turns back to the guard) What did I do?
Bully Guard: (Cut to the guard) He wants to know what he did. (turns towards Zuko and Sokka) Isn't that cute? (He looks back at Chit Sang as the guys stare at him in silence. The guard senses something suspicious and raises his visor to inspect the boys.)
Zuko: (Sokka's eye looks toward Zuko nervously) Uh, yeah, very cute sir.
Sokka: Super cute.
(The guard smiles satisfactorily at their answers and walks back towards Chit Sang)
Bully Guard: You didn't bow down when I walked by Chit Sang.
Chit Sang: (outraged) What? That's not a prison rule.
Bully Guard: (Cut to an overhead shot of the guard staring up at Chit Sang) Do it.
Chit Sang: (Cut back to Chit Sang who protests defiantly) Make me.
(Camera slowly pans across the crowd looking at the commotion. Cut back to the guard as he smirks and walks away from Chit Sang. He then proceeds to firebend another whip. Cut to a side shot of the whip travelling towards Chit Sang. Cut to Chit Sang who turns around and firebends the whip and directs it back to the guard. Cut to the guard who kicks the flame aside.)
Bully Guard: (shakes head) Tsk, tsk. Firebending is prohibited. (Cut back to Chit Sang who still remains in his stance) You're going in the Cooler. (He drops his position. The Guard suddenly points to Sokka) You! Help me take him in.
Sokka: (whispers to Zuko) Meet back here in an hour.
(Cut to an overhead shot of the circle as 3 of them walk away from the crowd. Cut to the metal building as camera slowly zooms out. Cut to a close up shot of the bumps of the metal building which are the coolers. Cut into the corridor as Chit Sang is led to the cooler with 2 security doors. Sokka opens them and water vapour gushes out.)
Bully Guard: The Warden will deal with you soon.
(Cut to the inside of the cooler as Chit Sang gets shoved in. Cut back to outside of the cooler as Sokka closes the 2 doors.)
Bully Guard: Can you believe this guy?
Sokka: (gets into the act) Prisoners. Am I right?
Bully Guard: Ugh. Tell me about it.
(Cut to a door with a guard sitting outside on a bench with his helmet off, reading something. Cut to the inside of the lounge with 3 guards eating their meals with their helmets off as they laugh.)
Male Guard: (Camera zooms out to the buffet table as Zuko grabs his food) Hey new guy. I know it's the rule to have your helmet on at all times but this is the lounge. Relax.
Zuko: But what if there's an incident? If I'm not prepared someone could
strike me on the head. (He walks toward the table as the guards laugh)
Female Guard: Give it a week, he'll loosen up.
Zuko: (Sets his plate down and sits with them) Can the new guy ask you veterans a few questions about the prison?
Female Guard: (Cut to the guard) No, you can't date the female guards.
Male Guard: (Camera pans to the left to the male guard) Trust me, you don't want to. (A cup enters the screen and hits his head. The guard behind him laughs)
Zuko: (Cut to a side view of Zuko) No, that's not it. The Boiling Rock, it holds the Fire Nation's most dangerous criminals right? So what about war prisoners?
(Cut to the yard looking up at the gondola heading towards a tower. Cut to the inside of the tower as the gondola docks. The door opens and a man walks out as the others bow their heads down in respect. Cut to the ceiling of the cooler as it blows cold air in.
Camera pans down to show Chit Sang shivering and holding his legs close to his body for warmth. A shadow is seen peering into the cooler. Cut to a front shot of Chit Sang as he continues to shiver from the cold. Camera slowly zooms in on the person who is looking at Chit Sang. The blue eyes under the helmet hints that the person is Sokka.)
Sokka: It sure looks cold in there.
Bully Guard: That's why we call it the Cooler. (Cut back to Chit Sang who continues to shiver) He won't be firebending in there. (looks at the end of the corridor and suddenly pulls down his visor) It's the Warden. Look alive.
(They stand at attention at both sides of the door. Cut to a close up of the warden walking with a serious look on his face. Cut to the inside of the cooler as the door opens and the warden walks in.)
Warden: So Chit Sang, I hear you used firebending to try to escape. You should know better.
Chit Sang: (shivers and struggles to talk) I wasn't trying to escape.
Bully Guard: (off screen) He's lying. (Cut to show the bully guard looking in) I saw him with my own eyes. (The warden's guard pushes him away)
Warden: No one (Camera slowly zooms in on his face) has ever, ever escaped from here. I'd sooner jump in the boiling lake myself than let that record fall. (Cut to a close up shot of his eyes he furrows them) Don't forget it. Now (Cut to an overhead shot of the cooler as he turns away) go back to your shivering.
(Chit Sang looks at the warden as the door closes, leaving him in the dark. He shivers and lowers his head down.
Cut to the yard at the bottom of the gondola tower. Cut to another part of the yard to show the prisoners roaming about. There's a fire nation insignia stenciled in middle of the yard. Camera pans to the left to show a guard leaning on the railing of a tower, looking down. Another guard joins him.)
Zuko: Hey there, fellow guard. How goes it?
Sokka: (raises his visor) Zuko?
Zuko: (raises his finger to his mouth) Shh. Listen, I asked around the lounge. There are no (makes the gesture with his hands) Water
Tribe prisoners. (raises his visor) I'm afraid your Father's not here.
Sokka: (Cut back to Sokka who is in shock) What? Are you sure? Did you double check?
Zuko: (Cut back to Zuko) Yeah, I'm sure.
Sokka: (Cut to an area on the ground behind Zuko) No. (holds his head in despair as he walks towards a wall) No! (bangs his fist against the wall in frustration)
Zuko: I'm really sorry Sokka.
Sokka: So we came all this way for nothing. I failed. (leans on the wall) Again.
Zuko: Err, (holds his chin in thought) what would Uncle say? (He looks to the sky. Cut to an area at Zuko's feet looking up at him as he stares at the clouds) Sometimes clouds have two sides, a dark and light. And a silver lining in between. It's like a silver sandwich. So... (Cut back to Sokka who appears disinterested) when life seems hard... (Sokka looks to the side and his eyes widen) take a bite out of the silver sandwich. (Sokka smiles and rushes to the railing.)
Sokka: Maybe we haven't failed after all.
Zuko: That's the spirit. I can't believe (folds his arms) that worked. I didn't even know what I was saying.
Sokka: No, what you said made no sense at all. But look, (points) it's Suki! (Cut to show an overhead view of the yard. Camera zooms in rapidly on Suki who is sitting on a rock)
Guard: (off screen) Prisoners! (a bell rings through the yard as Suki gets up) Back in your cells!
(Cut to Sokka who comically has 2 heart shapes as his eyes and lowers his visor as he rushes off. Cut to the prisoners housing area. Camera slowly pans to show a guard mopping the floor and another one doing his rounds. Cut to Suki lying on her bed. The door to her cell opens, illuminating her face as her eyes looks to the door.)
Suki: (sits up and camera zooms out to show Sokka standing in front of her) What is it? (sits up straight on her bed, looking at him) Did I do something wrong?
Sokka: (crosses his arms) You mean you don't recognize me?
Suki: You people all look the same to me. (looks to the side)
Sokka: (Cut back to Sokka who looks on smugly) Oh. Then maybe you'll recognize this.
(He purses his lips and attempts smooching sounds. Suki grabs his chin. Cut to a side view of what's happening as Suki pushes him to the door. Cut to Sokka's back slamming the door as the helmet falls off his head . He looks surprised at the sudden violence.
Cut to Suki remaining in her stance as a look of relief washes over her face.)
Suki: Sokka, (runs to him) it's you.
(Cut to a side view of Sokka on the floor as Suki embraces him. Cut to a front shot of Sokka's face as he smiles and hugs back. Cut to Suki who is tearing.)
Sokka: (Cut to a side view of both of them standing up) The other
Kyoshi Warriors, are they here?
Suki: No, (looks worried) I don't know where they are. They locked me here because I'm the leader.
Sokka: Well, you (touches her face with one hand) won't be here for long, I'm busting you out.
Suki: (Cut to Suki) I'm so glad (holds on to Sokka's hand that is touching her face) to see you Sokka. I knew you'd come.
(Cut to a side view of them again as they lower their hands into a hug. They look in each other's eyes for a moment as they lean in for a kiss. Cut to Zuko who is standing outside the cell as he looks to the side. Camera zooms out to show a guard walking up the stairs. Zuko knocks on the door of Suki's cell to warn them. Cut to the inside of the cell as Sokka and Suki break apart from the kiss. Cut to an area behind the female guard as she approaches Suki's cell.)
Female Guard: 'Scuse me, I need to get into that cell.
Zuko: No, you can't go in there. (looks into the opening of the cell door) The lights are out... the prisoner (points to the door) could sneak up on you. (Cut to the female guard who frowns)
Female Guard: Step aside, fool. (She tries to push Zuko aside but he grabs her arm and throws her against the wall.) Hey! Hey! What are you doing?
(The female guard manoeuvres her way around and throws Zuko against the cell door. Cut to the inside of the cell as Suki and Sokka sit down against the door, looking up at the opening and hearing the commotion. Sokka puts on his helmet. Cut to show a boot stomping on the ground. Camera zooms out to show Zuko trying to balance himself as he attempts to push the female guard down. The door to Suki's cell opens and Sokka sneaks out. The female guard tries to elbow Zuko's chin. Cut to a close up side view of the female guard as she looks to the side at Sokka.)
Female Guard: Guard, (Camera zooms out to show Sokka trying to get away) help! (Sokka cringes) I think he's an imposter! (Cut to Sokka as he turns around) Argh! Arrest him!
(Camera slowly zooms in on Sokka with an unreadable expression on his face. Cut to commercial break.)
(Scene returns to an overhead shot of the Boiling Rock with a gondola slowly gliding into the prison. Cut back to the female guard, still locked in the same position earlier.)
Female Guard: Get him off me and arrest him!
(Camera zooms out on the scene in the corridor and quickly cuts to Sokka who stares at the situation. He slowly walks forward and grabs Zuko's arm and throws him against the floor.)
Sokka: You're under arrest! (Helps Zuko to his feet and whispers) Don't worry, I'll figure it out.
(Sokka leads him away while the female guard massages her sore shoulder. Cut to an area in the water showing the building of coolers. Cut to Zuko's scarred side. He looks up as the door opens and light shines on his face. Cut to an area behind Zuko to reveal the warden standing at the doorway.)
Warden: Well, well, well. (Cut to the warden) I never thought I'd find you in here, Prince Zuko.
Zuko: (Cut back to Zuko's side view) How did you know who I am?
Warden: How could I not? (furrows his eyebrows) You broke my niece's heart. (Cut to a side view of the scene to show Zuko leaning dismissively against the wall.)
Zuko: (stands straight) You're Mai's uncle? (Cut to Zuko's guilty stricken face) I never meant to hurt her.
Warden: (Cut back to warden and the camera slowly zooms in on him) Quiet! You're my special prisoner now. And you best behave. If these criminals found out who you are, the traitor prince who let his nation down. Why, they'd tear you to shreds.
Zuko: So what's in it for you? Why don't you just tell my Father and collect the reward.
Warden: (darkly) Oh in due time believe me, I intend to collect.
(He walks out. Cut back to Zuko's face as the door closes and the room becomes dark again. Cut to the floor. 2 mops come into screen. Cut to a flight of stairs to show a guard descending and Zuko and Suki mopping the floor under the stairs.)
Sokka: (crosses arms) Oh, good. You guys have met.
Suki: (Camera zooms out to show Suki and Zuko doing their chores) A...actually, we met a long time ago.
Zuko: We did?
Suki: Yeah, you kind of burned down my village. (looks at Zuko angrily as Sokka puts his hand on his helmet in a "You shouldn't have said that" gesture)
Zuko: (looks up and thinks) Oh. Sorry about that. Nice to see you again. (They put their mops against the wall as they sit down. Sokka checks his surroundings before joining them)
Sokka: So listen, I think I have an escape plan. (faces the two and kneels while lifting his visor) I checked out the Coolers again, the whole point of them is to keep firebenders contained, right?
Sokka: So they're completely insulated and sealed to keep the cold in. Well to keep the cold in it also has to keep the heat out, right?
Suki: Just get to the point Sokka.
Sokka: It's a perfect boat (he left arm moves across his body in a fluid motion) for getting through the boiling water.
Zuko: (Cut to Zuko and Suki who look at each other sceptically) The cooler as a boat? Are you sure?
Sokka: (Cut back to Sokka) I'm telling you, it'll work.
(Camera pans to the side quickly as it changes scene to Sokka walking around the perimeter of the Boiling Rock, near the water)
Sokka: (voice over) I walked around the perimeter. There's a blind spot (cut to Sokka's point of view as he looks up to see the guard tower slowly disappearing from sight from the area under the cooler building) between two guard towers. It's the perfect launching point. I already tested it out. (Cut to Sokka kneeling down. Cut to his hand letting go of a small boat made of paper) We'll roll the cooler into the water and just float with the current. (Sokka looks on as the boat sails with the current) It'll take us straight across. As long as we don't make a sound, (Cut back to present day Sokka) no one will notice. And bing, bang, boom we're home free.
Suki: But how are you going to get the cooler out?
Chit Sang: (off screen) Yeah, (Suki and Zuko are startled as they look up. The camera pans up to show Chit Sang eavesdropping on their conversation on the stairs) how are you going to get the cooler out? (He sails his body through an area underneath the railing and lands in a crouch near the group)
Sokka: (panics) What? (making various gestures) We didn't. We... We didn't say that. (waves arm dismissively)
Zuko: Yeah, you heard wrong.
Chit Sang: I heard you hatching an escape plan and I want in.
Zuko: There's nothing to get in on.
Sokka: Yeah, the only thing we're hatching is... an egg? (Zuko and Suki sigh at Sokka's lame attempt to hide the truth)
Chit Sang: Ok, well, I come with you or the Warden (Camera pans from Zuko to Suki who have serious looks on their faces) hears about this egg too.
Suki: (looks to Sokka) I guess we have no choice.
Sokka: Okay, you're in. Now, first we need someone (he reaches to his pocket) to unbolt the Cooler. (he hands a wrench over to Zuko) From the inside. (Zuko puts it into his pocket)
Chit Sang: (Cut to Chit Sang) Oh, I can get you inside.
(Cut to 2 guards leaning on a railing overlooking the mopping area and talking to each other. Cut to Chit Sang walking and stopping in front of the stairs with his arms crossed. Zuko walks backwards as he mops the floor and bumps the mop handle into Chit Sang.)
Chit Sang: Ugh. Hey, what are you, stupid (grabs onto Zuko's shoulders and Zuko does the same as well) Watch where you're going! (They push each other and Chit Sang lifts Zuko off the ground and throws him. Zuko lands with a turn and faces Chit Sang.)
Zuko: Hey, you watch who you're shoving. (he pushes Chit Sang)
Chit Sang: I think you mean whom I'm shoving.
(They grab each others hands as they pretend to struggle. The other prisoners gather round and begin to cheer. They push each other before Zuko breaks off and attempts to throw a punch at Chit Sang. Chit Sang grabs his fist and throws him to the ground.)
Sokka: (walks in and raises his voice) I need backup over here.
(Chit Sang attempts to body slam Zuko but Zuko somersaults out of the way. Cut to Zuko landing safely and proceeding to firebend. Cut to an area behind Chit Sang as he jumps to avoid the flames from scorching his feet.)
Guard: No firebending. (points) Into the cooler.
(Two guards immediately rush in to contain Zuko to the floor. They bring him up and lead him away. Cut to Suki and Sokka stealing a glance at each other before they part ways. Cut to the gondola towers as the camera slowly pans across. Cut to the cooler building. Cut to a hand sliding the 2 doors of the cooler open to reveal a figure huddling inside. Cut to the inside of the cooler as the camera looks at the guard.)
Sokka: I can take you back to your cell if you've learned your lesson.
Zuko: (lifts his head up and sighs a breath of fire) Yes, I have. Completely.
(Zuko shows the various bolts and nuts he unbolted.)
Sokka: (smiles and lifts his visor up as he whispers) I got Suki and Chit Sang out of their cells a few minutes ago. They'll be waiting for us at the shore.
Zuko: Someone's coming.
(Zuko pulls Sokka in and quickly slides the inner door closed.)
Male Guard: (Cut to 2 guards making their rounds around the cooler corridor) Yeah, new arrivals coming in at dawn.
Female Guard: Anybody interesting?
Male Guard: (Cut to the inside of the cooler as the door opens by an inch to listen in to the conversation) Nah, just the usual. Some robbers, (Cut to the outside of the door to show Sokka's blue eye looking at the guards warily) couple of traitors, some war prisoners. (Sokka looks to Zuko) Though I did hear there might be a pirate.
Female Guard: No foolin'.
Zuko: (Cut to a concerned Zuko) War prisoners. It could be your Father.
Sokka: I know. (looks away and closes his eyes)
Zuko: Well, what should (shrugs) we do? Are we going ahead with the plan or are we waiting another night?
Sokka: (shakes head) I don't know. (looks towards Zuko with tears in his eyes) Is it right for me to risk Suki's freedom? All of our
freedom on the slim chance that my dad is gonna show up?
Zuko: It's your call Sokka.
(Cut back to Sokka who struggles to make a decision. Cut to night at an area in the water looking up at the cooler building. Cut to Chit Sang and Suki who are waiting. They look up and camera pans up to show Zuko and Sokka using all of their body weight to stop the cooler from rolling down the slope rapidly and noisily. Both of them rush up to assist.)
Chit Sang: Took you guys long enough. This here's (Cut to show a girl waving at them and a guy waiting near the shore) my girl and my best buddy. They're coming too.
Sokka: (Cut back to Sokka who looks annoyed and struggling against the weight of the cooler) Fine, everybody in the cooler. Let's go.
( They turn the cooler into a vertical position. Cut to a shadow walking to a rock. Sokka's hand lifts to rock to reveal Water Tribe clothing hidden underneath.)
Zuko: (Cut to a side view of the scene as Suki and Zuko look on) Are you sure you want to go? (walks to Sokka as he slings his sword) You're the one who said you wanted to redeem yourself. Redeem your honor. Rescuing your Dad is your chance.
Suki: (walks towards Sokka) Your Dad?
Sokka: (Cut to Sokka who looks up at them in desperation) If I had just cut my losses at the invasion, maybe we wouldn't be in this mess. Maybe sometimes it's just better to call it quits before you fail.
Zuko: (Cut back to Zuko) No, it's not. Look Sokka, you're going to fail a lot before things work out.
Sokka: (stands up as he slings is bag over his shoulder while raising his eyebrows) That's supposed to make me feel better? (walks away)
Zuko: Even though you'll probably fail over and over and over again. (Sokka stops in his tracks)
Sokka: Seriously, not helping.
Zuko: (grabs Sokka's shoulder) You have to try every time. You can't quit because you're afraid you might fail.
Chit Sang: (off screen) Hey, (Cut to Chit Sang holding onto the cooler) if you two are done cuddling, can we get a move on?
Sokka: No, I'm staying. (drops his bag as he turns around and address Zuko and Suki) You guys go. (places a hand on Suki's shoulder) You've been here long enough.
Suki: (grabs his hand reassuringly) I'm not leaving without you, Sokka.
Zuko: (comes into screen) I'm staying too.
Chit Sang: Not me, I'm out. Let's roll baby. (he pushes the cooler and jumps into it)
Sokka: (Cut to inside the cooler looking at the trio as they shrink in the distance) We gave up our only chance of escaping. (Cut back to the trio) I hope we haven't just made a huge mistake.
(Scene fades to an area in the water looking up at a gondola. It is nearly dawn. Cut to the cooler sailing across the water slowly. Cut to Chit Sang in the cooler who is wiping perspiration off his face. He stands up and looks around. Cut back to the inside of the cooler to show Chit Sang's buddy and girlfriend perspiring heavily as well.)
Chit Sang: Argh, this current is so slow. (Cut back out into the water to show Chit Sang tearing off a small, metal, rectangular section of the cooler) I can use this to paddle.
(Cut to the "paddle" touching the water and the metal sears under the heat. Chit Sang's hand immediately lets go of the metal piece as he looks at his hand and struggles not to scream. His whole body rapidly reddens as he continues to struggle. He lets out a scream. Cut to an overhead view of the crater to emphasize that his scream can be heard through the whole prison.
Cut to a guard who looks at the cooler in the water. Cut to a hammer hitting a bell. Cut to the bottom of the bell tower as the camera looks up at the 2 people who are sounding the bell. The warden appears into screen.)
Warden: (looks down) Guards! Secure the perimeter (a line of guards run down a platform hurriedly) and lock down the prisoners. Now!
(Cut to a group of prisoners in the yard running off. As they run off screen, a guard brandishes his fire whip and flails it towards the screen. Cut to the prison wall. Camera slowly pans down to show the trio pressing themselves against the wall to avoid being spotted.)
Sokka: The plan failed! They're caught.
(They slowly make their way across the narrow platform. Cut to a huge metal contraption.)
Warden: Get the fugitives and throw them in the Cooler!
Guard: (The guard in charge of the steering wheel turns towards the warden) Uh, they are in the cooler sir.
Warden: (raises his voice towards the guard) One that's bolted down and not floating in the water! This is a lockdown!
(Cut to a side view of the scene and the warden points behind, probably towards the gondola tower) We have new prisoners arriving! Everything must be completely secure!
(The guard turns the steering wheel as a huge crossbow on the contraption is lowered. Cut to an area in the water as the bolt is released. Cut to the outside of the cooler to show the bolt piercing the cooler violently and reeling the cooler in.
Cut to the inside of the cooler to show the huge harpoon contraption covering the cylindrical part of the cooler. Cut to a front shot of Chit Sang and the other escapees who are frightened. Cut to a side view of the scene as the cooler slowly sails across the water, back to the Boiling Rock. Cut to Sokka with his back pressed against a wall. He peers out carefully.)
Sokka: The gondola's moving.
(Cut to the outside of said gondola as it slowly makes its way to the tower. Cut to an area in the yard looking at the gondola tower. Cut to Sokka looking at the gondola.)
Sokka: This is it.
(Cut to the gondola sailing into the tower and docking. There are shadows of various people inside.)
Sokka: If my Dad's not there, we risked everything for nothing.
Suki: We had to.
Sokka: (Cut to a close up of Sokka's anxious face) Come on, come on.
(Cut to a guard opening the door of the gondola. A big, burly man with shaggy long hair, a long beard, a nose ring and a tattoo on his arm walks out handcuffed.)
Zuko: (off screen) Is that him?
(Cut back to the trio)
Sokka: (looks back at Zuko) My Dad doesn't have a nose ring.
(Cut to an area outside the bridge as various prisoners file past. None of them are Hakoda.)
Sokka: (Cut back to Sokka's blue eye staring up at the scene) Where is he?
(Cut to a shirtless man with a topknot walking out of the gondola. No one follows behind him.)
Sokka: (Cut back to Sokka who is looking on with disbelief) That's it? That can't be it.
Suki: I'm sorry Sokka.
Sokka: Oh no. (lowers his head in dismay)
Guard: (off screen) Hey you, (Sokka opens his eyes and the trio look up) get off (Cut to the line of guards in front of the gondola as the guard points to a person inside) the gondola.
(Cut to the floor inside of the gondola looking out at the guards as legs walk into screen. Cut to Sokka who waits nervously in anticipation. Cut to a covered foot stepping out of the gondola. Camera pans up to show Hakoda looking around before disembarking. Cut back to Sokka who widens his eyes.)
(Fade to white to show a "To Be Continued..." sign.)
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