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Found this in an old WiP folder. I think it was a plot bunny for... something. Probably a thread on the Spacebattles forum. To sum it up, it was a stab at creating a "mirror universe" without the usual morality swaps of a good Fire Nation, evil Water Tribe, and goateed Spock. Everything in the Avatar universe gets inverted. I dusted it off, gave it a once-over, and finished it to post here. 

In another world, the dawn announces itself with the sun rising in the west...

Fire Nation

The Fire Nation is a peaceful backwater, dedicated to spiritual devotion and strict isolationism. This cultural resistance to militancy is a response to the bloody battles that ravaged the archipelago during Yangchen's tenure as an absentee Avatar. Only during the Air Nomad's invasion a hundred years ago did the Fire Nation ever take to arms, combating Gyatso Khan and his armies. Since then the nation has maintained a policy of closed borders, trading with the outside world only through preset Treaty Ports, and allowing only the upper priestly class permission to travel abroad.

Once an iron-handed theocracy, it was reformed by Sozin the Gentle into a collection of independent city-states, unified solely by pan-Fire sentiments and deep religious belief, with the Fire Lord maintaining vast influence as their people's premier spiritual leader and as the administrator of the Great Caldera Temple, which oversees the training of the next generation of sages. Individual islands are rules by lesser sages, who administer their largely rural lands and have almost total authority over the serfs that farm the land.

Novice Zuko, the Fire Lord's eldest child, was banished from the theocracy two years ago for failing to meet the moral standards demanded of sages. At least that's the official story. Gossipers in the remotest Earth Kingdom villages have heard the truth of the infamous Zuko, whose limitless miltancy challenged his father in an obscure firebending ritual for the right to head the theocracy, and whose scarring at the Fire Lord's hands left father and son shaken to their core. Zuko now travels the world on pilgrimage, command by the Fire Lord to not return home until he has taken council with the long-vanished Avatar.

Lesser known is Ozai's second child, Azula, who's ascension as Fire Lord is all but certain given her status as a Arhat. Her bottomless empathy and spiritual enlightenment is readily apparent to all who have the pleasure of meeting her.

As for Great Sage Iroh, who was once favored as the next Fire Lord before being disinherited by his father on his deathbed for calling for a war against the Earth Kingdom, dark whispers now follow in his wake, talk of him consorting with degenerate heretics who live in the deepness of the most fetid jungles and dare hunt the noble dragons. The death of Iroh's son while on pilgrimage in Ba Sing Se during the Six Hundred Day Rebellion, possibly by agents of Chin VIII himself for daring to support the rebel's cause, has exposed a deep vein of militancy that went ignored by his countrymen for most his life. While the Fire Lord is indulgent of his coffee-loving brother, most members of the theocracy are simply glad that Iroh has voluntarily followed his nephew in an exile's endless pilgrimage.

The veneration the Fire Nation shows to nature accounts for some of the world's most stunning vistas, but the resistance to industrialization has resulted in widespread poverty. As a vast population of illiterate serfs toil in service of their masters, anger is beginning to bubble up, especially as rumors of the outside world's wonders leak from the city ports. How long their cultural disinclination to violence will prevent armed uprisings is an open question, and a especially interesting question to envious foreigners eyeing the untapped wealth of the tropical archipelago...

Earth Kingdom

The Earth Kingdom is a technological, cultural, and military hegemony. Unified under Emperor Chin I, whose mandate was famously endorsed by Avatar Kyoshi herself, the empire has spent almost four centuries molding the once-fractionous continent of warring kingdoms into a single nation, largely by erasing the land's myriad provincial cultures.

While grand gestures, such as the demolition of Ba Sing Se's great Outer Wall and Inner Rings, are now in the past, the erasure of the Earth Kingdom's old ways continues under the Dai Li. Formed by Kyoshi after the Peasant's Revolution overthrew the last Earth King, the Dai Li have toiled effortlessly to free the Earth Kingdom from the chains of its long history. Under their latest director, Long Feng, the Dai Li have embarked on a program of public education, aiming to bring universal literacy to their country's children by constructing free public schools. In a subversion of Kyoshi's intentions, Long Feng is using his new school system to quietly reintroduce banned works from the pre-revolutionary period, feeling that such masterworks of art and literature deserve to be inherited by the next generation.

While unification has proven productive from the standpoint of ending the savage internecine warfare that once plagued the continent, the legacy of Chin has ultimately culminated in a stifling, staid culture. Playwrights must obey government-mandated codes to maintain 'proper' structure and theme. Permits are needed simply to board certain cars on one of the transcontinental railroads. The justice system is a brutal affair, biased against the defendant with the accuser playing the role of judge and jury, and punishments meted out by random chance of a wheel's spin.

Only in Ba Sing Se, the former capital of the Earth Kingdom, does the peasantry cling to the spirit of their own revolution, one separate from Chin's, that saw the three rings torn down in the name of social equality and brotherhood. This has often left Ba Sing Se and the rest of the empire at odds. A few years ago such tensions exploded into the infamous Six Hundred Day Rebellion, which was eventually suppressed by the empire's government at horrific cost. Yet even today, in the partially reconstructed ruins of Ba Sing Se, the war lives on in the back alley knifing of occupation troops and other acts of insurgency. There is no peace in Ba Sing Se. 

Visitors seeking more peaceful destinations are directed towards Taku, the northwestern city which now serves as the Earth Kingdom's capital, or boisterous Omashu, the industrial heart of the nation where even the noontime sun never brightens past a sunset's redness due to air pollution. Also recommended is Kyoshi Village, which celebrates the Avatar's endorsement of Chin's rule in the annual Emperor's Day celebrations by burning giant effigies of the Earth King.

Air Nomads

There is little to speak of the bygone Air Nomads, save that they and their war bison are long-dead. Falling upon the Fire Nation like locusts a hundred years ago, only the miraculous intervention of an earth-grazing comet gave the tranquil firebenders enough power to resist the enemy horde. In a single terrible day, the Air Nomads were obliterated from the face of the world.

Fire Lord Sozin would spent the rest of his life searching the world for survivors, even if it was just one person, but he died never finding even a last airbender. The guilt of their enemy's destruction continues to plague the national conscience of the Fire Nation to the present day, as did the knowledge that firebending used for violence had most likely led to the Avatar's death too.

The Air Nomads exists only in infamy now, with many now doubting the legends of tattooed airbenders cannibalizing their enemies and leaving sickly babies out in the wilderness to die.

Water Tribe

The Northern Water Tribe, its back broken even decades after the Earth Navy put an end to its bloody raids of the defenseless Fire Nation, still clings to an ancient tradition of egalitarianism. In the small, isolated villages that dot its coastline, its equally likely for a grizzled old man to be a chieftain as it is for a white-haired teenage girl. Deprived of their waterbenders by the imposition of the Earth Kingdom's vengeful peace treaty, everyone must work to the best of their own innate abilities to keep their people alive. This practice has its roots in the dedication of Avatar Kuruk, who spent his life tirelessly working towards peace in a world shattered by war, even choosing duty over love when he left his bride at the alter rather than face her disappointment.

Only the brutal Souther Water Tribe poses a faint threat to the Earth Navy's mastery of the seas. Caring little for the outside world, it has spent the last century bunkering down on its own continent, subduing a hostile and icy wilderness. The discovery of bloodbending allowed for the secret enslavement of foreign benders, who are used as puppets to shift masses of rock and to fuel steam engines when their wills haven't been sufficiently broken in the gulags. While such slave labor has given them unprecedented command of their homeland, its discovery would give the Earth Kingdom cause to invade and wipe them out as they did with their northern cousins.

With laws and practices that disenfranchise females, forcing them into the home, the Southern Water Tribe has seen a population explosion that threatens to exhaust the pole's limited resources. Already, outposts are being established in the old Air Horde lands, and some ambitious souls looks towards the bounty of the Fire Nation with envy. If not for the Earth Navy, they could carve out an empire of their own, but where would they find the necessary power to defeat the world's sole superpower? If only things were different, ambitious chieftains often think. It's a sentiment shared by many across the world.

If only the world were different, thinks a blind beggar in Gaoling, as her impoverished parents cheer her on in the ring so she can win them enough money to stay fed for a few days...

If only the world were different, thinks a chieftain's daughter at the south pole, as she bloodbends a sobbing laborer instead of being in the Healing Huts like she wants...

If only the world were different, thinks a scarred monk manning an old sailing ship, and my father wouldn't let the foreigners exploit us...

Although it was hardly a new thought. A hundred years ago, another child had wished the world was different, that his teacher and mentor Gyatso Kahn hadn't burdened him with the awful responsibility to lead the upcoming invasion of the Fire Nation, the first step in building a global Final Empire.

If only things were different, that airbender had thought, and his people saw a warm campfire and freshly cooked kill as empire enough...

In his iceberg, that sleeping airbender still dreamed the same thought to himself.

* *

A hundred years have passed since the last existential threat to the Earth Kingdom's dominance, the Air Nomads, was destroyed. A suffocating peace engulfs the world, stifling dissent and change in the name of harmony.

Sozin's Comet will return by the end of the summer. Unless the Fire Lord uses its power to smash the Earth Emperor's war machine, his nation will lose any semblance of independence as the Earth Kingdom inevitably takes control of the world once and for all. If the Earth Emperor is allowed to succeed, even the Avatar won't be able to restore balance to the world.

But can even the last airbender, a ruthless warrior of such quality as the modern world has never seen, win the fight to save the world?

* *

(And just because I had to add it:

"Do you want to go penguin hunting with me?!")

EDIT: (June 3, 2011) Ah, here was the original inspiration for this 'verse. It was from a plot bunny thread discussing various alternate histories, and I didn't make a note of it in the file I'd found this AtLA project in. So hat tip to B_Munro for the original "Opposite World" concept. It's very cool.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-30 01:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
...Brrr. Not sure which part of this is more chilling.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-30 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! I tried to keep this as a 1-to-1 swap with canon, but it did end up describing a fairly craptastic world. I guess that shows that while the canon universe isn't a great place to live, with all the colonization and endless warfare, it has more good aspects than bad ones.

Poor, idealistic Sozin. Trying to build a utopia in a world full of hostile foreign governments.

I imagine the pilot episode of this AU would run something along the lines of Zuko's ship stopping to assist an SOS from that shipwreck, only for it to be a fake-out that sucks in unwary travelers for the SWT to enslave. Then nomadic Aang, objecting to the notion of anyone being forced to live in one place, stages a prison break, escorting out a terrified Zuko and his crew (who are all pacifists, save maybe Iroh)... while effortlessly slaughtering any of the waterbenders or guards that get in his way. Everyone's going into shock by the time they make it to Appa out of the sheer horror of what they've just seen. And then Aang informs them Appa can only seat a few people, so he'd please like to know who among the crew is least important...

* *

(Quickie scene from early on in the pilot:)

As he and Sokka worked over the penguin, its exposed innards steaming in the polar air, the Water Tribe boy hesitated. After a moment, he glanced up and asked, "Is it true what they say, that airbenders, y'know, eat people?"

Aang held the other boy's gaze for a long time, letting the wind scream faintly over the lonely landscape that the two of them shared alone, before he finally smiled. "Only the people we don't like."

Sokka laughed.

Aang didn't.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-30 02:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I must admit to experiencing some brain break at the idea of Zuko, especially the S1 version, as anything approaching pacifist ;) Ow, poor crew. Though I'm sure he'll take Jee with him. Will Appa eat the leftover crew members for fuel, or is he still a vegetarian?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-30 03:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
For his people, Zuko's pretty radically militant. He challenged his father to a duel (even if neither of them really knew how to fight) and is gung-ho about expelling the Earth Kingdom from his nation's eastern ports. Although Zuko's radicalism is basically equivalent to canon!Aang's martial pacifism -- he doesn't want to ever fight, but he'll do so to protect the weak.

They'll take Jee, of course. The fact he alone among the crew has a name means his character shields are at full power.

A carnivorous Appa? That's a scary thought.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-30 03:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, he's easier to picture that way. Though if he'll absolutely fight to protect the weak, won't he try to challenge Aang when Aang wants to leave some of his crew behind?

...Also having trouble picturing Jee as like a pacifist monk in any way. Just out of curiosity, what do the FN people wear? Not armor, I imagine.

Appa should be carnivorous. Imagine a ten-ton man-eating monster that everyone had thought extinct suddenly reappearing in the world. It'd be like dropping a T-rex in New York.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-30 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Though if he'll absolutely fight to protect the weak, won't he try to challenge Aang when Aang wants to leave some of his crew behind?

Point. Hmm. Maybe Zuko convinces Aang to help them hijack their captured sailing ship instead? Between Aang and Appa's airbending to power the sails, they could outrace the Water Tribe's ironclads and their slave-powered boilers. The sheer ballsiness of the prison breakout, hijacking a ship, and escaping from the heart of enemy territory, along with Zuko standing up to someone he's just seen kill several dozen people, could endear Zuko to Aang.

It'd also make for a nice mirror!Gaang: Aang is on Zuko's ship, heading towards the Fire Nation, and the Hakoda Clan chases them, calling in every marker the SWT has to prevent the escapees from alerting the outside world to the existence of the gulags. Because the people who're selling slaves to the SWT don't want to the truth to come out either.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-01 04:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, I can definitely see this Aang and Zuko getting along. The world will fear them.

Any chance you'll be writing this fic? The escape sounds thrilling. Hakoda will be chasing them with the rest of his family, including Katara, but from the way you described her above, she might find a reason to sabotage her father's efforts and cause some serious mayhem.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-01 10:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Maybe eventually I'll write it, but not anytime soon. I've still got four projects to finish before I start another major project; my two Help Japan fics, wrapping up Full Metal Bitch, finishing the last three chapters of my Avatar Katara AU. That'll keep me busy through the summer.

I might run a prompt meme for this 'verse in a month or two. It'd make for a fun break between major projects. Or do a drabble for the Avatar_500 community.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-05 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It occurs to me that Air Nomad culture probably had marriages done by the traditional 'carry off the screaming women of raided village". So Aany might know you carry them off, but he's a little unclear on what happens next*. Thus during the raid, he carries off a screaming Katara, but afterwards he's not quite sure, and maybe some of his companions know what you're supposed to do next? (que horror

*Because otherwise this would be straight into unfunny/squick territory.

First, because the image of Aang as a barbarian raider carrying off Katara is hilarious.

Second, because it gives a reason for Katara to be involved rather than staying at him.

Third it reverses the dynamic between Aang and Katara.

Fourth, it has potential as a funny rift on the 'Zuko captures Katara' plots.

And finally, because the image of absolute horror on Zuko/Iroh/Jee's face as Aang comes to them and explains that he's not exactly what your supposed to do next, and maybe one of them could explain. And the hilarious lie that Iroh comes up with would be pricesless.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-05 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like it for an "episode" in the overall story. One of the concepts I had in mind for Aang's people in this 'verse was that all the really terrible fanon ideas about the canon Air Nomads... are true here: outdoor orgies, stealing children, abandoning non-airbenders, dedicated birthers. All that stuff, only with a coat of "Mongol *Empire" paint slapped on top.

*This was Gyatso's big plan ITTL. Instead of living in the remote wilderness where they'd been forced out generations ago, Gyatso wanted the Nomads to set up shop somewhere where they could build themselves up to eventually take on the growing hegemony of the Earth Kingdom. If they won, they'd have their base. If they lost, they'd pull out but the Fire Nation would now be awoken as a military power. It was win-win... until Sozin's Comet arrived.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-05 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmmm. I'm not sure having all the rumor be true really works. Some of them are mutually contradictory (outdoor orgy's, dedicated birthers) and honestly, it doesn't feel true to Avatar to have them have every single evil thing. In canon, the FN was on the whole clearly bad, but that didn't stop it from showing traces of sympathy.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-05 08:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
it doesn't feel true to Avatar to have them have every single evil thing. In canon, the FN was on the whole clearly bad, but that didn't stop it from showing traces of sympathy.

Fair points. I'll drop that stuff and just stick with the Air Mongols angle.

Any thoughts on the other three nations?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-05 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like the Fire Nation, they feel a very good mix of good and bad like the original earth kingdom. Good points, but flaws that make them tragic.

The Southern Tribe is good, though I feel Sokka could use some development. The Northern Tribe feels a little to much like a simple rehash of the canon SWT.

The Earth kingdom's premise is good, I might have Long Feng only be the cultural director for Ba Sing Se, and be using his influence there to try to keep the city as independent as possible (riffing on his canon self governing instead of Kuei). If you wanted him to be more morally ambiguous, he might even be avoiding helping out to crush the rebellions, as the chaos gives him greater freedom and makes it easier to hide it when he doesn't quite obey orders.

On the Air Nomads, I think all those rumors should exist, but not be canon. Several of them are, but not all.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-05 09:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
With Sokka, maybe flip the canon and have it be that he and Katara haven't seen each other for two years? Life on ships abroad might be a bit looser than at home, and he has a bit of culture shock reuniting with Katara. (Maybe he's encountered the Kyoshi Warriors at this point, just as a sailor visiting the island?) Them trying to reconnect and bridge that two-year gap could make for a nice arc in "Season 1." Sokka's been living the dream as a novice Water Tribe warrior sailing the seas, making the occasional milk run for slaves, but Katara's been working knee-deep in the slave labor system that's fueling their people's expansion.

I'm not sure what else to do with the Northern Water Tribe. In canon they're a "mighty civilization" that's characterized by having strict gender roles. Here, the SWT ends up being the might civilization with those characteristics. So the NWT would be verging on extinction, with few if no benders, but is very egalitarian.

One thing I want to avoid is turning the Hakoda Clan into a mirror Ozai's family. They all still love each other and get along, it's just their culture forces them into roles that don't allow them happiness. I figure sibs would serve under Bato to give chase to the Aang & The Escapees, with Katara coming along simply because a master bloodbender might be their only way to capture/kill Aang.

For Long Feng, I was toying (in an unfinished drabble I wrote) with the idea that he sells troublemaking earthbenders to the Southern Water Tribe, then uses the illicit gold he gets to covertly fund his chosen rebel groups. And anyone that tries to turn the tables on him gets a one-way ticket to the South Pole. He'll also only be influential inside Ba Sing Se, as per canon.

Maybe to exacerbate the EK-BSS tension, the two sides remained separate political entities during Kyoshi's lifetime? I'm leaning towards the idea that Kyoshi stood aside while Chin conquered the Earth Kingdom, that he had to win his own mandate of heaven. So incorporating BSS into his empire was something he'd have to do on his own without her help. Meanwhile, inside the city, the peasants overthrow the last of the Earth Kings and set up their own government that's culturally different from Chin's Earth Kingdom. Then, after Kyoshi dies, the empire finally absorbs Ba Sing Se into itself with a "two systems, one nation" approach, but gradually starts to exert more control of the city until the 600 Day Rebellion.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-05 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I noticed with Katara that you were avoiding the 'Azula' esque route that these things usually go.

I had some random thoughts on Toph.

1. She's really, really enamored with rich people. Toph in canon knows high-society, and rejects it with full knowledge of what it is. So here she idolizes it, building up her own fantasies, but if she ever went to one, couldn't pretend to be one for the life of her.

2. She really doesn't like attention Toph was always the biggest ham of the team. So one who wants to be more ignored.... I figure explanation wise, in canon she could always leave the arena, and it wasn't to roudy. Here it nastier, and has given her a distaste for it.

3. Her family may be poor, but it's always been honest. She's never lied, or stolen, and won't let her companions do so either.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-06 12:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I noticed with Katara that you were avoiding the 'Azula' esque route that these things usually go.

I figure if I was going to make Katara Azula-ish, I might as well just do a Nationality swap fic instead. Opposite World is an inversion of canon, but the core character personalities are the same. Zuko's still honor-obsessed and has Daddy Issues, it's just that now he has canon!Aang's reluctance towards violence and killing. Aang naive and fun-loving, but he's a ruthless combat pragmatist who only refrains from killing people because injuries are useful for tying down an enemy's resources.

I like #1. Maybe she can't pretend to be a member of high society because, as she's openly blind here, everyone takes the approach of "it's so wonderful you've managed to succeed despite your handicap." And so she's always Blind Toph, never just Toph.

I'm not sure about #2. I like the idea, but since Toph's openly presented to society and her parents encourage her earthbending, it'd be hard to hide the Blind Bandit. Unless here she pretends not to be blind... and the Earth Rumbles are entirely staged, so she's not the super-champ like in canon but rather the gag player, like Fire Nation Man was. (Toph the Mascot?)

Originally, I thought of making the Bei Fongs poor, but she's the only real character who can mix it up with the empire's upper echelon. I could upgrade someone like Ming or Song, but they're pretty minor characters. A rich Toph gives the master-class view of the Empire: sunny on Ember Island beaches, riding the exclusive monorails, and so on...

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-06 12:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If you're going to have her be rich, you might want to dump the wrestling thing entirely. She's openly a fighter, and she's been recruited into the rank of Chin's elite earthbenders. This solves a problem with the fic, which is as of now, despite having the earth kingdom as a major antagonist, it has no viewpoint characters. Having Toph as one does it nicely.

Maybe her skills caused her parents to push her to be great, but while she likes the fighting, she's starting to get really uncomfortable with the less pleasant aspects of the job, but she can't bring herself to admit it, she's no coward...

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-05 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There are all sorts of pretenders to abolished thrones. What if Kuei played that role in this AU? His ancestor could have been tried and executed in Ba Sing Se's internal revolution, but his son (or whoever) could have been smuggled out of the city by loyalists. Then he grows up... somewhere. The Earth Kingdom's probably out since Chin controls it. So he goes abroad and history happens.

+ Idea 1: The Earth King is joined by loyalists. After a few centuries, the Earth King's court essentially become an alt-version of Chin Village from canon. (King Village? Monarch City?) One chapter deals with the Gaang stumbling across a walled city in the FN/NWT that's basically a small scale pre-revolutionary Ba Sing Se. VERY small scale. Like, you need a few passports just to be allowed to walk across it's four miles of width.

+ Idea 2: Kuei and his court essentially go native in the Fire Nation, maintaining their traditions but incorporating some Fire cultural traditions.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-30 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ooh, very clever. The only thing I couldn't match to the original continuity was Long Feng's bringing back the banned works. I think it's supposed to be the opposite of his suppression of news of the war, but I wasn't sure, since it was ancient material instead of current news. (But then, that may be the point.)

I hope Mai and Ty Lee conquer the lot of them. I bet they still balance each other out.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-30 12:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Admittedly, Long Feng wasn't a perfect match. I figured the inverse of the Dai Li's original mission, protecting BSS's cultural heritage after the peasant rebellion Kyoshi put down had tried smashing ancient monuments and whatnot, would basically be Cultural Revolution types, purging the nation of pre-revolutionary material. Long Feng subverting that seemed to require going against such censorship. Maybe he could be secretly supporting the ongoing insurgency in Ba Sing Se?

Actually, think more about it, if the Dai Li are basically the Cultural Revolution here, then it's probably more appropriate that they're an instrument of Emperor Chin to control the separate revolution that took place inside Ba Sing Se. So I could scratch the national school system and just focus solely on Long Feng secretly protecting his own city from the empire's oppression.

Regarding Mai and Ty Lee, maybe existentialist Ty Lee and cheerful Mai are canon here. It wouldn't be much of a stretch since this Azula has achieved enlightenment.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-31 10:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] (from

-Somehow, I'm seeing carnivorous Appa as looking more like a Pangolin...a creature which is actually only marginally more vicious than Appa-prime, and possibly even cuter. Go figure. :)

-Long Feng the...Samizdat distributor, maybe?

-*Now* I'm curious to see what Zuko's sailing ship looks like--wiki says that the record-setters for sailing ships are all trimarans and catamarans, albeit sometimes comparatively HUGE Cats and can mass produce carbon-fiber reinforced polymers with pre-industrial firebending, right? XD

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-31 02:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think he'd still look like regular Appa, just with sharper teeth. Momo, on the other hand, would be a blood-sucking vampire lemur.

Zuko's sailing ship would probably be a wooden junk. It's advantage would be in airbending giving it ideal conditions whenever Aang or Appa aren't sleeping. As for how that can beat Water Tribe ironclads that maintain a constant speed, I'll point to 1) Aang being perfectly willing to drop improvised explosives down those ironclads' smoke stacks, and 2) EXPLOSIONS.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-02 01:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] (from
Darnit! I was hoping for some mega-Tepukei with a freaky crab-claw sail..."Fire and Ice" has spoiled me forever. ;)

I can still hold out hope for bloodbending-driven hydraulic mech suits, though, right? ("Bloodbending" because of the mechanical analogue in designing the suits...surely not that they'd use the lymphatic and circulatory systems harvested from a living Sloth-Whale. Surely!)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-02 02:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
...okay, if I ever do an AtLA/Warhammer 40K fusion, the Water Tribe will totally use hydraulic power armor propelled by the blood and other vital fluids harvested from living Sloth-Whales. Goddamn that's a freaky image.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-03 11:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] (from
I live to serve. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-10 08:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The thought of pacifist!Zuko amuses me, if only for the idea of how... militant he would be in exposing the ideals of non-violence to the more barbaric nations. Where Aang tried to turn people around to his point of view through trickery and gentle arguments, Zuko would be a literal(?) firebreather, in-your-face and arguing about how your violence is stupid, how can you people not see it's not sustainable and anyway slave-industing is a really inefficient way to go about a government...

Sorry. Went off on a tangent there.

Anyway, if you're going to do some combination of Existentialist Ty Lee and Cheerful Mai, why not outright make them both traveling philosophers? After all, they can't be action girls if they're from a pacifist nation, so having them as traveling/debating monks would be fun. Plus, they'd probably get into trouble, and I love action!philosophers.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-10 08:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
they can't be action girls if they're from a pacifist nation

The Fire Nation certainly is pacifistic, but that doesn't hold true for all its members. The murder of his son has pushed Iroh into being willing to fight and potentially kill in the name of protecting his people, a la Gyatso against Sozin's troopers in canon. Zuko wouldn't kill any more than canon!Aang would, but he'd have no problem fighting against injustice. Jeong-Jeong is an outright revolutionary, training oppressed serfs to violently overthrow a theocracy he sees as hopelessly corrupt.

So Mai and Ty Lee could still fight.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-10 09:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Point taken. My thoughts went that if it's opposites day, Mai and Ty Lee probably wouldn't fight near as much as they would in the show, especially if they're equally high up in the FN nobility.

Admittedly, part of my reasoning is that I really, really want to see philosopher!Mai and Ty Lee, even (or especially if) they're action-focused as well.

But well, your story, despite my feverish imaginings. Even if I really, really want action philosophers in it...


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May 2015

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