Prologue: The Cycle Turns
Air. Water. Earth. Fire.
Two hundred years ago, Avatar Korra defeated the dark spirit Vaatu and ushered in a new era of harmony between the mortal and spirit worlds. After many decades, Korra passed on, and her successor was Avatar Meiyu, born to the Earth Federation. Fearing that he could never live up to Korra’s or Aang’s legacies, and fearing that rapidly advancing technology would render the Avatar obsolete, Meiyu withdrew from the world and focused his energies almost entirely on the pursuit of science. Through his research, the world developed ships that could fly through space and visit other planets. Though he accomplished little as an Avatar, Meiyu ensured he would be remembered as the man who gave his people the stars.
In time, he too passed on, and the new Avatar was born to an old family in the Fire Nation. I met her when we were both children, since my father was respected member of the Order of the White Lotus and had been selected by his peers to one day train her in waterbending. Even as a small child, Sukasai’s gaze was focused on the heavens, and her passion for learning was infectious.
Though our people had established colonies throughout our solar system and sent expeditions to nearby stars, we still believed then that we and the spirits were alone in the universe. The year Sukasai and I turned sixteen, we learned how wrong we were, and Avatar Sukasai would face her first, and perhaps greatest, challenge…
One of the most fascinating things about the way the Avatarverse has evolved is how its setting and genre reflects the passing of time. Though “martial arts epic” always lies at the heart of things, of course, we have Airbender as high fantasy with a bit of steampunk mixed in, Korra as urban fantasy, and even the “Beginnings” episodes reflect a sort of fairy tale/mythic atmosphere. Of all the fantasy series I’ve watched/read, even of those that span generations, only the Mistborn saga really has something comparable. Exploring the changes into the future, therefore, appealed to me, and what’s the ultimate future of a fantasy setting going to be? Space opera. So here we are.
This opening, which is inspired by the openings of the first Airbender and Korra episodes, albeit somewhat wordier, helps to set up the general world situation and also introduce us, in a general sense, to some important characters. Taking Katara’s narrator role is, fittingly, a waterbender – in this case Hakhun, a childhood friend of our real protagonist, Avatar Sukasai. Why did I skip forward two Avatars rather than one? Two reasons – one, I wanted to give the timeline plenty of time to advance to give an appropriately high tech-level, and two, I’m more partial to fire than earth on an aesthetic level (if you’ve followed me for a while, you may have noticed I’ve written a lot of fics about firebenders…) That said, we’ll eventually pick up main characters affiliated with all four elements. As for my antagonists – well, we’ll be meeting them soon enough. If you were curious, I had the narration mention Vaatu rather than Amon, Zaheer, or Kuvira because I felt like it was Korra’s most epic feat and the one with the most lasting repercussions – some of which may be felt in this story…
I’m not sure how often this’ll update (I’m trying to work it around various other things), but I do hope to get a fairly steady pace going. If you’re following Destinies Rewritten too, I intend to update that one before long as well.