The ringing of bells can be heard muffled from the deck above. You hear the rushing of footsteps and decide to follow the commotion. Leaving your room on the ship, the room you’ve spent the last few weeks living in, you find your way to the narrow staircase that leads to the upper deck. As you make your way up the stairs, the muffled bell becomes clearer and you realize that it’s not coming from the ship but somewhere else. A jolt of excitement rushes through your body and you turn toward the front of the ship. In the distance you can see it. You’re finally here. Your eyes dart around. First to a large statue of a man you've only heard stories of, next to a somber temple where he used to live, and lastly to the city he built as his legacy. As it all comes into focus, you realize the people around you are talking. “There is it, Republic City.” “Are they still calling it that, after so long?” “I can’t believe I’m finally here!” The mixture of voices is hard to decipher as your ship comes to dock.
You step off of the ship and are directed into a line with other passengers from other ships that lead to different buildings along the port. Lugging your baggage, you slowly shuffle through the line leading into the building. As you enter, you are given a piece of paper with a number and are silently directed to a small room. The room seems to be a sort of processing area for people like you. You find your way to a small chair next to a matching table after placing your luggage in the corner. The small room is void beyond the chair, the table and a newish looking bound book resting on the table. You reach forward and grab the book and begin to read:
“Hello and welcome to the new Republic City. We hope you enjoyed your trip here potential citizen. Before you take your citizenship exam, we’d like to tell you a bit about our history as well as yours. I’m sure you've heard of the Rebellion, but most from outside the city don’t know much of what happened here.
About two-hundred and fifty years ago, the rise of technology in Republic City began. For the first time, there were things that allowed a non-bender to be on par with benders. For the life time of Avatar Korra of the Southern Water Tribe, all problems between benders and non-benders were dealt with well and laid to rest. She continued to prosper peace in Republic City for nearly sixty years before she died and the next Avatar was born. From a small village near Ba Sing Se, Avatar Jiong was born. After he mastered all four elements, he was sent to our fair city to help with the relocation of some of the Airbenders and their acolytes to the abandoned temples across the world. However, after finishing his mission he decided to stay and live in Republic City. He found a liking in the technology our city created. It was something that didn't exist in any other part of the world he had been to. With his blessing, our city flourished and began to develop many new kinds of technology. He lived with us for many years and died an old man still living with us.
With his passing, the next Avatar was born in the Fire nation, Avatar Kiryi. Upon mastering the elements she also came to our city, but her goals were not as pure as her predecessors. She was disgusted by the technology of our city. She began to preach in public of how our technology was spreading to other cities and as such they were destroying parts of nature that the spirits protected. She was convinced of the spirit world’s anger at us and called our creations abominations. It was her that sparked the Rebellion. Under her guidance, many benders and non-benders alike rose up against this city and many others across the world in an attempt to destroy what we had made. While she was the Avatar, she was young still and eventually she was felled by our forces. However, while her time was short, her legacy continued. The Rebellion raged onward. Many had begun to leave the city with fear for their lives and rightfully so. If only some of the others had.
The next Avatar was born here. His name was Tyshi. However, soon after he was discovered to be the avatar, some of those who feared him continuing the uprising of his former slew him. He was only a child, merely eleven and they came at him at night and left only a crumpled body in a bloody bed. It saddens me to say this, but this travesty is one of the best things that could have ever happened. For a short time, the Rebellion came to a halt. The entire city was in uproar at what had happened. Both rebel and those loyal to the city, bender and non-bender alike, the entire city joined together and hunted the men who killed Avatar Tyshi. After they were brought to justice, the city stood still for nearly a week. Just the week before, they were all ready to continue killing each other but now no one was sure. Not only had some desperate few sunk low enough to kill the Avatar, but they were even ready to kill a child. The city stood divided, no one wanted to fight, but no one was willing to back down. For the next few years, the city stayed this way. No one knew it at the time, but they were waiting.
The next Avatar was born in the Northern Water Tribe. His name was Michu and he was a noble but upon learning of what he was, he abandoned his family and his tribe and left the city of his birth. No one knew what happened to him for many years. He left them at the age of thirteen and was presumed dead. About eight years later here in Republic City, the stand still continued. Over the past two decades, only small fights had broken out but nothing as terrible as it had been before the death of Tyshi. One day, a massive tidal wave had come out of no where and hung over Republic City. It was unlike any wave that anyone had ever seen before, standing taller than even the statue of Avatar Aang. However, in the horror just before it struck the statue it stopped. It stood frozen in the air. Many gathered at the port and marveled at the ocean looming above them. It only took minute for a small girl to notice what no one else did, a small dot in the center of the wave.
As she pointed it out, the waves receded into the ocean but the dot remained. The crowd stood silent as the dot slowly moved closer and closer to them. They stayed that way until someone realized, as the dot became clearer, that it was a person. A film of shock and awe fell over them all as a man landed on the ground in front of them. They pushed back against one another, making a small circle around the man. Rebel and loyalist alike they simple stood there, completely confused by what they were seeing. After a moment, the man spoke but his voice wasn't just one voice. The echo of thousands rained down upon them as his eyes began to glow, ‘We have come to right the wrong that was made by one of our own.’ The crowd stayed silent for a long while. It probably would of stayed silent for longer if it wasn't for the little girl, the same that saw him in the first place. She was about six. She ran up to the man and hugged him tightly around the legs for a moment before retreating back slightly and looking up at him. ‘Are you the Avatar?’ Are fury raced across the crowd as she asked this question however as the stoic man knelt down next to the girl the crowd fell silent once again. ‘We are.’ The voice echoed once again along with others from before. The man lifted the girl into his arms and the glowing in his eyes subsided. ‘I am Michu. I have traveled the ocean for the passed eight years in a state of near constant meditation. My ancestors have given me the knowledge and wisdom I need and the strife in this city must stop.’ He walked over to the girl’s mother and handed her off to her. He levitated off the ground and spoke with a voice that was not his own, ‘I am sorry for the horrid things that I have caused upon this city. I was foolish and young. I took it into my hands and decided without speaking with the spirits as I claimed I did that what I was doing was right. This Rebellion should have never happened.’ No one knew it at the time, but the voice that spoke then was Avatar Kiryi.
Over the next decade, Avatar Michu came together with the rebels and the loyalist and ended the Rebellion for good. After doing so, he helped form a new government for the city. The city now holds two parts of government, a mayor and his office that can be held by anyone and a council of nine. The council is represented by two people claiming to each nation, one a bender and one a non-bender. The ninth position is held by the current Avatar or the person appointed by the Avatar to hold the position after his death until the next Avatar comes to age. Avatar Michu, a direct descendant of Avatar Aang, came to hold this city with the same regard as his ancestor. He lived here with us when his duties didn't call him elsewhere and we began to flourish once again. However, we were only a shell of what we once were. Many had left due to the Rebellion and many more died because of it. Much of the city was in shambles but we reorganized and rebuilt. Not to long before his death, Avatar Michu proposed a plan to the council that was approved and passed to the mayor for approval. It was then enacted upon the day of Avatar Michu's funeral. The project was called the Citizenship Project. Its goal was to pull in new citizens for the city from all over the world. The Avatar himself spent much time with his last few years in this world going around and encouraging those from across the globe to move to the city.
If you are reading this, then you are one of those who chose to come here to Republic City to become a citizen. You are the legacy of one of the greatest men to have ever walked in this world and I encourage you to take that with high regard. It has been in the works for a while, but now, twenty three years later, the Citizenship Project has finally begun. Now, in those passed twenty-three years since Avatar Michu’s death, a new Avatar has obviously been born. He was actually born here in this city and is a great, great nephew of Avatar Tyshi. He currently sits on the Council of Nine and participated in Probending for a few years before retiring. I’m sure you may be, or at least I hope you’re curious as to why you’ve been given this book to read. Well, I thought that it was only right that you were given the whole story because I didn’t think it was fair that only I know all of it. My name is Renshu, and I am the Avatar.”