Akita: My story begins long ago. A time before the Long Winter. A time when our realm was still lush and green. (Animals are seen helping each other.) A time... before I lost everything. We lived and worked in the forest, together, happily. We were Formlings, and we lived in peace. And at the end of the day, we returned to our village. It was a beautiful place, built deep in the forest. It was my home. But my brother and I, being younglings, had not yet found our animal forms. (She stops to watch two people transform into antelopes.) And despite what I told my brother, I was nervous. (Her brother chucks a snowball at her.)
Past Kataru: What is it? Don't tell me you're still nervous?
Past Akita: No.
Past Kataru: I can see it in your eyes.
Past Akita: Well, I cannot help it. What if something goes wrong? And I do not find my animal form? The Choosing is a week away. What if I am not ready?
Past Kataru: (Tosses a snowball up and down.) You are ready. All who are pure of heart find their animal form. (Akita smashes his snowball with hers.)
Past Akita: Not all.
Past Kataru: That was a long time ago. And it only happened once. Trust me, we will both find our animal forms. And we will run together in the forests all day and night. You'll see.
Akita: The week passed, but my anxiety did not.
(Akita and Kataru approach before the Formling Leader. He dips his hand into face paint and marks their faces with distinctive whiskers. The tribe gasps and Akita turns to see Vex.)
Past Vex: Ah, just in time for another Choosing. (He makes his way through the villagers.) Such a brutal, savage tradition. And what will you do with these innocent children if their animal form does not come to them? Will you reject them. As you did me?
Past Leader: We did not reject you, Vex. You exile was of your own choosing.
Past Vex: Lies. When I did not find my form, you turned against me. All of you. You mocked me in secret, you whispered behind my back. Vex, the pathetic. Vex, the shameful. Vex the Formless.
Past Leader: That is your fear speaking. You distrust the world, Vex. You see the worst even when it does not exist.
Past Vex: I have had years to dwell on your betrayal. Years of resentment, alone, in the Wilds, and I realize now, it is time for your power to end. In my journeys, I have discovered a power that dwarfs your Formling abilities. an elemental power. (The crowd breaks out into murmurs.) You can bow to me now, willingly, or when I return in force unwillingly. In either event, I will assume my rightful place over you. The choice is yours.
Past Leader: You are a fool, Vex. And we will not abide your threats.
Past Vex: You will regret this.
Akita: Vex returned to the forests from whence he came. And we resumed the Choosing. But I was uneasy. Kataru and I entered the Wilderness, unsure where our journey would take us, fearing that Vex's return was a bad omen. The Choosing must pass in silence. So we did not speak. We waited. And waited. For what, we did not know. A sign, a vision... something to guide us to our animal forms. And everyday, we traveled further into unknown lands. And the further we traveled, the more concerned I became that I would never find my form. That I would turn angry and bitter like Vex, the Formless. (Akita finally falls asleep.) But then... finally... (She wakes up suddenly.)
Past Akita: (Gasps.) Huh? (She gets up and looks over to see Kataru gone. She walks on and finds a tree.)
Spirit: Akita. (Akita climbs up the tree.) Akita. (She makes it to the top and jumps on the clouds. A cloud path lays out for her and she follows it.) Akita. (A three-tailed wolf spirit weaves around her and leaps through her. The spirit looks back at her and Akita gives chase. She eventually reaches the spirit and leaps into it, taking the form with her.)
Past Akita: (She finds herself back on land in her wolf form and checks out her reflection in a pond. She then hears a growl and takes stance. A bear leaps out and confronts until he sees the markings on Akita. He then turns to the pond and sees his reflection and hers.) Kataru.
Past Kataru: Akita. (He leaps out of his animal form and Akita does the same. They run and hug each other.) We did it. We found our forms. I told you they would come to us.
Past Akita: Ha. I should've guessed you would be a bear. It fits you.
Past Kataru: Because I am so strong?
Past Akita: (Snorts.) Because you are loud, always hungry, and sleep half the year. (They laugh.)
Past Kataru: And look at you. A wolf. Cunning and sharp. With big teeth.
Past Akita: (Chuckles.) Come on. What are we waiting for? See if you can keep up! (They race away in their animal forms. Kataru paws snow into her face, playfully, and brings down berries from a tree. They howl and roar to the moon.)
Past Kataru: I cannot wait to get back and show the others.
Past Akita: You go ahead. I want to go on one more run.
Past Kataru: You have the restlessness of a wolf now. (Akita transforms back into her wolf and runs off to howl to the moon.) See you soon, sister.
Past Akita: (She howls and transforms back to her human form and watches the moon. Then, she sees Boreal swoop by her and head for her village.) No! (She transforms to her wolf and runs off to the village. She finds it frozen. When she sees her angry leader frozen, she cries. None of the villagers can be heard, except for their heartbeat. She turns around and sees the Ice Emperor and Vex watching her from above. She pulls out her dagger and heads for them, but stops when she hears Boreal's roar. Kataru leaps out in front Akita and growls at Boreal.) Kataru! (Kataru scratches its wings and it screeches, flying away to take another blow at him.) Kataru! Run! Please. (Akita runs to him, but Boreal froze the ground and Kataru blocked Akita, covering Kataru with ice and snow.) No. Kataru. (She clutches the snow.) Kataru! (Tears spill out as she turns to see the Ice Emperor, Vex, and Boreal leave, satisfied. She walks through the frozen village and into the forest. Flashback ends.)
Akita: I walked out of the village and never looked back. I will not return again until Vex and his master, the Ice Emperor, are brought to justice.
Lloyd: I had no idea.
Akita: Now you know.
Lloyd: The Ice Emperor captured my friend, Zane. I'm going to get him back. Which means you and I, we're on the same quest.
Akita: Not the same. (She pulls her dagger from behind.) You seek to rescue your friend. (She takes the dagger out of its sheath.) I seek revenge.
(End of episode. For more information, click here.)