Fire...Earth...Water...Air...

Seven years ago, the world came to an end. And a new one began where that one left off. After the Avatar defeated my father, Fire Lord Ozai, my brother Zuko assumed the throne. After near war with the Earth Kingdom and the escape and capture of my Father, things on the surface look calm. But there is a war going on in the shadows. It's time to see once and for all if our nation can be held up to the flame.

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What a surprise
Author Message
_Katara


Posts: N/A
#1
What a surprise
Katara smiled as she made her way down the main street of Caldera City, having decided to have a look through the city she hadn’t seen for almost half a year, having decided to top by and have a look at all the busy shops on her way up to meet Aang at the palace, having not wanted to interfere with the business he had to discuss with Zuko.
She smiled a purchased herself a dumpling, smiling at the warm delicacy she hadn’t had since last time she was in the Fire Nation with Aang. Katara made her way slowly up to the palace as she ate her dumplings, avoiding all the looks she got for being Water Tribe, use to it by now.

Katara smiled as she made her way up to the palace doors, informing the guard “I’m just going to go up and wait for Avatar Aang, he has a meeting with the Fire Lord” she explained, the guard nodding before he stepped aside and let her in as she thanked him, making her way up to the garden to wait for Aang, smiling as she sat down by the small stream, gently pushing and pulling the water infront of her as she amused herself, just waiting for Aang to come down and let her know it was time for them to go.
10-21-2012, 11:58 PM


Fire Nation
Bender
Fire
Kesra
Posts: 524
The Harvest Lights Festival
#2
What a surprise
The peasant wasn't alone.

It had been her request that her presence not be widely known. At least not yet. Zuko was warned that she would likely pop in from time to time. But in doing so, she would avoid being seen by anyone she could. Hopefully he wouldn't go back on his word in keeping her current state of mortality a secret. She wasn't certain what she wanted to do just yet and revealing herself to be alive would take away that safety net. Not something she was ready for.

Then again, there was this prickling in the back of her mind that kept drawing her back to the palace. She couldn't say that she was happy there. Maybe everything just seemed easier to push back in her childhood home. It was a strange sense of being content that she couldn't get anywhere else.

She heard the splashing of water not too far away. Not wanting to make herself well known, she had taken to sitting up in the tree over the pond. It wasn't ideal...nor the slightest bit comfortable but it reduced the chance of her getting seen by anyone around. She looked down to see very wavy dark brown hair. She knew that one. That was the peasant that had defeated her. What was her name again? Kyla? Kanna? Who cares?

Azula waited for a familiar sense of rage to come over her but it just wasn't there.Try as she would, there just wasn't any hate for the girl. Maybe it had been because she had simply been beaten. It was a war and someone had to win. It wasn't the turn of events she had been expecting but then again she was more or less out of her mind at the time. And she didn't even need to cheat to do it. Good for her.

This would be the time to find out if Zuko kept his promise. If he hadn't even told his little friends of her current status. Of course once the peasant found out, was she going to blab? No. She was soft and motherly. If she could be convinced Zuko was in on this, she might not tell. Only one way to find out.

"I was unaware Peasants were being granted access to the gardens. What a strange new world."
[Image: 28qpzev.jpg]
Art in signature by Kelly1412 Used with permission.

I've been around the world and never in my wildest dreams
Would I come running home to you.
I've told a million lies but now I'll tell a single truth
There's you in everything I do.
Remember when I told you that's the last you'd see of me?
Remember when I broke you down to tears?
I know I took the path that you would never want for me.
I gave you through hell through all these years.
But now I bet my life on you.

10-23-2012, 01:49 AM
.find.
_Katara


Posts: N/A
#3
What a surprise
Katara looked around when she heard a voice, her brow furrowing as she thought she recognised the voice, though she wasn't sure and was confused. The voice belonged to someone, someone she knew, but someone she knew was dead and had been dead a while.

"Hello?" Katara asked as she looked around in confusion and a little fear as she tried to find the source of the voice, though there was no one in the garden. She pulled herself to her feet wearily, pulling a stream of water up and into her hand out of habit, on alert after not seeing the source of the voice.

"A... Azula?" Katara asked in confusion, sure that there wasn't going to be a reply to her question, sure that there was no way the girl could be there. She was dead. Katara had read all about the crash in the paper, and if the fire nation's princess had been alive Zuko would have told Aang who would have warned her before they left for the Fire Nation, but at the same time, she didn't know anyone else who would comment on her being in the garden, or comment that she was a peasant, after all, she was a master waterbender who had helped the Avatar save the world, in addition to being one of the Fire Lord and Avatar's friend.

"Where are you?" Katara asked on guard, fear and anger filling her, unable to forgive or forget Azula almost killing Aang. She looked around, worried when she still couldn't see anyone in the garden until she looked up the tree, her eyes going wide before they trained on Azula, her hand tightening it's control on the water that was being held there.

"I thought you were dead" Katara announced as she took a deep breath, not knowing what to say "Everyone did. Does Zuko know you're here?" she asked, her eyes not leaving the woman the world thought was dead, not feeling safe in her presence, sure that she was not going to feel safe in the palace for quiet a time to come. "What are you doing here?"
10-23-2012, 02:33 AM


Fire Nation
Bender
Fire
Kesra
Posts: 524
The Harvest Lights Festival
#4
What a surprise
Azula's legs slid from the branch she was sitting on. Her back had been getting stiff from the awkward position anyways. Pushing off with the back of her feet, she slid down from where she had been sitting and landed a few inches away from the tree. She leaned back against it crossing her arms. She knew that she and the peasant were roughly the same age. Karana? No. That wasn't it.

"Relax. The war is over. There would be nothing to gain by killing you. Except perhaps a fully realized Avatar hunting me down and taking what bending I have left. No thank you." Azula leaned her head back to look up through the branches. She probably could have remained hidden there all day without anyone noticing. Why was she feeling these constant compulsions to let people know she was alive? Certainly life would be far easier if she'd let them go on thinking she was dead. "Besides, if I wanted to kill you I would have already done so. Killing you doesn't make my life better in any way. You'll have to forgive me if you were hoping for a revenge duel or whatever."

"Zuzu knows I'm here. Well not at the moment but he knows I'll be around. Nice to see he kept his word by keeping his mouth shut. In fact, I would appreciate it if you do the same. I will officially come back from the dead when I'm ready to."

"As for what I'm doing here, this is my home. These are the gardens I played in as a little girl. I lost my first tooth where you are standing. I dislocated my shoulder falling from this tree." She pointed to the fountain. "I pushed my brother into that fountain on more occasions than I can count." She pointed to another tree. "That's where I hid and listened to Mother sing to Zuko. I'm more entitled to be here than you are."
[Image: 28qpzev.jpg]
Art in signature by Kelly1412 Used with permission.

I've been around the world and never in my wildest dreams
Would I come running home to you.
I've told a million lies but now I'll tell a single truth
There's you in everything I do.
Remember when I told you that's the last you'd see of me?
Remember when I broke you down to tears?
I know I took the path that you would never want for me.
I gave you through hell through all these years.
But now I bet my life on you.

10-23-2012, 03:26 AM
.find.
_Katara


Posts: N/A
#5
What a surprise
Katara watched Azula as she jumped down out of the tree, her eyes not leaving the girl as she didn't trust her as far as she could throw her. "Doesn't mean I trust you" Katara answered when Azula told her that there would be nothing to gain by killing her "And if you were going to kill me, you would tell me you weren't going to" she reminded her.

"I would rather you were never here to start with" Katara answered when Azula asked her if she was hoping for a rematch of their last duel "And you're forgetting that I kicked your arse during our last duel" she reminded her with a small frown, still watching her carefully.

Katara frowned when she heard from Azula that Zuko knew that she was alive, angry that he hadn't thought to let Aang know that his crazed sister was back, worried about what damage Azula may do while she was around, that she might try to hurt someone, or start a resistance from under their own noses. She shook her head at her request. "No way" she said with a angry frown "There is no way I am keeping this from Avatar Aang" she told her with a glare, knowing that there was no way she was hiding this from Aang or any of her friends, especially when she knew how powerful and dangerous the girl could be.

Katara frowned at Azula's words "I was invited here" she reminded her "If you haven't noticed your brother is the Fire Lord, who happens to be my friend, who is meeting with my boyfriend the Avatar" she reminded the girl, unable to hide how much anger she had for the girl, how much she disliked her. "An Avatar who will be interested to hear that you're not dead and not safely in a mental institution" she pointed out with a frown, sure that it was safer for not only Azula, but everyone else to have the mentally challenged woman in a mental institute.
10-23-2012, 04:10 AM


Fire Nation
Bender
Fire
Kesra
Posts: 524
The Harvest Lights Festival
#6
What a surprise
"I don't want nor need your trust." Azula shrugged. "Zuko, for whatever reason, doesn't seem to think my existence is a problem and that's all that really matters."

Azula pushed herself up from the tree and started to walk around the pond. Her steps were careful, glancing to make sure she wouldn't step on anything. As she made this short walk, she took note of who all was in the gardens. No one but a guard posted at the door. The Avatar didn't seem to be in here.

"Don't pretend you can start predicting what I'm up to now. You couldn't before and that's why I had you on such alert during the war. Sure, I was eventually defeated but that was after how many times I managed to defeat your entire team? You won due to Father's poor planning and my instability. But who am I to judge? It won the war didn't it? Good for you. But even you must know if I wanted you dead, I wouldn't say anything at all. I would just strike. Otherwise would be inefficient. What kind of half wit do you think I am?"

Azula paused on the other side of the pond as something caught her eye. It was a gold strand laying partially covered by the mud. She reaced down to pick it up, rinsing it off in the pond.

"Huh. I lost this years ago." She turned partially to set it on the bench. "But since you seem to be under the impression that being the girlfriend of the Avatar means you need to have some kind of approval, if you can't trust me trust Zuko.

"But if that isn't enough, let me fill you in on what you CAN trust. First, there isn't a clear line of succession. If something happens to Zuko, unless he specifically mentions that the throne is to fall to me it will be up between myself, Uncle, and whatever noble is bold enough to think he is fit to step in for the the bloodline. I'm unlikely to get support but the political landscape of the Fire Nation would be divided. The Avatar would be able to step in of course but the damage would be done and that would leave the Fire Nation vulnerable to attack. I don't know if you've noticed but the Fire Nation made quite a few enemies over the last century or so.

"Second, I've been out for four years and somehow I've not managed to burn anything to the ground. I don't know if you realize this but I was acting under orders during the war. Sure I took a few liberties and I had a great time but my service was to the Fire Nation. It was always to the Fire Nation. If you're going to hold my war crimes against me, you're going to have to hold Zuko's war crimes against him. After all, he was just as bad as I am before he switched sides. And Mai's war crimes against her. And Ty Lee's war crimes against her. And let's talk about all of the soldiers that fell at the hands of your little team. The fathers that never came home. No one that participated in that war walked away with clean hands. I'm just more open about it.

"And third, I'm not going back to that facility. You would be amazed at the measures I would take to not go back to that place." Azula brought her arms up above her head to stretch.

"Last, but not least, the only reason you know I'm here at all is because I chose to reveal myself. I could have stayed in that tree all day and no one here would have been any wiser. I've already demonstrated to Zuko that if I had any interest in killing him, I would have done so. Ask him about it.

"In fact, that's why I'm here. I'm not doing the plotting but someone else is." Azula held up a scroll. "I came to speak to Zuzu but he's in a meeting with the Avatar. This is a message I received asking how much it would cost for me to sneak in to poison the Fire Lord. I've been working as a mercenary in case you were wondering. By the way, you're welcome for that anonymous note detailing Yu Dao conspirators I sent a couple years ago. I trust it was enough evidence to make the arrests?"
[Image: 28qpzev.jpg]
Art in signature by Kelly1412 Used with permission.

I've been around the world and never in my wildest dreams
Would I come running home to you.
I've told a million lies but now I'll tell a single truth
There's you in everything I do.
Remember when I told you that's the last you'd see of me?
Remember when I broke you down to tears?
I know I took the path that you would never want for me.
I gave you through hell through all these years.
But now I bet my life on you.

10-23-2012, 01:06 PM
.find.
_Katara


Posts: N/A
#7
What a surprise
Katara watched Azula closely, the girl’s words winding her up, making Katara angry at her and she couldn’t help but stand there and engage with her, even when she knew in her head that leaving and finding Aang, going and telling him what was going on would be a smarter idea than standing there arguing with Azula and letting her wind her up, shaking her head a little at the girls words. “No. You just got in the way” Katara disagreed with a frown, not knowing why she was bothering to engage in conversation “You did nothing but delay us. We were doing what was right” she told her, on alert when Azula bent down, almost relieved when she sat a small gold something on the bench, unable to make out what it was from where she was standing.

Katara frowned in anger at Azula’s accusation that she needed approval because she was the Avatar’s girlfriend, anger filling her as she disagreed “I don’t need Aang’s approval for anything” she disagreed “However I do have an open and honest relationship with him, something I’m sure you don’t know about, so I’ll fill you in” Katara taunted Azula. “It means Aang and I don’t keep secret from each other. It means you can be sure that in an hours time Avatar Aang will know you’re alive” she assured the girl, though she was quickly frowning at Azula’s explanation of the political landscape of the Fire Nation. “I wonder why?” Katara asked sarcastically when Azula pointed out that the Fire Nation had acquired a number of enemies over the last century.

“You know as well as I do biding your time is a better strategy than running around burning things to the ground when you’re suppose to be dead” Katara reminded Azula, a small smile playing on her lips “It’s the one we adopted after you had the world believe that Zuko killed Aang” she reminded her “Remember that one? Amazing what a little spirit water can do, isn’t it?” she asked. “Nothing was stopping you from doing the right thing” Katara disagreed with her “Nothing at all was stopping you from saying no, from leaving the Fire Nation when you were told to do the wrong thing. You enjoyed tracking us down, you found trying to kill us a game. I will never forget the way you laughed when you thought you had killed Aang. It was sick. You’re sick” she told her “We did what we had to do to restore peace, to stop people from dying. If we didn’t, there would still be people dying, there would be more and more people dying. A whole race was nearly entirely wiped out” she reminded Azula “The world was screwed over and you know it”

Katara frowned at Azula, shaking her head at the scroll, refusing to trust or be wound up by her anymore, refusing to let her play her silly mind games with her again. They had won the war. Things were peaceful again and things were going to stay that way. When Aang came out of his meeting they were going to leave and she could forget about Azula and get on with life. “Whatever Azula, I have better things to do with my time than engage with your petty games” Katara told her, turning as she left for the other side of the garden, sitting down as she pulled a ball of water towards her from the fountain, playing with it as it hovered in front of her, pushing and pulling the water in circles, trying to ignore Azula as she focused on the water, not wanting to give her the satisfaction of knowing she had gotten under her skin.
10-23-2012, 01:39 PM


Fire Nation
Bender
Fire
Kesra
Posts: 524
The Harvest Lights Festival
#8
What a surprise
Azula simply followed at a distance. She took care to make sure she remained in the open, scooping up the tiny gold chain as she walked. When she came to a stop, it was in an area free of trees or any other structure. She looked over the chain.

"Do you know what your problem is? You let pain tell you how to live your life. I'm providing information that would be useful to saving someone you call a friend and yet rather than at least taking the information, you storm off. I wish I could say I'm enjoying this little display of yours but I really don't care.

"Think about it. If I were really biding my time, do you think I would make my presence known? If you want to talk strategy, let's talk strategy. When the Avatar was thought to be dead, would it have done you any good to make his continued existence known before the day of Black Sun? No it wouldn't. You needed the tactical advantage of the Fire Nation thinking you demoralized and broken. Had you not accidently blurted out this discovery of yours to me in Ba Sing Se, it might have worked. Of course you can hardly be blamed. The Kyoshi Warrior disguise was a good one.

"My point is, you're not thinking things through. Regardless of whether I enjoyed it or not, why did I almost kill the Avatar? Because at the time he was an enemy to the Fire Nation. That was all that mattered. When I tried to kill you, you were an enemy of the Fire Nation. When I tried to kill Zuko, HE was an enemy of the Fire Nation. Are you noticing a theme here? None of you are enemies of the Fire Nation anymore.

"I'm not going to try to justify what I did. I don't care. I'm not suggesting you trust me. I'm suggesting you look at this logically. I've thought you many things. A nuisance, a filthy peasant, a bleeding heart, a pathetic idealist, a naive fool but never stupid. You're dismissing everything I have to say out of hurt feelings. They're cute, really. But they hinder you. Read the damn scroll."

Azula held the scroll in her open palm and flicked it toward the water tribe girl. Korrin? No. That's not her name. Arla?

"While I have you, this is going to bug me. What in the world is your name again? I want to say Koko?"
[Image: 28qpzev.jpg]
Art in signature by Kelly1412 Used with permission.

I've been around the world and never in my wildest dreams
Would I come running home to you.
I've told a million lies but now I'll tell a single truth
There's you in everything I do.
Remember when I told you that's the last you'd see of me?
Remember when I broke you down to tears?
I know I took the path that you would never want for me.
I gave you through hell through all these years.
But now I bet my life on you.

10-23-2012, 02:48 PM
.find.
_Katara


Posts: N/A
#9
What a surprise
“I wasn’t asking for your advice” Katara glared when Azula followed her, telling her that she let pain tell her how to live her life. “I’m not part of any political movement, and most defiantly not here in the Fire Nation. It’s your brother who you should be giving this information too, not me” she told her as Azula with half a glare “That’s why I assumed you were here” she reasoned “It can’t have been to see me, Aang and I didn’t know we were coming here ourselves until late last night” she pointed out.

“You could be trying to get us on side” Katara reasoned “Trying to lull us into a false sense of security. Trust isn’t something easy to gain but powerful to misuse” she reminded her with a frown “You can rest assured i don’t trust you at all” she promised “No one little bit. I will never trust you Azula” she promised.

Katara frowned at Azula’s words, anger filling her before she couldn’t help but burst out “But it was wrong. The Fire Nation was wrong. There never should have the 100 year war, and it never should have been made worse by people like you. We did what we had to do because you pushed us into a corner! Do you think any of us enjoyed going around and fighting with the Fire Nation?” Katara asked “The rest of us aren’t like you, we don’t take joy in making others suffer. Killing isn’t a sport or a game to us. We did what we did because it was right and if you had any ounce of moral sense you never would have done what you did” Katara accused her.

She shook her head when Azula threw the scroll in her direction, gripping it in her hand before she tucked it into her belt. “I don’t want it” she told her “I am not a political player in the Fire Nation, nor a member of the law enforcement force. I am here to wait for Aang, and I will give it to him when I see him because it is none of my business and I don’t want anything to do with any conflict going on” Katara told her, not wanting anything to do with Azula.

Katara looked as if someone had hit her when Azula asked her what her name was, in shock as anger coursed through her body. “You tried to kill me countless times however you still didn’t bother to learn my name?” Katara asked in anger, shaking her head as she stood and threw the ball of water she had been playing with at a tree. “Just leave me alone”
10-23-2012, 03:08 PM


Fire Nation
Bender
Fire
Kesra
Posts: 524
The Harvest Lights Festival
#10
What a surprise
"I thought Zuko's well being might be important to you. Apparently not. You involved yourself in our politics the moment you decided to ally yourself with the Avatar. They're just more friendly toward you now." Azula rolled her eyes at the little speech she gave. She supposed she should have expected the self righteous drivel. She made her way to one of the benches and sat down.

"Have you really so little faith in Good? I mean it doesn't matter to me either way. Morality really is more a matter of where you're standing, isn't it? Do you really think there is no chance I could ever be considered Good? Because if that's the case, you imply that Evil is stronger. Good is supposed to conquer all, isn't it? But enough morality. It's a completely human construct anyway." Azula rested her hands on the back edge of the bench. She wasn't sure why she was even still here. Why was she still talking to this peasant? It would probably be better to just wait in Zuko's war room. But this was an opportunity she wasn't going to get very often.

"I didn't make the war worse. From our point of view, people like you did. Want to know why the Northern Water tribe stayed safe as long as they did? It was because they built a wall around themselves. They were more concerned with protecting their own than they were at striking against us. If the idiot Zhao hadn't attacked their fortress, there was a good chance they would have remained untouched. Do you know why? It's because they weren't a threat to our power. They didn't have any interest in striking out but rather in protecting themselves and so we left them alone.

"That wasn't enough for the Southern Water Tribe. They felt the need to strike back. Which would have been a great plan had they actually stood a chance. But they were outnumbered and outmatched. Had they made the same choice as the Northern Water Tribe, they would have been left alone.

"I'm not saying this to anger you. You just seem the sort that would want to know why we did things the way that we did. You see it as evil. We, that is my father, myself, and two generations before me, saw it as protecting our interests. The war wasn't about power...though there was a lot of it. The war was about continuing Great Grandfather's legacy of sharing the greatness of our nation with the rest of the world. He thought that the Fire Nation was the greatest and the strongest of the nations and that all should be so lucky to be a part of it. That ideal got a little warped along the way but that was the original intention."
[Image: 28qpzev.jpg]
Art in signature by Kelly1412 Used with permission.

I've been around the world and never in my wildest dreams
Would I come running home to you.
I've told a million lies but now I'll tell a single truth
There's you in everything I do.
Remember when I told you that's the last you'd see of me?
Remember when I broke you down to tears?
I know I took the path that you would never want for me.
I gave you through hell through all these years.
But now I bet my life on you.

10-24-2012, 04:18 AM
.find.


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