That's right! Brenda is back! Only this is a completely different story, so she'll be a little different. I changed her name because one of my friends pointed out that it didn't fit with the culture she was born into. That kinda slipped my mind before hand. Also, my last story wasn't as good as I would have liked. I guess that was because I didn't have a really fun character to write with. So, just to get this straight, this is not a self insert. I'm also doing this with Zuko's aunt because she is so fun to write. I realized this when I was RPing with her. Also, this takes place instead of 'The Chase'.
Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender . . . yet.
A sigh escaped crimson lips as the owner leaned back in her chair. The owner, a teenage woman, reached up with one alabaster hand and brushed back curly midnight black hair. Her bangs were grown passed her chin most of them were kept up in a braid that circled the rest of her hair and acted as a ribbon to keep up the hair in the strange ponytail, but on the far right side, out of the way of her eyes, her long bangs were allowed to be free. In her hair rested a red comb in the shape of a flame. The woman crossed her legs, making her kimono shift. The flames etched all over it danced wildly in the light provided by the fire surrounding her in the room. Her obi was as black as her hair.
"Milady," A man in his thirties, with his blackish brown hair up in a traditional bun, came up to her and bowed. He wore Fire Nation armor. "there is someone here to see you." She raised a delicate eyebrow and looked down at the man with her golden eyes.
"Really now?" Her bored voice floated down to the man. "And why should I permit just anyone to enter?"
"Because I have great news for you, milady." A new voice entered the room as a man entered the room. He wore rags on his thin frame and had a strip of close covering his eyes. The woman narrowed her eyes and leaned forwards as the man in Fire Nation armor stood up and got into a fighting stance, prepared to defend his Lady.
"Who dares to enter my domain without permission?" She snarled at the man as the flame around her intensified to show her anger. The man in rags reached up and removed the cloth over his eyes. The man, a blind man, had what looked like burn marks around his eyes. The girl's rage died down and gave way to curiosity. "A blind man? Yet you have no escort to help you, no walking stick . . . what manner of trickery do you use to move about?" Once again her eyes narrowed. "Are you an earthbender? Is that how you move about? Seeing through the earth?" The man smiled and shook his head.
"Milady, I was born blind with these burn marks about my eyes." He explained to her.
"Why should that interest me?" Her demand was sharp and cold. "I do not wish to hear some sob story and take pity on a poor blind man." His smile never left his face, even while as she berated him.
"Milady, have you forgotten everything old master Chang taught you." The fire roared high to the ceiling at his words. She glared at him while clutching the armrests.
"How do you know who taught me legends? For my instructors safety, no one knew any of the people who taught me." She hissed. The man in Fire Nation armor glanced back his Lady but did not move from his stance. He would protect her with his life.
"I know because Agni took my eyes before I entered this world." The blind man answered. Her eyes widened as she stood up. With a wave of her hand, the fire parted to allow her to step down off of the chair.
"General Son, you are no longer needed." She whispered as she stepped off of the stairs and onto the ground.
"Milady?" Son asked, uncertain.
"You heard me!" She roared. The general nodded and bowed to her before leaving. She waited until he closed the great wooden doors to the room before she spoke again. "I remember now. Those gifted with foresight had their eyes taken from them by the Great Fire God, Agni. Burn marks around their eyes showed the world their gift." She whispered to herself. Once again her eyes narrowed. "What would a seer what with me? Why not go to my father, the Fire Lord?" She spat his title with disgust.
"Even with my gift of the future, I do not understand why you despise your father. It is not because he will not give you the title. You do not want it. I also do not understand why you have made your own palace atop this mountain and modeled it after the Fire Palace." Her eyes softened as she looked away.
". . . father's title does not interest me. He hates the fact that I'm a girl. In his eyes, my mother failed him. Besides, Iroh should be Fire Lord. Not only is he older, but he is far more worthy of the title. Yet I have no doubt that Ozai has some trick up his sleeve so that he will rule." She looked back at the blind man, her eyes hardened and bored. "This war . . . it is boring." She waved her hand, as if to wave off her boredom. "I have only known war. I would like to know something other than war. If the Fire Nation wins, I will have nothing to do. But if we stop this war, then I will be able to do many things." She sighed and shook her head. "But that is wishful thinking. Besides, I like the Fire Palace, that is why I modeled my own palace after it. I picked a mountain because I knew my family would never bother me. Well, perhaps Iroh will but I do not mind him." She narrowed her amber eyes at him. "But you did not answer my question, why not go to my brothers or father, Azulon?"
"I have seen the future. I know that you are the best one to entrust my abilities to." She cocked her head to the side. "I want this war to end. Just like you. And your nephew is the key."
"Iroh's son, Lu Tin?" She thought for a moment before sighing. "He does not have the ability to bend very well. And as I said earlier, Ozai will no doubt do something to gain the title. He is a manipulator. And Ozai will kill as many wives as he needs to until he gets a son." The teenager sighed and turned away from the blind man. "My brother Ozai is power hungry and ruthless."
"Iroh's child shall not be the key. Zuko will." She turned back to the seer, confused with his words.
"Who is Zuko?" She asked, lost.
"Zuko will be the banished prince of the Fire Nation. Zuko will be your nephew, son of Ozai." He answered with a smile. The teen raised her eyebrow again.
"Banished?" The seer answered her question with a nod. "Why?"
"Because, he, like Iroh and you, has a heart." Her eyes hardened at his words.
"Me? A heart? I am not a spineless fool such as those pathetic Air Nomads!" The seer did not flinch at her outburst. Rather, he calmly waited for her to finish. "I am the Princess of the Fire Nation! At 15 I have overseen the destruction of hundreds of villages! My father made sure that I would not be some soft hearted idiot! Just because I grow tired of this war does not mean I am willing to let the Fire Nation lose!" The fire had scorched the ceiling at this point. "So don't you dare say that-" The seer interrupted her.
"I merely said you had a heart. Never once did I say you were soft hearted." The fire lowered slightly but it was still high. "There is a way for you to experience something other than war. Should Prince Zuko have something special when the Avatar reawakens, then the Fire Nation with neither lose, nor win."
"Something . . . special?" She repeated in a low voice as the fire dropped back to its normal height. "What are you talking about?"
"You remember what old Chang said of the Shakaku, correct?" She let out a gasp at the mention of the Shakaku. Covering her mouth in shock, the teen barely stopped herself from taking a step back. "I see that you do remember. Surprising, considering that you never paid attention to anything Chang said."
"How could I not remember the Shakaku?" She asked in a tiny voice. "A Shakaku . . . it's power . . . if it were real . . ."
"Aw, but they are real." The seer uttered. Her eyes widened and shook as this time she did take a step back.
"I-impossible!" He laughed at her response to his words.
"Impossible, milady? No, merely difficult to find the correct people for one. Without a seer, you could never find all the people you need. After all, if the Fire Lord knew of those people, they would be put to work to create many Shakaku." Finally, she seemed to gain back her courage. Suspicion arose in her golden eyes.
"So what are you suggesting?"
"What I'm suggesting, milady, is that you stand in the shadows while all the events of Zuko's life take place. Only when Ozai orders the capture of Zuko can you interfere." Once again, she narrowed those golden eyes of hers.
"Stand in the shadows? Like I would ever do that. It's boring and I do detest boring things." The seer laughed, startling her. She stared at him, confused and suspicious. This man was not normal, forgoing his ability to see the future, that is. "What now?"
"Milady, I meant for you to show love towards Zuko but do not interfere with him. Keep contact with him as minimal as possible until the time is right. Then, you may strike at Ozai. Strike at the heart of the War. Strike with a Shakaku in your hand." He seemed to sense her surprised expression. "Milady, go into the Fire Navy. You have the tactical mind to go far in it. Also, you are a master at swordsmanship and firebending. You will go far in life. In ten years, I will see you again. I will bring with me your Shakaku, Houka." He turned to leave as he began to cover up his eyes with the strip of cloth but paused for a moment. "I suggest making sure Prince Zuko has your skill with a sword." As he left, General Son came into the room. He noticed her staring up at the flames that surrounded her chair.
"Is everything alright, milady?" A smirk came to her lips as she turned around.
"Everything is perfect, General." She began to walk towards the door.
"Milady? Where are you going?" Son asked, causing her to stop and turn to face him. A cold and calculating smile rested upon her face.
"General Son . . . you have been ordered to take care of me since I was a child, correct?" Confused, the man nodded at her question. "I think it is time you have a nice retirement." Her statement confused General Son even more.
"Milady, with all do respect, I must decline. Your father entrusted me with your safety. I can only retire should you enter the Fire Army or Navy. You have said both were too boring to be of any use to you." She nodded more to herself than to him as she recalled saying that many times.
"I am well aware of that. However, I've had a change of heart. I think I will enter the Fire Navy." Startled, Son looked at her as she turned away from him. "I trust you will keep everything that has occurred here a secret."
"No, I'm not your lady anymore." She shook her head. "I am Amaya, a mere daughter of fire."
Amaya steadied her horse as it reared up with a 'neigh'. Her unique hairstyle was still the same. A black cape flared out behind her as her horse stomped the ground as it's front legs came back to the earth and she balanced herself with her armor on. She drew her sword and turned to the massive regiment behind her. Their ship was docked, heavily damaged as the earth rumbled. A hill was all that separated them from a small army of earthbenders. Catapults launched fireball after fireball at the earthbenders, only slowing them down.
"Men, we have fought together and sailed together." Amaya called out as her horse stomped the ground. "Trust me now, as I am your Commander!" The soldiers waited for her to continue. "I will not lie. They say we are at a disadvantage because this is not a sea battle! And, unfortunately, we just might be." A mummer with through the crowd. Was she giving up? Was she asking them to surrender? "But I say no! We are sons and daughters of Fire! Agni shall not let some rock throwing savages stop us!" Her horse reared up once again as she shouted while swinging her sword up into the air. A roar of agreement met her ears. "Today, we show everyone that merely because we fight on the sea does not mean we cannot fight on land! Today, you show the world your valor, your merit. I do not question it, because I find you to be the best men and women I've yet to see. I do not question it because I know that each and everyone of you are capable of winning." A roar went up into the air, fist rammed up to the sky in a show of loyalty. "But they," Amaya pointed her sword over the hill, to where the earthbending army was. "they question your valor! Your merit! They question your love of your nation! Do not fight for me, but for the Fire Nation!" Another roar greeted her as she turned her horse around and kicked its sides. "To battle!" Amaya rode off into the battle.
"To battle!" Echoed her soldiers. The men and women under her command followed her out, over the hill. The earthbenders were startled that so many Fire Nation soldiers would rush out, over a hill to their deaths. Fire and earth collided. People were crushed while others were burned alive. But amongst it all, Amaya did not back down. She beheaded many soldiers, taking them by surprise by charging at them. After the initial shock wore off, Amaya's horse had the ground open up on it. However, the Commander saw the ground crack and leaped from her horse as it was swallowed up by the earth. She was on her feet in an instant with her sword ready. An earthbender sent a column of rocks at her, to which she barely dodged. As she turned she let out a huge wave of fire, burning several people around her. A movement in the corner of her eye made her flip up int the air, avoiding a boulder that would have crushed her otherwise. Amaya landed and kicked out behind her, scarring with flames the man who had sent out the boulder to harm her.
Amaya dropped down into a deep stance and moved her arms through the air quickly before letting out a huge bolt of lightning. As fast as she could, Amaya sent bolt after bolt in all directions, careful to avoid hitting her soldiers. The Fire Nation Princess bent back and narrowly missed another boulder. She took her sword and stabbed one man while kicking back, engulfing another in flames. As she began to pull her sword out, another movement caught her eyes. She had to let go of the sword as she jumped back, away. The earth opened up where she had stood. She watched as the body of the earthbender fell into the opened earth along with her sword. A snarl worked its way onto her face as she snapped her head in the direction of the people who opened the earth. A man stood there, a smirk on his face.
"Well, it looks like I'll be the lucky one to kill Lady Amaya of the Fire Nation." Electricity crackled around her hands as she dropped into a fighting stance. "What, no words? And I heard you were so good at speeches." He mocked her. A dangerous thing to do.
"Wiping that smile off your face just might make up for the loss of that sword." She hissed before punching out, sending out balls of lightning instead of fire. She kicked at him, an arch of fire following the lightning. He dropped down into his own stance and moved his arms up in an arch, bringing up a wall of rock to block her attacks. He waited behind the wall of rock but nothing happened. Slowly, he lowered the rock to look at her only to find her missing. He looked around frantically but could not find her. He never looked up in time to see her coming down from the sky towards him with a foot arms towards him. A sudden force on the back of his neck was the last thing he felt before his neck snapped, causing him to fall to the ground, dead. Amaya landed and glared at the dead man. "That was my father's sword." She growled before looking back to the battle. She grimaced when she saw the carnage. The battle was only halfway done and plenty were dead on both sides. Sighing, Amaya charged back into battle, refusing to give up. She had sworn not to lose her men. Should a major loss like the one that was threatening her here occur, she could lose rank. She was not close to her brother Ozai and she doubt that he would give up the chance to make her life harder, like talking her father into demoting her.
"Commander!" Her head snapped to the left, golden eyes narrowing on a young soldier.
"What is it?" She demanded over the yells and moans of the dead. She rose an eyebrow as she looked at the man. "Shouldn't you be guarding the ship?" Her voice was cold, making him start. She had left a small group behind to guard the ship. She was positive that he was one. He was young and inexperienced. She would have left him behind instead of throwing him into a battle like this.
"M-ma'am, there's a b-blind man wanting to see y-you!" He stuttered out.
"Now! Of all times!" Her anger made the young man even more nervous.
"H-he said he h-had something for y-you. Something called a H-Houka." Her eyes widened as a memory floated to the surface.
In ten years, I will see you again. I will bring with me your Shakaku, Houka.
". . . has it been ten years already?" She asked herself quietly. 'Yes . . . . yes it has been ten years.' Nodding, she looked off towards her ship. "Bring him to me! I cannot abandon my men, no matter what!" He nodded and hurried off to get the blind man. Abandoning her men, for whatever reason, would bring dishonor to her name. She was not some coward that waited until everyone else was dead before she would fight. No, Amaya fought with her men, earning their respect. She sighed as she looked over the battlefield once more before rushing into battle. She fought fiercely, several times getting hit with a rock or slashed at with a sword. However, for every injury she was dealt, she inflicted twenty more to the enemy. Amaya jumped back, a few strands of her hair being cut. The general that faced her had a sword with him. She glared at him before sending lightning and fire at him. He dodged and used rocks to block her attacks. She tried to get in close to finish him off in hand to hand combat but it failed. Panting heavily, Amaya tore off her black cape that was ragged and tattered. Throwing it to the side, the Commander waited calmly for him to make the next move. Second by second ticked by, bother listening to the sound of the other's breathing. They ignored the battle cries from their men. They ignored the pleas for mercy from their enemies. They ignored everything except each other. "So, are you going to stand around and stare all day?" She smirked as she mocked him.
"Did you not just kill my second in command for mocking?" He replied in an even tone. Her smirk grew.
"Well, it appears that you've been keeping an eye on me." She narrowed her eyes. "For something spur of the moment, such as a war ship docking in this harbor, you're pretty well organized." She circled him slowly as he began to circle her.
"You think this was spur of the moment? This is a harbor that war vessels often dock in after damage. We're just using that to our advantage. Not too hard to do. A crew comes back from battle, they aren't prepared for another fight. Especially on land. It help us eliminate fire scum like you!" He punched and stomped, sending boulder after boulder at her. Amaya sidestep several of the boulders but one clipped her leg. Hissing in pain, Amaya jumped high up into the air. "You won't fool me with that!" He yelled as she came crashing down to the ground he had been standing on before he had jumped to the side. Fire followed her movements, encompassing the spot in fire. She glare up and let out a low growl. Amaya ran forward, pushing herself as fast as she could. However, a wall of rocks rose up, blocking her from her path. Backing up slowly, she narrowed her eyes in frustration.
"Commander!" She looked back, surprised as the young soldier came running up to her with the blind man following. The blind man from ten years ago clutched an object wrapped in cloth.
"Commander Amaya, call its name! It will only respond to you!" The blind man called. She could only stare at him in confusion. Why call its name? True, it was a Shakaku, but still, was it not an inanimate object? Amaya turned her head as she head the crumbling of rock. The wall had risen up even higher and was now closing in on her.
"Commander!" The soldier cried out in fear. Several of her soldiers started to rush to her side, desperate to save their commanding officer. The rocks began to fall towards her.
"Amaya, call it's name! Houka awaits you!" It was now or never.
So there you have it. What is a Shakaku? Why was Amaya so fearful of it? What does it do? And does calling this mysterious 'Houka' do anything other than make one look insane?