Katara is silent.
A gaggle of maids surrounds her, puffing, primping, and powdering her to the point where she is almost unrecognizable. One fusses with her dress, two more are doing up her hair, and five or six have been waging war over how to make up her face.
"It brings out her eyes," one insists.
"It makes her look like a street urchin," another replies, rolling her eyes. "With such a dark complexion, we need a softer color, like--"
Suddenly, the maids fall silent. "Princess Azula!"
"Fire Lord Azula," she corrects icily. "And you may go now."
"Excuse me, m'lady, but--"
A narrowing of the eyes. "I gave an order, didn't I?"
"Pardon me--" the maid looks somewhat cowed-- "but we aren't done, m'lady."
"Really?" A slow, dangerous smile spreads across Azula's face. "She looks fine to me. Very...pretty. And Katara doesn't want to be fussed at anymore, now does she?"
Katara turns glassy eyes on Azula and shakes her head.
"There, you see? Now...I believe you have some preparations to take care of. I expect a grand wedding." The maids scurry off. Azula cups Katara's chin in her hand, drawing one finger appraisingly across the other girl's cheek. "Won't that be nice...Princess Katara?"
Toph is blind.
A boat, she is told, in the middle of Fire Nation-controlled waters. Fueled by wood--the new Fire Lord takes no chances.
"Hello!" It is a voice that has become painfully familiar to Toph. "Do you know where your friend is, by the way? The one with the ponytail? I'd like to see him."
Toph doesn't answer.
"I guess not, huh? That's too bad. I won't be able to see you for a while, either. There's a wedding going on, and Azula insisted I attend..."
Silence. Ty Lee carefully opens her mouth and spoons something in. Toph swallows without protest. It's not like she's going to be able to get out of here any time soon, anyway.
"I wish you could come," Ty Lee adds wistfully. "I'm sure the bride would like to see you there, too. Oh, well. See you!"
The door slams behind her. Toph follows the sound of her footprints desperately, trying to escape, if only for an instant, the horrible feeling of darkness.
Mai is waiting.
Outside the window, Zuko walks slowly up to the stand. An executioner stands at the top of the steps, axe in hand.
The window is open. She must have opened it. How strange. All of a sudden, her knives seem heavy by her sides.
The executioner motions for Zuko to place his head on the stand--
In one swift motion--so fast she doesn't realize what she's doing until it's over--she throws the knife. It hits its target perfectly.
Bonds slashed., Zuko runs into the forest. Mai walks slowly back to her room, as if nothing had happened. She's still not sure anything did.
Sokka is running.
As it turns out, Ty Lee's interest in him is not just idle curiosity. He is being hunted.
Funny how, when he was traveling with Aang and Katara and Toph, he'd always complained about not having a wanted poster. Now he does.
Casting his hood tighter around him, he cranes to listen to a nearby conversation.
"Kyoshi Island..." the man whispers. "Expect they'll move in...warships in the area..."
Sokka stands up. It would be best, he decides, for him to pay a little visit to someone.
Aang is sleeping.
A breathing tube is attached to his nose; his mouth, arms and legs are all tightly bound.
Whoever captured him has taken care to make sure he won't get away.
Here, he will live out the rest of his days.