For those who saw Avatar today and a few weeks back, there's a LOT of debate about the fate of the Kyoshi Warrior Suki and her fellow warriors. A lot of people think Azula and her teammates killed Suki, others think that Suki escaped, still others (myself included) think she and her teammates have been captured. When Azula and her two friends showed up in Kyoshi warrior garb, I began to get an idea, and I hope that idea turns out to be true. This is my vision for what I think (and hope!!!) may have happened to Suki.
The past few days had been hell for the leader of the Kyoshi Warriors. Fear, anger, humiliation, Suki had experienced all those things and more. It was the kind of experience that years of difficult training was supposed to prepare someone for, but nothing could've prepared Suki for the brutal week that she had spent as Azula's captive.
After she and her warriors had been defeated by Azula and her two companions, Suki had fallen unconscious. She couldn't remember whether it had been an accident during the course of the battle, or if she had been intentionally knocked out after the battle had ended, but when she awoke, she was being marched forward at swordpoint, her sight blocked out by a thick blindfold. She could not see her fellow Kyoshi warriors, but she could hear them... their groans and cries muffled by what Suki guessed were cleave-gags identical to the one that had been tied in her own mouth as well.
For seven days, this had been the story of her existence. Marched forward in the day, and occasionally at night, her arms bound brutally tightly behind her back, her legs left free so that she could march, her gag lowered only so that she could be force-fed stale bread and drink water of varying qualities from whatever river, or lake, or stream she and her captors happened to be close to at the time. The only time that her bonds were ever completely removed was so that she could use the bathroom, under the threat that her fellow warriors would be burned alive should she attempt an escape.
On the seventh night of her captivity, she again found herself alone, separated from the other Kyoshi warriors, though very occasionally, she could hear a muted sob coming from one of the nearby tents. The decorative facepaint, which she and the other girls wore into battle, had been wiped clean from her face. Her blindfold had been removed, though her gag remained, a foul-tasting cloth tied between her lips. Her arms were crossed behind her back, secured with thick, coarse rope, with more rope around her chest to keep her arms pinned firmly to her back. She was on her knees, as her thighs and ankles had been bound as well, and as she felt the cool night air blow into the tent she was being kept in, she shivered and was again reminded of another factor of her captivity, one which served to greatly compound her humiliation.
Suki, along with the other Kyoshi Warriors, had been stripped. Not entirely, as in Suki's case, she did have white cloth wrapped tightly around her chest, and a white, linen cloth that went around her waist and passed between her legs. Still, the fact that her Fire Nation captors had chosen to dishonor Suki and her fellow warriors this way was just another reason why the eldest Kyoshi Warrior knew that she had to find some way to escape.
It wasn't as if she hadn't been trying. She'd worked at the bonds securing her wrists until the skin underneath had been rubbed just about raw, and three nights ago, had attempted to escape her tent at night, even bound and gagged as she was. She had hopped out of her tent and had used a series of deft, acrobatic flips and kicks to take out the two guards stationed nearby, but had been stopped cold by one touch from the equally-acrobatic Ty Lee, who, with one jab to the back of the leg, had brought the proud female warrior to her knees, and with one more jab, to the back of Suki's neck, knocked her out cold.
So it had been for the past week, a week of pain, shame, and despair. She could only imagine that her fellow warriors were suffering just as much as she was, which only served to make Suki suffer even more, because of all the thoughts going through her mind for the past week, one kept replaying, over and over, haunting her every waking moment, and her dreams as well.
"I let them down..."
A tear began to form in Suki's left eye, and though she did everything she could to keep it from falling, clenching her fists and biting down on the cloth in her mouth, the teardrop found its way down the side of her dirt-streaked face, falling softly to the ground below. She bowed her head and cursed herself for being this weak... a proud Kyoshi Warrior, brought to tears by the enemy... she was a complete disgrace. She'd failed her village, she'd failed her friends, and she'd failed herself.
The flaps of the tent parted, causing Suki to quickly raise her head. What she saw next amazed her... and for one brief moment, she felt a great joy. A Kyoshi Warrior, green dress, white facepaint, helmet and all, was entering the tent, and her thoughts immediately changed, her shame and sadness melting into hope.
"They've gotten free! I can't believe it, but-"
As soon as the warrior's mouth opened, Suki's hope was shattered, for from the warrior's lips came a voice that had been Suki's constant tormentor... a voice that symbolized the very fear and pain that she and the other warriors had been going through ever since their defeat and capture.
It was the voice of Azula, princess of the Fire Nation.
"So, how do I look? From the look on your face, it must be pretty convincing... to think, my disguise even fooled the Kyoshi leader herself."
Suki let out a muffled groan, her fists clenching tightly behind her. After all she and her fellow warriors had suffered, seeing her captor in the traditional garb of the Kyoshi Warriors was an even further dishonor, and she again found herself having to fight away the tears that were quickly coming to her eyes. As Azula arrogantly strode toward Suki, her hands on her hips, the bound warrior looked straight into her captor's eyes, not backing down even for a second. She couldn't show even one sign of fear... not now... not ever. Azula came forward until she was just two feet away from her captive, and began to speak once more.
"Our plan is simple... we're going to infiltrate the city of Ba Sing Se, posing as Kyoshi Warriors in order to gain an audience with the king. Once we're inside, we'll destroy the city from within."
Suki continued to growl, her teeth biting down into the cloth tied between her lips. After a few seconds, Azula began to speak again.
"I'm sure your friends inside the city will be happy to see us... Aang, Katara, Sokka..."
The mention of Sokka's name sent a chill through Suki's spine, and her eyes went wide. Throughout the terrible week of captivity Suki had been forced to endure, the thought of Sokka had been like a ray of hope... and though she was a proud, strong Kyoshi Warrior, she still hoped that somehow, someway, Sokka would come to her rescue. Now, the thought of Azula and her companions, under the guise of Kyoshi Warriors, harming Sokka and his friends... it was too much for Suki to bear. She screamed out a series of curses, muffled by her gag but still very much audible. Azula's smile grew wider, and she leaned in close to Suki, her face just inches from her captive's.
"Oh, did I strike a nerve? Don't worry, I'll be sure to tell Sokka that you said hi."
Suki had had enough. Gathering her strength, she reared back her head and threw her body foreward, attempting to strike Azula with a headbutt. The fire nation princess simply stepped back, avoiding the attack and causing Suki to fall forward, her face impacting hard into the dirt floor of the tent. Immediately, Azula pressed her right foot down hard on the back of Suki's head, keeping her captive's face planted firmly in the dirt floor.
"Listen, bitch..." Azula said viciously, clenching her teeth and pressing Suki's face even deeper into the dirt. "The only reason that you and your slut friends are even still alive is because if by some miracle, the Avatar and his friends manage to stop our plans, we'll still be able to use you and the other girls as bargaining chips to get the Avatar to do whatever we want."
After several more seconds, she lifted her foot, allowing Suki to raise her head from the dirt. Immediately after she did, Azula struck her with a powerful kick, right across the bridge of her nose. The kick was so powerful that it sent Suki flying backward, landing hard on her back and causing a stream of blood to begin trickling from her nose. As Suki struggled to catch her breath, Azula casually turned and left the tent, leaving the captive Kyoshi leader alone with her thoughts.
Suki sat up and again found herself struggling to keep from breaking out into tears. She bowed her head and watched as droplets of blood from her nose landed on her lap, staining the cloth undergarments around her waist that concealed her modesty.
"Sokka and his friends are going to be in danger... and it's all because I wasn't strong enough to fight Azula... it's all my fault... it's all my..."
Suki gritted her teeth into the cloth and began trembling, letting out a single sob before slowly shaking her head. She lifted up her chin and stared forward, straight at the tent flap through which Azula had exited just moments ago.
"I won't let this happen... I won't let Sokka or the Avatar be placed in danger, I won't let my Kyoshi sisters suffer any longer!"
Suki's spirit had been bent, torn, twisted, assaulted fiercely by her captors... but it had not been broken. She was alive, and she could still fight... and fight she would, with every ounce of strength she had.
"I don't want you to come save me, Sokka... I'm coming to save you."
And with raw wrists and fierce determination, Suki began once more to struggle against her bonds.