Show No Mercy

Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: The Last Airbender. Sadly enough.

Warnings: Speculation, Spoilers up to Season Three

AN: For Avatar_500 over on LJ. The prompt was #5: Tyrant.

Even a thousand years later, they still sing her praises. Avatar Yangchen. So great that there was peace for an entire generation after her death. No war. No bloodshed. No sorrow.

That's the legend. But the truth is a different matter. Is more about perception than actual fact.

The truth is the taste of copper on her tongue. It is the screams of the fallen in her ears. It is the fire roaring through Omashu and the king now kneeling at her feet. Begging for mercy. For amnesty. For even a scrap of pity.

But grey eyes are firm. Cold. Her stance is strong and her back unbending. Head held high and matted hair still dripping red.

The throne room looks as though a tornado ripped through only moments earlier. Stones are uneven and rumble beneath her feet. The far side smokes with embers flickering dangerously. Water trickles along rock to pool by two walls. The air is heavy and weighted, and the only place it moves freely is around her in a light, playful breeze.

She is the Avatar. She is the world given form. Human but immortal inside with the knowledge and powers of ages lost. Peacekeeper incarnate and ready-made ruler with a kingdom beyond imagining.

And this man dares threaten that. Dares defy her and rise above his place. Dares create chaos where there should only be order.

There is no forgiveness. Not now. Not here. And not with her.

It's easy and relatively painless. She merely calls free the air from his lungs and watches dispassionately as he struggles and then blacks out. Just watches as he collapses to the floor and lies still. As she feels his spirit pull free and fly away.

Her face is blank. Eyes unwavering. There's nothing but grim satisfaction for a task completed.

And his body is already cooling as she strides forward to sit on his throne and stare out at the smoldering city.

Ever Hopeful,