AVATAR

The Children of Fire

Prologue

Azula knelt in the dark grimy reseses of her prison cell. Her mangles hair hung down over her eyes. Her arms were chained and pulled tight to the ceiling, restricting her movements. Her only clothes, tattered rags of a prison uniform. The only light in this room filtered through the grate of her six inch thick steel prison door.

The light in front of her door disappeared and reappeared each time a guard walked past, which they seemed to do often. Everyone wanted a glimpse of the once proud princess, reduced to nothing more than prison waste. Those worthless weaklings, such small minded creatures, no more than animals.

She hated them. She hated them all. Siding with her scab faced brother, Zuko, over her when she should be the Fire Lord. Azula hated those crietens who dared call themselves Fire Nation. She hated Zuko, and that water tribe peasent. She hated Mai and Ty Lee. She hated that bald headed Avatar. She wanted out of this prison. Someday she would escape, and she would kill them all! Scorch their bodies black and grind them to dust beneath her feet, followed soon by the whole planet.

These where the thoughts that kept Azula from completely losing her mind in here. In truth, she had little to no hope of ever escaping. Deep down, she knew this. Even if she dared not admit it to herself.

A clamor echoed though the halls just outside her cell. Azula's eyes shot strait to the opening in her door.

Shadows moved rapidly though the light. Guards ran back and forth around her door. "Where are they!" A guard with a deep gruff voice asked.

"Sir, they appear to have broken though the south gate, sir!" A much younger officer answered.

"Dammit! Send all available troops to the south gate! Send word to the Fire Lord!" The gruff voice commanded.

A blaze of fire erupted through the hallway. The guards shouted in surprise. The sound of shooting flames and slicing swords soon filled the air along with the agonizing screams of prison guards. The gruff older guard was pushed up against Azula's door. The sound of metal piercing flesh as well as his painful cries echoed though the halls. His body slid to the floor, landing with a loud thud. Now, the prison was silent.

The lock to Azula's cell unlatched and the door slid open. Standing before her, five figures adored in red and black trimmed robes, each with their hoods up covering their faces. They walked in unison toward the chained princess.

"Who are you? What do you think you're doing here?" Azula's voice sounded scratchy and harsh to her ears. She's forgotten how long it had been since she spoke. "If you dare lay one hand on me, I swear I'll…"

The first figure grabbed the cuffs holding her left hand and produced the keys. He moved swiftly and steadily. The chains holding Azula back detached and dangled stupidly from the ceiling.

Azula fell forward. She caught herself with her hands, forgetting how long it had been since she supported her own weight. She must have lost weight in this cell, yet she felt so heavy right now. As she slowly staggered to her feet, she looked again at the five figures and saw they all kneeling before her, their foreheads practically touching the cold concrete floor.

"Who are you?" Azula's tone cold, but now less threatening than it had been only seconds before.

The leader of the robed figures, the one who had unlocked the shackles, rose to his knees. He pushed back his hood to reveal a young and almost schoolboy face. Tattooed on his forehead was a red bird, a phoenix, like the one Ozai had used when he declared himself Phoenix King, and blue fire surrounding the fire bird.

"We are the Children of Fire. We are the remains of the once true and great Fire Nation. We are dedicated to following the true meaning of fire and purging the world of all other elements. We are loyal only to the Fire Nation, and to its true lord, Ozai. We swear our allegiance to you, Princess Azula." He lifted his hood back into place and rested his head back to the ground.

Azula's eyes scanned over the small group of people kneeling to her. A welling heat filled her entire being. This was how it should be. These were her true subjects. A grin crept across her face. "Hm hm hm hm hm hm, he he he he he he he he he," a small chuckle grew in her throat, but she could not hold it back. Azula threw her head back and laughed and howling laugh. "AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, AAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

This would just be the beginning! Soon, the entire Fire Nation would be within her grasp yet again, and soon after that, every Nation on Earth would fall to her. And the Avatar, she would rip his still beating heart from his chest with her bare hands!