Azula's breakdown
Chapter information

Azula's Story (part of Past, Present, and Future)



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Azula descends further into insanity on her way to a high-security asylum.


100 AG

When I felt my consciousness return, I opened my eyes sharply and looked around. I was in a small room with metal walls, and no furniture or windows, only a door with a heavy lock. The floor felt like it was swaying, like I was on a boat.

"Where am I?" I yelled, ordering someone to tell me. "Why am I here?"

But no one was there to answer, and then I remembered.

I was defeated! Defeated by someone who was inferior to me, someone who didn't deserve to be in the royal family. Defeated by a disgusting peasant from the one of the most low-class settlements in the world, nothing by a Water Tribe girl. And they'd beaten me! Zuko and the girl!

I screamed fire into the air, letting its blue light fill the room. I tried to slam my fists into the floor, but they stopped midway. They had been chained to a post in the corner, just like how the girl had chained me.

I was nothing now. Nothing but a prisoner, being taken away. I didn't deserve to live anymore. I'd been defeated by the enemies who didn't have my abilities, my strategies, my birthrights, my perfection. How could they defeat someone who was perfect?

Because you're not perfect, Azula, I heard someone say. The voice seemed like it echoed around the room.

"I am! I'm infallible, I'm the Princess of the Fire Nation—I'm the Fire Lord!"

A perfect being doesn't exist, except in the Spirit World. Any being lesser than the greatest spirits, the ones who created the Universe, can't be perfect.

"How dare you! Do you know who you're speaking to?"

Have you truly lost so much your calm exterior that you don't remember that I addressed you as Azula, and you called yourself the Princess of the Fire Nation?

I didn't say anything. In the silence, I could feel the amused grin that the owner of the voice was wearing.

You've lost, Princess. You no longer have the right to call yourself perfect. Right now, you're being taken to an asylum for the mentally insane. There, you will have no hope of escape.

"You're lying! That's not where I'm being taken, I'm being taken to the Capital! Or to Ba Sing Se! Or to Ember Island!"

Silence, stupid girl. You're not going to a luxurious city or a relaxing beach, you're going to be put in a box, a box where no one will hear from you ever again. From now on, you are not a princess, you are no one.

I screamed again. Fire flared around the room again, voicing my anger.

But there was something strange about it. I didn't know what it was, but something wasn't right. I breathed heavily and glared at the floor. I wanted to kill this voice. It had done something to my Firebending, and now there was something wrong.

A voice is just a voice, little human. You have just as much chance of killing me as an ant has of killing a dragon.

"Who are you?" I shrieked. "What have you done to me?"

I didn't do it. You did it to yourself. It's just more proof that you're no better than anyone else, despite what you may think.

My heartbeat shook my whole body. My vision started to go blurry. Something was wrong with my Firebending.

Do you still not know what it was? Well, I'll tell you, if you don't want to see it yourself: the fire wasn't blue.

The fire wasn't blue.

A thin slot slid open on the upper end of the door, and two guards peered in.

My Firebending wasn't blue anymore.

"She just woke up a few minutes ago," one of them said. "She seems like she's falling asleep again though. She was yelling and screaming at no one just a moment ago, and Firebending at nothing."

My Firebending wasn't perfect, it was no better than Zuko's, or Uncle Iroh's, or the lowliest Fire Nation peasant's.

"Screaming at nobody?"

"Yeah, like she was talking to someone, yelling that she was the Fire Lord and she was being taken to Ember Island."

My Firebending...I couldn' wasn't...

"I guess that's a good reason we're taking her to the home then."

I wasn't...perfect...anymore.

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Warning: Default sort key "Imperfection" overrides earlier default sort key "Act 1: Imperfection".

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