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|Ancestry part 2, Sozin|
April 10, 2011
Ancestry part 2, Sozin is the seventh chapter in the story , written by . This chapter will show Azula meeting her paternal great-grandfather and how he relates his life to hers.
What of the other ancestor?
Hiking through the dry, rocky terrain had given Azula time to further reflect on what Roku told her. She knew that from now on, no matter how far her father screwed her up, only she could fix herself back together. She knew she pretty much hit rock bottom, and that redemption was a long, rough road, but everybody has the potential to do so. There was only one big question, what could she do to redeem herself? Redemption wasn't something you could get at the local market, and she still had no idea where to turn.
After reflecting this, she remembered what Roku said, that her other great-grandfather would likely come to her. Azula knew, or at least thought she knew, all about her paternal great-grandfather, Fire Lord Sozin, she was told in the academy that he lived to be very successful. The school also told her that he died when he was 102, peacefully in his sleep, and that he was by far the greatest Fire Lord who ever lived. Azula was, however, a little eager to meet such an icon even if he was simply in spirit, so she would see if everything told about him was true.
Azula wondered, though, what would Sozin tell her if he did meet her in spirit? Roku told me that he would try to tell me what he thinks is good, Azula thought, I might as well see what he will have to say, although Roku did warn me not to listen to him.
She had been hiking all day, and by the time it was dusk, Azula decided that she would be safe in the surrounding area for the night. After finding the softest path of dirt, Azula laid down and started to doze off. When she slept she then found herself again on a high, misty mountain wearing her old royal armor, and looked healthy and pretty again. She then looked out into the distance, and saw a blue dragon flying towards her with an old-looking man on its back.
"There you are, great-grandfather," Azula said out loud to herself.
The mighty lord?
The blue dragon then landed in front of her and Sozin stepped off of it. Before he could say anything to her, Azula quickly bowed to him and tried to show the utmost humility. "Fire Lord Sozin," Azula said to him, "It is an incredible honor to be even speaking to you now."
The aged Fire Lord looked down on her and said, "Do not bow down to me, I greatly do not deserve it."
"What do you mean?" Azula asked back, "you were considered one of the greatest Fire Lord's to have ever been born."
"For starting one hundred years of carnage and death, that makes me one of the greatest rulers in history? I once thought the same, that my war was for good, and that I intended to unite the world under one empire, make it a place for peace and order. I saw that as the war raged on, I did the exact opposite. Only at the last years of my life, did I see what horrors I brought to the world, what a monster I was. The worst part of it, I did it all to myself. I had no ancestors that twisted me, I just warped myself, into a being of pure evil. I saw it in my son, I saw it in my grandson, and I saw it -- in you."
"But, I thought you were an icon, a legend."
"I wanted to show you, that I am anything but an icon to look upon, I want you to not end up like me. I will show you what my life was truly like in it's later years, if you will let me."
"Alright," Azula answered, "I am willing to see."
Azula and Sozin both climbed onto his dragon's back, and flew off into the far past. They flew above an island with a volcano that was going under a massive eruption. Azula looked down onto the island below, and saw Roku down there, fighting off the volcano. They both saw how Roku desperately tried to save his home, but they saw that he was breathing in too much of the toxic gases, and that there was no way he could do it alone. Then, they saw Sozin on his dragon fly down and started to help Roku stop the eruption. When they were about to leave, Roku collapsed due to the gases, and Sozin refused to lift a finger to help his dying friend, saying that he was in the way of his master plan.
Sozin then left on his dragon, and left Roku to die in a huge wave of ash and fire. Then Azula and Sozin flew off to the Fire Nation Royal palace, where Sozin was preparing for his invasion of the Air Nomad Temples. He knew that the new Avatar would be an Air Nomad, and he knew that every Air Nomad was an Airbender, so he decided that in order for him to kill the Avatar, he had to wipe them out, completely. It would be an unimaginable monstrosity, but he did it anyway, just for his own power.
"I let Roku, my former friend, die just so I could bring out a war to enslave the planet," Sozin told Azula. "I had thought what I was doing, I would have saved him, I didn't know how wrong I was. I was a traitor, nothing more."
"I did not know you and Avatar Roku were once friends," Azula stated, "in school, I was told that he was a traitor to the Fire Nation, and that you killed him out of justice."
"Your schools lied to you," Sozin answered, "they wanted me and the Fire Nation to seem strong, so that you would have nothing to doubt about the "perfect country."
Azula and Sozin then flew off to what looked like one of the Air Temples, and surrounding it were dozens of Fire Nation ships. The sky was an eery red, showing that a large comet was skimming the planet's atmosphere, and there were hundreds of dragons and soldiers launching themselves with enhanced Firebending up towards the temple. The person leading them, non other than Sozin, riding his dragon. At the temple, large horns were blared to warn the masters of a massive attack. As the horns were blaring, the Firebenders finally launched themselves onto the temple's courtyards and started to launch massive blasts of fire at all of the monks.
Sozin stepped off of his dragon and started to launch his already powerful fire which was further augmented by the comet to kill any Airbender that got in his way. He then proceeded to kill any Airbender in his direction, whether it was man, child, or elder, he savagely burned them all to a crisp. His brutality and malice made even his fellow soldiers fear him greatly. It seemed that he forgot why he was killing them, to kill the Avatar, but it seemed as if by just watching the peaceful monks who did not want to fight just because it seemed pleasing to him. He was a fully born monster.
He then went into the temple's inner grounds, finding child monks who tried to hide from the bloodshed. When he launched large blasts of fire into their quarters, they all started to run out, burning to death before collapsing. One monk, who looked like he was only six or seven, was covered in head to toe in third-degree burns, limped out toward Sozin and collapsed right before his feet. Sozin looked down onto him and the young monk whispered his last words, "why, why are you doing this?"
After seeing this boy die before him, Sozin went out of whatever homicidal trance he was in and for the first time, saw what carnage he brought. He looked around him, and saw the bodies of burned children littering the ground. He took a few steps out and saw Airbenders, young and old, fighting for their lives, burning, dying, all around him. Because of him.
When it looked like the battle was drawing close to an end, Sozin slumped to his knees, and looked his blood-soaked hands, hardly believing that these hands that were supposed to unite the four nations and establish order, created this nightmare. He then let out a huge cry, and said to himself, "What have I become?" He learned that he became the very thing he swore not to let happen. As the other soldiers then let out a yell of victory, and all left the temple, which they set on fire as a sign of victory. Sozin saw this as not a victory, but as a massacre.
The Crazy Diamond
Sozin and Azula then went twenty years past the genocide, and saw Sozin in the final year of his life, at the capital. He just recently won a major victory at Han Tui, and decided he was getting too old for life on the battlefield, and left his son, Crown Prince Azulon, command most of the armies. He sat in his luxurious bedroom, with a blank stare on his face, traumatized by the twenty years of non-stop war. Azulon was currently back at the capital, attending important war meetings. During the entire meeting, Sozin was nowhere to be seen, so when the meeting ended, Azulon went to see his father. He found him sitting on his bed, staring out. into nothing. He walked up closer to him, and looked worried about his elderly father.
"Father," Azulon started, "you did not attend the meeting today, we waited for a whole hour, but you never came."
Sozin continued to stare out, making a few twitches in his face. "Father," he repeated, "I am starting to worry about you, you seem... distant. Please answer me! You are the Fire Lord, you have responsibilities!"
Sozin still stared out, but then he made a deep scowl and jumped off the bed. He then started to completely trash his large bedroom, he tore off the expensive curtains, shattered the windows. He tore off priceless paintings of himself and previous Fire Lords and burned and ripped them up. He trampled the rug and set his custom-made bed on fire. He threw vases toward Azulon and the wall, and grabbed tools from the fireplace and used them to pry holes in the wall and shatter the glass on his small table. Azulon ran out of the room when Sozin lifted his desk and threw it out the window, screaming at the top of his lungs.
He then laid down on the floor in a fetal position. He just wanted it all to end. He had went almost completely insane due to the heavy burden of wiping out an entire race and starting a seemingly endless war. The war seemed never-ending, and he finally realized that he shouldn't have made the choices he made. His choices warped his son and himself into abominations, as well as his country. He was tired of being Fire Lord, tired of living, and tired of the war. Completely voided of the will to live, Sozin fell asleep on the floor, and he never woke up. When Azulon and the other officials saw him dead, Azulon ordered the officials to say that he died in his sleep peacefully, in order to not have citizens denounce his name.
Azula, seeing her great-grandfather's demise, she realized that his past was a lot like hers. When he finally rose to power, he slowly lost his sanity due to the burden of war and stress, turning them both from monsters into insane people.
Azula and Sozin then flew back to the spot where he picked her up, with much to ask her. When they landed, Sozin asked Azula, "What did you learn on this journey?"
"Well," Azula answered, "if I learned anything, it's that when I aspired to be like you, I went insane, and turned into a monster. But, if I am to redeem myself, I have to learn from your mistakes, and try not to fall into your path again."
"Good, Azula," said a familiar voice. Then, from behind the hill they were on, Avatar Roku came out with a smile on his face. Sozin saw him and fell to his knees, with tears welling in his eyes.
"Roku," Sozin said, "I am so ashamed of myself, I betrayed you, I murdered the Air Nomads, and started a century-long war, I feel ashamed to be in your presence."
"Silence, Sozin," Roku said calmly, "You are right, you started a war, you wiped out the Air Nomads, and betrayed me. Under normal circumstances, I would never be able to forgive you. But, I see that you have somewhat tried to redeem yourself, but your, our great-grandson and great-granddaughter have started to redeem your past mistakes. Zuko has ended the war and helped rebuild the Air Nomads and Earth Kingdom, Azula is now trying to redeem herself and you. My reincarnation, Aang, has already redeemed me, as he ended the war and defeated your grandson. So, now, I am willing to let those things pass and start a new life, here, in the Spirit World, old friend.
With that, Sozin threw his arms around Roku, finally restoring their old friendship, regardless of their past thoughts and actions. Azula then had to leave back to the physical realm, leaving Sozin and Roku in the Spirit World. They now will start a new afterlife, while now living in a new peace.
- The last word of the chapter was indeed intentional.
- When Sozin became insane and trashed his bedroom was reminiscent of Pink Floyd: The Wall film in the famous scene where Pink goes insane and trashes his hotel room.
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Corruption and Redemption Chapters|
|Book 1: Struggles|
|- - - - - - - - - - Ultamatum part 1, The Threat - Ultamatum part 2, The Attack|