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The Lost Children
After their frightening discovery, Hifito and Rosutoko are on the run from their own family and Nation.
- Rosutoko: the fifth child of the now deceased Fire Lord Zuko and Fire Queen Mai. He specialises in marksmanship, taking after his mother, rather than his father, like his siblings
- Hifito: the eldest daughter of Ty Lee, she is identical in appearance and ability to her mother, being a formidable martial artist, chi-blocker and acrobat
- Nayvah: The eldest of Zuko's children, he is sadistic and powerhungry, a powerful Firebender who can summon lightning flawlessly. He takes after his aunt Azula
- Hai Lo: The second eldest child of Zuko and Mai, she is partially insane and has three alternating personalities: Shin (shy), Aina (sadistic, masochistic) and Liosa (seductive)
- Sin Ly: the third child of Zuko and Mai, he is a sychophant to his older brother and does what he is told, even if it conflicts with every moral and ethic ever taught
- Masca: the second youngest child of Mai, she is stoic and brooding like her mother on the surface, but powerhungry inside, willing to tear her own family apart to get on top
With a snaking stream of lightning, she tossed the electricity at her younger brother. It baffled him. It truly did. Confused by it, perplexed by it, mystified by the idea that his own sister would kill his parents, then the leaders of the free world, and finally him and his best friend, he waited for the strike. Somehow the blue slithered slowly, it was moving as if at a snail's pace, prolonging his demise.
But he found himself tossed aside. Hifito's legs now wrapped around him, crossing under his arms, touching in front of his torso, he fell forward, but found himself being hauled upwards. The acrobat had jumped atop him, pushing towards the edge of the bridge, but in the nick of time, she grabbed the periphery of the red, tiled roof. They were now being hurled 360 degrees over onto the crown of the valley-corridor.
Dust exploded from underneath them, the lightning shattering the red doors behind them. They now sprinted across the slanted, red roof, tripping and stumbling as they went. The duo were met by another block, marble of sandy beige, crowned by a horned pyramid atop twisting pillars at each corner. They climbed upon the ledge and trailed the outside of the building. Rosu's heart beat a thousand times a minute, if not a second, not only from the astounding height at which they were running, but his head still reeled, turned upon itself by the churning of his sister's betrayal.
The block now split three ways, to the north, west or east, the Palace, the mountains or the sea. Instinctively Rosu pulled Hifito to the east, trailing another corridor, now running along the rim of the abyss. They now travelled downhill, descending away from the main Palace towards the staff quarters. They now leapt from the roof and ran.
They had to keep running. None stop; they'd keep running until they reached a possible ally. The dirt crunched beneath their feet, the tiny rocks spiking them through their sandals. Their eyes were wide, mouths gasping for air, hoping on tenterhooks for salvation. In their panting, they caught the salty taste of the ocean's ebb, the bubbling caress of the flow upon the scarring skin of the shore, the smell of saline fish and the brackish tides. They were close.
Trees of verdant manes and craggy, mountainous skin, the fingers of grass that bent back upon their steps, and the ascending and fluctuating teeth that rose from the valley's edges blurred past them. Their only thoughts were to run; no blossom of rationality had flourished to give them the forethought that weapons just might have been a good idea. But they didn't care, instinct dictated their motion and they were close to the shore – to their escape.
But as they skidded to a halt, upon leaping from the ledge of a grassy knoll and weedy overhang, they were met by Fire Nation troops. Seven of them, lined upon, their stances were strong, warriors they seemed and warriors they were. The ocean ebb and flowed upon the shore, waltzing across the sand. Roped boats were wrecked and falling apart, bobbing behind the militia sent by Rosutoko's siblings.
'How?' he gasped, clutching Hifito's hands. 'How did find us?'
'Did you really think,' a voice stirred from behind the Firebenders, 'that you of all people, Rosu, could outrun or outfox you siblings?'
Sin Ly stepped out from behind the seven and smiled grimly, his tanned skin creased greasily, his black hair flat and lifeless didn't even dance in the breeze. He wore a Fire Nation Army uniform, but it was different, new yet old. 'Do you like it?' his smile split more, revealing sharp fangs. 'Nayvah had the ingenious idea to scrap Zuko and Mai's designs and revamped Grandpa Ozai's.'
'Ozai?' Rosutoko spat back. 'Ozai and Azula were insane megalomaniacs! How could you four become them?'
'I guess it runs in the blood,' he shrugged, strolling in front of his guards. 'Well, not entirely...' he regarded Rosutoko with a raised eyebrow. 'But resourcefulness, ingenuity and cunning flows through Nayvah's veins. He had the forethought to visit Aunty Azula. She knew what to do...'
Nayvah paced the corridor, smiling through the bars of Princess Azula's cell's door. He took his Master Key and pushed it open, ringing against the wall as it clanged to a halt. 'Hello, Aunty.'
'Good day, Fire Lord,' she replied slowly from her cloaking shadow, light streaming overhead from a grate.
'Not yet, Azula,' he smiled back. Despite the hypocrisy that lay heavy in these words, Nayvah was a handsome eighteen-year-old man. His olive skin glowed exotically even the pale, unflattering light of the prison cell. His hair was pulled back into a tight, oriental bun, a flame shaped crest upon the black leather binding. He wore the robes of the Fire Lord-to-be's coronation, the heavy, armoured cloak lay upon his shoulders, his muscular frame unhindered by the weight.
'As good as,' she sat, remaining in her erect pose, strong and almost sane. 'You wouldn't come here if didn't want something, Nayvah, what troubles may young nephew?'
Azula scoffed, 'Tell me about it ...'
'My brother knows of my plans for the Fire Nation, and he and his associate have gone on the run, you may know her mother-'
'Ty Lee,' she interjected. Her words were prolonged and serpentine, the L licking at the air.
'Precisely,' Nayvah hissed back.
'They'll be looking for a Bender. Every Bender could be a formidable opponent to a Firebender, but how many Airbenders would attack an Army almost pointlessly? And which is closer, the beach or the mountains?'
'They'll be trying to find a Waterbender. Or at least a boat out of the Fire Nation.'
'I think you're giving a bubble-headed acrobat and a Fire Nation wimp a bit too much credit...' he smiled patronisingly, almost gloating at her fragile psychoses.
'Maybe. Or maybe you're underestimating them. Instinct is a strange mistress, Nayvah. Your mother betrayed me for your father's protection and without fault Ty Lee defended her, paralysing me temporarily. You'd be surprised what a person will do for another. Especially one they care about.'
'Thank you, Azula.'
He turned to leave, but stopped as the Fire Nation Princess dove forward, slashing her feline claws toward freedom, her eyes wide, desperate and yearning for the outside world. 'NO!' she shrieked, her sonorous screams pounding of the metallic walls. 'Please,' her voice shivered, but Nayvah did not turn.
As the door closed, he could hear her cries, her sobs ringing through the halls. And they faded as she soon realised that the Fire Lord-to-be would not return anytime soon.
'Soon, Princess Azula... Soon.'
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