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|By Hiroakira Fengxian||Part of thecontinuity.|
|Haruka Rong Yan|
|Weapon of choice||
, Squad 9
|Chronological and political information|
A 9-year-old war orphan found and partially adopted by Hiroakira and his squad, "Haru-chan" is cheerful, bubbly, hyperactive, mischievous, impulsive, carefree, and incredibly intelligent. Hiro and Haruka met in the slums of FǔBài Dushi, and Hiro took her in, informally adopting her and paying for her to get an education. Since then, the two have shared a big brother-little sister relationship, and Haru-chan is Hiro's staunchest supporter, calling him "Dai Ge" (or "Big Brother") and comically attacking anyone who speaks badly of either him or herself. Haru-chan has since become something of the 9th division's mascot, and spends much of her free time pestering the other squad members. She has trouble remembering people's names, so she often gives them annoying nicknames instead. She show extraordinary talent in filing, accounting, finance and economics, and Hiro decided to put her to work doing Squad 9's paperwork, which Haru-chan tends to finish rather quickly. Haruka secretly has the power to control both fire and earth, which she manifests in the form of gigantic rock "claws", and later learns to control molten rock. She is currently being tutored in secret by Squad 9 member Riku, who is also an Earthbender fighting under Hiro. Her hobbies include fishing, stalking people, giving people funny nicknames and playing ball games.
Haruka is considered by most people to be adorable in appearance. Small and thin at 8 years old, Haruka has light brown hair that she keeps tied up in two short pigtails on either side of her head. She has big light blue eyes and numerous freckles that seem to form patterned lines on her face, and her adult eye teeth have already grown in. These features give her the slight appearance of a striped kitten. When not in her school uniform, Haruka likes to wear a white and orange dress held closed by a pink sash tied into a big bow at her back. She also likes to wear striped sleeves on her forearms.
Haruka is still very much a child, being cheerful, carefree, and very energetic most of the time. While fantastic in school, she often gets bored with her lessons and sneaks out to do something more fun, such as playing "tag" with the Colonial Force officers assigned to keep the children in class. Although she frequently pesters the officers of Squad 9, she's grown on them. Haruka has trouble dealing with criticism, and will often attack anyone who criticizes her or the things she loves. She is naive and has trouble with following rules, often wandering into other people's houses and taking things that aren't hers. She is also very tomboyish, taking heavily after Hiroakira.
Haruka reveres Hiro, and often follows him around when she's not busy. She affectionately refers to him as Big Brother, and loves spending time with him, and she will often copy him. She'll innocently believe almost anything he says and tries to help Hiro in any way she can. Haruka is quite protective of the attention she gets from Hiro, and is jealous of any girl that Hiro pays attention to. Haruka may be Hiro's unswerving supporter, but they still bicker and disagree on occasion like normal siblings.
Haruka loves sweets and fish, but will eat pretty much anything.
Along with her amazing organizing and money-handling skills, Haruka is great at infiltration and stealth, although she uses this mostly for mischief. She routinely infiltrates Governor Tao's mansion to steal food and sweets from his personal larders.
Not much is known about Haruka's early childhood, although it is implied that she suffered some sort of psychological trauma prior to her first meeting with Hiroakira Fengxian. Hiro first saw her as a feral child roaming the streets shortly after his arrival in Fubai Dushi. Hiro continued to catch glimpses of the girl over the next few weeks, as if she were following him. Shortly after he was enlisted in the 9th Division, Hiro had his first contact with the girl. She was filthy, emaciated, dressed in rags, and seemed fearful of being approached by people. Hiro, taking pity on the street girl, gave her some of his lunch, and she continued to come back to him day after day until she became comfortable enough around Hiro to try to speak to him. It was not long after this that Hiro found his captain, Bao Tai, beating the helpless girl seemingly for his own amusement. Hiro immediately stood up for Haruka, leading to a violent argument which in turn led to Hiro challenging Bao Tai to an Agni Kai. After Hiro killed Bao Tai and became Squad 9's captain, he invited Haruka to stay with him, and they've been inseparable ever since.
Haruka soon learned to speak again, and quickly became a chatterbox. Hiro decided to use most of his own wages to send Haruka to school, where she proved to be a very fast learner. It wasn't long before Haruka proved that she could Firebend, after watching and mimicking Hiro. Captain Fengxian tried several time to officially adopt Haruka, but each time the paperwork was rejected. Nevertheless, Haruka began referring to Hiro as "Dai Ge", her mispronunciation of an old affectionate term for "Big Brother".
Sometime after the foundation of the United Republic, Haruka joined a new sport that was rapidly gaining in popularity: Pro-Bending. As the sport was in its infancy, early pro-bending had far fewer rules and regulations, meaning that early matches were infamous for their level of violence and high rate of injury. Haruka was a natural at the game, and her team, the White Ligers, gained a reputation for overwhelming power and almost primal savagry. The sheer brutality of her matches attracted huge crowds of rabid fans, quickly raising Haruka to the level of sports superstar, leading the White Ligers to be the first-evert four-time champions. It was often said that every match involving the White Ligers ended with at least one member of the opposing team having to be rushed to the hospital. The bloodshed in the arena attracted significant controversy however, and the violence level almost led the Republic City Council to ban the sport outright. Eventually pro-bending was heavily regulated with dozens of new rules and laws and banning many of the tactics that had made Haruka so successful and popular, leading her to lose interest in the game and eventually retiring from the sport altogether.
Although Haruka turned toward a successful banking career, she remains a legend of pro-bending's earlier, more brutal years.
Haruka is still young, but she already possesses formidable Firebending potential, already at the top of her class.
Unknown to most, Haruka can Earthbend in addition to Firebending. This secret is known to few, as it would most likely lead to legal trouble in the oppressive Fire Nation. Still, Hiroakira is fascinated by Haruka's ability to Earthbend, and has gone out of his way to help her learn. This has partly influenced Hiro's recruitment of Squad 9, as there are at least two Earthbenders in his ranks, both of whom he covers for to avoid imprisonment, solely so as to provide Haruka a teacher.
Haruka possesses a rare gift for Earthbending, and has potential to become truly great in the art. Her most favorite skill is creating large stone gloves around her hands and forearms, sometimes embedding knives and swords to create giant "claws". She also sometimes creates a hollow tube from where her hand is to the outside, allowing her to Firebend at the same time.
Despite her small frame, Haruka is nearly as strong as her foster brother Hiro, routinly carrying objects many times her weight over her head with little effort. Haruka is also very fast on her feet, able to outpace most adults, and her agility and sense of balance lets her navigate obstacles like walls and buildings with ease. This, combined with her boundless youthful energy, makes her very, very hard to catch in a chase. Since she is still young, these abilities have the potential of increasing as she grows up.
Haruka may be hyperactive in the extreme, but she is clearly very gifted. In her classroom studies, Haruka consistently receives top marks, and would progress further if she didn't sneak out of class so frequently. Haruka can keep track of many facts, figures, and numbers, has excellent math skills, and possesses an almost photographic memory. Her ability to organize and keep track of numbers has led to Hiro having her do the majority of the 9th Division's paperwork, partly as a way to keep her out of trouble. This may seem irresponsible and exploitative, but Haruka is always happy to be of help to her "Big Brother", and she gets the job done far more efficiently and quickly than her predecessor. Haruka has become a vital asset to Squad 9's budget as a result.
- Haruka normally gets along great with animals, which contrasts with her willingness to eat most animals if she gets hungry.
- Haruka has a pet turkey duck, who claims to keep as a possible food ration if times ever get desperate enough. His name is Drumbsticks.
- Haruka's favorite activities are tag, fishing, exploring, and spending time with her "big brother" Hiro.
- She is a voracious eater who will consume anything except sea prunes, but she is particularly fond of fish she catches herself.
- It is a very, very bad idea to try to steal Haruka's fish from her.
- Haruka's pro-bending career mirrors that of the early days of Americal Football, while Haruka herself essentially became the Babe Ruth of pro-bending. Both were orphans that took a career in sports, and their exceptional talent for it made them major crowd-pleasers.
- "What'cha doooin'?"
- "Ha ha! Get 'em Dai Ge!
- "Yay! Fishin'!"
- "YAY! CANDY!!!"
- "Look at all dis yummy food I found Dai Ge! It was just sitting in some rich guy's pantry!"
- "Bored now. Bye!"
- "Stop fish thief! Dat's MY fish! MY FISH!! DIE YOU STINKY FISH THIEF, DIE!!!" (moments before Sokka is mauled by a 9-year-old girl)
- "Who here's ready to see some little pansies ripped to shreds?!" (Haruka successfully rileing up a crowd during her pro-bending years)
For the collective works of the author, go here.