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By Twilitlink Part of the Avatar: Wanted continuity.
FAIcon Fire Nation emblem Firebending emblem Black lotus tile
Bolin realizes
Juji's fine. He comes back to life in the end when the doomsday device shifts the polarity of the Earth. Oops. Spoiler. Sorry.

Warning! This page contains spoilers for Avatar Wanted.

Nero
Nero
Biographical information
Nationality

Fire Nation

Born

82 AG

Died

103 AG

Physical description
Gender

Male

Height

5 ft. 11 in.

Hair color

Black

Eye color

Green

Personal information
Weapon of choice

Hands

Bending style(s)

Firebending

Chronological and political information
Profession

Assassin

Affiliation

Black Lotus Assassins

Masters

Riku

Apprentices

None

Bounty

75,000 Gold Pieces

First appearance

Targeted

Nero is a Firebending assassin who pursues his targets without mercy. He is able to generate lightning and shows a unique ability to create black fire. He is often silent, preferring not to speak and likes to get to the inevitable fight. When he chooses to speak however he seems to be a polite man despite his violent profession. The only being he trusts is his pet wolf, Sid.

History

Youth

Nero was abandoned by his father at a young age, leaving only his sickly mother to care for him. When Nero turned five his mother died of cancer, and he was put into an orphanage. While at the orphanage Nero was often picked on by the older children. Because of his isolation Nero wouldn't speak to anyone. One day a young wealthy couple came to the orphanage looking to adopt a child. The couple were appalled at the other children's behavior, and were almost immediately drawn to the silent well behaved Nero. The two adopted Nero and took him to their estate on Ember Island.

Life at the Estate

Zuko redirects lightning

Nero Generating lightning

While Nero was living with his new family he opened up slightly. He still didn't talk much but he could make friends easier than before. Around this time Nero began to show a natural talent for Firebending. As such he was enlisted at the local Firebending academy. Nero prospered at the academy, mastering the basics of Firebending at an unprecedented rate. By age thirteen Nero was able to successfully generate lightning. Nero also developed his signature black flames, which according to the teachers at the academy was unlike anything they had ever seen before. Around this time Nero also developed a crush on one of the girls at the academy, but his reclusive nature prevented him from speaking to her. When he finally worked up the courage to talk to her, he was pleased to hear that she felt the same way. This life of leisure however wouldn't last.

Alone Again

When Nero became fourteen tragedy struck him once more. A local gang broke into his home. Nero's parents tried to hide but were found. The gang then began to set the house a blaze while they slowly tortured them. Nero wanted desperately to help his parents but was too afraid. When it was all over Nero's home was burned to the ground and his parents dead. Nero was alone again. He almost immediately tracked down the gang and tried to kill them all. He was quickly defeated and left for dead in a dark alley. Once he recovered he left Ember Island, leaving both his girlfriend behind and his life. He spent years traveling off the grid, learning what he could about stealth and assassination with one thought on his mind, Revenge

Training Under a Dai Li Agent

Four years before Azula and Long Feng initiated a coup on the Earth Kingdom, Nero went to Ba Sing Se. On a spur of the moment plan Nero tried to steal from the Earth Kingdom Palace. He was arrested by a Dai Li agent named Riku. He gave up what he stole without a fight once he had been captured. While being interrogated Nero told Riku no more information other than his name and why he attempted the theft. He said that he considered it a good test of his stealth abilities. Riku offered to train him in the arts of stealth for some reason or another. Nero agreed eagerly believing with this training he could gain his vengeance.

For the next year Riku would have Nero attempt to ambush him. Nero often impressed him by how creative he would get with his traps. Soon however Nero would once again be running. During a hand to hand training session Riku accidentally tore Nero's shirt off revealing numerous burns on his chest and back. When Riku asked about them Nero simply referred to them as souvenirs from home. Putting two and two together Riku asks if Nero is from the Fire Nation. Nero didn't reply, he only ran. He didn't stop until he was well away from Ba Sing Se.

Vengeance

Three years pass before Nero returns to Ember Island. It's one year prior Fire Lord Ozai's defeat at the hands of Avatar Aang. Nero was at this time just starting out as an assassin, but before he could officially begin his work he had one final loose end to tie up. He went to the gang's last hide out to find it had been abandoned. Having his pet wolf, Sid, follow an extremely faint scent Nero tracked them to their new hide out. Once he arrived he snuck in through the sewers and started his brutal revenge. He struck down each and every member, even those with nothing to do with his past. To make his vengeance complete he burned their hide out to the ground. By the time the authorities arrived all that remained was rubble covered by black flames. This became his calling card.

Black Lotus Assassins

Nero's brutal vengeance on the gang that had tormented him had earned the attention of the group of assassins known as the Black Lotus Assassins. Nero was approached by three of the senior members. One was a Waterbender named Lian, another was a large Firebender named Zheng, and the last was an elderly Earthbender named Des. Each of these people had mastered an advanced form of bending. Des offered him a chance to make his life worth something, while Lian went on about the group being like one big happy family, prompting Nero's only response to the three, "I doubt that.". Nero looked expectantly at Zheng waiting for him to try and persuade him. Zheng was silent. After thinking for a moment Nero nodded and followed them to their base.

Target: Team Avatar

Starting Out

His first action is the assassination of the previous Phoenix King Ozai. While not physically seen until his Agni Kai with Fire Lord Zuko and Avatar Aang it is evident that he is extremely skilled in combat from how he was reported have fought his way all the way to Ozai's cell without killing any of the guards. He was waiting outside the burning asylum that Azula was being kept in when Zuko and Aang arrive. While a fantastic Firebender he was unable to defeat both the Fire Lord and the Avatar at once. The only thing that spared him his fate was Azula's blood curdling scream as her life faded.

Zuko absorbs lightning

Nero is hit by his own lightning

The Dragon of the West

Nero's next target is the famous Iroh, otherwise known as The Dragon of the West. Nero walks into Iroh's tea shop, the Jasmine Dragon, and orders some tea. He stays there until all the other patrons have left before he attacks. The resulting Agni Kai completely destroys Iroh's tea shop. Nero and Iroh duel on relatively equal footing as they slam each other into objects throughout the building. When Iroh is thrown outside the tea shop he completely burns it to the ground, yet Nero walks out without a single burn. Nero also shows respect for Iroh by saving the picture of his son. Their Agni Kai is briefly interrupted with the appearance of Nero's former master, Riku. Nero quickly kills his former mentor and continues his battle with Iroh. He ended the fight by grabbing him by his collar and threw him back into the burning teashop. He then made a black fiery cyclone around the tea shop and collapsed it in on itself.

Desert Travels

Nero is preparing himself for a long trek through Si Wong Desert. As he is about to head out a small boy begins to pester him with endless questions. During the child's "interrogation" a small girl attempted to steal his money bag. He gently grabbed her wrist and held the two children in front of him. After scaring the two with an emotionless glare he grins and gives them all of his money, believing it wouldn't do him any good in the desert anyway. During his journey through the desert Nero walked alongside Sid, who caught food for them every few days, and was under constant torment of many memories that he had wished to be forgotten. Despite these painful flashbacks Nero actually enjoyed the immense open space of the desert. When he reached the end he was glad he went through.

Attacking the Entire Team

As the chapter opens Nero is walking into Omashu and decides to go stay the night at an inn. While having dinner at the inn. a large man comes up to Nero and starts a confrontation. After giving him one warning Nero violently breaks the mans arm and slams his head into the counter. The next day Nero sneaks into Toph's home and tries to ambush her and Katara. Unfortunately as he attacks, Toph sends him flying through a wall, launching him into the courtyard where the rest of Team Avatar is waiting.

After a lengthy battle with the six of them Nero is frozen from his feet to his neck by Katara. As Zuko is once again about to end his life, he is saved at the last minute by Aang, who wants to take Nero's bending away instead of killing him. Right before Aang begins to energybend Nero frees himself and quickly defeats all six of them in a ferocious assault, only to be stopped by Appa. As Team Avatar begins to flee Nero begins his pursuit.

Chasing his Prey

Nero flies after Team Avatar, greatly surprising Sokka, and attacks them as they flee on Appa. Nero flies around most of Zuko's Firebending attacks, but is hit by the powerful fire whips Zuko's eventually uses, burning him across his chest. Aang then decides to face Nero alone. Before their fight begins Aang tries to talk Nero out of attacking them. Nero responds by saying fighting was all he was good for. The two have a fierce duel, in which both are greatly injured. Just when Nero seemed to have Aang beaten, he went into the Avatar State. After this point Nero is flattened and tossed aside, all of his attacks effortlessly deflected or stopped. Nero knowing he was beaten told Aang to finish him. When the Avatar refused Nero loses his temper for the first time and yelled at Aang before promising he'd be back and fell into the canyon.

Nero is found almost dead on a river shoreline by fellow Black Lotus Assassin Lian, who healed him to the point where he could be moved and started carrying him to one of their bases.

The First Three Trials

This chapter is solely focused on Nero. The chapter opens with Nero having a nightmare about his adoptive family's murder. When he jolts awake Lian walks into his room and tells him that the leader of the Black Lotus Assassins, Lu Ming, wants to see him immediately. While talking with Lu Ming, the old man tells Nero that he is disappointed with his recent performances and sentences him to The Trials. The first two involved Nero surviving an assault from his fellow assassins Lian, and Des. After the second trial Nero was allowed a ten-minute rest. During which Lian offered to heal his wounds, moments before he reentered the arena she lightly kissed on the cheek, strongly suggesting that she has some affection for him. During the third trial Nero had to fight four warriors to the death. After giving them nicknames based on their weapons he fought and killed them effortlessly.

The Final Trial

The final trial proved to be the most emotionally taxing. Nero had to kill his birth father. After venting his anger, Nero almost killed him before the Avatar's words rang in his mind. Deciding to spare his father he turned, but his father seemed to have other plans. He pulled a knife from his clothing and attacked Nero, who quickly disarmed and killed him. After the trials Nero watches Mai and her children, Lu Ten and Ursa II on the beach of Ember Island.

Capturing the Firelords Family

Once Nero had reported to Lu Ming that Mai and her children were on the island he was given the order to capture them. Taking Lian, Des and a number of assassins, Nero marched to Mai's home. He sent the lower assassins in first, waiting at the bottom of the stairs until one of them came flying out of the home. He went in himself and fought Mai until he was able to overpower her. Before he could start looking for Lu Ten and Ursa II they tried to attack him but he brushed their attacks off with lazy flicks of his wrists. He carried Mai to the base as Lian carried Lu Ten and Des carried Ursa II.

Redemption

A few days later Nero decided to pay a visit to his old girl friend, who he discovered was married with children. After making peace with her, he went back and released Mai and her children from their cells. After giving them instructions on how to escape he waited for Zuko in the arena where he faced the Trials.

Black and White Agni Kai

When Zuko finally arrives Nero lies and tells him that his family is dead. The two engage in a fierce Agni Kai. During the Agni Kai Nero seems shocked as Zuko's normal orange and yellow flames become a blinding white that are even with Nero's black flames. Nero puts every thing he has into the battle and fights Zuko to a stand still. However Nero is still weakened from his earlier fight with Aang and loses his edge, and is consumed by Zuko's white flames.

Death

Neros death

Nero's Death

Nero survived this long enough to walk over to Zuko who is too exhausted to attack any more. Nero falls to his knees and looks Zuko in the eyes before smiling and falling down dead. His body is taken when Team Avatar escapes with the help of Riku and Iroh and given a small funeral after the two explain Nero's plan that led to all the events Team Avatar has experienced was to keep them alive and make them stronger.

After Death

Winter Solstice

When Team Avatar was attacked in the port town of Two Rivers, Katara found herself in a duel with Nero's former ally Lian. Katara managed to defeat Lian, knocking her unconscious. As Katara was about to finish her Nero crossed over from the Spirit World, due to the weakened barrier on the solstice, and stopped her claiming that death wasn't her fate that day.

"Helpful" Advice

When Aang was struggling with the decision to go to war with the Black Lotus, he suddenly had a thought that maybe Nero had something planned for this situation, so he went to the Spirit World to find him. When Aang found Nero, he was performing a kata in a sandy hollow. When Nero first saw Aang in the Spirit World, he wondered if the young Avatar had been killed. When Aang explained his predicament Nero did something he hadn't done since he was a child, laugh. When he finished laughing he told Aang that he wouldn't tell him his plan because no matter what happened at that point Aang would have to fight again. Thanks to Nero's "advice" Aang decided to help fight.

Legacy

Nero's Daughter

Possibly unbeknownst to Nero he had fathered a daughter, Nikki who lived with Miku and her new boyfriend/husband Suteru. He only met her once when she was five years old. Ten years after his death after Nikki learns this she joins the Black Lotus Assassins in an attempt to avenge his death. A week later Nero somehow visits Nikki in her dreams in an effort to lure her away from the assassins and the oncoming blood fest. When she refuses he declares that he will keep her safe.

Personality

Nero has a calm and calculating personality. He is usually level headed and doesn't let his pride cloud his judgement. He is somewhat brooding due to his unlucky past, going so far as sleeping in a forest to be alone when there is a town just a mile or so away. He doesn't do well in crowds or closed spaces, hinting he has a small case of claustrophobia.

Nero doesn't often communicate beyond a simple grunt. However, when he has to speak he speaks with a polite tone that doesn't seem to fit his profession. His dislike of speaking has been a constant factor in his life, he never had many friends because of this. He almost never met the love of his life do to his shyness. This is probably why he thrives as an assassin, they rarely have to speak at all.

Abilities

Firebending

Nero is very skilled at firebending, able to go toe to toe against both the Avatar and the Fire Lord simultaneously. He was even able to defeat Iroh who has been hailed as one of the greatest Firebenders in the world. Nero shows the unique ability to produce black flames while Firebending. He was also able to generate lighting at a relatively young age. At the end of Chapter 4: Rematch Nero shows the ability for prolonged flight without the need of Sozin's Comet. Nero has shown the ability to super heat his body at will.

Hand to Hand Combat

Nero is extremely proficient in fighting hand to hand, taking on several Fire Nation guards at once and emerging without a scratch. Nero used his skills to great effect while fighting Iroh, slamming his head into the counter of his tea shop with so much force the counter snapped in half. When he faced the Trials of the Black Lotus the third trial had him battle four of the Black Lotus Assassin's most skilled non-bending warriors with his hands.

Strategies

Nero is an excellent strategist, having planned every thing that Team Avatar went through up to his death.

Behind the Scenes

Creation

While deciding on what the characteristics for Nero would be, Twilitlink went through multiple ideas for how he would behave. Originally Nero was going to be a crazy, and brutal serial killer who turned his sights on Team Avatar, the idea was quickly scrapped however, but was recycled for a later character. Twilitlink then went to the opposite idea and thought of making him a pacifist, this was scrapped even quicker. Finally the creator balanced the two and created the reluctant assassin the fanon audience came to know and love.

When it came to what motivated him, Twilitlink looked to one of his favorite characters from the Metal Gear Solid games, Gray Fox. Particularly this quote, "We're not tools of the government or anyone else, fighting was the only thing I was good at, but at least I always fought for what I believed in." The character of Gray Fox lived for one purpose, to fight and die at the hands of Solid Snake, his best friend and rival, Twilitlink transferred this idea to Nero and gave him a purpose for fighting the group again, and again.

Twilitlink also loves the idea of personal rivals, Nero was created to be a rival for Zuko.

Non-"canon" appearance

Katara and Azula fight

Lian and Mitsuki battling for the affection of Nero

Clash of Worlds

Nero appears in the fanon cross over project Avatar: Clash of Worlds. Nero appears in the Spirit World next to the monkey spirit Enma after Lee Koisho escaped from the Spirit World and reanimated his rotting corpse, in the process destroying the barrier between the many worlds. Later just outside the Fire Nation Capital in the world of Kyoshi Revolts, Nero reunited with Lian, who hugged then slapped him.

Moments later a Fire Nation Royal Jet lands next to them. Princess Mitsuki comes out of the jet and mistakes Nero for a new nobleman, and subsequently falls head over heels for him. Nero on the other hand mistakes Mitsuki for her mother Azula, who he killed in his own world. After some clarification, Mitsuki offered Nero a job as her assistant, before Nero could answer however Lian stepped in and shut Mitsuki down.

As the two women fought each other Nero tried to stop them. However most of their attacks missed their target and hit him. Between getting hit by blue fire, water whips, and lightning Nero was just about to call it quits. But then Lian accidentally pulled all of the blood from Nero's body, leading to his death... again.

A few hours later Nero revives and sets out looking for Lian and Mitsuki. Somewhere along the road Nero found the rotting and headless body of Lee Koisho. The two found themselves in Kein Forest where they found Yino swinging a sack that contained Lee's head around. After getting Lee's head back for him, Nero tries to stop the fight that ensues between Yino and Lee. Eventually however he gives up and prepares to leave, until a stray fireball strikes him. Finally he had enough of them and proceeded to beat the two to a pulp.

Once he finished he filled the two in on the situation and the gem of balance. Once he got Yino and Lee to agree to work with each other, after letting Lee get one more hit on Yino, the three set off to search for Avatar Mian.

Eventually Nero and the other villains all joined forces and battled against the heroes in a final battle. After about five hours of combat Nero got tired and left for the Spirit World again. But not before joining in everyone telling Shiungi to "SHUT UP!"

Christmas Special

Nero watched from a far as Team Avatar and the Black Lotus Assassins celebrated the holidays. He wanted to go over and spend the small time he had with one person but couldn't bring himself to cause anyone at the party any grief. So instead he left them a surprise while they played in the snow.

Clash of Worlds 2

Nero appears once again in the sequel to Clash of Worlds. He starts off sitting next to his undead "buddy" Lee Koisho. When Lee exclaims that Nero needs to stop stalking him and that he's still angry that Nero beat the crap out of him, Nero explains that he's not stalking him and tells him that he deserved his ass kicking. When Nero declares that he's leaving the Spirit World again, with Lee tagging along, once again throwing the universes into chaos. The two eventually arrived in Ba Sing Se where after "convincing" Lee to ditch his pink sweater and rather violently interrogates a guard. However Nero eventually decides to "screw it" and heads back to the Spirit World.

Nero was followed by Lee however and the two found Mitsuki, Quanlee and Tam Mee unconscious. However, when Mitsuki awakens she proceeds to behead lee, while Nero ran off. Nero finds his friend in the LoF Universe, without a body, but soon realizes that he doesn't need to be there and runs off. He then interrupts a conversation with Chen and his Sister over their mother being a pervert.

Nero then rejoins Lee later and finds Aang aka Peter in order to help Lee get Kyoshi Revolts Azula to fall in love with them. And to also put the universes back in order, despite the fact it was his fault this time, with the added bonus of finally getting rid of Lee. Nero and his "friends" eventually find their way to Better World's Ba Sing Se where, after Peter is Avatar-napped, he finds himself cornered by Lian and Mitsuki (Again). Thinking quickly Nero Tossed Lee as hard as he can and sprinted off, asking for a change in scene. When Nero appeared again, Lee had somehow talked him into dressing like Byakuya from Bleach and crashed Guardian Ozai's villains karaoke party. Once the final battle ensued Nero decided to sit this one out and watched until Onaga brought the rapidly decreasing stability of the worlds to his attention. Before He could send everyone back home though Lee challenged him to a final duel. After a fierce confrontation Nero barely emerges as the victor before he returns to the land of the dead.

Clash of Worlds 3

When Nero first appears in the third Clash of Worlds, he is, as usual, minding his own business in the Spirit World when his old "friend" Lee Koisho tackles him to the ground. After yelling "Rape!" a couple of times, the two dead assassins get side tracked in a conversation about Halo before Lee has Nero watch The Last Airbender on his laptop. After watching the abomination of a movie both Nero and Lee agree to go back to the world of the living with one goal in mind, Kill M. Night Shymalan. After the two somehow manage to gather all the fanon villains, he and Lee waited in the lobby of a motel while the others settled into their rooms. When Lian and Mitsuki came into the lobby fighting, as usual, Nero tries to separate them, again as usual, when he finds out that they are not fighting over him this time, but rather abortion, politics, and Twilight (the gayness of which cancells out the reasonableness of the others) he actually tells them to fight over him. When all the villains gather in the lobby the watch the Last Airbender, rallying everyone to their, only slightly villainous, cause. Unfortunately they are unable to find Shyamalan's address in the phone book, so they settle for the Fanon heroes, who are conveniently having their own convention across the street. While they discuss how they're going to attack, Siwang suggests using a bomb made out of the corpses of hookers causing Nero to yell at him in anger. When Lee Koisho suggests using a machine version of himself, Nero instead suggests using "the huge-ass amount of weaponry and equipment he brought for all of them."

Reception

Nero has been very well received by the fanon community. Vaznock felt that the concept of an assassin being a protagonist was interesting. In October 2009 Nero was awarded a Featured Fanon Article, and later won in the "Best Male Main Character" category in the First Annual Fanon Awards.

Negative fan reception has included Nero being considered overpowered, able to face both the Avatar and Fire Lord at the same time as well as Iroh later on, him being considered a "Mary Sue", and seemingly the most popular one, his, admitted, various similarities to Itachi Uchiha from Naruto.

Trivia

  • Nero's name means black in Latin, a reference to his black flames
  • The idea for black flames came from Itachi Uchiha from Naruto. Mainly his attack known as Amaterasu
  • Nero's death is similar to Itachi Uchiha's own death
  • Some images for Nero were provided by Masashi Kishimoto's character character Itachi Uchiha, from Naruto
  • Ironically, Nero did to Nikki exactly the same thing his father did to him.

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For the collective works of the author, go here.

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