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|Origins Part 1: The Lady of Death|
Ursa leaned against the wall as she heard her pursuers evidently lost track of her. It had been days since the Black Lotus had discovered her betrayal and started hunting her. She quietly worked her way to a dark room where she sat against a wall and drifted into sleep. As she slept her thoughts turned to years ago, when she had agreed to killed Fire Lord Azulon and eventually join the Black Lotus.
Ursa sat in a room in the Fire Nation Royal Palace as she waited for the assassin. The assassin was the one her husband Ozai had hired to kill Iroh and Lu Ten. He succeeded in killing Lu Ten but not Iroh. To make up for not killing Iroh, Ozai was going to have him kill their son Zuko. Once Ursa had found out she rushed to their meeting room. Once the assassin had learned that he was being paid to kill a child he refused his services. Ozai then suggested that in order to spare Zuko, Ursa would have to kill Ozai's father. Ursa agreed under the condition that Zuko not be harmed. Ozai accepted and promised that her exile would be peaceful.
"Been waiting long?" the assassin's voice said from behind her, causing her to spin around. The assassin was standing over her holding a package under his arm. "Sorry." He apologized as he set the package on the table.
"It's fine." Ursa began trying to catch her breath, "Just wasn't expecting you there."
"No one expects me." The assassin said as he opened the package and took out three daggers. "Each of these is laced with poison." He explained picking one up. "This one is laced with poison extracted from a white jade bush. First thing it does once it enters the blood stream is cause horrible rashes, then once it reaches the nervous system it paralyzes the body. Finally when it reaches the heart, it slowly eats away at it. The process takes a couple of hours and is incredibly painful." He put the dagger down and pick up another, "This contains poison, milked from a two headed rat viper. It quickly works its way through the bloodstream and attacks the heart and internal organs. It's very potent and only takes a few minutes to take effect."
Ursa watched as the assassin almost reverently picked up the final dagger. "And that one?" she asked growing curious.
"This one is laced with scorpion snake venom." The assassin explained. "It's known as 'Instant Death' among assassins and doctors. The poison acts so fast the victim is dead before the blade can be pulled out. So which one will you use on Azulon?"
Ursa looked at the daggers before saying "All of them." The assassin nodded as Ursa took the daggers and strapped them to her body. "What's your name?" she asked as they walked toward the door.
"Tengu." The assassin responded.
A team of four assassins stalked noiselessly down the hall while they searched for Ursa. They had never been through this part of the base and were proceeding cautiously. But not cautious enough to notice the very thin tripwire spread across the hall. The assassin in front stepped into it, causing the small can of exploding jelly to detonate.
Ursa stood over Azulon's sleeping form as she held the first dagger Tengu had shown her. While she stood there Tengu was busy setting something up by the door. Ursa lifted the dagger and was about to plunge it into the old man's shoulder, when she hesitated. She couldn't bring herself to murder the old man in cold blood. She almost broke down into tears when Tengu appeared behind her and whispered.
"Don't show him any mercy. Remember this is the man who wanted your son murdered." That did it, Ursa screamed in rage as she plunged the dagger into Azulon's gut. The old man screamed as the poison worked it's way through his system faster than Tengu had advertised. Before the rashes could finish spreading, Ursa stabbed the second dagger next to the first. Azulon stopped screaming as the two poisons mixed in his systems. The result was an agonizing mixture that had the old man trembling from the immense pain that was seizing his body. Ursa pulled out the final dagger and held it up, drawing out Azulon's suffering.
While Tengu watched Ursa poison the Fire Lord he heard several footsteps coming down the hall. "Princess, I don't mean to rush you but we need to hurry." He said.
Ursa glared into the agonized eyes of the Fire Lord and said "For my son." And she plunged the final dagger into his chest. As advertised Azulon was dead before she pulled the knife out. Tears began forming in Ursa's eyes as the guards arrived outside the door.
"My Lord, are you alright?" one of them asked gently knocking on the door.
"Shit." Tengu whispered as he pulled out his sansetsukon. "We need to go now." Tengu said to Ursa as she wiped the tears from her eyes. She nodded as she pulled the daggers out and slid them back into their sheaths. As she did that, Tengu pulled the ring from Azulon's finger. He was about throw a rope over the balcony so they could escape.
"Ursa, Assassin." Ozai's voice called "Is Azulon dead?" Tengu gave Ursa a quick glance before he motioned for her to wait. Ursa waited in the room as Tengu slid the door open and carefully stepped over the wire he set. Minutes later there were sounds of struggle outside and Tengu came flying through the door. He lay on the ground for moment before jumping to his feet.
"Time to go." He said as several guards poured into the room, tripping the wire. The trap Tengu laid blew up killing the guards and launching Ozai down the hall. Before any more guards could pour in Tengu and Ursa were sliding down the rope.
Make Your Stand
The large man named Des led Ursa through the tunnels of the Black Lotus Home Base. While they walked Des asked her questions of how she was able to get close enough to Azulon in order to kill him.
"Let's just say he had a weakness for servant girls." Ursa lied hoping the big man would buy it. The response got a hearty laugh from the assassin.
"Wow, Lu Ming and I never thought of that." Des exclaimed, "Nice to see you were able think on your feet." Ursa gave a small sigh of relief as Des continued. "It's a shame you couldn't kill the dirt bag Ozai too."
"Yes it is." Ursa whole-heartedly agreed. "A remarkable shame."
"Yeah would've been perfect if you could've taken out the entire family." Des continued as he approached a door and opened it, revealing an empty room. "Well here's your room. Who knows, maybe soon you'll get a contract to kill Ozai."
Ursa smiled as she said, "Hopefully." Des' comment about the 'entire family' had slightly upset her.
"If you do make sure you take care of his darling wife and those little brats he has too." Des laughed, Ursa slapped the big man across the face. She had meant what she said about killing Ozai, and she didn't care what was said about her, but the minute Des brought Zuko and Azula into it the line was crossed. Des' seemingly happy attitude was gone, replaced with almost palpable rage. Thing's seemed to move in slow motion as he brought his fist up.
"If you ever find yourself in conflict with a man named Des, don't back down. He respects strength and back bone above all else." Tengu had told Ursa on the boat ride to Ember Island. Ursa's arm shot down to the daggers strapped at her waist and grabbed the one laced with scorpion snake venom. As she brought the blade up to Des' chest, the blade was harmlessly deflected by Des' sand armor. Before she could react Des grabbed her wrist and pried the dagger from her hand. Ursa was about to go for another dagger when Des held his hand up. He lifted the dagger to his nose and took a strong sniff. A hint of a smile appeared on his face.
"Scorpion snake." He said offering the dagger to Ursa, "I prefer White Jade, but that works too." Des turned around and walked away from Ursa before turning and saying, "You'll fit right in here Miss..."
"Sa." Ursa said, "Lady Sa."
The tremor from the explosion woke Ursa from her slumber. They were coming, she knew that much. Without a word Ursa left her temporary room and started down the hall, toward the explosion.
"Time to make a stand." She said drawing her dagger laced with scorpion snake venom.
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