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|By Swampbender55||Part of thecontinuity.|
|"That was the moment when I realized the truth. Despite all the times she cared for me, said she loved me, encouraged me to do my best; she could never love me the same as she did Iroh."|
|— Soza retelling part of his past to his superior officer|
Sleazy Soza, Suchart (birth name)
171 AG (presumed)
|Weapon of choice||
|Chronological and political information|
Criminal, Crown Prince (formerly)
1 million Yuans (by Equalists), 250,000 (by Triple Threat Triad and Agni Kai Triad)
Soza was born to Sanaz, niece of Fire Lord Zuko under the name Suchart. Nothing is known about his father, except that he and Sanaz met sometime around a year before his birth. After the death of his mother shortly after his birth he was taken in and raised by Zuko's daughter with his cousin Iroh. Growing up, Soza was very rambunctious, somehow always getting into trouble unintentionally. As he grew he became very distant from his family, eventually ending up in Republic City where he joined the Agni Kai Triad. It was this decision that lead to one of the worst mistakes in his life when he and a group of Triad members raided the Sato mansion.
BackgroundSuchart was born to his mother Sanaz in the year 143 AG. Sanaz died shortly after his birth. She passed knowing he was destined for something great. His father was not present at his birth and, according to him years later "If anyone knew who he was, they were keeping it to themselves". The orphaned child would be taken in and raised by his aunt, the daughter of his great uncle Zuko. She always treated him like her own child, never revealing to him his true parentage and always believed he would one day become Fire Lord, despite the protests of his uncle who saw him as little more than a troublemaker. Indeed Suchart was prone to making bad decisions despite his good intentions, once burning down the palace kitchen when he attempted to cook breakfast for the family. He was also prone to what he called "fire fingers", a burning sensation in his hands that would occur just before something bad occurred to him. Suchart himself was always upbeat around his aunt, as she never severely scolded him when he made a mistake, encouraging him to do the best he could.
Everything changed when his aunt gave birth to his cousin Iroh in 149 AG. This did not change his relation with his aunt, as she treated him with the same kindnesses as before. And he was all too happy to have a younger brother. His uncle on the other hand, took every opportunity to berate him in private while praising Iroh, who even at the age of six was shown to be a very capable firebender. He would constantly tell his adopted son that because of his lack of skill as well as his poor grades in school Iroh would one day take the throne instead of him. Suchart was, admittedly not well versed in controlling his firebending. He would also visit his great aunt Azula at one point in time. The encounter lasted only a few minutes, Azula writing him off as "a disgrace to their noble bloodline" after simply looking into his eyes. This along with the harassment from his uncle would have a profound affect later in his life.
Finally, tired of the abuse he took from his uncle, Suchart would grow closer to his older cousin Doda, who was also not held in high regards in the palace. She would go on to introduce him to the Children of the Sun, a nationwide group who believed that the Fire Nation should return to its dominant position on the world scene and reclaim the United Republic of Nations for the Fire Nation. Following the group, Suchart found camaraderie with the younger members. He also came to believe in their cause. Studying more about his nation's history and it's great leaders, he was soon determined to prove himself worthy of the title of Fire Lord. He would, however, find it a daunting task to keep up with Iroh, who was well along in his studies. Doda supported him every step of the way stating that a victory for him was a victory for the both of them. His aunt was also happy to see him taking an interest in his history.
Unfortunately, Suchart would find himself involved in one of the Sun's less than noble endeavors. He was instructed to distract a group of guards around the Earth Kingdom embassy in the capital. Thinking this to be no more than a harmless graffiti prank, the boy readily agreed. His fingers burning, Suchart followed his instructions by shooting a fire ball at one of the guards and ran as the guards gave chase. After getting caught, Suchart was horrified to find the gang had set fire to the embassy as a protest to the Earth Kingdom citizen's presence in their homeland. He and the other members involved were arrested on terrorist charges and held in the capital's prison. His aunt would come the next morning to bail him out, and the two would have a very long talk about his involvement with the Children of the Sun. Although harsh, she showed that she did still care for his well-being, encouraging him to make amends by helping to repair the damage caused by the incident.
A year later Suchart would take part in military drills with Iroh and a group of other students. Suchart would ignore his cousin's advice and press his unit forward to capture the opposing teams flag. The flag was right in their sights when they came under enemy fire. Pinned down, Suchart was unable to come up with a strategy to get them out of their predicament. Suddenly, Iroh lead his unit down, ambushing the rival team and securing victory. When the training was over the time came for the award ceremony to decorate the most distinguished student in the class. To no one but Suchart's surprise, Iroh was presented with the medal. As the rest of the family celebrated Iroh's achievement, he sat off on his own, disappointed that, in spite of trying his hardest failing once again. To his surprise once again he was approached by his younger sibling, who presented him with his medal in a show of good faith, again bringing the two closer together.
The next few months went considerably well for Suchart, growing closer to Iroh, though he still spent a large amount of time with Doda and the Suns. One night he overheard his aunt and uncle as he was getting a late night snack in the palace kitchen. He hid under the counter so as not to be seen as the two walked by. He listened as his uncle once again talked down on him, declaring that he did not want Iroh to spend anymore time around Suchart, as he saw him and the gang as a corrupting influence. His aunt came to her "sons" defense, declaring that he has been applying himself more and that the two were like true brothers. His uncle unknowingly revealed the truth to him as he referred to Suchart as Sanaz's son, and that he should be sent away since Iroh was the rightful heir. After a long pause she relented, stating that she would have Suchart sent off to live with friends in another city. Hearing these angered him greatly, feeling betrayed and truly unloved by the one person he believed he could trust.
Unaware of his knowledge of the conversation, the family sat down for dinner the next day. Suchart simply ate quietly while the others conversed, Iroh telling them of the praise his firebender instructors have given him and how far his training has come. As the evening draws on, Suchart finds it increasingly difficult to hold in his rage until finally, he challenges Iroh to an duel in the palaces Agni Kai chamber. Though Iroh believes this to be nothing more than a friendly match, Suchart fully plans to humiliate his adopted brother and prove himself worthy as future Fire Lord. Despite opening up with a flurry of fire blasts, Suchart's rage is no match for Iroh's skill and control and the duel is over in a matter of moments. Iroh reaches to help his "brother" up but Suchart, now swallowed completely by shame and despair pushes him and his aunt away, fleeing the palace.
The young man wandered the streets of the capital until he reaches Doda's home, his cousin offering him a place to stay and lay low until he can figure out what he wants to do. She would admit to Suchart that she was aware of his true origins, but was requested not to tell him by his aunt. It was also during this time that Doda revealed to him that she was expecting a child in the next few months. After a week or so Suchart made the decision to leave the Fire Nation and his family behind and travel to the United Republic of Nations. With forged identification given to him by Doda and the Children of Sun, Suchart, now with the new name Soza, departs his homeland and embarks on a new life in a new land. Before leaving, he would secretly pass a note to Akane, one of the servant girls in the palace, asking her to keep him updated on the goings on in the capital as well as making sure Doda stayed out of trouble.
Arriving in the Republic
In the Fall of 157 AG, Soza arrives in Republic City but quickly finds it hard to adapt to the fast paced life of his new surroundings. Lacking the skill of Lightning generation he is unable to find work at the local power plant and resorts to taking out a hefty loan from the Agni Kai Triad. By the spring of 158 AG, the fourteen year old is on the verge of starving on the streets, having squandered his money on get rich quick endeavors that ultimately flopped. He is soon approached by the Triad members who demand their money. Luckily for him, Soza's life is spared by Shoren, an Agni Kai who convinces the others to let him live, noting his above average firebending skill compared to the street-fighting benders in the city. He invites the teen into the gang, assuring him that he'll be free to go once his debt is paid. Soza, seeing no other alternative, agrees. Shoren takes him under his tutelage, teaching him everything he needs to know about Republic City, the two becoming close friends over the next few months.Later that year, Soza would work with the group on a special job to raid the home of businessman Hiroshi Sato, the completion of this mission guaranteed to clear his debt. Along with Shoren and six others, the job was led by the gang member Zhubin. The gang successfully infiltrated the mansion, taking Sato and his wife by surprise. Zhubin would task the young man along with another member with watching the two while the others raided the estate. Noticing how visibly nervous he is, Mrs. Sato calmly takes the opportunity to strike up a conversation with Soza while the two are alone, stating that he seemed different than the other gang members. He confirms this, saying that he found no pleasure in it but was having a run of bad luck. He proceeds to tell her small bits about why he left his home, being sure to leave out his royal family connections as she tells him a little about hers as well, mentioning her six year old daughter, Asami who is fast asleep upstairs. She proceeds to reassure him that things always turn out in the end and that the Agni Kai's were not his only option. She even offers to help him find work if he decides to leave the gang. The talk seems to ease some of his tension and he begins to relax.
Soon after though, Shoren takes him aside and informs him that he is to take the two and lock them up so that they don't call the police. Soza complies, telling the two to start walking in front of him. While walking he quietly reassures Mrs. Sato that they will not be harmed. Hiroshi, however, does not hear this and assumes that the firebender intends to kill them. As they make their way down the hall Hiroshi surprises him, striking Sozawith a lamp from a table in the hall. He hits him repeatedly in the head with the makeshift weapon, bringing him to his knees, as his wife tries to stop him. He manages to stumble away from the two as Hiroshi's wife attempts to explain. His vision and hearing blurred from the repeated blows and believing he might die, he instinctively firebends to save his life. Seconds later he hears a scream as one of his misdirected blasts hits Sato's wife. Sato, horrified at what has happened, rushes off, hitting an alarm under a desk in his office. The other gang members rush to the area as Soza can hardly believe what he has done.
Now knowing the mission is a failure, Zhubin turns his anger to Soza and prepares to kill him for causing this. He himself is killed in an instant however, as Shoren comes to the teen's rescue. He makes up the story that Zhubin attempted to turn the others over to the police in return for a clean slate and that he had to be dealt with, forcing the others to collaborate the story. He then tells Soza that he has done all he can for him and that it's time that they part ways. Soza reluctantly agrees and the group depart the mansion. The events of that night would haunt the firebender for years afterward.
Twelve Years in the Making
On his own once again, Soza would end up working for yet another Triad; this time under Lightning Bolt Zolt, leader of the Triple Threat Triad. Working for Zolt over the next few years, he would rise through the ranks; starting out as a door guard and collection agent before being allowed the privilege of operating on his own, running one of the Triple Threat's sweatshops. Around 165 AG he would receive news from Akane that his cousin Doda had died from a pandemic that had spread through the capital, though her daughter, Azla, was alright and being raised in the palace. Though he was slightly relieved, the news was no less devastating, as the loss of one of his closest friends was a severe blow. Around this time he would start to have dreams of a woman he did not recognize, the woman never spoke, merely staring at him the whole time before he awoke. He would talk to several therapists in the city but none of them could ever answer his questions as to the meaning.
His position at the sweatshop would bring him into constant conflict with one of the workers, a young street urchin named Skoochy, who watched out for some of the other children. Soza, on the other hand cared little of the dangerous environment of the factory as long as the work got done, going so far as to threaten several of the children if the work was not completed.
During the summer of 170 AG, while walking down the street he would run across a young man being hassled by a restaurant owner over not having enough money to pay for his meal. In anger, the teenager destroys a table with waterbending before exiting. This catches Soza's attention and he follows the young man. Catching up to him, he compliments his bending skills. the waterbender brushes him off, however, telling him to "get lost". Soza is not deterred and after a few seconds notes that the teen is Hasook of the Fire Ferrets. Hasook states that he is no longer a member of the team and isn't interested in joining another, mistaking the firebender for a Pro-bending recruiter. He assures the waterbender that he is not here for that, though he is a recruiter of sorts and offers the young man a position in the Triple Threats, which he hesitantly accepts. The two team-up for the next few weeks, becoming a very effective duo. One night the two run late for a meeting at the Triple Threat Triad headquarters. This proves to be a saving grace as they narrowly miss being kidnapped by an Equalist raid which ended in Zolt and several members losing their bending.
The two, along with the remaining Triad members would lay low for the next few months, trying their hardest not to draw any Equalist attention.
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