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 The Game

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Aiokka
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PostSubject: Re: The Game   Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:43 pm





Aiokka's head leaned back reflexively and her eyes widened. Alright, so she was not expecting an outburst. Well, really yes but not that kind, and the fact that it came from him practically astounded her. That fragmented declaration was enough to silence the invisible gale windstorm and put out their proverbial flames. Aiokka couldn't even hear the faintest breathings from any of the other servants, yet she could just feel Kenna's confused and worried stare.

Hopefully she wouldn't have to address that later.

"You......you hate them?"She croaked, the last words tumbling out full tilt and lighter in pitch. Aiokka's eyes swept from his trembling hands to his animalistic snarl, still staring in a mix of wonderment and disbelief. Not only because she discovered the boy had a temper, but also for the same reasons she stepped out earlier. Something in her brain gave a sharp quack! and Aiokka recoiled slightly. When Satoshi, turned to leave she didn't reach out to stop him. Afterall, what was the point? However her expression remained grim as she staked his retreat, only marching back inside once she was sure he'd gone.


The minute she reappeared Aiokka was bombarded with questions, and a parka.

"Aiokka! You okay?? What'd that creep do to you?" Aiokka sat down on a random mat and snatched off her mittens. 'They're useleds now anyway.' Rapid footfalls scurried near her and the entire troop, plus a few of the children, descended on her like owlcats. She met them with a blank look.

"What?"
Renshu broke the tense silence, "I have no idea what the dragon-droppings went on just now....but what the spirits Aiokka? You alright?"
"Yep." Aiokka replied, popping the "p".
Xiaofan scrambled next to her and yanked her sleeves back to inspect her arms. "He'd better not had hit you,cuz that'd be a problem. Still what happened??"
She went into the lotus position and regarded them evenly,"You tell me. Think I missed something?" Outside of their little huddle Tarnok began to shift uncomfortably anf cleared his throat. All heads snapped over to him and he coughed into hid hand.

"Come on Tarnok what gives?"
The water tribe boy rubbed the back of his nervously and, after much mental debate he sauntered over. To his credit he sat right between Aiokka and Lien and sighed heavily.

"I'll tell you right now....I dont even know. He just barged in here looking for you, like demanding really. I told him I wasnt sayinh anything and he just shook it out of me. I mean-"

"You sang like a fox-canary!"One of the little ones piped. Tarnok scowled at them and they giggled.
Aiokka slapped a hand over her face,"I just.....you just.....ugh forget it."
"Im sorry?" Tarnok squeaked.

Kenna eyed Aiokka with that stern motherly glare of hers,"Aiokka...."
She was two steps ahead of her,"No, I he doesnt know about him. Guys, I have a massive headache and tomorrow we're keeping the grounds, right Lien?"
The earth kingdom girl nodded and her short hair bounced up and down, "Thats whats Pakwa and Jiao-Ao said!" The entire group groaned.

Renshu gave Aiokka's shoulder a gentle squeeze before standing up,"Get some sleep Badgermole, sweet dreams."
Tarnok flung his arms around her dramatically before she knocked him off,"Dont be mad at me Aio!"

"Im not!" Aiokka snapped and purposefully avoided looking at Kenna, walking toward her spot instead,"Just go to sleep idiot!"
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PostSubject: Re: The Game   Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:30 pm

The next morning dawned overcast and unseasonably cold. Satoshi was slow to rise because he hadn't gotten much sleep. He was immediately accosted by the usual team of servants scrambling and fussing to prepare him for the day. These weren't slaves. They were paid employees of the Nagakura house his father kept around to do the jobs he didn't trust the slaves to do right. Satoshi was able to put up with about five minutes of their constant jabbering and fussing before he snapped and shouted at them all to get out.

He dressed himself and arranged his hair back into its topknot, fishing the ring and pin out of the little spaces they'd managed to find their ways into the previous night. Once he'd arranged himself properly, he headed out. Down to the dining hall he went, partaking of a scarce breakfast before standing once more and walking out. He had a mind to go out into the courtyards and have a stroll. It was rather unfavorable weather for something like that, but he didn't care. He was almost to the exit into the courtyards when he was waylaid by Sen.

"Ah," Sen said, smiling his serpentine smile. "Young Master Satoshi. Just the man I wanted to see."

Satoshi scowled.

"What do you want?" he asked shortly, foregoing all semblance of pleasantry.

"Now, now!" Sen said, putting on an expression of surprise. He didn't hide the fact that this was little better than a mask very well. "We can't have rudeness! The Phoenix King does not tolerate subjects who can not observe the niceties of the court. If you're going to climb the ranks, my young friend, you'll have to do a bit better than that!"

"Who says I want to climb the ranks?" Satoshi said. "All I want to do is take a walk."

He moved past Sen and just had his hand on the door when Sen spoke.

"A shame." he said. "And here your father assured me that you'd be happy to represent your house in the ranks of the Imperial Firebenders. How very disappointing."

Satoshi slowly looked back at him.

"You have great potential, my young friend." Sen continued, giving an open gesture with his arms, spreading them wide. "I weep to see you wasting it here in the south when you could be accomplishing sooo much in New Ozai under the tutelage of General Long."

"My potential is something I will decide how to make use of." Sato said finally. "Good day."

And with that he turned and headed out. Sen was definitely up to something. Now he was determined to find out what it was. And he hadn't missed the small detail of the Ambassador's personal guards all of a sudden being absent from his presence. Something was up... He'd have to keep an eye on it all.
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PostSubject: Re: The Game   Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:02 pm



Aiokka collapsed on the snow and threw an arm over her eyes. A metal barrel filled with coal rested near her side the large front wheel nudging her shoulder. Around her were the usual thuddings as everyone on grounds duty either shuffled around or shoveled around gargantuan mounds of hard ice and black snow. She grimaced deeply and removed her arm, looking up at the gloomy sky.

"Didnt even think.we'd have so much coal down here,"Aiokka grunted and sat up,"Might as well go back to Huo Jian Yu!" No, she couldn't go back. The timing wasn't right.

Thick boots crunched through the snow and squeaked when Kenna sat down next to her. Aiokka sighed inwardly and mentally kicked kicked herself. "Heeeey Kenna, how's it going?"
"I wish to speak with you my Unasuk."
"You know I'd reeeeeeeally love too but this barrow here and-" The waterbender was promptly cut off by a firm grip on her wrists while being dragged away from the inner yards of the estate. Aiokka.trudged after the older girl without fuss, glancing every so often to assess their surroundings. Kenna marched a good ways toward one of the vacant ice gardens and ducked behind one of the thick walls, dragging Aiokka along.

For a while, the two girls locked eyes and uttered no words. The only noise being the distant lumberings grom outside the walls. Neither girl made to move until the elder one, by three years, went first. It was sudden, quicker than the speed of an airbender and stronger than the grip of a frenzied dragon. Kenna wrapped her arms around Aiokka in a hug so tight she nearly shattered. They stayed that way for minutes, with Kenna's buried in the smaller girl's neck and Aiokka clawing at the sky for air.

"Aio," Kenna breathed, pulling away,"Do you know how worried I was for you??"
Aiokka massaged her throat and croaked,"I know Ken you-"

"No."The older Bender interrupted rather angrily,"You don't know. You know how dangerous it is to keep running off at night. You were almost caught,if you're not careful you idiot you will be!" The ice sculpture nearest them began to shake and Kenna clenched her fists. Aiokka inched away from her and shrank under her deep-blue glare. As much as Aiokka wouldn't want to admit, that look scared her more than anything in the world. Perhaps because it reminded her of the one person she missed more than anything.


"Kenna I'm.....I'm sorry. You know I have to do this....."
"I know,"Kenna mumbled through quivering lips,"Its just....I've waited so many years for you to come back, only for you to leave again. Aiokka, I worry for you! What am I supposed to do??"
Kenna sniffed and wiped her eyes with the palms of her mittens. They were beginning to puff up and turn that unsightly red color,.and her nose was turning red. Aiokka pulled her into a tight embrace and smiled into her hair.

"You can keep being the best big sister a girl could ever ask for," She soothed dropping all pretenses, "The world even." She squeezed her sister tightly and then pulled away from her. Both girls watching other in silence before bursting into a cacophony of giggles. Aiokka evaporated the tears from her sister's eyes and grinned at her toothily. Kenna shoved her little sister playfully before standing up and exhaling.

"So, you're really going to do this again?"
"You know I have to, I need answers. And Jiruk's missing me."
There was a scoff and a.shuffling of boots as the girls headed back toward the grounds. "Ugh, you're as stubborn as mom ever was."
"Well you're all over protective like dad!"
"You're childish like Kasukk!"
"And you're grumpy like grandpa Grump-Grump!!"
Aiokka whooped and leaped sideways as a renegade snowball whizzed past her nose. Kenna.charged after without missing a beat, racing back to the grounds and managing to slam Hiroshi with a snowball. Aiokka returned to their work stations under the guise of mere friends, renewed with vigor to complete their tasks. The ragtag group somehow fashionef a relay-race to get the job done while.the adults tried to wrestle their adrenaline. Aiokka of course was one of the hard ones to detain. Still, while running around like a maniac her heart became fraught with dark uncertainty. She didnt Perhaps Kenna may have had a right to be overly worried this time.

Yes?

No?
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Satoshi
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PostSubject: Re: The Game   Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:57 am

Satoshi was walking through the courtyard, considering the situation with Sen carefully. He had to come up with a contingency plan for being sent to New Ozai. Perhaps it would be best to put his revenge on the back burner. His father was the stubborn sort who would carry on for decades. There was no real rush to revenge himself upon them. They weren't going anywhere.

For the moment, the immediate concern was being a potentially doomed puppet because of his father's poorly veiled ambitions to rule. The man had been sent to govern the Southern Water Tribe in the first place because Ozai couldn't trust the man not to betray him. At the same time, the Nagakura house had been critical to the Fire Lord's victory over the remnant powers twelve years ago and he couldn't afford to alienate such a powerful family. Anything less than a governorship would be an affront. So he gave them the most remote post he could muster.

Control of the Southern Water Tribe may have given Satoshi's father extensive control over the southern fleets, but it also isolated him from the other lords, the better to keep him from sewing discord in the nobility. It was evidence to Satoshi of the Phoenix King's intelligence, at least politically. Had he kept Nagakura Hisashi in the capitol these last dozen years, there was more than a good chance that the man would have gathered enough support to remove Ozai by force. Despite its insurmountable exterior, the Phoenix Empire was a kingdom at war with itself. Everyone was vying for power. Ozai just happened to do be the best at it for the moment. Hence... he was still Phoenix King. If anything, the only real challenge to his authority was his own daughter. Then again... all she had to do to rise to power was wait for the old bastard to kick the bucket. Or, of course... arrange for him to do so. Either way, no political dealing was necessary for her to claim the throne. And she was ruthless enough to maintain it once she had it. In that respect, she was a step ahead of the competition.

Satoshi was musing on these facts, considering his options when the sound of splattering snow reached his ears. He looked around just in time to see what was left of a snowball fall from the face of an icy statue. Looking around further, his gaze fell on a pair of figures running about in the next courtyard, near the boundary wall. He squinted at them, trying to determine who they were. It wasn't long before he identified one of them...

"Aiokka." he muttered with a shallow sigh. There was no emotion but inexplicable disappointment attached to it. He didn't know the other girl. She looked a bit older. He watched them for a few moments before he realized exactly what was happening. The snowballs they were throwing... They weren't throwing them. They were bending them. Stunned, he ducked instinctively behind the dividing wall separating the courtyards.

She's a bender! Satoshi thought, tearing through his memories for other details to correspond to this now that he had the information. The late night disappearances, the spying in the training hall, the evasiveness when she was asked about them, her insistence that it was all worth it. All of it could be explained by a bender learning in secret. But why spy on firebenders? Was she learning their techniques so she could defend herself in a fight? She couldn't possibly be a firebender as well as a waterbender...

"Unless!" he said suddenly, his eyes widening. He peeked over the edge of the dividing wall at her again. "It can't be..."

~~~~~
Satoshi trudged mindlessly back toward his room shortly thereafter, his mind racing wildly, the many facets of his knowledge and intelligence debating one another about the possibility that defiant Aiokka... was the Avatar. Could it be possible? It was true that the next Avatar after Aang would have been a waterbender, a native of the Water Tribes, or perhaps even from the Swamps of the central Earth Kingdom. But what were the chances that the Avatar could have gone this far in the occupied territories without being identified? So many had died victims of the Empire. Could it be possible that not only did she survive but she was right under his nose?

"No." Satoshi whispered, stopping dead in the middle of a corridor, no one anywhere within earshot. No one within sight, what was more, but that fact didn't reach Satoshi's notice. "All I know is she's a waterbender who likes spying on her enemy. There's nothing so unusual in that. I can't let myself succumb to eagerness like that..."

A moment later and the whispers of several voices met his ears. He looked around. The voices were coming from within a room a few feet away. It was a guest room that rarely saw use. The door was cracked slightly. It took him a minute to recognize Sen's voice.

"We will catch the guilty party..."

Looking this way and that, Satoshi snuck close to the door and offered his best ear to listen in. The conversation inside was heated.

"Do you really think they'll come back?" Toda, Sen's Captain of the Personal Guard asked.

"For this?" Sen said. "Absolutely."


Even without seeing his face, Satoshi could tell the man's face was curling in that way only his could, like a particularly devious snake waiting to slither into a child's bed and sink his fangs into unsuspecting prey just for the joy of killing.

"Tell your men to set their trap well and wait for the culprit to return, Captain." Sen continued. There was a clattering sound as something heavy was put on a table. "I'm sure we can expect our guest later tonight."

"Yes, my lord." Toda said. "And what of the Governor's elites? Surely we should inform them of this."

"The Governor dislikes me because he feels I have no respect for his leadership." Sen explained. "What better way to convince him otherwise than to help him fulfill the terms of the very law he created, hm?"

"I see." Toda said. "Quite brilliant!"


Satoshi's lips curled at this. It was just so absurd. His father wasn't going to trust them for taking matters into their own hands. He was going to hate Sen more, and that was saying something. Sen was going to steal the spotlight and all but declare that he knows better than the very man who was charged with ruling this place.

"You have your orders, Captain." Sen said finally. "See to them."

"As you command, my lord!" Toda declared. "We'll catch the waterbender red-handed."


Waterbender?! Satoshi thought in shock. How does he know about Aiokka?!

He heard Toda's footsteps approach the door and he dove into a room across the hall quickly to hid. It was yet another guest room, this one vacant. He listened as toda marched past and then emerged slowly back into the hall, looking after Toda and then toward the now closed door of Sen's room. As he stood there, his mind raced. How could he warn Aiokka not to go without raising alarms of a very different kind... those guards near the kitchens weren't likely to believe the I wanted a snack story again...
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Aiokka
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PostSubject: Re: The Game   Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:49 am




Sigh. "I do not understand."
"I'm just as confused as you are. Seriously."
Kenna shifted and grimaced, her back hunched to keep the conversation hushed between them. "What else happened?" Aiokka fiddled with a random moon print on her tunic and and chewed her lip. 'What else happened?' She pleaded her memories for more answers and surveyed the other servants bustling about. It was nearing the late hours, meaning that the slaves were wrapping up their remnant tasks to return for dinner. No one seemed to notice the two girls in the corner of the room, if they did no one bothered to say anything.

Aiokka's eyelids fell and she exhaled. Her scratchy film reel of a memory brought her back to the looming shadow of some monstrous man only to flip to some sort of unforgiving dilapidated.cell. The same monstrous giant was on the outside, while two hands gripped the bars on the inside like a vice. The last traces of the sketchy vision left behind nothing but sniveling choruses of laughterk laughter that really sounded like a dying moose-lion dry-heaving.

A heavy presence snapped her from her reverie and she looked over. Kenna had subconsciously rearranged herself so that she was leaning against her shoulder. Her dark-blue eyes examined her face with an intensity that rivaled Koh the face stealer. Aiokka raised a sheepish eyebrow and inched backward, while swallowing nervously.

"Well?"
Aiokka ducked,"There's this....man. I've 'seen' him every now and then but for the past two days he keeps popping up." She resisted the urge to throw her hands in the air for emphasis. "Don't know who he is but I keep seeing him!"
Kenna frowned,"Governor Nagakura? Any of his 3 sons?"
"No. This guy's tall, but not as 'thick' as them. He doesn't 'sound' like them either." Aiokka leaned forward and flopped down on her stomach. 'Should I tell her about the dungeon part? Maybe dad's down there!'

"Aiokka," Kenna's voice,laced gravelly,cut through her musings with the swiftness of a jian,"Be careful."
"......"
"This is the last stop, the dividing point."
Aiokka sat up abruptly,What the Koh was she talking about?
However Kenna pressed further,"Mom and grump would be able to interpret that,maybe. I can't. But I've given you all of the things you'll need,along with a copy of the world map Renshu and I managed to steal from master Makoto's study."
Aiokka's mouth went slack,"How in the world did you both get-"

"Don't ask."
"Oh."
The waterbender gasped when she was suddenly jerked upward and pulled into yet another bone-crushing embrace. Kenna held Aiokka against her the way their mother would if either of them had a nightmare. Except, both girls were shaking in their skin this time with only the comfort of eachother.

"You listen to me,"Her older sister demanded lowly,"When you leave here, dont come back."
Aiokka snapped her head up," But~!"
She was silenced with a glare,"You'll do as I say! Keep running and do NOT turn back. Jiruk will guide you, and we will meet again."

Aiokka's eyes widened and she stared at her sister in disbelief. 'You're not coming with me?? That was the plan!' Questions burned the corners of her lips and she searched Kenna's face for anything, ]anything that'd crack under her pleading stare. No budge.

"But.....how will you-"
"No more questions.” Kenna rose and extended her hand,"Just listen. Come on, let's go eat."

OooOOoo




Aiokka swallowed and wrung her hands. Her mouth parted and then closed;parted, closed,parted,closed. Despite the bone-chilling wind her skin was as hot as a forgery, and the sweat around her forehead refused to turn to crystal. Tentatively, she took one step out beyond the walls and exhaled shakily. 'This is it.'

"Unasuk."
Aiokka nearly flew ten feet in the air.
Kenna traipsed over to her sister and put a hand on her shoulder,"You will be fine. Tackle.the world Aiokka, lead it and never let go. Dont underestimate yourself, hear me? I love you unasuk, and I will see you."
Aiokka blinked,"But...how-"
"May the sun shine upon your path, Aiokka." The cryptic message came in just above a whisper. Aiokka's expression went rigid and she allowed Kenna to push her toward the outlands. Deftly she felt something being tucked into her hands and she put it away safely. Turning, she bowed and replied with her equally cryptic answer...
"And may the moon guide your steps, Kenna."


OoOoO



This was not happening.

"Where is it? WhereIsItWhereIsItWHEREISIT!" Aiokka hissed with the icy winds and scrambled all over the tundra. Flecks of snow clung to every place imaginable while she tore through the snow...half-bending and half flinging frost everywhere.

"Ashes! Urgh!" Aiokka drilled through the snow thicket until her hand struck something hard. Wasting no time she dug through the hole and fished out.....

A random pole.

Her glare became fixated on said pole like a bewildered owlcat. Whee was her staff of Tui and La? 'Only one who knows about it is Kenna, and Jiruk. Neither of them would take it though!'
Aiokka growled and willed to remain calm. Reacted on volatile emotions would only make matters worse.....or disrupt an entire snowland.

"Who the cinders would even know about this place??" Came her demand. Aiokka tossed the pole on the ground and kicked it, registering that foreboding knot that had sank its teeth into her earlier.

Look.

Aiokka peered at the staff and bent down to retrieve it. A red and black insignia, so tiny it was almost invisible, faced her mockingly."

It was then that the pole dropped like a sweet-bun out of the sky.
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PostSubject: Re: The Game   Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:23 pm

Satoshi's fingers fumbled on the keys as he struggled to unlock the iron door into the servants' barracks and kitchens. The two guards were unconscious at his feet. He wasn't quite as helpless as he'd led his father to believe. He was, after all, a Nagakura. However, he still wasn't quite up to the task of much more challenging fights than a pair of exhausted, lazy, and thoroughly bored guards.

Finally, the lock clicked and the door swung open.

"You, again!" Tarnok declared as everyone looked around at him.

"Where is she?" Satoshi asked desperately, half-running into the middle of the room only to slow to a jog and a stop in the space of about two feet when he realized she was nowhere to be seen. "Please tell me she's still here!"

"Listen, you--." Tarnok began, but a far more commanding voice overrode him.

"Why do you want her?"

Satoshi looked around. A figure had emerged in the doorway into the hall which led to the rear courtyard. She had a fierce sort of look in her eye as she sized him up.

"We don't have time for this!" Satoshi shouted. "Sen has laid a trap for Aiokka! He knows where she goes at night. Tell me! Where is she?!"

Shocked looks rippled through the room at this declaration. Then all eyes moved to the newcomer.

"Kenna?" Tarnok said, his voice filled with shock. Kenna was already walking toward Satoshi, a determined look on her face...

~~~~~
"I'll go with you." Kenna said as they entered the stables a few minutes later.

"No." Satoshi said flatly. "I know you want to help her, but I'm not going because I want to help her fight her way out of this. I need to get there as fast as possible and keep her from being caught at all. We don't have a hope against the Ambassador's elites. Besides. With this and your directions, I'll be able to ride faster without you..."

He held up the strip of fabric which had come from the sheet of Aiokka's cot.

"I don't understand." Kenna said, shaking her head. "How will that help you?"

"Because my father likes to cheat when he's hunting." Satoshi said as they rounded a corner. At the far end of the stable lay a massive brown beast. It might have been some relative of the polar bear-dog were it not for the bald rat tail and the lack of eyes.

"Ack!" Kenna said, surprised at the sight of the beast. "What is that?!"

"An old friend." Satoshi said, smiling. "My father confiscated him from a woman named June years ago. It's a Shirshu. His name is Nyla. And where noses go... you'll never find a stronger sense of smell in all the world."

"So it can track her!" Kenna said with dawning comprehension.

"Exactly." Satoshi nodded. "And thankfully for us, I'm the only Nagakura that he actually likes. He didn't at first, but I'd come and hide here in the stables when I was depressed and... we became friends over time."

"What about your father?" Kenna asked.

"Nyla only obeys him because he doesn't want to be punished." Satoshi explained. "He's just another slave to my father's will, even if he doesn't like it. Just like you and Aiokka. And... even if you don't believe it... Just like me."

Kenna took on a look of surprise when he said this, but he didn't stick around to appreciate it. He walked over and ran a hand along the top of Nyla's head. His fur was starting to go gray after all these years. But more than that, he missed June the same way Satoshi missed his mother. They'd been taken from them by the same man. Their losses had aged both of them unnaturally fast. Satoshi imagined that it was this kindred nature between the two of them that had made them allies, even friends. In their grief, they were one in the same.

"Nyla." Satoshi said, smiling. "You awake, my friend?"

Nyla raised his head and gave a gentle grumble.

"I need a favor." Satoshi said, holding up the rag-like strip of fabric. "I need to you find her. Please!"

Nyla took a few whiffs of the fabric and then began sniffing at the air. He'd seen him do this countless times when his father dragged them out on what he laughingly called a hunt. All it was was animal slaughter for fun and profit. He didn't even bother acting like a hunter, riding across the tundra on his captured shirshu, three dozen other riders at his back, scorching the land and everything they saw until the ice was steaming in their wake, a shallow ocean waiting to freeze once more...

After a moment, Nyla seemed to catch on to her scent and grunted at Satoshi to get on, which he did. Reigns were always on Nyla. Satoshi took them up quickly.

"Kenna." he said, looking down at her. "If we're caught... My father won't stop at Aiokka and me. He'll punish every slave in the Southern Water Tribe."

"But the law--." Kenna began.

"Trust me, he'll find a 'lawful' way to punish each and every one of you." Satoshi said, shaking his head. "There's a secret passage under the palace which leads out to a hidden harbor on the coast. It's my father's escape route. He doesn't trust many people to know about it, so the security inside the tunnel should be light. There are entrances everywhere. The nearest one is underneath the statue of Ozai in the corridor just above the kitchens. If Aiokka and I are caught, take as many of the slaves as you can and escape through the tunnel. Take the ships in the harbor and sail directly northwest."

"That leads toward the Fire Nation!" Kenna said, her brow furrowing in confusion.

"A confident enemy is an easy one to fool." Satoshi smiled. "The Fire Nation and Phoenix Empire navies don't share a very good communication network between one another, even if within each one individually there's outstanding lines of communication. Fire Nation officers are more likely to question orders given by a Phoenix Empire Governor. If you go through the central sea, you'll be caught. But the hesitation on the part of the Fire Nation navy with the information will give you the edge you need to get a head start. My father's escape ship is fast. It can outrun just about anything. Once you're past the Fire Isles, bring the ship around and use your head start to outrun the fleet to the safety of the northern waters. The Northern Water Tribe's fleet is still powerful. They'll be able to protect you."

"Thank you." Kenna nodded. "But I can't abandon my sister."

"Your sister?" Satoshi said slowly. He looked down at the cloth in his hand.

"Aiokka." Kenna said. "She's our last hope. I can't abandon her here. If you're caught... we'll have no choice but to fight."

"Don't." Satoshi said flatly. "My father will obliterate you. Promise me you'll live to fight another day!"

Kenna wore that wry smile that told him that she just couldn't make that promise. And so, with a sigh, he ordered Nyla to charge forward. Out through the stable gates and into the avenue, barreling over guards and tearing through obstacles. Out the main gates and onto the Tundra. He'd never ridden so hard in his life...
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PostSubject: Re: The Game   Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:28 pm





Aiokka was beyond holding up the guise of being a nonbender. Her hair was currently, the surrounding snow in disarray while several guards staggered to their. She'd meant to appear as weak, a slave girl with no skill to even defend herself with so much as a puddle. But Aiokka had failed, one snide comment about her mother and-

"Put her in bonds."

Gruff hands, still steaming with unbridled rage yanked her by the arms and hoisted her upward. Aiokka's thick ponytail scraped against the snow and slapped her neck, stinging her flesh unforgivingly.

In the eyes of the guards she did not flinch.

The bonds were of course made of the finest metal, unlike the ruddy chains of Huo Jian Yu The clasps chafed and were a sharp contrast against her unnaturally heated skin. Another metal was carelessly cuffed around her neck and the guard designated tugged sharply. His golden eyes twinkled darkly when she lurched forward.

Aiokka spit in his face.

"Why you little-!"
The guard, Lao-Di was it? At least that's what she remembered another firebender yelling when she sent him sprawling on his head. She looked up at him, matching the intensity in his jaundice-color eyes with her own cold ferocity. Her fingers itched to turn the water under his feet to ice, to grin at him with her teeth while she slapped him, and the others around like baby seal-otters.

"Stand down Lao-Di. Put a reign on that temper of yours."

Lao-Di paused as a fellow comrade, Rei, grabbed his arm firmly and all but forced it down. This one, Aiokka thought sourly, held a cool head unlike the majority of the squadron. He was harder to distract and couldn't fall worth a darn. His only good arm was proof that Aiokka still managed to knock him around. Rei bent down to her level and tilted her chin upward with his good hand, his right arm limp and awkwardly bent within his armor. Lao-Di and the others gathered the chains waited for his signal.


Rei turned Aiokka's head gently, this way or that. The glint in his expression was taunting, and she absolutely hated it.

He knew it.

His hand retracted from her face sharply, turning it left rather harshly. "Lao-Di and you three will lead. I and you for will flank her. Incase the culprit's hands fully. We WILL not underestimate this water witch again." Rei frowned at Aiokka with a look of utter disgust. His fingers curled around a good thicket of her hair and he yanked backwards. Aiokka glared defiantly into his sniveling, sneering smile with her good eye, the other one temporarily blackened and closed.

"You'll pay for your crimes witch."

The young waterbender grinned with all forty-six of her teeth.



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PostSubject: Re: The Game   Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:09 am

"HALT!"

The shout rang out like a shot. The Ambassador's soldiers looked around as a boy riding atop a large and fierce, albeit aging beast raced toward them. A few yards from them, the beast skidded to a halt as the boy pulled back on its reigns and then jumped down. The soldier named Rei approached.

"Master Satoshi." he said with a mixture of respect and militant caution. He didn't reach for his sword but he didn't stop Lao-Di from doing so. The latter grasped the hilt of his sword but didn't draw it. He looked as though he seriously wanted to. "What brings you all the way out here at a time like this?"

"That girl." Satoshi said flatly, nodding his head in Aiokka's direction. "Release her."

The soldiers mostly just grinned at each other, amused at his audacity.

"I don't think you understand the situation, young lord." Rei said. "We have orders to capture anyone who comes into this area from Ambassador Sen. I can't let her go."

"I'm ordering you." Satoshi said.

"I don't take orders from you." Rei growled. "Now head on back to your daddy. I'm sure he's missing you."

It took a great deal of self control for Satoshi to keep himself from striking Rei for this. The thought of the importance of his task her was the only thing that restrained his temper.

"She is my personal servant." Satoshi continued, standing his ground. "I sent her out here to see what you were up to. I heard that Sei's guard was out here going about something and I was curious, but I couldn't pull myself away to come out here myself. So I sent her in my stead."

"And yet you rode out here anyway." Rei said slyly, his eyes narrowing.

"Sei told me what you were doing out here." Satoshi explained. "I realized given that information that you might think she was the person you were after, so I came out here because I was afraid something like this would happen."

"Hmph." Rei snorted. Satoshi could tell he wasn't buying a word of this, but he had to keep going. He'd convinced people of taller tales before. Rei took a step toward him, looking around idly before looking directly down into Satoshi's face. "We caught her waterbending. She attacked us. What do you say to that?"

"No doubt you insulted her." Satoshi shrugged nonchalantly. He was thinking quick now. And carefully at that. "Being a waterbender isn't against the law. Using it is."

"Which I just said she did." Rei growled.

"But," Satoshi continued pointedly. "The law also forbids even soldiers from instigating fights. By doing so, you adopted the guilt for the laws she broke. Yes. She's a waterbender. Yes. She attacked you. But you were the one who pushed her to do so. You're the guilty one."

"I've never heard of a law like that." Rei argued, clenching his fist less than covertly.

"Well, forgive me, but you don't really strike me as a legal scholar." Satoshi snorted. "What would you know about what is and isn't a law, eh? Moreover, I just gave you an order. As the son of an Imperial Governor, you are obligated to obey. Failure means death."

It was at that moment, when Rei looked almost as though he might actually be considering releasing Aiokka that Lao-Di patted him on the arm sharply and pointed past Satoshi toward Nyla. Rei seemed confused at first and then he realized the significance of the evidence. A cruel sort of smile flashed across his lips before he looked down at Satoshi again.

"Isn't that your father's hunting beast?" he said, stepping further toward Satoshi, making him back up a bit.

"Y-yes! Why?" Satoshi demanded, taken aback.

"I didn't think he let anyone use that creature aside from him." Rei said slowly, the other soldiers moving in as well. "What? Did he lend it to you so you could come and save your little slave? I didn't think he cared that much about these servants. I didn't think he trusted you that much, boy. Last time I checked, he didn't trust you to fight a sparring match against your own brother without the Ambassador insisting upon it..."

"I'll admit I had to beg quite profusely for him to let me borrow Nyla, but..." Satoshi began, looking up at him. He dropped this mid way. "You're not buying any of this, are you?"

"Not a word." Rei growled, the cruel smile returning.

"That's what I thought." Satoshi said. Next moment, Rei erupted into a blazing fireball as Satoshi summoned flames from one of his fists. He danced around on the stop sending blasts of fire everywhere. It took them completely by surprise. His feigned impotence paid off. Though the firebending Satoshi was employing wasn't very powerful, it was still enough to send them into a panic given the surprise factor. The men holding Aiokka dropped here and ran toward Satoshi, weapons drawn. He ducked under their attacks. A moment later, he was next to Aiokka, watching Lao-Di trying to put out Rei as the latter rolled about on the ice, desperately trying to put himself out...


Last edited by Satoshi on Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Game   Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:14 pm




Aiokka's nerves tingled when the chains dropped. Momentarily distracted by Satoshi's firework display almost cost her another blow to the head. She snarled at the guards who were either trying to put out Spark The Flame Man or diving for her.chains. The base of her skull throbbed dully and she sniffed, those idiots were going to pay for that. The soldiers were quick, yet Aiokka was faster. Ignoring Satoshi's apparent misunderstanding of personal space, as well as her own migraine, the waterbender slid her foot behind her and turned the snow into ice. Yelping and stumbling, they toppled over one another and fired blindly in the air, littering the darkness like a mental campfire refusing to put out.

"Stop the Water Witch!" Aiokka bent backward in time, narrowly missing a firebal" that singed the ends of her ponytail. Another one barreled through the air and she was forced to literally drop and roll out of the way. The burn of soot and charred flesh only aggravated her migraine and her eyes began blurring. Screams and outcries melded together with fireballs and, did she see fireworks inside of a cratered city?

"Someone put the fire out! Hurry! You, get that boy and his witc-Whoa!"

Aiokka nudged up onto her knees sloppily and rose. The tight metal around her encased hands forbade her from bending effectively. Fortunately, her feet did not suffer same. Aiokka assumed a stance she never recalled learning and started pivoting. Sparkling metal sliced the air and smacked against whoever was dumb enough to not have gotten away. The faster Aiokka went the more the tundra became the sea and stars suddenly looked like koi fish. Bloodcurdling screams honked like tsungi horns and the scarlet water from her head tasted like sweet bean paste.

Metal cracked against flesh before her world went dark.

OoOoO


"......And you're okay with this?!"
"You know I'm not Niabi, and I never will be."
"I just....this can't be right!"
"Your the middle ground Niabi, have they ever lied?"
"........No. But...this is absurd! I'm NOT alright with this."
"Neither am I, but we must be obedient. I will go ahead of you, and she and your father will follow after."


Aiokka shifted and groaned. Dank and grit slathered one side of her face while rust and mildew invaded her sensitive nostrils. Her first reaction was bolting upright and hurling.

Aiokka's neck jerked backward, she rose too soon. Something clanged noisily and she was suddenly aware of a terribly uncomfortable restraint around her neck. "Unless someone's proposef to me with a choker," She rasped,"I'm going to go ahead and guess that this is a chain."

The darkness chuckled, flatering when the wary waterbender turned, further jostling her wrist restraints. "Who's there?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Game   Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:31 am

"Another fool who was dumb enough to showcase his abilities." said the darkness in reply to her question. "I'm surprised the little lord didn't wake up before you. Looks like I owe myself a few coins for losing that bet..."

The prison was harsh. Unlike the rest of the palace which had stayed mostly ice and had simply been decorated with all manner of things honoring the Phoenix King, his empire, and the nation which had spawned it, this place was entirely the work of Fire Nation smelters. The steel walls and minute cages were the sort of thing one would expect a dog to be kenneled in. No. Worse.

The man in the dark cackled madly.

"They didn't give me any jewellery, though, heh, HA!" he laughed, admiring his own callous joke at her expense. This brought Satoshi around.

"Ugh..." he groaned, willing himself to move and utterly failing.

He hadn't been brought down nearly as quickly as Aiokka, though it was no great feat. He was just a bit better at avoiding being hit. Years of practice had taught him a thing or two about it. But in the end, he was no match for seven of Sen's best soldiers. Once they'd gotten over their surprise, they'd been quick to subdue him.

"OH!" said the man in the dark. "There he is!"

Satoshi looked around. He could feel a dull throbbing all over, a pain brought on by the thorough beating he'd garnered from Sen's men. But he put it out of his mind as he searched the darkness for some sign of the speaker. Eventually, he caught a bit of movement in the dark. The way it was broken up, there must have been bars between himself and the speaker.

"Where am I?" Satoshi asked weakly. His voice cracked as he spoke, his throat utterly dry. It must have been hours since the fight on the tundra.

"Little lord doesn't know his own palace!" the voice cackled. "Little lord doesn't know he's in jail! Doesn't matter! Little lord is going to die soon anyway, geh! HA!"

The doors of the cell block opened and a number of guards came in. They marched right to the door of Satoshi's cell and opened it. Two of them took him by the arms and picked him up, dragging him out. In the light now flooding the block from the corridor outside, he could just make out Aiokka in the dark.

"A-Aiokka!" he croaked, his eyes widening. The crazy old man was visible too. He looked as though he'd been in there a long time.

"Shut it, Haruok!" spat the leader of the guards, whacking the bars of his and Aiokka's cell sharply with his baton.

Haruok? Satoshi thought in surprise. Master Haruok?! T-That's the former regent? But father had him killed...

Before Satoshi could get another look at him, however, he was dragged out of the prison and into the corridor, bound for who knew where...

~~~~~
Satoshi was thrown to his knees, his hands bound behind his back. He looked up slowly. There sat Sen, a smug sort of look twisting his serpentine features as he looked down upon Satoshi triumphantly.

"Ah." he sighed with a self-righteous tone. "Well hello there, Master Satoshi."

"Sen." Satoshi croaked. "What do you want? Why bring me here?"

"I wasn't sure you'd listen in on my little conversation with Toda earlier." Sen hissed, relishing it all. "But you did, you nosy boy! You did exactly as I told you to."

"What?" Satoshi said sharply, his eyes narrowing.

"Come, come, boy!" Sen said, waving a hand dismissively. "You can't possibly think that I, who daily navigates the treacherous seas of the imperial court, would be so foolish as to leave my door ajar in a government palace! Don't make me laugh. I thought you were smarter than that!"

Satoshi scowled. Why hadn't that occurred to him? He would never have made a mistake like that before. Why now? What had changed? Was he really that invested all of a sudden in Aiokka's well-being that he wouldn't notice an obvious trap so long as he thought her safety was at risk?

"Why?" he demanded, his gaze as sharp as a razor's blade. "Why bother?"

"Oh, that should be obvious!" Sen trilled. "When your father he has a waterbender in his cells who is guilty of assault against his Imperial Majesty's soldiers, he will kill her as the law demands. But what to do with his son who protected her? Under the gaze of the Phoenix King's ambassador, he cannot be lenient. It would demonstrate his corruption. He must sentence you to the same fate..."

Sen stood from his seat and, crossing his arms within his huge sleeves, he approached Satoshi, beginning to circle him.

"But," he continued suddenly, pausing directly behind Satoshi. "What if the ambassador offered another option to him? An option that would not only spare his admittedly least loved son, yet son still but remove the ambassador from the presence of his court, and indeed from the south entirely? Would he not take that option?"

Satoshi, who had been listening raptly to every word, felt Sen's breath on his ear as the man crouched, placing his mouth right next to it. He felt Sen's fingers grasp his other shoulder. It sent a chill down his spine as the man spoke softly in continuation.

"What if he suggested that the Governor order his son to be sent to the Imperial Academy in the capitol. There he might learn how to honor his father and his clan. There he would be in a place where he could no longer embarrass him. There he would nothing but the fondest memories for the Governor, the son he could brag of, even without confidence. Surely, he would take that option knowing that he could lay the blame on the ambassador who takes it willingly?"

"W-Why?" Satoshi said, his voice quavering. The deviousness of this man was beyond description. It filled Satoshi with a fear he'd never known. No one who laid plans so carefully could be true, surely?

"Why?" Sen repeated. "A boy as smart as you surely must have guessed at my reason for being here. A boy as smart as you surely must have known that one such as I does nothing without reason. Why, you ask? Simple. I want to elevate myself. You can make that happen."

"How?!" Satoshi demanded of him as the man stood once more and moved around him, heading back toward his desk. "How is sending me to the Imperial Academy supposed to elevate you?! I'm no one! My brothers are stronger, more talented! Why me?"

Sen merely laughed. It was a cold, harsh laugh that sent a chill not merely down Satoshi's spine, but through every bone in his body. It was heartless and calculating. It was a true expression of amusement from Sen and as such, it was full of nothing but evil, greedy desires and muses.

"Let us just say," Sen said finally, looking back at Satoshi through narrowed eyes. "That given your record over the years, if your father knew about you what I know, the last thing that has kept you alive would no longer exist."

"What is that supposed to mean?" Satoshi asked, confused.

What had kept him alive over the years? All he could think of was that his father couldn't bring himself to kill his own son. But how was that supposed to apply? It wasn't as if that could just be undone. He was his father's son even if he didn't act it. What did Sen know?!

"Hm, hm, hm!" Sen chuckled. "All in good time, boy. I'm sure we'll be able to find a moment to tell you before you see your ultimate use. Now, then. It's just about time. Why don't we go and see your father, eh? He seemed eager for this trial to begin..."

~~~~~
Sen led the way down through the palace into the antechamber into the governor's throne room. They met up with a number of other guards in possession of Aiokka. With both of them in tow, the guards headed into the throne room. Like in Sen's office, Satoshi was forced to his knees in the middle of the room, facing the raised platform on which his father's throne stood. Aiokka was put down next to him. His father looked down on them both. For some reason, Sen hadn't come in with them. He didn't know why at first, and then he spotted a door toward the rear of the room open and Sen entered, taking a position next to his father's throne and looking down upon the pair of them harshly, a mere trace of a smile curling his lips.

"What is this?" Satoshi's father said, realizing it was Satoshi bound and on his knees before him. "Why is my son here?" he looked to Sen for an answer.

"As you know, my lord," Sen said without hesitation, bowing his head ever so slightly. "My personal guards set a trap for a suspected bender last night. The bender..." he gestured to Aiokka. "was caught."

"Get to it, Ambassador!"

"However," Sen continued, almost talking over the Governor. "While my men were trying to return her here to submit her to your lordship's justice, your son intervened. He brutalized one of my guard captain's most trusted and efficient lieutenants. What is more, he fought and injured many others."

"Ridiculous!" Satoshi's father roared, slamming his fist on the armrest of the throne. "I'll have your head for these preposterous lies, Sen! My son is no match for a team of elite soldiers! He can't even bend!"

"It pains me to inform you, my lord, that your son has hidden the extent of his talents from you, it seems. He sucker-punched Lieutenant Rei and set him ablaze. He is badly injured. Disfigured by the fire, what is more. It is only appropriate that your son share in the fate of the individual he was abetting."

"You!" the Governor barked, pointing at Lao-Di, who was present as a witness, a bandage over his forehead. Lao-Di stepped forward.

"Yes, my lord?" he said as he did so.

"Is this true?!" Satoshi's father demanded. "Did he set the lieutenant on fire?"

"He did, my lord!" Lao-Di declared.

"All of you saw this?"

There was a unanimous response of 'yes' in answer.

"My lord." said Commander Sun from the Governor's other side. "The law prescribes death for the crime of the girl. If we force Master Satoshi to share in that fate..."

"Oh, the death penalty is not necessary in the boy's case, I think." Ambassador Sen said, acting out his plan masterfully. He had waited till the exact moment when the full realization of the far-reaching effect Satoshi's execution would have on the clan had showed on Hisashi's face.

"What do you mean?" Sun demanded of Sen. "You just said--!"

"I said he should share in that fate, yes." Sen admitted, nodding. "But I meant in a more general sense. He must be punished. Lieutenant Rei is, after all, a veteran of his Imperial Majesty's Imperial Firebender Corps. We cannot simply forgive Master Satoshi's actions."

"What would you suggest?" Satoshi's father asked with a raised eyebrow.

It was just as Sen had predicted. Satoshi watched as Sen sold his father on the idea of sending him to the Imperial Academy. He told him that Satoshi could pay back his debt by serving the Phoenix King, told him how it would be unconscionable for a son of a noble house to be cast away like a slave. He even leaned in and whispered how Satoshi would no longer embarrass him in public if he was under the watchful eyes of the Academy's instructors. Every point tipped his father bit by bit into agreeing. Sen knew every button to push, even compliment to apply. It was a masterful display indeed...
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PostSubject: Re: The Game   Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:21 pm





Aiokka narrowed her eyes, clearly not in the mood for this senile man's blabbering. She had more pressing matters to sort out and settle. Though his incessant chirping about a 'young lord' bound like them did peak her interest. She shifted against her restraints, only being able to crane her neck.....which was practically chained to the floor like the rest of her. Aiokka rolled her eyes and blocked her cellmate's chattering, 'I wish he would shut his mouth.'

"Satoshi?" It was more of a question to herself,and barely above a whisper. Satoshi was captive in a cell across the small walkway; judging from his position he wasn't cross-chained either.

She snorted,"And they even segregate the prisoners, isn't that sweet?"

"As sweet as a fruit pie," The man cackled,"Hahahaaaaa!"

"What are you on about?!" Aiokka hissed. A groan interrupted their budding conversation and squashed it before it even started. Heavy boots, a six count, thundered through the dungeons and came to an abrupt stop. Their backs were turned to her,what were they doing? They were after Satoshi? Why was he even down here in the first place?

Metal chafed against her frozen skin and her eyes widened.

The fight on the tundra.

Before she could question anything, Satoshi was dragged down the hall, disappearing through that tiny sliver of light. Another groan and she was enveloped in darkness.

"A boat does not sail of its own volition, power must push the sails. Ha!"

Aiokka slid her eyes in his direction,"Who ARE you?"

The cacophony of giggles ceased, "That is not important, child of Saruk. Do you know who YOU are?" Aiokka's eyebrow twitched and she shifted, warily, "How do you know my grandgrump?"

The old man snorted, clearly amused, "I know many things child. One of them being that you are running out of time." The waterbender and the old man locked eyes intensely. Aiokka blinked once and he mirrored her actions. His hair was as white as snow and fell down to his elbows, flowing with an equally long goatee. His chin was sharp, with tanned skin that opened up to surprisingly dark blue eyes. A scar ran from his left eye to the base of his neck, made jagged by deep-set age lines. Aiokka shuddered inwardly under his piercing glare, coming to one conclusion.

This man was unreal.

"A mighty tree," He began, causing Aiokka to jump out of her bones, "Is the balance of all life living in it. Like monkeys. If that tree falls, what do you think happens to them?"


'What in the dragon-droppings?' "The monkeys scatter."

There was a 'Hummm' and Aiokka assumed that she guessed correctly. Eerie Old Man snapped his eyes her way and nodded. "But if another tree, stronger than the last is erected in its place.....what happens then?"

"What?" She askee, confused. His silence did nothing but aggravate her.confusion. Trees falling and monkeys? That makes no sen-


She smirked; he laughed.

"The monkeys all come back again. Living without fear....because this tree is stronger than the last."

The silver haired man barked with laughter and slapped his fist against his knees, the chains jingling in song. She joined him in spite of herself, realization dawning with a force like an icy rain shower. The two of them continuef to snigger for a while, until her gaze fell on something around his neck.

"Is that-"

"You have a great journey a head of you, young one. You know suffering firsthand enough to span a thousand lifetimes.Their pain is yours, and yours is their own. Let the rock-mass provide your escape. "

She gaped at him, jaw slack and muscles completely rigged. He smiled at her genuinely and inclined his head; the heavy doors opened immediately, accompanied by the thunderous march of the estate guards. Aiokka swallowed dryly and vaguely registered the cell opening, she being roughly dragged along by her bonds. Through the sliver of light, she was able to define what her sharp eyes could not. The man wore a necklace she'd seen in her sister's keepsakes. Aiokka blinked hard and closed her eyes, 'I've.....I've seen that so many times before!'

Her stormy eyes fluttered open and she took in her surroundings fully. The stench of mold and ancient sick stung her worse than a buzzard wasp. Faces looked back at her, green eyes.....blue eyes....even a few gold...some broen...bereft of hope....of life. The waterbender chewed her lip, eyes burning and urging to look away. She swallowed again and nodded stonily, her insides shaking like an earthquake.

May the sun shine upon your path.
May the moon guide your steps.
Let the rock-mass provide your escape...


" And the winds will carry you away." She murmured. The great doors of the dungeons groaned heavily as they closed. A pair of guards crossed their spears over the thick metal, sealing them inside.

'I'm coming back for all of you,' Aiokka swore as she was forced down an unfamiliar part of the compound, 'Every single one of you. And I'll be stronger this time.'


OoOoO


"Unf!"
Aiokka hit the ground knee first and grunted. Her bound fists thumped against her back uncomfortably while her knees began to throb. She refused to meet the eyes of the governor and favored staring at the floor instead. Outwardly, Aiokka appeared to be scared like a spineless fire ferret. Had anyone peered closer, they would have noticed her eyes sliding from the floor to a dark, bogwood table near the left of the governor's throne. When a flame from the nearby fireplace flickered, a glint of silver flared.



Aiokka could only stare, before her lips turned downward, her gaze back to the floor.


Her mind was already whirring.
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PostSubject: Re: The Game   Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:27 pm




The more she listened to that clean-cut swine prattle on, the more her insides began to twist. Sen was LYING. And he was piling on it hard and fast. 'He didn't waste your men,' Aiokka thought bitterly, 'I did. You liar!' She could do nothing but listen as Sen continued to to grunt his talltales like a good-for-nothing pig, growing angrier by the second. She stole a glance at Satoshi....


And something inside of her cracked.

Aiokka didn't understand it, she didn't understand it all. This man was his father, he raised him since his own birth....yet a few silver-tongued words and the governor was ready to send Satoshi away?! The thought frustrated her and the silver object on the table reacted slightly. 'What kind of man are you You three eyed canyon crawler!' She dug her toes into the floor and blew through her nose; men like Hisashi did not need to exist. Men like him, like Ozai,, needed to be put in their place.

Or six feet under.

The waterbender clamped her eyes shut, the staff on the table flared briefly and the fire popped. The minute she closed her eyes, she was thrown into a memory she'd sorely forgotten.


"Mama! Mama!"

Little Aiokka tore away from her sister's grip and scrambled after her mother, face red and streaked with tears already turning to crystal. She could hear Kenna running after her, but she ignored her. Her legs pumped through the thick snow and she willed herself to go faster. Her mother was being pulled ahead of her and forced onto a platform with a strange-looking blade looming over head.

Aiokka didn't know what that was for, but it didn't look good.

"Mama!" She screamed, and bowled past the guards. They stumbled back in confusion, watching the small girl tackle her mother.

The Water Witch.

"Aiokka,"Niabi breathed, "What are you doing here sweetie?"
"Mama where are you going??"Aiokka asked, ignoring the question, "Neeta said you were going away! Is it true, are they taking you away??"
Niabia smoothed the curls from her daughter's forehead and smiled, somberly, "I am little one. For a long time. But......I will always be with you, Kenna and Kasook. Mama will always be with you Aiokka, even when you can't see or speak to her. Be a good girl and mind your grumpgrump, listen to Kenna.....and stay *strong*."
Niabi wrapped Aiokka in her arms and hugged her fiercely, tears threatening to rain. Her chest burned and she heard her little girl splutter. Inwardly the woman cursed.Hisashi,.Ozai and everything that brought her family strife. They'd taken her husband from her, she'd be damned if that bastard spilled her.child's blood. If protecting her children meant taking the blame for their gifts......


Then so be it.

Tiny Aiokka was suddenly ripped away,.and her mother was lead onto the platform. She ran after her, only to find the other tribesmen holding her back protectively. Aiokka blinked, her grandfather was suddenly holding her and shielding her eyes. She looke at the Governor......and then her mother.

Hisashi nodded subtley, Saruk covered his granddaughter's eyes.
A



"NO!

The staff on the table glinted as the fireplace exploded. The orb flared while the water inside swished like a violent storm. Tempests blew around her, stormy eyes ripping open a furious white color. Aiokka snarled and the chains shatterd, her anger twisted until it exploded with rage. Inside, her blood pumped furiously,.she was conscious of everything and nothing at all. She swiped her hand sideways and a powerful arc of fire exploded in the frozen air, sizzling the western wall and part of the ceiling. Soaring into the air, the avatar began conjuring mighty waves of water as gale force winds sliced the atmosphere, threatening to collapse half of the entire.estate.


Last edited by Aiokka on Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Satoshi
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PostSubject: Re: The Game   Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:35 pm

Satoshi's gaze snapped sideways as Aiokka's rage burst forth. High above them on the throne platform, his father was rising to his feet, looking down upon the girl. For the first time in his life, Satoshi could see fear in his father's eyes. Real fear. He wasn't the only one. As the realization that they had just seen this waterbender firebend sank in, every Imperial in the room backed away in shock and fear. Satoshi was no less surprised --

Aiokka... was the Avatar!

Suddenly, the restraints binding both of them exploded into thousands of pieces that showered to the floor and they were free. Satoshi was pushed by the force of the typhoon that was gathering around Aiokka away. He staggered sideways, trying to gain his feet as he shielded his eyes from the fierce wind with a raised arm. From the looks of how the other individuals present were being slapped around by the force of the gale, he wasn't taking the brunt of it despite being closer. Once he had managed to regain his footing, albeit on slightly shaky legs, he looked upon her as the Avatar state began to demonstrate its true power. It was a sight to behold... and a terrifying one at that.

Pillars collapsed. Walls crumbled. The ground itself shook and shuddered, sending deep cracks out across the ice. The Governor's throne suddenly exploded, shattering and sending shards of iron and wood in every direction. The platform upon which it sat melted away, making Satoshi's father fall to the icy ground with a sickening thud. From the way he landed face-first, Satoshi knew he'd lost teeth in the hit. He lay prone on the ground, shaking off the hit. Satoshi's brothers were being dragged away by the guards who were unable to their father. He was being confined by a powerful wall of swirling wind. Sen was nowhere to be seen...
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Aiokka
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PostSubject: Re: The Game   Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:00 pm





It was....frighteningly exhilarating to say the least. Heartache, magnified hundreds of times over as righteous indignation consumed her. The avatar so no one, only ugly red stains-scars- against warm blues. Aiokka slammed her fists forward and a wave of water surged, washing away the ugly scarlet-sores and leaving behind blue. Fearful cries from those ugly scars did nothing to dissuade her fury, but fueled it further. Fire crackled, winds snapped and the avatar continued to mud-stomp them like a cakewalk in the park.


So many memories flooded her and nestled heavily in her gut, infesting her chakra and blasting forth with every explosion of fire and gust of wind. Aiokka couldn't even register if half of those memories were hers. Her heart burned for the loss of her people, her lover, a friendship ending in betrayal, her own mother....the woman who'd given up her life for her and so much more.

The avatar did a very strange thing.

Amidst the chaos and deafening roars of destruction, she turned her blazing glare on one particular person. Sweeping her arm to the right, Aiokka swatted three soldiers with an arc of fire as if they were scorpion flies. Less red and more blue, but she skipped the lone yellow figure. That color soothed her somewhat, yellow wasn't a threat.

Aiokka rotated her hands rapidly, turning her head sharply and creating a suction vortex. The funnel sent the governor sailing in her direction. The moment he soared her way the avatar bat at him with a powerful gust of air; sucking him in and repeating the process like a sick, sadistic game with dolphin-otters and lion-seals. Every slam was rougher than the last, her consternation growing more irate with every slap.

Ugly red scars did not match warm blues.
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Satoshi
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PostSubject: Re: The Game   Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:19 am

A hand closed around Aiokka's wrist. It wasn't forceful or aggressive. Through it could be felt the desire of its owner to save Aiokka from her own fury, felt as only the Avatar could feel. Satoshi, glowing brightest yellow in her eyes, stood there, a thin frown drawn across his features, his eyes speaking volumes of his concern for her.

"Aiokka..." his voice sounded far off and distant, echoing from the furthest reaches of the cosmos. "Please listen..."

What little of Satoshi's hair wasn't bound up in his topknot whipped around his face, tickling his nose, but it didn't even catch his attention. He was fixated on Aiokka. Something deep within him had welled up, a desire to stop her. It was a desire entirely divorced from any thought of stopping her from killing his father or harming others. But he suddenly felt a deep concern for her, for her spiritual well-being and how it would be irreparably damaged by striking down even a tyrant like Nagakura Hisashi...

"Please. Stop." he said finally, his voice calm and uncharacteristically passionate. It had been so long since he'd voiced anything of his personal truth that he'd forgotten what it felt like to channel that out through words. As he continued, his voice became soothing yet it carried an energy that was rare for him, his whole life having been about lies and deceit just to survive, just to ensure that he would one day have an opportunity to strike back at those who had so damaged him. But all of that seemed pointless in that moment. All he knew was that something inside him was telling him to speak. And so... he was.

"Please." he repeated yet again. "Don't do it. He's an evil man who deserves to face justice for what he's done, but... he isn't worth harming yourself. Killing him like this can do nothing but harm you. I don't want to see that happen.

"Listen to me. I know you don't know why I've been trying to protect you. But... there's something about you that I see, something that makes me see myself. Somehow we're the same because of this man. Somehow, we've been brought together. Long ago, he took my mother from me. He killed his own wife because she wouldn't obey him. Since then, I've been planning my revenge against him. Nothing seemed to matter, not even my own life compared to that goal. But, you matter now. I don't know why, but you do. I know it has nothing to do with your being the Avatar. It's something else, I don't know what. All I know is that nothing can justify you wasting yourself destroying trash like him! So please! Just stop!"
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