Sen-Daughter of Roku: Ch 2

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By ericmh126
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The comet and birth of Prince Azulon also marked the transition out of our childhood and into our teen years, though the differences between the two were few. Rokia and I continued to grow closer as friends and became even more inseparable. The biggest changes were probably how we spent our time together; cart-wheeling evolved into sparing matches, tea party and make-believe into royal dinners, and our immature teasing of boys became serious flirting and even some dates. Though, deep down, I think the princess still hated most of the boys, especially the ones that treated her like their ticket to the throne. Another thing that didn't change was Rokia's distaste for firebending, yet she enjoyed practicing the forms and even taught me a great deal. It wasn't long before the two of us were doing synchronized routines across the palace lawn.

Prince Azulon grew up quickly and before we knew it he was already eight years old. For me, he was almost as much my baby brother as he was Rokia's. It was quickly apparent that he too was a prodigy firebender like his sister, but it is possible that he was more so. The prince never had the reservations his sister had towards the art, and so seemed to progress much faster than she did. He was quick to carelessly show-off his techniques as soon as he learned them, and sometimes even before he could control them. One such instance involved him showing off a flip-kick his master had shown him the day prior. He overexerted himself and sent a wave of flames directly at my face. Hadn't Rokia stepped in to dissipate the blast, the left half of my face would have been severely disfigured and burned. When Rokia and I would practice forms on the lawn Azulon would criticize us, telling us we were doing it wrong. He couldn't understand why we would want to just do the forms without creating fire.

This antagonizing nature only grew as he did. The prince would often brag about sneaking into war meetings and tell us what he would hear. He would also add in his own flair to spice up other stories as well as outright lie about anything. Most of his lies were stories fabricated to prod us into a reaction, so it was often hard to discern when he was being forthright and when he was playing his game. Things eventually came to a head when he brazenly broke the news to me that my mother had died.

"You sick little bastard," I yelled, punching him in the face. "Why would you even think to tease about something like that?" But unfortunately for me, he wasn't teasing, and when one of the servants informed the Fire Lord that I had struck his son, I was summoned for discipline.

The Fire Lord lectured me on how I had been raised as if I were a princess of our nation and as such he expected me to behave as one, going on about not attacking messengers and other basic etiquette I had been taught since I was a girl. All the while, Prince Azulon stood at his father's feet, smirking at me and wearing his black eye as sort of battle scar. For the record, I regret my actions, not because I regret hurting him, but because I regret giving him the satisfaction. Sozin finished by telling me that Azulon had requested he be lenient with me, if only I apologized to him according to the prince's standards. I considered arguing my case but I knew it would only land me in deeper trouble. What seemed to be a simple request was actually one of the more humiliating moments of my life, especially with the child's smug look of satisfaction. After I had done this, the Fire Lord excused me so I could prepare for my mother's cremation ceremony.

The ceremony began with the sun slowing setting, my mother's casket set ablaze as the sun first touched the horizon. The Fire Lord gave a moving oration, reminiscing on his younger days watching my father pine away after her, the attempts he had made to hook them up, and eventually on what it was like being the best man at their wedding. He ended by expressing his hope that he had kept his promise to my father and treated her well. On his last words the small congregation left by the light of the still burning pyre.

I spent all that night and much of the next morning sifting through my mother's belongings, desperate to save what memories of her I could before they were lost forever. Nothing could have prepared me for what I found while poring over her numerous journals. Buried within the scrolls was the truth of the past twenty years, information that forever changed how I would remember my childhood. My life was filled with lies, and it started with the biggest lie of all, the night my father died.

Mother recorded that weeks before the comet arrived she was given a vision by my father. He showed her his more recent history with Fire Lord Sozin, the argument they had at their wedding, their confrontation in the throne room which destroyed much of the palace, and finally cumulating with the night the volcano erupted. Sozin had helped my father considerably that night, that much was true, but when he needed his old friend the most, Sozin abandoned my father, leaving him to be buried under the volcanic ash. With my father gone, all of the Fire Lord's plans for expansion were now possible. Caring for my mother, and eventually me, now seems to be his way of easing a guilty conscience.

She further explained her frequent excursions to the Air Temples, attempts to meet my father's reincarnation, the young monk we had been introduced to at the Southern Temple, and to determine the best course of action for stopping Sozin. After the war started, she came into contact with a group she called The Owl, who recruited her to make attempts to end the war on their behalf. She would even go as far as leak information to the Order, an act of treason if the Fire Lord ever found out, but he was always away, often times trying to find the new Avatar, who had somehow survived the attacks on the Air Temples. It seemed that the Fire Lord knew what my mother was doing but never saw her as a real threat, so he never took action against her. Until, that is, about a month prior. Mother had gained more support from The Owl which caused Sozin to grow paranoid. Her last entry appeared to be hastily written and sealed and was dated the previous morning, it was addressed to me. It was a warning, that if I should come across this after her death, it was no longer safe for me to stay at the palace. I was to leave as soon as I could and visit the Fire Sages' temple, they could keep me safe until the Avatar returned. She ended the letter, "Remember who you are, the spirits have a plan for you."

I was speechless. I looked over at Rokia sitting on the floor next to me amongst all of my mother's notes and shook my head, she was in shock and denial. Before I could stop her, she had left the room, rushing towards her father's throne room. Following behind her I could hear her muttering to herself, she couldn't believe that her father could be responsible for so much. She desperately wanted him to explain it all away as a misunderstanding, and deep down, I think I did as well. So against my better judgment, I entered the throne room with her, if not just to satisfy my own denial, then at least for moral support as well. What happened next still haunts me even today.

Rokia wanted the Fire Lord to set the record straight, and so he did, but the truth wasn't what she wanted to hear. Sozin confirmed everything my mother had written and more about him, my father, and the war. He went into detail about his genocidal campaign against the Air Nomads, all to eliminate the threat of one small boy. I watched helplessly as my friend broke down before her father, finally seeing him for the demon he truly was. Finally it became too much for her and she snapped. She rose from her knees facing her father, tears running down her eyes, and let loose a magnificent salvo of golden fire that burned brighter than the mid-day sun. Having never before seen her firebend, I was paralyzed with awe at her power.

"You monster!" She screamed, unleashing her rage.

The intensity of her attack left me blinded momentarily, and when my vision returned, I saw Rokia crumpled on the floor, her body burning from what only could have been a return attack from her father. I sprinted to her side and smothered out the embers with my robe.

"How could you do that to your own daughter!?" I shouted at him, my eyes now flooding with tears that hissed as they fell onto Rokia's charred body.

"I have no daughter," he spat venom, the words striking me with a similar intensity as his last attack.

We were banished on the spot, the Fire Lord gave me until sundown to leave the capital or face execution. So I packed what I could of my mother's and my things and began caring for my friend's wounds. With the little money I had, I was able to hire a local fisherman to take us the Sages' Temple. There we were allowed to rest until the former princess had healed enough to continue traveling, but no longer. Fire Sage Kaja explained to us that after the comet came, Fire Lord Sozin had force them into taking an oath of allegiance to him above their duties to the Avatar. He allowed us to stay and even found us transportation to the Earth Kingdom Colonies.

"Regardless of oath," he told me as we were leaving, "my loyalty will always be to your father, Sen, and therefore to you. Even at the risk of death." He handed me a single Pai Sho tile and sent us on our way.
Back with Chapter 2.

Took me forever to type, but I'm finally done. Going to start chapter 3 soon, should be posted before Thanksgiving, maybe.

Only one thing I feel I need to clarify. Anyone remember Fire Sage Shyu from Winter Solstice part 2: Avatar Roku? He mentions that his grandfather knew Roku when he was alive. Well according to the Escape from the Spirit World online comic, Shyu's grandfather was named, you guessed it, Fire Sage Kaja.

Prologue || :pointl: Back to Ch 1 | Forward to Ch 3 :pointr:

The Avatar universe, including all canon characters and locations, are (C) Viacom. Sen and Rokia are my creations.
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Lunasei's avatar
that is some good research you got going on here and the start of a good story, :]
ericmh126's avatar
glad you like it, and yes, the research is actually what's taking be so long to write these because I want to connect it to and make sure it doesn't outright contradict existing canon if I can help it
Lunasei's avatar
that's good. I'm writing an azula fanfic. So I have to research stuff on her as well.
ericmh126's avatar
Shadows in Red? I read the first chapter you had posted and really enjoyed it, and I saw your post about needing someone with whom to brainstorm your ideas. If you want to use me, feel free to send a note, I'll help in any way I can.
Lunasei's avatar
okay. I'll drop you one.