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The Dream Assassin
Hama cracked her fingers and looked at the mindless, stupid low level guards before her. Damned souls! With a twist of her wrist and some twitchy movements, she drained the essential molecules of the trees and the grass around her; had the water turn to ice upon her nails and shot icy daggers out causing many more guards in her path to be stabbed and bleed to death. Her cohort, Maxim tagged along with her. He was expendable too, just not right now.
“Where to next, Great Hama?”
“Just keep following me. See the moon up there?”
He peered upwards into the night. “Its only a sliver.”
“Right. I can’t bloodbend right now. Maybe the next full moon. So I need you sharp! I need a map and quick and I think that hut over there is the key.”
Her old voice reminded Maxim of the witches he heard about f in the stories. She was determined and evil. But to be at her side was wisdom on his part. Her body smelled musty and ancient. Even her hair made him wheeze.
“Stop sneezing you brat!” She reprimanded. “What’s the matter with you? Do you want to be found?”
“A camp is right ahead. The head soldier stays there and he keeps the map of the nations. We both can’t go in there, however.”
“So you want me to go,” Maxim whispered.
“You’re from low level security. They won’t be as shocked that you’ve roamed around a bit.” She sneered. “They will be madder than a wet hen though.”
Maxim doubted he would make it through to take the map. There was a strong possibility he could pretend to be ill and Hama could take the map.
“Alright then. We can do this. I want to go back home to my family.”
Hama sneered again. “if they hadn’t got rid of your family already. You’ll do well to do as I say to live longer, young blood.”
Maxim swallowed hard.
“Now here’s the plan…” Hama whispered conspiratorially.
Aang and Zuko welcomed the tea Iroh placed before them. “Now, young gentlemen what do we have here?” He sat facing Zuko in the War room.
Aang brightened. “We’ve decided to check on how each of the nations are doing and what needs to be changed.” Aang scratched his head. “So much has happened several days ago that much needs to be done.”
Zuko waved a hand over to Aang. “I keep telling Aang that the trip around the world would take forever. Plus Appa may get mad and eat us eventually. He can’t possibly fly us everywhere!”
Iroh scratched his chin, and then took a sip of his tea. He did this is such slow motion that Aang fumed under his collar. Zuko grew impatient.
“Well!” Aang and Firelord Zuko shouted in unison.
Iroh took his time. “We have military weapons here and flying machines. Shouldn’t be a problem.”
“Yeah there is,” Aang said. “When people see the fire nation symbol on those balloons, they will flee. We want them to know we come in peace.”
“By now, everyone knows it is peacetime. Perhaps you should try and station yourselves in different places. Stretch it out a bit. Meanwhile I think we should focus our energy on the Hama problem.”
The conversation grew even more darker. Aang listened as Iroh recounted what has transpired in the last two days since they heard about Hama. The one solution Aang could think of, was to snatch her bending abilities away. Apparently she was too angry and vengeful to be trusted with any bending ability. He voiced this to Zuko and Iroh.
“Agreed,” Zuko said.
“Now what?” Iroh said standing up from the table.
“Now,” Aang smiled. “Now, we get ready for a new adventure.”
Katara took the liberties of preparing for sleep. All day long Aang has been down in that infernal war room, so the only one she had to talk to was Sokka. Even his mind was scrambled because Suki had visit him today and they were all goo goo and ga ga over each other.
Hama dominated her thoughts as swell when she bathed and spread scented oils on her body. Such a beautiful room Zuko had placed her in; such a lovely evening. But bad thoughts. Tomorrow, she will finally waterbend and do some relaxing techniques. Perhaps Aang will join her then.
She should be scared to bend after all the troubles she went through. This could be why she preferred to be just a normal girl staying in a grand palace. No bending, no traveling, just stay within these walls and think of the good times. Soon, sleep will take over.
When sleep did take over, it wasn’t welcome. In the dream, she lay in agony on a cold, stone table with legs spread wide. Her guts felt as if they would rip apart. Sweat poured down her face and she couldn’t see the faces surrounding her. She was old enough to understand she was giving birth, but who was the father? Katara screamed in pain as another gurgling hot pain sliced through her bloated body. An old hand pressed down on her legs, stretching them further apart.
Push! The voice said. Push this one out! This is the new nation coming forth-see?
Onlookers crowded about her and Katara’s eyes searched everywhere. She was looking for that one constant: Aang. If she were to see that face, she will know she was perfectly fine.
It wasn’t his face that glowed in the crowd though.
As she pushed and waited as each wave of pain went through her, a tall figure emerged and loomed over her.
“I am with you, Katara. Take my hand.”
Katara’s eyes were half closed as she clasped the brutally hot hand offered to her. It was so hot she winced and snatched it back, and popped her eyes open. The man before her made the pain seem of ill consequence. She was mesmerized by his tortured eyes and keen look on her. He placed a hand on her belly.
At that moment, she yelled as billows of smoke puffed from her body, green eyes stared back at her in the smoke. The shapeless baby was nothing but smoke and green eyes.
Waking up from this horrible dream, Katara found herself writhing on the floor in ripped blankets. A light shined s suddenly and someone’s arms went about her. She scratched at them and tried pulling away, but they were stronger.
“Whats this about? Why are you yelling?”
Katara stopped fighting and looked up into Firelord Zuko’s face; he held a small candle light. He was obviously cautious of her, moving back a couple of steps to allow her room.
“I was having a bad dream.” She said suddenly noticing how damp her hair was and the sweaty night gown she wore which left nothing to the imagination. Zuko cleared his throat and looked away as she wrapped a thin sheet about her to remain decent before him.
“So sorry to wake you, Firelord.”
“Its alright.” Zuko searched her face. “Look, Katara, I know we aren’t the best of friends and all but if a dream is bothering you that bad, maybe you should talk it out.”
“I’ve spoken with Aang already about this.”
“Oh?” Zuko’s eyebrows raised. “So that’s what the private meeting was about that day?”
“Yep,” Katara smoothed down her hair and pushed it back. She saw how Zuko’s eyes watched her every movement. It startled her.
“Okay, well this had you rolling on the floor. You should come down to the kitchen area and grab something to drink, Katara. I recommend it.”
“Nothing can help this, Firelord Zuko.”
“Just Zuko would be fine.”
“I respect your title. You’ve come this far.” Katara wrapped the sheet tighter about her lithe body. Again, Zuko’s eyes followed her movements like a stalking cat.
Katara could never tell him about the dream anyway, for the guy in her dream that hovered over her with a hand pressed gently to her belly was none other than Firelord Zuko himself. Stealing every dream she’s had every night with his brooding looks, fair skin, and contemplative moves. No matter what she dreamed, he was in it.
Every night, Zuko assassinated her dreams with his appearance.
Every night she wanted to kill herself for it.
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