Hama: A revenge maddened bloodbender from the Southern Water Tribe
Xeno: Lycaon's second most trusted lieutenant
Roku: The Avatar immediately preceding Aang
Kiran: The second Avatar
Mei: Fire Lord Zuko's girlfriend
The guard closed the door behind him and slid to the ground panting in terror as he tried to stem the blood flowing from the massive wound in his stomach. The creatures had swarmed out of the forest, half human, half wolves. Their leader, a huge gray monster with burning red eyes, had come forward and demanded the prison's immediate surrender. The guards had responded by firing a catapult at him. The wolf man had suddenly grown a wing large enough to thatch a large house, CAUGHT the fire ball with his wing and hurled it, not into, but clean through the immense gate, before stepping forward and unleashing an immense blast of blue flames that had cleared the defenders from the walls as the monsters surged through the demolished gate.
The guards had tried to fight back, but the wolf-men were powerful firebenders and immune to regular weapons. The guard panted a breath of relief, and then his eyes went wide as he heard a low chuckle. His head snapped up and his heart nearly stopped with terror as he realized where he was. Suddenly an invisible force lifted him off his feet and hurled him down the short stone hallway. He slammed into the cell door with such force that he was immediately knocked unconscious, which was probably a mercy as his blood immediately began to flow from his wound like water, quickly flowing under the door as if with a mind of its own.
When the last drop of blood was under the door, a woman's raspy voice said, "Now for my revenge." Suddenly the door was knocked off its hinges by an immense fist made of solid blood.
An old woman stepped through, her face twisted in a smile of grim delight beneath two mismatched eyes, one milky blind white and the other a cold blue that glittered with malicious intent, her arms nothing but vaguely arm shaped torrents of the guard's blood. The guards had cut off her real arms months before in an attempt to stop her bending. During the full moon though, they had discovered to their horror that she was strong enough to seize control of their bodies anyway. They had only narrowly managed to contain her and many had fallen trying to prevent her escape.
Now the most dangerous prisoner in the Fire Nation grinned as she inhaled the sweet scent of freedom, "Look out little firebenders, HAMA'S BACK!"
Lycaon took a step back as the guard he had been about pounce on and disembowel suddenly lifted off the ground, looking as though he were being strangled, or maybe impaled. Lycaon was acutely aware of every other firebender in sight being lifted in a similar manner. Lycaon felt a twinge as though some invisible force were trying to lift him as well, but he easily shrugged it off. Then his eyes widened as the fire benders neck snapped of its own accord and blood began to rip its way clear of his flesh. In moments, the fire bender was nothing but a bloodless corpse hovering in a cloud of his own blood.
The blood hovered in mid air for a moment before rocketing off towards an unknown point, being quickly joined by all the blood he and his warriors had spilled. Lycaon and the other Kimarehto looked at the rapidly retreating river of blood curiously as it slithered down into the heart of the fortress. Lycaon and Mya exchanged a glance, "I can't decide if that was cool or freaky," Mya said with a raised eyebrow as she sheathed her daggers.
Suddenly something strongly resembling a gigantic serpent made of blood exploded out of the side of the prison, and flew away towards the woods, weaving through the sky with no regard for gravity. Lycaon looked at Mya, "I'm gonna go with both." He turned to his lieutenant, Xeno, who was his second in command tonight since he had left Xex to watch over the camp and Azula, "Xeno, take the men and loot this place.
"If it's here, it's ours. Bury any of our dead lesser brethren you find. Gather all the metal you can find and deconstruct this place. I like this stone, we'll use at camp. Make skull spikes and pile up what's left of the corpses when you're done, I want them to know we mean business." Xeno saluted, "Yes my lord." Then he hurriedly turned and began barking orders as he started hefting corpses. Lycaon turned to Mya as he grew wings, "We need to go find out what that was." Mya's wings snapped into existence, "Well come on then!" she laughed.
Aang sat on Appa's head as they flew south, Zuko and Mei now with them. He thought about Yue's warning to Sokka, wondering and worrying what this new threat could mean for the world. As he pondered, he wished somebody, anybody was still awake for him to talk to. Suddenly a voice said from next to him, "You always have someone to talk to young Aang." A broad smile split Aang's face and he turned, "Roku!"
The spirit of his previous life nodded, "It is good to see you Aang. I only wish it were in happier circumstances." Aang's smile vanished as quickly as it had appeared, "I need help Roku, how can I save the world when I don't even know what I'm saving it from?" Roku thought for a moment and then spoke, "I think I might know someone who can help."
He disappeared and was replaced by a beautiful young woman with silvery eyes dressed in the garb of an air nomad, the barest tip of the tattoo that marked her as an air bending master protruding from beneath her dark hair. Aang smiled and then his happy expression became one of shock as he looked closer. The girl's clothes were torn, splattered with blood and even singed in some places. She had half a broken and bloodstained glider strapped to her back like wings, and her hands and arms were encased in blood stained metal gauntlets. As she turned to look at him, he saw that her right eye was blind and crossed by four vertical scars that ran from her forehead to the corner of her jaw, as if she had been struck by the claws of a lion.
"Hello Aang. I am Kiran, the second Avatar." Aang was momentarily speechless, this was certainly the oldest avatar he had ever met, and she was the only one that had ever appeared so battered, "Nice to meet you." Kiran smiled gently, "You are wondering what could have happened to make me look like this." Aang started to protest, but she shushed him, "It's okay, I had a hard life, and I'm used to questions."
She looked at the star filled night sky, but her eyes were a thousand miles and several thousand years away, "I didn't have anyone to tell me I was the Avatar, I wouldn't have known what to make of it even if I had." She sighed, "Wan, the first Avatar, had done his best to stop the war that engulfed mankind before my birth, and he made a lot of progress, even getting the spirits to for the most part go back to their own world, but there was still so much for me to do."
"There were the humans of course, with the power they gained from the lion turtles, their bending, they were forming their colonies, fighting each other all the time. My people had remained on our lion turtle, that's where I was born. I had a need for exploration, and it was a need I filled all the time. That's how I found out I was the Avatar.
"I stumbled onto something on one of my little trips. It wasn't entirely human, and it wasn't completely spirit either. It was however, very, very angry. I never figured out why, or why it attacked me, but that was the first time I entered the Avatar state, and became aware of who I was. I brought everything I had to bear against it, and it still managed to escape. It was a shapeshifter, taking on the most powerful aspects of a dozen animals and healing so fast it was like I wasn't even touching it with my most powerful bending."
"Is that what happened to your eye?" Aang asked quietly. Kiran raised a hand to her ruined eye, "Yes. That was the first strike, and it would have been the last had I not entered the Avatar state and defended myself. I saw signs of its passing over the years as I fought to master the elements and restore peace. Everywhere it went, humans were slaughtered, animals set free and plants burned. I never found out what it was, and I never saw it again except at a distance, but now I suspect that it was only one of many, and its descendants are the creatures swarming into what you know as the Fire Nation."
"Is there any way to stop them?" Aang asked. Kiran shook her head, "None that I know. Although while we're on the topic of battle..." she pointed and Aang was suddenly aware of screams coming from a town a few miles away, "You might want to investigate that."
Lycaon and Mya stood atop a building, watching as the old woman wove through the streets, cackling like a maniac as rings of blood that lashed out and struck down all she saw orbited her lurching frame. "Do you think we should stop her?" Mya asked, "She's kind of doing our work for us." In the fifteen minute since she had entered the town, the old woman had slain nearly thirty people, seeming to grow in power with each kill. Then a shrill squeal pierced the night and the two Kimarehto saw a child being dragged from a house by coils of blood, his parents wrestling to pull him back inside and being dragged along as well.
"That's it," Lycaon said bluntly and leapt to the ground, slashing a bone sword through the bloody tendrils, rendering them inert as the old woman's eyes bugged out, "Stay out of this!" She promptly lashed out with a spear of blood, which Lycaon effortlessly dodged. The old woman backed away as Lycaon advanced down the street towards her, growing in size and warping in form as he effortlessly dodged her attempts to spear and slash and crush him with various constructs forged of blood. "You would kill children," Lycaon snarled in a voice that would have sent even the staunchest warriors scampering for cover.
"No more than they deserve!" The old woman said viciously, the madness glinting in her one good eye. Suddenly she gasped and went rigid as an immense bone spike erupted out of her chest and the blood that had been orbiting her collapsed to the ground with a splash. "And this is a far kinder fate than you deserve," Mya said in her ear, having ghosted up behind the old woman while Lycaon held her attention.
Suddenly her attention was drawn by a loud bellow. She looked up and Lycaon turned to see an immense white creature with six legs and a black arrow on its head descending towards them. With her dying breath the old woman laughed, "Oh now you're gonna get it." Mya frowned and with a thought ripped her suddenly serrated bone sword clear of the old woman's back, letting her fall dead in the dirt as the immense creature landed.
Lycaon took a half step back, punching his palm with one immense fist. He was now the size of a small house with wings large enough to thatch that house and the head of his wolf form on his relatively human body. Lycaon said in the language of animals, "I don't know what you are fluffy one, but if you value the lives of those people on your back, fly away now." "I am not fluffy!" The immense creature bellowed, "I am Appa! Noble companion of Avatar Aang!"
Lycaon shrank back to his normal form in an instant and in the language of people, "You hear that little sister? This is the Avatar! The great champion of these lands!" "What grand fortune," Mya replied as her bone armor erupted into existence, "Which one is he?" Lycaon blinked and looked again, "I'm not sure. Let's get 'em all!" "Dibs on the cutie with the tattoos!" Mya yelled as she leapt into the air, a bone javelin forming in her hand.
Katara shrieked with indignation and launched a volley of sharp ice daggers at the wild woman who had just hit on Aang. The wild woman twirled her javelin and neatly deflected all of the ice daggers as the man that had been a monster a moment previously sprang forward and punched Appa between the eyes with such tremendous force that Appa toppled over sideways. That was probably all that saved Katara as the woman's javelin hissed through the air where her heart had been an instant earlier.
Toph yelped in surprise as the javelin thudded into the saddle next to her. Then Sokka lifted her and leapt down to the ground, "Come on Toph, we gotta get in this fight!" "Couldn't agree with you more!" Toph replied as her feet hit the ground and she saw the tremors of their enemy's feet hitting the ground as he leapt back from Appa's unconscious form. With a quick motion, she flipped the earth beneath his feet, sending him flying. Then she gasped in pain as something sliced into her shoulder, "Aren't you a little young for this sort of thing?" the man she had just hurled into the air called as his feet hit the ground.
Toph snarled and launched a wall of earthen spikes at him, only for him to dodge effortlessly. Zuko leapt from Appa's back and launched an immense fire blast at Lycaon. He landed, maintaining his fire blast. After a few moments he let the fire blast fade, and he saw the armored shapeshifter crouched, his arms crossed. "My turn," the shapeshifter said, and in a swift fluid motion he rose and uncrossed his arms, unleashing a shockwave of very familiar blue flames which Zuko only narrowly managed to raise a wall of flames to deflect.
Suddenly there was a quick series of thumps and a number of shimmering darts and knives appeared buried in the shapeshifters breastplate. The shapeshifter didn't even flinch as Mei landed next to Zuko, "Um shouldn't he be a little more dead right now?" The shapeshifter laughed, "You really are fragile if that would kill you." Then he threw his arms back and puffed his chest out, sending Mei's knives and darts flying back at her and Zuko.
Meanwhile on the rooftops, Aang and Katara weren't faring much better against Mya. Aang unleashed an air blast which blew away the rooftop the armored woman was standing on, and earned a yawn from her as she perched lazily atop a beam. Katara's temper grew further and further inflamed as the armored woman taunted them, effortlessly dodging everything they threw at her. Then Aang launched an immense fireball at her. She raised a hand and caught the fireball, stopping it an inch from her hand. She twirled it on the tip of one finger a smile of vicious delight growing on her face as it turned blue. Katara and Aang stepped back as they exclaimed in unison, "Azula?!"
The woman laughed, "Lycaon's little pet? You wish." Then suddenly she flicked her wrist and the fireball rocketed towards them, becoming an inferno as it flew. Aang threw everything into the wind blast that only narrowly stopped the raging flames. Katara ripped the water from a bath tub in the house beneath, abandoned in terror when the roof blew off, and attempted to strike the armored woman with it before drawing it back to her, certain she had at least hit the mysterious woman as the flames cleared.
Then the woman spoke from behind them, "Nice try." Then suddenly the roof fell away beneath them as Mya slammed her foot down on the beam supporting what was left of the roof.
Mya dragged the unconscious forms of Aang and Katara out of the demolished house as Lycaon dealt a devastating punch to the last standing green clad warrior. Mya looked at the nearly half dozen similarly clad warriors lying unconscious and wounded in the dust with the people that had arrived on the big fuzzy white thing, "Where did they spring from?" Lycaon shrugged as Mya tossed Aang and Katara onto the heap, "Here and there. Courageous little pests." "Do you think we should kill them?" Mya asked.
Lycaon shook his head, "No not yet. Let their great champion be the one to carry the message of our power. Their fear will do half our work for us." Suddenly one of the figures moaned something, barely conscious. Lycaon walked over to them, noting as he crouched that it was a female, her face covered in blood, a lot of it her own, "What was that?" The girl's eyes went wide and she glanced in horror at the young man lying next to her. Lycaon followed her gaze and then his eyes went wide in realization, "ZUKO."
He lifted Zuko by the front of his robe, "What good fortune is this that the Fire Lord should have delivered himself into our hands?" Zuko's eyes flickered open as Mya laughed, "You're kidding." Zuko weakly tried to bend a plume of fire at Lycaon. The result was so weak that Lycaon and Mya burst out laughing. Then Lycaon drew Zuko a little closer, "I'm going to let you live, not long mind you. Just long enough to watch your kingdom fall to the armies of Kimar." Zuko's eyes were wide as Lycaon continued, "But that doesn't mean you're going to walk away from this."
"I've been chatting with your sister you see, and she wanted me to give you a little message." Lycaon's eyes were barely inches from Zuko's now, "Can you guess what it is?" Zuko's eyes were wide with horror and Lycaon's smile grew utterly cruel, "That's ri-ight! You're lopsided!"
Ten minutes later, Lycaon tossed the unconscious figure of the Fire Lord to the ground and turned to Mya, "Let's go." They walked down the street, aware of the frightened eyes peeking at them from behind shutters and doorways. Mya looked at Lycaon, "Even for you, that was cold." "He deserved i-" He stopped as something bounced painfully off the back of his head. He turned and saw an angled piece of blued metal lying on the ground, one of the people who had arrived on the bison struggling to stand, a black metal sword in hand, a determined expression on his battered and weary face.
Lycaon picked up the piece of metal, "Nice trick." Then he crossed his arms and three bone boomerangs appeared between the fingers of each hand. The swordsman's eyes widened as Lycaon let fly. To Sokka's credit, he managed to deflect half of them. The others slammed into his shoulder, wrist and shin, cracking the bones and sending him to the ground barely conscious half his body demolished.
Lycaon stood over him easily bending Sokka's boomerang into a straighter piece of metal, "You should have stayed down boy." Then he flicked his wrist and the twisted dagger that had once been Sokka's trademark weapon buried itself in his knee. Sokka screamed and blacked out as the Lord of the Wolf Clan and his sister vanished into the night.