Fear's Flames

Katara crouched behind the large stones that decorated the front of a now-abandoned café. As she hid, her blue eyes anxiously followed one of her best friends as he fought the strange monster. Why… did he seem strangely familiar?

The man had a strange diamond-shaped tattoo etched into the center of his forehead, his grin was sadistic as he charged at his prize, the Avatar.

Who was he? Katara's thoughts were somewhat focused as the desperate fight continued. Everyone thought Aang was dead… right? Well then, how did this guy know? Aang's red headband was bound tightly on his head, in place. All of his arrows were covered! They didn't even call him 'Aang' in public, they been given new names, just as a major precaution. They could never be too careful. Aang had decided on the name Kuzon. She was Karona; Toph was Talad; Sokka was Strabo.

Katara watched with panic as the bulky man suddenly gained the upper hand on Aang. They had been fighting without elements… but then this man turned the tables. A flamed hand shot forward and Aang barely leaped back to avoid the flaming fist. Aang's face was a mask of fury. Without warning, Aang airbent an invisible blast of wind and the man flew back, head over heels. Katara felt a disturbing satisfaction at the solid thump that was produced from the man slamming into the thick Fire Nation pillar.

The man stood, not wincing in the least, he didn't even bother to wipe the bit of blood trailing from his temples and the corner of his mouth. His heavy features twisted into an ugly smile.

"Do you really think you're so special, Avatar? What makes the Avatar so special? Is it… this?" The man suddenly went into a fairly familiar stance… and the earth rumbled.

Katara felt her blood run cold. That face… smile… it couldn't be. It wasn't possible or logical. There was no way that that man was that person of… horrors. But… it was.

"Uncle Tyron?" Katara gasped, speaking the name that was forbidden among all South Pole citizens.

As if he had heard her, Tyron slowly swung his huge body around to face the spot of the squatting girl.

"Well, well, Avatar. It seems you have a friend. Or perhaps a little girlfriend! We can't have that now, can we? It has been written as clearly as the stars that the Avatar must never, ever have a… lady friend. Wasn't the lesson of Kurruk enough? Apparently not!"

"What are you talking about?" Aang growled, stepping forward. "Don't drag others into this. Come and fight me! We'll see how you stand in the face of the Avatar."

"Impatient whelp. I am done fighting you today. You will surrender to me now… or this pretty little girl of yours will burn to a crisp."

Katara spun around as the words 'surrender' left Tyron's cracked lips. She had a faint idea of what his plan would be. Yet, she wasn't fast enough. Katara cried out in surprise as she felt her body's water supplies manipulated. Something cracked within her and she crumbled to the ground in a vulnerable position.

"Aang!" She cried as the blackness ebbed at her vision… she was going fast. "ABDUALA! ABDUALA!" She screamed the secret word with all of her fading strength. Then, a foul smell was in the air, and there was a chop on the back of her neck. Katara slumped forward and knew no more.

Tyron growled softly as he looked down upon the strewn body of the girl. Several broken ribs and unconscious. Not bad! He sure was getting the hang of this 'puppet master' thing.

He glanced back at his main prize, the child Avatar, only to see that his quarry and vanished.
The growl turned into a hiss of frustration. The Prince had ordered him to kill the Avatar before anyone found out that he was still alive. Well, this was becoming much more complicated than planned. Stupid! He shouldn't have turned his attention on a possible hostage. The girl had obviously said something to her friend, possibly a word that meant 'get out of here and leave me'! Typical. The whole noble ordeal of 'you're more important than me.'

What to do?
Tyron lit his hand aflame and prepared to end the life of the insignificant brat. If she wanted to be left to a certain death, it would be his job to grant it. However, his face turned into an expression of disbelief. He bent forward and grasped the girl by her shirt collar. Her head lolled to the side limply as she was hoisted into the air.

His hard eyes flickered as recognition registered on his features. Amazing! It was a South Pole Water Tribe brat… and this one looked very, very familiar. If only he could place her…

Tyron shook his head, maybe he would remember later. He decided not to kill her… it wasn't his duty, and his conscious was screaming at him that this girl was somehow very important.

Ah, maybe the Prince will want her. Tyron reasoned to himself as he flexed his muscles and the girl was tossed over his monstrous shoulder.
Now… how to catch the Avatar unaware? Tyron mused to himself as he strode through the city, not bothered or hindered in the least of ways by the small body.

He ignored all the people who watched anxiously from rooftops and windows. He indeed must look strange, with a young girl thrown over his shoulder.

Let them think. It didn't matter what the commoners thought… only the rich and powerful. Absentmindedly, he reached up and rubbed his strange triangular tattoo.

As he reached the nearby port, he handed the girl off to a bumbling porter. He ripped a document and quill out of a random hand and scrawled on the back of it with the blood slowly drying on his face. He straightened, shook the note to try, rolled it up, and handed it to the man who awkwardly held the girl.

Tyron began to address the porter with a commanding air. "No one is to intercept this message or package." He gestured to the girl. "They are to be delivered to no one but him. Understand?"

"Who's him?" The porter said meekly.

"What?" Tyron growled and the scrawny man visibly flinched.

"Who… is this intended for… might I ask… what is this… gift to be called?"
Tyron smirked and the porter felt sweat break out on his forehead. It was always a bad thing when your superiors found something humorous.
"We'll call it 'Special Delivery to the Prince.' Is that clear enough for you?"

The porter nodded frantically. "At once, sir! I'll tell the Captain at once! We'll set sail immediately, sir!"

"Good." Tyron glanced at the quivering porter, back at the unconscious female and to the note. Then, he turned and walked away, clearly satisfied that his offering would be delivered.

If I were an Avatar… where would I hide?

An/: What do you think? I'm not quite sure if I like it. Or the name of the fic for that matter. Well, your feedback is always helpful. Heck yes, this is Zutara fic, cuz Zutara is awesome. Please, no 'Zutara's dead!' cuz, it's not and it's rude to slam people's ship. It really is.

Anyways, please review!

Wasn't the Awakening totally cool?! If I continue, I'll change the names and stuff as the season goes along.