Brought to you by 263px 04:38, December 24, 2014 (UTC)
A Week LaterEdit
It was peaceful as the sun set and a gentle breeze blew as Dread-Eye, Charles and the Churaians carefully guided the Albatross away from Full Moon Bay. Katara seethed with indignation as the dark skinned and haired young woman in green rolled her wheel chair towards Lefko Daimonas' mansion while Lefko glided toward the city's edge on immense glowing wings. The city should've been crowded she thought. Instead nearly the entire city had been evacuated nearly a week earlier as news of the Republic's actions had reached the sanctuary's guardians.
She cast a glance over her shoulder at the rapidly retreating Albatross and her face twisted with rage. As she turned away, a solitary tear trickled down her cheek, how had things gone so wrong so quickly?
Late Night, Three Days EarlierEdit
Omen snapped awake as her oracular abilities jolted her from her sleep and prompted her to lash out with her powers. The resultant blast nearly demolished the ship and sent the person standing over her slumping to the ground at the base of the largely obliterated wall. Omen sat bolt upright and searched the room for the assailant she knew was there. Then her heart skipped a beat as she saw the intruder partially upright, skewered on an arm-length sliver of wood that had previously been part of the wall. Omen might have noticed the blood trickling from her mouth if her eyes hadn't been drawn so immediately to the horrid wreckage of her torso, "Oh god Katara!"
Omen leapt from her bed, heedless of the splinters stabbing the soles of her bare feet as she quickly hauled Katara from the wreckage of the wall and began her quickest healing magic, "Don't be dead, don't be dead, Etake's Horn please don't be dead!" In seconds she had gathered most of the blood and bone fragments she had blasted out of Katara's body and gotten them relatively back into place, even managing to rebuild most of the girl's internal organs.
As Omen set about mending the muscle and other less important bits Katrina staggered in through the ruined doorway, clutching her forehead as blood coursed down her face, "Omen! Are you alright?!" Omen's head whipped around and as she saw Katrina she realized with horror that while Katara had caught the brunt of her blast, she had been far from the only one affected.
Omen leapt to her feet as she took in the blood coursing down Katrina's face, "Oh god are you ok?!" Katrina waved Omen's concern aside, "Only a scratch. Head wounds always bleed a lot. What happened in here?" Her green eyes flicked past Omen and spied Katara, "Please tell me you two weren't fighting over Aang." Omen waved her hands on the verge of panicking, "No! My powers woke me up and she was standing over me and I lashed out on instinct! Now she's dying and I'm no healer! Help!"
Katrina picked her way across the room and knelt over Katara before looking up at Omen, "Get this blood out of my eye." Omen snapped her finger and the blood all over Katrina's face slithered back into the wound and zipped it shut as cleanly as though it hadn't been there at all. Katrina ran a hand over Katara's raggedly breathing form and slipped a hand into the still gaping wound, feeling around to see what was and wasn't intact, "You need to replace her liver, left kidney, and galbladder. Other than that most of her internal organs seem to be okay. You did a good job fixing her," Katrina added as she stood up and allowed Omen to continue her work, "A blast that powerful must have ripped her nearly all the way in two."
Katrina felt something cold against her foot as Aang rushed in, his scar bleeding slightly and much of the left side of his body lacerated and oozing blood as his own blood magic worked to heal him, "Omen! Are you okay? The Churaians said there was some kind of explosion in here!" Katrina looked at him, "Katara startled Omen awake." Dread-Eye and Sokka staggered in covered in blood, Dread-Eye's right arm hanging limp and Sokka limping. "What happened?" Dread-Eye asked, "Chit-Sang and the Churaians are up on deck trying to keep the mast from collapsing, the cabins are in ruins and we're all injured. What happened?"
"Katara!" Sokka exclaimed as he spied his sister and hauled himself past Aang to stand between Omen and Katrina. Suddenly his gaze was taken off his sister's rapidly mending form and latched onto a source of red light that was flooding his auric vision with a wicked crimson glow. His head jerked down and he saw something by Katrina's foot, "What's that?"
Katrina looked down as she remembered it was there and knelt before lifting it, her breath catching as she got a good look at it. She laid a hand on Omen's shoulder, "Omen, you need to see this." Omen looked up, still on the verge of panic as she finished sealing the massive wound her power had torn in Katara's midriff, "What is it? Why do you have a dagger?"
Half an Hour LaterEdit
Omen sat on the bench in the galley almost shaking with emotion as Aang wrapped an arm around her in an attempt to comfort her. "Why would she try to kill me?" Omen whispered in shock, "I thought she was my friend..."
It had taken maybe sixty seconds for everyone who had seen the dagger to realize what Katara had been planning to do that had startled Omen awake. It had taken everything Katrina Sokka and Dread-Eye had to keep Aang from killing her on the spot. It might not have been enough if Omen hadn't stood up and quietly told him to go help the Churaians and Chit-Sang.
He had hugged her tightly and gone in a huff, Dread-Eye right behind him and Sokka stammering apologies before Katrina sent him behind the others. Katrina had insisted on checking Omen for wounds after burying the dagger in a board. Omen had numbly complied and Katrina had given her an extremely thorough checking over. Now they were all in the largely undamaged galley as Katara sat unconscious and bound in spectral energy in the corner.
Chuckles had managed to do a rush repair on the mast with Aang to help his brothers and Chit-Sang hold it upright while Chuckles hammered and braced it off with the lumber Dread-Eye and Sokka rushed to him. He said it wouldn't last and had glumly forecast the need for a new mast when they made port, but he said it should hold at least long enough for them to make port in Full Moon Bay. Now he and the others sat with Omen as they contemplated the treachery that had unfolded.
Sokka had prostrated himself and was bowing repeatedly, apologizing as profusely as he could for Katara's actions, but his words were nothing but a distant buzzing to Omen. Chuckles had checked Katara's spine and declared it irreparable for anyone except a master of extreme skill, she would probably never walk again. Now tears started to well in Omen's eyes as she looked at Katara's still form.
As Omen buried her face in Aang's shoulder, Aang's expression hardened as he cast a glance at the woman he had once considered for his Empress, "This," he said in a cold voice, "Is nothing less than the highest of treasons and attempted regicide. Are there any who would deny that this woman deserves death for her crimes?" Sokka's head snapped up, eyes wide with horror as everyone else bowed their heads grimly.
Suddenly Omen put her hand on his chest. "Wait," she told him as she gathered herself. She took a deep breath and sat up before drawing another shuddering breath, "Sokka of the Sourthern Vampiri, this woman is your sister. What might have possessed her to make an attempt on my life?" Sokka froze, racking his brain for anything, anything that might excuse Katara's treason. Just as his face fell in horror as he realized he couldn't come up with anything, Tonis Churaian raised his hand, "If I may speak your highness?"
Omen looked at him and gave a slight nod. Tonis gulped and started in, "As you are all aware, Miss Katara and I have been caught out in an indiscretion recently, and we're very sorry, and if she is allowed to wake up, I must apologize to her for divulging some details of that indiscretion now." Before anyone could stop him he plowed on, "You see Miss Katara is very aroused by the scent and taste of blood, and many was the time she would scratch me so she could drink my blood. She has even used such a knife as the one she was caught with at the scene in bed at times. It is a knife designed for ceremonial use you see, she thought it lent an extra air of the risqué to what we were doing. She might have meant merely to engage in such an indiscretion with you!"
Everyone in the room gaped until Chuckles suddenly jumped to his brother's aid, "If it would please their highnesses, I would speak as well." Without waiting for a go ahead he plowed on, "Miss Katara was tremendously jealous of Her Highness and had seen herself as an extremely viable candidate for the throne we now know to be Her Highness's. She was very upset when we learnt of Her Highness, and having had a rough relationship with His Highness, she might have merely wished to attempt bridging the gap to a relationship with Her Highness before bridging the gap that had grown between her and His Highness."
Mundo suddenly jumped in, "That's right your highnesses, she did such things in bed and spoke of such jealousies when I was with her as well. And if I may add, Miss Katara has two such daggers, the poisoned one found at the scene and another exactly like it. She always keeps at least one of them on her person no matter where she is." Sokka nodded suddenly, "That's right! Her twin knives! I remember giving them to her myself four winters ago! I've never since seen her without at least one of them at her side! She doesn't even think about them anymore, she just picks them up by reflex!"
Omen and Aang looked at Katara and Sokka plowed on, "Ah, besides, we don't know that she had it out when Her Highness awoke, we merely know it was with her! Katara's clothes were shredded in the blast it could've gone flying then!" Aang looked back at them and his gaze was steady and cold for what felt like an eternity. "I think you're all lying to me," he said quietly. Omen's head whipped around, but before she could say anything Aang continued, "But Omen does not wish to believe her friend would attack her, and I cannot say I did not encourage such a jealousy in Katara before I met Omen."
"I will not kill Katara," he continued, earning a sigh of relief from Sokka and the Churaians, "But I want her confined to her cabin until we make port in Full Moon Bay. Her foolishness tonight, for whatever reason, could have sunk the ship and killed everyone aboard if Omen had been frightened into lashing out even a little bit harder. We cannot allow such a thing to happen again, and if as I suspect, she was trying to kill Omen, I will not allow a second such attempt."
"If she can confirm your story when she wakes up, I will hold no grudge," Aang continued, "But nobody is to talk to her until such time as she has done so. If she cannot confirm your story, I will have her banished from the Royal Court. She shall never again be allowed to hold a position in court, she will not be allowed to attend court in any function, and she shall not be allowed to hold any position of authority anywhere in the Empire. Do I make myself clear on this matter?"
The response was a unanimously muttered, "Yes your majesty."
Three Days Later, The Deck of The AlbatrossEdit
Omen stood at the prow with Aang as the deck behind them swarmed with the black and white clad warriors of the Beinstyrke, Marrow's personally trained elite fighting forces as they set about ensuring the ship's new paddlewheels and engine would continue to function as well as they were now, churning the water to froth behind them as the Albatross sliced through the waves like a knife. They were also clambering up and down precarious scaffolding as they set about reinforcing the mast with metal.
"First Katara and now this," Omen said sadly as Aang pulled her close. They hadn't even made it into port that morning before Lefko had come winging out to meet them with the bad news. Aang kissed the top of her head gently, "Don't worry. It'll be fine." Omen frowned, "I wish I could believe that." Aang smiled gently, "Hey, come on, cheer up. We've got you, me, the Churaians, Katrina, Dread-Eye, Sokka, all these Beinstyrke guys, plus everyone at Etake Vale."
Omen nodded, "And there are two armies bearing down on my home. One is comprised of War-Mechs so powerful Marrow and Lefko's spies didn't even know they could be built and the other one is an army so powerful Marrow went to intercept them immediately, emptied the garrison of Full Moon Bay to defend against and gave us a letter to give to Iarna if he doesn't make it. Even Lefko seemed shaken up, and Katrina says he never worries about anything."
Aang smiled, "They're probably just overreacting." Omen shook her head, and stepped away from him and turned to look at him, her irritation plain on her face, "Stop acting so calm Aang! Those two are the most powerful men I've ever met! Even with all our gifts backing us up, I'm not sure both of us at together could take even one of those two! Anything bad enough to have those two scared this badly is enough to have me shaking in my boots!"
Aang suddenly caught her shoulders and looked her in the eye, "I'm trying to be reassuring. I know what it takes to be a Grandmaster, and I know this has to be horrible on an apocalyptic scale if those two are worried." He pulled her close suddenly, "But I want you to know that no matter what's coming for us, I'm not letting anything hurt you, and I'll destroy anything or anyone that tries." He kissed the top of her head again, "I screwed up last time. I'm not doing it again, and the Empire is worthless if I don't have you to share it with. I love you Omen, and I'm never letting anyone take you from me."
A happy gasp escaped Omen and she kissed him before hugging him tightly as her worries momentarily evaporated. Aang smiled and rubbed her back, "What brought on the sudden change of mood?" "That's the first time you've said you love me," Omen smiled quietly as Aang smiled and hugged her even more tightly.