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Why Teenagers Don't Actually Rule The World

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Azula shouted, "Get them all out of my sight!"

Toph, Sokka, Kuei, and Bosco are all taken to prison dejectedly. Long Feng then walked into the room with some Dai Li agents behind him.

"Now comes the part where I double cross you." Long Feng smirked, "Dai Li, arrest the Fire Nation princess!"

Conspicuously, none of the Dai Li agents moved, to Long Feng's disappointment.

"I said arrest her! What is wrong with you?!"

"It's because they haven't made up their minds." Azula said, "They're waiting to see how this is going to end."

"What are you talking about?"

"I can see your whole history in your eyes. You were born with nothing, so you've had to struggle, and connive, and claw your way to power. But true power, the DIVINE right to rule, is something you're born with. The fact is, they don't know which one of us is going to be sitting on that throne, and which one is going to be bowing down."

Long Feng suddenly looked worried. He glanced at the still silent Dai Lee agents, weighing how likely they were to interfere in any confrontation, and on which side. Better to do this safely.

"But I know, and you know." Azula taunted, sitting down on the throne and crossing her legs, "Well?"

Long Feng walked up and bowed to her, "You've beaten me at my own game."

Azula sneered, "Don't flatter yourself! You were never even a player."

Long Feng remained bowing, while the Dai Lee shifted uneasily in their ranks. Azula on the other hand, seemed to forget they existed, laughing to herself and toying with the arms of the throne, her legs relaxing, still crossed.

Hiding his action with his bent body, Long Feng clenched his fist at his stomach, gathering the strength of the Earth beneath him. As he straightened from his low bow of submission, he stepped forward, extending his fist smoothly in a long practiced motion. Beneath his feet a compressed ball of rock from the floor shot forward, its sudden and untelegraphed speed a result of years of practice. Long Feng had been a member of the Dai Lee longer than most agents had been alive, and his bending was fast; a necessity when subduing powerful earth benders quietly, and killing Fire Nation assassins and spies decisively.

Azula was reclining, legs crossed, and was incapable of moving out of the way in time.

By the time she sensed this sudden attack, the compressed bullet was almost halfway across the distance to her, and moving almost sixty miles an hour, accelerating under the iron will of Long Feng, whose rage at being betrayed by his own Dai Lee whose ranks he had counted as his only allies for most of his adult life is hardly to be contemplated.

Azula was an Imperial Firebender, trained to kill and destroy with flame from a young age. Her reflexes were impressively fast. A halo of terrible heat rose around her. Her legs, which lacked the purchase to support her weight to jump out of the way, instead became weapons, she instinctively kicked out: the blue-white flame she distinctively used for its terrible power howling like an inferno towards Long Feng.

While very powerful for a firebender of her age, Azula's experience in battle was primarily against other firebenders, many of which were her age. Her aggression and strength putting most on the defensive so she could grind her flames against them until their defenses were overwhelmed. Long Feng was a veteran of the war, and calculating man. He saw the rushing, wide attack, impressive for its temperature, but unfocused, and was unmoved. He stood motionless where he was, a thin sheet of loose earth rising from the paving stones to protect him from direct flame, but falling as dust as it passed.

Azula's fire aura screamed like a cutting blowtorch, howling wind rising up around it as the heat and flame was whipped around her to form a protective cyclone. This defense pit the outward energy of her powerful fire bending against any incoming attack, protecting her from stabbing flames and arrows by destroying or blowing them off-course. Against an enemy firebender she could blunt any attack while pressing her advantage.

The compressed bullet of stone was heated slightly, and moved somewhat. But it weighed a little over twenty five pounds, and not much deflected by strong wind, and made of dense earth and so not much disrupted by the insubstantial flames.

It was not much affected by passing through a human body either, only beginning to lose speed when the back of the throne (and some bones) compressed it into a series of rock fragments, which splintered the ancient Throne of the Earth King, but did not entirely destroy it.

It would have been instructive for Azula to have spent more time on the front lines of the war with the Earth Nation. The reason war machines like the Drill existed was to protect troops from the terrible rain of stone, which earth benders never ran out of and could project, with some effort, almost a mile. Modern Fire Nation soldiers wore heavy rounded armor, their chest-plates and helmets an attempt to absorb the heavy crushing blows of fighting Earth Benders. Even so, advances against entrenched positions were horrifically costly. The Earth Kingdom had largely resisted passively such advances for a hundred years, forcing the development of terrible machines of war to protect the fragile bodies of fire benders.

To Ty Lee and Mai's shock, Azula's body did not make much noise as she slid, instantly dead from the Throne. Their reactions were also swift, but they were faced with many gathered Dai Lee, who instinctively subdued them as they attacked Long Feng.

At which point he turned in fury to his erstwhile Dai Lee.

"And WHY, exactly was that necessary, you cringing worthless turncoats!", he shouted.

The assembled Dai Lee froze helplessly. The few involved in securing Ty Lee and Mai thanked their lucky secret police stars and marched their prisoners off to holding cells.

A ringleader emerged, Shou Len, one of the stronger benders in the group. "Sir, we were afraid she would kill us if we moved against her. She was so confident..."

"She was a princess you cringing little fool," Long Feng fumed. "If you had asked her if she could command the moon to rise early she would have been confident in saying yes."

"We thought she had some plan or hidden Fire Nation assassins or something", Shou Len complained, many Dai Lee nodding animatedly, "when she was helping with the coup she was threatening to kill anyone who failed in any task!"

Long Feng sat on the edge of the dais of the throne, now rubbing his temples, resigned. "Royalty borrows power by authority, Shou Len. Whatever personal power she possessed, it was dwarfed by the power she was commanding from you. You know this! The most powerful single bender cannot resist many for long. She was expecting you to keep each other in line."

He sighed, already planning around the difficulties of a dead Fire Nation princess and a captive upper command.

"I suppose the pattern of servility is not easily broken." he finally said. "Perhaps we should promote one of the minor nobility to the Throne, and see what can be salvaged of the Army hierarchy. Azula's presence will explain the deaths and disappearances. The Fire Nation plotted to destroy us, but we are strong. The War finally comes to Ba Sing Se."

He rose, sparing a glance for the child who thought to steal it all away from him. Even for royalty that had been arrogant. Who stood in a room of potentially hostile benders and taunted and insulted them? Even had the Dai Lee and himself been cowed, all it would have taken was one disgruntled agent to balk at the Fire Nation taking their home city and she would have been dead. For all her talk of unity and rooting out disloyalty and hesitation, he doubted she knew a single Dai Lee agent's name.