>I get that they're very good
>at what they do, but it felt too simple, too clean. (...)
>it felt too easy.
This bit is fair enough, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to take exception to this next part:
>It didn't feel like Azula to make a plan go that flawlessly.
Hey, now. She couldn't help it that she was a) surrounded by incompetents and b) on the wrong side of history the last time you saw her in action. :)
>And then this story came out. Okay, THERE'S Murphy. The trouble came
>after the last mini.
Yeah, I couldn't really go into that at the time - not if the next part (this one) was going to have a cold open that preserved anything of the sense of confusion Azula would've been experiencing.
I was putting together the pieces pretty quickly,
>given that the character growth she'd earned in Midgard was trying to
>leak through. The references to Nuka-Cola were nifty, but it's
>actually the self-understanding I really enjoyed.
Thank you. I was trying to convey something of the titanic cognitive dissonance that had to be applied in order to make the illusion stand up even long enough to get the battle underway. That was all it needed to do, but she had so much life experience and memory piled up by that point - well, it's not easy to make a woman who has lived nearly seven very full decades believe she's 14, even if you take the liberty of "adjusting" her mortal flesh to fit the expectation.
(Ozai assumed that once the actual fighting started, she'd get lost in the moment and not give the awkward discontinuities of her surroundings any further thought. Which, give him his due, is more or less what happened, until Boone (almost) shot her. Azula always did love a good scrap.)
>It must do Azula a lot of good to get confirmation that she certainly
>wasn't hallucinating the start of her life, assuming she hadn't found
>said proof before.
She had fairly strong suspicions, but not much in the way of proper evidence. By this point in galactic history, Dìqiú was in regular contact with Zipang, but very little beyond it (the first official extra-Zipangi contact established by anyone from Dìqiú would be the following year), and she hadn't found her way there yet. She was pretty sure it was out there someplace, though.
Once she's had a chance to sit down, take a few deep breaths, and reorganize her thoughts (it's going to take a little while for her to get the present experience fully on board), one suspects she'll be very relieved indeed.
>I am curious as to if Ursa was her mind trying to
>warn her, or if she really was there. Both options are certainly
>possible at this point.
For years now, Azula has assumed that her periodic conversations with Ursa were exactly that - some off-kilter aspect of her battle-scarred subconscious conveying important information. Since her release from the ice, those conversations have been fairly civil; she even rather came to look forward to them; but she didn't believe for a moment that she was really talking to some spectral manifestation of her mother. After all, she'd come to understand that she wasn't back in the days before she left Dìqiú.
It may come as something of a surprise (add it to the queue for this crazy week) to discover that she actually has been.
>>"Looking good, Captain," she said, then added wryly, "I think you might be a
>>little too young for me now, though. Just my luck."
>I'm guessing Azula lost a few years, although I hope it was some trick
>on her fathers part to maintain the illusion, and not her being killed
>and her afterlife being diverted...
Well, not a "trick", as such, I mean, she genuinely did wake up much younger than when she went to bed the day before, but she's still a living mortal, yes. That was part of the plan all along. Beria, with his typical lack of vision, assumed Ozai wanted her brought in alive out of sentiment, but (as anyone who knows Ozai better would surely have understood) it was nothing of the kind; he wanted her alive because dead, she would probably have been more powerful than he was.
Of course, she was anyway, but, you know. Ozai. Not the sharpest tool in the shed.
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.