Chapter 1

It was late, the sun already set, but there was an air of excitement in the castle. It was the summer solstice. One of the rare days in the year, when day and night were exactly the same amount of time. This naturally occurring event triggered an unusual reaction from the people who in-habited the fire kingdom. Everyone's powers were useless for two days and three nights. Leaving the kingdom powerless, and it was often during this time that the enemies of the fire kingdom tried to attack them. However this time was different.

This time, they had captured the warriors of Atlantis before the solstice. The only people who might have caused them great harm. Especially as if the men had been in Atlantis during the first night, they would have kept their own powers of water. But being on the surface during this period had the same effect on them as it did on the fire benders. They lost their powers during the solstice. And so the people of Londar were free to party in safety. Something which had not been done in a long time.

While this fact was all good for the people of Londar, giving them time off to relax and enjoy having no worries for a short time. It was not so carefree in the cells which held the warriors. Humans of the any kingdom weren't exactly known for thinking straight while drunk. If anything they were known for being more unpredictable.

A though of great worry to General Darren Blake of the Atlantis army. Darren sighed as he listened to the noises which filtered down through the high windows of the prison. The prison had high walls and open windows. Letting them hear clearly the festivities which were going on in the plaza below. He looked around the prison over his men. Judging all of their states and praying mentally to the goddess to protect them. The next few days were going to be dangerous ones.

They were all in one big cell room, some of the more dangerous of them chained and shackled to the wall. He wasn't. But that was more to do with the fact he had been critically injured in the fight which had ended with them captured. He was still struggling to stand and walk, forget fight against the humans. Some of his men were on the hay they had been given to sleep on, sleeping while they could. None of them were sure of what to expect and none wanted to be caught unawares. The few which were up, were standing near the cell door, ready to attack any human who tried to get in who they didn't know or trust.

"Sir" a quiet voice said from beside him. He looked down to see the youngest of his men stirring, looking up at him from where the boy's head was resting on his thigh. He stroked his back lightly, he was too young really to be here but they were running out of options when it came to sharing out who was fighting against the humans and who was fighting against the dark spawn.

At least the humans could die.

"Shh, you should be asleep kid" He murmured. "You will need your strength for later" The kid shifted slightly in a shrug.

"Can't sleep" he murmured, "What will happen to us?" he asked his voice quiet but Darren picked up on the fear in it.

"I don't know. They have treated us well so far, as well as we would have treated them but" he paused thinking of the right words to say. His men all slumped slightly, it was no secret what the nymphs did to their prisoners. They did treat them well but more often than not they ended up breaking them, or worse making them dependant on the nymph, "You know as well as I do how we use our prisoners and while they haven't touched us while sober... Humans aren't known for keeping themselves controlled while intoxicated.

"Sir" he whispered, the rest of his men also seem to feel downed by those words, knowing it was true. Humans were fairly predictable creatures however when drunk they began drastically otherwise. They had no idea at all what to expect over the next few days and nights, and in the current state they were unable to defend themselves.

Which is when they heard running. They blinked, as the door to the front of room, which was blocked of by the bars of the cell, opened and a young woman ran in, slamming the door behind her, quickly locking it. She breathed heavily for a few moments, obviously having been running of a while before turning and freezing when she saw any nymph who were awake looking at her oddly. She reacted in a way none of them expected too.

"Trust my luck to run into the cell block instead of somewhere I can hide" she groaned before, dashing to the other side of the room where another door was. She opened it to find a dead end. It was just another room with a bed and cupboard in it, obviously where the guard was allowed to rest when not looking over the cell room. "Damn" she cursed before climbing on a chair to check if she could get out of the windows on the top of the cell.

"Bars on all of the windows kid" Darren said calmly, noticing her state of distress, and also bruises beneath her ripped sleeves. Someone, or some people had attack her.

"The gods hate me. Perfect place to hide, in a cell with only one way out" She moaned as she confirmed what he had said with her own eyes. "And I'm not a kid, I wish I was! If I was I wouldn't have to deal this this crap!" she growled at him, while pulling at the bars on the window to test their strength.

"Girl, they're are made to withstand more strength then you have got"

"Shut up, I'm stronger then I look!" She growled before letting go of them and sighing, "I should have listened to my brother and stayed in, but no. I had to go see the party" she muttered to herself, sounding more and more scared with every moment. Darren looked her up and down, idly thinking she looked familiar to someone. She wasn't a fire-nation human. If anything she looked like she was a mixed breed between earth and air nations. She had the blonde hair of an air nation but the brown eyes of an earth nation. She also had pierced ears, a common trait of the earth nation. He could only think of a dozen humans, the Fire Prince of the castle included, who had their ears pierced.

"Guessing you promised too much to some bloke and he won't take no for an answer" he said calmly. She looked the sort who wasn't innocent. Not necessarily a whore but those eyes were calculating and had an edge to them which made Darren cautious. You didn't get that look with normal humans.

"Not quite. I got jumped on the way to a party by three guys who decided because my brothers otherwise occupied to have some fun with me. Is that enough for your curiosity!" she yelled at him, her face reminding him of someone badly but it still wasn't clicking.

"Calm down, you don't want them to find you do you!" commented one of his men, who was also looking at her oddly. Whoever her brother was, it was someone they fought against regularly. The question was who? "Don't they teach you how to defend yourself girl?"

"No they don't teach women how to fight in the fire kingdom. As it happens I know how to defend myself against one guy, maybe two if I have a weapon, thanks to my brother and his friends teaching me when I was younger but... That was a long time ago and I'm out of practise. Also that's if they want to kill or injury me, not trying to drag me off somewhere" She answered, walking around, obviously finding to calm herself.

"Just who is your brother?" Darren said, it was really annoying him now.

"You know him. He's Flame's...Prince Kieran's bodyguard" She shrugged, correcting herself when she said the wrong name.

"Flames?" his youngest muttered sounding a bit dazed at her slip by saying a nick-name instead of the Princes name. More than a few taking note of that. Prince Kieran had only been around for a few years, had only been accepted by his father by force. Everyone knew the Fire Lord was just waiting for the chance to kill of his bastard son.

"You're Theo Baxter's sister. Which means you're Lauren" Darren said in an awed tone. How had he not realised this girl was Theo's, his rival, sister? The resemblent was amazing. Sure Theo's hair was cut short but he had the name air-nation shade and the same earth-nation warm brown eyes. She was younger than her brother by five years but even so you could see she was a beautiful young lady and would make someone a very happy man one day.

If she let herself take that path of course. The look in her eyes when she had said they don't teach woman how to fight showed a defiance. She was as independent and stubborn as her brother. If she was anything like her brother, which she seemed to be, she would escape the fire-nation as soon as she could and go to a nation were women were equal.

Her brother was a strong willed one, and Darren had no doubt he only stayed and fought for the fire-nation because of his loyalty to the fire prince. Such loyalty he admired, if not wondered what the fire prince had done to deserve such loyalty. The fire prince was not a strong fighter, or at least didn't seem to be, there were times when he wondered. Theo had a habit of showing up before the prince could ever really show his skills.

"He mentioned me then?" she said sounding genuinely surprised by this.

"Once or twice when we were stuck fighting the dark spawn together" He admitted, vaguely noted to awe like expressions on his men. They were all amazed by this discovery. By their standards Theo was a handsome strong men, someone who if captured would be fought over to who would have the honour of being his keeper. But for him to have a beauty as a sister as well. If it wasn't for the fact she was still barely older then a child, he had no doubt they would be lusting after her.
"Then you must be Daz" She said looking slightly interested. She gave him a look with was obviously her looking him up and down before shrugging, "He wasn't lying when he said you were a looker but damn he didn't do your description justice"

Some of his men chuckled at that. "Thanks I think" He smiled, her accent had come out as air-nation despite her earth-nation mannerism. Just who were Theo and Lauren? "You're not too bad a looker yourself lass, General Darren Blake at your service"

"Nice to meet you General, I wish it was in better circumstances" She replied in formal tones to match his, but this time in was hinted with fire-nation tones. He could only assume the Prince had taught her and hence she had gained his accent.

"You mean not while I'm in a cell and you're hiding"

"Exactly" she smiled slightly, talking to him was calming her slightly. Her panic receding, much to his relieve. A panicking girl was not what he needed.

"So what has my main rival been saying about me to his sister?" Darren asked curiously. If he had said he was a looker, just what else had he told her?

"Not much. Just that you're a bad solider" Darren growled at that much to Lauren's amusement. "Didn't mean it as a bad thing General Blake, he said you're better suited at solo work and giving the commands then following them" Lauren grinned, giving them all a warm smile which they had never seen from any of the humans yet. At least not towards them. "He has a lot of respect for you and your men, which is a lot considering we don't get along with a lot of nation loyalists"

Darren blinked by that statement, it was his time to be surprised, as were his men. He noticed how when she had had nation, she had inferred all of the nations not just the water or fire nation. He assumed it was to do with her and her brother's apparent mixed heritage.

"That's nice to know" he said lamely, unsure how he should respond to such a compliment. She chuckled but then froze as there were three knocks on the door.
"Sorry to intrude but we need to talk to you little girl" grinned a man, who stuck of drink and was backed up by two others. She took a step back in fear and something tightened in Darren's chest. Shit, they had found her.