"It's not enough to make the nightmares go away"
General Iroh tossed and turned in his sleep. His bed and the gentle rocking of his ship refusing to give him the comfort they had for years. The young generals mind tormented by troubles and he had every right to be troubled, four extremely dangerous convicts had just escaped, most likely to harm the Avatar, and he inability to help said avatar with civil war between the water tribes or the chaos of Harmonic Convergence still weighed on his mind like a led brick. His guilt about the whole event crippled the prince of any action to contact Korra. And yet it was none of those things that caused him to toss and turn that night or the many nights before but rather a dream that refused to leave him, filling the prince with terror night after night.
It was always the same never changing in detail, always the same. He stood at the front of a large hall dressed in his princely garb waiting for his bride to walk down the aisle. He wasn't sure who he was about to marry but he knew he loved her. In dreams after all you really don't ask questions. Everyone he had ever met seemed to be there. They were all looking towards the doors waiting for them to open and the bride to walk down the aisle. Then after what seemed like forever a guard rushed in painting and claiming that the bride had disappeared. Iroh darted past the guard to find her. Past the doors he was in an empty Fire Nation Royal Palace. Every room, every hall way was empty, empty of people, decoration, and furniture. All the rooms and hall bare save for their red paint. The palace became a maze of red hallways. He wondered this maze until he walked out into the palace garden where another person sat alone.
Sitting by the edge of the pond by a large oak was a woman in a red dress and a white vale. Her face obscured by the latter. He rushed over to her and looked in horror as he realized, once again, that the red dress had originally been white. The woman fell back and He caught her. Her small form so cold to the touch, as he held her close the pain of loss filling his whole being. The vale fell from her face. Usually, he woke before he saw her face but this time he lingered long enough to see a mocha skinned woman with half open blue eyes that had become almost frosted over in appearance.
Then he was awake. Sitting up in his bed shaking and sweating, Iroh could still see the woman's face clearly in his mind's eye. Iroh whipped the sweat from his forehead and tried to recall when and if he had ever seen her face before. No one readily came to mind. Iroh shook himself. Why was he having these dreams? Did they have any connection to the events of Harmonic Convergence other then their timing? Was he being warned of something to come? The fact he didn't have an answer to any of these questions frustrated him. Iroh's eyes shot open. Maybe it was connected to the harmonic convergence and the spirits now interacting with the world. He stood up and started to pace the room. He needed the dreams to stop he couldn't live like this! He was already falling asleep during his daily routine. Maybe he should try to visit the Avatar? She might be able to help get to the bottom of this. After all she was the bridge between the two worlds. He paused, going after her just for some bad dreams seemed awful childish especially with Zaheer and his team out there looking for her. He sat back down on the bed and cradled his head in his hands. What was he to do? Going to the Avatar would make him seem like a spoiled prince and not the strong general he had to be and yet he felt so fragile and shaken by what kept haunting him.
He looked up and saw the woman standing in the middle of the room wearing all white. Completely silent He watched as the figure tilled its head to one side and, to his horror, the head kept rolling until it was wrapped completely in the vale and on the floor. The body was still standing but the dress was now turning red. Everything then melted into the floor that rippled like water.
Iroh was unable to scream or utter a sound of any kind. He just stood up and walked through his ship acutely aware of how awake he was now. The Captain looked at him strangely as he entered the bridge (no doubt because he was standing in his pajamas).
"Sir?" The Captain asked. "Are you ok?"
Iroh did his best to keep his voice calm and understandable. "Captain, I need to inform you that I cannot preform my duties at the current moment as a headless woman just melted into my bedroom floor. I need you to send word to the president that I am taking a leave of duty and please send a message to Tenzin that I need to meet with him as soon as possible. I am now retiring back to my cabin to try and sleep."
The Captain gave a slow nod while Iroh turned to go back to his room.
Tenzin looked at the message he had just read trying to make sense of it. Bumi sat next to him and eyed him suspiciously.
"So?" Bumi asked at last. "What does my former student have to say to you, little brother?"
Tenzin ignored the implied hostility. "He says or at least the captain of his ship says that Iroh is having horrifying visions of headless women melting in to floors. He, that is General Iroh, is requesting to meet with me. The Captain also notes that the General hasn't seemed to be sleeping well since Harmonic Convergence." Tenzin put the message down. "Does this sound anything like the man you took in as your protégé?"
Bumi shock his head. "No, the Prince always had a level head, unlike his brothers. It takes a lot to shake him usually; I take pride in knowing how to really shake him up. I think you should meet with him. If there's anyone who can put a person to sleep its you."
Korra breathed heavily trying to understand what she had just seen. A man dressed in a water tribe uniform face covered by a helmet had just burst into flames in front of her with out warning. The worst part being that Mako and Bolin had been standing right next to her and claimed to have seen nothing. She didn't know what just happened but she really hoped to figure it out before it happened again.