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|All Quiet in the Dragon Flats|
Korra: My place, now
Jinora: Something happened?
Korra: Opal needs us, get down here
Jinora decided not to waste any more time, so she quickly threw on some warm-ish clothes (A.K.A. her faded orange hoodie with the arrow down her back) and made for Korra's place at a considerable pace. When she got there, she saw Korra and Opal on the couch, with the latter softly crying against Korra's chest, who had her arms firmly wrapped around her roommate.
Jinora sat down next to Korra, and gently ran her fingers through Opal's hair. "What happened?" she whispered into Korra's ear.
-"Toza went all the way," she whispered back, keeping her voice as quiet as possible. "He raped her."
It should be a surprise to Jinora, but truth be told, it wasn't. That didn't make it any easier to grasp, though. She put her hand in front of her mouth, before switching sides and wrapping an arm around Opal too. This seemed to put her at ease somewhat, and she slowly drifted asleep. When they were sure that she actually was, Korra picked her up like she was a child and carried her to bed, tucking her in safely.
-"I need you to stay here," Korra said once they were back in the living room. "Watch over Opal, at least for the time being. I have a point of discussion with Toza."
Jinora's eyes grew wide when she heard this. "Korra, don't. She needs that job, and so does my mom."
-"Are you kidding me?! I'm gonna rip his fucking balls off, right before I put a bullet between his eyes!"
"And then what?" Jinora countered, using her mother's argument. "She'll be out of a job, probably ending up some place worse. I say you go to the police, let them deal with it." She said it, but as soon as the words left her mouth, they caught up with her. Unfortunately, Korra managed to come up with a comeback before she could swallow her own words.
-"Yeah, because the police station is where I really want to go," she said, rolling her eyes. "This needs to be done my way."
Jinora sighed, and made her decision. "Then I'm going with you."
-"Bullshit. You are not getting your skinny ass drawn into this. It's gonna get nasty, trust me on that."
"I always do, but right now, someone has to make sure you're not gonna put him under six feet of dirt. Even someone like him is worth more alive than dead."
Korra eyed her up just like Iroh always did, looking for signs of doubt in her. Even though Jinora was doubting, over the past few months, she had become increasingly good at hiding when she was lying. "Alright," she eventually said, still not looking too pleased with it. "But we do this my way, no 'let's try and talk some sense into him'-soft-ass bullshit. I will make sure he regrets what he did to Opal."
Jinora nodded. "That, I am all for."
-"Then I have to make some calls," Korra said, and she took her phone out of her pocket, dialing furiously. Jinora decided to step back into Opal's room, to see if she was holding up. Fortunately, she was still peacefully asleep, probably dead tired of the ordeal she was put through tonight. She lost track of time, sitting in that chair, watching over her friend, until Korra opened the door, signaling her to come out again.
"What did you get?"
-"Wear this," Korra said, holding out a bandana to her. It was a simple design, with three light blue spirals on a black piece of cloth when folded into a triangle, which was the way Korra handed it to her.
"And what am I supposed to do with this?" Jinora cautiously asked.
-"Cover up your face with it, make sure he doesn't recognize you. Come on, Asami will be here any minute now." Korra made her final preparations, but realistically, she was stalling, so she bolted to the door when she heard a knock. Jinora quickly recognized her as the girl who Korra was getting cozy with in the strip club.
Korra quickly explained the situation to her, and when she was done, Asami eyed the two of them up carefully. "You look like you're gearing up, what's that for?"
-"To teach him a lesson," Korra hissed. "Let's go Jin, we gotta make a quick pit stop at The Triangle Club first."
Korra sighed. "Two things: tools, and The Fabulous Dealing Brothers. With stuff like this, there is no such thing as an overabundance of power." Korra made double time towards the club, and they went around the back, where Mako opened the door for them. They walked inside, and Bolin was already waiting for them.
-"Korra, what's going on? You sounded serious yet very vague on the phone."
She thought for a moment. "I need you to trust me here. We are going to hurt someone. Badly. You can't ask me about it, and you can never mention it after tonight."
The brothers were quiet for a while, before Bolin spoke up. "What do you need?"
Korra smiled, and Jinora's lips curled up involuntarily too. These are true friends. "Gloves, duct tape, a blowtorch, heavy-duty pliers, and what I told you over the phone." They nodded, and walked off to collect it all.
Now though, Jinora got worried. "Korra, you said..."
-"I said we were going to teach him a lesson, and it will be one he won't forget for the rest of his life."
-"Simple insurance policy, to make sure he won't try it again. You said you want to get him too, but if all you're going to do is bitch and moan about this, I'm leaving you here."
Jinora sighed, realizing that her friend was kind of right here. And most worryingly of all, part of her actually wanted Toza to get what was coming to him, even if the tools Korra just named made it seem like she was going to take it too far for her liking. A beating, sure he deserved that much, but a blowtorch? That was far beyond Jinora's comfort zone. She weighed her options in her mind. Korra was sitting on an awful lot of rage, and it was going to come out. No way could Jinora let her kill Toza, so she had to be there, even if it was going to be nasty. On top of that, despite her non-violent nature, she wanted to see Toza suffer. "No, I'm going with you," Jinora firmly said.
-"Good, because the brothers are back," Korra said, nodding to the door. Bolin was carrying a blowtorch, a pair of pliers, and a two rolls of heavy-duty tape, while Mako had a relatively small object, which Jinora couldn't quite place. It was about seven inches long, and looked like a rounded cone. "What is that?"
-"This, Jinora, is what you use on a man you really hate, what we are going to do with it at least," Mako casually said. "You'll find out soon enough."
She decided to let it drop, while Mako passed around thin gloves. "Against fingerprints, and these," he said, handing Bolin a bandana too, "are for us. I take it you took care of that, Korra?"
-"Yes I did, now let's roll." Jinora tied the bandana around her face before pulling it down around her neck, making sure it would fit properly when the time came. They walked to the supermarket at a considerable pace, Korra leading the way. They made it to the supermarket just before closing time.
-"Masks and hoods up, we're going in," Korra commanded. Jinora complied, and she had to admit, between the four of them, they looked like they meant business. Jinora looked at her reflection in a car's window, and couldn't help laugh at the sad irony. On course to become a doctor, and now you're going to put someone in the hospital. Once inside, they made for the register, which didn't have a line and only had one girl behind it. Once she noticed the four of them, Jinora saw the fear in her eyes grow, and she leaned back.
-"I already closed the register," she said, her voice laced with panic. "There is no money!"
-"We're not here for money. You open the door of the break room for us, you walk away."
She quickly nodded, and Korra gestured her towards the door. She punched in the code, and Korra turned to her again. "Go home. You don't want to be here now."
-"Okay," she said with a small voice, and she quickly took off.
They stepped inside, and Jinora pointed them to the door of Toza's office. "The one on the right," she quietly said.
Korra nodded, and threw it open, upon which a Toza stood up. "What are you doing..." he started, but he never got to finish. Korra threw a right hook, landing it square in his face. He stumbled back, falling into his chair, upon which Mako and Bolin quickly went to work. Korra clamped her hands over his mouth, while he was protesting, while the brothers taped his hands to the armrests of the chair. After they were done, Jinora helped them tape his mouth shut, leaving Korra's hands free. She pushed him back a little bit, and Korra pulled up a chair right in front of him, making sure she had his attention. Jinora and the brothers leaned against the desk, making sure they had a good view of Korra and Toza.
-"You hurt someone I care about today. And you already hurt a lot of people I care about as well in the past. I have waited far too long to do this."
Toza made all sorts of muffled sounds, and he most understandable was a semi-distinct 'fuck you' coming out of him.
-"No thanks," Korra said, and Jinora could swear that she was smiling, perfectly content with her remark. "You already did that, and now you're going to pay the price."
What he did next, sent Jinora over the edge. He laughed. She clenched her fist, pushed Korra aside, before she grabbed him by the collar, and was hitting him, not just once, over and over, until she felt someone pull her back. This was the first time she had ever lost control of herself, but man did it feel good. This bastard would now pay for what he had done to Opal, and what he made her mother and all the other girls do over the years. It wasn't until then that she looked at what she had done. Korra's eyes had grown rather large, and she realized it took both brothers to hold her back. She also took another look at Toza's face, which she had messed up quite badly. There was a trickle of blood coming down from both his left eyebrow as well as from his nose. It was swelling too, which meant she got him good.
That was also about the point where she felt that her hand was hurting quite badly. Jinora had probably sprained a finger of sorts, but right now, the pain was suppressed by the adrenaline. Jinora took a deep breath, steeling herself, and put up a fake voice. "I'm good," she told the brothers, who let her go. She glanced over to Korra. "That was something I have been wanting to do for a long time."
Korra nodded, and turned back to Toza. "Well, since my friend has taken care of that part for me, I guess that leaves me with this." She suddenly stood up, throwing her chair aside. Korra kicked Toza hard in the middle of the chest, making him chair fly backwards, and him landing painfully. What she did next though, had Jinora slightly worried. Korra flicked open a switchblade and leaned in. The younger girl put herself on stand-by to stop her friend, but it turned out to be unnecessary.
With a loud rip, she cut down all the way down his shirt, from the collar to where he had it tucked into his pants. Just like Jinora suspected, Toza's fat, blubbery chest was covered with greasy hair, which was when Korra reached out to Bolin. He nodded, handing her the small blowtorch, and for a worrying moment, she looked straight into Jinora's eyes. There was a sparkle in it that meant bad news for Toza, but that was hardly a surprise. No, what worried Jinora was that it looked like Korra was going to enjoy this.
-"You see," Korra quietly opened, as casual like she was talking about the weather, "We can knock you around a little bit, and that won't really do any harm. Yeah, you'll be in a bit of pain, but what I want, is that you will truly remember what you did to those poor girls. One in particular, if I'm honest." She flicked the torch on, and Toza's eyes grew wide with fear.
-"And you will," she said, before she pushed the torch into his chest. He screamed out in agony, while the smell of seared flesh filled the room. Jinora wanted to turn away, but out of sheer morbid curiosity, simply found she couldn't. Slowly but surely, Korra began to move the torch, and it took Jinora a while to realize she was writing a letter. when she lifted the torch, an "R" was burned into the left side of his chest. "One down, five to go," Korra smirked, and Toza tried to scream again in protest, but the tape rendered his attempts useless.
It didn't take long for Korra to finish the rest of the letters, and the word "RAPIST" was now burned into Toza's chest in large, bright red letters. The air was heavy with the smell of burned flesh, and Korra gestured to Bolin again. She cut one of his arms free, and Bolin freed his other one, but Toza was in too much pain to try and resist them. They rolled him over, and Mako used more duct tape to tie his arms to the leg of his desk.
Korra squatted down next to him, and slapped him in the face to get his attention again. She took the pliers and the blowtorch, and started heating them up, while Mako pulled Toza's pants down to his knees. His eyes grew wide again, and a few more muffled screams of protest came from him. "Normally, I'd cut off your dick for this," Korra said, continuing on her casual tone, "but the chance that you bleed out is just a little too big for me, so instead, I'll just use this," she said, releasing the button of the blowtorch and dropping the pliers. She reached into her backpack, taking out the cone, and suddenly, it hit Jinora what it was. He groaned again in protest, but before he could do anything else, Korra forced the entire cone up his ass, and judging by the sounds of things, it was even more painful than having his chest branded.
-"Now," Korra stated, squatting down beside him again, looking him straight into the eyes. "If I ever hear that you even so much as touch any of the girls working for you again, I will come back, and I won't hold back. I will cut of your balls, and make you eat them. Do I make myself clear?" Toza nodded despite the pain he was in, and Jinora knew that Korra's threats were not hollow. "Good, then I'd say that our business here is finished. Let's go, people." Korra waved her finger around, and they were on their way back to Korra's place again. The Fabulous Dealing Brothers waved off again, going back to the club, while Korra and Jinora walked on.
Once there, Jinora finally had the courage to take off her gloves again. Her right hand, which she had used to beat up Toza, was badly bruised, and she couldn't clench her middle and ring finger, probably meaning they were sprained. Korra set to work fabricating a make-shift ice pack (a bunch of ice cubes wrapped in a tea towel, but it did the trick) and handed it to Jinora. "Here. It'll reduce the swelling."
Jinora eyed her up, while Korra fell back onto a couch next to her. "Feel better now?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.
-"Yeah, much," was Korra's simple reaction. "And you can't tell me that you don't."
The younger girl sighed. It was true, finally being able to punch Toza in the face was massively satisfying. Even though she had never been a vindictive person, for this, she made an exception. What he did to both Opal and her mother was unforgivable, plain and simple, and odds were, he wouldn't do it again after tonight. But then there was the elephant in the room. She had helped Korra brutally torture someone and didn't stop her because part of Jinora wanted to see him suffer.
-"Jinora, you shouldn't feel proud of what we did tonight, but you also shouldn't feel bad about it. What he did was not okay, and what's more, I highly doubt Opal was the first. We provided a public service here tonight by protecting every girl who works at that supermarket, including your mom."
"No, what we did was requite evil with more evil. That's not how justice works."
-"If the justice system worked, we wouldn't be talking here right now, and he wouldn't have been able to touch Opal in the first place. We dispensed... local justice."
"What we did wasn't justice, it was revenge. I'm not saying..." Jinora sighed, hesitating that she wanted to admit this." I'm not saying he didn't deserve it, but I'm fairly certain this wasn't the right way to go."
Korra sighed at her reaction. "Look, I get where you're coming from, but truth be told, this was a good thing, and not just that we taught him a lesson. We can go back and forth on that all night long, but in the end, you can't argue with results. No, what I mean is that when your life starts to... settle, Raava throws a stone at it, and believe me, she's winding up."
"What does that mean?"
-"Means that in our line of work, using violence is not optional. There will come a time where you have to draw your gun, and at least this way, you have a little bit of preparation, if not much. It's better than nothing, Jin."
Jinora took a deep breath, and let her head rest on her hands. Korra was right, and there wasn't a damn thing she could do to change that. The only thing she could do, was to prepare herself for the worst to come.
If you want to know the kind of look I'm going for with the bandanas, watch the video of Take Me To Church, from Hozier. Those guys look scary as hell of you ask me. Oh and yes, that Raava quote is from Age of Ultron. Loved that line from the start.
For the collective works of the author, go here.