Mecha tanks attack
All or Nothing
Chapter information

The Gunfighter


Book 2: War





Written by


Release date

August 30th, 2013

Last chapter

The Fallen Remembered

Next chapter

The Avatar and The Gunfighter

John makes a dangerous enemy in the form of Hiroshi Sato.


"Holy sweet Jesus," John said simply as he marveled the sheer size of the Sato Mansion. He and Korra stood gazing up at the building as neither of them had seen a house this big. They had stopped by to visit Mako, Bolin, and Asami, or rather Korra had dragged John along. Personally, John wasn't very comfortable with this trip, as he had business to conduct in the Borough. But Korra had begged him and he had, reluctantly, given in.

Korra led the way up to the front door, where a butler greeted them, took their coats, and then led them to the indoor swimming pool. A large lion turtle statue sat on one side of the pool with a waterfall coming out of its mouth. Mako and Asami sat along opposite the edge of the pool while Bolin swam around the center. Waving them over, the pair greeted them.

"You guys wanna take a swim? Korra can borrow one of my suits and John, I'm sure Mako has something he can lend you," Asami said.

"Sorry. I only swim when I need to," John replied as he leaned up against a pillar and rested his hand lazily on his gun out of habit. Although the water did look inviting, he figured it would be best to remain within reach of his gun. Eve's death, even though over a month had past since it occurred, had put him on edge.

"I'm afraid I'll have to pass to, we're just stopping by for a quick visit," Korra added. She still didn't quite know how to behave around Asami, but she had grown friendlier the more she knew about the non bender. John on the other hand had grown to accept Asami to the point where he considered sharing some of the secrets of technology they possessed.

"Well, my portion of this visit is complete, I bid you all a fair well and will show myself out," he said, standing to his full height. He playfully smacked Korra on the arm as he past, and easily dodged when she attempted a counterattack.

As he approached the front door, the sound of a smaller side door opening caught John's attention. A large man with graying hair, spectacles, and a rather large mustache turned and locked the door he had just left before he spotted the firebender.

"Oh hello, you must be one of Asami's friends. I'm her father, Hiroshi Sato," he said, extending his hand. John took it and shook it.

"John Rider. It's a pleasure to meet the man who is dragging the world into the modern age." Hiroshi's eyebrows went up in recognition.

"The pleasure is all mine Colonel. Had I known that a representative from the Refugee Borough would be paying a visit, the house would have been cleaned up," he said with a smile. John held up his hand slightly.

"That's not necessary. I'm just dropping off a friend of mine so she can visit Asami. A common person from the streets." Hiroshi nodded in understanding.

"I must bid you good day, Colonel. I'm afraid that I have other matters I must attended to," he said, shaking John's hand again before disappearing down a hallway. Turning again, John opened the door and began the long trip back to the borough. By the time he walked though the gate, the mid afternoon sun was leaning in the sky.

After stressing that he didn't want to be disturbed for a few hours and ignoring several salutes, John finally arrived back in his small living quarters. Taking off his gunbelt and leaving it hang on the back of a chair, he flopped down on his cot and settled into a dreamless nap.

"Colonel. Colonel darlin'. Rise and shine bucko." Leon's voice brought him out of his rest. Slowly, John opened his eyes to find the Irishman leaning over him.

"Leon. For your sake this had better be good," he muttered.

"Aye, it is. Tenzin and Chief Beifong are here along with some police officers. They're conducting a raid on the Sato Residence and they're requesting some help," came the reply. Sitting up, John rubbed the sleep from his eyes and scratched his head.

"And we have confirmed intelligence to support this raid?"

"An Equalist turncoat sold 'em out. Said that a factory on the property was churning out all the new tech." Hopping to his feet, John put on his gunbelt before he led the way out of the room.

"Get three others beside yourself all armed with Thompson M1921s. Wear overcoats and use the non stock variant, there's no reason to cause a panic if we don't find anything. Bring some charges, oh and find Roland, tell him I need my brace," he said. Outside, a police airship hovered over the street waiting on them. Within fifteen minutes, they were on board and on their way to the Sato Mansion.

Cocking his head slightly, John studied the three young men in brown overcoats that Leon had chosen. He looked over each and every one carefully while holding his left arm aloft, allowing two metalbenders to put together a rectangular brace. Recognition flickered in his mind, but he just couldn't quite place them.

"Who are these lot?" he asked.

"John, you remember Sam, Collin, and Carter?" Leon said, motioning to each one of them as he gave their name. It took less than the blink of an eye for John to remember them. These were Leon's younger brothers. The entirety of the Reynolds family was standing aboard this airship.

"I do. Well boys I sure hope you've picked up somethings from your brother, cause your going to need it," he said, glancing out the porthole to confirm that they were landing. The ship hadn't made landfall for two minutes before Asami appeared, followed closely by Mako and Bolin as she marched across the grounds.

Even from a distance, John could see the glare in her eyes and knew very well that she was pissed. Double checking his Thompson to insure that it was hidden beneath his coat, the firebender stepped forward next to Korra.

"For both our sakes, I hope you made the right choice in raiding this place," he whispered to her.

"You already searched the factory, now your gonna search my home?" Asami asked as she stopped before the small cluster of people.

"We have a warrant and an eye witness, Ms. Sato," Lin replied. Asami clenched her teeth, frustration evident on her face. As the officers spread out to cover the whole of the residence, Asami led the way to her father's workshop on the mountainside behind the mansion.

"I know that Korra will follow a badger mole to the center of the planet because she thought she heard it talking, but I wanna know why your here John. You've met Mr. Sato, you know what he did for us," said Mako as he fell in next to John, shooting a glare toward Korra in the process. Sighing, John stopped for a split second so that he wasn't standing in between the pair.

"Mako, your right. Personally I think that Sato is a good man and not the kind to fall in with Amon. But there is evidence that suggests he could be, and I'm here to insure that he's not. Beifong is hunting a criminal. I'm fighting a war, and I can't afford to have someone like Asami's dad on the side of the enemy."

Arriving at the workshop, Asami led the way inside while calling for her father. But she was met with only silence and an empty room. Leon and Carter crossed the room to a table covered with blueprints and designs. John stood in the very center of the room, closed his eyes, and took a deep steady breaths.

"The mansion is secure Chief, no one has arrived or left since we got here," reported an officer.

"Where did my dad go? He couldn't have just vanished into thin air like that," Asami said, her voice soft.

"He didn't." All eyes turned to John, who was still standing still with his eyes closed. Korra looked at his hands and noticed the blue white mist swirling around them. John could feel everything, the heartbeats of his comrades, a freshly dead rat hidden behind a workbench, even the tunnel entrance below his feet.

"How did?" Lin started, completely dumbfounded by the firebender. Only metalbenders could do what he had just done.

"Matterbending Chief. Haven't got it totally down yet, but I got enough to know that the floor I'm standing on is hollow," he said, holding his hands aloft to blow the mist away. As John stepped away from the floor, Lin used her bending to rip it up, reviling the gaping black tunnel leading deep into the mountain.

"John, you might want to see this," Carter said over his shoulder, holding aloft a blueprint. The firebender made his way over and began to study the blueprints. After a moment, his eyes went wide.

"Right, you three stay here with Officer Song and The Refugees, we'll investigate this," said Lin, catching John's attention.

"Hang on, what the hell did you bring us along for if you weren't going to use us?" he asked.

"Back up. If something goes wrong you can come down and provide support."

John let out a sigh, as it was his turn to be annoyed before he returned to looking over the blueprints. A few minutes passed after Korra and the others had descended into the tunnel before Mako and Asami approached them.

"What is so interesting about that?" Asami asked.

"Your father is plannin' on building a warship. With our technology," Leon said. To prove this John lowered the paper, reviling a ship with three smoke stacks and obvious gun emplacements on various points on along the deck. They barely had time to look it over before the sound of metal slamming into metal reached their ears from the tunnel.

Ignoring Song's protests, John led the others into the black maw of the tunnel. Asami trailed behind them, a look of shock and disbelief on her face. It wasn't long before they reached a large metal door preventing them from continuing on.

"Platinum. We couldn't burn or bend our way through this if we had the whole of the borough with us," said Collin after he rapped his knuckle on the door. Scrapping his foot along the floor, John showed a grin.

"Bolin. I need you to make a hole."

"Load them into trucks and take them to Amon," Sato ordered a small group of Equalists, who began to load tied up metalbenders into the trucks. They didn't notice Tenzin, Lin, and Korra being pulled in the opposite direction, into a hole that had been created in the floor next to the platinum door.

"Well look at this. Nice factory you have here Mr. Sato." Hiroshi and The Lieutenant spun around to find John, Leon, Sam, Collin, and Carter all standing in a line at the far end of the factory.

"Ah, Colonel Rider. I was hoping you would show up," Hiroshi said, an evil grin plastered across his face as he held aloft two electrified gloves. Four Mecha Tanks approached, forming a semi circle before the Gunslingers.

"I have to admit Sato, this is the first time this world has gotten a leg up on us. I'm impressed," John said.

"Asami has told me stories of where you come from Colonel. Oh how I long to see a world without bending rats such as yourself."

"Your never gonna see it Sato. Not while I'm around."

"Well then, I guess I'll have to remove you from the situation. Amon will be very pleased to have such a high ranking member of the enemy such as yourself be a prisoner." The Mecha Tanks advanced closer, coming to a complete stop when they were sure there was no way the Refugees could get past them.

"These bad boys are meant to even the playing field, even turn the tide in your favor in a fight with benders. Am I right?"

"They're made of platinum like the door. No bending can get through," said Sato, pride resonating in his voice.

"I know of something that can. Allow me to tip the tables back in our favor!" In a flash, John drew his Thompson from his coat and fired an extended burst at the nearest suit of armor. The .45 ACP rounds smashed through the glass visor, shredding the Equalist pilot before he could even react. Slumping forward, the now lifeless Mecha Tank sounded like it was powering down with blood leaking from the shattered visor.

In a flash, Leon and his brothers drew their own weapons as well and opened fire on the tanks. Charging forward, John slipped past the suit he had taken out and charged toward Hiroshi and the Lieutenant. But another tank appeared before him and fired an electrified bola at him. Ducking, John allowed his Thompson to be torn away before he continued on his charge.

As the pilot prepared to unleash an electrified claw, John bounded off of a small crate and launched himself high into the air. Clenching his fist, a hidden collapsible blade contained within his brace sprang out. Using his momentum, John landed on the face of the machine, driving his blade into the welding along the edge of the visor. In a prying motion, the firebender began to tear away the visor in his attempt to reach the pilot.

"Knock Knock!" he shouted when he could see the person who was strapped into the pilot's seat. The Pilot, who was female judging by the shape of her body, screamed in absolute terror at the man who was literately tearing apart this machine to kill her.

Drawing his pistol, John fired four shots into The Pilot's chest before scampering up the machine. With a yell, he lept from the top and brought his blade down in an effort to kill Sato. Hiroshi managed to dodge the attempted kill, jumping back as the firebender landed. Raising his pistol clenched hand, John used matterbending to send The Lieutenant flying across the room and out of the fight.

"You flew under my radar Sato, made me think you were good. No one does that and lives to tell about it," John said as he focused on Hiroshi. The Captain of Industry lunged out with one of his gloves in an attempt to electrocute the firebender, but John reacted first. He jammed his elbow into the other man's face before he tore the glove off.

"John, charges are set. Lets go!" shouted Carter. Looking back toward Hiroshi, John gave the man a swift kick in the stomach before he turned and sprinted after his allies. They didn't stop running until they arrived back in the workshop, where they felt a large rumble come from beneath their feet, indicating that the explosives had indeed gone off.

Looking at Asami, John could see all of her emotions swirling in her green eyes. Shock, sadness, disbelief, but above all else: anger.

"Use it against him Asami. Don't let him choose who your family fights for," he said, presenting her with the glove he had taken from her father. She took it and placed it on her hand before clenching it into a fist a few times.

"I will," she answered, resolve now replacing her emotions.

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