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|Battle of the Dragon Flats|
TW: sexual assault ahead.
Jinora checked the ammo of her gun for what felt like the thousandth time that day. Korra had gotten her extra magazines, to make sure that she was prepared for anything Iroh could throw at them.
That being said, she had never been this nervous about anything, and for good reason. If she would fuck up, she'd be dead. It's that simple. There were a million things that could go wrong, and only one of them needed to go wrong for the whole plan to blow up in their faces.
-"You ready kid?" Korra asked, pulling her from her train of thoughts.
Jinora took a deep breath. "Let's do this." They had agreed to meet up in an alleyway a few blocks from Iroh's den, making sure they were both within walking distance, but not too close so that he would make them out.
Korra took her phone out of her pocket, dialing for Bolin, and putting an earpiece in so that they could stay in contact. Jinora did the same, and Korra conferenced her in. "Talk to me Bo, are they there yet?"
-"The coke dealers are here, but Iroh isn't here yet. He's late."
This didn't bode well. Iroh was punctual, being late was nothing like him. "Keep us updated, we're moving in." Korra gestured for Jinora to follow her, and they moved under the cover of the alleyways to the den. It was business as usual in the coffee shop underneath, and the back entrance that the dealers always used was unguarded.
They stacked up at the door of Iroh's office, guns drawn. Jinora gave Korra one last nod, and she threw the door open, upon which they both aimed around the doorpost, only to find the office empty. The girls quickly moved on to the rear quarter, but it was empty as well.
"I don't like this Korra. I don't like this one bit."
-"I know. Bolin, how are things at the deal?"
It was silent on the phone for a bit. "Three guys just showed up, but Iroh's isn't here. Do we go on with the operation?"
Jinora shot Korra another worried look. "This is all smelling like a trap to me. We gotta bail on this while we still can."
Korra looked equally worried, but shook her head. "No, we're in too deep now. If we pull back, we got nothing. We go on, that way, we have some leverage over him at the very least if we actually fall into his trap." Why do I have the feeling we're already in it? "Bolin, take the shot, radio silence until you're done. Come on, get the paperwork. Top drawer is the most recent stuff."
It was good thing for them that Iroh was old-fashioned, not believing in storing things digitally, where the federal police could hack them and trace him. He did things the tried a true way: with pen and paper. Even though the cabinet was locked, Korra had thought ahead: she brought a crowbar for prying it open, which was a simple job because of proper tools.
-"Alright, you can sort this out, right?" Korra asked, gesturing to the paper files. They would only take the bare necessities, just so that she would have a bit of a head start when taking over his interests.
"Yes I can, you get the money." Jinora started scrambling through the files, having to make split-second decisions on what would be important and what was superfluous. She plonked a couple of quickly selected ones into her backpack, and then made her way over to Korra, who was just finishing loading a bunch of Iroh's money into hers.
-"Come on, I got it all, let's roll before trouble finds us."
Bolin called again on their way down, saying they had taken care of the deal. However, no Iroh, and no Tahno. Jinora became more and more worried. "This is all too easy. Something is wrong here."
Her point was proven moments later.
As soon as they came walking out of the den's back door, a slow clapping came from behind them. Iroh was standing in the middle of the alley, and was pointing his gun right at them. Both girls were quick to draw, ending in a standoff.
-"Drop it Iroh, no way you can shoot both of us," Korra said.
He just smiled. "You're right, I can't. What I can do though, is inform you of the one thing you forgot: a contingency plan."
Jinora was starting to become confused. "What the hell are you talking about? We got you outnumbered, we got your money, and your paperwork."
The smile just wouldn't leave his face. "Alright, I'm gonna be a good sport and drop my gun. Korra, I hope you can at least give me the courtesy not to shoot me. After all, I did look after you for five whole years. On top of that, you need me alive to hear my backup plan."
He was awfully confident his plan would be good, which didn't bode well. "Okay, we won't shoot you," Korra said, ice cold. "But I do want your gun."
-"Fair enough." Iroh did as he promised, placing his gun on the deck and kicked it over towards them. "I gotta say girls, you impressed me. Making a deal with the Agni Kais, that took some real negotiating, and using two outsiders to take down the guys at the deal... Bravo."
This only stood to confuse Jinora more. "You knew, and yet you sent your own guys to their deaths?" she asked.
-"Of course not. Tipped off the Terra Triad, they are going to be livid when they hear about this."
Korra was fed up with this. "Enough! What is that plan of yours?!"
-"It was all part of the plan, Korra. You see, I've been wanting to test your loyalty for a while now. I know you didn't tip off the cops, you wouldn't risk exposure like that. It wasn't very hard to convince Tahno that you, Jinora, did actually sell us out, hence the phone call. And now you've proven that you're not loyal to me, as I already suspected. You're soft."
-"Fuck you! What - is - your - plan?!" Korra yelled, being inches from pulling the trigger and blowing Iroh's brains all over the sidewalk.
He chuckled. "Ah yes, the backup. I sent Tahno, if I recall correctly, to... 2550 84th street, apartment 33."
A massive wave of fear washed over Jinora. That was her address. She looked over to her unofficial older sister, who had an equally worried look in her eyes. "Go!" she shouted.
From the corner of her eye, she saw Iroh make a move, and The Airbender instinctively pulled the trigger. The bullet couldn't have missed him harder, but it still did its job of making him duck for cover before he could shoot at them. This left him unable to get a proper aim for them with a secondary gun while they were still out in the open, so both of them ducked behind cover on either side of the alley.
-"GO!" Korra yelled again, this time letting a barrage of bullets fly herself, all of them in the general direction of Iroh. Jinora knew that she was on the right side of the alley, and if she could just make it to the street...
She walked backwards towards the street, shooting at regular intervals to keep The General in his cover. Once she actually got back to Omashu, Jinora took the precaution of reloading while going on a massive sprint across town to get back to her apartment.
It wasn't good. Once she got there, the front door had been kicked down, and so had the door of her home. With the adrenaline still racing through her veins, she drew her pistol again, nudging the door open so that she stepped inside.
The scene before her was horrifying. Pema and her brothers were at the dinner table, mouths gagged and hands tied behind their chairs. Tahno was sitting on the couch, his big creepy trademark grin on his face, and Ikki on his lap, also bound and gagged, while he was holding a gun to her temple. "Well well well, how nice of The Airbender to join us."
Jinora pointed her gun at his head, but she was incredibly reluctant to do so, knowing that she wasn't a brilliant shot, and if she missed, she could hit Ikki. "Tahno, let them go. They've done nothing to you. Your business is with me, not with them."
He gave her a 'fair enough'-nod, but then laughed again. "Yes it is, but that's not what we're trying to accomplish here. Now put that thing down on the ground before someone gets hurt."
The Airbender looked into her younger sister's eyes, which were of course absolutely terrified. She knew damn well that if she didn't, she wouldn't even stand a chance against Tahno. He was bigger, a better shot, a better fighter, and by the looks of things, had more ammo. The only chance she had was to try and give him what he wants. "Fine." She gently laid her gun down on the ground.
-"Kick it over there," he said, gesturing to the empty corner.
Jinora once again complied, and decided to start her negotiation. "You want the files, yes? Here," she said, sliding the backpack along the ground towards his feet. "Everything we took from the office."
He raised an eyebrow. "Not everything. You took an awful lot of money if the CCTV wasn't betraying my eyes, not to mention the coke and the money your boys took from the deal in the park."
She couldn't help but tear her gaze away from Tahno for a moment, and look over to her mother. She had a nasty bruise on her eye, no doubt put there by him. If anything, she looked even more frightened than Ikki did right now. "I can get you the money back. All of it, and the drugs. Just... just let them go."
A cackling laugh tore through the room. "You still don't get it, do you? It's not just the money, this is the perfect moment for us to re-establish the knowledge that if you fuck with us, you get fucked with."
"Please," Jinora softly said, tears rolling down her face. "I'll do anything you want me to. This was me, not them."
-"Of course it was. And I'm going to kill you, obviously, you're just last on the list."
"They're just children, you fucking psychopath!"
Tahno just got an amused look on his face. "I suppose I am, but I'm surprised it took you this long to figure it out." He let his free hand slide down over Ikki's stomach, to Jinora's disgust. The younger sister groaned into her gag, kicked with her legs, all in a desperate attempt to free herself.
None of it worked. Tahno was too strong, and her restraints were too well done. "Hmm, this one is feisty," he said, his smile growing. "Might as well have some fun with her..." He slid his hand under her shirt, and Jinora could see how he was feeling up her sister. "Ooh, she's already blooming..."
"You sick bastard," she said, her voice filled with disgust.
-"Again, I couldn't agree more with you," he said. "Let's see what else she has waiting for me," Tahno smirked, and he moved his hand from under her shirt to the hem of her pants.
"Don't you fucking dare!" Jinora yelled, but he was ahead of her again. He pressed his gun back up against Ikki's temple, and she actually started crying now. "Yatatata," he stopped her. "Let's not blow... this out of proportion. I'm just having a feel..." This time around, Tahno actually dipped his hand into her pants now, and Ikki choked back a sob, while the smirk on his face grew. "Ooh, she's still tight... Been a good girl, haven't you?" he whispered into her ear, but loud enough for Jinora to hear it.
She couldn't stand this any longer. Now that he was slightly distracted, Jinora lunged for his gun, ramming it away from Ikki's head as soon as it was in reach.
This worked, but only because she had taken Tahno by surprise. She grabbed hold of his gun, pointing it away from them and her sister, whom he had thrown to the side. With her free hand, Jinora managed to throw a punch right in his face, and it made his gun go off.
Because of the adrenaline surging through her body, Jinora could actually hold his gun away from them a little longer, and in their struggle it went off again. There was a shriek from her mother, but The Airbender had to disregard it, as she needed all her attention for fighting a man twice her size.
It wasn't meant to last. Ultimately, Tahno's raw strength won out, and he managed to throw her away from him, right next to her sister, and pointed his gun right at her head. Jinora was looking straight down the barrel, and it looked like Tahno was giving her a moment. She reached over to the bound hands of Ikki, taking them in her own. "Close your eyes," she whispered. "It'll be over soon."
There was a sudden sound on the window, and Jinora's eyes flashed over, seeing the familiar blue of Korra's hoodie on the fire escape. Instinctively, The Airbender rolled on top of her sister, protecting her at all costs. Tahno tried to swing his gun around to the window, but Korra was quicker.
In a very rapid succession, she pulled the trigger no less than four times, straight through the window, all of them landing in Tahno's chest. He stumbled back before collapsing on the floor, and Jinora felt a wave of relief wash over her.
She pulled back from the tight embrace she had around Ikki and brushed a few stray locks of hair out of her face. She looked straight in her eyes, and she quickly pulled the gag down. "Are you hurt?"
She shook her head, but a single sob escaped her, before the floodgates really opened. Instinctively, Jinora wanted to protect her, to hold her and tell her everything would be okay, but she couldn't do that just yet. She quickly stood up, grabbing the gun from Tahno's dead hand, making sure that he wouldn't be able to reach for it if her wasn't as dead as she thought.
Korra had broken down the window, and that's when Jinora senses kicked back in again. Pema was crying at the table, trying to reach over, but couldn't do that due to her restraints, but even through the gag, there was no mistaking it: she was crying.
At first, Jinora had trouble piecing it all together, but when it hit her, it couldn't have hit her harder. It felt like a freight train had rammed her at full speed.
One of Tahno's stray bullets had hit Meelo.
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