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|Central City Station Part 1|
Book 1: Escape
May 27, 2013
John and Leon's quite evening with Tenzin's family is interrupted with an act of terror.
The sun was sinking in the west over the sea as John and Leon walked up the winding path along the cliff of Air Temple Island. Leon had changed out of the Equalist uniform and adopted a standard Refugee uniform instead. At the top of the cliff, they found Iiki and Meelo riding around on air scooters.
"Hey Iiki, where's Korra and your father?" John called.
"Meditating!" the young girl replied as she raced past. Meelo slammed into Leon's legs like a bowling ball, causing the airbender to fall face first. However he blew a short burst into the ground with his airbending, allowing him to flip and land on his feet.
"Show off," John muttered as Leon grinned in response. Together, they crossed the island and approached the mezzanine that overlooked the sea. Korra sat with her back to them, facing Tenzin.
"Hello John, Leon," said Tenzin, his eyes remaining closed.
"Tenzin, Korra," John replied, remaining unsurprised at Tenzin's ability to tell who had arrived.
"What brings you here?" he asked, standing with Korra.
"Pema invited us for supper. And the Rider Family never turns down an invitation of any kind," John said. Tenzin smiled at this, well aware of his family's affection for the young firebender. Together, the small group began to make their way back to the temple. Once inside, both Leon and John raced to help Pema with the food.
"That's really not necessary," the pregnant woman protested, but the two took the pots of food regardless.
"It's entirely necessary Pema," John replied.
"Bein' a gentleman is a dying art if I do say so myself," Leon added. Tenzin took Pema's hand and led her to the table
"Let them work dear, if Gunslingers are anything, they're polite," he said.
"Unless we're in combat," John muttered under his breath, to low for Tenzin to hear, but loud enough for Leon and Korra to hear. The three children filled into the room, taking seats along the length of the table. Tenzin and Pema took one end of the table while Leon, John, and Korra sat opposite of them.
As one, they bowed their heads while Tenzin blessed the food. After a few moments, they raised their heads again and began to gather food for their plates.
"If it's alright with you sir, I'd like to add something," said Leon. Tenzin nodded, respecting the religion of others. Leon proceeded to preform a sign of the cross along with John.
"Bless us oh Lord, for these thy gives, which we are about to receive, through thy bounty, through Christ, our lord, Amen," they spoke together. After that, the only sound made was that of a typical family eating in silence and a radio playing a soft tune in the background.
"We interrupt our usual programing to bring you a breaking news report. Less then twenty minutes ago, a large group appearing to be of Refugee in origin attacked and seized control of Central City Station. Chief Beifong has surrounded the Station with police forces, but has yet to move in due to an unknown number of hostages held inside. The city has been placed into lock down until this crisis has been revolved," came the voice of a radio announcer.
Leon and John looked at each other before standing abruptly and left the room. Korra quickly excused herself quickly and hurried after them. She practically broke into a sprint just to keep up with the two as they hurried back to the borough.
"Where are you two going?" she asked when she finally caught up with them.
"One of two things has happened, either an Equalist group has attacked the station disguised as some Refugees or an actual group of Refugees has gone rouge. Personally I don't care much for either situation," John replied. They boarded a ferry and began to sail across the harbor to the borough.
"If it is one of ours, who in the borough would have enough guts to pull a stunt like this?" Leon asked. They looked at each other and spoke at the same time.
"Collins." As the ferry slowly pulled into the docks, the trio leapt from the deck and sprinted toward the borough entrance. They slowed only when they saw a crowd of reporters swarming the entrance, trying to get passed the guards that stood their ground on the draw bridge.
"Korra, we're gonna need an entrance in the wall opened," John said as he led them off of the street and into a side ally. The lighting in the ally was low, as dusk had set in. When they reached the moat, they crossed it with relative ease and managing to avoid being seen by the crowd of reporters. Korra lowered a small section of wall, roughly the size of a man, and raised it again when they had all slipped through.
"Leon, get me a number of how many people we have ready to march," John said as he stalked though the streets of the borough, heading for the apartment complex he lived in. Leon obeyed without question, breaking off from them and slipping away.
"What are you going to do John?" Korra asked.
"I'm going to march on Central City Station and put down whatever kind of hornet's nest has sprung up there. A group of some origin is trying to make it seem like the Refugees are behind this. That means we're involved whether we want to be or not," he said. John ignored the hurried salutes from the sentries as he walked to his room with Korra right behind him.
"I'm coming with you, it's my duty as the Avatar to keep peace," she said. John didn't answer right away as he took off his single gun belt and put on his cross draw holsters. After securing the leather beneath his arms, he slid on his Refugee uniform.
"You're not going. If something happened to you I would never forgive myself," he finally answered. As he turned to go back to the door, John found himself face to face with Korra.
"I'm going whether you like it or not wise guy," she said, jabbing him in the chest to relay her point. But John didn't so much as twitch an eyebrow.
"I'm standing my ground on this one Korra. The way things are looking, shots will be fired. And bystanders are almost always shot, I'm not going to ask the Infirmary to treat any unnecessary wounds tonight," he said.
"I'm going with you John," she replied, standing on her toes to be even with him.
"People are going to die tonight, do you understand that?" he asked. Korra looked into his eyes. He took notice that her look had softened a bit.
"Even you?" she asked, her voice slightly softer now.
"Yes Korra, even me," he replied. In the blink of an eye, John found himself in the absolute last position he had envisioned himself. Korra had moved with the speed of a snake strike and kissed him. When she broke away, all he could do was blink repeatedly in shock.
"We will discuss this later," he said before he brushed past her and walked out of the door. It took him very little time to reach the street, where he found several men and women standing at attention. Leon was waiting as well, holding a Winchester 1897 shotgun.
"How many did we get?" he asked.
"One hundred and seventeen, counting us," Leon replied as he tossed John the shotgun. John pointed the muzzle at the ground as he slid the action back a bit to check if there was a shell within the chamber. Satisfied, he closed the breech and held the weapon proper.
"It'll have to do. Let's move 'em out," he said. Leon grinned as he spun on his heel and faced the ranks.
"Left face! Forward March!" he shouted. The ranks executed a perfect left face and began to march up the street. As John and Leon turned to march with them, John noticed Korra looking down at him from the window above. A wave of confused emotions rushed into his mind, but he fought them back. It was dangerous to have such thoughts when his mind needed to be clear.
Steeling his mind, John marched with the ranks to go work.
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