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May 5, 2013
Qev was still shaking as he tore through the streets, running with all his might. An electric car (he knew it was electric because it was the main competition to his parents' shrinking coal empire) nearly ran him down in the streets, honking frantically.
He ignored it, pouring on a bit of extra speed.
There it is, he thought out loud when he saw the Metalbending Police Force sign up ahead.
"Help! Help!" he screamed, pounding on the door.
The door opened with a characteristic shudder.
"My, my parents were just killed. In... that alley on 5th Street and West View."
The tall metalbender looked down at him and automatically wrote something on a sheet of paper which went into the chutes. "There's a team going. They should get there in about five minutes. Could you give me a description of the man?"
Qev finally felt the cold as his heart rate slowed and the horror of what he had seen finally sunk in. "He was tall... Shorter than you, though. Dark hair. He killed them with... With a shuriken."
The metalbender nodded. In this day and age, shuriken were commonly used as murder weapons, made popular by the Gray Lady triad.
"Yeah... He had a tattoo. Like a bird."
Qev didn't notice, but the metalbender visibly hardened. "Oh really? Did he actually metalbend the shuriken?"
"Then I think I know who killed your parents."
Qev looked up and his puffy eyes--he wasn't crying, not yet--lit up ever so slightly.
"A criminal named Wink. He's a nonbender and a ruthless man. If he killed your parents himself, that means they were important. What'd you say your name was, kid?"
"Qev, Qev Fre."
"You got anyone I can get to come pick you up, Qev?"
"Just my aunt."
"Okay. You wait here, I'll go and call her."
In his grief Qev never considered just how the officer already knew his aunt's number.
The officer walked back into the back room. "Call the aunt," he told one of the poor guys stuck with a desk job.
"How did it go?" came the question from his superior.
"I told him exactly what you wanted me to, sir."
The clink of coins in the officer's hand came immediately afterward.
"Thank you, sir," the officer said with a crocodile grin.
The funeral of the Fre family came a few days later to little fanfare. The mayor made a statement, saying he had considered them friends and that he appreciated their charitable donations.
"It's just a show. All a show. All... All my fault," Qev muttered to himself as he held his head in his hands.
"Hush, child," came the soothing voice of his aunt. "You're being too hard on yourself."
Qev licked his lips, picking up a few stray tears in the process.
"You don't know, Aunt Yun. You just don't know..."
The mayor of Republic City had gotten down now, the next speaker coming up. This had been going on for two hours. There were twenty more speakers expected... All politicians.
Qev let his mind slip into the past, to what he had done.
"Boy, you'd better not," came the shout from his dad's lips.
"Go eat dirt, dad!"
"Son, get back in this house."
Qev ignored his dad and immediately ran out into the street.
He wasn't totally sure how far he ran trying to shake his dad, but when he finally stopped his legs were shaking.
Then he heard a noise.
Turning down the alley, he saw the shuriken rip into his father's chest. His mother didn't even have time to react as the second shuriken sliced her neck.
Qev turned to run, his legs still tired. But all of a sudden, he didn't even notice the pain.
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