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|Welcome to Raikoville pt 1|
Earth, Fire, Air, Water.
Only the Avatar can master all four elements. Unfortunately, the Avatar is never around enough and the world needs her. There is a depression ravaging civilization, leaving thousands to go hungry and go mad. The Avatar is too busy resolving international disputes and spirit conflicts to help the common man. In times like these, real heroes will rise from the ordinary folk and try to restore peace and prosperity to the world.
A young man sat on the curb with a stack of newspapers and a news boy hat on the ground next to him. His eyes pointed towards the ground and his head weighed on his shoulders. "I can't believe it. They finally let me go. I'm the only one who managed to sell papers above the quota. I guess even I, Anil the Airbender, can hit a brick wall," he said to himself. The wind brushed up against his face and blew away some of his papers. After a while, he stood up and took a stroll on the autumn night down the sidewalk.
Anil wasn't quite ready to return to his home yet, so he took the long route through the park. The streets were rather bare in this day and age. Beggars sat on the sides with tin cups and cardboard signs, while once wealthy men lowered themselves to simply selling fruits to people who would not buy them. Once well-kept paved roads had been reduced to crumbling shadows of their former selves, while weeds littered the sidewalks of the city. Republic City's public transportation fared little better; the taxes of all kinds could not generate enough revenue from the city to pay workers to upkeep the rail systems.
While walking close to the park, Anil watched the many desperate street performers trying to rake in Yuans for their dinner. Every other block, there were people on soap boxes ranting and pointing the blame of this depression on things like: Greed, Corporations, Immigrants, Stock Markets, and even on the Spirits. A particular soap box preacher had been handing out flyers. Anil then grabbed flyer just for the heck of it. The flyer advertised the Equalist Party. It read:
"Are you tired of this poverty? Then sign up for the Equalist party and vote for the Equalist candidates in your next election to punish the privilege of benders and put an end to the Bourgeoisie."
Anil couldn't believe what he was reading. "Bender's privilege" didn't exist, since he had never made enough for a proper apartment and he was an Airbender. There were no more than twenty known airbenders on the planet Earth in the year 182 AG. Most of them were taken for training since it was a recent phenomenon for airbenders to be born to seemingly normal parents.
A few dozen blocks away from Anil, three young men stood on top of the roof. They had a sign on the roof saying "Naite Brothers". Each of them stood waiting for their prey. From the distance a wolf bolted into the dark alley below, behind it were two thuggish brutes chasing it with nets.
"We have them now," one of them remarked.
"Or do you?" The youngest brother yelled. His name was Zed, firebender extraordinaire. He wore a sleek rugged, short-sleeved red shirt and had a red wristband and black pants. He leaped off of the roof and pounced on the two with a large fireball in his hand.
The other man jumped up and started to run away. However a wall of earth stood in his way. "Did you think you were getting away that easily?!" The Older brother asked. He was buff, tall, and ready to pummel the man. The Earthbender's name was Warsh. He wore green Earth national pants with a sleeveless shirt.
"Stay your flame, Zed," the middle one said. He appeared from up on top of the roof but the thugs couldn't see his face. "It's him!" One the thugs panicked. "Please don't hurt us. We'll give you our money. We'll do anything you want."
"Oh, I'll get your money alright," the middle one said and pointed towards the moon. "It is a full moon rising tonight, and I think you know what that means. Don't you?" He asked rhetorically. The middle brother wore a blue trench coat and a black hood. His blue eyes stroke fear into his friends and enemies alike.
The men nodded. "Please, mister Grei! Don't..." Their words were interrupted when they lost control of their jaws. Grei had begun his bloodbending grip. He lifted the goons off of the ground and twisted up their limbs a bit. Then he forced them to empty their pockets with their own twisted up arms. Their arms legs were entangled together so fully, Grei 'eased' their pain by tossing them into a dumpster.
The brothers scrambled to get their money and leave the area with their cardboard sign, personal stashes, and the pet Arctic wolf. They only managed to get 20 Yuans out of the deal, but that wasn't enough to feed their bellies.
"Who's a good little Beast." Grei kneeled down to pet his wolf friend and called him by name. Then he pulled a piece of seal jerky from his pocket and fed it to his pet.
After taking a shortcut through the park and stumbled upon Raikoville. Raikoville was shanty town named after President Zieng Raiko, the brother of the original President Raiko. Thousands of unemployed people lived in this shanty town. It was the perfect breeding ground for criminals and chi-blockers. Anil knew not to linger in the area for too long, since the Neo-Equalist didn't very much care for Airbenders. Anil had walked for hours and decided to camp out on a roof top. He pulled out a small mat and fell asleep on it. Unfortunately Anil had made the mistake of camping on of the Naite Brother's favored rooftops.
The next morning dawned on Republic City. The Avatar Aang Memorial statue gleamed on to the shadowy mainland city. It stood as a beacon of hope for a better future. Anil could see the statue from where he decided to brush his teeth. While looking at the skyline, Anil stood unaware of the Naite brothers who lingered nearby.
Grei had woken up earlier than the rest of his brothers. He stood up and climbed to the rooftop. There he saw Anil sitting on top of a water tank brushing his teeth. Being the crafty devil he was, Grei began to bend the water inside of the tank. He then spun the water around inside and smacked the roof of the tank, making a loud thud. Anil tumbled off of the tank and landed back on the concrete roof.
"What the hell was that?" He said then turned to see Grei standing on the Roof. "What are you doing?" Anil asked Grei.
"Defending my territory," Grei boasted.
"From what? I was brushing my teeth," Anil refuted.
"Well, you might have been exhausting my water supply to," Grei said then waterbent puddle of water into an icicle blade. "I don't particularly like thieves."
"I'm no thief." Anil manipulated a ball of air in his hands maintained it. "But I do know a few good moves if it's a fight you want."
Meanwhile the other two brothers had woken up and heard the thud of the tank. Zed and Warsh quickly climbed to the roof and then stood by Grei. Zed had generated flames around his arms while Warsh suspending a few rocks in the air. "You wanna mess with us now, punk?" Warsh said.
"Why not? A few more friends and we can play airball," Anil taunted the brothers.
Zed became furious and started hurling fireballs at Anil while the other brothers were self-restrained. Anil dodged each consecutive fireblast then sent a gift of his own. Anil sent a huge blast of wind towards Zed and knocked him off of the roof. The force of Anil's blast propelled himself into the air and gave Anil the breathing room to escape. Fortunately Zed broke his fall with a fireblast and he wasn't injured.
"Damn windbag," Grei said when helping Zed get up.
"Do you want me to go after him?" Warsh asked. "Because I will."
"No need," Grei said. "And no time."
Grei had spotted a patrol of Metal bender police and gestured for his brothers to follow him. The three brothers escaped from the area without too much trouble and made for their safe house in the city's sewers. Grei led his brothers through the sewers and into one of the old Equalist tunnel hideouts. The entire network of tunnels under Republic City were abandoned or repossessed after the arrest of Amon's henchmen. As soon as the Naites reached their hideout, Zed lit all of the lanterns, Warsh tuned the radio to the tough tunes, and Grei fed Beast.
After a couple of minutes, Zed spoke up. "How long are we staying here?"
"As long as it takes. The police are seriously cracking down on Crime in time for the international Conference or whatever. We'll have to lay low awhile," Grei told his brothers.
Anil hopped from roof top to roof top for half an hour. Below him were dark alleys, sketchy vans, metal bender constables, and even saw a trashed Royals Royce Flamio Model. Eventually, Anil made an unfortunate false step. He fell to the ground and coincidentally next to Baijin, good a friend of his.
"What shenanigans are you up to today Airhead?" Baijin asked.
"Not much, just escaping some psychopaths and hopping around is all," Anil said.
"I brought breakfast." Baijin flashed a bag of Water Tribe food and shared it with Anil.
"Gee thanks." Anil nodded and gracefully took a bite out of the grub.
Then Baijin cranked up the old radio and the two just relaxed in the alley and shot the breeze. Anil pulled out one of his old newspapers and started reading it with Baijin. After a couple of hours of small talk, Baijin popped a question.
"So did you get fired?" He asked.
"What? No! No! What makes you think that?" Anil persisted.
"Erm ... You have a sheet of paper that clearly says: You're fired, Anil." Baijin pointed out while flipping a coin with his one good arm.
"Well it's more like being downsized." He frowned a little bit.
A few hundred blocks away from Grey's safe house, there were several men standing in a dark room. Five of them were wearing sort of military outfits while there were several others in Chi-blocker gear. They circled around a desk where another mysterious old man sat in a giant office chair while a taller hooded male figure next to the old man. The tall man then gathered everyone's attention.
"You're probably wondering why I gathered you here today." The tall man spoke in his dark ominous voice. "We need to take action."
"As my associate is saying, we need to initiate our phase two." The older man said.
The group of people whispered for a few minutes then the older man smacked the desk three times. "We are not ready for phase two. I do not have enough men for the job ... perhaps we can wait another two months" One of the uniformed men said. There was a brief silent pause in the room and then the tall man pulled out a kennel. The rest of the group stepped back from the desk but the said man did not.
"You have served us well Mr. Kim!" The tall man said then released the door on the kennel. Then a dark shadow spirit leaped out of the kennel and devoured the insubordinate.
"Are there any more outlandish suggestions?" The older man asked. "Good, now assemble your teams and go out to your targets."
After the group dispersed, one Chi Blocker lieutenant had a file folder with his target information on it. He assembled his team then opened the folder. Then the man read aloud the instructions to his team and showed them the picture of the target. The picture depicted a black and white family photo Grei Naite and his brothers.
For the collective works of the author, go here.