Recruiting Drive Part 1
Chapter information

Shadows of Equality



Written by


Release date

September 1, 2013

Last chapter

Chapter 1: Alternate Route

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Chapter 3: Recruiting Drive Part 2

A few nights later at The Sapphire Shirshu, one of Republic City's liveliest night clubs, Firuz sits at the bar with Kiri as the two discuss the formation of the team as the lively music from the band is only slightly muted by the sound of the patrons high energy dancing. The earthbender stops to take a sip of his iced drink as his assistant attempts to give him options on possible recruits.

"Okay, so if we can get these three I think we can form an effective breaching team for..." she stops, seeing that Firuz is paying no attention to anything she has to say and slams the dossiers onto the counter top. "Are you even listening to me? Might I remind you that I'm doing all the work for you and off the clock I might add."

"Kiri, listen." he says placing his glass down and looking over at the young woman. "If we're going to win we need more than stats on paper to decide a squad. This is going to take people who can think outside the box, people with character, and most importantly..." he pushes the dossiers back to her. "people who aren't under the thumb of the city officials. If we're going to be doing some recruiting we need to think outside the box ourselves." Just as the two are about to discuss further the manager of the club has the band stop playing and has the various radios in the room turned to their maximum volume as the confused patrons listen as Avatar Korra's powerful voice comes on the air.

"Amon, I challenge you to a duel, no task force, no chi blockers, just the two of us tonight at midnight on Avatar Aang Memorial Island. Let's cut to the chase and settle this thing, if you're man enough to face me." she says as many in the club cheer her challenge on. Firuz however, is unimpressed by the girls bold move and heads toward the door, Kiri, her hands full of papers, right behind him. "Stupid kid's gonna get herself killed." he says grabbing his jacket from the coat check.

At Triple Threat headquarters, Lightning Bolt Zolt has just received very disturbing information from firebender Two Toed Ping. "You're serious? You're a hundred percent sure about this?" Zolt asks the nervous man. Although having his bending stripped from him by Amon, this set back had done little to cool his volcano level temper as he demanded to know if Ping's claims were true.

"All true boss, guy in the Agni Kai Triad was there, saw the whole thing." Ping waits as he views Zolt contemplating the new information. "You want a few of the boys to take care of it?"

"No, don't need any lower moral with those Equalist jokers out there. He close to anyone else who might be in on it?" Zolt asks.

"Just these guys boss." the mustached man places a folder on the desk as Zolt combs through it. The Triple Threat leader stands and turns his back to Ping, opening a file cabinet behind him and hands it to the gangster.

"This came in yesterday. You remember Firuz don't you? Metalbender cop on our payroll back a few years ago. Says he's putting some kind of team together and needs some volunteers. Send 'em to him. If everything turns out right we won't need to get our hands dirty in the slightest."

"You got it boss." Ping says taking the papers with him and exiting the room.

A few days later down in the Dragon Flats Burroughs, Hasook, Seok and Husam are making their daily rounds, having shaken out what little protection money the residents can muster. As the three head back to their custom red Satomobile, Seok is busy counting up their cash. "Pretty good take for folks who claim to be barely scrapping by."

"Yeah well don't get too attached to it. Zolt's got to take his cut first." Hasook says as the trio reach the car and see a note tucked between the radiator. The waterbender steps forward, pulls the paper out and begins reading. His eyes widen as they skim across and down the message. Husam and Seok ask him several times what the contents of the paper are, receiving no answer until Hasook finally turns to them. "I need to have a little chat with Soza." he says with a surprising calm as he gets into the passengers side of the vehicle with Seok hopping in the back and Husam driving. The two pester Hasook on the contents of the letter, only to be answered once more by complete silence. Ever since being teamed with him the two friends had always gotten an eerie vibe from the waterbender, who never seemed to be in a talkative mood, though with the things their profession involved it was best sometimes not to dig too deeply into someone else' business.

A short time later the three arrive at Soza's facility only to see him taking several boxes of his possessions with him outside of the building. They stop feet in front of him and get out, Hasook taking the lead. "What gives bro? How did we get recruited into some ragtag task force?"

"Wait, we what?" Seok says with a very distressed expression on his face.

"Since when do we work for the council?" Husam questions.

"I don't know but they must be pretty desperate if a womanizer, a deadbeat dad, a pro-bending washout, and a scruffy factory manager are the best Tarrlok can do." Soza says as the others help him carry his boxes over to his truck, which already has a huge crate loaded into the back.

"Oh I can assure you gentlemen, the good councilman has absolutely nothing to do with this force." they turn to see a woman dressed in a classic green Earth Kingdom dress. Seok, the self entitled ladies man that he was couldn't help but drool over her as she sat on the hood of Soza's truck.

"Well Miss..." Hasook addresses her, wondering her name.

"Kiri." She states to them. "If you gentlemen will follow me I'll gladly show you to your new place of employment." Seok quickly rushes over, discarding the boxes he had previously been carrying, and offers his hand to help her down.

"This has certainly been a day of surprises." Husam notes.

"Still one more though." Soza says jumping into the flatbed of the truck and, grabbing a crowbar out of it, pries the large crate open, revealing a motorcycle, hay being used as packing material for it. "He hops down patting Hasook on his back. "Beautiful isn't she?"

"Yeah she is!" the waterbender says excitedly, his eyes glowing at the sight of the vehicle. Both Husam and Seok are very startled to see this swing of emotion from someone who, from what they could tell was stone hard and devoid of any real feeling.

"And she's all yours." Soza says, surprising his friend a second time. "Couldn't endure seeing you ride around in that Cabbage car after work anymore. You can thank me later. Right now let's see what all this task force business is about." Hasook, seeing his new gift is fully fueled, gets the motorcycle down and, starting up the finely tuned engine, promptly follows Kiri, who has gotten a ride with Soza as the others follow her lead to meet whoever is in charge of this operation.

In the suburbs of the city, the team of all female pro-benders known as the Red Sands Rabaroos make their way down the street, having just left the gym after two hours of intense training in preparation for the upcoming tournament. The girls, lead by Adi, the team captain and firebender, casually walk down the street, gaining shouts of praise and cheers from fans as they make their way to their destination. They even sign a few autographs. "Hey guys." a young man, little older than fourteen says standing behind a desk in the book store the girls have just entered. The young man, Binh, was a fan and longtime friend of Adi as well as an amateur firebender and attended every match he could to support his old friend and she in turn, always viewed him as a younger brother.

"How's our biggest fan doing?" Umi, the waterbender asks. "The new issues in yet?"

"I'm great. And yeah there right on that rack over there." The young man, with light brown hair and freckles points them out to her and she quickly heads to the other side of the small shop to see for herself, while the others begin a conversation. "So you coming to cheer us on at the tournament? If you hadn't heard we'll be winning by a landslide." Ula, the team earthbender boasts as she slaps Binh on the back.

"Oh man, wish I could guys, but my parents are gonna be out all week and I have to stay and watch the shop." He says with a disappointed expression.

"They've been gone a lot lately. Where do they go anyway." Adi inquires.

"I don't know. They just told me that it's something important and that I'll understand soon."

"That's exactly what my parents used to tell me when they used to send me to stay with my granny when they wanted to..."Umi comments from across the room before suddenly stopping, the others giving her a peculiar look. "Um, nothing." she says rushed as she turns her attention back to the rack of books. After several seconds of awkward silence, Adi speaks again.

"Moving on. Well sorry you'll miss the tournament up close and personal." Adi says getting back on track.

"Hey, at least I can still listen over the radio. Either way, you guys are gonna kill the competition."

"No doubt!" Ula says, joyously stomping her foot down, accidentally kicking up a pillar of earth through the floor. "Oops." she says softly as the others look over at her.

"Oh come on, they just got over me almost burning the place down with the sneezing thing." Adi chastises her as the earthbender puts the pillar back down.

"It's cool you guys, I always keep a few extra rugs in the back. One over that and no one will even notice until I can get someone to fix it." Binh says as Ula gives an embarrassed smile and Umi walks over to the counter with her selection.

"Well if that's all done I'd like to buy these please."

"Alright." Binh takes her money and gives her the change as the three head for the door.

"See you later Binh." Adi says as they exit. "And don't worry about your folks. They've probably got some big surprise in store for you." As the three begin to make their way home a man in a long trench coat bumps into Umi, knocking her to the ground. The man doesn't even acknowledge her as he continues to walk on.

"Jerk. Why don't you watch where you're going?" the waterbender yells to the man, who is already out of sight. Adi and Ula help her up as she continues to shout.

"You know he's already gone right?" Adi states. "I can never figure it out. I'm the firebender yet somehow you have the biggest temper on the team. Hey what's that?" she notices a letter attached to the side of Umi's light blue skirt.

"Weird, that guy must have dropped it." Ula says as they open it and quickly become confused with its contents. " From an anonymous admirer."

"You sure it's not another fan letter for me?" Umi asks confidently.

"It's addressed to all of us." Adi tells her as she continues reading aloud. "We've been watching you for some time and you show considerable skill in your field. While we are aware you are currently preparing for the upcoming tournament, something far more important is happening in this city. As you may or may not be aware, the Equalists have been on the rise and their leader even possesses the ability to strip a person of their bending. This poses a threat to not only benders, but to all citizens of the United Republic and quiet possibly the rest of the world. So at this time we ask that you aid us in our battle against the Equalists. Use your impressive talents to combat Amon's Revolution. We will await your answer."

"So what does this mean for us?" Ula asks as their leader looks in the opposite direction, her expression, one of uneasiness. Adi then turns back to her teammates, a wide, forced smile on her face as she burns the letter.

"It means we get back to work." She continues on her way back to the trio's apartment as Ula and Umi exchange concerned looks before following.

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