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|Recruitement for War|
January 6, 2017
This is Chapter 3 of The Avatar's Apprentice, titled "Recruitment for War". The Avatar's Apprentice, written by, is a request series from "core of justice" on FFN.
Hello all. This is the fourth day of my 5 day long fanon posting spree. Today's chapter that I'm updating is The Avatar's Apprentice. This also means that I just uploaded two chapters for the same story in one week, making this the first story that I did this for. Unfortunately, this record won't last, as it will be matched tomorrow by The Desire for Honor.
Just a small warning before you read: There are some scenes of horror that will be evident in the last section of the story. I don't think its too bad, but for those with an active imagination, you might want to be cautious.
Otherwise, I hope you enjoy.
Chapter 3: Recruitment for Wan
Korra's opponent swayed on her feet, evidently worn out from the long fight. Korra breathed heavily, not feeling any better. The constant barrage of attacks from Korra shocked her opponent, who was more prepared for a longer, more drawn - out battle, which was the style that Korra usually used. However, just because this fighter was the most dangerous in the tournament, she had to be aggressive from the start.
Korra pounced, dragging along a snake of rocks from the ground. With one uppercut, her opponent was thrown off of her feet and slammed into the arena wall with a sickening crunch. Korra wearily raised her fist above her head, not even noticing her injuries. Her eyes locked on Kyon in the crowd, enjoying front - row seats as a friend of Korra's.
The arena was quiet for just a second, followed immediately by thundering applause and a standing ovation. Korra, the newcomer, would be taking on the longest reigning tournament champion in Republic City, the feared Masked Marauder.
Kyon had heard his name bandied about in the most obscure alleys of Republic City. A deadly fighter, he used absolute earthbending brutality to crush his opponents. Learning their moves instantly, and applying them in his own technique, the Marauder had not lost a single tournament, and his bending was unparalleled in the city.
Korra stumbled into her preparation room, while her opponent was dragged out of the arena. Kyon ran up to her and hugged her. "Congratulations, Korra! I told you that you should have switched up your style. Look at what happened!"
Korra tousled Kyon's hair. "Yeah, you were right," she admitted. "But I do have a challenge ahead of me, don't I?" Kyon punched Korra in the shoulder, admonishing her quickly. "How about we not think of that? Let's just get home, and celebrate."
Korra quickly agreed, certainly needed a rest from her unorthodox match. She stumbled home, with Kyon in tow, and crashed onto the couch. Kyon tossed her some snacks, something she loved to save as a celebration for post - match parties. For the next 10 minutes, Korra had the best dinner of her life, with Kyon having his own dinner on a plate.
Once Korra was done, she tossed away her plate and burped loudly, not even caring to turn away from Kyon. Both of them knew that manners weren't commonplace when they lived in the run down apartments on the edge of the city. Kyon finished quickly as well, and they sat down on the floor to do their accounting.
Ever since Korra entered herself in the tournament and began winning, they decided that somehow, they should move into some of the nicer apartments. Every single match, they would do their best to figure out how to get as much money from each match as possible.
Aside from the basic match fee, the orchestrators would pay the participants more money for special requests, such as "comeback" matches and winning within a specific time. The orchestrators themselves would bet money on these specific outcomes, and when they worked, they netted the participant in question quite a bit of money as well.
In this final round, Korra already had an advantage by being the newcomer. Firstly, she could analyze fights from her opponent, and switch up her style to counter that style. Additionally, the bets were stacked against her, meaning that if that fighting style switch worked, it would net her a lot of money even before the second cut.
All in all, she racked in over 10,000 yuan - her largest sum by far. Over 7,000 yuan came directly from the betting, a solid 35% of which were given to her. Korra finished counting the money, and sat down, out of breath. Kyon wrote some figures down on his pad, and whistled softly.
"With this haul, we have a total of 42,750 yuan. That's enough to get us a house in the center of the city - provided we didn't want to eat food for the next two weeks afterwards. I'd say that, if what I've heard is correct, then you can get 20,000 yuan by lasting 5 minutes against the Masked Marauder. If you beat him, then we get 50,000 yuan. Even if you don't, we'll have enough to live comfortably in one of the better housing developments in Republic City."
After his monologue, Korra sat back, thinking intently. She sat there, in the same position without moving for over 5 solid minutes. Kyon waited for her to respond, maybe with joy, or at the very least surprise, but when she didn't respond, he waved his hand in her face and called out, "Korra? You still there? Take a trip into the Spirit World?"
Korra finally moved, shaking her head. "You know, I sometimes wonder how you know all of this. You're a thirteen year old kid, you've been living alone in Republic City for 3 years, you can handle yourself well and you even know firebending and how to generate lightning. I can't imagine another kid your age going through things like that and still being sane, let alone live with the Avatar. I don't know anything about your past, and I think I've earned the right to now, especially after 6 months of living with you."
Kyon sighed heavily, and it oddly reminded Korra of Tenzin. Instantly, she saw the similarities between the two. Kyon moved back until his back rested against the couch. "I guess I should come clean. Let me begin by giving you a little bit of background for me and my family. My father's an earthbender, straight out of the heart of Ba Sing Se. He left home to be with my mother, a firebender who lived on Ember Island."
"I was born two years after they married. They were a bit older than most parents, but they were better benders. We settled down in Republic City, which is where I lived for the first 8 or so years of my life. Then, Amon started gaining power in Republic City. My father tried desperately to stop the invasion, working with Chief Beifong to quell the intruders, but while he was focused on the borders of the city, someone had broken into my house and taken my mother. Obviously, her bending was taken away, but I don't even know where she is now."
"From then on, my father tried to support me, while dealing with his grief. It took us a while, but we got over my mother's kidnapping, and life went on as normal as possible. Then, out of nowhere, one day a gigantic dark human came out of the sky and landed in the bay. He was obviously trying to destroy the city, but a blue giant followed him and defeated him. I didn't know who it was at the time, but after knowing your story, I figured out that it was you."
"My father decided that Ba Sing Se was a better place for us to stay, since he felt that Republic City wasn't safe. Also, our house almost got destroyed in the blast, and he didn't want to put me in that kind of trouble again. So we sold all of our belongings, my father quit his job with the police, and we went to Ba Sing Se. He avoided his family because he felt ashamed for abandoning them 10 years ago, especially towards his mother. We thought that we could live a better life."
"Unfortunately, we were wrong. I had just turned 10 when the Red Lotus killed the Earth Queen and let anarchy loose in Ba Sing Se. In the ensuing conflicts and riots, the city was nearly burned down, and my father was separated from me. I decided that the only thing that I could do was go back to Republic City, since I knew it better than any other city on the planet. I was living here for 3 years when you met me. I guess you could say that I get attracted to your conflicts."
By the end, Korra was in tears. She slowly moved over to Kyon and, without a word, and completely unexpectedly, hugged him. Kyon was taken aback, but hugged Korra in return. Korra began to sob. "I'm so sorry," she choked out. Kyon almost began to cry himself, she was so moving.
Korra whispered against his ear, "I've lost many friends on my journey. I had to give them up just to be here on my own. But our pasts are so similar that we are bonded forever."
Korra held the hug for a few more seconds, but, seeing Kyon was slightly uncomfortable, Korra got up quickly, and jerked Kyon to his feet. "Enough of this sappy stuff," she admonished, Kyon didn't know to him or to herself. "Today's a day to celebrate, and I'm not the Avatar if I can't treat you to some authentic Southern Water Tribe cuisine."
Kyon smiled, and retorted, "I know just the place."
30 minutes later, a very full Korra and Kyon stumbled out of Kimana's Killer Krabfest, spelled incorrectly on purpose, with at least a pound and a half of seafood in each of their guts. Kyon patted his stomach, and let out a huge burp. "You know I won that bet," he groaned.
Korra shook her head, trying to keep her food down. "No way," she complained. "I downed at least a whole extra crab than you." Kyon grinned, some meat still stuck between his teeth. "You forget, I'm younger and smaller than you. The fact that I managed to get even close to how much you ate kind of says something, doesn't it?"
Korra stifled a belch, and began hiccuping. Kyon almost fell over from laughter, which made him start hiccuping. Before long, the both of them were nearly choking on their own food as they laughed and hiccuped in tandem.
They were so busy with their hysterics, they didn't notice the man that crept up behind them. However, he didn't try and attack them, and rested a mammoth hand on their shoulders. Both Korra and Kyon leapt around to face him, their stomachs groaning in protest.
The man laughed, a deep rumbling that reminded them of thunder. "Don't worry, I'm not going to hurt you." From his pocket, he pulled out a misshapenly folded piece of paper with a symbol of a circle with an asterisk inside of it. He handed them the paper. "I can see you two are intelligent people." Korra scrunched her eyebrows, and Kyon struggled to contain another giggle. "Our leader is trying to help bring about what he calls 'The Convergence'. Any supporters are greatly appreciated." The main hulked back into the shadows when he finished his speech.
Korra and Kyon relaxed, and took a look at the paper. Below the symbol painted messily onto the paper, in black words were written "THE CONVERGENCE", with some incoherent writing below it. The hour of arrival was 10:00 pm, or about 3 hours from their current time.
Korra clenched the paper, crumpling it up. "Come on, let's go work this dinner off, and then we check it out. It's in a few hours anyway." Kyon nodded, and the two of them started walking quickly to their apartment, slowly growing into a jog as they neared and then into a full out sprint about 500 meters away.
The paper, although crumpled, still could show the location of the rally. It was well over onto the other side of the city, near the western border of the city. Korra and Kyon jogged the distance in only 20 minutes, the both of them becoming faster and fitter from their constant activities.
When they finally reached the rally, they were shocked to find that the entire room in which the rally was being held was packed to the roof. People were watching from the ceilings of apartments around them, and even the open courtyard in which the stage was set was completely filled with people. Korra estimated that there were close to 300 people there.
Onstage, a man climbed up. Tall, thin, and wearing all brown clothing, Korra could only guess his age. He could have been anywhere from 18 to 55, depending on an infinite number of factors. His hair was tousled, looking much like Kyon's after Korra had a go at him. He was wearing completely black armor, looking much like the armor of a soldier.
His calling card was his right arm. Instead of a full, human arm, he simply had a stump ending right past his shoulder bone. Behind him were three trapdoors, that were simply waiting to be opened.
The man raised his arm and clenched his fist. Immediately the crowd began to roar, even louder than their chatter previously. The man went to the side of the stage and picked up a microphone stand that he placed in the center of the stage, in front of where he was standing. He tapped the microphone twice, before beginning his speech.
"By now, you must all know who I am. My name is Jian. I have been a strong opponent of Kuvira's endless domination in the south of the Earth Kingdom. But each and every state that I pleaded to take caution refused to listen to me. They thought I was a lunatic, and that the loss of my arm was nothing more than an accident, and had driven me crazy." He paused. "Not one of those states is free today."
Korra was already gripped by Jian's story. He continued onwards with the tale. "No one listened to me, of course, until I came here. Here, there were others with the same stories as myself. Some had lost houses, others families, and finally some had lost limbs, like myself. Once they began to listen, I knew that I would need an army to defeat Kuvira myself. And today, I might be able to achieve that goal."
With a wave of his arm, the trapdoors opened, and three men in green and silver armor those up, tied to poles, but still upright. Each one of them were a part of Kuvira's army. And each one of them had lost a limb. The closest man to the center of the stage had lost his leg, and was balancing on one leg. The man next to him had lost an arm, and was tied to the pole by his torso.
The final man was missing both his arms, but unlike the other two, they looked freshly cut. Blood stained two towels attached to the stumps of his shoulders. His eyes darted frantically around, and he looked his he was frightened out of his mind, but he didn't make a sound. His chest heaved, and he strained at his bonds, but not a sound left his mouth.
Jian spread his arm at the soldiers. "These are all soldiers of Kuvira's. They have looted villages, burned houses, destroyed livelihoods and ripped families apart. They are monsters. They signed up with Kuvira the moment that they destroyed their first village. They have chosen this path. And this is where their path has lead them."
Jian gestured offstage, and everyone's eyes moved to where a man walked up the stage with a robotic arm. Korra's pupils dilated, as she realized what it was for, and Kyon looked at her, wide - eyed.
Jian gripped the robotic arm with his left arm, and placed it directly under his right arm. Tendrils of fibers reached up, out of the arm itself, and fastened themselves to his shoulders. Jian threw his head back and let out a scream that sounded almost inhumane. The arm fixated itself to Jian's shoulder, and began testing itself, rotating each joint.
Jian crouched forward, and then stood up again. "I apologize for that," he panted. "It has not been tested yet, and I volunteered myself as the first subject. It appears to be working...perfectly."
Jian raised his right arm. "I have granted myself, with this arm, the power to take away someone's free will. Unfortunately, the prerequisite for doing so is to remove a limb, or a large part of someone's body, in order to allow the substance within the arm to penetrate the brain and replace the section dedicated to that one body part. Of course, this would work fine for me, and I can, as the arm is a part of me, use this power to my will. And I will do so today."
Korra turned down and whispered to Kyon, "We're going. No arguments." Kyon was breathing heavily, and began to look extremely scared. "None here." Slowly inching backwards, Korra tried to move quickly, before Jian committed the horrendous act.
Jian was still speaking in front of them. "With this new invention, we shall be able to defeat Kuvira's forces, and muster up an army to do our bidding. With every single capture, there will be more added to my personal army."
With that said, he stretched out his robotic arm and clamped it onto the first man's head. Steam began to emanate from the robotic arm, and it entered the man through his nose, mouth, ears and even through the gaps in his eyes. He began to scream, a chilling scream even more primal than what Jian had previously emitted. Within a matter of seconds, it was over, and he slumped forward against his bonds, unable to take the damage.
Jian turned back to the audience. "It works, my friends. We have just sealed Kuvira's fate, and the fates of our families. We shall prevail."
Korra and Kyon were backing up to the very edge of the crowd, staring directly at Jian the whole time. But before they could make it out, what Jian said next absolutely halted them.
"Now, of course, there are some dissidents in the crowd, obviously. When I said before that we would muster up an army, I did not mean it had to be done willingly. As some of you are now realizing, you will be my new army. You will all be subjected to the same mind control that this man has just had, and you will all bow down to me. Guards!"
Just before Korra and Kyon could make the final step to leave the courtyard, they bumped into a gigantic human being, one that grabbed the both of them by the arms and dragged them back into the crowd. Men were speeding through the crowd, snapping bracelets onto everyone's arms. Those who already had a bracelet began screaming as the smell of ozone filled the air, and they dropped to the ground, electrocuted and unconcsious.
Korra and Kyon tried to avoid the men, but they sped by Kyon and Korra quickly, snapping bracelets. Furiously trying to remove them, the pair were too late, and the last thing that the both of them remembered before passing out was the crackle of electricity that arced through the crowd, over Jian's howling laughter.
As said, the end was kind of bad, and I didn't enjoy writing it, but there had to have been some way that Jian scared the living crap out of Korra and Kyon, and mind control was the best way I could think of.
That's all for now. See you tomorrow with the last day in this week long spree, with a chapter from The Desire for Honor.
For the collective works of the author, go here.