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May 28, 2016
Asami and Alex's relationship grows, while Tannan and Kelly make their own paths.
Republic City Mental Ward.
Doctor Yang hid behind the admission desk, his chest heaving as he breathed in terror. Down the hall, he could hear a nurse scream, and then fall silent. Reaching up, he grabbed the phone off of the desk and yanked it down.
"Operator, get me the police, now!" he whispered. The Doctor's day had started relatively quietly, or as quiet as it could possibly get treating a ward full of mental patents. One patent, however, had suddenly gone on a rampage. He knew the guy well, having treated him for the past three months. Other than insisting that he was a scientist from another world, this patent had never shown any violent tendencies. Until now.
"Hello? Yes, this is Doctor Yang, we have a patent attempting to escape from the Mental Ward," he said, but suddenly stopped as the line went dead. Looking up, he found himself face to face with Tannan, who had his fingers pressing down on the receiver.
"Good evening, Doctor Yang. I believe it's time you and I had a little chat," he said before yanking the man up by his collar. Placing his palm over the Doctor's mouth so he couldn't scream, Tannan glared into the man's eyes.
"Three months, you assholes have had me locked up in here. Never once did you give me a chance to prove to you that I was telling you the truth. Well now, I'm going to prove it to everyone, and there's nothing you can do to stop me," he said. As he spoke, the color began to drain from Yang's face, while at the same time Tannan's hand began to turn flush. After a moment, the Doctor's eyes rolled back into his head, and Tannan let the now lifeless body fall to the floor.
Cracking his neck, Tannan closed his eyes and took a deep breath. It was good to be at the top of the food chain.
Alex groaned as he slowly opened his eyes and then squeezed them closed again. The lights in the room were way to bright. Forcing them open again, he waited until his eyesight adjusted before he took a good look around. He was in bed in a white hospital room. Asami was in a chair in the corner, a jacket sprawled out over her as a makeshift blanket as she slept.
He smiled tiredly at the sight before he began to look himself over. Logic told him that there had to be some reason he was in here. Pulling down the blanket, Alex realized that most of his chest and torso was covered in bandages. His arms had angry red burn lines that twisted down their full length.
Thinking back, the last thing Alex remembered was being thrown into the fountain by Tahno. It didn't take a genius to figure out what had happened next. He had always felt drained after taking a shower, and had never set a single toe into the mansion's pool out of fear of what could possibly happen. Well, now he knew what would happen.
"Alex?" Asami asked in a small voice, her eyes barely open. He gave her a small, weak smile.
"Some fight, huh? Does the other guy look half as bad as me?" he asked. Asami remained silent as she stood and walked to the side of his bed. Slowly, she sank to her knees next to him and intertwined her fingers with his left hand.
"You had me so worried. You were lying so still that no one could tell if you were still alive or not. And then, when the paramedics got you out, and we saw the extent of your burns..." the Heiress trailed off, unable to continue. Alex, however, was frowning.
"Burns? How much worse is it then this?" he asked, gesturing at his midsection. Asami reached into her pocket and pulled out the small mirror that she used to adjust her makeup. As she handed it to him, he realized just how drastic his appearance had changed.
The left half of his face was an angry red color, mixed with some blacks and blues, and even a few touches of green on his cheek. Both of his eyebrows were gone, and his wild dirty blonde hair had been shaved, leaving him with a buzz cut. Turning his head slightly so that he could see better with the mirror, he realized that the burns extended as far back as his ear and even ran down to his neck.
"They felt the need to shave my head because I have a sunburn?" he asked before handing the mirror back to its owner.
"From what we could tell, your hair actually caught fire for a moment before fountain water put it out. The doctors had to shave what little hair was left to find out how far up the burns went."
"Again, a sunburn?" Asami shook her head.
"They were much, much worse," she said. The way she said it gave Alex a chill.
"Asami, I want the truth. How bad was I?" The Heiress didn't say anything as she picked up a newspaper and handed it to him.
"Local teen survives electrocution," he said, reading the headlines. Below that was a picture of him lying unconscious in the hospital bed. The version of him in the picture, however, looked like a burn victim, rather than someone with aggressive sunburn. He stared at the image, looked at Asami, and then looked back at the paper.
"The doctors aren't sure how, but you've healed much faster than anyone else with those kinds of injuries. Now that you're awake they might release you," she said.
"I guess we can add accelerated healing to my ever growing list of weird abilities," Alex said as he sat the paper to the side. Looking Asami over, he took a deep breath and decided that it was now or never.
"We need to talk," he said. The Heiress perked up slightly, showing that she was listening.
"You know about what. When we were at the Gala, you said something about having your eye on someone. That someone wouldn't happen to be me, would it?" he asked. Asami's cheeks turned pink and she looked away. Alex found it cute, if he wasn't totally freaking out about what he was about to do.
"Listen, before we go any further, there's something you should know about me," he started. From there, he spent the next portion of an hour telling her everything. How he had lied about the memory loss, where he came from, how he had gotten here, all of it. He even showed her his cell phone as proof that he wasn't insane or making things up. By the time it was all said and done, the Heiress was deadly quiet and unmoving.
"I have two things to say to you," she finally said, breaking the silence as she got to her feet. Reaching down, she slapped Alex on the cheek as hard as she could. He blinked in surprise and cupped his cheek in pain, having not expected the blow.
"That, was for lying to me all this time and not spilling the truth," she said before leaning down and kissing him firmly on the lips. Once again, Alex was surprised. He was kissing Asami Sato. His mind almost turned to mush trying to comprehend it. After a tender moment, she broke away and leaned back again.
"And that, was to let you know that my feelings haven't changed," she said. The courier couldn't believe his luck. Asami liked him as something more than a friend. She liked him, like he had grown to like her.
"Asami..." he trailed off, his voice barely above a whisper. He raised his hand and barely brushed against her cheek. The heiress reached up and took his hand in her own and gripped it tightly. All of her emotions; the fear, the worry, the uncertainty were clear in her eyes. Alex gently cupped her cheek, and Asami closed her eyes and visibly relaxed, her hand still holding his.
His heart was pounding in his chest. Not out of nervousness, like it had before, but out of anticipation. It was different, knowing that Asami wanted it like he did. And that gave him some confidence as the two of them began to lean in again.
"And the magic of the moment, exploded with desire."
The pair jumped at the sudden blast of music, unsure of what was going on. Looking down, Alex realized that he had accidentally brushed against his phone and got it to start playing music.
"When the time is right, the sparks ignite. And set the night on fire."
"It's Chain Lightnin', too hot to fight, hot on the heels of a Saturday Night."
"Chain Lightnin', out of control, straight to the heart and down to your soul."
"Chain Lightnin', heaven above. Another day older, still searching for love."
"Chain Lightnin,' too hot to fight, and it's hotter than hell in the heavens tonight."
Alex quickly tapped the stop button and grinned sheepishly at Asami.
"Sorry," he said. For the first time, he was thankful for the burns to hide that fact that he was blushing. Asami swallowed and brushed her hair behind her ear, her own cheeks gaining some color.
"Don't worry about it. Just an unexpected interruption is all," she replied, her voice containing way more confidence then she felt.
Anything Alex had been about to say was lost as the door to the room suddenly flew open. Two metalbender cops stood at attention by the door as Lin Beifong walked into the room with a file tucked under her arm. Alex quickly slid his phone under the blanket, hid the device from the woman.
"Well I didn't believe the roomers going around, but now that I'm here I can see for myself that you're on the mend. Looks like I'm out on twenty yuans," the Chief said. Alex cocked his eyebrow at her.
"You bet I wouldn't live? Kind of morbid, don't you think?"
"Kid, I pulled you from that fountain myself. I saw the amount of electricity that entered you, and I saw the damage your body suffered first hand. Frankly speaking, there's no way you should have survived. Luck seems to favor you."
"Are you here because you hope some of his luck will rub off, Chief Beifong?" Asami asked.
"No, actually I'm here on business. Earlier this morning, a patient escaped from the city's Mental Ward, leaving six dead in his wake."
"And what does this have to do with me? I've been here the whole time, I only woke up a few hours ago," Alex said.
"Because the patient mentioned you by name several times during the three months he was held there," Lin said as she handed him a photograph of Tannan. Alex felt his blood run cold as he looked over the picture of the man who's experiment had changed his life forever. It wasn't Kelly's location like he had been searching for, but it was a step closer nonetheless.
"How did he get out? He doesn't look very tough." What he said was true. Tannan was a very skinny, lanky man. So much so, in fact, that Alex would have bet money that Asami could break him like a stick over her knee with little to no effort.
"We're not entirely sure. The healers that examined the bodies say that the people had their chi drained out of them. They died because their bodies were literally drained of energy."
"So he's what, some kind of Chi vampire?" Alex asked.
"That's what I want to know. You're the one he's taken an interest in, Mr. Chambers. Any idea why?" For a long time, Alex remained silent as he stared at the photograph. He had developed energy based abilities after the accident, so it wasn't that farfetched that Tannan would as well. The difference was that while Alex had done his best to hide his abilities, Tannan clearly had no problem in showing them off and using them to hurt people.
"Chief, I can honestly say that I don't know this guy," he finally said, handing the photograph back to her. Lin gave him a look that clearly stated she didn't believe him, but said nothing regarding the matter.
"Thank you for your time, Mr. Chambers," she said, packing up her file and strolling out the door. The two metalbenders followed her out the room, but remained standing guard outside the door. This didn't go unnoticed by Asami.
"She left you some company."
"I'm not surprised. She thinks that Tannan will come here after me, so she's trying to be ready for him."
"She's using you as bait?"
"And you're willingly going along with it?" Alex cocked his eyebrow at her.
"Did you hear me ask 'em to stay?" he asked. Asami couldn't argue with that, so she decided to change the topic.
"You lied to Beifong. You know the guy, don't you?"
"I know the guy. Well, not personally, but yes I know him. He's the scientist that conducted the experiment that brought me here," Alex said.
"And the whole draining people of energy thing?" For a long time, the courier was silent as he thought over what he had learned so far.
"It's obvious that he's developed some kind of energy based abilities, though God knows to what extent or how powerful he is," he said.
"So what's the plan?" Alex slowly got out of bed and hobbled his way over to the window. The city's skyline glowed before him like pillars of diamond beneath the night sky. Looking down at his hand, he flexed his fingers and watched as small arcs of electricity danced between them.
"Now, we've got to get me released. We've got work to do."
Southern Water Tribe.
Avatar Korra let out sharp breath and watched as the steam curled upward into the dark sky before fading out of sight. She didn't have much longer before the White Lotus noticed her absence from the Compound and sent a search party to find her. She was currently leaning against her polar bear dog, Naga, as she waited on a friend.
Korra was on her way to Republic City in order to learn airbending from Tenzin. She was convinced that staying locked up in the Compound wasn't doing her any favors as the Avatar or a person in general, so she made the decision to escape. Her friend, whom she had met three months ago while taking Naga out for a ride, had agreed to accompany her to the city.
"You're late," Korra said as she heard the crunch of boots on snow reach her ears. From out of the shadows came a young woman about Korra's age wearing a blue parka and a pair of glasses.
"We're doing fine on time, I just checked the roster sheet and the ship you plan to use doesn't sail for another hour," Kelly replied.
"That's not what I meant. We have the White Lotus after us, you know that."
"Technically they're after you. I'm just along for the ride."
"I could have gone on my own and left you behind, you know," Korra said.
"Without me, you would have stowed away without a plan and a change of clothes," Kelly replied, crossing her arms while tossing Korra a single coin. The Avatar caught the coin, clenched her teeth and looked away. As much as she hated to admit it, Kelly was right. She was so focused on getting to Republic City that she was ready to set off with little more than the clothes on her back. With a sigh, she absentmindedly flipped the coin into the air.
Rather than land back in her open palm, the coin sailed through the air and attached itself to the backside of Kelly's hand. The bespectacled young woman flashed the Avatar a mischievous grin as she pulled the coin off of her hand and slipped it into her pocket.
"You're getting better with that," Korra noted.
"Somewhat. Do you have any idea how annoying magnetism actually is? I once had an entire ally full of trashcans run me down cause I wasn't paying attention to it."
"Still, aside from the possibility of being mauled by a dumpster, you can do just about anything a metalbender can do, more so in some cases."
"I also can't use a compass or go anywhere near a computer ever again, so there's that little tid bit," Kelly said, crossing her arms in a pout. She had found out about the effects of magnetism on her cell phone shortly after her powers had started to develop the hard way, leaving it as little more than a paperweight.
"So what's your plan after we get into the city? You gonna come stay on Air Temple Island with me?" Korra asked as they started to walk toward the docks.
"Assuming that they don't just ship you right back down here, I'm still going to have to say no. I've got someone I'm trying to track down, and Republic City seems like the best place to start."
"Oh yeah, that friend of yours. What was his name? Ajax?"
"That's it. Do you think he's had the same problems you've been having?" Korra asked, motioning toward the pocket where Kelly had stashed the coin. Kelly simply shrugged.
"I'm not really sure. But if I know Alex he's probably gotten himself into trouble at least a dozen times by now. That should make it a little easier to track him down."
"And after you find him, what will you do then?" That brought Kelly pause. What was her plan after she found Alex? They could try and find their way back home, assuming there was a way back home. Was a normal life even possible for her after developing these new abilities? And on top of it all, after everything she had seen, would she and Alex even want to go home?
"I don't know. Maybe I'll take you up on the Air Temple offer," she said.
"But Alex comes first."
"Yes, Alex first, then Air Temple."
"Just promise me you won't get into any trouble after we get to the city." Kelly gave Korra a look.
"I'm not the one who needs an eye kept on her," she said while crossing her arms. Korra cocked her eyebrow.
"What are you saying?"
"I bet ten yuan that you'll get arrested before I do," Kelly said, holding her hand out to shake and seal the bet. Korra looked at the hand for a moment before she grinned and shook it.
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