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May 30, 2016
Kelly and Korra arrive in Republic City.
Korra groaned in frustration as she looked at the street signs. All she had to do was just head toward the bay, but the towering buildings and maze like streets of Republic City had proven more confusing than she had originally thought, and she was now hopelessly lost. Kelly had split off from her hours ago, saying she was going to acquire some cash and a map to help them locate Air Temple Island.
But the more time passed, the more Korra began to lose hope that her friend was coming back.
The city was big, and it wouldn't be hard for her to have gotten lost trying to find her way back. Even if Kelly had experience with big cities before, Korra had wandered enough by now that her chances of finding the Avatar were slim.
"Maybe we should ask for directions," she said, scratching Naga affectionately under the chin. The polar bear dog gave a small whine and licked her master's face. Looking out over the street in front of her, Korra chose a nearby fruit stand. An old woman and a young man were sitting next to the stand playing Pai Sho.
"Excuse me, I'm lost, can you tell me how to get to Air Temple Island from here?" she asked, stopping next to the game.
"Just head down this street," the old woman replied kindly, pointing in the direction that she had originally been heading. The roar of a souped up car engine echoed off of the buildings as a red and gold racer pulled around the corner. Instantly, people raced to clear the street and shop owners ducked inside their shops.
"You should get moving, young lady, it isn't safe," the old woman said as she and her gaming partner ducked behind their stand. Confused, and curious, Korra turned her attention toward the car. Three men climbed out of the vehicle. A dapper dressed man in blue with a fedora, a hulking hunchback in green, and a short, pale, lanky man in black. The three of them approached the owner of a phonograph shop like wolves moving in on prey.
"Mr. Chun, I really hope you have my money. Otherwise I can guarantee the protection of your fine establishment," the man in the fedora said while the man in black produced a flame in his hand. Korra watched in stunned silence as a person wearing a black jacket with a hood pulled up over its head dropped from the shop rooftop and stood between Chun and the Triad members.
"Mr. Chun or anyone else on this block will no longer be making payments to the Triads," the figure said. Although she couldn't see his face, Korra guessed he was male based upon his body build and his voice.
"And who's gonna make that call, you?" the leader asked. The figure remained silent for a moment before he darted forward and grabbed the firebender by the wrists. Instantly the man screamed in pain as his body convulsed and he fell to the ground. The leader's eyebrow twitched once in surprise before he threw his jacket open and thrust his hand outward. A single spike of ice launched toward the figure at a blinding speed. But the figure easily dodged the spike, grabbing the waterbender's still outstretched arm and giving it a twist. As the man's back arched in pain, the figure used his free hand to grab him by the neck.
Like the firebender, the waterbender screamed and convulsed for a moment before collapsing. With a roar, the hunchback earthbender thrust his fists upward, causing the ground to erupt beneath the hooded man's feet and launch him into the air. Twisting slightly, the man came down driving his fist into the earthbender's face.
Seizing the moment brought on by the earthbender being stunned from the strike, the figure drove his fists into the man's stomach a few times before rubbing both of his hands together and placing them on his chest with his palms facing outward. The already dazed Triad was launched backwards through the air, smashing into and denting the door on the car.
"Hey!" Korra shouted, trying to get the hooded man's attention. In all her life, she had never seen anything like this, and she needed to know his fighting style, or at least his name. The figure turned his head toward her and regarded her. She couldn't see his face, the hood hid that a little too well.
An air raid siren filled the air, which Naga responded to by howling. Both of them looked up to see an airship hovering over the street.
"Republic City Police, nobody move!" came a voice over a PA. The figure looked back at Korra before turning on the balls of his feet and sprinting into a nearby alleyway.
"Hey, get back here!" Korra yelled as she jumped on Naga and chased after him. While the figure expertly dodged and danced about trash cans and other bits of junk lining the alley, the polar bear dog simply barreled through it all. He suddenly turned left, ducking down a side alley and breaking free of Korra's line of sight.
As they approached the corner, Naga suddenly slid to a halt. The hybrid whined and reared back, trying to get away from the corner while at the same time threatening to throw her rider from the saddle.
"Whoa, girl, what's..." Korra started, but she trailed off as her hair stood on end. A bolt of lighting suddenly arced past, blasting a few bricks out of a the corner of a nearby wall.
"Stop following me!" came the shout from around the corner. Korra quickly slid down from the saddle and patted her companion on the side.
"Stay put, girl, I'll handle this," she said. Chasing the guy down to learn more about him was one thing, but having lightning being shot at her made this personal.
"I hate cops, I hate cops, I. Hate. Cops," Alex muttered to himself as he bounded off of a stack of wooden palates and caught the railing on a fire escape. Ever since he had started this whole vigilante thing, he had made it a point to be long gone by the time the airships arrived.
The girl with the ridiculously huge dog had gotten in the way of that.
The air sounded with a whoosh as a ball of fire sailed past his head. Alex instinctively ducked before he jumped up on the railing and looked down toward the source. It was the girl who had been chasing him, and she looked pissed.
"What gives? I told you not to follow me!" he shouted.
"You shot lightning at me!" she replied before sending two more blasts at him. Alex yelped as he ducked beneath the fire.
"You're stalking me in the middle of a police chase, it's warranted!" He yelled before he jumped from the fire escape and grabbed a storm drain that ran down the side of the building. Just as he began to swing for the next hand hold, the drain suddenly detached from the wall in a shower of brick.
"Oh shit!" he yelled as he and the pipe tumbled toward the street.
"Where are you running off too, huh? I thought firebenders stood and fought with honor," the girl said as she raised her fists and prepared for a fight. Alex groaned as he shook his head and slowly began to push himself back to his feet.
"Firebender? The hell are you talking about? I'm not a bender," he replied.
"Are too! You used lightning, only firebenders can do that."
"Look, we can we argue about this later? Because I'd really like to get out of here before..." Alex was silenced as cables rapped themselves around the pair. The courier sighed and hung his head in defeat before they were both yanked skyward. Neither one of them could do more than watch the city pass below them as they hung suspended beneath the belly of the airship.
"Well, what happens now?" Korra asked.
"I suppose we could know each others names before we get locked up," Alex replied.
"Nice to meet you, Korra. I'm Alex," he said. Korra's eyes lit up with recognition at the name, but Alex didn't notice.
"Well, it's been lovely, Korra, what with the attempted ass kicking and what not. But I'm afraid this is my stop," he said before he gripped the cables as best he could and gave off a decent sized shock. He felt the current pass through the cables, traveling upward to the metalbender controlling them from the airship above.
The cop gave out a scream of pain and surprise as the current passed through him. Instantly, the cables binding Alex went slack, freeing the young man in the process. He quickly gripped one of the cables in order to keep himself from falling to the street far below, clinging tight until a rooftop passed within a safe distance.
Releasing his grip, Alex dropped to the rooftop and landed in a roll. He gave Korra a grin and a short wave before he ran for the fire escape, leaving her to thrash about in her bindings and shout all manner of profanities after him.
"Let's see, multiple accounts of destruction of property, not to mention obstruction of justice and resisting arrest, you're in a whole mess of trouble young lady," Lin said as she slammed a clipboard down on the table before Korra.
"But there were some guys getting ready to smash up a shop, and then that one guy showed up and started beating them before running off when the police showed up..."
"At which point you should have stood aside and let the police do their job, rather than giving chase yourself!" Lin snapped.
"It's my duty to help people! You see, I'm the Avatar."
"Oh, I'm well aware who you are, and your 'Avatar' title might impress some people, but not me."
"Alright, fine. I want to talk to whoever is in charge."
"You're talking to her. I'm Chief Beifong," Lin said before sitting in the chair opposite Korra.
"Beifong? Lin Beifong? You're Toph's daughter!"
"What of it?"
"Then why are you treating me like a criminal? Your mom and Avatar Aang were friends, they saved the world together!" Korra said in confusion.
"That's ancient history, and it's got squat to do with the trouble you're in right now. You can just stroll in here and dole out vigilante justice like you own the place!"
"Then what about that other guy? He seemed to 'dole out vigilante justice' just fine, and he's still free!" Korra said, her voice and temper on the rise.
"Oh, don't worry. We have a special task force looking for him."
A small metal section in the wall slid back to revel a metalbending officer.
"Chief, we got another one out here," he said.
"Bring 'em in," the Chief said with a hint of irritation in her voice. The cell door slid open to revel another officer leading a handcuffed Kelly. The two friends looked at each other with surprise before Kelly broke into a wide grin.
"Ha! You owe me ten yuan, Korra!"
"Have a seat Ms...Masters," Lin said, taking and opening the new file that was offered to her. Kelly was led around the table, sat down next to Korra and handcuffed to the desk. With that, the other officer marched out of the cell, allowing the door to slide close behind him. Lin paced back and forth before the two, leafing through the new file.
"So I have a pickpocket and a would be vigilante on my hands. What were you two thinking?"
"I was thinking, 'gee, those meat buns smell delicious, but I don't have any money. How do I get money for the meat bun? Oh, I know, that fat guy can spare his wallet'" Kelly said.
"You got a smart mouth on you, kid."
"Well, ask a dumb question, get a smart assed answer." Lin shot Kelly an unamused look as she continued to look through the new file. The bi-speckled girl simply stuck her tongue out at her before she turned her attention back to her friend.
"So how's your day been?" she asked.
"I think I met the guy you've been looking for. There was this guy who said his name was Alex when I got arrested," Korra replied. That caused Kelly to perk up. Unnoticed by either of the teens, the chief of police was listening as well. A skill that she had picked up after years of dealing with the city's seedy underbelly.
"Alex? He's here? You're sure it was him?"
"All I know is that he said his name was Alex. He was wearing a jacket with a hood up over his head so I couldn't really see his face," Korra said. The cell door slid open again, reveling a tall, lanky metalbending officer. Lin didn't turn to the newcomer, but rather continued to read the files.
"Yes, what is it?" she asked, a hint of irritation in her voice. The officer raised his head slightly, allowing light from the cell to land on his face. Kelly gasped in shock and recognition.
"Doctor Tannan?" Lin's head shot up at the mention of the name.
"Hello, Chief Beifong," Tannan said before he raised his hands. The chief of police's armor locked up before she could react, keeping her from making any bending movements to counter him. Tannan walked forward with his hands raised and took the files that Lin had been looking over.
"Ah, the great Avatar herself. The daughter of the legendary Toph Beifong and the Avatar in the same room, ripe for the taking. It must be my lucky day," he said.
"Tannan, what are you going to do?" Kelly asked, nervousness in her voice. Something about the way he moved, the hunger in his eyes, it put her on edge.
"He drains people of their chi! He broke out of a mental ward a week ago after killing six people!" Lin said, struggling to regain control of her armor as Tannan drew closer to her.
Kelly looked back and forth between Lin and Korra.
"Is that normal here?"
"Fair enough." With that, she turned her hands in the cuffs so that her palms were facing Tannan. The table vibrated as Tannan was launched backwards through the cell door, yelling out in surprise as he was sprawled across the floor. Instantly Lin regained control of her armor and assumed a bending position.
"Officers, arrest that man at once!" she shouted. Two more metalbenders appeared at the far end of the hallway as Tannan got back to his feet. He looked back and forth between Beifong and her backup, sizing up his opponents.
Throwing his fist forward, the Doctor shot a cable toward the two officers at the end of the hall. They reacted instantly, kicking the cable away and countering with their own. Tannan slapped the cables to the side before ducking under a set that Lin shot at his back. Snapping his own cable like a whip, he shattered a nearby window before ducking under another cable. Retracting his cable back into his armor, Tannan dove out the window and swung away into the city.
Lin and the officers raced forward to the window and watched as he vanished into the city skyline.
"Get an Air Squad down here immediately, find him!" she snapped. The two officers hurried off to carry out her orders, leaving Lin to return her attention to the two teens still handcuffed in the interrogation cell.
"You're not registered as a metalbender, Ms. Masters," she said as she folded her arms. Kelly looked down at her handcuffs, hiding the blush on her cheeks.
"I'm...I'm not a bender." Lin cocked her eyebrow in surprise.
"I find that hard to believe. The way you handled Tannan..."
"I'm afraid it's true, Lin. Ms. Masters does not posses any bending abilities," came a new voice from behind her. Turning, the Chief of Police found herself face to face with Tenzin, who was standing in the doorway.
"Tenzin, hey, we got a little sidetracked on our way to see you," Korra said, guilt in her voice. The Airbending Master regarded the two teens with a disapproving look before returning his attention to the Chief.
"And might I say, you are looking radiant as usual."
"Cut the garbage, Tenzin. Why is the Avatar in Republic City, and what's the deal with her little friend here? If she's not a bender then how did she manage to throw a suspect out of this cell without touching him?" Lin asked.
"Ms. Masters was discovered by the Order of the White Lotus not far from the Southern Compound a few months ago. From what we can tell, her abilities are magnetic based, but we don't know their full extent. As for the Avatar, she will be returning to the South Pole immediately. Where she will stay put," he explained, directing the last part toward Korra.
"If you would be so kind as to drop the charges against these two, I will take full responsibility for today's regrettable events and cover all the damages." Lin remained silent for a moment before she sighed and flicked her wrist. Instantly, both pairs of cuffs flew open and the two teens rubbed their wrists.
"Fine, just them out of my city."
"Always a pleasure, Lin. Let's go, you two," Tenzin said as he turned and led the two out of the cell. As she past, Lin placed her hand on Kelly's shoulder.
"I don't approve of your methods, kid. But you got a good head on your shoulders, and you saved my life today. For that, you have my thanks," she said.
"Just did what I thought was right, Chief."
"Well, if you ever find yourself back in Republic City and in need of a job, stop by. You might just have a place on the force." Kelly blinked in surprise, then gave a small smile.
"I might just take you up on that."
"Son of a bitch!" Alex yelped in pain, dropping the screwdriver he had been holding. He was sitting in the makeshift experiment lab, making some adjustments on a small radio contained within a leather band on his left forearm. The screwdriver slipping out of a screw and jabbing his arm hadn't been apart of the plan.
"You okay?" Asami asked as she walked in, looking at her boyfriend in concern.
"Yeah, just a little disagreement between me and a hand tool," he replied through gritted teeth as he rubbed his arm. He shook his hand out a few times before he picked the screwdriver up and went back to work.
"What are you working on?"
"It's a handheld police scanner. This way I can get a heads up when the Police are alerted to my presence, and an idea on some crime as well."
"You're really taking this vigilante thing seriously, aren't you?"
"I have these lightning abilities and no way to get rid of them, so I might as well put them to good use. You know, Spider Man makes this crap look easy," he said.
"Who's Spider Man?" Asami asked. Alex's eyes went to the middle of his forehead as he tried to think of how to explain a comic book hero.
"I'll tell you later," he said, finally giving up. Asami blinked in confusion before shaking her head and moving on as well.
"So how was it today?" she asked.
"Not so smooth. I stopped this Triple Threat extortion group from beating up a phonograph shop owner, and this Water Tribe girl showed up riding some giant dog thing and started chasing me," he paused when he noticed the look on his girlfriend's face, "It's true."
"She chased me down an alleyway and tried to challenge me to a duel cause I shot a bolt of lightning at her. And then the cops showed up and arrested both of us, but I slipped out of the cables and escaped," he said.
"So you almost got caught cause of this Water Tribe girl, what was her name?"
"Korra, at least I think that's what she said anyway." Asami picked up a nearby newspaper and looked over the headlines before laying it down in front of him.
"That her?" Alex's eyebrows scrunched up in confusion as he looked at the paper. The front page was dominated by a picture of Korra standing in front of a podium with the headlines 'Avatar Korra arrives in Republic City'. A ringing sound echoed around the room as the screwdriver bounced off of the floor, the hand tool having slipped from his fingers.
"She's...she's the Avatar?"
"It sure looks like that, doesn't it?" Asami said, a smile slowly forming on her lips.
"I'm fucked. No, no I'm so far beyond fucked that the light from fucked won't reach me for a thousand years," he said with horror in his voice.
"Oh, Alex, honey. It's not that bad," she said, patting his back in a comforting manner.
"No. It's really more like ten thousand years." The Heiress smothered a laugh as Alex's head slammed down onto the desk.
"I knew it, I'm not going to make it to the age of twenty. I'm going to die impaled on a spike of flaming ice and rock of Avatar State induced rage," he muttered into the wood.
"Maybe you're over thinking this. You two might get along if you give it a chance."
"Yeah, maybe you're right."
"Or, maybe she'll trap you in a ball made of all the elements, doomed to rot forever."
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