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The events that took place back at Laghima's Peak hadn't been forgotten by Vintana and her group. But regardless of what happened at the battle, Korra was theirs...
Speaking of which, Korra had ended up waking up in the most horrific places. Upon waking up, the bender had her arms and legs chained up, finding herself in a large cave, with her enemies in front of her. Unalaq, Amon, Zaheer, El Niño, Zikara, and Vintana. On the sidelines, the other Red Lotus members were watching as well. This was all too familiar for her...
The same cave where Zaheer poisoned her!
"Nice to see you awake," Vintana said. Korra gritted her teeth in anger.
"Let me go! We're not done!"
"Calm down dear. Then again, there's not much you can do now."
"Yes there is!" Korra yelled. She tried to release a fire breath towards them, but all that came out was a loud scream with no flame ...
"Amon blocked your bending while you were asleep. Figured it'll be easier for what's coming for you."
"He ... He what?"
"Korra, sweetheart. You lost your bending, your reputation, your Avatar State. I'm afraid you have no alternative anymore. Not even sanity."
"What're you talking about?"
"What are you talking about?" asked Zikara, equally confused. Vintana sighed, and looked to Korra.
"Normally I'd save it for when the time was right. But, it's inevitable either way, so I might as well. You see dear, I was fully aware of when you went into Republic City after its fall with Taar. When that doll attacked you at the Aang memorial, it actually placed a curse invented within your body, but had been dormant due to your spiritual connection with Raava. In just a few minutes, with nothing keeping it back now, it will take its effect no matter who does what." That was information no one was aware of, aside from Vintana herself. A curse? What curse was she talking about?
"You never said anything about any curse," El Niño said curiously.
"Course I didn't. Don't want you to give up when it happened, do we?"
"Just give her a minute or two and you'll see. Any second, it'll begin ..."
Everyone waited with baited breath, looking right at Korra, waiting for something to happen.
"What ... What's gonna happen to me?"
"You need me to tell you? To put it simply, you'll be like your sister, only with dominant animosity ... Nice to know you, sweetheart," Vintana said. Korra felt legitimately scared: as if being in such a place was bad enough, this curse was going to get at her no matter who was around. Everyone else was a bit unsure what this curse was going to do, considering it might be enough to change their mind on getting her at all...
Then something happened.
Korra felt pain jab in her head on hearing those words, the effects immediately taking place. The pain felt very bad, Korra showing signs of stress as she struggled in her binds. The grunts turned to screams, everyone being caught off guard except for Vintana. Korra's mind was starting to alter, change, and voices echoed during the whole time.
So nearly free
The pain was so bad, it was causing Korra to bleed, blood seeping from her eyes, mouth and nose as she screamed, yelped and screeched, hoping for someone to come to her aid. The sight was becoming very unsettling, El Niño wrapping his arms to cover his eyes.
"What's happening?" Zaheer asked.
"Almost done," Vintana replied. Korra kept struggling, begging for the pain to stop as blood dropped down to the ground. The whispers were becoming too much for her mind to bare, screeching to the heavens.
"RAAVA!! HELP!!! RAAVA!!!!" Korra screamed, as if Raava was with her. Zikara knew Raava wasn't attached to her anymore. After what seemed like forever, Korra made one more final scream to the heavens, before she finally grown limp. Vintana smiled upon seeing Korra keel over, and turned to Ming-Hua.
"Alright. Ming Hua, cut the chains."
Ming-Hua, still unnerved by what happened, did as told and cut the chains off of Korra, letting her fall hard onto the ground below. Korra wasn't moving, her body limp as she laid in her own blood. Vintana nodded on seeing her like that, but Zikara looked shocked, along with El Niño. Zaheer too felt an odd sense of concern on seeing the girl collapse like that.
But, Korra was not out. Just a minute after landing, she began to come back around. However, something didn't seem right about her. Korra only got to her hands and knees, and a faint growl was overheard from Korra's snarling teeth. Korra turned to the group, on her hands and feet like a snarling animal. They can see that Korra was acting far more feral than she should be. Vintana was actually impressed she was up so quickly, but she needed to get moving.
"Korra? Korra, you okay?" El Niño asked, moving forward. Korra moved back, hissing at him! When Zikara tried to go forward, reaching a hand out, Korra growled, swiping at her hand as if she had claws on her fingers. Zaheer turned to Vintana.
"What happened to her?"
"Her instincts had now overpowered her self-awareness. She now following natural order rather than human order. Get a cage ready, Zaheer, we have an appointment with the world leaders," Vintana advised, walking away. Zaheer turned back to Korra, the girl trying to bite into El Niño's arm, trying to rip it apart. That was when Korra locked eyes with him, letting El Niño go and crawling over to him, snarling like some guard dog. Zaheer wasn't sure how to react to seeing Korra like this, acting like such a beast. Ming-Hua, Ghazan, and P'Li got in her way just in case she would attack him. Korra roared wildly, and charged forward on all fours. Before she got to him however, Amon intervened and pinned her down by her neck, keeping her still. Korra snarled and tried to get herself loose. Amon kept her down until Ming-Hua, Unalaq, and El Niño worked together to make up an ice cage. Amon threw Korra in and locked her up before she could pounce at any of them. Korra charged at the ice bars, her hands trying to get a hold of any of them. Unalaq and Ming-Hua lifted up the cage, and they started to head out. Zikara and El Niño were still a bit unsure about the end result. Zikara just wanted Raava free, not for Korra to become a vicious monster ...
Farther away, back in the forest near the said peak, most of Korra's friends were still trying to figure out where Korra went. The event, despite the beauty, had left them no time to follow Zikara and Korra, so a serve party was brought out to find any clue to where she is. Those in this group were Mako, Jinora, Lin, Naga, Ziyou, and Kai. Other groups were out, but none of them were having much luck. Among those in the group, Jinora was trying to sense where Korra is, while Naga was trying to sniff out a trail.
"Anything?" Mako asked.
"No. I can't get any sign of her anywhere," Jinora answered grimly. Nearby, Ziyou went over to Naga.
"Anything Naga?" Ziyou asked. Naga only whimpered, her front paws rubbing her nose. Ziyou sighed, though wished they had something to go on. None of them knew where Korra was, and without any clue they're simply stuck. Lin then tried something else after a bit. Making sure one of her feet were bare, she stomped hard on the ground. She tried to sense where she was, but as with the others, she ended up with nothing. Whatever Zikara did to give them the slip, it was a very good one. If only she knew what to do. If only any of them knew what to do.
"I don't get it. No trail, no connection, not even a scent to go by. How can we loose her so easily?" Lin wondered.
"Zikara is part-spirit. Maybe she teleported away or something," Kai said.
"Who cares how she got away, Korra's still missing, and we have to find her before they rip off her head," Ziyou said, angry for them taking her sister away.
It's going to be a long search ...
As time went by, Vintana's group kept Korra locked away as best they could. With their airship, they went right off for this "appointment", as they kept the hissing girl from escaping her icy cage. As for Korra, the curse was taking its toll: she didn't comprehend anything like she's normally would, as her mind was put to complete basics. In her case, her instincts kept telling her to get out, and she didn't bother thinking on where she was, or the risk she would take upon doing so. Put to watch her, Unalaq was set to make sure she stayed put. Korra only stayed at the back of her cage, actually asleep for the moment. She had to stay that way.
During this, Amon went over to Vintana during the trip, Vintana with the pilot.
"Hey, mind if we chat?" Amon asked.
"What is it? Something about Korra, I assume?"
"In a way. So, what're you planning to do to Korra in there? The girl's not gonna be in that forever."
"I know she's not. We'll be using her as our trump card. A little advantage, if you will. See, I had my owns plans set, and you all are apart of my own, so you all get the piece of that democratic pie."
"And showing Korra to the world leaders will do what? Frighten them?"
"Fear is stronger than you think, Amon, you of all people should know. Kuvira scared everyone against her to give up their land, and now we can use fear to control Ba Sing Se, and the whole world with it."
Amon raised an eyebrow at the idea.
"So that was your plan, eh?"
"Well I see it's a hard process, but that's where you come in. It's like this: the world leaders will either agree to give the world over, or they'll get killed by Korra in question. Unalaq has the poles, you can have the United republic, and I get the Earth Kingdom. I'm sure that sounds beneficial if I say so myself."
"So let me get this right: we're all going to just walk up to their doorstep, show them wildcat Korra, and you expect them to just give over the world to you. Even so, you think the Red Lotus will let you?"
"I took that in account, dear. I know they won't like it. I wouldn't be surprised if they try to kill me over it. But, if we can end up taking care of them after, then you and I will have our own kingdom to rule. You and me, together ruling the world. Doesn't that sound good?" Vintana asked, a hand resting on Amon's cheek.
"You are quite a charmer, aren't you?" Amon complimented. Vintana and Amon both then, right there, kissed each other. Full three seconds, before releasing.
"Now, Amon, I'd like it if you don't tell the Red Lotus just yet. At least not until after everything, if you may."
"Not even Zaheer, I assume."
"Indeed. He may be on our side, but he helped Korra in the past because of Kuvira, funny enough. Just keep a calm mind, if you will be so kind."
"I'll be sure. Queen Vintana."
"I like the sound of that, King Amon."
The two exchanged chuckles, but unaware to them both, their words were being overheard already! As they spoke, Zaheer himself was passing by when he overheard the conversation. Zaheer slipped away before they could find him, having his own plan to work out ...
Not too long afterward, the group had arrived within the capital of Ba Sing Se, docking just outside in the main courtyard. The guards of Ba Sing Se kept them from making a rough landing, but also wanted to make sure who was on board. As everyone departed, they brought out the cage with a large tarp over it, to keep Korra quiet until they went inside. The guards were tense upon seeing the Red Lotus step out, but Vintana assured them that they're not going to cause any trouble this time. Besides, she wanted everyone present for this event, no doubt. However, P'Li, Ming-Hua, Ghazan and Zaheer knew what would become of them when this was over, staying close to Korra's cage as they went in. The others were further ahead, so they were alone bringing the cage in.
"You three know what to do?" Zaheer asked. The three nodded, glancing to the cage. Korra still seemed dormant inside, not much sound apart from her breathing, the girl unsure what was happening while staying still inside. Zaheer had told his team what Vintana was really up to, and the four had a plan of their own. As they were going to continue however, something caught P'Li's eye over by the rooftops. Just hiding out of sight, something was laying down on the roof, only the head barely visible. Ghazan noticed P'Li looking off.
"Hey, zoning out on us, P'li?" Ghazan asked. Ming-Hua and Zaheer turned to P'Li, who herself got back to focus.
"Over there," P'Li pointed out, her finger aimed where she was seeing. The others looked over, to see what P'Li was seeing. Knowing it was found, it got up to full view, making sure Vintana and the others were gone. The figure was the large Hare from before, a rustic red coat with a silver line from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. However, before they could do anything, the Hare ducked down as Amon got back out.
"Come on, we don't have all day," Amon ordered, getting them moving again. They took one more glance to the Hare before going off, no one else really noticing the animal on the roof.
Inside the palace, Vintana ventured on inside to meet up with the representatives who were within the throne room. In the room were Firelord Izumi, President Raiko, Desna of the North Pole, Tonraq from the South Pole, and Wu from the Earth Kingdom. For the sake of comfort, Unalaq remained absent as the others went in to discuss the matters.
"Good afternoon ladies, gentlemen. Glad you could all make it," Vintana began, confronting everyone with Amon and Zikara by her side. Without his mask on, Amon wasn't recognized by anyone.
"What's this all about, might I ask?" Izumi asked.
"Getting to the point? Well if you insist. As you all might know, the pressure of leadership can be unbearable at times: having everyone turn to you for help, and not getting much satisfaction. Well, I'm here to give you a choice to surrender your role towards myself and my friends here. In short: we want what you got. Simple enough?"
"That's what this is about? Of course not!" Raiko snapped.
"I thought you'd say that," Vintana said, snapping her finger. Upon command, the cage was brought forward. Amon did the honors of removing the tarp, to show the cage, and Korra inside. At first it seemed confusing, but upon waking up, Korra got up on her knees and looked to everyone. Wu went over himself.
"Weird. Korra, what's this all - AH!" Wu tried to go closer to her, but Korra suddenly growled, biting his hand! It was hard enough to draw blood, as Korra kept growling like some animal.
"What did you do to her?!" Tonraq demanded. Seeing his daughter bite someone was something he must take in account.
"I done nothing of the sort. Let me explain: Raiko, when you sent Korra into Republic City, her mind became altered from it. She's turning feral now ... You wouldn't want this going around, would you?"
"Vintana, change her back this -" Tonraq was cut off when Korra reached out, grabbed his arm, and yanked him to the cage. Amon intervened, and whack Korra away.
"I'm unable to reverse any effects. Now, if you do agree, I'll be sure to keep this secret quiet. I'm more than sure that you wouldn't want Ba Sing Se in a panic realizing their savior ended up like this, correct?" Vintana explained. As they were discussing the matter, Zaheer nodded to Ming-Hua, as she began to get to work. Being quiet about it, Ming-Hua began to use one water arm, close to the ground like a tiny stream, slithering towards the cage. Since everyone else was distracted, Ming-Hua's stream went unnoticed, going right up to the cage, heading up to the throne platform.
"Regardless, you think that will make us give up our rights to you?" Izumi protested.
"Please consider the risk: yes, you all have a lot of power, but the Avatar's been the one who handled the global issues. And since she's now no more than a beast, there's not much hope now is there? If they didn't know, then life can go on as normal, with different rulers of course," Amon explained.
"Thank you for the input."
"The only risk here is the risk of lending power over to you! Regardless of the Avatar, I speak for everyone when I say we're not giving up our land to you," Raiko firmly stated. Vintana was beginning to loose let patience with them.
"Now listen, even if you keep power, what're you going to do with her? I for one think you have no clue what to do."
"And we assume you do?" Desna asked, eyebrow raised.
As they kept talking, Ming-Hua's water arm got into Korra's cage, slithering around one of the bars. The idea was to weaken the bars around the cage, so Korra could get herself free. At first, it seemed unnoticed, but El Niño looked to the cage and saw 'a water snake' coiling around the bars. Curious, El Niño tapped Vintana's shoulder.
"Eh, did you bring any snakes or worms on this little trip?"
An awkward silence befell everyone, the Red Lotus unsure if he caught them ...
"... Not really?"
"Then what's that on the cage?" El Niño said, pointing to Ming-Hua's coiled arm. Vintana quickly looked back, seeing what Ming-Hua was doing! No sooner afterward, Ming-Hua quickly yanked off the bars, Korra's cage collapsing, as P'Li suddenly launched a combustion shot at them, stalling enough so Korra could run. Korra was hit by the top of the cage, bolting blindly away from everyone else in the explosion's smoke. Running on all fours, Korra charged towards the Red Lotus, shaking her head as if blinded, as she tumbled into Ming-Hua.
"Traitors!" Vintana yelled, jumping into battle with Amon. Zikara joined in, but Ghazan quickly blocked off their path with a large pool of lava. The leaders tried to get her too, managing to get over the path. The Red Lotus, and Korra had gotten a head start as they all ran outside. Korra suddenly turned around, growling and barring her teeth and roaring at her saviors. That stop gave the others time to catch up, joining them outside.
"How dare you interrupt our meeting and backstab me?!" Vintana yelled.
"We'd rather not have another leader, thank you," Ming-Hua said with a smirk. Korra began to go, though Amon started to go after her. Tonraq tried himself, Amon trying to keep him back while keeping up with Korra.
"I brought you three back to life, and this is how you thank me? I saved you all from death - I nearly died getting you out!"
"And you forced us into your work, and were about to thank us by throwing us in prison, so, we'd call it even," P'Li revealed. Suddenly their betrayal was a lot more believable to Vintana. Korra slowed down by the edge of the royal courtyard, no longer feeling as threatened, as the noise peaked her interest. Predators go for easy prey, and she'd call this a good chance for food. Amon and Tonraq ended up in a tough battle nearby, both sides giving their all. Suddenly, everyone from each side, Red Lotus verses the world leaders verses Vintana's group. Korra actually sat down like a dog, waiting for the weak to fall from the fight. So far, the one that had it easiest was El Niño, being made of water so dodging was extremely easy. However, El Niño actually got bored, and moved out of the fighting zone to watch everyone else beat each other up. Unaware to anyone, that Hare hiding earlier looked over to Korra, and actually bounded over to her.
"Oh, hi rabbit. Come to watch?" El Niño asked. The rabbit pointed to the growling Korra with its frontal paw. El Niño wasn't too sure what this Hare was getting at. The hare's ears were erect, and aimed to Korra, who kept growling at it.
"You want her?"
The Hare nodded.
"Oh. Hold on a second," El Niño said, looking to the fight going on.
"HEY! Can this rabbit take Korra for a while?!" He called. Startled at that, the Hare nudged Korra to move, in spite of her anger. Of course, the others noticed the Hare, and the large creature quickly got Korra moving, grabbing her. They tried to get her, but the Red Lotus blocked them off from her escape. They didn't plan for the Hare to take Korra away, but, it worked to their favor.
"We're leaving," Zaheer decided. Ghazan cut off the path with more lava, as the Red Lotus rushed to the Airship. Unalaq, who had been waiting in the airship for them, was quickly confronted by the Red Lotus. While Unalaq tried, his defeat was surprisingly quick, as Unalaq was knocked out of the airship! Zikara and El Niño managed to get into the airship just before it closed, leaving Unalaq, Vintana and Amon behind as the airship took off! Unalaq and Amon were gonna go, but Vintana saw her accomplice go in, and called it to a halt.
"Let them go," Vintana advised, ready to fight the world leaders ...
"Looks like we're doing this the hard way ..."
In the airship, the Red Lotus, and by extent Zikara and El Niño, were already high-railing it out of Ba Sing Se. The Red Lotus weren't aware of Zikara and El Niño yet, as they all were in the pilot cockpit, Zaheer at the wheel. It didn't take too long for them to find out though, as El Niño popped up by them.
"Where you going, you left some people behind," El Niño pointed out. His tone was more curious than angry of scared.
"I know we did. They can handle themselves," Zaheer replied.
"But isn't Vintana your boss or something?"
"Not anymore. You the only one on this airship?"
"No, Zikara got on with me, look." El Niño then got his arm to work, and suddenly pulled Zikara into view. So much for any plan on Zikara's part, as she was dropped onto the floor. Zikara got up, though the four didn't look intimidated by her.
"Look who decided to join us," Ming-Hua said.
"How could you do that?! Turn back around, Vintana's still back there!" Zikara demanded, though P'Li kept her back from Zaheer.
"No thanks. Your boss was going to double-cross us anyway."
"But we had a deal remember?"
"Deal expired," Zaheer bluntly said. Zikara tried to get free but P'Li was a strong girl and kept her grip. El Niño still didn't know what was going on exactly.
"So, where are we going anyway?"
"Back to Korra's friends."
That news got the others by surprise.
"Excuse me?" P'Li asked.
"Korra is the Avatar, but Vintana's a far bigger concern to deal with right now. We all saw how much she'd done before, and she needs to be stopped. But we can't do it with Korra this way."
"Why didn't you kill her back there then?"
"We could've, but she had Amon with her, along with the world leaders, and the entire royal guard to deal with. The odds were too stacked against us."
"What about Korra?"
"I'm apart of the Red Lotus. Our goal is for freedom, and if that means help the Avatar in her own interests, then so be it. And right now, both of our interests align to the same goal: to stop Vintana," Zaheer explained. P'Li, Ghazan and Ming-Hua thought a little bit on what Zaheer said, and in the end, they had to agree. Their goal was for freedom among all, and while Vintana had them fooled for a long while, they now realize that her goal contradicted their own too much. Zikara couldn't control anything for the time being, and El Niño just rolled with it.
"You humans are a unique bunch, aren't you?"
"Yes we are."
For Korra and the hare, travel was going surprisingly fast. It was just past sunset when the hare was far from Ba Sing Se, and into the forests of the northern Earth Kingdom. Korra stopped struggling by that point, letting the hare carry her away. The Hare itself kept traveling fast until, eventually, it began to slow down. The Hare dropped Korra onto the ground, letting her get up herself. Looking around, Korra saw that the hare dropped her within a large, isolated gorge. A few other Hares were also around, about ten, but humans were also present. These humans also were acting like animals, most likely suffering the same curse as Korra. The Hare nudged her towards them, Korra being confronted by a few other human animals. They at first were curious as Korra crawled over, sniffing the air. She did get a bit edgy when some moved over to her, teeth barred. Some of them also growled at her, though a few others were still curious to see her. Korra kept moving in, seeing similar humans and large Hares, the one that got her joining them. Korra felt territorial, growling towards anyone that got near her. However, eventually one of them went over to her but he didn't growl like a few of the others, or when Korra growled at him. The young male, Earth Kingdom in attire, moved over to her, looking her over. Korra did the same though started to relax a little bit. Korra kept an eye on him, as he stayed quiet, not acting threatening.
During that fiasco however, another, larger man, staggered over, roaring at the other male. Acting submissive, the younger male backs down, leaving Korra alone as the larger male looked her over. Korra, not acting as violent as she would be to attackers. The large male's judgment was shortened when the others began to go hunting, leaving him behind. With a huff, the large male left her there, joining the others. Korra, feeling hungry herself, began to follow them ...
Meanwhile, further away, Korra's friends were still looking for where she ended up. Hope was dwindling as more time past, with little success. By that point, many of them began to head back home, though Korra's closer friends kept at it. The only one's left by then were Asami, Ziyou, Lin, Mako, Bolin, Jinora, Tenzin, Kuvira and Naga. Many others had gone home, though were still worried over Korra's own fate. It was starting to get late.
"Come on Korra, where are you?" Bolin thought, continuing to look around. As they were, Naga picked up another scent - one that Naga herself was hoping wouldn't be around. Getting a better whiff of it, she gave a loud bark to the others. When the others looked to her, Naga started going off, pointing to where she was getting the scent. Everyone else caught up to her, they all then noticed the same large airship landing nearby. That airship was the same one that Vintana used, though they didn't see Vintana come out. Instead, they saw Zaheer, Ming-Hua, Ghazan and P'Li first. Next they saw El Niño and Zikara, yet that was about it. No one else exited the ship, so, they must be the only ones on the ship.
"Zaheer. What's he doing here?" Tenzin wondered.
"Vintana must've set him back for us," Lin assumed.
"Well, what're we doing up here, come on," Ziyou said. Before anyone could stop her, Ziyou began rushing at them! It didn't take long for the others to notice her charging.
"That's quick," El Niño commented, Ziyou ready to fight them. Ming-Hua quickly stopped her, her water arms wrapping around her to make her stop. The others revealed themselves to aid Ziyou, yet the Red Lotus wasn't there to fight them.
"We're not here to fight," Zaheer cleared up. By the looks of it, the others weren't listening to that. Ziyou, angry, tried to bite at them in anger, making El Niño confused.
"She cursed too? Acting kinda funny."
"What curse?" Ziyou growled.
"No she's not," concluded Ming-Hua, dropping her.
"Answer the question!"
"And where's Korra?" Added Lin, ready to fight at the slightest provocation.
"Oh, she turned crazy, and was taken away by a giant rabbit in Ba Sing Se," El Niño bluntly said, just going off what he saw. That awkward silence came back, Mako and the others unsure what to say...
"Couldn't be more blunt, could you?" P'Li asked.
"What, she did."
"... Out of all the excuses, and you choose a rabbit?" Ziyou asked.
"A giant rabbit," El Niño corrected.
"Alright, stop it. Listen, whether you believe us or not, we're not working with Vintana anymore. We have an idea on where your friend had gone off, but if you're unwilling to listen, that's your choice," Zaheer explained.
"And if you're not with her, why's she here?" Asami asked, pointing to Zikara.
"Unexpected passenger. But, she won't cause any trouble for anyone." Ming-Hua said, her water arm turning ice cold, aimed to her. That seemed odd for presumed allies to do. Zaheer sighed and stepped forward.
"Listen to me, all of you. I know we may not be on better terms before, but our goal became aligned to the same. Vintana was preparing to put me and my group to prison, even after all we did."
"And that changes anything because ...?"
"Because she's trying to overthrow the world leaders, taking their place, and basically making this world her playing field. We want freedom, not a new set of rulers taking their place. She used Korra as her trump card, and we got her out before she completed it," Zaheer explained.
"... You never helped us before ..." Kuvira said.
"On the contrary; I helped her regain her connection in order to stop you. Back then, our interests align, and now they align again: to stop Vintana. So, what's it going to be?"
The others took a second to take it in: Zaheer helped Korra? Zaheer, the same person who was the closest in killing Korra, the person who collapsed Ba Sing Se! And he helped Korra reconnect with the Spirit World? They needed a minute. Without saying, They huddled together, away from the Red Lotus to discuss what to do. As they were, the Red Lotus waited a bit for an answer. Although it took a bit, the group eventually went to them, Asami first.
"... Zaheer... We'll go..."
Nighttime came around, the moon up in the sky to light on the hunt. The human Hunters that the Hares brought together were off out in the forest, Korra trailing them from the back. It was a bit hard to not be accepted in the group yet, and getting hungrier as time went by. In the northern forest, the group of hunters saw the potential prey not far ahead. Among the clearing, they caught sight of a pair of Camelephant, not as robust as their desert relatives. Korra caught up, and saw them while the pack began to move off, making sure the Camelephant didn't see them. They are slow, but durable, so they had to work this out. Korra was spotted by the leading male, the response being less than friendly. However, Korra was still hungry, and Camelephant meat sounded pretty good. The others of the hunting party were already circled around the animals, blocking the many exits the prey would take. However, Korra didn't know what they were doing, and tried her luck anyway, jumping down in sight of the grazers. The other hunters were angry that Korra got herself spotted, the girl ready to strike. The larger animals readied to run, but the hunters rushed into action, targeting one of the two. The animal panicked as five others jumped onto its back. It started bucking, but lost its footing when Korra whacked its legs. A good move. The leading Hunter went down and finished off the prey, landing on the animals head, and crushing the wide pipe by landing on it with his back legs. The animal screeched and choked, but it stayed still after three others strangled the life out of it. Korra waited until it was fully dead to try to get at the meat. Korra began to go forward, but she was confronted by one of the hungry men, growling at her. She still tried, gnawing on the foot of the carcass, but one spot of her doing so got the main leader angered with her not waiting her turn to eat. To get her to back off, he whacked her good and hard on her shoulder, making Korra shriek in pain. Her shriek echoed around the area for miles, in spite of her location.
Her calls reaching ears that were looking for her.
While flying through Zaheer's airship, Korra's cries got them right away, Asami and Ziyou looking out the window.
"That's her! Follow that screech!" Ziyou called, the airship doing such after a bit.
Even if her screeching was further away, the group manage to move off on their way, leaving the scraps for Korra to pick over. They stayed nearby, but, didn't bother with her exactly. Apart from a few, they didn't put Korra on a high pedestal. Korra, in her state, was eating the meat raw, when they all heard something land nearby, and come their way. Korra readied for whatever was coming, some of the others leaving her there. However, when they saw the silhouette of the huge airship, they didn't stick around and began to head back. Korra got some more of the kill before she raced off herself, just a minute before the others arrived. All they found were a recent kill of the animal, not too much left of it.
"Ew. You sure you heard her over here?" Bolin asked.
"I swear I did!" Ziyou replied. El Niño looked away, noticing a tail of blood, along with some tracks leading away. The tracks mixed human hands and human feet, so, it must be what they're looking for...
Sometime later, the group Korra followed went back to the gorge, the Hares still there for the night. Korra secluded herself from the others so she could eat in peace. While still hurt from the male's hit, she didn't give it much mind as she filled her stomach with the fresh meat. It was during this that the others caught up with her, shocked upon seeing her eating raw meat, and basically acting like a wild predator than a human being. When Korra's friends saw her, they didn't know exactly what to do or how to proceed with this. The Red Lotus didn't interfere from here as the others tried to figure out how to deal with their friend.
"What in the world?"
"Told you," El Niño said.
"Well anyone got any idea? We can't just rush in, it's too dangerous," Asami reminded. However ...
"That isn't stopping her," El Niño said, pointing to the opening to find Ziyou already going off!
Ziyou neared her sister, sneaking up on all fours as Korra ate her meal. Ziyou crept up close as she could to not get the other's attention. About a few meters away, Korra finished her meat, and turned around to see Ziyou standing there. The immediate response was threaten, and Korra turned to her, barring her teeth. Ziyou, being out in the wild for a pretty long time, had some know how over this kind of behavior. Instead of attacking her, Ziyou tried to act submissive, and laid on her back. Korra still growled, though didn't expect the sudden submission from her so quickly. With the other people quiet, when Korra's friends came out of hiding. The Red Lotus stayed aside, in case they'd set her off. Upon seeing her team, Korra readied herself, arching her back and growling at them. Even if they didn't see any Hare, they did indeed know the girl's lost it somehow. They didn't know how, but, they had to snap her out of it.
"Korra, Korra it's us, your friends," Bolin tried to say. But Korra didn't give him any satisfaction, and swatted her hand at him.
"Come on, Korra you have to remember something," Mako said, trying to calm her down but it wasn't working. Korra was acting so furious, they were backing up. Asami kept her ground in front of her, for she knew Korra was somewhere in there despite this change.
"Korra. I know you're still in there. Let's just calm down," Asami said, though Korra simply growled more at her. The sight of her close friend ready to kill her... It was just heartbreaking. Even with small tears, Asami kept trying despite the threat level.
"Look at me. It's me, Asami. Your friend. We've been through everything together, you have to remember something," Asami pledged, kneeling down to her level, so they were eye-to-eye. Korra's growling began to cease, as everyone else waited nearby. At first, Korra stayed still, looking right at Asami unsure how to react just yet. Suddenly, a memory did shoot through her mind on seeing her face, but it wasn't a good one. Korra shook her head, and suddenly sank her teeth into Asami's shoulder! Lin and Kuvira readied to go, but Zaheer raised his arm to stop them...
Asami didn't stop her...
Asami felt the pain shoot through her when Korra bit into her, yet she didn't tense up for the bite, even if it was enough to draw out blood. Asami was even more miserable than when she arrived. Asami, rather than attack, wrapped her arms around Korra, who kept her teeth locked in place. Asami felt tears come down her face, though they were more of grief than pain. Her friend promised not to leave her ... Yet now ...
"Korra please ... We promised we wouldn't leave each other ... I don't want to lose you, not like this ..."
The words were down to a whisper, just enough for Korra alone to hear. At first, there was silence for a while, Korra quiet and unnerved. Everyone else waited nearby, waiting for something to happen. As Korra took Asami's words in, that horrid memory began to alter from the doll on the island ... To the friend she knew since the beginning ...
Korra released Asami, bite marks left on her shoulder, as Korra and Asami stared into each other's eyes, as the memories flowed back in her head...
"... Asami ... I'm sorry about that," Korra finally said, looking to where she bit her. Asami felt overjoyed that she remembered her, and hugged her tighter, out of joy. The others wanted to go out, but, they weren't alone on their watch. Soon after Korra got herself back, something else went forward to face them, seeing her with Korra. Standing by them was, as El Niño said, the spirit rabbit he was talking about. He stood tall, the shadow over them both, but it didn't do much at first. It was the same rabbit that got Korra in the first place. The others didn't interfere.
"You brought me here ..."
The Hare nodded to Korra. The Hare then looked to the others nearby, silent, but giving a nod of satisfaction. After a quiet huff, the Hare turned, and began to move away ...
After they ended up alone, Naga suddenly rushed over, and happily licked Korra's face. The dog knew when Korra was normal. Of course, it was a short time to celebrate.
Even if Korra was back to normal, Vintana was still danger they must handle ...
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