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Ep.2: Past's Return
Chapter information
Series

Book Six: Shadow

Chapter

2

Written by

Gingalover

Editor(s)

Gingalover

Chronology
Last chapter

Ep.1: The Returning Winds

Next chapter

Ep.3: Black Feathers, Old Fangs

The high time hour of the police office was continuing on as usual. Within his office, the Republic City detective was busy with his work. Papers on the ground, and phone awaiting the ring, he stayed out there for the while longer until he heard Chief Lin Beifong come in.

"Mako, got a few more criminals in. Anyone call in?" Lin asked, walking over.

"No, Chief, nothing. Been a bit quiet actually," Mako said, hoping for some sort of call to come through. Alas, crime had been slow for the detective as of late. A bit bored, Lin started some small conversation.

"So...How's your brother been?" Lin asked.

"He's fine, though his time looking for work wasn't too good. Since construction stopped, he's just been waiting for something to just pop up," Mako explained.

"Oh. Well, I'm still open for someone on the police force."

"Told him that, he doesn't wanna hurt people."

Before their great conversation could continue, suddenly the phone rang up, catching them off guard. Quickly, Mako answered it.

"Hello, Republic City Police Department, what's the problem?... What?... We'll investigate, sir, don't worry. Thank you."

Mako hanged up and got back up, looking to Lin Beifong.

"What's the deal?" Lin asked.

"Someone from the northern outskirts. They claimed they heard screaming and a tremor outside the city, something huge," Mako explained. Lin thought for a moment.

"Northern outskirts...sounds dangerously close to Kuvira's prison...Come on," Lin demanded, starting to head out the door. Mako found that information a bit worrying, considering what Kuvira had done before. Such a person to be free again was something to worry over. Lin had similar thoughts as well as she started to go out. After heading outside however, they were greeted by unexpected company, as she suddenly popped up in front of them both.

"Hi, police!" she announced, as if they expected her. Lin simply groaned and turned away.

"Oh great, hello, Ziyou," Lin replied, not thrilled about seeing her. However, she wasn't the only one coming around, as Korra and another boy came over.

"Hey, bro, sup?" the boy said to Mako.

"Hey, Bolin, Korra," Mako said, giving a salute to them like a professional officer would do. Bolin gave Mako a 'bro hug' before they continued talking, even if Lin didn't want to deal with Ziyou again. Unlike Lin, Mako was a bit more used to Ziyou by that point. However, the call was still something to look over.

"So, how's things been, Mako?" Korra asked.

"Pretty good. Sorry I can't talk much, just got a call," Mako said, peaking Ziyou's interest.

"OH? Where's the crime scene?" Ziyou asked, all hyped up and ready to go. However, Mako was kind of dragged off by Lin after a bit. Lin didn't want Ziyou barging in on them again.

"It's not your concern, kid, just police business," Lin said, starting to walk away. As they were though, Bolin walked over to Lin's side.

"What's the problem?" Bolin asked. Lin took one glance back at Korra and Ziyou before answering.

"Just a call about some trouble on the outskirts. Nothing too big," Lin explained. She didn't want to go into too much detail about where they were going, though mostly because she didn't want any interruptions. After the explanation, Lin and Mako went off to get ready to go, leaving Korra, Bolin and Ziyou by the door.

"Well, not much talk there," Ziyou groaned. Even if they didn't want any more company, Korra was a bit perplexed by this. With Ziyou, sure, but with her? She and Lin were a bit better than that...

~~

Some time had passed, and the police force was just starting to arrive towards the northern mountains, where Kuvira was being held prisoner. Lin's suspicions towards Kuvira were quite negative, due to her past as a dictator, and the idea of her being out again was enough to get Lin on the road right to the prison hold, no questions or distractions. Mako rode with Lin in the same police cruiser, heading off the main road to get to the site.

"Uh, Chief? Is everything okay?" Mako asked. Lin didn't answer him at first, continuing to drive along the path without a word. Lin just sighed, not looking at Mako.

"It's nothing," Lin replied. Mako had seen Lin like this before, so it was best not to bug her too much about it. No sooner after he looked away, Lin suddenly stopped the car, almost on a dime. Mako lurched forward from the sudden stop, and turned to Lin. However, before he could say anything, the chief got out of the car and simply stood there in the clearing. Mako got out to join her, and could see the expression of pure shock on her face, a shock that he had never seen before. Mako followed her eyes to what Lin was seeing. What the police was seeing was beyond any normal crime scene: the main outside yard toward the mountain that held Kuvira was in ruins. The entire top of the mountain was removed, almost seemingly exploded and collapsed! It looked almost like what the borders of the Fire Nation Capital looked like, with scattered rubble all over the place. Some giant rocks and man-made structures were completed destroyed within the wake. The amount of guards was also scary: almost none appeared on the surface. Lin had been around for many years, but had never seen such carnage before in her career, let alone her life. Kuvira couldn't have done this, nor any normal tremor. As Mako and Lin observed the scenery, more people walked over to them, awe-struck by the destruction...

"Whoa. Looks like a tornado just rushed through."

"Yeah I -...What the-? Ziyou!"

Lin and Mako realized that the gang had caught up with them: Korra, Bolin, and Ziyou. As much as Lin was annoyed, she just sighed and looked to the carnage again. This was a bigger issue than uninvited guests.

"Couldn't resist, could you?"

"No, not really. And looks like it's more than enough trouble," Ziyou said, looking around. Lin just rolled her eyes.

"Since you're here, help me find any survivors. If you do, signal the rest of us," Lin said, starting on down, as the rest followed.

The carnage and destruction looked more troublesome as they all entered. Throughout the area, many fallen guards were seen all over in the rubble. Bolin tried to see if any of them were still alive, but no luck, sadly. Whatever happened here, casualties were high...

"Oh man. Any luck over there?" Bolin asked.

"No, not yet," Mako replied, also looking around from a tall rock. Nearby, Lin and Korra were using their Earthbending to move the rocks out of the way, not having much luck on their end either. All they could find, if anything, were the losses. The other police offers continued looking around as well in various places. Bolin eventually went over towards Mako to help him out after looking, as Korra went over to Ziyou. The brunette Airbender helped Korra for a bit, and eventually went off from the others to look around. While looking around the area, she suddenly saw another figure laying on the ground, not covered by rubble, but still knocked out. Ziyou landed next to her, kneeling down, and poked her to check to see if she was alive. After poking her face, the figure began to stir, catching Ziyou by surprise. The figure slowly opened her eyes, looking right at her with weak eyes.

"...Avatar?...Is that you?" she asked, her vision still blurry.

"This again? No, no, I'm not the Avatar, but hold on, I'll get help," Ziyou said, leaving for just a second and whistling for the others. The figure remained laying there as the entire group got over, seeing the figure being lifted up by Ziyou. Before anyone could say anything, Lin immediately recognized her.

"Kuvira!" Lin gasped, though more in anger.

"You know her? Great!"

"Ziyou, that's the worst dictator you're holding! She was a prisoner here!" Lin snapped. Ziyou looked to Kuvira for a second or two before she dropped her. Kuvira landed on her side, but she didn't react too much to the fall, given her condition. Everyone went over to her with caution, waiting for any attack from her. Kuvira remained still, but tried to get herself to her feet, only straightening to look up at them. Her vision cleared up a bit, so she recognized them after a while. Everyone expect Ziyou of course.

"Ziyou...that's who you are?" Kuvira asked, looking at Korra's twin sister. Before Ziyou could say anything, Mako went right to her, kneeling down to her level. Kuvira didn't want a fight, with the Avatar, Chief of Police and her friends just a foot away from her.

"What happened here? Can you remember anything?" Mako asked, Kuvira trying to get herself up. Mako knew how dangerous Kuvira was, but even so, he had to remain firm yet non-threatening with her to get answers. They stood back as Kuvira finally got to her feet, keeping her balance as she looked to Mako. Then, her eyes looked towards the others, looking at everyone there...

"Don't bother fighting, one move and it's right back into quarantine for you," Lin sternly stated.

"I...Don't want to fight... Not anymore. Please, we have to go," Kuvira said in weak breath.

"No tricks, Kuvira, give it to us straight: what happened?!" Lin demanded. Kuvira really didn't want to fight them, and even if she did, she couldn't win in her current state.

"Monster...giant thing, wiped out the entire prison. Please, we have to get out of here!"

"Oh come on, you really think we're falling for that, Kuvira?"

"I'm serious!"

"How bad can it be?" Ziyou suddenly asked.

What a stupid question. No sooner after Ziyou had asked, the ground suddenly began to shake up violently as if a tremor was occurring. Then, just behind Korra and Bolin, a gigantic figure shot out of the ground! The figure looked extremely huge, about as long as an express train, and serpentine in shape. Eventually, the figure looked down at them with blue rings of eyes, and revealed to have a snake hood on its body, giving it the look of a cobra. Its body was covered in brown fur, with its head and body in rings of rock armor. Compared to the thing, they all looked so tiny. Lin glanced to Ziyou.

"Why'd you ask?"

"I didn't think that actually worked."

The beast just stared them down at first, until Kuvira started to slowly back away, aware of its power. After just a few steps, the beast slithered over to her, coiling around as it stared the rest down. It wasn't enough to harm Kuvira, but she was still terrified of the thing. The others scattered, as it charged forward, nearly crushing Mako, Lin and Bolin in one shot. The police officers there tried to fight it by Earthbending, but every rock didn't even make it flinch, as its serpent tail whacked a good 5 officers aside into rubble. Lin, seeing her men being in pain, rushed at the beast next, alongside Bolin and Mako. Lin and Mako blasted metal and lightning at the thing, to literally no effect as it slithered towards them. Korra and Ziyou rushed around, as Bolin tried another idea.

"Take that!" Bolin yelled, turning most of the ground into lava in front of it. The gigantic rock cobra remained put, but didn't leave Kuvira for a second despite the lava in front of it. Lin, Mako and what police force was left kept the beast well distracted as Ziyou and Korra got fully behind it. Meanwhile, Kuvira tried to figure out what to do; still weak, so her bending wasn't an option. However, Kuvira began to feel a strange presence within the creature, as her eyes looked around frantically. Suddenly, her eyes drifted to the back of the cobra's head...eyeing some odd symbol on it...

"The back of the head! Stab the back!" Kuvira yelled, pointing at the creature. Ziyou and Korra heard what she said, and put their plan into action. Korra quickly bended the earth and made a spear, which she quickly passed to Ziyou. Gritting it in her teeth, Ziyou leaped right for the cobra, landing on the back of the head. The cobra immediately started to thrash around, Kuvira finding her chance to get out of the grip. Ziyou rallied up her spear and stabbed hard, the creature gushing black blood in her face. The thing still wouldn't fall so, despite the gross out, Ziyou stabbed again. The thing screeched out in pain as it shook around, trying to get Ziyou off. It shook around so violently, Ziyou was thrown off like a bug, tossing her into the rubble with such little force. As soon as she was thrown, Korra bolted to her side.

"Ziyou, you alright?!"

"A bit shaken up, but fine."

For the second, the spear had been shaken free, and flew out of sight as the Cobra looked them down. Everyone was on the other side of Bolin's lava flow, except for Kuvira, who was standing out of the way. Seeing that, the giant cobra started to slither towards them, going into the lava, and sliding out with no injury.

"HOW DID THAT NOT WORK?!"

The giant cobra gave a deep screech in their direction, as it readied itself to charge again. On the sidelines, Kuvira was stuck observing everything, trying to think. She could easily run away from this fight, and try to redeem herself from her failure and revenge for the near year long imprisonment. She could regain her army and let them deal with their serpent...yet, she didn't. Instead, the promise she had for the Avatar remained strong throughout her silent months...and the Avatar needed help. Looking nearby, Kuvira found the same spear Ziyou had used, and quickly grabbed it. It wasn't metal, but it was earth, something she could work with to its full extent so Kuvira started to aim it. The cobra didn't notice Kuvira behind it, and was fully helpless as Kuvira got a direct hit into the beast. The cobra gave a deep groan as the spear hit, and the light from its eyes suddenly faded away completely. Everyone watched as the giant cobra collapsed on the ground, the vibrations almost like an earthquake...Silence...

"Oh man, what a rush," Ziyou said after a bit, getting some sweat off her forehead. While catching their breath, the officers saw a tired Kuvira standing nearby. Almost immediately, Kuvira was quickly caught with a few quick snares before she could react, falling to the ground.

"You're not getting away that easily, you're still under custody," Lin warned, picking her up. Kuvira didn't bother to put up a fight in front of them, despite her chance. Korra, though, intervened.

"Lin, hold it."

"What is it, we still have Kuvira to handle."

"That's just it - her prison cell's completely destroyed. We didn't plan another one for her, so the best we can do is-" Korra explained.

"Keep her around with us," Ziyou suddenly interrupted. Everyone turned to her.

"What?!" Bolin yelped.

"Hey, hey, I'm just saying, you got no cell to lock her in, and you all know what to do with her. Besides, I wanna get to know her a bit," Ziyou said with a smile. Lin just snorted.

"Well, since you're so willing, you handle her," Lin sighed, literally tossing Kuvira to her. Of course, Ziyou couldn't handle the sudden weighty hit, and fell to the ground. Seemed she had a handful on her...

~~

Eventually, everyone went right back to Republic City, heading off to Lin's police office to figure out what to do. Not just with Kuvira, but the explanation with that giant cobra that appeared. Nearby, Ziyou and -brought along after coming back- Naga, were watching over Kuvira, who was in an ice tomb that covered all of her except her head so she wouldn't try any bending. After hearing the news, Asami, Hotaru, Tenzin and his children went to the police office too in order to figure things out - after Korra finished explaining, of course.

"So that's what happened. I've never heard of such a thing ever existing before," Tenzin said after hearing the story. Their explanation of the cobra had got them, especially Jinora, thinking deeply on the matter...

"Oh, it exists alright, and can go through lava like it was nothing!" Bolin said, still baffled by that fact.

"Well, we took care of it, but what was it?" Korra wondered, a hand on her chin in thought.

"A better question is what do we do with Kuvira? We can't keep her at a destroyed prison," Lin said, looking to Kuvira trapped in ice. Kuvira didn't say anything, and looked away from Lin.

"She seems fine to me," Ziyou said.

"As important as that is, this monster is the bigger issue."

"May I remind you that thing's dead. No, it's not a bigger issue."

As their discussion continued onward, Jinora was still in her thoughts over the cobra. It sounded oddly familiar to her...then it hit her. The sudden realization caught everyone else's attention.

"I got it!"

"What is it, Jinora?"

"That cobra, I think I saw it somewhere before. Korra, remember when you and I went into the Spirit World for the first time?"

"How could I forget? What about it?"

"While we were separated, I was brought to the Spirit Library, where I found out about the event of the Harmonic Convergence. I could have sworn I saw that cobra within one of the many books while searching. Maybe if we go there, we can get some answers," Jinora explained. While it sounded like a good lead on the surface, the fact Jinora thought she saw the same creature within some book at a library wasn't convincing to everyone.

"You really think so?"

"It's the best we got, Bolin. Besides, I'm sure a library as old as time has something on this thing."

"May I remind you all that this thing is dead now?!" Lin groaned.

"And you're so sure that's the ONLY one we have to worry about? If I learned anything, it is that any problem like that doesn't stop *snaps fingers* like that," said Ziyou, sitting next to Kuvira, who was still quiet. As true as big problems were, what else could be left out there?

"She does have a point. It couldn't hurt to look," Asami said.

"And how are you gonna do that?"

"That's simple: meditate there. It won't be long, and we can do it right here, right, Korra?"

Korra nodded and moved to the center of the room, alongside Jinora. Both got down in the lotus position on the floor.

"Anyone else wanna come?" Korra asked. After a little bit, Asami went over to her with a nod, sitting down next to her. Tenzin went over as well, along with Mako and Bolin. Lin, Ziyou, Ikki, Meelo and Hotaru stayed behind with Kuvira. As they were concentrating on meditation, Kuvira watched them start to meditate, so Kuvira closed her eyes and focused...Soon, Korra's eyes gave that special Avatar glow.

They were off.

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