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|Ep.2: Past Meets Present|
The next day did feel a bit...awkward, at least to Korra. Having to wait for answers from someone that, apparently, always knew her, could do that to anyone, let along Korra. As that day went on through its usual schedule, Korra tried to go through her day, like normal, yet the questions left unanswered kinda got her distracted time and time again. But, she managed to mask it well by doing various things to keep her mind occupied until the point came around. When it came to her friends, the only other one who knew about her decision was Mako, and he wasn't exactly sure what to do about that either. He's a detective, that's true, but last time he'd set his job before her, their relationship as lovers was completely destroyed. He didn't want to make it any worse by backstabbing her, and look for Ziyou, so he went on with his day like he didn't know (about Korra's decision anyway). Besides, there's something else that was gonna happen that day, and the group's gonna be apart.
For the past months, the more inventive minds of Republic City had been doing some "tweaking" as of were. In this case, they were tweaking around with the Hummingbird Mecha Suits, in order to make them into a much faster flying vehicle. In order to do so, they'd made it smaller and more aerodynamic, enough room so just 1 person could fit inside. However, the durability of the newer models had to become weakened in order to gain speed (being weighed down in the air and all that). The models they're testing looked more thin and smooth than the models beforehand, the one in particular having a blue coat with a black stripe along the side going up the machine. The window had been modified to fit the Mecha suit's more narrow head. Inside its interior, a determined young woman, named Asami, was ready to get going on the new model out on her airfield for the test.
"Stand back everyone!" Asami said from inside the machine. The rest of her friends, along with Tenzin's family, were there to see the results of the new air model. Inside the model, Asami began to fiddle with the controls, the wings coming alive with their rapid wing beats. The Mecha suit began to lift off the ground rather quickly, but the exact control of said Mecha suit was rather difficult, as it started to fly around in an erratic pattern, making it harder to handle full control. Asami tried her best, but the hummingbird suit became far too difficult, causing the machine to start plummeting down after going 50 feet upward! Quickly, Asami pulled the escape hatch, being launched out just before the Mecha suit crashed into the ground, crumbling as a result. Asami landed safely nearby the wreckage, Korra the first to rush over to her as the rest watched.
"You alright, Asami?" Korra asked, helping her back on her feet as the rest looked on at the fallen machine.
"Yeah, I'm okay. So much for the new model," Asami sighed, looking down at the wreckage before them all. One of them, an earthbender named Bolin, picked up one of the damaged wings of the hummingbird suit (which at that point, looked more like scrap metal than a working part)
"Oh don't feel bad, you'll get it," Bolin assured her, trying to be optimistic, despite failure. His little pet fire ferret, Pabu, sniffed the wreckage of the bird out of natural curiosity. One sniff though, and one of the loose pieces nearly fell on him, Pabu bolting back up into Bolin's shoulder.
"Eventually. Just need some extra time as all, more durability would work out well," Asami concluded, picking up one of the fallen pieces. After that, she turned to Korra.
"Hey Korra, can you help me get this back? It'll only take a second," Asami said. Korra, not needing to answer, simply nod as she used her metalbending to lift up the wreckage, looking like a dead insect bird of sorts.
"Sorry this didn't turn out as planned everyone," Asami said, as Korra walked over to her pet polar bear dog, Naga, getting onto her back.
"That's okay, Asami," Jinora assured her.
"Yeah! Just keep at it, you'll get that new suit off the ground somehow," Bolin added in. Asami got up on Naga, whom was ready to head on her way back to the workshop.
"Thanks guys," Asami said. With that, Asami and Korra rode off on Naga back to the workshop, leaving the rest by the airfield.
The ride was did take a while, but the 2 did get back to Asami's workshop later on that day. Asami's workshop was her main base of operation, the same one where those hummingbird Mecha suits were invented in the first place, not to mention the newer models. Of course, there were some remodeling of the building itself (it being destroyed for the deadly super weapon that went through months before and all that). Inside, Asami was working on getting the Mecha suit back into shape, working out the kinks and errors in the model during the process. Korra, not being the mechanical mind of her team, just stood aside, leaning against the wall in boredom, staring off into space as Naga laid down nearby, equally bored. Asami took a break from the work for a second, seeing Korra nearby.
"You know, Korra, if you didn't want to stay, you could've just say so," Asami mentioned, wiping off some sweat and oil grease from her forehead. Korra kinda snapped back after hearing that, a bit deep in thought at the moment.
"No, no, it's cool, really," Korra insisted, as Naga gave a bored yawn nearby, hoping they could go soon. Asami could tell that Korra had something on her mind, so, crossing her arms and arching an eyebrow, she asked "Okay, what's on your mind?" Korra immediately blushed, and turned away. That was a bit quick for her to take the hint. Korra simply sighed: one person she could be honest to was her.
"It's last night. See, Mako invited me over to help deal with a robbery."
"What's wrong with that? That should've been a walk in the park for you," Asami pointed out. She was right, something like that should have been a walk in the park.
"I know, and it went on normally, but...well, it's with the thief. She claimed to know me, well, always," Korra explained.
"I know, weird. She said to meet her by the spirit portal later on tonight so I could get some answers."
"Alright. So, what's the problem?"
"The problem is that I'm not sure if I should. Far as I could tell, she could be just lying to me so she could get away."
Asami Sato thought for a second or so, but eventually did place a hand on Korra's shoulder in assurance to her.
"It'll be okay, Korra, all you're gonna do is show up, nothing big. Besides, you're the Avatar, I'm sure you could handle a thief," Asami assured her, leave it to her to cool down Korra's worries. Korra smiled at her, feeling much better.
"Thanks, Asami, you always know what to say...but still..." Korra's smile disappeared into a frown again. Then, Asami got an idea.
"How about I go with you?"
"Go with you to see this person, might make things easier on you with at least one person by your side. Besides, she didn't say to go alone, did she?"
She'd got a point: Ziyou didn't really say to come alone. If anything, she just didn't want the police with her, risk of being thrown in jail for stealing some fruit. She was sure that if Asami would come, it wouldn't be too much of a problem, as far as she knew.
"No, she didn't...you know what, it will be better if you come."
The decision was made.
Later on that day, back in the city, Bolin and Pabu were going through the city, enjoying some lunch. He'd grown a bit through the past months (both metaphorically, and literally). Sure, his overall behavior didn't change much, though physical appearance did give him an extra boost in height, now taller than his older brother by a foot (ironic, isn't it?). The earthbender was happily munching away on his dumplings as he continued walking through the busy streets, other people walking pass him. Joined with him on the walk, actually, was Wu, as the two were talking away...mostly Wu.
"You know, Bolin, you really should try the new spa treatment, the employees are so excellent with their work," Wu said, taking a bite from one of the dumplings as well.
"Wait, wasn't that spa just made a few days ago?" Bolin asked, confused.
"It's amazing how much work can be done in just 3 days, they already got the mud baths, massage tables and everything set up in there!"
"Really? Wow, that's pretty quick."
"You're telling me! And the massagers are simply amazing, they always know where to go. I had my arms sore for a week, and one trip, BOOM, all better!" Wu stretched his arms out to emphasize the point.
"Well, I better visit sometime then," Bolin chuckled, taking another bite of his dumpling. As they continued onward, however, Bolin's Fire ferret began to act up, screeching a bit, looking into an alleyway. Pabu hopped off Bolin's shoulder, beginning to pull on his pant leg.
"What's wrong, Pabu?" Bolin asked. Soon as both he and Wu focused on the fire ferret, Pabu quickly bolted down the alleyway, taking Bolin and Wu by surprise, as the little ferret stopped after a bit, making sure the others followed...that's when they saw it.
Just at the end of the alleyway, Pabu had lead them over to something...well, it was something, just not what they'd expected. The thing they found looked almost alien (from where they were, anyway). It looked like some sort of deceased jellyfish, its head spherical yet flatten out, like a balloon without air after it was released. Its tentacles were spread out from the bottom, making it look like it was ran over or something along those lines. Odd thing though: it had antennae, 2 small ones on top of its head, also withered away. Bolin just stared at the thing as Wu looked at it in disgust. Sure, it looked like just some garbage from a butcher shop, but this was found by apartment buildings, no shop nearby. How'd that get here?
"Eww! Disgusting," Wu said, backing away from it, hands out as if it's gonna pounce on him. Pabu leaned in and gave a quick sniff, touching it with his nose. It didn't move, but Pabu jumped anyhow, sensing things weren't as they seemed. Bolin could sense it too, and was thinking over what to do with it. However, the fire ferret's ears suddenly aimed up, listening in on something that only Pabu could hear. Seconds later, Pabu bolted off again, the ferret sniffing around the place for a bit until he found something. Soon as it did, it encouraged Bolin to come over, Pabu beginning to drag the jellyfish over to where it found the item.
"What does your ferret want?" Wu asked, still grossed out.
"Give me a second, Wu," Bolin said. The earthbender looked over to the jellyfish again...and picked it up. Wu turned green in the face, sickly just watching to begin with. However, Bolin ignored it as Pabu showed him a drain pipe, a puddle of water right at the exit. Bolin sensed what Pabu wanted to do, and placed the jellyfish in it, letting it get soaked...at first, nothing seemed to happen, but after 5 long seconds, the jellyfish began to change! The colors on the creature started to show, and even glow in the dim light of the alleyway! Its once flat body suddenly inflated into a much rounder shape, and its body became more and more alive! Bolin stepped back a bit, Pabu running up his shoulder, and the jellyfish sprang to life! As it turned out, suddenly the jellyfish began to float off the ground with little to no effort, and even flew around the alleyway with good speed and grace. It took one glance at its saviors, before it rocketed in the air...then it was gone. Just like that, the creature had disappeared...
"...what just happened?..." Was all Bolin could really say.
That day had begun to shift to night. The spirit portal continued to flow into the heavens, as various spirits of all shapes and colors moved around near it. It was there that Korra, and Asami in that case, stood and awaited Ziyou. The sky above them was completely clear, so weather trouble was out of the question in this scenario. Both girls had arrived by the portal an hour ago, and still no sign of Ziyou anywhere around the perimeter.
"Where is she? Shouldn't she be here by now?" Asami asked.
"I dunno, she just said tonight. Maybe you can look around for -"
"Don't bother yourself," a voice suddenly rang out. Both Korra and Asami turned away from the portal, seeing their thief walking over to them. Same look as before, same exact face as Korra. Asami was rather surprise as to how much she looked like Korra (in the face anyway). Ziyou just looked to Asami, arms crossed.
"You brought a friend."
"She's not apart of the police, I swear. Now, answers if you please," Korra insisted, wanting to get it over with. She wanted answers, and she wanted them NOW. Ziyou gave a sigh, and walked over to her, 2 feet away from her. It seemed Ziyou had some sort of trouble getting something out from her mouth.
"Korra. This may come as shocking, so, I don't blame you if you don't believe me at first..."
"What is it?" Korra asked, waiting for her to answer. Ziyou tried to think, but in the end, just decided to just get it over with. With a sigh, she blurted it out.
"I'm your sister, Avatar Korra," Ziyou said, kinda flatly.
...silence. Both sides awaiting an answer from the other. On one side, Korra and Asami were simply loss of with. Ziyou was right on one thing: it was shocking, and hard-to-believe, especially coming out of someone Korra literally just met last night. Asami, too, was a bit loss of words at that point, though not as much as Korra was. Ziyou herself, although not surprised by her own answer, awaited a reply from the two in front of her. Korra herself eventually gave Ziyou a rather surprised expression, yet a sigh escaped her lips.
"You...you're my sister...?"
"I know it's a shock, but please, if you just let me explain myself," Ziyou insisted. Korra and Asami both turned to each other for a second, before they both nodded to each other. Ziyou saw their expressions, telling her to come over, so she walked over to Korra's side.
"This is a surprise, really. That could explain why we look so alike, at least," Korra said.
"Yeah, no fooling. But seriously though, it's great to finally officially see you after so long," Ziyou said with a smile.
"What do you mean? Hadn't you two ever met before?" Asami asked.
"Asami, this wouldn't be an issue if we did. Besides, perhaps you'd met her when we went to the North Pole anyway," Korra reminded.
"You guys went there?" Ziyou asked. Korra just sighed.
"Guess we got some catching up to do," Korra stated, having a seat on one of the many spirit vines on the ground. Ziyou and Asami joined her, Asami to her left, Ziyou to her right. Some of the spirits around them began to get curious, a few even beginning to gather around.
"Okay, let's see now... I guess I should start at the beginning. I was just a baby when it happened, our uncle took me away to the North Pole. His name was -"
"Unalaq. Yeah, I'm aware of him, he wanted to use me to open the spirit portals before," Korra interrupted. Ziyou actually chuckled slightly.
"Well that explains it. Funny thing too, the guards he sent thought I was you," Ziyou said, as she continued her past...
--(20 years ago)--
In the Northern palace, the Northern Water Tribe chief, Unalaq, looked down to one of his royal guards. Unalaq had been the solo ruler of the Northern Water Tribe for a while now, with the absence of his brother. He had been awaiting a answer from a recent brigade to capture the Avatar, and the guard in front of him had got his answer.
"Had the mission been successful?" Unalaq asked his kneeling guard.
"I'm afraid not, sir, the Red Lotus had been captured by the Water Tribe chief." He explained. Unalaq was angered, but tried not to show it.
"How? Those benders could easily handle Tonraq!"
"I thought so too, but he had some help from outside the tribe. The Fire Lord, the warrior chief Sokka, and son of Avatar Aang were there as well."
Unalaq took this information in with some feeling of doubt. He'd seen their potential before, and even they ended up stopped...that was a bit hard to believe... The chief just sighed, having to resort to another plan...then, he remembered something. It was a bit rough, but it's a second shot. He got back up on his feet, and began to walk out.
"Sir? Where are you going?" The royal guard asked.
"I'm expecting them to be needing somewhere for a prison cell. I got one just in mind for one of them. In the meantime, see up on how our young girl's doing. I got some plans for her..." Unalaq advised. The guard agreed, and went off to get her...
"Why didn't your dad do anything?" Asami asked after a bit.
"Unalaq didn't want anymore trouble, so he kept me a secret from him. Would kinda explain why you and I didn't exactly know each other, Korra," Ziyou explained, turning to her. Ziyou wasn't aware, but more spirits were starting to gather around, the blue fox spirit from the game of "capture the flag" yesterday, finding its seat among the small crowd of curious spirits. Korra and Asami knew, but it didn't bother them as Ziyou continued.
"Since the capture didn't work, Unalaq decided to take me into some training, and, for the next couple of years, it'd been like that..."
--(15 years ago)--
The 5 year old Ziyou, and her "father", Unalaq, were continuing their training...or much rather, meditation. A bit of a boring type of training, but training none-the-less...Training Ziyou was getting bored of far too quickly. Both Unalaq and Ziyou were meditating in the spring air of the North Pole, which was still cold, yet still feeling rather nice. Ziyou gave a annoyed sigh, and got up.
"I'm bored!" Ziyou whined, stomping her foot in annoyance. Unalaq wasn't deterred, and remained in his lotus position.
"Ziyou, please, this is a part of your training."
"Can't I go and play with the twins instead?"
"What about a game of tag?"
"...how about anything besides this?"
Unalaq didn't reply, nor did he need to... Ziyou hanged her head in defeat, but tried to sneak off anyway, tip -toeing away as quietly as she could...she only got about 5 steps before her foot froze in place, curtesy of Unalaq. All Ziyou could do was groan; she ain't going anywhere...
Later on that night, Ziyou was tiredly walking down the halls of the main palace, bored outta her wit from the pointless meditation lessons that day. Why'd she had to, she wasn't aware of, but she was glad it was over, regardless.
"Dangit, this is boring. Why does Dad have me do this, anyway?" Ziyou wondered, as she continued through the halls. As she cut a corner though, she noticed Unalaq's room door open. What luck! Making sure she was alone, she quietly entered the room.
"Sweet! Dad never lets me in here. Let's see what we can -" before Ziyou finished quietly monologuing, she spotted an object of interest; a book, laying on Unalaq's dresser.
"Ooooo, Jackpot! Let's see what we got," Ziyou thought, quickly snatching the book off the dresser. Curiosity gripped her brain, as she checked to see if she was safe. Coast was clear. In a mad dash, the little thief bolted strait back to her room, book in her hand, making sure no one anywhere saw it in her grubby little fingers. When she did get to her room, she hid under her blankets as much as possible, and opened up the book under her candle light. Unalaq himself told her he'll be busy that night, so, she was in the clear as far as she knew.
The book, which turned out to be Unalaq's personal journal, had really gotten Ziyou's interest, her skimming through the pages of her prize, seeing various entries from the past she, at first, found amusing. That was until one particular message caught her eye.
Today's been a bit of trouble for me: those idiotic guards had captured the wrong girl, and now I'm stuck with her. How could they mistake one sister for the other, I don't know. I dunno what I'm gonna do with her, nor my brother. My guess he's gonna go absolutely ballistic when he finds out. Last thing I want right now is to get into anymore trouble...'''
Ziyou skimmed ahead a couple pages.
...Yet another failure. This isn't going so well in my favor. I can't waste anymore time with Tonraq, especially now that the lotus couldn't even pass through. Then again, my brother had some unexpected help, as it turned out. I gave it much thought, and realized there is one solution: Ziyou. It might take some time, but it's an alternative over the Avatar. If this doesn't work, I'll just have to wait...
Ziyou just stopped cold: Sister... Avatar...Capture...she read it over and over again, the pieces falling into place. She took one glance over to a picture frame by her bed, her with 3-year-old Desna and Eska, and Unalaq. Unalaq had his hand on her shoulder, with a smile on his face...
"So after that, I decided to run away. I found a cargo ship outside, snuck aboard, and been on my own ever since..."
Korra, Asami, and the group of spirits whom were listening took each word in with open ears. Korra just stared at Ziyou for a while, unsure exactly how to take it all in. None of it seemed completely made up in the slightest...Ziyou was telling the truth. Ziyou looked to her left knee, and saw a small bunny spirit there...only then did she notice the crowd in front of her, hanging around for story time.
"Uh...how long were you -"
"The whole time," one of the spirits said, flatly. The brunette just groaned, and got up to her feet.
"Okay, okay, story time's over, you all can go now," Ziyou said, annoyed. The spirits quickly dispersed as Korra and Asami both got back up, Korra's eyes looking right into Ziyou's own.
"Is that all true, Ziyou?" Korra asked.
"Every word of it," Ziyou assured her. Asami and Korra turned to each other for a second, thinking over about this news...but eventually, Korra smiled at Ziyou.
"Then let's go home. It's getting late," Korra insisted. Ziyou knew what Korra meant by that, and gave a smile of her own, the trio going and leaving the spirit portal behind...heading off to home...
Out in the middle of the northern ocean, a large cargo vessel was going along its patrol route. The large steel ship, idling on the waters surface, was still with keeping maintained by the staff and crew. As the guards on boated were going through their timely watch, one of them glanced out to sea, and noticed something...odd.
"Hey, captain? You might wanna have a look at this," he said, as the captain himself walked by him.
"What is it?"
The sailor just pointed out to the direction he was looking at. The captain followed his eyes, and finger, in the same direction. Just off their viewpoint, far off, appeared to be some sort of light. It didn't seem to belong to any sort of ship, air or sea, but looking like some sort of group of neon-lit hot air balloons, drifting off in one direction to the south. The fixture on the odd light show made the crew blind to the threat rushing at them below the surface until it was only a few feet away! Charging right at them, odd animals started to breach the water on occasion, charging at high speed. The animals themselves didn't appear to look like any normal creature they'd seen before. They appeared to look like some sort of giant fish, or tadpole, but with a dagger-like beak in front. They also had HUGE, round eyes, out of proportion to their own head! They could hear some sort of odd screeching sound as they draw close, but it was too late to react, as their dagger beaks literally jabbed into the ship! The hit was so strong with multiple force, the ship swayed in the direction being hit! The crew members tried to keep balance as the captain quickly began to get the orders.
"We're under attack! Get those things away from our ship!" He yelled. Soon after that, one of those monsters leaped clear out of the water, snatching the captain by his torso, and yanked him in the water, just like that! The sailor next to him was in utter shock, their captain gone so quickly. There wasn't much more time as the rest started homing in...
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