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|Ep.4: The Deal|
The world went on with its own life, unaware that one of its notorious criminals had just escaped from his prison cell, thanks to Zikara. Zaheer was glad that he was out, but, he still had his doubts on the whole "resurrection" thing Zikara was talking about. He'd gone around the Spirit World time and time again, but nothing got him close to what was left of his group. P'Li, Ghazan, Ming-Hua, all three he hadn't seen, nor heard of in years. Only news he's got was from the spirits, and they made it clear upon their fate.
Zikara kept going off, guiding Zaheer to the destination she had in mind. Soon, the girl stopped along the mountainside, isolated away from everyone else aside from Zaheer. It wasn't too hard for them to reach the spot. No one was there apart from Zaheer and Zikara.
"Why are we here, Zikara?" Zaheer asked. Zikara raised a finger in his direction, to keep him quiet, her eyes closed, facing away. Zaheer didn't know if he should kill her and run, or stay and see what'll happen. If she was true about her idea to get the others back, then he can end up screwed if he killed her. Then again, if he did kill her ...
"She's coming," Zikara said.
"You're testing me, aren't you?"
"Zaheer, just be patient."
Zaheer gave a rough sigh on her remark, but he did promise. Even if that promise got him in her control. However, eventually, a whistle got their attention. Zikara looked down the mountain, and noticed someone was coming up to them.
Soon, she quickly got right up to the mountain meeting spot, confronting Zaheer right away. Zaheer wasn't convinced on who was there - she didn't seem to be anyone special. Vintana knew what risk she was taking on confronting Zaheer, especially without what Zaheer was told. The two stood there at first, Zikara standing nearby, before Zaheer spoke.
"You must be Vintana. Your associate told me you had something for me," Zaheer said. Vintana knew what he meant. So, into her pocket, she pulled something out for Zaheer to see. It appeared to be a sort of small bag. Vintana opened it up, and something bright flew out in a spiral. Zikara, Zaheer, and Vintana backed away a bit as the lights spun around in the air for a little bit, until a physical form began to take shape. In a sudden flash, three orbs landed on the ground, perfectly in form. The three forms looked shockingly familiar to Zaheer, Vintana expecting that from the man.
"... It ... It can't be true ..."
"A obvious response, I'm sure," Vintana said. The people in front of him were his old comrades!
"Glad to see you again," Ghazan started, arms crossed and a smirk on his face. Zaheer was most shocked seeing P'Li standing in front of him. He wasn't fully aware of Ghazan and Ming-Hua loosing their lives, but, he saw P'Li die in front of him. Yet, here she was, right in front of him. P'Li's head did look slightly red, but, that was about it.
P'Li just nodded, not uttering a word. Zaheer turned to Vintana, unsure why P'Li was quiet.
"She's not talking."
"Her head was blown off her. It'll be a while until she gets her voice back, but for now, she'll remain mute," Vintana explained. Zaheer looked back to P'Li, the tall women glad to see him after many years. At that point, Zaheer didn't care how Vintana did it - his team was back. For old time sake, Zaheer and P'Li went right ahead, and kissed each other. It was a good reunion, one which everyone tolerated. While Zaheer and P'Li were together, Zikara went to Vintana.
"Where's the others?" Zikara whispered.
"They're busy. For now, let's get the red lotus reacquainted," Vintana replied.
Within Zenshu, Korra and Ziyou were doing their own sister hangout. It had been a while since they've just hanged out together, honestly. At that point, Korra and Ziyou were in Zenshu's city park, chilling out together with Naga. Naga and Ziyou were actually doing their own little game of fetch, with Korra being the main one throwing. Still, Korra felt a bit aside herself from her encounter with Kirra. The idea that her ghost would come back after a year of absence still left her frazzled - something Ziyou seemed to notice after a few throws.
"Hey, something bugging you?" Ziyou asked. Korra didn't answer right away until Naga nudged her, also noticing the Avatar's behavior.
"Oh uh, nothing sis, really."
"Korra?" Ziyou retorted. Ziyou knew her sister well enough to know that something was bugging her, even if she denied it.
"Okay, okay. Remember my disappearance I told you about?"
"Sure I do, you were gone for a good while with some ghostly thing stalking you, what about it?" Korra walked over by one of the park's trees, sitting down in the shade.
"Well, I kind of saw her again while I was out with Asami," Korra said. However, Ziyou settled down by her sister.
"What do you mean 'that all'?"
"Korra, it's not like spirits are anything new anymore."
"Ziyou, she attacked me and Asami, she tried to kill us!"
"Oh ... That's different," Ziyou said, as Korra laid down, leaning against the tree.
"I thought I've passed this," Korra groaned. She really didn't want to deal with this again, not after suffering so long with her before. Ziyou laid down by her sister, as Naga settled down nearby.
"Can't you just send her back to the Spirit World? You've done that before, remember."
"A ghost and a spirit aren't the same thing. Spirits can be spoken to, reasoned with, and I know where they go. Ghosts I know nothing about. And NO, El Niño doesn't count as a ghost," Korra made clear. Ziyou laid down, looking up to the tree branches above her.
"Maybe you can, I dunno, try to exorcise her."
"No, exorcise, ghost magic or something like that."
"... You hear that from Varrick?"
"Nah, I came up with it. Sounded neat," Ziyou bluntly stated. Korra sighed, it didn't help. If it was something just made up on the spot, then it didn't help her out much.
"Well no matter, I need someway to fix this. I can't continue with my past haunting me like this," Korra said. As she was though, Naga began to sense something wasn't entirely right with the situation. The polar bear dog got up, sensing someone coming their way. Soon, Ziyou and Korra notice something coming their way as well. Looking up, a small piece of newspaper landed by them both, with the main news opened up for them both to see. The two looked to the newspaper, reading the title of it.
--Spirit World exhibit open at Mei Long Museum--
"What's this, now?" Ziyou wondered, picking it up and reading the rest of it. Basically the news article was talking about the newest historical exhibit at the Shirshu museum. The paper described it as 'true artifacts from the Spirit World' on display within the Shirshu Museum. However, Korra found that very unlikely - the idea Spirits would remotely let humans display artifacts from their world sounded far-fetched. Ziyou found this a bit interesting, yet a bit far-fetched as well. Being Korra's twin meant she got a pretty good bit of spiritual experience herself. Still, seeing the unique amount of spirit stuff advertised, maybe something good could end up from this after all.
"Hey sis, wanna check this out?" Ziyou asked, pointing to the exhibit on the newspaper.
"Ziyou, I've got a lot of trouble on my hands."
"Korra, you need sometime off this Avatar stuff. Besides, maybe we can get our answer in there," Ziyou retorted. Korra looked to the Spirit World exhibit, and the number of items shown on the front page. Even if it might help, it still didn't exactly sound too promising. Before Korra could say anything, Naga's ears suddenly heard a distinct click, like fingers snapping. Naga turned away for just a second, following where the sound came from. Seconds later, Korra suddenly got up, eyes still on the paper.
"Alright, let's check it out," Korra decided. Ziyou nodded, and both of them got onto Naga. Naga still didn't know where that click came from, but, upon Korra's command, Naga turned and began heading off on her way.
Soon, Naga, Korra, and Ziyou arrived back to the Mei Long Museum. The museum, by the time they arrived, was simply packed due to the new Spirit World exhibit. While Korra and Ziyou both went on inside, Naga had to wait outside, being a polar bear dog and all. As if the museum wasn't full enough, the new part had got people pouring in to see what's new. As with many, that's where the twins went in first: the Spirit World exhibit. When the two arrived, they were greeted with all assortment of spirit items on display. The items vary from small trinkets, jewels, and artifacts to weaponry, and life-sized statues. The two weren't entirely sure if all of the displays have true items from the Spirit World, but if they are, either they've somehow snuck them out or the Spirits were rather open to giving items away.
"Well, it's authentic at least," Korra said, as Ziyou checked out one of the displays: a oddly familiar, mummified jellyfish in a jar.
"How'd they get this thing in here?" Ziyou wondered, looking intently at the jarred jellyfish. As Ziyou went on to look around, Korra wandered around the place, trying to relax and look over the different parts of the Spirit World exhibits. So far, many of the items seemed to be pretty legit on their information. Some of these items included a ring with a glass eye, a deep blue peacock feather, and a star chart. Still, for the moment, they seemed to be just some basic items to browse through. It was relaxing, and got her mind off her own issues for the moment. At one point, Ziyou and Korra got together when they both saw the same items, encased in a solid glass case, peak condition and everything. It appeared to be some sort of staff, with the gold outline, showing pure sign of royalty. On the very end of the handle, and a row at the top had four distinct sapphires along it. While many of the other items were equally unique much like this staff, this one seemed, more or less, special compared to the others.
"Sweet staff," commented Ziyou. Korra and Ziyou looked over what the information had to say about the staff.
"The Blue Heart."
Before they could wonder on it, one of the employees working there noticed Korra and Ziyou by the Blue Heart, and went over to them.
"You two enjoying the exhibit?" she asked.
"It's alright. Can you tell us a bit about this thing, the Blue Heart?"
"OH, yeah, the Blue Heart. It was one of the group of powerful spirit artifacts used before the era of Raava even began. Before the Avatar, legends say that these items contain strong power, blessed by the Spirits themselves, to help create the world we live in today. This one is said to purify evil spirits," she explained. Korra and Ziyou looked to the Blue Heart staff for a while, trying to take in what they've heard.
"Where are the others?"
"The other staffs? Well this one was the only one discovered, and brought here to our institute."
"You mean you aren't sure if these other staffs exist? Even if half of that is true, I don't think the Spirits will appreciate this being here," explained Korra, which is technically true as far as she's concern. If an item with that kind of power was from the Spirit World, of course some spirits would be rather peeved at the very least for such an item to be in the human world. The employee looked to Korra.
"We made sure, and they seemed pretty fine with it when we brought it here, so, it's alright to display it here." The employee went off to continue her work, as Korra and Ziyou looked back to the object in the glass bin. A bit odd that they were never told of such items in the past, especially if they were as powerful as the employee claims them to be. For one thing: if they helped create the aspects of the world, then, how will the Spirits simply let them display it here, of all things? Then again, such a story has some holes: Raava was the god of their world, and the world creation mostly applies to her (far as they know). So, if items like this exist, Raava would know of it...
Back outside, Naga was lazily laying by the door, awaiting for Korra and Ziyou to come back out. She still kept herself there, unsure when the heck the twins would come out. As Naga was simply settling down there, the feeling that something was a bit wrong still lingered around with her. Naga eventually lifted her head, and took sometime to look around for a bit. As she was, she then began to see something nearby. Looking off away from the building she was at, someone in a strange robe was watching her, before moving off away. Naga, curious, got up from her spot and began moving away. The polar bear dog went over to where the robed figure had gone - turning out to be an alley between the buildings. Odd enough, the figure wasn't anywhere around, but the scent was still there. Naga began to head into the path, nose helping her track for a bit. As she kept going about, the scent lead her away from the entrance quite a bit, but suddenly the scent itself stopped in one spot. It was strong, though didn't smell like a person at first...
A big mistake on the dog's part.
Just as soon as Naga realized it, suddenly something shot out, and pinned her to the ground! the large dog began to struggle, as a ton of iron wires were suddenly over her body, and her legs together. Naga looked up, as someone began to appear in front of her. The sight of him made her shocked, the polar bear dog struggling soon after. The man stared down at her, and then turned away, pulling out a portable radio.
"I got the canine."
"May I ask what you need me to do now? The Avatar's not far away, she will find me with the dog soon enough if I don't -"
"Good. Confront her, fight her, make her know who you are. She must know you're back."
"What?! Hello, Hello?"
The person on the other line hanged up on him, not giving him any true reason why he should reveal himself to Korra. Still, orders are orders, even if they'd make no sense all and all. So, while standing there, he let Naga yelp roar and cry for help, easily loud enough for Korra and Ziyou to hear it from inside the main exhibit. The two quickly got out from the Spirit World room, off outside, and right over to the alleyway where Naga was on the ground!
"Naga! What're you doing to-" Before Korra could finish, the man turned to her, and revealed his mask to her. Immediately, Korra's mind went blank, and she felt her heart skip a beat. It couldn't be real, he shouldn't be in front of her now, it was impossible ... Yet, he was indeed standing there in front of her.
"Did you miss me?"
"A-Amon?!" Korra gasped. Amon himself stood there, ready to fight her. Still, fighting her didn't seem like a good idea, yet, orders and orders. Amon rushed forward with all his strength, confronted by Ziyou almost immediately. Korra, in her panic, rushed off towards Naga as the Polar Bear Dog still struggled in her binds. Amon was a little bit too busy with Ziyou to focus on what Korra was doing, and was a little too late to stop her from getting Naga out of her binds. Amon turned around, and quickly saw Naga get up onto her hind feet in anger, ready to attack Amon. Amon dodged the Polar Bear Dog, and rushed over to Korra, grabbing her by the throat! Ziyou and Naga barely had time to react when they saw Korra getting gripped by the throat. Korra thought Amon was going to take away her bending, like Amon would do, but, Amon instead lifted her up, and threw her aside hard. The Avatar landed on her feet, but, when everyone looked back, they found that Amon just disappeared ...
Korra, eyes wide open, got to her knees, Naga catching her so she wouldn't fall to the floor. So much for her relaxation.
"No, no, no, how's he back? He can't be back, he's been gone for years!" Korra said, still in shock to seeing her first true villain appear in front of her. Amon, the equality leader back in Republic City, showing up in front of her like that?!
"Korra, chill. Could be someone else ... Maybe."
"Ziyou, he can't be back after such a long time, he'd have to be -" Korra stopped herself before she could finish, both twins coming to the same conclusion. It was the only reason he could be back after all these years. It was a quick call, but, being that he'd been quiet for all that time, it was the only main way they would know that he's been gone. That man had been dead, and he'd came back for Korra. The Avatar got up, trying to calm her nerves, before getting her mind straight.
"Okay, Okay. This is bad - first my ghost returns to haunt me, and now Amon is back. Come on, there's got to be a way out of this," Korra wondered, pacing around. If past experience had taught her anything - if something like this starts up, its best to stop it as soon as possible before things could get worse. Korra paced around for a little bit longer. However, suddenly, Naga heard that distinct click again form before. but unlike before, she caught who did it: a strange robed person. He wasn't Amon, but, didn't look friendly anyway. Naga got up, and rushed over, as Korra got another idea in her mind. Ziyou was a bit distracted by the polar bear dog running off after the figure, but soon as she caught up, he disappeared as well. Naga tried to find a trace, but, nothing gave her any clue. For some odd reason, Korra didn't notice, as her idea got into her head, looking through the window of the museum. Ziyou and Korra got a good view of the Blue Heart Staff from where they were...
Ziyou got the idea a little quickly.
"I'm telling the truth."
Korra, Ziyou, and Naga had gotten back to their home, and Korra didn't waste anytime with telling Asami, Mako, and Kuvira about it. However, the idea of how Korra wanted to fix things wasn't entirely up to everyone's expectations, or everyone's approval.
"Korra, you sure that's such a good idea?"
"I'm sure of it - we can use the Blue Heart staff to deal with Amon once and for all!" Korra said, completely confident about her plan.
"We can't take the staff, that's crazy. Besides, how do you know if you even saw Amon anyway?" Mako asked. Normally, he'd be more supportive, but, given what Korra had in mind, it wasn't a good idea to follow through with. Ziyou was quick to defend.
"But we did, he was right there, with his horrid red spot mask and everything!"
"Ziyou, you never even saw Amon before, how would you know if you saw him or not?"
Ziyou kept quiet, he was right on that.
"Korra, with all respect, I don't think this is such a good idea. They just opened that exhibit, we have no idea how that Blue Heart staff even works, and for all we know it could be just some other weird guy on the street."
"Mako, I swear I saw him! And, even if it's not him, what about that ghost I told you about? If she's around, there's still a danger that we have to handle."
"We haven't seen her in days, you sure she's still around?"
"Guys, please? I know Amon's back, why would I lie about this sort of thing? We'll just use the staff, deal with them, and return it right afterwards, I promise you that. Mako, you got my back, don't you? You said you'll always got my back."
"Doesn't mean I don't have my own opinions on the matter, Korra! You're basically asking us to rob someplace out of pure suspicions."
"Come on, Mako, work with me on this. You've worked with the other side of the law for a better good, right?"
"That was during a war with the Northern and Southern water tribe, after Varrick bombed town hall. That's a much better reason than stealing an artifact from the best museum in Zenshu to stop someone you think is Amon."
"Guys, I promise you, I wouldn't lie about this sort of thing. I know it's a bit unexpected - and something I don't normally do - but I need everyone else for this to work. Please, guys, I'll even take full blame if it doesn't work!" Korra said, trying to get some support on the subject. Mako, Asami, and Kuvira weren't too sure about the entire idea. To sum it up, Korra's asking them to do a heist with her. Soon, everyone began to think it over a little more: If Korra indeed saw Amon, then a huge threat could end up back in the world after such a long time. Aside from Ziyou and Kuvira, everyone had their own tough experiences with Amon in the past, so, if he's back now ... Well, it's not something they wanted to think over too much. Soon, Asami went over to Korra.
"Korra, we've been through a lot together. If this is what you think is the best option, then I'm with you," Asami said. Korra was glad one of them was joining her. Mako still was a bit one-sided on the situation, yet, Korra's way of good wasn't always with the law. Mako gave a rough sigh, and looked to the Avatar.
"I'll go with whatever you think is right," Mako decided.
All that was left was Kuvira. She had turned away by that point, having trouble with believing that it was such a good idea.
"With all due respect, I can't join you. I've had enough of a bad record as it is, I can't add anymore to it now."
"But, Kuvira -"
"Korra, I've been a dictator to the entire Earth Kingdom, I've been in jail for nearly a year, which by the way I'm still shocked the police still aren't looking for me anymore. I can't join you. I hope you understand," Kuvira decided. Sure, she'd been good for a while, but, she didn't want to wreck it after so long because of this, even if its to stop another person they've faced in the past. Korra felt that she had plenty of help either way, so, Korra decided to let her off easy, walking outside with Mako and Asami. Ziyou followed her sister outside, leaving Kuvira alone. Kuvira still wasn't sure what to do, but, she was stuck for the moment on her own thoughts with that. The Avatar, going to rob a museum of the Blue Heart staff, to stop Amon or her own ghost.
She needed to see this staff herself.
Mid afternoon, and Mako, Ziyou, Korra, and Asami were going through town for the moment. Korra knew she had her own plan into motion, and she had some good people with her. The next part in her big idea was a bit of a rough one, but, she was confident that she had to do this for her plan to work. However, Naga wouldn't take her, so, she ended up having to go on foot with the others. She was glad that Mako, Ziyou, and Asami were with her for her plan, as she felt she needed it to work. When it came to where they needed to be, it was mainly upon reports Mako had gotten over his time while working in the Zenshu police force. If it was true or not, remained to be said, but, it was all they got.
Soon, the group went over to the more secluded area of the city, not many people around for the moment. The building they ended up in front of was a bit hidden off in between two buildings, the main entrance in a basement door by the city dock. Rather isolated, yet, Team Avatar was, more or less, used to this sort of thing.
"Okay, stay calm, ready?" Korra asked. Everyone there nodded, as Korra knocked on the door. At first, nothing seemed to happen, but soon a tiny sliding door opened up to eye level, a set of eyes looking to them.
"Password? Oh, uh -" Before Korra could screw up, Ziyou suddenly got in the way.
"We don't need that kind of treatment, buddy. We got a little deal to make with your boss here, and we don't have much time on it, so just open the -" the door man immediately closed up the latch.
"Why'd you do that?" Korra said, obviously annoyed.
"Well you got any better ideas?"
Suddenly the door opened again.
"State your business."
"We can't discuss out here, if you let us in, we'd be more than happy to let you know the deal."
Then, the door closed again. The group waited a little bit longer before, to their surprise, the door opened up, allowing them to go in.
After some walking, Mako, Asami, Ziyou, and Korra ended up in the main room of operation. The doormen already made it clear on the whole idea and what not. The room they ended up going to looked like a large, back street office. Mako found it a little similar to what the Triple Threat Triads had when he spoke with them. The main person of interest sat in her chair in comfort across the desk from them. She looked surprisingly young, late 20s actually. She looked a bit curvy, and rather rough with a cigarette in her mouth, with some red lip stick for style. Obviously, she was one of those 'charmers' rather than straight up fighter. Regardless, they needed to be weary of who they're dealing with. If this wasn't Big Momma, then who was?
"Well, isn't this interesting? The Avatar willing to make a deal with me," Big Momma said, not exactly surprised as she should be.
"So, you know who I am?"
"Course I do, dear. I must say, nice work with your hair. Suits you." Korra felt her ponytail behind her head, not expecting a compliment right away. Course, she didn't take that into full account right away, as she continued.
"Uh. Thanks ... Anyway, we need help with getting an item from the Mei Long Museum," Korra explained, as the crime lord got up, and went over to them, a little bit of charm in her movement (most likely for Mako being there).
"Ah yes, the Mei Long museum. That had that new Spirit World part added in, right?"
"That's correct. There's an object called The Blue Heart within there, and we need help getting it out for us to use," Asami explained.
"You do realize that you had to do a little something for us, in exchange," Big Momma said.
"Excuse me?" Big Momma snapped her finger, and one of her "boys" brought over a rolled up piece of paper. When Big Momma got it, she ended up unrolling it in front of them, and it was a headline for a previous arrest, seemingly involving one of her own.
"One of my sweet boys was taken off to quarantine for over a week now, and Big Momma's starting to worry about him. Couldn't help if someone would help him out? Help him get home?" Obviously, this was a bit of something that Korra and the others were a bit taken aback by, yet, expected. This was a crime lord they were taking to.
"Don't try that, we have enough problems without that," Mako threatened.
"Now, we all have our own problems, don't we. I'm sure it must be hard to be a detective for a man like Muro. Isn't that right?" Big Momma said, gently bringing one arm around Mako's neck, and her finger tickling his chin. Mako knew she was trying to play with him ...
Dang she was good at it.
"We're still here, Big Momma," Ziyou reminded.
"Listen, There's a man that had just returned from years of absence, and he can easily overthrow anyone he can face, including you. We need the Blue Heart," Korra explained, feeling it was the only way to get her to cooperate. Still, Big Momma kept her hold on the red-faced Mako as she spoke.
"That does sound like a interesting man. Course, I can't face having my sweet boy off in such a horrible place. Perhaps we can kill two birds with one stone? Course, if you aren't interested, we might need to work out a better agreement."
The group didn't have too much time to think over what they exactly needed to do, as Korra went over to Big Momma.
"... If that's what it takes ..."
Korra then extended her hand in her direction. So, Big Momma let Mako go, the man surprised that she agreed so quickly. Big Momma extended her hand to shake hers ...
Suddenly, Korra and Big Momma suddenly extended pass their hands, and grabbed each other's necks! Both sides felt threatened, and readied for any further action from either side. Big Momma smiled, and spoke first.
"See we got the same picture."
Both women released each other, removing the tension in the room (if there wasn't already enough), before both sides left, Korra with the informative headline they needed. Mako, Asami, and Ziyou felt a sense of worry that they were over their heads, but, Korra seemed to know what she was doing...
For the collective works of the author, go here.