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The morning sun was barely peeking up into the sky, missing the carnage the night before, its rays spreading out over the world. Sadly, the leftover carnage was observed on the shores, as the group began to awaken. The first to do so was Bolin, who began to look around. All of his friends were passed out on the sand, scattered around the place. He turned over to the airship (or what was left of it), broken up beyond repair. The main balloon was shattered, metal parts missing or scattered on the beach. That airship wasn't gonna fly anytime soon...
"Uuugh...guys! You okay?!" Bolin called, rushing over towards them as they began to come to, some quicker than others.
"I think so..." Groaned Opal. Bolin helped Opal up to her feet, as the others helped each other to their feet, only to find the airship in a wreak.
"Oh man!" Ikki groaned, upon seeing the wreak, as another large metal piece fell off it, onto the sand. Bolin continued looking around, until he found Korra, still laying down on the beach, facing away from the sea. She didn't appear to be knocked out though, as soft whimpers could be heard from her...she was hurting, but not just physically.
"Naga...*sniff* Naga..." Korra whimpered, tears pouring down her face. She still didn't want to believe that Naga was gone, and so sudden too. Out of everyone, Naga had been with her the longest, and loosing her felt like loosing half of her heart...but as Bolin was gonna help her up, she got to her feet herself, her thoughts replaying the events over and over again...something was building up...
Korra turned around, her face stained with tears yet fuming with anger. Her eyes immediately aimed at Kai, giving him goosebumps as Korra stormed right over.
"This is you're fault!" Korra accused, marching over as Kai backed up.
"My fault, what did I do?!"
"You're the one who came up with that tornado!"
"Hey, we were surrounded by those jellyfish, what else was I supposed to do?!"
"And that same idea was what killed Naga!!" Korra snapped back at him.
"Hold on, I didn't know that would kill Naga! That was a pure accident, besides, you were just into the plan as me!"
"I kept the ship steady, not make the crazy cyclone!"
"Well, I didn't hear you complaining during the whole sharada!" Kai snapped back. Before they could continue, Ziyou tried her luck and got in between them both.
"Guys, quit it, you're acting like children!" Ziyou quickly got out, harsher than she meant...which didn't help.
"OH, is that so?! My closest friend had just died, and you're calling me a child for that?!"
"No, you're being called a child for pointing fingers, he didn't -"
"THINK THROUGH HIS IMPLICATIONS! Like you would know anyway!"
"What's that supposed to mean?" Ziyou growled, getting angry as Kai side-stepped away towards the concerned group.
"I know we didn't speak for a while, but from what I got, you barely think through anything! Just charge in like it's nobody's business!"
"Whoa whoa WHOA! Korra, you have no idea how much I've truly gone through, pampered princess!"
"Pampered?! My life is anything but pampered, I'm the target of every villain in this world, Spirit World, and who knows where else!"
Ziyou stepped towards her, inches away from her.
"At least you had some backup! Ever since I left Unalaq behind me, I had to take care of myself, by myself! No backup, no help, no nothing! So don't go on talking about how your life's worse than mine!"
"Yeah, being by yourself is SO terrible, like you dealt with demonic beings, and the worst outlaws ever on a daily basis! I would be happy to take that over being poisoned for 3 years straight!"
As Ziyou and Korra continued arguing, Desna was about to step forward from the crowd when Eska stopped him, catching him (and a few others) off guard. Without a word, Desna stepped back as Eska stopped the arguing...by making an ice wall in between them both, and shoving them away from each other.
"I think we need to recap on the scenario. We're lost, don't have a clue where we are, and our airship is beyond repair. If we just sit here and continue blaming each other over a loss, than we'll never get anywhere fast. So, if you're done, we can start heading off inland, and hopefully find some civilization before dark."
Ziyou and Korra looked to each other for a second after hearing all of that: even if angry, Eska was right. No matter who was right or wrong, it wouldn't help the situation, nor get Naga to come back...both sides just got up, and brushed off the sand from their clothes.
"Alright, Eska...sorry, sis."
"No no, I'm sorry, Ziyou...*sighs* let's go."
The morning shifted to the daytime hours, the entire group continued walking through the western forests of the Fire Nation. The trees were scattered, but were still tall above them as they continued walking through. Words weren't spread about too much, more focused on finding out where they were above other things. Among them, Ziyou was having it the easiest, practically used to it from the past years she spent alone, leading the group alongside Desna and Eska. During the walk, Asami was being helped along by Korra, who was probably the quietest. Although Asami's effects had ceased, the weakness still filled her, and Korra tried to help her along the way. At one point, tired of just waiting, Ziyou looked up to one of the taller trees.
"Hang on, I got an idea," Ziyou said, getting the group to stop. Still looking up to the tree, Ziyou quickly started to bolt up the tree, using her airbending as an extra boost in her leaps until she got right up the tree, to the top. She got a good view of the area around her, trees here and there, scattered through the area. With one hand gripping the top of the tree, she used her other hand to shade her eyes from the sun, getting a better view of the world around them. To her luck, she could just make out a village not too far away from where they were, making out some rooftops.
"Hey, gang, village just ahead! Onward!" Ziyou shouted, not wasting anytime as she rushed through the trees at her own speed. Sensing Ziyou was off, Desna and Eska started running, the others rushing behind to catch up with them.
The time running to the village was surprisingly short, considering they all were trying to catch up with Ziyou running through the trees like some quick-paced monkey. Soon as the others finally caught up with her, she was already at the entrance to town (on top of the main gate). Ziyou was actually hanging upside-down once they arrived.
"There you are! Why'd you run off?"
"I didn't run off, I told you where to go, didn't I?"
"Just come down here," Mako said, as Ziyou flipped off the main gate, landing right in front of them. Soon after, Korra looked on into the town. The town itself appeared like a miner town, the group able to see a nearby quarry to the far end of town. It wasn't exactly the best town ever, but not completely run down either. Of course, it didn't look too clean either (the quarry and everything). Even if this town wasn't at its best, it was a good spot to find information, all and all.
The group alone began to walk through the town, feeling a bit out of place while looking around. To start, most of the Fire Nation people here looked rather scruffy, and watched the group as they went on through. The men, women and children observed Korra and the group, talking amongst themselves of the newcomers.
"This place is creeping me out, maybe we should try another town," Ikki suggested.
"Don't worry, let's just figure out where we are first," Mako informed, as he looked around to the people around them, which didn't seem like they wanted to talk, so they left them alone. Just a bit in, Mako's eyes caught on one of the men, giving them a sort of judgmental look. He looked rather old, in his late 60s with his greyish beard, wearing dirty Fire Nation clothing. At first, they simply walked on by, but the old man got up.
"You youngsters out of town, aren't ya?" he said, his voice raspy. The group stopped and turned to the old man, whom had his arms crossed.
"Yes, actually. Can you tell us where we are?" Asami asked, wanting to get that out of the way.
"Sekitan. What for, wanting coal?"
"Well, no, you see we're kinda on a tight schedule to get to the Fire Nation capital, A.S.A.P." Bolin explained.
"Well, you're not even close to it, if that's what you're thinking," the old man informed, eyebrow raised.
"That much we already know, we were just at the western islands before coming here."
At first the man looked at them surprised...but then started laughing out loud, not helping the situation.
"What's so funny?" Ziyou asked, not amused. The old coot took a little bit before calming down.
"You young-en overflown your mark, the capitol's to the east," the man said between chuckles, catching the group off guard. Last they checked, they were far west, and now they're east away from it? That was far-fetched, sure, but considering everything else that'd happened, it wasn't that far off.
"Well, thanks, we have to get going. Come on, guys," Korra insisted, starting to walk away until the same man got their attention again, mood quickly shifting from humour to serious.
"You wouldn't want to do that. Word's goin about that aliens are roaming about, taking out cargo carriers left and right! You caught out there, you're done fer."
"You mean the Qishi?" Eska corrected, finding the news too predictable.
"So that's the name? Either way, better stick around. Only route to the capital's cut off anyway by those things, and no man had yet pass them," the old man advised, as he started walking away. Now that's some news: only route there blocked off by the same problem they've dealt with since their arrival at the North Pole. It wasn't exactly any good news for them either, but considering their previous encounters, a head long fight with them would probably not be a good idea (even if that's what they were supposed to do).
"Well, isn't this just delightful," Desna and Eska sighed.
"Don't worry 'bout it, we'll get across, no problemo!" Ziyou said, starting off.
"Ziyou, didn't you just hear him?" Opal asked.
"Uh HELLO? We got the Avatar, the Water Tribe chiefs, 4 airbenders, a lavabender and a lightningbender. I'm sure we can make it through wherever it is," Ziyou said, making a valid point.
"Ziyou, think about this. Even if we make it through, who knows how far away the Capital actually is from here. It would take days, even weeks just to get close, and through it all, we could be stalked down by those Qishi. Is that something you really want to deal with?" Desna asked.
"Even so, we can't get anywhere just standing here, now come on, let's go!" Ziyou said, starting to run until Korra grabbed her by the collar. Ziyou got herself free, but turned back around.
"Ziyou, let's not just run in, we have to think. Besides, we need some supplies anyway, what was left was lost in the crash," advised Korra.
"And maybe some food? I'm getting hungry," added Kai.
"Don't be ridiculous, We'll be fi - *stomach rumbles loudly*...Okay fine, we'll stick around just to eat, but then we have to get going, deal?"
"Deal." Korra and Ziyou shook on it.
Soon after the agreement was made, the group began looking around for a place to relax a bit, something they would need after the hike through the woods, and the night encounter beforehand. As they went, they eventually found a small diner in town, pretty decent, though more of a bar than much else. Even so, the team (even if about 10 people total) got themselves a booth to sit down and order. Eventually, the waitress went over to them.
"Can I get you all something to drink?" she asked.
"Just waters will be fine," Mako said, ordering pretty much for all of them. It was quick, short, but the waitress went off as the group settled.
"This place isn't really one for hygiene, isn't it?" Desna commented, looking around at the interior.
"Well, it doesn't matter, sooner we're done here, the better," Ziyou sighed.
"Why are you in such a hurry?"
"Do you really want these things to stay around, and places flooded?"
The group continued talking for a good while, the subjects shifting around here and there, but for most of the time, Korra remained quiet, looking like something was on her mind. Only one to catch it though was Mako, who was sitting right next to her.
"Korra?" Mako asked, getting her back to reality enough to get her attention.
"I'm fine, Mako...Just thinking, as all," Korra replied, getting the answer over with. Mako could take a pretty good guess over what exactly she was talking about, and turned away, not wanting to start anything. However, Bolin (who sat on the other side) overheard what Korra had said.
"Is it about..."
Mako quickly looked to Bolin, getting him to be quiet, but Korra just sighed instead.
"Yes, it is...I still remember when I first met Naga. So helpless... So sweet..."
"How did you meet Naga anyway?" Bolin asked, getting some attention from the others. One thing Korra didn't share, really, was how she truly met her Polar Bear Dog, her closest companion. Korra looked around for a second or so.
"I never told you yet?" Korra asked. They all nodded no, not remembering when she told them anyway. Korra looked down to her water glass, seeing her slight reflection in the water as she gave a sigh. It'd still hurt, but not enough for her not to tell them the story.
"It was a long time ago, I was still living in the Southern Water Tribe, still early in training to become the Avatar..."
--(15 years ago)--
During one bright day in the South Pole, 6-year-old Korra was still trying to get the hang of her advanced waterbending, still trying to handle the fighting needed to become the Avatar, under the watchful eyes of the White Lotus sentries. With her eyes closed, Korra bended the water between her hands in a nice (if not, slightly daggered) flow of water. The sentries approved of her work, but Korra was getting impatient with this training - again -, so upon the word, Korra immediately stopped.
"Finally," Korra groaned.
"That's enough for today, Korra. Time to head back," one of the lotus members advised. Korra rolled her eyes in annoyance, but complied anyway. Not like she had anywhere else to go, not really allowed to travel around the world like other Avatars before her.
With the White Lotus sentries taking the lead, Korra followed them back from the training grounds, towards the Southern Tribe not too far away. Although, that meant she had to go through some wild terrain first, the training site remote. Korra kept walking for a good while, actually lagging a little bit, when something caught her eye...
Turning her head away from the path, she could see a small lump of fur just off the path, about the size of a medium dog, and similar appearance, the fur as white as the snow. However, the animals front paws were much bigger than the back, and the head like a Labrador. The creature appeared to be dead, but there were no exact scars to speak of, saying that it wasn't laying there for very long.
"Hello?" Korra asked, walking over to it. The animal didn't move, rather weak to move. As Korra walked near, one of the sentries saw her, and called the group to a halt, as he went to retrieve her.
"Korra, is something the - oh! oh dear," he said, looking down at the poor animal. Korra knelled down beside it, not scared if it would attack or not. At first, Korra was unsure, but as she gently placed a hand onto the animal's cold fur, the creature began to stir, but not much.
"It's alive," Korra gasped, getting back up to her feet.
"Not for long outside though," the sentry stated, noting the animal's lack of response. Korra began to get worried, as the dog gave a slow huff of breath.
"We can't leave it out here."
"Agreed, the poor creature's too young to be on its own."
The sentry turned to the other White Lotus sentries there.
"Go notify the chief, we'll help her here," he authorized, as some sentries started on back, as the White Lotus member scooped up the animal, and started heading back with the others.
The walk itself didn't take very long to get, as the White Lotus sentries went back into the main hut, where the chief, Tonraq, was waiting. He was glad to see them back, but once he saw the animal in one of the sentries hold, his mood turned to that of confusion, as Korra stood nearby.
"My apologies, Chief Tonraq, but your daughter found this poor creature back in the tundra."
Tonraq looked at the animal carefully, quickly recognizing it as a Polar Bear Dog pup, looking fast asleep in the man's arms.
"Please, Daddy," Korra quickly asked, hands in a prayer. Tonraq knew what Korra was referring to, as the pup gave a faint whimper, not completely conscious yet, but still something to note. Tonraq looked back at the sentry.
"Have you seen the mother of the pup? Usually Polar Bear Dogs don't leave their pups for long," Tonraq asked.
"Afraid not, there were no other tracks of any other animals aside from this one. I know it isn't my place, but -"
"Please can we let her stay here?" Korra suddenly blurted out, still hoping. She may be young, but she knew a troubled animal when she saw one, and this pup was no exception. Tonraq thought it over for a minute, looking over the pup and Korra, and shook his head.
"I'll allow her to stay, but only until she's fully recovered. I can't allow a pet for the moment," Tonraq advised. The news got Korra rather worried, but she was glad she'd be staying for a little while.
"But, Dad, can't she stay?"
"Korra, you still have Avatar training to do, we can't have that along with taking care of a pet."
"But, Daddy -"
"That's final, Korra. If you want, you can keep an eye on her. Let me know when she wakes up, okay?"
Korra gave a nod, following the man to another room with the pet in hold.
Some time continued to pass on, as Korra remained by the animal, time ticking slowly away, Korra sitting down by the animal for a while longer as the body remained laying by the hut's fireplace, some blankets to keep her warm. It felt like forever, and Korra was about to fall asleep, when the body started moving again, stirring in place, as her eyes opened up slightly.
"Oh! You're -" Before Korra could do anything else, the puppy gave a harsh bark, lunging weakly in her direction. It wasn't enough for the Polar Bear Dog to move out of its 'bed' but enough for Korra to get startled. The dog was still really weak, and didn't move very far from its resting spot, as Korra had her hands in front.
"No, no, no, it's okay. I'm not gonna hurt you, I promise," Korra assured, trying to comfort the growling animal. Even for a puppy, a Polar Bear Dog was still dangerous. Lucky for Korra, her safety was assured; the puppy didn't bother attacking her after that quick lunge. Although startled, Korra still remained by her for the night...
"So you lived together since, right?" Kai asked Korra.
"Actually, no. Dad still had me let her go after she recovered," Korra explained.
"But how'd she become your pet if you let her go?" asked Ziyou.
"I'm getting to that. Anyway, after a few days since Naga had left, Dad and I went to fish for our tribe, something I was allowed to do away from home aside from training..."
Tonraq and Korra were just finishing their fishing trip, their fishing boat docked by the southern shores, as Korra helped Tonraq with their catch. Korra was still bummed out for letting the puppy go, but she didn't want to dwell on it too much on the trip.
"Good job, Korra. You've done a fine job with the fishing," Tonraq complimented.
"Thanks, Dad, it was fun!" Korra said with a smile. Tonraq and Korra began gathering the fish up off of the boat, Tonraq holding it pass his shoulder. However, as they were about to go, something was looming overhead...stalking them...watching them with hungry eyes. The figure pounced down to their level, a roar catching their attention. Korra and Tonraq were taken off guard, as Korra hid behind Tonraq's leg. The creature: a large, male rouge Polar Leopard. Teeth glaring as its tail swished behind it.
"Korra, stay behind me," Tonraq ordered quietly, trying not to set off the Leopard, as it started pacing in front of them, eying Korra instead of the fish Tonraq was holding; Polar Leopards, unfortunately, don't eat fish. The leopard began to charge forward at Tonraq, the chief attacking with the nearby water, trying to whip the beast away. The leopard didn't back down, and suddenly pinned Tonraq! Korra watched in horror as the beast slammed her father's head in the ice.
Korra, deeply hesitant, eventually started running away as the Polar Leopard was distracted with the other human. In this position, Tonraq couldn't bend properly, both hands pinned under one paw, the other pushing down on Tonraq's temple...But, the Polar Leopard caught Korra's scent, and wanted easier prey. It made a loud roar, and launched off Tonraq to go after her, slamming Tonraq's head in the ice, knocking him out! Korra was rather far ahead, but the Polar Leopard was catching up extremely quickly with its long strides. The little girl didn't turn back, but knew the beast was after her...then she tripped, tumbling in the snow and ice! Korra spun around, the Snow Leopard quickly standing tall over her, growling at her, teeth gleaming, its drool dripped down on Korra's cheeks. Korra looked around frantically, hoping for someone to come around, but she couldn't see anyone anywhere. The beast's mouth opened up, showing her its feline sabre teeth, ready to finish her off.
Suddenly, the beast screeched in pain, rearing back off of Korra, as it started swiping at something behind it. Korra quickly got up to her feet, only to see the beast engaging battle with another creature...The same pup from the days before...
The Polar Bear Dog showed a deep bravery when confronting the giant predator, as the Leopard charged at the pup, claws slashing out at the pup, but the Polar Bear Dog attacked the feline, a claw scratching on the cat's frontal muzzle, the Leopard backing up quickly. It rubbed the cut given to it by the pup. The Polar Bear Dog refused to quit, and the Polar Leopard surrendered. Korra was simply stunned, a small dog facing against a giant Polar Leopard, and winning! The same pup turned around towards Korra, and barked towards her. Before Korra could even figure it out, Tonraq had come to, and rushed back to her aid, only to find the same dog from before.
"Dad...she saved me..." Korra said, pointing to the Polar Bear Dog in front of her, wagging her tail. Tonraq simply stared at the pup, remembering the same giant monster that knocked him out just sometime ago. The chief walked over to the pup, and gently stroked her head.
"Thank you...you saved my daughter's life," Tonraq said, as the little pup let Tonraq do so, showing content. Tonraq turned to Korra, who was looking at Tonraq in hope that an unspoken question would be answered...and Tonraq nodded. Joy filling her eyes, Korra went right over to her, and they both hugged each other, happily...Korra and Naga were finally together...
"Wow. That's quite a story," Bolin said, once Korra had finished. Korra simply nodded and took a sip of her water.
Almost on cue, they heard someone else come inside the bar, taking a seat by the bar table. Normally it wouldn't be anywhere odd, but he simply looked different from the other people in Sekitan. For starters, he looked a lot cleaner, much like Team Avatar in comparison. He had a close to stereotypical 'good' look, blue eyes and short, blond hair. He had on a sort of uniform, in a dark rustic red colour, but one more for a guard rather than a resident of this town. Asami was the first to catch him coming in, his appearance catching her attention first.
"Who's that?" Asami wondered. Korra and Ziyou noticed her gaze, and saw the same boy nearby. He did look rather different from the others, enough to easily be noticed among the rest of the town.
"He doesn't seem to be from Sekitan. Not that bad-looking either," Ziyou noted to Korra.
"Yeah, you're right," Korra replied, as suddenly Asami got up.
"I'll be right back. Maybe he can help us get to the capital."
"Asami, I don't think we need anymore help. We got a tag team here, I don't think a eleventh member will make it any different."
"We need all the help we can get with El Niño, we might as well try. Besides, do you know where the route is?" Korra asked. Ziyou thought for a moment or two, and realized she was right: aside from going east, she didn't have a clue where this route there was. Sighing, she let Asami go over to him, Asami having a seat next to him. The boy didn't notice her sitting there at first, ordering a drink from the bar tender.
"Hello," Asami started, catching his attention. He seemed to have a surprised look upon seeing Asami Sato sitting next to him.
"Oh! Sorry, I didn't see you there," he replied.
Asami smiled back at him.
"That's fine, really. So, you don't seem to be from around here."
"You seem a bit new yourself," the boy retorted, as he got his drink.
"Yeah. Me and my friends kinda had trouble while flying through with our airship."
"Let me guess, Blimpus?"
"Excuse me?" Asami asked, eyebrow raised in confusion.
"You know, those flying jellyfish things."
"So that's what they're called. How'd you know, anyway?"
The boy took a gulp of his drink, and whipped away what was on his lips before answering her.
"Well, you weren't the only one. I was flying through myself until those things found me, and made me crash near here. I swear, they move a lot faster than they look," he groaned, still remembering the trouble it took just to go through the swarm of Qishi jellyfish. Asami was rather intrigued by that statement: more along him going through. Far as she knew, the Blimpus only attacked flying objects, and if he was attacked, that meant he'd flown too.
"Flying? You too?" Asami asked.
"That's right. Oh, by the way, name's Hotaru," The boy introduced.
"I'm Asami Sato," Asami replied. Hotaru turned to face Asami, looking surprised again.
"Wait. The Asami Sato, leader of Future Industries?" Hotaru asked. Asami giggled at Hotaru's reaction, though was impressed how Future Industries became that popular among the world.
"This is an honour, Ms. Sato! I didn't think I would see someone famous today," Hotaru complimented, as Asami smiled, though felt embarrassed.
"Well, I wouldn't consider myself 'famous'," Asami admitted, a hand going through her raven hair. Hotaru gave a nod, and took another sip of his drink.
"Well, okay, if you say so," Hotaru replied. As they continued to chat, Ziyou was starting to get a bit impatient with her: how long does it take to ask a quick question? Unless he was playing hard to get, it shouldn't be that long. Looking to her twin sister, she got up and walked over to Hotaru and Asami, tapping Asami's shoulder. Asami looked back at Ziyou, who looked annoyed with her.
"Oh right *ahem* uh, Hotaru? We're trying to reach the Fire Nation Capital. Do you think you can help us out?" Asami asked.
"Oh? Well, I'm not sure how I can help you all reach there, but if it's all the same to you, then I'll see what I can do," Hotaru said, standing up.
"That's good, thank you."
"No problem, Ms. Sato. Whenever you wanna meet up, I'll be near the quarry," Hotaru said with a smile, as he paid for the drink, and walked out. Asami got back up and walked back to the group, sitting down in her seat.
Soon after they've finished, the entire group went off towards the quarry, as Asami said. The quarry itself, as per expected, was in the middle of their workday, various workers and miners busy collecting from the earth. While none of them were earthbenders to dig, their power was purely of firebending, which was a unique feature for a mostly underground quarry. The group looked around for a second or so before Opal spotted Hotaru, as promised, over nearby one of the quarry's main buildings.
"Hey, Hotaru!" Asami shouted. Hotaru turned to the group of 10, not expecting the large amount of people with her.
"Oh, hi. Nice to see you again," Hotaru said, as he looked to the group behind her.
"These your friends?"
"Yes, that's true. Hotaru, this is Avatar Korra," Asami began, as Korra walked forward.
"It's great to meet you, Avatar Korra. I've heard a lot about you," Hotaru said, shaking her hand.
"It's nice to meet you too," Korra replied. Asami then gestured towards the other members of the team.
"This is Desna and Eska, Northern Water Tribe chiefs."
The two simply nodded for their 'hello', which Hotaru nodded back as the others introduced themselves.
"Name's Ziyou," Ziyou introduced.
"A pleasure to meet you," Hotaru replied.
"Thanks. And over here's Opal, Kai, Mako, Bolin and Ikki."
"Nice to meet all of you," Hotaru said, giving a small nod as Asami walked over to him.
"So, Hotaru, did you manage to figure out anything to help us out?" Asami asked, hoping for a good answer. Hotaru thought for a second or so before turning to one of the larger building in the quarry.
"Right this way."
Hotaru lead them to the building, opening up the large doors to reveal what plan he had in mind. The solution: a large cargo Republic City truck, silver in armour appearance, and a large cargo hold for everyone to fit inside. The others were surprised on such a way, as Hotaru walked over to the driver's side.
"The foremen said we can use this to pass through, perhaps it can keep us safe as we go through. Besides, we needed to get goods out of town anyway, and no one else was willing to go," Hotaru explained, as he got into the truck.
"Oh, Hotaru, I could just kiss you! Alright gang, let's hit the road!" Ziyou beamed, rushing up to the passengers seat. However, Korra grabbed her, and kept her back before she got in.
"Hold on, are you a good passenger? I'll need a good pair of extra eyes up here," Hotaru explained, as Ziyou backed up a bit.
"But that can't fit everyone, it's too compact," Mako pointed out, looking over the truck. It can fit most of them, but not everyone. Including the driver, about 8 could fit inside. Hotaru counted them out, and compared to them in the truck...
"Don't worry, Hotaru, we'll figure it out," Asami said, trying to comfort him.
"We can fit everyone. We'll just need to share the front, is all," Desna made known, Hotaru making a recount.
"Uh...it could be a rather tight fit, but maybe it can work. Come on, let's try it."
"Why did we try this again?"
Turned out, the group could fit inside the armoured truck as they drove down the road, away from Sekitan. Only ones in the front seat were Asami, Hotaru and Ziyou, while everyone else was in the back cargo hold, slightly cramped for some, but still good to get where they needed to. While weighed down, the truck made good speed along the road, though it was hard to handle for Hotaru, Asami practically right next to him, elbow room close to non-existent.
"So, Hotaru, how far until we get to the capitol?" Ziyou asked.
"It'll be a while, Ziyou," Hotaru informed, keep to the road in front of them. Annoyed, Ziyou simply turned and looked out the window. Although not the fastest way, at least they're getting somewhere at some rate. Still a slower one than she'd like, but a rate none-the-less. The truck continued on for a good while, the others waiting for a bit, until the 3 up front looked ahead of the road.
The road went through a valley, cutting through a mountain range in the path, but the area around was completely surrounded by the Blimpus Qishi, like a swarm of bees flying around a tree. There was A TON of them flying about the area, circling the path for a good while until one of them noticed the armour truck. At first, the creatures didn't react too much. They flew close, sure, but not enough to stop them. However, one of them up close to the truck, then saw who was in the passenger's seat, and gave off a chilling high-pitched call to the others, signalling an attack! Hotaru tried his best to stay on the road while avoiding the creatures, but, it was fruitless; the Blimpus were too manoeuvrable to avoid that easily.
"I can't shake em!" Hotaru said, as 3 Blimpus suddenly landed at his door, and pulling off the glass window! Ziyou gave a quick airbending blow, getting the Blimpus off. The others in the back were aware of the danger, but couldn't exactly bend correctly from inside the cargo hold. That was until one Blimpus tore open the back! Mako and Korra released a fire blast just as it was open, launching them away, but they quickly returned with more trying to stop them.
"Hotaru, can't you go any faster?!" Bolin asked.
"This is faster!" Hotaru replied, pushing the accelerator to the floor. The weight of the Blimpus was the reason the truck was far slower, and the conditions of the cargo hold made it difficult to fight the blimpus off without risking hurting each other. It was rather hard to drive straight with the Blimpus holding the truck down. Asami quickly turned to Hotaru.
"Hotaru, I got an idea, give me the wheel," Asami demanded.
"Is now really the best time?!" Hotaru retorted. His mind was quickly changed when a blimpus grabbed his arm, and attempted to pull him out! Asami and Ziyou both grabbed him and pulled him back, unwittingly making Hotaru and Asami switch places. As that occurred, they suddenly noticed the blimpus created a wall in their way, separating them and their only way out! Hotaru didn't complain as Asami stomped on the accelerator again.
"Ziyou, you, Kai, Opal and Ikki get these Blimpus off the truck!" Asami ordered. A quick salute later, Ziyou opened up her door, and leaped up on top of the truck, joined soon by the other airbenders. Each one made a huge air blast, launching each Blimpus off quickly. The sudden loss of weight made the truck rocket forward, almost immediately afterwards. Ziyou quickly got back in, and slammed her door shut.
"Bolin, Korra! Get a ramp going!" Asami ordered. Both quickly did so, opened up the back, and both slammed their feet in the ground, creating a quick fissure as a ramp appeared in front of the wall. Not big, but just enough.
"Miss Sato, what're you doing?" Hotaru asked, worried as all heck. Asami gripped the steering wheel, no signs of slowing down.
"Getting us out of here. Hold on tight," Asami insisted, a smirk on her face. As if reading her mind, the others in the back slammed the back of the truck shut, as the armoured truck went full speed, right over the ramp! The Blimpus were launched clear off, as the Truck barrelled through, no sweat, landing roughly as they rocketed away, leaving the Blimpus in the dust. After the situation calmed down, Asami slowed down the speed so the others could recuperate. Hotaru still was stiff and freaked out from the ride, as Ziyou took a bit less time to relax herself.
"Uh...I don't know what to say, Ms. Sato... You always drive like that?" Hotaru asked, just letting his hands relax from gripping the seat. Asami gave Hotaru a smile.
"Not all the time. And, you can just call me Asami," Asami assured him.
Ziyou then turned back.
"You guys okay back there?" Ziyou asked.
"Yeah, we're fine. Just a bit shook up," replied Korra. Ziyou looked back out the window, as the truck continued at a much better rate down the road. Hotaru managed to relax, but wasn't too sure on what else would happen to him, hanging around this group.
"This is gonna be a long drive..."
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