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|More from MibuWolf||Action/Adventure/Drama||TV-14||Positive|
|Every Photograph Crops the Full Scene|
No one can see the full situation at a glance
"They just told us to drop you off." Water lapped against the docks of Republic City as Ishio stood in bewilderment, looking back at the people who had brought him here and were about to just drop him off without any more explanation. Captain Hai leaned against the edge of his ship, looking down at the Avatar on the wood below. He shrugged his shoulders with his statement and began to gesture for his crew to prepare to set sail.
"But they're not here?" Ishio stared at the captain in disbelief. They were pirates, so they could just be conning him. It seemed unlike that mysterious organization to just leave him without any sort of reasoning. On second thought, it seems exactly like them... He realized with a pang of shock. Still, he waited to see if the pirate had anything else to say.
"Yeah. Off in some kinda battle. They said you'd know what to do, though."
"Well, I do. I just thought it'd be less... abrupt."
"Suppose not. Well, best of luck in saving the world and all that jazz." The ship began to drift away without giving Ishio a chance to so much as open his mouth in protest.
To close the portal in Republic City, Ishio had to venture to the top of the largest building in the city, built only months before the portals were first open. Now that he had mastered all four elements, he had the power to close the portal. Avatar Korra, Aang, Roku, and Kyoshi had told him that this portal was the source of power for all the others. If he could use his power to close this one, all of the others would collapse and the world would return to its normal state. Unfortunately, returning the world to its previous state, with bending legalized, was an entirely different issue. But the only one Ishio was capable of fixing was this one.
And even this would not be a walk in the park. Since the portals were opened, it was common knowledge that this building was heavily guarded. The police set up hundreds of guards to make sure that no one dared venture into the portal. Getting to the top would be a challenge, especially without aid. Ishio would have to battle his way to the top, fighting against a plethora of highly skilled agents. He had never fought against so many enemies on his own, but he had no choice. So he set forth into the city itself.
The streets of Republic City were abandoned. All the residents, the usual bustling crowds, seemed to have vanished. An open door slammed against the side of a building. Cars were abandoned in the middle of the street, almost as if everyone had left in a panic. He looked about at a less desolate building to see someone peeking out from behind a clean window. But as their eyes met, the person quickly shut the blinds and the city was once more forsaken. Ishio swallowed hard. It seemed as if someone knew he would be coming. A deep breath of air filled Ishio's lungs with sweet oxygen, cooling and calming him. He could only proceed forward, even if forward lead him into a trap.
It didn't take long for him to reach the building. Locked up tight, the grand tower stood out for more than its size. Ishio approached and jiggled the door handle hopefully, but it held firmly. He ran his hand against the glass panel in preparation of bursting through. Doing so would sound the alarm, but at this point Ishio figured they were ready for him with or without an alarm.
"Strange, isn't it?" Ishio spun around at the voice. His right foot stepped back into a fighting stance and he held both of his hands up in a strong, force-of-habit Earthbending stance.
"Liwei?" Ishio's hands dropped at the sight of his friend. But he did not relax completely, for standing behind the exiled Prince was a figure he did not recognize.
"Indeed. It happens that our mission has brought us here. This is Miwa, a bender I recently aided in escaping a prison camp." His introduction was brief and casual, as if introducing one colleague to another.
"But what about our 'paths being separate', or whatever you said back before you dropped me off with the pirates?"
"Our paths are separate, Ishio. You need to save everyone, and I need to save one lost soul."
"Okay, you're back to the cryptic thing."
Liwei disregarded Ishio's remark and approached the door. His palm lay flat against the glass, and began to glow with heat. Around his hand, the door began to melt, slipping through the frame in a puddle on the floor. As if this were the normal way to open a door, Liwei stepped through the frame and gestured for Miwa to follow. The other nodded and stepped through as well while Ishio stood in shock.
"You won't reach the portal by standing there, Ishio."
"But... You just randomly showed up..."
"Do you remember what that old man said about fate, all that time ago?"
"Are you saying fate is dictating this?"
"No, but I'm saying that it's the only explanation an idiot like you would understand."
"Hey!" Ishio stepped through the door frame while shouting at Liwei in an offended tone. The other shrugged, and together they set forth.
Something crashed against the side of the van. Now, Frost was sent flying off of the small bench to slam against the ceiling as the van toppled onto its side. The wind was knocked out of her, but the effect of toppling the van seemed to have a more severe effect on the Republic City police monitoring her. One was unconscious, and the other was groaning with blood dripping off his forehead. Light filled the van as the door was swung open, and a hand dragged her out into the open.
"Ai Shi?" Frost looked up at her savior, who now stood with several others against the guards.
"Yep. Can you move?"
"No: I'm in a straight-jacket."
"Oh, right." With a quick gesture for another to cover her, Ai Shi bent down and began to work with the fastens on Frost's bindings. Within moments, Frost could stand once more and take a bending stance against her captors.
"So who are your friends?" Frost asked, standing side-by-side with Ai Shi once more.
"They're called 'the Order of the White Lotus'. My father was a member before he was captured."
"And they helped plan my escape?"
"Yes. You ready to help liberate the benders?" Ai Shi posed this question and turned to Frost with a scheming smile.
"Of course." Frost replied as if it weren't even a question. With the Order of the White Lotus at their back, the two girls entered the massive fray.
Within the camp, benders quickly rose to arms at the ruckus. Gunshots rang throughout the air while fire exploded and pieces of shattered earth smashed through all opposition. One bender kicked down the spout which connected a small hose to the plumbing, and water sprayed into the air in a great fountain, enabling the Waterbenders to fight as well. Haneul, Tuzo, and Kiri all stood together within the chaos.
"We need to help my organization," Tuzo said to the teenagers as he began to lead them towards the origin of the riot.
"But shouldn't we help here?" Kiri followed the elder's lead, but her reluctance was apparent on her face.
"There are enough of them, they can fight off the guards," Haneul spoke these words, much to the surprise of Kiri. Tuzo nodded in support.
But at the gates, a figure caused the Airbender to freeze in his steps. He hardly recognized the sickly figure, while at the same time the face had haunted him for his entire imprisonment. Tuzo and Kiri stopped as well, their expressions asking him what was the matter without needing to say a word. Haneul stepped forward, and caused the figure's gaze to lock on his face.
"If it isn't the last Airbender..." His fingers flexed manipulatively, as if preparing to control a corpse as he had Master Bingwen.
"Tuzo, Kiri," Haneul's voice became extremely serious as he stepped closer to the enemy, "I have to defeat him."
The manner with which Haneul spoke was not a suggestion. My time is running out... I may as well take him with me. Though the Airbender's thoughts were his own, both Kiri and Tuzo knew what he was thinking. Without any questions, the two left for the other fight, leaving Haneul to seek revenge for all the fallen Airbenders.
"My organization is fighting against the strongest of the enemies. The leader, in fact." Tuzo said to Kiri once the camp had almost vanished in the distance.
But he didn't need to support his reasoning. Soon, they were within sight of the real fight. In the middle was a toppled van, with several older men in robes fighting against the uniformed Republic City officers. Of those in robes, two teenage girls stood out, fighting as valiantly as any of the others against the officers. Tuzo nodded towards Kiri, suggesting she find her own place in the battle, while he ran towards one particular fighter.
They were outnumbered. It was as simple as that. Frost and Ai Shi fought off as many Republic City officers as possible. But they fought as quite the tag-team. Without her bending, Ai Shi's fighting skills were limited. She fought with her martial art skills gained through years of bending training, and with Frost at her back they could keep from being overpowered.
The sound of water snapping through air caused both Frost and Ai Shi to turn. A water whip was retracting as a bullet fell to the ground. While fighting another enemy, they had almost been hurt from behind. And the source of the water whip was a girl in rags, slowly letting the water return to a puddle.
"You should watch your backs," Kiri advised as she approached the two.
"Who are you?" Frost asked while launching a frozen projectile at the enemy who had just tried to kill them.
"A friend," the other replied cryptically. As the enemies continued to close in on them, they took a triangular formation with each persons' back to the center.
"You look strangely familiar..."
"Yeah. Like a relative of someone I know."
"You might have met my father... Middle-aged man, looking for the Avatar for a really long time, probably talking about destiny..."
With the last description, Frost was struck with remembrance. "You're the old man's daughter! The one he was talking about!"
"You've met my father? He found the Avatar?"
"I don't mean to interrupt, but we have more pressing issues on hand," Ai Shi interrupted, referring to the enemies slowly enclosing them. They didn't need more than this statement for their conversation to end and the battle to resume.
"Meelo!" Tuzo rushed over to his old friend's side as the Airbender turned to him with a smile.
"Ah, Tuzo my friend. It's been too long." With a sweep of his arm, Meelo sent half a dozen officers behind Tuzo flying. At the same time, Tuzo sent a blast of fire which caused the enemies behind Meelo to burn alive and recoil.
They continued to fight against the Republic City officers in this way, and though they were numerous their efforts seemed to help. Suddenly, a blade shot through the chest of a nearby enemy. As it was withdrawn, the body fell forward and revealed the possible ally. August stood, armed with several katanas and heavy firearms.
"I'm back from the depths of hell," August said with a smirk, saluting with his free hand.
"I only sent you to train with a sword master," Meelo replied with a fake pout in his voice.
But a clapping soon interrupted their reunion. Immediately, the thrall of enemies seemed to disperse, and a man stepped forward. Unlike the other officers, he was not garbed in a uniform. Rather, he was a stout man, balding with a very not intimidating mustache, garbed in a pinstripe suit. "Bravo. I believe an introduction is in order. I am police chief Sumi. What say we take our conversation elsewhere? I can hardly hear myself think over the fighting."
Moments later, the four individuals were a fair distance away. They could still see and faintly hear the battle, but now they had no fear of interference. Once the distance had been made, the police chief spoke. "I must commend you in coming this far."
"If you're willing to talk, I have a question to ask of you." Meelo folded his arms dubiously and continued, "You seem to ally yourself with a lot of questionable folk. Isn't there some sort of rule about having two psychotic high-ranking police officers? That Bloodbender and Tang don't seem stable enough to have as much power as you give them."
"Oh... I withdraw my commemoration. I thought you two had figured it out by now. Didn't you recognize some of the people I stuck in uniform back there?"
"What do you mean?"
August seemed stricken with realization. His hand shot up before Meelo could further question. "Now that you mention it, I could have sworn that I saw him there..."
"Hello, ladies." The three girls turned at the sound of a voice among the enemies. Garbed in a police uniform, the recognizable arrogant face emerged. Both Frost and Ai Shi seemed to mentally face-palm when he emerged, but it was Ai Shi who regained herself first.
"Donghai? What are you doing here?"
"Moshui's orders. Met him for the first time. Gave me this uniform and told me to tag along." He shrugged and drew a handgun from a holster at his waist. "Have to admit, I like the firearms that these cops have. Not bad at all."
All three of them took a fighting stance, alert of the fact that an enemy had a drawn weapon. Donghai simply laughed. "I'm glad that you girls are here. I was thinking that I was going to have to fight against a whole bunch of old farts, but this is a pleasant surprise."
"You don't mean..." Tuzo's epiphany struck all three at the same time. The puzzle pieces began to fall into place. Like gears turning, everything began to move together and click. And as the three began to see the bigger picture, Chief Sumi nodded along pleasantly.
"Of course. After the leadership in United Republic made bending illegal, you saw profit in organized crime. By leading Anying Jiaoben, you could make money. And by being a member of the police, you could inform your goons whenever there was about to be an attack..." The words flew from Meelo's mouth as his mind made the connections.
"And by being a member of Anying Jiaoben, you could inform the police whenever the crime syndicate was planning a move against the government." August continued, his brow furrowed deeply.
"And by leading both, you keep suspicions away and perpetuate the stalemate between law and crime," Tuzo finished off their epiphany and they all looked towards the police chief and leader of Anying Jiaoben for verification.
A low laugh bellowed from deep within Sumi's belly. "Exacta. But you're missing one important detail... That leadership you spoke of--the president, all his advisers--they've all been dead for more than a dozen years."
"When the portals first opened, I was one of the president's advisers. By that time, I had already begun to play a part in Anying Jiaoben. I suggested that he make bending illegal, but everyone knew I had an agenda. They rejected it, and so I killed them all. I made the law. I outlawed bending."
"Everything that the United Republic has done, was done by you?"
"Exactly. I lead the crime, and I lead the order. And you will die, and once I quell this rebellion everyone will have all the more confidence in my leadership, both in the police and in Anying Jiaoben."
Metal slid against metal fluidly as August's sword was drawn. In conjunction with this movement, Meelo and Tuzo took their appropriate bending stances to face this threat. "It's three against one. We'll defeat you, and the world will be a better place."
Once more, Moshui laughed. "Three on one? We'll see about that." From within his suit pocket, he produced a strangely shaped whistle. With one hard blow, a roar could be heard in the background. And they need not look for the source: almost immediately after a thin figure flew through the air, coming closer and closer until the figure could be made out. Then, the dragon landed alongside Moshui and let out a mighty roar. "I defeated this dragon, and even though I was an Earthbender I tamed him, and now he is my pet. For the first time in a decade, he will have fresh meat."
Now, August stepped forward and drew a compact machine gun from within his overcoat. Held in his left hand, he leaned it against his shoulder and stood with blade in right hand, firearm in left. "I'll take on this beast while you two make sure Moshui dies."
"What? The only nonbender out of us fighting the dragon? I'm a Firebender. I'll take him on." Tuzo argued with August, until Meelo place a hand on his shoulder.
"August didn't train for two months for nothing." A sly smile flashed across the Airbender's face. "He can take out a dragon."
- This chapter was written on Written Kitten, AKA the best website ever. Try typing 100 words and you'll get a pleasant surprise.
For the collective works of the author, go here.