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Soon after the excursion that morning, Katara was in deep thought over the events that took place last night, more specifically, with Jin. As she walked off to school, she was trying to figure out some sort of answer as to why. The only answer given to her was she felt charitable, and didn't want to see her homeless and, while those are good reasons, still we're questionable. If Katara didn't knew about her being wanted, then she'd let Jin slide, and go on her day. However, Katara was wondering why she REALLY gave her the money at that particular moment, since she did steal it from the upper ring. Was she trying to cover her tracks by giving her the money? Who did she steal the money from? Why was it her whom she decided to give it to? Those questions went through her mind, as she went off on her way quietly... And then a group had found her on her walk...
Katara stopped cold in her tracks, the voices WAY too familiar for her to simply ignore. She turned around fast, seeing the tag team of students coming her way. They both looked the same, except one was bald with a grey "wolf's tail". Both surrounded her, front and back".
"Kong, What do you two want?" Katara asked, not in any mood to see them.
"Wanna see how my favorite school girl is doing," Kong said, as Kong's lackey (the bald wolf tail) grabbed her hands, and pulled them back. Katara tried to shake free, but wasn't able to.
"Let me go!" Katara shrieked.
"Chill, girl, I'm hip. Maybe you could O I dunno, "float" me?" Kong said, standing right in her face. Katara tried, but the intimidation made her worried.
"What the heck are you talking about?"
"C'mon, your family's got a good amount of money on ya, and it would be nice to have some of that finance," Kong smirked, his hand awaiting to be filled with Katara's hard earned money. Katara gave a defiant sneer at the smirking bully, knowing she couldn't do anything in her position.
"I don't have any money on me, Kong, let me go," Katara demanded. Kong looked her over, as if trying to see through her, to make sure she wasn't lying to him.
"Let's see then," Kong smirked. Katara tried to break out of the lackey's grip, but Kong then decided to make fully sure, his hand patting and running up and down her body! Kong hands ran up and down her sides, her legs, her hips, practically all over her body looking for loot.
"Y-you pervert!" Katara yelped, unable to stop Kong from his exploration. Eventually, Kong did stop, and looked at Katara with an annoyed expression.
"Huh. No money..." Kong turned away and snapped his fingers, causing his pal to let go of a blushing Katara. Katara, Oh so badly, wanted to punch that pervert across the face, but she knew that they'd pummel her if she did that. Kong wasn't really done just yet, as he grabbed her chin, raised it, and kissed her on the lips! Talk about being forward. Katara rubbed her lips straight afterwards, spitting a few times, as Kong walked away with a wink.
"I hate you!" Katara snapped, storming off. To her anger, she even heard Kong remark "She so doesn't hate me," which made her even more ticked off. So much for a smooth morning...
Her walk continued onward for a good 30 minutes, until she managed to see Anju's house up ahead. Although her thoughts were still on her mind, Katara didn't want to bring it up to her friends during preparation. While her experience with the Dai Li, and Jin weren't brought up, Katara did mention her encounter with Kong earlier, reactions being evident.
"Kong at it again?" Bipin asked, helping Katara set up various decor on the wall.
"You think? That jerk can't take a hint if it bit him in the neck," Katara groaned, as she went to get another Earth Kingdom ribbon and setting it up. Anju came back over to them both, with some more decor for the party.
"Relax, Katara, it'll be okay. Besides, he's not invited, I made sure of it," Anju assured her. Katara gave a sigh of relief, knowing she didn't have to deal with twiddle dee and twiddle dumb later on. Bipin and Anju went to the next room, as Katara was finishing lining the tables with some lovely green fabric. The brunette felt good with herself, party now set and ready to go.
"Finished, guys," Katara announced. Bipin came in, yet Anju had a large juice bowl with her. Already, Katara felt that it wasn't very safe, as Anju wasn't holding it very well.
"Give me a second, Katara," Anju said, steadying herself with her steps. However, a roll of ribbon was left on the ground, right in her way...and she didn't see it...
What happened next went by so quickly; Anju stepped on the roll, causing her to trip and he juice was tossed right at Katara! Katara quickly braced for the juice, hands out front as she closed her eyes...but it never came...Katara slowly opened her eyes to two things: her friends shocked faces, and the juice floating in her hands! Katara just stared in complete shock, as the water was held in suspended animation in front of her, in an orb of liquid.
"K-Katara is..." Anju started.
"A waterbender...!" Finished Bipin. Katara removed her hands, the orb suddenly moving down, as it splattered on the floor. Katara couldn't believe what she had just done, not able to do it before. Katara looked at her hands as if they were covered in blood or something, and then looked to the splattered mess on the floor...
"I gotta go!" Katara managed to say, running past them both. Bipin and Anju tried to stop her, but Katara was long gone by the time they'd got outside...
The day felt like it was lasting far too long for the brunette, as she wanted the day to end, and the event to be forgotten. It was as if the day wanted her to remember, no matter what. Katara now had new questions in her memory quiz: how in the world did she waterbend like that? She isn't supposed to know, not able to know! It's not possible...Katara needed some answers to those questions soon. She had decided to not go to the party, feeling she might accidentally show her "skills" again. Her only other option was home, and that's what she took...
Her walk back home was quieter than usual, oddly enough, not many people were around her location. It was odd, yet, quite relaxing at the same time. At least, it was quiet for he way back, only her and her footsteps, when an odd feeling suddenly flew at her. That odd feeling of cold suddenly felt her skin, as if someone just blew at her with their brisk breath. In the middle of the afternoon, in summer no less, that was the last feeling Katara expected to get... Than someone suddenly called out, saying "Help!"...Kong...
Katara recognized the voice, but she looked anyway, only to find a potential crime scene! There was Kong and his lackey, scared, frozen to the walls of the alleyway! Both guy's heads were touching each other, up to their chins in ice! Katara was simply speechless, but blindly ran over anyway.
"Katara, that you? Get us outta here!" Kong pleaded.
"What the heck happened?" Katara asked, dumbfounded by the sight before her. She just found out about her waterbending, and here someone froze the duo in an alleyway...
"I dunno, we cut the corner here, and suddenly these crazy teenagers attack us!" Kong explained.
"And one of them froze us like this, and took what cash we got left!" Added the bald kid. Katara, feeling just barely sympathetic for the two, looked around for something to chip away the ice. It took her 5 minutes, but she did eventually find a hammer left down the alley, and used that.
"Hurry up, girl!" Kong demanded. Katara suddenly stopped, and shot him a glare.
"Maybe I shouldn't help you out, I got another -"
"Never mind, never mind, sorry!" Katara continued on chipping away the Ice, which felt like forever. Hit after hit, minute by minute, the ice began to crumble away. Lucky for Katara, he sun was aiding in helping melt the ice, making the ice thinner and easier to chip away. However, the progress was stopped by a shadow passing overhead. Katara stopped chipping and turned around, eye to eye with a Dai Li official! Katara didn't say a word, neither did the two boys trapped in the ice. The Dai Li official looked over to the incident at hand, and used his earth ending (mainly lifting up a rock and smashing the ice) to get them both free. Soon after the boys got up from the ice shattered mess, the official turned to Katara.
"What happened here?" He asked, stern. Katara gulped.
"I don't know, sir, I found them like that an hour ago, I think," Katara managed to say, staring strait into his eyes. The official nodded wordlessly, and turned to the boys.
"And you two? You were trapped in there."
"Yeah we were! Some random thugs came in and beat us up!" Kong stated.
"You guys said teenagers attacked you," Katara reminded, causing Kong to groan. He was trying to act tough, but it didn't really work.
"Regardless of the details, kids, can you describe these attackers?" The official asked. Kong took sometime to think it over.
"Let's see, one looked tough, had a fire scar on his face, black hair," Kong started. The Dai Li official nodded, understanding the appearance, as Kong continued.
"Then there's some other kids, hooded up, couldn't tell by the face but, he was the one who got us trapped!"
"They jumped in our way, to start! We tried to get out, but, they froze us up, and took off! Something about revenge or something," the lackey explained. The official remained quiet, thinking it over a bit.
"...Go home, all of you," he said. Kong and his friend took off, but it took Katara a bit before she began walking away. What the heck was going on with the city?...
"This neighborhood's too much for me...I sure hope I get some answers soon..." Katara thought, walking back home...
The afternoon crawled onward in Ba Sing Se, the sun beginning to set down on the upper rings people starting to go home, and the city beginning to quiet down. The royal palace, smack right in the center of it all, was also beginning to quiet down for the night ahead. The same official that found Kong trapped in the ice, had just returned to the palace, information ready to tell the king. That was how Dai Li decide their actions; giving important information to the highest authority that is the king. Soon as the official entered the door, enter the long main hall, leading to the throne room. The official rushed through that hallway, and headed strait to the throne room, trying his best to not act urgent towards the king. The king saw him walk in, with a look of power written on his face.
"Please excuse the intrusion, my Lord."
"Let me guess...another incident?" The king asked, sounding like he already knew the answer.
"In the Middle Ring, yes. Two citizens were frozen and attacked earlier today."
"Any witnesses to the attack?"
"Aside from those attacked, no. There was another young girl, but she claims she didn't see anyone."
"*sigh*...the 5th time this month... Send out a search party in the Middle Ring, the incidents are becoming more abundant there. Once you find these hooligans, send them straight to me."
"Yes, my Lord." The official turned and headed out of the king's presence, the king annoyed with the attacks, and incidents. The king thought about it more and more, and eventually came to a new conclusion, one he was planning to do for quite some time. He king called on his servant, giving out the latest order.
"Servant, get my generals in here, I want to have a word with them."
The servant scurried off to find the generals, and took about 20 minutes just for that to finish up. The king had 3 generals, but 2 of the king's highest generals entered the room. One of them looked extremely intimidating, dwarfing even the king. He had his right arm and leg replaced with metal, and an odd eye tattoo on his forehead. The second general was a woman, appearing like a teenager, with a type of expression that can strike through anyone's heart. The king was slightly confused, as they both bowed in his presence.
"You two do realize one of you is missing," the king pointed out.
"Don't worry about him. Let's just say, he reassigned his role," the girl said. The king knew what king of "reassignment" that meant, but he shrugged it off and looked to them both, getting up from his throne.
"As you are aware, there had been various crimes to the Earth Kingdom during this past month. Robberies of the Upper Ring, attacks on Earth Kingdom citizens, and various rebellion against the Capitol. In fact, we just had a robbery and an attack within these 24 hours. If this continues, it could cause an international corruption among the order. I need you two, to go out there, and search all of Ba Sing Se until these traitors are caught and brought to me!"
"Would it be easier to just finish them?" The girl asked.
"Yeah it would, too easy if you ask me. Just killing them will be too easy of a punishment...make sure you bring every single member of that group over to me, if one is still out there, then it'll never end. Is that clear?" Both generals nodded in agreement.
"Good, now go and inform the rest of the guards." They both understood, and went off on their way...
For the collective works of the author, go here.