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1 June, 2012
"Initiative" is the first chapter of's three-part series . It debuted on 14 June, 2012.
According to Chief Saikhan, Avatar Korra has been found safe after allegedly being kidnapped by Amon. The Chief, however, refused to comment on the rumours of Councilman Tarrlok's mysterious disappearance, though in a dramatic turn of events, several sources say Tarrlok was revealed to be responsible for the Avatar's kidnapping, before escaping the police by using bloodbending. A massive manhunt is underway for Tarrlok, on which the Chief commented that "it is a purely precautionary measure, and we hope to find him safe and sound." Avatar Korra is currently recovering on Air Temple Island, and we wish her a speedy recovery.
"One lucky escape after another," Amon teased menacingly, dodging each of Korra's attacks. "There's no one to help you now."
"I don't need any help!" Korra screamed, advancing on her masked enemy. Slowly, they drew closer, Amon avoiding all of Korra's desperate attempts to hit him, until finally, they were within arms reach. Korra knew Amon would now attempt to chi block her, and she would use this to her advantage.
As Amon's hand came down on her right hand, she let him disable her whole right arm. Swiftly, Korra jumped in the air, and catching him off guard, Korra kicked Amon right across his face. As Amon fell to the ground, his mask faded into dust. Laughing from his hands and knees, Korra noticed Amon's voice had changed, it was lighter, cleaner. Amon stood and turned, and replacing what Korra would think was a face scarred by fire, was her own.
The ground fell away from beneath her, and Korra screamed into the darkness, as the victorious Amon stood above, laughing, as the world burnt behind him.
Jolting upright, Korra could feel the sweat covering her body. Her bed sheets were wrapped tightly around her body, no doubt from the violent movements taking place during her dream. Her head hurt, though she couldn't completely remember why. As she sat with her head in her hands, she remembered falling into snow, and Amon chasing her. She remembered Naga finding her, and arriving in Republic City. She remembers Mako carrying her to...
Rabid tapping on her bedroom door interrupted her thoughts, as Meelo and Ikki jumped onto her bed.
"Korra's awake!" Ikki yelled with joy.
"Yeah, I am –" Korra started.
"You're pretty when you sleep," said Meelo, grinning.
Smiling awkwardly, Korra climbed out of her bed, and sent the two airbenders out of her room while she dressed. Leaving her room, she took her usual path to the dining hall. The morning air was rejuvenating, though the clear view of Republic City only made her feel sick with nervousness: things were getting serious. As she looked across to the city, Korra noticed three boats making their way toward the island, with one already docking on the wharf. Although immediately alarmed, the sight of Air Acolytes helping the passengers aboard comforted her, and Korra opened the door to the dining hall.
As the doors opened, she was attacked by a large mass of body. Bolin had his arms wrapped around Korra, lifting her just above the ground.
"You're okay!" Bolin said, his glee muffled due to the fact his face was buried in Korra's parka. She laughed.
"Not if you hug me any harder," Korra replied, as Bolin put her back on the ground. "How long have I been out?"
"Two days," replied a tall, darkhaired man. Walking towards her, Mako too, embraced Korra in a hug, a hug she was afraid to return, at least with Asami around.
"I'm so glad you're feeling better," Asami said, rising from her seat.
Around the table, Korra could see five empty places; one for her, Mako, Bolin, and Asami. The other must be for Pema. Using the other two seats was Lin Beifong, former chief of police, and Korra's airbending master, Tenzin. Although he smiled at Korra's presence, she noticed that Tenzin was on edge. Pema entered the room with a bowl of soup, and handed it to Korra as she took her place around the table.
As Korra drank her soup, there was silence. Looking up from her bowl, she found the whole table was looking at her scathed face.
"Well, there's no point dodging it," Lin started, direct as always. "What happened?" This is what Korra was dreading, talking about it. She wasn't naive, she knew it was inevitable, but she couldn't stand reliving it. Korra looked down at her soup.
"We know you've been through a lot," Tenzin said comfortingly. "But I need to know everything that happened." Korra sighed.
"Well, first off," she began. "Tarrlok isn't who he says he is. He's Yakone's son." The table gave soft gasps.
"It all makes sense now," said Lin. "That's how Tarrlok was able to bloodbend us without a full moon."
"But how did you escape?" Tenzin continued. "And where's Tarrlok?"
"Amon captured him, and took his bending," answered Korra.
"What?" Tenzin exclaimed.
"Yeah, he showed up out of nowhere, almost got me too."
"This is very disturbing news," sighed Tenzin. "Amon is becoming emboldened; taking out a councilman, almost capturing the Avatar. I fear Amon is entering his endgame."
The table sat in silence, until a knocking at the door interrupted. Looking up, Korra found it was an Air Acolyte.
"Councilman Tenzin, sir," the bald man said.
"Yes?" Tenzin responded half-heartedly.
"They're here, sir."
Looking around, Korra found everyone knew who the Acolyte was talking about, judging by the anger on their faces.
"Who's?" Korra started.
"We'll explain on our way down to the wharfs," Mako replied, as everyone stood and left the hall.
Halfway down the island, Korra could see that all three boats she had seen earlier were now docked, with dozens of passengers getting off holding all kinds of equipment.
"What's going on?" Korra asked Mako.
"It's the new anti-Equalist taskforce," he began. "You know Tarrlok's taskforce that you were in?"
Korra nodded in shame.
"Well since he attacked us and was dismissed from the council, the other three councillors agreed a new taskforce was required. Tenzin was furious; he must've been ranting about it on the Island for six hours at least! Anyway, the council set up the new taskforce, and decided their base of operations would be Air Temple Island."
"What!" Korra exclaimed. "Tenzin never would have allowed-"
"He didn't," Mako continued. "The council bribed him. Since Asami, Bolin and I are supposed to be in jail, the council agreed they'd set us free if they could use the Island as headquarters. Tenzin didn't really have a choice, since he knew how you'd react if you woke up and found out we'd all been thrown back in to prison."
Korra frowned. Even without Tarrlok, the council was corruptive.
"So, what's the name of this taskforce, anyway?" Korra asked as the group arrived at the wharf, as a tall, attractive, lean young woman with dark red hair tied into a bun walked up to them.
"The Societal and Cultural Abasement Response Faction," she said confidently. "You must be the Avatar," she said, putting out her hand for Korra to shake. But before she could, Bolin jumped in and took it.
"Yep, she's Korra. Forget her," he said, grinning ecstatically. "I'm Bolin, but the ladies call me Bo, Boo, and the Mighty – OWWWW!"
Using the hand Bolin was shaking, the woman twisted Bolin's wrist, forcing him to face down. Then in a swift movement, the woman wrapped both her legs around Bolin's neck, and swung in a circular motion around his body, slamming him into the ground. The woman landed on her feet in the position she was in seconds before.
"Touch me again, and I will break your hand," she said sternly, before walking back down the wharf. The group stared at Bolin in shock, who was wincing on the floor.
"Are you hurt?" Mako asked, helping his brother to his feet.
"Yes, but it's such a good hurt," he cried, as Mako walked him back up the path to the temple.
There were all kinds of equipment being carried off of the vessels, and up to the temple. Korra recognised some of it as being radio-like equipment, but there were many other devices she'd never seen before. After a few minutes, the red haired woman returned, and addressed Tenzin.
"Councilman Tenzin, I'm so grateful for you letting us use your island as base," she began.
"Not like he had a choice," Lin smirked under her breath.
"My name is Miekka, and I'll be managing the operations of the island. We hope that you will help with the investigation as much as you can. If we're going to catch Amon, we're going to need all the help we can get."
"I'll be happy to assist," Tenzin started. "But you must know that there are areas of the island that cannot be used under any circumstance."
"Understood." As she spoke, a man handed her a folder. "We've drafted a plan for the island, hopefully it corresponds with your restrictions," she continued, leading Tenzin up the island.
Korra, Lin, Asami, and Pema stood on the wharf, watching the rest of the cargo unload.
"Well I am not cooking for any of them," Pema said, following her husband.
Korra sat on the meditating pavilion in peace, well, almost. It had been almost two hours since the Societal and Cultural something something something had arrived, and two of the taskforce's agents had decided that now, of all times, was the best moment to install some kind of aerial on the roof of the pavilion. Every second of peace was interrupted by the sound of a hammer smashing a nail into the wooden roof. Enraged, Korra stood, and stormed off to find Tenzin.
It took her about twenty minuted, and when she finally found him, he was standing motionless, panicking, in the middle of about twenty people who were all installing equipment here and there.
"No, no, not there!" Tenzin pleaded, but was ignored. Every time he turned, he'd find someone else breeching his restrictions. "Not there either!" And at every turn, he was ignored.
"Tenzin!" Korra was forced to yell over the sound of hammers and radio static. "There isn't a silent spot on the island to meditate. It's driving me insane!"
"I know. I should've left your friends in jail," he said jokingly. Korra wasn't in the mood.
"Is it too late to lock 'em up?" she replied. Again, Tenzin pleaded with an agent to stop, to no success.
One of the agents walked up to Tenzin and Korra.
"Miekka wants to see you in the main hall."
"Good!" Tenzin shouted. "Because I'd quite like to see her too!"
Pushing into the main hall, Korra and Tenzin found Miekka with a group of her agents, as well as Mako and Lin. The entire room had been transformed into a situation room; maps and wanted posters lined the walls, with a large map of Republic City lain out on a table, with pins pointing out various locations. Everyone stood around the table.
"What's this about?" Tenzin asked.
"This is about Amon," said a tall man, in a brown leather coat and hood, who walked into the middle of the room.
"Who are you?" Tenzin asked.
"Don't you recognise your own brother?" the man asked, lifting his hood and revealing his face.
Tenzin was speechless.
"What – what are you doing here, Bumi?" he asked finally.
"I'm here to talk to you about the Vindicators Initiative."
For the collective works of the author, go here.