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|More from FireFerret||Unknown||G-PG||None|
I tried to go back to sleep, but it was almost impossible. I felt like I was tossing and turning all night, but I'm assuming that at some point I must've fallen asleep, because it didn't feel like I'd been awake for the entire night. As soon as I saw the sun in the window, I got up and paced around the small house. The first thing I did was go into my closet (There were two in the bedroom). Inside, I got out a very skinny but long box. On it, written across was, To: Akari, and side ways, was:
Or, if you read only the first column of letters: from mom. I hadn't opened the box before, because my sister hadn't gotten a present as well, and I thought if I showed it to her, she might get jealous. I carried the box out of the small closet, and sat on my bed, where I bounced a little.
I lied the box down, and removed the lid. Inside it was a wooden staff, about the height of my shoulder. There was also a small note inside, which read:
"This was your great-great grandfather's staff, and has been passed down from generation to generation in our family. Take care of it well, as it is now yours." ~Anna Kazumi
Or, An-Ka. I slowly took the object out of the box, and traced my fingers down the spine of it. I'd seen airbender staffs before, and I knew what they were used for. On the top and bottom of the left and right sides were grooves, only to be opened by airbending. I breathed, and bended air into the compartments which opened up fan-shaped quarter-disks on each sides of the staff, with the larger ones on the top and the smaller ones on the bottom. I picked it up, and stood on the floor, moving it through the breeze.
I'd heard that airbenders could bend the air around the staff, thus giving them the ability to fly, but I'd never tried such a thing.
I was still a very amateur airbender, especially considering I'd never had anyone to properly teach me due to the passing of my father when I was little.
I knew that I had to find my sister, and decided that the staff would be a useful weapon in achieving that goal. However, I didn't want to be seen in public airbending. I peeled away the paper, and found a detailed book on tons of airbending forms.
I decided that the first place I needed to stop at would be the Triads, and despite how early it was in the morning, I needed to head down there as soon as possible. But first, I thought, I should probably catch up on some forms so I would be ready for any sort of attack.
I spent hours in that small little room, reading up on the forms and practicing each and every one. Occasionally, I would take a break, maybe to get some food. I wanted to be able to hit the Triple Threat headquarters by tonight, and I wanted to be prepared for whatever they'll have coming.
I practiced move after move, constantly doing it over and over until I either got frustrated with myself for not being able to do it, or I executed it successfully. The book seemed quite keen on mostly avoid and evade maneuvers rather than striking attacks. There were also little notes on Air Nomad culture and other practices throughout the book.
I had somewhat mastered about half of the techniques in the book by the time that the sun began to slip behind the clouds. I flipped to a page about gliding, and debated on if I was ready to use it or not. I eventually decided against it, but took my staff with me anyways and left through the door to get on a trolley heading for the Triad headquarters.
On the trolley, I saw some people eying the staff with suspicion, but many just ignored it. Most people around here are aware that I'm a non-bender, so I wasn't afraid of people questioning me about the staff. Besides, many if not everyone in our part of the city carries a weapon or two with them in case they ever find themselves in a Triad situation.
The location of the Triple Threat headquarters was supposed to be secret, but almost everybody knows where it is. The cops and other legal people didn't really like to hang out around here, and the ones assigned to guard around it were paid off.
I hopped off the trolley, and saw a large building with a few thugs posted outside, on guard. I wasn't sure whether to sneak around them, or just to approach it straightforward. I wasn't very good at being stealthy, so I decided to stick with their first option.
I stared up at the long building, standing almost ominously ahead. I gulped, and charged forward, remembering that these were the guys who had my sister. "Hey, this is authorized access only!" one of them shouted. I ignored him, and the other one spoke.
"You should get out of here if you know what's good for you!" The other one said. I was almost at the staircase when they began firebending and earthbending at me. I ducked and moved to avoid all of their attacks, somewhat surprised that the book had given such good advice. I used my staff as a pinwheel, deflecting the shots of fire. I ducked underneath the giant rock, and climbed up the steps. Soon I was standing right in front of the two guards. They each swung at me, but I ducked and their shots hit each other. They both fell down, unconscious.
I kicked open the door, to find a room with a couple of Triple Threat thugs playing cards. They all looked at me in surprise, and each began to position into battle stances.
"I don't want to harm anyone, just tell me what you did to my sister, and where she is." I said, trying to keep my voice steady despite my nerves. I was met with a room full of laughter, and most people sat back down to their card game. The triad's leader, Lightning Bolt Zolt, was wearing a huge grin.
"What do you think you're going to do, young lady? You're clearly outnumbered."
"I just want to know where she is." I stated, calming the nerves in my stomach.
"Look, girlie. I don't know what happened to your playmate, but I suggest you leave. This is big boy territory."
I was fifteen years old, but I was short for fifteen, really short. If there was one thing I hated, it was when people treated me like a kid.
I swept my staff on the floor, bending air with it. Chairs toppled over, and the tables wobbled. I saw fire spark to life on some hands, and orbs of water form on others.
"Tell me where she is!" I demanded, shouting into the triads' faces.
"I-I don't know..." Said Zolt, obviously stunned.
"I KNOW your goons attacked us yesterday! We got you arrested, and you wanted revenge, so you took her! Now tell me where she is!" I shouted, my heart heavy with the pain of losing her.
I kicked Zolt with air, and closed on him to pressed my staff against his throat.
"WHERE IS SHE?!" I desperately shouted at him, tears beginning to come out of my eyes.
"We don't have her, I swear!" He said, his voice strained.
"Then who would?" I asked the man
"The only people who I can think of are the Equalists! They've been seen gathering up benders, I don't know what for!" I pulled my staff away from his throat, and he gasped for breath.
I looked at the triads' faces, they were in shock. I brought myself together, and took what was left of my dignity, and left.
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