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|Murder Inc. Part 2|
, , and Fensui are interrogated by Naoi. Meanwhile back at the camp , and get worried and got into town to investigate, and they receive some unexpected help from a stranger.
Chen's back throbbed as he was dragged back into the room where they were keeping him, Giu and Fensui. Blood leaked from several large lacerations across his back. His captors unceremoniously tossed him into the room and slammed the door shut behind them.
"Man, what'd they do to you?" Giu asked.
"They asked me a bunch of questions." Chen told them, while propping himself against a wall, "Like if I'd stolen anything from the company, or if I was covering for someone else and other crap like that."
"And?" Giu pressed on.
"When I told them I didn't know what they were talking about, they didn't believe me." Chen continued spitting out some blood that had been gathering in his mouth.
"Chen are you alright?" Fensui asked crawling over to him.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Chen lied, in truth his whole body hurt like hell but he didn't see any point in worrying everyone. Despite his effort, Fensui still seemed to be worried. "What's wrong?"
Fensui moved to wipe a tear from her eye, "I'm so sorry Chen. You're all beat up and it's all my fault."
"What are you talking about?" Chen asked.
"Yeah, what are you talking about?" Giu asked, growing slightly wary of the girl.
Fensui swallowed before she spoke. "It's my fault that we're in here. You see my family is struggling. We owe a lot of money to the bank, and I thought this job would help, but..." Chen and Giu exchanged a glance. "Well you've seen what this job pays. I needed more so I tried to... 'get an advance'."
"You stole from the corporation." Giu stated. Fensui stifled a sob as she nodded.
"I'm so sorry, it's all my fault." Fensui cried as she broke out into heavy sobs.
Chen and Giu exchanged glances before the former moved over to Fensui.
"It'll be alright." He promised while patting her shoulder. "Everything will work out just fine."
"How can you be so sure?" Fensui sobbed.
"Because recently getting out situations like this has become something of a hobby for us." Giu commented. Before Fensui could ask what he meant by that the door opened. Two thugs came in a grabbed Giu by his shoulders.
"You're next buddy." One of them said as the dragged him to his feet and out the door.
"Who are you people?" Fensui asked still trying to figure out what Giu had meant earlier. Chen stared at her for a moment before he answered her.
"Why aren't Chen and Giu back yet?" Mina asked Ray and Kaila, "I'm starting to get worried."
"I'm sure they're fine." Kaila said with a nonchalant wave of her hand, "They're probably just working over time. You know trying to get more money faster."
"I don't think so." Ray interjected, "I can believe Chen choosing to work overtime, but not Giu. I'm with Mina, I think something might've happened." There was a long awkward pause as the girls considered their options. Finally Kaila broke the silence.
"Okay, suppose you're right and something did happen, what're we gonna do about?"
Ray and Mina exchanged glances before Ray grabbed her water skin and Mina grabbed her bow and quiver of arrows.
"We rectify whatever's wrong." Ray stated confidently. Kaila smiled a bit as she reached for her hidden blade and strapped it to her forearm.
Giu was forcibly dragged into a dimly lit room and thrown into a backless chair. Before Giu had a chance to get up and fight back, a pair of large hands grabbed him by his shoulders and held him down on the chair.
"So Giu, I trust you know why you're here?" Naoi asked, all the while coiling up a whip.
"Not a damn clue." Giu stated, "Now I'm perfectly willing to forget this whole incident if you let me and friends and give us our pay for the week." Naoi laughed as he circled around Giu letting the whip uncoil to the floor.
"Oh I'm sure you must have some idea as to why we find ourselves in this little predicament." As he spoke Naoi snapped his arm back, "Maybe this will jog your memory." All Giu hear was the crack of the whip followed by his own scream as the whip sliced into his back. "Did that help you remember my friend?"
"I don't have a damn clue what you're talking about." Giu growled through gritted teeth.
"Really? So you know nothing of the money that was taken from me?" Naoi asked moving back in front of Giu.
Understanding dawned on Giu's face. "Oh that's what you're talking about." A look of satisfaction came over Naoi, but it wouldn't last. "Nope, still have no idea." Naoi slapped Giu across his face.
"I know you know something!" Naoi screamed, "Now talk!"
Giu looked up and spat in Naoi's face, "Piss off." Naoi scowled as he wiped the spit off his face and tossed the whip to one of his thugs.
"Get him to talk! I don't care if you have to beat him to an inch of his life! I want answers!"
"Where're you going boss?" one of the thugs asked.
"I'm going to see if his two friends will be more cooperative." Naoi replied with a wicked grin. "Who knows maybe his suffering will loosen his tongue." With the threat hanging in the air Naoi left Giu alone with his men... his first mistake.
New Ozai Streets
Mina, Kaila, and Ray started their search at the New Ozai Trade Company Factory in the Shaomi District. Most of their questions were just met with hostile glares and shrugs. Others told them that Chen and Giu and some girl named Fensui finished their shift and left hours ago.
"Maybe they went out for dinner in the city and simply lost track of time." Mina suggested after a while.
"You don't think they'd come to the camp to get us first?" Ray asked, not quite believing it would be as simple as that.
"If you want to find you friends, I'd suggest looking in the nearest gutter." A shady older man said emerging from an alley.
"What?" the three girls asked.
"Their boss Mr. Naoi asked to see them earlier today. And when Mr. Naoi asks to see someone, they usually turn up in a gutter."
"What are you talking about? You'd better spill it." Kaila demanded, her hidden blade emerging from her sleeve. "Otherwise I may have to hurt you."
The man quickly raised his hands and moved out of the alley, he was in his late forties, lightly tanned skin and had a graying hairline. "Now, now, no need for violence my dear," he said with a smile, showing several gaps between his teeth. "I offer my information freely. All I ask is that you use it wisely." Kaila slowly backed off, folding her hidden blade back into position. "Well, spill it," said Ray.
"The New Ozai Trading Company is run by Mr. Naoi, one of the biggest crime lords in this part of the world. He's all about keeping things in order, particularly his money affairs. He'll pay people their dues, but takes poorly to 'unauthorized' payment. I suspect your friends have been accused of stealing from him. Whether or not it's a false accusation I cannot tell you, but either way I know where they would be taken."
"And where would that be?" Mina asked.
The man just smiled again. "Come with me."
Naoi stormed into the chamber once more flanked by three of his men. Chen and Fensui glared at the flustered crime lord warily. "My patience is running thin with you. So I've decided to take a more direct approach." Naoi turned to his men, "Grab the girl."
Immediately Chen moved between Fensui and Naoi's men, but he was still worn out from his earlier interrogation so one of the thugs had little problem throwing him aside and pinning him to the floor. Fensui bit the hand of the first thug who grabbed at her. As the thug cried out, the other guy grabbed her by her hair and dragged her across the room to Naoi.
"Hello again my dear." Naoi said with a cruel grin. "Are you going to be more cooperative than your friends." Fensui refused to respond, so Naoi gave her a violent smack across her face to loosen her tongue. "Answer me you little bitch!"
"Don't you touch her, you bastard!" Chen yelled charging towards Naoi. The same thug who threw him aside grabbed him and threw him back.
"I'll do whatever I wish boy." Naoi spat before letting his voice become deceitfully gentle, "Now then Fensui my dear, I know that you had something to do with my missing money, so please my dear talk to me." He noticed Fensui bite her lip. "What's wrong Fensui? Are you feeling a little guilt? Don't be afraid my dear, you can tell me. I promise I won't hurt you."
Fensui started crying, prompting a roll of the eyes from the thugs. "I-I-I... I took the money you're looking for."
"Why? Why did you steal from me dear Fensui?"
"My family is in trouble. I needed more money to help pay the bills. Chen and Giu had nothing to do with it. I didn't think..."
"It's okay Fensui, I understand." Naoi interrupted standing.
Fensui and Chen looked hopeful, "You do?"
"Of course." Naoi stated with a smile before he looked to his thugs. "Kill her."
"What?" Fensui cried while Chen yelled, "But you said you wouldn't hurt her!"
"And I won't." Naoi replied with a cruel smile before pointing to his thugs, "Bin will. So my friends, please make it quick and not too messy." The thugs nodded as Bin bent a stone club from the floor, while the ones holding Fensui and Chen continued to do so. The two watched in horror as the thug took some test swings before he leveled it with Fensui's head. Fensui stared, paralyzed, as Bin brought the club back.
"Chen!" Fensui gasped before Bin swung. A loud, sickening smack was heard as the stone club cracked Fensui's skull open.
Giu lightly tapped his foot on the floor as his guards discussed what they were going to do to him. He had long stopped caring about the things they were saying but a couple of the things they brought up, principle among was castration didn't exactly inspire confidence. After hearing that idea Giu knew that sticking around wasn't an option. So he started tapping his foot and counting. Six guards in the room with him and if the vibrations he was getting were accurate, four outside the room.
Giu smirked, "Too easy."
"What was that punk?" one of the guards asked.
"It's too breezy." Giu lied, saying the first thing that came to his mind.
"Somebody close the window!" the guard shouted, causing the other guards to stare at him, slightly confused.
"There are no windows in here you idiot." With that Giu lifted his foot and stomped on the ground. Before any of the guards could react, six stone pillars erupted from several spots in the room, pinning the guards to the floor, ceiling, or the walls.
"Here's a tip for your next life you idiots, tie your prisoners up next time." Giu taunted before he left the room. Giu was pleased to see the four guards outside the room were also pinned to the opposite wall.
"Hey you!" a passing guard shouted, drawn by the loud noise. Giu turned and bended a slab of stone from the wall to block a flying rock launched by the guard. After the rock harmlessly bounced off Giu's shield, the rebel threw the slab at his attacker. The guard held his hands out and caught the slab before it collided with him. Once the guard let the slab drop to the floor he was greeted with the sight of Giu's feet rapidly approaching his face. Giu's dropkick put the guard out instantly and the rebel slowly began trying to retrace his steps.
Along the way Giu dealt with any guards who crossed him rather easily. "Is that all you bastards got!" he shouted, seconds before he was tackled to the wall.
"You might want to keep your voice down kid." The tackler growled into Giu's ears. Giu tried to squirm out of his assailant's grip but the stranger held tight. Finally Giu stomped on his opponent's foot, causing him to release the earthbender. After putting some distance between them, Giu readied himself for a fight but the other didn't seem very interested.
"Giu?" Ray's voice called from down a hall. Confused the earthbender turned to see Ray, Mina and Kaila sprinting towards him.
"What are you doing here?" Giu asked all three girls ran to him.
"We're here to rescue you. Why else would we be in this crappy place?"
Giu shrugged before he caught another look at the man who tackled him. Giu marveled at the man's scrawny tanned arms, despite their wiry appearance they had managed to keep Giu's arms pinned to his sides. The stranger's frazzled graying hair hung loosely on his scalp, and several teeth were missing from his smiling maw.
"Who are you?" Giu asked, eying the character suspiciously.
"Who I am is none of your concern." He told him, "No you should be concerning yourself with finding your friend." At that moment, the ground under their feet began to shake violently.
"Earthquake!" Mina shouted. Just as soon as the earthquake struck it was gone.
"No! It came from inside this place." Giu announced as he started down the hall. It didn't take long before Mina, Kaila and Ray caught Giu's meaning.
"Chen." Kaila gasped, voicing all their thoughts.
"Your friend Chen must be a powerful bender." The strange man commented as he followed the others down the hall.
Giu shrugged, "Sometimes, when he's really pissed off."
Just like that and she was gone. All it took was one strong swing and Fensui was gone. Chen was stunned as Bin swung a few more times for good measure.
"Unfortunate, very unfortunate, but the girl had to punished." Naoi commented, bringing Chen's attention away from Fensui's broken body to him.
"BASTARD!" Chen shouted struggling to escape his captor's grip. "LET ME GO!"
"That would be unwise of me to do Chen." Naoi commented moving towards him. Naoi kneeled down and looked into the boy's rage filled eyes. Naoi was a bit unsettled, as Chen's eyes seemed to flash with a bright light for the briefest of moments. Naoi turned to Bin, "Him too." With those words hanging in the air Naoi turned and left the room.
Bin took his stone club and slowly approached Chen. His breath flaring through his nostrils, Chen glared defiantly at Bin as he leveled the club. Before he could swing however the ground began to violently shake, causing Bin and the man who was holding Chen in place to lose their balance. The Avatar took that chance and turned, blasting the goon who was holding him into the wall with an uncommonly powerful blast of flame. Wasting no time Chen continued his attack, blasting the thug again and again with fire. Bin screamed as he swung his club, aiming for the back of Chen's head.
He was quite surprised when his stone club shattered on contact. Chen ceased his assault on his victim and turned Bin, his eyes glowing brightly in the dark room. "Firebending and earthbending, it can't be." The thug whispered slowly backing away from Chen. "You're the Avatar."
Chen said nothing as he kicked Bin in the chest with a stone covered foot. Bin was lifted off the ground and flew into the metal door, indenting it with his body. The thugs dealt with Chen turned to Fensui's body and knelt by her body. He gently closed her dull, lifeless eyes as the door slammed open.
"What's going on in here?" Naoi shouted before he noticed Chen kneeling by Fensui's corpse, as well as Bin's and his other thug's bodies. "What are..." Before Naoi could finish his question, Chen turned and blasted a large fireball at him. Naoi cowered behind his arms as a wall of stone rose in front of him.
"Get out of here Boss." Naoi's last subordinate cried while lifting the wall and punching it at Chen. Naoi started sprinting down the hall, but he didn't get very far.
"Hello Mr. Naoi." A grave voice whispered into his ear as he was tackled to the wall, "Do you remember me?"
Naoi's eye's widened with dread as he recognized the voice. "Beipan?"
"Glad you remember me, partner." Beipan growled through his gapped teeth as he threw Naoi to the ground. "Now you better get a move. I'm only giving you sixty seconds to get as far as you can. Then I'll kill you."
Naoi crawled backwards a few feet before he scrambled to his feet and cowered himself away. Keeping the countdown in his head, Beipan turned to his temporary companions. "Your friend should be down that hallway, now get a move on."
"Right." Mina said before adding, "Thank you."
Beipan scoffed, "Don't thank me girlie. I only needed your help to deal with the guards. Your friends' involvement was purely coincidental. And Naoi's time is up." With that Beipan started after Naoi.
"Chen?" Kaila called as she ran down the hall. She found the young Avatar standing alone in the hall, gravel lay all around him, and a pair of legs dangling from the ceiling. The Avatar turned his head towards Kaila, his eyes still glowing brightly. "Chen." Kaila repeated slowly approaching the Avatar. Chen's eyes ceased glowing and the Avatar wavered on his feet, falling into Kaila's arms. She hugged him close until Mina, Giu, and Ray found them.
An Alleyway Somewhere in New Ozai
Naoi leaned against an alley wall desperately trying to catch his breath. He'd been fortunate enough not to run into Beipan.
"Hello there, Mr. Naoi." A cold voice called, making the crime lord jump. He turned to see none other than Siwang.
"Siwang, you still suffering from that strange combination of delusions of grandeur and wet dream?" Naoi quickly took some steps back as Siwang rapidly approached him.
"That hurts my friend." The murderer stated, sarcastically placing his hand over his heart. "Why must you crush my dreams like that. It makes me very... unhappy."
"Now Siwang you know you can't touch me. I mean you still owe me for all the times I kept you out of prison."
"Technically it was your business associate Mr. Beipan who kept me out of prison. But don't worry, I have no intention of hurting you." Siwang stated hiding a small stone behind his back while gently laying his hand on Naoi's shoulder, "No one's ever told me that this hurts one bit!" he cried as he violently shifted his grip to Naoi's neck, just under his lower jaw, while jamming the stone into his mouth. "See my friend, doesn't hurt a bit doesn't it?" Siwang teased as Naoi slowly choked to death. His last sight was Siwang smiling over him with Beipan laughing behind him.
Fensui's murder scene was inspired by the "Bear Jew" scene, from the Quentin Tarantino film, Inglorious Basterds