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|"I ask you, if there are two people, a rich lord and a starving serf, should we take the lord's money and property and destroy it? The serf isn't getting any money or food from it... what if we gave the poor serf some money and some food... they live together, not suffer together."|
Politicians campaign in Republic City. It is election day and only one man seems to have enough popular support to defeat Raiko. Korra recognises the new candidate and grows very suspicious.
Korra, Mako, Bolin, Asami and Jinora sit at a table on Air Temple Island, eating. "So, I had a strange vision last night, of a man bending all the elements. He wasn't the Avatar, that's all I know."
"So who could it have been?" Asami asked.
"Well, Jinora thinks she knows; tell them what you think," Korra said.
"I don't know his name. I couldn't read the writing. Aang used to tell dad about it when he was young, and he told me," Jinora said.
"Do you think he could be dangerous, Korra?" Asami asked.
"He can bend all the elements. Only the Avatar can do that and he is not the Avatar - I am. We must treat him with caution. I don't know if he can be trusted," Korra said.
Jinora interrupted, "I think he can. He sacrificed a lot for our world. During the Fire Nation Civil War, Zuko was without hope; he was outnumbered, out-gunned and outmatched. Nobody could help him, they sent some small numbers, but it was this man that used his personal army to make sure Azula never came to power again."
Mako raised an eyebrow. "We better be careful. Anyway, Korra, you heard someone talking to Tenzin?"
"Yes," Korra said, "the same voice as in my vision."
"What was he saying to Tenzin?" Mako asked.
"Something like... I take it I have your support. And then Tenzin said something about voting," Korra said.
Korra's bowl of water tipped over. The water did not soak into the wooden table, but rather formed into a neat circle. The water then hovered and formed a sphere. Korra looked around, trying to find the bender. A gust of wind blew the door shut and Korra jumped in shock. "Someone's watching us," she said slowly and quietly.
Mako stood to his feet and looked around. "I think he's gone."
Jinora adjusted the nob on the radio near the table. Finally, they heard a very familiar voice, for it was Shiro Shinobi, apparently the only commentator in the entirety of Republic City. "This is a very special day folks, a day that comes only once every five years. The United Republic Presidential elections. Today we have two candidates; Raiko, the current president will have to defend his title against Philip Hellene, a promising Yu Dao native. I move over to Tenzin, spiritual leader of the Air Nation. Tenzin, can you explain what is happening today?"
"Well, first, there will be a debate between the two candidates. That will last until lunch time. Then there will be the voting and tomorrow, we will announce the new President," Tenzin spoke into the microphone.
Philip and Raiko stood on an elevated platform in the council courtyards, their statements being broadcast live to the radio. Philip's wild, brown hair contrasted heavily with his sleek black suit. Tenzin, standing in between the two candidates, read from a list of prepared questions.
"What do you believe we must do to repair Republic City after Kuvira's attack?"
Raiko spoke first, standing still and holding his cards within his line of sight. "We need to remake every building that was destroyed by Kuvira's super weapon. But we also need to expand outward, rather than rebuild down-town, to give the new spirit habitat some room."
When Raiko said "down-town", Philip raised his eyebrow and scratched his head. Raiko continued talking, but it was, by all means, very general. It then became Philip's turn to speak. Philip took a quick look at his palm cards before disregarding and burning them. He held his left hand to his lapel and extended his right arm, gesturing up and down to emphasise his argument. As he spoke, his voice became a bit rougher and he emphasised certain parts of his speech which were most peculiar. "The Right Honourable, Raiko, is right; I cannot disagree with anything he says. Most of the city is already rebuilt and our GDP is still very strong. I do believe, however, that he ignored a vital matter. Many people are still injured. People are sick. People are homeless. I propose that under my government, should you deem fit to elect me, I would make adequate healthcare, proper education and adequate housing, not luxuries, but human rights. How can we be a civilised nation if our poor are dying in our streets?"
The crowd erupted in applause, much to Raiko's dismay. He was unable to keep up with this man's energy and enthusiasm. He made great promises and left no doubt that he would fulfil them.
"And one last question for today," Tenzin said, "what do you say about the inequality between benders and nonbenders?"
"While there are inequalities, we have been doing our best to reduce them. Nonbender rights have increased significantly since I was appointed to govern this great nation by the people," Raiko said.
Tenzin said, "And what about you, Philip?"
"I hate to say it, but I must. Benders and nonbenders are not equal and they never can be. Not all benders are equal. Legally, they have the same rights, but physically? Not at all. Actually, when I said they never can be, I was a bit wrong. We could make them all equal. Amon believed he could make them equal by removing bending from people. But I ask you, if there are two people, a rich lord and a starving serf, should we take the lord's money and property and destroy it? The serf isn't getting any money or food from it. You shall suffer with me. Is that what it is? No, I do not agree. But what if we gave the poor serf some money and some food, maybe even some land to grow his own food? That way, both are fed. They live together, not suffer together," Philip said.
Raiko stared at Philip. "That's impossible, not even the Avatar can give people bending."
Philip beckoned Raiko to him. He rolled up Raiko's sleeve and pulled him in. Withdrawing a concealed syringe from his pocket, he held the back of Raiko's head and jabbed his arm. He placed the syringe in his pocket and placed a small cloth on the mark. "Right, now if you would care to bend for us?"
"What are you talking about?" said Raiko.
"Bend, would you? Take a deep breath, exhale and punch."
Raiko punched and released a small ball of fire. His eyes widened and so too did Tenzin's. The crowd remained in a shocked state of silence before finally cheering.
Philip waited for the crowd to silence and said, "This can give people the ability to bend more than one element. This could be dangerous and it is very expensive. So for the time being, this will be the highest honour of the United Republic. Something given to those who serve this great nation with distinction."
The next day, Korra and her friends ate breakfast in the dining room of Air Temple Island. Tenzin said to Korra, "The President would like to speak with you."
Philip strode into the room, wearing a black, double-breasted suit. He knelt on the ground and took Korra's hand. "It's a pleasure to serve you, Avatar."
"It's been a pleasure to serve you, Avatar," Philip said, standing to his feet.
An old man in orange robes said in a weak voice, "You have always been a friend to the Avatar and the balance of the world." He placed his hand on Philip's head and lay down on the bed. Philip pulled the blanket over him. Running his hand over the old man's face, he shut Aang's eyes and turned to the door. He stopped and looking at Katara, Tenzin, Kya and Zuko, gave them a simple, silent glare. He stood stiff, and brought his hand up to his forehead, saluting with his palm outwards. He left without a tear in his eye, for he was used to seeing them die.
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