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|The Boy From Ba Sing Se|
July 3, 2013
FIRE, AIR, WATER, EARTH
- "As is life, when one dies they are reincarnated in a new form. This is the way of the Avatar, the master of all four elements in nature. The great Avatar Korra's passing came as a shock to us all, yet at least we knew that this would not be the Avatar's Final Resting Place. And so, the White Lotus Organization began their 17 year search for the next Earthbending Avatar, and after a long quest, it seems our journey may be coming to a close at last..."
Ba Sing Se Clocktower, Ba Sing Se, 245 AG
The sound of rushing feet could be heard all throughout the Clocktower, the members of the Organization all scrambling to get a good look at the elders meeting in the center of grand hall.
The room was humongous, however one could barely tell with all of the people crowding it. On the north wall, the large clock mounted outside cast a shadow across the room under the influence of the setting sun. On the south wall, a grand map depicting all four nations of the Northern Hemisphere along with the Steel District an the United Republic of Nations was hung. In the very center of the room a large Pai Sho table was organized, eighteen chairs bordering it. Seventeen of the chairs were filled by Grand Lotus alumni, the only empty one lying at the very end of the table.
"You all know what this means", an older councilor with long brown hair styled in a wolf tail hollered, his voice echoing off of the Bakelite Plastic Walls.
A taller earthbending Lotus slammed her fist down on the table, a frustrated look in her eyes. She had been with the order for years upon years, however, though sight had eluded her in old age, she could still sense that someone very vital was missing from the table.
"Enough", she bellowed in an angry voice, "how can we continue this meeting without the Duke of Kyoshi?"
All of the sudden, a loud, hard slam could be heard at the end of the room, as the astonished rookies looked over at the tall spectacled young man.
A wave of mutters could be heard from around the council room, as Duke Lliod, the youngest person ever to earn the title of Grand Lotus confidently pranced towards the table and took his seat at the head of the table, moving his Pai Sho piece to the next position.
"So I suppose this meeting was called to discuss the Celestial Beacon", the man commented, taking a sip from the cup of tea prepared for him.
The High Lotus nodded, passing a small photo of the light beam taken a few hours ago by the White Lotus Zeppelins.
"I didn't know the organization could afford color", Lliod noted, "this year's benefactor must be quite large."
The High Lotus chuckled.
"He's big all right. In fact, this photo was taken from around his district."
The High Lotus moved his Pai Sho piece, ending his turn.
"Ah, the steel district, birthplace of the Equalist rebellion 75 years ago."
Lliod moved his piece.
"That was long in the past", another High Lotus announced, "such matters do not concern us now."
The High Lotus sipped at his tea cup and moved another piece.
"I would not be so sure", Lliod commented. "Well, I suppose I am dismissed."
The High Lotus nodded in approval.
"Oh, I forgot to mention", the Duke moved yet another Pai Sho piece, "that's the game."
The other Grand Lotus stared in disbelief at their defeated master.
"Alright Miru", Lliod muttered, "yip yip."
At his owner's command, Miru the sky bison crashed through the window, hovering in the center of the grand hall. Lliod jumped 25 feet up in the air onto the Bison's back, and after allowing him to thoroughly cover the High Lotus in Sky Bison slobber, flew off upon Miru's back.
Kuei-Bosco Orphanage, Ba Sing Se, 245 AG One Hour Earlier
The young boy hurried through the broom closet, scurrying around worriedly looking for his masters lost possession.
"Where is it, where is it, WHERE IS IT!"
He climbed up on top of a shelf, shuffling through paper after paper until he found a small metal safe.
"Hmm...how to crack the code", the boy declared, "ooh, I know!"
The seventeen year old took a deep breath and then thrust his hands forward, focusing for a few seconds, sweat running down his brow until finally he heard a clicking sound and the door popped open.
"Now that's what I call metal bending!"
He knelt down, peeking his head inside of the small safe.
"Ah, there you are Zimo", the boy happily sputtered at the lazy creature laying inside.
Of course this smile did not last for long, as the angry animal pounced on the boy's face, knocking him down off of the shelf and digging his claws in his face.
"GAH", he screeched, "got off of me you stupid cat owl!"
Eventually he managed to throw him on the ground, after-which Zimo began to fly off down the hallway.
"Hey, get back here!"
His plights to chase after the cat brought him into the studies room of the orphanage, where unfortunately for him, the cat owl had chosen to nest upon the head of Zaru, the snooty inheritor of his father's company after his untimely demise.
"Whoever owns this beast, get it off of me this instant", the beefy firebender snarled.
"Well actually Zaru that's Alein's", the boy grabbed the cat owl and laughed nervously, "he told me to watch him while he left to visit Republic City."
Zaru glared at the boy.
"Kai Sun, my fellow apprentice", he hissed with resentment in his voice, "so the feline is yours."
"Well technically its masters but-"
"But right now it is in your custody", Zaru interrupted, "which makes you responsible for any of its... nesting decisions."
Kai chuckled but quickly stopped after he saw the puma-goat-like expression on Zaru's face.
"Yes, yes, very funny", he grumbled, "but unfortunately I don't have a very good sense of humor."
Kai smiled fearfully.
"So I guess you'll have to report me to Headmistress Kalei, right?"
The firebender grind darkly and shook his head.
"No, I'm getting a bit tired of that. I think it's time you show me those famed bending skills of yours", he taunted.
Kai thought for a moment.
"So...a street bending match?"
"You're a smart kid."
Avatar Korra Memorial Gym, Ba Sing Se, 245 AG
Kai confidently walked up to the counter, handing the cashier a small pouch of Earth Kingdom copper pieces.
"One sparring suit please."
The chubby old cashier laughed, his stomach jiggling.
"With that amount of cash you could barely even afford to rent a suit of the old pro bending gear I keep in the back!"
"I guess I'll just take that."
The cashier smiled, showing off his yellowed teeth.
"That stuff's so old, you might as well keep it."
He laughed yet another lengthy laugh.
"Oh, thanks sir", Kai exclaimed happily.
"What, are you serious", the confused cashier mumbled.The boy nodded and hurried off towards the back of the store to claim the fruit of his struggles, an old Earthbender Pro Bending uniform.
Kai put on his uniform and headed out to face his opponent. Zaru of course was dressed in a high quality, custom made battle suit created with Bakelite artificial Plastic so that Kai couldn't metalbend it. Of course the determined young boy still had faith in his skills, preparing for the battle.
After a few minutes, the hourglass on the table ran out of sand, an action that instantly corresponded with the ringing of the large metal bell hung on the wall and the beginning of the match.
"Alright", Kai thought, "just think, what would a Black Mamba Chameleon do?"
Going off of this, the boy quickly, backed up in to the metal wall. The offensive Zaru through the first attack, a short bolt of lightning aimed at Kai's chest. So to avoid this attack, the boy sunk into the metal wall using his earth bending, the only way to tell his location being a small lump in the wall which the dimwitted Zaru would not even notice. Kai could use this to his advantage, plotting a stealthy take-down of his opponent. However, he would have to do this quickly as he had to rely on the small amount of air still in his lungs to keep him alive inside of the wall.
Finally, Kai leaped out of the wall behind Zaru, kicking him down onto the ground. Unfortunately, Zaru got up very quickly after this, his plastic suit depleting all damage the attack could have caused him.
After this, Zaru engulfed his hands in flame, charging at Kai and hoping to get in a deadly blow with his fists. Kai managed to dodge most of the attacks, however he was eventually knocked to the floor via Zaru's flaming fists which also melted a hole in his face mask, greatly weakening his line of defense.
With Kai on the ground, Zaru readied his finishing move, breathing fire directly at the boy. At the last second Kai used Earth Bending to raise the floor into a wall to shield him from the attack, however if he didn't do something soon it seemed that this battle would have quite a gruesome ending.
Kai decided that the best next move would be to use the ground to create an "earth fortress" around Zaru. The bully's flames quickly burnt through the rock, however this gave Kai just the edge he needed. Pressing his hand against one of the metal pillars, Kai formed himself a staff out of the steel. After smashing it against Zaru's head just hard enough to where he felt it through his high tech battle suit, he metal bent the bottom half of it around Zaru's head.
Kai laughed happily.
"That was awesome!"
Unfortunately, as Kai congratulated himself on what he believed to be a win, Zaru had finished in melting the steel off of his face.
"Looks like this is the end for you, runt."
Zaru quickly sent a lighting bolt flying directly at the boy's heart before he could even think to move out of the way. However, a few seconds later when Zaru looked over at Kai, his expression changed from an arrogant smile to a look of utter disbelief. Kai's eyes and Earth Kingdom tattoo on his neck were glowing bright blue, a bright beam of the same color shooting up in the air from their location. In his hands was the lightning Zaru had fired at him, and in one solid motion, Kai redirected it right back at him.
Skies of Ba Sing Se, 245 AG
Duke Lliod had been flying for close to 30 minutes now, something which the patient young man did not take notice of. However, he was closing in on the beacon of light and he had to be as unnoticeable as possible in case Iron and Lead had sent people there, and Miru the Sky Bison was as noticeable as could be.
"I'll be back soon", he whispered to the beast before jumping down of its back onto the roof of the building below.
As the sun went down the beacon of light became more noticeable, so Lliod only had a short time to retrieve the Avatar before too many civilians came to get a look. After running roof to roof for a good while, he finally found a building close enough to the street to allow him to leap on top of a Satomobile. It was rush hour, and the large amount of traffic was nice as it allowed the Duke to jump from Satomobile to Satomobile before he reached the train station, where he hitched a ride on a train which would soon be passing by the gym that was the source of the beacon.
"Hmm...I suppose we can't allow that train driver to see the beacon", Lliod demanded.
He quickly ran to the back of the train and using and unhinged a vegetable filled train car at the rear of the vehicle.
"My cabbages", the shocked shopkeeper roared, turning around to see the car now far behind them.
He then ran at full speed on top of the train, leaping down to the ground just as the train entered a tunnel. He took a moment to adjust his spectacles and then proceeded over to the Gym.
When he walked inside he quickly noticed the frightened and rather obese cashier huddling in a corner behind the counter sipping from a teacup.
"Y-you gotta get outta here", the chubby man huffed, "i-it's dangerous!"
Lliod smiled sadistically, amused at the man's cowardice.
"Would you mind if I took a look at that tea cup?"
The confused cashier nodded, passing it over to the tall, menacing figure standing before him. Lliod removed the glove on his left hand, an action which caused the shopkeeper to stare at the Duke with disbelief.
"A member of a secret order devoted to protecting the avatar, yes I know", Lliod interrupted, "now onto more important business..."
He dipped his ungloved hand inside of the tea, emerging a few moments later grasping a small teabag in his fingers.
"Too lazy to use real leaves", Lliod frowned, "revolting."
The duke dumped the rest of the burning tea atop the cashiers head, after which he proceeded to smash the cup to bits on the wall, return his glove to its proper place and walk on into the other room.
The room was thoroughly damaged, the metal on the walls melted into bizarre new shapes and the tiles on the ground scattered in every corner of the large training dojo. At the left side of the room a fire bending boy in a highly damaged battle suit lied unconscious, and at the very center a very confused 17-year-old Earthbender in an old suit of pro-bending armor stood, the beacon illuminating from him.
"Ah, so you're the new Avatar."
"W-what are you talking about", Kai inquired.
"Master of all four elements", he explained, "reincarnation of Aang, Korra and all those before."
Kai pondered this for a moment before looking up and flashing Lliod a wide smile.
The cold and intelligent Duke was quite surprised to say the least.
"You're not shocked at this revelation."
"Course not", he answered, "being the Avatar is just about the coolest thing you can be!"
Lliod let out a light-hearted chuckle.
"All-right then. Let's get started."
Kai smiled. Suddenly, an arm reached out of the wall and grabbed Kai, dragging him in with them.
"Metal benders", Kai stated, "I'm afraid that's not going to work."
The boy thrust his fist forward, moving the steel walls back a few feet and revealing at least seventy armed soldiers all with "鐵鉛" inscribed on their shoulder patches. They all wore Gas Masks and Bakelite Plastic Armor, along with holsters holding large guns.
"Umm...guy, I don't think I can take all of these guys, avatar or not..."
Lliod glared at the boy.
"My name is Lliod and I think I can handle it."
"Take out 70 armed soldiers at once? I'd like to see you try."
Lliod smiled evilly.
The next few moments were a blur to the young Avatar. Never had he seen any combatant that could even compare to the Duke. The first person to come at him couldn't even fire a bullet before the airbender snapped his wrist, grabbing his head and smashing him into another soldier's so hard that both of their masks simply shattered. The ones who did manage to fire a bullet quickly found them dropping in midair, Lliod destroying their forward motion by changing the wind current in the room.
Then it was on to the benders in the back. With his own vast strength, he managed to push, pull and twist the metal benders creation and, with their bending having virtually no effect on him it was a simple matter to take them all out using standard hand-to-hand combat. For the water benders, he quickly dodged all of their attacks, moving faster than a cheetah-gazelle and then finally taking care of them head-on. Finally, it came to the fire benders. After forming small air bubbles around Kai's head along with his own so they could still breath, he pushed all other oxygen out of the room, meaning the Firebenders could not Firebend due to the lack of one of the components needed for a fire to start. He then took them out like all of the others. Anyone who Lliod missed was knocked unconscious shortly due to lack of air.
"Whoah! How did you-"
"I need to get you out of here", Lliod croaked, "more of them will be here any minute."
The duke quickly slung the boy over his shoulder, climbing through a window and sprinting away at top speed.
Inner Ba Sing Se, 245 AG 25 Minutes Later
"Alright", Kai shrieked angrily, "I think it is safe to set me down now!"
"Oh", Lliod murmured, "I apologize."
The tall duke set the aggravated boy down on the ground.
"Who were those people", Kai asked.
Lliod sat down on a bench.
"Those people are members of the group known as the Iron and Lead Brotherhood."
Kai sat down next to him.
"You mean the guys from the Steel District?"
The duke nodded.
"Almost sixty-five years ago during your past life, your life as Avatar Korra, Protesters following in the ways of the Equalists sprung up all around the United Republic of Nations. The council's response to this, despite Councilor Tenzin's Disapproval, was to create the Steel District, a bender-free zone in Eastern Republic City. To go along with this, Steel District citizens were also not allowed to leave the city limits so that violence between the District and the nations would not spring up. Yet, as with all laws there would be some who would defy it, in this case the radical political group known as the Iron and Lead Brotherhood. Their goal: the destruction of all benders. And the first step to that? Kill the avatar."
- The Chapter was originally supposed to end with Lliod saying "All-right then. Let's get started.", the parts after that being in a second chapter titled "Those who teach of Iron and Lead". This was changed by the author, however after remembering that the main antagonists where introduced in the first episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- Lliod's voice is meant to sound like the voice of anime voice actor J. Michael Tatum as he portrays Sebastian Michaelis from the series Black Butler.
For the collective works of the author, go here.