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|By Katherine Rebekah||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|More from Katherine Rebekah||Action/Adventure||PG||None||None|
|The Legend of Kyo: Pilot|
May 28, 2015
To whatever poor fanonbender got stuck reading this one, I'm sorry. It was meant to be a normal length, I promise, but then it just kept going and going; consequently it is extremely long. For this reason I have divided it into parts. I hope that the story is enjoyable enough that you don't mind how long it is.
This is a little bit of a test run. I have been thinking about the possibility of an ongoing series about an Earth Avatar named Kyo (pronounced Key-oh). In order for the story to work, I had to change some elements of canon. #1, Korra and Bolin became a couple and eventually were married. #2, Asami became a villain after Korra killed her father. Please note, this is not a stab at Korrasami. I had the idea for this before they became a couple. My main goal with this one-shot is to get feedback on if people would like to see it as a series. So this is chapter one (think of it as an hour long pilot special). I would love to hear your feed back. Would you like to see this as a series?
Lastly, I would just like to give special thanks to bothand . Lostris insisted that I need not recognize her because some of her edits were automated, but she made a lot of edits since she knew I had asked for help, and automated or not, I appreciate it. Combustion was my beta reader and also helped with editing. He took the time out of his day to read through this for me and gave me a great compliment on it. Thank you for that, CN.
Now, without further rambling from me, the story...
Fire...Air...Water...Earth... It wasn't long ago that Avatar Korra saved the world, and united the four nations in harmony. She had vanquished many enemies: Amon, Zaheer, Kuvira. She accomplished more in a few short years than many Avatars had in a life time. In the years to come, peace and prosperity ruled with no foreseeable threat on the horizon. The Avatar married her long time friend, Bolin, and lived with him in Republic City. The couple and their friends were a beacon of light to the city and to the world. All was well. But it was not to last. Soon, a new enemy rose up, carrying on the work of Amon with the backing of a full underground resistance that she had been building for years. Asami Sato was looking for revenge. Unaware of the threat pursuing her, Avatar Korra made a journey to the Northern Water Tribe. It was a public affair and a banquet was held in honor of the Avatar, her husband Bolin, and the child that would be born to them in only a few months' time.
In one moment that whole future, my future, was ruined. With only one shot, the world crumbled, their world and mine. One shot. It shouldn't have been enough to kill an Avatar, but Asami's new weapons were powerful. Scarcely holding on, Avatar Korra was sent into a state of shock and into labor. While the streets were a mass hysteria, the Avatar was rushed to the Spirit Oasis, unable to do anything for her people or even for herself.
It was there that her child was born, and it was there, at exactly the same moment, that Korra left this world. The child, a daughter, was born too early, weak and frail. She should have died right there, with her mother, but some mysterious force kept her breathing. There was not much time for her, however, and when the healers found that there was nothing they could do, Bolin took a chance, dipped the child into the oasis, and pleaded with the Moon Spirit to give her life. His wish was granted, and the child's brown hair became white as winter's snow. For the first time, she opened her eyes, cool green orbs that stared right back up at Bolin; in that brief moment, he saw them flash with a white glow. For the first time in history, the Avatar had passed on their life force to their own child. Bolin decided to name the new Avatar Kyoshi, in honor of the Earth Avatar that preceded her, and vowed to train and prepare her for the war that he knew was on the horizon, the biggest war that the four nations had yet to face.
I am the that child, the chosen one, the supposed savior of the world. I am the daughter of Avatar Korra. My name is Avatar Kyoshi, but you can call me Kyo.
I paced around in the ring, my feet knowing how to move without me telling them, my eyes trained on every movement that my opponent made; each flex of the muscle, twitch of the eye, none of it eluded me. He was an Earthbender, and though that wouldn't be much help to him on this rickety boat out in the middle of the cold Northern Sea, it let me know just a little bit more about how he would move. Raw power and force, that was how Earthbenders did things, but this was not just any Earthbender. I had known him my whole life, and from him, I had learned to expect the unexpected.
With speed that could only be attributed to training with an Airbender, he lunged, swinging a kick toward my face that would have resulted in a burst of flame had he been a Firebender. I ducked it with ease, but swallowed a curse as I could tell he was going to use all four styles on me today. Before his foot was planted firmly on the ground again, I used my momentum to come up from underneath, grab his leg, and send him flying across the small deck. He simply tucked into a role and got up in one fast, fluid motion. A Waterbender couldn't have done it better.
I let out an exasperated sigh and briefly let my arms drop to my side. That was a bad idea. Seeing the opening, my opponent landed a punch squarely on my jaw. A sharp pain surged through it, sending me stumbling back, struggling to regain my footing. As he reeled back his fist again, I could see that he was going to show no mercy, and I barley ducked in time for the second punch. While I was down, I landed an uppercut strait into his ribs. He doubled over in pain and a smile stole over my lips. I was going to end this now. In one swift motion, I created an airball with my hands and sent it flying towards him. It sent him skidding someways across the deck and he sat up, rubbing his head; he was obviously ticked. I had a feeling I knew why.
"No bending, Kyo. How many times do I have to tell you? You need to be able to hold your own without relying on any elements. If anyone catches you bending, you will most certainly be taken into custody. And with that hair of yours," he pointed to the white, uncombed, boyishly short mop on my head, "they will probably interrogate you, torture you, and then kill you." I rolled my eyes. It was about the thousandth time in my life I had heard that speech. "In fact, you should probably go put your wig on, we are about to enter Northern Water Tribe territory, and there is very heavy surveillance here.
"Oh, you mean like the heavy surveillance every other place in the world has?"
He shot me a look, letting me know I was testing it, then began walking off towards the bow.
"Punches me in the face," I mutter, rubbing at my sore jaw, "and I get into trouble for a bit of harmless sarcasm. Best. Dad. Ever."
"What was that, Kyo?" Bolin called from the head of the ship.
"Nothing!" I returned, though I could still taste the animosity in my own tone. "Just going to go grab that disgusting red wig from downstairs. Remind me, what identities are we using this time?"
Dad sighed. "I am Gow Howting, your feeble old father. You are Ginger Howting, a model looking for work in the Northern Water Tribe. We are a family of nonbenders from the Earth Kingdom."
I scoffed, looking over my dad's rippling muscles and barrel chest. He had about as much chance looking like an old man as I did at looking like an elegant model. But we were good actors. Dad had taught me how to slip into many different skins at a young age. It had helped that he had once been a mover star. We would find some way to pull this off.
I found the stairs and made my way below deck to the living quarters. It was nothing fancy, a small kitchen and two bunkbeds, with an even smaller bathroom. A setup that was not great for privacy, but you got used to it. Oma, my cat deer, was sleeping on the bottom bunk. I walked over to her and scratched her behind the ears. Her response was to lift her giant head, her entire body rumbling with a great purr, and lick the end of my nose with her sandpapery tong.
"Did you have a good nap, girl?" She purred a bit louder. Oma always seemed to know what I was thinking. "I'm sorry, but you have to get down now, I need to get to my clothes." She let out a big pant of breath that rolled in a warm, moist wave across my face. It smelled like fish. Disgusting. "Come on, Oma, you have to move." I grabbed her by the antlers and tugged. She finally obeyed and padded onto the floor. The room almost couldn't contain her.
I lifted the mattress off the bottom bunk, as below was where dad and I stored all of our clothing. I fished through it to the bottom, where all of the "disguises" were kept. We had clothes from every nation for almost every occasion, even some military uniforms for which we would be sure to be arrested if we were caught with. I got out a dark green cheongsam with golden trimming. It was meant to look like silk, but it was only a synthetic fiber, and one that wrinkled easily at that. I did my best to smooth it out before tossing it on the floor in front of Oma in a heap and then began to fish for the red wig that was hiding in a shoe box somewhere. I finally found it and opened the tattered box to find what looked like a dead orange sugar glider. I wrinkled my nose at the thing.
"Well, Oma, looks like it's time to turn me into a model." My cat deer let out a grumbling sound, and one look at my tattered, dark green, peasant's clothes, and the dirty yellow tape around my knuckles that had once been white, and I could tell that Oma had a point.
"Okay, okay. You don't have to rub it in."
Between a shower, getting the stupid wig to look right, applying thick coats of whitish makeup to cover my tan Southern Water Tribe skin, and smoothing out as many wrinkles on the dress as possible, it took me an hour and thirty minutes to get ready, an astronomical amount to time compared to the normal fifteen minutes that it usually took. I pulled on some heels that dad had found at a flee market in Ba Sing Se, a faux fur coat to keep out the chill, gave Oma one more pat on the head, and clomped up the stairs. I took deep breath.
"My name is Ginger Howting of the Earth Kingdom. I had a successful modelling carrier in Omashu before I got a call from an agency in the Northern Water Tribe." I made a note to take longer, more confident strides as I walked up the stairs. I put more swish into my hips and pulled my shoulders back, slightly pouting my scarlet lips. "My name is Ginger Howting —" Then the cold hit me when I reached the deck, one thousand tiny shards of ice boring into my skin. Ginger Howting was gone as I scowled at the cold nipping at my bare legs. I began walking to the bow of the ship, not bothering to become the model again, I was sure I could worry about my character later.
I reached the ship's head and found dad still there, peering out across the water with a telescope. I had to admit, his old man outfit was pretty convincing, though he didn't look old, simply older. It was a long grayish trench coat that somehow made the white in his hair stand out more, and the wrinkles etched into his face deeper. A silver cane stood propped up next to him, so I supposed that he was going to hunch his back ever so slightly (not too dramatic or it would be an obvious farce), which should distract from his muscular build. He even had a pair of wire spectacles perched on his nose, their glass tapping against the metal of the telescope. He looked so stern and lonely staring out across still water.
When Master Jinora was teaching me Airbending, she had told me about a time when all Bolin wanted to do was joke around and have fun, that he was basically a big goofy kid. And while he sometimes did crack the occasional corny joke, if he was in a very good mood, I had never known the man that she spoke about; loss, heartache and war had worn him away, but I dearly wished that I had known him, that somehow I could bring him back. But I wasn't my mother, no matter how much he wanted me to be.
I went to join him at the bow, the stupid clunky heals giving away what would have been a sneak attack.
"See anything?" I asked.
"Not yet," he murmured and snapped the spyglass shut. "We should be getting there soon, though." Finally he turned his attention to me, sizing up the outfit. A small smile tugged at his lips.
"What's so funny?"
He gave the slightest chuckle. "Nothing, it's just that the only time I get to see you dressed up, is when you're in disguise. Ever consider doing it for fun?" I scoffed, and his smile grew. "Just like your mother." He had a habit of saying that to me.
"So," I said, ready to change the topic, "you said that last time you were at the North was... when I was born." I had been going to say 'when mom died', but I was afraid that would be insensitive. Dad nodded and itched at the salt and pepper beard that shadowed half his face.
"Yes, the last time I was here was when Asami attempted her invasion of the North." Attempted was an understatement. Countless had died that day. "They managed to hold her off for another year, but eventually they fell. Some blame you. They say that the Moon Spirit was weakened."
"The spirits just don't want to meddle in the business of the world. Isn't that what mom told you when she tried to get their help in defending Republic City?"
"That is true, Kyo, but the Moon Spirit is different. Yue used to be a person. A girl. Not much younger than you if I remember the story correctly."
"So you're saying that the fall of the North is my fault then?"
"No. I don't think your healing had anything to do with it. I think that the spirits have their reasons. We should not try to rely too much on them anyways. The spirits are no better than humans, guided by their emotions and often foolish. We must protect ourselves." In a way, I disagreed, but I didn't say anything. I myself had spoken to spirits. Jinora had taught me how to enter the Spirit World through meditation with ease. The spirits often tried to stay to themselves when it came to war, but I found that many spirits were a lot wiser than humans. After all, they had no expiration date.
"Kyo, you must prepare yourself. This is the most dangerous place I have taken you yet. It was easy for me to teach you Earthbending, Mako to teach you Firebending and Jinora to teach you Airbending, so you have been among friends most of your life and it was mostly safe, but now you have to face the real world and a lot could go wrong. It does me good to know that if you lose me, you will still have your mother." I felt a flush of angry heat in my face. He knew my connection to mom was a sore spot for me.
"How could you say a thing like that? I am not losing you and I don't have any connection to the past Avatars whatsoever. If you die, then I am alone, and I can't be alone, so you're not going to die." Bolin let out a sigh and slipped an arm around my shoulder.
"The fact of the matter is that things die. And realistically speaking, maybe we will both die soon. Death is not meant to be feared. You of all people should know how blissful the Spirit World can be. But your life is more important than mine right now. If you die, then that means the world will have to wait until the next incarnation of the Avatar comes along and by then it will be too late. The most important thing is that you stay alive."
It was all I could do to keep flames from bursting from my hands. It was so easy to Firebend when I was angry.
"Just because you lost mom, doesn't mean that I am going to lose you." I jerked my shoulder away from his grasp and stormed off below deck.
Again, Oma was curled up on the bottom bunk, sleeping soundly. I pealed off the fur coat and heels and lay down beside her.
"Sometimes I think you may be the only one who understands me, girl," I said as I stroked her fur, trying to hold back the warm tears that I knew would soon streak my makeup. Between Oma's warm, vibrating body and the gentle rocking of the boat, I drifted off in no time.
Somewhere in the realm between waking and sleeping, I had a dream. I was floating in black space, my own reflection staring back at me. I reached out a hand and touched fingers with my copy; she smiled at me and suddenly morphed into Avatar Korra.
"Mom." I tried to speak but the words came out morphed and funny, and floated upward with a company of bubbles. With a twang of terror, I realized that we were suspended in water. I hated water. She continued to smile at me, and shook her head. Somehow, I knew that meant that we wouldn't be able to speak to one another. She reached out a hand and stroked my cheek, but I couldn't feel it. I remember seeing a tear in her eye, though how that was possible under water, I didn't know. She mouthed something to me and I was pretty sure that she said,
"Why?" My voice was still muffled, but I didn't care. "I've been searching for you all of my life. Why can't I find you?"
Mom shook her head at me again, such an intense sadness in her eyes.
"Please!" I cried out in desperation. "I can't do it! Don't you see? Everyone expects me to be their savior. I never wanted it! Can't you at least tell me how am I supposed to do this?"
"Wake up." I heard her loud and clear this time, but the voice was not her own.
"Wake up! Kyo, wake up!" Her voice grew ten times louder and sounded oddly familiar. "Get up, Kyo! Do you hear me?"
I felt a shaking all around me.
My eyes snapped open.
"Get up!" My dad was shaking me, his mint green eyes wild.
"What? What is it?" I shot up, almost hitting my head on the top bunk.
"We've been found out."
"What!?" He pressed a finger to his lips.
"All you need to know now is that there are Equalist soldiers up there. I have the hatch Metalbent shut, but that won't hold them for long. You need to get Oma and get out of here."
"What about you?"
"Over my dead body, you are." I tried to put as much venom in my tone as possible, but my voice was the voice of a cowering child, afraid to lose everything she has ever cared about.
"Spirits, Kyo. This is no time for your stubbornness. If I could go with you I would."
"Then why don't you?"
"To make sure you make it out of here alive."
I heard a banging above us. They were trying to get down. I could only hope that they didn't have a Metalbender. I sucked in a deep breath.
"What do I need to do?"
"I'm going to bend a hole in the floor."
"What? Are you insane? You know I can't swim!"
"Hush up and listen, would you?" I nodded, gulping down the panic. It would be okay. We would get out of this. "You are going to get on Oma and she'll swim you out." I didn't think Oma would like that. Fear of water was something we had in common, but I didn't say a word. "Now, this water is freezing, so you're going to have to warm yourself from the inside. Remember how Mako taught you?" I nodded. "Good. When you get to the surface, don't let them see you. Only come up for air, otherwise keep swimming to shore under the water. We are not far from the Northern Water Tribe, you and Oma should be able to reach it within an hour."
"An hour?!" He shot me a glare. "Sorry."
"When you reach the North, find some way to get in. You're going to have to figure that out on your own. In town, ask for a woman named Kookie, that is the name that Kya is living under now. Do you have it?" I nodded. "Good."
Dad got up and took his stance, ripping a hole into the floor. To my surprise the water didn't come rushing in, just sat there, a tranquil little pool for me to jump into. I looked up at the entrance to see it glowing red hot. Firebenders. We didn't have much time.
In an instant, I felt myself being pulled into my dad's strong embrace. I held onto him as tight as I could.
"We'll meet again, Kyo. I'll find you."
"Promise me. Promise me I'll see you again."
"I promise." He kissed my forehead and a felt warm tears dripping down my cheeks.
"I believe in you. You can do this, okay?" He pulled me away, holding me at arms length, staring intently into my eyes. "Okay?"
"I love you, Kyo."
There was a clanging and I saw the Equalists flood in like ants swarming a grasshopper.
"Go! Now!" Bolin created a wave of lava, searing the feet of half of their group; their screams filled the cabin.
I turned my back, mounting Oma. I held on tight to her antlers, getting ready to do the hardest thing I ever had to do.
"I love you, too."
We plunged into the water.
The first thing I could think was that I was dying.
A thousand tiny daggers dug into my flesh. My lungs burned for air, longing to gasp for it at any cost. My deepset fear of water flared up. To make things worse, there was no light, and we seemed to be trapped under the never ending bottom of the boat.
I had to remind myself not to lose it. If I blacked out, it would all be over.
Warm yourself. Focus. Warm yourself.
I felt a burst of heat in my chest, moving out to my limbs and prickling my skin with heat. I pressed up against Oma, half from fear, half in hopes that I could warm her too. It seemed to work, because her speed increased.
We were out from under the boat and fast approaching the surface. Red bursts bloomed like poison flowers above the surface. I knew what they meant, and despite my burning lungs, the sight made me want to sink down to the depths and let the darkness consume me.
Oma burst through the surface in a shower of salt water. I clasped my eyes shut and sucked in panicked breaths. I didn't want to see the truth, but I hardly had a choice; I could see the light flashing behind my closed lids. I cracked them open. Fire. The ship was ablaze.
"Dad!" I screamed out before remembering his instruction to stay hidden. There was a yelling above me and I looked up to see an airship with Asami's insignia on it, and worse, soldiers pointing down at me. I had been spotted. I was such an idiot. I pushed Oma back under the surface and urged her to swim. Further and further into the depths I pushed her, until my head was exploding with pressure. Just when I was almost sure that they wouldn't be able to reach us at that depth, I felt crushing arms around me. I opened my mouth to scream and a flood of water rushed in. A sharp prick in my neck and I blacked out.
The room I woke up in was cold. There was a severe throbbing in my head, and an aching all over my body. I clenched my fist, expecting to find chains or sheets, instead my fingers met something cold and slick. Ice.
Slowly, I opened my eyes, having trouble processing everything that I saw. I was in a room made of ice. I sat up, ignoring the pain that flared in my head and the spots that temporarily clouded my vision. I was elevated on an ice bed, in a tiny room with ice walls. The only things in the room that were not made of ice, were the miniature stove in a corner and the skin of some poor polar bear dog that was being used as a rug. I had never, in my life, seen a room made of ice, but that wasn't the weirdest thing about it. There were carvings all in the walls. I slid off the bed and walked across the rug to get a better look at them. It was really quite disturbing imagery. Wars, assassinations, even suicides. I scrutinized the haunted face of a Fire Nation man preparing to plunge his sword into his own abdomen. Realistic. Sickening.
I ran my fingers across all the scenes in the frightening mosaic. Then I stopped. The hair on the back of my neck prickled and I snapped my hand back. It was a picture of my mother in her last moments, her eyes aglow, blood gushing from a severe wound in her chest, a healer with a knife in her hand, looking to be preparing to cut the child from her obviously pregnant belly. To cut me from her belly. I stumbled backwards and collided with another wall. I had to get out of this place.
Then, with a surge of panic, I realized that there was something else strange about the room. Something that I should have noticed first. There was no door. If I had been a Waterbender, it would have been far too easy to escape that prison. Whoever built this cell must have known that I hadn't completed my training. They also must have forgotten that I had mastered Firebending.
I sent a blast of fire straight through the picture of my mother, keeping a steady stream emitting from my hands. It melted the ice like nothing and I walked further and further into a tunnel of my own making. But the ice kept stretching on and on; it seemed to have no end. Then my head began to throb and my body rebelled against me, not wanting to go on.
"I am the Avatar," I grunted, "Why can't I do this?" After what seemed like hours of Firebending I slumped onto the ground in exhaustion.
"Hello?" An unfamiliar voice pierced the silence and suddenly I was no longer exhausted. I snapped to my feet, peering down the tunnel I had made. It wasn't long. I must have been really exhausted. A figure dressed in black stood at the end. "Kyo." They called out to me. It was the voice of a girl. She knew my name. How did she know my name? "You're never going to make it out that way. The ice stretches on for miles."
"You expect me to believe that?"
She shrugged. "Believe what you want. The way I see it, you have two options. Continue with your futile attempt at escaping and have us drag you back here when you pass out from exhaustion or come back and talk with me about saving your father's life." My heart spiked and I lunged.
"What did you do with my dad?" I took off in a sprint toward her. "Where is he?" I snapped my hands around her throat, my face inches from hers, sizing her up.
Though a few inches shorter than me, she was quite an alarming site. She had long black hair that snaked down her back in a braid. She was dressed in a black jumpsuit, the folds of which mimicked those of a kimono, though it was folded right over left, the way you would dress a corpse for their funeral. Her belt held several weapons, the likes of which made me question my close proximity to her. A large sword was strapped to her back. Those weren't the weirdest things though. The weirdest thing was her makeup. Her face, even down to the neck, was entirely covered in white makeup, her eyes in dramatic swipes of red and black. Her lips were coated in a matching blood red color, the ends of them turned up in a mocking smile.
"I don't have your father, foolish girl. I want to help you obtain him from the enemy. Don't you know who I am? I expected a kinder reaction, seeing as how we share a namesake."
"What do you mean?"
"Let me go and let's talk like civilized people. Shall we?"
"You're not planning on killing me?"
She threw her head back and laughed. "If I wanted to kill you, it would already be done, Avatar."
When I steeped back into the room, it had changed. The bed had disappeared, making way for a table made of ice with four chairs surrounding it. Two were already filled.
In one chair sat a boy of about sixteen or seventeen. He had a wild mop of black hair that looked like it had been blown every which way by a whirlwind and was dressed in plain gray clothing that perfectly matched his large gray eyes. His gaze was trained intently on the screen of the laptop that he was typing like crazy on, the glow emitting from the screen only serving to draw more attention to the light blue arrow tattooed on his forehead. An Airbender. He seemed less than interested in me.
The other boy however, had his deep blue eyes glued on me. He had shoulder length brown hair, half tied back in a warriors wolf tail, a style I thought had been abandoned ages ago. He was dressed in what seemed to be the traditional garb for Water Tribe men, though I wouldn't know, the style seemed so ancient. His gaze was serious, but not intimidating. There was something peaceful in his eyes, although it made his scrutiny no more comfortable.
"Please have a seat, Avatar," the girl said.
"Would you stop calling me that? I'm not the Avatar. Just your run of the mill Firebender."
She raised an eyebrow at me as we took our seats.
"If you are bent on lying about your identity, that's fine. Smart, actually, given the price on your head. But I'm going to be a little more straightforward with introductions. I am Asaka, I lead this group." She extended a gloved hand and I shook it, surprised to find a gentle forcefulness in her grasp rather than a crushing grip.
"This is Jin." Asaka gestured to the boy on the computer and he gave a wave of the hand without looking up from his screen.
"He is a highly skilled Airbender and also deals with making sure that none of our technology is bugged or being tracked."
"I'm also her boyfriend," he cut in, and Asaka flashed him an angry look. He didn't seem to notice though, still not lifting his eyes from the screen.
"This is Kogami." She gestured to the Water Tribe boy. "He is a superb waterbender, and also has... other talents." If I was correct, he grimaced slightly at "other talents," but regained his composure so fast that it made me second guess myself.
"It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Kyo." He extended his hand across the table and we shook.
"Nice to meet you, too." I was surprised to find myself so calm. I had no idea who these people were, how I had gotten there, or where exactly I was. To make matters worse, my dad was missing and my identity as the Avatar was out in the open. Suddenly, one more thought flashed in my mind.
"Oma!" I realized that I had all but forgotten about my best friend in the world. My sudden outburst got me strange looks from all around the table. "Where is Oma?"
"Oma?" Jin finally looked up from his computer.
"My cat deer. Do you know where she is?"
"Yes, we obtained her. She is in a larger room and is being taken care of. You needn't worry about her." I released a heavy sigh of relief.
"Can I see her?"
"Later. First we have some important business to take care of, if you don't mind." I leaned back in my chair and nodded, repressing all the questions that I wanted to blurt out. "As I was saying, the people who are sitting at this table represent the underground organizations that are working against Asami Sato. Jin is from the Air Nomads, Kogami represents the Order of the White Lotus, and I am from the Kyoshi Assassins."
"Assassins?" But Asaka went on as though she hadn't heard me.
"All of these organizations have melded to form an alliance against Asami. We call ourselves the United Resistance. Though you have never realized it, we have been present in your life from the beginning, protecting you and making sure that you have received the proper training. Jinora, Ikki and Meelo head the Air Nomads. Your father and uncle are part of the White Lotus. As for the Kyoshi Assassins," Asaka gave a half smirk, "you haven't formally met any of us. But you can trust me when I say we were there."
"So, let me get this straight—"
"Hold on." Asaka put up her hand to shut me up. "I'm not finished."
"The purpose of our organization is to find individuals and organizations who have the same goals as us and eventually unite them under one leader."
"And who is this leader?"
"Should we tell her?" Jin looked up from his computer again to interrupt. His question seemed to tick off Asaka.
"Jin," she sighed, "In our relationship, we are equals. However, concerning work, I am your superior. I was already planning on telling her. I didn't need any of your input."
Jin let out a sigh and smacked his palms on the ice table.
"Whatever, Asaka. I think we all know I'm not stepping out of bounds with a simple question like that. You're just being a control freak again."
"We will deal with this at a later date."
"Oh, yeah, you mean when we're alone and you can yell at me without looking bad?"
"Asaka!" He mocked her. She rolled her eyes.
"Uh, guys?" I waved my hand, trying to call their attention back. "Who is this leader?" Of course the two lovebirds paid no attention to me. Asaka was looking like she was going to pull one of those shiny knives from her belt and shank him and he seemed to be daring her to give it a try.
When I finally did get an answer, it wasn't from either of them.
"It's you, Kyo. They want you to be our leader," Kogami said it with such ease, as though it wasn't something that was going to shatter the foundations of my life.
"It wasn't supposed to be this way," Kogami continued. "You were supposed to train with Kya before you met us. Unfortunately, her cover was blown last week and she was executed."
"Yes. I'm sorry, Kyo." He suddenly grew very quiet. I shook my head.
"It's okay. I never meet her. It's just, in another life, she was my daughter, and the life after that, my friend. I was looking forward to meeting her."
"It's unfortunate, I know. But maybe you should be grateful that you didn't know her. That would have only made it harder." Kogami's face fell and I got the odd sense that he had known Kya, and her death had taken a tole on him.
"As I was saying," Asaka seemed to have recovered from her stare down with Jin, "you are the leader that we want. Jin, Kogami, and I were handpicked for the purpose of helping you become that leader. We have sworn our allegiance to you. We will help to train you, and we will follow you wherever you lead, should you choose to accept."
Asaka rolled her eyes, as if I should be catching on by now, and maybe I should have. "Accept your role as the Avatar. Defeat Asami, restore balance. Like your mother, and all of the Avatar's before you. It is your destiny, Kyo."
A hush fell on the room. All eyes were on me.
"Wait, you expect an answer now?"
"Preferably, yes." Asaka cocked a painted eyebrow, waiting expectantly.
I swallowed a knot that had formed in my throat, a knot of fear and apprehension that felt like sandpaper going down and sat like a stone in my stomach. They wanted me to become the leader of the entire resistance? How could they place so much hope in me? How would I be able to lead them? Then again, wasn't it what I had been training for my whole life? It was always what had been expected of me, and I had grown up knowing that. Had anything really changed? Nothing, accept that before it was just me and dad, and now I was being offered the backing of an entire resistance.
"I'll do it," I said.
"Not finished," I cut Asaka off, slightly enjoying the look of offense on her face. "I'll do it, but not because I want it. I'll do it for my mother, for every person that has been wrongfully persecuted or killed, for what she has done to my father and my family and my life. I'll do it for justice's sake." Asaka and Jin smiled, Kogami frowned.
"For justice?" he asked. "Or for revenge? You must be sure, because revenge is like a—"
"Like a two headed rat viper," I cut in, knowing the parable by heart. "While you watch your enemy go down, you're being poisoned yourself."
"Exactly, and you don't want to go down that path. Trust me, I know."
"The world is out of balance and it's my job to restore it. If that takes me being poisoned too, then so be it." I turned to Asaka. "First order of business, we are getting my father back, and then Asami is going to get what is coming to her."
- Kogami is named after a character from the anime Psycho Pass.
For the collective works of the author, go here.