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|By Katherine Rebekah||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|More from Katherine Rebekah||Action/Adventure||PG-13||None||None|
|The Lost and the Found|
Fire...Air...Water...Earth... It wasn't long ago that Avatar Korra saved the world and united the four nations in harmony. But it was not to last. The Avatar was killed at the hands of Asami Sato, and the world, left vulnerable without its guardian, fell under her rule. But what Asami did not know, was that for the first time in history, the Avatar had passed on her life force to her very own child, a daughter, who survived the attack and was blessed by the Moon Spirit. Bolin would raise her to be the Avatar she was meant to be and train her for the largest war 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.
Kyo discovered that she will have to master the element of water before she can lead anyone. After a healing session from Kogami, she got a good night's sleep. The next morning, Kyo learned about Asaka and Jin's tragic pasts. The group began to plan a rescue mission for Bolin.
Warning: This chapter contains descriptions of violence, including decapitations and fictional methods of torture.
The Lost and the Found
I sat in the front of a Satomobile, sandwiched between Kogami and Asaka. We had flown over on the Equalist airship, landed it in a lot with the rest of them, drove off in the Satomobile, and parked the thing in front of the Northern Water Tribe Palace. The engine was off, a stagnant silence filled the air as we gazed up the magnificent ice fortress, interrupted only by the sound of our labored breathing. We were all nervous.
The palace was completely blocked off to the public, there were no people outside, only us, and a team of about a dozen soldiers who patrolled all the outside entrances, switching posts every hour. Outside of that, a ten-foot electrified fence ran around the perimeter. Surveillance cameras were everywhere.
Asaka turned around from the driver's seat to look at Jin, the only person in the back because of the sheer amount of space that some of his equipment was taking up. He tapped away on a tablet, skimming over the blue prints of the palace one last time. We could only hope that they were reliable.
"Okay everyone, let's go over this one more time," Asaka said. "Jin." He nodded at his name being addressed, still not looking up from the device. "When the guards change their post in thirty minutes, you send out that jamming signal to interrupt the outside cameras. Kyo, Kogami, and I will all go around to the west side where Kogami will bend us in. You will go to the east side. You're probably going to have to use your ability to get in. Before you get to the security mainframe, you're going to have to go by the special operatives quarters. Can you handle this?"
"Good. Kyo and Kogami we will be the ones to retrieve Bolin and get him out of here, hopefully without being detected." She turned to me. "All you need to do is follow our lead."
I swallowed a knot in my throat, reminding myself not to look weak, and nodded.
After thirty more minutes of waiting with sweaty palms and a dry mouth, the guards moved from their posts. Jin pushed the button that would supposedly turn the cameras to static, and we bolted out of the Satomobile.
Jin scooped Asaka into his arms and propelled them over the fence with a burst of air. Kogami got himself over with ice, and me with a good old solid chunk of rock.
Jin split off from us, sprinting over to the right side at a speed that only Airbenders could attain. His mission was time sensitive, eventually someone would figure out that something was wrong, and he need to get to the control room before then.
Kogami and I followed Asaka over to the west entrance. We took cover behind a slick ice wall just before a new guard emerged. Kogami bended a door in it, and we slipped in as he closed us into a makeshift tiny room. He mouthed the words "Follow me."
Using a technique that I had never seen practiced before, he put his hands out to the wall in front of him, and it rippled into liquid, then erupted into steam, allowing us to move along a tunnel like structure that he made as we walked. He gave us plenty of room, but the steam engulfed everything, making it hard to see and breath and move. Every couple of minutes, just when it would be getting too thick and suffocating to bear, Kogami would stop and bend it all back to form a solid wall behind us again. It felt like we were moving painfully slow, but it was better than free roaming in the halls.
"Asaka," Jin's voice came though the Bluetooth speakers in out ears. It sounded cracky and wrong some how.
"What is it, Jin? What's wrong?" The concern in her voice was unmistakable.
"N-nothing. It's - I found-"
"What? You found what? Tell me you're okay."
"I'm fine, really." He laughed over the Bluetooth, literally laughed. For a second my heart skipped a beat, and I was afraid that our only hope of getting out of there alive had lost his marbles. "I found her, Asaka!" His volume pierced though my skull. "June. She's here and she's alive and I found her!"
In that moment, the world seemed to freeze. All the water that Kogami had been bending splashed to our feet, Asaka stopped in her tracks behind me, an unsettling silence rang in my ears.
"Asaka?" Jin said in my ear, his voice shaky and stammering and full of elation.
Asaka let out a breathy laugh, cupping a hand over her mouth. Kogami turned around, a satisfied smile tugging at his lips.
"I can't believe it," she whispered. "You really found her?"
Asaka laughed again, then cleared her throat.
"It's wonderful, Jin. But I don't have to tell you this is a time sensitive mission. You need to get to that control room. Can you do that with her?"
"We're on our way. This is not going to interfere with the mission, in fact, she is helping me. She knows exactly where it is."
"Good. Contact us when security is down."
"June is his sister, right?" I asked.
"Yes, now let's move." Asaka had returned to her usual crass self. "Kogami, stop standing there gawking and get going." He nodded, and we continued on our walk through the walls as though nothing had happened, but I didn't miss the smiles that Asaka and Kogami couldn't seem to wipe from their faces.
After what seemed like hours more of walking, Jin came over the Bluetooth again.
"We're in. All the cameras are down, and I control everything. No one should notice anything, since the only people who control this are unconscious right now. You guys just keep on like you are and don't let anyone get away who can see you. We might just get out of this without anyone knowing we were here."
"Perfect," Asaka said.
A few minutes more and we hit a metal wall, literally.
Kogami cleared all of the steam and even bended most of the moisture away from our clothes.
"From here on is the underground part of the facility," he said. "It's made entirely of metal, so we will have to travel in the halls." For some reason, his words were directed specifically at me. "Anyone who sees us has to be taken care of. We can't leave a trace, so we have to clean up our mess." He paused and took a deep breath. "Be prepared, Kyo, this isn't going to be pretty." My breath caught in my throat at the way he said it.
"Remember," Asaka drew her sword from the sheath on her back, it glinted with the promise of bloodshed, "I'm an assassin. Just try to keep up and not scream."
My eyes narrowed, glancing between the two of them. I scoffed.
"You two must think I'm a child." I pushed past Kogami and put my hands to the metal wall in front of us. It bended and rippled under my touch, becoming molten. "Well, I'm not a child. I know what war is. I know that war means death. And I can hold my own, thank you very much." The liquid metal creeped up my arms like a silver snake, threatening to swallow me up. When my arms were covered in the gray gloves I turned to Kogami. "Let's do this."
We burst from the wall ready to take on whatever might be waiting for us, but it was empty, nothing but complete stillness and the thudding of our own hearts in our ears. In fact, we walked on though the empty echoing halls in silence for some time before actually coming across another person, and we heard her coming long before she reached us. She was humming. We all pressed up against the corner, waiting for her to turn it, my heart hammered up in my throat, but I could still hear her humming some vaguely familiar song above the blood rushing in my ears.
She froze when she turned the corner, the fear in her amber eyes unmistakable. I wondered why she just stood there. Why didn't she scream, fight, call for help? Then I looked at Kogami.
He was the reason she was frozen.
He was bloodbending.
He pushed her onto her knees with the taboo bennding and put a thumb to her forehead. "I'm sorry," he whispered. As he released his hold on her, she slumped, unconscious, into his arms.
"Did you kill her?" I asked, trying hard to mask the terror in my voice.
"No, she'll wake up, hopefully with no memory of this." If I wasn't mistaken, there was an emotional crack in his voice, but he recovered quickly, drug her and propped her up against the wall, making it look as though she had fallen asleep. I wondered how that was supposed to seem inconspicuous.
We moved on from the girl, turned the corner, and then found ourselves face to face with another guard.
A flash of metal. A splash of blood. A thump as a head rolled. The crash of a body following it.
Asaka must have been right. I swallowed a scream and perhaps a bit of vomit with it.
"Asaka," Kogami said through gritted teeth as he bended the blood from the floor. "This was supposed to be a no kill mission." I could tell how upset he was, but he held it in check.
"I'm sorry. He caught me by surprise. Reflex." Her expression was cool as she wiped her blade on her pant leg. I wondered how many times she had done this.
"Kyo, open up a hole in the wall," Kogami spoke to me but stared daggers through Asaka. "We need to store the body."
It took me a second to peal my eyes away from the empty gaze of the severed head, but when I did, I metalbent a hole in the wall like they asked. Asaka and Kogmai picked up the body and threw him in, and I closed up the hole seamlessly. It made me feel sick and dirty, but I did it.
We followed Asaka down the endless dimly lit halls. On the way, we hardly ran into anyone, but when we did, Kogami would do his thing and slouch them up against the walls. After Asaka's little display of merciless killing, the bloodbending didn't seem so bad.
A turn down one last hall, where Kogami had to put two guards to sleep, and we stopped at the only door, located at the hall's end.
"This is it," Asaka said, as we strode up to it.
"You're sure?" I asked.
"Certain. We checked his positioning just before we started this, and if it had changed, Jin would have let us know."
"How do we know he's okay? We haven't checked on him in a while."
Asaka put a finger to the Bluetooth, "Jin. How are things up there?"
There was nothing but silence.
"Jin? Talk to me, Jin."
"Fine, Hon. Just waiting for you guys." His voice was oddly flat.
"Good. We're about to go in. Expect the unexpected."
We all looked around at one another. With no further words needed, I metalbent the door open.
I hadn't taken two steps in before I froze. My entire body went rigged, like stone, unmovable. For a moment, my mind screamed out accusations at Kogami. He had betrayed us. He was a mole. It wall all a set up. But one glance around the room told a completely different story.
Kogami, to my left, was frozen with me, and Asaka, to my right, motionless as well. There were only two people left in the room. My father, gagged and cuffed, hung by the hands from chains attached to the celling. Purple bruises spread across his bare chest along with something I couldn't quite make sense of. Tiny red spikes protruded from all over his skin. Acupuncture was my first thought, but they weren't needles, they were crystalline. Then suddenly it made itself known to me. Blood. They were frozen spikes of blood that had been bended from his body. This was how they had tortured him.
My gaze finally landed on the person who was controlling my own blood, and I tried to put as much ferocity in my eyes as possible. It was a woman, probably in her early twenties. She had a heart-shaped face powdered to a ghostly white, lips painted a deep, almost back, red and long thick eyelashes surrounding crystal blue eyes. Her hair was a deep scarlet that fell in waves around her face and ended in a straight line at her jaw. She was possibly the most beautiful person I had ever seen, accept for one thing, one of those crystal blue eyes of hers was lazy and looked of in a complete different direction, giving her the appearance of being half mad.
"Wolf," she said in a surprisingly deep voice, as she took a step closer to Kogami. "Nice to see you again, after all these years."
"My name is not Wolf," Kogami growled at her, and I felt a pang of fear at her knowing him.
My father let out a groan, just noticing my presence in the room, and my heart shriveled.
"Well yes," she spoke lazily, as if this was all a bore to her, "but I never did know your real name, did I? I must say, I'm rather disappointed in you and your little band of misfits here. I would expect more from you. But no, you walked right though the front door and delivered yourselves up free of charge. It was so easy. Hardly any fun in it at all."
"What do you mean?" The animosity hadn't left his tone, but I could hear a quiver of fear in it.
The bloodbender whistled, and a door on the side wall, that I hadn't noticed, swung open. Two people were pushed in, Jin, with a bloodied lip, and a girl right after him, who must have been June. She had a matching arrow on her forehead and extremely long black hair hanging loose all around her, I recognized her as the girl from Jin's door, only now she wasn't smiling.
"I'm sorry," Jin managed to get out before the bloodbender took hold of him and June as well. I was terrified of her power, controlling five people at the same time, and it wasn't even a full moon.
"We caught them in the control room. Pathetic really, all we had to do was threaten the girl, and he did anything we wanted."
"What do you want? Just tell us." I heard the desperation in Kogami's voice.
"Hum, good question, Wolf. But I think the better question is, what do you want? What did you break in here for? Because then you will know what I want, which is to see the look on your faces when that thing dies."
My eyes followed her cruel gaze to where my father was hanging from chains. Suddenly, I felt cold, so cold. A sharp, excruciating pain seared across every inch of my body. It took me a while before I realized that she was freezing my blood. She was torturing me into a living statue. She was going to kill my father. There was nothing I could do about it. It was impossible to describe the amount of fear and desperation I felt at that moment. It was more painful than any physical torture that could be inflicted.
The bloodbender walked over to where my father hung, a bored expression darkening her features, as if he were nothing to her, not even worth her time. She took a stance, even the motions to her bending looked sinister; they were complicated, swift, cutting, and took what seemed like ages. Finally, she stopped her dance, holding her hands out. There was a stillness as I waited for something to happen. And then something did, something horrible. He became a puppet, his blood catching up to all of the bending. The blood protruding from his skin became liquid once more, seeped back in, and shifted though his body, contorting him in inhuman ways. It gradually grew worse; his head snapped to the side, his mouth foamed, arteries burst beneath his skin. Blood seeped through his pours, his eyes, his mouth.
Every cell of my body, every fragment of my being screamed out, with fear, pain, hatred. I flashed back through all the years we had spent together. My first earthbending lessons, being tucked in at night, when we had found Oma as a kitten, meeting Uncle Mako. All of it. My love for him and the fear of losing him all balled up into a solid lump of energy in my chest, and it screamed to erupt, to destroy anything that would hurt him. And the worst part was that I couldn't even move, I couldn't even scream, I couldn't even cry. There was no place for that energy to go. It just sat there inside of me, buzzing, building, until every part of me hummed with it.
Until all I could feel was that humming. The raw energy surging through my veins. Refined anger boiled my blood. My vision went white. Flames licked up and down my arms, igniting the molten metal still wrapped around them. The air swirled around me in a cyclone.
The bloodbender only had a second to gawk at me in fear before I lunged. I gripped her by the throat, my hand still ablaze with fire, and lifted her high above me as we hovered in the air. She attempted a scream, but my hand was clasped around her airway too tightly.
"Unfreeze them." My voice was mine and yet not mine at all, a chorus of hundreds all speaking in unison. She writhed and clawed at my arms, tried to use her witchcraft on me. It was all for naught. "Unfreeze them," I demanded again. Her face began to turn purple, but she managed a nod.
I released her, and she slumped onto the floor, gasping for air, but did as I said as soon as her spindly little legs could hold her. Coward.
Once they were loose, Kogami ran to my father and began the healing. Asaka didn't hesitate to rush at the bloodbender with sword drawn, but Jin got in front of her, yelling something.
That was the last thing I saw before my power began to wane, and I slumped onto the floor. There were muffled sounds of chaos all above me, I tried to support myself and sit up, but I was too weak and fell back down. I felt cool, slender fingers on my forehead, caught a glimpse of baby blue eyes. That was it before the white in my vision faded to black.
My eyes fluttered open, and a hazy face came into focus. The familiar baby blue eyes still stared down at me, inches from my face. June.
When she noticed that I was up, she backed away.
"Hi, sleepy girl." She giggled, covering her pink lips with slender fingers. She crawled back over to me with that same wide-eyed expression and grabbed my hands, pulling me to a sitting position with surprising force. "It's time to get up, up, up! Kogi wants to see you, sleepy girl." Her smile was a little too wide, her eyes a little too innocent.
"You must be June," I murmured. "I'm Kyo." I extended a hand to her, but she ignored it, enveloping me in a hug.
"Yes, I know. Kyo. Avatar. Girl who will save us." Her grip was crushing around me.
"Yes, yes. That's right." I patted her on the back in hopes that she would release me, it was a false hope. "Listen, June. I need you to tell me, where are we? Where are the others?" She finally let go, and I sucked in a breath.
"We are in the sky, flying. Others are on the deck, they are with the sick man." She frowned, and I realized she was talking about my father.
"Can you take me to the sick man, June? Can you do that for me?"
She nodded, the smile returning as soon as it had left.
"Yes. Kogi wants to see you. I will take you."
She grabbed me by the hand and walked me out of the darkened room I had been in, out onto the airships deck.
The light blinded me as I emerged, but I ignored it, quickly pulling away from June's hand and running out. I needed to find him. I needed to see that he was okay.
I stopped short, almost running into them, my vision had not fully adjusted to the light, but I could see well enough. The scene was heart wrenching.
My father lay in a makeshift tub, which looked as though Kogami had bended it from ice. He was healing him, of course, swirling the glowing water around his battered body, slowly making the purple bruises disappear. The only piece of him not submerged was his head. Jin was airbending breath in and out of his lungs. But it didn't take me long to know that he was gone. I had seen too much death in my days, and this was what it looked like.
I slipped a hand into the icy water to grasp his, stiff, lifeless.
"He made me a promise," I whispered. "He promised me I would see him again."
"He didn't break it," Kogami said.
"Yes, he did." My voice was soft, broken. "I'll never see him again."
"You will." Kogami was resolute. His face stone as he continued to swirl the water around. I looked up at him and Jin, only then noticing the dark circles under their eyes.
"How long have you been at this?"
"It doesn't matter," Jin said, his face just as hard as Kogami's, his resolve just as strong. I suddenly remembered that he had lost both his parents.
I nodded, grateful for the kindness they were showing me, and metalbent a chair up for myself from the deck. There I sat, holding his hand, waiting. The airship flew on, not heading back to sea. I didn't ask where we were going. I didn't ask how we had escaped. None of us said a thing.
Hours passed, and the sun slipped down over the wasteland of snow. The stars came out, brilliant twinkling stars like I had never seen. The temperature dropped, and June came bearing blankets and tea. We all took the blankets and let the tea grow cold.
Through the night, I watched the rhythmic motions of their bending. Kogami swirling the water, Jin with the in and out of the breath. I offered to help Jin, but he wouldn't allow me. So all I could do was wait.
Before I knew it, the sun was slipping up again. Still, we waited. The day dragged on, the sun glinting off the endless ice and blinded us, until a patch of green interrupted the white.
The airship entered a slow decent, and we landed in what looked like forest. Asaka came and rested a hand on my shoulder. June sat cross-legged beside Jin. Still, no one moved from their post. No one spoke.
Kogami kept healing. Jin kept him breathing. I kept holding his hand.
But eventually, I felt a tear slip down my cheek. I brushed it away, because if I started crying, it was over. If I started crying, I had given up. Asaka's grip on my shoulder tightened, and June slipped closer to me, resting her head on my knee, but it was too late. The crying racked my body with horrible pain and contorted my face into the worst shapes. I knew. I knew he was gone. Still, I didn't let go of his hand. Kogami and Jin kept bending.
One by one, spirits emerged from the forest, waiting just beyond the tree line and on the edge of the lake, watching us. They knew something was wrong. They knew what I was not yet willing to accept.
Kogami lifted his head and looked at me with those blue eyes, once so calm and peaceful, all my anguish reflected back in them. I could see the question in them. Was I ready to stop? Was I ready to let go?
I nodded and wiped the tears and snot from my face.
Kogami and Jin stopped bending.
I still didn't let go of his hand.
I examined his features. Hours of healing had softened them. The hard lines worn into him by pain and loss gone. Any trace that he had been tortured in his last moments vanished. I was at least thankful for that. I placed a kiss on his forehead, still warm.
"I love you too."
And then I did the hardest thing that I ever had to do. I let go of his hand.
- Kogami's nickname of Wolf is based on the character Wolf from the Lunar Chronicles Series.
- The last line of this chapter is reminiscent of the line used before Kyo abandons ship in chapter 1. It is meant to say that it is the hardest thing she has done up to that point, but it may not remain so in the future. For that reason, I plan to use the line multiple times.
- The highly advanced technology in this story is present because 1) the Avatar verse progressed more rapidly than our world, and 2) Asami is the head of this world and has made several advancements in technology, medicine, and so forth.
- The bloodbender's hair is based on Black Widow in the MCU.
For the collective works of the author, go here.