|More from Swampbender55||Adventure||PG-13||None yet||No update page|
January 24, 2013
This is the fifteenth chapter of the series,.
Late in the night, a large unmarked airship floats above the city. Police lights shine on the craft as they see several men tied up, hanging by ropes from the bottom. "People of this city." a voice comes from speakers on the airship's underside. "I, the Blue Spirit have come to restore balance to this city. These men, members of the Red Monsoon Triad have extorted you, the citizens, out of millions of your hard earned yuan. And so today I give it back to you, the oppressed, the deserving, the worthy! Take back what you have earned." the Blue Spirit reaches back into the ship and pours out several large bags of money as the paper rains down on the streets below, the many bystanders scattering to grab their share. The ship then disappears in a thick cloud, leaving the Triad members tied up on a roof for the police.
The next morning Tahno is asleep In his bed as he opens his eyes slowly to look at the clock. He sees that it is hours earlier than he has been up in recent memory. Suddenly Nilak rushes into his room, a look of terror on his face. "Dad the kitchen's on fire!" he says to his father. Indeed, Tahno can smell something coming from the kitchen. He jumps up and bends water from a barrel in the hallway that he keeps for just such an emergency. He jumps down the stairs and, after reaching the kitchen instinctively reacts by dousing the area with water. He hears a scream come out as he looks up and sees Sakari, drenched from head to toe, standing in front of the stove with pots and pans surrounding her.
"What the heck dad?" she shouts at him. As the two turn to Nilak who breaks out in laughter.
"Oh man, I can't believe you fell for that. Ha ha ha, I can't stand it." he continues as Raza lands on his shoulder. The two look angrily at the young man as they dry the area and their clothes with water-bending and collect it together to make one large ball of water. "Hey come on you guys, it was just a joke. No wait come on I was kidding!" he shouts as Raza flies away before the huge sphere hits his master, washing him outside.
The three, along with Gigi and Raza, head into town as Sakari tackles the first thing on her list. "Wait, you never learned to swim?" Tahno asks his daughter as the group settle in at the community pool, Sakari in a one piece bathing suit and her brother and father in black trunks.
"Well not without my water-bending. It's mostly splashing, flailing and drowning. Besides, that's why we're here." she says sitting on Gigi, which the lifeguard mistakes for a pool toy in the middle of the pool, as she gestures her father to help her into the water. He walks over still looking half asleep and wades into the water. Nilak on the other hand lounges on the edge of the pool as his father helps her down and slowly shows her how to move around without her bending. "Okay so you just relax, your body naturally floats anyway so all you have to do is move your arms like this." he says motioning her arms so that she gets the concept.
As the two continue a rowdy young man and his friends notice the two as he enters the water and swims over. The young man with dark skin and blue eyes, interrupts their lesson. "Hey, why are you hanging with the old man? The name's 'Chiller' Chow and I can teach you how to swim. We can even have some one-on-one time." the cocky guy says as Tahno rolls his eyes; the entire situation reminding him of something vaguely familiar.
Sakari on the other hand, simply smiles. "Yeah, and I can show you what the inside of a cat-gator looks like." she whistles as Gigi emerges in front of the man, causing him to scream and jump out of the water with his bending, flying back to the shore as his friends laugh at him, causing Chow to leave in embarrassment. Tahno bursts into laughter at the scene.
"I've never heard dad laugh before. It's creepy." Nilak says, having watched the whole scene.
"Sorry it just reminded me of something." he says as Sakari smiles, glad to see her father enjoying himself.
After they are done with that, Sakari moves down the list as they do several other things. They move on to something she has been looking forward to all day. "Next on the list is, meeting with old friends." she says happily as her father and brother walk behind her.
"We're headed to Air Temple Island, everyone is already waiting for us." she then hears the clock in Central Station ring seven times. "Oh wow, I...uh have something I need to take care of. I'll meet you guys there later." she says as she runs off leaving the two a bit confused as they make their way to the docks and head toward the island. As the ship gets close to the dock the two see several air-benders flying over head. Raza leaps off of Nilak's shoulder and joins them in the air as the group land down to await the ship at the dock, joined by a White Lotus Sentry. The two are greeted by the five air-benders.
"Welcome welcome welcome, we're so glad you could finally make it. It must have been years since we've seen you and the children are so excited you're here." the air-bender woman says, sporting her arrow tattoos, symbolizing she is now an air-bending master.
"Yes, it's great to see you again, Ikki." Tahno says politely, now fully aware of who she is.
"Hey aunt Ikki." Nilak waves.
"Don't forget about me." the sentry says as he steps forward.
Tahno looks closely at the man before he finally recognizes him. "Shaozu?"
"The one and only." he says as he removes his head garb, revealing he has cut his hair short. "Hey kids say hello to your uncle Tahno."
"Hi" the air-bender kids say in joyous unison as they introduce themselves from oldest to youngest.
"I'm Oji." the boy says.
"Naru." the girl shouts.
"Kenta." the youngest boy introduces.
"Nima." the smallest and youngest girl jumps up and says.
"Well go ahead, jump on him." Shaozu says casually as the children comply and pile on the water-bender. After the introductions the group make their way inside and sit down for a meal. Joining them are Jinora, now Councilwoman for the Air Nation as well as Ikki's brothers Meelo and Rohan, all now sporting there tattoos. Raza the iguana parrot stays perched in the rafters as Nilak tosses him food.
"So, how are you enjoying your new position Councilwoman?" Tahno asks Jinora as he eats some rice.
"Honestly, I think my parents are enjoying their free time more than I enjoy this. But it's an honor to be able to help shape the political avenues of the city so it might a well be me. So how have you been?"
"I've been alright, just tired lately. Sometimes it's just hard to get out of bed in the morning."
"Or in the afternoon, evening, midnight or later." Nilak says with a sly smile. His father looks over at him with annoyance as he continues.
"But Sakari's trying to get me out of the house. Has this list of things she wants us to do as a family."
"She just wants you to be happy."
"That sounds like fun. Mommy can we do that too?" Naru says excitedly.
"How about we finish dinner first and we'll talk about it." Shaozu says. "So have you heard about this Blue Spirit guy?"
"Only in the papers."
"Last night the guy steals an airship and rains down money all over the city. Even delivers some Red Monsoons members to the police."
"You really think he's some kind of spirit?"
"Doubtful, in all likeliness it's just someone who is far to overzealous, taking the law into their own hands." Jinora says. "My office is swamped with calls everyday with sightings." she is interrupted as an acolyte places a letter into her hands as she opens it. After a few seconds of reading she gets up. "I have some important business to attend to. It was good seeing you again Tahno, you too Nilak." she says as she exits.
"Hey why don't you kids go play with Nilak while your mother and I catch up with your uncle Tahno?" Shaozu says as he helps Ikki up from the table and the three adults leave. The three walk down one of the paved paths on the island. "Be honest with us, how are you really holding up?"
"I told you I'm doing fine."
"You're gonna have to do better than that to fool a guy whose known you since you came to this city and an air-bender, they're very good with emotions."
"It's true." Ikki says.
"Alright you guys got me." Tahno says a bit pathetically. "I'm putting on this fake happy face for Sakari. She wants us to be a family again. I'm just not sure I can be there for her. Nilak's here and we barely say two words to each other in a week. At this point I'm starting to think Korra was the only thing keeping this family together."
"Don't say that. Your a great father." Ikki says kindly.
"Yeah, the dad who sends his kids away for almost two decades. That's great father material alright." he says sarcastically.
"Kenta, Naru, put Nilak down!" Shaozu shouts as he runs over to where the group are playing as the two air-benders fling Nilak through the air. Ikki and the water-bender continue the conversation.
"Listen Tahno, you did what you had to to make sure they had the best that they needed in life. And look at them now, Nilak working for Future Industries and Sakari a part of the United Forces. I'd say you did a pretty good job."
"Thanks, but it's not the same. I mean, look at you and your kids." he says looking over at Shoazu, who the kids have now shot into the air with a small tornado keeping him up as they all laugh. "I just don't think we could ever be this happy."
"Well it's not as happy as you might think." She says sadly. "Our oldest daughter Yi left home about two years ago. She and Shaozu were training one day, they got into an argument. She wanted to rush through her training, he wanted her to learn the fundamentals before teaching her high level techniques. Finally they started yelling and she ran off."
"I'm sorry, I wish I'd known. Do you know where she is now?"
"She came back about six months ago. She came into the house one night and grabbed her things, never said a word and left to live in the city. We've seen her a few times with two guys. She works for the Triple Threat Triad now. She won't even talk to us anymore." she says, getting choked up. This catches Tahno completely by surprise. He had always seen Ikki as a happy-go-lucky person, and to see her in this state shook him a little.
"It's alright, it'll be okay. Is there anything I can do to help." he says putting an arm around her shoulder.
"Maybe you could have Sakari talk to her since she's in town. They've been good friends for years."
"Anything to help. I'll ask her the minute I get home." he says. He finds it ironic that he came there for some encouragement and ended up giving some.
Later that night as everyone has gone home Jinora walks through the training area cautiously, waiting for someone or something. "Well well, I see you received my message. It's nice to see there are still punctual people in your world." the Blue Spirit says perched on a rock behind her.
"Let's just cut all the smoke and mirrors and get down to business." Jinora says as she walks toward him, none too convinced of the figure's claimed spiritual heritage.
"Excuse me." it says as it jumps down.
"If you'd done actual research you'd know that the Blue Spirit identity was used by Fire Lord Zuko to free Avatar Aang during his incarceration by Admiral Zhao in the winter of 99 AG. You're no spirit."
"Ah, but his actions that day caused my creation. If you'd done 'your' research you'd know that your mortal actions create ripples in our world. I am one of those ripples. A spirit sent to this world to maintain balance, order, justice..."
"Vengeance." she interrupts.
"A necessary step to maintain balance in the world."
"Let's say I do believe you. Why did you call me here?" she says motioning her hand behind her back to signal someone.
"The other Council members would never accept my aid. But you; you are the one person on the council who would hear me out. I am a mighty force for good, even if you and the others see it slightly different. This city is in sore need of a champion for the weak, the defenseless, the oppressed, someone to replace your departed Avatar."
"And what makes you think the Avatar is truly gone?"
"How else would you explain it? They have not come forward, your White Lotus has not discovered them." the Blue Spirit stops as he feels pressure on the back of his head.
"You know, the last time I met a man wearing a mask, talking about equality, we disagreed on a few things." Mako says with a fist to the back of the figure's head.
"Impressive, no one has ever managed to surprise me." the Blue Spirit moves with lightening speed moving around Mako, who unleashes a fire blast, and unsheathes a pair of broadswords from his back and attacks the officer in close range, putting him on the defensive. "But, unlike the pretender Amon, I am truly here to aid the world. And I plan on doing just that, without your support if necessary." he prepares to slash Mako's midsection as Jinora air blasts him into the spinning gates. Another gust of air from her activates them. They find, however that the figure has no problem weaving through the gates like an air-bender, his body easily weaving side to side as he exits.
Mako unleashes a barrage of fire shots as he evades each one. Jinora unleashes another blast of air, which the masked figure turns into instead of taking it head on, minimizing the power of the blow. It motions around another fire blast and reaches the Councilwoman, who creates a barrier of air around her, knocking the Blue Spirit back. Mako intercedes again as the two engage in another close quarters duel. The officer manages to knock one of the blades out of the left hand of his foe, now putting the so-called spirit on defense. Suddenly the Blue Spirit throws down an orb creating a cloud of smoke, obscuring the view in the area. Jinora prepares to clear it with air-bending but is struck from behind by the spirit with a series of quick chi-blocking strikes. As she falls she can see the silhouettes of two figures still dueling in the cloud. One eventually triumphs over the other as the smoke clears, revealing the victor.
"I never wanted it to come to this." the Blue Spirit says as Mako lies on the ground immobilized as the spirit raises the swords to finish the downed officer. Before the blow can be struck a sudden mist rolls in as it sheathes the weapons. "It seems the spirits have another destiny for you. Another time than." the spirit leaps over a cliff and disappears as the two slowly regain their muscle functions. They rush to the edge but see nothing, the only sound that can be heard is the squawk of a bird in the distance.
For the collective works of the author, go here.