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December 28, 2012
This is the seventh chapter of the series,.
The next day Korra and Tenzin along with his family go to the hospital to visit Tahno. Mako, Bolin and Asami also accompany them. As they arrive they see the waiting room filled with his family, wearing green shirts and pants with hints of blue in theme. They greet them and the family head up to Tahno's room. Mako and the others stop to talk to Shaozu and Ming who wait with the family. As they enter they see Yang, Li, and his brother Tao in the room with him. "Korra!" Tao says as the others look over.
"Hey there Korra." Tahno says lying back on his bed.
"How are you feeling dear?" Pema asks him.
"Well, I've been better but I'll bounce back."
"That's my boy, tough as nails." Yang says with a hearty laugh. He and his wife introduce themselves to the Councilman and his wife.
"I'm Councilman Tenzin and this is my wife Pema." Tenzin is surprised as Yang gives him a powerful handshake. Tenzin pulls his hand back and begins massaging it. "Right, well, nice to meet you two."
"How are you holding up?" Pema asks the two.
"Fine I suppose, we'd like to stay here with him but the hospital just doesn't have room for everyone. We'd like to find a hotel in town but I doubt they have the kind of room we need for the family." Li says.
Pema looks over at Tenzin as the two trade stares for a moment before the Councilman finally gives in. "You are more than welcome to stay on Air Temple Island if you'd like."
"Really? You're the best." Yang lifts Tenzin off the ground and gives him a bear hug. He releases Tenzin as he shakes it off and the adults leave the room.
"How're you doing Tahno?" Korra asks him as Ikki jumps up on the chair next to the bed and sits near his head and kisses him on the cheek.
"I can't really complain, I've got all my family and friends here, and my favorite girl." He says slightly looking up at Korra. Ikki leans in closer to him and begins rubbing her face against his as Jinora rolls her eyes.
"Yes you do." Taki says as she enters the room. "Hey there you. Excuse me." She says as she picks up Ikki from the chair, sits in it and gives Tahno a kiss on the lips. Ikki stand behind her and furiously attempts to attack her, Jinora effortlessly holding her back. Meelo pushes a button on the side of the bed that sharply throws it flat slamming Tahno's head down. "Oops." He says innocently. "Maybe you three should wait, down stairs." Korra says to the three air children as they leave the room, Ikki glaring at Taki as she and her siblings leave, Tao accompanying them.
"Thanks Korra." Taki says, kissing Tahno on the cheek.
"Don't mention it." Korra says as she looks away. As Taki leans in her hand bag falls to the floor and the contents spill out. She leans down to pick up her things as Korra comes over to help her. The Avatar picks up a small glass cylinder with a blue liquid inside. "What's this?"
"Oh that's just my new perfume. Thanks Korra. Would you like to try some?"
"Oh, no thanks, I'm not a perfume kind of girl."
Taki puts the perfume with the rest of her things. "So Tahno, did the doctor tell you what's wrong?"
"They don't know, I was fine before the match. I can't think of anything else that would have made me sick."
"Well, all that matters now is that you're okay and I'll be right here with you." Taki says laying her head on his. "Maybe I should go." Korra says as Ming, Shaozu, and Chief Bei Fong enter the room.
"Hey boss, the Chief wanted to ask us some questions if you're up to it." Ming says "No problem officer." Tahno says sitting up in the bed.
"Now, before the match did you do anything unusual?" she asks first.
"Not really we all went out to eat." Shaozu says.
"Couldn't have been the food though, we all shared the same dish." Ming responds.
"Alright, did you come into contact with any substances, chemicals powders?" "Not that I can remember, after dinner I went straight home." Tahno stops for a moment looking down, then looks back at Korra in the corner. "Actually, I met a man at Central City Station. He wanted the Wolfbats to lose the match for some gambling ring. Told him we wouldn't do it." As he says this everyone in the room but Korra look at him with alert faces.
"So you suspect foul play? Do you think the Skunk-bears were involved?"
"I doubt it. They seemed just as surprised as we were when they got back to the platform." Ming says.
"Yeah, I...ahh." Tahno moans in pain and vomits into a bucket next to the bed. "Tahno!" Korra shouts as she rushes over to him, Taki on the other side of him. "I'm fine really."
"They're right, you need your rest. I won't hold you anymore. I'd like to follow some leads and see what I can dig up. If you can recall anything else let me know." Lin says as she heads toward the door. "Avatar Korra." She nods to the girl and leaves.
"I should be going too. I'll see you tomorrow Tahno." Korra says as the Wolfbats say good bye to their captain. The three head back down stairs as Mako and the others walk over to them. "How's Tahno doing?" Asami asks.
"Alright I guess. Taki's with him right now." she says as Ming and Shaozu look over at her. Across the room she can hear the doctor talking to Tahno's parents.
"Right now we're not entirely sure what's causing your son's illness. We'll keep trying but for now all we can do is keep him stable."
"Hey Ming, where have you guys been staying for the last few months?" Korra asks the earth-bender.
"We rented some small rooms in an apartment in the Dragon Flats District."
"Do you still have the keys to the rooms? I think I might do a little searching myself."
"If you are then we're coming with you." Shaozu says.
"Count me in too." Tao says as the rest of the family departs for Air Temple Island. "Hey Korra are you coming?" Mako says as he and Bolin are heading out.
"You guys go ahead I'll catch up. Hey Asami do you think you could give us a ride?" Korra asks as the other girl agrees. They make their way to the Dragon Flats District, the full moon high in the clear sky, as they reach a small rundown apartment building.
"Well, this is the place." Ming says as the group disembarks.
"Big bro lives here? No wonder he came back home." Tao says as they walk up the stairs to the apartments.
"Tahno's is over there." Shaozu points out.
"Okay, Ming, Tao come with me. Asami, you and Shaozu keep watch just in case." Korra says as the two wait outside.
Shaozu decides to break the silence. "So, you seeing anybody?"
"None of your business." She says as Shaozu looks down, disappointed.
The others continue their search of the room as they sift through Tahno's things. "What are we looking for exactly?" Ming asks as they search.
"I don't know, something, anything." She says as she knocks over a pile of folded clothing on the bed. They fall to the floor and, as she looks down she sees a small blue necklace with black straps on it fall out of one of the pockets. She leans over to pick it up.
"What, what is it?" Ming asks as he turns around.
"It's a betrothal necklace." She says looking over the carefully hand carved item.
"Yeah, that must be what big bro had with him before we left the swamp." Tao says looking at it curiously.
Ming rubs the back of his head before deciding to speak. "Uh Korra, I don't know if I should be the one to tell you this but Tahno, well he made that for you. He's been trying like crazy to tell you how he feels."
"Just complicated things I guess." Ming says as Korra covers her mouth with her free hand, it being all she can do to keep herself from bursting into tears. Suddenly she stops to think. "Wait I know what happened, we need to get back to the hospital, now!" she says as the three head back out to see Shaozu laid across the back seat of the Satomobile unconscious, with Asami leaning against the car. "Uh, what happened to Shaozu?"
"Don't ask. What's going on?" Asami asks.
"We need to get Chief Bei Fong and get to the hospital on the double." Korra says as the group hops in the car and speed off. They drive past the station and see Lin conversing with several officers.
"Korra, what is it?" the officer says.
"Hop in, I'll explain on the way."
Lin hops into the back looking over at Shaozu. "What happened to him?"
"Don't ask." Asami says shifting gears and racing off to the hospital. They reach the front door as Korra and Lin leap out and race inside. "You four stay here." Lin says as the others stand by the car. Tao disobeys and rushes after the two.
"Tao, come back." Asami shouts as Shaozu finally regains consciousness. "Oh, what happened?" he asks as he looks over at Asami, then ducks back down in the seat.
Inside, Taki stands over a sleeping Tahno. "Poor baby, how about a goodnight kiss." As she leans in to kiss him the two rush in, Korra flinging a water whip around her wrist. "Korra what are you doing?" she demands to know as Tahno is woken from all the commotion.
"It's over Taki, I know you're the one who poisoned Tahno."
"What are you talking about?" Tahno says weakly in bed as Tao rushes in behind the two.
"It took me a while but then it made sense. The poison wasn't in any of the food or anything at his apartment. Then I realized, you kissed Tahno just before the match. That's when he started to get sick. You kissed him again mid-match too, and earlier today. The poisons in your lip-stick." She points accusingly.
"This is insane, if it was in my lip-stick, why didn't I get sick too?"
"That perfume. It's not perfume at all. It's the antidote, isn't it?"
"If it is, then you should have no problem handing both over to the police for examining." Lin says.
Taki backs up and breaks free of the waters grip, smashing the sink in the corner as water spews over the room. She motions her arms as the water heads toward Lin and Korra. Tao moves in front of them to deflect it as the girl leaps out the window using a wave of water to get her to the street. "She's a water-bender!" Korra shouts out as she performs the same maneuver and lands down on the street to see an unconscious Asami, Ming, and Shaozu on the ground. Lin looks out on the street then looks back to Tao. "Stay here. I mean it." She uses her cables to pursue Taki as well. Tao can't resist as he follows as well, Tahno shouting for him to stop.
The water-bender girl leads the two on a chase through the streets as she runs past a fountain and hurls a large wave of water at the two. Korra freezes the wave as she and Lin stay right behind her. Taki stops in the middle of the street and water whips a man out of his car, jumping in and driving off. Lin fires her cables and follows from above as Korra hovers over the ground with her air scooter. Ahead Taki can see the harbor just ahead as she pushes the peddle to the floor. Korra rides alongside of her and begins shooting fire blasts at the hood. The front end of the car bursts into flames as the girl loses control, careening back and forth across the road. From above Lin raises an earth ramp that causes the car to fly through the air and crash on its side, feet from the harbor. The injured girl crawls out from the wreck, her clothing torn and burnt, as Korra and Lin land in front of her.
"Give it up, it's over." Korra says.
"In your dreams." Taki says as she jumps up putting her hands ahead of her and stretching out her fingers. Korra and Lin are paralyzed as she motions them on their knees. "I can't believe you wouldn't notice the full moon out tonight." She says as she flexes her fingers putting the two to sleep. As she relaxes she is hit from the side by a small wave, as Tao jumps down.
"Let's see how you handle Foggy Swamp style." He says as he motions for another attack before she gets him in her blood-bending hold. He moans and strains as he attempts to resist.
"Little boy, I think it's time you learned your place." As she says this she is hit by a three element attack from the Wolfbats, including a still ill Tahno, as Asami makes up the reinforcements.
"Let's show her a Wolfbat attack." Tahno says as they combine their elements again, making a smoke screen. Taki looks around as Asami appears through the cloud, besting her in hand to hand knocking the girl down. She jumps back up and rushes from the cloud as Ming and Shaozu launch a barrage of attacks at her. She weaves to the left and, getting a line of sight on the four, uses her blood bending again, raising them all in the air. She slams Shaozu, Asami, and Ming against the ground, knocking them out again. She pulls a still conscious Tahno into the air. Tao rushes her on a water wave, only to be stopped halfway through as she bends him again and slams him against the ground, turning her attention back to Tahno.
A half conscious Korra lies on the ground looking up at the scene. She sees the downed officer, pro-benders, and Asami. She turns her head slightly to see Tao's small body strewn across the ground, than looks over to see Taki and Tahno.
"W...Why?" he asks.
"When the Red Monsoon Triad tells you to throw a match, I suggest you listen. And honestly, you actually thought I liked you?" she flexes her hands, twisting Tahno's skin. "But don't worry, after all, whose going to miss a back water bumpkin like you?"
"I would!" Korra says as she rises from the ground, unleashing the Avatar State. Taki drops Tahno and attempts to blood-bend her to no avail. The Avatar blasts her with an air blast, knocking her back and unleashes a flurry of earth shards at the girl. Taki panics and jumps back into the harbor moving her arms in a rotary style to move as fast as she can and disappears beneath the waves. Korra powers down and runs over to check on the others as they, one by one get up slowly. She hears moans behind her as Tahno lies on the ground. "Tahno!" she rushes over to him, resting his head in her lap.
"Korra, catch." Lin says as she throws Korra Taki's bag from the car. She opens it, grabs the vial and pours some into his mouth helping him to swallow it as she breadths a sigh of relief. Tahno looks up lightly at her. "How'd you do it?" he asks.
"This helped a little." She says showing him the necklace.
At a small warehouse on the pier, Taki stumbles inside as the guards let her pass into a dark room where a man sits at a long table in the shadows, his hands the only visible feature. "I take it didn't go well?" he says as she silently nods she then falls on her hands and knees.
"Please, I know I failed you sir but give me another chance, I..." she is cut short as he moves his hand forward, blood-bending the girl in the air. "Please...I lo...uh." She attempts to utter as a tear runs down her face.
"No crying now." he says as he water-bends the tear back into her duct and throws her to the ground. He throws her to the ground as two of the guards grab her limp body. "Deal with her." He commands as she looks up before fainting.
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