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|Welcome to Republic City|
Book 1: Escape
July 18, 2012
Korra finds that Republic City is not what she thought it was, and John has a secret he must tell Tenzin.
The cargo hold of the ship was faintly lit by the flood lamps overhead. Korra leaned up against a sleeping Naga behind a set of crates while John stood nearby, looking over the Satomobile that was strapped to the deck. When he had first seen it, the young man had been overjoyed when he had laid eyes on the vehicle, even spending an hour giggling like schoolgirl. Both of them had ditched the thick heavy winter coats, but John still retained a tan overcoat to hide his guns.
"Are you almost done staring at that?" she asked, boredom in her voice.
"Jealous?" came his reply as he refused to take his eyes off the vehicle. A low groan emitted from the metal hull as the ship pulled into dock.
"Wake up Naga, we're here," said Korra as she rubbed the large polar bear dog's snout. John tore himself away from the car and hurried over to hide behind the crate next to Korra and Naga. The sound of a gate being lowered filled the hold as sunlight flooded in.
Both John and Korra shielded their eyes as they peeked out from behind the crates, trying to catch a glimpse of the city beyond.
As various dockworkers began to stream into the hold to unload the cargo, both Korra and John quickly mounted Naga.
"Thanks for the ride!" called Korra as Naga galloped past the shocked workers. They gawked as the large beast galloped down the gangplank and disappeared into the city. John stared up at the city with a since of awe, it had been a long time since he had seen the towering buildings of a metropolis.
"What are we looking for?" he asked as they slowed and looked around the city.
"We've got to find Air Temple Island," she replied. John looked up, around the towering buildings.
"My guess is that its somewhere in the harbor," he said as they came to a halt on a pier over looking the harbor. From here they could see the giant statue of Aang, thousands of Satomobiles on the streets and bridges, and their destination sitting beyond the statue.
"I've never seen so many Satomobiles," said Korra in amazement. Naga raised her snout, sniffing the air in search of food. After being turned down by a street vendor, they made their way to the City Park where they caught some fish out of the pond. While Naga caught and ate some fish for herself, Korra used Firebending to cook the three fish.
"Can I have one of those nice smelling fish?" asked an urchin living in the bush next to them, startling Korra.
"I thought everyone here was living it up," she said after he had finished telling his story.
"You got a lot to learn newcomers, welcome to Republic City," he replied.
"Just like home," muttered John before he bit into a fish. However he never got to finish it as a Park Guard descended upon them.
"Are you tired of living under the tyranny of benders? Then join the Equalists!" shouted a protester into a bullhorn. A large poster of a masked man sat behind him as he stood on a box over a small crowd. Korra felt John tense up behind her as they approached the crowd.
"You okay?" asked Korra as they where still a short distance from the protester.
"My world is highly against bending, Korra. Laws were passed that forbid it from even happening in public," he said.
"Wanna do anything about it?"
"No, we need to find Tenzin." he said. They ignored the shouts against benders as they rode away. However, they soon found themselves lost in the streets, and Korra stopped to ask directions.
"Go to the end of this street and you'll find yourselves at the harbor," said an elderly lady. Three men appeared in a car and began to question a nearby shop owner, even damaging the store with their bending. Korra began to advance toward the gang members, but stopped when John placed his hand on her shoulder.
"We should let the cops handle this and find Tenzin." he said.
"It's my duty to help people." she replied before she attacked the gang members, even throwing one though a window and wrecking their car with Earthbending. A siren filled the air as an airship descended out of the sky and Metalbending cops quickly arrested the gang members, but things got out of control when they attempted to arrest Korra as well.
While she attempted to flee on Naga, John approached the leader of the police before he could give chase.
"So, mind taking me in as well?" he asked. The man looked at him like he was insane.
"No. You haven't committed any crimes." Looking over at a nearby police officer, John promptly drove his fist into the man's cheek.
"Oh whoops, I appear to have assaulted one of your officers." he said, ignoring the cop as he collapsed to the ground.
Hours passed at the Police Headquarters with John's wrists bound by chains to a bench. His guns had been taken from him while a single cop stood over him. A tall woman with graying hair approached with a clipboard.
"It's been nearly forty years John. Did you really have to re-introduce yourself by assaulting one of my officers?" she asked. John shrugged to the best of his ability.
"I always have had a flare for dramatic entrances Lin," he replied. The Chief of Police sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose.
"It's bad enough that you got to keep your youth after all that time, shame you still have your attitude. Once the fines are paid off you and The Avatar will be free to go. I've already sent for Tenzin so you might as well just stay put." she said. With that she walked away, leaving John chained to the bench. He dozed off for a short while before Tenzin finally arrived.
"John, may I ask why you're in Republic City?" he asked the young Firebender. John swallowed in an attempt to bring moisture back to his dry throat.
"Korra wanted to come, and I figured that you're probably the best person to talk to." he replied. The Airbender sighed before showing that he was listening.
"I received a message on the trip here to the city. There's trouble back home, The Gunslingers are involved in a Civil War and lots of people are dying. The rebels of the Order are loosing badly, and they're running out of places to hide." he said.
"What are you saying, John?"
"They need a place to stay, Tenzin, outside of The Grandmaster's reach. I'm asking that you set up a small place on the city outskirts for them to live for a short while. They can work for the city in cleaning up and other public works, even provide extra security if necessary." he said. Tenzin thought for a moment as he paced the room.
"I don't know."
"Please Tenzin, they have no where to go. And if the order doesn't purge them then the World will, simply because they're benders." John begged. Tenzin sighed as he motioned for John to be released.
"I'll think about it, but right now we need to get Korra released, and then she's going back to the South Pole, and you're going too," said Tenzin.
"Because I need someone I can trust to watch over her, the Equalists are growing in power and she'll be in danger."
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