|By M1O||Part of thecontinuity.|
- "What, are you going to fight me?"
- "I'll fight anyone who gets in my way."
- "Please, you're not worth it."
- —Zhao taunting Hong deservedly, horribly one-sided battle ensues
Zhao is a personal assistant to one of the Overseers. She is heavily augmented and it is estimated that over half of her body is composed of some unnatural material. Not only that, but her augmentations are fully internalized although, if necessary, she can brandish several hidden weapons: heel blades, metal nails, wire, electrified needles, steel cards, and her unknown status as a metalbending grandmaster. She is a deadly opponent capable of fighting the Avatar to a standstill, but her objectives are usually set on undermining her master's other opponents and the need to remain low-profile prevents her from engaging the Avatar and his allies deliberately.
She is not related to Zhao. Stop asking.
Zhao was born in the northern Earth Kingdom a little while after the second Avatar attack on the Overseers. In time the people forgot about their would-be savior, as did the Overseers, but one did not - the one that was subjected to the last attack. In his paranoia, he sought to protect himself but lacked the resources to raise his army to the levels of the other Overseers, so instead he settled for a single addition to his army, one with just the right augments to be just as effective.
However, the process would involve near total-body conversion, so someone would need to "volunteer," and that person would also need to be a powerful metalbender to start with. As it just so happens, Zhao worked in a mining facility with her family until unexpected seismic activity caused a violent cave-in. As Earthbending had become perverted into a direct segue to metalbending, they were largely unable to defend against it. Zhao and her sister were two of the few survivors. However, when a rescue was made, it caused another cave-in and Zhao attempted to hold it off - and did, for a short time that was critical to getting her sister Feizhi out, but was overwhelmed and crushed under the rubble. She would have surely died if not for the rescue team's intervention. Impressed by her determination and skill, the Overseer had found his volunteer.
As an Aide
Zhao proved to be an incredibly valuable tool for the Overseer. She was capable of moving about where soldiers could not and her infiltration skills proved a great asset. Whenever the Overseer heard of some rabblerouser attempting to rally the people together, he would send Zhao in preference to the effective but sloppy Bones. The other Overseers did not know of her presence and only assumed that their fellow was taking care of potential problems through other channels. Eventually the rogue Overseer became daring and had Zhao infiltrate and undermine his allies and make it look as if they sought to fight each other, and so they did, in a bid to secure more land and power. Although he did reap some benefit from the infighting, the others realized his plot and came to an agreement. They also investigated their "ally" but looked for an organization of private soldiers like the Bones, not a lone individual, so Zhao evaded detection easily.
The Overseer and Zhao were preparing another attempt to sabotage the others as well as divert the blame, but a new problem arose in the form of rumors that the Avatar had returned...
Character & Abilities
Zhao boasts incredible metalbending skill. It is revealed that her extraordinary capability is derived from a true appreciation for Earthbending as an art, as is the revelation that she is well-versed in normal Earthbending techniques. As stated above, Zhao's augmentation carries with it an array of weapons but she can easily use others as well. Her augments are also some of the most advanced to date and are composed of a new metallic alloy that remains highly durable while weighing considerably less than normal metal. The design is also as such that Zhao can shrug off electrical attacks as minor, although a sustained or sufficiently-powered charge will still damage her. Zhao is also equipped with a limited rebreather and filtering device allowing her to breathe underwater for a time and the alloy is light enough to allow for some swimming, greatly reducing the serious threat of deep water that other highly augmented people must always be aware of. Due to the widespread application of augmentation, suffering from none of its weaknesses makes Zhao all the more effective at what she does.
Zhao cares little for others except for her sister, Feizhi, who is the only friend and family she has left. Because Feizhi is an exceptional metalbender in her own right, Zhao constantly argues against her augmentation before her master agreed to leave her alone under the pretense of an experiment: to see whether or not augmentation truly helped one's capabilities as a bender or hindered them. Augmentation improving physical feats was a foregone conclusion but it is long hinted that it impedes the ability to bend, or so Zhao claims. Unless her sister can gain an appreciation of the art, odds are good that she will soon need a new excuse to be spared from a grievous event. Aside from care, Zhao also speaks little to others, excluding her sister, and presents a cold personality. She will occasionally indulge in taunts if she believes it will disrupt an opponent's focus to fight. Although Zhao would have preferred a better lot in life, she is content with the one she has now, knowing that things could be much worse.
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