Avatar: The Legend Reborn

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  1. The Price of Patience
    Six months had past since word of the death of Avatar Kiareu had slipped into the world. It started as a whisper. A murmur among the politicians and a valuable piece of information confirmed to those deemed necessary and only to the most trusted imperial sources. Unfortunately, trust is an easy thing to misplace. It was no secret that the Ozai was searching for the next Avatar reincarnate, although the Phoenix Kingdom tried their hardest to keep prevent it from becoming common knowledge. The Police Force strictly enforced new laws as to the oversight of newborns of any Earthbending descent to such a degree that even the smallest of towns had free, established clinics and trained medics to oversee childbirth. While ambassadors to various regions claimed it an act of the Phoenix Kingdom to give back to its people, it was truly nothing more than a petty rouse to keep the search for the next Avatar calm and quiet.

    Within the Rising, the news had stirred mixed emotions and caused conflicts among the leaders of the rebel alliance. Most prominently among Ukoda and Uquolaan. Ukoda wanted to take this opportunity to strike at the Phoenix Kingdom and make the ferocity of their resistance known. Jet shared this opinion with Ukoda. The two had a firm hold on the North and Northwestern Earth Kingdom and reclaiming the Northern Water Tribe would be almost effortless with the Phoenix Kingdom spread as thin as it was in its search of the next Avatar. Springing the largest rebellion in Phoenix Kingdom history at this time would also shower those that felt hopeless with morale. And, while the Fire Nation was still a threat, Ukoda claimed his naval forces could keep them from assisting the Phoenix Kingdom while the rest of the Rising could mount an assault.

    Still, while such a plan had merit, many believed it premature. Uquolaan being one of them. How many would die? How many had died? And, to what? Protect the secrecy that Ukoda wished to toss away? What information would they lose? How many spies and secret networks would be ruined by breaking out war this early? Uquolaan was not the only one to share this opinion. Zhing-Toah and the majority of the council of Air Nomads of the Patola Mountains wanted to delay war for as long as possible, and even then never wanted to join in. Ukoda saw them as soldiers when they wanted to be nothing more than hidden refugees. Without the full support of other branches of the Rising, Uquolaan spoke for the alternatives. What if they found the next Avatar? What if they stalled out their silent war of attrition even longer? What possible fruits would be reaped if the situation was afforded more time? What could be the costs?

    There were countless factors to be considered, and the leadership of this rebellion couldn't agree to even consider some of them. This increased the amount of communication needed, and more communication opened up more opportunities for failure. Remaining silent to a shared enemy proved difficult when more words were spoken between allies. Factions began to develop within the Rising; factions that before were trivial. While some agents Uquolaan trained himself or trusted closely fled to New Taku, believing action was necessary, just as many 'soldiers' and 'veterans' made their way to the Underground City, believing that Ukoda would get himself and his men killed by springing an assault on the Northern Water Tribe colonies to secure control over the entire domain. Tensions were mounting in the Rising, and what they would amount to still remained a mystery at this moment.

    But, what of the Rising as we knew it? Three groups scattered across the Earth Kingdom, all with different leadership, different intentions and completely different individuals. Fate just so had it that these groups didn't remain together for long, but such was the curse of living in interesting times. While some of these agents of Uquolaan fled to Ukoda, preparing for war, some of them remained loyal. Some of them believed that an all-out war, at least at this point, was a poor decision. Everyone knew war was inevitable, so the nay-sayers were often called cowards or considered untrue to the cause. Some completely defected the Rising entirely, feeling that the mounting tensions within the Rising made being a rebel all too real for them. There were a few, though, who left because of obligations they felt far greater than those of the Rising. Those exact obligations would lead us to the fate of one group.

    Tenten was possibly the most effective leader of the smaller groups of the Rising. She was no Uquolaan, nor did she speak with the authority of Ukoda, but she spoke to her followers on a personal level. This made her departure from the Rising a great loss, not just as an asset, but as she left behind hollowed portions inside the lives of those she had touched. Just after being given the news that Avatar Kiareu was confirmed dead, Tenten was to lead her group on a expedition through the South to tell the remaining Kyoshi warriors of the news. Along the way, however, rumors of a prisoner transport derailed their mission. To Tenten, if there was a chance, even the slightest, that Syd might be one of those prisoners or if there was even a clue to where she was beind held, then stalling her mission for Uquolaan was worth it.

    Tenten and her group managed to overtake an entire group of Phoenix Kingdom prisoners, but Syd was nowhere to be found. One prisoner, however, knew Syd from a previous prison, and told Tenten where she might find her. Tenten left the group, leaving Karan-Giri to fulfill her mission in her stead, while she sought out Syd. While many of her beloved group members said they would assist her, she told them that someone had deliver the news to the Kyoshi and that she wanted to find Syd herself. This, however, is not the end of the line for this group. Also among the prisoners was a drunken man by the name of Guru Gahara, or Gahara at this point. He was no Guru anymore.

    Gahara was a man of legend. Quite literally. At a point in time, he wished to spread enlightenment to those of the Phoenix Kingdom. He was a true Guru, having opened all seven of his chakras. Not only that, Guru Gahara could do one feat thought impossible for a normal man. Born a nonbender, Guru Gahara could bend all four elements, although not at once. In his prime, he had dueled the Fire Lord and even Avatar Kiareu, and beat them both. This was the capabilities of a man that had opened his chakras, that had detached himself from the tethers of the Earthly plane. Now, however, this man was no more than a drunken prisoner of the Phoenix Kingdom and a story told to children.

    Gahara, a violent, ill-tempered drunk, told the group that it was their responsibility to suit his needs, which in this case was that of drink. Gahara allowed his pride from his prime to tear him from his enlightenment, and had sunken into a deep depression since. The Phoenix Kingdom kept him prisoner easily: with the promise of as much sake as the man could drink. Now, his captors and thus source of drink gone, he had to find a new source, and demanded the group now led by Karan-Giri keep him inebriated until he could be returned to the Phoenix Kingdom, and he insisted on such.

    While it was odd, and taxing on their coin, the group managed to fulfill the demands of Guru Gahara and complete their mission by informing the remaining Kyoshi. While Gahara would never admit it, he enjoyed the company of the group, and ultimately spent several months with them before returning to the Phoenix Kingdom prison cells. There was much to learn from him as well; a man that had mastered all four elements to an even greater extent than the Avatar. Not only did he help refine the bending styles of each member of the small band, he showed them how he could access them. While he could not naturally bend chi, he had trained the chi in each of his chakras to replicate bending. Claiming to be well over a century old, he had a long lifetime to master the bending. All it took was a simple prayer, a moment to focus on a new chakra, and instantly he could bend the element associated with it. Of course, the other portion of the time, the man was considerably drunk, and the stories that ensued were both crude and comprised of utter hilarity.

    While one group might have been considered a comedy, another was a tragedy. Fire Lord regent Iroh had went missing just a month after the death of Avatar Kiareu, as did his son Lu Ten. This left young Zuko to lead the entire Fire Nation, a situation Azula saw as an opportunity and seized. While Azula manipulated the scenes of the Fire Nation royal palace, she also managed to get back in contact with Krane. How, exactly, she did this is yet unknown, but she seemed as good at hiding in the shadows as the Rising was. As a matter of fact, she later claimed to know of "Krane's little band", although she seemed ignorant to the true depth of the Rising.

    Krane managed to leave the rest of his group after getting a message from Azula, claiming she needed his help. She said, and said boldly, that the Fire Nation was in peril, and she needed the help of someone outside of the royal court to help. Claiming Zuko was sending the Fire Nation itself into peril, that he was forcing harsh punishments and altering the regime to be even more tyrannical than it had been initially, she successfully conned Krane into believing she needed his help. At the same time, a part of Krane wanted to see her again. In truth, a part of Krane had always wanted to see her again. Krane might have been just as guilty of fooling himself as the manipulative royal herself.

    Krane left with only Tanvi, the two at this point inseparable friends. While it was terribly unwise, they actually managed not only to infiltrate the Fire Nation, but to get into the capitol and meet Azula. An arranged meeting between the two resulted in Krane finally being reunited with her, and for a while, he was ecstatic. She promised, for his help, full amnesty for his supposed crimes and she told him that they could consider all the things that they couldn't before because of the watchful eye of her uncle Iroh and cousin Lu Ten. For a brief period in his life, everything Krane had dreamed of since fleeing the Fire Nation had came true. All she wanted was his help in proving Zuko to be unfit for the crown.

    Tanvi was the wildcard in this situation. A factor that Azula didn't consider, although she didn't provide a problem with the plan. Azula claimed that if Krane wanted to rejoin the Fire Nation, he would have to leave behind all ties to the band he had joined. They had discussed this earlier, but the reality didn't sink in that he would have to leave behind Tanvi. Krane had dodged the question for some time, avoiding the pressure she put on him, when finally she gave him an ultimatum: her, the princess of the Fire Nation, or Tanvi and the petty rebellion that Krane brought her into. Krane had hesitated, but was never given the chance to answer. Chances were, it didn't matter if he would have chosen Azula and rejoined the Fire Nation.

    While Krane looked towards Tanvi in contemplation, Azula launched lightning directly at the distracted airbender. In their duels, he could have easily redirected this. But, this was no duel. There, in an imperial courtyard meant for outside dining, Azula struck down Krane. Smirking, even, she told him that she couldn't have allies or a significant other that would even hesitate to side with her. As Krane lied dying, it was Tanvi who rushed to him. Azula only found this precious little moment entertainingly pathetic. Their relationship had been platonic, but that didn't matter. Tanvi was in tears, and Azula could do nothing but gloat. Her words filled the air, her words of how Krane had gotten rusty and how the rebellion only made him weaker. Of how he would have been stronger growing up with her, by her side, in her courts, helping her to the throne. She said Krane was a waste.

    Then, as she intended to finish off Tanvi, a turn of events that even Azula could not have considered changed outcome of this situation entirely. Tanvi, filled with rage, brought to her emotional peak in every sense, was met by a spirit. As it was intense fasting for Duhne to reach the Canyon Spirits, it was a true and utter brink of rage required to reach the Volcano spirits. Tied directly into the land itself, the island chain that made the Fire Nation, Tanvi was overcome and began to bend lava. Tearing apart portions of the Fire Nation royal palace in her rage, it took several guards to subdue her, and even then the Fire Sages refused to let her die. She had been touched by the spirits, the spirits they had sought out for so long, and they wished to learn from her. Thus, Tanvi was imprisoned and taken to the southern isles by the request of the Bhanti tribe, whom then worked through the Fire Sages.

    While Tanvi was now a prisoner, Azula succeeded in making a point. Under the rule of Zuko, assassins from a rebel group managed to infiltrate the Fire Nation and she was only saved because of the might of the royal guard. While some of this was true, the fact that Azula helped them into the Fire Nation and even the capitol to begin with wasn't. Zuko was removed from his place as Fire Lord soon after by Ozai, and in his stead was placed Admiral Zhao as Fire Lord regent in the place of the missing Iroh, and Azula was crowned the new successor as Fire Lord. In a series of just a few months, the once gentle leadership of Iroh was replaced with that of the power-hungry Zhao and while Iroh had been sculpting Zuko to rule with the vision and mercy of their forefathers, Azula took his place as a manipulative, cunning successor to the crown.

    This is what led the fate of the final group. While Duhne had trained Suna effectively over the former few months, a mission from Uquolaan to return Tanvi and learn of the events in the Fire Nation soon superseded all others. The mission was meant to be covert, one of the most dangerous possible as it involved infiltrating the Fire Nation without any aid and in addition to that locate the enigmatic Bhanti tribe. Their group had dwindled. While one defected to Ukoda, the other chose to stay in the Patola Mountains. And, it was from the Patola Mountains that the group found their way to the secretive islands that were home to the Bhanti tribe.

    It was immediate. Regardless of the capabilities of Duhne and Suna, using an army of Earth golems and an ocean of sand, the firebenders of the Bhanti tribe were elites all of their own. As skilled as the Sun Warriors and even more spiritually attuned than the Fire Sages, the Bhanti tribe warriors easily subdued Duhne and Suna. But, the Bhanti tribe was independent in that they did not report this to the authorities. No, instead, they kept Duhne and Suna there and ultimately shared information regarding their spiritual ventures. The Bhanti tribe was aware of what happened to Tanvi, and even explained it to Duhne and Suna after they had become more integrated with the culture. They knew of the spirit, they could recite anecdotes of when it had happened in the past, and explained that in an era when there was no Avatar or a weak one, spirits could attach themselves to people, and that is exactly what happened.

    What happened to Duhne, however, was different. Duhne gained his powers while Avatar Kiareu was still alive, and the Bhanti had never heard of his story. They knew nothing of the canyon spirits. Duhne ultimately proposed a deal; if Suna and Tanvi swore silence of the Bhanti, then Duhne would stay with the Bhanti and teach them all he knew of his people willingly. In return, Suna and Tanvi could return to the Rising. The Bhanti tribe themselves cared little for the war, and they trusted and oath of secrecy from those touched by the spirits, including Suna. They believed fervently that no spirit would have ill-placed trust. Thus, Suna and Tanvi were allowed to return to the Patola mountains, and Duhne had to say goodbye to his former student Suna. It had only been a few months, but the two had bonded significantly and even spiritually. Duhne promised that someday, he would return, but he wanted to teach all he knew and learn all he could while he was permitted time with the Bhanti tribe.

    It was almost fate that Suna, Tanvi, Karan-Giri and Makki had all arrived at the Underground City at the same time. On the same day. Within the same hour. Each of them having had a spiritual experience; Suna with Duhne and then the Bhanti, Tanvi with the volcano spirit and the Bhanti, and Karan-Giri and Makki having both learned of chi and chakras from Guru Gahara. Uquolaan, too, could sense the spiritual energies that resided with the group, but to his surprise, the four of them insisted on keeping what they had learned a secret. While Tanvi did tell Uquolaan of the fate of Krane, neither Suna or Tanvi said what happened to Duhne; and, while Karan-Giri and Makki told Uquolaan of the departure of Tenten, neither of them shared the true legend of Guru Gahara. The group seemed bound, if anything by coincidence alone, because Uquolaan needed someone to speak to Jet. He hoped for Duhne, but Suna knew the man well enough that he hoped he would suffice. He then determined to keep the rest of the group together. Plus one more.

    A few days had passed and the group spent its time in the Underground City relaxing, washing up, and getting ready for their next adventure. It was in the same building in the West of the Underground City, where Krane had first taken his Tanvi, where Tenten took Karan-Giri and Makki, that the four waited. They waited and chatted. Uquolaan told them that there would be one more joining them before they could set off, but he had yet to arrive in the City. Today was the day he was supposed to report back. Today was the day that the group first truly got together, and would meet their final member.​
  2. The conversations weren't all that important – it was all small talk about the past, petty introductions to a team Suna knew he would be handling far less effectively than his previous mentor. The Sandbender knew, to some extent, about how exactly he would be leading the group. Unlike his mentor, who was extremely by-the-book, he would be doing so with a nice admixture of both seriousness and respite. A leader who knew how to be both effective in the field as well as relatable on a personal level was one Suna could say Dhune was not. An esteemed teacher and mentor, the native from the Great Divide was, yes, but his spiritual pacifism was something alien to Suna and the rest of their former group. Humbly excusing himself, Suna got up, tapped the muscular oaf-looking Karan with two fingers, and then formed an invisible cup with his hands which he then began to "drink"; an invitation to drink merrily while their guest arrives. He went on ahead to the nearby bar with a very laid-back approach. Whether Karan followed or not, the Sandbender went off. He didn't bother inviting the girls, as they were, in Suna's eyes, too young to handle contraband alcohol that he himself stole from sorry schmucks a couple of weeks back. He took a seat on the bar stool, pouring a cup of sake within a clay cup.

    "Fire. Air. Water. Earth. When I was younger, the spirits, in their benevolence, flocked around me, guiding me through signs and wonders. It wasn't until about six months ago, after learning with a man named Dhune, that my soul was touched by one, freeing me from grief and giving me a better way to live. Together, we accomplished many remarkable things in life, but sadly, our time as partners came to an end. And, like the cycle of the seasons, the cycle of the Avatar, began anew."

    The thoughts ran across Suna's mind like an Eel Hound skidding across the surface of the ocean, splashing wildly by relentless kicking. Instead of words, however, various images of the events that had transpired in his life flashed within the Sandbender's mind, some happy, some sad, and some frightening to the core. Right then and there, Suna basked in his melancholy, willing himself to remember the past as a form of catharsis. With clay cups around him, filled with naught but with clear and glistening sake, the red-faced Sandbender hicced chuckled to himself. Dhune had taught him many things, and the Canyon Spirit, it taught him even more. As one having the best of both worlds, Suna chose to enjoy a more worldly life with spiritual morals. Meditating was never his thing, although after the time with Dhune, being subject to long periods of fasting and even longer periods of constant meditation, Suna could say that it wouldn't hurt to engage in some "spiritual cleansing," as he had put it, from time to time. Alas, this was not one of those times.

    The Sandbender's mentor taught him a great number of things but, admittedly, Suna was a tad bit glad that he was away. The man deserved to be happy, learning new things and being with like-minded individuals. It was for the best. Suna, on the other hand, liked the feeling of being "leader," although of course, he would be less serious than his teacher. With ways different from the man who taught him, although with a newfound respect for his mentor's way of life, Suna's new spirit was that of a fair amalgamation of principles. As the Sandbender smiled to himself, with newfound thoughts of hope filling every mental crevice, Suna took another swig. He was confident, holding Dhune's baton as the newly appointed leader of this group.

    One of the good things about the new group came in the form of Karan-Giri, who was very much like Suna in terms of thinking and brashness. In the short moments they were together, the two ended up laughing, like two men cracking jokes should. A brash fighter and a bravado-spewing loudmouth like the Sandbender, Karan soon became both the butt of the Sandbender's jokes and his best friend, right at that very moment. He needed a new one anyway, seeing as Ghashiun, his former best friend, lay lifeless underneath a bed of sand. The rat deserved it. Suna was drinking peacefully, and all he could now think was, "Now, where could that halfwit be? Ha! didn't think that Jackelope could take this sake anyway. Big man, little tolerance." He sat there, laughing under his breath as he looked on over his shoulder to see if the big lug had followed. Suna was now tipsier. The leader was not a leader, at least not today. Tomorrow, most likely, but definitely not today.

    One of the things he abhorred about the group was simply that its two female members were too young for the Sandbender's taste, with him having gotten over Haruki and her demonised way of seeing Suna. He had better things to do, far better people to end up with if love was even in question. There were sparks of hope, but the Rising had yet to spew out a decent female. The thought etched a forlorn frown upon the Sandbender's face, as the first love would always be hard to let go. However, the young man was confident in his skills, but wished still to dabble in the worldliness of relations. He was attracted to Naomi, but she was gone before he could do anything drastic... or even, stupid. And Suna has been itching to do something dumb all day. He prayed to the unseen spirits that the fifth member would be beautiful and within his age range to say the least.

    The Sandbender began tapping his fingers on the marble bar, relishing the splendour of such a city. Far classier than the ruined encampment, offering much more things for Suna's tastes. One thing crossed his mind but, as brief as it was, it hit him far greatly than any of the thoughts that he had been thinking. He placed his hand over his shoulder, which bore the mark of the Canyon Spirit. It was an event of fear and trauma in spite of newfound lessons, and the Sandbender wished not to speak of it. With a sigh, he placed his fist on his cheek, waiting. Simply, waiting.
    #2 Damien Kriez, Jul 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2015
  3. [BCOLOR=transparent]A few days ago Tanvi had returned to the one place she considered home. Every time she wasn’t traveling, she ended up back in the Underground CIty. However this time was different. This time, everything felt odd and new. Despite knowing the path back like the back of her hand, it all felt so new again. It felt...hollow. Tanvi knew why too. As much as it pained her, she knew why everything felt so different. Each adventure and each trip back to the Underground City, she was always accompanied by Krane. He was always there with her, but now...she was on her own. For six or so months, she had been on her own. Krane was gone and in the sudden destructive breakdown she had, Fei was gone too. Tanvi took a deep breath and sighed even deeper as the city encompassed her once more. First thing was first, she and Suna had to deliver messages. Even after being freed from a prison and traveling a long distance to get there, work was always first. With a heavy heart she told Uquo about Krane’s fate, with each word filling her with that familiar anger she had from before. However, with a reassuring hand on her shoulder and six months of figuring out how the hell she even gained bending skills, Tanvi sighed. “I’m sure you could use good news then.” This caused the chi blocker, now lavabender, to give a rather curious gaze. Curiosity turned to genuine happiness when he presented her with her faithful fire ferret.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]The past few days, Tanvi had spent many of them asleep. Much more comfortable bedding, the lack of being daunted with endless talk and training dealing with the spirit of the volcano and her bending. Most of the time, she got scolded for only using her chi blocking abilities. Lavabending had been complex. Bending for a nonbender in general was complex. She had found this new ability in a fit of rage and after that rage she was left in a fit of sorrow. Being imprisoned was a rather daunting time. Fortunately for her, being in chains wasn’t in the equation. The cell she could have done without though.... And even more fortunate that she wasn’t dead. Of course, there was no use of talking about it now. Sworn to secrecy, she simply reminisced and worried about the present.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Speaking of the present, Tanvi had been up before the sun, preparing for the new day. The past few days had been for relaxation, but now her and this new group she was roped together with had new adventures to begin. One of those adventures had been to meet their fifth member, someone no one knew. Before all of that however, Tanvi had gotten a new outfit, much like her old one from before. She was a tad late for the meeting, but Tanvi managed to slip in and catch up with everything Suna, their new leader, had to say- which wasn’t really much considering he was off to get a drink.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Tanvi tied her hair back and glanced over at Fei who rested comfortably on her shoulder. She hadn’t been sure what to think of her new group. They seemed strong and like they knew what they were doing, but even Tanvi knew having a group was much more than that. They had to develop some sort of bond- trust. Tanvi respected Suna just as she would any other leader, but that was it. Karan seemed like a relatively nice person and wiley- but the good cheerful kind. And because Tanvi was probably shorter than most of them, she couldn’t help but picture Karan as a useful perch if she ever needed one- in a friendly manner of course. Then there was Makki. She was the closest to her age and the only other female in the group, also smart. They’d probably rely on that as their go to, just in case the two guys decided to do something stupid. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]“Well, does anyone know where to find this mysterious new member?” Tanvi crossed her arms and leaned against a wall, looking between the other two while Suna walked off to get a drink not too far away.[/BCOLOR]
  4. Six months. Six months. "Six months." He mumbled to himself, remembering Tenten and Yoshino. Been half a year since he seen their faces, and it all just sort of hit him. His eyebrows popped up, wondering what had happened to them. All this came about when a brand new team was formed. Well, not a brand new team. Makki was still hanging in there, and still had her spunky outlook. Good thing, now that they worked everything out. When he found out she was stealing from him, they nearly fought right there. But Makki was able to calm him down and had given him his stuff back. After a few days of them being around each other, he eventually forgave her. Just in time too, because they both were about to deal with an even bigger asshole that either of them put together.

    Guru Gahara Ghati. Real piece of work. Most powerful man I ever met, and also probably the drunkest. When he had his sake, the man was actually rather nice to be around. Nice might be a strong word. Guru was kind of like that obnoxious uncle you get drunk and see what ludicrous things he says and does. That being said, just from those three months, I have so much more knowledge to pull from for my bending. It was something he needed. To supplement his purely brute force earth bending, the Guru ending up helping him with his spirituality. At least, in terms of bending. Technique with brawn and just a touch more of power, making Karan a MUCH more potent bender. At the end of the day, that is how Kara wants to remember the Guru. Not even some of the drunk shenanigans they both got into measures up.

    That was when the new team leader, Suna, had beckoned him over to the bar. Now that was a man whose company he could enjoy without alcohol, but they still drank anyways. Because why not? They joked and at the drop of a hat, they became friends. Their personalities matched well, and they both were earth benders. At least, Karan still seen it as earth bending. He respected him for that, considering how the Earth Kingdom was left for dead, at this point. To anyone who think less of Suna for it can take a rockfall to the face. Scratch that. If anyone thought less of anyone in this group, they can take a rockfall to the face.

    Turning a bit to Tanvi's question, Karan shrugged. "I wish I could tell you, little one. It seems we all are sitting ducks in this underground pond. Can't be too long now, surely. Then we will be off on another adventure." It is what he called her. Not because she was younger, but because she was smaller than him. Karan seen her as a younger sister, much like he does with Makki now. Difference being that Tanvi has a certain look in her eye. Something odd that puts him off. Something involving...perching. He smiled brightly to her, and moved his bulky, 5'9 up and moved over to get a drink.

    "How much you want to bet our newest member is an old bat with boulders on her chest?" He said, laughing and slapping Suna's back. The earth bender sat down and got a drink of his own.
  5. Suna's mind was a complete blank moments before his friend Karan had taken a seat beside him. It was a surprise to see the bar stool support Earthbender's massive size. He did not mind the slap on his back, but was merely pushed forward. While the Earthbender had only begun to drink the stolen sake, courtesy of the former Earth Rumble champion, Suna himself had stopped. Though he was far from being drunk, and tipsy at most at this very moment, Suna still wished to show a little restraint. Being leader allowed Suna to be significantly more responsible than he once was. However, Suna wouldn't be Suna if not for the spirit of nonchalance. With a twirl of his fingers, nearby stones levitated from the floor around them. Suna had begun to chip them more and more, creating a miniature tornado of pebbles and grey dust. With a sigh, he twirled his stool to face the opposite side of the bar and rested his elbows on the bar. While the Sandbender faced the sheeted door wherein they entered, Karan-Giri faced the many clay sake-filled bottles. With a tightly closed fist, the rock particles compacted into one, solid rock with visible cracks and spaces. "Most probably," Suna said, "There's no way the big guys are making me leader. With you and me at the forefront, we need someone with a little more... thinking ability than us. I've gotta admit big man," he said, cracking his knuckles, "I don't believe I'm smart enough to be leader. Wise with what I know so far, yeah, but smarts? I don't have a lot." He looked at Karan with his eyes, "Well... way more than you do."
  6. Makki's last six months sucked, but from the sounds of things, her last six months were a walk in the park. Albeit the walk was with an elderly 'Guru' who proceeded to remind her that, yes she was in fant a woman, and even more about the fact that she had a chest. If she were a firebender she could have purged his grimy old man from the earth and she would have been thanked for it. However, Karan ended up becoming friends with the geezer and he did help her overcome some stuff. Not to mention that if she made Karan angry again she'd just end up fighting him and... after all that they'd been through the last six months she didn't want that. Besides, she was nineteen now and she had to leave some of her pettiness behind.

    Not behind enough that she hadn't stolen about three silver pieces from him without him noticing. She smirked at the thought, amused by the fact that he wasn't as observant as he held himself to be. She played with one of the coins in her fingers as she waited and wondered if she could bend earth. The 'Guru' had said that the one chakra she'd unlocked allowed her to do so, but she hadn't tried yet. She wanted to refine her style some more. She wanted to refresh her memory on airbending moves and somehow work them into her waterbending. Maybe she'd get a little closer to the Spirit Realm too. Yeah, that would be great if she could see it. She had heard stories her whole life about the mysteries and oddities there and wanted to see it with her own eyes.

    The coin stopped as Suna spoke, asking where Karan was. She figured that the boulder would eventually make himself known and decided not to comment on it. Makki wondered why Tanvi was in their group. Makki thought she was a chi blocker or something, but lately she'd heard conflicting rumors underground on the other girl's abilities. It wasn't that Makki didn't like her, it was the opposite actually. For one reason or another, Tanvi reminded her vaguely of Akane. Tanvi was significantly older, but took nothing from nobody and was tough as nails. Whic only reminded her of the upcoming anniversary. She watched Karan and Suna with a slight amount of envy that they could drink whenever they wanted to. Makki onyl did it when no one was watching in case Karan decided to pull his protective brother act, which was what he did all. The. Time. She was nineteen for spirit's sake, and she'd been growing up on her own for longer than he'd known her, and taking care of other people for a little less than that. She was capable of taking care of herself.

    "Well, if anyone knew where to find them, then they wouldn't be a secret Tanvi," Makki smirked as she laid further back into the chair she was sitting in. "Besides, Karan if I have to deal with yet another old geezer who does nothing but stare at chests all day I'm going to end up bending you into an ocean. I'm counting you as an old geezer so it should be easy to beat you up. Not to mention you have me and Tanvi, we're probably smarter than the two of you combined anyway so try not to think too hard. You two Earthbenders can just do what you do best," Makki said snidely, but she quickly added on, "which is smash for my lovely drunken audience over there."
  7. Jin had been listening to them for a while now. He had been sitting in one of the rooms separated from the main hall with naught but a narrow doorway and hanging beads. He was among a few others as well; it was not as if the room was entirely empty. For the most part, however, the only livelihood in it came from the four members of the group. The building itself was simply an easily-identified meeting point at a convenient location; there was little secrecy in their convention. Inside the Underground City, there didn't really need to be. The open atmosphere and enhancing hearing of Jin made it particularly easy to learn about his new companions before he even introduced himself. It was a simple practice of neutral jing that was in his favor. What he was beginning to learn, however, is that there was little need for this level of forethought. Maybe it was just the ease of being in the Underground City, but the rebels of the Rising seemed far more relaxed than the deserters from the Fire Nation military.

    He knew some about each one of them, too. Tanvi was apparently a miracle bender; touched by the spirits and gifted lavabending. In person, she seemed quite. Reserved. Serious, even. No one explained how Tanvi became a bender, but Jin pieced together that it wasn't a pleasant story, or at the very least, some type of tragedy had befallen her. He could almost sense the ache from within her; her pain resonated far more than anyone within the group. The closest to her, however, was Suna. The 'leader' of the group, openly expressing he didn't feel intelligent enough to lead and that he hoped Jin would lead, seemed to hide his pain with a facade. Jin felt through it; for all the livelihood that man had, he was really just drowning a few sorrows. It seemed insecurity ate at the man, yet he lacked no confidence. More than anything, this man seemed the most dynamic of the group. This was much the contrast to Karan, whom seemed more reserved and slightly matured. Each of them seemed to have some sort of spiritual pain, and but what came from Karan seemed more from his core. It was what motivated him. Unlike Tanvi and Suna, Karan felt as if he was making his decisions more boldly on his past. But, he wasn't without a sense of humor and humility. To Jin, if anyone was meant to be their leader, it would have been Karan. Nevertheless, he kept a watchful eye on each of them and their interactions. And, ironically, the two younger girls seemed to be the most relaxed in the situation. More like the deserters he was accustomed to.

    Then, of course, there was Makki. Jin had a tough time getting a read on her. She had suffered some, too; Jin could feel it from within her. His spiritual prowess allowed him to read between words and feel others. For the most part, he had been sitting in his corner trying to read the inner, spiritual text of each new person, but Makki seemed to have the least to read. Yet, there was something open about her; something she shared with Karan. Their spirits both seemed stronger in the sense that they were free of fear. Tanvi was consumed by the thoughts of what she could do if she was out of control and Suna seemed to fear failure, but both Karan and Makki were devoid of such. Makki, however, had a huge block of guilt, and it was as if an impassable boulder blocked her path. This same blockage made it hard for Jin to understand her when he could all the others. It was odd, really. Jin was learning about these people around them by what they said and how they felt without them really knowing it. He was using the spiritual side of him that Jeong Jeong helped flourish to his advantage and making sure his use of jing was effective. This is what made him an asset to the deserters. And, what would soon make him important to the Rising. Now, he was outside the shadow of Yulon.

    Silently and nonchalantly, Jin stood up and exited his room, moving his hand guide the hanging beads out of his way. To the group, this was nothing new; there seemed to be random people and different groups entering and exiting from time to time; no more than ten or so ever at a time, though. This time, however, Jin sat across from Makki and smiled to her just as she smirked to Karan. Jin was but 20; around her age, and younger than Suna or Karan. As a matter of fact, they were both closer to his brother's age than his own. Jin let his hazel eyes meet hers for just a moment before he said, "well, I'm no old geezer, but I might find it hard not to stare, miss... but I'm more interested in your eyes. We don't have such deep shades of blue in the Fire Nation." In a single sentence, Jin effectively told the group he was their new member, but more interestingly enough, boldly flirted with Makki. Beyond boldly, actually; he took a compliment to a sincerely factual level. Jin had seen very few waterbenders in his life, and none had eyes like Makki. This is how Jin intended on introducing himself, and he intended to make the best of it: "I'm Jin. My older brother is discussing an alliance with Uquolaan. I was told you would be taking me to Jet where I will talk on behalf of my brother." Jin then returned to Makki with a sly smile and said, "although not everything I say is on his behalf."
  8. [BCOLOR=transparent]Karan’s answer was a bit disappointing, but expected. Tanvi merely sighed and nodded, acknowledging that she understood. Now what were they supposed to do? She couldn’t stray too far away considering they were to leave some time soon, but she didn’t want to sit around and be bored. The chi blocker opened and closed her hands, feeling the new heat that radiated from them. Avoiding her new skills wasn’t a good idea, so said the sages. Did ‘not bending since she left imprisonment’ count as avoiding? Hopefully not. This was no gentle bending skill- lava bending in the Underground City sounded like a terrible idea. Maybe sometime on their travels. Maybe.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]That was definitely avoidance. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Towards Makki’s answer, Tanvi shrugged and slipped her hands in her sleeves. “I guess that’s fair. Why this mystery person is so secret is beyond me but,” She shrugged. Her eyes rolled towards Karan’s comment and she smirked. “I’m positive we’re smarter than those two. Without even trying.” She stretched her arms over her head. “But don’t worry, I always respect my elders.” Tanvi gave a two fingered salute to Suna and Karan as she leaned back against the wall. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Fei’s ears twitched as another patron entered the area. Unlike this one, instead he headed towards the group. Tanvi’s attention flickered over to him as well- especially when he began to speak. More like, flirt with Makki. 'What a charmer.' Tanvi kept her thoughts to herself and refrained from mockingly laughing at such a random attempt. Slowly she stood straight, keeping her hands in her sleeves. So much for their being another female to accompany them in their journey. Tanvi let, Makki introduce herself first and do whatever it was she did when random strangers decided to flirt with her. For a fleeting moment, Tanvi actually wondered if that happened often for her. It would have simultaneously been amusing and terrible. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]“Nice to meet you Jin. Welcome to our...band of misfits.” She glanced over her shoulder at the two men of the group before giving a nod instead of a handshake. “I’m Tanvi and-” Fei appeared on her shoulder and leaned forward towards Jin in some attempt to study the newcomer. “This is Fei.” Another look over and Tanvi added, “I’m guessing you’re a bender of some sort.” It wasn’t a question. Chi blockers seemed to be somewhat of a rarity. “And I’ll rule out waterbending...I’ll rule out earthbending too, just because. And by the lack of hair, unless you're starting some trend, you must be an airbender, correct?" An airbender, a waterbender, and two earthbenders- what a diverse group. Not to mention the chi blocker/lavabender. [/BCOLOR]
    #8 Capt. Blu, Jul 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
  9. "He's here." The Sandbender uttered, his words spirited away by a sound of relief. They had been waiting for a while, and though the hairless Airbender was not a twenty-something young woman, he took no offence to the orders of authority. If they gave Suna a maverick monk to lead, then so be it. No use in whining. The young man got up from his position, the scent of alcohol following in Suna's wake. He was tipsy moments earlier, but by the time he had stopped drinking, up to when this Jin showed up, Suna had gotten significantly better than before. As for Karan-Giri, Suna knew not what had happened, but he could bet his life to the spirits of the Si Wong that the lumbering Camelephant had dozed off into the land of dreams. Suna paced out towards the waiting area, moving the room-covering rags with an outstretched arm and hand. "Tanvi, Makki, care to introduce me to our little guest?" Suna said, his words spoken with an ethereal, perhaps otherworldly calmness. He had naught but a smirk etched upon his lips, cross his his arms as his black booted foot tapped incessantly on the ground. Jin's flirtatiousness was unnecessary, as it reminded Suna of himself. Who would have thought that having two Suna-like individuals was a tad bit... annoying, even for the Sandbender himself. Still, the elders knew of this man's skill and story, and trusted him enough to allow the once impetuous Sandbender to be his leader. He eyed Jin from top to bottom, nodding his head as if he had seen this young man's future purpose. Still, his eyes were drawn very condescendingly, as if the Si Wong native was mad and spitting silent criticisms.
  10. "Nonsense! If you have more brain than me, that it would explain why your hair sticks out all the time. Last guy I knew who had hair your yours, was a homeless man by the name of Pebbles. Smelled like cabbage and talked like he bended sand for a living." He laughed at himself and filled his belly with alcohol. And then Makki started in on him. And then the new girl. The blasted hell, it's pick on Karan-Giri this day. I'll have to show them what for. "Yeah, Makki? He was probably staring at your chest because he was trying to find some semblance of a pair of bumps that is supposed to be on your chest and not your head. And you, Tata, don't make me put you in timeout." He chuckles at himself again, finishing off his drink. He loved the banter he had with this group. Much more loose than Tenten's outfit.

    In any case, someone had shuffled over to hit on his kid sister buy him a drink introduce himself to Makki's "eyes". Squinting a bit, he got up after Suna and moved back over to the table. Bringing his cup with him, the 23 year old group elder smiled genuinely at the new group member. Shaking his head at Suna, he stepped up to Jin and offered him a handshake. "Screw formalities, we are going to be fighting together. I'm Karan-Giri. Good to meet you. Nice hair." He said this as he scratched his own bald head with a single finger from his cup hand.
  11. Makki had a moment of silence to process that yes, the new guy was indeed flirting with her, and that yes, she could take advantage of Karan's comment about her by using this. Makki smiled and said, "well, you're in luck because you're not in the Fire Nation and I happen to have the best eyes this fire of the Water Tribe. So, Karan, I believe that your rude comment about me it completely untrue." She also was trying to think on her feet and see if she could perhaps steal from the new guy. Upon further inspection, she decided against it. He was at the very least and airbending monk and that was like kicking a puppy. Plus, he'd managed to get on her good side.

    Makki stood, keeping her movements that she'd learned from the Air Nomads hidden. She had no interest in explaining her stupid childhood hope to an unknown airbender. Even if he flirted with her first and was probably not a part of them, she still had no interest in revealing anything about herself. "I'm Makki, and the two sitting over there are Karan and Suna. Suna is the one who's jealous that you've managed to hit on the waterbender before he could. Suna, since you're our illustrious leader, you could do us all a favor and attempt a better greeting than to snap at this airbender that doesn't look like he's from the Air Nomad group. Not to mention that last airbender I met blasted a hole through a thick tree so be a bit nicer, yeah?"

    She was kind of over Suna's attitude. Makki didn't have high hopes for the group but she wanted it to last a bit longer than the last group had. She didn't want to be alone again after all that had happened. She wanted to still find her own feet again before she found herself at a loss for anyone to rely upon. She could wait for a few more months at the very least to not be bereft of purpose and a way forward. The Rising was all well and good but it was hardly a good idea to trust a famous thief and liar to not bail on them at the first sign of trouble, regardless of her reasons for joining in the first place.
  12. "No need," Jin replied to Makki, whom was attempting to get Suna to introduce himself more enthusiastically. Jin didn't really see the need for such. In his time with the deserters, he found it often best to introduce himself and do so in a way he preferred. He felt t was better to control a situation, especially a first impression, than to let others do it for you. "Yes, I'm an airbender - from an interbending family. All my siblings are firebenders, so... calling me a misfit isn't too far off," Jin added. While he answered Tanvi first, he realized Karan was coming his way. He stood up to meet the earthbender with a firm handshake and a quick grin, noting that both men were bald. He let out a light chuckle before he replied to the burly man, "Thanks. I tried to get my brother to shave his, but he didn't see the appeal." Jin laughed for a moment, somewhat at his own joke, but also at Karan for scratching his head; both men seemed to add some to the joke. After Jin released his handshake, he then leaned against the chair he was sitting on and said, "I was looking forward to meeting the Hundred Man Army himself; rumors of him even spread to the Fire Nation." Jin was sure bringing up Duhne, the former mentor of Suna, would get his attention.

    "I know a bit about each of you, actually," Jin said, now looking directly at Suna. "Suna of the Si Wong Desert, Earth Rumble Champion and the only sandbender I've ever honestly heard of. Uquolaan said you were the best he'd ever seen, though," Jin said, as if giving an monologue of sorts. "I was told you'd be leading this group in his stead, since you were under his tutelage and know the way to the Treetop Village. This is actually the first time I've ever been outside the Fire Nation," Jin continued. He answered the question Suna was asking earlier: if he or the new guy would be the leader. In this case, Suna was more or less the guide. Jin then turned back to Karan and said, "Karan-Giri, Uquolaan said you were an earthbender to the very core. Said you'd probably be the easiest to get along with, too." Jin gave the man a nod before he pointed to Tanvi and said, "And now that lady, I know her quite well. She caused a big fuss in the Fire Nation. Supposedly there to assassinate Princess Azula, turned out she could Lavabend. Killed two-dozen royal guards and it took a third of them, as well as Admiral Zhao himself, to contain you. I'm surprised you even made it this far 'cause right after they intended on executing you, but the Fire Sages pulled every political string they had to get you into their custody. We used the whole event as a diversion to help some soldiers escape, but I never thought I'd get to meet the girl that started it all in person."

    A moment of silence filled the air before Jin said, "but, you know very little about me. I'll give you the short end of it. Decades ago, deserting the Fire Nation Army was impossible. You'd be hunted down and killed for treason. That was, until a man named Jeong Jeong did it.He's a real eccentric firebending master, former Admiral, too; not the type of guy to cross. While I was off being trained as a monk at a little Air Temple in the Fire Nation Capitol, my brother, Yulon, joined the Fire Nation Army, but ended up deserting after he found out just how bad it is in other parts of the world. I went with him, and we joined a little band of deserters that followed Jeong Jeong—at a safe distance. He hated being disturbed. Skip a few years, my brother becomes a leader of the deserters, which have been growing in numbers quickly. Which actually became a problem. Admiral Zhao is Fire Lord regent now and is hunting down us deserters with far more prejudice than Iroh ever did, so we need help. That's why we're here." Jin swiveled around the chair and sat back down after explaining things to the group. He went on for a while, but that was his style.

    "A waterbending thief," he said as he looked again at Makki. "As if I needed another reason to keep an eye on you," he added, yet again flirtatiously. It seemed that Jin was able to hop around like a social butterfly, explaining a rather dire situation before returning to his entertainment with Makki. Not to mention, the tension he surely aroused when he brought up Duhne, and spoke of the event with Tanvi.
  13. [BCOLOR=transparent]Karan’s minor teasing went ignored by Tanvi when their new member of the team had arrived- though she did hear the nickname. For the briefest moment, it did make her pause. ’What a peculiar name...’ The young one stayed to the side so the others could get better acquainted with Jin. She didn't find the humor in his and Karan's joke. Maybe it was because she wasn't bald. No matter, it was good that they were bonding right from the start. Only when he noted that he knew something about them did Tanvi perk up a little in interest. He spoke of Suna and Karan as if he had knew them some time before. “Someone has done their research.” It was better than when she was first put into the group. Tanvi had no clue who any of them were when they first got together, and she still only knew the bare minimum. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Jin’s topic turned and was directed at Tanvi. Her gaze became a little suspicious, mainly wondering how much he actually did know. Fortunately, he knew just the surface of what really happened. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop her from remembering every burning detail of that day. It was etched in her mind and no matter how many times she tried to repress it, somehow it managed to return again. THis time, it was thanks to Jin. In that moment of silence when Jin finished his spill, Tanvi patted Fei’s head. “Yeah well it was a...wild adventure.” She could have gone on with her comment, but she knew the sarcasm would get more and more imminent and probably rude. In her defense, it wasn’t one of her favorite subjects to talk about. Jin was new though, she didn’t blame him for not knowing.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]After he explained about himself, Tanvi looked at the others, wondering what they thought about him. She didn’t have too much of an opinion just yet and therefore not too much to say when he had his attention back on Makki - save for her one question; “So is there a reason you were kept a mystery until now, or was that just to add on to your dramatic flare?” It wasn’t like the group knew him in the first place. Maybe they wanted to keep news of his arrival in a closed group. There were many possibilities, however they were planning to start a trip soon so there was no time to play detective.[/BCOLOR]
  14. The lounge had now bustled with the exchange of four voices, all save for Suna's, whose calm, collected demeanour was chilled even further to the point of apparent coldness. Although internally, the Sandbender was as every bit as accepting as the others, he chose not to show it at this very hour, for now was the hour of mere introductions. With arms crossed, the Si Wong native leaned against the wall and t'ched at Makki's riposte. If Suna had wanted to flirt with her, he would've done it on the spot. There was no envy in his eyes, and Jin could have done more rambunctious trifling without the Sandbender's care. His onomatopoeic "tch" sounded playful and sarcastic at the very least, but it was fine. "Oh come on," Suna said, looking at Makki from behind, balling his fists and pretending to cry, "Makki, for you to tell some that he's jealous of not being able to hit on you first will make that person not hit on you at all." He walked on over to the Airbender, bumping Jin's fist with his own, and then nodding. "I didn't even snap at this guy," He smirked, pointing his extended thumb to Jin while looking at the two girls. "I snapped at you for not introducing me to him." The Sandbender gave both Tanvi and Makki a smile.

    He walked on over to Tanvi and took a seat beside the lavabender, who became a sort of little sister figure to the Sandbender. After the fiasco with his former sister figure, Rae-Lee, Suna had no one to protect with a familial love. That is, until Tanvi entered the picture. Touched by a spirit as he was and Dhune before him, Tanvi was not unlike the Sandbender and his former mentor, who now took refuge with wiser company. The spirit that branded a mark upon his shoulders, however, gave him not power but visions and wisdom. In some cases, that would be a far kinder gift than enhanced bending. He needed it more, as Suna knew he was one of the best benders there was... perhaps overconfidently, but confident nonetheless. Suna kept nodding at Jin's words as he acknowledged Suna's past achievements. Earth Rumble was indeed one of the things he was most proud of. When Tanvi asked her question, Suna nodded. He continued, "To add to what Tanvi said, what did the big guys tell you to tell us once you got here? Any mission briefings?"
  15. "Bah, he doesn't know a good hairstyle when he sees it." The airbender gave him a good handshake, and he appreciated that. Now, if he could just stop flirting with Makki then everything will be fine. "Careful Jin, she will steal more than just your bleeding heart. Speaking of which, Makki, I would like my things back please." He said, motioning for her to hand it over. Finishing his drink had turned his face to a cherry red. This was some strong stuff. Well worth the coin.

    His own blue eyes looked over to Suna and smirked. "Don't encourage her. She has a big enough head as is." He would have asked more questions oh Jin, but it seems his comrades got to it first. Not like he wanted the airbender's life story but a decent run down of any recent happenings would be nice. Sure, his brother was discussing an alliance. However, with a group this capable of what they had accomplished already it stands to reason that adding another sound warrior would be to only take on more dangerous things. Which means, trying to get to Jet would be VERY dangerous. Suna would definitely have his leadership tested with this mission. Hopefully, he doesn't let his doubt crush him. Otherwise, Karan-Giri may have to step in again. Which would make it twice that he would have been the next guy in line. Maybe there is something to this whole leadership thing. He already did well to take care of those around him and was quick to make tough choices. Shaking his head, he looked at Makki again, hoping she would turn up his possessions.
  16. Makki kept her mouth shut as Jin finished his speech. She flopped down on her chair once more and watched the others comment on his 'research'. Mostly because Jin would have needed to have known or seen the wanted posters or known about her thievery. Makki wasn't the best thief, but she wasn't exactly doing things that meant that she was world renown. She was stealing cabbages, purse strings cut for rent, that sort of thing. Hardly stealing the royal fanny cushion. So how did he know?

    Makki was jerked back into reality by Karan asking for his possessions back. It was three silver. There wasn't a need for a big show of it. Makki rolled her eyes but pulled out the three silver she had taken, doing so slowly so that she could try and let someone walking in distract Karan do its job of letting her keep her meager amount of money that she had stolen. When nothing came she stood again and dropped the money into his waiting hand.

    "I'm starting to think that you don't actually notice that it's missing but rather just ask me at random intervals. At the very least be more careful with your money. It's begging to be stolen by someone who isn't as courteous as I am. Also me, but mostly other people. Honestly, it's been six months...," Makki said as she walked back to her seat. She didn't bother finishing the thought as she was more curious as to what the new guy had in terms of information and what the Rising wanted them to do. Maybe it was something to do with the Fire Nation?
  17. Jin tipped himself back in his seat, leaning on its back two legs as he did so. He was listening to the group exchange its own dialogue for a while, but he was also reading them and their auras. Outside of an Air Temple with real monks, few people existed that could 'feel' someone through their spiritual energies. Karan and Makki seemed Jovial for the most part; Suna, in all reality, didn't feel much different than the two prior. The atmosphere the group created for Jin was pleasant, although Suna seemed to dull it some. As time when on, it became harder and harder to read specific individuals; that was the actual reason Jin remained hidden for so long. He wanted to read them initially while he could focus. He was far from a master at this, and his natural talent only carried his skill far enough to read others with a moderate amount of depth if he was given the time to. Still, despite that, Jin could feel the despair radiating off of Tanvi. The words he said in some combination sent her into a spiral that she didn't quite show the others, but it was easily evident to him. He would have to avoid the topic even though it was one that interested him. Jin could feel it at least part of what she felt, and for a moment, he felt slight remorse for it.

    He snapped himself out of his moment of self-loath, however, to answer the questions he was given. "Well," he said, "Uquolaan had to make sure Jet would even see us, so for a while, we were all waiting on a messenger to return. According to what little has been slipped to me since I've been here, your leaders don't all see eye-to-eye. Anyway, once we got the okay from Jet, your group was picked to escort me to him. Apparently Suna has some experience with Jet; that's why he's leading us there and is supposed to get us through transit." He explained. He then stretched his arms out for a moment, leaning back even further in his chair. "The way it was explained to me, you guys don't work alone. Always in groups. It makes sense, I guess. You four all just happened to come here needing a new group at the right time to take me to Jet," he added. At this point, the speculation in his voice was obvious. It reminded anyone that had been in the Rising long that this man, while he was smart and seemed to fit in, was in fact an outsider. He wasn't quite accustomed to how things were yet. "Me, on the other hand, I'm supposed to go to Jet on behalf of my brother'n'see if he'll lend some help getting my people out of the Fire Nation. Yulon is going to to the Patola Mountains to secure our relations with them to get help taking in refugees. I mean, the Fire Nation deserters are mostly soldiers that carry their own weight, but a some of them have families. Families labeled traitors by Zhao, and traitors get executed," he added with a slight sigh. "I wanted to go to the Patola Mountains, myself; I'm an airbender; you'd think it'd make perfect sense, but no... Yulon said securing safe harbor for the families is too important of a task to delegate to anyone else. Apparently, we don't even really need Jet for the extraction; Uquolaan just wants me to try and mend bridges. It's a favor for a favor, basically." Jin pointed out the slight futility of the situation, but such was the nature of politics. Most of the group knew that half the missions they did were to open doors for Uquolaan.

    Jin then sat straight in his seat, causing it to fall forward and make a thunk when it hit the ground. "My brother, though, he has all sorts of rules," Jin explained while waving his hands across the table. It as a motion as if he was brushing it off, wiping the slate. What he really just meant was that dealing with Uquolaan and Yulon were two slightly different things. "This is supposed to be a diplomatic mission, so I'm to avoid fighting at all costs. Some other rules about fraternizing and sake, simple things. Oh, but he was really clear about not challenging you guys. See, the deserters were all firebenders. A lot of them aren't fond of an airbender in their ranks, so every now and then I have to remind them that I can hold my own... against five or six of them. According to him, I don't even get to test the Earth Rumble Champion—whatever that means," Jin added before looking at Makki again. "Or test other things... so, unfortunately, I'm pretty much all bark and no bite."
  18. [BCOLOR=transparent]The idea of having a thief in the group was slightly off putting. She had no clue Makki was a thief, in fact, Jin’s debriefing of them had been a little helpful for her now that she realized it. However, despite such, Makki seemed to only pick on Karan anyway- and it wasn’t like Tanvi had many things to steal- besides the knives she kept on herself. And Fei of course. She convinced herself that wouldn’t be an issue. At least, that was the last issue she had to worry about. The teasings toward the waterbender did elicit a small smile from Tanvi. “Aw leave her be Karan. Let those two have their blossoming relationship. I mean, if she’s too focused on Jin, she can’t steal from you anymore.” That should have convinced him at least a little. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Attention went back on Jin as he answered and explained the questions he was given. Tanvi remembered her last mission to see Jet and how it never got seen all the way through. She had yet to see the infamous nonbender. She had to admit, even now, she was still excited to meet him. Even with her new skill, Tanvi always considered herself a chiblocker first. It was familiar. And like the nonbenders, even though she never admit to it, she always wanted to prove that she could hold her own against benders. She was just as good as them. “So, we’re playing messenger. Or at least escorting the messenger.” That was something Tanvi could agree with. Even though she knew they’d more than likely run into trouble, it was still nice to know their mission was supposed to be peaceful. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]“Well, this place is all about order and getting things done- amongst other things. I suppose we better start moving to get this message delivered. Of course,” Tanvi looked at Suna. “that’s not my call. Isn’t that right Mr. Leader?”[/BCOLOR]
  19. She'd probably have to be more careful from now on. With the offhand comment on her being a waterbender thief, Jin had probably destroyed a lot of trust between her and some of the others. Karan knew, but not Tanvi and Suna. Not to mention it would make it more difficult moving forward when things went missing and it wasn't her. It really wouldn't do to steal things that people would miss. Those were obvious and typically they were what got you caught red-handed. A small time cabbage merchant who lived in a seedy district wouldn't miss a few when they went missing, and sometimes Makki didn't even have to steal to find a few cheap goods left out. Probably an appeasement to the thieves to keep them away.

    Makki placed her feet on the table nearby and laid back in her chair again. She wasn't getting up again until it was clear what they were going. "So, we're going to visit a rebel to convince him that some Fire Nation soldiers should be let through because they've lost faith with the Fire Nation? And you're not to test anyone? A shame, I'd like to see Karan put in his place. Maybe later then, but honestly you'd better be careful about all this flirting, Jin," Makki smiled, "you'll end up somewhere."

    It was nice to know that she was wanted but... she wasn't sure about it yet. Jin was an unknown. A variable in the game that she didn't want to end up regretting. She regretted so much already.
  20. Unbeknownst to Makki, Suna did in fact know. Thieves were no different from what Suna now was for the Rising. As a dealer of contraband, weapons, illegal substances, and other discouraged items, even more so as a child of two assassins, the Sandbender knew the likes of thieves, cutthroats, rogues, and the like. The pale, black haired Si Wong native knew from Makki's ever shifting eyes, always assessing the environment until they lock onto objects small enough to hide within her petite, little hand. He knew those tiny movements anywhere - it was common with the people the Si Wong resident handled and made business with. Suna was, after all, probably the shadiest of the bunch; the six months even made Suna seem... darker. Although his persona had little to no difference, and the fact that the Spirit of the Great Divide had touched him with its power, he still dabbled in darkly affairs. Yes, Suna had even killed, a sin so grave that it turned his former mentor into a monster due to its repulsive lack of ethics, from time to time, although he did so with a newfound understanding of the world and its inner workings.

    Suna decided then that it was time. Tanvi had suggested it, but the thought descended upon him just moments before. In fact, it was about to roll off of the Sandbender's tongue. With arms crossed and one leg on the wall, Suna's eyes gave everyone a quick glance. "Well, now that everything's covered, I believe it's time to go." He said shortly after. "Go ahead and pack your things and meet me in the stables in thirty minutes." Suna said, taking a blade of wheat grass and firmly pressing it against his teeth, not unlike their benefactor, Jet. With that, Suna paced on over to the stables, as most of the Sandbender's things were already there.
    A couple of minutes later

    Tsubasa, the team's Dragon Moose and main beast of burden, neighed upon the sight of Suna, who caressed its ruffled mane and neck. It was larger and more muscular than any of its kind, as it had been the Sandbender's partner in his shadowed operations. Strapped to its noose and a red, Fire Nation caravan, Tsubasa leaned his large, horned head as Suna touched its snout. He always had a bond with animals, and it always worked out good. Along with Tsubasa were two other Dragon Moose, strapped to red Fire Nation carriages. In these carriages held beautifully designed and painted earthen pots of various shapes and sizes, each one containing either water or sand, large rolls of rugs and carpets that Suna himself had sewed which held sheathes of swords and blades, shurikens and other ranged weapons, and secret, removable wooden planks that held within them pieces of Fire Nation armour, pieces of gold and silver, alcoholic drinks and questionable herbs, dried Si Wong Cactus slices and glass bottles with Si Wong Cactus juice. Those only scratched the surface of Suna's great inventory, all appearing to be sellable wares albeit hiding contraband in plain sight. If Makki stole any of these wares, Suna would know - he keeps a list of everything within his pockets, all the time.

    When Karan, Makki, Tanvi, and Jin arrived, Suna met up with them. "Meet my other team," Suna uttered, a smile etched upon his face. "The big one over there's Tsubasa. I got him sometime before Dhune and I tried to save you." He said, looking at his sister figure, Tanvi. "The two others... well, yeah, honestly I didn't name them. They're just for business, y'know, being a... a "salesman" and everything." He paced towards the three animals, untying them from the stables and preparing to leave. "Alright, if we run into trouble, just remember, let me do all the talking. Makki, if things get worse, there's water in the pots. And for the love of the spirits, don't steal or break anything. You break it, you buy it." He smiled, having learned from the last time. The two unnamed Dragon Moose's carriages held naught but the Sandbender's wares. Tsubasa's caravan, however, held nothing, but sheets. This was where the team was supposed to ride in. Suna kicked up and rode Tsubasa's back, strapping himself to the Dragon Moose's saddle. "Ready?"
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