Avatar: The Last Airbender

The old war, a new generation. With the defeat of Avatar Aang, and of Ozai\'s airfleet, each nation is left vunerable. A new avatar has been born into the water tribes, and must restore balance to the world before it is engulfed in chaos.
 
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 One Step Behind

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Kaizu
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Registration date : 2011-10-28

PostSubject: One Step Behind   Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:55 am

(OOC: May need to see my other post 'This Could Be It' in the fire nation for this one to make more sense)

Kaizu watched as birds danced across the ocean. He spied fishing boats hauling in their morning catch under the rising sun, and felt the gentle rumbling of his own passenger ship beneath his feet. Although gentle rumbling would be putting it mildly. More like dying wheeze. Then again it was a free ride. As he stared towards the approaching continent he again pondered the identity of his mysterious manipulator. The man with a voice from the shadows. Someone who controlled benders from both nations, and someone who wanted Kaizu in the earth kingdom. But most importantly someone who knew the name of Daithi. Kaizu was curious indeed.
***

It had been perhaps two years since he'd seen that name, scrawled on piece of parchment aboard his father's ship. It was a cold day, he remembered that much. His father was having a conversation with a group of traders on the deck. They haggled and laughed, and essentially fleeced each other for all they were worth. Although they put up the facade of friendship, there wasn't a single real smile being made among them. Kaizu loved it. He was watching from the sides, his brother was off somewhere plotting more schemes, and his sister was probably beating up the local street thugs for practice. Good times. Until of course that man came. Cloaked in black, a thick hood partially obscuring his face, and a maniacal grin. Kaizu would never forget that grin. Kaizu's father, not missing a beat, winked at the traders and excused himself. With a steady handshake he greeted the man in black. They exchanged smiles, but Kaizu could see the hatred in their eyes. There was something wrong here. After a few words Kaizu's father gave a loud laugh. The man in black looked displeased. Kaizu walked a little closer to hear what they were talking about, but their business seemed to be done. The man turned to move. Then he caught sight of Kaizu. This seemed to please the man, as if he had suddenly discovered some kind of colossal joke. His grin grew wider still. He noded towards Kaizu as if asking, your son? Kaizu's father didn't move a muscle. The man drew a slip of paper out of his pocket and a small piece of charcoal. Hastily he scrawled a few words on it, folded the paper and handed it to Kaizu. Then without a word he moved off, scampering thought Kaizu. not walking, he must be in a hurry.

Kaizu didn't open the paper immediately, nor did his father seem to care about it, instead hurrying back to his customers. Eager to dispose of his stolen goods. Kaizu pocketed the paper and carried about his day. They kicked off from port shortly after lunch. Kaizu expected to see that strange man again at least once, but there was no sign of him. Kaizu was tempted to open the letter, but he wasn't sure he would like what was inside. In fact it wasn't until that night, when Kaizu would pry open the piece of paper to puzzle over its contents. What he found was most unusual indeed. Just a simple note that didn't make any sense at all.



Hello strange boy, I'll be waiting for you at the end of the rainbow.
-Daithi

Daithi? he thought. What an unusual name.

"It's not that unusual," Came a voice from behind. Kaizu's father. "The name I mean. It's actually quite common in my hometown."

"Ahh," said Kaizu. So it was an old friend, or an old enemy. The latter was far more likely.

"Let me ask you something Kaizu," Asked his father, a half empty bottle in his hand. The ship had entered calm waters, and the setting sun was casting brilliant reflections along the ocean. "What would you do if you met a man. Not just any man, almost a god, or at least he believes himself one. A man so powerful that every king on this planet is just a puppet to him. A man who ruined your political career, who stole everything from you, and cast you out to the sea. What would you do if you met this man, this warmonger of the world, this bleeding disgrace of society, and in a single instant saw him for everything that he was? What would you do?"

Kaizu shrugged. "Kill him I guess," he replied.

Kaizu's father gave a great roaring laugh.

"Kill him!" He echoed. "I like that. You've got a good spirit there son."

He snatched the note out of Kaizu's hand and tucked it into his pocket.

"Let me show you a trick I learned to let you fight while drunk..."

Kaizu never forgot about it. After all, it was the night that they were raided, that his parents were killed in the ensuing naval battle. A coincidence he had assumed, that they were attacked twice in one day, first by pirates then a navy patrol. It was unfortunate but not impossible. That was until he saw the note again. Delivered most disturbingly by that man from the shadows. It was the same note, Kaizu assumed it had been destroyed in the bombardment, how was this possible? Kaizu had already wreaked havoc on the soldiers who had killed his parents, he was at peace. But now here was a mystery he could not leave unchecked.
***
Kaizu stepped off the gangway and waved goodbye to his new 'friends' the smugglers. He had charmed them easily enough, having a group of people able to ferry immigrants across the two largest nations in the world would definitely prove useful. Staring about him he couldn't help but feel a little out of his depth. First there was that man from the shadows, what was his goal in bringing Kaizu to the earth kingdom? Then was that mysterious man in black, Daithi. What did he have to do with...well anything to be honest.
"I'm always one step behind," he muttered as he moved off. But by coming to the earth kingdom, he started to feel that even if he was one step behind, at least he was walking in the correct direction.


Last edited by Mattias on Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:42 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Inserted a Hyperlink to past topic)
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Kaizu
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PostSubject: Re: One Step Behind   Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:49 am

For two days Kaizu waited for something to happen. For a hopelessly mysterious organization they sure were ineffecient. If they were planning to manipulate Kaizu they were doing a terrible job of it. In this time he could have gotten into a bar fight and died. The key to good manipulation is to leave nothing to chance and control every one of your subjects moves. Unless of course they knew him so well they could predict exactly what he could do, but Kaizu was confident that no one could quite predict his next actions.



In the end it was lack of money more than anything else that drove him out of the town. A place that welcomed smugglers and pirate from all nations was a bit too heavy with the gambling dens and wine bars. And boy was the food pricey. Pulling his hood over he decided to take one of the trails heading east. He enjoyed walking by himself. No idle conversation, he could rest when he wanted to and ultimately no one cared if you started singing off tune melodies.

He paused. Surrounded. He was on what could be described as a a woody area. High trees were on his left, and a large crevice of rock rose to his right. He had perhaps maybe about 3 meters of space. He hadn't seen anyone on the road for a while, which wasn't unusual considering the size of the earth kingdom, but the fact he could hear creeping footsteps was hardly encouraging. Bandits he decided. He kept walking. With a little luck it could even have been the masked guys from that organization that was trying to get him to do...something.

Kaizu's eyes flicked left and right. His ears strained. He could hear nothing. Were they going to attack? Kaizu didn't have any weapons on him, not that he was much of a weapon user. But it would be better than going at a reasonably experienced ruffian barehanded. Kaizu kept walking his head slightly lowered, waiting for something to happen.
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PostSubject: Re: One Step Behind   Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:48 am

So there were five of them in total. Three in front (one on the left waving a spear, and the other two had katanas), and two behind (one had a bunch of daggers strapped to his body and the other waved a large Dao sword). If it came down to a fight someone would probably die. Their equipment was nice, high quality stuff, undoubtedly taken forcibly from some unfortunate travelers like himself. The leader was saying something but Kaizu didn't bother to listen. He was going to die if he let the man finish speaking. He waited exactly four seconds before slinging off his sling bag and throwing it at the man on the right then he dashed in. However useless he was at virtually every other aspect at life, when it came to survival, Kaizu reckoned he had pretty good instincts. He crossed the space between him and the leader (mr. loudmouth) in about a second. Kaizu's hand blurred and pressed hard against the mans throat, which was enough to crush his windpipe. Not bothering to wait for the man to suffocate he slid the katana out of the dying fellows scabbard and executed a rough upper slash at the man on the right's throat. He was silenced almost instantly. By this time the guy on the left (spearbearer boy) had time to react, charging at Kaizu. Kaizu stepped forward and pushed the spear away with the katana, cracking both but letting him get close enough to stab the man with the hilt of his sword. By this time the two bandits at the back had gotten close enough to him so that their weapons would actually be a threat, big mistake.

One fireball, enough to blind the man with daggers in his hand (throwing weapons, they'd be a threat first), eliminated about fifty percent of the problem. Then just a side step and a kick and the second man was eliminated. Easy enough. Another few shots of flame and some dagger stabbing latter and Kaizu was rid of a problem in the most disgusting and bloody way.

He took a step back and finally a breath. Apart from the air necessary to create his fire he hadn't taken a breath throughout the entire ordeal. How long had it lasted? Maybe half a minute. Already the smell of blood was nauseating. Five men were dead. He went to the side of the road and threw up. Shaking a bit and feeling quite weak he pulled himself together and by the time he returned to the scene of the massacre his eyes had hardened. First thing's first, loot the bodies. Pile them up by the side of the road, bury them then be on his way. Kaizu rolled up his sleeves.

Strapped to his waist were two weapons, a wakizashi and a katana, nice they were obviously a set, well made black handled thingies. He wasn't the best sword fighter, but he could practice a bit along the way. They'd flow nicely with his fire bending, combined with the fact that the wakizahi was balanced for throwing, he could have done a lot worse. The other weapons he'd chosen to keep were the many many knives that he hid under his clothes and on his person. He grabbed their money (not a lot) and opted to leave everything else behind. They had nothing of value on them, even their maps were less comprehensive than his own. Although to be fair there was that one thing that caught his curiosity. A large iron key, imperial in design but he couldn't recognize the nation. Kaizu wondered which poor soul this was stolen off of. It could have belonged to the bandits but Kaizu doubted it. Just on a whim Kaizu pocketed it. Might come in useful.

Trying to block the image of the men he'd so recently killed Kaizu took another breath then walked forward. Where was he going now? Who knew? The earth kingdom was so vast. According to his maps he was headed towards Ba Sing Se, although it would be an easy detour down to Omashu. He looked at the rapidly darkening sky. He hated killing. It muddled his thoughts and made him remorseful. His head bowed he picked a direction at random and marched on.
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PostSubject: Re: One Step Behind   Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:44 pm

In the end it was the rain that made him stop. He looked at it somewhat passively under the shelter of the Little Dragon Tea Shop. He sipped the piping hot beverage in his hand while he contemplated his situation. The owner, a tiny little man with a very subserviant disposition placed a small plate of meat filled bread in front of Kaizu and produced a bill seemingly out of thin air. Kaizu looked at the prices, made a mental note not to order anything else, paid the man and went back to his stoic brooding. Pausing once in a while to munch on his meat bun.

The rain was getting heavy, it almost completely obstructed his view of the surrounding forest and road, and the steady patter on the straw roof above him created the most disconcerting noise. He looked around. It wasn't much of a tea shop. No walls, just a large roof supported by thick strong pillars of wood that looked so very old and unreliable. Several benches and tables were scattered about the place, and the floor was just a hard base of dirt. Fortunately the roof didn't leak or Kaizu could have found himself sitting in a pool of mud. A neat and polished counter at the end furthest from the road was where the old tea shop owner sat, roasting his meat buns, and making his lovely tea. Kaizu almost wanted to buy another. Almost.

It was really quite a prime spot, the only tea shop for miles. If Kiazu's maps were correct he was almost at the Cave of Two Lovers. Kaizu had never actually travelled there before but he assumed it would be a top tourist location. But so far he had yet to see any real businesses looking to take advantage of the place. Not that it wasn't beautiful enough on its own. Kaizu glanced around at the empty benches. The only other customer in the place was snoring away, a bottle of wine in hand. Very, bizarre indeed. Kaizu sipped his tea.
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PostSubject: Re: One Step Behind   Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:16 am

"Stay very still," Came the voice from behind. "I'd hate for you to come all this way only for me to have to kill you."

Kaizu of course didn't keep still. He allowed himself one movement, the spilling of his tea as if in surprise. Not to say that he wasn't surprised. It was very rare that someone could sneak up on him so unnoticed. It's just that he normally never acted surprised, unless of course it was a ploy to gain an advantage, which he did by using his nice and shiny tea cup (not that nice, or that shiny) to see behind him. The cup was quite grimy, but it did it's job. Kaizu noted the face but didn't react. Interesting

"what can I do for you?" He asked cockily. Kaizu relaxed a little. Now that he had an idea of what was going on he felt a lot more confident.

"How soon can you get to Omashu?" Asked the voice.

Kaizu frowned.

"Can be there the day after tomorrow boss," he said. "That is...if I don't get lost along the way."

"I'd recommend you don't," said the voice. "That is if you ever want to get a meeting with Daithi."

Ahh, Daithi. Kaizu thought.

"About that," Said Kaizu. "Who exactly is this person?"

The voice chuckled.

"You mean you don't know?" It was mocking. Of course Kaizu didn't know.

"Newp," he replied. "Just a name on a paper really. Do I owe him money?"

The voice gave a very throaty laugh.

"Daithi," Came the voice. "Is the man most responsible for the death of your parents. Among other things."

Kaizu reacted. He shouldn't have. He couldn't confirm anything, and if he had kept talking he might have been able to needle more information out of the man. But something in him snapped. Like a stick on the verge of breaking, all it had taken was a single atom of weight to crack it. Kaizu had always had the suspicion that his parents death was too much a stroke of luck. It hadn't seemed planned, but then again the best schemes never did.

Kaizu spun around, a dagger appeared in his hand poised and ready to throw. He saw no one. No one except the drunkard lying at the table and the bartender carefully cleaning his plates. Kaizu knew the voice would be gone. He had known he would never get a clear shot. But he couldn't help himself.

He walked off. The rain roared around him, but he didn't care. He would get to Omashu. He could be there tomorrow if he kept moving and didn't sleep. Was his parents death really orchestrated by some mastermind? Or was this all just part of a plan to use him? Who knew? Who cared? Kaizu knew he would calm down eventually, think things through, come up with a clever plan and approach with caution. But with his current mood. He knew that calm moment wouldn't appear any time soon. He was aching to do something rash.

With a sigh he trudged down the road.
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PostSubject: Re: One Step Behind   Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:41 am

A dimly lit bar. Torches flickered around boisterous feasting patrons drowning in alcohol. But it is not a grim sight, merriment and mischeviousness invades the atmosphere, lighting it up with heart and the prospect of a good time.



Kaizu slid back his hood. His eyes flickered to the note he had recieved at the gate, seems they had been expecting him. His eyes were wary and flickered left and right, his actions mechanical. He drank and joked, and laughed, all the while waiting for his mysterious contact.



THERE! His senses were particularly sharp this night. Also the man was very fat and dressed in bright green. He pulled up a chair next to Kaizu.



"Hello friend," He said out loud. He had a very unusual accent. "My name is Raj. I understand you and I have a mutual friend."



"We do," said Kaizu returning his words with enthusiasm that he did not possess. "I understand you have a job for me."



"Oh indeed," smiled Raj. He licked his lips. "Perhaps we should get some food first. Come! My treat."



With a smile Kaizu left the tavern room and proceeded to one of the smaller more seculded booths in the back. Raj made his orders and soon two large friend birds appeared before them along with a large supply of fruit and spiced bread. Kaizu ate heartily. They talked pleasantries next. For almost an hour after that they joked and told tall tales. Anyone watching from the outside would have thought they were good friends. It was therefore well past midnight, when the bar was a little quieter, but no less full that they broached the topic of their mutual friend.



"He wants me to steal something doesn't he," Said Kaizu. "Something valuable? Well guarded I hope, I prefer a challenge."

Raj's smile froze.



"What makes you say that my friend?" He asked, but there was a menacing edge to his voice. Something dangerous.



Kaizu shrugged.



"You're obviously in the ahh...export business." Said Kaizu. "You'll probably have all the information, security and the like on whatever it is I'm stealing. Then you're probably going to ship it out. Am I close?"



Raj laughed.



"A good guess," he said boisterously. "But no. It is true I am very knowledgable, but tonight shall be our first and last meeting I am afraid. I am here with a message. You are weak. Your enemies are strong. Our friend is afraid you will not survive the oncoming challenges. So he's hoping to give you an edge."



"An edge?" Asked Kaizu mildly.



"You of course can decide whether you want to take this course of action," Said Raj. "But if the rumours are true...well it could be quite a boost for you."


"Indeed?" Said Kaizu picking at a bone. "And what exactly am I stealing?"



Raj laughed. Then his voice became low and cold.



"My friend," He said. "Have you heard the rumours that inside Omashu, these very walls there exists a dragons egg waiting to hatch?"



[exit]
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