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Old September 21st, 2013 (09:22 AM).
Geras32's Avatar
Geras32 Geras32 is offline
Slightly less of a noob
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Everything's bigger here, apparently.
Age: 19
Gender: Male
Nature: Serious
Posts: 745


Xiu Lim and Angelique Everett

"Can you see it?"

Xiu grimaced as she tried futily to watch Jian the firebender as he played, but she was unable to focus due to the questions nagging at the back of her head about the mysterious man who had decided to call himself "Shun Feng Er". She was also slightly bothered by the fact that he had chastised her for lying to him while he did the exact same thing. Didn't that mean he was insulting her intelligence? Regardless, that was a lesser matter. Try as she might, though, she could figure out nothing about Shun no matter how much she looked at him. It was jarring, as well as a first for her. Now he was talking to her to add on to her mounting distractions.

What exactly was she supposed to be seeing? She scanned the arena but saw nothing out of the ordinary. Was it something that was beyond her ability to notice or were her distractions just that troubling? It seemed that Shun noticed this and sighed. "Come on, I expected more from you. The stands, look at the audience. Do I have to outright say it?" Xiu's brow furrowed in dislike for the man. The audience... She looked but still didn't see anything. She had to look closer, then. Reaching into her purse, she pulled out a monocular and peered through it at the audience. Nope, still nothing. People screaming, people jumping in their seats, people with snacks, and even some people who looked like they weren't quite having fun. None of this was-

"Look for a pattern. I'm dissapointed, Avatar." Shun's tone made it clear that he was bored, with sighs as well as if it wasn't obvious enough.

This was the first time he had outright stated that he knew her identity, but right now she was too focused on trying to see whatever it was she was looking for to worry about him. Pattern... There! She noticed that of the people who didn't seem to be enjoying themselves, there were ones with similar snack buckets or other containers spaced around the arena in a manner that couldn't be coincidence. A certain piece of history came to mind. Oh, no.

"Yes, she finally gets it! Good job, it only took you what, three hints?" He clapped slowly and mockingly. How could he just sit here knowing that there was going to be an attack on the arena? Xiu stood up and faced him, ready to question him when he held up a hand signaling for her to be silent. "You probably don't want to waste time asking me questions considering that there's only one person here who is important enough to warrant an attack on the arena and that person might want to get out before they strike. Do you understand or do you need more hints?" Xiu groaned, annoyed at the fact that he was right again as well as the way he could insult her with such a kind smile.

She pondered for a moment at what she could say before she left, not wanting to leave without a single answer, but she couldn't think of a question that could get him to answer anything properly. Instead, she asked him, "Why warn me about this? And if you knew about them why aren't you leaving too?"

"If you're caught, the game will end. And don't worry about me, they'll let me go soon enough. Oh, and for the record this isn't my doing; much too crude."

Xiu couldn't afford to waste more time talking so she dashed out the door behind them and continued until she reached the exit. So he thinks of this as a game? That part was honestly disturbing to her, but at least it meant she would be safe for now. She kept running even once she was outside before she stopped to figure out where she would go, but loud noises from behind her interrupted her thoughts. Screams filled the air from inside the arena as the unknown enemies struck. They would probably make sure to prevent outside support from getting to those inside which meant they would be coming out to seal the doors and get whoever they could that was running out of the arena back inside. Xiu didn't want to be seen so she dove into a nearby bush to hide. She was surprised when she bumped into something else in the bush, a person who had apparently had the same idea as her. "Ah, sorry!" she whispered to the figure in apology, her "Ling" persona returning. A longer look revealed that this person was not as unknown as she thought.

"Ling?" Angelique questioned as the girl jumped through the bush and crashed into her. "What are you doing here- oh nevermind. We've got issues, obviously." Angelique peered through the shrubbery, trying to see if anyone was nearby enough to hear them. "I... don't really know what's going on, but for some reason, these people are searching for the Avatar. It makes me glad I didn't get picked to be it at that stupid training camp I went to when I was younger. Either way, I need to get back in."

It was all too obvious that Angelique planned on getting in because someone, most likely Julienne, had been trapped in there. Xiu thought for a moment, debating in her mind whether or not she should run. Normally that's exactly what she did, but this case was different. There was a group of organized individuals pursuing her for an unknown reason, but likely one that she wouldn't want to support. Their organization during the attack suggests that they have a specific goal with loyal followers, similarly to the equalist. Those two factors implied that whoever this was, they wouldn't stop until they had her. Running didn't seem to be an option here since they would probably catch her eventually, no matter what. Then there was the issue of Shun. If his reason for helping her into the arena was to further his "game", then any succesful attempts at escape where nobody should be able to find her would be thwarted by him.

Debate over, Xiu would have to fight. In that case, the first step would be to gather allies. There was no way she would be able to handle this on her own. Her eyes went to the girl beside her, a seemingly athletic girl with a motivation to go against these strangers. However, Xiu feared Angelique would be too hot headed on her own. She needed more allies. It occured to her that there was another ally neaby. It would mean revealing her secret, and considering that this girl had been at the training camp she would have to reveal her name as well, but she needed someone to help her take this first step. Trust (or at least the illusion of it) was important in maintaining an orderly team. She felt like smiling at this whole situation. The one time she goes to a pro bending match where she happens to see a boy from the camp she ends up running into a girl from the camp on the way there who (hopefully) becomes her first ally in what seems like her first actual business as the Avatar. Wasn't it enough that she became the Avatar the moment she screamed she didn't want to and that the organization her grandfather was a part of that had tried to stop her in a past life was back for her? It seemed like the universe was really enjoying messing with her. At this point she wouldn't have been surprised if the metalbender from earlier and Julienne were both from the camp as well.

Finally having decided on a course of action, Xiu turned to Angelique and said, "We should go, it's not safe here. Come with me and I'll show you something that can help us." Her tone became slightly more serious, but it wasn't a complete deviation from her persona. After all, her true self didn't seem near as likeable as Ling did.

"Whoa sister, hold up." Angelique held up a hand to stop her. "I'm not going anywhere without Julienne. We're going in. If you're not gonna help me, I might as well do it myself. I don't know how you treat your friends, but I don't leave mine in some kind of psycho hostage situation where they can die."

"Angelique, please!" Xiu pleaded, her voice showing desperation. "There are dozens of them and one of you, you can't win. Julienne is safer staying inside where there are hundreds more in her situation than she is trying to escape where you will both be in danger. As long as she isn't the Avatar, you don't need to worry." She took a deep breath, pretending to regain her calm. "I want to help them just as much as you do, but we have to be smart about this. That's why I need you to come with me. We do this first, then we save Julienne and everyone else together. Please?" At the last word she stared into Angelique's eyes and clasped her hands together.

"..." Angelique was definitely torn. She barely knew this Ling girl, but she seemed really in need of her help. Was Julienne really safe in there? Could she handle herself? Well, she had Metalhead, but it's no guarantee that he was helping her. They didn't even know his name, although he seemed to know theirs'. But... was Ling actually trying to help her? Maybe she was just playing dumb and was secretly one of those freaks that started this whole situation. But... yeah, Angelique wasn't the avatar, so there's no real reason for her to be captured. "... Fine... I'll trust you for now."

Xiu smiled and said, "You won't regret it!" before walking off, encouraging Angelique to follow her slowly. Running would draw more attention than walking, not to mention the fact that if she were to be chased by one of those guys there would be no way for her to outrun them without giving her identity away. Fortunately, the pair didn't seem to draw any attention thanks to the chaos. She walked back into the city until she found herself in an alleyway.

Alright, this place is good," she muttered with an unfading smile before looking up and speaking to the sky loudly. "You saw all that, right?" There was silence for several moments before she saw a figure fall in front of her without a sound upon hitting the ground. "Hi Thokmay!"

Angelique jumped slightly as the man landed in front of the two, causing her to flare her hands up in instinctual defense. "Wait a minute, who's this guy supposed to be? He isn't working with those freaks, is he?"

Thokmay was fairly short (yet still slightly taller than Xiu) and of a similar physique to Angelique's, but what drew the most attention was the brown robe he wore concealing an even more attention-drawing white lotus uniform. "How long?" he said quietly in his deep, monotone voice. He definitely didn't waste words.

"From the beginning," She piped proudly before becoming serious. "I'll need you to take of your robe, please." He seemed apprehensive about it, but Xiu added "We need her help, and if she's going to help us then she needs to know."

"Uh... know what, exactly?" Angelique was apprehensive about whoever this guy was and what exactly Ling was revealing to her. Hell, it sounded like she was in some kind of cult from the way they were talking. Did those still exist?

"I want you to see this, Angelique," Xiu said softly. "Then I'll explain everything." Thokmay looked at her for a moment before nodding and silently removing the robe to reveal the uniform underneath. Xiu let it sink in for a moment before turning to Angelique and bowing low while sadly saying "I'm sorry, but this is all my fault." She lifted her head and put on a shaky smile, her eyes looking like they were holding back tears (an effect done with waterbending). "Hi, my name is Xiu Lim and I'm the Avatar. It's nice to see you again."

"... So... the people that are keeping Julienne trapped inside that building are trying to find you? And this entire invasion is only happening because they want you?" Angelique asked, sounding somewhat bitter. And she kind of was. This random girl she barely knew put her friend in serious dangerous, lied about who she was, yet still asked her for help knowing all of that. Not exactly reason to give assistance. "And you want me to help you?"

She didn't hold the fake tears any longer, nor did she maintain the wavering smile. "I'm sorry for all of it. I tried hard to hide it from people like them and that's why I had to lie to you but somehow they found out I was here anyway. I didn't mean for all those people to get hurt." Her expression slowly changed into a serious one. "You know, I didn't ask to be the Avatar. But the reality is that I am and there's nothing I can do to change that, so I have to do my best to fulfill my Avatar duty. That means working to stop the people in that arena. I can't do this alone, though, so I need as many people as I can get to help me. I won't make anyone do anything they don't want to so if you want to leave, then I'm sorry and I wish you luck. But my hope is that you'll stay and join me in our common goal of rescuing the people in that arena, including Julienne." Xiu straightened her posture and held out a hand for a handshake. "Will you let us help you, Angelique?" Xiu hoped that a display of resolve would help sway this girl's mind, but there was no guarantee. Thokmay wouldn't be enough on his own, so if Angelique refused to help her then she would just have to find someone else.

Angelique thought about this request, trying not to take too long since Julienne could get herself into trouble at any moment - and she knew Julienne would get herself into trouble. "... Ugh. This is... ugh. I want to help you, but I really can't trust you. It doesn't help that we literally just met this afternoon. You could just be trying to decieve me and trying to get me captured too. Mutemay or whatever his name is could be doing the same thing. How am I supposed to know if you're being honest if you haven't been so far? For an Avatar, you're very dishonest." She crossed her arms. "Not very Avatar-y if you ask me."

Xiu pulled her arm back slowly and reached inside her purse from which she pulled a trio of small metal balls which she proceeded to levitate on one hand. She used the other to make a small twister in the corner of the alley that spun some miscellaneous pieces of garbage. "Can you believe me now?"

Well, that wasn't very disputable. "... okay, so I guess your story checks out. What about this guy? How do I know he's not tricking us? He could easily be fooling both of us."

Honestly, she was surprised that Angelique didn't take the white lotus sentry in front of her as truth enough of her identity, but she could be suspicious enough as to believe that the uniform was also a fake. However, it was just as likely that she simply didn't know who the white lotus were, which, while a little disappointing, made sense. The current generation wasn't exactly the most well versed in history. "Thokmay is a white lotus sentry sent here to watch over me. You can trust him more than you can trust me." She looked down sadly as she said that. "But I promise not to lie to you any more." The sentry behind her nodded in affirmation before bowing to Angelique.

Angelique paused for a moment, and then sighed. "Fine, whatever. I guess I can't go in there and raise hell by myself. They'll capture me in, like, five minutes." She pulled her hairband from her head and dropped it into her bag before drawing her hair back into a ponytail, speaking as she did so. "So, Ms. Avatar and her mute assistant, what exactly do you have planned? How do you expect us to get inside without getting captured?"

Xiu gave a sigh of relief. "Thank you, Angelique." It looked like she was successful in recruiting Angelique, a small start for her plans but a start nonetheless. She pondered for a moment before saying, "Thokmay is an expert in stealth. I'm going to ask him to go in and see if we can get an idea of how those guys are set up before I make an actual plan, but for now I've got a basic idea of what needs to be done. I need a team before we can do anything about the arena. We can't waste time looking for elite specialists and the like so anyone willing to help will do. Tell me if you know anyone like that, okay? I'll place them in the plan based on their abilities."

"Well, there was a guy in the arena I was sitting next to. I'm pretty sure he was a metalbender. But I'm not sure if he got out or not. There's also this really annoying guy who flirted with me today that was a Waterbender. I don't know where he went, though. Is that good enough?"

"Yeah, that sounds good. I'll see if I can think of anyone else. Can you describe them?"

"Eh, well, one's really annoying and has a really weird brown haircut, and he wears a robe or shrawl or something and flirts a lot and sounds kind of like a pirate. He also has some kind of sword. The metalbender has a plain haircut and looks like he's wearing some kind of really light armor or whatever, and he's kinda cute. That's all I know."

"Thanks." Xiu said before she turned to Thokmay and nodded, signaling to him that he could start with the plan and keep a lookout for the two people Angelique mentioned. "Remember, get out if anything at all goes wrong!" she called out to him as he left. She then turned back to Angelique and continued discussing the plan. "What would you say that you're good at, Angelique? I need to know so I can figure out where it would be best to place you in the plan."

"Er... well, I firebend." Angelique held up her hand, which immediately was covered in flames. "And people say I'm acrobatic. I usually combine them when I fight. Also, I can throw cards at people." The description really didn't do her fighting justice, but she hadn't exactly thought about how she would explain it to people. Usually people who witnessed it were on the recieving end - a place you don't want to be.

"A firebender?" Xiu had figured that she was probably a firebender, but personality and presumed fighting style isn't near enough to confirm anything. Now it was confirmed and it made this even better. This seemed to imply that she would be better fighting one-on-one than against a crowd, so she would have to take that into account. "Well, it's a little embarrassing but...I can't exactly firebend. I've mastered the forms and researched the styles but I can't even light a candle with it. When we're done with this, would you mind helping me out?"

"Honey, I don't know how to Firebend either." Angelique laughed, waving her hand to put the flame out. "The kind of firebending I use isn't the kind you should learn. You have to be nimble and willing to use some physical contact for what I do. And let's face it: in clothes like your's, you can't exactly do a roundhouse."

"I see..." While that was a little disappointing, Xiu figured that she'd still be able to observe her bending and maybe it would help her figure out what she was missing. "Let's go back to the arena. While Thokmay is scouting the inside, we can check the outside. We've gotta cover all the fronts." With that, she walked out of the alley and made her way to the bayside a distance from the arena. "Have you been underwater before?" She planned to use the bay as cover since the attackers would be searching the perimeter.

Angelique followed, not really feeling in the mood to speak as she attempted to formulate an idea from everything that had happened. Okay, so this girl is the Avatar... wow, what a day. I went from watching a match to working with the avatar to save my friend from equalists, if that's what they're called. So much in one day. All the ideas she had crammed in her head were really weighing her down - and on top of it all, she noticed that she had a rather stinging hunger. "I'm starving, ugh." What she wouldn't give to have some of that delicious chicken that Julienne was eating. Oh hey, I still have that dumpling.

Ready to devour her cheesy treat, Angelique unhooked the top of her bag and opened it - which allowed a blue bird to hastily shoot out of it before falling right onto the ground, causing Angelique to scream. "Oh my god, what the hell is that thing?!"

Much to her surprise, however, Angelique immediately noticed that the bird was oddly familiar... in fact, it was the same bird that had attacked her earlier when she encountered Bird Freak. "Oh, you've got to be kidding me. Oh my god, when I find that idiot, I'm going to wring his stupid little neck!" She growled, walking over to the fallen bird. Immediately, she noticed that the bird resembled more of a blob, and was bird-groaning slightly.

Looking back in the bag, she confirmed the suspicion she had that would explain this situation: it had eaten both of the dumplings.

"GRAH! YOU STUPID RAT!" Angelique grabbed the bird by it's neck, causing it to squawk and squeal as she choked it. "How dare you eat my food! Didn't that idiot master of your's ever warn you about eating a woman's food?! I'm gonna pluck every feather off your idiot body when I get through with you!"

"Don't kill it!" Xiu shouted at Angelique in desperation. A bird like this wasn't something that was seen in Republic City very often, especially a wild one. If they had a tamed bird at their disposal, that was a valuable asset. She couldn't just let Angelique hurt it, or even scare it away. They needed all the help they could get, and that included non-human help. "You said 'idiot master', right? Is this pirate boy's pet? If so, hurting it would make it harder to get him to join us. We need to get it to like us. And besides, it's actually pretty cute!"

Angelique paused in the midst of her bird-choking, her hands still crushing Falco's neck. "... Ugh, why are you so smart?" She let go of the bird's windpipe and let it fly up before crashing down into Xiu's hands, panting heavily and desperately. "Fine, we'll use the stupid thing. But when this is over, I'm going to strangle both of them. I am not dealing with these two for the rest of my life."

Xiu held the bird defensively away from Angelique at the mention of strangling. "Don't worry, little birdie. I won't let that happen to you." She stroked the bird's head as she talked softly to it while it cawed lightly. "See, he's not a bad bird," she told Angelique, "but back to business." She turned to the water in front of her and held out an arm, moving it in circular motions to make a place for her and Angelique to stand. "Can you put the bird back in your bag? I sort of need my other one for airbending."

Angelique, looking rather grumpy, agreed nonetheless and held the bird in her palm without choking it, casting a look of disgust as she did so. "Please hurry. I hate touching birds. They're always so disgusting."

Her second hand free, Xiu began to push air into the gap to maintain a supply for when she closed it. "Let's go," she said before stepping into the bubble.

Angelique paused, feeling wary about this. Wasn't that the exact move Bird Freak had used on her? She remembered that the bubbles popped rather easily with some simple firebending. "Uh... we're not gonna fly in that thing, are we? Because bubbles pop... and I don't wanna be 20 feet in the air if it does."

"No, silly. We're going underwater so we can be under the equalist look-alikes' radar. We'll come up at certain points to check the perimeter of the arena. You can swim, right?"

Angelique was silent, dead silent. "... That's almost as bad as flying. I... why do we need to do this again? I'm sure if we just sneak through the streets and keep low they won't find us. This... seems really risky. We'd get crushed by the water pressure."

"We can't form a plan without information so we're going to gather some. If we stay close to the arena's edge, then we'll be high enough to keep the water pressure from crushing us. Besides, it doesn't get deep enough to crush us anywhere near this close to the shore, so we'd be safe a good distance from the arena anyway." Xiu paused for a moment before asking, "Do you want to wait here? Remember, I said I wouldn't make you do anything you don't want to."

Angelique gulped. It seemed rude to just let Xiu do this all alone, but wow that bubble looked very flimsy. "Uh... yeah. I can search for stuff up here and walk in the same direction as you. I'm pretty, eh, sneaky. And I can defend myself. So don't worry about it. But, uh..." She threw Falco into the bubble, the bird landed against the bottom. It squawked in protest. "Take the thing with you. I don't want him."

Xiu nodded in agreement and began to close the bubble. "Remember, run if anything at all goes wrong. I need you to stay safe, so don't try anything risky. Okay?" Once the bubble was sealed, she began to walk deeper underwater until she was completely out of sight.

Angelique sighed in relief. "God, I can't believe she tried to get me into that thing. She must be crazy... a crazy Avatar; that's reassuring."

When Angelique turned around, however, she was wishing she had gone. Farther down the street, she noticed some people running... but they weren't running away from something, they were running towards her. As the drew closer, she noticed that they weren't just people - they looked like the people at the arena, with the metal gloves. "Great. I haven't even taken one step and I'm already getting attacked."

She clenched her fists, covering them with flames. "Alright, let's do this then!"
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