Blooddrunk in Ba Sing Se
[OOC is here]
As Lee pulled up to the bar on his trusty rustbucket, the engine whirred into neutral and sputtered two loud bangs before returning to it's more fitting state of not-moving. He swung his stalk of a right leg over the handlebars and pivoted all the way facing the rear of his bike. Humming an old rhyme he shook his head and the protective headwear fell like dust from his head, leaving specks in his hair and on the shoulders of his black and green uniform.
- It's a long, long way to Ba Sing Se -
- But the girls in the city they look so pretty -
- And they kiss so sweet that you've really got to meet -
- The girls from Ba Sing Se!-
He stepped into the Hogmonkey Hideout, looking around for one of his only acquaintances. The old classmate was sitting in a corner of the bar, dusty brown and greens and a jug and a cup in front of him. The black-haired young man had bushy eyebrows and big ears, thick lines painted his face. He had sent Lee a message not an hour ago, to urge him to meet. Something bad had happened to his sister and Lee was the only one who had time at two in the afternoon to go for a drink and talk.
Lee nodded to his old friend and headed over to the bartender, ordering another jug of ricewine to share and a cup for himself. He turned on his heel and slammed the pitcher into a broad-shouldered mean-looking fellow, spilling half of the wine onto the guy. Considering Lee didn't think he was at fault he ignored the burly chap, who was now cursing like a sailor, asked for a refill at the bar and sat down with his old classmate.
"What was so urgent that you needed to see me?"
"My sister, she's dead. Bloodbent..."
Like the news he had just heard an overly-sized fist hit him like a brick to the temple. "So you think you can just ignore me?!" The wide man from the bar looked down on Lee while he lay on the floor, trying to gather his thoughts.
He had known the girl, Ting. She was only a year younger than him and the prettiest girl at both school and the dojo he trained at. He had heard of the murders in the city, but never gave it much thought since he hadn't known any of the victims so far. Now that it was someone he had known and even still dreamt of from time to time, everything changed.
He had always assumed their paths would cross again, but being too lazy to meet Ting outside of the occasional run-in, he had always made it out to be something he would pursue in the future.
Meanwhile his head was ringing like a fire alarm and the whole bar stared wide-eyed while the big man exited Lee from the Hogmonkey Hideout as fast as he had entered.
Hoshi, age 10, and Tao, age 7, laid whimpering side-by-side on their mats while Pona’s shrewd eyes picked out their numerous bruises and cuts. As she worked with her pure healing water to clean the “boo-boos” and speed up their healing, she smirked, saying “You boys need to stop picking fights with the neighbor-girls. You know they can beat you up.” Tao stuck out his tongue at her, but she just kept laughing, and he said “We wouldn’t lose every time if Hoshi would bend anything bigger than a pebble at them, but he won’t because he’s got a cru- ow! Don’t kick me!”
Hoshi had turned red, and kicked his brother before he could finish, but Pona knew what was going on. “That Mia is very cute, Hoshi,” she said, smiling more kindly this time, “But why do you insist on going over there to have earthbending fights, instead of just, well, talking to her?” His brother answered before he could, “Because he’s a scaredycat! I told him, Pona, I told him that she would think he’s a wuss if he kept fighting so badly, but he wouldn’t listen. No no, every time, he lets them overpower us, I can’t take them both on alone, and we lose. It’s embarrassing!” Her only response was “Shh! Let your brother talk, Tao.” But Hoshi was looking glum, and finally said “He’s right, Pona, I am a scaredycat. I keep thinking that if I go over to try and talk, she won’t like me, and that if I win one of our fights, she’ll think I’m mean for hurting her… What should I do?”
By this point, their healing was basically done, and Pona was wrapping bandages around the larger wounds, as even though her healing could speed up the process, they would still take time to fully heal, and she didn’t want them to get infected. She thought about Hoshi’s question as she wrapped, and answered when she finally pulled them both to their feet. “Okay, think about it this way,” she said, “You don’t know what she’ll do until she does it, but if you do nothing you know she won’t know you’re interested, so you really have nothing to lose by trying. You’re obviously both interested in earthbending, so why not talk to her about that? You probably know just as much as she does, even though you’ve been holding back for your fights, and you might even impress her with what you can really do. Sound good?” The older boy was smiling broadly, and immediately ran out of the room and back towards Mia’s house, yelling out “Thanks, Pona!” as he went. She just laughed a little, and turned back to Tao.
“What about you?” she asked, her quizzical smirk back in place, “Are there any girls that have caught your eye, Tao?” He shook his head no, but then his own smirk surfaced, and he looked up at her with puppy-dog eyes. “Only you, Pona,” he said, and gave her a big hug. “Aww, aren’t you cute,” she said, with liberal sarcasm, “But now you have to go study, child. You know that your arithmetic tutor will be here in a few minutes, and how much he values you as a student.” He faked sadness at having to go, but couldn’t help from giggling at that last remark. The arithmetic tutor was a rather old, mostly deaf, somewhat senile man, prone to strange ramblings and forgetting who exactly Tao was.
With Tao cheerfully bounding up the stairs, Hoshi probably already talking to Mia, and neither planning to do any more fighting today, Pona saw that her work was done, and decided to go for a nice, relaxing walk around the Upper Ring. A beautiful place, full of large houses, gardens, ponds, flowers, and no one seemed to walk around it anymore. Everyone was bustling around in their little “automobiles”, going from point A to point B, never quite enjoying the view as much as they did before. She sighed a little at the thought, and tied her emergency water skin to her belt. Just as she told the butler of her walk, and that if needed she would be in the gardens, her employers burst in the front door, visibly distraught. Usually full of poise, the lady Zaomei was weak, and sobbing quietly in her husband’s arms.
Immediately confused, Pona and the butler rushed up to them and asked what was wrong. “Our son,” the master began, but his voice caught in his throat, and he had to start again. “They found Tuen dead in the street about an hour ago,” he said shakily. “The police say that it seems to be similar to all of the other murders…” But he couldn’t continue. Tears welled up in his eyes, and the butler lead them both upstairs, snapping at the cook to bring two cups of the best tea she had. The healer was left dumbfounded. Tuen had been like a little brother to her, and she had never lost a sibling before. She went back into her room, sat down on the bed, and cried, like a child. It felt like she had never been so sad in her life. He wasn’t really her brother, of course, but because the children were all boys, they all three saw her as a big sister, and she reciprocated. Slowly, her sadness turned to anger. She was angry at the police, for not catching the killer before he took Tuen, she was angry at the killer, simply for existing, and with this anger she swore that she would avenge Tuen’s death, as well as the deaths of all the rest. The murderer would be brought to justice, one way or another. She thought of the dangerous waterbending technique she had recently discovered, her nerve strike, and knew that she had thought of it for this very purpose, without realizing it. Fate had prepared her for combat, and she would start with the lowest of the low: the slums. She had a few connections through an orphanage in the “Lower South Side” of Ba Sing Se, and with their help, her manhunt would begin.
A large crowd has gathered in front of the bookmakers office. The next fight was about to begin in the Lower South side Bending Arena and the poor and the wealthy flocked in to place their beds. The Arena was one of the larger structures of the slums but still lacked most forms of luxury. Only recently a vip area has been constructed where the more financially blessed would gather to watch the crude form of entertainment the new no rules fights are. In the case of the Lower South Side Arena the vip area was mostly populated by key figures of the gangs. Bosses and underbosses would talk about their businesses, settle their differences or negotiate about drug deals.
The more normal people would sit on the wooden seats that has been placed around the ring. The seats where that closely positioned to the ring that bending attacks would often end up injuring some of the audience members. The ring is build up from a stone square with numerous water channels running across it. Mao has participated in the fights numerous times with some degree of success. Just entering a fight would earn him some coin and winning would roughly double or triple the reward. Mao knew that Hope disapproved of this fight. He had been in an intense argument with the old lady about participating in this new no rules fights but Mao could not let this opportunity pass. The rewards of the no rules fight where far higher than the regular fights and they desperately needed the money. This new Sabertooth Moose Lion gang has recently took control of the entire lower south side and greatly increased the protection fee's that everyone had to pay.
The young firebenders eyes followed how the announcer walked onto stage and grabbed the microphone that hanged from the ceiling. " Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for the first fight of today?" shouted the man as the crowd cheered and screamed for action. The man continued to announce the first two fighters. " In the left corner, 4 times earth rumble 6 champion... standing 6.9 feet tall and weighting roughly 270 pounds... Choi "The mountain of the middle ring" Kung Chao!!!!!!" As Choi entered the ring, Mao had a good opportunity to take a look on him. The mountain was huge. If a child would describe how an earthbender would look like this is what they would come up with. A giant made solely out of muscle. Every part of Choi's body was well trained. He had arms like tree logs that could lift a mountain with ease. No matter how though an opponent looked like, Mao would not back out on a fight. Especially not when money is at stake. As Mao heard his name from the speakers, he entered the ring. The crowd exploded as the action was about to begin.
The watery substance poured down into the small cup with well-practice precision and sent a puff of thin, brown smoke rising from it. It allowed for the aroma of the green tea to spread out for a moment, and let it cool a little. She moved the tea-pot over to the next cup and filled that one as well, making small talk with the customers before moving to over to another table. On the plate she carried on the palm of her left-hand there were two tea-pots and several cups. There was one for each of the popular teas of the lower-class establishment that was her mother’s tea-house. One for the green-tea; that was especially popular amongst the elders and citizens of Ba Sing Se, one for jasmine-tea; a relatively soothing brew that troubled minds found solace in and had a peculiar aroma. The third tea-pot was meant to hold leechi-tea; a relatively new brew that was enjoyed by most young customers and made from leechi-nuts. For this day, she hadn’t needed the third tea-pot yet, but experience had taught her not to put it aside because of that, the day was still young after all.
It was busier than most days in the small tea-house and that had its own noticeable reasons. Hana worked her way throughout the small tables and groups of customers to arrive at a larger table near the window, where a group of older men sat. Two of them had ordered green tea, the others wanted jasmine but she didn’t struggle with balancing the tea-pots while pouring, she had grown used to it. One of the men spoke with a hint of alarm dangling on his chapped lips, bending over the table to whisper to another. He was talking about the same thing all of them her customers were: the recent deaths that had threatened the upper-class of Ba Sing Se. In the past month several citizens had lost their lives, and according to one of the man’s companions, the culprit(s) had made use of a rare technique. Blood-bending was a form of water-bending, but a rare one at that. There was not much known about it and the authorities had trouble making arrests since not all of the water-benders (which had been widely spread across the globe) could blood-bend. In other words; there wasn’t much being done about the situation at all. She finished pouring the tea, politely smiled at a compliment about its soothing aroma and then left them for another group of customers. It was hard to keep herself distant from all the peace-disturbances, certainly when lives were being taken in broad daylight. She looked up at the large clock on the left-wall when passing a group of chattering earth-benders and reckoned that her mother would return any minute now.
After serving the last of her un-served customers: two travellers from the fire-nation, she strode out of the customers’ area and into the workers’ area. It was separated from the customers’ area by a low, wooden counter and was not all that large. There was a tea-brewing area, with a supply cabinet and a stair-way that led to the second floor, where she and her mother lived. She moved over to the tea-brewing area and let the steel plate rest between the other dishes; putting the tea-pots elsewhere. One of the bells at the entrance alerted her of another person entering, and by the clicking of the woman’s footsteps and her warm voice that greeted the customers, she could tell it was her mother. She took of her apron and hung it by the small three-way curtains that aided the wooden counter in separating the customers’ area from the workers’ area. Then, her mother entered through them and put down two small brown bags; most likely herbs and groceries from one of the small shops in the upper-class part of town. “I’ll do the dishes,” her mother started and looked at her with a small smile, heading for the sink and turning on the water. “I need you to deliver some tea to the old woman in the slums, it is heated and ready; inside of one of the bags. After that you can go and head into town, have some fun with the other children.”
Hana nodded, thanked her mother and then searched the brown bags for a small tea-pot and a cup of the same colour. The tea-pot was still warm but cooled a little in her arms, when she carried it out of the tea-house, passing through the customers’ area once again. The wind tugged softly at her green-coloured shirt and the small tea-pot almost slipped through her arms when a cat scurried by her feet. It was followed by a small black-haired shouter and she did her best to avoid clashing into him; moving to the left when he passed her. The streets of Ba Sing Se came alive around her; small shops opened their blinds and apartments’ windows opened to welcome in the bright sun-light that slipped through the large buildings of the lower-class citizens, a group of elders sat on a bench and began discussing the economical changes that had come to pass in the last thirty years, and a small girl was sobbingly pulling on her older brothers’ coat asking for some sweets.
It didn’t take long to find the way to the slums, as the streets sloped down here and there, giving way to stair-ways and small tunnels. Her mother wasn’t aware of it, but she had been there many, many times. After discovering her air-bending there hadn’t been another place to practice with it; the apartment was too small and she didn’t want to cause the cabbage man any more discomfort than he had already suffered. In the slums most people minded their own business and there were a lot of empty buildings and dusty alley-ways, she could practice in. She hadn’t been noticed practicing yet, and most of the children and adults that earned their wages down in the slums were kind enough to her. Part of her wished she could help them- certainly now that the security measures had been lifted, to allow for more protection in the upper-class part of Ba Sing Se.
The older woman’s house was in one of the well-lit streets and had a green-painted door that swung open when she approached. It was much larger than she expected inside, and after delivering the tea she made some small talk with the woman. Her son had been taken by the blood-benders as well; a bright earth-benders that worked in the upper-class and had lived to see his 20th summer. In the last three months there had been a lot of cases similar to his.
Still not quite recovered from the shock, Lee got up and brushed the dust off his shirt. "You don't wanna do this buddy, just let it be". The half-drunk bear stormed at him, Lee could get a helmet just barely on time. The man's fist came to a dead stop on Lee's head and got answered by a monkey vice grip around his throat "Get lost! I've got better things to do." Lee re-entered the Hogmonkey Hideout and sat down with his friend Nong. "Tell me what happened"
The broken boy started to speak:
"Ting left the house last night, she said she was going to a party with a friend. She was still alive when she got home."
"Wait, does that mean?"
"We don't know. It was a private party, the host's parents are good friends of our parents, they knew everyone there. We got the police involved, there was no sign of breaking and entering in our estate or any sign of a person not allowed at my parents place to have ever been there. Yet she was in her bed, eyes wide open and staring blank at the ceiling, not breathing..."
"Did the police prove useful in any way?"
"Not so far, they said they're at a dead end in the case."
"Who was the friend she went with? There has to be something she saw"
"Chou Nyoon, her parents live two houses away from mine, but she rents a room close to her work. It's near that tea-shop Ting's your earth-bending teacher used to go all the time."
Lee got back on his feet. "Let's go, getting answers is the best kind of grieving."
They cleared their last cup of wine and headed out. The burly fellow was standing by the corner, watching with a bunch of his friends. Lee gave the earth a little rumble around their feet to make sure they'd keep their distance.
He passed Nong a helmet while starting the engine and got his rocky protection back in place. He kicked the bike in gear and sped off in the direction of the middle ring.
"So how are you doing today?" Kaytora said as he sat down in front of a woman that was coughing and breathing heavily. She was sick and Kay knew she did not have long left before she would close her eyes on last time. He knew that she could be saved, but where would he get the money for her?. Kaytora's heart broke a bit each time she smiled to him and said that he was like the son she never had and that she thanked him for being so nice to her. Keep a brave face now kay He told himself each time. "Kay I am doing good thanks to you" She said before she began coughing again.
Kaytora could hear the crowd cheer as another match was starting. He could not understand how people took joy in watching people fight and the worst thing was that they where not fighting for anything good. They where fighting for money and fame. Savages the whole bunch of them Kaytora was sure of, but there where some of the fighters that actually had a heart. Some of them where actually fighting for a grater good then themselves, like money to help others. Kaytora meant it was a shame that the world had fallen to this kind of dept. "May those who are serving a higher meaning win these fights pleas" Then a idea flashed in his head, he could fight for the money to get this woman safe. He looked at her for a brief second and then stood up.
"I am going to get you some treatment" Kay said as he smiled.
"No kay don't do it" the woman said as she tried to get up, but fell down again.
"You know that I don't like it, but its the only way" Kay said as he walked away and soon he was at the fighting area.
“Lady Hope’s Orphanage”, the sign above the door said, and Pona had been there many times. This was not a friendly visit, however: Pona was recruiting. For a few years, the young healer had been in contact with Hope and a couple of other organizations in the poverty-stricken areas of Ba Sing Se, to lend them her services. Recently, she had gotten to know a feisty young firebender named Mao, who was often injured when he fought in underground fighting tournaments, and so equally often had felt the soothing touch of her water. Sadly, in that place, fighters almost had it easy. It was a consistent source of income, as long as he kept fighting and won at least some of the time, and Hope certainly needed the money, as much as she would hate to say it. Pona saw that she seemed to rely on him to protect the orphanage, and she didn’t want to pull him away from that, but who better than a righteous warrior could she have to help her track down Tuen’s killer?
She decided to talk to both Hope and Mao, to see if there was any way she could compensate for taking Mao away for a little while, and if the firebender would come with her at all, but when she got to the orphanage, the boy wasn’t there. Hope had a rather brusque conversation with her, and said that he was at a new “no rules” tournament match. She was very worried about him, but didn’t know what she could do about it. The orphans needed to eat, and Mao’s fighting provided quite a bit of money. This was too risky, though, and she told the healer that it had been a mistake for her to not force Mao not to fight. In the end, and knowing that Pona was a powerful waterbender, she made the young woman promise that when she went to the match to talk to Mao, she wouldn’t let him die. If the other fighter seemed to want to kill him, Pona had to step in and stop it, money be damned. A little scared of the prospect, but willing to do what Hope asked, Pona bowed to her elder, excused herself and quickly exited the house. Tearing through the streets toward the arena, her emergency skin sloshing about on her back, she could only hope she wouldn’t arrive too late.
Noticeably larger and grander than the other squalid buildings in this part of the Lower Ring, the arena stuck out like a sore thumb. Thankfully, there was no line of people waiting to get in, just a cashier at the entrance. Realizing that this meant the fighting had already begun, she fished out the money as quickly as she could, paid the rather high entrance fee, and was let in. The fighting ring was almost full, and the fight was starting, but Pona breathed a sigh of relief when she saw the young firebender alive and well. “Hopefully, it’ll stay that way,” she muttered to herself, and she found a seat as close to the front as possible. Just as she sat down, the fighters were introduced, and her spirits sank immediately. “The Mountain of the Middle Ring” was huge and insanely muscular, almost looking like a caricature of an earthbender, and she didn’t know how much good she could do if he started pounding on Mao. The only hope she had was that she could take out one of his legs or hit the back of his neck with a nerve strike, but doubted it would even work given the layers of muscle… By the spirits, she hoped Mao had something up his sleeve.
As Mao entered the ring and he took another good look at his opponent. Beating The mountain would not be an easy task. Considering the earthbenders track record, it would be nearly impossible. Most people would call entering this fight insane but up until now Mao disagreed. Mao just went over all the details of the fight in his head. Choi "The mountain" had beaten numerous earthbenders before but had little experience fighting firebenders and none when it came down to street punks. Mao on the other hand had faced mostly earthbenders. When it came down to experience with the other element, Mao was in the lead. But none of the earthbenders he'd faced before where as colossal as The mountain. Mao knew this was going to be one hell of an uphill battle. None the less, there was no thought on his mind to chicken high. The stackes are high and he desperetly needed the money.
A man dressed in black and whites entered the ring and introduced himself as the referee of tonight's fight. "Alright ladies and gentlemen i'll explain the rules for tonight fight. There aren't many so I can keep it short. Fighters can use any move, any form of bending and attack any part of the body. The first fighter to be knocked unconscious, rendered unable to continue the fight due to severe injury, got thrown out of the ring, dies during the fight, taps out or gives up loses. That's all there is to say. Basicly it's two fighters enter the ring, only one will walk out standing. Now let the spectacle begin!"
The sound of the gong announced the start of the fight. Everything around Mao faded away as the rush of adrenalin kicked in. Now it was just the ring, The mountain and himself. The young firebender was going to show why he had the nickname "The raging dragon" as he unleashed his first volley of fireballs. With rapid fist movement, Mao sanded at least 10 fireballs flying at his opponent. He immidiatly continued with his fire breakdancing leg sweep. Rather than attacking a single point, The raging dragons attacks where focussed at an area and comming in rapid succession from different angles making it extremely hard for the big and musclular earthbender to dodge.
As Mao's attacks homed in on their target, The Mountain had no other option than to raise an earth wall to block the incoming attacks. As the firebenders sting of attacks hit the earth wall, little cracks started to form. Mao continued to launch fireballs at the wall until it crumbled with a loud roaring sound and his last few fireballs where dead on target. The first one was a direct hit, pushing the Mountain a little bit backwards but he managed to get his guard up for the remaining two.
None the less, it bought Mao enough time to do what nobody in their right minds would considering the difference in size and weight. The young firebender closed the gap into melee range. Fire swirled around The raging Dragons hands as he threw a left hook towards the earthbenders face. A fireblast scourged Choi's hear but was mostly blocked as he raised both his arms just in time to take the punch. As The Mountain guarded his head he left other parts of his body unprotected. Mao's next firefist would sure to be remembered as a cheap shot. The firebender's next flaming punch was thrown foreward with all his might as it collided with a big explosion between The Mountains legs. A loud scream went through the arena as Choi bended forward and reached for his balls. The big earthbender wasn't going to have any action in the coming week.
Some people might have holded back for a second to take a look at the effect of their hit but not Mao. The firebender knew that the first part of the fight was his strongest part. He had to keep the pressure on his opponent. The raging dragon reached for Choi's head and with a jump slammed his knee into the giants face. Mao quickly followed with a kick, pushing the earthbender further backwards. His next three fireballs finely sended his colossal opponent flying. For a split second it was death silent in the arena. The crowd watched without breathing how the mountain flied through the air and landed with a boom on the floor of the ring. People could not believe it. Was this fight really over in a minute. Did they truly placed their beds on the wrong bender? Even the referee stood frozen for a split second, not knowing if he should start counting or not.
As the referee approached The Mountain in order to start the count he got quickly pushed away. Choi was already crawling up back on his feet. Everybody could see the anger on his face as he spit out a teeth that came lose. "Not bad punk. The real fight is starting now" Said The Mountain as he started his counter offensive.
It had taken a long time to wrap up her conversation with the older woman, and part of her wished she could have remained for a tad bit longer. The old woman had lived for a long time and thus had a lot of interesting stories to tell; old stories, about things long forgotten and never written down. Most of it was known to her, since the customers of the tea-house often brought news and tales from beyond Ba Sing Se’s impenetrable gates. But some stories the old woman had spoken of, had been something entirely different; a tale about the crystal catacombs for example. They were part of the ‘old’ city and hidden down below, under the streets and alleys to reveal a large open space; littered with growing crystals of a lavender nature. Despite all of these interesting anecdotes and stories, it was still time to leave and in all reality she didn’t mind all that much. It was still early and perhaps she’d get the chance to do some practice- and hopefully learn more –before heading back to the tea-house.
Outside, the streets were even more deserted than they had been before; only allowing the appearance of a few care-free beggar-children and an old man who leant against a wall and held a wooden cane for support. The children ran by her in a hurry, disappearing into the labyrinth of streets ahead- if one hadn’t grown up near them, it would have been nearly impossible to find out which ones led to a larger part of the city, and which ones ended back where they had begun. There was a vacant building at the end of one of them. It had been abandoned several months ago and made into a children’s hide-out since then. During the night most of the beggar-children would come together there and show each other what they had managed to earn- or steal –for dinner. Hana often found herself joining them during uneventful evenings and bring them hot tea to have with their dinner. Throughout the day however, none of them lingered and the building returned to its deserted state. Then she would use it to practice her air-bending or attempt to further decipher the scrolls her mother had left her with. Whilst passing through one of the wider streets that would eventually lead to the vacant training-spot, she came by another interesting construction. It was a large and grand place, sticking out between the other squalidly built buildings and was named ‘the arena’. It wasn’t an official name- as far as she knew –and for once, there was no line in front of it. Usually, there would be a mass of cheerful people lining up to pay for tickets and watch the fights that went on inside. Some thought of it as a source of income, others as a place for entertainment.
Hana gave it a second look and then moved onwards; taking a left and then a sharp right. It took another minute or two, to arrive at the end of the street and then after another left, she arrived at the vacant training-pot. The door was half-open and seemed to be hanging by the hinges, but inside it was much more comfortable. On the ground-floor there were several small chambers and a large living-room which the beggar-children had told her to avoid: the windows had been broken and the ground was plagued by sharp pieces of glass. Upstairs there were two rooms; a small one with a pile of mattresses in a corner and a small table by the window and a large one, that one didn’t have a roof. The four walls still stood but one of them was partly loose bricks and allowed view on the roof of another, nearby building. Hana was about to head for that room, as it had no roof and thus allowed for a lot of free-spirited air, making it an impeccable training-spot for an air-bender.
“..all of the vacant buildings. Orders are orders, otherwise I’d rather be watching one of those brawls as well!” The door swung open and let in a pair of men; dressed in police-attire and both weary-looking. One of them, the one that hadn’t spoken yet, strode into the hallway and let out an agitated snarl. He started: “There isn’t any use in checking these buildings; vacant as any day. I’m telling you, we won’t find any of those moon-blessed blood-benders here. We should head for..”
She didn’t wait for them to finish their conversation or notice her, and slipped onto the stair-way and headed upstairs. Her footsteps were light but firm and the men remained below, the sound of their boots working its way into the living room. Hana reckoned that the training would have to wait; it wouldn’t be wise to interrupt the police-men’s investigation. It wasn’t hard to leave the building from the second floor. Together with the damaged wall, the roof made for an excellent exit; she climbed onto the rubble and then pulled herself up onto the open roof’s edge. The streets below her were vacant and for a moment she lingered, enjoying the feeling of the cold wind. Then she walked over the edge and crossed onto the next roof; making a small leap as it was half a metre lower. After that, she bent through her knees and leapt towards the ground; three metres she could manage. A small cushion of air deflected the fall and made sure her landing was soft, sending a slight shock though her feet.
Hana wavered for a moment, as if almost to fall and then steadied herself again and disappeared into a different street. There was a slight smile dangling on her face; perhaps she’d head for the fights after all. It had been quite some time since she had witnessed an interesting brawl- and there wasn’t anything else that could be done at the moment.
Houses slid by as Lee nearly wrenched the throttle off the handlebars. As they moved from the upper ring to the middle ring, houses got a lot smaller. It had been years since he'd set foot outside the safety and luxury of the center of Ba Sing Se. He'd almost forgotten how easy life was for him. If this had been a leasure drive, Lee would have been practicing his earthbending by now, creating ramps and slanted corners everywhere to make his ride more enjoyable. Nevertheless, now was not a time to be goofing around, neither would it even be possible in the narrow streets outside of the upper ring. Instead he just drove like a normal maniac, plenty fast, but manageable for anyone riding in the backseat. He checked from time to time to see if his friend was still holding on.
His head drifted to the murders. What was the connection between all the victims? How did so many people die in such a short time span? How could it be that there were suddenly multiple bloodbenders after they hadn't been seen for such a long time?He had been driving on autopilot, his thoughts not with the road when suddenly Nong started frantically tapping Lee on the shoulder. He snapped out of his train of thoughts to see a young woman on the middle of the road. Lee had been driving far too fast into a low visibility bend and he was going to need a lot of luck to not crash straight into the black-haired girl. He stomped his right food down, which caused the rear wheel to lock up. There was no other choice than to put the bike down on its side, still sliding on a collision course with the girl. Mere moments before the impact she moved out of the way gracefully, as if the air bubble around the moving vehicle had pushed her aside.
His face slammed on the floor, scrambling his brains for long enough to cause his helmet to crumble to bits. Although having difficulty to seperate up from down, right from left, in a moment's time Lee was back on his feet, trying to take in the situation. The girl seemed to have had no trouble to exit the encounter unscathed, Lee would be fine as well as soon as the bells in his head stopped ringing. Nong was slowly crawling into a sitting position as well, luckily he hadn't been knocked out by the physical blows he had received. The first moment the young man put his left hand on the ground to push himself up his face pulled into a painful grimace and he clutched his fore-arm. It looked like their detective work was gonna get put on hold for a while...