Laura Kinney had barely been able to keep up with her fellow runaways because she was so overcome with emotion after her biological father's death while fighting his evil clone. "daddy" she whimpered while in the arms of several of her female companions, Rictor and several of the boys were exploring the cave that they had taken shelter in to hide from the Transigen hit squads that were still out to get them.
They heard a flurry of noise and suddenly they were all on the floor having been viciously electrocuted by someone from behind. "you will not go any further" the voice of an older woman exclaimed quietly before she walked away and dragged the boys that had been exploring back into the cave. One of them was Rictor, the other two were Mako and Bolin. They were amongst the oldest of the group, Rictor and Bolin were both able to control the earth beneath their feet, albeit in different ways. Rictor could create earthquakes and Bolin could create and control lava. Mako, on the other hand, could create and control fire, Rictor and Mako were sixteen and seventeen respectively and Bolin was thirteen
Laura dragged herself into a sitting position, the burn from the electricity healing rapidly. "quién eres tú?" she asked
The woman turned around and raised her arm. On her hand there was a strange glove like contraption. "that's something new" she muttered under her breath, noticing that the person's arm had healed nearly completely in the few seconds she was gone and not understanding a word that came out of her mouth. She also realised that this person was just a child. "crap" she whispered and her furious glare lessened a bit
"quién eres tú?" Laura whispered again, the woman's blank face indicated that she didn't understand a word that she said, "who are you?" she decided to try the other language she knew
"My name is Asami" the older woman smiled slightly
"Asami" Laura pondered, "por qué estás aquí?" she shook her head "sorry... why are you here?"
"I'm protecting someone I care about" Asami explained with a slight smile
"Her name is Korra" Asami whispered with a dreamy expression
"Debes amarla mucho" Laura muttered to herself, curious
"What about you, what's your name?" Asami whispered, still worried about being found
"Laura" Laura replied quietly, following Asami's lead
"And why are you here?" Asami asked, echoing the younger girl. It seemed a fair exchange, she knew why Asami was there so it seemed fair that Asami would ask why she was there
"Running" Laura turned away
"Oh I'm sorry" Asami caught her meaning right away since that was something she knew so well. She edged closer to the upset girl and held her hand tightly. Laura didn't return the gesture nor did she pull away. "i want to show you something" Asami whispered before she stood and helped the girl stand. She led the girl down a maze of tunnels that she obviously knew well and into a cavern that was lit by a strange light coming from a machine in the centre of the structure
A woman looked up as Asami led Laura forward. She scowled slightly, "Asami I thought we'd agreed to keep this place secret?"
"she's a kid, Lin" Asami replied calmly
"hmmm" Lin glared at Laura who glared right back
"Vete a la mierda" Laura spat with unexpected venom
"Feisty pequeña perra no eres tú?" Lin replied coldly before she looked at Asami, 'i might just get to like this one" she smiled, "reminds me of someone else I used to know" Lin looked at the contraption in the centre of the room
"¿que es eso?"
"Korra está allí ... ella está dormida y ha estado desde que era muy pequeña" Lin explained to her. "you really ought to learn Spanish" Lin smirked at Asami's blank stare. "I told her Korra is in there, that she is asleep and has been since she was very small"
"I'm sorry, Asami" Laura whispered, realising again that she hadn't understood a thing she said
"it's fine, Laura" she answered kindly before she went up and stood next to the machine in the middle of the room. "you wanna see her?"
Laura nodded enthusiastically and ran forward to the machine. "not sure this is a good idea... We went to hell and back getting that poor girl out of that lab"
"shut it, Lin" Asami grunted in frustration, "she's just a kid, besides, I think she's like her" Lin's eyebrow raised slightly but she nodded and pressed a button on a control panel.
"on your own head be it" Lin replied with a hiss and the machine slowly started to open. Laura watched in amazement as the cylindrical tube clicked and opened slowly, revealing another layer of casing, this time transparent. There were dents and scratches all over the lower part of the transparent casing but Laura continued to look up slowly, taking into account all the tubes and wires stuck in to and on a muscular figure who was held in place by thick metal straps. Her eyes were closed but there was still a slight flow of air
"adimantium..." Laura whispered
"yup, the whole casing is made of the stuff" Asami sighed, "we can't break it, not even Lin here can get in to it"
Lin growled. "must've spent at least two weeks trying to break this bitch open"
Laura just eyed Lin curiously before she stepped forward, her adimantium claws slowly extending from between her fingers, "see?" Asami whispered to an awestruck Lin.
"There hasn't been a mutant born in over twenty years" Lin whispered, "except of course" she looked back at the contraption which was now shutting.
"Puedo romper el adimantium"
"you can break the adimantium?!" Lin exclaimed and Laura nodded
"Wait what?" Asami gasped. "How?!" her eyes shone
"Asami... Not sure" Lin had her reservations about releasing this particular mutant.
"Lin..." Asami began but stopped speaking and closed her mouth
"Asami, I know..."
"How you feel about Korra. Don't forget I was there in the city when you two were kids before Korra revealed her powers" Lin smiled kindly, "i saw you two playing and I saw how you reacted to Korra's disappearance"
Asami blushed, Lin was right, she had been there the whole time but when she had also vanished Asami hadn't noticed. "I'm sorry, Lin" Asami muttered. Laura watched the two adults embrace and hug each other tightly
"I'm sorry too Asami. I know you're eager to be reunited with her... In a way I am too, I've spent too long keeping her safe in suspended animation, it's time she got a chance to have a life again, away from... All of that"
Laura noticed Lin had some tears in her eyes and cautiously stepped towards the frightening older woman. Before Asami or Lin even had time to think, Laura had approached Lin and hugged her. Lin had scowled briefly but returned the hug awkwardly a few seconds later. She didn't like randomly being hugged by people, especially strangers. The only people allowed to hug her were Asami, and Korra, if they ever got her out that is.
"Laura, I think we should probably explain" Asami looked at Lin to see if she'd be willing to translate if Laura didn't understand.
"yup" Lin nodded
"I want to know" Laura nodded when Asami looked at her questioningly.
"Well, it all began about thirty years ago" Asami began, before she looked at Lin, who nodded. "A unique city was built for a group of people like Lin here, Lin can control metal and earth, so her and several hundred people moved to this place named Republic City. It was a closed society really, built deep under Antarctica. My father was one of the founding individuals, him, a man called Tenzin and another called Raiko worked together to create this haven for people like Tenzin, Lin and Korra's parents after several high profile murders of people like them. While the city didn't get the full range of abilities, it got enough to form four distinct communities, those who could manipulate the earth, those who could manipulate the air, those who could manipulate fire and those who could manipulate water. Other People with other abilities were already dying off by the time the city was opened and unfortunately there was little that could be done for the vast majority of them"
"We ended up with a few of those with other abilities amongst us, those we had saved on our way to the city, although they were weak and sterile. A number of the water community discovered they had the ability to heal with the water so they took care of those exposed to whatever it was that destroyed 'the mutant X gene'" Lin spoke with disdain and gestured in the air when she said 'mutant X gene'. "We were lucky, Hiroshi came back one day and told the senior members of the city, I was the chief of police at the time, that it was horrible outside. The streets were literally littered with bodies of people like me, both adults and children alike"
Asami covered her eyes with her hands, "all that death" she whispered.
Laura felt angry, she too had been slated for termination like all those poor people. "Fóllalos!" she spat, much to Lin's amusement
"what I, what everyone didn't know at the time was that Tenzin, Hiroshi and Raiko had agreed to work with a military force to attempt to discover a way to create an 'ultimate mutant'" Lin growled
Laura looked angry, "like me?" she asked, "a weapon?"
"yes, and no" Lin turned to the girl and took her hands, looked firmly into her eyes and continued, "yes, they were meant to be weapons, but no, they didn't start life like you" Lin had heard the children talking with her mutant ability but had decided not to do anything unless they got closer. Asami on the other hand had attacked to protect Korra.
"of course they eventually succeeded" Asami began
"Korra?" Laura asked
"Korra." Lin confirmed
"i was nine or ten, Korra and I were playing until Korra coughed and her top caught fire. This was unusual because her parents were both from the water community, although there probably had been a certain amount of cross breeding beforehand. Korra could now control, or bend, multiple elements" Asami explained, "soon after she started manipulating earth. Once that happened she disappeared" Asami bit her lip to avoid crying
"Senna and Tonraq approached me after it happened and begged me to help them get their daughter back, to which I agreed. I eventually found a lead which led me to an area of the city I wasn't aware of. I couldn't get in so I went undercover and infiltrated it, I found Korra, poor girl was chained to a bed, unable to move more than a few inches" she paused. "meanwhile, someone had cottoned on to the fact that Senna and Tonraq had" she noticed Laura's confusion, "they're Korra's parents, had got involved and were trying to rescue their daughter, so they were brutally murdered" at this Laura broke down in tears. Lin stopped, looked confused for a second before she picked the girl up and held her tight.
After a few minutes Laura's sobbing subsided, "por favor continua"
"Whoever had killed them had hoped to discourage whomever they'd paid to rescue their daughter because they wouldn't be getting paid" Lin smiled "suffice to say it didn't work. I was already on the inside and when I saw what they were doing to that girl, I had to intervene" she paused. "Korra had a major freak out when she was told her parents had been murdered, she was scary, she was bending all four of the elements and her eyes were glowing. She was shot with some kind of sedative dart, she collapsed and they put her in that thing. She tried to escape when she woke so they put her in a coma" Lin stopped and placed her hand on the casing, "poor girl hasn't been awake for something like fifteen years. I got her out about sixteen years ago and I've been on the run ever since. Let me tell you two years drifting in a boat damn near killed me" she smiled, "but fortunately I made landfall in Mexico where I hid for many years, carrying this one and getting her suitable food" she pointed and indicated the tube into her stomach "wherever I went was difficult, but I came to think of her as my daughter in the end and now I'd gladly die to protect her"
"I left the city when I was fifteen, and Korra would've been nine then. I had received a coded message from Lin to tell me that my best friend was safe. She had began to use the term 'avatar' to describe Korra and used that in the code. My father still read my mail at that age and I believe Lin knew that, hence the code. It took me two days to decode it with the limited technology I had available in the city although I had snuck in to my father's lab a few times to use that equipment to decode and translate it" she paused and a tear ran down her face, "I stole a large amount of money from my father and ran away. It was one of his offshore accounts that was in a tax haven so he couldn't get the authority's help in retrieving the money or tracking the account. I was free from that prison city, I could've grown up anywhere. New York, Sydney, London, but instead I was stuck in there. I took a similar journey to Lin and made landfall rather faster than her. Lin and Korra had found a place to hide and encoded a clue to their location in the letter I received. I had to walk for nearly a month to find them, that was years ago. I lose track"
"it took me four months to infiltrate that compound and get Korra out, I was at sea for two years with a heavy machine and made landfall in Mexico where I hid for several years before contacting Asami. She wasn't even aware that Korra was still alive after she had vanished. She met with me and we spent the next seven years getting across the US. We've been hiding here for about two years. All in all sixteen and a half years, they sucked balls, not that I'd ever do such a thing!" she laughed, thinking about Kya, the girl she left behind.
Laura who has been listening quietly while the two adults told their story to her sat up and hugged Lin and Asami, the latter cautiously, she had been electrocuted by her after all. "gracias por confiar en mí" she whispered
"De nada" Lin replied, astounding Asami at how easily she switched between languages
"we were supposed to be the first wave of soldiers" Laura began, "the government wanted new weapons to force everyone to bow to them and accept their leadership, and we were going to be the tool of that change. We were later decided to be unnecessary because they'd found a better way to create supersoldiers, we ran, some of us were caught and put to sleep and others escaped" she held her hands out and also pointed back in the direction she'd come in to the cave. "I expect though that the company have already started rolling out their new soldiers, soon the whole world will be under their iron fist
Lin growled "and I expect clones of our friends and family will be involved later too"
"We have to stop this" Asami whispered. "Laura, break that motherfucker open!" she pointed at the capsule. Lin looked concerned, "if we want to stop this, we'll need her, and everyone else left" Lin nodded, resigned to what was coming next.