Disclaimer: I do not own Jak and Daxter, Avatar: The Last Airbender, or The Legend of Korra. Jak and Daxter is owned by Naughty Dog, and Avatar is owned by Nickelodeon. Knowledge of both Jak and Daxter and Avatar is recommended to fully enjoy this story.
Chapter 8: Trust
"I'm worried about Korra." Said a calm, distinguished looking man to a group of robed servants. These however, were not just some generic errand boys. They were members of the White Lotus, loyal to the Avatar and the balance that she represented. They were getting ready for a search. She did not come home the night before.
The man who was organizing this group, was Tenzin. Tenzin was one of the few airbenders on the planet, and the son of Avatar Aang. The wise monk had taken Korra as his student to help her learn the final art, airbending. Tenzin, while stern, understood that Korra needed plenty of space to grow as the Avatar, and had given her time to herself. However, there were still rules, and while he did give her permission to find Bolin with Mako, he was still very worried.
"Search the streets, check her most common spots. If that fails, then try to find Naga, that will then lead you directly to her-" He turned as he heard footsteps from behind, ceasing his words as he saw who it was, and a flourish of relief had come over the man. However, there were two others, both with rather grim looks on their faces. These two had to be her teammates, Bolin and Mako. They had her back home, where it was safe. The look of gratitude on Tenzin's face was unmistakable.
"Korra!"Tenzin ran over to them, but gasped when he saw Korra's face. He cheeks were stained with dried tears, her eyes ripe from the sting, and he skin was noticeably pale. She looked beaten, and unhealthy, like she had been tortured. She fell to her knees, her head hanging low.
"Korra! What happened to her?!" Tenzin panicked, kneeling to her, holding his hands gently on her shoulders, looking to the boys. "Answer me!"
Mako gasped at Tenzin's sudden demand, but he could not blame him. By the looks on all of their faces, something bad had happened. Something really bad. They had barely escaped, with scars to prove it. Korra was a dead giveaway of that. Mako did not know what to say, as it was hard to explain just what had happened to her.
Bolin gulped, grabbing his arm awkwardly as he stepped forward, not making eye contact. "...She saved me." He answered quietly. "Amon was about to take my bending away, but Korra and Mako saved me. I couldn't get much details, but while Mako was busy taking care of me, Korra ran into some trouble and-"
"What happened to her?" Tenzin demanded, his patience running quite thin, causing Bolin to flinch.
"Well I... sir," Bolin began to speak, his nervousness clearly overtaking him. This was a lot harder than he thought. However, he could not blame Tenzin. Things clearly were not okay. "It's... it's my fault!" Bolin broke, closing his eyes in shame. "If I didn't act like an idiot, none of this would-" He coughed when Mako's hand smacked into his chest.
"We don't know, exactly." Mako admitted, meeting Tenzin's gaze for a moment, but quickly looking to the side. He was ashamed of not knowing how it happened, and the guilt itself was hard enough. "She seemed fine when we all met up outside. She didn't tell us what had happened, but on the way back she just..."
Mako looked to Korra, his face grim. He really didn't know the full story himself, but there was only one who could explain it. The mind was a fragile piece of the human body. In times of stress, and great emotional trauma, it can be difficult to extract information. The only way that they could safely tell Tenzin what happened, is if Korra had told him herself.
"Korra," Mako whispered, kneeling next to her, "Whatever it is that happened to you, he is the one that needs to know, he can help you."
Korra felt her shoulders rise slightly, her head hanging lower, her breathing elevating. A shudder had gone through her body, her muscles tightening as her palms dug beneath her. She bit her bottom lip as she felt herself trying to speak. The thought, the memory of what had happened was still quite fresh in her mind. It was like it had just happened. However, she knew that Mako was right, she knew that she had to tell Tenzin. He always seemed to know what to do.
"I..." She croaked, her eyes closing tight.
Tenzin gently placed his palms to her face, looking to her almost as if she was his own. She was family to them, and he was not going to treat her any differently than that. He calmly lifted her head, his gentle eyes meeting hers.
"Korra, please, tell me what happened. I'm here for you. I'll do whatever I can to help you, you just have to tell me. Please." He spoke softly, his eyes reflecting his sincerity as his irises practically quivered from the worry. It was painful to see her like this, he would do whatever he could to help her.
"I...I was ambushed." She managed to breathe, her eyes staying focused to his.
"Ambushed...?" Tenzin gasped, the others following suit as well. Mako and Bolin had not heard the details from her, so this was still news to them. "By who? The Equalists?"
"I'm not sure, he was wearing their outfit, but he was different. He moved unlike anyone I had ever seen. He was fast, but his attacks had so much power behind them." She winced, remembering the pain. "He had these long ears, and green-blonde hair..."
Mako's eyes widened, he knew who it was. "That sounds just like the Equalist we fought the night before, the one who just wouldn't back down. Him?"
Korra nodded, but the fear in her eyes was still very unsettling to the rest of them. Mako knew that that man was a force to be reckoned with, but he was defeated, what could he have done to her to make her so terrified? The more and more that Mako listened, the angrier he was becoming, his fists clenching tightly.
"...This time... he was different." She practically whispered, the thought of his face flashing in her mind. Those horrible pitch black eyes, those teeth... "I don't know how he did it, but he changed... into a monster."
"What?" They all asked in unison, an aura of unease overtaking the group.
"He began to produce this energy... a thick, horrible energy. Just standing near it made me lose hope... it made me want to give up and die..." She shook, fresh tears forming in her eyes as her body began lose composure. "His skin turned pale, his eyes became a jet black and his teeth became nothing but pointed fangs. I...I... I didn't know what to do!"
"Korra." Tenzin spoke, baffled by what she was speaking of. He didn't even know what to say. He had heard of evil spirits possessing a human, but those were back in ancient times. It was unheard of these days for that to happen.
Mako's anger was replaced with shock, and Bolin merely stared to Korra, unable to speak.
"He walked through everything I threw at him like it was nothing... no matter what I did I... I couldn't stop him..."
"Korra, what did he do to you?" Mako finally broke in. "Tell me how that freak got away with doing this to you, and I'll make sure that he never hurts you again!"
"Mako," Bolin finally snapped out of it, placing his hand in front of his brother.
"He... grabbed my neck..." She sobbed, the details in stunning clarity. "He screamed in my face, and that energy began to consume me... I've never felt so much pain in my life. It was as if... as if I was being drowned, and I couldn't see where to swim... I just kept on sinking to the bottom. I wanted to give up... I.."
"...That's enough Korra." Tenzin spoke gently as he reflected on this new information. "You don't have to tell us anymore, just... relax. You're safe now, you're home. We're here for you, and we'll make sure you'll be safe. I promise."
Hearing those words, especially from Tenzin, was a relief that she never believed she would feel after her encounter with Jak. She leaned into Tenzin, crying harder. The monk gently embraced his student, giving her the support that she needed. Mako and Bolin were her friends, but this was the type of support only Tenzin could provide.
"Korra..." Bolin said quietly, his expression incredibly guilty. She had been put through that, all to save him. "I... I just wanted to say, thank you. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't have made it. I just hope you can forgive me for putting you through... that. I'm sorry."
Mako nodded, the guilt hurting him too. "I shouldn't have dragged you into this, you didn't need to do that for us. But..." He breathed. "Bolin's right, I couldn't have done it without you. We'll do whatever we can to make it up to you. I promise."
Korra looked towards them, her eyes still fresh, but the tears had stopped. "It's... it's alright." She said as she wiped her eyes. "I wanted to help you, you're my friends."
Both of the brothers could only blink in response to that. Nobody in their life had ever shown them such compassion, or forgiveness. She was willing to go through all that for a friend. Even for the Avatar, the willingness to forgive and befriend the people who got you into trouble is a milestone when it comes to friendship.
"Let's get you inside. You're burning up, you need care." Tenzin added, feeling her forehead. "Come on."
"We'll take her inside sir," Mako added as he walked over towards them. "Come on Bo-"
"That won't be necessary." Tenzin interrupted, causing Mako to stop in his tracks. "The White Lotus will take her inside and treat her. You boys don't need to worry anymore. I'm just happy she's home."
Mako stood still, hesitating for a moment as Tenzin told him he had it under control. He looked to Korra, then back to Tenzin. It took a bit, but he finally nodded, backing away. Not a moment too soon, as two White Lotus members scooped her up and began to walk into the manor. The Brothers could only watch as the weakened Avatar was brought into care.
When they were gone, Tenzin looked back to the boys.
"What are your names?" He asked calmly, his hands resting in his robes.
"...Mako." He said as he adjusted his scarf nervously, trying not to break eye contact with the monk. "This here is my brother, Bolin."
Bolin waved shortly, nodding his head. The guilt was still written all over his face.
"I see. Bolin, Mako," He said as he walked towards the two. "My name is Tenzin. I'd like to thank you for what you two have done to make sure Korra got home safely. I understand what happened to Korra was a close call, but don't blame yourselves. From what she told me, there was no way you would have known what would happen. You brought her back, and that means a lot. She's lucky to have you two as he friends. Thank you for being there for her."
That had caught both of the brothers off guard, as they were expecting a lecture of some sort. Granted, they would have not said a word in defiance if that were the case, as the monk had every right to be upset with them for dragging her into this. Yet, it was a relief, especially for Bolin.
"It's... not a problem sir." Mako finally responded, after a brief pause. "We just wish that we could have-"
"It's alright." Tenzin cut in, stopping Mako once more. "It's the past, we can't change it. I know Korra can take care of herself, believe me I know. Yet, there come times when one needs to rely on their friends to help them through their struggles. I just want you to promise me that you will both do your best to make sure that you never walk away from her when she needs you. She may be the Avatar, but she needs you a lot more than you think."
Mako paused yet again, processing everything Tenzin had told him.
"...Yes sir." He nodded.
"Yes sir." Bolin finally spoke up, "...we promise. We'll do everything we can."
Tenzin smiled, nodding to them as well, and bowing. "Thank you. Like I said, she's lucky to have such dependable friends. My father, Avatar Aang, was a great man, and a powerful bender. Yet, if it weren't for my mother, my uncle, and his friends, Aang would still be trapped in the iceberg at the South Pole. I can't imagine what the world be like if that were still the case..."
The monk shuddered, closing his eyes at the thought. Though he soon opened them and nodded to the boys, turning away from them and walking back inside, tending to his student.
Bolin let out a relieved sigh after Tenzin left, looking to his brother. "I thought he was going to yell at us."
Mako shook his head. "Good thing he didn't, because it'd be the first time that I would just sit there and take it. I never would have thought that the air nomads were so forgiving."
"Do you think Korra will be alright? What she said sounded pretty intense, and that makes me feel worse."
"I think she'll be alright, and don't." Mako said rather sharply. "Both Korra and Tenzin let us know how they felt. It will just tear you apart if you keep thinking about it. We just have to remember what Tenzin said, we need to be there for her."
"...You're right. I mean, we stuck up for her already but, now we gotta make sure that we pull through for her in the future." Bolin said as he sighed, a weak smile on his face now.
"She's the Avatar, it comes with the job." Mako said as he turned around, walking away, with Bolin following suit. As they continued, the older sibling patted his younger brother on the shoulder, the duo walking back home.
A dim light caressed Jak's eyes as he slowly opened them. Rising slowly, the man realized that he was back in his room at the Equalist headquarters. Someone had brought him here after... after what had happened.
"What..." he breathed, holding his head. He felt a throbbing sensation, his body quite languid. His memories from the previous night were slowly piecing back together. He's eyes widened when the details fully sunk in.
Anger, heat, thirst... those were what he felt last night when he had suddenly lost control. He didn't even realize how it had happened. He felt himself shudder at the ferocity that he must have displayed, his eyes clearly illustrating how disturbed he felt. He felt his breathing rise, his senses beginning to overwhelm him.
He groaned, his eyes darkening, a grunt escaping his chest as he stared to the ceiling suddenly. A thick stream of electricity began to burst from his body. It was overwhelming sensation. Power, such raw power. A grunt escaped his lips, his body felt good. He felt...satisfied. He wanted this.
Yet, he knew better.
"W-what's... happening...!" He breathed, his body covered in thick sweat as he looked at himself in a mirror, trying to snap out of it. Fear brewed in his stomach, he couldn't believe he was feeling so relaxed about this power just moments before.
He watched as he struggled, as his muscles grew larger and tighter, his fangs growing, his entire form regressing into darkness. He felt his fingers shaking, his nails growing as he watched himself degenerate into a horrible creature.
"...W-why, can't I control... you!" He wheezed, his will weakening. He could feel the presences of everyone around him, their heartbeat, their smell... he wanted to ravage them all. He wanted to feel their blood. "...Stop..." He practically snarled, his body coated in the darkness.
He was slipping, falling into the abyss yet again.
"...I s-said, STOP!" He roared, his eyes suddenly glowing a brilliant blue, his body consumed by a bright light. A pair of huge bat like wings spread out behind him, extending almost to the walls of his room. Instantly, he felt peace. It was over, for now. He breathed in, his dark features now burrowing into his body, extinguished by the light. He felt calm, and back in control.
However, Light Jak's face looked strained, with visible sweat on his face as he breathed, a rare display of fatigue for the seemingly emotionless being. This was not good, and Jak knew it. Light Jak had always beaten out Dark Jak when it came to dominance, as it was the only influence that had brought Jak relief from the conflict that toiled in his mind. Why of all times was he weakening? Why was Dark Jak's influence so intoxicating?
Jak sighed, the light that had consumed his body now vanishing, with faint sparks of it's radiance dancing around his body, only to rise and evaporate into the air.
"...It's... not enough." He practically whimpered. "Why... why isn't it enough!?" Jak sat on his bed, running his hands through his hair, holding his skull. He wasn't at peace anymore. He felt just like he did when he had finished those horrible experiments. The world felt like glass, ready to shatter the second he lost control. He felt out of control.
"Because you're mine..."
Jak bolted from his seat, now breaking into a cold sweat. He looked around the room, at everything in sight, his heart racing. He heard something, but he couldn't pinpoint where it came from. Yet, he felt a shiver, a fear that tickled that back of his spine... a presence.
However, as quick as he heard it, it was gone.
"...What was that?" Jak pondered, his lips quivering from fear, his head leaning against the wall in front of him.
"I see you're finally awake."
An all too familiar voice burrowed into Jak's eardrums, filling him once again with a crippling anxiety. He slowly turned, his breathing still labored from the previous sensation, his head practically sliding off the wall to face his intruder.
"I require a word with you, Jak." Amon spoke deeply, his head tilting down as he stared into Jak's soul, with eyes that rivaled a hungry lion.
It's here! Well kind of.
I've had this chapter mostly written for a while now, I just never knew how to properly end it. I do apologize if it's not an action packed chapter, but since the last few were pretty intense, I figured that this one would be justified,
I apologize for the wait, but updating these stories aren't a huge priority at the moment, as I have many things I am working on, but I'll do my best to keep things updated.
So what have I been up to? Lots of things! For one, I've been promoted at work, so there's that, so working a lot more. I've gotten my own place, paying bills and working. I've also done a lot of streaming on Twitch, under the same username as this. Also spending time with friends, family, etc. So free time is a rarity for me, but I hope if you guys remain paitent, I will update as soon as I can. Hopefully much shorter than half a year!
So please, let me know what you thought, or just let me know whats going on! It's good to write again!
Unitl next time,