The cover picture is not mine, but the outfit inspired me. I got the picture from this guy's tumblr:
This story continues where season 1 left off with the exception that Korra never got her bending back. After Mako confesses his love for Korra, she turns him away and goes to be alone (like the show). However, she does not receive her bending back as she does in the show. Mako and everyone else returns to Republic City while Korra remains in the South Pole trying to cope. My story shows how Korra deals with her situation, and the valuable things she learns as she tries to take down a new evil in Republic City which may be provoking the awakening from an ancient one.*/
Book 2: Spirits
-What Defines Us-
What am I doing?
Korra sat in her bed, meditating. Meditating and training was all that Korra had been doing over the months. Through meditation, she hoped to somehow tap back into her bending and undo this curse that Amon had placed on her.
Korra hated Amon for so long, but when she learned about his and Tarlokk's death, she started having other thoughts about him after a while. She felt ashamed for hating him so much. He was a man who wanted what was best for the world. His tactics became extreme to the point of violence. Yeah, that was bad. But no one is ever purely evil. Everyone who does evil things truly believes it is for good reasons. That is the scariest part of all. Sometimes those people are right.
What am I doing?
Whether or not Amon's goal was justified, Korra was still depressed. She had been depressed ever since returning to the Southern Water Tribe to be told by Katara that she would never bend again. Korra has remained there with her parents even after the rest of her old crew left to go back to Republic City. Korra couldn't bear seeing the city again.
At first Korra thought her sadness was due to that fact that she had no bending. Some intrinsic part of her had been taken. But when she remembered the words of Tarlokk, the night he bloodbent her, she realized that bending only meant power. She knew she did not lust for power. She was happy living the simplest of lives. So what was it? Her next idea for this huge weight was failure. Korra had failed as the Avatar. She lost her powers to bend and would never retrieve them. The world depended on its Avatar and she would not be there to answer the call.
But did the world really depend on her? If she had not gone to Republic City, would the world have been able to defeat Amon? She was just one person, and in the end she never really used any of her bending to stop him. In fact, she just exposed him to destroy his foundation. It was all politics.
So what had her down? Korra had been anything but her usual happy self. She woke, ate, trained, meditated and slept without ever talking to anyone. She eventually just blamed it all on confusion. Confusion because she didn't know what it all meant. Whether it was bad that she lost it all. Whether the world really needed her. Whether she was still here to maintain balance. Korra suddenly felt insignificant. She had relied so heavily on her powers to define her role that now, without them, she was just confused about who she was.
Korra was still here. She was alive. Healthy, able. Did the loss of her bending really do a lot to her? Did Amon's "cleansing" really hurt anyone? Korra thought about the people who fought against him, people who would sacrifice themselves to save the idea of bending. To keep some old tradition that establishes power alive. Was that worth it? And in the end, no one gave up their lives, just their bending. What was so horrible about that? Normal people live and thrive in this world. It is almost insulting to them that we made a big deal out of this whole war. They probably didn't know why a war in Republic City even happened. It meant nothing to them. And neither did the Avatar.
Well, Korra was sure Amon had to be taken down. A psychotic bloodbender running the streets is not a good idea. But then again, is any bender running the streets a good idea? Is placing a gun in the hands of citizens and making it unable for them to rid themselves of it a good idea?
Korra had so many questions, but no answers. She spent nights watching the auroras and wondering why bending was ever brought about. Why the avatar even existed. And how things are different now that she has no powers. It made her tired. It destroyed her motivation. But soon, in the night, Korra began hearing a response to all these questions.
Korra woke to see a small child standing by her bedside. A hood veiled his face, but his clothes were unlike any clothing Korra had ever seen. It had strange patterns. The boy's skin was dark. He just smiled at her and whispered something Korra couldn't understand. She couldn't feel her limbs. Paralyzed. Unable to speak back. The boy said, "Shh" and then, "trust us."
Korra had a few nights where she would awaken to see this boy standing somewhere in her room with a darker figure behind it. She felt the source of her paralysis to be this darker figure, but she did feel threatened by these two hallucinations. They spoke in a very familiar voice that seemed very calming to her. They would just say cryptic things like, "soon", and "don't worry".
Soon these visitations stopped.
What replaced these two figures was a tall, much more sinister figure. It gave off an uncomfortable air. Korra awoke to see the figure wearing a long overcoat and a hood also concealing its face. All except the eyes. The eyes shined purple through the darkness. Korra could move. She sat up and looked at the figure. It spoke in what sounded like a woman's voice, but Korra could not understand it.
Korra would see this ghost quite frequenty, in mirrors and through windows. At one point, the spirit said, "Korrrra". Korra became afraid.
"Who are you?"
Korra reached out to touch the figure but her hand was met with some invisible force field. The figure began to laugh, and then disappeared. The force field disappeared as well. This kind of thing continued for a while, and Korra grew more and more detached from those around her.
One day, Korra's father, Tonraq, approached Korra, who was sitting some distance away from the house in the snow trying to think.
Korra felt sad because she hadn't spoken with her father although he had tried to reach out to her. Her parents did not know what to do and didn't want her to do something drastic to herself. She had already contemplated suicide. Her father tried early on to speak to her but was met with silence. It had been several months. Korra was ashamed with herself. He loved her. He was patient and never stopped caring about her.
"Yes?" This lifted Tonraq's hopes.
"I have something I wanted to talk to you about. I know you are trying to meditate but it will be really quick."
"It's fine. I'm not…really doing anything actually right now. What is going on?"
"I want you to know that no matter what abilities you have, your mother and I love you very much and would never think any differently of you. We are so proud to have a daughter as wonderful as you."
"Gee dad…" Korra felt a little like her old self for a second and decided to please her Dad by showing it, "don't make me vomit."
Her father smiled. "Your mother…is worried about you, though. She wants you to take your time and figure things out on your own. I do as well, but I think I may know someone who can really help you learn more about…well, the spirits."
"You mean like my spiritual side? I thought I tapped into it back in Republic City. That is why I can airbend now, I think."
"Well, I'm not really sure. I think there is much more to it than airbending. I mean like spirits, like, the Spirit World. And this world. And the connection between those two things. Your mother and I never thought to bring this up before because we were told by the White Lotus that Tenzin could train your spiritual side. Well, he could train you in airbending, sure, but he knows almost nothing about spirits. Your uncle, however, knows everything."
"My uncle? Tomkin?"
"Yes, my brother." Korra's father loses his smile. "We never knew you had to learn anything about the spirit world. We just figured it was the elements you needed to learn. Your mother hoped I would never suggest my uncle to you, and so I never did. But I think his wisdom might be what you need to find whatever it is you are looking for. He is a brilliant man..."
"What about him? Why did you keep him a secret?"
"Your uncle knows much about the spirit world, but it came at a cost. He was troubled as a boy. He heard the cries of the dead and the demands of those that created and control this world. He thought he was going crazy, and he treated everyone like dirt to try and handle all of it. He soon found a balance, and could listen to them, and they taught him many things. A fighting style that uses the cosmic energy around us as guidance. He knows all there is to know about the spirit world, and probably, the Avatar. He will be able to help you, but he will not do so easily. To learn anything about the spirits, you need to understand the fighting style itself. It is necessary to feel the cosmic energy before you can understand what it all means. And so he will train you…" he looks down
"My brother is one of the harshest trainers. He will beat you into the ground and feel no regret. He does not respond to disrespect or laziness kindly, even if you weren't doing anything wrong. Any act that suggests you are not giving it your all, he will snuff it out. He will resort to drastic measures to train you. He will verbally and physically abuse you if you are his student. It is up to you if you want his training, Korra. He is located near the southern air temple on Mt. Nyst. I have warned you. Your mind and body will hurt in ways that you have never experienced. You will be changed. But…just remember, my brother knows all there is to know about this world. If you truly want to understand your place in it, I just think it is best to understand the place itself first. I am truly sorry if you choose to do this, Korra. I can never be upset with you. I can never be happier with what you are. I wanted you to know because you deserve to know, but you have to prove nothing to me."
He rose. Before he left her he said one last thing. "Remember Korra. You are not defined by your bending. You are not defined by your role as the Avatar. You are only defined by Korra."