by Clayton Rios
Korra finds her father but she's going to have to face off with an off his rocker Zardok!
|Chapter 7 Family Feud
Tonraq kept on moping as Zardok went back into his personal torture room to mess with Tonraq more, Tonraqs arms were once again tied to the chair as he waited for even more physical and psychological abuse. Zardok pulled some pictures out of his pocket and prepared to present the images to the emotionally drained Water Tribe chief. Tonraq looked away from Zardok and closed his eyes but Zardok forced his eyes open by pulling his eyelids up. "Nope. You're not going to shield your vision from this Tonraq."
Zardok noticed that Tonraqs face was covered in tears and was heavily disheveled. "Then again. You don't look too good. Well what do you expect when it turns out that your entire race is the biggest failure that the entire world has to offer?"
Tonraq couldn't understand Zardoks prejudiced remarks against the Water Tribe at all. "I understand you hating my father for killing your father but why do you hate the entire race of Waterbenders?"
Zardok tensed up and frowned at Tonraq. "Because you hate me as much as I hate all of you. You Waterbenders mocked me, teased me and tormented me when I lost my dad. I was just a kid and none of them decided to help me. Usually when a close family member dies you have to go through an adjustment period. You need to get some emotional support to get over your loss. But did any of the precious doctors of the Water Tribe help me out when my father was slaughtered? No! They threw me out into the cold and treated me like a wanted criminal. I tried seeking help from all over the Water Tribe but instead of some needed therapy all I got was hatred, disgust and ice shards in my face. Besides, since this nation was so regressive and less technologically developed than the other nations none of the doctors could have helped me anyway. Your nation was split into a Civil War over a mixture of stupid decisions and a stupid idiot who's the current Avatar. So in my eyes your whole nation is a joke."
"You're jumping to conclusions based on your assumptions. If you actually read the recent history of the Avatar you would know that Katara saved Avatar Aang on more than one occasion and my good former friend Sokka also was an instrumental part of ending the reign of Fire Lord Ozai. Your great grandfather if I'm not mistaken."
Zardok snapped his fingers to set a small fire on his nails. He pressed his pointer finger into Tonraqs left shoulder burning it within seconds. Tonraq yelled in pain until Zardok pulled his finger out of Tonraqs burned shoulder and punched him in the stomach. "You're not seeing the reality of your nations failures! Think about it. The Avatars that have the most failures and the least accomplishments are the ones from the Water Tribe. Take Avatar Kuruk for example. He was so concerned with impressing women that he forgot to become a good Avatar in the slightest. Now Yangchen... She was a great Avatar. So kind, so loving yet so tenacious in her protection of the world. She didn't let the stereotype of Airbenders being pacifists get in the way of her being a beacon of hope in the world. She knew that the Avatar can't be separated from the rest of the world because it's an Avatars duty to protect the world."
Tonraq couldn't believe this guys hypocrisy. He couldn't see how Zardok could be talking about Yangchen breaking stereotypes when he just considers Waterbenders to be nothing but stereotypes. "Yet you think all of the Water Tribespeople are just a bunch of uncultured idiots?"
"Well none of you have proven me wrong other than Katara and Sokka. Even then I had to read about them to even know who they are. I can't really talk to Sokka now can I? By the way Kuruk never could save the woman of his dreams. She was stolen away by Koh the Face Stealer. Some Avatar he was. Just like your daughter. They had so many abilities at their disposal and yet they did nothing with them to help anyone." Continued Zardok
Tonraq was so dumbfounded by Zardoks complete disregard for everything his daughter did that he was close to giving up out of his sheer annoyance with him. "Are you blind?! Korra saved Republic City from the Equalists by revealing that Amon was a Waterbender, She saved the entire world from Vaatu as a giant spirit, She defeated Zaheer while she was poisoned..."
Zardok grabbed Tonraq by the throat and choked him while yelling in his face. "Shut your half wit mouth you stupid idiot! The point I was trying to make is that Korra is the very culmination of my points about the utter uselessness of the Water Tribe. She's lost her past lives, she's been bested at every turn over the years by the most basic of opponents. In fact I have some interesting photos of what exactly your daughter was doing in the Earth Kingdom when she should have tried to stop Kuvira."
Zardok showed Tonraq the photographs and each one saddened Tonraq more and more. There were photos of Korra getting beaten up by Earthbenders, failing to stop crimes and getting mocked and ridiculed by those who didn't believe in her. Tonraqs heart started to break as he cried his eyes out. Zardok smiled the most smug and self assured smile that he could muster.
"How long must I suffer? When will you be satisfied?" Asked Tonraq.
"I'll be satisfied when I give you the perfect death. I think you understand why the Waterbenders really are the most pathetic race. When your Avatar representatives are either a arrogant moron or an incompetent fool that fact tends to sink in. So I think I'll ease your pain soon. Just wait. My sister should be back soon anyway.
Meanwhile back at the Northern Water Tribe Village Outpost Senna used her healing ability to help Desna and Eska regain consciousness while Korra did the same thing to Yukiko while Asami heard the rest of the details of what Korra saw in the Spirit Vine.
"Then I saw a building with my dad inside of it. He was sitting on a metal chair and he looked nearly dead inside. Like his emotions were all exhausted from some traumatic ordeal. But I didn't see any more gang members with him. It looks like we basically beat up all of his best and brightest. Not that it's saying much."
"Uh huh. So what exactly are you planning to do with the bad guys sister?"
"I'm thinking if we..." That's all Korra had to say before Yukiko woke up in an angry frenzy! She tried to breathe fire at Korra but the Avatars quick reflexes allowed her to block the flames with a water stream. Korra grabbed Yukikos arms to prevent her from attacking.
"Whoa! Will you listen to me? I'm not here to hurt you. I just want to save my father. Now why did you kidnap him?"
Yukiko looked terrified as Korras physical strength pushed Yukikos wrists to their limit. "If I tell you will you help my brother?"
Korra nodded her head as she kept on squeezing Yukikos wrists. "Let go. I won't run away so let go. You're crushing my wrists!"
Korra released her firm grip and Yukiko sat up to answer Korras question in a more comfortable manner. At the same time Desna and Eska awoke from their unconscious state. Desna shook his head like he was still groggy. "What did we miss ladies?"
Eska decided to admire Korras body yet again. "Korra. Your sleeves are torn."
"Oh yeah. I guess the lightning must have torn them when I bended it through my body." Eska took off her own coat and tried flexing her biceps to compare them to Korras. Sadly her biceps weren't even close to matching Korras causing her to elbow Desna in the side to get his attention.
"I must also lift heavy objects to build my arm muscles as well brother."
"As you wish sister."
Korra returned her focus to Yukiko. "We're hard pressed for time Yukiko so we'll skip our introductions and head straight for my question. Why did you kidnap my father?"
Yukiko cleared her throat. "Here's the whole truth. It's out of revenge. My brother desires vengeance for his own father's death which was caused by your grandfather."
"Lang. Well if he wants revenge why didn't he calm down after my granddad died?"
"It's funny that you ask that. When Zardok got the message that Lang died I expected him to move on with his life. He had a new father and he had me but he still obsessed over the night when he saw his father die."
Asami added in her observations to help Korra get some answers. "I noticed the button on your brothers jacket. Did his father have a connection with Yakone the crime lord?"
Yukiko nodded. "Yes. I researched the history involving Yakone and as it turns out my mom's first husband was Anoki. One of Yakones most brutal lieutenants."
Korra seemed confused about the identity of Zardoks father. "Do you know anything else about this Anoki guy?"
Yukiko cleared her throat and spoke up. "I do my mother told me all about him once I asked her as a little girl. Anoki was Yakones torture specialist. He burned people's insides for intimidation and his own entertainment. From what I've read he apparently left the crime business after Yakone was arrested and debended by Avatar Aang."
"Let me guess. That's when he fell in love with Fire Lord Izumi?" Asked Korra.
"Yes. He hid his criminal past from my mom and she fell in love with him in a matter of weeks. They had their first child after a few months and before you knew it Izumi succeeded Zuko as the Fire Lord."
"When did Lang come into this?"
"Well. Lang was actually a bit of a vigilante and when he figured out that Anoki tortured him before leaving Yakones criminal enterprise he decided to take justice into his own hands. According to my mother Lang used an orb of water to drown Anoki by submerging his head in it. Apparently Zardok got up early in the morning and he saw the sight of Lang sneaking into the Palace and drowning his father right in front of him."
"So that must have scarred him for life didn't it?"
"Of course it did. My mother married an Earthbender named Kenta and gave birth to me soon afterwards. As I grew up I could see that my brother loves me but he remained obsessed with revenge. By the time I was ten years old I saw him reading books about the history of the Water Tribe. He always had a fascination with comparing all of the Avatars and seeing which ones were better and which ones were worse. Almost as if he wanted to prove himself as in the right in an argument that really didn't need to exist. He considered every single Water Tribe Avatar to be pathetic and he specifically stated that he thought Kuruk was the worst. That is until you came into the spotlight."
"What? Why is that the case?"
"When he saw you as the Avatar my brother became convinced that Lang wasn't the only one to blame for his pain. He was convinced that the entire Water Tribe was worthless. I tried to talk him out of thinking that way at first but then he convinced me that you were a pathetic Avatar by showing me photos of you losing fights in the Earth Kingdom a few years ago."
"That was back when I was poisoned and mentally damaged."
"He didn't mention that. I guess he lied a lot about you. You're not really as aggressive as I expected you to be."
"I've mellowed out. So from what I understand he wanted to take revenge on the entire Water Tribe population on both the North and the South by capturing and torturing my dad. Is there any way to convince him to stop?"
"I could try to call him on the radio. I don't know if I'll be able to convince him though. Once he's focused on something he usually doesn't stop until it's done."
"Can't you at least try?"
Yukiko thought about it for a few moments and decided to agree with the Avatar. "I'll try. Let me get to the radio."
Yukiko turned on the radio inside the tent and waited until Zardok picked up. "Zardok are you there? Can you hear me?"
"Loud and clear sister. So is the Avatar dealt with?"
"Yeah... About that. Don't you think you're taking this revenge plot a bit too far?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean if you really wanted to heal from the scars of your trauma you could've just called a psychiatrist to help you get over it. In fact we can just leave right now if you let the man go and we head back to the Fire Nation. Mom misses us anyways. I love you big brother but I really think that torturing Tonraq isn't solving anything."
"Look Yukiko. You're saying that after I traveled to this idiotic Tribe, captured this incompetent fool, tortured him within an inch of his life and now that I'm very close to finally reclaiming my sanity you're saying I shouldn't finish the job? Have you been drinking Cactus juice by any chance?"
"No. I've actually been thinking that your brain is the problem and the fact that you feel the need to blame an easy target is the problem. Just please don't go any further with this."
"My brain is the problem? I only blame these people because they've never done anything for me. They never cut me any slack once they figured out who my dad was so I'm not cutting them any slack! This is finally my chance to prove that the Water Tribe is pathetic and unworthy to have heroes. So if you want to go back to my mom now you can but it'll be without me."
"Don't you brother please me! Until I get the answer I want you're no sister to me! So if you don't mind I'd like to finish my torture session in peace. I guess if I'm going to do something I've got to do it myself. Goodbye."
Yukiko turned off the radio and let out a painful sigh. "I tried to talk him into stopping his revenge plot but it was no good. He doesn't even think of me as a sister now."
Korra hugged Yukiko and patted her head. "There there. I know what to do. You said that your brother never got over his father's death right?"
"Yeah. But how's that going to help us?"
"His compound is near a Spirit Portal. In the Spirit World your emotions become your reality. I'll try to get him to see how his emotions affect everyone and everything around him. That should get him to stop."
Asami stepped in and held Korras hand. "Trust us Yukiko we have a plan to get your brother to see the consequences of his actions and to have him come back peacefully. Korra has matured a lot in the past few years since I first saw her. We'll all find a way to save Tonraq as well as your brother in a way."
Chapter 8 One Traumatic Event.
Korra, Asami, Senna, Desna, Eska and Yukiko all arrived at the compound only to see that in the time between Korras vision of the compound and their arrival some more guards showed up go protect the perimeter around the place.
"Oh great. A welcoming committee. Do you have a plan cousin?" Asked Desna.
"I think Asami's the best one to ask as far as these plans are considered. So do you have one Asami?" Asked Korra.
"Yes. I think three of us should head inside to save Tonraq while the other three deal with the guards that are left out here." Replied Asami.
Korra put her palm to her forehead. "I could've thought of that. Anyway, Yukiko since your brother kind of disowned you do you want to be outside against the guards?"
Yukiko stood by herself away from the group for a while and barely raised her voice above a whisper when she went back to Korra. "No. I want to come with you. My brother needs to see how many lives he's destroyed by being the way he is."
Korra shook Yukikos hand. "Okay then who can take out the guards outside?"
Desna and Eska answered in unison. "We can. Don't worry cousin you can leave it to us."
Eska also added in a comment. "I know this has nothing to do with the plan but I wanted to let something out. Korra I'm sorry for envying your gorgeous body. I should appreciate my body the way it is. Not everyone can have the gift of perfect biceps."
"Okay... I forgive you. I'm glad you understand that true beauty is on the inside." Korra awkwardly replied.
"But of course cousin. Me and my brother will be more than enough to handle those guards."
Korra refocused on the plan itself. "Okay then. Now while Desna and Eska take care of the guards the rest of us will go inside the building, my Mom will free Dad while Asami, Yukiko and I go after Zardok. Are there any questions?"
Desna raised his hand. "Yes Desna?"
"When we take care of the guards can I call my mother if I can find a radio? She can bring the authorities from the Northern Water Tribe here considering that she's the chief now."
Korra gave Desna a thumbs up sign in agreement. "Great idea Desna. So I believe I speak for everyone when I say as much as I hate Zardok I want him brought in alive and relatively unharmed. He's caused a lot of pain and suffering by just taking one person but that's because Tonraq is the Southern Water Tribe chief, he's been our ally several times and he's also a man who I'm proud to call my father. Zardok may not think I'm strong enough to beat him but we all know that together we are stronger than any individual bender. We're all family and every family needs to stick together to survive. So let's storm this guys establishment, save the chief and prove that the Water Tribe is not to be trifled with. Who's with me?"
Korra put her hand in the middle of the circle she formed with her allies and every single one put their hands on top of Korras with Asami's hand going in first. "Let's do this thing Korra. We're all with you." Said Asami with a confident grin.
The six heroes rushed towards the compound with Desna and Eska leading the charge at the front of the base. They slid towards the guards on the icy ground and blocked the Fire strikes sent at them by forming shields of water. Then they flipped over the guards and shot streams of water at the first two guards knocking them down before freezing them to the ground. Then Desna shot several shards of ice at a third guard knocking him out as Eska took out a fourth guard by jumping over him and hitting him in the back with a hard hitting water jet stream. Desna and Eska pointed at Korra as she ran towards the front door. "Keep going cousin. We can take every single one of these guys outside!" Yelled Eska.
Desna saw a radio right near the table where he froze one of the guards. He turned it on and called his mother. "Hello Chief Malina. We have a bit of a problem. Can you take a couple of your pencil pushers and head over to the compound near the Spirit Portal?"
"They're not pencil pushers son but they'll come. I was wondering where you and your sister were this whole time."
Meanwhile Korra, Senna, Yukiko and Asami ran inside the compound and headed for the torture room that Korra saw from the Spirit Vine. "It should be to our left." Said Korra
"Are you sure that were heading in the right direction Korra? I really hope my husband is okay!" Asked Senna.
"I'm absolutely sure. My Spirit Vine visions haven't failed me yet. Just open this door and I'm sure we'll find my dad." Replied Korra.
Yukiko and Senna tried to open the door but they had difficulty getting it to budge. "There must be something blocking the door. We can't get through!"
Korra walked back a few feet and breathed deeply. "Stand back. I know how to get this stupid thing open." Korra lifted up her meaty, powerful left leg and kicked the door right off of its hinges with a huge gust of air!
"Well that wasn't exactly subtle." Joked Yukiko.
"Well that's how my daughter handles things she bends first and asks questions later. I've just gotten used to it." Replied Senna.
The four women ran inside the room and Tonraq tried to smile at their arrival but he was too hurt both physically and emotionally to respond to his wife or his daughter rescuing him. Senna ran over to Tonraq and Korra used her metalbending to try rip off the metal chains. "I can't get these chains off. They must be made of platinum!"
Asami pulled a plasma cutter out of her bag and cut the chains that restrained Tonraq. "Thank goodness I still had one of these since the Kuvira incident."
Tonraq collapsed as Senna picked him up and used the water in the bucket next to her to heal Tonraqs injuries. "Tonraq honey. Are you okay? Can you hear me?"
"I can hear you Senna. I was almost thinking that you were going to be too late."
"Don't you worry. We're going to get you out of here in a minute..." Before Senna could finish her sentence Zardok shot a fireball at Senna knocking her to the other side of the room!
"No you won't! You're ruining everything! How could you do this sister?" Yelled Zardok.
Yukiko formed a wall of flames around Zardok as she vented her feelings about him. "I did this because you won't let it go. You never let this idiotic prejudice go! I just want you to be my brother again."
Zardok used flame jets on his feet to propell himself above the wall and he attempted to hit Yukiko with more fireballs but she dodged them as Asami snuck up behind Zardok and shocked him with her electric glove but that didn't stop Zardok. He used his lightningbending to short circuit the electric glove and he grabbed Asami by the throat. Korra shot Zardok in the back with an air punch which caused Zardok to let go of Asami as she wheezed for air. Zardok hit Asami with a knee to the face knocking her out as he ran to the other side of the compound in a cowardly sprint.
"I'm not letting this guy get away! Yukiko, Mom can you get Asami and Dad outside to safety?" Asked Korra.
"Yes. It's the least I can do for you helping me Korra. Please don't kill my brother. Just try to bring him in alive like you said." Replied Yukiko.
"Good luck my daughter. Thank you for saving me. I'm proud to call you my daughter." Said Tonraq.
Senna kissed Korra in the forehead as she, Korra and a barely conscious Tonraq gave each other a three way hug. "Now go my daughter. We'll await your arrival."
Korra ran after Zardok and tried to find him. Turns out Zardok ran further than she expected as she searched room after room and floor after floor without seeing him. This whole time Zardok spoke to Korra over the intercom system in the building. He spoke calmly and softly almost as if he was in control of the situation despite Tonraq being saved.
"Let me ask you something. What does it matter if you get me arrested if it doesn't matter to me? I've already proven my point. Tonraq has been emotionally devastated. He knows how much of a failure the entire Water Tribe is. I've demonstrated that there's no way you're a good Avatar and how it's his fault that I captured him to begin with. All it takes is one traumatic event. That's all it took for me, just one traumatic event. You had something traumatic happen to you right? Oh yeah. I can tell. You had something scar your brain and it didn't just destroy you physically it destroyed you emotionally too. It drove you as crazy as I am only you still think you're a hero. You have to keep pretending that people actually like you when you know they don't. You really are an idiot."
Korra reached the top floor and started to finally get close to Zardok. "I mean what is it with you Korra? What made you who you think you are? Was it when you were poisoned by Zaheer? Was it when you had your bending removed by Amon? Something like that must have caused you to snap. Because something like that happened to me." Zardoks voice started to get a bit somber as Korra entered the intercom room on the top floor. Zardoks voice no longer came from the Intercom but instead from inside the room. "Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another. If I need to blame someone it might as well be the nation that hates me the most." Korra looked around but couldn't see Zardok.
"My point is..." Zardok grabbed a hammer and hit Korra right in the back of the head with it knocking her to the ground.
"I went insane. I'm smart enough to admit it, why can't you?" Zardok hit Korra with one of the chairs and stomped on her spine as he got louder and angrier in his monologue.
"By clinging to reality you're denying the reality of my broken mind!" Zardok blocked two air punches that Korra threw at him and fire punched her in the stomach. "I mean have you ever realized that it was your fault that the Civil War started in the first place? Your whole nation is worthless! Everything you've ever wanted or valued or struggled for is all pathetic! Why can't you see what I see?! Why aren't you giving up?!"
Zardok tried to go for another fire punch but Korra blocked it with an Earth Wall, kicked him in the chest with air and threw him out of the intercom room with extreme force. Zardok hit the wall outside of the room with a sickening thud.
"Because I've heard it before. Every single one of my enemies wanted me to admit that I'm weak or pathetic or that I don't deserve to be the Avatar. You're just like them. You used a tragedy that occurred in your life as an excuse to hate my dad and every person who looks like him. You hate a quarter of the population in the world because of what one person did. You really think we're all dumb murdering savages because of my grandfather?"
Zardok got even angrier and started breathing fire at Korra. She pushed the flames back with an air blast and dodged three fire punches before countering with an air leg sweep and an air kick sending him careening into a window, shattering it on impact.
"Yes! You're all the same! You've never changed after all these years! Just tell me I'm right! I need to blame someone for what happened!"
Korra couldn't believe how childish this guy was being. He was even more emotionally stunted then she was over four years ago when she first entered Republic City. "I talked with my father before I came here. He's as sane as he always was. Your plan failed. You're just a bratty little boy in a grown man's body who can't stand that he couldn't get his revenge. I've accomplished as much as several Avatars have in the past and you won't acknowledge my accomplishments despite my failures. Have you ever thought that maybe you're taking out all of your frustrations on me? That maybe you just need to let out your emotions?"
Zardok wiped his face and saw blood on his hand. His head hit the window and made him bleed. "No! You're wrong! You're always wrong!" He charged into Korra while covered in fire and tried to out muscle Korra but it was to no avail. Korra pushed him off of her and Zardok jumped out of the window fully breaking it. Korra jumped out after him and Zardok punched fire at Korra repeatedly while continuing to get angrier.
"Come on Korra! Kill me! I don't have anything left anyway!" Korra saw the Spirit Portal behind Zardok and it instantly gave Korra an idea. She dodged his fire blasts and headed for the Portal.
"What are you doing? I'm talking to you, you stupid idiot! Listen to me!"
Korra stayed calm and waved at Zardok as she ran. "If you really want to keep fighting then come and get me!" Korra ran right into the Spirit Portal as Zardok followed her as he ran at full speed.
In the Spirit World initially Zardok continued to shoot fireballs at Korra but then he saw the sky get darker around him and the spirits growl and hiss in rage as they took on terrifying dark forms. "What's going on? Why are they all looking at me?"
"Zardok calm down. You're making the spirits upset. In the Spirit World your emotions cause the world to change and now you're so angry that every spirit wants to get rid of you!"
"Likely story!" Zardok sarcastically replied. But as he tried to attack Korra again the spirits surrounded him and carried him away. Zardok screamed and yelled for help. "Somebody save me! I can't die like this!"
Korra decided to take pity on the man despite his enormous childish rant that he just finished making a minute ago. She remembered the special skill that her backstabbing uncle Unalaq taught her. She gathered water from a nearby lake and encircled the spirits and Zardok in it. She continued to surround the spirits until they started glowing yellow and they returned to their calm pacified forms. Zardok was in disbelief over what happened. Korra walked over to Zardok who was confused over what occured.
"I don't understand. Why did you save me?"
"I'm the Avatar. It's what I need to do to restore balance in the world."
Zardok finally started to calm down but then a single tear dropped down from his face. He broke down into a huge cry as he sniffed and snorted and as tears dropped down from his face. "I'm so sorry Korra! All this time I told myself that the Waterbenders were worthless when I really just wanted my dad back! What have I done?!" Zardok continued to sob as Korra put her chest against his chest, put her arms around Zardok and hugged him as he continued to sob into her right shoulder.
"There there. It's okay. I understand. You needed to let out your emotions and you didn't know how. Maybe I've been there before. When I was such a naïve girl in Republic City I didn't want anyone to think I was weak so I always took the hot headed decision in a misguided attempt to look tough. I realized that being tough doesn't mean you don't need emotional support from time to time though. Do you understand?"
Zardok sniffed and wiped the tears off of his face. "Yeah. I deserve whatever punishment you want to give me."
"I'll leave that to the Northern Water Tribe Council."
Outside the Spirit Portal Desna, Eska, Asami, Yukiko, Tonraq and Senna all waited for Korras arrival as soldiers from the North arrived led by their Tribe Chief Malina. Desna and Eskas mother. She was a small woman with soft delicate features, long black hair and a skinny body. She walked over to her son and her daughter and hugged them.
"I was worried about you two. One minute I allow you to attend a party, the next minute I hear that my fellow chief from the South was captured. Things were so much easier when I was just the chiefs wife." Said Malina
"But you were treated as an object rather then a person back when Dad was around right?" Asked Desna.
"Yes. But at least I could be relatively assured that you two would be fine. So where is my niece?" Replied Malina.
Eska pointed at two people leaving the building with one still slightly crying. "There she is."
Senna ran over to Korra in joy and hugged her daughter as she started crying tears of joy. "You're okay! Thank goodness!"
Korra blushed at her mothers over the top celebration. "Mom don't smother me. You knew I'd get out alright. I always do. Well... Usually anyway."
Zardok presented himself to Malina as he kneeled in respect and put his hands behind his back. "I'll accept whatever punishment your people see as adequate. I'm not even close to healing from my father's death but the Avatar helped me at least make the first step into recovery. A step I should have taken years ago."
"Restrain him and bring him into custody. We shall have a trial tomorrow to see what should be done with him." Ordered Malina. Her men did what they were told and put Zardok in handcuffs but before he was placed on a snowmobile headed for the Northern Water Tribe he had one last thing to say.
"Yukiko. I'm sorry for dragging you into this. I really didn't mean for this to end in the manner that it did."
"I understand big brother. I'll see you one more time tomorrow right?"
"Yes. I promise."
Zardok was taken away by Malinas men as she rode back to her house with Desna and Eska in tow. Korra walked over to Asami's unconscious body, picked her up and walked towards her snowmobile as she knew inside that this adventure was almost over.
Final Chapter Rainbow of Love
The next day Korra attended a Trial where Zardok confessed to all of his crimes and didn't even try to plead not guilty. Malina was surprised that the Trial did not end after a mere five minutes. But the real thing that took up so such time was the council's decision of what punishment Zardok should have for committing the crimes of kidnapping and torture. After around ten minutes of deliberation the council finally finished discussing their ideas and told Zardok his punishment.
"Zardok. For the crimes of kidnapping the Southern Water Tribe Chief Tonraq, torture, disruption of the peace and attempted murder on both the chieftain and the Avatar we the council sentence you to five years in the Water Tribe Penitentiary with regular psychiatrist therapy sessions in an attempt to cure your mental illness."
Zardok was surprised at how lenient the council was being with its decision. "Why only five years? You could've sentenced me for life for what I did to both Tonraq and Korra. I practically deserve a sentence for the rest of my life."
"Well we were going to sentence you for life but after discovering that your lack of sanity caused you to embark on such an insane crime spree we decided that locking you up until you die would only hinder your healing process more than it would help it. So we decided that psychological therapy is required for you to make a full and complete recovery."
Zardok started to get wet eyes as he felt a sense of gratefulness he hadn't felt in years. "Thank you council. I promise that I will not screw up my chance to redeem myself. You can bet on that."
"Well I don't gamble so do you have any final words before you're transported to the penitentiary?" Asked a councilman
"I do. First to my sister. Yukiko. I want to apologize for being such a horrible big brother to you this whole time. I mean the whole idea of going to the South Pole to capture Tonraq was stupid on its own but then getting you involved made me realize that I was going over the deep end. So when I get some limited time out of prison please understand that I want to use this time to learn how to become a better brother and a better son. What would my mother think of me now that I've pulled this stunt?"
Yukiko gave her brother a handshake and flicked her hair. "I guess I'm going to have to break the news to her when I get back home. But even though neither me or the Fire Lord will see you for a while it's nice to know that you're taking the first steps towards recovery."
Zardok then pointed at Avatar Korra who this whole time was sitting in the back of the courtroom not saying a single word. "My last word will be given to the Avatar. Please come forward Korra."
Korra walked slowly towards Zardok as she wondered what he possibly could have to say about her. "When I first saw you in my research I wanted to prove my assumption that you're the worst Avatar out of the entire lineup of peacekeepers. I was already spoiled with the knowledge and the overzealous admiration of Yangchen, Kiyoshi, Roku and Aang I suppose. I saw you as just a hot headed, idiotic replacement for the people that I read about growing up."
At first Korra thought that Zardok was just insulting her so she was about to speak up for herself but Zardok put up his hand to prevent her from speaking. "Please let me finish. But then in that moment when you saved me from those dark spirits that I created from my own spiritual imbalance and anger I had an epiphany. You're not a better or a worse Avatar than the others. You're just a different type of Avatar. Kiyoshi dealt out justice in times of imbalance, Aang was a savior in times of war, Kuruk enjoyed the time of peace he was given in the wake of Yangchen reign as the Avatar but you Korra. You didn't just enjoy a time of peace, you actively changed the world for the better in so many ways. You helped nonbenders get their rights, you connected spirits and humans more than ever before, you saved Republic City on at least three occasions and most importantly you rebuilt and defended a new Air Nation that you yourself helped recreate by opening the Spirit Portals! The airbenders were almost extinct at that point and they would've been entirely wiped out if it wasn't for you. So if you don't mind can I have one last hug before I go?"
"Sure. It's the least I can do." Said Korra. She put her arms around him and hugged Zardok with all of her tenderness and love. Zardok was then taken away by the police stationed in the Northern Water Tribe. Korra then put her fist into her palm and bowed in a sign of respect. "Go in peace."
Korra then left the courthouse and ran into the Tribe Chief Malina. "I just want to say thank you for letting my children help you on this journey. I hope it was a somewhat enlightening experience for them."
"You're welcome Chief Malina. Are you going to be fine in this place? I was worried about how the Northern Water Tribe would continue without its Chief."
"I can handle things here. It's going to take a while to fix everything but I'm trying to make the best out of a bad situation. At least I don't have my ex husband to worry about anymore."
Korra walked over to the snowmobile she used to get to the Northern Water Tribe only to find her Polar Bear Dog Naga there waiting for her. "Naga! You came here for me?"
Korra ran over to her companion and rubbed her belly causing Nagas tail to wag in excitement. Naga licked Korras face to show her appreciation for the relaxing belly rub. "Who's a good girl? You're a good girl!"
Tonraq, Senna and Asami all walked over to Korra as she was reuniting with Naga. "Korra. I think that you've matured quite a bit in these last few years young lady. I'm proud to be your father. You've bested the odds and proved to everyone that you're not the weak and emotionally overcharged Avatar you used to be. I wish I could do something to properly congratulate your accomplishment." Said Tonraq.
"Is there anything you want to do Korra? Anything you want at this point you can have it." Added Senna.
"Well I don't want a parade or a celebratory dinner thrown in my honor but there's one thing that I do want. Asami, I want to take you to an ice structure that I first saw when I was very young. I was only five years old when I discovered it with Naga. I thought that I wanted to show it to you before your visit is over. So can we go?"
Asamis eyes lit up in joy and she shook Korras hand. "Of course Korra. Where is the structure?"
"It's back in the South Pole. Naga can take us there again."
"We will await your arrival back at our home Korra. Trust me, I've got something very special planned for Tonraq back when we get home!" Exclaimed Senna.
Korra giggled as she knew what Senna was talking about. "You two enjoy your privacy in the tent. You have your love and I'll have my love." Korra mounted Naga with Asami and they rode off into the South Pole as fast as Naga could run.
The two women arrived at the South Pole and Korra got off of Naga to present the ice structure to Asami. The structure was a giant heart of ice that glowed in the sunlight and amazed Asami when she looked at it. "You see Asami. I rode around on Nagas back quite a bit as a young girl so I explored the Southern Water Tribe a lot in my free time. One day I rode a bit too far away from my family when I was joining my dad on a hunting trip. Naga got scared by a couple of penguins and she took me over to this structure. I initially thought that I wouldn't be found but as soon as I hugged Naga and showed her that she'd be okay the sunlight reflected off of the heart and showed my father where I was. I remember that day because it was the first time that I saw something that could bring people together in love. I just... I want you to remember me fondly if anything happens to me in the future. I want you to remember me for the virtues I have rather than the many, many flaws I have. I hope when you go back to Republic City to continue your career that you'll remember that there is a woman in the Water Tribe who has learned so many things about this world and who wishes to learn many other things before her life is over. A woman who has been considered the best and the worst Avatar by many around her. A woman who loves you more than she can put into words. A woman named Korra."
Asami was overcome with positive emotions after Korra made her articulate speech. She leaped off of Naga and cried tears of love and support. "I won't forget you Korra. Don't let anyone's opinions get to you. You'll always be my Avatar. Whether other people like you or not it really doesn't matter because you'll always be a hero to me. So what do you want to do now that we're here?"
Korra held onto Asami's hands in a similar way that she did when she entered the Spirit World with Asami. "Well I want to tell you that... I want to spend the rest of my life with you. So..." Korra got down on one knee and pulled a ceremonial ring out of her pocket. "I got this from Chief Malina before I went to court today. You helped me in my time of greatest need so I want to be by your side for as long as we both shall live. Asami Sato... Will you marry me?"
Asami was in shock and she cried even harder with joy as a romantic smile grew on her face. "Yes Korra! I will marry you! We can do it anywhere you want."
"For now I just want to have one last kiss before you head back to Future Industries. This was a weird way to bond some more as a couple but I hope you're okay with that."
"I wouldn't change a single thing." Korra and Asami leaned into each other's faces and delivered a passionate kiss that lasted for several seconds. While Korra kissed Asami firmly on the lips the sunlight reflected off of the ice heart in a rainbow pattern. The bright rainbow colors surrounded Korra and Asami as they finally ended their kiss and walked slowly back to Naga.
"I love you Korra."
"I love you too Asami."