"An Unexpected Gift" - LoK/??? Crossover Short

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"An Unexpected Gift" - LoK/??? Crossover Short

Post by Steve » 2017-03-05 02:06pm

So... this is a little indulgence and tidbit I've put together before I formally resume writing nUF Season 2. :) I think of it as a bit of therapeutic creativity after watching that overpowered asshole Zaheer and his band of bastards poison Korra again. It was somehow more painful on the rewatch. Hence this fun little indulgence. I did not bring my A-Game to this, I admit. It is, after all, an indulgence.

I'll probably finish it by tomorrow morning and post the rest, but here's the fun part. Let me know if you enjoy it.

The golden lights of Republic City nearly turned day into night when they were active, and it was no different on this night. The boroughs of the city were lit up.

But not as they usually would be. Patches of darkness now interrupted the once-constant golden glow of the city, showing the areas that had been consumed by thick spirit vines shooting up from the ground. Other lights across the city were out due to the downed power lines, with other civil services like water equally disrupted by the destructive growth of the vines.

The end result would be what one would expect: the population of the city were reeling from being forced from their homes. The relief of surviving the attack that had disrupted the city had given way to fear and anger. Fear that their lives would never go back to normal, fear that they had lost everything, and anger that nobody seemed capable of doing anything about it. The city was full of upset, fearful, and angry people.

One of those who was not upset, fearful, or angry, but who was actually rather ecstatic and pleased, was Asami Sato. She emerged from the Republic City Courthouse - complete with the tree still sticking out of its side - with a satisfied, happy grin. Kiangsu, one of her attorneys, followed with a similar expression. "I'll take the paperwork back to the office," he said. "We should have it processed in the morning."

"I'm just glad Judge Ghirak agreed with your argument about Varrick's holdings. Our share is going to save the company."

"The banks and the shareholders will be very happy." Kiangsu stepped up to a waiting Satomobile. "Do you need a ride, Ms. Sato?"

"I'm going to walk over to City Hall to meet Korra and Tenzin," she said.

"Okay. But please, be careful."

"I can take care of myself."

Still not fully satisfied, Kiangsu got into the vehicle and it drove off. Asami watched him go before walking to the sidewalk. It wasn't far from here to City Hall. The walk allowed Asami to process everything. Thanks to the courts, and the RCPD investigation into Varrick's actions, she had her company back and a share in the liquidation of Varrick's business empire. Future Industries had enough assets to survive while the city rebuilt itself.

The thought crossed her mind that the rebuilding was an opportunity for her company. It remained to be seen if the spirit wilds could be cleared. Even if they could, the city would still need extensive rebuilding, and if they couldn't, an entirely new infrastructure would have to be built to work around the vines.

A sound drew Asami's attention toward the alleyway she was walking past. A harsh laugh came from within it. Asami focused and made out two figures surrounding a third person, now fallen to their knees.

"Hand over the money already!", one of them complained.

"I'm an old man," protested the fallen figure. "What makes you think I have any?"

Asami frowned. She didn't have her shock glove with her. A fight could be dangerous and a quick visual scan of her street showed a distinct lack of cops in the immediate area. But she couldn't leave that poor old man to the two thugs.

"Hey!", she called out. "Leave him alone!"

The two turned and faced her. "And who do you think..." Before the rough inquiry could be finished the two looked toward her. The light above Asami's head was placed far enough forward of her that her face was visible. "Well… look at that. Looks like we're bringing home the yuans today."

Asami was moving forward by the time the lead thug threw the first punch, a punch that sent a fireball roaring down the alley. Asami ducked low and rolled. The heat of the flame briefly passed over her head as if she had drawn within inches of a heating element.

The other started to shift his leg. Asami turned her momentum from the roll into a little hop, letting her jump over the chunk of rock that erupted from the ground. She shifted to the right to avoid a second fireball that baked the side of her face.

Now she was in range. Asami grabbed the arm of the Firebender and twisted it into an arm lock. As she turned to force the Firebender from his stance, and his balance, she brought her leg up in a snap kick that hit the Earthbender in the belly.

The other Firebender's arm was swinging and generating flame that was aimed for Asami's head. She ducked low and turned, turning her foe with her, and the flame instead struck his friend. The Earthbender cried out in panic and pain when his clothing caught fire. He dropped down to try and pat it out.

Asami tightened the lock and slammed the Firebender against the wall opposite of his burned companion. With his arm locked she began to twist it until he fell to his knees, crying out. "Go away and leave us alone," she demanded. "Or do I have to keep twisting?"

"No… no! Not necessary! We're leaving! We're leaving!"

Asami tossed the man into his burnt friend. The two scrambled away from her and off into the street.

Asami brushed a lock of hair out of her eyes and turned toward the old man. She reached down and helped him to his feet. He was in simple clothes, dark in color, with a hood over his head. "Are you okay?"

"That was very brave of you, young lady," the old man said. Something about his accent sounded off. "That took courage."

"It's okay. I can handle Benders."

"Still, they had you at a disadvantage." The old man reached into his cloak and to a pocket beneath. "I'd like you to have something for your troubles. Something that you're worthy of."

"No, sir, it's fine, I don't need money…"

A knowing grin appeared on the man's face. "I know you don't, but this is something else. It is more than money."

When he pulled his hand back out, it came with a small pouch. He took Asami's hand and placed it into her palm before closing it. "What I have to give to you is something special." His voice sounded stronger now. "It's meant for someone like you, with determination, courage, and will. And it is not to be used lightly, Asami Sato. It has great power, the power to change everything you know in the world. Once you put it on there can be no going back to the way things are. Everything you know will change."

Asami opened her palm and inspected the small pouch resting there. It reminded her of the kind of money pouches that Earth Kingdom nobility would carry, but smaller, much smaller.

"Asami? Asami!"

The voice made Asami turn away. Korra dropped into the alley with her glider. Relief was visible on her face. "Are you okay? We came looking for you and I saw fire coming from the alley…"

"I'm fine," Asami said. "I was just helping this old man fight off some muggers."

Korra's expression turned quizzical. "What old man?"

Asami blinked and turned back to the man.

He was gone. Completely gone.

"He must have walked away," she said. She looked back to her hand and the small pouch in it.

Korra walked up and noticed what she was looking at. "What is it?"

"He gave it to me as a reward. I don't even know…" Asami gently pulled the string holding the pouch closed. With its opening now open from the loosened string around the mouth, she tipped it downward. A single object slid out of the pouch and landed in Asami's palm.

"A ring?" Korra looked at it.

Asami looked it over. There was no stone on the ring, no glittering diamond or any other gem. It was a simple green band with an insignia etched on top. She held it up to her eye between her forefinger and thumb to look at the insignia closer. The center point was a circle and above and below were two shapes, like the bottoms of trapezoids, Like someone had drawn a large circle in the middle of an hourglass.

For a moment she considered putting it on. But she stopped. The old man had said that once she put it on, "there was no going back" The ring would change something if worn, change the world.

And there was something in the way he said it that was convincing, and in a way that was more than mere delusion.

Asami quietly put the ring back. "I tried to refuse. But he insisted."

"What are you going to do with that? Are you going to wear it?", Korra asked.

"No. Not right now." Asami slipped the pouch into her pocket. "Maybe later."

"I'm sure it'll look good on you." Korra grinned at her as they walked to the end of the alley. "Of course, everything looks good on you."

Asami couldn't keep her cheeks from turning red at the compliment. "Thank you for saying that. So, how was your day?"

The two walked on without noticing the old man observing from the nearby rooftop. His task was complete; there was nothing more for him to do on this world but wait and see…

Weeks Later

The overburdened young sky bison that Kai was calling "Lefty" landed roughly from his burdens. Asami ended up sliding off the back of the beast and getting a faceful (and noseful) of sky bison fur on the animal's wide tail.

Lin and Suyin Beifong were with Suyin's metalbending security forces from Zaofu. Many were clearly injured. So was Chief Tonraq, who looked to the new arrivals with the expression of a man trying desperately to retrain his worry.

Asami knew right then that they had all failed. The Red Lotus still had the Airbenders they'd kidnapped from the Northern Air Temple, and now they had Korra too.

For a moment Asami thought she would stop breathing from the feelings welling up inside of her. She was frustrated that she had been useless in dealing with the Red Lotus' treachery. She was angry for not figuring it out sooner.

But most of all, she was terrified for Korra. Her imagination, normally an advantage, tormented her with all sorts of horrific ideas on what the Red Lotus were going to do to Korra. Were perhaps, at that very moment, doing to her. And that when they were done, Korra would be gone.

The thought of a life without Korra… she was amazed at how much that hurt. They'd been friends for less than a year, all things considered, but Korra felt more important to her than anyone else alive at that moment. Over the last weeks it felt like a bond had formed between them. And it was deeper than anything she'd felt before. Even deeper than what she'd felt for Mako at one time.

She could hear the others talking, arguing about something, but all of her thoughts were elsewhere.

I don't know what I'll do if I lose Korra, Asami thought. I'll do whatever I have to if I can get her back.

Her left hand moved almost of its own accord to her pocket. When it came out she looked down at her palm at the unassuming green pouch the old man had handed her weeks ago.

It wasn't the first time she had thought of the mysterious gift. There had been times in the past several days when she thought about taking it out, and the old man's words about the ring having "great power". The power to change the world…

In several crises she had considered using it, such as during the battle with the Red Lotus when they tried to kidnap Korra in Zaofu. And when the Earth Queen's forces took them captive, when they'd crashed in the desert, or when Korra decided to surrender to Zaheer to save the Airbenders… But each time, she held herself back. "Everything you know will change", the man had said. And "there was no going back". And each time that had held her in check, that fear that comes with any great change, the fear that the change would take away the things she cared about.

If I had used it before, could it have made the difference? The question tormented her. She didn't have the slightest idea what the ring was, or what it could do, or if it was just a trinket given to her by an old man with delusions. The rational part of her thoughts insisted it was the latter…. but it didn't ring true to her. She could feel there had been something odd about the old man and that he was right: the ring was special.

Asami forced a breath through her lungs. There was only one way to be sure. One way to know if this thing was something special, truly, or just an old man's fantasy.

And perhaps the only way she had left to save Korra.

Asami gently pulled at the pouch cord to loosen it and dropped the ring in her hand. Its green surface shined in the sunlight. She pulled off her right glove and slipped the ring onto her finger.

The ring burst with green light. The others couldn't help but see the emerald glow as it focused until it became a beam, and that stopped their discussion. The air in front of Asami split open around the green beam's other end. An object appeared within the beam. It was pulling it toward Asami as she stared, wide-eyed, not quite believing what she was seeing.

Subconsciously her left hand extended and gripped the carrying handle of the object. The main body was green like the ring. Its circular shapes and the central circular port in the middle of it made her think of a lantern.

She felt the ring tug toward the object it had summoned out of nothingness. WIth breathless curiosity, Asami let the ring guide her right hand so that the ring was touching the central circle of the lantern, the part from which the light seemed to be emanating. Raw energy surged into the ring. Asami felt words come into her mind, clear and strong, and murmured them aloud as they came.

In brightest day
In blackest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might
Beware my power
Green Lantern's Light

Green light covered Asami from head to toe. The appearance of her clothing changed. The new form had the same black she'd had before, but now the dark red of her suit was replaced with green, and the insignia from the ring was emblazoned on her shoulders in the place of the half-gear of Future Industries.

Mako was the first to respond. "Asami, what is that…"

"It's a ring I got from an old man a few weeks ago," she answered, still staring at the shining ring. "I stopped some men from mugging him and he gave me this… what is this?"

Asami Sato, you have the ability to overcome great fear, the ring answered. I am a power ring sent by the Guardians of the Universe. Welcome to the Green Lantern Corps. I am programmed to obey your mental commands so long as they do not violate the commands of the Guardians.

"Can you find Korra?", she asked.

"I already know where she is!", Kai shouted. "That's…"

"What?!" Lin glared at the young Airbender. "Then why didn't you say anything?!"

"That's what I've been trying to tell you!", Kai retorted. "I followed them when they took the others! I know…"

By this point the ring was already responding to Asami. Initiating life form scan… life forms detected. The ring sent a green light into the distance.

Kai noticed. "Yeah, it's that way!"

The ring generated a display made out of green light. The others stared at it in surprise. Several of the life forms show stronger readings than baseline for Human species. One reading is far above baseline.

"That must be where she is." Asami's face reflected determination. "Take me to her," she said, and more importantly, she willed.

And just like that, she was airborne, surrounded by a green aura that turned her into a streak of green light to the shock of the others. She let out a cry of surprise as the landscape zipped by below her. She was going at a speed even her fastest planes couldn't reach.

Within moments the cry of surprise turned into a laugh. Asami was flying. Without a plane, without an airship, without Bending… this was flight in its purest sense. If not for her circumstances she might have laughed with exhilaration at the experience. The engineer in Asami marveled at how this could be possible and how much energy the ring possessed to let her do this so effortlessly.

But there was no time for that. In the distance she could see the cave entrance, adjoined by carvings of Air Nomads. Asami knew it couldn't be that easy. The cavern could be an entire network. Her next thought, even as she entered the opening, was if she could find a way through.

The ring responded with a scan. A green light shined in her eyes, guiding her through the tunnels at high speed. She bounced off a wall in one tight turn and felt nearly nothing - the ring's aura was protecting her. The green light played over crystals embedded into the cave walls, crystals that gave off their own brilliant blue and green light.

Asami shot into an open chamber in the cavern with such speed that its occupants never saw her coming. She could make out hooded figures and the familiar forms of Zaheer and his two surviving lieutenants.

Korra was chained in mid-air, arms and legs spread-eagled, and her blue eyes were wide with fear and growing surprise. A glob of liquid was halfway between her and one of the Red Lotus members, this one with a hood.

Asami didn't know what it was yet. But it was clear that whatever it was, it was meant to hurt Korra, and that made her act. She willed the ring to stop the liquid. Another beam of green light reached out and formed a globe that captured the silvery substance.

"Free the poison!", Zaheer demanded of the man bending it.

Asami could feel the liquid being pulled within the sphere of green light she captured it in. The ring quickly identified the contents. Asami felt sick at seeing the heavy metals within the concoction. She knew what such metals would do to Korra's body if the Red Lotus got it onto her skin and inside her body.

"Asami, watch out!", Korra shouted.

The lavabending member of the Red Lotus was already in motion. Rocks heated to lava were flying at her in molten globs. There was no time to dodge. Asami reflexively focused herself on a shield. It caught the lava easily.

But her shift of concentration caused the globe of green light to dissipate. The metal poison was now moving back toward Korra, a little faster than it had before, as the metalbender guiding it was pushing it as quickly as he could.

Razor-sharp icicles crashed into Asami's shield next. The armless waterbender had joined the attack. Storm-strength gusts of air blowing from Zaheer's arms pressed against the shield and against Asami's will. If she relaxed even for a moment, the shield would fail and she would go crashing into the wall.

If she didn't, the poison would reach Korra.

Asami willed the shield to grow larger and, with a cry of effort, willed it forward. Her will surged through the ring and it performed both tasks demanded of it. The shield widened and rushed ahead, defying the bending attacks of the Red Lotus. All three of them were caught by the advancing shield and slammed backward into the ground.

Asami turned and sent her will back into the ring. Her body felt like it was starting to ache with the effort. It wanted her to take a break, to rest, recover… but she couldn't. Not here, not now, not with these stakes.

When she lashed out for the poison again, it was already splitting into four separate globs, each heading for one of Korra's exposed arms or for the bare skin on her lower legs. This time her will formed the green light into a flat surface that caught all four globs within inches of Korra's skin. She sent more will into the ring and her construct reacted, flying forward and throwing the metal poison back toward the Red Lotus. The metalbender who had been controlling it reacted instinctively to the deadly substance, jumping away from it before it splattered all over him.

Zaheer and his followers were already getting back up. Asami had no time to think of anything special in cutting Korra's chains. The ring seemed to read her intent. The beams it emitted formed into nothing more than coherent light and energy, energy that sliced through the platinum chains like they were made of paper. Asami started clockwise, freeing Korra's left arm first, then left leg to right leg. Korra was ready when her right arm broke free. Flames erupted from her feet and sent her flying onto the ground where Zaheer and the others had been standing. A furious look crossed her face. "You killed my father!", Korra shouted. "I'm not letting you leave here, ever!"

Hearing the pain and rage in Korra's voice, Asami felt instantly sympathetic. She was familiar with anger and pain herself, from when that Triad firebender had killed her mother. She remembered how that felt… and what that pain had done to her father.

Therefore Asami couldn't stop herself. "He's alive, Korra!", Asami blurted out. "Your dad's alive!"

That turned out to be a mistake.

Korra turned briefly to Asami with surprise, happy surprise, written on her face. She started to ask more when Ming-Hua struck. The sinister waterbender used her water arms to fling water at the loose chains still hanging from the shackles Korra had been trapped in. Her will froze the water solid over the chains, locking Korra in place for the moment.

"Now!", Zaheer shouted. His metalbender promptly grabbed at the metal poison in its spattered globs on the cave floor. Zaheer's arms whipped around and generated blasts of wind that caught Asami as she maneuvered to help Korra. She went flying into the wall, smashing it and the Red Lotus insignia painted into it. For a critical, crucial few seconds, she was stunned and out of the fight. She couldn't stop the poison before it struck Korra.

This time, she didn't need to.

Flame erupted from Korra's mouth, melting the ice holding her chains in place. A movement of her arm brought a chunk of earth up in time to catch the poison. Said arm extended and the makeshift boulder shot forward. Zaheer dodged it effortlessly, but could do nothing to stop the chunk from flying off. Korra swung her other arm around and generated an air blast that knocked the metalbender back into the wall with a bone-crushing impact. He wasn't moving when he plopped to the cave floor.

"Zaheer!", Ghazan shouted. "We need to go!" After he said this he generated a wave of lava to force Korra to jump to the side. One of Ming-Hua's water arms wrapped around her arms and froze, pinning her.

"Bring the Avatar!," ordered Zaheer. "Ghazan!"

Ghazan ran to the side of the chamber and brought his arms up. As he pulled them away from each other, the rock wall of the chamber gave way to form the start of a tunnel.

A solid beam of green light from Asami's ring slammed into Ghazan. He went flying to the ground.

A moment later Korra breathed more flame. It severed Ming-Hua's body from the ice she had bent into a lasso around Korra's arms. She curled her hands upward and the ice shifted into water. She bent the water at Zaheer's head. He spiraled around it with a dexterity and swiftness that was becoming frustrating.

Ming-Hua formed sharpened ice at the end of her water arms and started flinging the ice toward Korra. A flat green field from Asami's new ring shattered the ice before it reached her. Ming-Hua turned with angry frustration toward Asami. She jumped and dodged a second beam of energy from that ring and sent water gushing toward Asami.

It nearly hit. Moving in three dimensions was new for Asami. It was clearly going to take practice. Asami dodged at the last second. She slid over to her right in mid-air, keeping her upright stance and pouring her will into the ring. This time the ring didn't form a beam but a net of light. Ming-Hua jumped to the side to dodge.

Asami was already re-directing the net. It moved to the side with Ming-Hua and caught her. The light grew and shifted until she was nearly enveloped. "Zaheer, go!", she cried. "You can free us later."

Zaheer was busy dodging Korra's attacks with every element at her disposal. She'd kick a blast of air and follow it up with a wave of fire from an arm, then a low punch that sent rock from the cave floor flying toward Zaheer. He was dodging most of the attacks and throwing occasional counter-attacks that Korra dispelled or countered with her own airbending and earthbending. He looked over to the fallen form of Ghazan and Ming-Hua in her trap. There was a frustrated look on his face as he made the calculations for this unexpected outcome, an event that no planning could foresee. "I'll be back for you," he vowed.

With a burst of effort Zaheer generated a wide gust of air nearly blew Korra off her feet. This bought him the second he needed to empty himself, to become the void as Guru Laghima had written.

His feet left the ground. Zaheer turned and, with arms at his sides, flew away and toward another adjoining section of the wide cavern.

"Zaheer!" Korra ran after him.

"I can catch him," Asami said. "Can you trap this one?"

Ming-Hua glowered at them. It was all she could do as Asami opened the bottom of the trap she'd created, allowing Korra to earthbend a tight cone of rock around Ming-Hua. With a sweep of her arm she gathered the water Ming-Hua had been using and froze Ghazan's limbs in place to keep him from bending.

"There." Korra looked over Asami with obvious curiosity. "Why did you change clothes? And how are you…" Her eyes went down to the ring. "It's the ring that old man gave you, right? How does it work?"

"It reacts to my thoughts. I will something and the ring creates it. Or lets me fly." Asami looked at the opening through which Zaheer had escaped. "We'd better get going if we're going to catch Zaheer."

Korra nodded and stepped up to Asami's left side. She put her right arm around Asami's waist while Asami, being slightly taller, put her left arm around Korra's upper arms and shoulders.

For a moment an intent look took over Korra's expression, but it faded when she noticed Asami's face and asked, "Why are you blushing like that?"

It had been involuntary. Holding Korra after it felt like she'd come so close to losing her brought intense relief and joy, and then a little flutter in her heart and a slight burning in her cheeks. Said burning increased as the blush deepened in embarrassment. "Oh, uh… sorry." Asami looked away and chided herself quietly. "I was really worried about you, and I'm glad you're okay. But we've got to stop Zaheer."

She thought of flying and the ring responded. They lifted off the ground together and, with the power of the ring, flew off after Zaheer.

Whatever power or magic it was that drove the ring, Korra hadn't expected it to be so fast. Asami had increased the speed of their flight once they were out of the caves. Below them Oogi was flying toward the cave. The occupants stared in surprise at the green streak of light that flew upward.

Korra's cry of surprise at their speed became a laugh. "This is faster than one of your planes!"

"I know. It's crazy…" Asami's ring blinked green light and created a square in their vision. It acted like a magnifying glass and zoomed in on the distant sky where Zaheer was flying on. "Are you ready?"

Korra's smile shifted into a confident look. "Let's do this."

Asami willed the ring to go faster. It did. They descended on him rapidly. Asami released Korra at the last second.

Zaheer felt the shift in the air currents. But that warning came too late. Korra caught him from behind with a powerful blast of air that sent him spiraling toward the ground. He desperately twisted to recover and to evade the blast of flame that Korra sent his way. Jets of fire from her feet and hands helped Korra control her descent as she blasted away at the tumbling Zaheer.

Asami came in from below. Quick blasts of green energy struck out at Zaheer. Several caught him partially as he struggled to recover from the attack. He looked toward them with pure frustration.

"Give it up, Zaheer!", Korra demanded. "You can't fight us both!"

He responded with a defiant, desperate swing of his arm that sent a wide gust of air. It slammed into Korra and knocked her off-balance. As she shifted to recover her control Zaheer turned to Asami and with a powerful airbending punch. The gust of wind caught her legs and imbalanced her flight. She retaliated with a series of rapid fire pulses from her ring. Zaheer took a stinging hit from one and evaded the others..

Korra and Asami worked in tandem, boxing Zaheer in with blasts of air, fire, and green energy. The only direction that gave him any hope of escape was down, toward the ground, and that was the direction he took.

As the mountains and rocky terrain loomed closer, Korra devoted more of her energy to controlling her descent, or rather to slowing it. When she spotted one rock formation jutting up toward her she reached for and created a cushion of air with her limbs. The impact was jarring regardless of this. While her bones and teeth still rattled from the impact Korra gathered her strength and raised her arms. Her earthbending ripped from the rocky formation a constant stream of stone that intercepted Zaheer's flight path, forcing him to shift directions again.

Asami was waiting for that shift, and it was only after Zaheer made it that he realized she had generated a net, the same that caught Ming-Hua. He dropped straight down, evading the net, before leveling out.

Korra came down from above with several massive chunks of earth behind her. Once her feet were rooted onto the top of another rock formation she began punching the air in front of her. Each punch sent a chunk of boulder at Zaheer.

Asami dropped below, almost to the ground and aimed upward. The ring responded to another surge of her willpower to create another net in mid-air. This one was even wider and harder for Zaheer to avoid.

But he did, at the last second. And he aimed himself straight at Asami and picked up speed.

Two can play at that. The ring responded to her thoughts and propelled her toward Zaheer. It was a game of pig-chicken, or so it seemed.

Zaheer hadn't intended for such. His plan was to break away at the last moment and use a powerful blast of air to knock Asami away. But he had grossly underestimated the acceleration her ring's power was capable of. His attempt to breakaway was too late and Asami slammed into him.

Or rather, the power of her ring did. The ring absorbed much of the force, barely fazing Asami. She adjusted her course slightly so she could slam Zaheer into a rock face. He groaned aloud at the impact. The air was knocked out of his lungs.

Asami pulled away as Korra landed nearby. Her arms moved together and her fists clenched. The earth of the rock face moved over Zaheer until he was trapped in a cocoon of pure rock. Only his face remained exposed.

"No," he said. "No! The revolution cannot be stopped! Chaos must…"

Asami generated a green band around Zaheer's mouth, gagging him.

"It's over, Zaheer," Korra said. "You and the Red Lotus are defeated."

His eyes glared disbelief and anger at her. But the tears that began to form were anything but those emotions.

Asami let the band over his mouth disappear. Zaheer didn't bother speaking any longer, and as it was, she had to let it dissipate. With the adrenaline rush of the fight over, and the exhilaration of what the ring was letting her do, Asami found she could barely stand. Korra noticed and moved to support her. "Are you okay, Asami?"

"I'm… fine. Just tired." Asami drew in a breath. She held up her right hand and the shining green ring. "The ring isn't as easy to use as it looks. I've got to push myself for almost everything I do with it."

"Where are the others?", Korra asked. "Did you all get out of the Northern Air Temple?"

Asami nodded. "They should be right behind me." Asami closed her eyes. The thought in her head made tears form. "If I didn't have this ring… if it couldn't do this… then we would have been too late. The Red Lotus would have poisoned you."

"Yeah." Korra looked intently at Zaheer again, who had closed his eyes. "The poison was going to force me into the Avatar State. They were going to kill me and break the Avatar Cycle." She turned her head back to Asami and smiled. "Thanks to you, though, that's not happening. We beat them."

Asami nodded. The look on Korra's face, that warm and friendly smile, made her heart swell with joy, and not a little trepidation. It was odd that she should be so unquestionably happy, but… but she still felt so nervous and anxious. The feelings she had regarding Korra were a knot of thoughts and emotions that defied her attempts to unravel.

Unable to deal with that, Asami went to business. "We should go back. The others may need help rescuing the Airbenders."

"Are you strong enough to fly again?", asked Korra. "I mean, I can take us back with earthbending."

"No, I can do it." Asami looked to Zaheer. "And I think I can carry all of us. Can you pull him from the rock?"

Korra brought her arms up and made a pulling motion. The rock cocoon broke free from the rock face with Zaheer still securely imprisoned within it. Asami decided to try something relatively simple. She generated a small airship around them, little more than an observation balloon. It took a bit of will, and it was tiring, but the construct of pure green light held firmly when they lifted into the air. With just a bit more concentration, Asami directed the airship back to the Red Lotus' hideout.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: "An Unexpected Gift" - LoK/??? Crossover Short

Post by Steve » 2017-03-06 10:24am

It didn't take long for everything to be settled afterward. The others had captured the remaining Red Lotus and freed the Airbenders and Tenzin's cousins. Korra and Asami had flown back with their captive to find everything mostly settled (and the curious sight of Suyin looking with irritation at Bolin). The airship stolen by the Red Lotus at the Northern Air Temple was recovered and prepared to bring everyone back to Republic City.

Once everything was secure nearly everyone found a place to fall asleep. Asami took to a cot and fell asleep almost immediately. She was so tired she left the green ring on.

In her dreams she was back in the alleyway again. The old man held out the ring to her. "Everything you know will change. You can't go back to the way things were."

"What is this?", Asami asked, holding up the ring. "What did you give me?"

"It is the most powerful weapon in the universe," said the old man. "It was once entrusted to me. Now I have passed it on to you. Now you are the new Green Lantern."

"What do you mean by that? What's a Green Lantern? What…"

The old man faded away. The alley joined him as green light flooded her vision.

At that point the dream woke her up. Asami sat up on the cot. She heard a metal creak to her right and turned her head to. Korra was settling into a new position on her own cot. Her blue eyes were open and a tired look was on her face. When she saw Asami was awake she said, "I'm sorry, did I wake you up?"

"No. It was just a dream."

"Yeah." Korra nodded. "I've been having those tonight too. I dreamed that the Red Lotus finished poisoning me, that nobody came for me."

"Korra." Asami reached forward and offered her hand. "I'm just glad you're safe and that you're okay."

"Well, I am thanks to you." Korra smiled gently at her and accepted the hand. She looked down at the green ring before looking back at Asami's eyes. "I said the ring would look good on you. I just never imagined it would let you do all of that."

"I still can't believe it. And I feel like I'm just getting started with this. That it can do so much more."

"I guess we'll find out." Korra sighed. "Even after we get Zaheer and the Red Lotus back to Republic City and into new prisons, we've still got to do something about the Earth Kingdom. It's falling into chaos now. Ba Sing Se's falling apart and some of the provinces were already having problems with bandits. Now the Earth Queen's army is breaking up by state… I don't know how much work it'll take to fix things, but I guess I'm going to be pretty busy."

"You know I'll help," Asami promised.

"Thank you. But don't you have Future Industries to run? Your company still needs you."

The point was true. Future Industries wasn't on the verge of failure anymore, but it still needed time before it would be back to normal. Asami's absence to go looking for Airbenders was one her board of directors had been reluctant to approve. And then being a wanted fugitive in the Earth Kingdom? She suspected she needed to be back in the City at the helm of her company while this chaos disrupted the world markets.

But you almost lost Korra, a part of her reminded the rest. And Korra's facing an even tougher job. She's going to need help. Your help.

"I've got good people in charge at my company," Asami said. "I'm not going to lose it. Besides… after losing you, I…"

At that point Asami stopped speaking. That tangled knot in her heart seemed to reach into her throat and hold her voice.

"Asami?" Korra's expression was quizzical.

"I… I just…" Asami sighed with frustration after another moment. "I'm just thinking about how close I… I mean, we… came to losing you. Again. They were going to kill you, and they almost did, and having to face that…" She stopped at that moment to draw in a breath and fight through her fear. "I want to be here for you. To talk, to help… whatever you need. I… care about you."

Korra remained silent. "Well, okay. I mean…" Something about the look in Asami's face made Korra feel awkward about the conversation. Awkward not just for Asami's clear discomfort, but over her own uncertainty. I feel like we get closer every day, she thought. And now she wondered just where this was going to lead them. "...I care about you to. Like I said, it's nice having a girlfriend to talk to, someone who understands and knows what I need to hear." Her expression became sad. "Mako and I never really managed that."

"Mako has trouble with his own feelings." Asami smiled gently. "I think expecting him to understand our feelings is probably expecting too much of him."

At that Korra and Asami laughed in unison. "Yeah, you're right. It'd be unfair." As soon as she said that, Korra let out a small yawn.

"You look like you could use some more sleep," Asami said. "I've already radioed for my airship to meet us on the way. This one doesn't have nearly enough room."

"With everyone aboard I'm surprised it's staying…" Another yawn came from Korra. "...in the air." Korra laid back on the cot. "Good night, Asami."

"Good night, Korra." Asami laid back down on her own cot and quietly watched Korra fall asleep again. She nodded off minutes later.

It was the end of the next day. Instead of a cot, Asami had a stateroom on her airship and its comfortable bed. Everyone had beds now, everyone save the Red Lotus, still on the other airship under the careful eye of Lin, Su, and Su's security forces. The Airbenders went back and forth to help.

The day had been spent on the radio dealing with Raiko and the unfolding chaos in the Earth Kingdom, not to mention her company. After all of the talking and the radio calls Asami finally had time to deal with nagging questions.

She brought her hand up and looked at the green ring on her finger. She could feel that the power within it was faded. And it made her realize there was still so much she didn't know about this ring.

"Excuse me," she murmured. "You can talk, right?"

I am capable of verbal communication, Lantern Sato, answered the ring.

"What are you? Some kind of spirit?"

No. I am an imprinted programming construction to facilitate use of the power ring.

"And the power ring makes me a… 'Green Lantern'?"

Correct. The power rings of the Green Lantern Corps were made to utilize the energy of raw, sentient willpower and mold it into whatever shape the ring-wielder desires.

"Okay." Asami sighed. "I didn't get a chance to say this, but thank you. Without you I couldn't have rescued Korra. We couldn't have… not before they poisoned her."

Your actions were in accord with the purpose of the Green Lantern Corps. No thanks are necessary.

"What is the purpose of this… 'Green Lantern Corps'?", she asked. "What does it do?"

Asami listened carefully as the ring's guiding intelligence relayed the information on its purpose. That the Green Lanterns were an intergalactic police force who served to keep law and order among the various species of the universe.

Life on other worlds… it was amazing to think of it. What were those other worlds like? Did they also have links to the spirit world? Did they have Benders too?

Plus she could travel to other worlds if she wanted. That was… it was one thing to fly as fast as she could with the ring. But the thought of going to other stars was virtually unbelievable.

At the same time, though, it was upsetting. She had enough to do running her company, and now helping Korra. She was also supposed to fly through space, dealing with things she'd never met before? Trying to be…

I'm supposed to be like Korra now, she realized. A Green Lantern was supposed to do the same thing as the Avatar: maintain balance, not just on one world, not just between the physical world and the spirit world, but in all of the worlds that were out there, circling distant stars.

This is what the old man meant. Everything has changed for me.

A part of her wanted to throw the ring away. She had enough to do as it was. How could she have a life if she was supposed to run her company and fly around space? How could she be there for Korra if she needed Asami?

But how can you do that?, she asked herself. How can you throw something like this away?

She ended up resting her head against her open left hand. She needed time to think about this, to decide if she could do this or if she would put the ring away. After the stress of the last few days, of everything that had happened since they left Zaofu to track Aiwei, Asami felt she needed a break, or an outright vacation, more than anything.

Maybe then she'd figure things out. About what she wanted to do with the ring. About what she would do, what she would say, the next time she talked with Korra.

How did this happen?, Asami wondered as she laid back on the bed. She laughed at herself for the thought a moment later. It was a silly question.

Love wasn't so easy to define on "happening" after all. And it was becoming clear to Asami that, whatever her thoughts and feelings had been before…

...I'm in love with Korra.

After the dawn of the next morning, Asami stepped out onto the top deck of the airship. Below the Earth Kingdom countryside looked deceptively peaceful. This close to the Republic, that would be true. The problem was further east and south.

Korra was looking out at the countryside. She turned as Asami stepped up. "Oh, good morning Asami," she said.

"Did you enjoy the breakfast?"

"Yeah, it was nice. Did anything happen after I left…?"

"Bolin stole a chair right out from under Su," Asami said. A small smile crossed her face. "He wanted to sit with Opal."

Korra laughed. "Mako told me he shoved Su out of the way when she tried to hug Opal after they were rescued. He really should be careful."

"I know. Suyin has a mean side."

The two laughed over their friend's puppy love for the young airbending Beifong. Korra slowly looked back out over the countryside. "I'm going to have a lot of work to do when we get back. The whole Earth Kingdom is falling apart. And I have to put it back together."

"You won't be alone," Asami said. "I'll do whatever I can to help."

"I know you will. And it's going to take a lot of work. It's not just what the Red Lotus did. The Earth Kingdom was already in trouble before they showed up. Hou-Ting wasn't a good Queen. Not that it justifies what Zaheer did to her…" Korra lowered her eyes. "And what he tried to do to me."

"He's going back to a cell." Asami put her left hand on Korra's shoulder. "He can't hurt anyone again."

"I know. But I keep going back to that cave. I keep thinking about how close I came to dying. To dying forever."

The moments of silence that followed were ended when Korra looked at Asami's right hand. The green ring shined in the morning light. "Have you learned anything more about that?"

Asami brought her hand up. "I talked with it yesterday." Seeing Korra's bewildered expression, Asami smiled and nodded. "I know, it sounds weird. But the ring has some kind of intelligence inside of it."

"Like a spirit?"

"I don't know. I don't think so. It called itself a power ring after I put it on. I'm supposed to become a 'Green Lantern' by wearing it. They're some sort of police force that travel between planets and stars. And the ring creates things I think about and will into being."

Korra's eyes widened. "You're… that's what it can do? Seriously?"

Asami thought to something the ring showed her the prior night. It came alive and projected green light into the air. A large, irregular cloud of dots appeared. "That's what it says. These are supposed to be the nearest stars with habitable planets around them. I'm going to be responsible for them."

"That's amazing."

"I guess." Asami let the star map fade away. "But I… I don't know if I want this, Korra. I have my company to run. And you might need my help."

"I'm sure I will," Korra agreed. "But I think this might be worth it. I know how much it hurt you when you couldn't stop Zaheer from carrying me away, or back in Zaofu when everyone was fighting the Red Lotus. But this ring seems like the perfect thing for you. You're smart and creative and skilled. Think of all the things you can do with the ring."

"I know. But…" Asami looked at Korra. "It might mean spending less time with you. Helping you, I mean. You're the Avatar, and you're the most powerful bender alive, but you still need people to watch your back. How can I do that if I'm off flying in space?"

"It'll be okay." Again Korra's hand ended up on Asami's shoulder. "I'm sure 'Green Lanterns' get to come home too."

"I would think so."

"We all need a break sometimes." Korra sighed. "I know that I need one after all that's happened over the last few days."

"Well, in the last week you've been kidnapped three times, you've been on a crashed airship, had a sandshark chase you..."

"Those last two things happened to you too," Korra reminded her, not that she needed to. "And you were doing most of the work in trying to repair that airship before the sandshark ate it." Korra chuckled despite the memory. "And you got me away from the Red Lotus back at the Misty Palms Oasis."

"But then we ended up captured by the Earth Queen's troops…"

"And you took advantage of that poor guard and got him to chain you to the wall so you could break free. The Earth Queen would have thrown me in a hole if you hadn't been there. But what I'm trying to say is that I think we all need breaks."

Asami's expression showed she was aware of that, and that it made her feel a little guilty. "With everything going on here, I doubt we can have much of a break before we get back to Republic City."

Korra made a face. "And knowing Raiko I'll be stuck in meetings with him and Tenzin and Lin for days, trying to figure out what has to be done in the Earth Kingdom."

"And I'll be stuck in Board meetings…"

After a few moments Korra looked at Asami with a grin. "How long would it take to fly to one of those other planets?"

"Well… I'm not sure." Asami balled up her hand into a loose fist and looked at the ring. "Um… ring? How long would it take us to get to the nearest habitable planet?"

At standard translight velocity, approximately ten minutes of your standard time.

"Wow." Asami's eyes widened with surprise. "That's… insanely vast. That's literally faster than light."

Power levels currently at 10%. Recommend recharging before translight flight is engaged.

"Well, how do you recharge it?", Korra asked. "Will Mako have to bend electricity into it?"

Asami laughed. "Probably not. No, I think I know… I'll be right back."

The others were mostly doing their own thing while Asami ran back to her room and then back out. Korra was waiting in the same place when Asami came out with the lantern-like object that the ring had summoned when she first activated it. "When I put the ring on the first time, it caused this to appear. And when I touched the ring to it, I felt like it was putting energy into the ring." Asami held the lantern up with her left hand and pressed the ring against the middle.

Nothing happened.

She gave it a quizzical look. Korra gave her a similar look. "Why isn't it working?", Asami asked aloud while putting the ring against the battery again.

The oath must be given, the ring replied.

"Oath?" Korra smirked. "So you have to recite some oath every time you charge this thing up?"

"Um… I guess?" Asami took in a breath. She tried to remember the words that had come to her when this happened before. With everything that was going on, I'm not sure I even thought to remember those words.

Nevertheless the words did come to her memory, perhaps with the help of the ring.

In brightest day
In blackest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might
Beware my power
Green Lantern's Light

The lantern lit up with green. Asami felt power surge into the ring. Power level is now 100%, the ring informed her. Translight velocity waiting for command.

"That's it?" Korra was grinning.

Asami blushed. "I know it sounded a little corny…", she remarked, sheepish.

"Well… maybe a little," Korra agreed. "But it works. So that's it?"

"That's it." Asami put the lantern down. She thought of how it had been hidden before and the ring reacted. A beam of green light enveloped the lantern and it seemed to shift away.

"So, where does it go when you do that?"

"I don't know," Asami admitted. "Ring?"

A Lantern's personal power battery can be hidden and stored within a folded space pocket was the answer.

Korra laughed again. "I have no idea what that thing just said."

"It's something I'll have to learn to." Asami looked to Korra. "So, you're sure about this?"

"Absolutely," Korra insisted. "We can get away from everything. Maybe find a place to talk."

"Talk?' Asami swallowed. "What, well, I mean…"

Korra's hands took Asami's left hand. She thought her heart would stop. A gentle smile came to Korra's face. "I get the feeling that things are changing between us. I mean, you seem to be glowing whenever you're around me, but you're acting like it's bothering you. Maybe some time away together can help."

"I'm just trying to deal with my feelings," insisted Asami. "I mean, I… we almost lost you."

"I know."

Asami almost said it right there. Those three magic words. She held back at the last minute. "Right now I'm just happy you're okay. I don't know what I would have done if the Red Lotus had…"

"Asami, it's okay."

With that statement, Korra's eyes focused on Asami's. "Whatever your feelings are, we can talk about them."

Maybe it was something in Korra's brilliant blue eyes, or her warm smile, or just the confident way she always looked, but for a moment it made Asami truly believe that there was hope for her. Hope that the feelings she had would be returned one day.

Asami nodded and breathed. "So… the nearest planet."

Korra nodded and grinned. "The nearest planet."


Korra stepped up beside Asami. With a thought and a surge of will Asami expanded an aura to surround Korra as well. Life support adjusted to accommodate passenger, said the ring.

"Ready?", asked Asami.

"Ready," replied Korra. Her face betrayed how much she was excited by what was about to happen.

The look on Korra's face helped Asami's smile widen. Whatever her feelings were, this was a moment to treasure. A trip to treasure. She would talk to Korra and see about how to handle her feelings, and do it while the two of them were going beyond anything their world had to offer.

The old man had been right. Everything had changed.

This time Asami successfully fought off the burning desire to blush with Korra's arm around her. She made the conscious thought to fly upward and the ring responded.

For a brief moment green light erupted from the top of the airship, overwhelming the yellow rays of the sun. The green light suddenly erupted skyward. Its passing left an emerald streak cast against a dawn-lit sky as Avatar Korra and Green Lantern Asami Sato shot off to visit a new world.

A new world, a new future… and all made possible by an unexpected gift.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: "An Unexpected Gift" - LoK/??? Crossover Short

Post by Crazedwraith » 2017-03-07 09:58am

That's really nice. Though a GL ring is way over powered for Avatar. But that was the point. And great how you turbo boost Korrasami and echoed the LoK Finalle there.

Now I want to see that GL uniform and Hear Seychelle Gabriel do the oath.

Really Fun, thanks for sharing.
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Re: "An Unexpected Gift" - LoK/??? Crossover Short

Post by Steve » 2017-03-07 12:40pm

Crazedwraith wrote:That's really nice. Though a GL ring is way over powered for Avatar. But that was the point. And great how you turbo boost Korrasami and echoed the LoK Finalle there.

Now I want to see that GL uniform and Hear Seychelle Gabriel do the oath.

Really Fun, thanks for sharing.
I would actually argue that they're not as close in this story as they were in the canon series finale. Asami realizes now she's in love with Korra (in canon I figure that realization came in the Book 3 finale, as she watched Korra dying in Tonraq's arms), but Korra's not yet there. IMO Korra's feelings for Asami started leaning toward romantic sentiments during her three year recovery. Hence the Spirit World trip being their first date: this is just a girl pal getaway with Korra not yet to the point of romantic love for Asami.

...and yeah, Seychelle Gabriel would probably do the oath real justice. And I'm glad you enjoyed my little bit of creative therapy.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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