Post by Zuka on Feb 10, 2018 21:25:09 GMT -5
This was rattling around in my head so I had to get it out. If you guys want to run with it and reply then thats cool, if not thats fine too. Its just been in my head all day so I had to utilize the muse. I got the idea from www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGd1BSw767k this
It was a strange feeling ‘coming back from the dead.’ You thought you had buried that part of you, never to see it again. Started working on rebuilding a new life hoping to make it better than the one before. You tried to avoid the same mistakes, made sure to look over your shoulder, to not draw any attention to yourself and were so very careful with everything you did. You tried to plan for everything but, even the best laid plans could fail.
They had planned for everything. At least, that’s what they had thought.
Maybe the peace had made them drop their guard some. After months of constantly having to wonder if the remaining Triads would find them they finally had time to relax. She and Kenji had been enjoying their time together, building a life together and learning to live without the mask. It had been a long adjustment period but once they got over that hump things had turned out nicely and they had fallen into the safety net that normalcy created.
But nothing last forever.
Knowing how the Triads acted Zuka had expected some kind of public ambush or over the top attack. Triads never did anything quietly, if you crossed them then they would let the whole world know. Back in her time she had seen a street side café come under fire just to get to one person. Entire families wiped out because one man refused to pay his protection money…horrible, boisterous things that left a impact on the entire city and made anyone else thinking of doing something just as foolish to stop and have second thoughts. Of course, the attack on them had sent a message only it was not like anything else she had seen before. It was subtle.
The thugs that had been sent after them thought it was because she and Kenji owed money to their Triad and were there to collect on that debt. They had no idea who the two of them actually were. Had it been any other time the encounter would have been a nuisance at best but this went far beyond that. While the goons might not have known who the two of them really were whoever had sent the two thugs had known. They knew where to find them and knew just what to do to draw them out.
It was subtle, it was bold and it terrified her.
She and Kenji had been so careful, had made sure to cover their tracks and erase all trace of themselves from the world and yet somehow someone knew they were alive. After they had been found out they had two choices. They could run; destroy this life and start over again on a different island with new names and hope they buried themselves deep enough that whoever this was didn’t find them again.
They could face the problem head on and return to Republic City.
The decision was not one made lightly. Returning came with more than its fair share of problems, but, ultimately it was the only choice they had. They could have ran again but whoever had come after them had to have other knowledge too. Zuka feared for Nevas safety, for Teos and for Zulas. All of them were involved in her and Kenjis plan and they all were at risk. She had to assume that if this person could find Kaitio and Umi then they had to know about the others as well. It was a risk she was not willing to take.
Zuka never thought she would have a hard time readjusting to life once again in Republic City but coming back she felt more like an outsider than she had ever before.
One didn’t just fake their own death and think they came back to everything being the same. That went double for someone that had been involved in organized crime like she had once been. News of her return spread like wild fire and while Zuka did her best to keep a low profile the various informant channels around the city did their job. Soon everyone knew of her resurrection and that came with a flurry of rumors. Zuka had given a official statement on her return to the paper to try to curb those but that didn’t stop any of the damage.
When an ex Triad boss disappears in the midst of a destructive gang war and then reappears some time after it looks bad. Many of her former Triad members and fellow bosses thought she had turned and become some kind of informant. Having traded information about Triad dealings in the city for witness protection and given her refusal to once again take up leadership of The Dolls or to deal in any other kind of related business Zuka could understand why people thought that.
It was what it was, frankly she didn’t have the energy or the desire to try to come up with some kind of explanation on the contrary. Would it be nice to still have those Triad connections that she had worked so hard to build? Of course, but given the nature of her return and her new line of work it was best to sever those ties.
Her return also brought with it yet another problem.
Zuka knew her reappearance would draw the attention of her old enemies. True, Han her biggest and most problematic enemy was dead there were others out there that hated her just as much and from what she had gathered they had suffered great losses in the attacks and fire bombings the night she ‘died’. So, she had to be careful and watch her step around the city doubly so as there was no telling who was involved. That didn’t mean she was just going to shut herself off from everything though.
While Kenji obsessed over the mystery of just who had smoked them out Zuka returned to the Blue Dragon and spent her time there. Now that she had cut all Triad ties there was a substantial loss of profits that the underground casino had brought in that she had to fix and it was quite the project. Zuka helped Kenji where she could but when she wasn’t doing that she focused her attention on rebuilding her empire. It kept her mind busy and gave her something to do. Sadly, keeping a low profile also meant abstaining from The Talon. Having Zuka and The Talon return at the same time would raise too many eyebrows and since they were no closer to knowing who this mystery person was it was better to avoid drawing anymore unwanted attention on themselves.
Of course, that was easier said than done.
Zuka had never been a woman of inaction. Her first instinct was to jump right back into things and meet this threat head on but.. she refrained. It didn’t help her restlessness any either knowing that Kenji and Zula were out there and she wasn’t but Kenji had an advantage she didn’t. He had never been very public about his presence in the city like she had been so it was easier for him to slip under the radar. In retrospect, had Zuka known this was how her life would have played out when she first came to Republic City to make a name for herself she would have done so in a much…quieter way but, it was what it was.
After a few weeks of working on rebuilding her club and looking for ways to fill the profit gap Zuka came to a solution. Since there was nothing legal she could do to the Dragon to boost profits as of yet she would have to find them elsewhere and one way she could do that would be to open another nightclub.
Opening a second club was an ambitious project and given her current reputation it was possible she could fail but, on the other hand given her experience in the business there was also a high chance that it would take off. Having a second location came with a laundry list of other possibilities as well. The most important being that Kenji, Zula and herself could outfit the basement of this second location to their own personal use. Kenji had his stash of safehouses around the city which was all good and well but this could be a base of operations per say, common ground for all of them, Teo and Neva as well.
After bringing this plan to the others, getting their thoughts on it and scouting locations Zuka had found a building that suited their needs. Negoations for the purchase had been a bit tough but with a little help from Zula calling in a favor or two to help push the sale through the building was finally hers. The property needed a lot of work, that area having been ravaged in the Equalist attacks a few years back and then again in the explosion the building had seen better days but Zuka was fine with a project. Between this, training and the Dragon she wouldn’t have much time to worry about much else and that was how she wanted it.
When she wasn’t at the Dragon, training Zula or helping Kenji Zuka would spend her time at the other property. To save on cost Zuka started doing repairs on her own where she could (who knew fixing their run down shack on Kyoshi island would come in handy) and she would often times stay until the early hours of the morning. Kenji and Zula had both voiced their concerns of her being there alone like she was but Zuka assured them she would be fine.
One night after putting in a few hours of work Zuka decided to call it quits a little early. She had been working on repairing a few interior walls when she caught a glimpse of the time. It was only eight and while normally she wouldn’t stop in the middle of a project she had other plans tonight.
Zula and Neva had managed to convince Zuka to take a break from her work and spend time with them. Zuka couldn’t remember the last time she had a girls night out and the other two insisted (quite strongly) that they could all use a break. Teo had even somehow convinced Kenji to take a break as well and the two of them had their own plans. If she was being honest Zuka was really looking forward to this. Having spent majority of the few months they had been back locked inside had taken its toll on her and she was excited for any chance to get out and do something.
After putting everything away and locking up Zuka stepped out into the warm night air. Summer was always nice in Republic City, it never got too hot thanks to the mountains but it was still pleasant. It was amazing how the city came more alive too. Naturally a city as big and populated as Republic City would be bustling no matter what the temperature was like outside but there was something about the summer months that brought out the best of the city. Stepping out of the building Zuka looked up and down the street. This part of town was slowly being built up after the attacks so naturally not a lot of people ventured this far but she still checked out of habit. When no one seemed to stick out of place and she deemed the coast clear she began walking toward the train station. Teo had her satomobile at his shop for repairs and while it was a slight annoyance she didn’t mind walking and the station wasn’t far (another reason why she liked this location).
As Zuka walked she became aware that she wasn’t alone. Slowly, figures started to come out of the shadows of the alley ways and follow behind her. Zuka kept walking, keeping her pace slow so not to tip them off that she was on to them. As she did that she tried to gage just how many were behind her. Without turning to look it was hard to say but she would have to say three, possibly four.
Ok, four was doable. She had worse odds than that before.
Zuka turned her head slightly to try to get a glimpse behind her and as she did that another figure stepped out of the alley in front of her and blocked her path. Quickly Zuka turned her attention back front and stopped just before she ran into the shadowy figure. As she stopped Zuka looked up…and up and met her eyes with a familiar face.
Mei had been her go to muscle when she still ran The Dolls. Mei was as strong as she was large and having worked with her for so long and seeing her work up close Zuka knew that she was in trouble now. Four regular thugs she could take, Mei a different story. She was practically four in and of herself.
Now that she had stopped the others had closed in behind her and spread out into a circle, surrounding her. Zuka looked around, recognizing some of the faces from various Triads. A firebender from the Agni Kais, a earthbender from the Triple Threats, Mei from her old group as well as two nonbenders were all gathered together. It was a odd group, not one you would find paling around together and it made Zuka wonder. Had someone managed to unify the Triads? That had been a dream of so many Triad leaders but no one had ever been able to bring them all together for long. Seeing everyone here though made Zuka second guess that but…that was a thought for later, there were more pressing matters to deal with right now.
Zuka’s eyes scanned the faces around her before coming back to settle on Mei, the large woman’s one good eye starring down at her.
”Mei” Zuka acknowledged, not making any sudden movements until she absolutely had to but becoming hyper aware of the pouch of water she was wearing at her side. Having a feeling she was going to need that soon, she doubted this was Meis attempt at catching up.
”Heya Boss” the other woman answered with a slight nod.
As she spoke to Zuka the men around them started getting antsy and moving around more. Zuka could see them out of the corner of her eye and she knew that whatever this was was going to start soon. Standing up a little more Zuka looked up at Mei, raising a brow ”Is this really necessary?” Zuka knew if she really wanted to Mei could take her on alone. The others were overkill, but maybe that was the point?
”It’s nothing personal, orders are orders”
Zuka breathed in a deep breath. So, it was like that then. ”Of course” it was Triad code, your loyalty was to who you currently served and no one else.
For a moment there was nothing.
No sound, no movement but in a instant it was over.
The men behind her jumped to action and Zuka was ready. From her left Zuka saw a flash of orange and a fist fly toward her and she stepped back slightly, letting the Kais arm move in front of and past her. The fire from his fist flew past her face and Zuka squinted her eyes slightly to protect them from the flame. With the firebenders arm out stretched like it was Zuka grabbed it at the wrist with her right hand, holding it in place while she brought her left elbow up, bringing it down in the crook of his arm, keeping her grip on his wrist as she did. The Kai cried out in pain as his arm snapped. Zuka released his wrist and was about to strike again when she felt a hand grab a fist full of her hair. She cried out in pain as she was pulled back before being released.
Zuka stumbled back as the three remaining men closed around her. They didn’t skip a beat as the Triple Threat stomped his foot into the sidewalk as small boulders rose from it and hovered in the air a moment before flying toward her. Thankfully, Zuka had a lot of practice when it came to dodging boulders thanks to all her training with Kenji and she knew she had to act quick. Raising her right hand she flourished it to the side, the water streaming out of the pouch in a thin stream. Zuka held on to the end in her hand and used the water like a whip to strike at the rocks. The water sliced through them with ease and the boulders crumbled or shot off to the sides just missing her. With them out of the way Zuka knelt down and swung the water whip at the earthbenders feet, looping it around his left ankle and giving it a good yank, pulling the feet out from under him. As the Triple Threat went down Zuka released the water around his leg and was getting back to her feet to strike him again but before she had the chance to make another hit she felt a sharp pain.
Somewhere to her right one of the nonbenders had charged at her side and knocked her away from his partner and Zuka landed on her stomach a few inches away. The water she had splashing to the ground. Quickly she recovered and pushed herself up but as soon as she did she felt arms close around her from behind, trapping her.
Zuka twisted and turned, trying to get her attacker in the direction she wanted. Once she had him good enough Zuka planted her feet on the ground and pushed off hard, hoping she had gauged the direction of the building behind them well enough. The force threw them both back until they collided with something hard and she heard the man behind her moan in pain. He didn’t want to let go however and instead tightened his grip around her, squeezing her ribs.
Breathing became difficult which was no good. Zuka used the momentum she had created from the first kick back and leaned forward slightly, kicking off again and once more slamming the guys back into the wall. This time however the fourth man came to his rescue and attempted to grab Zukas legs to prevent her from doing it again. Knowing that if he got ahold of her that way this fight was over Zuka once again pushed back but instead of leaning forward she used the man behind her as leverage and lifted herself up and kicked her foot at the forth mans jaw. The kick was hard enough to take him down with ease and now that he was out of the way she had to get the man behind her to let go. Zuka continued to struggle and try to wiggle her way free but his grip was too strong so she did the only other thing she could and threw her head back, colliding the back of her head with the guys nose. That seemed to work as finally his grip loosened enough that she was able to get herself free as he brought his hands up to try to stop the pain.
Throwing her hand out Zuka collected the water she had dropped earlier as it once again formed a thin whip in her hand. Zuka swung the whip at the thug that was still clutching his nose and wrapped the water around his neck and yanked it forward. Pulling him right into her waiting fist. Zuka released the whip as soon as she once again made contact with his nose, the force was enough to send him back into the wall. The thug leaned against the wall for a moment as she saw his eyes gloss over before he slid down to the sidewalk in a heap.
Now that he was down Zuka turned back around to see just who was left. The two nonbenders were down. The Kai with the broken arm was off cradling his arm and she didn’t think he was much of a threat anymore. That just left the earthbender and…Mei.
Mei had stepped back and let the men attempt their luck but now that they were dwindling her time would be coming soon.
The Triple Threat had gotten back to his feet and hand once again summoned boulders but this time there were much more of them. Zuka was injured but she could still fight and she stood ready as soon as the rocks started coming for her. The water sliced through the rocks but there were too many and before she knew it she started taking hits. There was a pain in her left arm as one boulder hit, and then another in her right leg, and then again at her side. If she kept taking hits like this she wouldn’t be able to move but she was literally stuck between a rock and a hard place. Her back was to the building she had used earlier and her exits were slim.
Zuka kept swiping at the rocks with her water, doing what she could to deflect them and knowing she had to act soon or else be crushed. Unfortunately for her there was no moon in the sky tonight nor had there been any rain in a few days so what she had in regards to water was it and at the rate she was going that water would be gone sooner rather than later. Having no other options Zuka did the only thing she could think of and waited for the Triple Threat to pull up more boulders. Having her opening Zuka took her water and formed it into a ball in front of her, bringing up her hands and pushing out until her palm was flat against the sphere.
Small spikes of ice started flying at the Triple Threat, some slicing past his arms and legs leaving cuts. He reacted how she expected him to and shot another boulder at her but Zuka was ready this time and as it started for her Zuka moved to the left and charged at the Triple Threat, going low and wrapping her arms around his middle as she took him down and landed on top of him. Once they were down Zuka brought up her fist and met it with the side of his head which rolled to the side after.
With all four of the men down Zuka slowly got back to her feet and stepped away from the men. Her breathing was heavy and she was in a lot of pain but the fight wasn’t over yet, there was still one more opponent left.
Mei stood there with her arms crossed watching but now that the show was over she stepped up and readied herself. Zuka didn’t know how many more hits she could take and given the strength she knew Mei had she would have to make sure to avoid any of those or else it would be lights out. Zuka wanted to say something, if Kenji were here she was sure he would have some kind of snarky remark to make but nothing came. The two women stood there in silence with Zuka’s heavy breathing seeming to be the only sound around them.
After standing there for what seemed like hours but she was sure was only a few moments Zuka made her move. Running at her Zuka swung her left fist, hoping to use Mei’s size against her to get the upper hand. Mei moved to block like she had hoped and Zuka ducked under her arm and moved until she was behind her, striking Mei in the middle of her back and then moving again to the front right of her and bringing her foot up toward the side of Mei’s head. The two danced back and forth. Zuka would throw a few hits that Mei would either take or block. Part of her wondered if Mei was just playing with her, amusing her and wanting Zuka to feel like she had a fighting chance out of respect for their previous working relationship.
It seemed to be exactly what she was doing.
After a few more hits like that Mei decided she had had enough and as Zuka went to throw another hit Mei reached out and grabbed Zuka by the neck, stopping her in her tracks. Zuka wrapped her hands around Mei’s wrist in a attempt pry her hand off but Mei was too strong and she just squeezed harder the more Zuka struggled.
She fought back, hitting Mei in any way she could but her strength was gone and as she stood there fighting for air Zuka felt her feet barely scrape the ground as she was pushed backward as Mei led them over to the wall of the closest building. Zukas body moved until her back met resistance with the brick behind her. She struggled to free herself out of fear for what was coming but her efforts were fruitless and her vision began to darken from the lack of oxygen and her muscles started to go limp. Before that could take her however Zukas body was pulled away from the wall only to be slammed back with force. The pain rippled through the back of her head and shoulders as well as on top of her other injuries as her as her body was repeatedly slammed against the wall.
Zuka wasn’t sure what was what finally did her in: the lack of oxygen or her head being hit against a brick wall multiple times but the last thing she remembered was seeing a sleek, dark green limo pull up on the street as her vision finally went black.Three Days Later
How long had she been here?
That was the thought she had each time she regained consciousness.
Each time she tired to piece together what had happened after she blacked out Zuka could only think in small snippets. She remembered being dragged down some dark hallway toward a door and then...nothing. There was another brief flash of being put in a chair as someone hovered over her and the last thing she remembered after that was her head falling forward as everything once again went black.
When she came to for the third time Zuka’s head had finally started to clear and felt less like her brain was splashing around her skull. Zuka let out a soft groan as her mind slowly started to become aware and register the pain her body was in with all the trauma it had been through. Everything hurt and the back of her head felt matted and sticky where she was sure it had opened up while she was being thrown against the wall.
She stayed like she was for a few minutes, slowly trying to get her bearings back. It was some time before she deemed herself collected enough and slowly opened her eyes. The room she was in was dimly lit but any kind of light burned and she immediately shut them again. Giving her eyes more a chance to adjust Zuka tried once more, opening them little by little until they could stand the brightness. Everything around her went from blurry to clear and back again as her eyes tried to focus but finally, her vision settled and Zuka noticed for the first time that she was leaning forward and to the right.
Her body must have slumped over during her blackout and slowly Zuka tried to pull herself upright. A decision she immediately regretted. The sudden shift, no matter how slow and small caused Zuka’s head to pound in agony and she squinted her eyes shut once more to try to counteract the dizziness she felt as the room started to spin. Her limbs also protested, being bruised like they were and having gone stiff from sitting how she had been for so long…however long that was. There was something else to. As she sat there trying to settle down Zuka felt a wetness around each wrist and a pressure around her ankles and midsection. Gently Zuka tried to flex those muscles and put strain on them but they wouldn’t move and she realized that she was tied to the chair she had been placed in. The ropes must have dug into her wrist from the weight put on them from her body leaning like it had been.
Finally, her body relaxed slightly. Nothing was going to make her head feel better, any kind of movement brought a sudden pain and rush of dizziness which she was sure dehydration wasn’t helping any but, she would live.
At least for now.
Zuka had a lot of questions. Most important being where was she and who was keeping her here. Now that she was fully aware Zuka went over the brief flashes of what she could remember, hoping something new would shake itself lose or stand out but she must have been pretty out of it because there was nothing useful.
with that plan having failed Zuka instead turned her attention to her surroundings, looking around the room she was locked in, looking for any clues she could. The room was bare. The only thing in here besides the chair she was tied to was a thin, dim lightbulb hanging from the ceiling. Judging by the dampness in the air she was sure she was underground somewhere but that didn’t help her either. Maybe if her hands weren’t bound Zuka could pull the moisture from the air and do something with that but in her current state she wouldn’t get very far.
She couldn’t remember anything and there was nothing worth noting in the room but there had to be something that could tell her where she was.
Closing her eyes she focused her hearing and tried to listen for any kind of noise: the sound of a boats horn, train whistle, clock tower…anything that might give her a hint of her location but there was nothing! Zuka sat there listening for what felt like hours and for all she knew it probably was. She had no sense of time right now and after being so disorientated minutes felt like hours and vice versa. As she sat there Zuka tried moving her wrist, hoping the slickness from the blood would make it easier for her hand to slip itself free but the ropes were tied too tight. She continued to try however, keeping her eyes shut and listening for any kind of sound and finally, something caught her attention.
The sound was faint at first but the longer she listened she could hear healed footsteps getting closer. The footsteps had no sense of urgency, they were slow and calm and as they reached the other side of the door and when she heard the locks start to click Zuka opened her eyes and waited for the door to swing open.
Zuka had seen a lot of things in her life and she had expected some kind of surprise when that door opened but even she was not prepared for what she saw.
Standing in a door was a woman, in all black covering every inch of her body. That wasn’t the shocking part, the womans sense of style was her own business but it was her face that had unnerved her…or should she say lack there of. In place of a face Zuka was met with a pale, blank stare of a white mask that seemed to almost float against the black background created by the womans clothes and the dim lighting of the small room.
She looked like a spirit.
Quietly the woman stood there as a man stepped up behind her and into the room and circled his way behind Zuka. The urge to follow him was strong but Zuka didn’t want to show weakness to this woman by taking her eyes off of her, this was the person that had organized all of this, it had to be and she wasn’t going to give her a inch to run with, not if she could help it.
”I was afraid you weren’t going to wake up” the woman spoke while stepping more into the room and stopping a few feet from where Zuka was. Behind her Zuka saw the outline of another armed guard outside the door. ”That all of this would have been for nothing”
”Who are you” Zuka’s voice was dry and cracked as she spoke, not being used in days causing it to go hoarse. She doubted she would get that answer so easily but she wanted to know.
The woman ignored the question and simply stood there. Zuka could feel the eyes behind the mask burning a hole through her and to be quite honest it was making her uncomfortable and she felt her anxiety begin to rise the longer it went on. ”What do you want?” Zuka weakly asked, figuring she would give that a try since her first question had been ignored. Again, no answer. Instead the woman in black clasped her hands together in front of her body and slightly titled her head.
”How are you feeling? You took quite the beating. ” There was no concern in her voice.
”Peachy” Zuka;s horse voice spoke out, her head was starting to hurt more and she wasn’t sure if it was from the injury or her annoyance.
”I see why you hired Mei, she is efficient if not…Overzealous as I’m sure you know”
The back of Zuka’s head began to throb more as if on que as she remembered how Mei had completely destroyed her that night. ”Yeah, she was quite the go getter…”
Zuka scoffed. Banter, really? Right now? ”Oh yeah, it’s just like staying at the Rtiz” Zuka felt a smack to the back of her head which made her vision go blurry from the sudden resurgence of pain to her already tender skull. She groaned through gritted teeth and was able to make out the woman hold up her hand in a stop motion to stop the guard behind her from striking again. Seemed he didn’t like the way she was talking to his boss.
”You know.” Zuka started as she slightly shook her head to try to clear it ”if you’re planning on questioning someone you never start with the head, makes things..fuzzy” She had heard Kenji say that once or twice in their time with the mask and right now it felt appropriate. Zuka assumed this woman would want some kind of answers out of her and it didn’t do her any good to give the prisoner more head trauma.
A cold, dry chuckle came from behind the mask and the sound nearly sent a shiver up Zukas spine.
”I see you picked up his humor”
Zuka’s eyes narrowed slightly at the comment. Part of Zuka thought and hoped this could just be a triad thing, that maybe they had gotten lucky on that end and her ambush had just been part of some triad revenge scheme. Of course, luck was never really something she and Kenji had in spades.
”The two of you weren’t easy to find” The woman in black started speaking, unclasping her hands and resting them at her side, taking a few slow steps around the room. ”It took some time and resources. But I’ve always been patient when it comes to things I want.”
”And what do you want?” Zuka asked since they were winding up to that.
Slowly, the woman stepped forward until she was inches from where Zuka was tied in the chair. ”What do I want?” She asked, placing her hands on top of Zukas wrist before leaning down to be level with her. Being so close Zuka could see the dark brown eyes behind the mask flicker with rage. The voice might be calm but whatever was behind the mask was ready to kill. ”’There’s a lot of things that I want but what I want right now is, I want the two of you to pay for what you did. ” The woman lingered like she was for a moment before pushing off Zuka’s wrist which caused her to grimace in pain. The womans answers were vague but she was sure that was on purpose. What Kenji and her did? That could mean a lot of things but didn't want to sit here and argue with this woman.
The woman in black stood upright, taking a few steps back.
” You know,” The woman started once more and Zuka watched her ” I almost admired you…we had a lot in common. “
There was confusion across her face, so this was someone she knew?
” Both of us clawed and fought our way to get to where we were. Sure, you were rough around the edges. Didn’t quite have that killers edge. Living a cushy life of privilege will do that but with a little guidance and a couple of pushes in the right direction you could have been a great ally. Of course, you had to go and develop a conscious and align yourself with The Ghost and his misguided and frankly hypocritical attempt at saving this city. “
’You don’t know anything about him” Zuka said with venom which caused the masked woman to laugh once more.
’I know more than you think. “ she brought one of her gloved hands and began ticking off things with her fingers ”I know that the mystery of not knowing who flushed you out of hiding is a puzzle he can’t solve and it's slowly driving him insane.” Another finger ”I know that he has nearly exhausted what little resources he still had in trying to figure it out, and he probably would have eventually but truthfully I was tired of waiting.” A third ”and that in the three days that you’ve been missing he and your sister have been searching the city looking for you, putting themselves out there. Desperation is setting in and sooner or later a mistake is going to be made.”
Three days? That’s how long she had been here, she could only imagine what the others must be thinking but she hoped they would be smart about looking for her. Kenji was always smart about things, he wouldn’t’ do anything stupid now. ”He will find you” Zuka wasn’t sure what her part in all of this was but if this woman wanted revenge like she said that didn’t leave many options left for her. If something happened to her Zuka knew that Kenji and Zula would find this woman and make her pay.
A slight chuckle came from behind the mask ”oh my dear, I’m counting on it. Kenji may be smart and clever but I know there is one thing in this world he can’t resist and that is being the hero and rescuing the damsel in distress.” The woman in black paused and looked toward Zuka ”and lucky for me I have one right here.”
”Kenji wouldn’t be that stupid he’ll know it’s a trap, if you know him as well as you think then you know that.” he wouldn’t risk all that just to come and get her.
The woman made a small ‘aww’ sound ”Don’t sell yourself short Zuka. You don’t think I kept you alive all this time just so we could have this thrilling conversation do you? I needed the perfect bait. No, he’ll come for you and after the…Invitations I sent him and your sister earlier he’ll throw caution to the wind.”
Zuka’s eyes narrowed. The idea of her being used to lure Kenji and Zula here put a pit in her stomach, if anything happened to them because of her then she would never forgive herself. She was the one stupid enough to let herself get taken, they shouldn’t have to pay for that mistake.
After that there was silence. For a few moments there was nothing but the tension in the room continued to rise and Zuka started to strain herself against her bindings. Their enemy was right here and she could do nothing! Zuka’s fear started to be pushed aside as anger began taking over, she had to fight, had to do something instead of just sit here and let whatever happen, not if the others were in danger too.
Seeing the fight slowly start to return to her prisoner the woman in black turned and headed back for the door. Stopping to pause in the doorway and motioning to the other guard outside. The woman turned back to face Zuka and stood there as other man stepped around her and to the back of the room behind Zukas chair with his partner.
Zuka’s eyes bounced between the woman and the two men as saw one slip on a Equalist glove and the other pull out a electric baton. Fear started to creep its way back but Zuka tried her best to push it back down.
”You know” the woman spoke and Zukas eyes fixated on her as she began taking in deeper, slower breaths to try to prepare her body for the pain that was going to come ”the next time you try to kill someone….you should make sure they’re dead” The woman let that hang in the air for a moment before giving a nod to the two men.
Zuka’s mind began working through what that statement could possibly mean. The only people she and Kenji had tried to kill had been Han, Ula and Jaya and Zuka knew for a fact that Han and Ula were dead. Ula by her own hand.
Then that had to mean….
The woman turned and walked out the door as realization hit Zuka. Before she could do anything else with that information however she felt a cold metal hand grab her already injured shoulder. Any kind of preparation she might have had before vanished as soon as she realized just who they had been dealing with so she was not prepared as the glove sparked to life and the shock traveled her body. Zuka was no stranger to the burn and sting of electricity and she gritted her teeth and bit down to try to keep herself from screaming out but that only lasted a few seconds. Not long after the glove came to life she felt the baton being pressed against her left side and her pain doubled.
Zuka tried to hold on, wanting to fight through it but her body had no fight left in it and the last thing she saw was the door to the room closing before blackness once again took over.~*~*~*~*~
Walking out of the room she closed the door behind her and started back up the dark hallway. Zuka’s screams echoed through the old halls until they stopped all together and a smile creeped past her lips.
If she was being honest Zuka wasn’t really of that much interest to her. She had been part of the plan yes and she would pay for that, but Jaya knew the brains behind it all had all been Kenji. He was the one that planned her downfall and he was the one she wanted. Zuka was simply the bait. What remained of the old Triads had more interest in her than she had. Jaya had been so patient waiting for the right moment. Months and months of waiting, months of moving her pieces across a proverbial chessboard had lead to this and Jaya was going to savor it.
Reaching the end of the corridor Jaya climbed the stairs to the main warehouse floor. Her base of operations tonight was off the beaten path and nestled in the mountains around Republic City. The old Equalist airfields had been destroyed but most of the foundations from the remaining buildings still stood and the labyrinths of tunnels under the compound proved useful.
Jaya had chosen this location for its seclusion. She knew that taking Zuka would cause alarm and that Kenji and the sister would scour the city looking for her and the last thing she wanted was for them to find her prematurely.
Once she reached the main level Jaya walked to the office she was using as her own for the night and sat at the desk and poured herself a drink. Removing her mask Jaya laid it next to the glass. The burns across her body still stung even now the mask hurt each time she put it on but it served as a reminder and had a purpose. It was almost ironic that her burn she had received from her tribe that marked her a traitor was all but erased, buried under the new burns she had gotten because of Kenji and Zuka. . Jaya mused on that a bit as she raised the glass to her lips and was about to take a drink when a light knock caught her attention.
Setting the glass back down Jaya turned her eyes to the door and saw one of her generals standing there.
”And?” she asked, waiting for a status update.
”The packages have been delivered”
”Perfect.” Jaya said, grabbing the glass once more. With the liquor firmly in her hand Jaya pushed her chair back and stood, walking around to the front of the desk ”make sure everything is ready for tonight. ”
The general nodded and then disappeared to carry out his orders. As he left Jaya walked over to the office window and looked a moment, letting out a calm breath as she watched the mid day sun slowly begin to sink behind the mountains. All of her planning, all of her waiting, of watching their every move for months and weeks…all of her sacrifice was going to be rewarded. Jaya continued to watch the sky turn from blue to a dim pink as she sipped her drink.
The pieces were falling into place, the board was set and soon all of the players would arrive.
OK so, if you guys do decide to run with this you can either post it here or start your own thread but theres still one small part that would go with it. The ‘package’ that Jaya had sent out would be letters to both Kenji and Zula. Each containing a invitation and something that belong to Zuka. Kenji would be sent the necklace of Zukas grandmothers betrothal charm she wore around her neck and Zula would be sent a ring Zuka always wore. The invites would contain actual invites with something along the lines of ‘lady ou-yong formally request your presence at such and such location” or something like that and each would be delivered at the same time early in the day. One to Kenjis office or home whichever and one to Zulas office at the consulate. Probably also delivered by random people that have no ties to this to keep the mystery up. Ok, I think that’s it. But yeah, had to muse and had to use it lol.