By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
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@Katara | Feb 3rd
He'd heard about a smuggler dealing with turtleducks and he, at first, couldn't exactly believe it. When he had checked it out for himself, he was appalled by what he had found. Turtleducks crammed in cages, their feathers filthy and their shells in distress. He had wanted to do something then and there, but he knew he needed backup.
Swiftly he arrived back home, which he shared with Katara because he was not about to leave her living at the orphanage, and he barely got inside when he called.
"Katara. I need your help. Smugglers have cages full of turtleducks that we need to rescue."
At the moment, Katara was poring over an information booklet for Schola Praeditos, the magic school here in the Vales—the idea of getting to perfect her bending, and her healing, even more, and around other forms of magic from other worlds, was incredibly appealing, and she was thinking of talking Zuko into enrolling as well. When she heard the door open, she looked up and smiled, opening her mouth to do exactly that—but then he spoke, and her mouth closed with an audible snap.
Then, “They what?!” Anger flashed through her clear blue eyes, and she stood abruptly, shoving back her chair and grabbing both her waterskins from the table. “Where are they?”
That was it—no questions, just ‘whose ass do I need to kick, and where is it so I can’. There’s the budding ecoterrorist we know and love.
Zuko knew that he could count on her for this. Not for the violent aspect that was sure to come when protecting the innocent turtleducks, but the simple fact that she would help him. Any animal would have gotten this response, turtleducks felt a little more personal since his ties with them and the more happier times he had as a child.
"A little beyond the markets. I heard wind of smugglers and knew I needed backup." One day he would tell her about his childhood with the ducks, for now that could wait.
Once she was ready, he lead the way to where the smugglers were still doing what they were when he first found them, and he felt the familiar coils of anger in the pit of his stomach. "I can't use my bending without risk of the cages catching fire."
But he wasn't helpless. He could fight and he would.
“I’m glad you did,” Katara replied, a look of fierce determination on her face as she attached both waterskins to the buckles at her waist, testing the caps to make sure they’d come off readily when she needed access to the water inside.
Armed and dangerous ready, Katara slipped into the boots she kept by the door and followed Zuko, through the streets of Cascade Bay to one of the warehouses by the docks. It was in a secluded area, shielded from view by several outcroppings of rock along the beach, and given that turtleducks were small, rather inconspicuous cargo, this probably explained why they hadn’t yet been caught.
Well, they were certainly caught now.
Katara’s brow furrowed as she glanced at Zuko, before looking over to men standing guard beside stacks of cages, many of which were still on the dock, while others had been loaded onto the boat moored there. “That’s why you brought me, isn’t it?” she asked, flashing the firebender beside her a cheeky grin, before lifting her arms and focusing on the waters of the ocean she could feel only a few yards away.
Two columns rose out of the water, and before the men on the dock knew what was happening, one of them had been smacked right into the drink, and several of the others were contending with smaller water whips—a distraction, to allow Zuko to move in closer before he was seen.
Zuko flashed her a smile in return before they were all business. Katara started, using her waterbending on some of the smugglers, bringing more to the front which left the sides and back empty of guards. Knowing Katara could take care of herself didn't stop him from feeling a little worry, he cared about her, but he knew he couldn't waste too much time.
Darting around, he kept his profile low. Sounds of water hitting the smugglers and shouts in the air were like music as he let his own bending flow through his body. Hands heated up, flames circling his fingers and he used that to grab at the locks. When the metal melted, he flung the burning metal into the buckets of water nearby, hearing the hiss as white hot met cold liquid.
The turtleducks seemed to understand what was going on, and remained in the now open cages until it was safe enough. Zuko, with now no threat to the animals, came from behind and helped dispatch some more of the smugglers. He fought without bending, and he fought knowing that Katara had his back and he had hers, and he knew that her water would not hit him.