|THE AVATAR COMETH!|
...He misses Tadase-kun...
Anyway, he's sitting in a tree on the school's park-like grounds. He's reclining against the trunk of a tree, his hands behind his head, and his legs stretched out on the branch. And on a branch to his side, a white violin case hangs.
He's not alone, though. Not completely, anyway. Floating over his right shoulder is a tiny catboy near-doppelganger. Said near-doppelganger is reclining in the air like Ikuto is reclining on the branch.
Ikuto is quietly singing something under his breath. It's in Japanese, but he doesn't care who does or doesn't understand it, so it's coming through loud and clear. Well, as 'loud and clear' as the lyrics of a song sung just above a whisper.
"Hurry up and wake me, I'm having a nightmare
There will be dogs.
Such a tranquil scene almost begs to be disrupted. Almost as if it were some kind of cosmic law that no peace can be left untouched for too long, the loud howl of a dog is heard across the school and even drowns out the song of the young man perched up a tree. Looks like someone is not enjoying Ikuto's singing!!
"Naga wait!!" The voice of a young woman follows said howl and up in the distance a rushing cloud of dust heralds the approach of a large creature. It looks like a giant dog! The size of a polar bear even!
Riding a top such a strange creature is a dark skinned girl wearing blue fluffy clothing, clearly designed for winter or cold climates. The girl seems incapable of controlling her mount as the giant bear dog jumps over the fence leading to the school and starts running around the courtyard, sniffing the air and the ground.
"Naga! Will you stop trying to track foxcats!?? You're gonna get us lost!!" Its at this point that the girl looks about and blue eyes widen in total confusion. "Way, way lost.. I don't think I've ever been in this part of Republic city before."
Christ on crackers, is that thing even a dog?!
However, Ikuto's cat ears swivel forward again when he notices the girl with the dog, hears her words. Foxcat? Republic City? Neither of these are familiar. Must be a newcomer to the world then. There's been a lot of them of late, haven't there? Oh well. Nothing for it, is there?
Ikuto shifts again, to stand up on the branch, and leans lazily against the trunk of the tree, stuffing his hands in his pockets. The level of balance needed to do that is pretty high, he knows. He calls down to the girl, "...Yo." If she looks up, she'll only see him, a young boy with blue hair, and cat ears and tail to match. He gives a lopsided smile that doesn't look too fake.
That's when she hears a voice from the trees and she looks up to see a very comely boy greeting her. "Oh, hey there!" She seems glad to see a somewhat friendly face. "Sorry to bother, but you could point me in the direction of Air Temple Island? I'm completely lost!!" Her eyes narrow suddenly as she finds something strange with this boy. Are those.. cat ears and a tail??
Before she can even ask. Naga is charging forward and trying to climb the tree where Ikuto is standing, barking at him. "Naga! What is wrong with you??" The girl asks her very perturbed dog bear before looking up again at Ikuto. "I'm so sorry! She's usually not like this! She must have smelled a.. foxcat.." Wait.. cats.. barking.. Korra is slowly starting to put together why is Naga barking at this boy.
Yeah, that's pretty much feline behavior.
Nonetheless, Ikuto speaks, though he keeps a close eye on that massive creature. "There isn't an Air Temple here. Not in this world." He explains, "You're not back where you were anymore. This isn't your world. This is a place called 'Twisted'. Think of it as the realms' drainage trap. People fall out of time, they end up here."
Now that things have calmed down a little - or at least relatively calm when giant beardogs and catboys are concerned - Korra is free to listen more clearly.
"Not in this world??" She cries out in surprise at the boy's response. "What do you mean-- oooh, wait a minute." The girl seems to understand all of the sudden. "I must have somehow fallen into the spiritworld!" She looks up. "Aaand that would make -you- a spirit! That explains the cat ears and tail. Huh, you really had me going there for a moment mister cat boy."
She's not getting it at all is she?
He's about to speak when Yoru peeks down from the foliage above, tilting his head back to look out over the sight. "...Is it safe to come out-nya...?" he asks.
"Maybe," Ikuto replies as he looks up. Looking back to Korra, "No. This isn't a spirit world. It's a cosmic drainage trap, like I said. And I'm not a spirit. I'm a kid. Ikuto Tsukiyomi." Pointing up at the tinier catboy above him, he offers, "This is Yoru."
"...Hi?" the chibi catboy offers, with a careful wave. "Your bear isn't gonna eat me, is it-nya?"
"Don't worry little guy, Naga's not gonna hurt you. She was just confused I think." The girl pats her massive beardog and true to its rider's words, Naga doesn't appear to want to try and eat Yoru or Ikuto anymore.
Things get even stranger when Ikuto tries to explain that this isn't the spirit world that Korra knows and loves, but something entirely different, and far weird. "A.. cosmic..drainage trap??" Korra blinks in confusion. "Wh-what is that? I've never heard of something like that before."
Introductions also help though and Korra doesn't argue Ikuto's nature for now. She decides to focus on at least know who she's talking to. "Erm.. nice to meet you two. This is Naga." She motions to her beardog. "And my name is Korra."
"I'm the Avatar." She adds with a smile.
Even this far in her career, Korra still feels inclined to tell people her title. Which works in this particular situation because people are sure as hell not to know who she is.
Ikuto has indeed noticed that this girl is very muscular. She might notice that he's abnormally thin, too. Which probably didn't help her initial thought of him as a spirit, since people just aren't that thin unless their ribs are showing. And he doesn't look gaunt, just... very thin.
As for a drainage trap, he explains, "Ever dug a hole next to a river? Water will fill it up and won't go back out. That's where you are now. People come in, but they generally don't go out. Unless it's one of the worlds that's already attached. Leaving is easy. Getting back to where you came from, not so much."
Sure enough, when Korra introduces herself as 'the Avatar', Ikuto raises a brow. He and Yoru exchange a confused look. Looking back to Korra, Ikuto inquires, "Whose avatar? There are a bunch of gods here."
"Ya think she's one of Kotal's-nya?" Yoru suggests. "She looks like she could mess people up. Maybe she's an aspect of Kotal Kahn. Like... the... rage of a woman fighting against abusers or somethin'-nya?"
"...Plausible," Ikuto agrees.
She wasn't ready to argue with Ikuto about his real nature however, but let's just say that she wasn't fully believing him just yet.
The analogy helps, and Korra tilts her head sideways, face twisting a little as she struggles to picture it in her mind. Water next to a river, now a little world next to her world. "So.." She narrows her eyes, gears slooooowly turning in her head. "I'm in.. some kind of.. parallel world.. like a third world beside the spirit and material world?" In typical Amazon warrior stereotype, Korra appears to think with her biceps. Clearly, she's not the sharpest Avatar out there and she's taking her own sweet time figuring it out.
Oh, but it gets worse!! Ikuto's apparent ignorance of the Avatar truly horrifies Korra and she visibly turns a little pale. "Wh-what do you mean who's Avatar?? I'm Raava's Avatar! The one and only!!" Oooh, now she's getting defensive. This is some kind of sore spot for her somehow.
"More gods!!??" Okay, now she was just getting a headache, and she puts one hand on the side of her head in distraught.
"Who's this Kotal Kahn?" Her dread continues to rise as these two seem to immediately peg her for a follower of one of the local gods. Was she getting profiled already? It was bad enough that this world didn't seem to have an Avatar. "I hope they aren't like Vaatu."
Figuring the explanation would convince Korra he wasn't from her world, confuse the hell out of her, or both, he offers the explanation. "All kids from my world have an egg in their hearts. Most of the time they lose their egg. Sometimes they're born into the world. And sometimes they hatch."
"I hatched-nya!" Yoru declares.
So yes. Somehow his heart had an egg in it. Somehow Ikuto expelled the egg without killing himself. And somehow an egg hatched into a cat. This is somehow supposed to convince Korra he's normal.
Yoru pipes up, "Who's Raava-nya?"
Ikuto adds, "Never heard of them. Like I said. Not from your world." As for Kotal Kahn? "He's supposed to be some god of war from somewhere. Head of the police force around here. I know the word 'avatar' to mean 'the earthly representation of a god'. And you look pretty strong, so I figured you'd be a god of war's avatar."
"Raava is the spirit of all that is good and just, and I am her Avatar!" She shouts back to the two cat people, though it seems she's just trying to reassure herself of this fact at this point.
Ikuto's explanation that in his world there are kids that have magical guardians that hatch from eggs are not helping this time. Korra bends forward and begins to tremble, sweating just a little. Despair is starting to set in as the enormity of the situation hits her like a ton of bricks. The question beginning to throb in her head over and over again.
WHERE IS SHE??
There's a familiar term though, head of police. "Really?" She looks up questioningly. "A god of war is the head of police here?" And Korra thought that Lin Beifong was bad!
"I'm not this Kotal Kahn's Avatar. I don't promote war or violence. I'm all about finding the balance amongst all things."
He pauses as Rayne appears. He and Rayne are near the same apparent age, actually-- Ikuto doesn't look much older than Rayne. He raises a brow as Rayne mentions Kotal getting a priestess. "Oh good, a feminine influence should balance out his fiery male tendencies." He's really not trying to be sexist, that's just how they think in Japan.
Ikuto explains, as he starts fiddling around with the violin (rosining the bow, tuning the strings, plucking them to make a note so he can tune the instrument, etc.), "I believe Miss Korra is new to Twisted and she's confused as to where she is. Her... mount is apparently part dog, and thought Yoru and I were cats."
Yoru nods. "Yeah. Since it's the size of a bear, someone probably just got upset when it went bounding and barking over to us-nya. Also not a lot of people can see me, or Ikuto's ears and tail, so they probably just thought Ikuto was a student in danger from a wild animal-nya."
"Countless worlds.." She says in complete disbelief. "And you said that.. even though going back is easy I can't be certain of where I'm going?? I could land in any world at random???" Despair and disbelief seem to be the order of the day for Korra right now.
Korra turns to the new arrival and shoots Rayne a concerned look, her eyes immediately focusing on the armored woman's hair.
"I'm not trying to cause any trouble." She explains quickly having a lot of bad experiences with cops before. "My beardog Naga was just confused. She thought she smelled felines." She was right, though not in the way she thought.
After a moment's consideration, Korra can't hold her assumptions any longer and simply asks. "Who's Avatar are you?" This question is direction to Rayne. With that kind of colorful hair she has to be some spirit or god's avatar.
Rayne mentions she's 'just' a Phoenix. "Hey uh. Y'do know that who 'just a thing'... THING isn't... a THING in other worlds, right? There's a Phoenix god in our world-nya. It's called 'Suzaku'. So you might be considered an avatar of Suzaku-nya~!"
Ikuto waits until the speaking is finished before he pulls the violin up and rests it between his shoulder and chin. What comes out when he draws the bow across the strings is not a sad song, no. Well, maybe it's a little sad. But it also has an air of hope. 'Don't give up,' it seems to say. Ikuto's ability to express emotion with his music is much greater when he's in Chara Change... as he is now.
"So he's a catboy." He points up at Ikuto still up a tree "And you're a phoenix. Is everyone half animal in this crazy world??"
The name 'Twisted' is beginning to make a lot of sense to Korra who does not miss its meaning and chuckles. It's no a happy chuckle, more like the kind of laugh of someone in the verge of breaking down. "Twisted.. this is all like a really bad joke."
She stands straight after Ikuto and Rayne both mention the possibility of traveling through universes. "I don't have a natural way of moving between worlds." Then at Ikuto "I will give these portals a shot then. If any of them lead back to my world then it's a risk I have to take. My world needs me!"
Since she now knows about this world, Korra is beginning to think it also falls on her jurisdiction. After all, no one said that the Avatar is solely about bringing balance to just one world, maybe she's destined to bring balance to the whole universe.
"So.. you're not this Kotal Kahn's avatar?" Another question directed to Rayne.
And then a more genuine chuckle when Ikuto begins to play his violin behind her. "Ah, yeah.. I guess its too good of an opportunity to pass up." It seems the music is helping since she's cheering up!
She then blinks at Korra's questioning if she's Kotal's avatar, and laughs. "Noooo, no no, gods no. If I were his avatar, I'd come in brandishing a macuahuitl and likely be a lot more threatening than..." She uncrosses her arms and gestures towards herself. "...This. No, I'm his second in command of the police force here." She then turns towards the TASK headquarters and points out the tower in the distance. "But that's where the portals are. You're welcome to go take a look to see if your world is linked there... But I'll warn you, most people I've met aren't that lucky."
He smirks a bit at Rayne's exasperated statement to him. "Miss Korra doesn't have the benefit of what we'd call the basics. Her world seems to be kind of archaic to a modern world. I wouldn't expect her to know what a car is, for instance."
Yoru pipes up, "Not that she needs one, with being able to ride that thing-nya!" He's referring to Naga, her beardog.
"For what it's worth, I hope you do find your world linked," Ikuto replies. "If not..." He pauses in his playing and points towards the main drag. "...Look for Integra Arms. You can find a place to live there."
"I can handle weird just fine." The Avatar says as truthfully as she can before making some clarifications. "For the most part." She has been more than a little weirded out thus far. It was going to take her a while to adjust, that's for sure.
It looks like Rayne and Ikuto know each other though as they begin to have a discussion above her and for a moment Korra is beginning to feel like she's the weird one here. It feels all kinds of strange when a rainbow haired girl and a cat boy begin to talk about you like you're not even in the room with them. "I do know what a car is!" She looks over her shoulder to Ikuto correcting him. "Its a mechanical way of transpiration with four tires, a steering wheel, and a lever to crank them up so they can run." Korra's idea of a car seems to be incredibly outdated in terms of modern world. She's describing cars that came out in the early 1910s from the sounds of it.
"I don't respond well to threats." She gives Rayne another look when she clarifies that she'd be acting far more aggressively if she were the local god of war's avatar. A look is then giving to a building in the distance where the portals are and she nods. "I guess I have to at least try." She says mostly to reassure herself and urges her mount to go. "Come on, Naga." Another look is given to Ikuto when he wishes her good luck, before she glances at both the phoenix and the cat. "Thank you both for the help."
"Although before I leave, I guess I better talk to this Kotal Kahn. A war god being in charge of this place doesn't sit right with me." It looks like she's determined to fight him if he turns out to be evil.
"Be careful, Korra-nya!" Yoru offers merrily, waving a hand-paw.
And then? THAT'S when he starts playing a sad song. And yes, he is being facetious. A little. He doesn't know what 'The Avatar' is, and doesn't have the context to realize what she is to her world. But he does know what a god of war is... unfortunately for Korra...