Chapter 4.13

future

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The future smelled like burning metal. The air, which was a horrid, sick-looking off-yellow, was thick with smog, and my first few breaths were labored as I struggled to get used to the new environment.

Although the buildings were mostly who I remembered it, everything was considerably more…dismal. Maybe my outlook had just changed?

I looked at the sizable heap of scraps and shook my head. No, not even my pessimism could be responsible for this; the time man was right — times had changed. That, of course, made me all the more worried for my sister. Things had been bad enough even without the yellow sky.

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“I’m worried about Nora,” I said to Raf. “This place is different; it’s gloomier, now. Plumbob, Kylo has had years to warp this world; it looks like he’s made his mark.”

Raf kicked a pipe, half-rotting with rust, out of the way and placed a comforting hand on my shoulder. “If she’s anything like you, she’s fine, Korra. Your whole family is strong.”

My family — that gave me an idea. I remembered running into my long-removed descendants the last time I’d been here; maybe they knew where Nora was or, at the very least, maybe they could tell us what had happened to change things here so drastically.Screenshot-8

“Come on,” I said, pulling Raf close. “I have an idea.”


the (new) windsor residenceScreenshot-10

The girl who answered the door looked exactly how I remembered her; even though our coloring was different, she had my nose and Nora’s mouth. What was her name?

The girl eyed me warily, and I remembered — right, I’d verbally attacked her and yanked Nora away in a classic Korra maneuver.

“Um, hi again,” I tried, going for a friendly smile. The girl backed away, and I quickly scowled, which, infuriatingly enough, made my descendant appear a bit less wary. “Remember me? It’s Korra Wi-“

“I know who you are,” she hissed. She looked at Raf, saying, “Who’s he?”

“A friend. We’re looking for Nora. Have you seen her?”
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She flinched and, looking up and down the deserted street, pulled me into the house.

“Where have you been?” she asked. Sweat dripped down her temples, and Raf and I exchanged looks. She was my descendant, yes, but I wasn’t sure if I trusted her; I didn’t even know her name, for Plumbob’s sake.

“In my own time,” I said impatiently. “What happened here? Why is the sky yellow? Where is my sister?”

“I can’t help you,” she said, her voice a bit too loud.

“Are you serious?” I couldn’t believe it — what a waste of time.

I turned to Raf, saying, “Let’s get out of here.”

Before I could leave, though, the girl pulled me into a sweaty, awkward hug. I stiffened, protesting the gesture, and froze when I felt her press a slip of paper into my palm. “Ridiculous,” I said aloud, meeting her eyes.

Her eyes were wide, but in them I saw a thread of determination. “Goodbye,” she said.

When the door closed and we’d gone a safe distance away, I looked at the slip of paper.

Go to Stella’s boutique for a change of clothes and to find N. Avoid all robots.


stella’s boutique

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Plumbob, I hated robots. Every time I saw one, I flinched; I remembered my ordeal with robots all too well, and I had no desire to go anywhere near one. Raf and I found the boutique with minimal difficulty and began perusing its contents, careful to avoid eye contact.

We drew some stares with our clothes, which were decades out of fashion, and I hurriedly moved to one of the clothing displays.Screenshot-10

As I pressed the buttons to complete my order, I had the oddest sense of deja vu. It felt like just yesterday that I was admonishing Nora for touching anything. She was close; I could feel it.

I billed the dress to my descendant’s address — I’d pay her back later — and went to help Raf with his change.

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As I moved, however, I noticed more and more robots grouping in our section of the shop. Although they stopped a few feet away, their blank, unblinking stares unsettled me. We needed to leave this shop.

I had no desire to get into a fight; any conflict would surely draw Kylo’s attention. Screenshot-14

“Raf–”

“On it,” Raf said. He turned just in time to see a robot holding a camera to its face. Screenshot-15

Snap.

Uh oh — that wasn’t good. Any photo of us was sure to bring bad news.

“Raf, let’s just leave,” I urged, but Raf had already approached the robot. He hadn’t been here the last time and he didn’t know how strong they were. Screenshot-38

I hurried towards them, but Raf had already Screenshot-41

Pyro–”

The robot’s arm glowed white as it transformed into an odd, drill-shaped object. Then, without waiting for Raf to react, it slammed its arm into his chest.

“Oh,” Raf said, and someone — me? — screamed —

— and then he was falling, his wand clattering to the ground and his eyes rolling back.

I roared with rage and, drawing my own wand, sent a paralyzing curse —

or, at least, tried to, for nothing happened.

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Nothing. I had nothing. I stared at my wand, which was about as useful as a stick of wood, and resisted the urge to cry. What was wrong with me? I couldn’t feel it — the connection to my magic.

What was going on?

A week of your power, the ghost had said. Seven days — 168 hours –without my magic.

Plumbob, this really was the most inconvenient timing possible. I slumped over my friend’s fallen form, blinking back tears. I had no skill with fighting without magic, and I could hear the robots as they approached us rapidly. I wasn’t going to go down without a fight. As I prepared to stand, however, I saw a flash of pink as two figures came bursting into the room.

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One of the two — a tall, red-haired man who looked vaguely familiar — kicked down the robot that had hurt Raf. He dodged its counter blows and, to my surprise, focused his efforts not on the head but on a small, purple propeller on its back. He kicked at it, severing it from the main body, and the robot crumpled to the ground in a rapidly spreading puddle of oil.

But it wasn’t the man who captured my attention — it was the pink-haired girl – no, woman – who came flying after him.Screenshot-44

Jinora.

I could barely believe my eyes as my baby sister, her pink hair tied back and her eyes fringed in a yellow war-paint, neatly took down the remaining two robots. She moved with deadly efficiency, and I couldn’t help but feel a thread of sadness that my happy-go-lucky sister had needed to become a soldier.

For that was what these two were — soldiers. Screenshot-48

When they’d finished, they looked at me, faces still set in stone, and the man said, “I’ll carry your friend. More robots are coming — we need to go.”

When I looked only at my sister, my face streaming with tears, the man raised his voice, “Now.”

Right. This was not the time for a teary breakdown. I stood, still staring at my sister, and followed them numbly as they ran from the boutique.

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10 thoughts on “Chapter 4.13

  1. Oh gosh, they found Nora! :O but why do I have the feeling she’s not very cheery anymore… This is getting really exciting. I had a feeling they would find a dystopian future. Hopefully they can fix things. This was a great chapter as usual 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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