Who are we to be Emotional?
Riko looked around the room at the people there and those not, and sighed. "I thought was a meeting for all heads of states and military." He looked over at Sozza. "Where's General Iroh?"
Sozza glared at him. "Where do you think? We're calling this meeting because of the events at the northern fort, which include the death of his wife. I felt it only right to give him the option to not attend this meeting which he took."
Riko sat back. "I understand that we've suffered a loss but-"
Sozza cut him off before anyone else could. "I'm sorry, suffered a loss? I didn't realize you were a fan of under statements but yes; we have suffered a great loss. In fact let's tally up the good and bad things that have transpired in the last forty-eight hours. First the good cause it's a short list: Kuvira's incapacitated, there is no longer an army knocking on our door, and Bolin got laid! The good list is so short that I had to include the last one just to make it to three!"
Bolin, face now extremely red, looked at his feet. "You know I think everyone would have been ok with just the two."
Sozza took a deep breath. "And now for the bad list: We have a dead general a whole company of men wiped out, a pile of rubble we once called a fort, a missing spirit cannon of death, the missing remains of an Army, and incapacitated Kuvira and fiancé and no explanation for any of it aside from we think the Fire Nation might have been involved." She flashed a cynical smile. "And that's not even counting that we just lost the youngest avatar ever! 26 and dead, She had a husband, a daughter, and chose to come back on line and help us because we fucked up the world and now she's dead and you act like it's some kind of weakness that her husband isn't at this meeting." She gestured around the room.
Bolin stepped forward holding some papers. "He actually typed up some notes and facts for us. Because as he put it, and this is a direct quote, 'That son of a bitch Riko won't be happy unless I contribute something and even then since it's not written in blood.' He said a few other things but it wasn't really relevant and very profane."
"How is he doing?" Wu asked sitting up.
Bolin tapped his fingers together. "Well he's doing as well as anyone would expect, he's drawn away, shows very little outward emotion aside from agitation, pretty sure his sanity is hanging by a thread, and anything that remotely frustrates him usually bursts in to flames. Mako is currently keeping a fire extinguisher at hand for such occasions. So yeah, that's where he's at."
Tenzin nodded. "Well keeping that in mind. Maybe it is a shame that General Iroh is not here. I would have loved to see a flaming president."
Seena looked over at Sona who was sitting curled up on the sofa clutching her dragon doll and crying. Frowning, Seena sat down next to her granddaughter and rubbed her back. "What's wrong my little one? Why are you crying? Did Azulon say something mean?"
She sniffed. "No, mommy's dead and a witch stole her soul. She's trapped!" She held the little dragon doll close. "Mommy's trapped and I don't know if Daddy can set her free."
Seena looked down at Sona her own body going numb. "No, sweetie, mommy's not dead, she's just away. She'll return safe and sound." She hugged her close. "You'll see."
Sona looked up at her grandmother. "I really hope you're right but, Sokka never lies, at least not with the face he used. Mommy's gone." She cuddled into Seena's chest. "You'll probably get a call from grandpa in a few hours."
Seena just rubbed the girl's back and reassured her that everything would be ok but held her breath every time the phone rang. It was dusk when it rang at it was her husband's voice on the line. She gulped. "Korra's gone isn't she?"
She heard Tonraq suppress a sob. "Yes, she is."
"I want you to come home and if you can drag Iroh with you."
"I can't bring Iroh with me. He's got his own mission but the city is no longer in danger and I will be on the first boat home."
"Good, I need you here." She paused for a moment. "I love you please come home safe."
"I love you too, and I will. I'm sorry, I should have protected her."
"You can tell me your regrets later just come home." She took a heavy breath. "Please, just come home."
Sozza looked over at Iroh. "Do you really think it's wise? Going off half cocked like this?"
Iroh shook his head. "No, but it's the only chance we have of getting into the Fire Nation with out being detected. I can't afford to wait and get a cooler head."
Sozza sighed "and you can't because?"
Iroh looked over Sozza, "Because Ruhku's wife stole her soul. I saw the mark on her cheek I remember what it means. Kuvira might have killed her but she's not at rest, she's trapped somewhere and I will bet my life Rohku knows where." His eyes softened. "Please understand I have to make sure she's at peace."
"I hate to point this out but Rohku impaled your first body just to make sure you were dead. He's not going to let you just waltz in and ask questions, he's going to think you're after the crown."
"Well maybe he's a little right about that, " He zipped up his suitcase, "I've been avoiding the Fire Nation and my responsibilities for too long and the Fire Nation has suffered for it. Her death might have been the spark that started the fire but it's not the only fuel. I need to help my people."
"True,"Sozza nodded and looked at one of Iroh's suitcases. "And you're going to reclaim those responsibilities while dressing in drag? I don't know if that's ingenious or you've really lost all your marbles."
"I will if I don't get the chance to change first, but let's face it. If Rohku thinks I'm alive he will be expecting the uptight General Iroh of five years ago with short hair and sporting the perfect military uniform." Iroh tucked a long strand of hair behind one priced eye. "I don't think these five years has changed him as mush as they've changed me."
Sozza nodded. "Who's else is on this mission of madness?"
"There is a lot involved in the plan but for many different reasons. The team is split up into two groups one going a head by ship the other by plane later. On the ship is my father, Mako, Bolin, Dragona and Genera Howl who's going under the guise of trying announcing the passing of the avatar and the mysterious fate of the Earth Nation's army. Zechi's involved but he's just bait, don't think he's going to be much help but he'll be there. Coming behind us in Asami's newest plane, with all sorts of high-tech goodies, will be Asami naturally, Varick, Zui Li Tenzin, and Su. They're main objective is to find that cannon and destroy it for good. We could use more people but everyone else is needed here with figuring out what to about the Earth Nation. Didn't they cover this in that meeting I missed?"
"I zoned out after Tenzin made a flaming president joke, but I must ask is it wise to bring Mako and Bolin with you? I mean they are well known allies of the avatar and likely to set off alarms."
"Well they would but we're 'dragging them up' for this mission. We need Bolin's lava bending to make the runway for Asami's plane and Mako insists that since he is my body guard he's not leaving my side so I don't so something stupid. His words not mine."
"Sounds like you have one person there to look out for you."
"I guess so, but seriously Mako's acting like a mother he's kept all manner of alcohol out of my perception and fallows me around with a fire extinguisher."
"He wants to keep your head clear and the town from being burned down, he's being a good friend, Iroh and right now you need one."
Iroh sighed. "I know I do, but I'm also ok, I can do this mission. I need to do this mission, not only for K-Kor- her." He pulled his bag off the bed and looked over at Sozza. "And my brother's reign must end he has too much power and is too cruel. He was never meant to be king and it shows."
She nodded. "I understand." She stood up and patted his cheek. "I know you won't listen, but you don't look good Iroh, please try and rest on the trip over."
Iroh glanced at a mirror. "Yeah, I don't look good but I've looked worse too."
Stasia looked over at her guard. "Do you have all that? I want these items in two days at the very latest."
The guard. "Nodded, yes your highness but this last item. Are you sure you want to desecrate such a scared place? There could be a back lash from the people."
Stasia sighed. "The people already fear me, so it really doesn't matter what they think. Just get those items and get them quickly."
The guard nodded and left her alone. She pulled from her pocket two emeralds and a sapphire. "It sucks having to repay a debt doesn't it? Helpful bit of advice kids don't ask favors of spirits. Paying them back is a pain in the ass."
Varick looked over at the team about to board the ship nervously he taping his fingers together.
"Ok so I have some good news and some bad news."Mako shook his head. "What's the bad news?"
"Well after doing a test run with Bolin, and the plane, the problem is noise. It's just too loud to not be noticed when landing, true the thing flies above radar and has all the gadgets needed to find our missing cannon but when it flies under radar it's too loud and will be picked up just by people hearing it."
Iroh sighed. "Ok, that's not good, the reason you guys are even coming in the plane is to avoid detection."
"I know I know which is why I have good news!"
Mako tilted his head to one side. "You figured out how to muffle the sound?"
"Nope! But I did figure out how to drown it out." He pulled a sheet and reviled instruments connected to giant black boxes. Holding up a finger Varick took one of the guitars and strummed it, causing a sound to emanate form the black box (clearly now a giant speaker) that didn't sound anything like the instrument and knocked a few of them over. "I call it Rock and Roll! Originally I made these things to blast as rocks to make them break but all it seemed to do was make them roll over thus the name."
Iroh looked at the instruments dubiously. "And what are we supposed to do with them?"
Varick rolled his eyes. "You play them! And here I thought you were from Omashu the land of show biz. Look you know the night we're set to get in, so on that night hold a huge concert and blast these things so that those in the immediate vicinity can hear only this." He pointed to some people Iroh knew form Omashu. "I've even invited some of the best musicians to play!"
Iroh waved at them. "Ok, but one problem: how are we going to even have such a concert?"
Varick pointed to Izeem. "This guy!"
The teen paled. "Me? What am I going to do?"
Varick put his arm around the youth. "Simple you're going to tell dear old mom and dad you're bringing them a present." He pointed to instruments. "The latest musical crazy from Omashu! Rock and Roll!"
The teen gulped. "Ok."
Varick patted the boy on the shoulder and moved back to the center of the group. "So it takes about a week to get to the Fire Nation Capital so you have that time to master these instruments, figure out how singing works, and write enough master piece songs to keep a crowd entranced for at least an hour, and you've got to play loud."
Iroh rolled his eyes. "Great! Let's just add that to the list, right after teaching those two," He pointed to Mako and Bolin, "drag which with their body types and personalities is not going to be easy at all."
Dragona rolled her eyes. "I've got that Irony dear. I was able to get you into shape; these two babies will be nothing. You just work on getting those songs done. I've heard you sing you've got the pipes for it."
Iroh pouted. "How do I even write for a genera that has just been invented, what type of songs are rock and roll songs even?"
Varick shrugged. "I don't know except that I know they're different, full of energy while encompassing all the pain, rage, lust, love, and frustration of life!"
Iroh sighed. "Well I have pain, rage, and frustration in spades."
Varick patted him on the back. "Well good! Use all that to write a plethora of rock songs that will pull the audience's heartstrings and keep them oblivious to the fact they are being invaded! Use all that pain from seeing you dear, battered, dismembered, wife to good use and not just a reason to mope around and eat copious amounts of ice cream!"
Mako face palmed and shook his head. "We are going to need to stock up on more ice cream and fire extinguishers now." He mumbled.