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[Fiction] Symmetry - Imbalance


Anna 'Quanta' Alameda

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Submitted for canon consideration

Kevin Rong was unlike the other students in his martial arts class. They wanted to be the next Jackie Chan or Rick Tiger. He wanted to be at balance with himself and outside of himself. They wanted things of little value but great importance in the world outside the martial arts academy: fame and fortune. He wanted things of great value but little importance in the world outside: understanding and wisdom.

His eruption supplied them both, but at the expense of having his world shattered. Running from the Exploding Heavenly Mandate with his family, a little sister dying in a blast of fire - these things he struggled to accept, struggled to forgive.

Which was why he stood in the rocky crags overlooking a pass that led through the Himalayas from China to Tibet. Three truckloads full of soldiers bound for a tiny little country whose only fault was to be distantly related to the Chinese. How low the Middle Kingdom had fallen from its once-great heights.

He leapt onto another crag to gain a better view of the soldiers. Stillness, not action, was the key here. There was a nova of the Exploding Heavenly Mandate here. One whose scarlet-limned golden outfit was too familiar for his liking.

Hellfire.

In the old stories, the warrior on the mountain is often called down from his place of tranquility to deal with a threat from his past, usually someone who has done him a great wrong. Rick Tiger did it rather well in 'Seven Thunders' last year; Kevin was honest enough to admit he indulged in kung-fu movies in order to find his old classmates. So far he hadn't found any.

The trucks were halfway through the pass when Symmetry chose to strike. Launching into a powerful leap, he put his left foot forward as he struck the pass on its other side, loosening a great amount of snow. It cascaded down in a mini-avalanche, burying the road below in pristine sheets of white scattered with rock.

Launching himself back again with the other foot, he somersaulted into the air and landed on the foremost truck in front of a startled Hellfire. "Catch me," he taunted before leaping back again. The wise man knew how to use the most effective weapon against his enemy, and he knew that Hellfire disliked being taunted.

It worked. The Chinese nova lost his head and took off from the truck, fire blazing in a trail behind him. Symmetry danced around him, jumping from crag to crag and letting Hellfire exhaust his qi before striking hard and sharp to the throat.

With a gurgle and sigh, Hellfire died as Symmetry watched. The movies were never like this. The hated enemy was forgiven, or died spitting curses, not dying so... quietly.

Common sense reared its head and Symmetry leapt away before the Chinese soldiers could catch up to him. Small good if he died before he achieved balance because of some stupidity.

But wasn't revenge stupid? It was an imbalance that tied you down to the earth when you could reach for the heavens just by letting go.

Kevin Rong thought he would feel exultant at the death of his sister's killer, but he realised that it did nothing but fill another grave.

And so another lesson was learnt.

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