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Fanfic / Instincts Of A Fearful Body

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Instincts of a Fearful Body is a The Legend of Korra fanfiction written by Emirael and skyedancer_rae. It depicts Korra, having being successfully captured by the Red Lotus, coming to Republic City with Zaheer’s gang to observe the development of the budding Equalist revolution.

The story diverges from canon in several ways besides Korra’s kidnapping being a success, such as Unalaq's attempted betrayal of the Red Lotus resulting in his death. Hiroshi, rather than his wife Yasuko, was killed by benders, she’s taken his place within the Equalist movement, and she’s actively involving Asami in the revolution.The story also takes place a short time after Book 1 would, as Amon never accelerated his plans upon Korra’s arrival in Republic City.

Spoilers for the series will not be marked.


Instincts of a Fearful Body contains examples of:

  • Affably Evil: The Red Lotus members are depicted as much more personable, not having suffered in prisons for thirteen years, and function as a kind of family for Korra. However, they’re still dangerous criminals who fought the original Team Avatar, and whether their long-term plans for Korra still include painfully killing her as in the series is unknown.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Though they don't hear it, Asami apologizes to Mako and Bolin while electrocuting them.
  • Atrocious Alias: Korra goes by “Naga”, a dog’s name, while undercover. Ghazan follows suit and adopts “Naghaz” as one to poke fun at her.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Korra's develops rapidly upon piecing together Sakari is her sister, particularly while watching her in the pro-bending finals.
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  • Birds of a Feather: In the past, Hiroshi and his wife Yasuko Sato, as now she’s in control of Future Industries, is just as good an engineer as he was, and functions in his role as the Equalist’s Evil Genius. In the present, her actions and motivations are practically identical to his down to certain lines of dialogue.
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: Zaheer’s gang is planning to start assassinating representatives of Republic City’s government. Also, it’s revealed through a few stories they’ve been keeping busy in this manner for the last thirteen years.
  • Chekhov's Gun: After being mentioned back in chapter 2. Korra's Tattoos do indeed prove to be a recognizable mark, allowing Sakari and Jinora to connect all the times they'd seen her
  • Child Prodigy: Sakari, an original character, is described as an incredible waterbender and is the youngest Pro-Bender in the league. Makes sense seeing as she’s Korra’s little sister.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: Korra refers to her kidnapping as being "liberated", and thinks little of it. Also, the Red Lotus execute their targets in the front halls of their homes frequently enough she sees it as nothing more than a sort of tradition.
  • Cool Uncle: In the quasi-family the Red Lotus form for Korra, Ghazan is this, taking her to a pro-bending game and generally indulging her. However, after the disastrous Tarrlok assassination attempt (in which Amon took away Ming-Hua's bending) things get strained between them
  • Demoted to Extra: Lin Beifong in Arc 1. Justified in that Korra is part of the Red Lotus in this continuity, so she would hardly want to get attention from the cops.
    • Tarrlok is also a definite example, only showing up once physically before he's Killed Offscreen by P'Li.
  • Friendless Background: Sakari's existence was kept secret and few knew of her existence, similar to Toph's upbringing.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: The anarchistic Red Lotus are in Republic City to keep an eye on Amon and the Equalists, with the originally heroic Korra siding with the former, and Asami with the latter, while others in the main cast are in secondary roles. Both the Red Lotus and the Eqaulists are shown to have a point.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Instead of Lin, Mako ends up holding off the Equalists so Tenzin's family can get away, which also ends in Amon taking his bending and the family being captured anyway.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": The Equalist lieutenant is named 'Liu'.
  • Internal Reveal: In Chapter 13, it becomes public knowledge that Sakari is Korra's sister, and Asami realizes that Korra is both the Avatar and the new Blue Spirit. And then again in chapter 17, Jinora and Sakari realize that Korra had visited both Air Temple Island and the Pro Bending Arena and talked with both of them
  • Killed Offscreen: Unalaq was killed before the story even starts, presumably by the Red Lotus. Tarrlok is also blown up by P'Li not long after Amon's death. We only find out about this from the newspapers reporting it afterwards.
  • Legacy Character: Korra becomes one to Zuko when she becomes the new Blue Spirit, complete with exclusively using firebending when disguised.
  • The Lost Lenore: Hiroshi Sato to Yasuko, having been killed in the mansion break-in instead of her.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: The one Varrick had gets used by Asami after she turns herself over to the RCPD.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Toph, as usual, but she now has the added distinction of once fighting Ghazan and winning easily in spite of his lavabending while very likely being in her sixties.
  • Original Character: Sakari, Korra's younger sister.
  • Replacement Sibling: Implicitly, Sakari for Korra after the Red Lotus succeeded in capturing the latter. And Tonraq and Senna are overprotective of her as a result, though to what degree isn’t yet specified.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Unalaq was implicitly killed by Zaheer's gang before he could turn on them.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Ghazan thought his lavabending would give him an edge over Toph the way it does over most earthbenders. He was wrong, nearly got captured, and now he has to be careful to avoid being recognized by the police.
  • Villain Cred: The Red Lotus is initially interested in the Equalist revolution, but later, Zaheer and Ghazan both find Amon's powers worrying. Ming-Hua is terrified of him when he takes her bending, and once the Equalists take control of Republic City, P'Li suggests retreating.
  • You Didn't Ask: When they first met, Asami assumed Korra was a non-bender when they first met, and Korra never corrected her. Asami is adamant this doesn't mean she wasn't lied to, and Korra, unusually for this trope, doesn't try to justify herself with it.


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