• Published 12th Apr 2016
  • 15,168 Views, 12,616 Comments

Three More Things! - Tatsurou

Uncle Chan tries to balance running an antique shop, fighting demons, and being a Chi Wizard with being a loving Uncle to his nephew, his somewhat removed niece...and three little ponies who drive him straight up the wall.

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Proper Control

Uncle, Jade, and the girls waited outside the hospital room while Jackie stepped in to hear from the other agent Captain Black's status. Augustus himself was laid out in the hospital bed, unconscious, bandaged and hooked up to life support, the machines reading his steady if reduced vitals. "The doctors say he's lucky to be alive," the agent spoke up softly, nearly a whisper as though he was trying not to wake the Captain. "Valmont used some sort of advanced explosive device. Powerful stuff."

"The Dragon Talisman," Jackie growled under his breath.

At that moment, a nurse pushed in a trolley with a vase full of 'get well' flowers. "Who sent these?" the agent asked curiously. Seeing a card, he pulled it off the bouquet...only to reveal Valmont's signature.

Before the agent could react, Jackie had let out a cry of pure rage and slammed his arm into the vase. Pausing as he saw this, he immediately left the room. The agent could only stare in shock as, seconds later, the vase split down the middle and crumbled into fragments.

"Jackie..." Uncle warned softly, seeing the beginnings of Jackie losing himself to his rage.

Jackie nodded slowly. "I know...I shouldn't let my rage control me..." He slowly took several calming breaths. "Let's...let's get back to Section 13." Feeling a weight on his head, he glanced up, seeing Apple Bloom perched there, gazing down worriedly at him. Smiling, he reached up and patted her mane. "I'll be okay...oof!"

His loss of breath came as Jade leapt to cling to him from in front, Scootaloo glomped onto his back, and Sweetie clambered up to sit around his neck like a scarf. An extra weight revealed that Audrey had wrapped roots around Jackie's waist to cling to him as well for additional emotional support.

Uncle chuckled as he saw this. "Five more things," he singsonged teasingly, resulting in Audrey blowing him a raspberry.

"I am not a jungle gym..." Jackie grunted out, though without much feeling behind it. The emotional support was welcome.

Back at Section 13, Jackie led Jade and the fillies through a few katas, trying to regain his calm. Unfortunately, that quickly proved to be difficult for him, as several agents stopped in to ask how Captain Black was, as status reports hadn't been forthcoming through proper channels. As each such inquiry led to Jackie losing control of his anger - and the third such one led to Jackie delivering a spinning kick to a bookcase that collapsed moments later - Jade, the girls, and Audrey took turns redirecting conversation away from that. Audrey was only allowed to do so once, however, as his method - while direct - was considered overdoing it. After all, they were just concerned about their boss. That was no reason to grab them by their ankles and dangle them off the third floor walkway that led to Jackie's base apartment.

...admittedly, it was a long time after that last agent before another had come to call about anything.

Jackie eventually decided he wasn't emotionally equipped to instruct in the martial arts at the moment, and so he stepped out to get some air. As he was getting the air, however, an alarm went off, and he rushed over to hear the report.

"A big rig was just blown to bits by a well dressed gentleman on Route 64," the agent at the computer read out. "Outside Corydon, Indiana."

Looking at the map, Jackie made a quick deduction. "Spitting distance from Fort Knox, Kentucky!"

"And the US Gold Reserve!" the agent confirmed. "Mobilize!"

As agents rushed to make it to the scene, Jackie moved to join them. "I'm going too!" he called out, only to be pulled up short by four worried females clutching his shirt.

"Jackie," Jade asked worriedly. "You're an archaeologist, not a field agent, right?"

Jackie smiled down at the four, knowing they were worried about him. "I know. That's why I'm just going to retrieve an artifact, the Dragon Talisman."

As Jackie turned to go, he felt his shirt being tugged again, and found Apple Bloom looking up at him. "Uncle Jackie," she began softly, "you...you taught us that discipline comes from mastering the power within, right?"

Jackie nodded. "Yes, that's right."

"But...you ain't masterin' yer anger..."

Jackie lowered his gaze, unable to meet those worried, adoring eyes. "I..."

"Have you ever used it?" Sweetie Belle piped up.

Jackie turned to her in surprise. "Come again?"

"Your anger," Sweetie explained. "Have you ever used it? Instead of being used by it?"

Jackie once more glanced away.

"Then use it this time," Scootaloo spoke up, catching Jackie off guard. "You're angry. It's okay to be angry. But use it, don't be controlled by it." She fluttered over to him, clutching his shoulder. "Promise?"

Jackie looked her in the eyes, then nodded softly. "I promise." Pulling her and the others into a hug, then set them down before turning to go.

Uncle stepped up behind the group. "Do you think that was enough?" he asked carefully.

"Dunno," Jade replied. "I...feel like we should follow on Cumulo...just in case."

Once the convoy arrived at Fort Knox, Jackie found it relatively simple to slip out and over the outer walls while the agent driver was distracting the MPs guarding the gate. Distressingly easy, he thought to himself as he made use of equipment from the confidence course just inside to conceal his presence and make his way to the top of the building. When Augustus wakes up, I'll suggest he recommend a full security upgrade...not that anything here is light enough to sneak out this way.

Once inside, he saw Valmont overseeing his Dark Hand agents taking away pallets of gold bars with fork lifts, driving through a tunnel that had been blasted upwards through the floor. As Jackie landed silently on the catwalk, he heard Valmont chiding one of them. "Faster Tohru, and lift with your legs." Tohru, for his part, hefted an entire pallet of gold in his arms and walked off with it.

Looking at the pallet, Jackie made a few quick mental calculations. Stacked 12 bars high, 12 across, 2 or 3 deep, hard to tell from this angle...each bar is about 27.5 pounds, so not including the pallet... His eyes popped as he finished the calculations in his head. And Ratso thought I wasn't human for racing up a train falling off a cliff!

Looking straight down from the catwalk, Jackie saw the Dragon Talisman embedded in the flesh of Valmont's hand. As he stood to make his way down, however, Valmont spoke up.

"A shame Captain Black won't be visiting today!" he called out jovially. "I understand he had a doctor's appointment!"

Jackie felt the red covering his vision as the men surrounding Valmont burst into laughter. As he felt himself losing control, he heard Scootaloo's words in his mind.

Your anger is a weapon. Use it.

It felt as though something in his mind simply...relaxed. His gentle, more peaceful nature seemed to withdraw to a corner of his own mind, and he stared down at those below. He did not see humans. He saw enemies, those who had hurt his friends and profited from the misery of others. And he saw opportunity.

Silently, he leapt down from the catwalk. One of them - Ratso, he distantly recalled - let out a startled oath at the sight of him, but it was too late. Jackie landed lightly atop the pallet of gold directly behind Valmont. Even as the crime lord turned towards him, Jackie spun, his foot impacting hard with the man's chin and sending him sprawling. As he spun, his hands shot down, grabbing gold bricks off the pallet he stood on. As the thugs drew weapons, the bricks went flying, striking shoulders, foreheads, and stomachs, sending them sprawling to the floor.

Jackie heard the report of several guns, but he was already flipping backward through the air. As he came down on another pallet, he grabbed two more gold bricks. When he landed, he hurled them at two of those who remained standing, sending them tumbling as well as one brick struck a solar plexus and another struck a man in the crotch.

Ratso proved to be somewhat sensible at this point. "Let's get out of here!" he cried out, grabbing one of the lighter downed thugs over his shoulder and pulling them out. Fin and Chao followed suit, with Tohru loading the remaining into an empty pallet and kicking it down the tunnel while lifting Valmont - still dazed - onto his shoulder. He then backed slowly down the tunnel, eyes on Jackie.

Jackie stood up calmly, staring after Tohru as he backed away. He knew he wouldn't be able to win with Tohru on the defensive. The tunnel was just wide enough for Tohru to walk through on his own, meaning he could easily trap Jackie against the walls, and most of Jackie's best maneuvers against the big man relied on turning his strength against him. But they were getting away...

His eyes caught sight of a Cyan spark leaving a rainbow blur, circling in the distance. He remained where he was until Tohru was out of sight down the tunnel, then left the building.

Valmont shivered in his office as he clutched an ice pack to the back of his head, rubbing his palm with a thumb where the Talisman no longer was on the other hand. The heist at the US Mint had gone off without a hitch, but the Fort Knox job could not have ended worse. First Chan had shown up, moving silent as an assassin and devastated his men. Then when they'd escaped down the tunnel, Section 13 had them cornered backed up by the Coast Guard, their barge having no way to go. Valmont had intended to dragon blast their way out, but apparently the blow to his head meant that channeling the Talisman's magic now caused a massive spike of agony through his head, rendering him all but incapacitated.

He probably should have considered himself lucky that Shendu had sent the Shadow Khan to retrieve them - more the Talisman than them, but still - but after being pulled through shadows back to the office, Valmont - and certainly his men - were reconsidering whether or not they would have preferred prison.

Still, it wasn't a total loss. The Talisman was retrieved, and was now placed in the proper slot on Shendu's stone body. At least Chan didn't take that away from them. "Since when did Chan fight like that...?" Valmont murmured as he mentally went over the injured list. Several of his men would be in the hospital for days, if not weeks, due to injuries from those hurled gold bricks. He especially felt sorry for the poor man with the crushed scrotum.

"I did warn you," Shendu hissed out in response. That was the worst part of this, in Valmont's opinion. Shendu, rather than ranting or raving, had simply let Valmont and the others stew in their agony, content to remain insufferably smug. "Perhaps now you will keep in mind to not underestimate your enemies..."

Valmont chose not to respond. He already had a big enough headache as it was.

Captain Black groaned as he came to, pulling the sensors off his body as he tried to get out of the hospital bed.

"Take it easy, Augustus," Jackie warned, gently pushing his friend back into bed. "The doctors said you can leave in a few days."

Augustus let himself be pushed back, as much because he was still in pain as because he trusted Jackie's word. "Valmont?" he gasped out.

"I'm afraid he got away," Jackie admitted. "Along with the Talisman. However, he did not get away with any of the gold from Fort Knox." He chuckled softly. "Thank the girls for that. And Sweetie's speed dial."

Augustus managed a chuckle. "And you, Jackie?" he asked softly. "I see it in your eyes."

Jackie leaned back in his chair, staring at the ceiling. "I...I used my anger, to fight Valmont and his men. It felt...strange. Liberating, yet...terrifying. I was still me, still in control...but it was like I was someone else, someone much more ruthless..."

Augustus was silent, unsure what to say in response.

"I don't think I'll be doing that again anytime soon," Jackie murmured softly. "It's as I thought. I don't like me when I'm angry."

"I doubt the Dark Hand liked you any better," Augustus offered jokingly.

Jade breathed softly as she went through her katas at school. Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo went through their own beside her in an open space on the playground. True to her word, Mrs. Hartman had found a way to give the four girls an extra challenge in school, while also resolving the bullying situation to try and address the issue of them being 'different'. With the school board's permission, Jade and the others were now offering informal martial arts lessons to their fellow students during morning recess, and anyone who wished could volunteer to take lessons from them for PE extra credit, as well as gaining extra fitness and discipline.

Much to Jade's surprise, the very first volunteer had been Meynard, who was finding his own inner peace through those lessons.

Author's Note:

I looked up the weight of gold bars, and eyeballed the size of the pallets based on images. My measurements were conservative, assuming accurate proportions in images on the large side (meaning I'm underestimating).

Assuming the pallet was 2 bars deep, the weight not including pallet would be 7,920 pounds.
If three bars deep, 11,880 pounds.
Even going even more conservative - assuming based on one image that the bars are stacked 12x8x2 - that comes to 5,280 pounds.
An African Elephant weighs only 6,000 pounds.

...even on cartoon logic, holy fuck!

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