CONTAINS PART OF CHAPTER SEVEN OF THE INAUGURAL PRO-BENDING MATCH. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
"Until next week, when the season gets going in full swing, this is Shiro Shinobi of Republic City Radio One wishing all of you a good night, and may the spirits bless you all!"
The young, spunky announcer left the broadcast booth, feeling all sorts of happiness as he made his way towards his girlfriend, Tasheega. He was happy to give her a hug and a kiss.
"You sounded awesome!" Shiro's girlfriend complemented him.
"Thank you very much," Shiro replied. "I'll tell you...I love this game. It lived up to all the billing everyone said it would."
As the couple continued their conversation, the owner of Republic City Radio One, Mr. Wukai, approached his employee. "May I speak with you please, Mr. Shinobi?"
Shiro nodded, and then told his girlfriend, "I'll be right back in a few minutes."
The owner and employee made their way out to a more quiet area of the arena's concourse. Mr. Wukai looked at Shiro straight in the eye. He could tell that Shiro was quite thrilled with what he just commentated, which meant that it would be even harder to tell him the word.
"Shiro, you really enjoyed broadcasting this game tonight, didn't you?" Mr. Wukai asked.
"You had better believe it!" Shiro replied. "Mr. Wukai, I haven't had this much fun since I was a little kid. I love this sport, and since I can't play in it, being a non-bender and all, I'm glad to not only be able to watch it, but to describe every exciting word!"
"I understand," Wukai responded. "Shiro...I'm afraid I have some bad news."
For the first time since before his nerves about commentating faded away, Shiro's smile ran off his face as he turned to a worried look. "What is it, sir?"
"Shiro..." Mr. Wukai began. "There's no easy way to take people away from the job they love."
The commentator began frowning as he had a feeling of what was coming. His pro-bending position was about to be taken away from him. He just couldn't process why.
"I'm not saying you didn't do a good job tonight," Mr. Wukai continued. "I mean, I heard every word of your broadcast. You're upbeat, you're on top of all the action, we were getting telegraph calls in continuously saying how the people loved your voice."
"I don't get it," Shiro said. "Mr. Wukai, what is it?"
"There is just too much in the way of triad crimes lately," the boss replied. "We need all of our reporters out in the field the best we can. If we have you off doing pro-bending every night, that's going to leave an empty spot that we, given our goal, can not afford. I'm sorry, Mr. Shinobi, but I can not let you continue. Perhaps as we get more staff in to the station, we could change things around...but for now, I will need you to stay as a reporter. I'm sorry."
Shiro looked away for a second, knowing that the job he loved for the night was gone. Back to boring, dark triad reporting... "Okay. I understand, Mr. Wukai. If you need me to stick with reporting...I will." Disappointment flowed through the announcer as he spoke.
"Don't take this the wrong way," Mr. Wukai assured him. "Shiro, you are only twenty years old, after all. You have plenty more years ahead of you. You're a great commentator, and you have the right personality. It's just that, for now, we can't afford to be giving up reporters. For now, we have to give up the pro-bending broadcasts to another station. We'll just have to hope we keep expanding."
Shiro nodded sadly. "Very well. I guess I'll see you tomorrow, Mr. Wukai."
"Good night," Mr. Wukai responded. Although he knew that he needed to keep his employee out of the broadcast booth, he still couldn't help but feel Shiro's disappointment.