AN: So here's static a.k.a the chapter that finally starts to explain a lot of shit.
He looks up and sees Jinora; her face is a mess of moving waves as he tries to see past the wind that she wields as a shield in front of her face. Her uneven hair bounces wildly, but most of all, the browns of her eyes shake with uncertainty.
That's when he sees Korra.
She's falling. He's seen Korra fall before-he's knocked her off her feet enough times. She's fallen off the arena; she's jumped from his window into Yue bay. But she lacks the grace, the confidence, of having the water catch her below. He notices her desperate attempts to airbend and that's when he realizes there's fear shaking in the blue of her eyes as well.
He starts to run. The building looks taller now, narrower and imbalanced. He feels tears sting in the back of his eyes and a lump grow in the back of his throat but Mako has to keep running. It's almost like he's getting tunnel vision; he's dizzy with worry and anticipation and it makes him feel light. He jumps and hopes he can fly.
And he does.
"Mako!" Jinora uses her staff to send a puff of air to launch Mako in the air. It isn't much, but as he extends his arms and the air in his lungs cools his chest, the soft fabric of her wrap flutters in his grasp before her entire body slams into him, sending them hurling to the ground.
Mako twists his body and let's his back take the fall.
"Argh!" He groans. Mako gasps for breath, his lungs momentarily deflated from the impact. He closes his eyes slowly and counts to three, but before he even gets there he feels an unnatural heart warm his face.
"Mako? Are you okay?"
The heats back. He lets out a raspy "yes," before he feels her yank him up by his torn sleeve. He opens his eyes and watches as she throws him ungracefully over her shoulder.
"Did you firebend?"
She's running, and if he wasn't in so much pain he'd be a little impressed. "Yeah. But-Spirits, Mako, I got to get out of here."
She lets out a whistle. "Naga! Come!"
The dog comes charging, unafraid of the chi-blockers that surround them. Naga barks and they slink back a bit. Korra throws Mako ontop of Naga before hopping on herself. She slaps the reins and Naga runs to Bolin and Jinora, where Korra grabs Bolin by the collar and and tosses him halfway on the polar bear dog. She reaches for Jinora, but the airbender opens her glider.
"I'll follow." and with that, she launches herself in the air.
Korra doesn't have time to protest; equalists approach them on each side. A little shaky, Korra manages to balance herself on the little space she has on Naga. She jumps up and sends a large semicircle of fire their way, the force of her blow sending her flying back on the polar-bear dog, slamming roughly into Bolin's back.
"Whoa, watch it!" Bolin warns, scooting up to take the reins. "That last fire blast almost blew back and singed my—wait, what the hell you can firebend now!"
She grinds her teeth as she peers up into the sky, watching as Jinora tries to give them aerial cover. "Yeah, want to fill me on the details on how that happened?" she snaps.
Bolin scratches his chin clumsily. "What makes you think—oh, I see your point."
Amidst the waning chi-blockers and the bounce of Naga's steps, Korra manages to push Bolin behind her and takes back Naga's reins. "I'm not waiting any longer—I have to figure out what's happened to me."
"Tell me again what I'm looking for?" Tahno asks lazily, fiddling with a rather expensive radio he discovered on the corner table in Hiroshi's office.
Asami sighs, annoyed. "If it sparkles and shines, or looks any bit useful, take it." She tosses a brown knapsack his way which he catches without looking.
His brows knit in concentration as he tries to filter out the static. "Why are we robbing your own house?"
She runs to her father's bookcase and starts scanning the spines, finally picking a book written by Councilman Sokka, filled with detailed schematics of his earliest inventions. "The city's going to hell—and we're going to need the money." She leafs through the pages until she finds the earliest schematic of a hot air balloon—tucked inside the pages is a small wad of cash.
Jazz music rings through his ears and Tahno finally stop fiddling with the radio to join Asami. "He keeps his money in books?"
Asami shrugs. "Just some of it. A lot more he keeps invested in other stuff, like jewelry." She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear and Tahno picks up the sparkle of her earrings. "Most of it, my mother's. Every year for her birthday, he would buy her something super expensive, even after she died. I've already looked in his room for the jewelry box but I didn't see it, so I bet he hid it in here." She glances at the desk. "Keep leafing through books—try all of Councilman Sokka's—he was my dad's favorite inventor."
Tahno does as she asks. Asami inspects her dad's desk with a careful eye before finally lifting her leg high in the air and letting it come down hard on the center of the only drawer baring a lock.
"Who needs keys," she muses smugly as she starts rummaging through the contents of the desk—most of the papers are vaguely familiar; hood designs, engine models from last season and even the paint-job her father made for her car she received on her sixteenth birthday. But as she digs deeper, a frown appears on her face; there's the design for the equalist masks and gloves and she even sees one for the mecha tanks. But one—one is strangely out of place.
She pulls it out of the drawer, looking to Tahno—he's found another book full of cash, unaware that she's found schematics. Her eyes roam the page, brow deepening into a v. Her fingers roam the lines—what on earth is it?
"Anything sparkly yet?"
She jumps, startled. She quickly takes the schematic and shoves in her knapsack before bumping the drawer with her hip. "Nope," she answers, her lips smacking at the end.
Tahno shakes his head and goes back to the books. He's subconsciously tapping his foot to the smooth jazz when the radio fizzles loudly only to dissolve to momentary silence.
"Hello, Republic City. This is Amon."
The book in Tahno's hands slips from his grasp.
"So, then the merchant says to the earthbender, I think you guys have a "Rocky Relationship!"
Korra's mouth twitches into a faint smile as she listens to the soft giggle that bubble from Jinora. The young airbender is currently sitting in Bolin's lap, her head against his chest, listening to a few of his jokes and stories. To think the young earthbender can still make a child laugh warms Korra's beaten heart.
"He's always been like that."
Korra tilts her head to Mako, her eyes still on his brother. "Hmm?"
"Light-hearted. It's refreshing, isn't it?"
Her eyes slide to his and she notices the bags under his eyes—the gold of his eyes stick out under the bruise like circles—her hands reach up to run along a scratch across his nose she didn't catch before.
"Sorry I can't heal," she whispers. Mako knocks her hand away gently.
"I told you to cut that out—I don't blame you for a thing. None of us do."
Her shoulders slump. "You should," she grumbles. Her hands roam the tops of his shoulders, down his collarbone and arms. "Arm still hurt?"
"Catching you sure didn't help it," he smirks and it almost gets a rise out of her—he sees it fizzle in her eyes. "But it's nothing I can't handle."
She sighs, leaning back to sit on her bum with a heavy plop. Her eyes stare at her hand as a small orange flame bursts to life in her palm. She looks back to Mako, her own eyes lit gold with the reflection. "I thought—I thought we got away from Amon's grasp before he did anything." the flame vanishes. "But I guess not." she stares at Mako's hands. "I mean, he took your bending away. Did it-did it feel like anything?" she asks tentatively.
Mako repeats Korra's motions—his palms run cold. "I thought it was just a chi-blocking. It didn't feel much different—it was a little, but—" His hand flies to his forehead. "The whole thing is kind of fuzzy. I mean, you went into the Avatar State, City Hall collapsed, and then you just fell-." he pauses. "I saw Amon, I did, but there were so many equalists and yelling and chi-blocking I couldn't tell what was what and when I woke up—" He looks to her, wide-eyed. "Everything was dark and," his voice drops to a whisper. "I thought you were dead."
Korra stares at her hands. She continues to play with fire before she looks down the hall of the abandoned home they sit in. "I'm so sorry your bending is gone, Mako," she finally says. "I am so, so sorry."
Mako shurgs, feeling this need to reassure her. "Maybe not? I mean, like you said, your bending is still...kind of there. Maybe mine will come back eventually. Maybe, this chi-blocking has this lasting effect and maybe—"
"Maybe, maybe, maybe," she mocks. "I'm sick of this maybe shit, Mako. I want to know—what. did. he. do."
They sit in silence, apart from the small giggling and chatter coming from Bolin and Jinora on the other side of the room. Finally, Mako scoots over, his bruised hand falling to cover her own.
"You're not just anyone. You're Avatar Korra."
She lets out a heavy breath through her nose, but says nothing.
"I think Amon did to you...what he did to everyone else. But, you're not everyone else. So it backfired."
Her fingers tighten around his. "What do you mean?" she asks quietly. She mentally notices Bolin and Jinora are more invested in her and Mako's conversation now then their own.
"He tried to take away your bending—but you're the Avatar. No one's more powerful than you."
Korra snorts in protest and Mako bumps her shoulder playfully.
"I mean it. Maybe you haven't mastered that power yet, but you have it."
Bolin adjusts his hold on Jinora and scoots the both of them across the room. "Yeah," he pipes in. "Looks like the worst thing he did was mess up your bending for awhile."
Korra groans, sparks of fire spitting from her nostrils. "Who says it's for awhile? What if I'm like this forever; bending the four elements randomly because they like to come and go as they please? I don't even know if I can earth or water bend!"
Bolin reaches over and slings an arm around her shoulder. "Hey, calm down. You'll figure it out!" He shakes her a bit, tapping her skull with his knuckles. "You got thousands of years worth of intelligence in that thick head of yours—you're bound to have the answer somewhere."
"Too bad I haven't exactly been able to ask Aang-or anyone else, for that matter."
Korra watches as a faint blue, unfinished arrow slithers up her forearm. She looks into the cool brown eyes of Jinora. "I believe in you, Korra. you can do it."
Mako brushes her chin with his fingers, coaxing her attention to him. "We got your back."
"Thanks guys." She smiles, and means it.
She feels Tenzin sigh heavily.
They stand on the edge of the harbor. Lin approaches him, careful to keep her feet in sturdy ground. "Air Temple look all right?" She asks.
He nods, squinting his eyes. "I see the acolytes assembling outside—Pema must have gotten them to evacuate."
Lin clicks her tongue. "Smart girl," she admits. The island doesn't even fall into her sight—her head thumps with pain and she can only see color from her left. It's slowly slipping away and she's powerless to stop it.
"What's the fastest way to get there?" Lin asks quickly. There's no ferry to take.
Tenzin strokes his beard before he snaps his fingers in thought. "I can't believe I didn't remember...I must have hit my head as well." He pulls out a miniature bison whistle from his pocket, throwing it in the air and using his bending to make the whistle blow as loud as it can.
Lin covers her ears, familiar with the soft screeching it makes—to the normal person, it would not bother him, but to Lin, an earthbender with a terrible headache, she knew it wouldn't be pleasant.
The sound she heard was far worst.
Both of them rip their heads up, eyes wide with shock. The whistle is drowned off by a loud siren, the noisy machines of the air ships above. Tenzin squints and frowns.
"Equalists!" he confirms with a snarl. The sirens wail again and Tenzin follows their path, his jaw unhinging at the realization.
Lin beats him to the punch. "The island! They're going to attack the island!"
Tezin curses, and he's never one to curse. He tugs harshly on Lin's arm. "You can swim, right?" he asks quickly.
Not appreciating his rough hold she snaps back, "I lost my sight—that doesn't make me my mother."
He pushes her back and takes the steadiest breath he can. "Remember when I tried to take you on the air scooter when we were kids?"
"It didn't work," she's quick to remind him. She knows the gears are turning in his head. But it's too late. It's a mess of flailing limbs and rushing wind and soon she's whisked off her feet, Tenzin balancing her awkwardly on an air scooter that's really only meant for one.
"It'll work now," he growls, and that's when Lin realizes while she's already lost a lot, Tenzin could lose a lot more. She looks to the ground—
She can't see a thing.
-and hopes it doesn't come to swimming.
I told you long ago that I had a plan—a vision, if you will. An era of equality. And today, well today…. begins the purification."
Asami feels a chill slither down her spine.
"The city is far too divided, far too imbalanced for any true equality to take place. That is why my followers, my fellow equalists, were given the task to burn Republic City to the ground.
I'm sure you've all been properly aware.
Years ago, this city was founded by Fire Lord Zuko and Avatar Aang. Two of the greatest benders of their time. They built it to bring people, specifically,benders,of all nations together.
And look at the mess they've created.
I will not sit back and watch the innocent be persecuted any longer. Today is the day we purge the city of inequality. Today is the day that benders will be eliminated.
"No," Asami whispers. She stumbles up to Tahno, her entire figure shaking, and grips his forearm. Tahno doesn't respond, his eyes trained on he radio before him.
Today, benders will truly know what fear is.
Take a look at your city, citizens. What stands out? The arena, the statue, city hall—Air Temple Island. Symbols of the bending…"arts."
Not for long.
Currently, an armada of my personal air ships is armed and ready to destroy the remaining symbol of persecution and inequality existing in Republic City. And once Air Temple Island is destroyed—
Only the benders will be left. But that, too, will not last for long."
Static roared in the room, clogging their minds with chaos. Asami gripped Tahno's arm tighter, yanking him toward her. "What does that mean? You don't think…well, you don't think Amon would kill benders, would he? He's only looking to take their bending away? Right?"
Tahno doesn't answer. Asami shoves him.
"Right?" She repeats louder. Tahno gives a weary sigh, his hand going up to massage his temples.
"Amon isn't a nice guy, sweetheart. He's capable of a lot of evil. I know."
Asami shakes her head, shocked. "But not murder," she tells herself out loud. Tahno shrugs, slinging the bag over his shoulder before walking to Hiroshi's window. He balls his fingers in a fist and punches the window out with one blow, a shard of glass puncturing between his knuckles. He gestures to the unseen bay.
"We'd better hurry. Air Temple Island—isn't that where the Uh-vatar's little gang lives?" he asks, one leg out the window.
Asami stands stiff, still in shock with Amon's announcement. Her mind is running wild with ideas and scenarios, but she just can't get that schematic out of her head.
It might just be the answer she needs.
Her hand runs along the paper edges inside the bag before she shoves it deep inside, throwing the bag over her shoulder.
"Bring the motorcycle around. I want to…look for something first."
AN: guys i'm so sorry this is taking so long. I've always had the beginning and the end figured out but i'm literally winging up a lot of the middle. It's taking me awhile to get things to the place i need them, and i'm sorry for some of the slow progression. i tried to make it up in description and character insight and development, and i hope a little of that has shown. things are starting to get faster paced in my mind and i'm getting to the key point i wanted make a pretty stellar ending. just a few more pieces to work out!
thanks again for any reviews, alerts and favorites. I need to be better about getting back to you guys personally, but i really, really, do appreciate it. reviews make me smile and i have only gotten positive feedback and constructive criticism and i thank you for that. those things really make me want to push through and finish a damn story for once :P
also, i wrote a drabble like thing. you should check it out.
also, again, i'm in the process of doing some co-writing, so look out for that. and in a few days, the first chapter of my AU fan fic based on dine and dash should be posted!
PS: I'm still madly in love with Lin Beifong. I'm almost opposed to Linzin cause I kind of want her to myself (who am i kidding they are perfect) I literally take shelter on the S.S Linzin when the Makorra V Borra V Masami tumblr wars get way out of hand. and when it's really bad, i crawl back to Tokka :P
PPS: I totes ship Tahsami. Like, totes. (bahahahaha)
PPPS: It is 5 am over here i've been up all night don't kill me if this author's note is in a different language i wouldn't be surprised.