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{She is not afraid}

From the moment she jumped off that air bison she knew this was coming; this or death, because if both airships had gone down, there's no way she could have swum all the way back to the island.

(Later, she'll realize she prefers no bending over death.)

Besides, all that matters is that Tenzin and his family—the very last airbenders in the world, three of them still children—are safe. There will be stories told about this day, just as her mother is still spoken of.

{She is not afraid}

Doing what is right, her mother used to tell her, is worth everything. That is what Toph Bei Fong and her companions fought for when they were really too young to be part of a war, and that is what her daughter has remembered since she was old enough to understand.

{She is not afraid}

Lin tells herself that, as the Equalists drag her, bound and limp, all the way back to the island. To Amon. Where he will take away what is most precious to her, take it like it is nothing more than a possession, not a piece of her very being.

{She is not afraid}

Even as her heartbeat increases and her lips dry, even as she fights the urge to run, she is not. She stands her ground, as unyielding and proud as her element, because it will be hers until the day she dies, and no maniac with too much power can tell her otherwise.

{She is not afraid}

They are at the island, where less than an hour ago the children of the man she loves defended her with courage befitting earthbenders. She thinks of Jinora's quiet determination, Ikki's fierce love, Meelo's mischievous talent, and her resolve grows. What she is doing is for those wonderful, talented kids—she does not regret.

{She is not afraid}

Amon is as cold and foreboding as ever, and though she has never traded blows with the masked man, she understands why Korra fears him. As she expected, he offers her one last chance.

Just for one second, she considers. (Just like when Amon attacked the Arena and Korra fell through the glass and Lin considered not catching her)

She makes her choice.

And then she holds her head high and snarls, "I won't tell you anything, you monster!"

{She is not afraid}

His eyes glint in disdain though the rain, and she knows what's coming. Her eyes are dry as they close, hearing the last few seconds of the beautiful, relentless, solid, quiet earth.

It cries for her.

{She is not afraid}

She hears Amon walk behind her, but does not concern herself with him. It is over, she accepts, and thinks of Korra, who is brash and proud and stubborn and kind, who will fight for this city where Lin cannot, whom she protects with the ferocity of a mother because that's what Korra deserves.

{She is not afraid}

It happens so quickly: he tips her head back, and her grey hair flutters as he places a hand upon her forehead.

He is surprisingly gentle.

{She is not afraid}

Beneath her, within her, the earth seems to scream and wail, but Lin Bei Fong does not open her mouth. There are no sounds except the unrelenting softness of the rain as Amon invades her soul.

{She is not afraid}

It does not hurt. It surprises her. There is no pain, just a sense of wrongness as her connection with the earth jerks—

{She is not afraid}

Then fades—

{She is not afraid}

And then there is nothing.

{She's not}

end.


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