Their footsteps were loud and frantic as they tried to escape the trap that Amon had set for them. Fire occasionally burst from the tunnel and screams pierced the air as the heat escalated along with the pressure the situation was causing. Countless benders had been trapped in the tunnels, each one there to be equalized. Korra 'tch'ed and smashed her hands into the walls, causing pillars to burst out of the walls and knock the Equalists down.
"Run!" She screamed at the equalized, her gaze frantic as she watched them flee.
"Korra, c'mon!" Mako yelled, his flames climbing higher, the heat causing sweat to bead on his upper lip.
"No! You go ahead! I'll hold them!"
"GO!" She twisted and stomped her foot in his direction, causing the ground to ripple, carrying Mako towards safety. She didn't have time to feel relieved as Equalists ran at her in that disconcerting way of theirs, hell, she barely had time to react. She twirled just out of reach of their stabbing hands, bending and doing anything she could to keep them away from her. Damn. Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn! It isn't enough! She cried out as a chi-blocker hit her on her left arm, her right flying in a flurry of movements to try and make up for the useless extremity.
Korra was losing, The flash of goggles in front other, the constant movement, the heavy breathing, earth jutting out from everywhere-
Water crashed into the nearest Equalists and someone roughly grabbed her hand, sprinting and pulling the Avatar along after. Korra looked behind them, then in front, trying to keep up with her rescuer.
"Who are you?" She jerked him down a corridor he had about to pass and he grunted.
"Is that really important right now?"
Korra was about to reply bitingly that it was when a group of Equalists turned a corner in front of them, effectively cutting their path off. She cursed and quickly earth-bent, causing a ramp to jut from the ground then bent water from nearby pipes to make an ice slide that would let them slip down over the heads of the enemy. The stranger kept his feet well, a feat that impressed Korra despite herself. He was good, whoever he was. The Avatar veered randomly until they finally burst out into the night.
"Come on!" she yelled, hearing the Equalists gaining behind them. The man ran until he was dragging her along again, making Korra feel as if she were about to fall. They twisted down back alleys and climbed fire escapes until they were on top of a building, breathing heavily.
"Who are you?" Korra demanded again, shoving him in the chest as her face set into a stubborn expression. The man grabbed her hand and gently placed it back at her side, his eyes watching her carefully.
"My name's Noatak. Nice to meet you." He smiled slowly, his eyes guarded. Korra surveyed him for an extra second before her face split in a grin.
"Thanks for the save back there. I was screwed."
She turned from him and peeked over the edge of the building, her eyes narrowing in thought.
"We're going to have to meet up with the others..." She straightened and faced him, "Well, I do. I guess you can leave if you like."
Amon smiled and shook his head, stepping forward and towards Korra.
"I'd rather go with you." Korra looked up at him in grateful trust and he inwardly cringed, years of self-control the only thing stopping his hands from curling into fists. How could she blindly trust a complete stranger? Despite the fact that it made his plans that much easier it was ridiculously aggravating. How stupid-
"Just stick close to me once we get there, okay? Task Force members are...uptight."
I wonder why, Amon thought cynically before snapping back to himself and nodding. That being enough for Korra she smashed her foot into the building. Amon quirked a brow that the building didn't immediately burst into debris but was quickly surprised when a giant rock platform floated from the street below.
"I know, not themost normal way of traveling but I don't feel like trying to dodge the Equalists on the ground. Get on." Amon sniffed gently in distaste before nimbly hopping onto the boulder, the Avatar jumping up beside him. They zoomed off towards Police Headquarters and Korra brought the boulder to a gentle stop, translating to dropping it in front of the station and jumping off just before it hit the ground. Amon quickly followed her example and frowned in annoyance at the needlessly reckless behavior. She was such a child.
He watched as she strode forward with the arrogance only being an Avatar could possibly explain away and trailed her, his eyes taking in the station. It was an organized sort of chaos, men and women running around and shouting to each other in their frenzy. How amateur compared to his multiple compounds.
"Stay close," Korra called over her shoulder, bringing Amon back from his musings.
"Right." He caught up to her and looked at the door to the office they were obviously headed to. No doubt it was inhabited by Tarrlok. It would be interesting to see the man after his vendetta against Amon's own.
"Ah, Korra, there you are," Tarrlok gave an oily smile as he stood to greet the girl, his eyes trailing her before flicking to Amon in obvious dismissal. Amon felt his eye twitch and his hand gave a reflexive spasm. Damn Tarrlok. Amon had nearly forgotten that there had been a reason why he hadn't contacted his younger brother. It was suddenly all coming to the forefront of his mind. How he would love to wipe the grin off his fool brother's face-but no. No, that wouldn't do. he was here to get close to the Avatar, not to beat his brother into submission despite the appeal. Amon cursed the lack of his mask, only now realizing how much he relied on it to hide his emotions.
"We got all of the captives out, but not before a few of them lost their bending," Korra reported, her fists clenched tightly and her voice strained.
"Damn," Tarrlok managed, turning his back on them and crossing his arms. "He's always on the move. I don't..." Tarrlok spun back around and cocked his head at Amon, "Who is this, Korra? He isn't on the Task Force."
"Noa. He saved me from the Equalists. In my book that makes him an ally." Korra looked at Amon with wide blue eyes and a little smirk. It wasn't at all the expression he was used to and he mentally reeled back. Why the hell was she looking at him like that?
Tarrlok quirked a judgmental brow and gave his best condescending smile.
"Well now that you've escorted the Avatar back to me, you've completed a good service and for that I thank you. However, seeing as you're still a civilian I'm going to have to ask you to leave." Amon noted idly that his brother's smile had turned a bit more hostile and that ignited a peculiar feeling in him. Caution. This wasn't the same man he had grown up with, but then, of course it wasn't. Tarrlok was hardened now, a skilled manipulator, a sly politician, and a strong bloodbender.
"We could use him, Tarrlok," the Avatar suggested, propping he hands on her hips and leaning forward towards the Councilman, a smile on her lips and a spark in her eyes. "You didn't see-it was amazing. He's a master waterbender, and we both know we don't have enough waterbenders. C'mon Tarrlok. Don't be a grouch." Tarrlok snarled and stepped closer to the Avatar until they were nose to nose.
"I am not a grouch." Korra just smiled up at him as they stared each other down. Their antics...Amon startled when it hit him. The Avatar and Tarrlok...together? He never would have thought-but he supposed it made some sense. He had just joined them and already he had garnered useful information off of them. How sloppy on their part. He would've shaken his head if it wouldn't have been a questionable thing to do. Amon's eyes darted between the two. They seemed to have forgotten he was there. Then again, perhaps not seeing as Tarrlok turned his gaze on Amon, a smile on his face. "I suppose he can join the force. If Noa would be so kind as to leave us for a few moments...?" Amon smiled and began to leave, a bit grateful to find himself alone in the headquarters of the enemy. Too bad it was ruined by Korra following him out with a small smile on her face.
"Tarrlok needs persuading sometimes, but I promise he's a good guy. Don't let him deceive you."
"Weren't the two of you supposed to discuss it more?" Korra waved her hand dismissively and pulled Amon to the uniform room, "What more is there to discuss? You're a fantastic waterbender, and we need more of them. You practically fell into our laps; how am I supposed to ignore that?"
By telling me to go on my happy way, somewhere away from here? Pretending you didn't see me bend? There are numerous ways to 'ignore' me, Amon thought, though his face betrayed nothing. Instead he shrugged and gave a little smile, "I'm glad you didn't ignore it. I've been wanting to join the Task Force ever since I realized what you were founded for. And to be inducted by the Avatar herself? It's wonderful." Ironic.
Korra grinned and handed Amon a uniform while gesturing at the changing room, "Great. You save me, I get you on the force...good trade I think. Try those on and see if they fit, okay?" Amon nodded and Korra left, looking around trying to spot someone but who, Amon hadn't a clue.
He frowned down at the thing in his hands and then began to strip, his fingers brushing scars and slowly revealing the muscle beneath. he threw the uniform on, cursing the sense of betrayal he felt towards himself. Once finished he moved about, doing practice water forms before deeming the uniform fit enough to be worn by him. He took it off and put his other clothes back on before walking out, his step light like usual. He came up behind the Avatar and gently cleared his throat, thoroughly enjoying her jump of surprise and the annoyed fear in her eyes. It quickly faded which, admittedly, wasn't as enjoyable as the fear. She gave him a once over and grinned, making Amon want to cringe. He hated her grinning at him like that.
"Perfect," she stated easily, "Let's get you acquainted with the place."
Perfect indeed, Amon thought with a smile.