"What did you do to me?" Lin growled from her cell...her iron cell. She should be able to break out of there in a matter of seconds, but whatever chi-blocking technique Amon used on her had yet to wear off. It should have worn off by now, seeing that they had the time to abandon their bunker and set up shop in a new location since her capture, "When will this wear off?"
"It won't." the masked man said simply, "I took away your bending, permanently."
"You expect me to believe that garbage?" She crossed her arms, "Don't tell me that you actually believe it." He must be having delusions of grandeur if he was dumb enough to put her in a metal cage. What did this nutcase think he was...some kind of anti-avatar or something?
"What you believe is not important." And since this conversation was no longer worth Amon's time, he walked away from the cell.
"Well, well, look at the mighty earthbender! Not so tough now are you?" Such brave words, coming from a man hiding behind a hood and standing on the other side of the bars.
"Open the door, and I show you how tough I am." Five-to-one odds said she could beat him to the ground before she got her bending back.
"I can take you on any day of the week."
"Except for the days that I can bend, right?" She deadpanned. He growled and fished out the keys. One little taunt is all it took, spirits, that was sad...she was almost tempted to tell the lunatic in the mask to find new help because, clearly, his underlings were complete morons.
"Stop!" The man with the visible mustache yelled as he stormed up to her guard and snatched the keys out of his hand, "Come on. Amon's orders, leave her alone." So close...just one more minute and she would've been free.
'Wait and listen,' the voice in her head, the one that sounded exactly like her mother, told her. Well it wasn't like there was anything else to do, so she waited...and waited and waited some more before she slammed her hand against the metal wall. Nothing. She hit harder; nothing. She hit the wall until her calloused palm had a dark bruise on it, and she still didn't feel anything.
"And you're absolutely sure that Mom's in there?" Bolin asked as they came to an abandoned factory building.
"No, but the police said that the equalists left the bunker and they didn't leave any traces so if we want Lin back, we'll have to check and see if she's in there." His big brother answered, throwing some plain brown cloths for him to put on.
"Or we can persuade someone in there to tell us where she is." Korra said with a dangerous look.
"I'm with Korra." Bolin agreed, cracking his knuckles, "Punching out a few of those weirdos would make me feel a little better."
"We can't just go in there and start busting heads," They were running on fumes and they were out numbered, so what did Bolin and Korra want to do? Go in and start a fight... those two dunderheads were going to get them all killed, "we'll need to be smart about this."
"There's going to be a lot of people who hate benders in there." Asami warned them, again.
"How bad can it be?"... "I just had to say that, didn't I?" Bolin slapped his forehead. Inside the seemingly empty factory, there was a enormous crowd of bending haters. This pretty much guaranteed that helping a metalbender (who happened to have two very distinguishing characteristics on her face) escape was not going to be easy. He just had to say it, didn't he?
"I knew a lot of people hated benders, but I've never seen so many in one place." Mako gazed over the people, "Keep your eyes out for Lin."
"How are we gonna get her out of here?"
"We'll deal with that when we find her."
"Please welcome your hero, your savior, Amon!" A man announced over the loudspeaker. The masked leader of the equalists and his henchmen rose from the stage floor.
"My quest for equality began many years ago..." He began his speech with a backstory about his family and the firebender that cut them down.
"That's the guy who electrocuted Mom on his right." Bolin whispered into Mako's ear.
"Yeah, I noticed."
"He'll be able to tell us where she is." He elaborated.
"We can't do anything right here, Bolin." Asami laid a hand his shoulder, "We have to time this just right."
"-o take a persons bending away. Permanently."
"That's impossible. There's no way." Korra looked to her friends who had the same look of disbelief on their faces. The guy might as well announced that he had discovered how to cross-breed arctic wolves with fire ferrets.
"This guy is insane."
"You said it."
"And now for a demonstration. Please welcome Lightning Bolt Zolt, leader of the Triple Threat Triad and one of the most notorious criminals in Republic City." Zolt, three unimportant henchmen were pushed onto the stage. No metalbending police chief in sight.
"Why isn't Beifong with them?" Korra seethed.
"What did they do to her?"
"What are we gonna do now?"
"After the rally, we'll follow them." Mako calmed everyone down, "They'll lead us to her."
"-fight to keep his bending."
"Not a good idea, Amon." Bolin mumbled as Zolt said to attack. The teenager could hardly believe it, but for the first time in his life he was actually rooting for a criminal...the firebender, not the one in the mask. Amon dodged one, two, three, four blasts of fire. He ducked under a bolt of lightning and grabbed the criminal's arm, twisting it and forcing him to his knees. Now that Zolt was down, Amon put a thumb to his forehead and the lightning started to dissipate, turning into fire...then nothing.
"Your firebending is gone, forever."
"That's..." Asami trailed off, really not wanting to finish her sentence.
"...not good." Bolin finished, "He couldn't do that to mom, right? I mean, she isn't a criminal..." He frowned when they all suddenly found the floor very interesting.
"We should do something." Korra decided. Everyone looked at her like she'd gone crazy, "We have to help."
"No, these guys aren't worth helping." Mako dismissed the idea. Why should they risk their lives for a bunch of criminals who would kill them at the first opportunity?
"He's taking their bending away." She pointed out.
"Mako's right, Korra." Asami broken in, "It's not right, but those guys hurt people."
"Spread the word! Deliver this message to every corner of the city, tell every nonbender you meet that our moment of triumph is almost at hand!"And in a puff of smoke, everyone on the stage disappeared.
"What?! No, no, no." They had to stay so they could be followed. How was he going to find his mom if they left without a trace again, "He couldn't have just vanished!" Bolin raced through the throng of people to get to some fresh earth. They came out to see the few people outside cheering at an empty street, undoubtedly the one Amon just left down, "Maybe we can still catch them." But it was too late, the equalists had gotten outside long before they did.
"I'm so sorry, Bolin." Asami went to apologize and put a hand on his shoulder. He shrugged it off.
"Don't apologize. None of this would've happened if we had just stayed with her!"
"No," Mako intervened, "we did what she told us to!" Korra went to say something, but Asami shook her head. No good could come from joining this conversation.
"Hey," Bolin feigned a pleasant expression, "you remember that one night about two years ago when she dropped everything and...SAVED US FROM A CRAZY PSYCHOPATH?!"
"That's why I left. I was SAVING HER SON! Just like SHE wanted!" Mako shouted back, his arms raised, almost as if he was ready to strangle his little brother.
"Well what about what I want, huh?! I didn't want to leave her!"
"Well none of this would've happened if you-" Mako caught himself before he finished, but it didn't need to be said at that point.
"If it weren't for me..." Bolin whispered, backing away from the others.
"I know...it's all my fault." He opened a hole and jumped into it.
"Bolin!" Mako pounded on the freshly moved earth, "Bolin come out!"
"I'll get him, Mako." Korra reopened the area, "Where'd he go?"
"He tunneled. Track him." he demanded.
"What? How?" Korra asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Use seismic sense." He said as it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"I don't know how."
"Urgh, some avatar." Just his luck, really. First he loses Bolin, then he loses Lin, now Bolin again. He was on a roll this week.
"Don't blame Korra, Mako!" Asami pointed a finger in his chest. "This is your fault and you know it! You shouldn't have yelled at your brother!"
"I know! I know that, alright!? Zolt was after him, he called for help, he did exactly what he was supposed to do! I left his mom to the wolfbats and I bit his head off for it! Now he's run off and I got two family members to find and it's all my fault! Happy now?!"
"Mako, Lin's..." Asami just couldn't bring herself to say it, "that wasn't your fault either."
"They'll be okay." Korra chimed in, "I mean, Bolin's just mad and who's tougher than that old lionwhale?" Yeah...that sounded lame even to her.
"Let's just get some sleep and look for them tomorrow."
"We need to find them now." Mako insisted, stiffing a yawn, "We can't stop." They looked at him through tired eyes. No matter which one they managed to find, there would be a fight to bring them back, and none of them were in any shape to fight.
"Let's just head to my house. I don't feel like driving you two home and I'm sure my dad won't care."
"Yeah." Maybe Mako was more tired than she thought.
"No, don't you see? Bolin's gone home."
"It...doesn't look like I thought it would." Korra said with a look around. The home, while sparsely decorated, was kind of homey...she pictured a place with weapons on the walls and skunkbear pelts on the floor. Something hard like the chief.
Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.
Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.
"Bolin. What are you doing?" Mako ordered. Bolin ignored him completely, instead focusing all his attention on the metal slab he was kneeling on and punching with all his might.
"Come on!" He shouted to the metal, "Why won't you budge?!" Even in the near darkness they could see a crazed look in his eyes.
"Bolin, snap outta it!" He grabbed Bolin's arm as it drew back into the air. Undeterred, he raised the other one, which Asami put in a solid lock. Korra seized her chance to come up from behind him, wrap her arms around his chest and pull him backwards. They fell to the ground together, she used her position to her advantage, wrapping each of her legs around Bolin's. "Let me go!"
"Hurting yourself isn't going to help." Mako tried to reason, almost sitting on his brother's arm after noticing the blood on his knuckles.
"I gotta metalbend!" he struggled against them, tears streaming down his cheeks, "None of this woulda happened if I could just metalbend! I'm so useless. I should've been the one to lose my bending... it should've been me!"