Asami was relieved when the questioning finally ceased and she no longer had to tell the same story for a third time. But she understood that it was a lot to take in. She was also relieved that she was back with her friends and that she had managed to avoid yet another Eqaulist trap. The question that remained was what Tarrlok’s connection to Amon was. The two scenarios that Asami, Tenzin and Lin had collectively come up was that either Tarrlok was in league with Amon, his Equalist task force hitting low level targets and giving off the false impression that the Eqaulist problem was being effectively dealt with. The second was that the two were not in league with another and that Amon somehow managed to track Tarrlok to his remote cabin in an attempt to kidnap Asami.
After a long discussion Tenzin and Lin excused themselves and let Asami get some sleep. Mako offered to stay behind. This took Asami by surprise but she didn’t object.
As Tenzin and Lin left she swore she could hear Korra’s voice outside.
Korra had managed to grab Tenzin and Lin’s attention and alerted them to the fact Air Temple Island wasn’t exactly safe and was concerned in regards to not only to Asami’s safety but the safety of Pema and the children.
“I appreciate your concern Korra,” said Tenzin. Korra noted a look on his face that seemed to tell her that he too had the same fears. “But we had adequate protection here.”
Korra raised a brow. “You mean the White Lotus guys? Please. No offense Chief but the Eqaulists took on pretty much half your police force during the Probending tournament. I think this matter is a bit too much for city cops to handle.”
“She’s right,” Lin said bluntly, much to the surprise of Tenzin and Korra. “We need to get the military involved in this.”
Tenzin let out a sigh. “I guess I’m going to have to make a call. I won’t like it.”
Lin bumped Tenzin’s arm with her elbow. “One madman to take down another. Seems only logical. You make the call and then you need to leave here.”
Lin put her hands on her hips. “You heard me. You, Pema and the kids need to leave. Go to one of the Air Temples. Go visit your Mom. I’m pretty sure Izumi will have some rooms for you at the Royal Palace. I think Amon is about to make a move and I don’t want you here when he does.”
Tenzin stroked his beard. “I’ll have to discuss this Pema.”
“Don’t discuss, do it,” said Lin, clearly annoyed now with Tenzin’s indecisiveness, “In fact by late afternoon I want you and your family to be well on your way.”
Tenzin mulled the idea around. “Well…”
Lin let out an exasperated sigh. “Look I’ll your water your damn plants while you’re gone. That enough?”
“Okay, okay,” he said holding up his hands. “Let me talk with Pema and see if she’s well enough to travel.”
“I’ll be at headquarters. Let me know when you reach the military and if they’re able to assist.”
“The council is going to fire me for this,” lamented Tenzin.
“Well let’s just hope there will be a council to go back to,” said Lin as she left.
Korra managed to get some rest due to Tenzin’s insistence and awoke about three hours later. Activity around the house had quieted down compared to the morning. Bolin was asleep, the kids were packing supplies and putting them on Oogi’s saddle while Pema and Rohan got some rest. Tenzin managed to get in contact with his brother in the United Forces and a fleet was inbound to Republic City. Tenzin had not heard a word from Lin.
Korra went into the kitchen and made herself a much-needed cup of coffee. She could hear Jinora, Ikki and Meelo talking in the courtyard just outside the kitchen. Despite an intake of caffeine Korra felt herself just starting to drift back to sleep when the door to the kitchen suddenly opened.
“Can I get some hot water? Asami needs more tea.”
Korra lifted her head. Mako stood in the doorway holding a kettle in his hand. The words said to her were so sudden and fast her brain hadn’t fully comprehended what had been said. “What?”
Mako rolled his eyes. “Oh never mind!” He went over to the sink and began to refill the kettle. “So I’m guessing we’re going to have to talk about last night.”
“Oh that,” said Korra with a yawn, stretching her arms above her head.
“Now I know that times have been rather stressful—“
“I meant it,” said Korra bluntly. Mako turned off the water and turned to face her, an expression of hurt on his face. Korra inwardly grimaced. She remembered what she had told Asami weeks prior in that she had wanted to avoid any drama and wanted a clean break. Clearly they were well past that point. “Sorry but it’s true.”
“Ah.” He left the kettle in the sink and leaned back against the counter, crossing his arms, looking like a disappointed father rather then a dumped boyfriend. “How long have you felt this way?”
“A while. A month. Maybe two.”
“Well why didn’t you tell me sooner,” he asked although not in a wanting to understand manner but more demandingly.
“Well, obviously I knew you wouldn’t handle it well.”
“Oh really,” asked Mako, now fully annoyed.
Korra was not in a mood for this. “Yeah really,” she retorted. “And you’re perfectly illustrating why I felt like things needed to end. You’re in this perpetual state of being moody, demanding and judgmental and then act all charming in order to win back favors, namely a ticket to my bed. Then after you get your jollies you go right back to being the edgy loner who thinks he’s cool.” Korra took her coffee cup in her hand. “But honestly you’re just kind of a dick.” She took a sip of her drink. “So yeah its over and done. Not looking for an argument and not willing to consider a second chance,” she said, adding, “It’s done.”
She watched Mako take this all in, staring down at his feet.
“Wow. Okay.” He lifted his head and looked at her, clearly hurt but also angry. “Well let me state my opinion on the matter.”
Korra shook her head. “I really don’t care.”
“Well I don’t care if you don’t care! Since you’re were so willingly to give an assessment on my character, I have a few words about you,” he said walking over to her.
“That I’m a motor head and I spend too much time working. Yeah I’ve heard it before. So sorry that I couldn’t devote myself full time to being your cheerleader on the side lines,” she said, voice dripping with sarcasm.
Mako paused in his verbal argument as Korra hadn’t pretty much taken away his only ammunition.
As Korra waited for him to recollect his thoughts she heard Naga barking from down the hall. A walk with Naga was good way to exit this situation she really didn’t want to be in.
“Well I think,” stuttered Mako before he was silenced Korra suddenly grabbed his arm and squeezed tight, a finger tightly against her lips, a look of alert on her face. “What is it?”
“Listen,” she whispered.
He did. All he can hear was Naga barking down the hall. “Naga probably needs a walk.”
“Not that,” said Korra, getting slowly to her feet, “I can’t hear the kids outside.”
Mako listened again and found that she was right. He could hear them being their usual rowdy selves from Asami’s room. He was planning on going outside to tell them to lower their voices.
Korra walked towards the door that led out to the courtyard. “Jinora,” she called loudly. There was no answer. Naga’s barks were getting louder and now more aggressive. She raised her right hand only to remember she had left her glove in her bedroom.
The door in front of them suddenly crashed open and an Equalist soldier stood there, kali stick in hand. A fire blast from Mako send him flying but another quickly took his place. Behind them another door was kicked in and Korra turned to see another soldier rush in behind them. She grabbed for her coffee cup and threw it in the Eqaulist’s face. He screamed and stumbled backward giving Korra the opportunity to punch him, knocking him out. She armed herself with his kali sticks.
Mako was managed to keep the intruders from entering the house while also trying not to set fire to it. More Eqaulists began to rush the kitchen via multiple entry points now. Korra grabbed Mako and they ran for the corridor.
“Tenzin! Asami,” yelled Korra.
Up ahead Bolin emerged from his room, rubbing his eyes. “What’s going on,” he said with a yawn.
“Big trouble,” said Mako.
“Huh?” Bolin looked over Mako’s shoulder to see a group of Eqaulists charging down the hall. “Oh.”
Korra, Mako and Bolin got ready to fight when suddenly the shoji doors blasted outward, slamming into the Eqaulists and knocking them over.
Asami emerged from her room, in her pajamas, hair a mess, an enraged look on her face. Naga appeared at her side. “Where are the kids?”
“They were out in the court yard,” said Korra.
Behind there was a crash as the door to Tenzin’s room shattered and Equalist was blow down the hallway.
“Get out of my house,” roared Tenzin as he emerged from his room. He turned toward the group. “The kids?”
“Stay with Pema, we’ll get them,” said Asami as she took off the hall, Korra and the others following after her.
Racing into the courtyard Asami saw Oogi lying on his head, unconscious. Standing in the middle of the courtyard were a handful of Eqaulist, roughly seven or eight packed close together wielding gloves, kali sticks and bolas rope. At their feet were Jinora, Ikki and Meelo bound with rope and gagged.
“Come quietly with us Avatar,” said the Eqaulist in the center. Asami recognized him by his mustache. “We don’t want to hurt these children.” To prove his point he activated his kali stick and ignited a small spark.
“You again,” growled Asami. “Should’ve known you’d stoop so low to attacking children.”
“You and your kind brought this upon yourselves,” said the Lieutenant. “Now again come quietly or el—“
Asami stomped her foot on the ground and the stone blocks underneath the Eqaulist jolted upward and sent them up into the air. A roundhouse kick produced a wave of fire, which sent them flying. With the intruders out of the way Asami, Korra and Mako sent about untying the children.
“Kids!” Tenzin emerged from what was left of the kitchen with Pema and Rohan.
“Mom! Dad,” chorused the children as they were freed from the ropes and rushed to the safety of their parents.
The happy reunion was cut short by the sound of far off explosions. Asami and the others rushed to the other side of the house and saw plumes of smoke rise from downtown. Overhead a police airship moved in to survey the area but suddenly it exploded into a ball of fire, the burning wreckage falling from the sky and crashing into the streets below.
Horrified Asami looked up and saw an entire fleet of airships bearing the Eqaulist logo move in over the city. She immediately headed back to the courtyard.
“You need to leave. Now,” she said to Tenzin and Pema.
Tenzin looked past Asami and watched as smoke rose from the city. He couldn’t help but glance over at the statue of Aang in the distance. Pema reached over and grabbed his hand. He looked at her. Asami watched as the two had conversation without actually speaking. They had been married long enough that everything that needed to be said was expressed by an expression.
“The United Forces are on their way,” said Tenzin, “What will you do?”
Asami gave him smile. “Why do you think? A lot of fighting and property damage.”
Tenzin returned her smile. “That is the Team Avatar way.”
Much to everyone’s relief Oogi managed to regain consciousness and the air family climbed into his saddle. Korra approached the group carrying Naga.
“If you guys don’t mind, if you could take Naga with—“
Naga sensed was going on and quickly leapt out of Korra’s arms and sat down, looking up at her.
“Naga you have to go. It’s not safe here.” Naga didn’t budge. Korra shook her head. “You’re so stubborn.” She got down on her knees and cupped her Naga’s head. “Guess that’s why we’re a perfect match.”
Asami saw an airship break off from the main group and start heading in their direction.
“Tenzin you need to leave now.”
“I know.” He leaned down and offered his hand. Asami took it. “Good luck Asami.”
“You too.” Asami released her grip and stepped back as Tenzin took the reigns and guided Oogi into the air. Asami watched worriedly as the bison ascended for it was clear that Oogi was still not up to full speed. The bison turned and headed south towards the ocean.
“That airship’s getting close,” said Bolin, “I suggest we gather up whatever we need and get out of here.”
Asami watched the departing family a second longer before rushing into the house to get dressed.
“I see the Avatar bested you…again,” said Amon as he stood over his Lieutenant. The Lieutenant got to his feet, saying nothing as he had no excuse. “Search the islands before you head back to the city. We’ll have Councilman Tenzin and his family shortly.” With that Amon turned and walked away. He grabbed onto a line and was pulled up into one of the hovering airships above.
The Lieutenant turned his men who were staggering to their feet. “You heard him! Find them!”
The group emerged across the bay at one of the dry docks having made their unnoticed escape via an air bubble created by Asami and walking across the floor of the bay. Letting the bubble drop the group made their way towards the street.
“That was fun,” said Korra, “Let’s never do that again.”
“Yue Bay is a scary place,” agreed Bolin, “I mean who would dump a perfectly good Satomobile in the river?”
“There’s probably a body in the trunk,” said Mako.
“Well that’s imagery I didn’t need.”
Ahead of them Asami had suddenly stopped.
“Asami,” asked Korra.
“Look,” said Asami.
They did and saw a towering building above them engulfed in flames.
It was police headquarters.
Making their way through back alleys the group surveyed the downtown square and saw a mass of mech tanks gathered, overseeing a vast amount of people being led into Eqaulist trucks, many of whom were police officers.
“I don’t see Beifong anywhere,” said Mako.
“Hey its Chief Beifong we’re talking about,” said Bolin, “She never let them take her alive….oh wait.”
Asami growled and starting to walk forward, leaving the cover of the alley.
“Wait,” hissed Mako, him and Korra grabbing onto Asami’s jacket.
“Let me go,” demanded Asami.
“Asami there’s too many of them,” reasoned Korra.
“We can take them,” said Asami.
“We can and we will,” said Mako, “When the United Forces arrive.”
“I agree,” said Bolin.
Asami looked to Korra.
“As much as I’d like to bust some heads we’d be minced meat the second we stepped out there.”
Asami looked back and saw countless police officers and civilians being led prisoner into the trucks. “No. I can’t. I’m the Avatar. I’m supposed to be their protector.” She turned to the rest of the group. “I’m tired of running away.”
The others exchange worried glances but before Korra spoke up: “Alright,” she said with a shrug. “How do we want to do this?”
Asami gave her a small smile and look back towards the square. The Equalists were almost finished corralling the police officers into the trucks. “Whatever we do we have to do it fast or else those officers will be taken away.”
“We could follow after them and rescue them when they stop,” offered Bolin.
“I can’t believe we’re actually considering—“, began Mako but Asami cut him off.
“That’s a good idea Bolin but we might actually face greater opposition.”
“If I were to take out one of those mechs,” said Korra, “would you be able to handle the rest?”
Asami perked a brow. “I think so. But how are going to—“
Korra was already walking away, surveying the cars parked on the street. “Nope, nope, nope,” she said as she passed a number of large vehicles. “Aha!” She found an older model of the Satomobile roadster. “Someone get me a long cloth or something like it.” She tried to open the driver’s side door. It was locked.
“Hopefully you know a way to get into these Satomobiles without a key,” asked Asami.
“If I had some tools and time yes, but I’ll have to go with the quicker option.” She walked over to the sidewalk, picked a nearby trashcan and hurled at the side window, smashing it. She tossed the garbage can aside. “There we are.” She unlocked the door and slid in. Naga attempted to follow her. “No girl. This is a car ride you don’t want to come along on.”
“How’s this,” asked Bolin holding a torn piece of an awning.
“What do you want me to do with it?”
Korra nodded her head to the rear of the car. “Stuff it into the gas tank.” Bolin gave her a confused look but did as requested. Korra focused on prying a section of paneling off the steering column and began to hotwire the ignition. After a couple tries the car sprung to life. “Okay here is my crazy plan. I’m going to floor this sucker at one of those tanks. I need a firebender in the backseat. When I give the go ahead you’re going to lit the newspapers that Bolin is stuffing into the gas tank. We bail out and the car will go up.”
“Well you were correct in that it’s crazy,” said Mako.
Asami jumped into the backseat. “How do you know the tank won’t immediately explode once I light the paper?”
“Asami please,” said Korra with smug confidence, “I’ve been on satomobiles for like four years now. I think I know how these machines work.”
Asami leaned forward. “You don’t really know do you?”
The smug smile dropped immediately. “No not really. But give me credit I’m thinking this up as go along.” She shifted the car into first gear. “Ready Bo?”
“Ready!” The wad of newspapers had been stuffed into the fuel tank.
Korra revved the engine. “You and Mako be ready to back us up.”
“We’ll be there,” assured Mako.
“I’m going to regret this aren’t I,” she said gripping the seat.
“That’s the spirit!” Korra gunned the engine, weaving sharply out of the parking spot.
Asami let out a yelp as she was thrown back against the back seat. At the intersection Korra swerved the car to the right and then to the left, mounting the curb. They were now driving across the plaza and so far they hadn’t been noticed. Korra put her foot down and shifted into second gear.
“Asami get ready!”
Asami heaved herself to the side of the car and placed her hand over the fuel tank.
The distance between them and the mech was rapidly diminishing. Korra realized that she should’ve grabbed something to hold down the accelerator once they bailed out. She had to hope that momentum would keep the car going towards its target.
“NOW,” screamed Korra as she brought her feet up onto the seat. Asami sparked a fireball in her hand and ignited the newspapers. Korra made one last course correction before placing a foot onto the door. “BAIL OUT!”
The two hauled themselves over the side and hit the ground as the car sped away. Asami used the little airbending she knew to cushion her landing while Korra landed hard on her side. “Sorry.”
The two looked up in time to see the driverless car close in on the mech tank. At the last second did it notice the oncoming threat and start to turn but it was too late. The car smashed into the tank’s side and erupt in a giant explosion seconds later. The impact of the explosion was enough to cripple the tank’s tracks and knock it backwards. After some hasty maneuvers to get itself upright the tank could not escape gravity and it tipped backwards and smashed onto the ground.
“Shit that actually worked,” said Korra.
The Eqaulists were stunned too but that didn’t last long as Mako and Bolin quickly arrived on the scene and began they’re attack. Asami sprang to her feet and went to aid them. Korra wobbly got onto her feet.
“Right. Not the right time to thank for my brilliant, crazy plan.”
The other mech tank moved in to the repel the attack but quick thinking on Bolin’s part by bending a rock slab under one of it’s tracks easily knocked the tank onto its side, lying beside its fallen comrade. After that it wasn’t difficult to dispatch the rest of the Equalists who were not only caught off guard but also not as confident in fighting without the protection of the tanks.
“Well that went better then I expected,” panted Bolin as leaned against the side of one the trucks. Korra and Mako were making fast work of untying the officers inside.
One of them was Captain Saikhan.
“What is going on,” he asked, rubbing his wrists after being freed. “It’s like the whole city just fell apart in an instant.”
“That’s exactly what happened,” said Asami, “With Dad’s technology it was a lot easier to stage a coup.”
Saikhan grunted. “If the council hadn’t dragged their feet this could’ve been avoided.”
“They’re on their way. Right you and your men need to get away from downtown to one of the outer precincts. Hold up there and wait for the cavalry.”
Saikhan looked around. “Where’s the Chief?”
“She said she’d be here,” said Korra.
“The last I heard she was on Temple Island,” Saikhan.
Asami had a difficult time processing the thought the Equalists taking down Lin Beifong. Then again she knew how powerful Amon was. “You need to leave before back-up shows up.”
Saikhan nodded and he got into the back of one of the trucks while one of his officers took the wheel. “What about you? You can come with us.”
“Go on without us. We’ll hunker down until the United Forces show up.”
“Well good luck Avatar,” he said with a firm nod and with that the trucks sped off.
Asami turned to her friends. “Come on. We need to get out of sight.”
“I guess crashing at my place is out of question,” asked Korra. Up ahead she saw Bolin and Mako prying open a manhole cover. “Oh. Of course. Instead of the thousands of buildings in this city with adequate shelter, let’s go down into the sewer.” She watched as one by one they descended down the ladder. Korra crossed her arms. “You know what, I’m not going.” She waited for the others to realize their mistake in choosing a hiding place and come back up.
“Come on Korra!”
Naga came running up to Korra after hanging back during the fight. Korra sighed. “Come on Naga.” She picked the canine and awkwardly slid herself into the manhole.
To the group’s relief the manhole led to the city’s drainage system although there was still an odor in the air. After wandering around for hours they finally spotted daylight at the end of one of the tunnels. Reaching it they found it led into the bay and they now had a view of the city. Clouds of smoke hung in the air as Equalist soldiers did battle with the Republic City Police Department at the precincts in the outer boroughs.
Again there was that drive in Asami that compelled her to act but she knew had to be patient and wait for the United Forces to arrive. After the chaotic day they all had yesterday and the fight this morning, the group was in no shape so the decision was made to hold up in the pipe.
The next morning Asami was awakened by Bolin who excitedly told her that ships were entering the bay. Upon arriving at the end of the pipe there was a fleet of United Forces battle ships pulling inn the harbor. It was such an unusual sight to behold but Asami felt relief that finally this nightmare could end.
The group could spot landing craft being prepared on the side of the nearest ship.
“We should go and meet them so we can update them on the—“ Asami’s words were cut by a loud blaring horn coming from one of the ships and pretty soon all the ships started sounding alarm bells. They could see men scrambling on the deck.
“General Quarters! General Quarters!”, a voice blared on an intercom.
There was a roar as the main battery of the ship turned and started firing into the sky, at what they couldn’t see.
“Equalist Airships,” asked Bolin.
“That would be suicide,” said Korra, “Those canons would take them out in one shot.”
“Come on.” Mako led the group out of the pipe and onto the shoreline. Above them on the sea wall were a group of civilians, the first they had seen in hours, gathered to watch.
They all ducked as there was a clatter of machine gun fire coming from the nearest ship. The other ships were firing as well but in the opposite direction. The canons boomed like thunder and the group felt the ground shake.
“What the hell are they shooting at,” exclaimed Mako.
“Maybe it’s those things,” said Bolin pointing behind them. The group turned in time to see a biplane dive toward them. They threw themselves onto the ground as the plane screeched overhead. The plane was aiming for the nearest ship, its wheels barely 20 feet off the ground. It was carrying something on its undercarriage. Seconds later a long silver object dropped into the water.
Korra watched in horror as the torpedo disappeared into the water. “It’s—“ She stopped herself as she watched the plane bank upwards into the sky. She recognized the plane model. Those were Future Industries planes now with an Equalist paint job.
A geyser of water shot up into the air around the ship followed by a loud explosion. The group could see the shockwave fan out from the impact site over the waves. When it hit the shoreline they were knocked to their feet.
Smoke billowed from the ship’s stern section. With its engine room hit and now flooding the mighty ship was dead in the water. It only took less then a minute for the first wave of planes to hit their targets. Plums of smoke and fireballs filled the skies as one by one the fleet was decimated.
Now a second wave was lining up in the skies above like vultures circling around a wounded animal.
The ship nearest to them lurched to the side as alarms went off. The guns had stopped firing and now the sailors were helping each other into the life rafts.
“Here they come again,” said Mako as a new group of planes were beginning their attack run.
“Mako! Bolin! Knock them out of the sky,” yelled Asami, lighting a fire in her hand.
Korra looked at her Equalist glove. Being a short-range weapon it was useless. She spotted a small dock down the shore with boats tied up. “I’ll grab a boat to pick up any survivors.”
“Right. Be careful,” said Asami.
Korra turned towards the tunnel where Naga was cowering. “Naga! Stay!” Naga didn’t need the command as the dog, who was used to lounging around and going to the park, was not handling the chaos going around her very well. Korra took off for the dock.
“First one coming in,” said Mako as a plane seemed to be heading for them.
“Bo! Take it out!”
Bolin bent up a large boulder and when the plane was within range he launched it upwards. The rock caught the plane’s left wing, snapping it off and sending the plane into a tailspin and careening into the water where it was smashed to pieces upon impact.
Another plane quickly followed it. Asami and Mako hit it with a fire blast and the plane met a similar fate although it combusted before it hit the water.
After they were able to take down another plane and badly damaged another the rest of the planes abandoned their attack. But the damage was already done. The fleet was crippled and stranded in the middle of the harbor. While most of the landing crafts were intact without the support of armored tanks and vehicles, which were stored in the cargo hold of the now sinking battleships, there wasn’t much the infantry could do.
Korra worked fast to get as many survivors into the fishing boat she commandeered. One of them was a tall middle age man with jet-black hair and gold eyes.
“Thanks for your help,” he said to Korra after making sure everyone was onboard. “General Iroh. Commander of the Northern Fleet.” He looked over the burning wreckage. “What’s left of it.”
“What now sir,” asked one of the sailors.
“First we get ashore and out of sight. Bunker down until reinforcements arrive.”
Korra turned the ship back to the dock. “Reinforcements?”
“I sent out the CQD. It will take Commander Bumi about two days to get here. Knowing him he’ll probably make it in one. He loves a good fight.”
“But what the others,” asked one of the soldiers.
Iroh looked back. A lot of the lifeboats were headed towards downtown or one of the Burroughs on the opposite side of the bay. “They know what to do. They’ve trained for situations like this but without any kind of armored support there isn’t much we can do.” He looked at Korra. “You wouldn’t happen to know where the Avatar is would you?”
As the sun set later that evening thick smoke and a stench of burning fuel and metal hung in the air as what remained of General Iroh’s fleet burned and slowly sank into the bay. Standing in the drainage pipe, Asami, Mako and Bolin silently surveyed the carnage until the sun had completely set. When night fell the city remained dark, the only source of light was the fires on the bay as oil had starting leaking from the submerged wrecks. The usual sounds of a bustling metropolis were absent, replaced by loud explosions and the metallic cries as steel buckled and twisted.
The scene reminded Asami of something out of a fantastical tale or ancient myths that describe an underworld where evil lurks and damned souls languished for eternity.
Asami turned and found Korra had joined them in the tunnel, seated with her back against the wall, Naga by her side. Naga, sensing the drama in the air, sat beside her owner and tried to comfort her by nuzzling her hand. Korra strokes the canine’s head, looking away from her friends.
“Wait for military back-up,” said Mako. “Not much else we can do.”
Korra, Bolin and Mako jumped a little at the outburst and watched as Asami turned toward them, a look of determination on her face, her figure illuminated by the glow of the fires.
“I’m done being this passive Avatar,” she said, her voice softer now but firm. “All my life I’ve been hidden away, told to be patient and to let others act for me. Well it’s now time for me to step up.” She closed her eyes, letting out a sigh. “I could’ve stopped this.” Before anyone could argue this idea she spoke again. “But I’m going to end this.”
Korra stood up. “What’s the plan?”
“Wait hold up,” said Mako, “I think we should wait for more United Forces troops to arrive.”
“Yeah because the first batch worked out so well,” said Korra. She turned to General Iroh. “No offense.”
“I’m all up for taking on Amon,” said Bolin, “Anything to get out of this sewer.”
Mako sighed as he was essentially outvoted. “Well might as well go down swinging.”
Bolin put his arm around his brother’s shoulder. “That’s the spirit!”
“Alright,” said Asami, getting everyone’s attention, “Mako and I will do so reconnaissance work and try to get our hands on some Equalists gear. Bolin and Korra will try and get some idea of where the Amon keeps his mech tanks and planes. If we don’t knock those out, General Bumi’s fleet won’t have a chance when they get here.”
“I’ll go with them,” said Iroh, noting how Asami eyes his injured arm. “It’s better then sitting around here. I might be able to round up some of men who managed to avoid capture.”
“Sounds like plan,” said Mako, “Alright. We’ll meet back here in three hours. Try not to get captured or killed.”
“Inspiring words there captain,” Bolin said sarcastically.
Korra and Naga were the only living beings on the streets, as the city seemed to be deserted. Looking at the surrounding buildings she saw shops locked up tight, curtains drawn over windows and a store shutter with words: ‘Looters will be killed on sight.’ Korra had no intention of trying to break in anywhere but her stomach grumbled at the sight of the closed groceries, coffee shops and automats.
Korra reached into her pocket and broke a dog treat in half.
“Here you go girl.” Naga happily scoffed down the biscuit. Korra rubbed her faithful companion’s ear. “No sense in the both of us starving.”
Turning the corner Korra looked down one of the main avenues of the city and the sight of it being devoid of any people or vehicles and lit only by the flickering streetlights sent a chill down her spine.
“Like a ghost town huh,” she asked Naga, for no particular reason other than the silence was starting to get to her.
It was ten blocks to the Future Industries building and it was there that Korra saw the first signs of Equalists. They patrolled the streets in armored vehicles similar to police vans. The lack of light worked in Korra’s favor as she was able to duck into dark alleys to avoid detection despite the goggles that the Equalists wore worked as a night vision device.
After timing the vans patterns and how long it took them to circle the block, Korra and Naga waited before dashing across the street. Once on the other side Korra began to frantically search for a door to which one of her keys worked on. They found one and were able to duck inside before they were spotted.
A simple pen light was all Korra had to navigate the dark halls. The building had been shut down and cordoned off by the police ever since the night at the mansion. To Korra’s dismay the elevators were out of service so her only option to reach her workshop was taking the stairs.
“We can never get a break, huh Naga?”
Reaching the sixth floor Korra unlocked her workshop and turned on the lights. She gave a brief glance to the nearly complete roadster before heading to her workbench, pulling off her glove and hooking it up to a car battery. Despite being an ingenious bit of engineering the device still needed to charge.
Opening one of the drawers Korra pulled out a bag of dog food and a bowl, which she kept for days she brought Naga to work.
“Here you go girl.”
Naga wagged her tail excitedly as her owner placed the bowl on the floor.
“I’ll get you some water.”
She grabbed a crowbar off the workbench along with a bag from one of the cabinets. Heading to the break room down the hall she filled a bowl with water for Naga and then got to work on the snack machine. Prying it open with the crowbar she began to stuff snacks and soft drinks into the bag.
“Theft is against company policy Korra.”
Korra froze. She recognized the voice but the tone associated seemed alien to her. She slowly turned around and saw Ito standing in the doorway.
The kindly parts manager was unrecognizable with the cold glare in his eyes, slightly disheveled appearance and sharp tone of his voice.
“Mr. Sato thought you might come back here. I’m glad you showed. I was getting quite bored.”
Korra saw that he had an object in his hand that was reflecting off the overhead lights. It was a pistol. The crowbar was on the table and her glove was down the hall.
Korra gritted her teeth. “I suppose you’re part of this revolution.”
“Truthfully I couldn’t give a shit,” he said, “But what I am is loyal to Mr. Sato. He gave me a job here long before you were born and I owe it to him.”
“Twenty-five years of breaking your back working in a warehouse,” said Korra, her mind racing to see how she would get out of this, “Seems like upward mobility to me.”
“I was content,” Ito snarled, raising the gun up. “I’m not a schemer like you whose always looking for a way to the top and will lie, cheat and betray to do it.”
Korra’s blood boiled. “You think I talked to the police about Sato in order to rise up in the company? Please! I did it because what he’s doing is illegal!”
“How,” asked Ito, “Future Industries has military contracts. How is that any different from our dealings with Amon?”
Korra snorted. “That’s such bullshit reasoning I’m not even going to dignify it with a response.”
“Well I figured you wouldn’t understand. You’re just a naive child.”
“And you’re a blind old fool,” spat Korra. Ito raises his gun fully and took aim. “Do me a favor Ito.” She gritted her teeth. “Don’t. Miss.”
There was a loud growl and something suddenly launched itself onto Ito. It was Naga. The canine sunk its teeth into Ito’s arm. He screamed and fell backwards, firing the gun into the ceiling.
Korra grabbed the crowbar off the table and as Ito started to lift himself off the floor to attack Naga, Korra swung the crowbar at his face, his head snapping back. The gun flew from his hand and clattered to the floor. She snatched it up and stood up.
“Naga! Release!” Naga complied but still barred its teeth at Ito.
Ito lifted his head, bruises already starting to form on his face. His cold expression now turned to fear as Naga growled at him and Korra stuck a gun in his face.
“Get out of here,” she snarled, grabbing his collar, “And tell Sato I’m coming for him!”
Korra released him and the frightened old man scrambled to his feet and took off running. She didn’t relax until she heard the door to the stairwell shut. She turned to Naga, rubbing her head and giving her a kiss.
Naga wagged her tail.
“Come on. Let’s get out of here. I’m sure he’s going to the alert the Eqaulists outside.” Korra gathered up the bag full of food and headed back to the workshop, Naga following behind her.
She hit the call button for the freight elevator located at the far side of the workshop. She breathed a sigh of relief when she heard the motor inside the shaft start up. Turning towards her workbench she grabbed the glove and a set of keys for the roadster, the same one she had spent months working on.
“Might as well,” she said to herself. “Hop in Naga.”
Naga hopped into the passenger seat while Korra placed the bag of goods onto the floor in front of Naga. The freight elevator arrived. She the started the car up and checked the fuel gauge. Just above half a tank. It would be enough.
Once the car was parked inside the elevator Korra had to get out in order to hit the button for the garage level. As the elevator descended she began to mentally go over the events of the last couple hours.
The planes that had attacked the fleet had to have come from the Future Industries airfield. At the moment that was only lead. Where Amon was located was anyone’s guess. Korra considered going to the airfield and taking down Sato himself but immediately decided it against it. She had been lucky so far and she needed luck on her side now if she was going to get out of building.
When the elevator arrived at the garage level she turned off the headlights and slowly drive out of the lift. Once clear she put the car in park and hopped out quickly to close the elevator door. She jumped back in and headed for the exit.
Immediately she ran into the problem of the car being quite loud. After all, this particular model was designed for track work. The future models that would be released for public purchase would have detuned engines as not to be a public nuisance. She kept it under ten miles per hour but couldn’t help wince at the sound the engine loudly idling.
When she came to the garage exit she turned the car off and waited. She heard the sound of trucks approaching, more then the patrol vans. She quickly started the car up and backed into a parking spot. She killed the engine and ducked down in her seat. Sure enough four large trucks pulled into the garage ahead of her. “Naga, down.” Naga obeyed, ducking down in her seat as much as possible while Korra did the same. She breathed a sigh of relief that none of the trucks were blocking the exit, now she had to hope that the roadster would blend in with the other vehicles. She held her breath as the trucks approached, her fingers on the ignition key and foot on the clutch.
She counted the trucks as they passed. One. Two. Three. Four.
She softly let out her breath as the trucks rounded the corner and went up to the next level, heading towards the freight elevator. She peaked her head up and saw no one around.
She fired up the engine, not waiting for another wave of trucks to arrive and possibly block her escape. “Hang on Naga.”
She gunned the engine and sped for the exit. She gritted her teeth anticipating the worst when she got outside. Clearing the entrance she didn’t bother to look around, maneuvering to the right and taking the first corner, not caring when she was going as long as she put distance between her and the building. She didn’t look in the mirror to see if there were any pursuers. Her eyes were locked forward as the car flew down the streets with speeds up to eighty at point.
To ensure that no pursuers could follow her, she used every opportunity to turn down side streets, alleys and parking lots to throw them off. It took her ten minutes to reach a part of the city that was close to where the others were hiding. She found a parking lot and parked the car, hoping again it didn’t stick out too much.
She hopped out and grabbed the bag of supplies. Naga was all too happy to jump out of the car. “Not much of a joyride huh?”
Keeping to the alleys as much as possible she and Naga made their way back to the underground hideout. Along the way she spotted an Eqaulist airship hovering over the Future Industries tower. Evidently her presence caused a stir, even more reason for her and Naga to get out of sight as quickly as possible. If caught they were the only leads to Asami’s whereabouts.
When they reached the street above where Asami and the othes were, Korra didn’t bother trying to get the manhole open. Opting instead to climb down the seawall and climb in through the drainpipe.
“So how did it go,” asked Mako.
Korra dumped the bag on the floor and collapsed onto the ground. “Swimmingly,” she said, letting out a long breath. A smile formed on her lips as Naga curled up beside her. She held Naga close and rubbed her ears. “A girl’s best friend.”