When had they begun to fight a losing war?
She couldn’t quite remember. The numbers were never clear to her, but she never thought… never thought that it would be so bad. Were people really so tormented on the inside? Had the benders really done so much harm to the non-bender population that they formed such a huge uprising? So huge that their side out-numbered the benders…
Was there really a non-bender civilian? It sure as hell didn’t seem like it.
Korra never saw it coming.
She thought it was over, finally over. They didn’t kill Amon, no. That was the last thing they wanted to do. They had him bound and restrained, hidden behind barred and padded walls. The council hoped to appease the equalist cause, prove that they wouldn’t take things too far and that they were people too.
Some hoped that he would never get to see the light of day, ever again. She hoped, in all honesty, that he would eventually overcome his issues and have a life.
Wishful thinking was wishful thinking.
The resistance continued. Would it ever end?
Days passed and she was up to make a speech.
As she walked up to the podium, the crowd was silent. Oddly and awkwardly so- somebody could hear a pin drop.
No steps of precaution were taken. They, the equalists, had sworn to not attack. They said they would keep away and allow an audience, if and only if they didn’t send in reinforcements.
Before she even made it to the podium, a truck pulled up and the world went black.
So much for keeping their word. With Amon gone, so went the sense of order and keeping words.
They should have known. They should have thought about it but they didn’t and Korra found herself blindfolded, hands bound, feet bound, lying down side-ways in the back of the moving vehicle.
A grunt emitted from her throat as they passed over a large bump, causing her to hit her head on the metal panel. She struggled to move, but found it impossible. They had chi-blocked her limbs. Lovely.
After what seemed like hours, they truck pulled to a stop and Korra was taken out, tossed over somebody’s back and taken away.
They threw her into a cell and took off her bindings and blind fold. There wasn’t much to see though. When her eyes adjusted to the dark, she realized it was a tiny room that consisted of a wooden cot that hung off of the wall with worn and rusted chains, and a large metal door with an eye-opening. The room was no larger than four feet by three feet.
She could do nothing but sleep. So she did.
Korra woke to a cold bucket of water to her face. She sputtered and coughed. How long was she out?
Her eyes blinked open slowly, trying to adjust to the hard light that shone in her face.
“What the hell do you want?” she spat at no-one in particular. She was temporarily blinded, anyway. She felt a rough and hard tug at her hair, and her head pulled back. Her jaw clenched - she wouldn’t show pain.
“You’re in no place to be asking the questions here, Avatar,” a male voice said.
Korra glared into the darkness.
The man released her hair and her head swung forward. She knew she wouldn’t last very long at this rate.
“Now now,” another voice said, “No need for violence. We only want to know where you put Amon.” Steps echoed the room, “Oh, and the keys would be nice too.”
Korra laughed, “Yeah? What makes you think I’d tell you?”
Before she had time to think, she felt something cold hit her bare arm - they had taken her parka off- and suddenly her body convulsed with heat and sheer pain. She couldn’t hold back her scream.
It wasn’t enough to knock her out, but when the shock was gone, her head lulled a bit forward. Her chest heaved for air.
“Now, we have our ways little girl,” the unknown voice said, “Care to tell us now?”
“Never,” she spat, as she coughed out blood.
They continued to hit her with shocks.
It just have been by the thirty-fifth time when they decided to stop.
Korra felt fried. Cooked, her insides burned and her body slumped back into the chair. She could do nothing, but talk.
“We’re done for today. Put her back and we’ll try again tomorrow.”
She had never felt so relieved, but scared at the same time. Still, she didn’t sleep. Or at least, she tried not to.
She was, once again, hit with cold water. Before she could really adjust, a man spoke.
“Looks like those two sidekicks of yours are coming,” he said, “Not sure how much help they’ll really be, though,” he added with a chuckle.
She furrowed her brows, “What do you mean?”
The man sighed loudly, “You benders are a lot dumber than we thought,” he said. “They probably don’t know anything but… in the off-chance that they do?” he paused, “We know they’re brothers. They’ll squeal if we put one of their lives on the line.” As a second thought, he added, “Maybe we could use them to get you to talk too.”
She opened her mouth to yell, but just then, an intercom tapped on.
“Brothers and sisters, there is an intruder. Red scarf, amber eyes, I repeat, red scarf, and amber eyes. Keep alive. Keep captive.”
A cold dread ran through her veins. She forgot how to breathe for a moment or two. No. No. He wouldn’t. Mako.
“Don’t touch him!” she screamed.
The man laughed. A few more voices of laughter resounded through the darkness. and suddenly she felt so small.
“We’ll do whatever the hell we want, girlie,” the man said, before she was knocked out once more.
She woke to the sound of struggles. “Let go of me!” a voice said. A chair was knocked over. Her eyes blinked. Mako? “Korra! You’re okay! Korra, can you hear me?”
A body was slammed into a metal table, “Shut the hell up, kid.”
Her eyes adjusted to the room’s light and she saw Mako’s body bent over a table-top. “Mako?” she said, her voice raspy, “Mako! Can you hear me?”
A few moments passed and Korra panicked. What if they-
“I’m fine,” he ground out, pushing himself up with shaky arms.
A sigh of relief escaped her lips. But she was mad, mad because she noticed all of the scratches and dirt on his body. All of the forming bruises and the torn clothing. WHen they said they wanted him alive, beaten and alive counted too, apparently.
Before she could speak, a large man grabbed Mako by the hair.
“Okay, Avatar. We’ve got one of them, but I think he’ll be enough, wouldn’t you say?” the man prodded with a crooked smile. He pulled out a metal rod with his free hand. “Remember this? From yesterday?” he asked. He held it out and pressed a button. It lit blue and buzzed with electricity. How could she not remember?
“I think you need a little reminder.” Her eyes widened and she moved to stop it, but her arms were bound. The rod touched the exposed skin on Mako’s wrist and he screamed.
“Stop it!” she yelled, pulling against her restraints. This wasn’t happening. They wouldn’t go down like this. They couldn’t.
The man removed the rod from Mako’s wrist. He pulled Mako’s head by the hair back some more and moved the rod to his neck.
“Tell me, or he’ll die.”
She could only stare with wide eyes. No no no no no.
“STOP!” she screamed again, tears pricked at her eyes.
The man pushed a button and the rod glowed blue once more. He inched it slowly towards Mako’s neck. “I say you’ve got about five seconds to make up your mind, Avatar.”
Korra struggled and yelled incoherent words. The hand only moved closer.
“Stop it, please!” she pleaded.
The heat was approaching his neck and Mako strained to get away from the searing heat.
His skin was turning red, all ready, and he shortly let out a strangled cry.
“I. SAID. STOP.” she yelled before her eyes began to glow white. Her body lifted from the chair and the papers and flyers around the room began to scatter. Debris and water began to collect around her. Fire that once lit candles, torches, and lanterns collected too. She pulled her arms apart, breaking the rope. The table pushed away and the man dropped the glowing rod.
Even better, he thought to himself and he turned and pushed a read button on the wall. “The end, I repeat, we have reached the end,” he cried.
Korra’s form turned towards the man. She held her arm out and he suddenly found himself frozen in ice. Her body moved towards the door. As she passed the frozen mass, a gust of wind blew it into a wall, and it shattered.
She moved out the door and was surrounded. Waves and waves of fire flew out in all directions, followed by a long wave of pelting rocks. Incoming equalists dropped to the floor by the dozens.
By then, all of the equalists in the base had crowded into the room.
Water seeped in from the open doors and vents as she flooded the ground. The water flowed up to the knees before it suddenly solidified. Rocks of all sides then flew. Some shot through walls, many shot through arms and shoulders.
Outraged and pained cries came from the equalists. “This is why you deserve to die!” some cried.
She heard and processed none of it. The barrage of rocks continued.
Soon enough, the equalist forces were rendered immobile. Some were knocked out and some were not so lucky.
The waves of elements slowed down, but the occasional flare occurred. She floated in the middle of it all.
When Mako had finally regained hold of his senses, he headed for the door. He climbed over a large layer of ice and spotted Korra.
“Korra!” he yelled, but no response. He ignored the shouts and cries of the people stuck in the ice and made a bee-line for Korra. He was hit by the occasional sharp-rock and he evaded the small lashes of fire.
He stood as close as he could beneath her glowing form.
“Korra!” he called again. No response. Suddenly, another wave of earth shot out from all sides and Korra screamed. The equalists cried out with her, in pain.
“Stop it, Korra! They all ready lost! You don’t need to do this, come back to me,” he cried. The rocks stopped but the glowing and the short waves of elements continued.
Mako reached his arms up, ignoring the biting cold of the water, the sharp cuts of the rocks, the burn from the fire, and the force of the wind. He held his arms up and strong.
“Korra, come back to me, please,” he pleaded.
A few moments passed and nothing changed. Was he too late? Was she gone… gone forever? Could he do-
Rocks fell down one-by-one, the water slowly dripped to the ground and the air and fire began to dissipate.
Mako undid his scarf and wrapped it around her shoulders as she floated down. He was there to catch her.
“You’re okay, I’m so glad you’re okay,” he said, holding her close.
“M-mako?” came her voice, muffled and worn, “Is that you?”
He nodded his head vigorously. “You’re okay now, we’re okay.”
She smiled as she moved to stand. Mako held tight, and Korra forced a meek laugh.
“I can walk, Mako.”
He relented with a frown. Korra stood on shaky legs. Her hand moved to her shoulders and neck, she felt a weight. She pulled off the scarf and quirked a brow, as she looked at Mako.
He blushed and took the scarf back, “It’ll keep you safe, but I guess you don’t need it now.”
Korra laughed and took and few tentative steps. Her body was sore all over and she felt as though she hadn’t eaten properly in days. She hopped a few times and turned around. She did a double-take. What had happened? So many unconscious…. so many.. dead?
She turned to ask, but she was grabbed by the shoulder and spun around once more.
“Got you,” a raspy voice said. She recognized it as the lieutenant. She saw a pair of broken goggles and so much blood, before she felt a stabbing pain in her stomach.
Korra looked down and saw a metal rod protruding from her. She knew what would come next.
The lieutenant pushed a button and pain ripped through her body. More than she had ever felt before. The shocks came from within and spread in huge, huge waves. He never let go of that button.
“How does it feel, Avatar? How does it feel to have all you worked for just disappear? Do you feel it?” he spat.
Korra only broke out a scream as she fell to her knees. But she knew she wouldn’t be like him, because she knew she didn’t do anything in vain.
He would never get to hear her answer.
Mako, who had been to slow to react, kicked the lieutenant. He toppled backwards and fell, taking the metal rod with him. The moisture of the lieutenant’s clothing caused the shocks to spread over himself as the rod hit him. Hi cries went unheard.
Mako turned his attention away and kneeled down next to Korra. It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. No. She was supposed to be there for him- there for the rest of his life.
“No, Korra, no! Damn it all…” he said as he helped her sit up against the closest wall.
“Gaahh!” she cried out. Her hand moved to the open wound. Mako’s hands when to the wound. Stop the bleeding, stop the bleeding, he thought.
“Hang on! Bo is going to find us with some help!” They had split up when they had finally found the base after a day of non-stop searching. He sent Bolin to get back-up.
Korra coughed and attempted a smile. “It’s okay Mako,” a cough, “I’ve done my job.”
A sense of dread washed over him. She said it as if she was done. Really done. He knew that Korra could never really be done. Not like that, at least.
“Korra! Don’t say that!” he cried, tears pricked at the corners of his eyes. “Remember? I still owe you a drink…. I- I still have to buy you a ton of roses, and… and I still have to take you out to dinner… to places you haven’t seen..”
He paused to take a shaky breath.
“I… I- You and I, Korra, I think we’re meant for each-other-” he said, a tear slipped down his cheek.
Even with her eyes half-lidded, he could see the light in her eye as she smiled.
“Hey… I said that ages ago. You still remember…” she said before she took a long and strained breath.
Mako held tight to her hand, “Yes, yes I remember, I remember everything, Korra. Everything you say, everything you do,” he said, holding her hand up to his lips.
She smiled again.
“See then? You’ll have,” a breath, “… plenty of memories and thoughts of,” another strained inhale, “…us, together.”
She squeezed his hand, “Tell everybody… I’ll see them next time.”
Her eyes closed slowly, her grip lost it’s power and her head lulled to the side.
Her smile stayed.