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|An Assassination Attempt|
Book 1: Escape
August 4, 2012
Mako, Korra, and John's search for Bolin results in a shot being fired that will fully spark the Anti-Bender Revolution.
Jinora and Iikki moved their hands around in a slashing motion, sending a burst of air through the recently repaired spinning gates. The darkness of dusk was all around them with the sun painting the horizon a blood red. Korra navigated her way through the gates with ease, much better compared to the total failures she had been suffering a week before.
John sat nearby, his legs crossed in a meditating position while he used some chopsticks to eat out of a steaming tin cup. He was dressed in a light jacket that could be found all around the city. Reaching the other side of the gates, Korra bent over and placed her hands on her kneecaps as she tried to catch her breath. Unnoticed by Korra, Mako was walking up the stairs behind her.
"Ooo Korra, is that the handsome firebending boy you like?" asked Jinora as he approached. Desperate to keep Mako from finding out anything and being embarrassed, Korra Earthbended to two Airbending siblings into the air and out of speaking range. John managed to laugh at this, even though his mouth was full of noodles.
"Hey Mako," said Korra, greeting the Team Captain with her arms crossed. Behind her, the two sisters glided to the ground using Airbending.
"Is Bolin here?" he asked.
"No, I haven't seen him since practice," Korra replied. She looked back over her shoulder to John, who was holding his cup aloft and using the chopsticks to shovel any remaining food into his mouth.
"What about you John, have you seen him?" John lowered the cup and shook his head before swallowing what was left of the food.
"He isn't here from what I can tell," he said, setting the cup to the side and hopping to his feet.
"I don't know where he could be, its not like Bo to just disappear like this," said Mako. Korra reached out and placed her hand on his shoulder.
"I'll help you find him," she said.
"We'll help you find him," John added, stepping forward to be next to his friends.
"Your best friend is a polar bear dog. Somehow I don't find this surprising," said Mako. A few hours had passed since the trio had left Air Temple Island, now all three of them where crammed onto Naga as she trotted through the streets. Mako was sandwiched between Korra and John, looking around for signs of his brother.
As they rode into the Central City Station, Mako took notice of a young street urchin standing next to the statue of Fire Lord Zuko. While Mako and Korra questioned the young boy for Bolin's whereabouts, John leaned against the fence encircling the base of the statue with his arms folded across his chest.
It stunted him how much this city reminded him of home. None of this: the cars, the skyscrapers had even existed the last time he had visited. Silently, he wondered how things where going for his friends right now. It couldn't be good if Leon was asking that he brings the Rebels over to this world.
"They saw him, he went with the Triple Threats," said Mako as he walked over and climbed onto Naga's back.
"You know where they are?" John asked, still keeping his position.
"Yes, they're not far from here. But be at the ready, the Triple Threats don't take it kindly to newcomers," Mako replied, warning both him and Korra. Stepping forward, John moved his right hand to his left gun before bringing it out to show Mako. The metal of the weapon seamed to gleam in the eerie light given off by the street lamps.
"Don't worry, I've had experience with Triads before," he said.
The ride to the Triple Threat hideout was a rather short one. However Mako was disturbed when he saw the lack of guards standing outside. Hurrying up, Mako kicked the door and held his fists at the ready, prepared to blast anyone in sight with fire. John came in the door behind him, the gun leveled out as he scanned the room.
"It looks like we just missed them," said Korra, defeat in her voice. The sound of a truck engine being started suddenly came from the back of the hideout. With a quick glance at each other, the trio ran to the back of the hideout. Two masked men in dark cloths sat on motorcycles, watching over a truck.
The back flap on the truck moved slightly, revealing Bolin tied up, his eyes calling for help. John swung his gun around in an attempt to get a shot off, but one of the masked men threw a chain with weighted balls on the end of it, causing the gun to be torn from John's hand and go skidding off a short distance away. The men threw a smoke bomb or two, blinding the trio as they raced away.
While Korra whistled for Naga, John raced to recover his gun. Returning it to its holster, he jumped up on Naga behind Mako before they tore off after the motorcycles. With a flick of his wrist, Mako fired a bolt of fire after the motorcycles. Slamming on the brakes, the two men swung around on their bikes and released more of their weapons. Naga suddenly fell out from underneath the trio, sending them sprawling. With a slight dance-like spin, the two men charged the trio.
"Chi Blockers, keep your distance!" John shouted as he swung his leg around, releasing a wave of fire at their attackers. John had encountered Chi Blockers before, but he had been removed from society so long that he was rusty in the way they fought. The three of them where quickly knocked out of the fight with their bending temporarily blocked. One of the men began to advance on them again, but they where forced to flee when Naga attacked.
"Who where they?" asked Korra as the chi blocking began to wear off.
"Equalists," said Mako, rubbing his wrist.
"Equalists? You mean those nut jobs that are so against bending everyone is talking about?" John asked. Mako nodded in response. Standing again, John swung his fists in a boxing motion, releasing a few short bursts of fire to confirm that his bending had returned.
"Well, if they're involved then something big is about to happen, not just a turf war."
After some short discussion, the three of them where on their way to Republic City park to locate the protester they had seen earlier. John walked beside Naga in order to give her a bit of a breather. By the time they reached the park, the sky was pink with the predawn hours.
"Are you tired of living under the tyranny of benders? Then join the Equalists!" The shout of the Equalist protester brought John out of his sleep. He had settled against the base of a tree, not far from Korra and Mako. He watched with amusement when he saw the position the two had fallen sleep in, and their reaction when they awoke.
Korra led the way as they approached the protester. He was shouting through the bullhorn in his usual rant until he took notice of the three benders approaching.
"You cannot silence me, Avatar!" he shouted, turning the bullhorn toward Korra at point blank range and pointing at her. Korra simply slapped the bullhorn out of his hand, allowing it to sail away and smash into a thousand pieces on the sidewalk.
"Shut your trap and listen up. A friend of mine was taken by chi blockers, I want to know where."
"I wouldn't know anything about that," the protester said, crossing his arms and lifting his chin into the air.
"Let me handle this," John said as he stepped forward. He grabbed the protester by the front of the shirt and lifted him off of the ground before slamming him into the poster of Amon behind him. Drawing one of his pistols with his free hand, John jabbed it into the man's chest.
"I have been up all night chasing after these friends of yours in order to get back a kid who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now I am done being civil. Tell me where he was taken, and I won't repaint your poster here with the shards of your heart and other internal organs." He cocked the pistol's hammer back for added effect.
With any attempt to act like the protester he was a moment ago threatening to end his life, the man quickly gave up the location. That night, the trio put on some new clothing in order to blend in. They stood amongst the crowd and watched as Amon demonstrated his power. As Korra slipped away in order to cause a distraction so they could rescue Bolin, John slowly drew his pistol.
While the Equalist leader approached Bolin in order to take his bending, John leveled the pistol.
"Catch this!" he said. A thunderous crack filled the air as he squeezed the trigger. Amon suddenly learched to one side, his hand flying to his face. The left side of his mask had been shattered by the grazing bullet, which he now covered with his hand.
At that very moment, steam violently erupted from the far wall. This was Korra's signal to rescue Bolin. While Amon melted into the steam, the crowd turned and fled, fearing what could possibly be lurking within the cloud.
Using the cover of the cloud, Mako made his way to Bolin, freeing his younger brother. Together, the brothers made their way out of the warehouse and began to climb down a ladder to the street below. Above them, a man wearing goggles appeared, looking down at them.
With a twirl, The Lieutenant drew his electrified kali sticks and applied them to the metal ladder. Both brothers cried out as the electric current passed through them, loosing their grip on the ladder. After a moment, they both fell to the street, weakened from being electrocuted.
Above them, The Lieutenant showed a slight grin, until he heard the sound of the door opening him. Turning, he barely had time to react as John unleashed a bolt of fire at him. Reacting quickly, he ducked and blindly swung his sticks at John, who dogged and swung his foot in a roundhouse kick coupled with a fire wave. The Lieutenant cried out, slightly singed as he was knocked from the walkway to the street below.
Jumping from the walkway as well, John swung his fists as he fell, sending bolts of fire at The Lieutenant as he fell and landed in a crouch. Doing a back flip, The Lieutenant dodged the bolts before he charged John when he landed. However his swings only met air as John and The Lieutenant moved through the forms of a deadly dance, neither of their strikes making contact.
As she ran up to help, Korra took notice of the way John moved with his Firebending. He moved to quick to follow the traditional way she had been trained, and he danced about too fast for Mako's unique style. To her, John moved like an Airbender, not a Firebender.
"You benders need to understand, there's no place left in the world for you," said the Lieutenant as John stood back, defending the weakened brothers. He wasn't expecting to be suddenly launched into a nearby wall thanks to Korra's Earthbending.
"I wouldn't count us out just yet," she said before whistling for Naga. As Equalists began to pour into the street, John drew his gun again and aimed it at Amon, who had appeared on a balcony overhead, still covering the shattered half of his mask with his hand.
"You stop right now or I'll end this Revolution right here!" he shouted. The Equalists froze, having seen the power of the weapon first hand. Naga's massive frame suddenly bounded through the crowd, knocking over individuals like they where bowling pins.
While Korra, Mako, and John leapt onto her back, Naga grabbed up Bolin in her mouth by the back of his shirt and began to drag him while they ran.
"I want, to get, on, your back," said Bolin as he bounced up and down. Naga ran and ran for blocks, leaving Bolin slightly bruised by the time they finally stopped to allow the young Earthbender onto the polar bear dog's back. They then swam to Air Temple Island, where they found Tenzin waiting for them.
"I see you found your friend," he said, looking over the battered young man.
"Yeah, we found him. And we found Amon as well," she said.
"What?" asked Tenzin, shocked at this.
"Tenzin, he has the ability to take people's bending away permanently," she added. The Airbending Master turned slightly with his fingers on his chin as he thought, looking out toward the Republic City skyline.
"With this, the Revolution is more dangerous then ever. John, I'll call a council meeting tomorrow. When they hear of this, they will agree with me to allow your friends to seek refuge in the city."
For the collective works of the author, go here.