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January 12, 2013
This is the twelfth chapter of the series,.
At the station, Hasook explains the situation to Chief Beifong and Mako. "So let me get this straight, you're not a pro-bender?" Mako says confused as Hasook sits in a chair as a professional healer treats his wounds.
"Corporal Hasook, of the United Republic Intelligence Corps."
"Didn't even know they had that."
"Kind of the point. I was assigned by Commander Bumi several years ago to investigate the rising Equalist threat and report my findings. To keep my cover I donned the identity of a pro-bender and joined the Fire Ferrets. When my cover was in danger of being blown I had to quit the team abruptly."
"So you faked the fight after the match?" Mako asks.
"No, I generally didn't like you." He says smiling.
"What about Korra?" Lin says as Hasook gets up slowly.
"That's the thing, she went with this guy Song to the industrial district. You know him, the philanthropist that's trying to clean up the streets. I did some investigating into one of his factories and found out that he had stashed a lot of Equalist tech in them."
"What kind of equipment?"
"Big stuff like Mecha-tanks, a few of those crazy aircrafts, and some kind of drill. He isn't the god guy everyone makes him out to be. He wants his gang to be on top and whatever he's planning is big and it's going down tonight."
"He must be planning on taking out the Triads tonight."
"Why would he invite Korra, the one person who could actually stop him?" Mako asks.
"He's planning on using her children as leverage as a way to keep her out of it. While she's at the gathering with him his men are going to kidnap them so she won't stand in his way."
"Well why are we here? We have to get to Asami's now!" Mako says as he jumps up.
"I've already taken care of that, I ran into the Avatar's husband, he dropped me off and headed their in a hurry."
"Then we need to get to where this meeting is taking place. Do you know where?" Lin asks as Hasook nods. "Then we'll head there and send two squad cars to the Sato mansion and make a call to Air Temple Island and get the White Lotus to the meeting as well."
At the Sato mansion, Tahno runs up the front steps and bangs on the door. "Tahno, Korra's not here." Asami says in her evening wear.
"I know. Where are the kids?"
"They're upstairs sleeping, why?"
"Which way?" he runs up the stairs as she follows behind.
"To the left, second door to the right. Tahno, what happened?"
He raced to the room and swings the door open to see a man taking Nilak out of his bed as another attempts to grab Sakari. "No!" there father shouts out swinging a water whip at the second kidnapper that throws him from the window as the first dodges the attack meant for him and, having grabbed the young boy jumps from the window voluntarily. Tahno dashes to the window and looks out with the man and his son nowhere in sight. He rushes back over to a crying Sakari, where Asami is already trying to calm her. "Are you okay?" he says rubbing her head.
"Daddy, I'm scared."
"I know you are sweety, but don't be. I'm going to get your brother and mommy and I'll be right back. You just stay here with Aunt Asami okay." he says as he wipes a tear from her eye and heads out the front. As he reaches the front gate he meets the police officers. " Chief Beifong sent us, what happened?"
"They took my son, I don't know where."
"Chief Beifong and the others are on their way to the meeting, that's probably where they've taken him. We've been given instructions to provide you with transportation."
"You two scout out the grounds. And you three, secure the mansion and make sure everyone's alright." the officer says as he gets in the car and drives Tahno to the meeting place.
In Song's factory the collective gangs and their leaders await the arrival of the man of the hour. Below them however, Song and Korra with a few of his men descend in an elevator to a series of large caverns beneath the building. "What is this place?" Korra asks as the group exit the elevator.
"My men and I discovered these caverns a few years ago and i've been working to expand them around the city. Sato's machines made this extremely easy to accomplish."
"But why would you want this across the city? Wouldn't that make the area above unstable?" she says as she looks over and sees several mecha-tanks parked and explosives wrapped around the stone pillars in the area. "What's going on, Song?" she says as she is struck from behind by a series of nerve blows from behind as she falls to the ground. She is then carted over to one of the pillars and strap to it.
"My apologies, Avatar Korra. I do enjoy your fiery personality but this is all part of my larger plan."
"This was never about helping anyone but yourself."
"Oh no, you have it all wrong. This is about helping everyone in Republic City. Once these explosives go off along with the ones that are linked to the ones under the Triad hideouts I will have eliminated all opposition to my power. No longer will the gangs of this city ruin it with their constant turf wars."
"So you're just another high on your horse gang leader?"
"Call me what you like but in the end I'm the one who'll be on top."
"And you think the police or the Avatar are going to let that happen? Because if you think these ropes will hold me you're nuts."
Song begins to laugh. "The police will be nothing compared to the operations I have planned, and as for you, I believe I have the proper motivation to keep you on the sidelines." he snaps his fingers as a man with glasses, dressed in black walks out from the shadows, Nilak in his arms. Korra attempts to break free as the man hands the boy to Song. "Uh-uh-uh Avatar. I don't think your little boy will appreciate your being the cause of his unfortunate accident." he moves his hands over the boy, causing him to cry. "You see when I was a boy my grandfather; great man by the way, taught me how to bend the water in people's bodies. Not blood-bending mind you, not the ability to move that person to your will, but to churn the water in a persons stomach, forcing the liquid out of them, he loved jokes." he says still waterbending the boy as Korra looks on in horror and anger. "Are we all set?"
"Yes sir, we are good to go." one of the men says as he hooks up the wires to the detonator.
"And with that I believe it is time we take our leave, enjoy your front row seat to the festivities, Korra. And don't worry, your boy is in good hands." As he and his men prepare to leave, metalbending police crash through the side walls and ceilings along with Tahno who rides down with several officers. "Gentlemen, to your stations." Song says as his men jump into the five mecha-tanks. The others rush the officers, either with bending or hand-to-hand combat. The man with glasses easily evades the officer's earthbending and metal cables as he uses throwing techniques to take down officers.
The mecha-tanks, equipped with drills, lunge at the officers as the battle quickly turns to chaos. Korra, now with nothing holding her back, rips through the ropes binding her and joins the fight. Song attempts to flee only to have his feet frozen to the ground by Tahno, who leaps forward and grabs Nilak. "Daddy's got you." he leaps back as Song turns the ice at his feet to water.
"It's been a while hasn't it? Though I don't suppose you'd remember me after that explosion. Fortunately for me, surgery can do wonders."
"Who are you?" he says as he evades the man's water attacks while still holding his son.
"I'm a bit hurt actually. After all, this is all your fault. Remember that day in the alley. I'll never forget it." he grabs water from a barrel a hurls it at Tahno, who blocks the wave coming toward him.
"That crook in the alley."
"Yes, back when I worked for the Red Monsoons. But now i've carved out a little niche for myself and all I need to do to have it all is get rid of you, your wife, and everyone in this room." he immobilizes Tahno by bending the water in his stomach, forcing him to his knees. He steps forward and encases his free hand in a razor ice glove. As he goes in to stab him he is knocked away by a water whip as Hasook jumps down. "You alright?" he asks Tahno as he gives him a nod of confirmation.
The metal-benders use their earth-bending to topple one of the tanks as Hasook forces water down another's pipes as it fizzles out. Seeing his men losing Song, or rather Quan decides to beat a hasty retreat. "This has been fun but I believe it's time for the show to begin." he hits the detonator as the explosives in the cavern go off. Before he does so however, Hasook manages to cut the set of cables leading to the other targets across the city. The area quickly becomes unstable as the ceiling begins to give way. "Everyone out quickly." Lin orders as they begin exiting, any earth-bender making a tunnel back to the surface, taking as many with them as possible, the others scrambling for the elevators.
"Oh and did I forget to mention that I wired multiple explosives under every building in the area just in case anyone survived the initial blast. The whole district is going down." Quan says as he and two of his men head down one of the tunnels in the mech-tanks. "What do we do now. Even if we get to the surface, where is there to go?" one of Quan's men asks. Korra looks over as she sees Tahno holding Nilak among them. "I'll do it. If I use the Avatar state I can keep the place from coming down. If nothing else I can buy everyone enough time to get out of the area."
"I'll stay too you, could use the extra help." Chief Beifong offers.
"I'm staying too." Tahno says. As he hands Nilak to one of the officers.
"Thanks Chief, but I need everyone out. And besides they need you up there."
"Alright Avatar, be careful down here." Lin gives her a nod before heading back with the rest of the group.
"You too, Pretty boy."
"Korra, I'm not going anywhere."
"No time so no argument. Besides, you can say you told me so when I get back." he hesitates for a moment. "We have to go now." Lin yells as he dashes back to the elevator. As the group head up, Korra closes her eyes and immediately opens theme as the white light of the Avatar State shines through. She rises from the ground with air-bending and goes through the motions with her arms raising pillars throughout the caverns to support the buildings and factories above. While she is doing this Quan and his men return to the cavern in the mecha-tanks and behold the sight.
"Gentlemen, today I have lost a grand opportunity but at least we can score one major victory by eliminating the Avatar from this world." as he says this the two tanks charge forward launching their cables at the Avatar. Korra however, sees the attack and air-bends the cables away from her she then lifts up two pillars under the vehicles, smashing them against the ceiling. While she is distracted by the two, Quan fires an electrified bolo that wraps around, her knocking her to the ground. He then drives his tank over and jumps out, standing over her. "Well it seems my luck has changed. Not only do I have the privilege of eliminating you, it also makes it all the sweeter for you to know that after I'm done your family is toast." as he laughs her eyes open, glowing brighter this time as she causes the area to shake violently, bringing down the pillars and causing the ceiling to give way.
"You're crazy! You'll kill us both!" he jumps back into his tank and attempts to get back to one of the safe areas, only for a large amount of rock and machinery from the factory above to crush him underneath. As the area collapses Korra sheds a single tear as the ceiling gives out completely.
Tahno and the others reach the surface and head outside as the building has already been evacuated. Everyone gets to a safe distance as they turn to see the situation. "Nothing happened. She did it. She actually did it." one of the officers exclaims.
"Was there ever any doubt?" Mako says, pushing several of the captured criminals into a truck. Tahno looks on hopefully. Moments later he watches in horror as the factory they just escaped from collapse into the ground. "Korra!" he shouts out as two officers hold him back from running back to the area as Mako and Lin look in disbelief.
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