The Arena never looked worse. The dome was completely destroyed, the walls were crumbling, everything was being renovated and repaired. And now, worse of all, the bending brothers would have to leave their home. The arena was to be shut down until further notice, which meant they will have no where else to go…or will they?
There was some good news, and that good news came in the form of two best friends who drove by the arena, which was surrounded by police officers and police tapes all around. Korra and Asami made their way through and ran put to find the boys. Mako and Bolin were packing their things, feeling depressed about their situation.
"I still can't believe they're shutting this place down." said Mako as he packed the last of his things.
Bolin sighed sadly as he folded his cloths into a box. "Yeah. We had some good memories here, didn't we?"
Korra and Asami ran up the stairs, both beaming with smiles on their faces. Korra, being the most excited, spoke first. "Hey, guys, we've got great news! You won't have to go back on the streets!"
"I talked to my dad and made all the arrangements. You can come live at the Sato Estate!"
Bolin jumped up with joy, "Wow, for real?!"
"Asami that's fantastic!" Bolin wrapped his arms around Asami's waist, lifting her up and spinning her around, making her giggle. Korra was so happy her friends would be staying somewhere nice. She wouldn't have minded if they stayed on the island, but Asami's home was a fine option as well. At least she had a pool…granted, Korra had unlimited beach access but, still at least they were staying somewhere.
Mako, on the other hand, didn't know how to respond. Korra approached him, helping with the luggage. "It's it great? Now you can have that luxurious lifestyle you always dreamed about."
Korra was confused by his reaction. "It's what you wanted. Right? I mean, it's temporary but, it's close."
Mako still remained indifferent. He gently took the box out of her hands and placed it with the others. In all honesty, Mako no longer knew what he wanted in life anymore. Everything just seemed to change so quickly in such a short amount of time. Suddenly, money was no longer his only concern. All this time, training Korra, hanging out with her, teaching her firebending, he was happier now than he had ever been in the past. It was all so confusing.
Bolin broke the silence, "Since you're here, mind helping with the move?"
"Of course." said Asami as she assisted them. Korra joined in the help as well, while Mako was still struggling with his thoughts. Something had changed within him. Something just wasn't the same. But what he wondered. What had changed in him? Why did he change? Was there even a change? The moment he looked at Korra, he felt he would receive his answers.
He had never been so infuriated in his life. Everything last night went perfectly, but then why was he still infuriated? It then hit him. It was because he still didn't have her. He thought he could be patient enough for her to come around. He didn't want her to feel obligated, but all that changed when he found out who she really was. The pieces were coming together, but still he didn't have what he really wanted. He had to have her. Now. There was no more waiting. He was going to make sure she would be his. He grabbed the phone and dialed the number. A familiar voice answered and the masked man immediately told him his demands.
"I have a job for you. I want you to bring me that girl. You know who I'm talking about. Eyes of sapphire blue and hair of shimmering starlight. Bring me the Avatar."
Ever since the events of the previous night, the town has been abuzz with news about the girl who fire and waterbended. It wasn't exactly a pleasant day for everyone. Tenzin was bombarded with phone calls from news reporters asking him questions. The poor man was in a frenzy, answering phone to phone.
"Hello? No, you can not have an interview!" he hung up when another phone rang again, "Hello? No, she's not a mutant!" he hung up again only to have yet another phone ring, making him groan. "What?! For the last time the answer is no!" another phone rang, "What now?! Wu, stop calling, Korra's not interested!" yet another phone rang, "I swear, if you call here again I am gonna---Lin? Oh, thank heaven!" never had Tenzin been so relieved to hear the voice of his closest friend.
"I've been doing some investigating and got some intel that Cabbage Corp was conspiring with the Equalists." Lin explained as she rummaged through the evidence box, which was filled with the electric gloves from last night. "We found an entire assortment of these electric glove devises but so far the investigation is ongoing."
"We have to find out who did this. Korra and many other people were almost hurt. And worse, it appears our secret is out."
"You can't blame her for it. She was only trying to defend herself."
"I know. Still, I keep getting calls from all over asking for an interview. It's only a matter of time before they start coming here to the island."
"So, what are you going to do? You can't send her away. Not now."
"Don't worry. Hiroshi Sato was more than kind enough to let her stay at his mansion for the time being. She'll hide out there until further notice when all is cleared up."
"Sure they won't start harassing Mr. Sato once they find out?"
"Trust me, nobody will find out."
Korra had already placed her things in her guest room, which was only one of the many rooms of the estate. It was a pretty large house, big enough for Korra to hide in for a while. Asami leaned against the frame of the door. "Well, here's your new room. I know it's a bit…well, bigger than what you're use to."
"It'll be fine. Thanks." Korra sat down on her new temporary bed and Asami could instantly tell something was bothering her. She sat beside her friend, placing a hand over hers.
Korra was silent for a few moments before she spoke, "It's Amon."
"Yeah, that was pretty scary last night. I still can't believe he knew who you were."
"That's not all." Korra stood up, facing the vanity mirror of the room. "He said something else…about my father."
"No. My actual father."
Asami's eyes widened in shock. "What did he say?"
"Not enough. Only that he was as strong as I was." she turned to face her friend, "Asami, what if Amon knows more about my past than I do?"
"Or he could be trying to play with your head." said the heiress, "He already knows your the Avatar he probably got info that you were adopted too."
"And what if you're wrong? What if he really does know about my parents? Was he one of the people who tried to kidnap me as a kid?"
"That's not possible. Your grandmother said three of them were benders."
"But one of them wasn't. He was the last person with my dad."
"Korra, I think you're over thinking this."
"Am I?! A group of criminals try to kidnap me because they knew I was the Avatar. A kiss from the Moon Spirit hides my powers for seventeen years, right when Amon's Equalists revolution is about to hit it's peak. You really think all of that is just a coincidence?"
Asami looked at her friend with sympathy. "I don't know how to answer that. Maybe, it is possible but Amon is pretty tricky. I wouldn't take his words into consideration."
Korra growled in frustration and clenched her fists, "I can't just ignore this Asami! I have to know what happened to my parents, why did those people want me? In all the history books there was never anything about an Avatar being kidnapped or killed as a child. Why were they interested in me so much?"
No matter how much she wished she did, Asami just didn't have the answer to any of her friend's questions. She stood up and gripped her friend's shoulders, "Okay, you know what I think? I think you need a break. You won't find the answers as quickly as you wish, but the best thing for you to do is relax and take a step back. The boys are downstairs getting unpacked, why don't we forget about Amon for one day and just have fun with our friends. Okay?"
Korra was never one to just ignore the bigger picture but, maybe Asami was right. Maybe she was getting a bit too worked up over this. Maybe some R&R will clear her mind. "Okay." she hugged her friend. No matter how hard things got, Asami was like the big sister Korra always needed. "Life is changing."
"I know." said Asami, still hugging her friend. "But this never will." she released the hug and smiled at her sister.
"You go ahead, I'll be down in a minute."
Asami complied and let Korra alone in her room for a few more moments to collect her thoughts on the matter. Her mind was still on the masked man.
Mako and Bolin each had their own individual rooms, which was actually pretty new for them. Mako was very surprised to see this incredibly stylish room made just for him. He could only imagine how his brother's room looked like. It was as big as their apartment, with a higher celling and a king sized bed. Hiroshi Sato certainly liked his guests to feel at home. The young firebender rested on the best, placing his bags on the floor. It was everything he ever dreamed of. The room, the big place, servants, even a pool downstairs with a skylight. This was like a dream come true. So, why didn't he feel happy?
I sense there's something in the wind
That feels like changes are at hand
Meanwhile, Korra was having her own thoughts about the future and what will happen next. Everything was like a crazy roller coaster right now.
Korra: And though I'd like to stand on my own
Can't shake this feeling that I have
Changes are just around the bend
Mako: And does she notice my feelings now?
Or am I simply drifting in a dream?
Right now, so it seems
Korra: What will become of us now?
Where will my actions lead me then?
Mako: Although I'd like to join the crowd
In their enthusiastic cloud
Try as I may, it doesn't last
Korra: Will things be the same again?
No, I think not, it's never to become
Mako: I am not the one
The door flung open and Bolin entered the room, smiling as usual. "Hey, bro! Quit your mopping and come on down! They've got a pool!" he quickly slammed the door and Mako decided to put his thoughts aside for the time being. Maybe he could use a little R&R.
Pabu and Pinkie Pie jumped into the pool from the statue of a lion turtle, which had a waterfall coming out of his mouth. Mako had changed into a swimsuit and did Bolin. Asami and Korra were wearing swimsuits, but while Asami's was a one piece, Korra's was two piece, showing off her midriff. The minute Mako noticed her, he couldn't help but blush. She looked so beautiful and strong as well. She wasn't as slim as Asami, but she was still slim none the less, just well toned. Her hair was down, her silvery streak rested gracefully around her shoulders. He woke from his thoughts when Bolin stood on the statue.
He jumped into the pull, creating a wave that splashed the two girls. Korra and Asami sat on the side of the pool, their legs submerged in the cool waters. They giggled as the water splashed around them.
"Hey, Mako!" Korra waved at him.
"Glad you finally made it." said Asami
Bolin jumped out of the pool and started to float. "Welcome to paradise! Come on in, the water's great!"
Mako was hesitant at first. He knew how to swim, but he hadn't done it in years. "Need me to hold your hand there, junior?" Korra said jokingly, making Mako blush.
"No!" he said defensively and finally managed to get into the pool. He had to admit, the cool water did feel refreshing against his body.
Korra then whispered something in Asami's hear, making her giggle and Korra dove into the water. Mako was starting to feel relaxed already. "You know, this isn't so bad--Whoa!" he was suddenly pulled down by a powerful force, only to see it was Korra, smiling and waving at him form under the water. Her hair moved like the ocean waves. Mako immediately got up for air and spit the water out of his mouth.
"That wasn't funny, Korra!"
"It was a little funny." said Asami between giggles.
Korra was swimming in front of Mako, her nose and mouth submerged while her eyes were visible and her hair was floating. "Don't you think we're all a bit too old for these games?"
To answer his question, Korra spit water into his face. That was it, Mako splashed at the Avatar who splashed in return. Bolin then joined in the splash fight while Asami did as well. The butler watched from the sidelines as the four teenagers began playing in the water like little children. Pinkie Pie and Applejack then threw a beach ball at the group and they began playing with it as well. This was exactly what they needed to relax. Mako briefly stood on the side of the pool while Korra and Bolin played one on one with the ball. Asami stood by him as well.
"I don't think I've ever seen you this happy." she said to her boyfriend's brother.
"How would you?" he said, almost rather bluntly, which got Asami's attention.
"What's that suppose to mean?"
"What?" Mako asked, shrugging his shoulders.
"What do you mean 'how would I know'?"
"Look, Asami, you're really nice, and funny and my brother really likes you and you're Korra's best friend."
Asami awaited for more, "And?…"
"Is that all you know about me?"
"Well what more do you know about me?"
"You're Mako, a pro-bender, Korra's firebending teacher, Bolin's brother, a clearly very smart guy and…well…"
"Exactly. Asami, I'm grateful that you let us stay here and I trust you with my brother because you saved his life, and mine."
"But…you don't think of me as a friend?"
"Did you ever consider me one?"
"Well, yeah kinda."
"Then why didn't you ever have a conversation with me?"
"Why didn't you have one with me?"
"I'm not that good at meeting new people."
"You were fine talking with Korra."
"Because she's so outgoing, it was hard not to notice her. You didn't have a problem talking with Bolin."
"Well it was hard for me not to notice him."
For a moment the two stood there, looking over at Korra and Bolin, who were still playing. Bolin kept demanding a rematch after rematch because she was beating him like crazy.
"Well." Mako began, "Guess we have something in common."
"Yep. We both like crazy people."
"Which would make us crazy."
The two finally looked at one another…and started to laugh. This was the very first genuine conversation they've ever had. "So, does think we can give this friendship thing a try?" Asami asked hopefully. She really did want to be friends with Mako, after hearing so many positive things about him form Bolin and Korra. And since Mako had already accepted Korra as a true friend, then he could afford to let Asami in as well. Besides, Bolin would never let him hear the end of it if he didn't.
"Why not? But, there's gotta be more we can talk about besides being crazy."
Asami then smiled as an idea formed in her head. "Actually, I think I might have something a little more exciting in mind."
"….why are you smiling like that?"
After drying off, the four teenagers were brought to the Future Industries race track. Korra had told Asami how Mako was always fascinated with race cars and motorcycles, so she figured this was their chance to bond even further. She smiled in satisfaction once she saw how happy Mako was at the sight.
"Pretty cool right?"
"Totally! Why didn't you show this before? This is awesome!"
"Korra said you'd love it."
Korra smiled as she placed a hand over Mako's shoulder, "This is where Future Industries test drive their satomobiles. Sami and I use to race here all the time. Until her dad caught us."
"Yeah, but I smoothed it over with him. It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission."
"Says the girl who got grounded for a month."
"Don't push it, Avatar." the two girls laughed, "Ever been behind the wheel?" Asami asked the firebender.
Mako looked a bit embarrassed, "My old boss from the Triple Threat Triads once taught me the basics but, I was too young to drive at the time."
"Want me to take you for a spin?"
Mako's eyes were as wide as a child who was excited to get on an epic ride. "Let's do it!"
On the race track, Mako put on some googles while Asami took the driver seat of the car. She wore her helmet and googles as well. The text driver next to her smile arrogantly. He was going to enjoy this.
The ref waved the flag and the two cars were off. Mako knew Asami could drive, but he didn't know she could drive this fast. The opponent driver turned the wheel, speeding past Asami on the next turn. She managed to regain control just in time and was now neck in neck with her opponent. Korra and Bolin cheered from the sidelines. The opponent driver managed to speed ahead and drove right in their way. Asami accelerated and drove up next to him. The driver then slammed his car into Asami's, causing the side of the car to hit the curve walls, but Asami kept on driving. She was now head of the driver and they made it to the finish line.
Once the car stopped, Mako jumped out of the car, nearly out of breath from the excitement. "That was amazing! I didn't think we'd make it."
Asami removed her helmet and rearranged her hair. "Well, you can't be afraid to mix it up sometimes."
Mako removed his helmet, still excited from the ride. "I gotta admit, you've got some pretty impressive skills there, Asami. I didn't think you had it in you."
"And I didn't think you'd enjoy yourself so much."
"Guess we've got a lot to learn from each other, hu?"
"I guess we do."
The two raven haired teenagers smiled. Their friendship was off to a pretty good start. Korra and Bolin came to join them. "So, what's next?" Bolin asked. "I mean, the day is still young and we've got an entire mansion all to ourselves!"
Korra wrapped her arms around the two brothers, "Boys, get ready to have the time of your lives."
For the rest of the day, the group of friends spent the rest of the day doing what they wanted. Asami and Korra raced again on the track, with the boys sitting behind them.
It's nothing complicated
Bout' the way we live
(bout' the way we live)
We are here for each other
Happy to give
All we have we share
And all of us we care
So come on!
Welcome to out family time
Welcome to our brotherly time
This is our festival
You know and best of all
We're here to share it all
Next, Asami demonstrated the boys her own private gym, which was pretty large with all kinds of equipment. The girls decided to show the boys how to spar with the dueling staffs. Korra against Mako and Bolin against Asami. The boys knew the girls were good, but they were way better than anticipated, because they managed to knock them down on three tries. Feeling sympathy, the girls demonstrated the step by step process.
There's a bond between us
Nobody can explain
It's a celebration of life
We see friends again
I'll be there for you, I know you'll be there for me too
(So come on!)
The boys managed to get the hang of the moves, which eventually, somehow, someway, Bolin made it into a dance routine. Asami joined in, making Korra and Mako laugh.
Welcome to out family time
Welcome to our brotherly time
This is our festival
You know and best of all
We're here to share it all
Afterwords, the friends sat around the gazebo of Asami's garden, eating their lunch while sharing stories.
Remembering the love that we shared
Someone dear to your heart
Finding love, planning a future
Telling stories and laughing with friends
Precious moments you'll never forget
Mako walked across the garden, taking in its beauty and the wonderful emotions he was feeling right now.
Mako: This has to be
The most beautiful, the most peaceful place
I've ever been to
It's nothing like I've ever seen before
When I think how far I've come I can't believe it
Yet I see it
Here, I see family
I see the way we use to be
The four teenagers had even more fun, even going to far as sliding down the stairways like children. Playing basketball in the gym, having Bolin show them a few dance moves. Korra and Mako sparring and then she pushing him into the pool, only to be pushed in again by Asami and then by Bolin.
Welcome to out family time
Welcome to our brotherly time
We're happy, giving and taking
To the friends we're making
There's nothing we won't do
Welcome to our family time
Welcome to our happy to be time
This is out festival
You know, and best of all
We're here to share it
Best of all…
We're here to share it all!
Welcome to our family time
(Welcome to our family)
Welcome to our happy to be time
(We're here to share it all)
Welcome to our family time
Welcome to our family!
After a long day of fun, laughter and friendship bonding, the four teenagers went out like a light when it was time to sleep. However, one of them was having anything but a peaceful sleep. She kept on tossing and turning in her bed as the images formed in her mind.
She saw them again. It was her grandfather Avatar Aang, speaking again with Toph Beifong, Lin's mother. They appeared to be in some kind of courthouse with Councilmen Sokka sitting with the rest of the city council from many years ago. They were speaking about a man named Yakon, who was standing trial because he was accused of bloodbending. A terrible art that was illegal because her grandmother Katara made it so. She didn't need to hear the words, it was almost as if she could already tell what was going on just by looking. So far, it appeared that Yakon would be sent to jail, until suddenly his eyes bulged open and Toph and Sokka suddenly cried out in pain, their bodies straining and Aang reached out to try and grab the man. But he was frozen in place.
Korra woke up in a cold sweat, taking deep breaths to calm her beating heart. She got up and walked down to the kitchen to get some water to cool down. Once she walked up to her room, she bumped into somebody. The moment her hands were on his chest she knew who it was.
"Mako? What are you doing up?"
"I was just leaving the bathroom. What are you doing up?"
"I had a bad dream so I went to get a glass of water." she looked down to see the cup and spilled liquid on the floor. "So much for that trip."
Then, the two heard a familiar voice coming from down the hallway. "No, no assure you. Everything is going according to plan." said the voice, Korra immediately recognized it. It was Hiroshi Sato.
She didn't know how or why, but it was as if her instincts kicked in and she walked towards the closed door, which she could see the light coming in through the bottom of the door and the keyhole. Mako silently followed her.
"Korra, what are you doing?"
Korra 'shushed' him and gestured him to follow but to be silent. Once they were in front of the door, Korra peeked in through the keyhole while Mako listened to the man speaking form inside. Korra could see Hiroshi on his desk, speaking to someone on the phone.
"Yes, the Cabbage Corp investigation has bought us enough time. Yes, I have the girl with me, she suspects nothing. I assure you, by this time tomorrow, she will be all yours." Hiroshi hung up and Korra and Mako backed away from the door, both shocked at what they had just heard.
Was Hiroshi Sato conspiring with Amon?
The next morning, Korra was pacing back and forth in her room while Mako sat on her bed. They both didn't sleep at all after hearing what they did. "There's got to be some kind of mistake." she said while pacing around the room. "Maybe we heard wrong. Or maybe we were so tired we imagined it."
"There's no way we could have imagined what we heard." said Mako.
"But, it can't be! Hiroshi Sato…working with Amon?…No, it's not possible!"
"Okay, let's think about this for a second. Wasn't Asami's mom killed by a firebender?"
"So, what if Hiroshi's been harboring anti-bending sentiment this whole time."
"Mako, I've known Hiroshi for years. He's one of the nicest people I know. There's got to be a better explanation for this."
Mako then stood up from the bed, "I got an idea. Hiroshi's suppose to be out for most the day, right?"
"And you know where his workshop is."
Korra's eyes widened, "You don't mean--"
"When he's gone, we'll sneak in and see if we can find any proof he's working with the Equalists."
Korra blinked, "I'm sorry, could you repeat that into my good ear, please?"
"We sneak into his shop and find the evidence." Mako was taken by surprise when Korra slapped him across the face. "What was that for?!"
"That's for people who've gone bonkers! I'm not gonna sneak into my best friend's dad's workshop! It's insane!"
"Korra, what if you're wrong and he is working for the Equalists? You heard what he said he 'has the girl'. What if that girl is you. I can't let them take you." the look on Korra's face made him realize what he had just said, "I mean, we can't let them take you."
Korra really didn't want to have to do this, especially to her own best friend. But, what if Mako was right? She had never heard Hiroshi speak like that before. Maybe Mako had a point and they should investigate.
"Okay, fine. His workshop is behind the mansion, that's where he keeps all of his projects and blueprints."
Latter that day, while Bolin and Asami were enjoying a private lunch, Korra and Mako made their way to the workhouse. Korra led the way and gestured the firebender to follow her. They made their way to the work shop and Korra opened the door. She flipped the light switch and Mako's eyes widened.
The entire place was filled with so many gadgets and gizmos, drawings all around the walls of future inventions, prototypes galore. It was unlike anything he had ever seen.
"Man, somebody's been busy."
Korra smiled as she stroked her fingers over the failed inventions. "Hiroshi use to bring me here when Asami and I were young. He would go on and on about his failed inventions. How he never gave up no matter what. How he kept moving forward." her happiness turned to sadness. "He always believed in me."
Seeing Korra was like killed Mako inside. What was he thinking on doing this, he couldn't bare to see her like this. "Maybe this was a bad idea. Let's go." he prepared to leave but Korra stopped him by placing a hand over his chest.
"No. I have to know the truth. No matter how painful it may be."
Mako had to admire her bravery and determination, even in situations like these. And so, the two began their search. They went through paper after paper, drawer after drawer, searching for anything that could serve as evidence. Mako opened another drawer, flipped through the folders and pulled out a blue paper. His eyes widened.
The young Avatar saw the papers his had and took them for herself to see. Her hands began to shake and her eyes looked like they were about to burst with tears.
"They're blueprints." said Mako with sadness in his voice.
"They are…for the electric gloves. The same ones they used to attack the arena." She folded the paper and looked at Mako with saddened eyes. Everything in Korra's world was crumbling down so fast. Nothing she knew made sense anymore. She was so upset she cried, burying her face into Mako's chest. "You were right." she said in between sobs.
Mako's heart hurt for her. He hatted seeing her like this. She did nothing to harm anyone and yet she was suffering over the father of her best friend. As if by instinct, he wrapped his arms around her, softly subbing her back to sooth her and to keep reminding her she wasn't alone. He was there to help her. And he always will be.
"What are we going to tell Asami?" Korra asked, still crying into his chest.
"We need to tell her the truth."
"We have the evidence, let's just show it to her."
Korra wiped away her tears as she and Mako parted. "This is going to crush her."
"I know. But we don't have any other choice."
Korra couldn't stop looking at the drawings on the paper. She still couldn't believe this was happening. The man who gave her a job and was like a second father…was planing on giving her to Amon. She couldn't let this happen. But how would she tell Asami. A knock on the door caused Korra to hide the blueprints underneath her pillow. The butler came in and bowed before her.
"Miss Korra, your father and Chief Beifong are here to see you."
"Thank you." Korra bowed in gratitude and walked out the room. Time for the moment of truth.
At the main entrance, Mako was with Tenzin and Lin. Bolin and Asmi walked down the stairs, surprised to see them. Korra approached her father who hugged her tightly.
"Are you alright?"
"I'm fine, dad."
Lin walked up to the young heiress, "Where is your father?"
"In his office. Why?" instead of answering, Lin walked right pass her, much to her and Bolin's confusion. Tenzin followed her when the two green eyed teens began asking their friend and brother some questions.
"What's going on?" Bolin asked, "Why do they want to talk with Hiroshi?"
Korra was stumped. She knew she needed to tell Asami the truth but it was just too hard. Realizing this, Mako stepped in and explained. "Korra and I overheard him on the phone yesterday." he then turned to his new friend, looking at her sadly. "Asami, I don't know how to tell you this but, your dad's involved with the Equalists."
Asami gasped and narrowed her eyes at him. "What? Is this some kind of joke?" she turned to her best friend, "Korra, please tell me he's joking."
She lifted her eyes to look at her childhood friend. "I wish I could. I'm sorry Sami, we found the evidence in his workshop. He manufactured those electric gloves they used to attack the arena."
Asami could not believe what she was hearing. Her own best friend was accusing her own father of being in cahoots with that mask menace!
"I don't believe this!" she angrily stormed off to see for herself that this was all complete nonsense. Bolin, on the other hand, looked at them both with disappointment.
"You spied on Hiroshi? What's wrong with you two?!" Bolin went after his girlfriend, leaving the two alone, looking down in disappointment.
Inside the office, Lin and Tenzin were asking Hiroshi more questions when Asami bursted into the door. "My father is innocent! Just because we're not benders doesn't mean we support those awful Equalists!"
"Equalists?" Hiroshi asked in shock once his daughter stood beside him. "Is that what this is about? I assure you, I have never been invalid with those redials. Tenzin, you've known me for years, why would you even consider that I--"
"Because Korra called me earlier today. She told me she found blueprints of the electric gloves you created for them."
Hiroshi looked at Korra in disappointment. "Korra, you went into my workshop without my permission? How could you?"
Korra hung her head in shame for a moment before shutting her eyes close tightly and opened them. A single tear left her eye but was wipe away quickly when she approached him, standing tall and brave.
"I'm sorry Hiroshi, but last night I overheard you talking on the phone. You said the Cabbage Corp investigation bought you time and then you said they will have a 'girl' by tonight. Explain that!"
To her surprise, Hiroshi only laughed, "Korra, darling, this is all just a misunderstanding. You see, my number one competitor was knocked out of the game and it's providing me an opportunity to strike the market with a new line of satomobiles. 'Girl' was just a figure of peach, like how you and Asami called the cars 'puppy' or 'big guy'. It's just business, nothing nefarious."
"The blueprints!" Mako said, surprising everyone. "That'll prove we're telling the truth!"
Korra quickly ran out of the office and to her room. She reached underneath her pillow but found that the blueprints weren't there. She frantically searched the bed, under the sheets and under the bed itself.
"I don't understand! I had them here." she then remembered the butler and afce palmed herself for her ignorance. "The butler! He must have taken them!"
Lin shook her head, "Korra, that's enough." she turned to the man, "In order to put all suspicions to rest, may we have a look around your factories and warehouses?"
Asami scoffed in annoyance until her father rose his hand. "If you feel it's necessary you are more than welcome to search all of Future Industries."
The police searched all of the warehouses that belonged to Hiroshi Sato, but they found nothing. They found absolutely no evidence about the electric gloves or that Hiroshi was alined with the Equalists. As the sun slowly went down, Lin and Tenzin stood before Korra when Mako arrived.
"I can't believe we didn't find anything." he said in frustration.
"It would appear Hiroshi is innocent." said Lin.
But regardless of the lack of evidence, Korra and Mako knew that the man was lying. They heard and saw the evidence for themselves. But now they had even worse problems to handle.
Asami walked up to the four of them, Bolin behind her, and the heiress placed her hands on her hips, narrowing her eyes at them. "Okay, you did your search. Now you can leave."
Korra had never heard her friend sound so cold before. She was most certainly angry with her right now. But Korra knew the reality, she needed to get Asami to believe her. For her own good. She took her friend by the arm, "Can we talk for a minute?"
Asami complied, despite keeping her bitter expression and walked a few feet away from the others. Bolin nodded his head to his right, signaling Mako to speak with him alone as well. He was not happy at the fact Mako was accusing his girlfriend's father of being a criminal. Not one bit.
"So, I hope you're convinced now." said the younger brother. Normally, Bolin is the goofy laid-back sibling, but when he got serious, he got serious.
"No, I'm not! I don't care how cooperative Hiroshi is being. I know he's lying!"
"Why are you doing this? I thought you were starting to like Asami."
"And I thought my own brother would believe me!"
Meanwhile, the two lifelong friends weren't having much luck either.
"I can't believe you would accuse my father of being a criminal. After all he's done for you!"
"Hey, I'm just as upset about this as you are, but I know what I heard and saw! Mako was right there with me, so I didn't make any of this up!"
Asami never felt more angry with Korra in her whole life. "I can't believe you're choosing him over me!"
Korra took a step back in shock, "What? Don't be ridiculous! This isn't about taking sides!"
"If you don't drop this, consider our friendship over!"
The words stabbed Korra like a knife. Asami had been like a third sister her whole life. And now, she was willing to permanently cut ties with her for what she did to her father. But, regardless of the hurt, she couldn't deny the truth. Even if her friend did.
"I'm sorry, but you don't know your father as well as you think."
Asami had heard enough. "Fine, if that's the way you want to be, then you can just pack your things and get out of my house. You and your firebender!"
"Maybe I will!"
With a whip of her hair, Asami walked away from Korra and towards Bolin, who wrapped his arm around her and the two walked way from Mako and Korra, eying them with scorn. Korra hung her head, feeling depressed. Life really was easier before she was the Avatar. Feeling empathy for her, Mako placed a hand on her shoulder as well. As the workers closed the doors of the warehouse, one of them looked at Korra. He walked by the two and placed a piece of paper in Korra's hand. Startled she looked down and noticed it, but the man was already gone. She unfolded the paper and Mako read along with her. She turned to her father and the chief of police.
"Guys, listen to this." the two adults approached her and listened as she read out loud, "If you want to find out the truth, meet me under the north end of the silk rope bridge at midnight."
They had their intel.
Just as the note said, they awaited at the bridge at midnight, but had yet to see anyone.
"Pst! Over here"
They all spotted a man in a long trench coat and hat hiding behind the pillar of the bridge and walked towards him. "Listen, I joined the Equalists I believed in what Amon said. I thought he could make life better for us none benders, but I didn't sign up for this--this war"
"What do you have on Hiroshi Sato?" Lin asked curiously, making sure this guy was legit.
"He manufactured those gloves for the equalists"
"See, we told you we weren't lying!" said Mako.
"And there are rumors he's working on something even bigger." said the man as he lifted up the collar of his coat to hide his face, "Some new kind of weapon"
"We searched all of Future Industries and found nothing" Tenzin explained.
"That's because he has a secret factory"
Korra's eyes widened, "Where?"
"It's right underneath the Sato mansion"
On board the police airship, Korra was taking slow deep breaths as she looked out the window. Mako approached her, "Nervous?"
"What gave it away?"
"You're not exactly good at hiding your emotions."
"It's all just so crazy. A few months ago I was just a normal girl trying to make ends meet so I could travel the world. And now a mad man's after me, by best friend hates me, and I have all of this power and responsibility on my neck and no idea how to handle it!" she pounded her fists onto the window, hanging her head in despair. "Why me? Why did I have to be the Avatar?"
"Nobody said it was an easy job."
"No one said it would be this hard either." she turned to Mako, her eyes sparkling in the stunning way they always did. "But I really appreciate you being here for me. At this point, I'm not so sure who I can really trust."
Mako placed hand on her shoulder, smiling kindly. "You can always trust me, Korra."
She gently placed her hand over his, staring deep into his amber eyes. "I know."
For one brief moment, all of Korra's worries and fears left her. This was a whole new side to Mako she had never noticed before. At first she thought of him as a stoic, serious and by-the-book guy who wanted the best out of life due to his sad past, but she also realized he had a fun side to him as well. Only now, she saw a side of him that was being brave, considerate and clever. He was genuinely caring for her and her well being. Korra had never known a guy who ever made her his top priority and was looking out for her in her time of need, especially since she was so use to being independent most of her life. He was a true friend, a bit annoying at times, but he had a very good heart.
Mako too found himself forgetting his worries as he looked deep into Korra's eyes. Helping her seemed to fill up something inside of him. He liked this detective stuff but, even more so, he liked having Korra as a partner. They worked pretty well together. With his street-smarts and Korra's ambition, they made a great duo. Any doubts and questions he had left his mind, as if they no longer mattered at this point.
After being lost in each other's eyes for a while, Korra was the first to break free of the trance and look down at the city bellow. Mako looked a bit disappointed that she picked now to stop looking at him. What was she trying to keep from him? And was he being the same way too?
Inside the Mansion, Asami and Bolin were relaxing in the living room, but both of them weren't happy in the slightest. Asami felt terrible about what she said to her best friend, and Bolin felt terrible about what he said to Mako. Their thoughts were interrupted when the police entered the room, causing Bolin to raise his arms in fear.
"What are you doing here?" the heiress asked.
"We have reason to believe there's a factory hidden below the mansion" Lin explained.
"I think I would have noticed if there were a factory underneath my house." the heiress said, narrowing her eyes, "The lies you people come up with just to persecute my father."
"Where is your father?" Tenzin asked.
"In his workshop, behind the house"
With this info, they all went to Hiroshi's workshop. Metalbender cops guarded the area as the grouped of friends walked toward the place. The cops burst into the workhouse, but once inside, they found no one there. Not even Hiroshi. "Dad? Hello?" Asami called out as her eyes searched the place.
Once the cops searched, one of them approached Lin. "Chief the estate has been secured. No one has left the work shop since we arrived"
"Perhaps we just couldn't see him leaving", Lin then walked to the center of the room with her hands tied behind her back. She rose her leg and metalbended her left sole, removing it to expose her bare foot and stomped it on the ground. Using her seismic sense to detect what was underneath the workhouse. Lin opened her eyes, "There's a tunnel beneath the workshop, running deep into the mountainside"
"What? There's no tunnel" Asami said in disbelief.
Using her metalbending, Lin removed the metal layer on the floor…exposing the stairs and an elevator going downward. It was a long way down, the light becoming dimmer and dimmer as it reached deeper. Asami stood there, paralyzed in shock and disbelief. She could not believe this was happening. Seeing this, Bolin placed his hand on her shoulder, but the young woman was still too stunned. There really was a tunnel, could that mean that the accusations of her father were true?
"I don't understand. There must be an explanation" she said with as much hope as she could.
Korra looked at her friends with sympathy, "I'm sorry you had to find out this way." she was just as hurt as Asami was.
“Officers, into the tunnel. Be cautious." Lin ordered her metalbenders as they all made their way down the tunnel. Korra, Mako, Bolin and Asami attempted to follow as well, but were stopped by Lin, “You kids stay up here."
"But we can help!" Korra said in protest.
"If Hiroshi is after you, we can't risk putting you in danger. Officer Song, keep an eye on them."
The officer saluted her as she, Tenzin and the rest of the cops walked down the steps and into the tunnel. Tenzin gazed at his daughter, noticing the unmistakable hurt in her eyes. Once the adults were gone, Korra wrapped an arm around Asami. Neither of them said a word.
The metalbenders had found an elevator which took them down the tunnel. Once they jumped out they cautiously walked into a massive room. Once inside, they were astonished to see that the room had various Amon posters hanging up form the ceiling with pictures of Amon, as well as strange armor machines resting on the side of the wall, and boxes filled with the electric gloves.
"I'm guessing those are the new weapons" said Lin as she studied the machines. They were these metallic giants with claws for hands and a cockpit that looked like a cyclops's head.
"Hiroshi really was lying." Tenzin said with much disappointment. "But where is he?"
A metal wall was suddenly rise up, blocking the exit and causing the room to go dark. They were all trapped.
"What was that?!" Bolin asked. From above, Korra and the others could hear the sound. This was not a good sign.
"We need to get down there and see what's going on!" said Mako looking down at the dark tunnel.
"Absolutely not!" said the cop who was keeping a watchful eye on them, "You're staying put until the chief comes back."
Bolin gave his brother a look and Mako quickly realized what he had in mind. "Alright, we'll stay put, but could we wait outside or something? It's so dusty in this workshop" he said while rubbing his nose. Asami and Korra looked at him suspiciously.
"No, we're waiting right here" said the police officer. None the less, Mako played it cool.
"Okay, but don't blame me if I start to sne---if I start sne--sneez---"
"What's your problem, bub?"
The cop was blow back down on his feet when Mako 'sneezed' a fire blast from his mouth. The girls stepped back a few feet and the officer fell on his back, right after Bolin bended a rock from underneath him. He jumped onto the cop and the two brothers tied him up to a barrel as he struggled to break free. Korra gagged him with a hanker shift.
"Sorry pal, we know you were just doing your job." she said.
"Yeah, just stay put until the Chief comes back." said Bolin, "That sounds very familiar doesn't it, why? Because you said it."
The girls were the first to walk towards the entrance of the tunnel, but were both stopped by the boys. Mako held Korra while Bolin held Asami.
"Guys, wait!" said the firebender, "You should stay here. We'll check it out."
Korra shook his arm off of her, "What? No! I'm not backing down from this!"
"And I have to find out the truth about my father." Asami said pleadingly.
"We understand, sweetie." Bolin said kindly, "Which is why we're going to find out for you. Please."
She could see it in his eyes, Bolin didn't want anything to happen to her. He was only trying to protect her. His feelings for her were stronger than anyone gave them credit for, and she knew it. She didn't want him to worry, so she complied. "Alright."
Mako looked into Korra's eyes. He didn't need to say anything for she knew what he would say. They couldn't risk Amon taking her, then any chance of defeating him would be for nothing. "Be careful." she said.
He nodded and the two boys walked into the tunnel. The girls watched with uncertainty as the boys slowly disappeared from sight. Asami whispered to Korra, "We're going down there, aren't we?"
Lin tried to ben the metal wall so they could escape, but to no avail. "I'm afraid you won't be able to metalbend that wall, Chief Beifong."
tension silently gasped when he heard a familiar voice talking from the speakers. The lights around them glowed green in color and the robot machines came to life as they circled around them. The two front machines separated, to reveal Hiroshi himself standing before them. His face was blank, but if examined closer, one could see the clear pain and hurt he felt by doing this.
"It's solid platinum. My mecha tanks are platinum as well. Not even your renowned mother could bend a metal so pure."
Tenzin stepped forward to his old friend, "Hiroshi, how could you do this? Lying to your own daughter!"
Hiroshi didn't answer, instead he stepped away, letting the Equalists controlling the mecha tanks attack them.
The Lieutenant inside the leading mecha didn't waste any more time as he shot out a grappler to capture the benders, but Lin and Tenzin evaded it. Another meca tank attacked the metalbender cops but they also dodged the incoming attack, shooting out cables to wrap around the maca tank's arms, holding it down. Two more cops ran up and metalbended to hold off another meca tank that was coming at them, being controlled by more of Hiroshi's fellow Equalists. Lin ran forward, dodging the grappler of Hiroshi's meca tank and earthbended herself up into the air. She metalbended daggers from her wrist armor and landed onto the head of the meca tank. She broke the glass of the cockpit by stabbing the front, missing the Equalists inside who dodged. Lin kept on stabbing, making the machine move backwards and fell over.
Tenzin used his airbending to avoid the machines, while metalbenders had a very difficult time holding the other meca tanks down. Their cable spools started to spark and overheat with the effort. As they were all pulled forward by the tank, they rose the earth in an attempt to find more foothold with withstand the pull. The maca tanks wrapped the cables around their arms and conducted electricity, electrocuting the officers until they lost consciousness and released their grips.
Lin attempted to deliver another blow, but was then grabbed from behind with a grappler, knocking her forward and against a metal support beam. She was flung across the room and landed hard on the ground. Where she was knocked unconscious.
Tenzin tried to push the Lieutenat's mecha tank back with his airbending, pushing it onto a corner. The Lieutenant shot a grabbling hook at Tenzin, who back flipped to avoid it. He used his aribending to create an air wheel to evade the meca tanks attacks. He jumped up, but the Lieutenant shoot bolas combined with an electric disk which ensnared Tenzin. The air nomad grunted in pain as he was electrocuted and roughly landed on the ground, unconscious. All while Hiroshi watched in dismay.
Once the fight was over, the Lieutenant jumped out of the machine., looking down upon the unconscious airbender. "Well done, Hiroshi. But where is the girl?"
"She will be here." he replied with fear, "I asure you." the man cried out in fear when the Lieutenant slammed him into the leg of the mecha tank.
"Don't play coy! You promised Amon he would have her."
"And he will, I just need more time."
"You know what will happen to your daughter if you don't comply."
"No! Please, don't hurt my little girl! She's all I have left in the world. I'm begging you."
The Lieutenant released him, letting the man breath. "You better stay true to your word." he turned to the other mechas, "Load everyone into the transports and deliver them to Amon!"
A hole was earthbended from the ground and Bolin popped up from underneath along with Mako. They hid behind a few boxes and Bolin let out a silent gasp. "Oh, no"
They saw the Equalists taking unconscious and tied up metalbenders and loading them into their trucks. Mako could not believe his eyes, “We gotta do something, quick!” said the firebender. They all snuck their way towards them, Mako carried Lin on his back while Bolin carried Tenzin.
“Not so fast, boys”
The Lieutenant and Hiroshi stood before the brothers. Bolin started directly at Asami's father. "Mr. Sato…how could you do this to Asami?"
Mako glared at the rich man, “Sponsoring our team, supporting Korra. It was just a big cover.”
"I didn't want to come to this!" he confessed. "Years ago, I was once a follower of Amon after my wife died. I blindly followed his ideals, but the day I saw him take away the bender father of an innocent family, I realized how wrong I was. I broke ties with him ever since. He threatened Asami if I didn't comply! Please, I never wanted to harm anyone, I was only trying to protect my daughter!" the man was then hit in the face by the Lieutenant. He landed hard on the floor, groaning as he tried to stand up again.
"You're a bubbling fool, Sato! The only reason Amon recruited you was for your inventions. But now that we have them, nothing can stop me from finishing you off myself!"
Just as he was about to end Hiroshi's life, the ground beneath him began to shake and a rock was lifted upwards, sending the Equalists flying up into the air and land hard on the floor. The rest for the boys saw Korra had earthbended a rock at the man.
"If this doesn't get me a raise I don't know what will!"
Asami rushed on over to her father. "Dad!" she helped him stand up and the man hugged her tightly.
"I'm so sorry, sweetie. I never wanted you to find out this way." his eyes turned to the Avatar. "Korra, I never wanted to turn you over, I swear. I thought I could buy more time."
Korra only hugged the man the same way Asami did. "I knew you weren't a traitor." she said, letting a single tear escape her eye.
But the moment was cut short when the Lieutenant stood up, ready to attack them. Hiroshi gripped his daughter's arms and whispered into her ear. "Asami, listen to me."
Korra stood in front of the man, protecting her friends and family from him while Hiroshi continued talking into his daughter's ear. He pulled out an electric glove from behind him and secretly handed it to her while Korra fought the Lieutenant. Hiroshi kissed Asami's forehead, who began to cry.
“I love you, dad.”
With a heavy heart, Asami used the glove to electrocute her own father! Bolin and Mako were wide eyed shocked by this, their jaws practically reaching the floor. Korra managed to overpower the Lieutenant and knock him downy o the ground.
The mecha tanks aimed to attack again. "Let's get out of here!" Mako exclaimed and they all jumped into the hole Bolin had created. Asami looked at her father one last time before joining the others. Hiroshi's vision was blurry but he could still see the outline of his pride and joy.
"I love you too, Asami."
On board the police airship, Asami looked down at her former home in dismay. Tenzin stood by Lin who laid on a bed, she had been horribly injured by the meca tanks. "My metalbenders are on their way to Amon, and it's all my fault."
"We'll get them back, Lin." Tenzin promised.
The poor woman tried to get up, but she was terribly injured. Korra stood beside her, taking a bottle of water nearby. "What are you doing?" she asked.
"Calm down, Aunt Lin. You'll be okay." Korra bended the water into her palm, which was now consumed with water. She gently placed it on Lin's ribcage, taking in a slow deep breath as she sang a soft, calming melody, and in response, the water started to glow.
Flower, gleam and glow
Let your power shine
Make the clock reverse
Bring back what once was mine
Heal what has been hurt
Change the fate's design
Save what has been lost
Bring back what once was mine
What once was mine…
Once the glowing stopped, Lin was already starting to feel better as she relaxed on the bed. Tenzin smiled proudly at her daughter. "That was the lullaby your mother and I use to sing to you."
"It helps me with my healing." she said, right before hugging her father.
Bolin walked up to his girlfriend, "What happened back there? Why did you do that to your dad?" he asked, not using an accusing tone rather than a curious one.
"It was all part of his plan. He's going to pretend I betrayed him so Amon will trust him. He's going to infiltrate from the inside."
Bolin then smiled, "So, we've got ourselves a double agent! Awesome!" he then shifted back to being sympathetic, "Are you going to be okay?"
Asami smiled and kissed her boyfriend, "I think I'm going to be just fine." she said with a smile. The two simply stood there, wrapped in one another's embrace.
Korra walked up to Mako, smiling at him. "You think Hiroshi will be able to pull this off?" he asked her.
"I'm sure. He can be pretty convincing at times. I sure did believe he was a traitor. But I'm glad he wasn't."
"Me too. I can only imagine how horrible that would have been for Asami."
"Let's not think about that possibility." she said, "Mako, I…I never got to thank for everything you did. We may have been wrong about Hiroshi but you still stood by me even when nobody else did. So…thank you."
There it was again. That feeling in his heart that he couldn't explain. It was like everything had shifted again, and nothing was ever going to be the same again.
"It was no big deal. I'm just glad you weren't captured."
Korra turned her gaze to the window, "This is only the beginning."