Written By: Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko
Directed By: Joaquim Dos Santos, Ki Hyun Ryu
Storyboard By: Ian B Graham, Choi In Seung, Bae Gi Yong, Park So Young, Jeung Hae Young, Seung Eun Kim, Alan Wan, Hyun Joo Song, Adam Lucas, Colin Heck
Animation By: Studio Mir
Transcribers: Cerulean, Loopy
Tenzin: (voice over) Earth. Fire. Air. Water. (Each of the latest four Avatars --Kyoshi, Roku, Aang, and Korra-- demonstrate the bending of their native element in front of the corresponding symbol.) Only the Avatar can master all four elements and bring balance to the world. (Aang's statue is visible in the Republic City's bay before the camera pans to show Korra standing in line with it.)
["Previously on The Legend of Korra" sequence, including clips from "Welcome to Republic City" and "A Leaf in the Wind"]
Announcer: (voice over) A chance encounter takes Korra from pro-bender spectator to pro-bending star! With her new teammates, Mako and Bolin, the Fire Ferrets earn a place in the championship tournament. But meanwhile and anti-bender revolution brews in Republic City. Who are the Equalists and what nefarious plan does the mysterious man behind the mask have in store for our hero?
(The story opens with a zooming shot of the Probending Arena in the day. The scene jumps within to the training room. The Fire Ferrets are all wearing Probending pads.)
Korra: (catching a medicine ball) What's the big idea with making me train this early in the morning? The morning is evil.
Bolin: (catching the ball from Korra) We're the rookies so we get the worst time slot in the gym.
Mako: (catching the ball from Bolin) And you're the rookiest of us all. We gotta get you up to speed if you want to survive in the tournament. Deal with it!
(Mako tosses the ball hard to Korra, who winces as she catches it and becomes annoyed.)
Korra: You deal with it!
(Korra tosses the ball back to Mako, who catches it, but he's knocked completely off his feet to land skidding on his back.
The camera shifts to show a satisfied Korra with her arms crossed, then pans over to the room's entrance, where Butakha is coming in.)
Butakha: There are my little hard working street urchins. (He walks over to the Korra and Bolin. Pabu is perched on Bolin's shoulder.) It's an honor to finally meet you, Avatar. (He puts a hand on Korra's shoulder as Mako joins the group.)
Korra: (skeptical) And you are...
Butakha: (sweeping his hat off his head in a showman's manner) Butakha! I run this whole Probending shebang. (Butahka replaces his hat and reaches into his coat for a stack of Republic City yuans. Korra walks away with an uninterested slump.) Here's your winnings from last match. (Butakha hands a grinning Mako the bills, but interrupts and wags a finger as Mako tries to take the money. As he continues to speak, Butakha continues to take back yuans off the top of the pile.) Ah-ah! Not so fast. First, you owe me for the Avatar's new gear, ha, gym and equipment rentals for last month. Ah-ah! Rent on your apartment, and a personal loan for groceries.
(Mako turns an angry pout on Bolin, who shrugs in response.)
Bolin: What? I'm a growing boy! (rubbing stomach)
Butakha: Oh! And one more small item of business. The Fire Ferrets need to ante up thirty thousand yuans for the Championship pot.
Bolin: (leans forward and his eyes grow wide) Thirty thousand yuans!?
Butakha: Sorry, kids. You've got till the end of the week to come up with the dough, or else, you're out of the tournament.
(He pats Mako on the shoulder, then walks away. Korra approaches Mako and Bolin again.)
Bolin: You wouldn't happen to have a secret Avatar bank account, over-flowing with gold, would you?
Korra: (turns her pockets inside out to show that they're empty) I got nothing. I've never really needed money. I've always had people taking care of me.
Mako: Then I wouldn't say you have nothing. (He picks up the medicine ball, and packs it into an equipment bag.)
Korra: Sorry, I didn't mean...
Bolin: No, it's alright. It's just... ever since we lost our parents, we've been on our own.
Korra: I'm so sorry. I didn't know.
Mako: (zips the bag and throws it over his shoulder) So anyway, how are we going to come up with the money?
Bolin: Oh! Oh! I got it! (He kneels down and holds Pabu upright against the camera. The ferret's arms droop cutely as Bolin swings him back and forth between Korra and Mako.) I've been training Pabu to do circus tricks. Now people would pay good money to see that.
Mako: Come on, Bolin. We need serious ideas.
Bolin: (quietly, lowering his gaze and bringing Pabu back in close to his body) I was serious.
Mako: Don't worry about it. I'll figure something out. I always do.
(Mako leaves as the other two watch him. The camera zooms in on Bolin's face, and he takes on a serious, determined expression.
The scene changes to Central City Station. The front of the station itself is in the background as the camera pans down over a very large statue of a young Zuko. The statue has one arm raised up, in which a real flame burns. Bolin is revealed to be sitting right in front of the statue, and when the camera shifts closer, it's clear that he's wearing circus-styling over his normal clothes, and has a ridiculously large handle-bar mustache on his face.)
Bolin: (gesturing dramatically) Come one, come all! Come see Pabu, the Fantastic Fire Ferret as he crosses the ladder of peril! Gasp! Upside down. (Pabu is standing on a cup next to a wooden plank suspended between two more cups. The ferret is grooming itself and misses Bolin's cue.) Psst. (Pabu leaps from the cup onto the plank and lands in a handstand. It walks easily across on just its front paws. Bolin coaches the ferret quietly but with excitement, gesturing for it to leap off at the end of the plank.) Big finish, buddy. Stick the landing. (Pabu jumps off the plank onto the sidewalk, landing on its right front paw and posing.) Ta da! (Several people walk by. The first one throws a single coin in the tin cup that Pabu started on, but the others ignore the scene.) Thank you ladies and gentlemen! You are too kind. Seriously, too kind. You can come back here and put money in this, (Bolin picks up the cup, and his faces droops as he shakes the single coin inside.) Okay that's fine. That's fine. One yuan down, twenty-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine to go.
(A red speedster Satomobile pulls up in front of Bolin. The window rolls down to reveal a man in a fancy blue jacket, Shady Shin.)
Shady Shin: Hey, Bolin. Is that you?
Bolin: Oh, hey there, Shady Shin.
Shin: (Gets out of the car and approaches Bolin.) Heard you're a big time pro-bending player now. Not bad.
Bolin: Uh, thanks.
Shin: So listen, I've got an offer for you. Lightening Bolt Zolt is looking to hire some extra muscle.
Bolin: Uh, I don't know, Shin. Mako told me to stay away from the Triple Threats.
Shin: Pft, your brother ain't the boss o'you. It's just a little security work. Nothin' crooked.
(Shin reaches into his jacket and pulls out a stack of yuans, which he throws into Bolin's cup.)
Bolin: (wacky face) Gasp!
Shin: You game?
(The scene cuts to an industrial setting, where a man in a protective apron and mask is bending lightning into a large mechanical battery receiver. The camera shifts to show a line of such people, each finishing and immediately throwing another lightning bolt as needed. A steam whistle sounds, and the first figure lifts his mask to reveal Mako, who wipes sweat from his brow.
The scene changes again to the Probending Arena's exterior at sunset. The scene goes inside to Mako and Bolin's one-room apartment attic. Mako comes up the stairs and goes to sit down on a sofa. He has a bag in one hand.)
Mako: Bo! I'm back! Picked up your favorite dumplings. (sits down) Ugh. Hey, I found some work down at the power plant. It's some decent money. (He takes a dumpling from the bag and eats it, then talks with his mouth full.) Bolin? You here, bro? Huh. (He looks out the window behind him at Air Temple Island, and smirks.) I bet the little lovebird is making a house call.
(Evening has progressed and the sky has darkened as the scene changes to Air Temple Island's exterior Airbending Training Area. Jinora and Ikki are using their Bending to power the Airbending Gates, while Korra circle-walks through the spinning panels. She steps and spins through the obstacle course, smoothly avoiding the panels.)
Jinora: Good! Light on your feet!
(Korra gets through the Gates, and jumps down to where Jinora and Ikki are standing. She leans to rest her hands on her knees, and pants for breath. Ikki and Jinora shift to look behind the Avatar, where Mako is coming up the path.)
Ikki: Ooo, he's cute.
Jinora: (smiling) Korra, is that the handsome firebender boy that drives you crazy?
(The perspective shifts so that Korra is directly facing the camera, and Mako is walking towards the camera. Korra takes on an outraged, embarrassed expression as the girls keep talking.)
Ikki: Does he drive you crazy in a bad way? Or does he drive you crazy like you like him? (Leans forward and clasps her hands hopefully.)
(Korra suddenly Earthbends the ground beneath the girls, flinging them up and off screen. She quickly turns to face Mako, who has finally reached her. Korra raises a hand and tries to innocently clear her throat. As she starts talking, a giggling Jinora and Ikki land lightly in the background with their Airbending.)
Korra: Ahem. Oh, hey, Mako.
Mako: Have you seen Bolin?
Korra: (dryly) Nice to see you to. And no, I haven't seen him since practice. Think somethingís wrong?
Mako: I don't know. (looks off sceen) Bolin has a knack for getting into stupid situations. Sigh See you later.
(Mako turns to leave, but Korra hurries to follow him.)
Korra: Wait! I could, uh, help you look for him.
Mako: Nah, I got it.
Korra: (grabs Mako's arm) Hey, Cool Guy. Let me help you. We can take Naga.
Mako: (turns to face Korra) Who's Naga?
Korra: My best friend! And a great tracker.
(The scene is now Republic City at night. The atmosphere is murky, with the city's color's washed out. A few windows provide light as Korra and Mako, riding one-behind-the-other on Naga's back, travel down the street.)
Mako: Your best friend is a polar bear dog. Somehow that makes perfect sense.
Korra: (teasing) I'll take that as a compliment, city boy.
(Naga brings them to Central City Station, to the same spot where Bolin had been sitting in front of Zuko's statue. The flame glows warmly in the dark. Mako looks around, and sees the sidewalks filled with people.)
Mako: Well, this is his usual hangout. (Mako slides down off Naga. He goes over to a group of children playing around a lamppost. Two of the children are pushing at each other, while a third crouches just behind one of them, causing the defeated child to trip. All the children laugh, including Skoochy.) You guys seen my brother around here today?
Skoochy: Perhaps. My memory is a little, foggy. (He rubs his nose with his thumb and approaches Mako.) Maybe you can help, clear it up. (He raises a hand and motions towards himself greedily.)
Mako: You're good, Skoochy. Huh. A real pro.
(Mako reaches into his pocket and pulls a bill out that he slaps into Skoochy's hand. Korra's jaw drops, and she leans forward for a closer look, before straightening and putting her hands on her hips grumpily.)
Skoochy: (slips the money into his vest) Yeah, I seen him.
Skoochy: 'Bout noon.
Mako: What was he doing?
Skoochy: He was performing some kind of monkey-rat circus. And then...
(Skoochy motions for more money. Mako and Korra trade glances before Mako gets another yuan out of his pocket and gives it to Skoochy.)
Mako: And then what? Why'd he leave?
Skoochy: (leaning toward Mako and covers his mouth with his hand so no one else can see) Shady Shin showed up and flashed some serious cash. Bo took off with him in his hot rod. The Triple Threats, the Red Monsoons, the Agni Kais, all the triads are muscling up for something real big. Now that's all you're getting outta me!
(Skoochy runs off. The other kids follow.)
Korra: What's he talking about?
Mako: Sounds like there's a turf war brewing. And Bolin's about to get caught right in the middle of it.
(Fade to commercial break.)
(Two trolleys pass at a crossing in the Republic City streets, pulling away to reveal Korra and Mako, back on Naga.)
Korra: So where are we headed?
(Naga runs along, passing over a bridge.)
Mako: The Triple Threat Triads' headquarters. Hopefully Bolin's there and nothing's gone down yet.
Korra: Triple Threat Triad? I beat up some of those yahoos when I got into town. Why would Bolin get tangled up with-- (Naga barks and surges forward, prompting some animal off screen to squeal.) Whoa, Naga!
(Naga runs towards the camera as Korra tries to bring him under control, then Pabu runs across the foreground. Naga pursues the fire ferret around a street corner, finally forcing it up a lamppost and onto a street sign.)
Mako: That's Pabu!
Korra: No, Naga! Pabu's a friend, not a snack.
(Naga calms, and Pabu comes back down the lamppost. The camera closes in on the ferret as it leans towards Naga, touching noses with the her. Both animals mollified, Pabu runs up Naga's head, passes Korra, and climbs up around Mako's neck. Both Mako and Korra are amused at the display.)
Mako: (loses his smile) We gotta hurry.
(The scene changes to another Republic City street, and pans down to the Triple Threat Triad's hideout. Mako and Korra approach the front door.)
Mako: (stepping warily across the porch) Something's not right. There are usually thugs posted out front. We better be cautious. (Mako pauses at the door, and moves to press against the wall beside it. He motions Korra to join him, but she nonchalantly goes right up to the door and kicks it open. Mako looks at her in surprise, then follows her in. The room is abandoned, and some of the furniture is turned over.) Bolin? You in here?
(A motor sounds from outside the building, surprising Mako and Korra. They follow the noise to a back door, which Korra kicks open, and upon emerging from the building find a team of Equalist chi-blockers on motorcycles escaping with a truck. The camera closes in on the truck, revealing that its rear door is open. Within, Bolin is tied up and gagged, with Shady Shin behind him. An Equalist chi-blocker steps in front of them and closes the door.)
(Korra an Mako run after them, but the last two Equalist motorcycle-riders toss canisters that release an obscuring cloud of bright green smoke. Korra and Mako come to a halt, and the Equalists escape.)
Korra: (Emerging from the smoke and coughing.) Naga, come!
(Naga comes in from off camera, and Korra follows her. Naga runs out of the smoke-filled ally with Mako and Korra on her back. They give chase to the Equalists, and Mako tosses fireballs at the fleeing motorcycles, but the Equalists avoid the attack. Korra sits straight in the saddle and spins her bent arms in an Earthbending move, causing the ground beneath one of the motorcycles to pop up and ramp the vehicle high in to the air. The Equalist driver maintains control and lands safely before accelerating ahead.
The chase leads into a wide-open square. The rear-most pair of motorcycles turn and skid into a spin that allows the Equalists to face their pursuers. One tosses a bola at Naga, trapping all her legs together. Naga trips and lands jaw-first on the ground, flinging Korra and Mako into the air. Both skid forward on the road after they land, but they recover and look up in time to see the Equalists flipping through the air to attack them. Korra and Mako quickly get to their feet, and each one faces off with an Equalist.
Korra attempts to Firebend a shot at her Equalist, but the masked attacker sails over it with a spinning leap. The Equalist gets in close to Korra, who once again punches a sequence of fire-streams at her attacker. The Equalist ducks under the flames, and knocks Korra's arms to the side. Korra attempts a spinning, flaming drop kick, but the Equalist dodges to the side. When she lands, Korra performs a high fire-kick, and the Equalist does a kick of her own and catches Korra's leg, twisting her around and exposing Korra's unprotected side. The Equalist hits Korra up and down her body with a flurry of light punches.
Korra is left swaying and gasping by the attack, and the side of her body that was attacked droops out of control, including the arm. Korra does more aggressive Firebending with a punch, a sweeping kick, and a jump kick, but the Equalist continues to avoid it all with quick flips. Mako is seen fleeing from his own flipping opponent in the foreground as the camera spins around Korra's battle, before the view switches fully to him. Mako shouts in pain and clutches his right elbow, apparently having just been struck. He regains his composure as his Equalist opponent lands in front of him, and he tries to Firebend in defense, but the Equalist once again dodges and strikes up and down Mako's body with more jabs.
The camera cuts back to Korra, who is also being hit on her remaining good side, all the way down to her feet. She stumbles away, and her Equalist jumps up and kicks her with both legs, knocking her to the ground right beside a fallen Mako.
Naga is shown, still tied up, and growls with bared teeth. She bites down on the rope around her paws and pulls at it.
Meanwhile, Korra and Mako are both still on the ground, reduced to watching with worry as the two Equalists are approach with spinning bolas in each hand. The masked attackers are quickly crossing their arms back and forth in alternating open and closed positions, but just before they throw their weapons, Naga comes growling and leaping at them. She lands between her friends and the Equalists, roaring and chasing the enemy away.
Pabu leaps off Naga's saddle, and screeches its own attempt at an intimidating growl.
The two Equalists exchange looks, then leap away and throw more gas canisters, covering their escape with green smoke. They emerge from the artificial fog on their motorcycles and speed away.
Pabu climbs up Mako, while Naga puts her head against Korra, allowing the Avatar to grab on and be pulled up to her feet. Once upright on her own, Korra attempts a Firebending punch, but her movements are awkward and weak.)
Korra: Argh! I can't bend! (She tries to Firebend again, and her voice get louder and more panicked.) I can't bend!
Mako: (standing up) Calm down, it'll wear off. Those guys were chi blockers. They're Amon's henchmen.
Korra: Amon? That anti-bending guy with the mask?
Mako: Yeah, he's the leader of the Equalists.
Korra: What do they want with the Triple Threats?
Mako: Whatever it is, it can't be good. (Mako closes his eyes and clutches his forehead with one hand.) Ugh, I can't believe Bolin got himself into this mess!
Korra: (putting her hand on Mako's arm) Mako, we are going to save your brother. I promise you that.
(Mako closes his eyes briefly, and turns away from her.)
(The scene fades back to a montage of Korra and Mako riding Naga through various Republic City street locales. Eventually, Naga slows to a stop, panting, while Mako is rubbing his eyes wearily.)
Korra: We've been out all night. No sign of him.
Mako: (insistent) We've got to keep looking. But where?
Korra: I have an idea!
(Korra prompts Naga back in another direction, and the scene shifts to show them arrive at Republic City park. No one is around at this time of night, but a decorative fountain is running at the center of the scene. Naga goes to the fountain and dips her head to drink from it. Pabu climbs down her head, and leans over to also get a drink. The view cuts to Korra and Mako, dismounted and leaning against the fountain's side.)
Korra: The first day I got into town I ran into an Equalist protester over there. (points)
Mako: And you think he'll know where Bolin is?
Korra: It's our only lead right now.
(The scene transitions to show Naga lounging up against a tree just opposite the fountain, with Korra and Mako in turn sitting up against Naga. Mako's eyes are closed, and he has his arms crossed and legs stretched out. Korra's legs are crossed, and she's leaning forward and looking around nervously.)
Korra: (leaning towards Mako) So why is Bolin running around with the Triple Threat Triad, anyway?
Mako: (eyes averted, nervously) Well we, we used to do some work for them back in the day.
Korra: (surprised) What!? (leaning forward accusingly) Are you some kind of criminal?
Mako: (angry and motioning) No. You don't know what you're talking about. I just ran numbers for them and stuff. We were orphans out on the street. I did what I had to do to survive and protect my little brother.
Korra: (looks down, speaking softly) I'm sorry. It must have been really hard. Can I ask what happened to your parents?
Mako: (sigh) They were mugged. By a Firebender. He cut them down right in front of me. I was eight.
Mako: (As he continues to speak, Mako pulls his scarf up to cover his mouth.) Bolin's the only family I have left. And if anything happened to him...
(The scene cuts to a daytime view of the park's trees, seen from below. As the Propagandist begins speaking, the view shifts to show Korra and Mako asleep in the same place they were the previous night. Both are now leaning against each other, heads resting together.)
Propagandist: (chanting) Equality now! Equality now! We want equality now!
(Korra and Mako wake up, and are surprised to find themselves snuggled together. Korra reacts more severely, crying out, waving her arms with panic, and scooting away as quickly as possible. Just as she awkwardly stifles her scream, the pair notice the Propagandist.)
Propagandist: Non-benders of Republic City...
Korra: (pointing) That's the guy.
(The view zooms in on the Propagandist, who's back on his stand and shouting into a megaphone. Posters for the Equalists are hung up around the table, including a large one with Amon on it directly behind the Propagandist. Another plainclothes Equalist man is sitting behind the table, while a citizen walks away looking at a piece of paper.
Korra and Mako approach.)
Propagandist: ...Amon calls you to action! Take back your city! It's time for the -- (gasp) It's you again! You can not silence me, Avatar.
(Korra immediately slaps the megaphone out of his hands, sending the Propagandist hopping back with a scared yelp. The megaphone falls to the ground and shatters into many pieces.)
Korra: Shut your yapper and listen up. My friend got kidnapped by some chi-blockers. Where'd they take him?
Propagandist: I have no idea what you're talking about.
Korra: Oh, I think you do.
(Korra extends one leg upward, and brings it crashing down in a Earthbending kick. The ground beneath the Equalists' table pops up, launching the table out of sight, sending the Propagandist tumbling backwards, sending the other Equalist man crawling away, and scattering the flyers that he was giving out.
The Propagandist crawls around, trying to pick up as many of the papers as he can. Mako catches one and examines it. There's a picture of Amon on it with his arm outstretched and rays of light emanating from his palm.)
Mako: Witness the revelation, tonight, nine o'clock. What's the revelation?
Propagandist: Nothing that concerns the likes of you two!
Korra: (grabs the Propagandist by his jacket and lifts him up with one arm) You better believe it concerns us. Spill it.
Propagandist: No one knows what the revelation is. And I have no idea what happened to your friend. But if he's a bender then my bet is he's getting what's coming to him.
Mako: Where's it happening?
(The sound of a shrill whistle is heard. The view shifts to show a stocky police officer standing on the other side of the fountain.)
Police: Hey! What's going on over there?
Propagandist: The Avatar is oppressing us! Help!
Korra: (throws Propagandist off screen) Let's scram.
(As they run away, Mako leans down to grab more of the flyers. He catches up to Korra, who is already on Naga, and as soon as he's in the saddle, too, the group takes off.)
(The scene changes to the Republic Streets. A train passes on an overhead rail. Mako and Korra are seated on a bench beneath the rail, looking at the flyers they brought with them. A public map of Republic City is hung up on the wall beside them.)
Korra: Why didn't the Equalists put a location on these?
Mako: Probably 'cause they don't want just anyone walking in on their big revelation, whatever that is. I bet the information is hidden on here somehow. Look at the backs. (He Leans over a bunch of the flyers lying randomly on the street in front of him. Some are upside down, showing strange markings in two shades of green.) There's four different images. (Mako picks up two of them, holds them next to each other, and sees that the lines of the design connect. There's a prominent red dot on one of the images.)
Korra: (smiling) So, it's a puzzle?
Mako: (smiling and excited) Yeah, of a map! (Mako stands up and takes four of the flyers, arranged to make a full picture, over to the city map on the wall, and holds them up looking for a match.) Bingo! That must be where it's going down.
(Mako looks over to Korra, who smirks fiercely. Cut to commercial break.)
(It is night once again in Republic City, in a factory neighborhood festooned with empty smokestacks. Many people are moving towards one particular building set a ways apart from the others. Mako and Korra, each wearing a disguising longcoat, observe at a long distance from around the corner of another structure.)
Mako: This is the place.
(The both put on hats to complete their disguises and start towards the building. Korra appears to be wearing Mako's red scarf.
A big-boned bouncer is checking people one-by-one at the door to the Equalist rally. They each show him a paper before they are allowed in.
As Korra and Mako get closer, she grabs his arm and leans into him.)
Mako: (confused, whispering) What are you doing?
Korra: (whispering) We'll attract less attention this way.
Doorman: (crossing his arms over his chest and Korra and Mako approach) This is a private event. No one gets in without an invitation.
Korra: Uh, invitation?
(The Doorman raised an eyebrow, waiting.)
Mako: You mean, this?
(Mako produces one of the map-flyers from his pocket, and holds it up for the Doorman's scrutiny. The Doorman takes and examines it, before turning back to Korra and Mako with a lightened expression.)
Doorman: The revelation is upon us, my brother and sister. (motions them through the door)
(Korra and Mako enter the building. It is mostly dark, and rusty industrial equipment takes up much of the initial space. However, as the infiltrators move deeper into the building, they emerge on a catwalk and look out over the railing.)
Mako: I knew a lot of people hated benders but I've never seen so many in one place. (The camera pans up to reveal a wide-open area where a large audience is forming in front a stage. The stage's backdrop sports a large-sized reproduction of the Amon art from the flyer.) Keep your eyes out for Bolin.
(They make their way down and into the thick of the crowd just as the spotlights start shining on the stage.)
Announcer: Please welcome, your hero, your savior, Amon!
(A section of the floor slides open, and from the glaring light below, a platform elevator raises. Equalist chi-blockers are lined up at regular intervals across it. Amon stands in the center, while the Lieutenant is among the chi-blockers, standing directly to Amon's right. The crowd cheers wildly.
Amon raises his head, letting the light spill down on his mask. The view cuts to Korra, who is still, but her eyes waver in the reflected light. Amon steps forward to where a microphone has emerged from a stand in the stage floor. He pauses to let the crowd continue cheering before holding out a hand and speaking.)
Amon: My quest for equality began many years ago. (Takes the microphone off the stand, causing a brief moment of feedback.) When I was a boy, my family and I lived on a small farm. We weren't rich and none of us were benders. This made us very easy targets for the Firebender who extorted my father. (Starts walking across the stage.) One day, my father confronted this man. But when he did, that Firebender took my family from me. Then, he took my face. (Amon turns to face the crowd, and their sympathetic sounds answer him.) I've been forced to hide behind a mask ever since. (The view shifts briefly to show Korra and Mako exchange glances, before returning to Amon.) As you know, the Avatar has recently arrived in Republic City.
(In response to the crowd's hostility, Korra tugs the scarf over her face, and Mako leans toward her while looking around warily.)
Amon: And if she was here she would tell you that bending brings balance to the world. But she is wrong. The only thing bending has brought to the world is suffering. (Pointing at the crowd.) It has been the cause of every war in every era. (The view shifts to Korra and stays with her, showing her shaking with an angry expression.) But that is about to change. (Korra looks confused, then the view shifts back to Amon looking out over the crowd.) I know you've been wondering, 'what is the revelation?' You are about to get your answer. (A brief look at Korra and Mako shows them exchange another set of worried glances.) Since the beginning of time, the spirits have acted as guardians of our world and they have spoken to me. They say the Avatar has failed humanity. (Korra is shown getting angry again. Back on the stage, Amon puts a hand to his heart.) That is why the spirits have chosen me to usher in a new era of balance. They have granted me a power that will make equality a reality. The power to take a person's bending away, permanently.
(The camera closes in tight on Korra, whose eyes go wide with shock.)
Korra: That's impossible. (turns to Mako) There's no way.
Mako: This guy is insane.
Amon: Now, for a demonstration. (Amon motions to the back of the stage, where the Lieutenant is bringing out a line of men with their hands tied behind their backs.) Please welcome Lightening Bolt Zolt, leader of the Triple Threat Triad, and one of the most notorious criminals in Republic City.
(Zolt is brought up to stand beside Among himself.)
Zolt: (angry) Ah, boo yourself!
(The other captives are being herded by the chi-blockers along the back of the stage and forced to their knees. Among them is Shady Shin, but the view zooms in on the last in the line-up, Bolin, who's looking around with obvious fear.)
Korra: There's Bolin.
(Korra starts forward as if to rescue him right there, but Mako grabs her shoulder and pulls her back.)
Mako: Wait! We can't fight them all. We need to be smart about this.
Korra: Then come up with a game plan, (harsher) team captain.
Amon: Zolt has amassed a fortune by extorting and abusing non-benders. But his reign of terror is about to come to an end. (The Lieutenant unties Zolt's hands.) Now in the interest of fairness I will give Zolt the chance to fight to keep his bending.
(Zolt is shoved to the opposite side of the stage from Amon, but he immediately turns to face his challenger.)
Zolt: (smug) You're gonna regret doing that, pal.
(Zolt immediately throws a series of fireballs straight at Amon, who dodges them with sidestepping leaps that gradually carry him forward. Zolt moves his hands together and summons lightning, which he shoots at Amon with a leaping thrust. Amon once again side-leaps the attack and, finally reaching Zolt, grabs his lightning-spewing arm and moves it down in a wide arc. Lightning shoots wildly, scorching the stage before moving up to play along the stage's scaffolding and spotlights.
Then, Amon jabs a finger in the back of Zolt's neck, causing the gangster to gasp. Amon raises his other hand, and brings it down smoothly on Zolt's head. Amon's thumb pokes down on Zolt's forehead, while his next two fingers poke across at the side of Zolt's head, just before the ear. Zolt's eyes go wide, and his irises shrink.
As Korra and Mako watch, Zolt's lightning shrinks to fizzle harmlessly in the air, then turns into plain Firebending, which in turn extinguishes completely. Amon lets go of Zolt, and the gangster flops down to the floor of the stage. Amon waits patiently while his opponent pushes himself back up. Zolt tries to punch a fireball at Amon, but no flame appears and he loses his balance and topples weakly forward to slam back to the stage floor.)
Zolt: (scared) What, what did you do to me?
Amon: Your Firebending is gone. Forever.
(The crowd gasps. Korra stares up at the stage in slack-jawed shock.)
Amon: The era of bending is over. A new era of equality has begun.
(Amon raises a fist, and the crowd breaks into cheers and applause. One of the chi-blockers on the stages pulls Shady Shin to his feet, unties him, and kicks him forward.)
Korra: (turning to Mako) Any ideas yet?
Mako: I think so. See those machines? (Mako looks over to a series of pipes set against the wall, surrounding a pair of large canisters.) They're powered by water and steam. If you can create some cover I can grab Bolin without anyone seeing, then, we duck outta here.
Korra: Works for me. (As Mako starts to move, Korra holds him in place by the shoulder.) Mako, good luck. (She holds up a hand to him.)
Mako: (clasping her hand) You too.
(They escape the crowd and separate. Korra looks around to make sure no one is watching, and heads into a hallway behind a large piece of machinery. She finds a boiler, and turns one of the valves with some effort. A gust of steam shoots out of a nearby pipe.)
Korra: No, that's not enough.
(She crouches down to try another valve, setting off another small jet of steam.)
Doorman: Hey you.
(The Doorman approaches from the far end of the hallway. Korra stands up in response.
Meanwhile, Mako is forcing his way to the front of the crowd. On stage, Amon has Shady Shin in the same grasp that he used to take away Zolt's bending. Shin is gasping and shaking. The last of the Triad captives looks at Bolin with evident fear, then is hauled to his feet by a chi-blocker.
In the boiler room, Korra and the Doorman are looking at each other.)
Korra: Is there a problem, my brother?
Doorman: What are you doing back here?
Korra: Uhh, looking for the bathroom.
(Korra smiles hopefully, but the Doorman takes a wrench out of a pocket. Korra's eyes narrow as she prepares to defend, and the Doorman twirls the improvised weapon in his fingers before swinging it hard at Korra. She sidesteps and ducks under his attacks, and the last blow of the wrench lands on something metal as the scene cuts back to the stage. Amon is taking the bending of another Triad thug, while Mako looks around anxiously.)
Mako: Come on...
(Back in the boiler room, Korra dodges another swing of the wrench, and pulls Mako's scarf off her neck. She whips it into the air, and when the wrench comes down again, she twists the scarf so that it wraps around the Doorman's arm. Korra pulls the scarf so that the Doorman swings away from her, then she pulls him back towards the boiler and snaps the scarf free so that the Doorman goes flying into the boiler machinery. His impact breaks open a series of pipes, flooding the corridor with steam.)
Korra: Thanks. This should be enough.
(Back on the stage, a chi-blocker unties a terrified Bolin and shoves him to his feet. Bolin stumbles out into the center of the stage, and winds up facing Amon, who is letting go of the last Triad thug. As the crowd cheers, Amon turns to face Bolin.
Bolin: (tapping fingers together nervously) Uhh, hello, Amon, sir. I think there's been a big misunderstanding.
(Back in the boiler room, the entire scene is obscured by steam, and Korra is bending it out with full-arm Bending motions. She thrusts her palm forward for an especially strong burst of Bending, and the scene cuts back to Bolin on the stage, where an explosion opposite the stage startles everyone and sends steam pouring out over everything while the crowd screams and runs. Amon simply looks at everything, then turns and walks back into the obscuring fog.
Bolin is looking around when a chi-blocker comes out of the steam and grabs him from behind. Mako, in turn, pops out of the steam behind the chi-blocker and grabs the masked Equalist by the arm. He flips the chi-blocker straight off the stage.)
Mako: Bolin! You alright?
Bolin: Yes! (claps hands together) Mako! I love you!
(Bolin holds his arms out for a hug, but Mako simply hooks his brother in one arm and drags him back into the fog.
The scene cuts to an exterior balcony on the building, where a door opens up spewing steam and the escaping brothers. They make immediately for a ladder on the far side of the balcony and start climbing down. While they're still descending, the Lieutenant comes out of the open door, and finds them on the ladder. Mako looks up to see the Equalist take out a pair of metal truncheons and spin them in his hands so that they're pointing down at the ladder. The Lieutenant presses the clubs against the top rung, and they release a visible burst of electricity that shocks both brothers. They let go and fall off the ladder into a wide alley. The Lieutenant leaps down after them, striking with his shock batons again as he lands. The brothers flip out of the way, and take Probending stances.
Mako punches a burst of fire, but the Lieutenant dodges and rushes in at the Firebender. He swings his truncheons in at Mako, who attempts to sidestep but is still hit and knocked to the ground. Bolin does a full front-flip that shoots over a heavy disk of earth, but the Lieutenant jumps over it. Bolin tries again with the same results, and so panics and raises an earth wall to protect himself from the approaching Equalist. The Lieutenant does a leaping handstand straight over the wall, and delivers a flurry of electric baton strikes. Bolin is backed against his own wall, and the Lieutenant makes him scream and knocks him unconscious with a double-thrust of the electric weapons.
Mako comes from around the wall with a fiery jump kick, but the Lieutenant blocks the flame with his batons. Mako kicks again, but the flames only knock Bolin's wall down, as the Lieutenant flips in a circle around his attacker. The two men exchange a series of blows, electricity versus fire, but the Lieutenant gets an opening and stabs a baton forward against Mako's chest. Mako screams and goes down.)
Lieutenant: You benders need to understand there's no place for you in the world anymore.
(Abruptly, the ground beneath the Lieutenant erupts into a slanted slab of Earthbending, flinging him hard against the alley wall. He crashes heavily to the ground, but weakly pushes himself up to see Korra in a Bending stance, backlit with golden light.)
Korra: I wouldn't count us out just yet. (The Lieutenant falls back to the ground, and Korra whistles towards the alley entrance.) Naga!
(Naga comes running down a set of stairs at the far end of the alley. Korra helps Mako to his feet, and as Equalist chi-blockers comes streaming out of the door that the brothers had escaped from earlier, the two Benders mount Naga. Bolin comes to and looks around wearily, then screams in panic as Naga runs straight over him and grabs his shirt in her jaws. As the dog runs, Bolin is bounced up and down uncomfortably.
Bolin: Ah. Stop. I want. To be. On. Your back.
Lieutenant: (pointing at the escaping Naga) The Avatar. That's her!
(The chi-blockers start running after Naga, but the camera pulls back to reveal Amon standing on the balcony above with his hands clasped behind his back.)
Amon: Let her go. (raising his arms to lean on the railing) She's the perfect messenger to tell the city of my power.
(The scene changes to a shot of the full moon, and pans down to reveal Air Temple Island. Tenzin is talking with a pair of White Lotus guards on a roofed walkway when he sees Korra approaching by herself. Tenzin hurries over to her and puts his arms on her shoulders.)
Tenzin: Thank goodness. I was just about to send out a search party. Are you alright?
Korra: (turning away and crossing her arms) Nun-uh.
Tenzin: Korra. What happened? Did you find your friend?
Korra: Yes, but. I was at an Equalist rally. I saw Amon.
Tenzin: (surprised) What?
Korra: He can take people's bending away. For good.
Tenzin: That's... (eyes shifting briefly to the side) That's impossible. Only the Avatar has ever possessed that ability.
Korra: But I saw him do it.
Tenzin: (quietly) I believe you. I don't know how Amon has achieved this power. But this means the revolution is more dangerous than ever. No bender is safe.
(The view pans up over Korra and Tenzin to focus on the distant Republic City, its lights shining brightly in the night.)
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