The Battle of Zaofu
Written By: Tim Hedrick
Directed By: Melchior Zwyer
Storyboard By: Sol Choi, Elsa Garagarza, Shaun O'Neil, Owen Sullivan
Animation By: Studio Mir
Transcribers: Icy_Ashford, Psycho Silver
[Previously on "The Legend of Korra" sequence, including clips from "Enemy at the Gates".]
Shiro Shinobi: Kuvira threatens to take Zaofu by force. After tensions flared between Su Bei Fong and her former protege, Korra brokered a truce. But it was too late. Su and her sons were already on their way to put an end to Kuvira. Meanwhile, Bolin and Varrick learned of Kuvira's true tyrannical intent and deserted her army. But they were captured and betrayed by Zhu Li. Now they're being held against their will.
(Episode opens to Kuvira's campsite at night and mechatanks stand guard around Kuvira's tent. Camera pans out to a full view of the campsite and searchlights can be seen searching up and down the camp grounds in the distance. In the foreground, a soldier patrols the hill near the campsite with a flashlight in hand. Suddenly, a strip of metal is bent around his mouth and his shouts are muffled. He throws away the light in surprise as a cable shoots out from a nearby bush and wraps around his ankles, knocking him off his feet. He continues to groan behind the makeshift gag as his body is dragged into the shrubs. Cut to a view of the bushes and camera pans up to the branch of the tree above the bush as three cables shoot out and wrap themselves around the tree branch.
Switch to a slight close up of the branch as the cables reel upwards. Three figures clad in black stealth suits land on the branch and they are the silhouettes of Su and her twin sons.)
Wing: (whispers) Are you sure this will work? (cut to a close up of the trio) Even without Kuvira, they could still crush us.
Su: Most of this army has been forced into service by Kuvira. If we take her out, they'll have no reason to fight. (cut to a frontal shot of Su's face as she pulls the hood of her suit up, covering her head) Tonight we end her reign of terror. (she pulls up another portion of her mask to cover her mouth and nose, only leaving her eyes unprotected)
(Scene changes to a mechatank patrolling the grounds where the tanks are parked. Camera pans down a tank to reveal Su and her sons hiding under it. Cut to an aerial shot of the tanks, supply crates, and the mechatank walking away as the three of them quickly come out from under the tank and run forward quietly. Switch to a shot of even more parked tanks as Su peeks out from behind one and quickly ducks behind it when a searchlight beams in her direction. As the light moves away, Su and her son move forward. In the foreground, the other twin advances as well.
Cut to a bunch of supply crates and energy generators in front of Kuvira's tent as the three of them take cover behind the makeshift barricade. Su stands up and we cut to one of her eyes peeking through the gaps between the crates as we hear a mechatank stomping off-screen. Switch to her point of view as said mechatank trudges past in front of her. Return back to a full body shot of Su as she stomps one foot on the ground and the camera switches to a very familiar seismic sense that Toph uses. The screen goes black and white shockwaves radiate outwards from Su's foot, towards the mechatanks and into Kuvira's tent where we see Kuvira sleeping on a bed in the middle of her tent. Return back to Su as she addresses her sons.)
Su: (whispers) She's alone in there. Now's our chance.
(Cut full body shots of the trio as they bend at the ground repeatedly and create small, individual tunnels in the ground. All three of them disappear into the ground like moles. Cut to the floor of Kuvira's tent as a hole is bent open in the metallic floor and Su and her sons jump up from the hole. Switch to the cable holder on Su's hip as she shoots out a cable. Camera pans out to Kuvira's sleeping form with her arms up in front of her face as the cable wraps around Kuvira's torso. Su tugs the body towards her and we cut to a frontal shot of Zhu Li dressed up as Kuvira. It was a trap!)
Zhu Li: Don't hurt me!
Su: (cut to Su as she pulls down her hood to reveal her whole head) Zhu Li?
(Alarms blare and we switch to a shot of Kuvira's tent as the walls are pulled away. Cut to an aerial shot of the tent as numerous metalbenders and mechatanks surround them. Two searchlights focus their attention on the trio. Cut to Su getting into a defensive posture as a mechatank is heard stomping towards them. Switch to Kuvira with two mechatanks by her side.)
Kuvira: (walks forward) I knew you'd try a sneak attack. (return back to a shot of the trio surrounded by the army with Zhu Li seated upright on the bed behind them) You were afraid to step up and lead the Earth Kingdom when you had the chance, you were afraid (cut back to a stern looking Kuvira) to join me when I became the leader, and now you're afraid of a fair fight. (cut to Su and her sons, angered and holding their positions) You've always been a coward. (Su doesn't take kindly to that statement and we return to Kuvira as she turns and walks away) Take them.
(The two mechatanks raise their arms and shoot out arcs of electricity.
Scene changes to the closed petal domes of Zaofu at night.)
Jinora: (off-screen) Korra, you have to go stop Su before she does something terrible!
(Cut to Jinora, Opal, and Korra gathered in front of the guest houses. In the foreground, Baatar Sr. sits worriedly on a chair with his hands clasped against his chin.)
Opal: Stop her? We should be helping her!
Korra: We have no idea where your Mom is or what her plan is. (switch to a close up of the girls) If we go charging into Kuvira's camp, we could get them all captured or worse. (worriedly) All we can do now is wait.
(Cut to a close up of Opal as she looks down angrily. A loud speaker whines and blares to life.)
Kuvira: (on the announcement system) Attention, citizens (Opal is surprised) of Zaofu. (return back to a shot of Baatar Sr. and the girls as they turn their heads towards the speaker) Your leader, (switch to a close up of Baatar Sr.) Su Bei Fong, attempted to attack me tonight while I slept, (cut to a view of the speakers) ignoring the terms of our truce. Luckily, I now have her (cut back to Opal) and her assault team in custody.
Opal: (in disbelief) No.
Kuvira: Rest assured (camera pans across the other residents of Zaofu as they stop in their tracks on the street and look up at the speakers) that I will not take revenge on the peaceful citizens of Zaofu, as long as your remaining representatives (camera pans across families with young children) meet me outside the city at dawn to offer the full (a young boy hugs his mother's legs) and unconditional surrender of your city. That is all. (the loud speak whines again and is switched off)
(Return back to Jinora, Opal, and Korra.)
Opal: (reacts angrily) Korra, you can't let Kuvira (clenches her fists) get away with this! We have to go break out Mom and my brothers!
Jinora: (empathetic) You swore an oath (Korra looks at Jinora sadly) of non-aggression when you became an airbender. (frowns) You can't just attack Kuvira.
Opal: I don't care about the oath. I have to save my family!
Korra: No, (rests a hand on Opal's shoulder) Jinora is right. Your mom attacked the camp. Kuvira was just defending herself.
Opal: (shrugs Korra's hand away) Defending herself? (frowns) She was going to attack our city! I can't believe (a door opens off-screen) you're refusing to fight. (Opal's expression softens)
(Switch to a shot of Meelo and Ikki in their pajamas as they sleepily walk out of the guest house. Baatar Sr. walks up to the girls and the children.)
Meelo: (rubs his eyes) Why is that loudspeaker lady (Ikki stretches in the background) talking when I'm trying to sleep?
Baatar Sr.: Korra, (Huan enters the frame with very wild bed hair on his head) what are we going to do?
Korra: Jinora and I will go talk to Kuvira at dawn, and maybe we can work something out. (to Opal) I promise I'll do everything I can to keep the peace.
Opal: (cut to Opal and Huan) I'll go with you.
(Cut to Korra, the airbender kids, and Baatar Sr.)
Ikki: We'll go, too.
Jinora: (turns her head towards her younger siblings) No. (Meelo crosses his arms and we switch to a close up of Jinora with a serious expression on her face) Dad told us to find Korra, and we found her. (softens her expression into concern) Now you need to stay safe.
Ikki: (return back to the previous shot) Come on, let us help.
Korra: (turns around to face the younger kids) I can't risk anyone else being captured. (bends down to their height) You can stay with Baatar and Huan while I work this out with Kuvira. (Meelo crosses his arms again and pouts) Make sure (to Baatar Sr.) they get back to Tenzin safely if anything goes wrong. (Baatar Sr. nods)
Meelo: (pouts) Aw, man. When am I gonna see some action?
(Scene changes to a train speeding down the tracks in the morning. Cut to Varrick asleep on the floor of said train.)
Varrick: (mumbles in his sleep) Cookie jar empty. (cringes with fear) No hot towels. Waxy buildup. (wakes up and pushes himself off the floor with a scream) Zhu Li!
(He glances around and we can hear Bolin yawning off-screen. Cut to a full shot of him and Bolin in a jail cell.)
Varrick: (sadly) Aw, she really is gone.
(The doors to the jail block slide open to reveal Baatar Jr. and two guards. Switch to a back view shot from behind Varrick as Baatar Jr. and the guards walk into frame and stop in front of the cell.)
Baatar Jr.: Up and at 'em, Varrick. Time to go to work. (Guard #1 unlocks the door to the cell) We have another lab set up for you. (Guard #2 slides the door open) Kuvira wants the spirit vine weapon operational as soon as possible.
Varrick: (cut to a close up of Varrick) Zhu Li always greeted me in the morning with a- (smiles to himself) hot cup of tea. (Guard #1 enters the frame)
Baatar Jr.: (off-screen) You'll get your tea (the guard grabs the front of Varrick's uniform and pulls the inventor up to his feet) when you start working. (switch to a shot from behind Baatar Jr's head looking into the cell)
Varrick: Well, I'm really only productive (straightens his uniform) for about fifteen minutes a day, (crosses his arms) usually in the afternoon around 3:45.
(Guard #1 look over to Baatar Jr. who nods. The guard then grabs the front of Varrick's uniform and roughly shoves the inventor against the wall.)
Baatar Jr.: You'll work now. I want you to show me how the device works.
Bolin: (yawns off-screen and we cut to Bolin looking bleary eyed with sleepiness) What's going on?
Baatar Jr.: (off-screen) Go back to sleep. (switch to everyone else looking at the teen) We only need Varrick. You'll need your energy when you get to the re-education camp.
Varrick: I can't be expected to work without an assistant. Without Zhu Li, I'm helpless.
Baatar Jr.: (cut to a close up of Baatar Jr. as he doesn't look amused) One of the guards will be your assistant. I'll be supervising.
Varrick: (return back to Varrick as he scrutinizes the guard) Well, I guess he'll be fine, as long as (waves his hands and fingers around) he doesn't need his hands afterwards. (chuckles)
Guard: (turns towards Baatar Jr.) What's he talking about, Sir?
Varrick: (comically slides towards the guard to freak him out) The last time we worked with the spirit vines, it created an uncontrollable blast (cut to a close up of the guard) that burned through a wall and could still be blowing up (the guard reacts with alarm) comets in space, as far as I know. (return back to a shot of Varrick, the guard, and Baatar Jr.) I wouldn't want to assist me if I were you.
Guard: (to Baatar Jr.) Maybe we should just let (points a thumb to Bolin) the kid help him out.
Baatar Jr.: Fine. (turns his head towards the lavabender) Bolin can assist. (everyone looks off-screen)
Bolin: (cut to Bolin as he looks startled) Wait, what? (looks at his hands) I need my hands! (the guard takes a step towards the boy) Uh, (hides his hands under his armpits) hold on. Can we get breakfast first? (the guard grabs Bolin's shoulders) While we still have hands?
(The guard turns Bolin around on the floor and drags him off-screen.
Scene changes to an overhead shot of Korra, Opal, and Jinora walking towards Kuvira and her army. Cut to a close up of Kuvira with her men behind them. In the background, we can see that Su and her sons are individually imprisoned in what is presumably a full body platinum cage that leaves only the head exposed. Switch to a profile shot of the scene as the peacekeepers walk forward and stop a distance away from Kuvira. Cut to a close up of the girls.)
Opal: Release them now!
Kuvira: (cut to a close up of the dictator as she replies coolly) If Su agrees to bow to me and turn over Zaofu, she and the rest of your family will not be harmed.
(Cut to Su and her twin sons as they frown defiantly.)
Su: (incensed) Never! I'll never bow to you!
(Switch back to the peacekeepers as Opal has her jaw clenched with quiet rage.)
Korra: There must be some way for us to resolve this.
Kuvira: (return to Kuvira and her army) I've already laid out my terms, and I think they're very reasonable. After all, Su did try to take me out during our peaceful negotiations.
Wei: (cut back to the captured strike team) You call bringing an army to threaten our city peaceful?!
(Cut back to the stand off between both sides.)
Opal: Where's Bolin? I know he would never go along with this!
Kuvira: Bolin is with my fiance, working on something very important, (cut to a close up of Opal looking rather irked) but I assure you he's on board with my plans. You two have been apart (Opal blinks and lowers her head slightly but her teeth still remain clenched) for some time. I guess you don't realize how much Bolin has grown up. (cut back to Kuvira as she frowns) Now turn over Zaofu.
Korra: (switch to a frontal shot of the peaceful crew) I can't just let you take the city!
Kuvira: (off-screen) Avatar Korra, (cut to close up of Kuvia) you are interfering with internal Earth Empire business and letting your personal feelings get in the way of reason. (switch to a shot of a banner behind Kuvira as it flutters in the wind) Zaofu cannot continue to rule itself. They have been hoarding their riches and technology too long. (cut to Kuvira, still with a no-nonsense expression on her face) I'm here to distribute those resources fairly throughout the nation. This is about equality.
Opal: (return back to profile shots of the girls) You don't care about equality! This is about control! (to Korra) Just take her down. You know it's the right thing to do. You have to stop this!
Kuvira: (view changes back to Kuvira) The only way you're going to keep me from marching into Zaofu is if you physically stop me. (return back to a frontal shot of Korra and the girls) Now what are you going to do?
Korra: It looks like you're not giving me a choice.
(A powerful drum beat pounds and we cut to Kuvira as she looks down with a smile.)
Kuvira: Fine. (turns around to address her army) I want you all (cut to an aerial shot of the battalion) to know that I would never ask any of you to do something that I'm not willing to do myself. (camera pans across the masked metalbenders) So rather than risk your lives, I will fight the Avatar one-on-one. (cut to Korra as she looks serious) Korra, if you win, then you can do whatever you want with Zaofu. (return back to a profile shot of Kuvira) But after I beat you, I want you out of my business for good. I'm the one who brought peace to the Earth Empire, (frowns) not you. You're not relevant here anymore.
(Return back a frontal shot of the peacekeepers.)
Korra: (gives a cocky smile) Fine. You want to fight the Avatar? Then let's finish this right here, right now!
(Cut to a close up of threatening Kuvira as the music comes to a climax and stops. Cut to commercial break.)
(Fade into a high, wide shot of Korra, Opal, and Jinora standing across from Kuvira and her army. Cut briefly to Su and her sons, then to Kuvira, then to Korra, Opal, and Jinora.)
Jinora: Are you really ready to fight her?
Korra: Just stay back and let me handle this. It's been a while, but I got a lot of pent-up rage.
Opal: Don't mess around. Kuvira is too good. Just go into the Avatar State and get it over with.
Korra: No, I'm only going to use that as a last resort.
Jinora: (touches Korra's arm) Be careful.
(Opal and Jinora walk back and Korra pops her neck and gets into a fighting stance. Cut to a far shot from the side as Kuvira steps forward.)
Kuvira: Use whatever you want, all the elements, the Avatar State, anything you need. (smirks and gets into her stance) I know you're a little rusty.
Korra: Enough talk.
(Korra punches twice and shoots out two blasts of fire. Kuvira evades the attacks, and Korra follows up with a jumping roundhouse kick that sends out an arc of fire. Kuvira ducks under it and evades another fire punch. Korra kicks a large rock at Kuvira, but she leans out of the way, as well as avoiding another fire blast by ducking. Kuvira dashes forward and knocks away Korra's next punch with a small spire of rock, then follows up by flinging a rock at Korra's stomach. Korra grunts and stumbles back, and Kuvira throws two metal strips which latch onto Korra's wrist and ankle. The Avatar only has a short moment to look down before Kuvira swings her arms in a circular motion to the side, and Korra goes cartwheeling through the air and landing hard on the ground. Kuvira's soldiers cheers, and we see Zhu Li clapping with a bemused expression.)
Kuvira: (chuckles and bounces on the balls of her feet) Looks like the Avatar is a little off her game.
(Korra slowly pushes herself back up and gets into her stance. Cut to Opal and Jinora.)
Opal: Don't let her get you frustrated! She wants you to make a mistake!
(Cut to a close up of Korra as she squints. Korra does a wide uppercut and bends up a wave of rocks underneath Kuvira, but Kuvira rolls to the side and then backflips when Korra swings her other fist and sends out a blast of air. Korra runs up the rocks and then propels herself higher with a rock spire before doing a flying side kick and sending another strong air blast at Kuvira. Kuvira ducks to the side, and as Korra lands she does a side kick and shoots out a blast of fire. Kuvira ducks under it and does a sweeping kick, bending the earth under Korra's foot to trip her. Korra is able to land on her shoulder and quickly bounce back on her feet, but just as she does so, Kuvira does a jumping roundhouse and flings a rock into her stomach once more, knocking Korra down. Korra quickly gets back up and wildly throws out a fire blast, then an air blast, both of which Kuvira easily evades. Korra runs at Kuvira, uses earthbending to jump high and does a flaming flying knee, but Kuvira still evades.
Korra throws out another air blast, then follows up with a spinning back kick which sends a large rock at Kuvira, followed up by another spinning kick that shoots out an arc of flame. Kuvira continues to evade all attacks by weaving to the side, and after she evades another boulder, Kuvira thrusts her elbow foward and sends a small wave of earth at Korra's foot. This makes her stumble forward, and leaves Korra open to a metal strip to wrap around her eyes, blinding Korra. Korra is then hit by a rock from below and sent flying back, skidding over the ground. The soldiers cheer as Korra takes the strip off her head and looks worriedly at Kuvira, who is in a low stance, smirking and with her hand forward in an almost beckoning manner. Korra stands back up and yells as she throws out another fire blast.
Scene changes to Baatar Jr's train speeding down the tracks. Cut to Bolin, Varrick, and Baatar Jr. inside the lab as Varrick works on the machine.)
Varrick: (raises a hand up and beckons Bolin) Bolin, do the thing.
Bolin: What thing?
Varrick: (irritably) The thing! (turns around to face Bolin ) I never had to tell Zhu Li what thing!
Bolin: I'm not Zhu Li, okay? (annoyed) Pretend I don't know anything about anything that's happening here. Also pretend I don't want to build a super weapon or get my hands blown off.
(Varrick stands up and walks over to the table nearby to grab a pair of pliers. He holds it up right in Bolin's face as he walks back to the spirit vine contraption.)
Baatar Jr.: (walks towards Varrick, touches his shoulder, and bends down to the inventor's level) Walk me through what you're doing. I want to know every detail of your work.
Varrick: (puts a hand on Baatar Jr's chest and shoves him away lightly) You know, when I started working with the vines, (uses the pliers to tinker with the machine) the point was to find a clean, unlimited source of energy, not develop some spirity death ray.
Bolin: (enters the frame with enthusiasm) Clean energy, sounds great! Who doesn't like that stuff? Let's do that instead.
Baatar Jr.: Quiet. (Bolin raises his hands in the air and walks away) You're here to help, not talk. (to Varrick) And you of all people should realize (stands up) that once a discovery is made, it is our responsibility as scientists to pursue it as far as we can, wherever it leads.
Varrick: (amused) How would you know? You couldn't discover a wolf-bat if it was building a nest in your butt.
Bolin: (chuckles) Ooh.
Baatar Jr.: You're pathetic. (turns around and crosses his arms) Wolf-bats don't build nests.
Varrick: (sarcastically) Ooh, you got me there, Dr. Science. (stands up and walks away) You'll never know how (gets nostalgic) it feels to give birth to genius, only to have it kidnapped and raised by fools.
Baatar Jr.: Are you done with your rambling, or do the guards need to encourage you to continue your work? (a guard enters the frame and walks towards Varrick threateningly)
Varrick: (takes a step back with his hands raised) Okay, okay, okay. (turns around and walks back to Bolin) The last time (cut to a close up of Varrick as he walks past Bolin and turns his head towards the young man) we ran the current through the vine, (winks at Bolin) we couldn't control the power. (cut to Bolin as he appears confused and his eyes dart from side to side to find the answer) So I'm trying something new to see if I can direct it.
(Scene changes back to Korra and Kuvira's fight. Kuvira evades two fire blasts and an air blast, and then begins throwing out metal strips. Korra evades them, and deflects three with airbending, making the strips lodge themselves into the ground. Korra runs foward and propels herself into the air on a pillar of stone. As she comes down she does a forward flip axe kick that sends out a wave of air, then follows up with a punch. Kuvira dodges to the side and counters by punching upward and sending a large stone cube up at Korra. Korra is knocked out of the sky and falls, rolling over the ground. For a brief moment, Kuvira looks concerned as Korra gets back up again. Korra runs at Kuvira and sends out an air wave with a jumping back kick and then a flaming back hand. Kuvira dodges both, and latches a metal strip around the Avatar's wrist. Kuvira flings Korra into the air, and then straight back to the ground. Cut to a close up profile shot of Kuvira as she smirks. Korra gets on her knees and then quickly rolls out of the way of a wave of rocks Kuvira sends at her. Korra gets to her feets and bends a large stone pillar up to block two large rocks flung at her, taking on a more traditional Earthbending stance. Korra then sends the stone flying at Kuvira, who throws her hands up and stops it in front of her easily. Kuvira smirks as she then sends the stone back at Korra, who not so easily stops it in front of her, being pushed back and grunting from the effort. Korra struggles to hold the stone as Kuvira continues to push it against her. Kuvira frowns a moment before she waves her arms to the sides and makes the stone explode, knocking Korra back onto her knees once more. Cut to a close shot of Korra panting as Kuvira stands in the background, Opal and Jinora far in the background. Cut to a closer shot of Kuvira.)
Kuvira: Come on, Avatar. Get up! Show me what you've got.
Opal: We have to help her.
(Opal begins to run forward, but Korra looks up at her.)
Korra: No. Stay back. (stands back up) I can handle this.
(Cut to a close shot of Kuvira and she smirks and retakes her stance.
The scene changes to Bolin, Varrick, and Baatar Jr. on the train. Bolin is in the foreground and he is very bored as he plays with a screwdriver's tip by flicking the bits under his fingernails with it. In the background, Baatar Jr. scrutinizes the machinery while Varrick continues to tinker with it.)
Baatar Jr.: So I see how the current interacts with the vine, and here (touches a tube that connects to all the smaller canisters of vines) is a kind of directional tube, (gestures to the main canister with the biggest spirit vine) but this baffling here at the base... (Bolin sniffs the screwdriver tip and recoils from the stench) It looks like that would only redirect the energy right back where it came from. (Bolin sniffs the rest of his fingers) And what's (points to Varrick) that piece of equipment (Bolin uses the screwdriver tip to clean the fingernail of his pinky) you're fiddling with now on the power source?
Varrick: (grunts) Hand me (beckons a hand to Bolin) the screw-turn-thingy, would ya?
Bolin: Ugh, I can't believe you're helping them. (walks over to Varrick) You know this isn't right.
Varrick: (cut to a close up of Varrick as Bolin hands him in screwdriver) Funny story, Bolin. I first got the idea for harnessing spirit power (tightens something on the machine with the tool) when I watched that giant Unalaq monster attack the city from my jail cell. That giant monster set me free. (he turns around and faces Bolin with a serious expression his face) Trust me, kid. I know what I'm doing.
(Return to Bolin as he looks baffled by Varrick's cryptic words. Cut to a profile shot of Bolin, Varrick, and Baatar Jr. with the spirit vine canister in between the good guys and the latter.)
Varrick: That ought to do it. (looks down at the canister as nothing happens) Huh. (knocks the glass on the canister a few times before taking a step back) Okay, stand back. (He kicks the machine and Baatar Jr. reacts with shock and quickly jumps out of the way. The machine comes to life and all the spirit vine canisters glow purple.) There we go. (a ticking sound is heard)
Baatar Jr.: What's that ticking?
Varrick: That's the timer.
Baatar Jr.: (cut to a close up of Baatar Jr. as he looks unamused) The timer for what?
Varrick: (return back to Varrick as he speaks matter-of-factly) For the bomb, of course!
Bolin: (alarmed) What?! What bomb?
Varrick: (coolly) The bomb that's going to explode in five minutes and destroy this entire train, (Bolin glances around the train car) all of the spirit vines, and everything else within a few hundred yards. (slyly to Baatar Jr.) You know what, I'd get out of here if I were you. (switch to a close up of Baatar Jr. and a train guard as they are appalled) This is the first time I've built a timer, and it might run a little fast. (Baatar Jr. changes his expression to anger) Bolin and I are ready to go down with the ship- or train in this case- but you seem like you have a lot to live for.
Bolin: (return back to Bolin and Varrick as the former grabs the latter's uniform with fear) No, no, no, no! I'm not ready to go down with the ship (shakes Varrick) or the train!
Baatar Jr.: (cut to a profile shot of Baatar Jr.) You're bluffing.
Varrick: (switch to Varrick with a cunning look) Stick around five minutes, and you'll find out who's bluffing. (camera zooms out slightly to reveal a panicked Bolin in front of Varrick as the inventor yells) You'll be sorry you left me, (Bolin grabs his head with panic) Zhu Li! (points a finger up in the air) When they write the history books, your name will be synonymous (shakes a fist) with betrayal! People will say, (Bolin bites his nails nervously) "Hey, what happened to that guy?" "Oh, didn't you hear, he Varrick'd himself because some girl Zhu Li'd him!"
Baatar Jr.: (off-screen) Enough! (the two of them turn towards Baatar Jr. and we switch to a shot of the angered architect) What makes you think we'd let you blow yourself up? You're working for Kuvira. You don't get to quit. (snaps his fingers towards a guard) Grab him.
(The guard behind Baatar Jr. walks forward and we cut back to Varrick and Bolin as the guard behind them advances on the two. Varrick reaches into his pocket and pulls out a detonator.)
Varrick: You try (the guard behind him stops in his tracks) to pull me away from this thing, (the guard gets into a bending stance) and I'll hit this remote and blow it immediately.
Baatar Jr.: (cut to Baatar Jr. as he raises an eyebrow) Why do you have a timer and a remote?
Varrick: (return back to Varrick as he starts explaining) Well, first I built the timer, but then I thought you could drag me (slides an arm to the side) off the train, so then (looks to the remote in his palm) I built a remote. But then I thought, "Well now, do I really need the timer anymore? Because I got a remote in my"- (stops abruptly) Whatever! I'm covering all my bases! The point is, (points the remote to Baatar Jr.) you're leaving! (points the remote to himself) We're staying!
(The scene changes to a close up of Korra yelling and swinging her arm wildly as she throws a fire blast. Kuvira ducks under it, then does a low sweeping kick which spins the ground under Korra's feet just as Korra throws out nother fire blast. Korra stumbles and is turned around, making her attack miss. Korra throws a rock at Kuvira and follows up with a side kick, but Kuvira dodges and latches a metal strip to her ankle and flings Korra into the air again. Korra falls and rolls onto her back. Cut to Su.)
Su: You have to go into the Avatar State! Do it!
(Cut to Korra as she looks up to see Kuvira leaping above her and about to attack. Korra's eyes light up as she goes into the Avatar State and she thrusts both palms at Kuvira, blasting her with a very powerful gust of wind. Kuvira is sent flying back and grunts as she skids over the ground on her hands and knees. Korra yells as she flies forward on the wind and hits Kuvira with another blast of air. Kuvira goes rolling across the ground and lands on her side, her hair coming undone. Korra then rises into the air in a small whirlwind, two large rocks by her side and lifting an enormous boulder over her head. Cut to Opal and Jinora, then to Su as they watch in awe. Cut to a close up of Korra as she looks down. Cut to a shot of Kuvira below on her hands and knees, her head down and her face hidden by her hair. Kuvira slowly starts to look up, but as she does so her face is revealed to be that of the Dark Korra vision. Cut to Korra as she looks surprised and is snapped out of the Avatar State. She yells and falls to her knees with the giant boulder. Cut to Opal and Jinora.)
Jinora: I don't understand. We got the poison out. What's wrong with her?
(Kuvira stands back up as Korra is still down on her knees.)
Kuvira: I knew you were weak.
(Kuvira flings two metal strips at Korra. Korra tries to dash at her, but the strips latch onto her wrists. Kuvira lifts Korra high into the air. Korra stares at Kuvira weakly, and Kuvira smirks just before she slams Korra back into the ground, making the rocks below crumble. Kuvira then lifts Korra up and surrounds her up to her shoulders in stones, trapping her. Cut to Korra as she groans weakly and closes her eyes. Kuvira walks towards Korra slowly, Cut to commercial break.)
(Fade into a shot of Kuvira as she walks towards the trapped Korra. She raises her arms and summons three metal strips from around each of her biceps. She flexes and the strips turn into curved razor blades. Cut to Korra as she remains unconscious and unresponsive. Cut to Opal and Jinora as each swings their arms upward and sends a wave of air at Kuvira before she can land the killing blow. Kuvira is knocked back and lands at her soldiers' feet. The soldiers help Kuvira up, who frowns angrily.)
Kuvira: You broke our agreement! Attack!
(Kuvira's soldiers scream their battle cries and charge at Opal and Jinora, who stand in front of the helpless Korra. Opal and Jinora begin to swing their arms in circular motions and bend a tornado around themselves and Korra. The soldiers shield themselves from the wind, and are knocked around by the rocks and debris kicked up by Korra and Kuvira's fight. Cut to Kuvira shielding herself as the wind pushes her back. Cut back to Opal and Jinora.)
Jinora: (stops bending) Keep them back! I'm calling for help. (stands still and pushes her fists together as she meditates)
(Scene changes to Huan's metal sculpture area inside the dome and soft jazz music plays as Ikki and Meelo are painting on their own easels. Cut to a close up of Huan scrutinizing Ikki's work. Ikki pulls the brush away and we switch to her canvas to reveal a colorful child-like painting of herself soaring through the rainbow sky with colorful dragons and spirity creatures.)
Huan: (off-screen) Stunning work, Ikki. It hurts my eyes with its raw emotional power.
(Return back to the previous view as Ikki smiles. Huan then walks towards Meelo. Switch to a shot of Meelo deep in concentration as he paints his canvas. Huan enters the frame and stops, frowning slightly at Meelo's work.)
Huan: Ah, pedestrian. (cut to Meelo's very professional painting of himself in a coronation robe and a crown off to his side) I already know what you look like on the outside. (cut back to Huan and Meelo as the young boy doesn't look amused) I want you to show me the Inner Meelo.
(Cut to a full shot of the art area as Jinora's spirit flashes into view.)
Jinora: Help! (everyone turns towards her and we cut to a close up of Jinora) You have to get Korra and the rest of us out of here now! (concerned) Hurry!
(Cut back to Meelo as he drops his palette and knocks the easel to the ground when he slides off the chair.)
Meelo: Finally! (fist pumps) Let's get it on!
(Scene changes to an overhead view of Varrick's train car as an engineer and guard quickly run to the adjacent carriage. Switch to a frontal shot of Bolin and Varrick.)
Bolin: This is everyone. Our half of the train is clear.
Varrick: (smiles) That's good. We're almost out of time.
(Switch to Baatar Jr. and a guard as they oversee the evacuation of the train staff.)
Baatar Jr.: You're insane.
(Return back to Varrick and Bolin.)
Varrick: You knew that when you hired me. Bolin, do the thing.
Bolin: (unsure) Uh...
Varrick: Unhook the cars! Oh, come on, that was an easy one!
(Cut to Bolin's hand as he pulls a lever down. Cut to Baatar Jr. and the guards in their own car as it disengages from Varrick's carriage and it slowly drifts backwards. The door to Varrick's cabin slides shut. Switch to a shot of the train cars from the outside as Varrick's carriage continues moving forward and puts some distance between him and Baatar Jr. Return back to Bolin and Varrick inside the train car.)
Bolin: (ecstatic) Man, that was great! I gotta admit, you had me going there for a while. I really thought you were going to blow us up. Now, how do we turn this thing off?
Varrick: Oh, we can't turn it off. We're going to blow up. (a scare chord plays and Bolin reacts with horror) But we had a pretty good run, right?
Bolin: (grabs the front of Varrick's uniform) What are you talking about, a good run? I'm still running! I like running!
(Bolin lets go of Varrick and runs over to the spirit vine energy device and comically inspects it from all angles but he doesn't know what to do. Cut to a frontal shot of Bolin as he glances around nervously until something catches his eye off-screen. Camera pans across to the other side of the carriage and the camera zooms in on the hatch on the floor of the train car.
Cut to the floor hatch from the outside and the panel swings down. Bolin's head peeks out of the hatch and he scrutinizes his surroundings. Switch to a shot of Varrick as he waxes-poetics.)
Varrick: (softly) I'll see you on the other side, (Bolin stands up in front of Varrick with a frown on his face) Zhu Li. (Bolin slaps Varrick's face)
Bolin: (grabs Varrick's uniform again) I want you to know, I hate you.
(Bolin pulls Varrick close to him and they stand over the hatch before dropping through it. Varrick screams and we hear the sound of earthbending, Bolin and Varrick presumably have tunneled their way out from the bottom of the train car.
Cut to someone's point of view looking through a spyglass at Varrick's train car. Suddenly a purple blast blows Varrick's carriage open and we cut to Baatar Jr. putting the spyglass down as he flinches from the bright illumination of the big purple explosion that has destroyed Varrick's work. Cut to a frontal shot of Baatar Jr. and the guards that watch the spectacle.)
Baatar Jr.: I can't believe (the purple glow dissipates) he actually blew himself up. (widens his eyes as big as saucers) That man was crazier than a sewer-pipe elephant rat. (narrows his eyes and turns towards the guard behind him) Let's get back to Zaofu.
(Location changes to the huge smoking crater in the ground that was created by the explosion. Cut to a rocky wall as a chunk of it gets burst open to reveal Varrick and Bolin coughing. Varrick falls to the ground and continues hacking. Bolin drops to his knees from sheer relief.)
Varrick: (laughs and fist pumps) Yes! (sits up) You did it, (crawls towards Bolin) Bolin! (Bolin still doesn't look happy) You did the thing! (Varrick grabs Bolin's head and kisses the young teen's forehead) Mwah! (pulls away)
Bolin: (still steaming) I can't believe Zhu Li worked for you as long as she did.
(Return back to an aerial view of the tornado as the winds continue to push the metalbenders back. Cut to the mechatanks on the ground as the slowly stomp their way towards Korra, Jinora, and Opal. Cut to a close up of Korra as she regains consciousness and opens her eyes. Switch to a frontal shot of Jinora and Opal as they continue to move their arms around to maintain the tornado. Camera zooms past them towards Korra as she punches the rocky prison that confined her. She stands up and brings an arm up to her face to shield herself from the winds but she soon stumbles to the ground, weakened.)
Meelo: (off-screen) Dive, Pepper! (camera pans upwards to the sky) Dive! (Pepper comes into frame with Meelo controlling the reins) Here comes a hurricane! (Switch to a full view of the scene as Jinora and Opal stop bending and quickly rush off as Pepper lands on the ground. The mechatanks are close. Meelo stands up and starts blasting the mechatanks away with airbending.) You can't (cut to a close up of Meelo on Pepper's head as he continues to bend) handle all this (thumps his chest like a gorilla) Meelo!
(Opal and Jinora land on the saddle with Korra held between them.)
Jinora: We've got her! (Meelo sends out one last air blast) Go!
(Meelo takes the reins and Pepper ascends. Cables with hooks at the end enter the screen but are too late to ensnare Pepper. Cut to occupants in the saddle and Opal looks down worriedly.)
Opal: (stands up) We have to save them! (Opal is about to dive down but Ikki and Jinora loop their arms around Opal's elbows to restrain her.)
Su: (off-screen) Opal, (cut to a close up of Su as she yells) get out of here! We'll be fine! (return back to a shot of the saddle) Just go!
Opal: (tearfully) I'll be back for you! (she closes her eyes as the tears stream down her face before opening them again) I love you!
(Switch to a shot of Pepper flying away and camera pulls back to reveal the metalbenders and Kuvira watching them escape.)
Kuvira: (turns around and throws an arm up in the air victoriously) Zaofu is ours!
(Camera pans across the battalion as they cheer gleefully with their arms raised.
Scene changes to a couple of Kuvira banners in the city of Zaofu. Camera pans down to a group of citizens gathered in front of Kuvira at the city's main town hall. Camera changes to Su and her sons atop of the steps, still imprisoned in their personal cages. Kuvira, now with her hair tied back in a neat bun, Baatar Jr., and Zhu Li stand behind the prisoners.)
Kuvira: Bring the citizens of Zaofu (switch to a close up of Su and her sons looking defeated as Kuvira commands the residents of Zaofu below) to kneel before The Great Uniter. (camera pans across the scared folks) All who pledge their loyalty to me will keep their freedom and be dealt with fairly (cut to a close up of Kuvira) as full citizens of the Earth Empire. The rest will be imprisoned (cut to close up frontal shots of the citizens as they react to Kuvira's words with fear) as traitors, like Su Bei Fong and her sons. Now bow.
(Row by row, the citizens sink to their knees to kneel. Standing right behind the group, Baatar Sr. and Huan continue to stand tall and proud, defying Kuvira's command. Cut to Baatar Jr. as he growls and walks down the steps. Switch to a shot of Baatar Sr. and Huan as they continue to stand passively while the rest of the citizens are on their knees in front of them. Baatar Jr. enters the frame and yells into his father's face.)
Baatar Jr.: Bow to her! Do it! She is your rightful leader! (Baatar Sr. closes his eyes and looks down.)
Baatar Sr.: (cut to a close up of Baatar Sr. as he looks at his son with sadness) I'm so disappointed in you, Junior.
(Return back to the previous view of father and son.)
Baatar Jr.: Take them away!
(Two metalbenders enter the frame and grab them by the arms. Baatar Sr. walks away but Huan resists.)
Huan: Get your hands off me. (the metalbender nudges his back and leads him away) You're crushing my individuality.
Baatar Jr.: (turns around and raises his arm up in the air) All hail The Great Uniter!
(Camera cuts to a profile shot of Su as she hangs her head in shame when the crowd cheers and whistles. Switch to a frontal view of her as the metalbenders standing guard a distance in front of her have their arms raised victoriously. The camera slowly zooms in.
Scene changes to Kuvira bending a small piece of metal in her hand into various shapes. The pattern starts off with a six pointed star and then Kuvira clenches her fist, bending the metal into a rock-like mass before she opens her palm and turns it into a long spike. Kuvira then bends it into the shape of a globe before it turns into a shard.)
Kuvira: Are you sure (turns the metal into a mishapen lump) there's no way (bends the metal into a shape of a wave) they survived?
(Switch to a full view of Kuvira, Baatar Jr. and Zhu Li standing at the metalbending training ground at Su's residence. Kuvira continues to bend the metal up and down.)
Baatar Jr.: Positive, (Kuvira turns the metal back into a globe) but I think I can replicate (Kuvira briefly changes the shape of the metal into a cone before turning it into a flat disc) his work with the spirit vines and get us back on track. (Kuvira brings the metal up and lets it fall into her palm) I'll just need an assistant.
(Kuvira looks over to Zhu Li. Camera switches to a profile shot of Kuvira glancing at Varrick's ex-assistant and Zhu Li looks back at Kuvira with a neutral expression on her face. Cut to a shot of Kuvira's face with her fiance in the background as she smiles.)
Kuvira: How would you like to help Baatar build the most powerful weapon (camera changes to Zhu Li) the World has ever seen?
Zhu Li: (lifts her eyebrows slightly as she replies calmly) It would be my honor, (bows) Great Uniter. (straightens her posture, turns away, and walks off)
(Return back to a shot of Kuvira and Baatar Jr. as they watch Zhu Li walk away.)
Kuvira: Begin dismantling the domes.
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