They leave her there, on the ground where she fell. They turn their backs on her and walk away. They do not look over their shoulders to see if she will rise, if she will follow. They do not care. She is no longer a threat.
When she regains consciousness, she doesn't know how much time has passed. The island is deserted, but she doesn't know that. She only knows what she can see, and that is a corner of the flagstone against which her face is pressed and a sliver of night sky above it. She stands slowly. Her feet don’t seem to want to stay under her, and only part of that is due to the disorientation of just having woken up.
She doesn't take a stance or move her arms. There is no need to verify whether or not her most recent memories were just a bad dream, not when her armor is dead against her skin and the stones beneath her feet are silent. Earthbending was never something that she did, it was what she was, and she knows instantaneously that that part of her is gone.
She staggers a little as she makes her way inside. For the first time she becomes aware of just how much she has always relied on Earthbending: she walked with it, she flew with it, she breathed it. She listened to the earth singing out its heartbeat to the soles of her feet and saw everything that touched the ground.
To go from that to hearing only with her ears and seeing only with her eyes is unendurable. Her feet keep walking, but they carry only a shell.
She finds a room – she thinks it is Jinora's room now, but it used to be her own back when she used to visit the island as a girl – and sheds her armor piece by piece. She would like to make it all fall to the ground with a sweep of her hand, but she does not have that luxury anymore. She must undo each clasp. And even that is difficult, because even when she used to remove her armor by hand she always used her Metalbending in tiny ways, imperceptibly, to loosen the clasps under her fingers. Now her fingers work unassisted, and strain against the sticking clasps.
The pieces fall one by one, slowly, until the last one joins the heap.
She falls into the bed, not caring that it is too small for her. Soon she will have to find what remains of the government of Republic City. She will have to track down Korra and her friends. She will have to find a way to make herself useful. But not tonight.
Tonight all she wants to do is sleep.
As she stares at the ceiling, her mind slips back to her youth: a day when she stood beside her mother and looked out at the ranks of Metalbending police ready to keep Republic City safe. "This is a fitting legacy for the greatest Earthbender in the world," she said.
Her mother turned her head toward the sound of her voice. "Listen, Lin Bei Fong," she said, "My legacy, the only legacy I care about, the legacy that gives me the most pride, is you."
Lin rolls over and faces the wall, and only then does she allow herself to cry.