Control is a lie.
The hands that are wrapped around her arms do not touch her. They hold around the unyielding metal plates that shield her skin, and she knows they are gripping tightly as if to hurt her. All they can do her jerkily shove her as they lead her across the platform.
They shove her to the ground and her knees knock hard against the metal that covers them, feeling the vibrations ring for a split second before dying out. The thought crosses her mind that now, after this moment, every time she shuts her eyes for a split second she will be blind. There will be no more unending sight at her disposal. It’s the handicap her mother never had.
It’s easy to chase away the thought when she lifts her head, opens her eyes, and stares into the darkened ones behind Amon’s mask.
“Tell me where the Avatar is, and I’ll let you keep your bending.”
He is pretending to give her the control he wields.
Her mother taught her that the only thing she would ever be able to control is herself. They did not control the earth; they controlled their abilities to move it, the flow of energy within themselves. Lin was trained to exhibit mastery over the earth with the rough pads of her feet and the tendons that popped in her hands. The grinding of her knuckles as she opened and closed her fist. The closing of her eyelids to feel the vibrations she had caused in order to see.
Lin never held complete control over her police force. She never held control over the safety of the city. She holds no control over Amon now.
She only has control of herself.
And she will go down fighting.
“I won’t tell you anything, you monster.”
She knows there is some understanding of her position when he simply says, “Very well.”
She doesn’t move when he does to step into place behind her. She will not show fear because she can still find the strength to keep her face passive. It’s almost easy.
He stands behind her.
She shuts her eyes to see one last time.
There are twelve Equalists. The two men whose names she had written in a file back at the station are only known as Amon and the Lieutenant. Amon’s heart does not race as the others do, the vibrations of their blood pumping through their bodies jumbling together like a stampede to sing through the earth, up to Lin’s legs to hit right inside the base of her spine. She can see them so clearly.
The second his hand is at her neck, she tips her head back. Lin knows when a battle is lost. She can only go down proud of her the decisions she’s made. She will never regret this.
Amon’s thumb is at her forehead.
Earthbending comes from the base of the spine. Each movement vibrates through her legs or arms, but it originates there, always pushing out with force and never in. Now it is sucked from her body to travel up through her spine, and it is so unnatural, this upward movement that wracks her bones, that it makes her stomach flip and acid claw at the back of her throat.
But before it even manages to climb halfway up her body, everything turns black.
She can’t see.
Her eyes fly open and the world returns to her, but not in the way she was raised to see it.
Even after the years of learning to control her body, she cannot keep herself from falling forward and hitting the ground. She finds that she doesn’t mind. She know she will see the world again and it will be felt through her feet in the dark.