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"Preparations" is the 5th chapter of book 2 of the.
Philip is acting very strangely, sending away his family to stay with his brother and holding secret conversations with Korra and Nikkolas. Could this have something to do with his new guards or something he calls "Epsilon Iota"?
Jinora and Alexander stood with their elbows tucked in and feet lightly skipping on the ground. The two circled each other like a binary star system, keeping their gazes fixed on each other. "Ready? Go!" Korra punched into the air, throwing a small ball of fire that dissipated.
Alexander made the first move. He made three quick jabs, throwing compressed balls of air. He twisted his hands by the wrists and wriggled his fingers. In doing so, he compressed a ball into a ball of ice. He pulled apart his arms, turning one of the air balls into fire. Jinora stepped away from each attack without wasting any movement. Alexander tried again, shooting a continuous stream of air from his palms. Keeping her arms extended, Jinora circled the gust and took hold of it. Spinning her arms, she redirected the gust to Alexander. Alexander clenched his fists and threw out his arms, parrying the attack and breaking it apart. He stepped forward and repeated his attack. Jinora back-flipped, dodging the attack. Balancing on her middle fingers, she flung her body forward, kicking Alexander with a mighty gust of air.
"Ooof," Alexander groaned, clutching his stomach.
Jinora leapt at Alexander, forming a ball of fire in her hand. Alexander squinted and threw out his arms, forming a cross with his arms and legs. In thus manner, he threw a large crescent wall of high speed air at Jinora, knocking her over. She skidded to a halt on the polished marble floor. Alexander rushed toward her. "Are you hurt?"
Jinora turned over. She punched out and struck him with a large ball of fire. "Yes, I'm fine." She smiled as Alexander fell to the ground. The two jumped to their feet and giggled.
A man walked into the scene, bearing a scroll. "Avatar Korra, Prince Alexander and Mistress Jinora, His Majesty requests your presence. Come, follow me." The messenger lead them into a large, dark room. Alexander could clearly make out a desk and the back of a tall chair. With a loud click and a repeated stuttered hum, the room was illuminated with a bright ambient light.
"I've been expecting you." Philip swivelled in his chair, touching his fingers together like a typical villain.
"Hello, Dad. I see you got a haircut," Alexander said, referring to Philip's short hair. "Why did you summon us?"
Philip remained silent for a moment, fixing his gaze on a space between Alexander and Jinora. "Ah, yes, that's what it was. Mum and dad are staying in Skibbington with my brother. I thought, maybe you would appreciate going on a holiday with Jinora. I'll hold the fort."
Alexander squinted and stared down his father. "You have other motives, don't you, Dad?"
Philip shrugged innocently. "If you say so, son. Whatever makes you happy. Just thought you and Jinora would like to go on a nice, romantic holiday. In the safety of Skibbington."
"Safety?" Jinora asked.
Philip muttered to himself, "Bugger." He then exclaimed, "be safe when you... uh, you know... well."
Jinora narrowed her eyes. "What?"
"Let's just say you'll break your vegetarian vows." Philip opened his mouth and bit a chunk of meat off a thin skewer.
"Where did you get that Souvlaki, Dad?" Alexander stared at the skewered meat.
"Your mum." Philip grinned as he bit another piece. "Oh, that reminds me, your mum has also gone to stay with my brother in Skibbington."
"Who are those men behind you?" Alexander pointed to two men in white tunics.
"They're the new royal guards. There are a whole bunch of them throughout the palace."
Philip opened his pewter pocket watch. "Right, you should be off now, start packing. And Alex, don't forget the, ahem safety equipment."
"Very funny, Dad." Alexander escorted Jinora to the door, out of the room.
"Oh, Korra, if you don't mind, I'd like to have a word with you." Philip stopped Korra in her tracks. "Come, sit down, have some tea. Would you like a kebab?"
Korra sat down awkwardly. "Um, yeah, sure."
Philip poured the dark brown liquid into three cups. "Milk?"
"Um, okay." Korra was not used to drinking milk in tea. She had come to the conclusion a while back that the tea they drink in Hellas is not the tea she drink back home. Although, it now seemed Hellas was her home.
"Uh, yes, please."
Philip glared at Korra, as if re-evaluating her worth. "Rightio, if you say so." He pulled a small lump of sugar from his drawer and dropped it in Korra's tea. He then proceeded the stir her tea with waterbending.
Korra took a large gulp of her tea, prompting Philip to raise his eyebrows. "Why are there three cups?"
The large doors slammed shut with a sudden gust of wind. Korra jumped in her seat as a result. "The third would be for me," Nikkolas swaggered to his seat, wearing a casual twist on his uniform - the large trench coat hung completely open and his tie was missing.
"Milk?" Philip offered.
"Nah, thanks, mate, just honey and lemon." Nikkolas squeezed a lemon into his tea and bent honey into it.
"Savages..." Philip muttered as he sipped his sugar-less tea. "So, Epsilon Iota," he said, pronouncing iota as yota, as is the Greek way.
"What?" Korra frowned, being unsure as to about what in Hades Philip was speaking.
"Epsilon Iota," Nikkolas said, "is the codename for the Red Lotus plan. We haven't told anyone, but we have been monitoring their movements ever since Zaheer escaped..."
"Zaheer escaped?" Visions of Zaheer suffocating Korra and poisoning her raced past her eyes. "Oh no."
"If our sources are correct, he'll be attacking Hellas. We still need you in Republic City because other members will attack," Philip explained.
"What is Epsilon Iota? What will go down?"
Philip whispered to Nikkolas, "Go down? What on earth does that mean?"
"Uh, I think it means happen," Nikkolas whispered back.
"Right, this is how it will play out. At noon today, the Red Lotus members placed in your world's capitals and Hellas will assassinate or capture the leaders. At the same time, they will start rebellions in the biggest cities and plunge them into chaos. Following that, they will seek out and destroy the remainder of the law enforcement."
Philip's guards moved toward him, one holding a syringe with a toxic fluid.
Nikkolas looked at his wristwatch. "Isn't it noon now?"
The guards advanced closer.
Philip looked at his pocket watch. "Oh yeah." He opened a draw and pulled out a large sword. He turned around and lopped off the guards' heads. He stood over their bodies. "Do you really think I'm that stupid?" He then turned to Nikkolas. "Right, bend that blood away and throw them with the rest of the intruders."
Nikkolas opened a hidden passage in the room and tossed the bodies inside, where they lay on a pile of other bodies. "Poisoned their tea, did you, Philip?"
"Your father is safe, Korra, I warned him of it earlier. All the same, I think you should go to Republic City. Epsilon Iota has commenced."
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