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|"The Earth Empire Army has descended on Zaofu. They greatly outnumber the defenders and United Forces, but the city still holds strong."|
|— General Iroh|
Strategy is the fourth chapter of the.
Philip Hellene and his advisers open the War Cabinet in Republic City, planning for the defence of the country. A bombing raid prompts Philip gives Varrick and Asami a vital task that may change the tide of the war. With the enemy at the gates, how long until Republic City itself is at risk?
A tall man in a navy blue suit stands in lush green fields, adjacent to a building reminiscent of the Parthenon. He stares as far outward as he could manage, absorbing every golden photon of the sun-lit sky. A light breeze ruffles his short, spiked hair and he simply stands there. As if in a trance from the beauty of the landscape. A voice interrupts him. "Constantine, sir, His majesty requests your aid in the war against Ephialtes. Will you help him?"
"Tell him," he paused, "to hold out for a few days. Tell Miltiades to move his troops into the United Republic."
Philip, in full military dress, faces a wall in a dark room.
"The Earth Empire Army has descended on Zaofu. They greatly outnumber the defenders and United Forces, but the city still holds strong," Iroh said, informing Philip.
Philip turned slightly to face Iroh. "Most of the United Forces are tied down there. We'll need the Expeditionary Force stationed at Katara River. That's the first place they'll try to mount their offensive. They're going to want to crush us as soon as possible. And I need the bulk of the United Forces stationed there as well. Then I need the remainder of troops stationed at Beifong Pass."
Iroh spoke up, "Mr President, sir, their mecha suits are vastly superior to ours. Unless we overcome them, they will surround us and we will not have a chance."
"Acknowledged," Philip said, "Varrick, you made the mecha suits, is that correct?"
"Did I? I almost cut my arm off doing it!" He said.
"Are you aware of any weaknesses?" Philip asked.
"Well, an Electro-Magnetic Pulse will knock them out instantly and permanently. ZZAAAPPP CRAAAKKLEE!" Varrick said.
"Very good, Varrick, I want you co-operating with the military to build EMP towers at Katara River and Beifong pass. Can you do that?"
"Of course, sir."
"Philip," a scrawny man in Hellenic uniform with a loosened tie said, "we should move our ships to the Yu Dao Straits. Ephialtes will try to take Yu Dao - let him, but don't let him cross the river. He will suffer more casualties if we ambush his vulnerable transport vessels."
"I like that, Nikkolas. That sounds very promising," Philip responded.
Lin put her hand up, and being acknowledged by Philip, said, "I propose we make a home guard, my police, pro-benders, nonbenders. We have some Equalist weapons. We should be able to have them fully trained in a week."
Philip nodded and signed her document with the stolen pen.
BOOM! CRASH! BAM!
A series of explosions startled Philip's ministers. "Oh Zeus! What in Hades was that?" Philip yelled.
"Sounds like a bombing raid," Lin said.
"Iroh, Nikkolas, Constantine, come with me!" Philip commanded.
"What about me?" Korra asked.
"This will be dangerous. You might die," Philip said.
"I'm the Avatar, I'm supposed to take that risk," she argued.
"Very well," Philip said, "you can die later, if you like."
Philip and his men rushed from the underground cabinet and ascended the stairs until they reached a balcony. Swarms of biplanes buzzed past like an armada of wasps. "Fire!" Philip commanded. Each of them unleashed a flurry of fire blasts, each lucky to inflict minor damage. "Aim for where they are going, not where they are!" Philip shouted. Their aims had improved slightly, and they were able to shoot down many planes, but that wasn't enough, for there were dozens of them. Iroh moved like a flamethrower, shooting down a few biplanes. Philip jumped with airbending and propelled himself onto a plane. Standing on the wing, he threw a fire blast that shot down a plane. "This is bloody useless," people could hear Philip complain. Philip jumped off the plane to the balcony, sending it spiralling to the ground.
Iroh looked alarmed, "Mr President, airships."
Philip pulled a radio from his pocket, "Attention all units, focus your field guns on the airships." He put it back in his pocket and large jets of fire and water sprayed into the sky, knocking down some planes. One fire blast was lucky and managed to damage a propellor. A few more hours and the ship spiralled out of control.
Philip and his men rushed back into the cabinet. "Why didn't our planes do anything?"
"Do what, sir?" Asami asked.
"Why didn't they shoot down those planes?" Philip said.
"They can't! They have no weapons!" Asami defended.
"I see. Sato, Varrick, I need you to develop electromagnetic pulse grenades, energy weapons for ground troops, fortifications and biplanes. I also need horizontal explosive launchers for our airships. Can you do that?"
"Yes, sir!" They saluted.
Philip gestured silence as he sat at his desk. He spoke into his microphone. "Just an hour ago, today, my good citizens, the cowards of the Earth Empire took to the skies, causing untold death and destruction to are beautiful city. These are the very same people intent on tearing down Zaofu and butchering the inhabitants. I have no doubt that they will come after our great nation - the only nation to stand in their path to genocide. The Earth Empire is coming to take our freedom and above all our lives. But we shall not let them. We shall blow them out of the waters. Shoot them out of the sky. And we shall drive them back to Ba Sing Se!"
Three days later, Philip, being seated at his desk, receives a message on his terminal. He reads "Asami Sato's biplane weapons have shot down half a dozen biplanes, being outnumbered 3:1. Varrick's EMP grenades are entering mass production. Earth Empire forces have attacked two bridges at Katara River. Their advance has been bottled up. EMP towers have been destroyed and a third bridge has fallen." 12 hours later, he received another message, "Hellenic counter-attack failed. Katara River defenders forced to Beifong Pass." Philip closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
In the sun-lit room of the royal palace, Zuko turns to Philip. "They're going to attack the capital. Are you ready?"
"Yes," Philip said, "this is going to be the big one!"
- The bombing raid represents the first Zeppelin raid of London in WW1.
- Philip's speech is inspired by Churchill's "We shall never surrender."
For the collective works of the author, go here.