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|Students and Professors|
June 18, 2015
"Students and Professors" is the third chapter of the second book of the. It is mostly set in Hellas.
Jinora has received praise for her thesis and has earned her title "Doctor". In the meanwhile, a plot is brewing involving the Red Lotus and an old enemy.
A young woman sat in a large room, packed full of people. Each person was seated, writing in their books on a retractable desk. She scribbled ferociously, writing every word she could hear. A tall man stood in the front of the theatre, his short brown hair and trimmed sideburns complemented his sharp, grey suit. The man swept his arms in a variety of gestures. He spoke like a newsreader, "That is all for today's lecture. Remember to hand in your papers tomorrow and I will try to remember to mark them all, without leaving them to the last minute." The young woman remained in her seat as the others scrambled to the exit. With her hair tied in a pony tail, a blue arrow on her forehead was perfectly visible. She packed her books into a bag and pulled down her jumper, clipping her ball-point pen into her blouse pocket. She tugged her jumper back into place and slowly walked down the stairs, taking care not to fall. She approached her professor. "Professor Constantine," she requested.
Professor Constantine pulled his trench coat over his suit, fastened the buttons and clipped his belt into place. He knotted his scarf around his neck. "Ah, Jinora. What might I do for you?"
Reaching into her bag, she withdrew a hard-covered book and handed it to her professor. "My big thesis sir. On the Origin of Spirits, I call it. It is a theory on the evolution of spirits."
Constantine pulled a strange face. "How long have you been studying in Hellas, Jinora?"
"About a year, sir, maybe less."
Constantine opened the book and looked through the scribbles. "How old are you, Jinora?"
Jinora paused for a moment, as if to think, "Uh, 18, sir."
"Very good, very good. We will need to get this reviewed by others in the field before we can do anything." Constantine patted her shoulder. "Actually, Philip hasn't any classes today, I'll just show him now. Come with me."
Constantine led Jinora through many corridors. Jinora had to walk quickly to keep up with Constantine. Constantine shoved a door and it flung open. "Ah, g'day, mate!" He shouted to Philip, who was lounging with his feet on the table.
Philip stood up. "Oh, it's you! What do you want? I jest, I jest. Would you like a drink?"
Constantine opened the door wider and Jinora walked in. "Jinora is with me. She has finished her thesis. On the Origin of Spirits." He handed the book to Philip.
Philip looked through the book. "This is brilliant! We must publish this immediately."
Jinora raised her eyebrows. "When will the peer review start?"
Philip waved his hand dismissively. "I'm the King. Congratulations, Doctor Jinora." Philip stood up and removed three crystal glasses from a cabinet, as well as a large crystal bottle. He poured a liberal amount in each glass and carried them to a table with ornate chairs. "You will join us for a drink, won't you, Jinora?"
Jinora scratched her head and looked down. "I don't drink."
Philip waved his hand again. "Ah, a little drink won't do you any harm."
Jinora hesitated, her conflict becoming very apparent on her face.
"It's traditional," Constantine whispered into her ear.
Jinora hesitated once more. "I don't know.... uh, if you say so. I've already broken vegetarianism." Jinora walked to the table, seeming rather stiff. She tried to sit down, but ended up falling into her seat. She snatched the glass and took a big sip. Her frown melted, giving way to a cautious smile. "Tastes a bit like tea. With a dash of... raspberry?"
Philip extended his index finger, with the rest of his hand clutching the glass. He sat up and placed it on the table. "Exactly. It's just iced tea. Nothing wrong with that, is there?"
Jinora mumbled, for she was lost for words.
"You thought it was alcohol, didn't you, Jinora?" Constantine teased, standing over her.
Jinora nodded slowly.
"Nah, I don't touch the stuff - it burns my throat and smells terrible," Philip spoke in an unusually Australian accent.
Jinora spoke, "Professor, why are most of the professors airbenders?"
Philip lounged back in his chair and took a large sip of his drink. "Ah, well, you see. There used to be four main cities of Hellas. They were Logopolis, Machai, Hydra and Gaia; the bended air, fire, water and earth respectively. The people of Logopolis were great thinkers; Machaens warriors; Hydra had merchants; and Gaia was mostly full of farmers. The social divisions still exist, but there are lots of people who break through the divisions. Like Professor Constantine - the hot-headed firebender." Philip chuckled and took a large sip.
Jinora remained rigid, as if she had a metal rod strapped to her back. "Why were those divisions? Why was it specific to elements."
"Well, it's more philosophical, I should think." Philip rolled his glass in his hand. "Each element represents something different. Thoughtful air is the element of thought and wisdom. Powerful fire is the element of devotion and passion. Noble water deals with change and adaptation. Plebby earth is stagnant and stale, earthbenders have trouble adapting."
Constantine teased Philip, "Not what you said to Toph!"
Philip blushed and waved his hand. "Oh come now!" Philip then turned to Jinora. "Ah, Jinora. How would you like to dine with my son? Come on, I insist."
Guarded by his friends and allies, Zaheer meditated in a dark room. Opening his eyes, he stood up in a lush meadow, surrounded by friendly spirits. The scene turned dark, the spirits becoming purple and hostile.
"Zaheer," a big voice boomed, "are your men stationed in the capitals?"
Zaheer bowed. "Yes, Dark Lord. In one month, order Epsilon Iota will be called into effect and purge the world leaders."
Vaatu boomed once more, "Excellent!"
Light gradually filled the scene and the spirits returned to their playful default. The landscape faded from their vision until only a bright light remained. Philip unfolded his legs and stood up. His eyes still glowed red. "All according to plan," he laughed.
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