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"What was the name the Germans gave to the invasion into the Netherlands and Belgium?"
"Correct, how long did it take them?"
-"Five days until they conquered The Netherlands, eighteen until they conquered Belgium, five weeks before they conquered France, calculated from the first strike on May tenth 1940."
"How do the British fit into this picture?"
-"The British had troops deployed in both Belgium and France, but they couldn't put up a proper fight, and they ultimately got stuck at Dunkirk. The British used tons of small boats, most of them fishing trawlers, to get their troops and a lot of French soldiers out of there."
"Yes. Now we have arrived at the fun part: The Battle of Britain. How did the British managed to defeat the Nazis, despite being technologically equal and vastly outnumbered?"
-"Simple: the British had radar, and could make a very good estimate of where the Luftwaffe was coming from, giving them a very distinct advantage."
"What was the major mistake made by the Germans?"
-"The shifted the focus of the bombings from military targets to civilian targets, mostly London. With support from the Americans occasionally making its way across the U-Boat infested Atlantic, they could offer enough resistance for the Germans to give up."
"Last one, even though this is more for fun. Who said: 'Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few'?"
Asami smiled. "That is one of my father's favorite quotes. Winston Churchill said it."
Korra leaned back into her chair. "Well, that's about everything I got. If this is to be any indication, I think you're going to nail it." She smiled. "And you fuckin' better, because I'm going to kick your ass if you fail."
Asami raised a cocky eyebrow at this. "You couldn't if you wanted to. You may have the brute strength, but I have the techniques."
"Well, let's hope it's not necessary to find out. But if you keep a cool head, I think you can ace it. Your history has progressed with leaps since we started. Back then, you couldn't even tell me what year the Invasion of Normandy was."
-"Yeah, I admit it," Asami sighed. "But that was a year ago. I'm really glad I persuaded you into doing this. Even if it hasn't been without a few bumps in the road, I'm really glad that you were the one to bump me up a notch."
"I'm glad that I did it too. You were the reason I first came out to Pema, you know. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't be dating Opal. Plus, do you have any idea how ridiculously much you pay me?"
Asami reached up to a bookshelf and picked up and envelope, which she subsequently handed to Korra. "Can't put a price on friendship, but you can put one on a good teacher."
Korra sighed. "Wish I could say the same thing for Mako. I'm going to see him later, would you like me to tell him something for you?"
-"That he can go fuck himself."
Korra smiled and took the envelope, knowing the contents. "Will do. Listen, I need to go. I have to meet with someone else that I can't postpone anymore." They stood up and walked to the front door. "Good luck, Asami. Knock 'em dead."
Asami smiled, and Korra walked out to her car. If their lessons meant anything, Asami would do fine on her exam. Korra managed to restrain the worst of her nerves the first night they reconciled, and now with two more days of practice under her belt, the necessary knowledge was back in her head as well.
But right now, Korra had to push that thought to the back of her mind, as she had to persuade someone else.
Ten minutes later, she was in at the precinct. She took her last breath as part of the whole 'building courage'-thing, and walked up to the front desk.
-"Good afternoon, how can I help you?"
"I'm here to speak with Chief Beifong. It's a family matter."
-"Do you have an appointment?"
"No, but it won't take long. Five, maybe ten minutes."
-"Chief Beifong is very busy. She does not take kindly to teenage girls showing up..." Korra didn't let him finish.
"It's about her estranged sister. Her only sister."
This shut him up. He stared at her for a few moments, before scraping his senses together again. "Very few people are privy to that information. She is very private about her family."
Korra smugly leaned forward. "That should tell you that I'm serious."
He eyed her up suspiciously, but did yield. "Very well." He picked up the telephone on the desk, and after filling in her name, Korra was called through. She was led into a waiting room, where a secretary was nervously typing on a computer. After a couple of minutes, Beifong let Korra in. The office was about what Korra had expected: cold, but meticulously maintained. Everything was absolutely spotless. Looks like it was decorated by a sexually frustrated middle-aged woman. The chief herself was stately woman in her early fifties. Her uniform and hair were just as impeccable as her office, but she didn't exactly have a welcoming demeanor about her. Looks like a sexually frustrated middle-aged woman. I guess that part of the puzzle solved itself. It was hard to see how she and Su were sisters. Whereas she felt immediately at home with the younger Beifong sister, this one made her feel uneasy.
-"Sit down. Now," she brusquely ordered. Korra took a seat opposite of her desk, and she sat down in her normal seat. "If you think you can blackmail me because your father has leverage over me, think again. I know I helped your friend out, when I should have slapped Sato with a DUI and an underage drinking charge."
Boy, you'd wonder why they would want to reconcile with this woman. Ten seconds in her office and I already don't like her. "Chief Beifong, I'm not here to ask you anything like that. In fact, I'm here to help you."
She raised an unconvinced eyebrow. "I am the Chief of Police of the District of Columbia. What in the world can a teenager in high school offer me?"
"I can get you out from under my father's thumb. I know that he got you into this office. He holds that over you as leverage. I can give you leverage over him instead. That way, you'll even each other out."
This took Lin aback. She clearly had not expected Korra to be so rigorous. "Alright, you've done your homework. What do you want?"
Korra smiled, knowing that she had pushed her into the perfect corner. "Do you recognize these?" she asked, while throwing Opal's gloves onto Lin's desk. She looked up in shock.
-"Where did you get these?"
"You're in the police, don't ask questions you already know the answer to."
-"Opal and Su."
Korra nodded. "I have become quite close to them over the past few months. Opal still wears gloves just like these, every day. Her brother buys her a new pair on her birthday every year. She still hopes that one day, you'll come to your senses and make your way back into her life. Same goes for Su. If you went through the trouble, they would gladly sit down with you and talk things out."
Lin thought for a while. "I get what they have to benefit from this, and I get it from you too. But why would I do it? I have been quite content living the past decade away from them."
"Like I said, I can get you out of my father's grip. But the way to do that comes in the form of information. Since I cannot take information back, I propose this: you sit down with Opal, and she'll tell you everything you need to know."
She seemed hesitant. "Information is only as good as your source. It would be worthless if your father would just deny it all if it were to get leaked."
Korra smiled. "Don't worry. There is plenty of proof, but I cannot give it to you just yet. Talk to Opal. Take the risk." She paused for a moment. "What do you have to lose?"
Lin took another moment to think. "Alright. Let's say I do it. What guarantee do I have that you'll live up to your end of the deal?"
"Do you think my father would be very happy if he knew about this conversation?"
Lin nodded understandingly, and Korra pulled a piece of paper from her pocket. There were two phone numbers written on it. "Top number is Opal's, bottom number is mine. Keep the gloves, you can give those back to Opal. One more thing: I would appreciate it if you didn't let my father know that we talked. It would be best for both of us."
Korra stood up, and walked out of Beifong's office. "Oh and Lin?" Beifong looked up, giving her a destructive stare. "Thank you," Korra said in the exact tone of her father. Before the chief could say anything else, Korra was out the door and on her way back to her car.
Once she got back behind the wheel, she let out a massive sigh. It all been bluff, but it felt exhilarating. A massive charade that she had run in her head dozens of times, and it played out exactly the way Korra had in her head. She knew that it carried a risk. If Beifong was to tell Tonraq that she told her, she would be done for. The delicate balance they had built up since Korra talked him down off the mountain would be shattered beyond any repair. But she also imagined the look on Opal's face if she would speak to her aunt again for the first time in over a decade.
It was worth the risk.
She had agreed to eat dinner with Opal, so she headed over to the Beifong Estate. Not really to her surprise, Opal was ecstatic when she walked in, swamping Korra with kisses from her good mood. Korra didn't even get a chance to speak to Su, as Opal dragged her up the stairs immediately. She nearly pushed Korra into her room, and slammed the door shut behind them. "I know it was you who talked to Lin."
-"Cut the crap, Korra. She told me that it was you who came by to see her."
Korra smiled. "Alright, I admit it. But I did it for you."
Opal pushed Korra down into a chair and sat on her lap, wrapped her arms around her neck and pressed a chaste kiss on her lips. "Do you really think I mind? You just got my aunt to talk to me for the first time in over ten years. I don't care that you went slightly behind my back. That's not even entirely fair, I just didn't ask what you were up to." She was silent for a while. "I really appreciate this, Korra. It means a lot to me that you did this."
"Then it means a lot to me too. And that is why I did it." Korra pulled her in close Opal's head rest under her own. They both relaxed into a comfortable silence for a while, before Opal just had to ruin the moment.
-"What did it cost you?"
-"Don't take me for naive, Korra. Lin would never do this just because you put up a pair of puppy dog eyes, even if yours are hard to decline."
Korra smiled. "I gave her me. When I had to get Asami out of a jam, she helped me out because my father told her to. He had her under his thumb. Now, if it were to get out that my father, one of the toughest opponents of gay rights, has a daughter who is gayer than Ellen DeGeneres, it could do some serious damage to his career. Leverage, in a word. I told her, she tells him that she heard it from you, which wouldn't be very far from the truth, close enough to keep up appearances."
Opal chuckled. "You take after him, you know that? That is some grade-A backchannelling right there. Any politician would be proud of a move like that."
"I guess it rubbed off on me."
They were interrupted by Su, who called them down for dinner. Spirits were high, as all of the Beifongs were excited that Lin finally sought contact again. Su and Opal kept it quiet that Korra told her to seek contact, just like she planned it. Like fuckin' clockwork.
After dinner, Korra was about to go home when Opal walked her out. "Do you really have to go?"
Korra sighed. "Yeah, I really have to. I have to go yell at Mako, I promised Asami to. I know she has been taking up a lot of my time these past few days, but we had a lot to catch up on."
Opal raised a calming hand. "Korra, it's fine. I urged you to fix things, remember? I knew this would happen and I trust you." She moved in, pulling close by her waist, and she lowered her voice to a seductive whisper. "You know, the things you did, they deserve a reward... You'd be walking out on that too."
Korra felt a surge of heat race through her, resulting in a red blush on her cheeks. Opal saw it and giggled. Christ, this girl is going to be the end of me. "Can I hold you to that?"
-"You can, but I promise you this: you will be sorry for stalling." She pressed a chaste kiss on Korra's lips. "Go get him."
Korra drove home, and first dumped her stuff at home, and moved on to Mako's place. She wasn't looking forward to this, but it had to be done. With a heavy heart, she rung his bell. He opened himself. "Korra? What are you doing here?"
"We have some business to discuss." Korra stepped inside, subtly forcing Mako to step aside. She walked into the living room, and turned around. "Why didn't you tell me that you were going to break up with Asami?"
-"Would it have mattered? Besides, it's none of your business."
"Bullshit! You two are my closest friends, and I found out because you were desperate. Not only that, but you cheated on her, which is even worse."
He thought for a while. "Alright. I counted on you, I admit it. You did, and I knew that she would tell you everything. Apparently, she did."
"You know, there was a time when I thought the world of you. Why wouldn't I, you were my only friend? But now, you don't even have the balls to stand up for what you did. You hid it from Asami and you hid it from me."
-"Did Asami put you up to this? Put me in my place?"
"No. I'm here because I wanted to give you the chance to explain yourself because we are old friends."
He laughed. "'Old friends'? That's what we are now? Well, since we are 'old friends', I did it because she wouldn't move forward. Man's got needs to. I tried to convince her, but she kept on refusing. I didn't force her to do anything, but I did decide to go somewhere else. Or with someone else."
Korra eyed him up with disgust. "That's what this is all about? Because she wouldn't fuck you? You are disgusting. She set boundaries, and in a relationship, you're supposed to respect those."
Mako furrowed his brow. "That's pretty rich, coming from someone who nearly assaulted her girlfriend."
That motherfucker. "How dare you?" Korra hissed. "What went on between me and Opal that night is history, and you know why? Because we are adults about it. I saw the error in what I was doing and apoligized, which she accepted. What you did was the coward's way out. You decided to go to someone else because it's easy, and instead of telling Asami the truth, you let her find out. You know what? It's probably for the best. Asami can easily find someone better than you."
He chuckled. "Yeah right."
The barefaced cheek. The arrogance. Didn't he care at all? Korra snapped. Mako, meanwhile, never saw the right cross coming.
Korra knocked him on his ass with one punch. Muhammed Ali would be proud. That's gonna leave a nasty bruise. She leaned over him. "I thought you were better than this. You've become an asshole." Without any further ado, she walked back to her own house.
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