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|Comrades and Connections|
Book 2: Water
December 17, 2013
Senlin, Palartok, and Kimaru, devise a plan, and try to gain things through old friends.
Chapter 16: Comrades and Connections
Book 2: Water
Chapter 16: Comrades and Connections
They had finished eating now only enjoying the warmth that the campfire had brought for them. Palartok looked over at Senlin and asked, "Why so interested in the fashion of the Water Tribes?"
"Because, in the last town we had hit, one of the citizens had told me that the Avatar was traveling with two Water Tribe people. The man even described what they were wearing." Senlin replied.
"I remember the man said, they were wearing lighter colors, although their clothing were fancier than those who usually pass by. He mentioned the insignias on their clothing were not the same as the Southern Water Tribe, he said the insignias looked traditional yet they were a bit different." Senlin added.
"Hmm..." Palartok thought to himself.
"I can tell you, he's definitely traveling with Southerners.." Palartok answered.
"What does this have to do with garbage from the South Pole?" Kimaru interrupted.
"Not just any trash, Kimaru. I think the Avatar is traveling with the prince and princess of the Southern Water Tribe. They can't be from the North Pole, because, Chief Cupun has a son. They're the children of the Southern chief." Palartok said.
"Chief Cupun had a son?" Kimaru asked.
"How long were you gone from the North Pole?" Palartok inquired.
"Before the existence of the chief's rat son." Kimaru replied.
"That means if they came from the South Pole they're mostly likely heading for the North Pole." Senlin said.
"But why the North Pole?" Palartok asked.
"I don't know. There must be a reason for them to head off in that direction." Senlin replied.
"Does this have to do with Senlin? Or is there something we're missing here? I can't put my finger on it." Palartok thought to himself.
"What are we going to do now? We lost all of our soldiers who were willing to restart a war." Palartok asked Senlin.
Senlin replies, "In due time, I've had a plan. We're heading towards a town that is called Lu'an, we need to kidnap an Earth Kingdom citizen there."
Kimaru asks, "Why exactly?"
Senlin answers, "Because, you're going to kill him and dump his body on the streets of Lu'an with a blade from the Water Tribe."
Senlin adds, "This should bring an uproar in the town, they will be more angry than ever, since they've all thought they had been at peace with the Water Tribes."
They pack their things into the caravan, and Palartok snaps the reins on the ostrich horses leading the caravan straight past the town of Lu'an. Senlin falls asleep somewhere within and Kimaru begins looking at all the new items within the caravan. Looking for any weapons, he stumbles across an Earth Kingdom sword, and places it on a crate. Since, they require a weapon from the Earth Kingdom for when they're in the North Pole.
Morning arises, and Senlin had awoken to the caravan no longer moving. The caravan was half way emptied out, he walked out from behind the curtains of the caravan and had seen a jolly Earth Kingdom man, Palartok and Kimaru helping him carrying crates into the man's house/shop.
Scratching his head, he stopped Palartok and asked him, "How did you know where my friend lived?"
"Morning, I navigated with the use of the map you had in your hand when you were sleeping." Palartok answered. The jolly middle aged man with a black beard slightly beginning to gray in some of the strands of hair, the man was in traditional Earth Kingdom garments looked up at his old comrade, and greeted him, "Senlin up you're up. It's good to see you!"
"You too, old friend." Senlin replied smiling.
"We've brought you a merchant caravan, filled with items we can sell you. All these items for exchange of tickets to the next boat that leads to the Northern Water Tribe." Senlin mentioned.
"Just three tickets?" the man asked.
"Yes, all we want is three tickets, do you have any Xuen?" Senlin asked.
"Of course I do, usually these cost a hefty price, but for an old comrade and because you brought me a caravan load of valuable items. They're definitely free." Xuen replied.
"The man you're looking for owns a large ship that imports and exports illegal goods, and by illegal goods I mean criminals and illegal immigrants. He travels from the different ports in the Northeastern Earth Kingdom to the Southern Earth Kingdom, and sometimes the North Pole and the Fire Nation. The captain's name is Ra-Den." Xuen explained.
"I assume you're going to the North Pole for something I wouldn't like.." Xuen added.
"How about restarting the war?" Senlin asked.
"Now you got my attention!" Xuen responded excitedly.
"Do you happen to have any Water Tribe weaponry?" Senlin requested.
"I sure do, just to be on the safe side, I have a fur coat with your name on it!" Xuen replied.
Xuen handed Senlin a large fur coat from the Water Tribe, and he also handed him a dagger from the Northern Water Tribe. Senlin hands the weapon over to Kimaru, and told him, "Take one of the ostrich horses and ride to the town of Lu'an and lodge this in the body of any unsuspecting Earth Kingdom citizen. Got it?"
Senlin walks out of Xuen's shop, and unties the reins of one of the ostrich horses and pulls it towards to the door, and gestures the reins to grabbed by Kimaru. Kimaru walks on over and pulls the ostrich horse off of Xuen's porch and onto the road and mounts the ostrich horse. Snapping on the reins of the animal, it speeds off into the direction of the town of Lu'an.
Xuen looks on over to Senlin and explains the location of the secret docks. "Now when you enter Lu'an, you will head down the slums section of the town, there you will continue on, you will reach a passage from that side that leads to a noodle restaurant. Its called, the Steamy Ship, once there you will always see a man leaning on one of the walls he's wearing a black bandana, with exotic clothing, he comes from the Fire Nation. He doesn't have a name by which anyone calls him. But he's easy to spot." Xuen explains.
"Show him the tickets, and he will lead you down a hallway, once opening the doors you will continue to follow him, and he will lead you to the cavern just a half mile from Lu'an. There you will enter, and wait in a line, when you reach the ramp that leads to the ship, the captain will be taking tickets. Ra-Den, will take your tickets once on the ship's deck he will give easy to understand rules. So don't break them, because you will make me look bad!" Xuen finishes.
"You have my word, Xuen." Senlin replies.
Meanwhile, on Kimaru's trip, rain began to fall from the skies and winds slowly blew past by, Kimaru began to feel cold. He started to control his temperature and begun to heat the water falling on him. The ostrich horse sped on, a few minutes passed as he began to see fire from two sides, more clearly he saw that they were torch lights. He tied the reins of the ostrich horse around a pole outside of Lu'an.
Upon rushing in he found a nearby alleyway and hid there, for what was about an hour of awaiting for someone to pass by, finally his luck arose and out came a man, a pony tail, that began from the back of his head, the tail swung from side to side just beneath his cranium.
He was not wearing any other clothing other than what might've appeared as traditional middle-class apparel for someone who is somewhat wealthy. He also carried a small satchel containing scrolls. He was also pretty young, the young man had his arms folded close to his chest, as it was cold.
Kimaru kicked a rock, hopefully being able to make a sound loud enough to startle the young courier. When the sound was heard it was not loud yet, it caught the courier's attention. He did in fact get startled, and he walked just a little faster, Kimaru snuck right behind him.
The rain began pouring down Kimaru's straw hat, he sped up behind the courier, and pulled the Water Tribe dagger from beneath his belt. Going for the courier's unprotected back. The paranoid courier quickly looked around him, catching his breath just a little now even more frightened than ever.
Quickly looking just around, he grabbing his satchel and pulled it towards his chest, he was going to make a run for it. Kimaru hid in the other alley which was dimly lit, but the courier could not make it out if it was a large object or a person.
Before taking a step forward, tentacles made of water pulled the courier into the alley, he screamed in hopes that someone would come and rescue him. Kimaru, froze ice around the courier's mouth, and thrusted the dagger into the courier's chest.
The courier's eyes grew large, and then the ice was beginning to turn into a dark color, blood quickly poured out of the courier's wound. Kimaru picked up the satchel and rummaged through the bag, but found nothing other than scrolls and an apple. Grabbing the apple he walked back to the ostrich horse, and began to chew on the fruit.
Walking to the entrance of Lu'an, he untied the ostrich horse's reins and again sped off towards Xuen's home. Arriving at the shop, Senlin and Palartok, had gotten on their mounts that they had untied off the caravan. "How'd it go?" Palartok asked.
"I dispatched a courier." Kimaru answered.
"Well done. The body should be discovered in the morning." Senlin replied.
Again back down the road along with Senlin, and Palartok this time, passing by the street and alleyway where Kimaru had just recently murdered a courier. They reach the slums of Lu'an, and had left their ostrich horses untied and unattended, like they were wild animals that had just entered the town to cause mayhem.
They followed a few Earth Kingdom folks down a path, as they had heard what they were talking about, the people were heading to the Steamy Ship, the restaurant that Xuen mentioned. Upon arriving, the man opened the door for his family, and for Senlin, Palartok, and Kimaru.
Palartok began to look around the rather large restaurant, scanning the large restaurant for the man wearing the black bandana. All three continued to walk further into the restaurant, and saw two Earth Kingdom men show papers to a man leaning on the wall, he gave them a slight nod.
Palartok shouted, "Wait!"
The man stopped and turned over and saw the bulked Earth Kingdom man, and two Water Tribe men along with him. They walked over to the man and presented him with the tickets, they walked down a small hallway, and he opened a door that led to the back of the restaurant.
Down the stairs there was a small path lit with torches that would lead them to where they needed to go. Once everyone left the restaurant, the man in the bandana said, "Follow me."
All five men followed the man, walking down the path in then through the sandy beaches of the area. Until half a mile later they reached a large cavern, that to the locals is known as a cavern full of wild creatures. Although that once was true, the animals were cleared out by pirates and they took their illegal operations and held them there. Going up a path, there was a wooden door, the man knocked on the door, and a small window had opened up with the eyes of a woman.
"How many?" she said.
"I bring five men with me, two from the Water Tribes, and three from the Earth Kingdom." the man replies. She closes the small window, and opens the door, once all five men including the man that was leading them walked inside, Kimaru, Palartok and Senlin, could not believe their eyes when they saw the large cavern had several restaurants and bars inside, along with other shops, at the end of the cavern was various docks with large and small ships, the crewmen on each ship began to unload more cargo, and more people poured out from the ships.
Walking down towards the docks, Palartok asked one of the dock hands for directions to Ra-Den's ship. The dockhand, was more happy to assist the Water Tribe man, and had pointed downwards and to the left, Ra-Den's ship, was over where he gave the directions, Palartok led his friends to the ship. Bells had tolled and echoed within the large cavern. Senlin looks up and around to where the sound was produced and saw a man within a tower ringing a large bell. A man around the docks had yelled, "Captain Ra-Den's ship leaves to the Northern Water Tribe in five minutes!"
They picked up the pace, and ran to the dock end where the ship was anchored. Captain Ra-Den was seen, standing by the dock end grabbing loads of tickets and then burning those tickets to ashes. Ra-Den was bald, he wore a black mustache, and thin eyebrows, he had a large scar across his left eye, and his eyes were amber like a burning fire, he wore Fire Nation clothing that was traditional to middle-class men. Along with a red sash that had a Fire Nation insignia decorating the middle of the sash. He held a scimitar on his left side as well. They ran to the man, and handed him the tickets, accepting all three of their tickets, he lights them afire, and dumps the ashes into a trash bin.
He led all three of them onto his ship, Kimaru was astonished to see how many people were going to the Northern Water Tribe to make life anew if you will. They sat against the cold hard steel of one of the ship's walls, that was the ship's cabin, where the captain stayed and also where a bar was held. Captain Ra-Den's dock hands, had removed anchors, and the ship was ready to set sail. He cupped his hands around his mouth, and was ready to make an announcement for the guests on his ship.
"ATTENTION!" Captain Ra-Den shouted. The people who were talking had all stopped, and the ship grew silent, everyone turned to look at Ra-Den. He began to explain his rules within the boundaries of his ship.
"There is no rules on my ship other than attacking the ship personnel, if you murder my ship employees or anyone on this ship..you will be thrown overboard. The rules for fighting on MY ship, if the person is knocked out unconscious or even knocked off their feet, the fight is over. My crew are out here to make sure none of the fights are taken further. No stealing from the inhabitants on my ship or from my crew, those who violate this rule will have their hands burned by me personally. You do not want to go to a new country with third-degree burns do you?" Ra-Den explained.
"NEXT STOP! THE NORTHERN WATER TRIBE!" Ra-Den yelled, he walked off to the side of the ship and into the room where he controls the ship itself, they headed northeast towards the Northern Water Tribe city. Everyone within the ship had understood those rules and continued on to what they were doing, families stood close together, and others were blanketing themselves because they were a bit cold.
Meanwhile, within the Southern Water Tribe, Chief Unirak, had gotten up from his throne ready to head off to bed. Then he had just remembered about something, he signaled for his adviser, his adviser approached him, and Unirak whispered in his ear saying, "Have a scribe write a letter to Chief Cupun of the Northern Water Tribe. This letter is to contain the arrival of the Prince and Princess of the Southern Water Tribe, and the Avatar." "Yes chief." his adviser whispered back.
Back at on Ra-Den's ship, Senlin, Palartok and Kimaru were telling stories to each other laughing about their past memories. A few war stories here and there, and how Kimaru had escaped the prisoner caravan leading him to the Boiling Rock.
Two men were sitting just several feet away from them, one man was bald, he had no eyebrows since he had shaved them off, where his eyebrows were he had tattoos in place. He was shirtless, and his shirt lay next him, he had several tattoos on his body, and he also wore black britches, and black boots.
The man next him, was wearing an Earth Kingdom long-sleeved shirt, with green pants, and brown boots on. He wore his black scruffy hair into a pony tail, and he also had a large black beard, his skin was tan, while the other man's skin was pale, and both men had brown eyes.
"Ehg..look at those men...laughing..they act like they have perfect lives..!" the bald man told the other man sitting next to him.
"As much as I don't like you either, the rules prevent me from killing you." he added.
Senlin began to look at the men who continued to look at him, both men stood up, and acted like they wanted something from Senlin. Senlin quiet, he tapped Palartok on the shoulder, as he looked at Senlin in the eyes who pointed. Palartok looked at the direction of Senlin's finger was pointing at. Kimaru as well glanced at the two men, and stood up. The bald man was clenching his fists, while the black haired man just stood there.
Senlin began to examine the men, the bald one had a tattoo of a crow on his chest, where his heart is located at. The other had tattoo of an ostrich horse on his right arm, Senlin muttered to himself, "Damn...Mousha Quan."
"Mousha what? What is that?" Palartok asked. The bald man and Senlin, meet in the middle eyeing each other, and getting in each other's faces, the bald man pushes Senlin and says, "I know who you are..General Senlin, heh..what a coward..the Ava-"
Suddenly, Senlin pushed the bald man, and put his boot to the bald man's throat, and held it there applying pressure and beginning to choke the man. "Don't speak another word or I will kill you right here right now..just like I would've killed Shan-Yu because, to me..you're nothing but trash."
Giving Senlin a smirk, he struggles to inhale some air, successfully doing so he breathes fire to get Senlin off of him. The Mousha Quan gang member rose to his feet, and between both hands he began to spark a fire, producing the fire he shaped it into a fiery whip. Holding the fire whip he began to lash it around him, to signify that he was not intimidated by his opponent, he smiled at Senlin, and gave a slight chuckle.
Everyone had eyed the two men even the ship's crew men who making sure no one was killed. Palartok, opens his waterskin, and began to bend water from it, but then Kimaru had stopped him. Both of them looked at each other, and they nodded in agreement, Kimaru slipped into the shadows.
A man had just sat down to enjoy his hot tea, sneaking past the man he had bent the water out of the man's cup, freezing the hot tea into an icicle. Kimaru snuck behind the bald man and held the dagger tight to the man's throat, Kimaru whispered into his ear, "...I dare you.."
Palartok bent water from off the ship, as Kimaru let the bald man go, water tentacles grabbed the bald man and slammed him onto the walls of the ship's hold. He stood there frozen. Senlin looks at the other man and then says, "You're from the Hei Shichang, I worked with your leader Ying Xiao, in ridding of Shan-Yu. What's the reason you were talking with the likes of him?"
"I recognized your face when he was trying to intimidate you. You're Taofan correct?" the man asked, then Senlin had nodded to answer the man's question.
The man signals all three of them to sit by him, looking within his satchel of food, he finds some food and shared the meat and bread with Senlin, and his friends. All four of them began to eat away at their food. "You need the help of Water Tribe folks to help you fight your bat-" the bald man shouted before having his mouth frozen.
"How's it going for the Dixia and the Hei Shichang in Ba Sing Se?" Senlin asked.
"Bad, I got out of there while I could, Ying Xiao is in hiding, Baotu as well, neither of the two gangs have made any activity within the city, we've lost men and lost some of the territory within the Lower Ring. The new Earth King had put more heavy patrol within the rings of the city. Baotu and Ying Xiao are endanger, if they are captured they immediately go to the block. Its not good in Ba Sing Se for us." the man replied.
"I'm not surprised, we killed off the kid's grandfather. What about the Mousha Quan?" Senlin asked.
"The Mousha Quan, has disbanded ever since, although I've heard word that they were reforming under a new leader although that was just a rumor." the man replied.
"Know anything about Haoke?" Senlin asked.
"Yes, Haoke had died of old age three months into the period of hiding." the man answered.
"I'm sorry to have to bring this news to you, Taofan." the man added.
Senlin finished his meal ration, and got up and sat somewhere else away from Palartok, Kimaru, and the gangster from Hei Shichang. He needed sometime to think, about the old woman who helped him escape Ba Sing Se, but also became his friend. He actually wished he could stay within the city a bit more to have spent more time with her. But, he had a mission, and nothing would stop him from that mission.
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