|More from AvatarAang7||Drama||M||Please do||Irregular|
August 7th, 2016
For those of you confused, every line break in this chapter means a switch in POV.
Bolin's idea to unload the spices in Taku instead of in Omashu had been a good one. Careful estimates were that they had made roughly a third more on the haul, which was definitely worth the extra couple of days of sailing.
And better still, it presented Korra with another opportunity. "Mako, Bolin, Hakoda, my cabin."
The captain went inside, leaning against her desk comfortably while her first mate, bosun, and quartermaster lined up in front of her. "Gentlemen, we've come to a critical point here. The ship needs to be careened, and now is the perfect moment."
Bolin sighed. "Is that really necessary?"
"Hakoda, what speed are we pulling now?"
-"Latest suggests five and a half knots."
Korra nodded. "That is pathetic. We're sailing with a nearly empty hold, and true, we're not at full canvas, but it's still not good. I reckon that if we careen her, she can easily pull eight knots under full canvas, as opposed to six and a half or seven now."
-"She's right, Bo," Mako offered up. "When push comes to shove, there's a real chance that extra knot and a half could come in very handy."
Bolin let his head hang in defeat. "Alright, you win. Where do you want to tip her?"
Korra looked over to Mako. "Any suggestions?"
-"I say we do it in the Bay of Pigs again. Worked really well last time, and we're already heading on the right course to get there. Beach is nice and flat, good anchoring, village close by, we can dismantle the guns to bottleneck anything we don't want near us... Perfect place, really."
The captain nodded. She remembered that bay from last time around, and it had worked. Careening is bad for morale, but it's a necessary evil if they want to keep the Aurora above the water. It was at least five days of hard work, maybe more, so certain precautions had to be taken. This mainly meant making sure there were enough supplies, good food, rum, and even import some whores. "Any objections?" No one said anything, so Korra nodded. "Alright. Mako, set course to the Bay of Pigs. Bolin, you inform the crew. Hakoda, make sure you check to see if anyone has any serious objections against it."
-"Aye, Captain," the three men said in unison, walking off to do their assigned task.
She went down as well to the sunken portion of the upper deck, overseeing the way Bolin made his address to the crew as delicately as possible. Even though that wasn't his strongest suit, his natural charm did make him quite popular with the crew, and there weren't a lot of men among them who had a problem with him.
He explained everything, Korra's reasoning for the timing, and promised them necessary compensation. Korra didn't like that part, but it was a necessary evil.
There was some slight grumbling among the crew, but the promises made by Bolin did their jobs in raising the spirits again.
As such, Mako set the course for the Bay of Pigs, making sure to capture the favorable winds while they could.
Preparing the ship was easier said than done, but the crew worked diligently under Korra's close supervision. Asami wasn't the biggest help, so she mostly concerned herself with staying out of the way of men who were much, much stronger than her.
Ultimately, the guns were all hauled off and prepared on the beach to scare off anyone with bright ideas about trying to take a ship lying on the beach.
It wasn't until the Aurora needed to be dragged ashore that Korra sought her out again.
-"Sato," she said, drawing her attention away from staring at the men. "Feel like doing something useful?"
"Uhh, sure? I mean, if you don't mean me helping drag her ashore, I don't think I'll be very helpful there."
The captain chuckled. "Yeah, no, neither do I, I have something different in mind. When she is tipped, the entire crew helps out to clean her, no exceptions. That includes you and me. We only have 35 men, so if we'd set half of them aside, it would take twice as long."
Asami's heart sank. "Are you serious?"
-"Afraid of a little manual labor?" Korra joked. "Look, I know it's not your thing, but that's just how things work. Either you work with us, or we lock you inside, and believe me, that's not a place you want to be then."
The heiress sighed. "Fine. But what do we do until then?"
Korra smiled. "That's the fun part. We go into town for supplies. There's a small town an hour's walk along the coast, so I'm going there. Wanted to ask you if you wanted to join me, because I could always use a second pair of eyes."
Even though Asami wasn't quite sure what that meant, she went along with it anyway. The two women started walking, mostly listening to the silence and the sound made by the sea. "Captain?" Asami ultimately asked, quite hesitant to do so, but her curiosity won out over her fear of Korra.
"When you told me to write that ransom letter, you wanted to get a certain slave... What is she to you?"
Korra sighed. "She's my mother. Captured along with me the night I first became a slave."
This caught Asami off guard. She had seen the brand on Korra's shoulder, meaning she was captured by her father's company, but she didn't think that her family was captured along with her. "You... You think my father can still trace her?"
-"He better," the captain bitterly chuckled. "Because if he can't, you're going to be part of our crew until he can."
This raised more questions than it answered for Asami. "Can I ask... How did you go from slave to captain? That's quite a big leap, especially for a woman."
-"Another time, Sato," she sighed. "Because for now, there are more pressing matters at hand." They had reached the town Korra had been talking about earlier, though it didn't appear to be very big.
Korra knew exactly what they were looking for, and it didn't take them long to get a sufficient helping of bread, two whole pigs (minus intestines, thank heavens for that,) and plenty of rum and fresh water to keep the crew happy. It wasn't for endless washing, but they were right next to a very blue sea, so that wouldn't be a problem for now.
-"Right, that just leaves one thing," the captain said, a slight smirk appearing on her face.
"What's that?" Asami inquired. According to her, they had everything.
-"Follow me, Sato." Korra made for an unassuming building, though when they stepped inside, it was immediately clear to Asami that this was another brothel. She looked around, seeing multiple women walking around topless or in dresses far too promiscuous to let them be anything else. Most of them were good looking, and Asami tried to look away from the ones who were naked, instead focusing on the ones who were at least covered. The captain saw her turning slightly red and smiled. "See anyone you like?"
"Wha... What are you t-talking about?" Asami sputtered, turning even redder.
It only made her smile grow. "I've seen you looking, Sato. 30 men on my ship, most of them conventionally handsome, and yet you spend most of your day staring at me when you think I'm not looking. You're gayer than me, and you don't want to admit it."
The heiress was absolutely lost for words, amazed that Korra had figured her out so easily. She was convinced it had been one of her closest kept secrets, that no one really knew about it. And yet, it took the captain less than two weeks to piece it together.
-"Relax, your secret is safe with me. Hell, now's the time to try it out. If you want to experiment, none of my men will care, and neither will I. My best guess is that it's going to take about two months for your father to show up in the port of Omashu, so feel free. You can even take one of them for a trial run," she said, nodding to the whores. "The ship's accounts are open."
"No, thanks," Asami managed to squeak out, if only just.
Korra chuckled. "Have it your way, Sato. You just wait here for a minute, and I'll handle this."
-"You have got to be kidding me," Asami sighed when Korra returned with three whores in tow.
"The fuck-tent is an essential part of keeping the men happy during careening, and they're not gonna be very happy when all it has is an old rag to jerk off into. It needs whores, and brothels have those. Supply and demand."
Korra knew this was going to shock Asami, and that made it all worth it. She was visibly uncomfortable to be here, though she couldn't help herself but sneak the occasional peek at the whores scampering around. "You're still welcome to give them a trial run."
At this, Asami was so pissed off that she promptly stood up and walked outside, leaving the captain in the brothel with a big smile on her face. "Don't worry, she's just a little sensitive," she said to the whores. "Follow me, we're travelling back in style."
It was true. Korra had arranged a lighter to take them and the supplies back to the beach where the ship was careened and should be out of the water by now. Managing four women, all slightly sensitive about getting wet, was hopeless. The cargo didn't help, Korra had to move the pigs all the way to the front and the women to the back, trying to get them over the smell.
Luckily, taking a boat back was much shorter than walking, and before long, they were back with the Aurora. The men had done their jobs properly, having the ship on the beach, though not yet anchored to the trees. Several tents had been built already, and Korra promptly made her way over to Mako. "How's she coming along?"
He chuckled. "Well, the men have been working the entire time you've been gone, as you can see, for the promise of rum and a full fuck-tent." He barely got to finish his sentence before loud cheers went up as the crew saw the three whores stride towards the designated tent.
"So I see," Korra chuckled. "You want a go as well?"
Mako shook his head. "Nah, I'm good. Bolin's been aching for one, but I simply can't. You know why."
Korra slowly nodded. It wasn't something he liked to discuss, and it had been the reason they went out to sea. They had been orphans, and when it got out that Mako was gay, he would have been a pariah at best. In Korra's crew, no one really cared, even if it was unusual. Bolin had simply been unwilling to leave his brother to fend for himself. "Alright. Take a break, Mako. You look tired. I'll take it from here."
Asami could barely feel her hands. Either that, or they were just hurting so badly that they had become numb, because the careening was really hard work. The ship had been tipped, and Asami was put on duty for cleaning the side of the hull, meaning she got to sit higher up.
The work itself was relatively straightforward. Small mussels would burrow their way into the hull of the ship, causing them eventually to drill all the way through and springing a leak. Then there were the barnacles and algae, latching on to the outside of the hull, slowing her down even more.
The job at hand was to get all those off, and then tar it over to make sure the hull was smooth again.
Problem was, these little fuckers (pardon the language) were pretty stuck, the tar smelled like death, and on top of everything else, she had to do it in the burning sun.
She was fairly certain that she would have basically been burned alive, had it not been for Korra. She had been gracious enough to buy her a hat, and she had also revealed that was what she did in the shop in Omashu when she wanted Asami to wait outside.
-"Sato!" the captain called from down on the beach. Asami leaned back, content at her current position far away from the keel. Should the ship fall, she'd at least be safe.
-"You've been up there for nearly two hours, you're gonna get a heat stroke. Get down here."
Asami looked down, seeing Korra standing below her. "I'm fine, don't worry about me."
The captain sighed. "Don't make me turn that into an order, Sato. Get down, now."
She sighed and untied to rope holding her up. Mako had taught her some knots while they had been sailing, making sure she at least knew the basics. He seemed tough on the outside, but was a pretty nice guy overall.
Once back on the sand, she felt a surge of heat shoot through her, and that definitely wasn't from the sun.
Korra was down to her bindings, pants, and boots, leaving most of her torso exposed. Her tanned skin looked even better than she had imagined, especially with the sheen of sweat covering her because of the heat and the hard work. This of course made her well-defined muscles and especially her abs look even better. She still had the bandana to keep her hair back, and possibly also to prevent a heat stroke herself. Asami's eyes lingered on the tribal band around her bicep, making the captain smile.
-"And you were surprised I managed to figure it out." The heiress felt herself flush, though that could very easily be concealed by the fact that she was hot. "Here," she said, handing her a large cup filled with water. "Now you're going to drink something, get in the shade, and get your pussy eaten out by the whores."
Asami looked up in surprise. "I thought you said..."
Korra laughed again, loud. "Good lord, how is it that you're still this gullible? You can pick two, and I have a pretty good idea which ones."
They made their way over to the captain's tent, since she had a private one. There was a table, chairs, and two hammocks serving as beds for the two of them. It wasn't much, but still better than sleeping with the crew. Korra flopped down in her own, and Asami decided it would be wise to follow her example.
-"You know, you might have this notion that I'm being unfair to you, but I don't want to be. Thing is, if you don't listen to me, you're forcing my hand. If I allow you to defy me, my crew is going to test me too, and I can't have that."
"Is that why you're making me work in the burning sun?"
-"It's why I'm making you do the same work as the rest of the crew. You were the one not to come down for so long." Asami sighed, because that was true. "Contrary to what you might think, I definitely don't want you to work yourself to death on my watch. Not just because you're not worth very much that way, but also because... I like you."
This made Asami look up in surprise. "Are you being serious here?"
Korra slowly nodded. "I am. You went from never being touched by another man to nearly being raped twice in one week, and yet never let it get to you. Then I put you on work detail, making you do things you'd never otherwise do, and you never complained about it. Shows character and heart, and I respect that - a lot."
After that, it fell silent between them. Asami thought on her captain's words, and it made her feel appreciated. They were ultimately interrupted when Bolin entered the tent. "Captain? We need you out here for a moment."
Korra sighed and got up. "A mother's work..." she muttered under her breath, and it made Asami smile. "Sato, you take an hour at minimum. I'll drag you down from the hull myself if I see you out there before that again."
Asami smiled. "Aye, Captain." As she walked off, the heiress played with her new hat for a bit, a new sense of appreciation for her captain sprouting inside her.
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