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The following story is indubitably fanon and should not be considered actual canon.
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BACK IN TOWN
Tenzin had been away from Republic City for nearly a decade. He had just returned home after his long travels across the planet came to an end, and there he had found all of the insight he was searching for---he learned new ways of life and equality, he was taught balance and harmony by other cultures and nations. Tenzin had never understood how the world worked better than he did now---he was truly enlightened. Ten years ago, Tenzin set out to travel the world and explore all it had to offer just as his parents and his older siblings had done before him. The Airbender succeeded in his mission, but just realized that all that was missing now were his friends and his family. Now, Tenzin was coming home a different man in a strange new city; things had changed greatly since he left and now he had only one place left to explore before he could finish his long sought out quest. He would have to revisit his long forgotten home.
Republic City was bigger, busier, and louder than ever with the many sounds of a bustling community. In Tenzin's leave, Republic City had grown in enormous numbers alongside all of the new restaurants and shops around the city, so many new areas that had been built---the town itself seemed to double in size since he last remembered. New bridges filled the capitol and more war balloons soared the sky bearing the Beifong Police Symbol of the United Republic. Lin wanted to become a Metalbender, she was in this strange and unfamiliar city---had she changed as well, Tenzin wondered. Had Tenzin himself changed just as Republic City?
"Oogi..." Tenzin said softly, "I think we've been away from home for far too long."
The Bison roared in agreement as they continued their path to Air Temple Island. As they soared close to the shores, Tenzin looked over at the statue of Avatar Aang standing proudly atop Aang Memorial Island. Below the statue were ferries and civilians, going to explore the museum built beneath the statue's feet, but above, Aang's stone eyes stared out at the city and also eyelevel with Tenzin. He gave his son a look that made Tenzin feel protected and watched over. It had been years since his father had given him such a look.
"It's good to know not everything has changed," Tenzin sighed, "I wonder how my father and mother are doing, do you think they got our letter, Oogi?"Oogi growled and soon after, he and Tenzin landed on the stone walkway of his home island. In an instant, the Air Acolytes greeted the long lost Airbender and immediately started caring for his bison and helping him with his massive amounts of luggage.
"Master Tenzin," an Acolyte bowed, "Your parents received your letter and are eagerly expecting your return. They are in the house waiting for you now."
Tenzin smiled and bowed back to the help, saying in his most sincere tone, "Thank you."
After he walked off, the adults helped to take in all of Tenzin's luggage and one of the elder acolytes placed the care for Tenzin's Bison with two of the children while the other Acolytes went back to their normal chores.
"Psst!" the little Acolyte girl whispered, tugging on her brother's sleeve... "Psst! Marko?"
"What is it now, Pema?" the older boy grumbled, still coaxing Oogi towards the Bison Stables.
"Who was that guy?" she asked in wonder.
"Who? Him?" Marko exclaimed, pointing back at Tenzin who had just gone inside the house... "That's Master Tenzin, the Avatar's youngest son----he used to live here a long time ago, but now I guess he's decided to come home for good?"
"Oh," she sighed, hearts fluttering around her little twelve year old imagination... "Well, he's awfully cute---I like him! One day I'm gonna marry him!"
"In your dreams little sister---besides, you don't even know what "marry" means---now stop daydreaming and help me with the Bison before you get us both into trouble. We have chores to do today!"
"Okay Marko..." she sighed, all the while the little acolyte girl smiled wide thinking about her new little crush.
Meanwhile, Tenzin wandered into the home, touching everything on the way down the hall that reminded him of his happy childhood. It was all the same as he had left it. Tenzin took all of it in---the sounds, the smells, the people---he never realized how homesick he had been on his journey---or perhaps he did and just ignored the fact.
"Tenzin!" his mother cried.
"Hello mother," he bowed respectfully, before she shot over and wrapped him in a hug. With one lung left to breathe, he stressed, "It's nice to see you too---"
"Oh Tenzin!" she sighed, touching his face and his shoulders over and over, "My big, handsome man----oh! You must promise me that you got your fill of exploring out there! I am never ever, ever letting you out of my sight again! I missed you so much!"
"I did Mother, and I have missed you as well," Tenzin smiled, "Oh, I have so many stories to tell you and Father---speaking of---where is he mother, I thought that he would be here?"
"Now Tenzin---" his mother eased excitedly, "We sort of had a little surprise for you too...you see, your father and your uncle pulled a few strings and---Oh, I can't keep it a secret any longer! They got you a prime spot on the Republic City Council---you're going to be the new representative for the Air Nomads, son!"
"No..." he gasped in awe, the excitement growing, "Wow! This is fantastic news---I've been looking at that spot on the council ever since I was a boy!"
"We know," Katara chuckled, "The Council agreed that due to your travels, you must have an advanced knowledge of society by now. They have lowered the age requirements thanks to the request of your uncle. Sokka told them if the Order of the White Lotus could have young members, then why not the council. They agreed that you would be the perfect candidate for the Air Representative!"
Tenzin hugged his mother and then asked her, "So, when is this official?"
"Your big return and your big promotion is being presented at a gala tonight that your Uncle put together. It's in an hour, so I'm sorry, but you'll just have to rest up later! Now, go get washed up, you need to look your best!"
He thanked his mother again and again before running off to his old room to get ready for the party. Tenzin was as merry as a schoolboy right now, and just seeing her son home and happy again made Katara laugh with tears of downright delight.
At his celebration coronation, Tenzin was looking spick and span as guest after guest came to congratulate him. Lively music rang out into the night streets as more party guests arrived and started to mingle. Tenzin had reconnected with his Father and said his greetings to his Aunt and Uncle, his brother who had not lost one ounce of his lovely teasing nature came up to greet him---although his sister couldn't make it, but she sent a line out to the Air Temple to congratulate him over the telephone, Tenzin's cousins doing the same via Messenger Hawk.A loud group of laughter erupted near the stairs and Tenzin looked over to see a small squadron of police, all chortling over their Champaign glasses at the stories this one officer was telling. In the middle of this crowd, was a woman with a calm laugh as she rubbed the tip of her finger around the lip of her glass; she was dressed in a long, gorgeous gown of black and had one glove on her arm, complete with metal spiked claws---a fierce symbol of her status as a member of the police, whether she wore a dress or not. This particular woman looked back at Tenzin who was staring awestruck from the other side of the room; she said something to her fellow officer before handing him her glass and walking a path over to him.
"Well, well, well...look who just blew back into town?" she greeted gruffly, but with a smile that made her nose crinkle and her green eyes sparkle.
Tenzin blinked for a moment and swallowed to clear his throat, before replying... "L-Lin? My---Might I say that you are looking absolutely radiant this evening?"
He took her unarmed hand and kissed it, as Lin rolled her eyes and stated, "That's Captain Lin to you, Councilman Airhead..." she pulled her hand away softly and bragged, "Captain Beifong of the Metalbending Police Force, just under my mother---who for reasons unknown didn't feel like giving a speech to the press and for some reason Sokka wouldn't let me come here without looking what he called "presentable". He's always been a sneak---not as much as my mother, but they're in this together I presume, what I don't know is why. Oh, but speaking of the Chief, she is just awfully glad that you are back in town."
"Your mother missed me?" Tenzin chuckled, "Well, that's not a surprise, she did always like me best, didn't she?"
"Compared to some of those other boys---" Lin sassed, "Let's just say that you weren't as easy to scare off...she admired your persistence."
"And---Well, did you also miss me, Captain Beifong?" he grinned, teasing... "Even just a little?"
"For a while," Lin whispered near Tenzin's ear, flirting scornfully, "But don't flatter yourself---after the first few days, I got over it."
"W-Well, that's good news...I'm glad that things are going well for you then," Tenzin coughed awkwardly, reaching into his pocket. He pulled out a tiny, metal flower and handed it over to his friend with an honoree smile, "I however, never got over you Lin Beifong...not for one day---no matter what you said to convince me otherwise, I never forgot about you."
She took the flower and smiled once before hiding it and punching Tenzin in the shoulder. A slow tune played in the background, drowned out by other people's conversations---but after a moment of silence, the two gradually leaned closer---and then closer..........until Sokka's voice interrupted from the stage, a spotlight drawn right on the two as he announced, "---Welcome my nephew, your new Air Nation Representative, Councilman Tenzin!"
Lin pulled back innocently and shoved Tenzin onto the stage where he accepted his position with a blush and a handshake to the other members of the council.
"I saw that Sweet Cheek..." Bumi snickered.
Lin rolled her eyes and scoffed before replying, "What do you want Bumi?"
He laughed heartily and handed her a glass of champagne, teasing all the while, "If you're going to give my uptight little brother another chance, might I just remind you that if things don't work out, you will always have this big, burly shoulder to cry on punkin'."
She hummed humorously and handed him the glass, "Bumi, you always know just what a lady wants to hear..."
"I have been told that," he shrugged comically.
"Too bad I'm not a lady," she growled strictly, spinning a small circle of the floor beneath Bumi's feet around to where he was facing away from her. Lin reached around him and grabbed her glass before she bumped him away with her hip and instantly poured the entire beverage down her throat. Afterwards, she gruffed, "Plus, the day I let you do anything to console me is the day pigs fly, understood? Or...have you forgotten your parole with me, Commander Bumi?"
He chuckled lightly with a shrug, then added, "Anything is possible Captain." Meanwhile, Bumi started laughing and went across the gala to torment some other unsuspecting victim. Lin scoffed and stole away another glass, nearly cracking it in her tight grip.
Hours passed by as more people congratulated Tenzin. It took hours for him to find his old best friend again, but when he did, Tenzin walked right up to Lin and held out a hand asking, "Care to dance, Captain?"
She huffed, "I don't dance."
He was persistent and eventually Lin smirked and took his offer as the two waltzed across the dance floor to the romantic music playing throughout the gala. For the longest time they stayed this way, dancing and talking, until finally, Tenzin and Lin leaned closer and they shared a passionate kiss that was ten whole years in the making.
"Hey Twinkle-Toes Jr!" Toph snickered close by, "How's about some grandkids before I croak!?"Lin and Tenzin blushed, pushing away from each other as Toph and Aang laughed nearby.
"Aww!" Aang chuckled, "You embarrassed him..."
"Look how red he's getting," Bumi pointed in amusement.
"Serves him right!" Toph stated, "---Leaves for ten years and barely picks up the phone, or sends a hawk out----Lin was crying for weeks---that boy needs to be tied down with a set of weights."
"Mother!" her daughter scoffed cheeks red as Fire-Lilies, but fists clutched so furiously they turned white.
"You got over it, huh?" Tenzin teased.
Lin punched him harshly in the arm and gruffed, "Like I said before---don't flatter yourself, Tenzin!"
They smiled and all too suddenly, Lin punched him again accidentally using her clawed glove and the armored fist struck the new councilman with one bone-shattering wail that made an echo across the gala. It took a week for the feeling to return to Tenzin's arm, but it was worth it to know that he hadn't lost that girlfriend he left in Republic City---she was still here for him after all these years and she hadn't changed a bit.
THE PIRATES OF KYOSHI ISLAND
Another day, another blissful and utterly quiet evening where Koko wandered the streets of her village on Kyoshi Island; she would stroll by numerous homes and businesses, enjoying the sounds of her people and listening to their happy conversations as she passed them by. Koko has been living on the island for almost twenty years now; all the while she has been leading the Kyoshi Warriors and training new girls to fight, just as Koko's mother had done before her. All of her friends and her trainers had retired years ago---some of them were married, others with children, grandchildren even, but not Koko. She loved her duties to the Kyoshi Warriors far too much to settle down and to this day she fought and trained generations upon generations of young women to become great warriors just like her mother, Suki once was during the Hundred Year War.
The big difference between Suki and her daughter however, was that Suki retired, married, moved from place to place, and had many loving children throughout many years of her life. Koko didn't hop on that boat quite as quickly as her brother and sisters; she thought that maybe her and her twin sister, Sukka, would remain single together---that is, until their father meddled into Sukka's daily life and she wound up with the love bug. Koko wasn't so easily swayed as her sister and her father's numerous attempts to marry her off failed miserably and eventually he just accepted the fact that Koko was happy the way she was. Little did Koko know, the universe had an odd way of drawing people together. She should have guessed it knowing that her uncle was frozen in a ball of ice for one hundred years to meet her Aunt, but she was still struck unaware one fateful evening on Kyoshi Island when a band of mischievous pirates settled on their happy shores and caused the villagers' lives to change forever.
"Koko! Koko!" a young girl cried out. "Lady Koko!"
"Whoa...whoa!" Koko crouched over as the young girl slammed into her chest and nearly knocked her backwards. Koko stroked the frantic child's hair back as she hyperventilated from running so hard, and she assured her to calm down, "Easy Sophie... Now just tell me what's wrong."
The child pointed frantically down the road and gasped, "There are some bad men sneaking into the village! They took my Papa and they're taking the fish away!"
"That's impossible," Koko waved with a frown of confusion, "The only way for invaders to reach our island is by air or by sea. We have the Unagi to protect us on that level. And only my uncle and the United Forces own War Balloons or creatures that can fly..."
"Mama said they were pirates!" the child exclaimed, "The Unagi isn't out there! Koko, they took my Papa and some of the other fishermen! Please, save them! Please!?"
"Lady Koko," A man interrupted from behind, "With the weather at odds this season, it is very possible that the Unagi has migrated downstream for the coming months with the Elephant Koi." He said, "My grandfather told me such things from his studies---you know how obsessive he could get over the things he took an interest to."
"Alright," Koko stood tall and handed the little girl off to the man. "Fomagu, I want you to round everyone up and keep them away from the docks while the girls and I go check things out. I'll run and round them up, but you all need to remain safe, understood?"
Moments later, Koko and the Kyoshi Warriors snuck over to the shoreline of Kyoshi Island and waited in secret as they watched the horde of men ransacking their fishing traps; harassing a few fishermen in the process as they begged for the invaders to stop destroying their profit. Koko motioned to the other young warriors silently and they nodded in return before each and every girl was springing out into the open, attacking the unwanted visitors in a mob of unexpected fury.
Koko dashed across the beach and tossed out one metal fan to hit the captain of these so-called "pirates" square in the hand; thus freeing the pedestrian in his grasp as he yelped once in pain and turned to see the woman with the oddly intricate make-up standing before him. He wore the most professional looking outfit of the marauders. (yeah...professional, that was the word?) He was dressed head to toe in a faded blue ensemble, complete with a large, fancy hat, and a wide, white smile stretching beneath his dark facial hair and his gleaming, mischievous brown eyes.He rubbed the back of his hand and guffawed to his crew, his voice clear and projecting like a cannon blast across the shores of Kyoshi Island as he laughed amused at the sight before him. "Well what have we here boys? An army of women? In pretty little costumes? And, it isn't even my birthday! Who would have guessed?"
With a growl of irritation, Koko stood her ground and hollered back at him with a tone that was equally heard and twice as brave and valiant as his own. She glared daggers into his brown stare and yelled, "Who are you and why have you come here!? This is a private island and unwelcomed visitors are not permitted in these waters."
"Captain Enki Killian---" he took his hat off and bowed to her with a swift movement and a grin. "At your service milady." He pointed, "You see, my men and I are in need of nourishment, wealth, supplies----being at sea for so long can get one mighty desperate for such things as you can well imagine."
"This island is restricted and it is under the soul protection of the United Nations Pact and Treaty of---"
"You see we---" he motioned around in a circle, "---are pirates, love. We don't read into treaties and laws very well; we mostly just take what we want and go about our business down the sea---sailing away into the sunset---I imagine you know what we do, aren't pirates a story you tell to your young ones? We're dirty men who rob the oceans, now isn't that right gents?"
The men all laughed.
"Well my warriors and I do not take kindly to strangers who trespass on our land and threaten our villagers. Why our sea monster has not yet eaten you and your vessel is a surprise to me and a blessing for you. You are not welcome on our shores, and I will ask you once to get back on your boat and leave this place forever."
"Or?" he snickered amused.
"Or---" Koko gave him a grin and she snapped her fingers once. In a flash the ladies had Captain Enki's men bound and tied against the sandy floor of the earth. Enki looked to Koko with a pout and she held her nose high in the air with pride as she added, "We'll make you leave ourselves naturally."
He batted his eyelashes a few times and sighed, "That's not very hospitable, love."
"Girls! Round up these unwelcomed guests and take them back to their ship!" Koko ordered.
"Might not be the best move there deary," the captain snickered.
"Oh, and why not?" Koko placed her hands on her hips unamused.
Captain Enki pointed towards his ship where another bushel of armed marauders waited with hostages already trapped aboard. She knew every one of them by name and she knew each of their families well. These hostages were her family, and Sophie's father was one of the captures citizens on board the ship. Koko gasped and the other warriors stared in shock as the Captain happily stepped around Koko and he ordered with a grin, "Now if you would please release my brothers, we can all get on with our lives and no harm will be done here."
"And the hostages?" Koko spat, "What happens to them?"
"They'll be going on a little boat ride to ensure we won't be followed. Then they are very free to come paddling back home---if they can swim that is. Or what was it? As long as your---sea monster---doesn't swallow them whole?" He laughed.
"Some of those hostages have conditions---they'll die! They have families. You can't expect them to swim ashore!" she snarled the words back in his face and Enki took a step back and shrugged them off.
She and the Captain only stared one another in the eyes after that as they fought with intimidating eye contact to break the other down. Koko's look was more of a glare of rage, while Enki was more of an honoree smirk because he was about to get what he wanted with no one in means of stopping him---and Koko knew it.
"Girls, release the men!" She sighed gruffly.
"What!?" A few of them snapped.
"LET THEM GO!" she screamed. "NOW!"
One by one the pirates were all set free and they started back towards the ship in grumbles as they carried off the looted supplies. Most complaining that the light was in their eyes and that they didn't really get beaten by a bunch of girls. As soon as they and their loot were on board, the Captain gave the Kyoshi Warriors a final bow and bid adieu as he turned to follow his comrades up the plank.
"Not so fast!" Koko cried suddenly.
Enki turned with a frown and took in a deep breath as he held the hilt of his sword. He rolled his eyes dramatically over his head to look at her and he groaned, "I thought we had an understanding here love?"
"We do," she nodded with a flick of her chin, "But those people on your ship do not. I am invoking the pirates' code in which I demand to be taken aboard your ship as a prisoner. I want my people returned safely in the exchange for my life, my wellbeing, my freedom, and my services. I'll trade you me for them---I know pirates love to haggle. Do we have a deal then love?"
"Lady Koko!" a girl gasped, others joining in on the argument.
"What of you love?" Enki snarked, "You look as though you have seen better years? Why are you of any interest to me and my men, hmm?"
"I am but a humble warrior," she stated proudly, "But, know that I am the leader of these warriors and the protector of this island. You would be stealing one captain for a horde of people of no use to you---and in turn you shall gain an advantage in strength and loyalty. A Kyoshi Warrior never breaks such a vow and I promise to serve you---if you do not harm this village any further and release my people safely back to land. Also, my father is lead councilman of the United Republic, my uncle is the Avatar, and pretty much everybody I know will pay you a fortune in order to get me back."
"Bold words love," he nodded, the last part catching his interest so strongly that sparkles started flying around his face. He mulled over the thought with a quick hum before he smiled wide and waved his arm through the air with a gaudy shout, "Men, release the prisoners!"
"What!?" a few of them complained, others arguing strongly in contempt.
Enki snarled and shot around to them with his sword undrawn, "Do you dare question my judgment!? Come forth then anyone who wishes to think that they can overthrow their mighty captain! Who dares!? You? You? I didn't think so!"
Nobody moved. A moment later, the pirates released the villagers and they ran down the boat dock into the arms of the other Kyoshi girls as Koko held her chin high and followed Captain Killian up the plank and onto his ship."Lady Koko! Please!" one villager cried out, it was the little girl from earlier. Sophie wrapped tightly in the arms of her father was looking up at her with such sadness in her eyes. The entire village was on the shores watching the fight despite the orders that Koko had given them. Nevertheless, they were all there and there on the island they would remain so long as Koko led the pirates away from her home the only way she could think to do in order to keep everyone safe and alive.
Koko turned back and hollered in a valiant tone, "Jenna, you are the oldest among your team, and you will lead the Kyoshi Warriors in my absence." She smiled, "One day I hope to see you all again."
A few of the older warriors suddenly snapped and they rushed to fight for their leader, but Koko turned and slammed them back without a hesitation. Kicking them all over the wooden bridge to the ship as the three girls crashed sharply into the waving tides.
"Why!?" a girl coughed. She sat back in the mud with the wind newly knocked out of her as she and everyone else on Kyoshi Island watched their leader so willingly attempting to leave them behind.
"A true warrior does was it best for her people and not what she wants for herself. Do not interfere---do not break my promise. What is a warrior if not honorable? You should all know better." And with those final words, the pirates and Koko sailed away with not even a genuine goodbye.
On the ship, the Captain took his position on the high ground and started bellowing orders as Koko stood close by examining their vessel. He was waving his arms around as he ordered each man to a specific task and then with a small gleam in his eye, he looked back at Koko and hopped down to speak with her face to face in a much quieter voice. "Do you like my crew love?" he smiled, "My ship is rather lovely wouldn't you say?"
"It would almost be considered a beautiful piece of craftsmanship if not infested with disgusting urchins such as yourselves," she sassed lightly with a strong tone of ire.
"Hold your tongue deary," he shot her a look, "A few of my brothers are a little sensitive---words like that might send them over the edge." He clapped, "I know you think ill of us, but in time I'm sure you will come to think of our ship as a home and us as a family. I have been captain of the Silver Serpent for twenty years now and I've never seen a better crew in all my years as a sea lad."
She merely glared at him and replied, "That island was my home and those people you so easily threatened without batting a lash---those people were my family. So just hurry up and lock me away, send out a line to my father to collect your ransom and lets not make this anymore prolonged than it need be."
"You are a downer aren't you?" His smile softened, "As you wish, love. I will show you to your quarters so that you may wash that make-up off and look more presentable if you are to be part of my crew for the next three months."
"Excuse me?" She wondered.
"The nearest land with a line is three months away," he smile deviously.
"There are ports just a day's journey away from my island, what are you talking about?"
"This ship is on a one way trip up the curving river to the Eastern Sea. We dock off at Llama Island and then sell most of our wares to traders in the Shi Wong Area. It is our route and it is nothing but water for three long months and well over a hundred leagues. Why do you think we acquired all of that food and supplies from your little village in the first place?"
"You expect me to act as a prisoner on this ship for three months until you call my family for ransom!?" Koko thundered, her finger poking into the Captain's chest as he took a step back and grinned at her fury.
"No phones on that little oasis of yours, love? No means to send a message?" He snickered.
"We had one---it broke," she spat out in disbelief and irony, "And thanks to the Unagi, my people cannot sail out of the area without being eaten alive. Why didn't the beast just swallow you up!? I mean, it's ben in the waters ever since my mother's grandmother was a little girl and now the one day I need it---it goes off and "migrates"." Koko turned and kicked the wall of the ship with a loud roar.
"Blood pressure, love," the Captain eased in quickly.
"Just send me below deck so I can think about a way off of this ship of nightmares, will you!?"
"You didn't actually think that I would waste a woman of your beauty and talents---just rotting below deck in the cells? No, I have much bigger plans in store for you love, big plans indeed." He stared at her oddly and Koko growled at him under her breath. The Captain laughed and shoved Koko behind a door on deck, slamming it shut and leaving her all alone in the chamber.
"Hmm?" Koko observed. This was a very nice room all things considered. There was a grand dresser, a large bed with lovely sheets of ruby colored thread (stolen from a Fire Nation cruise ship no doubt). There was a window in the corner next to a writing desk complete with parchment and ink alike---all useless without a Messenger Hawk---unless someone onboard was collecting a diary?
These were fancy accommodations considering Koko was a prisoner here. She was almost stunned to be granted a room like this until she turned and found a large painting of the captain near the door. These were the Captain's quarters. With a scoff, Koko threw open the dresser and saw a very fair lack of women's clothing. She dug around for a while until she found an outfit that matched her size, and then she hung up her Kyoshi Uniform and shut it away with a frown."This isn't going to be easy," Koko mumbled, "Great Kyoshi, give me strength. And, if at all possible---please tell my uncle to come and save me---I'll even take my goofy cousin in the United Forces, but please---just any help you can offer me. Thanks."
Koko opened the door and sulked out onto the bow of the ship only to see the Captain all the way on the other side, dangling above the aft on the ropes of the sails, still consistently barking orders at the men on board. He took notice of Koko's entrance and without a blink, he took hold of a rope and swung over everyone to land before Koko with a smile. "Much better, MUCH better without all that make-up! Now love, it's time to greet your new brothers," He practically shoved her down the stairs as his voice rang in her ears, "ALL CREW ON DECK!"
The men lined up and with a swift introduction, Enki walked passed them as fast as he could, names spilling out even faster. "Meet: One-Eye Ying, Toshi, Scabs, Fillmore, Cookie, Rags, and Silent Mike." He spun on a heel and Koko nearly toppled over him before he positioned her in line with the other pirates and yelled, "We have a new face aboard and as such we will now recite the Pirates Rules! They are few, but they are to be taken to the grave, now NUMBER ONE! Everyone shall obey orders. NUMBER TWO! All Booty will be shared out evenly, unless of course our ship needs repairs. NUMBER THREE! Anyone caught keeping a secret of attempting to desert will be marooned in the middle of the ocean. NUMBER FOUR! The punishment for hitting a man is a week in the brig! So all of you had better get along. NUMBER FIVE! Anyone being lazy or failing to clean his weapons will lose his share of loot and be relentlessly ridiculed a slob for the rest of our voyage. NUMBER SIX! Everyone may vote on all important decisions. NUMBER SEVEN! Everyone may have a share of captured drink and fresh food. NUMBER EIGHT! Anyone found stealing form another member of crew will be gruesomely punished and banished ashore. NUMBER NINE! There will be no gambling on my ship it is a filthy addictive habit, and you all have better things that you should be doing. NUMBER TEN! No bringing women aboard!"
Koko gave him a look.
Enki used all the reserve he had not to laugh and his amplified voice announced, "Unless of course they are under oath to serve the captain and aid our ship! NUMBER ELEVEN! No one may leave the crew until each man has made 1,100 yuans. And, last but certainly not least, NUMBER TWELVE! You will be compensated for any limbs lost during our voyage---assuming of course that you survive the week with your missing body part!" He sighed happily, "Those are the rules, learn them! Live them! Love them!"
"One-Eye Ying, Toshi, Scabs, Fillmore, Cookie, Rags, and Silent Mike," The Captain called off quickly, "Koko is our new sister now and she is to be treated as such."
"Those are the worst pirate names I've ever heard," Koko grumbled.
Enki slammed a hand over her mouth and whispered Suddenly, "HUSH! Scabs is very easily offended!"
She stared over at the large bulky pirate with all the scars and he started to whimper, which made Koko confused and uneasy.
"You want to hear a horrible pirate name---Koko, that is a terrible name!" Enki laughed, causing the others to laugh as well. As the Captain continued speaking, "I say again---this is your new sister boys which means that she is one of us and is to be treated as such. Any fooling around will result in somebody getting tossed overboard. We are to make sure she feels like one of the guys and that she follows our rules---now am I clear!?"
They nodded and he turned to the men and shouted, "Good! NOW BACK TO WORK YOU LAZY LADS!"
"What are your orders then, Captain?" Koko saluted unenthusiastically.
"Love, you are to swab the deck."
"Seriously?" she argued.
"Rule number one?" He retaliated.
"Follow orders----fine whatever. Get me a mop then."
He smiled, "That's a good girl. Swabbing the deck is a real honor---it builds character. Living on a ship with only men---or in your case living on a backwards island run by women---I figure you and I can learn a few things from one another. For now, that thing is swabbing the deck!" He slammed a mop and a bucket into her hands and whistled as he walked back towards the helm with his hands held behind his back and his steps ever pleased and chipper.
THE THREE MONTH VOYAGE
Nearly three long months passed at sea as things seemingly snapped for the ever adaptable Kyoshi Warrior. She really was one of the guys now and sometimes Koko wonders if she was starting to lose the part of her that trained her entire life to become a warrior and a fighter. Koko found a new life that was fun, carefree, and wild. There was no combat training, no wandering around the confines of a single island, no hearing the same conversations from the same faces day in and day out---no, for the first time since she was a child, Koko actually felt free---she felt that rush of adventure that had been lacking in her life for nearly twenty years, if not longer.
"Koko, get those main sails hoisted!" Enki bellowed.
With a wide smile, Koko was already half way to the top mast when she yelled back down, "Aye aye Captain!"
The oncoming ship was one that neither pirate, nor any other boatman ever wishes to see on the horizon; a ship with black sails---an enemy pirate ship. About two and a half weeks ago, Enki's ship had to fool the coast guard of the United Forces that swept through the area. With Koko on board, they were able to sneak across the border as though she were a golden passport and a one-way ticket to freedom. She felt a twinge of guilt for giving up a chance to escape in order to aid pirates into free waters---in fact, it went against everything that she had ever trained for, but Koko helped them anyway. Maybe it was the overexposure to seawater, or the fact that she'd eaten nothing but fish and rum for eighty-nine consecutive days, but Koko really had started to think herself one of the crew---and she really had begun to think that they could be a family to her.
Anywho...this was not one of those touchy-feely times where Koko could swindle her crew free of persecution. These were ruthless enemies about to fire canons upon Enki's ship. These other pirates would come aboard, kill everyone if they had to, steal all of the crew's hard earned loot, and then sink the ship to the bottom of the Eastern Sea without a flinch. It was just the way pirates were with each other—no logic or reasoning behind it.
"Ready your weapons men!" Enki ordered, drawing his sword, "This is going to get nasty."
It was a terrible pause in time---the wait before the storm. The boat ever so slowly came into view and while it took a while to cross paths, soon the enemy ship was but a plank's length away from Enki's and already the hooks were flying on board, grappling the side as the crew were unwillingly boarded and the shouts blurred into an inaudible warfare as pirates from each boat collided on the deck in a battle for the finish.
Koko was glad now that she had been training for battle since the time she could crawl---it really came in handy in these types of situations. She held her own even though the crew was outnumbered, and she was able to fight back the pirates with nary a sweat of effort. Enki, on the bridge, fought across the helm of his own ship with the enemy pirate's captain. They clashed swords, skill and witty remarks being flailed back and forth as the two captains battled.
"You're going to regret trying to invade this ship!" Enki grinned, the weight of his sword pressing down on the other captain's.
"One slight problem though," he grunted in return, a devilish smile spreading across his face... "I never lose a battle!"
With that, a wave of sea water shoved Enki to the floor and he coughed back the foul, salty water as he took in air and gasped, "You're a bender? That is SO cheating, mate.""What do you expect? We're pirates!" the other captain sang with a bellow to the air before both sword and water rushed to destroy Enki, who could only maneuver his was out of the crossfire by sliding across the floor of his boat and hope he didn't get killed by making the wrong move.
"Captain's in trouble!" Scabs bellowed.
"They've got us outnumbered down here!" Cookie gasped.
"Fight them back men!" Toshi ordered, "I have no intentions of dying this day!"
Koko flipped her opponent overboard and shouted, "I'll go help the Captain!" Koko took hold of a rope and swung onto the helm, kicking the enemy captain into the wall as she made her entrance that saved Enki from nearly being hacked to pieces.
"Much obliged," he gasped, taking in a few waterlogged breaths as he lay on the floor completely drenched in sea water.
"Waterbender?" Koko presumed.
"What was your first clue, love?" he shook his clothes off and readied his sword. The enemy captain was starting to rise and grumbled as he began standing to his feet with a grouchy snarl.
"You keep his attention, while I level the playing field..."
"And how exactly are you going to do that, love?" Enki's smile twitched as the massive enemy pirate loomed over him like a tower---a really angry---well-armed---about to attack a victim tower.
"A little trick I learned from a friend," she grinned.
The swords clashed together as Enki struggled to keep his top in the battle. "If you have a plan, then I would really rather you save me the suspense darling and JUST DO IT ALREADY!"
Koko jabbed the large captain in the side and his arm fell limp as he gasped and stared at Koko confused and red in the face with anger.
"Bending doesn't win battles, Captain," Koko snarked, "But, Chi-Blocking doesn't exactly hurt one's odds."
"Beautiful!" Enki cheered, "Well done!"
"Thanks," Koko blushed quickly. She and Enki shared a mutual stare of something odd----something strangely connecting, and it made butterflies well up in Koko's stomach---though that could have just been the thrill of the battle she was feeling? She thought.
A massive explosion knocked the ship sideways and all aboard fell over to the side as chunks of wood clattered about the main deck.
"If I can't see you dead by my sword, I'll see your ship rotting at the bottom of the sea!" the enemy snarled, escaping with the rest of his men as the remainder of his crew readied their cannons for another strike.
"The ship can't hold too many of those blows, Captain!" Fillmore alerted.
"Get those docking hooks off our ship!" Enki roared, "All strength to the sails! Get our ship out of here, boys! One of you prepare to fire back! Shoot anything we can!" Immediately they all scrambled to do as ordered and Enki turned back to Koko who was still on the ground from the first explosion. "There will be time to rest when we aren't at the bottom of the sea, love! On your feet now deary!"
"Enki..." Koko gasped. She pulled back her hand to reveal the wound caused by the dagger of the enemy captain. When everyone fell, he must have dropped it---or stabbed her---or something? That didn't matter, the problem was that she was down and Enki cursed and sheathed his sword.
He lifted her up in his arms as he shouted down at the crew, "Cannons ready!?"
Echoes could be heard on the other ship as the enemy captain shouted, "FIRE!"
Enki wasted no time in barking out his commands as well, "FIRE!!!"
A chorus of explosions rang through the air like thunder as blow upon blow struck the ship and the violent quaking broke apart the entire vessel. Enki held firm onto Koko as he tumbled once before regaining his balance. "BLOW THOSE SCUM OUT OF THE WATER! FIRE AGAIN!" he bellowed at the top of his lungs.
"We need a miracle," Koko groaned painfully.
"Pirates don't believe in miracles, we thrive on luck and fate," he breathed heavily, the sweat dripping across his face as Koko felt his wet clothes seeping against her wound. "Still love, if you have any more tricks up your sleeve, I would very much appreciate it."
She shook her head, "Fraid' not Captain...I think this is the end..."
Another series of cannon fire sent chills through Enki's ship as smoke and debris filled the air in a shroud. The crew below was shouting words that meshed together to form helpless cries for more cannonballs; some of them were too injured to even bellow, but apparently they were out of ammo and the lifeboats had been destroyed.
Enki and Koko fell to the ground after the creaking strain on the ship tossed them across the helm. He set her on the stairs and held onto the railings as tiny scraps of debris flew over the wall and onto their heads. For the most part, Koko and Enki were safe behind the staircase---however, the ship was being relentlessly blown to bits---so they were as safe as they could be all things considered.
"Don't you die on me, that's an order, love!" Enki stammered, his breath a fog of white as the cold wintery breeze soared in from the South.
"Oh well, I can't break rule number one---" Koko chuckled, "But I am a little---d-disappointed that the floor I just swabbed is getting blasted to the Spirit World."
"I'm sorry I dragged you into this, Koko," Enki frowned. "If I hadn't come to that island, I never would have gotten us into this mess."
"I could have left---" Koko muttered quietly, "When the Forces were checking the border. I could have left then---b---but I stayed." She stared up at Enki who was without words as the rocking of the ship echoed the continuous structure being blasted apart. "Thank you for giving me something else to look forward to---other than the life I thought I wanted." she smiled painfully.
With a tear in his eye, Enki brushed the hair out of her face and replied softly, "Anytime love..."
"Too bad though---" she cringed.
"What?" he wondered.
"Well, the only thing my father ever wanted was for me to find a husband---guess it's too late for that now, huh?"
A massive chunk of their ship came soaring across the air, splashing into the water below as the ship actually started to sink. The other members of the crew gathered around the staircase, some helping others that were unconscious as the nine of them readied to go down with the Silver Serpent and their captain.
The air smelled of smoke, blood, and cold ocean water just begging to swallow them whole, still though the captain kept his composure and he even laughed once as he stared down at Koko and said, "As Captain, I can legally wed you, so long as we do so on this ship," he coughed back smoke and added, "Anyone you want, love, just pick."
Koko wheezed once as the loss of blood started to blur her vision, and she pointed weakly with her finger, her nail poking repeatedly into her Captain's chest as the other members of the crew managed to smile a little at Enki's look of shock."Well---" There was a massive bang and the crew grabbed onto one another as the water started trailing up the staircase. "I'll take your hand in a heartbeat, love. Rule six, this is a pretty important decision on our part. Men, are their any objections?" He let out a weak chuckle and his crew merely smiled back at him with looks of compassion and praise. "That's that then." Enki nodded, looking down as he hovered over Koko's fading face and asked, "Do you take this old urchin to be your husband?"
Koko nodded and mouthed the word yes, even though no sound actually came out.
That one tear fell from the Captain's eye, reserved all this time for something important and now that time had come. "Then by the power vested in me as Captain of the Silver Serpent, accompanied by our brothers: Ying, Toshi, Scabs, Fillmore, Cookie, Rags, and Silent Mike." He took her hand, "I now pronounce us man and wife. And I may kiss my bride."
He leaned forward and did so as Koko started to fall unconscious. The men cheered quickly before realizing how dire their fates were becoming, and hands connected on each other's' shoulders, they all gave each other a solemn smile and Enki smiled back at them in hopeless bittersweet happiness. "It was an honor mates---it really was."
"One more blast ought to finish it..." Rags grumbled.
They bowed their heads and awaited the final blow.
"Then---why---" Toshi noticed after a long moment of preparing for the inevitable, "Why has it not come?"
All eight of the men suddenly stood tall and looked past the smoke to reveal half of their ship torn apart and only their staircase and few bottom beams were left remaining. The enemy ship was still there, still flying the black sails, but things were silent as a horde of unfamiliar men started yelling out commands in the distance.
"By the laws of the United Republic and the orders issued by the High Council and Avatar Aang, I hereby place you all under arrest for pirating, robbery, and who knows how many accounts of murder."
"Have you seen this woman!?" another voice shouted, "If she was onboard this vessel or any that you encountered, I demand you tell me at once! Don't make things any worse for yourself!"
"Daddy---?" Koko's breath trailed as Enki looked down and then back across the docking at the other ship. Behind them was none other than a gigantic carrier, a navy ship bigger than ten pirate vessels combined, and who else was taking the other pirates into custody than Councilman Sokka, Avatar Aang, and the General of the United Forces, Prince Lee of the Fire Nation.
"We have to turn ourselves in," Enki chuckled in disbelief.
"Are you nuts!?" Scabs laughed, "We'll get life in the slammer, or worse!"
"But, if we don't then my wife will die," Enki frowned, "And I remember specifically ordering her not to die."
"A loyal pirate always follows orders," Toshi nodded.
"It's rule one..." Cookie agreed.
"We're with you till the end boss," Fillmore grinned.
"Here goes nothing then?"
"Don't worry Sokka, we'll find her," Aang eased.
"We've been searching the waters for weeks Aang," Sokka sighed, "I've searched every sighting of every pirate ship in every canal leading out of Kyoshi Island. Every creek big enough to put a canoe in, we've looked and she wasn't there!" He picked up a large hunk of debris and chunked it over the side of the ship into the ocean. "Face it Aang---I'm never going to see my daughter again."
"Avatar Kyoshi warned me that she'd been taken by pirates---the United Forces found it strange she was travelling with a group of sketchy looking men and they called Bumi to report it---our leads are close on her trail, but Sokka, I am doing the best I can in trying to locate Koko---I am!" Aang huffed, "I swear to you, if it drains the rest of the life I have in me, I will find your daughter old friend!"
"Excuse me, gents?" Enki eased in. "Pardon the intrusion, but we're the people who were being blown up across the way there---" He pointed to the wreckage of his ship by flicking his head backwards, and then motioned with his chin down to his arms, saying, "I have a woman in need of medical attention, and I believe we can each help one another out."
Sokka stared with wide eyes as he took sight of his pale daughter, fading away in the arms of the dirty pirate. He snapped and called for the army, "GET KOKO TO A HEALER NOW!"
The medical aids ran over and took Koko from Enki and he watched with a concerned frown as they carried her away out of sight. He looked down at his shoes, scuffed and ruined from the battle, and he started to crack a smile, when all of the sudden he looked back up and a tan and angry fist was right in the center of his face.
"Ow...What in the---Ouch!" Enki groaned; flat back-against the ground as he wiped the blood from his throbbing nose.
"That was for kidnapping my daughter!" Sokka snarled.
"Technically, he did save her too?" Aang shrugged in a humming voice.
"Whose side are you on anyway?" the councilman bellowed.
"Sir, if I may," Lee butted in, "These pirates are willingly risking their freedom to return your daughter. I say that earns them a little trial when we get back to Republic City, right----as penance or something or other?"
"Rather than sending them straight to jail, you know, Uncle Sokka?" Bumi eased, "I mean, they are coming clean and doing the right thing...I don't think this bunch of marshmallows is really all that bad to tell you the truth?"
"Call us crazy, or blame it on our long exposure to my wife," Lee smiled, "But we can tell just by looking at them that these aren't your average bloodthirsty bunch of pirates."
"Which is what Kyoshi meant when she told me that the universe was working in mysterious was for Koko," Aang persisted with a grin and an I-told-you-so attitude.
"Fine!" He gruffed. The crew smiled and Sokka added, "But I'm still going to beat the ever-loving daylights out of this sorry son of a---"
"DAD!" Koko yelled. She had her hand held towards her wound, freshly healed, though not entirely as she limped quickly over to her rescuers.
"Koko!" Sokka teared up, his arms outstretched, but rather receiving a hug from his daughter, he had only his own body in his grasp and turned with confusion to see Koko kneeling over in the floor next to the pirate who had captured her. Sokka nearly exploded and screamed, "What are you doing!?"
"Daddy, this is my husband, Captain Enki Killian of the once beautiful Silver Serpent that wandered the Eastern seas." She smiled at him, as he smiled back goofily, blood from Sokka's punch caught in his teeth, and Koko laughed softly and brushed the hairs out of his face. "You can't beat him up anymore, alright?"
"HUSBAND!?" Sokka screeched, his arms failing as they drooped lifelessly towards the floor in disbelief.
Koko snapped and pointed towards the rest of the crew, "Oh, and these are my brothers! One-Eye Ying, Toshi, Scabs, Fillmore, Cookie, Rags, and Silent Mike."
The pirates all waved and greeted awkwardly as Aang smiled and Lee bowed back to them respectfully. Bumi laughed and asked them how they were doing.
"Don't wave to them!" Sokka huffed, "Don't bow! Don't exchange pleasantries!!! These are pirates! They---They---I mean---What about the time when---who the---But...but...but..."
"Dad," Koko stood up, "These guys are my family now, just as much as you and the Kyoshi Islanders are. I need you to be okay with my choices. Plus," She hugged her father who was still frozen in astonishment, "You were always poking at me to get married, and now I am."
"But to a pirate!?" He groaned, whining, "Seriously?"
"Captain of the pirates," Koko grinned as Enki stood back to his feet and wiped off the rest of his nosebleed.
"I deserved that," Enki clapped, "It was my fault that Koko got injured in the first place, but I do request your formal permission for her hand---I really do care for her, Councilman, Sir." He held out a welcoming hand.
Koko gave her father a pleading look as well, and he averted his eyes away from it only to receive a defiant grin from Aang, Bumi, and Lee in the background; meanwhile, a horde of puppy-dog stares were also looking at Sokka as the pirates tried to back up their Captain.
Sokka caved, "ALRIGHT! Fine....I give you my blessing, okay! You happy!?"He shook Enki's hand in return, and then wiped it away as Koko kissed her father on the cheek and then ran over with a happy squeal as Enki wrapped her around in a circle and they kissed romantically---much to Sokka's discomfort.
"Well that was a fun three months," Aang snapped awkwardly, "So Bumi, I think you and I had lunch plans?"
"Right Dad, and Ace, I would love to see more pictures of little Iroh and Honora, care to show them?"
"Sure thing Uno---let's just go do that---far away---Come on now---y-yeah?" he walked off quickly, followed close behind by Aang, Bumi, and the pirates who snuck their way around the aggravated Councilman and the happy new couple.
"Without a ship, I think we'll be needing a means to make a decent living, love," Enki grinned, "Do you think Kyoshi Island will accept a few more working men?"
She hummed it over, "I think we can find somewhere to put you---maybe swabbing the deck---It builds character you know?""Ugh!" Sokka Oogied as they walked away and he simply stood aboard the ship and shouted at them, "Fine, that's all fine, whatever, go on! Go! Be happy with your pirate husband!" In a quieter tone, Sokka mumbled, "You're not the one who's going to have to explain all of this to your mother." Sokka shivered and started trailing after his daughter, "This is NOT going to be a fun conversation. Maybe I'll just send a Messenger Hawk? Suki can work out some of her pent up anger on the poor bird before I even get home."
A Sea Raven squawked in a mocking tone as Sokka looked to it with a gruff pout and then turned his attention back towards Enki and Koko.
He shook his head, "No I can't help it, I still want to clobber that filthy pirate! Son-in-law or not---COME BACK HERE YOU PUNK!"
- Tenzin's travels were explained partially in Year 44.
- This is the first time that Pema has ever seen Tenzin in person, and she instantly grew a little crush on the Airbender.
- Tenzin originally left on his travels to become enlightened and stall his way to the spot on the council---so having it thrust upon him now is indeed a great honor.
- There was originally an age requirement for the council members, but thanks to Sokka and Aang's convincing, the silly rule was overturned.
- Lin and Tenzin's relationship ended shortly before he left Republic City back in Year 37.
- Lin and Bumi's parole talk can be linked back to the events in Year 45.
- For years Bumi and Toph had made it a mission in life to tease Lin and Tenzin about their relationship. Aang couldn't resist, and just had to join in on the fun.
- After his travels, Tenzin never left Republic City again except for brief visits to his mother in the South Pole, and occasional business.
- This is the first time we go into Koko's life in detail like we have with the rest of her siblings.
- It is hinted that Fomagu is the grandson of the "Foaming Mouth Guy"...
- Captain Enki Killian gets his name from "Enki" meaning "mischievous" and "Killian" a reference to Captain Hook.
- Enki's voice is supposed to sound almost British mixed with natural pirate slang. Though, I hear it mostly as Niklaus Mikaelson's accent from Vampire Diaries.
- Enki acted as a leader to only a group of men for 20 years, while Koko acted as a leader of women for 20 years as well, and both Enki and Koko were raised in the area that they one day grew up to lead, Koko in fighting, and Enki at sea.
- Most of the Pirate rules and terms I use in this extended chapter are found on this website.
- Note that pirate battles are often to the death.
- It seems that Avatar Kyoshi heard Koko's call for help after all.
- Even after all these years, Lee and Bumi still use each other's nicknames for each other.
- Note: Sokka hasn't been THIS unhappy about something since Hahn got elected Chief of the Northern Water Tribe.
For the collective works of the author, go here.