AN: Number One: Here's hoping the accent marks work. Number Two: Here's hoping the indentation on the letter works... Number Three: I don't speak Portuguese, so don't expect the little of it that's in here to work. Number Four: I cannot write Raimundo. I am a Raimundo FAILURE.

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Dearest Mãe

She had been knitting when the letter had arrived. A new scarf for Anita, the youngest, who had lost hers in last week's sudden storm. Little Diego ran in first, waving it excitedly in his tiny hand, the others tumbling in after him. "Olhe, Mãe! Olhe!" Look, mother! Look!

She calmly lay down her knitting and waited for the children to catch their breath. A letter from Raimundo was always highly anticipated, though the family received one about twice a month. The little ones missed their big brother terribly and enjoyed his exciting tales and adventures involving the mysterious Shen Gong Wu. The weeks between letters was spent reenacting each new discovery at every possible moment. The children were particularly fond of anything involving the Sword of the Storm (recreated with an old broom).

Sra. Pedrosa, though appreciative of her son's daring adventures, read his letters for words of his health and visits home. Not that she needed another mouth to feed, mind you. Since Raimundo's departure from home (and hence departure from his job at the circus) there was little income for the family. Some of the older children attempted to help by bringing in money home from their play in the streets (Sra. Pedrosa had long since learned to not question this much-needed money's origin, but to just accept it), but they could only do so much... Raimundo would bring in a much more steady cash flow if he was home.

Turning her thoughts away from melancholy monetary matters, Sra. Pedrosa worried over another common factor she searched for in Raimundo's letters. The boy had a habit of some...well...strange infatuations. He would write page after page on one person, flattering them and going on and on about tiny events that showed this admired one in a good light. When his letters first starting appearing extra bulky with the worshiping, she hadn't worried much. She thought it a warm and welcome change from his usually cocky confidence and huge ego. At the time, his praises were limited to the "greatness" of Kimiko, with the occasional admiration of Katnappé. But then...there came huge paragraphs worshiping others. There was once a novel on the "coolness" of their new friend Jermaine, a more disturbing one of the "shininess" of villain Chase Young's hair. When Omi had gone to the dark side, Raimundo had sent home tearful words of Omi's bravery. His mother was getting worried - who would be next, Master Fung?

"Read it now, Mãe!" Read it now!" Diego insisted, thrusting the letter into her lap.

"Cala a boca and maybe she will!" One of the older girls snapped at him.

"Give me the letter," Sra. Pedrosa said calmly, holding her hand out for it. Diego stuck his tongue out at his sister and placed the letter lightly in his mother's hand.

She opened it, cleared her throat, and began to read...

"Dearest Mãe e família

How are you guys holding up? I'm doing alright - healthy as always! I'm asking around the villages around the temple to see if there are any odd jobs I can do in my free time. Hopefully I'll be able to send home some money with the next letter
So I hear Luiza lost her first tooth! Way to go, kid! I hope it was clean and the birds left you a ton of money. Did you buy a new doll like you wanted to?
Paulo, sorry to hear about your grounding...but really, you shouldn't be pushing your sisters around like that, even if you are just playing. A lady's a lady - even if you are related to her!
Speaking of playing...have I got a great story for you! This one features the Blade of the Nebula, which is about a hundred times cooler than the Sword of the Storm you guys like so much...It takes place aboard a pirate ship where we're fighting against the evil Jack Spicer for the powerful Shen Gong Wu - the Pearl of Kiamo! It's just me a Jack - we saw the Pearl, we went for it at the same time, the Showdown started - now we're both standing on two planks. The goal is to find the Pearl - at the bottom of the raging ocean! Unfortunately for me, Jack has wagered the Gills of Himachi! He puts them on and dives in, swimming rapidly to the bottom! I pull out the Blade...there's only one thing I can do...WHOOSH! The waters split apart - straight down to the very depths where the Pearl lays. I jump down, using the wind to slow my descent, closing in on the Wu! But suddenly, out of nowhere, Jack leaps at me, knocking me from my cleared path back into the water! I gasp and take in not air, but a huge gulp of ocean water. Jack removes the Gills and uses his helipack to near himself to the Pearl. I'm slowly suffocating, but a sudden energy raises up in me, and I pull out the Blade and propel myself down to the Pearl, snatching it just before Jack can! the waters close up again, and I'm standing on the deck of the ship once more, triumphant, Pearls AND Gills in my hand.
Don't get me wrong, though. Jack's not as evil as he seems. He's actually kind of...well...nice, I guess, when you get down to it. See, after the showdown, we realized Jack was still at the bottom of the ocean - and without any Gills of Himachi! Why he hadn't been transported back, I do not know. So I did what I had to: attached the Gills and dove in to save him and drag him back up to the boat.
We had to administer CPR, of course, before he was breathing again. He was pretty pale, awfully wet and incredibly tired, so I let him rest is head on my lap as we sailed on home. I had to keep talking to him to make sure he stayed awake and didn't slip into shock or anything. We had some pretty nice conversation, actually. He told me about his family: you know, they hardly acknowledge his existence. That's why he spends so much time in his lab making robots or hanging out with Wuya - he just wants a family again...
People say the funniest things when they've just about died, you know? He told me the only reasons he ever goes on these Shen Gong Wu runs anymore is just to see me (though I'm sure he was talking about us monks as a collective) 'cuz I'm (we're) the closest things he has to a friend(s). I told him not to be so stupid: of course we were friends. (I don't really know where that came from, because I definitely considered him anything but a friend until I dragged him dying out of the water.) I told him he didn't have to fight over Shen Gong Wu just to be with me (us). You know, just to see if maybe I could convince him to leave the bad side and join my side...the good side, I mean.
Uh-oh. Dojo just came into the room shaking and flaking, meaning we got a new Shen Gong Wu on our hands! Best get to it before Jack (needless to say - I failed to bring him from the Heylin side...maybe next time) does - we don't want another near death experience again, now, do we?
Take care you guys! I miss you all a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Tell the old gang I said hi!

Love,
Raimundo."

Sra. Pedrosa sighed, folding up the letter neatly and placing it in her lap. The children had left directly after Raiundo's retelling of the winning of the Pearl and were already outside shouting "Blade of the Nebula!" at each other. They hadn't heard a word of Rai's Jack rant.

Starring at the letter in her lap, she shook her head sadly. That boy was going to get himself into a heap of trouble someday...