AvatarCat12: Sorry I haven't uploaded in a while; I've just been busy for quite a while. But today is when that changes, so that means I've uploaded this new chapter.
This chapter will begin the start of Pokémon actually joining the Rescue Team. I won't tell you yet who it is; you'll have to read on to see who it is. But I'll give you a clue about who it is: it's a Normal type Pokémon. And I'm sure you all know about Pokémon X and Y, the newest generation of Pokémon games. I can't wait to see that! I hope to get Fennekin as a starter...and Xerneas and Yveltal are awesome!
So without any further ado, let's go with the disclaimer and get this done.
Disclaimer: Michael Bryan DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko, and Satoshi Tajiri own Avatar: The Last AirBender and Pokémon. Me? Nope. Never have, never will.
Summary: The gang stops at a waterfall so that Aang can learn WaterBending. But Cody sees that Katara is getting jealous, a feeling that makes her do the unthinkable. Meanwhile, Absol joins Zuko in talking with some pirates to hunt down the Avatar. Will our heroes try and avoid these bad dudes?
Uploading Date: January 14, 2013
The WaterBending Scroll
"Would you sit down? If we hit a bump, you'll go flying off!" Sokka snapped as he handled the reins. "What's bugging you anyway?"
Hours had passed since Rescue Team Avatar visited Avatar Roku's temple in the Fire Nation. Appa was flying through a mostly cloudy sky, broken by a few shafts of sunlight that pierced the cloud cover in certain areas. Cody, who was lying in Katara's lap, was feeling relaxed at the moment...but Aang wasn't; instead, the Avatar was pacing up and down Appa's back. He had a feeling that pacing up and down on a flying bison was not a good thing to do.
"It's what Avatar Roku said," Aang replied in worry. "I'm supposed to master all four elements before that comet arrives."
Sokka counted off the elements on his fingers. "Well, let's see, you've pretty much mastered AirBending and that only took you a hundred and twelve years...I'm sure you can master three more elements by next summer."
"Is that supposed to make him feel better?" Totodile asked, raising a brow at him. "Months can be pretty long."
"Totodile's right," Aang groaned, a very exasperated look on his face. "I haven't even started WaterBending, and we're still weeks away from the North Pole! What am I gonna do!?" he finished, putting his head in his hands in frustration.
Cody wished he could do something to try and comfort him, but he didn't know how. Despite it being a mission to help the Avatar, he felt closer to Katara than the other humans in the group. It felt nice to be with her and try to help Aang out at the same time.
Speaking of her, she pulled Aang to where she was kneeling in the passenger area. He was now kneeling beside her as she took his hands in hers. Cody felt a little jealous when he saw that, but he brushed it away. How could he try to be jealous at a time like this? Besides, he knew that he and Katara were just friends, and that was how he liked it.
"Calm down. It's going to be okay," Katara murmured softly. "If you want, I can try and teach you some of the stuff I know."
"You'd do that?" Aang asked.
The Water Tribe girl nodded her head and smiled. Totodile smiled at her and said, "Wow...that's mighty nice of you. You're one in a million, you know that?"
Cody felt proud of her for being able to cheer Aang up; it seemed that whenever she cheered someone up, they forgot their troubles. He had told Katara about his troubles he had as a human, and she told him to solve them carefully now that he was a Pikachu. The two humans crawled over to the edge of the saddle to look down while Cody stood a bit on the edge.
Katara gave the land below a long look. "We'll need to find a good source of water first."
"Maybe we can find a puddle for you to splash in," Sokka joked.
Cody retorted, "Well, why don't you test the puddle out? Make sure no Sharpedo are in it?"
Their destination was at a huge waterfall followed by a river running away from the bottom of the fall. The heroes were on the left bank, and Aang and Katara were gazing up at the might of the waterfall in excitement and happiness. Cody and Totodile had to tilt their heads back to gaze at the top, almost falling over. It did look like a good place for WaterBending.
"Nice puddle," Sokka grumbled. He was the only one who had a sour look on his face.
"BIG puddle," Totodile chuckled. "Still wanna splash in this one?"
Appa swooped in overhead, grunting loudly and dropping himself into the water, to the anger of some Shellos and Gastrodon. Momo had landed on a rock in the catch basin, but the sun was blotted by a shadow: the wave of water from Appa's messy swan dive. The wave crashed over the lemur, and he got soaked all over, but Appa ignored this as he started rolling over in the water, relaxing.
After this, Aang had removed everything but his undergarments and was ready to join the fun. Cody looked away quickly, wanting to rid his mind of what he just saw. But then he turned around and saw Totodile leap into the water and sigh, floating on his back and sending a jet of water into the air with his mouth.
When he did so, the Big Jaw Pokémon cheered, "Come on in, guys! The water is feeling oh so fine today!"
"Yeah! Don't start without me, guys!" the Avatar called, fixing to jump in.
However, Katara quickly called, "Aang, remember the reason we're here."
Aang stopped and looked back at Katara. He frowned but pulled his pants up anyways, saying, "Oh right, time to practice WaterBending."
"Dang," Totodile remarked, swimming back to land. He shook the water off and asked, "You guys got it serious, huh? I mean this training stuff."
"I'm afraid so, Totodile," Katara told him with a small smile.
Next to them, Sokka grumbled, "Great. So what am I supposed to do?"
"You could...clean the gunk out of Appa's toes?" Aang suggested as he picked up a leafy branch and held it out to him. This made the two Pokémon look grossed out at the prospect of that.
"So, while you four guys are playing in the water, I'm supposed to be hard at work picking the mud out of a giant bison's feet?" Sokka asked, folding his arms across his chest.
Aang smiled. "Mud and bugs!"
"And why complain about it?" Cody added, wanting to join in. "You've always talked about training your village's kids, so what's wrong with cleaning up?"
For a minute, he expected Sokka to yell at him about it. Then...after a few seconds of thinking, he finally said, "...okay."
Without another word, he picked up the branch and walked away, resigned to his task. Appa was resting low in the water, where he was blowing bubbles...hopefully from the front side. To Cody's relief, he was doing so, wanting to do the same and relax with no worries. But he wanted to see Aang and Katara practice their WaterBending, and no one was going to stop them from their practicing.
Not on my watch!
A jet of fire erupted off the main deck and nearly missed Absol's head. In return, the Disaster Pokémon let his scythe glow dark before sending a Dark Pulse at Prince Zuko. It had been days since they had let the Avatar and his friends escape from their grasp, and they were angrier than before. A good practice fight was what they needed to release their tempers.
Suddenly, the ship tilted to starboard, knocking both combatants off balance. Absol managed to get to his paws and nudge Zuko back to his feet, even if he would be ungrateful.
"You okay?" he asked.
"Right now, I'm not!" Zuko growled without thanking him. "Someone's changing our course!"
He gave a snort and went back inside the ship, Absol quickly on his heels. Once they got inside, they went over to the helmsman, who was doing his job: steering the wheel of the ship.
Immediately, Zuko snapped at the man, "What's the meaning of this mutiny?! No one told you to change course!"
Absol added, "Yeah. Now fess up and it won't go bad for you."
"Actually, someone did." Absol and Zuko looked up to see Iroh and Torkoal playing Pai Sho with some other crewman and his Rhyhorn. It was Iroh who had spoken as he went on, "I assure you it is a matter of utmost importance, Prince Zuko."
"Is it something to do with the Avatar?" Zuko asked, his golden eyes blazing.
Torkoal shook his head slowly. "I'm afraid not, young'un."
Iroh nodded. "He is right. This is even more urgent. It seems...I've lost my lotus tile."
At this, the old general pushed a piece forward on the Pai Sho board. Absol gave down at the Pai Sho board, unable to think of the possibilities of the game.
Zuko stared at it, confused. "Lotus tile?"
"For my Pai Sho game," Iroh agreed, nodding. "Most people think the lotus tile insignificant, but it is essential for the unusual strategy that I employ."
"You've changed our course for a stupid lotus tile?" Zuko snapped, now losing his patience.
Absol added, "And we won't get back on track until we get that piece back, right?"
"...yes," Torkoal gulped, quickly pulling his head and legs into his shell.
Iroh spoke up, "See, you and Absol, like most people, underestimate its value. Just give me ten minutes to check the merchants at this port of call. Hopefully they'll have the lotus tile in stock and I can get on with my life!"
Zuko looked like he was trying hard to contain his anger, but then he ended up releasing a gout of flame from his mouth that licked over the ceiling. Beside him, Absol turned away from the elders, gazing out the window. They were getting near to finding the Avatar, and Iroh decided to change course all for a stupid game piece.
Torkoal was still hiding in his shell as he and Iroh were clouded with smoke. But all Iroh did was smile as he waved it away and said, "I'm lucky to have such an understanding nephew."
Totodile peered closely at one of the gaps between Appa's toes flossed and shrunk back. Cody saw that whatever he saw there was disgusting, and frankly, he didn't want to know what it was. Fortunately, that was getting cleaned out with Sokka's leafy branch, who had Appa on his back as he cleaned him up with a small grimace.
"Don't get too happy," the Water Tribe warrior grumbled as Appa let out a grunt of gladness. "You gotta do me next."
Cody snorted at this as he turned back to see Katara and Aang standing on the river bank. As Katara began to explain, she started to WaterBend the move she was describing, making Cody walk over to where they were practicing.
"This is a pretty basic move, but it still took me months to perfect, so don't be frustrated if you don't get it right away," she said. "Just push and pull the water like this."
Then she began to bob gracefully back and forth, the water on the river edge moving back and forth with her. Noticing them seeing her, she said, "The key is getting the wrist movement right. Are you getting it?"
"I wanna try," Cody spoke up. The autistic Pikachu rose up to his hind paws and began imitating what his female human friend was showing them.
"It's getting good, Cody," Katara praised him. "Even though you're not a Bender, you can use this move to get around bigger Pokémon."
"Like this?" Aang spoke up, getting up and imitating what Katara was doing.
Katara nodded. "That's almost right. If you keep practicing, I'm sure eventually-"
But she never got the chance to finish, for Aang suddenly shouted cheerfully, "Hey, I'm Bending it already!"
And he was. Aang was actually moving a respectably-sized wave of water around. Cody was moving his head around, trying to catch the movements while his ears twitched in awe. Aang was already getting the hang of this despite only being a novice. Beside them, Katara watched on with pure surprise on her face, her blue eyes widened.
"Wow, I can't believe you got that so quickly," she rasped. "It took me two months to learn that move," she added a bit unhappily.
Aang reminded her, "Well, you had to figure it out on your own. I'm lucky enough to have a great teacher."
Cody nodded and added, "He's right. You're also a really great person."
Katara gave them a mix of a smile and a frown. "Thanks."
Later on, they went to the top of the waterfall. Cody saw some more Pokémon there like Stantler and Bellossom, but he could not stop to chat with them. Instead, he turned around to see Aang and Katara preparing for another WaterBending move. So he leapt onto a nearby rock and sat still to keep an eye on their progress.
"So what's next?" Aang asked, looking as excited as a Stantler fawn.
"This is a more difficult move," Katara replied with a suspicious look at him. "I call it 'streaming the water.'" She moved her hands, pulled out of a stream of water from the river, and began to loop it around. "It's harder than it looks, so don't be disappointed if..."
But before she could get the words out of her mouth, Aang had already mastered this move. He was moving around his stream of water as if it was a toy as Katara stood motionless. Cody's eyes followed the water, feeling impressed as he watched the water move around. After a few minutes of watching the frolicking, Katara dropped her water stream with a sour look on her face. Aang played with his for a few more seconds and then dumped his back into the river.
"Nice work...though the over-the-head flare was unnecessary," Katara added with a sour frown.
Cody looked back at her incredulously. "What's wrong with the over-the-head flare? I thought it was pretty cool."
This made Katara stare sternly at him while glancing a bit at Aang. "Yeah, but still."
"Sorry," Aang said sheepishly. "Well, don't stop now! Keep 'em coming!"
"Well..." Cody guessed Katara was thinking of a move he couldn't handle. "I kinda know this one other move, but it's pretty hard. I haven't even totally figured it out yet. The idea is to create a big powerful wave..."
So she concentrated and finally raised a blob of water out of the river, but it suddenly fell back upon itself when Katara's concentration collapsed. She must have still been too busy in being jealous to notice it.
Aang quickly sat up and said, "So...like this?"
He raised his hands up, and a huge wall of water shot up into the air. Cody was amazed at the height of the wave, one that a skilled Water-type Pokémon would make. He looked around to see Sokka turn around and widen his eyes as the wave towered over him from behind.
"Aang...!" he tried to shout, but it was too late. The wave washed over him and Appa, soaking them both after the cleaning the former did. When he was washed off of the bison, Sokka quickly swam over towards the shore, panting from what happened to him.
Aang didn't pay much attention to that. Instead, he cheered, "Looks like I got the hang of that move! What else ya got?"
Katara just glared at him crossly. "That's enough practicing for today."
"Yeah, I'll say!" Sokka added angrily, pointing at the bags floating down the river. "You just practiced our supplies down the river!"
Aang chuckled nervously at what he did. "Um...sorry. I'm sure we can find somewhere to replace all this stuff."
Sokka merely sank back under the water, muttering, "Ugh...it was hard enough when you were just an AirBender."
Cody gave a small smile before looking up to see Katara send a jealous glower at Aang before walking off. He felt his smile fade away when he saw the look on her face, knowing that something was up. Concerned about what was going on, he ran over to where she was going to and caught up with her. She gave him a surprised look before turning away and digging around for some money, muttering to herself.
"Hey, what's wrong?" Cody asked her.
"It's nothing, Cody." But Cody gave her a disbelieving look, so Katara sighed and confessed, "Fine. Aang's been doing better at WaterBending than me...even though I was a WaterBender since who knows when, and he's not even a true WaterBender!"
The Pikachu leapt up onto her shoulder, giving her a concerned look. "You know he's just excited to learn WaterBending from you. Maybe he's so excited that he turned out to be very good at it. Heck, it might just be a sugar rush."
Katara looked doubtful. "I'm not sure about it. He hadn't had anything sweet to eat since before the solstice."
"Well, whatever happens will happen," Cody told her. "Now can we go shopping? I think I heard of a new Warriors book coming out."
So all five of them (plus Momo) went over to a port village, walking down the market street. They could see tough-looking sailors, merchants, and shady types run past each other. A bit away from them, a big man was holding up a much smaller one for an unknown reason as the smaller one yelled "Please put me down!" Another shopkeeper in blue was addressing a crowd, holding up a sack and asking "Who's brave enough to look into this bag?"
Cody, Katara, and Aang sat outside the nearest shop, waiting for Sokka to come out with new supplies. Cody was strongly reminded of a pirating village he and Totodile went to while they mentored Team HeartGold. They had escaped in time when Guildmaster Wigglytuff used his Hyper Voice to blast the pirates away. Just when he could think more of this mishap, a door opened to announce the arrival of Sokka and Totodile. The latter was chewing on a rib bone, and Cody knew his friend's species needed weekly meat to chew on.
"We've got exactly three copper pieces left from the money that King Bumi gave us," Sokka told the group. "Let's spend it wisely."
Totodile, whose arms were filled with supplies, grunted, "Yeah...but I'm carrying the load!"
But Aang now looked sheepish as he said, "Um...make that two copper pieces, Sokka. I couldn't say no to this whistle!"
He produced a white whistle in the shape of a bison from behind his back, drew in a great breath, and blew into it. Sokka quickly covered his ears with his hands to stop the sound he believed was coming. Nothing really happened to the humans; only the sound of rushing air came out. But Cody, Totodile, and Momo covered their ears, hearing the high annoying sound. Cody now wished that if he was a human again, he wouldn't hear it.
Sokka glared at the Avatar when the latter stopped blowing. "It doesn't even work. See, even Momo thinks it's a piece of junk," he added as Momo chittered into his master's ear.
"No offense, Aang, but I'll hold the money from now on," Katara told Aang more gently.
The AirBender looked guilty, but he just shrugged and gave the sack of money to her.
"I'm glad we brought our own money," Totodile muttered to Cody. "And I hate to say, but now I'm glad we didn't bring anyone else with us on the mission. I'd hate to see how much money they would spend."
Cody nodded. "But what I'm more thankful for is that the awful noise stopped."
So they continued on their way, hoping to get back before the sun went down. But across from them, Cody saw a large ship with two Octillery guarding the plank. There was already a person soliciting people by holding up a money bag.
"Earth Nation! Fire Nation! Water Nation!" he barked. "So long as bargains are your inclination, you're welcome here! Don't be shy, come one by!"
Totodile looked around at the person before turning back to the group. "Doesn't he mean the Earth Kingdom and Water Tribe?"
"Don't listen to him," Sokka told him. "I've come across one of these people before. They gave me a fake sword that was actually a frozen fish."
"A frozen fish?" Totodile asked with a smirk. "I'd like to see that."
Just then, the pirate ran right up to them, but they kept walking. Cody kept up the pace, not wanting to talk to anyone shady unless if he knew them. But he didn't know this man, so he thought it was safer to just keep walking.
"Oi! You there!" the man barked. "I can see by your clothing that you're world-traveling types. Perhaps I can interest you in some exotic curios?"
"Sure!" Aang piped up, running over to him. "What are curios?"
"Are they Cheerios?" Totodile asked curiously.
The barker paused for a moment. Then... "I'm not entirely sure, but we got 'em!"
Then he took the Avatar by the shoulders and bustled them onto to the ship.
The three of them looked around the Pirate's hold, gawping at their wares. Cody watched while Totodile poked around with powerful-looking swords before looking away. Katara was briefly spellbound by something, so he saw it and froze. In front of them was a stone monkey that was richly jeweled with large blood-red rubies. Noticing its ruby glare, Cody gave a small frightened yelp and hid behind her legs.
"Cody?" Katara asked concernedly. "What's the matter?"
The young Pikachu peeked his head out from behind her legs. "That statue's really scary to look at...especially with those eyes. It's like looking at the Devil himself."
The young WaterBender gazed down at him with a small smile and kind blue eyes. And before Cody could react, she bent down and scooped him up into her arms, making him go limp like a ragdoll. Then before he could say anything else to her, a new sinister voice made his yellow fur start to bristle.
"I've never seen such a fine specimen of lemur. That beast would fetch me a hefty sum if you'd be interested in bartering."
In the midst of speaking, a man that looked like a pirate emerged from a dark doorway. He wore a wide brim hat and had a huge green parrot-like creature on his shoulder, which screamed a few times when he was finished. On his other shoulder was a Chatot with white facial markings on its face, squawking.
Aang quickly wrapped his arm around Momo and said defensively, "Momo's not for sale."
The man nodded before looking at Cody and Totodile. "Well, what about your Pokémon? They would make good shipmates."
"Good shipmates!" Chatot parroted.
"Uh-uh!" Totodile said indignantly. "We're Pokémon, not objects! You wanna get an object? Then go to the flea market!"
Just then, Cody heard a set of footprints as Katara walked over to a scroll rack. Curious about what she was doing, he leapt down from the counter and padded over to see the scrolls. One of them, the thinnest, had the water symbol on its end...something about WaterBending. She opened it, and they could see the instructions on how to perform various WaterBending moves.
Cody saw his friend's blue eyes light up as she gave a gasp of joy. He could tell that she was very excited to see a scroll she could teach Aang with.
Speaking of Aang, Katara called him over, "Look at this, Aang! It's a WaterBending scroll. Check out these crazy moves!"
"She found it," Cody added, pointing at her.
"Wow," Aang remarked, his eyes alight with surprise. To the man with the parrot-like creature and the Chatot, he asked, "Where did you get a WaterBending scroll?"
The man suddenly slammed his hand down upon the open scroll, rolling it up and smiling a bit roguishly. "Let's just say I got it up north at a most reasonable price," he replied, putting the scroll back in the shelf. "Free!"
But Cody knew that Katara was not deterred about this. He could see her gaze over at the scroll with some kind of longing in her eyes. But he looked around in time as Sokka, who was looking at some merchandise, turned around, trying to puzzle something out.
"Waaait a minute..." the Water Tribe teen muttered. "Sea-loving traders...with suspiciously acquired merchandise...and pet reptile birds...you guys are pirates!"
"We prefer to think of ourselves as high risk traders," the pirate barker from before said, putting a hand on Sokka's shoulder and smiling.
Yep, Cody thought, his first thoughts coming around. These are pirates...why do I feel something bad is gonna happen?
Katara looked down at the two measly copper pieces in her hand and turned to the Pirate Captain. "So how much for the...um...traded scroll?"
"I've already got a buyer, a nobleman in the Earth Kingdom," the Captain told her. "Unless, of course, you kids have two hundred gold pieces on ya right now?"
"...no," Totodile sighed. Turning to Aang with a stern look, he added, "And we'd have a lot more if you hadn't bought that whistle. Why don't you return it and get a refund?"
So all of them drew back slightly to speak in private. Aang then put his hand out, and Cody guessed he had an idea coming up in his shaved arrow-tattooed head.
"I know how to deal with these guys, Katara. Pirates love to haggle. Watch and learn." So she gave him the two copper pieces, and he walked over to the Captain, saying in a pirate-accented voice, "What say to the price of... one copper piece!"
He held the copper piece up to the Captain, a wide grin on his face.
"Hahaha!" the Captain guffawed. "The price is two hundred gold pieces. I don't haggle on items this rare."
"Okay...two copper pieces!" Aang replied, holding up a second copper piece.
Now the Pirate Captain looked bored. "It's not as amusing the second time, boy."
But just as Cody rolled his eyes, he heard Katara whisper to him, "Cody...I'm going over to the shelves and getting that scroll...no matter what. You and Totodile distract the captain."
Cody was shocked that she would do such a thing, but he didn't want to argue. So all he said was, "Got it, Katara." While she nodded and went off, he turned to Totodile and said, "Hey, Totodile. Katara's gonna get that scroll...no matter what. We gotta distract the captain with something they'd love to do."
"What?!" Totodile yelped. But at the strange looks he got, he whispered, "Got it, Cody." Turning to the Chatot on the Captain's shoulder, he asked, "Hey, you wanna join Cody and I in an insulting contest? I heard pirates love these."
"Of course I do!" Chatot said. "But remember: NEVER repeat an insult! Now...you take the first broadside, shipmates!"
After a bit of thinking, Cody said, "You're a...stupid grog-abusing whale fart!"
Chatot squawked. "Ha! You swear like a child! You're a...bleating knuckle-dragging cabin boy!"
"Oh yeah?" Totodile smirked. "You're a...donkey-eared seaweed-slurping...swabber!" At this, he did a little dance from one foot to the other.
"But methinks you're a...mumbling pus-faced cow pie!" Chatot cackled.
At this point, Aang piped up, "I can make one! How about...monkey-feathered barnacle-backed cow pie?"
The Captain just glared at him. "'Tis already been said, boy. No pirate is worth a salt to repeat an insult. It's a crime before nature."
Before anyone could say anything else, Katara came over to murmur, "Can we get out of here? I feel like we're getting weird looks."
Cody knew why she wanted to leave: she already took the scroll from the shelf. So all five of them turned around and walked over to the door, Aang grabbing his staff and calling in his fake pirate accent, "Aye, we be castin' off now!"
"And catch ya on the port bow, you parrot-loving duck-billed bag of vomit!" Totodile called.
"Thanks, landlubber. I really enjoyed the...oi, wait a moment!" Chatot squawked in recognition. "I'M a parrot!"
This made Cody and Totodile laugh at the Music Note Pokémon's blunder before following the humans outside. Once they got there, they saw that Katara was now hugging herself protectively as if she was protecting a baby. But Cody knew that she was just trying to hide the scroll in her Water Tribe robes.
"What was that all about, Katara?" Aang asked in confusion.
"Yeah, I was just starting to browse through their boomerang collection," Sokka told her.
"I'll just feel a lot better once we get away from here," Katara simply told them uneasily, still hugging herself.
Not wanting to get her in trouble, Cody added, "Erm...yeah! The only pirates I'd like are the Pirates Of The Caribbean."
"Or the pirates of Booty Bay from World Of Warcraft," Totodile said.
Just then, the two Pokémon heard a commotion behind them and turned around to see. The pirate barker who had solicited them from before was running across the deck, shouting, "Hey you! Get back here!"
Aang turned around too, smirking and saying, "Well, well, look who's come to their senses. Told ya the haggling would pay off."
Like angry Beedrill from a beehive, the pirates were exiting their ship to come after the five of them, four Machoke and a Floatzel following them. Suddenly, the group was faced with a dozen or so well-armed and obviously angry pirates. Cody felt electricity crackle around his fur, ready for a fight against other Pokémon, while Totodile let ice surround his fist.
Remember...this is just like a Monster House. A human and Pokémon Monster House.
Cody spun around on the spot, glaring at the enemies at all side. The pirates crowded around the five of them, yelling things like "There they are!", "Get'em!" and "Nobody's goin' nowhere!" And their Pokémon were not helping either; the Floatzel was leering at them with missing teeth, and the Machoke were flexing their muscles menacingly.
"I...I don't think these pirates are here to trade with us!" Katara said, looking really scared now.
Thus, they broke into a run. While they ran, Totodile gave Katara a reply: "You think?!" And then he added, "God Almighty, please don't let this be like a Scooby Doo chase scene!"
"Get back here!" a pirate yelled as they gave chase.
The small group ran down an alley, and Cody looked behind him to see that the pirates split into two groups. One followed them while the other, led by the pirate salesmen, went another way.
"This way!" the pirate barker shouted. "Let's cut 'em off!"
As they rounded the corner of a building, Sokka slid a bit and yelped "Whoa!", but they kept going. Katara WaterBended some water from a shop onto the ground and froze it, Totodile helping her by using ice Punch on the water. The lead pirate and a Machoke slipped and hit the ground, thus giving the heroes a clear getaway.
Cody looked around to see the same cabbage dealer from Omashu nuzzling a cabbage happily. He was putting the cabbage in his portable stand, which was full of cabbages, and began to wheel it away. Quickly, Sokka and Katara ran by, bumping the cart and knocking off cabbages, while Cody and Totodile did the same. The shopkeeper saved the cabbages from hitting the ground, but then Aang launched himself between the cart's cover and the cabbages and emerged out the other side.
Is he gonna do what I think he's going to do? Cody thought.
And he did. Aang turned around and AirBended the cart up the street to strike the pursuing pirates. The cart disappeared in clouds of dust as did the pirates. The cabbage dealer was gaping at the mess, clearly upset and irritated.
"My cabbages!" he groaned. "This place is worse than Omashu!"
Cody could hear the pirates who were knocked out by the cabbage cart groaning pitifully. He and his friends ran down another alley, but when they turned around the next corner, they were met by the pirate salesman, his Floatzel, and his men. So they had to run back the way they came, the pirates again in pursuit.
"I hope that lemur of yours has nine lives!" a random pirate barked.
Hearing this, Cody turned on the spot while hopping on his hind paws, shouting, "Are you stupid or something?! CATS get nine lives!" And to add insult to injury for them, he zapped a quick Thunderbolt at them, which they dodged.
But when he turned around, he felt his face smack into a wall and looked up; they had run into a blind alley. They turned around to face their hunters, the pirate barker and his men now blocking their way out of there.
"Oh God, this is the end...this is the end..." Totodile looked like he was hyperventilating. But then, a smile came across his face as he asked, "Oh wait, is this really the end? Guess who's here to witness our demise...the nerds!"
This caused the Machoke group to look up and glare to the side before running off. When they were gone, Totodile chuckled after them, "You're so stupid!"
"Now who gets to take the steel of my blade first?" the pirate barker's voice made the Big Jaw Pokémon frown again. The human was welding a pair of dual swords together while Floatzel had his paw surrounded in ice.
"No thanks!" Aang shouted.
He AirBended a huge gust of wind at the pirates and their Pokémon, who were blinded with dust and thrown. The young Avatar began to rush forward while opening his glider, preparing for a liftoff. Katara and Sokka ran along behind and then latched onto his legs, Cody and Totodile still beside them.
"Hold on tight!" Aang called.
"Aang, I thought we were running away from the pirates!" Katara insisted.
Aang just replied, "Just hang on!"
Totodile gaped at him. "Are you sure, man?!"
"Just trust me!"
Cody and Totodile gave a shrug at this before leaping onto his shoulder. They had a little bit of trouble gaining altitude at first; in fact, they were bouncing off the heads of many of the pirates they were trying to escape. They eventually got airborne, however, and looked back to see the pirates and the port receding behind them. Looking back ahead of them, Cody made a silent promise to himself that he would never like pirates like them ever again.
Finally, they made it back to the waterfall and landed on the river bank below there. Everyone got off, and Cody and Totodile walked off to a stump to fix any injuries they had
"I used to kinda look up to pirates, but those guys are terrible," Aang said, closing his glider.
"Yeah. Those guys are terrible news," Cody said, licking at a scrape on his leg. "The only pirates I will ever like will be the Booty Bay pirates in World Of Warcraft."
Katara suddenly gave him and Aang a smile. "I know. That's why I took...this!"
At this, she dug into her Water Tribe robe and took out the pirates' WaterBending scroll. Cody was surprised to see her look so happy despite Aang and Sokka giving her shocked looks. And Totodile was the other only one besides Cody who was not surprised. It looked like the cat was now out of the bag.
"No way..." Aang rasped.
"Isn't it great?" Katara asked brightly.
Sokka stalked up to the two Benders. "No wonder they were trying to hack us up. You stole their WaterBending scroll!"
"I prefer to think of it as 'high-risk trading,'" Katara replied with a self-satisfied smile.
Aang smiled and laughed about the ironic echo. "Good one, Katara!"
"Well, I'll be!" a sudden Southern female voice cheered from nowhere. "That's even better than a magic card trick!"
They looked around, confused about the new voice. Then Katara turned back to her brother, saying, "Sokka, where do you think they got it? They stole it from a WaterBender."
"Or probably killed him or her to get it," Totodile added. As Aang gave him a weird look, he asked defensively, "What?!"
"It doesn't matter," Sokka told him. Turning back to Katara, he snapped, "You put all of our lives in danger just so you could learn some stupid fancy splashes!"
"These are real WaterBending forms," Katara retorted with an edge in her voice. "You know how crucial it is for Aang to learn WaterBending."
But now...Cody could hear the envy from before in Katara's voice, the envy that she displayed when Aang got a WaterBending move right and she didn't. He realized it at the moment: she didn't steal the scroll for her and Aang to learn WaterBending; she only got it for herself. With a small jolt of shame, he knew he should not have helped her distract the Pirate Captain and his Chatot...but she was his friend.
When he heard what his sister said, Sokka just muttered "Whatever" and walked off towards their camp. Totodile cast the Benders a curious and wary glance before quickly running after the Water Tribe warrior.
"Well, what's done is done. We have it," Aang said, looking down at the scroll. "We might as well learn from it."
Absol hated shopping. There would always be people bumping against each other and prices that would be too high. The good thing about being in this port town was watching the Wingull fly above him...as long as they left no surprises. He and Zuko were waiting outside for Iroh and Torkoal to come out with a lotus piece for their game, but they were starting to get bored. The latter had his arms folded across his chest and was staring towards the sea, clearly cross.
But just when they started to get bored, Iroh and Torkoal walked out of the market. Absol got to his paws right away, feeling the relief of standing up.
"I've checked all the shops on this pier," Iroh said. "Not a lotus tile in the entire marketplace."
"Good," Absol groaned, getting to his paws. "Now we can get back on the road, right?"
Zuko turned to look at him before whirling on his uncle, snapping, "It's good to know this trip was a complete waste of time for everyone!"
Instead of looking intimidated, Iroh just chuckled. "Quite the contrary. I always say the only thing better than finding something you were looking for, is finding something you weren't looking for at a great bargain!"
In the middle of Iroh's saying, a parade of Fire Nation soldiers walked by, carrying armloads of goods that Iroh just bought. One of them was some kinds of brass musical instrument while a Rhyhorn was pulling a wagon with a big drum in there.
"You bought a sumki horn?" Zuko asked curiously.
"For music night on the ship," Iroh said. "Now if we only had some woodwinds..."
"Woodwinds?" Absol asked. "What're those?"
Iroh looked around at him. "Think of them as musical chimes made of wood."
Absol just shrugged, not knowing the old man so well. But he pushed that to the side as they began walking down the dock in a view of a pirate ship. Seeing the ship, Absol narrowed his eyes in anger, not bothering to NOT let his fur bristle. It was pirates who had kidnapped him when he was a cub, and it caused him to dislike pirates a lot more. He had hoped to never see another pirate ever again, but it looked like fate wanted to tease him.
But Iroh did not look disturbed. Instead, he said cheerfully, "This place looks promising!"
So the four of them went inside the ship to check out the wares. Iroh and Torkoal were looking at a stone monkey that was richly jeweled with large blood-red rubies. Absol felt a little intimidated about how it looked, but the older ones looked excited.
"Ooo! That is handsome!" Iroh declared. "Wouldn't it look magnificent in the galley?"
"Indeed," Torkoal replied, nodding. "Now we can find a coal-warmer for coal I could use."
"We lost the Water Tribe girl and the little bald monk she was traveling with," Absol turned to see a pirate speak to another, a leader-like captain with a reptile bird on one shoulder and a Chatot on the other. "And Floatzel here got knocked out by that Pikachu."
Pikachu? Absol thought. Had that Pikachu that beat him a few times come across here? And so had the Avatar apparently, for Zuko had stalked over and said, "This monk...did he have an arrow on his head?"
The pirates turned to look at the Fire Nation prince, giving him weird looks before nodding. Then Absol asked, "And what did the Pikachu look like?"
The Floatzel, which was grunting from a paralyzed paw, groaned, "The little pest had yellow fur, a lightning-shaped tail, and..." Absol had started to roll his eyes at the obviousness of this weird Pokémon. "...human-like hazel eyes."
Meanwhile, behind them, Iroh had picked up the jeweled monkey with a huge grin on his face, making monkey noises in the background. Absol rolled his eyes, but there was something else that made him feel better: these pirates knew where the Avatar and that Pikachu were at. Even though he hated pirates, they could help him get revenge on his claimed rival...and help Zuko get the Avatar.
This better work. 'Cause if it doesn't...I don't know what will.
"I just want to try this one move first. and then it's all yours."
Cody and Totodile looked up from the river (for fish-sighting) to see how the WaterBending lesson went so far. Aang and Katara were standing by the river, the former now holding open the scroll for her and to the side. Katara was leaning backward, assuming the WaterBending stance prescribed in the scroll.
After studying some more, she said, "'The single water whip'...looks doable."
"Reminds me of a Water type Vine Whip," Totodile remarked.
Katara raised a stream of water and whipped it around...but it hit her in the forehead, leaving a small bruise. Sokka, visible over her shoulder and sitting cross-legged on a rock, began to laugh. This made her looked over at him with a cross look on her face.
"What's so funny?" his sister asked him irritably.
"I'm sorry, but you deserve that," Sokka chuckled. To Aang, he said, "You've been duped. She's only interested in teaching herself."
Cody nodded. "You know, Sokka...you're right."
Katara looked guilty, but she said, "No, it's not that, you two! Aang will get his turn once I figure out the water whip!"
So she tried again, but the whip behaves fitfully and accidentally zapped Momo from behind, who screeched at her in protest. Cody walked up to them, wincing; this wasn't turning out to be a good lesson after all. He guessed she was paying for stealing the scroll.
"Why...can't...I...get this...stupid move!" Katara was hissing, trying unsuccessfully to get it right. Hearing the anger in her voice made Cody shy away, having never seen her get so angry like this before. In fact, he had never seen her look angry before; he had seen her get a bit miffed...but not this. Not before.
Aang walked over to the river beside her, saying soothingly, "You'll get it."
Far from comforting her, though, Katara looked displeased at this statement, clearly expecting Aang to show her up once again. Then Aang started making the water whip correctly on the first try, gracefully Bending the whip before dropping it back into the river. Cody saw that Katara was trying to keep her anger in control...but she couldn't take it any longer.
"You just gotta shift your weight through the stances..." He once again gracefully Bended the whip for just a few more seconds and then dropped it back into the river."There. See, the key to Bending is..."
Then suddenly...she snapped.
"Will you PLEASE shut your air hole?!" she finally roared, sticking her face in front of Aang's face. "Believe it or not, your infinite wisdom gets a little old sometimes! Why don't we just throw the scroll away since you're so naturally gifted?!"
Cody saw Aang cringe, knowing the pain and shame of being yelled at. So he stepped forth and started, "Katara, stop. What does it matter that he's gifted? He's the Avatar, and you should-"
But Katara whirled on him furiously, snarling, "Don't you dare start on me either, Cody! Why don't you join Aang in being stupid unbearable know-it-alls?!" But just as she finished, Sokka was gazing at her in disapproval, making her ask, "What?"
She looked at Aang, who looked frightened and looked on the verge of tears. Cody was beside the Avatar, trembling and trying not to cry at her harshness. Not only that, but she called him stupid. Katara...his human friend...had just called him stupid, a word he didn't like being thrown at him. Totodile was giving them concerned looks before giving Katara a glare of both defiance and disapproval as if to say "What is wrong with you?!" And just then, her face softened into a mix of guilt and shame.
"Oh my gosh, Aang, I'm so sorry," she rasped, sounding totally ashamed now. "I don't know what came over me. And Cody-"
"No," Totodile growled, his eyes glittering angrily. And before she could speak to Cody, the Big Jaw Pokémon added harshly, his voice shaking, "You called Cody stupid, and he hates that, and you remember us saying that. Yet you called my own friend...my own best friend...stupid. No one EVER calls him that. I can forgive lots of folks...but what you said is unforgivable."
Katara looked even guiltier, but she said, "Still...I'm sorry to the both of you. But...you know what? It won't happen again." She rolled up the scroll and handed it to Aang, saying, "Here, this is yours. I don't want to have anything to do with it anymore. Again, I'm so sorry..."
"It's okay, Katara," Aang told her with a weak smile.
Cody, however, didn't say anything. He looked to the side, not wanting to look Katara in the face right now, not after she had yelled at him like that. The young Pikachu cursed himself for being so weak in front of her, recalling of how he had reacted in his first-ever rescue mission. He did not want to go through that again.
"What about Momo?" Sokka's voice made them turn around to see Momo rubbing his sore bottom. "He's the real victim here."
Katara walked over to the lemur and rubbed his ears gently. "I'm sorry, Momo."
Then, with a sly look, Sokka added, "And...what about me? There was that time you-"
"No more apologies," she snapped less angrily than before. To Cody, who was still trembling with shame and fear, she said, "Cody, I didn't mean to call you stupid. I-Is there anything I can do to make up with you?"
But Totodile gave her an icy and calm glare, muttering stoically, "You've done enough."
The prow of the ship opened and deployed a small cutter craft that steamed away. Absol was in there, waiting for the time to pounce, along with several Machoke. He could recall all that Zuko and the Captain talked about in their deal.
"Shouldn't we stop to search the woods?" the Captain asked.
"The woods! The woods!" Chatot squawked from his other shoulder.
Zuko looked slightly irritated at this, but he went on coolly, "We don't need to stop. They stole a WaterBending scroll, right?"
The Captain nodded. "Uh-huh."
"Then they'll be on the water."
And we'll be closer to our goal, Absol realized, not paying attention to the wine the Machoke had brought along.
The rest of the day had gone on rather quietly. Aang was still a bit shaken about Katara screeching at him, yet he seemed to recover quickly. Cody, however, did not. He would not speak to Katara at all after what she said; in fact, he would push away the dinner she had made that evening, saying he wasn't hungry. Totodile felt even more bad for his best friend and even angrier at Katara.
But what she was going to do that night would send him over the edge.
A shuffling noise woke Totodile up, making him mutter "Is that you, Grandma?" and sit up to see the camp, fire still blazing. The boys and Cody were asleep, but Katara was getting up and silently removing the scroll from Aang's bag. She backed guiltily away from the camp, turning around only to be confronted by Momo's luminescent green eyes. Momo was sitting on some sort of tree trunk as he chittered at her.
I think I know what she's up to, Totodile muttered to himself.
"Shh!" Katara hissed quietly. "Momo, go back to sleep."
She walked by as the lemur chittered again, but she shushed him once more. However, Totodile got up from his spot and quickly raced over to stand in front of her, glaring at her. This was how she repaid Aang and Cody after yelling at them...by stealing the scroll again.
"So...out for a midnight stroll, huh?" Totodile growled, glaring up at her. Even though she was taller than him, he was not afraid of any foe of any size. "With a certain scroll. Care to explain that...buddy?" he added with heavy emphasis on the word.
Katara looked a bit ashamed, but she looked back down at him with determination. "I was just going to try this move again. And after that...I'll be done with it."
Totodile snorted. "Yeah, and Grumpig will fly. Look, Katara, I really don't wanna sound like guilt-tripping characters in some cartoons, but...don't do it. Something bad might happen."
"I know what you're trying to do, Totodile, but don't try and stop me," Katara said, walking past him. "I have to learn these moves quickly."
"Fine!" Totodile spat after her. "Go out and get eaten by a crocodile or something! I don't care! You know what? You're a dime a dozen! I've seen girls that're more honest and true than you! And don't come crying to me if it all goes wrong!"
But as soon as he said that, he felt guilty right away. Katara had looked back at him, her eyes hurt and shocked at what he had said. Yet when Totodile tried to apologize, the hurt look on her face was replaced by anger and resolution before she spun around and stalked off. When she was gone, he raised a hand and smacked his head hard with it.
You idiot! he cursed at himself. You cursed at Cody's friend...wait, I'M his friend! Still...I shouldn't leave her alone.
So he brushed his hands off before jogging into the woods, trying to search for Katara to keep an eye on her. But he heard a familiar someone snap "Shoot! Come on water, work with me here!"
Totodile saw a globe of water rising out of the river and falling back in, followed by a verbal exclamation of "okay", "stupid!" or something else. He was now so close enough to hear this noise and finally found Katara. The fourteen-year-old WaterBender was wielding a stream of water, trying to manipulate the water.
"Okay, Katara, shift your weight through the stances..." she was muttering. Then a loud "...ugh!" told him that she got the move wrong again.
Suddenly, Totodile heard the noise of grinding metal and ran over to a row of bushes on his left. He felt his heart stop in his chest when he saw Zuko's cutter craft now beached on the river bank. Not far away, Katara started to run from the bush, but there stood a pirate, who quickly grabbed her like a fly in a Venus flytrap.
"Let go of me!" she yelled, Bending a water whip and smacking the pirate in the face. Totodile was impressed now; she had used the move correctly this time...and she didn't have to be in a practice session to do it.
The pirate let her go, and Katara was just about to make a run for it. But Totodile's relief turned to shock when she ran right into Zuko's arms, who held her fast. Totodile felt like getting out there and rescuing the Water Tribe girl, but remembering their argument...she might not thank him for doing so.
"I'll save you from the pirates," the banished prince hissed into her ear, sounding like a stalker.
What have I done?
Totodile poked his snout out of the bushes a bit to see what had gone on. Katara had been captured by the pirates and tied to the trunk of a small tree, her hands behind the trunk. Zuko, the pirates, and the Pokémon were surrounding her to make sure she didn't get away. Totodile reeled back to think over what he had done...or what he could have done.
He felt even worse, hiding in the bushes like a coward instead of leaping into action. Sokka would not take kindly of him doing that...but what else was there to do?
"Tell me where he is, and I won't hurt you or your brother," Zuko was saying, making Totodile turn back around.
"Go jump in the river!" Katara spat in his face.
Totodile was afraid Zuko would slap her across the face for that. Instead, what he said next made him sound like he was trying to be sensible. "Try to understand. I need to capture him to restore something I've lost. My honor. Perhaps in exchange...I can restore something you've lost."
He moved over behind her, and Totodile was afraid he would slit her throat. Then suddenly, he saw a flash of blue and silver appear around Katara's neck. A closer look told him that it was her necklace; he remembered Cody telling him how she was upset about losing it. Katara had a look of shock on her face while Zuko drew back with the necklace.
"My mother's necklace!" she gasped. "How did you get that?"
"I didn't steal it, if that's what you're wondering," Zuko told her. "Tell me where he is."
But all she said was "No!"
"Enough of this necklace garbage," the Captain barked, stepping forward. "You promised the scroll!"
"I wonder how much money this is worth?" Zuko retorted, pulling the scroll out and making fire in his hand under it. Seeing the pirates gasp and some crying "no!", he smirked and said, "A lot, apparently. Now you help me find what I want, you'll get this back, and everyone goes home happy. Search the woods for the boy and meet back here."
The Captain looked sullen, but all he muttered was "Fine."
"And if that doesn't happen, we'll kill the girl here," Floatzel sneered with a nasty chuckle.
Totodile felt his mind shut down for a second. Had these Pokémon really thought of killing Katara if they didn't get what they want? Apparently, Katara had not thought of this either, for her eyes widened with shock again before she looked a bit scared and sad. She was a friend to Rescue Team Avatar, and he did not want her to die hearing the awful words he said to her.
Please... She appeared to be whispering to no one. Please help me...
Okay, that does it! Totodile thought angrily. No one's hurting a friend of mine and getting away with it! And who cares if she yelled at Cody? I would...but she's a friend!
"Oh HECK no! You're not gonna lay a hand or paw against her!" Totodile roared as he launched himself out of the bush.
He was standing before many foes at once, not knowing how to beat them all at once. Zuko and the pirates were looking at them with shock, and Totodile wanted to make them pay. But there was no time, for Floatzel glared around at Katara and stalked over towards her.
Quickly, Totodile leapt at the Sea Weasel Pokémon and bit down hard onto its head, making it squeal with pain and anger. A Machoke had grabbed hold of his body and pulled him off the Floatzel, but he turned around quickly and fired a Water Gun to the face. The Fighting type groaned and fell back as the other Machoke ran forth to help him.
But just when Totodile smirked at this victory, he felt a Pokémon barrel into him and shove him away. As Totodile got to his feet in time, he had felt metal under his feet and saw a metal gate swing shut in front of him. He ran over to the gate, trying to gnaw his way through and get at his foes to teach them a lesson.
"Totodile?" Katara asked with surprise. "What're you doing here?"
The Big Jaw Pokémon looked at her. "Savin' you! What does it look like?" He paused a bit to think of how to get out before saying, "Looks like this might take a while."
Katara nodded sadly. "Yes...I suppose so. And...I'm so sorry, Totodile. This is all my fault."
"I don't wanna say 'I told you so', so...that's okay," Totodile said with a small smile. He gave a sad sigh too and sat down, adding, "But now...let's just wait."
Cody gave a mighty yawn and stretched like a cat as he got up the next morning. He felt better after what had happened yesterday...but he still felt a bit sad. Despite not having spoken to Katara after what she said, he did not want to hold a grudge. He would wake her up, and they could hang out together to make up.
But as he rolled around, he saw that her sleeping mat was empty. Apparently, Sokka had seen it too, for he was also starting to wake up.
"Huh? Where did she go?" Noticing Aang's bag near Katara's sleeping mat, he reached over and dug into it. Then he let out a slight curse and hissed, "I don't believe it."
"What's wrong?" Aang yawned, just waking up.
"She took the scroll!" Sokka hissed as Cody muttered "I knew it." "She's obsessed with that thing! It's just a matter of time before she gets us all in deep-"
But he was cut off when his hands suddenly got wrapped in a sling thrown from out of nowhere. He was pulled right off his sleeping bag, screaming as he landed on the ground and was faced by a pirate, who threw another sling at him. The Water Tribe teen rolled out of the way, picked up his spear, and charged at the intruder. Cody got to his paw right away; the pirates and their Machoke must have tracked them through the forest.
Aang, meanwhile, turned to see a huge beefy pirate hoisting two bows with a net tied between them. He aimed and fired, and Aang fired an air ball at the approaching net, but the air just passed right through it. The net rolled him up into a bundle, and he was thrown back onto the ground, where another pirate began dragging him away.
With a snarl, Cody fired a Thunderbolt at a Machoke, but it held up its hands and somehow absorbed the electricity. Cody was shocked at this, but the Machoke quickly attacked him with a Thunderpunch, blasting him back. And as if that wasn't enough, he had tumbled into a cage, where he was quickly locked up.
"I got him!" a pirate roared. "Come on!"
"And I got the Pikachu!" another Machoke cheered. And at that, they all started to walk away, the rough walking rattling Cody in the cage.
Sokka was left behind, griping, "Aw, what? I'm not good enough to kidnap?!"
But then he was answered by another net capturing him and a pirate dragging him away.
A few minutes later, Cody saw their destination. It was an area next to the river, Prince Zuko, his Absol, and the pirates and their Pokémon by there. To Cody's surprise, Katara and Totodile were there, tied to a tree and locked in a cage respectively. Zuko was holding out the scroll that Katara took from the pirates; he must have been helping them.
"Nice work," the prince remarked as the pirates shoved their new prisoners forward. Cody had his cage thrown down to the ground, making him bump his head against the top.
Katara looked over at Aang sadly. "Aang, this is all my fault."
Aang shook his head. "No, Katara, it isn't."
"Yeah, it kind of is," Iroh added sheepishly, he and Torkoal standing beside Katara. The Water Tribe girl gave the old man a strange look in return.
Cody kept trying to circle around in his cage, trying to find a way out of there. So far, it looked like the toughest metal was used to make this cage; not even rocks could crush it. But he sat down in time to hear Zuko and the Captain of the pirates arguing.
"Give me the boy," Zuko was growling.
"You give us the scroll," the Captain barked back.
"Give it back! Give it back!" the Chatot on his shoulder squawked.
Then, before some more arguing popped up, Sokka suddenly exclaimed, "You're really gonna hand over the Avatar for a stupid piece of parchment!?"
Hearing this, Zuko pointed at him and told the soldiers, "Don't listen to him! He's trying to turn us against each other!"
Is that so? Cody thought with amazement. Seeing the soldiers and pirates eyeing each other suspiciously, he thought, I think it's working so far.
The Pirate Captain held up a hand of silence before waving his hand towards Aang. "Your friend is the Avatar?"
"Sure is," Sokka said, somehow appearing at his side. "And I'll bet he'll fetch a lot more on the black market then that fancy scroll."
"Shut your mouth, you Water Tribe peasant!" Zuko snarled in hate.
Aang was nodding, adding quietly, "Yeah, Sokka, you really should shut your mouth."
"Ix-nay on the arket-may," Totodile added quietly.
But Sokka didn't listen to all of that. He looked "innocently" at the very interested pirates and said, "I'm just sayin', it's bad business sense. Just imagine how much the Fire Lord would pay for the Avatar. You guys would be set for life!"
The effect of those words had caused everyone to settle down and think this over. The Machoke who were flexing their muscles stopped posing and looked back at their masters. Absol sat as still as a stone, his red eyes narrowing until they were slits. Cody looked in between the two bad groups, wondering what they were going to do next. Then finally, after a few more minutes of thinking, the Captain spoke.
"Keep the scroll! We can buy a hundred with the reward we'll get for the kid."
At this, some Machoke picked up the cages that were holding Cody and Totodile prisoner while the pirates pushed Aang and Sokka towards the trees. But just when they approached Katara to untie her and possibly gag her, Zuko let out a snarl, making them turn around.
"You'll regret breaking a deal with me!" Zuko roared.
He, the guards on either side of him, and Absol unleashed a torrent of flame, which bathed the ground underneath the pirates, who jumped out the way. General melee began right away.
The pirate salesman jumped into the midst of the FireBenders with a battle cry. Zuko and his men and their Rhyhorn bore down on the still bound Aang and Sokka, but as they got near, four pirates jumped into the fight to defend their captives. They dropped many smoke bombs, and the battlefield instantly became a foggy mess, as foggy as the Foggy Forest. The remaining Fire Nation soldiers approached the edge of the crowd and were instantly pulled in by the arms of pirates emerging from the smoke.
Cody and Totodile recoiled when the four Machoke came over to knock them out, but the Rhyhorn barreled into them, knocking them off their feet and making them drop the cages. Once the cages fell, they broke and released the two Pokémon, who used a Thunderbolt and Water Gun mix to blast them away.
Meanwhile, Momo was climbing down the trunk Katara was tied to and began to chew on the rope tying her there. Cody quickly ran over to assist the lemur, chewing the best he could until the Water Tribe girl was free.
Once Katara was free from her bonds, she told Momo with a smile, "Thanks, Momo. I owe you a bushel of apples. And Cody..." she added with a shamed face. "I'll owe you something since I called you...well..."
"It's okay," Cody told her, silencing her with a flick of his lightning-shaped tail. "Now come on, let's go!"
But just then, they were suddenly blocked by the same Floatzel that had threatened to kill her the night before; Totodile had told him about this Pokémon. Just when Floatzel was about to pounce at her, however, a brown flash appeared and shoved him away, making him crash into the same tree. Cody and Katara stopped when they saw the new Pokémon standing in front of them, a beaver-like creature with a red-and-yellow bandana around its neck.
"Thanks for that," Katara told it gratefully. "Who are you?"
"Bibarel's the name!" the Pokémon said. It had a southern female voice as it went on, "And them pirates're as bad as a bad rash! Now let's kick some skulls!"
Cody said, "Wait. We heard a female voice saying yesterday that her remark was as funny as a card trick. Was that you?"
Bibarel nodded while slamming her flat tail down onto a reviving Floatzel. "Yep. It was funny. Now let's go get that boat in the river!" At this, she ran over towards the boat and began to push at it with her shoulders. Katara and Totodile joined her, but Cody ran into the smoke to see if Aang and Sokka were okay.
Aang was running through the smoke, coughing and his hands still bound. Near misses with a throwing star and a spear slashed at his bonds, freeing him. Meanwhile, Zuko had just avoided a very fast sword stroke and assumed a FireBending stance before meeting the Captain's sword with a fiery fist, but no one gained advantage. A pirate used a hook to remove the scroll from Zuko's waistband, but Momo seized it as it returned to the pirate and took the scroll, flying off.
But Momo in turn was pursued by the Pirate Captain's green parrot, which tackled him in mid-air while Chatot flew above him, cawing annoyingly. The lemur dropped the scroll, and it fell back down into the smoke filled battlefield, jets of flame erupting from it at various points. Cody saw Absol grab the scroll in his jaws before he darted forth and slammed an Iron Tail on his head. The Disaster Pokémon hissed in pain before recognizing him and sending a Razor Wind at him. The Pikachu felt the cutting winds cut his cheeks before zapping a Thunderbolt through the smoke at him before darting forth and grabbing the scroll.
Well, that's down, Cody thought, ignoring the sting in his left cheek and blood dripping down to his paws. Gotta find the others.
"Aang, are you there?!" Sokka was shouting.
Cody saw Aang jump over the smoke and call "I'm over here! Follow my voice!"
"Where?! I can't find you!"
"I'm right here!"
Cody then saw all the smoke blowing away until the battlefield was exposed. A mix of Fire Nation soldiers and pirates in combat had frozen and looked at him confusingly. Two of the five Machoke were knocked out by Absol and Torkoal before Cody saw Torkoal pinning Absol down with a foot to prevent any more fighting. And Aang was in the middle, clearly seeing his mistake before closing the smoke back up around them.
Then he shouted, "Uh...never mind! I'll find you!"
He saw the Avatar leap over the smoke then and land on the other side before Cody rushed into the smoke too. Sokka had been freed and hit an attacking Machoke on the head before making a run for it with Aang and Cody. They made it back to Katara, Totodile, and Bibarel, who were trying to push the pirate ship off the shore.
"Katara! You're okay!" Aang exclaimed in relief. Noticing Bibarel, he asked, "Who's that?"
"She's Bibarel, and she helped us out," Katara explained quickly. "Now help me get this boat back in the water so we can get out of here!"
So all six of them began to push on the boat, but nothing happened. Totodile even tried pushing with all his might until his feet were almost buried in the sand. Panting, he pulled himself out as they stopped and looked up at the prow.
"Dagnabit!" Bibarel grunted, stopping. "It's as heavy as a rock!"
Sokka nodded. "We need a team of rhinos to budge this ship."
Aang added, "A team of rhinos...or two WaterBenders." He shared a look with Katara at this, the latter giving him a genuine smile.
Cody also felt a smile at this, feeling that whatever bad things they had between them, it was all over. He watched as Aang and Katara began pulling the river water back and forth up the shore, slowly raising the water level around the prow. Bibarel gave the ship a shoulder shove, and the ship got into the water, finally floating.
So they all jumped on, and Bibarel slammed her tail down on the water to boost them up before she climbed up. They looked back to see Zuko and the Captain fighting still while Absol was trying to snatch Chatot out of the air with Razor Wind. Chatot kept dodging each blow and gave him a barrage of beak jabs, making Absol snarl even worse.
But just as the two groups continued fighting, Iroh and Torkoal suddenly jumped in between them and broke up the fights. Cody heard Torkoal wailing about something about the arguing breaking them apart, but he heard Iroh's voice clearly.
"Are you so busy fighting you cannot see your own ship has set sail?!" the elder was scolding.
"We have no time for your proverbs, Uncle!" Zuko was shouting.
"It's no proverb." And Cody saw that Iroh was pointing over towards their ship, for he ducked quickly out of sight.
The Captain turned quickly and shouted "Bleeding hog-monkeys!" before running over to his pirates. What he said made Cody snort with laughter, and apparently, Zuko also found it funny due to the laughing he made. But then, he saw the pirates following them in Zuko's ship, one pirate moving to moon the Fire Nation soldiers.
"Hey! That's my boat!" Zuko roared, having noticed them and running beside the shore. He was followed by Absol, Torkoal, and Iroh, the last one muttering, "Maybe it should be a proverb."
Cody looked away to see if they noticed any of the pirates chasing them. Aang seemed to have noticed them, for he called over his shoulder, "Sokka! Can't you make it go any faster?!"
"I don't know how," Sokka replied, steering the wheel of the ship his hardest while Bibarel stood guard. "This thing wasn't made by the Water Tribe."
The pirates were passing them, but Cody saw them begin jumping onto their ship as soon as they were parallel from them. He joined Katara up on the aft deck as he stood between her and two pirates and their Machoke. As he felt his fur bristle with electricity, Aang, who was on top of the cabin, WaterBended a huge wave onto the deck that washed one of the pirates overboard. Katara, looking afraid at first but then gaining confidence and determination, created a water whip and smacked the other one overboard while Cody zapped the Machoke away with Thunderbolt.
"Hey, you did the water whip!" Aang called.
Katara smiled over at him. "I couldn't have done it without your help!"
Cody smiled up at them. "Great job!" He was happy for his human friend for getting the move right...and for not being jealous anymore. Any fear he felt for her faded away and back into great fondness while he leapt onto her shoulder.
"Will you two quit congratulating each other and help me and Totodile out!" Sokka called from the bridge. He and Totodile were facing against the pirate barker, a beefy pirate, a Machoke, and the barker's Floatzel.
Momo flew over their heads at this point, closely pursued by the Captain's reptile bird. The chase ended with Momo trapping the parrot by wrapping it in the vessel's black flag, and the Captain's Chatot got beaten by being smacked overboard by Bibarel's tail. But Sokka was being held aloft by the beefy pirate, giving a cry as the pirate threw him into the sail in front of him. Sokka fell with a thud to the deck below while Totodile was thrown hard to the floor by a Machoke using a choke slam.
"That's good!" the pirate barker called.
Aang quickly flew in and threw the barker through the guard rail and off the ship with a huge blast of air. He twirled the beefy pirate around on a whirlwind of air for just a minute before ejecting him high into the air. As the beefy pirate landed in the water, Cody shot a Thunderbolt at the Machoke and Floatzel before using Quick Attack to shove Machoke off the ship. He was padding over to Totodile to check on him before he heard a familiar voice.
The sound of falling water reached Cody's ears as he heard Katara call for the Avatar. He ran over to the front of the ship and gasped: they were rapidly approaching a large waterfall. They were going to crash at the bottom; he just knew it! Just in time, he saw the pirate barker walk up to behind Aang, drawing a blade from his pocket.
"Oh no!" Aang rasped. He wasn't looking at the pirate; he was looking over at the waterfall.
Cody let out a growl as the barker drew nearer, and Aang turned to face him and drew out his bison whistle in response. He blew the whistle furiously to no seeming effect, and the pirate barker looked unimpressed in return. Just as he was about to attack alongside his Floatzel, he was quickly round-kicked overboard by Sokka, who has just arrived from the right. And the Floatzel was shoved overboard by Totodile, whose Aqua Tail shoved it away.
"Have you lost your mind!?" Sokka snapped at Aang, swiping the whistle away. "This is no time for flute practice!"
Totodile nodded. "You know, it's not too late to get a refund for that whistle."
They all looked over the starboard railing at the rapidly approaching waterfall. The prow was almost at the lip of the fall, making Cody start to shiver at the thought of falling over. But just as he thought of this, Katara straightened up, a resolute look on her face.
"We can stop the boat!" she cried. Then she called out the orders, "Aang, together, push and pull the water! Totodile and Bibarel, use any Water type moves to help us slow the boat down!"
So the two stood on the foredeck WaterBending in unison, making pushing and pulling motions. From the rocking of the boat under Cody's paws, it was now turning around right at the lip of the fall. Totodile was using the best Water Gun he could use while Bibarel had a water sphere being formed between her paws before firing a blast of water towards the waterfall.
Seeing this, Katara called, "It's working! It's slowing down!"
"Yeah!" Totodile stopped to cheer. He gave a yelp when he saw he stopped using Water Gun and fired another one towards the falls.
It sure is, Cody thought, looking back to see Aang and Katara Bending, the ship now at a ninety degree angle to the lip of the fall and was motionless. Bibarel kept firing one Water Pulse after another towards the falls to keep the boat in place.
"We're doing it!" Katara shouted after some more pushing and pulling.
"But we have another problem!" Sokka called as soon as Totodile and Bibarel halted their Water type moves.
The cutter boat was bearing down on the pirate ship as it hovered at the lip of the fall, ramming it the amidships. The three kids and three Pokémon gave a shout of "whoa!" at the impact, which lifted the starboard side of the pirate ship out of the water and, consequently, making the ship list badly to port. In fact, the list rapidly became so bad that the six of them fell off the ship and over the falls, the pirate ship falling behind them.
Cody quickly moved over to Katara, clinging to her chest and praying for the end to come already. But just then, he felt her land on something soft and looked down. Appa had swooped in and let them land on his back, leaving just in time to avoid the falling pirate ship. The pirate ship disintegrated when it hit the bottom in a cloud of water and debris. Appa and the kids swoop out of the scene.
"I knew a bison whistle would come in handy," Aang said happily, holding up the bison whistle. To the flying bison, he added, "Thanks, Appa."
"Yeah..." Sokka panted, sounding out of breath. "...we owe ya one..."
Totodile's face was now excited while Appa grunted. "You know what, Aang? Screw getting a refund for the bison whistle! Keep the little guy!"
Absol caught up with Zuko, looking down to where their ship had fallen down. A mighty crash at the bottom of the waterfall told him that it must have crashed, leaving...not a good mess to clean up. He hoped to not see any anger and shock on his master's face, yet it was written all over Zuko's scarred face, his lips curling into a snarl. On the outside, Absol puffed out his chest and stared down impressively at the mess below, but on the inside...he would rather not explore there right away.
Iroh finally caught his breath and gave a small chuckle, saying, "Prince Zuko, you're really going to get a kick out of this. The missing lotus tile was in my sleeve the whole time!" At this, he pulled out the missing lotus tile from his sleeve with a huge smile on his face.
"Hehe..." Torkoal wheezed from the running. "I had no idea it was there, my old friend! What an adventure today!"
Wait...we went all that trouble...just for the geezers to do THAT?! Absol thought with rage.
To his right, Zuko was trying to control his breathing and his temper, but it was being barely held in anymore. The lotus piece in Iroh's hand disappeared as fast as lightning when his nephew snatched it from him and threw it as far as he could away from them. Absol ignored the shocked look on Iroh's face as he heard a small thud, which meant that the piece must have hit something quite hard.
I hope it was a pirate's skull, he thought, turning around and kicking dirt over the ledge. I'm never working with another pirate for as long as I live!
Cody was now happy that they had packed up the night before. Despite Appa diving down many lengths to come and fetch them, they had tightened the bags so down that they did not fall out of the saddle. Just as he pulled out an animal book and started reading, he saw Katara walk over to Aang, a look of regret on her face. He put the book down and walked over, wanting to see what was going to happen.
"Aang, I still owe you an apology," Katara murmured to her friend, kneeling down and staring at nothing. "You were just so good at WaterBending without really trying. I got so competitive that...I put us all in danger. I'm sorry."
The Avatar gave her a smile. "That's okay, Katara."
"And I'm sorry for what I said to you last night, Katara," Totodile said, hanging his head. "That was really offensive of me to say, and I just wanna bury the hatchet. You're one in a million."
The Water Tribe girl smiled down at the Big Jaw Pokémon while Cody leapt into her lap. "I forgive you, Totodile. Besides, who needs that stupid scroll anyway?"
"Is that really how you feel?" Sokka asked with a smirk, holding out the scroll in his hand. Cody did a double-take at the scroll in the Water Tribe teen's hand, wondering how he got it in the middle of all that fighting.
"The scroll!" Katara gasped, reaching for it.
But her brother pulled it away and stopped her with his other hand, saying seriously, "First, what did you learn?"
Katara had a mild serious look on her face as she replied, "Stealing is wrong...unless it's from pirates!" she added, taking the scroll with a playful smile on her face.
Cody and Aang laughed at this as the latter exclaimed, "Good one, Katara!"
"Well, I'll be!" Bibarel cheered, her smile bright. "That's even better than a magic card trick!"
To be continued...
AvatarCat12: At last we got this done! There are some references in here from Sly Cooper 2 and other media, which I don't own and give all credit to their creators. And look at that! We got a new Pokémon on the team!
I have nothing else to say at the moment, so I'll go with the review thing and the preview for Jet. So...read and review folks! I do NOT allow flames on here or else they'll be used for flames. I DO allow advice and constructive criticism as long as it's not harsh. One more thing, if you're wondering how come the Fire Nation has Fighting types or other types, I'm just mixing it along.
Preview: The group stop in the woods for a bit and are attacked by FireBenders, only to be rescued by a guerilla teenager and his pack of freedom fighters. Aang, Katara, and Cody seem to like this guy, but Bibarel seems suspicious, and Sokka and Totodile don't trust him one bit. What secret is this person hiding?
See ya next time!