AvatarCat13: Hey everyone! Sorry about not uploading as soon as possible. I know I've kept saying that I kept procrastinating...and that's partly true. I've got some other stories to write...but I don't intend to fail you guys.
Well, I've been busy for the most part, and I didn't want to neglect this story. Not at all. I had to finish my Kataang Island Adventure and get anything on World Of Warcraft out of the way for the time being. That, and I've tried keeping an eye on our dogs for the past few months...and I'm starting to get bored to death. That's another reason why I couldn't upload this story fast enough: boredom.
So anyways, here's the disclaimer!
Disclaimer: Michael DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko, and Satoshi Tajiri are the true owners of Avatar: The Last AirBender and Pokémon, not me. If I owned those two (and I don't want to own them), I'd be on a shopping spree at Beverly Hills!
Summary: 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?
Uploading Date: May 26, 2013
After the escape from the pirates, everyone had decided on taking a break from travel. Totodile saw that Bibarel was fitting in quite well with the team, telling stories of how she and a Rattata friend of hers were almost eaten by a Rhydon when she was young. It was nice to have a new Pokémon come along with them; it had been a while since a new Pokémon joined the team.
Right now, everyone was getting ready to settle down. Cody was sitting in Katara's lap and telling her about his and Totodile's adventures, and Sokka was teaching Totodile how to track footprints in the ground. Bibarel was leaning back against a tree, chewing calmly on a twig as if nothing was wrong with the world. But Aang was the only one still un-relaxed; he was looking around as if he was looking for something.
"Where's Momo?" he asked.
"No idea, kid," Bibarel said, shrugging as she finished her twig snack. "Haven't seen the cute lil' critter since we got to this spot."
Totodile gave a small shrug too and looked back to the ground. Just before they could move, Momo's yowl echoed through the forest, a screech of distress. They looked around, trying to tell where the call came from. Cody leapt out of Katara's lap and ran towards the deeper part of the forest, his nose in the air to sniff out the lemur's scent. Deciding to go after him and make sure he was safe, Totodile ran off after him.
The members of Rescue Team Avatar had arrived in the middle of a clearing to see plenty of dangling snares, looking up from ground level. Lots of animal noises rang through Totodile's ears, and he supposed from the hooting noises that hog monkeys were in there. Aang wandered in, drawn by the urgent calls, and he looked up in stress at a captured Momo. It appeared that the lemur had fallen into a trap due to food; traps could do that to animals.
"Hang on, Momo!" Aang called. And with a sweep of his arms, he began to AirBend to leap, climbing to Momo's height by rebounding up off close-by tree trunks.
"I wanna help!" Totodile called. At this, he fired a Water Gun to the ground and propelled himself to one of the tall branches above their heads.
They arrived at a tree branch extending out of a main part of the tree. Attached to the trunk was a small winch. A rope entered the winch from lower on the trunk away from them, and then it went on its way up to an eye loop bolt attached to the underside of the branch, before hanging down. Aang ascended from the ground and then flipped over the branch and dangled beneath it like an acrobat on a trapeze.
He grabbed the rope, released a latch on the winch, and carefully fed more line. Totodile leapt onto the small cage and started gnawing on it to try and loosen the bonds capturing the lemur. On the ground, Sokka and Katara eased the snare down to the ground between them and, together with Cody, pulled the squeaky slats apart enough to make an exit. Momo immediately hopped out and ran off to finish a handful of the nuts, his peril forgotten. Sokka and Katara released the snare, and Sokka groaned and slapped his forehead at the lack of gratitude.
"He's kinda like a cat," Cody remarked with a small smile. "They only show gratitude whenever they want."
Aang jumped down from above just in time and looked up. Totodile had joined him and looked right up, watching the hog monkeys in them as they were moaning pleadingly. The traps were suspended near each other on a different branch. It appeared that they were in need of some rescuing too, for what would they be if they left an animal in a trap and didn't do something?
"All right," Aang said with an amused sigh. "You too."
The Avatar crouched low and then sprang up in a spiraling column of AirBended wind that now carried him up to the tree branches. But Sokka was already reaching behind him and pulling out his boomerang, muttering "This is gonna take forever" and threw it in one fluid movement.
With a whiz, it zipped up into the air like a hyper Zubat. Just below the branch, the ropes came from opposite directions, but they paralleled each other as they hung down from curved staples. With another whiz, the boomerang sliced through the air as quick as a claw and cut both ropes in the process. The ropes fell away, and the forest was filled with the sounds of loud crashing and panicked beast barking.
Aang was now hanging below the branch and hugging it as he inched over to the first staple. He pauses to look upside-down at the ground below and mumbled, "That works..."
"Think about it!" Cody called up to him. "I think the boomerang was a bit faster than the air. No offense."
"None taken," Aang replied with a carefree smile.
On the ground, Cody and Bibarel freed the hog monkeys, their cages like open clamshells. They walked on all fours as one disappeared between the framing trees and the other climbed up the tree framing the left and soon as the animals vanished, Sokka approached one of the busted snares and kneeled to examine it, and Totodile (who was leaping down to the ground) guessed he was studying who or what made this. Aang made it back to the ground by skidding down the trunk and root of a tree.
Finally, Sokka looked up. "These are Fire Nation traps; you can tell from the metalwork. We'd better pack up camp and get moving."
Bibarel nodded sagely. "Couldn't've said it better myself, partner. I thought I'd find something suspicious about them woods."
"Yep," Sokka replied. "Time to hit the road."
"Can we sing 'On The Road Again?'" Totodile asked. Seeing the confused looks, he added, "I'll just hum it like from Shrek."
Totodile insisted Sokka in pulling tight the bindings on a roll of gear. Cut to the clearing from over Aang's shoulder. Katara was handing a gear roll up to Aang, who was sitting on Appa's head, and Cody was busy packing up his animal book. And Bibarel didn't have much to do, for she was nodding to the others with a commenting grunt, a wheat stalk in her mouth.
Just then, Sokka left his roll (and Totodile with the work) and walked over to Aang and Appa, saying,"Uh-uh...no flying this time."
"What?" Katara yelped with shock.
Aang handed the roll to Sokka, asking, "Why wouldn't we fly?
"Think about it," Sokka said, catching the roll and laying it down. "Somehow, Prince Zuko and the Fire Nation keep finding us. It's because they spot Appa...he's just too noticeable."
Katara protested again, "What?! Appa's not too noticeable!"
"He's a gigantic fluffy monster with an arrow on his head," Sokka retorted. "It's kinda hard to miss him!"
Cody nodded. "Yeah. He's like an albino kangaroo among its own group."
Appa turned his head and groaned at the two of them. Aang was in the 'driver's seat' holding his reigns, saying to Appa gently, "They're just jealous 'cause they don't have arrows."
"This fella's got a point," Bibarel said, slapping her flat tail on the ground towards Sokka's direction. "Personally, I think it's best to walk on good ol' Mama Earth."
Sokka spoke up, "I know you all want to fly, but my instincts tell me we should play it safe this time and walk."
"Who made you the boss?" Katara asked in disbelief.
"I'm not the boss; I'm the leader," Sokka insisted.
Katara looked incredulous as she scoffed, "You're the leader? But your voice still cracks!"
Sokka protested, his voice somehow sounding high, "I'm the oldest and I'm a warrior. So..." This time, he tried to sound older. "I'm the leader!"
"If anyone's the leader, it's Aang," Katara replied. Turning to Aang with a smile on her face, she went on, "I mean, he IS the Avatar."
"And Cody," Totodile added. "He's a rescue team leader!"
"Huh?" Cody asked, looking over the side of the saddle.
Sokka was now ranting about Aang, "Are you kidding? He's just a goofy kid! And Cody's always getting distracted by stuff!"
Aang was dangling from Appa's horn upside-down by his hands, his legs sticking out into space. Appa looked rather unimpressed while Aang said with a shrug, "He's right."
"Right about what?" Cody asked. "What're you talking about?"
Katara rolled her eyes. "Nothing, Cody. Anyways, why do boys always think someone has to be the leader? I bet you wouldn't be so bossy if you kissed a girl."
"I-I've kissed a girl," Sokka retorted, looking nervous. "You...just haven't met her."
Is he talking about Suki? Totodile wondered, recalling the Kyoshi warrior.
"Who? Gran Gran?" Katara asked Sokka, a teasing look on her face. "I've met Gran Gran."
Sokka growled, "No, besides Gran Gran." He gave a sigh and said, "Look, my instincts tell me we have a better chance of slipping through on foot, and a leader has to trust his instincts."
At this, Katara replied sarcastically, "Okay, we'll try it your way, Oh Wise Leader."
"Hey, you never know," Totodile said, feeling defensive for Sokka now. "Why're you not trusting him now? He's your brother, for Pete's sake."
"And like I said before, his voice still cracks!" the Water Tribe girl countered.
Totodile rolled his eyes now. "Know what? Just forget it. Forget I ever asked that."
"It's fine," Aang said, stepping over and now wearing a backpack with Momo on the top. "Who knows? Walking might be fun!"
"Walking stinks!" Aang grumbled as they trudged between the trees. It had been nearly an hour since they left camp, and the sun was going to set soon. "How do people go anywhere without a flying bison?"
"The rest o' the world also use a Flyin' type Pokémon," Bibarel told him. "In fact, one of my best pals is a Honchkrow. She can fly ya'll anywhere!"
But Aang grumbled, "But besides that, Bibarel! How can they?"
"I don't know Aang," Katara told him. Then she aimed a scornful taunt towards Sokka, saying, "Why don't you ask Sokka's instincts? They seem to know everything."
"Ha ha," Sokka merely replied. "Very funny."
"Yeah," Totodile grumbled. "I forgot how to laugh."
But Cody and Bibarel did not say a word.
"I'm tired of carrying this pack," Aang whined on.
Katara went on with her biting remarks, "You know who you should ask to carry it for a while? Sokka's Instincts!"
Feeling really defensive (and knowing Sokka needed to be confident in his skills), Totodile turned and said, "Seriously, chick! I know a joke when it bites my tail, and I know jokes! I'm a jokester! And what do you think he is, a camel?"
Aang perked up and said (to Totodile chagrin), "That's a great idea! Hey, Sokka's Instincts, would you mind-"
Sokka turned around, snapping, "Okay, okay! I get it!" Trying to sound calmer, he went on, "Look guys, I'm tired too. But the important thing is that we're safe." He pushed the branches from two rust red-leafed bushes and held them, focusing his attention on the other humans and the Pokémon. "We're safe from...the..." He finally turned around to see what was beyond the bushes and gulped, "...Fire...Nation..."
The three humans and three Pokémon had just walked into a clearing with a Fire Nation camp in it. On the opposite end of the clearing were three pavilion tents and an active fire pit with logs as benches on two sides. The camp was currently occupied...with the Fire Nation.
Most of the soldiers were seated or crouching near the fire with bowls in hand, a few Rapidash resting beside them. A couple more soldiers were seated closest to the tents, which had door flaps with the Fire Nation emblem on them. One of these soldiers had a patch over his left eye and a rather nasty-looking Houndoom, who had a burn mark on its muzzle and made it look like it was forever snarling.
"RUN!" Sokka called.
But as they dropped their packs, the soldiers leapt up from the logs, their swords out, as their Pokémon got into battle poses. The one-eyed soldier took a Bender's stance and launched a fist-full of fire at them. The fire missed them...mostly...but it did set the bushes behind them alight. Houndoom got to its paws and fired a Flamethrower at their feet, which made them jump back.
Sokka gasped, "We're cut off!" and didn't know that the left sleeve of his tunic was on fire.
"Sokka, your shirt!" Aang called.
The Water Tribe teen looked around and yelped in panic, making Bibarel ask, "Come on now, fellers! How come you humans don't know pain when it bites ya'll on the arm? It's like bein' with a Slowpoke, for Pete's sake!"
Katara opened a skin container around her waist and began to bend water into a flowing ribbon. The ribbon splashed against Sokka's tunic, putting it out, and Katara Bended the ribbon back into the water skin and closed it. Impressed at how her WaterBending had been developing, Totodile turned to use Water Gun at the fire behind them while Bibarel made a water sphere with her paws and fired a Water Pulse at the same fire.
But what happened next made Totodile let out a low groan: Houndoom and a Rapidash used Flamethrower on the bushes a second time, setting them on fire again. The three teens and Pokémon were surrounded: the burning bushes behind them the soldiers and their Pokémon all around. They put their backs together and face the warriors, ready to fight if necessary.
Bring it on, dudes! Totodile growled privately.
"If you let us pass, we promise not to hurt you," Sokka was saying, seeming as if he was trying to be brave.
Katara hissed from the corner of her mouth, "What are you doing?"
Cody looked over in front of them. "You might want to rethink on bluffing."
For the one-eyed captain smiled from his lines and sneered, "You? Promise not to hurt us?"
"I'd like to see the poor saps try," Houndoom chuckled.
Suddenly, there was a quiet zip and thud followed by a blue sphere of energy hitting the face of the Houndoom. The Captain looked surprised for a moment, then they groaned and fell face-first to the ground, his Pokémon beside him. His soldiers lowered their weapons a bit while their Pokémon stepped back and looked around.
"Nice work, Sokka!" Aang cheered. "How'd ya do that?"
Sokka looked confused, but he managed to say, "Uh...instinct?"
Totodile looked up to the trees. "I doubt it. Not even a Water Tribe warrior can use a Focus Blast attack...no offense."
Katara was pointing to somewhere above, and they looked up. Totodile could see a long figure standing on the massive branch of a nearby tree, a Pokémon beside him. The person dropped something and drew two blades from the middle of his back. He and the Pokémon stepped off the back of the branch, the former's weapons held high. Instead of falling straight down, the weapons seemed to catch on the branch, allowing him to sling himself in the direction of the camp, while the Pokémon did the same with its claws. The stranger kicked over two of the soldiers farthest from the group and landed with a foot on each of their backs.
This stranger was a young man about Sokka's age. Except for a red vest, he was dressed from neck to toe in dark green clothing. What little armor he has (shoulder caps and hip/upper thigh covers) are mismatched. He has a shaggy mane of brown hair, and a twig held in his teeth. Leaping beside him was a rugged-looking Combusken with a jagged scar across his face and long talons on its hands and feet.
The teen rushed forward, his shuang gou (twin hook sword) in each hand. He hooked a leg each on another pair of soldiers and sent them head over heels. With a polished body flip, he launched them through the air before they ended up in a heap on top of their prone captain. Two Rapidash ran forth to defend their masters, but Combusken leapt onto the back of one and kicked at its head, making the Fire Horse Pokémon fly at another. This forced them to crash into each other.
"Down you go," the teen said with a smirk, landing and ready for more.
"You said it, boss!" Combusken crowed. "I'm ready for more!"
The trio looked up from the little pile up at the due. They had gone from surprise to varying steps of pleasure (Katara), awe (Aang and Cody), and incredulity (Sokka, Totodile, and Bibarel). To Totodile, there was something that seemed off about this new person...but he just couldn't put his tooth on it yet.
A soldier rushed up from behind the teen, sword raised. The young man hooked his opponent's sword hand as he spun around and finished where he started, ready to face a new opponent while his opponent was sent flying. The man landed at the feet of a quartet of sword holders while Combusken kicked a Growlithe in the face and sent it flying with Focus Blast. The closest then looked up, barking, "They're in the trees!"
Just as he said this, a small boy dropped from above and landed on the man's shoulders, spinning his helmet around and blinding him. He staggered off, his small attacker still on his shoulders and laughing all the while. Totodile saw a small yellow spot shocking the nearest Rapidash and realized that a Joltik (the world's smallest Pokémon) had arrived. Before the remaining three swordsmen could react, arrows zipped from above, disarming each man without hurting him, while a barrage of Pin Missiles sent them scurrying back.
They looked up to see an archer sitting on a branch, a Jolteon next to him. The archer reached for a quiver on his back and fit two arrows to the string of his bow. Then he swung backward until he was hanging beneath the branch by his knees and Jolteon was above him. He let some arrows fly as Jolteon's spines quivered before it let out another barrage of Pin Missiles.
The foremost two soldiers had their swords knocked from their hands by the arrows and Pin Missiles while an individual and a Poliwhirl leapt down from a low branch to the ground. As the two disarmed soldiers ran off, a swordsman charged the newcomer, but this freedom fighter ducked, let the swordsman run into (and across) his back, and tossed his foe up onto the branch with a shrug. The second swordsman was more cautious, but with speed and strength, the rebel grabs him, spun him around, and threw him. The barehanded rebel turned and headed for new targets before his old one hit the ground.
His Poliwhirl was dodging an attacking Growlithe with clumsy leaps, but he grabbed it by the tail and began using Wake-Up Slap on its face. To finish it off, he threw it to the side and fired a Hydro Pump towards it. Meanwhile, a rebel with a knife and red face paint dropped to the ground and ran off to fight followed by a Sneasel.
Feeling inspired by this, the young heroes decided to get in on the action. Katara used the water from her WaterBending pouch to take on a foe, and beside her, Aang Bended the air, dragging two soldiers in a dusty circle around the pair. Cody was firing a Thunderbolt towards a Rapidash before leaping forth with a Quick Attack. And Bibarel did her share in fighting: slamming the captain's Houndoom in the face with a Focus Punch.
Totodile, after slugging an incoming Rhyhorn with Ice Punch, turned to see Sokka with his boomerang raised in both hands, shouting a war cry. A soldier charged him, but before they met, the teen entered the scene, using his swords to pole vault him into the chest of the swordsman, who went flying in the opposite direction. Combusken made sure he didn't recover his stance by using Flamethrower at his feet.
"Hey, he was mine!" Sokka protested, sagging out of his battle stance.
"Gotta be quicker next time," the teen remarked, leaping away.
Combusken chuckled, "Yeah. Slow slug!"
Totodile chortled and turned to see two soldiers backing towards the forest, but before they could escape, a huge rebel and Snorlax dropped to the ground. As they turned to face them, their faces registered shock as they came out of their drop crouch and towered easily above them. Quickly, however, they recovered and took a battle stance, but the grinning giant simply reached over his shoulder and pulled out a log thicker than a man's leg. He raised it two-handed over his head, and with a growl, he lowered the boom. To add insult to injury, the Snorlax sat down on them, moving around a bit until they were squashed.
The leader of the rogues turned from his current opponent to watch the two swordsmen backing away, their swords bent beyond use. They dropped them and fled as a third man jabbed for his throat, but he caught the spear shaft with the hooks of his swords. They struggled for a moment before the rebel spun around and sidestepped the spear. With one sword free, he hooked the man, who went flying with his spear. Its butt-end struck the back of a nearby swordsman's helmet, knocking him out. The sagging soldier revealed his foe to be Sokka, ready to receive an attack with his war club, as he looked at the downed man and groaned in frustration.
"Sorry, man," Totodile told him with a slight shrug. He saw the Combusken leap into the air and slash at a leaping Rapidash with a powerful Aerial Ace.
Another spearman attempts to strike at the rebel leader from behind. Just in time, the latter caught the spear in the space between the grip and the crescent-shaped guard of his sword and redirected it away from his head. The soldier quickly followed the spear, pushing it free and facing the young man again with a flourish. The young man also recovered his battle stance and caught the spear tip with his hooks this time and angled the spear into the ran up it, leapt and kicked off the back of the soldier's helmet, and stumbled a few stepped forward before stopping in front of Katara as if he meant to do all of it.
"Hey," the rebel said nonchalantly.
"Hi," Katara greeted him shyly.
Totodile finally paused and thought that they would be good friends to each other. However...he saw Cody look over at them with mild jealousy, his fur bristling and his hazel eyes narrowed. But he just gave a snort as he leapt away back into the camp, now abandoned by all but the newcomers and their Pokémon.
"You just took out a whole army almost single-handed!" Aang was saying, his voice in one of pure awe.
Sokka merely snorted, "Army? There were only, like, twenty guys!"
"And twenty guys could've murdered you in your sleep," Combusken replied, looking at his talons. "Just be glad you saw us coming over in time, kid."
The rebel leader made it back, saying, "My name is Jet, and these are my Freedom Fighters and their Pokémon. Sneers..." The weaponless rebel, who was eating from one of the soldier's bowls, nodded with his Poliwhirl. "...Longshot..." The archer raised his paddy-hat covered head at his name while Jolteon bristled with pride. "...Smellerbee..." The rebel with the face paint and knife between his teeth and a captured Fire Nation Sword slung across his back (and with a Sneasel) brandished them when Jet named him. "...and The Duke and Pipsqueak."
The last two rebels were standing next to each other, their Pokémon beside them. The littlest rebel was on top of the giant rebel's shoulders and raised his quarterstaff slightly while the giant put his log away. Snorlax thumped its thick chest with one arm while Joltik jumped up and down precariously on top of its head.
"Pipsqueak?" Aang laughed, looking down at the small boy after he was lowered to the ground. "That's a funny name."
The little kid sniffled, and his nose was runny as he shifted his helmet to hide his tears. Totodile saw that even though Aang meant no harm in saying that, it was still impolite to make fun of someone else's name. But just as he opened his mouth to scold the Avatar, the big man beat him to it and glared down at him.
"You think my name is funny?" he snarled as the Snorlax beside him growled. Totodile realized that this was Pipsqueak, a tiny name given to a large person like him.
Aang looked a little nervous, but he plastered a smile on his face and said, "It's hilarious!"
Pipsqueak continued to glare at Aang for a moment...but then he began laughing heartily. Aang and the two rebels all shared the laugh together. Pipsqueak slapped Aang pretty hard on the back, which unintentionally knocked the Avatar down flat on his face. The Duke stopped laughing but smiled again when Aang looked up and chuckled weakly, all among friends.
I guess we're all okay now, Totodile sighed with relief as Snorlax and Joltik joined in with them. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
The central fire in camp was now out, and members of Jet's freedom fighters and Pokémon were near it. They were either checking weapons (Longshot and Jolteon) or investigating supply crates (Sneers and Poliwhirl). Sokka was watching as Smellerbee and Sneasel passed him and Totodile with an armful of poles. But Totodile didn't mind the skeptical look on his friend's face as he watched the others at work.
It was nice for teammates to work together and gather supplies. At first, though, he had asked if he and Cody could help, but the Pokémon waved them off, saying they could handle it. But then, he sawJet resting against a tree trunk on the edge of the camp just as Katara approached him.
"Um...thanks for saving us, Jet," the Water Tribe girl was saying to him. "We were lucky you were there."
"I should be thanking you," Jet replied with a roguish smile. "We were waiting to ambush those soldiers all morning; we just needed the right distraction. And then you guys stumbled in."
Katara replied with a hint of disdain, "We were relying on instincts."
Jet just shrugged. "You'll get yourself killed doing that."
"But animals and Pokémon rely on that," Cody was saying, having heard the conversation. "And what about humans?"
"It's different for humans," Jet merely replied.
Sokka was close enough to hear the conversation as he closed his eyes in frustration at his bad call and walked away. Totodile looked back; it was slightly mean of them to say that when a person said stuff like that around others. And by the way Katara was interacting with Jet...he knew Cody liked her, and seeing her with a different guy must have brought out a defensive side. So he promised himself to keep an eye on Jet from now on.
Behind him, Pipsqueak, The Duke, Snorlax, and Joltik were investigating the inside of a barrel next to one of the pavilion tents. The Duke reached in and pulled away a finger coated with green goo. He sniffed it experimentally while Joltik licked at it, jumping up and down and even cheering "Woo hoo!" in the process.
"Hey Jet, these barrels are filled with blasting jelly," The Duke told his leader.
Jet smiled in approval. "That's a great score."
Pipsqueak held up a large crate, saying, "And these boxes are filled with jelly candy!"
"Also good," Jet replied. "Let's not get those mixed up."
"OM NOM NOM!" Snorlax roared, taking a handful of jelly candy and stuffing it in his mouth.
"Don't eat it all at once, Snorlax," Combusken told him, jabbing a hand at his stomach. "Best save that for the others."
Snorlax chuckled nervously, his mouth covered with the stuff. "Sorry, boss."
As the Duke and Sneers were loading up a four-wheeled wagon, Pipsqueak said, "We'll take the stuff back to the hideout."
"You guys have a hideout?" Aang asked, perking up quickly.
Jet nodded. "You wanna see it?"
"It's really cool," Combusken added as he balanced himself on one foot. "It's so secret that not even an Ariados can find it...if we recruit it, though."
Katara literally slid up to him, her hands clasped together. So she was practically begging as she chanted, "Yes, we wanna see it!"
Jet looked down at her as his brow softened, but his self-assured smile never wavered. Totodile felt himself feeling confident that this person could be trustworthy; despite his devious looks, he seemed to be one cool guy. But after seeing the way Cody looked over at Jet and Katara, he hoped his friend could control himself.
Everyone was walking along the forest floor, the Pokémon prowling beside them. Pipsqueak and Snorlax pulled the laden wagon next to Appa as their combined strength matching the bison's. The trunks were massive enough to make even Appa small and massive enough to even hide a Wailord...if one could be hauled onto land.
"They can," Cody said, turning to me. "On the main games, that is."
Sorry, my mistake. I forgot about HeartGold and SoulSilver. But it's weird of how swimming Pokémon can follow you on there, you know? Anyways, back to the story.
Back in front, Jet has stopped and called, "We're here."
Sokka glared around. "Where? There's nothing here!"
"Hold this," Jet said, handing him a rope with a loop on the end. The other end was somewhere above their heads.
"Why, what's this do?" Sokka asked, glaring down at the rope.
But the question was answered as the loop ended up around Sokka's wrist. Without warning, he was pulled up by his arm into a nearby tree canopy. As a final insult, Sokka got momentarily stuck in the leafy branches before he disappeared, shrieking his head off.
"That's the way we roll!" Jolteon called while he used Quick Attack to leap from trunk to trunk. "Once you stick around, you'll be used to it, man!"
Jet offered a similar rope to Aang and Momo, asking, "What about you, Aang?"
Aang replied politely, "I'll get up on my own."
"And I'll join the others," Totodile added as Cody piped up, "And I wanna try what Jolteon did."
Momo launched himself from Aang's shoulder as the Avatar followed him with an AirBender leap. The other Pokémon were boarding onto a device that looked like an elevator, though Snorlax got his own thanks to his weight. And Totodile saw that Cody was already trying to leap from tree to tree, though he wasn't as fast as Jolteon. Yet he wondered how he would get to the secret hideout in time.
"Grab hold of me, Katara."
Hearing Jet say this, Totodile spun around in time to see the Freedom Fighter holding a rope and offering a hand to Katara. As the Pokémon began their way up, he saw something he prayed with all his might to God that Cody would not see.
(Author's Note: Get ready, folks, for I am gonna growl, for I am gonna hate this part. I do NOT like the Jetara shipping.)
She was taking his hand takes his hand, and he pulled her into a spin that ended with her against his chest. She blushed hard and noticeably while the rope slowly pulled them into the air, the embrace Katara's only means of support. She smiled nervously then looked around and up at Jet. He was now focusing on their ascent, the handsome heroic rogue.
A growl made Totodile look down; Cody was looking over at the two humans, his fur bristling and his tail twitching irritably. Just when Totodile was about to complain to the heavens, he saw Cody start to slide down, his paws rubbing the bark. He realized what was going to happen and jumped back down, and as Cody was about to fall, Totodile grabbed onto a small branch with one hand and held onto his paw with the other.
"Th-thanks, Totodile," the Pikachu gasped, looking up at him.
"No problem, buddy," Totodile replied with a small smile, pulling him onto the tree branch. "Friends for life!"
As they made it back to the others, they could see a plank-covered platform high in the canopy. Cody, Totodile, and the other Pokémon rose through a hole in the 'floor' then landed on it with a jump as Combusken let go of the still ascending rope. Wooden stairs spiraled up the trunk, and suspension bridge linked their platform to elsewhere. All workmanship is of 'tree house' quality. Aang and Momo slid across the area on a foreground rope.
The Avatar was calling as they slid by, "Nice place you got!"
"Glad you like it, kid!" Combusken called. Turning to Cody and Totodile, he asked, "So what'd you think of this?"
"Just let us see," Cody told him.
So Combusken stepped aside and nodded towards the bridge. He had stepped aside to reveal several nearby trees that had the same platforms, stairs, and bridges. Several platforms even had tent-like huts. It was just like camping except it was up in the trees. Totodile looked to the side to see Jet and Katara surveying the parts of the tree village below them.
"It's beautiful up here!" Katara sighed, looking around.
Jet nodded. "It's beautiful...and more importantly, the Fire Nation can't find us."
Smellerbee and Sneasel landed near them, the former saying, "They would love to find you. Wouldn't they, Jet?"
"It's not gonna happen, Smellerbee," Jet replied with a chuckle.
"And if they do..." Sneasel muttered in a dark tone as she brandished her claws, "...they're gonna find out why the Freedom Fighters keep fighting."
A couple of sentries were watching from above as Momo and Aang slid by again. The others were walking along a bridge, so the two friends joined them, listening on their talking.
Katara was now asking, "Why does the Fire Nation want to find you?"
"I guess you could say I've been causing them a little trouble," Jet replied with a casual shrug. "See, they took over a nearby Earth Kingdom town a few years back."
"Yeah," Pipsqueak added, coming up from behind. "We've been ambushin' their troops, cutting off their supply lines, and doing anything we can to mess with 'em."
Behind him, Sokka was doing his level best to see over Pipsqueak, hopping to get a peek over the giant's shoulders. He was thwarted even more by Snorlax, who was walking next to his partner and blocking the way.
Jet looked around the forest canopy and went on, "One day, we'll drive the Fire Nation out of here for good and free that town."
"That's so brave," Katara sighed as she gazed admirably at Jet.
"Yeah..." Cody muttered, though the Pikachu still looked a bit irked.
Sokka came up from behind, somehow having made it past Pipsqueak and Snorlax. He was less polite than Cody as he growled sarcastically, "Yeah, nothing's braver than a guy in a treehouse."
Katara rolled her eyes and turned back to Jet. "Don't pay any attention to my brother."
Jet gave a good-natured shrug. "No problem. He probably had a rough day."
"Hey, I often have a bad day, and you don't hear ME whining," Totodile added. Behind him, Sokka sank back behind the group, ignored as usual.
"So, you all live here?" Katara asked, no longer looking annoyed.
"That's right. Longshot and Jolteon over there?" he went on, pointing at said partners. "Their town got burned down by the Fire Nation when Jolteon was an Eevee. And we found the Duke and Joltik trying to steal our food. I don't think they ever really had a home."
"What about you?"
Just then, Jet stopped in his tracks. The group, except for Katara, Cody, and Totodile moved on. Then finally...Jet lowered his gaze and muttered, "Fire Nation killed my parents. I was only eight years old, and Combusken was a Torchic. That day changed us forever."
Cody and Totodile stopped in their tracks and looked up. Totodile looked away and felt a bit sad now; it was about his parents. They had disappeared one day, and now he wasn't sure if they were alive or not. The feeling of this was harsher than the most shock-filled Thunderbolt. Now he felt sorry for with Jet, and so did Cody, apparently...though he wasn't sure how long this feeling would last.
Katara lowered her gaze too. "Sokka and I lost our mother to the Fire Nation."
"I'm so sorry, Katara," Jet told her, his golden eyes staring at her in sympathy.
"My parents are gone too," Totodile added. "But...I was away when they disappeared...I don't know where they are now..."
Cody looked over at him in shock and then sympathy. Totodile knew that when he was a human, he had to leave his family alive. At least he knew that they were still alive before he became a Pikachu. But now...they needed something to cheer them up from all the doom and gloom.
A cloud of cawing birds was disturbed as Appa raised his head through the dense leafy branches with a grumble. In the hideout below, ropes with glowing lanterns were hanging between tree branches as tree-dwelling Pokémon climbed over them. Sentries were keeping watch on several upper platforms while the group sat at a banquet table on a huge platform.
Before them was a buffet table filled with food either from the woods or pinched by the Fire Nation. Totodile felt bad when he was eating stolen food, but at least the fish was good. While the group was eating and drinking, Jet stood up and climbed onto the table.
"Today, we struck another blow against the Fire Nation swine," he announced.
His followers at the table and on upper platforms cheered, and so did their Pokémon, who all chanted "Swine! Swine!". Katara, Cody, and Aang watched with smiled, but Sokka still looked grumpy. Only Totodile didn't react, thinking of what they were going to do next.
Jet was continuing his story, "I got a special joy from the look on one soldier's face, when the Duke and Joltik dropped down on his helmet and rode him like a wild hog monkey."
The helmet-less Duke was sitting on the platform between Longshot and Smellerbee while Joltik was on top of Sneasel's head. The Duke stood up, joined Jet on the table, and, amid the cheers, took a victory walk around a fish platter. Joltik was squeaking "They are hog monkeys!" before settling down onto his food, which was much bigger than him.
"Now, the Fire Nation thinks they don't have to worry about a couple of kids hiding in the trees." Jet prepared to take a drink from his wooden cup before saying, "Maybe they're right."
His followers booed at that.
"Or maybe...they are dead wrong!" he roared, his face bathed in an angry red from the lanterns.
His followers cheered wildly as Jet and Combusken left the table and sat on the platform between Sokka and Katara. The latter was saying, "Hey Jet, nice speech."
"Thanks," Jet said with a grin. "By the way, I was really impressed with you and Aang. That was some great Bending I saw out there today. And that Pikachu of yours has good skills too."
"Well, he's great," Katara replied, smiling at Aang. "He's the Avatar. And after seeing how Cody showed his moves..." She blushed when she said this. "...I could use some more training."
Jet raised an amused brow when he looked at Aang. "Avatar, huh? Very nice."
"Thanks, Jet," Aang said with his trademark smile.
"Avatar?" Combusken asked. "Wow...never thought we'd see the day when we get to see him." To Aang, he said, "Nice to meet you, Avatar. I've been a fan since I was a Torchic."
Aang smiled at the Young Fowl Pokémon. "Thanks, Combusken!"
"So I might know a way that you guys can help in our struggle," Jet said as Combusken sat down beside him.
"Unfortunately, we have to leave tonight," Sokka growled, standing upand walking away.
Totodile frowned after him. I feel sorry for him when Katara makes fun of him, but that's no reason to be rude to guests!
Jet called after him. "Sokka, you're kidding me! I needed you and Totodile on an important mission tomorrow. You're partners, right?"
"Sure we are!" Totodile added right away.
At that, Sokka stopped and turned around. "What mission?"
So they all went deeper in the forest the next day. Jet and Sokka were perched in branches on the same tree while Totodile and Combusken climbed up the same tree trunk. Jet cupped his hands together and made a high whistle that sounded like a birdcall. Several trees down, Pipsqueak and Smellerbee stepped into view from their branches. There was a reply call while Snorlax and Sneasel waved over to them.
It had been quite early in the morning when they woke up. Combusken had said that every day at dawn, several members of the patrol wake up to start their patrolling. Totodile felt slightly tired after being woken up, but he remembered that he was quite an early riser.
Just then, Sokka rammed his jawbone knife into the trunk of the tree, making Jet hiss with confusion, "What are you doing?"
"Shh...it amplifies vibrations," Sokka replied.
Jet looked impressed. "Good trick."
"Yeah," Totodile added, having heard of this the first time. "I never knew that."
Sokka nodded. "Well, you know what they say. Every day, you learn something new."
Totodile smiled. "That's what I live by too! Other than Hakuna Matata, that is."
At this, Sokka cupped his hands around the "bone" and put his ear to it. After a few minutes, he whispered, "Someone's approaching."
"How many?" Jet asked in a low voice.
"I think there's just one."
Combusken let out a small chuckle. "Then we can handle them just fine."
"Good work, Sokka," Jet praised him. "Ready your weapon."
Sokka pulled the knife out of the tree and waited as Totodile scrambled up the tree trunk to wait beside him. He aimed a few mock punches at the air to get himself in shape, for he felt like he had eaten a bit too much at the feast last night. Like Cody, he was a big eater and would not let a morsel go to waste.
But all of a sudden...he saw Sokka's blue eyes go wide when the 'someone' came into view, and when Totodile looked down, he felt his heart stop with sympathy. Walking below them was a stooped old man with a cane and wearing a simple red robe. Totodile felt that they should get away from here, knowing that they could endanger someone else's life during the mission.
"Wait!" Sokka hissed in a low voice. "False alarm...he's just an old man."
But Jet stood up and extended his hook swords anyway. With a growl, he then leapt down to the ground in front of the traveler. Sokka and Totodile watched on with horror as the other Freedom Fighters and their Pokémon joined their leader in surrounding the old man.
"What are you doing in our woods, you leech?" Jet growled with hatred.
"Yeah," Combusken added with disdain. "Fire Nation people aren't allowed in our territory."
The old man bowed low and rasped, "Please sir...I'm just a traveler."
Jet took a step, and with one swipe of his sword, he sent the man's cane flying out of his hand. The old man started backing away, but when he tried to flee the way he came, he ran face first into Pipsqueak's chest. The force of the impact knocked him to the ground while the giant bandit and his Snorlax loomed over him. The old man tried to crawl away, but Pipsqueak's foot on his backside effectively pinned him there.
Jet got close to his face and snarled, "Do you like destroying towns? Do you like destroying families? Do you?!"
"Oh...please let me go..." The old man was looking frightened now. "...have mercy..."
"Does the Fire Nation let people go?!" Jet raged at him, an ugly look of anger on his face. "Does the Fire Nation have mercy?!"
Okay, Sokka was right, Totodile thought. There IS something wrong with Jet. Enough is enough! We need to put an end to this...NOW!
Jet was preparing for a brutal kick when his foot was snagged by a certain club before it could be delivered. Sokka released him, making Combusken growl in confusion before flying at him with outstretched talons. Not wanting this to be one-on-two, Totodile leapt forth and bit his arm, his teeth having a good grasp on him, before tossing him to the side.
"Jet, he's just an old man!" Sokka protested, leaping in between the old man and Jet.
"He's Fire Nation!" Jet insisted angrily. To the Freedom Fighters, he snapped, "Search him!"
As they did, Sokka tried again, "But he's not hurting anyone!"
Jet whirled on him angrily, growling, "Have you forgotten that the Fire Nation killed your mother? Remember why you fight!"
"And why DO you fight?" Totodile snapped at the Freedom Fighters leader. "If I didn't know any better, you're no better than the Fire Nation!"
"Hey!" Combusken shrieked, leaping forward and landing with a kick to the ground. "Don't speak to Jet like that! He's a good leader!"
Totodile snorted and folded his short arms over his chest. "Oh yeah. Right. And my uncle's the legendary Lugia! Next thing you'll be saying, I bet you'll say your dad was the giant chicken from Family Guy!"
Combusken let out an un-chickenlike growl and stepped forth, his claws glowing in the morning light. But before they could attack, Smellerbee interrupted by holding up a satchel and saying, "We've got his stuff, Jet."
Sokka looked at the scene with a worried face. "This doesn't feel right," he muttered.
"It's what has to be done," Jet told him as if it was as simple as that. He shoved past the Water Tribe teenager and went on, "Now let's get outta here."
Pipsqueak and Smellerbee followed him, Snorlax and Sneasel following them and not looking back. Sokka looked at the old man still on his hands and knees, and Totodile agreed with him on what he said about him. Jet was clearly in the wrong, and attacking an old man was not a good example of keeping out intruders. If nothing was done, then the Freedom Fighters could turn their rage onto innocent Fire Nation people living nearby.
And if nothing was done, innocent people like this old man could be attacked every day.
"Come on, Sokka!" Jet called. "And you too, Totodile!"
With one more sympathetic look at the old man, Sokka slowly turned and then ran after the others, Totodile on his heels.
At the hideout, Totodile was in no mood to play games right now. He sat at the very edge of a platform, looking down at the forest floor below. He knew he and Sokka had to tell the others the truth...but would they believe them? Cody might...but Aang probably wouldn't because of his innocence and Katara because of sometimes being stubborn.
He looked above him to see Aang and Momo playing with the ziplines again until they landed onto the same platform Totodile was on. Ever since he had gotten there, Aang had not left that alone, always zooming around the area.
"Totodile! Sokka! Look what the Duke gave me!" the Avatar said, wearing a satchel on his back (Not the old man's, thank God, Totodile thought).
Aang pulled a small pellet from it, and with a sly grin, he tossed it at the platform next to Momo, where it exploded with a pop. Momo puffed up like a startled cat, and then he growled like an angry Meowth and lunged for the satchel. The lemur then sat on his master's shoulder and tossed pellets at his feet, making him dance about wildly and chant, "Ow! Quit it!"
Humans...and they call themselves so smart, Totodile sighed, shaking his head. Next to him, Sokka was oblivious of it all, sitting with his back to the trunk and staring at the platform before him, frowning.
"Hey Sokka." Katara had walked up to them, Cody riding on her shoulder. "Is Jet back?"
"Yeah...he's back," Sokka growled, turning to face his sister. "But we're leaving."
Aang, who was listening, let out a whine. "What?"
"Right now?" Cody asked, tilting his head to one side.
Katara made a slight pouting look as she reached behind her. "But I made him this hat."
As she said this, she pulled from behind her back a cap made out of stitched leaves with a flower on top. Totodile saw that the workmanship was unimpressive, but to avoid any more arguing, he did not say it out loud.
Sokka gave a sigh and gave Katara a serious look. "Your boyfriend Jet's a thug."
"What?" The look on her face was incredulous. "No he's not."
"Um...yeah. Yeah he is," Totodile retorted. "We were there. We saw what he really was."
"He's messed up, Katara," Sokka added heatedly.
Aang piped up, "He's not messed up; he's just got a different way of life...a really fun way of life," he added with a smile.
"Wait a minute." Cody had leapt down from Katara's shoulder and looked up at Sokka. "How can you be sure that he's as messed up as you said?"
Sokka snapped, "He beat and robbed a harmless old man!"
Katara's face hardened into irritation. "I wanna hear Jet's side of the story."
"Okay, go ahead," Totodile growled, glaring up at her. "He can't deny it!"
"Sokka...you told them what happened, but you didn't mention that the guy was Fire Nation?"
Jet, the trio, and the Pokémon were in a lantern-lit hut: at least one wall was made of wood. Jet and Combusken were sitting on a hammock-like bed, and the others were standing. Sokka was standing grumpily as far away as he could get, even though Totodile wanted to make him tell some more. Aang was wearing the hat Katara made, but he now looked like a Sitrus Berry. And Cody was standing to the side, looking around in his usual way.
Katara answered the question while glaring at her older brother, "No, he conveniently left that part out."
"Fine!" Sokka snapped. "But even if he was Fire Nation, he was a harmless civilian."
"Harmless, eh?" Combusken sneered. "He could've been carrying a weapon!"
Jet nodded. "You're right, was an assassin, Sokka," he added, turning back.
He pulled out a knife and thrust it into a nearby block of wood, letting Totodile see it. It was a sinister-looking curved blade. There were four spikes evenly spaced along the grip, with enough space for fingers to go between them. There was a ring on the butt of the knife, which Jet pulled on and removed a small glass tube with red liquid.
"See? There's a compartment for poison in the knife," Jet explained, but Totodile saw through that clever disguise. "He was sent to eliminate me. You helped save my life, Sokka. You and Totodile there."
"I knew there was an explanation," Katara spoke up, her blue eyes narrowed.
Sokka growled, "We didn't see any knife!"
Jet said, "That's because he was concealing it.
Katara gave Sokka what Totodile knew was a disdainful look. "See, Sokka? I'm sure you just didn't notice the knife."
"There was no knife!" Sokka snarled. "I'm going back to the hut and packing my things."
So he left through the door, and Totodile followed, not wanting a part in this tomfoolery. But he was just through the doorway when he heard Jet say "Tell me you guys aren't leaving yet. I really need your help."
"What can we do?" That was Aang.
"We can help, you know," Cody added. This made Totodile think, Traitor.
"The Fire Nation is planning on burning down our forest," Jet was explaining. "If you both use WaterBending to fill the reservoir, we could fight the fires. But if you leave now, they'll destroy the whole valley."
Totodile felt like this could be bad news, making him want to go and rescue and humans or other Pokémon there; it was what a Rescue Team would do. But then again...Jet could be lying. So he turned on the spot and walked back to the tent, where Sokka was tying up a roll on the floor. By the way Sokka looked up at him and nodded to the bags, he seemed too angry to talk but seemed to say "Go ahead and help me." So he did.
But as Totodile finished packing his stuff up, Cody, Katara, and Aang had returned, their faces determined. Bibarel was also beside them, muttering "What'd I miss, young'uns? I've been sleepin' like a hog monkey all day!" Yet Totodile wasn't interested in what she was saying.
"We can't leave now with the Fire Nation about to burn down a forest!" Katara started to say.
"I'm sorry, Katara," Sokka sighed, looking at her. "Jet's very smooth, but we can't trust him."
Then Katara said with all the coldness of Mount Freeze, "You know what I think? You're jealous that he's a better warrior and a better leader!"
The Pokémon gasped at this before Cody spoke up, "That was a low blow."
"Yeah," Totodile growled. "Harsh, girl! Harsh!"
Sokka looked actually rather calm as he retorted, "Katara, I'm not jealous of Jet. It's just that my instinct-"
"Well, my instincts tell me we need to stay here a little longer and help Jet," Katara interrupted with disdain. She spun around and said, "Come on. Aang. You too, Cody."
"Sorry..." Cody mewed, looking down. "But you two go without me. I think I'm gonna stay here for the night."
Aang was the one to follow Katara out, saying sincerely, "Sorry, Sokka."
They left the hut, and Totodile felt angrier than before. He knew Katara was in denial, and he would make sure she was wrong in what she said.
Totodile woke up during the night, feeling thirsty. Inside the Trio's hut, Sokka was sleeping propped up against his still-packed gear while the others slept in their bedrolls. Cody wasn't sleeping in the hut tonight; he had said he wanted to sleep in the trees that night. But as he got a canteen from his bag and gulped down some water, relishing in its sweet cool taste, he thought over what Sokka and Katara had argued about.
Now he did not care what the others thought of Jet; that guy couldn't be trusted. Him or his Combusken. Speaking of that, he found it ironic for someone to fight against the Fire Nation using a Fire type Pokémon. But as he was about to lay back down to sleep, he heard a low voice whisper in the night.
"Let's go. And quietly."
Beside him, Sokka stirred a bit and then snapped awake. He got up and pulled the door flap aside enough to see some of Jet's followers descending on the rope lines. He was just going to leave the hut when he saw Totodile watching him.
"What?" he whispered. "You wanna come along?"
"Sure," Totodile whispered back. "You're right about Jet; something ain't right with him."
So they each took a rope line down to a lower branch. On the ground below them, Jet's Freedom Fighters were quietly pushing the loaded wagon as Jet led them out of the camp. As silent as a Sharpedo through dark icy water, Totodile and Sokka stealthily followed them.
In the dark valley, the walled town sat on the far side of a river that cut through the forest; a few nocturnal Pokémon like Noctowl were out foraging for food. Upstream, and up toward the wall of the valley there was an old waterfall, and beyond that was a man-made dam. A bare cliff off to the reservoir's left provided the view of a lifetime. Whoever had made these, Totodile had been thinking, had some good craftsmanship.
Jet and his boys now emerged from the forest, Sokka and Totodile behind them. He walked over to the edge and looked down on the dam below, Combusken beside him and scouting around; the reservoir behind it was low.
He turns back to the wagon and said, "Now listen: you are not to blow the dam until I give the signal. If the reservoir isn't full, the Fire Nation troops could survive."
Sokka let out a small gasp, but Totodile covered his mouth with his hand in time. Still, he was also disturbed by what Jet was suggesting.
The Duke jumped off the wagon and asked, "But what about the people in the town? Won't they get wiped out too?"
"Yeah," Joltik squeaked from on top of his helmet. "That'll make US the bad guys!"
Jet placed a hand on the Duke's shoulder and said, "Look, Duke...and Joltik, that's the price of ridding this area of the Fire Nation." To Longshot, he said, "Now don't blow the dam until I give the signal. Got it?"
"And if that happens, this could be the end for all of us!" Combusken added while Longshot gave his leader a nod.
Sokka watched incredulously from the bushes, Totodile beside him with a frown. So this was what Jet was up to: blowing up the dam to destroy an innocent village. Fire Nation or not, that was a plain village, and Jet would be no better than his enemies if he destroyed it. For a brief second, he considered telling Cody, Katara, and Aang about it...then he remembered Katara not believing her brother. Cody and Aang could listen...but not her.
Suddenly, he and Sokka heard rustling in the bushes, wondering what was going on. Just before Totodile could say anything, Pipsqueak appeared, dragging Sokka out by his topknot. Snorlax had arrived too and punched Totodile across the face as a few bloody teeth flew out of his jaws. Smellerbee's knife was instantly at Sokka's throat while Sneasel did the same to Totodile.
"Where do you think you're going, ponytail?" Smellerbee sneered with disdain.
"Yeah," Sneasel growled. "Speak up, or your throats get it!"
"Sokka...and Totodile too. I'm glad you decided to join us."
The voice rang in Totodile's eardrums as he slowly woke up, noticing that he was looking down at the ground from a big height. As he looked up, he realized that he was being dangled upside down by Snorlax holding his tail. He tried squirming free, but Snorlax landed another Mega Punch to his back, making him gasp in pain and fall limp.
Sokka was brought down to his knees while Snorlax still held Totodile up by the tail. The Water Tribe teen said, "I heard your plan to destroy the Earth Kingdom town."
"Our plan is to rid the valley of the Fire Nation," Jet explained, a smirk on his face."
"That way, they won't invade our forest ever again," Combusken added. "Death to fire!"
"There are people living there," Sokka protested. "Mothers and fathers and children."
Jet shrugged. "We can't win without making some sacrifices."
At this, Sokka pointed an accusing finger at Jet and snapped, "You lied to Aang and Katara about the forest fire!"
"Whom we hope get together soon!" Totodile added. Sokka gave him a weird glance before he added, "What? Don't I get to do lampshade hanging?"
"Because they don't understand the demands of war," Jet sneered. "Not like you and I do."
"I do understand." Sokka had a look of calm determination on his face now. "I understand that there's nothing you won't do to get what you want."
Totodile nodded. "And you're becoming no better than the Fire Nation! You're like...you know...a terrorist!"
Jet glared at the Big Jaw Pokémon for what he said. But instead of attacking, he shrugged and said, "I was hoping you'd have an open mind, but I can see you've made your choice." Seeing Sokka try to get away, he pinned his wrist down with the hooks of his shuang gou and said, "I can't let you warn Katara and Aang...and Totodile, we won't let you warn Cody either. Take them for a walk," he told the Freedom Fighters. "A long walk."
Sokka gave a growl as he was being led away. "You can't do this!"
"Cheer up, Sokka," Jet said. "We're gonna win a great victory against the Fire Nation today."
As they were being led away, Totodile snarled over his shoulder, "Darn you two! In fact, darn you all to heck!"
"Oh, many have, Totodile," Combusken retorted lazily. "Many have."
The time for the secret mission had arrived the next morning as Cody and Combusken strolled side-by-side by the riverside upriver from the dam. The collected water behind it was much less than the larger cavity of the reservoir he heard so much about. The river leading to down to it was a thread compared to its "rainy season" gully. But as he thought of all this, he recalled what had happened that morning.
Sokka and Totodile did not turn up for breakfast, making Cody fear for the worst; perhaps they had left. But Jet reassured him that they hadn't left, but he didn't tell him where they were at. But right now, he focused on walking as Jet, Katara and Aang patrolled upriver along its west bank.
"Jet, I'm sorry about how Sokka's been acting," Katara began saying.
But Jet merely shrugged. "No worries. He already apologized."
Aang stopped to share a look with Katara before looking back. "Really? Sokka apologized?"
"Really?" Cody repeated, looking up. "He's never one to apologize for his mistakes."
"Yeah. I was surprised too," Jet said, turning to Katara. "I got the sense that maybe you talked to him or something."
"Yeah, I did," came the reply, making Cody frown at her.
Jet went on, "I guess something you said got through to him. Anyhow, he went out on a scouting mission with Pipsqueak and Smellerbee and their Pokémon. And Totodile went with them in case you're wondering where we went to."
Combusken added, "And it's a secret mission! We can't tell anyone."
Katara nodded coolly. "I'm glad he cooled off. He's so stubborn sometimes."
Like you, Cody wanted to insert, but he didn't say it. Over the past few days, the Water Tribe siblings had argued about who was to be the leader or not. This was another side of Katara Cody did not want to see: disdain for her brother.
The three humans and two Pokémon were now walking in the gully beside the "river". Cody saw Aang pause after noticing something strange, then he was launched into the air by a blast from the geyser he was standing on. He wondered what it was like to feel the rush of the geyser steam through his yellow fur, but he decided on not trying to after seeing the force.
"All right, we're here," Jet started explaining. "Underground water's trying to escape through these vents. I need you guys to help it along. And Cody, you can keep a lookout for enemies."
Katara looked nervous. ...I've never used Bending on water I can't see. I don't know..."
Then Cody saw something that he hoped that he hoped never to see ever again. Jet stood behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders, saying smoothly, "You can do this."
Seeing this, Cody now felt his fur bristle and felt a growl rise in his throat. Now that he had seen this, he felt like shocking Jet into a crisp for going near Katara like that. But he didn't want to do it either, for if he did, then they would be angry at him...and he didn't want that to happen again. So while they weren't looking, he settled on glaring at them.
"What about me?" Aang piped up, not seeing what Cody saw.
"I know the Avatar can do this," Jet said, looking at Aang with a smile.
"Yeah," Combusken said with a proud snort. "He's cool."
So Aang and Katara stood on either side of one of the many smoking holes in the gully, Cody standing to the side since he couldn't Bend. While he, Jet, and Combusken looked on, they began performing Bending gestures, looking like they were encouraging an Onix to come out of there. After a few minutes, a blobby stream of water emerged from the hole as they pulled it to their height then sent it toward the river, where it continued to flow like a giant garden hose. The water quickly joined the river, making Cody stare on in awe.
I forgot what great WaterBenders they are, he realized.
"Yes!" Jet was praising them. "Good job! This river empties into the reservoir; a few more geysers, and it'll be full."
Aang grinned as he pointed away and said, "Look, there's another steam vent."
As he and Katara walk off in its direction, Jet replied, "Okay. You two keep it up. Combusken and I are gonna go check on things at the reservoir."
"When we're done, we'll meet you over there," Katara told him as they began walking away.
Cody saw Jet and Combusken freeze as the former stuttered over his words, "Actually...probably better if you meet us back at the hideout when you're done."
"Yeah. Don't worry," Combusken said. Cody did not hear these words: "And today, that village is going down."
"Huh?" Cody asked, turning around.
Combusken chuckled as they walked away, "I said...pillage is fluffy down!" He chuckled again as he and Jet resumed walking away while Aang and Katara were Bending the next geyser into another fountain.
"I bet that's enough," Aang finally said, pulling away. "And I'm not just saying that to be lazy."
Cody nodded, watching a half dozen fountains flow into the river. "I agree with you on that. I hate not working...but a break's good."
"That's right," Katara panted, looking a bit tired from WaterBending. "Let's catch up with Jet and Combusken at the reservoir."
Aang looked at her in confusion. "I thought we agreed to meet them back at the hideout."
Katara shrugged. "Well, we finished early. I'm sure Jet'll be happy to see us."
I'm sure Jet'll be happy to see us punch his face in, Totodile growled to himself.
The Freedom Fighters were walking down a path in the forest. Pipsqueak and Smellerbee (with Sneasel and Snorlax) were forcing Sokka, who has his hands tied behind his back, to walk ahead of them. Smellerbee gave the prisoner a shove, growling "Come on, move along!", therefore he stumbled but remained on his feet. As for Totodile, his jaws, hands, and feet were all tied to each other, but he could only move his tail to smack Snorlax, who carried him.
"How can you stand by and do nothing while Jet wipes out a whole town?" Sokka was asking the Freedom Fighters.
"Hey listenm Sokka," Pipsqueak rumbled. "Jet's a great leader. We follow what he says, and things always turn out okay."
I doubt it, Totodile thought angrily. But as he thought this, he noticed Sokka looking at a couple of snare leaf-piles nearby. They were identical to the one that tempted Momo, right down to the pile of nuts at the bottom. Then he saw the Water Tribe teen turn to give him a small wink, and when he saw that, he understood.
Then Sokka replied to Pipsqueak, "If that's how Jet leads, then he's got a lot to learn."
Seeing Sokka sprint off in the direction of the snares, Totodile moved his jaws so far apart that the rope split so he could bite Snorlax. Snorlax growled as he dropped the Big Jaw Pokémon, but he was too heavy to reach down and grab him. Once he caught up with Sokka, they leapt over the leaf piles, watching Pipsqueak and Smellerbee and their Pokémon not slow down, so they ended up snared and hanging many feet up in the air.
As for Snorlax and Sneasel, Totodile tripped Sneasel by aiming a Water Gun at her feet, making her trip and fall to the ground. Snorlax wasn't paying attention and tripped over Sneasel, letting out a loud bellow as he fell into a rather large hole. Once Snorlax was down there, he moved over to Sneasel and kicked her down until she bounced off his stomach and beside him.
"While you two are up there, you might want to practice your knot-work," Sokka added, holding up his now-worthless bindings.
"Yeah, see ya!" Totodile called as he followed him into the woods. "And as for you Pokémon, DO forget to write!"
They heard Pipsqueak say, "Hey Smellerbee, you gonna eat your leechee nuts?" before walking further down the forest. He heard Snorlax and Sneasel growl from holes that they had dug to trap any enemies; this made him believe that they were only good at catching themselves.
But that didn't matter right now. He and Sokka had to stop Jet from destroying the town.
Cody was standing beside Katara and Aang as they arrived at the edge of the cliff. The young Pikachu scanned the area and even sniffed around for a scent, catching vibrations with his thin whiskers. But as he looked around, he noticed something weird.
At the base of the dam, four of Jet's people were unloading barrels from the wagon and arranging them. Their Pokémon were beside them, helping them unload their cargo even without the help of Snorlax to help them. This was very weird...weird that they would do something without Jet around to order them around.
"What are they doing?" Katara asked in a confused voice.
Cody narrowed his eyes at this. "Moving stuff around, I think."
"Hey, those are the red barrels Jet got from the Fire Nation," Aang said immediately. And Cody saw that he was right: barrels were being stocked up beside each other.
Katara asked, "Why would they need blasting jelly?"
This was a question not even Cody could answer. But Aang finished it, his gray eyes wide with horror. "Because Jet's gonna blow up the dam."
That explains the raid, Cody thought with the same feeling Aang had. They didn't come across the Freedom Fighters by accident or purposely; they were trying to raid the camp to find supplies to destroy the town.
"What?" Katara asked in disbelief. "No...that would destroy the town. Jet wouldn't do that."
"You know..." Cody growled, turning to face her. "What if Sokka said the same thing? Would you believe your brother...or a guy you barely met for a day?"
"I gotta stop him," Aang muttered, snapping his glider wings open and running for the edge.
Katara looked even less convinced as she murmured, "Jet wouldn't do that."
Cody sighed at those words and ran alongside Aang. But before Aang could reach the edge, he saw Jet cross his path from behind and snatch the glider while he himself was painfully kicked hard in the stomach to the ground. Aang was left wobbling precariously on the edge and used an AirBending move to get himself back on stable footing while Cody weakly got to his paws.
"Yes I would," Jet growled, glaring at them. Combusken landed beside them, smirking as he stretched the foot he kicked Cody with until it was ready for another round.
"Jet?" Katara had seen this, shock on her face. "Why?"
Jet turned to her. "Katara, you would too if you just stopped to think. Think about what the Fire Nation did to your mother...we can't let them do that to anyone else ever again."
Katara looked horrified. "This isn't the answer!"
"And Sokka was right about you," Cody growled, standing on his hind legs. "And Totodile too. You guys can't be trusted!"
"I want you to understand me, Katara...and you too, Cody," Jet said. "I thought your brother and Totodile would understand, but..."
"Where's...where's Sokka?" Katara sobbed, tears falling from her blue eyes.
Cody couldn't stand to see her sad...or to see Totodile in danger. "And what about Totodile, Jet? What'd you do with both of them, you jerk?!"
Jet ignored the Pikachu as he reached out and touched her face as she bowed her head, making Cody snarl again... but then, before he could strike, he saw that he didn't need to. With a roar of rage, Katara had just sent Jet flying with the water from her WaterBending pouch, drawing it back into the skin when she was done. Seeing this, Combusken squawked with rage and leapt at her, his claws on his hands glinting, but Cody got in between them, slamming his face with a hard Iron Tail and knocking him back.
"I need to get to the dam."
That was Aang, reaching over for his glider. But before he could grab it, the crescent end of one of Jet's shuang gou pinned it like an axe. Jet had the two weapons hook to hook, and with a yank, he pulled the sword and Aang's glider to him. Combusken, whose face was bleeding from the wound on his face, was beside him, the crest on his head quivering.
"You're not going anywhere without your glider," Jet growled, thrusting the swords at Aang. The Avatar leapt back to avoid the extra reach and finished his retreat in a nearby tree.
Aang glared steadily at him. "I'm not gonna fight you, Jet."
Jet sneered back, "You'll have to if you want your glider back."
At that, Aang retreated back into the forest as Jet hooked the branch and pulled himself up with Combusken following him. Katara followed them on the ground, but Cody turned around at her, growling, "Get back! I don't want you getting hurt."
Katara could only nod weakly as Cody looked up to see Jet attacking; Aang defended himself with balls of air, which Jet ducked under. He looked around in time to see Combusken send a Flamethrower at him, which he countered with a Thunderbolt. Both attacks collided before shooting off in other directions at the rocks on the forest floor. Seeing this, Cody leapt up into the branches, watching Combusken follow him and fly at him with a Mega Kick. He felt pain shoot into his head as the kick connected with the side of his head, but he bit the leg that did it and flung him with all his might against another tree.
He saw Combusken get weakly to his feet before using Aerial Ace on a tough branch above him several times, making Cody confused. Then he saw the branch fall down towards him, but he leapt onto it and pushed his hind paws onto it before he flew at Combusken with a heightened Agility, barreling into his chest and letting out a Thunderbolt. The Young Fowl shrieked with anger before striking his head with a Sky Uppercut, followed by kicking him to the ground with Mega Kick. Cody fell to the ground, bleeding from his wounds yet steadying himself as he got up weakly to his paws.
This guy's fast, he thought. How can I slow down his speed. My Thunderbolt didn't paralyze him in his tracks!
"Time for the finishing move!" Combusken shrieked. "The Focus Punch Slobberknocker!"
Cody glared weakly up at him, blood dripping from his wounds. "That's a lame move. Jim Ross gets to say it right!"
Combusken growled, "Oh yeah? Well, stand still. I have to finish my move."
Cody hissed and limped over to Aang, who was too slow to get up. Before Jet and Combusken could launch their next attack, they were hit by a large water strike, and Cody looked to the side. Katara was there, using water from the river to throw Jet against the trunk of the tree. Over and over, she attacked with increasing anger, and the enemies were unable to cut the water as its force plastered him against the trunk. She Bended the water to ice, and the water-logged rebel was left frozen from toe to neck.
Yet Cody saw Combusken sneer as he melted the ice off himself with Flamethrower...but this was a big mistake to him. The Pikachu seized the chance and sent a Thunderbolt at him, the water on his feathers being fried by the attack. Once Combusken was dizzy from the attack, Cody pounced at him with a Quick Attack and knocked him to the ground before looking around to the humans.
"Why, Jet?" Katara asked, her voice becoming filled with anger. "I can't believe I trusted you. You lied to me! You're sick, and I trusted you!"
"And to think we felt sorry for you too!" Cody added, joining her. "Can't YOU remember what the Fire Nation did to your family?!"
Just then, a bird's call sounded from the valley beyond. Jet gave an answer call, making all three of them look at him in confusion.
"What are you doing?" Katara asked him with an anxious stare.
"You're too late," Jet said with a smirk.
All three were shocked at this; Jet and Combusken had wasted their time. Aang snapped open his glider and ran for the nearby cliff/waterfall. His glider's wing was so shredded however, that he had no lift and slammed back into the ground near the edge. Katara ran over to help him while Cody limped over to him, his blood staining the ground.
"Sokka's still out there," Aang told them. "And so is Totodile. They're our only chance."
"Come on, Sokka," Katara prayed, looking out towards the dam. "I'm sorry I ever doubted you. Please..."
Cody prayed with her, "You too, Totodile. You gotta make it."
And they saw it...a fire arrow arcing down to the base of the dam.
"No..." Katara rasped in shock.
"Come on...go wrong..." Cody whispered with her.
The center of the dam exploded in a cloud of smoke and fire. Cody, Katara, and Aang watched a massive wall of water go over the "dry" falls and down to the town, seeing inside the town. The streets were strangely empty except for the occasional barrel and a market table with cabbages. The water rushed through the open gate as a cresting wave dwarfed it underneath its towering form. The wall and gate were swallowed whole as the wave struck the town.
The flotsam carried away in the flood included a smiling doll in a purple dress. Cody's ears flattened against his head in shock and sadness.
"They didn't make it in time," Aang groaned, lowering his gaze.
"All those people..." Katara's voice was filled with sadness and regret. Turning to Jet, she snarled, "Jet, you monster!"
"Don't look at us like that!" Combusken snapped, still on the ground. "He's a great leader!"
Cody hissed, his pelt bristling, "But a terrible person! He's no better than the Fire Nation!"
Jet didn't look sorry for what he did. Instead, he said with a sinister smirk,"This was a victory; remember that. The Fire Nation is gone and this valley will be safe.
"It will be safe...without you."
In shock, they all looked up to see Sokka, Appa, Momo, and Totodile rise from below the level of the cliff. Sokka had Appa's reins, and Cody was happy to see that they had all survived. Though Bibarel wasn't anywhere to be seen, he guessed she was alright too.
"Sokka! Totodile!" Katara's and Cody's voices were filled with joy.
"The two and only," Totodile said with a smirk, embracing Cody after the Pikachu rushed forth to give him a hug.
Sokka nodded before adding to Jet, "I warned the villagers of your plan just in time."
"What?!" Cody was pleased to see that Jet's amber eyes were wide with shock and anger.
"At first, they didn't believe me," Sokka began. "The Fire Nation soldiers assumed I was a spy. But one man vouched for me: the old man you attacked. He urged them to trust me, and we got everyone out in time. And as for Bibarel, she knew what was going on and decided to stay behind to help the surviving villagers. They wouldn't have survived if it was for her."
Cody looked down at the townsfolk on high ground above the river, on the bank opposite the town. A little girl was running down to the water's edge as the doll floats by, picking it up and cuddling it close to her. Bibarel broke out from the crowd and wrapped a foreleg over the girl's shoulders, giving her a sympathetic smile.
Hearing this, Jet snarled, "Sokka, you fool! We could've freed this valley!"
"Yeah!" Combusken added with a sneer. "Your sister was right: you're no leader!"
"Who would be free, then?" Sokka retorted calmly. "Everyone would be dead."
"You traitor!" Jet spat.
Sokka glared at him coldly. "No, Jet. You and Combusken became the traitor when you stopped protecting innocent people."
Jet glared at him before turning to a certain person. "Katara...please...help me," he pleaded, his voice almost earnest...but Cody guessed it was fake.
Katara just turned away from him after one last glare. "Goodbye, Jet," he muttered with the coldness of the Frosty Grotto.
As soon as everyone was on board, Sokka gave Appa's reigns a flick and said, "Yip yip."
And Appa took off while they left Jet behind on the ground, still frozen to the tree. Cody heard Combusken scream, "Get back here, lil' boogers! Let me at ya!"
The sky they flew in was empty, save a few wispy clouds. Totodile felt better after what he and Sokka had done, but he wondered what Katara, Aang, and Cody thought of it.
Aang was the first to say this: "We thought you and Totodile were going to the dam. How come you went to the town instead?"
"Lemme guess: your instincts told you," Katara said. But this time, her tone was a teasing and playful tone.
Totodile shrugged. "Don't know. And I think you owe someone an apology."
Katara nodded. "I know. And Sokka..." She turned to her brother. "I'm sorry for how I've acted towards you the past few days. You're going to be a great leader."
Sokka gave his little sister a hug. "No problem. And hey, sometimes my instincts are right."
"Um...Sokka?" Aang piped up. "You know we're going the wrong way, right?"
"Yeah," Cody said. "We gotta head to the rising sun. Remember?"
Sokka looked surprised, but he quickly recovered and pulled on Appa's reins. "And sometimes they're wrong."
And with a grin, he steered Appa around until they headed towards the rising sun.
To be continued...
AvatarCat13: Finally! This chapter is done! I never knew when this chapter would be done. But before we go on, I'd like to say a little something.
About Cody's relationship with Katara right now, he's not in love with her yet. But I'll let you know when he starts to. But currently, he's rather defensive of her but not too defensive. Plus, the next chapter will be like the comic called Don't Blow It...and there'll be a part on there that's from the movie Benji The Hunted, concerning him and a predator.
So remember to read and review! Anyone who does so will get virtual figurines of the Pokémon that showed up in this chapter. I don't allow any flames, but what I DO welcome instead are advice, questions and criticism as long as it's not harsh.
Summary: Aang comes down with a cold, so the others have to find a cure for him. But what would happen if the Fire Nation was in the same forest as him? Meanwhile, Cody comes across a new enemy who's a relentless predator.
See ya next time! And Happy early Memorial Day!