Fanfiction Friday: The Desertion Chapter 1

Writer’s Note:

So for some reason I really enjoyed Jeong Jeong’s story from Avatar the Last Airbender, and I’m extremely fascinated with his background. Since the writers didn’t get much into it, I have written/am writing what I imagine his backstory is. I wouldn’t consider my fanfiction to be AU. I make up mostly original characters within the realm and rules of the original Avatar Universe. So if you like Jeong Jeong, White Lotus, and a lot of original characters, my story is the one for you! ^_^

This first chapter was written mannyyyyy years ago haha. I’m am currently working on and finishing the first part of this three part epic, which takes place pre-Aang. The other sections are during Aang’s time, and after during the time of Republic City. On with the first part! I will be releasing updated chapters 1-2 times per month.

Chapter 1: The Western Water Tribe

“So Captain Jeong Jeong, what do we know?” Jian asked. He circled around the table, and scanned the papers strewn everywhere. The ink was hardly legible in the dim torch light, and the room glowed with a reddish tint. Jeong Jeong sat at the table, rubbing his temples with his forefingers.

Puzzled over the notes for the coming battle, he collected as much information as possible about the enemy in order to have the slight advantage. This time, the notes taken on their targets provided very little information other than one obvious clue: the enemy was a group of waterbenders.

“The culprit was responsible for the assassination of General Li, while he was on leave on Ember Island. They snuck into his home at night, froze his arms and legs to prevent his firebending, and slit his throat with one clean slice of waterbending,” Jian said making a slicing motion with his hand.

“Natural suspicion would be that the waterbender was from the Northern Water Tribe…” Jeong proposed. “An eyewitness account from General Li’s wife, described the assassin wearing an elaborate headdress of feathers, not the typical Northern Water Tribe fashion. That’s the description of the Western Water Tribe, who resides in the isolated areas north of the ancient Sun Warriors city.” Jeong moved his finger along a map strewn out on the table.

“So…all we know about the enemy is that they are waterbenders, and possibly fashionable,” Jian’s belly moved from a slight chuckle. Unamused, Jeong stood up and began pacing the room.

“So little is known about this isolated tribe of waterbenders. There have been very few accounts of their culture and even fewer records of previous encounters with the Fire Nation, other than their immediate surrender when our ships approached their shores a few decades ago. The most recent accounts of these people were from some troublesome small raids on some of the smaller islands of the Fire Nation, and a few eyewitness reports of similar descriptions. They like to attack at night when the moon is out and their powers at their fullest, and leave few tracks other than the dead bodies in their wake. One noticeable feature of their attacks is that they target important Fire Nation bases, and their leaders.”

“And then paranoid old Firelord Azulon became weary of the constant complaints from army officials, and ordered a small band of men to “eliminate” this issue.”

“Brother watch your tongue.” Jeong snapped.

“What? It’s not like the firelord can hear us. He’s three hundred miles away.”

“Look, we were chosen for the job, and if we do the job well, there is a sure chance of promotion,” Jeong Jeong turned to face his brother.

“Goodness Jeong, calm down and take a break before the battle! You know this will be easy for us” Jian said in a joking tone. This lack of seriousness from his brother always annoyed Jeong.

“Does this mission not trouble you at all brother? We hardly know a thing about our enemy. We don’t know if they have large numbers, or even if they’re as powerful waterbenders as we think they are. All we have are a few accounts of renegade attacks. For all we know we could be walking into a death trap.”

“Calm yourself Jeong. You worry about these things too much. If things can’t be solved by a few simple fire punches and a request for surrender, we can just burn their little island down to the ground. There won’t be any of them left to threaten us then,” he chuckled to himself.

“That’s…not how it should be done. If we use our firebending at all it should be in an honorable battle with them, not just for sheer destruction.”

Jian acted like he wasn’t listening, and simply shrugged off Jeong’s remark.

“Like I said, you worry too much. Come. Relax. Have some tea with the men. You will be better off tomorrow if you go into the situation with a clear head anyways.”

Jeong nodded in agreement, for his brother did have a point, however he could not shake the uneasiness he was feeling about the coming events.

For some fun, the men not only drank tea, but they ate, played music, and told stories of their triumphs in battles against the Earth Kingdom. One man even gave divinations to predict how well the men were going to do the next day. Most of them were positive, and the warriors had good fortunes of grand displays of power and triumph. Jeong’s prediction was extremely different.

“You will have a deadly encounter with someone during the battle. Don’t be blinded by illusion, or else you won’t make it out alive.” The mystic said in a dark tone. While Jeong barely believed in these types of arts, this further enhanced his suspicions about the importance of the mission. Jian nudged his younger brother in the ribs.

“Looks like you really do have something to worry about tomorrow, ahahahaha!”

****

“Ugh, the mud in this place is unbearable. I just don’t understand how people can live in this,” Jian complained. Jeong was less concerned with the mud and more concerned with his surroundings. The woods were thick with vines and large colorful flora, and the humidity in the air was so thick he could barely breathe. The plants were so tall they covered the sun overhead, already putting them at a big disadvantage if they were attacked. Even worse than the climate, was the unsettling silence that seemed to engulf them. Other than the men’s metal boots shuffling through the mud, there were no animal calls or birds chirping…

“Captain Jeong Jeong, look out!” He looked up to see the head of the spear coming straight for him. Jumping backwards, he firebended the spear into ash, and caused the water tribe warrior to fall face first into the mud, confused. Soon his surroundings were filled with swirls of fire and the clanging of spears; overwhelmed, he burned every weapon aimed at him wildly, but when he quickly turned around, he felt the prick of a spear on the knot of his throat. When he observed more closely, the spear was waterbended as ice, and a woman with an elaborate headdress of feathers and dark blue eyes held the end of it. She did not kill him on sight or seemed like she was going to, but she kept on driving the point deeper and deeper into his neck and smiled while she did it.

“Hey! Enough of this!” Someone yelled over the commotion. All of the water tribe warriors stopped attacking, but held their ground with their spears pointing at the soldiers.

“Please lower your spears! You all have acted too rashly!” A strong looking man with wild hair and light brown skin walked out from the vines, and as he moved toward the small group of benders, the natives slowly lowered their spears to the ground.

“That means you too Kai!” The woman at Jeong’s throat made one last poke before she turned her spear back to water, and walked toward the man. Jeong noticed that this so-called Kai and this man were the only people there wearing extremely tall feather headdresses. Kai’s was at least a foot tall, with, straight, bright turquoise and purple feathers, while the man’s was red and yellow, and the feathers were so long they began to curve down the back of his head. Everyone else in the group wore feathers that were small, or woven into their hair.

“Now that things are calm, tell me benders, what are you doing on our island?” the man commanded.

“Hello fellow benders,” Jian said in his all-too-confident tone. “I am General Jian and we are just here on a small investigation. Recently many of our high-ranking leaders have been attacked and killed in their sleep, on the islands surrounding this one. Now before you get your feathers flustered, I just want to say that I’m not accusing any of you standing here, but the evidence we have so far points to this island and it’s waterbenders…”

As Jian continued the diplomacy, Jeong looked around the crowd observing their reactions. Most of them had confused looks on their faces wondering what was going on, except one. Kai slowly rocked back and forth in her spot, and her body stayed as stiff as a board, with her fists clenching and her face growing stern. She and that man are the only ones here wearing headdresses matching the descriptions… I don’t think we need to look any further for the culprits.

“…So if you could please take us to your leader, I believe we can possibly settle this without any more fighting, and prosecute the culprit.”

“Fine,” their young man said, “I will take you to King Moke.”

“May I get your names?” Jian asked.

“My name is Prince Kekoa, and this is my sister Princess Kai.” Kai nodded in their direction, maintaining the same nervousness from before. They turned and began walking the direction to the water tribe village, however Jian began to speak and stopped the prince in his tracks.

“Ahhh, King Moke…yes I remember him now. Just to let you know, your island pledged its loyalties to the Fire Nation decades ago and has been an excellent resource for the mainland in terms of food. Because of your loyalty since then we have allowed your family to maintain its status among your people. However, if we find any reason to question your allegiance from these attacks, we will not hesitate to burn your little island to the ground.”

And there it was, the statement of the true intentions of them coming to the island, and immediately all of the waterbenders tensed up. While Jeong was happy that his brother was showing some restraint about the matter, he knew that Jian’s patience could only last so long, and their men were itching for a good fight. This was going to be a bloody and fiery slaughter. Now the only question was when it will begin.

“Come,” Kekoa said in a solemn voice, leading the way forward with his sister following close behind him. Jeong walked ahead of everyone else, and stayed closest to the siblings as they weaved their way through the thick vines. He could’ve sworn he heard Kekoa whisper to his sister, “How could you have been so careless?” 

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