Walking over the gangplank first was always something Korra did with a significant amount of pride. It meant that she had done her job of securing a prize for her and her crew without spilling blood on either ship. Everybody wins.
Well, almost everybody.
Of course, the owners of the ships wouldn't be too happy about it, hearing that their captain gave up the ship without a fight.
Korra took a quick look around the ship, seeing the frightened crew a deck lower, as well as the higher officers at the helm. She herself had Mako and Bolin in tow, making for the man who looked like the captain.
"Is this your ship?" she brusquely asked him while her crew secured the crew of the captured ship behind her.
-"You are their captain?" he asked, raising a discerning eyebrow.
Korra instantly knew where this conversation was going, and already lowered her hand to the hilt of her sword. "You have a problem with that?"
-"I don't deal with women," he defiantly said.
She stepped in closer to him, almost being at eye level. "Captain, you want to think very carefully about your next words, or they will be your last," she quietly said. "I may be a woman, but I do have your crew outnumbered and I am currently the one calling the shots on this ship."
He glared at her, not backing down. "Suck my big dick, you cunt."
With one smooth move, Korra drew her sword and cut his neck open, while she also heard Mako and Bolin draw their swords behind her, taking up defensive poses next to her. "Anyone else above dealing with women?!" she yelled at the other officers, who were all staring at the lifeless body of their captain.
-"You bitch! You killed him!" one of them yelled, and this gave the signal to the entire crew to fight back.
Korra immediately crossed swords with one of them, and was easily able to gain the upper hand in the fight. In fact, because her seasoned crew was used to tougher fights than this small Fire Nation merchant ship, it wasn't a long battle.
Long, no, bloody, yes. From what Korra could see on the quarterdeck, the visible portion of the upper deck had been turned red with the crew's blood and was strewn with bodies. The fighting had died down again, and she could see some of the shiftier people in her crew killing off the ones that weren't fully dead.
"Tahno! Ming! Shaozu!" she yelled, and all three of them looked up. "Stop that at once, and make yourself useful by fetching the captain's log." They looked at each other, and it made Korra impatient. "While we're still young, people!"
-"Aye, Captain." They took off down the cabin section of the ship, and the captain couldn't help but shake her head. "What am I going to do with them, Mako?"
-"They are good fighters, and very helpful deckhands," the first officer offered up. "Useful to have around some of the time."
She loudly sighed. "Aye, unfortunately that's true." Her worry was the rest of the time when they weren't useful, as quickly became apparent.
Coming from below decks were the unmistakable screams of a woman, so Korra instantly vaulted the railing, jumping a deck lower. She stormed into the captain's cabin, where she saw the three she had just sent there tearing away at the dress of a young woman. Korra drew one of her pistols, shooting a hole right between Tahno's feet. "Back away, all of you!" she thundered, and that worked.
The captain took a closer look at the woman, seeing her lily-white skin through the rips in her dress. Her curly raven hair had fallen out of its updo, framing her face. Mostly though, she looked terrified, trying to cover her modesty by holding the strips of her torn dress together.
"What happened here?" Korra demanded.
-"The cunt was hiding, put a nasty cut on my arm when we came in," Ming said, showing his arm with a bloody wound on it. "Figured we should teach her a lesson."
"You're a pussy," the captain bit back. "Get lost, all of you. I'll deal with this." Only Korra and Mako stayed behind in the cabin with the woman. "You hurt?" She shook her head, and Korra nodded. "Fine. Mako, take her to my cabin. Guard the door, no one in or out unless it's me."
-"Aye, Captain." Mako pulled her to her feet, while her dress was struggling to stay on her shoulders. Korra couldn't help but notice that her skin seemed absolutely beautiful, definitely not someone who was out at sea very often.
Walking over to the desk, she found the captain's log, and quickly thumbed through it, trying to find the most current cargo.
It wasn't quite what she had hoped for, mostly silk and spices. The ship had been westbound, so Korra already figured from the Fire Nation flag that it was on the return leg, sailing home with goods instead of coin. Still, outside of the stones that kind of boggled Korra, most of it was pretty valuable. She went outside again, ordering the men to load everything of value onto her own ship, and made for her own cabin again.
Inside, she found the woman on Korra's own bed, knees tucked up to her chest, crying from the things she had just seen.
Instead of talking to her immediately, Korra decided it was probably best to disarm herself first, so she took off her belt of pistols and hung it in the cabinet it belonged. As she was doing this, she felt the woman gaze at her, watching her as she quietly went about her business.
Ultimately, Korra was forced to strip down out of her long blue waistcoat, as it was smeared with blood. This left her in nothing more than her bindings, even though the captain wasn't the least bit bothered by this. She washed down herself in silence, cleaning off most of the blood before pulling on a simple white tunic, and finally took a seat opposite of the woman. "So," she opened. "Where do we start?"
-"What do you want from me?" she asked.
"Nothing," Korra shrugged. "At least, not if you don't have anything worth taking. It's nothing against you personally, you're just in the wrong place at the wrong time." It fell silent for a moment. "What's your name?"
She took a deep breath. "Asami Sato," she hesitantly said.
Korra raised an eyebrow. "Sato? Daughter of Hiroshi Sato, the biggest slave trader this side of the equator?" Again, Asami hesitated, but nodded, and the captain chuckled. "Well, looks like this one might not have been a bust after all." She pulled down the neck of her tunic, revealing her collarbone and the brand just below it. "I have a bone to pick with him."
This took Asami by surprise, but she quickly regained herself. "I'm not my father."
"I know, but now that I have you, I have leverage over him."
-"So I'm to be your hostage?" she asked, disbelief in her eyes growing.
"Yes," Korra simply answered. "Don't worry, I'm not just gonna throw you to my crew. Speaking of which, I need to check on them." The captain made for the door, but Asami stopped her.
-"Wait!" She stood up, forgetting for a moment that her dress wasn't capable of staying on her shoulders on its own. It slipped down, and Korra caught a quick peek of a pink nipple before Asami covered herself up, her face turning bright red.
"You might want to do something about that," the captain sarcastically remarked.
Asami sighed. "Your men did this, how can I know they won't do it again?"
Korra chuckled at this. "Yeah, what did you expect? We're pirates, not monks. Not to worry though, as long you're with me or Mako, you'll be safe." It briefly fell silent, Asami realizing that the captain had a point there. "There's clothes in my closet. Might be a little short for you, but it's better than those rags." Korra clasped her sword belt back on while Asami strode over there, picking through it.
-"Don't you have any dresses?" she asked with an amazed tone.
"Sweetheart, do I look like I wear dresses?"
Asami sighed. "No, I suppose you don't." She picked out an old white tunic and simple brown pants, and Korra decided it was safe to leave her to it.
Outside again, she walked up to Bolin, her bosun. "How's it going?" she asked.
-"Well Cap, there looks like the log was good, there were fresh lemons and oranges on board that ship, I sent those down to the sick bay."
"Good. Send the rest to the galley, don't want anyone else suffering from scurvy. Everyone gets a cup of juice from those tonight. What about the rest?"
He looked down at the inventory. "Lots of silk, we can unload that in Omashu, and maybe the spices too. I'd hold off on that though, we can make a lot more off of those if we sell them in Taku instead."
Korra sighed, knowing that he had a point there. Taku was the spice capital of the Earth Kingdom, but about 50 miles north, there was one of the largest naval bases in the land. "I dunno, Bo, that's awfully close to a lot of people who want to see me make a short drop and a sudden stop."
Bolin sighed. "Yeah, I suppose that's true. Still, looking at this list, it might be worth the risk. Your call, Captain."
The captain let him to it, going back to her cabin to check on their guest. Inside, she was looking at Korra's gun cabinet. "Feel free to take one," she said, and Asami turned around, looking shocked.
"Save it, you were thinking about taking one." The captain smiled, and walked over to the cabinet as well, pushing Asami aside. "Listen up sweetheart, you may not like this, but on board this ship, I'm your best friend." Korra took out a smaller pistol, one made for concealed carry, and she took it over to her desk to load it.
"Here," she said, handing it over to Asami, who was reluctant to take it.
-"You're giving me a loaded pistol?"
Korra smiled. "Sure, why not? You're not going use it to shoot me anyway, I'm your new best friend. You may hate me, but we're three days sailing from the nearest port if the winds were good, which they're not. The only reason my men aren't lining up to fuck you in every hole you have is because I say so." Asami paled at the rudeness the pirate captain was displaying here, and it only made Korra's smile grow. "You could do with a little less prudishness. You're with pirates now."
A soft knock came from the door, and Asami quickly hid the pistol in her sleeve, upon which Korra called the knocker in. "Captain, we've got the booty. Found these in the captain's cabin," Bolin said, holding up a pouch. "Thought you might want a look at it."
-"That's mine!" Asami protested, stepping forward.
"Easy there, princess. What's in it?"
She never took her eyes off the pouch. "My mother's jewelery. She died when I was a little girl."
Korra thought for a moment. "Fine. Bolin, give it back. Burn the ship and we're on our way."
-"Burn it?!" Asami protested. "You can't do that! The crew you killed..."
"We don't have time for that," Korra interrupted her. "The crew is dead, and we don't need more superstitious sailors around these parts, we got enough of those." She took long black leather waistcoat and threw it on, along with her hat, stepping outside again. "Mako, prepare for departure, we head to Omashu. Full canvas!" She nodded once to Bolin. "Do it."
-"Burn the ship!"
The last man of Korra's crew on the Fire Nation ship lit a fuse of black powder. Standard tactic, really. One went to the powder magazine, the other to the captain's quarters, where there was the most stuff that would burn. He quickly made his way back over the gangplank before that was retreated and the sails were dropped.
Korra was looking out on the quarter deck as she watched the flames take hold of the small merchant vessel. Her thoughts were interrupted when Asami joined her. It was quiet, since the heiress wasn't wearing any shoes. "Why did you burn a perfectly good ship?"
"Because it was useless to us and a lot of dead weight to drag around. 12 guns, hardly enough to put a dent in any significant enemy we face. This is simple, quick, and doesn't leave a trace." She turned to face her. "You're in my good graces for now. You'll stay in them as long as you do what I say, and there won't be any trouble."
They were underway nicely, and the men were coming down from the mast again, and assembled on the upper deck. This was the time for Korra to make her announcement. "Men! We've had a good prize today!" A cheer went up from the crowd, but Korra could easily silence them again by just raising her hand. "Some of you have seen our newest crewmember, Asami Sato." She pulled her by the hand to the railing to show her to the crew. "Same rules apply to her as they apply to me; you touch her, you lose the hand you do it with. Is that clear?!" An agreeing murmur went through the crew, but Korra knew they understood it just fine. "We make for Omashu, which we'll reach in four days time. There, you can go back to your whores and your drinking." More cheers went up, and it made Korra smile.
She turned around to face Asami again. "Welcome aboard the Aurora."