Author Topic: Liri'el's Story (Vur Liri'elä)  (Read 1804 times)

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Offline Alyara Arati

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Liri'el's Story (Vur Liri'elä)
« on: August 17, 2012, 10:12:39 pm »
I am attempting to write a fänfìk from the point of view of a Na'vi woman, in her own words, which would be entirely translatable into Na'vi.  All dialogue which takes place in Na'vi will be italicized, and you may see it here.  Also please forgive my poor artistic skills. :)

Part One

The morning after Jake Sully, our clan leader, sent his soul through the eye of Eywa and returned to us as a Na’vi, Mo’at came to find me.  “Your leg has healed well and quickly.  We will walk while talking,” she told me.  “Today those clans who have remained here will leave the war camp and journey home,” said the Tsahìk.

Yes,” I replied, knowing that Mo’at was approaching her topic in this way for a reason; she was not a woman who chatted aimlessly.

The Omatikaya have no new home yet, but two days from now, we will also go to a different place, to a peaceful camp for beginning again.”

It is not good to live too long in a place where reminders of war are everywhere,” I said, “especially for the children.”

We were nearing the Well of Souls where important decisions were still discussed.  Mo’at stopped and looked closely at me.  “Child,” she asked, “what will you do then?

I did not understand the question.  “I will do as I have always done; I will do whatever needs to be done.”

As what?” she continued.  “You are a hunter without a ikran…

And many Omatikaya who were not even hunters had bonded lately with a surviving ikran.  “I did search among those wounded ones that we cared for after the war, but none called to me,” I explained.

That is what happened for my daughter as well,” said Mo’at.  “You can travel with her when she is ready to choose again.”

Thank you,” I answered, while thinking that Neytiri must choose soon, but apparently not immediately.  The Tsahìk had some other idea regarding me.

You also have some healing skills, but all those who still need help require fully trained healers.”

I agreed, “I am most useful at the moment of harm, or later when I can follow the healer’s instructions.  I have already done all that I know how to do here.”

Slowly we walked down the hill to the Tree of Souls.  Mo’at held my arm supportively as she concluded, “You have no mate to come home to, no family to care for.  What will you do, child?

How may I best serve Eywa?” I asked, and kindness bloomed in the Tsahìk’s face; I had answered correctly.

Jake and Neytiri were under the great tree talking to a group of clan leaders, but it seemed that the meeting was almost over.  Neytiri said a few more words and came to stand beside her mother, and Jake followed soon after.  “Ma Liri’el, I See you,” Neytiri greeted me.

I See the two of you,” I replied to her and Jake.

“You went to Grace’s school,” said Jake in English.  “How’s your English?”

I started to smile at his happiness to be able to use his original language for a while.  The action pulled the healing wound on my cheek, and I stopped smiling.  “It is good enough for most situations,” I told him, also in English.

I was impressed by how well you were able to guide one of the human doctors when they came.  It was not easy to translate and explain to the people how he could help,” Neytiri added.  I began to guess what kind of thing they wanted from me now, although I still had to idea about the specific task.

They were very brave and helpful,” I said.  “They came even knowing that many of the wounded would not accept their help, and that many would prefer that they were dead along with all of the Sky People.”

Much pain was made less,” Mo’at said.  “It was good that the humans helped to heal the harm that their kind had caused.”  That had not been an easy decision for the Tsahìk, but to accept this gift that we had not asked for had made the Sky People, the humans, seem more like people to the Na’vi.  Maybe almost every one of the Earth aliens was evil, but not all, and like all living creatures, they had limitations.

Also this answer had brought the mother peace: even if the Omatikaya had leaned science from the Sky People in the beginning, nothing would have been able to save Sìlwanìn.  Everything was silent for a moment, perhaps because the other three people were thinking similarly.

What we request of you, sister, is slightly related to that.  However, it is more akin to the lessons I gave Jake about our ways,” said Neytiri.

There are currently eighteen avatars on Pandora,” Jake told me.  “They will not all choose to become fully Na’vi, or even to join the Omatikaya or another clan, but they will all want to continue studying this world.  The problem is that there are not sufficient numbers of human warriors now to protect them in the dangerous forest.”

And no gun will ever be used here again,” added the Tsahìk.

So you want me to teach these dream walkers how to defend themselves like we do, yes?” I clarified.  “But no more…

Yes,” replied Neytiri, “if they want to find out information about us in detail, if they decide that after learning from you, then we can choose other teachers.”

Fortunately, those Na’vi won’t need to be able to speak English,” said Jake.

And Eywa will receive these new brothers and sisters?” I asked.

Like other members of the clan will care for children whose parents are dead, Eywa will embrace these new children, although they were not Hers originally,” Mo’at said.  “As Na’vi we cannot do less.”

But first they must learn how to survive outside for more than a day,” Jake said, and laughed a little.

Neytiri smiled, but said nothing to her mate.  “Your job should be easier than mine was in one way, ma Liri’el,” she told me.  “I believe most of them can speak Na’vi already.”
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 01:43:56 am by Alyara Arati »
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Offline Alyara Arati

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Re: Liri'el's Story (Vur Liri'elä)
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2012, 03:05:59 pm »
Part Two

So that day I prepared to leave my clan and go to the place that the Sky People called Hell’s Gate.  I had almost nothing to do because I had no belongings other than my bow and arrows, and the clothing I wore, but I had friends that I wanted to tell “goodbye.”  I guessed that this job which would teach several Dream Walkers half of a hunter’s knowledge, would take up a much longer time than Neytiri had needed with Jake.  Therefore I would probably have to live there for six or seven months.  However, I also knew that I would travel again among the Floating Mountains soon to climb Iknimaya with Neytiri; when I missed my people too much I could always return to visit them.

In the afternoon, Neytiri led a calm direhorse to me.  I had not expected that since the Omitikaya had few direhorses that still lived and were not wounded.  “Take Vartän with you,” she said.  “Anyone who has a queue should know about its usage.”

Yet there is no need for them to learn to ride,” I said, “but only to taste the bond.”

Indeed.  Also he will make the journey to the human… um… village, if you can call it that… easier on your leg.”  And Neytiri smiled.

Ma Neytiri,” I asked, “now that all of the Sky People have seen that Eywa exists, should I try to teach them anything about Her?  Undoubtedly they have a Great Mother of their own from Earth…”

Jake has told me, ‘most humans believe in a Sky Father, or in no sacred force at all.’”

How strange!” I said, “and so sad.”

Mother and I hope that as the Avatars learn from you, they will slowly teach themselves to See, as Jake and Grace did.  We feel that they might reject lessons about Eywa, but perhaps acccept your ways because you will serve as an excellent example.”

All right,” I agreed.

That evening there was a big celebration, to honor people who had died bravely, and to gladden the spirits of those who still lived.  We had won the was and after many promises of never-ending friendship, the gathered clans would return home.  I, however, did not want to dance, even if my leg had been healthy.  I was waiting for Mo’at.  And she came, as I had known she would.

She walked with me away from the bright fires and towards the cooler light of the great tree.  “Daughter, your heart is in much pain.  You must not let your sad soul eat your life.”

I looked at this wise woman while tears swam in my eyes.  “What hurts worst is not the death,” I answered.  “Of course I miss my parents, friends, my ikran… and my mate.  Is it so wrong to wish that he had died quickly, like the others?  In that manner I could think of him only the way that he was before…”

In the future you will, ma Liri’el, but for now, try to remember that his burned body was very full of pain when he said those things to you.  Also, for part of that time he had a feverish sickness as well.”

I know it; I cannot forget it.  I can almost forgive him…"

But, not?

Ma Tsahìk, I am so angry regarding the man who woke up, for poisoning my memories of the married life we had together.”  Now tears were running down my face, and I couldn’t stop crying.  “I hate that he was able to make me feel weak and foolish and useless, so that now I doubt myself.”  I shut my eyes.  “And I am very tired because I have all of these feelings in my mind at the same time.”

I worried that his words had cut you more deeply than you would show.  Do you doubt Eywa?

No, of course not!  I’m sure that his thoughts were mistaken about our Great Mother.”

Mo’at did something odd then. She took her wooden knife from her hair ornament and buried it almost completely in the trunk of the Tree of Souls.  “A Tsahìk does not need to undergo the Dream Hunt, however we have other test.  If you are brave enough to taste the blood of the tree, it will reflect you not as you see yourself, not as other people see or See you, but as Eywa Sees you.”

This is truly a wonderful gift!” I said.

Not always,” Mo’at told me, “but I believe you need it now.”  She offered the wet wooden knife to me, and before I could panic, I touched my tongue to the drop.

For a moment I could not see or hear; I imagined that this was what it would be like to drink light… strong, sweet, bright light that filled me totally.  I was glowing.  And in that instant I knew my inner beauty.  I was not perfect, but that was good as well.  Then it was over and I could not held the vision in my mind, except for bits of truth and feelings.  However, I knew that I was part of a great woven pattern, and that I was limitlessly loved by Eywa.

Commune here until you feel ready to enter the world again, daughter,” Mo’at suggested.  “And when you think of your mate, remember that that bond is broken now.  Do not allow the past to bind you.”

That night I slept peacefully and dreamed of flying.  Near dawn, I gathered the last of the riding supplies for Vartän and me.  Jake was waiting next to the direhorses.  “I have told my friends, ‘A woman, Liri’el will be coming to Hell’s Gate’” he said before he substituted the English language.  “Norm, Max, and a doctor named Luke Hawking are the leaders there, and they will be expecting you.  Norm, especially will be able to help you, since his avatar has now healed enough that he can join his mind to that second body.”

“I did not know that an avatar had to be healthy for its human to inhabit it, but this seems reasonable.  Is that why he did not come here two nights ago?”

“Maybe…” Jake replied.  “In fact, I wanted to talk to you about that.  I believe part of the reason that he has not returned to this camp is that he does not want to bond to the Tree of Souls, and then not be able to find his beloved Trudy there within Eywa.”

“The human woman who fought with us was his mate?” I asked.  “She was a hero; he must feel very proud and so sad.”

“Yes,” Jake said.  “If it is all right with you, I hope that you will try to support him.  He does not discuss this subject with me, however maybe he might do so with you.”

“He might relate to me because the war took my mate from me as well, right?  I understand.  It will be an honor to do as you request.”
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 03:04:16 am by Alyara Arati »
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Offline Alyara Arati

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Re: Liri'el's Story (Vur Liri'elä)
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2012, 06:38:38 am »

Part Three

As we went down and left the mountains, it rained most of the time. Therefore when we neared the place where Hometree had been, I did not have to worry that we might breathe ashes.  Although the way was longer, I guided Vartän around the perimeter where the greyness did not cover the ground.  There was such destruction, yet strangely, I had no tears to cry.

It was early afternoon when I arrived at the place the Sky People had built, which the Na’vi called ‘the place that serves the greedy demon.’  I had seen it only once before, and I was glad because smoke was not pouring into the sky now.

Just as Jake had promised, the three men met me at the outer barrier.  “Welcome, Liri’el,” said the human with darker skin and hair on his face.  “I’m Max Patel, although if the pronunciation is easier for you, my formal name is Maxim.  It’s wonderful to have you here; I hope you’ll be very happy with us.”

“Thank you,” I said.  “I’m sure I will be.  And it is a pleasure to meet you.”

Max indicated the man on his right. “I believe you already know Dr. Hawking a little…”

“Yes,” agreed the other human.  “I must tell you, I’m very satisfied with how perfectly the cut place on your face is healing.”  Every time the doctor had wanted to close a warrior’s wound, he had needed to tie another thread into my cheek as an example of what he intended to do.  Likewise, my leg had received something like an intoxicating drink that stopped pain many times under the skin.

“And, of course, this big blue guy here is Norm Spellman,” finished Max.

“Or Norman, if you like,” he offered.  “May the Great Mother smile upon you, ma Liri’el,” Norm added in Na’vi, while he smiled as well.  “Are you tired?  Would you like to rest before we show you this place and take you meet all of the other members of the Avatar community?

No, I’m ready,” I said.  Then I continued in English, “But if you have prepared a place for this direhorse, we could make him at home there first.”

There was much empty ground inside the place that had once put metallic rocks, which the Sky People dug up, into fire.  Long false caves like arms, where the aliens could walk, joined the built parts together.  On top of these barriers were high walls the humans had woven, with tools of course, from metal threads between narrow trunks of wood.  I had expected it to be very dirty and have a disgusting smell.  However, after we went through a construction and entered the center, the ground was clean soil.  Also the smell was no worse than when we had approached the village, Hell’s Gate.  A few clumps of grass and moss were even beginning to grow.

This is great!” I said, while I examined the tall cups like false direhorse pitcher plants, and the tiny waterfall and pool.  Vartän had been worried when false stones were everywhere above and around him, but now he was happily drinking from all sources.

“The others will be so proud because the direhorse has accepted these substitutions without fear,” said Norm.  “We all worked very hard to create a safe, but still livable, place.”

“I thank you for the kind thoughts you gave to this project,” I replied.

We passed a place where the humans changed some energy that they could not describe to me, in order to become a useful form.  Max told me, “It is a bit like mild lightning.”

“Do you create light in this way?” I asked.

“Yes, however this energy is not limited to that, and in fact it makes most of our tools usable.”  I decided that I would prefer to avoid touching these tools that contained lightning.

The next place they showed me was full of Earth air.  Therefore Norm and I had to wear covers on our faces to breathe, as Max and the doctor did outside.  It seemed very important to these people, and several humans were busy looking at pictures and patterns.  “This is where we read all of the data that we gather about Pandora, and we can also make some things happen from here,” said Max.

I could perceive that Dr. Hawking believed that I wouldn’t understand.  This annoyed me, so I asked, “What things?”

Norm explained, “Right now the ability to speak with people far away, like Jake and Neytiri, is the most useful.”

“You can do this via their black chokers, right?”

Max and Norm smiled.  “First the message must go through Grace’s small metal camp in the mountains because the chokers are weak, but yes, you are correct,” said Norm in Na’vi.

I understand,” I replied, and repeated that in English.

Finally we came to places where avatars normally spent time.  There were obstacles for training, and green grass for running and playing sports.  A collection of vegetables grew in straight paths, like Sky People soldiers, but nevertheless appeared tasty.

Near that field was a long, horizontal surface of wood; I had learned in school that it was called a table.  I guessed that the avatars frequently used it for preparing food and eating meals, although their communal fire pit seemed new.  Lower, narrow tables along both sides were probably used for sitting.

There were no trees, but there was a large construction of wood.  I was pleased, and thought I could be happier here than I originally expected.

"I want you to meet everyone at once, Liri'el: the avatars, the helpers, and the doctors," Max said.  "We will all gather in that little house soon."  And he pointed to the wood construction.  "Now I will go tell people that everything is almost ready, while Luke and Norm show you the transfer and healing places."

Luke, the doctor, guided me inside; everything was white here, except for two metal tables, and the smell was awful.  All of Hell's Gate smelled like metal and dirty smoke, of course, but the wind helped to make it less bad.  However, these walls were so close together that this bitter smell seemed to echo.  The human walked in front of me, but Norm saw my ears move, although I was trying to accept the situation bravely.

As Dr. Luke was discussing the complex things that he could do there, with tools borrowed from the healers of humans as well as those taken from the Sky Ship, Norm left for a moment and returned with a cover for my face like the ones we used to breathe in the Earth air.  "It is the cleaning fluid," whispered Norm.

"Water like raindrops is not good enough?" I asked softly in Na'vi, but suddenly felt bad since I had not yet thanked him.  "Remind me to smile at you later," I told Norm, and then asked forgiveness in English from Dr. Hawking.  "I lost track of your subject," I explained.

"To put it simply," he said, "here we can see inside the body without cutting it, we can work with the tiny patterns that cause the body to become itself exactly and distinctly, and we can kill invisible small creatures which cause some diseases... with stinky cleansers, among other methods."

As it happened, he laughed pleasantly, so I might possibly like this man who had earlier seemed without a sense of humor.  "I don't understand all of what you are describing, but would it be possible that you might repeat it on some different day when I can concentrate better?"

He agreed.  “Before we leave, however, you should see the link room where the mind enters into the avatar,” said Norm.  There was a colorless place high on the wall and I could see people moving.

“These images are truly happening beyond this wall instead of someplace far away like those patterns and moving pictures that I saw earlier, right?” I asked.

“Yes,” Norm answered, and he seemed impressed that I understood this.  “The human lies on a table which has a cover, and then it moves inside a spinning… um… thing like a shallow cave.  These large tools help the mind to release the original body and occupy the avatar, even if the avatar is not close.”

“Is there a limit to the distance this connection can reach?”

“I believe so,” said Norm, “but Max would know for certain.  And by the way, we should go find him now.”

Indeed, people started leaving the link room above us almost that instant.  Once we were outside again, we could see many humans and several avatars entering the little house.  This was more than the eighteen students I had expected but again, I tried to accept the changed situation bravely.  In total, there were forty-eight except for me, sitting quietly on the wooden bottom of the house and waiting for me to begin speaking.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 04:44:57 pm by Alyara Arati »
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Offline Alyara Arati

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Re: Liri'el's Story (Vur Liri'elä)
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 09:07:35 am »
Part Four

Hello, I am called Liri’el te Ìslukxaw Zera’ite.  It is always a pleasure to meet so many new friends.  How many of you feel that you can speak and understand Na’vi well?” I said in Na’vi.  Norm and one confident other put a hand in the air like at Grace’s school.

Okay,” I said much more slowly in Na’vi.  “Hello!”  This time all of the avatars and the majority of the humans responded likewise.  “Good,” I said, wishing that my face did not feel strange when I smiled even a little.  This many strangers looking at me made me feel shy.  I decided that I must work with smaller groups of students.

I am called Liri’el.  Do you understand?  Liri’el is my name.”  Again many expressions showed understanding and several people said, “yes”, or “welcome”, or even “yes, and welcome ma Liri’el,” in Na’vi.

I soon discovered that, although only Norm and a woman called Alicia had truly excellent translating skills, half of the other avatars could speak Na’vi well enough that I would need to use English only sometimes.  Almost none of the humans knew any Na’vi phrases, however, but only a few easy words, and I was very curious about what they might want me to teach them.

“I’m sure that everyone would like to know you better, Liri’el,” Max said.  “Will you tell us a little more about yourself?  Then we will do the same.”  I did not know what to say; almost nothing made me very special except for a happening that I did not want to discuss, particularly with new people.

“Well,” I began, “you can see that some creature with big teeth bit my leg recently.  I am a hunter of the Omatikaya clan, therefore I flew in the war.  When… when an ikran feels too much pain, sometimes it will become crazy with the pain and want only to remove its rider.  As we fell, her wing-toe struck my cheek.  She was my friend, and did not mean to injure me.  In time, all who can and want to will taste the bond and understand.  Right now I am here because of what Grace taught me, and also what I can teach you.”

“Regarding that,” Alicia said, “I would like to suggest that we build a new school for the young Na’vi.  I cannot replace Grace, but I can give the children something ordinary to do and increase their knowledge at the same time.”

I understood and agreed with her.  “It would be kind to teach them lessons that they can focus on instead of thinking so often about the war.”

“You could use Grace’s mobile camp in the mountains after we fix it so that air will not escape,” said Norm.  “This is a good idea; I will ask Jake about it.”

Alicia nodded, then for my benefit said, “okay,” in Na’vi.  “I would prefer to start very soon if it is possible.  Since I study plants, I already know the types that are dangerous, and I am also a skilled fighter.”

“I like your enthusiasm,” I told her.  “However, it is foolish to become over-confident.  Have you been in the forest at night?”

She smiled and laughed.  “No,” she admitted, “and I undoubtedly have much to learn.  Therefore I did not say, ‘I wish to go now.’  I will wait until you think I am ready, ma Liri’el.”

Okay,” I replied in Na’vi.

All of the avatars were scientists; they studied plants or animals, rocks or metal or weather, in general or some specific type only.  And the subject that interested them was always the second thing they told me, after their names.  Some of them also made comments about what they would like to do in the future: whether or not to join a clan, and whether to remain living as human sometimes or to become completely Na’vi.

As for the helpers, twenty link techs and seven medics, it amazed me that the majority of them hoped to become Omatikaya, and were already trying to think of hobbies or abilities which would be useful to the clan.  I had been very confused when the first human had spoken of this.  “Will you not use up all of your air?” I had asked.

The woman, Yee So-Na had smiled shyly.  “We hope not to have to rely on Earth air.  Just now this is still secret, until we know for certain that we can succeed, but it is possible that Dr. Luke and his colleagues and the medics will be able to grow new avatars for everyone who wants one.”

Dr. Hawking said proudly, “Earlier I was discussing the way that the body builds itself, right?  This idea relates to those tiny, guiding patterns.  In order to create an avatar, one must join together parts of the human’s pattern with Na’vi bits in exactly the right way.  It is complicated and difficult, and will take longer than it would on Earth, but I believe we now have all the tools we need to begin trying to do this work.”

“Whether or not this happens,” added So-Na, “the need for my job will become less and less.  I’d like to remain pleasantly busy.”

Clearly everyone was very enthusiastic about this chance.  I, however, felt… strange…about the idea of creating empty, soulless, living creatures.  But perhaps this transferability was a gift for these humans who would remain on Pandora.  If that was true, then shouldn’t they use that?  My mind was full of questions.  “Does Jake know about this?” I asked.

“Yes, although he does not fully understand the science,” said another doctor, called Reneé Woods.  That made me feel less doubtful, so I abandoned that side of the subject until some later moment.

“You three will all be busy with that project, right?” I clarified.  Reneé and Luke agreed, but the young doctor who spoke last had a different goal.

“Often after war there is much sickness.  I know that the Omatikaya have healers, but I would like to help, if this is allowable.  We could join together the human knowledge with that of the Na’vi until we use up the supplies from Earth.”  He grinned suddenly.  “Or until I annoy people with my endless curiosity.”

“Mo’at and the healers must decide that choice,” I said.

Alicia offered, “I will need someone with me at the mountain camp; it is reasonable that this person will want something useful to do in order to occupy himself.  For example, Sean could heal while I teach.”

“I will ask about this suggestion as well when I discuss recent happenings with Jake,” said Norm, and then it was time for supper.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 01:21:21 am by Alyara Arati »
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Re: Liri'el's Story (Vur Liri'elä)
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2012, 07:15:17 pm »

Part Five

All of the humans had to return inside to eat, so now the group was smaller and the feeling was less formal.  Many people had further questions for me, and I was familiar with the ways of villages; information that one pair of ears heard would soon reach those of all the people who found it interesting, in other words, everybody I had met that day.

I tried to share in preparing the meal with them, but for tonight all they wanted was for me to chat.  Avatars came and went around me, while asking questions in English or in Na’vi.  I answered in both languages, and tried to remember names and faces.

“Are you married?  Do you have any children?”

No, Eywa has not granted me children yet.  I was married, but the direhorse that my mate rode, burned.”  They felt sad about that, of course, however they were still curious.

“How many years have you been a hunter?  Do you have a spirit animal?”

We keep spirit animals secret, but yes, I passed through the Dream Hunt six years ago.  I also learned a little about healing.”  That was wonderful!

“Will you teach us to make our own bows?”

Yes.  And also arrows.”  This was excellent, and very funny.

“Can you teach us to cook?  We don’t feel confident that the sturmbeest meat is tasty enough…”

I can try.  I’m not truly, totally bad at cooking.”  There was more laughing.

“Do you like music?  Can you sing or play an instrument?”

Everyone likes it, right?  But no, I never learned to play music, although I sing well enough.  When one sings with the heart, Eywa hears perfect music whether the voice is beautiful or not.  If you want this lesson, I can teach you a few simple songs that might increase your ability to speak and understand the Na’vi language.”  They looked forward to that; it would be both fun and helpful.

And I tried not to feel shy about not being a master of all of the skills that they were enthusiastic about learning.  Neytiri had been right.  Actions that seemed ordinary to me would serve as examples to them.

This type of chat continued while we ate.  A small group was discussing something that they were trying to discover.  I could understand that the main topic was ferns, but their descriptions were very detailed, almost like another language.

I quietly ate my sturmbeest meat, which was in fact a little too dry, and watched my new friends.  Another question that they were guessing about enthusiastically was the current relationship between Max and So-Na.  Apparently they had been slowly becoming sweethearts for some time, however now everyone was thinking more often about possible mates, because there was no chance of returning to Earth.

Norm saw that I was not chatting and said, “Your name is interesting, ma Liri’el.  It does not have a sound similar to most Omatikaya names.”

“My mother used to say ‘it comes from a clan who live far away, across the sea.’  An ancestor of mine remained here after the last Toruk Makto brought the clans together in his time.”

“That’s terrific,” he answered.  “I never told you what I came to Pandora to learn; I study people, and this is the reason I speak Na’vi so well.  I would enjoy discussing that clan with you and your mother.”

I did not speak again right away, but instead drank slowly.  “I don’t know whether I can help you as you hope that I can…” I admitted.  “And my mother died when Hometree fell.  Now I wish that I had paid better attention to her stories.”

“It is easy to wish that one had acted differently in the past.  I…”  He stopped, and I could perceive that he changed his next words.  “I know that my words cannot reduce your painful feelings, but I was very sad about Hometree.”

“You are kind,” I said, although my mind was busy with other thoughts.

“Perhaps we can chat about your ancestor later, if that won’t bother you,” Norm finished.

“I would like that,” I said, and then ate quietly again.  I did not look steadily, or even secretly, at Norm while the evening passed, but I thought a lot about what he had told me.  So when dinner was over, I had made a decision.

“I understand that your avatar nearly died,” I told Norm.  “Therefore if you need to allow it to rest, I will wait until you can return as a human.  However, we must talk, and I would prefer to do this alone.”

Norm seemed a little confused by this request, but he said, “Of course.  I will meet you here after I leave this body.  The others will go inside and transfer themselves soon also.  By the way,” he continued softly in Na’vi, “have you chosen where you want to sleep?”

Once, when many warriors had watched the barrier at the perimeter lest dangerous animals enter, the avatars had remained in the small house while the night passed.  Now that place was not safe for creatures who could not even wake up if direwolves, for example, attacked them.

Norm had explained this earlier, because I had thought it was strange that the wooden construction was completely empty.  The problem was that those people inside could close the room, but could not seal it tightly.  So they used a place that was sealable; they called it a hangar.  It was where the metallic false bodies had stood, except that now it held Pandoran air instead of gunships that needed fixing.

I will try sleeping in the place where you leave your avatars,” I said.  I could care for myself; therefore I had the opportunity to use the little wooden house, or even to stay with Vartän.  However, I could perceive that my new students wanted me to like them and understand, if not accept, their ways.

There were water sources at the construction and near the communal fire pit, and the Dream Walkers washed their tools for cooking and eating.  Although they had some kind of cleanser again instead of the hard plant stems that the Na’vi used, they moved around each other easily, like siblings.  I had no children, but now I did have a family to teach.

Then they did another thing which I felt to be strange.  All of the men left, went into the construction where the transfer happened, and came out again with wet hair and different clothes.

“Tomorrow we’ll get the hot water first,” said one of the women, called Louise.  “Please join us, ma Liri’el,” she added in Na’vi that she almost pronounced correctly.

So I followed Louise, Alicia, and five others to a room to the left of that of the healers, which was also mostly white.  The women took off their clothes and put them in a pile to be gathered and washed later.  They made warm water fall from places high in one wall, and stood under it.

I did likewise, although I did not put any of this third type of cleanser on my loincloth, skin, or hair because it still required more water to become fully clean.  I believed that they thought my actions were as strange as theirs seemed to me.  Happily this cleanser had a much better smell.  I, of course, continued to smell exactly like me, only less strongly.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 09:38:07 pm by Alyara Arati »
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Re: Liri'el's Story (Vur Liri'elä)
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2012, 04:01:33 pm »
Part Six

After the avatars, in their clean, soft clothes, had gone to the hangar that they had changed to serve their needs, I was alone for a while.  Even in this strange place, it was nice to have a moment to stop thinking, stop moving, and just be in harmony.  The sun fell into the shadows of the forest and the light became weak and greenish-blue, like the way things appeared under water.  It made Norm’s skin seem very pale as he walked toward me, and the hair on his human face looked darker.  But he was clearly Norm, and therefore not unfamiliar.

I was sitting on the grass, so he did likewise.  “Good evening ma Liri’el,” he said in Na’vi.  “Now that there is no one here who understands only English,” Norm added, “it will be easier and more pleasant to speak in your language, right?

Yes, it will,” I agreed, “especially because we need to discuss Eywa.”

Okay,” he said.

“I did not come here to teach your people about Eywa,” I began.  “And perhaps I am not a worthy teacher regarding the All Mother.  However, I am here, and you, ma Norman, must learn about her.  You do not need to love Her as I do, but if you want to study the Na’vi people, you must See and understand Eywa.  She is our heart.”

Sister,” he replied, “I See you, and I understand your meaning, but I already believe in Eywa.  There is no need for you to worry about explaining her to me, although I have no doubt that you would be a good and worthy teacher.”

Thank you,” I said.  “You are very kind.”  However, I was not ready to give up.  “Well, perhaps while you are already here, you could tell me about Earth’s Great Mother, and how they are different.”

I had not yet seen Norm without an answer, but I could sense that he was searching in his mind for the right words.  “It is more difficult for humans to believe, in my opinion, because we have no queues.  We cannot join our thoughts to Eywa, or to each other.  Therefore many people who believed that our world was a sacred place were called dreamers only.  Several times in our history, very holy people tried to teach humans that we should treat each other with kindness and respect; however we could not always even do that.”  He did not seem sad so much as tired by that.

But here you can believe in Eywa, although as a human you still have no queue, and as an avatar you have never used it to join with the Tree of Souls.  Why is this possible?

On Pandora one can See Eywa, but moreover one can see and feel Her presence.  One can show the communication between the roots of the trees and therefore one can understand that special relationship.”

So you believe that Eywa is a spirit who lives in the trees?” I asked.  This was important.

Well, of course She acquires much information from bonding with the animals and the Na’vi, however in general all the plants and trees of Pandora are like the brain of Eywa.”

Okay,” I said, but really this was not enough yet.  “Tell me this about the woodsprites, the seeds of the Great Tree: are they part of Eywa?  And if they are not, how can they give us signs from Her?

Norm replied slowly.  “The Tree of Souls is like the queue of Eywa.  So those seeds can do as Eywa wants, although they are not complicated enough creatures to understand.”

I laughed.  “Even the Tsahìks do not fully understand Eywa’s thoughts.  But, ma Norman, do the woodsprites know what they must do before they leave the Mother Tree?  Or can Eywa guide them after they begin to float in the air?

Norm was less confident about his explanations now.  “We still need to study that more thoroughly.  Perhaps small substances in the wind can make the seeds do things, or the different kinds of energy around ordinary plants and trees might…um...

This energy would be like a message between the trees and the seeds, right?  Is that how the tree roots commune together?

Norm was thinking about how to make the science of the Sky People seem simple enough that I could understand it.  “Electrochemical?  Thermomagnetic?” he whispered to himself.  “Yes,” he said finally.  “The sizes and distances are very different, but the situations are similar, and this response happens by almost the same method, if we are correct.”

Then is it possible that the woodsprites are also part of Eywa, and that the Great Mother can communicate through the air?

These things… yes, they are possible.  And likewise I would guess that Eywa could probably send messages through water also.  But I just don’t know…

It’s all right; that’s enough for tonight,” I said. “Please, however, continue thinking about what we have discussed.  I would like for you to be familiar with Eywa as well.”

I did not feel tired.  Indeed I felt full of energy, but I knew that I must sleep well before beginning training the next day.  Norm walked with me to the hangar and showed me how to open it.

Large parts of the wall moved slowly away from each other so that people and gunships could enter; the sound was very loud, but this did not matter since the avatars could not wake up.  I had expected that the empty bodies would not appear to be sleeping normally.  Seeing this, however, still made me feel strange, especially when I looked at Norm’s avatar.

There was not much light inside, like a cave without bioluminescence, and the top and walls of the room were distant so that shadows hid them. Nevertheless, the thought that I was afraid did not come into my mind until the hangar closed and sealed itself behind me.

The boom echoed.

I felt too hot.  There was no air.

I couldn’t breathe and blackness filled my eyes along with the rhythm of the echoes.

Down!” a voice said.  Hands were pulling my arm, then pushing my shoulder as I fell to my knees.  “Good!” the voice told me, and now it seemed that it was familiar.  “Sit, ma Liri’el,” the man continued, so I sat.

I was becoming less confused, and although I had trouble focusing, I understood the expression of worry on the face that appeared in front of me.  It was pale, and narrow, and Norm as a Tawtute.  No, there was another word they used…  I wasn’t thinking clearly.  But when he said, “Look at me.  Look at my eyes and breathe,” I found that I could, a little bit.

I need to go, I have to go for just an instant in order to open this place and make more light shine.  Ma Liri’el, do you understand?

Yes,” I said.  “I know.”  He seemed very doubtful, but I had nothing to offer that would help him, since I had many doubts also.

Is it all right?  No, of course all is not right, however for you will it be a little right?”  Norm asked.  “Will you be okay if I leave you?

Yes,” I repeated, although I did not add that I had no choice.

The image of Norm seemed to disappear suddenly, and then, finally, there was air again.  Thank Eywa!  A cool breeze was moving in the large room, which many bright lights now showed me.  Truthfully, it was not pretty at all, but I was very glad to see it.

After that I did not think that I could go through the other building to stay with Vartän.  I could not just now walk into a place so much like a trap.  The little home, however, was… okay.  There was air moving, and I could sense the life energy of the Pandoran night.

Norm sat silently with me for a long time, until he believed I was asleep.  As he stood up to leave, I said softly, “Thank you.”  And although my cheek still felt odd, I smiled in the darkness.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 08:53:15 pm by Alyara Arati »
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Re: Liri'el's Story (Vur Liri'elä)
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2012, 09:51:28 pm »

Part Seven

The next morning I woke before dawn and tested my leg a little.  However, I did not have to wait long for my students to arrive.  All of the avatars and roughly two thirds of the humans gathered soon after sunrise; I guessed that most of the others were busy with their jobs.  “Good morning,” I greeted them in Na’vi.

Hello,” they responded, or “Good day.”

To start today, I need someone as an example.”  That I repeated in English.  “Or two,” I added.  Last night I had thought about this: whether Alicia the fighter, or Norm who had actually run for his life, would be the better choice.  I had decided to try both of them.  Alicia walked to the front of the group, eager to show what she could do.  “Great,” I told her.  But Norm was clearly not expecting me to ask him, “Ma Norman, are you healthy enough to run?”

“Not very far, and not fast at all, but yes, the doctors tell me, ‘Exercise is good for your body now.’”

Wonderful!” I said.  “And don’t worry; my leg is still not perfect, so I understand.  We will stop if we begin to feel pain.”  I smiled just a tiny bit.  “Okay, now take off your shoes.”

There was a moment of silence.  “Everybody?” someone asked.

At the same time Norm whispered in Na'vi, “Already?”.

I was glad that he was trying not to make me seem like a weak leader, but I also felt slightly annoyed.  “Be patient,” I whispered in return.  Louder I said, “No only the avatars.  For now I can teach the humans wearing all of their clothes.”  That made the link techs and medics laugh.  “Trust me,” I told my students.  “I believe in the words of your healers: first, do no harm.”  Soon twenty-six naked blue feet appeared.

Norm’s feet, however, were very strange.  There was no small fifth toe on each foot, and the tips of a few others were purple.  He saw me looking and explained, “After I was wounded so badly, my heart stopped sending enough blood to my fingers and toes.  Two of the toes died, although the doctors were able to save my fingers and minimize the harm to my feet.”

“I did not know this; can you run nevertheless?” I inquired again.

“Probably no shoes would be better than ones that no longer exactly suit my needs.  It could not be much worse, I think; this pair is too loose.”

Okay,” I said.  “The three of us will go through these obstacles and across the field of vegetables, then wait and return straight from there together."

I was indeed very impressed by Alicia.  She jumped over the first obstacle, almost without touching it, and was soon ahead of Norm and me.  However, I was moving easily so that I would have strength for later, so I jumped up on it, and then down again.  I looked back in time to see Norm go under the horizontal limb.  I grinned, and did not even think about my cheek.

Alicia was extremely graceful and climbed well, but she moved like a human who had suddenly discovered a tail growing out of her butt and had no idea how to use it.  Because I had seen Jake trying to follow Neytiri originally, I was not disappointed; this was a possibility that I had expected.  As for Norm, during my brief look at him, he had understandably still been thinking about his newly different feet.

Watching Alicia was useful to me.  It showed me how the Sky People had trained to approach and overcome obstacles of all kinds.  Likewise, when she finished the first part of her run, I could tell from her expression that Alicia was studying me.  My way was often different and sometimes better, since these barriers were only substitutions for true forest.

We both waited for Norm.  He was becoming tired, and to me, this seemed like a good thing; now his mind was not on any specific part of the body, but instead he only wanted to reach the place where we were standing, so he was moving as a whole.  “Do you need to walk back to the others?” I asked him in my own language.

Norm was brave and refused this offer.  He was not stupid, however, and replied, “I’ll be okay after I rest for a short while.”  Alicia began something like a warrior’s dance.  I had not doubted her statement that she could fight, but she made it look easy and beautiful.

Regarding the two groups of avatars which I will divide, I would like the two of you to help me lead them,” I said.  “Also, there are many humans to teach Na’vi who will be busy at different times.  Is this acceptable?

Yes,” they both agreed.

Excellent,” I replied.  “Let’s go!

Norm was not quite ready yet, but he did not say that.  This time Alicia started running so slowly that Norm and I were almost insulted.  “I’m not completely broken,” Norm said.  I only swatted her with my tail.

She grinned now.  “Okay…” she said like a challenge and tried more.  Soon I was beginning to feel tired, but this did not bother me.  I was watching Norm again.  He looked up at me and did not see the tiny pile of dirt.

However, he did not fall.  His tail moved itself out straight to save him and continued moving slightly from side to side as he ran.  He was feeling the ground through his feet without thought, and allowing this to guide him.  Because he was too tired for his avatar mind set to be important to him, Norm was finally running like a Na’vi.

The difference was like seeing the sun after rain.  I worried that he would be confused and stop, but instead he laughed and ran faster.  It was Alicia who stopped to see what was funny.  She could see the change also, as Norm and I moved so similarly that we mirrored each other.  “Hell yeah!” she yelled.

“Hell yeah!” the majority of the students echoed.

And I said, “Congratulations, ma Norm, you have found your tail!

When we joined the others again, I told them, “This is what I can teach you:  not just to fight and to speak like the Na’vi, but also to move as we do, to use your energy wisely, and perhaps even to react to a situation as we do sometimes.”  Eighteen blue faces showed enthusiasm, and the humans’ expressions said without words that waiting for years would be difficult.  “Before you learn to run, however, first you must learn to fall.  Ma Alicia, would you fall safely please?”

It seemed as though her body suddenly became boneless as the woman dropped herself to the grass.  Several people appeared doubtful, however.  As she stood up, Alicia commented, “It is not easy to surrender so thoroughly and without fear, but it is an acquirable skill.”

That, therefore, was what the avatars did that morning, again and again with Alicia’s help, until it became less strange.  Norm needed to rest, so he sat practicing Na’vi with half of the humans, while I taught the other half words and simple phrases that they would use often.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 05:12:59 pm by Alyara Arati »
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Re: Liri'el's Story (Vur Liri'elä)
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2013, 08:45:49 pm »
Part Eight

I felt proud and happy as I ate the midday meal that was a human custom.  Alicia had made the Dream Walkers try out every outdoor surface:  soil, grass, packed earth, and the false rock where they played basketball.  The avatars had learned quickly, so I hoped that the worst pain everyone would receive would be scrapes and bruises when I allowed them to fall from the tops of the low barriers, and perhaps even the high ones.

I wanted to give my attention to this activity as well as to the humans I would teach.  This was possible because only half of the humans from this morning would return, and the other half would be new.  Therefore I could ask the students that Norm or I had taught, “Please repeat your lessons for the new people.”  Norm would join the other avatars now that he had rested.

The afternoon indeed proceeded well.  Because it was the first day of training, I allowed that the soft blue things remain at the bottoms of the tallest obstacles.  I had asked Louise the name of these things and she had told me, “foam mattresses.”

But I was still close enough to the human group to answer questions and correct mistakes or pronunciation problems.  Also, remembering my promise, I taught them a simple song to share with their associates.  I even asked Max for a beat and danced to it a tiny bit.  “Palulukan,” I sang softly.

“Thanator,” said So-Na.

Yes,” I agreed, then whispered, “quiet,” to her with a finger across my lips.  The first time, I sang entirely in Na’vi.  When I was finished dancing, however, I sat with them and translated.  I made my human students learn one line at a time until they could sing it with me, moderately well, in Na’vi.


Venu-uk terìran.
Ulte, nìfrakrr, taron po.
Fìkem lu txintìn pey.
Po lu vawma swirä tìohakxä.

Venu-uk fnu nìwan.
Ulte, nìfrakrr, lu lehrrap.
Tsngan nìwotx lu smar pey.
Poru yawne lu fahew reypayä.

Venu-uk 'efu ye.
Ulte, nìfrakrr, po lu swey.
Smon na'rìngur nìwotx.
Lu na 'ekong txe'lanä txonä po.


Shadowfoot is walking.
And, as always, she hunts.
This is what she does. (this is her occupation)
She is a dark hunger-creature.

Shadowfoot is stealthily silent.
And, as always, (she) is dangerous.
All meat is her prey.
She loves the smell of blood.

Shadowfoot feels satisfied.
And, as always, she is best.
All the forest knows.
She is like the night’s heartbeat.

After the humans went inside for dinner, of course, I had to sing and dance Palulukan again.  But I made the avatars guess at some of the words which might be familiar to them.  Also I taught them the drum rhythms and responses from the people who were watching.  Everyone was very happy and several people began to dance as well.  “I thought the Na’vi did not honor the thanator in dance or song,” said a male avatar called Lee Choi.

“This is true, but also not true,” I answered.  “Palulukan kills everything and everyone, and our children must know fear and respect for the spirit of this creature.  However, a hunter tries always to move as quietly as with feet of shadow.  This too, you will learn, when you are ready.”  I paused.  “But now it is time to wash and sleep. Tomorrow you may wear your shoes again, and they make too much noise to be shadows.”

That night the water that fell was truly hot, and the shower room was full of mist.  “Au!,” I said because for a moment I was sure that I would be cooked.

“No, no,” the women laughed.  “NOT ow: not painful, just hot, mmmm!”  They chased me back under the falling water.  And they were right; it was wonderful, especially for my tired arms and legs.

I was pleased to see that they had only minor cuts and bruises.  Since I had expected this occurrence, I had brought something to spread over the skin and ease the discomfort.  Everyone was very interested in this, and in the steamy air the rich, fruity smell increased.  The botanists were delighted.  These two women promised to give some to the healers, who had not had a sufficient chance to gather samples of this stuff earlier.

There was more laughter regarding who would put this on the men’s sore spots, particularly since, after elbows and knees, most people had fallen too heavily on their butts.  “I will do this,” I said calmly.  “Apparently your clothes make you shy.”  But I did choose to show the technique using Norm’s feet as my example.  “You see?” I said, as I barely touched the sides of Norm’s feet and toes.  “Not too much, right?  And this is for the skin surface only; there is no need to push with your fingers.  Also, don’t eat it, even though it smells tasty.”

While we waited for the men washing, the women were very pleased to show me what they had done when we had been inside.  The little house now had two small tables and one sleeping place at the end that did not open.  I remembered the word “bed”, which had a mattress for the body and a little mattress, a pil-something, for the head.  There was a big handle which made light come from above and two objects like arachnoid jars on the tables which would also give light.  When the white light became dark, however, a lovely glow began.  My students had found many small red, blue, and purple light sources which they had put along the two long walls.  This last kindness, especially, was very touching to me.

I was still eating a few vegetables from supper when Norm returned in his human body.  “Ma Norman, it has occurred to me that perhaps chatting with me all evening takes up too much time and that you might need it for work as a leader. This is important, also, but Eywa is patient."

No,” he said.  “A leader is most useful for solving problems, and right now everything is going pretty well, so I am not busy.”

Good,” I replied.  “I want to visit Vartän before the sun sets.  Is that okay with you?”  He nodded, which was a human way of saying “yes” that I was becoming familiar with.

That is not nearby, but I must exercise in this body, too.  Will your leg be all right?”  I knew that Norm was worried that I might panic again, but there was a difference between being inside, like the shower room, and being trapped.

“I’ll be fine,” I told him.  “Well, what would you like to talk about tonight?” I asked as we started walking.

I though we would discuss Eywa again, right?

Yes, however She is a big subject.  You said yesterday that you already believe in Eywa.  What is it that you believe about Her?

First of all, She’s real,” he began.  “Eywa is a reasoning force that protects this world.  We have all seen that.”

Is that all?  For us, Eywa is everything.  But we did not know about Earth.  For a long time when the Sky People first came, this was a source of … confusion and dissent for my people.  What do you think: is She there, also, or do other spirits like Eywa exist in other places?

He was silent for a moment.  Then Norm said, “You do not ask easy questions, do you?  Umm…. What did your Tsahìks decide?

I touched his shoulder.  “This is not a test.  There is no wrong answer.  But the answer you offer me must come from the heart."

I have not had to think much about these matters since I was young,” he admitted.  "Different people from Earth believe different things.  As for me, however, when I was a boy my parents taught me to believe in a Holy Father who gave us many laws.”  He spoke slowly.  “Our sacred writings told us that He created the world and sky.  Originally there was a perfect place, but the first two people broke a law and had to leave.  After that happened, our Father seemed to be less close to us…

This made you sad.”

Yes.  I could not love Him as I wanted to, as you love your Great Mother.”  Now he touched my hand.  “Here Eywa is still close to you, perhaps because the Na’vi have never stopped respecting the balance of nature.  Or maybe the Na’vi live in harmony because Eywa is so close.  The reason doesn’t matter.”

Life here is not perfect,” I said.

True,” he agreed.  “On Pandora, life is not perfect.  The thanator will definitely eat you.  But this is not because you are evil or she is a demon; it is just what she does, right?

True,” I replied.  Norm laughed a little.  “So…” I said as a suggestion.

So I think… I think the Spirit is the same, and we perceive differences because we all look with different eyes.”
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 10:55:53 am by Alyara Arati »
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Re: Liri'el's Story (Vur Liri'elä)
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 08:14:29 pm »

Part Nine

Well said,” I told Norm.  “Now I will ride Vartän around Hell’s Gate and make him run a little, so that he does not get lazy.  Would you like me to return you to the avatar building?

Yes, please.  That would be great,” he replied.  “But you’ll have to help me up.”  He smiled.  “I will also need help not falling off.  Even though I just learned how to do that, I would prefer to avoid repeat the lesson right now.”

Don’t worry,” I said.  “This direhorse is safe for children to ride.  And when you are in this smaller body, I can still lift you up.”

We didn’t chat while we rode, but instead just enjoyed the night.  After Norm got down, however, I told him, “I forgot to ask whether or not you have your own holy person here.  I do not want to give offense.”

We have a pastor, Father Paul Pierrepont, to care for our souls, if we choose.  I don’t know much about him, but he was allowed to stay, and I remember that Trudy thought he was a good man.  Trudy… her beliefs were very strong…  I’ll ask him to meet you tomorrow.”

Thank you,” I said, and touched his hair.  I did not ask Norm about Trudy; he would talk more about her when he was ready.

My pleasure," he replied.  Norm held the hand that I had put on his head for a moment longer, then said, “Goodnight,” and went inside.

Again I was not sleepy.  Waking up slightly before dawn was nothing new for me, so I was not yet ready to rest my mind, although my body required the time to heal.  I decided that perhaps I needed something to learn while my students were busy with human activities.

Grace had written a book on Pandoran plants, which would undoubtedly be too complicated for me to read.  Nevertheless, I was curious to find out what she had known and what she had guessed about our forests.  This, then, would be my goal: my English language skills would improve as much as possible in these next few months.  Of course, someone would still have to explain the science words to me, but for now I would start with some writing easier to understand.  I hoped that the humans had books to give me that would be just difficult enough.

At dawn the people in the control room opened the outer barrier so that I could enter again.  I had left by climbing one of the tall narrow structures where the soldiers had stood to watch, and then jumping down on the other side.  My purpose was not secret; it was merely faster and easier to go out that way and return via the Sky People’s road, especially since my arms were now full of sticks suitable for making human-sized bows.  I had enough wood for twenty good bows, plus a few unsuccessful attempts and mistakes.

Once I was inside, I dropped my bundles of sticks beside the first building.  Then I ran to the grassy area instead of walking so that I would not get lazy.  The avatars and early group of humans were already arriving.  “Today,” I told them when they were all together, “everyone will learn this lesson.  I will teach you two Na’vi words: ftang and pey.”

The link techs and medics looked doubtful, but curious.  “Ftang means this: stop!  Stop everything that you are doing this instant and do not move until I tell you that it’s okay.  If both feet are in the air, of course, you must land.  But if only one foot is up, put it back where it was.  You will do this as if your lives depend on it.”  I allowed time for my students to fully understand this statement.

Pey is slightly less important.  It means wait: in other words, stop now, rest, and wait for instructions.  We will repeat this until you can respond without thinking.  Before I take you into the forest, you must trust my voice.  Therefore, when trouble arises, you may feel scared, but you will not panic.”

“So you want us just to wander around until you yell either ‘stop’ or ‘wait’?” asked a geologist named Gunter Jahnke, whom everyone called Yankie.

“Yes,” I agreed.  “Or you can run, or play a sport, or practice falling, or request that Alicia teach you a warrior dance if she doesn’t mind.  Do whatever you enjoy that keeps you moving.”

“I’ve never taught Karate, and I certainly don’t know any katas that use the tail, but I can try,” said Alicia.

“Um, I know a little Tai Chi,” So-Na offered, making Max look proud.

However, the most interesting statement came from a medic, Antonio Torres.  “I grew up in Venezuela,” he said very quietly.  “There were always soldiers, but never order.  Therefore I can fight.  Especially I am skilled with knives, to throw or to cut.”

“Could you teach me?” I asked.  “The Na’vi do not throw knives; they are too difficult to replace.  But here you have much metal…”

“Yes, I’m sure I could find some suitable knives for you to practice with by tomorrow.”

“Thank you.  It will take you extra time to show me how to do this, since you and your colleagues will hopefully be busy making bows by then.”  I paused, turned, and said, “FTANG!

That was how most of the third day since I came to Hell’s Gate passed.  At lunch I asked about my plan to improve my reading.  All of my students thought that this was a great idea.  However, it seemed that there were only a few books brought from Earth which were not contained within computers smaller than my hand, and even fewer that were suitable for a beginner.  The books at Grace’s old school were too simple for me now, although I still enjoyed the pictures, and it might be wise to renew my mastery.

“And you must practice writing also, because the two are so closely related,” said Louise.  “We will have to find you a surface where you can write over and over, but which Alicia will not need for teaching the children at the new camp.

Norm looked at my eyes only while he said, “I have a suggestion; we could cut off one end of the chalk board and give the usable pieces of it to Liri’el.”  Everyone was silent.  It was such an easy answer, and it even took care of the problems Norm had not stated in words.  I had not returned to the school, but I knew the soldiers’ guns had made holes that you could see through in that board.  No one wanted to remind children who had survived the fall of Hometree of any situation where a Na’vi was killed by Sky People.

“Also,” Norm said, changing the subject, “I have requested that Father Pierrepont meet you here after dinner tonight.  I will be unable to be there with you, because Luke, Max, and I must talk to Jake and Neytiri then.  Will that be okay with you, ma Liri’el?”

“Of course.  I’m sure I will enjoy meeting this spiritual caregiver, and this evening seems not to be busy for me.”

The afternoon was much like the morning.  The avatars became tired from stopping and waiting, then they became annoyed by stopping and waiting, however, finally, they accepted stopping and waiting without asking why.  This lesson had been difficult for them because scientists always ask why.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 01:43:11 am by Alyara Arati »
Learn how to see.  Realize that everything connects to everything else.
~ Leonardo da Vinci


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