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Niri Te:

     CHAPTER 199

 All of ‘Olo Ao Txampay was savoring the Roasted Yerik that Tael Karpaki’s ‘Olo prepared. The meat was harvested by Tsyal Atun, Txantsan Aywa, and Freterik Lint, and their Eyktan, Tael.
Pamlala looked in the direction of Ateyo, Tai Tae Ao, and several other members of their ‘Olo, saying to S’rron, Chip, Sikat, Dan, John, and Wendy, “I hope that we have a suitable explanation for Ateyo, she is looking quite animated in her discussion with the other members of her ‘Olo.”
S’rron wrapped her Kxetse around her Muntxate’s waist, and replied, “Yes, my love, I believe that we are ready, but let’s wait till after we enjoy our meal.”

The remainder of the meal went very well, and then Ateyo, Tai, Pxepxi, and Kofi walked over towards the ‘Olo Ao Tampay.
“And so it begins,” said Sikat, as the group was still 20 feet away.

Ateyo, and her party approached S’rron and her party, and after customary greetings were exchanged, said, “ Ma S’rron.  Pivllte ngar lun tsnì rä’ä pell oer ngop aynitll oer?” (Could tell me the reason that  you can not make the aynitll for me?”)
S’rron sat down on a log, leaned forward, and patted a log across from the log that she had sat upon.
Ateyo, and her entourage sat on the offered log, facing the assembled members of ‘Olo Ao Tampay.

S’rron looked at Ateyo, smiled, and said, “I am glad that you came to see us right after we ate. This shows that you are really interested in the answer to your question. You seem to be someone that likes to learn new things, so I set up a little experiment to help you see something that I want to show you.”
Ateyo looked at Pxepxi, and said, “etsper’ment?  The thing which Pxepxi did on sanhisip ?”
S’rron said, “a different one, but yes like what Pxepxi and Kofi did on sanhisip.”
Chip, and John brought out some sticks, which they carefully collected, and set them next to two rocks with flat tops, about two feet off the ground. All of the sticks were five feet long, and an inch in diameter. There was one stick by itself, two sticks that were tied together with string, and then a neat bundle of ten sticks, that were tied together with string.

“Come over here Ma Ateyo” said S’rron, while motioning for Ateyo to stand by her. Ateyo did as requested, and S’rron continued,
“Pick up that one stick, and break it please”. Ateyo did as requested with ease, and S’rron said,
“That was easy, I know. Could you please break these two sticks that are tied together”?
Again, Ateyo did what was asked of her, but this time with greater exertion. “That was GREAT, ma Ateyo, and now comes the lesson of this experiment. I know that you can’t break this bundle of ten sticks that are tied together, with just your hands, so John, and Chip made a bridge across these two rocks with them, could you please stand on the middle of those sticks, and see it that breaks them?”
Ateyo smiled, thinking this was silly, but she realized that this WAS an experiment, so she happily complied. The bridge of sticks bowed a little, but held.
“See ma Ateyo, the sticks hold your weight,” noted S’rron.
“Pey! WAIT, ma S’rron, I will fix”, said Ateyo, and she started jumping up and down the bundle.
That continued for twelve bounces, until she landed with her feet slightly forward of where she wanted them, and her next landing was on her Txim.

“Are you OK?” asked Pamlala. 
“Srane. Oe kelu sraw säpi.  Etsper’mentìri ngeyä, ngaytxoa oer kelu änsyem.”  (Yes, I not hurt myself. As for experiment, I’m sorry I could not complete,” was her reply.
“Actually, you completed the experiment perfectly,” consoled Chip.
“By fall on txìm oeyä?”
“You proved to yourself just how much ten times more is,” added Sikat, “so that when we say that it would take ten times more Oxygen from what we breathe here, your experiment will help you understand how much more damage to Eywa‘evenge our making needles this way would cause.” 
Tai bent down to her muntxate’s ear and translated Sikat’s words into Na’vi.
“That much more?” asked a wide eyed Ateyo.
“Yes that much more,” assured S’rron.
“Bad thing that!  I not want for hurting Eywa’eveng. No aynitll! To me I not wish this thing!”,” Ateyo said somberly.
“Tam, tam, Ma Yawnetu.  Ngaru ke kxeyey txo ngar kerslam!” ( It’s OK, my love,” soothed Tai, There is no fault, if you did not understand.)

“Ayoe MI tsun ngop aynitll azeya, slä pum ngop f’yao alahe. Ngop ayoel pumit fya’o alu ke sraw Sa’nokur.”  (‘We can STILL make you the special needles,’ assured S’rron, ‘We will make them another way, which will not hurt the Mother.)
Ateyo’s smile returned, and she exclaimed, “ And I did an experiment to learn this thing.”
Pxepxi, and Kofi stood next to Ateyo, with Pxepxi saying, “you need to do experiments with us on the Sanhisip !”

Niri Te:

       CHAPTER 200
The dragon with the Sealab slung beneath it, first gently placed it's cargo on the sand betwen the slotted mountain, and the Lagoon, and then slid over 50 feet from the lab, and settled onto the sand itself. Sharon keyed the mic, and notified Tai Tae Ao, pilot of the Sampson, " OK Tai,we are on the ground, shutting down set your load to the south of us".
"Will do", was Tai's reply, as she started easing her ship to where the smaller section of the Sealab would be 50 feet to Sharon's right.  Sharon Keyed her mike again, just as Tai eased her ship to the ground, and remarked, "I sure glad that the aykran kept their distance from us while we had these loads slung."
Once both loads, and their ships were on the ground, and the shutdowns were completed, The crews disembarked the two aircraft, and motioned for the members of the 'Olo Slar HuMektseng (Cave with Gap), to approach the aircraft.
The clan members that had waited, while the flyers spent the two days going to Blue Heart, and returning with the Sealab, watched from a distance, as the two pieces were settled gingerly upon the beach.  The live ayikran were circling a safe distance away.  They were happy to recognize the return of their flyers, and were seemingly jealous that they had to acquiesce to being replaced that day.

One of the first Na'vi to get to the air crews from the croud was Pxepxi, carrying her baby. She had followed the others, wading through the shallow lagoon to the place where the Labs were being set down on the beach.  Perhaps she could get to see the interior!  And even though their metswin were not connected, Pxepxi’s baby seemed to be infected with the same excited curiosity as was she.  Her tiny fists pumped the air, and she emitted loud squeals of delight.
These two objects were the source of everyone’s attention, and especially Pxepxi’s.  Olo’AoTxampay would be living and studying within these cocoons, far beneath the Pandoran Sea. And if Pxepxi was denied space travel, she definitely wanted to be part of underwater exploration.  Perhaps there were Na’vi under the sea!?  Perhaps distant relatives of the Laughing Sea Creatures could be met!  The possibilities seemed limitless and she was anxious to be part of this new undertaking.  She just KNEW that Kapteyn S’rron would allow her to come along.

Pxepxi wanted desperately to speak with S’rron.  However, she was always the last to emerge.  After the “Oel ngati Kameies” were exchanged, the fellow whom they called Tsyal Atun spoke up and said in an odd voice;
 “Oeyä uran alusìng lu teya sangi fa pxeya fayoang angim.” (My floating boat is full of long fish).  He consulted with an imaginary book and seemed quite satisfied with himself.  Actually, was amusing himself by reciting a line from an ancient Earth comedy routine from Monty Python’s Flying Circus.  He had been reviewing some of the old entertainment videographs during some of his free time.
 “Kehe, Ma Tsyal Atun.  Ngeyä uran ke lu teya si fa fayoang.” corrected Pxepxi. (No, my Red Wing, your boat is not full of fish.) She looked at his empty aircraft and his canoe, farther away, and back at him with a puzzled expression.
  “Tsyal!” said Pamela in a scolding tone as she disembarked. “How are you going to explain a non-sequitor to a Na’vi? Most Earth people didn’t understand the humor of Monty Python’s Flying Circus!”  The routine had involved someone using a poorly translated phrase book, which spewed nonsense rather than asking a logical question.
 “I’m sorry, Ma Pamlala!  I simply could resist the craziness of it all!”
 “Besides” continued Pamela after embracing Pxepxi.  “‘My Hovercraft is full of eels,’ almost makes sense in this context, living on the ocean.”
 “Ke slolam.” pleaded Pxepxi.  (I don’t understand.)
 “Tam, tam, ma tsmuke,” assured Pamela.  “Pol fpìl fwa lu ipuyu.” (He thinks that he is a funny guy.)

  At that moment S’rron emerged, and her attention was immediately drawn by the shriek which emerged from Little Aulani’s lungs.  She reached out to kiss the baby, who immediately launched herself into the Kapteyn’s arms.
“Whoa! Kaltxì  ma Ma Prrnen aSpusä!” (Hello Jumping Baby!)
 “Nari sì, Ma Kapteyn!” blurted Pxepxi.  “Aulani sunu fwa kerä ngahu!” (Aulani wants to go with you.)
“Oh, she does? Does she?” Sharon knew at once, the game Pxepxi was playing.
 “Srane. Ulta oel new kä nìteng.” (Yes and I want to go too.)
Sharon tried not to look panic stricken.  Prrnen Aulani cooed and grabbed Sharon’s nose and chortled. Unaccustomed to babies, Sharon caught Pamela’s eye, and signaled HELP wordlessly. As she reached out, Prrnen Aulani launched herself into Pamela’s arms.
 “There’s no place on board for a nursery,” agreed Pamela.
Ateyo was no longer to willing standby quietly.
“Kehe!  Fì’u lu kelku akemuiä prrnenur.” (That thing is not a proper home for a baby!)  She was thinking of her child and grandbaby being separated from her by the deep blue sea.
 “Slä Sanu!” (but Mom!) Pxepxi pleaded.  “Oel luke kä mì Sanhisip, ikran ke lu oer, ulte oe new nari si pe ayu rey äo txampay!” (I can’t go on a starship, an ikran is not to be for me, and I want to see what things live under the ocean.)  Pxepxi was careful to modulate her voice to seem as though she were making a logical request, rather than a whining demand.
 “Ngeyä 'ite lu ‘efu leomum nìtxan. (Your daughter feels much curiosity.) “Srake, ziva’u ayoenghu srr avol?” (Yes/No, she can come with us for eight days) suggested Pamlela.
Ateyo and Sharon raised their hands in objection, but Pamela forged ahead before they could voice their protests.
“We have to do a Shake Down, before we commit to long term immersion.  We can resurface in eight days.  Maybe she will settle for a small bit of adventure?”  Pamela spoke to Sharon in Inglìsì.
 “Kawm. Oel fpivil fì‘u’ teri.” (Perhaps. I will think about it.) said Sharon.

  At this admission, Pxepxi threw herself into Sharon’s arms saying, “Irayo Ma Kapteyn S’rron. ‘Fì’uiri irayo si nìtxan!” (Thank you Captain Sharon.  For this thing I thank you very much!)
 “PEY, pey, pey!”  (WAIT, wait, wait!) Oel pamlltxe, SAN:’Oel fpivil fì‘u’ teri.’ SìK.” (I said, QUOTE, ‘I will think about it.’ UNQUOTE.) She continued; “Awsiteng pivtlltxe ayounghu mawkrr txonä wutzo. Oel pänutìng ngar.”  (Together we will talk after evening meal.  I promise to you.)
Sharon looked pointedly at Pamela, and spoke in English.  “This is your idea, you will need to figure out the details.”

   Sharon turned to her olo’ and exclaimed, “Let’s get these choppers buttoned down, and do an equipment check before the evening meal.” 
While the crews were working, the other ayolo’ were fishing and gathering. Succulent aromas beckoned the crew, who finished their chores in record time.  They knew that they would be eating pre-fab meals while on board the undersea habitat, and they were looking forward to the last night of commeradary.
They were all sitting near the ylltxep (ceremonial fire), in a loose ring, somewhat according to clan, but with lots of intermingling, especially as the meal came to an end.  Pxepxi and Kofi came over, hands filled with skewered Pandoran Tsrimp.  So it was understandable that they did not gesture to the foreheads when they greeted:
“Moel ayngati kamiei!”
Chip and John took the greeting as a cue and made room for the couple, and for Ateyo who was carrying Prrnen, Baby Aulani.  Ateyo had taken the baby’s plump blue hand and made the gesture for both of them from Aulani’s forehead. They had been discussing childcare possibilities for Aulani throughout the day. But they each deferred their comments until Pamela and Sharon had finished eating the tsrimp which they had been presented with.

 “Ayoeng lolamu perllte,” (we have been talking) started Kofi, “teri vewng Prrnen Aulanil vola trrur.” (about the care of Baby Aulani for eight days)
“Set po lu yerom syuve ahewne.” (Now she eats soft food) admitted Kofi proudly.  “Ulte Sanok oeyä panuting srung sivi, nìteng. Vola trr nì’au.” And my mother promises to help also. For eight days only.
Overhearing the conversation, Tatyana leaned toward Sharon and murmured confidentially; “I could see about creating a breast pump, but I don’t know if I should even introduce that concept to the Na’vi.  It might be repulsively foreign to them.”
 “And living underwater isn’t?” remarked Sharon.  “Besides which, I don’t think there will be time. We will be deploying tomorrow.”
Sharon turned to Pxepxi and looked at her sternly.  “First thing in the morning, we will see if you fit in the Emergency Escape Gear.  If you fit, then you can come.”  Ateyo had a rough time translating this, not being able to comprehend what the gear in question truly was.  Pxepxi was given to understand that SOMETHING they were talking about had to FIT on her body.  And she would simply have to wait until morning to learn what that was.  She tried to remember all the things which she had seen in the quick tour of the Underwater Lab.
“Yivemtsok pxen fpi kerä äo txampxay?” (I will have to put on clothing for the sake of going underwater?)
“Srane.”  The folks at Blue Heart Gate had devised several underwater deep-diving suits, as well as an extra one estimated in size to fit Pxepxi.  She wanted to suggest they try the fitting right now.  But she knew it wouldn’t serve her to irritate Captain Sharon by her insistence.  She decided to acquiesce, and simply nodded.

   This interruption allowed Tatyana to decide that she might help with the feeding of Prrnen Aulani and offered her assistance during the week.  “Oel ke lu yamomtìng prrnen takrra oeyä Vladamir lamu mì tewng prrnenä!” (I haven’t fed a baby since Vladamir was in diapers - baby loincloth.)
Good-natured hooting and howling ensued as his crew mates imagined him as a baby in nappies.  Someone dared calling him Prrnen Vlad when they thought they were out of earshot.  This happy conversation was interrupted when a huge menacing shadow covered their faces. Sharon and others had started to their feet when they saw the shadow of an ancient weapon appear.  But they immediately recognized the voice which thundered:
“Nari siei fì’u a oe rivol!” (Look at the thing which I have found!)  He brandished a pair of hand carved nifo’oti. (Teeth of Death)  They were replicas of the ancient weapons carved by Samoans before the demise of Planet Earth.
“TXANSAN”,  replied Ka’alani his wife.  Kofi found her two hardwood drumsticks from the wood pile.  Her favorite hollowed out log-seat served as a drum. (by design. she took every opportunity to drum)  With Baby Izzy strapped to her back, she started beating out the familiar staccato and soon other Na’vi joined in.  They hadn’t seen a Fire Knife Dance in quite a while, but they were looking forward to it.  Taifi’, Tai, and Kofi started out without fire, just to remember the rhythms.  Taifi’ had recovered only two weapons, so they incorporated lots of tossing moves to exchange the weapons back and forth.  With a shout and a nod from Ka’alani, one knife was smeared with fat, which someone had anticipated and brought out.  A torch added flame to the knives.A cheer went up as flaming knives were tossed, twirling in the air, to be snatched from flight and twirled and returned.  The three dancers were exhilarated by the impromptu performance and their remembered skill.  All the Na’vi were excited to see this dance. Once it was finished, many desired to learn the moves and a simple instruction also began.  The celebration went on until the rising of the third moon, when Sharon interrupted the revelry. 

  “I hate to have to remind my crew that we have an appointment with the undersea lab tomorrow.  You all need to get some shut eye.”
 “Ah, Kapteyn! Do we haveta?” whined John in mock protest. But soon the party had dispersed, because the Na’vi were looking forward to the next day, as well.
Apparently, Kofi had found the ukelele which stowed with the nifo’oti on the choppers.   The bright tinkling notes were amplified by the cave. It was a song which Tsahik Alekxsi had created to soothe Pxepxi, many years earlier.

As silence fell over the encampment, the sound of a lullaby was heard near the mouth of the Cave.

Niri Te:

    CHAPTER 201
The sky was still dark, when S'rron woke up, and "Went behind the tree".  It would be another two hours, before the eastern sky would sart to brighten, where it met the sea. She wasnot tired, so she went to the shoreof the Lagoon, to think for a few minutes, and saw Sikat leaning against a log, looking at the stars.
"Mind a bit of Company, during your Astronomical studies"? Ased S'rron, as she approached her friend from behind.
"Not at all", was Sikat's repy, Thinking about tomorrow?" he continued.
"Yes I am", S'rron answered, "I'm just going through the pre- checklist, checklist", she said while sitting next to Sikat.

Pxepxi was too excited to sleep. She tossed and turned on the swaynivi, family sleeping surface, which she and Kofi had woven.  And although the entire trampoline-like affair quivered with her every movement, still Kofi and Aulani remained asleep.  She kissed her baby and tucked her close to Kofi’s body.  Instinctively, he reached his arm protectively around Little Aulani.  Pxepxi gave him a smooch and he murmured, “‘Efu mowan ngaru.” (I desire you.)  She knew he would not remember the encounter come morning.  It was part of their established routine by now.  Pxepxi got up from the swaynivi and wandered outside to relieve her bladder. 
Once her bodily funtion need was met, she wanted to see the big metal containers which would go under the water.  She wondered if Sharon would actually agree to let her come aboard.  She was drawn closer and closer to the huge objects by her curiosity and desire.  She even placed her hand upon the metal skin. A metal cave for living underwater!  The idea was exciting in itself.  She walked around the perimeter, admiring the reflection of several moons and the back-glow of the forest and lagoon upon its smooth surface.
It was then that she heard the voices murmuring.  Had someone else come to look at the metal cave?  She inched closer to the voices, coming from the beach at the edge of the lagoon.  Her ears perked up and her tail swished with excitement.  She recognized one voice. It was Kapteyn S’rron!  She decided to join them, but scuffled her feet through the sand, so as not to sneak-up and startle them.

  "Someone wants to join the party", Sikat announced, pointingover his shulder, to where the sound of someone not trying to walk stealthily was coming from.
S'rron turned towards the approaching Na'vi, and called out,  “Halt! Who goes there?”
S'rron’s voice startled Pxepxi,   She didn’t know what S'rron had said, but Pxepxi greeted them in Na’vi;
“Oel mengati kamiei. Oe lu Pxepxi!” (I SEE you Two.  I am Pxepxi!)
 “Pxepxi!  I should have guessed”, replied Sharon in Na’vi.  “Ngaru lu ke hahaw?! Za’u ulte heyn ‘awsìteng.” (To you is not sleep?  Come and sit together with us!)
 “Nìprrte!” (with pleasure) “Slä oel rä’ä 'ì'awn txana krr.” (But I can’t stay long.)
“‘Efu ‘o’?”  asked Sharon. (Feel excitement?)
“Srane! Txana ‘O’” (Yes. Much excitement.) “Fìu lom lu slär lefngap.”  (This thing seems like a metal cave.)
“Srake, fpìl ngaru hivihaw sì rivey nemfa slär lefngap trr avol?”  (Yes/no. You could sleep and live inside this metal cave for eight days?) asked Scott.
“Srane.  Vola trr, kxawm. Slä lom livu oeyä prrnen. (Yes.  Eight days, perhaps.  But I will miss my baby.)  And she added, as an afterthought, “Ulte oeyä muntxatan!” (And my husband.)

   Sharon smiled to herself in the pre-dawn light.  She was indeed fortunate to be married to a fellow researcher and marine biologist.  Nor did she have to schedule herself around the needs of an infant.  Well, at least they could share eight days of this experience with Pxepxi.  After that, she would have to find her excitement in other ways more suited to a young Na’vi mother.  All of these thoughts flashed in her brain in an instant, as if it were a burst transmitted radio message. 
Meanwhile, Sìkot was re-introducing himself to Pxepxi.  He had met her mother Ateyo, on several occasions, and Pxepxi vaguely remembered meeting him as well.
 “Ayoeng nìwotx tätxivaw ne Slär Mektsenghu ulte hahaw.”  (We all should return  to the Slotted Cave and sleep.), suggested Sharon.

While He was getting up, Sikat playfully protested. "Aw, Why do I haveta? I got nobody to sleep next to.”
Sharon threw her arm around his shoulders and replied, “That can be arranged in the near future, Sìkat. Ateyo is an excellent matchmaker.  I’m sure she can find you the perfect mate!”
As they trudged through the sand, all three arm in arm, Scott decided that he would not worry about finding a mate for at least eight days.
  “That can be arranged,  Sìkat.  That can surely be arranged in the near future. Ateyo is an excellent matchmaker.  I’m sure she can find you the perfect mate!”

As they trudged through the sand, all three arm in arm, Scott decided that he would not worry about finding a mate for at least eight days. He found himself a spot in the damp sand near the mouth of the cave.
 “Omum tsat ngaru sleku yemfpay sangi krra fäkä pay.” (You know that to you will become immersion when rises water,) said Pxepxi when she saw him settling in the mouth of the cave.
 “Srane. Oel omum. Slä hivahawstyìp oer.” (Yes, I know. But to me is a nap, a light sleep.)

As Pxepxi entered their family chamber, she listened carefully for snoring.  Kofi was sleeping like a log, Aulani contentedly curled in the crook of his arm.  She stepped closer to the swaynivi (family sleeping nest) but caught her foot on something and nearly stumbled. She reversed the weight on her foot and heard a soft clatter.  Of course! The ikranstyìp fìuvan.  The ikran plaything.  Years ago, Auntie Twiti had made a marionette which looked like an ikran.  Kofi’s father had recently found it inside the lefngapa ikran (the Dragon) sitting next to the fire knives.   She had re-oiled the wings, (made from ziti, sting bat) and set it side.

  She picked it up and happy memories flooded her mind, along with a stray thought: “Fko rä’ä hivahaw nì'awtu.”(No one should sleep alone.) She smiled to herself as one last impish plan formed in her head.

  Sharon walked to the mouth of the cave to awaken Sìkat. She smiled broadly as she tapped his foot with hers.
“Ma Sìkat! Lom tsat ngaru lu herahaw rofa tuteo!” (It seems that to you is sleeping alongside someone.) Scott startled awake to find a silly looking ikran doll nestled under his arm.   
“Pehem!!!  Pesu? Kempe si fìu?” (What happened? Who? Who did this?”)
Pxepxi giggled from the opening of her chamber.  “Ngaru kelu hahaw nì’it. Ngaru lu hahaw atxukx! (To you is not sleep a bit, to you is deep sleep!)
The three of them stopped their joking around, when the strains of the Shell Horn sounded the first alarm for the comming Trr Ong Cerimony.
Together, they went to the waters edge, and rinsed their faces in the salt water, and then made their way out the cave.
As they neared the mouth of the cave, Pamlala called out to them, "HEY, wait for ME !

Niri Te:

            CHAPTER 202
"A shell horn being blown on a cliff, 500 feet above you is definately an alarm clock that you can NOT throw a shoe at", grumbled Chip, as the the horn blew for the fourth note of the first Trr ong warning.  "He may have a new body, but he's STILL a grumpy old man", joked John, to smiles all around.

An hour and a half later over Rewon Wutso, the Renegades, were discusing the exact order of events, that would occur in the deployment of the new undersea lab.

One did not especially need a tswin to realize that the air was thick with emotion as the aysahik finished their Morning ritual of Greeting the Sun. Tsahik Alekxsi had anticipated that something extra would be needed so she raised her arms to beckon the crowd.

  “Fìtrr lu trr asey.” (Today is a special day.) “Awnga Olo’äotxampay (Our Undersea Clan) hivum sop ne Txampay akllpa...” (will be leaving on a journey to the Sea bottom.) She continued in Na’vi:

   “They will be isolated from us, and isolated even from the ocean.  They will not have a Tree of Voices or a Well of Souls.  So it is important that we spend time together, now, listening to the Mother, before they all depart.  They will be taking our youngest Tsahik Pxepxi with them. This will be  a good trial, even though very short, for Pxepxi to act as Tsahik, and to practice what she has learned with mipa tsahik Pamlala.  She will be responsible for their spiritual and emotional well-being.  She will need to conduct morning and evening rituals with Tsahik Pamlala, even though there is no Sun visible to their eyes, they must stay connected to all of the creation of Eywa. Mesahik Pxepxi sì Pamlala will help them.”

   It had not occurred to Pxepxi that she would be, not only learning of Mipa Teknolotsi, but also responsible for conveying much ritual and lore of the Na’vi, in an equal exchange.  Suddenly, she felt overwhelmed with responsibility.  Ateyo must have seen the panic in her daughter’s eyes, because she turned to her and pulled her close. She intercepted Prrnen Aulani in one arm and draped the other around Pxepxi’s shoulders.

   “Ngar rä’ä ‘efu sngum, ma ‘Ite. Nga sì Pamlala kem sivi fì’u nìltsan!” (Don’t feel worry, my Daughter. You and Pamlala will do well.)

  They stepped towards Pamela who was joining them as well. 

   “Ma Pamlala,” spoke Ateyo.  “Oeyä ‘ite nivew srung sivi ftu ngar.” (My daughter will need help from you.) “Peyä ayYawnetur livu mìso.” (She will be away from her Beloved Ones.)

   Pxepxi stood aghast. She thought she would be the Tsahik with All the Answers, but saying so aloud would insult both her Mother and Pamlala.  She dropped her eyes and accepted her fate.

   “Ma ‘ìte, ngaru keamu mìso ftu prrnen ngeyä. Mawkrr ‘awva fu mune trr, txunslu fwa ‘efu yayayr mì txelan ngeyä. Pamlala srung sivi ngar.” (Ma daughter, to you has not been away from your daughter. After the first day or two, it is possible that you will feel confusion in your heart.  Pamlala will help you)

   Pamela was surprised as well.  She would be counselling a young mother and her experience base was non-existent. But lonliness she could understand.

   “Poe livu sulìn nìtxan hrr nìwotx. Slä kkrka txon ngar livu ‘efu nì’awtu.” (She will be busy all days, but during night she will feel all alone) observed Pamlala.

   The clans had been moving enmasse toward the stream which tumbled down the hillside and emptied through the Slotted Cave on its way to the Sea.  Pamela always felt that it was magical to step from the back of the cave into the bower formed by the over-hanging trees.  From each tree dangled the softly luminescent tendrils of the Trees of Voices. And syanan, many tiny waterfalls, spilled from pool to pool, tumbling down the stream with murmured voices as well.  Small birds and insects added to the sounds.

  Tsahik Alekxsi traveled deep enough along the stream to insure that everyone had access to the tendrils.  Po lu tivìng lawr, she was humming softly, without words, a song of Oneness of and togetherness.  As each person connected to the Trees of Voices, the words became audible,voices from past and present joining in the Great Tree Song.

We are all seeds

Of the Great Tree,

Whose strength is in our legs

Like the mighty trunks,

In our arms

As sheltering branches,

In our eyes

The blue-flower

Which unfolds to the sun.

We are all seeds

Of the Great Tree

Whose song is within us.

Utralä (a)Nawm

ayrina’l(u) ayoeng,

A peyä tìtxur mì hinam awngeyä

N(a) aysangek afkeu,

Mì pun

N(a) ayvul ahusawnu,

M(ì) aynar

Na seze

A ’ong ne tsawke.

Utralä (a)Nawm

ayrina’ l(u) ayoeng,

A peyä tìrol m(ì) awnga.

The melody was sad and sweet. It was used on many occasions, but especially departures and  even funerals. It seemed to everyone present, that leaving to go under water was death-like, in a way. It also seemed that for eight days, Pxepxi would be dead and then reborn, much as going on a vision quest.  This information was soaked up by Pamlala especially.  It might give her a way to connect with Pxepxi during the sleep hours.

After everyone had finished tsaheylu with the trees of voices, Pamlala rose to her feet, as many others were doing.  S’rron noticed the movement and got up also, embarrassed that her own impatience might have been noticed.  Hand in hand with Pamlala, she made her way with the crowd, down the syanan, the bank of tiny waterfalls, which cascaded toward the Slotted Cave.  Soon they were flanked by John and Chip. The Others of the Undersea Renegades migrated with them to the top of the Slotted Cave. Eager faces turned toward Sharon for their instructions.

Sharon viewed those who had gathered and noticed that Pxepxi had joined them, even with a suckling infant in her arms. Near her Ateyo and TaiTaeAo, and Pxepxi’s young husband, Kofi, as well as his parents, Taifa’ana’e and Ka’alani. All the younger members of Kofi’s clan were gathered near, as they were all Techies from Shiralta’s starship. (Shiralta herself, was still living happily with her muntxatan among the RedBird Clan) All the Mipa Na’vi were nearby, especially Sìkot.
S'rron motioned for Pxepi to join her, and Pamela, and she cautiously aproached the pair, who where standing directly in front of the rest of the undersea renegades. Once Pxepxi was standing right in front of her soon to be temporary family, S'rron eplained to her, that she need not be nervous. "When we test out the lab," S'rron began, you don't have to worry about having to do anything perfectly. All that you need to do is watch us go through the check out proceedure."
Pxepxi tried to comfort Prrnen Aulani so that she sould hear what Kapteyn S’rron was saying to the crew members.  She was startled when Sharon turned to her and said, “Kesngum sivi, Ma Pxepxi. Fìtrr awnga steftxaw mekre.  Nga kea tìkin zerok ayu nìwotx, set.” (Don’t worry, Pxepxi. Today we check supplies.  You don’t have to remember all these things, now.) “Ngian, nga zene yemstok penn fpisehya hivi äo txampay.” (However, you must put on clothing for the sake of breathing underwater.)

   These words made Pxepxi very excited.  She was nearly beside herself with joy.  Even Aulani stopped fussing when she sensed her mother’s joy.  She thought nothing of it when her Sanu started walking with some of these other people.

   The entourage had now gathered in front of the Main Lab’s airlock.  The door made an odd noise and moved along its track, revealing the rows of deep diving suits.  Pxepxi was delighted when Pamlala took the time to point out the letters spelling her name in Inglìsì.

  “Yemstok fì DIVING SUIT.”

  “DAI-VìNG  SUT?” Pxepxi tried on the word.  She turned to Ateyo and placed Aulani in her arms, causing the infant to immediately startfussing. Pxepxi gave a concerned look over her shoulder, yet stepped into the bottom half of the suit as instructed.  Pamela and Chip helped fit the top part of the suit onto Pxepxi.  Methodically, they called out each step of the process. Call and response.  The boots, the gloves, all checked and double checked. Each step caused Aulani to give out a wail.  But when her Sanu’s face became encased in the helmet,  that’s when all hell broke loose, and the shrieking occurred. 

  The shieking caused everyone to wince in pain.  Pamela managed to activate to breathing apparatus.  But when Pxepxi noticed the anxiety of her baby, she tried desperately to pull off the helmet.  Pamela, in a desperate effort to ignore the screaming infant, thought that Pxepxi was not receiving a proper air mixture and was trying to ascertain the levels and to re-calibrate them on the Control Unit of the Suit.  There were a few moments of panic until Kapteyn S’rron ascertained the problem and intervened.  With the helmet removed, the shrieking returned to wailing.
“Ftxumfa! Rutxe! Srung sive ftxumfa!” (Out of here. Help me out of here!) shouted Pxepxi.  The panic in her voice caused Aulani to shriek again.  And Ateyo, trying to distance the noisy child from the group, started backing away.  This caused Aulani to throw herself across Ateyo’s shoulders and reaching out to Pxepxi with her chubby little arms. 

Somehow, Pxepxi was disencumbered of the Pressure Diving Suit and stumbled toward her terrified child.  She took the bewildered baby in hers arms and started cooing reassuringly to her.“Tam tam, Sanu var tivok fìtsengit.” (There, there. Mommy is right here.)She spent some time swaying with her child, tapping her lightly;Tam tam Tam tam Tam tam Tam tam Like a heartbeat -- -- -- until Little Aulani calmed down.

  Pxepxi turned to Sharon and Pamela, and with tears streaming down her face she pleaded in Na’vi.
 “Oe new ayngahu kä kllpa äo txampay, slä oe ketsun txìng prrnen oeyä. Rutxe. Txoa livu. Oe zenke!” (I want to go with you to the bottom of the sea, but I cannot abandon my baby. Please forgive me. I must not!)
Sharon leaned down and touched the shoulder of the distraught young woman.
 “Oe tslam.” (I understand.) “Prrnen ngeyä kin ngaru.” (Your baby needs you.) “Kawm trr alahe.” (Perhaps another time.)

  Pamela was stroking the infant’s head and trying to reassure Pxepxi. “Kxawm tsun nga nari si ayrel a'usärìp ayoehu alahe trr.” (Perhaps you can look at the moving pictures another time.) She knew it sounded lame, but it was the only thing she could think of.  Her true observation was that she was grateful that she had never had to choose between having a child and going on an exploration.  She stole a glimpse at Sharon and could sense that she was thinking a similar thing.

  As Pxepxi and her family withdrew, Sharon murmured to Pamela.  “That little performance of Aulani’s was upsetting, but I think a whole lot of complications have been avoided.”
Pamela looked once again at the retreating figures and said, “For us, definitely.  But for her, I’m not so sure.”

  Pxepxi seated herself in the shade of a tree, surrounded by her family and watched wistfully, as the other divers suited up and entered the Lab.


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