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Pasha, an Avatar story.

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archaic:
I think this is going to need a disclaimer. This fanfic is bleak, there will be a semi happy ending, but it's not a true happily ever after, not even close. The main themes are prejudice, misunderstanding, and heartbreak.
Be warned, this is dark, for me at least, and the narrator is a dumb ass human, it felt appropriate.

I have hinted in several other of my fanfaics that Pasha's early days were not good, and that it was only later that she would become an equal member of the Pandoran Research Department.

If you haven't read those fanfics I very strongly recommend that you do so before reading this fanfic.

Spoiler: Links to other fanficsAvatar2 script, my first fanfic.
https://forum.learnnavi.org/fiction-fanfiction/avatar2-script-if-i-complete-it-how-do-i-post-it/
Avatar3 script.
https://forum.learnnavi.org/fiction-fanfiction/avatar-3-by-archaic/

Dragons of Pandora (in two parts, the first part was before I had a name for it)
https://forum.learnnavi.org/fiction-fanfiction/avatarhttyd-crossover-fanfic-14711/
https://forum.learnnavi.org/fiction-fanfiction/dragons-of-pandora/
Machine, sequel to Dragons of Pandora
https://forum.learnnavi.org/fiction-fanfiction/machine/

Also relevant, maybe worth a read but not essential.
https://forum.learnnavi.org/spam/can-we-get-to-5000-posts/msg650678/#msg650678


A massive thank you to Plumps, Tirea Aean and Toliman for their help with the Na'vi dialogue!
There's also the usual warning about spelling and typos too. You have been warned.



Spoiler: Collection.Gilles Suliman was French Canadian and proud of it. He was a man who had worked extremely hard to be where he was. There had been literally years of planing, and training. Most six years as a popsicle in a cryo unit, a cryo unit with a less than stellar reliability record. Here, today, approximately 4.4 light-years from Quebec, things were not going to plan. Not even remotely.
The tree had looked big, even from final approach. Even if a mountain had obscured it from the landing sight.
Gilles reflected that perhaps, with the benefit of hindsight, it had been too much to ask that things would go without a hitch. It would, after all, have been the first surface landing that had been entirely successful.
Gilles shoulders ached, but then most the rest of him ached too. Wrists particularly uncomfortable, as the leather thongs were cutting in too much for comfort. His back ached, and the pole in ground he was lashed to had bumps, were small branches had been trimmed off, bumps which were digging in.
"Excuse me? I need a comfort break!"
At the sound of his voice, yellow eyes looked in his direction.
These were the Space Monkeys. OK, so, technically they weren't actually monkeys, Earth's scientific community had failed to agree on what to call them. In the resulting vacuum, the name 'Space Monkey' had taken hold among the general population. The creatures inaccurately named 'space monkeys', were tall, perhaps nine or ten feet tall, they had skin that was cyan with darker almost purply blue stripes. They had complex patterns of bioluminescent spots, patterns which Gilles suspected were probably unique to their owner, much like a finger print. He vaguely wondered if they changed as the individual grew older. They had a monkey like tail that appeared to be, at least partially, prehensile. This was, in truth, the origin of the term 'Space Monkey'. They appeared hairless apart from the hair on their heads, which they braided into a long queue, and the tip of their tail. Oh and eyelashes, up close and personal, Gilles had seen they had those too.
"I really need to go pee. I'd rather not pee my pants here, but there's going to come a point when I can't hold it any longer. Oh, and that point? Yeah it's not so far off. Just thought you'd like to be kept in the loop. And all that. You know?"
Gilles watched the creatures, they were exchanging vocalizations. If you didn't know better, you could allow yourself to anthropomorphize them, and imagine they were holding a regular conversation. Just like they were real people. They weren't, and Gilles knew that.
"Fìswiräri, ayoeng kempe sayi?"
"Tìng tsat yoa Ateo."
"Look, hey, that comfort break? Like right now, or it's gonna be too late." Gilles said, uncomfortably.
"Fìketuwongru lu tìkin a fngä."
"Sran."
"Poti munge na'rìngnemfa. Furia ke lìm na'rìngmì po, zene 'ivefu nga am'ake nìwotx txokefyaw fmivi po hivifwo. Nì'awtu rä'ä kä."
"Srane."
One of the Space Monkeys broke away from the huddle, untied Gilles and lead him out from under the tree's base.
Gilles wondered if they'd got the message, or if he was in trouble. Actually, they hadn't been overtly aggressive toward him, which had been a welcome surprise. Especially under the circumstances.


 The space monkey returned Gilles. A stout cage had been built where the post had been, in fact the post now formed one corner upright of this new cage. Gilles was invited to enter it, he figure he might as well, they'd been alright so far, and a cage was probably better than being tied to a post anyway. The creatures huddled for a while, and once more appeared to be talking. You needed to pinch yourself occasionally to remind yourself that they couldn't talk as such, and their vocalizations were, in truth, not truly 'language' in the strictest sense. Gilles looked at the construction, the new poles were of the Pandoran bamboo analogue, verticals driven firmly into the ground, with horizontals lashed with leather thongs. There were diagonals, driven into the ground too, this was a surprisingly solid structure, the speed of it's construction as remarkable. Gilles wondered for a moment if they could have underestimated these simple creatures, before dismissing it as the silly notion it was.
After some time, one separated from the group and approached Gilles, squatting down in front of him.
"Ma kewongtu, lu fitseng nga ..... " it said, poking a hole in the sandy ground.
" ..... Fìtseng ..... " it seemed to gesture to the wider area under the tree where they were.
" ..... Fìtseng ..... " poking the hole in the ground again.
" ..... Aynga, lu tsatseng ..... " another hole poked in the dirt, about fifteen inches from the first.
" ..... Aynga, Atao sì ..... "
It held up a finger.
" ..... Nga ..... "
Placed it in the hole it had called 'Fitz Heng', or something like that.
It held up the same finger on the other hand.
" ..... Atao ..... "
And placed that in the second hole.
" ..... Nga, Atao yoa ..... "
 It moved the two fingers so they changed places. For some reason, Gilles got the impression this creature wanted to trade him for the Pandora Humanoid Specimen they had taken. The specimen was, probably, waiting to be placed into cryo. The plan had been to place it into cryo immediately. Then again, the plan hadn't included one of the team being captured by the creatures. His stomach rumbled, his last meal had been a while ago. Gilles suddenly realized he hadn't actually eaten anything since coming out of Cryo.
The creature glanced down a his belly, before looking him in the eye.
"Efu ohakx srak? Oel ngaru syuveti zamìsyunge." it said, with what looked almost like a knowing smile.
It stood up and wandered off in the direction of one of several fire pits dotted around near the central part of the space bellow the tree's vast trunk. To be fair, it was an impressive space, parts of the ceiling were well over fifty feet above the floor. It was more than a little reminiscent a cathedral.
 He turned his attention to the lashings of his cage, these weren't the knot's he'd learned as a boy scout back on Earth, there was a more free form approach. It would take an age to untie any these, and he'd need to untie several to make a gap he could squeeze out of. Then there was the forest at night, there was precisely zero data on what, if any, nocturnal predators might stalk those trees after sunset. Gilles suspected there would probably be something, something that would logically have evolved an excellent method of hunting in the forest in near total darkness, perhaps echo location. It would also, inevitably, know it's way around the forest too. So that was two things any such predators would have that Gilles didn't. Maybe sharp claws too. And possibly rows of sharp teeth. Probably rows of sharp teeth. Maybe toxic saliva, or at least saliva that would be toxic to humans. Or maybe an actually venomous bite. Maybe they dug dead fall traps, or had things like oversized spider's webs. Or huge Venus flytraps, or enormous man eating pitcher plants. Or maybe things that injected digestive enzymes into your body and just followed you around until you'd liquefied enough to not run away any more. Or put up much of a struggle at all.
Maybe making a run for it, wasn't such a good idea.
 The creature who'd poked holes in the dirt returned, cradling a leaf in one hand, a piece of the bamboo looking stuff in the other. It sat down in front of the cage, tail stretched straight out behind it.
"Teylu, mauti rumut, rina’ seze, ‘ana, yomioang sì, tsyosyu, mauti eanean. Naer." At the end of it's little speech, it held up the section of what really did look like bamboo, perhaps four inches or so in diameter, and around twelve inches in length. It appeared to be filled with a liquid of some kind. What this all meant, Gilles had no way of knowing.
It took what looked unmistakably like an insect grub from the leaf and held it up.
"Teyluri ftxìlor fkan fìtxon/fìkaym. mauti rumutä, tse... sìltsan livu nì'ul."
The creature held the leaf to the bars, perhaps some kind of offering. Gilles didn't move, if this was an offer of food, he couldn't eat it, but there was a possibility a refusal might cause offense, and that might initiate reprisals.
The creature held out the possibly offering for some moments, before sagging a little. It took what appeared to be a large grub from the leaf, and held it up for Gilles to see.
"Teylu."
It ate the grub, and did appear to be enjoying it. It offered the leaf, clearly this was intended to be his meal this evening. This was a situation that could go south real fast. Gilles knew that. There was no way these simple creatures could understand that, as a being from different world, and having evolved from biochemically different pools of primordial soup, separated by several light yeas, what was food and drink to a member of one group, would be toxic to a member of the other.
"Tse, poleng oel ngaru fmawnta po ke tsivun yivom syuveti aywngeyä. Ha foru ke lu kea syuve a tsat Ateyol tsun yivom. Sweylu txo ngal tsat kämivunge 'awmne 'uoyoa a tsat fìpumìl/fìtutel tsun yivom."
This was a second creature, it had been watching, and now came across and sat beside the one poked the holes. Holes which were still there.
"Awngal tsat zene livawk Olo'eyktanhu."
 Their exchange of vocalizations really did look, and sound like conversation. The vocalizations were accompanied by hand gestures,  hand gestures that had an oddly human conversational look about them too. Gilles vaguely wondered if that was in any way significant. He wished he had his note book, actually he'd made a lot of valuable observations and was worried about how many he'd forget before he got the opportunity to make notes. Assuming that opportunity came at all.
"Oe tìyätxaw."
 The two creatures rose, and walked away, this wasn't a relaxed amble, this was a walk with purpose. Had the creatures misunderstood, was this a prelude to trouble? Gilles was concerned, and could only guess what might happen next.
He watched as closely as he could, the two approached a figure who was more highly decorated, mostly with beads, and what looked a lot like feathers. Was this some kind of alfa pack member? For want of a better word, their Chief?
There appeared to be conversation, perhaps an exchange of pleasantries before they got down to business. The hole poking individual stepped aside and gestured in his direction, the 'Chief' looked at him directly for a long moment, before the conversation resumed. Perhaps it was Gilles imagination, but there did seem to be a fair bit of annoyance, the 'Chief' addressed its subjects, for want of a better term, a number went off determinedly, and returned with bows and arrows. This was it, Gilles had no cover in that cage, it would be like shooting fish in a barrel, a barbaric murder by these most primitive of savages. All his fears were about to come true, in a horrific, blood soaked, agonizing ..... only the weren't headed in his direction, they were making for a helical structure in the center of the tree trunk, they ran up it like stairs. This came as quite a relief, and also a genuine surprize. He wondered what it meant.
 He tried to relax, but he had been badly rattled. They hadn't killed him, which was undeniably a good thing, but it had left him in no doubt of how precarious his situation truly was. He dug his thumb nail into the 'bar' directly above his head, it didn't yield noticeably, any escape would be difficult.
One of the smaller creatures wandered over, it carried a leaf with things on in one hand, and it's own section of the local bamboo stuff. It was a miniaturized replay of the previous encounter.
"Well, I told your friend I can't eat that stuff, I'll tell you too. I know you don't understand a word I say, so I guess this is more for my benefit. I hope you can some how tell from my reassuring tone of voice, that I mean you no harm, and I don't mean to cause any offense. I don't want to be rude, but your food is toxic to us, and ours would be toxic to you. Well, probably, we don't actually have any actual empirical data to prove it, but it seems like a pretty safe and logical assumption. At least unless, or until, we get something concrete to the contrary."
"Nga lu hiyìk."
"You have no idea what I'm saying, do you."
"Oeru syaw Mo'at te ..... ìì ..... Mo'at." the creature said. It set the leaf down on the floor, took a sip of liquid from the bamboo thing before setting that down carefully next to the leaf, it didn't settle evenly, so it instinctively twisted it back and forth a little to grind it into the soft sandy ground. Now it couldn't fall over, attention turned back to Gilles.
"Mo'at." it said and seemed to gesture to itself  "Mo' ..... at." it said, again gesturing itself "Fyape syaw fko ngar?" it said, now gesturing Gilles.
"Well, I'm going to assume you are trying to exchange names with me, I know I've no real reason to think that, but I guess we have to start some place. So, my name is ..... Gilles Suliman." he gestured to himself  "and I think I understood that your name is 'Moe At'. " he gestured to the creature.
"Mo'at."
"Moe at."
"Mo'at"
"Yes, Moe at, I got that."
"Kehe, ke Mow at, Mo'at."
"Oh, OK, there's a glotal stop in there, and it's significant then. So, Mo'at."
"Sìltsan ma kewongtu, sìltsan. Ìì, nga lu Tsyil Tsu-lì-mä-n."
"So, I'm guessing I nailed that. Now, you did pretty well, for a first attempt. I guess you don't have that French 'G' in you phonetic repertoire, so that might be interesting. But let's give it a go. Gilles."
"Tsyil."
"G. I know that a bit tuff for non French speakers, a good many humans struggle with it, even though it's in words like treasure, and leisure. And yeah, I get called 'Giles' too often to count."
The creature looked perplexed, it was a disarmingly human like expression.
"G." Gilles again pronounced it in the French manner.
"Tsy?"
"Ʒ. OK, look it's a voiced postalveolar fricative, so, err, that's, well, it's ..... Sod it ..... Err ..... Hmm ..... Let's start with 'Ah'. "
"A."
"Good, now 'Sh'"
"S."
"Sh."
"S?"
"No 's' is alveolar , 'Sh' is postalveolar. How the hell do I explain that to someone who doesn't speak a single word of English? Err ..... Hang on." he held up his right hand, and held it side-on to the creature.
"Mouth, cross sectional view." he snapped his fingers and thumb together a few times.
"Teeth." he showed them snapping together a few times more, slowly this time and opened and closed his mouth at the same time, in what he hoped was perfect synchronization.
The creature copied, clearly not understanding quite why.
Gilles held up the forefinger of his left hand for her to see.
"Now the tongue." he said, then stuck out his tongue, pointed to it "Tongue."
Now he placed his left hand beneath his right hand, and tucked the tip of it against the back of the tips of his finger and thumb, in a way that he hoped communicated the tip of the tongue being behind the teeth to make the letter 's'.
"S." he said.
He shifted the the forefinger to replicate the tongue's position further back.
"Sh."
"S, S ..... Th, th? Kehe, ke 'th'. S, s, sh. Sh? Sh! Sh, sh, sh, sh, sh!"
"Nailed it, now what was it, 'Sill-san'? "
"Sìltsan, sìltsan."
"Siltsan."
"Sran, siltsan. Ngayä 'siltsan' lu siltsan." it said, with could easily have been a human smile.
"Siltsan, OK, now you need 'Ah' and 'Sh' at the same time. 'G'. " Gilles, again pronouncing that 'G' in the French manner.
"A ..... Sh, a, sh, a-sh, aʒ, ʒ, ʒ, ʒ! Ʒ, ʒ, ʒ, ʒ, ʒ, ʒ, ʒ, ʒ, ʒ!"
"That's it, err, siltsan, siltsan."
"Ʒ, ʒ, ʒ, ʒ, ʒ, ʒ, ʒ, ʒ, ʒ."
"Now then, how about Gilles?"
"Ʒìl?"
Gilles looked at the creature, he was stunned, it had learned to pronounce his name correctly, which was more than some of his crew mates had managed. In addition, it had also clearly understood that it was his name, not only that but he had learned it's name too. Which did contradict one assumption, that while they might have a signature vocalization, they certainly, well almost certainly, wouldn't have anything as sophisticated as a 'name' in the strictest technical meaning of the term.
"Yes. Perfect ..... Have we underestimated you? I'm starting to be a little more open minded to the possibility that we might have. I'm still a bit worried what's going to happen when those archers get back from where ever they've gone, I have a nasty feeling they gone to catch something else for me to eat, something I can't eat either. I can't see this ending well. Man, we've made a total pig's ear of our first first contact ..... Haven't we?"
"Mo'at." one of the other creatures called softly.
"Ma sempu, fìtutan lu oeyä 'eylan, poru syaw fko Ʒìl Sulimän. Oel kar poru fya'oti a plltxe nìNa'vi."
"Krr lu fte hivahaw." the larger creature said softly, as a parent might speak to a child.
"Slä." Mo'at said, with just a subtle hint of a whine.
"Hivahaw." again softly, Gilles was starting to suspect that this may well be a parent of Mo'at.
Mo'at looked crest fallen, she stood up and took a pace toward the same spiral structure the archers had used earlier, she turned and spoke to Gilles again.
"Txon lefpom ma Ʒìl Tsulìmän."
It sounded like a 'Good night'.
"Err, tonn leFpomer Mo'at." Gilles replied, hoping that he was at least somewhere in the right ball park.
"Txon lefpom, ma kewongtu."
"That word, I've heard it before ..... that's ...... your word for me, or for us, isn't it? 'Ke ..... two ..... wong'?"
There was suddenly silence, a long and uncomfortable silence.
"Fiswirati lu ketuwong." this was the alfa of this group, the chief, their beads and decoration made them easy to identify, Gilles hadn't noticed this individual approaching, but saw them now.
"Srane, lu ketuwong." said Mo'at's parent, with evident respect.
There was a murmur, and a great many click sounds, something significant had just happened. Gilles wondered what, and then the penny dropped. He had mispronounced the word, and now it was this new word, his own mispronunciation, that would be used as their word for humans. Vocalization, that is to say. No, the word 'word' was correct. Gilles could see that now, theirs was a language, a true language. He wished more than anything that he could communicate this observation. Or at least record it.
"Ma ketuwong, ngal syuve ye’rìn fìtseng."
The creatures walked away, still exchanging vocalizations. Or possibly talking.
They joined a group by the nearest fire pit and loitered there, from time to time one break off and fetch more food, always on a leaf. Odd behavior that, perhaps it was some kind of ritual practice. Yes, without a doubt, it was almost certainly ritually or ceremonially significant in some way.
It was quite some time before the archers returned, most put away their bows and arrows, before joining the fire pit group. There was some conversation, before the whole group made it's way over to Gilles' cage. Gilles felt a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach.
The group halted perhaps ten or twelve meters away, while one of the former archers approached, he carried a basked. This was it, they'd caught something specially for him, something he sill wouldn't be able to eat. Did he eat it and risk death from poisoning, or refuse it and risk almost certain reprisals, he wouldn't have long to decide.
He wished he put more time into his will, spent more time considering who got what. Otherwise, truth be told, he'd had a good life, OK there'd been some bullying at school, but there had been an even less cool kid who'd had it far worse. He watched as the basket was placed on the ground, it all seamed to go into slow motion as the lid was opened. The former archer reached in, Gilles tensed, wondering exactly what they had got for him, they pulled out something wrapped in leaves, and passed it between the bars. Gilles stiffened.
"Ngaya wutso."
Wide eyed he realized he was already pressed hard against the back of his cage.
"Po fpìl futa tsaw lu txum."
"Lu kewongtu syuve."
Well, this was it, eat it and risk an agonizing death from food poisoning, or refuse it and face almost certain death as a result of leaving them feeling snubbed. He took a breath, grabbed the package, tried to wipe a tear from his eye only to find the visor in the way. He ripped open his parcel, and it spilled it's contents on the ground, the creatures laughed. Laughed, real human like laughter. Gilles stared at the creatures, whatever he had expected, this wasn't it. It was a moment before Gilles looked at what was on the floor before him. Two ration packs, four bottles of water and a fresh exo-pack, each marked with the ubiquitous RDA logo.
Gilles stared at them, stunned. One thought in his head, one question, there was nothing else ..... How?


It was not an easy job to eat a meal in an exo-pack. Take a deep breath, lift the mask, put the nozzle in the mouth, squeeze the ration pack for a mouthful, reseat the mask, strong exhale to expel as much of the Pandoran air as possible, with just a touch on the purge button. It wasn't a good idea to over use that, an exo-pack was only good for so long, and every purge shortened it's life span.
He had an audience as he ate, they were plainly curious how he'd eat with the exopack covering his face.
Eating was not a little time consuming, but meal over, he was let out of his cage and lead to the foot of the spiral structure they used as an ersatz staircase. It was perhaps a eighty feet up to a platform. He was surprised to see that it looked liked the same hard packed earth as below, there was a fire, and some mats on the floor. Above that were strange looking things, bundles suspended at either end from what appeared to be internal branches within the hollow tree trunk. There were a number of smaller platforms above him too. There was a brief conversation between several of the creatures, before he was lead still higher. Here was another cage, this had a hatch in the top, the 'floor' of it had a large animal hide spread over it. It yielded a little under his weight, he lifted a corner to see fern fronds had been placed to form a kind of mattress. He lay down and relaxed, it was comfortable, surprisingly so. It compared well to his bed at home. He held up the still fresh exopack for a moment, before deciding to swap. Deep breath, mask off,  a quick face massage, new mask on, deep exhale, cautious dab of the purge button. He settled down, and sleep soon took him. It wasn't long before a noise far below woke him.


There was something bellow, a pack of them. These creatures where wholly different from those around him, from his view point they looked canine, dog like, and making hyena like sounds. They were clustered around the cage, and appeared to be sniffing all around the outside of it. One jumped on top, and sniffed at the point where Gilles had tried to dig his thumb nail into the bamboo.
"Pxìm fo ke tsun ziva'u nemfa mìfa. Tsaw lu kelpxìmrun nìtxan."
Gilles hadn't heard Mo'at approach, and while she spoke most softly, it still made him jump.
"Fol new ivomum tsa'uti, pumru lu heka fahew."
"What are they?"
"Fiswira lu aynantang."
"I sense that those are the predators I wondered about earlier. Are they are the only thing that stalks those trees at night, I guess you know the answer to that."
They watched for a time, before something found their attention, and after a moment of being frozen utterly motionless, they all ran off as one.
"I wonder what they've seen. Prey, I guess. At least, I assume those were predators."
Mo'at continued to look down for sometime, unspeaking. After what felt like an hour, finally she looked back at him, she hesitated before speaking.
"Fo hìmum, tsaw lu sìltsan. Txon lefpom ma Ʒìl Suliman."
"Tonn leff pom ma Moe at, err,  Mo'at."
Mo'at smiled for a moment, before climbing back to one of the bundles above him.
"Those are hammocks." Gilles, suddenly recognizing them for what they were.



Gilles woke, stretched and yawned. He came to rather abruptly, as his face rubbed against his face mask.
"Oh yeah, I'm here ..... I wonder what today's gonna bring?"
At that moment, is was bringing him Mo'at. A welcome and friendly face. She unlashed the trapdoor in the top of the cage. it didn't take her long.
"A simpler knot than before. You realized I decided not to try and make a run for it, in the night? I get the feeling you did."
"Za’u." she said, beckoning to him.
He followed.
"I'm coming. You know, all things considered, that was a pretty good night's sleep, I was surprisingly comfortable. I feel genuinely refreshed. I could do with a wash though. I wonder what I smell like to you. Well, that's the first anthropomorphization of the day, I don't actually know if you even have a sense of smell. It just seems likely you do."
Mo'at led him to the platform where there had been a fire the previous evening, one of the tribe was getting some hot embers together and adding some tinder, some blowing on it and there was flame.
"I guess lighting a fire from scratch is pretty hard. Do you use a fire bow? Plough? Or d'you have some other method?"
Mo'at nudged him, she smiled warmly, a leaf, and what was probably left overs from the evening meal.
"Wutso rewonä."
"Breakfast? Yeah, I brought mine." He held up his second ration pack.
Mo'at sat down on the floor, Giles sat beside her. At first glance they appeared to now be trusting him, but he noticed there were a couple of warriors with bows and arrows in carefully chosen locations. Well, presumably 'warriors', or maybe hunters, people with bows any way. 'People', he was anthropomorphizing again.
They ate, and each watched the other, each as curious as the other.
Mo'at finished first, but then she didn't have an expoack to contend with. She reached around her back and produced a small leather pouch with a draw string.
"Oel kar ngaru fya’ot a plltxe nìNa’vi." I teach you to speak Na'vi. Plumps
"Err."
"Oe." Mo'at, gesturing herself "Nga" she gestured Gilles.
"Oe." Gilles gestured Mo'at and then "Nga" gesturing himself.
She smiled.
"Keke. Oe."
"Oh, sorry, oh eh is me and gah is you."
"Oe, nga."
"Oe, ngah."
"Sran. Oel ..... " she gestured herself again " .....  ngati ..... " now gesturing him " ...... tse’a." she pointed to her eyes, then at him, back and forth a few times.
"Err."
She placed a hand in front of here eyes "Oel ngatì tse’a ke."
"Oh, hang on oe is me, oel must be 'I'm doing ..... a thing' the 'L' is a suffix, a marker for the agent in a sentence, so the 'ti' suffix must be the marker for the subject. I get you. I think." Gilles took a deep breath "Ngal oeti seer."
"Tse'a."
"Tse'ah. Ngal oeti tsea, tse'ah even."
"Sìltsan."
Mo'at covered here eyes again.
"Ngal oeti tse'ah keh."
"Srane, lu sìltsan."
Mo'at took a deep breath.
"Ìì, plltxe. Ìì, aylì'u." She turned her head " Wa, wa, wa, aylì'u, kaltxì ma ìì kelutrel." she made expansive gestures to show things coming out of her mouth "Aylì'u, faylì'u, plltxe. Plltxe."
"Plteh?"
"Plltxe."
"Plt'eh?"
"P ..... ll ..... tx ...... e ."
"P ..... ll ..... tx ...... eh ?"
"Sran, plltxe."
"Plltxe."
"Srane, sìltsan. Ayoe plltxe nìNa'vi."
"Nin'avee?"
"NìNa'vi, ìì ayoe." she pointed to as many of her tribe as she could see, then herself, then more expansive gestures at the whole group "Ayoe." she pointed to him "Nga ke. Ayoe." she again gestured to the group "Ayoe."
"Ayoe." he considered this "Aynga, ke oe, aynga. Us, but not you, or rather you but not me, not sure where this is going, but OK."
"Ayoe lu Na'vi."
"Na'vi, that's you, your name for yourselves. Is that 'as a tribe', or 'as a species' I wonder. No matter."
"Ayoe plltxe nìNa'vi."
"Aynga plltxe nìNa'vi."
"Aynga plltxe nikewongtu, kehe, nìketuwong."
"Yeah, look, about that ...... "
Mo'at held up a finger, she emptied the pouch onto the floor. There were perhaps thirty or forty pebbles, of varying sizes. Some polished smooth, perhaps beach pebbles, some sharper, looking freshly mined or quarried, there was a wide range colors and textures too. Some had a distinctly metallic sheen about them.
"Ayskxe." she said, placing the on the ground before her.
"Ace keh."
"Sran." she acknowledged, before selecting one and holding it up  "Tskxe."
"Skeh."
"Tskxe. Aw lu 'tskxe', 'tskxe'."
"Tskeh?"
"Ìì, asim."
"I'm not sure I got that last bit, I'll just have to hope that was meant more for your benefit than mine."
"Aw tskxe." Mo'at, placing the pebble very carefully on the floor.
"Ore tskeh."
"Aw tskxe." Mo'at holding up a second pebble "Mune skxe." placing the second with the first.
"Myune tskeh."
"Kehe, aw tskxe, mune skxe."
"Myune skeh?"
"Srane, sìltsan."
"We have a name for modifying initial consonants for plurals, some Earth languages do it, won't come to mind though."
"Mune skxe. Meskxe. Mune ngul." she placed two more pebbles as a pair on the floor "Mune teyr." two more "Mune hì’i." and two more, rather small ones this time.
"Meskeh, that's similar pebbles. A pair?"
Moat took two dissimilar pebbles and placed them together.
"Ke meskxe, lu munske."
"Munskeh, that's a dissimilar pair, or maybe not a pair at all. I think."
Giles picked out a small reddish brown pebble and a large whitish pebble from the collection, and placed them on the ground together.
"Munskeh."
"Srane, sìltsan."
Gilles picked out a small white pebble from the collection, and placed it near to his dissimilar pair, he moved the large white pebble to be with the small white pebble.
"Teyr." she said.
"That's maybe white, I guess?"
Gilles swapped the large white pebble for the small reddish brown pebble.
"Hì'i. Nga tslam."
"Small, maybe?"
He took off a boot, then his sock.
"Teyr?"
It was white, and perhaps a little grubby.
"Srane, teyr." Mo'at said, she stood up "Pey fitseng." she said, and wandered off.
Gilles watched her collect a couple of things, before she returned. A section of the bamboo like stuff, she tilted it, there was a residue, it looked like something left from the previous night's meal.
"Tsewtx." Mo'at, pointing at the residue, she held up a piece of what looked like a woven mat, there was a large grey-ish smear on it "Tsewtx."
She sat back down, licked a finger, rubbed it on the ground before holding it up.
"Tsyoot." Gilles tried.
"Sran."
She pointed to his sock "Tsewtx."
"Yes, alright it could do with a wash. Dirty."
"Tìrtì."
"Sran, dirty, sìltsan." Gilles, beginning to feel some confidence with his vocabulary.
"Ìì, oeng tiam. Holpxay."
Mo'at gathered the pebbles up into a heap, took a few of the in one hand, then placed one carefully between them.
" 'Aw."
"Ore."
"Kehe, 'aw, 'aw."
" 'Aw?"
"Srane, 'aw."
" 'Aw."
She took the pebble away again, then gestured to the bare floor.
"Kew."
"Que. Ah, now, hang on, does que mean gone, or does it mean zero, because if it really does mean zero, well, I mean, mankind didn't recognize zero as a number, not until as recently as the second or third millennium BCE. No, it must mean gone. It can't mean zero. It can't." he looked her in the eye "Can it?"
"Kew," she said, placed a pebble " 'aw," she placed a second pebble "mune,"
"Myoon. Two."
"Tu."
"Yes, that's right, err, srane. I'm using sran and srane interchangeably, I hope that's right."
She laid another pebble.
"Pxey."
"Pay."
"Pxey, Pxey."
"P'ay."
"Kehe, Pxey, Pxey."
"Pxey."
"Srane, sìltsan, sìltsan."
She laid another.
"Tsìng."
"Tsing."
"Srane."
"Hang on, I missed something, did we start, with one, err, aw, we didn't did we? We started with que. Or did we? No, I need to start over."
He picked up all the pebbles and placed then back in the heap. She looked at him.
"Tse, oeng leyn. Kew, 'aw, mune, pxey, tsìng ..... mrr."
He picked up the pebbles.
"Kew."
"The sequence does start with que, so looks like it is a zero. And you have no idea how impressive that is. No writing, no written word of any kind. At least nothing I've seen. And yet you've recognized zero as a number. I mean ..... wow!"
" 'Aw?"
"Hmm? Oh, yeah, right. 'Aw, err myoon, p' ey, tsing, mrr." placing pebbles as he counted, he placed another pebble.
"Pukap."
"Pukap."
"Srane ..... " she looked at him expectantly.
He placed another.
"Kinä."
"Keenah."
"Srane."
Now she held up her hands, two very lightly closed fists, she extended one digit at a time, and, beginning with no fingers extended, she recited the numbers again, from que to keenah. She placed another pebble, with just a bit of a gap from the previous neat line. she held up her seven extended fingers, then extended the last finger.
"Vol."
"Vol."
She laid another pebble.
"Nine."
"Volaw."
"Volaw."
"Nayn."
"Srane, nine." Gilles mimicked Mo'at's finger counting as accurately as he could, except he had more fingers, and at nine he still had one more to go.
Another pebble.
"Vomun."
"Volmyoon, no, err, 'kehe' vomyoon."
"Srane, vomun."
"Ten."
"Ten?"
"Sran, ten."
Gilles repeated the finger counting. He laid the next pebble.
"Eleven."
"Vopey."
"Vopey."
"Ìleven."
Again a pebble.
"Vosìng."
"Vosìng."
"Twelve."
"Tuelv."
Another pebble, but they were disturbed. One of the taller, possibly females was berating a slightly shorter member of the tribe, he couldn't understand the words, but there was something about this conversation that transcended the language barrier. The almost certainly mother grabbed a dangling piece of the others loincloth and held it up, all without breaking her irritated monologue, she flipped the end of it at him, and pointed away, still without stopping. And then she stopped, he looked embarrassed, he walked past Gilles and Mo'at.
"Nga nìn ‘upe?" he sounded annoyed, his mother spoke again. Whatever she said, it made him flinch.
The youth retrieved what looked like a scrap of leather from somewhere out of Gilles line of sight. He past them again, giving them a displeased look as he did, and went off away from them. His probably mother called out something else, and the reply had an unmistakably despairing 'Yes mom.' quality about it.
"Tsyoot?"
"Sran, tsewtx. Tsewtx nìtxan. Onvä’ sì."
She looked at Gilles with a knowing smile.
Gilles mimed holding his nose, made a face, turned his head slightly and wafted something away, as if dealing with a bad smell "Onvä?"
"Srane. Aynga lu keteng ke, lu teng. Ìì vomrr."
"Vomrr. Niteng?"
"Nìteng? Kehe, nìtxan."
"Nìtxan?"
"Srane, nìtxan. Ìì nìtxan lu ìì pey fitseng." she said, rose to her feet and walked away again very determinedly.
She returned a minute or so later, two improvised tongs made out of bamboo slivers, and a large piece of bamboo held in her teeth by it's rim.
As she sat down he saw the tongues contained hot embers from the fire, the bamboo section in her teeth a larger quantity of water. Presumably these were linked in some way.
She placed the tongs down, and released one ember onto the ground, she dug a shallow depression, the tongs now serving as improvised shovel, or maybe 'trowel' was a better description. She placed the ember in the hole, back filled it and patted it down gently. Placing her knuckles onto the semi loose backfill, she waited for the heat to be perceptible.
"Som."
He touched the hot spot carefully, it was hot but not painfully hot.
"Somm."
"Sran."
"Hot."
"Hotx."
"Srane, hot.
She placed the other ember on the same spot, and held her hand near it, but didn't touch it.
"Som nìtxan."
"Somm nìtxan."
"Sran."
"I'm not sure about nìtxan, very hot? Too hot? Dangerously hot? Painfully hot?"
She toot two pebbles and placed them maybe two inches apart.
"Lok."
"Lock."
She moved the closer, so they almost touched.
"Lok nìtxan."
She took one of the pebbles, walked maybe fifteen feet away and placed it on the ground before coming back.
"Alìm."
"Alìm."
She returned to the pebble, picked it up then threw it as far as she could, he didn't see it land, but it was clear it had travelled pretty far, she'd put a lot of effort into the throw. She returned once more.
"Alìm nìtxan."
"Alìm nìtxan. Nitxan is 'very'."
She looked at him, perhaps puzzled?
He picked up one of the smaller pebbles.
"Hì'i." ha said, then pressed a finger into the sandy soil, he scraped off very carefully with a finger nail to leave just a single grain on his finger tip "Hì'i nitxan."
"Srane, hì'i nitxan."
"Nitxan, very."
"Verì."
"Very."
"Very."
"Sran. Silsan, err, sìltsan even."
"Nìtxan lu very."
Moat place a pebble she was already holding in her had, this was the far and very far pebble, she hadn't thrown it after all.
"Err, where were we? Err. Vopukap?"
Mo'at laughed.
"Kehe, vofu."
"Vofoo?"
"Sran, vofu."
"Vofoo! Thirteen."
One of the adults approached them.
"Set ayoeng zene kämivunge poti ne'ìm." It is time to take him back. Toliman
"Ma sempu!"
"Ayoe zene kivä."  [(we all except you) Ayoeng zene kivä. (we all with you)] We must go. Toliman
"Ma kewongtu, oel ngati kameie. Eywa ngahu."
"So, I guess this is goodbye then. Thank you, you have opened my eyes. I hope in the future our peoples can become friends, but I am worried. We have an extremely poor track record, when it comes to treating less developed cultures with anything even faintly like respect."
The adult turned to Gilles, "Ma ketuwong, za'u." he gestured with a sideways move of his head.
Gilles looked at him, understanding that it was time to go. He looked back to Mo'at.
"Gilles," he said, gesturing himself "Mo'at" he gestured to her, then gestured to the person who had come to fetch him.
"Tsokeyä."
"Tsokeyah."
"Sran."
"Thank you."
"Irayo."
"Huh, err, oh, irayo."
"Kea tìkin."
"Kea Tìkin. That's 'thank you' and 'you're welcome', isn't it. Irayo, kea tìkin. Irayo, kea tìkin."
"Za'u set." said the now impatient adult, clearly keen to go.
Mo'at moved the ember,  hurriedly excavated the other one, took them both in the tongs.
She rose to her feet, awkwardly placed both tongs into one hand and bent down for the bamboo water carrier with the other.
One of the tongs slipped, it's ember neatly launched, it flew, bounced off Gilles chest and came to rest in his lap for at least a full second before he realized where it was.
"Ngaytxoa! Ngaytxoa!"
Gilles stood up rather swiftly, Mo'at was obviously distressed the she had heart him.
"It's OK! It's OK!" Gilles, waved in a way he hoped would convey that there was no need to be concerned.
He brushed the ash from this part of his uniform, it was undamaged.
"Ngaytxoa?"
"Sran, ngaytxoa." she looked at him, amazed.
He took the offending tongs, bent down and retrieved the ember, she took it in the same hand, but with a different grip, picked up the pouch of pebbles and the water carrier.
"Tìsop lefpom, ma Ʒìl Suliman." she turned, hesitated and turned back,she put down the water, "Stxeli lu."  handed him the pouch of pebbles. She turned away again, grabbed the water and this time walked toward the closest of the fire pits. Even from the back, Gilles could see her wipe her eyes on the back of her wrist as she went.
"Right, come on then, Tsokeyä. This is the hostage exchange, I guess. Well, I hope it is."

Toliman:
Nice that you completed it :) I will read it today later or tomorrow :)


--- Quote from: archaic on April 27, 2020, 11:13:33 am ---A massive thank you to Plumps, Tirea Aean and Toliman for their help with the Na'vi dialogue!

--- End quote ---
Kea tìkin :)

archaic:
This is were it gets nasty.
Spoiler: Replacement.Tsokeyä ran up the spiral structure at the heart of the vast tree village, he made it look easy, Gilles trailed someway behind.
"How far up are we going? Seriously. I know this tree is massive, but I'm pretty sure we've climbed a good few hundred meters, and my legs feel like they're about to drop off!"
Giles held his nose and tried to equalize the pressure in his ears.
"Za'u."
"Yeah, I'm coming, I'm coming."
Gilles finished on all fours, crawling up.
"Sweet Jesus! ..... Are we there? ..... Coz if we ain't ..... I ain't gonna ..... gonna make it!"
Tsokeyä waited as Gilles laid on his back, he had never been so out of breath in his entire life.
"I thought ..... I was pre ..... pretty fit! ..... Mind you ..... I have ..... just been ..... in cryo ..... best part ..... six years ..... Yeah that ..... that must be ..... must be it."
"Ma ketuwong."
"Don't mind me ..... I'm just having a ..... a coronary. ..... Uh! ..... Mother of god! ..... I'll try and ..... expire a ..... a little more ..... discree ..... discretely!"
It was a while before Giles got to his feet again.
"Yeah, I'm back in the land of the living. Just don't expect me to climb up there again, not for at least a week or two!"
"Nari sì, ma ketuwong."  Tsokeyà gestured expansively to the view.
Gilles took it in. It was truly spectacular, when he arrived, he'd had a bag over his head, so this was kinda new.
"OK, I'm impressed. That is ..... truly amazing." he looked over the edge "That was a mistake. That's, what, four or five hundred meters, maybe more. You fell from here, you could do your tax return before you hit the ground."
There was a call, it was answered with a lot of commotion, leaves and small branches rattled, and there were a couple of powerful wafts that nearly nocked Gilles off his feet.
There was a calm again, and Tsokeyah was talking to someone in a soft, gentle, affectionate way. After a moment with only the wind to break the silence, Tsokeyah spoke more directly.
"Ma ketuwong, za'u."
Gilles turned, to see a large winged creature. The word 'Dragon' sprang to mind, before more rational curiosity took over.
"OK, so what the hell is that? I guess that's what I was brought here on, but, in person, and without a bag on my head ..... that's an impressive looking creature."
"Fiswira lu ikran, oeyä ikran lu. Nìwin tsyal."
"Err, OK."
Tsokeyah took his braid, gave it a little move, like a gentle half hearted semi flick. The hair around the tip separated, revealing what looked like tiny tentacles. He then took one of the creature's two long antennae, he squeezed the end tenderly and it opened up to reveal, very similar looking tentacles.
"Tsaheylu."
Tsokeyah held them near each other, the two sets of tentacles reached for each other, as they met they intertwined. Gilles watched, there was something that seemed to pass between them as they did so. There was a definite moment when the two remained almost motionless.
"OK, that's something for future study, I could see some papers being written on whatever it was happened there."
"Tsaheylu."
"Yeah, you said that, is that what you call whatever that was? Sharhaylo? no, that doesn't fit with the overall soundscape of the language, sarhayloo?
"Lu tsaheylu. Oe, Nìwin Tsyal sì, aw lu."
"Aw, your word for one. So by tying together like that, you figuratively become 'as one'. We've the concept of Jinba ittai, horse and rider as one. It's a Japanese cultural thing. But I get the impression there's more to it, for you guys. I wonder what exactly."
The creature dipped just right for Tsokeyah as he mounted.
"Oehu." he said, beckoning with another head gesture, Gilles moved closer, and the creature almost lay down for him to mount up behind Tsokeyah.
The creature rose, and almost fell sideways in one smooth seamless and very deliberate way, with Tsokeyah maintaining almost supernatural balance, and Gilles hanging on for dear life.
"Holy crAP!!!"
Gilles hung on so tight his arms hurt, Tsokeyah just laughed.
"Txopu rä’ä si! Nga tayerkup ke."
The flight was like nothing Gilles had ever experienced. A mix of pure exhilaration and abject terror. Like being hit by an adrenalin firehose. After a while he began to feel he wasn't going to fall to his death, and the view was genuinely stunning. He began to relax a little. He peeked round to look where they were going, they were coming up on a mountain he recognized, it was the other side of the mountain not far from the landing site. Things were looking up, but there was then the matter of negotiating the exchange, himself for the Specimen Humanoid. He had heard a name, what was it? Atayo? Was that it? Gilles was sure that it was. Well, fairly sure. They flew close to the mountainside, there was bare rock with vegetation in every niche it could find. Then they dived, following the mountain side. Gilles could see the clearing where they had landed, they levelled out above the canopy, before diving down between the tree tops, down and down to the floor below, the dragon thing creature spread it's wings as an air brake slowing them remarkably quickly. They levelled out, perhaps six or seven meters above the ground. They were closing in fast on a rise in the ground, and the creature put in a couple of wing beats to set down surpassingly delicately on a fallen tree trunk at it's crest. Tsokeyah turned round to look at Gilles, he held up a fore finger.
"Ma ketuwong, nga."
"Me, err, oe."
"Srane. Nga." he held up his other forefinger "Atao."
"Atay o'."
"Atao."
"Atao?"
"Sran." Tsokeyah placed the fingers at opposite ends of his thigh "Nga Atao sì, yoa." he moved the fingers along his thigh so they changed places "Aynga kìyä neto."
"I get the feeling you just said swap me for Ateo, then go away and don't come back. Like ever. Under the circumstances, I wouldn't blame you for feeling like that."
Tsokeyah disconnected his braid and dismounted in one well practiced fluid motion, Gilles followed, it was a short walk to the clearing, as they reached it Gilles could feel Tsokeyah place a hand on his shoulder.
"Yeah, I get it."
He shaded his eyes for a moment, placed his hands round his mouth to call out.
"That's not gonna work."
He took a very deep breath, lifted his visor, placed his hands to his mouth and called out "Oi! You lot! They wanna swap me for the PaSH!" then reseated his mask, exhaled and hit the purge button.
"Yeah! Figured they might!" came the reply a moment later.
Gilles repeated the procedure and called out "So?"
"You set off first, then we'll let the PaSH go."
"No dice! PaSH first, then me."
There was some discussion, before the reply came.
"Who's side are you on?"
"Mine!"
More discussion.
"OK, but any funny business, and we open fire!"
Guns were shown.
"Be ready to hit the deck fast!" came a second voice.
"No need! It's all good!" Gilles called out, before adding quietly to himself "I hope."
The Pandoran Specimen Humanoid was released, as he started walking Gilles felt the hand on his shoulder relax, after the PaSH had taken two full paces, the hand moved to be a very soft nudge of encouragement. Gilles started walking, the clearing was large, around 500 meters wide by 1500 meters long, a shallow bowl on a slight slope, a stream ran along the far side with the far tree line varying from maybe two to twenty meters from it. The PaSH had somewhat longer legs, which gave him a much longer stride, he'd covered at least two thirds the distance before they met.
"Kaltxì ma Atao."
"Kaltxì ma kewongtu, pak."
"Kehe, ke kewongtu, ayoe ketuwong."
"Nga plltxe nìNa'vi, srak?"
"Hì'i."
Gilles carried on walking, and couldn't suppress a smile, the PaSH stopped and watched him go, until Tsokeyah called out.
"Ma Ateo! Oehu!"
Gilles turned back, and saw that there were a good few more of the tribe than he had expected. Presumably watching spacecraft launches wasn't an every day occurrence in this neighborhood. Presumably. He recognized a familiar face, actually that wasn't it, it was a familiar stripe pattern and beads, but it was Mo'at, he was sure of it, at least fairly sure, he was glad she had come. He felt better generally, but couldn't put his finger on precisely why.
"Gilles! Look alive!"
Giles turned back toward the shuttle, lift off was going to be hells noisy, and was going to kick up a lot of debris, he hoped the natives wouldn't get too close or they might get hurt. He carried on walking, it wasn't ideal terrain, a neat cut grass lawn this was not. After what felt like an eternity of struggling with the densely packed, knee to waist high plants, he made it.
"Grab a stack of crates and get on the shuttle, look casual, no sudden movements. Don't do anything to cause alarm."
"Look I spent the night in their village, which is in a tree, by the way. One of those absolutely massive trees we saw on approach."
Gilles reached down, lifted the top two crates from the first stack he came to, felt the weight, put them back down again, tried three, and started for the loading ramp with them.
"I need to make a report." he said as he climbed the ramp.
Gilles put his stack down with the others
"No time." this person looked shifty "Yeah, think we've time to get one more lot of crates."
He headed down the ramp, Gilles close behind.
"Matt, what's up?"
"Nothing. It's fine."
"Where's the others?"
"Coming."
It didn't sound like it was fine, the stress in Matt's voice was almost shockingly evident.
"OK, so we didn't get the PaSH, but I got enough to make some head way, and there's no shortage of other samples. We missed one thing. Next stop the floating mountains and some samples from there, right?"
"Done. Last night."
"What the hell's up with you this morning?"
"Nothing."
"Bull! Talk to me."
"You'll see in a moment. Just squeeze in one more and we're about done."
"There's loads more!"
"More carry, less chat."
Gilles collected four crates, wondering what the hell was going on.
There was a double thump on the hull, and the main engines fired up.
"Pre-fllight walk round?"
"Done."
There was screaming, yelling, crying, and more screaming. Gilles looked at Matt.
"Drop it! On now!"
"Gilles ignored the 'Drop it' and hurried up the ramp with his crates, putting them down inside with the others.
"Hero." Matt said in disgust.
The screaming continued as the remaining four members of the landing party part dragged, part wrestled a fresh Pandoran Specimen Humanoid. There was blood, a lot of blood. A lot of blood, and a lot of screaming too.
"Oe frìp! Oe frìp!"
It was manhandled to the oversized cryo unit, here specially for the PaSH, it bit one of the team struggling with it.
"AAAAHHHHH!!! YOU PIECE OF s***!!"
It managed to get partially free, making it's way to the ramp, but with a severed leg, it didn't get far. Matt hit her hard with the butt of the assault rifle he was now holding, and for a moment it went limp. A large arrow narrowly missed everyone, and stuck into one of the crates. Two of the team broke off, Matt threw them assault riffles and they wasted no time in returning fire. Matt and the remaining two team members started to drag the rapidly recovering native toward the cryo unit.
Arrows thudded hard on the side of the craft, it hadn't been built for this kind of abuse, and worried looks were exchanged.
"Gun!" Matt passed Gilles an assault riffle "Shoot back!" Matt, now pointing out toward the natives.
"Ma Sempu! Ma Sempu!"
One of the Natives was on it's dragon thing, they swept in and loosed an arrow, it's intended target dodged at just the right moment and the tip barely grazed his side. It was a suicide run, and they were soon dispatched. They weren't alone, there were several more, all on the same path, and all would meet the same end.
"KEHE!!!" the PaSH tore itself loose once more, the blood was making it slippery, but they got no more than a pace before a riffle but to the face put them down.
"What have you done?" Gilles said softly.
"Rutxe! Kehe! Oe ätxäle seri ngaru!"
The engines roared, the craft lurched sideways sickeningly, and they were off  the ground.
"SHOOT BACK!" Matt barked directly into Gilles' face.
Gilles dropped the weapon and slid it behind him with a foot.
"Tsa'uri nga kem ke sivi!"
"PICK IT UP!!!!"
Giles turned his back on him.
"PICK!!! IT!!!! UP!!!!!!!! AND!!! GODDAMN AND SHOOT THE MOTHER FU ..... "
Gilles reached down, picked it up as he was told, spun round and holding tight to the barrel smashed the butt into Matt's face with all the force he could manage. Matt's dodge was fast and almost saved him, his mask took the bulk of the impact, but it still left him with a broken nose, a large gash, and a possible fractured cheek bone. Matt stumbled backwards and tripped over one of the un-stowed crates, landing on his ass, hard.
Someone had the sense to hit the switch to close the ramp.
"KEHE! KEHE! KEHE! RUTXE! OEL NGATTI FNGO' !!!!"
Gilles grabbed the spare exo-pack from it's stowage and hurled it at Matt as hard as he could.
"OEL NGATI FRÌP!!! OEL NGATI FRÌP!!!"
The PaSH was having a tourniquet tied round it's leg. It wasn't happy about it.
"Rutxe! Kehe! Tsa'uri nga kem ke sivi! Rutxe!"
More arrows, thumping hard into the fuselage. Fire was being returned around the closing ramp. This was still looking very touch and go.
"LUMPE? NGAL OETI TÌSRAW SEYKI! LUMPE? LUMPE? LUMPE?"
The ramp closed, the locks slid home, now there were two more to wrestle the PaSH, it wasn't long before it was inside the cryo unit, but it wasn't finished fighting, and it wasn't possible to close it. Matt swung his assault rifle, the butt aimed pretty expertly at her face. It hit a boot, Gilles kicked it as hard as he could, and it pinwheeled away.
"Ngaytxoa, Oel ngati ngaytxoa nìxan, nìtxan." Gilles put his arms down by his sides "Nga." and to everybody's surprise, the PaSH copied him.
Unit closed.
"Jesus! Jus' WHAT THE MOther fuuuhhh ..... " with that, Matt slumped to the floor.
"No time." Said someone, holding a now empty syringe.
"Thanks."
"It was you or him, he's injured. That lot, strap down, like yesterday!"
Gilles wasted no time, no one wasted any time, cargo nets where thrown over the crates, and ratcheted down at lightening speed.
"So what happened to the leg?"
"It's in the cryo, went in first, that bit didn't put up much of a fight."
"No I meant ..... "
"Oh! Well, we improvised a trap, using shaped carbon fiber."
"So a broken crate then."
"Well, two, actually. And a springy stick."
"So?"
"It was a bit more vicious than we expected."
"And the hair braid?"
"Yeah, the same. Only there's more to it, there's a kinda antenna or tentacle inside the hair, bled a fair bit too, as it goes."
"And the severed piece?"
"Oh! Err, you know, err. I think it got missed, yeah, pretty sure we left it behind. Problem?"
"I get the feeling someone could've written a paper or two on it."
"I get the feeling there's no shortage of things to write papers on."
"Well, I can't argue with that."
"You, didn't want it getting hurt."
"No, well, I spent some time trying to learn as much of their language as I could, with one about the same size."
"Same one?"
"No."
"Sure?"
"Positive, stripe pattern's wrong for a start."
Finally it was done.
"Different needs too."
One of the team wrote PASH on the cryo unit, and went to put the magic marker back in a pocket, Gilles took it from them.
"We traded PaSH for me, so this, this is, err, PaSH ..... A."
Gilles added an 'A' to the cryo unit, and handed the pen back.
"Actually, better add something about the severed leg and antennae."
This was duly written on the unit.
"Blood loss?"
"Whatever."
The words 'blood loss', and also 'trauma' were added.
"Load secure!"
"Good work! Now get strapped in for ..... "
"Guys, we got problems! We're not holding cabin pressure!" came a concerned voice from the flight deck.
This could mean only one thing, an arrow had punctured the hull. Or perhaps, more than one.
"Find somewhere to set it down, we can't ..... "
"WE'RE 24 HOURS LONGER ON THE SURFACE THAN PLANNED!!! POWER USE EQUALS FUEL USE!!! GAUGES NOW SHOW WE HAVE 92% OF FUEL REQUIRED TO REACH ORBIT!! THIS IS NOW OR NEVER GUYS!!! GET PATCHING!!!! AND GET PRAYING!!! COZ I HOPE TO CHRIST THESE GAUGES ARE WRONG!!!!"


The shuttle fired it's manoeuvring thrusters, and aligning itself in orbit, parallel to the ISV. It was in position ready to dock, but it didn't dock.
"Come on guys, what are you waiting for?"
Willow was getting concerned, the shuttle hadn't moved in over twenty minutes.
"Gavesha calling shuttle, Gavesha calling shuttle, come in shuttle." Steve called over the radio.
It hadn't responded to radio calls either.
"What the hell're you playing at guys?"
"I say again, this is Gavesha calling shuttle, Gavesha calling shuttle, come in shuttle."Steve, again over the radio.
"Radio out?"
"Full systems outage?"
"Nah, it came to a holding position too neatly. Full systems outage, it'd be ragged. To say the least."
"This is ISV Gavesha calling landing shuttle, this is ISV Gavesha calling landing shuttle, come in landing shuttle. If unable to respond over the radio, flash cabin lights to acknowledge, I repeat, if unable to respond over the radio, flash cabin lights to acknowledge."
"I don't see a flash." Willow said after a few moments.
"This is ISV Gavesha, calling landing shuttle. This is ISV Gavesha, calling landing shuttle. Come in landing shuttle. If radio is down, flash cabin lights to acknowledge. I repeat, if your radio is down, please flash your cabin lights to acknowledge, over."
"Nada."
"Can we pilot them in from here?"
"Err, yeah. From the flight deck."
"Got any other ideas?"
"Nope. One more try?"
"Sure, what the hell. This is ISV Gavesha calling landing shuttle, this is ISV Gavesha calling landing shuttle, come in landing shuttle. If radio's down, please flash cabin lights to acknowledge, I repeat, if radio is down, flash cabin lights to acknowledge as a sign of friendly intentions, we reserve the right to open fire, to defend ourselves if necessary, or if we just get really bored."
"What with?"
"Well, I could flash our cabin lights viciously at them?"
"They won't know what hit 'em."
"Yeah!"
"Still unresponsive."
"Mmm, I'm still thinking systems failure, rather than prank."
"Mmm, pretty poor taste prank. If they are pissing around, I'm gonna kick their miserable scrawny butts all the way back to Earth!"
"Saves ware and tear on the Cryo units."
"Mmm."
"Gavesha calling shuttle, Gavesha calling shuttle, if you aren't actually clinically dead, Willow's gonna kick your butts for scarring us like this!"
"That told 'em. OK, let's go play RC then."
Again a massive thank you to Plumps, Tirea Aean and Toliman for their help with the Na'vi dialogue!

Toliman:
Next part, nice :D I will read it soon.

Toliman:

--- Quote from: archaic on April 30, 2020, 05:34:46 pm ---This is were it gets nasty.
Spoiler: Replacement.Tsokeyä ran up the spiral structure at the heart of the vast tree village, he made it look easy, Gilles trailed someway behind.
"How far up are we going? Seriously. I know this tree is massive, but I'm pretty sure we've climbed a good few hundred meters, and my legs feel like they're about to drop off!"
Giles held his nose and tried to equalize the pressure in his ears.
"Za'u."
"Yeah, I'm coming, I'm coming."
Gilles finished on all fours, crawling up.
"Sweet Jesus! ..... Are we there? ..... Coz if we ain't ..... I ain't gonna ..... gonna make it!"
Tsokeyä waited as Gilles laid on his back, he had never been so out of breath in his entire life.
"I thought ..... I was pre ..... pretty fit! ..... Mind you ..... I have ..... just been ..... in cryo ..... best part ..... six years ..... Yeah that ..... that must be ..... must be it."
"Ma ketuwong."
"Don't mind me ..... I'm just having a ..... a coronary. ..... Uh! ..... Mother of god! ..... I'll try and ..... expire a ..... a little more ..... discree ..... discretely!"
It was a while before Giles got to his feet again.
"Yeah, I'm back in the land of the living. Just don't expect me to climb up there again, not for at least a week or two!"
"Nari sì, ma ketuwong."  Tsokeyà gestured expansively to the view.
Gilles took it in. It was truly spectacular, when he arrived, he'd had a bag over his head, so this was kinda new.
"OK, I'm impressed. That is ..... truly amazing." he looked over the edge "That was a mistake. That's, what, four or five hundred meters, maybe more. You fell from here, you could do your tax return before you hit the ground."
There was a call, it was answered with a lot of commotion, leaves and small branches rattled, and there were a couple of powerful wafts that nearly nocked Gilles off his feet.
There was a calm again, and Tsokeyah was talking to someone in a soft, gentle, affectionate way. After a moment with only the wind to break the silence, Tsokeyah spoke more directly.
"Ma ketuwong, za'u."
Gilles turned, to see a large winged creature. The word 'Dragon' sprang to mind, before more rational curiosity took over.
"OK, so what the hell is that? I guess that's what I was brought here on, but, in person, and without a bag on my head ..... that's an impressive looking creature."
"Fiswira lu ikran, oeyä ikran lu. Nìwin tsyal."
"Err, OK."
Tsokeyah took his braid, gave it a little move, like a gentle half hearted semi flick. The hair around the tip separated, revealing what looked like tiny tentacles. He then took one of the creature's two long antennae, he squeezed the end tenderly and it opened up to reveal, very similar looking tentacles.
"Tsaheylu."
Tsokeyah held them near each other, the two sets of tentacles reached for each other, as they met they intertwined. Gilles watched, there was something that seemed to pass between them as they did so. There was a definite moment when the two remained almost motionless.
"OK, that's something for future study, I could see some papers being written on whatever it was happened there."
"Tsaheylu."
"Yeah, you said that, is that what you call whatever that was? Sharhaylo? no, that doesn't fit with the overall soundscape of the language, sarhayloo?
"Lu tsaheylu. Oe, Nìwin Tsyal sì, aw lu."
"Aw, your word for one. So by tying together like that, you figuratively become 'as one'. We've the concept of Jinba ittai, horse and rider as one. It's a Japanese cultural thing. But I get the impression there's more to it, for you guys. I wonder what exactly."
The creature dipped just right for Tsokeyah as he mounted.
"Oehu." he said, beckoning with another head gesture, Gilles moved closer, and the creature almost lay down for him to mount up behind Tsokeyah.
The creature rose, and almost fell sideways in one smooth seamless and very deliberate way, with Tsokeyah maintaining almost supernatural balance, and Gilles hanging on for dear life.
"Holy crAP!!!"
Gilles hung on so tight his arms hurt, Tsokeyah just laughed.
"Txopu rä’ä si! Nga tayerkup ke."
The flight was like nothing Gilles had ever experienced. A mix of pure exhilaration and abject terror. Like being hit by an adrenalin firehose. After a while he began to feel he wasn't going to fall to his death, and the view was genuinely stunning. He began to relax a little. He peeked round to look where they were going, they were coming up on a mountain he recognized, it was the other side of the mountain not far from the landing site. Things were looking up, but there was then the matter of negotiating the exchange, himself for the Specimen Humanoid. He had heard a name, what was it? Atayo? Was that it? Gilles was sure that it was. Well, fairly sure. They flew close to the mountainside, there was bare rock with vegetation in every niche it could find. Then they dived, following the mountain side. Gilles could see the clearing where they had landed, they levelled out above the canopy, before diving down between the tree tops, down and down to the floor below, the dragon thing creature spread it's wings as an air brake slowing them remarkably quickly. They levelled out, perhaps six or seven meters above the ground. They were closing in fast on a rise in the ground, and the creature put in a couple of wing beats to set down surpassingly delicately on a fallen tree trunk at it's crest. Tsokeyah turned round to look at Gilles, he held up a fore finger.
"Ma ketuwong, nga."
"Me, err, oe."
"Srane. Nga." he held up his other forefinger "Atao."
"Atay o'."
"Atao."
"Atao?"
"Sran." Tsokeyah placed the fingers at opposite ends of his thigh "Nga Atao sì, yoa." he moved the fingers along his thigh so they changed places "Aynga kìyä neto."
"I get the feeling you just said swap me for Ateo, then go away and don't come back. Like ever. Under the circumstances, I wouldn't blame you for feeling like that."
Tsokeyah disconnected his braid and dismounted in one well practiced fluid motion, Gilles followed, it was a short walk to the clearing, as they reached it Gilles could feel Tsokeyah place a hand on his shoulder.
"Yeah, I get it."
He shaded his eyes for a moment, placed his hands round his mouth to call out.
"That's not gonna work."
He took a very deep breath, lifted his visor, placed his hands to his mouth and called out "Oi! You lot! They wanna swap me for the PaSH!" then reseated his mask, exhaled and hit the purge button.
"Yeah! Figured they might!" came the reply a moment later.
Gilles repeated the procedure and called out "So?"
"You set off first, then we'll let the PaSH go."
"No dice! PaSH first, then me."
There was some discussion, before the reply came.
"Who's side are you on?"
"Mine!"
More discussion.
"OK, but any funny business, and we open fire!"
Guns were shown.
"Be ready to hit the deck fast!" came a second voice.
"No need! It's all good!" Gilles called out, before adding quietly to himself "I hope."
The Pandoran Specimen Humanoid was released, as he started walking Gilles felt the hand on his shoulder relax, after the PaSH had taken two full paces, the hand moved to be a very soft nudge of encouragement. Gilles started walking, the clearing was large, around 500 meters wide by 1500 meters long, a shallow bowl on a slight slope, a stream ran along the far side with the far tree line varying from maybe two to twenty meters from it. The PaSH had somewhat longer legs, which gave him a much longer stride, he'd covered at least two thirds the distance before they met.
"Kaltxì ma Atao."
"Kaltxì ma kewongtu, pak."
"Kehe, ke kewongtu, ayoe ketuwong."
"Nga plltxe nìNa'vi, srak?"
"Hì'i."
Gilles carried on walking, and couldn't suppress a smile, the PaSH stopped and watched him go, until Tsokeyah called out.
"Ma Ateo! Oehu!"
Gilles turned back, and saw that there were a good few more of the tribe than he had expected. Presumably watching spacecraft launches wasn't an every day occurrence in this neighborhood. Presumably. He recognized a familiar face, actually that wasn't it, it was a familiar stripe pattern and beads, but it was Mo'at, he was sure of it, at least fairly sure, he was glad she had come. He felt better generally, but couldn't put his finger on precisely why.
"Gilles! Look alive!"
Giles turned back toward the shuttle, lift off was going to be hells noisy, and was going to kick up a lot of debris, he hoped the natives wouldn't get too close or they might get hurt. He carried on walking, it wasn't ideal terrain, a neat cut grass lawn this was not. After what felt like an eternity of struggling with the densely packed, knee to waist high plants, he made it.
"Grab a stack of crates and get on the shuttle, look casual, no sudden movements. Don't do anything to cause alarm."
"Look I spent the night in their village, which is in a tree, by the way. One of those absolutely massive trees we saw on approach."
Gilles reached down, lifted the top two crates from the first stack he came to, felt the weight, put them back down again, tried three, and started for the loading ramp with them.
"I need to make a report." he said as he climbed the ramp.
Gilles put his stack down with the others
"No time." this person looked shifty "Yeah, think we've time to get one more lot of crates."
He headed down the ramp, Gilles close behind.
"Matt, what's up?"
"Nothing. It's fine."
"Where's the others?"
"Coming."
It didn't sound like it was fine, the stress in Matt's voice was almost shockingly evident.
"OK, so we didn't get the PaSH, but I got enough to make some head way, and there's no shortage of other samples. We missed one thing. Next stop the floating mountains and some samples from there, right?"
"Done. Last night."
"What the hell's up with you this morning?"
"Nothing."
"Bull! Talk to me."
"You'll see in a moment. Just squeeze in one more and we're about done."
"There's loads more!"
"More carry, less chat."
Gilles collected four crates, wondering what the hell was going on.
There was a double thump on the hull, and the main engines fired up.
"Pre-fllight walk round?"
"Done."
There was screaming, yelling, crying, and more screaming. Gilles looked at Matt.
"Drop it! On now!"
"Gilles ignored the 'Drop it' and hurried up the ramp with his crates, putting them down inside with the others.
"Hero." Matt said in disgust.
The screaming continued as the remaining four members of the landing party part dragged, part wrestled a fresh Pandoran Specimen Humanoid. There was blood, a lot of blood. A lot of blood, and a lot of screaming too.
"Oe frìp! Oe frìp!"
It was manhandled to the oversized cryo unit, here specially for the PaSH, it bit one of the team struggling with it.
"AAAAHHHHH!!! YOU PIECE OF s***!!"
It managed to get partially free, making it's way to the ramp, but with a severed leg, it didn't get far. Matt hit her hard with the butt of the assault rifle he was now holding, and for a moment it went limp. A large arrow narrowly missed everyone, and stuck into one of the crates. Two of the team broke off, Matt threw them assault riffles and they wasted no time in returning fire. Matt and the remaining two team members started to drag the rapidly recovering native toward the cryo unit.
Arrows thudded hard on the side of the craft, it hadn't been built for this kind of abuse, and worried looks were exchanged.
"Gun!" Matt passed Gilles an assault riffle "Shoot back!" Matt, now pointing out toward the natives.
"Ma Sempu! Ma Sempu!"
One of the Natives was on it's dragon thing, they swept in and loosed an arrow, it's intended target dodged at just the right moment and the tip barely grazed his side. It was a suicide run, and they were soon dispatched. They weren't alone, there were several more, all on the same path, and all would meet the same end.
"KEHE!!!" the PaSH tore itself loose once more, the blood was making it slippery, but they got no more than a pace before a riffle but to the face put them down.
"What have you done?" Gilles said softly.
"Rutxe! Kehe! Oe ätxäle seri ngaru!"
The engines roared, the craft lurched sideways sickeningly, and they were off  the ground.
"SHOOT BACK!" Matt barked directly into Gilles' face.
Gilles dropped the weapon and slid it behind him with a foot.
"Tsa'uri nga kem ke sivi!"
"PICK IT UP!!!!"
Giles turned his back on him.
"PICK!!! IT!!!! UP!!!!!!!! AND!!! GODDAMN AND SHOOT THE MOTHER FU ..... "
Gilles reached down, picked it up as he was told, spun round and holding tight to the barrel smashed the butt into Matt's face with all the force he could manage. Matt's dodge was fast and almost saved him, his mask took the bulk of the impact, but it still left him with a broken nose, a large gash, and a possible fractured cheek bone. Matt stumbled backwards and tripped over one of the un-stowed crates, landing on his ass, hard.
Someone had the sense to hit the switch to close the ramp.
"KEHE! KEHE! KEHE! RUTXE! OEL NGATTI FNGO' !!!!"
Gilles grabbed the spare exo-pack from it's stowage and hurled it at Matt as hard as he could.
"OEL NGATI FRÌP!!! OEL NGATI FRÌP!!!"
The PaSH was having a tourniquet tied round it's leg. It wasn't happy about it.
"Rutxe! Kehe! Tsa'uri nga kem ke sivi! Rutxe!"
More arrows, thumping hard into the fuselage. Fire was being returned around the closing ramp. This was still looking very touch and go.
"LUMPE? NGAL OETI TÌSRAW SEYKI! LUMPE? LUMPE? LUMPE?"
The ramp closed, the locks slid home, now there were two more to wrestle the PaSH, it wasn't long before it was inside the cryo unit, but it wasn't finished fighting, and it wasn't possible to close it. Matt swung his assault rifle, the butt aimed pretty expertly at her face. It hit a boot, Gilles kicked it as hard as he could, and it pinwheeled away.
"Ngaytxoa, Oel ngati ngaytxoa nìxan, nìtxan." Gilles put his arms down by his sides "Nga." and to everybody's surprise, the PaSH copied him.
Unit closed.
"Jesus! Jus' WHAT THE MOther fuuuhhh ..... " with that, Matt slumped to the floor.
"No time." Said someone, holding a now empty syringe.
"Thanks."
"It was you or him, he's injured. That lot, strap down, like yesterday!"
Gilles wasted no time, no one wasted any time, cargo nets where thrown over the crates, and ratcheted down at lightening speed.
"So what happened to the leg?"
"It's in the cryo, went in first, that bit didn't put up much of a fight."
"No I meant ..... "
"Oh! Well, we improvised a trap, using shaped carbon fiber."
"So a broken crate then."
"Well, two, actually. And a springy stick."
"So?"
"It was a bit more vicious than we expected."
"And the hair braid?"
"Yeah, the same. Only there's more to it, there's a kinda antenna or tentacle inside the hair, bled a fair bit too, as it goes."
"And the severed piece?"
"Oh! Err, you know, err. I think it got missed, yeah, pretty sure we left it behind. Problem?"
"I get the feeling someone could've written a paper or two on it."
"I get the feeling there's no shortage of things to write papers on."
"Well, I can't argue with that."
"You, didn't want it getting hurt."
"No, well, I spent some time trying to learn as much of their language as I could, with one about the same size."
"Same one?"
"No."
"Sure?"
"Positive, stripe pattern's wrong for a start."
Finally it was done.
"Different needs too."
One of the team wrote PASH on the cryo unit, and went to put the magic marker back in a pocket, Gilles took it from them.
"We traded PaSH for me, so this, this is, err, PaSH ..... A."
Gilles added an 'A' to the cryo unit, and handed the pen back.
"Actually, better add something about the severed leg and antennae."
This was duly written on the unit.
"Blood loss?"
"Whatever."
The words 'blood loss', and also 'trauma' were added.
"Load secure!"
"Good work! Now get strapped in for ..... "
"Guys, we got problems! We're not holding cabin pressure!" came a concerned voice from the flight deck.
This could mean only one thing, an arrow had punctured the hull. Or perhaps, more than one.
"Find somewhere to set it down, we can't ..... "
"WE'RE 24 HOURS LONGER ON THE SURFACE THAN PLANNED!!! POWER USE EQUALS FUEL USE!!! GAUGES NOW SHOW WE HAVE 92% OF FUEL REQUIRED TO REACH ORBIT!! THIS IS NOW OR NEVER GUYS!!! GET PATCHING!!!! AND GET PRAYING!!! COZ I HOPE TO CHRIST THESE GAUGES ARE WRONG!!!!"


The shuttle fired it's manoeuvring thrusters, and aligning itself in orbit, parallel to the ISV. It was in position ready to dock, but it didn't dock.
"Come on guys, what are you waiting for?"
Willow was getting concerned, the shuttle hadn't moved in over twenty minutes.
"Gavesha calling shuttle, Gavesha calling shuttle, come in shuttle." Steve called over the radio.
It hadn't responded to radio calls either.
"What the hell're you playing at guys?"
"I say again, this is Gavesha calling shuttle, Gavesha calling shuttle, come in shuttle."Steve, again over the radio.
"Radio out?"
"Full systems outage?"
"Nah, it came to a holding position too neatly. Full systems outage, it'd be ragged. To say the least."
"This is ISV Gavesha calling landing shuttle, this is ISV Gavesha calling landing shuttle, come in landing shuttle. If unable to respond over the radio, flash cabin lights to acknowledge, I repeat, if unable to respond over the radio, flash cabin lights to acknowledge."
"I don't see a flash." Willow said after a few moments.
"This is ISV Gavesha, calling landing shuttle. This is ISV Gavesha, calling landing shuttle. Come in landing shuttle. If radio is down, flash cabin lights to acknowledge. I repeat, if your radio is down, please flash your cabin lights to acknowledge, over."
"Nada."
"Can we pilot them in from here?"
"Err, yeah. From the flight deck."
"Got any other ideas?"
"Nope. One more try?"
"Sure, what the hell. This is ISV Gavesha calling landing shuttle, this is ISV Gavesha calling landing shuttle, come in landing shuttle. If radio's down, please flash cabin lights to acknowledge, I repeat, if radio is down, flash cabin lights to acknowledge as a sign of friendly intentions, we reserve the right to open fire, to defend ourselves if necessary, or if we just get really bored."
"What with?"
"Well, I could flash our cabin lights viciously at them?"
"They won't know what hit 'em."
"Yeah!"
"Still unresponsive."
"Mmm, I'm still thinking systems failure, rather than prank."
"Mmm, pretty poor taste prank. If they are pissing around, I'm gonna kick their miserable scrawny butts all the way back to Earth!"
"Saves ware and tear on the Cryo units."
"Mmm."
"Gavesha calling shuttle, Gavesha calling shuttle, if you aren't actually clinically dead, Willow's gonna kick your butts for scarring us like this!"
"That told 'em. OK, let's go play RC then."
--- End quote ---
Read :) Although it really gets nasty, it's good work!


--- Quote from: archaic on April 30, 2020, 05:34:46 pm ---Again a massive thank you to Plumps, Tirea Aean and Toliman for their help with the Na'vi dialogue!

--- End quote ---
Kea tìkin :)

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