Author Topic: Sky People  (Read 6375 times)

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Offline Puvomun

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #40 on: March 07, 2011, 01:07:04 pm »
41.  Eager to fly

When they were back at Kelutral, Mo'at went to a place of her own. Puvomun suspected she was going to use one of her special Tsahik ways to commune with Eywa, on what to do with Tracy.

Nusumea, Amhul and he told the others who wanted to know about Mark and how he was recovering. Then Amhul suggested they could fly out, to the olo'utri, the forest clan, to see how Paul Cameron was doing. It had been a while since they had visited him, so a trip there was more than warranted.

Nusumea Tirea said they should go, he had other things he wanted to look after.

The teacher-singers had taken this trip so often before that they did not ask anyone else to join them. After all, most others had chores and tasks of their own.

As they flew over the wide forest, following the river south, they agreed that they should tell Pawl Kamron about the strange problem with Tracy's arm. The man had spent a lot of time in the jungle, it could be that he knew something that might help.

Taw and Kilvan were eager to fly fast, so the teachers arrived at the olo'utri soon after leaving their home tree. As they walked were greeted by a guard, they noticed something peculiar about his behaviour.

"Nga nìltsan lu srak? Are you well?" Amhul asked the woman.

"Sran, lu nìltsan. I am well, but something happened, in the village. I am not the one to tell, walk on and Nue'wah, Zunìl and Pawl Kamron will tell you."

Puvomun was puzzled. Why would they hear this news from specifically these three? It was good that the guard mentioned Pawl Kamron, this would mean there was nothing wrong with him.

In silence they walked on, quickly now, and reached the hometree of the clan. At first glance nothing looked out of the ordinary. People were doing their things and children ran around and played. A few people greeted the visitors as they walked by, and one of the men said that he'd go and tell Zunìl they were there.

The Tsahik appeared, a relieved look on her face. "Kaltxì, ma eylan, welcome. It is good to see you."

"Kaltxì, ma Zunìl," Puvomun returned her greeting. "We thought it time to see how your tawtute friend is doing."

Zunìl smiled. "Pawl is well. He went out with herb collectors, to look at plants. He never grows tired of that." She guided Amhul and Puvomun to a shady spot where they sat down.

"When we arrived, a guard told us that something had happened," Puvomun addressed the strange situation immediately. "She said that you would tell us more."

Zunìl stared at him. Then slowly a nod followed. "Yes. Our olo'eyktan..."

Puvomun was immediately alarmed. "Did he fall back in his behaviour?"

"Kehe. He chose to join Eywa." The Tsahik looked at her hands, as if she had just said she had killed Txep'rea with them. "One morning he went into the forest and when he did not come back, some people went looking for him. He found-... he made palulukan find him."

The teachers were silent now. This was not what they had expected.

"This is sad news, ma Zunìl. When did this happen?"

"Six days ago. Lamu pukapa srr."

This meant that the man's body had been buried for a while already. Many questions came to Puvomun, but he kept them away. Zunìl clearly was still fighting the shock, and perhaps also the pain from the loss of their clan leader.

Siltsere, the girl who was to become the clan's next Tsahik, then came to greet the teachers.

"Tey'ran is out playing," she knew, "but he will be happy to see you again as well." As she sat down with the teachers and the Tsahik, Siltsere looked at Zunìl, who simply nodded.

"We have no olo'eyktan now," the young girl then said. The gravity in her voice was uncanny to Puvomun. A child should be carefree. Not be like that.

"We have heard that," Amhul said, and to Zunìl as well: "Is there someone who would follow Txep'rea as clan leader?"

"There was someone, but he died in the war with the sawtute. We asked Txep'rea to find a new successor, but he never saw the reason to be quick about that." Zunìl sighed. "I have asked the men that might be a good leader, but they all dread the responsibility, it seems."

"That is not a surprise. Taking the position of clan leader is not something everyone can do," Amhul agreed. "Tsu'tey had been trained for that for a long time."

Puvomun's mate fell silent for a moment. He knew that Tsu'tey's death had caused her much pain, as she had been one of the few close friends of the man. Even though Tsu'tey would never had admitted that.

"He fell in that war as well. We are lucky to have Jake as our leader now."

Puvomun asked Zunìl how the clan now reached their decisions.

"Nue'wah, Pawl and I try to keep that going. It is not easy. Sometimes some hunters do not agree with what we decide and then there are long arguments." Zunìl had a pained expression on her face for a moment. "We get nothing done this way."

Puvomun understood the woman's frustration. If the forest clan had as many strong-headed members as the Omatikaya did, then it would take an even stronger-headed leader to keep that bunch under control. "Maybe we can talk to Jake about this, and Mo'at."

Zunìl shook her head. "No. This is something for the clan, not for other people."

The teacher recognised clan pride and did understood. "Oe tslam, ma Zunìl, I understand. But if we can help in any way, do ask."

"I will, of course, and I thank you."

They talked some more and then someone came telling that there was food.

As the clan was eating, the herb collectors returned. Paul Cameron noticed the two Omatikaya teachers and quickly came forward to greet them. The man looked very well, happy even, and everything about him showed that he was accepted as a member of the forest clan.

"My friends!" The scientist held out both his hands to shake the hands of the teachers. "I am very happy to see you. I hope you have good news, we had our share of problems. I sense that Zunìl has mentioned them already..."

Puvomun felt sorry for the man, as they were not the bringers of good news. "Unfortunately there are problems at Kelutral and Mìpa Tsray as well."

"Mìpa Tsray?" Paul Cameron smiled. "I like that name. But tell me, what are the problems? Maybe there is something we can do about them."

The man's face changed expression several times as the teachers relayed what had transpired. When he heard about the misfortune of Mark, he gasped. "What a fool! Nobody in their right mind would walk up to a forest banshee! But it is good to know he will be alright, despite missing some parts."

The news about Tracy and the strange appearance on her arm alarmed him. "So nobody knows what she touched, or what happened?"

"No, ma Pawl. She did not say, and she's been asleep ever since."

Zunìl and Nue'wah whispered among each other, but they did not feel ready to reveal what they were discussing.

"And you never saw anything like it?" Paul Cameron asked on.

"No. This is new for everyone."

"Wait, wait, let's try to think broader. Outside the lines, not the way everyone thinks." The scientist held up a hand, as if he physically wanted to prevent everone from speaking. "Okay. Think about your answer first. Have you ever seen something like it anywhere else but on a person?"

Puvomun was baffled by this strange question.

"I ask this because our species is not from this world. Our bodies react differently to all kinds of things here. Look at the air you breathe and what we breathe, for instance." He tapped the mask with the little twig that allowed him to live.

Puvomun and Amhul pained their heads, but they could not find anything in their memories which even remotely would resemble what they had seen on Tracy's arm.

"Maybe someone else in your clan is able to think of something. Your healing man, Nusumea, for instance. Or your Tsahik. Or..." Paul Cameron frowned for a moment, as he tried to think of more names, but then he shook his head.

"That is all I can think of for the moment," the man in the mask said. "I hope you can do something with that. And perhaps I have thought of a few more options when you visit again."

"Irayo, ma Pawl," the teachers thanked him.

Then Puvomun had an idea. "Perhaps there is something we can help you with. Concerning your problem of not having an olo'eyktan."

"That would be most welcome, ma karyu." It was something unusual for the scientist to call Puvomun or Amhul "teacher".

Amhul looked at her mate in surprise.

"When Jake had become olo'eyktan, clan leader, he chose a few people to help him  deal with clan affairs. He asked me, and Nusumea Tirea, and Amaya to be his...-" Puvomun frowned as he searched for the word "-... council. Perhaps you and Zunìl, together with Nue'wah and a few others can also be a council to arrange fra'u olo'teri. All things for the clan."

Paul Cameron showed them the biggest smile possibke behind a mask.

"Irayo, ma Pawl," Amhul thanked the man.

Not long after that the two teachers announced they would go back home. Paul Cameron and Zunìl thanked them for the idea of the council. It was something they all saw as a good way to deal with the clan's everyday affairs for a while.
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

Offline Nusumea Tirea

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #41 on: March 12, 2011, 10:19:23 am »
42. Utral Aymokriyä

On the way to Kelutral, heavy rain surprised the two teachers. They had been in the air with rain before, but this downpour became so heavy that even their ikrans wanted to find shelter. The ikran memakto were more than willing to let them. The rain hammered down hard on them, so getting away from that, to the safety of thick layers of leaves, was the only sensible thing.

As they sat huddled together on the branch, the rain rushing down around them, Amhul sighed. "We don't have much time together like this."

Puvomun nodded, his head resting against hers. His mind was churning over all the strangeness that was going around at the moment. Mark and his insane attempt to deal with ikranay, Tracy and her arm, and then Paul Cameron in the village of olo'utri, the forest clan. Amhul's words made him push all these things aside and just focus on the two of them being there together.

Overhead, their ikrans were arguing about something, which made both teachers grin.

"Do you think Pawl Kamron will ever return to Mìpa Tsray?" Amhul then asked, to Puvomun's surprise. "He seems to happy there. As if he belongs in that village."

"I do not know. If he decides to stay there, Norm and the others in Mìpa Tsray will not be pleased. After all, he is one of them."

"Are you certain, ma yawne?" Amhul looked her partner in the eyes. "Is he still one of them? Srane, he looks like them, his body is small and vulnerable like theirs, but... peyä tirea, his spirit, is different. His body is tawtute, but his spirit is Na'vi. The opposite of Jake, whose body is Na'vi, but whose mind still has a lot of tawtute in it."

Puvomun frowned at the sharp observation Amhul had made. She was right. "In case one of our 'neighbours' asks about him, we should reply with care then," he suggested.

"Srane. That would be the best thing. Also, we cannot tell them something that Pawl Kamron has not decided for himself. At least he has not told us."

"He looks at us as friends, ma Amhul, if he wants to tell us something, he will. We will see him a few more times, I am sure, about this problem with Trä'si."

They talked about the woman with the strange affliction on her arm for a while, and then discovered that the rain had stopped falling. It was time to fly back home.

Their extended stay at the olo'utri and the delay caused by the rain made that they got to Kelutral in the evening. The teachers let their ikrans fly free to find their food and went down to where the clan was gathering for the evening meal.

As they ate, the meharyu explained about what they had seen and heard.

Neytiri and Jake were pleasantly surprised that they had thought of the council idea and how well that was received by Zunìl and Paul Cameron.

"That must have given them some breathing space," Jake commented. "Good thinking."

Mo'at then told them that Tracy's situation had not changed. "She is still sleeping, but when they pour water on her lips, she will drink it. Fì'u lu hahaw astxong, this is a strange sleep."

"Ma Mo'at," Puvomun then said. "Pawl asked if any of us had ever seen what Trä'si has on her arm, but then somewhere else. Not on an arm, not even on people."

The Tsahik fell silent as she thought of the many things she knew and had seen, but in the end she had to shake her head, which made the beads in her hair softly tick against her elaborate shoulder-dress. "No. I have never seen something like that."

Several other people pondered the question, people who had actually seen the strange spot on Tracy's arm, but nobody could remember seeing that anywhere before.

Afterwards, the teachers listened to the stories that some of the children wanted to tell, but after their long day they decided that it was a good moment to go to sleep early.

-=-=-

The next morning Amaya came to see Puvomun. She looked puzzled.

"Ma Puvomun, have you seen Mo'at, or Nusumea Tirea?"

"Kehe, ma Amaya, why? You look worried."

Amaya looked around. "I have..." She sat down, her looks become even more uncertain. "Maybe I'm a fool, ma karyu. Maybe I did something stupid."

A light panic flared up within Puvomun. "What did you do? Or see?" In his memories floated a joking talk of Amaya making tsaheylu with baby palulukans. She wouldn't have...

"It's about tsaheylu," she quietly said.

Oh no. She had!

"I talked with Eywa just now. At the Tree of Souls."

Oh, such relief. She hadn't. But why then her confusion?

"And then someone said something about Trä'si." Amaya stared at Puvomun, shaking her head as if she did not want to believe what she had just said.

"Trä'si?" Puvomun couldn't believe it either. "What did you hear?"

Amaya bit her lip firmly. It was clear that she had a hard time saying it.

Amhul then sat down with them, interrupting Amaya's revelations. "Why are you two looking so serious?"

Puvomun explained the little, but shocking bit Amaya had so far divulged.

"What did you do?" she then asked, taking one of Amaya's hands.

"I was at the Tree of Souls, meeting with some of the spirits there, and then someone came forward and told me something. About Trä'si and that it was important. That it needed to be done fast." Amaya looked almost guilty.

"What? What did this spirit say?" Puvomun asked, wanting to rip the words from her.

""Trä'si should be brought to the Tree."

"And then?"

"I don't know. That is what I heard. Trä'si must be brought to the Tree." Amaya bit her lip again. "I told you it was stupid."

"So you did not make tsaheylu with a palulukantsyìp?" Puvomun asked, to be certain.

"No, why should I do that?" Amaya seemed genuinely surprised.

She hadn't. Relief spread a bit through Puvomun's body. He had not noticed he'd tensed up so badly.

"That is not important now. We should bring the woman here. Trä'si."

Amhul agreed.

"We will go and bring her here," she told Amaya. "Tell Mo'at what you have done and heard, while we are away."

"Srane, I will do that," Amaya agreed, visibly relieved that the teachers reacted this way. She had evidently expected something else.

Puvomun and Amhul made it to Mìpa Tsray in record time, surprising the inhabitants of the neighbouring tree-village. They found Tracy lying in the same spot where they had last seen her. Someone had indeed put a layer of yerik skin around her arm, and the woman, Karissa, sat with Tracy.

"Hey, you are in a hurry," she remarked as the two Omatikaya came to a halt.

Mendelson and Randolph joined them. "Good to see you. What brings you here in such a hurry?"

Puvomun explained in as few words as possible what they had learnt at olo'utri and that Paul Cameron was staying there for a while longer, and then tried to explain that Amaya had received some information from Utral Aymokriyä about Tracy.

"We have to take her to the Sacred Tree," Amhul confirmed.

"But why? What are you going to do with her there?" Mendelson asked.

"We don't know yet. Eywa will provide, though. She will not tell us something like that if there is no reason for it."

Norm, Randolph, Mendelson and Karissa had a brief discussion, something Puvomun understood (they always had those), although he was rather impatient now and hoped they would quickly decide. After all, he was about to take one of their people away to an unknown place. Only Norm had seen the Tree of Souls, so far.

"Okay, you can take her with you," the sawtute finally decided. "There's nothing we can do for her here. We'll have to trust Eywa."

Norm then told his fellowmen: "I trust Eywa. I've seen enough of what she accomplishes."

The others nodded and carefully watched as Puvomun carefully scooped up Tracy.

"We will take good care of her," he promised. "Is the twig in her mask fresh? We do not know how long she will be with us."

"She should be fine," Karissa said, "Phil changed it yesterday. Good luck, with whatever it is you're going to do."

"We just take her to our Sacred Tree," Amhul said, "and then we will find out."

The teachers then bid the people goodbye and headed to Utral Aymokriyä.

By the time they arrived there, Mo'at, Amaya and several others had gathered there as well. When Mo'at saw Puvomun and Amhul appear from the woods, she beckoned them over.

"We have to lay her down here," Mo'at pointed, as if she knew what would be done next.

Puvomun lay down the limp body of the unconscious woman.

"Yes. This is good," Mo'at confirmed as she made everyone step back.

The group waited and watched, but nothing seemed to happen.

"Something is not right," the Tsahik remarked.

Neytiri nodded in silence and stepped to the Tree of Souls, carefully and tenderly connecting her queue to a few bright tendrils that hung down and almost touched Tracy.

Jake watched his mate intensely. Puvomun felt how Amhul slipped a hand in his. He then took Amaya'a hand, she stood with them.

"Ma 'ite," Mo'at whispered, but Neytiri did not seem to hear her at first.

Then, with a slight nod, the woman released her braid from the tree's tendrils. She kneeled down and took her knife.

"Neytiri, what are you doing?" Jake asked as he stepped forward.

"We need to take this off," Neytiri told him as she started to cut away the yerik skin. The Sky People had obviously sewn it to Tracy's arm; it took her a while to remove the thing. When she was done, she carefully placed Tracy's arm the way her mother had done, stretched out, with the strange row of tiny hairs touching the ground.

Neytiri's eyes seemed fixed on the arm of the tiny silent woman. When she finally stared at the other clan members, she whispered: "Come look..."
« Last Edit: March 12, 2011, 10:25:01 am by Nusumea Tirea »

Offline Puvomun

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2011, 09:27:44 am »
43.  Mask. No mask. Mask.

The small group carefully came closer to Neytiri. Tracy still had not moved. Neytiri pointed. All eyes looked, and gasps came from many mouths.

Blinking tendrils had risen from the roots of the tree. Some seemed to have come up from the soil itself, and they all were weaving themselves into the strange hairs on Tracy's arm, folding themselves around the arm like a spider would wrap its web around a prey.

"Is this good?" Puvomun asked quietly, but nobody replied. He assumed that nobody knew, since this had never happened before.

"We will wait," Mo'at decided. "Eywa provides and we should not interfere with the work of our Great Mother. This does not happen when it is not good."

At a certain point the thin tendrils stopped moving. It was remarkable that only the one arm of the woman was covered with them. The rest of her body was untouched.

"What would this mean?" Amhul wondered, clearly more thinking out loud than asking a question. They would, as Mo'at had said, have to wait.

The connections coming from the ground slowly pulsated, as if energy from the entire environment was used to do something to Tracy.

Time passed, and nothing seemed to happen. A few times some clan members came to ask if they could do something, some brought food and water for the waiting people.

Apxanari and I'vawm came to see what was happening, which basically was not very much, but they were fascinated by the connection of Eywa to the tawtute woman.

"We should not touch her," Apxanari said, sporting a wise look on her young face for a moment. "I think Eywa has a plan."

Puvomun looked at Amhul and they grinned.

"And what is that plan?" I'vawm asked Apxanari.

"I don't know! I'm not Eywa!" Apxanari threw her arms up in mock despair, causing everyone to laugh.

Then something did happen: Tracy started coughing, her body jerking violently. Her eyes flew open and with her free hand she clawed at the mask she was wearing. Neytiri's hands flew but she was not prepared for the sudden action, so she could not prevent Tracy from ripping the mask away and taking in a big gulp of the air that was poison to the sawtute.

As the woman started to relax, Neytiri carefully placed the mask back over Tracy's face, gently talking to her. As Neytiri made sure the small twig was still inside the mask and not poking in one of Tracy's eyes, the others came a bit closer.

The two children were shocked by the violent surge that had gone through the tawtute woman, but quickly regained their composure and sat with Tracy, who now had her eyes open. She was breathing frantically, looking confused at the faces around her, but then Puvomun spoke to her.

"Trä'si, you are safe. We are friends. I am Puvomun. Do you remember me?"

It took a while of talking and gently holding the woman down on the ground, but in the end Tracy relaxed and began to respond again.

"I am... God, this is weird. Where am I?"

Amhul explained what had happened and where they had taken Tracy.

As Puvomun's mate talked, Puvomun heard Neytiri say: "Ma sa'nok... tìng nari... Look..." She pointed.

The fibres from the ground, that had wrapped themselves around Tracy's arm, slowly retracted. After only a few intakes of breath they had all gone. The strange line of hairs on her arm was still there, but somehow looked different now.

Tracy struggled to sit up, and Amhul and I'vawm helped her. The little boy smiled as Tracy held on to his arm for support and thanked him.

"So I passed out," Tracy tried to recap the events, "and then you took me here because it sounded like a good idea from your tree- uhm, Eywa?"

That did not sound very good, but Puvomun agreed that it was close enough to the truth.

"Sweet, and now what?" Tracy sighed. She looked at her arm. "That's still there..."

Slowly she touched the hairs with a few fingers.

Puvomun noticed her surprised look. "Is something... different?"

Wordlessly Tracy nodded and slowly ran her finger along the small white hairs. Then the teacher noticed it too: the hairs did not retract into her skin! They just lay against her skin.

"Anyone have a clue what to make of that?" Tracy then asked, looking at the people one by one.

Mo'at sat down with the woman and took one of her hands. "How do you feel?"

"I'm fine. Never better, I would almost say."

Mo'at nodded. "Do you remember breathing our air?"

Tracy looked at the Tsahik while disbelief painted her face. "No way. That's poison for us, remember?"

"Not for you," Mo'at said. "Just as you woke up, you pulled your mask off and breathed. Our air. Then Neytiri put back your mask."

"Yeah, right." Tracy grinned. "You're joking a joker, I'm not falling for that."

"But it is true."

All the others confirmed, and said the same. For some, Amhul and Puvomun had to translate, but everyone had seen it. When the children said the same thing, Tracy started believing them.

"It looked as if you were suffocating in your mask," Amhul elaborated, and acted as Tracy had done, who laughed over it.

"Must have been a strange mistake. I'm glad I live to see how you did that, Amhul," Tracy laughed as she scrambled to her feet. "I'm ravenous!"

Puvomun looked puzzled. His knowledge of Ìnglìsì was broad, but this was beyond his grasp of the language. It became quickly apparent though that Tracy was very hungry, and that did not come as a surprise. She had gone without food for quite a number of days!

The group, with the children left and right of Tracy, holding her arms, started back to Kelutral, when Tracy suddenly started coughing again, doubling over and falling to her knees.

Amaya, who was closest to the woman, dropped to her knees and in what seemed an insane action pulled the mask away from Tracy's face.

Tracy breathed deeply a few times, the coughing stopped, and then she grabbed for the mask again. She raised her red face to the two teachers and Amaya and calmed down. "What the hell was that?"

"It was what Amhul showed you. It looks as if you need to breathe a little of our air." It sounded very strange, near to impossible, but it was the only explanation.

"No, can't be," said Tracy as she got up. "Your air kills our kind."

They walked on, and just before they reached Kelutral, Tracy again had a coughing fit. This time removing her mask for a moment went much more dignified. Mo'at did it, and put it back after Tracy had gulped some air.

Now the tawtute woman looked very uncertain. "This is not a joke anymore, is it? This is real."

Puvomun saw how she bit her lip as something that looked like terror filled her eyes.

"I need to breathe your air once in a while. What the hell happened to me?!" she screamed.

"We do not know, only what you told us. You scratched your arm on something, your arm became swollen and then you fell asleep. And now you have connected with Eywa and you woke up."

"I did not connect anything," Tracy growled, her hands becoming fists, her voice trembling. "I want to be me again!" She looked at the arm with the line of hairs and scratched them furiously. The hairs withdrew, leaving only red marks on her skin from where she had scratched herself. Some of the scratches were so deep that blood welled up from them.

Tracy then looked up at Puvomun, tears streaming from her eyes. "I never wanted this!" Then she turned and ran off.

One of the others, a young man called Otranyu, went after her and picked her up. He did not mind the kicking and slapping of the tawtute woman. Almost tenderly he held her against him as he walked back to the small group.

Otranyu looked at Amhul and Puvomun. "What shall I do with her?"

Puvomun kneeled down and gestured that Otranyu put Tracy on her feet again, which he did with the same tenderness.

Tracy was sobbing and sank to her knees as well. She shook her head. "I don't want this... I want to be a normal human..." Then she coughed again, gasping for air.

Puvomun saw her struggle. She was clearly refusing to breathe the other air, objecting to accept what was. He sat ready to remove Tracy's mask but she gave in and pulled off the mask.

Tears had drawn erratic patterns on Tracy's smudged cheeks as she looked at the teacher. "I can't... I can't..." Then slowly she put her mask back on.

Apxanari and I'vawm stood back, holding Amaya's hands. The children were surprised and also a bit unnerved by all that was happening. Amhul was with them as well, quietly talking to them.

"Trä'si, we should first go back and eat. You need to eat. Do you want someone to carry you?"

Tracy needed time to think about that. Then she shook her head. "No. I can walk." A lost sob escaped her. "But... can the children hold my hands?"

Puvomun looked back at the two and waited. He knew they had heard the question. The children whispered something with Amhul, then smiled and nodded.

"Srane." They joined Tracy, who slowly stood up. The children each took a hand.

"I will walk last," said Otranyu.

"Sìltsan, ma tsmukan, that is good," said Puvomun. "Thank you for going after her."

Otranyu just nodded and flashed a short smile.

Jake and Neytiri walked with the teachers. "Ma Puvomun," said the olo'eyktan, "thanks for handling this. I'm not so good with this, and Tracy only speaks English."

"Nìprrte, ma Jake," Puvomun said. "We all do what we can."

As they walked on, Nusumea Tirea came their way.

"I was worried," he explained, "so I came to see what took you so long. Is everything well?"

Neytiri and Mo'at explained to him what had happened as they returned to Kelutral. Once there, food was brought, and water, for Tracy to strengthen herself.

Every once in a while she had to stop eating and breathe in the, for her, other air for a moment. Many Omatikaya were surprised about that, as it was a very strange sight, but the ones who had been with Tracy at Utral Aymokriyä told everyone that there was nothing to worry about.
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

Offline Puvomun

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2011, 01:44:09 pm »
44. One surprise gone, the second comes

Once Tracy had eaten enough, Mo'at and Nusumea wanted to talk with the woman. They were intrigued by what they had heard and tried to learn more, but Tracy closed up again after a few questions. Her reluctance to accept and talk about it was very clear once more.

"I think I have to go back to my own people," Tracy declared at one point. "I feel fine now and I just want to put this whole episode behind me." She sipped some local air.

Puvomun noticed that this switching of what she was breathing had quickly become something she did without thinking.

"Do you want us to take you back?" the teacher asked Tracy.

"Yes, please."

Nusumea went along with them, he wanted to check on Mark's recovery.

Amhul was singing songs with some of the children.

"Do you feel anything strange with your arm?" he asked the woman. "I see your arm is not thick anymore."

"My arm is just fine," Tracy said, with Puvomun as interpreter. "I don't know what happened, but it's all fine now. And if you ask me, we all were hallucinating, nothing else."

Over her head, the two Omatikaya exchanged glances. It was clear to both of them that Tracy had changed, she just denied it happening. Or perhaps, Puvomun thought, something was still going on inside her. Something nobody could see.

They reached Mìpa Tsray, where Tracy was welcomed back.

Nusumea left to see Mark, while Norm, Mary and Mendelson talked with the teacher to learn what had happened. They were very surprised, of course, and things became dramatic for a moment when Tracy started coughing again.

Puvomun understood that she was deliberately not breathing his air and was ready to run to her, when Tracy took off her mask and breathed.

Folks around her screamed and tried to push her mask back, when Nusumea shouted something to make everyone look at him. That gave Tracy enough time to put her mask back on when she was ready for that.

Some of the sawtute around Tracy cursed. Puvomun had heard some of the words before and knew they were not meant nice. He assumed that this happened because the people had been frightened. Tracy should have told them all.

"Now that is scary," Mary said. She had jumped up when the noise around Tracy had started, and now sat down again, her hands protectively over her belly where a slight swelling was already visible.

Puvomun wondered how long sawtute women carried.

"Yes," he then said, "we were worried too, at first, when we found that Tracy needs to breathe a bit of our air. But she needs it."

"I wish we knew what had happened to her," Norm put in, his face becoming that of the scientist again for a moment. "It is a very interesting phenomena. Do you think she could communicate with your world now, like you can?"

"We do not know, ma Norm. Mo'at and Nusumea have talked with her about it, but she is not able or willing to say something about it. We have never seen anything like this before either."

Mendelson shared with the others that he would keep an eye on Tracy as much as he could. "As long as she does not make me listen to that horrible stuff she calls music. I do not accept 'rap' as music."

Norm and Mary laughed, leaving Puvomun in the dark about 'rap'.

Nusumea then returned to the small group and said that Mark was doing quite well, considering his injuries. "He can walk around a bit again. He has trouble hearing well though, so he should not go into the forest alone if that can be avoided. You need memikyun, two ears, to hear the what the forest tells you."

Puvomun agreed. Without good hearing it was impossible to tell where something was coming from.

By the time the two Omatikaya wanted to return to their home, they talked to Tracy.

"Will you be well, Trä'si?"

"Sure, don't worry about me. I'm home again, I'm good."

Nusumea frowned. "How will you sleep?"

"Watcha mean? Lying down, with my eyes closed, just the way I'm used to," Tracy grinned.

"Kehe, I mean with your breathing. Can you sleep and still breathe our air sometimes?"

The woman frowned for a moment. "I'm sure that'll be fine. I'm going to work something out with my peeps here, so that's cool."

After clearing up the 'peeps', meaning the Mìpa Tsray villagers, Puvomun and Nusumea bid the sawtute a good day and went back to Kelutral.

"We should have someone ready to go to Mìpa Tsray tonight," Nusumea said. "I do not feel good about her being there."

"Oel omum, ma tsmukan," Puvomun nodded. "I know, brother."

-=-=-

Before the night came, there were things to do though. Puvomun busied himself with making arrows and repairing bows, while Amhul taught Apxanari and I'vawm specific things of being a karyu, a teacher.

As he was working, he kept thinking about Tracy and what Nusumea had said about the night. It was truly something to be aware of.

Jake asked if Puvomun knew where Amaya was, as someone had mentioned a sick pa'li, but Puvomun had not seen Amaya since returning from the Sky People village.

"Right. If you see her, tell her to find Peyral, she knows what direhorse needs looking after."

"I will tell her, ma Jake."

His chance to tell Amaya came shortly after that. However, Puvomun by then forgot to tell what Jake had said...

"Puvomun!" It was Amaya's voice, that chimed up from a lot of sudden screams and yelling. "Come see what I found!"

Curious, the teacher put down the half-finished bow and walked to where the noise was coming from.

He saw a wide circle of people, clearly intent of watching something and equally intent not to go close to it. The singer pushed through the line and stopped dead in his tracks.

Amaya stood there, holding something in her arms.

"Nga lu lekye'ung, kefyak? You are crazy, right?" That was all that Puvomun could say after understanding what she was holding.

Amaya grinned down at the small nantang cub that she held. "I found it in the forest," she explained, "and its mother was dead. This one had three siblings, they are dead too, so I thought to-"

"What the hell?" Jake had also heard the noise and pushed himself into the circle of spectators, Neytiri right behind them.

The future Tsahik screamed and stared at the animal that looked entirely at peace in Amaya's arms. "Nantangtsyìp!" Neytiri exclaimed then. That was rather superfluous, as everyone had seen so already.

"What on Earth is going on in your head, Amaya?" Jake asked. "Take that animal back to where it belongs!"

Puvomun understood that. A village with people and children was not the place for a nantang, not even a small one.

"But then it will die, ma Jake," Amaya protested. "It is afraid and it wants to be with me."

"How do you know?" Mo'at's voice rang out sharply as she too appeared.

Amaya looked at the Tsahik. "It told me." She pressed the cub protectively against herself.

Mo'at was silent for an impressive amount of time. "Tell me you did not do what I think you did."

Amaya did not say a word though. Instead she reached for her tswin. As the little nantang notice it, it swung one of its leads and quickly made tsaheylu with the woman.

"He's mine," Amaya insisted. "I cannot ride ikran, but I can take care of the little one. And if you don't allow it, I will leave and live in the jungle to take care of it."

Puvomun did not doubt her words for a moment. She would do that, so the teacher walked over to Jake and urged him to listen.

"What? Let her stay here with that?" The olo'eyktan was unwilling, and for a good reason of course.

"She will leave if you don't allow, ma Jake. I know her the way you don't. We all do." Puvomun looked at Neytiri, who nodded, be it reluctantly.

Jake scratched his chin. "Hmm." He was thinking, and that was a good thing.

Puvomun hoped he was doing the right thing in trying to convince Jake to let the nantangtsyìp stay.

"Alright. But you will have to keep it on a leash and make sure it does not go wandering off on its own," he then told Amaya. "And if someone feels threatened by it, it goes. And you stay."

Amaya stared at Jake, from him to Puvomun and then at the little animal she was holding.

"He won't make a problem, ma Jake," she then said. "I promise." And after another glance at the animal she added: "And he promises too."

Jake shook his head as Amaya walked off, cooing at the little nantang in her arms. "And I thought I'd seen some weird s***, but this beats it all." Then he remembered the business with the pa'li, so he went after Amaya and told her about the horse herself.

Puvomun saw Amhul come towards him, her eyes fixed on Amaya and making a wide circle around the woman with her pet.

"What is that?" she asked her mate as she reached him. "This is not real, is it?"

"I am afraid it is, ma Amhul. Amaya has an ikran substitute."

"Ikran... substitute?" Amhul's eyes grew large with disbelief.

Puvomun repeated what Amaya had said. As he spoke the words, they made sense in a strange way, but he still felt odd about it all.

"And Jake allows it?"

"Under conditions. Strict conditions, although I am not sure if they are strict enough. And I hope this does not give certain children ideas to go and find their own nantangtsyìp in a while." The mere thought filled him with dread.
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #44 on: March 23, 2011, 04:14:35 pm »
45. Ke sìltsan lu

The day came to an end, and the village became quiet. Puvomun had talked to Jake and Neytiri, about his concern regarding Tracy and her sleeping in Mìpa Tsray. The clan leader had agreed to have a few people sit awake for a while in turns, to be prepared if someone from the sawtute village would come running.

As soon as morninglight came, the two teachers were awake and hurried down Kelutral, to learn that nothing had happened.

Puvomun was very curious how Tracy had arranged sleeping, so he decided to go to the neighbouring village and find out about just that. But before that was an option, there was a bit of unrest in the village. Amaya was running around, looking worried.

The two teachers stopped her and Amhul asked: "He did not slip away, did he?"

Amaya bit her lip. "I only put him down for a moment. To tie the leash on him."

"And where is the leash?" Puvomun asked, pointing at Amaya's empty hands.

"Uhh. Wiya... Damn..." Amaya looked slightly desperate. "Can you help me find him after I got the leash?"

The two teachers were taken a little aback by her request. Asking her where her pet was was one thing, going around trying to locate and capture a baby nantang was something else. But they agreed they'd help her.

Once the young woman had retrieved the rope that would retain her cub, the three started looking around. They discovered that Kelutral had far too many places where a small animal could get into and hide. Many eyes followed the three as they walked into all the spaces and back, finding all kinds of things, but not the runaway nantangtsyìp.

"Where is he?" Amaya asked time and again, but nobody had the answer for her.

Then some people started shouting and yelling for Jake, in a spot near the trees of the forest.

Amaya shrieked and dashed off, the teachers in her wake. There was more than just a slight opportunity that the people were making noise over the little one.

When they reached the group, there was no nantangtsyìp though. What they found was a very tired rider with an equally tired pa'li. His colours showed he was from olo'utri, the forest clan.

"You are Puvomun," the man said with a faint smile, while several Omatikaya kept him on his feet. "Pawl Kamron has asked for you to come."

"Don't speak," Amhul told the man. "Come, you need food and rest. Your horse will be seen to."

The rider was too tired to object, so he let himself be taken, half carried, to the place where there was food and water, and a good place to sit.

Puvomun noticed that Amaya was not with them. She probably was out hunting her animal again.

As Jake nor Neytiri were there, Mo'at was called to talk with the pa'li maktoyu from olo'utri. The man said they were in need of people who could fly, as there were sightings of a large group of aynantang in their area.

"We need the help of some people who can see where they are, from the sky," the rider, who went by the name of Mil'hì, explained.

Mo'at frowned in her well-known way. "And you ask for two teachers to do that? You should ask for mesaronyu, ma 'eylan, two hunters."

"Ngaytxoa, ma Tsahik," Mil'hì bowed his head for a moment, "I am sorry, but Puvomun and Amhul are the only people Pawl Kamron seems to know well enough." It was a very nice way to mention trust.

"Amhul! Mo'at! Puvomun!" Shouting again, and Puvomun was convinced that finally the runaway nantangtsyìp had been located. He got up and looked over to where the noise came from, and he saw Randolph, from Mìpa Tsray, running towards where the small group sat.

"Ma Puvomun, you go and talk to him," Mo'at decided. "I will speak with Mil'hì."

The teacher nodded, looked at Amhul who shook her head, and then walked over to Randolph. The man was panting, he had been running all the way over evidently.

"Randolfì, you are in a hurry. Pelun? Why?"

"Jesus, it's farther than I thought," the man gasped inside his mask. He needed a while to catch his breath. Then he said that Tracy needed help. "She's acting strangely."

Puvomun nodded and turned, calling for Nusumea Tirea. Mo'at was busy with the rider, so he left her in peace. Then he called for I'vawm and Apxanari, who came running. "Meveng, take good care of Randolfì. He has been running far," he told the children. "Nusumea and I will go to Mìpa Tsray to see Trä'si."

"Sran, ma Puvomun," they nodded, and took Randolph by the arms. Puvomun was proud of them, and he was going to tell their parents about that.

Nusumea arrived, asking what the problem was.

"I don't know, it is something with Trä'si," the teacher said as he started walking.

"Oeng zene tul," Nusumea said, "we must run."

They ran.

-=-=-

The two arrived at the New Village soon, where they were already expected. Karissa, the woman who had taken care of Tracy before, wasted no time. She told the two Omatikaya to come with her. She led them to a quiet spot to the side of their home tree, where Tracy lay on the ground on a few pieces of cloth.

Tracy was conscious, a good thing, and she coughed as she saw Puvomun and Nusumea approach. Karissa kneeled with her again, whispering that things would be fine as she lifted Tracy's mask, so she could breathe the local air.

Nusumea kneeled down as well and looked at the right arm, where the fine hairs were, while Puvomun asked Tracy how she was feeling.

"I feel like crap," the woman answered. "It was all fine most of the night, but then I started feeling restless and nauseous. I tried to get up, but my legs won't carry me. And I threw up." She made a disgusted face. "That's how they found me, with vomit all over me."

Karissa continued that Phil, who had found Tracy, had carried her outside and put her where she was lying now.

"So Trä'si has slept inside?"

"Yes. Normal thing to do, with all the animals around here in the night."

"And how did she get her other air?" Nusumea wondered.

"We filled small plastic bags with air and she breathed from those. Went pretty well for a while. It was easy to wake her up that too," Karissa said. She reached into a pocket of her trousers and showed the Omatikaya one of the strange transparent pouches that they used for so many things.

Nusumea hissed at the thing. "That is not healthy."

Puvomun agreed. The solution was creative, but far from adequate. A little thing like that could never hold enough air to breathe properly from. This dual air need was quite a problem.

"Her arm is thicker again," Nusumea decided. "We should take her to Ayvitrayä  Ramunong."

"I'm not going there again!" Tracy exclaimed with what power she had remaining. She tried to get up but failed in the attempt.

Karissa was just in time to catch Tracy's head before it hit the ground. "Listen to the doctor, girl. You have no say in this. I don't know what it is that they did, but it helped you, so let's do it again."

"No! I won't! It's turning me into a freak!" Tracy tried to thrash around but her body did not let her, so she did what was left to her. She cried. And not even that was something she could do without interruption, as another coughing fit came over her.

Tenderly Nusumea lifted Tracy's mask and let her breathe. Puvomun saw there were tears in his friend's eyes, and he understood. It was heartwrenching to see this small sawtute woman struggle and fight against something that was so much bigger than she was.

Phil, the man they had seen with Tracy before, came running, holding something in his hand. Before someone could do anything, he had put the thing against Tracy's shoulder, the device made a hissing sound, and Tracy stopped fighting. She went limp and seemed to sleep.

"Thank God the tranq pistol worked this time," Phil said, who then explained about the tranquiliser device. "It's running low, so it does not work everytime."

By now more sawtute came closer. Mendelson was among them,  and Norm as well.

Karissa and Phil rapidly talked to them, telling what had happened, while Puvomun filled in a few things that Nusumea had said.

"So you want to take her away again," Norm said as he rubbed his hairy chin. "Well, last time it helped. Just, please, be careful with her, okay?"

"Meoe nìyari si frakrr, ma Norm, we both will be careful always," Puvomun promised. He watched how Nusumea picked up the now too silent woman. "We will take care of her. It may be best if she stays at Kelutral for now."

"Oel mllte, I agree," Norm nodded. He looked around. "Anyone know how fresh her twig is?" He was referring to the twig in Tracy's mask. Someone said it was only a few days old.

"Sìltsan. We know what tree it comes from," Nusumea said, through Puvomun, "we can get a fresh one for her when she needs it."

Several Sky people walked along with the Omatikaya as they went back to Kelutral. Once there, Mo'at frowned as she saw that they had brought Tracy back. Randolph, who was still there, held Tracy's pulse and seemed satisfied.

"Poe zene kivä nìmun ne Ayvitrayä Ramunong," Nusumea simply said. "She must go to the Tree of Souls again."

"Oe mltte," Mo'at nodded, touching Tracy's forehead. "I agree. But she is not well." She took her small ritual knife and pricked Tracy's skin. The Tsahik carefully sampled the drop of blood. "Her sleep is not normal. What happened?"

Nusumea told her.

"Ke sìltsan lu," Mo'at muttered, "this is not good. Eywa will not reach her this way."
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #45 on: March 30, 2011, 08:05:30 am »
46. Solutions and more problems

Mo'at looked at the small woman in Nusumea's arms. "We must wait for her to wake up. I will not allow that she meets Eywa like this."

This was no point of discussion, everyone was aware of that.

"I will wait with her until she wakes up," Nusumea said.

"Do not forget to lift her mask once in a while," Puvomun reminded him as the hunter-healer walked off to a shady spot.

"Irayo, ma tsmukan, oel umom."

"I sent Lolet and Rakan to the olo'utri," Mo'at told the singer-teacher. "The rider is on his way again, he did not want to sit here and rest. And Amaya..." The Tsahik raised her eyes to the sky for a moment. "She lost her animal."

"Still?"

Mo'at cast a sharp look at Puvomun. "You knew this?" The stare from her eyes seemed to pierce his very skull.

"She mentioned something like that, yes, just before we left for Mìpa Tsray, ma Mo'at."

The Tsahik twitched her mouth as the intensity from her eyes lessened. "Oel tslam. I understand. There was no time to tell. Several people are looking for it. Can you help?"

Puvomun nodded. "I will first see that the children are safe, then I will help search the nantangtsyip."

Before he could walk off, Mo'at put a hand on his arm for a moment. "You understand how wrong this sounds, srake? A sane person does not search such an animal."

Puvomun grinned, he could not fight it. "Oel omum. But the craziness does not pass by Kelutral without visiting."

"How unfortunate. Ningay." Mo'at shook her head, making the beads in her braids clatter.

The teacher then turned and walked to where he had seen a group of older children huddle together near a tree. They should not be there, with a wild animal around. Not even when the animal was small. Puvomun hoped that Amhul had at least her dagger with her, after all she was also looking for the nantangtsyìp.

When the teacher came closer to the children, some of them looked over their shoulder and then whispered to the others. Usually this was an ominous sign, so Puvomun walked a bit faster. Upon reaching the group, Ikranari quickly got to his feet and said: "We are all safe, ma Puvomun!"

These few simple words confirmed Puvomun's suspicion. The children had found the baby direwolf and were playing with it. Behind Ikranari, the small animal lay on its back, madly thrashing all its legs about as some children tickled its belly.

The teacher did not know if he should laugh or be cross with the children. "You know you should not do that, do you?"

Several heads bobbed, but at the same time an avalanche of explanations were thrown towards him, that the animal was so funny, that they were big already and not afraid, and that they were going to tell Amaya they had found the animal anyway, and so forth.

"Ikranari and Txìwan will go look for Amaya. The rest of you sit there and we will wait for Amaya to come here," Puvomun then decided.

"Slä... but..." Ikranari stared at the teacher. It did not help.

The teacher grinned as Ikranari turned towards Txìwan and said: "You. Come with me. We have to find Amaya."

"Wiya," said Txìwan. Clearly he would rather stay with the prized animal, but he got up and together with Ikranari he ran off. The sooner they had found Amaya, the sooner they would be back.

Puvomun stayed away from the animal a bit, which was not difficult. There were plenty of children not afraid of it, to keep the six-legged wild one at a distance.

Ikranari and Txìwan returned soon, with Amaya and also Amhul.

Amaya quickly put the leash on the nantangtsyìp, babbling to it as if it was her child. The little animal yelped a bit as she patted its head.

"Next time I don't watch you, you should not run off, do you hear me?" Amaya told the animal. And to Puvomun she said: "I am relieved that he's safe and well."

"The children found him. Or perhaps he found the children," the teacher explained. "We should let everyone know that your baby devil is back. So many people are looking for it now, it seems."

"Srane," Amaya agreed.

The children all were helpful with that; they ran around screaming that the nantangtsyìp was found, so within the shortest amount of time all the Omatikaya were back, looking at Amaya and her pet.

"Only one day," Mo'at frowned, "and already your animal makes problems. You know what Jake said."

Amaya held the animal close to herself, both arms protecting it. She nodded. Jake had said that, if the baby nantang caused a problem, it would have to go back to the forest.

"You are lucky I am not Jake," Mo'at then said, with a slight smile. For a moment it looked to Puvomun that the Tsahik would pet the little animal, but after a short hesitation Mo'at turned and walked off. As if she sensed the many eyes staring at her back, she said over her shoulder: "Go to your work!"

-=-=-

The rest of the morning and part of the afternoon went by slowly for Puvomun and Amhul. They wanted to focus on teaching I'vawm and Apxanari a few more of the older songs, the ones that were so important, but one of the two teachers kept walking over to where Nusumea sat with Tracy, to see if the woman was coming to again. In the end they decided to move the singing training to where Nusumea sat.

It was well into the afternoon already when Tracy stirred. "Damn." She raised her left arm and touched her head. "Who knocked me out?"

Puvomun told her that the man Phil had used his device to make her sleep.

"I'll knock his teeth out," Tracy growled as she struggled to sit up. Nusumea helped her. "Thanks. Looks like you kidnapped me again." She did not sound very hostile, but still far from pleased.

"We think it is best if you connect with the Tree again," Amhul explained.

"And you know I hate that," Tracy acknowledged the words.

"But why, Trä'si?" Puvomun asked. "Why does this scare you so?"

"It's bizarre. Not normal. People don't hook up to plants." Tracy's face displayed an overdose of horror and fright. "Nor animals." She stared at her right arm, where the hairs were lying flat against her skin. "Maybe I can shave them off."

Amhul and Puvomun stared at the woman. This was impossible for them to comprehend. Why would someone willingly remove such a gift?

"But, since I'm here and you went through all that trouble...," Tracy sighed a resigning sigh, "I'm going to play nice and do what you ask." She lifted her mask.

Nusumea nodded. "That is good. We can go now. Yes?"

Tracy looked at him. "Sure, best to get it over with. Can the kids come with us?"

Puvomun smiled. Tracy had taken a special liking to Apxanari and I'vawm. "Yes. They will come with us." Perhaps she liked them because they were as tall as she was.

They all rose. Nusumea went to tell Mo'at they were going to Ayvitrayä Ramunong again, fetched some fruit and dried yerik meat for Tracy to eat and then they were on their way again.

"Why were you sitting all so close to me?" Tracy wanted to know as they walked. "Do I look so scary and strong that you need half the village to keep me down?"

Everyone laughed, and Amhul explained that they were singing some of the First Songs with their successors in training.

"Oh, that's cute. Can you sing these songs now? It's probably not what I am used to."

Puvomun and Amhul exchanged a glance. The two children grinned. Amhul started one of the songs the two children were quite good at already.

Puvomun picked up the song and soon all four were singing. He noticed that Tracy occasionally looked up at Nusumea. He wondered what she was thinking, and why she looked at the hunter-healer. With growing suspicion he assumed that she was not very impressed by the old song.

Several songs later (Tracy had by then devoured everything edible Nusumea Tirea had found for her) they reached their goal. The two teachers stood still for a moment, taking in the sight of the immense tree with its bright leads. The children waited with them, understanding.

Tracy waited too, but she was clearly anxious, close to frightened, of what would happen next.

Amhul looked at the sawtute woman. "Come." She held out her hand, and led Tracy towards the magnificent Tree, the others following close behind. They walked among the leads that would shine brightly in the night, and Nusumea decided where they would sit down.

Tracy was nervous by then. Puvomun saw her lips tremble, despite the mask she wore. Her movements showed the tension in her muscles.

"You need not fear," he told her calmly. "Relax, that is important."

"Get me a few Margaritas and I'll relax," Tracy muttered, not making much sense to the teacher.

Nusumea looked puzzled, but Puvomun could not tell him anything more.

"Tell her that we all will make tsaheylu with the Tree," the healer-hunter then explained, using their own language as the teachers would translate. He took his braid and let the tender endings wrap themselves around a few leads that hung down from the tree.

"We also?" Apxanari asked. The two children followed his example as Nusumea nodded.

Puvomun explained this to Tracy.

"But how do I do that? I'm not from here, remember? And to be honest, I'm scared s***. Give me a chance and I haul ass out of here."
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #46 on: April 04, 2011, 12:49:15 pm »
47. With Eywa

Nusumea frowned at Tracy after he had heard her last words, that she would haul ass. "Petseng nga kìyä?" he asked. "Where will you go?"

Tracy pouted. "Damn. You got me there. I'd walk into some man-eating plant within a minute, I think. So how do I do this connection thing?"

Puvomun asked if she would rather lay down, as the experience might be surprising to her. After Tracy had made herself comfortable on the ground, the teacher reached for a few longer strands that hung from a low branch of the tree. "I will hold these against your arm," he explained. "Do not pull away if you feel something. The hairs on your arm will reach for these and make the connection for you." At least, that was what he hoped.

"Okay." The woman in the sweaty clothes swallowed hard and then nodded. "I'm ready. I think."

As the others watched intently, Puvomun held two strands from the tree against the arm. The hairs seemed to sense a presence; they stood out and seemed eager to touch the strands. The teacher-singer noticed that they would not hold on to them though; he would have to keep them in place.

This only left him one hand free to make tsaheylu with the tree. As soon as he moved to do that, Amhul did the same. Puvomun closed his eyes.

The sensation of feeling the ancestors, the spirits that were within Eywa, washed over him like a soothing waterfall. Snippets of voices, impressions, laughter and feelings were there and gone, one being replaced by the next in rapid succession.

Then he sensed Amhul, the children, and Nusumea. He opened his eyes and saw Amhul smile at him. Then he watched Tracy, who had her head turned and was staring at the connection the hairs on her arm were making. Puvomun was a bit confused that he did not sense her.

Tracy then stared at Puvomun, her eyes big. "Something's trying to get into my head!" she whispered.

"Let it happen," the teacher said.

"Yes, let it happen," Nusumea said as he stroked the woman's hair. "Calm down. It is all good."

Tracy nodded and closed her eyes. She did not, however, relax and let it happen. Lips squeezed together and clenched fists were more evidence than needed. Until she raised a hand to take a breath of the other air.

The woman's body relaxed. She let out a sigh as the mask slipped back, and then there was a slight disturbance in what came through the tree's strands.

It was as if every spirit near was holding back for a moment, trying to behold the unusual presence that suddenly appeared.

Puvomun knew Amhul was there, and he understood that the strange presence had to be Tracy. Then there was a very strong spirit present who seemed to wrap around Tracy, shielding her as it were from the experience of being connected to this world. Somehow Puvomun knew that this had to be his friend, Nusumea Tirea.

The jumble of voices, sounds and impressions that came to the singer-teacher slowly returned to their more or less normal state, where snippets of words and feelings followed after each other. Puvomun interacted with the spirits within Eywa, and it did not take long before some form of excitement reached him. The ancestors had discovered that Amhul was there as well and that they were a mated pair.

From all sides there was attention, in spans longer or shorter, and suddenly Puvomun knew that the time to spend here was up. With a smile he released his braid from the strands; this was not a goodbye but a see-you-later.

His eyes found those of Amhul, and they shared an intense moment together, until frantic coughing disrupted it. Amhul quickly reached for Tracy's mask and alleviated the woman's breathing distress while Puvomun let go of the strands he had kept against Tracy's arm.

"Thanks, Amhul," Tracy said as she sat up. "Almost forgot about that." Then she closed her eyes and sat very still.

The Omatikaya left her in peace as long as she needed to. This was the first time a person who was not Na'vi had made such a connection, so it probably had shaken her up quite severely.

When Tracy finally looked up, her face did not show much of how she felt. "That was... weird." She looked at Nusumea. "You were there with me, right?"

He nodded. "To keep you safe. And them."

"Yeah, look at scary me," Tracy muttered. "But I get it. I was the oddball."

After clearing up that word, Nusumea asked Tracy how she felt.

"Would you believe me if I say I don't know?" Tracy took a deep breath, put her mask next to her and rubbed her face with her palms. After putting her mask back on, she looked uncertain. "I feel like me. That's good." She nodded, as if to confirm that to herself.

"I also feel... uhm..." Tracy bit her lip and lifted her mask for a moment. "I also feel... different. Not me. Well, not only me." She looked at the three Omatikaya, one after the other. "Not making much sense, am I?"

Nusumea smiled. "We understand. This is new for you."

"Yeah. Fì'u mìp lu for real."

Puvomun stared at Tracy.

"What?" the object of his attention asked as she noticed it.

"You said 'Fì'u mìp lu'."

"So? It's true, isn..." A wave of horror rolled over Tracy's face. "Oh crap. I'm speaking your language, am I?"

"A little bit," Amhul confirmed. "A few words."

"This may be an effect from the first connection," Nusumea said, uncertainty permeating his voice.

"Ya think it'll wear off?" Tracy asked.

"Maybe. It is new for us as well."

"I guess," the sawtute woman shrugged. "Well, I feel okay. That's something, right? It's not like I am all that bothered by the voices in my head."

"Voices in your head?" This was particular.

"Yeah. From in there," Tracy gestured to the dimly glowing strangs of the tree. "Like some still echo in my brain. But it's fading. I guess this is out of your league as well, right?"

For Puvomun there was no doubt of that. He suggested that they would go back to Kelutral and once there they'd decide what would be a proper next step. Everyone agreed, so they walked back, Tracy as usual between the two children.

-=-=-

"It was really freaking me out for a moment. Suddenly there were these... voices trying to poke into my head. And not just voices, it was as if a bunch of people tried to get in. Strangers, you know, folk that don't belong in my head. Only I belong in my head, that's how it was meant to be, right?" Tracy looked up for a moment, then stared into the firebowl again. "The stupid bit was that I knew that Nusumea was there. And Povumun, and Amhul, and the kids. They seemed to keep the rest at bay, somehow, but that whole gang was there anyway. A few of them talked to me, saying it was alright. Oh yes, that was so weird also, they talked to me in your language and I understood them. But I can't, because I don't know your language!"

Mo'at frowned as she listened to Tracy's experiences but did not interrupt the woman with any questions.

Puvomun noticed that Tracy so far was taking this well. There were not many signs of her earlier anxiousness or fear of what was happening to her, even when nobody had a good notion of what that actually was. Unfortunately it was mostly a puzzle for Mo'at as well.

"The whole thing is just so confusing," Tracy continued. "I knew where I was, I could feel the ground, and Puvomun holding these things to my arm, and I was somewhere else at the same time. Halfway like being on a trip, but a good trip never let me feel my normal body as well."

"We must wait and see what happens," the Tsahik admitted. "This has not happened before."

"I get that. But do I have to stay here? Or can I go home?" Tracy's voice did not tremble, but her fingers were fidgeting restlessly.

Mo'at patted the small woman's arm. "You can stay where you want. It is good if you want to go home, to Mìpa Tsray, but you need a good way to breathe while you sleep," she said.

"Yes, that's something," Jake added. "Sleeping is a problem, right? With the mask and all that."

Tracy nodded. "I hope Norm or Dr. Mendelson can figure out something for that. One night of stress is plenty enough for me, thanks."

Nusumea then spoke. "You said there were voices still in your head after we broke tsaheylu for you. Do you still hear the voices?"

The sawtute woman focussed inwards for a moment and shook her head. "Nope, they all went to sleep. Nice and quiet, just me in here." She laughed as she tapped the side of her head, but her laughter betrayed a sudden surge of nerves breaking through.

Puvomun suddenly wondered if it was a good idea for Tracy to go to Mìpa Tsray

Tracy fell silent. Her smile faded. "They said I had to come back to them in a while, so they can tell me more. They said that Eywa has so many ways, like how she got in touch with Jake so he would come here with the right mindset."

Every almost jolted at that revelation. Without apparently noticing that, Tracy continued.

"They said they need some time to figure out what to do with me. Well, more like how to do it." Tears slowly crawled down her cheeks. "And I hate all that. They feel so nice and loving and caring, and all I can think of is how to get rid of them. Of... it." The few tears became a steady flow. "Why the f*** did this have to happen to me?!"
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Re: Sky People
« Reply #47 on: April 08, 2011, 12:17:15 pm »
48. Nantang trouble

Jake moved to sit next to the sobbing woman and carefully put an arm around her. He held her close and she let him. She leaned into him as her tears kept coming.

"Just let it go, Tracy," the Olo'Eyktan calmly said as more and more people of the clan gathered round to see what was going on. They all were drawn close because of Tracy's crying.

"I'm sure this bites your ass bigtime." Jake talked as if he was alone with the sawtute woman. "At least I knew what I was getting myself into. My brother was killed for his money, and as I was his identical twin I could take this trip over here. But you know, back on Earth, when I was shot apart and lying in the hospital, there were these weird dreams I had."

Puvomun frowned as he looked at the man. Dreams. The teacher knew that Jake had mentioned dreams a few times, but somehow he had never spoken about them. Perhaps because he felt insecure about sharing them.

Jake gently rocked Tracy, who was fighting her tears but lost that battle over and over again.

"Want to hear about those dreams, Tracy?" the clan leader asked.

Tracy nodded.

"It was really awesome you know. Scary at first too. I saw these wide areas with big trees. And I mean really big trees, thousands of them. At first I thought I was hallucinating, because they had me drugged up to my eyeballs there, to keep me free from pain."

Puvomun, Amhul and Neytiri all whispered translations as well as they could for the people who did not know the sawtute language.

"Have you flown around in Samsons here, Tracy? Yeah, I thought you had. Then you have seen what I saw back then, on Earth. I saw Pandora, Tracy. Sounds crazy as batshit, I know, but it's what I saw. I saw this place. I had these dreams that I could fly, and I didn't have a clue why they were there. Of course they had me talk to a shrink, and when I told them about the dream they claimed that it was a subconscious reaction to the fact that I could not walk again. And for a while I believed that."

"What are you saying, Jake Sully?" Mo'at stared intently at the man. It meant something that she used his full name.

Jake looked at the Tsahik. "I know, it sounds crazy, but it seems to me that Eywa was in some way getting to me. All the way there."

Puvomun and the others stopped translating, because of what Jake's words carried. Several people prodded him, and slowly he told what Jake had said. The effect of the words rippled through the crowd and caused a lot of subdued whispering.

Tracy sat up now, and with her face glistening from the tears, she stared at Jake the way most others did. "Are you kidding me?"

Jake shook his head. "No. This is real. I did not see an ikran or Toruk then, but I was flying. I was flying over the forests here. And somehow I knew that this was where I had to be. Which the shrinks of course also declared to be an escape from what had happened to me." Jake sighed. "And they succeeded in making me believe that."

Neytiri touched Jake's arm. "But you are here now, ma Jake. You came to us because Eywa found you and talked to you." Disbelief and confusion were on her face. Her words did not sound convinced, even though she spoke them.

Jake smiled at his mate. "Srane, oe lu fìtsenge, ma yawne. I am here, my love. And I'm going to stay."

"You know, when I got on the ISV, the space ship that got me here, I had no idea what I was going to face, except that we were going to drive these avatars." Now Jake stopped speaking and looked at his body for a moment.

Puvomun understood that. The man was Na'vi now, the body was his. Not a remotely controled body while he was in a metal box. It had to be hard remembering that part of his life.

"How did you feel in your ayunil, Jake, in your dreams?" Nusumea asked.

A faint smile showed on Jake's face. "Wonderful. Amazing. Better than being on top of the world. There is no freedom over flying, I sometimes think when I am up there. And that was how it felt back then too." He looked at all the faces around. "Sounds crazy, doesn't it?"

A few people mumbled something but most of them remained quiet.

"No, it's not crazy, Jake," said Tracy. She lifted her mask for a moment to breathe. Then she said: "When I can walk around here and scrape my arm on something, and then I can talk with Eywa, then why would you not have that dream?" She shook her head. "It's all too freaky for words, but it is real." Unconsciously she stroked the hairs on her arm.

"But you know it is real, why are you so angry about it?" Neytiri asked the small woman.

"Because I don't want it. I didn't ask for it and I got stuck with this." Tracy's voice was hostile and angry again.

For a moment it looked as if she was going to scratch her arm again, to get rid of the thin line of hairs she hated so much, but a breath later that was over.

Tracy let out a sigh, as if she gave up the fight. "I should go home now."

While Jake asked someone to accompany Tracy, Puvomun thought it good that she called her new homestead a 'home'.

Not long after Tracy had walked off, a few ikrans circled the top of Kelutral, and soon after that Lolet and Rakan descended, bringing news from the forest clan.

"The man was right," Rakan reported, "there are indeed many groups of nantang near their village. Very strange, because they usually live far away from people."

Jake asked if he and Lolet had seen any reason why the many nantangs were there, but they didn't know.

"We chased many of them for a while, and they seemed to run off to where they came from," Lolet said, "but we are not convinced that the animals will stay away."

"Why is that?" Jake asked.

"We just scared them off," Rakan explained, "we didn't find why they were there in the first place."

"We didn't look very hard either," Lolet grinned. "But for now their home is a safe place. Feyä kelku lu zongtseng."

"Did you speak with Paul Cameron, and Zunìl?" Neytiri then wanted to know.

"Yes, we went to talk with them first. They are doing well, although some people in their clan are still opposed to the idea of not having a clan leader."

"It is unusual," Mo'at agreed. "A clan needs a strong leader. A leader has a council, but the leader is tutan letsranten, an important man."

"Or tute letsranten," Neytiri added. "An important woman."

Mo'at frowned at her daughter for a moment but did not object to her words. "Srane."

"Perhaps Paul Cameron could be their clan leader," Jake thought out loud, but that earnt him a small storm of comments. A clan leader would have to be one of the People.

"okay, okay, don't bite me," Jake laughed, holding his hands up. "Maybe a few people should go to the forest clan for a while and try to help them find out why their village is so popular with nantangs suddenly."

The people agreed with that.

Jake and Neytiri asked for volunteers, and soon there were six people getting ready to fly to the forest clan, among them Rakan and Lolet.

Puvomun noticed Amaya keeping far to the back of the people. She had her little nantangtsyìp with her, on a line. The teacher quickly saw that the line would not have a long life, as the cub was happily chewing on it.

"Ma Amaya, you may have to find something stronger than this line." Puvomun pointed at the busy little animal. "Otherwise we have to look for him again."

"Wiya!" Quickly Amaya ducked and picked the cub up. "I have told you that you should not do that!" she informed the little animal, that looked surprised as its toy had suddenly disappeared.

"It is like a child," Amhul giggled, "you can tell them a lot of things a lot of times, to no avail."

A loud screeching from overhead made everyone look up. The hunters were flying off to the remote people.

"I hope they find what is wrong there," Amhul said, craning her neck to see the ikrans. She never got tired of watching them, even when she had her own ikran now.

Puvomun hoped the same thing. Groups of nantangs did not belong around a settlement. For Na'vi people they were difficult enough, but suppose a group of these animals would suddenly show near Mìpa Tsray. The Sky people had no way of defending themselves, their bows being so small as well.

He expressed his worries to Amhul, who said they had to take that up with Jake.

Jake agreed completely. "Srane. Ayoeng zene piveng foti. We must tell them."

Neytiri stared at her mate.

"What?"

"You spoke correctly," Neytiri grinned. "We can still hope that our Olo'eyktan will one day speak Na'vi like a Na'vi."

Jake sighed and looked at Puvomun. "Want to trade Amhul for her?"

"No, thank you, ma Jake," Puvomun answered, wrapping an arm around his mate, who looked at least as surprised about this strange offer as Puvomun did.

"See, the karyu is sensible" Neytiri grinned.
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Re: Sky People
« Reply #48 on: April 12, 2011, 02:04:58 am »
49. Herbs and diets

Jake just laughed about the surprised faces. "The karyu is one of the reasons that I am learning to speak better," he then said, pointing at Amhul. "That one in particular."

Amhul grinned. "Sran. I have been helping Jake with speaking. And listening carefully."

"And I insist that your language is a pain," Jake commented, "but it doesn't hurt that much anymore."

"I can change that," Neytiri offered with a smile and a raised hand.

"Sure about not trading?" Jake winked at Puvomun.

"Very certain, ma Jake," the teacher-singer affirmed. "Amhul and I will go to Mìpa Tsray tomorrow, to tell the people there about their safety. And we can see how Trä'si is doing, and the man Mark."

"Right. Take Nusumea with you when you go, and perhaps one of the women to keep an eye on Mary's pregnancy."

Amhul shook her head. "Kehe, ma Jake. I know that the Sky people have some good women there who can take care of Mary. They will ask us when they need something. Going to them that way would make them believe that we do not trust them."

"Listen to her, Jake," Neytiri nodded. "She knows better than you do."

"Okay, okay, I am outnumbered and I know when to fold," Jake said, raising his hand in defence while sporting one of his silly grins.

"What do you want to fold?" Amhul asked. Once in a while Jake would still unleash one of his strange expressions and confuse people.

Jake explained that it just meant that he knew when to stop. Neytiri frowned on that for a moment, looking as if she was not convinced of that.

The day progressed. The teachers went into the forest with some children, teaching them the qualities of certain plants. This trip was meant to teach them about the ones that contained poisons, and how these could be used to sedate animals without harming them.

"Why would you do that?" one of the children asked. "Pelun tsa'u si?"

"If you see an animal that is caught in something and the animal is very wild about that, you may not be able to help it," Amhul explained. "If you can sedate the animal, by shooting an arrow with this poison and not hurting the animal too much, it will calm down, and then you can free it."

This made many heads nod understandingly.

"But why would Eywa let an animal get caught?" another child then asked.

"Sometimes animals don't listen to Eywa very well. Just like people."

That caused a few frowns and then a few grins.

By the time the forest expedition returned home, the teachers let the children run free. The whole group ran off as a swarm, heading towards one spot.

Puvomun and Amhul looked at each other in wonder, as this was entirely new behaviour for the eveng. Without needing to speak a word they walked to where the children had disappeared. When they found the group, they both grinned.

The children had all gathered around Amaya's pet nantangtsyìp, that was tied to a twig sticking up from the ground. The animal had a lot of 'toys' around that it could entertain itself with, and most of them bore signs of that.

It looked entirely unnatural to Puvomun, to see the children close to the animal, and some even playing with it. And yet, there was something beautiful about it. Na'vi children playing with what usually was one of their deadly enemies.

A girl looked back at the two teachers and smiled. "Amaya asked if we could look after it while she is gone," was all she said.

"And who looks after it when she is gone and you all are busy also?" Puvomun asked.

"Eywa does," was the disarming answer. Then the girl turned her attention back to the animal, that clearly enjoyed all the attention.

"I doubt that this is what Mo'at or Jake meant," Puvomun whispered to Amhul.

"Indeed. Let's wait and see if they know of this before we tell them. It may be safe enough."

Puvomun hoped so. The nantangtsyìp was small, but its teeth were all accounted for.

-=-=-

In the evening the teachers went to talk with Amaya who was sitting apart from the others with her animal, playing with it. The little nantang was keen on running after a stick she threw and brought it back to her.

Puvomun noticed that it was not on the leash Jake had demanded, but somehow there seemed little harm in that at the moment.

"Ma meharyu," Amaya smiled as she noticed the two teachers. "Do you want to sit with me? He likes to play, but I can't do that with too many others around. He is also very curious."

With some hesitation the two sat down, eyeing the little one as it almost jumped Amaya in its eagerness to grab the stick she held up. Nusumea passed them, looked and walked on, a grin on his face.

"Do you want to play with him?" Amaya asked, holding the stick towards Puvomun.

The singer did not even have to take the stick; the little animal already looked at him, expectantly. Slowly he reached for the stick, not taking his eyes from the animal. He threw the stick to where it could not harm anyone, and the nantangtsyìp dashed off after it, yapping madly.

Amaya laughed loudly. "He is getting tired. The yapping," she clarified. "Sign that he gets tired. Well, he's still small, and I kept him running a lot."

"And in the care of children," Amhul calmly said, just loud enough for Amaya and Puvomun to hear.

Amaya frowned for a moment. Then she nodded. "Srane. Nothing happened, you know."

"We know. But that was not the arrangement, I recall," Amhul continued, as Puvomun saw the little animal come back with the stick. The six-legged creature almost pushed the stick in his hand.

Amaya took the stick back and put it on the ground. She made tsaheylu with her pet and quickly it lay down next to her legs, rolled into a small ball. "I told him to sleep now."

"But where does he stay when you go to sleep?" Puvomun wondered, silently impressed with what he saw.

"Oh, I just take him with me."

"You take him to your hammock?" Both teachers had not expected that.

"Sran. Poan ke lu ngäzìk. He is not difficult."

"He might be if he is still here when he grows larger..."

Amaya nodded. "I have thought of that. But that will take a while. I'll see when that time comes."

"Just make sure things for the people are safe, Amaya. It is a wild animal. Maybe you should find him a good nantang family."

The woman stared at the little ball of animal in front of her. "I've thought of that too. But that is not necessary this evening."

"Kehe, not this evening."

The three then talked about the strange things that were happening with the forest clan, and of course about Tracy and the woman's problems she so loudly voiced.

Amaya offered to come along with them, to the Sky people village. "I have nothing special to do tomorrow. I want to see how Mark is as well."

"And you will take your animal with you?" Puvomun asked, and as Amaya nodded, he asked "Do you think they will appreciate seeing you with a little nantang when we are going there to tell them they should be very careful and alert if there are nantangs and such around?"

"Oh. I see." Amaya stroked the little head that was barely visible between all the legs. "I don't think I could ask some children to watch him, kefyak?"

Amhul shook her head. "You took the responsibility for your little vrrtep, Amaya."

"He's not a demon," Amaya pouted for a moment, until she saw the grin on Amhul's face.

"I will take care of him, as long as you are away with Puvomun," Amhul then said. That was a surprise to both Amaya and Puvomun.

"You will?" they both asked.

"Yes. At least I will do my best. So far he's not been a big problem, and if he stays that way I should be well. You must tell me what you feed him though. I don't know that."

"Oh, that is easy. Come, I will show you!"

The two women got up and walked off, leaving Puvomun. With the nantangtsyìp.
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Re: Sky People
« Reply #49 on: April 17, 2011, 05:26:41 am »
50. Sleeping space

Amaya was singing as Puvomun and she walked along the river to reach Mìpa Tsray.

"You sound happy," the singer remarked.

"I am. It is a beautiful day, my little one is behaving well, more and more people start to like him, and we are going to see the sawtute again. I always like going to them and see what they have done."

The singer smiled and then joined her in singing. It made the walk to the other village go fast. As they entered Mìpa Tsray, a few people sat looking at them as the two Omatikaya stepped into the small village circle.

One of the people, Mendelson, laughed. "I told you it were two people singing!" he said to no one in particular. And then he welcomed Puvomun and Amaya. "It is good to see you again, dear eylan! Where is your lovely lady, ma Puvomun?"

Puvomun sat down with the man. "Amhul is watching over the... animal of Amaya. Amaya came along to look at Mark and Trä'si."

"Ah, I see. Tracy. I think she did well last night. Not the panic scene of the night before," Mendelson said. "I recall her walking off with Mary. You know, who is with Norm."

"Srane, oel omum. When did they leave?" Puvomun asked.

"Not that long ago. They should be back soon," Mendelson reassured the singer.

"I also need to speak with some more people. Norm. And Ran'tolfì. And the ones who learnt tsko swizaw."

The old scientist frowned as he heard that last bit. "Sounds serious, ma Puvomun. I think most of them are inside. Let me go and tell them you're here."

The man got up with some effort, Puvomun noticed. He needed a stick to walk, and he walked slower than usual. And less stable as well. The singer-reacher wondered how old this Sky people man was, and how old they would become.

A voice dragged him away from his thoughts.

"Hello. You are Puvomun, right?" The man speaking was Mark, who had tried to reach an ikranay. An attempt that had cost him dearly.

"Yes. I am Puvomun." He noticed that Mark turned his head when listening, picking up as much as he could with his good, his remaining ear.

"Cool. Just wanted to see you, and say thanks for everything you and your people are doing for us. I heard some of you did quite a bit to patch me up when I was taken apart by these forest banshees. Man, they're big and dangerous."

"We know," Puvomun nodded. "Please tell all the others here. Being safe is important. This is also why we are here."

"To be safe?" Mark wondered.

"Kehe. No. We are here to say very clearly that you need to be very careful."

"Puvomun, how good to see you," Norm's voice interrupted the teacher.

"Ma Norm, oel ngati kameie," the teacher greeted him. "It is good that you are here."

"I'm usually here," Norm laughed, "since I am sort of being elected mayor of this place. Something that Mendelson would be better at."

Mendelson, who had joined the small group as well, shook his head. "No. I am too old for that kind of stuff. You are doing well, Norman."

"Everyone says so," Randolf agreed, "but he is not convinced. Maybe you can explain what we can't, ma Puvomun."

The singer-teacher smiled as he heard Randolf speak a few words in Na'vi. He was learning.

"Oh, I should get some of the archers," Randolf then said, and hurried off.

"What is it that is so serious for you to come here, ma Puvomun?" Norm asked.

"It is about your safety. I will explain more when everyone is here."

The others nodded. That made sense.

The archers assembled quite quickly. Three were missing, Puvomun noticed, but they were on patrol, as a group. That was good.

The teacher then explained about the problems with the nantangs that the olo'utri faced. "We do not know why this happens, but there is a lot of danger for the villagers. As you are a village too, there is a chance that there will be groups of nantangs coming here as well."

"Well, that would be the same for you too then," one of the archers remarked justly.

"Sran. We are careful also, even though the olo'utri, the forest clan, lives very far from here. We think it is best for now that nobody goes too far from your Hometree, and if you have to, to get water or food, to have some extra archers with you."

"And we should stock up on arrows then," another archer noted. "These viperwolves are big mothers, they don't fall over just like that."

These people were adjusting to their new life very well, Puvomun noticed with satisfaction.

A discussion on other ways to secure their safety emerged, and soon most people were talking, bringing up ideas and suggestions. The English speaking went so fast that Puvomun lost track. But that was not bad; the sawtute were busy with their safety.

The teacher got to his feet and went looking for Amaya. He found her and Tracy in the shade, behind the hometree.

The sawtute woman looked up at the teacher and smiled. "Hi, Puvomun. Amaya told me you were here too, talking difficult things with some folks."

Puvomun sat down. "It was important, not difficult. I see you are feeling good." He now noticed something strange on her. Something had happened to her mask.

Tracy seemed to notice the curious glances of the singer-teacher. "I see you noticed." She pointed to the left side of her mask where a small hole was made. "This was an idea of Gregory. He thought that if there is a small hole that lets in your air, I should be fine. And so far it works."

Puvomun was not certain if he had heard the name 'Gregory' before.

Amaya said: "It seems that the mix of her own air that comes from the twig and our air is what she needs. She told me she slept well, and also that she feels like having more energy."

Puvomun was surprised about these revelations. Such a simple solution.

"Gregory said that I can make another hole in the mask if I feel I need more," Tracy continued where Amaya had stopped. "So far it feels good though, the combination works well for me. I can do things again, without having to stop and breathe outside the mask anymore. You can't believe how annoying that was. As if I was suffocating a little bit each time."

"But this means that you have to sleep outside, srake?" the singer-teacher asked. He knew there was no normal air inside the sealed-off compartment of the tree.

"Yeah, that's a bit of a nuissance of course. Norm said that he would work out something, but I am not sure if he has an idea already."

"That should not be very difficult. The Omatikaya sleep outside all the time. We have hammocks, and it should not be a problem to find one for you as well."

Amaya looked happy as Puvomun suggested this. "Sran! That is very good! I could go up in the tree and see if there is a natural nivi already. Otherwise our weavers can make something for you."

"Uhm... up in the tree?" Tracy did not look thrilled with that idea. "How high?"

"Not very high. Just high enough," Amaya tried to reassure the woman.

"Right. A hammock would work. But remember that I don't do heights very well."

Puvomun then told Amaya that Mark was doing quite well, and that the people in the village were already working on plans to make their environment as safe as possible.

"Good news," Amaya nodded. "I am glad they are willing to listen."

"They will have to," Tracy said, "they are like children here, in a place that is strange to them. It will take several generations before they can call this their true home, the place where they belong."

Puvomun and Amaya first looked at each other, then at Tracy. She had spoken in a very particular way, and not referred to "we" and "us", but to "they" and "them". It was also remarkable that she had said it in Inglìsì.

Tracy had also noticed it. A combination of fear and shock was on her face. "I did not want to say that!"

"Maybe you did not say that," Puvomun said.

That confused the woman even more for a moment, until revelation made it to her thoughts. "You mean that this is something that is still in my head? From when we talked with Eywa?"

"That is what I mean, yes. It seems that there is some part of you that has taken in a part of something within Eywa."

"And how do I get rid of it?" Tracy's hostility promptly flared up again.

Puvomun's silence made it clear to her that he did not know.

"Great. Why me?"

The light tone of the conversation had dropped away.

"Perhaps it is good if you talk to Mo'at about this," Amaya tried. "We have never seen this, because there never have been other people than the Na'vi on our world. It is new for us too."

"Yeah. I guess. So for now I am just screwed, that's all."

Puvomun asked her if there was something peculiar in her head that frightened her, if she sensed something.

Tracy shook her head and told him that everything was fine in there, as far as she could tell. "I don't even know when that other voice took over and disappeared again. It felt as if nothing actually happened." She picked up a few leaves and studied those for a while. Then she asked if Amaya and she could first pick up the hammock idea. After all, she wanted to sleep in a safe place.

Amaya nodded. "Of course. Come. We go into the tree and find a place where you can sleep."
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #50 on: April 23, 2011, 02:52:26 am »
51. Eywa has a plan

Amaya and Tracy returned from the tree quite soon. They were very pleased to announce that Tracy would sleep safely in one of the natural hammocks that grew in the tree.

"It closes well around her," Amaya told the teachers, "so she won't fall out."

"And that's a good thing, because it's much higher than I am comfortable with," Tracy added. "I'll have to get used to it. And I need you guys to help me convince the others that this is a good place for me."

Puvomun and Amaya were of course willing to talk to Norm and the others. It took them more time than Pucomun had expected. Norm and Randolph were very fixed on everyone's safety, especially after what Puvomun had told about the nantang problem near the village of the olo'utri.

"Nantangs do not climb trees like this one," the Omatikaya explained. "Our people have slept this way always, and never has there been a problem with animals. Eywa provides for her children, ma Norm, and Trä'si is one of them too. You all are."

"Still I am not so sure," Randolph said. "How many hammocks are up there?"

"We counted four. But there could be more of them, higher up." Amaya then offered to come and sleep up there with Tracy for a few nights, to assure everyone that things would be fine.

"Do you think of your pet as well?" Puvomun asked her. "You cannot expect that the people will keep taking care of it. You should be slower with your fast and wild ideas."

Amaya frowned. "Ngay lu... this is true..." She looked at Randolph. "Ngaytxoa. I am sorry. My mouth was too fast."

Mendelson solved the situation. "I am sure that there are a few people among us who are willing to sleep up there for a night. If everything remains as calm as you predict, then we can rest assured that Tracy will be safe up there."

Immediately four people raised their hands, stating they would love to spend a night in a tree hammock for a change.

"Looks like we're fine then," Norm nodded, visibly pleased with how quickly this was arranged. "So you are going to kidnap Tracy again?"

"Srane. We think it is good that she talks to Mo'at about her latest experiences," Puvomun said.

A few sawtute people nodded. Some looked doubtful. Mendelson noticed that and asked these people what was on their minds. One of them explained that it was very unnerving to her that Tracy was going through such strange changes. "I am not sure if this is a safe or even healthy thing."

Before someone could respond, Tracy said: "Hey, look, I did not ask for this. I would rather be free of this and just be normal again. But I am stuck with this. So far I have not done any harm to anyone, okay? Do you think I am turning into some kind of f*** monster?"

The woman who was the goal of Tracy's words stood and shook her head. "No, of course not. But I don't have to like what is happening to you. It scares me."

"What do you think it does to me, Darlene? I carry this with me." Tracy pointed at the hairs on her arm. "It's inside me. It is in my head. It talks to and through me and I can't even control it."

"But the things you say are good," Puvomun said, touching Tracy's arm to interrupt her. "Eywa is inside you somehow, and she is concerned about the well-being of your people."

"But it's not me!" Tracy objected loudly.

"I think that this is something that goes over the heads of the people here," Mendelson then intervened the discussion that was clearly heating up. "You were going to speak with Mo'at. That is the best option. Perhaps I should come with you, this fascinates me."

Norm agreed with that. "You are perhaps someone who can help think about this, Gregory. The more minds work on this, the better."

"Krä'kori?" Puvomun wondered out loud. He had never heard that name before.

The older scientist, Mendelson, laughed. "That is my official first name, ma Puvomun. I decided that people should call me that, instead of Mr. Mendelson or Mendelson. It makes me feel younger."

Puvomun and Amaya grinned about that remark. "I understand. Yes, we should go to Kelutral and see if Mo'at can help."

"And Nusumea perhaps," Amaya pondered. "He's special in his own way." She grinned. "Rìk knows all about that."

The four people then were wished a safe walk through the forest as they left.

-=-=-

As the small group proceeded, Gregory Mendelson told Tracy that he almost envied her for her 'fate'.

"What'cha mean?" the tormented woman asked. "You mean you want to have this thing on your arm?"

"Exactly that, Tracy. It would be such a great opportunity to experience the true nature of this moon." Gregory Mendelson kept glancing at the gentle line of little white hairs on Tracy's arm, as much as he could.

"Damn, I wish I could hand it over. My luck of course, to get this thing."

Puvomun pondered the words he heard her say. Yes, he thought. It was her luck. How sad that she did not understand that, and appreciate it. It was an amazing opportunity for someone of the sawtute to become closer to the nature of this world, the forest. To experience being with Eywa. These and other thoughts kept him busy until they reached the open area near Kelutral.

"I should find my animal," Amaya said and dashed off after a nod from the teacher. She clearly felt responsible for it.

Mo'at sat talking to a few people who were resting from their weaving. She looked surprised as she discovered that Mendelson had come along with the teacher and Tracy.

"Oel ngati kameie, ma Mo'at," Gregory Mendelson greeted the Tsahik.

"Kame ngat, ma Mendelson," Mo'at replied. "Hello, Trä'si. Oel ngati kameie."

Tracy stared at the Tsahik for a moment. She looked lost, as if she had never heard someone speak Na'vi to her before. Then she smiled. "Oel ngati kameie, ma Mo'at. Eywa lu oeru tìhawl. Eywa has a plan for me."

This dropped a silence among everyone who was around. Tracy fell silent too, as if she had heard someone else say the words.

"Sit down with us, ma 'eveng," Mo'at invited her. "What is the plan?"

"I wish I knew," Tracy grumbled as she sat down. "Would be grateful if she told me and got it over with."

Gregory Mendelson and Puvomun joined the group too.

"You are still angry," Mo'at pointed out. "This will not help."

Puvomun then told her about what Tracy had said, in Mìpa Tsray. That the sawtute were still like children, adjusting to their new home. Mo'at thought about this.

During the silence in which Mo'at pondered the information, Nusumea Tirea joined the people as well, whispering that Amaya had notified him of this meeting. "I have to tell you something interesting," the healer-hunter whispered to his friend, the teacher. "After this."

Puvomun wondered what that could be. They had only been gone for a short while, not a time span that would make something shocking happen. But then, life was full of surprises.

"And it sucks that this happened to me and not to Gregory," Tracy tossed in, "he wants it, I don't."

Greogy Mendelson's face remained calm while Mo'at looked at Tracy sharply. "Eywa has a plan for you," the Tsahik stated. "So you are the person who will have to do it. It feels as if you must become the Tsahik of Mìpa Tsray."

Puvomun was not entirely surprised by this.

Tracy wasn't either. "I was afraid you were going to say that." She looked at everyone who sat with her. "So now I should be happy, and cheer, and sing and dance, right?" Her face told everyone that her mood was far from any of those things.

"It would be a good start," Gregory Mendelson said. "You have been walking around with a grumpy face for too long, child."

"I'm not a-" Tracy flared up for a moment, then slumped. "I guess to you I am a child. Most people will be."

Gregory Mendelson smiled. "You did not say that when Mo'at called you a child."

Puvomun appreciated the scientist, who was the oldest of the sawtute who had remained on this world.

"Tracy, I know you are going through your own hell with this," the man with the grey hair said, as he took the young woman's hand in both of his. "But remember that you are still yourself, deep down inside. And you are a strong person. You can handle this. And if you feel you can't, if you need to rant, or shout, or cry, there are many people who will listen to you."

Tracy quietly looked at the man as he spoke.

"I don't know how it feels for you, I admit that," Gregory continued, "as Mo'at said, this is what Eywa has in store for you. But we all will do what we can to make this as easy for you as we can. If you let us."

"That's all nice and so," Tracy said, "but I don't think you can help me with the real problem, Gregory. The one inside my head." She clearly did all she could to stay calm and polite.

"It is not in your head," Mo'at decidedly said then. Her words surprised everyone. "It is in your heart."
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #51 on: May 01, 2011, 10:15:17 am »
52. Pxaysre'

Tracy sat up and stared at the Tsahik. "It is in my head," she stubbornly said at the words Mo'at had just spoken. "There is nothing wrong with my heart."

"Pelun ngal yem ngeyä mesyokxit sìn ngeyä txe'lan?" Nusumea asked her. "Then why do you put your two hands over your heart?" He, as well as all the others, had seen Tracy do just that.

Tracy scowled at the hunter-healer. "You see too much." Her face still showing some displeasure, she lay her hands on her knees, palms down. But a grin was impossible to hold back. "Okay, you got me there, but that does not mean you are right."

Puvomun knew that Nusumea was right.

"Eywa speaks not through your head," Mo'at said. "Eywa speaks through your heart. But most sawtute cannot speak from the heart, and that is the problem for you, I think. You have to learn to trust your heart when Eywa talks to you."

"Sure. And how can I tell the difference?" Tracy tried to put some venom in her words, but somehow she completely failed at that this time.

Everyone in the group looked at Mo'at. They were keen on hearing something special.

Mo'at smiled. "It is when you know something to be true without thinking, while that what you know is not what you can have known before."

Puvomun thought about those words. They sounded honest and true. Nusumea simply nodded, as if he perfectly understood what Mo'at had said.

"But don't you know things in your head?" Tracy objected.

"You do," Mo'at agreed. "But those are different things. Have you ever loved someone with your heart while your head said it could not be?"

Tracy's expression changed. She did not react immediately. Puvomun understood that memories were coming to her. Then, slowly, she nodded. "Yes. I see." The young woman's voice was almost a whisper now. After a short pause, she looked at Mo'at. "So what is this Tsahik business? Mind you, I'm still not happy with this, but I - ehm - 'know' that this is something I have to do now. You know, the knowing kind you just explained?"

Puvomun was a bit confused about Tracy's way of expressing herself, but at the same time he felt relieved. Somehow a change had happened in Tracy. She seemed to accept her situation now, at least. The teacher hoped it was permanent.

"Good girl," Gregory Mendelson said, patting Tracy on the shoulder.

"Ma Mendelson, I will need you when I teach Trä'si," Mo'at told the scientist. "You speak our language. She will have to learn. Nusumea, you will have to help too."

Then Mo'at looked at Puvomun. "You can go."

This triggered something remarkable. Tracy jumped up and said: "You can't tell him to go like that!"

Puvomun grinned. "Yes. She can. She is Tsahik. So I go." He would explain later that Mo'at did not mean anything bad by this, she just did not want to spend time on things that were less important than the task at hand. And the teacher-singer knew that making Tracy a Tsahik would require a lot of Mo'at and Nusumea, as well as Gregory Mendelson. He walked off, in search of his mate.

"Ma Puvomun!" Amhul called as he came close to where Amaya sat with her strange pet. Amhul was with one of the two groups of children that were sitting there as well.

He walked over and wondered why there was so much attention there. "Ma Amhul. Ma Amaya. What is going on here?"

"Look what we discovered," Amaya said, not without pride as she pointed to the nantangtsyìp who sat with one of the groups of children.

The singer-teacher did not notice anything out of the ordinary, except perhaps that the animal was close to the eveng, but that had not been a problem upto now. Then the other group of children started singing. It was a very simple song, and after the first few lines the little animal got up and happily trotted over to the singing group, where it lay down, peacefully.

The children stopped singing and laughed.

"It seems to like our singing, ma karyu," Ikranari said. He was in one of the groups as well.

The first group picked up the song where the others had left off, and indeed, the little nantang raised its head, got up and walked over, to lay down with the singing group.

"This is a good way to call it," Amaya grinned. "If we don't know where it is, we just start singing and it will come to us."

Puvomun was very surprised about this. A nantang with a feel for music? "That is amazing, ma Amaya. Very amazing. But I would not count on this yet. When did you find out?"

"Earlier today. I sat somewhere, making some arrows, and I was singing. And then Pxaysre' came and sat with me."

"Pxaysre'?"

Amaya nodded and pointed at the animal. "He has many teeth, so I called him that."

Puvomun was not excited about such a dangerous name, but on the other hand, it did convey the nature of the animal. It's many teeth were one of the most impressive aspects of nantangs. "I see."

Amhul took Puvomun's hand. "Come. We will sing from far away. You will see that the animal will come to us."

The teacher followed her and they sat down out of sight of the groups of children. They would sing to attract what was a dangerous animal. It was not something Puvomun had ever dreamt possible, and even as he and Amhul started singing, he was not convinced that this was a smart thing.

Several people from the village came closer. The singer-teachers singing, that was always something special. Something to put work to rest for a while and enjoy the song, the words. But not only the Omatikaya came closer to the singing couple, also Pxaysre' trotted over to where they sat. And after him, all the children and Amaya came also.

I'vawm and Apxanari sat with the teachers to join in the singing. The song was one of the older ones, and  they had learnt to sing it quite well already.

Pxaysre' lay down in front of Puvomun, its head touching his knee. It was such a surprise to him that he almost missed a passage in the song, but Amhul squeezed his hand. Nothing went wrong.

The group sang the song to the end. It was not honourable to stop singing one of the older songs before it was ended, unless there was an emergency. And a peaceful nantangtsyìp lying close to a person did not seem to count as an emergency.

After the song had ended, Jake and Neytiri came walking to the singing people.

"Hey guys, what are you up to?" the clan leader asked as they sat down with them. "I did not want to interrupt you, you see."

Amhul, Neytiri and Puvomun grinned. They knew that Jake just had avoided to sing along as the words of most songs were still unknown to him.

Amaya got up and as she kneeled with Pxaysre' she explained what she had discovered with the singing. It surprised the olo'eyktan and his mate to hear about that.

"Are you sure?" Jake asked, his voice full of disbelief.

"We can assure you," said Puvomun, "we have seen it happen a few times just now. It is amazing, but it is real, ma Jake." The teacher singer looked at the animal near him and carefully reached out, to touch its head. Pxaysre' let him and actually seemed to enjoy the attention. It made Puvomun smile.

"It would be helpful if singing could help the olo'utri," Neytiri then said. "They have the worry of the aynantang around their village. If a few singers could lead the animals away, that would be txantsan!"

"We will send Rakan and sing in their village," someone suggested, "that will make the aynantang run away from the area."

From more than a few places muffled grins arose. Rakan was a brave hunter and warrior, but his singing left a lot to be desired. Everyone knew that. Rakan was almost famous for not being able to carry anything that came too close to a tune.

"Well, at least it is a good thing that you found this out," Jake then said. "If he goes missing we can just let some people sing until he comes back."

Amaya picked up the animal and as she talked to it, she walked off.

Jake shook his head. "It has more legs than she has and she carries it around. So, about this Tracy business. Do you think it will be all fine after Mo'at put her through some training?"

Puvomun laughed. "I am not the person to ask this, ma Jake. Mo'at will teach Trä'si as much as she can. Which may not be as easy as it sounds. Trä'si has a mind of her own."

Jake nodded. "Yeah. Not an easy lady to deal with when she gets it in her head." He glanced at Neytiri, who was known for not being very easy at times as well. "Seems to be a trait shared by Tsahik material."

Neytiri calmly looked at him and then hissed loudly. "Yes," she then said, as if nothing had happened. "And ma Jake, you know that Trä'si is not Na'vi. What my mother tries to teach her has only been shown to Omatikaya, so this is special. Maybe Trä'si understands. Maybe she does not. We must wait and see."
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #52 on: May 05, 2011, 01:49:59 pm »
53. Toruk Makto

Puvomun and Amhul saw I'vawm and Apxanari in the other group of children. Amhul went and talked to them, and not much later the three were with Puvomun.

"It is time for some more lessons for them," Amhul suggested, and Puvomun agreed. With all the things that were going on in the villages everywhere, the training of the new teacher-singers had not progressed very much.

The four of them climbed up to the lower strong branches of Kelutral and found a good place to sit. There they started to sing several of the First Songs that the children knew well by now. Starting by rehearsing them always proved a good way to get their minds in a mode of learning. It also helped Puvomun to get in the spirit of teaching them. This was, after all, different from teaching children the basics of fishing and tsko swizaw.

Amhul then proposed they would learn the Song of the first Toruk Makto. I'vawm had asked for that several times already, but the song was long and many words were difficult, so the teachers had held off teaching this song, but now they thought the children were ready.

First Puvomun and Amhul sang the song in its entirety. They sang it slowly, so the two young ones could hear the words clearly. Then the slow progression of learning the song, line by line, started. I'vawm and Apxanari worked very hard, and the patience of the teachers did not seem to have an end.

They knew this was a very difficult song to hand down to the next generation. Most Omatikaya knew the beginning and the end of the song, but there was so much in it that most people could not really get everything right. Neytiri was one of the few that knew the entire song as well.

"I like this a lot," I'vawm said when they took another break. "Toruk Makto rerey mìfa te'lan Na'viyä tì’i’avay krrä. The rider of Last Shadow lives in the hearts of the People forever. When I sing this, I feel like Toruk Makto a little bit."

Puvomun grinned. He recalled how he had said something very similar, when he learnt this song from his karyu. "When we are done for today, ma I'vawm, we will go and tell your father. He will be proud that his son has the blood of Toruk Makto."

I'vawm's father had been very much against his son becoming a singer-teacher. It had taken Puvomun quite some convincing to make the man see the value of a teacher-singer, and he had then promised the man to make him proud of his son. If this did not make a father proud, then nothing less than actually becoming Toruk Makto would.

Apxanari stared into a distance she alone could see. Her young face showed that she was thinking about something, and the teachers knew better than to shake her out of this. She would be with them as soon as she was ready. Luckily, I'vawm had listened to the teachers earlier, and he too let Apxanari dwell within her thoughts. When he noticed her dreamy, thoughtful state, he even lowered his voice a bit, as not to disturb her.

"Maybe I can talk to Jake," I'vawm then said. "It is special to know someone who is Toruk Makto."

Puvomun agreed. Jake was the seventh Toruk Makto since the First Songs, and that was indeed something different. Maybe, indeed, it was a good idea to talk to the man and ask him about his experience with the large animal. There only were very few songs about Toruk, perhaps this was a good opportunity to make another one.

He mentioned that to Amhul and I'vawm, who both were enthusiastic about that idea.

"Yes, we should do that," Apxanari suddenly remarked. She had come back to them and had heard the last part of the talking. "We should," she repeated.

This girl was full of surprises, Puvomun thought.

-=-=-

"Ma Jake, do you have some time for us?" The clan had shared a meal and Puvomun had walked over to the olo'eyktan.

"Of course, ma Puvomun. What is it you want from me?"

The singer-teacher explained what he had talked about with Amhul and the children. "I'vawm had the idea, and Apxanari said a few times that we should do that."

"Right. You want to know a bit about what meeting Toruk meant to me." Jake nodded.

"Tsa'u, srane, ulte nì'ul. That, yes, and more. We want to know enough to make a new Song about it. A new Song about the sixth Toruk Makto. The clan does not have many of those Songs, because there were only few riders of Last Shadow."

"Oh. I see." Jake suddenly sounded less enthused. "Are you sure you want to talk to me about that? I mean, I just did what I had to do. The Sky people killed our home, and-"

"Stop, ma Jake." Puvomun put a hand on Jake's arm. "Did you hear what you just said? The Sky people killed our home. And yes, they did. And you acted upon that."

The clan leader nodded and unleashed one of his dumb grins again. "Leave it to me to get my ass in trouble."

"You did not, ma Jake." Neytiri took his hand. "There was a time of great pain and much sorrow, and everyone was desperate. So many people were afraid. I was too. You know that. You never spoke about seeing Toruk in your uniltaron, but it was a sign. If Puvomun and Amhul want to make a song about Toruk Makto, you have to help them." While talking, Neytiri had taken Jake's hand and held it tightly, as if to make her words make more impact.

"If you do not know how to help them enough, I will help you with this. And I can ask mother to help too. This is important, ma Jake."

"Wou... You are really serious about this," Jake said.

Puvomun understood this. Jake was not accustomed to things like this. It helped that Neytiri knew the importance and value of keeping these events memorised, that they should be kept for posterity. Her help would be precious.

"Well, uhm, let's start then. I think." Jake looked a bit lost now.

"First eat," Puvomun reminded him. "We can talk and begin with our song after that."

"I will remind him," Neytiri promised.

Puvomun smiled as he returned to where Amhul sat and told her what Jake had said.

Amhul smiled too. "He is the strangest olo'eyktan any clan has ever had." Puvomun agreed with that.

Later, the teachers, their two pupils and Jake and Neytiri sat near one of the fire bowls. Jake told them everything he thought that might be important or interesting. When he spoke about the strange dream during his uniltaron, Neytiri interrupted him at times. That was when he was beginning to open up about things that should remain unsaid. Jake just nodded then and continued with something else.

Most of the things he told were good to know, but not the things that the singer-teachers needed to know. In the end, after Jake was done talking, they had a good idea of what he had gone through.

"So, are you now going to make a love song about me?" Jake asked. He grinned at Neytiri.

"No, ma Jake. The song will just tell of what happened, but there are things we did not know. We do now."

"Nice. If you need me to repeat something, just let me know."

"I am sure we know everything, ma Jake," Amhul told their leader. "You have just told us."

"Yeah, I know, but I talked an awful lot. That's why I said it."

Puvomun laughed. "We are well trained in hearing and remembering, Jake. Tomorrow we will make the song. I'vawm and Apxanari will help us with that, they need to learn this too."

I'vawm stared at the teacher. "I don't know how to make a song..."

"After tomorrow, ma I'vawm, you will. And maybe you will then tell us that you had rather not learnt."

Jake now laughed loudly at the surprised and confused face of the boy. "Don't worry, I'vawm, they confuse me too at times."

"Everyone can bring confusion to you," Neytiry lovingly shared with her mate. "Frapo tsun zivamunge yayawr ngaru."

This made the children laugh. The teachers chuckled. Jake laughed too. The entertainment from the small group was so loud that some people came over. One of them was I'vawm's father, someone Puvomun had planned to talk to.

"Ma Kenang, please join us," Puvomun asked the man. "We have about important things tonight, and you have to hear about them. It concerns your son."

Kenang frowned for a moment. "He is behaving well, is he?"

"Srane, po lu sìltsan. He is good. But that is not the important thing. Tomorrow your son will learn to make a song. We will work together, we four, to make the Song about the sixth Toruk Makto."

Everyone in the group watched Kenang. They knew how eager he was to be proud of his sons. They also knew how much he had been opposed to the idea that I'vawm would become a singer-teacher, instead of a hunter.

The man fell silent for an impressive amount of time. Then he put his hand on I'vawm's head. "My son? My son will make one of the Songs?" He spoke carefully, as if the words might break and shatter this reality.

Puvomun noticed how Apxanari seemed to beam at the idea as well, her entire face showed it. The singer in him understood that part of her happiness was her feeling for I'vawm and how proud the father was of the son. This girl was a special one. Puvomun reaffirmed that knowledge to himself.
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Re: Sky People
« Reply #53 on: May 17, 2011, 01:17:10 pm »
54. Songs and Tracy

The morning was a warm one. There had been rain overnight and the air was beyond moist. As Puvomun and Amhul came to the area where people were already eating, they heard Tawtewng complain about how wet his skin already felt. Amhul said to Puvomun that she would join him soon, and walked off.

Puvomun sat with some other people and talked with them, when suddenly Tawtewng shouted and jumped up. Amhul had taken a bowl of water and thrown the water over the proud warrior.

"Why did you do that, woman?!" the man yelled.

Amhul laughed. "To show you that you can always be wetter." She jumped and laughed louder as he tried to slap at her. She ran towards Puvomun and sat down with him, still laughing. Everyone around her was having fun as well, and Tawtewng even started grinning.

"Don't do that again, singer," he said, pointing at her. "Ke si fwa nìnum, ma rolyu!"

"Kea tìkin, ma Tawtewng," Amhul laughed, "no need. I already did it! When you complain next time, I will think of something else."

As all the people were laughing, Tawtewng acted offended and walked off, talking loudly about singers and their strange ways.

When the warrior had left, Amhul picked some food away from Puvomun, who had prepared for that. "I thought he was really going to hunt me," she shared with the others as she was eating. "He was so angry so quickly!"

Neytiri, who was sitting among them as well, laughed. "It was great to see his face when you did it. Such a nice start of a day. For us!"

"Does anyone know how Trä'si is?" Puvomun asked. "I think she did not go to Mipa Tsray last night."

"Our Tsahik has worked very hard with her," one of the younger girls in the small group knew, "and Trä'si was too tired to go back. She slept in one of the hammocks here. Mendelson went back earlier."

"That is good," Amhul commented. "She was going to practice that for the tree in Mipa Tsray also. I hope she slept well."

Tracy had indeed slept well, they learnt not much later, as Mo'at and her tawtute student came to the fire bowl and joined the people. Tracy was still yawning and several people laughed, and asked her if she already had enough of the lessons.

The young woman merely stared at the jokers and sat down somewhere to the side.

"Trä'si, come, sit with us," Puvomun said. "We will not bite you."

As Tracy sat down between Puvomun and Amhul, Mo'at handed her a plate with vegetables and a few chopped roots. "I do not think she can eat our other food," the Tsahik explained.

Tracy peeked at what Amhul had in her hand. "What is that?"

"Yerik... roast?" the singer tried. Such a strange word.

Tracy eyed her own plate. "I'll stick with this." Slowly she began to eat, skillfully handling her mask. "What are you guys up to today?"

It took Puvomun and Amhul a moment before they understood they were the 'guys'. They told her about the plan to make a song about Toruk Makto. About Jake. "We are waiting for the children to wake up."

Tracy sat grinning. "Sorry, but your children are almost taller than I am. That's so funny. And a song about Jakey? Wow, that's cool. If you want I can help you turn it into a rap."

Before Tracy could go into that, I'vawm and Apxanari came walking. They were talking among each other, quickly and with a lot of gestures. "Rewon lefpom, ma smuk," they said as they joined the eaters. "Good morning."

"What were you two talking about?" Amhul asked. Usually the two were not so chatty in the morning.

"About the song," said I'vawm as he picked up one of the seylu. "We think it is almost ready. We were up very early this morning and we started making the song."

"You did?" Both singer teachers were very surprised about this revelation.

"Fram." I'vawm's mouth was too full for a decent 'sran'.

"We will sing it for you, later," Apxanari said. "When there are not so many people around."

There were a few grins, but the two children pretended not to hear them. Puvomun was proud of the two and told them so. He would praise their efforts, no matter how their song had turned out.

Soon it was time to head out, to a nice and calm spot where the singers often went. Not many people came there, as it was common knowledge that the singers used that place for making and singing new songs. I'vawm and Apxanari were excited that they now were 'allowed' to go there too.

The children sat down with the teachers. At first they hesitated, as if singing their song was difficult. Then Apxanari started singing the first part of the song, and Puvomun was surprised how nice it was, even when it was a children's song. I'vawm then took courage and sang the second part of the little song the two children had come up with.

They worked the whole morning, using as much of the song that the children had made. I'vawm seemed very disappointed that their song was not considered good enough, but as making the song progressed, he changed his feelings about it all. More and more words came, the song grew.

Towards the afternoon, Amhul said they had worked long enough for now, and they went for a walk before joining the clan to eat. As the four appeared, everyone was curious how the song was progressing. Puvomun and Amhul said that it was going well. The children needed a lot more words and told all the people who wanted to hear about the many things they had learnt already.

"Making a good song is not simple," I'vawm said with a wise expression on his face.

Amaya and her pet sat away from the group. Puvomun went over to her, as he thought is sad for her. Pxaysre' should not be a reason for her to become a bit of an outcast. He had confidence in the animal now. "How are you two doing?" he asked.

"Pxaysre' is learning to listen well," Amaya said, happy with the company. "I think he will not hurt people anymore. He has been with us for long now and will not make trouble."

Puvomun nodded as he saw how Pxaysre' was once again happily chewing on the leash Amaya had made for him. "You should find him some toys to play with," the teacher said as he pointed at the teeth around the leash.

"Pxay!" Amaya exclaimed, attracting the eyes and ears of many people. "Ke nìmun! Not again! I told you that is not food!"

The nantangtsyìp looked up at Amaya attentively as it sat up.

"I think it wants to play," Puvomun suggested. "It has poor timing."

Amaya grinned and took something from a basket she had with her. It was unprepared yerik meat. She put it on the ground in front of her animal, that did not waste much time with it. "That is a good way to keep him busy too."

"Ningay," Puvomun agreed, "but if you keep doing that, would he not become too big?"

"Yes, he would..." Amaya said she would look at some things for Pxaysre' to play with. Then their attention was dragged away from Pxaysre'. Noise came from somewhat further away, and the source of it stood up. It was Tracy.

"I am not going to eat that!" the woman loudly and clearly called out. "It looks gross! I am trying really hard to belong, but don't make it too hard on me or I will head back to Mipa Tsray and you all can kiss your training goodbye!"

Puvomun went over to see what had happened. As he came closer, he saw that Amhul was already trying to make things better. One of the people who did not know Tracy very well, had offered her some food that obviously did not look very appealing to her.

It took some time to make Tracy calm down again. It was agreed that Tracy would eat with the teachers for now, until she felt confident about getting her own food.

"I've had enough for this morning anyway," Tracy declared. "Mo'at said we will work more this afternoon, once Gregory comes in, and before evening we are going back home. And we'll come here again tomorrow morning then."

"Where are you going?" I'vawm asked. He had brought his toy Toruk with him. Puvomun had told him that having something like that along would be good for inspiration for the new song.

Tracy laughed. "Only to Mipa Tsray, this afternoon. I have to see my people once in a while." Her voice was very different all of a sudden, Puvomun noticed. Calm. Thoughtful. Respectful. And there was something else in it. Tracy touched I'vawm's cheek for a moment. "Are you enjoying your work with Puvomun and Amhul, ma 'ewana I'vawm? Srak ngeyä tìkangkem hu meharyu seruneiu ngaru? "

Neytiri's eyes grew large as she heard Tracy speak Na'vi again as if she had never done differently. The others had of course noticed it too.

Apxanari, who had come closer, and I'vawm both nodded and said they liked it very much. "It does not look like work," Apxanari explained, "but it is very difficult."

"But they liked the song we had made," I'vawm added proudly. "We are using many of the words."

"That is nice," Tracy said, in Ìnglìsì again. "Very nice." The way she smiled as she looked at the two children was special.
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Re: Sky People
« Reply #54 on: May 25, 2011, 01:04:16 pm »
55. The song is finished

The teachers and their pupils returned to the quiet place where they had been before. As they walked, I'vawm remarked that Tracy had been very different for a few moments. "And she spoke our language a few times."

"Srane, ma 'eveng," Amhul confirmed. "We saw and heard it too. It must be because of the work Mo'at is doing with her."

"Like we are learning to make songs, with the work we do with you," Apxanari nodded. It made Puvomun grin.

They sat down, amd Amhul suggested they should sing the first small part of the song together, to get the feeling of it back. She started with the first few words, and then Puvomun and the children picked up the song with her.

"Atxkxe lamu mawey, atxkxe lamu lefpom, vay fwa sawtute zama'u, mamunge feyä ayut lefngap sì feyä aysä'ot kxitxä sì tìska'ayä.
Sawtute lamu tìngäzik, sawtute ke kamamänge. Fol stamo futa kame Eywat. Ayfo mungwrr 'aw, tsamsiyu a lu tawtute. Fol zama'u olo'ne. Fo poti sawtutel fpame' mì uniltìrantokx, fo new nivume. Uniltìranyuti fpame' fte tse'a, ulte nì'k'ong po namume sì kamame. Po slamu Omatikaya.
Slä sawtute ke kamame. Uniltìranyu pamlltxe foru, slä sawtute vamar tspivang ayoengä kifkeyit, ayoeyä ayutralit, ayoeyä sengit aswok. Sawtute tsam sami."

The slight echo that lived in the forest slowly carried the last words away. The group of four was silent as they realised again what their song was about. About the disruption of the land, when the sawtute had come and failed to see the beauty and harmony that was all around them. And how the war had started, when the Sky People had demolished their old Hometree. That act which had killed so many.

I'vawm clutched his toy Toruk. Tears fell from his cheeks, onto it. Puvomun put his arm around the boy and comforted him.

"Ngaytxoa, ma Puvomun, I am sorry," the child said.

"Kea tìkin. No need for that. It is good to cry. It tells everyone that you can feel deeply, that the song touches you deep inside. It is a mark of a Singer."

"I think I will cry too," Apxanari then shared. "The next part is so sad. There is so much pain."

"I think we will all cry," Amhul said. "There is no shame in that. Do you remember Tsu'tey? He also cried with some songs. Not many people know that, because he always was the proud and strong warrior, but he was also Omatikaya. And Omatikaya know the value of the songs."

The children nodded. I'vawm wiped his face as dry as he could. Then they sang the next part of the song, and everyone felt their voice falter. The children could not sing the verses without stopping a few times. Puvomun understood that. It hurt him inside, but he and also Amhul had learnt to ignore that pain when singing one of the Songs. Because many old songs had this kind of pain.

This new song was more painful, though, as it was about things they had witnessed themselves.

"Sawtutel 'ameko Omatikayayä kelkut, fol skama'a oeyä kelkuti, txana eveng oeyä tìsraw sami, txana Na'vi tamerkup."

This part was very painful. They all stopped and were silent, reliving the moment that the Sky People had come to destroy Kelutral. The senseless act of war that killed so many people, young and old.

"We must sing it again," said Amhul. "We have to be able to sing this without falling silent." It took the singers a while before the children were convinced of it, and they sang the difficult line again. And again. And then they sang the whole song a few more times, until they were tired of the singing.

With almost sore throats and emotionally wrung out they went back to the village. Their first trip was to find something to drink, to soothe their throats. A few children came running to I'vawm and Apxanari, inviting them to come and play, but the two children said they were too tired. Puvomun understood that. The singing and making the song had been very intense.

"Ah. You are here again. Aynga lu fìtsenge nìmun." It was Mo'at who spotted the four. "Amaya has been looking for you. I will send one of the children to find her."

"Nothing about her animal, srak?" Puvomun asked. His slight fear was eradicated as Mo'at said that Amaya still had her animal under control.

"You will hear from her what she wants." Then the Tsahik left them, calling out to Ikranari to run and find Amaya.

"I wonder what she wants," Amhul said as they waited.

The waiting did not take very long, though. Amaya came running, with Pxaysre' right behind her. Puvomun noticed the absence of a leash but the animal seemed happy staying close to Amaya.

"I was looking for you!" the nantangtsyìp manager declared. "I've been up to your ikrans and I think they need to fly with you again soon. You should not neglect them so much."

"Neglect?" Puvomun stared at the woman. "I think we do not neglect our ikrans."

"You do. And your voice is horrible," Amaya pointed out. "I know something to help that. Keep an eye on Pxay, yes?" She did not wait for an answer, told her pet to stay and ran off. The pet, to the singers' surprise, stayed.

Pxaysre' sniffed at Puvomun's feet, then submitted Amhul's to its investigation.

"It has to stay away from my feet, Puvomun," Apxanari said. "Tell it not to come to my feet!" She was clearly ready to jump up and run away. That was remarkable, as she had been one of the children who had been playing with Pxaysre'. Somehow she had a problem with an animal touching her feet.

It was as if Pxay understood he lay down near Amhul's legs, looked at the teachers and rested his head on his front paws, waiting for Amaya to return.

Amhul heard how I'vawm was humming the new song they had made and grinned. She squeezed Puvomun's hand for a moment, it told him she was happy and proud of the two children.

Amaya came running, holding something in her hand. "Here is something that helps you," she said as she sat down with the four. The package she had brought was a folded leaf, and inside it were lumps of a very sticky substance. At first Puvomun didn't even recognise it, until he caught the smell.

"Honey from the smaoe? From the thorned Phalanxia plant?"

Amaya nodded. "It is very good for the throat. And don't look at me like that. I know it's not something people would eat but I tried it and it is very good. For the throat, I mean."

Puvomun wasn't so sure. If the healing part was as good as the taste part, she could have saved herself the trouble of fetching the stuff. The honey from the smaoe was famous for reeking badly. Despite that he held up his hand as Amaya offered him some of the sticky, smelly goo. "Keep it in your mouth. Don't swallow it, it will work better that way," was the advice.

The two children kept their eyes on the teacher, waiting for him to bite into the stinking honey first. Puvomun collected all his courage and was ready to do it, when he noticed Pxaysre' looking at Amhul's hand. The hand that held the smaoe honey. The nantangtsyìp sniffed the air, got up and moved away.

"Ma oeyä Eywa, why am I doing this," the karyu wondered. He closed his eyes and licked the stickiness from his fingers. The taste was almost as he had expected. It was only a little worse. Fighting not to spit the stuff out, he slowly opened his eyes and put all his dismay into the look he had for Amaya.

The honey, warming up on his tongue, flowed through his mouth and slowly trickled down his throat.

"Does it help?" I'vawm asked.

Puvomun looked at the boy and shrugged. Opening his mouth would make him dribble the honey everywhere.

Amhul took heart and ate the honey as well. Her face showed much more emotion over the horrid taste, so much actually that the two children started laughing.

"I want such a face too!" Apxanari said and quickly licked the honey from her fingers. Puvomun would later tell Apxanari that her face showed even more disgust than Amhul's, and that was quite an accomplishment.

I'vawm did not want to be the only one looking normal, he declared, so he too submitted his taste buds to the smaoe honey. The boy needed both hands over his mouth to keep the goo inside. He groaned, his eyes bulging, to inform everyone that he would not eat this out of his free will.

"You don't seem to like it," Amaya said dryly. She did not make any effort to hide her grin. "Let me tell you that I did not like it either. But trust me, it helps."

"What are they doing?" a man asked. It was Kenang, I'vawm's father. He looked at the four sour faces.

Amaya explained about the sore throats and that she had given them a remedy.

"Are you certain that it is a healthy remedy? Perhaps Nusumea Tirea should look at them."

"Oh, it is very good. It just does not taste very nice, but that is all." Amaya petted Pxaysre' as she spoke.

"Sìltsan. Good. At least my son the singer will be quiet this evening," Kenang said with a grin. "The last days he is talking so much about the song they are making, it will be a mercy on our ears."

I'vawm stared at his father. Puvomun knew the boy was desperate to say something, and he was proud that I'vawm refrained from that for now. The honey, smelly as it was, really soothed his throat. I'vawm probably noticed it too.

"I am not saying that he will be quiet," Amaya kept herself out of the issue. "But ma Puvomun, ma Amhul, I do need to tell you that you have to fly your ikrans again soon. They are getting restless."

Puvomun frowned at the woman. How could she be talking to them when they could not answer? Perhaps that was just her point, he then thought.

"Ikrans need to be flown by their riders, you know that," Amaya continued. "I suggest you fly them tomorrow."

Amhul had swallowed her honey. "Where to?" she asked.
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Re: Sky People
« Reply #55 on: June 01, 2011, 10:53:19 am »
56. Fly where?

Amaya laughed. So hard that Pxaysre' jumped to his six feet and looked at her in surprise, clearly ready to defend her. The animal did not yet know the reason of laughing, Puvomun thought with a grin as he also swallowed the remaining smaoe honey.

"I don't know where," Amaya said as she petted Pxaysre' back into lying down. "Just go and fly. You will find a spot to go to."

"She is right, ma oeyä yawne," Puvomun agreed. "We have to fly tomorrow. Maybe we can visit the forest clan, and see how Pawl Kamron is doing. And the two children, and Nue'wah and Zunìl."

Amhul smiled. "That is a good idea. Taw and Kilvan will be pleased when we spend more time with them. I am sure they do not understand the need for songs. Maybe we can sing for them when we fly."

"You people can be so strange," Amaya stated while shaking her head. "Who would sing for an ikran?"

"You sing for your nantangtsyìp," Amhul retorted with a grin.

"Srane, oe si," Amaya grinned back. "Your voices sound better. And how are you two?" she asked the children. "Are you feeling better too?"

I vawm and Apxanari bravely swallowed the remaining honey, tried their voices and assured Amaya that they were much better too.

"But I don't want to use that too often," I'vawm added. His face showed again his horror towards the smaoe honey. "I go to my parents now, and tell them what we did."

"Remember that we may sing the new song for the clan tonight," Puvomun reminded him. "Don't tell them everything yet."

"Kea tìkin, ma karyu," I'vawm assured Puvomun. "I won't tell them everything."

Apxanari also went to find her family, and Amaya and the two teachers got up and walked to where others were already working on food for the evening. The three lent hands to make the work for everyone easier.

It did not take very long for the other clan members to assemble. Mo'at and Neytiri sat with the singers and told them about the progress that they made with Tracy. And the problems they ran into. Gregory Mendelson, they said, was a great help in trying to calm down Tracy if she threw a tantrum again.

"Sometimes Trä'si really becomes calm when he speaks," Mo'at sighed. It was obvious that this was more the exception than the rule.

The Tsahik and her daughter looked tired, but were very interested to listen to Amhul and Puvomun and their work with the children. Jake, who sat with them as well, listened intently. He wanted to hear what was said as well, so everyone spoke slower than usual. Jake put in a lot of effort to speak Na'vi better, and speaking slowly helped him.

"I am very happy that you are so pleased with the progress of the children," Jake said, slowly and in proper Na'vi. "Aynga tsìyunslu fwa aynga way si fìway? Will you be possible to sing the song?" This was less proper Na'vi, but everyone understood. Everyone also understood that Jake was curious about the song they had made. After all, it was a song about him.

After Neytiri had calmly explained that he should have used 'tsun sivi', Puvomun said that they had already planned to present the new Song. This of course did not only reach the ears of Jake and Neytiri, so soon most of the area was humming with this news, and more and more people drew near.

The teachers looked at each other and smiled. "We should find I'vawm and Apxanari. It looks as if we are going to sing the song here," Amhul suggested.

This too was heard by many ears, and soon the two children were with the teachers. They had almost been carried over by a few industrious people.

"Are we going to sing now?" I'vawm asked. He appeared a bit nervous, and that became worse when he saw his parents and his younger brother find a spot very close to the singers.

"Srane, ma I'vawm. We will sing now."

Rapidly silence spread over the crowd, and all eyes and ears were given to the four people, who stood up.

Puvomun breathed in deeply, concentrated on the song and its meaning for the clan, and then started singing the song of Puvea Toruk Makto, the sixth rider of Last Shadow.

"Atxkxe lamu mawey, atxkxe lamu lefpom, vay fwa sawtute zama'u, mamunge feyä ayut lefngap sì feyä aysä'ot kxitxä sì tìska'ayä.
Sawtute lamu tìngäzik, sawtute ke kamamänge. Fol stamo futa kame Eywat. Ayfo mungwrr 'aw, tsamsiyu a lu tawtute. Fol zama'u olo'ne. Fo poti sawtutel fpame' mì uniltìrantokx, fo new nivume. Uniltìranyuti fpame' fte tse'a, ulte nì'k'ong po namume sì kamame. Po slamu Omatikaya."
"The land was quiet, the land was at peace, until the Sky people came, with their things of metal and their tools of death and destruction.
The problem was that the Sky People did not See. They refused to See Eywa. All but one, a warrior Sky person who came to the clan. He was sent in a Dreamwalker body, to learn, sent to see, and slowly he learnt, and Saw. He became Omatikaya."

Puvomun saw how Neytiri took Jake's hand. The olo'eyktan did not seem to notice, as he was entirely taken in by the song that was sung very slowly to make it as understandable for him as possible.

"Slä sawtute ke kamame. Uniltìranyu pamlltxe foru, slä sawtute vamar tspivang ayoengä kifkeyit, ayoeyä ayutralit, ayoeyä sengit aswok. Sawtute tsam sami.
Sawtutel 'ameko Omatikayayä kelkut, fol skama'a oeyä kelkuti, txana eveng oeyä tìsraw sami, txana Na'vi tamerkup."
"But the Sky people did not See. The Dreamwalker talked to them, but they kept killing our world, our trees, our sacred places. There was a war, started by the Sky people.
The Omatikaya's Home was attacked, our Home was destroyed; many of our children hurt, many of our people died."

The singers left a barely perceivable but ever so important moment go by, that would give everyone the time to remember what had happened.

"Ftu fwela kelku Omatikaya zama'u. Fol ramun zongtsengit ayVitrayä Ramunongro, hu tìsraw, slä kawkrr lu fwel.
Ulte ftu fwela kelku uniltìranyu zama'u. Po tamätxaw olo'ne. Po lamu Toruk Makto. Lamu puvea Toruk Makto.
Uniltìranyu sì Omatikaya hawl. Few 'a'awa eylan a lu asawtute srung sami ayoengur. Tsaysawtute kamameie. Omatikayal mamakto fratsengne, pamlltxe ayolo'ru. Fo pamlltxe san Za'u! Za'u ulte wem sawtutewä. Za'u ulte wem hu Toruk Makto, po syaw ayngaru!"
"From the broken house the people came. They found a safe place at the tree of souls, in pain, but never broken.
And from the dust also came the Dreamwalker. He returned to the clan as Toruk Makto, the sixth Toruk Makto.
The Dreamwalker and the Omatikaya made a plan. A few Sawtute friends helped. These sawtute Saw. The Omatikaya rode out to everywhere, summoning the other clans. They said 'come and fight against the Sky People. Come and fight together with Toruk Makto, he calls you!' "

Amhul and Puvomun saw how tears flowed on many faces.

"Sìwem lamu nulkrr, sìwem lamu ngäzik, ulte sìwem tìsraw si. Slä Na'vi zama'u tsamta.
Siwem hasey soli. Fo rey taluna ayolo' 'awa pum slamu, hu fìtutan, alu Toruk Makto."
"The fighting was long, the fighting was heavy and the fighting brought much pain. But the People came from the war.
The fight is behind them. They live because the clans had become one, together with the one man, Toruk Makto."

They sang on now, as the end of the song was too important to let anyone wait.

"Maw tsam, mawkrr zoslu, samsiyu kä feyä aysoaiane. Sawtute kä feyä aysoaiane. Omatikaya ngop feyä aysoaiat nìmun.
Ulte Toruk anawm tswayon, nì'awtu nìmun, tsawkene. Kìyevame sì irayo, ma taronyu mì saw.
Toruk Makto li ke lu uniltìranyu. Lu ngaya Omatikaya. Ngaya eyktan Omatikayaä."
"After the fighting and the healing, the warriors go back to their familes. The Sky people go back to their families. The Omatikaya rebuild their families.
And the mighty Toruk flies, alone again, towards the sun. Until we meet again and thank you, oh hunter in the sky.
Toruk Makto is no longer a Dreamwalker. He is true Omatikaya. A true leader of the People."

The singers now cried too. Apxanari and I'vawm had trembling voices during the last words, something Puvomun understood very well. He had gone through the same when he was learning to be a singer. Amhul and he had sung songs like these often enough. Their experience let them sing the song strong and clear.

There was a long silence. Then, slowly, Kenang got up and walked to his son. The man kneeled down and looked his son in the face. Puvomun saw that Kenang too had cried. The man hugged his son.

"I am so proud of you," the father whispered to his son. "How could I ever have thought that being rolyu, a singer, is not as honourable as being taronyu."

Then another movement drew Puvomun's eye: it was Jake who got up, with Neytiri. The man had a very sincere look on his face.

"Uhm... I'm not sure what I should say now," the clan leader said. He did not look like he felt a clan leader at all, at that moment. "Neytiri translated most of it for me, and I'm ehhh... Well, it's not every day people make a song about me, you know."

Jake kneeled down and hugged the children, one after the other. "You sang wonderfully," he thanked them. "You made me cry, do you know that? It was very beautiful."

Neytiri hugged the children as well. She too had tears on her face.

More and more people came to the four who had sung the new song, and showed the singers how proud they were, having heard the song. Several of them asked if the singers could sing the song again.

Before the evening was through the song was sung several more times.
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

Offline Puvomun

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #56 on: June 26, 2011, 05:01:20 am »
57. Airborne again

"Fìtrr moeng tswayon," Amhul said. "Today we fly."

Puvomun smiled as he felt how she turned and molded herself against him, her tail carefully landing on his legs and her arm over his chest. "Srane. Fìtrr moeng sì meikran tswìyayeion ne olo'utral."

"But not yet. I am too comfortable." Amhul's voice dropped to a whisper. "They can wait for..." She was asleep again.

Carefully Puvomun wrapped an arm around her and held her close, and then his mind drifted back to the previous evening. The people had loved the song. And the children, Apxanari and I'vawm, had been exhausted after singing it a few times.

After a while, Amhul's tail started twitching. It pulled Puvomun from the drowse he had slipped into.

"Did I fall asleep again?" Amhul asked as she blinked her eyes.

"You did," Puvomun confirmed. "I did too. Oe nìteng. But that is fine."

"We must get up now, though," Amhul insisted, "we should be on our way already." As they got out of their hammock, Amhul muttered something about people not waking them up in time, but Puvomun just laughed at that. There was no need for them to be early today.

It did not take them long to get ready for their flight to the forest clan. Kilvan and Taw were eager to fly, and greeted their riders with much flapping of wings and loud noises.

"Tam tam, ma Kilvan," said Puvomun as he petter his ikran's strong neck. "Yes, we are flying today. We will go far, you will like it." Quickly he climbed on her back, adjusted his visor and let Kilvan dive from the high branch they were perched on.

From a wild scream he could tell that Amhul and Taw were in the air too. They circled Hometree a few times and then flew off to the south, letting their ikrans set the pace.

The ikrans were more than happy to be away with their riders. Puvomun had to laugh about the thrill that came from Kilvan, and his laughter seemed to encourage the ikran to fly even faster and make a few wild turns and climbs. Kilvan screamed for joy.

"Puvomun, you are crazy!" Amhul shouted as loudly as she could.

Puvomun could barely understand her though, the rush of the wind in his ears and Kilvan's screams made it hard to hear anything else. After the aerial acrobatics however, Kilvan was prepared to fly along with Taw.

"You should not let your ikran take control like that," Amhul scolded her mate. "I was so scared!"

"Kilvan will not let me fall. She knows where I am and how she can move," Puvomun tried to reassure Amhul, but he saw it did not have the effect he hoped for.

"You act as if you have never been on an ikran before," Amhul muttered. Her face relaxed already though.

They flew on together, enjoying the magnificent landscape that unfolded beneath them. At one point they sang the new song again, of the sixth Toruk Makto. The journey seemed much shorter while they were singing. Soon they were close to the home of the forest clan. They circled the large tree a few times, so Paul Cameron and the clan members would know that visitors were coming.

-=-=-

"Ma Puvomun, ma Amhul, you look well! I am so glad you are visiting us again," said Paul Cameron after the two teachers had entered the village. Zunìl and Nue'wah were sitting with him. The three got up and greeted the newcomers.

"What brings you here, my friends?" Zunìl asked as she waved at someone to fetch something to drink for the ikran riders. "There is nothing wrong, I hope."

Amhul reassured the clan Tsahik that everything was fine, that their visit was merely a courtesy call. "Our ikrans needed to fly again, so we came here."

Puvomun grinned as his mate left out the part that they were all but told to come here.

"You are always welcome here," Nue'wah said. "I am very happy to see you, my fellow singers."

They talked about the news of their villages. Everyone from olo'utral was surprised to hear of the strange change that Tracy was going through. Paul Cameron asked many a question about her and her transformation, but most of them remained unanswered. Puvomun and Amhul did not know the answer to most of those, and did not understand what he wanted to know in a few cases.

The Omatikaya singers were invited to food, and after that Zunìl wanted to talk to them in private. A walk in the forest, with its special local scents and the sounds of animals around, was the perfect place for it.

"Have your friends, Lolet and Rakan, told you about the problems we have with the aynantang?" the Tsahik asked. "They are still around, even after your people came to chase them far away. They came back. Too many of our people have a lot of work now to keep the animals away."

Amhul said that she felt sorry for the clan. Nantangs were usually not eager to be close to villages, so why the animals chose to be so close and so persistent about it was a very strange puzzle.

"And the strangest thing is that they come close mostly in the evenings."

That was very surprising. In the evening there would be many fires burning, and many light-sack plants would brighten up the area, which was something nantangs did not like.

"Are people very careless with food, perhaps?" Amhul tried. The nantangs might be attracted to that. "Or do you know of their own prey being scarce?"

Zunìl shook her head. "Kehe. They have plenty to feed on, and we always made sure that no food is left lying around. That would not only attract nantangs."

The singers understood; there were many more undesirable forest-dwelling visitors who would be attracted to leftovers. And some of them would not be opposed to turn a full-grown Na'vi into a leftover.

"It is very strange," Puvomun admitted. "Perhaps we should be here this evening. We can help chase off the animals if they come again." Amhul agreed with him.

Zunìl appreciated that offer. "The more hands there are to ward off the aynantang, the better."

As soon as the three emerged from the forest, Nue'wah lay claim on the singers. She had made a few new songs and she wanted her fellow singers to hear them before unleashing them onto the clan. Amhul and Puvomun followed Nue'wah hand in hand to the place where the woman said she retreated to find inspiration for her new songs.

The walk ended in a very peaceful and secluded clearing. The area was relatively open, a lot of sunshine managed to reach the floor of the forest here. The multitude of small plants that needed sunlight was proof of that. Nue'wah sat down somewhere that clearly was her regular, or at least most favoured spot. Before sitting down, Amhul and Puvomun looked around, at the plants and the remarkable trees that grew here. There were many that they had not seen before, or not seen for a long time.

"You have a very nice space here," Amhul said as she sat down. "There is peace here."

Nue'wah looked very pleased with this compliment from Amhul, who was an older and more experienced singer.

Puvomun looked closely at one of the smaller flowers that grew at the border of the open area. It had a very surprising fresh smell, and its petals were marked with light-giving lines in a very intricate pattern. "These flowers will be very beautiful in the evening," he commented. "Faysyulang layu txana lor mì txon."

"Srane," Nue'wah replied. "Maybe we can come here when the sun has left, so you can see them."

Puvomun sat with the two women. "I now would like to hear your new songs." Amhul nodded encouragingly to the young singer, who suddenly seemed a bit uncertain.

"Yes. Of course," Nue'wah nodded. She took a few breaths to calm and stabilise herself. Then she started singing. Softly and with a bit of a waver in her voice at first, but soon she became more confident and sang with more power. Her first song was easy, simple and elegant because of that. It was not a big impressive song, but one to pick up quickly and hum or sing along after hearing it once.

"Nice song," Puvomun nodded as Nue'wah was done. "Very nice. Can we sing it together?"

Nue'wah looked a bit surprised but looked happy. She started the song again, and the other two singers picked up after the first few lines. After the song was through, the singer of the olo'utri watched the two Omatikaya thoughtfully. "Do you really like it? I am surprised that you can sing it so quickly. Is it too simple?"

Puvomun and Amhul assured her that the song was fine, and that they were used to learn new songs and poems quickly. Nue'wah understood and sang her second new song. It was a song about the stars in the night sky and how they reminded her of the lights in the forest.

"That is very nice," Amhul praised the young singer. "Your voice is good for this song. You made it for yourself?"

"Srane. How did you know?" Nue'wah looked almost shaken by that observation.

"We observe to make songs, like you," Puvomun grinned. He then offered to sing the new song they had made with the children.

Nue'wah was surprised to hear about Apxanari and I'vawm, and she listened to the song with baited breath. "That was beautiful..."

The three talked about songs for a while longer, until a few children found them. They had been looking for  the singers for a while, the children said, as it was time to join the others for food. This brought an end to the singer-talk.

The children ran ahead, to tell that they had found the singers, and when Puvomun, Amhul and Nue'wah reached the communal space of the clan, Siltsere and Tey'ran were waiting for them.

"We heard you are here again," Siltsere greeted them, "but we were away for a long time. Oel mengati kameie, Puvomun sì Amhul."

"We see you, ma Siltsere," Amhul smiled as she hugged the girl. Then she hugged Tey'ran, the boy that was saved from the crazy dreamwalkers. Puvomun also greeted the two children, who then ushered them to places that seemed reserved for them, next to Paul Cameron and Zunìl.

Paul Cameron was pleased to see that the singers got along so well and appreciated them telling what the singers had done that afternoon. "Maybe you can sing for us, later, when the clan sings."
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

Offline Puvomun

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #57 on: July 13, 2011, 01:18:33 pm »
58. When the clan sings

Puvomun and Amhul were surprised about that. "The whole clan sings?"
"Yes," Nue'wah explained, "we all thought it would be a good thing to sing together. Not much, just a few songs. Some of the older ones, and a few new ones."
Amhul nodded. "That is a nice idea. We will sing with you."
They ate, while Paul Cameron told the visitors about the good things that were happening in and around the clan. The idea of a clan council was now fully accepted. They had much more contact with the mountain clan, since these people had moved to the other side of their mountain.
"These people had more problems with us not having an olo'eyktan than we had," the man laughed, "but they have accepted it. Some still consider our clan strange but that is okay."
Puvomun and also Amhul did not miss how he said 'our clan'. They enjoyed the food that was offered, and they were refused to help clean things away.
"You are our guests," Zunìl pointed out, "and our guests do not need to clean up. You can sit there with the children. Soon we will sing."
Puvomun and Amhul followed Siltsere and Tey'ran to another spot and there they waited for the others, meanwhile talking about all kinds of things with the children. Siltsere proudly announced that she was learning to become a very good Tsahik, while Tey'ran was determined to become olo'eyktan of the clan. "A clan needs a strong leader," the boy said, "and I am strong."
The singers laughed as they told him he would be much stronger later. Slowly the members of the forest clan gathered. Puvomun noticed that about a dozen men remained standing, while the others found a spot to sit. Then he made the connection.
"I know the reason for your problem," he blurted out to Paul Cameron.
"You do? What problem do you mean?" The man was obviously taken by surprise.
"Lolet and Rakan told us that you have problems with nantangs. It's the singing!"
Paul Cameron, and also Zunìl and Nue'wah stared at the singer as if he had lost his mind. Only Amhul followed her mate's train of thought as she too had seen how Pxaysre' reacted to the singing of the groups of children.
"You are right!" she exclaimed. Then the two singers explained what they were talking about.
"You have a person who has a nantang as a pet?" Zunìl was entirely thrown by that revelation. Also Paul Cameron and most others were.
"Yes, and the pet reacts to singing," Amhul repeated. "So when your clan starts singing, all the voices together will carry far. And the aynantang will hear it and come."
"I don't believe that," one of the men standing said. "We need to take our spears now, and go before they come too close. Ma Pawl, do not believe the words of a singer over those of a hunter."
The tawtutan looked up at the proud hunter and nodded. "You should go." Then he turned to Puvomun. "It sounds quite far fetched, ma Puvomun, but I know you two are not lekye'ung. So we will not sing this evening, and see if the hunters and warriors will be out to protect us from something or nothing."
The Omatikaya singers noticed that the clan was disappointed about that decision.
"Maybe you two can sing your new song," Nue'wah suggested. "If you do not sing loud, the nantangs should not hear you."
Puvomun was not sure, but Amhul agreed with the clan's singer. "We can do this, ma Puvomun," she insisted, so he gave in.
They stood, focussed on the song and then sang it, loud enough for everyone to hear and understand.
The clan members were moved by the song. Many of them had been in the battle against the sawtute, many had seen what had happened and witnessed how Jake had been crucial to winning this short war.
Paul Cameron was silent for a while, after the two had ended the song. The other clan members, among whom Nue'wah, whispered among each other.
Puvomun and Amhul took their places again. Singing a song like this always influenced them deeply and they appreciated the silence they were granted. Then, when they started talking, many tongues loudly spoke about the song and complimented the singers.
After a while the men returned from their nantang watch. "No animals came close," one of them reported, shrugging. "It seems that the singers were right."
Puvomun was relieved that their prediction had come true. After all, he had based his idea on what he had seen with Pxaysre', but that animal was a pet, used to people. Here they were dealing with wild nantangs.
"This is quite amazing," Zunìl then said. "At least we now know why the animals came to our village. The next question of course is how do we prevent them from coming, because Nue'wah and many other people like the singing in the evening."
Amhul and Puvomun understood and appreciated this. Singing was good for the soul and, from their profession, they were aware that it was the best way to teach the songs to the children.
The night was deep when the singers were shown where they could sleep. The clan had talked about the nantang problem and tried to find ways to deal with it, but there was nothing that stood out as the best solution. Puvomun and Amhul had decided that going home and asking there was probably the best option.
-=-=-
The next morning they shared food with the clan. Hunters went out to find fresh supplies, Nue'wah and the singers exchanged some more thoughts about songs, and Paul Cameron asked them to convey his best wishes to the people in Mipa Tsray.
"I should make some time to visit them," he said. "It is so long ago that I saw them, I sometimes think I am losing my ability to speak Ìnglìsì." That made everyone laugh.
Amhul promised that they would take him along one day, when he felt it a good moment for a visit. "The sawtute will appreciate seeing you again, ma Pawl," she said.
"Sawtute," Paul Cameron said as nodded. "They should find a better name for themselves now. They are not flying anymore."
Amhul nodded, and said that the Omatikaya had talked about that with the humans a few times already. "If you find a good new name for your people, we will take you to them so you can tell them in person."
"That would be wonderful," Paul Cameron smiled.
Then the two singers walked to the tree where their ikrans were waiting. Almost the entire village population walked with them, and watched them fly off.
Puvomun enjoyed the feeling he was allowed to share with Kilvan. She had waited for him patiently, but he sensed her joy of having him on her back again, sharing the thrill of launching from the tree and the flight upwards. He laughed as he heard the cheers from the ground, and Amhul's happy cry when Taw took her into the air as well.
On the way home, Puvomun and Amhul tried to talk about what they had seen with the nantangs and the singing, but the ikrans were too eager to fly fast. Talking was out of the question, but they were back at Kelutral very quickly.
Everyone was hungry for the news from that faraway village, and the two teacher-singers took their time to inform all the people who wanted to hear.
Amaya was happy to see her friends return, and her eyes became large when she heard how the singing of the clan was the reason that the nantangs had come so dangerously close to the village. She bent down to pat Pxaysre' on the head.
"Clever Pxay," she told the animal, "you helped to solve a mystery and you don't even know it!"
Puvomun noticed how everyone did not seem to mind the animal being so close. Last time he had seen Amaya with her pet in a crowd, the crowd had moved away a bit, but there was no sign of that now. It was also uncanny how attached Pxaysre' seemed to be to Amaya now. Everytime she bent down, he tried to connect to her queue.
"What is it?" Amhul asked him as she noticed that his attention was drawn away, and he pointed at the woman and her nantang. "Tewti. That it strange. So much has changed in the day we were gone."
After telling all the people about what they had learnt, the two found Nusumea Tirea and asked him where Tracy was.
"She went back to Mipa Tsray," he told them. "You missed a lot of entertainment." His face told them that he did not really mean that. "She became her defensive and unwilling self again yesterday and refused more training with Mo'at and Neytiri. Even Krrekx-ori Mendelson could not make her stay. Jake and Neytiri have gone there this morning to see how things are with the sawtute."
"Is there something we can do?" Amhul asked.
"Kehe. Not there, I think. Maybe you can ask Mo'at. But your two children want to see you," he grinned. The teachers understood that he was referring to I'vawm and Apxanari.
"Irayo, ma tsmukan," Puvomun said. "We will find them and hear what they have to tell us."
"I think they will find you first," Nusumea said, and then he walked off.
The healer-hunter proved to be right, as he was so often in his mysterious way. Puvomun and Amhul had not walked far when the two children came running towards them. The two were very excited and talked at the same time, making it very difficult to understand what they were trying to tell. In the end the teachers discovered that they had sung the new song for the clan, the previous evening.
"And we did not cry," Apxanari said proudly.
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #58 on: August 17, 2011, 11:56:56 am »
59. Tracy's problems

The teachers were happy to be back at Kelutral again. As soon as the other children had discovered that they were back, the two were almost dragged away to a spot under a tree, to tell about their adventures. Puvomun and Amhul laughed and told the children everything. When they mentioned singing the song, they were interrupted by a few children who said that Apxanari and I'vawm had sung the song as well.

"It was very nice," they said, "lor nìtxan layu."

Then the children asked how long the teachers were going to stay at Kelutral this time. That was a question that shocked the two teachers a bit, and made them realise how often they were away, compared to the time that they had not flown on ikrans.

They spent the rest of the day with the children, singing songs and going for a swim in the river.

-=-=-

The next day started early. Jake and Neytiri wanted to know all about the visit that the teachers had paid, and were pleasantly surprised that the problem with the nantangs was mostly solved. Jake was also glad to know that Paul Cameron was doing well in the remote village.

"Yes, it would be good if he can come here, to be with his own people," Neytiri said.

Amhul smiled. "I think, ma Neytiri, that Pawl Kamron sees the Na'vi of the forest clan as his own people now." Puvomun could only agree with that statement. The way the man was taken up in the clan and the way everyone treated him could not be explained in another way.

"Is there news about the people in Mipa Tsray?" Puvomun then asked. "We heard that Trä'si has a difficult time."

Jake laughed. "Difficult time. Yes, that is a good way to put it. She almost tore out heads off yesterday. She has serious issues somehow, ma Puvomun. We tried talking sense into her, but that did not bring much good."

Neytiri looked sad. "Nìngay... she ran off, and before she did she tried to kick us."

The teachers were surprised. Tracy had been a kind of violent before, screaming and trying to slap people, but kicking? "Maybe we can go there and talk with her," Amhul suggested. She and Puvomun had decided to do that anyway.

"You can try, but wear protection for your shins," Jake shrugged. "She wears shoes."

Puvomun looked at Neytiri. Her face usually was better to convey if Jake was serious or not, but this time she too seemed uncertain.

"We will go there and see how she is doing. We will ask Nusumea Tirea to come with us."

Jake agreed. "I don't know why, but he is just about the only one she has not attacked, so far."

That sounded worrying.

The teachers found Nusumea in his usually work spot.

"Ma meylan, kaltxì. What brings you to me?" he asked. Amhul told him of their plan to visit the Sky People village, to see about Tracy.

"I understand. Yes, I will come with you," the healer-hunter said, and so the three went on their way.

-=-=-

At Mipa Tsray the visitors were greeted by a small group of women, all with swelling bellies. Amhul grinned and whispered to Puvomun that this was the clearest sign that the people were making their home here. He nodded.

"I will talk with them," Amhul then said. "Can you talk with Trä'si alone?"

"We will, do not worry, ma yawne," Puvomun replied, but before they could look for the woman, Norm came out to them, together with Gregory Mendelson. The older man was using a stick now to walk. Puvomun asked what was wrong, and the man said it was just old age.

"It was more old eyes that made him trip over big roots," Norm explained more to the point.

While Puvomun talked to the two men about the visit to the forest clan and the words from Paul Cameron, Nusumea went to search for Tracy. Norm agreed that it was time for Paul Cameron to come back to their village for a while. "No offence, but I am sure he is almost turning blue as you are after all that time!"

Puvomun laughed. He had gotten used to the jokes Norm Spellman sometimes made. "Jake said too that he should visit here. We will see what we can arrange, ma Norm." Then he said his goodbye to the two, as he understood they were busy with something. And also, he had come here for Tracy.

He found her and Nusumea on the other side of the big tree. A few people had seen Nusumea go there and pointed him in the right direction.

Tracy sat slightly hunched forward, Puvomun noticed. She also kept her hand over her arm protectively, as if she did not want anyone to see the sensitive hairs on it. "Hello," was all she said to the teacher.

"Kaltxì, ma Trä'si. Do you mind if I join you?" The teacher noticed she was not wearing her mask. It lay on the ground in front of her, though.

She shook her head. "It's not my property, you can sit where you want." Tracy did not look at Puvomun as she spoke.

After he sat down he waited for a while. Nusumea sat in silence as well.

"I guess you came to drag me back to your village, right?" Tracy finally asked.

Nusumea did not say a word, so Puvomun replied: "No, we are just here to see if you are well. If you do not want to come back, you stay here."

"You rehearsed that well. Nusumea said the same thing just now."

"We did not need to rehearse that, Trä'si. It is how it is."

"Srane," Nusumea confirmed. "If you do not believe us, you can ask Eywa yourself."

Tracy made a nasty sound. "I know. But I don't want to. Look, we've been here before. Each time I try and each time I get fed up and Mo'at gets angry with me and-" She stopped talking. Instead she picked up a bit of soil and let the slip through her fingers. "It feels like this. Like I get it and then it disappears again. And each time I have to go in from the start, and each time..." The woman threw the sand away.

Nusumea gently took her hand and turned its palm up. "Each time more sand sticks to you," he pointed at the soil that was in her hand. Slowly he took some more sand, pressed it in her palm and shook it off. More sand stuck to her hand.

Tracy's face was emotionless for a while as she pulled her hand free and watched the grains of sand. Almost tenderly she touched them with a finger.

Puvomun looked at Nusumea, but his friend kept his eyes on the woman.

"Srane, nga ngay lu," Tracy said, "you are right." She closed her fingers over the sand. "Each time there is more that stays with me. Inside me."

"Why you fight it?" Nusumea said, using his best Ìnglìsì. "Why fight something good?"

"Because it feels so... invasive," Tracy said, lowering her head. "I fear it. It feels as if it wants to crawl inside me."

Puvomun held back a sigh. She had gone through that before, he recalled, and each time it was worse than the last time. While the teacher searched his brain for something to say, Nusumea took Tracy's small hand again.

"Oel ke omum aylì'uti aÌnglìsì," he said, "I do not know the English words." Then he spoke, while Puvomun translated as well as he could: "I have heard of your people, and your world. Jake says your world is dead. Ngeyä sa'nok, your mother is dead. People who are not one with their world, who have no harmony, no meoauniaea, will do that. If you are one with your world you do not kill it. It would be like killing yourself."

Tracy raised her head to the hunter-healer. There were tears in her eyes and on her cheeks.

Nusumea continued. "We are one with our world." He reached for his queue and showed her the sensitive end. "And through this we remain one with our world, with Eywa. Yes, Eywa comes inside us. But also we go inside Eywa. It is like giving from both sides, and both sides learn and grow." He waited for a moment, making sure that Tracy understood what he said and to give Puvomun time to finish translating.

"You do not know this. You grew up in a way that makes this scary. But we know it is not. You should come back, Trä'si. Take more and more sand in your hand, and become one with the world. It will be good for you, and through you it is good for your people here in Mipa Tsray." Then Nusumea simply got up and walked off, leaving Tracy and Puvomun alone.

"But still it is scary," Tracy said.

"You need to get used to it. You have to open yourself," Puvomun tried to explain. "Nga zene piak säpivi."

"I tried. It's not exactly a thrill when your mind gets invaded," Tracy pouted as she started toying with sand and a few leaves.

"A thrill?"

"Yeah. Something exciting. 'Uo 'o'."

Puvomun was surprised yet again with the ease she sometimes switched to Na'vi. A thought came to his mind. "I think I know something exciting for you."
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #59 on: September 07, 2011, 11:38:55 am »
60. Something exciting

Tracy looked at the teacher. "You are making me curious."

"That is good. You have to come with us for the exciting thing."

She shrugged. "I don't think I have much to lose, do I? And I sort of have to come back with you anyway."

Puvomun smiled. "Yes.  For the training."

"For the training," Träsi confirmed. She joined Puvomun as he got up and went to look for Amhul.

Amhul looked up at them as they approached. She had been talking to the pregnant women and decided they were doing well. "I am not sure if our women can be of help to them," she said to Puvomun and Tracy. "Their bodies are different."

"I am sure we will be fine, ma Amhul," a sawtute woman said. "Some of us are nurses, we can deliver babies."

Nusumea found the group as well and he was pleased to hear and see that Tracy was ready and willing to come to Kelutral again. "You make the right decision," he told her. When Tracy told him that Puvomun had promised her something exciting, the hunter-healer looked at his friend in wonder. He, however, did not ask. It was not in his nature to do that. Instead he nodded.

Puvomun grinned. Even Nusumea would be amazed.

As there was little more to do, and the main goal had been achieved, the Omatikaya said their goodbyes and started back home. The journey went slower of course, as Tracy's legs were a lot shorter.

When they arrived at Kelutral, Puvomun said that he would have to carry Tracy, as they had to go up to the crown of Hometree. The sawtute woman did not mind.

Amhul started grinning and said that she would come along. She clearly understood what her mate was planning. Nusumea picked it up as well and also was going with them.

It did not take them long to reach the place where the ikrans were living. As Puvomun put Tracy on her feet, she gasped at the sight she had over the area from that high up. Puvomun and the others called their ikrans after warning Tracy to stay where she was and not look into the animals eyes.

"Holy s***!" was what Tracy had to share as Kilvan landed on the wide branch. Puvomun greeted his ikran and patted her, making tsaheylu with the large animal.

"Trä'si, you can come here now," he said as he held out a hand. "This is Kilvan, my ikran." As he introduced Tracy to Kilvan, he heard Amhul talking to Taw and soon she and Nusumea were already flying.

"Ma Puvomun, are you serious?" Tracy stared at him and the ikran. "Do you offer me a ride on your animal?"

"I offer you something exciting," he simply said. "Not many Sky People will have this experience, but there are not many like you."

The teacher then lifted Tracy onto Kilvan's back. He sat behind the woman. "I will have to hold on to you," he explained, "leaving the tree is not always very calm. Are you ready?"

Tracy leaned into the teacher. "I'm ready as can be." Her voice betrayed that she was still in a slight shock over this encounter.

Puvomun put an arn around her and told Kilvan to fly off as calmly as possible, as not to frighten their 'passenger'. The ikran spread her wings and calmly sailed away from the tree, after no more than what seemed a hop.

Tracy let out a scream as they lifted off. Kilvan screamed in response.

"We're flying!" the woman yelled, looking up to Puvomun for a moment.

"Sran. Oeng tswerayon," he confirmed. "We are flying."

Amhul and Nusumea joined them, left and right, and they spent a while in the air, flying high over the land and the trees.

"I can see the village from here," Tracy pointed excitedly. "And we go so fast!" That made Puvomun grin. They were not going fast.

They flew around for some time, and then the small group returned to Kelutral. As they were standing on the branch again, Tracy was beaming.

"You see what we can do when we connect with the world around us," Puvomun told her after he had disconnected his braid from Kilvan's lead. "Without tsaheylu we can not communicate with the world, with the ikrans."

Nusumea joined them on the branch and said: "I have a good idea." That was a surprise for the teachers. Usually their friend was not so straight forward with things he thought, so they were curious to find out what he meant.

After reaching the ground again, they first had to talk to some of the villagers. Also Apxanari and I'vawm were very curious why the teachers had taken Tracy into the air. As they were explaining as much as they could, Nusumea walked off, to return with pa'li soon.

Tracy looked at the hunter-healer. "That is one big horse..."

"Yes. It is," he agreed. "And you will learn to ride it."

"Me? No way!" Tracy backed away from him. "I'm not getting up there!"

"You should," Amhul then said. "It will show you what you can do with the connection. And it will not be in a way to be scared of."

The sawtute woman needed a bit of convincing before she agreed to be lifted onto the horse. Nusumea sat behind her, and the teachers were close to the horse as well, keeping it calm. The hunter-healer then guided Tracy on how to allow the tendrils from the pa'li's lead to connect to the hairs on her arm.

The teachers kept the pa'li calm as Tracy made the connection.

"Close your eyes," Nusumea said, "and feel the horse. Feel the legs and the muscles. You do not have to do anything, just feel."

Puvomun saw from Tracy's face that she was not certain that all this was a good plan, but she closed her eyes. After some more encouragement from Nusumea her features relaxed, and not much time after that she started smiling.

"This is..." she started, but did not finish her sentence. She opened her eyes and looked at the spot where the horse was connecting to her arm. She held the lead in place with her hand.

"Now you can tell it to walk," said Amhul, slipping into the way of the teachers. "Just go slowly forward, and make it go that way." She pointed to the spot where they usually taught the children to ride.

Allowing Tracy to ride a direhorse proved to be a very good idea. She quickly developed a feeling for it (faster than Jake), and they even let her ride alone for a while. Nusumea grinned as he saw how much she enjoyed the experience.

"Tewti, nang," Puvomun said, "So surprising. She is learning to See now."

The hunter-healer nodded. "That was what I hoped for."

"Mo'at and Neytiri must hear of this," Amhul stated. "They should let her ride often. As a part of the training. She likes this a lot."

"Srane," her mate agreed, "and perhaps Amaya will let Trä'si connect with her pet as well. New experiences make this better."

Puvomun frowned. "Trä'si and the nantangtsyìp? Are you certain?"

"I am, and why not? Amaya does it."

"Ngay, but Amaya is... Amaya."

Nusumea solved the situation. "Ask Amaya." Then he walked over to where Tracy was waiting for someone to get her off the horse.

-=-=-

In the evening, Tracy asked Puvomun an interesting question. "Do you think that I could ride one of the younger Pa'li back to Mipa Tsray?" She had been training with Mo'at most of the day, and riding one of the newer born horses had proven to be a great incentive, the more as she could mount that herself, with some effort.

Neytiri and Jake, who sat close by, turned their heads as they heard the request. "Are you sure?" Neytiri asked.

Tracy nodded. "Law nìtxan 'efu oe. I feel very certain."

"I see no harm there," Jake said. "If you think it's good..." He looked at the teachers and Nusumea Tirea, who then conferred among each other.

"I will ride with her," the hunter-healer proposed. That was a sound idea.

After the evening meal, Nusumea and Tracy disappeared into the beginning darkness and soon they were off. The soft sound of the pa'li hooves quickly faded in the night noise of the forest.

"You should watch out," Lolet remarked to Puvomun. "You let her fly along with you and now she rides pa'li. Soon she will want to fly an ikran herself!" That remark caused laughter among the Omatikaya. It was so obvious that Tracy would never be able to ride an animal that large. Lolet of course laughed loudest of all.

"It was a good idea of Puvomun to let her fly," Mo'at then said. "Trä'si learnt well today. She has Seen now. Set, poe kolame."

Everyone agreed that this was good.

Puvomun and Amhul then went to sit by the river for a while, seeking some time for themselves. The two students, Apxanari and I'vawm, joined them.

"Do you think Trä'si will become the tsahik for the sawtute?" the boy wondered.

Amhul smiled. "I think she already is, ma 'evi. Trä'si does not know it yet, but I think she is."

"She only needs more training and practice," Puvomun added.

"In the same way that we are the new singer-teachers?" Apxanari tried.

The two teachers laughed. "Yes, in that same way. You too need more training and practice, but you already sang for the clan by yourself," Puvomun agreed, "so you are certainly the new singer-teachers for the Omatikaya."

Then silence fell, and the four enjoyed the serenity of the illuminated dark forest around them...
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

 

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