Author Topic: Sky People  (Read 6376 times)

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Offline Puvomun

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #60 on: October 23, 2011, 11:40:07 am »
61. Rap

Amhul and Puvomun were busy. There were new children around that needed to be taught the basics of life in the clan, the stories and songs everyone should know, and also I'vawm and Apxanari were eager to learn more, and faster. The latter was a good thing, as that gave the two teachers some breathing space at moments. After all, teacher-singers also made arrows and repaired all kinds of things.

The four were sitting together, trying to fix a few items, when I'vawm stated that he wanted to learn how to make a bow. "This one is so damaged, I cannot repair it."

Puvomun grinned. That was what he had been waiting for. "Sìltsan nìtxan, ma I'vawm, very good. You need to see when something has to be replaced. Today we will go into the forest and look for good wood to make a new bow."

The young man was very happy with the prospect. "When?" As Puvomun handed him another item to fix, telling him that this one had to be done first, his enthusiasm diminished. "But making a bow is so much more fun."

"We cannot always or only do things that are fun, ma 'ewana I'vawm," the teacher explained. "It is like the hunters, the saronyu, who go out to hunt our food. They enjoy the hunt. But after the animals are shot and brought back, there is the work of skinning them, cleaning them. Do you think they enjoy that?"

I'vawm gave that some thought, then shook his head. "No. It stinks, and it is very dirty work."

"Srane, young I'vawm. Repairing this basket is like skinning the sturmbeest. Only the basket does not stink."

Apxanari laughed loudly when she saw I'vawm carefully sniff the basket, to make sure Puvomun's words were true. I'vawm stared at Apxanari, and for a moment it looked as if he was getting angry. Then he relaxed and slowly got back to working on the basket.

It was afternoon already, and almost everything was repaired, when the four singer-teachers heard...

"Singing?" Amhul wondered as she got up. "Who is singing?"

The others rose to their feet as well, and they walked from their repair place to the communal area outside Kelutral, to see who owned the voice that was singing. The song was strange and new to them, and the voice clearly was not of a trained singer.

Once outside in the open, the mystery was solved quickly. It was Tracy singing. A large group of people had gathered around her and listened. Puvomun understood that she was singing a sawtute song. Tìrol asawtute. Most of the words were lost on him as she was singing very quickly, but it was definitely a song in Ínglìsì.

The four sat down with the other people and listened.

"It sounds interesting," Amhul whispered to Puvomun, "but the range of the tone scale is very little. There are large gaps between them too."

"Sran. It must 'Rrta music," her mate said. "Their music reflects their language."

Amhul nodded. "I wonder what made her start to sing. Maybe we can ask her later."

The small woman sang a few more songs, some slower than the first one. Those were almost understandable for Puvomun and Amhul, although the meaning of many words still escaped them, keeping them in wonder of the message of the song. A good thing was that she started clapping her hands in one of the songs, and the Omatikaya that sat and stood listening joined in on that. The beat of the song was a good one.

When Tracy finally decided that her voice had had enough, many people walked to her and thanked her for sharing the songs of her people.

Amaya and Lolet had joined the singer-teachers. I'vawm and Apxanari had run off to Tracy, to talk with her. The teachers were certain they would hear from them what the songs had been about.

"Such strange singing," Lolet remarked. "It is, at times, as if she is just saying words in a certain pattern. Very hard to understand."

Amaya agreed, as she tried to keep Pxaysre' under control. For some reason the animal was very eager to play. "Calm down, you!"

"Maybe he got excited about Trä'si and her singing," Amhul suggested. She could be right. After all, they had witnessed how the nantangs near the village of the forest clan had reacted to singing.

"If he gets excited about that," Amaya huffed as the mock fight continued, "I should check his ears." That remark caused laughter with everyone who heard it.

"Kaltxì, my friends," Tracy said, who had walked up to the small group. She stayed safely away from the jumping and yapping nantangtsyìp. Small as it was, it was still quite a large animal for someone her size. "I am surprised that you also came to listen. Did you like it?"

Tracy sat down between Amhul and Lolet, where Pxaysre' had the least chance of accidentally hurting her.

"It was... interesting," said Amhul. "Is this music from your old planet?"

"Yes," Tracy beamed, "it is called 'rap'. I love it. It is strong and it has a good beat, and there is a message in it."

Puvomun at least agreed on the beat. He was not sure about the message part, but that had to do with understanding. "Did you feel like singing from within yourself," he asked, "or did someone ask you to?"

"I just thought it would be a good thing to sing. To let out what is inside me."

Puvomun nodded. That was indeed a good thing. "Did our menumeyu, the two students, make life hard for you with their questions?"

"Oh, no, they are so cute. They want to know everything, don't they?" Tracy grinned.

For the sake of the small woman, everyone sat down, so looking at each other was a bit easier.

"They do," Amhul agreed.

"Mo'at let me go for the rest of the day. She says I am making good progress in learning things myself." Tracy was obviously proud of that. "Maybe I should go back to Mipa Tsray and see how things are there. Tell them what I'm doing and all that."

"As far as they understand," Amaya added.

"Yeah, there's that. Sometimes I feel as if I am more one of you guys than one of them. But after you slapped me over the head, I see things different now." Tracy looked at Puvomun and Amhul, who were puzzled. They had never hit Trä'si. "No, I mean talking to me, and taking me flying. You know."

This clarified much.

"Yes, going to your own people is a good idea," Lolet agreed. "I may come with you and look around. I hardly ever go there."

"Hunters have hunters' duties," Tracy nodded. "Tìkangkem asaronyu lu saronyuru. But it would be nice if you come with me."

The two women agree to leave at that moment, so soon the teachers were sitting with Amaya and her now calm pet.

"I have an idea," Amaya said. She got to her feet and walked off. Pxaysre' did not need any encouragement, he was up and behind her in a moment.

Amhul laughed. "And so we sit here alone, ma yawnetu. Our students ran off, the other children are playing in the river, so we have the time for ourselves. We should go to our ikrans and fly with them."

Puvomun was all in favour of that. They had been neglecting their animals somewhat, he thought with a pang of guilt, so they went to fetch their eye protection and went up to the crown of their hometree, where the ikrans lived.

The animals did not need much time to fly down to the strong, wide branch, not did they hesitate to eat the treats the teachers had brought for them. It was obvious though that the ikrans wanted to fly, so the teachers did not waste much time. They mounted their ikrans and without the need to tell them, the animals cried out and dropped away from the tree, going into a steep dive and gaining speed before they opened their wings and sharply pulled themselves level again.

"Where do we go?" Amhul called over to Puvomun, who saw her big smile.

"Who cares!" he called back, and pointed out over the wide forest. "Somewhere there!" The direction that he pointed in would take them over Mipa Tsray.

It did not take them long to reach the tree of their neighbours, and they circled around it as low as the ikrans wanted to go. They were quickly spotted, and the people on the ground called out things, but the rush of the wind and the distance made it impossible to understand. The teachers waved and then flew on.

Puvomun understood the excitement of the sute'it, the small people. He remembered all too well how it had been for Amhul, himself, and still was for so many other people not flying to see ikrans leave Kelutral, to sail the skies as master of the air.

They turned towards the wide-spread forest again and let the ikrans fly the way they wanted, using up all their excess energy. Which turned out to be quite a lot.

"Have you ever wondered how high an ikran can fly?" Amhul asked her mate.

"I don't know," Puvomun shook his head as he patted Kilvan's neck. "But it must be quite high." He grinned as he understood her question. "And since we are here, and the ikrans are not tired..."

Amhul cried out something that sounded like a yell of victory and laughed. "We must try!"

The two laughing people did not need to tell their ikrans what they had in mind; the animals picked that up through the bond, tsaheylu. A rish of excitement flowed back through it, to the Na'vi, as the ikrans started climbing up and higher, carrying their riders to altitudes they had not been before.
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

Offline Puvomun

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #61 on: November 25, 2011, 10:34:34 am »
62. When you fly

Amhul and Puvomun clung to their ikrans, as they had no idea when the climb would end. The ikrans however showed no trace of fear or becoming tired, and by now the teacher-singers were experienced enough to hold on without getting tired quickly themselves. At a certain point the ikrans leveled out and spread their wings. They soared high, breathtakingly high over the ground.

"Eywa oenghu," Amhul said as she looked around, "we are really high now."

There was no distinction anymore between trees high or low. Everything look the same from here. The river that they knew so well was a mere trickle of water now, a silvery thread that cut through a vast area.

Far away in the distance Puvomun saw Ayram alusìng, the floating mountains. The mountains were floating below them, he noticed, although he could not be entirely certain. They were so far away.

"Ma Puvomun, look there." Amhul pointed to a speck in the jungle. It was where the mine of the Sky People had been.

To his surprise, the location was still clearly visible from up here, while as they were lower it seemed a lot more covered by new trees and plants already. "That is... amazing," he ended. He had no word for the pain he felt inside. Seeing that small spot down there brought back memories of the fights between Omatikaya and Sawtute, in the years after everything had seemed to go so well.

Sawtute... the word rang in his mind. "I don't like the word Sawtute anymore," he told Amhul.

"Why not?"

"It reminds of the bad things. The people who hurt Eywa'eveng, Pandora. The ones that are still here are not like them, they are not Sawtute anymore."

Amhul considered this in silence for some time. "Oe mllte. I agree. They are not Sky People in more ways than one, because their flying machines do not work anymore. They now are just the Little People. Sutetsyìp."

Puvomun laughed as he heard the word. The name. Yes. Sutetsyìp. That was who they were now, until their children would be as tall as the Na'vi.

Amhul grinned as she saw how much Puvomun enjoyed the name and felt proud. proud of him and proud of them.

"We will ask them if they want to be called that," Puvomun said, with a laugh still on his face.

"Some will not like it." Amhul was certain of that. "But most will understand it. And maybe they can think of a new clan name for themselves. They need a name."

Puvomun agreed with that. Every clan he knew had a name or a reference. Norm and Gregory and the others knew many of them.

The two teachers flew further on their ikrans, enjoying the view and the fresh breeze that was all around. The small scar in the forest that had triggered the interesting little conversation was already behind them. The mere being up there, high in the sky, together, on the backs of their ikrans that they had gotten in such a strange way, that was the simple and most important thing.

After soaring for a while, the teacher-singers decided to return to Kelutral. They had drifted far from their home, and it would be best to go back now.

"Should we fly lower now?" Amhul asked.

Puvomun was still considering that when Amhul let out a little scream, one she broke off by clasping a hand over her mouth.

"Ma Puvomun. There." She pointed below them, as she talked as quietly as she could.

The teacher looked down and immediately saw what his mate had already spotted. It was the best reason to stay high up there; beneath them, and not even that much lower, flew a Toruk.

The two teachers remained silent, afraid that the fearsome predator would somehow look up and consider them a welcome change of diet. Also their ikrans had seen their agressive huge counterpart and flew as silently as they could. Using only handsigns, the two teachers agreed that they should change their direction. Toruk was flying along almost the same path they followed, so taking a little detour to get away from the Last Shadow was a good idea.

Without the need to guide Kilvan and Taw, the ikrans, they calmly glided away from the mightly animal. As the distance to it grew, the teachers could not help looking back at it. Only once before had they seen one, and that was when Jake Sully rode it. Perhaps this one was the same Toruk, but still it was wise not to get too close. Jake was not here, not riding it, and nobody knew how quickly a Toruk would forget the experience.

Puvomun felt how Kilvan was agitated as well, upon seeing the Toruk. He understood that it was important not to let his own fear take the upper hand. There was no telling what the ikran would do then.

Slowly the distance to the brightly coloured leonopteryx grew, until it was only a moving dot in the distance.

"We were lucky," Amhul said as they dared to speak again.

"Srane, mllte oe," Puvomun agreed. "I was scared."

Amhul just nodded as she rubbed Taw's strong neck. It was evident that she was still working down the nerve-wrecking moment. "We are not hunters, are we?" The woman attempted a brave smile.

"We are not. Let's go back home now, and tell everyone about our encounter with Toruk."

Amhul nodded. "Yes. And we may be able to make a new song about this. About meeting Toruk."

-=-=-

As the two returned home, they told everyone about their encounter with the huge, dangerous animal. Many people looked frightened, as the Toruk was very close to the village, but Mo'at and Nusumea calmed everyone down.

"Toruk is not one to come close to where many people are, usually," Mo'at knew. "No one needs to worry."

"Maybe someone has to go to Mipa Tsray and let them know though." Lolet came forward. "I was there earlier, and they are doing well, but many people are still not prepared to live here in a leisurely way."

Puvomun understood what she meant. "Srane. As long as the Sutetsyìp are near their hometree, they feel safe. They will have to learn to really understand and live with the world. Maybe we have to start teaching them how to do that."

"Sutetsyìp?" Many voiced repeated the name.

Amhul laughed and explained how they had come to that name, instead of sawtute. The people were divided about that new name, though. Many were not ready or willing to let go of the painful past that had cost so many lives.

Mo'at and also Nusumea nodded at the name. "It is a good name. They have proven that they are not our enemie anymore. The Sawtute, the Sky People, were our enemy. But everyone is free to call them how they want."

Amhul's kxetse touched Puvomun's. For a moment their tails intertwined. They knew that 'Sutetsyìp' would become the new name for their new neighbours soon. Mo'at's word usually was very convincing to the entire clan.

Amhul then agreed with Lolet, about letting their neighbours know about the Toruk that was near. "We should go there now."

"Oengìl mìyakto mefa'lit," Lolet suggested. "We will ride the pa'li." It was a sensible suggestion, direhorses were faster than going on foot, and easier to get to than ikrans. She and Amhul then left the small gathering and soon were on their way to Mipa Tsray.

Puvomun and Nusumea were soon walking off, away from the people who were still talking about the news of the Toruk.

"Were you scared to see it?" Nusumea Tirea asked the teacher.

"Yes. We were. Even when we flew higher than Toruk."

The hunter-healer nodded. "Very smart. An animal like that is not something to take lightly."

Puvomun knew that; he could sing at least four songs that told about the danger of approaching Toruk without it having a rider. Tsa-hey, even with a rider one should get too close to such an animal.

"But it can be a sign too," Nusumea continued. "Often when Toruk is seen, something will change."

Puvomun agreed. "Srane, oe omum. I know. We have seen that when Jake came back with Toruk. It was a turning point in the battle with the - Sawtute." He hesitated a moment before using that word, as to make it clear he used that intentionally.

"So many changes," Nusumea then said, without making clear which he was referring to. Puvomun did not need words for that though. Everyone in the village had their own set of changes, good or bad, to deal with.

"Perhaps it is good to talk with Jake about this too," the hunter-healer then said. "He must know about it."

The teacher nodded. "I will find him and tell him. If others haven't done so already, of course."

The two men laughed, and then parted ways. Nusumea disappeared into the forest, pursuing some business of his own. Puvomun walked back to Kelutral and looked for their olo'eyktan.

Jake, he heard, was away to Mipa Tsray as well. Amhul and Lolet would probably tell him about the sighting then, Puvomun assumed, and then decided it was a good time to find something to eat.
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

Offline Puvomun

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #62 on: January 15, 2012, 03:46:08 am »
63. The eye of Eywa (1)

Most of the afternoon had already gone by when rather a large group of people came from Mipa Tsray. Lolet and Amhul arrived first, as they had gone on horseback. Jake and Neytiri came back on foot. Tracy was with them, as well as Gregory Mendelson. Norm and Randolph were with them too, which told everyone that something important was going on.

Jake saw Puvomun and waved at him. "Come over here, we have to talk to you!" Typically the way Jake did things, Puvomun grinned as he went to the group.

"Kaltxì, ma eylan," he greeted the people.

"It's about the Toruk," Jake came straight to the point. "Amhul said it is no problem that it is flying around. Do you agree with that?"

Puvomun looked at the clan leader in surprise. "Ma Jake, I am a teacher, not a hunter or a warrior. I know not of these things. Oel ke omum fayuti."

"I know," Jake said with his grin. "But you saw the bugger, and the hunters didn't. I trust your word when it matches that of your mate."

The teacher looked at Amhul who looked as if she was not certain either. Jake always had these strange ways of doing things. "Toruk was flying around, yes, but he did not seem to be hunting."

"Tam," said the olo'eyktan. "Good. We'll leave it at that then. But I do think we need to give some instructions to Norm and Randolph, about how to act when Toruk comes too close."

"Hah, that is easy, ma Jake. You hide."

Jake nodded. "Still, find something more substantial. I want these people safe." With that, he took Neytiri's hand, nodded at Tracy and they walked off. Gregory Mendelson, old man as he was, walked with a stick. He followed them, leaving Norm and Randolph in the care of the teachers.

Norm scratched his head. "When he is not in our village, I like to think that we're running the place. But when Jake comes around, it is as if he's taking charge, and nobody can do a thing against it."

"Perhaps nobody wants to do a thing against it, ma Norm," Amhul said, as she stood by Puvomun's side. He slipped an arm around her.

Randolph snorted and Norm shot him a look. Then the bearded man said: "So, do you have any idea what to do when Toruk comes to visit?"

"Yes," Puvomun replied, to everyone's surprise. "Fly very very high, and away from him." For a moment he enjoyed the puzzled faces, then he laughed.

Amhul slapped her mate. "Toruk is a large animal," she then said. "It can not fly in places that are very small, so if you can hide in a place where Toruk cannot come, you will be well. Let your people watch the skies, and when they see Toruk, they have to hide in the dense trees or shrubbery."

"That makes sense," said Randolph. "Like good old war tactics: hide where the enemy choppers can't get to you. With the bonus that a Toruk doesn't have missiles to blast you to kingdom come anyway."

Amhul and Puvomun exchanged glances. Sutetsyìp had such strange expressions at times.

"We'll keep some people on the lookout, as long as the beast is close," Norm then said. "We have enough men and women who can climb, we'll post them in the tree top of Mipa Tsray, with material to make noise so we can hear them."

"That is a good plan," Puvomun agreed. "It is always sensible to be careful. Oe sìlpey tsnì ngeyä sìhawl zayo, ulte pum ke kayin. I hope that your plans work well and will never be needed."

"Irayo, ma Puvomun," Norm replied. "Come, Randolph, I think we have to chase some people up a tree."

Randolph stared at Norm. It was not often that Norm tried to be funny and actually succeeded. "Would you mind if we have something to drink first? It's bloody warm today."

The man spoke truth. Their clothing was drenched and smelled very bad, even from where Puvomun and Amhul looked at them. The teachers took the two men to the shade and made sure they had something to drink. As they were there, Nusumea Tirea came walking to them.

"Ma meylan, menga tsun ziva'u srak? Can you come?"

"Just go, we'll find our way home," Norm said to the teachers.

The two followed their hunter-healer friend. "What is the matter?"

"Mo'at wants us to help Trä'si. I do not know with what."

They arrived at a silent spot where Jake and Tracy sat, with Neytiri and Mo'at. Jake was talking but he stopped and looked up at the arriving people.

"Hey, good of you to come. Come, sit down with us," the olo'eyktan said. As they all sat, Jake continued.

"I was talking to Tracy here, and telling her how Grace went into Eywa. I think if she can go through Eywa as well, it will help her become a good Tsahik for the people in Mipa Tsray."

"He is right," Mo'at picked up the talk. "Grace was very weak, she could not return. But Trä'si is young and strong. She can learn of Eywa."

Puvomun, Amhul and Nusumea were still unclear on why they were asked to be there.

"What we need you to do," Mo'at said, "is to prepare Trä'si for this. Ma Nusumea, ngal omum ewllit. You know the plants. Can you make something that will make Trä'si relax and open her mind?"

The hunter-healer nodded. "Tsun oe," he said. "I can."

"Tam. Good. Amhul, Puvomun, you must teach Trä'si a few of the First Songs. Songs that tell her about the People and Eywa. Ask the children you are teaching to help."

The teachers nodded.

"Ma 'ite," Mo'at then turned to her daughter, "you will help Trä'si to appear as a true Tsahik. Some of the weavers can help you make the proper attire for her. Our things are too big for her small body."

Tracy had so far just listened to the conversation. For some reason she did not ask anything, did not interrupt any of the people talking. That was very unlike the Tracy Puvomun knew. This however changed now.

"Wait a minute. Do you mean I have to go running around like you do?"

Mo'at and Neytiri looked at the small woman. "You can run if you like. Why do you ask?"

"I mean, you're wearing close to nothing... And we're not used to that."

Amhul laughed for a moment, then pointed at the shirt Tracy wore. "Do you see and smell what your clothes do?" The shirt was rather soaked from Tracy's sweat. "It is not pleasant to see or to smell."

"Doesn't feel nice either," Tracy admitted, "but it's the best I have."

"And we get you something better," Neytiri commented. "It is warm here, you do not need all that." She tugged at the shirt, let it go and wiped her fingers very demonstratively on a few leaves, as if her hand was soaked by just touching the shirt.

"You are almost one of us. You breathe the air without the mask. You are learning our language quickly." As she said that, she looked at Jake with a mocking expression on her face. "You can look like one of us."

"I'm not sure the people in the village will like that."

Jake laughed. "I think there are a number who will like that a lot!"

Tracy looked slightly shocked as she faced the clan leader. Her cheeks turned even redder than they already were from the warm air around them.

Puvomun understood Tracy's feelings. "You can wear your new attire here first, to feel more comfortable, if you want. Jake has done the same when he first came here, when Mo'at handed him into the care of Neytiri."

Jake laughed. "And I survived. You will have much gentler teachers than I had." He looked at Neytiri who threatened to slap him, but he caught her hand and pressed his lips against it. Such a strange habit.

Amhul tried to convince Tracy by saying she would be just like the children.

"Yeah, right, just the wrong colour, and children don't have boobs," the woman retorted. But she looked at the Na'vi people who were sitting there with her and sighed. "Maybe I should give it a try."

Neytiri grinned. "Your... poops will be covered by a feather necklace, ma Trä'si," she said as she pointed to Tracy's far from ample chest. "You don't have to worry." She got up and quickly walked off.

"Now where's she going?" Tracy wondered as she saw the tall, slender huntress leave.

"She is getting you the clothes to wear," Mo'at explained. "They are not here, kefyak?"

"Oh, right. Duh, colour me stupid for today," Tracy chuckled, using another confusing expression.

It did not take Neytiri long before she returned with something more comfortable to wear for Tracy. Puvomun saw that they were for children, but they should be right for the small woman.

Tracy sat there, with the things in her hand. "Alright. Guys... can you, uhm, look the other way?"

Nusumea Tirea and Puvomun frowned. Jake then explained that this was habit among the Little People, and he turned around to demonstrate that he was used to it. The two other men then also turned.

Puvomun wondered if mated people from their kind would be this way as well. The strange sounds and suppressed shrieks that Tracy made, while Neytiri and Amhul helped her change into the Na'vi attire made him grin. "You will get used to it."

"I'll be the judge of that, thank you very much!"
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #63 on: January 22, 2012, 04:34:20 am »
64. The eye of Eywa (2)

"Right. I think we're safe now," Tracy said. Her voice did not sound very confident.

Slowly the teacher-singer and the healer-hunter turned back, as did Jake. Tracy looked a lot better now, without the hindering clothes, although she sat hunched over, still uneasy with her new appearance. She did admit that this way of dressing felt better.

"Sìltsan. Good job. So now we have this arranged, I think Nusumea here should start working on the mix for Tracy to open her mind."

"Oh yeah, I am ready for some dope," Tracy grinned. Only Jake grinned with her, the others frowned and realised that they should better stop that. This woman made them frown so often that it was going to be on their faces permanently.

"And we shall teach her a few Songs. The smaller ones," Amhul said as they all got up, Tracy still hesitant.

"I'vawm and Apxanari will be glad to help," Puvomun thought, and his mate agreed. "We can go and find them now."

Tracy swallowed hard. "Okay then. Let's go give them a fright. People, I'm coming."

Jake and Neytiri laughed. Mo'at only shook her head. She knew that the People would hardly pay attention to Tracy.

And so it was. When they returned to the central area of Kelutral, only a few people looked at Tracy, and only for a moment, nodding their approval. The teachers found their two pupils near the river, where they were trying to jump into the water as far from the land as they could.

The children were having too much fun to interrupt their play, so the teacher-singers sat down and waited for the group to become tired. Tracy also sat down, asking them why they waited.

"Are you in a hurry, ma Trä'si?" Amhul asked. "Or do you want to jump and swim too?"

"Like this?" The woman looked shocked. "I have no bathing suit with... uhm..." Her eyes moved to the children who wore as much, or as little as she did. "I guess that argument is not going to cut it here..."

After a few moments longer, watching the children have fun, Tracy grinned. "What the hell..." She took off the feather necklace, rose and yelled: "Ready or not, here I come! Geronimo!!" And with that war-cry she darted towards the water and jumped, ending her short flight with a tremendous splash.

Puvomun and Amhul laughed at the sudden explosion of joy that went about in the river, and joined the fun. They threw children in the air to let them splash into the water, and at one point Tracy asked Amhul if she could be thrown as well. Only a moment later Tracy flew through the air and landed in the river after just a short flight.

"Holy s***, man, you guys are scary strong!" she uttered as she resurfaced, laughing. After a while, the teachers sat at the river side again, to dry, and Tracy joined them. Amhul called for Apxanari and I'vawm, who came out of the water as well. They understood that their special teachers would not call them for something trivial.

The teachers then explained their pupils that Tracy had to learn a few of the First Songs.

"And since you know some of them, we thought you can help her learn them. You had to learn them not long ago, so you may be able to help her."

The two were excited that they were trusted with such an important task. They understood the importance of Tracy and her change into becoming a true child of Eywa. Mo'at had told them about this.

"We can teach her one this evening," Axpanari said, as she looked at Tracy who was dividing her attention between the conversation and the feather necklace that was to cover her bosom.

"Rutxe, ke fmi nivume tìrolit angäzìk oeru," Tracy said, "Please, don't try to teach a difficult song to me."

Everyone laughed at that, because Tracy had spoken Na'vi and not even realised she did.

A bit unnerved by that discovery, Tracy slowly stroked the special hairs on her arm a few times. It seemed to calm her down. "I feel so stupid."

Amhul shook her head. "You are not stupid. You speak our language quite well, it will help in learning the song. Come, we will see if we can help prepare food."

-=-=-

It was dark now, as far as the illuminated forest all around allowed darkness to be present. There had been a few visitors from Mipa Tsray, to ask about Tracy. Once they had heard that the tutetsyìp woman was well, and was going to stay at Kelutral overnight, they were satisfied and had returned to their home.

"Your people are concerned about you. For them," Mo'a said, "you are still one of them. This is good. You must keep it that way."

Tracy sat playing with a small bone she had picked from her food and nodded. "I understand. I'm not going to turn into some kind of freak, you know. Not planning to, so it's not gonna happen."

"Can we sing now?" I'vawm asked. He and Apxanari had been sitting, waiting patiently, but as proper children had it, their patience was running thin quite quickly.

"Yes, you go sing," Mo'at smiled at the two, before she got up and walked off.

Puvomun and Amhul laughed at the impatient youngsters, who took position on either side of Tracy. I'vawm, young as he was, was already taller than the woman, even when sitting down. Slowly, and in turn, the children recited a line of one of the First Songs. Puvomun had told them which song to use. Tracy was very new to all this, and her head was not trained for this, so they had to use a very simple and short song.

After reciting the song, it was Tracy's turn to speak the sentences, one by one. The children suddenly had a lot of patience. They paid attention also to the small details of intonation, the way they had learnt from their teachers.

There was one line in the song that Tracy just did not get right, no matter how often she tried. At one point she got up and growled loudly that she was never going to learn and should just feed herself to a nantang.

Apxanari shook her head. "No, Trä'si, you do well." Then the girl turned to her teachers. "How can we teach her better?" I'vawm also looked at the end of his knowledge.

The two teachers were proud of how much the children had already managed. "We can try again tomorrow."

"No! I want to learn this now!" Tracy sat down between the children. "Come on. Again."

At that moment Nusumea Tirea approached, on silent feet as always. "I may have something that helps." He held a small leaf in his hand and kneeled down. In the leaf was a very small amount of something that looked like blue dust.

"What's that? Dope?" Tracy asked. "Oh, never mind," she added as there were many surprised faces looking at her.

"It is from a plant, to make the mind calm. Your mind is not calm," the hunter-healer explained.

"Okay..." Tracy wondered. "So what's the plan? Do I eat it? Or sniff it?"

Nusumea grinned. "Kehe. You do not want your mind to be that calm. Let me..." He dipped a finger in the dust, touching only a little bit, and pressed his finger against Tracy's forehead for a moment. It left a small blue spot there.

"Ohhh, you're going to make me pretty, are you..." The woman grinned. "I wish I had a mirror so I could see what you... did..." Her voice became slow. "Hey... uhm... what's happening... why is the world slowing down?..."

All the speed had left Tracy's voice. One moment she was still rambling as if her mouth had to keep up with a running palulukan, the next moment a sleeping syaksyuk was faster than her talking.

"That's not dope, is it?" Tracy asked.

"It is not. It helps you," Nusumea said, and then he sat down a bit away from them.

"Teach her the sentence again," Amhul encouraged I'vawm and Apxanari, who sighed and tried it once more.

This time Tracy seemed to do a lot better, and after three more rehearsals she could actually repeat the sentence without getting lost in the px, tx, kx and ng sounds.

Apxanari clapper her hands. "She can say it! I'vawm, we have to sing it now, slowly. And Tracy will sing with us." The sudden success had enthused her. Very calmly she sang the song, I'vawm singing second voice. Puvomun and Amhul fell in also, adding voices. Even Nusumea hummed along. Tracy smiled as she listened to the singing, and when the song started over, she sang along. Here and there she missed a word, but after a few more times she actually sang every word in the way it had to be sung.

Amhul touched Puvomun's knee and smiled at him. This was a very special moment. Someone who was not Omaticaya, who was not even Na'vi, had learnt one of the First Songs and sang it in the proper way. "Trä'si set lu Na'vitsyìp," she grinned. "Tracy is now a little Na'vi."
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

Offline Puvomun

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Re: Sky People
« Reply #64 on: February 20, 2012, 11:07:46 am »
65. The eye of Eywa (3)


Tracy glared at Amhul for a moment. "Are you going to paint me blue now, and glue a tail to my butt?" Then her features softened as she laughed. "Sorry, my big mouth sometimes opens before my little brain kicks in."

"No. We'll wait with that until you are asleep," Puvomun calmly said, making Tracy stare. Only when he grinned, she grinned as well, catching the joke.

"I had not expected that from you!"

"Speaking of sleep, that is a good idea," Amhul then nodded. "Tomorrow we shall see if you still remember the song we taught you, and then we'll  find Nusumea Tirea, and you will go through the eye of Eywa."

Those words made everyone fall silent for a while, as their impact was so grave. Then Tracy rose, the two children as well. "I'm going to sleep," the small woman said.

"We'll show you where you can sleep," I'vawm offered, and then the three walked off.

Puvomun and Amhul watched them go. Then Amhul remarked how much Tracy had changed in the last days. Puvomun agreed. She had made enormous progress.

After a few more moments, in which they enjoyed the solitude and the sounds of the nightly forest, also the meharyu, the two teachers, went to sleep.

-=-=-

When Amhul and Puvomun came to where they would find breakfast, Tracy was already sitting there. Nusumea sat with her, and the two were both very silent.

"Rewon lefpom," said Puvomun. "Good morning. You are early."

Nusumea did not react, he was clearly in thought. Tracy looked up. "I know. Been up since a while."

The sound of her voice told everyone within earshot that she had been up since far too long already. Perhaps, Puvomun thought, that was good. It would make her a bit sleepy, less assertive and agressive than her usual self.

Amhul had fetched their food, and they ate while talking to Tracy. It felt more like talking towards Tracy, because most of the things they said did not seem to enter her conscious mind; she just nodded occasionally.

Puvomun saw how Jake and Neytiri joined a small group not far away. The two looked over at the people who sat with Tracy, keeping their eyes on them just a bit longer than just to acknowledge them. It was obvious that Jake and Neytiri decided to leave the small group alone.

Then the small group grew a bit, as the sound of children's voices echoed all over. A swarm of them ran in, plundered the food baskets and crashed all over. I'vawm, Apxanari and also Tewi sat with the teachers. Puvomun wondered why Tewi was there; usually the boy was one of the overactive ones who could not sit still for longer than it took a stone to fall to the ground when thrown up.

Tewi babbled on and on, about how he wanted to go fishing and hunting, and how Amaya would teach him to shoot his bow better, and somehow he managed to distract Tracy away from her thoughts and even made her laugh and talk with him. Amaya was also the one that found him and dragged him away.

"I've been looking all over for you!" she told him.

"Bye!" Tewi waved as he followed Amaya, "I have important things to do today!"

Tracy waved at the boy. "Good luck! Etrìpa syayvi!" Then she grinned. "Cute boy."

"Are you ready? Nga lu alaksi srak, ma Trä'si?" These were the first words Nusumea had spoken since the teachers had joined.

Tracy nodded. The fact that this usually so loud person only nodded made it evident that she did not feel all too confident about saying yes, but they had to do this. And today was the day for it.

They left Kelutral.

"We walk to the Tree of Souls now," Nusumea said, as he would coordinate it all.

As it was a longer walk, the teachers, children and (after gathering some courage) Tracy started singing the First Song that she had learnt. Apxanari and I'vawm made sure that Tracy sang the words correctly. The little sleep she'd had also erased some of the lyrics from her mind, but after singing a few more times, Tracy got it right again.

Tracy walked next to Nusumea, who kept handing her little bits of something he carried in a folded leaf. He had told her to slowly eat the paste, which was something he had made of some plants. It was the medicine for her to become quiet inside, and the teachers noticed that it worked. Tracy's singing became more and more quiet, and by the time they had reached Utral Mokriyä the woman was entirely silent, with a calm, almost serene expression on her face.

Nusumea walked to a part of the tree where its bright strands reached to the ground, and asked Tracy to lie down. She did so, without wanting to know why, without hesitation. The healer then asked the teachers and their pupils to sit near Tracy and make tsaheylu with the tree, to create a welcome, a form of easy entry for Tracy. Nusumea himself did not attach his queue to the strands, he wanted to stay fully alert and focussed on Tracy, who was about to venture on a very special voyage.

"You must make the bond yourself," Nusumea told Tracy.

Her eyes closed, she nodded and slowly reached out with her hand. Nusumea handed her a few strands, that she slowly and carefully moved to her arm where the hairs stood out already, eager, welcoming the connection.

Puvomun heard the voices and felt the presence of the ancestors, talking, laughing, asking. He sensed Amhul close to him, which feeling was enhanced by her tail being entwined with his. He knew that the children were there as well, and then he sensed how Tracy's alien spirit floated by. The ancestors reacted a bit unaccustomed to the tirea ketuwongä, the alien spirit, but that did not take long.

Puvomun noticed how Tracy drifted through the collection of voices and impressions, clearly 'looking' for someone familiar. She found Amhul and clung to her, but then Puvomun 'touched' Tracy's spirit. You must not cling to someone, he tried to convey. It took a while before Tracy understood what he meant. For a moment she clung to him, and then she let go and dared to roam more freely. It was clear that she did not know what to do.

The teacher interacted with the voices, the spirits, sirea of the ancestors, asking them to guide Tracy's spirit to the Eye. At first a bit hesitantly, but confident as they noticed Tracy was harmless and a guest, they surrounded her and slowly started to guide her upwards to where the centre of the tree provided the opening to all of Eywa.

Puvomun, Amhul and the children stayed behind, among their ancient family. They were not supposed to go up, this moment was for Tracy alone. It was good to be here, with nothing but the comforting, welcoming and loving sensations of being amidst their own, the spirits that were pure and good. Time was of no matter. For Puvomun it was as were he floating in a river of blue light. And the end, as always, came too fast. The children were the first ones to notice that Tracy returned. Their young spirits picked up the new appearance must faster. Puvomun was surprised about the change that had occurred within the woman from 'Rrta, from Earth. She felt almost like a Na'vi spirit now, like one of their own.

It was remarkable how the ancestors reacted to the change - suddenly they were all around Tracy, making her feel welcome as they did to Puvomun, Amhul, and the children. The teacher was certain he could hear Tracy laugh, even when that was impossible here. But it was a good omen.

After spending some more time among the ancestors and in the quiet peace of Eywa, they had to leave again.

Puvomun became aware of his body again, and slowly broke his tsaheylu. He opened his eyes and looked at Amhul, whose hand slowly moved to take her queue from the strands it was attached to. When she looked into his eyes, she smiled.

Apxanari and I'vawm rubbed their eyes and then looked at Tracy, who moved slowly. Her eyes still closed, she slowly removed the strand of the tree from the hairs on her arm. Puvomun noticed the calm expression on the woman's face. Nusumea sat with her, in the same pose as the teacher had seen his friend sit before he connected to the tree. In silence they waited until Tracy opened her eyes.

"Wow. That kicked ass." Tracy slowly sat up, assisted by the hunter-healer. She looked at the hairs on her arm, that now lay flat on her skin. "You wouldn't believe what I've seen. I think I have to talk to Mo'at about that. And Neytiri."

"Do you feel well? Ngal 'efu fpom srak?" Nusumea asked Tracy as she tried to get to her feet.

"Oe fpom lu," she replied, "I am fine."

Everyone rose then and they started their way back. This time it was Tracy who started singing the First Song she had learnt. And this time she made no mistakes.
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

 

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