Author Topic: Aytautral (Sky Trees)  (Read 12069 times)

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Offline Txura Rolyu

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Re: Aytautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #100 on: January 05, 2012, 10:27:34 pm »
Navigating the briar patch was not as difficult as the first time. Although my right foothold was precarious due to the fwampop being in the way it was much easier compared to having to drag a full yerik in there. I began to get close to the nest and stopped where I was. The purple creatures head had suddenly appeared at the entrance looking at me with scorn and she gave a defensive growl warning me to keep my distance. I stood still and waited for her next que.

She looked me over a few times and tasted the air with her tounge. When she tasted the aroma of the two kills her expresion changed more to a longing for the food. She must have been starving after not eating for so long. I proceeded to toss the first kill in my mouth with a snap of my neck. It landed before her and she was startled at the projectile landing so close to her. With my mouth free I grinned and snorted a simple laugh through my sphiracles. She gave me a look of digust for laughing at her but I could tell she was thankful for the meat.

"I see you are hungry today," I said tentatively hoping not to anger her as she ate away.
Neytiri: Now you choose your woman. This you must feel inside. If she also chooses you, move quick like I showed.
Jake: How will I know if she chooses me?
Neytiri: She will try to kill you.
Jake: Outstanding. *takes out an ikran-catcher and walks through hometree looking for women*

Offline Seze Mune

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Re: Sautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #101 on: January 05, 2012, 10:55:32 pm »
Rumbling like it had never done before, her gut virtually shrieked its protests.  Hunger gnawed at her and forced her to the entrance of her old nesting site to scan the skies.  She hoped the ikran would return.  She had been unkind to him before, and now she was hoping he would overlook her rough treatment and find a reason to return.

On the other hand, she resented her dependence.  And hope was an unaccustomed feeling.  It made her grouchy.  She huffed through her spiracles as a sudden shadow darkened the entrance and made her jump back, fully alert, all four eyes trained on the young male ikran who had almost taken her by surprise once again!  She growled an irritated warning.

He displayed no fear, but stood his ground.  Patiently.  A familiar scent mixed with his ikran smell, wafting through the morning air, caressing her sensor pits.  She lost some of her fierce protectiveness, eagerly raising her head for a closer look at him.  At first she was disappointed.  She couldn't see where the scent of blood came from, and was afraid perhaps it was merely a remnant of his breakfast he'd neglected to clean up.  As she turned her head, his neck snapped towards her and she ducked, expecting an attack.  A limp fwampop landed with a puff of dust and rolled up to her feet.  Raising her head, she saw him laughing at her instinctive flinch.  Her upper lip curled back and exposed sharp teeth, but her irritation was forgotten in the scent of the delicious fwampop he offered.  She lowered her head and crunched on the dead animal.

"I see you are hungry today," he said more respectfully.

She grunted and finished the fwampop.  Atan immediately tossed her the second one, and she bit down without hesitation, making small slurping noises of satisfaction.  He grinned, and when she looked up, she grinned back at him.

"Hungry is an understatement," she said, and began to lick her talons clean.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 06:38:24 pm by Seze Mune »

Offline Txura Rolyu

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Re: Aytautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #102 on: January 06, 2012, 09:37:37 pm »
Her apparent happiness made me glow inside. I had feared that she would remain as upset as she had been but the food seemed to melt the anger away. The purple one was licking her talons and I took that as a sign that she was comfortable with me being there. I didnt want to get any closer though, she might still have room enough for me after such a small meal.

"I am glad you enjoyed the food," I said kindly hoping to get some conversation flowing. I knew nothing about her and my curious mind was screaming to know all about her. She just continued to lick her talons and not seem to regard me being there. The short silence was uncomfortable so I broke it by introducing myself.

"My name is Atan'eko Txura Rolyu. What is your name?" I asked tentatively.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 10:21:54 pm by Txura Rolyu »
Neytiri: Now you choose your woman. This you must feel inside. If she also chooses you, move quick like I showed.
Jake: How will I know if she chooses me?
Neytiri: She will try to kill you.
Jake: Outstanding. *takes out an ikran-catcher and walks through hometree looking for women*

Offline Seze Mune

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Re: Sautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #103 on: January 06, 2012, 09:56:09 pm »
"My name is simple.  Call me 'Premal'," she said without looking up.  Her slim pink tongue wrapped itself around a particularly long talon and Atan took half a step back.  She finished grooming and straightened up.

She flexed the talon and looked up at him.  "Why such a long name?  And where are you from, anyway?  What happened to that female you were with when I first.........saw you?"

"Oh, and by the way.....thank you for the food."
 Her eyes fixed on his, and he caught a hint of true gratitude.

Peppered with questions, Atan scarcely knew what to answer first.  
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 10:10:59 pm by Seze Mune »

Offline Txura Rolyu

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Re: Aytautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #104 on: January 06, 2012, 10:16:11 pm »
'Premal... her name is Premal,' I kept saying to myself in my head. The name was simple yet full of meaning. The simplicity gave an aire of strength and power but the way the word rolled off the tounge made it sound feminine wihtout being too much.

I was getting lost just thinking of the word that I almost missed her questions. I was caught off guard and felt very nervous trying to catch up. When she paused and thanked me for the food though it eased my heart beat a few paces. It had been pounding pretty fast since the conversation started.

The first answer I could come up with was to explain where I came from. "I come from the floating moutains," I said slowly. "I grew up there, amongst the rest of the ikran that live up there. Our numbers and location make it safe enough to raise young and I have never had a reason to leave there." With the first question out of the way I felt more confident and moved on to the second one.

"My name is kinda complicated to explain," I said. I repositioned myself on the thick vine and collected my words. "My first name was picked by my mother, as is customary," I explained simply. "My other two names are Txura, the first name of ma oeyä sempul, and Rolyu from my mother's bloodline." After finishing my explaination Premal seemed to understand pretty well how it all worked but seemed to think it was still strange.

"The female that I was with on the day of our first meeting is ma oeyä sa'nok," I said. I didnt want to sound harsh so I continued by saying, "After she escaped your impressive attack she healed her own talon that managed to break off when she was trying to get away." My attempt at showing some flattery seemed to work. Premal had hardly changed her facial expresions but at least she wasnt angered.

"You are welcome for the food," I concluded. "I can see that it has helped you heal rather well and that makes me happy."
Neytiri: Now you choose your woman. This you must feel inside. If she also chooses you, move quick like I showed.
Jake: How will I know if she chooses me?
Neytiri: She will try to kill you.
Jake: Outstanding. *takes out an ikran-catcher and walks through hometree looking for women*

Offline Seze Mune

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Re: Sautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #105 on: January 06, 2012, 10:56:36 pm »
A sinuous movement attracted Atan's attention.  In the shadows of the cave, Premal's tail began to sweep through the dust.  Had he known her better, he would have been instantly alert.  Instead his gaze slid back to her face.

"I didn't know I'd snapped her talon," Premal said.  "I was trying to kill her, you know."  Her eyes held a certain challenge as her tail swished across the cave floor.  She noticed him stiffen slightly at her words and she held back a grin.  She had distracted him somewhat and he wasn't concentrating on his environment, nor on her movements.  Good.

"I know,"
he said tersely, his jaw tightening a little.  His mind went back to that day and he could see his mother ricochet off the floating berg, knocked almost senseless by Premal's attack.

As he momentarily lost himself in thought, Premal's restless tail suddenly went rigid as she gathered herself and abruptly launched at him.  Taken by surprise, he dodged.  Her good left wing pushed him sideways and she began to laugh as he rolled into a rather sticky patch of briars and cat ears.



"Serves you right!" she laughed, watching him trying to disentangle himself.  

"What?!" Adrenaline pounded through his veins, beating a rhythm in his ears as he struggled to free himself.  Fortunately, there were only a few briars sticking to his leathery wings, but they hadn't managed to penetrate.

"Sneak up on me again, and see what happens!"  She was still chuckling.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 11:56:18 pm by Seze Mune »

Offline Txura Rolyu

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Re: Aytautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #106 on: January 08, 2012, 03:50:00 pm »
I quickly righted myself with a little trouble expecting another strike. I was extremely frightened that Premal did have room for me in her stomach after all. But when she began to laugh and chuckle I realised that she was playing. A rather rough form of playing, but playing none the less. The adrenaline excited my body and I laughed as well. I took a moment to remove the briars from my wings as I said, "That was some amazing speed. I cant imagine how much faster you would be if you had full use of your right wing."

Premal grinned at the comment and had settled herself above me on a very thick branch. Her tail below her swished calmly back and forth. "You were smart to get out of the way just in time," she commented. "It is unfortuante that you ended up in the briars though." She chuckled again and that made me smile as well.

I felt much more comfortable around her now. She wasnt the attacker that I remember the day we first met, but rather she was a young soul that liked to play as much as I did. A question rose in my head and I said, "Are you the only one of your kind? I have never seen a creature in the forests or the skies before that is quite like you."

Premal lost some of her cheery attitude thinking about it but I waited for her reply.

Neytiri: Now you choose your woman. This you must feel inside. If she also chooses you, move quick like I showed.
Jake: How will I know if she chooses me?
Neytiri: She will try to kill you.
Jake: Outstanding. *takes out an ikran-catcher and walks through hometree looking for women*

Offline Seze Mune

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Re: Sautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #107 on: January 08, 2012, 09:53:38 pm »
"No, there was another one.  My sister, Lutey." Premal said quietly.  "I haven't seen her since she left the nesting site years ago.  I do not know if she survived."  She ruffled her wings uncomfortably.

"As far as I know, there were only two of us. Our mother was ikran and our father was toruk. We belong to no one.  Ikrans shun us and toruks consider us fair game.  It wasn't long after we left the nest that our sa'nok was taken as food by another toruk."  Her tail's movement slowed a little and Atan  could see her mood change to sadness.

"This life is a lonely one, ma Atan. There isn't much to look forward to.  Except food and flying."
Her toruk nature fought with her ikran heritage and the tension in her body was visible.  Her feet flexed, gripping the low branch tightly, and her wings clamped to her sides, holding her against the grief which threatened to overwhelm her.  Fortunately for Atan, the ikran nature trumped the toruk aggressiveness for the moment.

It was good that she was preoccupied by her feelings.  Had she looked outward towards the edge of the woods, she would have seen Sulani shrink back into the shadows. By the time Premal raised her gaze to Atan, Sulani was well hidden.  
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 09:55:17 pm by Seze Mune »

Offline Txura Rolyu

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Re: Aytautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #108 on: January 09, 2012, 12:11:23 am »
I could see that the subject was very taxing on Premal. Even though her right wing caused her pain with each movement she still managed to clamp it close to her. She was holding back a lot and the slightest wrong move might cause her to lash out.

Out of the corner of my vision I could also see Sulani trying to peer in and see what was going on. The commotion earlier must have made her extremely nervous. She had great will to have not just jumped in and tried to defend me. When Premal wasnt looking I signaled with a shoulder roll that I was okay and that things were under control. Sulani locked eyes with me for a moment and I could see she was practically worried out of her senses. I gave her a reassuring look and she nodded her acknowledgement. Just before Premal looked up again Sulani managed to slip back into the shadows.

To keep Premal's attention I tried reassuring her by offering, "Ma Premal, perhaps I could visit you and spend some time with you each day until you are more fit to fly freely. I would bring you food like I have twice now." This seemed to peak her interest greatly.

"Your offer is hard to refuse ma Atan," Premal replied. She began thinking the offer over some more. I waited patiently.
Neytiri: Now you choose your woman. This you must feel inside. If she also chooses you, move quick like I showed.
Jake: How will I know if she chooses me?
Neytiri: She will try to kill you.
Jake: Outstanding. *takes out an ikran-catcher and walks through hometree looking for women*

Offline Seze Mune

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Re: Sautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #109 on: January 09, 2012, 09:35:29 pm »
"I accept your offer, ma Atan," Premal said after a few minutes' reflection.  "But I do so with hesitation.  I still don't understand why you want to help me.  I tried to kill you.  Your mother was also my prey.   I am not ikran. No other ikrans would choose to befriend me."

Her yellow eyes were serious, and he could see a tinge of ancient sadness in them.

"Besides, how do you know I will not kill you later?  I am often more toruk than ikran, especially when I hunt,"
she said. Or when I'm angered... she thought to herself.

She could see him hesitate, carefully measuring his words.  It piqued her interest that he was daring enough to approach her at all, let alone to have a conversation and make an offer like this.  He was not a common ikran, this one; he had qualities of courage, strength of character and boldness which made him somewhat attractive to her.

She waited for his answer.

Offline Txura Rolyu

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Re: Aytautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #110 on: January 10, 2012, 07:12:24 pm »
Premal's question was difficult to answer. I didnt want to keep her waiting for a reply so I decided to just go with the truth. It would be embarrising but hopefully she would accept my feelings.

"At first I began bringing food because I felt responsible for causing you to become unable to fly and hunt. No ikran or toruk should have to bear that," I said simply. As I began to reveal the second reason my body became warm and nervous. I did my best to look her in the eyes as I spoke saying, "The second reason is because I honestly have feelings for you. I felt them when I escaped you in the clearing but I was confused as to what they were. When I happened upon this nest again and you were here and I saw what I had done I felt stronger feelings. It is these feelings that made me come back a second time."

After finishing Premal was speechless. Her eyes hardly blinked and her gaze never left mine. We looked at each other for a time before she replied.
Neytiri: Now you choose your woman. This you must feel inside. If she also chooses you, move quick like I showed.
Jake: How will I know if she chooses me?
Neytiri: She will try to kill you.
Jake: Outstanding. *takes out an ikran-catcher and walks through hometree looking for women*

Offline Seze Mune

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Re: Sautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #111 on: January 10, 2012, 10:06:28 pm »
"I do not sense any deceit in you.  But I find it hard to believe that you have feelings for one like me.  I am more toruk, as I said, and you - and yours - have been my prey. Hatchlings, especially."

Premal shifted her weight on the branch, turning to look more directly at him.  He gave no indication of fear or anger but she could tell he was still uncomfortable.

"I have no friends. I do not know the feeling of friendship. But you have been kind the last two days, and I am surprised and impressed by that. If you wish to return here, I will not try to hurt you.  You, ma Atan, will be safe.  I cannot say that about any other ikran, however.

She stepped closer to him and he held his ground.  His gaze was steady and sure. She was so close now, she could have leaned forward and crushed his neck in her mighty jaws.  She could sense his heightened alertness, but he did not flinch as her razor sharp teeth gleamed in the morning light.

Atan noticed a feminine musty scent arising from her hide as she bent her neck towards him.  Though it had an effect on him, he did not waver, even when he heard her whisper to him, "It is time for you to leave, ma Atan.  But come back.  Tomorrow I should be able to fly a little. Perhaps we can hunt.  Together."

For a moment longer she was so close he felt her warmth on his neck...then she withdrew.  He saw her turn and walk back toward her nest, without even glancing his way. She flexed her right wing a little, and he could see that her stiffness had improved. He watched until she disappeared into the shadows and then he set wing across the briars.

When she thought she was far enough within the cave, she turned and watched Atan.  The ikran was gazing after her with a sort of bewildered look on his face.  She sighed a little sadly when he left.  Having had his companionship for a little while, she now felt more alone than she had before. Until he had come into her life, she did not know the meaning of kindness.  She had been shunned and reviled, and even occasionally taunted when she encountered other young ikrans or toruks.  Loneliness and anger were the currencies of her life.

She curled her tail around her feet and hugged herself gently with her wings.  It would be nice to have his companionship tomorrow.  It had been a long time since she had hunted with someone else.  She found herself looking forward to it.  Even longing for it a little, she thought to herself. Then she closed her eyes and let herself drift into dreams of hunting...with strange blue creatures......
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 10:01:21 pm by Seze Mune »

Offline Txura Rolyu

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Re: Aytautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #112 on: January 13, 2012, 08:50:02 pm »
Premal had given me a lot to think about. I was the only ikran that had ever offered to be her friend before, let alone have deeper feelings. That alone made me feel good because I was bringing her something she had never had before. I could only sympathise for her never having a friend though. I was fortunate enough to have Trewna and Niä who grew up with me. Hopefully I could make a good friend to her and maybe someday more than that.

My heart beat a little faster at the thought out of nervousness because I still didnt feel that I was old enough for that sort of thinking, but I wasnt far from it. As I was stuck in my thoughts again I almost missed seeing Sulani hiding at the edge of the briars. I squaked a startled squak and jumped back a little. Sulani looked as suprised as I was at my reaction. She was still very worry worn but now that I was with her she was elated. I had returned to her in one piece and safe.

I was sure that she had questions galore for me because her tail was twitching quickly back and forth and she kept opening and closing her jaws trying to make a sentence. "Ma sa'nok, you look like a gapping fish out of water," I commented with a snort. Sulani immediately snapped her jaws shut with a snap but her tail kept twitching and her eyes were full of quesitons.
Neytiri: Now you choose your woman. This you must feel inside. If she also chooses you, move quick like I showed.
Jake: How will I know if she chooses me?
Neytiri: She will try to kill you.
Jake: Outstanding. *takes out an ikran-catcher and walks through hometree looking for women*

Offline Seze Mune

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Re: Sautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #113 on: January 13, 2012, 10:23:51 pm »
This is crazy! Insanity!  He must be out of his mind! Sulani fretted in the shadows at the edge of the forest. She quenched a strong urge to pace.  Drawing the tokran's attention could be fatal - she knew that already!  The tension caused an itch and she nibbled on her wing until blood welled up and filled the shredded wound.

A whoosh of wings and suddenly there was Atan, looking startled.  He squawked and she choked off her response, hoping the tokran wouldn't hear and come to investigate.  He trundled into the shadows near her and she threw a wing around him, drawing him closer.  He survived!  Eywa, he's okay! she thought, grinning at him in happiness. 

She realized he looked befuddled.  His mind wasn't with her, it was back with that tokran female.  Or so she guessed.  What happened between them?  Why isn't he saying anything?  Where is this leading us? Why isn't he talking? 

She nudged him with her wing and immediately regretted the twinge of pain it brought her.

"Ma 'itan, I am deliriously happy to see you, but let's get out of here, shall we?  Please?!"  Sulani peered past Atan and was relieved to find no sign of the tokran. "If I never come back here again, I will be even happier!  If you're not going to tell me what happened back there, then tswayon ko!"

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Re: Aytautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #114 on: January 14, 2012, 05:31:21 pm »
Sulani's apparent anxiousness forced my hand. "Let us fly and when we are a safe distance away we shall talk. There is much I would like to share," I said. With that I took the skies with Sulani at my back.

We flew along for a short time in silence. I looked around as we flew for good hunting grounds that would be close to the nest in case Premal wouldnt be able to fly very far. Her wing was still tender and if I was in her case I wouldnt want to injure it anymore. The silence was also nice to allow me a chance to collect my thoughts about what had just happened. Premal had come very close to almost killing me, but she was able to master her toruk mature and allowed her mother's ikran side to reign supreme in her. I was most greatful for that. I was most happy that I was able to talk with her and even have a little bit of play mixed into our meeting. After today I couldnt wait to return and hunt with her.

I made note of two possible hunting grounds for tomorrow, one had the scent of yerik and the other was a lone sturmbeast that seemed to be injured itself. It might prove an easy enough kill for Premal, and it would boost her confidence if she took to for herself.

After Sulani and I had passed the first landmark leading away from the nest I Sulani popped the first question.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 01:05:39 am by Txura Rolyu »
Neytiri: Now you choose your woman. This you must feel inside. If she also chooses you, move quick like I showed.
Jake: How will I know if she chooses me?
Neytiri: She will try to kill you.
Jake: Outstanding. *takes out an ikran-catcher and walks through hometree looking for women*

Offline Seze Mune

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Re: Sautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #115 on: January 19, 2012, 09:15:46 pm »
She'd waited patiently, and had flown with him while he seemed preoccupied.  Finally she exhaled loudly through her spiracles, a honking noise which startled him.  He veered abruptly away from her, then grinned a little and came closer to jostle against her playfully.  She jostled him back.

"Ma 'itan," she said, "I was very frightened for you.  She is large and strong and probably very angry, not to mention hungry.  I thought I saw her lunge at you back there.  I was just about to...   What happened?"

"She WAS hungry, ma sa'nok.  She ate the ayfwampop in two bites."


"Not surprising.  She IS a big tokran," Sulani muttered to herself.

"What?"

"I said, 'She thought it was a token,' " Sulani said more loudly, glancing at him.

"Probably so, but I couldn't carry more than two at a time,"
he said.  And knowing how you feel about her, I wasn't going to ask you to carry something for her, he thought.

Sulani nodded.

"What did she say?"

"She thanked me.  We talked about kindness and friendship.  And she promised she wouldn't eat me."  He looked at his sa'nok and grinned again.

"Funny way of thanking you, bowling you over in the briars," muttered Sulani to herself again.

"What?  I'm having trouble hearing you today."

"I said, that's my favorite part, that she's not going to eat you!"
 Sulani said more loudly.

"I know!" he said, while thinking to himself, But it's not my favorite part.  My favorite part will be...the hunt!

Sulani trimmed her wings and leaned to her left, putting on speed and cutting in front of Atan, who was hard pressed to catch her.  She was lighter and somewhat swifter.  Besides, her years of experience gave her an edge in the race and she used it for all it was worth.

For the time being, Atan forgot his cares as he fought to catch Sulani.  The race was fun for him and by the time the pair came in for a landing on the rocky ledge of the rookery, Sulani was laughing and Atan was grinning widely.  She had beat him, but only by a talon's length.

Atan followed her to one of the nearer sautral and from there into their aerie.  Sulani groomed her talons and then turned and groomed Atan, who submitted to her motherly ministry with a long sigh.  As he settled into the nest, she nestled down next to him and closed her eyes, happy they were both home and safe. For now.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 10:54:27 pm by Seze Mune »

Offline Seze Mune

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Re: Sautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #116 on: January 24, 2012, 09:47:38 pm »
SSssssssss..............SSSSsssssssssssssss...... .............................SSSSSsssssssssssssss sssssssss.............skreeee........

Premal stopped pacing and held momentarily still as she glanced out the mouth of the cavern.  The luminous morning sky flicked colorful glints of new light over the trees, the wildflowers and the shiny branches of the briarpatch.  Dewdrops beaded and dripped from the thorns, stringing themselves onto strands of spiderwebs, reflecting the landscape in exquisite miniature detail.

Nothing.  He'd promised...


Her double toruk-like tails thumped in aggravation on the dusty floor, then flopped to one side.  She huffed at the emptiness of the blue arch above and turned, continuing her pacing.  The tails swished from side to side behind her, making wide S-curves in the fine chocolate colored dust.

As she grew more irritable, she decided to exercise her right wing and give him a few more minutes to make his appearance. She waded through the briars to a clear space and stretched.  The wing still felt a little stiff and sore, but not nearly as bad as several days ago.  It was healing nicely.  Thanks in part to nourishment he provided, thought Premal, scanning the skies for Atan once again.  Nothing.  A subdued growl vibrated deep in her throat.

She was done waiting.  It seemed she was once again abandoned.  Nearing the edge of her floating retreat, she leaned over the ledge and dove into the crystalline sky.  Her wings opened automatically and she felt the shadow of pain pass through her right wing and shoulder.  The next downsweep powered her into the narrow channel between two floating mountains and then out above the vast Pandoran forest canopy.

Almost immediately she could see a small black dot smouldering against the bright image of the rising sun.  It flickered and grew larger and blacker as she flew onward.  Instinctively she knew it was Atan.  As it coalesced into an ikran shape, she banked left and he swooped to intercept her flight path.  She could see him from the corner of her eye, but gave no indication that she was aware of him.  He leveled out next to her, glancing at the long graceful curve of her neck and the razor-sharp crests on her head and chin.  Her wingtips grazed his, and she veered away, putting more distance between them.

Atan shot her a look of mute appeal, but she was flying fast and he had to concentrate to keep up.  No time for conversation.

Her injury kept her from attaining top speed, but even so she was faster than most ikrans.  I had no idea how lucky I was to escape! thought Atan ruefully.  He stretched the vanes on his forewings to reach for the maximum downstroke.  His chest keel had sharpened as he matured and it now clove the air and provided powerful leverage for the next few wing strokes, helping him pull out ahead of her.

This time he caught her eye and indicated the location of yesterday's yerik herd with a jerk of his head.  Within seconds the scent was already confirming the continued presence of the animals. Young yeriks were gamboling playfully near the middle of an expanse of fresh young grasses.  Little ones leaped and bucked, nipping at each others' feet, whirling and skittering away from their parents who watched them placidly as they chewed.

The speed and accuracy of the two raptors was such that they exploded into the clearing in a flurry of undulating wings, jaws and talons and were aloft, carrying their bawling prizes before the parents could call a warning.  The herd flattened, then scattered in all directions.  One little one even ran headfirst into a tree in panic, knocking himself senseless.

Yerik... thought Premal in amusement as she witnessed the event.  She turned her attention to the two screaming youngsters she had snatched, now squirming in her powerful taloned grip. They were half grown, and would taste even more tender than the ayfwampop Atan had given her yesterday.  

Atan.  She looked around for him and found that he had an adult female yerik in his jaws, and she was thrashing him with four of her six legs.  After a direct hit on one of his eyes, she saw his jaws clamp down and the yerik went slack, its limbs and neck limply swaying as they flew towards a tangled knot of ayutral.

Alighting before her, Atan lowered his head to the large limb and lay the dead yerik across it.  Premal had transferred one of the youngsters to her own mighty jaws and it was now silent and lifeless as she attempted a one-footed landing on a limb near Atan.  It was awkward, but she managed it with barely a skid.  Her foot flexed and she dropped the other yerik which was now too injured to do more than mew weakly before she dispatched it with a nip to its spine.  She could see Atan's fore-eye was bruised and watering, but he ignored it and managed to enjoy his meal anyway.

They spent an hour eating and grooming.  Atan took the liberty of sidling up to Premal as she licked the blood from her toes, and gave her a quick nudge.  She looked up briefly and gave him a slight tokran smile.  He sighed softly.  Perhaps she wasn't angry with him after all?  Better not press my luck, he thought and stepped back as she flexed her toes, making her talons click.

He was eager to win her esteem, and thought of the injured sturmbeest he'd seen yesterday.  If it had survived the night, he could make a quick end of it and they could feast!  He leapt from the branch, catching Premal by surprise.  She launched herself after him, and they quickly gained elevation.

It was Premal who saw them first.  A swift movement and a flash of blue alerted her to the strange creatures.  She drew Atan's attention to them as they glided through the distant underbrush.  For a moment the view was too blurry due to his watery fore-eye.  Rotating his head and changing the angle of his flight revealed glimpses of the blue animals he'd seen and described to Sulani a few days ago.  Her dislike of them had only piqued his interest and he wondered now if they were tasty.

Premal was angry.  She remembered her treatment at the hands of a blue creature, and her wing spasmed a little in response, a dim reminder of that afternoon in her secluded cave behind the waterfall. Right now, she was hungry and wanted food.  Her wing was nearly healed, and when it is, she promised herself, I will have my vengeance on a blue animal.

As if reading her thoughts, Atan turned his attention back to the hunt for the sturmbeest.  First things first, he thought.  He was far more intent on impressing Premal than he was curious about the blue creatures.  Time for them later.  Much later.



« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 07:04:46 pm by Seze Mune »

Offline Na'vin Nos'feratxu

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Re: Aytautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #117 on: January 26, 2012, 11:09:11 am »
The calls of the Ikran were everywhere. As many of them were waking and raining down from the sky.
There were very few openings through the canopy of the Forest, Wangari and I had made haste and continued to move quickly toward the Mountains... when a certain roar shook my ears, it did not sound like an Ikran, it sounded much bigger.
Wangari had been in toe with me when I suddenly stopped. The noise caught my attention which forced me to look up through one of the opening in the canopy.

There were so many! I had never seen such a sight before and I couldn't help but watch the Dancing Ikran in the Sky. Wangari had stopped along side me and gazed up as well and we both watched. Chills of excitement shook my body. I searched avidly for the Tokran, but nothing familiar swept the skies. I heard the Tokran call but could not see her... until an enormous shadow veiled the entire area.
Another call rattled the sky and within moments I could see the Tokrans distinctive outline. With a Whoosh the Tokran passed over head, and then flew out of sight. All the Ikran that were in the area had scattered, except one? One flew along side the Tokran.

A pulse of adrenaline shot through my body, I couldn't help but smile with all my teeth. We were so close now, I couldn't help but laugh heartily!
Wangari gave a gleeful giggle as she had witnessed the moment. I felt ready, I felt stronger than ever before, I was going to get the Tokran not just because the Hufwe clan needed me to, not just because Ke'gan said I must... But because I somehow felt connected, She is unique just as I am unique. We are a perfect match of power and strength.
The Tokran seemed bigger than I last remembered. She looked somewhat brighter and more energetic from when I last saw her.
Through out my life I have searched for a creature who could rival my Willpower, my strength and my skills. No man, no Na'vi, not even a Thanator could sate my rather, unique fighting spirit.

I am going to get this Tokran and I am going to return to my people of the Hufwe Clan a proven Warrior.
All Na'vi are born twice, once at birth and a second time as One of The People.  Ke'gan told me not to return without the Tokran for reasons he failed to tell me.
Now that I have learned more of my past, it had become more clear to me.
Ke'gan sent me out on this adventure not only test me and my worthiness, but so that I may learn of my real past. My Father was once the Olo'Eyktan of the Hufwe Clan, he commanded tremendous respect and was a proud, strong and fearsome Warrior. He was Toruk Makto...

Wangari nudged me, breaking me out of my trance. Her eyes lit her face as she harbored a smile that I had never seen before. Each time I meet her eyes with my own, I get a strange sensation in my chest.
Although I have remained entirely silent about this feeling, I believe she already knows about it.  
Wangari now had a hold of my wrist, she stepped forward to continue toward the Mountains, yanking me of balance. She let go and starting to sprint.
Raising an eyebrow I watched her run ahead of me for a moment, I figured I would let her think she was getting away....

She was actually quite fast! She looked back and kept running, I smiled and figured now was the time.
I took one step forward and launched as hard as I could, kicking up a large chunk of the ground. I was running so fast and leaning so far forward it looked as if I was horizontal with the ground. I help my arms straight back for the least resistance. Needless to say I was gaining on Wangari, she moved more gracefully while I moved through everything without care.
I quickly returned beside her and kept pace with her.

We continued to run towards the Mountains, what awaited us was uncertain.


« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 07:47:21 pm by Na'vin Nos'feratu »

    
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Offline Seze Mune

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Re: Sautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #118 on: January 26, 2012, 09:26:01 pm »
Atan remembered the location of the wounded sturmbeest, but it had moved since yesterday.  Premal had followed him, but now she veered away and climbed higher.  She wanted the vantage point of elevation.  The cool air felt good through her spiracles and somewhat calmed her anger as she glided far above the canopy.

There!  The sturmbeest was lightly veiled by a thin understory of trees.  Even at this distance, Premal could see that it was in trouble.  It was bloodied, and she could see the slick ebony hides of aynantang circling the young male whose back was against the bole of the only large utral in that area.  Not that it helped him.  The aynantang climbed above him and dropped onto his back, tearing at his neck and head, leaving deep bloody gashes.



Aynantang were a puny nuisance in Premal's opinion.  Directing herself at the aynantang, she roared, amplifying the sound through her syrinx and the chambers in her head.  The effect was stunning.

A large rookery of forest banshees bloomed into panicked flight from the forest beneath her, screaming in fear and calling anxiously to each other.  The cacophony and the rush of wings was deafening.  The tokran was tempted to snag a couple in her talons as they whooshed by her, but instead she focused on the death struggle under the trees.  She felt aggressive and angry; dealing with the viperwolves and the sturmbeest would give her a more satisfying challenge.


Premal roared again, and the sound bounced off the forest and reverberated under the canopy.  Most of the aynantang had disappeared at her first roar.  Three younger ones sank into the underbrush and waited close to their prey.  That was their undoing.

The tokran dove into the understory,  the razor-sharp crest on her head slicing through the weaker growth like a dagger through teylu. She deployed her fore-wings to brake her speed and threw her powerful legs toward the first nantang. Her talons closed around its neck and upper spine, a sharp upward jerk breaking its back. It died without a whimper. She dropped it and turned on the other two. One had plastered itself to the ground in terror, its eyes bulging and its chest heaving with panic.  The other turned tail and ran.  Premal's crest decapitated the frozen nantang and a surging bound brought her in front of the fugitive.  The cornered beast snarled, then yelped for the rest of its vanished pack.  There was no answer.

It bared its teeth and growled, but Premal advanced.  It sprang at her in a desperate attempt to escape, but she had lowered her crest and the animal's own momentum drove it through his chest.  It collapsed in a gurgling spurt of blood.  Premal bit him in half.

In the meantime, Atan had recoiled in shock at Premal's aggressive roar, watching as she dove into the forest.  As she took care of the aynantang, he turned his attention to the sturmbeest.  It stood with its hindquarters against the bole of the large tree.  A day's worth of blood loss had severely weakened it.  The massive beast quivered with exhaustion, barely raising its horned head.

Atan landed close to the 'beest, but not within striking distance of its hooves or horn.  Adult sturmbeests were difficult to kill.  Predators normally went after the younger ones whose chitinous armor had not yet hardened.  Only if they could get to the softer underbelly, was there a chance of disemboweling and defeating an adult 'beest.  Usually that happened only with elderly or wounded animals.  This young male was such a one.  

As Atan moved towards him, he could see Premal out of the corner of his eye.  Her eyes followed him.  If only I can bring this animal down, I can impress her! he thought hopefully.  When the trembling 'beest swung its head slowly to look at Premal, Atan took his chance.  He lunged and clamped his teeth into the soft furry underside of its neck.  His jaws ground through it as his wings stroked backward in an attempt to bring the 'beest off balance, to its knees.

The sturmbeest stopped moving and slowly sank forward as the blood began to pulse into Atan's mouth, choking him.  He spluttered and released the 'beest, only to refasten his jaws in nearly the same place.  Now the blood flowed in spurts, saturating the ground below.  As the 'beest keeled over, Atan released his grip and leaped back.  Premal was now close enough to reach down and sever his other artery with her own sharp teeth.  A slow shuddering breath and the 'beest lay still, its blood pooling near its head.

Premal and Atan ate their fill of the fresh kill.  After retreating to the relative safety of a large utral to clean themselves, they winged their way back to Premal's nest.  Atan glowed with pride and Premal was happy. All in all, it had been a good hunt.  
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 09:45:42 pm by Seze Mune »

Offline Seze Mune

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Re: Sautral (Sky Trees)
« Reply #119 on: January 29, 2012, 08:26:17 pm »



AVATAR: Seas of Pandora's Dusk

A ringing roar, and Wangari was suddenly assailed by the sound of many ikranay in desperate flight, calling for one another.  She had been aware of the animals roosting above as she and Na'vin made their way toward ayRam aLusìng. Indeed, they had to pick their way carefully between the animal droppings, and this slowed their progress somewhat.  Better than an embarrassing slide...or worse.

She ducked reflexively and looked up through holes in the canopy, her teeth bared and her ears flattened against her skull.  Clots of ayikranay littered the sky, but high above them was the dense black silhouette of a huge predator, zinging through the air like an arrow from Eywa.  It roared again and she put her hands protectively over her ears, grimacing.

Another large black shape silently followed the first, its massive jaws open wide.

She heard Na'vin begin to laugh and glanced at him, thinking perhaps he was laughing at her reaction.  Instead, his eyes were fixed on the sky.  He seemed very excited, his tail lashing so strongly that when it slapped against her calf, it curled around and tickled her ankle.  It made her giggle, not just because it tickled, but because Na'vin was so excited at seeing the large predators that he was completely oblivious.

Wangari gave him a moment and when he didn't break the contact, she nudged him.  Her turned to her with a wide grin, his yellow eyes large and gleaming.

"Ma Na'vin." Only two quiet words, but they held volumes as the two locked eyes for a second.  She grabbed his wrist and with a twist of her head, she indicated her intent to pick up the pace, continue the journey.  As he looked back at the sky, she pulled him towards her and then turned and sprang lightly into the denser underbrush.  That, she knew, he would take as a challenge.  He was meant to.

She ran the faintly marked hexapede paths, leaping over lower obstructions and deftly shouldering her way through some of the denser foliage.  There was no need to move like a hunter.  After the display by the tokran and ikran, there was nothing left here worth hunting.  Not even the smallest syaksyuk.  And other predators would be laying low until the apex predators finished their meal.  Perhaps there would be something left for them if the big ones didn't take it back to their nest.  In the meantime, Wangari sped through the undergrowth and down the barely discernible paths.  

Na'vin easily caught up with her, but kept a half step behind.  She thought it was because he knew she would lead the way.  In truth, it was for two reasons.  First, Na'vin wanted to keep her in sight, the better to keep a watchful eye on her safety through unknown territory.  Secondly - and he admitted it was a stronger reason - he wanted to keep a watchful eye on her.  Her unconscious grace, her scent mixed with the tang of the herbs and powders she kept in her shaman's bundle, and her smooth body which was lithe as a willow in the wind, teased and energized him.

The rest of the journey was relatively pleasant and uneventful.  The terrain gradually changed, becoming more rocky.  Unusual plants appeared more often, and once Wangari stopped briefly to harvest the flowers and pods of a particular shrub, slipping them into a netlike pouch at her waist. They stopped briefly for a few bites of dried yerik and drinks from a spring which trickled up from the foot of an overgrown escarpment, one of many now that they were beneath the legendary floating rocks.

Drifting monoliths pierced the sky above, tall and rigid like silent sentinels.  They cast long cool shadows which unsettled Na'vin who had never been here before.  It seemed unnatural to him, and his senses switched to high alert.  Because of this, it was he who first heard the distant calls of ikrans in the rookery.  When Wangari's ears perked a few minutes later, he knew she'd heard them too.  

Closer to them was the sibilant sound of ropes being drawn slowly through undergrowth.  Thick liana clung to the rocks above and draped across some of the taller ayutral, slowly snaking through the foliage as the rocks drifted above.  As the two drew closer to the rookery, the skies became dotted with the colorful forms of ikrans flying to and from their nesting sites.  

Without looking, Wangari held up her hand to halt them, and impulsively Na'vin reached out and wrapped his own hand around her fist. Like holding a yayo, he thought. She turned in surprise and he allowed her to withdraw her hand.  Her eyebrows were raised questioningly, but there was a half smile on her lips. He reached out again and his hand rested lightly on her shoulder.  She did not shrink from his touch.

"Ma Na'vin, we are almost there," she said.  "Up on those rocks," she pointed with her chin, "is my ikran.  She waits for me.  My path is dangerous.  It is easy to lose one's footing or grip and some do not make it to the rookery.  Others have been taken by ayikran as prey before they get there.  This is my Iknimaya only, yours lies elsewhere. If you do not wish to follow, I will understand.  Pehem nulivnew?

I wish I could tell you, thought Na'vin, his hand sliding slowly from her shoulder to her upper arm, his eyes fixed on hers. Then:

"I will accompany you.  I will not interfere with your Iknimaya, but I would like to see these ayikran."

Wangari smiled and nodded.  She turned to observe the predators flying high above one of the nearer airborne monoliths.  They drew her obsessively now that her Iknimaya was at hand. Na'vin didn't blame her for this; he remembered his excitement at the sight of the earlier predator attack.  Still, her skin felt smooth and warm under his hand...he reluctantly let it drop to his side and followed her gaze.

"Tivul ko!" Wangari said and sprinted towards the underside of a inverted obelisk of hovering unobtanium. The trailing liana were caressing a tall utral nearby, and Wangari made a beeline for it.  Na'vin followed, watching her strong graceful movements as she scampered up the tree. One thick liana slithered slowly through the foliage; Wangari caught it and kicked away from the tree, avoiding being scraped off by other branches as the mountain floated by.  Following her at a distance, Na'vin grabbed the same vine and climbed up hand-over-hand until he was right behind Wangari.

Her arms and back supported her weight well, and her prehensile toes nimbly found weight-bearing crevices and ledges.  Being taller, Na'vin could have climbed faster, but this was Wangari's challenge.  He held back, glancing around and enjoying the view.



Mist from the spray of adjacent waterfalls made the climbing slick, but Wangari never faltered.  The climb took several hours and spanned three floating monoliths as well as four tethered islands until the pair arrived at the rock portal which led to the largest rookery.  Surprisingly, they were not bothered by any of the hunting predators though two of them swooped in close to eye them out of curiosity.



Orlando United: The Pandora Project

The cooing and gutteral noises of the ayikran were loud here.  Na'vin followed Wangari as she carefully picked her way onto a ledge full of tumbled boulders and rubble. A sudden hush, and then the vocal pitch of the animals became shriller and more angry. Three or four leapt to the rock wall and clung there, hissing and glaring at her as she moved out onto the ledge.  Several more animals dove from the rim after voicing their resentment.  The giant Na'vi watched as Wangari focused on one individual, forcing it into a cove in the rock wall.  It rocked angrily from side to side, planting its thumbs down to maneuver behind a large slab.  She lost sight of it and Na'vin tensed as the tsahìk numeyu began to sidle carefully around the rock.  If the ikran is drawing Wangari into a trap, it is one clever predator, Na'vin thought with grudging respect.  He tensed, ready to intercept the animal.  

Wangari must have suspected this.  He saw her coil the ikran catcher she'd made during their journey and hold it lightly in her hand, cocking her arm back as she crept forward, ears alert and tail thrashing with adrenaline. The sudden scrabble was her warning as the ikran lunged forward, jaws agape and obsidian teeth glinting. Snapping shut a few inches from Wangari's right knee, the ikran's jaws were slapped together with the tether of her bola which wound itself tightly around the animal's snout.

The beast shook its head and lunged at her again, trying to smash her with its large taloned thumb. Wangari kept the line taut and stepped back and away from the flailing beast.  It reared in outrage and jerked her forward.  Already on the balls of his feet, Na'vin took a few running steps toward the pair then stopped as Wangari whirled out of the ikran's way and twisted the tether under its wing and up the shoulder.  She stood on the animal's back and wrenched the tether upward which forced the ikran's snout down against its chest.  Quickly she wrapped the end of the tether around her wrist, keeping tension on it to keep the ikran's head under control.  With her other hand she flipped her queue forward... and then made the mistake of reaching for the ikran's neural whip with her tethered hand.  Now relaxed, the tether allowed the ikran to jerk its chin forward, and Wangari slammed against its neck, knocking the wind from her.  She grabbed onto the base of the neural whips as the ikran began to move, crow hopping in an effort to dislodge her.

Na'vin crouched tensely in a runner's stance, his fists clenched, his teeth gritted.  There was no fear for himself, there was only fear for Wangari.  If anything happened, he had to get to her before she and the ikran went over the edge...

The ikran went over the edge, Wangari astride its neck, her tethered hand gripping the base of one neural whip and the other hand groping backwards for the end of the ikran's second neural whip. Na'vin did not see her queue.  Its head free but its jaws bound, the ikran unfurled its wings and went into a descending centrifugal spiral, disappearing under the inverted mountain.

Heedless of the roars and hisses of the angry ayikran around him, Na'vin raced to the rim of the rookery.  Not since his 'mother' had 'died' had he felt such a depth of despair wash over him.  His vision went dark and from his lips came such a howl of rage and anguish that the rookery was shocked into instant silence; then came an explosion of wings as most of the ayikran vacated the ledge.  The wind of their flight buffeted Na'vin backwards and made it hard for him to see.  As his vision cleared, he leaned out over the edge and heard something which made his heart surge with hope.

Flicking his ears forward to catch the faint sound, he heard a female whoop in exultant triumph.  Wangari!

She is alive! he thought, a huge grin playing across his features.  A few moments later he saw the tsahìk numeyu and her ikran racing for the rookery, for the very ledge from which the two had fallen minutes earlier.  The rim was empty of all but Na'vin, so the ikran had more than enough room to alight nearby.  

Wangari was triumphant, energized, and sprang from her ikran's back to the rocks.  Na'vin closed the distance between them in two bounds, crushing Wangari against him in joy, then kissing her fiercely in pure exultation that she was back from the dead and unbelievably, jubilantly, STILL ALIVE!  Wangari did not stop him, and it took only a few seconds before her arms crept up his back and held him as closely as he held her.  
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 09:46:12 pm by Seze Mune »

 

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