Author Topic: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow  (Read 14249 times)

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Offline Lehrrap Uniltìranyu

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Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« on: February 06, 2010, 09:01:40 am »
Na'vi RolePlay: "Storm Over Pandora"
Part II
"In Eywa's Shadow"



Synopsis:

It is 2152, two years before the events depicted in the movie, "Avatar".

In this alternate timeline, a small band of humans have arrived on the ISV Lightning Star to begin what should have been a standard crew rotation cycle.

In this rotation, however, are a number of people that represent a cross-section of skills that were rushed through training and hastily assigned, bypassing, in some cases, years of RDA corporate indoctrination. These people are:

James "Jax" Legain, a US Marine helo pilot
Arik Shaham, a former US Army Ranger and now geologist
Rafał(Ralph) "Thori" Averun, an Avatar pilot
Oscar Woods, an Avatar pilot
Ariel Dauphanes, an RDA corporate lawyer assigned an Avatar
Alex "Gears" Kellen, an expert mechanic assigned to RDA support section
Christian "Chris" James, former Recon Marine and Avatar pilot
Esmeralda "Esme" Cortez, RDA Security
Damien Thomas Cole, RDA Security

Their arrival on Pandora was a surprise to Dr. Warren Childs, who feared that the sudden arrival of a number of people with "questionable" loyalty meant that people back home were aware of his plot to sieze control of Hell's Gate with the back-home support of an ambitious Senator with dreams of the Presidency, and certain members of the RDA Board of Directors who want Grace Augustine's sciences program "silenced or shut down" so that the rape of Pandora can go into a faster mode without publicity.

Dr. Childs sprung his takeover attempt earlier than he'd planned, but he already had the cooperation of Col. Miles Quaritch and about 75% of the Security staff, who were either offered hefty bonuses for their cooperation, or in some cases blackmailed or coerced into going along with the takeover.

Dr. Childs staged a fake "Native attack" on the compound and killed anyone who stood in his way, including Director Parker Selfridge, and tried to eliminate the new arrivals while they were out on a field trip to meet the Na'vi natives at Dr. Grace Augustine's school. The attack failed, but stranded the characters in the Na'vi community of Kelutral, among the Omatikaya, where they were joined with allies intent to help them:

Eanataw: female Omatikaya warrior.
Tireamokri: female scout, not originally from the Omatikaya but living among friends who took her in.
Mil’Ani: Male Omatikaya scout and healer.
Txonunilyu: a female Omatikaya hunter and warrior who rides a palulukan


Together, these people will do what they can to disrupt Dr. Warren Childs and protect the Na'vi people and Eywa'evenga/Pandora from the predations of the RDA. Eywa herself saw that these people were somehow different from the others, and with atokirina, gave a sign to the Omatikaya that they could be trusted to help.




Non-Player Character Supporting Cast:
Dr. Grace Augustine: Dr. Augustine of movie fame; everyone should know who she is!  Wink

Dr. Warren Childs: Dr. Childs is the chief of the Geology section in the sciences department; technically he'd be of about equal status to Dr. Grace Augustine but feels she has become more concerned about herself and her "puppet show" than the reason they are on Pandora: to exploit the valuable minerals. He has since been revealed as the chief figure in a coup attempt of some sort. It is currently believed that his ambitions are merely to seize control of Hell's Gate, probably in coordination with some corporate or political plot back on Earth. But could there be more to it than that?

Col. Miles Quaritch: Same ex-Marine who now leads Pandora's Security, he is so far a uncertain collaborator in Dr. Childs's takeover attempt.

Director Parker Selfridge: Childs killed Director Selfridge and framed the Na'vi for it, using an AMP suit to fire a Na'vi bow and arrow to kill the Director.

Blake Goodson: Blake is a senior researcher on the Geology team who has emerged as a primary opponent of Dr. Childs.

Na'ama Shaham: Arik Shaham's little sister and the reason he has a job with RDA. She signed on as an xeno-anthropologist with RDA.

Julia: A friend of Na'ama's and also on the xeno-anthropology team; very little is known about her.

Liz: A friend of Na'ama's and also on the xeno-anthropology team; very little is known about her.

Flores: A combat pilot and strong supporter of Dr. Warren Childs's coup attempt, Flores is a crass and inarticulate gunship pilot with an attitude.


***


Na'vi Supporting Cast:

Eytukan: Leader of the Omatikaya

Mo'at: Shaman/Tsahik of the Omatikaya

Neytiri: Princess of the Omatikaya

Tsu'Tey: Chief Warrior of the Omatikaya.

Sek'mut: Sek'mut is a follower of Tsu'tey, and one of the more respected and capable hunter-warriors in the tribe. He hates the Sky People and wants to see them gone.

Aniuket: Aniuket is the artist of the Omatikaya tribe. She has taken a bit of an interest in Arik Shaham, who is also a hobbyist illustrator and cartoonist.

Nef'tys: Sek'mut is the eldest, Aniuket the middle, and Nef'tys is the youngest sister in the family. She is strong-willed, stubborn, and has a secret.

Mi'niri: Teenage Omatikaya female who has befriended Ariel, despite a language barrier.

Mil'Ano: Older brother to player-character Mil'Ani; he took up the task of caring for and raising his younger brother after their parents were killed in a Skyperson raid.

Hanu: Proud Omatikayan warrior who has been part of the group to keep watch over the Sawtute and their alien items.

[[This thread is still not in use, but now we have a real intro page! ;)]]
« Last Edit: February 07, 2010, 05:27:06 am by Nume fpi sänume »



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Offline Coyote

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2010, 05:42:30 pm »
Hell's Gate
Mine Storage 16A
0900 hrs.











Na'ama's overalls were greasy, her nametag hard to read. It helped, because the name didn't match the one on her identity keycard at all. She had avoided using her card since the manufactured crisis and the purge of Dr. Childs's enemies, lest the name "Shaham" be on a watch list in a computer somewhere.

Now, she held her clipboard in her hand as she went into the mine supplies warehouse, the one set apart from the others and bearing the diamond-shaped "Explosives" warning tag.

The explosives storage section was away from the activity and traffic of the mine, for obvious reasons, and also unpressurized. She wore a mask, which helped distort her identity and also made the mine warehouse even more of a hassle to visit, which would cut down on casual strollers-by. She took up her clipboard and sat in the --surprisingly comfortable-- seat of a forklift, and started it up.



***   ***   ***



Director Childs's Office
0905 hrs.








"Tell the Director what you saw, Corporal Wainfleet," Colonel Quaritch said as they sat down together in the office. Warren Childs sat behind the desk, listening intently to what the RDA Security man had to say.

"There were dozens of warriors, sir," Lyle Wainfleet said, still tired and bedraggled from his trip back in the ruined AMP suit. "Mostly Na'vi, but several Avatars with them as well. They openly engaged us with weapons made here," he said, pointing to the floor for emphasis.
"Where were they heading?" Childs asked.
"Into the vortex region, sir," Wainfleet said, "There were a number of those horse things, and they seemed to be making a major move to some encampment or something. There were no children with them, either-- it was all adults; warriors."

Childs nodded slowly, taking it all in. "So," he said, "Those traitors weren't killed, then, and now they've been organizing the Na'vi into some sort of resistance." He slammed the desktop with his fist. "Damn!" he exclaimed.

"So they've explained to the Na'vi how our instruments don't work in the vortex area," Quaritch said, nodding. "They have truly abandoned the home team, and are strategizing to negate our advantages. If this resistance movement grows, it'll be hard to deal with."
"What do you recommend, Colonel?" Childs asked.
"They went in there to hide, plan, I'd wager," Quaritch said. "As far as we know, there's nothing else in there. Some of those day-glo tree thingies, but that's about it. Nothing special. But in order to strike, they have to come out, sometime. I say we set up an ambush outside the vortex and jump 'em when they come back out."

"There's no way to go in there and get them?" Childs asked.
"Not really, sir," Quaritch said, "Because our instruments don't work, we have avoided the place, mostly. So we don't have a lot of maps or recon photos of the area."
"Any of your pilots know the area by instinct?" Childs asked.

"There's one, Trudy Chacon. She flew the science teams in and out to the remote site. Avatars used the area to examine the Hallelujia Mountains for Unobtanium."
"Is she with us?" Childs asked.
"I arranged a little extra for her pay slip," Quaritch said, "She's been with us ever since, and hinted she was glad to be back on real missions instead of ferrying the pencil-necks around."

"Good," Childs said, "I want assault teams on the ground and all available air units to go to the edge of the vortex and wait for these fly-bitten savages and their human support network to come out. Then we'll give 'em a good lesson in the application of violence."
"Yes, sir," Quaritch said, "And Chacon?"

"Have her fly into the vortex area and look around," Childs said, "If she knows the area like you say, then maybe she can get an idea where they are hiding. We can orient our forces accordingly and meet them when we have the advantage."
"Yes, sir."





***   ***   ***




Hell's Gate
Armor Bay; 1015 hrs.











"C'mon, move it!" Trudy said, hissing as Na'ama buckled her oversized flight helmet on.
"Damn, Trudy, I barely had time to change into this and get the explosives hidden!" Na'ama said.
"Will you be able to get to them in time?" Trudy asked as they piled into the SA-2 that was warming up.

"The explosives and everything else we've packaged away are in those boxes over there," she said, with a nod towards a bunch of shipping crates close to the Dragon heavy gunship.
"Good and close, good," Trudy said. "Okay, my uniform is a little big on you, but no one will notice. Come on, door-gunner."
"Will I actually have to shoot this thing?" Na'ama asked, looking apprehensively at the door gun on the helo.
"Just look good," Trudy said with a smirk. "If the guys look at you, give them a big smile. Guys dig girls with big automatic weapons. I don't get it, but it works to our advantage."

"Gotcha," Na'ama said. Trudy dove into the pilot's cabin and spooled up the engines as the cabin pressurized; soon she took off her mask. "Hang on back there," she said through the microphone.

Na'ama Shaham felt the helo lurch underneath her, and lift off. She realized as she watched Hell's Gate fade into miniature that she was pretty much kissing goodbye her chance to go home. She looked at the sleek, silvery-white delta shape of the Valkyrie shuttle as it became toylike in scale from her eye, and gave a wan smile. "Goodbye," she whispered.

All around, Scorpion gunships and Samson scout/transports filled the sky like a swarm of angry bees. The Dragon heavy gunship was being fueled and loaded, readied for missions in case it was needed. Finally, they flew past Dig Site #1, and Na'ama marveled at the tragically awesome sight of the massive bucket loader, ripping into the ground in it's hungry quest for Unobtanium. She felt sickened at the sight, and felt less apprehensive about turning her back on it all. If this is what we've become...

The airborne armada flowed through the air, an ominous presence that sent herds scattering on the ground, and cleared the skies of even the mighty Toruks that had previously hunted the route just moments before. Na'ama watched the ground race away underneath and behind her, and towards an uncertain destiny.







***   ***   ***





Vitraya Ramunong
Mid-Morning, Na'vi Reckoning









Everyone was exhausted. The day started early in the tribe in general; and now they had stayed up all night-- riding, a late-night battle, a taxing ceremony... it was all catching up to them.

"We need to rest," Arik said, "At least for a bit." Tired, worn out and bleary-eyed, the other Avatars, and many Na'vi agreed. Mo'at offered no argument; she had officiated at the ceremonies and was equally worn.

"Wounded, we have," she said. "They, too, must rest. Your human people, back at your camp, need to recuperate. Stay here we will, and go back tomorrow morning."
"Irayo," Chris said, and as a group the Avatars went to Jax to give him words of encouragement an support, which eh accepted largely without comment.
"You guys need some sleep," was all he said, "Go ahead. I'll be okay," he assured them. I also need some time to think, he thought, looking at his old, shattered human body. I hate to say it, but... yeah. If I'd survived at all, I'd probably be all... He shuddered to contemplate it.

The Avatars drifted to sleep, and many of the Na'vi did as well, even Mo'at. Alex and Esme worked on the AMP suit with Damien for awhile, making sure it was ready to go next time they needed it, but they, too, took much needed rest. Mil'Ani did his best to tend to the wounded but he, too, had to rest. Soon, with a small rotating guard shift, Na'vi and Avatars alike collapsed in heaps.






***   ***   ***



Hell's Gate
Drivepod Room; 1015 hrs.









Sleep and hunger warred for dominance; and at least at first food-- and the hunger for information-- won.

Chris, Ariel, Arik, Grace and the others ate greedily, their human bodies having gone without food for nearly a day and a half. They re-hydrated and cycled through the bathroom, even taking quick showers and changing clothes as Blake Goodson filled them in; lab techs helped feed Oscar, whose condition still baffled them.

"We've been monitoring the radio traffic," Blake said, "And there was a survivor from your attack in the plains on the way to the vortex. That guy in the AMP suit made it, just as his suit was reaching its breaking point. It's a wonder the damn thing made it as far as it did. But they know about you. About us," he said.

"Hrrrgha, hrff?" Ariel asked, her mouth stuffed with turkey club sandwich.
"Yes, us," Blake said. "At first Quaritch thought you guys were dead in the crash, when that nut Flores shot you down, but now they saw you guys fighting among the Na'vi and they know something is up. They've mobilized to ambush you on the way out of the vortex."

"An ambush?" Arik asked.
"They've got almost everything they have mobilized against you, and they're building up forces outside the vortex area to take you out as soon as you come back. But since you guys are here, now, I take it that you're stopped somewhere safe."

"We're at--" Chris started to say, but stopped himself.
"No, don't tell me," Blake said. "If things go bad, I don't want to know. I have a theory that we're going to be attacked as well, here, as soon as they have you targeted out there," he said, hitching his thumb towards the wall and, by implication, the outside. "But we have a plan in motion."

"What kind of plan?" Arik wanted to know.
"We're going to get out of here," Blake said. "It's complicated, but... well, hell, let's be honest-- It's all we've got. Na'ama and Trudy Chacon --you remember her-- are already on their way to the Hallelujah Mountains, to the remote site--"

"What!?" Arik yelled, "My sister!? Fighting? You can't put her in danger like that--"
"Arik! Calm down!" Blake snapped, "Look, she and Trudy are the only ones we can trust. Everyone else are either loyal to Dr. Childs, or bought off by him at least. Or too scared to move against him. Some just don't know what's really happening and many don't care-- as long as the paychecks keep rolling in, they don't give a rat's ass." Arik calmed down, but he was clearly grumpy-- compounded by being tired.

"Okay," he said, "So what happens there?"

"Well, it's going to go down like this..." Blake sat down, and started to explain.





***   ***   ***



Hallelujah Mountains
Remote Research Site; 1400 hrs.










By two in the afternoon, Na'ama and Trudy had reached the remote drivepod site. Na'ama had been entranced by the sight of the legendary floating mountains of Pandora, but at the same time she'd been so gnawed with worry that this plan would fail and she, all of them, would be dead that she hadn't been able to shake the feeling of dread that weighed on her shoulders.

"Is this really going to work?" she asked through the mic as the helo's rotors flared up to cushion their landing next to the slender tubes of metal that would be their hideout for who-knew-how-long.
"Little late to make a new plan now," Trudy said succinctly.
"Yeah," Na'ama said, "but I was seeking reassurance."
"Can't give it to ya, honey," Trudy said. "Goodson's better at that than I am."

"Yeah," Na'ama said, frowning. The helo landed, and they both got out, Trudy pausing long enough to put on a breather mask. They opened the airlock and cycled the atmosphere, stepping into a cold tube of metal and turning on the lights and power.

"I'll start ramping up the oxygen; you check the seals," Trudy said, motioning to a diagnostic computer that was booting up. Within ten minutes, the power, lights, and heat were up and running, and a human-friendly atmosphere was established.
"Okay," Trudy instructed. "There's rations in long-term storage over by that fridge, the fridge itself was used to store samples so if you put chow in there, it'll mutate into something awful. Drivepods are back here," she said. "You ready? Gone to the bathroom and all that?"

Na'ama nodded. "I'm good," she said. "Just get back there so we can break out."
"Okay, kid. And I gotta say, you are one brave b****."
"So are you," Na'ama said, smiling as the pilot closed the lid and left Na'ama to awaken her Avatar, back at Hell's Gate.

Trudy Chacon put her exopack back on and went outside. There, she loaded a magazine in her assault rifle, racked a round into the chamber and flicked the safety off. She leveled the weapon at her own helo, in a relatively harmless part of the hull, near the door, and squeezed off several rounds, putting visible holes along one side. Satisfied, she re-entered the pilot's compartment and took off, flying for all she was worth towards the waiting ambush site. For good measure, she popped a smoke grenade and shoved it through the door to the passenger compartment, letting it roll around, spewing smoke.

"Mayday, mayday!" she called on the commo unit, "Mayday, this is Sierra two-four, I have taken ground fire and lost my door gunner, how copy, over?"
"Sierra two-four, this is Delta six, say again, over?"
"Delta six, this is Sierra two-four, I say again, I have taken ground fire. My door gunner was killed, and I have fluids spraying the engine compartment. I am headed home."

"Roger that, two-four, this is Delta six; how many hostiles?"
"Delta six, this is Sierra two-four, there are well over six hundred hostiles gathering in there, they have many Earth weapons as well as arrows. I encountered heavy ground fire which I believe was directed by the Avatar traitors. How copy, over?"

"Two-four, this is six, say again, how many hostiles? Over."
"Six, this is two-four, there is more than five hundred, less than a thousand by my estimate. There are several clan banners that I saw displayed. They are gathering a major war party where we can't see them, over."

"Two-four, this is six, roger that; get your bird fixed and come back as quickly as possible. I'll tell the boss that we'll need the Dragon."
"Good copy, six, I'll be back in time for the barbecue. Two-four out."

Sweet," Trudy thought as the plan fell into place perfectly.






Continued...
« Last Edit: February 07, 2010, 06:53:49 pm by Coyote »
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In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!


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Offline Coyote

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2010, 05:42:50 pm »
Hell's Gate
Avatar Barracks; 1415









Na'ama woke up, finding it one among three Avatars. Liz's Avatar was present, as was Blake's, both looking thin. Julia's Avatar was gone, which she found odd. Her own Avatar hadn't been used for days, and it was tired and disoriented. She stretched, feeling sore and stiff. The Avatar was also ravenously hungry, and she helped herself to the stocks of food that were kept nearby. She inhaled several protein bars before feeling like she'd tamed her hunger somewhat.

No time to lose, she told herself. She crept out of the Avatar barracks and looked around-- sure enough, the place was almost empty. RDA Security was being pulled away en masse to deal with the "Na'vi war party" that Trudy would have called in by now. Na'ama had to get to Armor Bay, but couldn't help herself-- she waded into the garden and picked a couple of ripe fruit and began chomping on them as she speed-walked towards the center of the Hell's Gate flight operations area.

As Na'ama got closer, she heard the loudspeakers and sirens, and the roar of multiple engines. She came up behind some shipping crates near the Valkyrie shuttle and watched as every last, remaining Scorpion and Samson helo lifted off in packs of four and five, pivot towards the vortex area, and roar off towards the horizon. Na'ama was awed by the display of force, but had no time to lose. With the compound nearly empty of RDA SecOps, she picked her way through the shadows towards the crate she'd hidden earlier, the crate full of explosives.

I have maybe a couple hours to get this done, if I'm lucky, she thought, spurring herself to action. She went to the supply box and opened that first; inside she got her radio and throat mike, and put them on. She then unpacked several blocks of mining charges and began to make her way towards the drivepod room.

"Blake," she whispered, "Blake, I'm here. It's me, Na'ama."
"Na'ama," Blake said, "Where are you?"
"I'm outside," Na'ama replied, "It worked. Trudy dropped me off; I'm in my Avatar now. I have the bombs. Is my brother there?"
"Yeah, just a moment," Blake said. "This channel... no... okay, I can hear you... can you hear...?"
"Na'ama!" Arik's voice came in. He sounded haggard and tired.

"How are you?" she asked, almost sobbing with relief to hear his voice.
"Tired," he said, "We've been napping for about four hours now, but Blake explained the plan. Are we ready to go?"

"I think so," she said, tears of relief running down her face. "If Blake explained it, then you know what I'm out here to do, right?"
"You need help with the detonators, Arik said. "It's okay. I can talk you through this. On one side of the plastic explosives there's an adhesive strip. Peel that off, and stick the charges at the center of the wall."

"Not at the edges?" she asked.
"No, that's where the structural reinforcements are. Pack 'em all in the center. Once you've done that, I'll tell you how to rig the detonators..."







***   ***   ***




Hell's Gate
Armor Bay; 1530 hrs.










Trudy Chacon's SA-2 Samson hurtled into Armor Bay like a comet, the smoke grenade long since exhausted. She'd already received emergency landing clearance, but there was little air traffic control to worry about-- Armor Bay was almost empty. Only a handful of vessels remained: the Valkyrie, a few gunships and transports that were under repair... and the vast green bulk of the Dragon heavy gunship, fueled and loaded for bear.

Yes, sir, that's my baby, Trudy thought as she brought her helo in. Thanks for having her ready for me, boys. She jumped out of the helo on the far side of the Dragon and charged out, her mask already on.

"Sierra two-four, this is Control. Chacon, you're on the other side of the maintenance facilities! How do you expect us to--" She turned the radio to the frequency she'd been told to turn it to earlier by Blake.

"--I got the detonators arranged like you said, Arik," Na'ama's Avatar voice said through the radio.
"Okay," Arik replied, "You want to be inside the Dragon when you touch that thing off. Are you guys ready?"

"I just got here," Trudy said through her helmet radio. "Let's go, because they're going to catch on quick!" She charged towards the Dragon, and saw the tall blue form of Na'ama's Avatar charging towards her. "You ready to go, kid? It's going to get hot!"
"Let's go!" Na'ama said. Trudy tossed her assault rifle to the Avatar as she drew her own WASP sidearm. Together, they ran up the loading ramp of the Dragon, surprising the ground crew inside.

"Out! Out! Out!" Trudy screamed at them waving the pistol menacingly. Two of them dove for the deck, the other two reached for their pistols.

Bam!

The shot was like a crack of thunder in the echoing metal confines of the Dragon as Trudy Chacon put a hole neatly through the chest of one man. Na'ama shrieked, fumbling with her assault rifle, as Trudy exchanged wild shots with the second man.

"Safety off!" trudy shouted angrily. Na'ama clicked off the safety and squeezed the trigger, sending bullets flying wildly towards the man. He spun to fire at her, but stopped as he was slammed in midair by several shots borne more of luck than skill. He did a sick, jerking dance as the bullets impacted him, and he slumped to the deck.

"I.. I'm s-sorry," Na'ama said weakly, choking back tears at what she'd done. The other two men ran for their lives.

"No time, kid!" Trudy said, "Get the stuff and let's go before they warn someone!"

"What the hell's going on?" Arik demanded. Na'ama realized she still had her throat mic on.
"I- I- s-sh-shot someone," Na'ama said, her voice in gasps.
"Move!" Trudy said, "Get the supplies aboard!" She shoved Na'ama's Avatar out the ramp.

"Sissy, hold on," Arik said calmly, "Ohh, hell... sissy, honey, keep it together and get the supplies like Trudy said, we can talk about it when we see each other. You want to see each other again, right? Focus, sweetheart," he said, concerned and worried.

"Y-yes," she said, rivulets of water running freely down her cheeks. She ran outside and grabbed the boxes they'd hidden, amazed that even in her worn state the Avatar body was able to handle the supplies easily. "I.. I w-want to s-see you ag-again..." she sobbed. She turned and put the last box into the helo.

"We're ready," Trudy said in the helmet microphone.
"Get out of there!" Arik shouted.

Ratatat--

For a moment, time froze. Trudy and Na'ama looked at each other, wondering what had happened. Suddenly, they realized they'd been joined by someone else.

Another Avatar stood there, at the base of the ramp. It was a female, with an angry look in it's eyes, and held an M60 machinegun in its arms, pointed up in the air. As they looked at her, it lowered the weapon to face them, the end still roiling with curlicues of smoke from the barrel.

"Julia?" Na'ama asked.

"Would you believe me if I said... Julia Childs?" she asked. "As funny as it is to go through life with that name?"

"You know her?" Trudy asked.
"I thought I did," Na'ama said. "What's this about, Julia?"

"What is it always about, little girl?" she asked with a sneer. "Money. Assloads of it. My uncle Warren is the King of Unobtanium, and I have school loans to pay. And a place waiting for me on the Board of Directors. He needs someone there to... hold the leash, shall we say? I've been watching you, Na'ama. You are a spectacularly miserable spy, I have to say. I didn't even have to try to stay out of sight. You need to work on your paranoia skills."

Na'ama was stunned. "Warren Childs is your uncle?"
"Do you think people just waltz into Stanford?" Julia asked. "Legacy scholarship, hon. And an offer I couldn't refuse. Come here, play in the mud a bit, go back as a 'subject matter expert' and of course, Uncle Warren's strong recommendation. Yeah. I got it made in the shade, sweetie. 'Till some stupid asses managed to bypass screening and indoctrination to come here and ruin it all. So tell me," she said, "How does that happen? Anyone? Hello? Or shall I just call Secur--"

Bam! --another shot range out, and a starburst of blood appeared on Julia's Avatar's side. The Avatar shrieked, spinning towards the shot and unleashed a burst of fire towards a smaller, human figure that ducked behind Trudy's damaged helo.

Bam! Bam! the figure kept firing at Julia with a WASP pistol, forcing Julia back.
"Get out! Get out of here!" a human voice called. The figure approached, chasing Julia, who was now running to cover.

"What the hell is going on!?" Trudy asked.
"I'd like to know too," Arik muttered through the radio.

"Get out of here!" the woman said. It was... Liz. She looked up at them. "Move it! Environmental Freedom Front," she yelled at them, "Who the hell do you think bypassed you through RDA screening? You think it was a coincidence? we got people in Personnel; first place we infiltrated! Now get going, I'll cover you!"

"Come with us!" Na'ama said, "You'll be killed here!"
"I'll be fine," Liz said, "There's a few of us here; here and there. Just get the hell out--" She was interrupted by a burst of M60 fire. "--Crap! Look out! Get going!" she said, and fired with her WASP, charging towards where the firing was coming. "Get going before RDA Security shows up!" she yelled, disappearing into the maze of packing crates and pallets of Unobtanium.

"Nuts," Trudy muttered, "Let's go."

Trudy and Na'ama piled into the giant, super-heavy helicopter.
"You can fly this, right?" Na'ama asked.
"It's close enough," Trudy said, "Just a few.. extra controls. Crap, I need a co-pilot. Okay... you ready with that thing?" she asked, pointing towards the detonator controller.

"Yeah!" Na'ama said.
"Warn them and let's go!" Trudy yelled.
"Arik, I'm about--"
"I heard! We're under cover! Go, go, go!" he yelled.






***   ***   ***



Hell's Gate,
Drivepod Room; 1540 hrs.










TH*BOOOMM

The explosion shook the drivepod lab, showering them with a powerful shockwave of blast pressure, heat, noise and debris. Arik had gotten everyone down behind the drivepods, which were the thickest, heaviest and sturdiest things they could find. He didn't want anyone inside the pods in case the explosion warped them and made them impossible to open.

He and Chris lay on top of Oscar and Ariel, shielding them from the blast and debris shower; they had their masks on already and as debris was still settling he jumped up, and looked towards the hole in the wall that had been made. Outside, on the tarmac below, the vast bulk of the Dragon gunship waited, engines pounding, adding to the vicious wind of the explosion and keeping a steady flow of dust in the air.

"Move! Move!" he said, grabbing Ariel roughly by the shoulders and hauling her to her feet. She was disoriented, but recovering quickly. "Blake, help her get out!" he yelled as another explosion rocked the drivepod room from the other direction. Oscar was dragged to his feet and propelled towards the opening as well. Sirens began to wail all over, and loudspeakers blared emergency instructions.

"What is it?" Blake yelled.
"SecOps is assaulting the pod room!" Arik said. Blake's researchers had only a few weapons among them, mostly pistols. He and Chris popped off several shots towards the assault force, but it would not be enough to stop them. The RDA SecOps took aim at the easist tarrget they could find that wasn't offering any resistance-- and stitched Oscar's human body with holes. He slumped to the ground.

"Oscar!" Arik yelled. He dove to help the Avatar driver as Chris gave cover fire.
"Wake up," Arik hollered. "Help me carry him!"
"We can't, buddy, let's go!" Blake yelled. They waited until Blake had everyone at the ramp, then they ducked out the blast hole towards the Dragon. "Goddamn it!" Arik shouted as people stormed up the gunship's ramp. He let go of Oscar's body and ran for the ramp, firing behind him as he went.

Behind them, RDA SecOps had collected themselves and charged for the blast hole as well. Arik ran past the cockpit, where a 30mm chaingun was swinging around, under Trudy's control.

Thumpthumpthumpthump-- the chaingun roared, sending Security men flailing to the ground and carving chunks out of the concrete walls behind them. Arik scrambled up the ramp, which Na'ama was already closing.
"We're all in!" he yelled, and the gunship lurched into the air, sending him falling to the deck. He picked himself up and, holding onto cargo straps as handholds, made sure everyone was strapped in. Only then did he grasp his sister's Avatar in a fierce hug.

"Ouhhhgghhh..." he said, "Not so hard, sis," he said.
She relaxed her grip and looked down at the small, dust-covered and bedraggled man before her who was her "big" brother. She burst into tears, and collapsed to the deck, sobbing in relief and fear and panic, as the emotions of the last few hours flowed from her.

"Thank you for flying Pandora Airways," Trudy announced over the internal intercom, "We are now on our way to our beautiful vacation spot in the Hallelujah Mountains-- a private luxury getaway that will take you away from it all."

They had made it.

They were free.






***   ***   ***


Hell's Gate
Central Control
1555 hrs.









Warren Childs stared, stunned, at the viewscreen as the Dragon gunship tore away into the clouds. Away from them. Away from him.

"I want all gunships on that Dragon, now!" he yelled.

"It'll take an hour to intercept them," Colonel Miles Quaritch said, gazing in silent admiration at the retreating rebels. Only now, at the end, seeing how everything had come together, did he realize how they'd been utterly played from start to finish. "And those gunships are already low on fuel, because they've been hovering out by the vortex site waiting for a Na'vi attack that will never come." My God, he thought, crossing his arms in front of his chest, The sheer, audacious brilliance of it!

"Do something, Colonel," Childs said.
"All I can do is send a few gunships to see where they enter the vortex," he said, "But that's it. They can't pursue; they don't know the route in there. Chacon knows her way around that place inside and out, and without electronic targeting she can pick them off with the Dragon's guns with ease. It'd be suicide even if they weren't bingo fuel."

Warren Childs grit his teeth, wanting to yell, to scream, to throw something. Instead, he just forced himself to calm down, and went to his desk, closing the door to his office and pulling out the bottle of scotch he kept there.

Col. Quaritch watched the "Director" seclude himself, and said nothing. He turned back to watch the pinprick image of the Dragon disappear into the horizon.

"Magnificently well done," he whispered.

  







Results:
Complex rescue plot gets carried out.
Trudy Chacon cooks up story of massive Na'vi attack to draw away RDA forces.
Na'ama plants explosives outside the drivepod room, blasting a hole for Avatar drivers to escape.
Trudy steals the Dragon heavy gunship, loads everyone aboard, and escapes to the vortex.
Julia revealed to be a Childs loyalist all along; Liz an agent for the Environmental Freedom Front --which sped them through the selection process on earth.
Entire crew now safely on their way to the Hallelujah Mountains remote site.

***
« Last Edit: February 07, 2010, 08:18:59 pm by Coyote »
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Offline Lehrrap Uniltìranyu

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2010, 08:15:49 pm »
The Tree of Souls
1025 HRS


Jax finally had some time to think, though he felt... alone. Esme was conked out, Cole was off working on his AMP suit, Alex was busy working with Cole, and Oscar was sleeping as well.

He knew there were other Na'vi around, but he wasn't quite ready to talk to all of them yet, so he decided instead to make his way over to a tree and climb up it. Not for any particular reason, but he needed to get away from the ground for a while.

"Huh. So this is what it feels like." He muttered, as he looked down at his new body. The young na'vi was well-toned, strong and well built. He was going to be tall when he 'grew up'.

There was so much to think about, he couldn't wait to escape the ground as he quietly slipped away from the Na'vi warriors and the Avatars as he headed for the closest tree, and started climbing, leaping up, strong muscles lifting him upwards with ease.

He was pleased to discover how nimble the body was, easly moving from branch to branch, though his slightly taller body was a bit disorienting and the lack of one finger was defentliy digging him in the back of his mind, but he ignored it. He would just have to get used to it. He wasn't going home anymore... he wasn't even human anymore.

He pulled himself up to the tallest branch on the tree and reached out and grabbed a smaller branch above to him to hold his balance as he looked out across the forest of Pandora, quietly contemplaiting it. It was beautiful, lush and full of life!

A tear came to his eye and he sighed to himself. Sure, it was beautiful, and it was a world full of life and color, but he had died, and he would never be able to go home.

It scared him a bit, to have to look out and face this vast, bright world of color and life. He liked Earth, and loved his old home. He had grown up there, and had been looking for his place in it. But now, that old life had been torn from him with nary a second thought and had been killed before him.

The tear came back, but he wiped it away. He had already cried over the loss of his old life. James Logain had died. Jax had returned.

Jax thought on it, and realised something as he looked out. He had been brought into the body of a adolencent Na'vi... well, more like a Teenager. He was physicaly young again. By his peoples reconing, he was in need of training, and yet, he scanned the skys with one eye, kept a ear peirced for the sounds of people trying to come up on him or movement of any kind.

He was a warrior, reborn in the body of a young boy who needed to be trained. The irony did not escape him and he chuckled at it. It appered that Eywa had a sense of humor, when another thought reached him.

'His people', he had thought. Not, "The Na'vi", or the "Blue boys", but his people.

"Is it really that easy..." He muttered, his mind full of thoughts as he sat down, his tail slowly swinging back and forth as he looked out across the sky, watching a sole Ikran lasly soar across the sky.



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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2010, 08:31:33 pm »
En Route to the Halleluiah Mountains
1540 Hours


They had escaped if only with their lives.

"How precious, though," Chris mused, "had their lives become."

He eagerly awaited the upcoming training, and also wanted to right his wrongs with Jax. But they had a long flight ahead, so he settled in to wait, and lost himself to thoughts of Eanataw and Pandora.



--------
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 05:32:53 pm by Sänumeyu »

Offline Ka'il

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2010, 08:33:17 pm »
Damien didn't like this mechanic.

For one, this was his AMP. His. This was his baby, his best friend, his brother. This AMP was his ticket back home, his connection with the real world. Earth.

Damien knew all the ins and outs of this beautiful machine of death. He knew it like the back of his hand. He could change the power couplings in thirty seconds flat...with his eyes closed. He knew what temperature he should keep the cabin to keep sweat from forming on his back against the hot seat. He knew the amount of force it took to lift the gun and swing it like a club. He knew that there was an annoying catch on the left side of his arm restraints that would tug at his shirt if he moved the wrong way. Damien knew that, if he ran fast enough, the actuator on the right leg would start to whine, a side-effect of a fixing job done wrong. The mechanic was someone other than Damien, of course.

And that's why he didn't like this one.

He didn't trust the mechanic to do what was best for his baby. And so, Damien hovered around the man, watching him patch the AMP. Studying, surveying, guarding. He would guard his AMP until the man left. And even then, he'd probably still stand there for five minutes, making sure he didn't come back.
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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2010, 08:59:36 pm »
En Route to the Halleluiah Mountains
1550 Hours


Ariel was not happy. Not in the normal sense of being kind of pissy and complaining, because that was typically Ariel's everyday perspective on life. Let's face it, if she weren't lounging on some beach somewhere, daiquiri in hand after delivering a vicious tongue-lashing that had ultimately made someone cry, she wasn't really happy. But this one topped the cake.

She had been enjoying life well enough when she was pestering Sek'mut on the back of the Pa'li, but the violent skirmish that followed had shaken her to the core. No biggie, she'd recover. The ceremony moving Jax was a little creepy, she still wasn't quite sure how to deal with that, although she did understand Jax's point of view. If someone made her switch bodies without her express consent, she would not be a happy girl. That alone though, hadn't been too bad. She wasn't even that upset that she had to eat a nasty turkey sandwich and wear clothes that weren't her own (at that point, sleep was really the only thing on her mind).

No, what really topped it off, was the straw that broke the camel's back, was the icing on the cake, was that when she finally got a chance to sleep after a day and a half, she was rudely awakened by a bomb and shoved onto an helicopter.

With every ounce of conviction in her little lawyerly mind, Ariel promised herself that she would sue Child for every last penny. Ariel didn't believe in god, but she did believe in divine karma, and the ability of the courts to enact revenge.

Trying her very best not to panic as the helicopter encountered a particularly strong gust of wind, Ariel triple strapped herself in, and managed to pass out in exhaustion as the flying machine swooped and dived among the wilds of Pandora.
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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2010, 10:19:14 pm »
The Tree of Souls
1025 HRS


Txonunilyu nimbly climbed up the tree that Jax had taken roost in. She walked out to the limb he was sitting on, and squatted next to him. He looked up, surprised. He hadn't expected anyone to want to talk to him.

"I am Txonunilyu. Mo'at has said that I am to teach you the ways of our people," she said softly. Even though she resented males for what they had done to her, she pitied this former tawtute. He had been thrust from his own world to a completely different world without his permission. She gently touched his arm. To her relief, he didn't pull away.

"Brilliant. So who's this Mo'at person anyway? And why is she telling everybody what to do?"

Txonunilyu resisted the urge to sigh. This new Na'vi had so much to learn.

"Mo'at is the spiritual leaeder. The tsahìk. She interprets the will of Eywa. Eytukan is the olo'eyktan, the tribe leader. They are a mated pair. Neytìri is Eytukan's daughter. She and Tsu'tey will be the next tsahìk and olo'eyktan." she said.

"So, they're like dictators? Do they have supreme rule?" he asked.

"I am not familiar with the word diktetur," she said, "But if what the olo'eyktan or tsahìk goes against the balance of life, Eywa will remove them, for they endanger the balance of all living things."

"Eywa remove them? How? I thought Eywa was just a tree or something." he asked sarcastically.

Txonunilyu bristled. "Get up, tawtute." The words were like a blade, and Jax did so without question, for fear he would get his head chopped off. She was still softly talking, but her words had the power of a shout.

"You are ignorant, selfish! I start to think that you are just like all other sawtute! You think you know everything! You know nothing. I didn't want to teach you. You know how I lost this finger?" she shoved her hand into his face. He took a step back, afraid, and almost fell off the branch. She grabbed his arm, rebalanced him roughly, and continued her lecture.

"I lost it in a fight, with one of my tsmukan. He is why I do not carry a bow, like everyone else you see! So, come to me when you want to learn, not pretend like you already know!"

She swiftly climbed down the tree, and ran into the forest, leaving Jax looking stunned, standing on the branch.

---

The jungle around the Tree of Souls
1035 HRS


Txonunilyu needed to calm down. She had decided to hunt. That always helped her clear her head. And she had picked up a trail. She slowly crept through the underbrush, her knife drawn. There it was! A yerik was grazing about fifteen bow lengths ahead of her. She moved to the side, and silently climbed up a nearby tree overhanging the area the animal was grazing. She crawled over to the closest branch to it, and prepared to jump. This was a tense moment. If she did this just incorrectly, she would lose the kill. She tensed, then sprang, landing practically on top of the yerìk. With a quick motion, she stabbed it in the neck, instantly killing it. She caught it as it fell, and laid it gently on the jungle floor.

<<Thank you, my brother, for the meat you will provide for The People. May your spirit rest with Eywa.>>

She picked up the carcass, and started back to the Tree of Souls.
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Offline Lehrrap Uniltìranyu

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2010, 10:56:54 pm »
The Tree of Souls
1035 HRS


Jax hadn't ment to be so sarcastic in what he had said. He knew that Eywa was more then just a Tree. What he had seen for himself had proven that. He decided to follow Txonunilyu, leaping from tree to tree as he attempted to keep up with her.

When he saw her move to the trees, he stopped and watched. He saw a small... deer like creature, grazeing in the grass closeby, a good hundred-feet or so away from his current position, a easy kill with just about any ranged weapon.

He thought back to what Txonunilyu had said, the loss of her finger. She could not use a bow. He was curious now, wondering how she was going to take down the deer-thing without startling it. She moved though the trees so quietly it was almost as if she didn't exist, a ghost in her enviroment. Jax was reminded of a old animal planet documentary he saw once, of a puma slipping though trees and undergrowth as if they didn't exist before quickly killing a deer before it even had chance to cry out.

The same happened here, Txonunilyu leaped majesticly, soaring though the air before landing practicly on top of the deer-thing, bringing her knife down and around at the same time, killing the beast before it could call.

She muttered something and Jax leaped out of the tree as she collected the body. "I... I don't know." Jax muttered, looking at Txonunilyu before continuing, "There is a lot I don't know. And a lot that I do know, but all that I know is... well, feels semi-useless right now. Will... you teach me, how to be Na'vi?

Jax looked at her, waiting for her to reply.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 06:56:48 am by Lehrrap Uniltìranyu »



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Offline Txontaw

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2010, 12:37:24 am »
The jungle around the Tree of Souls
1035 HRS


Txonunilyu sighed, slightly annoyed that Jax had followed her. But he had apologized in his own way, and that was more than she had expected.

"Very well. Meet me in the tree we met in previously when the sun is at its highest. I will begin then. For now, I am going to hunt. There are many Na'vi people that need feeding, and few hunters came with us. If you wish to follow, be absolutely silent."

Then she turned and strode off into the jungle as if they had never spoke, her knife carried lazily in her hand.
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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2010, 02:03:02 am »
Not far from the Tree of Souls
1000 HRS


Oscar was fast asleep. Well, his body was. His mind was racing. He was trapped inside this Na'vi head, designed to shut down during sleep. This was something unnatural altogether. He hadn't been in his human body for days now, but something had changed. The idea of a body, still waiting back at Hell's Gates was like a constant pressure at the base of his skull, but it was gone now. He figured the men back at the lab had managed to OD it on tranquilizers. He should have to ask the others, but it seemed his body would take the sleep it needed. His mind was trapped within, until then.
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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2010, 07:26:49 am »
The Tree of Souls
0600 HRS


Twonyu was seething. He had had no idea that they were going to bring a tawtute from the brink of death and send his soul into the body of a Na'Vi. All twtute deserve death after what they did to my mother he thought to himself.

The familiar feelings of hatered and sadness welled up inside of him as he thought these things. He looked around at the Na'Vi who had stayed and not returned to Kelutral, they seemed not to mind what had just occured, if he thought about it they looked happy that they had done it. It wasnt all tawtute he hated, no the pilots of the avatars he almost felt pity for, but a tawtute who flew kunsip was just not on.

He heard a high pitched cry and saw flying towards them Seze. He knew all the Ikran by sight, even if he couldnt name them he still knew who their owners were. seeing Seze brought up a feeling of longing in his heart. he wanted to fly with the others to be a true hunter but now he would have to learn with the tawtute. he had to prove he was the best but how he would do this he did not know.

picking up his bow Twonyu walked off into the forest in the direction of kelutral

The jungle around the Tree of Souls
1035 HRS


Twonyu drew his bow taught as he heard the snap of twigs and the rustle of leaves. His eyes flicked from left to right and his ears twitched as he tried to see the smallest movement or hear the tinyest sound.

slowly he walked forward in the direction the sound had come from. he released the tension in the bow string but still kept the weapon in his hand. He slowly moved a large leaf which was in his vision and saw Txonunilyu and the tawtute Na'Vi stanging there next to a dead Yerik.

"...I will begin then. For now, I am going to hunt. There are many Na'vi people that need feeding, and few hunters came with us. If you wish to follow, be absolutely silent." this is what Twonyu heard before Txonunilyu strode off leaving the corpse behind.

<<Follow silently>> he said to himslef and even though he know it had not been him who was adressed <<I think I shal>> with that he placed his bow over his shoulders and scrambled up the nearest tree to folllow from a higher vantage point.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 07:29:24 am by Twonyu Ikranä »





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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2010, 09:07:51 am »
Halleluiajh Mountains Mobile Link Site
1050 Hours


As the Dragon Gunship landed, Chris stood and made his way to the ramp. He pulled on his exo-pack and passed the others around to the rest of the crew. Once everyone had their masks on, he hit the drop button on the ramp, letting it extend to the ground. He pulled Arik aside to help him carry the supplies inside the compound behind the others. Once everyone was inside, they ate and Grace assigned the Avatar drivers their pods. Chris slid into his, shooting Trudy a glance of sympathy. She was pretty much useless for now, and was going to be twiddling her thumbs for a decent peroid of time. He closed his eyes and let his mind go blank.

--------

Vitraya Ramunong
1060 Hours


Chris awoke among the crew at Vitraya Ramunong. Most of the Na'vi were already up and about, making preparations for the journey back to Kelutral, and others were preparing what looked like a Yerik to be eaten. Near the kill was Txonunilyu, giving Chris the impression that she must have been the one to bring in the meat.

Over near another Na'vi that Chris didn't recognize was Eanataw. He slowly made his way over to where they were packing.

"Kaltxì ma Eanataw. Oel ngati kameie."

"Ahh, ma Chris. Oel ngati kameie."

Chris' attention turned to the other Na'vi.

"I'm sorry, but I don't think I've met you. What is your name?"

"I am called Toyo. I am brother to Eanataw."

"In that case, oel ngati kameie."



"Psh."

He shrugged off the greeting, turning to Eanataw and saying something in Na'vi that Chris didn't have time to catch. Her eyes fell to her feet at the statement, giving Chris the feeling that what he said was not polite. Chris leaned close to her ear, and whispered to her so that Toyo couldn't hear.

"My heart is yours, no matter what he, or anyone else says. Oeyä txe'lan lu ngayä."



She looked him in the eyes, then turned to Toyo and spoke very angry Na'vi to him. Chris chuckled at the translation, which gave Toyo good reason to look like a dog with his tail between his legs. At the end of her outburst, he turned and stalked away from the two of them. Eanataw gave one look at Chris, then burst out laughing. He couldn't help but join in.



"So. I will begin teaching you today. You will begin to learn to be one of the Na'vi."

"Srane. I am ready."



"Siltsan."

--------
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 05:47:55 pm by Sänumeyu »

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2010, 02:01:31 pm »
Hallelujah Mountains
Remote Site; 1130 hrs.









The ride to the Hallelujah Mountains had been exciting, at first, and charged with excitement-- an electricity of victory crackled through each of them, filling the transport 'copter with mirth. Arik knew, from experience, that it wouldn't last-- the "victory high" would wear and losses would be realized, and --combined with their lingering tiredness and the high-energy activity they'd just gone through-- they'd be worn out soon.

For most of the trip out, after the initial excitement had died down, people collapsed and napped. It was always interesting to see how quickly people adapted to their surroundings; the raw energy of the moment had ebbed and the adrenaline had left their systems, and soon the steady throbbing hum of the multiple helicopter blades worked their magic and lulled people to sleep.

Arik, for his part, held his sister's Avatar as she cried herself to sleep-- the top of the Dragon's gun port was exposed to the air, so Arik wore his mask while Na'ama's Avatar could breathe. Soon, Arik himself went into a deep nap, and wakened only as the giant gunship came to a gently-bumped landing.

Inside, Chris handed out breather masks and opened the ramp, and sunlight filled the rear compartment. Tired, groggy faces gazed bleary-eyed out at the scene before them. As they awoke mentally, they took in the scene before them, and sleep washed from their consciousness as the majesty of the Floating Mountains of Pandora greeted them.

Chris and Arik unloaded the boxes of supplies, helped by Na'ama, who finally had time to marvel at the beauty of the Hallelujah Mountains.

"Water is plentiful," Trudy said, "And the site is run by a small reactor augmented by solar power. The only drawback will be food supplies. As it is, we have plenty of rations, but we'll need a supply of real food brought up every so often."

"How much fuel is in the Dragon?" Arik asked her.
"It was completely topped off," she said, "Main and auxiliary tanks, you name it. Fully armed, too, and loaded for bear. They were ready for extended operations against a major army. But I can't be using it casually. Not only will we run out of fuel quick, but if I leave the vortex region they'll pick me apart like a swarm of bees."

"Yeah," Arik said, "And as long as you have that thing in here, they'll mostly be afraid to come looking for you. Does anyone else know the area like you do?"

"A couple have flown in and out of the edges of the vortex to see what it's like. That idiot Flores is one," Trudy said. "He's a decent pilot, but a lousy human being; he's also stupid enough to think he can fly the vortex easily. Arrogant to a fault." She looked out across the floating mountains and the mist that enveloped them, as well as the strands of tree root and vine that wove between them like a child's attempt to build power lines-- blindfolded.

"If he comes in here," she said, "I can smoke him. Easy. But if he comes in here when I'm asleep, or looking away... and I don't see him..."
"We'll try and get you some support," Arik said.

"We'll need something," Trudy said.
Arik looked at her, and nodded. Together, they went into the mobile lab. Once everyone was inside, they ate and Grace assigned the Avatar drivers their pods. Many of them entered their pods immediately, but Arik let them know he'd be a bit later.

Outside, Na'ama's Avatar stretched out on one of the Dragon's bench seats in the open rear cargo area and went to sleep, allowing her human body to awaken. She got up and stretched, and ate some breakfast with her brother. She was quiet and withdrawn, and Grace watched them worriedly, with Trudy hovering nearby, a look of concern on her face as well.

"You okay, sissy?" Arik asked, using his childhood nickname for her.
She gave a weak smile and waved off the nickname. "I think so," she said, her voice flat. "I just..." she stopped eating, and put down her fork, burying her face in her hands. "I can't stop thinking about it. I can't get the image out of my mind. He just... died. And I did it."

Grace grit her teeth, her jaw set firm as she tried not to listen too deeply to Na'ama's words. Arik comforted his sister, held her against his shoulder as she cried like a baby. Trudy was sympathetic, but felt awkward; she made more coffee to keep busy and let the siblings have a moment together. Grace went to the other room, the drivepods in their quietly spinning chambers and smoked a cigarette.

About a half-hour later, she came back the drivepod room.

"Thanks," he said, grateful for her privacy. Grace gave him a stern look.

"I'm worried," Grace said.
"We'll be okay," Arik said, "We just need to work out a few details--"
"That's not what I mean," Grace said, her voice a harsh whisper. "Mentally. All of you," she said, waving her hand around, indicating the drive pods and the far side of the room where Na'ama was now resting peacefully. "You're getting in too deep. Eanataw, you and Aniuket... you're getting too close and the mental stress is going to tear you apart. Believe me, I learned the hard way myself."

Arik looked at her, not comprehending. He looked around as Grace turned away, firing up another cigarette, and looked at the pictures from the school.

"What happened?" he asked. Grace turned to look at him. "It's obvious the school hasn't been used for awhile. What happened?"

Grace looked up from the coffee Trudy gave her. Her eyes tracked across the pictures of the laughing children. Trudy looked at them and nodded her understanding, and quietly left to tinker with the gunship. When Grace spoke again, her voice was small, like she was speaking from far away.

"Neytiri had a sister, Sylwanin," Grace explained. "She stopped coming to the school. She was angry about the clear-cutting. She and some other hunters came running to the school one day; they were all painted up." She set down her coffee cup. "They'd set a 'dozer on fire and... I guess they thought I could protect them somehow."

Arik leaned forward, listening intently, as she got milk from the refrigerator to put in her coffee.
"The troopers pursued them to the schoolhouse," she said, pouring milk. Arik saw the rivulet of milk dance back and forth as it poured, her hand shaking. "They shot her, Sylwanin, in the doorway. Right in front of Neytiri. They shot the others. I got most of the kids out, before they shot me, too."

"Goddamn," Arik whispered.

"Yeah," Grace said. "A scientist is supposed to stay objective, right?" she asked with a humorless laugh, "We cannot be ruled by emotion. But I poured ten years of my life into that school. They called me sa'atenuk, 'Mother'. That kind of pain reaches back through the link."

They were quiet for a moment, looking at each other with new understanding.

"Just... be careful with your emotions. It's easier when it's just a job," she said. "But now... it isn't a job. It's survival. Most of these people will want to go home, at least I think so. And it'll be hard enough to do that without a bunch of conflicting emotions and ties here, to this place."

"I'm afraid I'm already... kind of attached," Arik said, shifting uncomfortably. He thought not only of Aniuket, but Eywa'evenga itself. How long have I been calling her that, and not Pandora? he wondered. And when did I start referring to a planet as 'her'?
Grace looked at him with pain in her eyes.

"It's not our world," she said sadly, "And we can't stop what's coming."

Arik looked away, at his sleeping sister, and out the Lexan windows towards the outside world. It was lush, and green --with blue and purple thrown in, to be sure-- but it was alive, and beautiful.

"Earth once looked like that," he said. "Maybe if more people had stood up and burned bulldozers... I'd rather die on the right side than live in shame on the wrong side, on a ruined world."

"Born in the wrong century," Grace said.
"Yeah, maybe," Arik replied. "But doesn't this century need some people making right choices in it?" he asked.

"Will you be so flip when the RDA thugs come and kill Aniuket? Or maybe Nef'Tys? Jax?" she asked.
"No," Arik said, "I'll be pissed. And none of us--" he said, pointing to the drivepod room, "--will go easily."

"I hope you're right," Grace said, "I really do. But we're the long shot. This... this moment of victory feels good; yeah, we're at a safer location, we have a big-ass gunship... but all we've really done is back ourselves more deeply into a comfortable corner. Our way off this planet is held by people who have a vested interest in our deaths, and the deaths of everyone we've come to hold dear here."

Arik sighed. He knew she was right-- he knew that, long ago, sane men would have surrendered. But what has happened... to us, here, to the Na'vi, and to our own heritage back home... is insane. Insanity is the norm, now.

"Look, Arik..." Grace said, blowing out smoke and stubbing out her cigarette, "You're nice people. All of you. I even like some of you thick-headed trigger-happy types. Just be careful. I wish Chris and Ariel had been here to hear this...but they were eager to get back, and if your sister hadn't needed you..."

"You can tell them when you're ready," he said. "Mum's the word from me."
"Alright," Grace said, looking down sadly at the deckplates. "I get dibs on the bathroom first, then I'm going in the drivepod."

"Okay," Arik said, sitting back and waiting his turn... and thinking.






***   ***   ***



Vitraya Ramunong
1200 hrs.







Arik's Avatar woke up, shortly after Grace's did, and the two of them exchanged heavy looks... but quickly got up and began packing.

"You alright?" Ariel asked casually.
"I had to talk to my sister," Arik said, which wasn't a lie even if it wasn't the full truth.
Ariel nodded. It was odd for Arik to feel more familiar with Avatar Ariel than with the 'real' one, like he knew her in this form better than the smaller, fragile pink human that lay prone in a capsule hundreds of kilometers away.

"She gonna be alright?" Ariel asked.
"Yeah," Arik said. "I kinda liked the fact that my sister could go through life without having to face that..."

Arile looked at him, her face sympathetic but still with that playfully antagonistic streak about her. "Well, buck up, cowboy," she said, punching him in the arm. "She gonna join us at the treehouse, or what?"

"She might," Arik said, smiling. "She's going to help Trudy around the site, but... eventually, yeah."

"We must go!" Tsu'Tey said sternly, calling to them.
"Your ride awaits," Arik said, looking to Sek'Mut, his face expectant.
"I better go before he turns into a pumpkin," Ariel said. She started to walk off but stopped, turned, and looked at him again. "Can I... tell him?"

"Yeah," Arik said. "Thanks."
"Don't mention it," she said, "Ever."
Arik smirked as she winked and walked over to Sek'Mut.

Soon, they were ready to ride back home.








Results:
Rebels break from RDA and set up at remote site for good.
Na'ama deals with her emotions over killing someone for first time.
Grace and Arik have a talk about not getting too close to the Na'vi; Arik feels they are already past that point.
Ariel can tell Sek'Mut why Arik was late and what happened back at Hell's Gate.

***
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 06:36:27 pm by Coyote »
In Libertarianism, there is no Government, so the Bosses are free to exploit the Workers.
In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!


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Offline Nume fpi sänume

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2010, 02:02:38 pm »
Tree of Souls and surrounding area.
1145 Hrs, RDA Time


Alex would be lying if he said he wasn’t trying to avoid Jax, avoid the new person that stood with his friend’s personality, memories, and expressions. He knew it was selfish, and perhaps a little cold, but to Alex, Jax was dead. Jax said his goodbyes already, and the idea that he was now one of these Na’vi was unsettling to say the least. His thoughts drifted around his head like a slow poison, even as he worked on the AMP in front of him. Damien constantly hovered above and around him, and was beginning to irritate Alex, but there was nothing to be done except work. This suit was beaten to hell and back, even with repairs that he had done a few days ago, there was even more damage now.

“You know, your hovering is slowing me down.” Alex said. No reply came from Damien. The man was on his last of very frayed nerves. Alex shut the hatch, and decided to leave it at that. If Damien wanted to work on his own AMP that much, then it wasn’t Alex’s problem anymore.

There were a few Na’vi that Alex actually enjoyed being around, mostly Mil’Ano. The young medic was something of a wizard with some sticks and leafs, herbal concoctions, and knowing where to find edible vegetation from. The forest still called to Alex in an odd way, but now it felt much more natural to him to be here. Less than a week ago, Alex swore this entire forsaken planet was trying to kill him, now it seemed to be sheltering and opening up to him. He heard the AMP fire up as he walked into the brush, Damien probably making sure Alex didn’t break his toy, if only he knew. Alex found himself a log to sit on and think. This whole bit was crazy, every part of it. Alex knew he was only here because he was bored back on Earth and wanted a challenge, and the RDA had offered him that. Now, here he was, fighting against the very people that brought him here, killing them or being killed by them, there didn’t seem to be a middle ground. The call to move out was heard, and Alex rose quickly, making his way back to the group.

“I ride with you…uh…srak.” Alex asked Hanu.

“Srane.” He replied, extending his arm and helping Alex up.

“Thanks” Alex said, getting comfortable on the back of the beast.

“No, kehe. It irayo.” Hanu corrected him.

“What is irayo? It is irayo? It?” Alex said, getting lost in the Na’vi

“Thanks” replied Hanu, looking slightly puzzled.

“Thanks? For what? I’m confused.” Alex said, clearly not catching the conversation.

Hanu looked at him for a moment, a mixture of confusion and general shock on his face before he burst out laughing.

“You make laughter, tsmukan.” And with that, Hanu sent the beast forward, almost knocking a very bewildered Alex off in the lurch.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2010, 12:33:55 am by Nume fpi sänume »

Offline Lehrrap Uniltìranyu

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2010, 04:21:33 pm »
The Tree of Souls
1200 HRS


Jax had been watching, and learning, and he had to give it to the Na'vi. Even without their bows, they were expert hunters.

Txonunilyu was one of the best, and Jax could tell. She was so quiet it was as if she was made of liquid, sliding through the foliage and climbing up trees without so much making a sound. And if she was moving fast, Jax acually tried to keep pace, and soon found himself laughing slightly.

He wasn't much of a fan of monkey-bars on the playground back when he was a kid, prefering to launch himself skywards off the swingsets to see how close he could get to flying, which led to many a sore butt-landings untill he learned to land on his feet.

This was NOTHING like those old monkey-bars. He was throwing himself from branch to branch, using vines, overhanding branches, and leaps that he could have sworn he didn't know how to do to follow Txonunilyu from the sky, and he was having fun.

It was like flying! Just... without the wings. He stifled the laughing in enjoment, remembering that he was a adult, when another thought struck him.

This wasn't just a second chance to live... this was a second chance to learn and a second chance to be a kid, as weird as that sounded in his mind.

In the eyes of the Na'vi, he was a child, a young boy, previous warrior training or no. A second chance to learn and have a good time, to learn, laugh, play, and enjoy life.

Jax smiled at this thought and swore that he would enjoy himelf. This was his second chance.
------------

Once Txonunilyu was done hunting and brought the food back to the Tree of Souls, he followed her back, waiting to see what he would say to her and what he was to do next. He had no idea what had happened on the way to the Tree of Souls, and he wasn't quite sure where the heck they were in the first place. Frankly, he was just looking forwards to being able to talk to everyone again, missing fingers, toes (as he had discovered) and tail non-withstanding.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 09:10:10 pm by Lehrrap Uniltìranyu »



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"Ta'em 'eko!!!"
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"Better to have fought and died then never to have fought at all"
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Offline Txontaw

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2010, 06:27:09 pm »
The Tree of Souls
1200 HRS


Txonunilyu had to admit, he was a pretty good natural. She did hear him clearly, jumping from tree to tree, but he was a lot more silent than any of the Uniltìrantokx. And he didn't disturb any of her targets. She was surprisingly impressed. Maybe he was not as ignorant as she thought he was. Once she had gathered enough meat, she started back toward The Tree of Souls. she knew that any tawtute would get immediately lost, if he was alone in this forest, but the Na'vi have an instinct for direction, and soon she was back to the stone circle around the Great Tree. There were already fires going, their hungry flames almost anticipating the meat. The sun was at it's highest, so she quickly gave her meat to one of the cooks, and climbed up the tree.

Jax soon climbed up after her, which she was not surprised, since he had been following her like her own tail since they had met in the forest. He seemed a lot more open, and she saw him smile for the first time on their way to the tree.

"Kaltxì ma tsmukan," she said.

"Kal-kaltee?" he said tentatively, and looked at her sheepishly, knowing he'd said it wrong.

"Kaltxì, Kaltxì." Txonunilyu said, enunciating slowly.

"Kalt'i" he said, struggling with the 'tx'.

"Good enough for now. You are probably wondering what we are going to work on. We will start with the knife. I believe that the knife is much more useful than the normal Na'vi make it out to be. It can be used for fighting, for hunting, for climbing. It is the most useful tool a Na'vi can have, even more than our bows." As she said the last part, her voice got hard with held back sadness and anger.

Jax opened his mouth as if to ask a question, but Txonunilyu seemed to read his mind.

"You will learn a bow, too, but once we get back to Kelutrel. No one here has a bow that you can borrow. Follow me, and we will begin."

Txonunilyu jumped out of the tree, landing lightly on her feet. Jax scrambled down the trunk, and followed her. They started toward the Tree of Souls.

"We must make your knife, student. I have already asked the cooks to save some of the best knife bones for me from my kills. You must choose the one you want to use."

They came to one of the Na'vi tending the fire. Wordlessly, she handed them several large bones, still slightly bloody. Txonunilyu then handed them to Jax. "Choose the one that you prefer."
"You're not in Kansas anymore. You're on Pandora, Ladies and Gentlemen." - Colonel Quaritch


Offline Mako

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2010, 08:25:38 pm »
Vitraya Ramunong
Shortly Before Departure


"Ma Chris. Za'u."

Eanataw had reverted to speaking entirely Na'vi around Chris. She made sure to explain to him what certain things meant if he was completely lost, but for the most part, he was picking up on vocab and grammar quickly.



<<It is time to make your weapon. Txonunilyu has been kind enough to provide some bone for you. Make sure to show your appreciation.>>

<<Would I ever forget?>>

She led him to the fire, where ironically, Txonunilyu was letting Jax make his choice.

"Kaltxì ma tsmuké. Oel ngati kameie. Oel seiyì ireìyo fpi srung sngìyä'i.." He fumbled for the words to say. "Basically, thanks for the bones mate."

She nodded, and he stepped up to make a choice. There was what looked like a femur, but much larger that caught his eye. He picked it up, testing it's weight and it's durability. Satisfied, he turned to Eanataw and nodded.



"Thanks again Txonunilyu." Then in Na'vi, <<May Ewya smile upon your hunt.>>

It was an interesting concept, Ewya. Chris wasn't too terribly religious himself, but the idea of a "mother" who protected all living things was a little hard to grasp. There certainly was evidence galore, but it was a weighty belief. Eanataw had spoken to him about the flow of energy before. The Na'vi believe that all energy is only borrowed. And one day, you have to give it back.

Eanataw began to show Chris how to take a stone and chip the bone carefully to provide an edge to the bone. Slowly, surely, and under his inexperienced hands, a knife began to emerge. It was rough, but it was getting there. He had worn down the bone to about 10 inches in length. It had a curved handle, about the size of his hand, and a half-arrow shaped blade beginning to form. He smiled at his progress, a sense of accomplishment welling up within him. He yawned, realizing that he was really tired. They had some time before they were heading out, so he laid down and caught some shuteye.



--------

« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 05:49:13 pm by Sänumeyu »

Offline Lehrrap Uniltìranyu

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2010, 09:25:29 pm »
The Tree of Souls
1205 HRS


After Chris has picked out the bone for his Knife, Jax looked over each one carefully.

He didn't want to rush this desision. The knife he had 'planned' out in his mind was durable, about medium weight, and slightly curved, to make a greater wound when slashing. Stabbing was all well and good, but being able to hack and slash was also a helpful thing to have, and probobly would be better for hunting with.

The final bone he settled on was a large bone of some type (he wasn't exactly a scientist) that seemed to have grown bent slightly, the bone gripped nicely and it was a heavy weight, not too heavy to tire him out, but he could use it as a club and he was pretty sure he could break even Na'vi or Avatar bones with just the bone he was now carrying.

"This will be my knife." He said with a nod to Txonunilyu.

Jax was pleased with his choice, and he remembered that he needed to collect his K-Bar and his WASP from his... body, before they buried it.

The K-bar would make a intresting peice to add to a leg-piece or something, or even part of a shoulder-pad of some kind, and the WASP was just a keep sake for the moment, something to remind him of what he was.

He wasn't quite sure what to do next, but he was pleased with the heavy bone and he knew that it was the first step on what was sure to be a curious journy.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 10:48:04 pm by Lehrrap Uniltìranyu »



-----------
"Ta'em 'eko!!!"
-----------
"Better to have fought and died then never to have fought at all"
-----------
Bionic Arms and Pandora, The most read FanFic on Learnnavi.org! Read it here! -Shameless self promotion-

Offline Txontaw

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2010, 12:45:55 am »
The Tree of Souls
1205 HRS


"Good choice, student. I might have chosen that one as well. Now, come, we must begin to shape it."

Txonunilyu guided Jax back to the forest surrounding the Tree of Souls.

"I find it easier to work when there are no distractions. Now, you must use a stone to start to carve out the rough shape of your blade. You may use my knife as a comparison, but first, I will find you a stone as your carving tool."

She left, and soon returned with a stone about the size of his palm, with a sharp edge on one side. She gave it to him, then pulled out her own knife, and lay it carefully down next to him. She squatted across from him, and motioned for him to start. As soon as he lifted the stone, she started up a steady stream of guidance, mixed with insults when he did something wrong.

"You want to go with the bone. If you go against it, you will decrease the strength of the bone, and it will break easily."

"Keep the middle thick, only thin the outside edges. You need a lot of support to keep the knife from breaking."

"Get a stronger grip on the end, tawtute! You will slip and ruin the whole knife."

"No, you don't have to be precise. This is just the rough shape. Stop trying to smooth it out with that rough rock."

"You are doing well, student. The blade will be nicely formed when you are done."

"No! Don't do that, skxawng tawtute! You are about to ruin the whole knife! You would lose strength. Remember! Focus on the edges, not the center!"

Finally, he had the rough shape of his knife. Txonunilyu looked it over extremely thoroughly, turning it round and round carefully in her hands. After what seemed like ages, she gave it back to him, and nodded approval.

"You are done for today, student. Tomorrow we will continue."
"You're not in Kansas anymore. You're on Pandora, Ladies and Gentlemen." - Colonel Quaritch


 

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