Author Topic: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow  (Read 15867 times)

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Offline Brainiac

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #80 on: February 21, 2010, 10:41:58 am »
Back at camp, Oscar felt at a loss again. He'd settled on a branch again. He'd become used to keeping his balance in the trees, even without the use of his arms. He was looking at the others, who seemed to be getting along fine.
He wondered if he could be of any use to them, in any way. He saw Chris standing not too far away from him, and jump out of the tree. His landing roll probably looked really stupid, considering his arms just flopped around most of the time, but it got him down safely.

"Yo, Chris!"
"What's the matter, mate?" he said, as Oscar approached.
"Yeah, I kinda need your help with something."
Chris grinned. "I heard you talking to Jax a while back. Scratch your own ass."
Oscar suppressed a laugh. "No, it's not that. I was wondering if you could give me a hand in training. I'm not really used to, you know, fighting without my arms or hands"
"You are a bit of a sook," Chris winked "but don't you get your arms back when you're excited?"
"Yeah, but, you know, the likelihood of us getting into fights seems to be getting up. If I get used to fights, I might not get the full use of my arms back."
"Fair dinkum, mate. So, you want me to help you spar a bit?"
"Yeah, sure. But, you know, show me how to use my legs when fighting."
Chris scratched his head.
"Err, let's see how high you can lift your legs. I'll know whether to show to how to block or dodge."
Chris held his hand at chest height. "See if you can reach it."
Oscar focused on the hand, and swung his leg up, hitting the hand with ease. Chris nodded.
"Again, other leg" Oscar did, but had a bit more trouble with his left leg.
"Fair 'nuff. Higher" He held his hand just above shoulder height.
Oscar focused, and swung his leg again, but made himself keel over, and without the ability to use his arms to stop himself, he crashed to the ground. Chris helped him get up.
"You swing your leg too much. It really removes your balance. Try to kick from the waist, in a straight line."
"Like they do in karate?" Oscar smiled
"Right" Chris said, as he held his hand up again. Oscar made the kick again, almost effortlessly hitting the hand.
"Good on ya, mate. You can get high enough. I'm just curious just how high you can get."
He held his hand above his head.
"You kidding me?" Oscar asked. Chris just smiled.
Oscar stood back, and aimed for the hand. He shot out his leg, expecting to fall over again, and looked away at the ground, making himself ready for a close encounter with dirt. He was surprised when he felt a hand close around his foot. He looked at Chris. He hadn't moved his hand. And it held his foot.
"Ace, mate."
Oscar lowered his leg.
"Now, you have to either dodge or block my punches. I'm gonna start off slowly, but try to anticipate where I'm going to hit you with what arm, in time for your legs to block them. If a second punch is too fast to block, dodge it. Ready?"
Oscar nodded. Chris swung out slowly, and Oscar ducked aside. Chris followed up with another punch, and Oscar blocked with his face.
Chris kept punching, Oscar kept getting hit, but more and more often, he managed to block an attack. Chris picked up the pace, and Oscar followed. They got into a kind of rhythm, a dance of sorts, dodging and blocking. Oscar tended to lash out every once in a while, and, though he was being blocked too, the attacks came natural. Oscar let an opening on purpose, hoping Chris would fall for it. He did, and took it. Oscar dodged, and spun around, right into Chris’ other hand. Oscar flew backward and landed into the dust. Chris had hit him square on the chest-bone, so he was having some trouble breathing.
“Good man. Let’s stop it here. Nice move, by the way.”
He helped Oscar, still wheezing, sit up. Oscar looked around. A lot of Na’vi were looking on. Still, they weren’t laughing. Oscar got up, and looked at the pandoran rainforest. This was going to be a good day.
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Offline El Jacko

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #81 on: February 22, 2010, 10:17:57 am »
Logain’s Grave
1100hrs (roughly)

   On the forest floor, crouched over a small earthen grave, Shep’s mind finally clicked back into gear, and shoved reflection into a dark corner of the back of his mind. That could wait. He had more pressing matters to attend to.

   Staying out here had numerous disadvantages. Firstly, that Thanator he killed may have friends. Secondly, everything else larger than an insect in this forest would gladly have him for elevenses. Finally, he had been asked to find Augustine’s samples, and coming back covered in mud, empty handed, might tarnish his cover slightly. According to Jax’s notes, the samples were of various plants and trees around a place called Vitraya Ramunong, and stored in an avatar-issue RDA cooler. Which was about 3 feet high, white, had RDA stamped on the side, and nowhere to be seen.

   Must be somewhere around here…they wouldn’t send me on a wild goose chase..or would they?..if I’m out the way, then they haven’t got to worry about my ratting to Quaritch about them…

   It was worth a look. If Augustine was a scientist worth her salt, she’d leave it somewhere stable, probably dry, and preferably out of the way.

   Now…if I were a cooler…

   Working randomly round the clearing, he checked every nook he could find. Tree roots, under bushes, inside hollow logs, behind leaves, everywhere. Well, everywhere on the ground. After 3 laps of the clearing, Shep still had nothing to show for it, other than a few cuts and grazes from various plants (some of those thorns were vicious). Disheartened, he trudged back to the centre of the clearing and began to scan the trees for any other clues. About halfway round, a flash of white caught his eye. Running up to it, he could see the strap on the cooler, the sash of white stamped with RDA logos.

   About 50 feet up a tree.

   Shep had in his possession 2 firearms, and flash grenade and a knife. No ropes, no hooks, no climbing gear whatsoever, and the item he’d been sent to find was 45 feet out of reach. This was going to take some luck…and every last scrap of ingenuity. Grappling hook and line should get him up the tree, then he can lower the case down before rappelling back again on the same line. The hook was easy, even a weight on the line would do the trick, if thrown right. Trouble was the line…a vine would be best, but the closest was part way up the tree. A vine? That’ll do…he could probably shin his way up the vine to the case, saving the need for a hook and line…it was worth a try…

   Shep stepped back, then shot headlong at the trunk, performing a crude walljump and grabbing hold of the vine, hoping it would take his weight. Hoping.

   Picking himself up the floor, he looked around as the last of the vine coiled on the floor in front of him. It had snapped a long way up, almost at the top of the tree, plenty long enough for a grappling hook. Knotting one end around a rock, he swung it at a lower bough several times, to check it would catch. First time…nothing. Second time, it hit the bough just right and the rock looped round about half a dozen times, requiring some serious untangling. Perfect.

   Taking a run up, he threw the rock as hard as possible, watching as it span around the branch, securely fastening itself to the mighty bough. Happy it would take his weight, he started heading up.

   The rest of the operation was pretty simple. Sit on the branch, tie the end of the vine to the cooler, lower that down, then lower himself down. Far too easy.

   He heaved the pack onto his shoulder. Built for Avatar use, it was pretty big, and very heavy. It felt like she’d been collecting rocks, not twigs. Regardless, he offered a final respectful glance to Logain’s grave, before trudging back towards his mobile site. It was going to be a long walk back.

« Last Edit: February 22, 2010, 03:24:45 pm by El Jacko »
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Offline Coyote

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #82 on: February 22, 2010, 01:35:44 pm »
Midday Campsite

Arik and Tireamokri stumbled back into camp, a large branch supported on their shoulders between them with their kill dangling on it. Arik looked humbled but at the same time somewhat triumphant, and was smeared in blood up to his elbows. The yerik had been gutted and given initial cleaning, and was ready to be fully skinned and cooked. A number of the Na'vi smiled with relief that at least some of the Dreamwalkers had managed to score a hit.

Arik took it as a display of pessimism that no one had bothered to start a fire in their absence. Hey, maybe it's because they don't want to give away our position, he told himself. Yeah, that's it.

Elsewhere around the camp, others had gathered. On the far side of the fire pit, Arik noticed his sister Na'ama sitting on a rock, as Mil'Ani applied a healing agent to a nasty cut on her hand. Na'ama looked sheepish, trying to smile up at Beyral, who was simply shaking her head while examining a broken arrow.

From yet another corner of the campsite, the bushes parted to reveal Sek'Mut and Ariel, the short female Avatar grinning in amazement as she brandished an arrow that impaled some sort of tiny rodent-like creature.

"I got one!" she exclaimed, her own amzement evident.
"It is more 'luck' than 'know'," Sek'Mut said patiently to her. "But you got one, srane."

Ariel looked at her kill and realized that the blood was running down the shaft of the arrow and coating her hand, dripping in warm stickiness. Her face went pale and she handed the arrow to Sek'Mut, turning towards the tree line just in time to throw up. She waved her hand spastically, trying to get the blood off, and resorted to wiping her hand and arm with leaves and grasses, trying to get the stain off.

Sek'Mut's face was set in stony indifference as he approached the fire pit that was being gathered.

"So, Ahrik," he said, looking at the Uniltaronyu and his mentor, "You do well, I see?"
"Well enough," Arik replied.
Tireamokri muttered something quietly to Sek'Mut as they walked by; Arik figured she was filling him in on the exact nature of the kill. Sek'Mut waved it off.
<<He did hit it, and we are all hungry,>> he told her.

Arik put the kill down with some relief, and looked around. Chris and Eanataw weren't back yet --probably enjoying some time in the bushes, perhaps?-- he wondered. Also, Jax and Txonunilyu weren't anywhere Arik could see them, which made Arik wonder if it had something to do with Txonunilyu's being depressed about something. Did it have something to do with her panther being missing?

But Arik's lessons weren't over yet. Tireamokri pressed the knife in his hands again, and started showing him where to cut and slice to finish the job, and prepare the meat for cooking.

"Uhhh... good thing I like barbecue," Arik muttered as he got to work.

The Avatars continue their first lessons.

***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***

Far North
Approach to Sengtsil Territory
1230 hrs.

The small air convoy of two SA-2 Samsons and two AT-99 Scorpion gunships cruised through the air with relative ease. As the jungles below thinned out, replaced more and more by an almost Alpine-like sea of trees, the animal life became more sparse as well, and became smaller overall.

Colonel Miles Quaritch watched out the side of the Samson transport, past the shoulder of the door gunner. He himself used to enjoy being the door gunner, back in his earlier days, and sometimes wished that all he had to deal with now were a door gunner's worries. Now things were getting just a little too interesting.

Still, the sweeping beauty of Pandora was impressive, no matter the lattitude. They passed over areas likely to hold a great deal of Unobtanium, given the formations of rock-arches that he saw, and a handful of smaller floating mountains-- although none as grand as the Hallelujah Mountains, so far behind them, now.

"Approaching the remote site now, sir!" the pilot said through the helmet comms system. Quaritch nodded absently.
After those bastards took the Dragon, we have to resort to these hops, he mused. Heavily-laden Samson transports had taken large fuel bladders ahead to various remote sites, distributing reserves of the liquid for later flights-- such as theirs.

The Dragon could have made the flight all the way there and back on its own.

They slowed and hovered over a small collaction of portable camp buildings --Site 16-- and came to gentle landings nearby. As the security squad fanned out, and the air crews rushed to connect the fuel hoses, Quaritch excused himself to enter the nearest building where they were to pick up their latest passenger.

"Hello?" he called into the pressurized building as the airlock cycled behind him. "Captain Donjou?"
"Yes, sir," a voice replied, as a man approached from around the far corner. "Sorry, I was in the other room, finishing my packing when I heard the helos."

"Well, if you're ready to go, Captain, we can get you loaded," Quaritch said, giving the man an appraising look.
Captain Donjou was in his early 30's, physically, with dark hair and fairly ordinary build. He had a somewhat rugged complexion, a mustache and --his most distinguishing feature-- a prosthetic left hand.

"I'm ready," Captain Donjou said, hefting his rucksack onto his back.
"That's all you're taking?" Quaritch asked.
"That's all I need," Donjou replied. "Anything else, you'll have on your resupply runs, right?"
"That's the plan, Captain," Quaritch said. The two men put on their breather masks, cycled the airlock and strode out to the waiting helos.

"We ready to lift off?" Quaritch asked.
"A couple more minutes," the crew chief assured him. It was a 'hot' refuel; the helo kept their engines idling as fuel was pumped in. The officers got settled in the back of the lead Samson.

"You'll be up there for about four months at minimum," Quaritch said, "We'll have weekly flights come by to check up on you and deliver supplies as needed. You're to get the Sengtsil leader firmly ensconced as the big chief of their tribe, and you're going to do that by training his loyalists on our weapons. Teach them how to fight for real instead of all this bow-and-arrow crap."

"I went over the pre-brief I was emailed," Donjou said, "And I noticed that the position of Tsahik is not filled."
"Their shaman died," Quaritch said, "Which suited us fine; according to Dr. Childs she was a vehement opponent of working with humans. She carried a lot of authority in the community so getting rid of her was an important part of the plan."

"Getting rid of her?" Captain Donjou asked, "If there's an aspect of this operation I need to know, Colonel..."
"Not as far as the Na'vi are concerned," Quaritch said, "As far as they know, she got sick and died rapidly. Just remember that the Na'vi don't do autopsies, and antifreeze is sweet."

"Does the chief, Kai'iu, know?"
"He knows we had a hand in it somehow, but not exactly," Quaritch said.
"Was this RDA policy?" Donjou asked, frowning.
"Childs arranged it," Quaritch said, "It all happened a few months ago. Before the, ah, change in management."

"Mmm-hmm," Donjou said. So Childs has been cultivating this even among the Na'vi, Donjou figured. "So who's the next Tsahik?" Donjou asked.
"Well, you know the Sengtsil don't adhere to the tradition of the shaman and the chief being married," Quaritch said.
"Yeah," Donjou said, "In fact, their customs prohibit it. They have a sort of... seperation of church and state thing, I guess." Outside, the fueling was done and the air crews got back in, and the helos began to lift off.

"Right," Quaritch said, "The position of shaman and chief are passed down seperately. They have some damn complex system that's interwoven between bloodlines as well as apprentices. But the old shaman was killed while her daughter was off on some funky spirit quest thing."
"A walkabout?" Donjou asked. "Was she ever accounted for?"

"There are groups out searching for her," Quaritch said. "But while she's been gone, there's been no opposition to Kai'iu. He's basically moved in and set up shop. We need him to be secure and accepted as leader so that if this junior shaman ever comes back, it's already a done deal."
"Sounds like Childs's plan for himself," Donjou said.
"Pretty much," Quaritch said.

As they flew farther north, they closed the doors of the helos. They'd already switched to wearing RDA-issued padded parkas, and soon they were putting gloves on as well. After soaring over an azure lake rimmed in ice, they entered a land of snow and cold, and thin trees covered in frost. A herd of fur-covered creatures scattered, looking somewhat like Direhorses. After soaring over some hills, they were met by a pair of riders on white Ikrans, who flew alongside them for a while, before diving for the ground below and darting along at treetop-level.

The helos arrived at the outer edges of a small cluster of tent-like structures partially hidden in the treeline, and came to a hover, and landed. The door slid open with a metallic rumble and the two officers stepped out of the lead Samson. In the other Samson, a pair of SecOps guys emerged, and began unpacking crates.

A Na'vi approached, tall and covered in furs, flanked by two warriors, also in furs, and sporting M60 machineguns.
"Kaltxi," the middle one said.
<<Kaltxi,>> Captain Donjou replied, <<We are pleased to meet you, great olo'eytkan.>>
<<Ah, you bring one with manners,>> Kai'iu replied, smiling, <<And our next shipment. But tell me, where is the great metal cloud?>>

"He wants to know where the Dragon gunship is," Donjou asked.
"It's on assignment at an alternate location," Quaritch said. "Let him know we did, however, bring the thunder-guns." He made a sweeping gesture towards the secondary transport helo, and the chief motioned for his two warriors to approach and help unload. The Na'vi effortlessly hefted the two largest crates in the helicopter, and put them out on the snow.

"You will not be disappointed," Quaritch said as the crates were opened up.

<<With these, I will rule the lands for two hands of days marching,>> Kai'iu exclaimed, as the two AMP suit guns were unpacked.

Sengtsil tribe to the north get weapons and an advisor.
Dr. Childs has been cultivating ties with Chief Kai'iu for some time.
Wants to solidify power base for Kai'iu before the missing Tsahik replacement is found.

« Last Edit: February 22, 2010, 03:43:50 pm by Coyote »
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So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

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Offline Txontaw

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #83 on: February 22, 2010, 01:56:18 pm »
Trail to Kelutrel
1200 HRS

Jax's mood was a polar opposite of Txonunilyu's. He almost seemed to skip along beside her as they made their way into the forest. Txonunilyu tried to concentrate on her hunting, but her hands were shaky, unsure. Her feet felt like rock, and she kept almost tripping. She was making lots of noise too; not a lot compared to the sawtute, but more than what she usually made.

She soon spotted a yerik. Climbing up a nearby tree, she got ready to pounce on it when her foot slipped, creating a soft noise that seemed to resonate throughout the jungle. The yerik looked up, startled, and ran into the undergrowth. Cursing in Na'vi, she climbed down the tree. She knew she wouldn't be able to focus enough to hunt properly; there was only one thing she could do. Drawing her knife, she handed it to Jax.

"Your turn to lead, I will follow. You have seen me hunt, do what I do." she said.

"What, slip and make the yerik run away?" he asked sarcastically.

She gave him a withering look, and motioned for him to go.
"You're not in Kansas anymore. You're on Pandora, Ladies and Gentlemen." - Colonel Quaritch

Offline Lehrrap Uniltìranyu

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #84 on: February 22, 2010, 11:47:20 pm »
Trail to Kelutrel - In the Jungle
1200 HRS

Jax twirled his karyu knife, testing the balance. It was light, not quite his weight and defently not good for throwing, but it would cut and slice easly and he was sure he could take how the deer-thing, the Yerik, as his karyu ordered.

Jax frowned for a moment before he started off. Txonunilyu wasn't in a good mood, she seemed... depressed. Unfocused. The polar opposite of the wise and graceful warrior he had met such a short time ago.

He decided to ask her about it... after he had made the kill. He took off into the forest, his mind focused on following the Yerik that had ran. It seemed a foolish thing to do, but then again, he was a fool, and where there was one of the deer-things, there had to be more.

Jax moved up into the trees, putting every fiber of his being on standby to attack, trying his upmost best to silence any sound that he made. He glared into the forest, scanning for moment, when he spotted it.

A unaware Yerik. Probobly not the one that had ran, but it was big enough. The beast was slowly making it's way though the jungle, grazing here and there before it saw something else to eat and moved to that.

Carefully making his way forwards, Jax crept along the treeline, his mind softly fading back to when he did this exact same thing to catch rabbits and one small wounded deer while he was in survival training. He twirled the knife gently in his hand, sliding it to a foward stabbing position. Most would twist the blade to the back of his hand, to stab downwards with the leap, but he could get a better shot and a silent kill if he could stap forwards and hard into the beast's neck.

He crept up as close as he dared, and crouched, ready to strike, keeping as silent as he could, rocking back away from the yerik, waiting for it to move. The beast didn't notice him, though it looked around as if scanning for the unseen preditor. It took one step, then two, closer to Jax before he leaped out of the tree and slammed into the beast, knocking it to the ground with his legs. He had overcalculated the jump, forgetting his more powerful legs and larger body.

The beast cried out for a moment before he brought the blade into it's neck and twisted, silencing it.

The words came out of his mouth, a bit shacky, but direct on. "<<I see you, sibling, and thank you. Your spirt goes to Eywa, and your body, to the people.>>"

Jax stood up, looking at the yerik and looking around for Txonunilyu. He knew that he had made the kill, which was impressive considering this was his first hunt, but it hadn't been a quick, silent kill. There would be no more pray found here.

Results: Jax gets a kill
He's worried about Txonunilyu.

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

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #85 on: February 23, 2010, 08:18:44 pm »
Tireamokri watched Arik butcher the yerik, and as the Uniltìranyu hacked at the meat, her thoughts wandered a bit.  Ariel was really having an effect on Sek'mut.  She had never known him to be the forgiving type-- not of outsiders, certainly not of those who had little or no skill.  Was he that hungry?  It was probably Ariel.  For some reason she had latched onto him, and... was he taking a liking to her too?

Ariel was my first Uniltìranyu friend, she thought.  I have not talked with her in a long time.  But she has found a teacher now.  That is good.

She looked back at Arik, who was struggling with a particularly tough tendon.  He was sawing and sawing, crosswise, when really he should be slicing along the length.  Did he ever cook on 'Rrta? she wondered as she crouched beside him.  You don't eat the tendon.  You use it for thread to hold furs together for clothing, or for a binding to hold spear points to their shafts.  You don't want it in small bits, it would never hold anything.

"Ma Ahrik," she said, some of the sharp edge gone from her voice, but her tone still stern.  "Fitsenger mun'i.  Nì'ul ftue lu."  She traced one long blue finger along the line of the tendon, then fixed her eyes on Arik to see if he understood.

I should ask what these words are in his language.  But I am the teacher now.  And he is a clumsy baby still, she thought, watching him closely.

"Ulte ngal mi ke tsun kame," she muttered under her breath.
Fitseng lu oe, tìftia kìfkeyä seri.

Offline Coyote

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #86 on: February 26, 2010, 12:19:25 pm »
Remote Site 26
Hallelujah Mountains

Grace sat, anxious, with Blake next to her. They sipped coffee, and Grace smoked another cigarette, and tried to ignore the tension.

"We've done all we can," Blake said. "She... just has to knit herself back together on her own."
"I just feel like... I should be there," Grace said, irritated and mournful as she stared throught the triple-ply fiberweave-reinforced Lexan window. In the other room, on the other side of that window, her Avatar lay in a small room that had been segregated from the rest of the site and depressurized to the Pandoran atmosphere.

They had all worked as hard as they could to save Grace's Avatar. Between them --Grace, Blake, Esme, Ralph, and Trudy-- they each knew enough to deal with the combat trauma and the Avatar physiology. The humans had worked in breather masks to contribute what they could. The Avatar was stable, and hopefully, recovering.

"They wanted me out of the way," Grace said, angry. "I'm the one that made all the arrangements, smoothed over arguments, had a repoire with the leadership... now it is in the hands of people who barely speak the language, don't know the customs... someone is going to slip up and say something stupid, insult the tribe or something..."

"Look... boss..." Blake said, "We had to be prepared for this. We should have know that you'd be the primary target in any such attack."

"We weren't even prepared for an attack, at all, period," Grace said. "I mean... Warren was always an ass, brooding, arrogant... I never figured him for this."

"All things considered," Blake said, "I think we've adapted pretty well despite being caught flat-footed. Warren's attack was... I dunno, it seemed sloppy, ill-coordinated. I don't think he was ready. If what Liz told me is true, then the arrival of these people--" he indicated the drive pods with a wave of his hand "--took him by surprise. Spooked him. He moved before he was completely ready."

"And Liz wants us to keep him off-balance so he doesn't settle into power," Grace muttered. "And damn the cost to us. Or the Na'vi. It's the same result, just for a different team. I don't like it. She's as ruthless as the RDA; she just thinks she's got the moral high ground because she fights for a cause instead of for a bank account."

Blake said nothing. He agreed with Grace's assessment, but felt that the cause of the EFF was the lesser evil, and was willing to play ball with them.

"You should get some sleep," he said after awhile.
"Yeah," Grace said, sighing. She puffed her cigarette down to the filter and stubbed it out on the steel deckplate, then got up and went to find an unused cot. She and Blake were the only ones awake in the lab; everyone else was either napping or in a drivepod. Trudy Chacon was outside, looking over the Dragon and sitting in the cockpit, getting used to the controls, which were different from the Samson in many ways.

I hope they're integrating alright, Blake thought, worried about his colleagues... and fellow resistance. He didn't entirely agree with the EFF's ideals, nor their methods, but he had to admit that, at least in this case, Liz was probably right. They were going to have to fight and keep Warren Childs off balance and insecure.

All we need to do is become a force he can do nothing about, sting like a swarm of bees and then dart away...

He sat back, took out a pad of paper, and began drawing up plans for a guerrilla war.

Grace Augustine's Avatar stable and healing but unconscious.
Grace and Blake discuss whether they should go along with the EFF's resistance plan.

***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***

Trail to Kelutral
1240 HRS

Arik sat back, tired but satisfied. He'd stopped earlier, assessed his situation, and finally decided that nothing was going to change in the near future, and he had to get used to the situation as it stood. He was elbows-deep in blood and meat, and there was nothing to be done about it, except finish the job. He sighed, looked up at Tireamokri, and didn't try to fight or argue or interpret-- he just did what was told, and cut where her slender blue finger indicated.

A couple of times, he'd gotten squeamish. While it was true he'd been on battlefields, he'd never had to butcher and quarter, gut and clean, or skin and hang meat from a creature that he'd... well, that he'd helped kill.

"Let's just get this done and don't be such a damn baby about it," he muttered, ignoring Tireamokri's curious but guarded expression. He fell to chopping, cutting and scraping properly, until it was done to her satisfaction.

Sek'Mut came over to inspect his work. He frowned at Arik's earlier cuts, the sloppy blade work, but his expression changed somewhat, and then lightened considerably, as he traced the results of Arik's efforts to the parts where he acquiesed completely to Tireamokri's instructions.

"Txantsan!" he said, admiring the visible improvements. He nodded towards the fire, which was now roaring. He looked at Arik appraisingly. <<What we don't eat now, we will cook and wrap into nikt'chey to take with us.>>
Arik nodded dully, not knowing what he'd said, but getting the general idea that his efforts were approved. He stretched, and pointed towards a nearby stream, indicating to Tireamokri that he was going to go to it. She sighed. He had no idea what that meant, so he went to the stream anyway and washed his hands and arms, getting the blood spatters off of his body.

I never knew hunting was such hard work, he realized. They're heavy, they're tough to cut, there's all kinds of crap to deal with... how did our ancestors put up with it? But he thought about how incredibly delicious and flavorful the food was-- all the food, real food, the fruits, vegetables, the meats... he made his way back to the camp where the yerik was being put on the fire.

"Opening a can of tasty-paste is sure easier," he said to Alex as he walked up next to the human. Alex looked up at him, his expression neutral, unreadable, but obviously weary.
"Huh," Alex said.
"But I tell ya," Arik continued, "That meat sure is delicious. Worth the effort, in the long run."
"I guess," Alex said in a monotone.

"Ya all right?" Arik asked.
"Tired," Alex replied, "Grouchy, hungry, I think I got bit by something. Never was much of a camper, you know?"

"Takes some getting used to, that's for sure," Arik said. He hesitated, as if wondering if Alex was going to say something else, or ask something... but when he didn't, Arik felt awkward. "Well," he said, "If I can help you in any way..." he said, the sentence trailing off.
"Yeah," Alex said, "Thanks."
Arik nodded and walked back to where Tireamokri stood. She was holding her knife out for him, and a handfull of dry moss as well as a sharpening stone.

"Clean and service weapons, yes, ma'am," he said, and wiped the blood from the knife he'd borrowed using the dried moss, and set to work with the sharpening stone. "I'm going to need my own, you know," he said. Jax was making one, maybe he can give me some pointers. "A bow, too, I guess."

"You get a bow only after you climb Iknimaya," Sek'Mut said. "You climb Iknimaya, get your Ikran, you go on your... Uniltaron. Then you get to make bow."

"Mmmm, Uniltaron," Arik said. "I heard about that," he added with a wink towards Tireamokri, who by now seemed thoroughly exasperated with him. The approach of Na'ama and Beyral caught his attention. "Sissy," he said, "How's the paw?"

"I'll keep it," she said, "But I don't think I'm much of a hunter."
"Make more try," Beyral said.
"Practice, practice, practice," Arik said. "So, who we waitin' on? Jax? I'm surprised he's not back yet. With a moose. Or... whatever a moose is around here."

"Chris and Eanataw," Na'ama said.
"Yeaaah," Arik drawled, "We'll not be holding our breath on that one, now, will we..? Ariel is here. Yo, we got any of that slug paste?"

Ariel looked away, pursing her lips closed.

"You haven't changed over the years," Na'ama said, her tone critical.
"My biting sarcasm has matured, actually," Arik said, "You weren't there to see it. But it has served as a handy defense mechanism for many a years. With dad, you learn to roll with the punches."

Na'ama's eyes and mouth went round with surpise. "He punched you?" she asked.
"No," he said, feeling bad for the poor choice of words, "Not literal punches. I had to learn to... take things as they came. There were a lot of promises made, of which maybe... a quarter? --actually happened. The rest of the time he was just too busy. Got to know the driver well, though, and the nanny."

"Mom was always there for me."
"You went to the synagogue all the time with her?"
"A lot."
"So.." Arik said, "It's not that mom was there for you; you were there for her. You followed her hobbies."

"Being part of the community is not a 'hobby'."
"I'm sure she told you that a lot," Arik said flatly. The Na'vi were watching them strangely.

"You two don't know each other very well," Ariel said.
"Happy family reunion," Arik replied. "When's the last time we lived together under one roof?" he asked Na'ama.
"You were ten," she said, "I was five."

"Factor in the flight here... twenty-six years we haven't seen each other."
"Purim, 2140," Na'ama said sullenly.
"A one-week visit that lasted all of 72 hours once the arguments started?" Arik said.
"I was there," Na'ama replied. "You cut out with your friends."

"So I'm the dick," Arik said, "I see. Because I was tired of the stupid game and didn't want to play no more."
"You could have talked to me," she said.
"I apologized," he said. "I wrote you that big-ass long email the following month and said it wasn't your fault. Longest goddamn email of my life," he muttered, looking at Sek'Mut, who was utterly confused.
"I didn't need anyone to tell me that," she said. "I needed you to get me out of there."

"Well, I'm still sorry," he replied, "See, folks, at that point we realized we didn't need to talk to our parents, and we could communicate directly without their interference."
"Monthly emails?" she said.

"It worked," Arik said bitterly. "I thought. I was happy to get your message about this job. Hell, now I'm probably happier than I've been in a long time. I'm finally away from them. They can have Earth. They can argue about it all they goddamn want. I'm here now. So are you."

"For now," Na'ama said.
"You want to go back? To that?" he asked, shaking his head and giving a contemptuous snort of disgust. "Earth is where... people like our parents live."

"I love mom," Na'ama said, visibly upset.
"Yeah, hey, she did well for us, huh?" Arik asked. "Wrapped herself up in a nice little cocoon. Bring up anything even remotely important, or distressing, or contradicting her, and she starts mumbling... barukh ata Adonai, eloheinu malakh ha'olam... yadda yadda yadda," he said with a wave.

"Dad was the same way with his stupid business," Na'ama said defensively. "Just... money, money, money."
"I can't stand his ass, either," Arik said.

The siblings fell silent. Everyone around them was uneasy, even Tireamokri, who sensed the tension even if she didn't understand the words.

"Meat," Beyral said, "Ready."
"Burgertime!" Arik said, leaping to his feet. "Mm-mmm! Arguing makes me so hungry..!"

Arik cleans and guts game... passably enough. When he follows instructions.
Arik and Na'ama have a suddenly public and bitter disagreement that sheds light on personalities and motivations.

« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 04:13:04 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!

Attempted to pee on Viperwolf to test reaction. Please see attached medical file.
WARNING: Attached medical file exceeds gigabyte limit. System failure.

Offline Lehrrap Uniltìranyu

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #87 on: February 26, 2010, 11:25:13 pm »
The Trail
1247 HRS

Jax had missed most of the argument, but he had heard the ending.

And he didn't like it. Arik shouldn't be wanting to stay. Jax frowned. Txonunilyu had been sullen and silent the entire trip, minus a few words about the exicution of his kill, a light bit of praise that he had taken greatfully. She was a good Karyu.

Jax slipped in quietly with his kill. "Ayoe pähem." He said with a nod at Sek'mut. "Taron hasey. Síltsan takuk"

He brought the large Yerik over to where it looked like Arik or someone had been gutting, skinning, and cleaning one Yerik already.

Jax had never gutted, skinned, and cleaned such a large animal before. He had praticed on smaller game, rabbits, a very small deer, and a few squirrels, during survival training, but never this big of a Animal before.

Jax looked at it, tracing out where to cut with his finger slowly, trying to figure it out and keeping his mind off of Arik and Na'ama's argument. He quickly had to get up and walk over to Sek'mut. "Tsamiyu, <<Can... I use... your... Knife?>>

It was stuttered a bit, and a bit drawn out, but it was a full sentence. Jax had to give it to the doc. She could write one HELL of a manual if he was able to figure out bits and peices of the language this fast. Maybe she should be writing the manuals for the soldiers in boot and they wouldn't have to spend three days learning how to march in time.

Jax noticed the young buck, Twonyu, was looking at him in distaine, again. Jax didn't know why Twonyu hated him so much, but whatever it was, it could be delt with later. Sek'mut spoke up and Jax's attention was drawn away "Srane. <<Use caution with my blade, learner. Do not break it.>>"

Sek'mut handed Jax his knife, which suprised Jax, he was sure that Sek'mut would rather hit Jax then let him use his knife. Mabye Ariel was having that effect on him?

Jax shook his head, no time to think about it. He walked over to his kill, and under the watchful eye of both Sek'mut and Txonunilyu, he begain to cut.
1350 HRS

Jax smiled. He had done well on the cleaning of the Yerik. A few bad cuts that earned him a smack across the back of the head from Txonunilyu, but beyond that, it was done with precision. Sek'mut didn't say anything when Jax gave the knife back, but Jax was sure he saw approval in Sek'mut's eye, if only for a moment.

Jax went over to the small fire to join the others for lunch. This was going to be the last break that they would have, according to Sek'mut and Tsu'tey, as after this they would be riding directly to Hometree.

Jax sat down on the opposite side of the fire to Alex and Arik. "Hey guys, whats up?" Jax said with a smile, usure of how they would reply.

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

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #88 on: February 27, 2010, 02:44:55 am »
The Trail

Alex had resorted to going through mechanical specs in his head to avoid going totally insane. Yes, He had been approached about gathering herbs, but he brushed it off. Right now going out and exploring, looking for plants wasn’t on his list of things to do. He noticed a few of the others returning, all with varying degrees of success in their hunts, and soon after, the fire was up and meat was cooking. He had just finished the technical breakdown of every piece of a Samsons rotor assembly when Arik came and started talking to him. The conversation was short, and nothing of true interest. Alex was too lost in his current state to be much use, even in simple conversation. All the bits and pieces were slowly falling back into place, but it was taking a lot of time, and time was all Alex seemed to have these days.

He rose, stretched, and walked to the fire. The smells of meat that came through the mask were strong enough to make him hungry, and Alex was pleased with the thought of eating again. The food wasn’t bad at all really, he noticed that everything really was a bit tastier fresh, and not in processed and sealed bags, the way they got it back on Earth. Earth… Alex still thought of it as home, and he wondered if he would ever see it again. There were a lot of aspects he could live without from it, but there was something secure about being there. Being able to see family, assuming they were still alive when he got back. Maybe finding himself someone new back home to settle down with. His first relationship hadn’t exactly been the fairytale he expected. They were married out of high school, and divorced in the blink of an eye in the scheme of things. It hadn’t ended well, but that’s not to say that Alex couldn’t find someone again, someone that wasn’t going to turn away at the sign of trouble. Ah, none of that mattered to him right now. For now, he was stuck here on Pandora, with almost no real chance of ever getting off of this rock and back to his old one. Alex began taking apart the hydraulic setup of an AMP suit in his head when Jax, or rather the Na'vi calling himself Jax, sat down.

"Hey guys, whats up?"

“Hey. “ Alex’s reply was short, and he didn’t give him much time to say anything else, rising up and walking to the forest.

“Where are you going Alex?” Jax called out to him.

“To pee. If you hear me screaming, don’t bother to come save me, I'm only human.” With that, Alex walked into the brush, and away from one of his biggest problems.

Offline Ikranä mokri

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #89 on: February 27, 2010, 07:11:04 am »
The Trail
1146 HRS

*SNAP*... this was instantly followed by a sharp cry of pain Twonyus' head shot up at the sound. Twonyu had to stop himself from laughing at what he saw. This was allot more self control than the other young hunters around him had. The uniltìranyu called Na'ama was cradling her left hand looking as if she was on the verge of tears. On the floor was a broken arrow, Bayral looked mortified as she looked at the arrow, she looked then at Na'ama and started to look her wound and treat it.
"Poè skxawng lu" said Sawné on Twonyus' left
"Srane" replied Twonyu watching the uniltìranyu being fussed over for a reasonably minor wound. Taking time to watch what was unfolding in front of him he studied the face of Na'ama. She was quite pretty for an uniltìranyu, but Sawné was right she was a skxawng, but maybe she could learn. NO he thought She is tawtute they cannot see, they cant be made to see, none of them will learn and with that though he turned his back on them.

1357 HRS

Twonyu was surprised as Jax, Arik and Ariel came back with their respective kill, he smiled to himself as he saw Arik looking uncomfortable as he cut up the yerik carcass. he then watched as Jax went to cut up his carcass, the speed at which Jax was doing was respectable at best, but the smack around the back of his head made Twonyu laugh inwardly but also brought up memories of the times that he was scolded by his father for doing things wrong.

Twonyu would have to be sure to tell Mo'at about his fathers death and where his body was lying so that he could be buried properly and join his mother and Eywa. Some meat was put on a quickly lit fire and after a while all came round and started to eat. Twonyu joined in even though he wasnt particularly hungry. As he was walking back with meat for Sawné and the other guards he stopped as the tawtute Alec walked across in front of him, but it wasnt this that had made him stop. He had been listening and watching the argument between Arik and Na'ama. He hardly understood a word of it but it was quite amusing non the less. turning and contuing his walk he carried on to deliver his meat.

Tirea Tskoyä has a new look see it[url=

Offline Lehrrap Uniltìranyu

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #90 on: February 27, 2010, 10:29:27 pm »
The Trail
1355 HRS

Jax had tried to ignore it. He had tried to ignore the look that he had seen in Gear's eye.

He knew that look. It was one of distrust, anger, sympathy, bitterness... the look of a outcast, or someone who feels that they don't belong.

This worried him, somewhat. Gear's was probobly the closest thing that Jax had to a brother on Pandora, or ever, for that matter. He and the mechanic had become close friends during the last week or so, and he wasn't about to lose that friendship simply because he was forced into a new body, compleatly not of his own fault.

After a few moments longer to finish eating, Jax excused himself and went off after Alex, looking for his Brother.
1415 HRS

Jax wasn't proud of the idea, nor of the fight that he and Alex just had.

Alex stormed off from the campsite, his semi-auto and WASP pistols strapped to his legs with plenty of supplies and ammo, Jax was sure he would make it back to Hell's Gate.

That didn't mean that Jax had to like it. Tsu'tey made a few snarky comments about Tawtutes and Dreamwalkers, pointlly looking at all of the Avatar pilots, and half-growling at Jax before he moved off to get the Pa'li ready to go.

Jax didn't like the plan. In fact, he hated the plan. He hated how some of Alex's words rung true. Jax wasn't the same person anymore. What if he really was just... just a shadow of himself?

Jax shook his head, he had to stop thinking that way. The plan would work perfectly, he assured himself. Just as long as the others didn't catch on and Childs was willing to take Alex back, they would be ok, and Alex would be safe, sort of.

Jax said a silent prayer to whoever would listen to him. "Please let this work... good luck Tsumkan in all but blood." Jax wispered as he watched Alex fade into the foliage before he turned his back on the trees that Alex had walked though and went to help the others get the Pa'li ready for travel.

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

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #91 on: February 28, 2010, 11:44:31 am »
Site 24

   After lugging the oversize cooler back to his bolt-hole, Shep was tired, out of breath, and looked markedly fatigued. This would make this an opportune moment to contact Quaritch – if he looked compromised, the conversation would be very short to save attracting any unnecessary attention. This should, in theory, allow him to be slightly sparse with the details.  Landing in front of a workstation, he dialled in the codes for Quaritch’s mobile link.

Retrieving password…password accepted. Dialling...attempt 1…2…3…dialled. Opening link.

   The exopack-clad face of Col. Miles Quaritch appeared in pixellated form on the screen in front of him. Apparently, it was quite cold wherever Quaritch was, as he was wearing full thermal gear, and the inside of his exopack had fogged up slightly.

“Who’re you?” asked the blurred face. Evidently, the picture wasn’t much good on his end, either.

“Sheppard, sir. You asked that I report to you daily.”

“Ah, Sheppard, I remember. Any luck?”

“Engaged the native caravan last night. Augustine’s avatar is out of it, but my position was compromised before I could take out any others. I’m currently hiding in Site 24. They think I’m a harmless scientist.” he said, avoiding details about Augustine’s avatar. The shot would have been sufficient to kill a human in minutes, but with an avatar, he wasn’t so sure. If they managed to staunch the bleeding fast enough, it might live, but would take months to recover.

“And any of the others?” asked Quaritch.

“I’ve found a grave site dedicated to James Logain,” he replied, pausing for a moment, “the location of which came from an avatar who followed me to this site.”

“You were followed?”

“…yes,” he tried to think how best to word this, “but the avatar had no clue who I actually was. They’ve even sent me a supply crate. Which suggests they may be in this site cluster – I’ll scout that out in the coming days”

“Good…so they think the sniper has run back to Hell’s Gate?”

“It appears so, sir.”

“That should work to our advantage,” said Quaritch. There was a slight pause, then he continued, “Don’t push your cover too far. Scout out the other sites, find their base, and try not to get too close to any of them. You could still be recognised. Out”

Link Terminated

   Shep felt a pang of disgust at this last remark. Why should Quaritch, a former marine, be lecturing an SAS agent on how to disappear? Nevertheless, he had a point. Finding the sites was all well and good, but if he got found sneaking around the guise of Harmless Scientist might be called into question. The samples may grant some cover, but waltzing up to the front door went against just about every fibre of his being. Sitting back, he began to think again, working out how best to find out where, exactly, they were hiding.
'Look at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us...on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam' - Carl Sagan

Offline Tanhìyärina'

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #92 on: February 28, 2010, 03:16:08 pm »
Tireamokri watched Arik and Na'ama-- his tsmuke, someone had told her.  They were speaking strangely.  Even not knowing the words, she knew it was serious and emotional.  The tone was blunt and almost cold, and their eyes betrayed a deep-rooted pain.  So he can be serious, she thought.  There is more to him than that cheeky baby I saw carving the yerik.

And then she heard it.  Arik spoke some words that sounded differently, and he spoke them in a sing-song voice, weaving a little tune out of them.  Something about it plucked at her ear and she tipped her head, wondering what he had said just then.  She had never heard any sung words except those in Ariel's little Tsahaylu box.  Maybe the singing is how they make Tsahaylu, she pondered.  But he did not plug into anything.  He did not put anything in his ears.  I wonder which is more important, the ear pieces or the singing?

Her thoughts remained occupied as she chose a piece of meat from the fire and took a bite.  Her eyes fell once more on Arik, sitting alone and gnawing on his piece of meat.  When the call for food came, the cheeky baby came out of him again, but now that he thought he was alone, she could see that he was serious.

Tireamokri approached the Uniltìranyu and sat beside him softly.

"What now, ma'am?" he asked, his eyes quickly switching back to his flippant impetuosity.  But this time, Tireamokri knew better.

"Ma Ahrik," she said softly, looking into his eyes, "Tsa aylì'u," she began, "tsa ngal rìyol.  Paruk ata..." she sang, devolving into humming the rest of the little tune as she had not caught the words beyond the first few.  "Peseng fkol tsivea ralit leaylì’u?"  She brought out a phrase, slightly hesitantly, that Beyrun had taught her the day before.  "What mean?"

"What does that mean?" Beyrun had said slowly to her.  Tireamokri had tried to wrap her tongue around the sounds, but she only remembered the important parts-- Beyrun had said that the first and last words were the ones you had to have to be understood.  And now she thought she'd gotten them right... and now she just had to understand the answer.
Fitseng lu oe, tìftia kìfkeyä seri.

Offline Nume fpi sänume

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #93 on: February 28, 2010, 09:22:33 pm »
Pandoran Jungle
1400 Hrs

Alex just wanted a few moments to himself, a few moments to think his situation, and everything it involved through, but he couldn’t even get that. Jax came into Alex’s little clearing area, and before Alex even had time to wonder what he wanted, Jax started speaking.

“What up Gears? You’ve been real quiet these past few days, I'm worried about you a bit.”
“Nothing, I'm fine. I just need to figure things out”

“That’s Bull and you know it. I may not have known you very long, but you’re too straightforward to make me believe everything is good.”

“Shut up.” Alex shot back, not looking to continue this conversation, he got up to walk away, but Jax moved in front of him.


“No. Not until my brother te..”He was cut off by the feeling of Alex’s fist across his lower jaw.

“You. You are not my brother. My brother is dead! He’s buried back there, under that tree, and he’s never going to get the chance to go back to Earth, see his family, or do anything he used to enjoy doing again.” Alex stepped to the side “You are not Jax. You have his memories, you have his personality, but this,” Alex pointed to Jax “and this,” pointing to his tail “This is not him. You are not him.”

Jax had no idea what to say to that. Alex truly believed that Jax was dead, and as far as he could tell, he couldn’t change that.

“So what will you do?” Jax asked, sounding wounded and defeated.

“I’m going back to Hells Gate, and I'm going home. This isn’t my place.”

“Then take these- “ Jax handed Alex his WASP pistol and knife. “and wait here.” Jax walked back towards camp.

Alex had no idea what was going through his head, he just knew this wasn’t the place for him to be. He never meant to hurt Jax, or at least the new Jax, but it wasn’t the same. Try as he might, he wasn’t Jax, and he couldn’t ever truly be Jax. He returned from the camp a few moments later carrying a backpack that seemed loaded with supplies.

“You’re going to need this stuff if you plan on making it back to the gate alive.”

“I’ve got a plan on how to get back, just make sure no one follows me, I don’t want to be the reason any of you get killed.”

“Fair enough, tell me what you’re thinking, if you don’t mind.”

“Fine, here’s how it’s going to happen…”

With their discussion done, Alex said goodbye to “Jax”, turned and walked into the brush. He had learned a lot out here in the past few days, and the forest no longer truly scared him as it once had. Still, pretty much everything out here was bigger than he was, so he needed to travel to his destination quickly. He should be able to make it before nightfall as long as nothing major got in the way.

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #94 on: March 01, 2010, 04:23:40 pm »
Trail Campsite

"Ma Ahrik," she said softly, looking into his eyes, "Tsa aylì'u," she began, "tsa ngal rìyol.  Paruk ata..." she sang, devolving into humming the rest of the little tune as she had not caught the words beyond the first few.  "Peseng fkol tsivea ralit leaylì’u?"  She brought out a phrase, slightly hesitantly, that Beyrun had taught her the day before.  "What mean?"

"What does that mean?" Beyrun had said slowly to her.

Arik stopped, looking at Tireamokri, his expression unreadable for a moment. She really latched on to that, he noted. He put down the meat he'd been wrapping into nikt'chey and wiped his hands on a clump of dried grass.
"Um," he said, wondering what exactly she wanted. "Well, it's... it's a prayer," he said, suddenly self-conscious. "Umm..." He thought about it, and decided, why not?.

He started the traditional singsong version of the opening to all Hebrew prayers: "Barukh atah Adonai... elohainu malakh ha'olam...boreh pri ha'gefen... It's the prayer for wine."

"I'm surprised you remember it," Na'ama said, torn between genuine surprise and a desire to get a jab in at her brother.
"I hated this stuff for a long time, 'cause of mom," he admitted, "But... I kept up with it."

"Why?" she asked.
"At first?" he said, "To alienate dad."
"Tch!" Na'ama said, her eyes narrowing and her upper lip twisting slightly in contempt.
"But then I kept with it because like it or not, it's kinda who I am," Arik said gently. He sighed. "Besides, someday..." he looked out at the horizon. Tireamokri looked as well, but there was nothing there. She turned back to Arik.

"Inglisi?" she asked. "It mean..?" She let the question hang, the intent obvious.
"Inglisi?" Arik asked, "No. Ivreet. Hebrew. Ze lo Anglit," he suddenly blurted out. The origin of his accent-- slightly different from the other Sawtute-- was suddenly evident.

Sek'Mut was giving him a strange look, too, and Arik wouldn't look him in the eye. He wondered how much Ariel was going to try to explain to the warrior later, out of earshot. Nearby, Jax returned from the edge of the campsite, his shoulders slumped and his head down, his facial features drawn and taut with heavy thought. What the hell is going on? he wondered. Chris and Eanataw were back as well, but they were wrapped up in their own private world.

"We go!" Tsu'Tey said, interrupting them. Sek'Mut nodded absently and helped Ariel onto the Pa'li, noticing that he had her make the Tsaheylu connection this time.

Arik got on his Pa'li, somewhat avoiding eye contact with his sister, who got on behind him. Tireamokri got on her Pa'li as well, still looking intently at Arik, curiosity writ on her face as she quietly hummed the tune to 'barukh ata adonai'.

"There are other prayers," Arik said, unable to concentrate on the Na'vi language. "The most important is the Sh'ma," he said.
"Shhh-mah?" Tireamokri asked.

"Sh'ma, Israel... Adonai elohainu... Adonai akhad..." It was simpler, yet contained much more feeling that the earlier one. "Do you remember the word for prayer, tsmuke?" he asked, smiling over his shoulder at Na'ama.
"Not right now," Na'ama answered, her voice heavy with memories. Her eyes had softened somewhat in the melancholy of memory.
"Too bad," Arik said, "That would clear up a lot." He looked around at the mass of people getting onto Pa'li, and some few who rode Ikrans as scouts. He sensed something was different, like something was missing that should normally be there, but there'd been so many changes-- the Dragon had come and gone, taking people with it; they'd been hunting, the brief argument with Na'ama and the painful memories of growing up back on Earth...

Why would anyone want to go back there, he wondered. His face reflected his sober thoughts without realizing it.

"Ata b'seder?" Na'ama asked him.
"Lo kohl-kakh," he replied, "Aval i'hiyeh b'seder. Ihm zman, olai." He clicked his toungue at the Pa'li as one would an Earth horse, and the creature paced alongside Tireamokri's mount. He looked like he was about to say something more but stopped, his eyes far away. Tireamokri had not seen him seem so... defeated before.

"Sissy," he said, remembering something, "Do you remember some of the songs? Y'hee Shalom, Mizmor l'David..?"
"Kamuvan," she "Betakh. Of course I remember. I did them all the time 'cause I liked to."
"Maybe you can remind me of some of the parts I forgot later," he said, "And... I dunno. Maybe we can share them. With them," he said.
"Tireamokri seems interested at least," she said.
"Maybe," he replied. "Maybe Aniuket."
"Aniuket?" she asked.

Arik turned red. "I... guess I should tell you about Aniuket..."

Back on the road to Kelutral.
Arik begins explaining the Hebrew prayers to Tireamokri.
Talking about things in his past seems to have had a very sobering --and saddening-- effect on him.

« Last Edit: March 01, 2010, 04:46:29 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!

Attempted to pee on Viperwolf to test reaction. Please see attached medical file.
WARNING: Attached medical file exceeds gigabyte limit. System failure.

Offline Nume fpi sänume

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #95 on: March 02, 2010, 12:26:44 am »
Pandoran Jungle

Alex pushed through the jungle, step by step. Around him, the jungle was abuzz with his presence as everything near him watched him maneuver through the brush. Alex looked down at his watch, judging the distance he had to cover. Not bad, only 10 kilometers. It was a bit of a distance, but coverable. Alex began jogging a bit, just in case.


Alex arrived at the crash site for the Scorpion as the sun was just touching the mountains.
“Gotta patch this up soon. I don’t want to be out here tonight” Alex said to himself. He went around to the side of the Scorpion, opening the main power relay box. Pulling a small connector cable from his bag, he plugged the watch into the wreckage, praying that there was still enough power to do what he needed to. He patched into the systems, looking for the system he needed, rerouting power from unnecessary subsystems to the comm and emergency power.

“Bingo!” Alex exclaimed, seeing the emergency retrieval beacon activate. It took a few moments, but soon after the comm system crackled to life.

“Pandora Tower to Scorpion 34. Authorize, over.”

“Alpha, kilo, echo, lima, lima, echo, november. Number five, two, zero, zero, kilo. Over”

“Copy A Kellen, authorized. We’ve got your coordinates, state emergency.”

“I have escaped capture from the local native population, requesting extraction and debriefing ASAP, Over.”
“Copy A Kellen. Be advised, activity in your region has been picking up. Samson SA-2 Nighthawk is on prep deck, liftoff in five. ETA 90 minutes. Stay at present location. Nighthawk will circle location twice, use standard location markers to assist pilot in extraction, over”

“Copy Pandora Tower. A Kellen out.”

Alex sighed with relief as the comm closed. He was finally getting back to his environment, though he didn’t expect to be welcomed back with open arms. He would have to prove his loyalties again, and Alex had an idea on how to do that.

For the next hour, Alex examined the area. The corpses of the previous pilots were nearby, and it was obvious they had met a gruesome death. The jungle had already began to claim them, as bits of them were gone, taken by scavengers for their own food. He though back on his journey so far, the people he had met, and the things he had shared with them. The avatar pilots hadn’t had tons of interaction with him, but what little they had seemed ok. Even the Na'vi didn’t seem that bad, and they had welcomed all of them with open arms. Alex thought once more about what he was doing, but at this point there was no going back. It would be getting dark around the same time the Nighthawk arrived, and he didn’t have time to make it back to the safety of the group, or of hometree. He had made his decision already, and he knew it was the right one. He unpacked his locator lights, placing them in the most visible areas he could, and turned them all on. They illuminated the dusky area like day, beams of white hot light shot into the sky cutting through the gathering evening mist. Once they had heated up fully, they began flashing in alternating patterns, illuminating the area around him in odd ways as they flashed. Alex leaned up against the wreckage of the Scorpion, the feeling of being close to the machines he knew and loved was satisfying, and before long he heard the telltale beating of Samson rotors through the air. The Nighthawk was aptly named, it was painted almost entirely black, and had bare minimum lighting on it, and even those were heavily dimmed. It circled twice, just as it was supposed to, and came to a hover about forty feet above Alex. Looking up, he barely had time to move as the rope ladder came down, landing where he was just standing. Alex climbed up a few steps, rather shaky on the flimsy rope, but was soon relieved as the ladder began to be retracted inside the Samson. Looking down he noticed he was a few hundred feet off the ground, and slowly gaining altitude. He nearly jumped off when he felt two pairs of hands grab onto his forearms, hoisting him into the Samson. The side door was closed, and he felt the Nighthawk turn and quickly accelerate, heading for the Gate.

“Thanks for the evac.”

“No worries Alex, I'm glad you made it out.” Came a voice off to the right.

The voice was unmistakable, and Alex was filled with hope and dread.

“Thad?! Is that you?”

“Sure is. After I saw that native take you prisoner, I couldn’t risk opening fire, didn’t want to hit you. Glad you made it out though, we wrote ya off for dead.”

“Who else is in here? I know two of you lifted me in.”

“Names Marcus,” came a voice to the left, and a mask light clicked on to show a rather young black man who nodded at Alex before turning the light back off. “We haven’t met, but I’ve heard a lot about you from Thad here. It’ll be real good to have you back in the bay after you’re debriefed.”

“Great. I’m looking forward to it myself. I’ve had to deal with s*** food and hostility for days now, I'm looking forward to a real rack and some decent food. Most of all, I'm looking forward to being able to take this forsaken mask off.”

The Nighthawk flew on through the growing darkness, back towards the Gate. Back towards home.

Offline Coyote

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #96 on: March 02, 2010, 11:30:23 am »
Trail to Kelutral

Sek'Mut was silent on the way back. His mind roiled with questions, all of them left unsaid. What was the nature of the sudden argument between Arik and Na'ama? he wondered. And why did Arik, the flippant and disrespectful one, suddenly become serious and melancholy? Unfortunately, he knew that Ariel did not have the language skills to convey the answers to all the questions he had.

Sek'Mut also considered his odd relationship --if that was the term for it-- with Ariel, as well. He'd written her off as a childish creature, at best a plaything to torment to show his contempt for the aliens. He'd treated her in a way that no Na'vi woman would consent to being treated, and he'd been taken aback when she leapt up and confronted him. It had been amusing at the time, but at the same time a germ of respect had taken hold as well.

Her willingness to join with him to torment Arik, in turn, had been a surprising but welcome change in plans. The Uniltaronyu had been surprised at the sudden and odd team-up, but it had also thrown off the rest of the Omatikaya as well. Why was Sek'Mut, a hater of all things Tatwute, suddenly working with --and flirting with-- this alien woman?

It was a question he'd actually asked himself of late, as well.

She is certainly interesting, he knew. I suppose I've been caught up in the curiosity they represent. Truly, I had not contemplated that Sawtute could be anything but greedy and rapacious, and yet this small band... However, it was neither lost on him, nor far from his thoughts, that these people were largely outcasts from their home society precisely because they failed to be as greedy and rapacious as their comrades.

Where is this all leading? he wondered. We will be at Kelutral tomorrow morning. Hopefully, we can begin sorting this out... one way or another.

Sek'Mut tries to make sense of all that is going on.
***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***

Late Night

Aniuket was nervous with anticipation. According to the messages relayed by the Ikran scouts, the pongo Mo'at would return early tomorrow morning. The Omatikaya's artist could not help but wonder what would be different; among them all and among Arik, if, indeed, anything was different.

Nef'Tys had beeen unusually quiet lately-- since the day that the pongo had departed. She had done her assigned tasks without making trouble, which was... troubling. She'd spent a lot of time on the edge of the camp, sometimes going to the crash site of the Sawtute kunsip and returning, quiet and evasive about her thoughts.  

"Oel ngati kameie," a familiar voice said, approaching from behind her on the right. Aniuket turned and saw her sister approaching.
"Oel ngati kameie," Aniuket replied instinctively, but in her mind she wondered --do I really see you, lately, little tsmuke?

<<They return tomorrow,>> Nef'Tys said.
<<It is so,>> Aniuket replied.
<<You will see Ah-rik again,>> Nef'Tys said, her characteristic grin spanning her features.
<<That, too, is so,>> Aniuket replied.

<<What troubles you?>. Nef'Tys asked.
Aniuket thought about it. <<Uncertainty,>> she said. While it would have been appropriate for Nef'Tys to make a comment of some sort at that stage, the expected did not happen. So alike, Nef'Tys and Arik, she realized. Can I anticipate his actions by observing hers?

<<Tireamokri will be back,>> Nef'Tys stated.
<<Yes,>> Aniuket agreed.
<<Has she ever said anything to you about her homeland?>> Nef'Tys blurted out.

Aniuket stared off into the far, darkened horizon. What she thought was a star was moving, rapidly. Another Tawtute flying machine, she figured. Daring, to go out so late.
<<You talk to her more than I do, little one,>> Aniuket said.

<<Sometimes I wonder if she talks to you as much,>> Nef'Tys said cryptically. <<I am always the 'little one',>> she said disdainfully. Aniuket frowned slightly. Isn't that kunsip close to where the pongo Mo'at is traveling? she wondered. She refused to be baited by Nef'Tys's comment. It was a sore spot with Nef'Tys that she wasn't allowed to climb Iknimaya early even though she was a better hunter than Aniuket-- Indeed, she is a better hunter than anyone in her age group, and even one or two of our established hunters already.

<<I am not the one who made you a child,>> Aniuket said patiently. <<I am sorry for the vagaraies of fate that have placed you behind me. It is for you to reconcile with Eywa, not me.>>
Nef'Tys was surprised by Aniuket's rebuke. She felt instantly sorry for cornering her older sister when the truth was, they were both stressed.

<<Have you spoken with sa'nu and sempu about it?>> she asked her older sister.
<<About what?>> Aniuket replied.
<<You like Ah-rik, do you not?>>
<<I do,>> Aniuket said. <<Is there anything I can say that the camp has not already whispered about?>> she asked flatly.

<<They have said nothing to you,>> Nef'Tys said.
<<Not with their mouths, they have not,>. Aniuket responded. <<With their looks, they express their... doubts.>>

<<It is nothing to be ashamed of,>> Nef'Tys said, <<Grace and Sylwanin-->>
<<--And that turned out so well,>> Aniuket said sternly. She took a deep breath, and sighed, watching the far-off lights of the kunsip as it sped away, back to the scar-in-ground. <<We don't even know if such a thing is possible, or even if it should be,>> Aniuket said. <<And what if one day he will go back to his land and peoples, and I will be left here; alone?>>

<<Ah-rik...>> Nef'Tys began, faltering for words. << see how he loves this place. He is one who would stay.>>
Aniuket thought about it. She wanted Nef'Tys to be right, and felt, deep inside, that such was so. But what if... not? she wondered. She was scared; she knew, and even if Arik stayed, how long would it be before his real body began to break down? Could she love someone without ever seeing his real self? And would Sek'Mut ever accept him, or her parents, or even the Omatikaya in general?

Should she? she wondered of herself.

<<They are making kiva,>> Nef'Tys said, <<Let's go. Let's stop brooding.>>

Aniuket sighed and followed her sister down the tree, to the ground where the tribe was having their evening kiva before going to bed.

<<I have found a suitable k'sey nivi for Ahrik,>> Aniuket said. <<Will you help me move it near us?>>

Nef'Tys looked up at her, and her usual cheery grin reflected in the moonlight.

<<I will help,>> she promised as they climbed down.

Aniuket and Nef'Tys both worry about what things will be like when the group returns.
Aniuket unwittingly spies the far-off lights of Alex being airlifted out.
A proper hammock has been located for Arik.

« Last Edit: March 02, 2010, 01:17:30 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!

Attempted to pee on Viperwolf to test reaction. Please see attached medical file.
WARNING: Attached medical file exceeds gigabyte limit. System failure.

Offline Coyote

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #97 on: March 02, 2010, 12:26:34 pm »
Hell's Gate, Pandora
0800 hrs. (Next Morning)

Colonel Quaritch returned to Hell's Gate after all-night hops from remote station to remote station, refueling the small company of Samsons and Scorpions twice during the voyage. He'd left Captain Danjou set up relatively comfortably among the Sengtsil, or as comfortable as one could be under such circumstances.

An odd duck, that Danjou, Quaritch thought. He had not understood Director Childs's insistence to have Danjou along --in fact, Danjou had been one of the "special" requests Childs had arranged for, specifically, to come up on the ISV Lightning Star along with all the other new arrivals. Danjou had barely had time to sign in at Hell's Gate before being hustled off to the remote site Number 16, where he'd stayed since arriving... immersing himself in the study of all things Na'vi.

It sure paid off, Quaritch had to admit. Danjou sat, isolated at Site 16 for... three weeks, now? Just studying the language, the tribes, the social structure.... and then when we landed up there, their lingo rolled off his tongue like he'd been speaking it since childhood. He'd have to look into Danjou's dossier upon return to his office.

"Hey. sir, check this out," the voice of the pilot said over the intercom. The SA-2 Samson banked a bit, bringing the open door to bear down over the vast area of Armor Bay.

"What is it, Marine-- oh," he said, suddenly noticing the unusual structure being formed on the grounds of the bay.

It was a massive, circular latticework of intricately crossed and inter-connected smaller beams; a giant ring easily four stories high. Technicians swarmed around the structure like ants surrounding a dropped onion ring. The ring sat next to another partially-completed ring that looked just like it, and stacked nearby were a couple of smaller rings built in the same intricate pattern.

"What the hell is that?" Quaritch wondered out loud.
The pilot shook his head. "Never seen anything like it," he admitted. "Bringing us down."

Quaritch nodded and the flight of four helicopters landed. Nearby, the massive shell of the second, incomplete Dragon heavy gunship sat, dark, mocking and quiet. It was complete except for the engines, due to arrive on the ISV Venture Star, still two years out. Quaritch ignored the near-useless hulk, its value represented only in its potential rather than its current utility. He strode inside as the ground crews swarmed the newly-arrived helos.  

"Director," he said, surprised to see Warren Childs himself waiting for him.
"Miles!" Dr. Childs greete dwarmly.
Oh, we're first name buddies, now? Quaritch wondered. He smiled back. "How's it going, sir? You look like you have good news."

"I have two items of news," Childs said, "One will have to wait until it is completed--" he said, indicated back through the airlock Quaritch had just entered from, "--the other is a big boon that just came in last night."

"Sounds like major news," Quaritch said as they walked down the hallway towards the main access to Adminsitration. Quaritch had his cold-weather parka draped over his arm.

"Tell me," Childs said, indicating the parka, "Before we get started, how did things go up north? How do you like the new man, Danjou?"

"Well, things went well," Quaritch said. "Captain Danjou, is that right? He's got 'spook' written all over him," he said.
"Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure, to be exact!" Childs exclaimed happily.
"French Intelligence? The DGSE?" Quaritch asked.

"Their special operations branch that specializes in men who acclimatize to a foreign culture, go out to live among the natives, and teach them to fight real wars," Childs said. "Men like Danjou don't call for reinforcements-- he creates them, from the locals."

"Interesting," Quaritch said, thinking about the ramifications of success for Danjou. Turning a whole tribe to fight for the RDA instead of against us? That would be a potent development indeed... "So what is that you're building out there? Too big to be a better moustrap." They reached Child's office and stepped inside, Childs closing the door behind them and inviting Quaritch to have a seat. Quaritch did, and draped his parka over the arm of the empty seat next to himself.

Dr. Childs pulled out a bottle of scotch and poured them each small shots, handing one to Quaritch. He accepted.
"Colonel, we've had a real breakthrough. That thing I'm building outside, well... let's wait until I have more progress made on it. It may not even work. It's something I came up with to replace our Dragon. But no, the real breakthough is in what we got last night."

"Alright," Quaritch said, interested. They sipped at their scotch and Childs leaned back in his yerik-leather chair.
"We got one of 'em," Childs said.
"Grace's Avatar," Quaritch nodded. "Yes. Our man Shep--"
"Oh, no, not that," Childs said, waving a finger and smiling. "Oh, no. That was good. That was great. A good man, Sheppard. We need ten more just like him. No, I'm talking about Alex Kellen."

Quaritch blinked. Kellen? He tried to place the name.
"'Gears' Kellen. The mechanic on James Legain's helo. He surrendered last night."

Quaritch's face lit up with recognition. "Well, that's fantastic news!" he said, smiling and finishing his scotch. He put the glass on the desk and Childs refilled it, then added to his own. "So we've got confirmation that Legain himself is dead, we've put Augustine's Avatar out of commission, perhaps permanantly, and now one of them came in from the cold."

"We're getting back on our feet," Childs said. "Our sniper was successful and has gained the confidence of the enemy; Danjou is in place with the Sengtsil... Miles, we got off to a rough start and suffered some setbacks, but we're regaining the initiative. Now they've taken some bloody noses for a change!"

"Has he talked?" Quaritch asked.
"A bit," Childs said, "He was tired, disoriented, wanted real food and some sleep. But he was one pissed-off hombre, let me tell you. He was not happy at all about being out there with those fly-bitten savages."
"Well, I'll talk to him, too."
"I was hoping you would, Colonel," Childs said, "I want him to know he's important. Special, you know. Welcome him back in from the outside."

"I'll talk to him," Quaritch said., "Good to be back on top of things, even if we still have a lot of progress yet to make."

"To victory," Childs said, raising his glass, "It is nearer our grasp with each passing day."

Quaritch returns to a bouyant Dr. Childs.
They discuss Alex's return; Quaritch will talk with him personally.
Dr. Childs is building something in the bay, but he won't talk about it.
Quaritch learns a bit about Danjou's past expertise; Childs hopes to turn a Na'vi tribe to work for the RDA.

« Last Edit: March 02, 2010, 01:21:42 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!

Attempted to pee on Viperwolf to test reaction. Please see attached medical file.
WARNING: Attached medical file exceeds gigabyte limit. System failure.

Offline Coyote

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #98 on: March 02, 2010, 01:09:47 pm »
The Outskirts of Kelutral
Next Morning
0930 (Tawtute Reckoning)

The trip back in had become lighthearted, in stark contrast to the dismal mood that had settled over everyone earlier. The mission to bring Jax back to life in the body of the young Na'vi known as Hun'nar had ostensibly been a success, but it had come at a cost. A handful of warriors had been killed and wounded on the trip; their position and allegiance with the tribe revealed to the RDA security forces on the way out.

They had been found again on the way back, Grace had been shot and wounded, and there had been much consternation about Jax's new life and his place in society. Oscar had once again become withdrawn. Arik and Na'ama had not experienced a happy reunion, and in fact had dredged up sorrows from their pasts. Sek'Mut felt out of place, and wondered what it all meant and where they were all going as a people.

Last night, the group had made camp. A short meal made up of the preserved Yerik meat and the small rodent that Ariel had shot sustained them. They'd eaten almost wordlessly, a few half-hearted attempts at song had been tried but sleep tugged at everyone. The Na'vi posted guard shifts, and the Avatars had gone unconscious while their drivers awoke back at Remote Site 26.  

The Avatar Drivers had gratefully exchanged their hugs with Grace, worried over her Avatar, and cycled through the bathroom and shower as they heartily consumed their 'real' dinner. Talk was muted and they avoided discussion of any events that might reflect on the events of the day or the disagreements that had been voiced. Arik gave his sister a hug, which she reciprocated, which was the only reflection of the earlier events between them.    

The Avatar drivers got a good, full night of real sleep, their first in days. The next morning, after a healthy breakfast, they re-entered their drive pods and awoke in their Avatars-- awake, refreshed, and cheerful at being so close to their destination.

"It's like the clouds have parted," Arik said to his sister as Tireamokri rode beside them.
"It's like we got some sleep," she said. "Maybe we won't be so grumpy today."
"Who's grumpy?" Arik said, smiling back over his shoulder at her.

Ahead, an Ikran scout landed, his smile broad and flashing even from as far back in the column of Pa'li as they were. They caught excited snippets of conversation, some jokes and laughter, and Tsu'Tey rode forward, quickly, from the rear-guard position he'd had to bring his mount up astride Mo'at's.

"We are near Home-Tree," Sek'Mut said, his features relaxed. He said the same thing in rapid ninavi to Tireamokri, who smiled, but she'd already known. She looked up into the trees, searching for a familiar shape to reveal itself, darting from branch to branch.

<<Oel ngati kameie..!>> she called out, smiling, pretending not to look up at the form in the trees.

Whup! --A blue shape landed gracefully on the forest floor, pitched down from a branch that was easily three stories up. A brilliant Cheshire grin greeted them.

<<Oel ngati kameie!>> Nef'Tys said in return. She ran to Tireamokri's Pa'li and vaulted up, landing gently on the creature's back, which shifted slightly and gave a snort of concern, but was quickly calmed by Tireamokri. <<Welcome back!>> Nef'Tys said.

<<It is good to be back,>> Tireamokri replied, her ears flickering slightly.
<<Who is the girl?>> Nef'Tys whispered to her mentor, reserved hostility in her voice.
<<It is his tsmuke,>> Tireamokri said calmly. Nef'Tys's demeanor changed.
<<Good!>> she said, grinning again. <<Did you teach him?>>

<<As much as one can teach him,>> Tireamokri said, looking over her shoulder at her young friend. <<You owe me much for this favor...>>

They were interrupted by Arik, talking to his sister. "That girl, there," he said, nodding towards Nef'Tys, "Is the one I told you about, the sister of Aniuket. Tsmuke Aniuket," he said. Na'ama smiled at her.
"Kaltxi," she said.
"Kaltxi!" Nef'Tys said, her brilliant yellow eyes flashing in the sun, and her grin revealing prominent canines.

"Now, hopefully," Arik said, "We can get back home without any last-minute interruptions, fights, or yet another conflict. I tell ya what," he said, looking at all the females around him, "I'm looking forward to a bit of post-voyage relaxation..."

Pongo Mo'at reaches the outskirts of Kelutral!
Group is met by Nef'Tys first and foremost.

« Last Edit: March 12, 2010, 07:14:25 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!

Attempted to pee on Viperwolf to test reaction. Please see attached medical file.
WARNING: Attached medical file exceeds gigabyte limit. System failure.

Offline Tsamsiyu Atsteu

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Re: Storm over Pandora- In Eywa's Shadow
« Reply #99 on: March 03, 2010, 04:08:04 pm »

Aniuket moved forward with the crowd, eager yet apprehensive about all that had taken place before. The trip to the Tree of Souls was supposed to be three days-- a day out, a day for the ceremony, and a day back. But the attack that took place on the way to the Tree had forced the group to change their plans; they took an alternate, longer route back to avoid being ambushed by the Tawtute warriors...

Where has Nef'Tys gotten to? Aniuket wondered. She looked around for her little sister but she was nowhere to be found. I suppose she ran forward to greet Tireamokri...

<<What is happening?>> a voice asked her. Aniuket looked over to see Tsamsiyu Atsteu, an Omatikaya woman that was in her age group, although they'd climbed Iknimaya a few weeks apart.

<<The travelers,>> Aniuket said, <<pongo Mo'at; they return.>>
<<Any news of Hun'nar?>> Tsamsiyu Atsteu asked.
Aniuket shook her head. <<I heard only what everyone heard-- that the transfer ritual was a success.>>

Tsamsiyu Atsteu's eyes narrowed. And what, exactly, did 'success' mean under these circumstances? she seemed to wonder. <<How much of Hun'nar still lives, and how much of the Tawtute lives within him?>>
<<We will not know for sure until we see them,>> Aniuket said.

Tsamsiyu Atsteu was quiet. She'd been one of many Omatikaya that had not chosen not to interact with the newcomers, the tawtute, and had been content to observe them from afar. She, like many others, was still forming her opinions on them, and rightfully cautious of their actions.

But there had been much news about the strangers' exploits recently. When the Tawtute first arrived, they were like babies, ignorant, crashing about, making stupid mistakes, acting foolish. But they weren't arrogant, like so many other Uniltaronyu. The mistakes they made were as ignorant and annoying, but they were also honest mistakes. Unlike the arrogant mistakes of people who thought they already knew everything... But when the Ikran scouts rode back to tell the tribe of the latest news and events, they revealed that the newcomers had fought well, and fiercely, against the RDA. And not just the ones in the Dreamwalker bodies, but the humans themselves-- one who had brought with him a shield-walker suit had been especially courageous as well.

<<How is your arm?>> Tsamsiyu Atsteu asked.
<<Healing well,>> Aniuket said, smiling. With Mil'Ani, one of the tribe's best healers, on the journey to the Tree of Souls, Tsamsiyu Atsteu had been the healer who had helped to make sure Aniuket's arm healed properly. Though mostly a skilled hunter and ferocious warrior, Tsamsiyu was also a surprisingly gentle healer, and had learned well the art, taking pride in her abilities.

When the newcomers had been attacked by the RDA, they had initially assumed that the Omatikaya were the ones being attacked, not themselves. Arik had tried to protect Aniuket by taking her along with them in the helicopter-- only to discover that he had accidentally placed her in greater danger when it became apparent that the RDA was attacking them. They leapt from the helicopter but Arik's woven Ikran-wing could not support them both, and Aniuket had tried to leaf-bounce her way to the forest floor-- it had mostly worked, but she'd never done it from that height and speed before, and she'd taken a break to the arm in the attempt.

Tsamsiyu Atsteu checked her wrappings-- broad leaves, a stick splint, sealed with sap and wrapped with a thin weaving, making a soft sound of satisfaction at the injury's progress.

<<Largely healed,>> she said. Aniuket smiled. <<I would have liked to have gone on the journey to the Tree of Souls,>> she said.

Tsamsiyu Atsteu smiled but said nothing. Aniuket's skill as a hunter and warrior were simply "passable"-- she wasn't helpless by any means, but she was primarily the tribe artist for a reason. Tsamsiyu Atsteu had considered volunteering herself, but stayed behind to help Neytiri organize a defense of Kelutral in case the RDA returned... which they had not.

<<You'll be able to take that off in a few days,>> she told Aniuket. <<But you'll still have to be careful for awhile longer, to make sure it heals completely.>> It had been over a week and a half since the arm had been broken, and they healed quickly. She gave her friend an appraising look-- How true were the stories she'd heard the children giggling about? That the Uniltaronyu known as Arik had been seen kissing Aniuket on the far side of the Pa'li paddock? She decided not to ask about it. Arik was known to be kind and respectful to Aniuket, and yet was also known to be flippant to Aniuket's older brother, Sek'Mut... But then, doesn't Sek'Mut take himself just a little too seriously? she had to ask herself.

The first Ikran rider landed from Mo'at's group, and greeted them. He had a big smile, which seemed to indicate a mission gone well.

Tsamsiyu Atsteu looked at Aniuket and they shared a smile themselves. <<We will find out soon,>> Aniuket said, as the crowd surged forward.

Aniuket readies for the return of the travelers, particularly Arik.
Tsamsiyu Atsteu, a Na'vi who had been passively watching the newcomers, begins taking a more active interest.
First pagan Na'vi warrior and Reiki Healer. Skype me at inara_jinn

Rutxe!Ting nari! Help my dragons grow!



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