Harmony and Dissonance
Chapter 7 - Unexpected Happenings
I dropped silently onto the forest floor. Trailing slightly behind Neytiri and Tuk'lan, I had made progress over the last few weeks, even if I had to say so myself.
I still wasn't allowed to make a kill, only able to shadow a target with my bow before Neytiri or Tuk'lan took the shot. I could See the forest at times now, the pulse of life, watching my path open up before my eyes. I didn't force my way through, I didn't think about which way I went, I just went.
Honestly, it was a liberating experience, letting go of my mind. The most intriguing experience about it was that I had never felt so out of control and in control at the same time.
Finally, we managed to catch up to the yerik heard we had been tracking. I stealthily maneuvered to a good vantage point for my shot that I wouldn't get to take. I wasn't ready, I knew I wasn't ready. I was decent with a bow, not good enough to hit a target at this range. I picked out my target and tracked it, trying to imaging how far I would need to lead it and how high to aim above in order to counteract gravity.
I could see Tuk'lan in the corner of my eye. He gave me the no-go, as I expected. I was not ready. I watched as he gave Neytiri the go ahead and she took her shot. She dropped the beast easily and quickly ended its suffering with a prayer.
[Very good, ma'tsmuke.] Tuk'lan said, [You are ready.]
Neytiri's ears perked up as Tuk'lan said the words, [Really? You think I'm ready?]
[Yes.] Tuk'lan replied, [I will talk to sempul about it. Expect to go out with the next group of young hunters for Iknimaya.]
[Congratulations, Neytiri.] I said.
[Irayo, Zac.] Neytiri said graciously. I could tell she was excited and happy. She must have been waiting for this for a long time now. Personally, I felt a little sad about it. Some part of me was holding out hope that I would go through it with her. It just wasn't meant to be.
Over the weeks that I had been learning to hunt with Neytiri and Tuk'lan, other things had been heating up as well.
My parents had really began to reach out to the Tipani after that first week. Apparently, things had went extremely well as they spent almost half the week there every week. I was happy for them. I wondered about what they were doing, but I was sure that if it was important they would have told me.
Meanwhile, school was getting tougher as final exams were approaching. Spring semester had came and went, and Summer semester was almost over. I don't know how I managed to get all the work done while going through with the training, but I did. There was some good news, Adam finally came back near the end of spring semester. It turned out that the condition of his human body had worsened and they had to focus on getting him relatively healthy again, which required him getting out of the link.
So, you could say that my life was going pretty good at that point. I was living out a dream, and everyone seemed to be doing well. Looking back on it, the only thing I really wish I could have done was talk to Josh more…
About two weeks later, Finals had just ended. The only thing I had to wait for was the results. However, instead of worrying about my future and the results of my test. I found myself pacing around the Omaticaya Hometree. Neytiri was going through her Iknimaya, and there was nothing I could to but sit around and wait. I would have been lying if I said it wasn't driving me crazy.
[Child, walking a rut into the ground isn't going to help bring her back safely or faster.] Vitari said. I didn't even notice her sneak up on me.
[I know.] I answered, [I just can't help it. She's my friend and I don't know what's going on. She could be in trouble and I'm sitting here doing nothing…]
[Even if you were there, there is nothing you could do.] Vitari said, [It is something she has to do on her own. Just as you will have to when your time comes.]
Realizing the softer tone in her voice than when we usually talked, I eyed Vitari askew, [You're being awfully nicer than usual.]
Vitari looked over at me, [I originally doubted the reason you were here. You tawtute often say one thing and mean another. However, I've heard nothing but good things about you from both Neytiri and Tuk'lan. I've come to accept that your intentions are pure and you truly wish only to learn. Our own legends are full now of ay'uniltiranyu that had the purity you do. While rare, there are good Sky People out there. You are one of them.]
[Irayo, Tsahik.] I replied, [I look forward to showing you how much this has meant to me. It has been everything I ever wanted.]
I waited for what seemed like an eternity, willing Neytiri to come back safely. Eventually, my prayers were answered and Neytiri came back on the wings of a beautiful teal and cyan ikran.
"He is beautiful." I complimented her on her new ride, "Have you thought of a name?"
"Not yet. He is very strong. I barely managed to subdue him. His name should reflect that. I'm sure I'll think up something." Neytiri replied.
"I'm sure you will." I reply with a grin on my face, "I'm happy you came back safely. I hear there's supposed to be a party for the young hunters when they complete Iknimaya"
"Yes, it will go throughout most of the night." Neytiri answered.
"Well, it seems like there's some fun to be had tonight then." I said with a grin, "I guess I'll see you there?"
"Of course, I must go prepare." Neytiri said, "I will see you there, Zac."
I nodded and headed to the fire pits where the party would be taking place. Almost an hour later the new hunters made their appearance, each of them wearing their best feathers and leathers. And then I saw her…
Neytiri was striking. She wore a decorative necklace made of red and yellow feathers and gems of similar colors that barely covered what needed covering. Extremely long red and yellow feathers were weaved into her hair, which was loose and down. She also had dyed yellow armbands with red feathers attached along with a dyed red loincloth.
She strode over to her parents and they shared a few words before she began mingling, accepting congratulations and thanking them for it. Eventually, I managed to work my way to her, and her to me.
[You are strikingly beautiful tonight.] I opened the conversation.
[Irayo, Zac.] She responded with a bit of a blush. [It is not often that I get dressed up like this.]
[Well, you definitely look amazing. Those colors suit you well.] I continued. As we were talking a drumbeat had picked up for the party and several Na'vi were beginning to dance. [Care for a dance?]
[I would like that.] Neytiri smiled.
Together we made our way out with the others dancing. Perhaps it was a bad idea on my part. I'm not much of a dancer, and I can only describe myself as halfway between a headless chicken and a one armed, one legged baboon trying to do the Electric Slide, not a pretty sight. However, my counterpart in all this, being the swan that she is, was as graceful as she was out in the forest.
Against my better judgment, we danced for a long while, at least an hour, before, finally, I could dance no more. We sat down and watched the others dance while we enjoyed the beat, the singing, and the drinks. That made for a second bad decision on my part. I was underage in the human world, but the Na'vi had no such rule. It was up to the parents to determine when their children were ready for alcohol, and if a young one had split from their family hammock and slept on their own, then they controlled whether they drank or not.
Needless to say that after we started drinking I don't remember much of the night. Truthfully, all I can say for certain was that I somehow got back to my hammock in one piece.
More time passed. Neytiri and I spent a little less time together than we used to. She had an ikran and she was still new to the experience of flying. She took Takuk, her ikran whose name means "strike", out almost every morning. This left me to my own devices for most of each morning. This usually involved training extensively for my own Iknimaya. I was desperately wanting to catch up with Neytiri. However, little did I know that all my plans were about to be turned on their head.
After a long day with the Omaticaya, I came up out of my link chamber to see both of my parents looking at me expectantly.
"What's going on?" I asked tentatively.
"Two things. Both pretty amazing." Dad replied happily, "Which one do you want to tell him?"
"I think we should both have a little bit in each." Mom answered.
"Will someone please tell me what's going on?" I forced the issue.
"Okay, okay. First things first. A representative from Alpha Centauri University called." Dad informed me.
"What did they want?" I inquired.
"They extended you an offer. Full scholarship. They have a new program they're wanting to launch. They want to start recruiting Na'vi, but they need someone to test out the facilities they have built." Mom answered giddily.
"So I'm the beta test for their Na'vi program?" I asked.
"Essentially." Dad said, "But think of the bigger picture, this is what you've wanted. A full ride to ACU, and you get to go immediately. They want you to finish your final year of curriculum there while you begin your college career."
"They want me to skip my third year? That means I'd be leaving in a few weeks. What about my friends? And my deal with the Omaticaya, I haven't finished that yet?" I replied.
"Son, you know you can't stay there forever. Eventually, you have to leave. This is what you've wanted since you got into high school. This is what you've worked so hard for." Dad countered
I looked down to the ground. He was right, I had worked my ass off for this opportunity. But, I didn't truly know if that was what I wanted anymore. "I guess…"
"But, that isn't it, there's something else we need to tell you." Dad said.
"Zac, I know it's only been us for a long time." Mom started, "But, how do you feel about having a sister?"
"It wouldn't be so bad I guess…" I replied, my mind still stuck on my own situation. "Wait, what?"
"Zac, you're going to have a sister." Mom said again.
"But I though… I… how…" I was flabbergasted.
"It's true, I'm too old to have more children. However, my Avatar is still young… and… well…" She let it hang.
"After being with the Tipani for a while, your mother and I finally became a mated pair, in the Na'vi tradition." Dad said, "Quite a remarkable experience. I never quite thought it would carry over to the human side too…"
"I know, it's very… intimate." Mom mirrored his feelings.
"So, your avatar is pregnant?" I extrapolated, "Which means I'm going to have a Na'vi sister?"
"Yep, kiddo." Dad affirmed.
I didn't say anything as I started at my parents. I didn't know what to say, how to express my thoughts on the situation. Honestly, I wasn't quite sure what to think either, "I don't know what to say… I always kinda wanted a sibling, but… wow. I can't wait to see her."
"Neither can we, son. Neither can we."
And I finally get my ass in gear and crank out a new chapter. I hope you all enjoy. Again, thanks for all your reviews, regardless of if you like the story or not. Criticism is always welcomed, I'm always looking to get better.
Thank you all for reading. I hope you enjoyed chapter 7. Please review.