This is my first attempt at a female OC. People seem to be much harder on them and I sincerely hope this one does not turn out to be Mary Sue-ish! MORE WILL BE EXPLAINED NEXT CHAPTER. Please enjoy the story and leave constructive criticism if possible! Thank you!
I remember asking mother how I would know if I'd found true love. She told me that true love is when one person becomes whole tribe. In that moment, that one person would matter more than the tribe, and you would give up everything to be with them. If love took you away from the tribe, so be it. That person would be everything.
I had not understood her then; how could one person become my entire tribe? I loved my family and my tribe. In fact, my tribe was my entire world. I couldn't fathom how one person could replace all of that. Thus, from a very young age, I'd decided to stay away from true love. I wanted to be a sensible girl, and having one person become whole tribe seemed not only impossible, but impractical.
I grew up picking berries. The warrior life was alien to me. There was a time when I was forced to make a decision- to become warrior or home tender. Like most of the other girls, I'd chosen the bow and arrow. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. My body rejected the weapon. I could not hold it, feeling faint every time I did.
Father said it wasn't my fault. It was Eywa's will, and eventually it would make sense. So, I immersed myself in the live of a scavenger. I picked berries and fruits, tended the fires, cooked for the warriors and mended their armor. It was not a satisfying life. I was at the very bottom of the pecking order. Whenever a feast was called, I and the other berry pickers would always be the last to eat.
The others did not seem to mind. "They protect us since we cannot fight," my sister Ma'hi said as she mended a warrior's headdress. Her nimble fingers were weaving slender vines and grasses together into an intricate design. "You should not expect to be treated with anything more, Yishat. You did not wish to become a warrior, so you should not be complaining."
I shot her an indignant glare. "I did not decide to be a home tender, Ma'hi."
"Yes, yes. Eywa decided for you. We've heard this so many times already, sister. Let's forget about this and finish your basket. You will never hear the end of it if you don't." Her long hair fell over her bony shoulder as she said this. It glittered with her health. Ma'hi would not be with me for much longer. She had reached her full age and her beauty was blossoming. Her chest grew suppler and her hips grew larger. Those eyes of hers glowed like the moon. Soon she would leave our family to mate. I would do the same, but for now I had no chances of mating. My chest was flat and my hair dull. No Na'vi would mate with me now, and it was a good thing. My sister would soon be weighed down by children, and her hair would loose its glimmer, her face would fall. I smiled.
The basket that lay on my lap was poorly made. I had not been paying attention and my fingers must have slipped often, for ridges and gaps formed in the weaving. It would do no good. Sometimes I wished I could curse Eywa. I felt suppressed here.
Ma'hi and I sat upon the ground in front of Hometree, the lazy afternoon air tickling our faces. There was nothing wrong with this particular Hometree, but I knew everyone longed for the old one. We took much time to adjust to this new Hometree. Everything from the view outside to the space between the fibers of the wood within was different. Yet no one complained, for it was Eywa's will. She was swallowing the last slimmer of light, and soon she would bring the darkness. Insects buzzed here and there, but otherwise, the atmosphere resembled a pot of sap- thick and stifling.
Then the air broke with the sound of hooves, yells and laughter. The hunting party was back. Slowly, several Na'vi emerged from the tree to greet the warriors. In haste, I looked for a place to hide my faulty basket before it could be discovered. Ma'hi grinned at me. The warriors broke out of the forest, hauling a large boar. It was dropped in front of us, several eyes watching. All of a sudden, everything was silent. My breathing quickened- this had never happened before! Why were they all looking at us?
However, my sister seemed to know exactly what was going on. She pulled her knife from its pouch and began to slice open the stomach of the beast, murmuring thanks and blessings as she did so. The warriors nodded with approval. My heart clenched. They were testing her. One warrior with a distinctly long tail began to look her up and down. If I remembered correctly, his name was A'mari'k. He was a bit dumb in my opinion. Some of the other girls often joked about his tail, and what a nuisance it surely would be during mating.
More and more I began to feel uncomfortable. There began a tickling at the back of my throat, and my skin bristled. Something was wrong. The Na'vi peopled had returned to their daily tasks after rejoicing over the catch, and the warriors were looking at me now. I was kneeling on the ground whilst they towered over me. The tallest warrior, Tsu'tey, grinned at me with his full set of teeth. "How old are you now, Yishat?"
My eyes narrowed but I kept my composure. "I see you, mighty warrior. I am two moons younger than my sister."
"Why, then you are both around the same age! And you have not tamed your own Ikran yet?" Tsu'tey's eyes darted towards his hunting party, and they broke out in laughter. Ma'hi halted her knife and looked at me with pity. She bonded with her Ikran just a few nights ago, and that was when her hand became sought after by many Na'vi.
"So what?" I ventured, hoping to not let my horror show through. Tsu'tey never spoke to me often, and when he did it was always to compare me to my sister. I had long since grown tired of his remarks. It was all because of that one time he ate a mouthful of sour fruit. He'd spit them out and demanded to know who picked them. No one said anything, but he seemed to know it was me. I rose on shaky legs, and prayed to Eywa that he would not notice. He did.
"Well, young Yishat… To put it kindly, you seem to be lacking Eywa's gifts." His hunting party sobered up behind him. They looked towards each other with some worry. Even I knew something was not right with Tsu'tey today. He was not usually like this, yet everyone kept silent. Ever since Tsu'tey lost his position as next in line to become tribe leader, he'd grown very sour. Now he exploded at just about everything. I held my tongue and backed off, hoping he would leave. Instead, he continued, "you are neither a warrior nor a home tender, for you pick sour berries, are clumsy with a knife and can't even weave a basket! What kind of na'vi are you?"
Flushed, I kicked my ruined basket towards a bush, causing raucous laughter to erupt from the warrior men. I knew my face had reddened. A'mari'k once said that Ma'hi's face looked like the face of Eywa when she blushed. I looked away and tried to control my breathing. Ma'hi had finished with removing the hide from the animal and was looking upon me with something akin to amusement. I cleared my throat, causing Tsu'tey's eyes to widen just slightly in anticipation. I opened my mouth but could not find anything to say. Countless options blurred together in my mind. Should I hit him? Should I spit at him? Maybe put a little Sourapple in his ale? Yes, that would be funny indeed. Tsu'tey, the mighty warrior, confined to his bed with his bowels turned to water!
But instead I just turned away and strode into the Hometree.
Father slapped me across the face. "Stupid girl!" He shouted, spit flying in the air. "I hear you've offended the warriors. Do you have any idea…" He raised his hand to strike again, but mother pulled him aside. "My love, I see you." she hushed, stroking his face. "Calm, calm."
My lip had begun to quiver with the promise of tears. I could not blame my father. Ever since his hunting accident that had left his arms useless, he'd looked onto me and my sister to carry on our family name. It was important to him that we did not embarrass ourselves, as sometimes he saw us as mirrors of himself. My sister and I were his contacts with the outside world. Whatever we did, it would somehow find its way back to him, and he would praise or punish accordingly. Mother gave me a look as she restrained father, and I knew it meant to run. I was familiar with this routine. Father would calm down eventually and I could return. It would be as if nothing had ever happened. Father was strange that way.
I gathered my things and stumbled out of a crack in the trunk, and maneuvered down a series of branches. I had just begun to feel balanced again when I almost ran into none other than Tsu'tey and A'mari'k. The latter Na'vi did not seem to notice me. He was holding a bunch of flowers and had a songbird in his hand, and was dressed in his best furs. His face bore a lost expression. With a pang of jealousy, I knew what he was about to do. Tsu'tey gave me a cursory glance and turned away towards his friend, dismissing me completely. At that moment I wished Eywa had granted me the ability to wield a bow and arrow. For then, not that I would be able to impress Tsu'tey, but I would be able to shoot an arrow right into that head of his and watch his life blood run down his back.
Again, if anyone is confused, MORE WILL BE EXPLAINED NEXT CHAPTER. This chapter is really a scene-setter, if you will. The next chapter will be much longer than this one, with more information on the tribe's daily life and the introduction of Yishat's friends. No, these are not cannon scenarios. I will be making up a lot of things as I go, and hopefully they will make sense.
Jake and Neytriri will appear next chapter, and all should be explained. Please remember to review, though! Reviewcookies are good.