Desperate Tsahaylu

Jake felt the press of time - which was scant, and rapidly running out - collapsing in on him. He was starting to feel like he couldn't breathe beneath the weight of his knowledge of what must be done. He felt the inquisitive murmurs rising in Tsyal'tsmukan's mind, flowing into his own as his Ikran noticed his edginess and began to respond to it.

Jake sighed, closing his eyes in remembered pain, showing Tsyal'tsmukan what had happened, and what he had to do to prove to the Na'vi that he was trying to help them, that he truly felt himself one of them. He showed what the RDA would do to the na'rìng, to the Na'vi, to everything on Pandora - to the very ground, water and air.

Tsyal'tsmukan recoiled mentally, shocked and horrified. Jake instantly attempted to soothe him, assuring him that was what he was trying to prevent - what he would do anything to stop.

Jake took several deep breaths to fortify himself before showing Tsyal'tsmukan what he was planning - he didn't particularly like it any more than he suspected his Ikran would. Within seconds, he felt disgust rising in the mind connected to his, and heard Tsyal'tsmukan snort in annoyance. Jake soothed him again, and this time he fought it, tossing his head in irritation as he fought his way higher in the thick air.

Jake pushed his own - rather conflicting - feelings on the matter through their Tsahaylu, and the somewhat chilly emotional air dissipated a little as Tsyal'tsmukan snorted again; he understood, he just didn't like it. Jake echoed the snort - he didn't either.

Tsyal'tsmukan shrieked, rising smoothly as high as he could manage - they'd need every scrap of advantage they could get to pull this off.

Jake spotted a great Toruk, recognizing it as the one that had chased him and Neytiri through the na'rìng, and felt a frisson of anxiety jolt through his system. It was an old, familiar feeling, however, and one he knew how to master.

As Tsyal'tsmukan slid into position, adding his own knowledge of hunting on the wing - not to mention his memories of fleeing from and avoiding Toruk - to Jake's strategies, and coming up with the best spot for Jake to attempt his insane plan, Jake forced himself to let go of the fear, channeling it into sharpening his senses and reflexes.

Jake thought something akin to 'wish me luck' at Tsyal'tsmukan, and received a huffy little burst of emotion in return. Jake translated it into something resembling a 'you had better be right' and chuckled as he disconnected his queue.

In the same instant, Tsyal'tsmukan sideslipped and ducked a wing into the perfect position for Jake to push off from, which he did, falling into a spread-eagled plummet, much like the one he had learned for catching himself in the na'rìng.

He landed with a thump that knocked the wind out of his chest fiercely as he slid across the rough skin of the great predator, but he didn't have time to recover. Jake was already moving by the time it registered, gasping rapidly in an attempt to reinflate his lungs as he snatched calculatedly at one of the Toruk's antennae.

Toruk dove, attempting to shake the irritant off, and Jake spread out again, trying to reduce his own wind resistance as he held tightly to the antenna he'd caught, shifting to grasp it with both hands.

It took several tries, but Jake kept calm, and eventually he was stable enough to make Tsahaylu with the great creature. He took a deep breath - as deep as he could manage in this rush - and linked his queue to Toruk's antenna.

If he had thought that the plummeting dive on a creature trying to dislodge him was bad, now he was caught up in the windstorm that was Toruk's mind, which was fighting him as no other had.

Jake felt his lungs pressing out any air still in them, his eyes going wide and sightless, and his hands beginning to slip nervelessly from their grip, but none of it registered fully - all of his concentration was bound up in Tsahaylu, fighting for control.

Tsahaylu with Toruk was certainly not like anything Jake could have imagined.

If making Tsahaylu with his Tsyal'tsmukan for the first time had been like coming home, and the Pa'li had been like a firm kick, this, this was like a battle fought inside a storm - throwing him about with abandon and trying to destroy him.

There would be no lasting bond made with Toruk, even if Jake's crazy plan worked.

Jake found himself being glad, in a small corner of his mind. He had his Ikran, and Tsyal'tsmukan was a far better partner than Toruk could ever be. Jake would not want to replace the Ikran with Toruk - assuming he even survived this first Tsahaylu!

He had a flash of inspiration, and - as briefly as he could manage - lessened his fight in the Tsahaylu to beg Eywa for help, on behalf of her children, the Na'vi and all other life on Pandora.

Having done that, he shoved everything he knew about the RDA's plan - one which would destroy the Omatikaya, followed by the rest of the Na'vi, and probably the entirety of Pandora as well - through the Tsahaylu into Toruk's mind. The backlash stung, but he forced the transfer through - not failing to note how much more difficult it was to show Toruk than it was to share something with Tsyal'tsmukan.

After a moment's thought, he added his knowledge of the RDA's mad quest for the Unobtanium, the things he had heard them planning - and seen them do - praying that Eywa would hear him as well, and that the Toruk would grasp some of the urgency - the importance - behind his mission.

Toruk shrieked, and the noise jarred Jake down to his very bones, but he felt acceptance in both the noise and the mind now joined - though uncomfortably so - to his own. Jake took advantage of the fact that he was no longer fighting a mental battle or crushed by the force of the heavy Pandoran air and dragged in several deep breaths.

Jake momentarily recalled the feeling of the attempted muntxa Tsahaylu with Neytiri, and snorted at the thought that perhaps it had helped prepare him for this, which was far less in the way of actual pain - it was simply not comfortable, not natural for him.

As he straightened, getting to a better seat now that Toruk was no longer attempting to dislodge him, he informed the great beast where they were needed. Toruk acknowledged him and changed course. Jake sighed in relief, then started as he felt a fleeting, motherly voice - most definitely not Toruk - reassuring him faintly, whispering through his mind. He began to truly believe that he could pull this off - that they could win!


I don't know if Jake's Ikran had a name in the movie, as I can't hear it in the movie or find it online. Thus, I created one - it's probably unwieldy, but there you are.

Na'vi Translations:
(All come from learnnavi-com)

Tsyal'tsmukan [ʦjal 'ʦ] n. Wing-brother
(words combined by me, but come from learnnavi-com)

Toruk ['to.ɾuk] n. Great leonopteryx ("last shadow")

I am so sorry it took me so long to get this up - I went through a week where I couldn't edit anything, and then my Beta was mad at me and couldn't/wouldn't work on stuff for me. Unfortunately, I have no idea how long it will be until I post the fifth and final part, as it is being stubborn and hard to write - on the plus side, I do, however, have several half-finished one-shots that were supposed to be part five of Tsahaylu and didn't work out.