Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the "Avatar" universe, that honor belongs to Mr. Cameron. I absolutely adore the movie and respect the work that was done to make it what it is. This story is my own and every effort is made to be true to the creatures, traditions and citizens of Pandora. My thanks in advance for any reviews!
Fire erupted all around her as she scrambled for the exit from the Hometree. Smoke filled her lungs as her body screamed for fresh air. Coughing, she could barely see those around her. A hand grabbed her wrist and pulled her forward towards the exit. She tripped, but was quickly lifted up and urged onwards. The terrified screams of her brothers and sisters filled the smoky air, making her ears ring to the point of pain. Gun fire roared over head as she stumbled out of the tree. The female that had grabbed her hand and led her to safety was quickly shot down by a bullet. Her chest heaved as she the bullet tore through her, punching a hole in her chest.
Screaming she ran from her fallen saviour and sprinted towards the jungle. A massive snap cracked through the air and she turned, seeing the tree tilting dangerously. With a final blast from the skypeople, the tree gave way and began to fall. Her eyes opened wide she turned and ran, pushing her legs to move faster. Just as she dove into the safety of a ditch, the tree fell to the ground and blocked out her view of the sky.
She clasped her hands over her ears and wept. "Eywa!"
Her eyes opened and she realized she was safe in the new Hometree. The hammock swaddled her like a child as her memories returned to her. It was just a dream, a memory that haunted her every night when she jumped into her hammock. Sadly, she stretched and opening the hammock before leaping to a nearby branch. The sun touched her beautiful blue skin as it was filtered by the mass of leaves above her. The sun warmed her face and she smiled despite her deep and lingering sadness. She entered the trunk of the tree and greeted her fellow Omaticayans.
Nearest the base of the huge tree was a huge audience chamber than had more than enough room for the entire clan. There she found most of the clan seated and enjoying the morning meal. She took her seat with some of the other single na'vi and solemnly looked around at her kin. Mothers' sat with their children, looking at each other lovingly. She smiled seeing a young na'vi throw some of his meal at a nearby male.
"I see you Ma'tirea!"
She turned and saw her friend had joined her. "I see you Rina'rey." Her friend for years, Rina'rey was one of the few that were close to her that had survived the attack on their Hometree.
The female smiled and happily began to eat. "You have an admirer sister!" She said between gluttonous bites of her meal.
"What do you mean?"
"Tsu'tey is looking right at you." Her friend whispered happily, fighting to hold back her laughter. Ma'tirea looked to the front of the group and spotted the imposing and angry looking male glaring right at her. She felt uncomfortable as they locked eyes and he made no attempt to look elsewhere. She had seen him before and was almost positive that the male had never smiled so she was not surprised he wasn't now. Whenever he crossed her path in the past he looked as though he was angry at everyone, like he could strike at a moments notice. But she guessed that was part of the reason why he had become such a well respected warrior.
Ma'tirea swallowed hard and turned her gaze back to her meal, convinced another female around her had caught his attention. Rina'rey nudged her and smiled warmly.
"Come sister, let's get an early start to today's training!"
Before she was given a chance to respond, the eager female grabbed her forearm and pulled her up effortlessly. Her kin were chatting amongst themselves happily as they made their way to the naturally carved exit. Ma'tirea looked back quickly at the angry male before she was pulled outside by her excited friend.
Laughing, the two females ran towards the clearing that was commonly used by training na'vi. Ma'tirea beat Rina'rey to the clearing and smiled mockingly at the panting female. "Come sister, you are getting slow!" Rina'rey darted around her and tossed a ball of mud at Ma'tirea which splattered over her shoulder. As she cleaned the mud of her, Rina'rey appeared holding two simple training bows and they headed to the range. Rina'rey stood back as Ma'tirea planted her feet in the ground and took aim at the target. She pulled the bow string back and released the arrow, which hit the outer-most ring of the target.
Ma'tirea sighed and turned to her friend. "Any male who took interest in me would be rolling on the ground laughing!"
"Your too hard on yourself sister, try again."
She grabbed another arrow and took aim, this time striking the wooden legs that held the target up. Ma'tirea hissed in frustration, flipping her long navy hair from her face. She stepped forward and pulled her arrows from the thick wood of the target. Rina'rey left to get more arrows, leaving her to examine the pathetic marks she had made on the target. Sighing heavily she traced her fingers over the notches. She was not sure why she hadn't given up, she was clearly not a skilled warrior having not landed a decent shot yet. Rina'rey returned with an arm load of arrows, having realized they were in for a long day.
She stood before the target again, arrow and bow in hand. Before she had a chance to take aim and steady her arm, Tsu'tey emerged from the trees were she guessed he had been watching all along. She stood looking at him, their eyes locked as he approached Rina'rey. He took the bundle of arrows from her and nodded for her to leave. She looked at Ma'tirea, clearly more than a little surprised but listened to the warrior and left them alone.
"I-I see you warrior Tsu'tey." She stammered and silently hoped it would not offend him.
"I see you female."
She tried to bite her tongue. "My name is Ma'tirea." She spoke in annoyance, not averting her eyes as he glared at her. She refused to buckle under his gaze, already fed up with his anger and not willing to submit to any more of it. He roughly handed her an arrow, "Hit the target and maybe I will try to remember your name female."
She took the arrow reluctantly and aimed her shot at the battered target a few feet away. Tsu'tey huffed in frustration and moved closer to her, his unexpected movement making Ma'tirea break her stance and turn to face him.
"I need to correct your stance, take aim."
She did as he instructed, fighting back a growl. Roughly he pushed against her and she moved against his weight. "Your entire body must be strong, hold your ground!" She adjusted her stance and he continued, hitting her arm in an attempt to make her stumble. He nodded and she fired, hitting closer to the center then she ever had before. Ma'tirea could not help but smile, it was an improvement. She looked to Tsu'tey and was disappointed to see his frown remained, clearly he was still not impressed or satisfied with her effort.
"Training with the loud female will not make you a great warrior and hunter."
She turned to him, ignoring his jab at her friend to avoid arguing with him. "Train me then."
Taking the bow from her angrily, he said nothing at first. Ma'tirea sighed and turned to leave. Hearing her soft footsteps he looked up to see her leaving. Atokirina descended from the trees around him and followed Ma'tirea. "Female."
She turned, not expecting him to answer her. "Yes warrior?"
He sighed heavily, more than certain he would regret this later. "Be here tomorrow morning before the sun rises and do not make me regret taking you on as a pupil!"
Though he had stuck an open threat in at the end, he had still agreed to teach her and with any luck she would become worthy of an ikran and her place in the clan. She smiled back to him, catching him off guard as he was sure the threat would anger her. "I will see you then teacher."
Tsu'tey stood in the clearing holding the bow as the mouthy female walked away. Though Neytiri assured him she had spent her entire life among them, he had not noticed her among the others until the morning meal that day. She sat next to the loud female that always tried his temper, calmly eating her meal and nodding to her friend. He pondered, Ma'tirea was certainly different than the other young, still single na'vi. Unlike the other females who were trying to attract mates, she wore no decorations in her hair and a wrap style top that covered her bosom instead of the more common string of leaves with a matching loincloth that covered her bottom. Strapping the bow to the back of the target, he wondered if he could make a warrior out of her yet.