So, apparently I can't be left alone with comic movies anymore. In addition to "The Trickster's Lot" and "Beauty in the Beasts", my brain decided to give me this little story as well. Yes, this is a pseudo-Avatar/Green Lantern crossover, but only because my OC is a Na'vi. Nothing from James Cameron's movie aside from what's recognizable is from that movie. Hopefully I'll be cosplaying my character within the next year, so we'll see how that goes. Onwards!
She'd always felt that she was born to fly, to soar with her ikran high above the trees of her jungle home, over the vast grassy plains, darting through clouds and waterfalls with all the grace of a dancer. Ina't thanked Eywa every sunrise for the gifts bestowed upon her people, especially the bond between ikran and Na'vi that allowed the Tawkami and the peoples of other clans to take to the skies and feel that much closer to their goddess, to behold the wonders of their world in all their glory. As deeply grateful as Ina't would always be to the Mother-of-All for her gifts, in her heart she'd always longed for the ability to fly on her own. She loved Sen'a, her ikran, as she would her own sister, but that desire had never quite left her mind as she grew into adulthood. Even now, her arms high over her head as the wind cut across her skin and through her hair, she wondered what it would be like to simply will her body into the air.
Sen'a sensed her rider's shift in thought and banked sharply to one side. Ina't tightened her grip with her knees and thighs to keep from falling, laughing good-naturedly. "I am sorry, Sen'a," she said over the howl of the wind as they circled the base of one of the ayram alusing floating serenely in the sky. "Let us rest for a moment." Sen'a chortled her agreement and gripped the rock with her powerful hindquarters, her wing talons quickly following suit.
Ina't took the moment to look at the world below her. The beads and feathers in her hair fell forward as she leaned precariously over her mount's side, no fear for her safety whatsoever. Yes, she thought happily. This is home.
Sen'a's startled cry broke through the Na'vi's reflection of the scenery. The ikran stretched her long neck around the rock to which she clung, pointing at something with her snout. Ina't stroked the blue and copper skin in an attempt to soothe her friend, but stilled when she saw a very strange thing: a light in the sky that outshone the sun itself, a light as green as the leaves of Hometree. It grew brighter for just a moment before dimming to nothing. Ina't's golden eyes remained fixed on the spot, however, waiting to see if it would return. Sen'a snapped her jaws worriedly, just before the green light exploded across Ina't's vision; she raised her arm on instinct to shield her eyes against it should it prove to be harmful. After a long moment of silence, she cracked open one eye and lowered her arm. The light had gone again, leaving all normal and well once more. Except…
Ina't felt a foreign weight on the longest digit of her right hand. She looked down and saw a very odd, heavy ring sitting innocently on her finger. She looked at it in awe, not only of its alien beauty, but the way it pulsed with the same green light she'd just seen. She turned her gaze back to the sky as if it would yield an explanation. None came.
Suddenly, she found herself and Sen'a encased in a ball of that same green glow. She was given no time to react as she felt herself being thrown through the very stars, pulled by some unknown force. She forced herself to block out Sen'a's terror as they flew through a blackness that swallowed everything save for the occasional burst of light from a foreign sun or star cloud. Ina't felt only wonder at the sensation, childishly thinking she might be able to reach out and capture one of those shining stars; one of them lay directly in front of her. She urged Sen'a onward despite the ikran's fear. The star grew larger and brighter as they approached it; it was the same color as the light that surrounded the Na'vi and her mount. And then…nothing.
Ina't felt only vaguely aware of herself in the surrounding darkness. She could not see her hands or feet even though she commanded them to move. She did not know how long the utter blackness would last, her thoughts as wispy and weak as the mists at the foot of a waterfall. She did not feel afraid, but she did worry for something…something close to her heart…
She snapped awake as she remembered Sen'a, shouting the name when she no longer felt their spirits bonded in tsaheylu. What could have ripped them apart? Was she safe? How could she have forgotten her bonded wing-sister? She sat upright and looked around for any sign of Sen'a, but found only a very strange, unnatural room. Her initial fear for Sen'a briefly gave way to her innate disgust at her abnormal surroundings; these things were not made by Eywa's hand. A voice cut through her erratic thoughts, a soft male voice that possessed no ill-will. "You are safe, my friend. There is no cause for alarm."
Ina't leapt from the altar-like structure she had been sitting upon and reached for her bow. Her alarm grew when her hand closed over air, her beloved weapon nowhere in sight. She found the source of the voice in a very strange being that resembled a fish, but walked upright like her. His head was orange like the fruits of her Hometree, but his body was black and the same green as the mysterious sky-light. She had never seen anything like this creature, but she couldn't help to think him beautiful. Her admiration did not mean she would let her guard down, however. "Where is Sen'a? Tell me now!"
"Oh, you must mean your winged beast," the alien said gently. "I assure you it is perfectly safe. Although it did put up quite a fight when it first awakened."
Ina't let her body relax only slightly at his words; there was no lie in his eyes or voice. "You speak with the tongue of the Tawkami."
"No, that is your ring's translation system. It automatically converts any language to one which the wearer understands most easily."
She looked down to the ring that had alighted on her hand and recoiled in shock. Her entire body had been covered in the same shining green and black that the being before her now wore; even the symbol on her chest matched his. She tried to pull the stuff away from her skin but it refused to come off. She backed into one of the walls, still scratching at her arms, when the fish-like being approached quickly. "You're safe, I promise you! You'll hurt yourself if you keep it up." He grasped her wrists and held them away from her, not to entrap her, but to keep her from harming herself. She forced herself to calm down and take stock of her situation. A deep breath and one last prayer to Eywa stilled her mind and body. The creature released her arms and stepped back to give her space to breathe. "My name is Tomar-Re of sector 2813. What is your name?"
She met his gaze and found only kindness. "I am Ina't…of the Tawkami."
"Very nice to meet you, Ina't. Welcome to Oa, home of the Green Lantern Corps. Now, would you like to come fly with me?"
Ina't watched with rapt fascination as he lifted into the air without any aid that she could see. He flew through the large opening at one side of the chamber and motioned for her to follow. Still riddled with apprehension, she did…and stopped at the edge that looked over a city more vast and strange than any she could ever imagine. If she took one more step, would she fall to her death…or would her impossible dream become reality? One way to find out…
She'd flown. She'd FLOWN! Standing now before the ancient beings that called themselves the Guardians, Ina't could scarcely contain her elation at having experienced her first solitary flight. Her mind still raced, itching to be back in the air again. The diminutive creatures, swaddled in long robes the color of blood, explained in greater detail what the Green Lantern Corps stood for, as well as the source of the ring's power. She understood the general idea, but she wanted to fly. She'd always had difficulty forcing herself to listen to theory rather than actually go out and do it, a trait that did not entirely endear her as a child to her teachers. Apparently she did not hide her anticipation well enough from at least one Guardian; the female dismissed her from the chamber, though not unkindly.
Ina't took flight once more, joined shortly by her new friend Tomar-Re. He laughed easily with her in her joy and matched her nimble twirls and flips with ease. He led her to a room in a high tower much like the one in which she had awakened. "Sen'a!" she cried happily, seeing her old friend safe and unharmed. The ikran responded in kind with a sharp whistle and outstretched wings. Ina't wrapped her arms around Sen'a's long neck and pressed her cheek against the cool, rough skin. "Let us return to Hometree and show them what we have seen!"
"That may not be very wise," Tomar-Re said hesitantly as she leapt onto her ikran's back and made tsaheylu. "You may want to take it slows when you reach home. Many Lanterns have found that their families need a period of adjustment; some never reveal their true identities to anyone outside of Oa."
Ina't waved his warning away without a thought. Her people would not react so poorly; she looked down at her ring and willed it to take her back to her people. Within mere moments her eyes lighted once again on the floating mountains and lush valleys and jungles of home.
Her choice to ignore Tomar-Re's advice would be one she would regret for the rest of her life. Not only were her people shocked by her new ability and 'uniform' (as the Guardians had called it), but they called her acceptance into the Corps a corruption of the will of Eywa. There had never been nor ever would be a need for something like her amongst the Tawkami; only their Olo'eyktan and Eywa herself could dispense justice and punishment within the clan, not some foreign tribe that had never set foot on kifkey Eywa'evengä. They could not tear Sen'a away, but they did rip away her weapons and jewelry from her body. The beautiful feathered armband made for her by her mother's mother, the jeweled skin that protected her flesh from the snap of her bowstring, even the beads and feathers meticulously woven into her flowing hair were all taken. They allowed her to keep only Sen'a and the cloth that covered the place between her legs. She turned a tearful gaze to her father and mother, but they said nothing in her defense. Because of her exposure to a race outside of Eywa's embrace and the blasphemous powers they gave to her, Ina't found herself without a home, a family, and no longer one of the Tawkami.
It was with a shattered heart she returned with Sen'a to Oa, desperate for a friendly face and voice. She did not see her ring flash as she thought of Tomar-Re. As soon as he came into her sight she flung her arms around him, their height difference not so great as to cause either discomfort. The fact that he did not say 'I told you this might happen' or berate her for not heeding his earlier warning cemented his place in her heart. He stayed with her on a high cliff, Sen'a at their backs, until her eyes went dry and her limbs relaxed in exhaustion. He then took her to what appeared to be a dwelling of some sort. He explained that the place once belonged to the Lantern whose ring she had inherited; he had been killed in a confrontation with a band of thieves near her home world. He'd only rarely stayed in his home on Oa, preferring a warmer planet populated with firepits and boiling oceans. He told her she could live here if she so chose, at least until she found another world that would accept her. She felt a twinge of discomfort at the thought of living in the domicile of a recently-deceased Lantern, but what choice did she have when her own people had disowned her? It is no worse than wearing his ring, the rational side of her brain told her.
It had taken her days to collect herself enough to seek out Tomar-Re once again, let alone fly. He encouraged her to begin meeting her fellow Lanterns and start honing her skills with the ring. He'd started introducing her to some of the others (Kilowog, Sendrina, Abin Sur, and Apros first) until she regained her confidence and began venturing out on her own. It was when she had just met a small Lantern, more insect than anything else, that she found herself in the presence of a being that stole her breath and stopped her heart. Having seen all manner of creatures and new life on Oa, it was not the deep magenta color of his flesh or the elongated shape of his skull that made her look at him twice: it was his eyes. Golden like hers, they brimmed with strength, intelligence, and iron-clad will. She felt like a child when she met those eyes, a heat she'd never experienced fanning over her skin from the pit of her stomach to the top of her head. He called himself Sinestro.
Ina't later recounted the feeling to Tomar-Re as the day drew to a close, to which he'd burst into a bout of laughter that left her confused by the reaction. After he'd calmed himself did he offer one possibility for her experience in Sinestro's presence: "My friend, have you fallen in love with Sinestro?" He laughed again when she did not answer straight away, prompting her to smack him on the chest until he agreed to stop teasing her. She quickly changed the subject to stave off her embarrassment. Really, how could she fall in love with someone after just one short meeting?
Just before she fell asleep that night, Sen'a ever at her side, she let her mind wander back to the enigmatic Lantern that had inadvertently captured her thoughts. She would not tell anyone else of this feeling lest they mock her in earnest unlike Tomar-Re. She held the image of his eyes in her mind until sleep fully claimed her in her new dwelling.
Ina't would come to regret her naïveté not only regarding her blossoming feelings for Sinestro, but everything about the Lanterns, the Guardians, and her place amongst them. Oddly enough, that regret would come to a head shortly after the recruitment of the first human into the Corps, one who would become more a brother to her than any of the Tawkami had ever been: Hal Jordan of sector 2814.
For those of you who I may have thrown off with weird vocabulary, here are the translations: ikran = the banshees Neytiri and Jake ride in Avatar. Tawkami = an actual jungle-dwelling tribe (according the the Avatar DS game) on Pandora who prefer the search for knowledge and truth to war. Aryam alusing = the floating mountains, also known as the Hallelujah Mountains. Tsaheylu = the bond between Na'vi and other creatures formed by connecting their queues (the nerves hidden in their long braids). Olo'eyktan = the male leader of the Na'vi clans. Kifkey Eywa'evengä = "the world of Eywa's children", as confirmed by Paul Frommer, creator of the Na'vi language. This is the Na'vi name for Pandora. The title Kiyevame is also a Na'vi word loosely meaning "goodbye". Ina't is also a "real" Na'vi name; Sen'a is my own creation. Oh, and the Lanterns Ina't meets first are real Lanterns in the GL mythos :)