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Old 09-08-2010, 09:01 AM
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Default tiger, tiger, burning bright (Trudy-centric, gen)

TITLE: tiger, tiger, burning bright
RATING: PG-13
WORDS: 1095
CHARACTERS: Trudy Chacon, Norm Spellman, Miles Quaritch, Jake Sully
PAIRINGS: mention of Trudy/Norm
SUMMARY: trudy!centric, contains character death. In 2116, Trudy is born fighting, and she dies not quite thirty-eight years later still fighting; this is a series of snapshots of some of her birthdays in-between.
DISCLAIMER: This world, setting, and most of the characters aren't mine; they belong to James Cameron, and I am merely playing with them.
A/N: The title comes from William Blake's poem The Tiger, and as Trudy is so linked with the tiger (the tiger painted on her Samson, the fight with Quaritch with his Dragon ship alluding to Chinese symbolism), I thought it fitting. Also, first Avatar fanfic I ever wrote (I'm going to be slowly putting the others up).


tiger, tiger, burning bright


Gertrude Maria Chacon is born on August 23, 2116 to Miguel Schuyler (archaeologist) and Alameda Chacon (retired Marine mechanic) and baptised two days later. Her father thinks that religion is useful only in history, her mother is adamant; her grandmother ignores the bickering to give the tiny, two-months-early infant a good luck charm (tiger bone, niña, from the last true-born, because you are a born fighter).

(Trudy doesn’t wear the bead until she’s thirteen, but then she wears it for the rest of her life)

--

For her eighth birthday, Trudy’s father gives her a book on Machu Picchu. An actual paper book, too expensive for a child; she worships it, turns the pages with wide eyes and defends it with tooth and nail and fist the few times Gene tries to steal it.

But when they all finally manage to get to Peru, and it’s just like Texas, no green anywhere even though the book showed her mountains and forests and green, green, green, her ten-year-old brother is the one who tries to cheer her up. But she’s eight, and over-tired, and heartbroken, and in no mood to mollified by candy.

(Momma says, I wish you would stop giving her those books. She doesn’t understand that those pictures are history. She thinks they’re real. She’s only gonna get more disappointed.

Daddy says, Going to.

Then Trudy hears Momma throw something and she pulls the pillow over her head and tries to sleep)

--

On her eighteenth birthday, Trudy enlists with the US Marines. She has in her possession three dollars, a nearly expired train-pass, a tiny gold Bible locket, and a burning desire to get the hell out of New Jersey. Like most story openings, that isn’t actually the full story; she has two years of being a certified mechanic’s apprentice to her name, a second necklace with a bone bead on it, and more reasons than to just skip town.

But she’s pragmatic and good-natured, and there is no use bitching about things she has no control over. ‘Sides, the pay is good, and she’s assured a job, which in this economy is nothing to turn down. Not with family to support.

(and as she’s sent to exotic places to kill instead of going to college, she buys books and sketchbooks and pencils and she always runs out of the greens and blues first)

--

(her twenty-eighth birthday is spent in cyrosleep en route to Pandora)

(it was and wasn’t an easy choice, but even though she’s being sent to fly and fight, at least she’ll fly over forests instead of urban infestations)

--

The day that Trudy thinks of actually being her twenty-eighth birthday is really her thirty-fifth, or possibly her thirty-fourth; she still can’t quite understand the differences between Earth time, Pandora time, and time dilation due to travelling close to the speed of light, and has given up trying. In any case, she doesn’t work out she missed her birthday (again) until three days later. Three birds down, two Samsons (including Trudy’s) and the Scorpion has been destroyed by a Leonopteryx (Toruk, the Na’vi call them, Last Shadow, and isn’t that freaking appropriate), so it is only technically down. It is down in the manner that all aircraft are down, right after they explode.

Her Samson doesn’t explode, doesn’t get torn apart (not like the gunship, the crew eaten like peanuts), merely swung about with most of the landing gear torn off. She doesn’t discover this until she has to land, and the resulting crash fractures her right leg. It’s four in the afternoon, and they are all too far away for help to come anytime before nightfall; they are told to hang on. Help will come in the morning, you have my guarantee, the Colonel tells them over the comm-link; Trudy says, yessir, and goes to load her rifle.

She spends the night of her twenty-eighth birthday (or thirty-fifth. Or thirty-fourth) in the Pandoran jungle, earning every last cent of her hazard pay.

(help comes the following afternoon, because they have to be found first, and none of the ten survivors had any sleep except for those so badly injured they had no choice. She’s exhausted, and in pain, and when she hears a noise she grabs her knife – no more ammo - and bares her teeth with a snarl.

Easy there, tiger, Quartich says, and Trudy says, sir?

That’s right, you can relax now, Chacon.

Yes, sir.)

(the nickname sticks, and Trudy devotes a large portion of her restricted duty due to injury time painting a snarling tiger below her cockpit door)

--

Trudy never makes it to her thirty-eighth birthday. She never wanted to die (she wants to live, she’s not ready to give up breathing and laughing and making Norm blush), but she could never really see herself surviving to that birthday, either. As soon as she breaks Jake and Norm and Grace out of the brig, Trudy knows what she is courting. There is never any question of her not joining the fight, it doesn’t even cross her mind.

She tells Norm that it’s okay to be scared, everyone is in battle, but she also tells him that once the bullets start flying, you stop being scared and start being pissed that the other guys have the nerve to shoot at you. That they have the nerve to shoot at your friends. She means it, every word, and when Trudy flies in to save Jake’s ass, she’s pissed at Quaritch for having the nerve to shoot at him.

But that’s the thing about Marines, isn’t it? You care about your friend’s life more than your own, and do stupid **** like going up against a Dragon Assault Ship while flying a lightly armed Samson.

The annoying thing is, Quaritch gives her time to think about it. Less than twenty seconds, because the windscreen is punctured by bullets (and so is Trudy, but she doesn’t notice, she’ll never notice) and if nothing else, that is enough to kill her, but time enough as her Samson starts to fall through the air on fire. Jake, I’m sorry, but he doesn’t answer, and that it doesn’t feel right. She is starting to black out thanks to the Pandoran air, but she doesn’t want her last words to be a goddamn apology to someone who isn’t even listening.

Norm, I love you, she says, the black swallowing up her vision, and she can hear him shout her name as the world explodes into white and orange and red.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:24 AM
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Read this back on AF, great story.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:25 AM
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<.< Yeah, I'm putting up my stuff on both sites, sorry for the repeat.

But, thaaaaank you!
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:28 PM
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wow, so good that i posted on here and AF very interesting to get to know trudy from a young age. interesting that you mention she likes to draw, because michelle rodriguez does as well (saw it on a video on youtube) great short story
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Old 09-26-2010, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tm20 View Post
wow, so good that i posted on here and ToS very interesting to get to know trudy from a young age. interesting that you mention she likes to draw, because michelle rodriguez does as well (saw it on a video on youtube) great short story
*beams!* thaaaank you so much! I have other stories in my head about young!Trudy, so maybe you'll get to see more of her.

And wow, I didn't know MR liked to draw, too - I based Trudy being an arist on the tiger she has on her Samson. Thought it'd be nice if SHE painted it, and now it's a large part of how I see her.
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:02 AM
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I do like that alot
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Old 09-26-2010, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
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I do like that alot
thank you.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:22 AM
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Trudy <3 nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:35 PM
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I like it... I wish we knew more about Trudy
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Old 11-01-2010, 05:43 AM
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I like it... I wish we knew more about Trudy

Thank you! And yeah, so do I.
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