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Old 03-11-2012, 09:33 PM
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I'm going to post it here since I actually *wasn't* even finished writing it yet and I feel like it was overpowering the Dreams thread. It's a fic in the sense that it's a story about Avatar, but I'm no writer and there's probably no way I could've imagined this on my own.

I've had no shortage of vivid dreams, but they've vaguely followed the same parameters as the ones I've outlined here before (Meetup Pandora dreams, in some form or another). Last night was no rehashing of past material, however.
I was a character who looked like myself, but was very apparently not me. I was working with the RDA at the same time the plot of Avatar was going on. I, similarly to Jake, was there through no real talent of my own. Someone with a genome not identical, but similar to mine (my older sister) had an Avatar. She didn't die, but decided she no longer wanted the job, thinking she'd be afraid and homesick and that it was not worth it (of course, this breach of the contract didn't come without repercussions). I asked to take her place, but was at first refused, understandably, since any link would probably be a cluster****. Then, some sort of arrangement was made in which I'd go whether or not a link was successful. I was going to be paid about half as much as what my sister would've, but I didn't care at all, though I wasn't caught up with the idea of visiting an alien world, and I didn't have any strong personal feelings about Pandora or even know much about it. I wasn't acting as myself, but it also wasn't all as passive as watching someone else do things through first person. It felt like I was this individual.

I get there, get acquainted with my contemporaries, and they're nice enough. I work in a storage facility driving some kind of fork lift thing for a long time, not sure how long as the timescale in dreams is always a little wacky. Then, I finally get the call to try out my sister's avatar. She must not have looked like me, since the avatar really looked nothing like me. All those preliminary exercises Jake so easily and forcefully breezed through took me hours. Every minute I was in the avatar was agonizing, like physical therapy, and this went on for another long expanse of time. The best comparison I can make is that it was like my whole body was zipped up in some kind of loose puppet, and I was expected to function as well or even better in it than I did normally. One day, I was given a short and relatively easy task of the same nature as my other jobs (tedious repetitive manual labor type jobs). All I had to do was go to Grace's abandoned school and collect all the books and things that were left behind. General RDA wanted to tear it down, but the science people wanted to retrieve the items that had been left behind. I felt pretty good in my avatar compared to how it had been before, so I wasn't really worried about it. If anything, I was more than glad to get away from the storage facility.

Well, in the dream, the difficulty moving was definitely the result of my avatar not really being "mine". Everybody else had their problems sorted out the first day, whereas I was still stumbling around maybe a month later, and it never did really get fixed. I was flown close to the school and given this rolling bin type thing to pull behind me. It was slow going, but I reached the school soon. It looked the same as it did in the movie, but there were more shelves and other books. I took down the mobile of Alpha Centauri and started loading up books. I saw The Lorax with the other kid books I dropped into the bin. On the next two shelves were higher level textbooks that had very little wear, as though they'd never been used. Just as I was about to reach for the top shelf, I heard a rustling outside. Remembering the horror stories I'd heard about wild Pandora, I left the bin and darted under a wide table, jabbing the side of my head on the corner in my clumsy movement. As I waited, a na'vi male came inside and was startled by the book bin, as though he recognized it as out of place. He rummaged through it, opening one of the books. Then, to my astonishment, he continued my job of loading up the bin. When he was done, he looked around the room once more before pulling my bin out the door with him. Part of me wanted to leap out and demand to know what he was doing, but I knew any such demand would fail and so would any attempt at leaping. After he was gone, I struggled out of my contorted position and slowly made my way back to the samson. Everybody was thoroughly pissed off that I had failed my first assignment, and it didn't help that I'd lost a bin as well. I didn't get to go out at all for a long time after that.

I don't know exactly what they thought I should've done. The real scientists all of course had background knowledge of the na'vi language and culture. Maybe they would've acted differently in my situation. A little while after this all happened, I kind of made a friend. His name was Craig, and in his spare time, he taught me about the na'vi-- nothing formal, just little morsels of information here and there. In time, I was allowed to go out once more.

My next assignment was in a group, so others could watch out for me I guess. We had found a sacred tree which didn't seem to be associated with any clan, so the others proceeded to take readings, samples, photos, etc. I was mostly around to carry gear. It was then that it specifically occurred to me how absurd it was that I'd been assigned to manual labor each time. Didn't they remember that I practically had some form of palsy? I continued holding some smaller cases, not wanting to bend down, fearing I'd have some sort of weird spasm. I only stepped around to the other side of the group to see what was going on. Lacy green tendrils around the roots were being collected and zipped in plastic bags, and the same needle Grace used in the movie was used, seemingly to withdraw something from the roots themselves. Suddenly, I heard a gruff shout behind me.

Everyone looks up towards me in horror. Before I have time to react, somebody roughly restrained me, one arm around my neck and the other hand gripping my braid, pulling hard. I dropped everything I was holding instantly. "You no belong here!" a deep voice belted. "This land of Pe'txayo! Leave now!" I suddenly came to my senses and tried to thrash around and protest. The others hesitated, but after the warriors threatened to put arrows in them, agreed to leave. "Tell skypeople to leave, we free this one." The look of horror I'd seen before crossed one of their faces. "You can't, we can't make everybody leave!" Craig said (I forgot to mention this before, he's an avatar driver and was with us). I don't know why I didn't say anything. Maybe it wouldn't have made a difference, but I could've at least tried, made some attempt to defend myself. I was roughly escorted away, down hills rippling with large roots and covered with thick vines. I was held in the same way as before, by my braid and with a hand on my neck. I briefly considered escaping. If he's only got me by my hair, I can probably escape! No. I was stumbling all the way, tripping with every other step just briskly walking. Even attempting to break away would be asking for trouble. As I was thinking this, the land flattened out and became more even. Finally, without my attention fixed on my steps, I looked ahead. There were two men, not including the individual restraining me. Without explanation, all three stopped. One of the men turned towards me with a fibrous rope in his hands, and I instantly remembered him from the school. "You stole all the books, and my bin too!" I accused. The other man, who looked older, said something in na'vi and gestured towards me. The first continued over to me and tied my hands together behind my back. I tried to explain why I needed the books, but he only shushed me and said we weren't allowed to talk.

Later, I'm locked inside a hut made of sticks in a room with a very low ceiling. "Hey, I need to talk to somebody!" I loudly shouted. The man from the school came to the door, peeking in at me through the gaps between the sticks. He shushed me again, and I quietly asked why I was being held. He said the plan was to keep me as a hostage until all the skypeople had left. I tried to explain that I was no important figure and it probably wouldn't work, but he seemed skeptical to say the least and told me the others wouldn't give up so easily. Then, I mentioned the books again and asked why he had taken them. "I read them." he stated plainly. "You can read?" I asked in disbelief. He said that he had been to some other school for a short period of time, but was very vague about it. He had mostly taught himself to read after this school was destroyed in some way. Sounded like a very unlikely coincidence to me, but I ignored it for the time. He said he'd heard about an abandoned school near the Omaticaya clan and thought he'd try to salvage some things. "Reading has opened the door to another world, a door which I never want closed. Reading was the very first step, but there's more I want to know." (Here's one of those moments in which you'd probably expect to wake up. People start rhyming, you think hmm, this shouldn't be happening ) I tried to explain why I needed them, but he adamantly stated that he needed them more. He briefly became emotional, saying that nobody understands him, but regained composure within seconds. I asked how long they'd keep me, and he just said "as long as it takes". Last, I asked his name, which was Eampin. 11 hours later, I was still sitting in that cell when I finally fell asleep.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:38 PM
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I woke up in the link room with people all around me, but rather than concern, they expressed frustration. "Where have you been?" I was repeatedly asked. I had to repeat the story several times before it really sank in for anybody. There were sarcastic laughs over the clan's attempt at getting us out, and a quiet acceptance from the scientists that my avatar was gone. I reminded them that my avatar was indeed still in a hut somewhere on the Pe'txayo's territory, but they didn't seem to care. The avatar was defective anyway, they said, and an accident was bound to happen eventually. At least it hadn't been one of the others, they said. The words stung me from every direction, and I felt an unexpected sense of deep loss, like a very deep connection had been severed, and I no longer had any idea what I was meant for. I felt positively sick that night, and didn't sleep at all. Several days later, Craig came to tell me that I would be allowed to establish a link one last time to get myself out of the situation. My heart pounded as I got into the chamber, ready for whatever would come. My consciousness flew, and I suddenly felt extremely weak. My eyes barely opened, and everything I saw was blurry. I was in exactly the same place I had been before, but couldn't move. I heard shouting, and turned my head towards the slatted door. I saw two tall blue figures in an argument. One was pointing at me and in near hysterics, while the other stoic individual mostly ignored him. About a minute went by before the other roughly shoved at the first, barking only a few words but effectively silencing him. As he turned, presumably to leave, our eyes briefly met, and I saw that it was Eampin. He fell against the door, looking in at me and saying more words I couldn't understand. Then, simply, "she is alive". The link broke, and I sat up, gasping and shaking. I asked what happened, and one of the technicians made his way over. Before he could answer or even assess the situation at all, I slammed the cover back over myself and squeezed my eyes shut, waiting for the flying sensation. I waited, but light flooded in as the cover opened again. The tech stood over me and said, simply, "it is dead".

How did I get here? I wondered. Why did I take this job? To get away from dirty Earth, running like a coward to the ISV. Only now did I see Pandora as being 100 times more dangerous, and in that way worse. Beautiful but fierce, I died here instantly, and my entire purpose for being here was now gone. I knew the risks, but I came here anyway. The warehouse is like a dungeon, my own personal prison. I never got to see my acquaintences/friends from the science department anymore. But who were they, anyway? I saw them more and more as cowards for letting me go, cowards just like me, watching as I was pulled away, staggering. Though I don't really know what they could've done, it seemed not enough for them to sit by gawking. This depressing period lagged on, and then, very suddenly, the warehouse was buzzing with plans for some sort of war. I didn't understand much about it and couldn't get a straight answer from anyone, and was only instructed to do as I was told. I still had very little perception of what a na'vi actually was. They'd chosen me to take hostage for seemingly no reason (or maybe they could tell how cripply I was), but then there was Eampin, who seemed to detest the use of me for a scapegoat. The next morning, I overheard talk about the scientists using their avatars to fight on the side of the na'vi. This immediately appealed to me, but I wasn't sure why. The experience of death was still fresh in my mind. It happened so easily. I felt fragile, and my stomach flipped. I didn't want to fight at all. I had nothing to fight for, and I barely understood why anyone else did.

Tanks were continuously being brought in and out for loading, so I easily slipped out of the gate in all the chaos. All I had was the exopack I was wearing, and it loosely swung on me as I ran through the thickening grass and shrubs. It only took minutes to reach the outer fence, but felt much longer with all the adrenaline rushing through me. I had only stepped a few feet outside when I locked eyes with a na'vi running towards me. It was Eampin, sprinting forward with a bow in his hand. I opened my mouth to speak, but didn't know where to start. He yelled something in na'vi and drew the bow, pointing the arrow at me. He couldn't recognize me, since my avatar hadn't looked like me at all. "Wait!" I just shouted, dropping to the ground and covering my head. "You already killed me once!" He didn't believe me at first, but I explained where I'd first seen him, giving key details that only I could've known. I slowly got to my feet, feeling safer. He asked why I didn't look the same, and I shrugged, not having the strength to explain it all. He asked what I was doing, and I told him about how I'd escaped unnoticed and didn't wish to fight. He asked what my plan was, and I admitted that I hadn't really thought of one at all. He told me that I'd die if I didn't have a safe place to stay, but that there was no such place. At a time like this, there'd be no sure way to explain to the na'vi that I wasn't a threat, and in case I was some kind of threat, he said, he'd better not bring me around the clans. I thought I detected a hint of sarcasm, but wasn't sure if the na'vi used expressions of sarcasm, so dismissed it. I looked towards the ground stirred up the dirt with my foot, quietly admitting that I didn't know what to do next. There was a short period of silence, and then I looked up at Eampin and for the first time, really realized the vast difference in height between us. I'm pretty short and Eampin was pretty tall for a na'vi, so he was nearly double my height. He said that the only way he could make sure I was safe would be for him to stay with me. We walked for a long time, but not in the direction of the Pe'txayo clan. Shrubs and tall grass became more spread out, and the trees were more evenly spaced and all the same kind, a type I hadn't seen before, like very wide maple trees with high canopies. Just as I began to feel tired, we came to the base of one with a large space in the trunk, almost like a room. He ducked down to fit in through the opening, but the "ceiling" was even higher than I'd expected. I followed with no problems, except that the floor was quite uneven. We sat there for a while, quiet and motionless. I asked what would happen next, and he said he didn't really know. Then, he suggested he go out and find us something to eat, and told me not to leave the tree for any reason. While he was gone, I only poked my head out once to look around. Everything was beautiful. Then, I heard a loud shriek somewhere off in the distance and withdrew back into the tree, hugging the back wall. Eampin finally returned with several smallish animals which looked something like large rats. We made a small fire outside the tree and cooked them. He said that after tonight, we shouldn't light a fire because someone might see it. The fighting likely wouldn't reach this far, but if it did, that could be a problem. We ate quietly and then climbed back into the tree. There wasn't really enough room to lay down all the way, so I leaned against the curve of the inner tree. "Txon lefpom," Eampin whispered. I fell into a dreamless sleep almost instantly, exhausted from all the anxiety of the day.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:39 PM
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Light shined in on my face. I opened my eyes, dreading the day to come, but was amazed to find that it was still night. It seemed the whole world was glowing brightly, and everything had a place in the picture. I sat up abruptly and crawled out of the opening. The patches of moss under my feet glowed under the pressure. I turned around to see Eampin blinking and smiling at me. Suddenly, we were running through the trees (though Eampin was more at a slow jog so as not to lose me ) in no particular direction. The soft green glow gradually became pink as we came to a cluster of different trees, willowlike, with long pink tendrils. Though I continued to run, Eampin stopped here. I quickly backtracked so as not to get too far from safety and saw that he was holding the end of his long braid to one of the strands of pink. His head was turned towards me, but he was staring off past where I stood, so far that I even turned around, squinting back. He said that he was listening to the voices of some of his distant ancestors. I didn't know at all what to make of this, so I shrugged and sat on the mossy ground. "Whatever," I muttered. He seemed shocked, asking about if I'd ever used my own braid in such a way when I had one. He sounded kind of crazy to me at the time, so I just said no and continued looking at my shoes. He took several minutes to explain the process to me to the best of his ability, and though I could imagine it a little easier now, I was astounded by how I could've missed such a fact for all the time I stayed at the base. Eampin closed his eyes, swaying to music I could not hear. The repetitive motion made me tired, and my eyelids began to feel heavy once again. I laid back on the ground, slightly propped up by the trunk of this majestic tree, and looked through the glowing plant life to the sky. The stars were so bright, even with all the light already obstructing my view. That was when I realized the true gravity of my situation, but I was still more excited by it than scared, which I knew would not have been the case only a few months ago. I was light years from Earth, the only planet humans had ever known. I, among so few, got to be here, got to see the universe from an entirely different perspective. I got to see this planet, a moon, covered with vast and unique life, all still beautiful, and if this exists here, who can say anymore that it isn't everywhere, covering perhaps every galaxy? At that moment, simply being alive suddenly meant so much more to me, and I felt that I had so much to live for. I was overcome with joy, awe, and an overwhelming sense of peace. The colors all seemed to soften, and I heard Eampin's voice. "Can you hear them?" Quiet murmurs surrounded me. Alarmed, I shot upright, slapping my hand against the back of my neck. Delicate thin fibers clung to my skin, and I swept them away. Mildly stunned, I asked Eampin what had happened. Beaming at me, he said that I'd been connected to Eywa. I couldn't understand how that can happen, and he didn't seem to either, but was still very excited about it. Some creature called Eywa found me acceptable, and tried to get into my head.

The next day was pretty uneventful because Eampin said we shouldn't leave the tree. The battle was going on right now, and though it shouldn't reach this far, we were going to be safe about it. We sat in the hollow and talked about our respective worlds and where we came from for as long as we could, until we were out of words. At around mid day, we could hear weapons fire in the distance. It kind of scared us, and we stayed huddled against the back wall for a while. As the sky began to turn pink with sunset, we had another meal of weird rat animal, which I enjoyed much more than I thought I would. Though the na'vi were bigger than humans, they seemed to eat about half as much. Eampin suggested he go back to the Pe'txayo clan after eating, and that I go and see what had become of my own "home". Though the thought made me anxious, I knew it was inevitable. I wished to have that feeling of wonder again that I'd had last night, but I only felt a hanging sense of dread. We made our way quickly through the darkness, and I sometimes struggled to keep up. In no time, we were in the same place we had met up little more than a day before. We stood there for a moment, motionless. I was scared, but knew I had to go. I returned through the same opening in the fence I'd escaped from and sprinted back to the base. I found it deserted, so much so that I couldn't really get back inside since no doors were open and there was no one to let me in. I walked along the perimeter until I saw a group of avatars standing around. One of them was Craig, who recognized me right away and waved me over. As I got closer, I saw that he was frowning. He asked me what I'd been doing for the last day, and before I could really answer, one of the other avatars pointed a gun at me. They ushered me and a few others like myself inside the base and into a large group. We were being held there as war criminals, but many of the others didn't really care. Either way, they'd get to go home tomorrow. We'd all go home tomorrow, by force. Though this didn't bother most, alarms went off in my head. What would happen once I was back on Earth? I'd be over ten years older with nothing to live for once again. Even my time of purpose here had been so fleeting that I couldn't stand the thought of it being over, of wasting myself. I threw away my avatar, I didn't help in any kind of research, I didn't fight in the war. It had to mean something, but I couldn't seem to rationalize a purpose for myself. I sat in a quiet huddle against the leg of a table all night, thinking.

Early the next morning, we were woken up roughly and directed to a shuttle for the ISV, a few at a time. I sank back into the crowd of others, whose expressions ranged from sullen to eager. Regardless of their demeanor, it seemed that today, the vast majority were happy about leaving Pandora and would happily exit the cargo bay before me. I hid for hours, but finally was made to follow the others. The bright day was blinding, so I looked down at my feet as I glumly shuffled after two military characters. "Ftang!" I looked up at the figures of na'vi looming above me, momentarily blocking out the rays of sun. Only now did I see that na'vi and avatars lined the path to the shuttle, supervising the departure. I turned to where the voice had come from and saw Eampin, staring at me in disbelief. "Tell them to let me go!" I pleaded. That was all it took for him to step forward and scoop me up as though I were some small animal, and with a few short words in na'vi, walk away from the scene. I was so filled with happiness that I couldn't speak. I had been saved, and the renewed potential of the future was overwhelming.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:52 AM
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I love this story... It's beautiful

Quote:
I got to see this planet, a moon, covered with vast and unique life, all still beautiful, and if this exists here, who can say anymore that it isn't everywhere, covering perhaps every galaxy? At that moment, simply being alive suddenly meant so much more to me, and I felt that I had so much to live for.
I hope this is true...
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