Leyra Tanywral (Desiree Corbeau)

The days had stretched into weeks, as my family and I lay in cages, captives of the strange sky creatures.  I remembered the good times in the forest, running free and laughing with the other children.   I was always curious and wanted to know the names of all the animals, and plants, and the animals seemed to speak to me in their dream voices.  My Father’s Ikran, TsuTon, often would cuddle me in her fast wings, when I was sad or cold, and I spent many nights in her nest far away from our camp.  She would bring me back home when my Father would make the cry to come home my TsuTon.  I rode in a basket tied to the side of the mighty flying beast.  Those were good days,  and I grew strong and brave, hunting and tracking in the forest, and learning the bow and spear and knife.

Then one day a huge metal monster came crashing through the forest. Sky people!   They were all mad, and cared only for their own needs.  One saw me running through the forest and made a bang sound and something stung my side.  The healer of our clan made it better, but Mother told me to stay away from them.

One dark night they came to our camp with nets and bang sticks as we called them, and captured many of us.  My parents and I were put in cages in a great flying insect that buzzed loudly, and there were many loud bangs in that night as we left the camp inside the belly of the insect that buzzed.  Then begin our nights of sorrow.  They did not use the ice masks inside the metal insects, and studied us on hard beds under strange bright glowing suns pointed at us.  They poked and measured, and looked intently at each of our parts, especially the braid that we called the Q of honor, our way to talk to the souls, be one with our animals, and as one boy giggled at a campfire, used when the mating began.  I knew nothing of that.  They did not hurt us, the ones in the white coverings, and seemed to want to be our friends, but the others were black of spirit and soon took over and beat and tortured us to find out strange things about our lands.  “Where can we find the black rock?”, they would scream at us, but of course we did not know their words then.

I had fallen from the great iron skybird, having opened a door I had found  in my desire to escape from the creatures who had captured me.  They had tortured me and my poor family, and we knew our days were few.   These were horrid things with ice plates on their ugly faces, and tiny bodies that showed their weakness.   I longed to crush their skulls, but my body was already weak from being starved and beaten.

I fell for a long time and then the sky was black and I was sleeping.  I awoke lying in a dark place filled with light ribbons hanging from a massive tree, and a goddess came to me and said , “I am the servant of Eywa, and I will heal you”.   A huge creature just outisde the circle of light screamed its desiire to kill  and eat me, but I was safe with my goddess.   The pain was intense, but my body soon healed, and she showed me a new land that welcomed all.   I am now the servant of Eywa, and have found my new family in the tribe of the mighty Tanhi.

The past is now revealed to me as I learned and studied with my mentor knowing some day I would have my own Ikran, my ow TsuTon, to fly the skies and protect us from the hated Sky People.  They had come to find the black rocks as they once screamed about, and wanted to take it out of the earth and fly away with it.  They make the huge flying machines and bang sticks to protect themselves from the many fierce animals that we live in peace with, and they make huge huts of metal to keep all out from their home.  We hate them, and there is only one that they made into a Navi, that is called a dreamwalker.  She is good in heart, and though suffering from a strange disease, she tries to understand us, and teach us her language as she learns ours.  Soon I will fly the skies as Makto!, the flyer of the mighty Ikran.  I will name her TsuTon in memory of my Father and our times as a family.

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