Chapter 1a - Left Alive

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Jake was no idiot, he knew that with the wealth under Pandora's soil, the Sky People (much to his chargrin he had found he had even started mentally referring to humans as that) would not stay gone forever and if a fleet came back the Na'vi didn't have a hope. The planet couldn't rise up against nuclear weapons from orbit. Hence Pandora's future lay in making sure it was more useful to Earth intact than blasted to pieces and mined out. So the scientists left behind were working on projects that could help Earth, communications were ongoing and the Na'vi were helping with everything.

So far it was working and Jake made sure he knew everything that was going on, which meant regular visits to Hell's Gate and meetings. He was sure Grace would have been proud of him; he was still doing science even though he really didn't understand what half of the mumbo jumbo was about.

They had another meeting in the morning about the latest big project, which was something to do with bio-engineering some of Pandora's flora to be compatible with Earth to help the atmospheric problems happening there due to pollution. Norm had tried to explain the details and Jake had just nodded in what he had hoped were the right places.

Tomorrow was going to be a long day and Jake sat looking into the trees as they glowed in the darkness. It was so beautiful it almost hurt, especially to Na'vi eyes and he found his mind wandering. Tommy would have found it amazing.

The pain that blossomed in his heart at that thought was still raw and it was like a knife in his chest. He had thought he had pushed it away, left it behind, but he realised starkly that it was very much not gone. It had been months since the banishment of the Sky People and he still felt Grace's loss, but he could think of her with only an ache, nothing like the same way he felt every time he thought of Tommy.

It was worse since he had become his Avatar.

"Something troubles you, My Mate," Neytiri said, walking up and sitting down beside him, leaning against him in a comforting gesture.

"I was thinking about before," he said, finding it as easy to talk to her as ever.

Once he would have hidden his pain, but the connection between the Na'vi, the connection between himself and Neytiri, would not allow it.

"Tell me," she said simply.

It was difficult to explain since he didn't really know what he was thinking himself, so he chose to start at what was the beginning.

"I had a brother," he said and found even that hard to say; "his name was Tommy and he was killed before he could come here. When we were younger we were never apart. He was always the brains, but he never left me behind, always explaining everything, but when we were teenagers our parents thought we were too close, that I was holding him back. They sent me to military school and Tommy to a school for genius kids."

"They separated you from your brother?" Neytiri sounded scandalised by the thought.

Jake just nodded.

"And by the time we came back together again we were different people," he said, feeling the regret more keenly than he had ever let himself feel it before. "He was always so much cleverer than me, but once we could talk, understand each other, when we met up again we couldn't even do that. I never spoke to our parents again for doing that to us."

Neytiri's fingers rubbed gently over his own as if she felt his pain.

"This body was not supposed to be mine, it was supposed to be his," he said, admitting what he had never told her. "He should have been seeing the wonders of Eywa, not me."

"The ways of destiny are often strange to us, Jake," Neytiri said gently; "we cannot always understand them."

"I'm just an accident of genetics," he replied, glaring off into the distance, angry that the universe had seen fit to take away his twin.

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