I have spent 13 years of my life here on Pandora and I seem to now look back onto how I got here in the first place. I was a marine back on Earth crippled from the war; I was paralysed from the waist down and everything went downhill after that, I struggled to live my life as I had before my accident; I had no idea what to do with myself. I guess it’s true when they say that when one door closes another one opens… too bad it had to open with my brother’s death. My brother’s name was Tom… He was an experienced scientist who was to be part of a highest-level program overseen by corporate and military strategists.
Since we were a genetic match, after his death I was asked if I wanted to take his place and travel light years away to a station on the world they called, Pandora. I agreed without hesitation and prepared myself to board the spaceship destined for this far away place. I woke up to the sound of a staff members hand telling me that we were going to land in about an hour and as I drifted back to sleep I thought about my brother. Within seconds I questioned my decision to be here, what was I doing? As we approached the planet, I took in the amazing sight that was placed before me; you had to be there to see it.
I sat in my wheelchair and strapped myself in, exiting the ship what was my first impression of the planet? Let’s just say that my face looked like I had sex for the first time. As I rolled into the briefing room I caught the eye of Colonel Miles Quaritch… damn that guy looked mean… he kept drilling into us that we weren’t at home anymore and that this place was dangerous, and most of us wouldn’t survive. This didn’t really affect me though going through the war and everything. Next I was taken to a science lab where I met my first friend, Norm Spellman, he was a biologist and a member of the “Avatar” Program.
He showed me around and gave me a rundown on what these things were, he said they are called Na’vi and they were the native people of the planet, I just thought they looked like giant smurfs to be honest. He took me to get a look at my own Avatar, it looked exactly like me, well… like my brother. I was told that I was going to be able to walk when I was in my Avatar state; I really looked forward to that. Norm led me to the base’s control room where the first thing I heard was the screaming voice of a woman saying she needed a researcher and not a “jarhead dropout” which were her exact words, I guess that was aimed at me.
That woman was Dr. Grace Augustine and the person she was screaming at was Parker Selfridge, a representative for the Resources Development Administration. As soon as Grace caught my eye, she told me exactly what she wanted me to do which was to bond with the native people and determine the factors for the breakdown in Na’vi and human relations, Parker had a different goal though, he wanted to gain Pandora’s much-desired natural resource, the mineral unobtanium, which would save Earth from its present energy crisis… he problem was that the mineral was under the native people’s “Hometree” a big tree which they worshiped, or looked up to, something like that. I soon realised why it was so important, it was because all their ancestors’ spirits were part of it and if one of the Na’vi died your spirit would be connected to the tree as well, it’s weird and hard to explain but it was clear that Parker wanted us to make them move peacefully and if they did not listen to that, we would have to force them to. Back in the lab we were preparing to go into our Avatar state, this was what I was waiting for…
They put me in a machine where my brain was all hooked up with wires and crap and the show was about to begin. I opened my eyes and was looking up at a staff hand, I glanced down at my hands and saw they were blue; I looked down to my feet and tried to move them… It worked. The pleasure of being able to move my feet again, I was speechless and just had to get up, I couldn’t stay still, I got off the bed and started to walk, their voices telling me to stop but I wouldn’t listen. I ran outside, the feeling was indescribable, I was running again.
Eventually I calmed myself and got some rest as I was told we were going outside of our base into their part of the planet the next day. Dawn came quickly and soon enough we were ready to take off so I could become acquainted with the native people. I didn’t know what to expect, I wasn’t sure if I was ready for this. The first one of their kind I met was Neytiri, she was to be my guide and help me through the many tasks that were assigned to me, I could immediately tell that she was not happy with this decision. Day after day I spent time with hese people and I felt like part of them, I understood things I hadn’t before… I felt compassion towards these people which I never thought could have happened. I was losing grip on the real world back with my own kind and instead I had become closer here with the Na’vi people. I felt a part of their family. The days were closing in and Parker was getting impatient and sent the order to demolish their land and their Hometree. By spending so much time with the Na’vi people, I couldn’t let this happen; I knew I had to stop him. My goal had changed, my loyalty became divided.
The Na’vi people accepted me, and welcomed me into their family; I now understood the importance of this tree, it wasn’t just an object to them, it was their history. My objective was clear; I needed to stop Parker and Colonel Miles from destroying their land. It became an epic battle between the humans and the Na’vi people. Again I felt like I was in the war, but this time something was different. One side had more heart; they needed not firepower to be victorious, but unity as a family. It was this unity, and strength from the Na’vi people that made me decide to stay on Pandora, among family, where it felt like home.