The War Council met as usual at the next gathering. Oddly, Vireya was conspicuously absent. Jake noticed Woruo looking around as if he expected the tsahik to arrive at any moment, but once everyone else had arrived he had to start the meeting.
Everyone gave progress reports. The Na'vi were enthused by Norm's revelation that the new dreamwalker was now training others how to fly the machine that he had stolen from the tawtute. There was much conversation on whether more shuttles could be stolen. The scientist was rueful, "When we kicked the tawtute out, we told the two ships that had just taken off to turn back, that we wouldn't give them provisions to get home if they came here. The last ship we had is going to be the last one there is until the six year ship arrives, and I don't see how we're going to be able to fool them into leaving a shuttle if we're expecting a scouting raid from them."
"Well, it might not be likely, but let's not fail to take advantage if an opportunity presents itself," Jake commented.
Mo'at took the opportunity to inform the others of Norm's work with the Omatikaya clan song cords. The other Tsahiks present all pledged to have copies of their clan cords sent, along with journeymen Singers to help him read them.
Each clan reported on their how their preparations were progressing. Jake was encouraged by Green Rock's. Woruo reported that most of the clan had reacted well overall to the change in leadership and had thrown themselves wholeheartedly into the new training program. He had quite a bit of information regarding temporary camps that he shared, but something seemed a bit off to the marine. His sense of unease was confirmed when Woruo made very brief eye contact. There was obviously something he needed to say, and it wasn't something he was going to say publicly. That didn't bode well.
Each clan present took turns sharing what new traps they had come up with and that led to a lot of collaboration as others suggested improvements or came up with modifications that would suit their own territories. There was also discussion of temporary sharing of territories if that became necessary.
When it became too late to continue, Jake adjourned the meeting for the day. As he'd suspected, Woruo lingered behind. Green Rock's Olo'eyktan came over and greeted the two Omatikaya, appearing to be about to make casual conversation. Mo'at indicated that they could speak quietly without being overheard and demanded, "Where is Vireya?"
Woruo looked around, concerned himself. "She should be here. I expected her to arrive shortly after I did."
The marine was worried. Their meeting had gone on for several hours. "This isn't right. We should go find her. Do you need help? I can send ikran makto to help you search."
Just as the warrior was about to reply, a commotion arose from the main gathering-area. The three turned to find out what was going on and saw the crowd part around a Na'vi running straight for them. It was Vireya. She was panting hard; she'd clearly been running as fast as she could. Mo'at reached out to steady her friend as the tsahik came to a stop.
"Vireya, what is wrong? Where have you been?" Woruo demanded.
Green Rock's Tsahik faced her Olo'eyktan, still breathing heavily, and managed to get out, "Ikariyu is gone!" The three others blanched. She gulped more air and explained to the Omatikaya, "There were a handful of na'vi in Green Rock who were not happy with the leadership change. They still favored Ikariyu. I have been trying to persuade him that Eywa is doing what is necessary to save all Na'vi from the tawtute, but he refuses to listen. I wanted to ask him to come to the War Council and voice his concerns so that we may all hear and address them, but he would not. I wanted to try one more time before I left to come here, but I could not find him. I finally found a hunter coming in who said he had see Ikariyu and a band of about twenty Green Rock out in the jungle. He did not know where they were going, he said they were not going towards any of the temporary camps. I ordered ikran makto and pa'li riders to find the group and came here as fast as I could."
Woruo sighed grimly, "They will not find him." He turned to the Omatikaya, "Ikariyu is a skilled hunter, and several of those who favored him are as well. They will ensure that there are few signs left to mark their passage." Vireya sadly confirmed the statement.
"This isn't good. What can we do?" Jake asked.
Mo'at turned to her son-in-law, "There is nothing we can do," she informed him sadly. "If a group wishes to break away and establish their own clan elsewhere, they are free to do so." She held her colleague closely, trying to comfort the distressed woman.
"But what about our plans? Ikariyu knows what all the clans have been doing to get ready for the tawtute ships, he knows about our traps, our strategies. Can't we go after him?" the marine was alarmed.
Both tsahiks shook their heads. Woruo spoke, "Those who listened to Ikariyu and went with him are all na'vi who are frightened of the power of the tawtute. It is most likely that they have gone to seek a place to hide until the danger is over."
Jake drew a hand down over his face in his frustration. "Woruo, you've got to find him. If he wants to hide until this is over, fine, but we can't risk them giving anything away. If he does anything to expose our tactics we could lose everything."
The Green Rock Olo'eyktan nodded grimly, "My hunters and I will find him if he can be found, Toruk Makto. I pledge it."