A Dark Forgotten Tunnel

Xanadu Weyr - Hatching Sands

The large circular "stage" is surrounded on one half by a towering wall, thin slit windows high overhead letting in some light without truly endangering the objects on the sands, though plenty of lights are spaced at human-level all the way around. The other half is ringed by the dark blue seats of the observation level, rising upwards towards the back wall. The circle itself is filled with a mix of red and white sands, deep enough to cover the largest of dragon eggs with ease. To one side, a small door is visible, hidden away behind a platform meant to provide a place for the clutch parent's lifemates to stand during the on goings.

It's early morning the day after X'hil mentioned the tunnel and the guards were posted at its entrance. Upon hearing of the opening, the Weyrwoman, fairly astounded at the news, has secreted herself in the Archives Room and ordered it to be explored immediately by whomever would be available.

Among those available is Rogawani. Having a day off from his duties as a messenger certainly doesn't mean a day off from duties to the weyr. Wearing only a light shirt and slacks in the artificial heat of the hatching arena, the boy walks carefully out onto the sands, giving a brief bow to the dragons, he keeps along the wall as to not unduely upset the two brooding queens. Tugging at an empty bag looped over his shoulder, the boy checks the knife strapped to his belt before hurridly making his way over towards where the rest of the investigation group is gathering.

Thea paces before the opening, waiting for something, or rather someone. She's not going down there alone! From time to time Seryth rumbles comfortingly, serene as always. Or almost always, unless her rider thinks she's about to be drugged and kidnapped, then it's another story.

Enkavir steps onto the sands, his expression somber and eyes intent as they scan the cavern. He hovers there at the entrance, giving his short sleeved cotton shirt a little tug as already he begins to sweat a bit. It brings a frown to his face, and he shifts the satchel he carries so he can check water skins, flashlight, and who knows what else is in there. He wears a long knife at his hip as well but leaves it where it is, nodding instead to the dragons present before striding over to Thea's side. He reaches out gentle fingers to brush against her elbow, hoping not to startle her. "Are you coming, too?"

At the tickle on her elbow, Thea does jump, shooting Seryth a half-glare, turning to look up at the man beside her. Pale eyes widen just a fraction, she swallows quickly and takes a half step back, "Oh, you. I thought Niva would be sending a few more guards?" She gestures to the one standing at the entrance. "He's to stay, but yes I want to see where it goes." She looks dubious for a moment, but her moment of indecision passes as Rogawani is spied skirting the wall. She motions him over, "Seryth doesn't mind, Rogawani." Back to Enkavir, noticing what he's carrying "You've come prepared. Good." A pause, "How did she take the news?" About the tunnel being found.

Taking his time, Rogawani arrives after Enkavir, his feet leaving shuffling paths in the sand. Looking between the record keeper and the Weyrwoman, he just hooks his thumbs into his belt. "That's good. Didn't want to upset her." The boy explains, rolling up the sleeves on his shirt as the heat begins to wear through them. "The master messenger sent me to help out since I'm off duty today." Moving his shoulders forward a little, he looks at Enkavir, curious to see what he answers.


Dark Forgotten Tunnel

This passage opening up in the wall of the Hatching Arena has been cleverly constructed to remain hidden. Xanadu's original builders designed the door from the same material as the Arena wall and placed it on a rotating pin, but a person would have to know exactly where to press to open it. Presently the door is ajar, revealing a dark passage.

A series of steps curve in a spiral, disappearing into the shadowed darkness below…

Enkavir's brows arch at the jump and the hand that brushed Thea darts forward to cup her elbow in a steadying gesture. "Shells, woman. You've got more than one enormous dragon watching your back here, no one's going to get you. Least of all me." His mouth curves into a smile, an innocent-seeming sort of expression finding its way to his face. "The Weyrwoman doesn't really talk to me, so I'm not sure about guards. All I know is she basically locked herself in the Archives room, which means I have a lot less to do than normal, so I'm here to help." His eyes flicker over to the door that's ajar, and the darkness beyond it. "Besides, I thought you might like a friendly face along." Her wide-eyed reaction to the sight of him makes this comment more ironic than it was meant to be, but if he knows it he's feigning ignorance. He nods to Rogawani then in greeting. "Did you bring a torch or glows? It looks pretty dim in there."

Thea steadies herself, only managing not to jerk away from that hand cupping her elbow, an impulse perhaps barely visible for all she does is tense a bit. She gives Enkavir's face a short, searching look, forcing her lips into a smile, that stretches more naturally into a warm welcome as Rogawani walks up. "Seryth wants it explored too." Her eyes twinkle just a bit, taking in the both of them, "So Kinseth will settle down and stop pacing. She sent him out to the beach to do it, but he didn't go. He's prowling about the arena instead." Unease colors her eyes as she glances back to Enkavir, but she doesn't comment as she steps closer to the opening, gesturing to in in a wordless invitation for him to go in before her and a silent challenge for him to see through her obvious distrust with a slightly raised brow.

The Weyrwoman's nervousness seems to rub off a little onto Rogawani, the boy shuffles his feet, moving sand around in circles. Looking up towards Enkavir, he takes the older male's lead, giving a small nod. "I brought some glows." Reaching down, he unlaces a small covered glowbasket. "Thought better of the torches. The last thing we want is to find some gas pocket down there and blow this place up like those domes out in the wilds." Unlidding the glows, he holds them up, following the Weyrwoman's motion towards the entrance. Lowering his voice as they draw closer, he comments tentatively, "I wonder how long this has been back here without anyone knowing."

Enkavir just returns Thea's gaze levelly. The questions in his green-gold eyes are quiet ones, his expression shielded as he just looks her in the eye. After a moment of this he just lets out a soft breath of mirthless laughter and shakes his head. To Rogawani he nods approval. "Good idea. Let's do glows." He pulls a small basket out of his bag, lifts it up and heads toward the entrance. "You sure you want to be down in the tunnels with us, weyrwoman? Maybe you'd be safer up here."

Thea notes Enkavir's reponse impassively, tilting her chin slightly in a small show of defiance? Defensiveness? She steps warily into the tunnel after him. "Gas. I didn't think of that. Shep may be able to warn us if there is any." Thea scratches a tiny brown head that pokes out from underneath her shoulder-length hair at the mention of his name. The brown firelizard, curled about the back of her neck, chitters inquisitively at this unusual activity. Shrugging in response to Rogawani's comment as she steps down the stairs she muses, "I have no idea about the tunnel. Niva didn't know it was here. Not even the oldest of the retired riders remembered it, either." She chuckles a bit of a dry chuckle, "She's in the Archives poring over the old building plans as we speak."


Inside Tunnel

Inside this tunnel dust layers everything thickly. There are no footprints, nor signs that anyone has been in here recently. The curving walls and steps are cut from solid, underground rock that supports the arena. At the bottom of the stairs, a short, straight hallway leads to a closed door. A series of cables and pipes line the ceiling.

Taking up the rear, Rogawani slides in behind the Weyrwoman, making sure she has protection both infront and behind. Moving just fast enough to keep up, the boy raises his glows, catching sight of the brown firelizard curled on Thea's neck. "Well, firelizards certainly have better noses than we do, but mostly they just sniff out food." Taking a glance around the dusty tunnel, the messenger gives a shake of his head. "And I doubt there's any down here." His boots make soft sounds on the stairs, making new impressions in the layer of dust lingering there. With his glow held high, and eyes searching the darkness, he catches sight of one of the ceiling pipes, blinking. "Well, someone had to plan this. Pipes don't lay themselves."

Enkavir takes small, even steps so the pair can easily keep up with him, slowly moving his glow basket from one side of the tunnel to the other. He pauses just long enough to glance over his shoulder with a frown creasing his brow. "Gas." Is there an echo in here? "I don't know much about firelizards but they are more delicate that we are, so if nothing else, if he passes out we should backtrack." His eyes fall to Thea and he has the grace to take on a slightly sheepish smile, to clear his throat roughly as he turns back to the front. "Is that what she's doing in there? She nearly tossed me out on my rear." He waves the free hand through a huge spinnerweb, dispersing it with disgust twisting his mouth.

Thea pauses a moment just inside the door to allow her eyes to adjust to the semi-darkness. Taking a bit of a breath, with one last almost longing glance back towards the entrance, she starts down the steps, trailing her fingers on the curving wall for balance. Enkavir is moving too slowly for her to hang back beyond his reach. She chuckles at Rogawani, her laugh sounding a bit unnatural - perhaps its the acoustics of the place, "They are flying stomachs, at that." Her eyes travel over the pipes lining the ceiling, "True, they don't. Wonder what they're for?" She blinks at Enkavir's sheepish smile and her lips curve in response in spite of her obvious unease. "Yeah, she's-Yaaah!" The man's unexpected hand-wave at the spinner's web has her lunging back and Shep chitters an agitated response.

Hearing the Weyrwoman referring to her brown as a flying stomach brings a small smile to Rogawani's face, small comfort in this forgotten place. Standing on his tip-toes to get a better look at the pipe and wirework, he seems just about to say something when a startled sound echos from Thea and he's nearly rammed into by a lunging Weyrwoman. Pressed back against the dusty rock, he blinks a little. "I haven't learned to meld with stone yet, Ma'am so please don't step on me too much? I'm afraid I can't get out of the way that well." Knocking his hand onto the stone wall, the boy's face is lit with a greened, sheepish expression by the glowlight now swinging wildly from his arm.

Enkavir inefficiently wipes his hand off on the stone wall as he turns back to eye the yelping weyrwoman. "It's a spinner web. Who knows what else we might find down here that could be far worse. Are you sure you're alright?" There's concern in his eyes until the slide past her and onto Rogawani, which brings a faint smile to his lips. "Melding into stone would be a good trick though, right?" The swinging glowbasket leaves him blinking as the light splashes erratically at the walls and he reaches forward to help steady it. Pale hazel eyes slide up to the swinging shadows on the ceiling and he tips his head to the side, curious. "Are they to help heat the sands, do you think?"

It's Thea's turn to look sheepish as she looks at the boy beside her. Yes, she's lunged back that far. Thankfully the greenish light counteracts the flush of pink on her cheeks. "I'm sorry Rogawani, did I tromp on you?" She winces slightly as Enkavir's hand reaches past her to steady the light. Her eyes avoid Enkavir's to sweep the area where the web was, a slight shudder trembles her frame. "It's not the spinners," she mutters, still not quite looking Enkavir's way, instead she tips her head, fastening her attention on the pipes. "I- maybe? Niva may find something are they hot?" She reaches up to see, with a few fingertips and can't quite reach them, then raises up on her toes to gain some height.

"Just a little, but I'm sure my boots will survive." Rogawani replies to Thea, trying to give what he hopes is an ecouraging smile. With his eyes moving between the jumpy Weyrwoman and the pipes above, he almost doesn't notice Enkavir's hand coming to steady the light. As it stops moving, he looks curiously towards it, the hand holding it, and then up at the record keeper. "I was thinking the same thing, heating pipes." Reaching his own hand out, he tries to raise the glow higher, but as he's the shortest one in the group it doesn't help too much. "Can you reach them, Enkavir?" He asks, looking at the older male curiously.

Enkavir eyes Thea with a good dose of curiosity - almost more than the pipes above get. His brows slowly draw down into a faint frown but then he just shakes his head as if knocking whatever is going on in his head out of the way. "Hmm? Oh sure." He reaches up on tiptoe and brings his hand near the pipe. An inch or so away he stops, hand hovering in midair. "It's warm from here, actually." Tenatively he brushes a fingertip across the metal and abruptly winces, dropping back to flat feet and shoving his finger into his mouth. "Really sharding hot, yeah." It's a bit muffled as he talks around his finger. "Do you think this is an old maitenance tunnel? It's not new that's for sure."

Thea lowers her arm and stands flat on her feet once her fingers miss the pipe, giving Rogawani an apologetic smile. She just shrugs awkwardly at Enkavir's frown and waits for his reaction to the pipes. There's a soft huh when he pulls his hand back so quickly. "Maintenance conduit? Hrm, they might be," she replies absently. She's leaned forward around him to peer down the tunnel before them, pointing. 'What's that? Something's shining down there, can't quite make it out." Squinting doesn't help, either - the light is just too dim.

"If it is a maintenance tunnel, it hasn't been maintained in turns." Rogawani comments, running one of his hands along the wall, rubbing the dust on his fingertips. "If nothing else, we should probably get one of the tech folks familiar with plumbing down here to take a look." Forcing his eyes away from the pipes above, the messenger tries to peek around the clustered forms of Thea and Enkavir to see what it is the Weyrwoman might be pointing out. "Can't see it from here. Let's head in further?" He suggests, having to stand on his toes just to see around the goldrider. Settling back onto his feet, he turns to look behind them, eyeing the three sets of footprints in the dust.

Enkavir eyes the pipes for another beat before scrubbing a hand through his mussed hair. "Yeah, it's hard to maintain something you don't even know about, but for the original builders of the Weyr it would have been a different story. Apparently these pipes were well-crafted if they've lasted this long." He nods to Rogawani. "If nothing else maybe they can learn something from the construction." Reaching down to gather his glow basket back up, he swirls a finger through the dust piled at the edge of the path and shakes his head. "Yeah, let's go further on." Once again he leads the way, going slow enough to illuminate nooks and crannies with a turn of his glowbasket. He squints into the distance, but even lifting his 'basket up doesn't shed enough light just yet.

Thea's feet stir up the dust, as she steps carefully after Enkavir. Dust that seems to get thicker back towards the end of the tunnel. Shep sneezes repeatedly, tiny high-pitched explosions of sound in the weyrwoman's ear, that bring down bits of dust from the ceiling. She lifts him from her neck, holding him out at arm's length until they stop. "At least he seems to be breathing and alert," Thea remarks dryly, peeking over her shoulder at Rogawani for a moment. "How're you guys feeling? No dizziness or headache?"

Turning his eyes away from their footprints, Rogawani starts forward after the others, only giving one last look up at the pipes. "They sure did make things sturdier back in the old days." Any further reminissence is cut off when the brown firelizard begins to sneeze. His own nose wrinkles a little, and he coughs into one hand before answering the Weyrwoman, "I'm fine, just dusty in here." Clearing his throat a bit, the boy pulls the collar of his shirt up so that it covers his nose. Sure, it looks a little silly, but at least it cuts down on the dust.

Enkavir continues down the tunnel but slows as he peers back over his shoulder at the sneezing little guy. "Is he alright?" As for Enkavir, he just swallows hard, then fishes out his waterskin and takes a sip. "Dusty is sort of an understatement I think, but I'm fine too." Finally his footsteps falter altogether as he rumages around in his bulky sack and pulls out a white handkerchief, which, along with the waterskin, he passes back to Thea. "Here, this should help some." Always be prepared, right? He starts back up again, drawing closer to whatever was shining in the distance.

Thea laughs softly at Rogawani's improvised mask, her dancing eyes still crinkled merrily as she turns back to follow Enkavir. She's finally relaxed enough to do that, at least. Shep is returned to his place on her shoulders and the now-silent 'lizard immediately crawls back under her hair. "He's fine. Oh - thanks." This as the waterskin and kerchief is passed back to her. She offers the kerchief to Rogawani silently with one hand, with the other she takes a long sip of the water, before passing it back to the boy as well. She turns to the front and murmurs, "That… almost looks like… a door."

There is a smile on Rogawani's face, but it only shows in a small lifting of his ears since his nose and mouth are covered. He takes a certain amount of pride in making people laugh, especially when they need one. As he's passed the water skin, the boy plucks down his shirt collar and takes a quick sip, wiping his mouth off on his arm before handing the skin and the handkerchief back towards Thea. "A door?" He asks, reaching to pull his shirt back up but pausing as he tries to peer over the Weyrwoman's shoulder. "Wonder where it goes. We're going to check it out, right?" He asks, lifting his glows higher, his shirt-mask momentarily forgotten.

Enkavir glances back at Thea's laughter, eyes sliding past her to Rogawani who gets a faint headshake and the barest lift of a grin. Then there is talk of a door, and he stretches out his basket of glows, eyes narrowing. "It does, and of course we are. That's what we're here for." No question for Thea, no pause for confirmation, his strides lengthen over the last bit of distance and he slowly runs a hand over the door. One brow arches, fingertips tap against the wood for a moment, and he turns to the side with one hand on the handle so his body won't block the view. "Shall we?" Seriousness has taken over his features, and when he tries the handle, it turns easily.

"You…don't want to use the kerchief?" Thea asks Rogawani as she takes both the waterskin and the kerchief back, clearly amused. It seems that his shirt-mask is handier to the boy, however. She turns to step carefully through the dust, feet making small puffs that swirl about her ankles as she moves closer to that door. Slowing just a bit as she reaches it, Thea glances uncertainly at Enkavir, then the door. She halts an arms length away from the man and a good distance yet from the door.

"Nah, I've got my shirt, thanks. You use it." Rogawani suggests, reaching a hand up to rub at his nose and give a small snort to clear it. His interest in the door, however, once again distracts him from bothering with the shirt. He lingers behind for a moment, looking at the remains of the spinner web that Enkavir had moved earlier. Then, there is a small clattering of footsteps as he has to go a bit faster to catch up. Halting behind Thea, the boy peeks around her to get a better look at the door, holding his glow up as high as he can. "Let's go." He answers the record keeper's question, even if it doesn't need one, and then gives a small bite to his lower lip, looking on anxiously.


Old Room

This room underneath the Hatching Arena isn't very large. Pipes and wires line the ceiling, as they did in the tunnel. Along the walls dust-covered consoles and units are, strangely enough, no longer softly humming as they appear they ought to be. The dim green, yellow and red lights that are on panels are not blinking as one would expect. Here and there a metal cabinet shines, dully reflecting the glowbasket's light from underneath their blankets of dust. On the ceiling over the door, a vent gently blows fresh air into the room, the likely source of the dust. On the far wall, newer-looking pipes and cables merge with the older ones on the ceiling, then exit a rough hole crudely cut in the wall. There appear to be no other exits from this room.

Enkavir pauses with his hand on that turned knob, flapping his other hand at Thea. "/You/ should use it. That's why I passed it back. There's no telling what's on the other side of this door, but I'd wager a handful of marks it involves dust." He wrinkles his nose up at the swirls of the stuff caused by the approach of the pair, finally covering his mouth to let out a little cough. As Rogawani takes his place and makes his encouraging statement, Enkavir nods, takes a shallow breath and pushes the door open. "Oh." It's said as he lets out the breath he unconsciously held as the door swung open, and the tone is rather deflated. "Well this is sort of neat but… it's apparently just like we thought. Maintenance." He walks in, spreading glowlight to the farther reaches of the room, lifting his basket to peer at a monitor here, running a finger through dust metal there.

"Oh, thanks." Thea takes the kerchief from the boy, then nods in agreement with him - she wants to go in as well. "Niva would send us right back down here if we don't." The corners of the mouth twitch upwards at Enkavir's quip and she raises the kerchief to her face, holding it over her mouth and nose as she steps in after the man. Moving to one side to allow Rogawani to enter, her eyes make a slow circuit of the room. "But it isn't being maintained, see there?" Her voice is muffled from behind the cloth as she points to the dead panels.

Just as the door cracks open a bit, Rogawani quickly pulls his shirt collar back up as if it suddenly dawns on him to do so. At first, he can't see much past the two bodies infront of him, but as Thea moves to give him room, the boy looks around with interest. Even if it isn't some major find, it's still enough to pique his curiosity. "It must have been maintained at some point. Those pipes and wires don't look as rusted over as the other ones." Making this observation, the boy steps over towards one of the reflective metal cabinets, wiping his hand along it and looking at his own goofy reflection. Then, he reaches out and gives a tug at the cabinet door, trying to see if he can find anything left behind.

"That's true enough," Enkavir agrees with Thea on the subject of Niva. His hand stirs up a whole cloud of dust as it wipes across a counter and he coughs roughly, shaking his head and wiping his dust-covered hand across the leg of his pants. "This place could use a good cleaning," he remarks drily. He nods then, tapping a dull and lifeless unit with a knuckle. "I wonder if they could be fixed. If so it might be useful somehow. Clearly it was good for something at some point. Not even the ancients just stuck these sort of units in rooms for no reason." He wanders aimlessly around, glances at Rogawani, then takes his cue to drag a cupboard door open. It gives with a squeal and shows a jumble of old wires, some computer parts, and a large dust bunny.

Thea turns her head and eyes the pipes Rogawani has indicated. "Wonder why…" she muses idly. She doesn't examine them closely just yet. The cabinets Enkavir taps get a brief glance, "They might want to salvage them for something, if they're not attached?" Her voice is unsure about that, however as she moves across the room, carefully slow so she doesn't stir up too much dust. She heads back towards the door on her own exploration, fingertips dancing lightly along the wall there. "Ah, what is this?" She traces the perimeters of a hand-sized, flat panel for a moment, then brushes her fingers across the center of the plate. Overhead lights flicker, then flood the room with a steady, dust-diffused blue-white light.

"Maybe it's some sort of back-up unit for the sands." Rogawani suggests, holding the door of the cabinet half-open. Really, it's a wild guess for a boy who knows more about runners and roads than about technology, but the proximity seems to fit. "Even if it can't be fixed, I'm sure the computer and tech crafters would love a look at this stuff." As he holds the glow up to see the contents of the cabinet. "Some replacement lights in this one, and…" He reaches in, and then gives a small shocked squeek as his hand draws back, holding a bound book. Shaking it once or twice, a nearly mummified tunnelsnake falls off the cover and lands on the ground, sunken features looking grotesque. "Eeeaaah." The boy kicks the dried out snake away, and shivers a little. When the lights come up, he blinks slightly, and then looks at the book before walking closer to the Weyrwoman. "It's kind of faded, I wonder if the scribes could make something of it?"

Enkavir blinks in the sudden light, rubbing at one eye with the heel of his hand. "Well that's bright, anyway." He gives Thea a bit of a grin, then flips the cover over his glowbasket. He rummages around in the pile of stuff in his cabinet, but ends up just leaving it there as he swings the door back shut. "Definitely some good stuff in there if they can get it to work. We should definitely have someone more qualified than us come take a-" he breaks off at Rogawani's exclamation at the sight of the little mummy-snake, turning with lifted brows. "Yeah, that's pretty gross," he agrees as he walks over, carefully stepping around the tunnelsnake, to look down at the book. "Careful, don't let the pages crumble. I might even be able to make something out of it, but we might want to hand it off to the harpers? I wonder what it's about."

Thea jumps just a bit as Rogawani squeeks, lowers the kerchief, instantly poised for flight. Since she's still standing all the way across the room from the boy and right beside the open door, she doesn't totally lose it. As the dried carcass flutters to the floor and is kicked, she laughs off her nervous reaction. "Look on the bright side, Rogawani. At least -this- one didn't attach itself to your leg!" The increased dust from their too-quick movements serve to cloud the room and reduce the visibility quite a bit and serves as a reminder to reapply the kerchief. She walks as carefully as possibly over to peer at the manual. "It does look ancient. Harpers-" she agrees with Enkavir. "- or Archivists should see to it." She doesn't touch it herself (there was a dead thing on it, after all), but scans the walls in general. "Did you either of you guys check to see if there are any other ways out of here?"

Rogawani gives one more sideways glance at the mummified tunnelsnake, which even in death seems to be looking his way. "Why is it always tunnelsnakes?" He whispers to himself, and then gives a small shake of his head before looking at the manual in his hands. "For now, I guess you'd be better off with it than me." Looking towards Enkavir, he offers out the book carefully. Twitching his nose, and causing his shirt to twitch along with it, the messenger looks slowly around the room, "Doesn't look like there's a way out, but then again no one saw the way in for turns either."

Enkavir wrinkles his nose at the dead specimen and shakes his head. "At least it isn't on fire, right?" He eyes the book with more trepidation than the tunnelsnake got, but after a moment he just dips a quick little nod and carefully takes it from Rogawani. Hardly breathing he pulls a light sweater from his pack - you never know where tunnels are going to lead - and wraps the aged volume in it before sliding it oh so carefully into his pack. That finished, he lets out the held breath and settles the pack back in place. "Unless you're small enough to fit out through the hole where the pipes run, I don't think there's another way out of here. Do you want us to try and look behind the cabinets or anything?" He goes over to the nearest one, giving it a little tug to see if it will budge.

At the same time Enkavir speaks about flames, Thea says, "Funny, I was asking myself the same question about ovines awhile ago," She smirks from behind the cloth, then laughs outright as Enkavir's words sink in. The cabinets are given a cursory glance, her tone once again sober as she answers his question, "Might want to leave that to the tech crew. I'm more concerned with folks being able to have access to the Hatching Arena from some…other place." Turning to eye the dust-fuzzed walls, she addresses the possibilities of exits, this time replying to Rogawani, "That's true, but maybe that door was meant to stay hidden?" She moves further into the back recesses of the room to press the flat of her hands against the walls experimentally, although she can't push all that hard. It doesn't take but a few moments since the wall isn't that wide to begin with and the spaces without counters or consoles is limited. Nothing budges.

"I'm hoping I haven't come down with rider X'hil's bad luck with animals. Otherwise the next thing -will- be a flaming tunnelsnake." Rogawani comments, dusting his hands off onto his pants after the manual is handed over to the record keeper. Lifting his head and turning it towards Thea, the boy gives a curious cant of his head, which looks all the more silly figuring his nose down is covered in shirt. "But why keep this hidden in the first place? Kind of weird if you ask me." He walks over to one of the consoles, brushing some dust off of it but being careful not to push anything or hit any switches. Then, as the others are checking out the walls, he walks over to just below the hole where the wires exit. "Hey Thea? Do you think your brown could fit through there? Maybe we could find out where these go off to."

Enkavir just looks from the laughing Thea to Rogawani and he slowly nods. "Exactly," he quips with a dry note. "Let's all hope no one else ends up with X'hil's luck." He watches Thea push against the walls, one hip leaned up against one of the counters. After a moment his eyes narrow and go distant, and finally he tips his head to the side. "So, if this is where the tunnel leads, and obviously no one has been here in ages… where were those noises coming from? I mean, that was the initial reason we found this tunnel at all, right? We've answered the less important question but not all the bigger ones." The mention of the brown exploring the tunnel brings a thoughtful look to Enkavir's features. "Do you think he could?" A firelizard being useful? No way.

Thea dusts her hands off, turning back to face the others, answering Rogawani first, "Might be they didn't want non-maintenance folks finding their way down here? Or they started the room with a different purpose in mind and converted it to a utility room?" She huhs silently, musing aloud, "Wonder if the queen's riders slept down here when their dragons were brooding over a clutch?" She shudders at the thought, then the boy mentions the hole and Shep. "Hmm, he might be." She steps over that way, peering at the hole. "Shep, look. Go see." The brown pokes his head out with a sweet-sounding chirrup and creeps up Thea's raised arm, craning his head curiously at the hole, then back to Thea. "Go on in." He chitters and leap-flaps to the opening, wriggles inside. The weyrwoman is looking much-relieved and has relaxed since finding no further exits and no signs of recent use, but Enkavir's question brings her eyes to his face, noting the narrowed eyes and distant look of his expression. Immediately the troubled, wary look is back to her face, her tone distraught, "I- I don't know."

With eyebrows furrowing with thought, Rogawani seems to think through the different options, and then give a shrug. He's certainly no architect and trying to figure out the minds of the makers is sometimes damn near impossible. "I hope the queen riders didn't sleep down here. It would give me the creeps." Shifting a toe into the dust, the boy looks up to watch the firelizard disappearing into the opening. "I've… been thinking." He turns from the hole in the wall to look at Enkavir and Thea. "It wasn't just the hatching sands that had weird sounds. They've been other places, too." Stepping a few paces forward, he looks upward towards the vent, and then points. "Vents? They connect everything in the weyr, right?"

Enkavir remains lounging against the counter, his body loose but his face all firm lines as he thinks about the situation. He watches Shep dubiously, but nods finally when the brown obeys and heads down the vent. The idea of riders sleeping down here, echoed by Rogawani, makes him shrug. "It's only creepy because it's unused and dusty. It's a cavern just like the ones we /all/ sleep in. It's a lot cooler than the sands or galleries too." Pale hazel eyes slide over to Thea, but when she speaks in that tone, his brow furrows. "I didn't mean to upset you, Thea. It /is/ sort of why we're down here though right?" Vents. slowly his eyes lift to the hole where Shep's little brown tail disappeared and he arches a brow. "I suppose they do, yeah. But why haven't those weird noises been heard before then?"

Thea leans against the wall rather abruptly, a troubled expression haunts eyes too large in her suddenly ashen face as she speaks, "It's just-" With a shake of her head she changes her direction. The light tone in her voice sounding forced, slight smile unnatural, "I don't sleep in a windowless tomb. I have a cabin in the forest." Her eyes raise to the vent over the door, speculation slowly replaces replaces apprehension. "True, but we've heard them where there are no vents as well." She turns to eye the hole Shep went, "That's not a vent, really." She frowns, "All I'm getting from him is images of a dark, cramped space. He's pressed against…he's creeping, not flying." She turns back, apology in her voice, "I'm sorry it's not all that clear, even though Seryth is trying to help."

Echoing Thea's comment, Rogawani chimes in his own. "I sleep in the stables, pretty much since my brother was born, and I was only three or so then. Just barely remember sleeping in the caverns." Looking a bit reluctant, the boy places his hands into his pockets, shifting the dust around to form a little semi-circle on the floor. Glancing again at the vent, and then to Thea, he nods a little. "I was just thinking about the echoes, but you're right. There were weird sounds in the forest too." His voice seems to deflate a little, looking between the gold rider and record keeper. "I'm stumped. I don't know anything down here that might make sounds here and out there."

Enkavir looks from one to the other, and a smile slowly creeps onto his lips. "Alright, so it's not that different from the cavern /I/ sleep in, then. Does Seryth sleep out in the woods with you, Thea? No weyr?" As for the stables, Enkavir just shakes his head. "I'd rather be under a pile of rock than surrounded by hay and dung, thank you very much. To each their own though, eh?" He runs a hand along the counter he's leaned up against, absently swiping dust onto the floor. "You're right, Rogawani. We might as well head back up where it's not so dusty and send in Crafters to check this place out." He eyes the hole for a beat then just rolls a shoulder in a half shrug. "He can only do what he can do, Thea. As long as it doesn't open up onto some big gathering of Renegades I think we're probably safe."

"She does," Thea answers Enkavir, "Although some really cold nights she sneaks into the Hatching Arena if the Sands aren't occupied." She tilts her head, eyeing the direction the 'lizard is likely to be in, "Shep's on his way back. He- I got the impression he had to stop. Too bad they can't talk," She murmurs. While she waits for the firelizard to return, she eyes the vent, "Might explain the sounds coming from back here during the clutching, even if made from further away." She sounds immensely relieved, at least on one account. Green eyes slide over Enkavir's face as she speaks about the sounds, and he's mentioning Renegades. A scrabble claims her attention as Shep emerges with a mournful squeak. "Hot?" Thea inspects a tiny forefoot. "Aw, you've a burn, Shep." Her hand extends to hover over one of the pipes, "The hot ones go through here as well."

"It's not that bad, really." Rogawani shrugs his shoulders, looking at the record keeper as seriously as he can with a shirt still covering most of his face. "The stablehands keep it really clean. About the only time it gets bad is if the animals are stuck inside for a long time due to bad weather." Like anything else, it something that you get used to with time. The sound of the firelizard scrambling out draws his attention, and then he pulls the shirt from his nose. "Oh Thea, I'm sorry." Rogawani's face falls a little as he looks at the brown lizard. "I didn't know. He's not hurt too bad is he?" The boy asks, looking slightly anxious. He's grown up around animals, so any animal (other than a tunnelsnake) in pain is concerning.

Enkavir just wrinkles his nose at Rogawani, and nods at Thea. "Somewhere that doesn't include a ton of other people snoring and stumbling into my cot in the middle of the night might be welcome. I just don't think I could do the stables." Not that anyone /in/ the stables wants him there anyhow. He meets Thea's appraising look with lifted 'what?' sort of brows, then winces and pushes his weight up off the counter as Shep limps back out. "Oh, poor little guy. Can they have numbweed? I brought a little jar…" he trails off with a sheepish cast to his grin. "I wasn't sure if we were going to end up crawling through rocks or…" he doesn't finish that either, the whole idea sort of lame as they stand in a well-lit computer filled room.

Thea comforts the brown firelizard with a few gentle strokes, before returning him to her shoulders, her eyes carefully avoiding Enkavir's until he speaks. A genuine smile lights her eyes, an appraising look follows, "You did? You came prepared! They can, but lets get up out of all this dust first." She dusts her hands off, "That at least explains why he was pressed against something. Keeping away from that hot pipe, likely." She turns, takes a few steps and frowns slightly, "Sleeping in the stables, Rogawani?" She doesn't like the sound of that, her voice sharpens just a bit, "Why?"

"Yeah, let's get out of this dust before we come out looking like we're eighty." Rogawani runs a hand through his hair, which has already built up it's own collection of dust. Still looking with concern at the firelizard, he nearly doesn't hear Thea's question as he begins walking to the door. "Huh?" Blinking, he looks back, "Oh, I was fostered by two stablehands after my brother was born. It was easier for them to watch me if I was out there with them. And Da always took night watch, so Ma and I slept up in the loft." Looking slightly confused, the boy just hooks his thumbs into his belt, shrugging. "Never thought anything of it, really. Is it that strange?"

Enkavir shrugs it off as much as he can, shifting the bulky bag he carries slung over one shoulder. "I've done a bit of hiking and exploring around the places I've lived. You start to know what might come in handy." He scrubs a hand through his hair, sending a cloud of dust up and leaving it even messier than it already was, if that's possible. "We should make sure and warn whoever gets sent down here about the hot pipes. Just in case they decide to mess around near them for whatever reason." When Thea stops, he steps around her, unshielding his glow basket to lead the way back up. "It /is/ sort of strange but not unheard of," he offers to Rogawani over his shoulder.

Thea half-smiles at Rogawani as she follows, "Not strange, really. Just don't want you sick come winter. I doubt they're wasting heat up in the lofts to keep the hay warm." She's teasing the boy just a bit, adding, "Holders're counting on you." She makes a wry face as those words escape her lips. Obviously they're not really counting on the Weyr right now. She flashes Enkavir a grateful look as he passes and lifts the lid on his glowbasket. Her eyes are on his back, a very thoughtful expression in them indeed as she pauses to brush her finger across the plate by the door, extinguishing the lights.

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