Hot Sands

Xanadu Weyr Region - Collapsed Cave
A large bubble, similar to those that now house dragons and riders alike in the traditional Weyrs of the Northern Continent has been hidden away beneath the crust of the earth for some time, it seems. However, the large hole in the top has opened this large sanctuary to the outside world, revealing a cavern easily large enough to house a pair of full grown metallic dragons. Sand and silt, surprisingly hot to the touch, fill the cavern to a comfortable depth, while there seem to be no other entrances or exits except for the one from above.

Past breakfast, a small search party heads into the collapsed cave near the encampment. Altrea makes sure she is in the party, having been dying to get somewhere small, close, and dark since the entrance was discovered. "It's just like home!" she waxes nostalgically, touching one wall. The 'responsible adult' with them (dubiously responsible, but a handy rope-rack and having the necessary rider's knot) looks around the cave uncertainly and then clears his throat. "Right! Stay close and watch your step, report back anything strange you find!" he orders, though honestly he seems to really only be there to humor the interest of the search party. After all, nobody could get in here without a dragon, right?

Other search parties have gone off on sweeps again, or to re-investigate things noticed on previous sweeps. It is perhaps possible that some of the teens and inexperienced people have gotten fobbed off on this particular mission to keep them out of trouble. That said, this still seems like an interesting place to explore, and Soriana's not all that disappointed. Okay, really, she's not disappointed at all, not to judge from the grin as she looks around. She nods to the greenrider's instructions, and lifts up the electric light she got herself equipped with as she hops down to find… hot sands! Like a miniature hatching grounds! "Huh."

Idrissa was of course in that team to go exploring! She wasn't about to be left out of it that's for sure. Once at the bottom of said cave she is busy looking around, a soft oo and the like escaping her in the process. At the words from the rider she nods to the talk of sticking close and so forth. She flicks on her own light and is off on the other side to check the place out. The sand is everywhere and she crouches down to poke at it a few times "Sand is all warm an stuff.." She is soo good at pointing out things that everyone else can tell for themselves.

Altrea shuffles her foot through the sand thoughtfully. "Warm… which means there's something under this keeping it warm. Lava or hot springs. I wonder which." Wonder wonder! She smiles at Soriana and Idrissa, kinda glad they're here, and makes sure to glom onto them, giving the floor an experimental stomp. Cuz you know, stomping through the floor would be awesome.

Especially if there's lava beneath! Stomping through the floor onto hot lava would be super awesaieeeeee! Soriana nods to Idrissa, then glances to Altrea. "Yeah. I bet it's volcanic." It's sorta like those things Thea pointed out on the way! And, really, when you're talking about weird rock stuff, volcanic is a pretty safe bet. Or geothermal, if you're technical, which Sori isn't. She waves her light around, checking out the shape of the walls, and down to the ground as well. "Hey, it looks kinda wet over there…" she says, and heads over to check it out!

Idrissa moves the sands around a few times with a hand before standing back up and brushes her knees off as she moves on towards Altrea and peers at her curiously as she stomps away. "Where… You trying to stomp too?" She questions curious like, if there is lava down there she doesn't wana meet it! Hearing Soriana she ohs and heads that'a way to see what her friend may have found.

"Just making sure it's solid," replies Altrea. She gives a few more tromps until she stomps on something funny. She toes at the dirt again until a flash of something catches in the artificial light of their torches. She crouches down and tries to pick it up and discovers it is a button still attached to a scrap of fabric. She excavates it, and takes it towards Soriana and Idrissa to see what they're looking at. Tell the greenrider with them? Ehhh… later.

Soriana crouches down to the sands, and reaches out a hand to touch them. Warm sands, smooth silt… she spreads her fingers, reaching them into the sansd in an effort to feel out how deep they go, and finds something else instead. That's not a rock! …is it? She props her light up in the sand and digs up the sand a little to bring up a curved piece of egg-shell, perhaps the size of her palm. It's a pale golden color, flecked with deep green splotches. "Huh."

Idrissa hears Altrea but doesn't pay much attention to what is said as she goes about checking out the sands that Soriana is busy looking at. Her fingers dig into the sands a bit and she blinks seeming to find a the same rock. She sets her light down and helps move said rock one it is dug up. The gritty black ash is seen and she picks up a few piece of paper in the process and blinks. "Sori.. I think someone burned some papers." Though the colorful shards of possible eggs catch her attention and she frowns while moving the bits of paper and eggs shells around of them around and a faint eep escaping her as she finds a animal, well its a dead animal. "Sori…" Is mutterd out while she reaches to poke at that possible mummified body of something that may have been alive at one point.

Altrea comes closer, still holding the scrap of shirt. She leans in, and seeing that Sori has found an egg shell, wrinkles her forehead and holds out her hand, a silent request to see the discovered shard herself. "Do you think this was an old hatching ground?" she asks. "I mean… well, could there have been another weyr out here?" It seems unlikely, but how else do you explain egg shards and descicated clothing and… a dead animal? "I found a dead bird buried by my tent, too."

The green dragon with them whimpers.

Soriana glances up to Altrea, and places the egg-shard in her waiting fingers. She trails her fingers through the sands again, finding another shard - this one, a pale lilac with ragged edges. As she's lifting it out, she hears Idrissa say her name, and looks up. Oh. Her fingers clench around the lilac shell, and it crumbles against her palm as she rises, bringing the electric with her as she comes over and crouches beside the corpse. She looks it over, seeming calm - but as her other hand unclenches to reach out and touch lightly at one scorched wingspar, along the outline of shoulder to the neck, there's red marks where the eggshell cut her. She hasn't seemed to notice them. "It's a dragon," she says slowly, as the green echoes that sentiment in her own fashion. Sori stares at the corpse, as if to take in all the details.

The green dragon with them is watching. How can she not? This place, so like the sands where she came to be in Xanadu is hot… far too hot. But instinct is strong even if memory is not. Shell shards… hot sand… they bring back an association enhanced by turns of more recent, joyous occasions where humming welcomed new generations of dragon-kind that found what they wanted most in bright expectations for the future. But this find of Idrissa's. The green dragon sees it and knows something crushingly tragic happened here. Then lifts her head in an eerie, heart-rending keen that vibrates the base of everyone's skull and hits their stomachs with grief… and loss. Of incompletion and longing and…finality as she broadcasts her emotions on a wider band than is normal. From outside the cavern the other dragons take up the dirge, the wails echo down the shaft to mingle with the green's cries until they are spent, fading away. Tribute is, appropriately and at long last, given.

Idrissa grows quiet whie she looks over the mummified form, the eggs the sands.. It has to be a dragon of some type right? She frowns and lets her hand rest faintly against a part of the corpse and shakes her head. "What…do you think could have happened?" Her gaze drifting up towards the mouth of the cave, perhaps a cavein?.. But there is the piece of paper also found with the bits of egg shell and the body. As the green dragon starts to whimper she looks over to it and she is taken back by the sudden vibrating sound through out the cave as other dragons join in the call as well. It's somewhat loud and her ears are ringing even after the tribute has ended.

Altrea takes a deep breath, rubbing the back of her neck with her free hand when the dragon is done keening. "Well…that was eerie," she says uncomfortably. She looks around, and then shakes her head. "I'd say we should leave and tell somebody what we found, but I think they already know." She looks at the dragon shell in her hand, turning it over twice just to make sure she didn't miss anything, and then folds it carefully into the remnants of the shirt. "Can you make out anything on that paper, Iridessa?" Well, at least it's a pretty name, if she's going to get it wrong all the time.

Soriana stays beside the never-born dragon as the others keen their loss. A dragon… never known, yet still lost. She's heard that sound before, felt that terrible feeling as the dragons share their pain. An old blue at Ierne, when his lifemate's heart gave out… but this is different. This is a dragon that never had a lifemate. A dragon here, not leapt between in suicide. Soriana keeps her eyes on the corpse, blinking back a tear or three. She ignores the other two for now, continuing to examine the dead dragon with… well, a curiosity she can't quite help, even if it does seem disrespectful. So that's how the parts of the wing are formed… and the shape of the head… curious looks, and careful touches, and no attention left for bits of paper.

Idrissa has never heard a dragon call out for the loss of dragon before, its a sound she will never forget and she hopes to not hear it again anytime soon. She hears Altrea but her gaze still lingers on the long dead dragon, a soft sigh escapes her and she lifts her gaze to look at Soriana. She frowns and leans over to give her friend a one armed hug. "I.. I dono.. I guess I can try and collect 'em pieces of paper and check it over later." Though she stays near Sori for a few moments.

Altrea seems to be deliberately NOT looking at the unborn dragon's corpse. For someone who so desperately wanted to study dragons, it seems odd that she'd pass up the chance to study one's anatomy so intimately (something very rare, due to the habit of dragons to suicide whenever possible). Instead, she clears her throat and gives the two friends up as a lost cause, looking around for anything else of interest.

Soriana glances over at Idrissa briefly, and offers a slight smile her eyes aren't a part of before she turns her attention back to the corpse. There are puzzles within puzzles here, and this one is what most intrigues her. She touches the curve of the eye socket lightly, and her fingers pause mid-touch as a thought strikes her. Her eyes close for a moment - several moments - until finally there's a faint pop as Toral appears on her shoulder. The firelizard's eyes are tinged orange, and he seems like he's trying to hide in her hair.

Idrissa offers a faint smile back to Soriana and takes in a faint breath as she peers after Altrea whom is moving off. Oh sure, go wander off /now/. The pop gets her attention an she looks over to Toral, an she speaks softly to him. "I'll be alright Toral." She then goes about trying to pick up all the bits of paper that she can fine. Her gaze turning back to the dragon corpse at times though.

It's a good thing she wandered off! "Um, guys?" Altrea calls from behind the rock that hid the tomb. She bends down and plucks something from the silt between two fingers, sort of looking disgusted. "I don't think this is part of the original decor." It's a meatroll, still in its paper wrapper. It doesn't even look older than a few hours, judging by the lack of mold or bugs or general rotten meat smell such a thing might develop after significant time on hot sand.

Soriana spends a few moments in what must be silent discussion with the firelizard - her eyes are open now, and she's touching him gently. Whatever she's saying, the brown doesn't seem to like it… or perhaps that's just the circumstances of this discussion. His eyes whirl unhappy orange, and he makes little squeaks and soft keens. After a while, Sori sighs, and shakes her head. She lifts Toral from her shoulder and gives him a boost into the air, and after two wingbeats he vanishes between again. Soriana looks at the spot he disappeared for a moment with a faint, rueful smile, then turns her attention back to the unborn dragon's corpse. Altrea is ignored, for now. Probably just babbling about something or other unimportant, right? She does that all the time!

Idrissa isn't really listening to Altrea either, her mind going over everything that has happened recently. There arn't suppose to be dragon corpse, though as this one never got hatched that must be the problem, right? A soft sigh escapes her and she looks to Toral blinking a moment and then lifts her gaze was he disappears between. Her attention goes back to what she is working on and she has picked up all the pieces of paper that she can possible find. She finally looks over to Altrea. "What are you talking about?"

Altrea is just starting to get annoyed about all the ignoring, about to burst out about how IMPORTANT THIS IS, DUH! when Idrissa finally addresses her. She waves the meat roll and it wobbles in its greasy wrapper. "This is fresh. Someone was here. Right before we were." Spooky! And also, by the way, "What was up with the firelizard?"

So, this must be where - shells and shards and tiny dead dragons, what is Altrea getting so excited about? Does she not have an indoor voice? Okay, yes, they're technically outdoors, but even so! Soriana looks that way for long enough to give a stare. "So tell P'din!" Y'know, that greenrider they came down with? The one they were supposed to report to with anything they found? That P'din? Seeeeeriously! Okay, that does it for her duty here. Back to checking out the rib structure. It's oddly tapered… maybe that's just because it's so young? Hmm.

Idrissa hums faintly and glances back to Alrea curiously a moment. "The firelizard and the dragons don't like being here because of this." She points towards the long forgotten nest, and the dead dragon. At least this is what Rissa can gather from how Toral was acing! "Ya.. Tell P'din about the meatroll. Maybe someone dropped it on the way down?"

Altrea huffs as Sori fails to notice just how AWESOME and IMPORTANT she is. "Well I wasn't eating it, and I didn't see either of you eating it, so that doesn't exactly leave a whole lot of people to have dropped it," and stomps off to P'din to show him the meatroll. He, at least, looks suitably perturbed. "All right kids, let's head back. I need to talk to the higher-ups about some things." Like fresh meat rolls!

Huh, and the vertebrae are actually put together in a really interesting way. They sort of - huh? Sori blinks as P'din calls them all back, and frowns as she slowly picks herself up from beside the unborn dragon. She doesn't actually argue, though she totally could have spent, like, three more hours looking it over. At least! Sigh. As they mount up on the dragon again, she's looking over the green with a considering eye. So that's what those bone structures look like when covered by muscle and skin!

"Could have fallen in from someone up at the top?" Idrissa offers while she bags all the bits of papers, along with some shell shards in the process. Her gaze lingers on the dragon corpse once more while she stands up brushing her hands off and follows after Soriana quiet now. With Sori up and follows suit and waits for rider and Altrea to get on for them to go. So many questions, and as far as she sees not near enough answers for any of this, yet at least.

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License