Fallen From Grace

Xanadu Weyr - Deep Forest

The wooded areas closer to Xanadu Weyr represent a compromise between man and mother nature, but to the west, no such arrangements have been made. The deep woods between the Weyr and the mountains are less traveled, the wider paths fit for man and beast less present. The noises of mankind are barely audible here, brief ghosts on the wind, and the quiet thrum of forest life presses in on all sides. The snapping of a twig, a bird's cry, the low cadence of insects; all of these things seem louder. Closer. The deeper you move into the trees, the more it becomes obvious that you are passing through nature only at her allowance.
The cover of trees is more severe in this area of the wood and only occasional shafts of sunlight lance down through the canopy, the sky visible in brief patches. A rough path has been blazed to the east, back towards the Weyr, and west, towards the mountains. It does not appear to be a heavily frequented path, but the few who have chosen to pass through this area appear to use it more than other avenues available. Only the very foolish or the very experienced would ever wander far from the path.

The rain in unrelenting and continues to flow. At the moment it's coming down hard, new rivlets flow heavily down the path obscuring much of it and turning the rest of it quite trecherous. Seeking to avoid the path had led Zafi to hoof it off trail, trusting in her experiance to get her back to the Weyr. What she hadn't counted on was the opening of the skies to release a deluge of water down where it had been but a soft and gentle drizzle. Of course, with the vegetation, she hadn't seen a sinkhole that had opened up where previously there had been solid ground and the teen fond herself sliding several feet into a hole. Remnants of old roots can still be seen, though much looks to have rotted away, leaving a cavity in the ground which finally collapsed due to the heavy rains. Though she screamed upon falling, it was unlikely that it was heard this far out. However, she had her brown firelizard with her and he was sent screaming to riders of Galaxy wing. Luckily he knew Keziah fairly well because of her time playing with Mirai. And so, in the hole she waits. Cold, wet, sore, miserable and just a little scared as water pours in from the rain.

With the pouring rain, Kezi was hoping to be settling in and relaxing in the warmth of her cottage. But with sinkholes appearing left and right, she's been busy drawing maps to send out with the riders. She's muttering to herself, or maybe it's Alosynth "Why did I ever spend so much time learning maps? Bah. I'd rather be out there working. Oh don't give me that. Hmmph." A night in the caverns will do well enough she supposes, at least she can get something warm to drink. She mutters a little and then she looks around "Ers'lan!" she calls out and then eyes the map again. "Where did you say that other one was?" she asks the brown firelizard suddenly appears in a frenzy. "Wythe?" she blinks and then the brown suddenly lands, his eyes whirling maddly "Ers'lan! Come with me now. Alosynth says that Zaf's in trouble in the woods." she grabs her cloak and runs out, expecting the rookie to follow.

Ers'lan is just as good at maps as Keziah, considering the nagivational skills he had to pick up for sailing. He was calculating the distance from one quadrant of the map to the next, doing some of the math involved as he scribbles some numbers down. Squinting his eyes, a ruler is plunked down on the map that Keziah is pouring over, stepping beside her to hover over the map, taking a writing untensil to it, marking out some numbers and directions, until with a definite point and a satisfied look, he puts a dot on the map. He's precise. If any master-map-maker were to look at it and then go find the place out in the woods, they'd come right upon it, within a span of a couple feet east and west, but find it they would. He's just about to say something when that brown firelizard pops in, sounding off the alarm that his own firelizards react to. The images are passed from his gold to Zhaoth to himself, albeit a little slower and with more confusion than what Keziah apparently receives. He has just enough time to nod and rip his jacket off the back of his chair when Keziah is running out the door, buckling up his jacket as he lopes behind her. Zhaoth is at the ready outside, straps on as all galaxy rider's are supposed to maintain, at least while they're on shift.

Shivering, Zafi huddles at the bottom of the hole for a short bit and then she's wincing as she stands up and tries to climb up the roots and dirst to get out of the whole. Unfortunately it's so wet and slippery and slimey that she falls right back down. She lets out a string of curses she's learned form many a source and flops back down again on the wet and muddy crown. When Wythe appears back to her, she almost cries out in relief at seeing him and the image of Kezi and Alo. "Oh thank Faranth." Then as she gets another image, this one of Ers'lan she blushes a little and then drops her head to her knees "Oh, just all I need is him to see me like this. I'm a mess."

Keziah has the advantage of being familiar with the brown, or more like the green herself as much experiance with the firelizard. Kezi's out in the rain and up on Alosynth who is ready to go as well. "Quickly! And be carefule. Survey the area first." she advises as Alosynth leaps up and heads towards the forest. Least she's familiar with the area and can fly straight "Go on ahead of me. I'll catch up." she says "Betweening will get you there much quicker. Be careful though." she also notes softly.

With little ceremony, Lan clamors up the hide of his lifemate, barely sitting down when Zhaoth launches, making Lan hold his stomach just a little bit. Though in the urgency of the situation, his own issues seem to take the back burner, mind winning out over body this round. Grappling onto the neck ridges of his lifemate, he signals to Keziah once they are up in the sky, rain beating down on them in a nasty pour. The signal is to notify his understanding and his immediate departure *between*… Zhaoth gets to the flight level required and then simply disappears, leaving a void in the rain in the shape of the dragon for a second after his leave.
On the flip side, Zhaoth's wings snap crisply in the rain filled sky, back-winging over the spot indicated by the firelizards and Alosynth. A few swoops later has Zhaoth hovering over he tree line, with a rope tossed over and the long coiled end hissing through the forest below until the end slops down into the wet grass. Since there happened to be no clearing close by, repelling was the only option. Wriggling into further belts attached on the saddle bags, Lan clasps and secures himself into the rigging. Unbuckling himself from the flight straps, he starts to bound off the side of Zhaoth, the wet rope hard to hang onto if it weren't for his calloused hands and experience with such conditions. Taking foot steps down Zhaoth's hide, he's soon dangling in the air, lowering himself by the second, avoiding tree branches where he can. Some minutes later, he's safely avoided obstacles, detached the rope from Zhaoth with a certain jerk or two, and the brown is winging away to the nearest clearing, with a broadcasting roar, specific comforting golden sheets wrapping around Zafirah's mind, « Ers'lan is here now. We will get you free. »

Looking up at the sound of the dragon in her mind, and one that is certainly not her mother's dragon either. "Shards but I hope he's brought somethign hot to drink." Zafi sighs "Or maybe something that just warms all the way down." She's bad, she liked the drink. Course, drink would be now considering it'd actally make her colder without her knowing it, so maybe just as well. "Down here!" she calls out as she struggles to stand up in the slippery mud, her feet slipping down past her ankles in the muck. "Oh please, hurry." she almost whimpers to herself a little.

Having to travel the long way, Keziah gets there a little while after Ers'lan, though at least it's faster still than if she was on a runner. Still rappelling down isn't something she's going to try at the moment and instead lands a little distance off. Course, having a smaller dragon makes that easier as well. "Don't worry Alo, I'll be careful." she murmurs as she gives the dragon a pat and then makes her way towards Zafirah and Ers'lan. She's careful to watch her step and slowly makes her way there. She's brought her rope with her. "Ers'lan!" she calls out making sure she's heading in the right direction.

Ers'lan works his way over toward the location of the sink hole, edging himself closer toward it, staying back a foot when he notices the sides are not as firm as they should be, cracks showing through big patches of grass. "Oy…" he calls out, finding a spot that he can put one foot forward and the other back, as if to space out his weight, peering down the gully of a hole, his face coming into view for Zafirah's eyes, rain slicked helmet off, goggles slung around his neck. "Be yah okay?" He initially calls, "Whar cha be thinkin Firah! Be no time fer ya ta get off trail…I be knowin I be new ta the job 'n all, but tis narh the type of practice I be wantin… scared the wits out of me…" he scolds, eyeing up the situation, having to step back a bit, "Jus stop moving. The more ya move, the more ya be getting stuck…" He's currently working the length of rope that he recoiled in a loop around his chest, slung cross-wise against his torso. Then he's peering toward the tree tops as Zhaoth reports of Alosynth arriving. Nodding, he waits until Keziah calls out for him, "Aye. Here."

Zafirah snorts a bit at Ers'lan "How'd I be knowing that the ground was going to be gone out from under me?" she hmmphs "Scared the wits outta you? What about me? Shards. We got water in the mines, holes in the ground. It all be backwards. "Kezi? She's there?" she asks as she swallows and then pales a little "Shards, she shouldn't be out here. Mirai says she's on paper duty." She glances up past Ers'lan as if she tries to see the greenrider. "Kezi! Mirai's gonna kill me iffen you get hurt!" she sighs a litte and then she looks back towards Ers'lan "I'm cold, wet, dirty and I think I twisted an ankle, but other than that I'm great. A walk in the park."

Keziah meets up with Ers'lan and she's looking at the ground too. "Not good." she notes as she wipes some of the rain out of her face. "Zafi, I'd be remiss if I let you stay down here. I'll be fine. I ain't crippled." Just pregnant. What a pain. "We'll get you out of there Zafi. Don't worry." she murmurs as she glances over at Ers'lan "So, what do you propose that we do." she asks quietly. Sure, she's dropping a lot of responsibility on his shoulders, but she's sure he is capable. Even if he does rub her the wrong way for some unfathomable reason to her.

Ers'lan laughs a bit at Zafirah, an ease the tension sort of interplay, "Reckon ya be jus fine then. Get ya up out of thar in a jiffy…" He half considers Keziah and her assumed 'paper duty' with a silent pursing of his lips, "Her stupidity ain't whar be important, reckon ya bein stuck in a hole is…" Oh yes, he did just go there, smug about it too, likely the reason he rubs her the wrong way? The fact that he got to nag at her about her condition and about her duty was quite clearly a welcomed role reversal. It's all done with an easy smirk as he rolls his shoulder and brings the coil of rope up around his shoulders. "Reckon I be tying the rope ta a tree, get down thar, put her on me back, and climb up," he says dryly, as if the rescue was no big deal, not for this rookie. He goes to trying to fling one end of the rope around the length of the tree, having to wing it a few times before he can catch the otherside.

Zafirah smothers a bit of a snort as she listens to Ers'lan. She steps back a bit, slipping in the muck. "Just be careful." there's a pause and then she tilts her head a bit "I wouldn't want ya hurtin any part of that beautiful body of yours." she murmurs with a giggles "I be likin ya whole and there be sharp roots and all." She may be speakin a bit tongue in cheek, but there's an undercurrent of fear in her voice nonetheless. BArely heard over the rainfall is "PLease hurry."

Keziah eyes Ers'lan at his words and instead of lashing out at him she looks away a moment and then she swallows and speaks, her voice a little tight "Ers'lan's right. Getting you out of there is the important thing." She takes a deep breath and doesn't look over at Ers'lan. "Just hang in there. Okay Zaf? We'll get you out of there. Okay?" She then nods to Ers'lan "Make sure it's secure, I'll trust ya to your sailor knots." she knots as she starts to step back away from the edge when the sound of the ground giving away is heard and Kezi lets out a yell as she starts to scramble away but ends up slipping on the wet ground "LAN!" she cries out.

Ers'lan smirks a little over his shoulder when Keziah doesn't snark back at him but instead agrees with him, a slightly astonished look taking over the edges of his smirk, victory for once. Yet, subsequent to that expression, a frown emerges. It remains as he focuses on the rope and getting it secure around the tree which looked sturdy enough to support his weight, even Zafirah's playful remarks about his beautiful body and such don't win a smile back onto his features. Something nettles him, though with his back to Keziah, it's moot. The fact of the matter was, he got the rope tied around the tree trunk and knotted too. The unfortunate part is the abrupt distraction of Keziah desperately calling out for help. Time slips away to seconds, reactions working over time, adrenaline quickly shot through his system. For an instant his hand was on the rope, the next he is bounding toward the greenrider, rope slipping loose of his grip, half sliding in the mud as his arm strains forward in attempts to get a hold of Keziah. He's not quick enough to catch her… not quick enough to catch her at a point that he could pull her back up. The next best option even as the land beneath his feet crumbles? Dive at her. That's what he does as the sink hole grows larger, even Zafirah should be concerned about trying not to get sucked down further nor have debris fall on her as the walls crumble in. Ers'lan lunges and half rolls himself over the edge in time to fall with Keziah, arms curling around her and taking the heat of the fall, landing them both with a hard thud accented the splat of the muddy earth; Ers'lan on his back, Keziah on top of him.

Zafirah's eyes widen as she watches Kezi start to slip and she reaches out towards the greenrider. Futile yes, but still and then there's Lan. Oh shards. She scrambles back slipping on the muck and trying not to get hit by falling earth, though she still gets some of it. "Kezi!! Lan!!" Oh no, there goes her rescue, but then she's scurring over to them "Oh shards. Are you okay!? Answer me!" she whimpers a little as she waits for a response, a hand reaching out to touch both of them.

As the world falls out from beneath her, Kezi has that brief feeling of floating on air and then she has arms wrapped around her. Her scream is cut off in surprise and then the force of impact knocks the rest out of her and she lies there in Ers'lans arms. Stunned. Likely the quietest he's ever really heard her. Then there's Zafi and the hears the panic in the girls voice. "It's okay. I'm okay." A pause "Lan? Are you okay? she asks as she starts to sit up a moment and then decides against or so it seems as she lays her head back down. "Oh shards. The healers are going to kill me." she murmurs

The force of the impact of landing on his back on hard ground, only cushioned by the pool of mud, has caused the man momentary laspes of consciousness, if only because his bell was rung and rung hard. It's like being on the verge of waking up. As their words reach out to him, the world comes crashing back in. There's a sharp intake of breath as he hedges a movement, pain apparent as he clamps down his jaw. A sailor curse comes flying out of his mouth before he can stop himself, twitching his legs as if testing them, arms next and another curse with a hiss of a breath. "Be alive…" he hoarsely grumbles with Keziah still on top of him, his eyes regarding her as she rests her head on him, "Kezi…" another sharp intake of breath as he cannot help keep a small noise of discomfort back, lips twitching as he exhales, "Did I .. keep ya safe…?" he likely means her baby. In any case, he's not moving any time soon.

Zafirah lets out a breath as both of them speak and then she mutters at Kezi "Forget the healers, Mirai's likely ta skin ya too. Shards but ya gave me a scare." There's a pause as she reaches out to try and stroke Lans hair. Yup, she's worried for the man. Well she's worried for Kezi too, but in a different way. "Ya all didn't break anything did ya? Lan? Ya ain't broke your back none, have ya?" she bites her lower lip "Should I send Wythe out again? Who would I send him too?"

"I'm alive. I'm.." a pause and a thoughtful sound is made "I think I'm safe." Kezi then moves to sit up a little "Just shaken I think, not stirred." okay, so that was a poor attempt at humor. She looks up towards the rim of the hole. "Shards but that's a distance isn't it?" she murmurs and then she's wincing as there's a roar and she seems to be listening to someone in her head. Her next comment confirms it "Alo's not exactly happy with me." she murmurs quietly. "In fact she's quite beside herself with worry." she too bites her lip and seems on the verge of tears. Gotta love them hormones. "I'm so sorry Zafi, we didn't hurt you, did we?"

The rookie wingrider closes his eyes for a time, tightly lidded as he focuses on his lifemate and relaying the incident back to the rest of the wing. Fingers darting into his hair cause an eye to pop open, neck to lift and head to tilt back, offering a faint smile as he hoarsely mutters, "Some rescue huh?" He does share a worried look back to Keziah, not wanting her to lose what she obviously decided to keep. As for Zafirah's question in regards to him breaking his back, he grunts, "Jus feelin like it. Jus me arm…reckon it popped out…" dislocated, not broken, desk work injury nevertheless. The way he talks about it, sounds like he's had it happen before, to know what it was. As Keziah still insists on sitting on him, he grunts a little more, her weight being redistributed on him to less surface, particularly near his groin. "Iffin ya dun mind Keziah… yer bony ass be a bit sharp…" there's a curious flash of a smirk on his face, a tease in the middle of current circumstances.

With a little bit of eye rollin' Zafi shakes her head a little "Yeah, some rescue, ya sure they tapped ya fer the right wing? Looks like ya went and clipped yourself afore ya even started." She frowns a little "So I guess umm, no pullin us up huh? Not with your arm all busted up like." She too glances at Kezi "Tis okay, I'm sorry I got ya into this mess and all. Too bad we didn't have Phaili here. He'd get us out. I swear he's a part of the earth and water and all."

There's a sharp glance at Ers'lan and then an almost meek response. "Sorry." Keziah murmurs as she starts to stand up, tryin to keep her balance and not fall back down onto Ers'lan. Course with the glance towards his arm it may be just cause she doesn't actually want to hurt him at all. "Popped out huh?" She sighs a little. "Well, suppose you can put more time inta makin up some more maps." she remarks after a moment.

Ers'lan shuffles himself back so that he's not lying in the muck completely, sitting there with his one arm favored by the other, it looking oddly out of place. He's gritting his teeth every time he moves it, likely as bad as breaking an arm while the bone is out of its joint. "'Fraid not…" he sighs, looking up toward the edge, "reckon one of ya can be getting yer lizards to grab the rope and nudge it down here. Tis tighed secured. Ya can pull yerselves up iffin ya can…" a wince and he's bowing his head a little, the longer it stays dislocated the worse the ache will get. He half lifts his other hand to Keziah's meek response, muttering over to her, "Tis ok Keziah… Better me arm than Zafirah's head or yer belly…" he looks like he can manage the pain regardless, already looking around for something to help him snap it back in place, as if desperate too. "Aye… maps…" he says with a breathy exhale, shooting a glance over at Zafirah, "Hikin again?" A fond smile there, nothing to accuse, just idle conversation while they way for more responders to get them out of the hole.

"Aye, I be hikin." Zafi remarks with a grin "As much as I like the mines and all, I like the forest too. The thicker the better." Slight phobia of the open space perhaps? There's a thoughful look "You do maps?" she asks after a moment and then grins "Thank ya can make me one when we get out of this?" she asks. Hey it's something to hope towards, she is not going to think about being stuck down here forever. "I suppose though I could try and climb up. But what about you? I mean, we can't leave you down here." A quiet pause and then in an almost breathy voice. "I can't leave /you/ here Lan." Cue 'Soulful Eyes'.

Okay, there's a look at Zaf and then at Lan as Keziah frowns a little at the way Zaf speaks and she's lookin at Lan a moment, a look in her eyes and then the wind just goes out of her sails. None of her business. Right? "We should try and pop that back into place. I'd offer to yank it, but I ain't sure I could get enough traction to yank it good." She looks around a little "What about those roots? Could you try to slam it into them?" she frowns a little. "But yeah, I suppose better yer arm. I'm told an abortion at this stage isn't very healthy for me." she notes softly.

"Reckon ya pick good weather fer it…" he notes with an mused drawl to his tone, eyes peering up, splattering of rain still sprinkling down through the trees. A murmured string of curses as he winces again at some throbbing of his arm, the larger muscle masses not liking the strain of the skewed limb. "Aye.. I do maps… chartin.. mostly…" he breaths out a heavy huff of breath, nodding, "Reckon I can draw one fer ya…t'will narh be good since I be navigatin better than drawin…" He really didn't have grace when it came to using a writing untensil. The sounds of others coming through the trees is an alert that a few more members of Galaxy have arrived. Ers'lan gives a chuff of amusement to Zafirah's soulful bemoaning, shakin his head, "Tis fine. They be comin…" A look toward Keziah as she offers to crank his arm back around for him, his good hand lifting, "Nay. Only iffin ya know how ta do it. Iffin it gets yanked wrong, be messin up the muscles underneath. Took a good long month on the docks of me ph'dar's fishin boat ta work out the knots cause of me first one." The last of her admission has Lan drawing his eyes up at Keziah, contemplating until his eyes half lid, gaze settling on his lap at last.

Zafirah snorts a bit herself "As if there's anything else. Sides I'd picked drizzle. That was great, that was fine, then it was a waterful from the sky. Ya think the water was all messed in the head ta be fallin' like that. Nah, I'd not be out iffen it had been pourin like this when I left. Ya can't even hardly be finding a good dry spot anymore." She sighs "I'd still like a map from you though. I mean you'ld have been the one to make it and it would be really special." Ahh, teen love. She does look up. "They are?" She looks around the hole "I hope they don't fall in too, it'd likely get quite crowded in here." she murmurs and then she's eying Kezi. "You asked?" Tactful? Her?

Keziah clears her throat a little at Zafi. "Well, umm yeah. Part of the check up and all. Really." Or not? She does hmm at Lan "I do know how, part of teh first aid trainin we be gettin, but as I said, I don't think I can keep the traction in this mess. Best I can do for ya is wrap the arm next to your body to keep it from flailing about too much." she murmurs as she digs into her back to pull out some wraps. "Be helpin keep it from tearing the muscles too much." She to looks up and there's a groan "I'm not gonna hear the end of this for weeks." A pause and a grin at Lan "Course, being rookie you'll likely get it worse. They're used to me." she notes and then heads over to do some wrapping.

Lan has time enough to retort to Zafirah, "Ya should've stayed close ta the Weyr…or hike out with an experienced guide," he didn't approve of the idea that the teen was this far out without anyone else watching her back or helping her along the way. It was dangerous and feline country! As for the map request, he nods, as if to say some agreeable word until she adds in the last part about making it special. There's a short roll of his eyes as he shakes his head and a pinch of the bridge of his nose. As for Keziah and the blunt retort from Zafirah of her abortion request, he does peek through spread fingers at Keziah. He leaves that matter to the women, about to interject something in regards to his injury and instead, he just lets his mouth close, nodding as Keziah insists on wrapping it.
Cue the some other dodgy faces from above. The one is the wingsecond, while not arrogant or powermongering, there is instant disapproval in her eyes as she glares down at both of the galaxy riders, "When you become a victim, you cannot save the victim…" Clearly dissatisfied with the outcome. The other that shows up is an older experienced fella, with a knowing smirk on his face as he nudges the wingsecond, "Lookie here, seems we got a rookie who has taken one step too far and has boched the rescue. Typical." The wingsecond notes with a thinline of her lips the situation, the injury on the brownrider making him prime suspect for the failure of the rescue, that or she's saving face for the recently returned greenrider who might have gotten soft during weyrlinghood. The wingsecond points to Lan, "Get him out of there. You… and you… deal with the other two…" Ropes are tossed down, there were four riders now sent in a mission that was meant for only two.

Lan does look up at the words, frowning but not protesting it. His eyes briefly flash to Keziah, one of those 'go-along-with-it' exchanges. He'll take the blame and the punishment… he's sort of used to that by now anyway!

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