A Hole in... Five?

Xanadu Weyr - Forest's Edge

While the forest is thick for a long while, in time it begins to thin, as the ground becomes rockier to the south western stretches of the Weyr's land. The trees are further apart, and the rocks become larger, before rocky outcroppings seem to be more prevalent than the trees around them. As the hills begin to gain in height, the shruberry upon them become more stunted.
The small cave that was opening up by an Earthquake has been widened, the initially small opening turned into one large enough for whers and humans alike, and the carefully placed support beams can be seen in the opening. Outside, it seems that more construction is due to begin, given the building materials currently being stockpiled.

A series of 'dens' sit into the rocky outcroppings, showing signs of the whers who make their home within them.

Well Kereth is one of the best flyers in the wing, and sometimes he lets his flight enthusiasm get the better of him. Wing formations not so good at! They hold him back! The blue flies over the forest, wing tips brushing over the tops of the trees until he comes to the edge of the forest and the clearing. He then starts to circle. There is a laugh from his rider as the messages passed between them before she gets down to business and directs her dragon lower to start inspecting the ground.

Zhaoth is not necessarily a bad flyer, he just isn't as speedy as the blues and greens can be, not with his 'bronze' size hulk to him. He is deft and knows with precision just how to do about everything in the aerial world of acrobats, yet he just does them with a sluggish speed compared to smaller counterpartners. It was like he wasn't able to join the big boys completely and he would never fit into the sprinters - stuck an odd ball middle child. Ers'lan shakes his head a little at something that passes between his dragon too, shaking a glow or two toward his wingmate ahead.

Kereth makes a low flight once he comes out over the clearing of the forest edge, he makes a few sweeps over the area before patches of darkness catch his vision and Laera's eyes focus again and she looks over to Ers'lan as her dragon bespeaks his , «I think we see some changes down there, gonna head down closer. What can you see?» Kereth asks his brown companion as the pair make a lower sweep of the area.

Zhaoth is a steady flyer regardless, well proven in day or night, a constant strength that is seen with each audible snap of his wings and the fullness of air caught underneath them. The brown takes to a gliding pattern, holding to a low level glide near the darker spots in the earth that had not been there earlier in the night. « We swept these lands not but long ago. Mine shows us the difference. » A mental image passes from rider to dragon to other dragons, of a similar pattern that would suggest grass, trees, shrubs, land… « Another hole in the earth mine says. » The dragon takes to a lower sweep, circling the area, with Ers'lan holding up his basket of glows as if that would illuminate the problem for them. The light barely touches.

Kereth takes the lower flight pattern, coming to hover not too far above the ground. The blue snaking his head around then looking up to the brown as the image passes between them. «Yeah…a hole here…several. Mine thinks it must have underminded quite a bit to have it felt throughout the weyr. Is the Wherhandler on his way?» He passes to the brown as he goes to make another pass. «Let the others know…since you saw it before..»

Zhaoth sweeps his wings back in a harsh angle, to keep him hovering as his lower hind quarters start to slip down and hang below, wings pumping, fully extended to keep all thrust underneath him and in the pockets of his sails. The brown's long sweeping tail flicks behind him, while Ers'lan on the seat saddle leans forward, cranning and straining his eyes in the darkness to pick out the different shades of obsidian. « The message will be sent. It does not look to be urgent. Mine does not believe this area housed any people. » Almost instantly, there is a swift message of what he sees passed back to the Weyr proper. It could be one of many oddities found that night, since the rest of the land had to be swept just the same.

Kereth gives a low warble to Ers'lan as he receives the message and pulls back to higher altitude and swings around in a larger arc of the area. «I hear no cries. I sent a request to the wher to see if he has found anything.» Kereth calls out to his brother in arms. Laera is leaning far over her own saddle to try to get a view over her blue's shoulder, hampered of course by the darkness.

« Messaged Romth. » Is all the brown provides as a snippet, deciding to go back into a lazy circle since hovering took more energy than letting his wings do all the work.

Derin and Dersk emerge from the mine, they're wet. < Flood. Rocks. Not bad air. > This is the worded response from the powder blue wher, accompanied by infrared pictures of the minor flooding and the small rockslides inside the mine. Derin glances up at the dragons, trying to see where they are hovering above, he should find the edge of the hole probably, huh?

Seryth is not long in appearing, although her arrival might be a surprise. It is heretofore unorthodox for goldriders to join emergency operations for the most part. She arrives well above the others and spirals down slowly, not getting in the way of the sweepriders already there. « Mine wishes to see what you have found, » is Seryth's brief way of greeting as they continues to circle. « There is a clear spot neat the wher dens. I will land there.» And the gold dips a mighty wing to begin descent.

As the queen arrives, Kereth dips his wing in greeting then follows down to land. « Zhaoth over flew earlier on his sweep and the holes were not here. » He informs again as he lands. Laera is quickly undo her straps so she can dismount, though for now she only goes down as far as to perch on Kereth upraised leg. "Derin, is the ground settled enough to walk on?"

Derin steps back to allow the dragons room to land, nudging Dersk along with him. "Seems alright here, the mine's got some flooding and some small rockslides. I can send Dersk to test the ground, where's the problem?"

The queen backwings to a gentle (for her) landing and her rider foregoes her usual swing-round dismount. No sense smacking into a tree. Seryth's eyes glow brightly green as she turns them towards Zhaoth, « They weren't? » The gold seems quite interested in this. Thea meanwhile, is removing her helmet and goggles, tucking them into Seryth's harness and stepping closer to Derin when she hears his voice in the dark. There's a hint of anxiety in the question she has in response to this news, "Are all of the miners accounted for?" Then pointing ahead, deeper into the forest, she says, "Seryth says she saw the depressions that direction, but of course I couldn't see it." A quick chuckle follows, "I'll follow you two."

Sahazyth projects to Seryth, « Eastern wants to know if they need any help. No response yet from Landing. »

Sahazyth senses that Seryth is silent for a moment, probably conferring with her rider. Her voice is calm, the scent of snowfall upon cedar when she replies, « Everything for the moment is under control. We might need help if the dam goes or the mines cave in. Thank them for offering. »

Laera finally cautiously dismounts, setting her goggles to her cap. She goes over to Ers'lan and grabs one of his glow lanterns before he goes off in the other direction to search and she follows after the Weyrwoman. "He gave his impression of what the area looked like to him on his earlier sweep…there are definately a few changes." Laera says, the carefree happy go lucky rider left at the weyr for this professional woman when she is on duty.

Derin glances towards the mine, "So far it seems so. The others stayed inside to search more. Dersk brought me out because Kereth bespoke him." The lad now looks towards the forest with a brief nod. "C'mon Dersk, light on yer feet now." And the wher takes lead position, Derin close behind. "Depressions huh?" He considers this a moment as they make their way carefully towards the deeper forest. "Did the dragons happen to see how many or how big?"

Ers'lan is straggling behind, if only because he's prepared with a few coils of rope strapped around his hefty shoulders, a lantern in the other, and a long blade that seems more a maschette than a belt knife. He catches up to the women shortly, with wide trapsing steps, shouldering his load a bit, "Aye. Zhaoth be sayin that thar be a big hole whar thar used ta be narht." He spits to the side, brows knitted in the gathering darkness, "Reckon thar be people down thar then?" He inquires after the miner, wondering if the man had any clue to what the search and rescue wing could be in for tonight.

Thea makes room beside her for Laera as they walk through the underbrush. She opens her mouth to answer Derin, but hearing the progress of someone through the woods behind her, turns to see, squinting in the darkness to see who it is. Her glow (yes she did think to bring one) is lifted and when she spots all the gear Ers’lan's carrying, she moves to allow him though. "Need any help carrying that stuff?" She's intent then, on his report, eyes flashing in the pale glowlight as she peers at the miner, "Way out here? In the middle of the night?" Her tone is one of faint disbelief, but he'd know better than she would who would be out and about at night.


Xanadu Weyr – Old Forest Sinkhole

A wide maw has opened in the forest here, sending earth and trees tumbling into the abyss. Vines and shrubs cling to the sides of the dark hole, the bottom of which is far below. The pungent scent of earth and splintered wood rises moistly out of the cavernous pit. At night there’s really nothing to see. Should one have a light, or a wher with them, or be here in the daytime they’d know that huge squared rocks, a stone floor and a tunnel entering and exiting either side can be barely discerned far below.

Derin shrugs a bit. "Can't really say, though we don't get a whole lot of movement around here aside from the miners." But then there's always a chance. Dersk is careful to keep his attention forward, not only because the wher is actively scanning the ground to catch any differences but also because his handler informed him that there are lights back there. Once they get further into the underbrush the wher stops, apparently they've reached an edge of the sinkhole. "I think this is it.." Derin says after a moment, testing the ground with a toe. "Better tread lightly, looks like the whole ground dissolved." Well, maybe that's not the right description, but it is a bit surprising to the lad.

The forest drips around them, trunks glistening wetly in the faint glowlight. Not much to see other than the forest here is VERY thick, old-growth stuff. Thea's got old glows, really. Just enough to see where a person is stepping. Following behind, the Weyrwoman is muttering to herself after that brief conversation. Leaving the glow back a little way on the ground, she steps gingerly up to the edge aaaaaand, "I can't see a thing." Humor ripples in her tone. Duh. It's pitch-black. She could have waited until morning, but nooooo. Not with the Weyrsecond otherwise occupied and distracted enough not to deny her adventure! "What does Dersk see?"

The look that Ers'lan carries, even in the dark, is a skeptical one for when Thea asks to help him. He grunts a little, "Nay lass, t'would narh bring it'with me iffin I reckon I be narh able ta handle it…" he shrugs a bit, clearly able to balance the ropes and climbing gear, along with the lantern. If they look back, he's managed to cleverly hook the lantern to his waist belt and the machette is in a sheath on the other side. He calls ahead, "Ya reckoon I be breakin trail iffin it be too thick ta get through…" blade and all at his side.

There is, with perhaps a bit of forewarning from lifemates, the sound of someone crashing along BEHIND the main pack, in the night-cloaked forest…and a glance behind will prove to anyone with eyes that someone with a glowbasket is rushing up to join…but the pace slows to a more decent one, even if the sound of heavy breathing doesn't slow one whit. That would be the young Weyrleader, bringing up the rear. Which way did they go? How many of them were there? How long ago did they pass this way? I must find them…I am their leader!

Derin rests a hand on powder blue kinked headknob. "Hey, was there another mine here or something? Dersk says the hole is really deep, but it looks like tunnels underneath?" The blue slips from his handler's grasp and does his version of flight, hop-gliding down into the abyss. "Dersk, where are you going?" Derin actually seems a bit concerned, his partner hasn't really flown that far before. "He's going down to investigate."

There's a wince from the weyrwoman as she gets the incoming from Seryth when Romth lands. She waits while the thrashing in the forest grows nearer, watching over her shoulder for the approaching Weyrleader. She's keeping an ear cocked for Derin's reply and whatever Ers'lan is going to suggest; with all that gear, he's sure to have some ideas, dark or no. As for Xe'ter, he gets a, "Watch out - there's a hole ahead. Leave your glow back by mine so we don't blind Dersk?" And then she adds a half-fearful, half wry, "Tell me D'had isn't back there too?"

Xe'ter comes walking in…briskly…not running…but he looks like he might've lost a fight with a vine or two on the way in. He's got some dignity left, though, as he straightens his jacket, and shakes his head, "No, ma'am…no, he's not back yet." Ahem. His voice creaked a little there…but he gets back on his proverbial feet. "They've gone further ahead along the coast…lot of small landslides…but pretty much every soil-covered slope we came across seems to have had some slides. Wet soil, over satura—— " He pauses, because even in the darkness, the hole yawns like some massive void, hungry for fresh meat. "Carenath's bronzed breeding vent!"

Ers'lan shoulders his way to the front, or rather he crashes through some of the underbrush all the same with a few swipes of a metalic blade cleaning off palms and branches alike. He only glances back momentarily at the weyrleader, crouching low toward the one side of the bank that has dropped away into a bottomless pit, or there was a bottom, it just looked precarious. Immediately, with a slight hum under his breath, he turns about and goes to secure an end of the rope to a sturdy and well rooted tree, one that would not give way any time soon since it's well away from the sink hole. Buckles and straps are tightened around himself and the knots secured. He tromps back with a non-chalant look to the weyrleaders, "Reckon it best to investigate once the Wher be clearin us fer bad air…" That's his suggestion, a look over the side as he watches the progress of the shadow moving, aka, Dersk.

Laera gives her space to the approaching weyrleader and steps back beside Ers'lan. Her gaze seeking out the ground around them trying to keep the light of her lantern low and out of the sight of the wher.
Derin inches his way forward to try to glance down at his wher down below, but even his night-trained eyes can't quite spot his partner. There is a sound from below however, one that recognizes as an all-clear sign. "No bad air. Looks like an old mine, it's big. There're some rocks that have fallen, and mud all over. He doesn't see any lifeforms or anything, no one trapped." He moves over to Ers'lan, wanting to get down there with his partner. "It's slippery, if we go down there we will have to be careful not to get buried in case of more slides."

Ers'lan considers Derin's words, nodding to the advice, "I reckon iffin thar be no one down thar, that we be closing this place off until first light…" the suggestion made as he's not really making an attempt to go down yet, knowing the ground could likely move underneath them. "Best do this by natural light and be ensuring the walls be shored up iffin possible." He jiggles his rope a bit, not eager to go down but waiting to see if he must, since there was no real emergency reported. A glance to Derin, "Iffin ya be wantin ta go down, reckon ya best hook up ta a line. Narh thinking that this be worth it, bein this dark out."

Sahazyth projects to Seryth, « No report from Landing yet. Nothing felt at Eastern. They are awaiting word of help required. »

Of D'had Thea laughs shortly under her breath at Xe'ter's reply, "Thank Faranth for small mir-" Her intake of breath for the multiple landslides is audible. "No reports from the cotholders of any damage or injuries?" She follows Ers'lan's progress back to that tree with a curious expression in her eyes until she looses sight of him in the darkness. Then something dawns on her and she turn back to the hole in a really big hurry. Eyes front. Yup. Then the clinking of buckles, audible in the darkness, clues her in and she looks a bit sheepish. She can now guess what he's up to. There's a pause after Dersk's report and Ers'lan's comment, "Since there's no one needing rescued, it might be best to wait for some light-" A rumble underfoot cuts her off mid-sentence and without warning the ground gives way once more but this is a slow, shuddering sort of slump. Still. They're going down. All of them, except maybe Ers'lan, who has enough rope to hang himself with.

Xe'ter considers Ers'lan in the darkness for a long moment, now that he's gotten his genuine amazement and surprise out, "Aye, I agree…if there's no one down there in need of rescue, might as well leave it be until it's safe to go down…safer, at least. Then get those out here who are good with ropes and clambering into holes. No use being heroes for nothing." His own accent is more muted…but it's not that far off from Ers'lan's salty sailor's tones. Just cleaned up a bit, from life at a Weyr. Of course, all the poise goes right out the window when the shake comes AGAIN, and he finds himself suddenly regressing in height…oh wait, no, that's just the earth moving on him for the second time in…a short period of time…

Laera had turned to Ers'lan to check his connections to the rope and to work on attaching her own self to the rope when the rumble is heard. As the earth falls out from beneath her feat she calls out, gripping the rope as she slips down into the hole. First she has a good grip, but it starts to slipping at the shock of it all.

Derin lets out a string of curses, probably neat little words he's learned from the other miners, as he feels the rumble. "Get back!" He yells, though probably a bit too late. Everyone brace for impact? Luckily Derin has practice in falling, though this may be a tad bit farther a fall than he's practiced for. Dersk gives a shocked sort of sound as he finds more ground coming down on top of him.

One moment your feet are planted, the next they are seemingly floating in space - space, that was one thing he didn't want to relive! Alas, as it were the ground is a vibrating mess of dirt and rock, all too slippery to be considered safe goings. It's a mudslide and those things are deadly! There is limited time to react. From the moment the earth gave way to the moment a mind took to process it and to the long reaching seconds where the brownrider is trying to save someone from going down there… is mere blinks of an eye. Indeed, Ers'lan is instinctively reaching two ways at once, fingers reaching to claw for either Laera or for Derin, both of whom where near enough to be in arms reach, though Derin seemingly closer than Laera. He goes down with them, regardless of being tied, though his is a bit of a rougher ride since the SYNCH around his harness tightens rapidly as the rope suddenly snaps taut, slamming him back against whatever remains of the ground now with arms jerking hard if he managed to catch someone… or both! Oh and there's a string of curses as he deals with ROCK and TREE coming down around them as well!!!

Thea instinctively throws back when the ground crumbles under her feet, scrabbling crab-like in an attempt to find solid ground and finding none as the mass below continues it's slow slump. Her swimming movements at least keep her atop the flowing dirt and rocks, her grasping for vines and roots to no avail until… she HAS one! Gripping with all her strength, eyes closed and breath held while dirt showers around her, she manages to hang on until everything settles. Her feet? Are within several inches of the floor. But it's dark and she doesn't know that. Besides, her eyes are still closed. Into the silence, she says calmly, "D'had is going to KILL me."

Laera's initial grip on the rope at least slowed her fall, but the jerk of its stop does cause her to lose grip and she looks up to her weyrmate with some fear in her eyes as she goes falling down into the hole in the ground. Luckily it is not too far down in a relative sense but she is out of view in the darkness below. "Well that was fun…" Comes a strained voice from the darkness.

There is an equally stunned sort of silence, punctuated only by the moist, grating sound of more rocks and unstable chunks of saturated mud falling down like sprinkled pebbles atop some child's best effort at a mud pie. And then, with a breath, the young Weyrleader asks something sensible, "Thea? Derin? Anyone else able to answer me?" Hopefully, for Dersk's sake, none of the glowbaskets other than Ers'lan's belt-supported lantern have fallen into the hole…or the wher might be reluctant to come closer! At least his voice sounds steady, as he begins to wrench his way out of the light layer of mud that's splattered atop him. Less loudly, but not silently, "Romth…tell the golds." They're going to need some help.

Derin actually did grab for Ers'lan's hand, but he doesn't quite make the connection with the brownrider's hand. Ack! Tuck and roll, Derin, tuck and roll. Yeah, that's probaby what he shoulda done but instead he flays trying to catch hold of something to slow his fall. The grabbing at vines may slow his descent some, but yeah, he does hit bottom with a bit of a thud. That's gotta smart, he'll be feeling that in the morning, yes indeedy, or maybe sooner. Dersk may have gotten covered in mud and debris, but the wher should be able to dig himself out fairly easily.

"ARRRRG.." Ers'lan groans out with utter frustration, unable to save Laera from the long fall or Derin, but on top of that he gets clobbered by a widow maker, from a tree that was now angled over the large sinkhole. Shaking off what will likely be a large bump on the head by morning and a road-rash (in this case branch rash) cuts to the face, the former sailor heaves back on his rope, twisting his head up to see the ridge of the hole now. "I ought ta hang from a yard arm fer this!!!" He growls, "Second time in a HOLE…" he was never going to hear the end of it. The first search and rescue attempt, yes, it left him bruised and battered and no better than the victim he was trying to rescue. At least this time he was attached. He slowly winches himself up, groaning, "ARg… me sac…" a little shifting of his, well, in the darkness it doesn't matter, he simply continues coming up once he's all better. Fingers clawing at the dirt and tree roots, swatting at he tree that is nearly bowed over into the hole. A short command of his voice down to those who went all the way to the bottom, "WHo be hearin me? Who be hurt an' I be sendin down a rope!" Since he was, climbing free of what the others could not, hand over hand, using his rope - a sailors fail safe.

"No wait!" That's Thea on the heels of the Weyrleader's request to Romth, panicked sounding, with her eyes still closed and clinging to the root. She pauses to spit out dirt, coughs before taking an experimental breath, finding no dust, sucks in a lungful of fresh air. Since she's heard more than one voice talking, "Is everyone alright? We might as well have a look 'round while we're down here." There's an innocent pause. "Right?" Because well, raising the alarm will bring… rescue and a frantic D'had. Who won't allow that. "I could use some help getting down." That last bit in reply to Ers'lan's query after which she cracks an eye to peer cautiously up at him mindful of dirt that continues to trickle down overhead. Still no idea how close she is to the bottom.

Xe'ter frowns, even in the dark, as he rubs grimy mud and moss out of his eyes, but as no general alarm goes out, he must've stopped Romth before he speaks, "Is that D'had won't let /you/ look around? Because I have every intention of this being looked into…by those qualified." He might be young, but even in the dimness of light, the sound of his voice indicates that he's 'looking' towards Thea. He has found himself atop a tumbled down hummock of root-ball, mud, and rocks…out more towards the center than he might've liked…which means he's also fairly deep. "I hear voice from ye, Ers'lan, and Thea, and myself…Derin?" He calls softly.. "An' Lerra, is it?"

"All in one piece down here as far as I can tell. Can't give as much about how that one piece is feeling at the moment." Laera calls up from the darkness. "Everyone else ok?" Though her voice seems most directed towards her weyrmate up above. There is a grunt and a wince as she tries to shift herself. "It wasn't too far a fall. I think I see someone's feet not far above my head."

Trying his best not to cause more debris to fall down on those below, Ers'lan manages to scramble himself up and over the ridge, rolling over with a hitch given to his trousers and a curse again for something to do with that region. Still, he disappears into the darkness up above… some time later, there's a hiss of rope being dropped down into the hole with a call, "Watch out below! Rope be coming down!" Two coils of it as well, "Tis all I reckon I have. Two of ya can get up at once…" which means a couple trips and everyone would be back on solid ground. Due to him being up above, he doesn't exactly hear them discussing -staying- down in the hole. The lad settles down on a knee, frustration a mix with concern, "Ye best be comin back up. Reckon more could be fallin in… Laera," he calls down, "Get 'em tied up." Then a beat, "Blast, is that wherhandler alright? Did narh reckon I heard him."

Thea's snort turns into a cough. Yay dirt! "Well, he won't try to stop you," is Thea's dry-toned response to Xe'ter before she adds with some spirit, "We're qualified. We're here!" There's a little pause while she re-thinks this. "Or almost here. Will be when I get down." The root snaps suddenly, and she shrieks for all of the 2 seconds it takes for her feet to hit the ground. "Oh." Chagrinned to find she was mere inches from the bottom all this time, she ahems and brushes herself off. "Where'd Der-" The ropes come hissing by her head just then and she ducks instinctively. "Derin?"

Xe'ter calls up to Ers'lan, that split second before Thea's tumble, "I haven't heard hi—-Thea!" Alright, Romth's yelp of dismay echoes his rider's…audible even in the forest, which means many more will have heard it nearer the Weyr! "Shards, she fell…" and then HE's scrambling up on his feet, standing for a moment on his dark island in the middle of the inky blackness, before he somewhat fool-hardily sits back down and begins to slide down towards the ground further below. Thank goodness it's not /that/ far down! "Thea! Derin! Dersk! Damn!"

"Darlin, reckon at least one person is gonna have to head down and give me a bit of a hand." Laera says working well to keep her voice calm. At the discussion of Derin Laera is heard to be moving around a bit. "Don't hear anyone else down here with me…might need to pass down a glow." She calls up again as she reaches up with one hand to touch the boot of the Weyrwoman. "Whoever's foot I got…just a couple more feet down."

"Shells and ashes," Ers'lan curses and soon enough makes the decision to slide down the bank to get to them. The rattle of loose shale, rock, and dirt indicate what path he's using to get down, nearer to Laera since he listened to the direction of her voice. Half sliding, half walking down, he finally manages to get to the bottom, loosening the slack in his rope this time to make it all the way down. "Reckon he be hurt. I be waiting here with him, till reinforcements come 'long. Dun reckon I be risking moving his neck or back…" a look toward the others, or their shadows anyway, "Iffin ya want ta go explore, do it safely…" he unhooks his small glow lantern and thrusts it toward them, mindless that the glow illuminates that his forehead and cheek are smeared with blood.

The Weyrwoman cringes at the double-yelping going on over there. "I'm alright, promise," she assures the Weyrleader. Though only as long as it will take her weyrmate to get here and flay her. She's standing, so the foot Laera has? Is not hers. "Laera. Is it moving?" The Weyrwoman moves cautiously through the rubble scrabbling back up the incline towards the bluerider's voice. "It's got to be Derin. Ers'lan! Can you get to him and dig him out?" The sound of moving earth seems to reassure her somewhat, though unable to see in the dark, she must assume the brownrider has acted quickly. "Is he breathing?"

Laera shifts to follow the foot further up and calls out again, "I think so…if all else is accounted for. Definately male…" Well she got that far up at least. "Gonna need some help up here. Call another Rescue to bring in a backboard and shovels." She calls out, ignoring whatever is paining her for now. As Ers'lan comes down beside her she reaches out with one arm to him. "I recognize that body anywhere.." She casts her gaze back to the Weyrleaders. "Be careful, don't want to be digging anyone out."

The glowbasket works wonders. Even a little light makes things more bearable, and probably even seems overly bright, in the dark hole. "Thea…" He comes scrabbling down like a weird spiderclaw, until he's on his feet on the floor of the cavern…and then looks up. And up…and up. He scoops up the lantern, and holds it up to illuminate a wider area. He's muddy, but apparently unharmed! "Lerra, Ers'lan…" He goes quiet, when he sees the brownrider has Derin…who seems to be quite out of it. "Thea, we've got to call for a healer…and get him out of here." He turns, too…to scan the holes and shadows for the wher, "If he's out…Dersk might be very distressed." Yeah. Now they're all down in a hole. With a potentially uncontrolled and possibly upset wher. Anyone else beginning to think this is a bad situation?

"Seryth has already bespoken Rieselth," Thea says calmly. "The healers are on their way with ice and the appropriate equipment." She's made her way partially up the slope to where Derin is and patpats the boy. "At least his face isn't buried. And he's breathing." But no, there's no more talk from her about exploring. Not with an injury.

Ers'lan lifts up from where he had crouched down toward the body of Derin, thankfully the man was breathing. His eyebrows narrow and for a moment he debates something then snaps, "This here be a rescue mission now. This man be here under my responsibility. Be our wingleader on the way and no doubt we be tellin ya that this here situation be no longer safe-" some of his accent weeds out as he uses a tone of command, "Safety is key. Ya can look inta what this place be later." As Thea pretty well determines the same thing, the brownrider silences himself and goes back to ensuring Derin's neck and body are secured, incase he has broken something unseen. For Laera, he grimaces, "Ye ok love? Reckon ya do be lookin pained."

Laera gives Ers'lan a quick squeeze of the hand before turning back to her patient. Well she is a healer after all. "Derin…can ya here me?" She calls to him in a loud voice, trying to break through the unconsciousness or stunning. At the question from Ers'lan there is a bit of a laugh. "Just got a lose shoulder is all, you can deal with it up top." She looks back to Thea and nods, "Yeah, perhaps better in the light of day and once all these holes settle out."

Derin rouses, eventually, "Ow, shards and shells..That was stupid." Okay, so this has been a larger fall than he's managed before, but he's muttering and cursing, so that means he'll be alright, right? And Dersk has managed to dig himself out as well, and is beside his handler, at least he's not, like, freaking out or anything, good thing wher-bonds aren't like dragon-bonds.

Xe'ter follows along behind Thea at a decent pace…and distance, lest he stumble and knock her over! He looks relieved to see Dersk next to Derin…and then shutters his lantern lest he upset the wher. "Well, you're talking at least, Derin…that's better than it might've been." He huffs out a breath, and then cranes his head up… "Shards, but that's going to be fun to crawl out of…no, I'm fine…just muddy…yes, I think that /is/ the taste of moss…." Those last two nonsequitors? Not directed at anyone present!

About 'safe' and 'later', the Weyrwoman mutters stubbornly under her breath, "We'll see about that!" About Derin, though, she does not argue. "Carry on then, Brownrider. If we can help…" But Derin rouses and she's looking very relieved. "Don't move before the Healers examine you," she tells the lad. Dum-dee-dum. Just waiting for them to arrive now. Peering back at Xe'ter when he says taste of moss, she smirks just a wee bit and quips, "And adventure!"

Ers'lan lifts his eyes at the titled brownrider, thankfully clouded by the darkness to take the edge off them, as his gaze returns back to Derin - thick hand settled on the lad's chest to keep the man down and still from testing out his neck before its time. "Good ta see ya awake lad…" is all he says.

What? The title is one of respect not a put-down. But Thea is blithely unaware of whatever edge Ers'lan's eyes have in them, thanks to the darkness. "They're here," she announces to the group in general. And indeed it's not long before they're all out and soundly berated by one Shelli, who never lets rank stop her anyway. Back to the Weyr the muddy group goes. What did they find? A hole, there's a hole, there's a hole in the middle of the ground…

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