Continues from Another Cave-in

Xanadu Weyr - Ruins South Tunnel


Ancient smoothly-cut stone walls here drip with moisture, the scent that rises to your nostrils is of damp stone, plant decay and musty long-unused space. Underfoot the flooring is smooth, polished stone and might be a touch slippery due to the wet dripping from tendrils of roots that have managed to work their way between the stones lining the space overhead. Though dark, this corridor was obviously meant to be lit as there are ornate niches inset into the walls on both sides of the tunnel at regular intervals.

In one direction the tunnel ends in a stone-arched exit, while in the other the darkness of the long corridor presses heavily save for the distant and faint light filtering in from the sinkhole.

The sound seems to go on forever - the rumble of falling debris reverberating down the tunnel and back again multiple times before finally silence once again settles, save for the belated thud of an occasional rock or dirt clod hitting the floor afar off. Apparently the sinkhole wasn't quite ready to give up and remain stable, but at least the spot in the tunnel where they are is clear - though the one piece of debris to fall in their vicinity, one of the stone-lined alcoves, has fallen and hit A'dmar's head. Ironic as it may be, the result is to knock the Iernian bronzerider out cold. At the first sound of that rumble, Thea had yelped and hit the dirt, so to speak, hunkered down, curled up in an instinctive reaction, waiting for the rest of the tunnel to follow suit.

Xe'ter's instict was perhaps LESS distinct…as he grabs hold of his glowbasket protectively, and curls against the wall…without going to his knees; stuff rattles and rolls, dust puffs about from the rush of debris…and darkness falls, save for a few spilled glows that litter the ground like fallen stars. It takes him a few moments to find his breath, and his voice…calling in a coughing voice, "Thea? A'dmar?" Oh sharding shells…if he got someone KILLED trying to avoid D'had's irritation? He'll never forgive himself! He thought he had everything under control. Silently? He calls out to Romth too…Romth, where is Seryth? She's not trying to go *between* is she?

Romth senses that Seryth is alert, but her primary reaction to what just happened, seems to be curiosity rather than alarm. The queen is calm, but silent for the time it takes the dust to settle, then her rains patter in an almost humorous dance upon the bronze's mind, « This ought to be interesting, listening in on how yours explains to the weyrmate of mine that there was no danger, hmm? » Oh she's amused. Very amused. There's a pause before she continues, « When they get out of there. » She seems to have no worries someone will dig them out.

As for Thea, she's got her arms curled 'round her own head, but when the noise tapers off and the relentless sound of drips and plops can be heard, she lifts her head cautiously to answer, "I'm alright, Xe'ter." She pushes to her hands and knees, peering into the gloom. "Ah, A'dmar?" The man's inert form is spotted and she scrabbles over, bending fearfully to see if he's breathing. Her hand hovers just above the man's nose and she sighs in relief. Fingers touch his cheek gently, while she speaks for Xe'ter's benefit, "He's taken a knock to the head, I think. Can you bring the glow over?"

Xe'ter is still for just a heartbeat, and then comes over quickly, baring the glows again in the basket, though he's already cursing, "Did you drop your basket? These won't last long if we use them all. We need to save some light." But he's got it open full bore, shedding their strange white-green light down over A'dmar's form. "I'm no healer…" But he agrees, "That looks like he's gonna have a shelling good headache." And possibly a stay at Xanadu to recuperate. He kneels down on one knee, still yammering - at least he can talk and do something useful at the same time!

Seryth senses that Romth is equally bemused…other than the startle at feeling his lifemate's alarm, he's downright composed, and thoughtful « Nothing risked, nothing gained. They are alive. » So nothing can be /too/ wrong, right?

"I didn't have one," reminds Thea about the glow basket. "And it looks like that-" she reaches a hand to tap idly at the dislodged stone niche, "-decided knocking A'dmar out wasn't enough damage done." The heavy piece seems to have landed on the basket of glows the bronzer had and has crushed them. Her hand joins the other in feeling gently through the Iernian’s hair for damage on the man's scalp, "He's got quite a lump on his head, and-" she lifts her fingertips to the light to peer at them, a frown tugging at her lips at the dark stain thereon, "-he's bleeding." Lifting her pale eyes to Xe'ter, she notes, "We should get him out of here." She's already slipping out of her jacket to drape it over the fallen rider, "Can you take that basket and see if there's any way out past the collapse?"

Xe'ter nods more mutely, and stops offering 'useful' advice. He lays the basket down, and moves to pick up the spilled glow-rounds. A handful of them glows brightly, when they're all together. "I'll be back…" And then he's bemused, "Shall I have Romth ask for help now, or do you want to wait?"

"Be careful, Xe'ter!" Thea calls to his back before bending to tuck her jacket around A'dmar's limp form. She blinks back up to him, eyes a tinge wide; she seems surprised by that question. Faintly aghast, "You mean you haven't called for someone yet? But yes, please, call the healers. A'dmar should be seen to as quickly as possible!" Missing in there is any sort of reference to D'had. It's probably inevitable in her mind; he'll kill them later. Right now, the Weyrwoman is focused on the injured man.

Romth senses that Seryth may not be worried for her own rider's sake but a briskness to her mood can certainly be felt as she shares with Romth, « I have spoken with Rieslth and she says that healers are on their way to help extricate the man. » Though a mist of uncertainty wafts through her own observation, « Mine worries that they may not be able to get through soon enough. »

Xe'ter nods, but there's a certain chagrin there…as he turns to go, careful as he stays near to the wall, and looking up and down the tunnel's wall for signs of obvious damage. Not that he's a miner or anything…but still. Can't hurt to be more careful!

Romth, for his part, is still supremely calm. His rider might be getting a little upset, but he's just fine! « I have spoken to Dersk. They will bring whers. Whers can dig. They have air. Mine is not worried about that. » Yet.

Romth senses that Seryth is keeping her rider updated and thus, « Mine wants to know if the way is entirely cut off. » Again her tone is calm, but she passes along an image of a pacing Thea back there in the darkness of the corridor - not that she can see her, but the queen knows exactly what she's doing. This includes the pauses she makes to stop and check A'dmar for a heartbeat and that he’s breathing, fingers shaking as she finds the pulse-beat in his neck after she’s leaned to listen to him breathe. She's such a tattle tale! She also includes the impression of Thea peering down the corridor, dark brows drawn together in concern for the Weyrleader having to go back towards that unstable area.

Xe'ter is not gone long; his handful of glows lights up the passage as he goes with some obvious trepidation. He lifts his palmful of luminescent fungus up and down repeatedly…checking to see if he can see OBVIOUS dangers, but he's not exactly a miner himself.

Romth dutifully reports back as he finds the edge of the largest part of the debris field. « It has fallen in. » Like they didn't know that! « But there are big boulders, and a lot of dirt. » There are a few distinct flumping sounds, as Xe'ter tests a bit « But he says it is too much to lift from their side. »

It's not all that long before he comes back, muddier than before, but unharmed, "No way we can get ourselves out of here. We're going to have to hope they get us out from up there."

There's a muffled sound of relief (just Thea coughing, right?) as the darkened corridor reflects the faint approaching glowlight that heralds the Weyrleader's return. She rises and moves quickly away from the prone form on the floor to meet him those last few steps, eyes flicking from the tunnel beyond him then back to his face as she nods upon hearing his report. The Weyrwoman peers over her shoulder at A'dmar. "He seems… well stable for the time being…" she turns a contrite look back Xe'ter's way. "Are you alright? I forgot to ask earlier."

Xe'ter glances down at himself in the dim glowlight, and shrugs, "Fine…for now. I'm more concerned that we're not going to get that mess shifted for several days at the least…that sinkhole's not big enough to get even a small green in to dig…and whers can only move so much. But I've only got some dry rations on me in my pocket…and he's going to need a healer, and I certainly don't have any water."

Wryly, "I know.” Beat. “Seryth's over-flying it as we speak." Thea foregoes adding that the queen's mood is deteriorating bit by bit. The rest of Xe'ter's report sinks in and she echoes him, "Several days?" She hms to herself, lips pressed together, pacing back to check on A'dmar. Into the silence of ticks and plips of water dripping from root to floor and the dry trickle of dirt slowly cascading into the place somewhere back there in the darkness she finally says, "This tunnel goes somewhere." She considers the dark beyond where they'd been heading. "Maybe there's another way out?"

Xe'ter glances that way himself, and then shrugs, "That was my thought." He inquires, "Do you need the light here? They'll last longer, if we don't use them all up now. Close the basket, and I'll use these till they're burned out." This said by the man raised by some of the most backwards thinkers on Pern. He doesn't need electricity to get by! "Stay here with A'dmar…he likes you better anyway." He chuckles, "At least now. Not sure what you ever did to him before. But I can go and look to see if there's a better place deeper in. The air's not stale…so it has to be going somewhere."

Romth senses that Seryth is annoyed as she glides over the darkened forest. The sound of distant thunder rumbles in her words, « I could dig but those trees are in the way! » There's a mental snort that also conveys her displeasure as not being a flaming dragon for the picture she sends Romth is of a few blackened trees but a mostly cleared, if charred forest for her to land.

Seryth senses that Romth shouldn't find this as amusing as he does; it takes him a bit longer to get airborne, but he comes to circle the area with the gold. « Too small. Maybe a weyrling could dig? » But he certainly can't get HIS bulk down there. « The firestone stores are locked. » Yeah. Dragons should probably not be left to problem solve! His own mindvoice is soothingly cool…as if this were all somehow part of some master plan he has. Or is working on, on the fly.

"I didn't do anything to him," Thea smiles slightly in spite of the situation. "Except not tell him I was a Weyrwoman." Or even a rider for that matter, but details, details! "I'm coming with you!" Though A'dmar may not like anyone from Xanadu when he regains consciousness, especially if he finds out he was left alone in the tunnel. "There's nothing more I can do for him anyway and if he-" Yeaaaaahno. She's not going to say it, but being stuck in a dark corridor with a corpse? Not her idea of a good time.

Xe'ter glances with a slight frown, then inquires, "Do you have a flit? See if they can get to us…keep an eye on him or something." But he doesn't exactly disagree. It's not like HE can help…he can put a bandage on a booboo, not fix a broken head! "Leave the glowbasket here. Just take a few in your hand."

At the mention of a firelizard, Thea's hand patpats the empty spot on her shoulder where Shep usually lies, quietly observant. She shuts her eyes for a moment then blows out a breath in frustration, opens them again. "He's trying to *Between* to me, but can't get a good fix on where to come. All he sees is black darkness." She sighs and moves to sink down beside the irate Iernian, checking on him once again. Wrestling with her sense of duty, obviously, it's a few moments before she speaks again, "I'll stay, even if he won't appreciate it when he wakes up." She says ‘when’ not ‘if’ with deliberation. Giving Xe'ter a direct look she's gruff when she orders, "Just… if you fall and break your leg back there, don't come running to me!" It's a pale, shaky sort of smile that caps the warning.

Xe'ter laughs, but it's a surprisingly high sort of sound. Heh. Um. Yeah. That was funny, in all the wrong ways. "I'm trying to get Bitsy to come, but that's a bit like asking a wild ovine to come in from the cold." Yeah. Not. "I won't be gone long, and Romth will let Seryth know…" As if the pair weren't high above the location, flying in circles in the dark above it! He lifts up the glows in his hand, and peers into the dark…then grabs a leather bag out of his pocket. "Here. Give me some more glows…I'll put them in this pouch and wrap it tight…in case these run out."

Romth senses that Seryth dips a wing and skims the tops of the trees, reaching with both fore talons to grasp the foliage, tearing a few limbs away with her when she flares her wings and glides back up. Within the image she shares is a razed forest, tree ripped up by the roots and hurled half a mile away somewhere. That would work, yes?

Seryth senses that Romth watches this with bemusement, but notes « You probably startled some wild flits with that. » Tearing up the forest won't help! « We will have to get the little things to help. The humans and the whers. Even the little cousins. All of them. They are not hurt. » Well. Not Xe'ter or Thea!

"She'll let me know if you fall and break your neck, you mean," is Thea's tart reply. Awww. The thought of the Weyrleader getting hurt bothers her! See? She does care. Of the glows, "Take them all. Please! Because then when A'dmar regains consciousness I won't have to see him glaring at me." Nevermind that he'd be safer moving about with all the light he can muster and she's just sitting still safe and sound. Can't have him thinking she's worried, can she?

Xe'ter snorts a bit, and mutters something under his breath, but reaches for the basket, and grabs out a handful. "Then keep the glowbasket closed…if we're stuck in here several days, you're going to hope they last as long as possible! Just take one out so it's not pitch black." He plops one of the bigger, round fungi down and nods his head: there. Then closes the basket again. "So…I will be back, sooner or later."

When Xe'ter doesn't take all the glows Thea does a little under-her-breath muttering of her own that sounds suspiciously like 'fine, it's your funeral' but no, he must just be hearing things right? She probably said something like 'whine for a chore numeral' or something equally as nonsensical. She slides her back down the wall behind her, sinking to sit beside A'dmar's form and waits until Xe’ter's well on his way before whispering in his wake, "Be careful Xe'ter." And so commences her vigil.

Continues in A Wher to to the Rescue!

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