A'lira, Zaria


Zaria and A'lira witness some of the most unsettling of the mysterious sounds to date…

Mild profanity use


It is afternoon of the twenty-second day of the tenth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Abandoned Caverns, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 25 Apr 2018 04:00



"That is just plain not right."


Abandoned Caverns

A tragedy of 400 turns ago wasted this cavern system which was, at its demise, private living quarters. The 'door' barring the entrance is a combination of loose wood planks and lumps of rubble too bothersome to move and suitable to make entering an unattractive past time. Not that there's anything captivating of the interior remains; a legitimate cave in of the base rock obstructs most of the ground though the chamber expands past its original dimensions when the wall to an adjoining room also collapsed. Grit and fine chips of stone carpet the floor, shreds of a rug are visible from under the weight of boulders. There is one undamaged glow sconce, but the vermin calling this abandoned cavern home aren't disclosing its salvageability.

Scribble. Scribble… scribble, scribble, scribble — pause. There's something about holing up in these particular caverns that brings to mind an errant youth seeking quiet places to clear his head and organize his thoughts. Transferring those thoughts to parchment, chart, and hide, however — that is proving more difficult than he had expected, for there seems to be something else here in the Cavern with him: something small and scrabbly and chittery, climbing the walls and making the most atrocious ruckus from behind this boulder or that — and A'lira could swear there was giggling at one point. He puts aside his work to rise from his rock perch, squinting as he lifts his glowbasket to sweep the area again, grumbling unflattering phrases beneath his breath. How's a man to get any work done if he's constantly being interrupted.

What are the chances that someone would be walking by the entrace to the abandoned caverns just at the right time to hear the ruckus from within? Pretty good it turns out, because Zaria is pulled up in her tracks as she strains an ear in the direction of the sounds. Unable to resist the lure of these mysterious sounds, the bluerider peeks her head through the loose wooden planks that serve as a door. Spying a glow ahead, Zaria heads towards it. As she hears A'lira's grumbling she can't help a soft chuckle, "I don't think anyone has tried arguing with the sounds yet. Could work."

"GAH." A'lira swings around to face Zaria with wide-eyed startlement. "Dammit. Don't sneak up on me, woman!" Wait, that was rather unexpected, considering the difference in their rank. But that creepy, awful giggling, bro — nobody wants to be surprised by voices on top of chittering, scrabbling, and giggling. "Shit. Sorry, Wingleaderr — just… the noise is rather… unsettlin'." And her he slips, just a little, into the less crisp diction heard so often in his weyrling days; a sign of how truly unnerved he is. "Craziest sounds. Like somthin's in here runnin' the walls an' gigglin' about it."

Finally! Zaria isn't the one who jumps out of their skin, and there's a small look of triumph over that fact as she holds her hands up to say something in response to his first outburst. Then she finally hears that creepy giggling, and it sends a shiver up her spine as she snaps her head around. "Don't even worry about it, that is more than unsettling, that's downright hair-raising." her hand flutters up to rest against the back of her neck to try and smooth the hairs standing on end there. "There's no way that's some kind of natural phenomenon." she says firmly as she moves further into the light of the brownrider's glowbasket.

A'lira totally agrees. For all he's a very big man, he's not about to volunteer to go searching that out by himself. Who knows what the heck is making that sound. But wait, what's that chittering over there, in the farthest corner, behind the largest boulder? A'lira's glow moves that way, even as he puts a hand on his beltknife. "Betcha ass it ain't." It's too stinking weird is what it is. "Man, I find out it's a buncha weyrbrats, they are gonna be unable to sit for a Turn."

"I almost hope it's something so innocent as a weyrbrat prank." Zaria admits as she steps back at the chittering noise, hazel eyes swinging in the direction of the largest boulder. "That could simply be a tunnelsnake." she remarks although she doesn't seem too perturbed about that matter, her own hand moving to her belt knife. Suddenly wishing he had her own glowbasket, the bluerider is considering going to fetch her own but pauses to give the space a good look around. "I'm guessing not many people have reasons to come here?" she muses consideringly.

Yeah, A'lira secretly hopes the same, for naughty children can be set right. If it's something else, however… "Snakes don't giggle, though." Which seems to remind that particular phenomenon to start up again, slightly closer than it was before. A'lira seriously begins to consider vacating this joint now. As for Zaria's last question, he'll offer up a "Nope." A'lira volunteers readily enough. "Most people avoid this cavern. 'S why I was here, so I could get my work done without folk poppin' inn on me." Which they tend to do when he's in the Living Caverns or somewhere more accessible. "Much as I rather be elsewhere, I s'pose I oughta go back there and see if there's somethin' crawlin' round back there…" My, doesn't he sound enthusiastic.

Now that the nightmare fuel that is a giggling tunnelsnake is firmly implanted in Zaria's subconscious, the blueriders ponders the situation again just as that giggling returns and she can't help the way she takes an automatic step backwards. At A'lira's confirmation that the caverns aren't a popular spot, she furrows her brow further, "Who knows what's beyond the rubble here though." she says almost to herself as she snaps her eyes back in his direction when he mentions investigating. "Do you need me to hold the glow basket for you?" she will offer helpfully.

You're welcome, Zaria; you're welcome. A'lira aims to please! "Used t'be livin' quarters." Maybe it's the demented ghost of the people who lived here? "Mmm…. ain't too keen on goin' back there wi'out proper arrangements…" Like, you know, voluntelling the Weyrminer and Weyrsmith and apprentices to go look. What? A'lira risks his hide enough in Threadfall! But what he can do is ask his fireizards to go take a scouting peek or two; they can simply skip between when they need to, he can't. And so, once Eostre and Rhea respond to his call, he'll send them looking. "Damn. Ain't nothin' t'see. We really gotta find out where that is comin' from."

"I don't blame you." Zaria admits and watches as the brownrider calls his firelizards to look for him. "They come in handy don't they? I keep meaning to find some time in my schedule to get one and train it up." Finally nodding her agreement to his last she has a literal head scratching moment as she puzzles over the sounds just as the giggling and chittering comes back, echoing off the walls of the ruined cavern and bringing another frisson down the Wingleader's spine. "Well I guess I should be the one to make the report and pass this one up the line. Cause, I heard the knocking in the Caverns, but that?" she points around herself nebulously as the giggling ramps right back up as if on cue. "That is just plain not right."

A'lira tries to hide the subtle shudder as the spine-tingling giggling and chittering ramps up again. "Yeah. You and me both." Quickly, A'lira sweeps up his reports and whatnot and tucks them beneath his arm. "And I suggest we do it outside." As in, wherever the mysterious ruckus is not. As for the finding of firelizards, A'lira will offer, "Whenever Eostre gets herself in clutch again, I'll letcha know." He's always anxious to get rid of any hatchlings as quickly as is feasible — he's got enough small winged beasts in his weyr, between his five ad Igraine's… it's like a breeding ground in there.

Zaria looks relieves when the brownrider starts gathering his things and heads to the boards covering the entrance to hold them open for A'lira. "Outside sounds better by the second." the bluerider agrees as she follows him through, his offer for a future egg is given a considered pause as the maneuver through the rubble and planks to the outside, a paranoid feeling of being watched creeping over her back, but she manages not to keep looking over her shoulder and is relieved when she once again is out into the Bowl. Taking a few steps, Zaria subtly shakes out the tension from her limbs as she takes some deep breaths, "I've never given ghost stories much credence, but I will be hearing that giggling in my nightmares for sevens, I just know it."

Did something skitter over A'lira's foot just now? Or was it just a shadow? Whatever, nothing is mentioned, but don't that just make him move all the faster. "It don't help my weyr's one of the ground ones that got weirdass sounds all the time." A'lira laughs. "Now I'm gonna be wonderin' if them ghost stories are true." Although, what with the aabundance of livestock contained in the place, the likelihood of anything getting around in there unnoticed is vanishingly slim. Rubbing a hand over his bald pate, the tall young manheaves a heavy sigh. He's totally trying not to look behind him as well, fo Zaria isn't the only one who feels eyes boring into the nape of his neck if his tenseness is anything to measure by; he holds the wood aside for her as she extracts herself from the site of their creepy-crawlies. "Yah, I think we both will, be truthful. The hell was that in there."

"Haven't been treated to any of it in our weyr yet, but we're above the bowl." Zaria explains as she twitches to rub at something that she felt brush against her as she takes a few more steadying breaths as she shakes out her long limbs. "I'll write up the report, but can you double check it for accuracy before I hand it up the chain? Just wanna make sure I have my i's dotted and t's crossed y'know." she says with a weak grin. When she finally gets her heartbeat to stop pounding in her ears, she turns back to A'lira with a long cleansing sigh, "Well, I think I'm going to go get a few more glows for my weyr tonight and then make myself a nice cup of tea, with maybe a medicinal shot or four."

"Mine's right off the Lake, ground level. Called the 'Ghost Weyrs' for awhile now — legends and things I ain't goin' into right now." They'd had enough of a scare, thanks. He eyes Zaria thoughtfully, then nods. "Yeah. I'll vet 'cha. I heard it too." And is still wondering what crossed his foot. "Yeah, I ain't sleepin' in mine tonight. Makes me real glad Igraine kept 'er yurt over in the Caravan Grounds. Be sleepin' there tonight. Stop by the Tea Room for the Zingari Blue. That tea takes medicatin' herbs real well, and helps t'make ya sleepy, too." With an answering, sympathetic grin, he'll turn for the Caravan Grounds — maaaaybe that report's better written there, far away from the creepy sensations still running up and down his spine.

Just about to ask about that interesting moniker for the lake shore weyrs, Zaria is disapoitned when he says he won't go into it but decides it's better left for another time anyway. At the recommendation of the tea, the bluerider nods her head, "I'll remember that." Although she won't mention that she was thinking about medicating with alcohol over herb, but that doesn't seem important at the moment. At mention that he'll be spending the night on the Caravan grounds, she grins, "Must be nice to have options. I'm just going to light all my braziers and get extra glows, and hopefully be able to fall asleep eventually." She waves him off before heading off to find the glows then Azrith to take them up to their weyr for what is sure to be a loooong night.

A'lira certainly wouldn't dissuade her from alcohol, either. "Heh — go get some Zingari Red whiskey, too. For when the tea don't work as fast as ya want it to." See? He can be very, very helpful. Nice to know all about those unsettled nerves! "Yeah, I like options m'self." And with that, he's gone as well, escaping the vicinity of the suddenly haunted Abandoned Caves for the much more cheerful Zingari campground, there to finally finish his workup for the search and rescue teams' next course in the emergency field medicine they would be using.

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