Rescuing the Rescuers

A Mine on the Outskirts of Western Weyr
A mining operation that has been excavated for many turns. There are many small passageways and tunnels throughout the system.

There are some places a dragon can't fit, and the tunnels of one of Western's mining operations happens to be one of them. The mine is quite old, and cut deep with an extensive series of tunnels. Some gentle seismic activity, nothing generally out of the ordinary for Western on the surface has caused a few minor cave-ins. Most of the cave's occupants were able to make it out safely, but it's been over three hours since the partial collapses and some people are still unaccounted for. And so a large portion of the Search and Rescue wing has been called in, along with some of the other available riders who are off-duty, and then assigned with the task of flushing everyone else out of the caves. Several groups have been assigned. Zi'on is part of one of those groups. "Okay… I guess we're assigned the northern portion. So… we want to sort of stick to this side of the caves. Probably some of these tunnels are blocked now, so we'll have to improvise." He holds up a glow basket and shows everyone the map they have to work with. "We're supposed to report any signs of further structure damage, as well…"

Kimmila ducks her head low, twisting her hair against the back of her head into a makeshift bun, stabbing it through with a stylus so it stays put. Peering over Zi'on's shoulder at his map, she compares it with the one she has on her clipboard. "Looks like yours is newer," she says with a small frown. "I'll have to make sure the records room has all the most current maps. Especially since it's going to need to be mapped again after these cave ins." Glancing around, watching the glow light bounce off the walls, she narrows her eyes and then gives her head a little shake. "Okay, so where to first?" she asks, sticking the end of another stylus against the map, so it doesn't leave a mark. "This way?"

Iris happened to be off-duty, available, and in good shape for assisting search and rescue with the flushing out of people. It's a welcome change of pace from desk duties, and the junior weyrwoman is following close to Zi'on and Kimmilia, carrying a glow basket and peering over the other riders' shoulders. "I bet I could draw new maps on the computer. There's a program for doing stuff like that. Then we could just print new ones when something like this happens."

S'rorn falls in behind Zi'on and the others, gradually glancing down at the floor to mind his footing while he takes in the scene around them. He takes in a deep breath and sighs, tired eyes peering at the map. He may have been off duty from his wing but not from his trade and now the brownrider has something new to keep himself busy even more. It's never a dull moment in Western. "Well, let's hope there's no further changes to what we're dealing with already."

Whether it be from curiousity or just because she's still willowy enough to wiggle into tight spaces, Keelyra has been brought along. The teen left Kiltara in a nanny's capable hands — though Faranth knows the girl escapes those often enough — and joined the team. Perhaps out of missing her friends from candidacy and wanting a change of pace. Things have been busy and quite bland for her these days, so she took the rare opportunity to do something /exciting/. She doesn't have a map, no, but she is holding a glow basket as well for additional light, with a coiled rope slung across her body. Likely someone else has the heavier equipment. She's kept quiet… mostly out of fear for being kicked off the rescue operation. The chatter is there, bubbling beneath the surface as usual, but she largely just examines walls and the like as they go along.

"We got these from the crafters," Zi'on explains. "They keep the latest maps. There's not much a reason for the records room to have really up-to-date ones, unless someone wants to keep on top of it. Though I guess we might, now. I guess we can worry about making new ones once we're sure everyone is safe." Zi'on raises his glow basket to look at their options. "I guess… this way." He motions toward a tunnel off to the right. Nope, never a dull moment here! There's a bit of a groan from Zi'on. "Bleh. I've got to take a leak. Let's hurry and get this over with. Everyone stay together. Or should I assign partners?" He chuckles a bit and heads down the tunnel. At least his large shape will be pretty visible.

Kimmila picks up her shovel once more, adjusting the grip of her gloves before she shoulders the tool, careful to not bang the end against the tunnel roof or get it tangled in the rope that she, too, wears like Kiltara. She frowns at Zi'on. "There's /every/ reason for the weyr to have accurate maps," she argues. "But yes," she adds, glancing over her shoulder to Iris. "Might be good to have a master map in the computer system, and then send folks out from time to time to get updates from the crafters. No sense in /not/ having information," she says firmly. Snorting at Zi'on, she nods her head to a little side tunnel. "Go do your thing. And we should all stick together. Just remember that there's five of us. If we can suddenly /have/ partners, it means we've lost someone." There's a little smirk as she sets off alongside Zi'on. "This reminds me of this one tunnel I explored down in the middle of the Southern Continent…"

Iris nods agreeably and follows off behind Zi'on and Kimmilia, peering at the walls as they go, seeking cracks. At his 'announcement', there's a snicker and a bit of an eyeroll. "Nice timing, Zi'on. Maybe you /should/ take S'rorn with you- buddy system and all, you know. Just in case you fall into a crack." She fiddles with her glowbasket as she stops to wait, glancing briefly around before her gaze settles on the bluerider, who gets a curious look, "Oh yeah? What happened there?"

As soon as Keelyra wanders in, the brownrider moves out of the way but minds his proximity to the walls. The last thing S'rorn wants is to recreate the domino effect with his search group. "I… think not. Well, not unless Zi'on is afraid of the dark, then I /suppose/ I could hold his hand." Snerk. He reaches for his own gloves tucked into his belt, tugging them on one by one before fastening the straps around his wrists. "Not if he's going to relieve himself, he's on his own for that."

"I don't wanna be Zi'on's partner if he's gonna be talkin' 'bout bodily functions the whole time." Keelyra might want to be his partner for other reasons, but that's still pretty gross. She angles the glow into various nooks and crannies as they go along. Fortunately she's slim enough that she ought not get too much in anyone's way. "D'we know how far in they were?" The trapped folks, that is.

Zi'on gives Kimmila a droll look. "The ones the weyr has are mostly accurate. The crafters need the ones totally up-to-date, and they don't much enjoy filing the paperwork. So you can take it up with them." He peers off down the side tunnel. "I can hold it. For a while at least." There's snort to Iris. "Psh. You should be so lucky as for me to fall through a crack. I don't need a hand holder or a… anything else holder, thanks. Just don't fall behind. I don't want to have to go looking for anyone else." They head further down into the tunnel. "There should be a big open room behind this one, with several tunnels splitting off it." Though… on their approach they can see the room's been blocked by debris except for maybe a few feet at the top of the tunnel. The bronzer stands on his tip-toes to see if he can see inside. "I can't see. Let's clear off a little bit of this, so we can tell if the whole room is gone, or it just let go here."

Kimmila frowns once more at Zi'on, staring levelly at him. "I will," she promises firmly. "Oh, nothing out of the ordinary," she says to Iris as she studies the lay of the stones and places a foot experimentally on one of them. When it doesn't roll out from beneath her, she climbs up another stone, letting the rock fall adjust to her weight. She's quiet for a moment, listening to any tumbling debris. "This one seems pretty stable," she says distractedly, climbing up further until she can reach some of the top rocks, handing them down to whoever steps forward to help. "Tuennelsnakes, wild felines, got stuck for a brief amount of time and had to wiggle my way free." The bluerider shrugs nonchalantly. It's not that she's fearless. She just doesn't care.

Iris lets out a long-suffering sigh at S'rorn and Keelyra, "I suppose I'll condescend to be Zi'on's partner should we need them. Faranth knows I'm hardly bothered by anything that comes out of him anymore." She means that in a funny way… not in a creepy way. Of course it may come off creepy. Once he's back and leading them onward, though, she's back to following, and peering at the debris. She's one to step forward to help take rocks from Kimmila and move them off to a clearer location.

S'rorn steps forward and inspects the blockage. He moves to the side, letting the light from the glows illuminate the area before he even begins to move aside the stone. "Best thing to do is to start moving things just below the top. We don't know what's on the other side and I don't want more debris to get in the way. If it's going to fall, let it slide down inward little by little as we go over it." Little slides can be stepped through, big slides? Not so much. Whatever the case may be, the brownrider beside Zi'on and begins to work on the safest areas he can find in the dim light.

There's a look of disappointment that quickly fades when the bluerider is the first to wriggle on up there. Keelyra wants excitement! And danger! Or to feel more useful. She finds a good spot for her glow basket and sets it down, before moving in to help move things aside.

"You see anything?" Zi'on asks the blue rider as she start climbing rocks. "You think Keely could get up there? We really need to get into that section of tunnel. I'm not sure there's another way into some of these other passages." Zi'on hands his basket to Iris or Keely and starts pulling away some of the rock from the top most sections he can reach. "Oh, well thanks Iris. And I don't think you've been subjected to -everything- that comes out of me. At least… not yet." Zi'on has turned everything around and made it all creepy! The bronzer dislodges a stone, causing a bit of slide on both sides. Well, on the bright side things are clear now! On the downside several larger rocks are caught in the tumble. The bronzer at least has the presence of mind to try and pull Iris and Keely out of the way, since they're down the tunnel a bit. Maybe Rorn can rescue Kimmila?

Kimmila doesn't move her gaze from the fall she's trying to clear, as she answers S'rorn. "If I pull stones out from underneath other stones, they're going to fall," she says, a bit baffled at his logic. "You have to take a fall apart from the top, down. Or else—" she says, pointing to Zi'on's little slide and frowning. What she was going to say next is halted by a small yelp when the stones shift beneath her feet. She scrambles to the side, catching herself on a more stable part of the slide against the wall, clinging to a slight outcrop. "Damnit!" she swears, "Does no one know what they're doing?"

Iris is busy carrying a rock away from Kimmila so Keely may wind up with his basket- if not she'll grab it after setting her rock down. "In your /dreams/, pal," the goldrider smirks at Zi'on, a knowing and humorous expression on her face. "As if that'll ever happ-" she's cut off when the rocks slide and Zi'on's pulling her out of the way. "No, actually I was just sentp to watch for people and look at walls and help with whatever you two determined necessary," Iris responds frankly to Kimmila's cursing.

As the stones begin to roll down the side, a glow basket closest to the debris is knocked over and buried. S'rorn shifts his feet and tries to move against the wall to inch back, letting the sound of stones clatter amongst each other on their way down in the dimmed light. He hisses, holding a hand to his chest for a moment before slowly peering around the wall. "We can grab from the top all we want but if we move the wrong rock and start another side on the other side, we're not going to get very far." Slowly he takes one step forward, shoving debris aside with his boot before taking another and he looks at the wall. "One glow basket down," he mutters. "From below or the middle isn't going to help us. Go from the outside, then move inwards along the top. Keep it on our side or you might as well bloody risk killing someone unconscious on the other."

There's a squeak when Keelyra is yanked to the side, but her expression is thankful when she realizes she very nearly got herself clobbered by a stray rock. That'd leave quite the lump! And make her first adventure with the search and rescue teams likely the last one, as well. Her glow basket is the one that is lost to the fray and she looks mildly despondent. "Mebbe I could try going up there and seeing what's on the other side, now? Iff'n there isn't anyone on the other side, we might be able to go quicker."

Zi'on peers at Kimmila. "No offense miss I've-been-there-and-done-that, but you standing on the debris we're clearing isn't the brightest of ideas." The bronzer then turns his attention to S'rorn. "Are you alright?" Zi'on checks Iris and Keely for injuries as well. Though they seem fine enough, even if Keely looks a little shaken up. His own glow basket is taken back from whoever got stuck holding it. Keely is given a shoulder pat as the bronzer moves over towards the debris. "HELLO!?" He yells into the tunnels. "There's enough room for us probably to fit through, but it's probably too dangerous." Of course, while the bronzer is flapping his jaw, there's an echo from inside the cave of 'help us!'

Kimmila looks down over her shoulder at Zi'on, frowning once more. "You can't think that clearing a rock fall from the /bottom/ is a good idea." She nods to S'rorn, for once in agreement. "He's got the right idea of it." Carefully removing a few stones from the top/side of the fall, she makes sure no one is beneath her before letting them slip carefully down. "No offense, goldrider, but if you don't know what you're doing, then-" She's cut off again at Zi'on's holler, and she wisely quiets so that the return call can be heard. "Too dangerous my ass," she mutters. "That's why we're /here/. I'm going over. You," she says, pointing to Keelyra, "If you're coming, now's the time." And over she goes, sitting on a mostly stable rock and swinging her legs over the other side, slipping and sliding down the opposite side and landing with a thump that's quickly followed by an, "I'm okay!" There's a flicker of green from her side of the fall as she removes a glow from her pocket and holds it up so the others can see their way.

"I know enough to follow directions," Iris fires back at Kimmila. "I was a free rider, the powers that be said, report for duty, off I went. You got a problem with it, tough. I wasn't the one pulling rocks away and making them fall." She snorts right back, her words starting just as soon as Kimmila starts to say no offense is meant. Of /course/ it's meant, or a person wouldn't try to cover it up with a claim there's none intended. The goldrider does, however, turn her attention to the new opening as soon as the call for hello echoes down to them. She stands back as Kimmila and, presumably, Keelyra, scramble over the rocks to explore the tunnel.

S'rorn slowly pulls his hand away from his chest and tries to make a fist but the movements are rather trembling. He takes in a deep breath and clenches it again, this time closing a fist but not without a little hiss. "I think so," he says with some irritability, before moving towards a faint light at his feet. He kneels down, brushing it aside debris until a glow emerges. He holds it up and moves over to one of the other remaining baskets, added the surviving light to the lot. The basket, itself, didn't survive the fall. "You be careful up there and stay within reach of one another!" Just to be on the safe side, he moves a step back a little further so he doesn't lose a leg.

If she were a feline, Keelyra's ears would have perked when the return hollar echoes through the tunnels. Time to turn this up to 11! She's wisely staying out of the back and forth between Kimmila and Iris, not knowing much of anything about digging out tunnels and thus unlikely to have anything much of worth to provide. When the bluerider calls her to follow, she does just that. The girl has no issue scrambling up and over the rocks, well-used to climbing trees and the like. There's a few scattered pebbles and the like in her wake, but nothing so dangerous as the slide already triggered. She readjusts the rope once on the other side, squinting in the light provided by Kimmila's glow.

Zi'on peers at Kimmila. "I wasn't pulling them from the bottom. Apparently the rock I chose caused some instability in the back. Anyways, getting into an argument isn't going to help us." He looks towards S'rorn. "Do you want to go back?" He blinks a bit as the bluerider starts climbing over the debris. "Shard it all… we have to stick together!" Which means… they're all heading over the debris. Zi'on will help the ladies over first. Then S'rorn if he needs it, and then climb over himself. The bronzer holds his glowbasket up to the walls, several support beams are snapped, and others are looking to be under extreme stress. "We should… move out of this area." He says slowly, as some pebbles fall from the ceiling. "Now would be good!"

Kimmila, on the other side, reaches up to offer Keelyra some help if she needs it, and then the others if they need it, too. "Everyone okay?" she asks, eyes searching each of them and giving S'rorn a thoughtful frown before pebbles are raining down on them. Instinct takes over and she grabs Keelyra's wrist in a tight grip, yanking her along through the darkened room. Her shovel is, sadly, abandoned on the other side of the fall as she bolts for the first tunnel she can find, holding the glow up towards the ceiling to see if she can find a side tunnel with strong looking beams.

Iris might not be as tiny and nimble as Keelyra, but even before weyrlinghood, she'd been climbing and poking around places for all her weyrbrat turns. So she's up and over those rocks without much difficulty, only a little trip when she missteps on a bit of loose rock once over. Once standing, she gives her glow basket a disappointed shake- it's basically history but it's still just barely useable. Yay for just a little extra light?

As soon as he finds his footing on the other side, the brownrider mutters under his breath and holds his hand against his chest once more but slowly he lowers it down as he glances up towards the beams. "Good idea," he replies and moves in the bronzerider's direction. He pauses, glancing for Iris for a moment before minding his footing. "Lets move out from under that incase it does decide to come down." S'rorn is talking in quieter tones, almost fearing the echoes of their voices might trigger another fall. Under it is where he'd not like to be if a feline fight breaks out.

Mildly distracted by tucking away the end of the rope that had come free, Keelyra's reaction is a few seconds behind the others'. Thus it's easy for Kimmila to tug her after and there's once again a squeak from the teen. She flails vaguely, but soon her feet are responding and she's moving quickly behind the bluerider, also seeking out someplace that may, yaknow, be safe.
Draval approaches from the north end of the tunnel.
Draval has arrived.

And there isn't a moment to spare. With Zi'on bringing up the rear, the team is herded off into one of the smaller side passages. Lucky for them it's still in tact and structurally sound enough to hold as the bigger cavern collapses further behind them. There's a grunt from the bronzer. "Well… Guess we're going to have to find another route out of here, then." Of course… finding one might take them quite a while. "I have to take a leak. You all… uh. Go on ahead a little bit." Zi'on plans to add insult to injury by relieving himself in to the debris, it would seem. He holds his glowbasket in his teeth and… undoes his trousers. Run away!

Kimmila turns around and crouches as the cavern collapses, covering her head with her arms until the last of the dust has settled. "Everyone okay?" she asks breathlessly as she stands up and looks around, quickly counting off five heads in their group. "Shards. Yes. Where's the map…" she mutters, looking around and patting her pockets to see if she thought to stick it in there somewhere. "So what should we do?" she asks, pulling it out and shaking it free of dust. "Do we try to find the others? Or try and get out?" Her eyes narrow slightly. She has an opinion, but she doesn't share it just yet. Zi'on's peeing has her rolling her eyes and turning away.

Iris follows Kimmila's example, crouching and covering her head along a side of the tunnel until the rumbling is done and the dust is settling. In the fray, she drops the not-much-use-anyway glowbasket, and once it seems they're safe for the moment, she reaches around for it, starts turning onto to turn right into a newly jutting portion of the wall. Meet eyebrow, wall. Be friends! Cursing, she puts pressure over her eye and with the other, focuses on the others, forcing a snort at Zi'on before she turns away and ponders Kimmila's question. "Well. A rescuer isn't much of a rescuer if they're stuck, too."

Hey, when a man's gotta go, a man's gotta go. It's easier for him to take advantage of his surroundings than it is for women so Zi'on can do his thing and S'rorn can slowly shuffle through the debris on the ground as far as the lights can reach. Soon enough, the last rumble of their former space is reduced to the sound of stone upon stone. "Panicking isn't going to get us out of the tunnel any faster," S'rorn says before pitching into a fit of coughs, holding an arm over his mouth until it passes. "The dragons will alert others on the outside, our getting upset over it is only going to make things worse. We don't need them tearing apart a place they can't get to, getting themselves hurt." For a moment, the brownrider thought about his own lifemate panicking above and he shudders at the thought. Nyzieroth never had to endure it, today shouldn't have to be his first. As soon as the air clears enough for him, S'rorn shakes the dirt from his hair, running a hand over it so the debris stops falling into his eyes from the strands.

Oh, ew. Of course he'd just decide to go there. And it can't even count as marking their way or something. No one's going to miss the giant rock pile. Keelyra makes a mildly disgusted sound and is quick to flee the area that Zi'on occupies, moving further down the tunnel to the edges of the already dim light. Her eyes have fully adjusted at least, so she's able to take better advantage of it. "I think we oughta find the others," she says after a moment of thought. "Better those that have to find us don't need to search out /two/ groups. An' mebbe we can help if someone's hurt."

~~~~~ Enter Rescue Group for the Rescue Group ~~~~~

With some of the previous S&R teams returning from the initial collapse, it's not long before the word goes out that one hasn't returned. But when inquiries into their whereabouts and condition are met with panic and word of another collapse within the mine, a second wave of rescuers is sent out. Within moments, more dragons are landing outside; their riders and additional non-rider crew dismounting and quickly organizing at the mouth of the now collapsed mine. Among the group is Th'ero and Velokraeth, the pale bronze obviously agitated, eyes whirling in concern and worry. Even the bronzerider looks tense, mouth drawn down into a thin line as he works with the others in preparing a plan to go inside - if it's even safe to do so. But word should spread to those trapped within, if their dragons are nearby. Help is here! And rescue is underway.

"I got the map here. We should probably try to find the others. We also need to plot a course out of here," Zi'on says, once he's zipped up. He moves over to set his map on the ground and sets the glow basket next to it. "I think…. we're here. I'll bet the others are down in this section. I think this is where the newest mining activity was taking place. We can split up… I guess. Maybe take twenty or thirty minutes. I can scout the exit passages with Iris, and you guys can look for everyone in the caverns below. You'll have to make sure you can get back here though. Do you still have your map, Kimmila? Let's… try not to move any debris." Hopefully they have a working glow basket, as well.

Kimmila steps over towards Iris with a little frown. "Are you okay? Are you bleeding?" she asks, lifting her glow to try and see Iris' injury better. "Who's panicking?" she asks S'rorn, looking around to see if there's something she's missing. "That's what I was thinking, too," she says with a nod for Keelyra. "Someone help me try to figure out this map. Here, Zi'on, I have it here. I think - if no other passages are blocked - if we go up this tunnel, turn left, left, right, left, and right, we should end up back at this caved in room, but from the other side. Hopefully the others are there." Her eyes unfocus for a moment and she nods. "They're sending in others after us. I say we find the /others/ who are stuck. Like you said," she still doesn't know Keelyra's name, "it makes sense to group up. I don't think we should split up, though. For the same reason we're going to find the others. I say we find the others and then try to make our way as close to the exit as we can." And outside, Varmiroth is pressed tightly to the ground, a long and low croon emminating from him, his eyes spinning with worry.

Also among them is Draval — for once not up to his usual trickery and mischief; instead, he's standing in the shadow of several older young men, hands wrapped tight around a bit of rope, casting worried eyes over the collapsed mine. Frowning, he gives Th'ero a helpless look, not quite sure what to do next; amid the trapped group is his long-lost sister whom, despite their many quarrels, he has become fond of. Or at least, he's assuming she is, as he hasn't seen her even once today. Sidling closer to the man, he asks, softly, "Can we get in there to help?"

Jeyinshi is another familiar face amongst the group, her face creased with worry and a certain tenseness to her shoulders. While it certainly isn't a water rescue, the dolphineer /is/ specialized in S&R and there would probably be something she could do to help. Waiting for instructions, Jey makes her way towards Th'ero, positioning herself beside him and listening as plans for the rescue begin. Draval's suggestion earns a nod and the dolphineer looks up towards Th'ero. "I could probably crawl in even if the space is cramped."

"Not bleeding," Iris shakes her head at Kimmila, wincing at the movement as she drops her arm back to her side. "I think I just bruised it." And maybe the rescue is underway, but word passed on or not, Iris peers at the map as the two more seasoned riders agree to split up. And once Zi'on's picked the map back up, she starts heading toward one of those exit passages a few beats ahead of him, stepping gingerly. As the pair moves down their selected tunnel, Iris, of course, manages to trip one last time on loose rocks, sending her sideways and into the wall of the tunnel. This time she's not so lucky, hitting the wall with her head and shoulder before stumbling back the other way and predictably sinking to the ground and blacking out. Up above Shadhavarth is pacing around the bowl, rumbling her discontent and occasionally launching herself into the air, only to spin around and land back on the ground, digging without progress at the hard ground of the bowl as if that would get her down below.

Let us not forget Ila'den! The bronzerider is slipping down from his dragon with a purpose, mouth set in a thin line as he approaches the new gathering of rescuers and comes in to stand alongside Th'ero, Jey, and Draval. "What if you get stuck?" Ila'den instantly inquires, turning his eyes onto Jey when the dolphineer volunteers to wiggle her body into the small crawl-space at the opening. "We shouldn't be crawling in any spaces that the lot of us can't fit into, anyway. We don't need to risk losing you down there as well." Instead of his usual playful smiles, the bronzerider has turned strictly business. Teimyrth croons his agreement to his rider's words, shifting as he waits alongside his brother for the /real/ danger to the newly arrived to begin.

"Lead the way, Kimmila. Let's get through this before things take a turn to the worse." S'rorn unbuckles the strap around one of his gloves and rotates it a little bit as he peers down the path they're likely to start. As for all the turns, he's completely lost track and will be sure to stay close to the others while the tunnels allow it. Though, those words may have been spoken a little too soon. The brownrider wasn't paying attention to the other group when he heard the rocks shift and rattle on the ground beside him. S'rorn's first instinct was to look up for more signs of collapse before quickly glancing down and the first thing he sees is… "Iris!"

Zi'on marks the route Kimmila has outlined on his map. "We'll have to see if the passages are open. There's no other way to do so without actually checking." And if they were all left in tact it would be a miracle. The bronzer is about to protest as Iris starts out before him, only to have her bang her head and knock herself out. "Iris!" Zi'on gets up to check on her. "Shard it all… she's knocked herself out. But she's not bleeding or anything… hopefully it's not serious. But she needs to be looked at by a healer." He looks around a bit. "Well… looks like we're going to have to split up after all. I'll take her and head up the proposed route. I won't be able to move that quickly, so if you guys hurry I'm sure you'll meet up with me in the tunnels." Zi'on lifts Iris up into his arms. "Hopefully the rescue teams will be able to find us quickly."

Kimmila shakes her head firmly, a hand on her hip. "For shard's sake, I said to NOT split up," she calls, just in time to watch Iris knock herself out. "For-" she mutters angrily, striding quickly over to kneel beside the goldrider. "Whoever sent her down here was a sharding idiot," she says heatedly, letting her worry loose disguised by anger. "They took a turn for the worse," she says to S'rorn. "She looks like she'll be okay," she agrees with Zi'on, before sighing with a huff. "Okay. We'll go this way, you go that. We'll try and find the others and meet you there," she says, pointing to the map. "Then we'll get out of this and go get a drink, okay?" Grinning wryly, she reaches out to clasp Zi'on's upper arm before she turns and starts off down the tunnels, motioning to Keelyra and S'rorn to follow. "Let's do this thing."

Outside, things are progressing slowly as the second team to arrive gets themselves setup and organized, many of the more experienced of the crew taking charge and barking out orders to the others. Th'ero can only blink for a moment as others, all familiar, suddenly surround him and he nods to them all briskly in turn, though his mood remains somber. He can only give an equally helpless look to Draval. "I think they're about to check the stability of the tunnels first. Or the ones still open, anyways." The bronzerider points out, and sure enough, a small group of experts in such fields enter the mine to do just that. Soon enough, they should be updated on the situation. Jeyinshi is given a long look from Th'ero, though Ila'den's remark has him nodding. "Hopefully we won't be crawling. I don't like the idea of that either." Velokraeth gives a bit of a low, soothing croon to Varmiroth, though the young bronze is probably not much help. Again, more details are sent via dragon minds, at least to those who aren't too muddled by panic. It's not long before the crew returns, signaling the go-head for the next step to proceed. Th'ero begins to gather some needed supplies, motioning for the others to do the same even before the orders are repeated.

Finally, something Draval can do to ease his nerves! He begins gathering supplies, settling them into a carisak to sling over his back. Water, first aid kit — what else, what else? Maybe more water. After awhile, though, the boy is done, and resorts to fidgeting about, waiting for that report to come back. Time seems to pass ever so slowly, waiting for the time of action to arrive.

Oh, Keelyra is definitely in there. Why would she have turned down the opportunity to help a search and rescue crew? It's an adventure! An adventure that began turning south when Zi'on decided to pee in the tunnel. There's just no situation not made worse besides someone deciding they're going to pee on something. The teen is currently crouched and fussing with the rope she brought, glancing with concern in Iris' direction. "Dunno why we'd split up. Prolly best to find the others before we wander off for some kinda exit. Might be they've got an exit, but they're too hurt to get to it." Then Iris is getting herself injured. The kitchen girl looks perplexed, but is being ushered down the other tunnel. She grasps the rope coiled across her torso tightly and follows after Kimmila and S'rorn.

Jeyinshi sighs, "I'm just saying that I'm smaller than the two of you. I can fit through smaller areas if you guys can't but…." There's a glance towards towards the men giving them the go ahead, "I don't think there's going to be any need for that." Suggestion taken, the dolphineer begins gathering some supplies, several glow baskets, some food and water, and whatever else she can carry. Once she's ready, the dolphineer takes her place once again, waiting for the signal to go in.
From afar, Iris returns sooner than expected… pilates are apparently no fun when your eyebrow is still throbbing. and dang, I could've sworn Kimmila /did/ agree to splitting up in that pose before my last.

"I just don't think it makes much sense to have you crawling into spaces where we can't follow you." There's a gentleness about Ila'den when he relays the message to Jey this time, the barest hint of a smile on his lips as those grey eyes settle on Th'ero. When the orders come for them to gather supplies and they're given the go ahead to proceed, Ila'den mocks the motions of all the rescuers around him, gathering enough supplies to assist if needed, but not nearly enough to burden him or the party's progression once they're making their way through the collapsing mine. Teimyrth shifts, crooning to Shadhavarth, though the bronze seems more focused on Ila. "See you on the inside," Ila murmurs under his breath to the three around him, "and be safe." Without waiting, the bronzer is moving toward the entrance, awaiting his turn to be hurried inside.

S'rorn peers back and forth between Kimmila and Zi'on for a moment, then shakes his head as he follows after the bluerider. She'll be okay, there's someone with her and hopefully it's not more than a bad bump to the head. There's a little knot in his chest for his former fellow weyrling but he's no healer, just a trader, there's nothing he can do. The brownrider doesn't move too fast, making sure Keelyra stays nearby just in case. "I'm not liking where this is going," he mutters, and he isn't speaking of the tunnel.

Someone must have got their details straight because more of the rescuers are finally dividing up into smaller groups to enter the mine, that information echoed down to anyone inside who can receive to give a rough heads up of the rescuers whereabouts. Th'ero turns to give Jeyinshi a brief apologetic look, as he finishes gathering his own supplies, including his own light, which he promptly tests to be sure it's working. "I figured that's what you meant. But lets hope it doesn't come to having to crawl through. Like Ila'den said, we might not be able to follow." There's a nod given to the other bronzerider as he moves on ahead, the same remark given in return. "Be safe. Lets hope we can make this quick." As Ila'den moves on ahead to lead, while Th'ero lingers behind, motioning for Draval and Jeyinshi to go ahead and he'll follow closely behind them, heading down a different tunnel then the previous groups before them. Velokraeth gives an anxious rumble as they disappear into the mine, the bronze ruffling his wings a little as he waits, tensed and uneasy.

Zi'on sighs a bit to Kimmila. "Relax. She's just graduated and wanted to help. We'll be up the designated path. If we reach the end I will wait for you there. Try not to get more lost, I guess." Or worse. There's some mumbling about needing a beer right now. The bronzer starts heading up the tunnels at a moderate pace. He doesn't want to fall and give Iris a third tumble. He'll need to stop every so often to let Iris down and rest, but eventually they will probably make it all the way up.
Kimmila pages: Do you think I should pose us finding the others? Keep the scene moving?

Draval takes instruction well, for once, and follows the appropriate persons into the mine, casting a nervous look backward before descending into the maw of the beast, so to speak.

Jeyinshi grins over at Ila'den, giving him a small nod before she too is being herded over towards the entrance. The apologetic look is given a smile in return and the dolphineer follows after quickly, throwing a glance behind her to make sure Th'ero is ineeded following. Once she has ducked inside, the dolphineer pulls out one of the glow baskets and begins moving along, as fast as allowed.

Kimmila doesn't respond to Zi'on as she sets off through the tunnels, her steps nimble and careful, eyes constantly scanning the walls as she stops to check every brace and every joint before moving beneath it. Because of her accurate map, they soon come upon the first lost group huddled in a bend in one of the smaller tunnels. There, they find a group of five apprentices huddled together, collectively shaken, scared, and covered in dust and - in a few cases - blood. One with a concussion looks rather dazed, while another is ashen in color and gripping a clearly broken ankle, wrapped with a blood-soaked tunic from another boy, whose torso shows off his bruises and scrapes. The fourth looks fine, just scared, and the fifth is cradling his arm, his shoulder dislocated. At the arrival of Kimmila, S'rorn and Keelyra, the boys set up a ragged cheer, the ones standing that are able to. Their words tumble over each other's, voices hoarse and scratchy from the dust and their fright and shouting for help. "Thank you…here…Master's dead…crushed…over there…tried to dig out…have water?…" and other things. Kimmila steps forward, hands up, shaking her head. "We're here, boys, hush. Who is hurt?" That's her first concern, as she unfastens her small water skin and gives it to the first boy. "Share," she tells him firmly.

There's really no need to be so watchy over Keelyra. She may want to be Miss Hero of the Day, but she's not prone to being /too/ reckless. Really, anyone who volunteered for this mission is likely prone to /some/ reckless behavior. She's not as bad as Zi'on, at least. There is a concerned glance for Iris cast back, but they're gone and it's dark, so she knows naught. She's also sans-dragon, so she's somewhat more in the dark than the others. And it's not like her addle-brained 'lizards are even along, not that they'd be any help.

Well, Iris could have sworn before she set off that she heard Kimmila agree with Zi'on on splitting up, but the bluerider must have been agreeing with somebody else. But, as the junior was trying to prove that she could follow directions, well, she had already turned away by the time Kimmila actually said they oughtn't. Next thing she knows, she's waking up in the middle of… being carried? There's minimal panicked flailing before she's being flooded with glee from Shadhavarth, the gold finally stopping her constant movement when she senses her lifemate come to, only sitting there, staring at the ground with whirling eyes. "Whoa," Iris groans as she registers the bruising she got from the wall and then the ground. Once Zi'on sets her down, she finds that standing really isn't such a good idea. "So. Um. Yeah. Would you be so kind as to lend me an arm?" Or maybe just keep on carrying her, if it's not /too/ much trouble.

S'rorn goes up to the kid with the wonky shoulder, and he frowns. "Kid, you're going to hate me for this, but…" He positions his hands on the dislocated shoulder and forces it back into place in one quick movement. If the boy made any noise at all, he didn't hear it over the sounds of the others and the movement within this small space. "Let me tell you something, when I was younger, I'd mess my shoulder up all the time. My sister would pop it back in, though, she was a lot meaner about it." The thought of that rough jerk with a boot on his chest brings the brownrider to rotate his own shoulders a little. Never a good feeling.

Zi'on blinks a bit as Iris starts to wake up in his arms. He sets he down gently and tries to encourage her to stay seated. "Whoa is right… try not to make any sudden movements. You likely have a concussion. You need to see a healer." He scoops her arm around his shoulders and tries to get them moving again. But if Iris starts to drag he'll just pick her up and carry her again. Which is probably what is likely to happen. His glow basket is hung on his wrist, which probably casts a strange looking shadow as he wanders up the halls.

The boy with the messed up shoulder is too dazed to protest or make much noise when S'rorn fixes his shoulder. But afterwards, all he does is give the brownrider a glassy look and drift over towards Keelyra. She doesn't look like she'd cause him any more pain. He scoots over close to the woman with nervous little looks, and then leans against her side with his good shoulder, closing his eyes. Kimmila crouches in front of the boy with the concussion and asks him a few quiet questions before helping him stand. "S'rorn," she calls, "can you carry this one?" she asks, briefly checking the boy with the broken ankle and murmuring soft reassurances. Despite her brashness, she is being rather gentle - if brisk - with the boys, seeking to reassure them but also to get them moving so they can try to get out. With all five boys ready to move, she briefly darts down the tunnel to confirm that the Master is, indeed, dead. Grim-faced, she nods to S'rorn and Keelyra, gently putting her hand on the shoulder of the boy without a tunic - the oldest of the group. "Let's go," she says quietly. "Down this tunnel, then turn left. We'll meet Zi'on and get as close to the exit as we can. Then we wait."

Keelyra is snuck up on! By a boy. A boy younger than her. Figures, the first time a guy even looks her way and it's just beause he's hiding from S'rorn. Keelyra will grouch over that later. For now she's happy enough to help, especially since she's finding herself missing fresh air that isn't stale and full of dust. She coughs a bit due to the latter. "Yeh, let's get moving. I'd like something to drink."

Ila'den might be heading the way, but he's still taking directions from those with more experience underneath their belts. He glances down at a small map he'd been handed by another rescuer only moments before, holding his own glowbasket level as he squints his eyes to see. "They're saying that these tunnels here, here, and here have closed off," the bronzerider murmurs, taking a moment to turn toward his small team and show them the recently marked closings. "This looks like the only accessible tunnel from the way we're headed, and if worse comes to worse, we'll need to backtrack and find these." He's pointing to the openings, but doesn't leave anybody with much time to think it through as he folds it back up, tucks it away under his arm, and jerks his chin towards the only available option. "Here's to hoping we can find them somewhere along this route." AND THE CALVARY SHALL FOLLOW. Here's to hoping! It takes considerable /time/ to find the correct path, and much to the bronzer's dismay, there were considerably more places that he had to /crawl/ through first. It must be his lucky day though, because upon wiggling his way lose from one of the aformentioned squeezes, he's catching the shadow of something in his peripheral vision and turning his glowbasket toward the cause. "Zi'on! Iris!"

Iris does /try/ to walk on her own. But everything's still kind of fuzzy, and well, she winds up in his arms again before too long, mumbling apologies. "So sorry. I don't mean to be trouble for you," Not that the short girl is honestly much of a burden for someone as tall as Zi'on. "I imagine I have something going on," there's an awkward, forced laugh before she adds in a whisper, "given I only know your name because Shadhavarth told me." And then there's noise not far off, nosie, and glowbaskets, and a voice calling.

Zi'on chuckles a bit to Iris. "Don't apologize. This is my job, Iris." She ought to know that! But… her next sentence has him blinking. "Er… You don't remember who I am? Do you know who you are, at least?" Oh nos. What is Enka going to think when she gets her new junior back all… amnesiaed. But then a voice is calling to them. "Ila'den? Oh thank Faranth!" If he didn't have Iris in his arms, Zi'on might give the other bronzer a hug and kiss. So Ila should count himself lucky. Maybe. "Iris is hurt. She's hit her head, and she's got memory loss. She needs a healer. The rest of my team went to find the others we heard calling for help. We should wait until they get here. They're supposed to meet us in this tunnel." Zi'on explains in a dump of information.

Jeyinshi has been following right along behind Ila'den and the rest of the crew. As the call for those found goes up, the dolphineer breaks into a relieved smile. It doesn't take long for her to put down the glowbasket she's been carrying and pullout two skins filled with water, offering them to the recently discovered pair. "Shards I'm glad to see you guys…." But then the lack of other people around is fully appreciated and Jey furrows her brows as she looks about. Zi'on's explanation is another source of relief and soon she begins pulling out a few more waterskins, anticipating the arrival of the rest.

Th'ero follows in behind the rest of them, holding out his glowbasket for some additional light. Shuffling in closer when Ila'den turns to show them the map, the bronzerider's frown deepens as he studies it and quickly memorizes as much of the information supplied as possible. There's a small 'tsk' like noise of disappointment before he's muttering a quick: "so much for easy" under his breath. Even so, he follows Ila'den down the path he takes, muttering a few choice curses when they encounter the first of the tight squeezes to bypass. And so much for not having to squeeze through! Thankfully he has Jeyinshi and Draval go ahead of him like before, because Th'ero has to worst time of it, though eventually manages to work his way through and not become embarrassingly stuck. Raising his own glowbasket, he's the last to arrive to the discovery, but his relief is genuine all the same. "Shards! Is it good to see you two." He exclaims, before the relief is turned to concern as Zi'on fills them in. "There's healers back up at the surface." Not exactly the best of answers, but the only one that seems to pop into the bronzerider's mind.

Carefully, the brownrider is kneeling down and he's sliding his hands under the boy with the injured ankle. "Move your arm around my shoulder if you can," S'rorn instructs as he lifts the boy. He bites down at his own lower lip hard for a moment, wincing his eyes shut at the pain shooting through his wrist but he pays it no mind after he shakes it off, adjusting the kid to a more manageable position. "We're going to get out of here, together." S'rorn slowly rises, careful not to fall over with the boy and he minds his way after Kimmila as the group makes their way to the next shadowed area.

Kimmila leads the little group slowly and carefully through the tunnels, until they catch up with the others. "There!" she says, pointing. "Let's all get up to the surface, okay?" Glancing over her shoulder, she eyes S'rorn. "Are you hurt? Give me him," she instructs, moving close to try and lift the boy with the broken ankle out of S'rorn's arms. "Let's go, lead the way." Her eyes dart over the faces of their rescuers, but doesn't really recognize any of them in the dim light and adrenaline rush to just get /out/.

Hurt? Head hit? Memory loss? Ila'den's trying to wrap his mind around every word tumbling from Zi'on's lips to make sense of it all. Jeyinshi is a welcomed sight, her voice pulling him back into reality and right back into action. "Will you be okay waiting here for the others?" The bronzerider inquires, eyes going to Jey, Th'ero and all the other members of their rather small search party. "I can show you the way back out, Zi'on. We should probably get Iris to a healer as soon as possible." But while the man takes one step into Zi's personal space, he makes no moves what-so-ever to touch either of them. After all, Jeyinshi is providing the necessities, isn't she? "Iris, there's some tight squeezes getting out. Will you be able to crawl on your own?"

Iris gives Zi'on a 'look'. "Of /course/ I know who /I/ am." Does it matter that Shadhavarth informed her of exactly who and what she is? Semantics! "I'm Iris. You're Zi'on." Yep. She peers at Ila'den as he arrives on scene, brown eyes focusing on him. "And you're Ila'den." There's a little smile of affirmation as she answers. "I can try. I can't promise I will not be klutzy. I am never allowed to go with search and rescue again, apparently." Shadhavarth decrees it so! Then there are more joining them, faces that her lifemate declares ought to be familiar, so smile Iris does, "You could just go on and rescue the others. Zi'on could show you the way… I could hang out and wait? This spot seems to be pretty stable."

Zi'on looks around a bit, Iris still in his arms. "Do you think you can take her? I don't want to leave without the rest of my team. If they aren't here in a few minutes we'll have to go down and look for them. I'm the only one that knows the way." More or less. But now Zi'on is worried, he figured they'd be here by now. But he wasn't anticipating them having wounded children with them. He smiles to Iris. At least her demeanor towards him hasn't changed much? "I don't want you to linger in here. You need to see a healer to make sure there isn't lasting damage. I'll wait here with Th'ero and Jey a few more minutes, then I'll head down into the tunnel again." Of course, if he bothered to look he might see some people heading up the tunnel.

S'rorn reluctantly passes the boy off, trying to see through the dim light and hear over the constant drone of low chatter from the able. The sounds of rocks and small pebbles grind under their feet as they travel through, carefully advancing while making sure everyone is together. "Everyone, stay close." The brownrider takes in a deep breath and sighs, shaking his head just a little bit to move his hair out of the corners of his mouth. When that fails, he reaches up and tries to brush it from his face but the choice in hands was not well thought through. He winces, peering at his trembling hand with glossy eyes and he carefully tries to remove the glove while staying close to Kimmila, but it's proving rather difficult with the swelling starting to begin.

Jeyinshi looks up at the sound of oncoming persons, grinning broadly as the larger group comes into view. However, the expression fades at the sight of the injured children. It doesn't take long for the dolphineer to run up to meet them, bringing the waterskins she'd previously pulled out and offering them around. There's a final look given down the tunnel to make sure no one has been left behind and then she's moving back to Th'ero's side, waiting until she is needed or it is time to climb above ground.

Kimmila cradles the broken ankle'd boy to her chest and nods to Zi'on and the others. "Go on, you first. Lead the way, we'll follow," she says, frowning over at S'rorn's wrist. "You're hurt, and you didn't say anything," she says, quietly accusing. "Get that looked at, okay?" It's an order, really, as the bluerider - for a moment - sounds remarkably like her mother. As they carefully make their way towards the surface, Kimmila brings up the rear, very carefully and gently encouraging, nudging, and even pulling the boy with the broken ankle through the narrow crevices, keeping up a steady stream of soft and random chatter to keep him occupied and from focusing too much on his fear or his pain.

"Stable or /not/, the only thing I'm worried about being stable right now is your /head/, which is clearly not." Is there a bite in Ila'den's tone? Probably just a small one, but being concerned for other people isn't exactly something the bronzerider is /accostomed/ to. Outside of Kiltara, of course. Ila's just about to hand the map over to Th'ero and take Iris himself when the others are arriving. There's a definite moment of relief, when every single bit of tension eases out of his body. "Thank Faranth," the bronzerider whispers under his breath, but then suddenly he's making himself heard over voices, telling everybody to stick close as he heads the way right back out from the tunnel and towards the awaiting rescue team above.

Th'ero glances between Zi'on, Ila'den and Iris, though his gaze lingers longest on the injured goldrider. Judging by his frown, his siding with the others in getting her to a healer as soon as possible. "Zi'on's right. It won't do any good to have her lingering here." Unknowling having a similar idea as the other bronzerider, he's about to suggest for Ila'den to take Iris back, but the words die before they're even formed as the rest of the group arrives, injured kids and all. Holding his glowbasket out for additional light, the bronzerider's concern increases as he squints to make out faces, but also to take stock of injuries. He gives Jeyinshi a nod of approval as she goes about offering water, though he himself shuffles a little closer to Kimmila as they approach. "Is this everyone?" Th'ero asks next, before moving off with the rest of the group, offering assistance where it may be needed as they begin to work their way back to those dreaded narrow spots.

Zi'on blinks a bit as Kimmila and the rest of his team come up with the children. "Was this everyone? Just some apprentices down there by themselves?" Zi'on has a lovely way of putting his foot in his mouth. He'll offer to take S'rorn's charge, especially if his wrist is hurt. "You need to see the healer with… everyone else here. I need a shower." He'll move with the rest of the pack." Zi'on grins to Th'ero. "How'd you get assigned to this? Or did you miss me so much you volunteered?" He teases a bit. Back through the narrow tunnels! Infirmary, here we come!

Kimmila glances over to Th'ero and Zi'on and nods. "Everyone we could find," she answers quietly. "Their Master's dead. Confirmed it myself." There's a faint wince, as she whispers that bit of information to Th'ero so the injured boys can't hear. "I want to know who ordered Iris to come down here, though. So I can beat the shit out of them." She scowls, and then her gentleness returns as she helps the poor boy - who now deserves a name - over some rubble. Let's call him Icharus. She doesn't give him up to Zi'on, though, taking charge of Icharus herself. "Almost there," she murmurs encouragingly. "You're doing so great. We're just about at the end, can you smell the fresh air?" And so out they go! To the Infirmary, yes!

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