Kh'sol shifted on his feet. How had they gotten here? It hardly mattered now. This was their opportunity. Two untrained and unready bodies out in the chaos outside wasn't going to help any. Still, his gut had hardened and it felt wrong to be in here. He looked up the hall, no one was coming back. The distant yells outside were uncomfortable, all different, but one no better than the next.
K'rad, the boy they were treating so poorly, was locked up here. Most of his guard gone. And this was their opportunity to bust him out. Systems of power were no good, particularly when they did things like this. It didn't matter what he'd done, it wasn't right to kick and starve another human being. They were going to get him out. And the Weyr would think the Telgarans had done it.
He turned and looked at Cyan.
"If we're gunna do this, it has to be now." He held her gaze and waited for a response.
Cyan followed Kh’sol carefully. Her hands were in front of her, clasped together to give her something to hold onto. Her firelizards were hiding, from the chaos outside. Zigbrieth was not. But, he was having his own challenges just as Cyanee’s were beginning.
Cyan focused only on following Kh’sol, for now. On putting one foot in front of the other. She felt small, very, very small. Not only because the rider she was walking with was so tall. No, it was all coming together, her desire to help, her distress at breaking the rules, the fear of the fight outside, and the terror of going down into such enclosed places. She wouldn’t have to do it long, she told herself. Just long enough to do good. But it was difficult, putting one foot in front of the other.
Kh’sol turned around and she looked up, as he locked eyes with her. She couldn’t help but swallow. Could she do this?
Zigbrieth was having a hard time. The Blue didn’t have a job besides waiting, one would think. That was not strictly the case. As he looked up the sky was full of dragons, full of fighting. He growled, low and unheard with all of what was going on. Until, just for a moment he caught an image. He closed his eyes, focusing the image and sending it to his rider. The image of open skies. See? It was from just a moment ago, it was clear and the weather was nice. Good for flying. And image to hold onto in the musty darkness.
Cyan took a deep breath, settling herself with the view of a bright afternoon sky. Then she nodded a little.
“Okay. Let’s go.” A feather light response, but it was clear and didn’t waver. So it was really the best response she could have given under the circumstances.
Kh'sol nodded and turned to descend the stairs. His blood rang in his ears with the fading noise outside. Ornoth and Zigbrieth were out of it. They were okay - while so much wasn't.
As they neared the bottom Kh'sol paused. He heard the shifting shuffle of an uneasy man further ahead. One left. He leaned in to inform Cyan. He felt his face heat up. The rush of a breakout and being by Cyan left his head just short of spinning. There were plenty of rash actions to take. Wait. Until they were clear.
"One. Get him to leave," Kh'sol whispered, hovering close by her ear. She was the innocent looking one. They'd been over this. Any remaining guards should be lured away. It was cleaner like that.
She followed Kh’sol, one foot in front of the other. She stopped as he did, trying to force herself to breathe deeply but quietly. Soon enough he turned, to tell her what he saw around the corner. Okay. One person. That was better, after all, then she didn’t have too many people staring at her. She was generally okay with people, it just was better to have one less thing to worry about.
Still, could she really do it? She didn’t want to lie, didn’t want to do anything that was bad.. But he couldn’t be there. What could she say?
Zigbrieth, ever the planner, had not given his rider a script to say. Never the less, he had planned it perfectly, in his eyes. He knew his rider. As cruel as it was to say, he could manipulate her when he really wanted to. Always for her good of course. He had already calmed her that so she could step forward. Now? The opposite must be done, to create the same effect. He looked, very carefully for another image. Too much and it would be bad. His rider was sensitive enough that only a little would work. He found an image, carefully checking it over for a moment. Fighting, destruction, but no visible death. Then he dumped the image in Cyanee’s head.
They need help. Nothing but the truth. Cyan’s feet took her forward before she knew what was happening.
“Guard! Mister guard they need help!” She stopped a little bit away, like she wanted nothing to do with the cells down here. That was because she very much didn’t. Even this was a bit too close for her. She couldn’t dare thing of how dark it was. For now her mind was full of what was going on outside. She didn’t realize she was shaking. “I don’t know if there are enough people to protect everyone. And I can’t…” She swallowed. The guard came closer and she shook her head. “I don’t know if there are any more people to fight.” From what little she had seen, that single image, it looked like Rainbow Mists was losing. The guard was close enough now that without even really thinking, she went to grab his hand.
“Please, we need you!” It was still for a moment before the guard nodded, starting to move, telling Cyan to come with him. She did so, thanking him for his help.
Zigbrieth snorted, satisfied. Just as planned. His rider was so terribly earnest and saw the good in everything. With a little nudging from him, nothing could be simpler than getting someone to help them. His planning was second to none, of course it would go just as he saw. Now all the other rider had to do was not mess it up.
Kh'sol waited in the wings and the shadows as Cyanee surged forward. Good. That was just what he had wanted. It ate at the corner of his stomach to hear her upset but it was part of the plan. It was for the end goal. Cyan and the guard began their move towards the surface, their plan working. Up to this point. Kh'sol waited until they were securely past his recessed shadow. He moved down into the hall, eyes darting over the cells. He had been here before. That one.
He thanked Cyan for her grateful babbling. It covered any noise he might make. No keys. Either bust the lock - not his strong suit - or bust the door. No excellent options but they'd manage. "Hey. Get up." Kh'sol hissed at K'rad. He started looking over the door and all it would take to open. They'd do it. This place was ill kept and old. It would come apart one way or another.
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Nov 21, 2015 21:01:44 GMT -8
Voice, coming through the door. It didn’t sound right though? No bark to it, no sneer, just urgency. Reacting to the tone, more than anything, K’rad started to scramble into a somewhat better position. The movement made his ribs hurt, badly, and his breath was coming in harsh pants despite all his attempts to quiet it. Still, he was up though.
What’s going on?
There’s a battle on out here. In there, I don’t know. Belegurth’s voice sounded tired, worried, concerned, for all that the Midnight would never have admitted to those feelings. Be careful.
K’rad turned his attention to the door. It was out of reach, even at full extension it was out of reach, and the raw, chaffed, bleeding skin where the manacles had rubbed awkwardly didn’t help. He wanted to know who was there, but he daren’t ask. It couldn’t be Cyan. Surely, not, but then, if it wasn’t, didn’t that mean she was out in the middle of combat?
Kh'sol frowned at the silent door. He quieted to listen. Something was in there. And Cyan was a ways off now. He took a breath and waited: inhale, exhale. Rickety old wooden door wouldn't stand up to someone well kept and healthy, unlike the souls unlucky enough to be starved within. He took a few steps to the side to set down the tool he'd brought.
He squared up the door. With a grunt, his shoulder slammed into it. A jarring pain rattled his side. Ouch. No. Nope. Definitely not like that. Kh'sol backed up and reached to soothe his shoulder. Dumb. It was definitely a poor excuse for a door. It would not win this fight. Kh'sol looked it over again and lined up. His heel slipped with the kick but he felt the thing give. That would be the ticket, then.
One more go. Square. Set. Kick.
The rattling door swung in. Noise. He prayed Cyan had made it far enough away. He ducked to pick up his plan, more or less, from the ground and went inside.
"Well. You look awful," Kh'sol frowned. He strode to the wall and placed the bar against the anchors for the chains in the wall. A good push and the base worked out of the wall. "Can you walk?" Kh'sol moved to the next anchor.
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Nov 21, 2015 21:45:39 GMT -8
K’rad’s eyes widened in their blackened sockets. He couldn’t get over the sheer shock of seeing the man again, although it took a moment for recognition to seep in, for he looked different now, without the mannerisms of a drudge with a tray. He managed a ghost of a smile, even a wet-cough of a laugh, at the man’s first words though. Of course he looked awful. That was rather the point. You didn’t waste help on murderers, after all.
“Yeah, I can walk,” K’rad answered. He had to walk. It wasn’t like someone was just going to show up and carry him, after all. “Do you have some straight pieces of metal?” he asked, as the other youth (he didn’t even know the man’s name) moved towards the next anchor point. “I can pick the locks on the chains then.”
With a rattle and a pop the last anchor gave out. Kh'sol sniffed at his work and turned to look back at the door. Nothing. So far so good.
"I was hoping you had particular skill," Kh'sol replied. He twirled the metal bar up over his shoulder. "I can get you them. Come on." He reached down to grab K'rad's arm and hoist him up. "Time to go." Ornoth would be waiting for the signal. He could get them at the door once they made it up the stairs. Now, just to get a maltreated, malnourished bone sack up the stairs. No problem, right?
Soon enough the guard was off, the weyr short of hands to do good work. It was all Cyan could do to not be swept away, either into the groups that needed guarding or to those that were helping. But she drew herself back. In some ways for her own mental health. She tried to keep her breathing regular, but she was already nervous. She slipped back the way she had come, finding some relief in more clear hallways. Now all she had to do was make her way back to where Kh’sol and Kel were. As if saying it was so simple. She took another long breath.
One foot in front of the other. Don’t think so much about the smaller spaces or being trapped underground.
How long did it take her? And eternity, or perhaps a few minutes. Dragon and rider had differing opinions. Eventually though she walked down the stairs, and looked forward, seeing a broken down door.
Her feet would take her no further. Her hands were clasped, again she searched for something to hold onto. He voice was almost stuck in her throat, but she barely loosened it, enough for a whisper to escape.
“Kh’sol?” A pause. A hopeful whisper again. “Kel?”
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Nov 21, 2015 22:26:37 GMT -8
Despite conscious awareness, anticipation of escape, and most of a lifetime spent learning control and practicing it, K’rad tensed as the other youth reached down and grabbed his arm. Recent and past experiences both told him to pull away, but he lacked the strength to even do that much. He permitted the other youth to pull him up, catching himself in a side-legged stance to keep balanced.
He managed to stand for a moment, then he collapsed to one side. He tried to catch himself, but chains and exhaustion (not to mention malnourishment and the associated muscle weakness) intervened. His nose hadn’t really needed that extra break, especially not on top of the break that it had only gotten some few days ago.
Immediately, he was scrambling back upright again, flinching away from the other youth as he did so. This was old instinct, born of a childhood of being held responsible for any failure of duty, no matter how caused. He had to get back up. Quickly, before he got punished for being weak.
His arms gave out, dropping his half raised frame to the ground again. Truly desperate scrabbling now, as he started to inch his way up again. He had to get up! The other youth would leave him here if he didn’t get up!
"Cyan?" Kh'sol's voice boomed in reply. If she were back here then the halls were clear. He would have gone to see her, but he felt K'rad sagging. The younger boy finally gave out and ended up back on the floor. Kh'sol sighed. Not ideal. But without much weight on him, and given his height, K'rad was the right size for this kind of thing. If anything about needing to be rescued could be said to be right.
"I'll get you," Kh'sol informed. "Hang on." He fought back the thought to run out and see Cyan. Here he was, hero. But it wouldn't count if they were caught. Best finish the job.
Your measure of self control is truly remarkable. A frustrated and flat voice commented.
Kh'sol frowned and shifted his own weight. Great. Ornoth's subconscious to go with all of this. Peachy. "Just, stop. You're too weak." Kh'sol shook his head. "You're gunna have to let me carry you, beansprout." Unlike lockpicking and general rescue knowledge, carrying animals and heavy things was something this goatherd turned Dragon Rider could do. "Up ya go," he heaved, pulling K'rad to his shoulders. With that he finally got to leave the sad little cell. "Time to go."
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Nov 21, 2015 23:14:46 GMT -8
K’rad had tensed when the other rider called out. They didn’t want to attract attention. They couldn’t afford to attract attention! Then he’d hit the ground and been worried about that. Voice overhead, someone shifting weight around.
Please, please I tried.
Kel tried to speak, tried to say the words, but they wouldn’t come, wouldn’t leave his throat. The tone didn’t make any sense, but the words did. He had to get up. Had to prove himself, had to show that he wasn’t weak. He couldn’t be too weak. The weak were nothing but prey for the strong. Everyone knew that.
More words, only this time neither words nor tone made sense. Contact, grips that he couldn’t pull out of, and then he was in the air, being carried. Funny, he still didn’t know the other youth’s name. Nor could he fathom why the other young man would do this, even for friendship with Cyan. Why would anyone rescue him, regardless of who asked them to?
The thoughts spun through his head uselessly. All of K’rad’s attention was on clinging to the one who was carrying him, hoping that the other youth wouldn’t just throw him to the ground at the end of it.
Cyan gave a sigh of relief, at hearing Kh’sol, but at the same time her nerves got to her. She couldn’t move. But from the sounds of it nothing bad had happened, as in they were not caught or hurt. At least not beyond what they thought they would find. Her heart was in her throat when she caught a glimpse of Kel (it had to be him) being picked up by Kh’sol.
It was bad.
Much worse than when she had first seen him down here. But now, oh it made her ache to look. Kel hadn’t been large before, but now it looked like a puff of wind would cause him to break.
“Quickly, let’s go.” Her voice still only a whisper, but the pain at seeing someone like this bled through.
"Right behind you," Kh'sol agreed, going for the stairs. His hands were entirely full so the door at the top would be all Cyan. And probably some help getting him onto Ornoth too. It was hard work carrying another human up the flights of stairs. Kh'sol was puffing by the time he saw that door.
Ornoth, we're close.
Wait a second. It's not clear.
"Wait on the door." Kh'sol relayed, still a number of steps from it. And that quiet, hard breathing wait burned. They needed to go. And Cyan had come back. Which at this moment Kh'sol was regretting. Because she didn't need to be a part of this if they were seen. She-
I have an opening. Ornoth announced, swooping in.
Kh'sol's breathing wanted to relax with relief but his lungs protested. He was still catching up with air.