Kh'sol saw the tray topple. He didn't react, or flinched only very slightly. K'rad must have accidentally knocked it over. He hid a frown. No good, that. And there was nothing to do now. Kh'sol finished his retreat and started a brisk walk up the stairs, leaving the dark, stale place behind. Cyan would not be pleased with his report.
Did you hear anything else?
No. You should ask Cyan about that.
At the top of the stairs he vaguely wondered if there had been another tray to return. Too late now. Asking about it would just rouse attention. He made his way back to Cyan's room.
"It's not good," he said as he walked straight in, eyes still trailing on the floor.
Cyan had been waiting. For ages, it seemed like. To pass the time, she had played a little with Dawn and Breaker. It was hard to focus on it, but the Brick did his part by trying to get a little trouble brewing.
When Kh’sol returned, Dawn was chasing Breaker, who had a sock in his mouth. When the rider appeared though, both firelizards stopped, staring at the brown rider with intensity. Dawn took a moment to peer at Cyan, who was sitting on the bed.
Cyan’s hands were clasped in her lap, a small smile she had for her firelizards fading to just a neutral expression. Bad news. She bit her tongue, preventing any quick outburst. Then she took a deep breath.
“Tell me. Please.” She had to know. Otherwise her imagination was going to get the better of her.
Kh'sol took a step one way, changed his mind, and then another. He ended up sitting near Cyan, now not entirely sure where to start.
"I'll tell you. It was bad. The air, no the guards are complete brutes. I wanted to believe they'd be different but they aren't. This place looks nicer on the outside," Kh'sol took a deep breath. He didn't want to dislike his new home, but this certainly put a dent in things.
"And he didn't say anything back to me. Just some looks. He was definitely telling me I'd get in trouble, and the guards did bark at me to even stop washing his hands with a worthless kitchen rag. And I don't think he got anything to eat either, I saw his tray fall over. If they're keeping him prisoner, they should do things that keep away death, like feed him and let it all be a little cleaner so he doesn't take sick."
"I don't know what you're going to do about all this. I'm sorry the news is so bad. What's the story of all this? I get that people mess up but putting them in dim dark cages is just wrong. Cyan?" he finally stopped and looked up. He had kept talking, Kh'sol worried what Cyan might say. But he had to let her have her turn to speak. He couldn't keep talking, the words felt too many and too heavy. "What are we going to do?"
Cyan listened. It was hard though. She didn’t feel the same way that other people did about Kel, it was obvious, but she didn’t think… it was hard to hear how things really were. Kh’sol’s assessment of how things stood was so grim. She felt helpless. She was a dragon rider, but that hardly meant anything to her now. Blue rider, what was that? So many others could claim the same, she was decidedly not unique. And Kh’sol asked her what they were going to do. She opened her mouth, then closed it again. Finally, after a long silence she spoke.
“I don’t know.” Her voice sort of broke at the end of the sentence. She couldn’t think of anything. She knew, that if she was in that position, she would want help, someone to get her out of the darkness. Well, if it had been her, she probably would have had half a dozen attacks down there. She looked up at Kh’sol, who was sitting near her.
“I just want to help. I don’t know how to do that.”
"Then we come up with a plan," Kh'sol decided. He hated that feeling of hopelessness. It didn't matter what this guy did, though they'd need the details if they hoped to make a plan. Cyan had confidence in him, she must to care how they were treating him down there. No human, alive and breathing, should be locked below ground away from the breeze and the light. No animal would survive that for long. People should not be the exception. It would be the beginning of his grand adventure. Some story that a harper with a voice more talented than his would tell.
"We get him out. I'm not sure how, and you'll have to tell me everything you know, and we'll probably have to wait for the right moment. But that's what we'll do," Kh'sol decided. "So. Tell me everything you know about this."