Blogger Tips and TricksLatest Tips And TricksBlogger Tricks -->

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mark Loren - Expedition

Hannah lifted her firemarble lantern to illuminate the tunnel walls and made note of the faded writing.  After a moment something clicked.  "Of course!"  She looked back to us.  "It's this way," she said cheerfully.  I made a note to ask her where she had found these lanterns and squinted at my map of the cavern, turning it this and that way trying to make sense of the markings.

I glanced at Flora as she moved ahead of me.  Completely unfettered.  I wasn't sure if she just implicitly trusted Hannah's sense of direction or if she didn't care where she was, only moving forward.  Hannah had assured me that the best way to learn D'ni was to use it in practice.  That made sense, but the numbers on the wall were a bit out of my wheelhouse.  This number was two digits in length.  I could make out a thirteen.. Or was that a twenty one?  It was followed by an eight... or maybe that was a sixteen.  So that would make it one hundred and four?  Or was it three hundred and thirty six?  Thinking about it made my head hurt.

"Hey, Mark!  Get the lead out."  Hannah called down the tunnel.  Artus bumped my shoulder as he passed.

"You heard the woman."  He sneered as he continued up the path.  "Don't want to get lost down here.  Its not friendly like that magma chamber the other day."  

I scoffed under my breath.  "Don't remind me," I said quietly.  I knew there was no real danger.  Hannah knew where she was going, and there was safety in numbers.  And if anything did happen we had Relto.  Still, the thought of being alone in these tunnels unnerved me.  "Hold up!" My voice echoed dryly throughout the stone tunnel.

I caught up with the other three.  Flora was peering through a hole broken in the tunnel.  "Hey, Mark."  She beckoned me closer.  "Take a look at this."  I peered through the fissure.  I had a moment's doubt if I would see anything as the hole was so small that barely any of the light from the lanterns could seep through; but, these questions quickly were answered upon seeing a web of phosphorescent vines covering the wall of a small cavern room.  At their base were bulbs of another phosphorescent plant growing directly out of the rock.

"What the 'heek?"  I said.  I drew back from the wall in time to catch Flora covering a silent laugh with her forearm.  Must be a fan of my oh so witty word play.

"They're called Tregilotee."  Hannah answered.  "Well, I call them Tregilotee."  I don't know of any official name for them; but, Aitrus father of Ghen, made note of them in his map to the surface."  Her gaze drifted up as she tried to remember the details.  "There's at least 4 different varieties of phosphorescent plant down here.  And any number of things that eat them."  Hannah made a note in her journal and double checked her map.

I looked beyond her to see a split in the tunnel system.  Certainly not the first split we'd come to.  Aitrus' map had a route marked, but it didn't take us long to realize that we would have to find our own way.  Many of the tunnels had been impassable, either by collapse or by blockage by DRC property.  "Does anyone still use this stuff?" I asked, looking at what was something akin to a suped-up pallet jack.

"Makes me wonder why it has been left down here for so long,"  Flora added.  We shrugged off our questions and followed Hannah down the tunnel to the left.

The passageway soon became cramped as we climbed over and through the rubble of a collapsed tunnel.  I began to wonder about the stability of these rocks.  The passageway opened up a head.  I watched the others drop down into a larger chamber.  On my hands and knees I crawled through towards the opening and dropped down.  I collected myself and looked around for my friends.

The room was vaulted by the fragmented tunnel walls.  I raised my lantern.  "Hey, where'd you guys go?"  I walked forward and cornered past a huge stone shard.  Hanna and the others were crowded around a wall.  "Hey, what are you guys looking at?"  I joined them and saw a strange image glowing on the wall.

No comments:

Post a Comment