~*Over the Edge*~
The sun sets as Alvii wakes up, it sits up and looks at me before making an odd humming noise. “What are you doing?”
“Attempting to hum, I have found life forms hum when bored.” I don’t know what else I was expecting I turn my attention back to the hole.
“Do we wait for sunrise?” It stares at me before its vision slides to the crater.
“How deep is it?” I shrug, Alvii looks to the small fire I’ve managed to start and keep burning, it rises up and goes to a near by dead tree and breaks off a limb. For several minutes Alvii holds it over the fire till it catches, the machine then goes to crater’s edge and throws it over, watching it as it falls. I join him but I can’t see the flame or a coal, it must’ve gone out upon being released. “It is too deep for you to climb down by yourself.” He says after a audible clatter, I guess the stick hit the bottom of the hole.
“What do you mean?” I cross my arms and huff.
“I mean you will lose your stamina long before we reach the bottom causing you to fall to your death.” Alvii sits on the edge and makes to leave me standing up here.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“Down there, I must investigate.”
“Not without me.” I sit on the edge beside him.
“You will not make it.” Alvii insists, I don’t care. It isn’t going without me.
“Then carry me down, you did it once before.” I’m don’t know what to expect, on one hand he could leap down right now and be unharmed yet on the other it has insisted that I not go anywhere alone or be without him. It regards me silently for a moment.
“That is not unreasonable.” It agrees after a long moment, Alvii stands up and I follow. It puts the fire out while I collapse the tent and pack it away. The wind picks up as I climb onto its back, holding on tightly as he drops over the edge and begins a slow climb down.
I cling to him and watch his hands as they move, gripping the rough rock like nothing; its odd to think about how scared I was just a few days prior, but perhaps Alvii and I can live with each other even after this done. I think it’d like that, living in the village rather then stalking around it to keep us safe. The blue and orange from his eyes light up the rock face, only deviating from the wall when they shift down toward the bottom. I watch its hands work, delicate fingers that are stronger then they appear dig in and create holds for a future ascent up this wall. We finally reach the bottom and look up, above the light is just barely enough to show contrast between the ground and the sky over head; I can barely hear birds singing but my attention doesn’t stray for long. My eyes come down and scan out surroundings, this central hole has five tunnels carved into the sides all leading into deep dark tunnels scattering whatever was, or is, in here all around the barrens for sure. “What do we do?”
“Set up camp, I will be right back. I know you cannot see, so I shall get what we need for a fire, a torch will be of the most use to us.” I nod as Alvii takes to the wall, climbing faster then before. I look around, just barely able to see the far wall was free from tunnels, I go over to it and set up my tent as close to wall as possible then carefully feel around for rocks and arrange them into a circle for a future fire. All I have left to do is wait for Alvii to return so we can make a fire and a torch.
It was difficult to climb down the rock with Hera on my back, but thankfully we made it safe, and while she was setting up a camp I returned to the surface to retrieve what we would need to stay warm and light up the dark. It does not take long, nothing really takes me long. I hold the pile of wood under one arm and carefully climb down. She has located our camp far from the tunnel entrances, that is probably for the best; I go to her and toss the wood down, without conversation she sorts out the pieces and strikes a piece of steel against flint producing sparks, a couple hits later and we have a small fire. “We must make a torch, for you to see.” She nods and waits for me to make the next move. I sit upon the ground and take a large stick in hand “Do you have cloth?”
“Well,” She pulls out her pack and rustles around before pulling out a a square of cloth “Will this work?” I take it, I cannot tell what it is made of. I glance at her and hold it over the fire, the flames lap at it and singe part of it.
“It will have to.” I carefully rip it into a strip, barely connected at the very corners of each strip. I wrap it around the stick and secure it with a careful knot but this alone will not give her any light for long. With quick thinking I carefully pull apart a narrow tube.
“What are you doing?” Hera reaches for me, but I allow the black oil spill out and cover the fabric in it before reconnecting the tube and sitting still, “You’ve got to be insane.” Hera sits back and watches as I allow myself a moment to adjust the pressure change.
“Forgive me, I did not intend to startle you. You will need this to burn for as long as possible. The oil will allow that.” She sighs and glares at me. “Did I do something wrong?”
“No… Just… Just don’t do that again.” I nod, I wonder if she is worried? Perhaps fearing I am losing my mind as the Amazon so far back had. I cannot blame her. I extend the torch to her, she takes it, rises, and lights it. “Come on Alvii, we don’t have time. Let’s see what’s causing the problem.” I follow her lead, she lights the torch and we watch, what she is looking for I cannot say but out of a central tunnel some dust floats on a slight breeze, we head towards that.
“We must not get lost in there,” I peer in and then back at Hera. She nods and goes back to her pack producing a ball of thin twine. We tie off an end and then turn back to the tunnel.
“I will not fear.” She murmurs to herself and straightens, facing down the dark as though it is a predator. “Let’s go Alvii. I want to be home for the spring celebration.” She steps in before me and I follow her, the twine falling after us, marking our way out.