Hypocaust

Characters Kytaer, Sabrael
Synopsis Tae fixes the hydroponic gardens, and Sabrael helps.
Out-of-Character Date December 23, 2014

Igen Weyr - Hydroponic Gardens
Vibrant sights and smells greet visitors to a lush desert oasis that oughtn't exist here in the crater of Igen Weyr. Everywhere one looks, lush greenery waves lazily, hiding growing lights and the fixtures which give off the subtle lighting. The cavern, a natural bubble in the rock, is mostly round - there is no closure to the outside, and there's a tapering off at the back before exploding into another bubble further back. One can just see that the next "room" leads to yet another room even further back.
There is no set aisle through the plants. Walkways meander here and there, sand heaped along the floor and kept warm by whatever device gives the Hatching Grounds their warmth. The heat is not as intense here, but the mist generated by clever automatic sprayers lends humidity to the air. Tubs of various depths and sizes are scattered higgeldy piggeldy, and the plants in them seem to have no rhyme or reason. Aromatic scents give the hint that kitchen herbs and useful vegetables have been scattered among the decorative flowers and trees.
The chain of rooms are obviously quite "new" - most of the plants seem to be quite young. Insects buzz about everywhere, and there is a quiet twitter of avains and firelizards, who seem quite at home here among the vegetation. Near the door, a wooden rack holds a few pairs of shoes, encouraging visitors to go barefoot.


This is the part of the weyr that Kytaer wishes he could spend all of his time in, and is also, strangely enough, a part of the weyr he didn't know existed until probably about a half hour ago. (It's sad, that a Keroonite can be so displeased with desert life, but … it's the sun, he doesn't like the sun, and the dryness doesn't help.) He seems delighted, breathing in the air and basking in the plants - though the air isn't what it should be. The sprayers aren't spraying, the heat doesn't seem as hot, and half of Tae is actually inside the floor, which he's opened up and is tinkering around underneath. He's humming to himself, though. Definitely a good day.

Sabrael has a fondness for the room just beyond this. The one with all the trees. Mostly because it is so quiet there and it’s super easy for her to hide. But she can’t just not stop when she sees legs with no body attached. Rather than scoot her way right past she slows… then stops, peering down at the feet. With more boldness than normal she squats, trying to peer into the hole. “K…ytaer…?” That is her fellow candidate, right?

Is the lower third of Kytaer so recognizable? He's flattered, really. (It's probably that he only has one pair of shoes and his pants all look the same.) The humming stops, and he ascends from the pit he's not so much created but opened up, as it's a repair shaft and was already there. "H'lo," he says brightly, much more cheery than his usual mood. "Someone send you to help?"

He’s also humming! Is that a dead give away? Maybe not. When Kytaer does suddenly appear Sabrael jumps back a little bit, then shakes her head. Nothing surprising here. “Um, no but… uh, do you need help?” She looks around the hole then along the length of pipes that make this place. She doesn’t mention she knows nothing about tools. Not even that tiny fan that hangs on the end of her bed now.

It probably helps. Tae doesn't exactly realize how much he hums. "Iiiii," he says, considering, looking at the not-working hypocaust and the unhappy water reserve and at his pile of stuff, and then back at Sabrael. "Yes. You can hand me things?" That's an easy enough job, right? If she actually knows what the things he's asking for are.

Sabrael considers his request for a moment, casting a look at the unhappy people, then back at Tae. “Um, sure. What… do you need?” The things are eyed warily, does she even know what the different tools are? But really, it can’t be that hard. So rather than crouch Sabrael changes her stance and kneels. She is HERE.

"One of those little screwdrivers," Tae says, and stretches out so he's more reclining into the hole than tipping head first. "Would be good to start, thanks. Stupid hypocaust. I mean it's not stupid, it's amazing, but I have to take this part off to get the entire thing open and -" And whatever is wrong with the heating or the sprays or both, he's displeased about how it happened.

Sabrael reaches over for the screwdrivers then pauses. There are a lot of them there. Big ones, little ones, ones with phillips heads and some with flat… But it can’t be that hard. She reaches out and grabs one then scoots closer so she can poke it into the hole at Tae. Maybe she’s lucky. “So um… what is wrong with it?”

It's at least good enough - there were a few screwdrivers that could've been classified as 'little', and so the one Sabrael gives Tae is one that will serve to do the job even if it wasn't the exact one he meant. The top comes out of part of the hypocaust piping. "It's jammed," he says, and that normally too would have come out in a mutter, but it doesn't. "Something got clogged up and stuck, water ain't flowin'. No heat, no little misties."

Sabrael bends just slightly see if she can see what he’s working on, but the angle is too extream and so she gives up and straightens again. One of her backup screwdrivers is fiddled with, the light catching and sending small lights everywhere. “So you have to get it out? How… do you know where it is?”

"It's right here," Tae proclaims, looking satisfied, "and I can tell that because the previous one didn't have water in it and this one has water in part of it. So the blockage will be in the section before this one -" He does not look happy, now, because he is not a plumber. "This is technically my problem but the gross part should really be someone else's job," he sighs. The heating and cooling and misting mechanisms? He's fine with those. Getting something that got jammed in them? Can't a drudge do that? (Could a drudge have taken off part of the pipe?) Sabrael gets handed the screwdriver, along with a pile of screws and a large wrench. "There's a thing that looks like a stick with a bunch of fuzzy stuff pointing out of it, if you don't mind -" Extended hand.

“Ohhh…..” Sabrael doesn’t speak fixing-stuff and so looks more than a little befuddled when she gets handed all of that stuff. Setting it aside she scratches her head. “Do… you need… a small hand to get it out?” She looks down at her tiny digits- they could totally probably fit into a pipe?

Kytaer hesitates, then forces the skinny thing through the pipe, where it - jams unceremoniously, and he gives it a dirty look. "Yeah," comes with a sigh, "I think it's a rock, you might want to just pull it." So much for using the Cool Snake Thing that he's never gotten to employ before because … he isn't a plumber. "If you can get down here? Uh, I can move." He might not need to.

Sabrael blinks. Get… in there? “Um,” she didn’t actually figure he would say yes. But he did and so she can’t go back on what she said. “Sure, if you move oh dear…” She’s never ACTUALLY gotten that up close and personal with another person. Let alone a GUY. Not too sheltered is she that the prospect of up and close with another person doesn’t make her flush bright red. “actually… you might have to show me where… Um… okay.” Her mind gets made up in a second and she drops onto her hands and knees so she can wiggle into the hole with Kytaer.

At least Sabrael's small! And Kytaer's skinny, if not so much small. He squeezes himself entirely into one corner of the hole, which leaves space for her to move around, and points at the exposed pipe end. "It's some rocks, a few inches up in that. The snake would've gotten anything gooey, so I mean, I think they're rocks. They probably fell in an air vent and just - rolled or something else unfortunate," he improvises, desperate to postulate how rocks got in that space in the first place. "Also, don't ever climb in this space when the heating system is actually running, this would be full of super-hot," which he makes sound like a technical term instead of an exaggeration, so maybe it is one, "air."

Sorry if there is some accidental grinding that goes on, Sabrael really tries to leave a little bit of space between them. “This pipe?” There’s only one open one though, so it would be really hard to get it wrong. Twisting herself Sabrael reaches in, her fingers just brushing the edge of one of those rock. “Oh! I… okay.” Fingers wiggle and one small piece of gravel comes loose. Pulling her hand out she shoos the rock out of the pipe and goes in again. This time she gets her fingers all the way around before, “Oh eww…. there’s… something squishy…”

Kytaer makes a face. The face basically says 'great, so there was ALSO something squishy.' Without saying anything, just making an unhappy noise along with his unhappy face, he passes her the cool snake thing, then pulls himself up onto the normal floor level again just in case she might want a little more wiggle room. He could do it himself, but … "That's the pipe that carries water up to the misters, but it comes from the same tank that heats the hypocaust space, so careful 'cause it might still be a little warm."

Sabrael closes her eyes tight as she tugs at the rock. It comes free and she allows it to roll out of the hole after Kytaer. Still wearing a this-is-so-gross look the snake thingie is taken and she inserts it into the hole, wiggling backwards so she’s as far away from the hole as possible. Swirl, swirl, swirl… stick. Sabrael tries to spin it some more then pulls backwards. A frown, “It’s stuck.” Because of course it is.

"Awesome." That face Tae was making before? Back, but a little more annoyed. At least he doesn't seem to be addressing it to Sabrael but rather the situation itself. "Come on out, I'll yank on it. Probably get all matter of gross sprayed across my face."

“Alright.” Sabrael works on wiggling herself out of the hole. She gets about half way out before her shirt begins to slowly slide up and show her torso. Instantly she freezes and wiggles right back into that hole. From within, “I, um, think, I um… I got it.” She’s not caught on something. Nope.

“Are you sure?” To his credit, Tae does actually sound concerned! He doesn’t want to get young teenage girls stuck in holes, or actually get anyone stuck in holes, as that wouldn’t be good for his job and he’s also generally not a really terrible person. Even if it does occasionally amuse him to see people he doesn’t like trapped in pipes or zapped by wires. She was just trying to help. “Can you get out okay?”

"Um… could you… please uh…" Sabrael wiggles to see if she can get loose of whatever has caught her shirt to no avail. "Um, close your eyes? And, um, tell me if anyone is coming." Beat red within that hole Sabrael knows what she needs to do. And hopefully Tae does it, because regardless of his agreement Sabrael squirms right out of her shirt altogether, that sharp bit scratching and leaving a long red mark on her back. The moment she is out her back is to her fellow candidate as she works her shirt free, red from the top of her head down through her neck.

Respect for being asked not to be looked at is something Kytaer has in spades, at least — sisters. So he starts to close his eyes, and then thinks for another second, and admits, “Not at the same time,” while only opening his eyes once he’s looked in the other direction, confirming no one’s coming. They’re not. “But I’ve got you covered. Or. Something. Please don’t drown in the pipe.”

Out of the hole now Sabrael works on that shirt to get it un-stuck as quickly as possible. When free it has a small hole, but Sabrael slips it on anyway. Hole or not, it’s still better than being naked. Still totally red she shifts away from the hole. “I, uh,um.. I have to go. The… snake… thingie. It’s in there.”

Kytaer looks bewildered for a half second — manifest only by the slight screw-up to his eyebrows — before he shrugs and nods. "I'll yank it out," he says, and at least it is the only thing that's stuck. And not her. She was never stuck. "Thanks for the help." It's almost friendly! There's almost a smile. Something about that expression is smile-like.

Never stuck. Not ever stuck. The pair of them will never speak of this again. And Sabrael? She’s totally booking it out of here as fast as her small feet can take her, the wild blushing her keepsake of this particular encounter.

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