Ragnar propped one booted foot on a slightly lower portion of the same rock he sat upon, letting his other leg dangle, rested an arm on the raised knee, and leaned back into the cold natural surface of the wall to his back. All this just to sit and contemplate the small trickle of water that meandered thru what had obviously once been a fairly deep flowing underground river.
Such was the nature of things if you had a good imagination.
A little earthquake here, a little developement there, and wala! No more water flowing. At least he still had a trickle. Thet meant there was still a source...somewhere.
He glanced off to his right, technically upstream, into the cavernous hole the water had carved thru the rock over time. Mentally he did a couple calculations. Depth, girdth, height...
It ought to fit okay.
Of course he had to get it back, open the river again, find an entry etc, etc, but those were just minor inconviences when faced with a little desire and caniving. He had both of those in abundance, and deffinately some small amount of imagination.
Oh well, there was a little sweating in the offing.
That meant a trip up the riverbed to find the blockage.
He chewed on a little beef jerky and flipped a mental coin. Not today. It was getting late anyway.
Now, at least he had a plan.
Rising from the rock, he dusted of some of his finer anatomy and began to work his way back up the rough stone crevice passage. It was narrow in a few places ,but he had spent his spare time in the last weeks carving rough steps where needed, so it wasn't quite the horrible climb it was the first time he had wondered down here. Fell might describe it better but hey, he denied everything and demanded proof!
It really wasn't embarassment .Mostly he was just trying to get away for a spell, so for some reason he just hadn't gotten around to telling anyone else of his find yet.
Reaching the top he wiggled around the last narrow crack and into the shadowed corner of a small alcove off one of the stone corridors that seemed to run this part of their new home like a web, never straight, seldom level, seemingly endless.
If you didn't know just where to look you'd never know it was there. In fact if Emram hadn't been trying to get him drunk with that silly challenge, Ragnar might not have stumbled down there and discovered it either. Worst part was Grack had won, nearly drank them BOTH under the table and he didn't even know she'd had it in her!
Wiping out any foot prints he might have left, he started off down the corridor. Paying attention like he was to the floor he nearly bowled poor Kara over. Reaching out and grabbing her to keep from falling he stumbled, but managed to keep them both upright. "Woaa..."
Startled, Kara stretched out her own hands for balance, meaning the two of them probably struck quit a pose there for a second or two. He stood her back up.
"You alright? I didn't mean to knock into you there." he started in apologetic mode.
She waved it off.
He shrugged, "So what are you doing down here anyway?"
Ragnar pointed at the ceiling. "You're a couple floors down from the main room."
She looked up. "Oh, I hadn't realized."
He smiled. "Lost again?"
There was a slight argument over admission in her eyes, but finally she half smiled and sighed. "Yeah I guess." She was a little embarasssed at always getting lost. He knew she thought the corridors kept changing, and they might have, but then she never had been the best at directions.
Ragnar knew what his eyes saw but his ears told him something different. Her tone was a little ...preoccupied.
"I was just heading off to get a bite to eat, care to join me?" Gallantry was always a good bridge to a subject someone was hesitant to bring up.
She paused a second, then nodded. "Actually I would. There's something I was hoping you could help me with."
See his instincts were right.
"Fair enough...." From there, he placed a friendly arm around her shoulder and drifted off into small talk, banter, and just a little regalling of past exploits as he steered a course towards lunch.
He tried to stop them, but he knew he failed as he leaned back, his lips pursed ,and his eylids raised slightly. He took a much closer look at his companion, especially her face. At least now he knew where her mind was and why she'd been looking a little sheepish or self conscious.
There had settled in with food a half hour past. Kara had barely touched hers but she had talked, hesitant at first, and then almost with relief.
He pondered for a spell, sorry inside for the dragging silence but...what could he say? This was a new one on him.
"Are you sure about this?"
"It doesn't really show on my face all that much but down here..."She made a motion as if she might be intending to show him, to which he quickly raised a hand.
"No, no, that's allright." a little self conscious himself, pretty ladies do that to him at such moments,"I'll. I'll take your word for it."
She stared a second then nodded. Ever the chicken her Ragnar.
"Have you talked to Rae or Mouse?"
Kara shook her head. "I thought about it but this really isn't their thing. I mean I don't think it is anyway."
Ragnar's head tilted and his eyes showed a little wonder or suprise. "And you thought I'd know what this is?"
She chuckled. Point taken.
"Actually I was hoping you might have heard of it ,or something like it before."
He thought about that himself. Made sense on some level. "Are you sure it's not some natural change?"
He thought about it some more. "And you don't want to talk to the others?"
Her turn to seem reticent. "No, not yet anyway. I'm not sure how they'll take my being, you know, normal."
Ragnar scoffed at that one, blowing it off. "Probably as well as they take you now. I doubt they'd care but I can see you don't quite share that sentiment just yet so we'll let that one slide for now." He filed a mental note to work on it later though.
He could almost see the relief on her face. He wondered if what was affecting her was affecting her way of thinking as well. He was a little suprised at her fear, but then...he was Ragnar, he'd had his moments as well.
"Well?" She started again.
"Can you help me?" A touch of pleading maybe?
He leaned back in his chair. "I'm afraid not dear." The wind left her sails. "Now stop that Kara. I said I couldn't help you I didn't say I didn't know HOW to help you. I mean I've never heard of this exact problem before, but similiar things now and again."
A little light returned to her eyes. Maybe she could get a handle on this yet.
She looked up at that name. The vet Ragnar had brought to the old mansion?
"I see you recognize the name."
"Ragnar he's a vet." and possibly not her favorite one either.
"On occasion? You said at the mansion..." He again held up his hand.
"I said he was a capable vet and he his."He smiled, "He just has other talents as well, and a lot more skill at this kind of problem than you might give him credit for."
She had to mull this over. "And you think he can help?"
The big man shrugged. "If anybody can, he can."
A little silence as she fell into her own thoughts.
Ragnar decided he'd wait to see if she took to the idea before he explained the problems in finding a certain Mr. Lee. He had an idea of where to look but....better to deal with this one problem at a time. First was to get her to agree to help. He'd already decided that he was going to. It sure would make it a whole lot easier if she let him...willingly.