Jai - The Hole Thing

From Masq
Date: Setting:

IC:  01/06/2008
RL: 10/10/2010

Inside Clara the Yellow Cab

 This car is huge inside. The roof's fairly high but aside from that both front and back have bench seats with enough leg-room for a basketball player. In the back there are even two built-in jump seats folded away for those emergencies when you absolutely have to get seven passengers somewhere right now. It's fairly comfortable and has been properly retrofitted with seatbelts. For your safety!

and later

Petroglyph National Monument -- Near the Hot Springs -- Albuquerque

 A pair of rough, naturally formed stone outcroppings create a ten-foot gateway, secluding the hot spring's mineral pools from distant view. These ancient stone sentries, both touched by the deep hewn petroglyphs that mark much of the area, provide a peaceful, secluded sense to this place, as if they guarded it in truth. Steam and crisp mountain air mix to perfume the surroundings in earthy, mineral scents.

 As you come around the rock formation, you find yourself on the bank of a large clear, steaming pool nestled among the rocks and brush. The springs are large, one main spring in the middle, connected to a few smaller pools to the side. Seven to ten people could easily fit into the pools comfortably. They are surrounded by various boulders that have been worn flat over the years from use. The smell of minerals is strong and lingers in the air. A rusted waste basket nearby bears the sign, "Please keep our parks beautiful."

Obvious exits:
Enter the Springs <S> East <E>

Damian is just wandering along the street, as usual looking happier than shit for no reason, when he stops to peel something out of a storm drain. It makes him grin though, and causes him to look up and down the street, pack on his shoulders, and when he sees the glowing of a Taxi sign, waves it down.

Jai is driving along the streets looking for a fare, and that wave immediately gets his attention -- followed by recognition of the waver. He pulls over and leans way across to open the passenger door (good thing he's tall!). "Hey!"

"What fortune!" Damian says with a beaming grin when he sees who's cab it is, distinctive car that it is. He opens the back so that he can set his pack back there, behind the front seats rather than on the back seat itself. Rule number one: Respect the man's car, and the man respects you. Getting into the front, he buckles the seat belt while saying, "Hello Jai, how are you?" Rule number two: Greet the man. He wipes the thing he found on his pant leg, a wet but perfectly servicable ten, and hands it to Jai, asking, "How close to the hot springs will this get me?"

Jai looks at the bills, checks the clock, and shrugs. "I could probably get you all the way, tonight, since it's you." He gives Damian a grin, and then adds, "Oh! But first." He reaches into his coat and rummages around for a few moments, then comes out with a rearview-mirror mirrorball, rather triumphantly. "There! ...and here." He offers it over to Damian. "I thought you might maybe like it." He seems to have a little trouble not watching it dangle and sparkle from his fingers, which may explain why he hasn't got one on his own mirror even now.

"I've got an egg salad sandwich if that'll help sweeten--" SHINY! Damian is dazzled and captivated, cupping his hands to accept the thing and looking as though he might honestly detonate with glee. "Oh WOW! This is SO COOL!" Clearly he hates his gift with a wild passion, and Jai must die for unleashing it upon him. He abruptly hugs the poor cabbie about the neck, not crossing over personal space bounderies, more of a pole vaulting really. The poor guy's cheek is even kissed a couple times while he's lovingly strangled, "Oh thank you so much! Thank you thank you thank you!"

Jai squeaks with startlement at the exuberance of the response, automatically hugging back, and then intentionally hugging back, because hey, hugs! "...awesome. You're welcome, I'm glad you like it as much as I do!" Damian actually gets an extra squeeze for that before he lets go. No kisses on his side, though. Just the hugs. He beams at the other guy, still looking absolutely thrilled, and puts Clara back into gear.

Damian delights in his new toy privately for a few moments, rolling it a little in his cupped hands while Jai works the magic of the car and makes them go. He slips it away into the little hide bag he keeps his chickens in, and asks, "So what do you hae planed for this evening, my dear friend Jai?" Yay, he remembers names! Sobriety for the win!

Happy Jais drive happily! And a tad distractedly while the mirror ball's still out, frankly; he keeps stealing little looks in that direction. "Nothing much, honestly. Going around. Looking for fares. Not really anyone out, though, and no one calling in, either. I was just thinking about maybe going home and trying to sleep again. What are you up to?"

"I'm going to go take the best bath ever in the history of ever." Damian says while they drive, "And then nap a little bit. Then probably find something to chase around. Nap a little bit." This sounds like a pretty blissful day to Damian, that's for sure, and he asks brightly, "Wanna go? Unless you have work or something like that? I have many, many blankets to share." Somehow, he manages to make that not at all sound like a flirtatious comment.

"...oooh. That =does= sound pretty nice," Jai says, sounding mildly surprised about it -- not the idea itself, but the appealingness of it. "I've got a blanket in the trunk, too, in case we need even more. Sure, what the hell. Hold on a second." He reaches into his pocket and pulls out his phone, pressing a button and after a couple seconds saying, "Hey, Jerry? Yeah, Jai, 17, I'm gonna sign off for the night, okay? Thanks, man." He hangs up and the phone disappears into his coat again. "There. Now I'm free."

"Wonderful!" Damian cheers. You might have thought it was impossible for him to get any happier, that surely there must be some sort of cap to it all, but no, there isn't, and he does. "It'll be great, we'll have a fantastic time!" A little happy dance in his seat at having company. Once they're there, he helps point the way to something resembling a clever parking spot. Apparently he drives here alot with people and/or other taxi drivers, the hippie slut! Sproinging out of the car, he boings around to fetch his pack.

Other taxi drivers? Say it ain't so! Jai manages not to seem too broken-hearted, though, and he takes the indicated spot, lovingly positioning Clara in the middle of the space, where the fewest things are likely to risk scraping or denting her. He opens the trunk and indeed, there is a blanket in there, as well as a satchel he pulls on. Then the trunk's closed, he makes sure all's locked, and he not-quite-bounces over to join Damian. "Right! Ready when you are."

And off into the great black and moonless yonder they go! Taking a designated trail though, taking only memories and leaving only footprints! "Gremlins.. It's so *beautiful*!" he says as they walk, his shadowy hand waving about above him to indicate the vast sea of stars visible now without the city's glare to block them out. He does have a flashlight, but tries not to use it much except when their lighter colored path seems off, like a rock or something, so that they don't get retna glare and stumble around even more. They're even benefitted with the occasional sign, though Damian doesn't need them, having done the walk plenty of times. And it's a several mile walk. Not back breakingly far, but, pretty far. Far enough that might make a person kinda want to strangle a hippie if there *isn't* a nice bath at the end of it all.

"Gremlins?" Jai asks, looking first around the parking lot and then around in general, but the indication of the stars does get him looking up and thinking about that instead. "...yeah, it is," he agrees, "Everything up there looking just as it should..." He sounds faintly wistful, actually, for no apparent reason. He walks carefully in the darkness, not wanting to put a foot wrong, but is apparently in half-decent shape, or at least no stranger to a hike. Even so, one has to admit a bath and a nap sound like quite a nice reward once the wandering's done. "So... you come here often?" he asks, apparently oblivious to the chance that it sounds like a come-on. At least while he says it. After, it's a bit dim to tell.

Damian apparently takes the question as innocently as it was asked, looking over at the shadowy Jeeves and saying, "Yes, as often as possible in this weather. I'm not much of one for water in bunches usually, but these are very shallow pools and.. They're so *warm*! I mean, how could I possibly resist even if I hated baths completely? It's a great place to just lay around and think about stuff, be one with things, you know? I dunno if you can make it out real well, but you see that big blackish blob there among all those other blackish blobs? Where it's got that notchy sorta bit on top? That's where we're going. It looks deceptive, the notchy part is actually an opening in the rocks."

"Why =this= weather?" Jai asks, peering in the indicated direction, "...'cause the water's warm and the air's so cold? D'you go somewhere else in summer?" He pauses, a thought occurring. "Have you been here in summers? I just realised, I dunno how long you've lived here."

"Well, the thing is.." Damian says as the start down a downhill slope, "Cold weather sucks. I don't mean any disrespect to the cold, but it's really not my favorite sort of weather. I am new to this part though, so I misjudged, apparently by a *long* shot, as to whether I was at a point where I'd experience mild winters, as I got here around the latter end of autumn before the cold winds moved down. It's not so bad though, I'm where I should be I think. But man, I can not *wait* for it to get warm again."

Jai nods. "Yeah, people never expect it to get so cold here," he says, having pulled on a pair of gloves at some point. "...do you have anywhere to stay? I mean, I know you said Steve was staying with a friend, but you've got somewhere to crash when it gets way freezing too, right? Aside from in the hot springs."

"Nope!" Damian answers, and couldn't sound as though he were bothered less by the fact. "Just wherever is safe and dry. I like roofs the best if I'm down town, as long as they're easy to get onto. There's thieves and murderers on the ground, but the roofs are usually pretty clear of that sort of thing, you can get nice and comfy somewhere next to some ducts and sleep nice and sound. And once it's warm again, Steve'll sleep out with me again and I'll be that much happier."

"Well, I just got a place, so if you wanna be in from the weather sometime, lemme know," Jai offers, with a small shrug. "That'll be cool, though. I'm kinda looking forward to meeting Steve, someday." He looks around, sniffing as they get closer. "Man, I love how hot springs smell. Not the same as anything else, you know?"

"The soft smell of clean tinged with the life blood of the earth that warms it." Damian agrees, though in his own odd way, about the awesome mineral scent of the springs. Coming upon them, the shine darkly with just the stars to light them, their steam a silvery, sometimes there and sometimes not curtain that shimmers and dances. Damian smiles with anticipation of bliss, and sets his pack down. "Go ahead without me first, it will be cold and miserable soon after we leave the water, so I'm going to go set us a quick shelter. Do you mind?"

"I could help," Jai offers, "I mean, unless I'll be in the way, but otherwise, yeah." He sets his satchel down by Damian's. "So... should I do something?"

Damian shrugs his shoulders and doesn't seem bothered, "Sure, if you want. Do you go camping much? We just need to find a good spot amongst the rocks where we wont be bothered by anyone and where there aren't big drafts. A nice view of the sunrise would be nice too, but, cant have everything I guess. C'mon!"

<OOC> Damian says, "Shall we each do a survival roll? Not sure if it'd be int or perception"
<OOC> Jai says, "Sure! And I dunno either. Um... well, we're looking for a spot, so let's do perception?"
<OOC> Damian says, "New moon type black as shit out, diff 7?"
<OOC> Jai says, "Okay"
VERIFY(RLZF) Damian rolls perception + survival against 7 and gets 4 successes.
VERIFY(RWDL) Jai rolls perception + survival against 7 and gets -2 successes.
<OOC> Jai says, "Daaaaaaamn."
<OOC> Damian says, "Doh! That's like.. Oh my god. Um.. You should do a um.."
<OOC> Damian says, "Dex+athletics maybe to keep from falling off the world, LOL"
<OOC> Jai says, "hahaha"
<OOC> Jai says, "diff?"
<OOC> Damian says, "I mean, we are in a rock climbing area. Oh, 6, I'd say, adrenaline rocks"
VERIFY(OLTI) Jai rolls dexterity + athletics against 6 and gets 0 successes.
<OOC> Damian says, "Unless you have some ungraceful thi oh shit"
<OOC> Jai says, "sigh"
VERIFY(LSAJ) Damian rolls dexterity + athletics against 7 and gets 0 successes.
<OOC> Damian says, "Oh god! do stamina! And don't suck!"
<OOC> Jai says, "...vs. 6?"
<OOC> Damian says, "sure"
<OOC> Damian crosses fingers!
VERIFY(IMFN) Jai rolls stamina against 6 and gets 1 success.
<OOC> Damian says, "YAY! I think that qualifies as no broken bones, surely"
<OOC> Jai says, "Okay, less sucking, phew."
<OOC> Damian says, "Poor banged up Jai!"
<OOC> Damian says, "You wanna pose that up, or should I?"
<OOC> Jai was going to, but I'll let you determine my injuries if you want. :)
<OOC> Damian says, "Okay, I'll be nice and everything! Go ahead and like, pose pose though"

"Right!" Jai exclaims happily, and starts climbing up the rocks, looking for a spot like Damian's suggested. He checks one place... he checks another... and then somehow, he puts his foot in a spot that turns out to have been a trick of the new moon, slips, and there's a decided yelp as he disappears down the pile of rocks in the darkness, in a blur of arms and legs and little grunt and yelps of pain.

The path is a nice and easy hike, but off-road things get tricky all over the place. Scrub land meets lava flow with all that fantastic rock climbing space, it's only natural that there'd be some accidents when you go wandering around in the middle of the freaking night with not more than a wussy flash light to help them find what they're looking for. He wasn't looking at Jai when the poor guy fell, diving to try and catch his hand and just missing him by a fraction. "JAI!" he yells, not reassured by the clatter thump. "Oh grasshoppers! Oh gremlins! Are you okay? Are you okay??" No broken bones, but there will be bruising on parts that stick out; elbows and probably knees. Ears. A sore ass and shoulders. But no blood, no agony of agonies, just the being in a damned, you know, hole.

"Ow," comes plaintively up from down in the hole, and then a small pause while Jai counts his body parts and checks them for function. "Yeah.... yeah. I'm okay. I mean, ow. But okay. Everything's still working, I think. Just... bruised a lotta things. Elbows. Knees. Butt. Ego. Ow." He looks around himself, and starts trying to work out the best way to get himself back up and out.

"Wait there, I'll help you up!" Damian says, and can be heard rushing away from the hole. There's plenty of hand and foot holds if Jai felt confidant in his abilities to climb his way up, though.

Jai is not feeling all that confident in anything, right now, and strength isn't his strong suit anyway. Trying to get himself out =does= cross his mind, but... could he manage it before Damian got back? He tries really quickly to work out how long he has -- where Damian might be going. Back to his pack for a rope, maybe? How long would it take him to get there and back?

Damian couldn't have gone far, as the sound of his extremely rapidly running boots can be heard after just a few minutes. "Jai!" he calls before he reappears, "I'm back Jai!" And then there's his dread head, saving Jai the trouble of getting out easily. "Here, grab a hold of this," A dark shape comes down, bigger than a rope but more wiggly than a stick, and it turns out to be a blanket. "I'll pull, and you use your legs if they're okay enough to use, okay?"

<OOC> Jai says, "Think we need rolls for this?"
<OOC> Damian says, "Um... Sure, strength and athletics perhaps, but at diff 5 since we're working together?"
<OOC> Jai says, "okay"
VERIFY(YXMH) Damian rolls strength + athletics against 5 and gets 3 successes.
<OOC> Jai says, "But... I warn you this may very easily go poorly. ;)"
VERIFY(IPSC) Jai rolls strength + athletics against 5 and gets 0 successes.
<OOC> Jai says, "Glad you got 3. :)"

...nope, that wouldn't have been long enough. "Yeah, okay," Jai answers, "Uh... one second. Lemme see..." He reaches up and tries to get a good hold on the blanket, wrapping it around his arm and trying to hold on tightly with the other, and to push on the wall with his feet.

So, since Jai is COMPLETELY USELESS at getting out of the hole, Damian is an awesome hero and tuuuuuuuuuugs to get the guy upwards and up to the edge with his mighty hippie strength and super cool leg muscles, about flat on his back by the time Jai's up. Panting, he says, "Found! A good spot! To camp!

Completely, utterly useless, but so happy to be up out of that hole and panting on his stomach next to Damian. "...awesome," Jai says, just about as breathless as Damian for all that he didn't manage any of the work, "Um. Sorry. About that. And thanks." He forces an arm up enough to put it across the other guy and give him a grateful hug. "Gonna stand up and help any time now..."

"Oh no, don't apologize!" Damian says quickly, returning the hug tightly and then sits up, pushing at Jai's side to try rolling him over, "Are you okay? Do you have any hurts that are too bad?"

One of Jai's ears is scraped and bleeding slightly; his elbows can't be seen as, luckily, his coat didn't rip. When he's turned over, with Damian's help, it's clear his jeans, however, have; rips in both knees and one has some blood soaking through. "Um... nah, I mean, nothing broken, I think I might've hit my head a couple times, that aches some, but I'm not concussed or anything..."

Damian takes a quick stock of Jai's state, not with a doctor's trained eye or anything like that, but as a guy that's had his fair share of scrapes and fails and had to patch himself up afterwards. "Just wait here, okay? Just relax and don't move for a minute." He grabbed their packs, and now gets up to grab them again, moving off down the rocks only a short distance away to where he saw the nice spot to set themselves up. "Just don't move for now, okay?" he asks again from over there, rapidly breaking tarps and blankets from his pack's hold and setting them up a fairly decent little camp very quickly. He's a king when it comes to using a ball of twine, and uses the natural things like the thinner and pointier rocks and a nearby bush and such to make a very low roof and a deeply packed blanket bed, with some semblence of walls, though they're gappy. Wind blocking rather than warmth holding, and perfect for the claustrophobic camper. Stashing their packs there but snagging out the pair of towels he owns, he rushes back to Jai in just fifteen minutes. "Come on, let's go down to the warm and let it heal you up." he says, reaching down to help the poor cabbie up.

"Mmf." Jai reluctantly stays as instructed, and doesn't even attempt to get up again until Damian comes back and helps him to his feet. "Sounds like a good idea. Better than anything I've got, anyway. At least it'll help with the sore, for sure." He moves slower now, but it does seem like at least it's careful checking every step as opposed to being actively unable to walk properly.

Damian leaves an arm around Jai while they head back down to the springs, "I'm so sorry! I know I couldn't have stopped it, but I'm still so sorry that happened!" He stops once to nip an end off an aloe on the way. "Here, skin up and soak a bit, it'll help." He brought towels but no shorts, and he certainly isn't going to sit in the springs in his boxers. He doesn't seem to have a lot of modesty, but he is polite and protects what modesty Jai might have by having his back to him while shedding clothing. There's no peaking, no interested or curious looks, he might only be gay in the happy sense after all. It's a slow and awesomely hot settle into one of the shallow pools, and Damian takes a second to adjust before submerging his after dinner mints, towels near to hand as well as the aloe piece.

"Sometimes I'm just a klutz," Jai tells Damian sheepishly, and he, too, strips down. He does have a certain amount of modesty, but Damian makes it quite easy to protect it, and he isn't all =that= shy about it anyway -- at least not without ladies present. He snags his cigarettes and lighter, so he can have a smoke while he soaks, and slides in gingerly, a quick breath getting sucked in between his teeth when the water meets the scrapes on his knees.