Awakening

Level 3

Almost completely inaccessible, this is where all the Sleepers and frozen Eggs are stored. No one is completely sure exactly how large the area is, since AIVAS is the only one with full knowledge of the complex. Whenever a Call has gone out and enough candidates arrive, AIVAS will start awakening a batch of Eggs before they are transported to the sands.

Awakening

PhantomWolf
Candidate
PhantomWolf
Candidate
Joined: Jan 20 2018, 02:14 AM

Jan 20 2018, 08:40 PM #1

- SLEEPER SECURE -

- OCCUPANT VITALS: NORMAL -


Silence reigned. In the darkness of the CRYO room, AIVAS spoke.

"IT IS TIME TO WAKE THEM UP."


A hiss escaped two of the pods, one containing Kar'kaa and the other containing his dragon Midotawth.


- OVERRIDE INITIATED ---

- CRYOGENIC STASIS SUSPENDED -


The cold hit Kar'kaa like a rock. His eyes snapped open as he took a deep breath before coughing, gasping for air. He weakly pounded at the pod door, falling to the floor as it opened. He shivered, watching Midotawth shakily step out of her pod and approach him, her eyes slightly whirling in worry. It's been so long Kar'kaaMine.... she said, nudging his body slightly. He reached for her, holding onto her head as she helped him to his feet. He gave one last small cough and a shiver before speaking. Yeah...it has been a while. he replied weakly, releasing his hold on Midotawth's head as the strength in his legs returned. Her eyes whirled with relief as he slowly walked around the room, occasionally stumbling and nearly falling. After at least ten minutes (and a few falls), he was nearly back to his old self. He and Midotawth sat in the room quietly until another hiss escaped from one of the pods.

They turned and watched intently as the pod's occupant was awoken by AIVAS from the long cold sleep.
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Elsie
Hatchling
Elsie
Hatchling
Joined: Jan 18 2018, 08:29 PM

Jan 31 2018, 09:00 AM #2

Cyrene of Blue Yahtoaandaleeth

The first thing Cyrene became aware of was a sense of groggy confusion, of knowing that she should know where she was but being unable to reach that information through the thick fog in her head. Electronic beeps and indistinct voices drifted into her ears, but at that moment they made no sense to her. She felt weak and lost, and so, so cold. It was the cold that tipped her off. Ah yes, she'd been frozen, sent to sleep for an indeterminate amount of time to preserve the dragons against extinction. The dragons… Yahtoaandaleeth… For a moment, a sick dread came upon her, a panic far colder than the air around her crushing her from the inside, for she could not feel her dragon's mind. Then a sluggish, sticky tendril of thought drifted to her, and her terror was soothed; evidently Andy had just been woken a few moments after herself.

For a few moments more, she gathered her strength, then she pushed at the door of her pod and at once tumbled to the ground. Careful. Came a familiar, rasping mindvoice, and she glanced up to see Andy’s head poking out the top of his own cryochamber, and looking down at her with playfulness whirring in his eyes. The blue was already almost back to himself, at least mentally. Already he was turning away from Cyrene and crooning a warm greeting to the green that Cyrene had seen as her pod door opened, but not really registered till now.

Cyrene flashed a quick smile at the green’s rider, Kar’kaa. They'd only met shortly before entering the cryochambers, but that felt like just yesterday to Cyrene. She tried to get up to walk towards him, but only succeeded in sprawling once more onto the floor. Andy tried to come to her aid, raising a foreleg to step out of his pod, but listed sideways without the support of the limb, lacking the core coordination to keep upright. The blue rumbled in laughter at his own clumsiness. Shaking her head, Cyrene tried once more to stand, then gave up and instead settled for sitting upright, her back propped against the wall of the pod she’d recently been sleeping in.

“Are we the only ones awake so far?” She asked Kar’kaa, “How long has it been, do you know?”
We’nell, 16yo female weyrling of Jasper Veroschkath
Cyrene, 19yo female wingrider of Blue Yahtoaandaleeth
Avital, 37yo male adviser
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PhantomWolf
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PhantomWolf
Candidate
Joined: Jan 20 2018, 02:14 AM

Jan 31 2018, 08:06 PM #3

Midotawth returned the greeting as Yahtoaandaleeth and his rider stepped from their pods. "I really don't know how long it's been." Kar'kaa grumbled as he rubbed his temples. "Cyrene, was it? It's nice to see that at least two of us have woken up so far." He leaned back against Midotawth's body, resting his eyes for a moment. "Do you have any idea why we were woken up? Or are you as clueless as I am?"
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Elsie
Hatchling
Elsie
Hatchling
Joined: Jan 18 2018, 08:29 PM

Feb 1 2018, 08:48 AM #4

Cyrene nodded confirmation of her name to Kar’kaa, then shook her head. “No, I don't know anything. Hopefully AIVAS will enlighten us soon. Do you think it's the next Pass already? She looked around the room with fresh eyes, the cloudiness in her mind now all but gone. All around were pods, still and silent but for the electronic displays on their opaque doors, varying in size from small, people-sized ones to the great hulking chambers that contained Mallitoriorth and the bronzes. Flecks of dust lay here and there, but otherwise there was no indication of how much time had passed. Nearby was the great, dragon-sized door all the sleepers had entered through what-felt-like-yesterday, and elsewhere other doors lead to rooms only AIVAS knew of.

Eventually, her eyes came to rest on the computer bank in the centre of the room. “Hmm do you think that will have the date?” She asked Kar’kaa. She lurched all at once to her feet, but immediately overbalanced and had to lean against the outside of her pod to keep from falling. Gradually, by supporting herself on every solid thing she encountered en route, she made it to the screen. It was black, and Cyrene had no real experience with computers. She looked behind her at the greenrider. “Don't suppose you know how to turn it on?” She asked sheepishly.

Behind her, Andy's repeated attempts to get his balance had begun to pay off. He had now managed to crawl out of his pod, but before he could go any further, he stopped and flared out his wings, examining the membranes - they were still cold from the cryochamber and had collected dew, so that they were now beaded in moisture. He licked them, and as he did so, he and Cyrene realised simultaneously how thirsty they both were.
We’nell, 16yo female weyrling of Jasper Veroschkath
Cyrene, 19yo female wingrider of Blue Yahtoaandaleeth
Avital, 37yo male adviser
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PhantomWolf
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PhantomWolf
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Joined: Jan 20 2018, 02:14 AM

Feb 8 2018, 09:32 PM #5

Kar'kaa glanced at the computer in the center of the room. He studied it for a few moments before shaking his head. "I don't think anyone but AIVAS knows how to turn it on." he replied. Midotawth watched as the blue licked the dew off his wing membranes. She glanced at her wings and noticed the dew on her membranes. She shifted, causing Kar'kaa to slightly shift from his position as she stretched her neck to lick the water off. We should get something to eat and drink soon, Mine. she said, pausing for a moment. That sounds like a good idea. I'm starving! Kar'kaa replied, quickly rising to his feet. As he bent down to adjust his clothes, the computer screen suddenly lit up. The four were briefly blinded by the sudden light as the computer stirred to life.

-WELCOME TO A NEW DAY. THE TURN IS 16/3/3360-

Kar'kaa rubbed his eyes and stared at the date in shock. He briefly remembered that they entered the pods in the Turn 2568 and had quickly calculated that it had been 800 Turns since they were put in cryogenic sleep. He silently sunk back against his dragon in disbelief, silent tears beginning to form in his eyes and trickle down his cheeks. His family, friends and comrades were all dead; Midotawth rested her head beside him, giving a small mournful keen as she grieved with him. Kar'kaa barely noticed AIVAS's voice as his voice echoed throughout the room.

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. I’M AFRAID I HAVE BAD NEWS.
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Elsie
Hatchling
Elsie
Hatchling
Joined: Jan 18 2018, 08:29 PM

Feb 9 2018, 10:18 AM #6

Having gotten something of a drink off the moisture on his wings, Andy was no longer as urgently thirsty as he had been and could divert more of his attention to his surroundings. He made his way to Midowtath - still rather shaky on his feet - and sat down beside her, looking at the all the pods that remained, as yet, closed. Will the others wake up soon? He asked, directing his question at both his rider and the greenpair.

Before anyone had a chance to answer him, though, their attention was all drawn to the sudden glaring light of the computer screen. Cyrene had been looking directly at it, and she winced away and closed her eyes when it first lit up, but after a moment her pupils contracted and she was able to look at it. At first, when she read made no sense to her. She understood the words well enough, but her mind could not immediately comprehend the numbers. She blinked a couple of times, and then the enormity of what she read set in. Almost 800 Turns had passed since she’d fallen asleep. Andy had never learnt to read, but he saw the meaning in Cyrene’s mind, and for once even he was awestruck. He and Cyrene shared a shocked glance, and then Cyrene glanced at Kar’kaa. At first she did not understand why he was crying, then she heard Midowtath give a mournful whine, and she too was struck with the realisation that everyone she’d ever known was gone. She’d known that that was the likely outcome before going to sleep, of course, but she still felt a heaviness settle inside her. A coldness that had nothing to do with her recent departure from a cryochamber.

Then there was a voice; AIVAS’s voice. As she heard the words, Cyrene’s eyes widened. One hand went to cover her mouth, and the other reached out to rest on Andy’s muzzle. “Shards.” She whispered, then said to the room at large. “AIVAS sure does like to speak in riddles, huh?” There was an attempt at humour in her tone, but her voice was high and shaky with fear. What was the bad news? Andy crept forward so that Cyrene could lean against his chest, lying himself down beside Midowtath. “I wonder who… I wonder who’s weyrleader at High Reaches now.” Cyrene always got verbal diarrhoea when she was afraid, as if somehow her voice might stave off whatever was coming. Of course, she wasn’t yet to know that she and the rest of the riders in this very room were the only riders left on Pern.
We’nell, 16yo female weyrling of Jasper Veroschkath
Cyrene, 19yo female wingrider of Blue Yahtoaandaleeth
Avital, 37yo male adviser
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Annoluck
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Annoluck
Candidate
Joined: Feb 10 2018, 01:45 AM

Feb 14 2018, 02:32 AM #7

A soft hiss from somewhere off to the left of the small clutch of riders, coupled with an increase in the ambient light level indicated that their section of Cryo was now open. A few moments later, a group of people, dressed in a vague facsimile of Healercraft uniforms slowly entered, carrying fresh cloth and steaming cups. Among the group was a familiar scarred face. "Good Morning, Riders. Glad to see you've all managed to make it this far. And I assure you, the disorientation many of you are experiencing will pass quickly." A soft smile settled on his face. "Any and all questions you no doubt have will be answered in short order. In the mean time, let's get you out of this Threaddamned cold and warmed up."
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PhantomWolf
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PhantomWolf
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Joined: Jan 20 2018, 02:14 AM

Feb 14 2018, 06:37 PM #8

Kar'kaa barely noticed the large doors opening, filling the chamber with light. He twisted around Midotawth's body and spotted the group. Among the group was V'nin, a brown rider from High Reaches. He gratefully took a cup and sipped the klah inside, savoring the taste. It had been too long since he had a cup of klah; the pain of losing the ones he loved to time somewhat as the klah's warmth filled his body.

AIVAS's voice echoed throughout the chamber as he spoke again, his tone shifting from gratefulness to somberness. THANK YOU, HEALERS. RIDERS, THE UNTHINKABLE HAS OCCURRED. THREAD HAS RETURNED. ONE QUARTER OF PERN'S POPULATION HAS BEEN LOST.
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Elsie
Hatchling
Elsie
Hatchling
Joined: Jan 18 2018, 08:29 PM

Feb 14 2018, 10:11 PM #9

The sound of an opening door startled Cyrene out of her reverie, and Yahtoaandaleeth looked up sharply, too. For a moment, the bluepair blinked uncomprehendingly at the strange group of people entering, then Cyrene blinked again as she realised that she recognised the speaker. “V’nin?” She said aloud, baffled. So she and Kar’kaa had not been the first riders to awaken after all, for here was one from her very own home Weyr, and judging by how steady he was on his feet, he must have been defrosted some time ago. Cyrene’s confusion quickly gave rise to relief though; relief at seeing someone with some measure of authority who seemed to know what was going on. She was desperate for there to be some sort of reassuring structure she could follow to distract her from the fear and shock she had just experienced. She got to her feet gladly, one hand against Andy’s shoulder for balance, and reached out eagerly for a hot mug.

Then came AIVAS’s voice again, making Cyrene’s heart sink before the machine had even finished speaking; so far everything it had been said had been rather less than encouraging, and she still remembered the threat of bad news. When that bad news came, Cyrene’s outstretched hand dropped limply to her side, and her eyes widened with shock. She stumbled back, fetching against Andy’s hastily raised leg. She sank down into her dragon’s embrace, white as a sheet. In the back of her mind, she felt the usual rushing turmoil of Andy’s mind take on a dark, angry hue, very uncharacteristic. “A quarter?” Cyrene whimpered, looking at V’nin pleadingly, as if there was anything the healer could do to make it better. “How many people is that?” She asked, voice frantic and angry in equal measure. This time she directed her speech at the gleaming computer screen that had given her and Kar’kaa the date. “How many, huh? What happened? Why weren’t the riders able to stop Thread?”
We’nell, 16yo female weyrling of Jasper Veroschkath
Cyrene, 19yo female wingrider of Blue Yahtoaandaleeth
Avital, 37yo male adviser
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Annoluck
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Annoluck
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Joined: Feb 10 2018, 01:45 AM

Feb 14 2018, 11:07 PM #10

V'nin nodded in greeting toward Cyrene, glad to know that his mere presence was acting as an anchor for at least one between time addled rider. AIVAS' subsequent revelation about the current state of Pern caused the smile fall from his face faster than a Threadlaced Dragon. He silently wished that the computer would allow him to do his assigned duty. He took a moment to collect and formulate his thoughts before he moved to answer those questions. So far, all those that had awoke before this set had also asked the same thing...and even over a turn later, it still wasn't easy. "It's hard to get a firm number, as no one, not even Aivas, had a counting of how many Holders and Crafters there were prior to the Red Star's return." The next part, in response to Blue Rider's last question, was the hardest to deliver...as he still couldn't wrap his mind around it himself. His lips pursed momentarily,
his gaze shifting slightly to look at both Yahtoaandaleeth and Midotawth before returning to the riders. "As for why Thread wasn't stopped by the other Weyrs....there are no others."
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PhantomWolf
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PhantomWolf
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Joined: Jan 20 2018, 02:14 AM

Feb 15 2018, 01:01 AM #11

Kar'kaa nearly choked on the klah when V'nin broke the news. He stared blankly, his jaw dropped slack in shock. They were the only riders left on Pern. But why, though? Did they all fall to the Thread or did they all die Turns before? The latter seemed more plausible, but the fact that they were the only riders left on the entire planet was still mind boggling. He glanced down into the klah as Midotawth rested her head in her front paws, her eyes whirling with uncertainty and sadness.
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Elsie
Hatchling
Elsie
Hatchling
Joined: Jan 18 2018, 08:29 PM

Feb 15 2018, 09:27 AM #12

It was not satisfying to be told that no one knew how many people ‘a quarter’ was, though Cyrene supposed she should not be surprised. Weyrs usually had a rough idea of how many people inhabited them, but undoubtedly it was not the same for Holds, whose citizens might be spread out over any number of minor Holds and cotholds, and it was hard to know who would count the many traders. She dropped her gaze, and huddled against the reassuringly solid bulk of her dragon’s chest, looking far younger than she really was.

Her head snapped up, though, when V’nin said there were no other riders. “Why?” She asked sharply. “Where are they? Did… Did the dragons go extinct then, after all?” Her voice began to crack as she reached the end of the sentence, and her eyes burned as tears sprang to them. That was the eventuality that AIVAS had planned for by freezing a portion of riders, but Cyrene had never quite believed that it would actually happen. She looked over at Kar’kaa and his green, to see their reaction, and then almost jumped as that deep, sad hum of mourning sprang up in Andy’s chest. The reality of it all sank in then. Cyrene let her head flop against her dragon and sighed sadly. “Then we should have been woken up sooner.” She said, her voice soft but not lacking certainty.
We’nell, 16yo female weyrling of Jasper Veroschkath
Cyrene, 19yo female wingrider of Blue Yahtoaandaleeth
Avital, 37yo male adviser
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Annoluck
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Annoluck
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Joined: Feb 10 2018, 01:45 AM

Feb 17 2018, 07:46 PM #13

It was never easy to tell someone that any possible connection to the past they might have had was all but gone....especially when the exact same news affected yourself as well. Seeing the not too unexpected reaction from both riders, plus Yahtoaandaleeth's soft hum, almost felt like it would tear his heart out one of these days. You still mourn as well, remember. I can feel it. The calm mindvoice of his Bond stated, even as the familiar soothing bass hum of Evonoth answered the Blue's mournful song.

He glanced back to the doorway, seeing Evon's head peak around the corner, his eyes whirling in to a soft purple shade. A soft smile crept on to V'nin's face at the sight before he turned back to the riders. "Blame that on Aivas, though don't lay it all at it's...feet, I guess would be proper word." He raised a hand to forestall the lines of questioning on that. At the same time, he could feel a couple of the Healers affix an almost indignant stare on him. He ignored them, as he would deal with them later. "There is some good news however. There are eggs warming on the Sands, and a line of Candidates waiting to Impress. No doubt there are more where those came from." He hoped that that would rekindle some hope.
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