Marine was spared the tingling in her feelings being the first thing that caught Ezria’s fury as the first droplet of water slammed into the neck of her nearest comrade and forced him to the floor. All around her she could see slick patches of soil appearing as the rain hit the ground and vanished into the thirsty mud.
The team were being pelted - rain is no joke when you’re barely 5cms tall. It crashed into them making them stagger and lose their footing - despite the heavy boots they all wore for traction. Hands grew slippery on the rope pulling the Lost Stone and even Ezria had hit the floor twice as she continued to pull.
“Move!” Came Ezria’s call and they gathered their rope and dashed in formation to the nearest shelter, dodging wet bullets as they tore out of the sky and flattened anyone who was unlucky enough to be in the wrong place. The flowerbed was sheltered but the rain was weighing down the leaves and causing overspills to erupt all around them. “This way!” Ezria beckoned them towards a towering structure that Marine recognised as being a table - humans would sit at them on other blocks to eat. Tingions tended to eat in circles on the floor - it was the simplest shape (no corners) and sitting on the floor meant they didn’t the complication of furniture. Tingion food tended to always be wrapped up as well to reduce the need for plates, bowls and cutlery. No fuss. That was the Tingion way. Marine secretly thought all the trinkets and complications of the top side world were fascinating but she knew better than to rock the boat and show an interest.
The company dashed for the furniture and formed a huddle underneath it. It was more exposed over here on the dry flagstones so they made a circle each facing out so nothing could surprise them from any angle. Ezria kept her eyes fixed on the spot where the Lost Stone lay in the undergrowth.
“We can’t go back without it.” Ezria muttered to her Lieutenant, Aysmar. Aysmar nodded grimly. There were 2 other Tingions between Marine and Aysmar - Lork, a friendly and bulky commando whose muscle made her a must have on every mission. Then there was also Kurann, the only male on the squad. Males were too competitive between them to have more than one on a squad, everyone knew that. Only women and neithers were allowed to work together in Tingion society. It made Marine roll her eyes when she heard the speeches. Males were just as capable of putting petty hormones to one said as any of the rest of them but Tingions would do anything to avoid confrontation and so everyone had agreed that this was the simplest solution.
Kurann shook his head and droplets of water sprayed out in all directions. Well, not quite all directions. From the corner of her eye Marine saw the water leap out towards her and then swerve away at the last minute. She flinched at the sight of it. The droplets going in the other directions just continued with the forward momentum but the ones coming towards her definitely seemed to fly away at the last second. She looked down at herself: she was bone dry. As subtly as she could so as not to attract the attention of anyone else in the team she glanced around at everyone else. They were all soaked. Each and every one of them was dripping wet and trying not to shiver as the breeze rocked their tiny legs. It was too much to consider it a lucky accident that she was the only one not wet.
Ever so cautiously she reached a hand out from under the table to try and catch one of the beating rain drops. As her hand neared the edge she watched as a fat drip moved horizontally to avoid her skin. ‘Not now.’ She cursed inwardly trying to work out how she get some water onto herself so as to avoid detection at being different.
“It’s easing. Stand firm” Called Ezria and Marine snapped her hand back to her side before she was seen. She glanced up through the glass above her at the sky. The greyness was lightening and she could see patches of blue appearing through holes in the grey. It was amazing. Not just the sky - but also the glass. Glass was one of Marine’s absolute favourite things. So beautiful and practical. Tingions could make glass, they could also steal it: but it was forbidden. Too complicated to have something hard and also partially invisible. Why have something that could shatter when you could have metal that wouldn’t? Marine wanted to scream that the fragility was what made it amazing but she knew she couldn’t. Sometimes she worried that the magic within her was caused by her love of all these complications. If she could just learn to crave routine and simplicity and sensibleness then perhaps she could stop the sparks? Perhaps they would calm down? Or was it the other way round? Was this infernal energy within her what made her thoughts seek the wind and the sparkles and the excitement?
Ezria had been speaking but Marine began to hear it with her usual sense of shame that she had not been listening. She shook her head and focused in on the words.
“Ok, we are going to head back over to the Lost Stone. Be careful. It will be wet underfoot and we don’t have enough power to carry you with a broken leg as well as the stone. Believe me when I say I will not be leaving the stone.”
Everyone grinned. Ezria was tough but they all knew she wouldn’t leave any of them behind. It wasn’t in her nature.
“The rain could have been a blessing, it might have loosened the earth around the stone making it easier to release.” Ezria continued, “We’ll get back into position and Aysmar will assess and decide on a plan for release. On Aysmar and forward, move out. Marine: With me.”
Marine’s fingers went cold.
Has Ezria noticed that Marine is dry?