Instead of the hardworking Gargoyle, it was once again Ashe that found something of interest. It had been about ten minutes since the last time either of them had found anything of value, and Ashe had been starting to worry that their good luck had run out. He sighed, about to set the pick down and take a break, when the next time he hit, he struck gold. Or rather, he struck amber. He'd recognize a chunk of that hardened goo anywhere! He had plenty of it at home, and it was rather pretty. He might very well do something with it someday! You never know.
He reached over and grabbed the chisel again, working at it and wriggling it free. The amber was really soft, compared to the rock and the metal of the tools, so he had to be careful.
Brazin continued to work, gently moving the dirt and rubbish piles to make room for her to dig closer to the base again.
Ashe took the amber he'd dug out and deposited into the cart with the rest. If he counted (and he did count) there were four things found already. That was a good haul, he hoped he could keep the momentum going! He returned to his spot and picked up the pickaxe again, digging away at the wall.
Outside, which was just around the corner from him since they were still near the entrance, Ashe could hear the rain suddenly pick up, the gentle roar growing steadily louder and louder. He had half a mind to go check it out... And he did. His love of storms won out and he left his duo to their job and sleep, respectively, and walked around the bend to see the rain. Huge drops fell from the sky, puddles quickly forming. A low, rumbling growl of thunder rolled, and Ashe saw more lightning in the distance, followed by more rolls of thunder. He sighed softly, happily. He freaking loved storms.
A jagged streak of light crossed the sky, zigzagging across the dark clouds. It was only fifteen hundred hours, it should be close to the peak of daylight, but it almost looked like night outside. Interesting, because when Ashe got here it had been a dull gray rainy looking day and now it was a middle of night pitch black kind of stormy day. He wanted to just stand right here and watch - and let that crack of thunder roll right through him - but he had work to do... He had to find some more valuables. Going home with just a handful of stones wouldn't cut it. He sighed, decided to stay for one more lightning streak, then he would turn back He trusted Brazin would be paying attention to what she was digging up, but still.
And, just as he suspected, the gargoyle was very thorough in her sifting through the dirt and grit. She wasn't finding much, but she was careful about it nonetheless.
The lightning lit up the world even brighter than high noon. Ashe blinked the blindness out of his eyes and braced himself for the boom that came after. He didn't know much about the weather mechanics, he liked to look up at the sky and predict the weather right then and there, but he did notice that the brighter flashes of lightning tended to bring the biggest rumbles of thunder.
It was a deafening boom that shook the wall he was leaning against. Oh shit, he'd never thought of it before, but could a mining shaft collapse under a big storm like this? And what about earthquakes? Yikes, he'd hate to be stuck down there for longer than he wanted to be. With a heavy sigh, he relented and turned to go back into the mine and rejoin with Brazin. The Gargoyle was hard at work just as he'd left her, her arms moving like machines. Gargoyles were weird things... or was it just his gargoyle?
Ashe went back to his post and started picking the wall again. He moved large rocks and stones, and after closer inspection he ruled that they weren't anything of import. He wouldn't mind taking some stone home, actually, and trying to carve something out of it. Maybe make a statue. But he, honestly, didn't know enough about types of rock and what you could do with them and stress levels and such. He'd leave that to the professionals. Now, metal ores, he could figure out..
Oh, what's this? Even as he was thinking about valuable things like ores, he stumbled upon something shiny, a pearly shiny. It wasn't an ore, it wasn't a crystal, but it was pretty. He was sure it was an opal, judging by the color sheen, and he'd know more when he got it out. Quickly, he swapped for the chisel set.
Brazin's claws made soft chinking sounds as she scraped deeper into the stone. She was making great progress, almost six inches deep into the wall, a hole big enough for her.
Ashe could hear the thunder even back here. It seemed to be cheering him on as he worked the opal free from where it was hidden in the wall. How gemstones got made in the rock was beyond him. Chemicals, special pressure... he didn't get it, he just dug them up. He broke it free and looked it over in his hand before carefully taking it over to the crate and setting it inside. He had a soft spot for Opals, possibly because they looked like something only filthy rich people would have. And he wanted to be a filthy rich person.
Brazin, meanwhile, was striking gold. Or rather, sun. The colors of the stone she unearthed were unreal in this setting, and set it far apart from anything else here. A dazzling red and yellow, so pretty. Brazin went to work, nimble fingers prying it free. She rolled it between her clawed hands a few times, getting the crust off, then took it to the crate.
Ashe had made some decent progress in the beginnings of his tunnel. He wanted it to slope a bit downward as well, so he needed to dig up some of the floor and work on a downward slant. He went and retrieved the shovel, setting it in the dirt and stepping on the back of the blade to send it down. He gave it a sharp twist and pulled up a pile of dirt. He turned and dumped it off to the side next to the wall. He repeated the process next to the first hole, breaking up the pounded smooth floor first, trying to get to the softer stuff underneath the crust. This part would be hard going, he could only dig up a tiny bit at a time. He kept at it, hearing Brazin carefully clear her own path as he worked. They were a great team, weren't they? And still, the Imp snoozed on, not helping whatsoever.
The rumble of thunder outside made for a peaceful soundtrack to the steady tink, tink, scrape sounds that both Ashe and Brazin were making. The shuck, thud of shovelfuls of dirt piling up, the steady crackle of bits of rock and dirt falling from the wall to the ground. The gentle roar of rain accented with the rumble, Ashe felt comfortable and relaxed. He kept up the steady work, feeling the muscles in his arms and his back waking up. Slight protesting, but nothing that would tire him out already. The progress was almost easier to see with the shovel, at least on this end. It wasn't going very far inward just yet. Once he was satisfied with what he'd accomplished with the shovel, he picked up the axe again.
Brazin shifted from one foot to the other, getting a slightly different angle this time as she continued. She'd widened it enough to connect most if not all of her claw marks she'd originally made.
Ashe heard a weird sound, before he saw or felt anything. It sounded like a steady trickle, a stream or something. Water. His ears were trained to listen for water during these expeditions. He glanced around, wondering where it was coming from. There was no way he was hearing it from the other side of the wall already, he hadn't made that much progress yet! So where was it... He looked down, and saw a dark line extending from his feet backward. He flipped on his light to get a better look and saw it was water trickling in from outside. That was odd. He headed back toward the entrance and saw the downpour was steady and continuous, and there was a low patch of ground sunken in that was collecting rainwater, and it just happened to be overflowing and forming a trickle down into Ashe's work area. He wasn't sure what to make of it. Brazin didn't seem to notice just yet.
Brazin didn't notice too much going on around her when she was in the field and working, such as she was doing right now. Though her feet were starting to get wet from the trickle of rainwater, she ignored it and forged ahead. Which was good for everyone, because her luck struck again and she found another shiny. It was similar to the opal, more purple however, and shiny just the same. She recognized it as a valuable but she didn't know what exactly it was. Good for her, it wasn't her job to name the gems and match them to how much they were worth, she just had to dig them up for Ashe. The man watched as she unearth it, delicately with her claws, and scurry over to drop it in the crate before returning to work. Damn, if it wasn't for her, Ashe wouldn't be a very good miner, would he? He walked back over to his spot and started to dig at the wall again.
Ashe was making a steady amount of progress now. The rock felt a little softer, a little easier to move, now that he had the crust off. Or maybe he was just in a soft spot. Or maybe he was getting stronger. He wouldn't mind if it was just that last bit, that would be the most preferable option if you asked him. He smirked to himself, flexing his arm a bit to entertain as he continued picking at the wall, breaking stones free and splintering others. Ah yes, imagine him coming home to Vixen and her swooning over his hardened, muscular arms. 'Mmm, what have you been up to, babe?' she's say, and he'd flex and show her the shiny gems he'd acquired, and shrug, 'nothing much, just a little hardcore mining...' And the panties would drop.
Brazin thankfully couldn't see into his head. She was safe on the outside and she liked it that way. Ashe's other pets weren't so lucky.
[You have the absolute most lame and disgusting mind]
This was Dracula's voice, scolding and mocking. Ashe hadn't meant to broadcast his thoughts, but that was what happened sometimes when you wore so many ribbons, he supposed. Sometimes you forgot to put up the mental block. Unless maybe Dracula had been the one probing...
[Get out of my head and you wouldn't have to face that hard truth] Ashe told him with a chuckle to himself. He brought the pick down extra hard, not intending to, but his focus was now inward. Dracula said a few more choice things, but Ashe decided to take the high road right now. He wouldn't reply, he would simply let Dracula have his fun and then leave him alone. Clang! The pickaxe went through a stone and broke it free. And again.
Brazin was lulled into a trance with her work. She could now fit inside her hole, and was workin on each side as well as the ceiling, to make a tunnel.
The puddle at Ashe's feet was getting bigger. His boots now splashed when he moved, and the dirt and rock that he broke free were falling into the puddle with little plip, plop, splash sounds. He grumbled about this, wondering if he was going to have to stop soon. Maybe they should relocate. They'd done so much work here already, Ashe didn't want to give up his spot. He guessed you could say he'd be going down with this ship. Then he got an idea. Picking up the shovel, he scooped up a chunk of dirt he'd dug up and went to the cause of the stream of water. He dropped the dirt around the edge, building up the rim, and pounded it firm. He did this again, and a third time. By then, it seemed like the water had slowed to a stop. He just had what was already there.
Brazin's feet were still wet, and she still didn't seem to notice. She didn't notice Ashe had solved the problem, either.