Lieutenant Piravao sh'Qynallahr - Exploration Earth: Cave Stream

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Jan 26, 2022, 2:13:38 AMJan 26
to USS Gorkon – StarBase 118 Star Trek PBEM RPG
((Cave Stream, Arthur’s Pass, New Zealand, Earth))

Five hundred and ninety four metres, a half hour walk, up a stream, in a cave. The faded information board stood above a shallow ravine. Below her glimmering brightly in the morning sun, a gentle stream wove its way through the ravine, flowing out of the cave which gave this area its name. Piravao’s eyes rose, sweeping left, then right, taking in the large mountains and vast fields on the plateau around her.

She was uncomfortably warm. The sun was up, and it was summer on this part of Earth. Not only that, but she was also dressed very warmly with thermal leggings and a thermal shirt underneath her Gorkon branded workout shorts and shirt. Thick woollen socks and sturdy hiking boots completed the look, and served to make her just a little warmer. However, this was not some strange form of self inflicted Andorian torture, it was a sensible safety prcaution. The river she approached, making her way down the narrow path on the side of the ravine, was formed by the snowmelt on the nearby mountains. This meant it would be very very cold, and while she had a natural resistance to colder temperatures, this did not mean she was immune to the effects of it.

A fact she was made acutely aware of as she stepped into the stream. It was the only way to enter the cave, and Piravao quickly found herself chest deep in the frigid water. According to the information board she had read earlier, this was the deepest part of the stream and was at a  higher flow than usual, which would make the walk a little more challenging. As she forged on, the water level dropped, until it was flowing around her shins. As she turned a corner, natural light from the entrance faded, and from her small backpack Piravao produced a small headlamp. Her antennae curled backwards, out of the way, as she slipped the band around her head. With her own light, Piravao pushed on.

It was fairly easy going. The water was cold, but her constant movement and warm clothes helped keep her temperature comfortable. The limestone beneath her feet was slippery, slick with the water rushing past, ever present and threatening to pull her over if she was careless. The level of the water varied as she continued up the stream, never going much past her knees. It almost seemed as though this walk would be too easy. Of course, as soon as one thought such a thing, fate stepped in to make the thinker humble. Piravao rounded a bend in the cave, and was met with the roar of rushing water.

A waterfall, as tall as she was. The water fell heavily into the wide pool Piravao found herself in. The sides of the cave were worn smooth by the passage of the water, and were slick with spray, she would find no purchase there. At the top of the waterfall, a small rock jutted out, breaking the flow and causing the water to spray out on either side of it. Behind the falling water Piravao could see another rock, worn smooth, but flat enough to serve as a step. With her antennae leaning back to avoid the spray, Piravao placed her foot on the step, and slapped a hand onto the rock above her head. With a heave, she pulled herself up, catching a mouthful of water as her elbow deflected falling water into her face. Despite her inadvertent soaking, Piravao made it up the waterfall and back to the ankle deep water that was most common on this journey.

If Piravao thought her head and torso may dry off, she was wrong. Only a few minutes later she found a second waterfall, taller, narrower and faster than the first. This one however, had a few handholds worn into the rocky walls. Turning sideways, Piravao soaked herself again as the falling water broke across her shoulder. With the heavy water trying to thrust her down into the pool, Piravao heaved herself up, making slow progress. When the time came to move her limbs, the sodden Andorian was forced to wedge her body into the waterfall, taking a large mouthful of cold water as she did so. Quickly she found new handholds and heaved again, pulling herself out of the flow and clambering up onto the smooth rock above the waterfall. Her antennae flicked back and forth, throwing droplets of water against the wall. Antennae full of water was an annoying sensation.

Several minutes later Piravao encountered the third and largest waterfall, above which she could see daylight. Thankfully for the damp Shen, this waterfall did not need climbing. Hammered into the wall beside it were steel rungs, forming a ladder which she climbed to the exit. Splashing out of the cave Piravao grinned, her antennae flicking happily. Not as easy, or as boring as she had thought at one point. The bright sun quickly warmed her, though it would take a long time for it to dry her entirely, she would be back aboard the ship before that happened. She slung the small pack off her back, returning the headlamp to it, and fishing out her commbadge. Beam up to the Gorkon, shower and change, then off to the next stop on her exploration of Earth!

((OOC: I actually visited Cave Stream just after New Years, and Piravao’s journey is very similar to my own, those waterfalls were crazy! But also super awesome.))

Lieutenant Piravao sh’Qynallahr
Security Officer
USS Gorkon
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