Srikit is ignoring him, but that’s alright because Dimmel has found himself a project. The safety information wasn’t very helpful (it does tell him that the elevator is far past due for its safety inspection), but some careful pacing lets his eyes pick out the seams of the emergency escape hatch on the ceiling. Such things are typically mechanical rather that electronic to be able to function in case of power failure, so there’s no point trying to hack into anything with his omni-tool.
“Yes, I have to,” he says mildly. “I don’t feel like waiting around on the Keepers’ whim. You can stay here if you want.” He presses his back to the wall, plants his foot on the railing behind him, and pushes himself up. Gravity takes over and he immediately begins to fall forward, but he catches the handle of the hatch and hangs from it, twisting the release level with his other hand. The whole door falls off, and he lands neatly on the floor, holding it.
The door is thick enough to be useful as a stool, he notes, and he positions it on the ground beneath the escape. He looks at Srikit speculatively.
“You probably can’t do a pull-up, can you.” Sighing, he braces himself against the wall and threads his fingers together in a makeshift step.
Srikit’s head snaps up at the sudden noises Dimmel is making.
“Hey, the fuck are you—” Srikit instinctively scrambles to the side to get farther away from the other man who is apparently trying to thrash the entire elevator. It isn’t until Dimmel lands on the floor holding the detached door of the emergency hatch that Srikit realizes what the purpose of his acrobatics was.
“Are you kidding me.” Srikit blurts in disbelief when Dimmel offers to help him through the hatch in the ceiling. Despite his suspicions, he finds himself getting back onto his feet. At this point any plan that isn’t “wait and hope you don’t starve while waiting” sounds like a plan worth trying. That doesn’t mean that escaping into an elevator shaft sounds like a good plan, though. Srikit looks Dimmel in the eyes and scowls.
“If things go to hell, you’re taking the blame.” He places his foot on the other man’s palms and experimentally shifts some of his weight onto them, trying to acquire a good balance.
Dimmel shrugs noncommittally. “We’ll just have to avoid going to hell, then.” Srikit is clearly new to
human salarian ladders; his weight shifts wildly with Dimmel’s every movement instead of pushing back, resulting in an awkward few minutes where Srikit’s foot just pushes Dimmel’s hands around in a circle.
“Alright, no, how about you just—keep your balance here and—” Dimmel brings Srikit’s hand to his shoulder and steadies himself, crouching and pushing Srikit up with his linked palms. He’s stronger than the average salarian, but the weight still makes him huff and there’s a hairy moment where he has to scramble to center himself before Srikit crushes him. As soon as the other man is high enough to cling to the edge with his arms, Dimmel shifts under him, avoiding flailing legs, and pushes his feet up the rest of the way.
Dimmel repeats his earlier trick, pulling himself up easily. “See? Simple.” He’s still wheezing a little, though. Salarians weren’t meant to be on the bottom of the gymnastics pyramid.
He takes stock. The emergency lights are still on up the whole shaft, climbing next to the ladder. They’d been between floors, near the bottom of the Presidium. On the wall, FLOOR 42 is written several meters above them, and next to it, there’s a maintenance shaft that looks large enough to crawl through. It should be accessible from the ladder.
“No matter where you are, Jeffries Tubes are a miracle of the universe,” he mutters wryly, pointing to the duct.
As he flops onto the roof of the elevator, Srikit decides he’s never escaping from an elevator again. His fingers hurt from having to grip so hard at the edge of the hatch. While he’s rubbing them, Dimmel emerges from the hatch along with a smartass remark which Srikit cannot be assed to reply to. Dimmel’s next comment, spawned by the nearby maintenance shaft, distracts Srikit from his own aching hands.
“…Star Trek?” He says.
Srikit’s focus shifts onto the duct, and he ponders again if this whole escape attempt is worth the trouble. Having to climb out of an elevator was enough physical activity for one day on its own. He knows the ducts are their only option if they wish to escape, but he doesn’t let that fact stop him from complaining about it.
“We don’t even know where that duct goes. Could be a keeper nest or an airlock or who the fuck knows.” Worst of all, it could be a dead end, and then they’d have to crawl all the way back and resume waiting, except this time they’d be sweaty and even more hungry and probably bruised and sore from their duct activities.