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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

“Still weak,” she whispered, shivering.
“If we run into another fight, just get out of the way and let us take care of it. Your
wound is better?”
“It's still very tender, so I won't take the bandages off yet. But my innards are staying
on the inside at least.”
“Always a good thing,” Aiden drawled.
“Hey, I've found a way down,” came Clavis' cry from the darkness ahead. “There's
holes in the floor all over the place fer some reason, so mind yer steps.”
“What sort of holes?” Aiden called back, looking down at the water with trepidation,
hoping that they didn't blunder into any by accident.
“I dunno, it's kinda hard to make out any detail on 'em, but they ain't natural, which
means some borers might have dug through some time ago,” Clavis guessed. “I dunno if
they can swim or not, never thought about it before. But I don't know what else could a
done it.”
“Well for our sake, I hope they're as dead as the one we saw on the way through.
Any sign of a breach in the walls?” Aiden asked, hoping against hope that a way out had
been found, though part of him knew it couldn't be that easy.
“Nay, though I only been searchin' for a few minutes,” Clavis answered with a shake
of his head. “The problem is trying to hold me breath long enough to get a good look-see.
Anyway be careful where ya step, I'm headin' back under again.” There was the sound of
splashing water, and then silence as he continued his search.
Aiden wasn't really paying attention, as he was watching Pacian climbing the pile of
rubble that Clavis had mentioned earlier. It rose up out of the shattered buildings and
flood waters around them, and seemed to consist mostly of carved stone sections from
housing.
The light from Pacian's makeshift torch lit the ceiling and there appeared to be a
sizeable hole above him. That could only mean that the rubble Pacian was climbing had
come from... the floor above them.
“Pace, watch out, that hole above you leads right up through to where those crazy
dwarves are living.” Everyone halted immediately at this statement, looking up at the
hole in trepidation.
“I'm just going to take a quick look,” Pacian assured them, clambering over the
rubble with ease towards the gap in the wall.
“No, wait,” Aiden hissed as loudly as he dared, hoping that they hadn't already
alerted their enemies to their presence. Pacian ignored the warning, sitting directly
beneath the hole and looking through it cautiously. It was much bigger than he was,
probably close to ten feet across and had smooth sides, much like the borer holes they
had seen on the higher levels.
Looking around at the base, Aiden couldn't see any signs that it was used as a
passage between the levels on a regular basis. Despite his reservations, he started to climb
up the pile of rubble to join his blond friend, for although part of him was wary of
bringing their enemies down upon them again, another part wanted to know if they'd just
found their way out of this dreadful place.
“What's goin' on up there?” Clavis said, surfacing not far from the base of the rock
pile.
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