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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

the doorway, and saw a dusty room that seemed to serve equally as both living space and
laboratory.
There were shelves on the wall to Aiden's right, and further along a large bookshelf
was filled with crumbling tomes. He carefully examined the contents of both as he slowly
limped past, seeing only normal household objects or jars of long-expired foods. A huge
wooden desk was positioned next to the bookshelf, covered in an assortment of curiously
shaped items covered in a thick layer of dust.
Aiden inhaled sharply as he spotted the desiccated corpse of a robed man slumped
over the desk. He had clearly been dead for decades, but whether or not his passing
occurred before or after the terrible events that befell the city was unk nown.
Across the room, Pacian was rifling through a large chest he'd discovered at the foot
of a once plush bed. Rotten old leather shoes and other articles of clothing flew across the
room until he came across a pouch near the bottom of the chest.
“Finally, some worthwhile loot,” he breathed, hearing the sounds of coins jingling
within. He seemed to be pleased with his find as he emptied the contents into his palm for
inspection, so Aiden went back to scouring this place for anything of relevance. Gingerly
pushing the poor dead chap back in his chair, Aiden looked at the desk closely, taking a
deep breath and blowing away clouds of dust to reveal what lay beneath.
“Aiden? Where are you?” came Nellise' voice from down below, a little louder than
he would have liked.
“If you're done over there, you should probably go tell them what we've found,”
Aiden told Pacian.
“Yeah, I'm good,” Pacian answered, pocketing the coin pouch. “The sooner we get
out of here the better, you know?”
“Well, that'll give you something to do while I finish up here,” Aiden responded
absently.
There were a number of strange objects and papers on the desk, apparently having
been under examination around the time this poor fellow was still alive. In the
background, he could hear Pacian quietly informing the others of their find, just as an odd
sound could be heard echoing off the stonework.
It was a deep sound, little more than a vibration really, and was powerful enough to
cause a few of the glass objects in the room to shake. Somewhat alarmed, Aiden tilted his
head to try and discern where it had come from. He was fairly certain it was echoing up
from below, so at least it wasn't something he'd unleashed by opening up this room.
“Aiden! Something's not right. We want to get moving, hurry up,” came Pacian's call
from just outside the door, all pretence at stealth thrown to the wind.
“Just another minute and I'll be done here,” he called back, unable to pull himself
away from the wealth of information he could sense laid out before him. If ever there was
an answer to the questions he had, it would be found right here and he wasn't leaving
without it.
He quickly took off his backpack and pulled out a waterproof oil-sack, and started
carefully placing object after object from the table into it for later examination. His
concentration was broken a moment later as a woman's scream could be heard from down
below, only to be cut off by a deafening roar from some unimaginable creature.
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