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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

“I understand the Akorans do not tolerate sorcery amongst their people,” Aiden said
uncomfortably. “I find it fascinating that they accepted her into their society.” Sayana
didn't reply immediately. When she did, her voice was s haky.
“They didn't. My shift is at an end, Aiden, and I am tired. I must go and rest, please
take over.” Before he could apologise, Sayana rushed past him and headed for the camp.
Aiden silently cursed himself for touching upon a subject she was clearly very emotional
about. In the morning, he would apologise for poking his nose into business that didn't
concern him, but for now, he figured he'd better leave her to rest up.
Aiden settled into his shift easily, taking the time to wander around the camp
perimeter as he looked for any threats. But as he suggested to Sayana earlier, it was a
quiet night and he saw nothing except the occasional glimpse of a pair of wolf's eyes,
moving through the dark. Having time on his hands to think about such things, Aiden
concluded after some thought that the wolf might have accepted all of them as its new
pack, with Colt as its leader.
When the time came for Aiden to get some rest, he quietly roused Nellise from her
sleep before lying down on his bedroll once more. This time, he had no trouble drifting
off, with the soothing sounds of the wind blowing through the trees.
* * *
A sudden blow on his chin stunned Aiden as he crashed down the hole in the forest
in Cairnwood. Bewildered and smarting from half a dozen scrapes and bruises, Aiden
struggled to clear his head, trying to figure out what had just happened. The daylight had
disappeared, except for a small shaft that came from above to pierce the darkness around
him.
"Aiden! Aiden are you okay?" Pacian called from above. Slowly, Aiden shakily got
to his feet, pleased to find that he hadn't broken any bones in his fall.
"Yeah I think so," he called back to his friend, whose face he could see hovering
over the hole above. Tentatively, he touched the walls with his hands but was met with
nothing but loose dirt and rocks for hand holds on the wall. "I don't think I can climb
back out Pace. Go and get help!"
"Are you sure?” Pacian answered hesitantly.
"Yes! Go get help!"
Again his friend hesitated. "How about I go and get some rope?"
"Okay, go and get some rope then, but hurry!" Aiden called, resigned to spending a
considerable amount of time down in the hole. Aside from the light streaming in from
above, there was only blackness before him. Now that he was thinking a little more
clearly, he could feel his back was leaning up against one side of the hole, but suspected
that the opposite side was empty.
In the deepening gloom before him, he thought he saw something blue shining in the
dark. Curiosity getting the better of him, he crept forward to try to see the faint light more
clearly.
Avoiding the worst of the sharp rocks, Aiden reached the source of the dim blue
light. Slowly, he moved his right hand close to the light, and felt around to try and figure
out what the object was. It was round, cold and hard, which did very little to enlighten
him. But the instant both hands closed upon it, his world changed.
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