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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Mark Loren - Tension

I sat on a large slab of stone.  The claustrophobic tunnel was made more so by the debris of fallen tunnel and DRC equipment scattered around.  A pulsing blue light emanated from the symbol on the wall.  There was a lot not being said.  The silence was deafening.

"Well, you'd think we would be used to this by now," I said hoping to get a response from somebody.

"In a sense, isn't this why we came down here?" Flora mused.  The pulsing light of the symbol reflected in her eyes.  "It reminds me of that night in Eder Gira.”

I replayed that night in my mind.  The thundering of the waterfall, the gentle glow of the lanterns, Torri's scream as Artus knocked over a pile of wicker baskets.  A joke in poor taste that lead to a discover very much like this one.

I looked to Artus.  He sat on the outer curve of what had once been the ceiling, now strewn across the tunnel floor.  His face was hidden by a shadow cast by the hood of his lantern.  He was there in the Maintainer's Nexus too; the same night the Watcher's Pub was flooded with explorers clamoring to see what would become known as the Hopi Spiral.

"Well, this certainly isn't the Hopi Spiral," said Hannah; very matter-of-factly.  Mind reader.  She was sketching in a notebook she had pulled from her pack.  "I'm not too sure what's going on with this design.  There's something about it that doesn't seem quite right.  Regardless, the Cavern Crier is going to have a field day with this."

"You sure that's a good idea?"  It was Artus who had spoken.  He sounded almost hollow; like something had broken inside him.  "What are the chances someone else will find this?"

"An informed explorer is a safe explorer," Hannah replied.

"We don't even know what this is, how can anyone be informed about it?" Artus retorted.  His posture in the shadow had changed pulling him up further into the shadow of his hooded lantern.  "Something isn't right here.  We need to stay far away from this."

"And what of the others who stumble into this?" Hannah was getting frustrated.  "Knowledge is built on previous understanding.  If we keep this a secret, everybody will be stuck at square one.". Artus said something under his breath.  "What was that?"

Artus lowered his gaze into the light and met Hannah.  "I said, there is another way."