A loud crack and an avalanche of dust filled the air. Lennie shoved Nickie out of the way as stones tumbled from the ceiling. “Run!” They bolted deeper into the tunnel, ducking as stones from the ceiling crashed around them.
Nickie fell with a cry of pain and Lennie covered the younger woman with her body. Lennie shuddered with each loud crash. Shit! I hope the others are all right. “Nickie, you all right?”
“N-no.” There was a catch in her voice. “My left arm hurts. A rock hit it, that’s why I fell.”
“Keep still.” Lennie winced when a large rock bounced by her. “Once things settle down, I’ll take a look at the arm. I have a first aid kit in my pack.”
Nickie coughed. “Okay.”
In her haste to protect Nickie, she dropped the flashlight; they waited in the darkness for the stones to stop falling. The cave-in around them subsided while, in the distance, the sound of falling stones, and debris continued.
Coughing in the dust-laden air, Lennie sat up. “Son of a bitch!” She removed the pack from her back. “Don’t move, I need to get my other flashlight out and find out how bad things are.”
“Ok. Lennie, will they be able to find us?”
“They’ll find us. They have our last known GPS position.” Pawing through her pack, she found her spare flashlight.
The dust glistened in the beam of light. A silvery glint caught Lennie’s eye; a twelve-sided seal about a foot across stood out on the wall across from them. The runes on the seal matched the ones on the metal fragments they had found. Her hand trembled with excitement causing the beam of light to bounce.
The discovery mesmerized her, but remembering Nickie, she tore her gaze from the wall and dug out the first aid kit. “Let’s get your arm splinted and into a sling. After that, I’ll try to contact Shannon and the others.” She helped Nickie sit up and leaned her against the wall.
A few tears trickled down her cheeks. “I’m sorry I got hurt.”
Lennie put an arm around the young woman. “It wasn’t your fault, Nickie. A few of these tunnels are unstable, but this one was marked solid.” She gave her a quick reassuring squeeze and tended the injured arm.