“Neither of them seemed to want to answer Kevin’s question. Harris seemed to look to the Commander and shrug”. He’s helped us this far even after all the trouble we mixed him in I think we owe him a few answer’s after all“.
“You’re choice magician”. Replied the patrol commander, with that he set off to his command,
Kevin hastily set about drawing a sand map of the area.
“Here is where we are, and up the beach is a broken pipe if we follow it for about half a kilometre we will come to the old pump house near the river here”. Harris called the commander back showing him the map to the river.
Destroying the map with a sweep of his foot the commander called his small force and gave them directions. “Kevin lead the way if you will “. Setting off at a good pace they reached the pipe in 20 minute’s, Kevin led the way in “a little light would help I don’t want to run into a rat or something down here”, Said Kevin.
Harris concentrated for a moment and then two metres in the air above them a globe of light sprang from nowhere “Lead on now Kevin “said Harris with a pained look on his face. As Kevin moved out the globe moved ahead of him pace for pace.
The tunnel seemed to go on forever, but soon a strange noise was heard. “Of course we must be under the road now that is the noise of cars travelling on the road above”. Said Kevin “We are about one third of the way to the pump house”.
Kevin stopped to regain his breath the patrol commander asked, “What’s wrong Kevin is the way blocked, we have reports from the rearguard of noises far down the tunnel behind us. I believe the Asov may have discovered our escape route”. Kevin looked up and the commander could see that Kevin was all but spent, moving at the brisk pace and climbing over the refuse in the tunnel was taking its toll on not just Kevin but also the mage Harris.
The commander ordered a halt and sent two trailbreakers into the darkness ahead, all were glad of the respite; Harris seemed to be sitting in a trance, the commander moved over to Kevin and nodded at Harris. “It seems to take a lot of mental energy to keep the globe of light working, my name is Soste, I am a sub commander in the clan Isoway led by my lord Gil we are pathfinders”. Kevin stared at Soste, “Thank you I was beginning to wonder if you had a name at all.
I can’t believe all this I am shrunk to a fraction of my size, by a mage that is not sure how he did it.
And running for my life through an abandoned sewage tunnel, chased by god alone knows what called Asov. It is like something you read in a fiction novel”.
Soste just smiled and walked off a distance into the gloom of the tunnel.
After a few minutes the trail breaking Ami Returned to report a major cave in just ahead of them but passable if they worked at it.
Commander Soste detailed a group to go ahead and clear the path enough to force a way through.
Harris roused himself beside Kevin and began to make his way toward the obstruction in the tunnel, as he moved forward the globe moved a pace ahead and soon lit an area where frantic Ami were working flat out to open the cave in that blocked the passage.
“Thank you mage”. Came the retort from one of the Ami engaged in the work. “Your light makes the work easier to handle and see what we do”.
Commander Soste came to the head of the party to ascertain how the work progressed.
“Any sign of anyone following yet”. Asked Harris “no, but I am sure that wont last forever their pathfinders are every bit as good as they and ours will eventually find our trail. Then the hunt will truly be on”.
On hearing the commander’s words the Ami appeared to double the speed of the work and soon a hole appeared.
The Ami slipped through the hole one by one only Harris and Kevin complaining the tightness of the hole, but the commander explained the easier to refill and slow down the Asov following if even only for a moment.
The band moved on up the pipe, Kevin was sure they were more than half way to the end of the pipe, what he hadn’t mentioned to the other’s was the fact that it may be just a little difficult to leave the pipe at the far end. Which was going to be soon now but deal with that problem when we reach it was the thought.
As Kevin moved up the tunnel he thought he heard shouting and fighting behind him he was just about to mention it to commander Soste when he heard the command “Run the Asov are right behind us”. Who called Kevin couldn’t say but he didn’t need much encouragement to pick up his pace, tired or not he did want to meet whoever or whatever was coming up the tunnel behind them.
Several more times they had to scramble over mounds of earth that nearly but not quite reached the roof. Finally Kevin emerged into daylight, waning as it was in the lateness of the day, for Kevin was sure they had been on the move for several hours now. As he scrambled up the earth dyke and looked up towards the sky he was surprised to see how little the sun had moved in the sky.
All about him Ami were busy collecting forest floor debris. “Why are they doing this”? He asked Soste. “So that when the last of the rearguard come through we can block the tunnel as much as we can and delay them”.
Kevin thought for a moment then told Soste “Delay blocking the tunnel till absolutely necessary I should return soon”. With that Kevin took off towards the old pump house.
Kevin could see the pump house quite clearly, as it was now a massive structure compared to the size he was now. A group of four Ami quickly caught him up and Kevin understood Soste must have sent them to aid him. Surmising he had some sort of plan too more permanently block the tunnel mouth.
As they neared the old house Kevin moved towards the right hand side and there was the exhaust pipe from the house as he remembered it with the old and now very rusty looking pipe valve still in place.
All five clambered onto the pipe with some effort as it was some way off the ground, then each secured a position and Kevin showed them which way to start pulling on the valve.
Very slowly the valve started to turn. With the combined might of the group pulling on it, Kevin was just about to give a sigh of relief when it seized solid. No amount of pushing or pulling was going to free it from the grip the old rust had on it.
Just then as odds would have it all hell broke loose at the exit from the tunnel. Kevin glimpsed someone or thing trying to make it out of the tunnel mouth. Ami were all around firing arrows and spears into the exit to keep whatever it was at bay, Harris reached Kevin and said “How can I aid Kevin, is there anything I can do”.
Kevin was straining as hard as he could with the other Ami’s; he shouted back “yes a bloody big spanner would be handy about now to use as leverage on this stubborn valve”.
Suddenly Kevin felt a skin tickling sensation all around him and felt the valve moving now slowly at first but with greater momentum as they kept the pressure on the valve. An Ami fell off the pipe as he overreached himself but still the valve turned. Then he heard it the unmistakeable sound of water rushing out through the valve into the release pipe. With a final twist the valve broke free tossing all to the ground below and the valve spun full open. “Warn the others to step back from the mouth of the tunnel called Kevin”.
Soste called his Ami troops back into a larger but still full circle around the mouth of the pipe.

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