Addie and Shan, the Were again clothed, arrived back at the Compound to find neither Kayne nor Race anywhere in sight.
“I’m not certain whether to be worried that something’s happened to them,” Addie commented as she used her senses to search the area for potential enemies. “Or to just figure they’ve found one of the tunnels that led down to lower levels and are exploring.”
Shan nodded, willing himself to remain calm. “I don’t feel any strangers, so I’m betting the latter. If you want to, go see if you can find them. I’ll wait here.”
“No,” Addie said sternly, “you’ll come with me. No more hiding Shan.” She took his hand firmly in hers.
“Don’t growl at me, mister. Come.” She started forward, tugging his hand so that he was forced to follow, albeit reluctantly.
It didn’t take them long to find the same tunnel Kayne and Race had half an hour earlier.
“Kayne’s been at work,” Shan told her. “I can feel his magic. He’s been reinforcing it as they go along.”
“Good. I’m not really much into premature burial if it can be helped.” She moved cautiously into the tunnel’s entrance. “Coming?” she asked, glancing back over her shoulder.
Taking a deep breath, Shan nodded.
The tunnel led steeply downward. In places they could see where it had partially collapsed and Kayne had used his powers to break through the rock fall and repair the damage. Finally the tunnel leveled off and widened enough for them to walk side by side.
“I see light ahead,” Addie said. “Kayne’s doing I imagine, for Race’s benefit.”
The tunnel turned sharply and then they were in a long hallway that both of them recognized instantly.
“I’d be willing to bet they’re in the command center, or what’s left of it.” Addie started down the hall toward the light at the far end.
Shan followed slowly, forcing his mind into purely in military mode now, as he assessed the damage. He was surprised to find that it was minimal, at least from what he could see. The walls of the hall had some vertical cracks ranging from hairline to several inches wide, but the ceiling appeared solid enough. “Good construction,” he muttered to himself. Several doors off the hall hung partially open. Checking the room behind one he found that, again, the damage was minimal. More like something a minor earthquake would have done than that an explosion powerful enough to level the rest of the Compound.