doing a sterling job of providing the low level kind of light they needed to light the way
but was also dark enough keep everyone calm.
Phil was somewhere in the middle of the pack when one of the moles from the group
ahead came to check in. Everything was running smoothly bar a few minor mishaps
where one or two of the smaller animals had perished either from heat exhaustion or
something else, but the pack had taken care of the remains and used the source of food
wisely. Phil told him to head back and that the next check in would be from a mole from
Phil’s group. He looked down at the mole by his feet and asked if he would be willing to
be the one to check in. Before he could even finish his sentence he shouted at the other
mole that was already on his way back that he better have water ready as he would be
coming in fast and furious. They loved their roles. It made Phil laugh and a few of the
larger animals also expressed their amusement. It was nice to have something to smile
about in the face of their current dilemma.
They were about nine hours into the journey when they received word that the first
group had reached the cavern and were settling in for a rest. They must have been
travelling at one hell of a pace because within the hour the second group also got there.
The mole that went to check-in stated that the second group had gained about half an
hour on them as they were smaller and faster. This must have been true for the first
group as well. Phil felt they were about half and hour out from the cavern when he felt
the ping from John. Something had gone wrong. He
stopped and leant against the wall.
The animals around him began to feel a little anxious at the behaviour so he
immediately issued orders for them to continue on, he needed a moment to consult.
They followed his orders and left him behind. A few of the helpful fireflies remained
behind to light his way.
With his back to the wall he closed his eyes and focused within, he needed to know
what was going on. He began to feel very worried. Within minutes he found John’s

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