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nearly a minute, he managed to clear his clogged pipes.

Vance looked up at the wall of algae, silently cursing it for its toxicity, then tore some more for its moisture, hoping to wash any trace of the lichen out of his throat and replace the precious fluids he had just lost. When he felt he could walk without gagging, he moved towards the far tunnel, exiting the cave.

His way was lit for a couple of miles, then the algae began to grow thinner on the walls, the pale blue light dimming with every step. Before the lichen grew too thin, Vance tore some off the walls and squeezed it over his mouth, letting the juice run down his throat. There was no knowing how long it would be before he drank again.

Girding himself against the perpetual darkness, Vance continued onward. Before long, he was faced with his first real choice. The narrow tunnel obviously split in two branches. He could feel in the blackness that one tunnel headed upward a little whilst the other was more or less level. Vance considered that he had already come some dis tance downward, so heading up would offer the best chance of finding an exit.

He followed this tunnel for another mile or more when he came to yet another crossroad. 'Maybe you should go back,' he said to himself aloud. 'The other way might be better. Then again, there's no real way of knowing. Unless, maybe there was a clue back there you didn't see. And stop talking to yourself!' Vance suddenly felt foolish. Talking to oneself was a sure sign of panic, or at least losing your edge.

Going back was not really an option. His training taught him to press onward no matter the odds. Never look back. Make a decision and stick with it, right or wrong. Both tunnels felt fairly even with nothing to distinguish them. He decided to explore left,
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