With that comfort, he leapt off the ledge into the unknown.

Once upon a time, the sound of their pursuit would have left him consumed by terror. His left leg, already injured, twisted as a rock flew out beneath him.

He kept running.

The hastily tended gash on his side pulled as he rounded the corner and came out from the tunnel into a wide expanse.

The terror had never really gone away, it had just faded into the background as he cobbled together an escape. His hope lay in principles he barely understood and defenses based mostly on intuition and luck.

As he pulled the strap tight and placed the helmet on he checked the seal one last time. He could still breathe. He stared out into the abyss.

The terror had never gone away, but it had been replaced by the certainty that if he stayed, he was doomed. With that comfort, he leapt off the ledge into the unknown.

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