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Colby turns to find Nadia eyeing the clear liquid flowing down the tunnel walls. “Don’t even think about it,” he says. His words are direct, but his face is friendly, a small smirk making him seem slightly mischievous, but also innocent in some way. He lifts his torch and illuminates the tunnel ceiling. “Every glob of shit, trickle of piss and any chemical you can think of comes down those walls.”

Nadia licks her parched lips and tries to hide her disappointment. They’re walking through a sewer — just great, just what she needs. It doesn’t smell funny, but then again it doesn’t smell like anything. Maybe she’s gotten use to it, maybe she smells like a sewer. She focuses her gaze on Colby’s chin “You mind sharing a bit of your drink?” She hates asking people for things she needs. She’s always seen herself as independent, well as independent as any fourteen-year-old can be.

Colby chuckles and his pale cheeks bloom red. “I warned you not to go through your own. But you didn’t listen,” he says triumphantly. He’s an expert on the tunnels but his specialty is being right. He slips his torch into a wall mounted holder. “You know, I don’t get you,” — he removes his bow and quiver and leans both against the wall — “You go all this way thinking you’re going to find your sister? That some big shot hunter is willing to help you out? But you don’t know enough not to drink all your water rations up?” He shrugs off his burlap sack, a friendly smirk still on his face. He enjoys teasing her.

Nadia’s own face burns with embarrassment. She lowers her gaze and stares at the wet ground. Her arms, legs and back ache but she doesn’t dare lean against the wall for fear she’ll be teased for being a weak level 5 girl and then have to endure another story about Colby’s conquests in the tunnels. Endure is an overstatement. Nadia is in fact fascinated by Colby’s stories of adventure, but she hates being cast as the weak link in his current quest.

Colby shoves his hands into the burlap sack and shifts its contents to one side. “Well, lucky for you that I know a lot about you big shot level 5 girls, so I packed a little extra. Figure I got to think for the both of us.” He pulls out a flask slightly larger than his hand and gives it to her. “Don’t drink it all in one shot.”

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