The water in the tunnels was now at waist height, and flowing with a strong current against Valerie and Thag. It was also flowing against a doughy tosser named Brett Blandison, but Valerie was finding it difficult to care about that.
“Which way are we going?” Valerie said.
“I can assure you that the direction we are going is appropriate…” Brett began.
“Shut up!” Valerie said. “Hey, is it just me or has this guy become less funny, somehow?”
Thag shrugged. “He was always kind of one-note if you ask me. But technically, he is our Prime Minister. I guess we can’t let him be murdered by ninjas, however cathartic that might be.”
“Yes, but how do we stop the ninjas murdering him?”
“Well, I hope I’m not being too much of a cro-magnon stereotype,” Thag said, brushing his thick hair from his heavy brow, “but I’d probably go with ‘hit them with a club.'”
“Classic,” Valerie said.
“The exit is this way,” Blandison said.
“I can’t look,” Thag said. “Is he pointing at a blank wall?”
Valerie peered into the darkness. “No, it’s an actual tunnel,” she said. “It’s labelled ‘Authorised Personnel Only.'”
“The promise of this sign is to keep the promise of signs to all Australians,” Blandison burbled.
“Choke and die,” Thag muttered. “Look, authorised personnel isn’t an issue. I’m the guy who authorises people, remember? But we don’t know where it leads.”
“It leads to a miracle!” the PM said.
“Something mildly interesting, got it,” Valerie said.
“No,” Thag said. “Let’s be honest, it’s probably not a miracle. But the tunnel leads basically downwards to the area under the Pyramid, where they found some weird stuff during the building. I’m a little hazy on the details… a stream of water that flowed independently of the pipe system, I think.”
“See?” the PM said. “A miracle. How good are miracles?”
“Depends on the miracle,” Valerie said. “But Thag, this is what we were talking about! Finding out what the whole deal is with the Pyramid that used to be where Trilobite Park is now.”
“How good are Pyra—”
“Shuddup!” Thag and Valerie said together.
“I suppose you’re right,” Thag said. “You, I mean, Valerie. You’re right. Brett, you’re… I don’t know what you are. I’m not sure you even qualify as ‘wrong.'”
“So it’s agreed,” Blandison smirked. “We’re heading back the way we came.”
“Were you even listening?”
“Come on!” Valerie said. She checked the battery on her phone and compared it to the current time to get an idea of how long the flashlight would last. “One phone out at a time, and that should help us conserve power.”
The three of them entered the tunnel, heading down into the Earth beneath South Hertling.