They heard it at the same time, that distinctive low rumble of instability that was about to worsen. It was River who turned to most of their crew, students and local workers, shouting evacuation warnings in a few different languages.
The chamber started to crumble along the south-east wall. Arthur Candy, inspecting some of the recent finds arrayed there, yelped and took off at a brisk trot, a dark blue bowl clutched in his hands. Benny went along with him, glancing back once and seeing that River was still far behind, trying to convince a frightened Chimeron student to come along.
“Come on!” Benny yelled, turning back. She started to head toward the stragglers, but paused and then jogged backward a few steps when she realised that they were heading straight for her.
River shoved the student on, saw that Candy was guiding them up along the passage, and clapped a hand on Benny’s shoulder.
“Let’s get the hell…”
Her words were drowned out by the sound of falling rubble, and Benny spun around in time to see the passage seemingly collapse in on itself.
“Brilliant,” River growled.
“Just bloody brilliant.”
“Bernice? Professor Song?”
A muffled voice was calling to them through the debris. Benny moved closer to the pile of stone.
“Arthur? Did everyone get out all right?”
“Oh, yes. I believe so. Hemar says he saw a trip switch of some kind near the entrance. It looks like this was part of a security mechanism.”
“Damn, can’t believe we missed that,” River said.
“Are both of you all right?” Candy called.
Benny looked to River, who merely shrugged.
“I think so! Look, how far apart do you think we are? How bad’s the fill-in?”
“I don’t think it’s terribly great, but it will take a while to bring some of the heavy equipment back in to move it. Will you be safe?”
“Seems like there’s nothing else to trip. We’ve got light and rations. Just - hurry, Arthur!”
Resigned, Benny stepped over to where River stood and leant against the wall.
“Looks like we’ll be trapped for a while…”
“I’ve been in worse places.”
“Oh, please, dear, that’s a prison, not a burial chamber. No. But, still, I’ve been in worse places. And with worse company.”
River was smirking, and Benny couldn’t help smiling back for a moment as they both crouched down.
“So, now it’s just a matter of how to pass the time.”
“Are you suggesting we play truth or dare, Professor Summerfield?”
“I - never said…”
“Well, go on then. Truth or dare?”
Benny sighed. When River got an idea into her head, there was usually not getting it out.
“Truth, I suppose.”
River chuckled softly and leant closer to Benny, reaching out to extinguish the small lamp that sat nearby.
“Truthfully now, Benny dear, how glad are you that we’ve finally got a little alone time?”