Even after the screams stopped. After the cries and calls faded. After the fall... their voices still echoed in the cavern. In the small crevices, the hidden nooks, the forgotten places. She could hear them as soon as she entered.
One exhale in the stillness, and then a promise. She would find them all. She would tell their stories. She would seek them out of the dark places and bring them all- every one of them- into the light.
"And so it begins," she said to herself. And then, to the great expanse in front: "I'm here. I'm listening."
She exhaled- a single movement of air in the dense interior. And then, with no more than a lean of her body, she took her first step forward.