There was a ringing clatter; the noise caused One and Elan to dip back into the world (or plane, or mode) of the Hollow Earth.
The world was dimming, becoming less concrete in the way that a lucid dream does in the moments before waking. Elan paused, realizing that she could see the contents of her small containment on the ground, nearly underfoot.
“Was I so small?” she wondered aloud, picking through the fragments with her fingers.
“It was only a piece of you, and a piece that felt powerless. Perhaps that is why your self-representation was small,” offered One.
She found the labeled pieces of the canister; the word “E-L-A-N” was broken immediately after the “E.” She pursued her lips and, without knowing why, swapped the order of the two pieces.
“Lane,” read the myrmidon.
“It’s missing something,” said his companion, “But it’s a start. A fitter name for one who’s of a mind to start a journey.”
In the center of the cavern, the enormous, alien, fleshy mass had disappeared, and the canyon was sealed closed somehow. Around them, the walls were disappearing, thinning out into blank and empty space.
Avernus was gone as well. The remnants of his mechanized frame were clustered on the ground, stitching themselves together into a new shape - the shape of some kind of informational console.
Sitting on the ground nearby was a carbon-steel combat knife. Elan -- Lane -- picked it up after a moment’s consideration. It pulsed warmly to the touch, but if it contained many dark secrets, it revealed none of them to her on first glance. She ripped a length of fabric off of one of her sleeves, wrapped the blade, and tucked the dark weapon into her waistband.
“Where would you like to go, One? My hero,” she amended, beaming at the creature who now was standing near the console, brushing his fingertips along its forming surfaces. With each movement of his digits, new glimmers appeared and began to hover in the air around him. Some looked like remnants of the dancing bones from a certain angle, or cousins to the distant stars. The longer one looked, the stranger and more beautiful they became.