Dinner was a quiet affair and finishing first Gabriel pulled a folded piece of thin material from his bag and moved away from the fire. He weighed the sheet down with a few stones and sat down looking closely at it. Dawn watched him as he ate, a frown on his face as he watched Gabriel tracing lines on the paper with his fingers and muttering to himself.
“Slow down Dawn” Sylver said “you’ll choke” Dawn realized that he was hurrying to finish his meal.
“Sorry” he mumbled. “What’s he doing?” he whispered, Sylver shrugged and smiled.
“Ask him” he said.
“Sire?” Dawn called putting down his plate, Gabriel didn’t reply and Dawn frowned.
“Call him by his name” Sylver sighed.
“Gabriel?” Dawn said unsurely and the prince looked up.
“What are you doing?”
“Uh, trying to work something out” Gabriel said slowly looking back down. Dawn looked at Sylver who nodded at him. he stood up and walked to Gabriel who, he could now see, had a map laid out on the ground.
“How can you see that properly?” Dawn asked crouching down and trying to see the complex images on the map.
“I have very good night vision” Gabriel said vaguely his hands spread out on the material.
“What are you working out?”
“Our journey” Gabriel said moving his left hand and tracing an invisible line with a thin finger. Dawn watched him silently until Gabriel sat back and sighed.
“Gabriel?” Sylver called Gabriel moved the stones and folded the map again. Dawn moved and sat back down beside the fire. Gabriel followed slipping the map into a waterproof envelope and putting it back in his pack. “What is it?”
“We have three choices” Gabriel said “one is impossible as the river has dried up” Gabriel lit a cigarette “the second is the Brook pass”
“That’s eighteen days from here” Sylver said
“I know but we can shave five days off if we go through the mountains, which is the third option” Gabriel sighed.
“Why do we need to go that far?” Sylver asked Gabriel looked at him as though he was stupid.
“the Rannin’s source is on the other side of the mountains Sylver.”
“I know that” Sylver snapped “but why that far surely the problem is further down river”
“Doubtful” Gabriel said calmly “there is no way of blocking the river without flooding the nearby villages. Not this side of the mountains anyway.” Sylver sighed realizing that his brother was right.
“Okay, so the mountains it is but I'm not too happy about it” Sylver grumbled.
“Nor me” Gabriel said “but we cant wait for anything else to solve it by the time Mother returns half of the population would have died of dehydration that is if a civil war hasn’t started by then” Sylver nodded.
“True” he said “so what's the plan?”
“There is a city due South-East of here” Gabriel said.
“Which city?” Sylver interrupted Gabriel growled slightly.
“The city of I can’t read” Gabriel sighed. “It’s not a city I know”
“Sorry” Sylver said quickly Dawn could tell that this was an old argument from the tones used.
“We can stop there and stock up on food and supplies” Gabriel said "the mountains are two days from there”
“And from here?” Sylver asked.
“Three days” Gabriel said “with realistic resting time”
“Okay” Sylver nodded “are we staying here until morning?”
“Not here” Gabriel said “somewhere further in, I have a nasty feeling that we were followed from the city.” Sylver nodded again as Gabriel began piling stones onto the small fire.