Falcon wakes the next morning feeling like a sack of sheep dung. He groans and rolls over, rubbing his temples and - frankly - wishing he'd never been born.
"Stupid dream." he mutters to himself. He's still freaked out about the encounter with Eternal in the dreamscape, but that all pales to nothing when he sees his hand.
The sound of Falcon's shriek almost has Drake falling out of the tree. Falcon leaps to his feet, gaping in horror and alarm at the palm of his left hand. Drake strides over and peers at it.
"Oh." he says. "Oh my gods."
"What is it?" says Life, scrambling over from the tree opposite. When she sees what they're gaping at, her eyes too widen in alarm.
A mark has appeared on Falcon's palm. It's an enormous black smudge - as dark as a starless night - and smack-bang in the middle of it is a bone-white symbol. Falcon has no idea what it is, or what it's doing on his hand, but something tells him its not good news.
"This isn't good." says Drake, peering closely at the mark. "This is not good at all."
"What the hell is it?" Falcon asks, "And what the hell is it doing on my hand?"
"I think it has something to do with Eternal." replies the dragon. "She was evidently in some form of contact with you last night - you showed her aura when you were thrashing around. My guess is that some of her dark residue has slipped over. Let's just hope it's not carrying any traces of anything else."
"I could takea look," Life suggests, reaching out a hand to touch the mark.
"NO!" Drake roars. Both Life and Falcon jump at the sound of his voice. The dragon regains his composure: "I mean- we can't risk infecting you with it. Whatever it is, let's just hope it doesn't spread. Looks like it's your issue Falcon."
"Great," Falcon mutters. "Just what I needed. And I thought this trip couldn't get any less enjoyable..."