The group plod on for the rest of the day. Through small copses of trees and on through the wide plains, the landscape seems too monotonous to be real. Then again, it isn't, Falcon reminds himself. The small mirages plague his every step, and his hand has started throbbing. Occasionally he looks at the mark, the strange bone-white symbol, like a backwards E with the bottom line dragged back over the top. It's cold to touch, ice cold, and yet it throbs with heat. Falcon tries to ignore it, but it keeps niggling at him all the way.
However, after several hours of walking, they come to a crossroads. Through the middle of the plain they are walking on runs a long, straight road. It's cobbled and there are wheel ruts on the far sides. At first they believe it is just another mirage, but when Drake puts his foot on it and feels solid stone they realise it is actually there.
"Okay," says Drake. "This is odd."
"Weird," says Kaitlin, "I've never seen this road here before - where did it come from?"
"No idea, but the question is do we follow it or not?" Falcon looks around at the group. "I personally think we ought to ignore it, we don't know where it leads or who put it there - gods know what sort of trouble we could end up in by following it."
"True, and it's going the wrong way anyway. We want to keep straight ahead, this thing takes us parallel to the cave. Let's just ignore it and carry on." says Drake, leading the group across the road.
The others follow him, but just as the last of them steps off the path they hear a rattling coming up the road. They turn to see a vague shape trundling over the cobbles. Falcon narrows his eyes and peers at it, but it's too vague and distant to see what it is. But whatever it is, it's moving fast.
"I think we're soon going to have company," he says.