They trudge onwards for the rest of the day, following the canyon base when they finally reach it. It's a big rise to the top, so high Falcon even feels nervous looking at it, and made of smooth rock - presumably volcanic, even though Falcon doesn't know of any volcanoes in the area. They walk in a companionable silence, aside from Chocolate's occasional high yip as he lunges for Falcon's ankles when he thinks he's not looking.

As they walk, Falcon's mind drifts back to his friends. What have the Blazes done to them? Are they injured? Do they know what has become of him and Eternal? Do they know what will happen to them if they aren't back in time? Falcon shakes these thoughts out of his head, he has to concentrate. Worrying isn't going to help anyone, his friends least of all. Just find the Stone, he tells himself, just find it and the rest will sort itself out. Then it dawns on him he barely knows what this Stone is, he's only heard of its existance from Eternal. Like the Mer's Orb, he suspects it must be something seriously powerful. Particularly if Blaze are so hell-bent on getting hold of it.

Falcon trots up beside Eternal, who is still holding her stomach gingerly, as if it's still sore. Whatever's wrong with her, she's keeping pretty quiet about it.

"Hey Eternal," he says, "tell me about this Stone thing. What exactly is it? Where do we have to go to find it? And what sort of "creatures" do you mean we're going to be encountering?"

The End

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