Falcon wakes the next morning feeling groggy and disoriented. He had dreamed about the wall and hourglass again last night, as he did often, but every time there was a little less sand in the hourglass and the voices were always just a bit more frantic. This time, he swore he'd heard someone scream.

Shaking these thoughts out of his head, he scrambles to his feet and looks around. Most of the earth people are already up, and Life rubs the sleep from her eyes a short way off. Eternal too is just dragging herself out of sleep, looking tired and worn out. Falcon chews his lip worriedly, he knows the birth has taken a lot out of her. Also, there's still the matter of what they do with the babies. He doesn't want to endanger them, but the thought of leaving them behind seems detestable. Eternal finally gets to her feet, the twins in her arms, both still semi-asleep.

"Come on," he says, "We've got a long way to go. I've got to ask Thunder about the path he mentioned, you and Life deal with breakfast - if you need any. I'll be back soon."

With that, he moves off into the crowds of people. Thunder spots him and pulls him aside, pulling out a map and pointing with one earth-stained finger.

"We are about here, and the Titan Islands are there," he says. "There are two available paths, one that goes over land and the other goes underground. The one over land takes longer, but you're less likely to get lost. The underground - we call it the Underpath - shaves a couple off days off your time, but it's a fairly difficult track. We can send a guide with you as far as the edge of the canyon, but once you're past there you'll be on your own."

"We'll take the Underpath." replies Falcon. "We need every spare day we can get."

Thunder nods, "Very well, I'll show you to the path once you are all ready. Good luck on your quest, whatever it may be."

"Thank you," replies Falcon, already beginning to move back to where Eternal and Life stand waiting. Indeed, he thinks, we're going to need all the luck we can get.

The End

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