ourtney sailed gently through the hazy golden light while a cool wind breezed around her. Maybe this trip would be different, she told herself. Maybe this time they'd go to a nice place that wouldn't be scary and the puzzle piece would be easy to find.

An echo of laughter whispered about her and the voice from the void spoke so softly she could barely hear the words -- the clue.

Though it runs all day, it never tires. When it falls, it feels no pain.

She repeated the words again and again in her mind. They didn't make much sense, but she knew that, together she, Collin and Morgan could figure it out.

Suddenly, a blast of wind hit her and she was spit out of the hazy tunnel into a swirl of golds, purples, red silks and velvets. She must have landed in a fabric shop. Maybe one in Kinetic -- she hoped. She grabbed hold of the golden cloth to pull herself up, but her hand was slapped away.

"Guard! Guard!" she heard someone call out.

Looking up she saw a sea of faces -- frowning men, wide-eyed women -- and she had the dreadful feeling that landing in the middle of civilization wasn't as good as landing in a prehistoric jungle or the depths of the ocean.

Collin came toward her, crawling between the legs of a man dressed in saggy purple tights. Morgan peeked out from under a crimson satin skirt. Men and women backed away quickly. Collin grabbed Morgan's arms and pulled her close to him before she was trampled in the commotion, and Courtney threw her arms around her brother.

"I think we're in big trouble," Courtney whispered as something shiny and pointed and sharp touched the tip of her chin. Other swords swished in front of their faces.

 
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