Around about the seventh hour, the rain came down and the wind grew wilder. If an onlooker had had good enough eyesight to see that far up into the sky they would have seen a balloon bobbing about erratically against the rapidly darkening sky. If they had been able to see still higher they might have caught sight of a terrified figure crouched in the bottom of the basket.
Ymara cursed as the storm intensified and the ominous rumbles of thunder began. She shrieked in terror as the wind grew yet wilder,the lightening began to follow the thunder and the balloon began to tip over on its side. At that moment the balloon began to tip over the other way and Ymara pulled at the ropes in a frantic attempt to prevent it tipping over again. A moment later she was rewarded by the balloon steadying itself as the wind began to die down. Wiping the sweat from her brow she sighed with relief. “I must have drifted into the eye of the storm; I'll be fine for a while, well at least until I pass out the other side of it”. For the first time since she had launched her balloon almost twelve hours previously she began to relax.
The day had dawned bright and clear and Ymara had hurried to the barn where she had hidden the balloon. “It's after the sixth hour I better get moving, I don't want to seen.”As she pulled open the barn doors and dragged out the balloon Ymara thought back to her decision to create it. The recent election had been a disaster. Despite the reservations of a sizable minority, the city of Itimia had voted in a dictator. Kopatiki was not a man who should be trusted with any form of government. “A man without charity, humility or really any quality that suggests he is capable of caring for anyone other than himself.”
Ymara broke off her musing as the balloon drifted back into the eye of the storm, and the thunder and lightening resumed. A moment later the cloud cleared, and she could see a vague outline of land below. Suddenly a bolt of lightening struck the balloon's canopy, causing a large rent in the fabric. As she clung in terror to the ropes the clouds gave way again and the lightening illuminated the ground below, revealing a cluster of islands. Ymara leaned out of the basket staring at the islands in fascination. The balloon lurched alarmingly as it descended and she frantically began to throw the sandbags out of the basket in a desperate attempt to slow the balloon's speed. “I have only one chance for survival, I must make an emergency on one of the islands below or risk the balloon dropping into the sea” A moment later there was a sudden bump as the balloon crashed onto one of the islands, tipping her out of the baskey and onto the ground below.