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Neither Patient nor Impatient

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The Metasphere, safe under the Asterite's spinning globes, sensed the arrival of Ecco the Stone, sensed that Ecco had touched it. It obeyed the commands the Asterite had long ago given it and opened a portal to the Stream of Time. It felt none of the disorientation the little Singer did, because it was not really alive and could not really feel anything, only sense things the Asterite had instructed it to sense, only do what the Asterite had ordered it to do. After a little, it sensed that it had left the Stream, and after a little more time sensed that the Stone had left it, and so it began the second part of its ordained duties.

Nothing could see or otherwise sense the little sphere now that Ecco had left it, protected as it was by the Asterite's powers of thought, but even though nothing could see it, it still glowed dimly, as a fish hidden under sand still exists. Cracks appeared on the Metasphere's surface, and from the cracks the glow was stronger. The cracks grew deeper and deeper, invisibly brighter and brighter, until the sphere split into five pieces. The pieces, wedge-shaped at first, drifted away from each other, moving and shifting until they were about the same apparent size and shape as the original sphere had been.

Each piece carried its own orders from the Asterite; in their strange, not alive way, each knew what was required of it, though they did not know why nor even wonder why. The five pieces moved through power only the Asterite of the Living Sea could know, perceiving the world only enough to know when they had arrived at their ordained points to wait with neither patience nor impatience for Ecco the Stone.