Stix carried Bliss to the river. Though he knew she breathed, he still worried she would stop again. He’d struggled to roll the Rogue off her, and she had taken a full body hit to the ground with the Rogue’s weight behind her. As soon as he’d seen her he knew. Knew she’d stopped breathing, knew she would die if he didn’t do something. His birthright, always just beneath the surface, had kicked in. Automatically he’d begun breathing for her, giving her all the energy he could muster with each lung full of air. When she’d coughed, he’d nearly yelled, but he knew breathing would only be a start. She had to have suffered internal damage, broken bones, and things he could only imagine. He had to get her help, fast. Dropping down the last of the rocks, he waded into the cool water. Sweat dripped between his shoulder blades. The sun’s stifling heat reflecting off the water, blinded him. He sunk to his knees, the water swirling his shirt up his back to cling to his shoulders. In his arms, Bliss didn’t move, didn’t hiss any shock at being enveloped by the flowing river. He sat her on his lap, keeping his arm around her shoulders, and cupped water in his free hand, letting it trickle down her blood streaked face, careful not to touch her swollen eye. ‘The others,’ she said, her lips barely moving. ‘I know.’ He used his sleeve to wipe blood and dirt from her neck. ‘We have to help them.’ She opened one eye and looked at him. ‘I know.’ ‘Now.’ When he didn’t answer, or move, she shifted on his lap, leant away from his arm, then stood up. So much smaller than he, she barely stood over him while he stayed kneeling beside her. ‘You are hurt, you can’t walk that far.’ He stood and looked down at her. ‘Stay here, in the shadows, and I will find the others and bring them here.’ ‘No.’ She started to drag herself through the water. ‘Bliss.’ She stopped, but didn’t turn. ‘It will be quicker if I go.’ She threw a glare over her shoulder at him. ‘I don’t think quicker matters, its having someone who can help kill those things that does.’ She stepped out of the water, her thin shirt and shorts sticking to her skin. Now that the dirt and blood had been washed off, he could see the mottled bruising that covered most of her body. Then she bent and began picking up stones from the riverbank, holding her shirt out as a pouch to put them in. Stix knew arguing with her wouldn’t work, so he dragged himself out of the river and filled his pockets as well. Neither spoke as she followed him into the trees. He listened to her breathing behind him, noted each time she hissed in a breath, or stumbled. As they neared the bend in the river where he thought the others were, he slowed down. A scream echoed through the trees, making the hairs on his nape stand up. Bliss gripped his arm, tears in her eyes, and they both knew it had been no ordinary scream. With a squeeze to his shoulder, Bliss jumped up and dodged through the last stand of trees, a rock already in her hand. Stix ran after her, knowing he would never catch her before she exposed herself. He rushed into the clearing at the riverbank and skidded to a halt, arm crooked, ready to throw the rock gripped in his hand. Three Rogue bobbed in the water, the current pulling their bodies down river almost in slow motion. They stood in the middle of the river, one head staring at the floating bodies, the other scanning the area, looking for more Rogue. On either side of the bank, bodies, unrecognisable in their bloodied, matted and bruised states, lay, waiting to be snatched from death. Other’s stood stunned, or turned in slow circles. Fin pulled branches from a pile to reveal Stone, face pale and pinched, but still alive. Stix gave a small sigh, then turned his attention to those needing his help.