Jade landed at the edge of the waterfall, the smell of predator blood still filling her nostrils, streaks of it marking her hands and calves. She leaned gratefully into the cool, sheeting mist.
A dozen Arbora met her at the entrance, climbing down from the platforms in their scaled forms with spears and ropes. At the front of the group, Bone called out, “All clear?”
“We didn’t find any more inside.” Jade looked the Arbora over carefully. Her heart still beat furiously at the memory of tearing through thick, spiny skin.
Nobody seemed bloodier than the last time she'd seen them, but she still asked, “You?”
Bone shook his head, wiping dark purple blood off his face with the back of his hand. He’d been among the first to arrive when the predator had broken through the lower levels.
He didn’t look relieved by Jade’s information. The old colony had taught him pessimism the hard way.
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