the dim lighting, Andreyelle could not make out what it was she was dragging, perceiving only ashapeless blob of blues and purples, but it was larger than the child-like nymph and apparentlyquite heavy. Part of Andreyelle told her that she should approach the other woman and offer her help, but another part of her was much too frightened by the novelty of this entire experience andcautioned her to keep to herself, at least until she had some idea who this stranger was, and whythey were both here.It was a terrible struggle for the tiny woman to drag her burden over to the fountain, butshe continued to work diligently, refusing to give up. The whine had changed to an ugly chokingnoise, one that almost sounded like a real word.“Sor...ga...sor...ga.”There was something about the laboured hissing that made Andreyelle’s skin crawl, andshe shrank away from the green woman and her bluish encumbrance, pressing her back into thealcove wall. The petite stranger fought with great zeal to push her load up and over the lip of thefountain, but her efforts were almost painful to watch. Finally, she managed to get her shoulder under her burden, which Andreyelle could now see was a blue-skinned man, and the small oneshoved him haphazardly over the edge. There was a gentle splash, and the blue man disappearedfrom view, now under the surface of the water.The little green woman paused for a moment, resting against the fountain’s carvedvolcanic stone and trying to catch her breath. As soon as she had recovered somewhat from her struggles, the petite stranger returned her attentions to the man in the water. She seemed to behandling him with great care, making soothing noises like tongue clucking and breathy sounds asshe examined him, and after evaluating him to determine what ailed him, she pulled a pack off her back and began rummaging through it.Andreyelle leaned forward, craning her neck to get a better look. She found the greenwoman’s obvious resolve fascinating and watched as she pulled out several small clay jars fromher bag. She then reached back into the fountain and pulled one of the blue man’s arms up out of the water. Andreyelle could now see that his skin was also brown and white in patches, crackedand oozing in spots with some larger lesions, and literally hanging off his flesh in others. Thegreen woman did not flinch, despite how painful this looked. She began applying a creamy-looking salve to the sores, once again with dogged determination and the utmost of care.After watching the little stranger work for a few moments, and enjoying the fact that thesilence was no longer being broken by that irritating whine, Andreyelle noticed another soundfor the first time, a sound that was much quieter than the ones that the blue man had beenmaking. It was more of a raspy heavy panting and it appeared to be coming from a fourthalcove. Andreyelle raised herself up on her knees and cautiously began to inch her way towardsthe source of the noise.