[[quoteright:303:[[ComicBook/SecretWars http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/HulkHoldsUpAMountain.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:303:"Beneath 150 billion tons, stands ''[[ComicBook/IncredibleHulk The Hulk]]'' -- and he's not happy!"]]

->''"This is really heavy."''
-->-- '''Spidey''', ''Film/SpiderMan2''

Rather than let their friends be squished like a bug by a DescendingCeiling, falling boulder, or one of those [[CollapsingLair hero-seeking falling pillars]], the BigGuy will [[TakingTheBullet step in, catch the falling object]], and hold it up long enough for their friends to escape. Often utilizes the AtlasPose.

Characters don't need to have SuperStrength or [[MusclesAreMeaningful huge muscles]] to use this trope, so almost anyone can invoke it. However, weaker characters will likely face a HeroicSacrifice as they are stuck holding up something that ''will'' crush them if/when they let go. That said, expect [[BoisterousBruiser melodramatic characters]] intent on being a MartyrWithoutACause to be pulled to safety by their allies.

Not to be confused with LoadBearingBoss (but that may very well lead to this trope). {{Barrier Warrior}}s will frequently do this. [[BellisariosMaxim Don't think too much]] about why the falling object doesn't break under its own weight and collapse all around the character, or how the ''ground'' underneath the character can support all that weight being channeled through the LoadBearingHero's feet.

Distantly related to the BarrierMaiden, whose "load bearing" duty is more metaphorical and less literal.

Not to be confused with WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou, and actually having fairly little to do with the LoadBearingBoss.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Early on in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', Chad stops an I-Beam from falling on a group of his friends (and a parakeet that holds the ghost of a young boy he's trying to protect). Keep in mind this is ''[[MadeOfIron before he gains any of his powers.]]''
* In ''GashBell'', Gash holds up a wall of energy for everyone to pass through, which will eventually kill him. Bari then runs in and takes over in his stead, letting everyone else pass under him, before he has his book burnt so he doesn't die.
* A sinister version was used in the Saint Beasts arc of ''YuYuHakusho'' -- a falling ceiling trap designed to push down with exactly the amount of force that any three of the four heroes could hold up, meaning one of them would have the chance to either deactivate the trap or leave his "friends" to die. [[spoiler: Hiei is chosen to go since he's the fastest. He ponders betrayal, but decides that being the TokenEvilTeammate is not the same as being a JerkAss, saves his comrades, and skewers the [[SmugSnake crooning eyeball-bat that gave the above exposition. Also, it turns out the switch the deactivate the trap was also booby-trapped, but he found out about it and survived thanks to that hesitation.]]]]
* Shiryu in ''SaintSeiya'' did this with a "crushing ceiling" trap in the cavern maze beneath the Sagittarius House.
* [[spoiler:Raigyo]] does this in ''XamdLostMemories'', and dies.
* One-shot ''[[RanmaOneHalf Ranma 1/2]]'' character Youhyou does this to protect Ranma when his room in his mansion collapsed. Not that she [[MadeOfIron needed it in the slightest]], but it proved that he was not the [[AccidentalPervert creep she thought]] and his intentions were noble.
** Ranma himself also does this, with the {{Orochi}}'s enormous maw, in the manga version of "Reawakening Memories." It was a last-ditch effort, and he and Akane are saved at the last second when her [[ChekhovsGun horned mongoose whistle]] finally puts the beast to sleep.
** Ryouga ''forces'' the even MadeOfIron-er, super-strong Lime into this position when the [[MacGuffin Kettle Of Liberation]], which would free Ranma from being stuck in female form, falls down a collapsing chasm. Lime's partner, Mint, pulls the warrior out of the pit just as it slams shut, but Ryouga is still able to burst through the rock on his own.
* In ''Manga/BlackCat'', Beluga did this to save Nizer and Janus when they're escaping from Creed's castle.
* Domon does this in ''Manga/FlameOfRecca'' when the gang is storming Kurei's mansion to rescue Yanagi. Kaoru (before his HeelFaceTurn) activates a giant stone wall that would permanently cut them off, and [[TheBigGuy Domon]] jumps in at the last second to hold it up so Recca and Fuuko can continue on. [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]], because they immediately [[PowerOfFriendship try and help him hold it up instead of abandoning him.]] They become stuck under it until Mikagami shows up and destroys the wall completely.
* In ''Anime/PokemonGiratinaAndTheSkyWarrior'', an enormous glacier begins to move, destroying everything in its path. Fortunately, the commotion also awakens [[OlympusMons Regigigas]], who, with a large group of Mamoswine, pushes the glacier back until Ash and friends can undo the damage that caused the disaster.
* TK does this in ''Anime/AngelBeats'' to save the rest of the SSS from a DescendingCeiling. He gets crushed under it while the others escape, but it's PlayedForLaughs; they're in the afterlife, so "death" is only temporary.
* In ''LightNovel/TheDevilIsAPartTimer'', Maou uses his demonic telekinesis to hold up a collapsing bridge. Sort of subverted when he realizes he can just carefully place the smashed roadway on the ground instead of holding it in the air indefinitely.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Blockbuster does it in a ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' story, holding up a collapsing mine prop long enough for Batman and the miners to escape.
** Also from a ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' story, during the ''Cataclysm'' event: a condemned criminal on death-row (who continually proclaims his innocence throughout his arc) keeps rubble from falling on his lawyer and a nun who were there to witness his execution. Earlier in the arc, he'd helped defend them against several escaping inmates, helping add to the reader's sympathies to the character. [[spoiler: [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] when he reveals that he really did commit the crime for which he was condemned, just before he finally passes out and dies when the rubble falls on top of him. Coincidentally right when he was scheduled to be put to death.]]
* TheHulk in ''ComicBook/SecretWars''. He held up a ''mountain range'', creating an air pocket for several other heroes to survive.
** It wasn't the first time he'd done that, either. He held up another mountain long enough for ComicBook/TheDefenders to get out, and then it caved in on him. The Valkyrie was actually starting to cry about how he'd [[HeroicSacrifice given his life to save them]], and then the side of the mountain blasted open...
--> '''Hulk:''' Bah! Stupid rocks try to smash Hulk! Hulk smash ''back''!
* Solomon Grundy in ''Comicbook/{{Starman}}'' (the DCUniverse comic) held a blown-up building.
* Colossus, whenever something falls on ''Comicbook/XMen.''
* {{Bamse}} shows the limit of his [[SuperStrength strength]] in an early story with a variant: he holds back a ''volcanic eruption'' by ramming an enormous boulder down the opening, but notes that "Not even I can hold this back ''forever''!"
* In a variant, Zhantee from ''{{Elfquest}}: Shards'' uses his shielding power to protect Cutter and others when the building they're in collapses. [[spoiler: He doesn't have enough shield-power to save both his companions and himself, so makes a HeroicSacrifice and leaves himself unprotected, dying from his injuries soon after they're dug out of the wreckage.]]
* ComicBook/{{Spider-Man}} held up a corner of the Daily Bugle to keep if from collapsing in ''Peter Parker: Spider-Man'' #98.
** In one earlier story, Spider-Man remains pinned helplessly crushed under a hundred tons of metal. In Doc Ock's leaking underwater base. While his Aunt May lies dying , and the only cure for her disease lies 6 feet in front of where he is pinned to the ground. In a stunning show of willpower and self-hype, he manages to lift the structure and limp out before the entire base is flooded

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfic]]

* In the ''{{Terinu}}'' fanfic "Grace of God", Rufus' alternate universe twin blocks a closing airlock door with his arm to let the heroes escape. Then it closes...
* UpToEleven and [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructed]] with Fluttershy in the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'' who ends up [[spoiler: taking all of the pain, prejudice, knowledge, hate and sin of Equestria upon herself.]] It ends badly, to say the least, causing her to [[spoiler: turn into Nightmare Whisper, a RealityWarper that hides under the appearance of Princess Gaia. By the time her friends find out she has already died twice. Pinkie Diane]] ends up helping her share the burden because she couldn't stand to see Fluttershy suffer so much. [[spoiler: Thankfully their friends are able to convince them that people need their pain in order for "the caterpillars to become butterflies."]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film - Live-Action ]]
* Sloth does it in ''Film/TheGoonies'' to help his friends escape from the crumbling cavern. [[spoiler: He survives.]]
* In ''Film/HighlanderIITheQuickening'', [[spoiler:[[ItMakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext Ramirez uses up his life force to hold up a giant spinning wind turbine.]]]]
* ''Film/{{Krull}}'' has the cyclops do this to let the hero and his band enter the teleporting fortress. [[spoiler:He dies. Made more badass because he ''knew'', thanks to prescience, that he would die that way if he helped the heroes.]]
* Used in ''Film/MurderByDeath'', where the [[Literature/HerculePoirot Milo]] [[{{Expy}} Perrier]]'s manservant saves him from a DescendingCeiling. He survives with a hunched back.
* In ''NationalTreasure 2'', the main antagonist [[spoiler:[[HeelFaceTurn stays]] [[RedemptionEqualsDeath behind]] to hold the door open so that him and TheHero don't both get crushed/drowned in the flooding water. [[HeroicSacrifice Naturally, he is killed in the flood.]]]]
* Film/{{Superman}} does this a lot, but is [[NighInvulnerable almost never in any danger,]] considering he often can easily throw the load aside, crawl to safety or if necessary, dig or drill his way out if he's buried completely.
** In the first Christopher Reeve movie, he becomes the load-bearing support for the ''entire Pacific tectonic plate''. Holding up a passing train afterward is child's play by comparison.
** In ''Film/SupermanReturns'', he does this to lift ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome a continental landmass that is mostly made of Kryptonite]]'' out of Earth's atmosphere and fling it into outer space. All the more impressive because the aforementioned Kryptonite rendered him very NOT NighInvulnerable and he was in very grave danger.
* {{Spider-Man}} as well, but he tends to be in a lot more danger. One instance is near the end of ''Film/SpiderMan2'' when Spidey does this to save Mary Jane from a falling wall. ''"This is really heavy,"'' indeed.
** Also a CrowningMomentOfFunny, as this is the first thing he says to MJ after she learns he's Spider-Man.
* The T-850 in ''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'' holds up a blast door for John and Kate, near the end.
* Zangief performs this feat in the ''Film/StreetFighter'' movie shortly after making his HeelFaceTurn. Subverted in that Ken and Ryu step up immediately to share the load long enough for everyone else to pass safely.
* An unusual example is seen in ''Film/X2XMenUnited'', as Jean Grey telekinetically holds back a giant wave of water to allow the rest of the team time to escape from it, dying in the process. Overlaps with MartyrWithoutACause considering that there are at least three other team members present whose powers might have been useful (Storm, Iceman, and Nightcrawler), and with the four of them working together they might have been able to get everyone out alive. She never gives them the chance to try.
* TheMovie version of the ''Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian'' movie did this with a minotaur who tried to hold up Castle Telmar's portcullis to allow the Narnians to escape. He dies when only about half the army is through, so the rest are trapped inside and slaughtered.
* From the silent movie classic ''Film/TheGolem'': When out-of-control magic threatens to destroy the Emperor's palace, the Golem in this way saves the court from being crushed by a DescendingCeiling.
* Igor holding up the crane in ''Film/IronMan3'' could count.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film - Animation ]]

* WALL-E does this towards the end of ''WesternAnimation/{{WALL-E}}'', holding up the holodetector long enough for EVE to throw in the plant. [[spoiler: It crushes him and he [[DisneyDeath "dies"]], but EVE managed to repair him back on Earth]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Antz}}'', Weaver, being a really strong soldier ant, holds the bottom of a giant "ant pillar".
* Ginormica on ''MonstersVsAliens'' does this to save the others from the [[CollapsingLair collapsing spaceship]]. Comes as a bit of a surprise, since just before [[spoiler:she had been BroughtDownToNormal and recovered her size and strength JustInTime.]]
* [[TheIncredibles Mr. Incredible]] does this in the final battle of the movie to keep his kids from being crushed by the robot.
* In Disney's ''Disney/TheJungleBook'', Louie and Baloo hold up part of Louie's collapsing ruins.
* ''Disney/{{Bolt}}'' has [[spoiler: Rhino using his hamster ball to prop up the falling rubble of the studio so Bolt can get past, screaming "It is a good day to die!!!" as his ball starts to crack under the weight... Don't worry he lives.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* [[{{Superman}} Clark]] does this all the time in {{Smallville}}.
** ''Onyx'': He held up two large pieces of concrete to save Chloe.
** ''Blank'': Suspiciously similar scene, with two large electrical columns.
* Gan does it in the episode of ''Series/BlakesSeven'' in which [[spoiler: he dies.]]
* PlayedForLaughs in an episode of ''Series/TheBrittasEmpire'': Colin Weatherby thinks that Gordon Brittas is supporting a collapsing ceiling on his shoulders, but what Colin Weatherby can't see is that the ceiling is in fact supported by a fallen steel girder down the back of Gordon Brittas' shirt. Colin Weatherby later comments that Gordon Brittas must have a backbone of steel.
* Seen in ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' when Niki holds up a collapsed pillar to let Monica escape from a burning building. Unfortunately, since she's been depowered by the Shanti virus, it [[HeroicSacrifice doesn't end well]].
* Subverted in ''Series/StargateSG1''. Teal'c tries this, but it doesn't really help. In another episode, a Russian commando tries to hold a door open, and is crushed ''before'' anyone could can through.
* ''Series/TheTribe'': Lex uses his body to hold open an airlock door while Bray, Amber, Dal, and the dog escape from a self-destructing virology lab on Hope Island.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Porthos in ''[[Literature/TheThreeMusketeers The Vicomte de Bragelonne]]'' does this, resulting in [[spoiler:HeroicSacrifice and possibly the first time [[TheChessmaster Aramis]] ever shed tears]].
* Glurk did it in ''Literature/TheCarpetPeople''. "Gonna... be... a... hero..." He gets told not to be so stupid and gets yanked to safety before his strength gives out.
* In ''Literature/LesMiserables'', Jean Valjean (at that point the wealthy mayor of a town) saves the life of a worker who was crushed under a heavy cart, by lifting up the cart. Unfortunately, this helps cement InspectorJavert's suspicions of his identity.
* ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'', being based in Greek myth uses Atlas's burden in book 3.
** In fact, ''four separate people'' take the load over the course of the book - the first is [[FaceHeelTurn Luke]], the second is [[BadassBookworm Annabeth]], the third is [[PhysicalGod Artemis]] and the last is (unsurprisingly) [[IdiotHero Percy]] himself.
* [[Literature/CircleOfMagic Daja]] does this in the first book to stop her and her TrueCompanions being crushed when buried in an earthquake.
* Happens to Detritus the troll in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel "Discworld/MovingPictures", albeit by accident rather than heroism. All the trolls in Holy Wood worked together to clear a passage into the underground theater, then headed in one by one, leaving Detritus stuck holding up the roof.
* Creator/DamonRunyon's "Earthquake" ends with 'Earthquake' holding up an orphanage door to allow the nuns, children -- and the policeman chasing him for a cop-killing -- to escape the collapsing building. Even Earthquake can't stand up to a second temblor, though. Listen to a radio dramatization [[http://www.radiomcdanger.com/DamonRunyon/Earthquake.mp3 here]].
* Keltset in ''[[Literature/{{Shannara}} The Sword of Shannara]]''.
* ''Literature/{{Boundary}}'': A cave-in in an ancient ice tunnel. Luckily, while Our Hero did not have super-strength, [[spoiler:her spacesuit could become rigid on command, so the problem was merely replacing her with other bracing.]]
* ''Literature/TheRifter'': In Gisa, people are digging tunnels to try to break accused witches out of prison. John, who as the Rifter has a deep connection to the earth, can feel that the tunnels are about to collapse, and he can also "persuade" rocks to grow as supports.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]

* John in the Jimmy Dean song "[[http://www.wikio.com/video/jimmy-dean---big-bad-john-3463795 Big Bad John]]". Note that the other miners were about to go back in with equipment to save him before the mine completely collapsed.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Myth and Religion ]]

* Inverted in Literature/TheBible with Samson, who ''destroys'' the pillars of the house he is in to crush the Philistines in it along with himself. It is still considered a HeroicSacrifice, though.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In the {{MMORPG}} ''Mabinogi'', at the end of the second mainstream storyline, [[spoiler: the person you've been working with the whole time to uncover the BigBad's plot is about to get stomped by a golem. You rush in and stop the golem's leg, holding it until you unlock your true potential and become a Paladin.]]
* In ''BreathOfFireII'', Rand does this with a gradually closing pathway, holding it open for the rest of the party to escape. [[spoiler: He is unable to escape without being crushed himself, but his super-strong mother arrives and knocks him out of the passageway, getting crushed, turning it into a HeroicSacrifice for her.]]
* In ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', Robo briefly uses his body to brace a heavy door open to stop the other characters from being trapped on the wrong side of it.
* Quite a popular trope across the ''FinalFantasy'' games:
** Josef from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' sacrifices himself holding back a rolling boulder trap, allowing the party to escape.
** Palom and Porom from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' go as far as [[TakenForGranite petrifying themselves]] to stop [[TheWallsAreClosingIn crushing walls]].
** Tsuze the werewolf in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' holds off the power augmenter from the Fire Crystal. That wasn't directly in the way of the heroes, but it did give them more time to escape the place.
** Sabin in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' holds up the collapsing house.
*** And in the CollapsingLair sequence after [[BigBad Kefka's]] defeat, he catches and tosses a large piece of junk that threatened to crush his brother.
* At the end of ''VideoGame/MegaMan5'', Mega Man does this to save Dr. Light and Wily from a collapsing castle.
** In ''VideoGame/MegaManX3'', Zero has to hold a spiked ceiling at bay while X destroys the MiniBoss.
* ''NeverwinterNights2'': [[spoiler:This is how Casavir dies, at least till Storm of Zehier retcons him into being alive but captured]]
** Also from [=NWN2's=] RocksFallEveryoneDies, [[spoiler:Gnobar tries to save a 12 or so foot tall creature literally MadeOfIron by throwing his frail 4 foot or so gnome body at a pillar about to crush it. Generally considered an example of AlasPoorScrappy.]]
*** Textual implications suggest that [[spoiler: if Elanee was romanced she [[HeroicSacrifice blocked falling rocks such that the hero might live]]]].
** In the ''NeverwinterNights: Shadows of Undrentide'' campaign, [[spoiler: your mentor]] holds open a magical portal that the BigBad used to escape, being trapped in the CollapsingLair and unable to follow you, and died to allow you to go through it.
* Bowser and O'Chunks do this together in one of the final rooms in ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario.'' Naturally, each tries to convince the other that they don't need their help, and that the other should leave, not wanting to share the BigDamnHeroes moment.
* [[spoiler:Presea]]'s HeroicSacrifice in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' takes on this form.
** In ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'', [[spoiler: Raven]] does this in the [[spoiler: Baction Shrine]] after [[spoiler: he is revealed to be [[SplitPersonality Schwann]] and [[TheMole working for Alexei]]]] in order to [[HeelFaceTurn save the party's lives]]. The party thinks that [[spoiler: he]]'s [[RedemptionEqualsDeath dead]] [[HeroicSacrifice afterwords]]. He got better and rejoined the party not too long after.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Videogame/TheSimpsonsGame'' with a Morc (Moe as an Orc) holding up the collapsing game engine while Mr. Burns gathers his things. Just as Burns escapes, [[ButtMonkey Moe's]] strength gives out and he's crushed.
* In ''{{X-Men Legends}}'', Colossus is recruited in Russia attempting to hold breaking parts of a nuclear reactor over his head to prevent a second Chernobyl.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'' the four giants have to hold up the freaking ''moon'' so that it doesn't crush Clock Town and they have to hold it long enough for Link to get inside, do four puzzles, and finally defeat Majora (who has multiple forms).
* Horizontal example: In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'' Raiden [[spoiler: holds up a giant ship threatening to crush Snake.]]
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/IndianaJonesAndTheFateofAtlantis'', when the imprisoned heroine Sophia Hapgood won't crawl under a heavy iron gate with only Indy holding it up. (You have to go find a suitable piece of metal to brace the thing open instead. Sheesh.. some gratitude.)
* In ''KingdomOfLoathing'', there is a non-combat adventure in NoobCave in which the way is blocked by a collapsed boulder. You get out by picking up the boulder and crawling out ''underneath your own legs''.
* Kyle Katarn does this twice in ''VideoGame/JediAcademy'' during the mission to Vjun: first to keep a power coupling out of the water until the player character can drain it, and then again at the end to hold large chunks of the ceiling up while the player character carves an escape out of the floor with Kyle's lightsaber.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* In the final battle of ''Webcomic/ItsWalky'', two characters appear to have been crushed by a ship, but one of them manages to hold it up (yes, the ''ship'') just long enough for the other to escape.
* In {{GuildedAge}} Bjorn, Scipio and E-Merl (via barrier spell) play this after party is buried in a trap.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* [[GlacierWaif Toph]] from ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' did this once when Wan Shi Tong's Library was sinking into the ground with the rest of the Gaang inside. It helped that the Library was made of stone and Toph was an [[DishingOutDirt Earthbender]].
* In the ''WesternAnimation/LegionOfSuperHeroes'' cartoon, Bouncing Boy holds up a ferris wheel so Superman can fix it.
* Junko in ''WesternAnimation/StormHawks'' once caught a falling ''airship'' to save it from crashing into a mountain. Needless to say, he is ''strong'', even though he's considered a runt in his species!
* Superman does this a lot. In ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'', [[TragicMonster Bizarro]] does this, holding up a collapsing building to give Supes enough time to save Lois from a bomb, while staying behind himself. Don't worry, he gets better.
* In the Doom Patrol arc of ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'', Elastigirl makes her HeroicSacrifice holding up a collapsing section of cliff long enough for Beast Boy and Mento to escape.
* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' sees Bulkhead forced to hold up the weight of a collapsing cave roof in the episode "Rock Bottom".
* ''WesternAnimation/DungeonsAndDragons'': When a rockslide comes down on the gang, Eric uses his shield's forcefield ability to keep the rocks from crushing them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* TruthInTelevision: When Tsar Alexander III's train crashed and the roof of the car he and his family was in started collapsing, he held it on his shoulders until his family got out and help arrived. It didn't end well, however, since he considerably overstrained his body and died from the disease really caused by trauma during the crash.
* [[http://earthquakestrips.blogspot.com/2008/06/strip-8-last-lesson.html These]] [[http://earthquakestrips.blogspot.com/2008/06/strip-2-boy-who-lived.html two]] strips about the rescue effort after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake give poignant real life examples.
* Lifeguards and rescue swimmers are specifically trained, if they're supporting an unconscious person and are about to get washed into rocks by the waves, to avert this trope and let the victim's body absorb the impact, rather than risk being stunned so both will drown. Faced with the choice, however, virtually everyone with the heroism to seek out such jobs instinctively plays this trope straight, shielding the rescued person from further harm.
[[/folder]]

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