Name: Cross Rhodes

Age: 22

Height: 5'4"

Notable features: None

Occupation: Waitress

Likes: When her son wakes her up only once a night, getting home in time to watch her favorite shows, Sem's laugh

Dislikes: Sem biting her while he nurses, taking Sem to work with her, not getting to see her fiancée

Skills: As the Messenger, Cross has strong telepathic powers (though she can control them to a great degree, she receives surface thoughts without trying)

An only child in a single parent, middleclass family, Cross grew up in a situation that wasn't privileged but in which she suffered no neglect or deprivation. After high school, she lived with her boyfriend while they were both attending the same university. After receiving her degree in communications, she and her boyfriend became engaged, though he moved to another part of the city to work on a graduate degree at another university.

Shortly after their separation, while working as a waitress, Cross discovered she was pregnant with her fiancée's child. She moved to a cheaper part of town so that she would be able to support herself and her baby better with the money she made. It was after giving birth to her deaf son, Sem, that she met Teyen, who had come to work at her restaurant. She became fond of him quickly and began to use him as her babysitter: when they both worked together, she would bring Sem with her and Teyen would keep an eye on him in the back, and when their shifts didn't overlap, she would take Sem to Teyen's apartment.

Part of the reason she attached so quickly to Teyen was because of her telepathic powers. With the ability to hear his surface thoughts, she learned a lot about him very quickly. Cross became aware of her powers and her identity as a Shard at a young age, and has adjusted to the situation well. Rather than seeing her powers as a nuisance, she uses them to help her interact positively with others and strives never to abuse them. In fact, because of Sem's deafness, her powers often come in handy.

When Teyen went missing, Cross went to the Protectors of Antiquity for help. Though she had never told him so, Cross has always been aware of his dual identity as the Impulse and the Surge due to the thoughts she had picked up from him. It was also through this method that she came to find out about the Protectors of Antiquity and knew to go to them for help in finding and recovering Teyen. With their help, she was able to go to Maxwell's estate and find Teyen.

Since then, Cross's life has returned more or less to normal, working, taking care of her son, and looking forward to seeing her fiancée and finally getting married.

• Works with Teyen, who also babysits her son
• Went to Riyad and the other Protectors of Antiquity after Teyen went missing
• Met Maxwell and Ashe when she and Riyad went to negotiate for Surge's freedom
• Saw Julian and Rabbit briefly the same night

First appearance: Book 2, chapter 1