Day One, 9:07 am-
Fin woke to a feeling like being submerged in an ice bath. It crept across his wound, starting in his leg, creeping across his chest, and then chilling his arm, causing him to gasp for air. He opened his eyes, and was greeting by silver eyes fading back to violet.
“I told you to get out of here, you jackass.”
Fin smiled weakly. “I missed you too, Grace.”
“You’re just lucky we got here when we did. Accelerating your body like while wounded? You almost bled out.”
Fin pushed himself onto his elbows resisting Grace’s attempts to push him back down. “It was either that or let the Thief kill me. I took my chances.”
“If you had left when you were ordered to, you wouldn’t be in this mess.”
Fin ignored Grace. “When did you guys get here?”
“Right after you chopped that Thief in half with some crazy ash sword and passed out,” a gruff voice responded.
“That’s just like you, Xander. Always showing up late to the party.”
Xander guffawed, slapping Fin’s back causing pain to shoot across his wounds.
“How’d you think of the ash sword, anyway? Did ya know it would work?”
Fin looked up Xander’s broad face. It was heavily scarred, but kind. “I didn’t. But I had to try something.”
“Okay, that’s enough.” Grace was still kneeling next to Fin. “You need real medical attention. I’ve cauterized your wounds, but you’ve lost a lot of blood and need to get cleaned up.”
“I suppose she’s right, Fin.” Xander stooped down and helped Fin stand up. He looked away when Fin gasped in pain and almost fell, but Xander helped him stay standing. “That’s a lot of damage from one Soulless.”
Fin looked down the destroyed and smoldering street. “I just don’t get why it left. Nothing I did to it slowed it down.”
“You’re lucky it did. If one Soulless was able to cause this much devastation, that’s a lot of raw power. It’d be hard to match it, even while you’re grounded,” Grace said.
“What I really want to know,” Xander said, “is why we’re able to use magic in the Damp Field.”
“It’s still up, isn’t it?” Fin looked around, trying to see how Xander and Grace had gotten here. “Where’s your truck?”
“Yeah, it’s still up. But it’s weird. It’s almost like a hairline fracture in the Field. Magic use doesn’t seem to be restricted within it, but we were still unable to teleport inside.” Grace had come over to help Fin walk.
“So the Field is still acting like a barrier from the outside,” Fin said. He remembered the Soulless vanishing. “But I don’t think it’s acting like a barrier from the inside. For whatever reason, we can use magic inside of it. And I’m pretty sure the Soulless teleported out if it.”
Xander stopped, and Fin almost tripped, but Grace held him up. Xander looked at Fin, his blue eyes distant. “The Soulless teleported? That’s not a good thing. But, then maybe we don’t need to be walking back to the truck.” He braced Fin. “Hold on.”
The three of them vanished in a smear of silver, appearing next to a black pickup with a silver sword and lightning bolt crossed on its side.
Xander opened the rear door and helped Fin sit down. “At least that worked in our favor.”
Fin tucked his feet into the truck and curled up on the backseat. His injuries still hurt, a lot. “Now, the question is what happened to the Damp Field. Was it broken? Or is 180 year old magic finally starting to break down?”
Grace got into the truck next to Fin. She had retrieved the first aid kit they kept in the back. “This is going to hurt.” She started dabbing sterile towels along Fin’s cauterized injuries to clean up some dried blood. “Right now, let’s get you fixed up, and then we’ll worry about the Damp Fields.”
Xander climbed into the driver’s seat, and the truck roared to life. “Grace is right.”