Day One, 2:13 pm-
The helicopter flew low, sweeping between buildings and fighting against updrafts that were swelling from the fires burning in Harlem. Fin watched the streets. People were out of their cars, pointing towards the pillars of black smoke. Sirens filled the air from emergency vehicles weaving through the stalled traffic, snaking toward Harlem.
A voice cut over the radio, “ETA, 30 seconds. We’re going in hot. Be ready to bail.”
“If you guys can cover our exit, we’ll get grounded and protect your retreat,” Fin yelled back to the pilot.
“Negative, sir. We’re not going anywhere.”
Fin looked around at the rest of the soldiers. They wore grim faces, but their eyes were steeled. They gripped their guns a little tighter, and got ready for the landing.
“Understood. We’ll get grounded and provide support while you guys get clear.” Fin unsheathed his sword and waited.
“Approaching clearing. Get ready… Now!”
Fin leapt from the chopper, sword stretched out in front of him. His coat trailed behind him, billowing like a dark cloud. The ground raced toward him, magical projectiles and bullets racing back and forth across the clearing below him. He landed, sword point first in the ground. A blast of energy erupted from him, arresting his fall, as the shockwave ripped through the ground scattering debris. He felt a shockwave wash over him from the right, and then the left. Xander and Grace had landed.
Fin spun around, pointing, a brilliant beam of light shooting from his sword. He opened his hand, and the beam turned into a wall, shoving Soulless tumbling down broken buildings. Similar blasts of energy came from Xander’s and Grace’s swords. Fin touched the diamond on his sword.
<You’re clear! Land now!> Fin threw his hands straight out in front of him, and then spread them horizontally to each side of his body.
The ground in front of him flattened out as the helicopter touched down. Soldiers stepped down to the ground, guns ready, and already some of them were firing bursts at the regrouping Soulless. Fin caught a burst of red in the corner of his eye, and he threw up a magical barrier, deflecting the fireball just in time.
“Regroup!” he yelled. He motioned for the soldiers to come over.
“Fin! Drop your shield, I’ll cover us!” Grace yelled, throwing her own barrier over Fin’s.
Fin pulled his sword from the ground and addressed the ten or so soldiers in front of him. “We’re going to move toward the main group we saw on the monitor. Xander and Grace will keep us covered and provide support. I’m going to lead the charge. You guys provide covering fire, and try and communicate with them. I’m not sure radios will still be working or not.”
Everyone readied their weapons, and Fin turned to the sea of Soulless between them and the survivors. At least, he hoped there were still survivors. His eyes disappeared into silver, and his mouth opened into a feral yell as he started charging across the rubble. He planted his sword into the earth, sending of pulse of energy to the ground that launched him into the air. Fireballs roared toward him, but were deflected by Xander and Grace as they moved forward with the soldiers.
A dark beam of light blew past, missing Fin’s face by inches. He lunged with his sword, impaling a Soulless and landing on top of it, burying his blade into the ground. He summoned his soul, and shot a massive burst of raw energy through the Soulless. The field was flooded with a brilliant white light, and when it disappeared, Fin was kneeling in the scorched remains of the Soulless. The rest had been pushed back by the intensity of the light. He heard gunfire behind him, and saw the bullets piercing the Soulless that were regrouping around him. They advanced, ignoring the bullets raining through their bodies. Fin stood, leaving his sword in the ground. He reached deep into his soul, grabbing all of the power he could muster. The blade of his sword burned red, sizzling against the concrete slabs and rubble it was grounded in.
“Fin! Stop! You’re going to burn your sword and break the ground!”
He ignored Grace’s voice. It sounded far away anyway. He slowly lifted his arm. The Soulless were almost to him, riddled in bullet holes and beams of light shooting past him. He pointed, and the earth shook. Silence collapsed over his ears as hell rained from the sky. The Soulless that was almost to him dropped, struck down by a small meteorite. The smoldering hole in its chest began to fill and then another meteorite struck. And another, and another. Meteorites rained down on the Soulless, sending them scattering. They vanished, grey smudges streaking away from the clearing and meteor shower. Not all of them made it, though. Several smeared, white bodies littered the ground, burned and beaten by the falling, molten rocks.
Fin dropped his hand. For a moment, he felt like he was floating, and then his head crashed into the ground. Bright lights danced in his eyes, and then Grace was over him.