Final Invasion, Chapter Nine
POWER RANGERS:- Demon Wars
Well this came to a screaming halt. I'd love to give you an excuse but the truth is it's just not working out. I have the end of this story written, almost completely, already. My problem is getting from where we are and to where we have to go. There's always something else I have to address, or another problem I have to fix. We're already longer than I originally planned, and that's not including the epilogue or postscript that wraps everything up.
Another thing that got in the way is that I'm moving. New house. Crappy internet and less time to write. Sorry about that.
Kennedy pulled the bolt back on the gun. "Got anymore of these things?" She asked, tapping the bullets loaded into the top.
"We're all running low." Mitchell said, pulling out what she guessed was a remote. "Keep single shot and stay in your kill zone."
"Um, yeah. Explain that to me again?"
He rolled his eyes. "Right, we have to save ammo. Each group has a firing zone. nine to eleven, eleven to one and one to three." He waved his hand in three directions. "You're firing one to three."
"I know what a clock is." She snapped, feeling foolish.
"Me and Walker have the others. Jones, cover if one slips through." Mitchell finished. Kennedy watched as he and the other solders tensed before trying to relax. As a Slayer she was used to this stuff, going from a standing start into nightmares. These guys might have seen some bad things in their team, but none of them were in her league.
As their leader looked around Kennedy tried not to show just how impatient she was. It shouldn't be this hard, smash their way in, blow some magic thing the hell up and fight their way out again. So what if they were outnumbered, they had been back in Sunnydale and most of them had survived that. This time they had better training and machine guns that worked. All this tension was just pointless.
Finally the Air Force guy flipped the remote and it made a small beep. Not even a second later she felt the explosion. Two of the four blocks of explosive the military had brought with them to destroy the magic thing at the heart of the castle went up. They had been placed just down the corridor and detonating them showered the courtyard with bits of wall. It was supposed to be a distraction. Meaning that they could burst out of the castle walls and not get shot full of arrows.
Kennedy was amongst the first to leap out of the doorway. Straight in front of her one of the demons had turned to fire at the gaping hole they'd just blown. Taking aim she pulled the trigger on the gun and it jumped in her arms like a baby colt kicking to get free. With her Slayer senses she could see the bullet while most others would have trouble, it went sailing over the demons head to hit the keep behind, leaving a tiny cloud.
The army-boys on the other hand didn't miss and they didn't stop shooting. Only it took more than a single bullet to kill them. Cursing under her breath Kennedy sighted down the gun and fired again. This time catching the demon in the head, staggering it but not killing it. She was at a loss as to how, but another two bullets turned it into goo.
"It's not working!" She shouted to Mitchell.
"It will, keep going!" He shouted back. Kennedy tried again, this time she clipped one of them in the side. Enraged it fired it's crossbow at her.
Her gun dropped from suddenly numb fingers as she looked down. A short wooden rod stuck out just beneath her right collar bone. Sitting down hard Kennedy blinked at it. It was supposed to hurt wasn't it? She didn't feel anything and her arm wasn't cold so much as just not there anymore. She wasn't even bleeding, it was is if someone had just stuck half a crossbow bolt to her top.
There was someone next to her shouting words she couldn't understand, something she couldn't hear. Pushing them away Kennedy tried to stand up, only for the world to start spinning. The last thing she saw was the ground coming up as it all faded to black.
A crossbow bolt bounced off Dawn's armour with a small explosion. Wincing she pulled back. "There's no way the others will make it. It's too crowded out there." As well as the Rangers there were still both Slayers and a marine left in their group and she wasn't going to lose anyone else.
"What do we do?" Cassie asked, "We need to hit them somehow." They'd found the other two Rangers after Faith had collapsed the ceiling in behind them with her cannon and literally dropped in on them. Right now she was coving them in case they were attacked from behind.
Glancing out again Dawn had an idea. "Black, think you an find a way back upstairs?"
The Green Ranger twirled her Flute. "Bring them together, then you take the power blaster up there and try and get a shot across the yard."
"What the hell are we going to do? Braid each others hair?" The Marine asked as the Rangers began to draw their Power Weapons.
"Covering fire." Dawn answered. "Blue and Yellow, go with Black, use your Blade Blasters. The rest of us stay here and so what we can."
Dawn knew how tempting it was to shout out while she put the parts together and was impressed when Faith didn't. She handed over her Flute. "Here, load this too. We might only get one shot so make it count." They'd done it before, adding the Dragon Flute to the end of the Power Blaster made it even more powerful. They'd need that if they were going to punch though wall and Dark Crystal.
Faith looked startled for a second and then drew her Blade Blaster. "Alright, but you need a weapon."
"Fa… Black are you sure?"
"I'll have my hands full." Faith told her loading the Flute. "Like you said I'll need cover."
Taking the weapon Dawn flipped it into it's laser mode. She didn't need it, after all she could always summon Saba and let lose with him, but Faith was right she wouldn't be able to use it and the last thing anyone needed was for one of them to run out there and get shot.
She turned to the Slayers; "Tina, Kay. How you holding up?" Kay was obviously terrified and Tina eager to get going.
"What are we going to do, sit here and wait?" She asked hefting her short sword. "I want to go with Black. Maybe…"
"No, you're sticking here with us." Dawn shook her head, thinking quickly; "We've probably cleared out this side of the walls. If they want to stop us they'll have to come though here. We've got to keep them from doing that."
"But you've got guns and stuff." Tina pointed out.
"That doesn't mean they can't get close." Connor joined in. "We need Slayers to cover close range while Black has our weapons."
Kay put a hand on her fellow Slayer's shoulder. After a moment Tina got the message. "Alright, but you guy's owe us."
Buffy ran across the courtyard, swinging the Troll Hammer in an infinity loop. Batting away the short bolts that flew her way. She couldn't stop, the weight of the hammer and it's momentum pulled her faster and faster. She knew that eventually she would lose her footing and fall flat on her face. Until then she would keep going, straight at the big building in the middle of the castle.
Behind her Willow was holding up a shield spell against the onslaught of bolts, keeping the others safe as they tried to keep up. Behind her Buffy heard the stuttering sound of the machine guns, picking off any demon that was foolish enough to poke its head out.
All too quickly they were at the wall and Buffy had no way of stopping herself. There was only one thing she could do to stop now. At the top of the hammer's loop Buffy spun around and threw herself into the wall. Stone shattered like glass and the blonde Slayer tumbled over the debris.
She must have hit her head because the next thing she knew two Slayers were lifting rubble from on top of her. "Did we make it?" Buffy asked trying not to move too much.
"Willow's leading the army guys, she said she can feel where the Crystal thing is." One of the Slayers told her, "We stayed behind to help."
"Thanks." Buffy grinned before rummaging in the rubble for the Hammer. Surprisingly it wasn't broken. Using it as a crutch Buffy pulled herself up, she was whole too, with just as much surprise. Hitting the wall the way she had the Slayer was fairly sure she'd brake something. Frowning Buffy looked around. "Where's the demons?" They should have looked like targets by now, or at least ducking God only knew how many crossbow bolts.
"They stopped just after you did your Cool Aid man impression."
Buffy looked at the Slayer for a horrible moment. "Oh bollocks."
"Bollocks?" A familiar voice echoed. "Since when did you become English, Slayer?"
The others spun around, letting Buffy see who just had spoken. It was Kendra, flanked by two demons, one was more than familiar. "Kendra, who are your friends?"
The former Vampire Slayer chuckled as she pulled her scythe from behind her back. She pointed at the biggest. It had a set of horns that hung down the back of it's head, like dreadlocks and two big tusks. Only several horns and one tooth was broken, "Oh, I think you've met Tretrax here." It was the large demon that captured her when she had first stumbled into this damn town. "And this is his sister Dydtrax."
"I can see the family resemblance." One of the Slayers smirked.
Buffy twirled her Hammer. "Yeah and I thought they were dead?"
"Well you'd know better than most, Buffy." Kendra smirked as she pulled out a second Scythe. "That's not enough to stop us."
"And that's cheating." Buffy nodded. Kendra must have picked up her Scythe too. "Alright girls, you dance with those two. The bitch is mine. I want my Scythe back."
"Come and get it."
Xander appeared in a flash of light on the deck of the pirate ship. Jennifer and the General with him. Each of them had one of those cool lighting pistols and as soon as the spots stopped dancing in front of him the one eyed carpenter started firing.
His depth perception might have been off, and he missed more than he hit, but that didn't matter. There were more than enough demons and between them the General and Jennifer were good enough not to miss.
Giles, a Slayer called Amy and the only Marine that hadn't been drafted for the raids on the Castle's were beaming in on the other side of the ship. Another flash of light over the front told Xander they had landed. In the rush to get on the ship they hadn't really come up with anything concrete. Xander and his team were supposed to scuttle the ship as best they could, if it worked anything like the ones that actually sailed that meant blowing the wheel and putting a whole in the bottom.
Again the teams going after the Castles had taken all the C4 onboard the Apollo. Other than the lightning guns and a few grenades all they had were knifes and Amy's axe. "Fire in the hole." Xander shouted and rolled his grenade at the large wooden wheel. A couple of demons tried to catch the rolling bomb, but between them the General and Jennifer blasted at anyone that got in it's way. In turn Xander covered them.
Numbers, and Xander's missing eye, changed that. From his blind side a Demon armed with a whip lashed out at his arm. One moment he was firing wildly into a crowd the next rough leather had wrapped around his wrist and he was being dragged across the deck. The gun skittering away and overboard, far down into the city below.
"Xander!" Jennifer shouted as the pirates around him piled on. There were so many that none of them could get a solid blow. Instead Xander found himself crushed by them, taking vicious digs from knees and elbows as the weight made it harder to breath.
Swearing under his breath Xander searched for a gun, a knife, something to use but there was only one thing. A second grenade. A swift jab nearly broke a rib and Xander knew there was only one way out now. "See you soon Anya." Fumbling he got his finger around the pin and pulled.
Willow stumbled over her own feet. Catching herself on the wall she took a deep breath. Something was wrong, very wrong. "Wait. Wait, stop." She half shouted, the solders turned to her.
One of them turned around. "What is it?"
"Everyone stop." She repeated, looking carefully at him. "Can't you feel it? We're tired, dizzy and getting weaker."
The others looked at each other, they all had bags under their eyes and were pale. Sickly pale, not from lack of sunlight. "I thought it was just me, what's happening to us?" One asked.
"It's the Crystal, it has to be." Willow reasoned. Taking a deep breath she called on her magic. Calming her mind Willow reached out to the world around her. Sensing magic was different for everyone but usually it meant feeing something approaching, like a wave, as the mystical energy effected everything in it's path. Now it felt like the opposite as if magic or something else was being sucked from them. "Oh Great Gia, no."
"That's not a good thing, is it?"
Willow pulled herself back, throwing up ward after ward around her heart. Protecting herself. It was just enough to slow the degradation down. "Our souls, the crystal is sucking our very lives. The closer we get the worse it will be."
The lead marine looked at his men for a fraction of a second. "Team two to all teams. Caution, limit contact with the objective. Extreme danger to anyone coming in contact. Keep your distance."
"Green Ranger here. We're taking it out at range already."
"Mitchell here, Thanks for the heads up." He sounded sarcastic. "We forgot to pack a rocket launcher and we're all out of grenades. Any suggestions?"
Willow closed her eyes again and reached out, feeling for a tremor or weakness in the field. "Above, up." She whispered before pulling back, her head spinning. Retching she wanted to throw up but she hadn't eaten anything all day. "Up, we have to get above it."
"Up, got it." Mitchell repeated over the radio. 'Fall back to the Keep's walls I think I saw something on the outside that looked like stairs."
"Yes sir." The marine with Willow nodded and waved at his men to follow him back. Outside Willow hissed in surprise Buffy and the two Slayers that had with them were facing off against a dark skinned vampire and a pair of really nasty looking demons, one boy and one girl. They were all horns, armour and claws.
It took the witch a moment to recognise the vampire. It was Kendra and she was waving around a pair of scythes. Buffy should have been seriously outmatched, but she was holding her own. Even Willow knew the hammer wasn't made for parrying but Buffy made a good job of it. The Slayers on the other hand were fighting for their lives and not doing half as good.
"We've got to help them!" Another of the marines pulled back something on the side of his gun, arming it.
"No!" Willow shouted, pushing the gun to one side. "The crystal. We have to destroy it, now! They'll be okay."
Willow didn't bother listening. The effect of the Crystal was less outside the keep but she could still feel what it was doing to her, to all of them. eventually it could leech the life-force out of the very Earth itself "Let's go."
The suicidal head on charge through the courtyard meant that Cameron was alone with half the C4 he had to start with and a dry magazine. Crouching down on the outside staircase, hugging the wall he threw his shotgun over the edge. The SAW was long gone. That just left his side arm and Zat. A wave of bolts rattled against the wall and he kept his head down. "This day just gets better and better." he muttered to himself.
He was tired, dead tired. Out of breath, his legs were burning and head pounding. From the sound of things it was the damn thing inside. He had to get up, had to move, but the longer he at there the harder it was. Like waking up after a days hard march and then going on a bender the only thing he wanted to do right now was stop and catch his breath, maybe close his eyes.
Just for a little while…
End Chapter Nine
After more than a month of banging my head against solid writers block I've finally done it. I've finished this chapter and I am ready to hit the ground running for the next…