DISCLAIMER: I don’t own the characters from either show and earn no profit in writing this.
Riley Finn looked over the scene silently, his face grim. He had seen battlefields before, but this was different. In most battles, there was a goal, a pattern that could be detected afterwards. There was no pattern here. No goal. There was an enemy, though. At least, that was what his superiors had told him. He wasn’t so sure. So far, he hadn’t seen anything but the aftermath of a natural disaster.
The demons that he and his team were supposed to be looking for were notably absent.
“I don’t see any demons,” Graham commented. All any of them could see was wreckage. Almost half of the buildings had been leveled and cars had been scattered about like discarded toys. They could be found on their roofs, on their sides, and in one instance sticking out of a second floor window.
Riley nodded his agreement. “Maybe the general got it wrong?”
For the next hour, they searched the ruins of the small coastal town, but found nothing to indicate demonic activity. Fortunately, they also found no bodies. They moved down the coast to a small island where evacuation had not gone as smoothly.
They were officially part of the search and rescue operations. The helicopter they traveled in gave them a perfect vantage point from which to search for the ‘sea monsters’ while maintaining their cover, directing Coast Guard vessels to stranded people. There was still no sign of the creatures after half-an-hour, but they did find four people stranded on the roof of a church tower
“Looks like a man and woman and two teenagers,” the pilot noted, “probably a family that didn’t make the last ferry.”
“Radio their position to the Coast Guard,” Riley ordered.
“I think I’ve got something,” Cooper, the group’s tech, called out. He had been focused entirely on the various pieces of scanning equipment aboard the helicopter, looking for any sign of activity in the water. The equipment ranged from standard radar and infra-red to a couple of highly specialized pieces of equipment they had picked up along the way. One such piece, that warned when magic was in use, had been a project of Willow Rosenberg’s and no one was quite sure how it worked. It hadn’t made a peep all day. Cooper was focused on one in particular. “There’s something moving under the water. I can’t get a clear read on it, though.”
“Size?” Riley moved to look over his shoulder.
“Either one very big something or a whole lot of little somethings moving together.” The image was distressingly vague.
Riley glanced at the other scanners, none of which told him anything. “We can’t wait for the Coast Guard,” he decided. “Let’s get those people out of there.” The chopper moved in over the roof. Three of the people were jumping up and down, waving their arms. Oddly, the fourth seemed to be backing away toward the edge.
“We can’t land on the roof,” the pilot reminded them. “You’ll need to use the slings or the ladder.” Riley didn’t bother to respond, already preparing to lower himself and Graham in slings to assess the situation. Setting foot on the roof, their manner of dress raised some eyebrows.
“I’m Major Finn, U.S. Army, search and rescue.” They nodded at his cover story, but the teenage boy still looked wary. “Don’t worry folks, we’ll have you back on shore in no time.” Whatever reassurances he planned to offer were cut off by the crackle of his radio and by the sound of water cascading off of something big. He activated his radio as he turned toward the sound.
A massive reptilian head rose to the level of the tower roof and regarded the group. It was roughly the size of a Humvee, and Riley didn’t want to think about the kind of body needed to support it. Three of the civilians backed away, but the boy, who was closest to the beast, didn’t move. Probably too scared
, Riley thought. I know the feeling
. The beast made a deep, rumbling, strangely musical sound, stared at them a few seconds longer, and then ducked down into the water again.
Several seconds passed before Riley realized that his radio was still crackling and a frantic voice was calling him. “Finn here,” he answered, activating the radio. “Contact HQ. Tell them…We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”