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Another Author's Babble!(If these are annoying, pretend like they aren't there and then you won't be bothered anymore.)
Chapter Fifteen: I'm thirsty. I'm gonna go get some water.
"Cavalry's here. Cavalry's a frightened guy with a rock, but it's here."-Xander
Energy weapons are a lot scarier in person than they are on TV. So are aliens. And seeing Willow's eyes turn black? Could have done without that experience. Oh yeah, and the part where the alien foot army suddenly had air support? I'm glad I'm a girl cause, damn, did I scream like one.
Okay, the battle began completely different then I imagine Wes envisioned it. We had a lot of surprises before we could be organized and even then I had surprises because I was only in on part of the planning. But I'm certain that was just so I could be pleasantly surprised mid-battle when I thought we were all going to die painful deaths.
The battle itself took place in a grassy valley just south of Bishop, which was just below the beautiful resort town of Mammoth Lakes, California. The biggest surprise was the location. There wasn't supposed to be flat ground. We were supposed to be in the city itself before the aliens arrived. It was okay, though, we dealt. At least it was just after dusk so our nocturnal allies could leave the RVs before they were blown up.
The magic folk began their attack at once, bringing down a huge lightning storm that was strong enough to take out more than half of the advancing army's shields. Angel advanced with my Spike at his side, backed by a surprisingly large amount of demons which just grew larger as more arrived from different parts of the state. Apparently our plea to the underground worked quite well.
The next attack by the magic folk was in the form of huge roots growing from the ground to wrap around the legs of the rear portion of the immense force of glowing blue aliens. This tripped them up for quite a while as they had to tear free and the thorns that grew on the vines were poisonous as well. I don't quite know if the poison really effected the invaders, but the thorns still snuck through their armor in some places.
By that time my group of sharpshooters had given up staying out of sight. There were absolutely no shots available to us from our position. I ordered them forward through Gunn's human ranks even as Wesley sent the same order to my mind through a spell he'd set to allow him to communicate with the leaders in the group. I gave up my unit's distinction and we hit the front line with other humans and learned close up that the aliens were quite vulnerable to gunfire when their shields were down.
I don't know how long it was before we heard the horrible rumble from above that we recognized from the death of L.A. We were pretty much screwed, so I shrugged and leapt bodily on the nearest alien that I saw and found it easy to the point of disappointing, to snap it's neck. It fell dead and I landed on top of it, scrambling to grab up the creature's weapon. It looked like something from the Men in Black, its barrel shiny metal and rounded where a human gun would be flat. I looked up, to see my fellow humans and a few demons fighting hand to hand with the creatures without shields. I spotted a dark force approaching from the right and sighed with relief.
The real soldiers had arrived. The army that Buffy and Riley had commandeered from almost willing officers crashed into the alien army and began to decimate it. I let out a soft cheer and ducked the arm of an overzealous green demon thing fighting next to me.
A flash of blue brought my attention back to myself in time to face one of the critters with its shield still functioning barreling through those still fighting near me. The thing was running, shooting as it went, and as I watched, it took out more than ten of the good guys. I'd thought I was frozen in fear, watching it approach, until I realized that I was shooting at it, my fingers scrabbling at the strange shape of the trigger. Apparently my hands can think without me. And apparently the energy weapons can punch straight through their shields.
It didn't take long after that before most of us were toting enemy weapons. It kind of made me wonder. Why didn't their shields protect them? Was friendly fire not a problem for them? Hadn't any of their other opponents done this? Or was resourcefulness merely an Earthling trait?
I didn't have much more time to wonder because Wesley ordered a retreat. I blinked. Why? We were winning! But then I noticed again the familiar whining above us in the night sky and I bellowed the order, hearing Angel's voice yelling the same from nearby. We all ran, trying to dodge the bodies spread over the terrain as well as the continued enemy fire. There was no way we'd get clear in time. All of L.A. had been decimated by the last blast. This one would come down right on our heads. We kept running anyway.
We hit the circle of RV's and all turned as one to see our death's coming to us, but that wasn't what happened. That was when I saw the formation of magic users. They were to my left and as I turned I saw five circles of seven in formation of a pentagram with none other than my sweet, loving, beautiful little Willow at the center, her eyes glowing an eerie black. I shivered, seeing black lightning race towards and then into her as she rose into the air, her arms raised above her head and toward the ship.
That's when everyone hit the deck under Wesley's order. The next few minutes I spent staring at patch of grass that my face was smooshed into. I listened to roar of several explosions, the supernatural whisper of magic and the frantic beating of my own heart. I felt winds push at me before rubble of the dirt and stray body part variety rained down upon us. Wesley ordered us to our feet again and I jumped up, turning to see what happened. I blinked in surprise. The enemy ship was in flames and no longer quite as airborn as is had been. In fact it was buried halfway into the ground a football field away surrounded by rubble and corpses of who knows how many species of demon and alien and human.
<Alright, citizens of Earth! Finish what you started!> Wesley commanded and those of us who could stand were running back towards the much reduced alien force to put an end to the battle.
"It's a big rock. I can't wait to tell my friends. They don't have a rock this big."-Spikey
It was bloody amazing, the spell Red used to take out the ship. It was like she reached up and plucked the thing out of the sky and smashed it down smack on the main group of alien buggars. I didn't get to see much of the destruction, though, seeing as my froufy sire chose that moment to remember what a tight and tasty arse I've got and decided to save it. He practically threw me into the ground and hovered over me. Annoying? Hell yes! Convenient? Hell yes! I didn't get hit with any of the dirt and body parts flying around.
I didn't have a chance to really appreciate the carnage after because Angel was already yanking me to my feet and dragging me back into battle, shoving one of the critter's guns into my arms, like I was some stupid fledge needing him to show me how to fight. I just snarled at him and jumped into the fray.
I didn't pull out of my demon's bloodthirsty rage until I noticed that the alien bastards were retreating into the wreckage of their downed ship. As I watched, trying to figure out how the battle was going to progress I caught sight of a familiar figure running in my general direction. I watched as Riley Finn fought his way through a few alien survivors in the area and then looked at me. He opened his big obnoxious farm boy mouth to say something undoubtedly stupid. When he jolted to a stop, a flash of blue blearing by him.
He caught and held my eyes, giving me the look of pure agony and fear that I hadn't seen on a human face in so long, his eyes loosing focus before he tore his eyes downwards. I looked at where he was staring and shivered despite myself. The soldier was lacking his entire right arm. It was shorn off by the stray blast from just below the shoulder, leaving nothing there. Riley just stood, staring at the place where his arm was supposed to be.
Unconsciously, I sniffed for his blood, but smelled nothing beyond the little caused by the scrapes and cuts he'd sustained before now. I took a few steps closer, pausing to kick and then snap the neck of a charging alien, and took another look. The wound on his shoulder was cauterized neatly by the heat of the energy blast. No blood. Lucky for the git, he wouldn't bleed to death. I noticed the way he was staring at the slightly mangled arm on ground that still clung to the alien rifle he'd been carrying.
No, the git wouldn't die from blood loss. He'd die of shock in a minute. Or get mowed down while he just stood there, staring at his arm. Or lack thereof. Stupid fragile humans. That reminded me of what I'd been trying to forget since the beginning of the battle. Xander could just as easily be one of the mangled corpses lying on the broken ground. Or standing somewhere, defenseless, staring at the stump that was his arm or leg. That thought drew me over to Riley and had me pulling him bodily back towards the RVs where that Lorne bloke had set up the medical staff.
I must've killed three more aliens on the way and even one vamp who figured Soldier-boy for a quick snack mid-battle. I blew its head off with my alien gun and continued on towards the medics. By some miracle, a human male, covered in what smelled like four different people's blood, appeared at my side and took control of the absent soldier. I nodded to the medic and turned to charge back toward the front lines. I preferred a healable vamp or demon up front than these fragile human fools.
When I'd reclaimed my place at my sire's side, I had to do a double take, as a small warrior took her place beside me. I stared for a split second as my fragile, human, tiny love shot the head off an alien and then made an oh-so-familiar "ick" face as she stepped over the body to meet another enemy head on. The lithe female form slammed the butt of the gun into an opening in the creature's armor, causing it to curl downward. Xander took the opportunity to slash the critter's throat with a wicked looking knife after it'd leaned far enough down for him to reach.
Now I've seen Xander in battle before, especially in the past few months as I supervised his taking his frustration out on the demon population of the hellmouth. I'd seen the whelp take out his fair share of enemies, but I'd never seen him move like this. He was pure grace and efficiency in a tight little package. He moved like the Slayer. I guess after watching her fight for so long, my boy had started picking up tricks.
Seconds later I was at his side, holding one of the few aliens left that wasn't running for cover. I grabbed the top of its scaly gray head pulled it back, offering its throat to my Love. He looked up at me, confusion in his dark eyes, then understanding as he sliced the alien's throat open. I dropped it and turned to look for another victim, my pet falling into step beside me.
We were disappointed though. By then, most of the enemy survivors had made it to the cover of the ship wreckage and were holding our forces off. Our army stood just out of range of their guns and took stock of the situation while those of our forces who breathed caught their breaths.
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