“Done?” she asked quietly. He nodded.
Just as she lifted her comm-unit, the others chirped.
Elina and Lee, almost in sync, each said, “Done.” Lee added in, “This baby is locked and loaded.”
Syn shook her head and muttered, “Don’t refer to the device as a child, Lee.”
Lee just laughed.
“Just need to get this set,” Syn said, ignoring Lee.
“Once we set them, we have forty-fives minutes to get clear and then these little bastards go boom.”
“I’m ready,” Elina said.
“Me, too. Let’s get this done.”
Syn caught Xan’s eye and nodded.
With one flick of his wrist, he armed the device. A timer flashed onto the display as they ran for the caribin.
Forty-five minutes. It should be plenty of time to get away safely, as long as the devices weren’t disturbed. They’d been set to detonate immediately if they were disturbed after being armed. For the next twenty or thirty minutes, Lee knew her heart was going to be somewhere in the vicinity of her heart, just out of nerves.
If a demon so much as touched one of those devices while they were in the area, they were dead—the demon and whatever team was unlucky enough to be in the area.
But as they drew closer to the rendezvous, nothing happened. She kept having Xan check the monitor and it showed the device was ticking away the minutes exactly as it had been programmed and no life-forms showed up even remotely close.
They had eight minutes left when they hit the rendezvous. Elina and Egan were already there.
Off in the distance, she heard the quiet hum of Kalen and Lee’s caribin. They had two stops, setting the fourth and final device, the one that would be closest to the camp, but they’d planted that one earlier and the monitor showed it to be in sync with the other three.
“Went off without a hitch,” Egan murmured, meeting her eyes and smiling.
But even as he said it, something cold settled in the bottom of Syn’s belly.
The monitor in Xan’s hand started beeping, sending out a warning.
Demons. Moving fast.
The wind kicked up, bringing with it the stink of brimstone. Death. Slowly, she turned and stared through the trees, in the direction she and Xan had come from.
Black-robbed figures. Raviners.
Elina was at her side the word even left Syn’s mouth. She met the older woman’s gaze and said, “We should have known it couldn’t be that easy.”
“As long as your little boomers go boom, then we win,” Elina said, her voice flat. “Might be a bloody victory but who the hell cares?”
Yes. It got very bloody. The Raviners were alone this time, but there were nearly two dozen of them—and they were enraged. Even once Kalen and Lee arrived, just minutes later, the rebels were outnumbered.
Separated from Xan, Syn fought against two of the Raviners. She fought with both metal and magic, using her knife because they were too close for her to use her pulsar without injury to herself as well. She used small, focused bursts of fire, afraid to use anything larger for fear it might beckon to any other Raviners that lingered nearby.
He came out of nowhere. One moment he wasn’t there. The next moment, he was. He wore his blond hair in a club down his back and carried nothing but bladed weapons. A fighter that cut through the Raviners with the flash of metal. For one second, Syn thought it was Morne. He moved like him. He bore a vague similarity to the healer. Was it…?