“Where do we start?” Fin was packing his bag: clothing, food, and other items they would need.
“Honestly? I have no idea what Magister Rochester expects us to find.”
Fin stuffed an extra ration into his bag and closed it. He looked at Grace, searching for her violet eyes in the dim bunker lighting. “It does seem like a bit of a longshot. But this Elementalist could really help us.”
Grace finished packing her own bag and turned toward Fin. Her hair shrouded her face in as much shadow as the minimal light. “He could. If we could find him. If he exists.” She shouldered her bag. “Fin, the truth is, we don’t know what we’re looking for or where.”
Fin dropped his gaze and briefly nodded. “He saved us in Times Square. That might be as a good a place as any to start looking.”
A soft thump caused Fin to glance at Grace. She had set her bag down on the floor and was sitting on one of the benches in the locker room. He shifted his weight, eyes darting toward the empty bench space next to Grace.
“Times Square isn’t exactly close to this bunker. Even if it was, you heard them. It sounds like the Soulless have overrun the city. Even if we can make it to Times Square, there’s still no guarantee the Elementalist would be there. And why would he? You remember what that place was like. The death, the destruction…”
Fin’s bag joined Grace’s on the floor as he sat next to her. He haltingly placed on a hand on her shoulder. “But what else can we do? I know what I saw. This Elementalist could help us turn the tide of the battle. Or at least help save more people.”
Grace shook her head. “We can run. We can leave with the rest and escape. You heard about Commissioner Wallace and the police.” Her head sank into her hands, but she didn’t shift away from Fin’s hand. “They’re all dead. So many dead.” She took a deep breath and sat up, turning to stare into Fin’s silver eyes. “And all of us could be next. Let the Soulless have New Brooklyn. It’s practically all rubble now.”
Fin brushed Grace’s hair out of her face. “They’ll follow us. You know they will. All leaving does is delay the inevitable. We have to stop the Soulless. We just have to. And to do that, we will need all the help and the allies we can find. So, trying to find an Elementalist and a German Shepherd in the middle of all of this is madness. But it’s what we have.” Fin stood, grabbing their bags and handing Grace’s to her. “And I’ll be damned if we just roll over and let the Soulless run rampant. What happened to New Brooklyn is terrible. But it’d be worse if it happened everywhere.”
Grace stood and hugged Fin, brushing her lips across his cheek. She grabbed her bag and shouldered it again. “That begs another question, though.”
Fin nodded. “If the Soulless have attacked here, is it isolated? Or is this happening everywhere?”
“Yeah. And why now? Why have the Soulless come back now?”
“Well, one mystery at a time. First, let’s see if we can find an Elementalist. Then, we’ll get the hell out of here, regroup, and see just how bad the world is.”
Grace smirked. “First, I think, we need to figure out where the hell we are. Times Square might be too far away. We can safely count on not having transport. And I’m not sure how safe teleporting will be.”
“I’m not sure we’re going to have a choice. We need all the time we can get. And daylight. I don’t to want to spend too much time moving around at night with Soulless out there.”