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War Comes To Earth: Chapter 2- Through The City
Posted By: Firestorm
Date: 17 May 2005, 3:10 AM

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2200 hours, January 17, 2553 (Military Calendar)
Liberty Island, New York City
Planet Earth, Milkyway System

      Officer Frank McDougal huddled behind the bush staring at the Statue of Liberty. He had been sitting here, for nearly an hour, on the hard, freezing cold ground. His leg was beginning to cramp from not moving them. Though he wanted to stand and stretch it he didn't dare move.
      He stayed hidden behind his bush, out the sight of the Covenant. It wasn't a safe place, but it was the closest he could find. And running around in the open was just a quicker way to die.
      He had seen what had happened to those who had ran or try to fight back. The screams and moans of the wounded and dying seemed to come from everywhere around him and there was nothing he could do.
      He closed his eyes trying to erase the visions from his head. He didn't want to hear the screaming, the crying, the death. He just wanted to go home. But he knew he would probably never see his home again.
      Just then something caught his eye. Not far from him, sitting near the shores edge, was the only thing that was going to get him off this island. A Banshee.
      He knew he didn't know how to fly one, but he had very few choices. Sit there, be found by the Covenant and die or learn to fly. He chose to fly.
      Using all of the courage he had left, he counted to three than bolted for the Banshee. At first he thought he wasn't spotted. Then he felt the searing heat as plasma fire began raining down all around him.
      He dove towards the Banshee and climbed inside. He had no idea how to start it so began pressing buttons until it came to life. For the firsf time ever he was happy to hear the hum of an enemy vehicle. He grabbed the control sticks in front of him and thrusted them forward. The Banshee instantly shot backwards and slammed into the Staute of Liberty.He cursed under his breath and pulled back on the control sticks. This time he flew forward and straight up into the air. He began to get queasy as he flew loops in the air. The cockpit began to heat up from the continuous plasma fire from the Covenant.
      "I think I'm getting the hang this," he muttered through clenched teeth as he straightened out the Banshee and aimed for Ellis Island.

2230 hours, January 17, 2553 (Military Calendar)
Ellis Island, New York City
Planet Earth, Milkyway System

      Derrick Sunner lifted a young marine in his arms. He had taken a plasma shot to the chest but was still alive. The heat had burnt and melted away his armor and his flesh underneath it. He was taken deep raspy breaths and his eyes were barely open. Derrick knew he would die soon.
           The marine moaned, as if sensing his thoughts. His face was frozen by the agony that was coursing through his body. The medic might have had something to ease his pain. Who knew where he was now? Or whether he was alive or dead?
      The marines' eyes fluttered, then opened all the way. They didn't focus on him. The marines' hand clutched weakly at Sunner's jacket.
      His voice was breathily and weak. Recognizing how near death he was, he lied to ease him. "I'm here son."
      "It hurts."
      "I know."
      He never said anything else. He just stopped breathing and was gone. In a world gone strangely distant, he closed the marines' eyes. He gently laid the body down and gave a silent prayer.
      Derrick took a deep breath and rose to his feet. In this short amount of time they had lost many men and women. As he looked around, he saw that only about twenty-three of the marines had survived.
      In the distance New York City was glowing red from fires. The Covenant had attacked quickly and swiftly.
      Suddenly a whining sound reached his ears. He looked out over the water and saw a badly damaged Banshee flying towards them. It was barely staying in the air and it was easy to tell it was coming in for a crash landing.
      The Banshee's nose dipped down as it came closer and slammed into the ground. It slid to a stop five feet from Derrick. Every gun was leveled on the craft ready to shoot what ever came out. The craft opened and out stumbled a figure, too short to be an Elite.
      "Don't shoot me!" cried the man who nearly wet himself at seeing the guns pointed at him.
      Derrick lowered his gun and looked the man over. "Who are you, where did you come from, and how did you get this Banshee?"
      Over the next ten minutes the man explained what had happened. His name was Frank McDougal. He was one of the officers stationed on Liberty Island. He told how hid from the Covenant and escaped in one of their Banshees.
      "Sounds like you were a lucky one." Derrick said to him. "All right people, we need to find a safe place to get an evac out of this city. Have you found somewhere Henderson?"
      The man he was talking to was bent over a small holographic map. Without looking up he adjusted his thick glasses and pointed to an area on the map. "According to the map, Central Park seems to be the most logical position to depart from the city. For some obscure explanation there is limited Covenant presence there."
      Derrick walked over to where Henderson, with Officer Frank following close behind, looked over the map. A detailed three-dimensional image of the New York City area, focused on Central Park, was displayed. On the map he saw different color dots. Henderson pointed to one of the dots. "Red represents Covenant troops, yellow is UNSC forces, and the blue are surviving civilians."
      Derrick nodded as he looked at the map. He watched as lights from all three sides were flickering out. The Covenant had a clear advantage in numbers.
      Sunner studied the map. Finally, without looking up he said, "All right, sounds like a plan to me. What about being able to contact fleet command?"
      "Negative, communications are obsolete with fleet."
      Officer Frank looked like someone had just told him he was going to die. "You mean were going into the city. With the Covenant. Are you crazy? They'll kill us."
      Derrick turned to look at him. He had forgotten the man was even there. "Hey, we need to learn to adapt. I suggest you start real quick if you want to live. We are leaving tomorrow wether you come or not. Now everybody get some rest, your going to need it tomorrow."
      Frank just stared at Sunner as he walked away.

0730 hours, January 18, 2553 (Military Calendar)
Somewhere in the city, New York City
Planet Earth, Milkyway System

      Officer Frank followed closely behind the pack of marines. They had left early in the mourning without any type of breakfast. If he was at home ha would have still been sleep. He open his mouth let out yawn. He was carrying a Battle Rifle from the marines and his police issued M6C Pistol in its holster.
      He could feel the wind blowing across the now empty city. He could see it lifting and spreading the dust and trash that it kicked up.
      He wished that somebody would say something. It was just too quiet for him. They had just been invaded by an alien race and nobody was out fighting them. He didn't blame them any, because he didn't want to be there either. But it was strange how empty the city seemed.
      After half an hour they heard the roar of an engine slowly growing. When they reached the corner they saw were the sound was coming from. In the distance heading towards them was a black motorcycle. The rider's black helmet gleamed in the sun as he sped towards them.
      The motorcycle was not the only sound that reached his ears. A chill flowed down his spine as he heard the unmistakable hum of a Covenant vehicle.