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The New York Chronicles (part 1)
Posted By: SeverianofUrth<residentpark@aol.com>
Date: 18 June 2004, 3:04 AM

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      The bombing resumed after some time, again shattering the already-half-obliterated pavements of New York into miniscule chunks of unconsequential need. James ducked as a chunk of masonry flew past his over-large head; his specially-issued helmet was missed by less than a feet.
      "The Covenant are here again, sarge!" James yelled. He had already lost his rifle somewhere; and the stink of urine followed him like a dog following a cart of artificial bones. That is, you couldn't smell anything unless you tried.
      Sergeant Banks had long since learned to control his olfactory sensors around Private James. Ever since the man shit in his own pants-
      Another explosion rocked the earth; James fell with a hoarse scream onto the ground.
      "Quit your yapping, soldier." Sergeant Banks, already with his nerves frayed by the lack of reinforcements and the continuing flow of incoming Covenant units, felt like knocking the fat-headed draftee across the head. Hard. "What the hell happened to your gun, private?"
      "Sir, -oh shit- lost it gunning down a fucking monkey, sir!" James yelled.
      "Then I suppose you slaughtered half a dozen Elites with them plasma swords with your bare fuckin' hands, huh, private?"
      "Yes sir! Them Jedis' ain't going nowhere but- I meant, no sir!"
      "Just get a damn gun, private."

      James nodded hurriedly; he then started looting around the corpses for a rifle. Another explosion rocked the earth, and some debris fell down from the roof of the Bank they were currently bivoucking in; screams of the dying somehow reached everyone's ears.
      'This is bad,' thought Sergeant Banks. Somehow, he was the highest ranking officer right now. 'Real bad.' He looked at James, trying desperately to load his newfound rifle. 'Never been worse.' He looked around, saw the twenty or so men still standing, weariness and fear etched clearly on their faces. 'Brave men all. Poor men all.'

      "Oh shit, incoming Covenant! Them King Kongs, sergeant!" A man yelled, who was on watch.
      "People, get ready! Move like your lives depended on it, cause it does! Private James, get your ass down here, keep watch, and lob that fucking grenade if things go wrong, understand?" Without waiting for an answer Banks ran outside, shotgun held high.
      Brutes, half a dozen of them, were moving fast through the debris-littered streets, their brutal slug-throwers held high. The blades gleamed with blood.
      "Rockets! Fire!"
      A rocket was shot, and hit a incoming Brute square on the head. It's skull blew up; chunks of purple blood littered the ground. The other monkeys roared then, and started charging fast, slugs shooting.
      A man next to Sergeant Banks fell down, slug lodged in his throat. "Fire for their heads you brain dead slugs!"

      James watched with widened eyes, as the Brutes charged the line of men. Two more fell from the continued fire; then the remaining three burst upon the men, their blades bashing heads, lopping off limbs.
      He saw Sarge throw expertly a frag grenade into a mouth; head blew. The sole remaining ape, roaring into the air, blood frothing it's mouth. Disregarding the gunfire, it jumped onto the sergeant-
      "Noooo!" Yelled James. He cried. Sarge fell back, back broken, mouth opened in a stilted scream.

      The last Brute was taken down. James ran disconsolably to the stiff body of the sergeant. He was dead. A corpse littering the ground like so many others.
      James fished the sarge's pockets, looking for the letter he saw him writing. He found it; it was addressed "dear wife." Weeping, James pocketed it, hoping to send it to Banks's probably dead or captured wife, his large head bobbing back and forth.

      A man, unknown to him, hauled James up by the arm. Looking down at him, then at the body, he said, "sorry, mate."
      "It's... nothing." James, tears staining his watery eyes, replied. Shit crusted his pants.

      James followed the remaining men, ten in all, as they ran across ruined roads and scattered corpses to some place safer. The whine of passing Covenant transports ripped the air; and everywhere the sound of gunfire and plasma filled the already-overloaded air.

      "I'll get your letter home, sarge." He vowed. Maybe he should have done it near the dead body; but nonetheless, James intended to keep his newly-made vow.
      Then, another explosion filled the air, and a nearby building fell with a dusty wheeze onto the men. And James.

      'Maybe death is something that we shouldn't fear, and instead revere. That is, if we want to create brainwashed legions of fanatic suicidal soldiers, ala Al Quaida.' James looked around. Maybe he wasn't dead...
      He was trapped, though. Just too damn trapped within a collapsed building.