You Are Not Alone
Samoa Islands April 20, 1861
The sun beats down on my neck as my two colleagues, a guide, and I march through the thick jungle with large bugs flying around our heads.
Guide: “It’s over there.” The guide points up to the top of the mountain layered with rocks with his stick.
Bob: “Thank you. We can take it from here.”
Guide: “Be careful. The God may rain terror on you three when you disturb his rest.”
Joseph: “Come on, boys! We haven’t got all day!” I race up the mountain with my large leather sack slapping on my back each step I take. My two colleagues race up to catch me, sweating through their shirts like they just took a swim in a pond.
Henry: “Joseph! Wait up!” My heart races with excitement that I completely ignore my colleagues, and continue to climb up the mountain. As the summit draws closer, the ground becomes rocky and the vegetation decreases.
Bob: “The guide said to be careful!”
Joseph: “Don’t worry! Look!!” My eyes suddenly gaze up at the summit. A small structure is poking out just below it. My two colleagues finally make it to me and catch their breath.
Joseph: “You see that?!”
Henry: (panting) “See what?”
Joseph: “That!” I point to the structure protruding out beneath the summit.
Joseph: “Come on! Let’s go!”
Bob: (panting) “Geez, Joseph. Can you give us a break? We haven’t had one all day.”
Joseph: “Oh, you boys are so flimsy. I’ve been shot in the right lung during the war with the Natives twenty-nine years ago in Illinois and I feel splendid!” I grab my walking branch and start climbing up the mountain while my colleagues struggle to catch up.
Joseph: “Come on! Unless you don’t want to be on the papers in a few days!” I climb over large rocks and boulders, as the structure grows nearer.
When I finally make it, the structure is much bigger than I expected. It towers over me like a small house.
Henry: (panting) “Oh my God.” The structure is nearly half buried in the mountain. I slowly lean my hand over to touch it. It’s slightly warm.
Bob: “Is it hot?”
Joseph: “No.” I slide my hand over to another area. The entire surface is smooth, and black.
Henry: “Joseph, we need to set up camp soon. I see some clouds coming this way.” I notice some symbols embedded within the surface.
Joseph: “Bob, come take a look at this.” Bob walks over with his brush while Henry sets up a small camp a couple feet away.
Bob: “What is that?”
Joseph: “I don’t know.” Bob takes my place, and brushes away the black stuff covering the symbols.
Bob: “Hmm… this stuff is not coming off.” Bob takes out a rusty scalpel and chips off some of the black stuff into a small jar. As he starts clearing the stuff off, the symbols reveal themselves glowing slightly blue.
Bob: “Look at that.” The symbols look very static. I’ve never seen any other symbols like this.
Joseph: “Have you seen any of these?”
Bob: “No I have not.” Something then catches my eye. Something starts glowing just above my head. With my hand, I scrape off the black stuff to reveal a star glowing similar as the symbols.
Henry: “Joseph, Bobby! We need to set up! The storm will be coming!”
Joseph: “Just a minute, Hens! This is probably the greatest discovery we ever made!” I slowly raise my hand over to the glowing star. Just when I am about to touch it, a shock sends me flying next to Henry.
Henry: “Joseph!” Bob runs over and helps me sit up.
Bob: “Doctor! Are you okay?!”
Joseph: “I’m fine!” I sit up and quickly take a look at my left hand. Small blue sparks surge around my hand for a few seconds, then disappears. There are no cuts or burns. Suddenly, something turns on. We hear a metallic sound slowly roaring to life. The structure starts rumbling from the ground, and the star brightens.
Bob: “What’s going on?” Small blue lights climb up the structure in horizontal and vertical patterns until it reaches the top. The three of us stand up, still watching the structure brightening up until we realize its starts lifting slowly out of the ground.
Henry: “Joseph, we must get out of here!”
Joseph: “And so you are right, my friend.” Bob and Henry scurry down the mountain with their stuff clamped in their hands. I run behind them until the ground suddenly start shaking.
Bob: “What’s going on?!” I fall down on my knees and turn around to see the structure as bright as the sun. Before I know it, a large blast of blue light is dispersed along with a gust of wind. I open my eyes and notice there is a layer of blue light created by the structure. Everything is floating. The dust, the small rocks, even my glasses that are in front of me. I grab my glasses and put it back on to look at the structure still floating in the air, now covered with cracks of blue lights.
Henry: “Joseph! Come on!” I stand back up still staring at the lights. Suddenly, a large spark comes out and strikes me. I can feel my glasses shattering, and my right eye being engulfed by the large spark.
Joseph: “Aahh!!” Immense heat builds up in my head and surges around through my body until I feel a fire burning on my face. A voice appears in my head.
BRS: “They will come for you.”
Bob: “Joseph!!” The spark stops, but I can still feel the fire searing my eye. When the spark disintegrates, all the objects collapse.
Henry: “Joseph! Joseph!” Henry and Bob rush over to me, and lift me over their shoulders.
Bob: (faint) “We have to get out of here and find a doctor.”
PFC Kyle Harris
1st Battalion 6th Marines, U.S.M.C.
Camp Lejeune, N. Carolina December 20, 2012 08:09:55 AM
6th Marine Division:
MSgt. Ronald Romill
PFC Jerry Miles
Sgt. Eric Kresten
PFC Kyle Harris
LCpl. Zach Mc'Neil (medic)
SSgt. Michael Nomez
FSgt. Frank Piercen
Pvt. Craig Fisher
Cpl. Steven Corey (MG Gunner)
Sgt. Alex Lockey (sniper)
LCpl. Joe Stanar (MG Gunner)
Cpl. Paul Jordes
PFC Christopher Taylor
LCpl. Shaun Linelles (radio operator)
The mess hall is slightly crowded with Marines, chatting about their squad, or when they’ll be deployed. I walk inside after having a chat with my best friend, Sergeant Eric Kresten.
Sgt. Kresten: “And so I said to her, ‘Bitch, I’m gettin’ that game!’ And she said, ‘Oh no! Not ‘till we get laid!’” We grab our trays, and pile our plates with eggs, pancakes, and sausage while watching the TV. Apparently, I only see a few of our squad.
TV: (Newscaster) “Good morning America, and breaking news as well. An earthquake with a measure that surpasses all the previous earthquakes, and a discovery that scientists found near the moon that will shock the world. Could this be part of the Mayan's prediction of the end of the world?” We carry our trays to our squad sitting in front of a TV hanging from a pillar.
Pvt. Fisher: “Fuck that shit, man.”
LCpl. Linelles: “You don't believe the end of the world?”
Pvt. Fisher: “Who the fuck wants to listen to a bunch of crazy-ass Mexicans smokin' on pot predicting the world's gonna blow up by ET?!” Private Fisher takes a bite out of a sausage, then spits it out a second later.
Pvt. Fisher: “Agh! And I can’t even get a decent breakfast here! I bet McDonald’s is a helluva lot better than this shit.”
Sgt. Kresten: “If you stop acting like a ten-year-old screaming after he got no-scoped, then you might have a chance of surviving in the field.” Staff Sergeant Nomez perks his head up and sees Eric and I walking over to the table.
SSgt. Nomez: “Well, well, well. Look what we have here.”
PFC Taylor: “Birthday boy, Staff Sarge.”
PFC Harris: “Heh… not till tomorrow.” I settle my tray on the table and watch the TV while eating my breakfast.
TV: (Newscaster) “Just nearly two hours ago, a major earthquake has struck the Samoa Islands in the south Pacific, measuring nine-point-zero. That's right, nine-point-zero. The earthquake left a two-mile wide hole in the center of the island, as well as bringing major tsunamis all over the Pacific. People living in Australia are now being evacuated at this time. The catastrophic wave has already hit Fiji and other small islands around. Rescue workers indicate the earthquake has left no survivors on the Samoa Islands.”
PFC Harris: “Where’s everyone else?”
SSgt. Nomez: “They went out to some diner. Don’t know where.” Fisher suddenly gets up and walks away.
Pvt. Fisher: “Well, screw this shit! I’m outta’ here!” All of us stare at Fisher walking out of the mess hall, then at each other.
Sgt. Kresten: “What’s with him? He’s been acting like an old haggy wife.”
SSgt. Nomez: “Just leave him.”
TV: (Newscaster) “Speaking of which, scientists and astrologists found something unusual close to our moon. A cluster of meteorites has been discovered heading in our direction at high velocity.”
Sgt. Kresten: “What’s this?”
PFC Taylor: “Dunno. News people are talking about some quake occurring in the Pacific, and NASA finding some asteroids heading towards us.”
Sgt. Kresten: “Heh… looks like the Mexicans weren’t crazy after all.”
TV: (Scientist) “Right now, we've noticed and identified seven or nine out of... twenty or thirty meteorites, have a different power level and light emissions. This first one we found out, which is taken by the Hubble space telescope, is emitting a pinkish-white color. This next one has the longest tail out of all the meteorites we've counted for. It's showing a reddish color near the core. That means these meteorites are not what we expected.”
TV: (Reporter) “Where do you think they will land?”
TV: (Scientist) “I believe each colored meteorite is scheduled to land in every major city across the globe. The smaller ones are like magnets. They follow these colored meteors wherever they go.”
Several corridors down the hallway, our new platoon leader, Second Lieutenant Cortez, is getting his briefing from Major Jorgen.
Maj. Jorgen: “Here's the file. You'll be leading Charlie Company; Cold Steel December Six.” Jorgen hands our platoon file over to him. Cortez takes a swift scan at it.
Lt. Cortez: “Master Sarge Romill...”
Maj. Jorgen: “He was one of the best back in Afghanistan. Damn took out an entire infantry with an M2 on a tank.”
Lt. Cortez: “Staff Sarge Nomez, and First Sarge Piercen...”
Maj. Jorgen: “They both served in the same company in Iraq. Evac'd their platoon while a whole division charged at 'em.”
Lt. Cortez: “Huh... I could already see that.”
Maj. Jorgen: “Also read your file, John.” Cortez stops reading, and looks up.
Maj. Jorgen: “I know how it feels, buddy. Believe me. I was a Corporal back in Ninety-one.” Cortez leans over to the Major, placing his arms on the edge of his desk.
Lt. Cortez: “I was a SEAL. Back in O-four. I watched my squad die while I was being dragged into a medic chopper. That’s all I know.” Jorgen stays quiet as Cortez returns to reading the file.
Lt. Cortez: “Somehow, these names just… remind me…”
Maj. Jorgen: “Fisher.”
Lt. Cortez: “What?”
Maj. Jorgen: “Private Fisher. Good Marksman. But, has an attitude. His brother was part of your squad back then.” There is a silence for a while. Cortez closes the portfolio and starts to walk out of the office.
Maj. Jorgen: “Hey. I need that file back.”
Lt. Cortez: “I need to know my squad, right? I’ll give it back in a few.” Cortez walks out, leaving Major Jorgen a blank face.
Cortez strolls through the training area, watching the recruits jumping around and exercising each other.
Marine: “One! Two! One! Two!”
FSgt. Piercen: “Come on, Harris! Ten more! Ten more! Do it for ya’ birthday!”
Sgt. Kresten: “Come on, buddy!” Piercen, Kresten, Taylor, Corey and Stanar cheer me on as my aching arms lift me up to do another set of pushups.
Cpl. Corey: “You can do it!”
PFC Harris: “N… ninety-six. Ninety… seven.”
LCpl. Stanar: “Come on, man! Three more! Three more!” With my arms begging for mercy, I finally finish my pushups and collapse on the cold ground. My team cheers for me and lift me off the ground.
Sgt. Kresten: “Yeah buddy!!”
LCpl. Stanar: “Great job, Private! Hooah!!” They all carry me back inside while other Marines and Cortez watch.
Lt. Cortez: “Heh… so that’s my squad.”
I check out my irregular star-shaped birthmark on my neck on a mirror in my bunker.
Sgt. Kresten: “How’s the tattoo?”
PFC Harris: “Eh, its okay. Started itching this morning.”
Sgt. Kresten: “Want Mc'Neil to check it out?”
PFC Harris: “Nah.” Kresten plumps on his bed and turns on a small TV on a coffee table in the corner. Sergeant Eric Kresten, Private First Chris Taylor and I live in this bunker that's barely the size of an apartment room forever. Eric and I were friends since we were in grade school. We later met Chris during middle school. Shortly after high school, we all signed up in the Marines like we wanted to.
PFC Harris: “What’s on?” Just before Eric turns on the TV, we hear a booming beat.
PFC Harris: “The hell…?”
Sgt. Kresten: “Hold on.” Eric gets out of his bed and walks to the door. As he opens it, the booming sound gets louder. I can hear a person rapping along with the beat. Eric takes a couple steps across the narrow hallway, and opens the door to Private Fisher on his laptop listening to rap music on a large stereo. Eric closes the door behind when Fisher looks up at him. Moments later, the loud beating music stops, and Fisher’s voice screams out.
Pvt. Fisher: (faint) “The fuck, man?!” The door opens, and Eric nonchalantly walks back to our room, closing the door behind. I smile as he jumps back on his bed and picks up the remote.
Sgt. Kresten: “All done.” Eric turns on the TV and flips through the channels.
TV: (Newscaster) “...meteors rain terror all over the coast of Asia...”
TV: (Newscaster) “Evacuations are now underway in the west coast, but some curious spectators stayed behind to witness...”
TV: (Newscaster) “The President has ordered all US Military personal in the Middle East to return to the states...” Eric plays around with the remote, switching every channel. Then, Taylor walks in.
PFC Taylor: “Guys, there’s something on TV.”
Sgt. Kresten: “Yeah, yeah. The meteors, we know...” Taylor snatches the remote out of Eric's hand, and changes it to CNN.
TV: (Newscaster) “Breaking news, an unknown enemy has hit the shorelines of Los Angeles in a militaristic attack.” The screen changes to Marines in the streets engaging at thick smoke while civilians run away.
PFC Harris: “The hell’s going on?”
PFC Taylor: “Here. Look.” The screen changes again to a chopper camera. From above, the entire beach front about a couple miles away is covered in fire and smoke.
TV: (News Pilot) “You can see here, that these things just came out of the ocean, and started killing everyone. Oh my God, Karen! Are you seeing this?!” The camera moves down to the streets. The three of us slightly jump back to see a cluster of bulky figures breaking through defense lines, with another figure completely different standing in the middle of the street.
PFC Harris: “Jesus!”
Sgt. Kresten: “The hell is that?!”
TV: (News Pilot) “These things…! They just broke through one of the defense lines that the Marines just set up! Oh my God. Oh my God.”
TV: (Pilot) “What the hell?!” The camera suddenly jerks up, catching a glimpse of a figure with long hair, horns, and a large sword coming right at them. Then, the TV blacks out. We stare at the static screen, with our mouths open.
Sgt. Kresten: “The fuck was that?” I try to answer Eric, but just after watching the news, nothing is coming out. Then, Corporal Corey barges in with his gear all strapped.
Cpl. Corey: “Guys. Get your gear ready. We’re moving out.”
PFC Taylor: “Wait. What?”
Cpl. Corey: “The whole damn base is being mobilized. Get your gear ready.”
PFC Harris: “Why?”
Cpl. Corey: “Getting word that the meteors are gonna hit the Big Apple.”
Sgt. Kresten: “What?” Corey leaves the room without answering Eric. We all stare at each other confused.
PFC Taylor: “I have a feelin’ it’s an invasion.”
Just outside of the briefing room, Lieutenant Cortez is speaking to First Sergeant Piercen while everyone is scrambling around them.
Lt. Cortez: “I'll be putting you as part of the squad leader, as well as Staff Sergeant Nomez and Master Sergeant Romill. I know it's a big task, but you can handle it.”
FSgt. Piercen: “Thank you, sir.”
Lt. Cortez: “Anything I need to know about the squad?” Piercen stops and thinks for a moment.
FSgt. Piercen: “Um… just watch out for Private Fisher. He… does have one shitty attitude. Uh…Staff Sergeant Nomez is quite the ass kicker sir. And that’s basically it, sir.”
Lt. Cortez: “Okay. Tell Master Sergeant Romill and First Sarge Piercen to report to the briefing room at sixteen hundred. You’ll be in it as well. When the meeting’s done, mobilize our squad.”
FSgt. Piercen: “Aye, sir.”
Lt. Cortez: “I’m gonna have a chat with Romill.”
FSgt. Piercen: “Sir?”
Lt. Cortez: “Nothing. Tell Nomez and Romill to get ready.” Cortez walks off while Piercen stares a little confused. He turns around to see the TV hanging in a corner surrounded by Marines watching the chaos at Los Angeles.
Marine: “You seeing this man?”
Marine: “No shit, dude.”
TV: (Newscaster) “It seems that we have been invaded by an unknown enemy off the coast of Los Angeles…”
In our small bunker room, I count out my magazines in my vest; while Eric packs up HE rounds in his pouch.
PFC Harris: “...nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen. Taylor, you got smokes?”
PFC Taylor: “Right here.” He tosses me a spare pack, and I put it in one of my pouches.
TV: (Newscaster) “We are now getting word of more meteorites entering our atmosphere and descending over many parts of Europe and Asia...” I grab the remote and change the channel.
TV: (Newscaster) “...parts of the world. The President has ordered full evacuations in major cities in the US.”
Cpl. Jordes: “Yo, you seein' this shit?” We turn around to see Corporal Jordes standing with his gear all ready.
Sgt. Kresten: “What about it?”
Cpl. Jordes: “Damn meteors are landing everywhere across the world.”
PFC Taylor: “Jesus. Almost like a movie.”
Cpl. Jordes: “Nah, man. This is the real deal.”
TV: (Newscaster) “Already the west coast was hit by some unknown figures with a swift and militaristic attack.” On the small screen, more meteors rain over the burning city of London, then switching to Hong Kong and the Middle East where our troops are evacuating.
PFC Harris: “Jesus.”
TV: (Newscaster) “It seems that our initial estimates were wrong.”
In the briefing room, Lieutenant Cortez, First Sarge Piercen, Master Sarge Romill, and Staff Sarge Nomez along with all other platoon leaders are being instructed by Major Jorgen.
Maj. Jorgen: “These objects were completely undetected until they were discovered near our moon. NASA scientists discovered that each meteor is surrounding the ‘colored comets’ as they named it.” A projector pops up a picture of one of the colored comets surrounded by five meteors.
Maj. Jorgen: “Thermal imaging the Hubble space telescope shows in each colored comet has a different geometric shape. The smaller meteors around them have the same. They all appear mechanical in nature.” Everyone in the room starts chattering.
SSgt. Nomez: “Invasion?”
FSgt. Piercen: “Likely so. Seen what happened in LA?”
SSgt. Nomez: “Yeah.” The projector changes to a close-up picture of the moon. There’s a small swell around the bottom edge.
Maj. Jorgen: “The telescope also picked up unusual activity on our moon. Now this haze-colored dome taken by Hubble was where the meteors were first appeared.”
Marine: “Do we know where they’re gonna strike sir?”
Maj. Jorgen: “We know that most are diverted in every major city across the globe. Scientists at NASA predict most of the colored comets will strike New York. Most of our forces will be diverted there.”
Lt. Cortez: “When will they strike?”
Maj. Jorgen: “Sometime late evening. Ever since the strike in LA, the government has issued full evacs in all cities across the nation. This is ‘not’ a meteor shower, gentlemen! The government has reached a critical DEFCON 2! That is right!” The room suddenly explodes with voices.
Lt. Cortez: “First Sarge, Staff Sarge. Get the squad ready.”
SSgt. Nomez: “Sir.”
MSgt. Romill: “Were facing a combat situation.”
Lt. Cortez: “Just like old times.”
MSgt. Romill: “I bet.”
Everyone is piled in the armory room getting their rifles. A Marine passes me an M16A4 with a Trijicon ACOG sight, and a tactical fore grip with a flashlight connected to it.
Marine: “Let’s go! Let’s go! Get your weapons! Get your ammo! Prepare to move out!” Eric loads up his MEU pistol, before stocking up on HE rounds. He gets an M4A1 Grenadier with as well a Trijicon ACOG sight. Everyone piles around the TV, staring at the meteors falling.
TV: (Newscaster) “We have just received word of unusual activity coming from the Samoa Islands, where the US Navy have discovered a familiar light source coming from the crater. Also, meteors continue to fall off the east coast…”
Marine: “Has anyone seen my stuff?!”
TV: (Newscaster) “…the government has issued a full evacuation in major cities across the US. We are also receiving word that the military is being deployed in New York, Chicago, and the south.”
Marine: “Marines! Out on to the field! Let’s go! Report to your companies!” Everyone scrambles out the door.
PFC Harris: “Shit, is this real?”
Sgt. Kresten: “I thought we’re going to Afghanistan as a birthday present for you.” He lightly punches me in the shoulder as a joke.
New River McAs Airfield 17:14:39 PM
The airfield is piled with Ospreys, Sea Knights, and Stallions. Marines run inside, but our squad is waiting for our Lieutenant. He comes up in a Humvee with Master Sergeant Romill.
LCpl. Stanar: “Yo, Corey!”
Cpl. Corey: “Yeah?”
LCpl. Stanar: “Fifty bucks if were being invaded by Mexicans who have technology from Russians!”
Cpl. Jordes: “Hey, asshole! I’m Mexican!”
Lt. Cortez: “Marines! Form up!” All of us stand in line side to side in front of the Osprey.
Lt. Cortez: “I’m sure you have heard about the meteors all over the world! Right now, we lost all communications in Los Angeles and the rest of the west coast! We’re experiencing an invasion, gentlemen! We do not know what they’re capable of! But one thing we do know is that we’re fighting for our home! Our country! Our freedom! So let’s show how we Marines fight, hooah?!”
Whole Squad: “Hooah!!”
Lt. Cortez: “Let’s go!” I grab my bag, and we all run in the Osprey, code-named Billbird Six-one.
Crew Chief: “Let’s go! Let’s go!”
MSgt. Romill: “First in, last out, Marines!” I sit close to the door to the cockpit, which is closed. Eric sits next to me, and puts his arm over me.
Sgt. Kresten: “Don’t worry man! We’ll be back before your birthday! Right, boys?!”
PFC Miles: “Hell yeah! Back in time for Harris’s birthday!”
Whole Squad: “Hooah!” Cortez and Ronald are the last to board.
Crew Chief: “Pilot, we’re on board!”
Billbird Six-one: “Roger that. Hawkeye Command, we are clear for takeoff.”
Hawkeye: “Copy that, Billbird. Most of the forces are being directed to New York. Two more battalions are diverted to Florida, over.”
Billbird Six-one: “Roger that. Billbird will be diverted to New York. Out.”
Sea Knight Pilot: “All birds, be advised. Army is joining the scene in New York. Three battalions are already arriving and are reporting that the meteors have entered the atmosphere, over.”
Pvt. Fisher: “Fuckin’ bullshit! Government wants us Marines in the Big Apple and now they’re sendin’ in the Army! Marines are fuckin’ better!”
MSgt. Romill: “Stop screwin’ around, Fisher! Get your head in the game!”
Pvt. Fisher: “Fuckin’ end-of-the-world my ass.” The Osprey lifts off from the tarmac. Everything inside shakes around at first, but it gradually settles. I look outside, watching the propellers rotate horizontally.
Lt. Cortez: “It’ll take a few hours to get to New York! Stay sharp and watch for any meteors entering our area!”
20 Miles away from New York City 21:15:04 PM
My eyes feel heavy. Over three hours sitting in a cramped V-22 Osprey feels excruciating.
Billbird Six-one: “Cold Steel. We’re approaching New York. Welcome to the Big Apple, gentlemen.” I sit up quickly when the Osprey jolted a little.
Sgt. Kresten: “Wake up, boy! Don’t want ya’ slackin’ off!”
Command: “All units, be advised. Meteors are striking New York at an alarming rate. Marine forces in Lower District had engaged at alien elements.”
PFC Miles: “Aliens?! You fuckin’ serious?!”
SSgt. Nomez: “We’ll soon find out, brother!” Everyone is tired and wanting to get out of the Osprey.
LCpl. Linelles: “Holy shit! Look!” We look out the window at New York City way ahead. Meteors light up the entire night sky from the clouds all the way to the city.
Billbird Six-one: “Marines. We’ll be arriving at Newark Liberty Airport ETA ten minutes. Get ready.”
As we near Newark Liberty International Airport, the city comes into clear view.
Osprey Pilot: “Six-one, this is Oscar One-nine. I've got multiple casualties in Lower Manhattan. Provide support on 4-0-4-2 Alpha 7-4-0-0 Alpha, over.”
Marine: (gunfire in background) “Gators Two-six! Vector Four! We need immediate air support across Battery Park!”
LCpl. Mc'Neil: “Shit, man! Look at Lady Liberty!” The entire island is nothing but a blaze of fire. Her arm holding the torch is ripped off clean. Her crown is full of dents.
MSgt. Romill: “She's still standin' though!” An explosion rocks the Osprey violently. I grab on to a strap hanging above me.
Billbird Six-one: “Hang on!” I look outside the back ramp, with the crew chief manning an M2 .50 caliber machine gun.
Chinook Pilot: “I'm hit! I'm hit! Rear stabilizer!” I turn my head to see the city in full view. Fireballs rip the clouds as they come through the night sky. Burning buildings light everything up like it's five in the morning.
We finally arrive at Newark Liberty International Airport, now as a forward operating base filled with choppers, fighters, tanks, and soldiers. We can see the city in a yellowish orange color from the meteors falling. The Osprey lands with a thud on the northern runway, and the crew chief get’s out.
Crew Chief: “Let’s go! Let’s go!” Everyone runs out the Osprey. I’m the last out. I step out into the cold air, watching fighters roar overhead and other choppers land on the runway.
Marine: “Move it! Move it!”
FSgt. Piercen: “Let’s go! To the hangar!” I follow my squad to a hangar where already Marines are running around like ants from computer to computer with documents. We walk up to a map with two other squads where Colonel Strickland is waiting with a map of New York beside him.
Lt. Cortez: “What’s the situation, Colonel?”
Col. Strickland: “Okay, situation is this. Financial District has been overrun. Defensive positions have been set up from the Holland Tunnel to Chinatown. Already, evacuation areas are being set up in large parks and landmarks. Alpha, break up a machine gun team and head to Chinatown right now. Getting word that the enemy is overwhelming their position.”
Marine: “Sir. Marines! Let’s go!”
Col. Strickland: “Bravo and Charlie Company, your team will be put into Washington Square Park. There are armored vehicles and troops waiting there and evacuating civilians.”
Lt. Cortez: “Sir.”
Col. Strickland: “Now Air Force is bringing B-2s and F-22s. At one hundred hours, they will pound from Canal Street to the edge of Financial District. Now make no mistake. When those bombs drop, they ‘will’ drop.”
SSgt. Nomez: “What are we dealing with, sir?”
Col. Strickland: “We’re dealing with God-knows-what-the-fuck-it-is. But what we need to do is we need to hit them with everything we’ve got and hard. MLRS systems are being set up in East Village and Greenwich Village to try and take out their aircraft. US Army is setting up evacuation posts more north, but Marines are staying in the southern area. I’m sending out squads to streets in an attempt to flank them. “
Lt. Cortez: “Yes sir.”
Marine: “Where’s Warrior Vector Two, sir?”
Col. Strickland: “Weapons Company is already in Little Italy trying to hold off those bastards. Lieutenant, Captain. You will hold off that evac until it is complete. Do you understand?”
Lt. Cortez: “Sir.”
Col. Strickland: “Let’s go! Move, move!” Everyone splits up. My squad runs back to the Osprey we were on earlier. I take one more look at the skyline of the city. A few buildings are on fire as the meteors strike down.
SSgt. Nomez: “Harris! Move it!” I run back in, and sit close to the edge of the ramp.
Crew Chief: “Pilot! We’re on board!”
Billbird Six-one: “Roger that. We’re moving out.”
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