X-Com Chronicles: Siege of New York

by Skonar
61. --- New York City, Manhattan,  Middle of Central Park, December 23rd 2000, 16:34 EST.

It was one of the sergeants, or at least Ellen thought it was one of the sergeants. She wasn't sure, she didn't know how to read rank insignia. In any case, the Japanese Sergeant came back out of the Tennis Courts's changing room and started yelling.

"Listen to me, you four all that's left out here? We've got one last ranger incoming and then we're out of here, and we are not babysitting you people through the park!"

A few soldiers, like the australian sounding guy who hotwired a car a few hours ago, were glaring out at the dusk-shrouded park with night-vision goggles dangling around their necks or up against their helmets. Every so often another of those... those grinning monster bug things came close and the soliders started yelling, shooting as if the worst thing in the world was on its way. Ellen knew she didn't want to even try and get across the park, babysat or not.

"So, grab whatever you've got and get inside the changing rooms, when the ranger touches down you wait at the door and when everything's secure I will wave you aboard like this," he swept an arm sharply. "There are seats inside with seatbelts - do not try and buckle them yourself, pull them up over your lap and before takeoff we will do them for you.  Any questions?"

Rodney lifted a hand.

The sergeant pointed at him. "You?"

"A ranger is that, that plane that was here?"

"Yes, that's a ranger. Sorry about that, plane, ranger, same thing."

A person Ellen didn't know,  a guy in jeans and an overcoat, someone else who hadn't been on the cars that got out of the park, blurted out, "Where are we going? I want to go home."

"McGuire Air-Force Base, apparently it's in New Jersery. Trust me buddy, you do not want to be in New York right now."

"New Jersey? Fuck! What about my girlfriend? My parents?"

The sergeant's face hardened. "You can't do anything about them right now, and I can leave you here but trust me you do not want me to leave you here either."

Rodney shouldered past the other guy, eyes blazing. "Can we get our cameras back?"

The Sergeant's eyes narrowed. "No. Now go wait."

When the sergeant's back was turned Rodney gave Ellen a grimace. "Fucking hell. Story of the century and we can't even-"

Ellen held up a hand. "No, Rodney. No. People are dying. You remember those kids, at the crash site?"

Rodney faltered. It took him a moment to find his voice. "Yeah."

"We all just need to get out of this alive." She glanced back at Sid. "Right?"

Sid nodded rapidly. "So long as I don't have to lock myself in the van again."

She forced out a laugh. "If we ever see the van again."