War Machine

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The Battle of Manhattan Bridge

The Humvee rumbled through the shelled streets of New York City, on their way to the front lines. All of the metropolis citizens had evacuated weeks before we began our invasion. The enemy had wanted to keep them as a sort of human shield, but we broke into their speaker and TV system and warned them of the invasion. We had minimal civilian casualties, and massive soldier casualties. Losing our edge had proved deadly for many of our soldiers, who valiantly fought for their country and freedom.

I looked out to the broken and crumbled buildings, they would've been beautiful, before they had been destroyed. I could faintly hear the mortar rounds being fired, we were getting close to the front lines. Our convoy of Humvees' pulled to the left on an unmarked street, steering away from the waterside. We turned onto E Broadway, going towards the Seward Park Library, which General Churchill had set up a HQ. Our battalion commander was already inside the building, probably planning the next attack.

The Humvees' parked diagonally on the curb and the whole battalion, or what was left of it formed up and waited for the BC. Echo was pitifully small, just consisting of my squad and four other guys. I had become the CO with Anna as my First Sergeant. This ranked me up to Captain, but God I hated this. We stood at parade rest until the BC stepped out, and strode over to us.

We saluted and stood at attention as she spoke, explaining to us our next push. We were to take the Manhattan Bridge and establish a foot hold at the other end. The briefing ended then we left to go get a night's rest before the battle. We set up camp in an abandoned apartment building half collapsed. We talked quietly and soon fell asleep, our thoughts on the new fallen of tomorrow.

We woke up to the sound of thunder churning the air, I sat up and got blinded by the morning sun. I moved my head out of the light and looked at the sky, there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Another crack pierced the air and this time the building rocked, I looked out the window towards the skyscrapers to the west. One began to crumble and as it fell it made a huge cloud of dust and smoke. I had heard rumors of a prototype rail gun being built in the Grand Army Plaza.

It looked to have the power of about a thousand surface to surface missiles. Everyone was awake now and we packed our bags and rushed downstairs. We left our duffels in the common area, then packed ourselves in the Humvee. We drove down Canal St until we reached the beginning of the bridge, where we stopped and waited for the armor vehicles. They came rumbling down the main road, and onto the bridge. We followed close behind, providing small arms fire.

Most of the soldiers got out of the Humvees' and stacked up on the tanks that led the way. We made it about halfway across the bridge before all hell broke loose. LMGs opened up and two tanks they had on their side opened fire. One of the lead tanks went up in flames, but we continued to move on. Our main order was to never stop at any point during the advance, we were supposed to keep moving.

We were now three fourths across the bridge, half of our tanks were in flames, and we were losing the other half quickly. The two tanks the enemy had were now also on fire, but they had mortars at the end of the bridge, out of our sight. Soon the last tank had been destroyed, and then the armored vehicles. We left the Humvees' behind and moved up ourselves. We dove for cover as the LMG's opened up, I puled the pin on a grenade and threw it over.

It exploded and the fire stopped, we left cover and charged. We sprayed the barricades in front of us as we ran, hoping that we wouldn't get shot so close to securing the bridge. We finally crossed the barriers and were now on the other side of the river. We made it. We repelled down the side of the bridge, while the rest of the teams moved up to secure the very end, there was a skyscraper we needed to take that had a mortar encampment on top.

We moved up through the buildings, trying to get to the mortars that still fired on the guys on the bridge. We became trapped almost one building away from the mortar encampment. An LMG opened up on our position, ripping through the thin brick walls. We slammed to the ground, trying to find where the guy was planted. Normally when you get into a situation like this you just call in an air strike, but we were too close, didn't have exact coordinates, and there was AA guns set up all around here too.

Kinda sucks when you think about it. Dylan found the LMG, the guy was in the skyscraper, almost at our level. We pulled out a grenade and lobbed it at the guy, he died from the explosion. I nodded to the others and we jumped the gap between the building and the skyscraper. We moved up the stairs quickly, being cautious not to alert anyone of our presence.

We made it to the top, we swung open the rooftop door, and sprayed down the soldiers working on the mortars. We radioed in our success, and asked if we can turn the mortar so it fired on the cannon in the Plaza. They gave the OK and we angled the mortar towards the Plaza, in the first year of school they gave us a course on how to use mortars. We knew the basics so we would be on point enough to hit in the general area. It was at least something we could do.

We sent a few rounds downrange until we were ordered to wait for a sniper and artillery team to be sent up here. It took them an hour to get here, and we exchanged a few words, then we were on our way to the end of the bridge, where there was an assault on our newfound position. We went back onto the bridge, where we jumped on a tank convoy going to the assault. We were winning this battle, and would at least be over before tomorrow.

It was a week later and we were having trouble getting rid of the rail gun. Sometimes I'm wrong in my predictions, and this was one of them. We had made it a few blocks but the enemy was so fierce in defending their prototype we lost more than we killed. Our mortar fire had done some damage to it, but they repaired it in record time. It was honestly so fucking ridiculous.

They were like ants feeding their queen, and as always to stop that, you need to kill the queen. So that was our main objective, its harder than it sounds. We had taken out every AA gun in the area, but they had a line of AA guns in the same block as the rail gun, so it would be easier to just use foot soldiers to take out the gun.

Thank God Charlie Battalion was getting sent home before the higher ups changed their minds about the battle. We were beginning to load up into a transport plane from Newark Liberty International Airport. Just a few months before it had been busy, with civilians roaming the large structure and loading into planes to where ever. Now it was a transportation depot for vehicles, and soldiers, and we were going home. Finally, after a nine month deployment this shit was getting old.

We walked up the ramp and into the plane, we took our seats and waited for the plane to move. I stared out of the window, not paying any attention to the chatter inside the plane. We moved onto the runway, and gained speed, I put my head back. Anna snuck her hand into mine, this war was finally over for us. I looked back out the window, the once teeming city was now completely destroyed, smoke rose from quite a few fires that burned everywhere. Explosions could be seen, blasting the ground and buildings around it.

War was hell, and no one could truly understand it until they've been sitting there, fearing for their life and others. While bullets flew past their heads, watching your friends die. It changes you, and you'll never feel the same about anything after that. Life will take on a whole new meaning.

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