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Apocalypse Now

Chapter Seven: Collapse

By David bar Elias


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August 1, 2006
Manhattan, New York, British Empire

"They're on the move sir," said Colonel Nathuram Vajpayee to Captain Nuttall. "They'll be all over us any day at the latest."

"Comforting," said Liam Nuttall flatly. "Well, looks like the 'beckers will finally get used up," he added unkindly, referring to the Quebecois survivors of the initial Posleen landings almost two years previously; Imperials and Quebecois rarely got along in any case...not helped by the anxiety flowing through the dying city of Manhattan at the moment.

The two men were standing in a fortified bunker underneath the ruins of the Exchange; the once proud centre of Colonial commerce lay in abject squalor; it resembled photographs Nuttall had once seen of Portuguese Luanda or Maputo. The only thing missing was hordes of starving children and packs of scraggly dogs. Colonel Vajpayee, a portly man of Gujarat descent, gazed at Nuttall pregnantly; the Colonel had taken a liking to the quiet Scot, and had taken him under his wing...his news wasn't going to cheer the Captain up, to put it mildly.

"We're being reassigned."


"We're going to Boston," said the Colonel, himself a native of the former city of Tanis, Ohio. "The Appalachian Line is under enough strain as it is. North American Command is rather anxious to avoid a repeat of Charleston." Both men winced; the fall of Charleston had cost some of the best soldiers that this part of the Empire had to offer. The survivors had made it via submarine to Manhattan, where their stories of the Posleen surge into Charles II's city had done wonders for morale.

"Head up soldier," said Colonel Vajpayee, noting the downcast expression in Nuttall's eyes. "We'll give them one hell of a fireworks display as we cast off. The sappers have done more than enough to ensure a good show. Which brings me to the reason that I brought you here," said the portly Colonel.

Nuttall looked up.

"Your men will be covering our retreat. We're still going to make them pay foot by bloody food, when all is said and done."

Captain Nuttall's eyes brightened with a rather frightening glaze. He saluted smartly.

"Yes sah! You can count on me!"

August 6, 2006

On August 6, towards the stroke of one in the morning, the Second Battle of Manhattan began with the Posleen surging into the pathetic remnants of Staten City and the Bronx. The remaining Hanovers piled thousands of bodies on the shores of the Hudson and the Atlantic, which would give the surrounding waters a nasty green tint for days after the battle.

In the meantime, Captain Nuttall's new squad, comprised mostly of the Carolinian and Georgian survivors of Charleston, covered the steady withdrawal of men towards Lower Manhattan.

The end came around noon, as the Posleen overwhelmed the last human defences in Brooklyn and Queens. Underwater artillery kept the aliens pinned down as the submarines began moving men out of Manhattan.

Captain Nuttall had to be dragged from his position near the hole where the Elizabeth Tower had once stood. With the cessation of fire, the Posleen began a surge into Upper Manhattan, cutting down the isolated fireteams that bravely stayed behind to cover the tattered remains of the 188th and the Quebecois infantry.

Thus began the most epic sprint of Liam Nuttall's life; the combat suits could more than handle any kind of run, and, in other circumstances, Nuttall would have enjoyed himself immensely. They passed the stoic bulldogs, which continued their fire until crippled by God-King saucer fire.

Nuttall was among the last to board the submersible HMS Corsica. The submarine cast off, with the exhausted men of the former 188th stowed away.

The Corsica was the last to leave the burning ruins of the city of Manhattan. This triggered Plan Omega; multiple tactical nuclear weapons, buried beneath Manhattan and her sister cities, tore apart the entire invading force of Posleen, rendering the former Imperial metropolis as mythical as Pompeii or Carthage in an instant.

Liam Nuttall, upon viewing the video of the explosions later on, reflected that Colonel Vajpayee (and he hoped the Colonel had made it out in one piece), had been right about the fireworks display...far too bloody right. Thus, the Captain (soon to be promoted two grades for his bravery in the last firefights), settled down to sleep as the submarine began its journey to the besieged city of Boston.

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