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War Above The Neighborhood
Somewhere not too far off Andrew could hear firecracker like machine gun fire coming from the helicopters. Stacey cupped her hands over her ears in an effort to drown out the noise. Daniel pulled into a street that had a limited amount of trees giving a clear view of the helicopters up in the sky. The war over their home had been raging for a span of at least twenty minutes but felt like an eternity.
The terrifying swishing of rotor blades buzzed behind the truck like hornets. More helicopters were coming! Andrew never considered in his wildest dream that their hometown would become the scene for a battle of WWIII. "Look it's our militia!" Andrew exclaimed ecstatically.
National Guard helicopters swooped over head. They were deadly war machines, yet he welcomed their presence which gave him a feeling of hope. They were like four guardian angels on a mission to rid the town of the flying menace.
One of the helicopters turned on its side with grace. A rocket erupted from the right side and streaked toward an enemy chopper. It scored a direct hit on the enemy helicopters tail rotor. The explosion was massive, the rocket had to have been fired by an rpg-8. The chopper spiraled out of control spinning wildly, blackening the sky with coils of smoke streaming from its destroyed rotor. It spun sharply to the left and crashed into another chopper. Both choppers were crashing to the ground at angles as the pilots tried in vain to regain control.
They lost visual of the falling helicopters when they disappeared below tree level. The crash of metal confirmed the kill. Andrew and Stacey erupted into cheers. Stacey did not hse had her face beurried in her hands. Daniel stopped his truck in the road. Andrew didn't complain, neither did Stacey who shook in fear like a young tree being blown by a bullying wind. He watched the intense bird fight unfold. Soldiers from two other helicopters fired rocket propelled grenades at the enemy. The enemy choppers maneuvered out of the way dodging the rockets. The helicopter models two years ago wouldn't have had that maneuverability.
Almost half of the choppers spun and faced the National Guard forces, and opened fire. Tiny streaks of lights streaked out of their guns. They stared open mouthed as three of the helicopters instantly fell from the sky spurting smoke and flame.
The pilot on the fourth chopper tried to stay air borne. The helicopter was spinning down to where the truck was idling. Sections of its skids had been torn aprat by bullets and were now bending away from the bottom of the chopper. The wind from the main rotor shook the trees. Leafs were torn off their branches and swirled around by the wind. "Back up, back up!" Andrew screamed. Daniel put the truck in reverse and stepped on the gas. Metal screeched as the helicopter crashed on the road. It's damaged skids were instantly flattened.
The truck sped backward as the helicopter continued to slide forward it’s propeller still spinning. Sparks bounced from the ground as the metal grinded with the asphalt. At any moment it could tip on it's side and slice through the trucks hood blowing them all up. Daniel turned the wheel sharply and backed up into a drive way. They saw the soldiers inside hanging on to hand rails for dear live life as the helicopter slid on. The helicopter spun sideways its tail rotor slicing a mailbox into splinters. They watched in horror as the helicopter veered to the side its propellers whining and bending as they tore into a transformers wooden pole. The top half of the transformer crashed atop of a car caving its roof in and shattering the windows.
The electrical wires attached to the transformer snapped. Sparks flashed from the torn wires as they fell on the grass and concrete. The other helicopters had crashed out of sight. Stacey had a hand over her beating heart. Andrew found himself unable to tell her any words of comfort. Could the sparking wires cause a fire on the grass?
Daniel and Stacey looked beyond the realm of words. Andrew didn't know any of the pilots and crew of the tragic militia effort to fight back. All he knew was that they were heroes. Faceless heroes, but that makes them no less special than if they were his best friends or brothers. But, maybe they were some of his dad’s friends. He was often in contact with the militia around town. Four militia choppers had fallen, that still left all the ground forces, he hoped.
Daniel brushed aside his seat belt and got out of the truck. "You and Stacey stay here, I'm going to go and check on the soldiers," he said before running to the crashed helicopter.
"Be careful," Stacey said.
"He'll be ok," Andrew said. He wasn't so sure about that he knew the helicopter could explode at any moment.
The helicopters blades were still spinning as he ran toward the wreckage. Daniel skipped over a power line on the road. The area around the helicopter smelled foul, the tail rotor was still smoking. The choppers sides was covered in bullet holes. When he was next to the chopper he poked his head in the cabin. Six young soldiers were groaning inside. Weapons were on the ground thrown about.
"Are you ok?" Daniel said. He was surprised by how forceful his voice sounded. The soldier closest to him grinned. On his uniform was the name Fredrick.
"Yeah, we're ok." he said out of breath. They sure didn't look ok. The majority were bruised and bloodied. A soldier on the other end was radioing for help. The buzzing of the rotor blades was subsiding. A trembling young soldier clutched his dog tags with trembling hands. Daniel noticed a cross dangling from out of his hand.
"It's alright Tadpole you're alive and well. Hu-Ah?" said a soldier next to him.
"Hu-Ah," the boy said under his breath. Daniel guessed him to be only two years older than him, making the young soldier a mere eighteen years old. The poor guy looked like he wanted nothing else but to be back home. Daniel had almost forgotten why he was here.
"Can I be of any help?" Daniel said.
"Check the status of the pilots would ya?" one of them said. Daniel nodded and walked toward the front end of the chopper. The men inside were motionless.
"Sir?" he said. No response.
"They aren't responding stranger. Why do you think we asked yo to check in the first place?" said a soldier.
The pilot was wearing gloves so he checked for a pulse on the side of the neck. The pilot’s helmeted head slumped limply to the side. Daniel didn't need the absence of a pulse to know that the man was dead. The man in the copilot’s seat looked in even worse shape. Blood ran down the side of his uniform and down his pant leg.
Daniel ran along the front of the chopper. "How is he?" another the soldiers said. Daniel pretended to not have heard him. When they reached the other side his stomach heaved. The fabric of the man’s uniform had a large tear in it. Blood oozed freely from it. Daniel checked for a pulse his fingers trembling. To his surprise he found one. It was feeble, but it was there.
"The pilots gone, your copilot is in critical condition. He needs a medic!" Daniel said. A soldier swore and kicked the metal side of the cabin. A black soldier exited the cabin promptly carrying some medical supplies. His uniform had the name Bowen.
"I'm a medic I'll take care of him meanwhile help arrives," he said. Daniel stepped aside and left him to his work.
"Is there anything else I can do?" he asked the soldiers.
"Corporal Fisher has already called for a convoy, we'll be out of here and the copilot will be taken care of," said Private Fredrick.
"Ok," Daniel said.
"Don't worry we'll get them back," another soldier said. He was holding some kind of large bazooka like weapon.
"What about the others?" Private Fredrick frowned as he talked into a headset. He told the Colonel that he needed troops to search the area around their crash site for the other birds. Daniel nodded and walked back to his truck. He heard vehicles racing behind him.
When he got back on the wheel Andrew said, "How was it were they ok?"
"The pilot was dead, the copilot was alive, but from the way he was I'd say he could still die. The soldiers however are all ok," Daniel said gunning the engine. As he drove he heard Stacey pray for the copilot. Daniel never prayed and now found himself praying in his mind. Hope it still counts.
In the rearview mirror he saw two soldiers carry the wounded copilot toward a Humvee. The other soldiers were equipped with large weapons. The soldiers themselves looked unfazed by the crash. Except for the one the one nicknamed Tadpole. Daniel wished he had asked him if he wanted to come along with him. There was no telling if he was being taken to his doom.
Fredrick and his band of numb-skull friends looked like they wanted nothing more than to be in the front lines of battle. Being AWOL would be preferable to going on a suicided mission. Daniel hated himself for thinking that way about people who were fighting for his liberation against the mysterious invaders. He wondered if the fighting would ever end and if it would truly usher in the end of humanity as many have theorized.
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