Minutemen: The Crucible -Chapter 15-


Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14

MINUTEMEN: THE CRUCIBLE

Chapter Fifteen: “The Rally Point.”

Marlborough & Exeter St.
Evacuated City of Boston
October 20, 2552
Late evening

“On the hop!” Master Gunnery Sergeant Gus Reynolds implored over the sudden explosion of noise ahead of them. Tim McManus, Ron Parsons, and Rachel Lynch hustled past him down the narrow alley while Reynolds put a hand to his throat mic. “McHale, where are you?”

Lance Corporal Adam McHale’s voice was officially frantic. “Bravo actual to all teams! I’ve got one dead, one wounded bad in no man’s land. Taking heavy hostile fire! We can’t hold the rally point for much longer!”

“McHale, talk to me!”

“We’re in a bad way here, Master Guns! Need assistance!”

“Just hold on! We’re almost there!”

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Minutemen: The Crucible -Chapter 4-


Chapter 3 Chapter 2 Chapter 1

MINUTEMEN: THE CRUCIBLE

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CHAPTER FOUR – “GO ON WITHOUT ME.”

Harvard University
City of Boston
United North American Protectorate
October 10, 2552
Afternoon

As Tim scrunched his eyes shut and prepared for the pain, he felt the air rush out of his lungs and his eyes popped wide open in shock. He felt a slight breeze through his hair and he realized his was speeding backwards from the cave in; Tim’s eyes flicked down to catch the Boston Police uniform that had him in a perfect form tackle.

In that instant, time normalized and he hit the ground hard,  ears ringing from the crash of the collapse, then adjusting to the scream of pain from Officer Walt Merriweather. McManus scrambled back with his hands, terrified of the scene in front of him. The selfless Marine vet was pinned from the knee down under the heavy weight of the collapsed hallway, and despite his efforts to wriggle free, the ox of a man was trapped. Ron ran into the intact portion of the hallway and rushed to Merriweather’s side.

“Can you move?” Parsons asked, trying to lift the obstruction.

“Ah’m fuckin’ pinned,” Walt moaned, eyes shut tight in pain. “Gawd damn it.”

Only then did Tim become aware of the staticy voice shouting his name. He lifted the radio to his mouth and called back, “Yeah, I’m here.”

“Are you ok?” Rachel asked, worry evident in her voice. “What was that sound?”

“Rach,” McManus said, joining Ron, “We’ve got a big problem. The cop’s pinned and we’ve got a girl in critical that we’ve gotta move out of here. Grab the packs and get up here right the hell now.”

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Minutemen: The Crucible -Chapter 3-


Chapter One Chapter Two

MINUTEMEN: THE CRUCIBLE

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CHAPTER THREE – “WORST CAMPUS TOUR EVER”

Harvard University
City of Boston
United North American Protectorate
October 10, 2552
Afternoon

For Christ’s sake, your school, your city, and your planet is being bombarded and invaded by hostile alien forces, and you’re really thinking about sex right now?

Tim McManus had tried everything he could to keep that revelation buried in back of his consciousness. Despite being covered in soot and breathing in the rich stench of burning paper, wood, and smoldering brick, it had made its way into the front of his mind. McManus shook his head vigorously as if he could physically jettison the thoughts from his head, but once again, he failed.

Rachel Lynch, the object of Tim’s untoward thoughts, tapped him on the shoulder a step behind him. “What’s the matter with you?” She asked, concerned. Two hours ago Tim would have done handstands to command her attention like this. Despite her beautiful face and sparkling green eyes showing genuine concern and eager to hear his thoughts, Tim knew these particular thoughts would be a distraction that could get both of them killed.

“Nothing.” Tim lied, tightening the straps of his backpack and checking his Battle Rifle for what had to be the hundredth time.

“You sure?” Ron Parsons chimed in, falling in step with the pair and shooting a glance Tim’s way. “Ever since that library burned down, you’ve been fidgeting like a retard sitting on an ant hill.”

Rachel laughed out loud at the off-color joke and Tim did his best impression of an appreciative chuckle. Tim wanted nothing less than to talk about his reasons for distraction, so he changed the subject without thinking. “No,” he deflected, “it’s the noise.”

“What do you mean?” Ron asked, picking a large piece of ash out of his hair.

“It just happened a few minutes ago. Listen.” McManus said, nodding toward the smoking city of Boston. “Like, ten minutes ago there were sirens. Cops, ambulances, fire. Now,” The Harvard Junior paused, letting the silence hang over them like a cartoon anvil, “nothin’.”

“See, I was thinking you were worried about our little fan club.” Ron responded, poking a thumb over his shoulder. Lynch and McManus turned around and finally addressed the problem that none of them wanted to talk about.

At least two-dozen people; students, faculty, staff, and bystanders, were walking about ten feet behind them as if the three dirt-caked, exhausted kids had any idea where they were going. Ron spoke low, as if sharing a personal secret about the people in front of them. “Ever since we ran in to grab Rachel, they’ve been looking at us like we planned that or something.”

Tim bit his lip in quick thought, and while he did not believe what he was saying to his new friends, said anyway, “I’ll take care of it.” To McManus’ relief, the other two fell in behind him.

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Minutemen: The Crucible -Chapter 2-


MINUTEMEN: THE CRUCIBLE

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CHAPTER 2 – “FIRE SALE”

Harvard University
City of Boston
United North American Protectorate
October 20, 2552

Tim McManus could have stared at the giant hovering CCS-Class Battlecruiser for hours, mouth hanging open, standing stock still with the rest of Harvard University. It was an incredible moment for the human home world, and a city-wide silence descended on Bostonians for an unheard of amount of time. The incredible moment was broken, however, by a car colliding violently into another stopped car, the resulting crunching crash sending everyone in the immediate vicinity to cover.

Tim put his hands over his head, got into a desperate crouch, and scurried as fast as he could to a digital newspaper download stand. As he put his back to it, he realized he had left both his book bag and rifle bag in front of the stairs and sprinted to retrieve it. He took stock of the area again and noted just how quickly everything had changed in just a few seconds.

Hundreds of people were now fleeing in every direction in streams of bodies; no one knew where they were going, all they wanted to do was follow the most basic instinct of fight or flight. That flight, Tim knew, would not last long. Now he found himself in an inner conflict. What the hell do I do now?

In that moment he looked inside his bag, where the half-eaten sandwich was still waiting to be consumed. He thought back to the conversation on target shooting he had just had with the sandwich guy and made a snap decision, maybe his last. McManus began sprinting toward Annenberg Hall.

People_fleeing_tanks

The campus was utter chaos. Tim tried to wrap his mind around all that was occurring, but between the civil alert announcements, the cacophony of running people going every which way, and the wailing of people mourning the imminent loss of the human home world, McManus’ vision was limited to about five feet around him and no further.

More than once he had to dip a shoulder and shove his way through the crowd, keeping a vice grip on the handle of his gun bag before he finally slung it across his chest and used both arms to move obstacles out of his way. Annenberg Hall loomed large over the press of humanity, and not surprisingly, Tim found it locked. As he started to search for a back door in, he heard the eerie whistling roar of Covenant Phantom dropships being disgorged from the Battlecruiser.

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Minutemen: The Crucible -Chapter 1-



MINUTEMEN: THE CRUCIBLE

308905-reach_superCHAPTER 1 – “CLASS DISMISSED”

“When we lost Earth, we lost everything. What got us through the first day was making sure we didn’t lose ourselves.” -Capt. Jack O’Shea, UNSC Marine Corps.

Harvard University
City of Boston
United North American Protectorate
October 20, 2552

Dylan was having morning sex again.

Jesus, Tim McManus thought to himself as his top bunk bed shuddered rhythmically, does he really think he’s alone at nine in the morning? Tim closed his eyes tightly and tried to block out the squeaking and pleasured grunts and muffled moans beneath him. The Harvard University Junior smothered himself with his pillow, but the smart memory foam immediately shifted to give him comfort and let the carnal symphony continue at full volume. Tim did everything he could to put himself into a comatose state, but with the early morning sunlight streaming in through the large bedroom windows, it was an impossible task. McManus rubbed his eyes vigorously, took a deep breath, and rolled so he hung over the edge of his bed and violated the airspace of the couple beneath him.

“Look, I’m not against morning sex,” Tim said nonchalantly, as Dylan and his girlfriend jumped backwards in shock and attempted to burrow underneath the sheets. “In fact, I often prefer it. The light’s nice, kinda romantic, there’s an excess of Testosterone, you get a start on the day, you wake up your roommate better than his alarm clock…”

As if on cue, Tim’s clock leapt to life from his desk in big blue holographic numbers and began playing a futuristic indie rock tune. Upside down, with unkempt, brown hair hanging from his head, McManus attempted a smile and nod. “But could you finish up? I have a big paper due in like an hour.” Tim broke out a mischievous half-grin. “Unless you guys need a hand.”

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