Today is the 10th anniversary of nine eleven so I wanted to do something special for it. This fic will have six different chapters posted at six different times during the day that correspond with events of the attack. I hope that you both enjoy it and that it serves as a tribute to that day and all the lives lost.
Part 1 of 6: 8:46 American Airline Flight 11 hits the North Tower.
It had been a very long night, Stella thought to herself as she dropped her purse onto the table by the door. She made her way towards the kitchen glancing down at her watch as she did so. It was only eight forty five, which meant she had time to eat and then grab a few hours of sleep before her next shift started later that afternoon.
Stifling a yawn, she began rummaging though her cabinets for some sort of food. However all she could find was a box of crackers and a can of soup. Making a mental note that she needed to go grocery shopping, Stella dumped the soup into a bowl and put it in the microwave. Absentmindedly she took a cracker out of the bag and bit into it. To her disappointment it was moderately stale, but there was nothing to be done about that.
Suddenly there was a loud scream from the hall outside, and with the instincts born of her nearly a decade as a cop, her hand flew to her weapon, which was still holstered at her waist, and she returned to her front door. Opening it just a little bit at first, Stella looked up and down the hall for signs of a disturbance, but the only other person in the hall was Casey, the doctor who lived a few apartments down. Removing her hand from her gun, Stella walked down the hall noting as she did so that Casey's bag had fallen to the floor at her feet. A few seconds later, Stella realized why.
Casey was standing motionless at the end of the hallway watching the New York skyline fill with smoke. Shock overwhelmed Stella as she came to stand beside her neighbor, but as she stood there watching, shock turned to horror. The plumes of smoke were coming from one of the towers at the World Trade Center. From where she was standing it was impossible to tell which one, but that fine distinction seemed of very little importance right then.
"What happened?" Stella asked a little hoarsely.
"I don't know," Casey replied, her voice shaking slightly.
Without thinking about what she was doing, Stella reached down took the police radio off her belt, and turned up the volume, which she had muted in an attempt block out of the world for a few hours. For a moment, the static buzzed loudly causing both women to jump slightly. Then the sound of voices came over the line.
*-should report to the World Trade Center. I repeat. A plane has crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Any available units in the area should report to the World Trade Center.*
Stella shook her head trying to clear it, and despite the hours without sleep or food, she knew what she had to do. With resolution filling her body, she found that she was suddenly less tired. She needed to be back out on the streets because she knew from past experience that the city would be erupting into chaos. Traffic accidents, congestion on every bridge out of the city, just general panic, all results of scared citizens trying to get away from the unknown evil.
Vaguely she wondered what had gone wrong on board that plane. There were so many possibilities: the pilot misjudged his course, he lost control of the plane, the pilot had suddenly become disabled… One of the many cities task forces would answer that question with time, but right now it did not matter what the cause was. It was more important to be part of the solution.
At this moment, there were probably hundreds of people in the North Tower, who were all desperately trying to escape the flames. They were just normal people, who had been there working in their offices… Suddenly Stella found that she could not breath in. Fear gripped her for a moment, but she quickly recovered herself, pulling out her phone and hitting speed dial.
"Come on Mac," she said anxiously to the phone, "Come on."
Finally on the fifth ring, a groggy voice answered the phone, "Mac Taylor."
"Where are you?" she asked him urgently.
"At home in bed," he replied his voice stronger and more awake. Stella's hurried tone was worrying him, "Why?"
"Is Claire with you?" she asked him, knowing that this was not perhaps the most tactful way to approach the situation, but that was not particularly important to her right then.
"No, she left for work an hour ago," Mac said sitting up in bed, becoming more worried with every passing moment, "What's wrong, Stell?"
"A plane hit the World Trade Center," she told him, bluntly.
Mac felt his breath catch in his throat. "Which tower?" he asked her, praying that she said the South one, and knowing at the same time how awful it was to even think that.
"The North Tower," she admitted, wishing that she could give him another awnser.
"Okay," he told her, struggling to remain calm, "I've got to go."
"Can me when you know…" her voice trailed off, but they both knew what she meant. Without another word the two disconnected their phones.
Stella slid her phone back into her pocket and looked out the window again. Thick black smoke had all but filled the piece of the New York skyline she could see, and she could hear the sound of sirens rising up from the streets below. Then without warning, she turned around and began walking back down the hall.
"Where are you going?" Casey asked, shaken from her trance by Stella's sudden movement.
"To help," Stella replied, without hesitation. Her exhaustion and hunger had been completely eclipsed by fear and adrenaline.
"Wait," Casey said after a moment's hesitation, "Could you give me a ride to the hospital?"
Stella nodded once, and Casey grabbed her bag from the floor, and together the two women walked towards the elevator. Neither was entirely sure what they were about to do, but they both knew that the only place they wanted to be was trying to help those who needed it.