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Battle for Tectron: Chapter 6
Posted By: Helljumper<Pittklipse@aol.com>
Date: 8 January 2004, 6:42 AM

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Chapter 6
      A group of three marines, with their weapons slung across their backs, ran over to the burning debris that was once the airfield's Headquarters. They began to dig through the rumble as plasma fire and gunfire roared around them. Flak guns shook the ground as they shot their explosive shells at incoming enemy dropships and Banshees. The marines had discovered the bodies of the naval technicians that were once operating the various communications equipment. First Sergeant Lee's upper body was dragged out, and it was clear that he was dead. The men continued their search for Captain James' body, but were quickly starting to lose hope in finding him alive.
      Under a large support beam laying across an old computer mainframe, a hand was seem. A member of the search party, crawled over to it, and knelt beside the hand. A finger twitched, startling the marine. He yelled for the other two, who ran over quickly. Using one of their rifles as a lever, they raised the beam, reveal the body but alive body of Captain James. Two more marines joined the search party and helped to drag out their commander's body.
      Marcus leaned around the side of the Warthog and fired three rounds into an approaching Grunt who died instantly. He was met with several plasma bolt just as he ducked back. The blasts hit the ATV, melting away centimeters of metal. Julio and Thomas sat with their backs against the Warthog and looked at Marcus for leadership, who looked back at them. Looking at Julio's battle hardened face, he noticed the small microphone that extended from the private's helmet.

"Julio, open a COM to all the marines, and Pelican pilots. Tell them to start evacuating the wounded and the navy people down here. Find me a pilot brave enough to come out here and rescue our asses."

      Julio nodded and put his hand to his helmet, activating the COM. Marcus looked back at the airfield and saw the pilots dash out of the second hanger and rush over to their dropships. Medics carrying the wounded on stretchers also made their way to the Pelicans.
      The Covenant had forgotten about Marcus and his men as they waged war on the airfield. They were gaining ground, but at the cost of many of their soldiers. The first line of trenches were abandoned, but the second line was holding strong. The enemy's U-shaped dropships kept bringing in more troops closer and closer to the marine held section of the runway.
      The wine of the Pelican's engines filled the air as they charged their engines in preparation for take off. Three Pelican's took off and flew upwards towards space. Another one rose vertically and then proceeded towards Marcus's position. Plasma hit the hull of the Pelican, leaving plasma burn marks. Marcus looked over at Julio. "It's warrant officer Paula Mitchner." Marcus nodded and signaled for the the marines to provide cover fire.

0553 Hours (Military Time). September 14th (Military Calendar)/ UNSC carrier Twilight, In orbit above the planet Tectron in the Aureas star system.

      Communications officer David Pletal, looked up from his console and turned to face Commander Hilton. "Sir, the Covenant are attacking the airfield. The HQ has been destroyed. I'm picking up various signals from the marines' COM gear. Captain James is badly hurt. Wait," Pletal paused and put his hand to his headphones. "A Lieutenant Marcus Whitman has ordered an evacuation. ETA for the first Pelicans are twenty five minutes."
      Hilton absorbed the information before responding. "Clear docking bay five A, and have the Pelicans dock their. Send several medical units there. Launch a squadron of our remaining Pelicans to evacuate Firebase Delta before they get attacked." Pletal responded with a yes sir and turned to relay the orders.
      Juanita's image appeared on the holographic disk on the commander's chair. "Sir, the Covenant fleet will reach firing range in two hours and seventeen minutes."
"Thank you Juanita," he paused as an idea emerged in his head. "Juanita, would an EMP from a Shiva nuclear warhead be powerful enough to knock out an enemy heavy battle cruiser's shields?"

"You have as much knowledge about a Covenant heavy battle cruiser as I do."

"Do you think it is a possible?"

"The force is known to knock to disable the shields of several large Covenant warships. It may be possible. May I ask what you are thinking?"

"When I have it all worked out Juanita, I'll let you. I would like you to coordinate the evacuation of Tectron."

"Yes sir."

      Warrant officer Paula Mitchner's Pelican landed smoothly aboard the Twilight. She power down the engines and switched off all the electronics. A sigh escaped her mouth as the adrenaline in her blood started to disappear. Her hands found their way to the harness release tab and pulled. Free from her chair she swung it around to face the troop transport bay. Exhausted marines piled out of the dropship except for Marcus. He walked over to her. Leaning against the doorway to the cockpit he spoke.

"Thanks for saving my ass back there."

"Someone's has to bring you jarheads in and out. Consider it payback for saving me."

"So I guess we're even."

"I guess so."

"We'll I'm going to check on Captain James. The higher ups will want a full report."

"Yea, I have to debrief with my CO. Then I have to take a shower."

"I feel you on that one. Maybe I'll see you around." It was clear that he was flirting with her.

"Sounds good."

      Julio and Thomas waited for Marcus to exit the Pelican. Once he exited, the trio made their way to the blast doors and left the docking bay. Marcus was familiar with the layout of the Twilight and navigated the hallways with ease. As crewmen and marines passed by, they would salute him and he would return a crisp salute. It made him feel good, but the reality hit him as the three marines found themselves outside of the Medical Bay. He wondered if Captain James was fine, but he wondered who the first person he would have to confess too.
      The double doors to the Medical Bay opened and the marines entered. The white lights reflected off the clean white floors nearly blinded Marcus. He had to allow his eyes to adjust. Doctors and nurses with blood stained uniforms were tending to the wounded marines, as the screams of grown men filled the room as more and more were bought into the large room. Marcus looked around for Captain James but didn't see him. A nurse walked by with a blood stained white scrubs.

"Excuse me miss, do you know where Captain James is?"

"He is over in the corner. The doctors are still working on him. I suggest that you come back later." The nurse replied as she washed the blood from her hands.
      The three marines exited the room and stood in the hallway. He wasn't sure what to do next. His platoon leader would usually leave the men in their bunks after a mission and return a few hours later. He never told anyone where he went. Before he could wonder for too long the voice of a woman rang through the Twilight's intercom system.

"Will Lieutenant Marcus Whitman please report to the bridge. All able marines that served on Tectron are to report to Auditorium five A for debriefing and bunk assignments." Marcus looked at Julio and Thomas.