Battle for Tectron: Chapter 4
Posted By: Helljumper<Pittklipse@aol.com>
Date: 23 December 2003, 4:55 AM
This chapter is kinda of boring only because it is setting the background for the next chapters which will include lots of action.
2237 Hours (military time). September 13th (Military Calendar)/ New Era field north of the town on the planet Tectron in the Aureas star system.
The squad of three marines and a naval warrant officer arrived at the LZ. The sight caused warrant officer Paula Mitchner to close her eyes and turn away. The field was littered with the dead bodies of marines that her squadron of Pelicans had dropped into the LZ less than an hour ago. The field was a quarter of kilometer wide and a half a kilometer long, the marines had no cover.
Marcus assumed that they must have been ambushed because there were only a few bodies of dead Grunts and Elites around. He looked around for the platoon's three Warthogs. There was a fog which made visibility to only thirty five meters or less. One of the ATVs was turned upside down and on fire. Another one lay on its side with plasma holes along its undercarriage. The third also lay on its side but received minimal damage. Marcus pointed to the vehicle. Julio and Thomas nodded and made their way over to it slowly, watching out for any kind of moment.
Julio was still in his combat gear and armor, but Thomas had learned the hard way that his armor was useless. His right shoulder was bandaged in white medical gauze with dry blood on his plain, green t shirt. He had gotten rid of his armor back at the dress store and instead of his M83 tactical helmet he wore a green Marine Corp cap.
Paula knelt next to a deceased marine who died from a large plasma wound to his chest. Marcus walked up behind her and knelt. He guided his hand over the marine's face and closed the marine's eyes. A tear ran down her face but was stopped by Marcus's finger. The ODST reached into the fallen marine's ammo pouch and produced three full magazines. The ammo found itself in his own ammo pouch. The two stood up and made their way over Julio and Thomas.
The two marines had flipped the Warthog onto its four wheels as their comrades arrived. Marcus inspected the vehicle without finding anything that would stop it from working. Paula climbed into the passenger seat while Julio and Thomas climbed into the back with Julio manning the chain gun. Marcus sat in the driver's seat and handed the warrant officer his rifle. The motor hesitated at first but soon roared to life. Its wheels turned and propelled the Warthog forward into the forest away from the town and towards the airfield.
The road was wide enough to hold four or five Warthogs driving side by side. On the left and right was a seemingly endless dark forest. The lights from the ATV allowed Marcus to take a good look at Paula. She was pretty with her brown eyes and brown hair that stretched to her shoulder. Technically she was a higher rank than he was but as far as she was concerned he was a Lieutenant and thus on the same level. She didn't have to salute him or call him sir and he knew this. Paula wore a green flight suit with black combat boots and a pistol on her hip.
The vehicle wined through the forest road for bout thirty minutes before it stopped. Ahead, the road was blocked by a M808B Scorpion Main Battle Tank and a Warthog. The turret of the tank and the chain gun of the Warthog faced down the road towards Marcus's squad. Marcus eased the ATV forward before stopping in front of the tank. He dismounted and walked towards the marine in the road block Warthog. The marine noticed the gold bars on Marcus's beret and gave him a salute. Marcus returned one of his own.
"Welcome to Last Hope airbase, sir."
"Where is your commanding officer?" asked Marcus.
"He is in the HQ set up in that old hanger."
The marine pointed to a large structure behind him. It was a cylindrical can cut in the middle and laid down. It could easily fit two Pelicans back to back. The Helljumper returned to his Warthog while the roadblock marine tapped his Warthog driver's head to move out of the way. Marcus eased the vehicle pass the road block and into the field that contains the airfield. The base was surrounded by mountains in a semicircle arc and the forest comprising of the other half. There were two hangers positioned back towards the mountains with a runway running down the middle of the field.
Marines were digging fox holes and filling sandbags on the perimeter by the forest. There were several anti aircraft .50 cal machine guns set up around the hangers and many more set up facing towards the forest. Marcus noticed ten or so Pelicans parked on the runway with engineers in red and yellow jump suits completing repairs and refueling. By the second hanger were twenty Warthogs parked in three rows. Scorpion tanks roared up and down the field taking up tactical positions facing the forest. Marines constructed sandbag structures around the tanks.
Marcus's Warthog pulled up to the front of the HQ hanger. There was a sandbag wall in front of the entrance with a chain gun attached manned by four marines. The squad climbed out of their ATV and entered the HQ. It was lit by long florescent lights hanging from the ceiling. Not far from the entrance was an arrangement of desks with monitors on them with wires running across the floor up the walls.
The group approached the man who seemed to be in command. He faced the group. They stood at attention and saluted. The middle aged man returned their salute and extended his hand to Marcus. "Welcome Lieutenant," Marcus shook the man's hand.
"Thank you sir,"
"I'm Captain James of Dog Company, 349th infantry Battalion from the carrier Defender of Life, and you are?"
"Second Lieutenant Marcus Whitman of Bravo Company, 21st ODST battalion stationed aboard the UNSC carrier Twilight, sir."
"I didn't know warrant officers were being assigned to ODST platoons," the Captain said jokingly.
"None of these soldiers are from my platoon, sir. I kind of just picked them up on the way."
"Well, at the other end of this hanger is an infirmary, see to it that your marine," the Captain said referring to Thomas. "is taken care of. Pelican pilots are set up in the other hanger. You and the other private can stay here."
Thomas and Paula saluted Captain James and left. Marcus started to feel uncomfortable wearing the officer ranks. If the Captain wanted to check, he could easily find out that Marcus was just a private. This would result in a court Marshall and punishable by death for impersonating an officer in times of war. He considered confessing but decided not to.
Captain James motioned for the two marines to take a seat at a table with a map of the area on it. "Earlier, my company was hit hard by the enemy. I lost most of my men including my executive officer, and my platoon leaders. We were able to repeal them and forced them to retreat back to the town. From the reports that I've been getting from the naval boys over head, we're losing this planet. This base and firebase Delta on the east coast are the only ones left," the officer paused. "Most of the men here are from other units that had this encampment as their fallback point. We have twelve Pelicans assigned here to carry out extractions of other units stuck behind enemy lines. We also have five Scorpions here from a Calvary company that was cut off, the Pelicans flew them here not that long ago. The reason I'm telling you this is because I'm appointing you, Lieutenant as my XO."
Marcus looked away from Captain James. These ranks were getting him in trouble. This battle hardened officer was going to put the lives of many marines in his hands. The thought of confessing raced through Marcus's head but was ignored. Thank you sir was all that he said.
"Good, now I want you to meet up with my company First Sergeant. He's over at the armory checking on supplies. Oh, the armory is in the next hanger along with the fly boys. Any questions Lieutenant Whitman?" Marcus paused and then replied. "I would like it if Private Julio Castro here and Private Thomas Gaius would be assigned under direct command."
"Granted, now check in with the First Sergeant Lee. Afterwards I want you to check on the marines preparing the perimeter and take any measures you find suitable for bettering our defenses. I don't know how long we have until the enemy attacks. I'm going to get on the horn and see if we can get any supplies."
Marcus and Julio saluted the Captain and started walking down the length of the hanger. They reached the opposite end from the HQ where the infirmary was located. Fourteen marines laid wounded on military green blankets. Medics were hooking up IVs and changing dirty bandages. Thomas sat against the wall of the hanger as a medic was changing his bandages. "How you feeling Thomas?"
"I'm good to go sir."
"Good you are now under my command. Grab your equipment and meet me in the next hanger. "