Engagement part 4 by Ronald Faltus

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SUMMARY: Sergeant Hines and Lieutenant Myers deal wiht the aftermath of combat.

"The beacon set, the Gray should have no trouble finding us once she returns." Staring at the pole planted on the ground, she rechecked the blinking light form the cylinder on top. Realizing that the communication counsel on the shuttle was literal shot, she drug the emergency transmitter out form the ship's stores. The simple device would ping the reserved GPS channel, and as soon as the Azorean Gray re-emerged in orbit they would know exactly were Myers and her team were. It was now approaching night fall, and assuming the cruiser returned directly from its mission to answer the distress call, should be back in system by the next afternoon. "Are your sure Henderson will be fine till tomorrow?"

Sergeant Hines and PFC Fuller, the squads filed medic, had finished bandaging the soldiers gunshot wound in the make shift triage station on the undamaged section of the villa's front porch, and now was standing by her side by the shuttle, watching her deploy the beacon.

"He'll be fine, the anti-coags stopped the bleeding and the shot went straight threw missing anything vital."

There had been a brief discussion between the two of them if they should take him to a local hospital or wait until they could get him into the Grey's medical unit. Myers had insisted that they get him medical attention as soon as possible, but was rebuffed by the Sergeant. His logic was simple, and by in large standard GPS protocols. Field personnel were instructed not to seek services from any civilian facilities unless the need was life or death. Local hospitals, especially on a dubiously governed planet like Eifrinti, would likely charge a fortune for treatment knowing that they could swindle credits out of the GPS's deep pockets. Myers was again reminded that the GPS was after all a business, one whose oversight board would not take kindly to having to pick up the tab for a soldier who was stable enough to wait until in-house medical treatment could be rendered.

"We'll let's just make sure that the Captain doesn't want to take his ship sight seeing before he heads back?" She started off jokingly, casting a sideways grin, but transmission to a more concerned tone. "I just want to make sure Henderson doesn't end up with any permanent damage."

It was strange to her how this one mission had altered her perspective so greatly. Before, she thought she could accept the loss of one of the commandos as part of the job, a payment that was sometimes necessary in the name of duty. Not in a cold hearted fashion, but the rational understanding that GPS service was a dangerous profession and death was part of the territory. But now, after fighting by their side, she knew that she couldn't casually accept anything happening to them. They were, after all, her men. No longer were did she refer to by their call numbers, but by their actual names and Myers sought to find out who the men underneath the battle armor were. ‘Two' became Private First Class Lance Henderson, a three year service man form a colony on Io with a propensity to rub his ear lobe when he had a good hand in poker.

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