Hawk Squadron: From Gue'la to Warrior Pt. 10

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Rook Hawkins


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Rook blinked profusely trying to somehow dissuade the light from entering his eyes.  It was a futile effort, and the white walls and ceiling only helped amplify the light.  Once again the smell of Tau solvents and cleaning solutions filled his nose, leaving a bad taste in his mouth.  What had happened? What time was it? Wherewashe?

Detailed answers to those questions soon started to rain in on him like a waterfall. Men firing, Tau cadets, getting shot…I was shot! Rook wanted to move his hand to the part of his body where he was hit, but found it hard to remember where he took the laser burst.  In fact, he didn't even remember where he had felt the twinge of it.

He shoved away the blankets that threatened to inhibit his movements and looked over himself. No bandages, no scars, no hint of where he might have taken the blast.  But that didn't mean anything. Tau medicine was very proficient.  Had he been nailed by one of those under powered lasers, the damage to his body would have been minimal.

Rook shook his head trying to remember anything, shifted his attention to take note of his surroundings. He was in a large room, on a bed, obviously far away from the battle zone where his last memory was oriented around. Various computers and equipment with full screen monitors kept track of his vitals and blood pressure.  Strobes and needles poked his arms and diodes on his chest were collecting data from his lungs and heart.  He was almost tempted to pluck them off him, but recalled being warned that Tau medical personnel were sometimes very rough on their patients, as they were constantly trying to do many things.  He didn't feel like adding on their wrath to the wrath of his team mates.

A loud buzzer sounded, something he was growing very tired of hearing, which signaled to somebody outside his room that he had awoken. The door slid open quickly and a light-skinned Tau entered with a gallant and flowing green and blue robe. Behind him followed not medical staff, but the rest of his Hawk's, and behind them was Va'tol and the Shas'O.  They all seemed to be smiling.

The light-skinned Tau spoke first. "Honored warrior," The Tau extended a hand and Rook took it. "My name is Por'El Sa'cea Nol. I am one of the heads of the academy here."

Rook felt heat rise into his cheeks, "Then you've come to rub in the fact that I failed?"

Nol blinked, "I wasn't aware that you had." The Shas'O approached so that he stood next to Nol.

The Shas'O opened his arms, "Gue'la Darksky, you and your Hawk's havewonthe tests."

Rook shook his head, "Then I must be dreaming. I took a hit, I went down.  I was the last hawk to go down."

"Actually…" Ralus raised a hand, "I was the last Hawk, and I didn't go down at all."

Exhaustion almost took Rook, "What?"

Ralus gave a rueful grin and shrugged, "Well, what had happened was, when I stayed back to scout the rest of the positions, I remembered something that the Shas'O had told us. He had said this mission could be won by killing all the other team members,but he had known secretly that we would be facing Tau cadets from Kais…"

The Shas'O interjected, "Which I can also explain."

Ralus rolled his eyes, "Shas'O, if Imay?"

The Shas'O winced, "If I could, I'd shoot him for insubordination."

"See, I told you, you should have let me shoot him." Briggs said to Rook, folding his arms.

"Anyway," Ralus continued, ignoring the remarks directed at him, "the Shas'O had said the primary objective was to get as much ground as possible. This being a head on approach, and with the forces being deployed against us, and with my first hand knowledge of what was going on, I developed a plan.

"After you and the Hawk's had ambushed the first contingent of Tau recruits, I led the rest of the remaining Tau - which were held back so that they could maintain ground coverage - in a wide arch around your position. So the massive wave of troops you encountered was actually my fault." Ralus smiled.

"Ralus, you just earned yourself easy-prey for the Hawks' practical jokes for a good month. Congratulations."

Ralus looked glum, "I see."

"So how did I end up here and how did we actually win?"

"I was just getting to that."  Ralus gestured as he spoke, weaving his hands around to give depth to his tale, "Fighting had intensified, but I had effectively brought all the Tau forces to you. The majority of the Hawk's were positioned on the far side of the battle zone. So when the Tau forces engaged you, that left the majority of the battle zone unaltered and in their control. So I just kept behind them, and when I saw their lines drop to practically nothing, I threw a grenade and lit the majority of the rest of them up."

"Okay, that still doesn't explain how I got in here."

"You got inherebecause a body fell on you, and cracked some of your ribs."

Rook sighed, "So I wasn't shot?"

"Negative."

"But why did my muscles start to spas?"

"Probably because the body was convulsing on top of you yet, and I'm sure you just shook because he was."

"Ah." Rook's mind started unfolding the end result. "So I didn't get registered as hit. And because the Tau were all condensed, and you were behind them, all that ground was considered in our hands because you occupied it? And the land behind me was also considered occupied? So we won bydefault?"

Ralus started to nod. But it wasn't a normal nod, it was an exaggerated head bob. Then Stromf picked it up, imitating it with perfection. Then the rest of the Hawks started to catch on and they too started the elaborate head bob.

Rook snorted, "Stop that."




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