|This article, Team Estoc, was written by Distant Tide, KingOfYou115 and Slower Than Most. Please do not edit this fiction without the writers' permission.|
- "Thrust forward."
- ― Team Estoc's initial, ad hoc catchphrase.
- Kurt Ambrose: "Tell me, what's the most interesting thing about Estoc?"
- Deep Winter: "The team leader is a failed Beta?"
- Kurt Ambrose: "That only scratches the surface."
- — Conversation between Kurt Ambrose and Deep Winter regarding Spartan Team Estoc.
Disaster at Mare Erythraeum
After graduation and augmentations, many in Gamma Company were itching to deploy to the frontlines against the Covenant war machine. The war effort was going poorly in Mars from a Covenant invasion, Lieutenant Commander Ambrose had a difficult time preventing military bureaucrats from ordering him to hand over select Spartan teams for missions.; Onyx was practically in enemy/contested territory. With away and occupied by the defense of
By late October, the majority of Gamma Company was off Onyx, including Team Estoc. Upon losing contact with Colonel Ackerson and reports of Covenant forces in the, Ambrose handed Team Estoc to the for a quick exfiltration mission: find Colonel Ackerson and get him back to the ONI cruiser . Of course, the mission turned complicated as soon as they dropped out of near Mars a week into November.
The Sol command structure was in disarray, Earth's planetary defenses were in shambles, and the Martian orbital infrastructure was scattered. Santos, commander of Team Estoc's Eclipse-class prowler escort UNSC New Moon, ordered his vessel to approach the planet by slipping through the debris field of destroyed shipyards and orbital habitats. The order was sound in theory but after years of hunting UNSC stealth ships, the Covenant managed to become competent at identifying and destroying prowlers. The extensive debris field above Mars provided concealment from Covenant cruiser fire but limited the New Moon's maneuvering positions and Banshee space interceptors began pinning them.
Estoc managed to drop theirfrom the New Moon but were immediately shot down as they descended towards Mar's surface and the flatlands of . The UNSC New Moon was eventually cornered and destroyed. The New Moon's destruction was the twelfth prowler kill recorded by the since the initial invasion of the Sol system. Team Estoc's designated landing site was originally intended as the Martian multiplex space tether, tied to the planet's main orbiting economic infrastructure. Upon learning that the Covenant decimated the orbital habitats, they rerouted their plans to , where the headquarters was located. However, after being shot down over Mare Erythraeum, they were sent off-course from Ackerson's last known location. Team Estoc's Pelican crashed far south of Shoreline, about fifty kilometers outside the city of .
The Pelican crew was killed in the crash, their aircraft tearing itself apart on the descent. Team Estoc barely managed to survive the impact, throwing themselves out the back and relying on a mix of parafoils and booster packs to reach the ground. Still, the Covenant air patrols were not far behind and the debris field extended for at least two kilometers, leaving the team stranded and in the open. Bless-G085 was knocked unconscious during the crash and had to be hastily buried by her comrades in Martian sand as Covenant dropships approached.
The rest of the team fanned out into the wilderness, hoping to draw attention away from the crash site as they were pursued by Phantom and Banshee aircraft.