June 25, 2434
Barren, Mitchell D., Staff Sergeant
4th Fleet, 4th Fleet Security Forces (FSF)
So there is some good news and some bad news. Like you always said Mom, veggies before desert is the best way to go so I will start with the bad. Ansible communication is being left to last. While long-range instant communication is important, it was determined that until the star port has been completed, there is no need of instant communication.
There aren’t yet any assets out here that are worthy of an ansible device. The technology is too rare and valuable. Once the port is established and a permanent air power contingent is established, ansible is the next step. The good news is we were told why we are way out here. It is the most they are going to tell us but I feel like it is pretty exciting. We are going to be the jump off point for further exploration, meaning this won’t be some minor installation or a hardship post. This will be a complete Fleet installation with all the perks of any other major base.
Most of the security systems are set up now so there will be much more time to write home and also work on my promise to Russell. Now that we have received some reinforcements and most of the security systems are up and running, a more accommodating work schedule will soon be established and I will be able to get his present finished. Though I am still not sure what my specifically assigned duties will be, I can venture a guess.
I am among the very few Fleet Security Personnel on location who also happens to have attended the Fleet’s recon training school so there is a pretty good chance I won’t be spending a whole lot of my time on the installation. It is more along the lines of intelligence instead of special forces. There have been rumors that once the GFI found out about our being here and what we were up to they were angry. Still, I don’t want any of you worrying. We are too far away from anything even remotely useful or significant (strategically) so there is no reason to believe they would bother coming out here. Besides, GFI can’t afford to waste resources on anything less than an absolute military or political necessity. We should be just fine.
Back to the land of the positive. Since all security has been set up and a work schedule is now in effect, we are able to do some exploring around the immediate vicinity of the base. I wish words could express how beautiful this planet is. You won’t hear that from most Earth born people, nor anyone with a closed mind, but if you can look past what you pre-determine a planet should look like and have an open mind, it is really something else.
I found a system of caves not too far away during a patrol and I managed to convince my Flight Commander that they needed to be cataloged and explored in detail to assess whether or not they could provide any kind of strategic advantage or disadvantage to the base. It is a pretty good reason when you think about it and I must admit, I was quite impressed with myself. It is located about two kilometers away from the base so we are going on our little spelunking mission tomorrow during duty hours. I will tell you as much as I can about it the next chance I get.
In other news, I got your letters and care package. Thank you so much for the Tootsie rolls. I almost cried when I saw that you added some beef jerky in there as well (not really though….but kinda). I can’t even remember the last time I had red meat and it was every bit as delicious as I remember. I shared some with my element as well they wanted me to extend their gratitude. We do our best to share what we get from home but that doesn’t always work out. It is pretty hard to split things like an individual candy bar or any personal items among 10 people. It will be better once the port is set up and there are less weight restrictions on what can be mailed. Plus some things are not meant to be shared and everyone is pretty good about respecting that.
Things were a little rough to start with the workload but between all the care packages, letters, and now being finished with base set up, conditions are starting to look much better. They even continue to improve every day. The chow hall has been set up and they started bringing in fresh food for us so we have moved up from packaged food. No new incidents to report other than injuries from training or the typical work related mishaps that accompany building anything big. A lot of broken fingers, pulled muscles, and damaged egos, but beyond that, We are doing great.
I hope that this letter finds you well. Please give my love to everyone. Also, if it isn’t too much trouble, could you please start sending newspapers out my way. Since there is no ansible yet, it will be the only way to get news from back home, even if it is a week or two late. It would be nice to read something other than the books I brought or military manuals and report. If you are unable or Fleet won’t let you, don’t worry about it. It is a simple request and whether or not you are able, I will get by. I miss you all and look forward to hearing back from you.