Letter XIV

September 10, 2434

Barren, Mitchell D., Technical Sergeant

4th Fleet, 4th Fleet Security Forces (FSF)

 

Dear Dad,

This has been a rough week.  We were en-route to the next recon mission location on our list and the standard procedure is to jump in a minimum of one astronomical units out.  On the Mako, we randomize it be rolling a dice so there is no chance of it being predictable. All section leaders are present for several pre-rolls so everyone knows the di isn’t tampered with.

We jumped in about three astronomical units away from the planet and ended up less than 100,000 kilometers away from a GFI fleet.  The best guess was two battleships, 11 destroyers, and frigates (we weren’t able to get an accurate count of the types), at least one carrier, and a dozen other support vessels.  Our best guess was at least one or two were troop ships.

They noticed the gamma-ray burst from our entry immediately.  We knew that because two of the destroyers, four frigates, and one of the battleships diverted our direction almost instantly following our arrival.  Unfortunately for us, we had to wait at least 30 minutes for our jump drive equipment to recharge and reset and given the numbers, it wasn’t looking good.

Obviously, I am able to write to you now so you know things turned out all right but it was too close for comfort Dad.  The only things we had going for us were the fact that we were in a much faster ship and the crew of the CSS Make is some pretty hot stuff.  I am not joking Dad the men and woman that fly this vessel are the best I have ever encountered.

They started off by trying to outrun the GFI ships long enough for everything to recharge and reset.  In a race with no jump drives, the Make would win. This ships power and engine systems are the newest and most advanced in the Coalition’s arsenal and based on sensor readings, they were flying outdated rust buckets.

Unfortunately for us, they had charged and ready jump drives.  They could easily leapfrog us using a single jump and, outdated or not, vaporize us as they jump directly into our flight path and we fly right into their firing brackets.

Fortunately for us, the captain of the Mako not only knew it but saw it coming.  She was amazing, Dad. We have the weapon capacity to theoretically put up a fight but that would only work in a mostly defensive capacity.  Our captain used defensive weapons in an offensive manner and ended up taking out one of the destroyers, one of the frigates, and even damaged the battleship.

As she expected, all but two of the GFI vessels jumped ahead of us, but seeing this coming, she had some of the crew prepare several of the magnetic mines and two of our smart missiles for launch and release.  Once the Mako detected the enemy jump drives start to initiate their jump sequence, she launched the two missiles with preprogrammed targetting instructions and then executed a sharp 180-degree turn while simultaneously releasing four of the magnetic mines.

The GFI ships all jumped and appeared about 20,000 kilometers ahead of the direction where we had just altered course from and in the attempt to further pursue us, flew right into the ordinance we had deployed.  One missile struck a destroyer dead on while the other hit the stern of the frigate and completely destroyed the entire back half of the ship.

We detected that two of the mines were able to latch on the battleship and cause some pretty major damage but a battleship is still a battleship.  No matter how old, those things were designed to handle some serious punishment. The main bulk of the chasing ships were slowed but the two that had been behind us were now heading directly at us.

There were still three minutes left on the charge by the time we were within firing range so we had to endure the gauntlet.  Our defensive systems were able to hold off the missiles but their light rail cannons were a different story. They managed to get a few direct hits but only one was able to breach our hull and no one was near the breach.

That section of the ship was sealed off and we were able to make an escape jump not long after.  It was way too close and the captain admits it. It was a mixture of both good and bad luck. No one was hurt and we scored a few GFI warships destroyed but we also know now that GFI is making a move on one of the planets that we suspected.  

I am not sure that GFI leadership will call it off but I do know that FleetCom was prepared for this possibility and has a fleet and a large number of troops standing by for our reports.  We will see what happens.

This is one letter that I prefer you do some next level sugar coating on for mom.  I don’t know that this incident would be reported but the engagement that is likely to take place between the fleet and GFI will be.  She knew that this planet was on our list (though she didn’t know the order) and she isn’t stupid. She knows my team is doing the recon for the outer planets.  It wouldn’t take much for her to figure this one out.

Please give my best to everyone.  I will keep you posted. There is a pretty good chance that we will be heading back to assist with the engagement.  We still have the only people in this part of the galaxy to gather the samples and conduct the tests that FleetCom wants to be done.  I will be in touch.

 

Love,

 

Mitch   

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