Letter XV

September 17, 2434

Barren, Mitchell D., Technical Sergeant

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

 

Dear Dad,

 

The last week started off hectic and ended with a result that was less than favorable.  It is a good thing your former position carries some weight because it is doubtful I would be able to tell you much.  I am sure the fleet understands there isn’t much they could do to prevent you from finding out so they let me share anyways.  For the most part.

We were wondering why we were not further pursued once we jumped out.  They had to know we no longer had the armament to put up much more of a fight.  Though we were able to escape the ambush and notify the fleet that the GFI were conducting a large operation in that sector, our response fleet was not able to get there in time to figure out what they were up to.  

Using the ansible, our contact was immediate so the fleet knew to jump within minutes of our escaping, but the best guess is that having made contact with us was enough for them to not want to risk a larger engagement.  It took our response task force less than six hours to get to the GFI’s former location but they were already gone.

We transmitted the data to the CSS Valkyrie, the main battleship in our response fleet that the task force commander spends most of his time on, for analysis.  They escorted us back to the planet so that we could investigate.

Understandably, the Commander didn’t want to take any chances so two battalions of Marines were landed first to secure a large landing sight.  Once those Marines finished securing enough space for the CSS Mako to land planetside, they radioed us. We made planetfall and touched down right smack in the middle of them.

Once on the ground, we prepared to conduct our planetary recon mission so that the science team could do their survey.  I decided to take the small Marine contingent along for our recon and things went pretty well, for the most part. We operated fairly well together but I would be lying if I said we didn’t have some work to do.

Once we were done with the first recon patrol, I spoke with the Lieutenant in charge of our special Marine team and he agreed that we needed to do some remedial training with both of our teams operating together.  I have to admit, he isn’t so bad after all. I think he is starting to warm up to me, and I have to say, I am starting to feel that they aren’t a bunch of brainless jarheads after all.

The two battalion commanders, both Colonels, caught me completely by surprise when they asked me how I wanted them to move.  I am not quite used to that kind of rank asking me what to do but it was nice to see they were more focused on our mission and its intent than going on a GFI hunt.   

I asked the two battalion commanders to perform a leapfrog security strategy while we did our survey.  Every time we selected the next sight, one of the battalions would take their combat shuttles in advance to secure the sight while the other stayed behind for security.  We chose all of our sights in advance and communicated them to the battalion commanders. Once we departed a sight, that Marine battalion would move to the sight after next so it would be secure before we finished the next and the process would be much faster.

It took less than 16 hours to complete our survey.  We didn’t wait for on sight analysis by the science team this time.  While we were ready for an engagement, we didn’t want a battle taking place because our science team was taking their sweet time.  We got all of the samples and data that we needed and made our way back into orbit. All of our findings were transmitted to the CSS Valkyrie and we stood by while their people assisted our scientists.

In the end, we were unable to identify what might have made the planet so interesting to the GFI, other than its location.  It was near enough to Coalition controlled space and the planet’s size and gravity was comparable to most human-friendly planets.  The water was compatible with the human body and there were some local vegetation and wildlife that was edible.

The best we were able to figure was that it would make a decent enough jump off point for a GFI fleet to be serviced and operated from.  All of that is a problem for fleet intelligence to figure out. We are heading back to Outpost 86 for a resupply and to have the CSS Mako serviced.

I am thinking I will surprise Russell when we get back.  There is this place just outside the installation in the nearest town that has some really good chow and it isn’t too expensive.  I am pretty sure he will like it. It will be nice to see him and catch up. Tell mom I promise not to pick on him or give him a rough time.  To be honest, I don’t much have the energy for practical jokes at the moment

Please give everyone my best and tell mom not to worry.  The fleet is taking pretty good care of us and the crew on this vessel are proving to be among the very best.  They will keep my team as safe as possible. I love you all and will talk to you soon.

 

Love,

 

Mitch

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