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September 24, 2434

Barren, Mitchell D., Technical Sergeant

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

Dear Dad,

In response to your last letter, no, there were no signs that GFI ever made landfall.  Once we made contact with them, telemetry indicates that the rest of their fleet paused where they were while their ships attempted to intercept us.  Beyond that, if they did make landfall, they covered their tracks too well.

Also, please tell mom that, while it would be greatly appreciated, I cannot give a good answer as to when a care package would find its way into my hands.  Given the way things are going at the moment, it could be a while for anything beyond electronic communication to get to me. We are going to be moving around at an even more rapid and random pace then we were before this contact.

Fleet has been on high alert for the past several days.  While the task force was unable to locate the GFI fleet we had run into, the Valkyrie finished analyzing the sensor data that we had originally sent them and the task force commander freaked.  Turns out we were lucky that we didn’t encounter them planetside.

The ship numbers were not shared but the troop numbers were since that information is most relevant to me and my team.  There were several personnel carriers and construction vessels that were among the GFI fleet encountered. Unless we encounter them again, there is no way to know for sure, but the intel boys and girls are theorizing that the GFI was intending on building a fleet installation.

Some of the construction equipment they were able to identify were the kind that the GFI has been seen using to construct orbital defense cannons and ship docking platforms.  The fact that we spooked them has the fleet going crazy even more because now we don’t know where they are. FleetCom wants the Mako to keep scouting and they want my team to stay aboard but the mission parameters are being altered.

I am pretty sure mom will appreciate that we have been ordered to find out what they are up to but not to engage unless absolutely necessary.  Given that our warship is a bit of a runt compared to most war vessels, the Captain was inclined to agree that was a reasonable order. We are currently attached to one of the fleet support vessels for repair and rearmament but will be setting off immediately.  I am afraid that Russell and my reunion will have to wait.

I would love any input you have on what you think the GFI is up to.  You were a member of the fleet the last time they made an attempt like this.  It is one thing for them to attack and/or raid a planet within the Coalition’s domain, it is quite another to make an attempt at a planetary seizure like this.  Do you think they have the kind of numbers that our fleet has been fearing they would attain? Do you think they are confident that they have the fleet and ground strength to take us on again?

Fleet Intel is being fleet intel.  You know what that is like. They share the bare minimum with us and more than half the time, they are way off base with their information.  I would appreciate your input. If you are able to get your hands on the data and give me your analysis, I would appreciate it. If not, don’t do anything stupid to get it, please.  While I would love to know more, I don’t want anyone getting in trouble over this.

Trust me when I say I have a great team, the Marines backing us up are among the best the Fleet Marine Corps has to offer, and the crew of this ship has proven themselves to be among the best.  If anyone can handle the challenges that lie ahead, it is us. We are prepared and equipped to get through any scenario we can think of. Tell mom that is the case. We will be fine.

I hope that this letter finds you all well.  I will do my best to take some leave and come home as soon as I am able, or as soon as they will allow.  Given how busy my team and I have been since receiving the assignment to Outpost 86, I kind of feel like they owe us some leave.  

Please tell Russell that he needs to be careful.  That planet’s defensive systems may be up and operational, but that doesn’t stop insurgency from within.  Even the GFI is not so low as to target innocence when they can help it but that doesn’t mean it is safe out here.  You know as well as I do that nowhere among the stars is safe. You and mom also know that there can be no progress without risk.  Russell is going to be human progress. I just know it.

Please take care and I will write to you again next week.





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