Letter XVIII

October 8, 2434

Barren, Mitchell D., Technical Sergeant

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

 

Dear Dad,

Technically, we found what was left of the missing ship, but we only found the debris that was left of it.  We were able to find a few of the bodies but there were still a few that were missing. The debris was located in the orbit of the planet they were tasked with searching so we are hoping that some of them managed to make it to the planet’s surface but we have not been able to locate anyone yet.

Given the situation and the fleet’s inability to locate the enemy battle group, they were unable to provide any assistance in searching the planet so my team and our Marine friends have been doing the search on our own.  It is a pretty big planet and we were unable to recover any data from the debris so we had next to nothing to go on.

I had the Mako do a spherical flight around the planet so that I could identify all the various locations that I would have picked for a recon mission.  Once we had every site that looked even remotely possible, we started to conduct a systematic search. It has been slow going but we had a somewhat confirmation yesterday that there are likely members on the ground.

We encountered some GFI ground forces that also looked they were searching for something.  There was eight of them but my team is pretty good and we had the element of surprise. We got lucky and they had split up enough so that we were able to capture them all piecemeal.  No casualties.

As a result of this encounter, I recalled the Marines and we brought our prisoners back to the Mako for an interrogation.  We want to find out how many others might be planetside before resuming our search and I feel it prudent for my team and the Marines to stick much closer together during our searches.

We had been searching adjacent locations, never too far apart so that either team to respond to the others’ location in a matter of minutes, but GFI being on the planet changes things.  If there is a larger presence, it might justify the fleet dispatching a larger contingent of troops to support us. Fortunately, fleet gave us an intel officer before we were dispatched to this search so he will be conducting the interrogation.

I have to admit, all things considered, this has been one of the more beautiful planets that we have been too.  Unlike the planet that was chosen for Outpost 86, this planet has much more vegetation, and there are even a few massive bodies of water.  We haven’t had a chance to do much sampling, given the current situation, but I would like to.

During our search, we also came across a mountain range that was absolutely amazing.  Those that feel they conquered life by climbing Everest would definitely not be celebrating it if they knew about this one.  

The scientists we have aboard were telling me that range would not be an option to search because of its elevation.  They said that without oxygen masks, we would suffocate in a matter of minutes because of the likely lack of air. No chance to investigate at the moment though.

Some of us are hoping that we find a massive GFI presence out here but I keep having to remind them that even if we do, their fleet isn’t here.  The fleet is the problem. All of these minor engagements are just a preamble. Eventually, our fleets will find each other and I just hope that I am not aboard one of the vessels when they do.

What good would my team be in a fleet engagement?  Not to mention, it gets pretty claustrophobic aboard these vessels.  I have made a request that my team and the Marine team get a few days R&R the next time we have to visit a port for a resupply.  The fleet agreed, provided the conditions allow for it.

The Mako could use some attention in a ship shop too.  We still haven’t had a chance to repair some of the damage done during our engagement with the GFI fleet.  Unfortunately, when we did our training last week, all they had time for was to ensure that the Mako was still flight worthy and the damage would not immediately or dangerously affect the ship’s operations.  That was when we got the distress call.

Unfortunately, I have to get back to work.  I am going to attempt a video link chat through our ansible with Russell once I have sent this but could you do me a favor and apologize to him for me if I am unable to reach him?  It has been difficult trying to communicate through video links with everyone given the schedule but we all knew that would happen. Please give mom my best and let everyone know that I am thinking about them while I am out here.

Talk to you soon.

 

Love,

 

Mitch

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