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December 11, 2434

Barren, Mitchell D., 2nd Lieutenant

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

Dear Dad,

The last few days have proven to be rather interesting.  I just hope that it ends up being a good thing. My team was granted some time to get some rest and to decompress a bit.  It was initiated at Outpost 86. Given the nature of our work, they don’t want us going off-planet but they also knew that we needed a few days of being left alone.  They met us halfway.

We were allowed anywhere on the planet given that someone on the base knew where we would be.  It wasn’t much, but it was good enough. I managed to snag Russell away from the lab for a few hours and we went into the nearest town to get some lunch and catch up.  I hope that he has been writing to you. He is really blowing them away out here.

I talked to some people about him and there is chatter going around that they are going to bring someone out to finish his formal education as quickly as possible.  He is going to be a pretty big deal out here. I know how proud of him I am so I can only imagine how proud you and Mom must be.

His appetite hasn’t changed much though.  Apparently, once I introduced him to the nachos out here, that was that.  He asked me to come up with a work out program for him that he can safely go around the lab.  When he orders these nachos he gets everything on them. I don’t blame him. The chips are always crunchy, never stale, the cheese is always hot and never grainy, the beans, meat, sour cream, lettuce, and tomatoes are always fresh, and when all this is combined, it makes a plate of irresistible and crunchy deliciousness.

The people in town are still warming up to the Fleet presence on their homeworld.  They love the money that our service members bring to town but that is about the extent of their appreciation for us.  Outpost 86 was meant to be the jump-off point for further exploration, instead, it has become the rally point for ship and troop deployment to combat this latest GFI threat.

That being the case, troop and fleet numbers have greatly increased and while that is good for business, it is also creating other issues.  Supply shortages, late deliveries due to the increase in security measures, and some additional trouble from other causes. Troops will be troops.  That, unfortunately, led to a bit of a brawl while Russell and I were out to lunch.

Do not fear though.  It was not difficult to move him out of harm’s way.  Even though I am not around as much as I used to be, the owner still remembers me.  I moved him to her office and then assisted in restoring order. It didn’t take long.  The owner’s bartender just so happened to be a Marine, once upon a time, and I jumped in to help him remove the trouble parties from the establishment.

No physical damage to either of your sons, I assure you.  That was when things got interesting. The owner thanked me and then asked if I would be coming around for dinner.  She even told me that if I did, there would be a plate of nachos and a captain and coke waiting for me, on the house.  How could I refuse?

After Russell and I finished our lunch, we went for a hike not too far off base.  It was near one of the cave systems I explored a while back. We got in some exercise and enjoyed a nice and relatively quiet afternoon.  It was nice being able to catch up in person. I dropped him off back at the base not too long after.

I went back to the bar later that evening and she joined me for my meal.  Come to find out that she has been trying to find out when my team would be back for a while.  My team was in here a lot before we got our new duty assignment and she was under the impression that she might not be seeing me again.

I couldn’t believe it but she asked me to go on a date with her while we sat there having dinner and told me that she would understand if I said no.  I agreed that a date would be nice but I also explained to her the nature of what I do and that it might not be in her best interest to go out with someone like me.  She told me that she understood and didn’t care.

The next day, I took her out for dinner and we had a pretty nice time.  She is absolutely beautiful, Dad. Only a few inches shorter than me, long and wavy brown hair, the bluest eyes you have ever seen, and a sense of humor that was able to tolerate my personality throughout the date.  We ate and danced and it was a wonderful time.

I explained to her that a relationship would be extremely difficult but she claimed not to care.  She said she would like to at least correspond with me to see how things go. I agreed to give it a try.  We spend a few more days going on dates and even a couple hikes but you know how it goes Dad. My time off came to an end and I am now awaiting new orders with my team.

Not sure yet whether we will be redeployed to conduct further recon or possibly reassigned back to Outpost 86.  Time will tell. I will keep you posted. Please give everyone my best. I will write again soon.



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