Letter XXXI

January 8, 2435

Barren, Mitchell D., 2nd Lieutenant

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

Dear Dad,

I warn you now, this letter might get a bit long-winded (or long worded I guess would make more sense), but there is a story I have to tell you.  This is one you will have to use your best judgment with as to whether or not you are going to share it with Mom. It wasn’t exactly a mission that we were trained or ready for but I definitely got the “feel goods” after.

One of our advanced recon teams went missing 10 days ago on some uninhabited jungle and desert planet somewhere near the planet Outpost 27 is on.  The ship that carried them, the CSS Marlin, and their Marine contingent lost contact with them but was unable to determine how. Around the same time, their planetary scanners went offline.  At the time, it was for reasons unknown.

The call for help was sent and my team was dispatched to investigate.  We got there four days after contact was lost. As soon as the CSS Mako hit orbit, we knew something was going on that wasn’t friendly.  Our scanners were not functioning properly either. It would be one thing if we were unable to track human life, but there was no sensor activity at all.

Fortunately, knowing that our vessel had just been overhauled and all systems were at 100%, we knew something was wrong.  We took a shuttle down and made contact with their Marines and the shuttle that had brought them. There was still no contact, but we did have their recon route so it wasn’t going to be difficult to track where they were supposed to be.

We took one of their Marine fire teams for extra support and followed the other recon team’s trail to their last known location.  I put my designated marksman, code name Overwatch, and one of my Marine fire teams in a good vantage point so they could observe our approach and call out any potential threats.  It is a good thing too, he has the best eyes in the business.

Once we were about 200 meters away from the last known location, Overwatch called out a well-concealed ambush.  They had been monitoring all communications up to our arrival, using the recon teams captured communication tech.  They knew we were coming, but fortunately for us, we knew they were waiting before we walked into it.

Knowing they were there, we were able to make last minute adjustments to our approach and were able to take half of them without a shot being fired or a warning being given to their fellow ambushers.  I would be lying if I told you there wasn’t a minor firefight. It was shortlived. Having already taken half the ambush into custody, we were able to turn the ambush on them.

It must have been our lucky day.  One of the ones we caught before the firefight ended up being the officer in charge of all the GFI forces that were on the planet.  There wasn’t much of a GFI presence. Not enough to warrant calling in a larger battle group. But there was more than enough to cause us to pause before proceeding with what we now knew was going to be a rescue operation.

The GFI officer didn’t say much but we didn’t really need him to.  Some of the other prisoners we took were more than a little loose-lipped and we had a detailed layout of what was going on.  They were able to get some access to new tech that even Coalition forces weren’t employing yet on any kind of massive scale and it was interfering with all sensor access within the field the machine established.

Once we knew where to look and what we were dealing with, some of our engineers aboard the Mako were able to adjust our sensors and we were able to see where the GFI was holding our team and how many there were.  They numbered almost 200 so any kind of assault was out of the question.

We had to settle for a plan that was snatch and grab with minimal exposure.  We set up our Overwatch and a defensible fallback point in case things went bad.  I took the other two members of my team in and we were able to locate the missing recon team members quickly and quietly.  It wasn’t until we were making our way out that we ran into an enemy patrol that was out of Overwatch’s line of sight and was forced to engage.

We were close enough to the perimeter that running for the fall back point wasn’t going to be interrupted by any more patrols.  Overwatch was able to cover the rest of our escape with ease but we were pursued all the way back to the shuttles. We made a short stand at our fall back position in an effort to cause the GFI forces to pursue us with more caution.  It worked.

They followed us with enough apprehension to allow us the time we needed to load both of the shuttles and make our escape.  Once we were back aboard the Mako and the Marlin, we called for a battle group to come in and finish them off. The Fleet Admiral was reluctant at first but once we explained the tech that the GFI had employed, we got more than we asked for.

The deployment of this newer disruption technology is cause for investigation.  The battle group that was dispatched to help us did a fine job at mopping up the GFI forces on the ground but all enemy engineers were found dead within the GFI position.  All were executed by their own men. It is unfortunate that we were not able to capture any of them but their execution was indication enough that this is something the GFI doesn’t want us knowing more about.

We were also unable to capture any of the equipment intact.  Once they realized what we were trying to do, they proceeded to destroy anything and everything related.  We were able to capture bits and pieces but no information or instructions of any kind. Looks like the nerd squads are going to have their work cut out for them.

Needless to say, it has been a rather busy week.  My team isn’t exactly meant for search and rescue but it definitely felt good to do good.  We are en route back to Outpost 86 for a re-supply. I am planning on dropping in to say hello to Russell.  I hope that this letter finds you and Mom well. Please know that I am doing great and I am loving every minute of what we do.  Take care.

Love,

Mitch

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