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January 22, 2435

Barren, Mitchell D., 2nd Lieutenant

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

Dear Dad,

Not much to report this week.  The CSS Mako is getting a pretty serious overhaul so we have been using that time to get some pretty intensive training in.  We even had a war game that started Tuesday and went on for a few days.

Outpost 86 has come a pretty long way since we first got here seven or eight months ago.  My team has gotten to see the evolution of the installation from a pretty interesting perspective.  We may be out spending time aboard the Mako or ground pounding on other worlds, but we are still assigned to Outpost 86.

They have put a lot more time and money than any of us were expecting into turning this into a first class military base.  Every time we have touched down here there has been a noticeable change, whether it is the latest air defense systems, shuttle ports, ground defense cannons, and so much more.

The base has also done a fairly decent job at keeping the invasiveness on the planet’s local ecosystem as minimal as possible.  It may not sound like much, but the even Russell and the scientists that he is working with are saying the Fleet is doing a better job than expected.  

I found that out during the war game.  FleetCom wanted all civilians working on the installation to participate in this one, given that recent GFI incursions involved attacking local populations and not just Coalition military positions.  They complained about it at first but by the end, I am convinced that they were all disappointed that it was over so soon.

While the air and ground defensive systems are the absolute best that the Coalition has access to, and far better than anything that the GFI could possibly get their hands on, you know where I am going with this Dad.  Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Russell enjoyed it as well.  They let him participate without regard for his age.  You and I both know why but that one will be your call as to whether or not you tell mom.  He did quite well for himself. As a courtesy, the base commander contacted me in regards to Russell and allowed me the decision of who he trained with.

They refused to allow me, given the family connection, but fortunately, the Lieutenant attached to my team was with me during the discussion and offered to have his Staff Sergeant take on that task.  I graciously accepted. I was unsure of how it would go at first, but everyone was more than pleased with the results.

The Staff Sergeant, also being what most would consider to be a “Poster Marine,” did not take it easy on him, but he did inform me that Russell took to the training well.  He even told Russell that if the lab coat wearing days ever became too dull, “he would make a helluva Marine.” The NCO’s words, not mine. You and I both know he belongs in a lab coat.

I need to cut this one short.  The CSS Mako is dusting off in about 30 minutes.  Unknown at this time whether the next mission is combat or recon.  Fingers crossed for recon. I have had more than enough combat as of late and would like to actually spend some time on a planet where my team and I are not being shot at.

Please give my best to Mom and everyone else.  Might be getting some leave in the not too distant future but that is another unknown for the time being.  I will keep you posted. Take care.

Love,

Mitch

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