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February 19, 2435

Barren, Mitchell D., 2nd Lieutenant

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

Dear Dad,

I love being out here and seeing the universe.  I have been on so many different planets that it is getting difficult to keep count without going through my mission reports.  Never in my life did I think I would get so lucky. It is truly magnificent.

I remember when you used to tell us stories about a time in history when people considered themselves fortunate to see other continents on Earth.  And now, here I am, flying around the galaxy in an intergalactic spacecraft, hopping from planet to planet.

You know the most important thing I am realizing is the amount of time my team and I spend staring at the interior of various spacecraft.  We have a lot more time on our hands than people might think. The travel is pretty fantastic, but we get sick of being so confined for long enough periods of time.

This may be the most bipolar letter I will ever write to you.  I love flying around out here but the confinement sometimes has the ability to drive me to my breaking point.  The same thing goes for my team. We love what we do but at the same time, the time between missions can get maddening.

I don’t even remember what this planet is called.  We are currently in orbit over yet another GFI Stronghold.  This one is by far the most massive one we have come across yet.  We touched down a few days ago and scoped out the place but once our main force hit the ground we were pulled.  The fighting was expected to get pretty nasty this time.

There must have been at least three or four thousand GFI troops on the ground and they had a fairly impressive and extensive system of defense in place.  They also had some kind of shielding on the part of the installation that was above ground and as far as we could tell, the majority of their installation is below ground.

An orbital bombardment was attempted but based on initial contact reports, it isn’t looking like much damage was done.  Everything above ground was softened up pretty good, but I am thinking they put that stuff above ground on purpose. Our casualties are already mounting much faster than Fleet leadership out here anticipated.

We have managed to take and question a few prisoners but they are all providing conflicting information.  It is starting to look doubtful that we will get any good information until we manage to get our hands on one of the GIF leaders or their computer systems.

So far, we have managed to irradicate about a third (according to our best estimates) of the GFI forces planetside, but it is starting to look like we are not going to know for sure until we have control of their installation.  

They actually dug out a tunnel network Dad.  I remember those stories you used to tell us about the Japanese during World War II or the Vietnamese and Viet Cong during America’s attempt to keep the North out of the South to prevent the spread of communism.  It is absolutely blowing my mind seeing it firsthand.

Even with the technology we currently possess, as far as we have come, the only way to completely destroy the enemy is to dig them out with manpower.  They have managed to counter our most advanced technologies by using shovels. It is actually quite impressive when you stop to consider it for more than a few seconds.

By going backward, they have managed to render our technologies useless and put us on a much more even fighting situation.  In a way. Not really though. We are still going to smoke them out. There might be a few more casualties on our side than our usual engagements, but that won’t matter much to FleetCom.  They have already determined acceptable casualty numbers and it is doubtful, though not impossible, that tunnels will make that much of a difference.

How are things back at home?  I am hoping that everything is a little closer to normal now that we have managed to push all GFI forces back away from our home system.  It isn’t looking like they will be able to recover from this mess they have made but I am not making any assumptions. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Please give my best to everyone and know that I am always thinking about you all and I look forward to the day where we can reunite and all go to dinner and a show together.

Love,

Mitch    

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