Letter XXVIII

December 18, 2434

Barren, Mitchell D., 2nd Lieutenant

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

Dear Dad,

I hope that you and Mom have something nice planned for the holidays.  I am not quite sure where I will be or what I will be doing but it is unlikely that any of us will be off.  It has been a few weeks since the last major encounter with GFI forces but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still out there.

There is still a pretty large fleet unaccounted for that could be lurking somewhere close by.  Until we find and deal with them, no one back home is safe. There is nothing I want more than to make that a reality for you and everyone else on our homeworlds.

I discussed it with my team and even the Marines that have been supporting us agreed that they wanted in on the action.  We are joining the search effective immediately. We were not originally assigned the task but I spoke with an Admiral from FleetCom and he agreed that any assistance would be welcomed.

There was a large number of ground forces that were accompanying the GFI fleet and so our mission will be to locate them and determine what they might be up to or planning.  If they haven’t yet retreated back to GFI controlled space, there must be a reason. We will uncover what that is as quickly and safely as possible.

Until that happens, everyone is on full alert.  There have been some complaints but the threat is still all too real and everyone knows it.  Even though we were able to beat the attack back, that doesn’t make them any less desperate or dangerous.  For all we know, they could be trying to bait our main forces so that another fleet could launch an attack when and where we aren’t looking.

Intelligence gathered suggests that there is a good chance that the fleet dumped their ground forces off somewhere and took off.  The ground forces have had enough time to dig in deep enough to protect them from any kind of orbital bombardment. There are plenty of unoccupied worlds where they could be with enough resources to maintain a big enough force.

We will let the fleet sniff out the GFI’s fleet.  Our job is the ground forces. There is little chance that any kind of significant force wouldn’t leave some noticeable signs of activity on the surface so we will be conducting orbital surveys of every world we go to.  Any world with signs of use that are supposed to be unoccupied will be thoroughly investigated.

It is pretty much the same thing that we were already doing but instead of new worlds, it will be worlds that we have already charted.  It is most unfortunate that the worlds were cataloged but nothing was left behind to at least monitor for any signs of activity. Yet another one of our Armed Forces leadership blunders has come back to bite us.

I hate to say it Dad but this lack of foresight is likely going to cost a lot of lives.  When we do find them, they will have had plenty of time to prepare defensive positions. We will have to root them out and it is going to get messy.  Had we been able to identify where they are in a faster manner, we might have been able to hit them before they were able to dig in. Now, not so much.

I have been keeping in touch with that girl I was telling you about.  She is pretty good when it comes to keeping in touch. While I am unable to write back as often as I would like, she is pretty consistent.  Things at the barkeep her pretty busy but it is pretty clear she understands how important letters are to military personnel.

Let me know if there is anything I can get you or Mom or anything within my power to do so that your holidays can be more enjoyable.  I will tell you this, I have sent a surprise for you. I hope that it gets to you in time for Christmas. You know how delivery goes. No matter how advanced technology gets, Christmas time will always muck up the delivery services.

Take care and give my love to everyone.

Love,

Mitch

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Letter XXVII

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.

Love,

Mitch

Letter XXVI

December 4, 2434
Barren, Mitchell D., 2nd Lieutenant
4th Fleet, 4th Fleet Security Forces (FSF)

Dear Dad,

For the first time in weeks, I don’t really have much to report. We have been standing by the last few days and not much has been going on. Things have become a stalemate for the time being. We managed to push the GFI back far enough to provide comfort and security to the civilian populations that were in harm’s way.

We also took enough command and control centers out of commission to where there is a noticeable effect on the GFI attack forces. They have on scene authorities and it is clear that they have taken command. The individual units and attack groups are doing fine on there own but there is a noticeable difference in the overall picture.

We are working on getting into their communications but that is proving to be more difficult. We were hoping that the access we were able to attain from the command and control centers would get us into their radio chatter but that wasn’t the case.

Lucky for them and unlucky for us, the men and woman we were able to capture activated some kind of fail-safe that scrambled the ansible’s systems and won’t allow access into their comm network. Our tech experts are working on it but no one is holding their breath. It would have been a plus but I have yet to hear of a battle where one side got everything they wanted.

My team and I are starting to get a little worn out. We have had some sporadic time off but it has not yet been enough time to truly decompress. Most of them were cut short. My team is hanging in there but they are going to need a real breather sometime soon and more than a day of access to fresh air and open space.

The ship may have a pretty good amount of space when you factor in the size and compare it to the ratio of most ships and the number of crew members aboard, but no matter what the size, you always know that you are still living in a metal can. Constantly breathing recycled air and drinking recycled water eventually will take its toll on anyone, no matter how much training.

The word from some of my guys back at the outpost are telling me that there is the talk of having my team reassigned back to the outpost. To be honest, I think my team and I would find that to be a nice change of pace. We love to travel but there are times when a break from travel is also nice. That decision will depend on too many things though. The outcome of this GFI attack for starters.

There would also be a lot of changes if that were the case. Now that I hold an officer’s rank, my position within the unit would have to change. They spent a pretty large amount of money training my team to do what we have been doing so I don’t foresee administrative work of any kind in our immediate future. At least, not a full-time administrative position.

It would be nice to be able to spend a little more time with Russell though. Who knows? Maybe some of his intelligence will rub off on me and I can consider going back to college at some point. I can see it now. Me, sitting in a college government and economics class, surrounded by a bunch of kids more than 10 years younger than me, asking questions about the war with the GFI, and then the professor giving answers that I know to be false because of security classifications.

Now that I think about it. I don’t know if that would be a good course of action for me. I am already an officer in the Fleet now and I didn’t require a degree to get here. I have to tell you Dad, I believe that this is going to be my life. I know I was on the fence and you and Mom thought I would be done after my 10th year, but things have changed.

I am doing well and I am doing good. I am serving with good people and the things we are doing are right and just. I can’t imagine doing anything else that would satisfy me as much as what I am doing here and now. We are making a difference and our work is saving lives. This is the path for me. I think I have made my decision Dad. I am going to make Fleet service my career.

Plus….I get to shoot all the coolest guns, play with the most advanced military technology available, and Dad, I get to blow shit up (please leave this paragraph out when you read this letter to Mom). You know how it is. This is what I dreamed of when we were kids. I love this shit, Dad. The adventure and excitement. I don’t want to walk away from this.

Well, it looks like we are now heading back to Outpost 86. I will keep you posted as to what is going on once we get there and get our orders. I hope that you and Mom are well. Please give my best to the rest of the family. I love you all.

Love,

Mitch

Letter XXV

November 27, 2434

Barren, Mitchell D., 2nd Lieutenant

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

 

Dear Dad,

 

The last week has been quite intense.  After further investigation, looks like the last controller we captured was able to fire off a distress call before we were able to fully sever all of the planetary communications.  Furthermore, because he knew we were coming, he was able to escape his stronghold with some of his defense forces.

We ended up capturing him eventually, but it took the better part of the week.  We were unable to sneak up and catch the defenders protecting the site. They knew we were coming so they were in prepared defensive positions.  We had to fight our way in and there were some casualties.

Our Marine contingent accompanied us for support, once we realized there wasn’t going to be a quiet way in.  No one was killed but a few of the Marines were wounded, one serious. We were able to stabilize him in time but it is unsure as to whether or not he will ever walk again.

Overwhelming the defenders and taking control of the facility only took a little over an hour and most of that was spent getting into position for the assault.  Once we were inside, that was when our troubles began. The controller was gone. Fortunately for us, they didn’t do a good enough job of scrubbing their communications so we were able to deduce that they were still somewhere on the planet.  The bad news was the planet is huge.

Not much bigger than Earth so the gravitational difference was noticeable but manageable.  Even so, Earth is pretty big too. Searching for an individual on a planet this size was a pain.  Especially when you consider the fact that we were down a few Marines and our team wasn’t exactly massive, to begin with.

We had to split into the smallest groups possible so we could cover the most ground.  The CSS Mako did the best they could to support the search from above but that ship wasn’t built for that kind of support.  We had a few things working for us. We had plenty of time and we know there weren’t any air, ground, or water vehicles on the planet.

The communication data we uncovered indicated that pickup was not possible until the GFI assault on our solar system was able to stabilize a defensive line that would allow for one of their ships to detach and come retrieve them.  That gave us more than enough time, so long as our forces keep pushing the GFI position back.

As for the vehicles, the Mako may not be able to pick up readings on something as small as the life of a person without knowing where the target is first, vehicles give off so much more heat that if any vehicle were to be used, it would set off the Mako’s sensor’s and we would know where the vehicle was and what direction it was heading.

Lastly, one of my men spotted tracks heading away from the installation.  I had him take a Marine fire team with him and they followed the trail for about two miles to see if they could find traces of any kind of vehicle.  They found nothing but footprints. A good sign for us.

It still took us a few days to catch up, but fortunately, they were too rushed to cover their tracks.  Also, we got lucky. The weather on the planet, according to the readings we eventually got through at the GFI installation, indicated that the weather on the planet could get pretty nasty.  During the few days we tracked them, the weather held off and the prints were not destroyed or hidden from us.

When we finally caught up, we found that the controller had a two-man security detail with him.  We drew their fire but given the amount of firepower and support we had versus theirs, we just let them burn through their munitions.  I had my men and the Marines close the distance as slowly and safely as possible. It took time and we were concerned that the detail might execute the controller before we got to him, but that was just as much of a risk if we would have hurried.

You know me, Dad.  I couldn’t care less about the prize if it meant risking the safety of my men.  We eventually captured the three of them and I faced some scrutiny because of my approach but the Marine Lieutenant had my back.  He wholeheartedly supported my decision to take it slow. We managed to capture the target and there were no further casualties.

It sounds like other teams had similar issues.  The GFI finally issued a warning to their controllers to maintain a better visual on any potentially approaching vessels and the controllers headed the warning.  FleetCom claims that our casualties were minimal, compared to what was at stake and what we were able to come out of the operation with. Maybe they are right. I disagree.

One of the assault teams lost half their Marine attachment, killed or wounded, and another of our ARRC teams was completely wiped out in their assault.  The controller wired the entire installation with some kind of explosive. An investigation is underway. It is unknown whether or not the controller was in the facility.  I would appreciate it if you edit this paragraph out of the letter (at least) before reading it to Mom.

I am exhausted and have some reports to file.  I just wanted to give you a heads up. Please give everyone my best.  I miss you all so much and hope that I get a chance to come home and see you soon.

 

Love,

 

Mitch  

Letter XXIV

November 20, 2434

Barren, Mitchell D., 2nd Lieutenant

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

 

Dear Dad,

We caught another controller and had to terminate another.  It almost feels like we are dealing with a hydra but we managed to learn something new from the one we were able to take alive.  It turns out that all of these controllers have been answering to one overall army commander back on what they consider to be their main home-world.

We were able to get the drop on the last mission’s target and he did not have the time to do a data wipe of his computers.  We left them intact and on-site and had the CSS Mako contact FleetCom using ansible. FleetCom immediately tasked a geek squad to come and check it out and they were able to disarm all the security measures that the GFI had in place.

From these computers, we weren’t able to get much.  Someone was able to conduct a remote data wipe, but not before we were able to learn a few more secrets they were trying to keep.  We are unsure who it is, but we know that there is one overall commander and we know what planet he is on. It is being discussed at a much higher level as to how we are going to proceed with this new information.

Unfortunately, we also know that the planet where he or she is located is not being treated like the rest of these mid-level officers.  It is their home-world. They aren’t trying to hide their presence on this world so there is a considerable orbital defense system. The tough decision will be whether or not FleetCom wants to risk a planetary assault or plan something a little more clandestine.  We will see what they decide.

We were also able to learn the location of a few more of their controllers and we also know that there are less than five left.  We are making progress. Of course they will promote more, but at least their A team will be sidelined once my team is finished with them.

I wanted to tell you about the planet we found the last guy on.  I have to admit, the GFI has pretty good taste when it comes to selecting the planets where they have been posting their controllers.  This planet was mostly covered with what can only be described as a ton of tropical islands. There were a few that were almost big enough to be considered continents, but it was pretty much a planet of islands.

There was also a fantastic smell that is difficult to describe.  There were so many different types of fruits that we found planet side.  Some of them were even edible for humans. After we took possession of the controller, we had to wait a few hours for the geek squad so we took our team of nerds on a little expedition while the Marines guarded the compound and watched our new guest.

The white coats had a field day with the local plant life.  I contacted Russell and he passed on a few requests from his lab.  I had our science team gather some samples of a few different types of vegetation and we were even able to capture some different types of wildlife.

The different kinds of sea life were absolutely incredible.  There was one that I didn’t even have the words to describe. I am going to let Russell tell you about it when he gets a chance.  I am told that his reaction was something to behold. I, unfortunately, was unable to be there for it. Wish I could have been though.

The thank you note I got from him and his boss indicated that his reaction was probably not exaggerated.  I would have loved to have seen it. Duty calls. We still have a long way to go before this war is over and we can’t predict if everything will end once we do figure out a way to capture or kill the head of this snake.

It looks like things are starting to return back to the stalemate it was before this massive attack.  Fleet intelligence seems to think that they were banking on this attack catching us so off-guard that they would be able to steamroll their way to Earth and force a surrender.  No one seems to think that they were prepared for this engagement to be drawn out as long as it has been.

Just like the Japanese way back in World War II, they skipped some targets that would have caused a lot more damage in the long run but were not immediately important for the goal of taking Mars and Earth.  Targets, including ship supply and repair stations, munition and fuel depots, etc. They are probably regretting that right about now.

Oh well.  That is their problem and our benefit.  Please let everyone know how much I miss them.  I think about all of you all the time. I look forward to being able to come home and visit once things start to cool down out here.  I will talk to you again soon.

 

Love,

 

Mitch

Letter XXIII

November 13, 2434
Barren, Mitchell D., 2nd Lieutenant
4th Fleet, 4th Fleet Security Forces (FSF)

Dear Dad,

Things are starting to heat up pretty quick out here. It looks like the fleet is tired of putting out the fires that GFI is causing and is looking to adopt a more preventive strategy. They gave my team, the Marines that have been assisting us, and the CSS Mako’s crew, a few days of R&R before embarking on our new mission.

It is basically the same as the old mission but some new parameters have been added. The last mission was solely the gathering of information and avoiding contact wherever possible. That has been changed. Now, wherever possible, we have orders to search and destroy, if we can manage it with minimal to no casualties. They also say to “capture when possible,” but right after that, “do not risk capture if it is likely to cost a life.”

FleetCom is also lending us someone with a little more rank and authority so that engagement decisions can be made/discussed. I still have authority over the mission, but she will be helpful in determining strategies and whether or not a target is worth capturing or taking out. That sounds a bit cumbersome, I know, but I feel that will come in handy when a tough decision comes up. You know as well as I do those tough decisions are inevitable.

They gave us three days for R&R and wanted us to spend four days training. They left it up to me as to how I wanted to schedule but I saw no reason on this one to decide for my team. They decided they wanted to do the R&R first. I thought they might want to do the training first so the three days R&R would precede our journey but they were in the same mind as I was. They thought it best to do the training before lift off so they would be refreshed and in the right mind.

I count myself to be fortunate to have such a devoted team. The Marines and the ship’s crew all agreed. We spent some of our time in the town near Outpost 86 but everyone drifted off as time progressed and we all met back up at the last minute when R&R was over. It is unfortunate that I didn’t get to see Russell. I contacted him on his communicator but he and the doctor were several kilometers away on some kind of dig or sample gathering thing.

That doctor is really keeping him busy. I am just glad that the action isn’t deterring them from continuing their work. You and Mom should be so proud of him. I know I am. He is so committed to furthering human knowledge and understanding while the rest of us seem so keen on destroying it. I almost feel ashamed when I speak with him. Like what the rest of us are doing while he does his research and studies completely undermines his purpose in life.

I hope this war ends soon but it doesn’t look like it. We may have managed to beat back the GFI forces but they were able to supply reinforcements and establish a defensive line that is still deeper in Coalition controlled space than anyone is comfortable with. I am elated that we didn’t encounter those troops during our search and capture mission. We would not have been able to handle those kinds of numbers.

Unfortunately, it looks like they had other command and controllers on standby after all. There was enough confusion that we were able to beat them back but it didn’t last. It also would appear that the reason my team didn’t encounter much resistance during our mission was that they had all of their reserve troops awaiting orders to get into the fight and reinforce the attack.

Our capturing of their command and controllers caused a considerable delay in the GFI’s ability to issue those orders, but they did eventually come. FleetCom was able to push them back far enough to give our forces some breathing room so we are counting that as a victory.

I apologize but I am going to have to cut this letter short. I have just been summoned to a briefing with FleetCom before we depart. I will let you know how things go. Take care of yourselves.

Love,

Mitch

Letter XXII

November 5, 2434

Barren, Mitchell D., 2nd Lieutenant

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

Dear Dad,

I would like to start by saying yes, you read that correctly.  2nd Lieutenant. My excuse of wanting to maintain my position and status for the sake of my men was no longer acceptable according to the Fleet Admiral.  While the last week has been tough for everyone. My team has been experiencing some major success.

I heard that the outpost located on Pluto put up one heck of a defense and all of the outposts on Europa didn’t fare too bad either.  While there were still plenty of casualties, there were much less than expected. Any loss of life is unacceptable, but being able to save as many as the fleet did was truly a miracle.

Fortunately for my team, all outposts within the Sol Sector were able to keep the GFI fleets and ground forces engaged long enough for the CSS Mako to fly through GFI space unopposed. We aren’t sure if it was luck or poor planning, but whatever it was, I would love more of it.  Because of this free reign in GFI space, Fleet Intel operations were carried out with ease.

The GFI leaders and planners were so invested in this operation that they overlooked their personal and planetary security measures.  It turns out that most of them were not physically with their attack fleets and while they were directing their fleet and troop movements, they were paying little to no attention to their homeworlds.

I am unable to provide any names at this time but during the course of my team’s involvement with the investigation (everyone is calling it the Head Hunt now), we captured a few high ranking military officials that eventually sang like birds to their interrogators.  Using that information, my team and a few others spent every single day of the last week hitting several of the locations where they were coordinating this offensive from.

Apparently, they thought that because their coordinators and planners were so spread out and hidden away, it would be impossible for us to catch them all.  They assumed that if one of them was taken, one of the others would be able to step in to assume command of the mission coordinators assets. They didn’t account for all of them being taken into custody.

We didn’t have to kill any of them but I can’t say the same for the security teams that each had assigned to them.  We couldn’t use a show of force and fleet didn’t want to risk any of them getting away so each individual capture and extraction was done with extreme force authorized.  Fleet wanted this siege to fall apart before they were able to do any massive damage and I am inclined to agree.

I don’t know how closely you were following the engagement progress but I am sure that you noticed there was a point where the GFI fleet and ground troops started to experience some disorganization and eventually, had to withdraw, even though some of the attacks were completely unopposed.

I am sure that each member we took into custody was able to relay to their elements that they were about to be taken offline through the ansible devices we found at each command location.  One or two instances would have probably gone unnoticed but we were told that FleetCom started noticing a change of GFI fleet movements once we took the fifth into custody.

By that time, they should have realized that something was going on.  I don’t see how they couldn’t. These locations were so well hidden that I have to admit, we would not have found them without the information gathered through our interrogations.  We grabbed some of them on planets that were completely uninhabited. Some of these locations were actually on our list to be checked out before the attack took place but they were slated so far down that it is unlikely we would have found them before they launched this attack.

While I am not permitted to tell you who we took into custody, I can tell you that more than 30 command and controllers were apprehended over the last five days and a majority of those were captured by my team.  Using the ansible, we were able to coordinate some of the incursions so that several members were being captured simultaneously. By the time they realized we knew where they all were, it was too late.

We had taken so many into custody so quickly that they didn’t have the time to organize or execute any kind of rescue or escape plan.  They had thrown most of their space-worthy vessels into this attack. Some of the captured eventually informed us that some of their controllers were able to escape but the lack of space-worthy craft made it impossible for all to be extracted.

They really took a gamble with this one Dad.  A gamble that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.  They had to have known that there was no way this could have worked.  Their numbers were nowhere near a reasonable amount to pull off a massive offensive while also being able to provide adequate security for their homeworlds.

That is as much as we have been able to get out of them so far.  Our interrogators are working them over pretty good so they will eventually tell us everything we need to know.  I am just glad they were unable to make it as far as you guys. You have no idea how relieved I am. For a day or two, I wasn’t sure that we were having any effect, but then the Admiral told us that the Fleet attacking our outpost at Pluto started displaying acts of confusion.

Before long, other GFI fleets were also starting to exhibit some of the same confusion.  The last few sites that we hit were completely evacuated so we knew they were aware of what was going on and decided to pull back and regroup.  We continued operations all the way through the last site that was told to us. All the information we were provided was good but they saw that we knew what was going on and they changed their strategy.

FleetCom took notice of our success and I was given a field promotion to 2nd Lieutenant.  Personally, I could care less about the rank. I am just beyond relieved that you and Mom and safe and Mars was untouched by the assault.  I know that Pluto and Europa put up one hell of a fight but there was no way they were going to be able to hold out against that big of an attack.

I have to get back to work.  There are still no guarantees that this assault is over.  We know that the GFI fleet is still close by so my team and the Mako are going to do some recon in some of the adjacent systems to Sol and hopefully find out what they are up to.

I also wanted to let you know that Russell is ok.  He and the Doc were on lockdown the last week and were not authorized to use the ansible until this seige was dealt with.  The powers that be didn’t want anything other than military communication taking place to prevent any confusion. They continued their research and Russell is getting even smarter than he already was if that is even possible.

You and Mom take care of yourselves and make sure you are stocked up on food and water.  The seige may be over for the moment but we don’t know enough yet to ensure that this is all over.  You know how it works Dad. Don’t make any assumptions. GFI did and look where it got them.

I will talk to you soon.  Love you both so much.

Love,

Mitch