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I was delighted to receive your letter about your arrival aboard the Midway, and I apologise for only replying under such ominous circumstances. The Midway sounds like a first-class vessel, and I’m more certain than ever that I did the right thing in squeezing those dolts on the appropriations committee until they authorised the funds to get her built. I’m afraid we’re going to need ships of her calibre far sooner than we ever anticipated.

I was also happy to hear that you and Chief Coriolis are getting along so well after all your unpleasantness following the war. Please give her my warmest regards.

On another personal note, I recently caught word that Iceman’s son will soon be posted to the Midway – his first shipboard tour. Even though you’re not on the command roster, I’m sure you’ll whip him into shape just as his father and I did for you (and if you don’t, Marshall certainly will). He’s a good, fiery lad, the kind I fear we’re going to need in days to come. I wonder how many like him will be left a year from now?

Take care, my friend, the clouds are gathering.

Paladin

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