SC.2023.20. A letter sent in secret

Florin Haban,
Undana-Ré Dam, 814.

Dearest Miri, there is no day that I do not think of you, desire you, nor long for you. I miss you, now that I've built this dam, and protected these people and fishes and plants, I feel I'm in a better place, I feel I can forgive myself, I wish, once I've done so, that you'll also forgive me.

Florin Haban

— Unsent, unaddressed letter found on Florin Haban's body, 814AK
"Local authorities continue their search for information leading to solving the mystery into Florin Haban's death. A Friulan national enrolled in the Lollandese reserves peace corps engineering brigade. While on peace deployment with his unit, performing reef repair work, the planetologist from Indanajonesdam discovered the new atoll of Undana-Ré.   Staying there for a few months, long enough to be considered a 'deserter', although peace corps 'crimes' are not typically prosecuted. He and most of his unit built a new type of metal dam, protecting the atoll from excess volcanism. Rising to stardom on social media, he was expected in nearby Tsou City, where a local press magnate purchased the rights to a book and moving picture adaptation of the story.   Sadly this all came to an end six months ago, where he was found lifeless, on the parapet of the dam he helped build. Any with information are encouraged to reach out to New City Police Department at 99.99BC99.9ABE. Of special interest in the mystery is this letter, reproduced here with permission from his estate, that refers to a mysterious 'Miri'."
— New Tsou City broadcast, received from Responsible Disclosure, Veneer, Kagomei, 815AK.
Formal Dining Hall, Responsible Disclosure, 6th day of Unciem, 20th hour, 815AK, where the prior broadcast just played for the benefit of the Tsou nationals visiting.
  "Oh, no. Not Firi. Silly Firi, there was nothing to forgive." A single tear slid down her cheek.   "You ok, Moka?" Linnaeus Van Pelt, Linni to his friends, looked concerned over his dish, enough that Amarat's lifeguard gripped her weapon.   "No, I just found out my ex died." That relaxed the lifeguard quite a bit, although, if she'd examined her motives, she'd have been surprised.   "Your ex?"   "Well, we weren't over, really, but he... He hadn't been in the same country I was for more than a year, so I just told him we'd talk when we got back together... Now, that'll never happen."   "And you're the Miri he mentions?" Her aunt, Laraken Tsunamon asked, between bites of pasta.   "Yeah, he used to nickname me that, I called him Firi, from his name, Florin, and he called me Miri, because he said if he got called with a cute nickname, I had to have one too."   "Where was he, exactly? The place mentions a peace corps posting?"   "Undana-Ré atoll, he must have been posted to BVV Phoenix's oceanic research division."   "Phoenix? Really?"   "Yeah, wooden sailships do well when the only goal is to keep some landlubbers in one place, as long as there's no big storms." Piersa Ouranos, still leery of Moka, and her perceived closeness to Dentrag Aixpee, her fiance, amazed herself by speaking. She was the only one at table on-leave from a military ship, however, and she knew her host would expect her to say something. He'd picked her for the job to have thoughts and ideas, he'd said, when he hired her.   "Are you going to tell them?" Her aunt asked Moka, whose body language was all confusion.   "What? That a man who was found dead was found with a love letter to me that says precisely nothing, except my nickname and that he was fond of me? Do I want to be in front of a board of inquiry, auntie? I'll tell them I had no contact with him for years, but they'll never believe that." Her body language swung to upset, crying, at least it wasn't confused, Laraken thought.   "Err, that may be prudent." And she put her hand to her niece's shoulder, as she sobbed.   "Anything sixth fleet know about that?"   "No, the Tsou would have several shades of conniptions if we even overflew the dmz."   "Err, sixth fleet?"   Laraken knew perfectly well what Sixth Fleet was composed of, the kagomine had sent them a bulletin while it was assembled in port! "Sixth fleet, where Piersa here is a flag officer."   "Oh, where a flyforce officer is a flag deck officer?" She polished her nails, trying not to look kittenish, but Dali, her pet cat, decided now was the right time for a pet, and ruined the effect.   "Bliddy-boop. Bliddy-boop." Piersa's communicator blared in the otherwise quiet dining room.   "First Air Group-actual."   "Flag-actual escalation, please stand by."   "This is Javelin Bundle Kneecole Mckibbins, CAG Ouranos, we are having noise from our neighbours in Tsou, they claim we're interfering with their investigation on Undana-Re. Which, if you'll forgive my language, is bullshit, that atoll is unclaimed land, they don't have jurisdiction, but that's got nothing to do with us."   "Fancy that, Mckibbins, I got a princess of the Tsou in front of me, let me ask what she knows about this."   "What?" Laraken's studied stupefaction would have sufficed for a plethora of thespians.   "Sixth Fleet hasn't even left PORT YET, we can hardly interfere with investigations more than say... Kagomine land-based planes could."
Text, Letter


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