Dear Colonel Invictus Charscull,
At what price is freedom won? I consider this question daily as I battle the Gorg suicide swarms on the front lines of Eridani IV. My heat beamer may strike true, bursting the organ sacs of the Gorg's mightiest battle brood, reducing their ichor to corrupt gusts of steam, but when the battle flag of the 99th Death's Head Drop Regiment flies above the heaps of the dead I must return to our fire base and face an even greater test of courage. I must contend with the threat of exposure to peanuts and/or tree nuts.
I realize that the offensive in the Eridani system is not going well and that the Gorg biofleet is threatening the Neptune jump relays. That's no excuse for jeopardizing myself and several other highly-trained Drop Rangers by failing to segregate our food, water and bunks or, at the very least, forbid the consumption of peanuts in the firebase.
My family is of some means and my grandfather was an Admiral in the Defense Fleet, not some cannon fodder born of the slum sector or a missile trooper from the king's penal detachment. At Drop Academy accommodations were made for me. There was a PA commissary with full HEPA filtering in the bunk houses. The officer's gastropub was strictly nut-free. When cooperation was difficult with the other cadets, policies were enacted to ensure care packages were searched for contraband nut bars and chocolates manufactured in the same facilities as peanuts.
To my great dismay, the Peanut Allergy Esprit de corps I witnessed during my days at Drop Academy has broken down. When I arrived here at Eridani I was greeted by a huge sensotisement for Chunky Nutz. You can imagine my horror as peanut flavor was beamed into the marketing implant in my parietal lobe. After we had repelled the first Gorg swoopfiend attack of the morning I learned even more dismaying news. Mandatory searches of care packages are no longer carried out and I frequently witnessed troops eating foods that may be contaminated with nut particles.
I understand the urge to return to bad habits and old ways during a 60-hour sonic artillery barrage of our bunkers, but have a little common courtesy is all I ask. We're all brothers. Drop Rangers first, commissary officers second. If one man has a peanut allergy then all men - all of his brothers - should share that peanut allergy, even if it means incinerating homemade cookies or envelopes that might have come into contact with peanut butter.
The lax PA coverage in the field concerns me almost as much as the neuropede parasites the Gorg have released into our ventilation ducts. Our unit medic is equipped with EpiPens, but since the last three medics were swallowed and digested by Gorg Hateslimes the medics have been remaining with our drop ships and will only be brought to the battlefield in the case of a medical emergency.
Look, I carry my personal EpiPen, but what if I were knocked out or had my limbs blasted off by the sunder beams of a Gorg shrieker orb? What if the man who was just exploded like a balloon by a Gorg pressure rocket showers me with entrails containing half-digested peanuts? Just one bit of undigested allergen in a ruptured bowel will trigger a deadly reaction. I'm afraid that's what killed Corporal Pendleton "Doctor Romance" Eyespite.
Tomorrow we begin the final assault on the spawning trenches of the Gorg overfiend here on Eridani. Our atomic artillery will vitrify the shores and the glass will crunch beneath the heels of our shock boots. A million screaming nightmare beasts will charge forth to meet us and fall to gory ruin before dusk. We will do battle with constructs of the tissuemancers and dodge traps set forth in their citadel in our remorseless liquidation of its halls. I will face many enemies set upon killing me, but I fear I will face none more deadly than apathy to my peanut allergies.
Please, act now before more lives are lost. Ban peanut and tree nut foods on base and aboard our transit barges.
Juniormost Lieutenant Bertrand "Avenging Reaper" Coughlin II
Butcher's Company, 99th Death's Head Drop Assault Infantry Regiment, 3rd Terran Defense Fleet
Perfect Eggs Every Time: Hold an egg in your cupped hands. Put your hands over a fire, squeezing them together gently to crack the egg open. Try not to let any egg liquid or egg shell fall out between your fingers.
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