Well, I now know why Tess has been unable to email me. A small package arrived today from Tess, which contained the SatMo that I’d bought for her before she left, and a letter.
It is a very short letter, made even shorter by the sections that have been blacked out by the army. The army have been smart enough to only send a photocopy of the letter, with the text already blacked out. This is so I can’t see the handwriting indentations, or try to read the text from the back of the sheet.
The reason the modem was returned was reasonable enough. The army believed that the enemy might track them using such technology. Particularly as it was known that the Chinese had been selling some models of mobile phone (Simitel) that had an electronic back door that allowed them to spy on the user.
As such, a Chinese made satellite modem was an unwelcome addition to their base. Tess has been able to keep her French made mobile phone, but it is kept locked up in a secure location where she is only allowed to use it during Rec-Leave.
The rest of the letter briefly detailed what life was like up in Townsville. Large sections of this part had been blacked out, presumably to protect locations or people, but the whole letter seemed rather innocuous at best. I guess the army are simply being over-protective of the sort of information that becomes available to the public.
This had been a common story with the army in wartime years. Usually very little about Australians being involved in war has been released until long after the events have happened. I don’t see the Australian army breaking with a tradition they’ve held for over a hundred years.
Anyway, the SatMo works on my own personal laptop. So if we end up losing power for prolonged periods of time in the future, I’ll still be able to communicate with the rest of the world. I might hand it to Miranda so she can use it when she’s at School or something.
Speaking of which, Miranda told me that a lot of her friends from School hadn’t been turning up. She’d heard that there’d been a few families that have left Brisbane and shifted down south to get away from the war.
I can understand that. I think the only thing that keeps me in Queensland right now is that it’s keeping me closer to Tess. I’m glad that Tess got to keep her laptop, as although she has very limited communication with us, It’s great to know that she’s got copies of all our families photos on there, so she can see us whenever she wants.