Melissa and her family are missionaries that had escaped to the outer colonies in one far corner of the empire and settled on Hestas 3. It was on Hestas 3 that the Branton family set up a small meeting house and cantina near the military base. Stephen Owden was one of the soldiers who visited the cantina, and it was there he met Melissa. When Stephen was not on post, he spent every off duty hour at Melissa's family’s meeting house and cantina.
After a time, they made plans for the future and got engaged. Then after 4 years on Hestas 3, Stephen was unexpectedly reassigned to the Project Morpheus lair. On Hestas 3 Stephen had found the family connection he had longed for all his life. In his time at the lair he worked feverishly to push through the clearance for Melissa, her parents, and younger brother to gain residence in the lair so they could finally be a family.