Star Army

Star ArmyⓇ is a landmark of forum roleplaying. Opened in 2002, Star Army is like an internet clubhouse for people who love roleplaying, art, and worldbuilding. Anyone 18 or older may join for free. New members are welcome! Use the "Register" button below.

Note: This is a play-by-post RPG site. If you're looking for the tabletop miniatures wargame "5150: Star Army" instead, see Two Hour Wargames.

  • 📅 December 2022 is YE 44.9 in the RP.

RP Concluded Teething Problems

Soban

Convention Veteran
RP Date
YE 44.5.12
RP Location
Ketsurui Star Fortress
Ketsurui Star Fortress
YE 44.5.12

After Chujo Feyani arrived at the star fortress where Yui commanded the Star Army, her yeoman and a pair of security officers escorted her from her shuttle to her office. When she went in, she immediately saw Taisho Kessaku Irim was there too, who let out a lion-like snarl when she saw her.

Chujo Feyani had been here once before, a few years ago. Last time she had left because Yui had taken some exception to the new MP MOS' and organisation, which had caused her to be unceremoniously assigned to the Elysian Fleet Arsenal, as punishment of some kind. Nowadays, what had been rolled back had been returned in that regard, with the close protection specialists she had invented guarding many officers amongst the stars today, especially following the samurai rebellion which left a gap in that capability.

That had been what felt like a lifetime ago, and Feyani had since made improvements to SARA and Rikugun, set up more MOS' and professional certifications, as well as formed the SA Doctrine Administration and SASO to help with the Star Army's innovation and operational readiness.

As she followed the security officers, whom she assumed must be samurai of some kind, the platinum blonde Neko wondered why she had been summoned directly and - as far as she knew - alone. Was it just to answer questions on the newly revised readiness conditions system that Yui had previously signed off on? Prior to that, there had been no standing system of national alert levels - or CONs - in Yamatai at all. She was always happy to explain her innovations, which were plenty and used widely in various parts of the Star Army. Perhaps this would be a positive discussion about ways it could be improved or clarified into the future?

Entering the office, the Chujo stopped before her Commander, standing at attention and offering a crisp salute with a straight back. She was wearing her best formal uniform, with all the usual fittings, along with a pin where a Giretsu pin would usually be, which designated her as part of SASO.

"Reporting as-" Feyani began, recoiling in fright as Irim's animalistic snarl registered. "R-Reporting as ordered, Commander." She finished, haltingly, seeing the barely contained emotions in Irim's eyes. She'd never even met the woman before, so she was unsure why that strange kind of behaviour had been directed her way.

"Welcome, have a seat. I've called you here because of your message to Taisho Kessaku Irim, and am I deciding whether to charge you under the Articles of Military Justice article 37, Disrespect Toward Superior Commissioned Officer, which states 'Any individual who behaves disrespectfully toward a superior commissioned officer, whether in their presence or not, shall be guilty of the act and be punished under Article 26 or by such lesser punishment as the Tribunal directs.' On the board there is a copy of your correspendence to Irim in which you wrote, 'From your complaints I can only surmise that you never read them, or otherwise do not understand the system.' You then proceed to try to tell Irim how to do her job in a condescending manner. I found this to be unacceptable," Yui said. "Do you want to accept non-judicial punishment or do you want a tribunal? Or is there some extentuating circumstances you want to offer?"

"Thank you, Commander." Feyani accepted the seat politely when offered it by Yui, the diminuitive Neko sitting gracefully, removing her hat and placing it on her lap as was good manners. At the revelation that she was being charged with a crime, Feyani blinked a few times rapidly, seeming to be quite shocked. After listening to Yui's intentions, the purple eyes of Feyani held a thoughtful light as she considered what to say. There was a good few seconds of silence as she selected how to compose her thoughts in a way that couldn't be construed as disrespectful.

"I understand your concern, Commander. I'm very aware of what the AMJ details, I was its primary author before publication." She spoke carefully, squeezing her hat in trepidation. "I could further explain my reasoning behind the wording of the message, but outside of a courtroom or without your leave to speak freely, I believe that may compromise my defence." Feyani explained, having the threat of imprisonment very heavy in her mind given it was Yui's first item of business.

"I don't feel that I can submit to non-judicial punishment. I understand it is Article 26, which can only result in 5 years of my life at maximum, but my intention behind the message was not to insult, but to inform." She gently spun her hat around in her lap, visibly nervous at the prospect of what might be done to her for a single SYNC message in her defence. "I only sent that as to defend myself - Taisho Irim had initiated the conversation with a battery of assertions, including one against my family and clan. I'm sure you can understand as a Ketsurui that such insults need to be addressed in some sense? The rest of my response was what to me were logical conclusions."

"Perhaps," Taisho Irim chimed in, "My fellow admiral was emotionally compromised, by my complaint about her clan. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for that. It was not in line with the professional standards I try to hold myself to. I ask that the Chujo's disrespect be overlooked this time in light of the circumstances," Irim said. "Essentially, I am willing to forgive her if she apologizes and I hope that we can avoid any messy AMJ issues and move on. In return, I apologize for my show of emotion regarding the...incident."

Yui rubbed her chin. "I agree, the last thing the Empire needs is some SANDRA article about discord in the admiralty ranks and admirals getting canned. What I do need is for the Star Army to have an atmosphere of respect and cooperation. It's clear the new 'red phone' system and related condition level changes that have recently been implemented have caused confusion and I've also invited some other Taisho here today to discuss how to improve on it to ensure that next time, things go better. What are your thoughts, Chujo Iemochi?"

Feyani gave Irim a strange sort of look, as if not quite buying the apologies that sounded to her more like platitudes. You didn't snarl at someone just before apologising, surely? She cleared her throat nervously and held her tongue to the Taisho, although this sounded more like a forgone conclusion as to how her Tribunal would go, even though she was certain that she wouldn't be found guilty if she actually had a chance to explain herself.

Not replying to Irim, Feyani listened closely to what Yui said, as if processing every word. "Cooperation." She began, "Is always my intention." The short Neko wasn't sure what the right course of action was here. She had the feeling that Irim had been here for a while, and Yui didn't seem to want to ask Feyani for her own version of events.

"I- Uhm- Maintain that my message was not disrespectful." She offered, squeezing the brim of her hat, "I am always willing to talk to other admiralty - I talk with with SASO Command most days and we're from all kinds of different areas. The Chief of Rikugun is quite delightful, the SAINT Directors not so much.."

"It was. Let me get you some tea," Yui replied, walking over to her caretaker's stillery closet and emerging with a hot tea kettle. She poured everyone a glass and passed them out. From the aroma it was green tea from the jungle-heavy Yumiuki region of planet Yamatai. "I recently dismissed both SAINT directors, did you have thoughts on that while you're here?" Yui added.

"I- I feel like a panel of my peers would be the only ones who could say for certain that it was.. Respectfully.." She trailed off, feeling a strange, sinister kind of knot form in her stomach. If Yui had already decided her guilt without allowing her a defence, she wasn't quite sure what she could do here.

Accepting the tea, Feyani thanked Yui with a respectful bow of the head as was Yamataian tradition, accepting the saucer with both hands. Placing it carefully atop her officer's cap, she returned her eyes to Yui and listened to her question on SAINT. Internally, she had an unwelcome thought that perhaps a black-panel had put something in the tea and she was about to be hauled out of here to places unknown.

"SAINT?" The silvery-haired Neko echoed, spinning her teacup gently so that little ripples swirled around the edges. "I was quite confused as to what caused them to change their minds on our cooperation so suddenly, Commander.. It had been a year of working together well, without complaint, and then one day we got the message that all of Star Army Intelligence was segregating off from Rikugun, SARA, SAMP, Reconnaissance, and all the other members of SASO. It was quite shocking to say the least."

"Again, it comes back to coorperation," Yui said, sipping her tea. "I need fleet commanders to know what is and isn't their zone, and I need them to be able to work with each other as needed and to let each other work alone when they're not needed. This is a skill. Everyone here has worked years and years of our lives devoting ourselves to the protection of Yamatai and I'm not in a hurry to lose that wisdom and experience. For many of us, the Star Army is the only family we have. So I'm happy to have an excuse to make an exception and let this matter go. I just don't want to see a pattern."

A thoughtful light appeared in Feyani's eyes as she considered where Yui was coming from. "If I might say, Commander.." She began gently, "In the past few years we've moved from Fleets being regional silos into Fleets having specific purposes, with only a nominal assignment to a region." The Chujo offered, glancing down to her cup. "It may have been the case that Fleets could fly solo in the past, but in my assessment, an integrated response is the only way to stage a response to a regional incursion." She nodded to herself, "First Fleet doesn't have an operational location in the same case it used to, for example, so there may be many other ships in the same area - even the same system - that need to be informed if there's an issue there. Otherwise you have some ships in the system on alert and others which don't know to be-?" After a moment she added, "Speaking in my role as someone who thinks on these things of things as a job, ma'am."

"This doesn't give the other fleets the right to spy on the First Fleet's activities or interfere with our affairs," Irim objected.

"Absolutely." Feyani nodded to Irim's concern, "Internal activities to your fleet are one thing. Moving of ships, issuance of missions, logistics, operational parameters. That's nothing that should be shared. It doesn't bear any strategic or tactical advantage to know whether your fellow Fleets have their supply of biscuits for the week." She risked making a little joke, to lighten the mood a little. Quickly, she returned to the explanation. "Usually, when someone picks up the phone, they're saying that their ship is in dire straits. That something has gone wrong that could cause damage to the Star Army in some sense, that the ship internally cannot resolve."

"That's why I called for increased readiness," Irim nodded, before letting Feyani continue.

"Right." Feyani gestured to Irim, confirming that was the right train of thought. "It's just that usually, a lower officer than yourself gets the call. A Taisa, someone with people nearby. Especially if the caller isn't a Captain." She went on, "At that point, the officer can send help and it's all internal to your fleet. That would be a Guard 2 response. It still alerts the other fleets, but only their ships that are in the operational area. One system. In case they're closer, or can be ready to reinforce your First Fleet response." She nodded, "Only if that smaller response doesn't work does it get to the point of you declaring your whole fleet as involved and increase fleet readiness as a whole - Attack 3."

"Let's focus," Yui told Irim and Feyani. "We can discuss the specifics of the red phone program in a moment when the other admirals come in. What I need is you two to give your word not to antagonize each other any further and we'll drop the matter and move on to business," the Star Army's commander said. "Agreed?"

"Understood, Commander." She nodded with some surprise, seemingly unaware that they would be joined by other admiralty. Feyani swept her purple eyes to Irim, "I don't see why we'd swim in the same circles usually - this is certainly an exception to the rule. I just innovate and reform organisational and operational structures - I don't command Fleets." She offered a thin, diplomatic smile. The Neko still didn't buy what Irim had put forwards entirely, or appreciate the threat of a pre-decided court martial, but having disposed of the matter was the most important thing. It meant she get to keep her head.

"I understand," Kessaku Irim said coolly. She gave Feyani a considerate look.

"Thank you. There will be no further discussion of AMJ charges over this matter." She pressed a touch panel on her desk. "You can send in the other Taisho now," she told her yeoman.

Fletcher strode in with his uniform cap tucked under one arm. He saluted Yui with a smile, and joined them at the desk. "Ah, good to see everyone."

Rika entered side by side to Fletcher, perhaps having arrived here with him or having chatted a bit in the antechamber. She offered a respectful, warm smile as she saluted Yui and sat beside Irim. Glancing back to the doors, she offered, "I think this is all of us? I haven't heard news from any of the other Fleet Admirals." She rubbed her hands together excitedly, "It feels like forever since we've been face-to-face."

Fletcher nodded, "There is a lot happening across the Empire. Which is part of the reason YEAL was created in the first place."

"The issue is that we need better protocols on how is answering it, and we should make detail the requirements for inititating large regional responses so routine fleet alerts don't accidentally overlap with them," Yui offered. "Perhaps I can set up a dedicated office for red phone calls and get Hanako to staff it with specialists trained for the task."

"So Taishos don't get calls about random stuff," Irim chuckled, starting to relax a little.

"I'm not going to tell you how to run your fleet Irim. What I can tell you is that 'this is not a drill' for a fleet mobilization is something I'm going to pay close attention to regardless."

"It wasn't a drill," Irim replied, starting to unrelax a little.

"I'm glad we are on the same page. Now with regards to the dedicated office. The current design is for calls to be routed to the relevant officer of approprite rank. For example, this call should have been routed to a Millitary Police officer, likely a Taisa before it ever reached you. I think while we may need training for the officers who are expected to take the calls, I don't think we need a office specifically for it." Fletcher explained.

The image of Motoyoshi-Yamada Ayano joined them in the office, deployed in the YSS Tokyo it had taken her a few moments to free herself from the bridge and the commotion with their current assignment. The black-haired, green-eyed NH-33 rarely sat idle at Gemini Star Fortress since she took command, she prefered the YSS Tokyo, or "The Plow" as she had become known since Katsuko's Glimmergold tactics. "My apology for being late, was on the bridge," she said, "Taisho Yui, Taishos..." she said with a nod as she tried to catch up on the conversations at hand..

"Welcome," Yui greeted Ayano. "It's always great to see a familiar face. How have you been?"

"Pleasure to see you again Taisho Ayano." Fletcher said with a wide smile.

Taisho Eikan Minato, commander of Second Fleet, also joined in via volumetric hologram and joined the others. Spotting the tea Yui was distributing, she chuckled, "I'll have to make my own here."

Rika raised a hand for a moment, "My Fleet is the one which generally has the most cause to ensure a system like YEAL exists in some sense, and is fast in its reactions." She explained, "Border garrisons are often solo ships, and we in Fourth don't have the fleet-in-being that the other Fleets do. We need to be able to call for help quickly, and have very prompt responses." The Neko seemed to think for a moment, "The documentation says the call is already handled by an Emergency Services operator who's trained for it, so Feyani must have set one up somewhere?"

"I believe it was Yui's plan to have her set up an office to handle them." Fletcher said, striving for clarity.

Feyani nodded and gestured to Fletcher appreciatively, "That's right - there's no organisational structure for any of the Emergency Services at the moment. That is, if you don't count SASO providing structure to CSAR. I put in for the formation of a call centre of lime-greens for the Line, I believe one of them picked up initially and routed the call to First."

"It is good to see you as well, Mistress. I am well, the First is well...We're in the thick of it as usual but that is conversation for later," Ayano said in reply to the greetings by their Commander, she regarded Fletcher with a smile and nod, getting a quick earful on the YEAL system that Rika had mentioned in what little she caught of things. That had been the annoying call that had interupted operations earlier.

"I'll get an office set up for the call response in there and all the service branches and the fleets can all station a liaison in it," Yui said. "We'll designate positions for dedicated operators who work there full-time. If we send issues to the right responders, it will avoid potential overreactions."

"Absolutely." Feyani nodded to Yui, feeling a little strange that she was the only Chujo in a room full of Taishos, explaining technical matters to them and weighing in. "The call centre already exists.. somewhere.. I left that to whoever is the de-facto occupational head of the Emergency Services MOS'. There's not really a central contact for the lime-greens I could find, but the Line connected in testing, so we know it is manned." After Yui mentioned the 'right responses', she couldn't help but smirk a little.

"Commander, SASO is one of the escalating bodies that deal with incidents like this. Unconventional ones, though, rather than conventional ones. I wouldn't mind helping with forming a mirrored body of some kind for this, unless single responders have the presence of mind alone?" Feyani even added, "I don't mind formalising a central organisation for the lime-greens to allow for this? I know we don't have one currently."

Fletcher considered for a moment before nodding in agreement with Yui. "For my fleet, as we are performing the Rapid Response role, I've put Chujo Kenzan in charge. While I don't expect he will be taking calls personally, they are under him. If we need someone specific, I think he is very capable."

Feyani nodded at Fletcher's idea, "That would also work. Seventh is de-facto responsible for conventional escalations anyways." She hummed, "Giving Emergency Services a central body would kill two birds with one stone, but your idea sounds quicker to implement."

Rika seemed content with the discussion, putting a lot of stock in Fletcher's judgement. "As long as my border guards can make those calls and get them answered, either is fine by me." She stroked her cheek for a moment in thought, "Can we discuss whether Fleets still actually have operational areas? Given we aren't siloed anymore, and a lot of us are spread across the map. Even in the same systems as other Fleets."

Ayano sipped her hibiscus and passionfruit tea, much like her predessor she took refuge in a nice steaming cup when under pressure. The inner workings of this 'Red Phone' had created a rather interesting in stir. "We are still focusing on leap frogging the list of systems that Taisho Yui assigned us to liberate. Our primary patrol remains on guard in the Motoyoshi Colonial Sector however, so far we're making it work," she stated, giving information on what she considered her 'operational area'. "Some of these systems have be a little more complicated than our SANDRA updates may reveal, as I've explained in my conversations with the Taisho past; we're encountering systems where the Kuvexians and the local populations have become entwined...as for Kimithro where we are now, we've encounted a bit of unexpected build up where we suspect Baron Kordoon has declared himself as some kind of King," she stated.

"Fleet have operational areas, they just overlap more than before," Yui answered Rika. "For instance, the First Fleet now covers essentially the entire Kikyo Sector, but typically not beyond. The same is true for most fleets such as the second fleet. And soon the Second Expeditionary Fleet is going to have a new zone outside the Kikyo Sector."

Rika seemed to consider Ayano and Yui's answers, "I know that Fourth is on paper assigned to the Bard Cluster as our only official AO, but we're.. in every border system. There's not really a central presence anywhere that I could point to and say that's the Fleet. Our operational area is effectively any place that Yamatai ends and the unknown begins. It's the nature of our role, there's a lot of systems to cover, and we have Seventh to back us up when we do spot a worry crossing the perimeter."

Feyani pointed politely to Rika, "That's the kind of reason why I invented the Line. There might be some ships from 1XF in the same system as ships from 2XF. Or any other mixture. If there's something that has caused a Captain to panic, the Line helps to make sure all local forces are alerted just in case, otherwise they might almost literally fly into the danger."

Fletcher sipped on his tea, "That nature means that the line is shared between all of the fleets so that we can all know where a hotspot is and coordinate to deal with them. I was talking to Rika about how Fourth might need to clear a path for White Hammer along the space lanes. Her fleet has a better ability to do that than mine because they are in more systems." Fletcher added, giving a concrete example.

"I think we should let the call center connect the people who are involved, I don't think anyone should be able to jump in without asking," Yui said. "Perhaps they could select all ships in a certain geographic area, for instance."

Rika sipped her tea before responding to Yui, "In simulations we've run in certain border systems, where we have a single ship as garrison due to low traffic, if the enemy force is large enough, it's possible that the ship is destroyed very quickly. It may be hard for them to answer callbacks from local forces that are each individually asking permission to help. Especially if they are already sunk or scuttled, of course." She paused, "Unless I misheard you, Commander, in which case my apologies."

Feyani seemed to consider Yui's proposal, thinking hard on it for a good number of seconds in silence.

"The current system is designed so that it is clear who the incident commander is and when that gets passed along. It also allows us to share intelligence to coordinate our activities. I think that if we were primarily focused on geographic areas for it we would just be reinventing area fleets." Fletcher added.

After her moment of thought, Feyani added, "Well, in Guard II circumstances - which is any time something less than a whole Fleet is involved, only the ships from other Fleets in the same System are notified." Explaining that this was already the case, "It's just when you reach Attack III and higher, and a whole Fleet is called off standing operations to fix an issue, that other Fleet Commands are notified." She also nodded in thanks to Fletcher.

"I'd like clarification on that. How is the incident commander assigned?" Yui asked.

"Attack III isn't something you 'reach'," Irim objected. "It should be something that has to declared explicitly."

Feyani sipped her tea for the first time, then rubbed her two white stripes nervously. "Well- Fletcher-taisho likely means that as you go up through the Alerts, it falls to higher and higher authorities to be responsible for responding." She paused, "First you have the caller, usually a Captain. If they are a Captain they can go to Guard 2. They can escalate to their Admiral, who can go to Attack 3, and eventually." She gestured to Yui, "To you for War 4 or beyond. Each time, responsibility for the response is passed to the next person in the chain. Incident Commander, I suppose." She rubbed her cheek, "It's also possible to go sideways to Seventh directly or to SASO if it's something the call handler thinks more ships won't necessarily solve, but those aren't their own Alerts."

"You either are or are not mobilizing your fleet. If you are mobilizing your fleet, then that's a Attack III that I need to work with regardless of if you want to call it that or not." Fletcher responded to Irim.

"I completely disagree," Irim scowled.

Rika seemed to agree with Fletcher, "The only time I'd call my entire Fleet off their garrison watches is if I was about to form them together and engage some large enough enemy Fleet that required it. The standing orders of ships are usually important missions, especially for a Fleet like mine, but the same goes for survey ships, expeditionary crafts and others. I'd hope that if I ended up making that call, you would all be notified straight away."

"What if you're placing your fleet at combat readiness for a planned operation, does this system still call in the calvary somewhere else?" Ayano questioned, she was unsure of this new system due to how the earlier call had distrupted her own fleet's operations.

"A planned operation wouldn't go through YEAL. You know how quickly a planned operation can turn into a disaster, we've all experianced it. If you are doing something like that, seventh is going to be ready regardless of if we have YEAL or not." Fletcher said, hoping he was addressing Ayano's question rather than answering something unrelated.

"I don't think we need to tie ourselves up in an inflexible system that automatically triggers reactions that aren't necessary," Yui said, stroking her chin.

"Far as I am aware, there are no automatic triggers in the system. Each level from Captain, to local fleet, to us, to SASO, and beyond has to be initiated by someone." Fletcher noted.

Ayano nodded, "Thank you for answering my question," she said. She kept her opinions silent for now, it appeared that some were sold on this system of operation. The First Expeditionary Fleet Taisho had her doubts still. There was nothing wrong with the system she had in her fleet, at least her eyes. Of course it was always the Motoyoshi way to be unconventional, afterall she had kept some of Katsuko's traditions like bringing in their own people first during recruiting.

Feyani seemed to consider Ayano's question for a long moment, "If the system wasn't in place, I would hope that anyone conducting a Fleet-scale military operation - which increases the readiness of their entire Fleet - they would have let their colleagues know?" She offered, "As Fletcher says, other Fleets should have knowledge to respond if something goes wrong, rather than being told after the fact that a Fleet is light years from any actual help." Feyani took a small sip of tea, "The Line just does that for you if you want, so your clerks aren't calling each other up about the same thing the Line reports. But as he says, planned operations can go through other channels, the Line could suit that purpose but is built for emergency reporting."

The purple-eyed Iemochi girl looked over to Fletcher as he answered Yui, "That's the case. There's not an automatic escalation, it needs to be handed up first. It's the same for conventional Alerts and also the unconventional 7th-SASO route. But it does detect when a response has been launched, because the emergency operator who took the call in the first place stays on the line to hear what's being done, and inputs that into the system. That's when any Alerts are issued. If what's been input qualifies as an Alert level of response, that is triggered - but it's all done off the actions of the 'incident commander', as you put it, sir."

"No one in my fleet talked to other fleets," Irim pointed out. "Yet they were on the line with some random doctor who was complaining about some ethics concern. There's obviously improvements that need to be made."

Fletcher considered Irim for a moment, "Given how it's structured for sharing information with people who may need to respond, I'm unclear what your complaint is."

Feyani didn't seem to understand the way Irim had phrased her question, and only offered a relatively puzzled look. "Ma'am, I believe that was because you did what the call operator considered to be an Attack 3 action - mobilising all of First - after your Fleet staff went straight to you rather than anyone who could have checked for Guard 2 first." While still somewhat confused, she of course, gave a polite nod to Ayano, always happy to answer questions best she could.

"Thank you all for coming. I think we made some progress today," Yui told everyone. "I'll be making some small tweaks to the system based on your feedback today. I want to remind everyone to keep good communication - in both substance and tone - with each other. We're the Star Army. Working together we can accomplish anything. Dismissed! Feel free to join me if you want to grab dinner."

OOC: JP by @Wes, @Andrew, @Soban, @Ethereal
 
RPG-D RPGfix
Top