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.

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RP [Yamatai] Star Army Recruiting Center (YE 42)

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Wes

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FM of Yamatai
Game Master
Across from Takashi, somewhat sandwiched between two large aliens grunting aggressively at each other, was a youngish humanoid man with dark brown skin and short tightly curled hair kept close to his head. He had a silver earring in his left ear.

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"Today's the day, huh?" he asked Takashi. "It's funny, they can make as many Nekos as they want but there's always a demand for us. Biggest employer in the universe! And you can't have the Star Army without Nepleslians. Sitting back and living on your universal basic income is not much of a life. We gotta get trained and paid, right? Same for you, man?"
 

hyralt

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With the raucous bustle of the assembled enlistees around him, Takashi didn't immediately realize he was being addressed by the man sitting across from him. When he finally did realize, his attention turned away from his anxiety to try and figure out who was talking to him. When he finally saw the man, he relaxed somewhat and fought to hear his words over the din.

"I guess so," Takashi replied, unsure exactly how to answer. "To be honest, I didn't really think any of this through."

Takashi's eyes danced around the various screens that surrounded them, and he suddenly felt dizzy from the stimuli. He closed his eyes and focused on his breathing for a moment, recalling all those times in school he'd felt similarly right before a big test. Another moment passed, and he felt somewhat better. His eyes opened again, and he studied the man who was talking to him. The anxiety within him began to rise again as he became aware that he was presently engaging in an awkwardly long pause. His mind raced as he thought of something to keep the conversation going.

"This may be the first decision I've ever made. If I had stopped to think about it, I wouldn't be here." Takashi took another deliberate breath, as if he wasn't quite sure if he was still breathing. "But here I am."

Takashi gave the man an expectant nod. "And you?"
 
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Wes

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FM of Yamatai
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"It just seems to be the thing I should do at this point in my life. We've got to get this Kuvexian War situated and ended anyway. And worst case scenario it's only 3 years, right?" the man replied. "You join the military and it's a shortcut to being so much more respected because you're doing something respectable with your life instead of the same old same old. At least that's what people say."

He offered his hand for a handshake. "Davonte Lyons," he introduced himself. "I haven't tested yet but I am hoping to get one of those occupations for people with the big brain. I'm not scared or anything but I'm not trying to increase my chances of getting blown up. Right?"
 

hyralt

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Takashi nodded along to Davonte's words and he hoped that it wouldn't show on his face, but he was desperately trying to hold onto their individual meanings rather than the picture that they painted when taken altogether. A hand extended towards him and he looked down at it and watched as he reached out and shook it without a thought.

"Davonte," Takashi repeated out loud and looked up again at the man's face. Takashi repeated the name again in his mind, trying to associate his features with the spoken sounds. "Ah, I'm Takashi. Sonoda Takashi."

Three phrases had travelled from Davonte's lips through Takashi's ears and were finally bubbling up to the surface of his brain where they caught his attention: "tested," "occupations," and "blown up." Takashi blinked slowly and endeavoured not to dwell on that last one.

"Do you know what the test is about? I'm afraid I haven't studied."
 

Wes

Founder & Admin
Staff Member
FM of Yamatai
Game Master
"Well, there's lots of tests, uh, there's an interview, which is kind of like a rehash of your background check, which I think is mostly done by snoopy AIs looking at big data who gauge things like willpower and loyalty, and there's a physical, and a psychological exam, but mainly I'm talking about a skills aptitude test basically seeing what jobs you're good at. Like if you were good at math maybe you get to be an astrophysicist. It also kind of depends what Big Blue needs. Word on the street is they are really looking for starship crew, like so badly that basically anything you want that's part of a ship crew is open right now. Since the Battle of Nataria entire fleets were lost and they're rebuilding. It might be fast-track promotions for us! But it's been months since the big battle and hopefully that means we'll get to see the end of the war soon," Davonte told Takashi.
 

hyralt

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Takashi had a series of feelings as Davonte explained what awaited them once their numbers had been called.

"Background check" made Takashi think of his parents, who were assuredly still looking for him after he hadn't been home in a week. Or perhaps they had given up and had already started to mourn?

The word "physical" reminded Takashi of his aching body. He wasn't sure when was the last time he had slept well. Even with his parents, he studied late at cram school every night and got up early every morning for training. Absent-mindedly, he tugged at the frayed hem of his now somewhat ragged school uniform, as if to hide his tremendous fatigue.

"Math" and "astrophysicist" conjured up memories of when he was able to play around with an orbital simulator. Phrases like "delta vee," "prograde," "apoapsis," "specific impulse," and "Hohmann transfer" came to mind, but he had trouble sorting through them and assigning them meaning from what he remembered of the simulator's interface. Takashi then pictured himself struggling to make sense of a similar interface, but this time he was sitting on the bridge of an actual starship. His mind's eye zoomed outwards to watch the ship as it followed its circular path around the nearby planet. Takashi thought of the cold silence of the space that enveloped the vessel, and shivered.

"Someone once said that only the dead have seen the end of war," Takashi quoted. "I hope that's not true. Don't you?"
 
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Wes

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"It's not all wars I meant, just this one," Davonte chuckled. "The Kuvexian War. It's been rough. With some luck we'll get to be there to see the victory as it happens. Then we can hopefully go home and relax for a while in peacetime. Relatively. Anyway I think it's gonna be a good head-start on my life goals. I will get some job training, see the universe, maybe even find a nice girl along the way. There's still significantly more females in the Star Army than men because the Star Army keeps cloning those cat-eared Nekovalkyrja soldiers and they only come in female. I never went to college and got to do that party life but this is probably the next best thing. I really do expect to have some fun. And when I'm done I'm gonna get my own house."
 

hyralt

Site Supporter
"Those are admirable goals," Takashi responded without adding that he thought it was admirable that Davonte even had goals. Takashi thought about it for a moment and then continued. "I guess I would like to see the universe. Though I admit that I'm terrified by the thought of having one wall separate me from hard vacuum."

"Tell me about the Kuvexian War. That sounds like the sort of thing I would memorize for a test but never actually absorb." Takashi smiled nervously. "I was never very interested in current events or history."

Takashi's eyes jumped for just a second to the screens that continued to project occupational information at all the waiting enlistees, before he looked again to Davonte's eyes.

"I have a feeling this will be on the test," Takashi shifted uncomfortably in his chair. "It seems important."
 
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Wes

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FM of Yamatai
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"Well, basically it started when Star Army ships started running into Rixxikor colony ships in 36. They're a species of bugs that have the same intelligence and unity as the people who comment on unmoderated internet pages. So basically none," Davonte explained. "Anyway it turns out that the Rixxikor have been getting dumped in our space by this rich, distant Kingdom called Kuvexians and they and a number of their other vassals are trying to invade us and it was part of an effort to soften us up. In 38 they tried to steal a Star Army ship and we blew up their forward base and that's when things got active. Things kept escalating in 40 when they tried to invade and it was shut down. But the fighting was nothing compared to the big invasion in 41 where they seemed unstoppable. They kept advancing this year until finally they got impatient and went to finish the job and got too bold and hit the core of the Empire. The Star Army and the Kuvexian Navy basically fought to the death at Nataria and the war has fizzled out the last few months and we're kind of waiting for the next big thing to happen. But the summary is now the Star Army is finally getting to be on the offense instead of defense so we're picking a good time to join."

"Now calling C-997," a computer voice said over the intercom, loud enough not to be overwhelemed by the conversations in the lobby.

"Looks like I'm up," Davonte said. "Wish me luck and good luck to you, Takashi," he waved, extricating himself from between the two blubbery alien grunters and heading to a counter.
 

hyralt

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Takashi nodded solemnly, not sure if they would ever see each other again. "Good luck, Davonte."

Without Davonte to distract him, he thought of home and his family and the weight of their expectations pressing down on him like the body-crushing acceleration of a rocket lifting off. Breathing became a gargantuan effort as his chest tightened, but he focused on breathing in through his nostrils and out through his mouth. Continuing to imagine himself as a passenger on a rocket, he visualized the blue sky giving way to a starry expanse. The engines cut out, and he felt weightless as the ship began its orbit, and he slowly let go of the things tying him down. Finally, he was free.

When his own number was called, Takashi stood and moved swiftly towards the counter. "Good luck, Takashi."
 

Wes

Founder & Admin
Staff Member
FM of Yamatai
Game Master
After reporting to the counter, a military police officer escorted him to a private interview room where the interviewer, a serious-looking, tanned, and somewhat aged Yamataian clerk sat on the other side of a large table. "Have a seat," he said, glancing down at a data pad. "I'm Ittô Heisho James Guerrero."



"This interview is being recorded. I'm going to ask you a series of questions. Start by stating your name, place of birth, and date of birth," Guerrero said. "Are you a citizen of Yamatai?"
 

hyralt

Site Supporter
"Of course," Takashi replied. Now that the interview had begun, the feeling of serenity washed over him. There was no turning back now. Sitting in the seat as instructed, he calmly continued. "My name is Sonoda Takashi. I was born in Geshrinopolis on 18 日 2 月 YE 21. I am a citizen of Yamatai."

Takashi studied the man's face curiously and considered what kind of a life it must be to interview enlistees all day. Was he chosen for this because of some ability? Or because he was unskilled at anything more valuable? Either way, Takashi couldn't imagine himself with such an occupation. Though, he smiled slightly, at least there was little chance of being blown up.
 
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Wes

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FM of Yamatai
Game Master
"Are you currently employed by any foreign government or military? Have you ever been employed by one in the past? Also do you have a criminal record in any nation or are under investigation or accusation of any crimes? Have you been a member of any religious or political group or any gang in the last ten years?" asked Guerrero. "What is your job history?"
 

hyralt

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Takashi's imagination got the better of him for a second, and he imagined himself as a spy come to infiltrate the Star Army under deep cover starting at the lowest rank. Then he thought about how uncomfortable he would be having to lie on this question and he felt his pulse quicken. But this was just his imagination. Right? For a moment, he doubted his self-identity and then he remembered that he still had to answer the question.

"No," he shook his head. "I've never been employed by anyone, nor do I have any criminal record, nor am I under investigation, nor have I been accused of any crimes. No to everything."

He straightened somewhat in his chair, uncomfortable. "Even the job history. I have none to speak of. I am a student."

He thought for a moment. "I was a student."
 

Wes

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FM of Yamatai
Game Master
"Right. I'm required to ask certain things to ensure you're eligible to serve," the older sergeant explained before continuing. "Have you ever been diagnosed with or had reason to believe you had a physical, mental, or other disability mental illness, behavioral issue, or substance addiction? Do you have over a million KS in net worth including real estate, non-liquid assets, and stocks? Do you have any outstanding debts over ten thousand KS?"
 

hyralt

Site Supporter
Relieved that the clerk hadn't picked up on his internal turmoil due to his overactive imagination, Takashi laughed quietly at the next question.

"No, I've always been in good mental and physical health and I wish I had that kind of net worth." Takashi's smile faded quickly when he remembered where he was. "Ah, no. I have no debts."

Lingering on the second question, he wondered if perhaps only millionaires were allowed to serve in the Star Army, but he thought that surely wasn't the case.
 

Wes

Founder & Admin
Staff Member
FM of Yamatai
Game Master
"Almost done," Guerrero told him before continuing with the questions. "Have you ever spoken to a Mishhuvurthyar, Kuvexian, or their known allies? Ever been part of a radical political group, religious cult, or extremist organization? How loyal do you consider yourself towards Yamatai, and what drives and earns your loyalty? How long do you plan to stay in the Star Army and what do you plan to do afterwards?"
 

hyralt

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"As far as I know I've only ever spoken to Yamatai citizens." Takashi thought for a moment. "I was the treasurer of my after school film club, but I don't think that counts as political, religious, or extremist."

Takashi smiled again for a moment, but then realized that he hadn't fully answered the question. "So no, I haven't been part of any such group."

The question of loyalty made him hesitate and take a moment to ponder. "I would say I'm perfectly loyal," he gazed into the clerk's eyes.

"My family is here. I don't know what I would do if something were to happen to them." Takashi wondered if this was perhaps not the answer that the clerk was looking for. Regardless, it was the answer he had given.

"I honestly don't have any plans for what to do after my stay in the Star Army." Nor did Takashi have any real plans at all, but he was sure that wasn't the clerk wanted to hear. "So I guess I plan on staying in the Star Army for the foreseeable future."
 
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Wes

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FM of Yamatai
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Guerrero stood up from his chair and came around the table in front of a large set of flags at the end of the room. One of them was the Yamatai Star Empire's flag, a regal blue flag with a white circle with a red outline and purple bellflower. The other was the Star Army's flag with the Star Army Hinomaru, the red disc outlined in white and black and emblazoned with a stylized Mindy suit of power armor. "If you're ready," he said, "raise your right hand and repeat after me. I, (state your name), have truthfully, honorably, and voluntarily enlisted myself as a soldier in the Star Army of Yamatai for the full length of my commitment. I vow to protect the peoples of Yamatai, to follow the orders of the Empress and the officers appointed over me, to live by the Star Army Creed, to obey Star Army rules and regulations, and to destroy the enemies of Yamatai."
 

hyralt

Site Supporter
It took Takashi a moment to realize he too was supposed to stand, so when he did it was in a somewhat hurried way to go and stand by the clerk. Takashi raised his hand and repeated.

"I, st- Sonoda Takashi, have truthfully, honourably, and voluntarily enlisted myself as a soldier in the Star Army of Yamatai for the full length of my commitment. I vow to protect the peoples of Yamatai, to follow the orders of the Empress and the officers appointed over me, to live by the Star Army Creed, to obey Star Army rules and regulations, and," he took a moment to breathe. "To destroy the enemies of Yamatai."
 
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