The Star Army
Main Article: Star Army of Yamatai
Main Article: Star Army of Yamatai
Intelligence operatives, recognizable in uniform by their black uniform panels, are the primary actors in SAINT's various intelligence related operations across the galaxy. Unlike intelligence officers, operatives are expected to perform in diverse environs far beyond the confines of starships. From the role of non-cover officer to analyst to liaison, operatives must be prepared to react to the needs of the service. They can come from all sorts of backgrounds, and none can be expected to have training in every role they may have to fulfill, but every one of them must be willing to devote themselves entirely to their latest assignment. While operatives frequently join SAINT upon completion of Basic Training, transfers from other occupational areas after time in service are not unheard of. In all cases, operatives must pass through rigorous training, undergo medical qualification, and receive conditioning. Shipboard operatives also have to take on the roles required for running the ship. Above all, operatives have to be dedicated to the Empire and its service, as they will frequently be asked to place themselves at the very tip of the sword, where no backup is available and no recognition will be given to their efforts.
Written by a portion of the all seeing eye of the Empire. (CN/HK)
Thirteen years, nearly half the life of the Yamatai Empire has this one part of the whole been in service as a part of the eyes and ears of the Empire. Thirteen years, nearly twice the retirement age of the average soldier, and well over five times the average age of a Nekovalkryja soldier. In the span of thirteen years, the Empire has grown swiftly, as has her children, and as has her enemies. Due to this growth, our beloved Empire needs to practice vigilance more than ever before.
Vigilance, that is the key job of any operative of SAINT. Vigilance of both foreign and internal affairs, friend and foe alike. To maintain vigilance is to contribute to our Empire's state of readiness for any event which may arise. War, peace, plenty, and famine… each of these events can be triggered by any number of events. A SAINT operatives job is to be vigilant for any one of these events, and know of it, and let the Empire know of it. This, is the spirit of intelligence operations.
What contributes to the gathering of intelligence many young operatives may ask, and that is their right, they need to ask. To ask, that is the first step of intelligence, to seek and to inquire is the very soul of the job, the mission, the vigil. To ask the questions which our Empire must know, to seek the knowledge which will keep our Empire safe. However, asking is not the only way to gain the knowledge which those of my occupation seek.
As an operative of SAINT, there are many methods of gathering information, and it is my pleasure and my personal duty to provide a bit of information to those who would seek it, and those who would take the first step by asking; 'How?'.
Sight, one of the most important senses to most humanoid life forms. With a sweep of one's eye, a flood of information is gathered. From the hue of the sky foretelling of rain, to the flickering of streetlights telling of the coming night, to the swift count of people walking along a busy street, and seeing that one person who does not belong. To see these things is the very core of intelligence gathering, for it is the very nature of vigilance.
Each operative of our Empire has been blessed by the good fortune to have a pair of perfectly functional eyes which grant us each the ability to see the world around us in stunning clarity. This gift of vision is what is put to work most in operative level operations. Every operative can be expected to be able to see what is in front of them, and to take in every single moment to be able to deliver the knowledge of what they have seen to our Empire. With the delivery of that knowledge, the Empire's vision is extended by the vision of every operative.
In the field, an operative's objectives can be predetermined, or be left open-ended, however, the one objective which remains constant is to observe. When assigned to a predetermined task, an operative's duty is to remain focused on the mission objective(s), and anything which may influence the mission. When assigned to an open-end mission, an operative's duty is then to observe on a much wider scope, for anything which may be of value to the Empire.
The first and foremost question which is often asked is 'What do I look for?'. This question is a wise one and can be addressed in a number of ways, and the response to the question can also be influenced by the objective at hand for the operation. However, there are several constants which remain at all times which must be watched for.
A key variable in any situation is the people-factor. Anywhere in the given universe there is the potential of contact with sentient life. From the day-to-day meeting with a superior officer, to the girl at the local mess, and the out-of-place person on a street corner. Every single person in the universe is a variable, and when possible every variable apparent to the eye must be taken into account.
To watch a individual is often the first essential step to gathering intelligence which can be useful at a later point. A skilled operative is expected to become familiar with the comings of goings of individuals they see more than once. Become familiar with the visible habits of an individual to gain insight upon expected events. Become familiar with an individual's facial expression to know of what is unseen, a frown, a smile, even the tint of the whites of the eyes can convey a scope of information which speaks volumes.
Often, the first sign of any given individual-level event is visual indications. Watch for people who break from their routine, watch for visible expressions of tension, anxiety, or intent often known as a 'tell', and watch a person's facial expression; behind every smile and every frown there is a story.
Above all else, watch for individuals which look 'out of place' or are in places which individuals usually are not. These individuals are key indicators of activities which may be of interest.
For new information to come into existence, a series of events must take place. With each event, there is a visible series of events which transpire. An operative's duty is to observe these events and remember their every detail. With every detail of an event there is a greater availability of knowledge which can be extracted from the observation of the event. An operative must commit every event which transpires before their eyes to memory, and through those memories, an operative can gain vital information.
Everywhere an individual may look, there are objects. From the natural to the artificial there are objects everywhere. An operative's duty is to know where objects should be, and where they should not be. An out of place object can be a key indicator of events which may have a direct impact upon the operative or our Empire as a whole.
Things to watch for:
Any one of the things listed can be indicators of the presence of people of interest, or threats to the operative. A glimmer of light can be a camera's lens or a weapon's scope. Discolored paint could be the sign of covering up an event. An out of place children's toy could be the clever disguising of a listening device or trap. It is up to the individual operative to determine the nature of any one of these signs, and determine if the object is a threat, or something which may be ignored for the time being.
On every world, on every starship, on every station, there is terrain which must be taken into account. Every bit of the world around an operative may prove to be an advantage or disadvantage at a later time. An operative's duty is to be aware of these terrain features and calculate their value in regard to the operation at hand. Know where to flee to in the event of dangerous events, know where to position one's self for observation or ambush, know where people may hide, know where people may come from. These are the kinds of things which every operative must be aware of for the good of themselves and for our Empire.
Our Empire consists of many portions. The civilian citizen, the nekovalkryja soldier, the Yamataian officer… each of these people can be considered a friend of the Empire. An operative's job is to know the locations, actions, and habits of the friendlies to our Empire. To know of a friendlies' habits is to know when you are able to seek aid, or to know when innocents of our Empire are at risk. Also, to know details and state of friendlies is to know the health of the Empire.
On the opposing side of friendlies, there are always enemies. Enemies of our Empire come in all shapes and forms. From those who are openly declared as enemies such as the SMX, to those which are unknown to us such as terrorists masquerading as friendlies. It is an operative's duty to observe and watch for these threats when they present themselves. Observe these threats and learn of their ways and of their actions so our Empire may be warned and prepared. Observe these threats and know of potential danger which may befall the individual operative.