Libra's military has three branches: Infantry, Tactical, and Fleet. They're all organized a little differently. The Fleet, space pilots and crew, is probably the most active of the three branches, as Libra rarely has to fight on-ground. Everyone goes through basic training. Libra's military training is harsh but not unreasonably so, and enlistment is voluntary. The pay is decent, and most Librans can see why they'd want to defend their station.
- Libra's infantry is made up of enlisted soldiers, no education required. They learn on-ground combat techniques and get some ribbing because their present job is pretty much 'glorified security guard.' That said, they're a well-trained bunch and more than ready for action. And everyone in the Libran military will train with infantry Drill Sergeants and officers, as they've all got to go through basic training.
- The intelligence officers, nearly all (exceptions are quite rare) of them university-educated. Tactical officers are a secretive bunch, and do a lot of behind-the-scenes deskwork, hacking, spying, infiltration, and technological development. You don't choose to join the tactical division; they choose you. Their recruitment is quite secretive, and some tactical officers aren't even known as such. Some, of course, work visible jobs as researchers or attachés to Fleet squadrons.
- Libra's fleet includes both enlisted soldiers and officers. Enlisted soldiers start as grunts and work their way up. Officers, of whom university education is required, go to flight school to train as officers. All vessel captains must be officers. It's possible to get into flight school without a university education only if you can pass the entrance exam and have serious previous flight experience. Simulations don't count. All captains must pass their Flight Test. The Fleet's squadrons spend much of their time hunting pirates ('zapping bugs'), and they're also on the front lines in case of any engagement with, for example, Aedolis; a space station relies heavily on space combat. They also carry out some tactical missions.
Officers have gone to a three-year university and the year-long Flight School. They're well-versed in battlefront tactics, strategy, and often physics and engineering, as well.
- In charge of motherships, those that carry supplies, missiles, and smaller vessels on long deployments, away from Libra Station. Admiral's the highest rank in the Fleet. An admiral controls all of the defense and organization of the mothership itself, though the minutia go to the Lt.s beneath them.
- Just below Admiral in rank. While admirals run the ship, Lt.s act as a liaison to the enlistedmen. They're also the flight coordinators. If you're a fighter pilot, an Lt. is going to be the one whose orders you can hear through your headset.
- They fly the smaller craft: missile craft and small fighter-craft. Captains begin with basic training and go on to Flight School for officer training.
Soldiers who've elected to join straight out of secondary school (the military accepts dropouts, too, provided they don't have a criminal history). They learn from the ground up: after they go through Basic, they take on any odd jobs the fleet wants to offer and learn their way around the station and equipment, particularly the guns, by doing.
- Elite among the enlisted, they've worked their way up and learned their skills the hard way.
- Gunner Class A
- Aboard the TOPZ. Only those who ace Mark Test A get a Class A designation.
- Gunner Class M
- They man missile crews. They've aced the Mark Test M.
- Gunner Class B
- New gunners aboard the main station or a mothership. Mark Test B, easier than A and M, will get you here.
- The lowest rank in the fleet. They do whatever the officers or the gunners tell them to do. Mop floors--whatever. Once you're up to stocking ammo, you're doing pretty well. Ensign training is pretty rough; they all train for gunner, but very few make it. Many don't mind, and, of course, you need a lot of ensigns to make a fleet work.
The Fighters are the lightest and most maneuverable craft of the Fleet, the one- and two-person zipcraft. Note that most players play as part of Squadron 77.
- Fightercraft (TOPZ and OZ)
- These two kinds of zipship are the backbone of the Libran fleet. Those who man them are the ones risking their lives at the front of any engagement in space. Notorious for their arrogance and glamorized as reckless and devil-may-care, popular with Libra's young crowd, they're known in military circles as Ozzies and Tops. The fightercraft units are made up of one-person zipcraft (OZ) and two-person zipcraft (TOPZ). Ozzies, the ones who fly solo, have a friendly kind of rivalry with the Tops, who've got one pilot and a Gunner who controls the phasors.
- TOPZ Training
- Tops teams are a really valuable thing, and the Libran military works to cultivate synergy between captain and gunner. That's not to say there's no friction there. After all, the captain's had officer training, while the gunner's had to work up from ensign. But once you're aboard a Tops craft, all bets are off. You're meant to work as a team, and Tops, when they're at the top of their game, can achieve an almost superhuman synergy.
To create these tightly-knit pairs, the military matches each new captain or gunner with his or her more experienced counterpart. Sometimes the gunner is the one with more experience, sometimes it's the captain. Every ten years or so, pairs tend to break up so the gunner and captain can take on a newbie. It's considered good policy to keep the fleet integrated, rather than mismatched in experience.
- Every member of the Fleet has a callsign, a name they use for radio communication. Generally a short, simple word, often assigned as a bit of a joke by officer or squad.
The Libran military likes its slang terminology. The below is a short list of common terms.
- TOPZ flyers and gunners.
- OZ flyers.
- Tactical officers.
- Edanis or Aedolians, enemy combatants generally.
- Space pirates.
- Zapping bugs
- Hunting space pirates.
Here's the phonetic alphabet we'll be using--feel free to use this to make up your own jargon. It's modified from (RL) NATO phonetic to include some RotE stuff (and get rid of RL references).
- It’s broken.
- No visual on enemy.
- Combat dump
- Doing your business before flying- autograv works wonders on the bowels.
- I heard you clearly.
- Delta Squared
- Dick dragger. Refers to a very hard flight. No pun intended.
- Drift Factor
- Refers to a person’s poor attention span.
- Primary visual on enemy target. Meaning you're the only one who can see them.
- Hotel Alpha
- Haul arse. Get here quickly!
- Commence evasive flying manoueveres.
- (callsign) Out
- I'm done talking - Line's free.
- Phasor Arse
- Short for phasor in arse. Someone’s getting a little twitchy.
- Continue attack or pursue enemy.
- Pucker Factor
- A measure of how scary something is by how tight your arse gets. On a scale of one to ten.
- Receiving Fire
- You’re getting shot at.
- Repeat (callsign)
- Requesting someone to say their last transmission again.
- Romeo Triple Delta
- Really deep doo doo. In trouble.
- Looking for target.
- Flying in tight formation.
- What are you doing?
- Swarm, Swarmed
- A swarm is a lot of pirates, swarmed is when a lot of pirates converge on friendlies.
- Visual on enemy target
- Tango Hotel
- Trigger Happy. Fire at will. Also used to describe gunners.
- Wait Out
- Wait for information
- Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
- Will comply
- Guns- like windshield wipers squashing bugs.
Overview of Craft Classes
Note that there are more types of ships than listed here, but here's the rough, bare-bones outline.
Generally speaking, the Libran fleet is well-provided-for technologically. The pilots' and gunners' stations of every vessel have a headset that allows the user to see in all directions around the craft and access any information about the vessel or the surrounding area quickly and easily. Using the headset is almost like using a virtual-reality headset, but this one's not virtual. It's one reason Libra's VR training is so effective: it really does mirror the experience of piloting or shooting aboard a military craft.
- Have individual names. Squad 77 deploys to the Bastion.
- Carry missiles and supplies and so on for longer-ranging missions or deployments.
- Admiral is in charge of what goes on inside the mothership and its own defenses.
- Lieutenants are in charge of the fighter craft that fight from the mothership.
- Two-Person Zipcraft (TOPZ)
- Crewed by a captain and a gunner.
- Very small, even for a two-person craft; can fit three .
- Its shields are light, for maneuverability.
- Fires phasors. There are more guns aboard a TOPZ than aboard an OZ, set in a 360% array so it can shoot in any direction. Most often, shots come from the phasor tower atop the craft.
- One-Person Zipcraft (OZ)
- Crewed by a captain only.
- Even smaller than the TOPZ, also has light shields.
- Also fires phasors, but has fewer guns than the TOPZ.
- One-Person Missile Mine Craft (MIMIC)
- One-manned zippy mine craft.
- Longer and sleeker than a TOPZ or an OZ.
- Basically, it lays down mines. Single captain.
- Multi-Crew Missile Craft (MIC)
- Substantially larger than the MIMIC, but built along the same lines, long and thin with ports for missiles on top of the craft and in its belly.
- They shoot big missiles at things. Captain and some gunners class M.
- unmanned probes. Intelligence or combat. Run from the mothership or the Libra.
- Shield Classes
- Libra classifies spacecraft shields from A-Z. Passenger or recreational craft have less sophisticated shields, though they'll still protect against most fire; they just don't scramble scanners or create other deliberate problems for the military. Classes G-Z are perfectly acceptable for any craft, but A-E are considered military-only unless you have special registration, and any craft seen with these in Libran space will get pulled over for some quick questioning.
The Fleet is made up of a number of squadrons. Some are made up of mixed TOPZ and OZ, some are . Note that player characters are all, thus far, in Squadron 77. Squad 77, aka the Furies (their mascot) is a detachment made up of mostly TOPZ and OZ, meant to be maneuverable. They're an elite squad, known for their efficiency and accuracy, and they take on a lot of bug-zapping missions. They're also well-trained in hand-to-hand and ground combat, as they often have to board motherships they've subdued, or even pursue pirates down to planetary surface.
Members of the Libran fleet wear light blue and reflective silver when they're out in their ships. The uniform includes a rather stiff collar that extends out into an air-tight helmet, and thin gloves, insulated to keep squad members safe when out in space. The reflective silver panels are a safety measure, too--they're in place so they won't be lost against the dark sky. Of course, all suits also include tracking devices for the rest of the military, and their helmets include scanners like the ones they use when in their craft.
These are given to Fleet personnel and units for heroism in battle or distinguished service. In full dress most of them are worn as ribbons, but the most senior awards can be worn as a coin suspended from a ribbon. If they earn them, a Fleet troop may wear Infantry or Tactical medals, but Fleet medals always worn higher than others.
The following medals are in order of precedence:
Libra may be 'just' a space station, but they have nearly all the amenities of a nation-state. Their secondary school is free for all, and lasts until age 16. Following that, there's a three-year university program available, and tuition is relatively, though not universally, affordable. Scholarships aren't unusual, especially for those who want to join the military as officers: university is a requirement for them.