Startide Project Readiness (Government)
"Welcome to the Earth's greatest combined project, the first multi-national and multi-corporation endeavor to involve all of the world's greatest powers. Simply be being a part of this project, you are guaranteed a place in the history books - do well, and you will known as the greatest trailblazers of known space." - Recruitment Officer Reeds
The Startide Project, originally designed and prototyped by the European Union, is both a final solution to the degrading level of life on the planet Earth as well as a rallying cry for a future of mutual cooperation between the still disparate governments that reside there. Simply through existing, it has pushed forward technologies to bring in new raw materials from space, enhanced recycling programs and re-ignited industry and science. The first three ships in the Startide series were designed exclusively for use by volunteer Genies, Betas, and Taurs as they were the first to volunteer for the hardships. Starting with the Startide IV, some limited pure human involvement was invited on the mission itself, and the Startide V is slated to be the first truly joint mission with a backdrop of peaceful coexistence in the future colonization of other worlds.
Being part of the Startide Project is not an easy task, as the competition is fierce. Applicants are either pulled from the fledging Space Navies of participating governments due to experience off the planet, from the most talented of civilian populations carefully selected through contests and feats or skill, or from a limited pool of people with Talents that were able to be sponsored by either a Government, Mega Corporation, or Political Body.
The European Union, as the progenitors of the Startide Project, maintains open volunteer recruitment through the University City of Silberstern located in the continent of Africa.
Getting Ready for the Startide Project
There are two primary ways to be a part of the Startide Project. The first is through Recruitment, where you have shown yourself through duty, luck, or sponsorship to be considered for this monumental mission. The second method is to have been part of the genetically engineered colonists that mature en-route, free of attachment to the Earth, and trained as a specialist in a particular field to help fill in gaps left by the veterans that were recruited.
"So you think you're ready to apply for The Project? First off, all of you with stars in your eyes and a big grin on your face, get out - you don't have the self control or experience to be considered for this mission! Those that are left, if you've never been deployed to action, you leave as well. We don't want greenhorns to carry the honor of this unit. Huh, down to barely a squad left of you then. Rodgers, French, and Lanray, we can't afford to lose you off to being elsewhere. The rest of you? I want your application submitted in 24 hours or less." - ISA Special Recruitment, Excerpt
Recruitment is a difficult proposition, with several billion people on a planet gasping for it's last dregs of resources and supplies. The chance to head out to an uncertain future where you may never wake up is tempered with the thought of a new land - fresh and verdant with life. Thankfully, there are several factors that help remove the competition from even starting off on this path: It means leaving Earth, it's land and skies, essentially forever. You may never even see the planet of your dreams should the mission go awry, or even ever if you're on a Generation Ship. There are no reinforcements, and no technology other then what you bring with you. You aren't even guaranteed that the air will remain breathable. As amazing and wondrous as going out to deep space is, this is for most people little more then a glorified suicide mission designed for Public Relations to stop petty nations and corporations from wasting the last resources of Earth in useless power struggles.
Still, if life on Earth has never been your cup of tea, and you're willing to sacrifice everything you've ever had for what you can fit into a duffel, then hey, you get to do so as a Hero. Hopefully.
This is also why the first several ships were exclusively staffed by Genies, Taurs, and Betas. Without the long history that humankind has had on Earth, some of those deep-rooted ties simply aren't an issue for them. After fighting to be considered a first class citizen in several countries, being able to be a hero and show it was a good idea is enough motivation to risk possible endless sleep in the great abyss.
Competition is still fierce however. The Nations and Mega Corps putting their money where their mouth is don't want to just package up a bunch of until-recently second class citizens and fling them out to the edges of known space. That would miss the point of the mission completely. So they pick the best they can find for each mission, drawing from Universities, Armed Forces, Private Militaries, Research and Development Labs, and Laboratories far and wide. With a maximum crew on the Generation Class Startide Ship being a paltry thousand, and more modern designs like the Rihla Class limited to no more then three hundred in cryo and one hundred awake, there's still a need to show that you're what the mission needs.
The good news? Signing your life away to find a future within the endless, lifeless vacuum of space will get you a 10,000 EB sign-on bonus to take care of Earth-bound debts and help get you fitted to be a Hero.
There is always a need for security personnel and those that are trained and equipped to take care of what may happen with efficiency and vigor. The Startide Ships themselves are considered to be built as a branch of the still growing Eureopean Union Space Navy, and is heavily militarized at the mission level. Each ship is commanded by a Captain of exemplary talent from either the Commander Rank or Higher. The command staff of the ships, including each division head, has to have military background in order to integrate into the ship as a whole.
The People's Republic, European Union, and Russia are the primary pools from which Military recruit is drawn from. Each has fairly significant militaries and at least a token presence in orbit for training exo-atmosphere. Veterans are normally favored over new recruits, although the European Union has been known to place exceptionally skilled but untested soldiers into the program when a high aptitude is noted.
- Enlisted: E5 or Higher. (Or Unit Recommendation)
- Officer: O2 or Higher.
- At least 4 years of consecutive active service.
- A proficient rating in a technical specialty. (4+ TECH or INT Skill)
- Zero-G Rating or Equivalent Chip.
- Proficiency with a Ranged Weapon.
- Preferred Qualifications Include
- Heavy Equipment Expertise, use or Maintenance. (TECH or PILOT Skill)
- Piloting/ Navigation Skills.
- Torture Resistance Training
- Specialty Officer Qualifications
- Security: SpecOps or Force Recon Training.
- Engineering: Nuclear Power Systems, Advanced Computer Systems, or Artificial Intelligence Training.
- Medical: Field Medic Training, First Aid and Triage.
- Science: 2+ Years Lab Experience, Field Experience Recommended.
- Flight: TransAt, Atmospheric, Orbital, and Multi-Mode Craft Desired, Including Weapon Systems, Navigation, and Basic Maintenance.
Starting Equipment Requirements
- Standard Required Cybernetics
- These Cybernetics are required to be installed at the applicant’s expense. Special cases require a sign-off from the Ship’s Commander.
- Cybernetic Coprocessor. (1000 EB)
- Audio Sub Processor. (500 EB)
- Radio Link. (100 EB)
- Homing Tracer. (200 EB)
- Bio-Monitor. (100 EB)
- An Independent Air Supply is Recommended but not Required.
Beyond this basic requirement, it is recommended that anyone applying for an Officer’s position on a Startide Vessel also invest in cybernetics that will help in the event of decompression, as well as hostile environment survival.
Applicants must also furnish the following required Equipment:
- Preferred Sidearm of Choice.
- Secondary Weapon of Choice.
- Minimum of Light, Soft Body Armor.
Provided Military Equipment
Applicants coming from the Military are provided a unique benefit that comes with the requirements and restrictions mentioned above. The Military sponsoring the endeavor can provide you with one reasonable request for Military Grade Equipment. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Military Grade Armor.
- Military Grade Weapon Systems.
- Military Grade Heavy Weapon Systems.
- Combat-Ready Aircraft, Including TransAt Aircraft.
- Combat-Ready Ground Vehicles, Including Small Mecha.
- High End Scientific or Medical Equipment.
The request must be in line with the Applicant’s specialty, and is subject to approval from the Ship’s Commander.
"What your qualifications again? Oh, one of those scientists they’re after? Here’s form 14C, please fill it out completely and submit it no later then by the end of business on Friday. Look, I know you’re smart, but so are the people behind you. Just fill the form out, and we’ll see if you get in." - Overheard at the Startide Civilian Offices, Melbourne.
While the various participant Nation’s militaries get first shot at the command posts and the exciting job of making sure that the mission can be carried out, there is a large need for civilian presence on board the ships as well, and not just because of the colonization directive of the mission!
Civilian Specialists have years of experience in their field, and have been able to focus on things that the military either does not have the time or the interest to deal with that can be quite important in the new frontiers of space. Biology, Archeology, Climate Specialists - anyone that has a few good papers behind them or the University clout to show they’ll be an asset to boldly going where no one has stepped before has a chance.
The problem of course, is the fact that’s a lot of people going after a few chances. So those that are selected tend to either be the consummate experts in their field, or have a firm grasp of dealing with possibly alien lifeforms. Experience in space is a big plus, as is basic weapons training or even some time in the reserves to get a feel for being a Civilian Specialist in a Military Mission. The basic sciences get the most attention, but medical, architecture, engineering, and even other disciplines that may not normally be considered for most missions are also in demand.
- Expert-Level Knowledge of your Field. (6+ in an INT or TECH Skill)
- Basic Survival Training.
- Zero-G Training a Plus.
Starting Equipment Requirements
While there is no particular required equipment, the Applicant should make sure that they are able to bring with them the basic tools, equipment, and spare parts to perform their indicated functions while isolated from resupply.
Provided Civilian Equipment
Unless an exception is specifically made, a Civilian Specialist is responsible for being able to bring their own equipment and supplies with them. Requests for specialty, large, or expensive equipment is made on a case by case basis via the Ship’s Commander.
The Mega-Corporations are a group of business interests that skirt across multiple countries, and are in themselves considered their own form of global power. Much of the equipment and manufacturing for the Startide Project has come from these massive conglomerations of capitalist self-interest, and as such, they get to put their own unique influence on who gets to come onto each of the many ships.
Most of the global CEOs aren't brazen enough to pull out such heavy handed dealing as forcing someone to be accepted, but they are more then happy to watch the Human Resources department make an ideal candidate from the pool of the most loyal and career minded individuals - especially those that they can safely write off as expendable. Oftentimes, this comes in the form of of finding people motivated and loyal enough to the company to watch over the Company's Investment and to make sure they get an early foothold on any new resource-laden planet. Other times, the resources of the different Mega-Corporations are simply enough to deal from a position of power: Make sure that the Corporate interest comes first in the mission, play nice so you get the part, and your family gets taken care of.
When it comes to the kind of people that Mega-Corporations can bring to the table, you end up with a diverse lot: Specially bred Beta-Class Genies can be offered optimized for a particular environment, Logistics experts that can understand how to rig up a supply line from the mundane to the exotic, specialists in particular Corporate-made equipment regardless of the intention between science and war, or even just good all around pencil pushers that can do their part to grease the wheels of a growing colony.
The only theme linking these different kinds of people is one thing: They're willing to give up their current position to go on a wild goose chase on the behalf of a giant impersonal profit-making machine. Needless to say, it's not a bad deal, depending on your lot in life. The trick is, those individuals are competing against some of the best Civilians and Military recruits that can be found, so the Mega-Corps have to make sure to spice their applicants up a bit.
- The ideal candidate will have several years experience in their current job, and a willingness to show that they can perform regardless of location, planet, or sector. Company Loyalty is a must. In the absence of the Employee from standard compensation, they may designate a recipient on the Planet Earth or it's immediate surrounding space to receive their wages until the normal age of retirement.
- Standard Skills: The applicant should show a diverse range of skills that will allow the set up, securing, and organization of a Corporate Interest on the found planet.
- Computer Skills: Computer Specialists should show expertise in programming, security, and code breaking skills.
- Specialist Skills: Above average mastery of their field and ability and desire to demonstrate both the training and equipment from their parent Corporation.
- Gray Ops Specialists: Those pulled from previous experience in Corporate Grey Ops should show strong Leadership, Speech, and Written skills with an emphasis on Corporate Image and a drive to better their Corporate Image.
- Black Ops Specialists: Those being recruited from BlackOps should show incredible loyalty and a self-driven attitude to get the job done and extend the reach of their brand through any means necessary. Discretion is a must.
It is noted that most of the required skills for a Corporate Recruit are quite "fuzzy" in nature. While Civilian Specialists are drawn from the best Applicants from Government, Civilian, University, and Corporate sources, those specifically placed by a Corporation are much more diverse in nature, and primarily placed into the running for an agenda - be it expansion, exploitation, or simply being there first - that the Corporation has set.
Starting Mega-Corporation Cybernetics
- Standard Cybernetic Package
- Those from a corporation are provided without charge, the following Cybernetic enhancements:
- Cybernetic Co-Processor.
- Homing Tracer.
- Loyalty Device. (Pick one of the following: Strong Behavior Chip (Locked, Corporate Loyalty), or Brain Bomb)
- Optional Cybernetics
- Pick one of the following options if desired, at the corporations expense:
- Get Some Chrome (One cyberlimb or cyberoptic replacement.)
- Computer Interface (ZetaTech Body Comp, choice of one kind of interface plug or cable, Computer Link)
- Brawler (One Implant or Cybernetic Weapon of Choice)
All other cybernetics are at the Applicant's expense.
Provided Mega-Corporation Equipment
In addition to the Cybernetics provided above, the Applicant may make a reasonable demand for a single expensive bit of equipment related to their training or specialty. This equipment cannot be Military Spec in nature, and cannot involve any large vehicles or heavy weapons.
All other equipment is at the Applicant's expense.