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Re: Turning the gears of Change


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Everything seemed to be in place-The delegation committee was fully prepared and ready, with his own aides personally seeing to them and making sure that they were getting their jobs done. The stage was perfect-A clear sky of seamless blue, with but a few wisps of fluffy white clouds here and there, together with the acres of space provided by the strips of land in this particular Sumatran base. It was one thing to get Indonesians to trust him, especially when poverty and corruption was still present in an otherwise developed country, when he was but just a fledgling Union leader still learning the tricks of his trade, and when he was Chinese.


Not to say that the government wanted to make things difficult for him, but despite the seemingly poilte refusals for the usage of their land, Phillip managed to convince that it was a publicity campaign which will be beneficial to the Union as well as the country herself.


It was but a pathetic reason for the demonstration of the new mobile suit, however. The reason provided seemed to suffice for the Indonesian leaders, but for Phillip, he had wanted to see the Astray Diver in action. Having seen the summarised technical specifications once through, what he wanted was not information on pieces of paper-whatever the classification might be-but real proof of the potential talked about in the report from his informants. In the end, the opinions of others can only help him go so far.


When one needs or wants something, he has to decide for himself, by himself... He mused. Of course, it was foolish to assume that he will be right all the time, but for this occasion, he needed no one else to help him, not in the areas of the healthcare and civil services of the Union and her various member countries for they were minute to what was coming.


Still.... Phillip felt his impatience creeping up onto him like a stalking predator, waiting to strike. Perhaps it had been the prospect of seeing a new weapon possibly being inaugurated into his plans for the strengthening of the Union's weak military power, for good composure came as second nature to him after all his showings in public appearances as a businessman and as a prospective politician earlier on in his life.


But he knew he had to wait. Waving away an aide who asked if he needed them to contact the other parties involved politely, that was exactly what he did, for he knew good things came to those who were patient.

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  • 2 weeks later...

[OOC: From 'Hasty Preparations'

@Orbies: You can briefly describe your perspective of the trip on the carrier first. ]


The trip only took a few days but it was rather monotonous.  Though the Takemikazuchi-class carrier was quite large - the largest type on Earth - it was mostly for the numerous Murasames, Astrays, and the occasional Astray Divers that lined both the deck and the internal hangar in the belly of the massive trimaran vessel.  Demetrius probably walked around the entire carrier several times during the span of the journey. 


He coached his charges, especially the newly enlisted Privates, to prepare them for this mixed military and diplomatic mission but over-repetition would have irritated them.  He let them do as they wished within the bounds that they were allowed for the most part.  He also observed Sergeant Shirakawa as she got more acquianted with the Astray Diver by letting her perform a few combat patrols in the amphibious mobile suit.  He also made some patrols with both the Diver and a borrowed Murasame but he did not wish to intrude the flight crew's own schedule. 


Once they arrived at the Equatorial Union, at the 'country' formally known as Indonesia, they had to go ashore via VTOL.  The Astray Divers and related equipment were brought in by a military transport vessel.


As they prepared to land at the large base, he noticed a rather sizable delegation committee waiting for them.  He had hoped that this demonstration would not involve too much politicking but that may have been in vain considering his role as a representative.  However, he knew that Minister Yuan was quite pragmatic and did not like the extra red tape that politics brought into the fold.  The VTOL landed without incident as he looked to the left, where the Astray Divers were set down to 'shine' under the sun. 


After a quick check at his subordinates, he slowly left the VTOL as he knew the eyes of many nations would be on them...

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The first thing that went on Hinako's mind is that this is the first time she spent so many days on the Takemikazuchi-class mobile suit carrier. She have seen the carrier from afar during when she was passing by the naval docks during missions and other similar important matters which required attention from the military. However, seeing it on person - and that did not count being on it - is something which words could not be used to describe the sheer humongous scale of the ship alone. Sometimes she wonder where the ship got such a capacity to store that many mobile suit at a single time.


Of course, walking around a ship and doing nothing is obviously not part of the daily schedule, so Hinako got some opportunities to try her hand on the Astray Diver. Of course, having a dad that works in the company that manufactures mobile suits for the military might be an advantage, but it took her some time to getting used to an underwater mobile suit in which the only thing she was told from her father was that 'it feels different compared to normal Astrays...don't imagine that you are merely scuba diving in a mobile suit'. At times she was observing First Lieutenant having a go at the Astray Diver, and it was probably safe to say that it took them some time getting used to the underwater mobile suit. Since she was not assigned to flight patrol duties, she was drilled in diplomatic stuff together with the rest...although she would rather not listen to the whole thing about 'the art of hospitality'.


Of course, what worried her the most is that she was afraid of crating a huge mess on the big day itself, something which would be an embarrassment for everyone involved. At times she reassured herself that everything will go perfectly fine, although things can only get so far at this moment.


The journey ashore with the VTOL did not help at all. There are times when she was excited about being on a rather foreign land, not to mention with curious eyes fixed on them, but there is a fact that she is still a 'normal 17-year old teenage girl'. She have no role in all the politics that happened around, nor she has the power to change them, but she know that there is a reason for everything, and this trip is no exception.


Hinako gulped as she followed the First Lieutenant, who made his way out, seeing that she is probably one of the more feminine ones around the Orb delegation...

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The trip was all and nothing at the same time to Janus. It most definitely was the first time being on such a classed ship, but her mind was much too set on the mission ahead to appear what she felt inside- short bursts of excitement.


To much of her content she spent most of the free time she had on watching the lieutenant and sergeant test out the Divers, talking to the mechanics about the new units, or shooting practice. She'd undoubtedly become much better since the original training. However, Janus had wanted, throughout the whole trip, to see the young Sergeant Shirakawa in action without the mobile suit.


To the other enlisted private, Janus had stubbornly even avoided nodding at her. Even passing by in the corridors! The initial mini conversation they had ended badly. Janus frowned every time she thought back on it.


That was not the only downside to the trip. In one instance, she overheard some mechanics criticize how kids these days spent so much time at the arcades over actually enlisting to get the chance to pilot. Janus at that point knew too well what may happen if she heard more as she already felt long left anger return. She'd hit someone two years ago because of what they said over the game her father made. Janus had taken the initiative to walk away, but unfortunately it was too late.


"Some failure of a pilot made them I heard... what was his name... Elliot Misaki!-" Janus heard echo from the hangar.


"Matsuo!" Janus bellowed from the entrance, "Elliot Matsuo!"


"Yea yea that old bag! Sheesh what was he thinking when-"


Janus had rushed in and tackled the man to the ground and was about to throw a fist at him when she realized what she'd done. 'Every soldier is Orb. Every soldier is Orb.' She reminded herself and backed off the man. With that, she loosened the neck of her uniform and walked away fast. Janus shut herself out in her room for hours after that. Inside she'd questioned herself like many times before the why's of how she is. All the same, she never came out of it with an answer.


Now as she followed in line with lieutenant leading, eyeing the sergeant in front she thought with finality 'at least she walks like a proper female'. With that she moved the whole ordeal to the back of her head so that she would be presentable without a sign of frustration to the delegation.

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[OOC: Sorry if I'm late. School and all.]


Alana had been anxious during the entire trip. Not because of what the other Private had said to her. That hadn’t bothered her at all. The other girl needed to work on her comebacks. Frankly, they sucked beyond belief.


And she calls herself a girl. She’s more of a lady than an enlisted private.


No, the thing that bothered her was the trip itself. She had never been on a trip like this. Not able to listen to music while she was there, she occupied herself examining what little she could of the VTOL.


Eventually, they came to their destination and learned that she could relax for a bit. Mostly, she spent her time doing anything she could. For the entire time, Matsuo ignored her, not even gesturing to her when they passed each other.


Man, if I had known she would act like this, I wouldn’t have said anything. She has some serious problems if she keeps holding a grudge against me for almost nothing. I’ll talk to her about this when I get the chance.


Her actions were monotonous, as she spent most of her time in any secluded place she could find, listening to her CD player. She tried to read a thick circuitry manual she had brought with her, scanning past the parts she had already memorized; but this failed. No matter how hard she tired to think past that conversation and Matsuo’s actions, it was no good. The conversation was stuck in her head.


The first impression wouldn’t be the only reason, and the insults couldn’t have pushed her that far. Maybe she has something against coordinators. That’s somewhat of a reasonable explanation, but she doesn’t look like the kind of person to take it that seriously. She seems more of a rigid, ‘there are the rules; take them as they are’ kind of person.


Eventually the large amount of pondering over this subject hurt her head, and she revert back to her music to numb the headache that grew steadily every waking minute. This would have been enough to get her mad, but she forced herself to remain calm. She was a FREE Forces member, and she would hold the composure of one like it was second nature.


Finally, the time came for her to do her job. She made sure she was ready and, walking behind Private Matsuo, she followed the Lieutenant as she lightly held her head. The headache was on the verge of a migraine, each heartbeat and movement sending a pulse strait to her head, but she forced her composure back. This might be a good time to talk to Matsuo, but not just yet. She was ready.

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The delegates and the other important members were told that the trip would take thirty hours of flight and that evreyone should take this time to relax. The atmosphere inside the ship was very pleasant, people talking to each other, helping each other and overall showing very positive attitudes.


Rob was one of the only people on the ship showing little enthusiasm and would instead ignore people than interact with them. Most of the time Rob would go to sleep but would usally wake up within the hour due to other members speaking loud.

A few times Rob would slowly go up and down the ship to think of things he would need to do, when they would arrive.


Yes, Rob was usally bored, his facial expression seemed like of a sad panda. After a long waiting peroid, the passengers were told that they would be landing in the next ten minutes and that they would need to be seated. Rob steadily awaited for the landing, desperate to get off that nightmarish of a ship. Finally the ship landed, Rob jumped off his seat and quickly made his way towards the ships exit. To his annoyence there was a que of people infront of him. Now Rob was ready to exit his ship and start his first mission infront of many other people.

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At last.... The mixture of trepidation and slight exhilaration struck him like a wave against a rocky beach. Any politician would know that showing a little too much enthusiasm would blight the professional atmosphere his people had tried so hard to set up. Even if the first thing he wanted to see coming out of the Takemikazuchi was the Astray Diver, jumping up and down about it like a child who wanted to see his potential new toy was not going to help.


He had always been in control ever since his ascension, and will always be.


It took little effort to single out the ORB Representative Demetrius Amherst. While he had only taken the first few tottering baby steps into the political world, peers who had been abroad to ORB for several trips of varying reasons were waxing lyrical about him. He personally hated such talk, but knew that despite certain exaggerations, the talk held a unbreakable pillar of truth in it. Demetrius Amherst was most certainly an excellent example even for Parliament candidates. How the bespectacled man managed to keep focus on two posts of such contrasting natures at one time was not entirely beyond the understanding of Phillip, and he grudgingly admitted that Representative Amherst might be great enough to change to course of history as compared to him.


Aside from that, there was no mistaking the short, perhaps formal-looking hairstyle and the spectacles on the man's face. His pace was neither fast nor slow, and each step seems to carry with him the confidence needed to take on heavy responsibilities without feeling the pressure all the time, not withstanding the fact that he was one of the first to alight from the carrier.


Phillip walked, not entirely caring about the fact that his officers and ministers were a little too used to the bothersome rehearsals. The irregular pattering of feet behind him indicated exactly how quick they were in realising that their leader had already gone ahead of them by a few steps, and it wasn't exactly what he wanted, even though such a mistake would go by unnoticed. Putting on an amiable smile on his face and seemingly gaining more confidence with each step he took towards the ORB delegation, Phillip felt once more the temptation to hurry on with proprieties to see the mobile suit in action, but he quelled it quickly as he reached Representative Amherst. Looking at him straight in the eye and with an unfaltering smile, he raised his hand in an invitation for a handshake.


"Welcome to our fair Union, Representative Amherst." Lowering his voice just a little, he continued. "I do hope that our meeting here won't eclipse what would actually be the main purpose of this visit, and I seek your understanding in what some people might deem as demands on the part of my country."

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[OOC: @neog: It'd be nice if you could arrive soon.]


As the delegation left the vicinity of the VTOL craft, Demetrius gave Sergeant Shirakawa a reassuring nod.  He knew she was nervous, as their nation's prestige was at stake, but he hoped she could rein in her apprehension and relay a little more confidence, if not for him, but for the Privates that were with them.  Speaking of which, he knew about the little 'incident' Private Matsuo instigated in the carrier.  There was "no blood, no report" so he didn't bring it up with her.  However, he reminded himself to check her dossier later on to see why she would suddenly do what she did.


Then there was Private Matthews.  He knew she would be difficult if initial impressions revealed anything but it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure that she had some issues with Private Matsuo.  He hoped the situation would be resolved between them on their own.  Then again, he knew he may be just a little too optimistic about that.


Regardless, he strode forward toward the EU reception.  He hoped that the officer-on-duty would finish transporting the Divers soon, considering they were the main subject of this visit.  He also kept an eye out for the Kingdom of Scandanavia delegation.  As he approached, he noticed that Minister Yuan stepped out of line and ahead of the rest of the group of politicians and officers ever so slightly.  Demetrius grinned slightly but made sure the reception did not see it.  That misstep confirmed what he hope of Yuan; someone who could go past all the bureaucratic flimflam in order to do what was right for his nation.


He smiled and returned the handshake with a firm, but not overly dominating grip.  He gave the rest of the reception an acknowledging nod as he turned back and replied in a kindly yet diplomatic tone, "Thank you, Minister Yuan.  The welcome we received here was quite...beyond expectations."


He continued to smile, revealing nothing except slight, wry grin that he showed only to the Minister as he added quietly, "We are of like minds in that respect, Minister.  I understand."


Then he swtiched to a more straightforward tone once more, an unfortunate necessity in the political 'arena.'  "Esteemed representatives, I would like to introduce my current subordinates for this important mission; This is Sergeant Shirakawa, she will be the second pilot for our demonstration later today.  And these two are Private Matsuo and Private Matthews," he said as he introduced the young women in his retinue.


"The primary subjects of our visit, the Astray Divers, should arrive soon.  We, the FREE Forces of the United Emirates of Orb, hope this visit will strengthen the ties between not just us and the Equatorial Union, but with all nations of our Alliance," he stated clearly.  And soon afterwards, as if almost on cue (though it wasn't), the amphibious transport arrived not more than 200 meters from them.  Then crew members opened up the hatches and began to unload the aquatic mobile suits...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Whilst trailing along, the thought of what she did to another crew member crept back in mind. She immediately gave her head a frantic but almost unnoticeable shake.

"Not here, not now" she muttered to herself as they continued walking. 

She watched as a particularly younger member approached them before the rest of his party ever so slightly. Only within several feet did Janus realize it was Minister Yuan. As he formally addressed a more than befitting welcome, Janus unconsciously shifted her eyesight to the ramp that was lowering from their VTOL.

Janus reverted back in time for the uniform salute in the introductions. As he ended with Mathews, Janus noticed a slight reluctance in the stance of most members of the delegation. She couldn’t blame them for expecting a better if not slightly larger party from Orb, but despite that, she despised being looked down on by anyone.

Out of respect, she avoided the hard old gazes of the men and focused once more on the young minister.

Not long after, the hangar crew began unloading the Divers near them. Janus watched as the new units came out one after another. The unit Sergeant Shirakawa was practicing in during the trip was still tinted with a glaze of water. The crew obviously didn’t bother with wiping it clean for presentation. However, that didn’t matter to Janus as security was much more important than the aesthetical presentation of the unit's unloading.

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There was nothing unexpected about the situation. The Astray Divers had arrived punctually, and the small FREE Forces party was through its introductions. Alana saluted as her name was announced, and she began feeling nervous. This was her time to prove herself worth, after that mess-up earlier.

Sergeant Shirakawa was waiting for her unit to be unloaded, and Alana began concentrating on her job. Her headache had subsided for the moment, so the world didn’t seem so loud and annoying anymore. Glancing briefly at Matsuo, she drew her attention to anything to take her mind of their initial argument.

I’m bored………Wait, I’m already bored? Nothing happened! Yeah, that’s why. But…No! I have to pay attention. I’m a private and this is my job. But, I’m already so bored……

Her shoulders stiffened and her fists shook with internal frustration. That’s when she remembered she was surrounded by important people, and her actions mattered. Quickly looking around to see if anyone was looking at her little outburst and sighed, cringing suddenly as her headache returned with a vengeance.

Just my day…and of all the times my headache decides to host its own welcome back party. I just hope no one saw that…

She threw another cautious glance over and Matsuo and decided to tune everything out, from the demonstration about to commence, to the loud chatter of the anxious observers. It would be better if she just let it all slide…

It didn’t help her that, as she relaxed, her eyelids began to droop, drifting soundlessly to sleep.

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All of the Kingdom of Scandanavia delegations were standing outside there dented ship in single file, the small group of politicians and officers lead by a retiring Lieutenant walked at a fast pace in a strict manner, at first Rob found it difficult and holded the que up ever so slightly with his hesitent movements, but in a matter of minutes Rob found a rythm that matched the movement of the group.

Rob looked anctiously side to side, only to see the leaders of the other nations talk with each other about how to be more united as one. Rob slowly getting bored of the site started to think about why he came to this dull mission and what was his reward.

This mission is like if I was watching a bad movie just the same thing happening over and over again, how can they talk about being united when they don't even socialise

As Rob carelessly drifted into his thoughts, the Lieutenant suddenly stopped and therefore the whole group besides Rob who only stopped in his tracks when he stepped on his fellow pilot's shoe, when this happened his mind flickered on and Rob quickly regained his composure, moving to the left a few inches to have an equal separation distance. The Lieutenant had moved his group to the side of the Free Forces delagations awaiting to interact with there leader, he moved two steps forward and into the center of his well prepared group.

Rob carefully looked at each of the Free Forces members and then slightly tilted his head and moved his eyes to the back of his Lieutenant.

This is going to be intresting, I hope this old Lieutenant can keep his nerve for the last time...

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Hinako continued to keep herself on her toes, since the delegation is already meeting up with the representatives from the Equatorial Union. She knows she got an uphill task of giving a sense of confidence to the female Privates that is currently being with the delegation, but it seems that things are far more troubling than keeping their tempers in check, especially after the altercation earlier. And the huge fuss that one of the Privates started.

If she was aware of what happened much, much earlier, the Privates would be at the mercy of the sword. Or probably give them a piece of her mind or two, being higher-ranked than the female Privates, something in which she hoped she would not resort to using, since abusing ranks is not her thing. On the physical side, she would be no match for the Privates, both of them are taller than her. But she probably knows the fighting side better.

Maybe it was her soft side that let it slide, or maybe it was something else. But she knew it would be better to leave it to the Privates to settle it for themselves; after all, one of them are of the same age with her, and the other was more older, Hinako knew they are old enough to know what is the best course of action for themselves. She was hoping the incident is not marring relationships within the delegation.

Generally being serious, she generally saluted back when she was introduced to Minister Yuan by Lieutenant Amherst, as a sign of respect for the man. It is probably something usual for military figures to meet up with the politicians in trips like this, but in Orb's case, the military figureheads are the politicians, at times when they are required to, being the very people that represent Orb in the most crucial times. After all, she know of someone who comes from the Equatorial Union.

As expected, the Astray divers were being unloaded on time, now she is only waiting for the cue for her to move away...

And the loud thud from behind the delegation distracted her.

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      Rob looked down at the porch and picked up his suit case casually, he started to walk forwards quickly and in twenty seconds flat Rob was out of his drive. Rob arrives on the main road puzzled, woundering where a parked taxi could be found.
      Rob noticed Loads of energetic children on the road, playing with snow, having a game of hockey and most importantly having fun. Rob showed a very faint smile as he was passing them, a smile of admiration. Rob gently walks towards one of the older children and quietly asks the child who seems to be very shy "Hello, can you please tell me where the taxis usually stick around?"
      The child slowly and quietly says to Rob "Hi...Err... There is a few taxis at the end of this road." The child's cheeks went all red and she started to move backwards, tripping a few times, Rob looked away and started to walk forward casually, he thought to himself "What is it with children these days?" Rob reached the end of the road and saw just the one taxi parked, Rob ran slowly towards the old rusted taxi worrying that another person may reach it first. Rob arrived and saw the driver inside the car, Rob took some deep breaths and demandable asked the driver "Hey, I need a lift to the stockholm base, outside the gates." The fat and ugly driver looked at Rob and quickly responded " Thats going to cost ya..." Rob cut the drivers  sentence and by sharply saying "I don't care how much, ok?" The driver looked at Rob's eyes and then gave him the nod. Rob opened the battered but usable door and jumped inside the car, the seats were incredible soft, soft as a pillow. The car started to move,very jaggedly, the driver pressed the throttle evan more and the car started to go at a good pace.  Rob knew the journey wound take fourty minutes so Rob made himself comfortable and started to sleep.
      The driver made it to the base and when the car stopped outside the gates, Rob's eyes flashed open as he felt the movement of force stop. Rob picked up his suit case and opened the car door to exit, Rob walks to the driver who asks for a certain amount of money, Rob reached for his left pocket and pulled out his wallet, Rob gave the driver the correct amount, the driver gave a dirty smile, he reversed his car backwards than quickly got out of the area. Rob walks calmly towards the two skinny guards at the gate, one of them quickly puts his hand out and says "ID...please."
      Rob reaches for his back pocket and pulls out his NOVA ID card, Rob hands it over to the undisturbed guard, he slowly checks the card and says in a more pleasent tone " Yes this is fine, Welcome Mr Langer." Rob gives an evil smirk to the guard as he passes though the opened gate. Rob starts to walk forwards till he reaches a huge old black door that seems to be open. Rob quickly but quietly slips though the door. "Where the hell is the dam reception" Rob says to himself as he is in the middle of the room. Rob looks to his right and notices a young lady waving at him, trying to call Rob over. Rob moves towards the short but beautiful lady and asks her "I guess this is reception?"
      The lady smiled and very kindly responds "Yes this is." She started to type rapidly on the computer and then stopped, she looked at Rob then at the computer and said with a deep smile "You must be Mr Langer, Rob Langer." Rob gave a nod even though it was not required. She give Rob his room Key and sarcastically says to him  "Don't get lost!" Rob just turns around, ignoring the comment and walks towards an elevator.
      Rob reached the floor he needed to be at and exited the elevator, he saw a few officers darting there eyes at him, Rob thought to himself "I guess I'm not wanted, they will recieve pain in the future." Rob withought relising had arived at his room, number 102. Rob slowly opened the door and looked inside, it was a very well look aftered room, Rob walked in and dropped his suit case on the floor, jumped on the bed and quietly said to himself "To sleepy to look around the area or even my room."
    • By Wing Zero
      Four days had past since Rob's arrival to the base, Rob doing very little work within those days because he simply wasn't required, most of the time Rob would sleep in his room or just train to become more physically stonger.
      It was one in the afternoon and Rob had just finished his lunch, he stood up and walked away from the vintage dining table. Rob headed towards his bedroom, wanting a nap. Rob opened the door and entered the dark and silent room, he walked towards his bed and was just about to sit down till a knock on the door came.
      Rob signs and quitely says to himself in anger "God sake, can't you leave a soldier alone."
      Rob Relentlessly walks towards the door and slowly pushes the handle down, he opens the door and sees an old high ranked militry officer, Robs face goes blank as to the surprise of a high ranked officer meeting him withought rob even knowing. Rob quickly salutes the officer and stands straight.
      The officer starts to laugh and says "Looks like you seen a ghost, don't worry I'm only here to tell you that you have been assigned to go to the military headquarters of the Equatorial Union."
      Rob gives an evil glance to his superior and quickly responds "Do I have to, I was just getting use to things here?" The officer gives Rob a serious look and firmly replies to Rob " Its an order, also it will be a wounderful experience for a young Pilot like yourself. Anyway you will go there with a few of our politicains to observe the Astray Diver, you will mostly find ORB delegations so don't start any fights and try making some friends."
      The officer gave Rob a piece of paper that allowed him entry onto the ship but also a map for the base, the officer saluted and walked away. Rob left hanging there switched the bedroom lights on and kicked the door with frustration "Dam them, don't you worry old man I will be the one causing choas." Rob looked at his suit case and knew most of his possessions were still unpacked, Rob packed the suitcase to how it was when he arrived but there was one thing extra inside it and that was the white uniform he bought from the shop.
      Five minutes of walking and Rob had arived where the ship was, before entering Rob looked back at his base woundering if he would come back or not. Rob had zero knowlege about ships so he had no clue what type it was. Rob saw a handful of people walking towards the seats that they would be sitting in, Rob quickly found a seat and made himself comfortable init. The engine started to roar and the ship was ready for takeoff. Rob annoyed about evreything felt he needed some sleep to take his mind off of evreything.
      [OCC: This will continue at the Equatorial Union]
    • By Rad
      The staff have been discussing about restricting faction sizes. Realistically, the EA should have the most number of characters, followed by PLANT, then us. For practicality, however, it has been said that a ratio of 2:2:1 (EA/PLANT/ORB) will most likely be implemented in the near future.
      Some of you may notice the staggering amount of PLANT characters, and the staggering lack of EA characters. While those are not direct concerns of ours, it does mean that, once the ratio kicks in, Orb will be forced to close itself to allow the EA not just to catch up to us, but to overtake us.
      Our concern is this: how should we manage our faction membership in order to comply by whatever the final ratio will be?
      I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts and suggestions on the matter, but here are some of the methods I have brainstormed:
      1) Setting an Inactive status period for members who have not logged in or RPed lately. After this period, they will be suspended for a certain period. (I am not certain an OOC suspension would be allowed, much less imposed, but an IC 'suspension' could be made.)
      2) Setting a much longer Inactive status period for members who have not logged in or RPed lately. After this period, they will be dropped from the roster of Orb completely. (An RP reason will be made.)
      3) Setting future membership to Orb as "By Invitation Only". (Not sure how this would go: we'd look elitist, but considering how we'll have our numbers restricted, we may be justified if we do.)
    • By Rad
      Most of the text in the FREE Forces page, especially the descriptions of the various Command Divisions, were written by your truly, and subsequently approved by both Qrioser and Valiant.
      If you have any questions that have not been brought up and cannot be answered by the FREE Forces page or by the Advent-pedia entry, please feel free to ask them here.
      From fireminerva:
      "Out of curiosity, how does one move up in rank?  I mean, I know that a nomination is needed from someone of a rank equal to or higher than the one your character might be promoted to, but what qualifies a character for nomination?"
      To be precise, "nominations by someone of equal rank or higher to rank being promoted to" applies only for promotions to, and within, Command Divisions higher than Junior. This is because such promotions require not only the deliberation of Faction Leaders, but also in-character testing.
      For Junior Command Division promotions, any officer of Second Lieutenant rank or higher may promote any soldier with a rank lower than Sergeant Major, and ask for consent. If consent is given, that officer may immediately role-play that soldier's promotion to the next higher rank, without testing. Note that this method is simpler because it also applies for demotions. Also, at this Command Division, promotions of more than one step are allowed, but such cases are the exception rather than the rule, requiring deliberations instead of just consent.
      As for factors of promotion, we are being intentionally ambiguous because a character's promotion is not based solely on their in-character performance. In fact, the member him- or herself is reviewed as well. To quote the FREE Forces page:
      "Ranks will be given out based on the quality of the application, and several other factors such as adherence to the rules and regulations of Advent Destiny, and even behavior on the forums, to name a few."
      Other factors taken into consideration include, but are not limited to: quality of role-plays (not limited to the RP Quality counter), actual role-play participation, initiative in assisting site staff and members with various duties (ex. reviewing character profiles), and contribution to the site and RP as a whole.
      The weight of these factors are left to the discretion of the one making the promotion. This is the main reason why all promotions must be reviewed by at least one Faction Leader, and why the rank of Second Lieutenant is intentionally very difficult to attain, both at character application and through standard promotion. Only those judged to be the most deserving will be granted the privilege of judging others.
      For example, we won't mind if we end up with only two non-Faction Leader Second Lieutenants and umpteen Sergeant Majors, because we will be certain that those two officers truly deserve their higher rank, as much as the multitude of Sergeant Majors deserve theirs.
      Despite this focus on the military, we at Orb want all of our members to be not only the best role-players, but also the best members of Advent Destiny itself.
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