This story contains mentions and descriptions of warfare. Please take caution if you are sensitive to this.
Suggested Listening - The Mission Begins by Michael KamenOn that fateful day, the clouds were as heavy as the leaden weight in the young man's chest. He opened the small envelope. His eyes filled with trepidation upon reading the words, written without a shred of sympathy, that were printed on the page.
Mr. Vayehn Lievi,
You have been selected for compulsory military service as per the Imperial Conscription Act for as long as needed. Report to your nearest enlistment office no earlier than March 12th. Failure to do so will result in subsequent arrest and indefinite detainment.
The Imperial Draft Bureau
Of course, the young man knew this was always a possibility; all able-bodied individuals over the age of seventeen living within Imperial territory were eligible for the draft. However, it always seemed to be one of those things to always happen to somebody else. This time, it wasn't.
And just like that, Vayehn Lievi's life as a civilian ended.
The fearless are merely fearless. People who act in spite of their fear are truly brave."
― James A. LaFond-Lewis
→ Name: Vayehn Lievi
→ Alias: Vaye
→ Rank: Corporal
→ Nationality: Imperial
→ Fur: White and pink
→ Eyes: Pale yellow
→ Height: 5 feet 7 inches
→ Species: Acara
→ Brush: Robot
→ Gender: Male
→ Age: 24
→ Intelligence: Slightly above average.
→ Personality Type: ISTJ
→ Alignment: Neutral Good
+ Resilient; Vaye's psychological resilience is easily one of his best traits. He refuses to give up, no matter how bad things get for him and is able to recover from acute episodes of panic relatively quickly.
+ Compassionate; Vaye cares deeply for others, which is one of the reasons he is so negatively impacted by war and strife. He will go out of his way to assist others, especially so if they are upset.
+ Persuasive; Vaye is a surprisingly good leader, which stems mostly from his ability to persuade others. He is a concise and logical speaker, and prefers to get others to compromise as opposed to getting them to obey.
+ Rational; A very logical and introspective individual, Vaye finds piecing things together a simple task. He is good at figuring out the root of his emotions, which explains why Vaye was initially very aware of his trauma and was so open to accepting the fact that war had affected him so badly. Not surprisingly, he enjoys math.
+- Emotional; Though guided primarily by logic, Vaye feels emotions intensely. Though it's easy for him to pick them apart and ana.lyze them, he finds it difficult to stifle his feelings in any way.
+- Cautious; Though Vaye is by no means a coward, he is not a risk taker either. His wary nature comes in handy when avoiding potential panic attacks, but not so much when it comes to trying new things.
- Anxious; As much as Vaye hates to admit it, he is still affected by his wartime trauma, and will suffer from occasional intense panic attacks if exposed to something that reminds him too much of his time in combat. There is nothing he hates more than experiencing these attacks, and is always fearful that one will happen despite all the effort he goes through to prevent them.
- Shy; Vaye is friendly, yet introverted. It takes a while for him to trust others and prefers not to speak much even when he's comfortable with someone.
- Critical; Picky about many things, Vaye likes things done in very certain ways and will speak up if something seems 'out of order'. He is often guilty of judging others by their mannerisms or cleanliness.
Vaye and his former drill sergeant, Zero, are surprisingly best friends despite their very-obvious differences. Vaye views Zero as almost a brother. Vaye is also incredibly close to Cliff, who was the only other one of Vaye's squad to survive.
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Suggested Listening - Anthem by VNV Nation
The Empire wasn't very selective as to who they allowed into the military. Considering Commander 2003 constantly was waging war simply for the fun of it, she required a constant supply of troops. Anybody ages 17-30, of any gender or social status was put into the Empire's mandatory draft system so long as they fit into the very broad definition of "able-bodied" the Empire held concerning enlistment.
That being said, basic training in the Empire was standardized for all recruits regardless of ability---an enter weak, exit strong; enter strong, exit stronger principle. Individuals in training are not technically considered 'official' military personnel until completing said training, and are assigned a rank of cadet until they 'graduate' at the rank of private. All who quit are labeled deserters, a title that at best could ruin all future societal prospects and at worst, could result in a prison sentence. This fact---paired with his own personal pride---was more than enough incentive for Vaye to keep standing through the eight brutal weeks of his training despite being the physically weakest recruit in his training battalion.
Vaye's drill sergeant was an intimidating and aggressive man by the name of Avery Zero. Sergeant Zero was scathingly harsh towards his cadets, and notorious for his violent tendencies. Being relatively new to his job himself, Sergeant Zero was mired in his own personal problems and tended to release his many frustrations on his recruits through abnormally-intense training and hatred-filled tirades. He found out what ate at each recruit and used those insecurities as weapons. Not surprisingly, Vaye was an easy target.
Zero was quick to notice Vaye's sheer willpower and was very much eager and willing to break it. Much to the sergeant's surprise (and initial chagrin), Vaye refused to give up and drop out, enduring the two-month-long regimen all while barely keeping up with it. Sergeant Zero's ire towards Vaye's confidence all but turned into begrudging respect by the last two weeks of training, with Zero now using Vaye as example to belittle the other recruits (as opposed to vice versa).
Vaye successfully completed his training more confident than he started off, but he still had extreme doubts about the entire situation. On the day Vaye was proclaimed an official Imperial soldier, the usually hard-hearted Sergeant Zero simply said "you're gonna make it out alive" as he shook Vaye's hand. Vaye was assigned to an infantry unit shortly after and was sent out to fight in a matter of mere weeks.
Suggested Listening - Dein Ende by And One
The Greater Andromedan Empire is a militaristic interstellar society located in the Andromeda Galaxy. It is well-known and well-feared in its galactic sector as an overwhelming juggernaut of relentless expansion and iron-fisted rule. It is governed by a sole leader (currently Commander 2003).
The Empire's leadership structure and strict policies have long been established. While outsiders regard the Empire as a nation gripped by tyranny, those who live within its borders are oblivious to any corruption and tend to be overwhelmingly patriotic and nationalistic despite their relative lack of personal freedoms. All commerce and production, as well as the media, is controlled by Imperial officials. As a culture, the Empire values strength, obedience, loyalty, order, and efficiency above all other things.
Obviously, the military is an important and ever-present entity in Imperial operations and daily life. Though enlistment is not mandatory, all Imperial citizens over the age of seventeen that have passed a physical exam are required to enter into a draft database. Though a good number of soldiers are picked from the draft, many others are volunteers who wish to be known as "heroes" in their communities and by the Empire itself. Most wars the Empire fights are either wars of expansion or colonial uprisings. It is rare that other nations or jurisdictions would initiate war with the Empire. Instead, it is very common for the Supreme Commander herself to initiate wars for "the fun of it".
The Imperial military has a number of branches, each suited to a certain type of warfare. The largest of these branches, the Grand Imperial Army, is the primary force that is sent to fight terrestrial wars. The training process in the Imperial Army is an intense two-month course, which is known as one of the most brutal in the galaxy, rendering most individuals who make it through completely prepared for battle. Its rank setup is similar to most military rankings on Earth, though cadets are not technically given the rank of private until after graduating basic training, as opposed to being given the rank upon entering. Also, rank some titles differ from what many consider the standard. For example, generals are designated by classes as opposed to separate names for each level. The system goes as follows:
- Private First Class
- Lance Corporal
- Command Sergeant
- Grand Imperial Sergeant (Senior Enlisted officer)
- Lt. Colonel
- Third-Class General
- Second-Class General
- First-Class General
- Supreme Commander of the Empire
(In charge of both military and legislative rule)
The Imperial military is not driven by custom and tradition but rather by regulations and effectiveness. Loving nicknames for battalions, companies, and units are not officially recognized, but the soldiers who serve tend to develop pride in their battalion/unit/company designation numbers.
An overwhelming majority of Imperial society is centered around its military. Standards of beauty are defined by how good of a soldier one would appear to be, pacifists and military deserters are ostracized and oppressed if they are public with these facts. This pervasive military support and obsession with strength and power in Imperial society is often why physically weak Imperials (such as Vaye) develop rigid perfection complexes to make up for their 'shortcomings'.
Suggested Listening - Saviour by VNV Nation
The war Vaye was sent off to fight had no name. It was one of many 'routine' wars the Supreme Commander instigated in a newer colony as an excuse for military action. Though the Imperials were well-equipped, the enemy combatants were as well. This war in question was to last a solid two years before victory was given to the Imperial instigators. Heavy losses were seen on both sides, though in terms of percentages, the casualty count of Imperial troops was 'insignificant'. However, percentages speak nothing of the true nature of war. The effect this loss of life had on the Imperial soldiers was anything but 'insignificant,' and for Vaye, it would change him in ways he would have never fathomed prior.
Vaye had managed to hold on to both his life and his psychological stability for six months of continuous combat. Sergeant Zero would be proud, he kept reassuring himself. He served in a ragtag squad consisting of two four-man fireteams. The entire group was very close knit, relying heavily on each other for support. They too, managed to hold on to their lives and psychological stabilities. They called themselves "Invincible Squad 614". None of them believed in jinxes.
It was a blazing hot day. Vaye's fireteam had been essentially trapped in a foxhole for three days. Running low on supplies and morale, the small team hoped for some kind of opening to retaliate. The fireteam's leader, Cpl Clifford Steel was tense; the other three tried their best to remain optimistic in the bleak situation. Halfway through the third day of near constant enemy fire at any slight move, the hair-trigger fly of bullets suddenly stopped; Cpl Steel was assured the enemy was getting tired of firing at a safe target and after three gut-wrenching hours, Cliff made the decision to fire back at the shadows from afar.
They were decoys--computerized guns set to fire at random for days on end. Almost as soon as Steel's men revealed their precise location, heavy shelling from completely different direction began raining down on the fireteam's exposed hiding spot. The actual enemy troops were hidden, Steel's men were effectively tricked, and in the chaos of the surprise attack, two lives were lost. Cpl Steel somehow remained unscathed. Vaye, despite suffering only slight physical injury, immediately unraveled psychologically.
All four members of the other fireteam were lost. The news hit Vaye like the mortars that ripped his comrades from him. What little mental integrity he had left collapsed into tremors and a thousand-yard stare. Deemed unfit for combat, the still-unresponsive Vaye was swiftly shuttled back to the base where he was trained. His first step on the long, painful road to recovery was about to be taken.
Suggested Listening - Colors of Rain by VNV Nation
Vaye was propped up in a hospital bed for a month.
The sheer level of emotional distress he had gone through sent him into a near-catatonic state. The fear. The guilt. The shame, the exhaustion, the grief all hit at once. It devastated him. It continued to devastate him, day after day as the events of that tragedy replayed in his mind over and over.
Insignificant. His fallen brothers-in-arms were insignificant. Just a six-value shift in a digit in a now five-figure casualty statistic and growing, just for this one conflict alone. They were gone. He could have done nothing. He still could do nothing. The tremors were unrelenting. His mind was still at war. At one point, a few officers came in to pin a medal on his chest---the one they gave out for the amazing feat of being injured---but he barely remembered it. Might as well add him to the casualty count too while they were at it.
In time, his thoughts began to clear up enough for him to begin fighting back outside of the endless loop of memory and emotion. His speech slowly returned to him as the acute effects of the 'shell shock' were abated.
Eventually, Vaye started to notice a man frequently coming in and out of the infirmary ward. It was Sergeant Zero. Some days Zero would stumble in and spend the night sprawled on an infirmary cot. Other nights he'd limp in and leave with a bandage around his arm or his leg. Occasionally, he'd glance at Vaye, who until then, never realized he was making eye contact with his former drill sergeant. No words were exchanged.
One day the sergeant walked right past the receptionist's desk. He sat down on the empty cot next to Vaye, took a deep breath and grimaced. In a gruff half-whisper, Zero broke the silence. "I knew you'd make it out alive." He turned and looked at Vaye.
Although weakly, Vaye was smiling.
hover to see who drew.