Recently Vice Admiral Emily Artis allowed reporters from the Soteria News Service to tag along with the latest group of trainees which are nearing graduation from the Solas Tempus Academy and become members of the young but illustrious new group, the Solas Tempus Marine Corps. Our reporter met with their commanding officer to tell him about what this was all about.
What you’re about to see is really something special. Each trainee must complete some of the most extreme combat and insertion maneuvers we can put them through, so when they are out in the field they can go through whatever is needed and complete their objectives. I don’t personally know of any training programs which do this as a standard training program either. The trainees are taken up to around 250 km, with an orbital velocity of right around 180,000 kps. Our drop point is randomly chosen at liftoff to prevent anyone from knowing what they’re going to jump into. Once we’re in the window for the drop point, the trainees are deployed. They must safely deploy from the vehicle and arrive within the target landing zone within a set time from. So what you’re about to see is their final exam of sorts, these people have been training for a long time to do this, all building to execute this drop.Captain Reginald Armando
Captain Armando is quite proud of his people, he talked further about how the trainees are trained in order to accomplish this. The Orbital Deployment Exercise is just one small part of the overall examination process.
The team loaded up at Serenity Station in a Type 6 Shuttle, giving each other a hard time about who might fail and making jokes about who might throw up in their armor. The armor is of particular interest, as Solas Tempus bagan developing advanced exoskeletons before the incorporation of the Serenity Concord, what the marines are wearing is termed as Class 1Z Advanced Cybernetic Exoskeleton, developed specifically for use by the marines. We spoke to one of the trainees about the armor and what it allowed them to do.
Oh, the 1Z? Yeah, it’s pretty amazing technology, it’s like it lets you do what your mind sets out to do. It’s some powerful stuff, we’re all pretty good soldiers, well trained, and there’s always limits. The body can only handle so much, with the 1Z though it’s like a perfect kind of partner. The 1Z helps you do what’s got to be done.Trainee Brett Evans
Mr. Evans, soon to be Ensign Evans, went on to talk about how the armor was an extension of who he was, just a hunk of alloys and technology until someone like him straps in. Many of his fellow trainees felt the same way, like they were pretty good but the armor let their body do what needs to be done, beyond what others can do. Of course, the Captain had a slightly different take on things.
The 1Z? Yeah it’s impressive hardware, and these kids really like it. There’s a lot to like about it. They aren’t wrong when they talk about the fact that it becomes an extension of the wearer though, we picked these people for a reason though. Each one of them makes the 1Z look like a toaster in comparison to the possibilities. These kids have the best training without even touching that armor before they even qualify to look at it.Captain Reginald Armando
Captain Armando went on to talk about the training that each person goes through, in fact one of the qualifying tests is about armorless-operations where for their finals the trainees will go head to head with seasoned veterans who know all the tricks and tools of the trade. The program is really impressive.
Once the shuttle lifted off, the trainees were made aware of their drop coordinates and the joking stopped. That’s when the Captain issued orders for the trainees to prepare to drop and each one secured and checked the armor, plugging the drop coordinates into the armor’s on board computer and securing their helmets. The rear hatch opened and the trainees gave the thumbs up, when the shuttle was over the right orbital window, they got the green light and jumped out, two at a time, right out of the protective force field and over Soteria in hard vacuum.
The Captain as well as the Vice Admiral and myself watched from the shuttle cockpit as the trainees descended and hit the atmosphere, according to the Vice Admiral that was the moment where a lot of the pass and fail grades would be decided, being able to go from hard vacuum to atmospheric reentry in a suit of armor is not an easy thing. All the trainees made it to the ground in the end, though their grades are still being decided. On the ground, the group was in good spirits, some expressed wanting to hop back up to orbit and do it again. They would get their chance, this wasn’t the only orbital drop they’d have to do in order to become marines. All of them were eager to get onto the next phase of the process.