NationStates Jolt Archive

Volunteers for TYCS

05-01-2004, 14:52
Treznor sits in his office poring over reports. He absently reaches for a cup of coffee and takes a sip, making a face when he realises how cold it's become. He sets it down again and puts it from his mind as he pours over recent reports on his Empire's population pressures. He pauses slightly as he hears footsteps approaching his door and smiles. This visitor won't even be challenged by the guards. On the other hand, that could be a potential security risk...

He sighs and almost reaches for the coffee again, before remembering that it's still cold. "Come on in, Ben," he says before the visitor can knock.

Ben Vitner enters the room quietly and closes the door behind him. "Did you see Harry's latest report?"

Treznor scans his inbox. "No, I haven't gotten to it yet. Something interesting?" His fingers dance over the keyboard to bring up the file.

"I think you'll be amused."

A few seconds pass before Treznor's jaw drops. "Fifty...million volunteers?"

"Funny, isn't it? We get barely fifty thousand volunteers for our national army, but when you talk about people going into space on extremely hazardous duty, you get a thousand times that number."

"Ben, there's no way we can let all those people go. There's no way we can let a fraction of them join the Triumvirate of Yut Combined Services."

"Of course not. I just wanted to see your reaction for myself."

"How is Harry going to handle this? He doesn't say in his report. Fpr that matter, he says damned little beyond screaming for more personnel to handle the flood."

"Well, first off with that many volunteers we can afford to be picky about our qualifications. School rankings, medical histories, family obligations and so on. It's gonna be a huge undertaking, and it'll eat up a lot of his budget. Frankly, nobody has the staff for handling fifty million applications. He's going to have to bring in temporary contractors just to handle the paperwork."

"All right, I'll authorise the additional expenditure. Sheesh. I haven't even figured out a budget for our TYCS contributions."

Ben pulls out a hand-held datapad and makes a note in it. "You wanna cap it, or just be kept appraised of the overhead?"

Treznor shakes his head. "Just keep me informed. And tell Treasury to ready an audit on the War Ministry after this is done. I don't mind Harry padding his pockets a little bit, but a blank cheque is just too much temptation. Capping it won't stop him from getting greedy, it'll just encourage him to overwork his people. We can't afford to be sloppy on this one."

"Right." Ben makes another note. "Any other thoughts? Ideas for streamlining this?"

"Run the names through the national database. Any names that come up flagged as security risks can be dropped. You can correlate a lot of your school and medical records there, as well. That should drop some of Harry's overhead."

"He'll be crushed."

"Yeah. I'll call Hucy in and give her the good news, see what she thinks. Maybe the Triumvirate can tighten up their requirements a bit to give us a better idea of how to whittle down the numbers."

"Gotcha. Maybe they can help process some of the applications for us?"

"Let's not push our luck. Anything else?"

"No, thanks. I've had my entertainment for the day."

"Hmph. Remind me to have them load rubber bullets when I have you shot to death."

"I'll make a note of it, Sir."

Treznor leans back in his chair as his Minister of Intelligence stands and makes his way toward the exit. Then he lets out a long sigh. "Am I that hard on them?"

Ben turns away from the door with a surprised look on his face. "Sir?"

"Fifty million volunteers. That's a rather significant chunk of our workforce. A lot of talented minds, all of whom are indicating here that they want to get out. It suggests a breaking point, Ben. Do you think I'm pushing the limit?"

Ben lets out his own sigh, trying to marshal his thoughts. "You know I admire you, Dev," he says with rare familiarity. "I couldn't do what you do for all the money in the world. I couldn't sit behind that desk and make decisions that decide the fate of the nation, and maybe even the fate of the world. When I do my job, I always know that I've got a buffer, that the responsibility ultimately rests with you. You don't have that. It's the scariest thing I could ever imagine."

"That doesn't answer my question."

"No. I don't have an answer to it. You're a hard man, Your Majesty. And it's a hard world. Your people work hard, and they're proud of who they've become since you took over. That's got to count for something. You've been easing up on a lot of restrictions, opening up new avenues for release and I think that's helped a lot. But life in the Empire isn't easy if you don't know the right people, and the population pressures we're under now aren't helping. So yes, tensions are rising, and I know for a fact that you're working on it.

"I guess I do have an answer. You're not any harder on your people than you are on yourself."

Treznor ponders this for a moment, then nods. "All right, Ben. Thank you."

Ben steps out the door and closes it quietly.

Treznor reaches for his coffee again, then sets it down with a curse. He sends out a demand for a fresh cup.
05-01-2004, 15:05
05-01-2004, 15:35
Commander Ssreeaa looks at her holographic screen, the names and backgrounds of the applicants for the TYCS running slowly from top to bottom. Some are just reaching adult status, some are a bit older. If the call for volunteers had come years earlier, she would have been swamped. Ah, well. It lets me pick applicants that are best suited.

Her aide knocks on her door, and is given entry. "What is it, Ensign Tarrl?"

A samllish male enters, his crest just forming into an adult one. "Sirrah, here are the files you requested on some of the applicants." He places a small disc on her desk, and stands at attention.

"At ease, Ensign. That was fast work." She picks up the disc and slots it into her terminal. Immediately the displays with the applicants and their given information changes, showing info that was volunteered versus info that was gained through less scrupulous means. Areas with conflicting information are immediately high-lighted.

Hmmm...okay, okay, okay. That one's lying through his teeth. Okay.....what's this?

She waves her Ensign over, and shows him the picture of a particular applicant. "That one I want arrested. Charges are attempted kidnapping of hatchlings from the Birth Pits, armed robbery, criminal trespass and anything else you can think up." That'll teach the vrelt-eater to attempt to rob me.
05-01-2004, 15:51
Diplomatic Officer Sko'loti-Hucy rests quietly in her room, sitting in a large comfortable-looking chair with her legs curled up, reading from a book she found on the shelf when she was assigned her quarters. Hearing the soft chirrup of her portcomp with the arrival of a new message, she sets the book down and slinks over to the table gracefully, tapping open her message program.

She blinks at what she sees next.

Looking over to her open closet, she sees her uniform hanging there, freshly pressed. I suppose I should put something on, then. Duty calls.
06-01-2004, 09:58
"Ztkaksh'zin vukso," Treznor says, rising as Sko'loti-Hucy enters his working office. "I'm pleased you could join me."

"Ts'unughsszin vusko," Hucy nods, returning the respect before folding her furred hands behind the medium grey and neutral blue material of her uniform. "Always a pleasure, Emperor. I assume from your message you are not needing me in the capacity of ztkaksh'zin." She smiles slightly, corners of her mouth turned up.

"Not this time, no." Treznor gestures for her to take a seat before resuming his own. "I forwarded Harry's message to you because, as a representative of Scolopendra, and as Scolopendra makes up the majority of the TYCS, you have the best concept of what we should be looking for in these applicants.

"Normally I'd just go by our standard rules already in place, but in this case we need to be a little more...selective. I was hoping you or someone back on Titan could help us pare down the list a bit. For one thing, I never expected to ask how many applicants is too many!"

Sko`loti-Hucy nods, taking the indicated seat. "Fifty million is certainly a rather large number. Fortunately, unlike Scolopendra, the TYCS can actually turn down applicants instead of finding them something to do, so it is not the greatest issue. I do not have the latest recruitment goal numbers, but I believe that fifty million might meet or exceed the entire recruitment goal by a large margin."

"Well, you needn't worry about that. I'm not about to bankrupt the Empire to supply warm bodies to the TYCS. We're already working on selection criteria such as medical disqualifiers, test performances and the like. But the initial results of the first pass still gives us some ten million to choose from. So naturally, any assistance you can offer would be appreciated."

Sko`loti-Hucy chuckles softly. "One advantage to such a situation is that it gives us greater ability to set higher standards. Again, being a selective agency, the TYCS can adapt its standards to fill its quota--skimming off the top as it were--and not have to explain itself. How many warm bodies are you willing to part with?"

"I'm trying to keep my labour force healthy. I'll go as high as half a million and see how the economy reacts to it."

Sko`loti-Hucy nods. "That should be acceptable; again, the economic health of our allies is somewhat more important than having personnel for the military machine. Hrrrrr..." Rubbing her chin, Skoloti snaps the ubiquitous general-issue communications device from her belt, flips it open, and begins prodding the screen with the flat of a single claw. "We can start at quarter-million and work from there."

"All right. Now comes the really sticky question. Which quarter-million do we send you? I noticed in the spread that there's a sizeable chunk of military reserve in those applications. Would you prefer veterans or newbies?"

"I believe we would prefer veterans over complete wet-noses but I can see how that may be a less than pleasing thought to you. Those who are more qualified should gain admittance, but I think the TYCS would be willing to abide by a cap for veterans if you so choose."

"I thought I'd at least give you the option. One of the disadvantages of old-timers is that they've already been indoctrinated on Treznor military protocols. Some may have difficulty adjusting to TYCS standards, whereas greenies won't know the difference. How about a split? One-fifty vets, one hundred newbies?"

"It depends primarily on aptitude. Veterans may have some requisite skills, but the retraining may turn to be less advantageous in the end than raw recruits. We will keep in mind a one-fifty limit on veterans." Sko'loti thinks for a moment. "I suppose you will be wanting assistance from TYCS recruitment liaisons? I am sure they can shuffle their troopers around to assist you in what must be a bureaucratic crisis."

Treznor starts to grin, then catches himself and carefully re-adjusts his expression to a smirk. "I wasn't going to ask, but since you offer I can hardly refuse. I've already authorised additional funding to get this surprise taken care of, so there will be no problem there. The liaisons will be provided standard military room and board, plus our regular contractor fee, paid in dubloons.

"Your people con convert that to whatever currency they prefer, right? Gold is usually considered a universal coin."

"We can convert it to more portable currencies on international markets, yes. We find the Menelmacari Credit quite useful in that regard." She chuckles slightly at the almost-grin. "Emperor Treznor, I used to teach classes of loud, boisterous, smiling, grinning children. I am quite resistant to my people's... instinctive reaction to teeth bared in such a manner." She smiles.

Treznor winks. "Granted, but the purpose of learning K'zintosh from you is so I can better relate with your people, not for your people to learn to deal with my idiosyncracies."

Sko`loti-Hucy chuckles. "Tkzin'sutung, Emperor. You would hardly call the Spanish language hombre, nor Arabic rajl."

Treznor raises his hands in surrender. "I stand corrected. I shouldn't have made such a basic mistake. All the same, you take my meaning. Back to the topic on hand, do you have any other criteria we can use for the selection process, or shall we leave it to the recruitment liaisons?"

Sko`loti-Hucy nods. "Medical and academic criteria are obvious. Any evidence of leadership skills or other such desirable traits are also pluses, which are portions of the applications which should be checked off. Any false reporting of any type on any applications is an automatic failure." She smiles wryly. "We take our integrity seriously."

"Naturally. I'll make sure we've got scrupulous background checks." He pauses a moment, working quickly at his terminal. "Okay, running those parameters through the database shows promising results. We've got it down to just under a million applicants. All the same, I think your liaisons are going to have their work cut out for them."

"That is what we pay them for, is it not?" The kzinret chuckles softly.

"Granted. I don't envy them the task, though." Treznor leans back and stretches. "Unless you can think of anything else, that should do it. Are you free this evening?"

Sko`loti-Hucy nods. "There seems to be little going on today that demands my attention."

"Don't tell me you're bored! We can't have that. How would you like to make the rounds among Treznor schools, meeting and greeting students?"

Sko`loti-Hucy smiles. "It is always good to visit, although I am unsure I would ever go back. Interesting stories there. What were you thinking of suggesting before I mentioned a slight inactivity on my part?"

"I wasn't offering you a job as a teacher. Just asking if you'd like to go make inspirational speeches to young, impressionable minds and give them their first exposure to your culture and race?

"As for my initial thought, a private acting company is passing through Devonton this month. They're putting on one of the first copycat renditions of the Sakkra opera. I thought I'd invite you to join me in my box. I'm obligated to attend, and I'm afraid it's going to be dreadful. Misery loves company, after all."

"Oh, I understand. Simply attempting and apparently failing to make conversation based on background." She smiles half-wryly. "I would be honored to attend, sir. I promise not to startle anyone this time."

"Oh, I don't know. It might be entertaining if the production is a flop. But now that you mention it, who was your most memorable student?"

Sko`loti-Hucy smiles slyly. "Memorable in which way? There are those who were a delight to teach and some whose correspondance I still enjoy; then there are some who are, bluntly, lucky to have survived with all of their viscera intact."

"Your choice, of course. Memorable in whatever manner you prefer."

Sko`loti-Hucy sighs softly as she leans back, looking up at the ceiling, and reminisces. "I once had a student, Lanny Korwald, who was quite honestly the greatest blight on my existance for a rather unfortunate year. I was a language teacher, no more, no less, and I still find it fascinating that some refuse to be taught even in the most basic and useful of subjects. This one was a disruptive, obnoxious, disrespectful little cur who took every opportunity to make my life... difficult."

Treznor leans forward, hands folded on his desk and using every ounce of willpower not to smirk.

"In fact, he was essentially the reason I ceased teaching. My first day of teaching a primary school class was, honestly, hell. There I was, gripping a podium, extremely tense given all of the accidental stimuli, and nothing else to do but blithely accept it. One's own instincts are difficult things to get past... Yet still, students and I began to form an understanding. I would set boundaries, and they were free up to that point. Seeing how most did not wish to harm, this was accepted.

"Our culture is a precious thing to us, sir, and we do not lightly accept seeing it slighted. This one student took every opportunity to essentially insult everything that I am and hold dear out of a nature of sheer spite." She grimaces. "I had a tendency to storm out of the room that year. It was... for the best of all involved."

"I can imagine."

"Of course, seeing how he was not performing any egregious abuses and his parents simply insisted that I be his teacher due to my reputation with threats of complaining up the line if anything was done about it, there was very little the administration could do. After that, it was either cope and move on or escape, and I found myself dangerously unable to cope. Handed in my resignation and thus here I am now." Sko`loti-Hucy grimaces slightly. "I am still not proud of that."

"Well, their loss is my gain. Had that little kshat not chased you out of your old profession, I wouldn't have the pleasure of your company and instruction now."

Sko`loti-Hucy chuckles. "First thing some students truly learn always seems to be the obscenities. Thank you, sir... the thought is appreciated."

"Thank you for sharing it with me." Treznor stands and bows slightly in respect. "Now then, shall I swing by your apartments about six? That should give us plenty of time to make the play."

Sko`loti-Hucy stands up out of her chair and returns the short bow. "Eighteen-hundred it is, then. Formal occasion, I presume?"

"Informal. No, better make that semi-formal. If it's good I'll show up the next evening in full formal. Wouldn't want to encourage the blighters to make cheap knock-offs of good opera.

"Thank you again, Ztkaksh'zin."

"A pleasure, Ts'unughsszin."