This one goes out to all my readers who have spent time deployed somewhere really, really, exquisitely tedious…
From: Master-at-Arms, CS Ablator
To: All Personnel, Task Group SPIKY POTATO
Subject: Prohibitions That Should Not Have To Be Explicit
It has come to my attention that due to the less than challenging nature of our current duty station, certain behaviors qualifying as discipline problems have become alarmingly common throughout this Task Group. Worse, it has come to the Admiral’s attention, and the Admiral, permit me to assure you, is even less amused by them than I am.
From the date of posting this notice, therefore, the following are now explicitly prohibited, and violations will attract the full weight of Article Three to the violator and anyone else involved.
- The chief reason for the unchallenging nature of our present duty station is the technical advantage we enjoy over the enemy. The correct military terminology for this, however, is battlespace supremacy. Under no circumstances is it to be referred to in after-action reports as god mode. Good grief, people, you all know that our AARs are matters of public record. Try to show a little professionalism.
- Local allies are technically referred to as colonial troops, and not as ablative meat, however lacking their TO&E might be. At least where they can hear you.
- Even if the locals have no missiles capable of doing more than bouncing off our ships’ hulls, the tactical tank is for monitoring local-space activity. Not for playing Galaxy of Conquest in super-high-res. (And if you’re the officer Captain Oricalcios walked in on mid-game, your tactics were terrible and you just failed this year’s promotion board.)
- The official motto of the Imperial Military Service is “Between the Flame and the Fire”. Unofficially, the paraphrase “civilization has enemies; we kill the bastards” has been usually tolerated. All of the following, however, are to be avoided: “Your sexy new war gods”, “because nuclear ain’t enough”, “death death death death death”, and any references to squid.
- Yes, the paderi are a quadrupedal species. This does not mean that our local allies can be used as cavalry mounts.
- Even, and I wish to emphasize this in particular, if it was their idea. Even assuming that it is a good idea, the optics are terrible.
- Nor are any of our current variety of combat drones suitable for use in this role. You’ll just have to live without valiantly charging down the enemy so you can hit them with your sword.
- Even if you have a cavalry sword. Why do you have a cavalry sword?
- Your fellow legionaries are not to be used as projectile weapons.
- Betting on arm-wrestling with civilians while wearing power-assisted armor is forbidden, even if they are drunk and spoiling for trouble. The local hospitals have started to complain.
- Combat stimulators are not to be considered a substitute for esklav, no matter what you think of the mess brew.
- Nor, although the Imperial Military Service is relatively permissive where fraternization is concerned, are they to be used to spice up your love life. Surgeon-Lieutenant Aendyr has been issued a blanket authorization to post pictures.
- While chameleon coatings can be set to any color and pattern, flames, hot pink, your favorite painting, or last week’s episode of Battle Beyond the Brane are not approved for field use.
- Aftermarket speaker systems are not to be fitted to combat exoskeletons. Your AI already provides a perfectly adequate soundtrack.
- …even if you did require them to “challenge the enemy to a dance-off”, we have a requisitions procedure for a reason.
- No military equipment is to be used for recreational purposes. If whatever you thought of makes you smile, giggle, or laugh, you are to assume that it constitutes recreational purposes until advised otherwise.
- Especially if it involves any intersection of stealth hardware with practical jokes.
- Yes, cook-outs are recreational. Besides, no heat-generating weapons in inventory can be turned down far enough to leave the meat even slightly edible. Yes, we checked.
- So is requisitioning drop shuttles for booze runs or ‘surprise rapid insertion liberty’.
- While the IMS recognizes that explosives can be used to solve a remarkable number of classes of problems, and while formal research into expanding this list is usually done by the Office of Military Research and Development it is nonetheless happy to add field improvisations to its official repertoire, this applies to field improvisations. It is not a blanket authorization for unofficial explosives research.
- While the Imperial Military Service also has no fan-fiction policy, largely due to no-one ever imagining that it might need a fan-fiction policy, would-be authors are reminded that it still needs to be cleared through all the normal channels before you post it publicly. Especially if you want to illustrate it with staged or real combat videos.
- …and if you’re writing that kind of fan-fiction, be aware that at least some of your characters can have you spaced for mutiny.
- While your efforts to challenge yourselves are admirable, save it for actual exercises. Pretending you’ve forgotten to bring bullets to the battle so you’ll be forced to improvise may be a challenge, but it’s also a mockery of the rules of war, and just begging for an unpleasant surprise.
- Especially if by “improvise” you mean “punch, a lot”.
- It’s still a bad idea to play Ancyr roulette even if it’s mathematically impossible for the bullets to penetrate N45 Garrex field combat armor.
- …especially if whoever you’re playing it with isn’t wearing N45 Garrex field combat armor.
- Unless you’re a psychological warfare specialist, you are not authorized to conduct psychological warfare.
- Against either side.
That is all. Or rather, that had better be all, because Ablator has an awful lot of hull that could stand a good cleaning. Six by six?