AN INTRODUCTION TO: STARARENA_INFANTRY-DIVISIONS

PROLOGUE:
This article is something of an Easter-Egg!? For an average person; It Contains Way Too Much Information!! For Fan-Boys who like to dig deep; You Just Struck Gold!!

It mainly contains Apolog #9 _What I call my notebooks, being a play on words with: Apologue + Log-Book_ and some previously unpublished text I did not want to go to waste. Also, what many don't know; I've been working on this Game-Concept for over twenty years and some change, with smaller and larger intervals. The biggest gap clocked about five years where I did not touch the project for a second. When I reopened the folder and dusted it off to look and see where I left my enterprise; I found several conceptual contradictions and strongly decided to knock down the production and rebuild from the foundation up, because my outlook on life had shifted and I found the original story-design outdated.

This dust-off was in 2010 and from that point I started making notes and began restructuring the virtual-fantasy-world we call the: StarArena_MetaVerse. The notebook below signifies the end of the conceptual phase and portrays ideas becoming substantial, page by page. Yet, be warned; All images below are like the proverbial 'Tip Of The Iceberg!' 

The texts below are written from the perspective of a Star-Cadet entering the Academy to become a Clone-Operator. Within the Armed-Forces of The Arcade: There are 8 Clone-Types (and 1 NPC, Non-Player-Clone_Type) that correspond with the Game-Gods and are under Command of the Guardian-Kings. The majority of the Troop-Strength are Infantry-Soldiers! Those who make Top-Tier within their class, may enter the Special-Forces of each of their respective branches. 

Have Look-See below how the MetaVerse-Military is Organized...

Listen up, Little Cadets; ...I'm sure you all enrolled into the Academy to one day become a Clone-Operator or even aspire to become a Clone-Commander. All I can say; This is not that day and the path ahead is still a long way! Still I must commend all of you standing before me on your performance so far, since you have made it to: C-Class! Now that you have passed the minimum requirements to 'control' your battle-clone, it is time to gain some real-time field experience on the battle grid. Those of you with itchy trigger fingers will enjoy your next assignments, although a word of caution to the action junkies among you: A Kill in a Battle-Simm still hurts like a Mocha Fudge from Mars! But no worries, you will find out soon enough, since none before you have passed this course with a Zulu-Death (read: Zero) count on their record!

How this program works is; Start saying your goodbyes to your fellow girlfriends because not only will you grunts be divided up and spread among the Clone-Divisions to rank up some XP! (Battle-Expierence) Learn what it takes to become an Operator as you fight alongside Active Clone-Squads in their Training-Environment(s. Each time you get back from these Battle-Simulations, your favorite clone cadet sweetheart might not be among the remaining participating students of this mighty fine establishment? Since this is where the Drop-Out rate starts kicking into effect among you Geeks & Freaks and lonely nights await you in the clone-cubes (dormitory) with no one to hold your hands back on arrival to base. Which is just as well, since there will not be any time for hugs & kisses in the ranks, on return you will be expected to: write and submit a Field-Report to your Colour-Sergeant!

Enough with the introductions, lets have all eyes on the screen... What you see is a Terra-Clone in his natural habitat, these Green & Mean Bomb-Shells are most likely to be perceived as: Intolerable Bastards! Those among you whom are fond of heckling the Atomic-Baby-Clones should beware of what you broadcast over the com-link. Just because their Code-Root draws energy from Terra-Sources (Earth), does not make them; Tree-Huggers! Those among you that have their Com-Link blinking in Green; [click] ...Now. Will be the first team on rotation! Grab your gear from the Cubes and report to the Corporal for transport to the Commando-Corps; Go Make Your School Proud, Cadets! Those remaining: keep to attention and await your deployment orders.


Eyes Front, Cadets! For the next group on rotation to Tag along with an Active-Squad in a Training-Simm and gain some Battle-XP, the most basic of learning curves is readily available; Before you learn to swim, you must first get your feet wet. Mind you, that's only if your Instructors decide not to throw you in; headfirst? Once deployed onto the Battle-grid, these Combat-Units cover vast amounts of area. They would rather have you 'Sink!' Opposed to having to carry your cadet carcasses around like dead-weight for the remainder of the mission. Those clones whom have their Com-Links flashing Blue: this assignment is for You. When I am done with the introductory part of this class, you will be requested to pick up your gear from the Cubes (dormitory) and report to the Corporal for transport to the Marine-Corps!

Meanwhile, Look & learn! On the screen we see a reconnaissance team: These True-Blue Full-Breeds belong, or rather represent one of the Cardinal-Powers that make up the Building-Blocks of The Arcade, Combat-Clones have a Code-Root based on Aqua (Water!) Originally the Royal-Guards of SUI-TEN, the Guardian of the Western-Domain and member of the SHI-TENNO. For those of you Cadets whom show an interest for Arcade-History, I'm sure you have heard the rumors that the Four-Thrones have been empty for decades, and others claim the absence has been for centuries? For those with the glaring optics about to pop their sockets, I am sorry to inform you; I lack the sagaciousness to Confirm or Deny the validity of such below deck chatter, for these matters are way above my pay grade. My job is restricted to filter through the fodder before me and train new Clone-Operators and spot Commander-Candidates.

Therewith, its back to the program: So cease the yapping jaw movements, desist with sounds leaving your chatterboxes and pay attention! The average Aqua-Clone is commonly characterized as the Silent-Type, they may not be so loud & rowdy as the Green & Mean Killer Clones that serve under the South-Guardian; CHI-TEN? But they sure are; Deadly! Much like the liquid binary compound it represents, they flow wherever they can. Whatever there is left of uncharted Cyber-Space; Each deployment with a Combat-Squad is a journey of digital discovery among the distant edges of the Metaverse. Those of you about to join them, as well those whom survive the other Simms and remain students, joining them in a later mission: Do as you are told and stay in formation!The Combat-Division has the highest MIA count in our Armed Forces, mainly by rookies like yourselves! Take care out there! Blue-Team; Dizz-Mizzed... 


Okay Cadets; This is where the stakes get stacked a little higher! And once more, each and every time, when the option screen turns a purple haze, the sparkles spring in the majority of the optics we face and tell us one clear thing: Your inner Childs are screaming: "Pick Me, Pick Me, ...Oh Please, Pick Me!?" Your common childhood desire to believe in Magic makes this Division the most sought after position amongst the new recruits and it most certainly makes one fact transparently crystal clear; You all perfectly portray the 'Infant' in the word Infantry! Because here you are, daydreaming that one day you could become a mighty Wizard or battle evil forces, with the super strength of a Warlock? Loosing all sense of reality that you are; children of the commonwealth in service of the Arcade's Armed-Forces and enlisted to defend the borders of the Metaverse from Malicious Marauders!

I am in no imaginable way; Sorry, to burst your cozy comfortable fantasy with pink clouds and happy unicorns and remind you that when you silly little babies signed on the dotted line: You All Joined The Royal Infantry! There are no shortcuts in this Military! You must pass at least one tour amongst the grunts you wish to one day Command! The sooner we knock them dozy fluffy dreams out of your head pans? The Better! All we further need to do is decide which division to assign you to, during your mandatory tour? This is why we have you on a rotating roster to see how you perform alongside an Active-Unit on the Battle-Grid. Besides racking up some much needed XP (Battle-Experience) on your record, we get to asses your skills in simulations to test your stress-levels and monitor your endurance capacities way above what most cyber civilians will ever endure during their game time in The Arcade.

Half of you Clone-Operators still on base will have their blinkers flashing 'Purple' in about; ...3, ...2, ...1, ..Go. You should get the program by now; Collect your gear from the Cubes (Dormitory) and report to the Corporal for transport to your temporary Unit for deployment. A word of caution to those about to embark on their maiden mission, and hopefully return a Battle Bad Ass; You are about to side with full breed Aero-Clones, the elite forces belonging to the Guardian-King of the North: FU-TEN!  There will be no men with pointy hats, waving about with wands in hand, or any flying about in the atmosphere! ...Welll; Other than rapidly plummeting towards a designated Battle surface and certain death if badly executed, ...even though their Code-Root is, as you know, based on: Aero (Air!) Better give it your personal 100%, because that is what these Ultra Violet Troopers do every data! ...Dizz-Mizzed and on your way!


So, here we are Cadets;...The remaining group of future Clone-Operators and aspiring Commanders! This troop here in front, eyeballing me like girl scouts trying to sell me cookies, is the last of the 4 Cardinal deployments on a rotation schedule to enter a Battle-Simulation alongside an active Clone-Unit for us to monitor what metal you are made of? We have come full circle, you will soon be sent off to the East Dominion, that of the Guardian-King: KA-TEN. Soon, the first voluntary drop-outs from the previous three batches sent-out to the other Dominions of; South, West & North will start dripping into the Academy, ...or maybe only what is left of them? Either way; We are all about equal opportunities in your electronic military education! We all serve you the same shit to deal with! Sometimes the Strong survive, sometimes the Smart! Other times; Those with Dumb-Luck?

Your Instructors don't care very much how you make it back to base, just as long as you don't dishonor the Academy in the absence of our minding eyes. Those of you who return back with a hunger for more action, we will gladly deploy on a new rotation among the other divisions until you made it all around the clock! Just remember, Cadets; On each return your Cadet-Clone and supplied Battle-Gear is subject to inspection and the Colour-Sergeant is awaiting a Field-Report! So pay attention what is going on out there to yourself and your fellow Cadets. Clone-Commanders are expected to keep an overview of the situation they are in. And not opt-out the moment things get tense and you are about piss your diapers! This is why we make you do a mandatory tour in the Royal-Infantry, among the Atomic-Baby-Clones you wish to one day command, to monitor if you are at all capable to hold a Senior-Station? Our motto is; Better Saved than Sixed!

A word of caution to those outbound on patrol on the perimeters of the Metaverse with these full-breed hotheads; Keep Some Distance!  There is an age old debate about the Code-Root of the Pyro-Clone (Fire) power, divided into two camps: *One says _in the third-person singular simple present indicative form_ that Pyro is a life-giving force, which explains their charismatic demeanor and attractive attention by other virtual forms like the mesmerizing flickering of the flames dancing on your face, feeling the warmth of a campfire in the night. *The Other sayeth; Pyro is a life-taking force, which explains their near most volcanic combustible conduct towards any virtual form surrounding them as the epicenter of destruction! We, the Royal-Infantry; Stick to the middle ground and Keep Some Distance! Think about it; These Battle-Units stroll through Arcade-Inferno unharmed and are back in time for tea, without a Wisp? Red-Team: ...Dizz-mizzed!


And here you are, the first Batch of Clones back from rotation among the assigned patrol-units on the borders of the Metaverse. Well, at least those whom were dumb enough not to drop-out from the academy and beg for a civilian position among the diverse population of Arcadeans you signed up to protect. Or in the event that your reason for enlisting are not so honorable and boil down to this general term of reference when asked why did one join the armed forces; I like to blow things up! ...Which seems to be the main motivation of the majority of recruits mind you, no matter what division they end up in. Still among you are those with more sophisticated aspirations, it is to these Cadets I say the loudest; Pay Attention to the following Presentation! Future Clone-Operators a/o Commanders need to understand the Back-Up a/o Support intra structure among their Assault-Units!

For the more observant among yourselves, you must have noticed that the Metaverse is build with two basic components: Hardware & Software. Both disciplines require 'Engineers' and to differentiate between the two we call them Mechanics & Technicians! Or Mech & Tech's for short. Preferably in a specialized squad you would like to have a combination of the two on hand and these are known as the EMT (Emergency-Mechanical-Technicians) within any given group of battle personnel. As we you can clearly deduce from looking at the big screen, this briefing is focused on those whom are commonly referred to; The Guys In The Rear With The Gear!  The Arena-Division are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of Hardware-Issues that arise within a Battle-Unit. On a larger scale, Arena-Mechanics can be credited of being the Builders of the Arcade!  Without them; Things start falling apart...

As with any field of discipline, there are gradations involved. A regular Mechanic can be seen as a Medic and can patch up any superficial Damage sustained to an Atomic-Baby-Clone on the Battle-Grid besides their HW-Maintenance duties. A Master-Mechanic is best compared to a Surgeon. Since there have been several evolutions among the Battle-Clones, not all clone series are a quick fix under the hood! Even though, the job requires a steadfast Nuts & Bolts attitude, the ranges of specialists extend to needing firm knowledge of Bio-Mechanics and Human-Electronics. A word of advise; Chief-Engineers oversee the larger projects within the cyber-construct of the Metaverse and are essential in planning a successful campaign, if any among you will ever enlighten our higher-echelon by becoming a Clone-Commander? ...Those who aim a little lower; Builders are also very good at Demolition! ...Rock-Clones Blow Things Up!


Pay Attention Cadets; ICT carries a different payload in the Arcade which you would do well not to mistake for the position it holds on Vetus-Terra (Old-Earth) where persons punch plastic all day and their heavy lifting consist of plugging in a hardwire cable into a tabletop unit? Ferro-Clones_also known as Metal-Heads_ are on the frontline of every Battle and are essential to any formation of combat personnel! The Software-Engineers are the true embodiment of Tech-Support! As stated in the Introductory-Class of their counterparts, the Arena-Clones; Including a combination of 'Mech & Tech' is recommended in forming your Attack a/o Defense strategies! Those among you who will make it through their mandatory service time, will most likely do so with the aid of these Back-Up units! Have them close to your Clone, or possibly not make it home?

Those with a higher set goal than living a life of luxury (and be bored out of your mind) among the cyber civilians of the Arcade and are determined to become a Clone-Operatora/o Commander, as your Instructor; I urge you to pay close attention on this rotary 'Battle-Sim' and learn as much as you can by observing the workings of an Active System-Tech Squad! Naturally there are gradations of skill sets among the ranks of every Battle-Division a/o Regiment in the Armed Forces of the Arcade. A low level Tech-Operative must upkeep the Com-Link and can grow into a valued member of an EMT-Unit (Emergency Mech_Tech) and perform lifesaving diagnostics & recovery-progs to a battle damaged Atomic-Baby-Clone on the Battle-Grid in the capacity of a SW-Medic. In short, be it High or Low-Tec, Metal-Clones are; Software-Engineers! If you loose your SW-Package? You're just an empty shell of Nuts & Bolts!

The other aspired levels to reach besides Tech-Specialist, are Master & Chief-Technicians. In broad strokes these refer to the three levels of war: A Tech-Spec is Tactical, A Master-Tech is Operational and A Chief-Tech is mainly Strategic! Which is all very theoretical and I am starting to see eyeballs rolling before me among you cadets... So let me make it more interesting for you novice-monkies of war; By now you should be familiar with the Arcade credo: Code Is Law! The System-Division is the closest in proximity to the Code-Root, and they have branched out; Metal-Tech Special-Forces are responsible for regulating and monitoring Star-Data, making them the LEO's (Law-Enforcement-Officers) of the Arcade. Since the Arcade is under Martial-Law, they are known as the MP, or simply: Enforcers!! ...Unless you enjoy being quarantined! ...Let's see you if you want to mess with these Techies?


Welcome Back, Lads; Finally you Clone-Operators are showing some Wear & Tear! Good to see and this is a very pleasing sight on your Instructors optics. From the few reports that have been sent my way for evaluation, I know that some of you on your maiden voyages on rotation among the different Clone Divisions of the Armed Forces of The Arcade have had a; Rough Ride through the Battle-Sims so Far! From this group I see potential Cadet candidates surviving the cut. Mind you, the others that have been playing it safe up to this point will be challenged and measured for Mettle! Only those with rock solid Grit will stand a chance to pass this class! This is where the preverbal Grain is separated from the Chaff, or more in line with what is in store for you Ladies; The Bulls get separated from the Cows! Or my personal favorite: The Cupcakes get separated from True Clone-Cadets!

For most of you this is the closest that you will get in your career to the infamous Black-Clones with the dreaded Necro-Core! Yet, it is mandatory for any Clone-Cadet to make it through a full cycle of introductory Battle-Sims among Active-Units that Patrol the Perimeters of The StarArena & MetaVerse as a whole! Wannabe Warriors will be exposed and fall to tears if they fail to face their fears during the Black-Ops in the Shadow-Side of the Dark-Web. None of us that have gone before you have gotten away with a mere toe dip in the pool! All of us have been submerged in the deep darkness that is the Necro-Arena and know what Inner Demon we carry on our duties! This is where the road begins, the threshold of becoming A Man amongst War-Gods known as the Atomic-Baby-Clones! Beware, we warned you before: But, ...this is a serious moment to carefully reconsider taking the Opt-Out & Drop-Out route!

No Takers?...Very well, then let me attempt to clarify what is in store for you aspiring Clone-Operators & Commanders. The Battle-Stats on this Sim-Rotation show that none of you have maintained a Zero-Death (to Kill) ratio. Thus all have had to endure at least One Respawn from A Kill/ Death, and there at those that subscribe to Deaths to advance on the Battle-Grid. The latter might feel most at home amongst the Shadows? Those with a low D-Score, mostly; Not! The Necro-Clones Area of Operations is in the Underbelly of Cyber-Space where the fallen Clone-Combatants await Regeneration upon the Battle-Grid. A place where all code is shattered and in this data transfer stage nothing is tangible. Those who experience A Death are aware of being an Incorporeal Clone and alone in the Black-Abyss. Or, Not? Beware what you Thether with! The hard part in this realm is to identify; Friend or Foe? Can you keep it together; Yes or No?


Looking into those Dark & Dreary Optics that you hold in your standard issue head-pans, tells the story of wannabe Clone-Operators a/o Commanders that have been on rotation with a Shadow-Squad! This is usually where the Drop-Out rate hits its High-Score and many of your Class-Mates are among us No-More! Well, in such a sense that those whom have fallen of the roster after a Tour with the Necro-Clones are no longer eligible to become a Commander.  These Fallen-Ones, as they are called in the now docile dormitories, are officially; Voluntary-Withdrawals from the program and can only enter active service to the more rudimentary Military Occupational Specialties or MOS positions as Clone-Opererators. The line for perfect attendance and completion is drawn at the Shadow-Squads. In all fairness; One cannot pick enlisting with Black-Ops; the Dark-Core picks you!

Yet, there is Light at the end of the tunnel, for those whom have done a full rotation through all the Cardinal Divisions, Support Detachments and are still standing tall and breathing pixelated air before me; Your loving and wonderful Instructor!  Among you; there just might be some real Officer material, prime candidates for future Clone Commanders. Among you; there are a few that stand out and we have high hopes that you will make us proud and lead our Atomic-Baby-Clones to Victory! Although, Be warned; You now find yourselves at the threshold! Just because you made it through the Nethernet, as you stand before me? Does not guarantee save passage up and through the Aethernet! Once again the MetaVerse itself will test your 'mettle' as we will detach you to a Blanc-Ops Squad in their natural Theater of Operations. This is a high contrast game; there is not much room for grey-areas, only the Pure-Spirits make it through Paradiso!

To give you an impression of what you will be facing; The Aethernet is like a Virus-Scanner with the highest level of scrutiny imaginable, it will search every partition of your clone for any type of hidden Malware or Daemons alike? Think about the path you have traveled, for some of you the rotation order might have differed, but the general flow is: Earth, Water, Air and Fire (Cardinal Divisions) followed by; Rock & Metal (Support Detachments) and lastly; Dark (Black-Ops!) Depending on your Base a/o Starter Clone; all types of 'Mutations' can transpire when De & Re-Materializing (ie: Holoporting) during any time of Active-Service! Under the perfect right/wrong conditions your Battle-Mate could turn into a Mute like a; Werewolf? Aether-Spirits have the knack to detect what Demons you might be accompanying you on your Trip with the Light-Core; Use 'em or Loos 'em! Blanc-Ops is about Transformative experiences...


"Well Hello There and Looky Here Who Made it through the Last Rotation in Paradiso!?" Congratulations there; Future Clone-Operators. Also; I'm certain a few of you will make it as Clone-Commander! Always good to see devastated sprites go into the meat grinder on one end and see uplifted and radiant spirits come out the other! I must say; this is an Exceptional-Class! Generally I have plenty fingers left over to count the Cadet-Clones that made it through full rotation! The Arcade will be in good hands if you all keep up this level of training results and overall commitment! Keep it up and I'm sure some of you will make it to the top ranking High-Score lists! It wont be long until you are assigned to your selected Battle-Units. Transfer preferences may be submitted after class. By now you should be used to turning in reports. So do: include why you are the prime Candidate for a position!?

Yet, before you get to upgrade and modify your assigned #AtomicBabyClone to the required Battle-Specs required by the 'Mission-Classification' given by Battle-Command; There Is One More Ride You Must Take In These Old & Battered Clunkers of Training Cadet Clones! Those that make it to this stage in the Cadet curriculum, start to exhibit that day before Christmas anxiety and start naming all the features their Battle-Clone will be issued with, like they were a bunch of girls that peed their panties when sampling all the new goodies at thier favorite department stores makeup counterfor the first time, that this metropolis has to offer? I'm glad you all have Dreams & Desires, after all that is what gives the #AtomicBabyClones the Human-Factor in what is known as: Human-Electronics! But don't forget; You signed-up for active service in the Armed-Forces of The Arcade! You will get what you... are assigned... to take care off!

Even though cyber civilians like to joke that 'military intelligence' is a contradiction in terms? The war machine is known for its meticulously recordkeeping and can only roll with thunder due to a very select few regiments of Core-Clones! Only those whom underwent a Virus Scan from the Aethernet are granted access to the Inner-Core of The Arcade! To transcend into the Inner-Sanctum where the highest positions transmit their bidding throughout the network, one must be void of Dark Daemons and Crystal Clear of Conscience to roam among Core-Clones! Mere aspire to a position among the Nexus-Clones, for it is tedious and deadly demanding... But it is said; Those whom hold station in the Nexus-Division, answer to a calling that resonates from the Centre of the MetaVerse itself! High-Ranking Officials hold the Position of 'Magistrates"  brought forth by a High Council of Judges. Lower Officials can be seen In-Game as: Marshall's and Referees!

But in your career; You are most likely going to notice periodically 'subtractions' from your pay due to poor maintenance and management of your issued Battle-Clone by the CJCA!? (Central Judicial Collection Agency.) Reported a/o recorded discrepancies will be fined!! Complain all you want; This is how things are ordened on this side! Beware; Once you cross over, there is no way back! Those whom crumble under the pressure of marching to the tune of the matrix, and want to go Off-Grid, seeking likeminded freedom fighters as these rebels like to call themselves, are considered Outlaws and branded 'Antagonists' to The Arcade!!

Remember the Clone-Credo: Protect The Core, and; Code is Law!


EPILOGUE...
Congratulations, if you made it this far down; You Are Definitely Not A Wash-Out!
Like it is mentioned in the prologue; This Is Only The Tip Of The Iceberg!

Join The Ranks and: Become A Patron! 

Stay Tooned!
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 304 exclusive posts
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Images
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Writing
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Videos