The Valentine War Academy, also known as the Battle School, is one of the most demanding military programs in the solar system, one reserved for the best of the Federation's best. It attracts soldiers from all branches of the armed forces, and turns these recruits into the elite leaders of the military.
The Man and the Machine
One of the facts of war in the Cosmic Era is the relegation of man to the observer seat. Most military hardware is controlled by artificial intelligence and either demi-sentient, or fully sentient systems. Despite the wonders of the human brain, it is simply unable to handle all of the information, and react quickly enough to handle anything but the most basic military gear. While a pilot might sit in a mech or an aerospace fighter and thinks he controls it, he is more a rider telling the machine what he would like it to do, and the machine handles the rest. Ships and other complex machines blend autonomous systems and central intelligences while humans and autons serve a function more like blood in a body, than the command and controlling force within.
There are inherent flaws within the machine paradigm. Machines will pick the best course, the mathematically correct choice, and follow the most optional decision trees. To those who know these variables, the decisions of machines are incredibly predictable, and wars between mechanical armies are fought out through cyberwarfare and probing engagements to find that one flaw in the opponents logic tree.
The fusion of man and machine warfare has long since been realized by the Federation and it's central machine intelligences. The machine is fast, accurate, and precise. It is also predictable. The human is sentimental, heroic, and random. Man also is messy and inaccurate. When the two are joined, the human adds a random chaotic factor that can snarl the predictions of enemy computers, and the best machines can turn a harebrained scheme into a massacre for an unsuspecting enemy.
The Valentine War Academy
Orbital Annex Luna-1 (Federation Restricted Space)
The War Academy is a composite space station, a central bernal sphere 300 meters across, and an outer torus just over a kilometer wide. Most of the crew and staff are housed in the rotating ring section, where they have access to artificial gravity. The actual school is in the sphere core. There are no classrooms or dorms. The Valentine War Academy is a dream tank built from the Maian model mainframe and the sphere houses suspension facilities for up to 150 students and 25 instructors/monitors.
The War Academy isn't intended for basic or even intermediate training. The men and women who attend the academy have already demonstrated exceptional character or capability. While they come from all branches, without fail, they are the top 2% of their classes.
The War Academy
Unlike other schools, the idea behind the War Academy was drawn from the illicit data generated by the illegal Infinity Project. The students of academy spend long periods in dream state, months at a time. This allows them to spend years of dreamtime training, attending lectures, and participating in simulations that are by the nature of the dream tank, indistinguishable from reality. The students of the Valentine War Academy have fought hundreds of battles and dozens of wars. They have been killed an untold number of times, and have killed each other more times than can be counted.
The benefits of the Academy are many. The biggest is the long term integration of man and machine interfaces, where the cadets learn to work with the weapons of the Federation. This changes the relationship of material and personnel in the military, where the mecha and other vehicles are treated not as machines, but in a manner that would seem familiar to an 18th century cavalryman and his horse. This includes interacting with sentient machines, unique individuals like cymeks and thinking machines, to machines equipped with Limited AI systems like mecha and aerospace craft. In combat situations this manifests as a near seamless and fluid command and execution between organic and mechanic assets.
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