APAGear II Archives Volume 1, Number 10 October, 1999


The Selection

Janne Kemppi

[NOTE: On this page you will find Janne's introduction story for his RPG scenario, "The Selection." The rest of the scenario is presented as a series of Adobe Acrobat PDFs. HTML just wouldn't do the scenario justice, I'm afraid. Links to the PDFs are at the bottom of this page. -Ed.]

Joachim was sweating heavily. His breathing had turned into a high pitched whine and he had never felt so tired. However, he was running as hard as he could to stay with the others. His group wasn't really a group but a collection of individuals, each determined to beat each other, as they stumbled through the obstacle course.

Sun was shining above the group as the men and women were moving trough a series of obstacles varying from easy to impossible. Joachim licked her lips to protect them from the merciless rays of the Sun as he stumbled forwards towards the next obstacle. It was a low rail.

Joachim hurled himself to the dirt just before the iron rail raised just 30 centimeters above the ground. He swallowed the foul taste of dirt as he inserted his head under the rail and started to crawl under it together with the rest of the group hitting his face to elbow of another applicant on his side. Dirt mixed with blood in his mouth as elbow had hit his lips and a small trickle of blood was released. Joachim cursed under his breath as he slipped from the obstacle and rose to his feet kicking more or less accidentally to hands of another recruit applicant on his side. Joachim rose to his feet and pressed on.

Joachim had given up a long time ago his dream of passing the Basic Selection with flying colors. Now he just wanted to hang on. He had decided that he would stay with the group by following a small, dark woman who was running with the tears flowing down her eyes from the exertion. Joachim knew that if she could carry on, he could too. He would no nothing more or nothing less.

Joachim tried to stay focused on woman's back but his mind wandered to himself and how woefully inadequate he was to this exercise. Every test seemed more difficult than the last one and he was running out of his energy fast. He was sure he was out of his mind trying to join the vaunted Colonial Expeditionary Force.

He had never wanted to join the military. He had actually been just a regular kind of guy with a regular kind of life. He had hobbies like athletics, liked girls a lot and playing with computer games like just about anybody. Just somehow he suddenly wanted to do something, anything different and a simple advertisement in a magazine had caught his attention. He had watched his reflection in a mirror and thought of his life. Next day he had started writing his CV and was subsequently asked for an interview and then he was here.

Joachim gasped as he saw next obstacle. It was a wire net sprung at less than his knee height and he could see the razor sharp edges at the metal blades dulled by the dust. He thought that he must have been mad to do this.

It not that there was any real need to do this, he thought. He might just give up and go home. None of the instructors following performance of recruit group said anything or exhorted or shouted or insulted or anything he'd ever imagined. Instructors just followed what was happening and talked in calm voice what they wanted recruits to do next. If you didn't fit into it, they just asked if one wanted to leave. Some had dropped out, some continued. He was one those few who has managed to stay on their feet all this time but sooner than later it would be his turn to make the decision.

As Joachim crawled under the wire he could feel the blades touching his back lightly. Then something snapped inside him and he moved his body accidentally a bit upwards. Wire touched his skin and then cut it lightly. He felt like hit by a lightning. It wasn't the pain of small cuts he could barely feel, it was the combination of adrenaline, and tiredness and desperation that made him stop and see how the group moved ahead of him.

Instructor who had followed the progress of the group dropped down to squat on his side as Joachim felt his muscles relax and his power drained of him. He couldn't go on, he knew it. Instructor looked at Joachim to eyes and then the group moving ahead. She turned back to Joachim and talk in calm, almost whispering voice: "Do you really want to be in CEF?"

Joachim looked back at her, then the group before him. "Yes", he whispered and wiggled his ways forwards through the wire. He didn't came all the way to Australia to quit. Not now...

The RPG Scenario, "The Selection"

This Roleplaying Scenario was gamed in RoPeCon99 in Helsinki [Finland -Ed.] in August 1999. It is intended to be used with Earth characters who are interested in joining Colonial Expeditionary Force.

Following material is provided:

This scenario is intended to provide one evening long introduction to Colonial Expeditionary Force and how it chooses its troopers.

Welcome to the future.


Obstacle pictures are taken from

FM 21-20
Department of Army
Washington DC
30 September 1992

Psychological Interview Form questions are taken and slightly modified from Bladerunner Computer game: Blade Runner TM Blade Runner Partnership. ©1997 Bladerunner/Westwood Partners. ©1997 Westwood Studios, Inc. Westwood Studios is a trademark of Westwood Studios, Inc. All rights reserved.

Security clearance paper modified from official British Security Clearance Request Form, which is a Crown Copyright.

CEF logo is copyright 1999, Dream Pod 9, Inc. All rights reserved.

All original material is copyrighted by its respective owner. All rights reserved. Any use of copyrighted material in this scenario or trademarks in this scenario should not be viewed as challenge to those copyrights or trademarks.

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APAGear II Archives Volume 1, Number 10 October, 1999