Welcome to Fleet School (FS), the most important phase of Basic Training (BT) for junior-crewers-in-training. If you want to serve as a starfighter pilot, instead of as a capital ship crew member, please return to the page for Basic Training, and click on the link for Starfighter School.
This introductory Academy course is designed to help new recruits both IC (as junior capital ship crewers and new members of the Imperial Navy), and OOC (as writers and new members of this club). Over the course of their studies, recruits will learn the basics of space combat and the standard capital ships in use by the Navy, as well as how to develop their character in basic story posts, and how to belong to an active ship and task force in the VE. Upon completion of Fleet School, active recruits will be placed aboard an active capital ship (which is part of an active task force, which in turn is associated with a larger Fleet), where they can start putting their new-found knowledge to work.
This course has several phases, called Chapters, each of which tries to bring the potential officer one step closer to active duty. Fleet School generally takes a few days, and while we recommend that you complete the course in a timely manner, there is no rush. VENA is fairly flexible concerning Basic Training and we'll do our best to accommodate any new member who shows interest. Upon completion of Fleet School, new Operators (the entry-level Position aboard capital ships in the VEN) usually get placed aboard a ship within a few days.
PLEASE NOTE: Should you 'go AWOL,' by disappearing or otherwise neglecting your training without first notifying a member of staff, you will eventually be expelled from the Academy.
So, without any further ado, here are the Chapters of Fleet School:
Chapter I: The Character 
Stories aren't stories without a plot, and plots are driven by characters - which is where you come in. The Vast Empire is a literary rpg - we role-play as a primary player-character (PC, for short), by writing stories in collaboration with other members, mostly from the point of view of our PC. Now, as a member of the VEN’s Fleet Command your PC will begin his/her career as an Operator by default, in one of four areas of responsibility: Communications, Weapons, Helm, or Engineering. But he/she wasn't born in a uniform: his or her background, personality, look and style, and other defining characteristics are totally up to you to define. Creating an interesting character will make for interesting stories, so let's get creative!
Chapter II: The New Crew Member 
As we've said, the Vast Empire is a text-based role-playing environment. Since your PC is a junior crewer in the Navy, this means you will be doing a lot of 'role-playing' from the bridge of a capital ship. In this chapter you will learn some basic information about the vehicles and equipment used regularly by the Vast Empire's Navy, and some conventions that make for a good story post. The goal of this course, and especially of this Chapter, is to supply you with enough basic information to ensure you can write a basic post, and enough detail to allow you to write more elaborate and extensive posts as times goes on. This chapter is focused above all else on making your writing - as a crew member - believable.
Chapter III: The Ship, the Task Force, and the Fleet 
For the final Chapter of Fleet School, we're going to broaden your focus. Whereas previous Chapters have concerned you and your character, Chapter III concerns your first active-duty position, as a member of the bridge crew of a capital ship. Crew members work together aboard their ship, and they coordinate with other ships in their task force: members work with their fellow members, as writers of collaboratively-told stories (OOC), and as officer-characters in those same stories (IC). This Chapter is an essential guide for new Naval personnel: it'll tell you what you're expected to do, once you graduate, so that you're an asset to your assigned ship, task force, and fleet. Once you have passed this chapter you may move on to the final test.