Core Systems Scout Service
The 'Compass' or 'Adrift' insignia of the Scout Service

The Core Systems Scout Service is a uniformed service and one of the Core Systems Free Republic's armed services, founded in 2451 as a new service branch. Its duty description, as described in Republic Code, is to provide detailed, accurate astrogational data to the Republic's armed forces, inexpensive and up-to-date interstellar navigation charts to its civilians, and to explore and classify uncharted space. Subsequent expansions to its job descriptions include the classification and certification of planetary starports (when open to the public) and the establishment of the Travel Advisory Board, which serves to warn Republic citizens of hazards to person or property in systems of concern.


The Scout Service is a relatively new uniformed branch of the Republic Armed Services. Instead of a direct successor to an established branch of the League's military, the CSSS was assembled from defunct League agencies as varied as the Stellar League Pathfinders, the Fast Fleets of the League Navy, and in recent years the Republic Assessment and Inspection Department. Its first official tasks were the charting of space around or near the Bahwas Corridor of Manticore Sector in an attempt to ensure that there were no feasible ways for the Spartan Brigade to bypass the mounting armament in that sector… although granted, the orders at the time didn't say that in so many words. During the Core Systems-Spartan War, former elements of the League Navy Fast Fleets were enlisted to scout ahead of major Navy assaults - a hazardous task, given that Scout Service vessels (as with all Republic Navy ships) were and remain woefully undergunned compared to Spartan vessels of similar displacement.

In 2483, the Republic Assessment and Inspection Department was caught up in an entrapment scandal that upturned a deep-rooted system of bribery and privilege. So prevalent was the corruption that the Republic disbanded the entire department and transferred all responsibility for spaceport certification and conformance to regulations to the CSSS. That new duty soon led to other responsibilities - travel advisory and the like - for the Scout Service.

Today, the CSSS remains a well-regarded branch of the service, having few of the recruiting problems that the Army and Navy have encountered since the end of the war. Granted, there is little glory in the classification of a Republic planet or the review of starport facilities to ensure compliance with regs, but it's undeniable that the dearest hope of many an inquisitive youth is to explore the unknown at the helm of a CSSS explorer.

Service Divisions

Exploratory Corps

As it sounds, the task of the EC is one most people associate with the Scout Service - intrepid crews of self-sufficient explorer ships venturing into the unknown. In truth, the EC is the smallest division of the Scout Service today, having been gutted of ships and men towards the end of the war to supply the Recon Corps, which in turn tended to lose quite a few of both in their missions. Its importance has never been greater, though, as with the conclusion of war many planets are hungry for resources and space which cannot be found in current Republic space

Recon Corps

Originally drawn from the ranks of the League Navy's Fast Fleets, the Recon Corps was tasked to quickly and accurately analyze star systems and the ships held within. It was whittled down considerably over 40 years of shooting-war, to the point where Exploratory Corps members were drafted into RC duty. Today, it's much smaller than its initial form, but its job description is the same - accurate, swift analysis of a star system is crucial to keep the CSSS's astrogation charts up to date.

Assessment Corps

Not exactly the glamorous side of a Scout Service career, the AC is nonetheless an important part of Republic government - it's they who can extend or revoke starport certification and the privileges that certification can bring, like Republic consulates, Traveller's Aid Society hostels, even armed forces base contracts. Without at least a Class D certification, for example, the Republic will not allow fuel of any sort to be sold at the facility. As such, the AC is a much-respected - if little-envied - branch of the Scout Service.

Astrogation Standards

In true terracentric fashion, the Core Systems Scout Service orients all local sectors and system coordinates relative to Earth. Using Titan Sector as the origin of a sector grid and using the rimward-coreward and spinward-antispinward directions as its axes, the CSSS broadly designates system coordinates based on where in the sector that the system is, and where its sector is relative to Earth. For example, Manticore Sector is two sectors antispinward from Titan Sector and zero sectors rimward or coreward; therefore, when it becomes necessary to provide relative coordinates, the system's sector coordinates - for example, Danube System, which is at 0303 in the sector - are appended to the coordinates.

When sector or relative coordinates are given, a letter code S or R will be given. As given, Danube's sector coordinates are S 0303; its relative coordinates are R -2303. When a system name isn't known or given, sector coordinates will be appended with the sector name. In the example above, Danube System would be "Manticore S 0303" in sector coordinates.

Ed.: If this seems needlessly complex to you, it probably is; though they are a necessary, vital part of space colonization, commerce and military operations, the CSSS gets needlessly pedantic and overwrought at times. When in doubt, check an astrogational map of the sector in question.

Travel Advisories

The Scout Service also staffs the Travel Advisory Board, the committee that evaluates systems of concern and issues advisory messages if such are necessary. Most systems (in CS space, anyway) are rated as advisory code Green, which denotes no predictable risk of injury or loss from operations in that system. A few choice systems or planets with problematic environments or political situations - planet Eridu's hydrocarbon composition or planet Zeus's chronic pirate problem - will merit a code Amber advisory, which strongly advises against nonessential traffic into or out of the system. Finally, systems embroiled in conflict - or in dire threat of being so - are listed as code Red advisory status.

Ed.: It's a matter of some argument whether the Travel Advisory Board's classifications are politically motivated - the danger posed in Green-coded systems such as Dartmoor is arguably greater than that of Amber systems elsewhere, and many otherwise safe systems are given a Red designation by merit of their belonging to the Spartan Brigade.

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