Heart Military Academy
Heart is one of several Academies throughout Foundation-controlled space. Heart was founded in the early Sixth Age, in a star system known only by the designation 10-4BUN, on the second planet in the system (the first rocky one in the habitable zone), during the Kamian Succession Wars with the goal of producing better officers for the war-effort.
Among C.B. academies, Heart is unique in that it starts recruitment at the age of eight. From eight through sixteen, it operates like a normal boarding school, but with the added bonus of military-level discipline and limited training. Students learn how to operate within a chain of command, and are familiarized with ranks and regulations. The youth carried out typical schooling, learning math and language, reading and history, and various sciences, as well as close-order drill, marksmanship, and a variety of military training exercises.
Students who graduate at age sixteen (two years ahead of public school) are automatically accepted by the academy program, which includes three-year accelerated command training or four-year standard specialist training. Heart is the only academy whose graduates can immediately recieve a Lieutenant's commission, while all other academies begin at Ensign. The only exception is Gudersnipe School, which is not technically part of the Crimson Blade Academy system. Only the best of the best made it into Heart Academy’s command school, only those young people who were going somewhere, who would one day captain the big capital ships that stormed into battle against the enemy like a rain of swords: only they could claim to be graduates of the Heart Military Academy.
The ‘primary school’ portion of the Heart Academy, meanwhile, functioned like any other military school: taking bad little boys and girls, giving them matching haircuts, and turning them into good little boys and girls with matching haircuts.
10-4BUN-2 sported a population of nearly four billion, hundreds of major cities, and a fairly busy orbital space port. The inner planet 10-4BUN-1 was a vapor-like, hot gas giant in a very tight orbit around the main-sequence star. It blocked or absorbed enough heat from 10-4BUN itself to allow 10-4BUN-2 a fairly close orbit as well. Another, larger and this time colder gas giant designated 10-4BUN-3 kept everything in equilibrium, and acted as the system’s planetary shield. Two more gas giants, 10-4BUN-4 and 10-4BUN-5 rounded out the system, and it was beyond the orbit of 10-4BUN-5 that the small space station lay.
Itself two thousand years old, the station had begun its life as an unmanned observation post and supply depot, while 10-4BUN-2 was still undergoing the tedious process of Terraforming. 10-4BUN-2 was a Generation Three, System Two world, with plants and some animals; but the station’s history was far more interesting.
First constructed on an asteroid in A.Y. 4710, the station was intended to help monitor the 500-year-long terraforming process. It had to last practically forever, so the designers excavated tunnels deep into the rock and built an elaborate, well-constructed system. Following the completion of terraforming, the station sat abandoned for nearly 800 years, until the Succession Wars began. The old station went into service as an early-warning sensor-grid and orbital weapon’s platform. For the next two hundred years, a crack team of Crimson Blade’s space marines ran drills, carried out sophisticated maneuvers, and in general made ready for that perilous day when they would have to defend the solar system against an enemy onslaught. When the remoteness of the war became apparent, the station was repurposed slightly, becoming an extension of the Heart Academy. The crack team of experienced soldiers was replaced by a slightly more relaxed team of veterans on their way to retirement. The crew was reduced from 400 to 50, with more emphasis placed on automation in the event of an actual attack. Barracks, mess halls, and recreation-rooms were replaced with classrooms, training simulators, and barracks with slightly smaller beds. Youth from the Academy now roamed the rock-cut halls, practicing the same drills as had the seasoned soldiers, but this time in an effort to learn the trade.