The Nation of Free Men’s Wraith Corp (or simply Wraiths) are the Nation of Free Men’s special tactics operators who specialize in all aspects of starship-to-starship boarding, including but not limited to; boarding enabling (the act of sabotage or other means of making a starship easy to board by one’s own forces.), space combat control & fire support (including strike craft, drop ships, boarding ships and corvettes) and command, control and communications in covert, forward or austere environments.
Assigned to all combat-capable ships and some non-combat ships, Wraith’s play an integral part in the Free Men’s operations with procuring starships and counter-boarding defense. Trained in boarding maneuvers, long-term undercover operations, and starship rated close-quarters combat both armed and unarmed, Wraiths are often assigned as teams of two or three, depending on their specialty and their objective.
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Wraith Corps Motto: “Presence of Death”; Presence of speaks to the Wraith’s capability of being present on a ship but unseen to the enemy. Death in the motto refers to the old-world Death also known as the Grim Reaper. Death was widely known as the entity that caused the death of their victim by collecting them. In this use, the Wraith’s refer to themselves as Death in the sense that they cause the effective capture of a starship so that the Free Men can then collect the ship into their armada.
The Wraiths are special tactic operators assigned to all combat ships and a few non-combat ships. They are trained in starship-to-starship boarding and are widely regarded as experts in the field. The Mission of a Wraith team is to infiltrate a starship for the purpose of reconnaissance or the boarding of a ship with the intent to take it for the Nation of Free Men. They plan out the boarding event months and even years in advance depending on the ship and will spend just as long undercover aboard the ship making preparations and finalizing plans. While most teams specialize in the undercover field, there are many who deploy right along with the boarding parties in support of direct action, coordinating with the Wraith team onboard the target ship to ensure a smooth take over.
The present day Wraiths have their roots in the Draconis Resistance led by Kra’vos Reeves in 3388. Kra’vos recognized the need for more ships if they wanted to win the rebellion. As a result, several men and women of the resistance went on daring undercover operations to “enable” the smooth capture of a ship. With rising success and growing fleet numbers, the Starship Boarding Enabling and Capture (S.B.E.C) school was established after the formation of the Nation of Free Men, on September 15th, 3390 at Osvalen of the Astrum System. The first generation of the Wraith Corp, known as the Boarding Enablers was formed with the first graduating class of S.B.E.C on March 15th, 3391.
The mission of a Boarding Enabler was to plant themselves into the crew of a target ship a few months before the planned attack. They would bond with the crew, learn their habits, patterns, personalities, anything the Enabler could use to exploit the person or the ship. They would sabotage important systems or cause minor malfunctions that would make the boarding easier. A door that won’t seal or a defensive weapon system not reloading properly are two examples. Once the boarding event was underway, the Enabler would help guide the boarding teams via ship-to-ship communication or hidden cryptographic symbols or any other means.
The first generation of Boarding Enablers was 42 teams strong, with 4 of them being 3-manned teams and the rest 2-manned teams. Between the 42 teams, 3 dozen warships and starships were captured with minimal damage during a 4 year period. This would result in an 85% success rate. 6 teams did not manage to successfully capture a ship. Two of those teams would later be marked as killed in action when the ships they were operating on were engaged by hostile forces and subsequently destroyed. The other four teams had to abort their missions as suspicions from the crew mounted. They safely returned to Free Men Control and were re-assigned to direct boarding action parties.
Direct Boarding Action Parties
A Boarding Enabler would eventually find its way onto a Direct Boarding Action Party or D.B.A.P sometime in their career. A D.B.A.P was the Free Men’s answer to further increase capture rate of ships. These teams would often board during active combat situations in the hopes of neutralizing high-value ships from within. They often deployed to ships with or without a team of Boarding Enablers previously on the ship. They suffered high causalities and with a variable success rate that averaged around the low 50’s, D.B.A.P’s were eventually discontinued, assigning the members to various other special operations.
Wraiths of Free Men
By 3413, Boarding Enablers had seen extensive use throughout Free Men military operations due to their high success rate. However, a shift was coming, one that would solidify the role the Boarding Enablers had in the nation. Upon the recommendation of establishing direct boarding and counter-boarding units from Commander Joseph Ninas, units who would directly support boarding ships and in the defense of their own ship against boarding. Boarding Enablers would undergo replacement training as they transitioned into their new role.
Shortly after the introduction of these new units, they were put to the test in a string of daring attacks by a growing faction from the Uruk Wastes trying to unseat the Nation of Free Men. It was from these attacks that the new unit proved to be successful in their defense of Free Men ships and their ability to capture hostile ships. A ship commander from a hostile ship who was taken as a prisoner of war commented on the effectiveness of the men boarding his ship. He commented on how the unit would be the last thing his crew would see before their deaths, much like wraiths.
From that comment, the unnamed units would find a name as the Wraiths of Free Men. Eventually, it would be shortened to just The Wraiths.
Wraith Teams and Structure
The original Boarding Enablers were teams of 2 or 3 individuals. Likewise, today’s Wraith teams are inherently the same though a few differences exist. Unlike with the Boarding Enablers, Wraith Teams are assigned to a specific ship from which they derive most of their support from. Wraiths often act as advisors to the ship’s commander for the purposes of counter-boarding and special operations.
Wraith teams generally have no assigned role, as each Wraith is trained and expected to fulfill any role assigned, however, one of the Wraiths is usually labeled as Lead Operative. This label is usually decided on by the team’s members, though if incapable of agreeing, the most senior member is chosen.