Upon arrival in Orta at age eight, a marixidoe is stripped naked and tossed into Ortakol Harbor. If she cannot swim she’ll not be retrieved; those that swim to the beach first are pulled aside not for accolades, but for the task of recovering those that have drowned. Elder marixi separate the youths into random groups of fifty. These groups are called Toobs.
Each Toober moves on to the Orta Annex where each receives a wearable belt containing two uniforms (one for barracks, the other for surface runs), a hide washing kit, nail clippers, and four under-suits. Toober’s are marched in their bare feet up slick ice caverns clad in only their belts. At the end of the journey are their barracks; built into the surface ice, these rooms contain body-size stalls, each Toober is assigned one. Toober’s will live here with the fifty others until the age of thirteen.
A significant part of Toob training is psychological; she must be relied upon to obey orders and follow instructions. There is a strict grooming standard; Toober’s keep their appearance as uniform as possible. A Toob performs routine tasks such as folding her uniform and under-suits, standing to attention, and ‘running the snow’ each day, on the surface. During the polar day, Toober’s undergo air maneuvers and dive training in glacier ponds. Training during the polar night includes daily learning of standard operating procedure, instruction in military courtesy, tradition, and history, and uniform care and wear.
At the start of their thirteenth-year*, Toober’s visit the Surface Excursion Center where each is paired with another to compete against three other pairs in what is called a Surface Trial. Each pair scouts the the Ramax Prime on the same mission carried out by Femitokon and her eight chosen. The parameters of the Surface Trial are to follow the path of the original team that went from base to base, proverbially ridding the continent of helovx by collecting national flags placed on the base ruins. This particular Surface Trial is unobserved, and some have lost their lives to surface wildlife or the elements. In rare cases, some Toober’s lose their lives in altercations with other Toober’s; these fatalities are always investigated.
A Toober’s performance during her Surface Trial determines her Brood assignment.
- Cultivation of the Military Caste
- Surface Operational
- Sorority of Defense | Lifeforms of the SOD