|SPECIAL SECURITY DIVISION|
Long ago, those who held positions of defense for their social group were revered, they held special privilege that afforded them the best that their group was able to provide. One of the first ancient cultures to actively merge the ideal of defense of one's people with being both graceful and humble were the Samurai of Japan; their sense of honor for duty of service to protect their leaders and people – the very meaning of the word “Samurai” translates to “to serve” - coupled with a rigid code of conduct carried forward into the future of the Terran peoples of other lands and cultures, through a millennia of generations; from the time of the Bobbies of London performing the most menial of escort duties for the citizens at the turn of the 20th century, to the investigation, protection and halt of the worst terrorist attacks to people and nations in the early 21st century. Even today, elements of the Samurai code, known as Bushido, can be found in the SSD's rules of governance amongst those who take the oath at the end of their training period.
From the basics of martial self-defensive techniques, to the use of various types of hand-held weaponry, physical combat training is a continual process of conditioning and maintenance of endurance, strength and quickness of reflexes. Keeping skills as sharp as the body remains honed, firearms and other forms of learning are a continual process that is updated and tested to ensure the SSD agent remains in pique condition to perform her duties to the best of her abilities. Running a mile or more may be as integral and essential an ability as knowing how to disarm an opponent or negotiate a hostage situation. The SSD agent is taught how to be observant, not only aware of the surrounding conditions, but the physical cues presented through body language and verbal cues. Investigative clues are as important as observation, and even those agents who wield eidetic or near-photographic memory are taught to always be prepared to notice and record clues and cues, and gather evidence in non-compromising ways, in each situation. (An SSD agent is never caught without a datapad and tricorder for recording of evidence and gathering notes, even when chancing upon a scene unexpectedly.) To this end, pathology and forensics are also required curriculum that is brushed up on and tested throughout the agent's career.
While the ancient code of Bushido may be at the central core of the SSD beliefs and training, there are some aspects of this archaic philosophy that has changed through the acts of former heads of the Special Security Division, or due to the necessity of current situations when the code would conflict with what is needed to fulfill the duties of administering justice to and for the people. What follows is the original code, and how it has been modified for the modern day SSD Operative.
Rectitude (or Justice) -
Rectitude is one’s power to decide upon a course of conduct in accordance with reason, without wavering; to die when to die is right, to strike when to strike is right. It is the bone that gives firmness and stature. Without bones the head cannot rest on top of the spine, nor hands move nor feet stand. So without Rectitude neither talent nor learning can make the human frame into a samurai. The SSD Operative is specially trained to handle various situations, to analyze each moment, and – through calculated experience and education – find the best possible outcome that will preserve life. The code of justice is a living thing to all SSD Agents, and as such, the death of someone who has committed murder is not necessarily the end result the Operative seeks so much as restitution (and safety) for the greater whole who has suffered the loss of the individual murdered. At any moment, the Operative could be called upon to act in the interests of the SSD, and thus she must always be prepared to make a judgment call of what the right course of action is, to pursue justice, at a moment's notice.
Courage is worthy of being counted among virtues only if it is exercised in the cause of Righteousness and Rectitude. In his Analects, Confucius says: ‘Perceiving what is right and doing it not reveals a lack of Courage.’ In short, ‘Courage is doing what is right. The SSD Operative who holds to the edicts of justice is the bastion of courage that inspires her comrades and disheartens criminals, offering feelings of hope and safety to those under her protection. Courage can range from taking a bullet meant for someone else, or making a stand to speak the truth against those in charge who are abusing their power.
A man invested with the power to command and the power to kill was expected to demonstrate equally extraordinary powers of benevolence and mercy. Love, magnanimity, affection for others, sympathy and pity, are traits of Benevolence, the highest attribute of the human soul. Both Confucius and Mencius often said the highest requirement of a ruler of men is Benevolence. It is often said “To err is human, to forgive is against SSD regulations.” While this may feel true at times (particularly when one is being investigated by the Operative) each SSD Operative knows that by holding to the course of seeking the facts is to make the best determination in any given situation; this is – essentially – the pursuit of Justice. With this in mind, each SSD Operative acts in a matter that he feels is appropriate to get to the facts at hand, meeting out Justice with a benevolent hand when his investigation is concluded.
Courtesy and good manners were noticed in the past by every foreign tourist as distinctive Japanese traits. But Politeness should be the expression of a benevolent regard for the feelings of others; it is a poor virtue if it is motivated only by a fear of offending good taste. In its highest form Politeness approaches love. One of the courses of the SSD Cadet is that of negotiation, diplomacy and etiquette. It is proven that when one is tactful and polite, they are more easily able to gain control of a tense situation and hold the respect and attention of those present, thus enabling the Operative to gain more information from each person involved in the affair – and thereby putting together more of the pieces that make the whole picture – so as to be able to analyze each perspective offered from all parties, and make an accurate judgment in the situation.
Honesty and Sincerity -
Bushido encouraged thrift, not for economical reasons so much as for the exercise of abstinence. Luxury was thought the greatest menace to manhood, and severe simplicity was required of the warrior class … the counting machine and abacus were abhorred.
With the advent of the replicators and transporters in the last two centuries, the SSD does not see this particular ethos of the code of Bushido in the same way as those of the past did, but rather noting that honesty and sincerity offer an example for others to trust the Operative, and in turn be forthcoming with information and avoid being false to the SSD Operative.
The sense of Honor, a vivid consciousness of personal dignity and worth, characterized the samurai. He was born and bred to value the duties and privileges of his profession. Fear of disgrace hung like a sword over the head of every samurai … To take offense at slight provocation was ridiculed as ‘short-tempered.’ As the popular adage put it: ‘True patience means bearing the unbearable.’ Those within the SSD wear a badge as a symbol of older days when such a thing meant that you were courageous enough to put your life on the line for the safety of others, when you didn't have to make a promise – because simply speaking it meant that it was as good as done, a time when seeking out truth and meeting out justice was something only done by those who held no fear for their own pain or (potentially) loss of life. A shield was commonly worn or carried by these brave souls, which in later times became a symbol that was reduced in size but still carried a sense of awe and respect. Those who pass through their orientation and cadet training in the SSD know that while there will be those who fear or hate the organization or the Operative for some slight or action taken in the pursuit of justice, it is a sense of pride – an honor – because it means that a member of the SSD has done their job, and justice has been served.
Loyalty to a superior was the most distinctive virtue of the feudal era. Personal fidelity exists among all sorts of men: a gang of pickpockets swears allegiance to its leader. But only in the code of chivalrous Honor does Loyalty assume paramount importance. What held true long ago, holds true for today. In Earth's Celtic societies of old, the warrior was seen as an integral part of society, hunting, defending, and advancing the cause of Clan and Clannoch (the land and possessions of the clan). His personal worth was not so important as that of the whole of the Clan, and his role was no more important as that of the worker or the spiritualist. As this was the teachings of the society as a whole, it was more easily accepted for the warrior to do what was needed for his people, including giving up his life so that his Clan might survive. This mindset carried through the ages when teaching soldiers and defenders of various cultures. As SSD operatives go through orientation, they are put through rigorous tests that force them to coexist and rely on one another, because knowing who you can trust is paramount in the SSD, and thus fidelity and loyalty are key elements ingrained through all the trials that SSD Cadets go through. There are some who would say the SSD Operatives cover for one another in all circumstances. While this may seem true, should an Operative work against the pursuit of justice, then she would be no SSD Agent at all, and subject to even more harsh investigative measures than the worst criminals of the Maquis.
Character and Self-Control -
Bushido teaches that men should behave according to an absolute moral standard, one that transcends logic. What’s right is right, and what’s wrong is wrong. The difference between good and bad and between right and wrong are givens, not arguments subject to discussion or justification, and a man should know the difference. Finally, it is a man’s obligation to teach his children moral standards through the model of his own behavior. The first objective of samurai education was to build up Character. The subtler faculties of prudence, intelligence, and dialectics were less important. Intellectual superiority was esteemed, but a samurai was essentially a man of action. The SSD Operative must always be in control of her own faculties, and face adversity with the analytical, calculating logic that even a Vulcan who has achieved Kol-i-nar would envy. At the same time, the Operative must find a balance, so as to not come off as cold or detached to the situation or individuals that she is dealing with. This is how the Operative shows strength of will, invites trust and respect, and is best able to find the spirit of justice appeased in each case she is given, every cause she fights for, and all problems brought forth that she must defuse.
You are an SSD Operative. It is your duty to keep our people safe, and to expose and route those who show themselves to be against society, known only as despots and the unjust. By completing the courses of the College of the Special Security Division you have concluded the training necessary to perform the tasks presented to you in as effective a way as possible. Be as ready in action as you are in observation, so that you are best able to meet our justice.