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Training Wreck 11/29

Training Wreck 11/29 published on 25 Comments on Training Wreck 11/29

Thorn: How’s your skill with telepathy? Can we have a conversation mind-to-mind?

Atarangi: With permission — and with physical contact — I can link to your mind. But no matter how secure our conversation is, if you’re not cleared for a —

Thorn: You have permission to read the part of my mind that includes my clearance level.


Atarangi (thinking): . . . Oh dear. It’s higher than mine.

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Looks like she was betting on being able to use security clearance as a way out of it…

It makes sense she’d have a pretty high one to even know ABOUT the prophecy

Man, I hope she’s still getting into position. If she’s already cheating from the start I am not impressed.

That’s a normal position for people who don’t have your upper-body strength.

Atarangi isn’t held to the same physical standards as the knights, any more than the knights are held to her standard of “able to set things on fire with your mind.”

Actually, seeing her size, she should be held to much higher physical standards as the knights.
It’s a nifty thing called “square-cube law”. Basically, physical strenght is a function of muscle cross-section, which roughly depends on the square of the height, while weight is a function of volume, which depends on the cube of the height. What it means is that, with equal proportions, the smaller you are, the stronger you are in comparison to your weight.
That’s why an ant is able to lift something like 40 time its own weight, but if it were scaled to our size it wouldn’t even be able to walk, crushed by its own weight.
So yeah, even without any physical training at all, she would be able to do much more pushups than highly buffed-up knights.
(But, your point about training standards in a diverse team is entirely valid, this is just me being a nerd for the sake of it, and since most people aren’t used to the implications of square-cube laws, including it in worldbuilding usually breaks suspension of disbelief for everyone but the nerds.)

If I understand/recall correctly, Tamaputians were magically created, which is why they look like tiny humans at all without the square-cube law freezing them to death due to too much surface area relative to their volume. But I’m not Erin, so I don’t know how much that means for Tamaputians’ push-up ability.

If that’s the case, please tell me there aren’t any Tamaputians in the Axe.

if there are Tamaputians in the Order of the Axe, I imagine they’re deep cover: surveilling from planters, setting up sniper’s nests with the heaviest ordinance they can carry… Maybe a Magical Girl or two literally in their charge’s pocket, ready to deal with something that gets past everyone else.

Dex and Delphium have had repeated arguments about clearance level, so clearly clearance is not the final word in what people are allowed to know.

To be fair, “You, specifically, are not authorized to know this.”

There’s at least a couple of scenarios that could trigger that sentence:

1. The question has come up before, and was told `hell no` by the ultimate determiner of need to know.

2. The concept of `need to know is also necessary` is weak enough that the information was distributed with a `Dex is not allowed to know this` qualification.

To be fair, given the corresponding situation in our world, with the US’ level of `need to know is also necessary`, I’d expect scenario 2 to apply. We absolutely have a firm grasp of need to know, as the most recent security slip I’m aware of us making due to people being weak on that concept is decades old (unless, of course, you include people being weak on the concept of what constitutes need to know, in which case things like the Snowden case would also count. That itself is over a decade ago now, but I’m certain there have been people who’ve let their sysadmin know their passwords since then.) But everybody with a job has had a first day on the job. Even though I assume everybody working on Kale’s case had to be an experienced professional to get there, everybody on that case had a first day on that job. Mistakes aren’t an option.

But having said that, I remember a time when it was understood that security clearance was all you needed for basic information. You got the clearance, we’re all on the same team, you want to know, here you go.

It’s my understanding that, when I was a youth, what we really had was a hybrid. At the lowest levels of security clearance, you needed need to know for everything. At higher levels, you needed to have need to know for everything at your level.

These days, I wouldn’t be too surprised if it were possible for us to have the following exchange happen:

Trump: Gina, I want to know what the oldest secret we have that’s at the lowest security clearance level we have.
Haspel: Sir, I’m sorry, but you don’t need to know that.

It’s not really clear to me where on that spectrum Ceannis is.

That said, I could also easily see the Prophesy coming with a list of people to never tell. I doubt that Thorn’s on it, because it feels less likely that Kiki would mention the prophesy if there was someone she knew was supposed to never know about it right there. That said, he could be. Or maybe the explanation will start off with, “Never reveal this to Leif, Kale, or anyone allied with Sonheim.” or something like that.

The reason why Dex specifically doesn’t have clearance is they have a grudge on Kale. Kale is in witness protection- not a dungeon. As such people who want to kill Kudzu don’t get to know where he lives.
Like a cop who gets a restraining order from their wife isn’t allowed in the house- even if their position they can finagle the war on drugs clause or hot pursuit clause to enter a house with out a knock or invitation.
I don’t know if this is true in the US, but it sure would be in Ceannis

The more relevant example of arguing over clearance is in a night to remember: Pas “What is up with Dex”
Fire mage:”can’t tell you, not enough clearance”
Pas: “Then give me the clearance- or I can’t help you arrest them”

You’re forgetting another reason for need to know: Deniability. If something is going on that is essential to your nation’s interests but is also threatening geopolitical ramifications you need to be able to say, “Hey, I had no knowledge this was going on.”

Question for those currently/formerly in the military, would anyone actually be placed under the command with someone who had a lower clearance level than them?

It just occurred to me that Thorn as commanding officer ordering Atarangi into a vulnerable position and putting a finger on her without first receiving explicit permission might be taken differently by other Neineikura headmates than work subordinate to commanding military officer.

Perhaps Kallie is wildly gesticulating “Can I front? Can I front? Please can I front?!”

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