Debt Reclaim Contract: Naval Profession in Lieben Cycle | World Anvil

Debt Reclaim Contract: Naval


A transcript from the personal logs of Commodore Earl Rammage.

My Allard problem has me awake again. I keep thinking not my fault, the idiot's a menace to any sane officer. The kid's eyes, his god-danged eyes follow me through the room, a mix of hurt and innocent I haven't seen in a real person since... 2108? 2109 tops.

Soldiers and naval crew sign on for a plethora of reasons, I hope the majority do it for company loyalty, or the pay upgrade in comparison to other low-education wages and per diems on offer. An unlucky few?

They sign Debt Reclamation Contracts. Straight up debt forgiveness for service, meant to be a relief. You young? Family got into financial trouble? Want to pad the retirement investment portfolio? What's six years? Four? Heck, two years and with potential danger pay, a kid in their twenties could have enough for the down payment for a house. Gated community level comforts. Want to grab a Reproduction Voucher or three? Two years, even throw in a bit of extra investment for the future.

Desperation makes them easy for our sociologists to flag and press-gang into the services. A few years, and once you're out, there's no resign on the dotted line. It's a dock and another life. Not so bad on the majority of our fleet, the likelihood of action is slimmer than my alimony payment. 

I've watched the footage from Allard's mechanics shop in Re-Cyke a good twenty times. Enough the tape's fritzed a few seconds in, before levelling out. The kid was more scared than I've seen in years. But there was his mother, his own god danged flesh and blood with pleading eyes and a hand on Allard's shoulder.

Sign the paperwork. Take care of me.

I'd shudder, but... the kid signed.

Way of things, usually DRC's end up as grunts. Only a small percentage have any skills worth more than the lowest rate-pay. But Allard, he was a bright spark in Re-Cyke. Repaired ships, schooners, cars, plumbing systems. Old toasters and microwaves. Half the fleet were salivating over his prospective potential ratings. Who cared if the kid couldn't shoot so much as a pistol?

Keeping a boat going, with the analog systems we use? Worth his weight. Still, I don't know how fair it is to watch a kid that young be signed over for two decades. How desperate was his family?

Maybe that keeps me up more.

I checked.

It's enough to shake even my implacable faith in the Conglomerate's corporate system. Almost. Maybe if his mother hadn't spent some of the debt money buying a house, a new car. 

Allard is one of the few DRC's to make Officer, let alone Lieutenant Commander. Let alone become the lead on the Assets. Strange world.


Career Progression

  1. Debt Tally: The DRC signee's debts are calculated with interest by an independent adjudicator. Added onto the initial lump sum are living expenses for the course of the contract, food and basic medical.
  2. Contract Signing: Often kinetic in nature, the signing includes a complimentary trip to the first port of call, where DRC's are processed and given basic training, with optional training for a potential increase in wage-rate based on performance (for additional fee, tacked onto the DRC).
  3. Deployment: The DRC is deployed on a vessel or in an infantry unit, with their CO's knowing the truth.
  4. Debt Repayment: Wages earned by DRC's are handed directly to Financial Services. Any per diem money or special bonuses are placed first upon the debt, with a corresponding reduction in contract length.
  5. Final Payment: Upon final payment, the DRC has the choice to vacate their position and make their way back to Port, or to sign a regular contract, at the wage-rate they earned.


Social Status

DRC's are the lowest rung of the Conglom military machine. They accrue avoidance or ridicule, while often their press-ganged status create situational pass-overs for promotion. Loyal officers, who signed for the love of the Conglomerate or for the prestige of higher wage-rates tend to resent those who joined for their debts.

Given their basic accommodation and use of only the basic ship-wide or base-wide facilities, DRC's tend to be visible, potentially ostracized and forced into spartan conditions. They don't often make diligent officers, or repeat contractees.


Provided Services

The majority of DRC's are infantry grunts. Basic labour. Only a few are as useful as Max Allard, mechanics or specialists who can accrue a higher wage and promotion prospects.

We usually want to inspire them into signing a new contract. But not... not Allard. If I have to stare at those wounded eyes...


To give families an option for the payment of debt in a more expedient fashion. DRC's can reduce repayment time to a slim trickle of years & help those who have few advantages into a career.


One of the beneficial points to DRC's, zero educational pre-requisites. Course, education helps climb the Conglom's Wage Scale and thus repay debt faster, but there is no pre-requisite to signing on for infantry or crew.

Alternative Names
DeeBees, Debters, DRC's

It's this or the Work House, what, you think the Work Houses are better? Hah!

Famous in the Field
Related Locations
Related Vehicles

Think Dickensian Work House but in the military, crossed with Horatio Hornblower. Yeah, I said it.


Front line infantry & pirate action can shorten life spans. We're soldiers and sailors. Combat is a thing.

Payment & Remuneration

Unlike all other Conglom naval & military staff, DRC's receive only basic medical care (without additional costs incurred), basic shared bunk accommodations, basic foodstuffs and no retirement fund.

Aside from the basics, all extraneous wages are put directly into the debt reclamation account against the principle.


Upon exit from DRC's a person and their immediate family becomes debt free, and unshackled from the often crushing weight of various medical, mortgage, or life expenses.


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