I'm split-quoting your post to reply to each part in turn. Helps make sure i don't miss any...
Well, I've got to admit being intrigued by this idea seeing as I've been a fan of fighter combat stories ever since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I've roleplayed and written fanfic in he Macross and Wing Commander universes, plus I played an InVitro fighter pilot in a Space: Above and Beyond roleplay group and was told I did quite well, so I think I can get the feel of this game. Anyway I have some questions about the setting that I hope you can answer.
Really? cool! S:AaB is one of those "FOX, YOU BASTARDS!" series, like Firefly... How could they do that? Leave it on such a cliff-hanger and then can the third season! AAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!
Um, so, yeah, S:AaB is actually part of my inspiration for this story. But enough Network Bashing. On to your questions....
* I took a look at your O/O page before starting this reply. Would the fact that I only play male characters, and have very little experience with non-con or dom/sub stuff, bar me from this game?
Not at all... I'm hoping to have a good mix of male and female players. In my experience all the males will be straight and most of the females will be bi... The D/S stuff, really comes in only if I bring in the Human player characters... The officers will of course all be human, with the exception of the squadron commander who will only have an honorary officer status (my character). The reason for saying that the story is non-consensual is because the human officers will be able to take and rape any of the anthros they wish ( note: In Character only: OOC, consent must be obtained from the player who's character is being raped).
I don't really see much by way of Bondage going on, unless we are looking at getting into a punishment scene for some misdemeanour committed by one of the anthros.
* How big are the nations in this setting? Are we talking single planets, single star systems, a few closely-allied star systems or dozens of star systems?
I think probably a mix of single star systems, closely allied systems and one big evil empire that is trying to unify all the others... (Gives us a nice back-ground plot that way) Use the classic Space-Opera back-story of "Diaspora-breakdown-recontact".
* You mentioned our characters being 75% human and 25% beast for the legal technicalities, but just how human or inhuman do anthros look? Would almost human except with, say, pointy ears and feline slit-pupilled eyes be acceptable? Or are we talking the classic neko look - human with pointy feline ears on top of the head and a kitty-style tail? Or maybe a fully-upright feline like the lion-men and other anthros out of Flash Gordon? Is there scope for different types or styles of anthros in the squadron, with each having come from a different world-slash-production facility, each with its own design criteria?
I have to admit to a preconception here. Some examples of what I'm thinking:http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2011/104/2/c/adoptable_feline_anthro_by_refisadopts-d3dzecd.pnghttp://img-cache.cdn.gaiaonline.com/44a20dd10c100f69b8d4a48401b8b8f2/http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p213/Uni_013/Green_Alien_Cat_Girl_Redux_by_Dadwa.jpghttp://fc05.deviantart.net/fs24/f/2007/338/7/b/Cat_Anthro_Recolor_by_Kesshi.pnghttp://e621.net/data/2d/97/2d97e7e54f6e6975636e8a0c659c04c4.jpg?1347017508
It's a lot easier to find pics of naked cat-girls than of cat-boys... This, to me, is a "good thing", but makes it hard for guys to find character pics for a RP like this one.
So, anyway, my real concept is "full furry", with feline facial features, but human hands and feet. Tails are a must! A "neko" - i.e. a human with cat ears and a tail - would be more than 80% human DNA, is what I'm thinking here. (Actually I may lower that limit to 75%)
There would be different production facilities across the nation producing the cat-squadron, but this is the military we are talking about: they would have put the production out to tender, and gone with one or possibly two facilities - or maybe used their own in-house cloning labs. That said, the squadron is experimental, so there could be a wide variety of different feline DNA used, to see which works best. I'm considering also, removing the restriction I placed on "no exotic cats", purely because of the shortage of decent male images...
* Are anthros used just as disposable combat troops by the various militaries, or are they also used as slave labour of various sorts? (I'm thinking InVitroes in SAAB, again). For that matter, how common are jumpships - are they exclusively military or government-owned, or are there privately-owned jumpships? And are there mercenary groups active in this setting like in the Hammer's Slammers or Battletech universes, or modern PMCs?
On worlds where Anthros are legal, they would be common slaves for all sorts of purposes - everything from "Mole-men" working underground, to "Bunny-girl" sex slaves, to "Rotweiler-boy" security guards. The deck crews for the fighter ships would probably be lizard Anthros of some sort, or maybe "driders".
I'm thinking "Grand Space Opera" setting here. So, yes, we would have privately owned merchant ships capable of jump. Arming them would be strictly illegal in some parts of the galaxy and commonplace in others. I would think pirates and mercenary groups would flourish in the society I envisage.
* With the last line in your original post I assume that, if our characters get their act together and get pushed too far, the possibility of us leading a slave rebellion like a sci-fi Spartacus may be on the cards (or at least not auto-stomped by the GM). Does this sound right?
"Auto-stomped by the GM"? I love that expression! Sooooo... The possibility
a slave revolt is very real, and if by "Auto-stomped" you mean I just say "No, you can't do that", I'm not that sort of GM. If, however, you mean will I, as GM, muster an army of loyal NPCs who surround the PCs and say "Surrender or die", that depends entirely on what happens in the game.
I would remind you, however, of what happened to Spartacus...
Oh, and then there's this little incident from my approval thread, of which I'm particularly proud...!http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=73613.msg3224500#msg3224500
* You mentioned anthros in the military being used for grunt work - I'm assuming that means duties such as PBI / Poor Bloody Infantry (standard foot-grunts), cargo haulers etc, possibly marine detachments on starships and space stations (I can imagine boarding actions and resisting same would be a real meat-grinder, especially if simply opening the section being boarded to hard vacuum is considered a valid counter-boarding tactic). Could there be Special Forces-type units made up of anthros specifically to take advantage of any natural aptitudes they may have - for example a LRRP (Long Range Recon Patrol) unit made up of felines who operate mainly in darkness to take advantage of better low-light vision? Could our characters have had pasts in non-space military forces before being assigned to this squadron, or have we been purpose-grown specifically for this project?
I think I have already partly answered this, but basically the answer is yes. Create an anthro with a chitinous shell and six limbs that can cling onto anything, and remove the need for it to breath through lungs and you have the perfect "space marine". Lower intelligence means they just follow orders and don't try and think for themselves. Infantry would be canine, mostly. Loyal, strong, unswerving, relatively smart and aggressive.
And of course, there would be the ten-percenters..... People classed as human, but with specific genetic adaptations to enable them to perform specific tasks. Gills, for example, so they could breath under water, or (as you suggest) night vision. Probably human officers in charge of Anthro units would be 90% human DNA so they share some of the traits of their "men".
Basic donkey-work would obviously be carried out by... OH GOD NO! I can't say it, it's too corny...!
As for the origins... I was thinking that the cats would have been specifically grown for the project, and programmed with the data they needed while in the tank. It would be very rare for a full anthro to change job. But I also think that the technology should exist to "graft-on" the genetic structure to a human - hence how they make the 10%-ers. This could open an interesting possibility - The cats could possibly have been teenage humans, kidnapped and gene-grafted to be below 80% (or 75%) human.
I quite like that idea....
Oh, and for a better name for the RP, how about 'Catseye Squadron' or 'Claws of the Cats'?
Me likie. I like both of those, and can't choose between them. I think "Catseye Squadron" is just in front.
Anyway, I hope that has helped?
Now to see if anyone else has posted while I've been typing this!