The People’s Coalition is a vast interstellar power with a long, storied history that has both a triumphant and tragic past. As the largest single power in the known universe, the People’s Coalition has a huge impact on the star nations around it and their history is closely tied to even the largest of the interstellar powers. With its own history stretching back to some of the first colony efforts by mankind, the People’s Coalition and its history has impacted almost every star nation.
Table of Contents
- 1 THE FIRST COALITION (2400-2550)
- 2 KITMARI WAR AND THE RICHE FAMINE (2550-2600)
- 3 THE DIGITAL RIFT AND THE GROWING FRONTIER (2600-2700)
- 4 THE RISE OF THE INTERSTELLAR COMMUNITY (2700-2895)
- 5 THE SHADOW WAR AND THE FIRST CIVIL WAR (2895-2930)
- 6 THE REBIRTH OF THE COALITION (2930-3000)
- 7 THE PAX CONGREGATIO (3000-3200)
- 8 THE DOWNFALL (3200-3380)
- 9 THE SECOND CIVIL WAR (3380-3385)
- 10 THE RISE OF THE PEOPLE’S COALITION (3385-3417)
THE FIRST COALITION (2400-2550)
During the early 2400s, Passau – a generation 1 colony first established in the region that would later become known as the Heimaten – was already fully established colony with a population of over two million. Nearly one-hundred and fifty years of development had allowed the colony to build a stable industrial base both on and off world. It was also during this time that refit work began on the original colony ship still in orbit – the Verbond.
Under the colonial charter of the Human Continuity Project, HCP funded colonies such as Passau were responsible for founding additional human colonies in their region to help expand the human foothold in the galaxy. Generation 1 colony ships like Verbond had been specifically designed with this directive in mind. Their FTL drives were easily modified and upgraded to improve speeds as technology developed. Furthermore, their internal artificial wombs and gestation chambers were designed for thousands of uses, allowing the colony ship to – theoretically – support the population of up to ten independent colonies.
After the discovery of a habitable world in a nearby star system, Verbond was launched alongside newly starships constructed in Passau shipyards establishing the second colony under Passau’s jurisdiction – Neurhein. The Neurhein colony and their relationship with Passau became a framework for future colonial efforts by Passau; and by the mid-2400s, Passau had established a second colony on the planet Ronan. These three worlds and their relationship laid the early foundation for the future Coalition.
Into the 2500s, Passau and its colonies founded three additional worlds in the region – Ludin, Vinmar, and Lucerne. These colonies also became a part of the expanding regional government and defense force, adding their own contributions to the local economy and military. By the start of the 2500s the region destined to become known as the Heimstatte- the homestead – was calling itself the Coalition of Independent Systems, and the five worlds would continue to expand and establish contact with other colonies in the centuries to come.
KITMARI WAR AND THE RICHE FAMINE (2550-2600)
By the mid-2500s, the Coalition of Independent Systems had further expanded its navy which served as both a policing and exploratory force. However, despite the very real threat of piracy even among the small cluster of worlds, the primary role of the Coalition Navy was the exploration of the surrounding regions.
THE KITMARI WAR
During this time, Coalition starships – despite the limitations of 26th century FTL – pushed further into the void around their sphere. It was Coalition captains who discovered the Kitmari Storm – one of the largest stellar phenomenon in the region – and Coalition captains who charted the early trade routes into the region that would become known as Ar’Carino Mondi. They made contact with some of the future Ar’Carino worlds like Merida and Zaidan. It was during one of these exploratory missions that the Coalition cruiser – the Apollo – encountered a ship of unknown origin. While attempting to make contact, the Apollo was fired upon, barely making it back into FTL.
A year later, the Coalition dispatched a small squadron of ships into the region. Uncertain but interested in the possibility that the unidentified starship might be alien in origin, the Coalition ships returned to spot the Apollo first made contact only to discover a squadron of the same unknown ships lying in wait. The battle that ensued was brutal, and all but two of the Coalition ships were destroyed. However, in the wreckage, the Coalition got their first look at the enemy – a huddled, terrified group of humans serving at the whim of an artificial intelligence captain.
Belonging to a group of artificial intelligence that had established themselves as dominant over their human counterparts shortly after colonization, the Heres Technocracy based out of the Catalyst System was viewed as a direct threat by one of the leaders of the Coalition squadron, Rodin Kirsch. Feeling a need for quick action, he returned to Passau with captured A.I. and the human crews they had liberated, proposing a campaign against Heres. The Passau ruling council was quick to vote in agreement. However, there was a mixed sentiment among Coalition Artificial Intelligences with many proposing more diplomatic solutions. The political turmoil among the Passau leadership was ignored by the military leadership, and in January of 2555, the Coalition Navy departed Passau under the command of the newly promoted Admiral Rodin Kirsch.
The Battle of Gateway
After a year-long journey across the gulf between Passau and the edge of Heres space – on the edge of the Kitmari Storm – the Coalition Fleet arrived. On the way they had captured additional ships belonging to the Heres fleet, gathering more intelligence about their enemy. The star system that Kirsh had decided to attack first was the Gateway. A small but industrialized world on the edge of the habitable zone became their first target, and the Coalition fleet closed to engage, stumbling upon the automated shipyards that constructed the majority of the Heres fleet. With dozens of ships in overhaul or under construction, the system was relatively unguarded allowing Kirsh’s forces to decimate the outgunned defenders and destroy the undefended shipyards. On the planet, they liberated nearly one-million humans enslaved as part of the mining activities on the planet. It was here that Kirsh learned about the human resistance spread throughout Heres space. Seeking allies, Kirsh detached a small force to find the rebel fleet while the bulk of his force remained in low orbit, working on destroying the remaining A.I. that dotted the planetscape.
The Passau-Kitmari Alliance
After two months in Heres space, Kirsh finally arranged a meeting with the human rebellion seeking independence from the Heres dominion. The rebellion’s forces were a small addition when compared to the fleet Kirsh had mustered, but they had a much better grasp on the territory controlled by the Heres government, and more complete star maps. From there, Kirsh was able to bound the problem. With only four habitable worlds in their grasp, Heres was much smaller than Kirsh had originally thought, and their military had been decidedly decimated by his attack on Gateway. With a path leading straight to the Heres capital – and where the central A.I. leadership resided – Kirsh gambled. Risking being cut off from his supply line, he mustered his and the rebel forces and struck Heres Prime. The colony world – settled just a few decades after Passau itself – was caught in the midst of an evacuation of its A.I. leadership. Seeing no identifiable path to victory, the A.I. surrendered and relinquished control of their ships over to the humans serving on them. The liberated humans then turned on the A.I., murdering many of them before Kirsh’s forces could intervene. The violence visited on the A.I. – some of which were members of the rebellion in hiding – earned Kirsh (though many historians say unfairly) – the title of the “Decompiler.”
In the wake of the short war, Kirsh established an interim Passau led government on Heres whose name had been restored to Lonar. The human government – made up of both liberated humans and members of the rebellion – fought for weeks to establish its constitution. The fulcrum of the discussion – as was to be expected – revolved around the rights of Artificial Intelligences. After months of roadblocks, the government formally petitioned to join the Passau led Coalition of Independent Systems, adopting their provisions on Artificial Intelligences and the rights held by them. Kirsh – given authority to accept these terms if offered – agreed to the proposal under the condition that A.I. loyal to the Heres government would be tried outside of the new Lonar protectorate. Agreeing to the terms, the Lonar government arranged to have the A.I. transferred to Kirsh’s custody for the return trip to Passau. However, during the transfer, Lonar terrorists destroyed the transport killing all on board. This cemented Kirsh’s reputation among both Passau and Lonar A.I. and further fragmented opinions back on Passau among A.I. sympathizers and human-centric circles.
THE RICHE FAMINE
At the same time as Admiral Kirsch and his forces began the journey to the edge of Heres space, a small food storage ship left Lucerne destined for Passau. Carrying a corn crop grown from the first native farms on the relatively temperate Lucerne, the starship had an unexpected passenger that would change the lives of Coalition citizens for a millennium to come.
Within a month of arriving on Passau, the corn crop had both been started on local Passau farms as well as made it into Passau’s supply chain. With it, came what would eventually be called the Riche Virus (name for the starship to which the virus was first linked). An adaption of a native virus to Lucerne, the virus had only recently adapted to earth-native crops that had been introduced to its environment before being plucked by a harvester and shipped to Passau, where the virus continued its process of adapting, rapidly spreading form corn to the other staple crops that had taken hold in Passau’s soil. Meanwhile, vast amounts of contaminated crops were shipped from Passau to the surrounding colonies all of which still relied on Passau for food.
The long incubation period meant that all five worlds had been exposed before the first signs of the virus showed up in Lucerne and Passau. By years end, thousands of acres of open-air farms and hydroponics had been destroyed as the virus exploded. With no natural resistance to the alien plague, the otherwise hearty and resistant GMO crops collapsed across the Coalition worlds. Scrambling to address the threat, Coalition governments quarantined dozens of merchant ships, effectively shutting down the interstellar food market in hopes of protecting the uncontaminated regions while Coalition biologists attempted to isolate the threat.
Two years into the crisis, all five worlds had reverted to algae-based bio food stores. However, the limited scale food supply – originally intended for small colony ship populations – failed to meet demand and thousands began to starve and die. It wasn’t until Coalition researchers on Vinmar isolated the Riche Virus that they finally put a “face” to the culprit. The small, alien packet of DNA was decidedly adaptive. Specifically, it was effective at hijacking the chlorophyll centers of the host plant, starving the host as it self-replicated. With lightning speed, Coalition biologists engineered GMO crop lines resistant to the virus and introduced them. By the end of the crisis, nearly five hundred thousand had died across the five worlds due to malnutrition and starvation. In the aftermath, the Coalition introduced strict biodiversity and biological quarantine legislation – the Xenopathology Laws.
THE DIGITAL RIFT AND THE GROWING FRONTIER (2600-2700)
The turn of the 27th century saw the growing Coalition of Independent Systems dragged down in a growing political rift between its human and artificial intelligence members. In the capital of Passau, artificial intelligences had long-held positions in the government, society, and retained basic rights as citizens. However, in the aftermath of the Kitmari war, the integration of the Lonar Protectorate into the Coalition had introduced a population with a deep seeded – if justified – distrust of artificial intelligences, particularly in government positions. Furthermore, the actions by Admiral Kirsh’s forces and their failure to protect due process for captured artificial intelligences had begun to breed a sense of mistrust and disenfranchisement among the artificial intelligences working alongside Coalition citizens. Historians would term this growing social and political divide as the Digital Rift.
THE ABSALON RIOTS
Following Admiral Kirsh’s return to Passau, an independent panel was convened to investigate the mishandling of the post-war governorship of the Lonar system and the rest of the member systems of the former Heres Technocracy. Convened at the government center in the city of Absalon, the six human and two AI board was met with an immediate backlash among the artificial intelligences and human sympathizers who felt the board was intentionally biased. When the board cleared Admiral Kirsh in a verdict of six to two that followed the species lines exactly, artificial intelligences and humans took to the street to protest. The group was met by a combined force of state and local police. As the two groups shouted insults, a police officer’s firearm was inadvertently discharged. The errant round destroyed the artificial intelligence core of one of the protestors, terminating the artificial intelligence instantly. The ensuing chaos caused the crowd to scatter and the police to press the pursuit. Two more human protestors and another artificial intelligence were killed in the stampeding groud – all three by their fellow protestors and one officer was killed by a group of protestors who assaulted him.
Absalon was put on military lockdown for the next two weeks following a declaration of martial law and institution of both physical and network curfews, and two artificial intelligence and two humans were arrested and charged with the murder of the Absalon police officer. When the officer whose round resulted in the death of the protesting artificial intelligence was not prosecuted, riots broke out across Absalon city and in Passau’s capital Verbond. Dozens of artificial intelligences, including prominent community leaders, were arrested and disconnected from the networks. In a dramatic show of solidarity, human and artificial intelligence members of the Passau government refused to take any resolution to the table for 48 hours, effectively locking down the government until the conservative members would come to the table to vote on protections for artificial intelligences.
Finally, a month after the initial protest in Absalon, the Passau federal government passed the Artificial Intelligence Equal Rights (AIER) Act which formally recognized the status of artificial intelligences as a separate but equal species among the Coalition. It further acknowledged their protections both politically and socially. Yet, despite its strong public support on Passau and many other worlds within the Heimstatte, the AIER Act was greeted with strong formal and public protest in the Lonar worlds and other star systems that had suffered under the Heres regime. Regardless, the AIER act was formally ratified by member states – many pursuing legal action against the federal government – and implemented by the mid-2600s. However, the impact of the Kitmari War and its aftermath would have a lasting social impact in the Coalition for the next millennia.
THE VR DEPRESSION
Around the same time of the Absalon riots, a small Vinmar company, Rushin Biotech, made a breakthrough in immersive virtual environments. The development of the Pandora System – an advanced laser field imaging tool paired with a biofeedback suit – allowed the user to experience an immersive virtual environment with tactile feedback. Initially created as a tool for physical therapy, the Pandora system and its engineers were snatched up by the entertainment company Katalyst. Within five years the company marketed the first public version of the Pandora System, named Infinity. Initially costly, the Pandora System and the Infinity networks were limited to the upper-middle-class youth. However, the next decade would see the rapid cost reduction in generation one hardware as updates to the Pandora equipment was rolled out. Within two decades the system was commonplace on Vinmar. Furthermore, Infinity servers were stood up on Passau, Lonar, and almost every other coalition world in the Coalition’s reach.
Infinity revolutionized the way individuals experienced the digital world and forever changed the way they saw their artificial intelligence counterparts. Suddenly romances with artificial intelligences to include physical elements became a very real possibility, and companies could more freely share information between human and artificial co-workers. Companies pushed for their employees to use it to improve efficiency and reduce their corporate footprint. Suddenly working from home didn’t mean accessing and interacting in a limited capacity with one’s colleagues. Even the military used the Infinity engine to conduct training.
What followed was a surprising turn of events. As the Infinity system became so commonplace, approaching near 100% usage across almost every demographic, people began to rely on the VR environment for all forms of entertainment. Microtransactions within the virtual world dominated people’s financial choices, and markets for traditional entertainment began to collapse. Some attempted to remain relevant by moving operations to Infinity’s marketplace. However, some simply couldn’t. Everything from restaurants to immersive cinemas collapsed. Meanwhile, major corporations that served these markets struggled to adapt to the violently changing economic landscape suffering the same fate as the smaller businesses. This led to a massive increase in unemployment that further impacted other economic sectors.
Even the military began to suffer at the hands of Infinity. Numerous cases of VR addiction among soldiers and sailors resulted in a huge increase in attrition rates. By the late 2630s, the Coalition Navy had classified VR addiction as a medical illness requiring treatment. The public and private medical systems on Coalition member worlds followed suit shortly thereafter. However, the damage had been done and the private economic sector was in shambles. Hundreds of thousands went homeless and suffered from VR withdrawals that resulted in spikes of violent crimes, theft, and home invasion. States of emergency were declared in dozens of cities across Coalition worlds while the federal and local governments struggled to pass laws to deal with the situation.
Oddly enough, the answer to the Infinity problem came from the Infinity developers themselves. In 2639, Katalyst made the Infinity source code open source along with the proprietary Pandora System technology. By making the content free for use, the microtransaction market collapsed and business began to pull out of the Infinity market. Instead, Infinity became a user-content centric market with players developing and selling their own content to their fellow users. Meanwhile, there was no longer an incentive to invest real-world money in the Infinity marketplace. Consequently, there was a resurgence in traditional entertainment. Additionally, the evolution of a real-world counter-culture helped fuel the popularity of nostalgic entertainment venues.
It would take another decade, but by the close of the 2640s, the Coalition economy had mostly recovered. Laws passed by across the Coalition federal government limited the use of VR in the workplace and in entertainment. Furthermore, VR addiction testing and treatment became part of the mainstream medical community and would be shared with other star nations after the end of the Astrum Diaspora, helping bring to light the risks of VR.
THE ETHENIAN PASSAGE AND NEW FRONTIERS
At the close of the 27th century, the slow improvements in FTL technology continued to push the boundaries of the coalition further. Discovery of dozens of human colonies across a wide swath of space paired with an aggressive and effective diplomatic corp expanded the boundaries of the Coalition. Famous starship captains like Julia Onomoki and Kane Richter made names for themselves on the interstellar stage, discovering strange new interstellar phenomena or new worlds. One of these captains – Obidiah Marx – also managed – after two centuries of attempts – to chart a course through the Kitmari storm. The discovery of a stable passage through the massive stellar object opened up a vast new region to the galactic west and led to the discovery of the region that would become known as the Ethenian Veld.
THE RISE OF THE INTERSTELLAR COMMUNITY (2700-2895)
The 28th Century started with a bit of a bang. On June 8th, 2728 – a Coalition patrol ship encountered one of the reunion ships launched by the Human Continuity Project (HCP). Loaded with advanced navigation and MAG-drive technology, the Human Continuity Project offered the technology freely to the scattered human colonies, hoping to bring humanity back in contact and help re-establish lines of communications with the thousands of human colonies that had been launched. The HCP captain told tales of a unified and growing interstellar community – the Intersystem Alliance – and some of the other star nations they had encountered. They also shared some of the advances in biomedicine and artificial intelligences that had occurred in the Alliance during the last 600 years.
This exchange of information – dubbed the end of the Astrum Diaspora – brought the Coalition back to the Interstellar Stage. Within months of receiving the data, the Coalition government passed a series of laws, ordering the modernization of the Navy with the new FTL technology, the outfitting of the merchant fleet with the same, and the rollout of the Regen treatments pioneered in the Alliance. These laws – called the Exodus Acts – would revolutionize the Coalition culture in the coming centuries.
MODERNIZATION AND THE NEW INTERSTELLAR ECONOMY
One of the first goals of the Coalition government was the modernization of its military and civilian fleets. One of the Exodus Acts – the Apollo Act – centralized the modernization of the fleet and the civilian ships at the shipyards spread throughout Coalition space. In the wake of the friendly greeting by the HCP envoys, the decision to prioritize the military modernization shocked some lawmakers in the more conservative circles of the Coalition Government. However, the arrival HCP envoys and their discussion of the vast interstellar community – particular the Alliance – worried Coalition politicians who saw them as a very real threat to the republic’s sovereignty.
Within the decade, most of the Coalition Fleet, as well as a sizable portion of the merchant navy, had been upgraded or replaced by new construction. The first ships to travel to the Alliance returned with exotic new foods, offers from corporations, and diplomatic gestures from dozens of star nations. The boon to the Coalition economy was unprecedented. Coalition companies replied to offers quickly, establishing trade relations with multiple foreign corporations based in the Alliance. Trade routes were charted into the region of the Alliance known as the Threshold, the Surge Worlds, and the Old Worlds of the original Alliance.
Soon after the economic boom, adventurous Coalition citizens began chartering voyages to Humanity’s homeworld. After 700 years away, the ancestors of the original Passau colonist looked at Earth. Soon, regular starliner servers began traveling between Alliance and Coalition space. Meanwhile, Alliance based companies began establishing corporate holdings in the Coalition while the Coalition companies did the same in Alliance territories. The two budding superpowers – isolated for so long – used each other as economic springboards. The Alliance’s high tech base fed a revolution in Coalition industry while the Coalition’s advanced data sciences, industrial technology, and agriculture re-wrote rules in the Alliance.
CHARTING THE TERMINI NETWORK
One of the other advances that had come with the HCP envoy to the Coalition was the existence of Termini and the possibility of near-instantaneous travel across hundreds of light years. As the economic trade routes between the Alliance and the Coalition were being charted, Coalition led expeditions began the arduous task of finding and charting the termini network that would form the backbone of the vast interstellar economy. Some of the earliest termini charted connected Passau to the northern reaches of the Coalition, shortening travel to Alliance from months to weeks.
As the termini network continued to evolve, one of the inevitable impacts of their discovery was the sudden shift in the trade dynamic of the region. Worlds that had a long-standing position as trade centers in the Coalition were bypassed by the trade network while worlds – once backwaters – became the centerpieces of the most developed and active trade network in the galaxy. In the wake of these changes, the Coalition government struggled to adapt to the rapidly changing economy. The one saving grace during the economic shift was that – by luck – Passau happened to be linked in the termini network. This helped maintain some sense of pride and power in the seat of the original Coalition government. However, more than a few worlds saw their trade economies turned on end.
The Great Migration
One of the biggest impacts of the termini charting came in the form of the abrupt change in the job markets on former trade hubs and the newly classified termini worlds. With this came one of the largest, single migrations of people in the history of the Coalition. Corporations closed up jobs on worlds and moved those jobs to the new trade hubs, creating a huge boom in construction and business in the regions, and many of these corporations paid trained workers to relocate to the new hub worlds.
Cities on worlds like Ar’Carino and Kashmir expanded at rates that city planners struggled to manage, and massive slums built up around new construction areas. The Ar’Carino housing crisis saw prices of homes skyrocket, increasing year over year by nearly five-hundred percent; and Kashmir’s crime rate accelerated to a level that required intervention by the Coalition military and the establishment of martial law.
However, the flood of immigrants to worlds like Ar’Carino and Kashmir weren’t the only issues that plagued the Coalition during this time. Millions of citizens, faced with the collapse of their economy and left with a sense of disenfranchisement chose to migrate. Famously, the Hector system – on the Coalition border – collectively withdrew from the Coalition and joined the Intersystem Alliance. This huge population migration was offset as foreign nationals from the Alliance and other nations flooded into the Coalition looking for work.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF GRAVITY SHIELDING
Main Article – Gravity Shielding
Around the time of the Termini Charting, Doctor Suman Novotny – one of the chief scientists at the Ar’Carino Federal Research council – was pursuing the possibility that Termini were associated with gravity waves. The growing sentiment among the scientific community was that the phenomena could be attributed to some sort of procession among gravity waves, stars, and the subsequent folds in gravity space. During this type he developed one of the first breakthroughs in the modern uses of gravity technology, the Novotny-type gravity projector. This technology would be shared with the greater scientific community before being classified by the Coalition Federal Government. Nations subsequently were able to reverse engineer Novotny’s plans, introducing gravity shielding technology to the remainder of the universe.
THE RISE OF DATAMANCY
Main Article – Datamancy
Cognitive sciences continued to advance during the 2700s and 2800s, but a true revolution in technologies came from the sharing of research from across the star nations. It was during this time period that – like other star nations – the Coalition began to slowly develop the technologies that would eventually become the technomantic artform Datamancy. First was the development of the Neural Bridge – an extension of the technology developed as part of the Alliance’s push into neural sciences. This new device was hailed as the next great interface for computer technology and human/a.i. interaction. However, it quickly becomes apparent that despite its generic nature, the device and its capabilities respond to users in very different ways. With hopes of better using it in the computer interface and human/a.i. interface, Coalition scientists and researchers devote their energy and time to perfecting the technology in this role. It is the dawn of Datamancy and within a few centuries, the use of the Neural Bridge in the school of Datamancy will spread across the known galaxy.
THE SHADOW WAR AND THE FIRST CIVIL WAR (2895-2930)
THE SHADOW WAR
At the beginning of the 2900s, the burgeoning Coalition was faced with its first real interstellar crisis. In 2891 – following decades of political dispute – a portion of the Intersystem Alliance declared independence and established itself as the Meritocracy of the Threshold. In the wake of the economic upheaval following the charting of the termini network and the great migration, the Coalition was already in an economic bind. Forced with having to negotiate with both this new Threshold – already proving to be wary of the larger democratic federations in the growing galactic community – as well as a number of smaller nations that remained resistant to incorporation into the Coalition, Chancellor Richter chose to plant subversives in media and government of the Threshold, Shin-Kansai, and the Andras Dominion in order to slowly force them to crumble or turn ally to the Coalition for future annexation.
THE RICHTER TAPES
Beginning as rumors readily squashed by the Coalition government, and nearly a complete independent-media blackout blamed on “Thresholder-employed Subversives and Rebels,” an unknown source managed to get records of hidden conversations between Chancellor Richter and various government and military officials implicating the Chancellor in orchestrating socioeconomic strife in Shin-Kansai and the Threshold. These tapes also indicated that Richter may have been essential in orchestrating the War of the First Dominion, which at the time proved to be the most deadly conflict in human history. This caused a rift between Federal and Unionist supporters, Federalists supporting their Chancellor and a pro-Unionist minority calling for the Chancellor to step down. A sufficient number of senators elected to dissolve the government in favor of starting over, but Federalists called this move cowardly, as war with the Threshold was considered imminent.
THE COLLAPSE OF THE SENATE
After nearly a month of deliberation and refusal by the minority party to support a vote to dissolve the government and hold special elections, as well as a refusal by Richter to step down from the Chancellorship, all members of the majority party still loyal to Morrison left the Senate. Their final act was to issue a formal letter of intent for the industrialized worlds to separate from the Federal government and seek independence. In the wake of their departure – and with no mandate or leadership – the Federal Navy began to splinter as well. In what would become known as the opening shots of the First Civil War, the Federal Destroyer Prometheus, crewed by predominantly pro-Unionists, attempted to leave Passau against orders. Pursued by its destroyer squadron brethren, it was destroyed on the edge of Passau territory before it could enter FTL. “Remember the Prometheus” would become a battle cry for the separatist forces which had begun calling themselves the Free Worlds Union.
THE FEDERALISTS AND THE UNIONISTS
Within two months of the destruction of the Prometheus, the Coalition was at war. The newly established Free Worlds Union – the Unionists – comprised of a majority of the industrialized worlds – were facing strong opposition from the Federal Forces. In the months since the opening shots, Richter had been forcibly removed from power along with Julia Marcus. The newly (and hurriedly) elected Chancellor, Marshall Vol, was a former Republic Army General and a popular figure in the Senate. Well aware that the remaining forces of the Federal military would be quickly outnumbered as the Unionists began building up, his strategy focused on a quick and decisive campaign.
His first move was the attack on Rodin, the capital of the Unionists. Naval and army forces from the Federal and Union navies engaged in the single largest military engagement in the history of mankind – the First Battle of Rodin. There, dozens of ships met their fate and hundreds of thousands of soldiers and sailors lost their lives during the month-long clash. Ships across the star system struck and withdrew as the Federalist fought for control of the system. During the peak of the battle, Federalist dropped two ship-grade anti-gravity warheads over the cities of Movoso and Runoya, killing twenty million people and destroying the major industrial facilities at the two cities. After the destruction, the Union Navy evacuated the government of their star nation and abandoned Rodin, giving the Federalist their first major victory.
Unionists sought aid from both the Alliance and Threshold, who refused to come to their aid. The Alliance cited that they were little different than their Federalist enemies, and the Thresholders were too preoccupied with buildup for, and potential involvement in the Andras-Kansai war.
The next years saw the conflict intensify. Multiple worlds and their cities were decimated by naval forces while civilian populations evacuated industrial and military centers out of fear of retribution. The exchanges allowed the Federalist to maintain their military superiority over the Unionists, but at a cost that was mounting and untenable. Marshall Vol, aware that time was starting to run out and both sides threatening to splinter, looked for a decisive victory that would force the Federalist to capitulate. The decision came in the Fall of 2010, 10 years following the original accusations against his predecessor’s government.
DESTRUCTION OF VINMAR AND THE END OF THE FEDERALIST
On the morning of November 8th 2911, the majority of surviving Federal Naval Forces entered the Lonar system. Engaged by the defending Unionist fleet, their outnumbered opponents quickly retreated out of the system or to the planet’s surface, expecting a sustained battle for control of the valuable industrial world. What followed was one of the most monstrous atrocities in human history to date.
Federal Naval forces entered orbit in tight formation. Armed with a huge inventory of gravity warheads, they began the systematic bombardment of the planet. For a week, gravity warheads tore into the world’s surface. Regions became seismically unstable as the massive warheads tore through the crust of the planet and disturbed the mantle below. Ships that attempted to evacuate – civilian or otherwise – were hunted down and destroyed. When the bombardment stopped, the planet’s one-hundred million inhabitants were dead or displaced in the few areas able to survive the attack.
After their return, the commander of the flotilla committed suicide in his cabin, tending a letter to Chancellor Vol that he could no longer in good conscience serve the Federal Military. In the wake of their commander’s death, the Federal Navy turned their guns on Passau. Either out of hate for themselves or in true loyalty to their former countrymen, the Navy forced the resignation of the entire Federal government at gunpoint. Members of the Unionist government were invited to the Verbond system for peace negotiations. Within a month, a new government had formed out of the remnants of the two sides, and this new Coalition began to measure their losses and search for a new future.
THE REBIRTH OF THE COALITION (2930-3000)
With the reunification of the Coalition following the atrocities of the Civil War, both sides looked towards the future of their union with unease. Out of the ashes of conflict, a new leader emerged in the re-unified senate – Casia Odell. Daughter of the martyred senator of the same name, Doctor Casia Odell had become a leader among the Unionist government. Like her father, she felt that equality among member worlds needed to be measured by those world’s contributions. However, she tempered those sentiments with a belief that all Coalition citizens had equal rights to basic human needs. Equality among all worlds with regards to education, healthcare, food, and shelter became a hallmark of her platform.
As a voice in the Senate, it was her calls to the common ground that fostered much of the healing between both sides in the months that followed, and her efforts to stabilize the economy across all the impacted worlds was key to engendering trust between the planets and the new Passau government. Casia’s initiatives put the military back to use in anti-piracy and missions of mercy roles, helping to restore some sense of honor and duty among a group so instrumental in loss of human life during the war. Casia also led the war crimes trials for both sides, holding both military and government leaders accountable for their respective atrocities; and with the government stabilized and the reconstruction efforts in progress, it was Casia that led the effort to re-write the constitution, realizing her father’s dream from over a decade before.
THE PEOPLE’S COMPACT AND THE SOCIALIST REVOLUTION
Casia and the new government, largely comprised of Unionists, soon ratified a constitution known as the “People’s Compact,” that decentralized the government, making it more confederal and socialist under a new government of the same name. Individual regions were not allowed to violate a large swatch of Citizen Rights, to include healthcare, education, access to nation-wide web, basic subsistence and housing, clothing, and entry-level jobs. Former Federalists, voted in power due to honorable concessions made by the new government, allowing for voters to choose senators, maintained some power in a local government, though this was relocated to the Unionist capital of Rodin, where government officials would be reminded daily of the dangers of what the Federalists had stood for; Remembrance was a tenant of the Constitution, laying out that certain government structures on Rodin, destroyed by war, must be maintained in their tattered wartime state.
Beyond this, the Constitution was upheld by many nations as honorable and good-natured, deescalating some of the tensions. This release of tensions, along with promises of the new Compact government to not intrude upon the still ongoing War of the First Dominion, enabled Threshold to enter the conflict without fear.
Meanwhile, the Socialists fought for new amendments to the constitution, which they felt was not doing enough for the people. Many believed that there was no reason for good Compact citizens to not have better or easier jobs, and that the newly flourishing androids should not be left to menial tasks or hard labor.
THE NEW FEDERAL DOCTRINE
Before the turn of the millennia, the relative ease of socialist life began to wear down upon citizens of ambition; with equal wages for inequal work, the one area such people found they could get ahead was in promotion. Dissatisfied with the way the nation was going, these new government, industry, and military officials began to slowly make changes to the government, re-centralizing power within the Compact. The Federal Doctrine Revision to the Compact let many of the former socialist reforms remain the same, but allowed again for a pay-disparity, as well as a rejection system; those that did not work as hard as set forth by new government standards could be taken off of basic subsistence and housing pay, and allotted far more “shameful” work and relatively shabby tenement housing.
This new central government remained established on Rodin and began sinking it’s control further into the lives of citizens. Through government coaxing and control through a still-socialist system, this actually helped improve the economy of the Compact by ensuring citizens worked harder. Additionally, the Federal Doctrine revision also began referring to the nation as “The Coalition” once more, and use of one name over the other easily marked one as being for the centralized government or against it.
THE PAX CONGREGATIO (3000-3200)
THE RISE OF THE TECHNOMANCY GUILDS
Main Article – Technomancy
When the first guilds came to Coalition space, they were initially rebuffed as subversive. The government did not trust what they considered to be a new “fad,” but saw the benefit of this new “post-humanism,” and immediately began expanding their ranks through government-approved Ligas, or “Leagues,” which bore little difference from the foreign guilds other than government oversight.
The Ligas grew, and more guilds began forming outside of the government, oddly enough from those ambitious citizens who supported the Federal government, as the average citizen could not afford the technology required to turn oneself into a technomancer. Not wishing to offend their most staunch supporters, the government began to overlook, then eventually amend laws to allow for private technomantic enterprise. These private enterprises were henceforth know by the more common term of “Guild,” while the Ligas were considered prestigious associations aimed towards the good of the nation.
THE RIMWARD EXPANSION
With the solidification of national space becoming more and more encroaching, the Coalition found themselves losing ground they had once claimed to the Alliance, Threshold, and Bertaeyn. Rumors began to spread of a weakened government who was unwilling to fight for their lands. In truth, the Unionists saw the pointlessness of fighting over resources, when such resources were abundant, and the Federalists of the time did not wish to risk another civil war. Both sides of the government agreed that an expansion rimward would bolster the spirits of the citizens, as well as allowing them to relocate dissidents, populate tourist worlds, and deal with a growing lack of jobs.
THE SECOND VR RENAISSANCE
As with most nations, new software began to enable citizens to live everyday life within a VR and AR (Augmented Reality) world. The Coalition being no exception actually found the previous issue of microtransactions a solution to a growing economic issue, this time in favor of citizens who, otherwise unemployed or employed in unfavorable and pointless jobs, could now be employed in growing international AR/VR markets without ever leaving their home. Seeing that this could pose a problem to physical activity and therefore health, which could overburden the socialist healthcare system, the Coalition blacklisted several games and programs that allowed for citizens to be too sedentary, allowing the AR market to flourish while the VR market again stagnated.
Citing that VR was vital for entertainment and education rather than employment, the chief VR company in the Coalition of the time, EmajN, contested that the relative VR ban was unlawful in court. Their case was won, but on grounds that no monetary transaction could take place over their platforms without explicit court approval, which would allow for education costs and initial-purchases to be made.
With the initial lull in VR development, many popular games had already made their way into the Coalition by the time the ban was lifted on VR-systems, and many of these games relied upon human players to play the roll of menial tasks as a means of employment. With the transaction-ban in place, the only solution found was to force AI into these essential roles, so local companies had to make a hard decision; “buy” AI, now considered slavery in many nations, or refuse to sell their game in the Coalition.
THE DOWNFALL (3200-3380)
THE SECOND DIGITAL RIFT
The growing disparity between the upper class, who lived predominantly in “the real world” as their jobs allowed, and the lower-class defined by those who lived largely in the VR/AR worlds, or served the upper-class. No consideration was given to Artificially Intelligent personas, either virtual or otherwise, despite the growing disdain of the rest of the galaxy that these were individuals and slaves.
Politicians began to differentiate themselves, often claiming they didn’t have time to immerse themselves in the same VR universes that the “lower-class” enjoyed, but did attempt, albeit meekly, to laud the AR universes. Many such attempts came off to the general public as being lackluster and uninformed, which only further served to create a disparity between the two. Citizens began creating more anti-government content in games, going so far as to make blatant jests about their leaders. In return, the government created increasingly stringent laws about content “subversive to the national interest,” over the decades. The public responded in kind, increasing their open criticism of the higher government officials.
THE GROWING ECONOMIC DIVIDE
With the growing rift between the the upper and lower class, politicians began increasing taxes on VR and AR platforms, considering them to not be “beneficial to the welfare and productivity of the nation.” Under the ever increasing burden, several VR systems crashed, costing entertainment value, and several AR platforms, employing millions of citizens, were forced to declare bankruptcy. Most of these newly unemployed citizens were forced into hard-labor for the government. In most cases, these jobs were less efficient than machines could perform. The Coalition government declared these individuals to be under-performing individuals, deserving of less pay than law-abiding, loyal citizens. Underpaid and underappreciated, these workers began making efforts in earnest to leave the nation, but usually found themselves too destitute to do so.
THE PASSAU CRISIS AND THE PROLITARIATE RIOTS
Underpaid, working-class individuals found themselves living in increasing shabby tenements and skyscraper-microcities with little policing. Such buildings became microcosms in and of themselves. Over the decades, these began to deviate significantly from the intentions of the government due to lack of supervision. Referring to themselves as the “Prolitariate,” they began to form their own underground. While there was word spread that such communities were forming across the star nation, few were able to contact each other due to lack of finances and increasing strict censorship of media.
On Passau, the Prolitariate of the microcities took to the streets and stormed the former capital buildings, which were still a seats of local government. It was not long before word spread to the entire planet, then the entire nation. Police were quickly involved, and the riots became violent, and soon deadly as police attempted to force rioters back into their microcosms, which functioned as veritable fortresses. One such skyscraper-microcity was leveled, resulting in thousands of lives lost. The local economy of Passau crashed as riots became uncontrollable and all work stopped. Citizens resorted to looting, and many were killed for stealing food for their own survival.
THE MILITARY REVOLT AND THE RISE OF RAIDEN ADLER
With the riots of Passau underway, with the entire planet capitulating to the Prolitariate, the Compact Government sent in military forces under the leadership of renowned Admiral Raiden Adler. The government sorely misunderstood the sentiment of the military, many of whom were Prolitariate Sympathizers, as much of the military came from the working class. Many members openly refused to fire on people who could be their friends or family members, and Admiral Raiden Adler obliged them by likewise refusing to follow orders. Instead, Adler cut off all communications off-world by taking control of or destroying local ansibles, and returned power on Passau back to the people.
Adler had the favor of many ship captains, and soon began assembling a fleet with Passau as his homeport. Many of the responding ship captains who were sent to stop him instead joined his amassing fleet, while others fled, not wanting to risk a civil war. Soon after, the Compact Government stopped sending response forces, and instead blockaded Passau. Before this, however, Admiral Adler, now branding himself as High Chancellor Adler, had sent several ships outside of the system, to send officers and troops to incite riots on other planets to bring them under his control as well, or at least spread discord.
The military splintered. Many command structures were rendered ineffective as servicemembers chose sides between Adler’s new government and the Compact. As a result, the Compact had a difficult time in rallying an offensive strike against Adler, and they began executing servicemembers who resisted – forcing a mass exodus of Prolitariate Sympathizers.
THE SECOND CIVIL WAR (3380-3385)
With Admiral Raiden Adler at their forefront, gaining steady control over more and more systems, the rebellion, calling themselves the People’s Coalition, began to make ground, going on the assault. The Compact Government was forced into hasty retreat with what military forces they could muster around their capital of Rodin and whatever pockets of systems they could guarantee were secure.
SIEGE OF AR’CARINO
The Compact Government declared open war against High Chancellor Adler’s People’s Coalition on June 7th, 3380, just as they began an assault on Ar’Carino. Similar, bloody strikes continued across the system as news spread of the war. Nearly every planet broke out in chaotic infighting. Most often those siding with Raiden Adler were victorious at heavy costs. However, much of the Southern and Eastern areas remained loyal; the Eastern Areas closer to Rodin and therefore treated better, the south being newer and more inline with Compact ideals.
Ar’Carino’s cities were nearly reduced to rubble, and it become a somber joke that the planet’s atmosphere was impenetrable to attackers due to the high volume of space debris from the lengthy space battles. Several miniature moons were destroyed entirely, and larger ones were turned into battlegrounds as Compact forces attempted to gain a foothold in the system.
Ar’Carino would remain a critical battleground for much of the war, with Admiral Adler’s forces defending it fervently, as it remained one of the most critical termini access points to Passau, making it vital for Adler, to keep pressure on both the Eastern and Southern fronts. Once the Raidenkeep, a series of orbital defense batteries and shipyards was constructed in orbit around the planet it was considered nearly impenetrable, and ground assaults stopped upon the planet entirely.
THE RAIZING OF PETHEON
With the Raidenkeep complete and the forces of High Chancellor Adler recouped, the People’s Coalition went on the offensive. Compact forces had begun to rally in the Eastern Rim of the Coalition, trying to rally support from the Threshold, who refused to help in light of previous economic sabotage upon their nation. The Alliance likewise saw Raiden Adler as a better option and more likely to create economic alliances.
Petheon remained a safe harbor for the Compact forces, as it had experienced little of the previously known strife, with a populace adamantly supportive of the Compact Government.
THE RISE OF THE PEOPLE’S COALITION (3385-3417)