- Mar 23, 2020
In The Name of the Federation
On a score of worlds, witnessed by the billions, nearly trillions, of Federation citizens—comprised of nearly every species the galaxy had to offer—all scattered across a thousand lightyears, Admiral Julie Salinger’s face appeared in a luminescent shimmering as every major holo-vid projector in Federation space flickered on.
Former Admiral, Salinger noted to herself without even a hint of remorse. She had forfeited her command the moment she had committed to carrying out this stunt. Yet soon to be so much more.
“We’re in,” Nur-esh Mishsip said, somewhat unnecessarily. The four furry feelers surrounding his single ruby eye twitched as he spoke. Salinger was unsure whether pointing out the obvious was a Geroggian trait, or else simply an annoying habit on Nur-esh’s part.
“To the people of the United Federated Planets,” the other Salinger said, as real and lifelike as if Julie had spoken herself. “I appear before you today bearing an urgent message.”
A single, portable holo-vid sat in the middle of the room, projecting Salinger’s face for the handful of figures gathered. They were the loyalist of her supporters, hand-picked for their devotion to the Cause. They had already heard the speech many times during its early development, yet they watched the final product with an intense concentration that could only be compared to a religious fervor.
“Our civilization is dying.”
Salinger’s back was turned to the projector and so only sensed the smiles that spread across her compatriots’ faces. She felt a ghost of one haunt her own lips; it was a great line, after all.
Despite her pride, she did not turn to join in the sharing of satisfaction. She remained separated from the others, looking out the great glass window—real glass, not a holo-vid projection—that dominated the room’s eastern wall. The lush, tropical Nueva Cadizian countryside spread out before her, stretching all the way towards the horizon, where the planet’s setting star—Gatria—painted the foreign sky in deep hues of violet and magenta. A soft breeze drifted through the open window, gently caressing Salinger’s wiry frame. It was a welcome relief from the humidity that constantly plagued the planet, thick enough to drown in.
“The Assembly must be losing their damn minds right about now,” Commander Maximus Wekslas’s hulking frame boomed with laughter. He was everything Salinger sought for in a second-in-command: hulking, terrifying, and equipped with a mind sharper than one with a body of that size had any right to. “I can almost picture it now.”
“Those High Techs especially,” Nur-esh agreed, smiling cruelly. His red eye glittered like a jewel. “I bet you they thought their firewalls were impenetrable. Little did they know, they’re up against none other than Nur-esh Mishsip, the finest technological mind this side of the galaxy!”
Once again, Salinger shared the satisfaction of her comrades. She too could imagine the members of the Federal Assembly, the elected representatives of all the worlds of the Federation, gathered in the Assembly Chambers on Earth, as they bursted into a panicked chaos as her face appeared across the screen of their holo-projector. In many ways, it was that single projector that was the most important to their plot. The video was much more than just an unorthodox announcement to the people of the Federation; it was a declaration of war.
“For two hundred years, the United Federated Planets—our glorious Federation—has traveled amongst the stars,” the other Salinger continued. “For those two hundred years, the United Federated Planets has been the laughingstock of the galaxy.”
The holo-Salinger paused a moment to let the statement sink in.
“I do not fault the U.F.P., for being the smallest or the weakest of civilizations in the galaxy. We are yet a young nation; the Fiiral Regime and the Natfankan Alliance were spacefarers when the earliest of humans were still killing one another with rocks. It is only natural that we have lagged technologically, that we have but stood within the shadow of older, larger, greater empires,” the holo-Salinger fixed her invisible audience with a stare. Her cool, piercing green eyes radiated an intensity that even a holo-vid was unable to diminish. “The fault rests solely upon the Federal Assembly and its Chancellors. For two hundred years they have failed to take action.
“What did the Assembly do when the Dethakkans sacked Nueva Cadiz? Chancellor van Rijn promised vengeance, but what retribution has the families of those murdered in their homes received?” Salinger’s tone was scathing, which undoubtedly ruffled more than a few feathers. The name Brian van Rijn was practically holy across the Federation.
“I’m still not entirely sure about that part,” Wekslas said, stroking his immaculately trimmed beard. “Slandering van Rijn may cause us to lose what support we have from the other factions. Hell, some of our own people all but worship the man.”
“It was necessary,” the real Salinger said, finally turning from the window and joining the others in a few short strides. “If this ploy is to work, if the cause is to succeed, then the people will have to learn to abandon all they know. Names like Brian van Rijn and Radoslav Kamensky, even Sibyl Johnson and Lucy Jennings, will have to be forgotten. They shall be relics of an older, archaic time. One that did not know the order that we shall bring.”
There was no opposition from amongst her supporters. In matters of the cause, Julie Salinger’s word was law. It was her cause, after all.
“Where was the Assembly when colonists on Puerto Martinez, the very grandchildren of the same Cadizians whose homes were plundered by the Dathakkans, were slaughtered by the monstrosities created by an alien terraforming project—a project that was revived by agents of the Assembly, no less!”
“This is too good,” Nur-esh said, his antennae vibrating. Salinger did not know many Genoggi
“While children were being hunted by mutant monsters, the Federal Assembly sat in their chambers and argued over the bureaucracy of sending military aid!” The recording of Salinger spat. Her pristine white teeth were bared as her lips curled upwards into a snarl.
“So far we’re getting positive responses from our agents on the ground, Admiral Salinger,” an aide chimed in from the corner of the room, one finger pressed to the headpiece in their ear and their eyes swiftly scanning the data-goggles resting atop the bridge of their nose. “Assembled crowds in megalopolis city centers seem to visibly agree with the speech so far, especially on Nueva Cadiz and Puerto Martinez.”
Wekslas nodded knowingly, still stroking his beard. “We expected as much. Both populations are staunch supporters of the Victory Movement. Any action promising militarization will resonate with them. It’s the urbanized worlds, specifically the industrial ones, that we’re looking for support from. New Horizon, Salaam, Tian Yi. Maybe even some parts of Earth if we’re truly lucky. If we can gain control of those worlds, the rest of the Federation will soon follow.”
“It’s the Federal Assembly that matters the most, Commander Wekslas. Any potential support we can raise in the Core Worlds will be beneficial, but it is how al-Hazmi and his Assembly responds that will prove the most pivotal. If all goes well, they will play directly into our hands,” Salinger said.
Once again, not a voice was raised to contradict her. The only other voice that spoke was her own.
“The U.F.P. government has not only failed its own citizens, but has failed those in the galaxy who would look to the Federation for salvation. How many millions of Qasvalyvians, of Kedeshi, of Netraxi and Ragerian and Ziiran and Tendra-Zuhn have come to the Federation as refugees, their homeworlds burning husks while the rest of their species were consumed by the ravenous horde that is the Cilxtac Swarm? The Federation has provided them with a home, with a future, with the safety to raise their children and see their species survive for another day. But for how many more days will they have this safety? I ask this of you, the people of the Federation. For how much longer will we be safe?” holo-Salinger hissed the word as if it was venom. “Two hundred years have passed, yet the Cilxtac Swarm has only grown larger. It no longer poses a threat only to the Federation, but to the galaxy as a whole. And yet, the Federal Assembly has failed to act, citing a wish for peace and a prerogative of upholding democracy.”
The woman in the recording shook her head disgustedly. The real Salinger’s face did not betray a single emotion, yet she was filled with pride. Even her own blood was pumping with fire, invigorated by the vitriol of the speech.
“The Federal Assembly and the Democratic Rights Alliance have no interest in the preservation of democracy. They are the puppets of the Estwani Interstellar Pride. For centuries the Federation has lived within its shadow, reliant on it for its preciously guarded technological secrets and for the promise of its protection. Yet this so-called “defensive pact” is little more than a farce, a shackle that enslaves us to the Pride. They did not protect us when we needed it most, when the Dathakkan fleet appeared in orbit above Nueva Cadiz or the Elisivani Empire threatened to invade Federal space. Yet for two hundred years we have aided and supplied their wars. Wars, I shall point out, to suppress democracy! While the poor species enslaved by the Estwani warlords have fought for their freedom, we have provided their oppressors with food and raw materials in exchange for the promise of protection. A promise written in blood!
“The Federal Assembly has no care for democracy unless it suits their own purposes. They only supported the succession of the Fiiral Free Republic—whose possess a bravery the Chancellor can only aspire to—once they had lost the Estwani’s favor. Their only desire is to remain in power, even if it means dooming the soul of every citizen of the Federation, along with the very soul of Freedom itself!”
A silence grew over the room. They all knew what was to come next, yet the speech was crafted so perfectly, the oratory performed so extraordinarily, they were all caught upon every word, even Salinger herself.
“The Federal Assembly is a blight upon the Federation. It is the rotten heart from which all the decay of our great civilization has originated. One must look no further than the Gao Scandal for proof. In their blind bid to maintain their power, the Democratic Rights Alliance pushed none other than a fool under the sway of a cultist to the Chancellory!”
Heads all around Salinger nodded in agreement, as if this was the very first time they were hearing the argument. The scandalous, short-lived Chancellorship of Cheng Gao still left many a bitter taste in the mouths of the people of the Federation.
“That’s good. Very good,” Wekslas said. “The Committee of High Technology is one of the Alliance’s greatest supporters. If we can remind them that they chose such a spiritual fool for Chancellor, we may be able to secure their support.”
“Those that truly believe in the cause shall support it, Wekslas,” Salinger said in a tone that was not quite chiding yet was something awfully close. “Those who don’t, shall be discarded.”
The holo-video continued. “Chancellor Gao’s rule was merely a symptom of the disease that infects the Federation, not the cause. For too long the Federal Assembly has been incapable of dealing with the challenges it has been posed with. Unemployment and overpopulation afflict the worlds of the Federation, while the fear of complete annihilation fills the heart of every citizen. It is for that reason I offer this solution, this cure to save our Federation from certain doom.”
As one, the room held its breath. The next moment would be the most important in the history of the Federation. Possibly even in the history of the galaxy.
“The government of the United Federated Planets must be disposed of.”
Julie Salinger could only imagine the collective gasp that must have occurred simultaneously across two dozen worlds.
Here, the video differed, being tailored specifically to play before the Chancellor and the gathered members of the Federal Assembly. Across all the other projections, Salinger called for a public outcry for a change in government, one that would be more capable in dealing with the threats confronting the Federation. The small holo-vid before them stayed tuned to the one being projected before the Federal Assembly. As Salinger had said, this video was the most important. This was the video that would decide the fate of the cause.
“Chancellor al-Hazmi, I politely ask you to resign from office,” the holo-Salinger said. Her fiery passion was gone, replaced by a cool matter-of-fact tone that Salinger only hoped enraged the members of the Assembly. “Surrender your power to me and my compatriots. Your service to the Federation shall not go unrecognized. We have no desire for bloodshed; we want only what is best for the Federation and its people.
“However, if you fail to comply, we are not afraid to take necessary action. If you do not officially announce your resignation within the next seventy-two standard hours, then the concerned, patriotic people of the Federation shall be forced to play their hand. All that results from such actions shall not be their fault. You alone will be to blame, Chancellor al-Hazmi.”
With that, the video died, no doubt leaving the Federal Assembly in even more chaos than before. A few seconds of Nur-esh fidgeting with the holo-vid passed before the projector in the center of the small, unfurnished room switched over to the video playing for the rest of the Federation. The sound of an explosion—loud enough to cause Salinger to (rather foolishly) wonder if they were truly under attack—echoed out from the video, and there was the distinct humming of energy weapons being fired in the distance. The screen flickered for a second. When it re-aligned, holo-Salinger’s face had become a mask of sincere urgency.
“I must go now; already the Chancellor sends his dogs after me. He does not want this message reaching you. Remember, people of the Federation. Rise up! Resist! In the name of democracy! In the name of the Federation!”
With that final rallying call, the image of Julie Salinger’s face sparked out of life across two dozen worlds.
Silence filled the room, loud enough for heartbeats to measure the passing of time. Ba-boom. Ba-boom. Ba-boom. Then, without any particular signal, it erupted into a cacophony of clapping and cheering.
“We did it!” Nur-esh exclaimed excitedly. His feelers twitched enthusiastically. “We actually did it!”
Commander Wekslas turned and actually embraced Salinger in a crippling bear hug. Salinger’s taut yet diminutive frame was powerless to escape the suffocating strength of such a beast of a man. Salinger didn’t say a word of reproach on the gross ignorance of proper etiquette. A smile had even spread across Julie Salinger’s normally expressionless face. They had done it.
“That was a nice touch at the end. With the explosions and all,” Wekslas said, gently setting his superior down.
“It’ll be true enough, if we stay here long enough for al-Hazmi’s agents to find us. I’m sure their tracking the signal as we speak. And I figured that it’d do to incite the people, if the speech was not enough on its own.”
“It was, Admiral,” the same aide as before said, still pouring meticulously through the data they were streaming directly from various worlds throughout the Federation. “We’re receiving reports of rioting on Nueva Cadiz, Puerto Martinez, New Horizon and Olympia.”
“Perfect. All according to plan. Now to get out of here, before the Chancellor’s men arrive. We have less than seventy-two hours to reach Earth. Scorch everything.”
Everyone in the room looked as if they had been slapped.
“But…Admiral,” Nur-esh said, somewhat cautiously. He was treading in uncharted waters, which hid unknown kinds of blood-thirsty creatures. “Don’t you want us to preserve our files and recordings. To commemorate the day your rule began?”
Former-Admiral-yet-soon-to-be-so-much more Julie Salinger smiled a knowing smile and began to make towards the door. As she left she called over her shoulder casually.
“Scorch everything. We have no need of it. Every soul in the Federation will remember where they were the day my rule began.”
*******Hello and welcome to my very first AAR! I have been debating starting one for quite some time now and I figured that I'm not doing anything better during quarantine so I might as well try my hand at one. As I said, this is my first AAR so please bear with me as I try to figure my way out.
This AAR is called "In The Name of the Federation," and will document the story of the newly born Interstellar Federation of Worlds. However, it will be different from many other AAR's for a number of reasons. Firstly, I am only starting this AAR around 200 years after I started the game, practically at the end. I have been taking notes since the beginning and was considering making an AAR out of it, however I had not been taking screenshots and so I figured I'd just continue playing for myself. However, everything changed just a few days ago, when I was playing and former Admiral Julie Salinger launched a coup and seized control of the Federation for herself. I was caught completely off-guard, as it was a completely randomized event, however it played exactly into what I was imagining my playthrough would lead to narratively. Plus it was just too awesome a moment not to capture and share. As a result, I figured that this new fresh start would be the perfect moment to start an AAR, even if its at the end-game. I suspended victory conditions and postponed the crises as much as possible (I may consider using commands to delay or suspend a crisis if I determine that it doesn't match the narrative direction of the playthrough), so this AAR will follow the tale of the Federation until it claims the entire galaxy or is ultimately destroyed.
*An important note: I am a huge fan of Isaac Asimov's Foundation series and George R.R. Martin's Thousand-Worlds setting, so I would love to somehow mimic that type of setting if possible.*
The second reason this AAR will be different then most is that I am hoping for it to be both a narrative and historical one. I am envisioning a number of small short stories and vignettes, similar to the one above, interspersed with a historical account of Primach Julie Salinger's reign and that of those who succeed her. Obviously, this will be put to the test as I continue, but I believe it will be an interesting melding of the two genres of the AAR.
Alright, that should be just about it. Thank you for sticking with my lengthy introduction. I hope you enjoyed this first story. I have another one planned documenting Salinger's actual seizing of power, as well as a post documenting the events of the past two hundred years, as well as technical details regarding the Federation and the galaxy at the start of the AAR. Thank you again for taking the time to read and I hope you guys stick around!