2226-2228

Rawghi

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2226

A year of tentatives of surgical bombing the titan on Horizon gave very small results, as their location, close to human settlements, forbade any escalation of force due to the risk of causing additional casualties. The Federal Council in fact, while waiting for the formation of the first colonial navy divisions for orbital assault, decided to go soft and instead relying on probes with aid and supplies launched from the orbit that parachuted on the planet surface. Everyone in the federation was however growing anxious and worried about the colonists of the planet, with many people proposing instead a massive bombardment to end the situation once and for all. Paquette was clear that she would have waited to give her blessing to any form of assault not earlier than the moment the colonial navy forces was effectively ready and prepared. There was a massive recruitment campaign with many volunteers that wanted to join the new force that so far it was mostly a paper army, due to the lack of a proper reason to spend an immense amount of money on its formation.

The Colonial Navy (sometimes referred as Colonial Army due to the fact that the largest part of the personnel was in fact soldiers, called “marines”), as envisioned during the 2200 reform, would have been the mobile element of the armed forces, a mix between the Federal Army and the Federal Navy. It would have been also, for the most part, better equipped than standard Federal Division due to the need of performing operations in hostile planets via orbital insertion, hence a space based component of the forces to pilot the transport ships was also needed.
Each division would have been formed with around 15,000 soldiers, less compared to the Federal Army divisions of 20,000, but the single units firepower and protection would have been far superior.
During these years of recruitment and preparation for the operation on Horizon, the megacorp Matsuda Solutions was delegated to develop both the transport ships and the orbital landing craft. They came up with the transport ship Class LHD-1 Nasprite, able to hold an entire Colonial Division and the landing craft OLC-101 Drakkar that, deployed from a Nasprite, was able to land a company at once (around 120 soldiers).

During 2226, the number of colonial divisions formed was around 16, with the goal of reaching 25 fully staffed divisions by mid 2227. The recruitment was extended also on Sirius Prime, after a surge of volunteers on the planet.

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The Trident Station, the first defense along the border with the Chimm Swarm, was expanded with the construction of one additional Orbital Defense Platform (to reach 3 in total), a crew quarter for stationing a fleet, a cannon battery and an ASM-1 Tartan nuclear missile battery.

At the end of the year, the excavation on the Mak’vaehl ruins on Centauria was finished, and the scientific team led by Jose Maria Solano was able to retrieve the fabled “blade of the huntress” and her skeletal remains. The weapon material was unknown but tests revealed that it was able to cut through nearly every material it was tested on. It was then transferred to military laboratories of the Federal Army where a series of studies started on it. Solano and his crew aboard the USV Hubble departed finally from Centauria after nearly a two decade long study.


2227

In January, the Director of Research Division P, Rashad Khadem, announced that the study on Field Modulation ended and it was now possible to apply new principles on the way energy was produced for an improvement in yield of about 20% on production machinery used on planetary level (hence not affecting unfortunately orbital station generation). The next research would be instead a joint effort with multiple megacorporations: AuraCorp, Dynacore, United Solutions, Niagara Foundation, Geomax Aerospace and Binary Aerospace for the development of fusion reactors able to be used on starships for propulsion.

Three new systems became part of the federal space:
  • 22 Lambda Sagittarii, renamed Carson, with the construction of Volkov Station
  • Wolf 921, bordering with the Korinth Republic space, renamed Alexander, with the construction of the military starport Fort Pegasus
  • Gliese 8429 a pulsar, renamed Boyle, with the constriction of Resonance Station
In the Newton system, the colonizer USV President Hayes touched down on the continental worlds that was named Celestia, the fifth new colony of the United Systems. The first stage of the colonization started and in a couple of years it was expected to have the planet self-sufficient.

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Finally, the first 25 Colonial Divisions were ready and they departed from their home planets: ten from Earth, ten from Centauria and five from Sirius Prime. They expected to rendez-vous in orbit around Horizon and commence the liberation of the planet from the titans. Their departure was celebrated with planetary wide parades and the command of the full Colonial Navy was assigned to General Yuna Ishii (Colonial Navy ranks were more similar to the Federal Army than the Federal Navy). The Federal Navy’s Second Fleet also was moved to Horizon to join the First in supporting from orbit the planetary operation. The assault on Horizon was planned for February 7th of 2228, and at the end of the year, Paquette addressed the federation with a message of encouragement on the endeavour.

======================================================================​

“Fellow citizens,
As you know, at this very moment we have our brave sons embarked on transport ships en route to Horizon. The moment to finally liberate our citizens from the monsters is coming. The battle will be fierce and we will expect that many lives of our soldiers of the Colonial Navy will be taken by these beasts; our soldiers know that too, they enlisted as volunteers because they believe in our cause, they believe that mankind is destined to continue its adventure amongst the stars, the they believe that saving the lives of our citizens is our first priority, before profit, before pride, before personal success and glory.

The United Systems were formed believing that we have the rights to colonize this galaxy, and no matter the challenges we will succeed. I waited anxiously for this moment, I knew very well that everyday lives are lost on Horizon, but I wanted to be sure that our forces were prepared, failing our assault would have meant additional lives lost for nothing, and that was something that we cannot tolerate. Our citizens on Horizon know that too. They know we’re coming for them, they know we will not abandon our brothers.

Citizens of the federation, I say that this time we will win, this time we will reclaim Horizon.”

======================================================================

During the three years from the initial titan’s assault, the casualties on Horizon reached 250 million.

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2228

The attack on Horizon started as planned on February 7th of 2228. The 25 LHD deployed the nearly 400,000 Colonial marines on more than 3,000 orbital landing craft. The full force of 25 Colonial Division was unleashed on the planet and concentrated in an area rich in atolls. The plan envisioned by General Ishii was to perform an island hopping campaign, similar to the operation the United States Marines performed in the Pacific during the Second World War, in the 20th century, this time however, the scale was planetary.

The 25th and 3rd divisions landed in an area where it was discovered that a high concentration of titan was present and, although their resistance was fierce, they were completely wiped out before the end of the month. In the week following the landing the human forces were able to slowly retake settlements while targeting the titans with a tremendous firepower, the losses were high but the colonial forces were winning on all fronts. The 5th division was destroyed too battling in the north pole area of the planet but after months of fighting, by May half of the planet was reconquered. General Yuna Ishii's plan was working and everyday the planets of the United Systems were following the news coming from Horizon. By June, operations between the orbit and the surface of the planet were nearly totally re-established in the area cleared by titans so it was possible to transfer immense quantities of supplies thanks to the effort of the Department of Space that coordinated both federal and civilian shipping in the area. In mid-July, 95% of the planet was conquered and the last titan was killed on August 17th, effectively liberating the planet and ending the nightmare for the colonists.

The citizens of the federation celebrated the liberation of Horizon with two days long festivities through all the cities of the United Systems and President Paquette declared August 17th as federal holiday (called “Liberation Day”, the first official). Finally, after four years, life on Horizon restarted again and in the following months the focus of the Department of the Federal Affairs was aimed towards the reconstruction of cities, factories and infrastructure on the planet, with multiple megacorporation taking part in the endeavour.
The amount of losses was anyway staggering, with over 300 million citizens, 40,000 Federal Army soldiers (during the first attack) and around 150,000 Colonial Navy marines.

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After the liberation of Horizon, the Colonial Navy was split in two main forces:
  • 1st Colonial Fleet Armageddon, based on Horizon, led by General Ishii and composed by the 1st, 2nd, 3rd (reconstituted, replacing the 10th), 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th Colonial Divisions.
  • 2nd Colonial Fleet Cataclysm, based on Celestia, led by the newly appointed General Jian Huang, composed by the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st Colonial Divisions.

The Department of Defense decided also to allocate a part of the budget for the construction of frigates to give the Colonial Navy also the capability to operate as a standalone force, not to be necessarily supported by the Federal Navy in times of need. The Federal Navy fleets were relocated too, with the First taking position at the Trident Station, bordering the Chimm Swarm, and the Second at Fort Pegasus, bordering the Korinth space.

During the year, the expansion of the United Systems continued with the construction of Nile Station orbiting Gliese 823, later renamed Watson, and the black hole 2MASX J10270057 renamed Schwarzschild.

Criminal organizations started to operate also in space: using civilian vessels they performed limited attacks to cargo ships moving back and forth the federal colonies. The cargo ships were usually approached while traveling in space, boarded, and their cargo stolen to be sold in black markets. Another phenomena was the transportation of illegal substances or weapons. The Department of Security through the Federal Police was fighting the crime in the colonies (very much like in the same way mankind used centuries before, as drug trafficking, prostitution, money laundering, bribes etc.. was still common practices) but for fighting this new criminal business in space, the help of the Federal Navy was needed. For this reason, additional budget was allocated to form “Recon Flotillas” to fight piracy, dependent on navy fleets, that could have patrolled the most common trade routes. The first of these was the “11th Recon Flotilla”, that would have reported to the First Fleet, composed of 2 FF-1 Mercury and 1 FFG-2 Mars frigates.

A very good news for humans came from Ambassador Durston that was working on Koros to improve the diplomatic relations between the United Systems and the Korinth Republic. Impressed by the news about the recapture of Horizon, the Supreme Leader Rhethan agreed to open the border of the Korinth controlled space for allowing human scientific ships to traverse it towards uncharted space. As it was well known, Korinths recognized highly the military power of a species and it was a mix of this and the fear of the United Systems could have become hostile that convinced their leader that having warmer relations could have been beneficial.
The Korinths also shared their knowledge and contacts about the existence, in the galactic Southwest of the federal space, of a race called Alvanian. The Alvanians were a humanoid race controlling a limited amount of systems but all the information retrieved by the Korinths revealed that they were extremely advanced.
President Paquette was put in contact with the leaders of the Alvanian thanks to Rhethan but the communication was very short, it seemed like that these new incredibly powerful aliens had no interest at all to meddle with other species in the galaxy.
Rhethan explained to Paquette that they estimated that the Alvanians controlled around five systems but the area signature outlined a population of more than 150 billion people. They had very limited contact with this enigmatic race but everything suggested they were a very old isolationist race that wanted to keep themselves neutral towards what they see as “minor races”, to preserve their far superior technological advance. The curious aspect of the Alvanian that Korinths were able to understand is that half of the population was composed by sentient robots, and the other half, biological and the “real” Alvanians, used to leverage on many cybernetic implants.

The news reached all the corners of the federation but as humans became more and more used to what would have been dubbed “shocking” just thirty years before, there were no particular emotion related to it, rather than a confirmation that the galaxy was indeed a very turbulent and enigmatic place.

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The year finally ended with a surprise for the United Systems. In a masterful display of engineering, the team of the USV Kepler under Science Officer Haruna Yamazaki managed to gently raise a derelict ship discovered on magellan IV to the gas giant’s upper atmosphere. The ship was an ancient cruiser, more than three times the size of a federal frigate, that was still operational and no sign of the whereabouts of the original crew were available.
The cruiser was then towed to Excelsior Station in the Sirius system where engineers from Binary Aerospace were able to integrate the existing ship’s technology with human components and parts and put it back in service. The weapon, propulsion, armor, shields and, essentially, any other major ship systems were of a highly advanced technology that personnel of the Federal Navy was able to operate while at the same time it was impossible to understand how they worked nor the way they were manufactured. While normally a discovery like that would have foreseen putting the ships in labs to be examined, it was decided with a general consensus by the Federal Security Council that such a luxury was impossible considering the challenges mankind were facing in the galaxy. Having the cruiser in service in the Federal Navy, while eventually studying it from the inside, could have proven to be the safest approach. It was estimated that the ship power could have been comparable to 10 to 15 common federal frigates.
It was commissioned with a crew of 920 sailors and named USV Relic.

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stnylan

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Top notch work again, and some major developments. The taking of Horizon (sorry, retaking) another pivotal moment.
 

Crimson Lionheart

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Horizon is liberated! Hooray! :D:p
 

RossN

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I love the snake portrait the Alvanians use. :)

Congratulations on your cruiser! The humanoid cruisers are probably my favourite ship design from the humanoid set aesthetically speaking.
 

Cromwell

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Good news on Celestia, a new colony is always something to celebrate. I loved the organisation chart for the colonial marines too.

Hopefully their experience in fighting off the titans and liberating Horizon will give them plenty of useful experience for taking on the Chimm swarm in good time.
 
2229-2231

Rawghi

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2229

The plans for additional reinforcement for the fleets proceeded as expected. The Colonial Navy got four new frigates to protect the two transport fleets, not the amount General Ishii wanted but the federation needed to prioritize the shipyards manufacturing towards the two Recon Flotillas (the 11th and the 21st) that were expected to patrol the route Sol-Newton to limit the piracy. The 11th Recon was led by Admiral Louisa Hyland while the 21st by Admiral Liam Vincent.

The idea of clearing the system north of Sol from hostile mining drone presence was in the meantime delayed. The Federal Council wanted to have the Second Fleet (reinforced with the USV Relic) taking care of the job, but the Federal Navy suggested having the First Fleet joining too, because the drones were stationed nearby automated stations which power was not known. The First Fleet however was stationed at Trident Station so it would have taken quite some time for them to join the Second.

The Spaceborne Command announced the completion of the upgrades of the station Fort Pegasus. Located on the eastern area of the federal space, it was now able to support an anchored fleet thanks to dedicated crew quarters for the navy. In line with the upgrades of Trident station it was also equipped with gun and missile batteries. Ypres Station was also upgraded; being located in Newton and built to support the colonization of Celestia, the station was upgraded to support the increasing merchant traffic in the area. Works to have the station also featuring navy crew quarters, to support the 2nd Colonial Navy Fleet, commenced.

During the year, the Wolf Station was built in orbit of the Wolf 4525 system, designated by the FCO as Faraday. The system was located in the galactic west and in the same area research vessels discovered an ancient automated shipyard. The construction was in the process of deploying a frigate, bigger compared with human counterparts but not comparable to the USV Relic. A recently launched new construction ship (USV Meteor, SSM-008, Cape Ducato class) was sent to allow for the recovery and refurbishing of the vessel. The frigate had a bulky look but it was effectively functional and a skeleton crew was used to ferry it towards Earth, where, after a couple of months and the works of Geomax Aerospace engineers, was fully staffed and put in service as USV Dark Wanderer under the command of the First Fleet.

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The year ended with the presentation of the first coilgun, developed by Atlas Arsenal with the support of the Research Division E. It was the second generation of mass drivers since the discovery of the FTL, able to accelerate projectiles at targets thanks to electromagnetic coils. The Federal Navy showed interest in upgrading the actual used cannons with the new technology in the upcoming years.


2230

The 2230 started with a new political campaign for the federal elections, to be held during summer.
Haruna Yamasaki, leader of the Free Election Committee and science officer of the USV Kepler (todo) was definitely ahead in all of the surveys that were held during the first months. She was seen by many as a successor of Pasquette as President of the United Systems, especially because her popularity was very high, also thanks to the exceptional recovery of the USV Relic that saw her interviewed and invited in many shows and news channels on hypernet.

However, many people were still undecided and at the election date many voted for Paquette, her reassuring presence was in fact fundamental for keeping humanity tight during the difficult times in the last decade. Her plan to reinvigorate the agricultural sector was not fulfilled but everyone understood that events such the Horizon crisis took precedence. The end result was her election, for the third time in a row, as President at the venerable age of 74. Yamazaki’s Free Elections Committee was however very close to the National Stability Lobby of Paquette, with a difference of only 1%.

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Paquette held a speech to thank the citizens for electing her again and wanted to outline the following agenda for the years to come:
  • Reinvigorating the colonization effort, in particular solve once and for all the issues with the automated drones in the northern sector of the federal space to allow reaching systems with potentially habitable worlds.
  • Continue to improve the relations with the Korinths while keeping a vigilant standings against the Chimms. Paquette cleared any doubts about a preemptive strike on the dangerous arthropoid race stating that the principle of “Defensive Wars” will be the official stance of the Federation. If Chimms will not perform hostile actions towards the United Systems, mankind will continue to coexist hoping that the aliens will change their attitude.
  • Resume the exploration of the galaxy to search for other intelligent forms of life.
  • Improve the economic situation that was hit by the massive military expenses due to the Horizon crisis.
Two new systems entered the Federation: 49 Arietis, renamed Huygens, with the construction of Port Hutton, and HD 398894, renamed Bohr, with the construction of Sullivan Station, and the phase one of the colonization ended in Celestia. Due to the distance of the planet from the Earth, it was decided to have the planet benefitting from a special statute of “Frontier System” that foresee a reduction of taxes and special regulations that could have been decided at planetary level to cope with the high distance from the core of the Federation. This would have been one of the first steps for the introduction of the “Sector” as an administrative body, to allow different regions of space to leverage on tailored internal laws and regulations (always in line with the Federal government however).

Good news came from the Federal Information Service that reported that the Chimms expansion was essentially focused “away” from the federal space. The aliens did very little to become a real “threat” for the United Systems with a military force that could have been easily crushed by the Federal Navy.

Anna Mayfield, commander of the science ship USV Hawking, reported that the second planet of the Huygens systems was covered from pole to pole in a web-like network of electrical filaments. These networks responded to external stimuli: the ship experimented with sending a low-voltage pulse to the surface which resulted in a wave of illumination that rippled through the network like a circuit board. Even more remarkably: the webs rearranged themselves, and after a second low voltage pulse was sent, the filaments reorganized in a new pattern centered around where the previous pulse had contacted the surface of the planet. Mayfield concluded that this discovery confirmed her long-held theory that life could exist as almost purely electrical impulses, independent of cellular structure.

In November, the scientific community communicated that thanks to crowd-computing, insights on the functioning of the L-Gates were discovered. Still far from being able to activate them however, the published papers outlined the discovery of the frequency pattern on which the gates worked.

4rpEDTL.png



2231

Aanya Patil, head of the Scientific Division S, announced the publishing of an online encyclopedia regarding all the discoveries made by the United Systems so far, with a special focus on the now long gone civilization and the artifacts recovered from their ruins. Many conferences around the colonized planets were held by Patil and the central focus of her speech was outlining to the public how dangerous conflicts at planetary level were and the great benefits of prospering in a civilization that aimed to keep galactic-wide peace.

On the seventh planet of Newton, the ruins of a large prison complex have been discovered. The hostile ice-world was in fact serving as some kind of maximum security penal colony for the long gone “First League” civilization. Records indicated that the prisoners were guilty of piracy, terrorism and other crimes of extraordinary nature. Fossilized remains of some prisoners were found, belonging to many different alien species, and apparently an escape attempt was made since the remains of two individuals were found in the outskirts of the complex, apparently dead by asphyxiation after their suits run out of breathable air.

xAPmGEf.png


Like the previous year, another discovery was made by Anna Mayfield in the Huygens system. In a vault hidden in the first moon of the third planet, huge blocks of ternary code were found in databanks. These were neural images, or digitized brain scans, of aliens that were on the brink of a cataclysm and put their hope of resurrection in the hands of a future civilization that, like humans, discovered the vault. These neural images were downloaded on special drives and stored at the Department of Research on Earth. Many suggested that in future, when humans may have developed a way to interface machines with biological entities, the “resurrection” of these aliens could have been a possibility.

In August, a distress signal was found by Federal starships .The message was from the crew of a merchant vessel, the USV Luxion, that disappeared a year before and assumed lost in a catastrophic failure (incidents in space happened, especially since the traffic of vessels moving back and forth colonies and starbases was very intense). It was discovered that an unidentified “captor” kidnapped the crew and was keeping them hostages in a system on the east of the Korinth Republic. The Federal Information Service was immediately involved and started planning a way to understand better was going on since the message was incomplete and didn’t clear out all the happening. The families of the crewmen were informed but they were warned that an immediate rescue operation was out of question since it would have involved transiting with warships through the Korinth space, an act that could have escalated quickly, hence as a first step a scientific ship operating nearby (the USV Kepler) would have been sent to explore the area to investigate, even if it would have been dangerous of the crew of the ship.
 

stnylan

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Some very welcome "regular" developments - nothing like Horizon. Sometimes it is pleasing to have to deal with matters comparatively more relaxed.
 

RossN

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I feel a strong Yldar vibe don't you? Btw, great AAR you're doing @RossN ! I'm following it!

Thanks, glad you like it! :)

I think Earth and her colonies are probably secure at the moment thanks to Paquette's military build up. With the 'war' against the Titans won maybe humanity can feel a little less tense and focus on peace and prosperity.
 

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Some very welcome "regular" developments - nothing like Horizon. Sometimes it is pleasing to have to deal with matters comparatively more relaxed.

Absolutely!! Moreover all the previous events were quite thought to write as I was trying to outline the big impact they had on the human perception of the galaxy.. now going on much more relaxed situation is a bless!

Thanks, glad you like it! :)

I think Earth and her colonies are probably secure at the moment thanks to Paquette's military build up. With the 'war' against the Titans won maybe humanity can feel a little less tense and focus on peace and prosperity.

Yes, the contingencies gave a big reason to buildup a strong military, but now it's the time to stabilize especially the economy

Which ethics and civics does Federation have? Do you use generic Stellaris humans or made your own with another traits?

Nope, I created a custom one that I felt much more pertinent to the timeline from 2000 to 2200. The ethics are: Egalitarian, Pacifist and Materialist, while the civics are Parliamentary System and Idealistic Foundation.
 
2232-2234

Rawghi

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2232

With the intent of rebalancing the economy, the Federal Council passed a series of laws to shift the economical focus from an all-military to a more balanced one, in particular because in these years the prices of consumer goods increased due to the scarcity given the conversion of many factories to military purposes.

The fleets were now in fact fully operational and there was no need for further expansion, although many questioned the reason behind handing off the four corvettes to the Colonial Navy, especially since such a small force would not be capable of fending off attacks on the transport fleets independently. In the meantime, the Federal Navy fleets were assembling for assaulting the first two systems controlled by the mining automated drones, HD 8055451 and 17 Pegasi,to secure the space north of the Sol system. For this operation a new officer of the Navy was promoted Admiral, You Tan, and assigned to command the USV Relic.

The full naval forces attacked the drones fleet in HD805541 on May 12th. As expected, even before the federal ships opened fire, the drones started targeting human frigates with their high power mining lasers and the battle commenced with the ships of both parties exchanging everything they had. Luckily the feared mining station had no weapons so as soon as the Federal Navy destroyed the drones, they were able to take out the mining station easily. There were no casualties on the human side and as soon as the news reached the population everyone rejoiced and was thankful to the careful approach that the government took to not leaving the Second Fleet alone in this endeavor. The damage to the federal ships was minimal and the USV Relic was fundamental to take the bulk of the enemy firepower coming out mostly undamaged.
The next move would have seen the same force attacking the second drone fleet in the system 17 Pegasi, at the start of the following year.

3iUc0Bk.png


In June, the HD 842101 system, in the galactic south, became part of the human space with the construction of Wayfarer Station and renamed Pascal and at the same time, federal merchant vessels came across in this region the so called “Curator Order”, an ancient race of benevolent aliens that was living on a single space station in the Kepler 1202 system. They established contact with federal authorities and announced that their intent and purpose was to preserve the immense archives of sapient species knowledge, located on the very same station. Their population was around four thousand individuals and they were a reptilian species called Sek-Lokkar.
A delegation from the First Contact Department reached the Sek-Lokkar station to establish permanent communications and in the following months, a team from the Department of Research was able to strike an agreement with the “Curators” that foresee the ability of human scientist to browse a section of the archives upon the payment of 2,000 energy credits.

aWalGlH.png


During the year some unusual discoveries were made. On the third planet of the Nihal system it was discovered that a sheet of organic material was drifting on the atmosphere covering most of the planet surface, Anna Mayfield that discovered the strange phenomena was not able to determine neither the purpose nor the true nature of these unusual clouds. Orbiting around the second moon of the second planet of Alexander instead the ruins of a naval base of the ancient First League was discovered by the USV Hubble, along with emblems and data of the fleet anchored there.

The year ended as the USV Kepler was able to identify what was behind the distress signal of the apparently kidnapped crew. A space station was orbiting asteroids in the 29 Rho 2 Cepheui system. The location was communicated to the Federal Navy command on Earth that decided to move there forces as soon as the anti-mining drones operation were completed.


2233

On February 22nd, the mining drone fleet in the 17 Pegasi system was assaulted by federal forces. The battle proceeded similarly to the previous one with the difference that apparently the drones ignored the cruises and instead focused their fire on the frigates. After circa 20 minutes of sustained fire between the parties, the Federal Navy won again, but this time there were losses. The USV Menai and the USV Chiron were in fact destroyed during the battle: the first was hit with a laser burst in the reactor area and suffered a catastrophic explosion while the second was “cut in half” when a nuclear missiles stowage room was hit and exploded. From the two frigates, each one housing 450 crewmembers, only 370 sailors were able to reach the rescue pods and were later saved by the other human ships as soon as the battle was over.

A day of mourning was held in the United Systems colonies to pay respect to the fallen, everyone however understood the importance of securing the inner human space in a galaxy more and more packed with merchant vessels moving through systems. One last system needed to be cleared out, Gliese 7806, since it was the gateway to the exploration of the galactic north, and Admiral Gao decided to attack as soon as possible. During the transit the two fleets would have been joined by two new frigates, which construction started immediately at Helios One and Excelsior Station, to replace the losses.

Two new systems were claimed: 1 Lacertae, renamed Da Vinci, with the constructions of the second trade focused hub, Freeport Two, and 70 Aquarii, renamed King, with the construction of Colorado Station.

It was announced that in June, President Paquette would have met the Supreme Leader Rhethan of the Korinth Republic on Sirius Prime, this was the first face to face meeting between the two leaders since the first contact, and preparation was held to ensure that every security measure would have taken to ensure the safety of the encounter. The Korinths showed up with a delegation of diplomats and warriors, the party was escorted by four Korinth frigates, not much because in these years it was clear by the alien that humanity had no interest in a conflict with them, and moreover the embassy on Koros was housing two hundreds of human clerks that everyday worked and met with Korinth personnel.

DurUUCG.png


The meeting took place in a lodge overlooking a scenic waterfall, Rhethan brought an ornate axe as a present while Paquette brought a full set of medieval armor, as it was known that Korinths went along very well with everything related to warfare. It lasted four days and the two leaders were able to talk about each civilization's history, culture and goal for the upcoming future. Rhethan expressed concerns over the Chimm Swarm but was reassured by Paquette about the defenses built on the borders. It was very clear to everyone that the meeting would have been the cornerstone of a much more tight collaboration between the two civilizations.

In a joint press conference, held during the last day of the meeting, the two presidents declared that the following decisions were taken:
  • The United Systems and the Korinth Republic would have entered a defensive alliance where each one of the empires would have protected the other in case of war.
  • Commercial routes would have been opened up between the two civilizations, as traders would have been allowed to land on planets and stations of both parties.
  • A team of human scientist would have been sent to Koros to help Korinth scientist and viceversa on Earth
  • A permanent Korinth embassy would have been opened on Earth, mirroring the human embassy on Koros.
  • The United Systems would have allowed Korinth starship to use Fort Pegasus (once built as a border defense in case of a war with the aliens) as a resupply base.
  • Both empires would have shared active sensor reading to be aware of “other” aliens' eventual encounters or incursions.
The announcement was met with joy in the colonies of both civilizations, as the galaxy became a much safer place thanks to the decision taken. In the following months the first traders started landing on alien planets and doing businesses. While initially every encounter was approached with a suspicious attitude, the more this happened the more it became common, and it took a small amount of time for having human traders with “Korinth friends” and vice versa. Apparently humans and Korinths were not so different after all.

The research that started in 2227 for building a fusion reactor for ship propulsion changed along these years. The Research Division P announced that it was discovered that the actual sublight thrusters’ next technology would have been ion propulsion, but it was possible instead to divert the studies on ships main reactor (the one that powered all the starships systems) and in particular Kora Energies was able to develop a new generation reactors to replace the E-Max currently in use by federal starships. This reactor, called F-Max, was patented in September and along with the main military use, also commercial variants were available for civilian ships’ market.
The Federal Navy ordered the refitting of the frigates used in the two recon flotillas, leveraging not only on the new Kora F-Max but also replacing the Mashima 40cm RKC-1 Cannon with the new generation coilguns, specifically the Trident Corporation manufactured 38cm RKC-2 Coilgun. The ship class was changed adding the “B” suffix, for example the upgraded FF-1 was named FF-1B.
The Colonial Navy showed interest too and ordered the refitting of all the four frigates of the two support flotillas.

In November, a new civilization was met in the galactic north, the Xeltek League. The first contact was made via holoscreen and it showed an Arthropoid, quite unsettling, individual that called himself Pallyt Xabbaverta. Thanks to the universal translator technology it was possible to put him in contact with a team of the Department for Xeno Affairs first and President Paquette later. He was ruling the Xeltek League, some sort of a war council, very similar to the type of government of the Korinth Republic and their cultural values keep in high regard meritocracy and, again,strength. They were living on a tropical planet called Xel Mirus in a system they named Xeltor.
Xabbaverta intentions were clear: do not interfere with Xeltek space, and this seemed to humans like a recurring pattern in every encounter with alien species. It was decided to proceed with the same approach used for the Korinths, so trying to establish an embassy or some sort of diplomatic mission on their planet but it was decided to hold on and wait to show the aliens that the United Systems had no intention to be hostile with them.

u5a5N68.png


In the following weeks it was determined that the Xeltek League was in contact with multiple galaxy species but it was not possible to negotiate with them the details as the aliens were very secretive on their businesses. Gravitational and thermal readings showed that their fleets were definitely inferior compared to the Federal Navy, along with the commercial traffic between their planets that was significantly lower even compared to the not so great Korinth one. They were however aware of the Chimm presence judging by the fact that the two alien domains were bordering. Based on the analysis of their biology through the holoscreen, it was possible to determine that the individual's lifespan was at least ten years shorter than humans but as for the Chimms, having an insect-like physiology gave them an upper advantage in terms of raw strength.

xI56N7m.png



2234

The third and last, for the moment, action against hostile automated drones were taken by the Federal Navy in February. The human starships attacked on Gliese 7806 and this time the battle was won without any casualties. The drones fleet was half the size of the ones encountered before and the United Systems were able to clear this important gateway to the exploration of the northern space, that was also the only way to reach the Xeltek League domains.

The anti-drones campaign was then over, so the fleets returned to their home port with a change regarding the home base for the Second Fleet that instead of being positioned on Fort Pegasus, nearby the Korinth space, was relocated to Ypres Station in the Newton system, in the North, to ensure a rapid response in case of troubles from the Xeltek. The Ypres Station itself, intended initially to be just a local supporting platform for the colonization of Celestia, became the third military base (under the management of the Spaceborne Command) as it was equipped with crew quarters for the Navy and defensive armament.

OaXulRU.png


Apart from the above operation against the drones, the year continued without particular events, and foresee the construction of first private owned station, Neon Station, built by the megacorporation AuraCorp, in the Wolf 3836 system, later renamed Aristotle.
 

stnylan

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The news of the successful conference and alliance with the Korinthians is most most welcome. Hopefully it will long endure, and who knows, maybe it will become the basis of deeper co-operation and friendship?

Do we have any updated data on the Chimm?
 

youstas

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Also I appreciate that you chose map with spiral galaxy with 4 arms because Milky Way galaxy actually have 4 arms. How large is your galaxy? Has it 800 or 1000 stars?
 

Nikolai

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Very happy to see a defense alliance with these nice aliens. :D
 

Rawghi

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The news of the successful conference and alliance with the Korinthians is most most welcome. Hopefully it will long endure, and who knows, maybe it will become the basis of deeper co-operation and friendship?

Do we have any updated data on the Chimm?

They were quite unlucky, they are bottlenecked in the north by the Xeltek, by the galactic core in the west, of course in the east by the federation. They are trying to expands southwards but so far they were not able to colonize much further.
It is also true that in that area of expansion the human knowledge is very scarce, so bad surprises are around the corner.


Also I appreciate that you chose map with spiral galaxy with 4 arms because Milky Way galaxy actually have 4 arms. How large is your galaxy? Has it 800 or 1000 stars?

Thank you! Yes I wanted to “adapt” the stellaris four arms to the real barred four arms Milky Way, initially also restarting the game multiple times to have the Sol system approximately in the same position of the real counterpart. I was very lucky that when I started exploring I was not having like a FE just around the corner, as I’ve not done any kind of check before starting because I wanted to keep the feeling of unknowns.

And yes it is a 1000 star galaxy so I suppose than in 200 years I will be able to write a full chapter while the game process a day! :D
 
2235-2237

Rawghi

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2235

The expansion of the United Systems border proceeded quickly with the acquisition of three new systems:
  • Washington, formerly Lambda Crucis, with Jupiter Station
  • Von Fritsch, named after the perished scientist during the encounter with the Stellarite Devourer, formerly Wolf 3308, with De Lome Station
  • Archimedes, formerly HD 411223, with Halifax Station, a private base owned by Caleston
The USV Hubble reported the discovery in the Gliese 7806 system of a shipwrecked merchant vessel from the Korinth Republic. The remains of the ship and its cargo were delivered to Korinth personnel and Supreme Leader Rhethan issued a note to thank the Federation for the retrieval.

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Since the relationship with the Korinths were stable, Ambassador Laura Durston was recalled and sent on a diplomatic mission on Xel Mirus, the Xeltek League capital. The aliens accepted with reluctance the human presence but agreed on having a permanent embassy to allow for a quicker communication with humans. Durston sent numerous reports of sabotage acts and obstructionism during their stay but the Department of Xeno Affairs was confident that the approach, used successfully with the Korinths, would have been beneficial in having the alien race perception towards mankind changed.

On Kepler 996, north of the Korinth space, science ships were blocked again by ancient mining drones. Seems like that their presence was a constant in the galaxy and having them occupying strategic hyperlanes passage was intentional. That would have hampered additional exploration efforts unless cleared out once and for all. Given however the long distance from the federal space it was a dangerous business and it was decided to have the ships of the Scientific Exploration Flotilla focusing on safer areas. A new strategic resource, called “Dark Matter”, was discovered however in this sector of the space. The exotic substance had many properties that seemingly defied several natural laws. It could have potentially revolutionized the sciences. However, the location and the incapability of mankind technology to gather it prevented any additional interaction with the substance.


2236
During the MINEX36, a mining industry festival in Centauria, new revolutionary technologies were presented. Weymore Mining showed a new model of refinery that was able to operate at zero G, in the depths of space, This would have increased the mining output of an orbital mining station of around 10%. Kovalev materials instead presented the schematics of the first “Nebula Refinery”, a resource processor that would have been built on starbases inside nebulas to gather dust particles and refine them to minerals.

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Another system locked by automatic mining drones was discovered by federal ships, this time in the northern passage between Xeltek and Human space. Many started pressing the Federal government to take actions but the Federal Senate voted against any initiative over the fear of overextending the controlled space. At the same time however the Senate passed a series of regulations to aid the development of human colonies, in particular Sirius Prime, Horizon and Centauria. These aid came in form of “tickets” grandet by the government that the population could have used to buy grocery products, with the intent of stimulating the economy and allowing the colonists to have more resources available, hoping to increase the population growth in the years to come. The regulation would have lasted for ten years.

The year was particularly interesting also because the government seeked new ways to keep the colonies much more close to Earth, it was clear at this point that the vastness of space proved to challenge not only the delivery of the information between the planets efficiently but also the capability for the Federal Government to keep everything under control. For this reason, the Department of Federal Affairs announced the start of the construction of the substitute of HyperNet, ExaNet, a much more robust network infrastructure relying on a multitude of redundant beacons, able to transfer data packets at FTL speed. This allowed for a near instantaneous communication even between the two most distant planets, Horizon and Celestia. Also, the Department of Space announced the formation of the Federal Courier Network, a fleet of small vessels able to deliver in very short time sensitive and high security packages and transport VIPs between the multitude of federal offices in the United Systems.
Lastly, the Federal Health Service invested in a healthcare campaign to promote a better lifestyle. The worry was that due to the very diverse infrastructures and services levels on the planets the population could have lost track of proper diet, medical examinations, regular exercise and sleeping pattern. This translated into a series of fiscal benefits that would have been awarded to citizens that would have followed the so called “Health Improvement Program”, that was widely publicized in every human city of the galaxy.

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On the surface of the first planet of the U7502 system, the USV Kepler discovered several cenotaphs carved from some mineral not native to the planet. Evidently they were placed there by some artistically-inclined spacefaring race. These inscriptions on these monoliths described the history of this race in a fantastic way that it was guessed to be fictional. Scientists took digitized scans of these inscriptions and stored them in federal archives.


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Laura Durston, working from Xel Mirus, informed the government that inside the Xeltek space a planet was populated by a primitive species, called Urzo. These were a molluscoid sentient life-form still stuck at the machine age that was monitored by the Xeltek. Seemed like the Xeltek opted for a non-interference policy at the moment, and this information was well received by the Federal Government, indicating that the arthropods approached to the galaxy were definitely cautious and not destructive. On the planet, the first of the H7757 system, lived around 12 billions Urzos.

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The technology developed by Weymore Mining related to Zero-G machinery was exploited (in partnership with Weymore) by Vitruvian Genetic to fabricate Zero-G laboratory rooms that could have been used in orbital research stations. Funnily, it took years for mankind to develop starships and station with artificial gravity generators, because it was crucial to ensure that a long exposure to space didn’t damaged or weaken the human body, this time the trend went back for three reasons:
  • All the orbital station had artificial gravity, and it was not possible before to keep a section of the station without it
  • Building a dedicated no gravity station would have created logistical issues (like creating ad hoc station nearby bigger orbital laboratories) and again putting humans in an environment that on the long terms could have created health issues
  • Zero gravity research was still needed, and with this invention it was possible to dismantle old zero G standalone research stations and unifying laboratories.
Vitruvian stocks, as expected, skyrocketed together with Weymore as soon as not only the Department of Research but also private companies and megacorporations started putting orders for the new technology and equip their stations.

YOxsueV.png


The year ended with the colony ship USV Weber touching down on the fourth planet of HD 805541. The planet was a continental one, and it was expected it would have taken four years to finish the initial colonization phase. The federal authorities named it Hope and renamed the system Armstrong. The recently built Paragon Station in orbit of the main star would have supported the operations.


2237
The year started with another milestone in the relationship between humans and korinths. In fact, on March 11th, President Paquette was invited to Koros to meet Supreme Leader Rhethan and the meeting went along very similarly to the one on Sirius Prime. Media coverage was huge especially because human journalists were able to set a foothold on the alien planet that was before only allowed to traders unders special permit. Paquette was of course accompanied by a delegation of the government, and in the three days that they spended on Koros the leaders agreed on opening the borders between the two galactic empires. Just ten year before this seemed impossible.
From a United Systems standpoint, starting from June 1st, every korinth could have benefitted by the same laws, regulations and constitution of humans, and even asking the citizenship of the federation, that could have been achieved after one year of work and a series of tests on human culture and behaviors, along with the need to speak the official federal language (that was the english). On the other side, for a human to achieve Korinth Republic citizenship was a bit harder given a less evolved bureaucratic system that foresaw quite a longer process (five years). Rhethan also gave his blessing for having federal warships crossing korinth space for finally reaching 29 Rho 2 Cepheui, the system where the missing crew of the USV Luxion originated from.

Two weeks later, the Second Fleet under Admiral Akiloye reached the system.
As soon as possible, Akiloye opened a comm-channel with the unknown captor ships, it was greeted back by Lyudmila Rychenkova, a well known human criminal that escaped before from the battle of Baldarak, the one where humans had to reclaim the Barnard’s Star system from pirates. Apparently Rychenkova managed to smuggle through the Korinth Republic with a fleet of six corvettes and establish a base on 29 Rho 2 Cepheui. During her escape from Barnard’s Star, she was joined by different groups of pirates and they were also able to capture the USV Luxion, refurbish as a warship and kidnap the ship's crew.

Rychenkova demands were though: she wanted to release the Luxion crew “one prisoner a month” (for a total of 238 people) to ensure that the Federation would have allowed her to live peacefully on the system and establish there a human presence. The Second Fleet transmitted back the message to the Earth, where in the meantime the Federal Security Council assembled.

The Federal Security Council was composed by multiple people with key roles in the United Systems and was conceived to take care of emergency situations where time would have been a key factor for the resolution of contingencies or crisis.
The following is a list of the various components of the council:
  • The President of the United Systems
  • The General Secretary of the Federal Council
  • The Secretary of Defense along with some of his subordinates: the commander of the Federal Army, the grand admiral of the Federal Navy, the commander of the Colonial Navy, the commander of the Spaceborne Command and the commander of the Joint Special Operations Department
  • The Secretary of Security along with some of his subordinates: the commander of the Federal Police and the Director of the Federal Information Service
  • The Secretary of Xeno Affairs along with his subordinate the Director of the Diplomatic Corps
  • The Secretary of the Research Department along with his subordinate the Director of the Joint Research Directorate
  • The Secretary of Space along with his subordinates the Director of Space Transportation and Colonization Department and the Director of the Communication Management Service
The opinion on the course of action by the members of the council were very different: Grand Admiral Gao opted for an attack on the criminal ships as a show of force to have Rychenkova surrendering to the federal forces, Michael Kranz, the commander of the JSOD advocated for a faked retreat while a spec-ops team infiltrated the base to rescue the crew, General Ishii, commander of the Colonial Navy proposed to strike the deal just to take time while a better plan could have been prepared while, last but not least, the General Secretary Maksimushkina suggested an amnesty for the captors in exchange of the liberation of the crew and the abandoning of both the base and the warships.

Paquette was generally not willing to cooperate but she was very worried about the health of the crew, at the end, she decided to pick the Grand Admiral plan, mostly because she was reassured by him that “the captors will surrender as soon as the first turbolaser volley will be fired”.

uLGfjYg.png


That was not the case.
As soon as the Second Fleet opened fire the criminals' ships and the starbase itself started targeting the federal ships. The battle raged for less than ten minutes but the navy starhips had to rely on their full firepower as some of the vessels were taking heavy fire and casualties were reported. In the end all the enemy corvettes were destroyed, along with the starbase that had one section completely broken off, causing a massive structural failure that vented all the air present on the station through space.
It was a massacre. The live feed of the battle was transmitted back to the Earth and Paquette was staring horrified at the screen. The outcome was the death of 237 federal navy personnel, 712 kidnappers and all of the 238 crewmembers of the Luxion.

The media followed closely the event and after the report was confirmed by the federal authorities, Paquette was strongly criticized for her choice of actions. Many people added the tragedy to the list of casualties caused by “..the reckless attitude of a President that once more confirms that human life comes after the federation prestige”.

The President decided to avoid any comments or speeches during the two weeks after the incident, but two weeks after the event, she went on a unified broadcast on ExaNet and took full responsibilities on what was later labeled “The Luxion Massacre”.
 
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stnylan

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Those mining drones are getting a wee bit annoying

The news frmo Korinth is excellent though.

As for the kidnapping ... it was probably the right line to take, but once the lasers start lighting up the sky ...
 

noobeless

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Inter stellar relations are evolving, the Korinth and humans have a potential to be close friends and allies in a largely unknown galaxy.