Introduction and Prologue
  • Rawghi

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    9Gu6trz.png

    INTRODUCTION

    Hello everybody and welcome to my Stellaris after action report. I’m not new to this forums and I’ve tried multiple times to came out with a good AAR, most of the times, failing. I manage to get through a long one only once in my gaming career and was on Aurora 4x, a game that some of you may know, on a different forum (in Italian).
    So looking at the new expansion I was thinking to start a new one on Stellaris. I love science fiction and an AAR could become very entertaining because, contrary to other “real world” games the settings allow you to go wild with your imagination.

    Stellaris itself is not new to me, so my idea for this AAR is to create something with, hopefully, long, moving slowly as part of the entertainment would be the AAR itself.
    I will try to create and original setting but of course, I will take inspiration from major sci-fi themes and movies. Lastly, it will not be a min/max game, instead I will “bend” the game for narrative purposes, for example I do not plan to leverage on console or cheats, but, if this will enrich or create new storytelling opportunity I will surely go for it. All of this for saying that this is not intended to be in any way a “guide” for new gamers, but hopefully something to you to spend your time reading through.

    End note, english is not my first language, so sorry in advance for typos or other spelling horror you may encounter.
    Thank you!


    PROLOGUE

    The year is 2200.
    Mankind is united under a world governing body, the United Systems Federation, that managed, through a series of tumultuous events, to channel humanity efforts for a better future and common goals.
    Earth itself is different compared to the planet we’re used to: megacities that sprawls also vertically gathered the majority of the population leaving gaps of flourishing nature between them, big corporations that rule the markets and are very interconnected with the federation itself and spaceships roaming back and forth from the planet surface and the nearby solar systems asteroid fields and orbital bases.

    Humans are.. humans, the very same people with different lives, jobs and culture we’re used to. The society itself is not changed too much, there are still rich and poor, the one that rule and the one that serve but at least the total poverty that was plaguing the old world is gone, no one endure famine and generally, everyone has the same possibilities while living following the federation rules. Space is now exploitable (in the sense of the Solar system) so people are also used to reach it, both for work and for leisure.
    The Federation is a “just” governing body, resembling 21st century democracies with their own pros and cons, and the general perception of the government is good.

    At the start of our story, the Federation is thirty years old and was just “restructured” to further fulfill its duty at best, and people are looking at the stars as a near future virgin land to explore and exploit.

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    SUMMARY

    The Age of Discovery

    The New Era
    • WIP


    UPDATES


    April 19th 2020
    @ChaoYang started to help me to correct and revise the text for a much better narration. I cannot thank him enough!


    CREDITS
    Text Revision - @ChaoYang
     
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    Timeline
  • Rawghi

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    TIMELINE

    2032
    First human expedition to Mars by SpaceX.

    2035
    Global warming, caused mostly by pollution, continue to cause region wide natural disasters. United Nations establish a permanent commission to regulate efforts from countries in moving to renewable energy sources.

    2038
    Dynamotors Ltd., an aerospace company, patent a space-able nuclear fission engine capable of reaching a top speed of over 50,000 km/h (circa 13 km/s) in space, nearly the speed of the Voyager I probe launched in 1977. The breakthrough is the ability to reach that speed in a short amount of time. This will cut by one third the time needed to reach Mars, the inner planets and the asteroids belt of the Solar System.

    2040
    Dynamotors test the first unmanned spacecraft equipped with its prototype nuclear fission engine, the Prometheus. The spacecraft is launched from Cape Canaveral successfully and reach Mars in 34 days.

    2041
    After several years of planning and construction, HyperNet, an high speed world wide web is opened to the public and his first dorsal is deployed on the Atlantic Ocean between France and United States.

    2042
    European states are united under a single flag, not just economically but also from administrative and military point of view, the old continent is now the EUF, European Union Federation.

    2043
    Bekenfeld an energy market company, cooperates with Dynamotors for the construction of the first commercial nuclear reactor based on the revolutionary fission engine used on the Prometheus spacecraft. Multiple countries sponsor the initiative with the common goal to abandon fossil fuels.

    2048
    Pollution levels, dramatically high, lead to toxic smog clouds that periodically force the population of cities in affected regions to relocate.

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    2049
    The United Nations enforce a 5 year terms for the ban of all fossil fuels in favor of any other renewable energy source, including the Type-10 nuclear reactors manufactured by Bekenfeld.

    2050
    Russian Federation joins the European Union Federation after an economical crisis that crippled the country. EUF reasons were mostly dictated by the possibility to exploit the country vast natural resources.

    2055
    In the last two decades, humans were able to establish a quasi-permanent presence on Mars. However, many scientists dismissed the endeavour stating that “there is nothing important or profitable to look there”.

    2061
    The last car fueled by petrol is sold for buying for an electric car in Agadir, Morocco. The main reason is the very scarce availability of fuel that led to an unaffordable prices.
    India launches a military offensive on China on the Himalayan border for the old territorial dispute, after two months of conflicts the war risks to see an escalation to a nuclear exchange if it wasn’t for United States and EUF mediation. Peace is signed with minor border alteration in late November.

    2067
    The first asteroid mining operations are performed in space by the newly founded corporation ExaCorp, joined shortly by Weymore Mining and Kovalev Materials. All three companies profits are so big that they can rival small Earth nations.

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    2069
    Thanks to the shifting of the focus from Earth resources to the near space asteroids, the later called “Last Conflict”, a small low-intensity border skirmish between South Sudan and Uganda ends. Countries unwilling to play political or military aggressive strategies and diverts their attention to the recent evolution of the space industry.

    2071
    Several companies merge together to counter the dominance of so-called “Space Corps”, corporations that have the biggest part of their revenue based on space operations like ExaCorp or Dynamotors. The latter expands its business no more only on space propulsion but on construction and engineering and is renamed Dynacore.
    Amongst the merge, the biggest new competitor on the market is AuraCorp that spans from spacecraft reactors development to the space tourism sector.

    2074
    United States is the first nation to create a space-based military branch, followed shortly by China, India and the UEF. Most South American countries joins together to form a continental government called South American Confederation, or SAC.

    2076
    Several countries impose strict tariffs on corporations, especially the ones involved in space mining to prevent them for becoming much more influential than governments.. There is also a great debate over assigning or not asteroid belt regions to Earth countries. Overshadowed by Earth events, amongst many space mining spots, nations and corporations battle over the control of single high mineral asteroids. Spacecrafts employs both projectile, missile and high energy laser weapons to disable rival vessels. Both corporations and governments keeps this so-called “secret-war” away from the public eyes in a sort of mutual agreement transforming asteroid rich regions in unregulated conflict zones. Casualties are reported as “accidents” in official paperworks.

    2077
    Whistleblowers expose the “secret war” to the public, in just one year from the start, thanks to the fast-spreading of informations that the technology provide. United Nations are assembled and deliberate to send observers to prevent this “shame” (as it was branded the secret war) to ever happen again. Previous discussion about assigning asteroid regions to countries are dismissed and mining operation were forbidden to state funded enterprises, effectively striking a big win for the mega corporations.

    2080
    The year will be remembered as the start of the new economic boom. Thanks to progression in science and technology, the quality of life of the whole mankind increases dramatically. Megacorporations runs the market and pay impressive salaries that allows families to live on the shoulders of just one worker while at the same time guaranteeing high living standards and purchasing power. Amongst other corporations, Solaris Group launch the “New Dawn” project to end, once and for all, the critical humanitarian condition of most African countries thanks to huge investment and aids, effectively making them new and profitable markets to invest in.

    2083
    A think-tank group funded by Solaris Group, Blue Sky Consortium and United Solutions start elaborating the plan for the creation of a global unified body to manage and regulate space exploitation. Amongst political, diplomatic and economic matters, also military branches are contemplated.

    2084
    Asteroid mining operations continue at a steady pace, new minerals are discovered and new materials then manufactured.

    2090
    Vitruvian Genetics, a pharmaceutical company, patent TotalVir, an antiviral drug able to efficiently combat more than 94% of known diseases, including HIV and Ebola. Vitruvian Genetics stocks (VTG) are suspended from most markets due to the massive price increase.
    While aging process is still impossible to stop, human progress in the field of medicine allows now for a sure-recovery of 98% of cancer patients.

    2100
    Humans begins the 22nd century in a world different than the century before. The total population is stable at around 16 billions, concentrated in mega-cities that expands also vertically in the sky. Technology, especially artificial intelligence, helps and automate the daily tasks of every individual although there are no clear sign of a possibility of evolve this into something sentient.
    Mega-corporations runs the markets and establish themselves as global superpowers while the new unified nations try to combat this phenomena by limiting and taxing them more and more. This creates tension between CEO and government representatives, that are solved usually with corruption and bribes.

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    2104
    The United Nations Space Consortium (UNSC) is founded after a positive vote at the United Nations Assembly. The UNSC main task is to regulate each spaceborne operations and fund corporations and countries towards progress in technology and science.

    2107
    A census of the humans on Mars reveal a total population of 30.000 citizens. Most of them working on scientific laboratories that leverage on the exotic planet for performing different types of researches.

    2112
    United Solutions, an engineering megacorporation, is tasked by the UNSC to develop the first Sun orbiting space station. The station will be totally different then the now several hundreds smaller stations orbiting the Earth. It will be rather a permanent installation in space that not only support mining and space related activities but also host a permanent population for an indefinite amount of time. The station will be under the UNSC jurisdiction and will be a neutral ground for all countries.

    2115
    In the last three decades, many countries followed the UEF and SAC example and started joining together, the outcome is the formation of many bigger states like the Central American Union (CAU), the Asian Confederation (ACO) and the Indian Ocean Republic (IOR).

    2120
    The Schiaparelli colony, Gallipoli Outpost and Lowell Starport on Mars are devastated by a series of supermassive dust storms in the so called Promethei-Terra disaster (named after the region where the three human installation were located). The death-toll rise to nearly 10,000 people, forcing the UNSC to re-evaluate the martian colonization effort.
    Scientists predict the possibility of more storms in the months to come on Mars due to anomalies in the Sun affecting the martian thin atmosphere.

    2121
    UNSC order the evacuation of all the human personnel on Mars. The drastic decision is fostered not only by the small benefits of the operations performed on the red planet but also by the imminent christening of the Sun station being built by United Solutions that will substitute Mars as research ground. Terraforming technologies being still more theories rather than concrete science prevent any effort in making Mars effectively a living planet.

    2126
    After circa 80 years of efforts towards renewable energy sources and the reduction of pollution levels driven by UN, the Earth is slowly recovering from the reckless abuse of the 20-21st centuries. The influx of the population towards megacities and the availability of space (mostly asteroids) resources allowed flora and fauna to flourish again in many regions that were abused and exploited. Large portions of Siberia and the Amazon Forest are now heavily protected under special laws and human presence is quasi-forbidden apart from scientific expeditions. The nearly total melt of the north pole ice cap is stopped and ice is actually expanding at a steady pace.

    2130
    Professor Adam Vaughn, a scientist from Cambridge, publish theories about the possibility of developing a Faster-Than-Light (FTL) engine, using a newly discovered mineral called Neutrite, present on asteroids.

    2133
    The United States merge with EUF and Canada to form the North Atlantic Alliance (NAA), a federal state that spread for most of the northern earth hemisphere. The NAA government, due to the immense economic and political power that can exert, is able to take the edge on the mega-corporation influence over the worlds affairs, thus re-establish a balance between private and state long gone since 2077.

    2145
    The United Nations passes a motion to create a unified currency. Named “credit”, it will facilitate operations between countries removing bureaucracy involved in foreign exchange and its fluctuations.

    2150
    United Solutions complete the Sol-orbiting station that was commissioned in 2112. The station is first populated on August 2nd by maintenance personnel and its initial task is providing a communication center to facilitate space based operations, performing research in high-low gravity environments and start the construction of a station based shipyard for building next-generation starships. The station is named “Helios One” and feature a perpetual counter-clockwise rotation to simulate Earth gravity.

    2161
    Adam Vaughn found Vaughn Propulsions, fueled by UNSC subsidies and interest in exploiting FTL theories. This mark the beginning of the “Homeworld” program by the UNSC, aimed at making humans an interplanetary species, not jsu bound to the Earth.

    2166
    A continent size comet is spotted by Indian Ocean Republic Astronomy Bureau on a path with a 65% possibility to hit Earth in 2188. Regardless the effort to keep, at least initially, the new discovery secret by IOR government, the news spread fast generating chaos and panic through the rest of the world. It was estimated by in the first day alone more than 200.000 people died from news related events and chaos. The UN call for an emergency commission to be established to plans how to deal with the threat.
    The comet is renamed “Inferno”, not only due to the risk that pose to the human civilization but also by the tail that is actually red-colored. The actual position is estimated to be between Neptune and Uranus.

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    2167
    At the start of the year, the total death count caused by the Inferno comet hysteria is estimated to have reached a peak of two millions. Many countries has military units deployed through all their territories and the subsequent economical crisis caused by market crashes devastate the life of billions of people, with corporations shutting down and families reduced into total poverty.
    UN emergency commission, called the “Doomsday Council” burn immense amount of credits between counseling and research initiatives, thus enforcing the UN to ask countries and corporations for funds continuously.

    2169
    The Doomsday Council update the hit possibility of the Inferno comet to 82% and declare that in case of hit, there are no chances for any life form on Earth to survive. All the efforts are then diverted to find a proactive way to deviate the comet path, or at least reducing the size via massive bombing.
    The South American Confederation cease to exists as an entity due to the total collapse caused by both the economic crisis and the massive poverty, the North Atlantic Alliance intervene with military presence through all the biggest cities enforcing martial law and, authorized by an UN motion, effectively include the continent in its territories. The same fate happens to the Indian Ocean Republic that became part of the Asian Confederation. The world is now divided between six countries:
    • North Atlantic Alliance, that controls the former North America, Europe, Russia and South America
    • Asian Confederation, former China, most Indian Ocean facing countries till Iran
    • Central American Union, formed by Mexico and Central America states
    • Pacific Union, formed by Australia, Japan, Philippines and all the Pacific Ocean Islands
    • The Cone, composed by nearly all african countries below the equator
    • North African Council, formed by the arabic-speaking countries from Iran to Morocco

    2170
    David Bradley, former secretary of the UNSC, is elected secretary of the United Nations. On the seventh day of his nomination (July 28th), during a UN Security Council meeting, announce his plan to unify the six countries under a single planetary umbrella to face as a single entity, with a single goal and the totality of the effort, the Inferno comet threat. He deliberately decide to broadcast live the security council on HyperNet, but inform the six head of the states about being broadcasted just at the end of his speech, after his question “would you, in the interest of your citizens, in the interest of mankind, follow me in this endeavor to guarantee a future for our species?”.
    The outcome was clear, a “no” from anyone of the world leaders would have put their countries in revolt and all of them accepted. The event became legendary and marked the creation of the “United Systems Federation”, a planetary-wide body to guide the mankind towards his battle for survival.
    The United Nation Space Consortium became part of the Federation as a division tasked to continue its governance of space operations.
    David Bradley take the role of President.
    The name “United Systems” symbolize the union and cooperation not only by nations but also by a multitude of corporations and organizations, hence the “System” word. The USF (also US was used as an acronym, since the United States were not existing anymore as a body, replaced by the North Atlantic Alliance) logo is a star, representing the Sun, in front of a planet (Earth) with two oblong shapes pointed upwards, to represent the efforts to reach united higher goals.

    2171
    The Doomsday council, now embedded as an office of the United Systems Federation announce its cooperation with Vaughn Propulsion to find a solution to the comet threat.

    2172
    After two years from its creation, the United Systems Federation (USF) manages to reestablish some sort of economic stability although the gap between rich and poor people expands dramatically. The fear of the comet is kept at bay with a massive public relation campaign aimed at showing the population the efforts and the resources diverted to find a plan.

    2174
    To further optimize the spending, the USF Federal Army (US-FAR) is founded. Its aim is to replace the former six constituent countries armies. Many questions the role of the FAR as having one single governing body for the full Earth prevent previous-eras wars, but its purpose is mostly aimed at peacekeeping operations and population control duties in poorest (hence more difficult) regions of the planet.
    David Bradley is re-elected for his second mandate as USF president. The federations political form resemble western 21st century countries representative democracy where electors can vote for a parliament (Federal Parliament), a senate (Federal Senate) and directly a president with a 4 year mandate.

    2175
    The Federal Astronomy Department (US-FADE) correct the previous Inferno comet direct hit from 82% probability to 61% accordingly to the latest observations. The gases inside the comet, released along its way, modified the path. During the same year, the Space Administration (US-SPACE) launches the first manned mission on the comet, achieved thanks to the new revolutionary engine built by Vaughn Propulsion. While not being a real FTL drive, its performances allowed the vessel to reach the comet in less than 1 month, while the comet was approaching Jupiter.

    2176
    AuraCorp acquire Vaughn Propulsion, Adam Vaughn became part of the company board of directors.

    2177
    After ten years of simulations, planning and research, the famous Doomsday Council announces the strategy for dealing with the comet, that will be composed by two steps:
    1. A mass driver cannon will be build on the Helios One Sol-orbiting station, and in 2181 will fire at the Inferno comet, aiming to deviate sensibly the path.
    2. If the above plan will not succeed or, if the projectile, instead of the forecasted deviation would generate a meteor shower of dangerous size, a contingency plan will be enacted that will foresee:
      1. The construction of series of “Generations ships”that will be launched before 2188 towards Alpha Centauri, Barnard’s Star and Sirius, with the aim of finding a new place for mankind
      2. The construction of deep reinforced “ark” bunkers, that can self-sustain as a last resort
    The plan generate discomfort amongst people as the second option pure existence means that the first could, possibly, fail.

    2178
    Ann Lau is elected as President of the United Systems.
    The construction of the mass driver on Helios One is progressing as expected. Mining operations in the solar systems continue at a steady pace.

    2180
    Trident Corporation reveals the first gravitational generator, thanks to the exploit of the space based mineral called Mendarite. The generator allows to create a gravitational field in defined spaces, like a starship, that allows the crew to walk around as if they were on a planetary body. A series of generators are immediately installed on Helios One for testing purposes.

    2181
    US-FADE publish a new report about the Inferno comet. Against all odds, the probability of an Earth hit decreases again, this time to set the percentage from previous 61% to 24%. The news generate a wave of celebrations around major Earth cities. President Lau states that regardless of the updated estimation, the contingency plan will proceed as planned, however, the firing of the projectile from the mass driver cannon is delayed by two years, since FADE confirmed that in 2183 the trajectory will be “final” and no natural events could then modify the trajectory in a significant way.

    2182
    Jordan Takeda is elected as third President of the United Systems.
    On February 8th, FADE states that, due to the recent additional expulsion of gases from the comet, the final path will no longer has any chance to hit the Earth, nor any other major bodies in the solar system, it will more likely enter in the long run on a out-of-system course given by the Sun gravity “sling”.
    The Federation announce a week of celebrations that will be held in all cities and, for the first time in history, the whole population of Earth can rejoice united. The day will be remembered and celebrated as the “Future Day”, becoming a global holiday.

    2183
    Thanks to the events related to the closing of the comet impact threat, economies boom, the United Systems Federation finances, due to the massive increase of revenues, are diverted to cope with the lower strata of the society with welfare programs.

    2184
    Plan for the construction of an artificial island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean are laid down by the Federation, it will serve as the seat for the major federal offices. Its name will be Pax Astra.

    YyXl4bp.png

    2186
    Takeda is re-elected as President of the United Systems.

    2189
    Pax Astra is completed and all of the federal departments and headquarters are transferred there. The President office, the Federal Presidium, is located at the island center.

    2190
    Thanks to the successful economic reinvigoration, Takeda is elected for the third time as President of the US.

    2194
    AuraCorp patent the Vaughn-1 engine. The engine, mounted on a starship allows to reach speeds beyond the speed of light making it the first real FTL engine but it must be paired by sub-light thrusters for infra-system travels.
    The “hyperdrive”, as it’s now commonly called, engine will open for the first time in human history the capability to explore the stars: distances that required generation ships and centuries, if not millennia, to travel, can now be exploited in a matter of weeks. The hyperdrive however relies on a a “hyperlanes” network: invisible highways that, due to gravitational fluctuations and fields, allow stars to be connected only in a specific pattern. Hence travel between star A and B, may require the hyperdrive equipped engine to pass through star C and so on. This limitation is however minimal, since hyperlanes to nearby stars are easily individuated and mapped, and it’s discovered that follows the common sense (so nearby stars are usually connected between each others).
    Mashal Farooqui is elected as President of the United Systems, her presidential campaign is focused towards the expansion of the human presence on the Solar System along with additional fundings on the research for habitable planets in the nearby stars.

    2195
    A probe equipped with a Vaughn-1 engine reaches Alpha Centauri system successfully.
    President Farooqui announces the Horizon Program, an effort to reach nearby stars with manned starships no later than 2200.

    2196
    Exacorp build the first human orbital mining station in the Solar system, orbiting Io.

    2197
    Weymore Mining, following ExaCorp example build its first orbital mining station, this time orbiting the dwarf planet 136108 Haumea.
    The United Systems entrust the construction of 3 military-focused starships to Dynacore. The Consortium define them as “Frigates” in consideration of future increase of starship size, “Mercury” is the name given to the class. Skepticism around militarization of space and the reasoning behind it were taken care by President Farooqui statement about the incognita of an expedition towards other stars.

    2198
    The USF charge Geomax Aerospace for the construction of a research vessel: it will be the first human ship to reach a nearby star leveraging on the AuraCorp’s Vaughn FTL drive, and Binary Aerospace for the mooring of a construction vessel that will assist mining industry firm in expanding the station building efforts in the Solar system. Mashal Farooqui is re-elected president.

    2199
    President Farooqui shuttle, that was returning to Earth after a visit to the Helios One station, experience a catastrophic system malfunction during the atmospheric re-entry phase and crashes in the Himalayan range on July 20th.
    The Federation Provisional Authority, an emergency body formed by major ministry and prominent military personnel ordered a 5 days global mourning and new elections before the end of the year. The president was working on a final charter of the Federation, bringing substantial modification to its structure. The charter is anyway approved by both the Senate and the Parliament.

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    The 2200 Constitutional Reform
  • Rawghi

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    The 2200 Constitutional Reform

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    The reform of the United Systems Federation, approved at the end of 2199 and in effect at 1st January 2200, is aimed at streamlining government bodies and departments to better suits the upcoming projects for the nearby stars exploration (the Horizon project sponsored by President Farooqui), and to better manage the Solar system affairs.

    Below the list of the most important bodies that compose the core of the Federation:

    Presidium
    The Presidium is the office of the president, he’s the head of the state and the armed forces. He is elected every 10 years, voted by the citizens of the United Systems Federation, and is tasked to form the new government, by nominating Secretaries for the seven departments that cover all the major government areas.
    The Presidium is hosted in a building at the center of the Pax Astra artificial island, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and along with the President’s office itself, it sports a plethora of offices that helps the President fulfilling his duties.

    Federal Senate
    The Federal Senate is the single body of the United Systems parliament. It hosts 250 senators that are elected by the population. The Senate role is not only to embody the legislative power, but also to act as a form of control over the President and the Federal Council. Senators too are elected every 10 years.

    Federal High Court
    The High Court is an assembly of 25 high judges. Its task is to ensure that every government decision and law follows the constitution (also called “the Charter”) and regulate the judicial system of the Federation. High Judges are nominated by the Senate every 5 years.

    Federal Council
    The Federal Council constitute the de-facto government of the United Systems Federation.
    It is divided into seven different departments with respective duties and area of responsibility and each one is lead by a Secretary. The Council elects a General Secretary that is the second highest charge of the Federation, acting also as Vice President in case of needs. The General Secretary task is to ensure that each department’s secretary work in accordance to the government policies and strategies.
    Following a list of departments.

    Department of Federal Affairs
    The DFA is probably the most important office of the Federation. It regulates the citizens day to day life taking care of many important areas such as the welfare system, the education, the health of the citizen through the Federal Health Service and a myriad of other sub-offices. Transport services and planetary infrastructures are also an area of responsibility of the DFA.

    Department of Economy
    The Department of Economy, abbreviated as DECO, manages the finance of the Federation and its citizens. It not only handle the treasury and regulates the banking system but it also takes care of the labor legislation and plans for the federation future development. It establish and distribute the budget of the governing bodies according to the Council decision.

    Department of Security
    The DS is the federal department that takes care of the security of the Federation assets, both material and in terms of human lives. It manages the Federal Police Force (FPF), the prisons through the Federal Penitentiary Command, the judicial System by working in tandem with the High Court and lastly the FIS: the Federal Information Service that is the intelligence and national security office that collaborate strictly with the Department of Defense. The reason of having the FIS not under the DOD is to prevent a very dangerous concentration of both intelligence and power in one single Department.

    Department of Xeno Affairs
    The department, abbreviated DEX, is one of the newly introduced by the 2200 reform. While so far there are no proof of non-human life forms in the galaxy, the need for forming and preparing a body for a possible “first encounter” was deeply believed being necessary. It’s composed by multiple offices of diplomats, scientists from very different scientific branches (like language experts, biologists, etc..) and historians.

    Department of Research and Exploration
    The DRE is the main scientific department of the Federation. It’s composed by three major research division: the Federal Research Division S, that handles all society related studies, the Federal Research Division E, that focus its effort on engineering, and lastly the Federal Research Division P, which works on physics related matters.
    The three divisions are regulated by the Joint Research Directorate, that is tasked to ensure that the information are shared and to elaborate common strategies.
    The Department also sports a newly formed command in the form of the Scientific Exploration Flotilla, an organization that manages all the upcoming scientific starships, starting from the first one about to be christened and built by Geomax Aerospace.

    Department of Space
    Another newly formed department that many believes will replace the DFA in terms of importance inside the Federation. The DOS handles everything “civilian” that interact with the non-planetary environment (in short, everything that operates in space). It manages the orbital mining efforts, the space transportation and it’s related regulations, the future possible colonization of extrasolar planets, the Federal Cartographic Office and lastly the Federal Communication Management Office. The last one task is to manage specific beacons and relays necessary for instant communication between space-scale distances.

    Department of Defense
    Much like many counterparts of the 21st century nations, the DOD is the governing department of the Federation Military forces. It’s been heavily restructured in the reform and through a Joints Staff Command, it manages the following organizations:
    • Federal Army
      The ground-based army of the Federation. It’s composed by corps and divisions using highly mechanized equipment that operates at the planetary level. It features not only a land based component (the Federal Ground Army) but also a navy (in the seas, the Federal Oceanic Navy) and an air force (in the skies, the Federal Airforce). Generally the Federal Army is organized in independent, self sufficient units, that has subunits of each of the three branches attached, depending on the needs, called Planetary Divisions.
    • Federal Navy
      Also called “The Starfleet”, the Federal Navy governs the military starships of the Federations. It will take charge of the first three upcoming Mercury-Class frigates built by Dynacore and at the moment its entire structure is more of a cadre for the future expansion of the space military forces. Actual focus is the training of personnel and officers that is held in several academies on Earth.
    • Colonial Navy
      The Colonial Navy is a “mix” between the Federal Army and the Starfleet. It’s an experimental organization that is envisioned in taking charge of possible future operations that involves both space based transport and ground units warfare. For this body, the personnel is selected from the two previously mentioned forces and is trained to work alongside, so far fictional and very theoretical training exercise like planetary landings and assaults.
    • Spaceborne Command
      The Spaceborne Command is responsible for managing all space-based “static” assets like military starbases. At the moment the command manages a small units that tasked to man defensive systems and security onboard the Helios One Station orbiting the Sun.
    • Joint Special Operations Department
      The JSOD is a joint organization that is responsible of tier-1 special operations units. Since the organization is recently formed, each of the previous branches is in the process of selecting and proposing personnel to JSOD.
     
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    FF-1 Mercury Class
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    FF-1 Mercury Class

    fS9aWH9.png


    The Mercury frigate is the first military vessel class built by the United Systems and put in service in 2200.
    Developed by Dynacore, it sports the innovative Auracorp Vaughn-2 hyperdrive engine, a descendant of the Vaughn-1. For sublight travel, the vessel relies on own Dynacore F-50 thruster.

    The ship is similar in length to a 21st century aircraft carrier, and hosts a total of 450 personnel onboard. The Mercury class is armed with a three turrets: one is a Caleston 20cm Turbolaser cannon and two are Mashima 400mm mass drivers.

    The first three vessels: USV Falcon (SSV-001), USV Hawk (SSV-002) and USV Eagle (SSV-003) constitute the actual forces of the Federal Navy.
     
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    2200: Opening moves
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    2200: Opening Moves

    The year starts with the outcome of the election after the premature death of President Farooqui. The 16 billions humans on Earth voted Raymond Wade as the new President of the United Systems.
    Wade reassured along the election campaign of his intention of follow Farooqui policy regarding seeing the human colonizing a possible habitable world in the nearby stars to become an interstellar civilization, plus a focus on improving the alloys industries output thanks to a package of reforms and federal subsidies to companies working on that specific industry sector.

    The new council elects as General Secretary (hence also vice-president) Pyotr Ivanov. Ivanov working in tandem with the Federal Affairs Department announced in late February a series of decree aimed at the improvement of the general health of the population through a collaboration with nutritionist experts and investments in agricultural farms to bring “better food to everyone’s table”. The policy, branded by the media as the “Nutritional Plenitude Act” is very well received by the population.

    rXdCbZA.png

    In the first quarter of the year, all of the five vessel (three military, one constructor and a research vessel) ordered by the USF are now in space and ready to start their respective operations.
    The construction ship built by Binary Aerospace, the USV Francis Fowke (SSM-001, Cape Ducato class), enter its service with the construction of an orbital mining station on the big asteroid 4 Vesta, and, along the year, with a energy gathering station in Jupiter’s orbit (that leverages on wind currents of the planet) and lastly a permanent scientific outpost on TItan, the biggest Saturn satellite, where research on protomaterials will be performed.

    The Department of Research nominates three scientists at the head of the three main divisions: Julia Paquette on physics, Aanya Patil on society and lastly Marcelo Ortiz on engineering.
    The effort of the three departments were aimed respectively:
    • Quantum theories, with Paquette explaining the benefits that quantum physics can bring once applied to calculators and generally to the scientific community
    • Studies on biodiversity, that will help better approaching possible life forms discovered in the galaxy
    • Nanomechanics, to further help in the miniaturization process in all engineering fields.
    The USV Hawking (SSC-001), the first ship of the Scientific Exploration Flotilla, is also christened, and is placed under the command of Estelle Warner, a scientific officer that was previously a Federal Navy commander.
    The plans for the ship is to depart from Earth orbit directed at Alpha Centauri, becoming the first manned ship to endure a hyperdrive travel and reaching an extrasolar system.

    tih5DFr.png

    The buildup to the event is enormous, having not only a worldwide coverage on media being broadcasted live, but also a solemn ceremony is held onboard the Hawking where President Wade holds a speech before leaving the ship in Commander Warner hands.

    The hyperdrive travel, on the hyperlane corridor between Sol and Alpha Centauri, will last a variable time between 24 to 48 hours in which no communication could be established to the ship. At the arrival however, a new innovative communication system, based on gravitational variations developed by BrightSystems, allows for real time communications.

    The Hawking departure is announced by a spark in the black space background and, as expected the ship re-establish communication with Earth authorities in 32 hours. The arrival in Alpha Centauri is broadcasted in all the major megacities of Earth and Commander Warner holds a speech from the bridge of the ship, where not only she explain the experience of enduring the first hyperdrive travel, but also express the gratitude to humanity for granting her such an incredible honor.

    In late summer, the Senate approves a series of new reforms under the “Map the Stars” initiative, where industries and companies that operates in space exploration sector (by providing supplies, maintenance and manufacturing for example to the SEF) will have tax benefits and cuts.

    On September 1st, the new regulatory behind the “credit” view the currency backed by energy source. In short, the value of the credit will be calculated and emitted based on the energetic counterpart it represents.

    ZWF7OGa.png
     
    2201-2204
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    2201

    The year opens with the announcement from the government of federal subsidies and aid to the construction of new alloy industries. In particular 400 units of minerals (a unit is a federal standard of measurement equals to a billion tons) are allocated at very low prices for companies, two major megacorporations immediately apply for them, Hengsha and Trident Corp, followed later by a multitude of others.
    As expected, the effort of President Wade in increasing the resource output, not only with orbital mining stations but also on Earth is evident, but at the same time funds are allocated for the construction of scientific research station, in particular one in orbit on Venus, aimed at studies the effect of the planet atmosphere on microbes and germs.

    The USV Hawking, arrived in the meantime in the Alpha Centauri system, starts its orbital survey of the planets and immediately relies back to Earth the incredible news that Alpha Centauri III is a planet very much like Earth. Estelle Warner, the ship’s commander, is ordered by the Department of Research to investigate and prioritize the survey of it. After the ship touch-down on the planet, the crews relies back a series of breathtaking discoveries:
    • The planet atmosphere is breathable, and very much like Earth
    • The planet features oceans, mountains and forests, implying that life exists outside of Earth
    • Other than vegetals, also small multicellular life forms are discovered both in water and on the soil

    The scientific community is overwhelmed by the data gathered and relied back to Earth, and not only federal but also private corporations collaborate and sends scientific personnel to the planet to perform studies and research. The pristine environment required also specific and strict quarantine protocols to ensure that the exchange of bacteria and germs between earthlings and the planet biota doesn’t put anyone of the two subjects in harm.

    While far from intelligent, there is life in the universe.

    On Earth, Wade announces that plans are underway with major aerospace firms for the construction of the first extrasolar colony ship, to possibly transport humans on Alpha Centauri III, renamed Centauria, and transform it to the first permanent colony outside the solar system (before the birth of the federation, human had a small presence on Mars, later abandoned after the Promethei-Terra disaster).

    Bg8B8Wm.png

    Centauria geography features a dense jungle forest on the planet equator, but also very fertile lands in more temperate areas along with hot springs and waterfalls.
    After the initial exploration of the planet and the subsequent hand-off of additional scientific surveys to dedicate teams, the Hawking departs toward the other planets of the system and, upon even a greater stupor, discovers abandoned structures, clearly built by a long gone intelligent civilization on Alpha Centauri Va, a moon of the fifth planet.

    odOKaLd.png

    Once again the world is nearly left shocked by the incredible news: in a year from mankind's journey to the stars, humans not only discovered life forms, but also that other sentient and intelligent life forms existed. This led to the speculation that there may be civilization still present in the galaxy.
    The full federal government and political apparatus struggled to keep up with the recent discoveries, and security concerns started to grow, for this reason the Federal Navy is ordered to organize an expansion plan and Admiral Feng Gao is nominated as Fleet Commander of the Starfleet.

    Commander Warner, onboard the USV Hawking is in the meantime ordered to continue the survey of the system and skip at the moment additional investigation, with the effort of mapping fully Alpha Centauri (composed by a main G star, Alpha Centauri A, a sister K star, Alpha Centauri B, and an M dwarf star, Proxima Centauri). The Scientific Exploration Flotilla also ordered the construction of an additional scientific exploration ship, the USV Kepler (SSC-002) and put it in the hands of Commander Haruna Yamazaki. The ship is ready towards the end of the year and sent to a system to the galactic north of Sol, 49 Arietis.


    2202

    After the full system scan of Alpha Centauri is completed, the Hawking starts the analysis of the structures found on the fifth planet moon. The structures were found to be not so ancient, as expected, but dated back just a couple of millennia, and their real purpose was puzzling: some structures resembled an amusement park, others a sensor array, other instead a gigantic art installation.
    The nature, origin and most importantly the current status of these aliens was still unknown.
    On Alpha Centauri II instead, it was discovered a pattern on the planet surface that was determined to be an alien writing. The incredible of this is that it was somehow carved from the orbit using a gigantic laser approximately 5,000 years ago, it covers most of the planet’s northern hemisphere and language experts were able to translate it as a short story of the life of an alien mercenary.
    Apparently, the traces of life in the galaxy seemed more exotic and weird than any prediction.

    z4emR19.png

    On Earth, these discoveries lead to the speculation that there is a probability that intelligent life forms, equal to humans, may be absent, possibly extinct, in the galaxy, due to unknown causes.

    In the meantime, the plans for the system colonization continues: mining stations are built around several of the system’s planets, the construction of a main star orbiting station is well underway (It will be christened as Proxima Station) and lastly the Federal Department of Space announces the launch of a colony ship from Earth towards Centauria in 2203.
    The USV Hawking returns to Earth for refueling and resupply and Commander Werner is awarded for her discoveries in commanding the ship with the Federal Star (one of the highest civil decorations in the United Systems) directly by President Wade.

    On Earth, specifically on the Pax Astra artificial island, at the end of the summer is inaugurated a monument in memory of President Farooqui and her drive for mankind to push towards becoming an interstellar civilization.

    KYpOD8d.png

    The Federal Navy launched a new frigate class, similar to the Mercury: the FFG-2 Mars. The Mars class differ from being armed with nuclear missiles (hence the FFG designation), but apart from minor bow shape changes, it’s very similar to the Mercury. The ship is christened as USV Atik (SSV-004).

    The year closes with the news of the USV Kepler reaching 49 Arietis (in the nearby Pipe nebula) and discovering glowing webs of unknown origin that periodically illuminate the surface of the first moon of the second planet of the system.


    2203

    The exploration effort of the Federation towards the survey of nearby star systems is further expanded with the “Habitable Worlds Survey”, a Federal initiative to allocate a good portion of the budget to the research of additional planets that can be colonized.
    After the exploration of 49 Arietis and Alpha Centauri, the ships of the Scientific Exploration Flotilla starts to map Barnard’s Star and Procyon, joined shortly by a third ship, the USV Dupuy de Lome (SSC-003), commanded by Claudia von Fritsch, that instead is headed to the nearby 2MASX J102700057+1749001 I black hole, that will possibly allow for close studies.

    The USV Knudson, the colony ship committed in 2201, was launched from Earth with 50,000 colonists and headed to Centauria. It touches down at the end of the year and the ship itself starts its conversion in what will be the central core of the colony.
    The event is followed closely by Earth’s media and new discoveries in both flora, fauna and geographical features of the planet start to become common in news channels on hypernet. The colonization plan will foresee the end of the first phase by 2207, when the planet will have around 500 million colonists immigrated from Earth, a dozen of cities scattered through the globe and will reach self-sufficiency on primary needs.

    lM8kpsN.png

    The “Drive for Centauria”, seen as land of new opportunities, reinvigorates the economy of the Federation with a plethora of megacorporations investing in projects on the recently colonized planet.

    On Earth, the General Secretary Ivanov is forced to resign by the council after passing a motion of no confidence. The reasons can be seen in the lack of coordination he failed to drive between the Department of Research and the Department of Space which led to six months of delay before the colonization of Centauria. The young Yekaterina Maksimushkina, 34 years old, took his role as General Secretary and Vice President of the Federation after the approval from President Wade.
    Maksimushkina's first move was the “Cleaning Act of 2203” that foresee the tender, won by Solaris Group, for the removal of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an immense waste area floating on the Pacific Ocean.

    The Federal Navy is further expanded, not only with the addition of two new frigates, an FF-1 Mercury and an FFG-2 Mars, but also to one frigate of the new class FFE-3 Venus, that will serve as an escort ship armed with Point Defense turrets.

    28c0ORH.png


    2204

    The 2204 was opened by the expansion of the Federation into the Procyon star system with the construction of the Beaufort Station, orbiting the system’s star, which allowed the beginning of both orbital mining and scientific operations.

    The system Z1556 is explored and huge geothermal extractors are discovered on the first planet's surface. These facilities, ancient in origin, were composed by batteries of machineries that pumped up superheated fluids from the planet’s core. Although now lying in total ruin, some storage capacitor still contained energy and it was possible to siphon them. There was no clear consensus whether the long-gone aliens, responsible for the amusement park on Alpha Centauri or the colossal writing were somehow connected, as no traces of their language, physiology or culture were discovered, leading to the conclusion that probably the factory was fully automated.

    ZzhNrSG.png
     
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    2205

    General Secretary Maksimushkina continues with her plan for Earth resources reclamation. After the clearing of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a new tender for megacorporation is now in place to revalue the industrial wasteland surrounding the Delhi region.

    In May the President addresses the Senate with the State of the Federation, a message that is held every five year that assess the health of the United Systems and the future plans. Data show a significant growth in resources production and extraction and generally a favourable balance of them. The focus on outer space however led to a decrease in availability of Consumer Goods, and Wade reassured about his plans to refocus the Federation efforts in helping companies that operate in close contact with the population.
    The big challenges related to the space exploration, exploitation and expansion keep in particular the Department of Space very engaged on all fronts, and the recent colonization of Centauria, that involves continued and sustained transportation of goods and people back an forth with the Earth, is putting a strain the resources of the Space Transportation and Colonization Division, that is planned to be expanded and additionally budgeted.

    The discovery of alien life, especially the presence of ancient ruins of intelligent and evolved species, forced the Federation to allocate a good portion of the budget also in a constant (although slow) expansion of the Federal Navy, with the aim to continue it. Wade, regarding this topic, outlined the will to be “ready for everything”, and that the further the galaxy will be explored, the higher the risk to confront dangers.
    The message is well received by both the citizens of the Federation and the rest of the government organizations, confirming the widespread popularity of Wade.

    Io11aLp.png

    While further exploring the nearby systems, science ships stumbled across several new anomalies:
    In the Gliese 2585 system, the USV Kepler identified an unusual pattern of interference that embeds a mathematical equation “coded” into a song. The complexity of the equation and the usage of subspace harmonics left the science team aboard the ship without a clue about the meaning and the origin of it, although the signal’s geodesics suggest a point of origin outside of the Milky Way.
    The USV Hawking investigated the atmosphere of the first moon of the fourth planet of Z1556 and discovered that, due to the extreme weather of the celestial body, periodically “snows” metal on the surface. This will possibly lead to future mining efforts performed both from orbit and on the surface.
    The USV Dupuy de Lome retrieved artifacts on 6 Leonis III, and for the first time it was able somehow to decipher in part the writings on them. What human scientists discovered is that these artifacts belonged to a long gone civilization that was a confederation called “The First League”, composed by different alien races that coexisted in relative peace around approximately two million years ago.
    This confederation’s territories covered a significant portion of the galaxy and seems like at some point collapsed for unknown reasons. This information led to the assumption that additional artifacts could have been recovered, eventually leading to the First League central, if any exists, homeworld.

    qy5x6ul.png


    2206

    The Sirius system, started to be explored the year before, reveals that its third planet is a habitable continental world, a new valid candidate then for colonization. With Centauria reaching its self-sufficiency the plan for Sirius is put in motion by ordering the construction of a new colony ship.

    MsPXntS.png

    Talking about Centauria, the immigration request peaked with the colony already surpassing 500 million citizens.
    In Barnard’s Star, a system between Sol and Sirius, a new starbase is built to allow not only to leverage the system’s resources but also to facilitate the future colonization of Sirius. The starbase, orbiting the main star, is called Port East


    2207

    The year 2207 starts with a revelation that was, at this point, expected. In the second planet of the 89 Aquarii system, an intelligent, sentient race is discovered. Their civilization has reached a technological level similar to the mid 20th century on Earth, where nation states were able to harness the power of the atom.
    The species look similar to a bipedal frog, with an average height of 130 cm (4.2 feet), and is believed that they can have a physiology similar to reptiles of Earth. The first contact protocol, defined by the Department of Xeno Affairs, envision an initial observation phase to avoid putting in harm not only humanity but also the newly discovered species, for this reason plans are to build as soon as possible an observation station which will host a scientific team that will study the species behavior. There are some concerns however about the possibility for the aliens to enter a nuclear war between the planet’s nations.

    The planet radio communications were monitored constantly, and it was possible to determine that the aliens have a natural inclination toward biological studies and deeply believe that resources must be conserved and recycled. They defined themselves as “Athanebian” and there are around 13 billion individuals on the planet.
    Athanebian’s homeworld climate, 89 Aquarii II, is similar to Earth alpine regions, with the surface covered by mountain ranges and temperature around 0°C (32° F).

    DROxna3.png

    On Earth the news is received with mixed feelings: while the scientific community is excited, many “common” people see them as a possible threat, for this reason President Wade addresses the federation on a unified broadcast:

    Fellow citizens of the Federation, on Earth, on Centauria and in space. I know that the recent discovery of Athenabian aliens in the 89 Aquarii system has brought concerns about our safety, especially due to the capability for these aliens to leverage on nuclear power.

    I want to be clear with you: we’re taking every precaution possible and assessing the situation constantly with the Department of Defense and the Department of Security, and so far we know that they are not yet able to reach their own planet’s orbit. This will give us around 250 years of technological advancement over them, which turn in to be a great burden on our shoulders as we need to ensure also for their own safety, being sentient and living beings that share our own galaxy.

    We have plans to monitor them from space, without directly interfering unless strictly necessary for our own security or their survival.
    For this reason I’m asking all of you to be confident in our federation and trusting in our teams of xenologists. It’s the first time we approached sentient beings not originated from Earth since our appearance in the universe, but I’m one hundred percent confident we’re doing it right.


    In May, the Department of Space announced that the first phase of the colonization of Centauria is finished, and the planet has already reached a billion individuals. Since the first touchdown in 2203, millions of babies were born in the colony, meaning that after the brief Martian parenthesis in the previous century, there are living humans actually born outside Earth.
    Centauria’s planetary growth is further aided by the Department of Federal Affairs that took charge of the allocation of 1 trillion tons (1,000 units) of food to be transported and distributed for free on the planet over the course of the next ten years.

    The Department of Space launched a new construction ship to assist in orbital facilities construction, the USV Shippingport (SSM-002).
    On Earth, the promised focus on civilian industries from President Wade materializes in a series of subsidies for producing consumer goods, Plurimax and Levante Communications in particular are the two megacorps that leverage most on these.

    In September an insistent signal is discovered in the 22 Lambda Sagittarii system and scientists realize that it’s caused by a subspace phenomena that resembles a “rift” in the very fabric of space-time. This could be possibly a natural wormhole: a conduit that can lead to another system in a matter of seconds. The wormhole will require further studies to be exploited, possibly in terms of a better general understanding of physics from mankind, as it’s estimated that any ship that will try to enter it, with the current technology, would be ripped apart due to the instability of the phenomena.

    lf0obYK.png

    The year ends with the Department of Security asking the Scientific Exploration Flotilla to retrieve four sublight exploration probes that were sent by humans into space two centuries before, as they can possibly end up revealing details about humans to unsympathetic beings in the universe.


    2208

    Sirius system colonization starts with the touchdown of the colony ship USV Weiss on the third planet, that is renamed Sirius Prime, and a station, named Excelsior Station, is built on the main star orbit.

    In the HD 4888241 system, the third planet is revealed to be habitable. The planet, contrary to Centauria or Sirius Prime, is mostly covered by water, with atolls spread on its surface and soon is discovered that it’s populated by a myriad of non-sentient fish-like life forms. On top of the food chain however gigantic, titanic probably, life forms are identified. These are four legged animals for the most part, probably mammals, that roam the planet walking on the ocean floor but with most of their body on outside the water, thanks to their enormous size.
    The weirdness of the planet doesn’t end here, as the oceans themselves seem “living”. The scientific crew that landed on the surface experiences visions, impulses and mixed feelings by just staring at the sea. The planet is then a perfect candidate for study, but at the same time it can be a challenge to colonize it.

    2tQjkbJ.png

    On Centauria, fossilized remains of several different species are discovered in a secluded valley and dated 3.6 million years back. All appear to have been sapient and strangely everyone of them shows signs of having met a violent end. Further studies will reveal more about these aliens and their fate, but the news implied that humans were not the first to place their feet on the planet.

    Two of the four sublight probes were discovered and collected by ships of the Scientific Exploration Flotilla.


    2209

    A third probe is retrieved, after ion traces indicate that it was artificially moved from its original position. No information on who performed the towing operation or the reason for it were identified.
    In the system Gliese 5270, another natural wormhole was discovered.

    The expansion plans of the Federal Navy continued and by the end of the year a total of 16 frigates are in service.

    ghJHjw0.png
     
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    2210
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    2210

    With President Wade’s terms coming to an end, January marked the beginning of the political campaign for the presidency and, consequently, of the Federal Senate. Although his popularity was high amongst the citizens of the United Systems and political parties were not so rooted in the actual unified Earth society, Wade was about to face three tough opponents that benefited from their exposed roles in the federation to attract many votes.

    The three candidates were Julia Paquette, head of the Research Division P, Estelle Warner, commander of the USV Hawking and Haruna Yamazaki, commander of the USV Kepler. It was clear that due to the huge focus and media attention that media and exploration had in these times, their roles were favourite to run for the presidency. The voting would have been held in April and Wade was well confident in winning also because his mandate of powering the alloy industry was successful, his detractors however criticized him for having overlooked the civilian sector, that wes anyway dealt toward the end of his presidency.

    The survey taken during the campaign months favored Wade with a strong 35%, his direct opponent, Julia Paquette, was estimated to be at 27% and then Warner at 21% and Yamazaki at 17%. Paquette's campaign was focused on continuing what Wade left; she agreed on most of the President's choices although she was strongly criticizing the slow-paced expansion of the Federation in its first ten year from the beginning of the FTL era.
    Citizens cast their vote on April 1st, and, against the predictions, Paquette won. The reason was that many voters for both Yamazaki and Warner decided to side with the strongest opponent, which was undoubtedly Julia Paquette.

    Following, a portion of her first message addressed to the Federation citizens:

    “Good evening fellow citizens of the United Systems.
    With an immense honor and sense of duty I’m here to thank you for selecting me as your President. Mark my words, I will not fail you.

    You know that in my past I had the opportunity to work in our science labs to help our society understand the secret of this universe; with the same scientific method, incessant attention to details and as a servant to our federation I will approach my tasks to ensure our civilization will prosper.

    I say it’s time we spread our wings, the galaxy is out there full of riches and opportunity for all of us and there is no reason to limit our reach. We saw other alien species, we saw also that we are the most advanced living beings so we need to push ourselves further as the relics we’re finding is a testimony that whoever was there before us is long gone.”


    Cgv91CC.png

    It was clear that the new president was willing to strengthen the exploration, and it took a small amount of time before announcing a series of regulations to increase the budget of the Research Department. Her role at the head of the Research Division P was taken by her protegé Rashad Khadem.
    On Centauria, agricultural districts were allocated to leverage on the planet fertile soil to reinforce the federation food production that was somehow needed to be reinforced due to the food policy adopted in the previous years.

    oSIdWVq.png

    The Research Division S, that was working on biodiversity, published a ten year study on earth's life forms that could prove to be essential for the interaction with new, alien species, especially in understanding how to deal with the Anthenabians and their biology whenever a first contact would have been made. The next research focus for the division would have been genome mapping, in particular the comprehension and classification of the totality of human DNA.

    The year ended with the construction of a star orbiting station on Gliese 258, Port Davis, and the system being renamed to Einstein. The renaming of the systems was a decision taken by the Federal Cartographics Office to facilitate system recognition when the name could have been misspelled, to facilitate navigation of ships in the federal space.
     
    2211
  • Rawghi

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    2211

    Fresh from the election, the political landscape of the Federation started to become more active with additional parties funded. Wade’s presidency marked a moment of stagnation from a political standpoint because the baby steps that the United System was undertaking in the galaxy were so big to, for the first time, unify hearts and souls in the endeavour.

    6bcOUmF.png


    Now after ten years in living as an intergalactic species, different opinions on how to deal with issues and challenges helped return to the normality of a very varied and colored mix of ideals and goals as seen in human history. A glimpse of the new party formations was already made public during the new elections, but in 2211 these became more clear:
    • National Stability Lobby (NSL) - Lead by President Julia Paquette, focused on financial growth and stability through peaceful means.
    • Free Elections Committee (FEC) - Lead by Scientist Haruna Yamazaki (Commander of the USV Kepler), that works for equality and justice for all denizens of the Federation.
    • Council of High Technology (CHT) - Previously lead by Estelle Warner, the commander of the USV Hawking and, after the elections, by the General Secretary (and still VP, being confirmed by Paquette) Yekaterina Maksimushkina, pushing hard for the advancement of the sciences.
    • Defensive Readiness Movement (DRM) - Lead by the head of the Research Department S, Aanya Patil, advocating for a more careful approach to exploration and a higher budget allocated to the Department of Defense.
    • Alien Suffrage Center (ASC) - Lead by Claudia von Fritsch, commander of the USV Depuy de Lome, that looks for increasing the efforts towards searching for additional life forms in the galaxy
    The former president Wade’s party, Citizens for Wade, remained at the Senate after the election results but announced that it will be disbanded at the end of the 10 year mandate.

    wAFscA8.png


    As promised by the president, new energy was put to reinforce the exploration of the stars. In particular a new science ship, the USV Hubble (SSC-004), was launched, commanded by Jose Solano. More anomalies were found through the explored systems confirming that the “emptiness of space” was just a perception of mankind where space was, effectively, not reachable in its vastity. A non sapient worm-like life form was discovered living inside the core of an asteroid of the system SSD-DX-1 by the crew of the USV Dupuy de Lome. Organized in colonies, these 2 meters long worms were lithovores and able to sustain the coldness of space.
    Science Officer Estelle Warner, onboard her trusty USV Hawking, managed to partially translate an alien mural on Gliese 823 Ic. It was a memorial for an extinct alien race that once maintained a small interstellar empire in the very same region of the Federation. The race was eventually exterminated by the creators of the mural, which was dated to be more than 300 million years old, leading to the conclusion that the “Writers'' don't exist anymore and somehow regretted their choice over the fate of the exterminated race. The mural seemed to be in remarkably good condition, which led to further analysis on its composition.
    Lastly, an automated mining base was discovered, always by the USV Dupuy de Lome, built in close orbit around an asteroid in the SSD-DX-1 system. Large chunk of the hull of the base was missing, along with jagged holes, indicating damage sustained by most likely heavy weapons.

    The news of the discoveries were generally available to the public in short time, and the last ones were quite concerning as they clearly show that, at least in the past, the galaxy was a very violent place.
    But the discoveries were not over.
    The third “missing probe” founded two years before in the Gliese 823 system was missing the central CPU and main storage drives, preventing any information retrieval. So the crew of the USV Hawking was investigating the region for clues.
    On the eventing of September 3rd (Earth UTC and calendar was kept as galactic standard, with Centauria for example adapting to having a fluid way of measure time), the ship received a message:

    Radio Operator Chapman [RO]: “Commander, we are receiving a video transmission from the system main star”
    Commander Estelle Warner [EW]: “Put it on screen”

    The ship bridge was illuminated by the holoscreen that was showing some sort of grotesque “bird-like” creature. And the creature was talking, in simple English:

    Alien: “What you want, alien? This probe ours. Salvage. We find first! You leave now. Yes. Interrupting delicate operation, your ships are. Must concentrate. Or… if you want probe, we can sell. 100 credits and probe yours. Good deal. Very good. You get probe, less work for us, everybody wins. Especially us”
    EW: “Hello...mmh.. alien, I’m Science Officer Estelle Warner of the United Systems Feder..”

    She was cut short.

    Alien: “no talk, no losing time, decide”
    EW: “I need time”
    Alien: “Take small time, we wait”.

    sHCbRXA.png


    The crew was in part terrified, in part astonished, all of them were standing still, in silence. The first contact with a sapient spacefaring civilization has been made. Estelle Warner run for her private quarters and established a connection back with the Secretary of the Department of Research that, in a matter of 10 minutes, plugged in with maximum emergency all the members of the Federal Council and the President. The alien was still waiting, still visible in the holoscreen on the ship’s bridge. One of the officers that was still on the bridge collapsed on the ground, unconscious due to a nervous breakdown.

    It took 10 minutes for the Council to agree on Nick Harris, the Secretary of Defense, suggested approach which was to pay immediately the money while trying at the same time to keep the communications open and get more information from the aliens. In the meantime the Starfleet was put on high alert and Admiral Feng Gao ordered to move it to the USV Hawking position, an operation that would have taken 5 hyperdrive jumps for a total travel time of approximately a week.
    Due to the credits being a currency based on energy, Warner ordered the crew to stock a ship accumulator and she immediately returned to the bridge to re-established a connection to the alien.

    EW: “Can I ask you where you came from?”
    Alien: “Yes or No?”
    EW: “I need to know how to transfer the credits to you and to agree on what a unit means for you”
    Alien: “We know, it’s ok, leave the accumulator, retreat to the system outskirts”
    EW: “I cannot negotiate like that, I need to know..”

    Cut short again

    Alien: “We destroy probe, or system outskirts and we destroy not”

    Estelle decided to agree and, after leaving the accumulator, ordered the ship to retreat. The alien ship, that was out of visual contact, was barely picked up by the Hawking radar. The ship reached the accumulator position and jumped away in a spark, leaving the crew of the Hawking clueless about its destination. No more contact was made from the aliens and the communication channel used before was static.
    The Hawking then decided to go back and found a box, in plastic material, completely flat, with a very simple mechanism to unlock that contained the missing probe pieces.

    The Department of Security, through the FIS, the Federal Information Service, ordered the full lockdown of any information regarding the alien encounter, everything was classified as galactic security matters and the ship had to go back to Earth where every crew member had to sign papers that imposed their total silence about the event.
    In a very careful process, the information was made available just to the high ranking officials of the Federations and top scientists that could have helped understand more exactly what happened on Gliese 823, as information like this could have panicked the population in no time.

    To sum up, in a matter of two hours, the United Systems discovered that alien spacefarers races exist and they knew more about humans than humans knew about them, clearly. Plus, these aliens had a more advanced technology, considering the inability for the Hawking to track the alien ship’s jump destination.
    All the Federations governing bodies ended up being overwhelmed by the “Alien Birds” topic for the rest of the year, and were struggling to find a way to deal with the new revelation while keeping the information out of public eyes.

    3OQ8T49.png
     
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    2212
  • Rawghi

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    2212

    In February the station around the Z1156 system was completed, it was named Quasar Station and the system renamed to Columbus. It would have facilitated the effort in reaching and colonizing the ocean planet in the nearby 89 Aquarii. Approximately in the same days, President Paquette announced the end of the early colonization phase on Sirius Prime. The colony was now self-sufficient, becoming the third planet inhabited by humans after of course Earth and Centauria.

    MZFdj3J.png


    On the second planet of Gliese 8429, a massive crater was discovered on the planet's surface. The size suggests a collision caused by a ship exiting an hyperlane at maximum velocity. The crater is dated 10,000 years back and scientists had no clue on how the owners of the ship were capable of exiting hyperlanes so close to the system star and not in the system outer space as usually happens with humans hyperdrive engines.

    The First Contact Department, a sub branch of the Department of Xeno Affairs was working closely with the Department of Security on the previous year Bird-Alien incident. Nothing particular was discovered on the enigmatic spacefarer alien, their ship or their origin but there were continuous debates whether the information should have been provided to the population. Although the encounter didn’t leave any room for fearing dangers from the alien race, the uncertainty of the situation was considered to be destabilizing, moreover, the risk of information leaking was growing every day, putting at risk the establishment's credibility.

    A security meeting was held in April and president Paquette was informed about the possible risks of both scenarios: continuing to keep the secrecy or disclosing the full incident. Paquette decided for the latter. Her consideration was based on the assumption that, sooner or later, mankind would have faced other alien spacefaring civilizations, as everything so far, from the relics to the strange incident, suggested that the galaxy was a very lively place.

    Bjv0Ihc.png


    In August, Paquette addressed the population via a unified HyperNet video message.

    “Citizens of the Federation,
    After careful consideration, I’ve decided to bring to your attention that during the end of the last year, our science ship USV Hawking made a first contact with a spacefaring alien race. The contact was limited and peaceful, we were not able to establish a diplomatic channel nor dispatching a scientific team to understand the nature of the entity we were talking to. We only know that its appearance resembled an Earth-like bird, and we will disclose the image we have to the media shortly.

    As I said, the encounter was peaceful and apparently the alien was communicating in a language resembling simplified english. I know that this can be very unsettling but fear not, as even if we are not able to pick up any other message nor traces of these aliens in the last months, we’re anyway keeping the starfleet and all our armed forces in high alert, just in case, even if I strongly believe that, as the encounter suggested, this species is not dangerous in any way.

    It will be my task to keep you all informed on any new information we will be able to discover on the subject.
    It’s clear, and it’s important for all of us to understand, that this is an additional proof of the fact that the galaxy may be possibly populated by several other species and civilization, and I’m sure we will be able to reach all of them at some point, bringing our peaceful way and expanding our comprehension of the universe, together.”


    3FBwPCU.png


    In the following months, as expected, the topic was the fulcrum of every broadcast, program, transmission in the United Systems. Speculations about the alien nature or intent were massive and many times the same Department of Security had to stop individuals that were spreading fake news, especially the one focused on apocalyptic-like scenarios regarding the future evolution of this first encounter.

    In December, the USV Hawking that was surveying the system 36 Ophiuchi, stumbled across a formation of automated drones that was guarding an automated mining base. The ship had to flee the system and these drones were actively targeting the Hawking. Again Estelle Warner was in the eye of the hurricane. She contacted Earth immediately informing about the discovery and in the next few days a series of mini-unmanned starships were sent nearby to investigate these drones' origin.
    Even in this case the humans were in front of abandoned relics of the past, but this time they were dangerous. The course of the action approved was to limit the system access to ensure safety while at the same time trying to hack these machines and, somehow, shutting them down.

    6rsSTWq.png
     
    2213-2215
  • Rawghi

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    2213

    The Department of Space announced the completion of a station orbiting the main star in the system HD 4888241, usual step for pathing the way for the colonization of the system, which contained the oceanic planet with titanic life forms that was discovered years ago. The system was renamed Darwin, honoring the 19th century naturalist, and the station was named Calypso Station.

    In HD 842101 instead, a new type of lifeform was discovered: spaceborne entities, larger than human frigates that float in space. Quickly nicknamed “Space Amoeba”, the creatures are kept at a distance by federal starships since it was not clear whether they could have been dangerous or not. Studies on Earth started immediately to find a way to approach them in a pacific way.

    4nIWV1y.png


    On Earth, Elkross Engineering, in collaboration with the Research Division E, announced the successful manufacturing of nanometric scale machineries. These will be used initially in advanced scientific instruments to help the practical studies of miniaturized systems. Mashima Industries presents a prototype of a new mass driver weapon, the coilgun. Based on gauss rifle principles, these projectile accelerators shows better accuracy and terminal speed compared to the RKC-1 400mm cannon, always manufactured by Mashima. The stocks of both Mashima Industries (MIN) and Elkross Engineering (EKN) rose significantly by more than 30% in 2 months.

    The Federal Senate passed a new legislation that increased the staff of the three Research Divisions (P, E and S) and the Scientific Exploration Flotilla. President Paquette at a press conference confirms that this is one of the cornerstones of her presidential mandate.

    In the 89 Aquarii system, the home of the atomic-age aliens, the Athenabians, the “Aquarius Station” as it was called is finished. The station would have served as an additional base of operation for establishing a permanent lab in the orbit of the second planet, inhabited by the well-known frog-like aliens.
    In November, human ships started to assemble on the planet's orbit but on the 12th day multiple flashes were spotted on the planet's surface.
    It was immediately clear that the nations (or factions as detailed studies on the aliens were not yet performed) started a massive nuclear exchange. The nuclear war continued for three days and it was estimated that hundreds of thousands of warheads exploded, leaving any kind of peacekeeping operation by federal forces too dangerous to perform. President Paquette decided for a non-intervention that led to a strong opposition from the public opinion and many media headlines defined the situation as an act of cowardice of the full mankind.
    When finally the flashes stopped, no lights were spotted anymore on the surface; radioactivity readings were so high that it was estimated that there were no possibilities for any life forms to be still alive on the planet.
    The Anthenabians were annihilated from the galaxy by their own hands, a fate that mankind risked many times in the past. The Federal Cartographic Office decided to rename the system Anthenabia to at least remember the now extinguished civilization.

    KFXi2jh.png



    2214

    In the Mu Telescopii system, the seventh planet was found to be very rich in minerals, the discovery was thanks to a “makeshift” upgrade to the gravitational sensors of the USV Kepler performed by the crewmembers. Haruna Yamazaki, the ship’s commander is praised by many officials in the federation along with her crew.
    On Earth the first museum of alien artifacts is inaugurated, it contains many discoveries made in the previous decade that are no longer of scientific interest. The Museum is located in the Kanto Supercluster, a megacity in Japan.

    0GfwDCA.png


    Jose Maria Solano, the head scientist of the team that was exploring the Centauria ruins discovered six years before, announced that a total of 26 different sapient species remains had been found. All of them show signs of violent death caused by blades, spears or arrows, and some of these weapons were found in some sort of ceremonial chamber. The team also discovered an inscription that was translated to “Valley of Mak’Vaehl - Hunting Lodge Primus”.

    Always on Centauria, President Paquette with the Secretary of Defense Nick Harris review the first two Planetary Divisions formed during a parade on Trident City, the planetary capital. The two divisions, the “Third” and “Fourth”, sums up with the two on Earth to constitute the Federal Army. All of the conventional forces that were part of the old armies of the Earth will be slowly converted to this new type of division in the plans of the Department of Defense, where units of land, air and sea work together in a single structure, manning advanced technological weaponry. After the parade, President Paquette also visited the first branch office of the Department of Federal Affairs built in an extrasolar colony. This office will be crucial to coordinate administrative efforts on Centauria.

    90InOEp.png



    2215

    The black hole CID-947 in the galactic north is renamed Northern Eye from the FCO (Federal Cartographic Office) and Outpost 947 is a station built in the black hole system to facilitate and monitor access to the system. Regardless of the unusual location, the Spaceborne Command (the organization of the DoD that manages starbases non-scientific personnel) received a huge number of applications. Apparently the black hole fascinated a lot of people.
    Four new frigates are built at the shipyards of the Helios One station: these are two FF-1 Mercury and two FFG-2 Mars.

    The USV Kepler in July discovers what were dubbed as “Volatile Motes” on the second planet of Nu Centauri. These are preternatural particles that contain a tremendous amount of energy, which could be exploited in energy production, as fuel or even as explosives. Although a way to extract the energy from these particles was not found yet, the general consensus inside the federation is to try to establish a permanent outpost in the system, for future exploitation.

    The year ends with very disturbing news. What can be defined as a “dimensional portal” is discovered on Sirius Prime, in a remote location near the planet North Pole. In the following days a research facility around the portal is built, called Doorway Outpost. The scientific team noticed a strange air current which was eventually determined to be caused by a slight leakage of atmosphere into the portal. The rate of loss is far too small to make any difference to life on the planet but this induced a series of tests to determine whether the portal can be crossed or not. The portal itself was composed of an oval rocky structure that contained a pitch black “mirror-like” wall.
    Due to the unknown nature of the portal, the Federal Information Service decided again to impose an information quarantine and the facility was guarded by a team of the Joint Special Operation Division. President Paquetta was promptly informed and departed for Sirius Prime. Her arrival coincided with the reception of a signal coming through the portal. Incredibly, the signal was identical to common human conference protocols, and with Paquette present, it was put on screen.

    With the amazement of the full viewers, the video showed a human-like room where, nothing less than the very same Julia Paquette, with different clothing, showed up. Technicians double checked and the signal was live. The following conversation was in part hilarious, in part unsettling.

    IONPACY.png


    Julia Paquette, and her counterpart in the video feed introduced each other, they had the same name, the very same role and they were both at the head of mankind. The Julia Paquette on the portal came from a different dimension, that was simply what both realized during the communications. In the other reality, humans navigated using “warp drives”, engines tearing the fabric of space, that for some reasons woke up what the “other” Paquette defined as “Warp Beasts”, some sort of interdimensional aliens that started a war against mankind but was, luckily, losing. Both Presidents agreed to keep the communications open to somehow help each other.

    After the video feed was closed, the first words of Paquette were “What the hell just happened?”

    Apparently, the theories in favour of multiple realities and dimensions were true, changing radically the perception of the very same reality for humans. This time Paquette decided to cover up fully the event as it would have been too destabilizing for the public. Task Force Vagrant, a team composed of scientists and military personnel from multiple federal departments, was created to manage the Doorway Outpost and handle the portal’s studies.
     
    2216 - The Living Sea
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    2216 - The Living Sea

    A new starbase, Berenice Station, was built in 43 Beta Comae Berenice. The system was renamed to Kepler and it will be exploited for the particularly high deposits of minerals and sources of energy credits. The Department of Space announced that Excelsior Station (Sirius system) and Calypso Station (Darwin System) will be upgraded to better help and support the local plans for colonization.
    In the Darwin system, the colony ship USV Mistley (Tabora class, SSM-006) landed in an atoll on the oceanic planet previously discovered, effectively starting the colonization phase. The planet was renamed Horizon and in the following months a science team was stationed to continue the analysis of the “living ocean”, as described in 2208, since it caused emotions, visions and thoughts to people staring at it.

    mCETNit.png


    In the weeks before the Mistley touch-down on Horizon, the Department of Research sent multiple messages to the Presidium addressing Paquette to halt the colonization operation at least after a full study on the mysterious ocean was performed. The matter was brought to the Federal Council that voted anyway to go forward with the colonization, especially after the Secretary of Economy expressed a lot of concerns regarding the investment that multiple megacorporations already did on the venture. The stop would have meant a sensible market crash with hundreds of credits simply “burnt” at the stock exchanges (talking about currency, in a federal citizen day to day life the unit of measurement used is the “pico”, that stands for pico-credit so one billionth part of a credit). Luckily at least, the local titanic fauna was confirmed to be docile, grazing the seas simply ignoring human ships.

    Allison Baxter, the director of the Scientific Exploration Flotilla, was contacted one month after the Mistley touch-down by the commander of the USV Hawking, Estelle Warner, who requested her immediate transfer to the surface of Horizon to join the science team studying the ocean. Warner was the first to discover back in 2008 the weird behavior related to the water and she claimed that, since then, she was “hounded night and day by thoughts of the mysterious sea presence” insisting that there was, in fact a presence and these thoughts were induced in her head by it. Baxter knew Estelle Warner very well and decided to accept the request, thought keeping for herself Warner’s motives as they would have definitely undermined her credibility. Science Officer Anna Mayfield was promoted as the new Commander of the Hawking, which changes its captain after sixteen years. Publicly the change of Warner was justified by the willingness of Estelle to move to a more “relaxed” role within the Department of Research.

    Baxter’s choice of having Estelle Warner on the planet revealed to be more than right, in fact Estelle led the team there to establish a “connection” with the living ocean. The team described the planetary sea as a Psionic Entity: its seemingly incorporeal state in fact belied a complex and coherent quantum wave structure that approximated a massive neural network. This paved the road for research into psionic theory, deepening the human understanding of the interactions between quantum states and consciousness.

    The psionic theory itself defined the mind as a reflection of the universe, a microcosmos, that can potentially be reached by some species, and the ability of Estelle Warner to reach it means that humans can potentially be ready to unleash the full potential of it. As usual, the FIS (Federal Information Service) was called upon the discovery. The FIS itself was still coping with the previous years discoveries of the bird-alien and the still unknown to the public dimensional portal in Sirius Prime and suggested the President to disclose everything regarding the living sea “as fast as possible” since the planet was already populated by colonists. The Federal news channels reported the news promptly and many wondered what this new discovery could have led to, especially for the whole humankind.

    yMD9A8u.png


    Again President Paquette, exhausted by these continuous revelations, had to address the federation citizens, which received the news not really aware of what that means and implies. The continuous shock however, led to an increase of suicides and depression cases amongst the federation in the last months of the year. The Department of Federal Affairs, especially the Federal Health Service, closely monitored the situation and reported to the heads of the United Systems that “citizens felt lost” as the very foundations of their knowledge about humans' place in the universe were constantly challenged. Religions, that saw a constant decrease along the centuries in terms of followers, saw a massive abandon rate during the event of these years.

    Paquette herself endured a nervous breakdown in December that was covered up, she was anyway able to recover before the end of the year.
     
    2217: Monsters
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    2217: Monsters

    The 6 Corvi system was renamed Magellan, and around the main star the first pure commercial starport is built. It’s called Freeport One, and it was a joint enterprise between AuraCorp, Xianmei and Tyrrell Expeditions. The reason for a commercial port on the galactic northeastern border is that it is predicted that a lot of commercial traffic will pass through being at the crossroad between the Orion Spur, the Perseus Arm and the Outer Arm. In fact, since the colonization of Centauria and the beginning of extrasolar mining operations, the amount of commercial ships that travel between human colonies increased at an incredible rate, Tyrrell Expeditions in particular ruled the shipping market with a fleet of over 800 merchant FTL vessels.
    Another system, 44 Kappa Aurigae, was exploited and renamed to Copernicus, and its primary starbase Port Kelvin.

    On March 31st, the USV Kepler picked up a radio signal in the 22 Aquilae system, since it was artificial a team on Earth from the Research Division S worked on it and in a couple of days it was possible to decipher it. The signal was originating from the system’s main star, where an orbital station was discovered, and it contained common navigation information for nearby starships. It was possible to determine that the “entities” behind the signal called themselves “Chimm” and they were, till that moment, unknown about human presence. Immediately all the containment protocols were put in place and a general alert through the federation’s military structure was issued. In a matter of 48 hours, human technicians were able to set up a proper communication channel towards the signal origin. It was decided that the President itself would have been on screen, along with a team of diplomats, officers and scientists for the First Contact with an apparently spacefaring civilization. Many guessed that there were possibilities that the newly discovered aliens were the once encountered bird-like species. The USV Kepler was waiting at the fringe of 22 Aquilae, waiting to move towards the heart of the system depending on the outcome of the first communication.

    On the morning of April 4th, unbeknownst to the billions of humans spread through the federal space, from a conference room in a Department of Xeno Affairs building, Julia Paquette was waiting to be put in communication with the “Chimms”. Her hands, hidden below the conference table, were shaking, as with the hands of probably the most of the personnel present in the room.

    At 10:31, the holoscreen was lit and, after a handshake performed by the two species communication systems to properly commence a data exchange, a massive arthropod life form appeared on screen, everyone in the room shivered.

    Behind the alien figure, a seemingly glass window shows a devastated landscape covered by chitinous insect-like nests. Apparently the aliens themselves relayed the message from the station to their homeworld, that the human engineers monitoring the transmission located at circa 5 hyperlanes jump, a planet that was later determined to be named “Chimnar”, orbiting around a star named “Chiril”. The horrifying alien started speaking with an high pitched, echoing voice that added an additional layer of creepiness to the conversation that was translated instantly and showed on screen:
    “We sense the presence of prey. Prey, know that we are your hunters. The biomass of the Human species will fuel the growth of the Chimm Swarm.

    Struggle if you must, it will not change the outcome, we will come for you, we will devour you all”
    The chimm interrupted the conversation.

    In the conference room everyone was frozen, still looking at the static on the holoscreen.
    Paquette thoughts rebounded in her skull, literally. The moment has come, the worst fear of an existence threatening first contact became a reality thanks to a fifteen second videocall. She was not frightened, she was relieved, because now there were no more unknowns, she knew exactly what to do.

    She broke the silence first:
    “Nick (the secretary of Defense, Nick Harris) issue DEFCON 1 to all our forces...”
    “ ...someone pull in the VP and ask for a meeting of the security council immediately…”
    “ ...order the Kepler to fall back to federal space…”
    “ ...I want teams from the JSOD and the FIS stationed at the border systems, call in the secretary of the DS..”
    akNDx5N.png


    In the following 4 hours, the full United Systems were mobilized. The threat was too high to enforce any kind of information containment and President Paquette reached the full population in a unified broadcast in the late afternoon:

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    “Citizens of the Federation,
    I reached you again, after all these discoveries that mankind did in these years, to bring you the news that this morning we had our first, real encounter with a spacefaring civilization on the galactic west of the federal space.
    I promised you multiple times that I want to be transparent with you all, keeping you updated the more we know about our galaxy, and I will do the same now.

    The species we encountered, that name themselves Chimm Swarm, is hostile.
    Our worst fear, of a dangerous first encounter, is now a reality. These beings interrupted any communication with us as soon as they delivered their message: they will come for us. There was not time to talk, these are savage beasts from space.
    We learnt that they come from a system that is close to our western border, and the systems they control are luckily not yet bordering with ours, but this will happen at some point.

    I have already mobilized all our armed forces, and I clear immediately and once for all our standings on this: we will annihilate these beings if they try to approach our space. We will leverage on our combined power, we will stay together and we will protect every human in this galaxy.
    They have not officially declared war against us but it will be a matter of time, all your provincial, regional and planetary leaders will follow through with all the information that you need.

    We’re still studying these aliens and their hostility is the only thing that we know so far.
    We’re all in this together, I ask you to stay strong and do not fall to panic as there is no reason: we are prepared, the United Systems are prepared, mankind will face and prevail any challenge we will have to face.

    I will keep you all posted.
    Thank you”


    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    In the upcoming weeks, surveillance posts were established on the western border of the federation space but sensors did not pick up any contact. Apparently the Swarm intention was not to invade the United Systems yet. Studies were conducted on the video communication that happened as it, along with readings from the space station in 22 Aquilae, were the only details known about the aliens. Luckily a language pattern was also found in multiple relics scattered through the federal space, allowing to formulate hypotheses and analysis on the origin, society and physiology of the Chimms.
    Researchers came up with the following theories:
    • The Chimms were a very ancient species, they were remnants of a much vaster territory that also covered a part of the actual United Systems.
    • Their society was similar to ant colonies: they not only were an insectoid species, they apparently were governed by a hive mind, most likely a queen, and judging by the radio emission from their main star, their population should be comparable to humans, so approximately 20 billions, but all of them concentrated in the single inhabited planet.
    • Analysis of the video suggested their body is very strong, protected by an exoskeleton like Earth based insects.
    • Their intent may be hostile as it seems they “eat” different species transforming them in biomass.
    • Their technology level should be similar to humans’ technology, as they were unable to spot the science ship and the space station readings show energy levels comparable to a human starport.
    • The cityscape visible behind the alien shows signs of devastation and ruins, with ant-like nests encroaching them. This suggests a parasitic lifestyle.
    rUj0Mxp.png


    The federation entered a “contingency” mode. While the defcon was lowered since there was no sign of imminent attack from the Chimms, additional generator sectors were built on Earth and Sirius that will allow to increase energy credits necessary to sustain military spending.
    The single fleet of the Federal Navy, the so-called Starfleet, was complemented by additional frigates for a total of 20, commanded by Admiral Gao (renamed to First Fleet, with the naming “Starfleet” becoming a pure synonym of the full Federal Navy), and at the same time a new fleet, the second, was formed with an initial batch of 7 frigates (3 FF-1, 2 FFG-2, 2 FFE-3) and put under the command of Admiral Paseka Akiloye, leading from the USV Hardy (FF-1 Mercury class, SSV-021).

    To be able to coordinate the new starfleet forces properly, the two starbases that were recently expanded, the Excelsior in Sirius and the Calypso in Darwin, were refocused on military base stations, with dedicated shipyards, crew quarters for the Federal Navy personnel and specific anchorage to support for extended time the mooring of the military frigates. The Federal Army was expanded with the constitution of the 5th and 6th divisions on Sirius Prime, and General Miranda Lang nominated as head of all the planetary forces to better coordinate the defenses.

    fyM9RKS.png


    In all of the planet of the federation, the Department of Federal Affairs overstocked the emergency food reserves in bunker to be distributed to the population in case of need, and on Sirius Prime, Paquette re-established contact with the “parallel” dimension where she informed her doppelganger about the hostile encounter. Both agreed in using the portal as a way to trade critical emergency resources like medical supplies, as the portal allowed for non-biological material transfer, of course in a limited amount giving the size of it. Sirius Prime luckily had a slightly lower gravity than Earth, so trained personnel were able to manually haul the supply packages.

    The United System was preparing for war.

    “My mommy always said there were no monsters - no real ones - but there are.”
     
    Last edited:
    2218-2219
  • Rawghi

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    2218

    The study on the automated mining drones, discovered in 36 Ophiuchi was completed and allowed to experiment new techniques for mineral extraction on asteroids. It was also discovered that these drones emitted a low frequency ping, as a signal to transmit their position. The destination or the receiver of this ping is however unknown.
    The starbase Port Kelvin, in the Copernicus system on the western border, was expanded with dedicated facilities for the Federal Navy, allowing for long time stationing of starfleet ships. The installation will be the first line of defense in case of Chimm incursions and the First Fleet is immediately relocated there.

    ZuxMeNH.png


    In the HD 411223 system, the USV Hawking discovers the last of the missing probes, but it was “guarded” by a strange “cloud” of pure energy that was identified as a subspace anomaly. The incredible happened as soon as the science ship tried to approach it as the cloud unleashed a bolt of energy against the ship. Somehow, the anomaly was hostile, but the nature of it remained a mystery. To solve the matters, the Federal Navy dispatched the First Fleet that was traveling the region for reaching Port Kelvin, and authorized un using weapons on the anomaly. The authorization came from Paquette in person, that given the emergency times due to the Chimm menace, decided for an aggressive show of force.

    Admiral Gao reached the system by the end of the year and for the first time in history, human starship opened fire on an hostile entity in space. After several hits, the cloud somehow exploded, allowing later the Hawking to retrieve the last probe. On Earth the event was widely publicized to demonstrate the effectiveness of the human forces, although many protests against the very superficial approach on the cloud, claiming that no study where performed on the entity at least to determine if it was sentient or not nor the Federal Senate was involved in voting the course of action.

    pJm3Ddj.png


    Martin Develey, head of the Federal Navy, retired, and his title of Grand Admiral was given to Admiral Feng Gao. Gao kept his assignment as head of the First Fleet too, establishing the tradition that the head of the Federal Navy was also the admiral of the first fleet. The second fleet, reinforced with five additional frigates built at the newly christened shipyards of Excelsior Station in Sirius, reached a total of twelve vessels, and was stationed in the Sol system.

    In December the system HD689086 became part of the federal space after the Farooqui Station (in honor of Mashal Farooqui, fourth president of the United Systems) was built, and the system renamed Edison. The system was the westernmost of the federation, so the closest one to the Chimm space.


    2219

    The first “Orbital Defense Platform” was built around Port Kelvin. The platform was developed in a joint venture between Hoplon Security, Atlas Arsenal and the Federal Spaceborne Command (FSC), and it was essentially a small space station, manned by FSC personnel deployed at around 100-200 meters from the main station that needed to be defended. This first model, named ODP-1 Slingshot, was equipped with nuclear missiles, cannons and turbolasers.

    7LJPapj.png


    A new constructor ship was built, the USV Fisher (SSM-007) and it was sent to cooperate with the USV Shippingport on reinforcing the western federal space. On Horizon in the meantime, the first phase of colonization was completed, and the colony became self-sustaining.

    The year, the first after many where no big events happened, ended with the discovery of a second group of automated mining drones in the 17 Pegasi system, north of Sol. Given the danger that the drone fleet represented, it was decided to “bypass” the system, keeping the same policy in act for the first drone fleet, and given that these drones seemed stationary in the vicinity of the area they usually operated.

    The Federal Senate passed the Federal Decree n°769 15 Dec.2219, with the intent of reducing the bureaucratic apparatus and streamlining the chain of command in crucial departments like the defense and research. The decree follows the example of Admiral Gao in being the Grand Admiral of the Federal Navy and at the same time Admiral of the First Fleet, in fact it not only regulates his role, but also extended the same principle to non political (so not tied to the Federal Council) roles. In particular:
    • The Director of the Scientific Exploration Flotilla will be chosen amongst the commanding science officers of the flotilla’s ships, based on Rank.
    • The Commander of the Federal Army will be chosen amongst the army generals, based on Rank
    • The Grand Admiral of the Federal Navy will be chosen amongst the fleet admirals, based on Rank.
    Also, a major change was the suppression of the VP role in favour of assigning greater powers to the General Secretary of the Federal Council (both roles now were held by Maksimushkina), that will became a non politically-tied leader (meaning that can be of a different party than the president). The decree also regulated the institution of the “Sectors”: areas of the federal space that will report to a Governor to ease the burden of the central government. So far only one was established, the Core sector, that will be, by law, governed by the same General Secretary of the Federal Council, but the more the human presence will spread the more sectors will be created.
     
    Last edited:
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    2220

    The year opened up with the start of the political campaign for the election of the new United Systems President and Government. There were no major changes in the political formation in the last decade, President Paquette was very popular and the NSL was racing head to head with the FEC that has Haruna Yamazaki running for the presidency. After the NSL and the FEC, the major competitor was DRM, run by Aanya Patil. In general the support was spreaded nearly equally between all the political formations, but at the elections held in July, the NSL won the majority of the vote with a slim total 26%, securing the presidency of Paquette for a second term.

    9A2GoK2.png


    After the elections, to sustain the increased military spending, the Federal Senate passed a series of laws to increase the energy credits production and the alloys manufacturing, “militarizing” (as branded by the media) the United Systems economy. In the meantime, new systems were secured: HD 533324, renamed Bell, where the station Port Helen was built, and Gliese 5270 (another system on the west border), renamed Tesla, that saw the construction of Cloudtop Station.

    In Wolf 3836, a new spaceborne lifeform was discovered, the Tiyanki. These were massive entities that roamed from system to system thanks to the capability of accessing some lower dimension of subspace for traveling, and grazed the upper layers of gas giants. They usually moved in packs of two to three elements and they appeared to be very docile.

    IpDYOTE.png


    On Horizon, the Research Division S started a study on the titanic lifeforms present on the planet, as their massive size was a puzzle for the scientists that previously believed that such a scale was not possible for biological life. In the eastern outskirts of the federal space, a potentially habitable continental world was discovered in the Kepler 1053 system. This system was at two jumps from Bell, so a possible expansion passing through the M8314 system was envisioned.

    bhGkIlt.png



    2221

    Jose Maria Solano, commander of the USV Hubble that was working on the Centauria ruins, published an additional study on the now nearly decade long investigation. He discovered that the civilization living on the planet was a predatory avian species that defined themselves Retarax. The Retarax periodically collected random individuals from the many subjugated alien civilizations under their rule and hunted them down in a traditional ceremony held in the so-called “Mak’vaehl” area. This brutal tradition lasted for several centuries until the Retarax domain eventually succumbed to an undefined outside threat.

    In Horizon a group of investigators found a hidden factory that was used by an unknown previous civilization. The status of the factory and the machinery allowed it to be reprogrammed to produce general customer goods and was reset to operational again by Adler Advance technicians.
    The system M8314 was exploited, in an effort of reaching the habitable world in Kepler 1053, when the federal constructors finished the building of the Lumax Station, orbiting the main star. The system itself was renamed Franklin.

    The year ended with a very curious situation: an apparently sentient “gaseous” life form was identified and contacted on the second planet of Wolf 3836. Their very presence was almost imperceptible, but they asked to be relocated on the second planet, a gas giant, of Barnerd’s Star. After a brief consultation with the federal authorities, Claudia von Fritsch, the commander of the USV Dupuy de Lome that discovered this weird civilization, allowed to proceed with the transport (as They called themselves Dathnak. They were moved leveraging on a convoy of civilian freighters equipped with massive pressurized gas tanks. Boarding and relocating them was just “opening the airlocks'' and waiting for the confirmation of their movement via radio, so many speculated that it was just a joke from some crewmember. In the end a permanent channel was kept open for future communications, although everyone in the federation was quite perplexed by the encounter.

    oiix8nD.png



    2222

    Rashad Khadem, director of the Scientific Division P, announced the end of the twenty year long studies on Quantum Theory. The studies, started at the time where the now President Julia Paquette was director, explored the mediation of fundamental forces through subatomic particles, thus establishing the bases of quantum science that will pave the road for its future application. The division plans were now to study Field Modulation theories that could have allowed for an increased production of energy.

    In Centauria, the federal offices were expanded to allow for additional manpower to support the logistical and administrative effort created by the new colonies, in particular Sirius Prime and Horizon.

    A strange structure was discovered nearby the GOODS J1236 black hole. It was determined that it could have been an ancient subspace gateway that appears to have been part of a galaxy wide network of similar stations which, when operational, allowed for near-instantaneous travel from one part of the galaxy to another. At some point after its initial construction its connection to the rest of the network was severed. It offered only one valid destination, an uncharted group of stars just beyond the Milky Way that astronomers designated the “L-Cluster”. Even more intriguing, the gateway was built entirely by microscopic nanites of an unknown design.
    Although the Gateway emitted a faint power signature, it has been deliberately locked into some kind of maintenance loop that prevented its activation. Studies on it were planned to be conducted to understand if, at some point, it would have been possible to re-activate it.

    HHgdUOJ.png


    The “Space Amoebas” studies ended (classified as Species 413-4, Cephalopodea Astralis), and allowed to understand how to “pacify” these creatures that were populating the galactic south of the federal space. It was defined that the venting of emissions from federal starships somehow triggered these entities' natural defense system and, as a reaction, put them in an aggressive stance. A drone ship was used to test the theory and, by reducing its emissions venting, was able to move freely inside a group of amoebas. This could provide incredibly helpful for further expanding the federal space in the south, that was halted by both amoebas and automated mining drones that were locking some hyperlanes accesses.

    T78b8Eg.png


    A military starbase, Trident Station, was built around the main star of Nu Centauri, securing the only access to federal space from 22 Aquilae, the easternmost Chimm system. The station was equipped with two ODP-1 platforms and it will be used as a first line of defense against the Chimms, that were now effectively bordering the federal space.
    The system was renamed Lincoln, and it was also the one where “Volatile Motes” were discovered previously, granting the United Systems direct access to these strategic resources as soon as human scientists were able to properly employ them and exploiting the massive energy charge that they could contain.
     
    2223: We are but motes of dust
  • Rawghi

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    2223: We are but motes of dust

    The year started with the construction of starbases in Kepler 1053 (Ypres Station), renamed Newton, and Mu Telescopii (Port Levant), renamed Galileus. Mining drones were discovered in HD 805541 and Gliese 7806. Both the Federal Cartographic Office and the Scientific Exploration Flotilla asked the Senate to find a solution to the issue that prevented additional exploration in the northern part of the federal space. The research on the mining drones wasn’t able to identify a way to pacify them so it was implicit that a call to action means leveraging on the Federal Navy to destroy these machines.

    While the issue was evaluated however, shocking news came from the system 38 Geminorum. The USV Dupuy de Lome transmitted back a video feed showing an enormous creature rising from the very same star. The gargantuan being, larger than a typical moon, was literally devouring solar flares. The light that this being, resembling a giant spider, emanated was comparable to the star itself and while on live video, turned his massive mouth in the direction of the scientific ship, launching a massive flare towards the ship. For the crew of the USV Dupuy de Lome and their commander, the Science Officer Claudia von Fritsch there was nothing to do. The video feed interrupted in the same moment the starship liquified under the tremendous temperatures.

    Claudia von Fritsch was also the leader of the Alien Suffrage Center party (she was replaced by Marcelo Ortiz, director of the Scientific Division E), she was commanding the USV Dupuy de Lome since its christening and was a very popular figure amongst the federation. A one day mourning was enacted by the President to commemorate both her and her crew. The beast, called “Stellarite Devourer”, was remotely monitored in the days after the incident and seemed to have no intent to move away from the 38 Geminorum system. The Federal Security Council was assembled and it was decided to closely monitor the situation as it was estimated that humans were harmless against this space leviathan.

    rlVwEqI.png


    The news was received with deep concern from all the citizens of the Federation and spreaded like a plague. Knowing that this giant being in the dark void of space could pose an existential threat to mankind’s existence hit the inner fears of every human being. The “there is nothing we can do” feeling ravaged the colonies of the Federation and in multiple megacities protests and riots started out just because of this. President Paquette addressed the Federation stating that dealing with the Stellarite Devourer was now top priority, and while an unlimited budget was made available to study the leviathan to understand a way to stop it in case it decided to approach the federal space, additional funds were destined to further reinforce the Federal Navy.
    In the meantime, a new science ship was deployed: the USV Scout, commanded by Science Officer Adila Msibi.

    But the terrible news didn’t come alone. In Barnard’s Star, traders reported alarming news: groups of misguided individuals, criminals from the megacities of Earth, converted several civilian vessels into warships and, living as pirates, started to prey on vulnerable trade routes in the system. They planned for years their revelation and did that under the federal authorities radar. Their fleet, named the “Ghost Flotilla”, claimed the system that was crucial to connect the eastern part of the federal space to Earth. Ambrose Houghton, the proclaimed leader of these rogue forces, relayed a video message to President Paquette stating that they will “exert the right to collect tariffs from passing trade ships”, but Paquette ordered the Federal Navy to assemble both fleets and intervene in Barnard’s Star. This enraged Houghton that attacked Port East, the station around the system’s star.

    The attack, performed on the 30th of June, caused massive destruction to the starport (but luckily it's hull integrity was not totally compromised) and more than 300 civilians and 50 Spaceborne Command personnel perished in the attack. Paquette was furious and decided to contact Houghton.

    oJfrTe5.png


    The president message was strong and didn't allowed Houghton to reply:

    “I ignored your message hoping that you could have realized the big mistake you were about to make.
    With mankind worried about the leviathan, you stroke our back as a vile traitor that you are, you killed harmless civilians, you abducted and executed several traders, you committed the greatest crime in a moment where we needed to stay compact and unite about the dark space menace.

    We will not capture you or your followers, we will not bring you in front of a tribunal, we will not give you the ability to speak on your defense because our only aim is to eradicate you all from the galaxy. You will become dust, particles of the nauseating substance you’re made of. This is your fate, this will be our revenge for betraying us.”


    The message was leaked by the media and the public opinion was divided between Paquette supporters and people that blamed her for not starting a negotiation that could have prevented the attack at Port East.

    6xvwIt2.png


    In October, the combined two fleets of the United Systems Federal Navy entered Barnard’s Star led by Grand Admiral Feng Gao and Admiral Akiloye and attacked the pirates ships and a makeshift base they setup on a research outpost that was in construction around the relocated Dathnak homeworld in the system, Baldarak. The Dathnak worried about being in the system requested on the communication channel established with the federal authorities to relocate again, but the request was declined by General Secretary Maksimushkina that informed the gaseous species that the federation had bigger problems to handle at the moment.

    The Battle, later known as Battle of Baldarak, saw 35 federal frigates of mixed classes battling against Houghton’s pirates on nine warships and the defenses of the makeshift outpost. After about fifteen minutes, the battle was over with the pirates fleet totally annihilated and the system fully reclaimed by federal forces.

    6ICsfdk.png


    The population rejoiced about the news of the victory although the controversy related to the negotiation started to undermine the usually favorable public opinion regarding President Paquette.
    Paquette, at her usual end of the year speech, defined the year as the “worst” since the start of the “faster-than-light era”. The term was later used by historians to define the start of human exploration of the galaxy, setting it’s beginning in 2200.
     
    2224-2225
  • Rawghi

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    2224

    The USV President Hayes departed from Earth to colonize the recently discovered continental planet on the binary Newton system. This would have been the colony further north of the federation, nearby the area blocked by the automated mining drones. While exploring the system 27 Comae Berenices, the crew of the USV Hawking, now led by the Science Officer Anna Mayfield, discovered decaying orbital stations and multiple tomb worlds. Whatever interstellar nation once inhabited the system appears to have collapsed into ruin long ago. One planet, called Fallen Outpost, was a junkyard covered in the irradiated, rusting remnants of demolished buildings, infrastructure and vehicles. No higher forms of life were recognizable. The ships started an in depth investigation of the system to get more clue on what happened.

    On Earth, Aanya Patil, director of the Research Division S, held a conference presenting the two decades long study on genome mapping that led to the development of dozens of medical treatments and therapies for a plethora of diseases. Vitruvian Genetics, the biggest medical megacorporation on Earth, financed in great part the studies, ending up to secure the greater part of the patents related to the new discoveries.

    The night of February 21st was quiet as always for the now nearly 1 billion citizens spread over the various towns and cities on the western e emisphere of Horizon. The ocean world was colonized leveraging on structure on the thin strips of land in the myriad of atolls or using a mix of bio ceramic and polymers buildings hanging on pylons just over the ocean surface. Air and naval traffic was at its beginning and most of the starships landing operation was held during daylight hours.
    Some years before, fascinated by the titanic life forms present on the planet, the Department of Research built a series of laboratories on the planet with the intent of understanding the biology of these colossal beasts. It was estimated that around two thousands of these beasts lived on the planet: some of them were leviathans that lived in the depths of the seas, others behemoths that grazed atolls and shallow waters. Their appearance was very diverse: squid-like, crab-like, and enormous fishes were the majority of them, accompanied by amphibious “cows” and other beasts that didn’t really resemble any life forms present on Earth.
    Their behavior towards human colonies was total indifference, and usually when human structures were in front of them, they simply avoided them, coexisting peacefully. This was until a research speedboat, after months of trials, approached one of these beasts. That night the research team wanted to take a small skin sample by one of the colossal legs of a two hundred meters high crab. As soon as a scientist gently touched the beast, an event supposedly imperceptible by the titan, the crab emitted a very long, low and incredibly loud sound. It seemed like a bellowing from the depths of a cave.

    3NOoPON.png


    That sound was heard more than ten thousand kilometers away and was echoed by thousands of others from the other titans on the planet. All these entities stood still for nearly thirty minutes with the population of Horizon watching astonished. Suddenly, they started to attack. Colonies and bases were trampled, destroyed, devoured, with people in and around them, the beasts became, all at the same time, hostile. Monsters from the depths swallowed entire oceanic bases and atolls were ravaged by the amphibious ones.
    I was a colony wide massacre.
    The 7th and 8th Federal Army divisions on the planet attacked the beast in self defense, without even waiting for any clearance from the upper echelons, it was a battle for survival. But they were all massacred and the two units reduced to a sparse group of survivors that went into hiding with the rest of the population.

    qMq8D1V.png


    The news reached Earth a couple of hours later, Paquette was woken since it was around three in the morning and immediately she gathered in the briefing room of the security council. On screen, the live video feed from the planet, showing massive destruction and titans on the horizon. The United Systems was not prepared for something like this. Paquette remembered the suggestion of additional study before any colonization attempts that was issued by the Department of Research. The first fleet, en route back to Earth after the end of the last year's battle of Baldarak, was moved to the planet. Once in orbit however, the ships’ sensors showed that the beasts were too close to the human settlements so an orbital bombardment was impossible to perform without causing additional victims.

    The survivors from the planet contacted Earth asking for help but there was nothing to do: the United Systems needed to mobilize the Colonial Army, the cadre branch of the armed forces envisioned for performing planetary assaults. On Earth and on Centauria immediately a massive recruitment campaign started, fueled by a massive media campaign focused on helping the population of Horizon.

    The citizens of the United Systems were shocked. They partly blamed the government, partly the greed of mankind in exploiting the space so quickly, so unprepared. The happenings of the year before were nothing compared by the thousands of lives taken daily on Horizon. Just the Federal Army lost around 30,000 soldiers and the civilian death toll rose to two million. There was nothing on the planet that allowed the beasts to stop and hiding was the only possible solution, with people dying on a daily basis just for hunger after months trapped in their shelters. The titans returned to their normal life but this time very close to every human settlement, awaiting to stalk anyone that was brave enough to try to pull his head up from his hiding spot. Some ships, space capable, tried unsuccessfully to escape, the sounds of the reactors were immediately detected and the beasts tore down every flying object in no time.

    4jx6i5S.png


    It was a disaster, and the United System could only watch and prepare the newly formed colonial divisions to an assault on the planet that could have become a slaughter. It was clear that the galaxy was a dark place, and there were dangers lurking everywhere. Mankind’s dreams and hopes of a brighter future were destroyed, ultimately, on Horizon.


    2225

    While the first ten Colonial divisions were training and recruiting, citizens of the Federation demanded strongly an intervention on Horizon. Through all the cities of the colonized planets, riots and rallies were held with the government trying to calm the population down explaining that the reclamation of Horizon could have proved catastrophic if not executed properly with fully staffed and trained soldiers. People on Horizon were desperate and surviving by the day, in the shadows of the titans. Meanwhile, the Federal Navy continued its expansion with the Second Fleet fully reinforced and staffed with 20 frigates and the system 6 Leonis became part of the federal space with the construction of Falmore Station in the star’s orbit. The system was renamed Planck.

    In Centauria, the studies on the “Mak’vaehl’ hunting valley continued, with the discovery of the narration of a legendary “huntress” that personally butchered thousands of aliens during the ritual. She ultimately perished, wiedling a fabled “Blade of the Huntress”, a nearly-supernatural weapon. The excavation was keeping stationed the USV Hubble and the science officer Jose Maria Solano and many wondered whether the enterprise was a total loss of time and the ship could have been used for a more purposeful end in these troublesome times.

    On 15th August, in the eastern fringe of the federal space, human ships encountered unknown alien vessels.
    These aliens were sentient and after universal AI translators interpreted and matched both languages, a first contact was made between humans and aliens diplomats. The aliens called themselves “Korinth” and they were part of an interstellar empire similar in extent to the United Systems, the Korinth Republic, that apparently was some form of martial dictatorship. They were led by a “Supreme Ruler” called Rhethan, and they resembled human beings, but with a darker skin and a very particular cranial “crest” in the middle of an elongated forehead. Their body was bigger compared to standard humans, probably conferring them more strength, but this advantage on their bodies was not match with their intellect: their language simplicity suggested they had an intelligent quotient little lower compared than humans, and their culture envisioned a lot of ancient traditions that the species continued to follow. They had also clearly a warrior culture, considering the excessive display of weapons, in their adornments. They lived in a continental world called Koros, in a system named by them Korinthos.

    All of these insights on the alien were interpreted and discovered during the first two hour long conversation between the diplomats, and a successive call between President Paquette and Rhethan was organized to be held in the next hour.

    The news of a new alien species resonated quickly through the federal space, leaving the citizens anxious to understand what kind of relationship would have been started between the Korinth and the humans, although the ability to have a conversation was seen as encouraging proof that these were not “monsters” like the Chimms.

    President Paquette once again was in a secure room, ready to establish the first communication with an alien being that this time at least shared a human-like view of the civilizations, with laws, rules and a centralized form of government. Rhethan, the supreme ruler of the Korinths, or Korinthians, appeared on the holoscreen. The two leaders presented themselves and had a moderately cordial conversation. Rhethan asked multiple times about the whereabouts of the “real” leader of humans as a female leader was something unexpected and not tolerated in the Korinth Republic, Julia Paquette politely explained that since centuries the human society viewed men and women as equals, but the alien was not truly convinced by the President words.
    The conversation lasted for thirty minutes; and the following decision were taken and agreed by both:
    Recognition of each others government and occupied space
    Establishment of a permanente communication between the two governments, with the intent of sharing information and initiatives that could have impacted the other party
    Due to the suspicious nature of the Korinths, federal vessels were forbidden from entering Korinth controlled systems, at least in this initial phase. Paquette nonetheless decided to keep federal borders opened for non-military Korinthian vessels
    A diplomatic team from Earth, led by ambassador Laura Durston, would have established a small embassy on Koros with the intent of warming up the relationship between the two species.

    YgQf8Zw.png


    In the weeks after the first contact, it was discovered that the total population of the Korinths was around 30 billion souls, and they inhabited five planets. Their technological level was similar to mankind but from an economical standpoint, Korinth population was poorer and lived in conditions far worse than the common citizens of the federation. Luckily, the military of the United Systems was superior compared to the Korinth forces, and that, in the eye of the alien, was seen as a quality of the humans neighbors. Comparison of biological data also showed a lot of similarities between the two species: organs between humans and korinths are nearly identical and a preliminary DNA analysis suggests either a common ancestry or a very similar evolutionary path. Scientist named the alien species “Homo Korinthus”.

    While the discovery on a non-hostile-on-sight alien gave a little hope for the citizen of the federation, the alien way of life, dictatorial government form and very cold first contact left a looming shadow on the future of the United Systems, now encroached by alien space and with Horizon still ravaged by monsters.

    7ZmPByE.png
     
    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.

    G3a9RSu.png


    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.

    bkSjfMP.png


    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.

    BB8VsKP.png



    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.

    OlFm8PA.png


    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.

    bKVKDEZ.png


    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.

    yN5KdOg.png
     
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    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.

    RR2WPpP.png


    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%.

    YiUL3uP.png


    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.
     
    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.