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DaEvilNome

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New DLC, New AAR. Like I had said at the end of the last Terran Union AAR, it felt a bit empty without the level of pop depth and political engagement that an AAR like it was focused around. I've played around with Utopia a bit, and I'm pretty hopeful! The difficulty is /much/ lower than last time, which should help avoid an unsatisfying ending like last time. There will be some self-imposed restrictions: heavy roleplay focus, slow expansion, probably avoiding Horizon Signal content, etc.
Anyhow! Thanks for reading!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"Finalized in 2170, the Terran Unification Act brought to an end the petty wars and disagreements between human communities. Spearheaded by the European Union and cosigned by the United States of North America [USNA] and the Peoples Republics of China [PRC], this political alliance has attempted to forge a new identity for the human species - one that intent on celebrating freedom, embracing different cultures, and encouraging the pursuit of scientific knowledge."


Looking down at the press release sitting on her desk, a sickening rush of deja vu sunk in. Lilian North was not a woman who enjoyed the feeling. In her experience, deja vu usually indicated that something had been forgotten - or gone unnoticed. The eerie feeling clung to her. The document before her was almost the exact same as the one prepared by Chancellor Dolores Muwanga, her predecessor. Shortly after the commencement of the Hyperdrive project, a tech demonstration went awry and took the inspiring Chancellor's life. In Dolores' memory, the Hyperdrive project continued and -today- ultimately succeeded.


Dolores Muwanga had been a champion of the people, who championed the Hyperdrive project as promising the next wave of Human expansion and exploration. Lilian was more of a pragmatist. Certainly, the technology should be used to the benefit of all of humanity - but the creation and expansion of off-world industries would be her first priority. While the Terran Union was responsible for the well-being of all of humanity, it could not do so without the proper tools and supplies.


The galaxy, although a vast place, had only ever been studied through sub-light probes and telescopes. The Hyperlane network had been detected by Human scientists even before the formation of the Terran Union in 2170, but only a united planet could muster the resources and genius to take advantage of it. For just over a generation, the peoples of Terra (Formerly Earth) had been learning to come together. The Hyperdrive program was a way for them to move forward together.




As she breathed out slowly and rubbed her tired eyes, Chancellor North let the fog of nostalgia drain from her mind. Unwittingly, a soft smile crept its way onto her face as she remembered one of her favorite lessons from her predecessor:
"Fuck it, kid. Do what I've always done: wing it."​
 
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Nikolai

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That's quite the interesting galaxy setup!
 

stnylan

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Curious galaxy setup indeed.
 

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That's quite the interesting galaxy setup!
Curious galaxy setup indeed.
Yeah, hopefully it'll lend itself to an interesting narrative!
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Chancellorship of Lilian North


Humanity had been patiently gazing into the stars for centuries, sending out transmissions and signals on every practical EM band, and had even sent out numerous STL unmanned probes - but no contact had ever been found. Unwilling to wait any further, the Hyperdrive project was born - and Humanity was determined to be the ones to initiate first contact. Fate, ironically enough, had other plans. While the Terran Union fleet began surveying the Sol System, First Contact finally came calling.

We know now that the Tiyanki are harmless gas grazers and stellar wanderers, but the first few hours after first contact were filled with tension and excitement. Xenologists and linguists tried to establish contact with the newcomers for months, not knowing that the creatures lack any capacity for language. It took months of study to reach the disappointing conclusion was that the Tiyanki weren't the 'little green men' that we had been waiting for, but were something more akin to 'space whales'.

Humanity had visited Mars before. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, a sizable number of unmanned probes and satellites had been deployed to the beloved fourth planet from the sun. As time went on and technologies advanced, these probes became increasingly complicated and more capable of conducting various studies of the 'Red Planet'. Still, this was no substitute for firsthand human experience. In the 21st century, a few temporary manned missions were conducted - but a steady decline in geopolitical stability during the later half of the century led to a withdrawal.

With human surveyors finally setting foot on Mars in sizable numbers, backed by a united global government, TUN scientists were finally able to find irrefutable proof of ancient life on Mars. Unfortunately, the survey ultimately found that the planet could not be made livable with current technologies. For the immediate future, a second home for humanity would need to be secured using hyperdrives - not terraforming.


When humanity first discovered that the other planets in the Sol system couldn't support human life, Alpha Centauri became the next subject for study. The closest star system to Sol, it was a natural starting point. Even until very recent history, telemetry from telescopes had left the exact nature of the star system in question - though the likelihood of having a terrestrial planet was considered likely. When TUN survey vessels arrived, the discovery of a potentially habitable world was received excitedly - but not as excitedly as the discovery of artifacts belonging to an ancient alien civilization.

[Chancellor Lilian North / 2202]
"The recent discovery of alien artifacts in the Alpha Centauri system proves our suspicions and dreams to be true. With the arrival of the Tiyanki, we learned that Terra was not the only source of life in our galaxy - but we now have irrefutable proof that we were not the first civilization to reach out to the stars. [Laughter] Honestly, it looks like we're not even close to the first. This "First League", as Xenologists are calling it, proves that the ideas of representative government and an emphasis on embracing differences is not unique to us! It is as natural and as necessary as life itself. While the presence of these artifacts seems to indicate that these peoples are no longer around, we will cherish the legacy of those that came before us - and dream to build a new league - a better league."


Human history has been written by many hands and told by many mouths. While the telling of our histories shift by perspective, what almost every account holds true to is those that came first: the explorers, the adventurers. When, in the past, we had imagined what it might be like when humanity would go out into space, we almost always imagined ourselves doing to as explorers who would boldly go into the unknown - just as our ancient ancestors first ventured forth from Sub-Saharan Africa. These same spirits would lead the way as the TUN reached for the stars.


Humanity's history and fascination with robotics has been long lived. In the late 20th century, it was imagined by some of the world's brightest minds that it would be our creations -rather than ourselves- that would go forth and explore the universe. Sometimes these imaginings were apocalyptic, other times they were Utopian. It was often proposed that first contact would be made with a machine - rather than anything biological. In a sense, that idea wasn't too far from wrong.

Drones, as we have come to know them, are remnant machines left behind by civilizations that were once present in our region of space. While humanity would eventually come to regard drones as pests requiring removal, they were the subject of much greater curiosity and study in the early days of their discovery.


Almost a decade after setting forth to find intelligent life, humanity found its' first aliens. Not spacewhales or artifacts or forgotten mining robots - but real live people. This excitement was dulled by the fact that the Riggan Commerce Exchange was the only known remnant of a once much larger consortium of stations dedicated to trade, science, and art. Still, live aliens were better than dead ones - even if they were the remnant skeleton screw of only one space station.

High Trader Obr-Lend and Chancellor Lilian North would, within a month of first contact, begin regularly trading energy and minerals in order to expedite the Terran Union's expansion of mining operations. Before long, the de-facto borders of Terran Union space would include the Riggan Commerce Exchange's star system of Nunki and Terran Union security forces began to patrol their space as diligently as humanity's own. While the gesture of additional security was kind, the reality was that the defensive capabilities of the Riggan Commerce Exchange's space station was more powerful than the entirety of the Terran Union fleet by several orders of magnitude.


Continued discovery of evidence of past alien civilizations provoked concern within the Terran Union intelligence community about the security of the Terran Union against as-of-yet-unknown entities. It was concluded by the North administration that re-securing historical unmanned probes would be a good start in ensuring that no foreign power would secretly be investigating humanity. Historical records were searched, courses were plotted and recalculated, and estimates were made.


Space Amoebas are, like the Tiyanki, space-borne lifeforms. Unlike the Tiyanki, Amoebas have a habit of acting in a protective or out-right predatory fashion. Initial discovery of the species in 2209, luckily, avoided any direct conflict. For the greater part of the 2200s, direct contact with Amoebas was actively avoided by all Terran Union ships - even its' defensive fleet.


Some dangers of space, like the Amoebas, were natural. Some, like the artificial Drones, were not. Until July of 2209, however, nothing in space had proved itself to be outright vindictively aggressive toward humans. On the 16th of July, 2209, a small number of heavily modified and armed civilian ships abandoned their various posts and rendezvoused for a point beyond patrolled space. The first human space pirates were founded. Warfare was something that humanity brought with it to the stars, despite the Terran Union's best efforts.

On April 5th of 2210, Admiral Guo Luo led the meager four-strong corvette fleet of the Terran Union against a same-sized raider fleet led by pirate captain Rashaad al-Jazari. The conflict was decided by the superior training of Guo Luo and those enlisted under his command. Two of the Terran Union's corvettes were destroyed, while all-but Rashaad al-Jazari's flagship were destroyed. Following Rashaad's capture, repairs were made to the Terran Union fleet and the dockyards on Terra busily began constructing a significantly larger defense force.


The last chapter of Lilian North's Chancellorship was the discovery of the Dima'Xanian on their arid homeworld of Ketorium in the Parsax system. An imposing horned reptilian species of talented scientists whose medieval societies embraced differences rather than persecute them, the Dima'Xanian were inspirational. Under the leadership of Chancellor Lilian North, a decision was reached by the Terran Union that the Dima'Xanian were to be observed and protected- but not interfered with. This commitment would go on to define Terran Union protocols regarding pre-FTL species in the form of the "North Protocol".

The "North Protocol" would undergo future revisions and modifications, but would help to create an attitude of non-interference and patronage toward less advanced alien civilizations.​
 
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Nikolai

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If humanity is to recreate a new, better league. Shouldn't it then raise those primitives to become part of such a league?
 

stnylan

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Perhaps it due course it would be advisable to make them your friends.
 

Machiavellian

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Interesting start. I will follow this.
 

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If humanity is to recreate a new, better league. Shouldn't it then raise those primitives to become part of such a league?
Perhaps it due course it would be advisable to make them your friends.
It certainly wouldn't be much fun without friends!
I have quite the backlog, but it'll be worth keeping an eye out for the feedback & comments having in-game influence.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Chancellorship of Catalina Garcia


Before being elected to the position of Chancellor, Catalina Garcia had been the head of the Terran Union Academy of Social Sciences. During her tenure, she had continually advocated for continued exploration of alien worlds - and consistently joined in the rallying call for an increased emphasis on permanent settlements. As time progressed, this passion paved the way for widespread political support - which ultimately secured for her the second chancellorship of the Terran Union.

As Chancellor, Catalina Garcia redirected the efforts of the Terran Union to making the worlds in Terran Union space safe for permanent settlement. While she would not be the chancellor presiding over the settlement of the first Human colonies beyond the Sol System, she would be remembered as playing an important role in making such settlement possible - and safe.


Growth Since Last Survey:
Income Growth: +73%
Expense Growth: +114%
Population Growth: +3 Billion


The discovery of a prison complex belonging to the 'First League' became the subject of great debate in many political and scientific circles. Arguments prevailed from all imaginable angles: the necessity of the return to historical-style prisons, the modern cultural enlightenment of the Terran Union overshadowing the First League and the need for prisons, etc. These debates, as old as prisons and capitol punishment, would go on without resolution - just as they had for much of human history.

[Xenology Today / July 2210 Edition]
"...but what this discovery does indicate is a reminder for us to not unnecessarily glorify the past. Regardless of the achievements of those who have come before us, we -both as academics and as thinking beings- must regard the past with as much scrutiny and criticism as we do our own times. While some have argued that it is disheartening that these enlightened ancients struggled with crime as much as any modern or historical civilization, I say that we should instead take it as an opportunity to learn the value of accepting our flaws - rather than ignorantly dismissing them as products of a bygone age..."


The destruction of the home base belonging to the Terran Union's first group of pirates was an important symbolic and political victory for Chancellor Garcia. Her promise of making Terran Union space safe for settlement was being fulfilled promptly and effectively.

While many celebrated the victory over these "non-conformists", others reflected on what had led these desperate people to such a rash course of action. This movement, led by Admiral Guo Luo - the same man who had quashed the pirate group - would later materialize into a new political party: the Free Thought Society.


The Free Thought Society [FTS] was founded with the goal of preserving representative government in this new era of stellar expansion and colonization. The founders of the party, brought together by the regretful conflict with the Feral Companions, made it clear that the organization's endeavor was to protect the rights and power of individuals in an era where the individual was increasingly overwhelmed by the sheer mass of humanity. While the Free Thought Society was the first political party to be founded since the Terran Union's expansion from Terra, it would certainly not be the last.

A few years after the advent of the FTS, just in time to serve as competition for the upcoming elections, the Council of Research Efficiency [CRE] was founded under the head of the Terran Union Academy of Engineering: Lukas Von Fritsch. Lukas, and many like-minded members of the Terran Union scientific community, sought to organize into a party that would rally for a continued heavy emphasis on funding the sciences - and for ensure a technological edge over outsiders. In effect, the CRE would become staunch defenders of the North Protocol.


Discovered in May of 2213, the Wulbuhh natives of the chilly world of Lora in the Nizatorom System were the first species of advanced fungi discovered by humanity. Similar in technological capability to the earlier discovered Dima'Xanian, many of the small civilizations of the Wulbuhh seemed to be centered on democratic and representative values: a fact spread often quite proudly by certain members the Free Thought Society.

The most important difference between the Wulbuhh and the earlier discovered Dima'Xanian was the distance of their homeworlds from the Sol System. The Dima'Xanian on Ketorium were, for the time being, too far away to be a reasonable candidate for a scientific outpost - but the Wulbuhh on Lora were close enough for the process to be logistically possible. The only disagreement would be what the purpose of the outpost should be. Progressive members of the FTS argued that, due to their egalitarian inclination, the Wulbuhh should be technologically enlightened. On the other end of the subject, conservative members of the CRE campaigned for absolute non-interference - in spirit of the North Protocol. Ultimately, with the support of former Chancellor North, the North Protocol was reaffirmed as law.


As the number of survey missions, scientific outpost, and observation posts expanded, so too did the need for an organization of the Terran Union's scientific community. While some traditionalists frowned at the increased regimentation accompanying this centralization effort, the increased influx of new minds and new talents greatly outweighed those dissatisfied with the expansion.


When survey vessels finally made it to the systems thought to contain humanity's forgotten sublight probes, they did so with an accompanying security force. Following an encounter with an aggressive subspace entity, this sort of security accompaniment became a much more regular occurrence.​
 
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stnylan

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The initial stages are progressing nicely. I haven't encountered the sublight probe event
 

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Good progress thus far. Advanced life exists out in the cosmos, but humanity has yet to encounter a still functioning civilization capable of interstellar flight. I'm curious what the first will be? Given the setup, it seems likely it will be a Fallen Empire. This galaxy is a vast empty place with few habitable worlds. It should be interesting.
 

DaEvilNome

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The initial stages are progressing nicely. I haven't encountered the sublight probe event
Honestly, the sublight probe event chain is pretty terrible. The reward for scanning a probe is revealing/surveying the system that it is found in, and the reward for completing the event chain is having multiple bordering systems surveyed in the same way. While having them surveyed is a arguably little convenient, it also removes the possibility of finding any anomalies in those systems.
Good progress thus far. Advanced life exists out in the cosmos, but humanity has yet to encounter a still functioning civilization capable of interstellar flight. I'm curious what the first will be? Given the setup, it seems likely it will be a Fallen Empire. This galaxy is a vast empty place with few habitable worlds. It should be interesting.
Hahaha. If you check out the first Terran Union game, the first civilization in that game that I ran into /was/ a Fallen Empire... which happened to be Xenophobic and eventually Awakened and completely wrecked me. I'm not 100% sure, but it seems like Fallen Empires tend to spawn pretty close to where the player or another civilization starts out.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Chancellorship of Guo Luo

Prior to being elected to the position of Chancellor, Admiral Guo Luo had already made a notable mark on history by leading the Terran Union's 1st Fleet to victory against the "Feral Companions" pirate corsairs. Following that victory, the Admiral went on to become a founding member of the Free Thought Society: a political party aimed at preserving democratic values in the face of a new era of history. This momentum, from Admiral to Party Leader, would secure the Chancellorship of the Terran Union for Guo Luo in a landslide. During his lifetime, and in the annals of history, he was regarded as a champion of the people and an architect for the future of the Terran Union.




Growth Since Last Survey:
Income Growth: +43%
Expense Growth: +52%
Population Growth: +3 Billion


The sensor data gathered from the secured sublight probes helped make up for the potential survey time lost by pursuing these small pieces of humanity's past. Despite initial concerns, there were no signs of tampering or investigation by any foreign party.



In keeping with the promise and efforts of the Garcia administration, the first human colonies were settled in short order. While these worlds offered close approximations to the biomes where humanity had first evolved and grown, each presented unique challenges and differences for the brave first colonists: alien flora and fauna, new seasonal cycles, new day/night cycles, new sunsets and sunrises, variable gravity, and a host of unexpected surprises.


Following in the materialist legacy of Chancellor North, the Resource Control Board [RCB] was founded to advocate for a continued emphasis on peaceful economic growth and development. Founded by Ning Zhu, captain of the TUN Tsiolkovsky, the members of the RCB were often voices of moderation and reason.

The Xeno Suffrage Association [XSA] came together due to developing trade relations with the Riggan Commerce Exchange and recent debates regarding the North Protocol. Led by noted Terran administrator Sergei Grishina, the XSA would eventually grow into a prominent and powerful xeno-rights organization.



During his second term in office, Chancellor Guo Luo would push for reforms that would enshrine the idealist values that had led to the creation of the Terran Union in the first place. In so doing, he would honor the tradition of reminding future generations of the difficulties suffered by humanity during the years before unification. It was hoped that the lessons of the past would dissuade future generations from repeating the same mistakes. As a part of these programs, increased funding was directed into both childhood education and public institutions like museums and libraries.


As the collection of First League artifacts continued to grow, many went on to feature in traveling public exhibits. The more that was discovered about the member species of this lost civilization, it became increasingly abundant just how much humanity had in common with other intelligent forms of life. While for some this increased the drive to seek out contemporary civilizations, for others it served as satisfaction enough.


When the planet Mozambique was surveyed and colonized, there was no reason to suspect that the planet was host to an entire underground civilization. It wasn't until almost five years after the first human colonists made landfall that the first evidence of the native Ziiran arose in the form of strange seismic disturbances. Contemporary new sources reported on the first contact with a plethora of geological puns to describe the "rocky" start to this relationship.

By the end of Chancellor Luo's second term, trade relations were cemented between the human settlements and native Ziiran population - and many groups of Xenologists were petitioning the Ziiran government for permission to conduct sociological studies and exchanges.


Although not quite as exciting as discovering an entire civilization beneath one's feet, the discoveries of the pre-FTL civilizations of the Valdari, and the Themlar were both received with excitement by the Xenologist community. The highly adaptive and resilient canid Valdari, and the highly intelligent lepidopteran Themlar, were both notable for exhibiting distrustful and xenophobic qualities.


[Chancellor Guo Luo / March 2237]
"As many of those gathered here today know, I am proud to call Jackson O'Neill both my friend and I am honored to congratulate him on succeeding my former position as Fleet Admiral. Today, I would like to honor our friendship and his distinguished career of service by naming a new security policy after him. This 'O'Neill Doctrine' would mark an end to our laisse-faire acceptance of passive dangers to our security within our space. In the short term, this would mean an elimination of all abandoned mining drone facilities within Terran Union space. In the long term, this policy should encourage the elimination of those hazards which not only impair human expansion and trade - but those that may put at risk any others whom we share the stars with. Our security forces will endeavor to make space safe."
 

stnylan

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Proceeding smoothly.

Re: Fallen Empires, in my most recent two games in 1.04 and 1.05 I had to go 1/3 across the galaxy to find a FE, so I think your experience of having them close may be partly bad luck.

Though I also once in 1.04 have the isolationists frighteningly close.
 

Machiavellian

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I'm enjoying the updates. The Themlar look interesting. They could be the first pre-space flight race you've encountered to be either uplifted or reach space exploration on their own.
Any chance of a galactic map of explored territory in the future? I'm curious how far the borders of the Union have spread.
 

DaEvilNome

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Any chance of a galactic map of explored territory in the future? I'm curious how far the borders of the Union have spread.

[Terran Union settled worlds marked as black circles, Alien civilizations marked as grey circles.]​
 

Nikolai

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First contacts, a few of surely many to come. Hopefully not too many xenophobic ones, though.
 

DaEvilNome

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Re: Fallen Empires, in my most recent two games in 1.04 and 1.05 I had to go 1/3 across the galaxy to find a FE, so I think your experience of having them close may be partly bad luck.
Yeah, it's likely confirmation bias on my part that's fueling my paranoia of having Xenophobic FEs spawn as neighbors.
I'm enjoying the updates. The Themlar look interesting. They could be the first pre-space flight race you've encountered to be either uplifted or reach space exploration on their own.
In retrospect, they really would have made an excellent candidate species for uplifting. I think that their home system fell slightly outside of my borders and I kept putting off building a frontier outpost in the hope that my borders would expand the last tiny bit that I needed from population growth.
First contacts, a few of surely many to come. Hopefully not too many xenophobic ones, though.
As long as the xenophobes haven't discovered FTL, they're not a huge problem. haha
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Chancellorship of Sergei Grishina


Prior to being elected as Chancellor of the Terran Union, Sergei Grishina had already proved himself to be a powerfully influential force when he helped to found the Xeno Suffrage Association during the Luo administration. His previous experience as a planetary administrator on Terra helped cement for Sergei Grishina a reputation of resilience and fortitude: a reputation that he would endeavor to live up to.



Growth Since Last Survey:
Income Growth: +127%
Expense Growth: +43%
Population Growth: +25 Billion


In preparation for a project to expand one of their crowded subterranean metropolises, the Ziiran government ran into conflict with a minority group of religious ascetics. This minority group occupied the series of caverns which the government had marked for expansion and demolition, and were unwilling to negotiate the terms of their removal. When talks finally broke down, a small group of this religious minority turned to acts of extremism in an attempt to 'fight back' against their federal government. The Ziiran government, in turn, responded to these extremists by assigning a military force to take unilateral action against the entire minority populace. While many of the extremists chose to stay and fight, the vast majority of the minority group fled to the surface and requested amnesty within the Terran Union colony of Mozambique. This request for amnesty was accepted, leading to a slight -but temporary- cooling of relations.


With the introduction of four worlds ripe for settlement, and the welcoming of the Ziiran refugees into the Terran Union, enthusiasm soared among the people. The crews of survey vessels searched tirelessly for new worlds, while administrative and logistical staff tackled the incredible task of resettling entire populations.


In keeping with the O'Neill Doctrine, the 1st Fleet of the Terran Union was sent to eliminate automated drones in systems falling under the Union's growing demesne. In total, six corvettes and their crews gave their lives in their mission to secure the safety of Terran Union space. Following the clearance of the Xirak system, the 1st Fleet was renamed in honor of former chancellor Guo Luo - whose passing had coincided with the liberation of the system.


Just over a year later, the third planet in the Xirak system was marked for colonization. Renamed to Taiwan, the birthplace of former chancellor Luo, the tropical world offered lush vegetation - but the vegetation could be extraordinarily dangerous to an individual if mishandled.


 

stnylan

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Ahh, free population! What rights did you give them?