Getting round these has kept me busy, thankfully not all systems have so many. I believe there are more to find as for now I am on the hunt for the first series which means I need to come home at some point but for now it’s time to leave the systems and get into the black….
The planet Earth is the cradle of humanity. As such it has experienced times of terrible destruction, through war and ecological disaster. Since the 22nd century humanity has expanded from its hime into the stars, and with much of the damage the planet’s ecosphere had suffered has since been repaired. The planet is now a popular travel destination and is a lush and vibrant world.
Federal Congress is made up of 500 Congressmen (the term for both men and women). They sit in Congress, which is in Olympus Village on Mars – which replaced its location in Washington DC early in the previous millenium. \ Congressmen are elected for an eight year term, along with a President, with a ‘vote of no confidence’ after four years. If the vote if no confidence succeeds then a full election takes place. A Congressman (or President) cannot serve multiple consecutive terms. \ Every Federation system has representation in Congress, but generally a Congressman represents multiple systems, except a few (like Sol) that have more than one Congressional representative, based loosely on historic population. Phenomenal growth in the outer systems has meant that they have have little representation in the Congress, and there is frequent discussion about creating many new Congressmen to address this balance, but the various power blocks realise it will change the balance of power away from the core systems, the very people who would have to vote it through – so many agree it is unlikely to happen in the near future.
Federal law is based on an agreed Constitution. People have rights and freedoms, enshrined by this agreement. A great many things are illegal, like slavery, cloning and certain narcotics. Local ‘State’ law prohibits other trafficking to a greater or lesser degree. Things like ship-based weapons, personal weapons, other milder drugs and alcohol are banned in some systems. \ Federal law is controlled by the Mars goevernment, and the sheer size of the Federation makes it very hard for a System to have any influence on changing it.
Mankind’s first ventures into space were tentative and gradual. The early part of the 21st century saw the first manned spaceflights beyond the moon, but it took major population and economic problems to stimulate enough commercial commeitment to start settlements beyond Earth. The Third World War saw this exploration expenditure dragged back again and it wasn’t until the very end of the 21st century that colonies on Mars and the Moon became truly permanent and viable. After the war, the dominant power was the United States of the Americas, and as the remaining other countries joined it over the next few decades, it was renamed the Federation of the United States and later “The Federation” as the implied reference to one of the pre-war powers was a block to the remaining countries joining it. It had a constitution and laws derived from the earlier powers, but much simplified.
However, the 23rd century saw new leadership and initiative. The Earth Environmental Recovery Programme to restore the polluted and radioactive regions of the planet was much more successful.
In 2280, the first nun-human relic was found in space. The object was found buried on Mars; it was no bigger than a child’s hand and is still surrounded in secrecy, even in 3300. No information has ever been circulated as to the properties of this item or its origin, other than it is non-human.
In 2291, the second attempt to terraform Mars was eventually successful. The techniques employed were crude by later standards and the project had taken nearly a hundred years, but finally, humans could walk on the surface and breathe without the need for oxygen suits or respirators.
The Achenar crisis had far reaching consequences for the Federal Council. Earth’s leadership had been unquestioned, but the mother planet was already undergoing a difficult period with the climate and radiatio problems on Earth not improving, and yet Mars appearing ever more verdant and a more confortable place to live, there was a general exodus of the rich and influential. The prospect of war with Achenar required a strong hand. In time, the Federal Congress moved from Washington on Earth, to Olympus Village on Mars, and this helped ease friction with other Federation members – as there was a consultation period where other systems were considered. / Nevertheless, the next sixty years saw several fledgling colonies opt out of their colonial charter obligations once they arrived on their chosen world and accept the rulership of the Duvals. The Emperor played the politics skillfully. The massive natural resources being offered and exported from Achenar countered the benefits of then superior Federal technology, whilst the Duval emphasis on subjugating Alien ecology to the needs of the colonies, made them a popular benefactor for struggling settlements.
Federal colonies continued to mature into Congressional members and became accepted as Federal States throughout the next two centuries. However, the ratification of each colonial charter and approval of membership made the governing body of the Federation more and more unwieldy. This meant getting decisions made became more and more of a laborious and time consuming process, increasingly relying on Presidential Influence. Eventually in 2594, Congress passend an Act reducing the total number of congressmen dramatically at the subsequent election round, amid much controversy. / In parallel, the President’s fixed four year term was extended to a single eight year term, with a Vote of Confidence by the people after four years. This was to adress the problem that increasingly the Presidents were serving two consecutive terms (their limit – a historical limit dating back to pre Federation days), and few credible candidates would stand against them in what increasingly were referred to as the ‘mid-term’ election.
Between 2621 and 2735, Federal member systems underwent a period of societal change. The original colonial charters of many settlements granted hereditary land and position to families descended from their original settlers. Many of these birthright claims extended across vast areas of land and encompassed massive resources. The old charters became a hindrance especially to corporations who wanted access to these assets and gradually more and more pressure came to bear on the presidential administration to take action against this ‘stifling anachrinism’. / The Birthright Wars were the name given to a series of conflicts that resulted in the forced acquisition or redistribution of hereditary rights (depending on your viewpoint) from colonial pioneers to corporations who had necessary technology to exploit these regions. It was generally blamed on corporate greed at the time, but notably the Federal Navy stood by.
In 2862, the Presidential election was won by Isaach Gellan, whose administration marked a new turn for the Federation in interstellar politics. Within months, agents of the Gellan administration were sent to the Ackwada system to repay substantial unofficial (and illegal) loans made to the presidential campaign. The main creditor was the Rockforth Corporation, who refused a negotiated settlement, holding out for precisely the deal agreed in the election race. In 2864, Gellan and his advisers appeared to have withdrawn from these negotiations, because, instead of agreeing the terms, the Federal Navy was mobilised to invade the system on an unrelated pretext.
The election of Tyrell Biggs from Mars to the office of President in 3008, saw another change in approach. Biggs had been a Congressman for Mars for a long time, and made extensive use of his diplomatic connections throughout his tenure. During his election, he talked a great deal about the use of diplomacy rather than force. / In 3008 during a lull in the fighting in Alioth, Federal diplomats secretly approached the Imperial court with a proposition that Achenar and its subsidiary systems join the Federation as full members. / This had been attempted before, and had been met with Imperial derision. The proposition included clauses and amendments that would have allowed the Imperial system to qualify for membership despite the differences between Federal and Imperial law on several matters. However, the leak of the documents by Federal spies to other Imperial systems caused widespread unrest, which might have been Biggs’ intention all along. For the next decade, this cooled Imperial/Federal relations and caused distrust on both sides.
The complete list of Presidents is too numerous to mention here, so only those who made a name for themselves in intergalactic affairs are listed. / Sadig Kessler (Federal President in 2599 – 2607) / Isaac Gellan (Federal President in 2862 – 2866 (disgraced – lost VoNC)) / Olaf Smith (Federal President in 2866 – 2874) / Jeremy Tann (Federal President in 2874 – 2882) / Verity Campbell (Federal President in 2956 – 2960 (lost VoNC)) / Ulrich Vale (Federal President in 2968 – 2976) / Grant Keller (Federal President in 2976 – 2984) / Tyrell Biggs (Federal President in 3008 – 3016) / Loric Trander (Federal President in 3184 – 3192) / Eugene Cooper (Federal President in 3260 – 3264 (unpopular – lost VoNC)) / Antonia Madison (Federal President in 3264 – 3272) / Jasmina Halsey (Federal President in 3300 – 3301 (disappeared)) / Zachary Hudson ((Federal President in 3301 – present)
The Federal Criminal Investigations agency is the Federation’s primary domestic security and law enforcement agency. They are numerically inferior to the state police but are better trained and equipped, and cross internal State boundaries. / They are primarily an investigative unit, although they do maintain significant enforcement units. The provide specialist operational support and police backup (like SWAT teams and undercover units) as well as more traditional support for state police forces. / There is a traditional rivalry between the FCI and the State police, but that doesn’t prevent them working effectively together. / Its history goes back over a millennium, evolving out of the various security bureaus on Earth. Some rituals still remain, for example the ceremonies when its members are promoted retain an ancient, martial feel, relating to the FBI and FSB – organisations dating to a pre-Federation era – though in fact they don’t really relate to them.