Thursday, February 12, 2009

[Future Perfect] Coalition of Autonomous States

The Coalition of Autonomous States

Age: Approximately 250 Years

Rakhan Prime (12 Billion)
Rakhan Secundus (3.5 Billion)
Harlinn's World (20 Million)

Other Populations:
Blackwatch Station (3.5 Million)
Assorted Asteroid Colonies, Space Stations, and Frontier Settlements

Regency (Good Relations; Many Coalition organizations are employed by the Regency)
Freespace (Weakly aligned; Coalition has open travel policy with the Freespace)

Pirate Clans (Hostile; Pirate Clans are a major burden on the Coalition economy, stealing resources, raiding prosperous developments, and ultimately jeopardizing Coalition business contracts).

We are defined through the struggle. Freedom, autonomy, and liberty must be earned through perseverance and personal responsibility during troubled times. Governments are just groups people; Governments over see the affairs of people; Any group of people can oversee themselves, right?

Are marked by extreme differences in educational and economic strata. Most folk are poor, working class with little chance to escape the drudgery. Many turn to gangs -- both legal and illegal -- in hopes of finding support and survival. People tend to be cautious, even distrustful, and generally seem to accept that life is a constant struggle.

A little over 250 years ago, a populist secessionist movement within the New Terran Empire was formed by an assortment of several colonies that included planets, trade space, star ports, stations, and numerous semi-nomadic merchant colonies. Calling themselves the Unified Independence Coalition, they began a campaign to wrest its independence from the Empire. After demonstrating the seriousness of their intentions, through a series of what amounted to terrorist actions, the Empire was forced to listen to the UIC, the voice of the people. Knowing it was the only way to avert the bloody civil war that would follow this marked upsurge in terror attacks on the inner planets of the Empire, the Emperor agreed to grant limited autonomy to the UIC interests. But there were conditions. Under a provisional transition period that lasted a century, the assorted Coalition states could determine for themselves if independence suited them. After that period of transition, the UIC states could formalize their independence, or return to the arms of the Empire. Those constituent states opting for permanent independence would further agree to a non-expansion treaty in which UIC member interests would engage in no colonial expansion in the unclaimed territories for an additional century.

While nearly a third of the UIC states returned to the Empire within the century long transition, those who remained formalized their independence, organizing themselves as the Coalition of Allied States. However, multitudes of people have multitudes of dreams. While a majority of the Independent states remained unified, others, lead most vocally by a former Regency soldier named Ozkar Rheingold, decided to strike out on their own after Rheingold himself took control of the planet Dust in a swift military action. The provisional Coalition government met with Rheingold and others of similar temperament, and agreed that without a single unifying goal, the Coalition would always be plagued by factionalism and infighting. Since no unified vision could ever occur, these rogue states were encouraged to strike forth, traveling along the gate network and settling on the more sparse population centers, or carving out portions of space for themselves. The Coalition was born from those principles, and could not in good faith not honor its members rights to continue expressing them.

These independent groups resented the imposition of any formal, extra-regional authority and declared the region under their control a Freespace. Those who remained in the Coalition of Allied States set about strengthening their infrastructure, assessing their resources, and securing their own military might. Resource allocation proved to be the most trouble issue, as their growing population required more and more consumption of products and natural resources. A debate ensued over solving these problems by managing them on a local level, or by seeking to push beyond their borders to securing new, usable resources. One vocally expansionist faction claimed that resources would become strained to the breaking point – enough so that within two or three generations, said resources could be depleted critically. Unfortunately, people's fears too often color their decision making.

Thus, two ideologies formed a great schism in the Coalition – those who wanted to break the treaty with Empire, expanding to seize new resources, and those who steadfastly insisted that with proper management, the resource crisis could be averted, and a plan for sustainable, reusable resources could be implemented. In short order, a compromise was reached – Exploration, without Colonization. However, as initial reports from exploratory expeditions into the unclaimed territories seemed more and more promising, more and more people began adopting a pro-expansionist mentality. Everything changed when Imperial politics were tossed askew when the Emperor declared he was heading into protracted seclusion... for the first time in over two thousand years. The colonial minded expansionists saw their opportunity to violate the terms of their non-expansion treaty with the Empire while they were struggling with internal issues during the transition into the Regency authority.
Backed by several corporate interests (mostly the Media and Medical interests), the pro-expansionists were elected into majority control of the Coalition government. Their first action was to use new terraforming technologies on an old, failed colony world. Since this planet was not technically in the unclaimed territories, the government claimed boldly that they were not in violation of any prearranged accords. The re-terraforming of Twilight, abandoned after being considered too inhospitable for civilized life, took barely five years to complete. This striking success was just the beginning, spurring on a whole new colonial drive. When colony ships were outfitted, crewed, and set to be launched into the heart of the Frontier, the government’s minority factions were in an uproar. Enough was too much!

Only too willing to learn from the lessons of the past, the Coalition government split into two distinct political entities; the ruling government declared itself the Alliance of Colonial Nations, and the minority faction was given the name Coalition of Autonomous States. The new Alliance government retained control of four planets, unfortunately, the seats of most technological innovation as well as government and education – Core Alpha, its sister planet, Core Beta, newly re-terraformed Twilight, and the water-rich Oceana. The Coalition government was granted the sister planets of the Rakhan system (one strip-mined so badly half the planet was uninhabitable) , along with the criminal haven known as Harlinn’s World.

The Coalition government knew it was handed the short end of the stick, but resolved itself to make due with what it had. Instead of continuing to fight against the assorted criminal ventures -- indeed, some of the few profit generating organizations remaining in Coalition space -- the government granted them conditional amnesty. These criminal groups were to use their resources to oversee smaller localities, in short, acting as regional governors. Of course, this experiment met with mixed success, but the Coalition government saw little alternative to avoid total economic collapse. The government adopted a similar tactic with the remaining corporate interests, which proved disastrous when compared to the criminal ventures. With the rise of the Corporate Interzone within the bounds of the Freespace, many politically enfranchised Coalition corporate entities seized what they could from their localities and relocated into the Interzone. Thus, whole expanses of Coalition space were left lawless, and there was little the strained and struggling Coalition government could do in the short term. Their plan was a generational one, and what few resources they had were already allocated. Now was a time simply to wait.

The people of the Coalition are not without hope, though they have resigned themselves to the struggle and adversity of day to day life. Many people leave the Coalition for the Freespace, and from there, head to several other civilized (and less civilized) regions of space. The government has maintained an open gate travel policy with the Freespace gateways, despite their regular use by the pirate clans who prey on Coalition interests. Less harm is done with an open door; at least hiring armed escorts provides jobs to aid the Coalition economy.

General Reaction to other Factions:

“The Alliance called us brothers. The Alliance called us friends. Then the Alliance stopped calling us at all. Why? Because they’d already taken from us everything they had wanted.”

[The Regency]
“The Regency still supports us, like the Empire of old. Too bad it has taken trauma to teach the value of self control. We had much more to learn from them than we realized.”

[The Collective]
“Though they are as unified as we are fractured, The Collective still seems to miss the big picture. The pieces of a puzzle seem random, chaotic, yet each is integral to fashioning something wondrous and complete. Each small mote can be re-assimilated into a greater whole.”

“The Freespace is too much like us at times. Except that while they have even less, they appear all the more content.”

[Corporate Interzone]
“Many of our most innovative spirits have found their way into the Interzone. Perhaps too many…”

[The Frontier]
“A competitive playground for the desperate and hopeful (of which we are both), we have many colonists facing their futures in the Frontier. If only we could support them better.”

[Kokoran Union]
“The Kokorans have a strange perspective on the universe, once that is at once both so much simpler and infinitely more baroque than our own. We can’t help but admire their capacity to ignore anything that doesn’t suit them, but wonder how long such tactical blindness can be effective…”

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