In the last days before Earth-that-was was finally rendered inhabitable, war broke out on the Eurasian continent. All nations were swiftly dragged, willingly and otherwise, into the clash over dwindling resources and land. The remnants of fossil fuels, virtually tapped out by industrialized countries, were left for poorer countries to squabble over while their richer neighbors delved into the exploration of other fuel sources.
The ever-violent Middle East, seeing their economic livelihood and political lever disappearing, drove oil prices up and increased the economic hardship of countries too poor to afford either the new technology or inflated fossil fuel prices. Riots and violence erupted again and again over basic human necessities and drained the still-reduced reserves and goodwill of their historical benefactors. One by one, neighboring countries and allies were pulled into the conflict, which lasted until the entire world appeared exhausted and broken. In the ashes of that conflict, two major political forces were left standing to pick up the pieces: the United States, the leader in innovative technology, and China, home to the largest population on earth.
Political systems were not the only ones broken by the war. Mother Nature herself seemed to grieve the carnage wrought by the weapons unleashed. Geologic instability, changing weather patterns, and the lingering after-affects of the war reduced habitable land and destroyed precious farmland. Contaminated run-off oozed back to lakes and oceans, killing marine life. Environmental changes caused the buildup of toxins in the atmosphere. The earth was dying.
But science was not. Desperate for solutions, China and the United States began working together. China supplied the funding that the United State’s scientists and engineers needed to rebuild and expand the space exploration programs that had been all but abandoned. Under this tone of desperate advancement, thinktanks based in research and development were born and flourished. They eventually evolved into full-fledged and self-sustainable corporations. Of these, Blue Sun found the most success, and it was they who finally presented viable terraforming technology. That, along with advancements in spaceflight technology, made the goal of life on other worlds obtainable.
With a long history of cooperation now behind them and experimental terraforming now underway, China and the United States signed a treaty outlining the division and governance of colony planets. China established Sihnon and the United States colonized Londinum. The AngloSino Alliance was eventually formed out of that treaty in order to provide protection, law, justice, and support to the burgeoning explosion of colony planets being settled by those escaping from Earth’s disintegrating ecosystem. Finally, in 2373, the earth was declared uninhabitable and fully abandoned. A few thousand people refused to leave and, presumably, faced their deaths there.
On the core planets, corporations, especially those that had invested in and benefited from the colonization movements, grew more and more powerful. Providing everything from transport ships to toothpaste, they became the true support system of both fledgling and established planets alike. Corporation Wars erupted between competing firms, with assassination as common a tool in the struggle for stock acquisition. In 2415, in response to pleas for a strong governmental system to bring these organizations into line, the Union of Allied Planets, was formed from the remnants of the AngloSino Alliance and expanded to include any planet that wished to join. Promising order and peace, their influence spread rapidly to other worlds eager for stability and prosperity.
The Alliance delivered on those promises, bringing civilization and stability to the known ‘verse. But not everyone was content with their methods. By the time Osiris joined in 2463, the faint grumblings of the disaffected were already beginning to stir. In 2503, a bill declaring all known space and any colonies created within it as Alliance territory was passed, prompting considerable protest from the border planets. In 2505, a group of colonists calling themselves Independents (or more colloquially, Browncoats) declared war against the Alliance, maintaining that each planet is sovereign unto itself.
The war raged for six years before the Alliance won the crucial battle of Serenity Valley and declared victory shortly after. They spent the next few years processing former Independents, releasing them when it was confirmed that they were no longer a threat. Now, the Alliance claims jurisdiction over all human settlements, although some planets on the outer rim may go years without seeing an Alliance officer. It is a delicate balance.
- Concerned about new fuel technologies, Middle Eastern countries unite to control oil prices. Prices nearly triple within the span of a year. Many fossil-fuel dependent countries are unable to afford oil, and they begin to experience complaints and localized riots as transportation shuts down, making supplies and food scarce.2086
- The third (and last) World War begins in full. Minor skirmishes with rebel groups have evolved into full-fledged war over land and resources. Political tensions run high. There is no such thing as a 'war zone' and 'the homefront.' In this new war, anything is considered fair game, and technology and ariable farmland is highly prized.2089
- After three years of world-wide fighting, China and the United States sign a treaty agreeing to a cease fire. They also agree to step in with their combined power to forcibly maintain peace where neccessary. Fighting halts, but the combination of chemical and biological weapons that have been wielded have left the earth in its death throes.2091
- A tsunami takes out most of the United State's eastern seaboard, while China experiences an unprecidented twelve volcanic eruptions in the space of six months. Melting polar ice caps, spreading desert regions, and the mass die-off of hundreds of lifeforms encourage the US and China to sign an agreement to agressively explore the possibility of off-planet colonization. The majority of the funds are Chinese, while the majority of scientists and supplies are American.2092
- The Blue Sun corporation is formed from one of the prevailing think-tanks. They soon lead the field in theoretical terraforming technology.2127
- Blue Sun announces a viable terraforming technology. Ships leave immediately for a planet thought to be hospitable. Terraforming commences.2157
- The terraforming experiment is declared a failure. Blue Sun assures earth's population that they have learned from their mistake, and a second project begins. This planet would become Londinum.2184
- China is nervous about the ever-increasing rate of natural disasters. It pressures Blue Sun to speed up its process. Blue Sun agrees to begin terraforming a second planet, Sihnon. Other corporations rush to catch up in the field.2308
- Londinum is declared fit for habitation. Settlers leave immediately, most from the United States.2312
- China, eager to colonize its own planet, signs an agreement with the United States that outlines the division and governance of colony planets.2314
- Sihnon is declared fit for human habitation. Settlers leave by the millions. Most are Asian. It has taken nearly two decades less to terraform Sihnon. Earth's remaining population, now dealing with apocolyptic-level weather swings and a technology-drain to the new colonies, finds hope in this fact. Several earth governments spend their last resources commissioning terraformed planets. Soon, Blue Sun is able to create habitable worlds in forty to fifty years, and several other corporations are marketing their own version of terraformation. 2373
- The earth is declared unfit for human habitation and is abandoned. A few thousand people refused to leave and, presumably, faced their deaths there.2382
- Corporation wars begin with the assassination of a leading VictoTech executive.2415
- Pleas for the formation of a strong governmental system to control corporate infighting lead to the creation of the Union of Allied Planets from the remnants of the AngloSino Alliance. It is expanded to include any planet that wished to join, and a roughly republic governmentary system is developed.2463
- The last core planet, Osiris, joins the Union of Allied Planets, now commonly called the Alliance.2503
- A bill is passed declaring all known space and any colonies created within it Alliance territory. Border planets begin to grumble. They claim that each planet is sovereign to itself.2505
- A group of colonists spanning several planets, both core and border, declare war against the Alliance. They maintain planetary sovereignty and call themselves Independents. They come to be known as Browncoats.2511
- The Alliance wins the key battle of Serenity Valley. (March) They declare victory over the Independents and maintain control over all colonized planets. Nominis Umbra is outfitted and sent into action. (July)2517
- The EP agents aboard Nominus Umbra are caught in a firefight that kills most of their crew and severely damages their ship. They are given leave, their ship is repaired, and new agents are assigned on board. Our story begins.
The AngloSino Alliance is the interstellar political body that governs colonized planets. As humans spread to the stars when Earth-that-was was in its last days, the two major political forces, the United States of America and China, merged in order to provide protection, law, justice, and support to the hundreds of worlds that were being terraformed and colonized. In 2505, a group of rebels called the Independents (or more colloquially, Browncoats) declared war against the Alliance, maintaining that each planet is sovereign unto itself. The war raged for six years before the Alliance won the crucial battle of Serenity Valley. The Alliance declared victory shortly after and spent the next few years processing former Independents, releasing them when it was confirmed that they were no longer a threat.
The Alliance is an extremely large, sometimes unwieldy republic. Representatives are chosen from each planet according to population, and they then provide a voice for their specific interests in the Allied Council, which alternates between headquarters on one of the moons of Londunim and Sihnon. The Allied Council then chooses from its members a Prime Minister, who then chooses a cabinet. The Prime Minister has veto power and considerable personal (if not political) weight when it comes to creating new legislation. He is the highest level of government. Members of the Allied Council serve four year terms, unless they have been tapped for service in the Cabinet. The Prime Minister and the Cabinet remain in place for 8 years, and may be reinstated at the end of their term if the Council so chooses.
The bureaucratic details of governing such a widespread and varied populace are often complicated and difficult to understand. In general, local governments report to planetary governments, who in turn report to the Allied Council. At times, this chain of command is overwritten where the Council deems it necessary. The Alliance Charter guarantees certain inalienable rights to all Alliance citizens. These rights include such things as basic education, access to suitable health care, the option to find employment, and the right to bring complaints before a fair and reasonable justice system.
The Alliance is both a political and military body. Alliance military acts a policing force that guarantees the rule of law, apprehends criminals, and provides support to planetary governments in times of crisis. Since the war with the Independents, they have also been forced to assume a role in enforcing the sovereignty of the Alliance and in watching former Independents who may prove problematic.