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  1. TalonOS
    North American Fleet Operations Section 4
    Annapolis, Virginia
    November, 25th 2380

    Commandant of the Fleet Lautner, Jarrod A.


    Section 4 reports Operation Blacksteel mission contact excessively tardy. Last known contact indicates extra-vehicular activity at 0826, November 15th, last known telemetry at 0845. Redacted telemetry data follows:

    0348\\code 91 priority urgent, containment compromised
    0432\\burst transmission received, codex loaded
    0551\\computer access: Lt. Ming, Samantha J.
    0701\\code 91 priority urgent, containment compromised
    0826\\EVA initiated: Lt. Ming, Samantha J., Lt. Powers, Leonard H. supervising
    0840\\ion engine 6 shutdown
    0843\\WARNING excessive G, corrective burn initiated
    0843\\MASTER ALARM catastrophic engine failure!!!
    0844\\MASTER ALARM fuel decompression!!!
    0844\\MASTER ALARM cabin pressure compromised, fore bulkheads sealed!!!
    0844\\MASTER ALARM gimble lock!!!
    0845\\MASTER ALARM --- ABANDON nut-Pa«B„ƒu~þ•Wñ•UsÖ¥’«ç§×jáír}åò
    ---Telemetry lost---
  2. Project Olympia launches in the waning days of the 21st century concluding the TerraCom War of 2081, when the United Commonwealth begins terraforming the surface of Mars. Under Commonwealth supervision the planet is bombarded with payloads of genetically engineered algae courtesy of Xenogen geneticists. In a matter of decades the surface changes dramatically as green specs grow to vast green splotches until virtually the entire surface is covered in a photosynthetic membrane engineered to double as a food-stuff.

    The success of Project Olympia did not go unnoticed by the Commonwealth’s political rival, the Global Armistice Resolution and its member states, which view the space faring member corporations of the Commonwealth to be an existential threat. Tensions between the two powers rise in tandem with escalating terraforming efforts.

    When UComm announces the launch of Operation Aquavalence in 2160—a mission intent on diverting a passing comet to siphon water into the Martian atmosphere—the GAR severs all diplomatic contact. To the earthbound governments of the world—who rely on food and water as leverage against the spacebound yet technologically superior United Commonwealth—their growing ecological independence is an outright act of war.

    Aquavalence—like the entirety of Project Olympia—is an outstanding success. Water-ice siphoned from the previously uncataloged comet gives the Martian atmosphere a significant boost in bulk and consequently greater greenhouse capacity. As the surface temperature stabilizes carbon trapped in the poles sublimates enough to support complex plant life while small seas coalesce along the planet’s temperate zones. It is at this point Project Olympia becomes Olympia Colony which quickly grows to the major population center Olympia Prime.

    In two centuries the United Commonwealth has turned the red planet very green and the GAR can do nothing to prevent the ensuing exodus. Earthbound governments quickly watch their strangle hold on resources go slack and their political authority evaporate. Compounding the collapse of the global economy the GAR impotently launches a first strike against UComm space platforms in 2165 which simply withdraw to higher orbits.

    The global coalition is left isolated with dwindling resources on a world straining to support an ever growing human population, and addressing the population issue draconian population controls are implemented which culminate in the forced sterilization of all newborn females. Despite efforts at strict enforcement, the government—faced with the realities of poverty, unequal distribution of infrastructure, resources, and management—retracts the policy, opting instead to preserve itself allowing nature to run its course. To the horror of UComm observers plague and starvation ravage the populace unabated.

    At the height of human suffering the United Commonwealth makes a plea to the disintegrating states of Earth. It is agreed beneficial to both powers to permit open emigration of Terran refugees to Olympia Prime and its outlying settlements on Mars.

    With Commonwealth assistance the GAR begins constructing colony ships in low-Earth orbit, and the Global Coalition Ship (GCS) Salvation is the first to receive a full crew compliment with shuttles of refugees. Behind the Salvation are the GCS Mason Grey, GCS Pilgrim, GCS Riley, GCS Guttenberg, and the GCS Darwin, followed by countless others.
  3. GAR authority was never homogeneous, however. Much of the current century has been dominated by numerous challenges to GAR supremacy. Nationalism has made resurgence in the world, with populations—particularly on the African continent—carving out their own republics in defiance of the planetary government. The GAR credits itself for uniting the human race half way through the 22nd century, but despite this claim war rages once again on the Earth.

    Despite its shortcomings, the GAR has managed to keep some semblance of democracy. The planetary government consists of four branches: A tricameral legislature, parliamentary executive, judiciary, and independent military.

    The legislature is built around a popularly elected lower house called the National Committee, consisting of 1,000 committee members apportioned to each member state according to economic stature, and an upper house called the Coalition Senate with senators seated by the governments of the various member states. Beside these two houses is the Military Council whose membership is determined by the Terran Fleet. Only commissioned officers may vote for council members in a highly secretive ballot, and those votes are weighted by rank with the President at the top.

    The executive branch consists of the Coalition President and his administration, department heads, cabinet, and chiefs of staff who are all members of the Executive Committee. The President is determined in parliamentary fashion by the National Committee, and although any National Committee member may run for President the position defaults to the leader of the majority party. Once elected the President serves for ten years regardless of the party hierarchy.

    The President expresses unlimited power to direct the executive departments as established by the congress. The President’s powers include, but are not limited to: the cast of a command ballot in the Military Council, the unilateral appointment and termination of all personnel within the government including the Executive Committee, command of the Palace Guard, and unenumerated powers to direct the government by executive order. The President’s war and police powers are directly checked by Military Council and Terran Fleet, who make most if not all military decisions.

    The Terran Fleet represents the combined military might of Earth and is the independent military wing of the GAR tasked with maintaining global security. The Fleet expresses its mission with a broad brush, interpreting global security to mean everything from threats to regional stability to simple issues of trade. The Terran Fleet began as the Coalition Navy, and as its name implies the Coalition Navy was a blue-water navy comprised of thousands of surface ships and submarines with capabilities and missions ranging from nuclear threat management, humanitarian aid, naval and land based aviation, amphibious assault, to covert operations. During the 22nd century the Coalition Navy began taking over abandoned Commonwealth space platforms and assumed orbital operations from the defunct Coalition Space Administration, and in 2134 was renamed the Terran Fleet.

    The judicial branch of the GAR is the Supreme Court of the Coalition which seats thirteen Grand Justices by appointment of the Coalition Senate who preside with life tenure over a global system of regional appeals courts. Below the regional courts are the small district courts of original jurisdiction and other intermediate appeals courts established as case load requires.
  4. These are some notes I've compiled over the past few months. The title of the fiction is preliminary, but if anyone wants to add some feedback feel free. Continuity issues are addressed in manuscript--which I will share excerpts when I qualify.

    It all began with humanity’s first steps. When the first seed is planted, mankind is doomed. Agriculture demands land; land produces food; food grows the population; the population demands more land. Empire, therefore, is an extension of this simple feedback loop: Growth, acquisition, power. War is inevitable, and from the conflict emerges a single minded group of individuals: the body politic. Seeking security and the promise of plenty, people flock to the new power. Thus does agriculture give birth to the State. The State prospers; it conquers; it grows. Its people secure in their persons and possessions seek their own prosperity, and the State encourages and taxes them, subsidizes their commerce, and gives them currency with which to trade. Thus does the State give birth to Enterprise, and for a time it is good. State and Enterprise, a symbiosis of tax and trade ensuring the security and revenue of both, but as agriculture demands land, so too does Enterprise demand goods and services. Above all, however, Enterprise demands people, and so agriculture grows the population, the population grows the State, and the State cultures Enterprise to new heights of power.

    As the State wars with other states alliances are forged. Some alliances become States in of themselves, and eventually nations. Out of this geopolitical cauldron emerges the Federated Americas in the West, and the Russo-Chinese Empire in the East. Yet, the marriage of State and Enterprise festers under the looming burden of empire. Empire must be maintained, for Agriculture demands more land as resources become scarce and war becomes progressively more expensive. More is demanded of Enterprise for the cause of the State, and the State has less for the subsidy of Enterprise. Thus does Enterprise begin to question the State, for what the State can secure Enterprise can produce.

    After mankind takes its first hesitant steps into the sky, the State judges space exploration untenable, its orthodoxy of acquisition, compounded by vexing paranoia, demands attention to other states and their machinations. In this Enterprise sees opportunity, for in the stars are new resources to exploit for a race rapidly outgrowing its homeworld. The time had come for divorce, and after careful planning it is agreed between the titans of enterprise the first to act is TerraCom, using its consolidated global network to blind the earthbound governments to the impending schism.

    Historians disagree on the precise order of events, but we know sometime in the 21st century TerraCom is preempted by the Federated Americas. Federation forces nationalize TerraCom assets all over the Western hemisphere, while the Empire watches carefully. TerraCom’s retaliation is swift. The potent missile defenses of the world’s super-powers maintain a long standing nuclear stalemate. TerraCom electronic warfare and anti-satellite assets rapidly dismantle the Federation North Pacific Shield Net (NorPAS), opening a widening chasm through which the Empire launches a salvo of thermonuclear warheads. The North American Pacific coast is nearly vaporized in the assault, turning Federation attentions to the more tactile threat.

    TerraCom declares its sovereignty in 2081. Months later, on October 28th, 2081, The Russo-Chinese Empire officially recognizes the first commercial-state, and the call goes out immediately for a commercial defense coalition. In honor of its late CEO, Hideo Tokashi, TerraCom establishes the Tokashi Commonwealth, drafting a contract-constitution establishing the Tokashi Doctrine: the forced integration of select commercial enterprises. At first, otherwise private corporations willingly apply for membership. Telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, and resource extraction are the big three: SAPCO (South American Polar Natural Gas Inc.), Bowman Energy (energy extraction: coal), Xinhua Chang and Sons (mineral extraction: borax, bauxite, iron ore, uranium, other assorted metals), DeBeers (mineral extraction: diamonds), and their subsidiaries merge to form The Terrex Conglomerate. Valera Chemical, Dex Pharmaceuticals, and Matheson-Darbey BioEngineering merge into Xenogen.

    As the American Federation and the Empire plunge into a prolonged global war, the Tokashi Commonwealth begins covertly arming both sides of the conflict while further diversifying itself into aerospace and armaments. The global Tokashi stratagem is to arm both powers into a forced peace, and after eight years of combat the two adversaries realize the stalemate and their common foe, but it is too late. With alarming speed the Commonwealth had come to construct heavily fortified space platforms, and the Federation’s response—true to form—is to launch orbital-trajectory ICBMs, only to find Commonwealth point-defenses held by overlapping laser batteries.

    The Russo-Chinese, recognizing extraordinary opportunity, are the first to open substantive dialogue, but their requests are rebuffed; the Tokashi Doctrine declares all earthbound governments to be de facto states. Outraged, the Empire extends a ceasefire agreement to the Federation, who accepts and offers an armistice proposal. Treaties are drafted, and the TerraCom War of 2081 is concluded with the Global Armistice Resolution of 2090 establishing the GAR Coalition, which all respective satellite states—virtually the rest of the world—are compelled to recognize. At the same time TerraCom integrates the newly established megacorporations Terrex and Xenogen, and the Tokashi Commonwealth becomes the United Commonwealth.