The “Alliance” is the commonly-used term for the central government of the known Verse. It is also known by its more formal title, the Union of Allied Planets (UAP) or the Universal Alliance. Sometimes the older form of “Anglo-Sino Alliance” is also used.
The current form of the Alliance has its roots in the days of the original Exodus from “Earth-That-Was”. It is said that two of the most powerful entities of that long-lost world (the United States and China) formed an alliance to ensure their mutual survival. When, at last, the “Arks” encountered a system with worlds able to sustain terraforming, the first two worlds that were terraformed and settled were Londinium and Sihnon. The sharing of culture and government by the old Anglo-Sino Alliance became reflected in those of these first Core worlds, and thus all of the worlds of the system.
The government formed by the Anglo-Sino Alliance took an enlightened view of civilization. They worked to maintain order, but also encouraged diversity of language, ethnicity, religion, lifestyle, and expression of thought. However, humankind is ever restless, always looking for greener pastures. Pioneers left the crowded cities of these first worlds and traveled to the frontier, hoping to build a better life for themselves.
Union of Allied Planets
However, despite their best intentions and efforts, the old problems of all human societies did not go away with the formation of new worlds. Greed, corruption, crime, disagreement over limited resources, trade, and political influence all led to a general unrest among the planets. A movement began in the oldest, most stable planets to form a unified, parliamentary system of government through which to regulate trade, enforce laws, and keep the peace. The popular idea was quickly ratified and the Union of Allied Planets, or “The Alliance”, was formed.
The core of principle of the Alliance was an idealistic belief that a strong central government that guided every aspect of a person’s life, from cradle to grave, could provide that person a better, safer, more secure life. The originators of the Alliance truly believed in the ideal and dedicated their lives to bringing their vision to life.
The new government’s first acts were to quell the general unrest to which the Alliance was the response. The Parliament formed a military council that acted quickly to secure the Core worlds and maintain order. Maintaining order meant keeping a tight control on the more ungoverned populace, for the good of all.
The Core worlds were model children, accepting the precepts of the Alliance easily—even eagerly. Their enlightened populations directly saw the benefits of following the agenda with their peaceful societies enhanced with the latest advances in technology. The problem were the worlds in the so-called Border and Rim. These folks obstinately refused the to live within the precepts of civilized behavior. The lawlessness of the frontier simply allowed too many profits to be made by the various crime lords that preyed upon folks in that sector of space.
The lawless element of the frontier was declared a threat to civilization itself. For the benefit of all the people of the Verse, the Alliance decided that every planet in the system should come under Alliance rule. Only through strong control would civilization flourish and important resources be shared by all the disparate peoples of the Verse. This agenda became known as “Unification”.
Unrest and the Independents
The idealistic folk of the Core worlds were in complete agreement with the new agenda. Why wouldn’t everyone want to live in a safe, comfortable, and civilized world? The movement for Unification spread like wildfire through dry brush. The Parliament and other Alliance leaders truly believed that the attraction of new technology and peaceful living would be sufficient to get the cooperation of the more level-headed folk of the frontier.
Nevertheless, the leaders of the various outlying worlds that expressed concern over the initial formation of the UAP, now expressed outrage. They claimed that that the Alliance was trying to withhold needed supplies and materials to “extort” them into “slavery”. They claimed that the fledgling government cared more for the vast resources of the newly terraformed worlds than their people. When the proclamation that the Alliance intended to extend control over the entire system, the folks on the Border and Rim responded with a statement of unified, armed, resistance.
In response to the “encroachment” of the Alliance on the Rim and Border worlds, the anarchist elements that thrived in the darkness surrounding the outer planets banded together with the other criminal elements and formed a militia they called the Independent Faction. Members of the faction were soon referred to as " Browncoats " due to the style of brown duster their guerrillas took to wearing.
What began as a few isolated instances of resistance developed into what became knows as the “War for Unification” or the Unification War—the most devastating war in human history.
Hostilities raged over air, land, sea, and in the black for nearly five years. In that time thousands upon thousands of lives were lost. Worlds were devastated. Trade and commerce is still being affected by the disparity of resources caused by the conflict.
The war effectively ended after the decisive Alliance victory at the Battle of Serenity Valley on Hera. A final armistice was signed by the rebel leaders June of 2511, officially ending hostilities and settling the question of Unification.
The UAP is governed by a Parliament, whose laws are administered through a series of Ministries. Each Ministry is run by a Minister and the entire system is run by the chief executive, the Prime Minister. Londinium is the formal seat of the government and is home to the Parliament and Prime Minister.
Each planet in the Alliance has a planetary Governor to administer system-wide laws and policies. The Alliance has given guidelines on how such a person is elected, but out of respect for the sovereignty of each world policies vary from place to place. Some worlds are fairly ruled by honest folk. On others, local political machines or long-standing family dynasties rule. Local governments are free to be run as the locals see fit, so long as they answer to the Governor and comply with Alliance laws and policies. Thus, on some worlds you have nobility, others have elder councils, and some have little to no government at all.
Ministries of Government
The following is a list of the Ministries of Government for the Alliance:
- Ministry of Information (Intelligence, propaganda, records, etc.)
- Ministry of Ethics (Internal Affairs, Censors, etc.)
- Ministry of Justice (Law enforcement, courts, etc.)
- Ministry of Defense (Alliance military)
- Ministry of Transportation (Vehicle registration, etc.)
- Ministry of Commerce (Trade laws, tariffs, taxes, etc.)
- Ministry of Health (Disease control, public welfare, etc.)
- Ministry of Culture (Arts, endowments, etc.)
- Ministry of Planetary Development (terraforming, coloinization, etc.)
- Ministry of Science and Research (research, discovery, etc.)
Parliament is made up of two houses: The “Upper House” and the “Lower House”. The Upper House is made up of three (3) representatives from each world. These members are generally appointed by planetary Governors and are often either people of influence or experts in various fields. According to some, these seats can also be bought. Members of the Upper House are generally referred as “Chancellors”.
The Lower House is much larger, its representation based on the population of each member’s world. Anyone can stand for a seat in the Lower House and be voted in by the home folk. But the money required to run a campaign generally prevents the common man from ever winning a governmental position. To raise the necessary funds, one must make deals with businesses, guilds, and private interest groups. Members of the Lower House are usually referred to as “Delegates”.
Essentially, laws passed by one house must also be approved or ratified by the other, providing a system of checks and balances. Further, laws regarding commerce and taxation must originate in the Lower House.
As to voting, only those who are “full citizens of the Alliance” actually get a vote. Folk who fought in or supported the Independents are not considered “full citizens.” (After all, if they couldn’t be trusted to fight for the right side, how could they be trusted to vote for the right candidate?) Thus only candidates who support the Alliance are ever elected. That law is due to expire after ten years, though there are some on the Core worlds who are pushing for it to be extended.
Legislation can be presented from either House of Parliament—with the exception of laws regarding commerce or taxation, which must spring from the Lower House. Bills must be passed by both Houses before moving on to the Prime Minister to become law. Each House has their own rules regarding the level of majority needed to pass a bill, the procedures in place to present a bill, etc.
It is also rumored that the Parliament can call upon Operatives to perform certain “special projects” that normally fall outside their purview. The veracity of these rumors is open to debate.
Just about every town on every planet has some form of local law enforcement, be it sheriff or constable or the fastest gun in town. Sometimes its a man (or woman) with a tin star trying to keep things orderly and honest and sometimes its a gang of thugs who go around breaking kneecaps on the order of the Governor, magistrate, or some other official. Whatever form local law enforcement takes, their domain is primarily petty crimes and hooliganism.
More major crimes (felonies, for example) would be dealt with either Interpol (Interplanetary Police) or Federal Marshals. Both of these divisions work under the aegis of the Ministry of Justice to enforce Alliance laws. Interpol primarily deals with criminals who have fled local jurisdiction or with crimes outside local control—all such areas are considered under Alliance control. Interpol agents generally deal more with tracking suspects and investigating interplanetary crimes. Direct enforcement of Alliance law, as well as the pursuit of criminals across interplanetary borders, usually falls to the Marshals.
Federal Marshals (aka “Feds”) track down wanted criminals and/or bring to trial those who fail to answer a summons. They are also called upon to “keep the peace”—usually in whatever manner they see fit. Generally, Marshals are given a good deal of autonomy and can usually call upon a great deal of resources from the Ministry on their word alone. They often work alone or in small teams.
Essentially, Interpol is made up of investigators and detectives while Federal Marshals are primarily enforcers and trackers.
Local magistrates are determined according to regional law and/or custom. Federal Magistrates, who hear cases involving federal law, are appointed by the Prime Minister and approved by the Parliament. Justice is spread thin across the Verse so a system of “Circuit Magistrates” is in place, where some Federal Magistrates actually travel around their “circuit” or assigned region of the frontier to hear cases.
The strength of the Alliance military is the pride of the UAP. Massive cruisers the size of small cities patrol space, keeping a watch for smugglers, illegal salvage operations and pirates. No one in the system is willing to take on an Alliance cruiser, which has enough firepower to atomize most other spacecraft. Rumors that the military is stretched thin as the Verse expands are highly exaggerated.
The men and women who serve in the military are well-trained, disciplined, and are issued state-of-the-art firearms and body armor. However, like any other immense organization, the military has its share of blackguards, idiots, and scoundrels who can be bribed, bluffed, or fooled. And, yes, the occasional soldier might fall asleep on guard duty. But don’t count on it. Most troopers in the Alliance military are dedicated, smart, and know every trick in the book.
During the Unification War, the Alliance military were sometimes referred to as “purple bellies” by their adversaries due to the purple-tinted body armor they wore on their chests.
The Commander-in-Chief of Alliance military forces is the Prime Minister. However, the day-to-day command of all armed forces is overseen by the Ministry of Defense. It’s civilian head is the Minister of Defense (or the “Defense Minister”), who is appointed by the Prime Minister. The Defense Minister, who heads the Senior Defense Committee, determine military policies while the head of the Strategic Council (also appointed by the Prime Minister, but must be either a General or Admiral in rank) is in charge of strategic operations.
There are 3 branches of Alliance military service:
- The Interstellar Fleet (starship combat)
- The Army of the Alliance (ground forces)
- The Planetary Defense Corps (reserve service, local militia)
As a gesture of goodwill, all of those that served with the Independents were released and pardoned for their treasonous activities. However, it takes time to build trust and it is simply too soon to allow such influence to infect the noble cause of the Alliance. As such, Independents and their sympathizers are not counted as “full-citizens” of the Alliance, and are unable to vote in elections or hold public office. Reparations are being prepared for some of the communities lost in the conflict. Reconstruction is on-going and slow—but, with hard work and diligence, the Alliance will rebuild what was lost and, upon that foundation, create the most glorious society humankind as ever known.