History and Origins
As people began expanding out into the Black, establishing colonies on the far-flung, newly terraformed worlds of the known Verse, a movement began in the Core worlds to form a unified, parliamentary form of government to maintain order and protect their so-called “enlightened society”. This movement gained momentum and the Union of Allied Planets (or the Alliance) was born.
This new government hit the ground running. First things first: the Parliament formed a military council that acted quickly to “secure” the Core worlds—what they really wanted was to quell any unrest among their neighbors. Maintaining order meant keeping a tight control on the populace, for their own good, of course. Some folks suspect that many secret programs were born during this period, programs designed to make people “better” (i.e. complacent, obedient, compliant).
Of course, they still had a problem: if the Core worlds were model children, the Alliance feared the influence of those “bad seeds” that lived on the wrong side of the Verse. The worlds in the Border and Rim were largely self-governing and outside the limits of Alliance control. These folks, by necessity, were self-reliant and free-thinking—they had to be to survive out on the raggedy edge. They simply saw no need for a lot of government meddling. This kind of attitude is simply not conducive to their ideal of a “better Verse for everyone”.
Such independent thinking was treated as a threat to civilization itself. Of course, they didn’t really talk about the fact that many of these worlds also possessed a lot of valuable resources that would continue to lay out of the Alliance’s reach. Finally the government had had enough: for the benefit of all the people of the Verse, the Parliament decided that every planet in the system should come under Alliance rule—whether its people wanted it or not. This agenda became known as “Unification”.
Unrest and the Independents
The Parliament and other Alliance leaders truly believed that they only had to open their arms in a wide embrace and those poor, benighted souls on the Rim would come running, attracted by the comforts of new technology and peaceful living. They had no notion of the wo hu chung long they had awakened.
While the leaders of the various frontier worlds expressed concern over the initial formation of the UAP, most folk felt that it wouldn’t affect them—it was " Core business". They were concerned with far more mundane troubles: shortages of food and medical supplies; the ‘quirks’ that manifested in recently terraformed worlds; pirates, bandits, and the doings of various naughty men that sought easy profit in the frontier. It wasn’t until the proclamation that the Alliance intended to extend control over the entire system that folks on the Border and Rim woke up and smelled the tea leaves. They came together to present a unified front of resistance: the Independent movement was born.
In response to the encroachment of the Alliance on the Rim and Border worlds, the outer planets (including Shadow, Persephone, and Hera) mustered forces and formed an alliance of their own—the Independent Faction. Volunteers stepped forward from all over the frontier to defend their homes from the growing Alliance. Members of the faction were soon referred to as " Browncoats " due to the style of brown duster their soldiers 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. To this day, Shadow is still uninhabitable. 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 Independent High Command in June of 2511, officially ending hostilities and, at least on paper, settling the question of Unification.
The Independent movement began as an idea. This idea spawned independent pockets of resistance throughout the frontier. As hostilities escalated into full-scale war, Unification War, the movement had to become more organized to compete against the superior numbers, technology, and resources of the Alliance.
Several successful and influential guerrilla leaders met on Liberty Station, in orbit of Shadow, to form an Independent High Command from which to monitor and devise long-range strategies for their disparate forces. Further, while the movement had no shortage of volunteers, steps had to be taken to ensure that all able-bodied soldiers were given training in basic military discipline and combat techniques before being sent out to fight. The IHC also organized clandestine munitions runs and manufacture throughout the The Rim and Border worlds.
The IHC was primarily a military organization. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, there were no plans or contingencies made for the formation of a government once hostilities ceased. For the Independent faction, that was the entire point: each planet could govern themselves the way they saw fit.
The organization of the Independent forces was based largely on various military traditions from Earth-That-Was. There were essentially three branches to the Independent military structure:
- Independent Navy (starship combat)
- Independent Ground Forces (ground combat)
- Independent Marine Corps. (shock troops, ship-board combat)
Individual soldiers were all considered members of the Independent Faction, or Independent Forces. Some even moved from one branch to the other as needed.
The IHC created strategic policies and delegated their implementation to the Generals and Admirals of the branches.
There is still a lot of bitterness between folks over the War. Those that served with the Independents, as well as their sympathizers, are not counted as “full-citizens” of the Alliance, though they were pardoned for their “treasonous activities”. Reparations have still not been paid to the communities that were blown asunder. Reconstruction is on-going and slow—too slow to some people’s minds. The spirit of the Browncoats is gone, but not forgotten. People rebel in little ways everyday, just trying to live their lives in peace without being controlled or told the “right” way to live.
The War is over but the scars remain.