The Unification War was a war fought by the Alliance and the Independent factions from 2506 to 2511. It is also known as the War for Unification and it was the most devastating war in human history. All those that lived through it are marked, like a scar left behind by an old wound.
The Alliance had begun as an idealistic belief that a strong central government could provide a person a more safe and secure life. Some folks believed in the ideals and dedicated their lives to bring about this reality. Others saw it as an opportunity to seize power.
The Alliance Parliament formed a military council that acted quickly to quell unrest within the Core. However, the government also began to see the more out-flung, largely self-governing worlds of the Border and the Rim as potential corruptors of the model Core worlds. Their very independence was a threat to civilization.
For their part, the outer planets saw themselves as abandoned by a government that had taken most of the system’s resources and technology and then had left them to fend for themselves. Folk living on these worlds had become self-governing and free-thinking; they had become self-reliant in order to survive.
For the benefit of all of the ‘Verse, the Alliance decided that every planet should come under Alliance rule—whether its people wanted it or not. Idealistic folk thought that this was a great idea—who wouldn’t want to live in safety and comfort on civilized world cared for by their betters?
While the Unification movement caught on in the Core and in parts of the Border like wildfire, many on the outer planets (including Hera, Persephone, and Shadow) formed their own Independent faction to combat the encroachment of the Alliance into their territories. This faction came to be called “Browncoats” due to the brown dusters the soldiers took to wearing at the time.
Hostilities occurred over the course of just over five years. It was the Battle of Serenity Valley that finally brought the conflict to an end, the seven week battle resulting in the surrender of the Independent High Command.
To this day, the official ending of hostilities is marked by Unification Day celebrations.
Even after Serenity Valley, some Browncoats continued to fight on for a few weeks. Those that were captured after the surrender were tried as war criminals. Ultimately, many of these soldiers were released by the Alliance as an act of conciliation to the those outer planets now under their rule.
Relatively little is known about the specifics of the war. For example, it is still unclear who actually began the armed conflict. Most of the battles were fought on the Border and on the Rim, leaving the Core largely unscathed. Some worlds, such as Shadow, were almost completely destroyed. Even worlds that were not devastated by the war suffered due to the disruption of trade.
It is known that battles were fought land, sea, and in the dark of space. Some battles of note include: