A Brief History of the Planetary Alliances and Galactic Wars

Beta Prime, Thomas Sullivan’s current home world, is a member of the Interplanetary Alliance. As humanity spread onto planets, moons, asteroids and other place it could find to inhabit, the first governmental organization created was the Interplanetary Alliance. Still expanding and growing, the current number of worlds in the Alliance is over 1,000.     

English is the standard language on Alliance worlds (Please Note: for the Alliance’s purposes, any body inhabited by humans who desires membership in the Alliance is referred to as a world, regardless of whether it is a planet, moon, asteroid of something else of a permanent and relatively stationary nature.). American and/or British interests colonized the initial worlds making up the Alliance. 

Independent colonized worlds as well as those colonized by other groups from Earth often petitioned, for a variety of reasons, to join the Alliance. It would seem there is still safety in numbers. 

Humans, given their nature and proclivity for conflict, can’t seem to stand prosperity, on Earth or anywhere else. As quickly as the Alliance spread through the galaxies, so did the desire of others to have their own empire. 

Nearly a hundred years into the peaceful colonization of space, war broke out. Powerful independent worlds, settled primarily by individuals who emigrated from former statist (communist or socialist) nations on Earth, banded together and launched a massive, coordinated and well-planned surprise attack on Alliance worlds. Calling itself the Confederation, the initial years of the war went well for the upstarts, allowing the Confederation, often called the Confeds, to seize Alliance worlds rich in resources and large populations.

After five decades of bloody warfare that destroyed over one hundred planets and cost billions of lives, a tentative peace broke out. Not because of a culminating victory by one side or the other, but rather simple exhaustion the First Intergalactic War ground to an end. 

Just one decade later, the Caliphate, worlds colonized by nations from the Middle East on Earth, launched another surprise attack against the Alliance. Motivated by religion and a need for critical resources, the Caliphate fought with near suicidal intensity. 

Weakened by decades of war with the Confeds, the Alliance shed more worlds, this time to the Caliphate. Suing for peace after a decade of war, the Alliance was forced to agree to not expand into space claimed by the Caliphate and to cede the conquered worlds as well, bringing to an end the Second Intergalactic War.

Emboldened by its success against the Alliance, the Caliphate launched another bloody war against the Confederation. Weakened from the two wars, the Alliance quietly remained neutral, allowing the two upstart empires to fight the bloodiest intergalactic war yet in human history. 

While the Third Intergalactic War raged, the Alliance focused on strengthening its border defenses and expanding into “safe” galaxies as quickly as possible. Border skirmishes became common as the Alliance opportunistically hit both Confed and Caliphate targets during the eighty years the war lasted. 

Wishing to avoid being drawn into the massive wars between the three empires, many of the newer colonies made the mistake of remaining independent. As the number of Independents grew, they, like the Empires, grew greedy for power and wealth. The stronger of the Independents, emboldened by the weakened state of the Empires due to their constant bloodletting, waged war on other smaller, weaker Independents. 

Lasting for nearly one hundred years, these smaller, though equally intense, wars were collectively referred to as the Acquisition Wars. The constant struggle of the Independents, combined with a refusal to form alliances of any size as well as betrayal of the few alliances that did form, gave the Empires time to heal from their bloody wars. 

Humanity, exhausted by centuries of warfare, focused on peaceful coexistence. Known as the Great Peace, this period of human history lasted over a century. Nothing, as they say, whoever “they” might be, lasts forever and so it was the Great Peace ended in bloody warfare. 

For a second time, war broke out between the Confederation and the Caliphate. Independents entered the war, fighting opportunistically to gain new territory and planets from the deadlocked Empires. Crime, corruption and piracy became common during this five-decade long series of wars in which all three Empires and most of the Independents fought at one time or another, often changing sides. 

Known as the Expansion Wars, all sides, desperate for peace and an end to the chaos, resorted to the use of clones. The technology was not stable, resulting in entire units of psychotic soldiers who turned on their masters as well as any other group of humans they encountered. 

Like the other wars, exhaustion, and the use of clones, played a key role in the end of the Expansion Wars. The Alliance, who had not used clones except in small numbers, had focused on conquering the most troublesome of the Independents, growing its size and resources by focusing on defeating enemies who had no chance for victory. 

Suffering massive losses and having lost control of a significant portion of their military because of the use of clones, the Confederation and Caliphate both suffered massive, losses of a punitive nature at the hands of the Alliance. 

The Treaty of Kendall II brought an end to the bloodiest of humanity’s wars to date in space. Also signed at the Kendall Peace Conference was the Anti-Cloning Treaty, the violation of which was almost certain to draw the other Empires and the remaining Independents into war against the Empire developing clones. 

Peace allowed the Alliance, who had not suffered nearly to the extremes the other two Empires and the remaining Independents had, to again focus on expanding into other galaxies, further strengthening itself. 

Beta Prime, on the edges of Alliance Space, is not just another newly colonized Alliance planet. Though rich in resources, Beta Prime is of great strategic value to the Alliance because of its location on key trade routes.

As a center for trade in that part of the galaxy, Beta Prime serves as a conduit of goods, services and raw materials to the new Independents. On the border of known space in that portion of the galaxy, these Independents are known as Rim Worlds. Smuggling is a common activity for these struggling planets, often crippled by embargoes designed to prevent them from becoming a military threat to the Alliance.

During the “so-called” years of peace following the Expansion Wars, the Alliance often fought wars of pacification to prevent planets from breaking away and gaining their independence. When the opportunity presented itself, the Alliance often intervened in civil wars on Independents, the result of which was a crushing of both sides and the addition of a new member world to the Alliance. 

Criticized by some in the Alliance as wars of imperialism, the motive for most of the leadership of the Alliance was to increase its numbers and gain key strategic bases, all in an effort to prevent another intergalactic war. 

It was during one of these “pacification conflicts,” also sometimes referred to as “police actions,” that Sullivan was injured in the incident that ended his service in the Space Marines as an officer in the Shore Patrol, the military law enforcement arm of the Navy and Space Marines.

The Thomas Sullivan Chronicles and Other Stories