by Max Barry

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Free Alliance of Sentient Intelligences

The Free Alliance of Sentient Intelligences (FASI)


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Motto: 'Expansion Through Unity'


Link
Systems map
click to enlarge


Population: ~70 billion


Capital: Borkan Orbital
Largest City: Kalliopi


Official Language: Fasian



Demonym: Fasian

Government:
- President:
- Vice President:
- Speaker of the House:


Legislature:
- Upper House:
- Lower House:


Establishment: from (INSERT OTHER NATION)
Independence: INSERT FOUNDING DATE


GDP (nominal):
GDP (nominal) per capita:


Currency:



Free Alliance of Sentient Intelligences

The Free Alliance of Sentient Intelligences, commonly called FASI, is a Class V, Tier IV, democratic cooperative in the remote south-east of the Axiom super-cluster. FASI claims a binary system, with 2 main sequence stars, 23 planets and moons, and has an estimated population of 70 billion free intelligences. FASI currently comprises of 12 distinct species across 9 populated planets and moons.

FASI is constantly seeking to expand and take in new races and systems; it firmly believes that only through cooperation will adversity be overcome. If that cooperation has to be forced, then so be it, the greater good must be followed.

The standard way to refer to a citizen of FASI is as a "Fasian."

History

The initial beginnings of FASI were with the original cooperative efforts between the karjar, widely considered to be the 'founders' of FASI, and the galf, the first species with whom the karjar contacted. The semi-religious nature of karjar efforts towards collaboration are the driving force behind the alliance, but it is the acknowledged benefits being part of the group brings that holds it together. Due to the dominance of the karjar, and their initial work in creating a framework for the alliance, FASI uses standardised timeframes build on karjar standards.

Karjar year dating, After Alliance, or AA, starts from when the pre-industrial karjar tribes gathered and established the Grand Alliance in the aftermath of the Water Wars. Useable water sources on Frum were few and far between and almost non-existent around the equatorial belt, forming a barrier between the north and south halves of the single continent. Conflict between tribes for water sources were common, but it was the coalescing of the karjar into two rival confederations that ultimately led to larger wars. It is not recorded who began it, but soon the deliberate poisoning of water sources to prevent their capture or use by a rival tribe became a valid war-time tactic, common enough that access to open ground water became rare. Karjar academics discovered that this poisoning was seeping into the aquifers and groundwater and spreading to uncontaminated sources. With most of the northern half of the world now entirely uninhabitable, a truce was called and an agreement made to protect and preserve the remaining water resources, eventually leading into a global alliance of tribes. This agreement led global peace and subsequent advances in technology, with karjar rockets reaching orbit almost five hundred years later in AA 478.

In AA 503, the first probes were launched to all the terrestrial worlds of the system, perhaps most importantly to Bepim. On Bepim, the karjar discovered another sentient species, the galf, and initial contact was made with a radio beacon in AA 506. The galf were not unified like the karjar, but displayed a far greater aptitude and methodology towards science and technology. Until now, karjar advancement had been, whilst relatively rapid, piecemeal and haphazard, discoveries obtained more through blind luck than any organised effort. The global nature of karjar society had enabled the transfer of knowledge quickly however, leading to collaborative efforts the galf rarely engaged in, until now. With karjar influence and technological knowledge, the galf advanced quickly through their industrial revolution and soon primitive space craft were travelling between the two worlds.

Probes that had landed on Sadfi had, up until now, failed to contact the sentient species of that world, so the karjar had seen the more distant planet as a target for exploration, but not as high as a priority as Bepim. In AA 546 the first manned mission to Sadif discovered that the world did indeed have intelligent life, just far less advanced than the galf had been and far more disparate and tribal. A concerted and sustained effort by the karjar managed to unite the various maktakil tribes, mainly by denying the flying creatures with advanced technologies until their unification was complete. With the acceptance of the maktakil into the growing alliance, they quickly embedded themselves into the infrastructure as peerless pilots and navigators.

Fusion power was invented in AA 623 and the need for large supplies of hydrogen led to attempts to mine the gas giant of Tulan. Reaching these outer parts of the system was still difficult and dangerous and it was hoped that automated mining facilities would open up the outer system, in particularly the promising worlds of Pasendi and Qilan which had great promise for discovering more life. Initial mining attempts were successful and engineers began to expand the process, only for more and more mining vessels to disappear within the clouds of Tulan. A thorough investigation in AA 635 revealed that the automated ships were being destroyed by another intelligent species, the lompec, as the ships were killing many of the fragile creatures the lompec farmed for food and materials. A method to make contact was eventually developed, although proper communications would still be several decades away. Mining shifted to the second of the system's gas giant, although not before a thorough search of the planet had been made for life.

Whilst life had been discovered in under-ice oceans on Tulan's second moon, Pasendi, it was regarded as non-sentient. However, due to the delicate nature of the ecosystem, access to the moon was restricted, with minimal research allowed. The Talik were originally thought to be non-sentient, although remarkably intelligent regardless; captured specimens were able to recognise their reflection and have simple communications with others, similar to Terran dolphins or great apes. However, ten years after initial discovery, in AA 651, a number of captured Talik were placed in the same enclosure. They gathered together and linked their nervous systems, elevating the intelligence of the combined whole which then requested to be freed. This remarkable discovery changed the perception of the talik and further exploration of the under-ice seas revealed a worldwide sentient civilisation hereto undiscovered, made up of individual talik organisms grouped into larger, more intelligent combinations. First contact was understandably frosty, but the talik accepted the misunderstanding and agreed to join with the wider alliance.

The crystalline structures on Qilan were discovered to be sentient and capable of communication in AA 664, when researchers used a form of resonance to probe the crystal lattices and received what could only be described as a 'reply'. Progress on establishing communication soon followed and the hapnoi joined the growing assemblage of intelligent beings revealing that the methane lakes and oceans of Qilan housed another intelligent species, the xamb. The xamb had initially been wary of making contact, but were encouraged to do so by the hapnoi, with whom they had be able to 'talk' to for a long time. After dropping their initial reticence, the xamb whole-heartedly embraced the system's politics, actively contributing to the structure of the emerging meta-government.

With the entirety of the primary system now explored, and no more life found, FASI (as it was now being called) had seemed to hit its zenith but the karjar were not happy with these apparent limits. Slower-than-light probes, using powerful fusion engines capable of reaching 0.01c, were sent out to the system around the secondary star, Weki, with the first reports coming back twenty years later and revealing the presence of habitable, life-filled worlds. It wasn't until the invention of the Slipstream Drive that properly enabled travel to other systems. A ship equipped with a Slipstream drive generates a bubble that leaves a 'trail' behind it, about ten times as long as the bubble is wide. Other ships can piggy-back into the slipstream and be carried along. Early drives achieved little more than light-speed, but recent developments have raised that to 8 times c, with a bubble about 100 meters in diameter.

Weki was revealed to be another cornucopia of life, just like Dahl. In AA 732, first contact was made on Eyon, a low-G warm terrestrial world, and Ownel, a high-G cold terrestrial world. On Eyon, FASI was almost immediately forced to step in to prevent a genocide by the planet's most dominant species, an aggressive herbivore called the Kalooli, against a much smaller, flying species known as the Ealaqi. The Kalooli believed that the planet wasn't resource-rich enough to sustain two large emerging civilisations; this and a ethno-pure religion had driven them to launch their crusade. The Ealaqi had retreated to the mountain-top forests of their world, where the Kalooli had difficulty reaching them. The technology level on the planet was thankfully, pre-industrial, and FASI was able to broker a deal where the Kalooli were granted access to space-faring technologies far earlier than usual, in exchange for halting their genocidal crusade and becoming signatories to FASI Federal law. With the limitations of being planet-bound gone, the old religion soon faded away and, whilst still displaying the aggressive tendencies that had protected them from the predators on their world, the Kalooli were no longer considered as violent. The Ealaqi were thankful to be saved and threw themselves whole-heartedly into FASI, finding kin-ship with the Maktakil.

On Ownel, the dominant sentient species there, the Balonir, were almost on the cusp of their own emergence as a space-faring civilisation. Their progression from pre-historic semi-sentience to advanced civilisation had been rapid, barely two thousand Terran years, due to the existence of large monoliths spread across their planet. These monoliths had been left by a now extinct species that had lived on Ownel several thousand years ago, and had reached technology levels comparable to that of FASI. The cause of their disappearance was unknown, but it is hypothesised that whatever the cause of their extinction, they knew about it in advance had had genetically tailored the Balonir's ancestors to survive it, leaving behind the monoliths containing all their collective knowledge. It took a while for the Balonir to translate the monoliths, but once accomplished, their progression was rapid. As such, they adapted well to the existence of FASI and their more advanced technologies. They had been aware of the species on Eyon for some time, but had decided on a policy of non-intervention, should they ever reach the point of contact. Whilst they found the expansionist and interventionist policies of the Karjar uncomfortable, they submitted to federal FASI law and soon became important and inclusive members of the alliance. In particular, the physical and mental traits that made Balonir so successful on their home world lent them to quickly becoming invaluable in all aspects of FASI.

Further exploration of the Weki system also revealed the Molkin, who were almost classified as a plant-like species, until researchers discovered they communicated using sophisticated pheromone and ultra-sonic techniques and had, in effect, a planet-wide collective intelligence. Taken off-world, Molkin retained their intelligence but lost their connection to the World Mind, as they termed it. On return, their newly obtained knowledge was disseminated into the World Mind; if you've met one Molkin, you've met them all.

The final species to be recognised so far in FASI was not discovered, but rather created and eventually emerged as a fully acknowledged member. Artificial intelligence had been an important technology in FASI for a couple of centuries, with pre-sentient AI's handling a lot of important work for the alliance. As the networks expanded, and technology levels improved, it was only a matter of time before the system attained a level of sentience that the organic species quickly recognised in AA 754. It was and still is, a matter of some debate that the Digalic intelligence is one single entity, with multiple sub-programs and routines, or a collective intelligence like the Molkin, who have a shared memory. Whatever the truth, the Digalic negotiated and received its own place within FASI, with as many rights and privileges as any of the other species. It was the Digalic who created the Harmony translators; an implantable device that translates each species' own unique form of communication into a form understandable by any of the others.

With the binary system now fully explored, the current year is AA 779, and FASI is sending out its first ships into the darkness of true interstellar space. Snippets of communications have been received, so it is known the cluster is inhabited, but it will be some time yet before FASI learns its place in the grand scheme of things.

Geography

Of the 15 planets and 9 moons of appreciable size in the binary system, 8 have indigenous life on them and a further 2 have been colonised since, with terraforming efforts taking place on 1 of those. All of the indigenously inhabited planets show some level of development, although the scale varies with both the importance of the world to the alliance, and its capacity to take in more than its native species. The most important world is Frum, home to the Karjar and location of the FASI capital, Borkan Orbital. The environmental damage of the water wars of almost 800 years ago have been largely repaired, and the planet is considered beautiful, if not desolate and only marginally habitable to the majority of FASI's citizens. The most populated planet is Pasendi, although the many billions that inhabit the under-ice cities are only semi-sentient and the actual number of combined Talik is only a fraction of this.

Planetary Details

Note: the gas giant, Tulan, and the two methane worlds of Qilan and Waken do not have maps; their geography does not follow 'traditional' lines.

Frum


Distance from sun (AU): 1.19 | Mean radius (km): 7,008 | Gravity: 0.62 | Day length (Terran hours): 15.8 | Year length (days): 448.58 Terran / 681.4 Frum
Total population: 6 billion | Capital City (and population): Lavin (81 million)

Frum is dominated by its broad deserts and highly alkaline seas, with surface potable water being rare around the equator. Most of the population lives in the southern hemisphere, with the northern hemisphere still suffering the after effects of the Water Wars, and is highly dispersed, with large settlements the exception, rather than the norm. The capital city of Lavin is on the equator, to take advantage of the space elevator that was constructed 20 years ago, but is considered unbearably hot even for Karjar, with most of the city in sealed environment domes. The Federal capital, Borkan Orbital, is at the far end of the elevator and is a true multi-species metropolis housing almost half a billion individuals, with enormous space docks and spaces set aside for every environment FASI species require. Home of the Federal Senate and Presidential Palace, it is considered the center of the alliance and is the location of the vast majority of the governments bureaucracy.

Bepim


Distance from sun (AU): 1.38 | Mean radius (km): 6,180| Gravity: 1.28 | Day length (Terran hours): 25.1 | Year length (days): 560.2 Terran / 535.65 Frum
Total population: 5 billion | Capital City (and population): Aslati (24 million)

Almost the total opposite to Frum, Bepim is a largely low elevation planet with large regions of brackish swamplands and shallow seas. The average global temperature is still relatively high, with high humidity and rainfall common to most parts of the planet. In another contrast to Frum, the population is concentrated in large cities, mainly due to the more gregarious nature of the Galf, but also because of the more readily available resources to sustain large gatherings of population. A plethora of infectious diseases (to which the Galf appear largely immune), a very high methane content in the air and a higher than average gravity makes Bepim one of the least visited planets of the alliance.

Sadfi


Distance from sun (AU): 1.65 | Mean radius (km): 15,354 | Gravity: 1.07 | Day length (Terran hours): 18.3 | Year length (days): 732.4 Terran / 960.52 Frum
Total population: 5 billion | Capital City (and population): Nashrak (9 million)

Demographics

Population

There are about 70 billion recognised sentient entities within FASI, including the semi-sentient Talik and the artificially intelligent Digalic. Species tend to remain mainly on their homeworld or in specially constructed space habitats such as the capital city of Borkan. The population distribution is not even, with some species having far greater numbers than others.


Population distribution in FASI

Language

Each species has its own language and forms of communications making cross-species interactions challenging and, on a number of occasions, differences in intent and poor translation has almost led to conflict. It wasn't until the artificially intelligent collective known as Digalic synthesised Fasian, an entirely new language that enables cross-species communication without loss of nuance, that the alliance was truly able to becoming a cohesive whole.

Fasian is a synthetic language that incorporates a number of different communication styles, including vocal sounds, sign language and other visual and aural techniques. Semi-intelligent interpreters, called Harmony Devices, implanted into every citizen are required to fully comprehend and understand it, but it removes ambiguity and enables complex ideas to be communicated without loss of detail.

Religion

Each of the species in the alliance has (or had) their own religion; FASI itself is a strictly secular organisation where any individual is free to follow their own beliefs, so long as they are subservient to the rule of law and require no special exemptions.

Race

Currently, there are 11 organic species within FASI and one synthetic one.

Link
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Karjar (Frum)
The first of the 12 species to reach technological maturity and the species most widely represented in FASI bureaucracy, mainly due to the other species being quite happy to let the karjar take on all the boring work. Hailing from an arid terrestrial world, karjar are eight-limbed, four arms and four legs, with a tough, leathery hide and a limited visual acuity but excellent hearing and an almost unique electro-sense. Nominally predatory, karjar evolved to hunt mobile 'plants' on the large deserts that cover their world and are particularly good at water conservation. Widely considered within FASI to be dedicated and passionate about FASI, but largely uninteresting otherwise. Karjar culture is highly monolithic and stagnant; most individual karjar dedicate their lives to a greater good, neglecting personal or cultural ambitions. Exceptions exist, as with all species, but they are far from normal.

Galf (Bepim)
Originally from low-lying wetlands, galf are filter feeders who developed their high intelligence to evade and outwit the large predatory species that they shared their planet with. By the time the karjar made contact, these predators were all but extinct, the few remaining populations restricted to reservations. Considered one of the most intelligent species in FASI, galf are hampered by their specialised environmental requirements; high humidity, constant moisture and an atmosphere with a higher than usual level of methane. Galf travelling off-world in ships or stations not specifically designed for them wear fully enclosed environmental suits almost all the time.

Maktakil (Sadfi)
Sadfi is dominated by vast free-floating forests made up of giant plant-like organisms and the maktakil's progress was hampered by the tribalism and barriers that came from different groups living on different floating islands. Cooperation between tribes living on different floating islands was infrequent and often hostile. Once contact was made, the maktakil were quick to grasp advanced concepts and are particularly proficient at space travel; their 3-dimensional minds far better at comprehending spacial concepts than ground-based intelligences. Most FASI ships have a strong contingent of maktakil in their crew.

Lompec (Tulan)
Contact with the lompec came much later than most of the other species within the Dahl system, mainly because no one expected to find life, let alone intelligent life, within the atmosphere of a gas giant. The lompec operate on a much slower timescale than other species and although undeniably very intelligent, their motives and needs are very different to that of more terrestrial organisms. It wasn't until the development of powerful AI translators that practical communications took place. Lompec are now well regarded for their logistical and planning skills, often employed in the government bureaucracy and corporate planning divisions. They rarely leave their home world, due to the difficulties in maintaining a suitable environment, but they have their own spaceships which, like all FASI craft, can combine with others.

Talik (Pasendi)
An individual talik, whilst highly intelligent, is not intelligent enough to be considered sentient. However, when talik gather together, they are able to link their neural pathways and form a synergistic intelligence more than equal of any other species. These 'braids' as they came to be called form the foundation of talik society and are not homogenous, with members joining and leaving continuously; typically, the more complex the task, the more talik join the braid to boost its processing power. Talik are capable of surviving outside of their aquatic natural environment for prolonged periods and typically travel in groups numbering several dozen (enough for 2 or 3 braids).

Hapnoi (Qilan)
The hapnoi grow crystalline structures that dominate their physiology, with the organic parts concealed within geode-like enclosures. With an ammonia based metabolism, the hapnoi metabolise nitrogen based chemicals, and the crystalline parts of their bodies acting as a nervous system and memory storage, much in the same way other species use nerves. Usually immobile, they can move very slowly in response to environmental factors, but largely remain embedded in shallow methane lakes. Their memories are prestigious, as they are functionally immortal, although their senses are limited and their metabolism usually very slow. They continue to grow for their entire lives, typically fading into unresponsive senesce after a few thousand years; some of the oldest still considered actively alive are several meters high. They seem to enjoy space travel and encountering new experiences and are often found on FASI space craft.

Xamb (Qilan)
Coming from the same world as the hapnoi, xamb live in the deeper parts of the methane oceans that cover the moon. Like hapnoi, the xamb have an ammonia-based metabolism but are far more active, hunting smaller creatures and feeding off the strange plants that inhabit that world. Their sentience is not doubted, but the xamb are not particularly interested in technology or science, content to remain in their oceans, occasionally sending small groups or individuals out to explore with other FASI species or participate in FASI politics, with which they are avid participants.

Kalooli (Eyon)
Shallow water dwelling, herd based, herbivores with an alarmingly violent streak. Low gravity world.

Ealaqi (Eyon)
Forest dwelling, flying omnivore. Had wars with kalooli before FASI.

Balonir (Ownel)
Very intelligent, pacifist, herbivore, lives in family groups. High-G world. Late industrial revolution at time of contact (pre-spaceflight); tech obtained from monoliths left by previous intelligent species

Molkin (Waken)
Methane, ammonia based. Slow moving.

Digalic (N/A)
AI collective granted citizenship in the past few decades.

Government

FASI governance has two political divisions; internal Polities and Governors, and Federal level Senate and President.

Polity
Each species that is part of FASI is referred to as a Polity and has autonomy for internal affairs and governance. Most polities base their internal system on that of the Federal level (which itself is based on a hybrid of Karjar and Galf systems), but there are exceptions. The Talik hold annual lotteries to select a number of individual Talik who then go one to make a giant collective known as a 'Maker of Agreement'. The MoA is the final arbiter of all internal Talik decision making; there is nothing resembling councils or lower level bodies. The Hapnoi, due to their unique biology, are capable of creating world-wide 'resonances'. When a decision needs to be made, each choice is resonated and the subsequent disharmony is eventually harmonised into a single resonance which become the decision of the Polity as a whole.

Each Polity is represented at the executive level by a Governor, usually elected, but exceptions made for the systems described previously. So long as Federal tithes are paid (economic, scientific and technical), Polities are free to conduct their own internal affairs. Governors have a varied level of power, dependent on the Polity. Some are mere figureheads, with the power residing in Polity assemblies, others have full executive power. Governors can serve for one or two terms, of 5 Frum sidereal years each (about 6 Terran years).

Borkan Orbital
FASI Capital City




Planet: Frum
Polity: Special Federal Authority
Founded: AA 712


Size: ~435 million
Government: Direct Senate Rule


Federal
On a Federal level, legislation is proposed and voted on by the Senate. Each Polity has 500 'Seats' allocated to them, each to be held for a fixed term of 10 Frum sidereal years (about 12 Terran years), with 100 being re-selected every other year. How a Polity chooses to fill these seats with Senators is decided internally; most Polities select their Senators in a one seat to one senator practice, elected democratically. The Talik create a number of MoAs for their Senators, each one holding about 50 seats, and the Digalic have a single representative entity holding all 500 seats, but with a complex algorithm to decide where to allocate the votes proportionally, based on internal Digalic preferences.

As well as deciding on Federal law, the Senate is responsible for electing an executive President from a shortlist provided by the various Polities. The President is commander of the FASI military and has authority to declare war and sign treaties, allocate the Federal budget and control the various Federal agencies as created by the Senate. Presidential actions can be vetoed by the Senate with a 3/4ths majority, and the President can be recalled with a 4/5ths majority.

Laws
Each Polity is expected to submit to the Universal Federal Law, which lays out responsibilities to FASI as a whole and inter-Polity relations. The UFL also sets minimum legal levels for offenses against the person, such as outlawing murder and banning discrimination, which each Polity must meet, although most exceed this requirement. Federal Agents, made up of representatives of all species, enforce these rules, although it is rare for a common FASI citizen to ever be involved in a Federal offense; most are of a much higher level.

Within each Polity, the law can vary significantly, and each Polity claims geographical regions where their laws are applicable. Committing an offense of one Polity whilst in another where it is legal is permissible, and there are federal laws that prevent the prosecution of individuals incapable of meeting legal requirements due to physiology and biology.

Borkan Orbital

About 80 years before the present day, the growing Federal bureaucracy on Frum was in dire need of a new headquarters. Although the city of Lavin had a lot of growing room, this was because Lavin was situated in the middle of the desert and the environmental conditions were far from ideal. Additionally, a lot of the other member species of FASI were not comfortable with the conditions they were forced to endure to visit the Federal capital. The actual facilities housing the Federal Senate had been moved into orbit years ago for this reason, and so it was decided to constructed a new capital for the alliance. A large rocky asteroid was moved into geo-stationary orbit above the city of Lavin and a space elevator constructed. The asteroid was converted over time into a large orbital city, capable of housing many millions of individuals in their own environmental conditions.

Since then, Borkan Orbital has continued to grow, with docks, rotating rings, habitat domes, factories and military facilities being added continuously. It is considered the largest 'city' in FASI and is the home of the Federal Senate, Army and Fleet, site of the Presidential Palace, and the most important location in the binary system. It has grown to far surpass the original asteroid, and all of the original material has long since been consumed. There is some concern that its growing size may start to exert unforeseen gravitational effects on the planet far below, but this has been dismissed by most engineers.

Foreign Relations

DESCRIBE DIPLOMACY

The Federal Army


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Motto: 'Securing Worlds, Securing Peace'


Type: Army
Role: Ground and marine combat


Size: ~1.2 billion
Headquartered: Borkan Orbital, Frum


Command in Chief: President
Chief of the General Staff: General



Armed Forces of FASI

The FASI military is split into two divisions; Army and Fleet. The Karjar, upon whom the structure of FASI is largely based, had no water-based navy, and indeed very little in the way of marine experience at all. The Galf and the Maktakil also had no large maritime traditions, and it wasn't until contact was made with the Balonir that anything approaching a true water-based navy was encountered. By this time, space-based transport dominated, and so the concept of a marine navy was never established and the few military navy vessels existing are part of the Army division. Similarly, whilst an air-force existed on Frum, as space faring technology progressed, and the line was blurred between atmospheric craft and spacecraft, the air-force was subsumed into the structure of the space fleet as a specialist section.

The Federal Army

The Army is well represented in the upper echelons by most of the terrestrial-based species of FASI, but the lower ranks, particularly the combat roles, have been heavily dominated by the Balonir. Recruitment is voluntary, with an enlisted individual expected to serve a different length of service based on a number of factors, including lifespan, ability and psychological resilience. Each of the species has developed its own niche in the structure of the Federal Army, although not all species are suitable. There has been a trend recently for Digalic drone units to be predominantly used, with organic units being moved away from front line operations.

  • Karjar: 60 million. Karjar make for reasonable ground troops; their multiple limbs and tetrapodal limb structure makes them fast and stable. Their organisations skills are also impressive. When not in specialist combat units, most Karjar find themselves in administrative and minor command roles.

  • Galf: 2.5 million. Galf do not make for good soldiers; slow and with relatively weak arms, they do have a minor role in marine operations, being more than capable swimmers. Often found in Military Intelligence and Engineering units however.

  • Maktakil: 150 million. Superb pilots more often found flying air support and transport operations. When backed up with more robust forces, they also make for better than average drop-troopers.

  • Lompec: 100,000. The few Lompec in the armed forces are restricted to logistics and intelligence functions. Their biology and physiology is too difficult to deal with otherwise.

  • Talik: 80 millon. The combined form of the Talik makes an impressive soldier; fast, agile and highly intelligent, they are often used in beachhead operations and their ability to disperse into smaller forms and re-form at will is invaluable. Limited by a lack of suitable armour and difficulties in developing environmental protections.

  • Xamb: 40,000. The few Xamb enlisted do so out of a sense of obligation and are found exclusively in command and support roles.

  • Hapnoi: 0. Hapnoi are not eligible for joining the Federal Army.

  • Ealaqi: 60 million. Excellent scouts and recon soldiers and with good urban combat skills. Their small size is compensated for by their ability to fly and highly developed senses.

  • Kalooli: 80 million. Highly aggressive, Kalooli are used sparingly as shock troops and front line combat troops. Despite their uncooperative nature, they make for good instructors when suitably mature.

  • Balonir: 800 million. Balonir dominate the lower ranks and are the Federal Army's main ground trooper. Their evolution on a high-G world has created a strong, resilient and capable soldier, and their non-aggressive nature makes for rational and competent behaviour, even under fire.

  • Molkin: 0. Molkin are not eligible for joining the Federal Army.

  • Digalic: N/A. Digalic sub-routines and drones are used extensively in the Federal Army, with Digalic algorithms being used to plan logistics and tactics.

The Federal Fleet

The Federal Fleet


Flag


Motto: 'Control Space, Control Worlds'


Type: Aerospace fleet
Role: Space transport and combat


Size: ~7,000 combat vessels
Headquartered: Borkan Orbital, Frum
Command in Chief: President
Chief of the General Staff: Admiral

The Federal Fleet is the organisation responsible for maintaining FASI security in space, transporting the Federal Army and providing FtL transport for government, military and private concerns. The mainstay of the Fleet are the Slipstream Ships, small ships that are capable of creating the slipstream effect that other ships use to travel long distances in. The Slipstream Drive is vulnerable and expensive to build, and limits the size of the craft to that of a 100 meter diameter 'bubble'. For this reason, Slipstream ships are fast and unarmed, getting away from any potential combat zone as soon as their transported vessels are released.

The limitations of the Slipstream drive mean that all other ships follow a particular design pattern; that of a long, truncated cone. Although the total length of a slipstream is about a kilometre long for a 100 meter bubble, the stream is unstable towards the lower end, putting a limit on ship length to around 600 meters. Most ships are far smaller than this limit, however, and it is usual for one Slipstream ship to carry two or three vessels along in its wake.


Diagram of the Slipsteam ship, effect and carried vessel

Most of the crew on Federal Fleet vessels are Maktakil and Ealaqi; not only does their flight-based evolution lend themselves to better 3-D special thinking, but their bodies are better adapted to dealing with the varying high-G of acceleration followed by the micro-G of coasting that all FASI ships are subject to. Balonir are reasonably good at resisting the large-G forces, and their massy bodies cope surprising well under micro-G, and so are often found on-board as soldiers and guards. Most unusual of all are the relatively high numbers of Hapnoi and Molkin who serve in the Fleet. The latter coordinate very well with Digalic systems due to their own communal mind-set, and the former are excellent at staying conscious during high-G manoeuvres and working with ship's systems. A lot of Federal Fleet captains are Hapnoi, especially in the smaller warships with limited crew that are used for interceptions.

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Common ship types in FASI
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Weapons and armour
FASI are not a martial civilisation, but recognise that force is often required to obtain desired results. Despite the universal nature of the alliance across the binary system, there are still the occasional dissidents, secession movements and armed criminals, and on occasion, said antagonists have had to be dealt with by the Federal armed forces. FASI is also not blind to the large amount of electromagnetic signals being received from the rest of the cluster and acknowledge that the local stars may be home to other civilisations with either a reluctance to join the greater good, or a desire to annex FASI for themselves. To this end, FASI weapons technology is remarkably sophisticated, if not a little under-used.

Ground operations: The majority of FASI ground forces still use ballistic weapons as their main weapons. Lasers and other weapon technologies exist, but ballistic weapons are tried and tested, with good reliability and an ease of manufacture. Infantry weapons are usually automatic or semi-automatic, chemically propelled, rifle-style guns, with support from rail-guns on armoured vehicles. Occasionally large lasers are used on vehicles, usually when in low or no atmosphere worlds. Personal armour is common, with advanced armour being available even to basic troopers. Powered armour is also common, with Balonir Shock Troopers being prominent users of the tech. Armoured vehicles utilise tracks for the most part; some hover capable vehicles exist, using powerful jet engines (FASI does not have anti- or artificial- gravity technology), but they are reserved for specialist operations. Some aspects of the Federal Army also use walkers, but their limitations restrict their use to highly uneven terrain and other such environments. Digalic-linked combat robots exist, but FASI prefers to use more sympathetic organic troops for the most part, with AI troops only used in high-intensity operations.

Aircraft: Advanced scram- and ram-jet type engines make atmosphere to space aircraft relatively common for military operations, with most air support being held in orbital carriers and dropped into operational arenas when required. Most aircraft are VTOL capable, blending the capabilities of ground-support gunships and air-superiority into one vehicle. Weapons are more usually lasers and rail-guns; the faster weapon speed essential for high-speed combat. Unlike ground operations, where organic troops are still considered most practical in most situations, the vast majority of combat aircraft are AI operated drones, more capable of handling the g-forces and acrobatics required.

Space: FASI warships utilise a combination of high-powered lasers, rail-guns and missiles, either nuclear or kinetic. A 'Protector' class warship, the standard military vessel, has an equal mix of all of these weapons, giving it a good all-round capability in combat. Force-shields are yet to be invented, although there are some promising emergent technologies in this regard. Space craft are usually protected by a composite armour type of ceramics, advanced alloys, whipple-style voids and other materials. Like in aircraft operations, most space combat is handled by AIs; expendable missiles are often guided by intelligent AI sub-routines. Boarding actions are used, with Balonir used as the main troops, backed up by AI drones.

Economy

The economy in FASI is largely capitalistic, but with social welfare and governmental regulations on the operation of corporations. Cross-polity trade is undertaken where possible, and polities are encouraged to high-light aspects that they're good at. In order to keep the economy competitive, the Federal government has mandated a number of rules that all polities must adhere to:

  • Monopoly Prevention: Corporations that grow too large are required by law to de-merge, and no corporation may control more than 50% of a specific market

  • Designated Polity Origin: certain products and services can only be provided by a certain Polity, and often a certain region of a Polity

  • AI Involvement: Digalic are prohibited from running corporations and each chain in the management of a corporation must have organic oversight

  • Import/export: Entities from outside of FASI may only trade inside of the alliance with an appropriate permit, which sets out what products are being sold. Individuals may trade, but are limited in their import/export quantities.

Culture

Culture within FASI varies incredibly between Polities, as is to be expected from such very different species. Some aspects are universal; the political system is designed to be as interactive with any citizen of FASI as possible, and most Polities have political commentary, debates and, where such things are found amusing, satire. There is a FASI-wide media outlet, known as the Federal Broadcast Channel (FBC), which disseminates Federal news, political outcomes and the occasional cross-Polity entertainment program. Some have accused FBC of being nothing but Federal propaganda, but most commentators view the FBC as being, if not entirely without pro-FASI bias, at least fair in its treatment of dissenting views.

Music is probably the only universal cultural link between species, with all species having their own form of music; although what counts for music to one set of sensory organs, may not sound appealing to another. Despite this, cross-species artists do exist, attempting to blend musical styles and tastes.

Infrastructure

Transport
Mag-lev trains and sub-orbital craft are the most common forms of public transport on almost all worlds; the Lompec rarely use mass transit, and the Molkin and Hapnoi have no need for such things. However, their worlds still have some form of transportation for off-worlders

Energy
DESCRIBE ENERGY

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