Updated: Jun 19, 2020
After of the Fall of the UTN after the turn of the 4th millenium, human civilisation disintgrated almost entirely. With no authority to enforce law and order, societal collapse was inevitable. With that, came the vices that gripped human beings in the darkest ages - the primitive, violent side of the terran mind came to light, apparently in all their science and technology, they couldn't fix their very nature at heart.
By the 44th Century, order had largely been restored to the core worlds of the Old Federation, with a Fledgling United Aquarian Systems Government establishing a state and rule of law, with a developing military to enforce it. Terran Scholars in the 44th century universally agree that the Coron Crisis was the single most devestating humanitarian disaster humanity in Aquarius had suffered since the eradication of a hundred billion lives during the Aftershock. It would be 14 full cycles before Terran forces under the TLA flag liberated the system from brutal pirate cartel occupation.
But the new Terran Government, upon its seat of power on Lorentis, kept a dirty secret that is carefully veiled from public knowledge. Hidden deep within classified files of the UAS Military Secret Service, lies knowledge that would stain the conscience of anyone willing to fight, and die, for peace, prosperity and freedom - bastions of the Old Federation way of life. Within the file contains an assessment, placing quantitive value on the Price of Human Life, a decision not lightly made, but one made regardless.
The Cartels of Tempest
As lawlessness swallowed the remote sectors of the Tempest Ridge, at the fringe of the Great Tempest Nebula, forces once hidden in the shadows emerged; outlaws, privateers, bandits and raiders. Once thought to be nothing more than un-organised criminal elements with no real threat to the security of the Old Federation, these elements had in fact unified under a single flag, becoming a regional power in the Ridge almost to rival the notorius Tigersharks Cartel of the Angel Nebula.
TLA Naval Intelligence had monitored the movement of large amounts of military-grade hardware into the Ridge shortly after the Corona System was liberated, passing the data on as the Alliance reformed into the UAS - the UAS Federal Naval Intelligence Agency now taking over the operation.
The outlaw factions had united under a single flag, become highly organised and dedicated to establishing a strong grip on the Tempest sector - after the Aftershock disabled any remaining Terran military assets in the region, the pirates - protected from the Subspace Shockwave by the shadow of the Tempest Nebula - moved in to salvage and strip warship carcasses over many cycles, continually monitored by the TLA Military, but with no available assets to launch any kind of offensive - the Terrans had no choice but to hope the pirate forces didn't turn their attention towards Aquarius.
The Pallas Slave Trade
The details of the surveylance operation in Tempest were disturbing. The cartels had established a huge network of slave-trade operations throughout the sector, taking survivors from local independent systems crippled by the Aftershock and transporting them to purpose-built ups in many remote systems. With no Federal Navy to stop them, they had free reign. The United Aquarian Systems' Federal Naval Intelligence was aware of this happening up until 4317 A.D, when it was exposed to the Senate on Lorentis.
The primary focus was on the Pallas system - a formely UTN-protected independent sector strategically located in the approximate centre of the Tempest Ridge. The system had once been host to an important Old Federation Navy outpost, and would see significant action in the Radacri Wars.
Pirate Cartels had established a primary base of operations for their inhuman slave-trade in the sector, within the ruins of the Pallas system - salvaging Old Federal Navy weapons installations and warship wreckages for parts, potentially re-activating some of them for their own use. It was clear this was a humanitarian disaster, Naval Intelligence estimated approximately two-hundred million people had been captured, the figure rising each day as the cartels trawled the outer ruins, forcing small pockets of survivors, unable to defend themselves effectively, into slavery.
This data was known by the formation of the UAS Government in 4299 A.D. Yet the decision was made not to interfere with the pirate cartels - who had yet to show any interest in approaching UAS-controlled space. A decision was made, a price was placed, upon the lives of two-hundred million innocents suffering unthinkable cruelty at the hands of the worst of humanity.
Federal Senate Complex, Lorentia Government Plaza, District I, Lorentis System, 4317 A.D
"The Senate gathers to discuss the situation in Tempest. In particular, the Slave Trade and humanitarian disaster currently in progress in the Pallas System and surrounding space." The Spokesman for the senate declared, as officials took their places at podiums around the spherical debating complex.
The First President of the UAS, Vorian Senlas, took his position upon the centre platform.
New Lorentia Senator, Aylyn Lintari, took her own position to put forward questions to the President and his government.
"Sir President, the Senate, on behalf of the free people of United Aquarius, ask as to why this situation was allowed to progress, despite apparent prior knowledge, dating back to the founding, eighteen cycles ago. It is fundamental to the constitution of our government, set upon the three bastions of Peace, Prosperity and Freedom that we base our entire way of life on - that we do all within our power to prevent suffering, especially on such an unbelievable scale - from happening within the reaches of our influence".
Senator Lintari stepped down from the question podium to an applause, the vocal expression of support from across the Senate was apparent.
After a few moments for the senate to settle, President Senlas began his address, flanked one either side by Supreme Admiral of the Navy, Adm. R. Yelan and Chief of Naval Intelligence Director M. Chancse.
"Madam Senator, and to all the free people of United Aquarius, I address you to understand the fundamentally unstable position of our nation in these troubling times. Only cycles ago our own core systems were rife with terror and lawlessness that our brave servicemen and women sacrificed their lives to fight. Our position here, in Aquarius, is not guaranteed."
The President paused, surveying the senate; many senators nodded in agreement before discussing quietly between themselves.
"I vehemently stand by the three bastions of our founding fathers and mothers, Peace, Prosperity and Freedom. But in such times a decision must be made as to the greater good. What good would come of an ill-advised military campaign into Tempest, potentially dragging United Aquarius into a long and bitter war of attrition - in a time where our position, as I said, is very much uncertain?"
Senator Lintari took a moment before forming her reply.
"Sir President, with all due respect. Within the last ten cycles our industry has grown ten-fold, our economy has boomed, our people have enjoyed freedoms and luxury only known pre-Fall. I am privy to information that our own military forces, under the guidance of this senate, have been able to secure major victories within the Corona system and within the Angel Reach. It is with the greatest of repsect, that I, on behalf of United Aquarius and her people, demand that this government acts now to put a stop to the suffering in Tempest. We request an immediate military invervention, and we will vote to do so now.
After stepping down to more applause, Senator Lintari interacted with her podium's holo-console while the President discussed matters with his military advisors. He eventually looked back to the senator, nodding in acknowledgement.
"This senate casts a vote now. Under the flag of the three bastions we are founded, Peace, Prosperity, and Freedom, we cast a vote as to deploy the United Aquarian Systems' military to Tempest Ridge in order to liberate the Pallas System and surrounding territories from brutal pirate occupation. We will also push into legislation new acts to establish a humaniatarian aid package for the sector, supported in full by our great nation, from now, and forever."
Senator Lintari finished her speech, as the senate cast their votes.
"This senate has voted. The people of Aquarius have spoken, 179 to 21. In favour of military intervention in Tempest." The spokesman announced, looking towards the presidential platform. President Senlas was deep in thought, before uttering a few words to the Chief of Naval Intelligence, who nodded and withdrew from the platform.
"It is my duty to serve the people of United Aquarius, and as such, I respect the decision of this senate. As your president I hereby authorise the deployment of the United Aquarian Systems' Military to the Tempest Ridge, effective immediately. Such plans had been put into place for many cycles, as such a time drew closer. Now that time has come, we will liberate Pallas, and the Tempest Ridge in the name of Freedom." President Senlas closed his holopad terminal and withdrew from the presidental podium, accompanied by the Supreme Admiral, to great applause in the senate.