Early notes put the Alliance at an estimated 900 billion people, living on 30 homeworlds and on 80 colonies.
The capital world of the Alliance is Selnor. During the winter, government is seated at the city Heliocentrus in the Southern Hemisphere; in summer, in Terracentrus in the Northern.
Members, Allies, Treaty Species
Alliance Mean Time (AMT) recognizes 360 days in a year, twelve months of thirty days each. Format is as follows:
- year-day: hour.minute.second
- 450-30: 4.12.36
An Alliance Timeline is available for bullet-point view. This timeline includes unavoidable spoilers.
Project Homefront and the Roots of the Alliance
It was one truly brilliant scientist who spearheaded the engineering of the races: Joseph Shandlin. An idealist, he worked on engineering the furred races for (he hoped) eventual integration into human society as partners and friends. Able to create goals and visualize with stunning accuracy how the spliced DNA should be melded to attain certain characteristics, he seemed to have both a gene map in his head and a God-given gift for creation. His catalyst was music...DNA seemed to him to be analogous to long, complicated, never-ending, self-replicating music. At times, when he would be having trouble with a particular string or part of a project, he would rifle through all of his CDs, over hundreds, and play random selections...and some piece of music would insinuate itself into his thoughts and suggest some new approach to the problem.
At that time in human history, hologram projectors were all the rage; projectors that fit on your wrist that could mask your form with that of something different. The more advanced ones could reproduce touch and smell as well as visuals. It was not unusual to walk to the grocery store and see a dragon and a fairy side by side, picking out cereal. It was this public love affair with glamors that allowed the government to hide so well their projects involving the furred races.
Three companies worked in tandem on the HomeFront Project, so called because it was purportedly for the purpose of 'growing aliens on the homefront'. The first, Triple Helix, was responsible for the DNA maps and the computer imaging of the genetic material. The second and third worked more closely together: Platinum Labs and HeadStart Incorporated. Platinum Labs actually cultured the genetic material and infused it into the synthetic eggs. HeadStart was responsible for 'rapid-aging' the babies born of the eggs (the fertilized eggs could not be rushed; they had to develop on their own). The product was then shipped back to Triple Helix for examination, to see how their theories had worked themselves out in flesh. There were quite a number of false starts, the products so horrendously malformed that they were put to sleep on birth or even terminated in vitro. However, once Triple Helix employed Shandlin, their maps began to produce viable individuals. The first such individual, named Joy, was a foxine type, and was given to Shandlin as a celebration 'gift'. Joy became the mascot of the project; she was the first, intelligent individual that came out of a tube. Though she had several problems, including myopia, limited IQ and a normal vulpine's life-span, she was easy to love and easy going, shy and devoted to her 'friend', the scientist who had made her.
Shandlin worked on both the Karaka'A and the Seersa, but left before the beginning of what would become the Tam-illee, disillusioned. However, doodles of his were found in his office, discarded in the trash can, of a mer-race. These sketches were found after he left and developed, exactly as he envisioned them, and were a success.
By the time Triple Helix was working on the Aera, other companies had joined Platinum and HeadStart in manufacturing the products to meet demand of those who wanted them. The Seersa especially were wanted as playmates and toys, being endowed by their foxine heritage with a playful and gregarious nature. The Karaka'A were in demand as workers and servants, as well as lab assistants and test subjects. However, since Shandlin had envisioned them fitting perfectly into society as counterparts to humans, they were endowed with the ability to reproduce with human beings. The results were scandalous, though kept quiet by virtue of government bribes and control. Included was one incident that was the apex of them all: a petty, billionaire woman who had bought herself a Seersa toy, who had, completely oblivious to his ability to do so, impregnated her.
Why Project HomeFront continued to develop new 'races' after successfully engineering the Seersa and Karaka'A is unknown; many speculate they were trying to recover the knowledge that Joseph Shandlin had taken with him when he left. Other historians favor the idea that they were intoxicated with playing God, or that they were simply experimenting. Whatever the case, the Aera, the Malari and the Naysha followed the original two projects, plus the off-shoots of the Joy and Holly models, plantigrade versions that would later become the Asanii and Tam-illee.
The most successful of those later races were the Naysha, being made from the documents of the creator of the first two. Beautiful and graceful, the Naysha combined the sturdiness of wolves with the delicacy of foxes, the strength of orcas and the agility and intelligence of dolphins. "Of these swimmers," he wrote, "the most incidental of their parts is human. For all that the human gives them are fingers and arms to manipulate their environs." Also written into the matrices were the DNA of several deep-ocean denizens (for their ability to withstand high pressures) and coral fishes, for colors...Shandlin steadfastly believed that his creations should try to be beautiful, as God's were.
When oppression grew too harsh, the pelted races gathered and offered the government an ultimatum: they would tell the world of their slavery if they were not freed. In return they were given ships and exiled, a fate they decided was better than staying amid their human makers. The flagship of their sleeper ships was named the Freedom; the other two in the convoy were the Merry Independence and the far smaller Joyful Liberty.
During their two-hundred year voyage, the three ships kept most of their population frozen in cryosleep. Only a small number of people remained active, assigned to separate tasks.The felinoids were assigned to creating a sustainable population with the Homefront technology gifted to them by scientists from the original project. During the sleeper-ship age, there were almost no natural-born children; 99% of offspring were genetically created by the felinoids, decanted as infants, and raised to a point where they could make the decision to undergo cryosleep or remain to work on the population problem.
The vulpinoids had split into two groups. The first, who called themselves Joy's Children (after the first engineered vulpinoid) were assigned the task of documenting, distributing, and sustaining a universal tongue. They choose the Standard American English of their native origin and set about creating a language bible and distributing it, incorporating what few words they thought would be of use, including the ones created by the revolutionists.
The second group of vulpinoids named themselves the FEVS, an acryonym for Flat-footed Engineered Vulpine-based Species, since most of them were indeed flat-footed. They were charged with maintaining the ships.
The First Years of the Alliance
The first hundred years of the Alliance are known as the Aggrandizement; this period was marked by a great deal of expansion. Not only did several OutCircle races join the Alliance, but several engineered races were successfully planted, becoming part of the protectorates. Also, in the year 42 BA, the Well Drive was invented by two Tam-illee, one a physicist and the other an engineer, allowing for the exploration of greater distances; over ten sectors were explored and marked as Alliance territory during this time.
The technology made possible by the Well Drive opened up other areas, such as matter/energy transformations, which eventually became viable by the year 57 BA. This year began the Technology Explosion, a period from 57 BA to 104 BA. During the Technology Explosion, most of the technology now in use in the Alliance was discovered, prototyped, and gained broad use. Among these items were the Pads and Genies and the gem grid (functioning on the principles of induction). Leaps were made in the fields of physics, the natural sciences, and engineering.
It was a time of great romance, where ambassadorial functions were frequent and the arts had time to flourish, and it was on the leading edge of the Technology Explosion when the Reproduction Crisis began.
The process of settling planets resulted in the early deaths of many of the original colonists; those that survived reached their sexual maturity in the period between 55 BA and 89 BA. They then discovered (in especial the Tam-illee and the Aera) that it was almost impossible to have children successfully. Great confusion and panic resulted, especially since biology had not been given priority over the other sciences. At this time, hundreds of scientists switched to the study of anatomy and physiology in hopes of solving the reproduction crisis. The field of the ReGE (Reproductive Genetic Engineer) was created during this time, followed by the RaGE (Racial Genetic Engineer) as genetic engineering received its shot in the arm. The ReGEs in tandem with research scientists managed to make it possible for the races to propagate, if still rather ineffectively, and this learning paved the way for the first genetic engineering of other sentients by the Alliance, the first success involving the Ciracaana.