In AD 2801, the centralized government of the third planet of the Sun, Earth, had moved to the Aldebaran ( system’s second planet, Deolia. There, the humans that proclaimed the creation of the Galactic Federation changed the calendar to Year 1 of the Universal Calendar (UC) and began to expand endlessly toward the Federation’s deepest regions and borders. By the year AD 3700, the most visible characteristic in the galaxy was the rise of warfare and chaos. This caused the expansion of humanity to be completed halted. Like energy contained to the point of bursting, serious dangers were imminent.
The technology that enabled humans to fly between star systems – space jump, gravity control, and inertia control – continued to develop. To explore the unknown world of space, humans drove their space vehicles toward the sea of stars.
“Forward! Again forward!”
This was the language of that generation of mankind.
All of mankind seemed to be living in the liveliest and most prosperous time they could imagine. All were completely focused, their spirits strong, and with overflowing enthusiasm. Even if they were faced with difficulties, they would not be enslaved by morbidity, self-pity, or self-love. Perhaps at that point in time, humans were a bunch of incurable optimists.
This was a fresh and breathtaking golden age.
But, a few minor issues still existed. First was the existence of space pirates. In AD 2700, Earth and Sirius fought for the absolute control of human society, often using mercenaries to take over ships. These pirates were the remnant of this strategy, although it also included chivalrous kinds of pirates. The conflict between these chivalrous pirates and the Federation had inevitably become material for 3D television.
The only problem was that chivalrous pirates were few in numbers. The majority of pirates were criminal organizations with connections to corrupt politicians or capitalists. For star colonists, pirates were like the plague. At those border star lanes with pirate activities, the number of star ships decreased drastically. Not only were supplies a problem, but even the price of commodities that were received soared. This was because the original cost had to be increased by the price for protection. The seriousness of this problem could not be understated, or else those disaffected victims’ insecurity would increase and in turn believe even less of the federal government’s ability to govern. In the end, it would greatly decrease their will to colonize the borders.
In Universal Calendar (UC) 106, the Galactic Federation struck back hard against the pirates. Leading the attack were Commanders M. Schumler and C. Wood. Two years later, the job was done. This sweep was not easy. Commander Odin, famous for his sarcasm, wrote in his dairy:
“… In front of me is a clever enemy, behind are useless allies. I must fight both at the same time. And I am not the kind of leader that everyone else looks up to.”
After Commander Odin became a politician, he had always been characterized as a “stubborn, old fool”. Therefore, he fell into hard and malicious fighting with the corrupt politicians and corporations.
These kind of sicknesses of society happened more and more often without interruption. If one characterized humans as a body, then this would be skin cancer. Just like how we cannot escape this material world, these sicknesses cannot completely be removed. But, with the right treatment, at least the symptoms will not get worse or cause death. Humans then avoided the need to be operated on and passed two healthy centuries.
Only one place continued to have its prosperity and growth decrease, and that was the formal home planet – Earth. This planet’s total resources were slowly consumed to the end, while its political and economical powers and potential faded fast as well.
Rudolf von Goldenbaum was born in UC 268 in a military family and when he had grown up, he naturally joined the military ranks.
His rank in the Universal military prep school was “Chief”. He was 195 cm tall, and weighed 99 kg, with a big and strong body. Looking at him was like looking at an iron tower. His huge body had no superfluous muscles.
At 20, he became a sublieutenant. When he became the Orion system’s garrison judge, he became the first to tighten the military and moral structures of the soldiers by removing all signs of alcohol, gambling, hallucinogens, and homosexuality: the so called “Four Sins.” Even if his bosses were involved in his cases, he still waved the flag of the law and continued to investigate without mercy. So those bosses that didn’t want to mess with him had to promote him to the rank of junior lieutenant and send him to Orion Alpha to get rid of him.
Orion Alpha, or “Space Pirates’ Highway,” was a dangerous area. Rudolf was regarded as “the second Commander Odin” there. He displayed a smart, iron handed way of attacking the pirates with no mercy, and destroyed major pirate groups. Even those who surrendered or awaited trial were burnt along with their ships. His cold bloodedness and mercilessness of course led to criticism, but the praise was even bigger, like a flood that swallowed everything else.
For the majority of people, because of the long-term isolationist period, being closed off was almost asphyxiating. So when this young, lionhearted hero appeared, the people of Galactic Federation all glorified him. Rudolf then in this age of indecision set himself onto the stage and became the world’s new star.
In UC 269, 28 years old Rudolf had already become a rear admiral. At this time, he gave up his military ranks and instead became a member of the Senate. After that, he became the “National Revolution Alliance’s” leader. Under his fame, he netted many young politicians to his side.
After several elections, Rudolf quickly spread his influence. From all feelings of support, insecurity, rebuke, passiveness, and ambivalence, he succeeded in building a solid political foundation.
He first called for a vote and became the Prime Minster, then used the loophole of the constitution that didn’t state a person could not hold two government jobs jointly, and with the Senatorial election, became the nation’s President. The rule that should have been set up was that one person could not hold these two jobs at the same time, and that these two can only have powers over their separate areas. If one person held both jobs, it would cause unthinkable chemical reactions. Anyone that was equal to Rudolf’s political power at that time doesn’t exist anymore.
“What people like is not independent thinking and its resulting responsibilities, but order, obedience, and being relieved of responsibilities.” Rudolf’s political entrance was this kind of political proof. “In a democracy, those who are responsible for political incompetence and malice are those who elected the unqualified politicians in the first place. A dictatorship is not the same. People don’t want to self-reflect, but like to be able to secretly and irresponsibly to criticize those politicians.”
Later on, these words were recorded by the historian D. Sinclair. Whether his comments were correct or not need not be discussed now, but at that stage, people wholeheartedly support Rudolf.
“We want a strong government! We want an able leader! Restore society’s order and energy!”
This “able leader” finally became a dictator who did not allow any criticism to exist. He called himself the “Life Long Official” until UC 310, when he became the “Blessed, Untouchable Kaiser of the Galactic Empire”, and many people finally cursed themselves for their stupidity and ignorance in not learning the lessons of history. Those who always were critical of Rudolf became enraged, close to the boiling point. But, those who still supported Rudolf were still in the majority.
A Republican, Hassan el Satir, at Rudolf’s Kaiser crowning moment wrote this in his diary: “In my room, I can hear people’s shouting ‘hail Rudolf!’ Before they shout 'hail' to the executioner, how many days will pass?”
The Empire outlawed this diary, and that was the day that the Universal Calendar (UC) was discarded and Galactic Calendar (GC) was adopted. At that point, the Galactic Federation died, and the Galactic Empire of the Goldenbaum dynasty was born!
Galactic Emperor Rudolf I became the first dictator of humanity. That he had extraordinary ability was without a doubt. Under his valiant political leadership and iron will, political structure became cleaner, more efficient, and less corrupt.
Rudolf dissolved all “low efficiency, corrupting, and condescending” life styles and entertainment. Using stringent and cruel techniques, he drastically reduced crime and underage illegal acts. In the end, he completely erased all of human society’s bad behaviors.
Nevertheless, the “Iron Giant” Kaiser Rudolf wasn’t satisfied. His ideal society was a one that should be under his powerful leadership management and rule, orderly and highly harmonic.
To the self-confident Rudolf in his current condition, critics and oppositions were no doubt threats to society’s harmony and order. Therefore, he finally started atrociously suppressing all who opposed him.
The first act of suppression began as the “Inferior DNA Exclusion Act” was announced in GC 9.
“The nature of the universe is the strong over the weak, survival of the fittest!”
Rudolf said his belief to his “people”.
“Human society is not an exception, either. When abnormal people in a society increase to a certain amount, the society will lose its energy and slowly become weaker. I whole-heartedly wish to see humanity prosper forever. Therefore, it is my position that the removal of the weak and disabled is the ruler of humanity’s holy duty!”
More specifically, his goal was to let the weak bodied, homeless, and “inferior” humans disappear, let the mentally disturbed die happily, and get rid of any laws to help the poor. To Rudolf, destitution in itself was a crime that was hard to forgive. The weak and the poor needed to be protected? Weak members of society should be hated.
This law, unveiled to the public later, caused even those who glorified Rudolf to also feel chilled. Those who believed they were superiors were not many. Everyone thought: “Is doing this a little over the top?”
In Senate, there was a small group of remaining Republicans who stood up for the people and criticized the Kaiser. To deal with them, Rudolf determined to strike back.
He then ordered the dissolution of the Senate.
Later the next year, Rudolf’s confidant – Ernst Faston, the Secretary of State, took the job of Director of Bureau of Society Maintenance. Under the slogan “Law is Nullified, observational judgment first”, he swiftly began to arrest, detain, jailing, and otherwise punish dissenters.
This act meant the emergence of both authority and violence. This period of time provided the seed of terror politics. And in a short time, it became a tsunami that swallowed all of human society.
At that time, some black jokes secretly spread around.
“If you don’t want to get the death sentence, let the police catch you. If you let the Bureau of Society Maintenance catch you, you are dead for sure!”
“To strive for the peace and prosperity of the majority of society’s people, we must eliminate all dangerous elements!”
Of course his so-called “majority” didn’t include those who feared the people who were caught tragic fate and those who were filled with anger but silent.
Besides the suppression of opposition, Rudolf also selected his “superior talents” and gave them authority, creating an imperially supported royalty. But the royalties was all white, and he gave them all ancient Germanic style names. Did this reflect Rudolf’s intellect beginning to weaken?
Faston also was rewarded with the title of Count for his well-performed duty, but one day when he was returning home, underground Republican terrorists sneak attacked him. He died from being shot with neutron bullets. Rudolf felt much sorrow and killed over 20,000 suspects to comfort Faston’s soul.
In GC 42, Kaiser Rudolf died at age 83. His huge body was still strong, but rumors said that his spirit’s suffering had made his heart too stressed.
The Kaiser didn’t get complete satisfaction. He and his queen Elizabeth’s four children were all girls. None of them could take the throne. In his later years, his favorite concubine Marianna gave birth to a boy, but rumors abounded that he was a born mentally handicapped.
The Empire’s official records didn’t record anything about this event. But later, Marianna, her parents, her brother, the doctor and nurses that helped her deliver were all executed. From this, one can surmise that those circulating rumors might have been true.
This event caused Rudolf, the creator of the “Inferior DNA Exclusion Act”, to suffer a huge mental shock.
For his belief – “DNA decides everything”, Marianna had to die. Obviously, Kaiser Rudolf had no DNA that could lead to a mentally retarded child. All the blame was put on Marianna.
After Rudolf died, his eldest daughter Kathanali’s son Sigismund was crowned. A Kaiser at age 25, he ruled the Milky Way with his father Duke Yoshi Noah Sudafe as his advisor.
After Rudolf I died, Republicans started rebellions at all corners of the Empire. Many people believed that without Rudolf’s leadership, his power had vanished and the Empire would soon topple. But, they seemed to be glad too soon. Rudolf in his 40 years of rule had cultivated a powerful royalty, armies, and bureaucracies in a triangle style structure. And this structure was far sturdier than the secret organizations that the Republicans had known.
Ruling this triangle style structure was the Kaiser’s father, also known as the Empire’s Prime Minister, Duke Yoshi Noah Sudafe. He was meticulously chosen by Rudolf as his son-in-law. At this tenuous time, he coolly used his leadership ability and crushed the rebels, who were still at a disadvantage, like an eggshell under his foot.
Republicans were again forced to endure into another harsh winter.
Under the might of dictatorship, would the harsh winter continue forever? This is what people worried about the most. After Yoshi died, Sigismund ruled by himself. After he died, his eldest son Richard continued the line. After Richard passed on, his eldest Otfried ruled. The highest authority could only be bestowed upon Rudolf’s lineage.
But under the thick blanket of ice, streams were slowly moving.
By GC 164, those Republican families , who had been put on Aquila Alpha to do hard labor, had created their own spaceship and succeeded in escaping.
Their plan didn’t succeed from an accumulation of experience from several generations of secret practices. These kinds of plans usually fail. But this one succeeded, and from proposal to execution it had only taken three months.
The beginning of this plan came about from a childrens game. On the cold, harsh winter of Aquila Alpha’s seventh planet, the mining children sometimes secretly slipped out of the slave supervisors’ view to chip ice into the form of small ships and put them on water to play. Young Yale Heinessen saw this accidentally. In his mind, a light bulb went on. On this discarded planet, there was an endless supply of materials that could be used to build starships.
On this scarcely watered seventh planet, there was abundant natural dry ice. Heinessen chose an ice block that was 1 or 2 km long, 40 km wide, and 30 km high that was beneath the canyon. Then he cut through the ice block’s middle part, planned out spaces for propulsion and living quarters, and determined that it could become a flyable spaceship. Before this moment, escape plans always stumbled because of the difficulty in obtaining spaceship materials. To obtain illegal materials was impossible. At a moment’s notice, the Bureau of Society Maintenance could begin another brutal campaign of suppression and killing if they ever found any trace of this.
But this time, these rebels discovered a natural material that the government had failed to notice before.
In absolute zero temperature space, they did not need to worry about melting ice. If heat could be driven away from the propulsion and living quarters, then they could fly for a longer period of time. Then using this period of time, they can look for materials to build a ship in space or on non-populated planets.
This clear white ice spaceship was named “Io Vargas” after the young man who made this ice ship. 400,000 people rode this ship and escaped the Aquila system. They took the first step towards what later historians called the “Long March of 10,000 Light Years”.
To hide from the Empire’s army that was always on their heels, they hid underground on an unnamed planet. There, they built 80 interstellar space ships and one step at a time, moved toward the deepest regions of Milky Way. These places were filled with huge stars, dwarf stars … dangerous and wide areas.
During this hard travel, they lost their leader, Heinessen., whose best friend Juan Jim Hoe took his position. By the time that he too slowly grew old and blind, they finally passed through this dangerous area and went into adult aged star clusters. From the Aquila system to the current time, half a century had gone by.
This new world of star clusters was given ancient names of gods of Phoenician Mythology like Baalat, Astarte, Melgart, and Kothar. They used Baalat’s fourth planet as their base and called the planet Heinessan to praise the work of their deceased leader.
“The Long March of 10,000 Light Years” finally ended on GC 218. These who escaped the shackles of tyranny decided to reuse the Universal Calendar instead of the Galactic Calendar. They said that they were the rightful heirs of the Galactic Federation and that Rudolf was just a despicable traitor to democracy.
The Free Planet Alliance was established on UC 527. The original population was only 200,000 because more than half of them died during the long journey.
To say that human society was divided in two was not quite accurate, but the Free Planet Alliance creators’ diligence and enthusiasm were rare. Under their great effort, the Alliance’s influence rapidly increased. The government initiated many reward policies, and the population increased greatly. A national structure had been perfected and farming abilities also increased dramatically.
The golden age of Galactic Federation had come again!
In UC 640, the Galactic Empire and the Free Planet Alliance first came into contact and it was between battleships.
Seeing that the Free Planet Alliance was quite different from what they had been mentally prepared for, the Galactic Empire was taken by surprise. Therefore, the battle was easily won by the Free Planet Alliance. The battleships of the Galactic Empire, after having been hit by neutron beams but before they turned into fireballs, continuously sent emergency messages to the Empire’s home planet.
The Galactic Empire’s officials took the old records from the computer and weresurprised to find out that those who had escaped a century before from the Aquila System were still alive!
Therefore, the empire organized a huge crusade fleet and headed towards the “traitors’ base”. However, they lost completely.
An imperial fleet with superior numbers lost so utterly for many reasons. Their soldiers were tired after being forced to travel a long way with no adequate supplies. They did not know the regional environment, they underestimated enemy’s strength and will, and their strategy was too rough. Another important factor was that the Alliance had a brilliant commander.
This chief commander was named Lippo. Not only did he drink and womanize too much, but he was also a glutton. Because of this, he often was looked down upon by puritanical Alliance officials, but at using military means, he had a rare talent. His supporting chief of staff was Yusef Topolu, nicknamed “Wailing Yusef”. This was because when he encountered difficult work, he always whined. Despite this characteristic, he was also a precise theoretician. Some people described him as a “breathing tactical computer.”
Both of them were just barely over 30 years of age, but this group at the planet Dagon’s outer region performed one of the historically rare encircle annihilation maneuvers during the battle and became the Alliance’s greatest heroic characters.
The result of this battle enabled the Free Planet Alliance a chance to greatly expand itself. When the dissidents within the Empire heard that there was an independent power opposing the Empire, many escaped en masse to this safe harbor. For three centuries after Kaiser Rudolf died, the once hardened structure of the Empire began to crumble. Because of the suppressive movement, the Bureau of Society Maintenance lost its color and majesty. The populace of the Empire became restless. Discontent swept across the Empire like a tidal wave.
Because of the Free Planet Alliance’s “Welcome everyone” spirit, many men and women came to join them. In this group of mass immigration, not only Republicans, but also those aristocrats and officials who had lost political battles in the Empire as well. After this massive immigration, the population swelled, and Free Planet Alliance’s makeup also slowly begun to change.
From the earliest contact between the two, the Galactic Empire/Goldenbaum dynasty and the Free Planet Alliance coexisted on an uneasy war footing, but sometimes, false images of peace could be found. The resulting product was the “Phezzan Autonomy Region”, a city-state in between the two large powers belonging to the Phezzan planetary system. Although it nominally belonged to the Galactic Empire and had to pay tribute to it, its internal political structure was completely independent. This also included both its trade and its diplomatic relations to the Free Planet Alliance. An Earth-born extremely wealthy capitalist, Leopard Lapp, was overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the creation of this special autonomy region. Using petitions, and huge bribes to sell the idea eventually made it happen, and he secretly controlled everything on Phezzan.
Lapp was the leader of this autonomous region, which belonged to the Kaiser while governing its own land. It was also responsible for overseeing the Alliance’s trade status with both itself and the Empire. Sometimes, it could also gain a diplomatic role. Because Phezzan had the sole authority over trade, its wealth continuously gathered and grew. Therefore, while it did not expand its territory, its strength could not be taken lightly.
The Galactic Empire believed that it was human society’s only ruler, and therefore did not recognize any other nation’s existence. In publications, they called the Free Planet Alliance “rebel forces”, the Alliance army the “rebel army”, and the highest Alliance senate leader as the “rebel leaders”.
The Empire and the Alliance were not completely without the will to get along. In GC 398 (UC 707), Kaiser Manfred, II one of the sons of the former Kaiser Leonhart, was in power. When he was the royal prince, he had fled to the Free Planet Alliance because of political struggle within the royal families leading to an assassination attempt. After growing up until his adolescence in its free air, he returned and assumed the throne. Then he did his best to patch the two powers by forming equal diplomatic relationships, and he tried to reform the Empire’s political structures. However, he was assassinated within one year of his reign, and the relationship between the two powers quickly chilled again. The hopes for peace fizzled. The assassination of Manfred II, on the surface, appeared to be the work of the royal opposition, but there were rumors that the real person who secretly manipulated events was the free trade monopolizer, Phezzan. Many found these rumors extremely credible.
Until UC 800 (GC 500), the Empire still had huge swaths of land without any control or organization. The Free Planet Alliance also lost its initial ideals upon its establishment as a major power. Between the two was Phezzan, and both powers continued their endless battles. Economists once performed a calculation to determine the 3 nations’ power. In their schemes, the Empire scored a 48, the Free Planet Alliance 40, and Phezzan 12. It became a stalemate between the three nations.
Changing the current situation was a young man from Wahara planet system’s third planet Odin, named for the main god from Norman mythology and the current capital of the Galactic Empire. This extremely handsome young man with a cold aura was Rheinhard von Lohengramm.
Rheinhard’s original last name was Georgia, as he was born in a royal but poor family in GC 467 (UC 776). At ten years old, his older sister Annerose was taken by Kaiser Friedrich IV as his concubine. That moment changed his life. This golden haired, green eyed youth had at 15 already became a 2nd lieutenant in the royal guard. The Kaiser’s favor with Annerose, combined with his own ability, spurred on his advancement through the ranks.
At age 20 he was named Count Lohengramm; therefore he cast away the last name “Georgia” and became a first class Admiral. This would only be possible in a dictatorship. However, with his advancing position, his corresponding responsibilities became heavier as well. To prove that he was not just “the brother of Kaiser’s favorite concubine”, Rheinhard was forced to show that his ability matched the position he had attained.
At the same time, the Free Planet Alliance also held a trump card. He was the strategist Yang Wenli, born UC 767. He had been in the military since he was 20 years of age.
It had not been his original intent to go into the military. If it wasn’t for an act of fate that pushed him into it, he would not have become a creator of history, but rather a normal bystander with no chance of fame.
“There are things that you can do, there are things that you cannot do.”
This was Yang’s philosophy. He was even more passive about fate than Rheinhard, even more forgiving. He always felt that it was hard to blend in with his companions in the military because he always wanted to give up his military position and live his life in seclusion. However, this never did happen.
In UC 796 (GC 487), Rheinhard led a group of over 20,000 ships and took the long road towards conquest. He wanted the so-called “Free Planet Alliance” rebel army to kneel and beg for forgiveness so that he could use the victory to consolidate his own position.
The Alliance gathered a fleet with 40,000 ships to greet the imperial fleet head on. Yang Wenli was a subordinate to the commanders.
At the time, Rheinhard von Lohengramm was 20 years old and Yang Wenli, 29.