Terragen Space — The Current Situation
A millennium after the first diaspora, the children of Earth are scattered across a region of the Orion and Perseus arms encompassing 2.4 billion cubic parsecs of space. They have claimed thousands of systems, built thousands of habitats, and terraformed hundreds of worlds.
The largest and most powerful political entity within Terran space is Concord. The “civilised” core of transhumanity is made up mostly of Concord member polities. Worlds, habitats, colonies, corporations, syndicates, states, collectives and other groups that are Concord members agree to abide by the Fathom Treaty and the Articles of Concord, respect the authority and jurisdiction of the Interstellar Commerce Commission (ICC), and look to Concord’s Stellar Defence Fleet (SDF) for protection when major threats emerge.
The polities over which Concord holds sway run the gamut from hyper-advanced 6th wave societies (see GURPS Transhuman Space regarding waves) and meta-societies with cornucopia machines powering post-scarcity economies, to corporate quasi-states, to old-style nation states governed on democratic, oligarchic, anarchic and even monarchic and theocratic lines. Some of these, it could be argued, are almost utopian; others are callously mercenary societies and organisations devoid of pity or sentiment. Concord member polities range in technological and social advancement from isolationist puritan colonies of humans genetically identical to those living on Earth a thousand years before, to hives of purely digital constructs living lives almost incomprehensible to organic beings. Humans, Post-humans, bioroids, synthetics, artilects, infomorphs and numerous other types of being have exploded in hyperdendritic profusion from the human and transhuman settlers that first began to leave Earth in the second diaspora 800 years ago. All of these are united only in their accession to the Articles of Concord.
Concord is the administrative and judicial entity established by the Articles of Concord at end of the Second War of Reunification and the downfall of the Aidan Federation 130 years ago. Concord was brought into existence to serve three functions.
1. Promote non-violent solutions to disputes between members.
Concord is a forum in which the delegates of its many worlds can meet to discuss and debate issues on inviolate neutral ground. This is its first and most fundamental purpose. On Concord’s “capital”, the titanic orbital habitat of the same name, diplomacy between any and all affiliate entities is constant. As long as Concord endures, no member group need be the victim of misunderstanding, and all disputes must be openly and frankly discussed before any forceful action is taken.
2. Protect members from external threats, and from unjust attack by other members.
Concord’s Stellar Defence Fleet stands ready to protect client entities from attack or invasion by any external threat, and to prevent the use of certain classes of weapons by member entities against one another – holocaustic attack delivery systems (HADS) such as autonomous nano-plagues, genetic reegineering weapons (“prometheus viruses”) and stellar implosion devices. If a Concord member state is attacked by a non-Concord entity, or by another member state without a Concord-ratified casus belli, it is the task of the SDF to intervene in its defence.
3. Promote free and fair trade between members.
The Interstellar Commerce Commission was established by Concord to oversee and guarantee the freedom, fairness and stability of trade and financial relationships between member entities. The ICC manages stock markets, trade and labour exchanges, anti-piracy forces (in cooperation with the SDF), and tribunals for the resolution of trade disputes between member entities. It is also empowered to impose trade sanctions, embargoes and quarantines on member polities in breach of its rulings.
Beyond these three functions, Concord has no authority and no jurisdiction. It does not interfere with the internal affairs of member entities. It promotes, but does not attempt to enforce, a “sentient rights” agenda. It does not judge or take action against any regime as long as that regime abides by the Articles of Concord.