Deep Space
En Route to Orbital Platform Zeta, North Quadrant
Excerpt from An Objective History of Humanity and the Galactic Federation
by Arthur Lee (abridged version)

The Galactic Federation is easily the dominant organization in this region of the galaxy (though the name "galactic" is slightly misleading bearing in mind that Galactic Federation territory comprises less than 1/32 of the total area of our galaxy) and has been for several hundred years.

Encompassing hundreds of races and thousands of solar systems one can clearly see that it wields incredible power over an astonishingly vast area. Since its inception, it has kept a reasonable amount of peace in a sector that for thousands of years was almost constantly at strife if not between planets then upon them.

The official chronicle of the Federation states that in the year 2000 of the history of the cosmos, representatives from the many different planets in the galaxy established a congress called the Galactic Federation, and an age of unmatched prosperity began.

Unfortunately, peace has never yet been a product of altruism and more often arrives through bloodshed despite any desires to the contrary. Equally unfortunate is that this true history has been suppressed by the Galactic Federation, and now most people believe what I know to be complete fantasy. It is a beautiful and lovely fantasy to believe in, but in the end, fantasies are nothing more than sugarcoated lies. I know that some would rather stay ignorant, but I hope that those who seek truth will find it here.

Humans: Architects of the Galactic Federation

Note: Humanity is entwined so deeply in the Federation that one could almost say the history of humanity is the history of the Galactic Federation. That, however, is not quite true and would be a disservice to the contributions many other races have made. Still the history of humanity contains much of the history, and especially the early history, of the Federation.

Average height

Male – 6'0"

Female – 5'4"

Average Weight

Male – 160 lbs

Female – 125 lbs

Natural Skin Color

From pale white (space platform stock) to light brown and dark black (terrestrial residents)

Natural Eye Color

Most commonly brown, also green and blue, mixtures of these

Natural Hair

Most commonly black and brown, also blonde, red, and mixtures of these. Small hairs all over body however thick hair normally concentrated on head, face, groin, and armpit.

Physical Build

"Standard"

As most humans know, our species was not born on planet Ammon-höta nor was it born on any of the Central Planets or outlying colonies. Rather humans come from a planet on the other side of our galaxy, which at one time was called "Earth." I have as of yet been unable to discover the exact location of the planet, partly because of the terms on which our ancestors left and partly because of its great displacement from us, though I have heard that the Galactic Federation is thinking of renaming one of the Central Planets and rewriting the history books to reflect this change. It seems that humans cannot even bear the shame of the lies they have themselves created. Forgive me if during this narrative I switch back and forth between referring to humans as "they" and "we." Sometimes I honestly do not know whether I wish to be included in our species.

For now most of us are taught as children that humans left Earth because we had used up all of our resources and sought a new home elsewhere. Included in the textbooks is a note that we have since then learned from our mistakes and now protect the environments of all our planets. Used as evidence of this is the treatment of Ammon-höta (our current capital planet), where the entire environment is protected by reserving at least one half of the planet as untouchable by industrial hands. Sadly, this is completely false, fabricated in every way imaginable. We did not use up the resources on our planet; we destroyed them.

Our ancestors lived in the days of atomic and thermonuclear weapons and they were the primary means of defense in that they were used only to keep other humans from attacking rather than actual offensive weapons. Eventually humans unified under a single government and colonized their sole moon, a nearby planet, many moons orbiting other planets in the solar system, as well as hundreds of asteroids. Ultimately, (and ironically) they had more resources than they could expend. It was arguably the golden age of humanity. It would not last.

After an unidentified "alien" race invaded, the Earthlings first used conventional weapons and forces to defend themselves. They were losing on every front so in desperation they turned to their ultimate weapons. In the end they destroyed their own holdings and failed to destroy their enemy. Their homes were left poisonous radioactive wastelands. So the remaining humans fled. They went to the stars taking only a small number of starships that could manage to escape and on them a few species that reminded them of home.

Humanity was damaged, its ego as well as its strength. They moved from solar system to solar system slowly rebuilding what they had lost. It is remarkable how fast they recovered in retrospect. Eventually they conquered their first sentient species: the Mehrites. From them, the humans learned that humanity was the dominant species in that area of the galaxy and thus began the Galactic Federation. Obviously, even the name "Galactic Federation" shows that from the beginning humanity had much bigger plans in mind than simply conquering one species and stopping. Rather than turning them into slaves, the humans made the Mehrites into "subjugated allies." In time, they were equipped with human weaponry and made part of the human military, which eventually became known as the Federation military. It was during this time that the Equal Species System or "ESS" was created. Simply put, after a certain period of good behavior, any conquered species became equal to humanity (and later to all of the other species in the Federation that were equal with humanity). The longer the peace continued, the more privileges that race was allowed such as being allowed in to the best restaurants and lodgings, receiving better technology, and getting their own representative councilman. The ESS also rewarded anyone who turned in rebels by shortening their own time to become a Federation citizen. Those turned in, caught in the act of rebellion, or resisting the status quo were dealt severely and in many cases executed for relatively small violations. Sentences assigned were usually up to the local praetor. Very few conquered races actually resisted for very long due to the advantages of cooperation and the extreme disadvantages of resistance.

However, that does not mean that this period of time was not exceedingly violent. Truth be told, I am hard pressed to find an era of humanity that was more brutal, though this could also be attributed to the scale of these wars compared to previous conflicts as well as the fact that the books on Earth's history are disjointed and conflicting at best (two books often speak about the very same events without every agreeing on anything but the name of the war - though even that is sometimes disagreed on).

In a span of two hundred years, over five billion people were killed on both sides of humanity/the Federation's many wars, though only 950,000,000 of the casualties were actually human. This is yet another time period that the Galactic Federation wishes to sweep under the rug of the past. As the winners, they have for the most part written the history of this era, and it is predictably very different from the truth. Entire planets were laid to waste, and at least one moon was completely destroyed. To most it is now known as the "Sihon Asteroid Cluster" and even now the planet that moon used to orbit has hellish showers of rock that prevent almost any kind of life from being possible. However, undeniably the Gehrites took the brunt of the Federation's wrath.

The Gehrites were a fiercely territorial species that had been in conflict with their relatively close neighbors the Mehrites for an amount of time that neither race actually knows. Indeed, in the histories of both races the war has been going on since the beginning of time (which I can only assume means that they have been at war so long that they have both forgotten the reason they actually began fighting). Regardless, the Gehrites put up especially stout resistance and paid the price for it. For the first time since their defeat in their home solar system, humans used thermonuclear weapons. Up until this point humans and their allies wanted to conquer planets, not destroy them. The radiation the thermonuclear weapons left behind would render any conquered planet useless. Officially, it was the Gehrites who first used thermonuclear weapons but I find this impossible to believe. Not only is this uncharacteristic of their species and culture, but they did not even have a thermonuclear stockpile before the war (unlike the Federation) and therefore the only place from where they could have purchased these weapons would have been from the people they were currently at war with. I admit that I have seen credible evidence that shows that the Gehrites used atomic weapons late in the war, but I am unable to explain this other than that they finally developed the capacity to create some of their own. I have found only four conclusive instances of Gehrite atomic and/or thermonuclear bombs being used against Federation forces compared to the 376 (minimum estimate) that were used against Gehrite forces.

This is yet another example of our unwillingness to face the bad sections of our history. I do not mean to insist that the Gehrites were pure of heart or hapless by any means. In the war, they did more than their share of despicable acts. But they have paid the price. At the time of this book, there are only forty-five living Gehrites. Due to the numerous birth defects that they are born with and the high rate of cancer that all share, I believe that they will be an extinct species within 150 years.

In many parts, on the fringes of the Galactic Federation, there is an intense hatred of humans (though in particular areas Mehrite hatred surpasses even that). Yet, humans are not simply the terrible devils of the universe, and I apologize if up to this point I have portrayed them as such. On most conquered planets, the quality of life was raised enormously, and the average lifespan on some planets has doubled since being incorporated into the Galactic Federation. They have shared knowledge of science and technology with all. Indeed peace does exist, and perhaps everyone in the Galactic Federation is better off for being conquered; that is not my place to decide. Most races would do the same thing had they the strength and ability to do it. The problem is that while the great accomplishments of improving life is listed numerous times, the slaughter and destruction that occurred as well is mentioned only briefly in Federation histories, if they are mentioned at all. Nothing can truly be called 'history' if it is without balance. If only one side is given then that is propaganda and nothing more.

Mehrites: Humanity's Chief Allies

Average height

Male – 6'5"

Female – 5'10"

Average Weight

Male – 135 lbs

Female – 115 lbs

Natural Skin Color

Light Blue to Teal

Natural Eye Color

Most commonly white, also gray and green

Natural Hair

Black. Hair very sparse and small, a line of long silky hairs running down the tricep to the elbow.

Physical Build

"Slender and tall"

They were the first members to join the Federation and therefore second behind only humans in status in the Galactic Federation. They had been engaging in seemingly neverending wars against the Gehrites throughout all of their recorded history however the two races were merely butting heads against one another. They were for all intents and purposes equal with one another and their wars were stalemates. Nevertheless, the Mehrites were no match for humans. As previously mentioned (and as we all know), Mehrites lost fairly quickly however they responded well to the ESS and used and adapted the human technology they were given almost flawlessly.

While official Federation history and even most public Federation sources point to Gehrite aggression sparking the conflict, internal communication from the time makes it clear that it was largely Mehrites who pushed for the new human-Mehrite alliance's war against the Gehrites. It often forgotten that our word to identify the Gehrites is actually the Mehrite's word for 'adversary.'

The Mehrite homeworld, Ammon-shönta, is one of the Central planets though it could actually be considered the central planet because it is the center that the Galactic Federation stretched out from. It was at one time the capital of the Federation but it was decided that it would be best to move the capital to a neutral location to avoid the appearance of favoritism.

It was and is Galactic Federation policy to separate its military divisions by species however of all of the races in the Galactic Federation, humans and Mehrites get along the best. I suppose that this is due to the humanoid appearance of the Mehrites as well as their astounding anatomical similarities. Interspecies intercourse, though once a taboo between both races, is quite common now. It is still frowned upon by the majority of society and as of yet no offspring has ever been created from these couplings however as the massive amount of pornography on this subject shows, it hasn't been from lack of trying. Once it was theorized that the female Mehrite pheromones have a heightened effect on human males and vice versa however for the most part that has been disproven. My personal theory has little to do with science and more to do with my observations on human/Mehrite behavior. I believe that both races simply have members within their species with a taste for the exotic and do not think with the larger head most of the time. Nevertheless, to this day female Mehrites and humans are not allowed to work in government and military jobs with the male humans and Mehrites respectively.

Part of the problem in stopping Mehrite/human intercourse is that both species are immune to the other's venereal diseases and as stated above there is no risk of pregnancy. Safe sex at its finest. I find myself a bit cynical about the subject but in the event of any legislation being passed, the proponents would have no legs to stand on but morality and as we all know, that is one of the wobbliest legs anyone could stand on due to its obvious subjectivity.

Humans and Mehrites have also had the habit of aping one another's culture to the point that today they are now almost one and the same. Galactic Federation Standard came of a mixture of the dominant human dialect of Angle-ish and the Mehrite language, Minouri. From time to time words from the languages of conquered species have been incorporated into Galactic Federation Standard however the building blocks of it have not changed. Language is the prime illustration however fashion runs a very close second. For years, religious clothing has been the favorite garb of the opposite species. The colorful and tight fitting tribal robes of a Mehrite shaman are considered to be the preferred wear of most adolescent human males while the Mehrite shrine priestess's rhastam and jewelry are the preferred wear of adolescent females. Many of the older generation view the latter as exceedingly vulgar and not appropriate for public while the former is merely considered distasteful. These opinions are few and slowly dying out, as it has become the norm rather than the exception. Mehrite males and females alike have a fascination with the black suits and white collars of the human priests. Crosses adorn almost everything imaginable within the confines of popular culture and the random words of a lost language that fill many human holy books can be found on shirts and commercials to appear trendy. Though the clergy of both species see this as a mockery of religion, as always, popular culture is slowly winning the long battle of acceptance. The entertainment industry is such a hodge-podge of one another's cultures that all forms of literature and amusement are completely identical, no matter what source they come from. If not for our inability to procreate with one another, it is possible that neither species would exist in itself anymore.

Mehrites are unquestionably the ESS's crowning example of success.

Dåi-ori: the Galactic Rebels

Average height

Male – 6'7"

Female – 5'11"

Average Weight

Male – 195 lbs

Female – 145 lbs

Natural Skin Color

Tan to auburn

Natural Eye Color

Most commonly red or black, occasionally emerald

Natural Hair

Various shades of black, red, and brown. Long hair all over body, especially head, face, groin, forearms, calves, and a mane of hair running down the spine. Males are usually much hairier than females.

Physical Build

"Large and bulky"

If the Mehrites are the crowning example of the success of the ESS then the Dåi-ori are its worst failure. The Federation was made up of a coalition of seventeen planetary systems by the time it turned to the Dåi-ori. The surface of the Dåi-ori home planet was almost 90 percent water therefore, they never unified under a single government even after they reached space. The free "land" was abundant and seemingly everywhere so each nation and tribe sought to claim as much of it as they could. The Dåi-ori spread out across their solar system quickly but all had mutual distrust for one another. Every asteroid doubled as a base and every orbiting platform was bristling with weapons. The colonized moons and planets were even worse. Settlements were designed specifically to be defended, and no matter what treaties existed, skirmishes were constant and no tribe or nation ever worked with another.

Even after the Federation attacked them, the Dåi-ori never joined together in defense against their conquerors. Despite this, it took the Federation almost fifty years to take all of the bases and outposts under Dåi-ori control. Even then it did not end. When conquered, the Dåi-ori were all considered the same people by their conquerors. As they began losing their distinct cultural identities, they finally worked together against their common enemy.

Rebellion broke out every few days on the various planets and settlements without warning. After an especially fierce incident which lasted for three months (killing almost 150,000 Federation peace keepers and over two million Dåi-ori in the process), the Dåi-ori were all expelled from their home planet and the most populous of their holdings in their solar system. Their monuments and buildings were destroyed until no trace of their existence remained behind them.

The "Dåi-ori Spora" as it has been nicknamed is the largest of any such forced migration in Federation history. Most ended up in the North Quadrant where they have attempted to regain or perhaps re-create their culture and history. Many have become very successful as bounty hunters or more often, bounty killers. As weaponsmiths, they are nearly unmatched. Over half of the improvements to military suits in the past forty-five years are the direct result of Dåi-ori designs and re-designs from loyalists. Yet fanatical Dåi-ori still cause problems within the Federation and terroristic attacks against governmental structures continue to occur, though the interval and magnitude of them have been declining steadily since the arrival of the Space Pirates onto the galactic stage.

Indeed, the only reason tension has eased between the Dåi-ori and the Federation is because tension between the Space Pirates and the Federation has increased. The Space Pirates' attacks on Dåi-ori colonies have soured almost any chance of an alliance against the Galactic Federation though some of the most radical Dåi-ori are still pushing for such a pact. Considering the difficult time that the Federation has had with each separately, one can only assume that the Federation would be at the very least hard pressed to defeat them united.

The Dåi-ori are considered a barbaric species and not considered "attractive" by human or Mehrite standards probably due to the overall more muscular appearance of Dåi-ori as well as the "unsightly" strip of fur that runs from the nape of their neck to the small of their back. The difference in appearance may explain some of the antipathy each have with one another though many other species with the Galactic Federation do not see one another as attractive so that damages that theory quite a bit. Undoubtedly there are many factors which contribute to these feelings. It certainly does not help that Mehrite males are capable of impregnating Dåi-ori females and during the war many Dåi-ori/Mehrite hybrids were conceived against the mothers' will. Many more are created still. The Mehrite politicians claim that their soldiers and bureaucrats are seduced. Evidence from the amount of sexual assault court proceedings early on in occupation argue this is unlikely, however.

There are some Dåi-ori females who are friendly toward the Federation but this number does not even come close to approaching the number of hybrids who have been born. Most sexual encounters are forced and except in extreme instances, not even prosecuted.

It is a cruel fate for these bastard offspring. The children are shunned by both species and usually only the mother will take care of it unless she too decides to abandon it whereupon the creature dies unmourned entirely.

It is suicide for Mehrites to travel alone in certain Dåi-ori sectors of the North Quadrant. Dåi-ori do not prosecute Mehrite murders because they say no species should have authority over another. Likewise, they do not prosecute hybrid murders as they consider them another species unto themselves. Most hybrids do not survive adolescence. Those that do are given wide berth.

Zebesians: the Enemy's Enemy

Average height

Male - unknown

Female – 6'8"

Average Weight

Male- unknown

Female – 145 lbs

Natural Skin Color

Varying shades of green, also with purple abdomen and inner thigh

Natural Eye Color

Entirely yellow

Natural Hair

None.

Physical Build

"Slender and very tall"

Sometimes referred to as Domesticated Zebesians and more often as "the good ones," the Zebesians that fled Zebes after a failed coup d'état of the Space Pirate organization are by far the most loyal subjects of the Galactic Federation, perhaps because they must be in order to stay alive. The fleeing Zebesians voluntarily became part of the Galactic Federation and in exchange for their pledge of support were given a planet which became their new homeworld. They responded well to the ESS. Zebesians are second behind only Mehrites in the time it took for them to gain equal species status.

They have gained some acceptance due in part to their rapid micro-evolution (a bi-product of mass reproduction) and loss of the infamous claws that have claimed the lives of so many. Their overall humanoid appearance grows with every passing generation, though if a Zebesian were to fight a human using only the weapons nature gave them, Zebesians would still win easily. However, Zebesians do not have any antipathy toward any other race but Space Pirates. Much was gained from the technology they brought with them as well as some of the insight they provided into the Space Pirate organization itself.

The length of "domesticated" Zebesian generations is short, on average about fifteen years. However, it is estimated that Space Pirate Zebesians have a generation that is less than half of that. In fifty years, even in twenty years, who knows how different the two will be?

Galactic Federation Military
The Galactic Federation was primarily a military organization at its inception. Thus, most of the attention and resources gathered by the Federation was put into maintaining and improving its military. This treatment has since tapered off but the military is still an essential part of the Federation and its governmental budget. The Federation military currently employs over 800,000,000 people with 625,000,000 of them being "frontline" soldiers and the rest working in organization and management of resources (according to their own files). The bulk of the Federation's forces (45 percent) are in the West Quadrant protecting the outlying colonies and their trade routes; 25 percent are in the North Quadrant as peacekeeping and occupying brigades; and the remainder are spread out at military installations and outposts in the East and South Quadrants.

The military is divided into three branches: the Cosmic Navy (which has a sub-division for on-planet campaigns known as the Terrestrial Navy), the Mechanized Infantry, and the Mechanized Cavalry.

Cosmic & Terrestrial Navy
Both Navies are responsible for transportation of troops in their respective areas, however their main function is to provide semi-mobile, heavy support for the Mechanized Infantry and Cavalry, damage the defenses of any target, and intercept all enemy vessels traveling through Federation space. Some within the Cosmic Navy believe the Mechanized branches to be outdated and useless because the Navy's firepower is relatively much more potent than the other branches.

But that can sometimes be too powerful, much like trying to swat at a gnat with a sledgehammer. At times, more precision is required to achieve the desired effect. Perhaps because of this, the Navy has focused more and more of its budget on lighter aircraft, which can be deployed from Gamma-class ships and larger. This may help balance the Navy a bit more but the majority of the work done in the Federation Military rests on the shoulders of the Mechanized Infantry and barring an extreme shift in policy, it looks as though it will remain this way for some time to come.

Ship size is classified using the alphabet of a long lost and forgotten language. Alpha-class ships have the value of "one" and are the largest ships in Navy and therefore the standard against which all others are judged. For example, it requires two Beta-class ships to equal the size of one Alpha-class ship therefore a Beta ship has a value of "two." Likewise three Gamma-class ships are required to equal the size of one Alpha-class ships and this trend continues all the way down to Omega and Sampi-class ships which are valued at "800" and "900" because they are 800 and 900 times as small as an Alpha-class ship, respectively.

Mechanized Infantry
The Mechanized Infantry are swift, numerous, and above all exceedingly dangerous. They have the ability to move at high speeds over mixed terrain, can destroy with discretion, and are able to complete missions quickly and efficiently. They are workhorses of the military on whom the pressure of most problems falls. They are also the main guardsmen of outposts and military bases and once a threat manages to pass through space (usually the Space Pirates), they are the West Quadrant's last line of defense. Unfortunately, though there are many soldiers in the Mechanized Infantry, there are many more colonies that need to be protected.

The Mechanized Infantry is considered a branch in and of itself and no distinction is made between the function of one brigade and the next (as opposed to the two Navies). Unofficially, though all divisions are given letter/number series as identifiers, they are more commonly known by their nicknames. These nicknames are not merely hastily thrown together titles, as one might expect. Rather, they are descriptive labels of the specialties of the Infantrymen within that division. For example, any division that has the name "Star Marines" within it is especially suited to escorting Mechanized Cavalry and it is by no mere coincidence that they are usually given assignments protecting the Cavalry. Following this same example, divisions take another name to differentiate between themselves. Some take the names of animals or mythical creatures such as the "Chimeran Star Marines." Others take their additional name from the sector they are stationed in such as the "Egenoid Star Marines." Again, none of it is official at the present time, however I predict a shift in this direction in the very near future.

Mechanized Cavalry
The Mechanized Cavalry is what one might call the military's compromise between firepower, mobility, and precision. This branch of the military is solely terrestrial and provides medium level siege and defense capabilities to support the Mechanized Infantry. Probably the most lethal, effective, and commonly used weapon in the Mechanized Cavalry is the Anastria Mobile Artillery Cannon, which can hit a target in excess of two hundred miles with an accuracy of one yard while moving in the opposite direction. It also has a two laser rifles for aerial defense and the men inside are armed as well. If they were still outfitted with the plastique in their molars as their policy used to be, one could quite literally say the vehicle's operators are armed to the teeth.

Though most of the heavy work is done by the Cosmic and Terrestrial Navy, the Mechanized Cavalry has a vehicle, which can also carry the task of direct assault. Its name is the Colossus Assault Tank. Nigh-impenetrable alloys protect the crew inside and every square inch that is not necessary for structural integrity or movement carries some type of weapon. It was invaluable in the Federation's campaigns, since its inception during the conflict against the Rêy-deishi to as recent as the Dåi-ori campaigns.

The Mechanized Cavalry is relatively small when compared to the other two branches however it can be the difference between success and failure in many conflicts and often has been.

Galactic Police Force
The Galactic Police Force is everything the Mechanized Infantry is and more. Or perhaps I should say less. The Galactic Police are completely without any "fat" to trim away. Only the top five percent are even allowed to enter the training program and of that, only ten percent of the applicants will actually make the cut. The actual training is highly classified though one can certainly assume using the word "grueling" to describe the "preparation" would be sugarcoating things.

For those that survive the training there is a life of danger and hardship which goes beyond any other occupation in the Galactic Federation. They are given nearly impossible tasks to accomplish because to nearly anyone else they would be impossible. However because the Space Police are such a small force they can afford to be outfitted with the cutting edge of armored suit technology. Pound for pound they are the most dangerous men the Galactic Federation has to offer and the most dangerous Space Police unit is without a doubt the Zebesian unit. They refuse to be assigned anywhere but the West Quadrant and many times launch offensive attacks against Space Pirate strongholds without any provocation. To this date, over fifty million Space Pirates and thirty five million Zebesian Galactic Policemen have been killed by one another. In contrast, the human Galactic Policemen have killed only twenty six million Space Pirates and lost ten million of their own. The hatred Zebesian Policemen have is difficult to match though there are many who try.

Bounty Hunters
Bounty hunters are not officially part of the Galactic Federation however most premier bounty hunters get their assignments straight from the Federation's Treachery, Terrorism, & Combat (TT&C) lists (the one exception is Dåi-ori however I will explain in detail in a moment). They are almost always freelance and willing to work for just about anyone, however the Galactic Federation usually pays much better than private sources.

The skill of some bounty hunters equals, and in a few rare cases exceeds, that of Galactic Policemen. Many are in fact former military men who for some reason or another have decided to do things on their own rather than follow another's orders. Almost all races and breeds serve as bounty hunters (an exception to this rule are the friendly Zebesians who are so fiercely patriotic that not working directly for the Galactic Federation is likened to treason). Unlike the Galactic Policemen, however, their equipment is extremely non-uniform and the quality and weapons varies from one bounty hunter to the next.

Despite this, all are very lethal and none are more lethal than the Dåi-ori. The Dåi-ori bounty hunters take assignments that no other bounty hunters would take - not necessarily because they are more brave, but because the jobs pay far less than what they could get from the Federation. Loyalty is first and foremost and any assignment which might hurt their own people is never accepted. Because of the great skill of the weapon smiths in the North Quadrant as well as the lax enforcement of laws there, Dåi-ori suits and weapons are superior to many of the Galactic Police's own "latest and greatest" suit technology.

At the border of the North and West Quadrants many Dåi-ori do work alongside Federation military and police forces to protect against Space Pirates and though there is tension, as the saying used to go, everyone smells the same once they begin to rot. I have witnessed battles of ferocity and death beyond measure. I have stood shoulder to shoulder with Dåi-ori bounty hunters and Federation military personnel, forced to drop my recording equipment and pick up a rifle to save lives, including my own. I watched Zebesian Policemen charge across battlefields and get mowed down only to continue watching as the survivors pressed on, in the process losing every man in their squad to give the myriad of races behind them a brief respite. I have seen humans and Mehrites and Dåi-ori standing beside me fall to the ground dead while I alone have survived to recount these events. I have watched Jahziel risk their lives to bring back wounded Zebulum who were trapped and dying in the middle of a battle, ignoring their own wounds. There is no difference between friend and foe when one is facing death. Against the Space Pirates, no one stands alone and expects to live.

Space Pirates
The Space Pirates are without a doubt the single greatest external threat to the Galactic Federation. They are as mysterious as they are deadly and much of what is "known" about them is pure speculation. Until the Zebesian defection, a live Space Pirate had never actually been studied in detail. However as dangerous as Zebesians are, Space Pirates have other creatures far more lethal.

The first Defecting Zebesians spoke of a creature that filled them with what can only be described only as total, unutterable fear. They call it Kraid, or sometimes simply "the Lord." According to them, however, he is merely dangerous to intruders of the Space Pirate stronghold and Zebesians who displease him. It is "the Master" who is the plague of everyone else, they say. His name is Ridley. I have spoken to the survivors of the Artax Fleet Disaster. Indeed, they are few and difficult to track down. The official Federation report of the incident states that a superior Space Pirate force ambushed the Artax Fleet. It is true. The fleet was destroyed by a superior force. A superior force of one.

The Space Dragon ripped thirty Upsilon-Class Starships to pieces in the course of a few hours. Eight Alpha-Class ships were lost; only one managed to crash land on a nearby planet. The impact killed nearly everyone aboard yet eighty-three percent of the survivors of the Artax Fleet come from this crash-landed ship. A few small ships were able to escape however the Space Dragon was impossibly swift and agile. Space debris still exists in the area of the disaster, the only sign left that the Artax fleet ever existed. Following the destruction of the Artax fleet, it marked a major shift in Federation policy. Ever since that time, the size of each standard fleet within the Cosmic Navy has been cut down to an eighth of its previous size.

According to the survivors, Ridley was never hit during the entire battle.

The Quadrant System
The terms North, South, East, and West seem ill-suited for describing territory in a three-dimensional realm. Unlike the surface of planets, locations cannot be described by two-dimensional planes. And of course, in the grand scope of the galaxy, a magnetic center does not exist. Also, the Federation has five sections, not four. The fifth region is a sphere at the center of the Galactic Federation aptly named "the Central Planets." It is separate from all of the Quadrants and no part of it is included in them. What is not part of the Central Planets and still part of the Galactic federation is then divided into fourths, forming the four Quadrants.

With all of these things, it is quite obvious the Quadrants are not actually literal definitions of the regions within the Federation, rather they are representations. A Quadrant is a three-dimensional area of space marked on a graph with x, y, and z-axes. Planets are identified by two letters and then three numbers that relate to their three respective axes.

NF492 can be our example.

N – the North Quadrant.

F- one of the twenty-six zones that together form the particular Quadrant.

4- the position on the x-axis.

9- the position on the y-axis.

2- the position on the z-axis.

Numbers range from 1 to 999 however when the numbers are only single digits, as in our example, it is generally understood that they do not need commas to separate them. However, when there are multiple digits for an axis, commas are obviously required to avoid confusion. Therefore, SP32, 554, 7 is 32 on the x-axis, 554 on the y-axis, and 7 on the z-axis.

Conclusion to the Matter
The Galactic Federation is quite diverse and tension exists almost everywhere. The Space Pirates are dangerous, this is true, and it is this danger that has held the Galactic Federation together for at least the past fifty years. The Space Pirates however do not have the resources to win a "war" against the Federation. Likewise, the Galactic Federation does not have the ability to directly attack and take the planet Zebes without risking losing hold of what it already has.

I once again apologize if for some reason I have seemed impartial. It is true. As all historians are, I am indeed biased. I can only hope that I have made clear where the facts end and the biases begin. I am well traveled and I feel as though my partiality where it exists is well founded and I know of what I speak when I say it.

If nothing else I have provided the other, darker side that the Federation wishes to bury and hide from light.