This is a work of fiction that I recently started upon that joins up the universes of Elite with its successors FE2 and FFE. I will continue to add chapters as I get time to write them. I hope you enjoy!
‘Based on the will expressed by the highest state authorities of the planetary systems of Lave, Reorte, Diso, Riedquat, Leesti, Zaonce, and Orerve, the Executive Council of the Galactic Cooperative of Worlds (GalCop) hereby renders GalCop dissolved, as a State & subject of intergalactic law, with immediate effect.’
- ‘Declaration on the Dissolution of the Galactic Cooperative of Worlds’; 19th August ACE 3174
“GalCop; the most expensive, ill-fated, and utterly dangerous experiment ever to have existed in the history of mankind.”
- Horatio Duval, then-ruler of the Empire of Achenar,
upon being informed of GalCop’s official dissolution; 20th August ACE 3174
“What we create here today is on the shoulders of giants to which we hold eternal gratitude; the founding fathers of United States of America in 1776; the pioneers of United Earth in 2055; and of course , the Galactic Cooperative of Worlds.”
- Meredith Argent, 1st President of the Alliance of Independent Systems, during her inaugural address to the Alliance Senate; 1st November ACE 3230
“Amongst wolves, even the mightiest bear may fall to the combined strength of the pack.”
- Colonial Onisqu proverb
In ACE 2696, a group of star systems brought into existence the Charter of the Galactic Cooperative of Worlds. In ACE 3174, that very same group of star systems declared the Charter null and void. What existed in the intervening five centuries still divides the opinions of politicians, social activists, and economic theorists to the present day.
As the old adage goes, the winners write history. That so many competing narratives are still abound about the intrinsic nature of ‘GalCop’ – as it was intergalactically known by its several hundred billion citizens – gives both researchers and casual readers alike an impression of the significance this organisation held in recent history. In the 76 years since the dissolution of GalCop, almost all physical semblance of that pan-galactic union has disappeared from our sector of space. And yet, hardly a day goes by when a Federation politician does not invoke the ‘community spirit of GalCop’ in a declaration on intergalactic cooperation, or an Imperial Senator warns their compatriots of the dangers of “another GalCop oppressing our empire” when decrying Federation or Alliance expansionism.
This investigation does not intend to make a moral judgement on whether the existence of GalCop was a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ thing for the galaxy. Our intention in including the above statements is simply to highlight the profound effect that GalCop had upon the other great powers of the sector. The purpose of this investigation is to analyse how and why GalCop disappeared from the galactic stage in such an astoundingly short period. The ‘twilight years’ of GalCop are identified by many researchers and layman students of history as between ACE 3164 – the collapse of the Inter-Sector Wormhole Access (IWA) in Galactic Sector 1 – and the official dissolution of the organisation in 3174. This decade saw Galcop rendered a shadow of its former self, with political turmoil, military infighting, and economic chaos the defining characteristics of those days. When the dust settled, the only remnants of this once massive body of economic and military might were the Galactic Police – renamed Interpol and relegated to policing non-aligned systems under the remit of a Federation/Empire joint agreement – and a small, largely unofficial trade & mutual defence alliance centred upon the Old Worlds region from where GalCop originally bloomed. The assets of the Galactic Navy - formerly the largest and most powerful military force in the galaxy – were either destroyed, stolen by deserting personnel or auctioned to one of the two major powers by whatever body of officialdom found themselves in possession of hardware of that now-defunct organisation.
Naturally, this investigation examines these ‘twilight years’ in detail, as they do signify a major in the collapse of GalCop. Where this investigation differs from the established orthodoxy is in disagreeing with the claim that the collapse of the IWA was the only important cause of GalCop’s dissolution and virtual disappearance. This viewpoint – and the often-complimentary conspiracy theory that the Federation, the Empire, or both engineered the IWA collapse - has developed into a ‘stab-in-the-back’ political mythos that still fuels resentment of the major powers in the Old World region today.
This dramatic oversimplification of a major galactic event ignores a number of other important factors that permeated the economic, political, and social fabric of GalCop in the years leading up to the IWA collapse. The GalCop of 3174 was a profoundly different beast from its inceptive state five centuries earlier. The struggle against the Thargoid invasion (the brunt of which by any conceivable metric was borne by the Galactic Navy), the interactions of GalCop’s highest leadership with other galactic powers, and the literal & figurative political geography at the pan-galactic organisational heart of GalCop in Sector G1 all played a part in the fall of this mammoth organisation. This investigation seeks to analyse all of these factors in determining how and why the largest organised empire in the history of the human race came to such a sudden and relatively abrupt end.