In the two hundred years that the Confed has explored and colonized space they have carved out a sizeable chunk of territory. All of Confed space is contained in a rough sphere in the Orion arm of the Milky Way galaxy. Centered on the Sol system, it has a radius of 1000 light years. Within this region of space there are roughly 15,000,000 stars, the majority of them being dim red dwarfs. There are also roughly 975,000 G class stars within this territory, providing a great many possible systems for terraforming and settling.
Indeed, with so many stars within the Confed sphere of influence, only a small fraction of them have been thoroughly explored. There are many mysteries to be uncovered, but for the most part the emphasis on interstellar space travel has been in colonization and commerce, favoring the systems that are most friendly to supporting life.
Confed space is divided up into a series of concentric spherical layers, all centered on the Sol system, based upon successive waves of colonization over the past two centures. They are defined as follows:
The Core is the central collection of systems that define the government and the culture of the Confederation. Having a radius of 50 light years, it contains over a dozen densely populated systems, along with many more less-populated colonies. The Core contains colonies that were founded in the first few decades of Terran exploration, after their first contact with the Selvens. These worlds tend to have the most economic power in the Confed as well as the most political representation.
The Inner Ring, extending to a radius of 250 light years from Sol, contains colonies that were started during the Golden Age of the Confed back in 2205. A huge migration of humans and recoms moved to this section of space to escape what they saw as a repressive atmosphere in the Core, founding colonies that were intended to allow for more freedom. Whether it was freedom of religion, freedom of cultural expression, or freedom of economic conquest, these new colonies where a more unruly bunch than those in the Core, ultimately proving more difficult for the Confed government to control. The Ring of a Thousand Utopias is a common name for this region, as well as The Ring of Fools. The majority of colonies founded here were funded by wealthy ideologues who wanted to create a perfect society that conformed to their own ideas. More often than not they failed, only to be rescued later by any number of interstellar corporations that were all too happy to exploit the resources (and populations) of those worlds.
There are many dozens of successful colonies that have survived out of the many hundreds that were attempted, and those systems are the most densely populated in the Inner Ring. Many of those systems had declared independance from the Confed during the Confed Civil War of 2305. They remained stubbornly independant up until the Tairez War in 2340, eventually reaffirming their loyalty to the Confed government in order to gain the protection of the Confed Navy. Today these systems are still officially loyal, though they nonetheless tend to do whatever they please.
The Outer Ring defines the outer border of the Confed sphere of influence, having a radius of 1000 light years from Sol. This vast collection of systems was first explored by science vessels, dutifully mapping stars and planets as well as prospecting worlds that held the potential for life. During the rush of colonization that defined the Golden Age of the Confed, a number of colonists migrated to these remote science outposts to start new lives, far away from the influence of the Core. Though protection from the Confed Navy was not nearly as reliable here, many of these distant colonies relied upon their obscurity for safety.
The section of the Outer Ring that extended in the direction of the Orion Nebula, towards the Perseus Arm of the Galaxy, ended up bumping against the outer rim of the Talesian Star Republic. Both factions first met on the world of Adhara in 2161, where the built a series of science outposts to study the massive stellar nursery in the Orion Nebula.
When the Confed Civil War raged in 2305 there was a rush of colonists from the Inner Ring, fleeing the fighting and establishing new colonies. Those colonies have since multiplied across the Outer Ring, producing a diversity of culture that has evovled well beyond anything seen in the Core.
The edge of known space, the great unexplored reaches of the galaxy, beyond the spheres of influence of the Confed and the Talesians. Very few colonies are established out this far, as any colonists would very likely be on their own. Yet there are numerous science outposts that receive occasional support from their respective governments or corporations, and there is the odd group of colonists who are driven to go well beyond known space to start a new life.
One of the benefits of the centralized Confed government is the security its Navy provides across the space lanes. Whether a ship is stranded by mechanical failure or naviagional mishap, it is not uncommon for the Navy to be the first responder to any distress signal. Piracy is unfortunately common, especially along popular shipping lanes, and again the Navy is the first line of defense against such ruthless criminals. Advances in FTL drives as well as communications allow Confed Navy ships to respond to distress signals within hours in most places.
Yet space is a huge place, and even within Confed territory there are large regions that are too remote to be frequently patrolled. The Confed Navy has only so many ships to spare, and the highest priority is to protect highly populated colonies. And so Confed space is divided into three security zones representing the priority a given region has in being patrolled and defended. These security zones can be applied anywhere within the multi-layered territories of Confed space, depending on a combination of density of traffic and proximity to highly populated colonies. These zones are broken down as follows:
The highest security zones in Confed space. Usually within proximity of highly populated systems, or clusters of systems. The cluster of systems immediately surrounding Sol out to a distance of ten light years fall in this category, as well as numerous other system clusters farther out. Any distress signal will likely be answered in a matter of hours at the most, and any supicious ships will be challenged and boarded. Any hostile ships will be attacked without hestiation, usually with the intent of disabling and boarding the ship. Monitoring of interstellar traffic is much more prevalent here, as well as monitoring of the populations of any world within this zone. Criminal activity is much more difficult to carry out here, the authorities tending to be very quick to suspicion.
Hi-Sec is generally a very desirable zone for the common citizen to live and conduct his business. Smugglers, pirates, and other criminals will find it very challenging to conduct their business here.
The low security zones of Confed space are vast, consisting of most of the volume of Confed space where there are no well-traveled space lanes or dense colonies. The Confed Navy will still respond to distress calls, but they may take longer, anywhere from hours to days. Security in Low-Sec zones is handled more often by local systems, and the Confed will usually not expend resources to respond to trouble in a region where a local system can handle it more quickly.
Lo-Sec zones are virutally unheard of in the Core, but they are more prevalent in the Inner Ring and virtually the norm in the Outer Ring and the Frontier.
For anyone who thinks that Lo-Sec means easy pickings for pirates, they could be in for a rude surprise. Criminal activity is still frowed upon in Lo-Sec zones, but criminals most often have to answer to local authorities, which can run the gamut from the corrupt and easily bribed to the mercilessly authoritarian. Crime is more common here, but it is certainly more unpredictable in its consequences.
Null-Sec is the criminal's dream, anything goes in these zones. Too remote for Confed authorities to respond within any reasonable time, and any local systems are either too corrupt or too disfunctional to police themselves. These regions are havens for smugglers, pirates, gangs, slavers, war criminals, and worse. To survive in these zones, one has to either be very tough, very clever, or very stealthy. Null-Sec regions are most common around the various voids within Confed space, places where stars are dim and there is no sign of habitable systems within many light years. Failed colonies are also common Null-Sec regions, especially in the Outer Ring. The Frontier is the most common Null-Sec region, simply because it is outside of the jurisdiction of the Confed or Talesian governments, and too far removed from any densely populated systems to be worth policing.
Talesian controlled space, otherwise known as the Talesian Star Republic is an alien empire which rivals the confederation in both population and military might. Accurate censuses are hard to take in the vastness of space for either faction; though many believe there are just as many Talesians in the known universe as there are Terrans. This is a staggering number ranging into the trillions of Talesians. Like Humanity, Talesians are an aggressive and highly adaptable species, allowing them to spread themselves across space and create an empire that rivals mankind’s accomplishments.
Talesians started their roads to wide expansion in 2155 after the advancement of Class C warp drive. Prior to this, the sphere of influence of worlds in the Talesian Star Republic was limited to 100 light-years out from Talesia, a voyage of a 2-3 week trip from Talesia to the outer colonies with more primitive drives.
Talesians are very practical people, and keep their empire within easy management of their war fleets. A trip of two weeks allowed colonists and military personnel alike to take long voyages without entering cryo-sleep. This remains the model of Talesian efficiency today.
When warp travel advanced, so did the ability for the Talesians to reasonably expand their borders. The Talesian Star Republic as it stands today encompasses some 1,600 light-years in diameter. While smaller in its sphere of control than the Confederation, it contains a comparable number of colonized or allied worlds spread across the Empire. It is overall an oblong egg-shaped sphere; its Core located 600 ly away from the contested space of the Orion Nebula on one side and reaching to 1,000 ly into extreme deep space on the other, putting the far edge of Talesian territory some 3,000 ly away from Sol.
There is one central hub to the entire Talesian Empire, and that is on Talesia. Aside from that, each member world governs its own population; how strictly the galactic law laid down by the Talesian Senate varies from world to world but is often directly linked to it's proximity to Talesia.
Since the Talesian Republic was once a much smaller empire, worlds within 100 ly of Talesia; all within a days travel for civilian craft and several hours for Military vessels comprise the “Core Worlds” of the Republic. The rest of Talesian space is covered under the blanket of “Member Worlds” and receive military aid and support from the core worlds to quell civil uprisings or respond to a pandemic or other planetary crisises.
Unlike the confederation, Talesian member worlds beyond the core worlds are scattered throughout Talesian space. Today swift Military fleets can be assembled and respond to any planetary crisis or uprising anywhere in the Republic in a matter of days.
Almost every corner of the Talesian Star Republic has been explored and mapped; but many star systems remain un-colonized due to a lack of habitable worlds and a wealth of prime real-estate elsewhere. The Talesian Science Order has small scientific outposts observing most explored stars within the Republic’s space, but most have minimal crews or are totally unmanned.
One last Frontier remains in Talesian space, and this is the Orion Nebula. The Orion Nebula is the largest stellar nursery in known space, and has been a curiosity of Talesian and Terran scientists for centuries. This nebula also marks the farthest border between the Talesian Star Republic and the Terran Confederation; deemed to be a neutral zone by the Treaty of Adhara.
Prolonged exposure to the volatile gasses inside the nebula corrodes hulls, wreaks havoc with electrical systems and sensors, and energy shields will not function. Thus exploration and mapping of the Nebula remains impossible, and any probes or unmanned observatories launched into the Nebula cease to function after a few hours.
The Core Worlds are founding colonies and members of the Talesian Star Republic. Included in these worlds is Talesia, the birthplace for the Talesian race and Xiang the home of the mysterious and enigmatic Wu Jen.
This is where the might of the Talesian Star Republic is the strongest. Migration of population from the core worlds out to member worlds is common place while long-term relocation from the outer member worlds into the center sphere of the Republic. Large-scale shifts and migration of population from the outer member worlds to the Core Worlds is restricted, outside of shifting of military forces and political personnel, for fear of becoming a corrupting factor to the worlds in the heart of the Talesian Republic.
Laws in the core worlds of the Republic; those worlds within 100 ly radius from Talesia are under much stricter judicial and martial laws then the outer member worlds. Local governments are highly influenced by policies set down by the Talesian senate; unlike the outer member worlds where colonies are left to self govern themselves except in a case of federal emergency. Security is tight and federal and naval intervention surpasses even the quick response time of worlds in the Hi-Sec sectors of the Confederation. Crime and punishment is dealt with swiftly, often without trial; a person’s guilt or innocence being decided within seconds of becoming apprehended for a crime.
The majority of the Talesian Star Republic resides in its member worlds; those worlds which were colonized or joined the republic during the golden age of galactic expansion. As population slowly expanded out from the rigors of strict society within the core worlds, the Member worlds offer a fair compromise between liberty and justice; while falling under the security blanket of the Talesian Republic during wide-spread strife. Life is a bit more dangerous out here, but the Member worlds, no matter where they are situated within the Republic, have comparable or better security compared to Lo-Sec worlds within the Confederation.
Life on a Member World is generally comfortable, each planet recruiting and providing their own peacekeeper forces without Federal aid except in emergency. Each world governs itself, and has a representative and vote on the Talesian Senate; though only those representatives within the core worlds are allowed to pass and submit new bills and laws into admission. Local laws supersede federal laws on most member worlds, allowing for interbreeding on member worlds outside the core which do not enforce the breeding laws set forth on Talesia for example.
Piracy and crime are relatively low among the Talesian member worlds, but unlike the inner sanctum of the core worlds they do exist. Scattered bands of nomadic pirates who keep between worlds in the lighter patrolled federal space and prey on freighters and convoys as they travel between member worlds is the most common.