"Over a century ago, we paid for our future in blood. Every bullet fired, every bomb dropped, every tank, aircraft and warship which had unleashed its weapons and anger was a declaration to the universe. There is no power that can not be shattered by our collective will, no enemy that will deny us our destiny, no cause too great that human flesh and human steel will not rise to meet it.
A century ago our forefathers fought for the right to exist. Citizens, I ask you – who among us was not humbled by their magnificent sacrifice?
For many years we have worked to earn that sacrifice, we have sought reward in service alone. The path we chose was not an easy one, but never once we have faltered. For in our struggle, we have come to understand that the galaxy does not long permit the survival of the weak or the timid.
And so today, as ships and armies march forward under the banner of our great nation, they carry with them a sacred fire that a century ago was lit in the heart of all mankind. Soon that fire will blaze across the stars, and should any stand against us, that fire will burn their fields and boil their oceans until their mountains crack and every hope is burned to ash! The entire galaxy will know, if we cannot move heaven, then we shall raise hell!" -High Marshal Natasha Fox
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"Terra Invicta. Terra Iunctus. Terra Aeterna"
- National Motto of the GTU
The Greater Terran Union (GTU), is the interstellar nation created in 2153 in the Sol system after The Great Defensive War. Originally, the GTU was a provisional government to help the recovery of Earth on the aftermath of Tyrum Consciousness' invasion of the Planet, but after a planet-wide referendum, the state was legitimized as the sole government of Earth.
The GTU is a highly militarized nation with a poor outlook on other races, both of which formed after the Great Defensive War that birthed the nation. The xenophobic policies were partially relaxed after the GTU became a major galactic power when it triumphed in the Final Compact War.
The government executive body is the National Council, with the Head of the Union being the High Marshal who serves a twenty year term. The legislative body is the National Assembly, or the Union's unicameral parliament. The nation is divided into regional commissariats, which consist of anywhere from a few inhabited worlds to over tens of worlds, along with dozens of systems without inhabited planets, which are primarily used for mining and research. The commissariats handle most government services while the national government focuses on policy. Occasionally, the national government will order a commissariat to divulge a significant amount of resources for a major project or war effort, but almost all colony planning, infrastructure, and planetside governance is handled by the regional governments. Star-bases are exempt from commissariat governments and directly controlled by the National Council. Each commissariat mimics the national government structure, with a Regional Council of military officers, a Commissar-General, and a Regional Assembly of elected representatives. Only mid-tier and higher citizens may vote for the Regional Assemblies, and only high-tier citizens may vote for the National Assembly.
Some non-human species are allowed to access most ranks of Terran citizenship, but only Wessari have equal access to all ranks. However, all high-ranking military and civilian government offices are still held by humans because they massively outnumber Wessari due to all new colony worlds being settled by Humans. Wessari population has increased with the construction of multiple Space Habitats in the Raznum Commissariat.
Prior to the Tyrum Invasion, Earth was divided into hundreds of nations. They were human states that were in constant conflict over their own individual interests. When the first signs of the Tyrum were discovered in 2089, and first attempts at communication were ignored by the aliens, the rift between nations only grew. With few exceptions, most states and organizations organized their own defense, especially at the invasions outset. The only notable combined effort came from the United Nations attempt to assemble an orbital defense grid, though this effort was swept aside during the Tyrum's opening strike on February 17th 2090.
Orbital bombardment was the Tyrum's greatest weapon, scattering human armies and annihilating planetary infrastructure in a matter of hours. Humanity proved resilient, however, as the remnants of Earth's governments and military were able to achieve a coordinated intercontinental ballistic missile launch that crippled many of the most important Tyrum vessels in orbit. Unable to continue with their strategic bombardment, the Tyrum were forced to make landfall to pacify the remaining population.
While not as numerous as the Terrans, Tyrum land, air, and sea units were far more advanced than anything humanity could field. Battles became skirmishes; skirmishes became slaughters. Guerrilla resistance became the only way to effectively combat the Tyrum. These small attacks ranged from destroying single tanks to liberating thousands from death camps. The most successful of these being the destruction of one of the many poisonous terraforming towers the Tyrum had erected.
After 1/3 of the planet's population had been lost to the aliens, a unified defense was able to gain enough ground to fight back, toe to toe with the Tyrum. Battle's began to turn in the human's favor as the Tyrum lost their technological advantage. The war ended when the Tyrum were defeated at the Battle of Titan in 2097. After this, reconstruction of Earth became the priority and an international coalition of military forces assumed responsibility for civil governance.
Provisional Government and Reconstruction
Strict measures were put in place after the Tyrum left. Due to a overwhelming lack of resources, the Terran Union was forced to implement a one-child policy across the entirety of the planet. The Terran Union found difficulty in shifting to a civilian economy as the only remaining infrastructure existed entirely to fight back the Tyrum. To this day, many decisions the union had made during this time have remained controversial, though no one can argue that it wasn't done with humanity's best interest in mind.
A planet wide referendum was organized in 2153 where the population was given the chance to decide the fate of Earth's post-war government. To the surprise of many in the Terran Union, the people of Earth put their faith into the system that pulled them back from the brink and voted for the continued existence of the military government. On July 11, 2156 the emergency provisional government was, by popular demand, became the sole governing body of the human race. This was the day The Greater Terran Union was officially proclaimed.
The government of the Greater Terran Union is a borderline stratocracy, where military and civil governance go hand in hand. Citizens are encouraged, and even required for a period of time, to work for the government, whether it be in the armed forces or in civil governance. The government of the Greater Terran Union is widely accepting of all races, creeds, and kinds, though this attitude is born more out of a practical need for the most capable of humanity than any Utopian ideal.
The nation is divided into multiple regional commissariats that govern large swaths of the Earth or of human space. These governing bodies act as smaller replicas of the federal government and have provided the GTU the flexibility and capability to govern billions of people and xenos across thousands of light years.
The GTUs commissariats are separated by 2 different distinctions:
|GTU Regional Commissariats|
|Homeworld Commissariats||Ruled by directly by the National Council|
|Interstellar Commissariats||Ruled by a regional Governor|
Executive power in the Union is held by the National Council, a coalition of 21 Military Marshals, each of whom also acts as the head of one of the government's departments. Acting as the head of the state and the National Council is the High Marshal, a first among equals who has special powers that were created to allow the Council to act quicker and more decisively in times of emergency. High Marshals are elected for twenty year terms, though this can be shortened or lengthened depending on extraneous circumstances. The Marshals of the National Council hold the following positions:
|High Marshal of the Greater Terran Union||Head of State and Commander-in-Chief|
|Marshal of Agriculture||Ministry of Agriculture|
|Marshal of Air Command||Air Command|
|Marshal of Commerce||Ministry of Commerce|
|Marshal of Education||Ministry of Education|
|Marshal of Fleet Command||Fleet Command|
|Marshal of Intelligence||Ministry of Intelligence|
|Marshal of Land Force Command||Land Force Command|
|Marshal of the Interior||Ministry of the Interior|
|Marshal of the Judiciary||Ministry of Justice|
|Marshal of the Ministry of Colonisation||Ministry of Colonisation|
|Marshal of the Ministry of Ecology||Ministry of Ecology|
|Marshal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs||Ministry of Foreign Affairs|
|Marshal of the Ministry of Health and Human Services||Ministry of Health and Human Services|
|Marshal of the Ministry of Human Resource and Citizenship||Ministry of Human Resources and Citizenship|
|Marshal of the Ministry of National Development||Ministry of National Development|
|Marshal of the Ministry of Natural Resources||Ministry of Natural Resources|
|Marshal of the Ministry of Public Enlightenment||Ministry of Public Enlightenment|
|Marshal of the Ministry of Science and Technology||Ministry of Science and Technology|
|Marshal of the Ministry of State Security||Ministry of State Security|
|Marshal of the Treasury||Ministry of the Treasury|
The legislative branch, consisting of a civilian National Assembly, has been criticized as being largely ceremonial. While the National Assembly in theory has the power to create and modify laws, in practice they act as a rubber stamp for laws that the National Council has already decided to pass. There are very few instances in Greater Terran Union history where the National Assembly did not agree with the National Council.
The Greater Terran Union acts as a defacto single party state, however, many opposition parties exist as approved alternatives and are allowed to function within the National Assembly. Not much is known about the approval process, with the exception that any opposition parties must remain subordinate to the nation's interest.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the GTU's government is the tiered citizenship structure. As citizens become more effective and useful members of society, their citizenship tier can rise, granting them more rights and privileges. A popular punishment for minor crimes is the reduction of a citizenship tier, which can restrict their freedom of speech, freedom of movement, and countless other details of daily life that go as far down as the amount of water allotted to a citizen's showers each month. Frequently, such verdicts come paired with specific criteria for the reinstatement of said tier.
Expansion into Space
In the late 22nd century, humanity had managed to recover from the Tyrum's invasion of Earth. As the nation became more and more prosperous, resources were freed that would allow for manned spaceflight to resume as it had nearly a century earlier. The first priority the new missions had were to examine the wrecks the Tyrum had left in orbit and recover all they could from them. Reverse-engineering the technology was a lengthy process, but by 2200, five ships had been created with newly understood hyper-drive technology embedded within them.
On December 15th, 2200, the first interstellar hyperspace jump was conducted by the TUS Hawking as it successfully made its way into the Alpha Centauri system. The very next month, the Hawking would discover that Alpha Centauri III was capable of supporting human life, and already had a biosphere of its own that would take very little adaptation for humans to be able to live on its surface. As exploration of this new frontier went on, more habitable planets were found. The inevitable occurred as on Christmas Eve 2207, a colony ship touched down on a planet orbiting Sirius that would go on to be named "Acadia."
In 2208, alarms sounded in the Greater Terran Union's Space Warfare Branch's headquarters as an unidentified object was seen appearing from hyperspace in the same system a civilian science vessel was examining. The only thing that prevented Space Warfare command from sending the Home Fleet after the ship was that it appeared to be a scientific vessel itself. The information was brought to the National Council, where they decided that they would not fire upon the craft, but that they would remain on high alert and the public would remain in the dark about the ship until the craft's origins could be determined. On March 2nd 2209, an unknown radio signal reached the GTU. The image of a strange plant-like creature filled the screen as it spoke in a strange and difficult to comprehend mix of Arabic, German, Mandarin, and English. The signal was put through to a team of scholars and diplomats who managed to successfully communicate with the aliens, who called themselves the Algan Republic.
Expansion into space would continue, but with the introduction of the Algan Republic, the National Council determined that humanity's interests had to be assured in their local area of space just as it had to on Earth. Aggressive expansion towards strategic points in the hyperspace network began at the same time as an effort to construct powerful military space stations on the border between Human and Algan space. The trend only continued as the governments officially announced their distaste for each other and as the United Clans of Skiron appeared.
In 2220, a strategic star system was fully surveyed on the edge of human space. Plans had already been drawn to claim the system and fortify it, but GTU planners were surprised when it was discovered that another alien civilization already existed there. The civilization was incapable of faster than light travel, but preliminary recon revealed a number of satellites and primitive space stations in orbit over the planet. Examinations of the species' culture and broadcasts into space revealed that total political unification was on the horizon, and leading xeno-anthropologists predicted that the disparate peoples of the little world were mere decades away from making contact and becoming yet another competing empire. An emergency vote was held in the National Council, where a narrow majority decided that the threat of an alien civilization gaining FTL technology in the middle of human space was too great, and that the opportunity to prevent yet another competing space power from arriving on their doorstop had to be taken.
On June 22nd, 2222, human warships swept aside a hastily prepared orbital defense grid and began ground operations to capitulate the primitive Wessari. The initial campaign was quick, taking mere days to pacify them. The annexation of the Wessari, which had remained unannounced until after the war was declared won, immediately sparked controversy and fury across the GTU. Comparisons were drawn between the National Council and the Tyrum as many saw the absorption of the Wessari immoral and their integration into the widely human supremacist society of the GTU impossible. Documents were soon leaked by an unknown whistle-blower that presented irrefutable evidence that at least one of the Marshals supported the invasion solely to test the effectiveness of human ground forces.
Ultimately, it was decided that the Wessari would remain within the Greater Terran Union, though they would not be granted citizenship. The topic remained a hot-button issue for years to come as policy makers could always easily discredit their opponents by bringing up their opinion on the subjugation of the Wessari. Measures were put in place to segregate the Wessari from civilians, though this did nothing to keep the Wessari from protesting against the occupation of their homeworld.
Culture and Society
The Culture of the GTU can at times seem eclectic to outside alien observers and visitors, with numerous languages, religious and philosophical belief systems, and species phenotypes seeming to exist within its borders and carrying the overall title of "human". The most common of these groupings being those that largely survived the Great Defensive War, Mainly the peoples of North America, Nordic and Eastern Europe, central Asia and Africa, India and the Oceanic Islands of the Pacific, though this is by no means comprehensive due to the masses of refugees from South America, East Asia and Southern Europe that swamped into these areas fleeing the devastation wrought by the Tyrum. Mindful of the need to maintain social stability and avoid inter-ethnic strife, the GTU heavily regulates cultural and religious practice.
For example, while freedom of Religion is nominally permitted, all religious beliefs must be vetted by internal security for potential subversive doctrine or beliefs that are contrary to good order and discipline. So it would be more accurate to say that humans are free to believe all religions approved by the GTU rather then their own personal convictions. This is not say their own beliefs could not be approved, but rather need to be approved before they can be practiced openly. As consequence many prominent religious documents such as the Koran, Bible and Vedas have been subject to edit and translation along approved guidelines, while any new religion or denomination of an existing religion that a citizen comes up with is vetted carefully, and often forced to adapt to demanded changes in doctrine before it is approved. Followers of unapproved religions can be subject to sanctions starting with tier reduction and escalating to mandatory reeducation or even execution if all other persuasive measures fail.
Such practices extend into the cultural space as well, where works of art, literature and media are considered integral to the national interest as unifying forces and must in some way serve the interests of the state, either through improvement of morale, patriotism, furtherance of accepted morality or general pacification of the population. Anything that might be construed as denigrating to fellow citizens, political satire or criticism of the State is flatly banned and violators can be subject to harsh penalties. Clever artists however have often found ways around this by depicting aliens and their societies in their work rather then humans. After all, criticizing and mocking the Xeno is an excellent method of building pride in humanity and the state. If one of the Xenos depicted happened to act eerily similar to a Marshall or prominent Assemblyman, well, that is just a matter of opinion. Such restrictions on speech and expression are however limited to mass media and entertainment aimed at all tiers of society. Part of the rewards for higher tiers of citizenship is greater permissiveness in political speech, expressions and even access to art and literature. The theory being that by gaining higher tiers, a citizen has shown the necessary qualifications (and loyalty) to know what it is they are talking about, or to understand the context in which certain artistic expressions are made. This has led over time to a level of cultural stratification, where certain forms of art and literature are accessible to citizens of higher tiers while lower tier citizens must content themselves with the standard mass produced fare and books censored of anything that might approach questionable thinking.
The society of the GTU itself is organized upon a pessimistic outlook to the nature of the universe and humanity in general. The GTU being the product of a war that nearly led to the extinction of humanity, will in general assume the worst out of anyones' intentions, be they Xeno or their own individual citizens. Collectively humanity is a force for greatness and a towering achievement unparalleled in galactic history. Individual humans on the other hand can be prone to decadence, immorality and rebellion, while until they are pacified any Xeno is a potential existential threat to the survival of humanity.
As consequence the GTU draws much more upon the political theory of Hobbes rather then Locke. Instead of trusting in everyone's better nature, it trusts more in the sword of the state to keep everyone in line. Among the great science fiction writers of pre-tyrum Earth, the GTU draws greater inspiration from Heinlein and Herbert rather then Roddenberry. Citizen participation in the functioning of the State is mandatory and human children are raised from an early age to view their responsibilities to the social whole as more important then what they may individually desire. There are many incentives offered for those willing to assume greater responsibility in the betterment of humanity, while those who work against society face every increasing penalties. This is exemplified in the water rationing that limits, among other things, how long a citizen can take a shower. Many aliens are bemused at the practice considering the massive overabundance of water in the Galaxy. To the GTU however, the purpose is to instill personal discipline in the population. Political theorists in the Union caution strongly against the dangers inherent in technologies ability to "do everything and anything" for humanity, turning it into a weak and coddled race too focused on immediate pleasures and an overabundance of luxury. Such post-scarcity economies would, it was feared, render humanity incapable of fending for itself when that technology inevitably fails either due to war or disaster. This mindset was pivotal to the GTU's victory in the First Galactic War and the War in Heaven. Though the GTU endured massive damage and calamitous losses of life, the population was able to continue to function and fight even as the basics such as food and water became nearly impossible to find and casualties rates spiraled into the billions.
In a large irony to this, this belief in Human strength and ingenuity over technological coddling extends to its government and its enforcers as well. While it is certainly within the GTU's capability to develop functioning AI capable of monitoring every citizens actions instantly, or deducing the courses of action most likely to succeed, such Artificial Intelligence's are illegal and the attempt to even develop them or import them from abroad can result in long imprisonment or execution. The reasoning for this is that should such programs and systems become common place, the Security Services and the Government would eventually become so reliant upon the machines they would give up their ability to the job themselves in favor of the ease of the AI doing it for them. Which would in turn make the Government subordinate to the AI's that now run it. This extends even to programs such as truth detectors for use in court trials, which are almost universally adopted in every other nation in the Galaxy. Their lack forces Judges, Lawyers and Police to rely upon their own efforts to prosecute crimes which in a rather round about way means the legal system of the GTU is often more fair and flexible to those found in more egalitarian societies. Even calculators are prohibited in the education of children, and only allowed upon proven mastery of the concepts behind them. Though in scientific circles it is considered bad form to use them unless its to double check calculations already done without. The only exception to this is secured labs where AI's developed by aliens are studied to understand their capability for military application. Namely, for destroying them. The one exception to this rule is the sentient nano-platform dubbed "lady grey", with which the GTU holds an extended contract with and is viewed generally as a treaty of amity with a foreign power due to the intelligence guiding the platform being the core of the mythical gray tempest that devastated the galaxy millions of years ago.
The economy of the Greater Terran Union is a relatively open, self-sustaining mixed economy. It is the largest economy in the Milky Way and at one-time the fastest growing economy in the galaxy fueled with many factor which includes, but not limited to; sound fiscal and semi-protectionist policy, abundant resources, well-planned infrastructure, high labor productivity, high industrial output and its status as the major technology innovator of the galaxy. It is notably the only nation that capable in achieving post-scarcity economy (in likes of the Star Concord, Xana and the ancient empires of Mesh-Ben, Jaz Gavaz and the Xani) that deliberately avoids to do so due to cultural and philosophical mindset of the GTU citizenry.
While capitalist features such as private ownership, corporations, stock exchange, etc. are widespread and not restricted (and in some administration, heavily encouraged), the state as a whole still plays a heavy role in guiding economic activities in form of macroeconomic plans and a dualistic flexible economic policies known as Peacetime-Wartime Policies. Such policies are designed to ensure that in the event of war, the economy of the GTU could be readily shifted toward wartime economies without quickly plunging into economic recession and sudden decrease of quality of life like many other star-nations during the time of war, and be readily shifted back to civilian economy in a relatively smooth process the moment hostilities ended.
Despite its large economy (or perhaps, because of it), the GTU is generally self-sufficient; even without the restriction imposed over its homegrown patents and technologies, up to 80% of the GTU’s vast resources, consumer and industrial product are often went into its equally large consumer market or amassed into the nation’s already vast reserves meant for the emergency uses such as war, famine and major disasters. This does not mean that the GTU abhor intergalactic trade (as the GTU remain one of the largest export-import economies in the galaxy), but external factors such as continuous war, occasional trade restriction by foreign power as well the general mistrust on the GTU itself prevents it from fully integrating with the galactic market, and the Terran states in particular are often less enthusiastic (with the exception of Trade and Gain Faction) in involving itself with external trade.
Wealth, Poverty and Welfare Policies
GTU has a pragmatic view in regard of the welfare policies. While the Terran states has deep mistrust on the utopian-like post-scarcity economy that many species tries to achieve (and its belief that it will lead to over-dependence on luxurious lifestyle it brought), it is nonetheless held a deep-seated belief that providing a decent life and excellent well-being for its citizen as the foremost responsibility of the government and the state, in line with its focuses of citizen’s duty toward the states as well as the way in fostering unity and loyalty to the GTU.
It is perhaps come as no surprise that the GTU has some of the greatest tradition of welfare program, regarded as the best in the galaxy even when compared with other successful democratic star-nations such as Ruu Confederated Planets and the Xana Commonwealth. Wide-reaching program such as old age pensions, accident insurance, affordable medical care, childcare services and unemployment insurance inspired from the efficient Nordic-German model has been implemented as early on the post-Tyrum war reconstruction period, while institutions focused on improving quality of life such as labor unions, public investment banks, social wealth fund and workers organizations are often encouraged (albeit monitored) by the Terran states. Furthermore, the state are heavily involved in the protection of competitive environment from monopolistic and oligopolistic tendencies, albeit also due to the pragmatic reason to prevent any organisation from dominating the state than anything else.
This paternalistic policies has won the support and loyalty of every layers of Terran society, be it among the Terran entrepreneurs and the working classes due to the sound security provided by the states on their respective business and working environment, especially when compared to the equally high-wage, but less welfare protection economies of the Star Concord member-states. However, these privileges are only extended on the citizens of GTU regardless of tier (at first among humans, then expanded to other species later on), and foreign citizens and recently-conquered species are not eligible to receive its benefits. Furthermore, these program can be suspended temporarily at will during the worst crises should the need arise in both regional and nationwide level (as exemplified during the War of the Five Fronts) in order to give the states a flexible financial capability. The GTU, in their part, often avoid taking these harsh measure whenever possible, and will re-implement their welfare policies as soon the economy recovered to the acceptable level.
Nevertheless, despite the imperfection of its welfare policies, the GTU as a whole remain a comparatively wealthy nation, characterized by its high-wages, low-poverty, well-distributed national wealth among its citizens and its generally affluent quality of life, especially compared to many of the wealthy democratic nations in the Milky Way.
The citizens of the GTU often prided itself for hosting the galaxy’s most widespread and efficient circular economy due to its common cultural tendency of efficiency and abhorring wastage. From the smallest household into the the largest mega-industries, these economic gears are mandated to minimize as many waste, leakage and harmful emission as possible. Many of the consumer and industrial products are often known for its long-lasting design and ease-of-maintenance, and the so-called ‘Terran standards’ become synonymous with environmentally-friendly high quality product not to be found in the typically linear economies across the Milky Way Galaxy and historically become the forerunner of the innovative industrial processes such as biomimicry design, cradle-to-cradle design and industrial ecology, one that vigorously emulated by major economic powerhouses such as the Sophox and Partoga.
One of its greatest testament of the Terran circular economy lies on its extremely profitable recycling industries. Due to the advancement of technologies and industrial process occurred within the borders of GTU, it become entirely possible to break down a highly complex end-product back into the most basic component, be it from the ordinary clothings, complex telecommunication products and even the gargantuan decommissioned starships. Interestingly, Earth itself remains the leading industrial capital of eco-friendly technologies and recycling industries despite the competition of other major colonies such as Vaikuntha, Rodina and Jormungand, having hosted some of the largest circular economy-based mega-corporations such as Kinabalu Inc., Elya-Harrison Group and the government-linked RENI (Restoration of Earth's Nature Initiative). Other economic initiative meant to foster circular economy includes, but not limited to: special taxes such as pollution tax, nationwide mass recycling program, ten-years tax break for entrepreneur adhering to the Terran standards, as well the development of resource-efficient technologies.
Unsurprisingly, the circular economy were also utilized by the military to a great extend. Fleet Command in particular are well known due to its sheer ability to repurpose its aging warship to reconstruct a brand new modern fleet, as it is possible to broke down the hull of a starship down to its alloy component, melted and remolded into a different stronger alloy to construct other starships parts. It is estimated by foreign observer that each newly commissioned starship could have up to 40% of these recycled alloys. In retrospect, Terran Armed Forces could, in theory, produce 35% more military equipment than the other armed services in the galaxy with the same resources.
Tourism and Immigration
While officially a closed society dedicated to the preservation and uplifting of the human species solely, the GTU has been forced over the centuries to come to terms with the fact that its position as one player in a larger galactic stage necessitates certain accommodation. In the the early years of humanity's expansion into space cross border movement either by humans or xenos was flatly prohibited and punishable by the death of any who offended such restrictions. The need to improve relations with alien powers for economic and security purposes became apparent, in particular the Star Concord. Initially the stated goal of relaxing these border policies was to improve relations with the Kingdom of Partoga and Pux Directorate so as to gain access to the Tyrum homeworld of Byrum, and the promised retribution this offered. In practice it was a result of the National Councils secret determination that the overly hostile and xenophobic policies and beliefs of the GTU were counter-productive and inefficient. The humanity of post invasion Earth was a markedly harder and less optimistic culture then the wild eyed idealists who proceeded it, but had not sunk so far as to consider embarking on a galactic cleansing effort like the fanatical Priki-ti-ki.
With the opening of the interstellar borders came interest both in humans and aliens in transgalactic travel. Not just for business and diplomacy, but also for pleasure and personal exploration. This led to hard questions about just what sort of accommodations should be made for any Xeno's seeking to travel to the GTU or any humans seeking to travel beyond it. In the case of any Aliens who chose to enter it was decided that they would be required to register for a Visa at the first port of entry they arrive at, and formalize an itinerary of where they intended to travel and for what purposes. They would also be required to show they had the necessary funds to complete the stated goals and not become itinerant within GTU borders. No particular time limits were set for such visas due to the vast interstellar distances making calculating such things unfeasible, and limitations of the stay would be set solely by the Aliens ability to pay for it. In theory this could mean any Alien visiting the GTU could stay indefinitely, and as there is always need for an able bodied hand (or tentacle) to do some sort of menial labor some often did, updating their itinerary as required by law. Visa applicants were granted a special non-citizen tier capped one level below the midway point of the normal citizenship structure with no ability for upward mobility permitted. The only things that could result in deportation would be violation of any law, running out of funds, or producing offspring. The goals of such restrictions being to discourage long term immigration, the establishment of a permanent alien underclass, and providing the means for speedy removal of any potential drain on human society. These restrictions would also be applied to Aliens living in the Protectorates if they wished to enter the GTU proper (though not the other way around). Diplomats and traders entering the Union on behalf of their recognized governments would be granted higher tier level equivalency and greater considerations as dictated by the agreement between the Union and their Star Nation.
For Humans leaving the Union to travel abroad they do so at their own peril. Formal immigration by humans out of the GTU is illegal. In practice the states enforcers do little to stop it as it is viewed as a useful pressure valve for getting rid of individuals who may become a drain or problem to society with little fuss. Any human who crosses the interstellar boundary is required to submit their own itinerary with the border office with the warning any unnecessary deviation to it will result in tier reduction or imprisonment upon their return. Consequently, Border Guard Officers often function as magistrate judges on top of their official duties as they end up having to listen to every sob story known to man when a citizen returns late or at the wrong border post. They have gained a notorious reputation for being "hard asses". Most humans who cross into Alien territory do in fact stick to their itineraries where possible, and return largely due to the ingrained cultural and moral fidelity most humans share with each other and the Union. This is also aided by the fact that a citizen needs to be of a relatively high tier to be permitted to cross the border in the first place, though there is an illegal smuggling trade for low tier citizens to try and sneak out of the GTU. Those few who do not return are not mourned and largely forgotten as traitors, and woe betide them if they are found on a world subject to invasion by the Terran Military. The most famous example of this was the human population of Skira that was arrested following the subjugation of the Skiro Interstellar Hierarchy by a FLEETCOM intervention force. Those males who survived the battle were shot following mass trials held by Land Force officers, with the women and children imprisoned for life and to the lives of the third generation to follow them on the prison world of Mictlan. The Union also makes no effort to provide for its citizens abroad in the galaxy beyond rudimentary consular services should such embassies be nearby. Travel abroad is stated officially to be done "at your own risk".
The reasons for Humans and Aliens to travel too and from the GTU is varied. Most do so on official business, while for humans traveling abroad the most common reason is as a pilgrimage to the shattered world of Byrum within the borders of the Star Concord, which has enormous religious and historical significance to humanity. For Aliens traveling into the GTU for touristic reasons, the most commonly stated is for "spiritual cleansing". Apparently the GTU's position as a society that eschews post-scarcity luxury in favor work and resource restriction has earned it a reputation as a place where people who have wish to strengthen themselves go to find their own limitations. Many also wish to visit significant historical locations such as battlefields where their relatives or ancestors perished in one of the numerous conflicts that marked the GTU's expansion across the galactic north.
In the rare instance of a human born outside the GTU, special considerations are established by border guards upon their presentation at the frontier. If they are born to parents on permitted travel they are automatically conferred citizenship. If they were born to illegal travelers, they are considered "unregistered", though their decision to return to the Union is considered commendable. Such persons are assigned to integration facilities where they are taught all they need to know in order to be productive and granted citizenship upon graduation. It not possible to Fail the program, but not passing means indefinite detention until such time as the prospective citizen "gets with the program". As a matter of policy all members of the human species, no matter where they were born or live, are considered citizens or subjects of the Greater Terran Union with the attending legal and ethical obligations and liabilities. Something that has occasionally come as a shock to the few humans who have spent their entire lives outside the GTU but either through purpose or happenstance find themselves in the hands of Terran authorities.
Post War in Heaven
The calamitous War in Heaven would result in massive changes throughout the milky way galaxy, with the Greater Terran Union being no exception, and following an act of the National Assembly the year 2659 CE would become the first year of a new age, the year 0 AWH (After War in Heaven). The loyalty of the races of the former compact towards the GTU, as well as their military service in the grinding campaign and the First Galactic War that had preceded swept aside that last vestiges of xenophobic belief that had been waning in the GTU since the Wessari Annexation. Popular opinion shifted towards a belief in any Alien being given the right to show they could aspire to the ideals of citizenship and reserving judgement on their nature until after they are offered such a chance. The devastation done to the peoples of the Stellar Axis would be the first of this, as the shattered remains of the Florians and the Ragutharians were in no position to defend themselves. The cowardice of the other governments in the Galaxy in the face of the Unbidden would also greatly weaken their position along with the economic and military damage they sustained. A surge of interest in human political theory and philosophy ensued and the beliefs and practices of the Terran people would become well known and even adopted in many regions of the galaxy.
As the Bright League and Peronisti vessels moves into the remains of Florian territory and set up competing claims, the Florians would petition the GTU for Protectorate status, which would be approved. They were swiftly joined by the Ragutharians. The National Council and Assembly would also promulgate the "Protectorate Integration Act", which would set forth the means by which an alien Protectorate could be integrated into the GTU after it met certain requirements. Namely the proper implementation of the citizenship tier structure, GTU standard legal, governing and cultural practices, and the approval of the population within the protectorate via an election. A nod to the first and only election the humans of the GTU held.
What followed would be a period known as the Unification Campaigns that saw the steady expansion of the GTU through peaceful annexation and outright conquest. In 463 AWH, the last independent nation in the galaxy, the Sophox Garden of Worlds was annexed following the overthrow of their corrupt and isolationist oligarchy by a popular insurrection that petitioned to join the rest of the galaxy. Which by then was the GTU alone. Unlike many civilizations that preceded it, the GTU managed to avoid many of the pitfalls of Empire. Its experience with integrating the many and oftentimes fractious races of humanity proved to be just as effective in its effort to unify the galaxy and its many different species, while its commissariat system allowed for effective control even over vast distances. The central government on Earth did not need to run roughshod over the entire population of the Galaxy. It merely needed to run roughshod on the Commissariat officials across the galaxy who in turn governed the people in their sector. The diffuse nature of its government coupled with a near fanatical belief in meritocracy and self sacrifice also prevented the formation of petty tyrants or even a galactic empire under the rule of one man, while the deliberate avoidance of a post scarcity economy insured the population always had to strive to achieve their desires rather then simply be given them.
By the year 600 AWH, the GTU not content to rest on its laurels authorized Project Ascension, the first colonization efforts to nearby galaxies. The Jump Drive, long enigmatic had been greatly improved over the centuries. While its use within the galaxy was flatly banned due to fears of another extra-dimensional invasion, tests in intergalactic space showed promise. Where once it took over 200 days to fully recharge the power banks supporting the drive, it now only took 14 days. Its range had also been increased, where once it was only capable of jumps approximating 1/16th of the galactic diameter, it was now capable of jumping from one end of the galaxy to the other, or about 53,000 light years. Necessary changes as the distance to Andromeda was 2.5 million light years and was out of reach to the earlier jump drive models. Where once it would have taken over a century to complete the journey one way, now it could be done in the span of just 2 years. Astronomers were also busily scanning the galactic void for extra-galactic stars or black holes that could be used as the gravitic anchors to support an extension of the Gateway network across the intergalactic void to even further reduce travel times. On September 3rd, 602 AWH, the great intergalactic colonists carriers were launched from Al Waha, and were the largest ships ever constructed by the GTU. Essentially giant frameworks with an enormous drive shaft attached, other smaller ships could be slotted into them and carried across the great void between galaxies.
Split evenly between the three was around a million Terran citizens, comprising civilians, a division of Land Force Command Soldiers, and the expeditionary fleet lovingly dubbed "Ryan´s Raiders". Their orders were simple. Carry the flag of the GTU across the void to Andromeda and establish a permanent presence there. By whatever means seem necessary. Similar missions were also planned to the nearby dwarf galaxies that also orbited the milky way in the local cluster in a similar way as the L-cluster. Soon the entire universe would know of Terran might.
- GTU is usually known to conquer and subjugate other races instead of exterminating them, notable exception being destruction of Byrum, homeworld of Tyrum Consciousness, (as an act of vengeance for Invasion of Earth) which lead into Tyrum´s slow extinction by fatally wounding their hive mind.