Operation Starhammer, also known as the second Terran-Vol War, was a military conflict between the Greater Terran Union and the Vol Hive that ended following the surprise invasion of the Florian Matriarchy of the GTU and the start of the first Terran-Florian War.
The conflict between the GTU and the Vol dated back to the Skiron Campaigns when the Vol sided with the nations of the Compact against the United Clans of Skiron and the Greater Terran Union. This early bad blood led to hostile diplomatic interactions made all the worse due to the Vol's hive mind mentality similar to that of the Tyrum. Following the conquest of the Star Compact at the conclusion of the third Terran-Compact war, the GTU found itself with a massive border across the galactic North with a largely hostile and enigmatic nation.
The national council debated continually about what to do about the Vol. Up until this point, the GTU had largely engaged in defensive operations, expanding only in response to outright aggression or diplomatic outrages by rival powers. Many in the council argued that the GTU could not risk resting on its laurels and needed to advance against the Xeno's even in the absence of an immediate provocation. One such faction argued for the subjugation of the Sophox Garden of Worlds, a largely peaceful and isolationist nation in the Galactic west. With war fever seeming to tip towards a surprise invasion of the Sophox, more pacifist elements of the council redirected public ire towards the Vol, which while just as enigmatic as the Sophox, were more hostile and potentially a greater danger.
WAR AND AFTERMATH Edit
On February 14, 2517, Fleet Command initiated a massive invasion of Vol Space, marking the first unprovoked invasion of an alien power by the GTU. The assault exceeded all expectations, with Vol forces melting before the superior firepower and numbers of the GTU by March 11, the home world of the Vol was seized by Land Force Command following a period of brief orbital bombardment. It was on Val, the Vol home world that the GTU discovered evidence of Vol atrocity. The Vol were not entirely one species, but rather a biological fusion of a non-sentient creature and a sentient symbiote that was capable of binding into a hive mind through a limited psyonic field. On Val, a fully sentient species previously unknown was found being used as a food source by the symbiote. The sentient cattle were themselves bound to the hive mind. Not willingly either, but through some form of genetic engineering that simultaneously suppressed their free will and made them more easily used as a food source for the Vol.
The news of what the Vol had been doing in secret shocked Terran citizens, and GTU propaganda loudly proclaimed the evil of the Vol with the subtle hint that humanity would be next if they were not stopped. Efforts to save the enslaved aliens failed, for just like the Vol once cut off from the psionic field they began to suffer cascading brain death, despite the best efforts of Terran doctors to save them. Their fate however galvanized public opinion in support of the war effort, which rapidly began to take on the color of a religious crusade.
It was at the moment of victory with Fleet Command spread out across the Galactic North that the Florian Matriarchy launched its invasion of the Greater Terran Union, overruning the L-Cluster and catching the Terran Navy hopelessly out of position. The start of the the First Terran-Florian War forced the GTU to abandon the war against the Vol, leaving the surviving members of their hive control of a tiny corner of the Galactic North.