The humans of Earth attempted to create order in their little neck of the woods out of the galactic chaos which had overun the League of Aliens. But there were many forces at work, some benign, some malevolant and some which were simply curious. Earth and the UNE were rising in status within the League due to the directed action of the Human politicians, scientists and industrialists. Many of the internal problems which plagued other star-faring powers were coming into play for the UNE which made continual progress for Earth within the galactic village an evermore difficult enterprise.
The UNE Peacemakers
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
The most siginificant political manoeuver was the inclusion of humans within the League Peacemakers. For its population, the UNE had made a commitment of troops which was unsurpassed by other members. This commitment spurred another round of recruitment, training, equiping and deployment of soldiers. In the same way that the League sought out the most appropriate members to fill the role of Peacemakers, so did the UNE. Many of the UNE Peacekeeping forces at work on Earth were combed for personnel to form the core of the extra-planetary UNE Peacemaking force.
The Canadians were singled out to provide a complete battalion - a sizeable force out of proportion with its population. Canada had been the leading Peacekeeping nation of the 20th and 21st centuries. The reasons for this were much the same as those which led to the election of a Canadian as the president of the UNE: it is a first world nation (and G7 member to boot), it is a non-nuclear middle power, it is politically central and had a history of choosing the right (ie victorious) side in various wars and commiting troops before the outcome was a fait accompli. In short, the rest of the world trusted Canadians. They had the money, education and the resources which the second and third world nations lacked but without the jingoism of the superpowers (ie USA, Germany, China and Japan although France would engage in and draw a sizable amount of fingerpointing as well).
The Pegasus Rides Again
To fulfil this role the Canadian government needed to create a new unit. Ironically, a regiment which had been disbanded more than a century previous following a peacekeeping incident was reincarnated for the task. Political debate had stalled reinstatement during the mobilization leading up to Operation Planetstorm and the title “commando” had been passed to those soldiers who penetrate the Machine production complexes. The organizational structure of the unit was different from the original as was its mandate. The logo remained unchanged however; the Pegasus would ride again. The unit motto - Osons or “We Dare” - remained but by the time troops were being deployed on their first mission, the unofficial motto was “Now We’ve Got Teeth.”
While Earth was only a minor power within the League of Aliens it still represented the single largest and most technically capable Human planet within the League. There were several other Human occupied planets spread out along “The Path” but most were feral worlds with little or no technolgy or centralized government. The Cardinal Council did not want to deal indivdually with every little rock floating in space that just happened to support intelligent life. However, the resources and population of these planets could prove useful. The Galactics therefore developed a protectorate policy whereby members (both associate and full) would take these feral worlds under their wing and develop them socially and technologically.
The first such assignment for Earth was the Abatis system which, due to the sizeable Fantasian population on the planet, was a politically charged move. The next assignment was not nearly so controversial, at least on an interplanetary scale. The UNE was charged with the development of four planets, each in close proximatey to Earth and each with its own population of Humanity. These planets became know collectively as the Outland Protectorate or simply, the Outlands. Of course, no one informed the planet’s inhabitants about this arrangement.
Each of the Outland planets were low-tech; industrialized and scientific but pre-electronic. They were highly balkanized, composed of a number of competing sub-continental empires. All of these political entitties were patriarchal, hereditary groups: clans. It has not been verified whether there had been contact between the various planets in the past, either amongst clans which have been subsequently eliminated, or through some interstellar agent. The similarities in the historical socio-political development would suggest this, however.
All of the clans profess an ethos of personal honour and independance. Modern political scholars regard the clan system as being very close to Anarchy with fraternal bonds at the clan level. There are not formal governmental systems but there are hereditary titles which carry weight and give legitamacy to an individual’s opinions. Decisions, especially ones with far-reaching effects such as public works programmes, are made on the basis of a “rough consensus”, which requires something more than 50% but less than unanimity to ratify. The economy is mostly capitalistic but the concept of a corporation is foreign. Partnerships are common, however, and public work projects are handled in a rather socialist fashion, being done for the benefit of the clan with no individual being able to lay claim to them. Personal ability is highly respected while personal wealth is not. Thus, while a successful entrepreneur gains honour for himself by making his first million, subsequent acquisition becomes more difficult - people become incensed at the people who “throw their money around.” There is a loose caste system in place. All able bodied males are expected to be able to fight to defend their clan, their family and themselves. Various hereditary titles are noted for their expertise in a particular field and this becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophesy as the family in question will tend to concentrate their efforts in that particular field so as to maintain their honour. Movement of members between families is not uncommon though, when someone shows aptitude in a particular area which is outside of their hereditary field. The religions of the clans could be compared to Buddhism or Taoism but with an element of monotheism and ancestor worship. There is a figure known as “Father” who has a religious significance. When, for instance, a clansman says something like, “as my Father is my witness” he is referring to a figure with whom he has a personal, individual relationship with and yet, paradoxically, is the same figure which another would refer to in the same way. The Father seem to be a personified agent of the universe rather than the Almighty.
All of this proved confusing to the Earthlings who encountered it. The lead UNE scouts’ perceptions and opinions of the society fluctuated between idyllic, barbaric and preposterous. A communal spirit was evident but so was violence and lawlessness. Vigilante justice was the rule and sometimes descibed as a “wild west” mentality. The average person worked only six hours per day but most, and not just the aristocracy, spent another two to six hours per day involved in what was called “clan affairs.” The Earth scouts referred to it as political activity. It took the form of some type of communication: meetings, writing, public speaking, publishing. The cynics amongst the scouts called it nothing but systemic schmoozing and propaganda. Was this indeed anarchy, a society of petite bourgoise courtiers or the ultimate expression of a developmental liberal democracy? A total psycho-social profile of the Outland Clans is far from being complete or understood by the UNE. This sort of confusion caused difficulty in the interaction between the UNE and the Outlands.
The UNE had infiltrated the planet but establishing a credible identity for their agents proved to be a complex task. Unlike our mobile, modern, technocratic world filled with faceless bureaucracy, Outland society operated on a more personal level. It seemed as though everyone knew everyone. An agent could not pose as a local. The farther away the ficticious home town was, the less the chance of being caught directly in the charade but this also increased the level of suspicion amongst the locals. The strategy of inserting several agents prior to revealing the UNE to the population was eventually abandoned. An alternative plan - kidnapping high ranking clansmen and replacing them with surgically altered look-alike agents - was vetoed in its earliest stages.
The next scheme involved sending agents into towns where they would contact the local aristocracy and then profess themselves as being extraterrestrials. Some high-tech gadgets would accompany them to prove that they were not of this world. This met with varied levels of success. In a small number of cases the agents and the gadgets were burned at the stake for being a herald of evil. Many were dismissed as being mad scientists who had made some secret technological development but were completely insane. Some, though, were taken at face value able to establish a dialogue which eventually led up to a small ship being landed in the middle of the town square. Then the real trouble began.
News of the landings propogated, causing ripples of frenzy across the countryside