HistoryThe United Federation of God (UFG) controls all of known space. The Federation originally started life as the Planetary Federation of God (PFG), back in the days before the jump drive had been invented. Before that, the history of Mankind is somewhat hazy.
The current year is 656, the 656th year after the founding of the PFG, when Man first emerged from the underground cities that were the only habitable places left on Earth and started to colonise the Solar System. How Earth became uninhabitable is unknown, but the tales tell of a great punishment sent by the Lord. This destroyed all life, except for the Faithful, who hid underground in their shelters, having been warned of the forthcoming destruction.
It was the descendents of the Faithful who formed the first Federation which spread across the Solar System and then, after the discovery of the jump drive some 400 years ago, across the Galaxy.
This expansion is still continuing, with new systems being discovered and colonised every year. However, no other inhabitable planets have ever been found, nor is there any sign of other life-forms. This has led to the current theological standpoint of the Federation that the Lord has made the Galaxy for Man and that it is His will that Man goes forth and spreads his seed as widely as possible.
However, despite the power wielded by an individual Governor, it is never forgotten that the real power is the Federation, backed by the ever-present UFG Navy. Even the lowliest Navy Captain outranks a Federation Governor, although in reality rank is rarely pulled, except in emergencies.
The laws and social norms are not that much different from those operating today, except that there are no political freedoms and the state is all-powerful, with networks of spies and informers. All communications are tapped and all public and many private places have rather obvious cameras and microphones "for the safety of the public".
There is a press of sorts, but this is tightly controlled by the local authorities. Very little is published without their express, prior permission. The closest analogy is Eastern Europe (especially East Germany) before the fall of the Communism, but with a much more efficient state...
ReligionDespite the supposedly religious nature of the Federation, there is little that a modern-day Christian would recognise in the UFG. Although the Bible still exists, it has been largely edited to reflect the current political trends. Basically, religion is just another political tool. Everyone is a "Christian" and other religions are treated to the same ruthless extermination as political dissent.
EconomicsDespite the strong state control, there is still a thriving private sector. This generates a constant friction between the Federation and the major corporations, which often act as if they were states themselves. While the Federation has the upper hand, neither side can survive without the other. There is also a good deal of friction between the various major corporations, with each seeking to get the upper hand on its competitors.
Most of the economy is dominated by these massive, UFG-wide conglomerations which run most of the production, finance and civilian shipping. They tend to control exclusive operations in individual systems, stiffling local competition. As new systems are explored and colonised, each one tends to be handed over to a single corporation, or group of corporations, to exploit, with exclusive rights to mining, shipping, etc.
Partly as a result of the strength of the major corporations, people have much less personal freedom. Since there is no welfare state, life is hard without a job or independent support. To make things worse, vagrancy is a crime; the Federation's jails are full of people whose only real crime was to be poor.
Therefore, people tend to stay in their jobs and remain loyal to their corporation if they can. Housing is owned and run by the corporations, as are the hospitals. If you don't have a job, you are effectively nobody. The only large, state run institutions are the schools, which teach to a UFG approved agenda. Attendence is, of course, compulsory up to the age of 18.
White Sands operates like a state within a state. It has its own police force in every system where it is active and a highly centralised corporate structure. This is in contrast to the Consolidated Group, which favours a much more devolved structure, although Consolidated still manages to keep a similar iron grip on its systems.
White Sands was given the concession to operate the Jericho system over thirty years ago. This was a rather unusual move, since the original licence had been given to the Consolidated Mining Corporation. However, after 10 years of operation, the civilian government had almost collapsed and Jericho, a source of considerable natural resources vital to the running of the Federation, was not fulfilling its potential. The system was handed over to White Sands, with a wide discretion to operate as it saw fit, and it has been running the system ever since.
The Navy has the only jump-capable military vessels, even the smallest of which carries at least one drop-ship capable of making planetary landings. These carry the frighteningly-efficient fighting force that is the UFG Marines, equipped with energy-based side arms and the latest body armour. Everyone else, the System Defence Forces included, has to make do with projectile weapons not much different from late 20th century weapons. Of course, unauthorised possession of energy-based weapons is a capital offence.
BiomechanicalsHowever, the Navy's greatest weapon is its personnel. Apart from the officers, who are all human, all crew and Marines are Biomechanicals (biomechs for short). Biomechs are genetically constructed, biological machines; absolutely loyal to the Navy, with super-human strength, reactions and endurance. A squad of 32 biomech Marines could easily wipe out a whole battalion of System Defence Soldiers. Biomechs know no fear, feel no pain and fight until they drop. Aboard ship, they never tire, never falter and never make mistakes. The Navy is invincible.
The Intelligence ServicesIn addition to the overt weapons of the Navy, there are also the covert forces of the Federation. Spoken of in hushed tones, Naval Intelligence is to the Navy what the Navy is to the rest of the Federation. Word has it that every Naval Vessel has a Naval Intelligence Officer aboard, there to ensure the loyalty and obediance of the crew.
Even more obscure are the Federation Intelligence services; secret operatives who infiltrate every walk of life, public or corporate, seeking out dissent and disloyalty wherever they find it.
At the other end of the scale, there are those who hold that the Resistance is a massive organisation, similar to the Federation, that exists outside of Federation space. They maintain that it has its own navy and its own agents who are infiltrating the Federation, trying to subvert the established order, while it carries on a military war on the borders of UFG space.
Whatever the truth, to talk openly about the Resistance is asking for a visit from the local System Defence Forces or, even worse, the Federation Intelligence Services. You have been warned!
At the other end of the scale, you will find those who hold that the Organisation is like any of the major corporations in scale and reach, running crime operations across the UFG. The only difference is that the Organisation does nothing openly and does not control individual systems.
Whatever the truth, to talk openly about the Organisation is also to ask for a visit from the local System Defence Forces or, even worse, the Federation Intelligence Services. Or the Organisation itself! You have been warned!