Once simply called "The Empire," it is now known by outsiders as the "Avonii Empire." There are many views about the Empire and its ways, but to its people, it is the one place in the universe that never changes.
The Empire began shortly after colonization started on the homeworld's moon. The Avonii never had a space race as was found on Earth. Space travel was relatively simple in comparison. Until a decade earlier it had only been used for launching satellites. The major governments of the time who had the resources to increase space interest chose to spend their funding elsewhere. Once cheaper space travel became feasible, private industry reached a golden era. The Corporations had technology which the governments did not have. Because of this, The ring around the planet became a dangerous, and violent place. Fueled by an endless silver mine, and no government restrictions, A criminal juggernaut was emerging. The Kunai Republic was the first to take action. With its moon colony threatened, Offensive action was finally taken against the ring pirates. The resulting war Lasted 4 years and ended in the loss of all Kunai holdings on the moon. However, The Krahn democracy and the Tehrik Empire Joined them in the war, resulting in a victory. The war's end resulted in a treaty among the three allied nations to share military and government power in space. Shortly after, the 3 nations had merged entirely. This new nation became The Empire. More than half a century later, The Empire planted its first colony outside of the solar system, where they met the Humans.
The Empire is democratic, structured similarly to old Earth's American government. There is the state level government as well as the Low and High Imperial governments. The Low Imperial governments each run their own planet, while the High Imperial government watches over each world. The Imperial governments have 3 main branches: Representative, Imperial, and Elder. Additionally, a stretch of the Imperial branch splits control of the military to the Fleet Admirals, making "mini-emperors" across the Empire.
The Imperial branch consists of the Emperor and his advisors. Emperors are elected from Fleet Admirals in the military. The Emperor has Almost total control over the core world's military, and his main task is keeping the core worlds safe. The Military within Imperial Jurisdiction is close to 1/4th of the entire military force. The Imperial Guard works with the military, but belongs to the state governments. The Guard has less military power, but is considerably greater in number of fighting men.
The Fleet Admirals contains the rest of the military control. Each one holds his own portion, and makes his own military decisions apart from declarations of war. Fleet admirals are tasked with defending the outer colonies, as well as making up most of the fighting forces in war with foreign powers.
The Elder Branch consists of men tasked with keeping the founding laws and moral codes intact. They are elected similarly to representatives. They are the Judges of the Empire. The Imperial codes are very simple, yet very strict. The code bases itself on "Eye for an eye" ethics. Crime is dangerous in the empire, where murderers are put to death, and thieves are ruined or even enslaved.
The representatives make sure that the government is meeting the needs of the citizens. All laws which are passed affect the representatives. Its structure is very similar to the democracies of old Earth, though with noticeably less power. There are no bureaucracies branching from the representatives, and all law specialization is left to state government.
Each planet is broken into many different territories, all having their own local governments. These governments pass the majority of laws. The Higher governments take almost no concern with the specific needs of the people, having no national health care, education system, or many other luxuries expected from other governments. Thus, the state governments take the burdens of the people. Different territories can vary greatly based on their needs, leaving the whole of the empire with a very disorganized legal system. In fact, most of what the Imperial government legislates directly involves what laws cannot be passed.
The Armies of the Empire have 2 branches: the Military, and the Guard.
The military is not broken up into Army, Marines, Navy, Etc. The military is a single fighting force, distinguished only by which Admiral or emperor they answer to. There is very little personalization between each fleet. None of them have any symbols of any kind. Admirals have almost total control over their fleets once a war has broken out. Each are given objectives, and the methods are left to their own choosing. Some Admirals have reputations as cruel and bloodthirsty, and others as fair. So long as the moral codes are not broken, the Elders turn a blind eye to all "atrocities" committed. It not considered any crime for a defeated enemy to have all fighting forces executed to the last man. Harming civilians in any way is totally forbidden by the code, but when convinced that it was Necessary, there are no limits.
Most military units are automated. Because of this, the Empire receives more recruits than it can use. Qualifications for entering full service are strict. There is no need for common footsoldiers or men who simply take orders. Instead, soldiers are expected to all be able to think critically and command at some level. Most physical disabilities are covered up by the exo-suits worn in combat. Amputees are especially valued above other footsoldiers for being able to use more suit augments. While robots do the dirty work, Soldiers of the military begin as squad leaders, with the highest possible rank becoming Fleet Admirals. Anyone that does not qualify for the military is transferred to the Imperial Guard.
Solders that make it into the ranks are given a standard environmental combat suit specially fitted for their size and build. The suits are plated with the same synth-armor used on starships, and can take a lot of punishment. Beneath the armor, is tight synthetic muscle, giving a soldier 10 times his average strength. Without the muscle, even carrying their own armor would be too cumbersome in earth like gravity. The lowest layer of the suit is lined with coolant tubes, medical aids, and suit sealant for punctures in the armor. At the base of a soldier's neck, is a variety of drugs and stimulus packs. Soldiers are carefully monitored for signs of fear, pain, confusion, or blood toxins. A soldier can remain calm under the most extreme circumstances, even including missing body parts or certain death. Although suit mods are forbidden for lower ranks, proven veterans are allowed non-standard equipment. Considering that all military suits are considered as up to date as possible, suit mods usually mean that a suit function must be sacrificed in it's place. The most popular mod is a replacement for the tiny retractable wrist blade, replacing it with a small plasma torch at minor cost to arm strength and armor. Still, the mods available are very restricted. Landing on a hostile world for a long term mission with no breathable atmosphere would be disastrous if some soldiers had lowered their air supplies for new combat upgrades. As for physical mods, every soldier is freely given options for either enhanced organ transplants, or artificial upgrades.
The Guard primarily works for the state governments. Guards still have a large automated fighting force, but make much greater use of living infantry. Their specialization is guerrilla warfare should an enemy ever make landfall on an Imperial planet. The Guard also works as the planet's police force in the off-time. Police calls are met with armed Guards and armored cars. For a police force, the Guard can be violent. They are rarely resisted without somebody getting shot. This is considered standard procedure for handling criminals. A guard's standard equipment is little more than a cheap assault rifle, and a light synthetic armored helmet and chestplate. Unlike the Military however, guard upgrades come in many forms, and are available for all units. Upgrades for soldiers of the guard range from rifles brought from home, to full body suits nearly rivaling an imperial soldier in every aspect.
Current State of AffairsEdit
In comparison to other nations, Imperial laws cover very few aspects of society. Because voting is restricted for most races, laws mainly cater to the interests of the avonii, who care more about protecting their own interests than furthering society. For those laws that do exist, penalties can be very severe for breaking them. If a criminal is convicted of theft or property damage, all lost or stolen objects must be repaid 1.5 times the value. The victim of the crime is given back all they had lost, while the government gets a fee worth half what was lost. If a criminal manages to evade capture, resist arrest, display force, repeated offenses, etc, then additional government fines are placed. There are very few jails within the Empire. Their normal use is keeping dangerous men from society before a trial can be made. If a criminal can manage to pay the fines, then they are allowed to go free. The alternative is labor camps for smaller offenses, and indentured servitude for larger offenses. Indentured servants, or slaves as you might call them, are sentenced until either they have paid off their debt in full, or a long period of service is completed. Slaves are sold throughout the empire and off world to other nations. Many slaves remain separated from their original homes long after their terms have expired. Murder is punishable by death, or forced military service. Those forced into service are put in the most dangerous situations, and usually restricted from rising in rank. Some that have shown truly self-less acts in battle and given exceptional service have been allowed to redeem themselves, but it is not common. Anyone that commits a crime in the empire, no matter how small, is permanently marked within records. These marks can cause future fines to be higher. Individuals that have been marked have a much larger and more detailed citizen profile. Anyone attempting to resist arrest during a crime can be met with deadly force. All guards carry firearms, and may use them to cripple a fleeing suspect.
The Empire holds to a caste system which separates citizens by their race. For a time the caste system did not exist, but Humans and Avonii come from very different cultures and have very different mindsets. Thus to protect their traditions, the Castes were created.
The first caste grants all the privileges of being an Imperial citizen. The Avonii exist in this caste, as well as whatever other races easily conform to the Avonii mindset.
The Second Caste lives much like the first, but they have restricted voting rights. Though treated much like equals, having no voting power can cause some preferential treatment. They still retain some power through bribery and lobbying though. Most races exist here, humans among them.
The unfortunate races that get put in the third caste are restricted to certain border world colonies. Considered unfit not only for rule, but also for living with, Third caste worlds are difficult places to live. Tiporans are an example of the third caste.
Races considered to have no redeeming value are placed here. Any race placed here is lucky to be alive. These races come from civilizations or groups that are destroyed on sight. Any race coming from these doomed civilizations are kept when they appear to be different from the rest of their kind, and could potentially live peaceably in society. Survivors lucky enough to be accepted are kept on Third caste worlds.
The Rhon are currently the only race having an independent government within the Empire. A planet simply known as "Rock," or "Shen" if spoken in the Rhon's most used language, it is little more than that to outsiders. To the Rhon the word is used much more respectively. Shen is a hostile world bathed in radiation, and with unstable temperature. The atmosphere has decent oxygen levels, but is corrosive to human and avonii lungs. For awhile, this civilization lived peacefully beside the empire under the Rhodend monarchy. After an incident ocurred with an avonii Imperial spacecraft and a royal frigate in the system, a short war broke out. The Rhodend space navy was destroyed within hours by overwhelming Avonii numbers and strength. It wasn't until the Empire had taken 2 major cities that they surrendered, seeing the war as hopeless. In spite, the Avonii executed their ruler, as well as his advisors, who were the only ones next in line for the throne. With no stable government in power, the Avonii were going to annex the planet into the Empire. The Rhon were outraged by this. Seeing the only alternative as quelling a violent rebellion, they oversaw the creation of a new democracy, now known as the Keros protectorate. Currently by terms of agreement, the republic's space navy is severely lacking, leaving the Empire to provide real military protection. On the surface, the Avonii stay out of all affairs so long as they continue to pay for the Empire's "military protection services."
The nation of Keros is currently prospering under imperial protection and trade. They are also a major manufacturer of antimatter technology. Because the Empire cannot manufacture antimatter using known printer manufacturing materials, all imperial reaver ships are produced here. Most people are discontent with their Imperial protection despite the economic benefits. It seems only a matter of time before they are completely annexed. After all, that's how humans became a major race of the Empire, by a slow and planned decay of their own government.