Umeria is an expansive state just rimward of the Badlands shoal region. The capital world of Reisenburg is located in Sector W-7 on the Galactic Standard map of Known Space. The surrounding four sectors are relatively wealthy; the remaining territory of Umeria less so, and also less well patrolled.
Umeria is governed by a Council of Technarchs, headed by the First Technarch, a primus inter pares position responsible for coordinating the Seconds for various fields of responsibility (Second for Security, Second for Finance...) and their immediate deputies, the Thirds (who serve as chiefs of staff within their departments). It bears repeating that Umeria is not a democracy; the Technarchs are chosen by surveys of selected professionals in applicable fields, not by a nationwide election. The government is usually responsive to public concerns, but is ultimately not responsible for its actions in the short term, and has often pursued unpopular policies for decades at a time while waiting for public objections to subside, with varying degrees of success.
Possession of a doctoral degree in a relevant field of study is a prerequisite for all positions of high responsibility in the Umerian state, including the military (where all general officers and most field officers have published papers on military history, strategy, or technology). Institutional culture in all fields emphasizes a "scientific" attitude towards long range planning, backed by careful and extensive analysis of available statistics, intelligence, and simulation results. This attitude is not as strong within the military, but enjoys great favor within the Umerian intelligence community, making them excellent analysts (if not particularly good field operators).
In theory, this system should be fairly efficient given a supply of benevolent technocrats, which Umeria has taken great pains to cultivate. In the early centuries of the Umerian state under a series of exceptionally able First Technarchs, it was. However, over the past several hundred years, Umeria has developed a significant class divide between the "intelligentsia" and the general public. While this system is not hereditary, modern computer networks make it very easy for young proto-intelligentsia to isolate themselves socially from their peers at an early age. The result is a system where most of the individuals likely to enter the higher ranks of government have little direct, intimate contact with the kind of social structures that exist on the ground. The intelligentsia tend to marry among themselves, converse socially among themselves, and are often far more sensitive to concerns likely to matter to the intelligentsia than to the masses. Even with the best and most populist will in the world, this isolation can result in policy disasters when the Technarchs attempt to enact policies for the good of Umeria without a clear picture of what Umeria is.
The Umerian government is divided into nine ministries, each headed by one of the Second Technarchs. The ministries differ widely in size; many government functions are assigned to a ministry on what would seem an odd basis in other nations. As a rule, most large organizations subordinate to a ministry are called "Directorates."
Ministry of Security: MiniSec is responsible for virtually all armed representatives of the state, from the navy to planetary police forces. The three main branches of MiniSec are the Directorate of Justice (police and judiciary), and the Space and Ground Security Forces, (naval and army commands, respectively). There are also minor short range aerospace commands (typically integrated into planetary defenses), and a number of specialized customs and criminal investigation branches.
Ministry of Finance: MiniFine handles the Umerian government budget, which is a majority of the Technocracy's GDP given its planned economy. They coordinate closely with all other ministries, and bear chief responsibility for coordinating trade and the long-term economic stability of the state. All organizations within MiniFine are strongly cross-linked; Umerian banks typically extend loans straight from the national budget, for instance. While MiniProd is generally seen as the leading force in Umeria's centralized economy, MiniFine is arguably the enforcer responsible for keeping the economy under government control. Their discretionary powers are frequently used to scrap private enterprises when those enterprises fail or their assets are needed for state programs.
Ministry of Simulations: MiniSims would probably not qualify as a cabinet level position in most other governments. In Umeria, with a planned economy run by scientifically-oriented leaders, the need for computer simulations is massive and continuous. MiniSims cooperates with all other ministries, endlessly projecting future trends and analyzing past events. They employ a relatively large (for Umeria) number of full Turing-capable AIs, and are among the galaxy's leaders in the development of advanced computer algorithms. One of MiniSims' top priorities at the moment is a large scale program to improve their ability to model the human mind, with the hope of developing a theory of sociology that permits analytical solutions to the long-term evolution of human societies (see "Psychohistory")
Ministry of Data Collection: Like MiniSims, MiniDat would not be a cabinet level position in most governments. MiniDat is responsible for ensuring that all branches of the Umerian government have as much accurate and relevant information as possible. The most prominent organizations within MiniDat are the Foreign Intelligence Directorate and the Directorate of the Census. Umeria holds a general census every five years, along with a constant stream of surveys and polls; the average Umerian citizen spends almost an hour a week answering poll questions. The closest Umeria has to democratic government is the legally mandated requirement to respond to poll data by release of public statements.
MiniDat is very popular within the Umerian state, partly because of its high profile. More significantly, MiniDat is generally reliable at trying to address public grievances against the state, at least within the Core and some parts of the Fringe. It also helps that MiniDat is one of the Technocracy's largest employers (unless MiniProd is counted as a single employer, which is generally deemed unreasonable), and is often used as a sponge to absorb surplus labor during times of economic dislocation.
While some ministries maintain independent data collection organizations of their own (particularly MiniSec and their Office of Naval Intelligence), most such groups fall under the heading of MiniDat unless the controlling ministry can show a clear need for local control.
Ministry of Research: MiniRes is probably the most prestigious of the Umerian ministries, though it is not the largest by most measures. MiniRes is responsible for most scientific research, both civilian and military, in the state; it often collaborates with the Ministries of Security, Modeling, Production, Welfare, and Ecology towards this end.
MiniRes is unusual for the exceptional number of private enterprises falling under its aegis. Much of Umeria's research is done in independent laboratories spun out of MiniRes facilities under the guidance of one or more trusted senior scientists. The traditional independence of the private labs is remarkable when compared to the difficulty of maintaining a private enterprise in the service and (especially) industrial sectors.
Ministry of Production: MiniProd is responsible for direct control of all state-owned industrial concerns and a fair fraction of the state-owned service sector, and shares oversight responsibilities over private enterprise facilities with MiniWell. All told it is the largest single employer in Umeria, though summing over the wide range of industries it controls is perhaps dishonest and not a practice endorsed by MiniDat.
Ministry of Welfare: MiniWell's mission statement assigns it responsibility "for the good of the Umerian citizen;" its powers cover a very wide range of areas. MiniWell operates the Public Information Directorate, Umeria's largest news source. It handles practically all Umerian social services, such as education, and health care. It also handles most regulatory agencies and organizations for disease control, food and drug regulation, occupational safety, and the like.
Beyond this, MiniWell is responsible for ensuring that the Umerian citizen's social and physical environs are tolerable; that this makes them extensive providers of psychiatric counseling is not surprising, but they are also often called in as consultants on the design of public spaces (to avoid overcrowding and discomfort-inducing aesthetics), to ensure that electronic infrastructure is maintained (since this is a major mechanism by which citizens interact), and so forth.
MiniWell's area of responsibility is broad and prone to mission creep; it has grown to become a major player in the Umerian service sector. The main factors limiting its growth are MiniFine's unwilling to finance further expansions of its mission, and MiniEcho's firm defense of external environmental concerns.
Ministry of Ecology: MiniEcho covers the general maintenance and improvement of the environment in Umerian space, for a broad definition of "environment." They are responsible for terraforming, planetary weather control, space debris tagging and cleanup, monitoring of hazards to navigation, regulation of pollutants, and a wide variety of other areas. The bureaucratic wars between MiniWell and MiniEcho are legendary at the intersection of the two ministries' area of control: the interaction between overall environmental concerns and the happiness of the individual citizen.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: MiniFor is the most 'normal' of the Umerian ministries, with the possible exception of MiniSec. It operates almost identically to most other nations' foreign ministries, as much for the sake of protocol as anything else. Policy outcomes may differ, but the Technocracy sends the same sorts of ambassadors and diplomatic notes as anyone else, and MiniFor covers effectively the same range of responsibilities as is seen elsewhere in the galaxy. Umeria has historically not been very active diplomatically; current events under the leadership of the dynamic and charismatic Second Technarch for Foreign Affairs Maxim Chernov are something of an anomaly.
MiniFor cooperates closely with MiniDat and MiniSims, for obvious reasons. Of note is that MiniFor is not primarily responsible for intelligence gathering, though they obviously tend to coordinate with those who are.
Current Membership of the Council of TechnarchsEdit
After the Selection of 3396, the Council consists of the following nineteen members:
Dr. Michael O'Connell, First Technarch
Dr. Calvin Lanning, Second for Security
Dr. Raffaelo Fidanzo, Second for Finance
Dr. Rashid Ansary, Second for Simulations
Dr. Qiao Tian , Second for Data Collection
Dr. Emloy Takuulda, Second for Research (alien, Phosako species)
Dr. James Borrego, Second for Production
Dr. Isaac Kahneman, Second for Welfare
Dr. Susan Islington Warren-Marshall, Second for Ecology
Dr. Maxim Chernov, Second for Foreign Affairs
Dr. Jack Holloway, Third for Security
Dr. Howard Archer, Third for Finance
Dr. Thomas Gerber, Third for Research
Dr. Nancy Bowinger, Third for Foreign Affairs
The Umerian population crossed the 270 billion mark shortly before the Census of 3395; analysis of the Census 3400 results is still pending from the Ministry of Data Collection. The most significant division found in the Technocracy, one that affects Umeria's demographics, politics, astrography, and economy, is its sharp core-periphery divide.
The heart of the Technocracy is a relatively tight cluster of nineteen worlds (total population ~175 billion) in close proximity to the capital system of Reisenburg (Sector W-7). These worlds, in W-7 and the four adjacent sectors, were all settled relatively early in the history of the Technocracy, and have been completely terraformed for at least five hundred years. Outside this core are the "Fourth Wave" worlds (total population ~95 billion) settled from the Umerian heartland, most of which were colonized more recently and are still in the mid- to advanced stages of terraforming. These planets are much poorer, and outside analysts often condemn the Umerian economy as exploiting these worlds for the benefit of the core- though a Umerian core worlder would argue that it's the core worlds' taxes and industrial base that ensures the colonies' economic security.
A Umerian fringer, on the other hand, might take violent exception to this theory (see "major colonial uprisings of 3391, 3347, et. al.")
As of FY 3399, Umeria's GDP was calculated at approximately 5.9*10^16 starbucks (analyses by the Ministries of Production and Finance disagree over the third significant figure and below). The starbuck is the Umerian unit of currency, and is highly inflated, leading to routine use of SI prefixes to cover it. Most citizens count their finances in terms of kilostarbucks, small businesses deal in megastarbucks, and the unit of finance most commonly referred to in high level cabinet meetings is the terastarbuck. Thus, for instance, the most commonly published figure for the Technocracy's GDP is 59,000 terastarbucks.
The core-periphery divide is a major issue in the economy of the Umerian state. The worlds at the center of Umeria, in and immediately around Sector W-7, have old, diversified economies with large city-dwelling populations and advanced industrial operations. The population tends to be highly educated (coincidentally, this means that the vast majority of the Umerian ruling class is drawn from the core). Core world industry specializes in high cost, skilled-labor intensive undertakings such as the programming of advanced subsentient simulation and system control computers, or the production of specialized machine tooling (usually for the export market). Umerian goods are usually made at high cost, in exchange for high reliability and very high precision- an analogy to prespace Germany on Earth are common.
The 'Fourth Wave expansion' worlds beyond that mostly do not. They have plentiful raw materials (near-surface ore and oil deposits, for instance), and in many cases have industries devoted to the direct refining of the more profitable resources on their planets. But the Technarchs have shown little interest in diversifying the colonial economies, viewing them mainly as a source of industrial goods and a backdrop on which to build massive infrastructure projects. The planned elements of the Umerian economy tend to focus on bulk production of raw materials (steel, petrochemicals, etc.) on the one hand and on high-end technically sophisticated equipment (industrial robotics, naval weaponry, advanced modeling software) on the other.
This makes the Umerian border regions a very attractive market for manufactured goods, and over the past century or two the Technarchs have been extremely permissive with respect to allowing such goods into their economy. The consumer goods market in the fringe worlds is met largely by imports, as part of a "triangular trade" in which the Umerian Fringe supplies the core worlds with raw materials, the core exports precision machinery and customized software to foreign powers, and Umeria's trade partners sell manufactured goods to the Fringe. The obvious disadvantage of this is that it leads to currency scarcity on the Fringe, and leaves the Fringe with little sense of integration into the core worlds' economy.
Structurally, the Umerian economy can be described as heavily planned. Not all means of production are state-controlled at any given time, but private industry exists largely on sufferance. As a rule, a Umerian private enterprise only lasts long if it manages to both outperform state enterprises and do so under criteria largely set by the government. This is practically impossible if the government is not sympathetic.
Moreover, private enterprises in Umeria are seldom organized along lines commonly seen in capitalist societies. It is very rare for any significant business to be founded by individuals pooling assets and seeking out venture capital- Umeria has no equivalent of the joint stock company. Instead, large scale private enterprise is generally born from nationalized sectors where performance is high enough that the Technarchs feel they can afford to take a few risks for the sake of innovation- or low enough that they feel compelled to do so.
In that case, the state may farm out parts to organizations headed by suitably educated individuals. In practice, this means that Umerian "corporations" are organized by splinter groups of the intelligentsia who are experimenting with unorthodox methods of production or organziation, with the Ministry of Production's approval. Much the same procedure used to found research labs: a group of respected specialists spins off their own operation from central control and is permitted to run with it as long as they achieve results. Thus, the level of formal nationalization of industry in the Technocracy varies, though control never really leaves the technocrats as a class. Moreover, there are relatively few financial advantages to running a private enterprise in Umeria. Very little of the actual wealth ends up as individuals' personal assets, and there's no real concept of limited liability. Taking foolhardy gambles with the "private company's" assets is a good way to wind up persona non grata among the intelligentsia.
Extent of NationalizationEdit
The one sector of the economy where control is never farmed out to private innovators is finance. Finance is kept under strict technocrat control, and is one of the main tools by which various sectors get nationalized and denationalized depending on the technarchs' priorities. Among the industrial and service sectors, there's an ongoing competition between the Vimesian and Zapatist* schools of thought in the Ministry of Production. Zapatists call for a fully planned economy with an eye to optimizing the resources available for major state projects. Vimesians argue that there's no sense exercising tight control of industries where such control is not critical to the economy as a whole, if nothing else to reduce the number of ways to make mistakes.
Control of the main state ministries tends to wobble back and forth between the schools every few decades; after a generation or so of Vimesianism the Umerian economy starts to resemble a dirigiste semi-capitalist system, whereas after a long period of Zapatism, the government implements near-total control and planning of the economy. This has been going on long enough that everyone has learned to recognize the pattern; it's a well known and documented phenomenon that's liable to end only if outside forces bring about the collapse of one or the other of the two schools of economics.
The founding generation who founded the Technocracy of Umeria were typical by the standards of the Human Diaspora. Most were drawn from the population of Nova Terra, with a handful of like-minded supporters from Earth. Their great uniting dream was an escape from the failings of terrestrial governments, and a new society built around scientific principles.
The would-be technocrats named themselves Umerians, after a short-lived 21st-century internationalist political faction on Nova Terra, dedicated to the principle of scientific government, which had played a minor role in the construction of the early STL vessel Straylight.
Umeria collected a mixture of highly educated enthusiasts, mostly scientists and engineers, along with a large population of near-refugees who had particular reasons to be embittered with the limits of democracy and conventional dictatorships. Many had lost homes or loved ones to environmental disasters, fallout from major wars, or economic crises. All believed firmly in the idea that an enlightened, meritocratic civilization could overcome the failings that plagued most societies during the Great Upheaval.
The expedition assembled a small fleet of hyperspace colony vessels and departed in 2289 Nova Terran Calendar, probing outward along a major hyperspace lane. After settling on a promising world just short of the shoal region known as the Badlands, the Umerians began the task of assembling an industrial civilization on a virgin planet. The Technocrats were blessed with both good luck and foresight: luck in choosing a readily habitable world with rich mineral deposits, and foresight in having invested in a wide selection of expensive machine tools. The Umerian economy boomed, and within a few decades appeals by the Council of Technarchs drew in a second wave of colonists from the home sectors.
The Umerians enjoyed further good luck in finding several near-habitable planets within easy distance of their capital world of Reisenburg. Claim to these worlds was largely uncontested, and the Technarchs began terraforming. The taxes required to support terraforming operations were painful, but most Umerians (still dominated politically by the first generation of pioneers) accepted the burden, knowing that it would bear fruit in centuries to come. These planets, which were the Umerian frontier prior to about 2600, are now known as the Second Wave worlds.
Golden Age of Umerian CivilizationEdit
After terraforming started to take hold on the Second Wave worlds immediately around Reisenberg (c. 2500-2550), the Technocracy entered a golden age, as GDP began to grow faster than the scale of the Technarchs' state projects. This was the era when the Umerian tradition of allowing private enterprises to "spin off" from government-controlled sectors was born, as the Umerians began founding specialist manufacturing concerns and research labs headed by charismatic inventors and senior scientists.
For the nations of the Spinward Expanse, this era was a time of technological and economic ferment. The major alien threats that caused so much devastation later in the millenium had yet to emerge (see the Amplitur War, the Dilgrud Wars, and the Jaggan War, below). The nations founded by hyperspace colonists from Earth and Nova Terra were finally doing well enough to project power over interstellar distances, and gradual refinement of hyperdrive technology made it more and more practical for them to do so. In Umeria, these factors combined with the far-sighted management of the early Technarchs and triggered to a Golden Age of prosperity, high scientific advancement, and adventurous, pioneering spirit.
The most memorable aspects of the period to a modern reader's eyes are its unusual aesthetics and the legendary adventurer-explorers Umeria produced during the era. The adventurers were often borderline polymathic, products of the high-pressure Umerian educational system; quite a few went on to hold high office in the Technocracy's government. Talented in a variety of engineering and scientific disciplines, and surprisingly often proficient in personal combat, Umerian adventurer-explorers were seen widely throughout the Spinward Expanse. As a rule, they were little more than a footnote in historical events except on backwater worlds where their superior equipment allowed them to have greater consequences, but they still capture the historian's imagination- as much because of the flash and drama of the era's aesthetics as anything else.
Golden Age aesthetics are similar to the neo-Classical school of modern Umerian fashion design and architecture, with extensive use of reflective metallized surfaces, sweeping curves and parallel lines to create the impression of streamlining (or the reality, for atmospheric vehicles). Golden Age utility clothing often doubled as space or hostile environment suits, since much of the Golden Age population lived on imperfectly terraformed planets. The features resulting from this evolved into somewhat less practical forms as the neo-Classical school evolved into ceremonial wear over the centuries.
The most interesting technological advance in Umeria of the period was the atomic disintegration battery: a miniaturized total conversion device that provided a steady DC power supply by converting the atoms in a tiny gas cylinder into energy in a slow trickle. Disintegrator batteries were safer than many other high energy density storage systems because they were strictly power-limited, but the technology scaled extremely poorly and was not useful for industrial purposes. However, it did serve to make a new generation of high power handheld devices (such as personal energy weapons) possible with extremely long battery lifespans, since even a few grams of gas could provide kilowatt-range power for weeks or months.
Another remarkable trait of Golden Age Umerian culture was the rise of labor-costly cultural adaptations. With increasing advances in robotics and a constant cultural pressure to do something productive with one's time, the natural reaction was to develop unnecessarily time-consuming ways to solve problems when time was not a critical factor. That was particularly so when this permitted the Umerian cognoscenti to demonstrate their mastery of some arcane and mentally demanding technique. A variety of affectations arose from this trend; perhaps the most visible of them was the resurrection of the slide rule, a pre-electronic computing device suitable for deriving the results of multiplication, division, and basic scientific-calculation functions to roughly three significant figures.
Despite its foibles and strange cultural fillips, by 2700, Umeria was a relatively successful concentrated polity, with a thriving high-tech sector. The Second Wave worlds were now completely terraformed, and work on the Third Wave worlds (the outermost shell of those now counted as the 19 Umerian core worlds) was well underway. Projections indicated that the future of Umeria was bright. It seemed as if the Technarchs could do no wrong, until the arrival of a powerful, hostile outside force.
The Jaggan WarEdit
Storming out of the Badlands came an Ork pirate armada under a ruler known to history as the Tyrant of Jagga. The Tyrant was drawn to Umeria by the combination of rich planets and anemic naval defenses; the Umerian Space Security Force consisted mainly of light patrol vessels, with a handful of moderately capable orbital defense platforms. Jagga was unusual among Ork warlords in that he bothered to prepare a plan of campaign before launching his attack into Umerian space. This plan of campaign revolved around his flagship, known only as "the Rock." The Rock was a nickel-iron asteroid kilometers in diameter, hollowed out and retrofitted with a heavy battery of mass drivers and a crude but effective space drive.
The Rock's defensive shielding was poor and the raw metal of the asteroid was relatively weak compared to artificial armor composites, but it had one advantage that no doubt appealed to the Tyrant of Jagga: sheer bulk. The defensive depth of the Rock was such that it could shrug off massive salvoes of heavy nuclear torpedoes with only superficial damage; most critical components were a kilometer or more under the surface. Saturation nuclear bombardment might gouge enormous craters in the Rock's flanks, but it was a simple matter to bond new layers of rock and nickel-iron to the exterior and restore it to its original state of near-invulnerability.
Led by the Tyrant from his flagship, the Jaggan armada would leap out of hyperspace around a target world and move slowly into the inner system, the lesser ships of the Ork armada mostly staying under cover of the guns of the Rock. When the Rock approached the planet, it demolished any orbital and surface defense installations with a barrage of mass driver slugs, allowing the smaller craft to land on the planet and loot its treasures at their leisure.
The Tyrant's rampage through the Umerian worlds proved unstoppable. Not even Reisenburg itself was immune. However, the Ork fleet departed after several months' campaigning; it is speculated that the Tyrant was forced to return home to the Badlands to deal with threats to his dominance of the Ork warlords in the region. Umeria was devastated by the Ork raids, which had proven far more damaging than anything the Technarchs had expected. While civilian casualties were surprisingly light, the national GDP declined by nearly thirty percent the following year, as the orks had smashed or carried off enormous quantities of valuable industrial goods.
Fall of the TyrantEdit
All remaining assets of the Technocracy were put to work amassing a military capable of meeting the threat of a renewed offensive by the Tyrant of Jagga. The task of meeting the smaller Ork raiding craft was relatively simple; these needs were mostly met with foreign-purchase destroyers from a variety of sources. The true difficulty lay in countering the Rock itself, which had proven so resistant to the massed nuclear missile attacks popular at the time.
This task fell to an elite design team led by one of the senior surviving officers of the Space Security Force, Commodore Edom Waxman. Waxman forced a ruthlessly optimized design on the Bureau of Ships, built around an experimental superheavy proton cannon that had been considered but discarded for use as a stationary orbital defense weapon. The result was the Vindicator-class dreadnought.
When the Tyrant of Jagga returned five years later, he charged straight into the combined battleline of the new Umerian fleet, including six Vindicator dreadnoughts. While the Umerian screen swept aside the ork raiders, the Vindicators engaged the Jaggan flagship directly. Sidestepping the Rock's mass driver fire with lateral thrusters, the dreadnoughts powered up their main armament and began peppering the Rock with relativistic particle beams.
After the engagement was over, the Rock appeared substantially intact- but it hung dead in space, on a ballistic course that took it lazily towards Reisenburg and then out into interstellar space. Umerian automated battle drones boarded the wreck and transmitted back their findings to Central Command. The proton cannon had drilled deep tunnels into the interior, severing power conduits and destroying vital installations. Moreover, sidescatter from the heavy particle beams left the heart of the fortress asteroid a hell of radiation, in which even the hardy physiology of an Ork could not survive for long. The Tyrant of Jagga was found dead of massive radiation poisoning, his great hands still clutching the controls for the Rock's defensive guns. The success of the Vindicator-class dreadnoughts served as a proof of concept for following generations of Umerian capital ships, all around a battery of superheavy spinal particle cannon.
After Second Reisenberg, the Umerians mounted a major punitive expedition into the Badlands. Occupation of Jagga was deemed impractical for the time being, so the Umerian fleet satisfied itself with massed kinetic bombardment, followed up by mechanized and mobile infantry sweeps on the surface to burn out any remaining ork settlements. The planet was then bombarded with wide-angle fire from the Vindicators' particle guns, irradiating the surface to the point where it became incapable of sustaining orkish life for some time. Jagga was eventually recolonized by a combination of surviving feral orks and warbands from other parts of the Badlands, but it did not resume active raiding for roughly two centuries, and never recovered its full prominence as a base of operations for ork marauders.
However, the logistics strain of supporting the punitive expedition only made Umeria's economic problems worse, and the nation entered a deep recession. Most of the nineteen Umerian worlds' space infrastructure had been destroyed in the war; looting and simple vandalism by ork raiding parties had cause considerable damage on the ground as well.
The combination of lost industrial facilities and infrastructure during the initial raids was bad enough. Combined with the massive use of foreign exchange and 'eating the seed corn' required to rebuild the Space Security Force for the battles of Second Reisenburg and Jagga, the Umerian economy was effectively destroyed. The sole bright spot in the disaster was that civilian population had survived largely unscathed, probably due to their inability to put up an interesting fight after the orks blew up the planetary defense bases, most of which were located in remote terrain.
The economic crisis made the early 28th century a time of great national trauma for Umeria. This was the finest hour of the Zapatist school of economics among the Technocrats. For example, it was Zapatist Director of Agriculture Dr. Emil Chernoff whose rationing scheme ensured that child malnutrition rates in the Technocracy remained well below 1% even at the height of the Great Famine of 2712-15, despite enormous decline in agricultural output and damage to spaceport facilities that made interplanetary food shipments nearly impossible.
During the 2720s, the Zapatist Technarchs continued to oversee all aspects of Umerian society, using extensive computer support to achieve a depth and breadth of detailed central economic planning seldom seen outside the modern Commune. They concentrated on ruthless reconstruction of the industrial base, particularly the replacement of destroyed space elevators and orbital mining facilities, and were largely successful; industrial output began to climb in the 2730s, and by 2745 was nearing prewar levels in most essential areas. The general consensus of Umerian historians (after the release of all classified public records in the Selection of 2749) is that the Technocracy narrowly escaped collapse into a "third galaxy" economy during this era, thanks in large part to the efforts of two generations of Zapatist central planners.
Costs of ReconstructionEdit
However, the costs of this heroic effort were great: some of the Zapatist Technarchs' methods of ensuring economic productivity can only be described as Stalinist. For instance, the Chernoff Plan was successful in averting child malnutrition and assuring the health of the next generation of Umerians- but on some worlds, the average ration for adults fell as low as 1600 calories per day at the low point of the planetary agricultural cycle, even for citizens working at hard labor. This led to widespread hunger and to a series of major bread riots that had to be put down by Ground Security Force intervention battalions, with civilian casualties totalling in the high hundreds of thousands.
Another well-documented example of the price of the post-Jaggan reconstruction is the fate of the planet New Princeton. New Princeton was a naturally occuring near-Terran world less than twenty light years from Reisenberg, settled in the 2370s, and terraformed to human-ideal standards by 2600. New Princeton was often called a "paradise world," with a very broad temperate zone moderated by extensive oceans, large temperate rainforests, and a wide variety of exotic flora and fauna. Its image as one of the great tourist traps of the early hyperspace era was further enhanced by its natural 0.86g gravity, which further contributed to the Elysian appeal of its surface.
During the Jaggan War, New Princeton was the only system in Umerian space to survive with its orbital infrastructure and spaceport facilities largely intact. As such, it became a major center of industrial production and resource extraction after the war, since it was the only world that could export its products to the rest of the nation in the billion-ton quantities required. However, the Ministry of Ecology soon realized with alarm that the scope of industrial activity on New Princeton was endangering the planet's terraformed ecosystem.
In 2714, the Council of Technarchs faced a vicious choice. On the one hand, they could continue full-scale industrialization of New Princeton at the expense of the planetary environment until the burden of production could be shifted to other systems after their orbital infrastructure was repaired. On the other, they could limit industrial growth on New Princeton, at the expense of greatly delaying redevelopment of the other Umerian worlds, threatening the overall success of the reconstruction program.
After a series of debates totalling fifty hours over a three day period that saw the resignation of the Second for Ecology and two physical brawls among the Technarchs, the Council decided to proceed with full industrialization of New Princeton. By 2725, clear-cutting, strip mining, chemical contamination, and radioactive byproducts of exotic-physics industrial processes were disrupting the planetary environment noticeably. Large scale ecological damage set in as early as 2735, forcing the evacuation of much of the planetary population to more intact climates; the damage was deemed irreversible by 2745. Preservation efforts saved populations of New Princeton's higher-profile wildlife and genetic samples of many of the less famous species, in hopes of reintroducing them some time in the late 28th or early 29th century. But by the end of resource extraction activities on the planet in 2773, it was deemed more cost-effective to terraform a new planet to New Princeton ecological norms and reintroduce the sampled species there than to clean up their original homeworld.
The Umerian economy was at least beginning to recover around 2750. Industrial output had recovered, and standards of living were back to something broadly in line with prewar levels, but Umerian culture took a terrible shock. The bright, optimistic exploratory culture of the Golden Age had been replaced by something little short of Stalinism during the last years of DuQuesne's fourteen years in office, and this eased only slightly during the years after the Tyrannicide. Umerian historians hesitate to criticize the rulers of this era, but in all objectivity it was a dark time for the Technocracy.
The most formidable and unpleasant social control and mass labor programs faded within a generation; anomalous government secrecy and refusal to acknowledge the full details of what had been done and why lasted until the Selection of 2749, which replaced practically the entire Council of Technarchs with pro-openness candidates, some of whom had been heavily marginalized among the intelligentsia until that time...
Umeria is not a particularly militaristic state. The organization of the Space Security Force (the Umerian navy) is heavy on patrol elements, and its ship designs mostly lack long range power projection capability without supporting fleet bases or an extensive fleet train. Likewise, the ground force retains the capacity to intervene on contested planets, but is not well organized for fighting a protracted multi-planet campaign on foreign soil.
For the main article on this subject, see Umerian Space Security Force.
The Umerian Space Security Force's chief responsibilities are patrol of Umerian space and defense against hostile powers, with power projection being deemed largely unnecessary. Umerian ships are relatively short-ranged in hyperspace, with a few exceptions. It is generally accepted that the fleet would need extensive logistics support to operate further afield than the Technocracy's nearest neighbors.
ORBAT of 1 January 3400 (Before Fleet 3410 Construction)Edit
As of the temporary construction halt at the end of FY 3398, the Umerian order of battle broke down as follows, with cash costs ignoring small craft listed alongside: (see the USSF page for details on the composition of these squadrons):
-10 Battleship Divisions (10*1390 = 13900$)
-8 Battlecruiser Divisions (8*1115 = 8920$)
-5 Intervention Task Forces (5*1120 = 5600$)
-50 System Control Groups (50*320 = 16000$)
Total Mobile Force cost: 44420$
In addition to the main mobile forces of the navy, customs duty, training formations, sensor pickets, and intrasystem policing requirements have led Umeria to manufacture a large force of independent defense cutters, supported from tenders that are effectively tied down on local duty barring a major war-emergency reorganization.
-45 Tenders with full gunboat complement (45*20 = 900$)
Also not formally affiliated with the main mobile forces were a number of ships used for convoy escort, mostly antipiracy duties. These, too, are tied down on "local" duty, though their local duty often ranges over many sectors and they are seen abroad more often than almost any other ships in the USSF:
-4 Light Cruisers (60$ per): 240$
-12 Frigates (30$ per): 360$
Finally, the Space Security Force is also responsible for operating a number of high-security courier craft, designed for extremely fast hyperspace travel and secure data storage. These couriers carry sensitive military communications that cannot be trusted to hyperwave in an ELINT-heavy environment.
-20 Couriers (4$ Yachts): 80$
Overall fleet budget as of January 1: 46000$
ORBAT of 1 July 3400Edit
By July 3400, the Space Security Force had commissioned a handful of the first wave of light combatants from the Fleet 3410 program: destroyers, frigates, and cutter tenders of the latest types (such as the first Renata Fields-class destroyers). It was during this month that the first three Flight III Hero-class light cruisers cleared the slipways and began commissioning trials.
For the sake of completeness, one must also factor in the loss of the frigate USS Istanbul and the tender USS Nantucket in action against the Zebesian pirates. Numerous cutters had been either destroyed in action or written off at the end of their service life and replaced, but these losses were within the parameters of routine SpaceSec maintenance-level expenditures and were replaced out of spare parts stock.
None of the new ships had been formally incorporated into larger formations as yet, and the list of formed SpaceSec squadrons did not change. However, the supplementary forces not assigned to any particular squadron now stood at:
4 Light Cruisers ($60 medium)
9 Destroyers ($40 light)
14 Frigates ($30 light)
50 Cutter Tenders with full cutter complement ($20 ultralight carrier)
Counting all units, the order of battle was now:
20 Battleships ($400 ultraheavy particle beam platform)
24 Battlecruisers ($175 heavy particle beam platform)
18 Fleet Carriers ($150 heavy carrier, carrying $75 of AI drone fighters)
15 Heavy Cruisers ($100 heavy particle beam platform)
20 Strike Cruisers ($80 medium turret/torpedo ship, carrying $10 of Strike troops and $10 of cutters)
150 Light Cruisers ($60 medium turret/torpedo ship)
147 Destroyers ($40 light turret/torpedo ship)
214 Frigates ($30 light turret/torpedo ship)
362 Cutter Tenders ($20 ultralight small craft tender, carrying $10 of cutters)
20 Couriers ($4 yacht)
7640 Cutters ($0.5 modular gunships, wide variety of mission-specific variants)
13500 Fighters ($0.1 robotic drones, mostly short range fleet defense versions)
The Technocracy maintains a four-tier active duty military force: Strike, Intervention, Assault, and Line.
("super-elites," trained to a standard of 30,000/$, 15x kit multiplier)
Strike units include the Umerian special forces and elite ground formations of the highest caliber. They are mostly used for space-to-ground or space-to-space operations, where the manpower that can fit on a spacegoing warship is at a premium. A Strike formation generally consists of soldiers in very advanced powered armor, highly sophisticated armored fighting vehicles, or the formidable Umerian combat drones.
Strike drones are an example of Umerian "expert systems" in action. Within the bounds set by their programmed rules of engagement, they are extremely difficult to kill, heavily armed, and react with blinding speed to threats and enemy movement. The close-combat variants, designed to clear out warrens of ork-infested tunnels without undue casualties, are particularly formidable. Strike drones are typically used in tandem with human units, to provide operational guidance and support in the event of sudden changes in the rules of engagement. They are not flexible or intelligent enough to replace humans in the field.
Strike heavy infantry employ shielded power armor of broadly the same quality fielded by the Byzantine Adeptus Astartes, and are armed with a variety of powerful and miniaturized weapons created at great expense by the Technocracy's scientists. Their role overlaps with those of the Strike drones, and also extends out into open-field warfare and combat aboard starships (where they are often supported by naval infantry formations drawn from SpaceSec crews).
Strike armored units field hovertanks with high power-to-weight ratios for ground vehicles, achieved at great expense; this is intended to give them high land-based mobility compared to the mostly tracked armor seen in the rest of the Technocracy's ground forces. Attached mechanized infantry and armored cavalry units are also hovermobile, and Strike mechanized infantry are generally a close match for the 'spaceborne' heavy infantry formations in combat.
Tactically, Strike formations are meant to be assigned specific, small scale objectives that factor in their limited manpower. They are often deployed from SpaceSec's strike cruisers to capture or destroy key targets in preparation for a larger ground assault, or for hit and run raids against remote targets. There are approximately one million Strike troops (including battle drones and AFV crews as soldiers) in operation at any one time; the number varies gradually as new generations of combat drone are released with improved programming or equipment.
The Strike formations are among the few truly high-end military units in the galaxy to accept unaugmented recruits. Aside from occasional low-order neural interfaces and fluke gene-boosts inherited from their ancestors, Strike troops would not seem out of place on 20th century Nova Terra or Earth as individuals.
(elites, trained to a standard of 50,000/$, 2x kit multiplier)
Intervention units form the first wave of a large scale Umerian space-to-ground assault, typically travelling in lightly protected troopships rather than the heavily armed strike cruisers. They are quite well trained and fairly well equipped by the standards of ordinary human soldiers, but lack the extraordinary elan or physical enhancement found in exceptionally high-end ground combat units.
Intervention troops field advanced heavy weapons, often similar to those used by Strike formations, though in more budget-sensitive designs a step back from the bleeding edge. They enjoy extensive AFV support, in contrast to the Strike units which are often optimized for spacemobile warfare at the expense of the armored component. Intervention infantry units deploy in light power armor that is fully rated for NBC battlefields and most semi-habitable environments; vacuum-compatibility can be achieved with limited modifications.
The Technocracy maintains a standing force of fifty million Intervention troops. This is deemed sufficient to invade an Earth-like planet with a population of up to several billion, assuming only moderate ground opposition and space superiority. Many strategists, including a vocal minority within Umeria itself, would deem this number inadequate, citing the need to wage multi-planet campaigns; historically, Intervention units were stretched quite thin during the recent Browncoat War.
(regulars, trained to a standard of 100,000/$, 1x kit multiplier)
Assault formations make up the bulk of the Umerian military likely to be committed to combat. In the event of extended planetary resistance, Assault divisions are deployed to a target world to reinforce beachheads taken by Intervention units. They may also undertake occupation duty in particularly combat-intensive environments.
Quality of leadership is usually adequate by "first galaxy" standards, but rarely inspired; highly talented leaders tend to gravitate to Intervention commands, especially at the field grade officer ranks.
Assault troops lack power armor, relying instead on sophisticated "soft" body armor with attachable environmental protection. Operating outside near-Terran environments or under NBC conditions presents Assault formations with serious difficulties, but it can be and is done when necessary. Absent power armor, Assault formations rely very heavily on mechanized support: artillery, space-to-ground fire, and organic armored units.
Umerian doctrine tends to favor 'mechanized wave' and 'materiel wave' offensives, in which any particularly strong enemy resistance is drowned in great masses of armored units or artillery bombardment, with infantry support being moved up in a relatively cautious fashion to avoid heavy casualties. This affects their preferred response to superheavy armored and combat-walker units, as well as to dug-in opposition from elite and super-elite ground troops. It also affects the design of Umerian AFVs- breakthrough tactics are generally handled by vertical envelopment using spacemobile landings of Intervention and Strike units, so the 'baseline' AFVs themselves are little more mobile than their ancient Atomic Age ancestors, with a focus on protection and firepower at the expense of speed. This is exemplified in the Mammoth tanks of the 'Heavy Armor' formations, which come closest to matching superheavy ground combatants in direct battle, though still requiring greatly superior numbers of vehicles to reliably defeat Titan-class opposition.
Despite the name, Assault troops are also often deployed to Umerian planets in anticipation of a ground invasion, as they are better suited to the task of area defense on a continental scale than the relatively low-number Intervention forces. There are roughly 450 million troops rated Assault-grade in the Umerian Ground Security Force.
(garrison/conscript, trained to a standad of 200,000/$, 1x kit multiplier)
Line formations are those deemed effective enough to be worthwhile in major military campaigns, but not for high-intensity operations. They are drawn directly from the Planetary Defense Forces, and their ranks are often filled by conscription, whereas the proportion of conscripts in the Assault formations is usually very low.
Reliance on conscription causes a variety of problems for Line units. Conscripts from the fringe worlds are often talented but relatively unreliable. Conscripts from the core worlds can be counted on for political reliability and freedom from corruption, but tend to lack the motivation for intense combat and often prove unsatisfactory when paired with Intervention or Strike forces.
Line troops are usually equipped with gear comparable to that of Assault formations, but the lower standard of training makes their tactics considerably less sophisticated and even more reliant on massed fire support during intense combat. In consequence, mass deployment of Line units tends to lead to extensive collateral damage and friendly fire, due to the heavy use of artillery and airstrikes against enemy defenses. Leadership tends to be mediocre; poor officers are often dumped on Line commands rather than being removed from service entirely, while good officers are generally transferred to Assault or Intervention forces.
Umeria maintains 1.2 billion Line troops, though most of them are kept on their homeworlds except in times of emergency, when they are deployed to garrison occupied worlds, secure logistics bases from enemy raiders, and so forth.
Order of BattleEdit
Counting all echelons, the space-mobile formations of the Umerian Ground Security Force add up as follows:
1,000,000 Strike (1$/2000 -> 500$)
50,000,000 Intervention (1$/25000 -> 2000$)
450,000,000 Assault (1$/100000 -> 4500$)
1,200,000,000 Line (1$/200000 -> 6000$)
Total Cost: 13000$