- "For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men."
The conflict can trace its origin back to the wildly contrarian nature of the founding colonies. Before the Bragulan Star Empire was more than a threat looming over the horizon the eleven colonial governments had little in common. Solaris was a rapidly urbanizing hypercapitalist haven whereas Kimanjano was a pastoral communal society; Midway was ruled by a military junta and Shin-Hokkaido was tightly controlled by the emergent techno-feudal Maibatsu megacorp. Other governments in the region ranged from the loosely federated Zigonian states to corpo-liberal commonwealths and technarchic rectories. The hangers-on of these many incompatible ideologies didn't really agree on anything, and when the First Bragulan War broke out they still didn't, except for the one fact that if they didn't cooperate the entire subsector would irrevocably fall to the Bragulan onslaught.
Several additional factors further complicated the political landscape of the region. One was the arrival of the Apexai refugees who would soon become indispensible to the war effort; another was that several colonies were soon overrun by the Bragulans, forcing their governments into exile where they grew increasingly more fanatical and increasingly more irate at what they perceived as a lack of honest effort on the part of their allies. After all, many Solarian megacorporations only became as large and influential as they are today by profiting off the massive war expenditures to bootstrap their operations across the subsector, and seeing Solaris grow rich and prosperous even as their families suffered under the yoke of Bragulan oppression and their sons and daughters died fighting the distant war was intolerable to the refugees from occuppied worlds like Kimanjano, Midway, Eta Bootis and Formalhaut.
Halfway through the first year of the war then the subsector was deeply divided into roughly three camps: there were the militants, mainly from the occuppied worlds and the besieged mid-rim, many of whom would stop at nothing to win the war; there were corporate interests, vital to the war but with a main goal of profit, not victory; and there were what could broadly be labeled democratic elements, also known as jayhawks or by any number of derogative names: those who balked at the prospect of turning their alliance into a carbon copy of the Imperium in order to win the war. By August of 3099 the ideological differences between these three groups were rapidly deepening and tensions had grown great enough that they threatened to split the coalition of colonies apart. With the Bragulans poised to invade Key West, which would gain the aliens access to the hyperspace nexus of the Galveston Strait, the situation looked very bleak indeed.
Majestic TwelveEditMajestic Twelve was a cabal of twelve generals, CEOs and politicians formed shortly after the initial stages of the war, when it became apparent to some just how dire the political and military realities were. The group drew its members from all three opposing camps, and was united by the belief that if someone did not take charge of, and give proper direction to, the war effort soon then the Bragulans would rule the entire subsector before 3105.
Named after the polar space habitat above Kerenkov where the group first met, Majestic Twelve was composed of one member from each colony plus the group's shadowy organizer, the elusive Mr. Hank. The eleven other founding members were Gen. Chaos Farley; Mr. Twennysex; Sobek Zahhak; Lamia Wadjet; Dr. Haris Kalvin, CSci; Gen. Ethan Carson; Nasution Renner; Gen. (ret.) Taddeus Teague; Mira Seesunthon, CL; Freya Korovin; and Thao Soeur.
It was a highly diverse group: of the twelve four were female and three were aliens; another three were high-ranking military men. Two were not technically human anymore. Two were academicians, one was an industrial regent and another was the Comptroller General of SOMAC, the subsector's largest interstellar mercantile syndicate. Because of its nature the group wielded influence in a great many fields: politics; academics; economics; law; the military, and wielded it like a weapon, forcing compliance with its driving vision by means of pressure, bribery, blackmail, base threats and psychological manipulation.
The Twelve did not even amongst themselves agree what the post-war subsector should look like: they simply agreed that winning the war was the most important goal, an end in fact that justified any means. They were singularly ruthless in this pursuit: the Twelve ruined careers and threatened families, arranged for uncooperative officers to be sent off to the front lines and had innocent men imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, they had their ideological counterparts sidelined and on one or two occasions engaged in outright assassination in order to get the eleven colonies on one line. And it worked: threat by threat, crime by crime, they over the course of one tyrannical year enforced a unity of vision amongst military leaders, hounded politicians into meek obedience, extorted concessions from corporate overlords and finally hammered together a bond that was sealed with the Sanction of Sovereignty on July 4, 3100. The Founding was a fact; the Sovereignty had been brought into existence as a product of shadow deals and necessity.
All this time there was an implicit understanding between the members of the Twelve. They had done what had to be done for the sake of the people and they were allies in that respect, but in that respect only. There were no friends amongst them. In fact many of them were the fiercest of ideological opponents, united solely by the fact that they hated Byzon more than they hated each other. There was an acute awareness between them that before the Bragulans they could have all gone their separate ways, but not any longer. For better or worse the Majestic Twelve had sealed themselves in, and every single one of them knew that as soon as the external pressure of the war was gone the struggle over who would get to shape the Sovereignty would instantly resume.
The Time of TreasonEdit
- "His name was Chaos Farley. Let me just repeat that: Chaos. Farley. We really should have seen it coming."
This then was the Time of Treason at its basest: the cabal of founding members of the Sovereignty, turned on each other like a pack of rabid wolves even before the last Bragulan hold-outs on Kimanjano were bombed into rubble. It was a secret conflict, a war unlike any other in the history of the subsector. The members of the Twelve knew the threads of power within the fledgling Sovereignty unlike any other, and they knew their opponents unlike any other. Each was acutely aware of all the others' crimes and transgressions, committed for the sake of the people but now imminently exploitable. But each had also been preparing for just such an occasion, gathering allies and fortifying their positions of power. And they had become extremely powerful: although the cabal had started off manipulating the eleven colonies from behind the scenes, by the end of the war in 3112 its members were the most powerful figures in the Sovereignty. They were its war leaders, its economic directors, its secretaries of state and its first President. And though they presented a unified front to the outside galaxy, behind closed doors the cabinet was at war with itself.
Majestic Twelve split along predefined stress lines into four ideological blocks. There were the Technarchs, lead by Dr. Haris Kalvin, who had zero faith in democracy and wished to implement a technocratic autocracy; the mercantile barons under Secretary of Commerce Thao Soeur, whose ideal government was based upon the example set by the ancient Nova Terran state of San Dorado; radical democrats and anti-militarists lead by Nasution Renner and the Zigonian Sobek Zahhak; and finally the hawks, lead by President Teague and his cabal of generals, formed the Panopticon, a group whose ultimate goal was to use modern Apexai-derived technology to turn the Sovereignty into a fevered totalitarian nightmare, an inescapable surveillance society they would rule like a latter-day Centrality. Three members of MJ12 professed not to take sides in the struggle: they were the Secretary for Alien Affairs, Mr. Twennysex; Freya Korovin, Comptroller General of the trade and transshipment syndicate Société Marchand auf Aktien Comercial (SOMAC); and Majestic Twelve founder Sidney Hank.
What ensued was a brutal conflict that lasted roughly from 3112, the year Kimanjano was finally liberated and the last Bragulans were driven from what had come to be considered Sovereignty space, and 3204, when the Paragon was taken and last vestiges of the Panopticon were destroyed on Helicon. Most of the Majestic Twelve perished in the struggle, though some died much sooner than others and at least three are known to survive to this day. The fates of a further two members of the cabal are uncertain. Fact is however that the unhingedly aggressive methods of the hawks and the the system of uneasy truces between the other factions they lead to, as well as the eventual emergence of the chimerical 'fifth movement' lead by those three MJ12 members who had professed neutrality, eventually ensured a victory for the democrats. It was far from a flawless victory however, and elements of all other factions continue to exist within the power structure of the Sovereignty to this very day.
Fates of the TwelveEdit
- "We will pay for what we have done. We will all of us pay."
Of the Twelve none rose so high as Taddeus Teague, and none fell as deep. A retired general from the Midway Starfleet by the time he was recruited into the Majestic Twelve, he went on to mastermind the eventual Sovereignty victory over the Bragulan menace and in 3120 became its first democratically elected President. At the same time however Teague was the leader of the Panopticon, a soldier first and foremost who believed that no price was too much to pay if it meant ultimate security and victory over the Star Empire. During his reign as President, Teague pursued any number of crypto-totalitarian measures in an attempt to turn the Sovereignty into a machine geared for total war, in order to take the fight into Bragulan space.
Even greater than his hatred for the Bragulans though was his ability to survive attempts on his life. The first was when in the last year of the war, Twennysex himself arranged for Teague to become stuck behind enemy lines on Eta Bootis. Cut off from the shifting front and with his column annihilated by Bragulan armor Teague was presumed lost, but instead assembled a small group of survivors and carved a bloody path through Bragulan lines to a USMC forward base. His exploits during this odyssee include defeating at least three Bragulan legionnaires in melee combat, earned him the nickname 'Brag Eater', and made him one of only a handful of humans ever to be not just respected but actually feared by the Bragulans.
Teague was run out of office in 3126, returned to it in 3130, and was finally driven out of the Presidential Palace in 3145 amidst allegations of flagrant abuse of power. He escaped prosecution by fleeing to the fringe worlds in the galactic south and disappeared, only to reappear as a human war leader in Ark-Cevaucian war and a major power broker during the formation of the Ascendancy in the early 33rd century. He attained the office of Forum Chairman of the Cevaucian Ascendancy in 3256, becoming the first and only being so far to ever have held supreme executive office in both the Sovereignty and the Ascendancy. He continued to hold this office until 3268, at which point Taddeus Teague disappeared from galactic society. Rumours of his current whereabouts range from being in control of all major rimward crime to secretly manipulating the Ascendancy and Sovereignty both from the shadows.
Under General Teague founder of the Directorate of Information and Security, the Panopticon division responsible for the repression of dissent against the President and the sprititual predecessor of the later CEID agency. Orchestrated the human-Apexai hybridization project, originally to form a 'thought police', but soon came to see the far greater opportunities these engineered psions offered his DIS. When it became apparent he aimed to use cybertronics in order to mind-slave the hybrids to the will of the Panopticon he was killed telepathically by a Silver Shield assassin in 3186.
Believed killed in a prearranged blue-on-blue 'accident' during a fleet exercise in 3126 but survived; again believed killed in the destruction of a large Panopticon facility on then-fringe world Saint Vincennes but survived; developed serious doubts about the viability of victory and was subsequently betrayed and left to die in Wild Space by Taddeus Teague in 3141. He once again survived and betrayed the Panopticon to the Fifth Movement which directly resulted in the final destruction of his old masters. Teague however survived and attempted to assassinate Farley with a stolen Bragulan tac-nuke in 3149; Farley once again narrowly escaped, though he needed ocular implants due to the flash of the initiation having burned out his cortical pathways. A next attempt was made by Cevaucian cybercomp assassins in 3154 which left Farley badly wounded but yet again alive. He vanished shortly thereafter, only to surface in the Ascendancy later as one of the rogue human operatives aiding the Ark during the Ark-Cevaucian war. In the aftermath of the war Teague, who was playing for the other side, made another attempt at his life by crashing a large starship into Farley's base, but the general managed to escape into orbit in the nick of time. Farley then vanished again and remains unaccounted for to this very day. Because of his uncanny talent to survive the seemingly unsurvivable however CEID has an active arrest warrant out for Chaos Farley to this very day.