"We were born out of slaves that seeked freedom, and no one will ever own us again. Our sacred religion, was apparently given to us in compensation for the sad destiny of our ancestors. Lets not forget that The Parasite gives us strength, the parasite gives us knowledge, the gift gives us awareness. Our holy religion is the truth, an eye opener and is our duty to spread it across the universe." - National day communication from the Union to its citizens.
The Union is one of the main human nations originating in the Lewis Galaxy. It has thus expanded among several Galaxies. It is based on the Planet Isso, located in the Mering system. This nation is a Theocracy based on the Unionist Religion. This religion is based on the union between Humans and a symbiont or parasite called "The Gift".
The nation is united by the belief to this sacred parasites in their bodies that take care of their host, prolonging their lives, enforcing and improving their abilities, as well as healing their bodies in times of sickness. Due to the reproductive system of this parasites, some humans are born from infected parents with the parasite in their bodies, instead of having it to be implanted later on.
This rare feature is interpreted as a sacred act, and those born with the parasite are immediately selected as priests, and those from recognized families, in power, wealth or influence are put in the highest positions of power, like the Sacred Priests Council. The top government body in the Nation.
The Union's origins can be traced back to the early settlers that settled on Isso fleeing from the Empire of Mankind, when slavery wasnt still made of clones in the nation, but only by Human-born slaves. About 80 million escaped slaves and other anti-slavery activist and terrorist members, some freed slaves or Empire citizen activist, slowly run away from the Empire of Mankind's territory during the Slave Revolts that shook the empire soon before the War of the Two Emperors.
They did so, as soon as laws were passed and anti-slavery movements, protest and slave revolts cool down. This escaped slaves, set up for a far away spot in the Lewis Galaxy, where they could escape from the Empire's expansion and influence.
They settled on a humid, misty, forested, abundant in live and marshy planet. The first ship carrying up to 8 million people, landed and Aron, the capital of Isso, the oldest city in the nation and the actual capital of the Union was founded. Other ships latter arrived and settlers expanded and founded several cities across the planet.
Soon the settlers realized some of the live forms on their new home, had a special blue eyed color, that other specimens from their species laked. Still, this remained a mystery for a short time. As soon as the colonist advanced and prospered in Isso, the first infected cases started to appear. They realised that their lives and abilities were enhanced and scientists found it was due to a parasites that lived and prey on new hosts in the small marshy lakes of the planet.
Many sick humans and others started to implant themselves with this parasite, voluntary, since it caused no harm to those that had it. On the contrary, the Gift, seemed to made people better in all ways. The Implanted soon started to gain more influence in the Planet affairs, and adoracion to the parasite began. It was seen as a communion between the divine and the mortals. It wasn't long, until the colonist started to profess this new religion. Slavery and Clonation are forbidden and seeing as an abomination.
The recently formed government was made under a Theocratic Council of High Priests or Theocrats, that held all the power, usually belonging to the most prestigious families in the Nation. A Parliament was formed as well, made out of elected people, usually made of the wealthy that could paid for its political campaign.
- The Faction's Civil War and the War with the Empire of Mankind.
Contact was made again with the Empire and soon a cold war status was achieved. The Union sees the Empire as their traditional enemy, since this nation enslaved their ancestors back in old days and revenge was actively seek by some. Other though promoted an approach to prove that they had successfully surpassed the Empire, by forgiving their enemy and give them the degree of civilization and treatment they had never been given by them, proving they had become better. But open war was wisely avoided by both sides and cold war started for several millennia among both states. Also different social tensions inside the Empire and the Union escalated into war in both nations, and thus open war was relegated and put on hold by both sides.
Different Theocrats, as well as the Parliament, had manage to keep a status quo among factions in the Union to prevent an open conflict with the Empire of Mankind. But the Factions started to discuss about the nature of this relationship with the Empire and Warlike factions started to promote open conflict with the Empire, while peaceful factions tried to cool down citizens from this ideas. Tensions among factions were inevitable and soon, a civil war broke out in the Union in 40 834 CE that lasted until 42 008 CE (20 668 ALD - 21 842 ADL of the Lewisian Calendar). This war, known as The War of the Factions or the Faction's Civil War, lasted for quite a bit (1174 years of intermitent conflict) and ended with a saga of Warlike militaristic Theocrat in power, and control from the militaristic factions in the government. Although Peaceful factions were able to avoid the Union from entering open war.
After repairing the nation from the civil war, during an era of new prosperity, the ego of the Union rose and a new Militaristic and very fanatic High Theocrat called Kerin Owango that looked for mass conversion of the Empire citizens by forced, rose to power. This also corresponded with the approaching borders between both states, and war was declared as it seemed a matter of time that open conflict started. In 45,032 CE, war was declared initiating the conflict known as the Imperial-Unionist War.
This war was the most massive and destructive for the Union. Heavy losses were brought into both sizes and many worlds were destroyed or sacked. Some of the worlds that fell into the Union had is citizens converted by force. Most of this lied in the Far Colonies, away from the central core. The Union worlds were in turn forced to leave their religion, causing millions of deaths and millions of displaced people. Refugees from this wars moved to an unexplored region of space, and this decision saw the birth of The Lewis Federation in 45,378 CE. The war lasted for five centuries and in 45,587 CE, peace was signed between the two nations, with devastating consequences. Both sides lost considerably amounts of worlds, money, territory and population. The Union however, was the one that lost more worlds, and annexed little of the claimed territory or the unclaimed/buffer zone territory between both nations. The Empire in turn suffered from a heavy economic recession and hardship and lost substantial systems and worlds, either by being completely ravage and its population kidnapped by Unionist, or annexed through forced conversion to the Union. The Empire nevertheless won more territory out of the claimed territories and the buffer zone than the Union did, and borders between nations were fiercely stablished.
Kerin Owango was taken out from government after the war, and later on executed for his failure (by the warlike factions) and promoting conflict and death (by the peaceful factions), and a new era of Peaceful Theocrats rose to power and gain control of the Parliament and the council.
Relations with the Union were for the next 800 years no more than futile and cold, being both nations too busy repairing themselves from struggles of War. But as soon as generations died, new commerce routes appeared and some nearby planet started comercial contact, specially among frontier worlds.The first route started in 46,366 CE and soon many followed. opening a new era in the relationship between the Union and the Empire, although mistrust has always prevail between the two to this day.
- Theocratic Council
The first and most important government body, it's where real power resides in the Union, in which the High Priests or the High Theocrats, the main religious authorities, decided on the most important matters of the nation. However, the final power of the council is in the Great Theocrat, The Administrator leader of the Council and by such, of the whole country, having his own personal and special powers. In fact, the Great Theocrat is above the laws and trials applied to the rest of the population. The charge is elected among the members of the Council, and last until the Great Theocrat's death. Although, if the Great Theocrat doesn't die from natural causes, the next Great Theocrat is to be elected outside the Council, and elected by the people on a massive vote.
The candidates cant belong the Parliament nor to any of the prestigious families, but have to belong the priesthood. This prevents murder and coups between the members of the council to take over the position.
On the other hand, by law, if the Great Theocrat is a tyrant, the Council and the Parliament can join up and institute a new Great Theocrat.
This assembly is formed among the most rich and influential people in the nation for the most part, however some members belong to the common citizen class. All the members of the Parliament have to be elected by the people and serve as a powerful counterbalance against the powers of the High Council. Some of the most populated and important planets, have a special status within the Union and have the right to one or two seats in parliament. The Colonies and distant systems have no representation or right to it until they reach a minimum population. The parliament has the power to supervise the Council and reaffirm the election of the Great Theocrat. If they dont, they have to select a new one. The members that belong to the Parliament renounce in their lifetime to ever reach the position of Great Theocrat. If the Great Theocrat is murdered they supervise the election of a new one outside the limits of the council and the Parliament. They also supervised the derrocation actions towards a tyrannical ruler. This body can't be dissolved by the Council.
The main religion and from which the nation takes its name is the Unionist Religion or Unionism, that bases itself on the worship of the union between a parasite called "the Gift" and a human host. The Parasite uses the human body and enhances its abilities and lifespan. Some parasites invade the body of their host, use it and consume it for their own benefit destroying the body they invade, but the Gift does the opposite. The Gift is a parasite that invades a body and improves it to enhance the chance of survival of its host in the wild and in turn secure their own survival. They also invade the reproductive system of their host and use it to their benefit, so the longer the host live, the longer the chances of procreation for the parasite, so it will repair its invaded body and cure most of syndromes or signs of illness of their invaded body in order for themselves to survive the longest time posible. Parasites attach to the Spine of the Host, around their necks and ingrane themselves with the body to the point it cant be detached from the body anymore and in case of forced separation, most times, the human and parasite die in the process.
The union between humans and hosts enhanced and strengthen people's abilities and senses to the point they can feel more, see more and experience a higher degree of human existence and communication with the world around them. They see the Gift as an open minded or a path of connection with the divine or the highest forces that govern the universe giving them a better understanding of the human existence.
Most of the religion is handle by Priest, this are rare people that were born with the parasite in them, instead of having it implanted later on. This is a complex process that appears when the parasite and human conceptions happen at the same time and one of the parasite's issue instead of leaving the body, invades the fetus through the blood system that connects the infected mother with their child.
Priests are at the core of the Union's society and are appointed rulers of communities and planets for the most part. They are also in charge of organizing the cults main ceremonies, breed parasites and other tasks such as train people in the meditation Paths and guide them through their existential journey.
People can connect deeper through intense meditation with the Parasite in their bodies, to the point of somehow, have an internal communication that allows them a deeper understanding of their existence, their own body and the universe. This is made by a minority of the population through deep and intense meditation. Those that follow meditation are set to start "The Awakening Way". People can stay in this stage of meditation indefinitely but many who star with it soon focus themselves on one of the many Paths.
Is one of the main paths, that results in a perfect control of physical abilities, enhanced strength, enhanced senses and agility, making them one of the finest and most elite warriors in the Lewis Galaxy and beyond. Usually they are called "Fighters" or "High Warriors". The training also consist on ascetic live and hardship, training the person on supporting pain, hunger and control their own instincts to be a mortal Warrior and Survivor. This are the most frightening forces of the Union and can be hired as mercenaries by the wealthy, or by foreign nations to fight.
The people who follow this path enhance their intellectual capabilities. They are known as "Wisers". It's the second hardest path, and it requires the parasite to stimulate the brain of its host directly to potence the logical, analytical and creative capabilities as well as the senses and curiosity of the host. This people are capable of giving genius solutions, memorize huge amounts of info being similar to living archives and think coldly putting aside visceral emotions and meditate about philosophical questions. They also come as amazing artist, painters, writers and sculptors, due to the creative potential they achieve as well. But most dedicate themselves to scientific studies. Others though to transcendental meditation and contemplation. This path is the most respected path by society, since it requires a livelong training in order to achieve it and maintain it.
Those that follow this path are known as "Sensors" or "Sentients", and this path enhances their sensorial capabilities, and their senses. They can see further, hear further and seeing further beyond. This makes them perfects rastreators, persecuting runaways and criminals, bringing them back to justice. Most form part of the police forces of the Union. They are capable to influence people, infringe torture and pain into others and feel them better than anyone, what makes them perfect to conduct interrogations. They can dig down into their minds and collect info.
On the other hand they are also able to stop pain and suffering for those that do suffer from it, either mental or physical suffering. This made them dedicate themselves as well to Sanitary care, and help to the wounded in times of war. Some dedicate themselves to ascetic live and help of the least favour by society, the poor and the afflicted, since those who follow this path are more conscious and empathic with the others, serving the lowest stages of society, dedicating themselves to Charity. The parasite enhances social abilities and group cohesion abilities. Thus, being part of a group is essential for host and parasite alike. This has made the ones following this path having amazing social skills, what makes them good ambassadors and diplomats and some even good at entertainment and other social activities.
This way enhances the coordination capabilities of the person, what is essential to create agile and coordinated people into levels beyond human understanding. They are referred as "Dexters" or colloquially as "Dancers". The people who follow this path, achieve extreme coordination movements, that makes them able to play musical instruments and dance incredibly well. That's why these people are excellent dances and musicians. The best among humanity. But those who follow this path are also extremely well at spying and murdering, acting as silent assassins and spies, specially in times of War. They can also be hired as mercenaries or private assassins. Some dedicated themselves to security forces of the Union, tracking and prosecuting runaways. They are excellent as well in fight, but less strong and capable that those following the Path of the Warrior.
This is the least common and the hardest of all the paths. Their total number is small. They are refer as "Seers". This Path enhances capabilities that go beyond human comprehension. This path grants them Psychokinesis abilities. It enhances their physical powers, similar to those of other races, that make this humans able to go beyond of time and space, entering a trance that allows them to connect themselves to the net of the universe, seeing the future or the past. Due to the constant change of the Future, they can only give predictions of possible futures, but never exact or unchangeable predictions. Due to to the same factor, they can see the Past but can't intervene in it, due to its static nature. What has passed has already happened and cannot be change but can be reviewed.
They can also interact with space, opening gates that allows them to teleport themselves or a small amount of people around them. Although this ability is only able to the most expert in this Path. When several Seers connect they can open bigger gates that teleports small armies, but the energy consumed is risky for the Seers live. So it's rarely done. It's one of the most mysterious and secretive Paths. Those that take this Paths for themselves, dedicate their entire lives to meditation in the Path and in the Awakening Way. Achieving the objectives of this Path is a constant work and dedication. Those that join it have to be made of a special material, and have to gather special features and tough requisites even before being able to join.
Population and Society
The Union is a rather xenophobic nation, although some parts of society are pro-Alien, more parts of Society are against them. This is due to fear of being enslaved by foreign species or culturally assimilated by them. Union citizens are fiercely anti-slavery defenders and activist due to the nations origins. So they are very reluctant and hesitant of Aliens.
Society in the Union is divided in Leagues, they are state implemented divisions for administrative purposes. Movement between leagues is possible and happens quite often, sometimes being promoted by the state itself. Someone born into the Fifth league can achieve the Second league one day, since the First league is very difficult to reach for any member in society overall.
- First League
It's made out of the most prestigious people in the nation. This are wealthy individuals, Theocrats, famous people and those descent from historically important figures in the history of the nation. Well born with the parasites from this or the second league are put into this category. This people are for the most part super wealthy and the state is after this individuals to prevent them from falling into poverty or misery. All people in the government, such as the Theocratic Council or the Parliament belongs to this league.
- Second League
It's made of those individuals that are somehow wealthy and have high-end jobs, have make their own mid size businesses and have well-off lives. All technicians and high skilled needed people in the Union belong into this class. People born with the parasite from lower leagues are usually promoted into this one. Most priest belong as well into this league.
- Third League
This league is made of normal common citizens, and as such, is the biggest league in the Union. They have average working class jobs and have generally no difficulty in their daily lives and can afford some luxury from time to time.
- Forth League
It's made of citizens that have some difficulties in their lives and are commonly through economic struggles. Its usually applied to all medium-low class citizens that need from time to time, some degree of assistance and help from the government. All colonies and settlers in the early stages of colonization of a planet are automatically classified inside this league.
- Fifth League
The League comprises all poor citizens who live in misery and need active assistance from the state for survival. All legal immigrants on arrival, are usually classified into this League before being able to promote themselves into higher leagues, due to active assistance needed by the state to establish themselves in the Nation. All undesirables from society are put into this league, such as people involved in illegal activity or illegal immigrants.
- The Sixth League (Unofficial)
Unofficially, but used by all citizens and secret police for separating normal citizens from the Fifth league from those that are a threats to society, this league comprises all prisoners, smugglers, illegal mercenaries, illegal immigrants and all that live without the parasite in their bodies violating the law, those who took the parasite off and survived the removal, slaves (forbidden in the Union), clones (also forbidden in the Union), androids and high tech artificial intelligence etc... Basically, any one that is and outcast by the law, living outside of it is thought to belong to this league and thus persecuted actively by the authorities.
This society is divided among several factions:
The First Faction ("The Conquerors"): thinks that their religion should be extended throughout the Galaxy and beyond through conquest, war, assimilation, proselytism or forced conversion. Any mean is worth the goal of extended the sacred religion to all the human species, with most usually considering all other species unworthy of the Gift. This is one of the Mayor factions.
The Second faction ("The Nationalists"): thinks that only the citizens of the Union and its people are allowed to have the sacred gift, and imposing it to other humans outside the Union or alien species would be considered sacrilege and heresy. This faction is a minority among factions.
The Third one ("The Pacifiers"): is up for peaceful conversion of all humans in the Galaxy and the Universe but not to Alien live or other forms of life. They want to extend their religion through preaching, and convincing other humans from other nations into the Unionist religion. They are one of the Mayor factions and one of the most popular.
The Forth Faction ("The Extenders"): is up for peaceful conversion of people through the world of mouth and peaceful means of preaching. They want to extend the Unionist religion throughout the Galaxy and the Universe to Humans, Aliens and other lifeforms alike. They seek to extend the gift to all that can have it, such as humans or aliens or all life forms that want to receive, and can have, the sacred gift.
The Fifth Faction ("The Lightbringers"): wants to extended the gift to all intelligent forms, human and not human, thought either war, peaceful conversion, assimilation, alliances or forced conversion, assimilation or any other mean. Basically war or peace are both means of conversion perfectly suitable for this Faction.
The Forth and the Fifth Factions are the only ones that seek to promote their religion not only to Humans but to Aliens and other lifeforms, while the First, Second and Third factions, seek to promote their religion only among the Human species and not Aliens or other lifeforms.
The Union has abandonned most of the machine-driven technologies to support rather a biologically engineered driven based. Most of their military, fleet, day to day technology etc.. have a rather biological component, most of the time intertwined with machinery. As of cloning or engineered breeding is completely forbidden, unless it is for medical driven purposes. Terraforming on the other hand is very practiced with the Union having some of the latest technological advances in terraforming technology. Still, some factions inside the nation don't really support terraforming openly and tend to favour natural terran worlds instead. Nevertheless, they are a minority.
Death is honored in this nation and even though humans live very long lives, they are eventually driven to death, as it is for them the biological sense of life, and the opportunity to rejoin the path and the fabrics of the Universe and become once more "pure", or universal materium to be reborn into something else.