Luminate Era of the Gallente Federation
The Luminate Era of the Gallente Federation (or the Early Federate Era) covers the time from the creation of the interstellar union in 23121AD to just before first contact with the Jin-Mei in 23168AD. It is noted by the initial tensions within the Federation, the secession of the Caldari and the outbreak of the Gallente-Caldari War, and the subsequent reforms in response. Though the Luminate Era lasted less than a century, its landmark events would shape the history of the Gallente and Caldari civilizations for the future.
Birth of the Federation
The Federated Union of Gallente Prime, or simply the Federation, was founded in 1702AR (23121AD), signed by all nations of the Gallente, Caldari, Intaki and Mannar homeworlds, and several other entities. It replaced all the previous interstellar organizations that came prior, uniting all of humanity and known space under a treaty known as the Federal Charter. The treaty outlined the rights of each member state, as well as the powers and limitations of the Federation as a central body. The founding of the Federation took place in the city of Caille on the Gallente homeworld, which became the union's ''de facto'' capital.
Officially, the primacy of Gallente Prime in the union’s founding was deemed symbolic of the fact that it was widely considered the first cosmopolitan planet in known space, and an undeniable ‘center of civilization’. This was on top of the idea that the term ‘Gallente’ was fluid in its definition, with no cultural restrictions as to who may identify as such. To many others, Gallente Prime was chosen as the homeworld simply because it had been the most dominant player since the start of space exploration. Of note, this was the first official use of the name ‘Gallente Prime’, over the more traditional Gallentia. The new Federal Calendar was introduced; the year was dated as FC1.
The first Federation authority was composed of a Senate overlooking a variety of smaller administrative bodies to regulate and control interstellar affairs. The Senate was composed of representatives appointed to the position by the various subject nations. In turn, the Senate would vote amongst themselves to appoint a President. At the Federation’s founding, there was no Supreme Court. International disputes were settled by a special Senate committee. Though Senators represented their home nations, they had no power within them. A Navy was also created, which acted primarily as a watchful peacekeeping armada, protecting independent space development from piracy or other threats.
One of the most important elements of this new Federation was considering itself as the sole representative of the human race, standing as a meeting place to discuss all matters of mankind. Indeed, there was no comparable body in known space that could equal it. Unlike the modern day Federation, it was not considered a nation. Instead, the Federation was envisioned as the ideal and final development of human civilization, transcending nations, races, or cultures. The Federation was designed to replace the concepts of dividing individuals based on artificial constructs such as ethnicity or world of birth. Its ultimate goal would be to unite humanity under a peaceful, post-nationalist and post-racialist flag where all could flourish at an individual level. However, as communications technology was not as advanced as it would become, these ideals were seldom exported outside of Luminaire. For now, it would remain the primary arbitrator of interstellar exploration and trade.
While the founding of the Federation successfully and democratically united most of known space over the following years (with the Verge states joining when they found themselves encircled), criticism was levied against this union early on. One of the core requirements of membership of the Federation was to be a democratic state with universal suffrage. This was not a problem for mostly all the members except for the Caldari, who had still not fully embraced democracy despite the centuries of attempts to encourage it upon them. Nonetheless, as founding members of the Federation, the Caldari were faced with no choice; all nations on their homeworld switched to a democratic system. This was viewed by many Caldari as yet another abuse of their people and culture by the Gallente. Though little issue was made of it initially, it was clear that this Caldari faction was being pushed close to the edge.
Another problem with the initial Federation was the dominance of Gallente representatives in the Senate, due to their superior population and national membership. This meant that laws could be passed in favor of the Gallente, with other races not hoping to outvote them by numbers alone. In addition, many smaller states were disaffected, as the Charter specifically identified the Gallente, Caldari, Intaki and Mannar states as the major signatories. Those without a large enough population (certain homeworlds included) were classed as minor members, and thus could not wield as much influence.
Every Shore Endeavor
As a newly unified entity, the Federation’s first major endeavor was to colonize the area of space that bordered the Gallente and Mannar home systems, after having successfully overseen the full settlement of the region around Luminaire (which later became known as Essence). With a centralized organization and bureaucracy, this could be done with far greater ease than ever before. The Federation acted as a facilitator for all parties in colonization, whether these parties be individuals or corporations.
For the colonization of the region, the Federation Navy was charged with most security and defense concerns. Colonists of all backgrounds and ethnicities migrated to the region, which is where it acquired its modern name of Everyshore. Mannar states were aggressive in quickly expanding and laying claim to areas of their own, disgruntled by the claiming of systems they felt they were entitled to from the beginning. Several clashes emerged and had to be arbitrated by the Federation when Mannar colonists settled on worlds already claimed by others.
It was clear communication was becoming a problem, where delays ranging from hours to days meant that the Federation was too slow to respond to colonial flashpoints. The asteroid belts in Everyshore were found to hold significant amounts of minerals, which were mined with a vigor never before seen to fuel the construction projects that the quickly expanding borders required. It was not long before greedy eyes turned towards the planets when it became clear that large-scale asteroid mining operations became uneconomical.
In the system of Aclan, the Astral Mining corporation, filling a contract for the Federation Navy, introduced a herbicide into the atmosphere of a lush planet to clear its vast jungle and enable mining to begin. Because of the limitations of communications technology, it took a whole week for central Federal authorities to become aware of what had occurred.
Outraged at the senseless destruction, where many species of flora and fauna were lost that had not even been studied, prominent ecologists managed to force a bill through the Federal Senate; no planet that supported any life-form was to have its ecosystem tampered with in any way without a license being granted from the Federation. This law, the only one of its kind amongst the modern four empires, became known as the Aclan Agreement and it remains in place to this day. However, the problem with communications remained, and it was clear that the new law would be nothing but an empty gesture unless there was a surefire method to enforce it.
The answer came in FC25 (23146AD) with the discovery of Faster Than Light Communication from young Gallente scientist Li Azbel. Since the discovery of the Sotiyo-Urbaata warp drive, the Gallente and Caldari nations had promised huge rewards for the discovery of a FTL communications method, which was previously deemed impossible due to the nature of the starship FTL drive. The famous Azbel-Wuthrich experiment demonstrated that FTL communications were indeed possible. Within the year, the Federation had begun erecting FTL relays across colonized space, from lunar satellites to communication towers on remote planetary continents. Thanks to instantaneous communications, space was smaller than ever before, and enabled easier colonization and expansion.
Democracy goes Faster-than-Light
On top of an increased ease of space colonization, there were two additional consequences of the establishment of a widespread FTL network. The first was enabling popular democracy to take part at the interstellar level. Following much pressure from popular Gallente and Intaki interests, the Charter was amended so that voting by universal suffrage would elect one-third of the members of the Federation Senate, rising to half within the following years.
This had the side-effect of giving the Gallente further penetration within the Senate. For example, Gallente living in the nations of other races were significantly more inclined than the natives to participate in these Federation-wide elections (with the exception of the Intaki). This meant that those nations who would otherwise appoint Senators with local interests at heart were suddenly represented by those more concerned in the greater Gallente ideology.
The second consequence of the invention of an FTL communications network was the formation of a Gallente-dominated interstellar media, which ultimately led to the creation of a constitution. Gallente Prime was the first planet to create a global media network, and thus it pioneered the exporting of these concepts to the interstellar level. The various member cultures of the Federation would eventually be warped slightly to abide by a libertarian standard, beyond just their governments being democratic. Gallente and Intaki citizens would learn of the plights of individuals on other worlds, ranging from local government censorship to slavery and corporate exploitation.
The Gallente concept of ‘human rights’ and ensuring that all members of the Federation abode by it suddenly became an interstellar issue. However, the Federation had no legal basis to intervene in domestic affairs, with Intaki and Caldari Senators being at the forefront of enforcing restraint. The Gallente nations, however, would bypass the Federation and sanction, penalize, or otherwise threaten ‘unsavory’ states directly.
Responding to large public pressure, Senators from mostly Gallente and some Intaki nations quickly pushed through the idea of a Federal Constitution and corresponding amendments to the Federal Charter that would not only recognize such a document as binding, but require the member governments to abide by the constitution’s principles. The Constitution outlined individual rights for every single citizen within the Federation, protecting them from government heavy-handedness with a plethora of rights, ranging from freedom of expression to freedom of preference.
Of note, the new Federal Constitution used the term “Federation citizen” for the first time. Beforehand, all government documents would refer to citizens of the individual member states instead. This was popularly considered as the Federation’s first step to the concept of full nationhood, rather than just being an interstellar authority, much to the chagrin of the Caldari nations and even some Gallente states. The Federation’s newly-found power to intervene in planetary and sub-planetary affairs was a notable contribution to the tensions that characterized the early Federation.
The Jove Empire made themselves known to the Federation in FC28 (23149AD). The two empires engaged in limited diplomacy, though the Jove warned that they would cut off contact if the Federal government revealed their existence to the public. In return for some sparse details about the internal workings of the Jove, the Federation permitted them transport within their borders. Newly-appointed President Arlette Villers was all too happy to comply with this unofficial agreement, wary that the revelation of the Jove to the Federal public may have a destabilizing consequence.
The advanced ship technology of the Jove meant there were almost never discovered by the public nor Navy, but there were some sightings by civilians and independent astronomers. This spawned an array of conspiracy theories regarding interstellar aliens and the like, though all claims were denied by the Federal government.
Early Civil War Period
Tensions hit fever pitch between the Caldari states and the Federation in FC33 (23154AD). By this point, the Caldari megacorporations had become immensely influential on the Caldari homeworld and other territories within the Federation, thanks to the wealth and power they had generated by their secret colonies. It was often the case that CEOs would be seen to speak with more authority on Caldari matters than state or colony leaders would (who were no more than corporate puppets), something certain Gallente were wary about, but nothing that Federation law had any sort of mechanisms against.
In a national address to the New Oryioni Collective on the Caldari homeworld, Kaalakiota CEO Matias Sobaseki inflamed tensions by accusing the Federation of subsuming the Caldari, and calling for all to take a stand to preserve their identity. In turn, Gallente Senators accused Sobaseki of sedition and encouraging insurrection, but current President Arlette Villers was not known for her confrontational nature. As an Intaki, she was averse to conflict, and did what was necessary to cool down tensions.
Such efforts were in vain, however, as an independent exploratory vessel stumbled across the hidden Caldari colonies later that year. The Federation Senate came to session and immediately began debating how to deal with this situation. According to Charter law, it was perfectly legal for colonies to be established independently, as had been done for centuries. However, questions emerged from the fact that these colonies were being administered by Federation-based corporations without any democratically-elected authorities. Gallente Senators demanded that the corporations relinquish control of the colonies, and hold elections for a new leadership based on universal suffrage.
The Caldari Senators, however, refused to bow down to the pressure of what they saw as yet another Gallente demand. They stated that the corporations, and not any democratic government, were now the primary representatives of the will of the Caldari people (though whether or not this was an actual reality remains debated to this day). Intaki Senators, encouraging restraint and wishing to defuse the situation, stated that the secret colonies were not technically Federation territory, and thus the laws of the Charter and Constitution did not apply. However, they did recognize the need to peacefully reel in the rogue territories into the Federation, believing that two separately administered areas of space would prove disharmonious in the long-term.
The Federal Senate was in danger of hitting deadlock, but it took no time at all for the corporate elites in Gallente society to intervene. They feared that even if the Caldari colonies were reeled into the Federation peacefully, the power and wealth of their corporations would be a threat to the influence of their own interests.
To these elites, the sovereignty of those territories must be uncompromisingly placed in the hands of the people, which would result in the Caldari corporations losing their huge industrial base, and thus ensure the hegemony of the Gallente corporations. Indeed, if those territories remained under Caldari corporate control in some form or another while being integrated into the Federation, these corporations would have the industrial base to supersede their Gallente counterparts as the primary economic player in space. This was seen as intolerable by these forces.
Rise of the Ultra-Nationalists
The elites noted the growing, but still marginal, influence of the Guardians of Gallentia (better known as the Ultra-Nationalists, or U-Nats for short), a political party in the Senate who had originated from conservative nation-states on Gallentia and isolationist colonies. These conservative nations found the mass immigration to the homeworld that had taken place to be an abomination, as much of their ancient cultures and traditions had been lost due to the sociocultural effects of cosmopolitanism. Though the smallest of the spacebound political parties, they nonetheless represented a diverse range of political opinions.
Some U-Nats felt that the Federation should never have been formed, and that the other races should never have been uplifted, left to fend for themselves. Others felt that, in order to best protect the cultures and identities of the Gallente homeworld, the Federation and all its precursor organizations should simply have uncompromisingly converted all foreign races to Gallente culture. To the Ultra-Nationalists, the culturally and politically sensitive politics that had taken place hundreds of years prior had come at the cost of several minor states amongst the Gallente. They resented the larger states who were the historical champions of the Federation, much in the same way certain Caldari resented the Gallente, though the U-Nats nonetheless implicated the former and other foreign races as another part of the problem.
Several Gallente corporations poured countless millions into backing the Ultra-Nationalists within the Federal Senate. Their influence and popularity grew within days, with Mannar Senators aligning themselves with their Gallente counterparts. It didn’t take long for the majority opinion in the Senate to demand that the once-hidden Caldari colonies be classed as Federation territory, which included the relinquishment of corporate sovereignty and the immediate establishment of democratic authorities. Voices within the Senate that said otherwise were simply drowned out by the Ultra-Nationalists, led by the charismatic Senator Luc Duvailer. President Arlette Villers was now rapidly becoming a puppet of the Senate despite her attempts to the contrary.
The Two Month Crisis
The response of the Caldari corporations to the Senate demands came in the form of the Proclamation of Secession in November FC33 (23154AD) a day after the Senate’s demand, with mostly all Caldari representatives walking out of the chamber following the declaration. The Chief Executive Panel, the governing body of the Caldari megacorporations within the secret colonies, usurped immediate control of the homeworld. Authority of the Caldari Army was turned over to them by compliant planetary leaders, expelling or imprisoning all openly Gallente-sympathetic soldiers. Using the Army, the CEP was able to assert itself over the few states that refused to go ahead with the proclamation, violently or otherwise.
The CEP declared the founding of the Caldari State, which included the homeworld (defiantly called Caldari Prime) and the once-hidden colonies. While this new State technically included the other Caldari territories within the Federation, the lack of any military presence in those areas meant the proclamation was not enforceable there. The newly-formed Caldari Navy, composed of mostly single-man fighters and hastily-assembled carriers from industrial ships, moved to secure the stargates to their colonies (which also contained the bulk of their military infrastructure).
The Senate demanded that President Villers move to act at once, to treat this secession as an open rebellion. In response, the Federation Navy established a blockade of Caldari Prime. The economies of various worlds (including Caldari Prime) had been influenced over the recent decades to rely on off-world trade, and it was hoped that a planetary economic collapse may be enough to convince the Caldari to talk.
Despite the sway of the Ultra-Nationalists, restraint within the Senate found its voice once again, championed by Intaki representatives. Combined with the Caldari’s reluctance to actually wage open war against the more powerful Federation, nothing much happened for the next few days. Even with warships in orbit, the Federation was hesitant to take further action out of concern for both the Caldari civilians and the considerable Gallente community who resided on the planet. The Federal government began to debate amongst themselves how to best negotiate a peace agreement or otherwise put a handle on the situation.
There was no cohesive strategy. On one side, it was believed that the situation must be accepted, citing centuries worth of irreconcilable differences. The blockade of Caldari Prime should be lifted, and the two nations should go on their separate ways. However, the presence of a planet owned by a foreign nation within their capital system made the elements of the Gallente leadership very nervous. Many felt that Caldari Prime should be conquered militarily, and the situation should be left at that. However, the CEP were not open to negotiations, and thus a non-hostile reaction from the Caldari State in response to conquering their homeworld was not guaranteed.
For this reason, the Ultra-Nationalists felt that it would not be enough to guarantee the security of Luminaire by words alone, and that a full-on military campaign against the Caldari would be necessary. In support of war, the Mannar saw the Caldari as overly prideful and stubborn rebels, incapable of seeing the greater good that their culture has long stood for. However, all sides were equally vocal, and thus the Senate was overall indecisive in how to proceed.
Eventually, the Caldari on Caldari Prime became restless, finding the blockade intolerable. Beginning in December, small-scale guerrilla activities were carried out by particularly nationalistic Caldari against the native Gallente, many of whom had been living there for generations, and even had some Caldari blood themselves. In major cities, Gallente residents were victim to all manner of sectarian violence, while predominantly Gallente towns and villages found themselves at the brunt of the worst abuse. For centuries before, the distinction between both ethnicities on the Caldari homeworld was seldom an issue amongst the general public. Off-worlders found themselves absorbed into the local planetary culture, as the harsh environment necessitated adapting to the Caldari way of life there. Only the sudden government tensions occurring in space would bring the racial lines to the political foreground.
In response to the violence, disenfranchised Gallente members of the Caldari Army banded together to form the rebelliously-titled Free Caldari Army, to defend the local Gallente from their hostile neighbors. The situation escalated into all-out hostilities, with atrocities being committed by both sides. Entire towns and villages inhabited by the Gallente were leveled by the Caldari Army, while Gallente guerrillas made gruesome examples of captured Caldari soldiers. The speed at which the situation deteriorated, all in the space of less than a month, was alarming to both the Federation and the Caldari State. There were thousands of casualties, particularly those of Gallente ethnicity.
The Federation was quick to condemn the violence, all of which was doing nothing but polarizing the issue further, both to the public and Senate. On one side, the Ultra-Nationalists and their allies still believed that a full-scale military campaign against the Caldari must be undertaken, in order to protect the Gallente minority on Caldari Prime, who had begun fleeing to the seven underwater cities on the planet. On the other side, advocates of a diplomatic solution blamed the militarization of the situation as the reason the violence on Caldari Prime had erupted to begin with. If peaceful negotiations could take place, then the clashes could easily be quelled.
President Arlette Villers once again found herself caught in between the two sides, but the severe complexities of the issue kept her from acting decisively. It was so early on in the Federation’s existence that many of the first Presidents simply did not have enough experience in running an interstellar empire to know how to deal with these sorts of crises, especially one so severe that it risked fragmenting the union after only three decades of being.
In January FC34 (23155AD), action finally came in response as a result of the worst atrocity of the early sectarian clashes. Overnight, Caldari partisans known as the Templis Dragonaurs infiltrated the Gallente underwater city of Nouvelle Rouvenor on Caldari Prime. They were able to sneak past the military defenses and sabotage the polyglas dome and containment fields using high-grade explosives they had stolen from the Caldari Army. From the crushing depressurization, over half a million died almost instantly, including the perpetrators themselves. The victims were primarily of Gallente ethnicity, including refugees that had fled to the city to flee the fighting on the surface. There were no survivors.
New Year Coup
Though the Chief Executive Panel denounced the Nouvelle Rouvenor attack, it did little to quell the events that followed. Federation or Caldari alike, the reactions of citizens ranged from appalled to traumatized. Up until that point, there had been no singular disaster in known history that had taken so many lives so quickly. The strongest feelings of anguish came from within Luminaire itself, and those furthest out from ground zero felt that only the worst could come from what had occurred. The Caldari were particularly fearful of the Federation’s response to the attack, knowing that their vengeance would be a strong one.
President Arlette Villers resigned the following morning, taking responsibility in stating that her indecision had ultimately allowed the Nouvelle Rouvenor disaster to occur. The turmoil in the Federation over the next twenty-four hours was unprecedented. Violence against Caldari citizens on Gallente Prime, Mannar and other areas escalated tenfold. Many states were forced to declare martial law, with protests calling for war erupting into rioting in response to the counter-protests that called for calculated restraint.
Several nations on the Gallente homeworld and in associated territories threatened outright secession and denouncement of the Federation if a response to the attack did not come within the next forty-eight hours. To the opportunists amongst the corporate elite and military-industrial complex, the prospect of war would prove immensely profitable. All played a role in influencing the Federation’s response to the Nouvelle Rouvenor attack and the atrocities that had occurred prior.
The Senate voted to temporarily suspend the Constitution and Charter, the only time in Federation history. The loudest, but far from the only, voice stated that a swift response must not be hampered by indecisiveness that had dominated the Federal government prior. The Ultra-Nationalists were able to seize control of the situation, having the public support of state leaders and massive corporate backing. After hours of venomous debate, the Senate finally decided to appoint U-Nat chairman, Luc Duvailer, as the new President. Many felt this was an affront to democracy, considering the Federation had blindly transitioned between chief executives in less than twenty-four hours without deeper rationale, but very few dared to speak up. As the Ultra-Nationalists consolidated control of the Federation, an authoritarian regime was unquestionably established.
The first action of President Duvailer was the declaration of martial law across the Federation on the same day of his appointment, during his inauguration speech. The leaders and citizenry who had called for decisive action from the central government suddenly found themselves with more than they had bargained for. At first, the declaration was considered bizarre. As an interstellar union of planets with no consistency in political systems, it was believed that the term ‘martial law’ simply could not apply, reserved for sub-planetary authorities instead.
However, the sudden deployment of Federation troops on multiple worlds quickly answered such confusions. Rioters and protesters were imprisoned without trial, or shot on sight in extreme cases. Curfews, and even entire blockades of particularly rebellious planets, were established. Order and compliance was enforced at gunpoint. Sub-Federal leaders were faced with no choice but to accept the authority of the Ultra-Nationalists, less they see their constituents punished. Within twenty-four hours, stability had been imposed on the Federation by the U-Nats.
First Battle of Luminaire
Operation Heaven's Justice
Two days after President Duvailer’s appointment, the Federation Navy was ordered to commence a strategic orbital bombardment of Caldari Prime for a period of a whole day. The objective was to inflict such a loss on the Caldari that they would surrender without question. Hundreds of thousands of casualties were inflicted, indiscriminate of ethnicity (although many Gallente had fled to the underwater cities that were spared from the bombardment, long before the campaign had begun). The natives of Caldari Prime were driven to the countryside, many cities having been reduced to nothing.
The Federation public and sub-leaders found the actions atrocious and appalling, considering the bombardment a disproportionate response to Nouvelle Rouvenor. On Gallente Prime, which had a low Federal military presence, many minor nations announced their intentions to secede and denounce the Federation. However, such intentions were short-lived. The major planetary powers, along with the Federation itself, launched a quick and decisive campaign to subdue these states. Outlying territories beyond Luminaire, fearful of what was taking place on both the Gallente and Caldari homeworlds, remained silent. It became clear that those who spoke up would be branded cowards or, worse, traitors to the cause.
After a whole day of orbital bombardment, the Federation demanded the unconditional surrender of the Caldari forces. Despite the massive loss of life and the unshakable dominance of the Federation, the Chief Executive Panel refused. In response, the Federation resumed their bombardment, while troops were sent in to assume control of the planet. The Caldari Army’s superior knowledge of the local terrain meant that this campaign was drawn out considerably.
Early on, the Federation Navy found themselves wasting resources on bombarding locations that were believed to be hideouts of Caldari forces, pummeling empty tundra or deserted settlements after having been tricked by the enemy. The morale and spirit of the Caldari Army meant that they were able to lure Federal ground forces into ruined cities or forests only to find themselves surrounded by hostile forces. The Caldari assumed victory in these situations, believing that the hostile navy in orbit would not bombard their own soldiers. They assumed wrong, however, as both Gallente and Caldari soldiers were bombarded indiscriminately.
A ground war was drawn out; though the Federation had numerically and logistically superior forces with orbital dominance, the Caldari had unrivaled knowledge of their world, as well as having their morale boosted considerably by the fact they were fighting for their homes and families. Federal ground forces, meanwhile, were hampered by a low morale caused by a disillusionment with what was occurring. Unlike the Navy in orbit, Federation Army and Marine forces saw the atrocities that were taking place first hand, from the cities that were destroyed by orbital bombardment, to the orders of driving Caldari fighters and civilians from their homes.
The fighting continued for almost a month. The Chief Executive Panel was far from being in full agreement as to what the correct course of action was. They knew that many in the Federation were not sympathetic to the actions of President Duvailer and his Ultra-Nationalists. At the same time, they did not find the actions forgivable or permissible, stating that atrocities were still being committed despite the Federation public’s sentiment. They also knew that simply surrendering would put them in a far worse state than they had ever been under the Gallente’s influence so far.
On the other hand, other Caldari CEOs felt that this was preferential to the mounting casualties the fighting had resulted in. If they did not surrender, they risked being exterminated wholesale, assuming the Gallente masses did not rebel against the Federation before then. Thus, the Caldari leadership was hampered from acting decisively through these continuing disagreements. Despite the disillusioned morale of Gallente troops, their sheer numbers meant that it would only be a matter of time before Caldari Prime would be firmly in the control of the Federation.
The Caldari Breakout
Federal victory on Caldari Prime seemed at hand until the Caldari’s Morning of Reasoning, almost a month into the Gallente campaign. The heads of the most militant corporations on the Chief Executive Panel jointly ousted the remaining CEOs from the board through the Tea Maker Ceremony. Rather than remaining on the planet and attempting to fight the Federation off, the CEP command devised an evacuation plan, to take the Caldari populace off the planet and ship them to new homes within the once-secret colonies.
The extremist-governed Federation reviewed this intention curiously. Their objective was a swift and brutal conquest, but at the same time, if the Caldari evacuated their homeworld, an economic collapse within Luminaire once order had been restored would be inevitable. The sizable Gallente population on Caldari Prime would not be enough to fill in the sudden economic and industrial gap that would emerge. Given Gallente Prime’s dependency on the Caldari homeworld, the Federation had to act to prevent a mass evacuation. They either turned the Caldari ships around, imprisoned the evacuees for later repatriation or, in extreme cases, destroyed the vessels. It was clear that the evacuation program would not work without a full month of Caldari orbital control, something they had yet to achieve.
During this time, the sheer level of authoritarianism that had taken place within a short amount of time across the historically liberal and democratic Federation and precursor entities was beginning to show signs of straining. The Ultra-Nationalists had launched a pervasive propaganda campaign that attempted to justify their actions as protecting the Federation from destabilizing forces. Extended pieces of state-controlled media romanticized the pre-history of the Federation and the values it espoused, showing the nation to be the future of a united humanity that would take all of mankind into a new golden age, and that the Caldari and other dissidents were enemies of such principles. However, the style of such propaganda was slanted in its Gallente Prime origins. Luminaire natives were hardly buying the propaganda to begin with, and those outside the capital system were even less inclined to do so themselves.
The Ultra-Nationalist regime started to get paranoid of conspirators against them. The population was getting restless over the continued martial law and suspension of the Federal Charter and Constitution. The Federation military was forced to withdraw from occupied worlds and redeploy to Caldari Prime, meaning that the authoritarian grip on those planets was loosened. Anti-war protests began to erupt in locales where the Federation had withdrawn, or places that it had little presence to begin with, such as Intaki. Instability was looking to return as quickly as its gunpoint opposite had been established.
President Duvailer and his ministers started firing prominent figures in the administration who started to show doubts, replacing them with eager yes-men with little experience and even less initiative. State and other sub-planetary leaders were stripped of their positions and replaced with puppets that had absolutely no connection or history with their constituents, making them ineffective executives that did nothing to quell anti-Federation sentiment. U-Nats attempted to counteract the large amount of defections or desertions within the military by replacing the senior leadership with freshly-promoted admirals, although this simply worsened the situation. On the Gallente homeworld, the legacy nation-states were becoming incensed at the loss of their Charter-guaranteed sovereignty, angered at the sight of Federation troops policing their ancient streets.
One particular flashpoint emerged on Intaki. The sympathy for the Caldari was strongest here, amongst other places. When the Federation was founded, the Intaki and Mannar governments dictated for a minimal central presence. Given the lack of FTL communications at the time and the physical distance of the two systems from Luminaire, this was easy to stipulate initially. However, when the Federation-wide FTL network was established, the bureaucracy had started to gain a reputation over the years for meddling in Intaki affairs, laying heavily upon them.
When the Ultra-Nationalists consolidated power, they quelled a few minor uprisings on the Intaki homeworld, but once the regime’s powerbase started to look shifty, matters started to spiral downwards again. Several movements emerged, ranging from anti-war or pro-secession, to even anti-Gallente. However, the leaders of Gallente Prime were watching the U-Nats carefully. If they responded to the Intaki situation harshly, they would have the vindication needed to attempt an uprising in the Senate. President Duvalier was aware of this, knowing that acting against the strong Gallente-Intaki relationship may spell his downfall.
Instead, Duvalier ordered the immediate arrest and detention of some five thousand Intaki individuals who were deemed the biggest threat to the stability of the regime. The majority of these Intaki were from the homeworld, though many were from across the wider Federation. The Intaki Five Thousand (as they become known) ranged from rebel leaders to perpetrators of hate crimes against ethnic Gallente, but there were many peaceful activists amongst them as well.
Rather than imprisoning them in Ultra-Nationalist detention facilities (which had quickly become infamous for their draconian nature), or even executing them, the U-Nats ordered their immediate exile to the outskirts of the Federation. The exiles were barred from colonizing any planets or moons, and instead built themselves a collection of space stations that would later become the Intaki Syndicate. Conspirators against Duvailer begrudgingly found little disagreement with what was perceived as a reasonable action, especially considering the questionable backgrounds and activities of most of the exiles. As a result, the President’s grip on power was maintained.
Second Battle of Luminaire
The military command shake-up by the Ultra-Nationalists began to have a detriment on the Federal war effort. Soon enough, the Caldari fleet were able to gain control of the orbital zones of their homeworld with relative ease, sending the Federation Navy in a gradual retreat back to Gallente Prime. This tactical defeat at the hands of the Caldari shook support for the Ultra-Nationalists, with dissenting opinions ranging from their failure to pacify the situation, to others noting that violence possibly coming to another homeworld was a reason why the war was a poor idea to begin with. Indeed, the U-Nats were counting on the less moderate Caldari to launch a strike on Gallente Prime, in order to gain the justification and vindication they needed to commit to an all-out retaliation.
But the Caldari command knew that it would be impossible to decisively defeat the Luminaire fleet, and difficult to defend against once it had regrouped to reclaim the space around Caldari Prime. Instead, the evacuation program was hastened, and millions of Caldari were leaving the planet. The Ultra-Nationalists grew uneasy; the longer they held back, the greater the chance they would be left to conquering an empty planet. Even the few moderates left in the Federal government, such as choice Intaki Senators, knew that the economic collapse this would bring about in Luminaire would have far-reaching implications for the rest of the union. Faced with a premature end to the young Federation, all agreed this situation had to be rectified, but the U-Nat hegemony meant that it would be uncompromisingly corrected through violence.
After two weeks, more than half of the Caldari population still remained on their homeworld. Federal ground forces, cut off from orbital support, were forced to retreat to the remaining Gallente underwater cities on Caldari Prime. The Federation Navy began planning a final offensive, with the objective to drive out all remaining Caldari space forces and land hundreds of thousands of soldiers onto the surface to prevent the evacuation and end the conflict once and for all. The Caldari leadership were aware of this, however, growing increasingly uneasy. Attacking the fleets amassing around Gallente Prime was seen as a suicidal act. Instead, one Caldari admiral took matter into his own hands.
Operation Last Wind
Defying Caldari command, Admiral Yakiya Tovil-Toba of the Caldari Navy assembled the few dozen ships under his command and warped to Gallente Prime orbit, catching the Federal forces completely off-guard. Several picket fleets were destroyed by the Caldari, while superficial strikes on orbital defense satellites sent the Federal naval command into a sudden panic, fearing this was a preliminary to a full-on Caldari counteroffensive against the Gallente homeworld.
The Federal admiralty, nothing but puppets for the U-Nats, decided that Admiral Tovil-Toba was the real threat, mistaking him to be the military executive over all Caldari forces. The paranoia that dominated the Federal regime at the time allowed this tactical mistake to take place, what would later be an unsound decision to focus all efforts against this admiral and his fleet. The Federation had abandoned Caldari Prime and off-handedly permitted the mass evacuations to take place.
The Federation Navy quickly reassembled and struck at Admiral Tovil-Toba during a Caldari siege of a civilian space station in orbit around Gallente Prime. The agile ships of the Caldari, which was mostly composed of single-man fighters, light cruisers and hastily-reassembled industrial ships, were able to prove troublesome towards the Federation vessels, which were slow multi-role vessels designed for ship-to-ship combat, planetary invasion and logistics all in one. The point defenses of the Federal warships meant that inflicting losses on the Caldari proved tricky, losing a handful of battleships and cruisers to these fighter craft.
Agility won out in these battles, and Admiral Tovil-Toba was able to fight off the advancing Federation forces and tactically withdraw at every encounter. Retreating to the moon of Floreau, Admiral Tovil-Toba started a systematic bombardment of the colonies there, hoping to draw the attention of the Federal fleet and lead them right into a trap. The Federation was delayed, however, having to regroup before they were able to strike once more at Tovil-Toba’s forces. The next day, the two fleets clashed yet again, with Admiral Tovil-Toba proving his tactical command superiority in being able to inflict losses against the Federation forces, and then withdraw relatively unscathed. This game of cat-and-mouse continued for a whole week, except it was the Caldari who were in the role of the mouse.
The administration and military command was becoming uneasy. Very few forces remained in Caldari Prime orbit to prevent the evacuation. It became clear that unless Tovil-Toba’s forces were destroyed and/or removed from Gallente Prime orbit, the Caldari would be able to leave their homeworld wholesale, effectively depleting Luminaire of an entire world and precipitating economic collapse.
Their operations against Caldari Admiral Yakiya Tovil-Toba stepped up, until only one ship remained, a badly damaged fighter-carrier called the Kairiola, a retrofitted water freighter. Less than a quarter of the Caldari remained on their homeworld, just a week short of the one month of uncontested orbital control required for the full evacuation. Knowing there was not enough time left, Tovil-Toba directed the huge vessel down towards the Gallente homeworld in a last ditch attempt to distract the Federation.
On entering the atmosphere, the ship broke into several burning pieces, killing all aboard. While most pieces fell into the ocean, the largest segment struck the city of Hueromont, killing roughly two million people instantly and thousands more in the resulting fallout, which blackened the sky for miles in every direction. Luminaire was thrown into disarray, utter turmoil enveloping Gallente Prime. The Ultra-Nationalists feared that a Caldari counterstrike against the Gallente homeworld was imminent, and immediately recalled all vessels in the system to garrison the orbital zones, assist in humanitarian relief, and guard against the enemy attack. This attack never took place, however, and millions more Caldari were able to leave their homeworld for good.
The cosmopolitan makeup of Hueromont meant that it was more than just the local Gallente that were amongst the casualties; a good many ethnic Intaki and Mannar citizens were amongst the dead as well. As a result, the entire Federation felt the aftershocks of what came to be known as the Hueromont Incident. There was a great sense of anger against the Ultra-Nationalist regime, blaming them to be the root cause of all the turmoil.
Some felt their failings to adequately defend Gallente Prime had led to this catastrophe, while many others believed that this was an inevitable consequence of war, and thus such a circumstance should have never came about to begin with. Mayor Jen Yiona was at the forefront of channeling the anger of the population, which was not directed against the Caldari, but against the U-Nats in power. She was able to rally other states on Gallente Prime against the Federal government, and soon other planets followed, including the Intaki and Mannar homeworlds.
With the marginal victory of the Caldari, the Battle of Luminaire was finally over, after three bloody months of the fiercest fighting of the war. A ceasefire was called, as both sides consolidated themselves in the aftermath. The ceasefire would last for slightly over a year, as the Caldari did not complete the evacuation of their homeworld until FC35 (23156AD).
- History of the ethnic Gallente
- History of the Gallente Federation
- Nascent Era of the Gallente Federation
- Modern Era of the Gallente Federation
- Post-Human Era of the Gallente Federation
- Chronicle: Gallente-Caldari War: The Breakout
- Chronicle: Gallente-Caldari War: The Early Days
- Chronicle: Gallente-Caldari War: The War Drones On
- Chronicle: Silphy