At a mere 61 years old, the Void Born Union is the youngest of the three major factions in human inhabited space. Founded out of pragmatism, rather than in opposition to the other major powers, the VBU far more closely resembles a loose federation than the formal structures of the IP3 or UNM. Often accused of being criminals, vagabonds and pirates, this isn’t exactly false, but more so they are wanderers, explorers and miners and in six short decades have become a backbone of interstellar society, supplying raw materials and providing an outlet for many millions’ wanderlust.
Formed of hundreds of independent space habitats equipped with AWE drives which allow them to move the entire habitat, some hundreds of metres wide on their smallest axis, between star systems almost instantaneously. The process isn’t entirely predictable, where the drive will take you isn’t reliable or entirely repeatable but skilled navigators can find routes quickly and maps of AWE routes are a precious commodity.
The core government underlying the VBU is the senate, which meets at least every other year in a random solar system agreed at the last senate. Between senates, each habitat is almost entirely self governing. Some band together but these alliances are often fleeting. The habitats themselves can be broadly split into three categories:
Most habitats maintain their own militias and garrisons, with others relying on allied military habitats to provide defence against aggressors. The VBU do not have a standing military as a whole, and when the VBU have agreed as a whole to engage in military action, each habitat is expected to provide towards the action in some sense, be it in the provision of warships or material support.
However, many habitats drift closer and further from the senate as time passes. There are many who appear to have only the loosest association with the VBU and do not take part in its plans except where with suits them.
That being said, most habitats are built to a common set of designs, and most habitats maintain a fleet of the VBU “standard” ships. Based on designs for asteroid mining, they serve a dual use as asteroid herders and mining support vessels in peacetime and effective warships in times of conflict. Many habitats prefer a drab, functional colour scheme for their ships, but more so than any other faction many more choose wild colours, some not even ensuring consistency between ships.
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