Ur-Quan Slave War
The first war between the Alliance of Free Stars and the Hierarchy of Battle Thralls -- called the First War of the Alliance or simply the First War for short lasted from 2098 to 2134 AD. Chenjesu historians refer to it by the name they prophetically bestowed upon it before it began, The Great Crucible of Sentience; to date it remains the greatest military conflict known to the histories of Alliance races. Indeed, the Alliance, the defining political entity of local space, only formed in reaction to the creation of the local Hierarchy of Battle Thralls, itself formed by the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za for the sole purpose of subjugating all known races, which, for a time, they succeeded in doing.
The first contact between the two sides occurred when the Chenjesu's extraordinary complex HyperWave sensing abilities detected the intrusion of a previously unknown species, the Ur-Quan, into the far antispinward reaches of known space, in the Ophiuchi constellation. The strange, discordant signal, which they were unable to translate at the time, was an Ur-Quan hunting cry, calling Lords toward an area of many developed sentient civilizations.
The Chenjesu, unable to communicate with the Ur-Quan, failed to detect the Ur-Quan's first major battles with the Thraddash in Draconis. When the Thraddash had been fully subjugated, the Chenjesu watched as the Ur-Quan conquered the Umgah, who had until then maintained an apparently benign but aloof presence in the spacefaring community. The Ur-Quan then turned rimward and conquered the technologically underdeveloped Ilwrath. The Ilwrath's warlike culture proved fertile ground for Ur-Quan propaganda, and, with the benefit of new and improved technology tailored to their sadistic combat style, they greatly enhanced the now quite imposing Hierarchy military, whose attention now turned to the ripe resources and population of Earth, and the riches of the Chenjesu civilization at Rigel beside it.
In response, the Chenjesu formed a makeshift military alliance with their friends, the Mmrnmhrm to directly counter Ur-Quan aggression. Together the two races were able to temporarily repel the Ur-Quan, who, undeterred, turned aside from their defensive lines and began to send forces further spinward toward the Spathi and Androsynth. As they conquered those two races and began using the Spathi and Androsynth manpower and ships to bolster their fleets, the Chenjesu, realizing the enormity of the threat, began to negotiate with the most militarily powerful of the local races they knew of to form a true military alliance -- the Alliance of Free Stars -- capable of withstanding the growing Hierarchy of Battle Thralls. The two sides began to race to amass troops. The Chenjesu quickly gained the support of the military powerhouses of the Yehat and Shofixti, and initiated first contact in 2112 with the still-primitive Humans and that still-primitive race's dormant military and industrial potential.
Unfortunately the Umgah had already accepted status as Battle Thralls rather than lose their freedom; after the Ur-Quan had quickly cowed the Spathi into submission, the Umgah, trifling with the Spathi for amusement, tricked them into likewise joining the Hierarchy, swelling their ranks with their numerous (if cowardly) forces. These combined forces made short work of the hopelessly outnumbered Androsynth and were able to harness the Androsynth's technological genius and deep hatred of the Humans in the Alliance to bolster their forces. On the Alliance side, the formal entry of the Humans to the Alliance in 2116 precipitated the unexpected appearance of the Arilou La'leelay, who appeared by unknown means at Earth's moon, Luna, and inexplicably asked to join the Alliance. Alliance authorities, unwilling to turn away allies, however mysterious, agreed, and the Arilou became a powerful wild card during the war.
After the subjugation of the Androsynth was completed, Ur-Quan forces began to increasingly pull away from the contested territory near Earth as incoming Yehat and Shofixti forces, bolstered by Earth's growing Star Control military, took greater tolls on the Hierarchy. More and more forces went spinward, now attacking the VUX, with whom the Yehat had only had sporadic and hostile contacts. An attempt to investigate Ur-Quan activity in this area and, if possible, recruit the VUX to help the Alliance cause ended disastrously in the famous incident of the Insult of Captain Jeffry L. Rand. Rand's blunder apparently destroyed any chance of VUX cooperation or even communication with Alliance forces, leaving them to helplessly watch as the Hierarchy conquered and absorbed them. Hierarchy forces then finally made contact with the home stars of the Yehat and Shofixti, but the fortifications there were far too strong for Hierarchy forces even after the assimilation of the VUX and their brilliant tactical genius Admiral ZEX.
The Ur-Quan pulled out coreward, toward Brahe; no known races lived there, and Alliance forces dared speculate that the Hierarchy was now satisfied and choosing to end hostilities and retreat. Unfortunately, it turned out that the Mycon race, which had existed undetected until now, had openly initiated communications with the Ur-Quan asking to voluntary join the Hierarchy. The Alliance were unable to determine why, only knowing that the Mycon's unique Podship technology greatly multiplied the sheer firepower potential of the Ur-Quan forces, making them far more offensively powerful. At the last moment, the advance of the Hierarchy through Mycon space forced the flight of the also previously unknown neighbors to the Mycon, the Syreen, who had been wandering in fleets of habitats and vessels since the recent destruction of their home planet Syra. Flying desperately just ahead of the Mycon advance and increasingly harried by raids from the unscrupulous VUX, they were forced to join the Alliance despite their extreme military weakness; though their fleet was small and primitive, their unique form of hypnotic technology proved an effective tactical device to help reduce the Hierarchy's advantage.
With no other major races willing or able to join either side, there was nothing left for it but increasing escalation of hostilities, fought along what the Alliance termed the Coreward Front running through the Indi and Raynet constellations. The struggle continued for over ten years, during which many legendary battles were fought, such as the famous Battle at Draco. The Hierarchy's apparent military advantages never quite allowing to gain a permanent foothold against the embattled Alliance. Finally, in 2134, the Ur-Quan successfully pushed the Alliance back beyond Raynet, and immediately seized the opportunity this gave them. Though Procyon, the gateway to the Rigel system, was heavily defended by the Chenjesu, the Ur-Quan finally chose to use the decisive ace in the hole they had reserved since then, the Sa-Matra. The powerful Chenjesu fleet was helpless against it, and the Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm's main defense fleets had no time to even send more than a few scattered distress transmissions before the Sa-Matra utterly destroyed them. Their homeworld devastated, the Chenjesu leaders of the Alliance attempted to send a transmission -- never received -- advocating a new strategy of retreat and surrender, taking advantage of Ur-Quan largesse in allowing conquered races to live settled and mostly uninterfered-with lives as fallow slaves to somehow develop a covert resistance among slave-shielded species and seek a technological answer to the Sa-Matra's power. The Mmrnmhrm, lacking their own homeworld, chose to join the Chenjesu in becoming fallow slaves at Rigel I and integrate themselves into their plans.
Following the defeat at Procyon II, Earth was next in line for attack, and the Humans were quickly defeated by a massive, multilateral attack. Without the support of the powerful Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm, the remaining defenders of the Sol system had no chance of standing against a combined attack by the entire hierarchy. The Star Control forces, soon separated from their allies, were pushed back all the way within the Sol system, but heroically continued to fight until their entire force had been destroyed; finally, with all their materiel and troops gone, the Humans agreed to surrender terms, and agreed to go through the pain of becoming fallow rather than fighting for their enemies.
Seeing the Alliance in tatters, the Shofixti and Yehat rushed back spinward to defend their home systems, leaving no one at the Coreward Front but the meager Arilou and Syreen fleets. Expecting a final defense against the Hierarchy, the Syreen were shocked to find the Arilou wordlessly scattering and vanishing, leaving them no choice but to surrender to the Hierarchy as well, choosing fallow status and being relocated to a new world, Gaia, in the Betelgeuse system.
The Hierarchy now turned spinward again toward the two hardest nuts to crack, the martial cultures of the Shofixti and Yehat. As the Hierarchy reached the Gorno system, the Yehat, who had prepared a desperate strategy to use their outnumbered fleets as a tactical wedge to divide and weaken the Hierarchy forces, suddenly withdrew under orders from the Veep-Neep Queen, who had seemingly lost her heart for combat. Against the protests of the Starship Clans the Yehat left the Shofixti to fend for themselves; without Yehat support, there was no strategic possibility of even forcing significant casualties on the Hierarchy. The Shofixti fleet nonetheless fought valiantly, using the only weapon they had left, their self-destructing Glory Devices, to destroy Ur-Quan squadron after squadron. Even so, their entire fleet had soon been consumed and their homeworld left undefended; unknown to either the Yehat or the Hierarchy they had prepared one final act of defiance. As the bulk of the Hierarchy fleet stationed itself in Gorno to put down the Shofixti resistance, the surviving Shofixti lowered a Precursor Bomb into their sun and activated it, causing Delta Gorno to suddenly flare and flood the entire system with radiation -- a massive re-creation of the Shofixti Glory Device. All Shofixti forces had been called back to the system to participate in the final defense, and with a few scattered exceptions the entirety of their race was killed by this Ultimate Glory Device; even so, a third of the Ur-Quan fleet had been taken with them.
Unfortunately, this was not enough to change the outcome of the war. Shocked and horrified by the Shofixti's fate, the Starship Clans' protests were fruitless; unwilling to undermine the cultural source of her throne's legitimacy, the Queen finally ended the war by formally surrendering to the Ur-Quan and, moreover, volunteering the Yehat's services as Battle Thralls to prevent the dismantling of their military. Official hostilities now ceased, and the Ur-Quan, after putting into place the various Hierarchy Starbases as signs of dominance over the fallow slaves and implementing maintenance and control systems among the Battle Thralls, began to turn to their own concerns, vanishing from public sight, it is now known, to begin the Doctrinal Conflict against the Kohr-Ah.
The interregnum period lasted twenty years, and no one outside of what had been the special ops division of Star Control, Corridor Nine, knew of a secret mission that had been sent to the Vela system just before war's end to investigate strange Precursor relics there. Cut off from the Alliance forces, this expedition had become the makeshift Vela I or Unzervalt colony, successfully activating the ancient Precursor technology and building a functional Precursor vessel, later to be known as the Vindicator. Captained by a young man from Unzervalt, usually called Zelnick, this vessel emerged from Vela to restart guerrilla actions against the Ur-Quan and overthrow them in the events we now know as the Second War or War of the New Alliance.
The Campaigns of the First War are as follows (taken from Star Control for Genesis, in rough chronological order):
- First Encounter - When spheres of influence meet, battle is inevitable.
- The Art Of War - Match your strength against your enemy's weakness.
- Exterminate! - The Hierarchy must curb rampant Shofixti breeding!
- VUX Incursion - A VUX task force attacks an Alliance StarBase.
- Proving Ground - The Spathi fleet meets the Mmrnmhrm in deep space.
- Lost in Space - A solitary Chenjesu must survive a harsh universe.
- Beginner's Luck - A lone syreen must prevent Androsynth deployment.
- Escalation - A war of production.
- Target Earth - Planet Earth comes under surprise attack.
- Syreen's Song - A Syreen recruitment drive begins.
- Mushroom Cloud - A bold Alliance attack on the Mycons.
- The Nebula - The Hierarchy assaults the Yehat homeworlds.
- Onslaught - The Ur-Quan offensive begins!
- Counter Attack- The Alliance strikes back!
- Total War - Two full fleets face off in a battle to the death!