The Formation of the Free Space Coalition
Shortly after the United Commonwealth of Systems reluctantly brought the initial wave of the Great Expansion to a halt, civil unrest began to spread throughout its new domain. Initially, Patronos and Relanix, the first two planets to be colonized, were untouched by this disturbance in the equilibrium of the Commonwealth.
However, despite the UCS' hasty removal of the radical Timur Mahavier and his army of followers, the ripples of rebellion spread to every corner of the Commonwealth. The working class, the backbone of the UCS was becoming disillusioned. The vision that the UCS had sold them, one that promised prosperity and a slice of the new worlds for all, had been a lie.
The upper class and capitalist elite lived in luxury on the green and fertile worlds of Patronos and Relanix. Moreover, it wasn't long before the mega corporations swept through, buying up great swathes of resource laden land. Their great machines soon followed, decimating the once beautiful landscapes as they sought to mine the valuable resources within.
On the outer worlds, most of which had harsh climates and intense weather systems, the working class toiled. They were at the tip of the Great Expansion, driving it forwards, and making it possible. Yet, despite their importance, the UCS took them for granted. Disease was rife in the distant colonies, and medical supplies scant.
To make matters worse, the religious sects bickered constantly. It was only a matter of time before the Commonwealth fell apart.
When a terrible plague that came to be known as the "Rot" tore through the outer systems, killing hundreds of thousands of people, the Commonwealth began to disintegrate. Numerous rebellions sprang up as those on the outer planets realized they had been forsaken. The leaders of the UCS struggled to contain the unrest, their forces stretched, and resources dwindling.
Soon, the rebel forces united under one leader. Neena Sorven, once the Governor of the largest planet in the Yulia system, and having lost her entire family to the Rot, unified the peoples of 7 of the UCS' 16 planets. Although her forces were outnumbered, they were ferocious in battle, driven by anger and a thirst for vengeance for the thousands of lives lost to the great plague.
The battle that followed claimed the lives of millions and brought about the destruction of the UCS. The rebel leader, Neena Sorven disappeared shortly after the final battle that saw the surfaces of Patronos and Relanix wiped clean of life. In the aftermath, hundreds of UST starships ferried millions of refugees to safety.
But there was a price for their assistance. The refugees found themselves crammed into small colonies in a region of space the UST called the Core Colonies. They quickly realized that the UST was no better, and perhaps even worse, than the UCS.
Neena Sorven, the rebel leader that many had believed to be dead, surfaced once again and her message to the UST was clear: "We are a free people. We belong to no one!" Using her considerable influence, Sorven built an army and brought the refugees together under the banner of the Free Space Coalition.