First Federation Emissaries
An Emissary of the First Federation
Image from Steve Bowers
Aronn Bauthar, First Federation Emissary to Zavijava
A variety of agents and methods used by the First Federation to establish contact with isolated groups and polities.

History and Methods: With the founding of the First Federation in 946 AT the need arose to reach out to the myriad of uncontacted ships, bubblehabs, orbital habitats, and worlds in Solsys and beyond. Many of these had been under strict self-imposed isolation since the days of the Technocalypse and resisted any form of communication. As such, the First Federation's Directorate of Emissary Activities, typically under the guidance of Super and Hyperturings, used many different methods to establish contact. First, radio or electronic means were attempted. If unsuccessful, an embodied emissary could be dispatched. These emissaries ranged from diplo-bots and baseline humans to low gravity tweaks and provolves depending on the target audience.

Following the Federation's creation, a flurry of diplomatic activity united those polities which had had already emerged from the Dark Age, such as the Bracelet Band, Lunar States, and Republic of Mars. A number of the Trust Networks, clannish groups that operated throughout Solsys at the time, like the Expulsos, eventually joined or were absorbed by other entities. However, after this initial rush, efforts stalled as remaining groups were highly skeptical of overtures. After digital communication failed, the First Fed was forced to dispatch the Pride of Vesta to Pluto paving the way for further expansion into the Kuiper Belt.

Often emissary efforts entailed offering something of value as a gesture of goodwill. These could range from much needed supplies including such basics as water or nitrogen to more advanced technology including nanomedicine, life extension, state of the art blue goo and virch services. Occasionally, emissary missions required the exchange of personnel, with a member of the group in question allowed to explore Federation space in order to report back the veracity of the First Federation's claims. This was the case with Shiloh Station, a small habitat of Spanish-speaking evangelical Christians in the Kuiper Belt. Some actors requested that an emissary would, after undergoing strict screening, live amongst them so as to provide better access to Federation society. Generally, these emissaries would be selected for their ability to easily integrate into their host society. Menso Steelstreak radically altered eir body template to better blend in with the early generation cyrovecs residing on the edge of the Oort Cloud. The cyborg Ayda Setareh Karimi-Ito spent 11 years in a rockhugger habitat making inroads into a strict cybernetic-commune.

Extrasolar missions posed their own challenges. Long before the advent of wormholes, interstellar communication was strictly limited by lightspeed. Travel rarely exceeded the 0.2c afforded by the antimatter engines then in use. This greatly slowed diplomatic exchanges compared with later eras. Nonetheless, over the coming centuries dozens of systems became Federation members including Arcadia, Corona, Darwin, Eostremonath, Negsoa, New Mars, Nova Terra, Pacifica, Pandya, Penglai, amongst many others. Once a system joined the First Fed a Federation Representative would be sent to its system to ensure a measure of cultural uniformity.

Not all outreach efforts were completely successful, and the First Federation seemed to avoid using coercion to pressure groups to join. Even in Solsys, the Spacefarer's League remained independent but had commercial dealings with the First Fed. Elsewhere, other groupings such as the Eridanus League, Doran Empire, and Virginis Combine, along with a larger number of individual systems like Jinvanco, ultimately refused to join the First Federation but established peaceful relations.

Downfall and Legacy: With the rise of higher S levels in the 17th century AT, these emissary methods became less relevant as more advanced memetics and augmented beings became available to accomplish diplomatic tasks. However, even after the collapse of the First Federation, the Terragen Federation and other successor states would still use some of the procedures developed, if only for symbolic and cultural reasons. Over the millennia, a number of emissaries have emerged in various systems still trying to establish contact with a long defunct Federation.
Related Articles
Appears in Topics
Development Notes
Text by MacGregor
Initially published on 25 April 2021.