PLEASE NOTE: This information is NOT CANON for the Elite: Dangerous setting.
This article refers to the Galactic Co-operative of Worlds. The contraction GalCop can also refer to the Galactic Police - see GalCop (Police)
- 1 Overview
- 2 First Version (Syncretist)
- 3 Second Version (Syncretist)
- 4 Third Version (Purist)
- 5 A Fourth Perspective (Pragmatic)
- 6 Concluding Unscientific Postscript
- 7 OXPs
- 8 Syncretist Death of GalCop
- 9 Links
GalCop, or the Galactic Co-operative of Worlds, are the galactic government. They maintain and control all orbiting stations as well as the police force and the Galactic Navy (if it exists! - see Cim's purist analysis beneath).
GalCop is practically unique amongst the interstellar agencies in that they have minimal involvement with the society of a world, solely concerning themselves with the orbital space of the planet.
The organisation is the largest unified body in terms of planetary members, with the last count of worlds being over 1,000.
First Version (Syncretist)
This version is by Selezen 2017
The Galactic Co-operative of Worlds was officially created in 2696, being formed from the loose alliance of systems known as the Old Worlds. These planets, led by Lave, had seceded from the Galactic Federation around 2500 following allegations of attempted genocide against non-humanoid peoples in that area.
The Old Worlds Alliance owes much of its success to the discovery of the wormhole network that crosses the hyperspace realm. This network connects several distant areas of the galaxy and allows relatively easy travel between these areas. In the early days of exploration, the belief was that these areas was separate galaxies, and the moniker stuck even after it was discovered that they were simply areas of the one home galaxy.
When several planets of these other galaxies accepted membership into the OWA, the leaders of that alliance decided that a further level of organisation was required, and the seed of the Galactic Co-operative of Worlds was planted. The intent was to create a self-governing trade and defence agency that would train and employ pilots to run commercial services across all eight sectors. Under the command of a primarily civilian council of leaders, this new organisation would ensure that each world retained its individuality but would receive any and all aid that was requested or required.
Thus was the ideal of the Galactic Co-operative of Worlds born.
Unfortunately, as is often the case, the minority of unscrupulous individuals raised their heads and began to threaten the trade routes - piracy was born. To combat this, the GalCop council ruled that a space police force was required. Initially it was this organisation that had the ability to forcefully deal with piracy or the like, but it was not long before the right of defence was provided to the average pilot. GalCop's training programme began to include combat training in 2772.
The Thargoid Threat
The largest threat to GalCop has, of course, been the Thargoids and their invasion fleets. This insectoid race has been a constant and real threat since 2850, when the first encounter between humanity and insect occurred. The immediate answer to that threat was the expansion and upgrade of the police fleets to become a more militaristic arm of defence. Over time, the roles of warfare and policing would separate with the ratification of the Galactic Naval arm. Although there are several guesses as to the actual date of the formation of the Navy, most experts have put the time around 2870, as the borders of war zones became stable.
GalCop remains a peaceful organisation, with only a peripheral involvement in the governing of a world. The only real effect to any member world would be an improvement in the quality of life and the availability of resources.
GalCop has classified most worlds in two main areas - those of government type and technological ability. At the simplest level, a world is categorised as industrial or agricultural, and from there a tech level is assigned. In terms of government, this rating can vary in terms of peacefulness from the strictly governed Corporate State to the lawless and dangerous Anarchy. Often the government type can have a direct influence on the common inhabitants of the spacelanes. Lawless governments tend to attract the more lawless individual.
GalCop is perhaps one of the most amenable of interstellar alliances. They are proud to state that they have peaceful relations with nearly every other organisation that they share space with. The most notable exceptions to this are the Galactic Federation (who still harbour ill-feeling regarding the secession) and the Empire of Achenar, who share much of the same space with GalCop worlds.
Those who train as GalCop commercial pilots are proud to make themselves available as reserve navy pilots in case of enemy invasion. It is this fact that has driven a wedge between GalCop and the Empire of Achenar, since the latter organisation claims that this provides GalCop with an unfeasibly large standing offensive force.
Second Version (Syncretist)
This version is by Selezen (2010 Wayback Machine link) Part 1: Elite (3125 – 3147)
The Galactic Co-Operative of Worlds
GalCop exists as a centralised administration for trade, commerce and security of the spacelanes. It has four main responsibilities in the areas of space that it controls: commerce, diplomacy, law enforcement and military.
GalCop’s roots reach back to the turn of the twenty-sixth century, when the intent of the Federation to wipe out indigenous alien life forms on the colony world of Diso led a group of colonised worlds called the Old Worlds to secede from the rule of the Galactic Federation and become self-governing, restyling themselves as the Far Colonies in the process. This handful of worlds opened their arms to other colonies and even other alien worlds, and became the fastest growing organisation seen thus far. The main reason for this was the easygoing policy of the Far Colonies administration – an agreement with the Far Colonies meant only formalised interstellar trade formats, sharing of resources and the presence of a policing force to prevent piracy in the world’s orbitspace. This was preferable to the strict governance of the Federation and Empire, and as a result, many worlds chose membership in the new organisation.
The influx of members led the Far Colonies to restructure the organisation and formalise the loose policies and codes of conduct. In 2696, the Galactic Co-Operative of Worlds charter was drawn up and signed by representatives of all the member worlds of the time. The charter remained largely unchanged for nearly half a millennium.
The creation of GalCop instilled a sense of fear in both the Federation and the Empire, as this upstart alliance had stolen member worlds from both organisations. It was decreed that GalCop member worlds and their inhabitants would be forbidden entry into any Federal or Imperial space. Ships would be shot on sight, and all GalCop ship ID signals would be programmed into ID computers as pirates or criminals. Any GalCop diplomatic staff found on a Federal or Imperial world would be either arrested and extradited or executed. As a result of this, all vessels’ navigation systems were redesigned to only show the worlds of GalCop – travel to unlisted systems or worlds was disabled.
This ostracising shaped the political entity of GalCop for the next four hundred years. Expansion was permitted only through non-aligned or independent colonies or through alien worlds. As such, it was slower than expected, but still grew at a fairly even rate. The GalCop administration felt that a clear-cut defence policy was important in case of incursion by any of the other organisations, thus a cunning and effective naval reserve policy was drafted, in which any qualified space pilot was enlisted as a reserve naval officer to be activated in case of enemy incursion. This policy remained in effect until GalCop’s dissolution in 3147.
Internally, GalCop’s stability was rock-solid. Member worlds were granted the benefits of a standardised and fair trading system (as of 2715), a local diplomatic liaison office, military and police forces available in the world’s orbital space and a guaranteed directive of non-interference with planetary government. In return, the ruling party of the world was obliged to make available a pre-agreed range of items for trade to other worlds, in addition to providing resources for the support of troubled or needy worlds if requested. Also, if there was a change in the planetary government, a simple yes or no question would be asked: do you agree to the terms and conditions of membership within GalCop as agreed to by your predecessor? If the answer was yes, the world remained in the Co-operative; if the answer was no, or if other conditions were demanded, then membership was revoked. No new government ever disagreed…
GalCop’s Ruling Council
GalCop’s internal structure was simplistic but effective. The council hierarchy was as follows:
- Chiefs of Staff
- (1 member each from Military, Commerce, Judicial, Health, Diplomatic, Science and Governance Divisions)
- Worlds Council
- (1 member from each member world)
The Worlds Council was comprised of one elected official from each member world, each of whom appointed a deputy who would retain their office on their homeworld (usually doing the council member’s job when the council member was off-world on GCW business). The council members did not usually live in residence, but there were facilities in Ashoria (the capital of Lave) for them to be accommodated if necessary.
Chiefs of staff were usually elected from the senior members of each division by an election of their peers, although on some occasions the Chiefs of Staff were elected by the Worlds Council.
Every three standard years, a uniform election was held, during which World Council members and Chiefs of Staff could stand down from the post (proposing a successor in the process) or stand for re-election. The leading organisations of every planet in GalCop would become involved in this, and once the council positions for the next term had been settled, the election of the next President began.
There was nothing preventing a current president from standing for re-election. However, in order to be eligible for election as president, a candidate must have served at least three consecutive terms as a council member or Chief of Staff. The only exception to this was the last president, although his method of achieving the presidency was unorthodox at best.
Lave – GalCop’s Capital
The planet Lave was GalCop’s administrative capital, and home to the famed pilot training academy.
Planetside, the world was (and still is) classed as a dictatorship, ruled over by a leader known as the Tyrant. Rather than being an indication of the leader’s attitude and leadership philosophy, it was more of a habitual nickname. It originated when Harvic Mellir, the leader from 2845 to 2848, issued a series of reformations aimed at securing power of government to the government leader only. With the success of this reform, Mellir began ruling the world with an iron fist and generally ignoring any advice from his deputies and advisors. Even the planet’s royal family, up until then relegated to the background of the planet’s rule, began to protest some of the orders being given by Mellir’s office. The head of the royal family, Prince Eduard Campbell, spearheaded a move to oust Mellir from office and return the government to a manageable quantity.
The coup was successful, and Campbell temporarily took over the reigns of Lave’s leadership until a suitable replacement for Mellir could be instated. In early 2849, Campbell and his wife chose a woman by the name of Nameen Orkand as the new dictator. A decision was made that the royal house would from thence forth be involved more closely with the policies and decisions that came from the leader. Orkand decreed that the head of the royal family would be known as the king or queen, and would hold joint authority over any important or critical decisions regarding the planet’s welfare. The people of Lave began referring to the sheer amount of decrees and executive orders coming from the leader’s villas as warning that the leaders were becoming tyrants. In a humoured move, Orkand declared that the office of Lave’s ruling body would be known as the office of the Tyrant, and by osmosis the leader became known as the Tyrant!
GalCop’s headquarters, known as Holdstock Plaza, are located in the south-east of the planet’s capital Ashoria. The HQ is a collection of three buildings located in a landscaped garden environment complete with a small copse of trees, a pond and flower garden. The western side is a memorial garden dedicated to those pilots who have died in service to GalCop.
The three buildings are, from east to west, the training academy, the administrative building and the commercial building. From these three buildings, GalCop provides all the services that the member worlds utilise.
Here, pilots and crew receive the essential training in order to pursue their career in the stars. The facility provides pilot training, combat training, diplomatic education and commerce training to name but a few, and help educate the prospective spacer in whatever aspect of space travel is required. The most numerous applicants are those who wish to become space traders, receiving the full package of courses taken over a year.
The building houses lecture halls, conference rooms and simulation suites, along with facilities and amenities for all races and phenotypes.
Note that students are not housed on this site. The academy has arrangements with Ashoria CityGov to provide accommodation for those studying within the academy.
This building is where GalCop is actually run, and contains the offices of the President and Chiefs of Staff. The day-to day running of the affairs of the GCW are centred here, but the majority of the actual staff are in residence on Lave Coriolis One.
Even with this in mind, the GCW Admin building is still one of the largest, with 4 storeys above ground and nine below. The largest room is by far the main conference hall, which has seating for over 2500 people and is three storeys high. This is the room that the ruling council occupy when in session,
There are smaller conference halls in the building, along with the offices of the Chiefs, which also have adjacent offices for their executive staff.
Sub-floor 5 contains a commissary and ‘mess hall’, complete with entertainment centre and a suite of SynPleasure RelaxaPads for the use of the executive staff.
This is the commercial and entertainment centre for those who frequent the other two buildings. The administration building has an underground linking tunnel to this facility, but those who use the academy must make their way through the gardens. In this way, students of the academy will frequently mingle and talk with the administrative staff.
The Commercial building has many open air sections, such as a market place and theatre, along with a complete shopping complex and full suite of entertainment and relaxation facilities. It also has full leisure and fitness centres, including gyms, athletic holosuites and swimming pools.
The GalCop navy was a most effective fighting unit, and were the galaxy's first line of defence against the Thargoid threat.
Although GalCop had always maintained a small naval force due to the threat of incursions from Federal or Imperial forces, it had always been a small affair. GalCop's security mainly relied on the more organised police force and the GalCop tradeships and scout vessels plying the space lanes.
When the Thargoids made themselves known as an enemy in 2851, the Galactic Naval Charter was created, and the Navy was officially ratified and given a substantial budget. In a remarkably short time, the new force was kitted out and staffed, and the pilots were recruited from the body of existing GalCop pilots, including a large amount of Elite combateers and retired pilots.
Whilst the main body of the fighting force were engaged in deep space with the Thargoids, there were still some divisions available for home defence. Separate agencies were set up, including a research department and an administrative body, taking the majority of the dog work from the main GalCop administration.
Several bases were set up on various worlds, with one example being the research base on Ribilebi. This base concentrated on alien technology and are currently researching the Thargon remote craft to see if it can be backwards engineered to create a remote craft for GalNav forces.
Federation and Empire
During this period, the political structure of Federation and Empire remained as it had been since the signing of the treaty between the two powers. A state of cold war existed between them, with espionage and counter-espionage being the order of the day. Small skirmishes occasionally erupted but no major actions blew up.
Both organisations had the same opinion regarding the Galactic Co-operative, as outlined in that organisation’s section above – wary tolerance.
The Alliance at this point did not exist, although there were some factions in the Alioth system who were very outspoken about their opinins of the Federation and the way that Alioth and some other systems had been treated.
Third Version (Purist)
History of GalCop
Foundation of GalCop
After the alliance of birds and frogs put an end to the battle between the felines and the insects, the resulting peace brought about the Unified Species Treaty (signed in 1134KD), establishing the joint Interspecies Assembly. This was joined by many humanoid worlds in 1389KD. The Interspecies Assembly encouraged joint colonisation with diverse species. In 1450KD, with over five hundred systems colonised (mostly jointly), over 100 systems proposed removing the veto by individual species and the Galactic Cooperative Treaty of 1522KD replaced the UST. The GCT founded GalCop.
Unlike its predecessor, representation in the Cooperative was solely based on system population, and the importance of the species homeworlds (Tezaeded, as always, standing in as homeworld for both Colonials and Humanoids) was greatly diminished. The Cooperative set up numerous institutions for interplanetary trade, diplomacy and technological cooperation, which continue to exist today with relatively little modification.
Intensive research into both witchspace technology and terraforming made it possible to complete the colonisation of Cooperative space, with the final colony on Oresrati being established in 1886KD. The period between 1600KD and 1970KD is regarded as being the golden age of the Cooperative, a period of immense technological, cultural, economic and population growth, leading at its height to a peaceful alliance between over two thousand systems and eleven trillion people.
Thargoids: first wave
The Thargoids threw the spanner in the works. Their first scouts were confirmed in 1976KD, though an increase in “witchspace malfunctions” suggests that they may have been present in small numbers as early as 1968KD. Over eight hundred kilodays of almost uninterrupted peace had left the Cooperative's military technology extremely atrophied, with only environmental shielding and mining lasers being easily weaponised. Nevertheless, the Cooperative responded strongly, with research across the charts reprioritised. A powerful naval fleet under Cooperative command was developed, and won initial victories against the Thargoid scouts, protecting trade convoys between all systems. Their source and motivation remained, as today, a mystery, with no successful communication being made.
In 2054KD, however, the Thargoid scouts increased in number, as a large invasion force entered Cooperative space. The Cooperative fleet, though large, struggled to hold it off, as the Thargoids used their superior witchspace technology to avoid blockades, destroying convoys and bombarding systems from orbit. Hundreds of systems – perceiving the Cooperative to be unable or unwilling to defend them – declared independence to set up their own fleets, and hundreds more threatened to do the same. In 2058KD, on the edge of a breakup of the Cooperative and the likely annihilation of its inhabitants, the Cooperative General Assembly signed legislation allowing weapons to be fitted to civilian ships.
Almost immediately, ships across Cooperative space were refitted into fighter craft and battleships. Casaulties were high, but no longer could a single Thargoid scout destroy an unprotected convoy and escape before the navy arrived. Several groups of pilots formed Thargoid hunting clubs – with many systems offering payments for proven kills – many of which merged in 2062KD into the Elite Federation of Pilots.
Their hit and run tactics no longer adequate to break supply lines, and their warships temporarily unable to overcome the Cooperative navy, the Thargoids fell back, reducing their presence to a few remaining scout ships.
Once granted, of course, the arming of civilian ships proved impossible to revoke, and without the immediate threat of a Thargoid invasion, the more criminal elements of society began committing piracy against the trade convoys. The Cooperative navy – severely damaged from the war – was again unable to defend the convoys, and trade companies, planetary governments, and the Cooperative itself therefore instead appealed to the various mercenary and independent pilots, placing bounties for pirate kills. In 2067KD, the Elite Federation of Pilots was recognised by the Cooperative as the official organisation for tracking such kills.
Thargoids: second wave
When, in 2079KD, the Thargoids returned, striking with overwhelming force at several key systems across the eight charts, bombarding several major industrial worlds and shipyards, and cutting key intra-chart supply lines, the navy had not been rebuilt enough to stop them. Instead, the Cooperative was reduced to a coordinating role, more in the spirit of the original Unified Species Treaty, bringing together planetary military forces and independent ships to fight off the Thargoids.
In 2080KD, Commander Jameson became the first pilot to reach the ranking of Elite, surprising many who had thought this impossible. After his death at the battle of Inera in 2082KD, a tradition began of dedicating new ships to him, and therefore you may find that the flight computers are set to 'Jameson'. Some shipyards have complex traditions and ceremonies for the symbolic handover of a ship to its first living pilot; others view this practice as unhelpful and disrespectful superstition, and will ensure that the ship computers are set to your name before you board.
In 2083KD, the Thargoids were once again defeated, with their final occupation being defeated at the Battle of Isxees. Since then their presence has again been restricted to a few scouting and raiding ships, though if their origin cannot be determined, a third invasion is considered extremely likely.
Following this battle, the Cooperative navy was formally disbanded, its few surviving fleets being transferred to the control of their home systems. System militaries vary considerably in strength, but usually have regional mutual defence agreements, so the poorer systems are not left completely unprotected.
Around a quarter of the systems in Cooperative space are no longer part of the Cooperative itself – either having declared independence following the start of the Thargoid invasion, or having been so badly damaged during it that the government collapsed. The Cooperative retains an embassy in orbit around these “Feudal” and “Anarchy” systems, and some of the longer-standing and less controversial aspects of the treaties such as trade are still usually honoured there, but they are for now being left to go their own way.
There have been proposals to reform the Cooperative to reflect its new smaller role – and perhaps to bring some of the missing systems back in – but so far none have achieved even significant minority support. Piracy continues to be a problem, despite widespread deployment of the Cooperative police Viper patrols, and military research continues in expectation of the Thargoids' return. So far, the original aim of preventing inter-system war has still been met, though in the absence of a direct external threat, many observers believe that this will not continue for long.
This section taken from Cim's Ship's Manual in his Ship's Library.oxp
The Galactic Cooperative's ancestry can be traced back to Chart 6 several thousand kilodays ago, when the Birds of Diesanen and the Frogs of Bearrabe signed the Treaty of Zarienla to formalise cooperation on trading and exploration. The organisation has undergone several major reinventions since then – most notably when the invention of the Galactic Witchdrive brought the species of all eight charts together, and later when the initial Thargoid incursions necessitated adding formal military cooperation to the existing non-aggression treaties – such that it can hardly be said to be the same organisation, but it still traces its ancestry formally back to that date, which is the zero date of Galactic Standard Time.
The Inter-species Treaty of Cooperation can be summarised as follows:
- 1) No system may attack another system, except where necessary to prevent that system from breaking this treaty clause, and only then when approved by the Cooperative.
- 2) All systems shall provide sufficient funds for the establishment of trading stations in orbit, and the protection of these stations.
- 3) There shall be a single agreed currency, set of laws, and set of trading regulations in space. These need not be used on planetary surfaces, where all regulations remain the right and responsibility of planetary authorities.
- 4) Any new system discovered by a Cooperative member is discovered for the whole Cooperative, though the system of the discoverer is entitled to first refusal on colonisation rights, if it is uninhabited.
- 5) All Cooperative members shall unite to repel external threats to any Cooperative members.
The majority of Cooperative operations are directed by local planetary authorities, with the role of the treaties being to maintain a minimum standard of operations which travellers may rely on. A few inter-system institutions do exist to manage communications, sharing of police data, and military cooperation against the Thargoids, and to ensure that the treaties are followed, but these employ fewer than ten million people across the entirety of Cooperative space.
Around fifteen hundred of the just over two thousand systems reachable by witchdrive and galactic witchdrive are members of the Cooperative and full signatories to its treaties. The remaining systems - classified Feudal or Anarchy - all have at least one Cooperative-administered station in orbit around the primary inhabited planet, inside which standard Cooperative facilities are available. In some of these systems the presence of the Cooperative is respected, while in others it is merely tolerated or even resented; in all of them the station is funded from other Cooperative budgets rather than by the planetary authorities, and so the usual police patrols in space are largely absent.
The major visible benefit of the Cooperative are the Coriolis stations (and more recently the Dodec and Ico designs) which orbit every known primary planet. These stations – around a cubic kilometre in size - provide a safe haven for the traveller, a stable gateway between inter-system traders (whose ships are rarely atmosphere-capable) and in-system shuttles, and a base for police patrols and operations. The interior is carefully designed to allow as many species as possible to coexist comfortably, with high ceilings for flying species, water-filled channels for aquatic species, and facilities at a range of sizes, temperatures and gravitational levels.
The central axis of the station is filled with the docks, capable of holding over three hundred ships (mostly small shuttles and transports) while they are refuelled, serviced, and have their cargo exchanged. At busy times, thirty ships an hour may be launching or landing.
The middle to outer sections contain offices, habitation, entertainment facilities, and viewing galleries. In addition to the large transient population of ship crews, most stations have around ten to twenty thousand permanent occupants, as well as many visitors from the planet's surface for whom this is the closest they wish to go to space.
The Coriolis stations themselves are incredibly well-shielded. For additional protection, and to protect nearby traders, they each contain a small fleet of Viper patrol craft (supplemented by the more modern Viper Interceptor in the richer systems), used to maintain control of the station safety zone, and in some systems to keep at least some presence on the direct route from the witchpoint to the planet.
The need to be acceptable, consistent and enforceable across two thousand systems with very different cultures has made the Cooperative legal system very simple. Commission of an illegal act places a bounty on your ship. Small bounties may be paid off by paying a fine and carrying out community service or rehabilitation at the station. Larger bounties may not, though the Cooperative has a limited budget for bounties, and so provided no further illegal acts are committed, the larger bounties will decrease over time, as newer criminals are allocated the funds.
The following are illegal acts:
- Firing on or destroying any official Cooperative station or police ship will get you immediate Fugitive status. Firing on Clean ships is illegal. Firing on Offender or Fugitive ships is entirely legal.
- The removal of Slaves, Narcotics or Firearms from a Cooperative station is illegal. Following revisions and simplifications to the Cooperative treaties after the second Thargoid incursion, it is legal to possess and transport of quantities of these commodities for personal use. However, the bulk transport of any of these as cargo is not permitted. An exemption is made for imports to prevent the criminalisation of legitimate battlefield salvagers, but you must dispose of such salvaged goods by some method before leaving the station.
In accordance with Cooperative treaties, the independent Elite Federation of Pilots provides an assessment of each pilot's combat rating.
A Fourth Perspective (Pragmatic)
There is of course yet another view:
|I don't really see the need for a timeline or a backstory. |
The way things are is just the way things are; I don't need to know where Earth is, or how human beings got from there (if they did) to where they are now. For me, a large part of the appeal of the game is its vagueness. It's as close to a blank slate as we can get, and it's built to be modded all over the shop to everyone's individual preferences.
Concluding Unscientific Postscript
Your Ooniverse is your Ooniverse.
You decide what you want in it. And you decide if you prefer a Ooniverse congruent with Frontier and E:D or not. And how much Lore you want in it.
One other point. How powerful is GalCop? Does it have a mighty Galactic Navy (which only exists as an optional OXP) and is able to bang the heads of individual planets together to make peace or force them into line? OR is it a weak organisation which might be somewhat supported by the rather weak Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy, losing the war against the Thargoids and seeing the Ooniverse splinter apart before it's eyes under piracy and the Thargoids? Again, you choose the flavour in your choice of OXPs.
- Galactic Navy as depicted in this linked OXP is run by the syncretist version of GalCop.
Syncretist Death of GalCop
From the Syncretist perspective, GalCop has to die between the time of Oolite and that of Frontier. There are at least four version of this so far!
- Selezen: See Oolite timeline
- Drew Wagar: Read the 5 volumes of the Oolite Saga!
- Clym Angus: Read The chronicles of Shulth - Apocrypha
- Cdr Slickov : Read Bear Amongst the Wolves: The Fall of GalCop