Empirical Confederation of Colonies
The Empirical Confederation of Colonies, or ECC, is a relatively loose grouping of colony worlds, banding together in mutual support.
- Ethos / P8K-931: Colonized by Rose Winterbourne.
- Safehouse: Safehouse is considered to be the founding world, as the oldest established colony that is a member. As well, the ECC uses the same monetary system as Safehouse, the megacredit, and the ECC's ruling body is based on Safehouse's Curia.
- P9L-867: Colonized by Mikayla Cade.
The senior governing body of the ECC is the Curia. It is formed of representatives of the member worlds, which may each send up to three representatives, dividing their votes amongst those three as the individual colony world decides (i.e. equally, one senior representative with more voting power and two with lesser numbers of votes, or one rep with all the votes and two assistants with no voting power but possessing seats and the right to speak, etc.). Voting strength is divided between the colonies based on their contribution to federal coffers. For each megacredit the colony provides, they gain one vote. While this conceivably means that votes could literally be bought, all colonies can see support delivered in realtime, which means that if one colony tries to buy their way to a winning vote that only benefits them, the other colonies can combine their resources to stop them. Votes can be held electronically, with authenticated systems available at any colony headquarters or Empirical facility, without the Curia gathering physically in one place. Discussions are often held in simulated reality rooms or in virtual reality immersions, removing the necessity of gathering all Curia members together at once.
A colony may elect to secede from the ECC at any point, unless they have received new colony funding. Any new colony loans must be repaid before the colony is permitted to secede. Secession will take effect sixty days after the Curia is informed of that, by which point, all ECC facilities will be shut down and recovered from the colony.
Division of Powers
As the ECC is formed as a looser confederation than terrestrial governments tend to be, the ECC itself actually has few powers and responsibilities. The individual member worlds are largely left to their own devices in terms of ruling their own lands and people. Below are listed some exceptions, in no particular order.
- Local Facilities: The ECC establishes a compound on each member world to provide services (such as a portal network link and communication facilities). This portion of land is considered to part of the confederation's territory, and is exempt from local law and jurisdiction.
- Legal Jurisdiction: The planetary government's jurisdiction ends either at the edge of its atmosphere, or its solar system in cases where a single member government rules more than one planet in the same solar system. Confederation law enforcement officers additionally have the right to continue pursuit into member world territories to make arrests. As a courtesy, they will inform local law enforcement of their presence and actions, but they are not strictly required to do so in advance.
- Foreign Affairs: The ECC has the authority to negotiate with foreign powers on behalf of its member worlds. No member world is allowed to execute any treaty with a foreign power upon its own authority.
- Defence: The ECC has the responsibility and authority to establish defensive forces and structures to protect its member worlds from exterior invasion. Member worlds are permitted to raise up sufficient forces to quell local disturbances.
There are a number of organizations within the ECC that act as its hands to execute its will. As a fairly young and undeveloped government, however, these agencies have a limited amount of manpower, and some of them exist more on paper than in actuality.
While legally, they are two separate entities, you would otherwise be hard-pressed to find a difference between the ECC Starfleet and the Empirical Starfleet. They are effectively one and the same, simply wearing two different hats. This provides the primary space-based mobile defences of the Confederation. Despite the name, they are the unary military force of the ECC. You will not find a separate army component, for example -- instead, the forces of the Starfleet are expected to be able to operate in all environments, from space to undersea. This is primarily enabled by Empirical's mastery of advanced technology and an emphasis on a well-trained quality over a lesser-trained quantity.
The Marshallate are the law enforcement agents of the Confederation. They are entrusted with a fair degree of latitude in their courses of action, as they by necessity must patrol large swathes of space, often with little to no support than what they carry themselves. They are permitted to temporarily deputize willing citizens of the Confederation's member planets when they require additional assistance, and in real emergencies, may also call for military support from the ECC Starfleet. When a member planet's local law enforcement assets are unsuited or incapable of handling a local disturbance, they can request assistance from the Marshallate. The Marshallate is also called upon when criminals flee from one world to another.
As the Marshallate never has enough agents to go around, the Confederation also commonly makes a practice of placing bounties on the heads of those who violate its law. Generally, these bounties require that the bounty hunter bring the malefactor back alive for trial -- bounty hunters who kill their targets are more likely to be prosecuted themselves than be rewarded.
Becoming a bounty hunter for the Confederation is fairly simple, and requires only a written test (easily done remotely via any PAD-compatible device) which covers the legal requirements and consequences of bounty hunting via this system, and a waiver of liability on file.
As one of the primary roles of the ECC is to perform all foreign affairs functions, such as negotiating treaties of peace and trade with other interstellar governments, it follows that it must have some number of diplomatic dignitaries. At this point, however, there are in fact very few people that work in this branch, and most ambassadors are appointed on an ad-hoc basis as needed, with diplomatic missions scratched together out of personnel drawn from wherever they may be begged, borrowed, or stolen.