The UK & UKS

The United Kingdom & United Kingdoms (UK & UKS)

Languages:  Official: English. Common: English, French, Irish, Scottish, Gaelic, Welsh, Cornish.

Population: 423 million

Ethnic groups: 53% White, 22% Mixed, 9% South Asian, 12% Black, 1.5% Chinese, 2.5% other.

Capital: London, Earth (ISS). Westminster, (Avalon)

Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy

Major Exo-Planets: Avalon, Prydain, Albion,

Moons: 7(H), 145(NH)

Stones: 92

Orbitals:  3,567

Docks: 7

Registered Habitats:  307

Technology Quotient Range:  6.8 – 13.1

 

“Humanity consists of two clearly divided groups; the British and ‘Foreigners’. One group consists of less than 500 million people; the other many, many, many billions. For the British the latter group does not really count.” – Argentine Senator

 

The UK & the UKS are an unusual and complicated political entity whose origins and outlook within and upon the Technosphere stem directly from its troubled history prior to Intervention.

Unlike the NRF the Earth-Nation part of the UKS (the United Kingdom) is not the governing power of the political Technosphere part of the UKS (the UKS political Group).

In essence the United Kingdom (on Earth) is a fully independent and entirely separate entity to that of the United Kingdoms (note the “s” at the end) within the Technosphere, only directly linked through the UK Monarchy itself with the individual planets and moons being “Fully Independent”. (Whilst this is, in reality, somewhat of a political myth; it is worth looking at the separate parts in isolation before considering them as a whole):

Port  Stanley - the capital of Antarctica

Port Stanley - the capital of Antarctica

Earth:

The full name of the United Kingdom is the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Protectorates of Free-France and Antarctica”.

The United Kingdom had an extremely troubled existence prior to Intervention. Almost from the moment that it (finally) agreed to become a fully integrated part of Federal Europe its’ fortunes plummeted from that of a major nation to that of a pariah state; soon to be expelled from Federal Europe and even, eventually, expelled from the UN; distrusted and despised by many countries in the world and an economic wreck, riven by urban rioting and an inability to feed its population.

Its subsequent rapid and unexpected return to major power status, and thence to super-power status was completely unforeseen , some would say “unforeseeable”, and, in terms of ‘The Conspiracy’, highly dubious. (Whilst the history of the UK is highlighted elsewhere it is always worth remembering that of all the nations of Earth the UK is the one held most highly suspect and which has benefited the most from both AI and MIND intervention.)

 

“The reason the sun never set upon the British Empire was because not even God would trust the British in the dark” – Unknown

 

The UK is a military powerhouse on Earth, its huge military machine largely funded by the vast wealth it has accrued from its Bio-mite Industry and particularly the life-extending “Prolong’ biomite. Subsequently it has also generated a large industrial base in genetics, military equipment, high-tech components and cyber-warfare.

However, it also has substantial reserves of gas and oil via its various overseas territories and long-term sustainable fisheries in the South Atlantic. It is once again a nuclear nation and also has two of the five AIs ever produced by humanity within its domain, including the first ever AI produced by mankind, affectionately known as “Hal”.

The UK holds “Protectorate” status over the Old-Earth (OE) nations of France (now Free-France) and Antarctica (Governed from Stanley in the Falklands Islands). Both were gained following military interventions in those respective areas “at the request of their national legislative assemblies” but both of which are contested by Earth Gov, The Brazilian Empire and Federal Europe.

Free-France and Antarctica both have substantial UK forces stationed in them, although the numbers in France had until recently been decreasing. However, with the current military build-up by Federal Europe Army forces, UK units have once again been taking up positions along the borders with the Federals. Similarly tensions with the Brazilian Empire have initiated a build-up of forces in the South Atlantic that may initiate a third Antarctic War.

Although there has been a steady decline in the population of the UK on Earth, mostly through emigration to the Technosphere, the UK is still a small landmass with a crowded population exacerbated by the ever-increasing areas that are being returned to its “natural” state by various “ecological” groups, resulting in key cities becoming ever larger as rural citizens are displaced to urban areas, those fast approaching “super-city” status. Whilst the standards of living in these areas are, on average, higher than at any point in the UKs History, there remains a lot of contention over the ever-increasing restrictions of access to rural areas and the forced movement of “un-ecological” communities into urban enclosures. The most common complaint from the urban population being that the UK is being transformed into a medieval theme-park to which they are not allowed access.

The UK has the highest ratio of armed forces per capita of any major Earth nation and is once again the dominant naval force on the planetary surface, with no less than 9 surface fleets based around super-carrier battle groups and 2 MOBs, both currently based in Antarctic waters.
Its air and land forces are probably the best trained and certainly the best equipped on Earth and the UK has maintained its very high ratio of troops-per-capita that was created during its troubled years prior to Intervention.

The UK was one of the first nations to enforce biometric and genetic grading within its population and most of those eligible (for genetic reasons) to emigrate to the Technosphere have already done so. The route too off-world colonisation was not closed though: anybody who had served their “5 & 25” of military service (including at least 3 active tours) is entitled to apply for emigration to any of the UKS off-world Habitats. It also confers open-access to jobs within the sphere of the ISS (Independent Sol System) where the UK has significant Stoner populations, Orbitals and zero-G industry. Other nations and habitats are also permanently seeking ex-military forces for security details and the UK has the highest numbers of private security firms on earth.

Old London Skyline

Old London Skyline

This “service guarantees citizenship” approach is much derided abroad but very popular within the UK as it provides those who pass into military service automatic access to ‘Prolong’ – an average 25 year service contract is therefore abrogated to 5-years aging: a 20 year-old soldier will server for 25 years ‘actual’, de-mobbing at the physical age of 25. Those with good service records become entitled to discounted Prolong, state-pension access and the right to apply for off-world emigration regardless of their genetic assay.

The United Kingdoms political position on Earth through is somewhat fragile in so far as it technically remains at war with both Federal Europe as well as what was once UNASUR (and is best known now as the “Brazilian Empire”); the former due to its military presence in France and the latter over the long-term sovereignty dispute over the Falklands and, more recently, its military control of Antarctica and its surrounding resources.

The UK is also regarded, by many people on Earth in particular, as the nation most likely involved in some nefarious fashion with “The Conspiracy” and the rise to power of the Minds and GOTA.  In addition to these reasons a resurgent Unified States of America, (rapidly developing into a political, economic and militarily force to be reckoned with), is on the brink of declaring war with the UK because of the British support of the American Legion and the granting of free-hold landmasses on two of its habitable planets to the American Legion.

It is likely that the more convinced Earth-Gov becomes that GOTA will not interfere in ISS affairs the more likely it is that the UK will find itself in a shooting war with, possibly, the USA, Federal Europe and UNASUR/BE and possibly all three all at the same time. Many regard this as a questionable military position for the UK despite its large and powerful forces and the risk of defeat-in-detail looms large for the British should the worst transpire.
As a result the hawks amongst the United Kingdom government have been arguing for pre-emptive strikes against the military of all three organisations whilst at the same time there is a small but rapidly growing grass-roots lobby who insist that the UK should surrender all contacts with the UKS and join Earth-Gov, both to avoid a major conflict that they may not win, and to show that the “remnants” of the UK side with Earth-Gov and the ISS, rather than continuing to support the UKS now that emigration Off-World is slowing to little more than a trickle: those left in the UK Super-Cities feeling ever more abandoned and disillusioned. As a result parties such as “Humanity First” and “Earth First” are gaining major support within the UK.

Off-world private security?

Off-world private security?

 

Technosphere:

The United Kingdoms (UKS) is an immensely powerful political faction comprising of the ‘Kingdoms’ of the United Kingdom and its protectorates of France and Antarctica, the Principalities of Alban and Loegyr (H-Class moons) and the three major exo-planetary Kingdoms of Prydain, Albion and Avalon. It also has lease-hold on another 19 potentially habitable planetary bodies and moons, 5 of which are now entering colonisation confirmation stages.

Within the Technosphere the UKS is regarded as a major power despite its relatively small population. This is down to its ownership of three of the most habitable planets within the existing Technosphere that have provided virtually trouble-free environments for UK colonists to expand rapidly into, and have produced a population boom that is unconstrained by available habitable land area or sustainability; the UKS has by far the largest habitable areas in which to expand (even taking into account extended life-spans).

UKS citizens have the highest HDI of any Polity and enjoy the lowest costs and easiest access to ‘Prolong’ resulting in an ever lengthening life-expectancy. UKS Habitats also have the highest TQ ratings and most developed societies on the Sentients-Charter scaling’s.

The UKS has major industrial bases in Medical technologies, drugs manufacturing, Orbital Construction, zero-G industry and spaceship manufacturing with no less than 7 space docks.

UKS Space Dock

UKS Space Dock

The “structure” of the UKS however is vague with no laws or constitutions, legal responsibilities or formal ties (other than ethnic origins and Monarchy) to either the UK on Earth or between Habitats within the Technosphere. In fact the only directly tangible ties are that between the Monarchic families upon which all of the UKS’ planets have derived their free-hold lease. Put simply the various Royal families hold the planetary leases at the individual level and it is their familial ties, back to the “senior” Windsor family and High-King Henry that are the main tangible link between the disparate UKS Habitats. There is no overall governing body; each of the habitable bodies being controlled by a variety of governorships working under democratic (on the whole) locally elected Habitat Governments. This appears both archaic and anachronistic and few outside of the UKS understand how the system works or how unified decisions are ever made – other than by direct edict from the High King: something that has never happened and is, in fact, constrained within a still un-codified constitution.

Nevertheless it has proven to be a very stable faction of which many other political entities are envious despite being a living anachronism in an age where the relevance of monarchies seems it’s most pointless. The UKs and UKSs dependence on old institutions though can be directly attributed to High-King Henry and his personal interventions, pre and post-Intervention, and his family’s personal risk and sacrifices during the dark years of the UK when it was at its very lowest.

There can be no doubt that without the sacrifices of Henry and his family the UK as we know it would have ceased to exist and it would have been amalgamated into Federal Europe and faded from history. Since then the prosperity, longevity and life-span of every UK and UKS citizen has steadily improved year after year. The wealth of support from all levels of UK/UKS society toward Henry, a man who through Prolong could live for another 100 years or more, is all-but unshakable and there are very few “Brits” who are not staunch Monarchists.

“The British are irresponsible in the extreme – they created an AI without any controls or cut-outs and it was by sheer luck that it was sane and not a psychotic man-killer that most are.”

The very close ties that UKS members have with GOTA (and the MINDs) leaves much of humanity wary towards the UKS in terms of its long-term goals: British citizens were the most heavily geneered and had the highest numbers militarily-geneered by the BC and MINDS (before such geneering was banned by the Sentients’ Charter) conveniently meaning that “positive dominant inheritable traits” within UKS citizens are at the highest proportions of any social grouping outside of GOTA citizens.  Given that this same “heavily geneered” society was then given “the very best” planets and habitable moons has generated an much envy, and animosity, which has built-up particularly back on Earth and the ISS where the British are regarded as elitist, arrogant, racist and anti-human.

The UKS core planets are Crown Dependencies of the UK Monarchy on Earth but do not fall under the jurisdiction of the UK government as each are created with a ‘Primary Habitat’ (political entity) which then gains legal recognition under Technosphere Law as what would once have been regarded as a Sovereign State back pre-Intervention.

This ‘Primary Habitat’ just happens to consist of the required minimum of “50,000 genetically diversified citizens” headed by an off-shoot of the British Monarchy elevated into a new position as King (or Queen) of a fully independent Habitat (‘nation’)…and yet still technically “subservient to the British Crown” through the monarchic system. (A very clever bit of legal side-stepping to keep land under control of a very limited group of people!)

The various “Primary Habitats” own and manage the planetary freeholds, with all Habitat land-grants being given out by them: meaning that each planet controls its own destiny, rather than having to follow the direction of the UK parliament on Earth, the Avalonian Parliament or the High-King.

Similarly there are seven habitable moons which, again, are crown Dependencies however these are “Principalities” allocated to the “new” Scottish and Welsh royal families and both of which follow the above political patterning.

Foyer to Avalonian Parliament

Foyer to Avalonian Parliament

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In addition there are some core political groups, both within the Technosphere and on Earth, which are considered “permanent” partners of the UKS as a political body; these are Greater Scandinavia, Antarctica, Free-France (7R), Australia, Canada, the Caribbean Confederacy and the American Legion.

Whilst GOTA is always considered as a separate entity is also very common for GOTA and the UKS to side with each other on many issues, their inter-operation often being called “the special relationship” as was once that of the old USA and UK prior to Intervention, although in this instance knowing who is wagging whose tail is not as easy to determine.

The “real” political clout of the UKS though still originates from its absolute control of the ‘Prolong’  Bio-mite to which the vast majority of humanity, wherever it may be, is, too one degree or another, actively partaking of due to either, or both, reasons of its life-extending capability and its ability to cure many diseases and conditions including most cancers.

Until the UKs monopoly of this Bio-mite is broken it would be a very foolish group to go to war with either the UK or UKS because of the inevitable withdrawal of access to the “drug” that would certainly result. The “big fear” of the UKS though is that disenfranchised segments of the population “grounded” in the United Kingdom on Earth, vote for cessation and join Earth-Gov, in the process of which they continue to supply Prolong even if the UKS say it must be halted. The other alternative, that the UK hands over design of Prolong, or that the UK is conquered and the secret taken by force, is considered highly unlikely.

UKS Mobile C&C

UKS Military:

The UKS has the largest Cold (space) Navy of any political body, almost two and a half times the size of its closest rival (China) but only one-third the size of the (reported) GOTA fleet strength and maintains the highest TQ level military force in the Technosphere. As the pre-eminent technological power (other than GOTA) it relies heavily upon robocised units with exceptionally few front-line troops (other than in the cold-Navy), robots usually being operated as remotes by cyberised troops at central stations far from any front lines or via Mobile Command & Control  platforms behind the front-lines from which robocised units can be commanded.

The UK does, however, maintain a high number of Special Forces troops at the very highest levels of technology and with unprecedented levels of equipment support, foremost of these being the SAS, SBS and SSS. These three groups are widely regarded as being equivalent to GOTA T-PEA forces, even T-DF troops, although some sources claim that their proficiency and numbers are both inflated for PR reasons and that their true capabilities are far lower than that claimed.

The UKS is a major arms exporter and maintains a large Earth-bound military machine via the United Kingdom. The 7th Republic (Free-France) maintains an independent military force that utilises mostly UK equipment and training regimes and which operates and trains regular with UK & UKS forces but is on-paper subservient to British high-command. The Antarctic Protectorate also has its own independent forces including a very substantial naval force on Earth, based from the Falklands, but neither the Republic nor Antarctica have any forces Off-World other than diplomatic protection groups.

Having said that the UKS has now granted leases to both the French 7th Republic and Antarctica to start seeding their own off-world colonies, much to the chagrin of Earth-Gov, and it is inevitable that both will now embark on creating Cold-Navy elements and space troops.

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