The history of mankind is a sad story of war and betrayal, of fire and death. In early M3 when humanity took its first tentative steps toward colonizing the galaxy, it was heralded as the first step in a much larger process, a chance for a fresh start, a chance for humanity to unite behind an undertaking. But the guns did not go silent; the hearts of many still harboured the rancour of two millennia of near-constant war.

But as humanity began to spread the tendrils of colonization towards the edges of the Earth system the incessant bickering began to subside and considerable overtures were made towards a unified humanity.

By the end of M4 when the colonization of the Earth system was complete and each colony was able to be considered fully functional, human kind took their first true steps into lasting peace. Major conflict had not gnawed at society for nearly two hundred and fifty years. Enforced segregation by the vast gulf between the planets had made the ability of rival nations to wage a protracted campaign a near impossibility. At first peace was a nervous thing. But as generations passed peace began to become ingrained in the human psyche, and humanity began to prosper.

In M6, two thousand five hundred Earth years to the day since the end of humanity's last major conflict, the leaders of Earth's children returned to their home planet, and for the first time in history the entirety of humanity was represented in a single meeting. The leaders of the various factions cemented the peace that had reigned for over two millennia. They signed the 'Earth Accords' a universal treaty of peace and mutual assistance.

For more than a thousand years peace reigned in the Earth system, science advanced in boundless leaps, as scientists from all corners of the solar system joined to pool their knowledge. The stumbling blocks of the years gone by were wiped out in an instant.

Among the many discoveries of Human scientists was Faster-Than-Light (FTL) travel, using advanced engine technology to propel large inter-stellar vessels to many times the speed of light, allowing them to travel light years in minutes. Using FTL equipped colony ships humanity began to go beyond the Earth system, and step by step the Milky Way galaxy was colonised. For twenty-five-thousand years humanity expanded. The Republic was born. Finally, Humanity was united under a single banner.

Over the twenty-five thousand years of expansion, the Republic uncovered numerous other sentient races. Through diplomatic negotiations many were willing to co-exist with their Republican neighbours, others sadly, were not. Again conflict erupted, and one-by-one, these threats to the Republic were bought to heel. But once again the big guns were readied in the name of self-defence.

However, in M31, when the colonisation effort approached the Eastern fringe the Colonists found something that they did not expect; A colonised system, clinging to the edge of the galaxy. Once again Humanity's diplomats were called upon to make peaceful contact with the aliens. But what they found was human. A tiny Human Empire, spanning the seven planets of the Skarthrax system.

The Republic welcomed their Imperial cousins with open arms, treating the Empire like long-lost brothers. The Empire was offered a place in the Republic, to stand among the many other systems as an equal. But they rejected the offer, and talks were halted.

Diplomatic status-quo was maintained for nearly a century. Trade flourished, even though the Republic claimed that it would not share the secrets of FTL travel or military technology with a foreign nation. However, when Republican counter-espionage agents captured an Imperial spy in possession of stolen data-files, pertaining to the construction of FTL engines, tensions began to rise.

The first blow was struck by surprise. Using captured FTL technology; Imperial forces intercepted and destroyed a Republican star patrol. Republican Strategic Command reacted by mobilising Battle fleet Devastation, one of the most elite military forces in the galaxy. They were to proceed to the borders of the Skarthrax system and await further instructions.

Republican diplomats scrambled to head off the war that was brewing, and threw themselves into peace talks. When Imperial authorities executed the Diplomats as spies, the response from Republican Strategic Command was swift and merciless.

Begin ground assault on the Fortress World Skarthrax VII. Lethal force is authorised.