The Common Fleet Alliance emerged in the twilight of the Age of Conquest.
The events surrounding its initial formation weren't entirely clear. In a time where warfleets reigned supreme by virtue of their destructive potential, hardly any admiral restrained themselves.
The reckless genetic modification and human augmentation turned many ambitious humans into greedy monsters.
The higher their positions, the worse these negative traits became.
Those who wished to climb higher needed to become more capable than their peers, and the easiest way to distinguish themselves was to upgrade their abilities.
In such a time where selfishness became ubiquitous, no one could have imagined that a number of admirals returned to sanity.
Not only did the admirals and their closest supporters stop their descent into degeneration, they also managed to get in touch with each other.
The nations they used to serve possessed complex or hostile relations with each other. The warfleets should have fought or avoided each other. For two or more unaffiliated warfleets to converge in a single star system was unimaginable at the time!
Yet converge they did.
In a legendary act of nobility, the admirals forswore their prior allegiances and private ambitions and banded together to form a new and unprecedented alliance.
The Common Fleet Alliance was born.
Though its name sounded boring, it encapsulated the main principles of the new organization.
It was called this way because it bound multiple warfleets and other powers to a single, common cause. The alliance would never dedicate itself to serving a single star empire no matter how great they may be at the time!
Not even the Terrans and Rubarthans impressed the Fleeters, as they came to be called
This was because the cause they fought for transcended the interests of the Greater Terran United Confederation and the New Rubarth Empire.
While these two star empires dominated human civilization during the Age of Conquest, they had not been able to stop the genocides and mass destruction taking place throughout human space.
In fact, their leaders enthusiastically took part in these acts of madness!
In the eyes of the Common Fleet Alliance, the Terrans and Rubarthans completely failed to discharge their responsibilities as the foremost powers of the human race.
A new power must come onto the stage and take over the role the self-consumed Terrans and Rubarthans abandoned.
Thus, the Common Fleet Alliance swept over human space.
During that time, every warfleet was a sovereign empire on the move. Very rarely did admirals agree to pool their strengths together. They were far too suspicious and constantly posed a threat to their 'allies' due to their limitless ambitions!
Even admirals who nominally served the same star nations might open fire against each other's fleets in an attempt to gain complete dominion!
Therefore, the main trend at the time was for warfleets to avoid each other. In any case, there were plenty of planets and star systems for them to plunder. The raiding admirals had no need to risk their most precious war assets!
Under these circumstances, the Common Fleet Alliance thrived. The enlightened admirals did not hesitate to group several warfleets together and take advantage of their superior numbers to destroy or force the surrender of many isolated warfleets.
Through these early successes, the CFA managed to build up an unstoppable momentum and swept over every other resisting nation or warfleet!
Eventually, the Age of Conquest ended and the Age of Mechs commenced.
In order to avoid the ravages that had taken place in the past, the CFA and MTA decided that human civilization had to be run in a different way.
No longer should star nations war against themselves to the point of annihilating each other.
No longer should anyone in control of the mightiest weapons of humanity be allowed to go on a power trip.
No longer must humanity be divided to the point where their external alien enemies saw hope of launching a counterattack!
The Big Two, taking advantage of their supreme power over human space, enacted a new order.
Humanity no longer divided themselves by star nations. The Big Two coerced great entities such as the Terran Confederation to vacate a portion of their sovereignty and devolve into states.
While states were still allowed to run their internal affairs as they saw fit, they were no longer able to discharge some responsibilities.
For example, the newly-formed states were not expected to defend humanity against alien threats after being robbed of their warfleets.
However, the states couldn't be left defenseless either. The CFA therefore stepped up to the plate and pledged to defend human civilization against every external enemy!
The idea sounded noble. By letting a powerful but ostensibly neutral naval organization take charge of defending humanity, no state would be able to abuse their power for destructive ends ever again.
Without warships, it was impossible for the first-rate superstates to wipe out the entire human race with their diminished strength!
Of course, plenty of concerns welled up about the new alliance that concentrated much of humanity's war-making potential.
How could the abuses of the past be prevented?
How could the CFA prevent ambitious naval officers from taking advantage of their positions of powers to pursue their own interests to the detriment of everyone else?
Various means emerged to constrain the CFA.
First, the MTA rose in power to match the CFA and keep them in check. While the MTA and CFA shared the same goal of guarding humanity, their many contradictions ensured that they would always have to act with scruples.
If any of the Big Two ever went out of control, the many states of human civilization would place their full support behind the trans-galactic organization that still stood on their side!
With such a potent threat looming over their heads, neither the CFA nor MTA dared to behave in a way that attracted the common hatred of states.
Second, the CFA extensively reformed and unified its naval culture.
Whereas the MTA emerged as a new organization that was completely free of the shackles of the past, the CFA partially bore the sins of their predecessors.
Every founding admiral and their subordinates had a lot of blood on their hands.
This guilt hung over the heads of the Fleeters and stigmatized them from the rest of humanity who developed an intense fear towards anything related to warships.
Whether deliberate or not, the CFA withdrew from the spotlight and began to isolate itself from the rest of human society.
The CFA must wash away the sins of its predecessors by guarding the human race. This was the guiding mission that sustained the organization to this day.
To staff its warships, the CFA increasingly turned to the true spaceborn clans that lived a nomadic life in space.
Unlike the humans who grew up in one of the many states, the spaceborn were much more adapted to become Fleeters.
The true spaceborn were not only born spacers, but also possessed a much higher perspective. The petty conflicts that consumed the attention of the states for centuries were nothing but playground spats to the true spaceborn.
Only the most noble spacers were qualified to become Fleeters.
While there were plenty of complaints from the states that the CFA was becoming increasingly detached from human society, the Fleeters didn't care.
Let the MTA babysit the squabbling humans.
Lieutenant Junior Grade Zonrad Reze comfortably sat behind his desk in his stateroom aboard the Karaton Dwight, a majestic Villard-class battleship.
As the flagship of the 3rd Archangel Frontier Battle Group, the Karaton Dwight was one of the most powerful warships assigned to the Komodo Star Sector and surroundings.
Ship design hadn't changed much over the years. Though the underlying technologies had changed or improved, a flag captain from the Age of Conquest would still be able to command a modern battleship without too much adjustment.
Of course, with the superhuman cognitive abilities of any senior officer, such a rapid adaptation was to be expected.
The officers of the Common Fleet Alliance were just as capable if not more than the impulsive naval officers of the past.
However, the difference was that their genes still remained human. The CFA's state-of-the-art genetic optimization treatments largely eschewed direct alien gene transplantation in order to avoid undesirable side effects.
Though the officers of the CFA no longer went mad on a massive scale, the extreme degree of competitiveness in the ranks still remained.
This was the reason why Zonrad was furrowing his brows while he held a conversation with a fellow member of the Novilon Clan through a physical projection.
"I'm nearing forty-six years old." He spoke in a dignified accent unique to his clan. "While I expected my promotion opportunities to be few and far in between, I'm nearing the end of my rope."
A more mature man sat on the opposite side of the desk. Though he was only present as a physical projection, the demeanor he exuded was vastly more substantial.
"You have no one but yourself to blame, Zonrad. I warned you that the command trajectory is the most difficult to promote yourself. How many years has it been since you have been commissioned?"
"More than two decades."
"And where has that brought you? I'm only five years older than you but I'm already a lieutenant commander!"
Zonrad sneered. "You're just a logistics officer who is good with managing supplies. You've never been stationed on a warship. Do you think I can make my clan proud by taking charge of a small supply depot in the Komodo Star Sector?"
Lieutenant Commander Victor Manta took no offense at Zonrad's tone.
"Look down on me all you want, but my future is bright, especially since I'm eligible to receive further optimization treatments. As long as you live long enough, you will slowly have more opportunities to rise up the ranks!"
Though Zonrad could easily live up to 150 years or so, it would be hard to extend his life any further without assistance from the CFA or his clan.
However, neither of them were in the habit of wasting expensive treatments on inconsequential officers.
Zonrad knew this. He also knew that his capabilities were only so-so compared to his fellow officers aboard the Karaton Dwight.
He raised his finger in a distinctive gesture, causing their comm call to pause.
"Monodwell, please display my current status."
The powerful super AI in charge of running most of the systems of Karaton Dwight responded instantly.
Lieutenant Junior Grade Zonrad Reze
Novilon Spaceborn Clan
45 years old
Komodo Naval Fleet
3rd Archangel Frontier Battle Group
Villard-class battleship Karaton Dwight
Auxiliary Gunnery Department
Decision Making: 1.3
Problem Solving: 1.4
Evaluation: A low potential officer who has been assigned to the Karaton Dwight through connections rather than on his own merits.
Zonrad's face soured. "Monodwell. I've trained so hard to raise my problem solving and decision-making skills. I've even switched my implant to a smart decision aid! Why are my scores still so low!?"
[A fair and independent assessment has been made of your abilities, Lieutenant Reze. Your performance in tests and simulations do not reflect your actual competence. If you have any objections to your assessment, please submit the required CFA merits to request the mediation of an independent human officer.
Please keep in mind that you will be subject to severe punishment if your objections are groundless.]
The junior officer cursed under his breath. Though he believed that he was much more capable due to his storied lineage, he did not have the courage to incur any demerits should he waste the time of a superior officer.
Such actions ruined the careers of many of his fellow CFA officers!
Though Zonrad wanted to argue with Monodwell some more, he reluctantly swallowed his frustrations.
As an inhuman, impartial super AI, Monodwell never sided with any human! Not even the admiral in charge of the Archangel Group had the power to override some of Monodwell's decisions!