T h e O c e a n s o f M a r s
By William Connelly McCall
Copyright 2012 by Wm. McCall, All Rights Reserved
Cover Illustration by Roberto Ball
The Chaledean Confederacy was an ancient, far-flung, tightly controlled union spanning and incorporating, approximately 4,000 star systems within the Milky Way galaxy. In the first few thousand years of its existence, it was dynamic and expansive, incorporating new star systems while preserving order and maintaining a democratic society. Innovation was encouraged and the arts flourished. Word of its power and of its remarkable system of government that was, at once, able to administer such a vast system and yet accommodate, even encourage, diversity and individual freedom, spread throughout the galaxies.
Smaller civilizations comprising, perhaps, as few as fifty planets, weary of defending themselves against tyrannical colonizers and marauding space pirates, eagerly sought admission to the Confederation, and were, for the most part, accepted and welcomed.
But at some undefined point a critical mass was reached beyond which, and almost imperceptibly, the Confederation ceased to be dynamic. Its concerns became increasingly absorbed in maintaining the status quo – originality and innovation in the arts, sciences and politics, once encouraged, began to be discouraged. The individual freedoms that had once so greatly energized the society began to be limited. At the same time, star systems at Confederation’s outer-reaches that once might have been considered potential members were suspiciously regarded as potential threats. In short, the Confederation had become neurotic and bureaucratic.