Plot Bunny: ME AU (Phht), Citadel

Citadel

The Citadel is a massive space station located in the Serpent Nebula. This station, believed to have been built by the Protheans over fifty thousand years ago, has become the center of galactic government. Found by the asari early in their relay exploration, it became home to the Citadel Council when it was formed following the meeting of the asari and salarians.

The Citadel Council is comprised of three races - the asari, the salarians, and the turians. For most of the Council's history, it was just the first two races, but the turians were given a seat for their role in ending the Krogan Rebellions. Other races are considered associate members of the Council, receiving an embassy on the Citadel but no seat on the Council.

Once a race is given an embassy, there is little chance of losing the spot. Only once has an embassy been left by a race - the Council removed the quarians' embassy following the Geth Insurrection. The Batarians nearly left their embassy in protest over the expansion of the Systems Alliance into the Skyllian Verge, but cooler heads prevailed once it was pointed out that the Council could exert no real authority over the Alliance unless they wanted to use military force.

The Alliance was offered, and passed on, an associate membership in the Council in 2162. Given their expansion into the Traverse, generally good relations with parts of the Terminus, and the results of the Batarian-Alliance War, the Council again approached them regarding the topic in 2178.

Known races:

  • Asari
  • Batarians (associate)
  • Elcor (associate)
  • Salarian
  • Turian
  • Volus (associate)
  • Hanar/Drell (associate)

Former races:

  • Krogan (associate)
  • Quarian (associate)

Military

The Citadel Fleet consists of fleet units from each Council seated race. The majority of the fleet comes from the turians, who largely serve as the Council's peacekeeping force. While it is considered the Citadel's defense force, most of it can be deployed to deal with situations within Council space if necessary while still leaving a sizable defense force at the Citadel.

The Special Tactics and Reconnaissance, or Spectre, branch of the Citadel forces was formed shortly before the Krogan Rebellions. Spectres are given extraordinary authority and answer only to the Council. These agents are responsible for maintaining galactic stability by any means necessary. All records for Spectres are sealed and require Council permission for access, and total numbers of Spectre agents currently active are unknown.

The first Spectres were salarian and asari, and later turians. They helped hold the line during the Krogan Rebellions until the turians were brought in and turned the tide. After the Rebellions, the existence of the Spectres was made public. While technically a Spectre can come from any race, they're usually pulled from Council races. The selection process for choosing a Spectre is long and extremely thorough, and as a result it is unlikely there are more than a hundred active at any given time. Spectres rarely go rogue, but always require another Spectre to stop when it occurs.


Issues

Terminus Systems

The Terminus Systems covers an area roughly one-eighth to one-quarter of the galaxy, though not all systems within that span are explored or known. The Terminus is outside Citadel control and largely broken into large numbers of factions. The Council has to be careful when dealing with problems near or within the Terminus for worry that they might provoke the systems into banding together against the Council. While Spectres and law enforcement can enter the Terminus Systems, they have no special authority to exert and may be targeted for being Spectre or law enforcement. As a result, pirates, slavers, and other criminals have a haven in the region.

The systems within the Terminus that have governments and official treasuries follow the Unified Banking Act, despite the unstable nature of most governments within the region. As a matter of fact, at various points, nearly all governments switched to using the credit exclusively rather than local currency so that the rapid changes in government wouldn't affect the citizens' money. Governments near the Alliance that have stabilized due to the positive results of Alliance patrols through their space have been giving thought to de-linking from the Citadel credit network and linking into the Alliance network, which would occur when the world joins the Systems Alliance.

Systems Alliance

For a race on the galactic stage for only a quarter of a century, humanity has caused substantial waves. The first issues came with how they appeared on the galactic stage, in the middle of a war with the turians that was starting to escalate when it was noticed by the Council. Given the military prowess of the turians, this was fairly shocking. The refusal to accept an associate membership with the Council, an offer not usually given to a race for decades or centuries after they've become part of the galactic community, caused additional outcry and not a little speculation as to why it was refused.

An ongoing point of contention is the Alliance's decision to close their borders except for specific trade systems. Given that in practice the trade systems restriction doesn't hurt trade, it is not frequently raised as a major issue but is a stall point in negotiations begun in 2178 to bring the Alliance into the Council. Connected to the trade system restrictions are trade good restrictions that prevent the export of certain goods, which is an issue when it comes to trying to integrate the Alliance into the Council.

Non-Exportable Goods include:

  • Type IV personal armor
  • Certain weapons
  • Armor firmware newer than 2.2158.x (Alliance's firmware matching galactic standard)
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