The First Extrasolar War was a conflict in the Alpha Centauri system waged by the Helghan Administration against the United Colonial Nations and ISA Alpha Centauri from 2201 to 2202. The war began over the Helghan Administration's overt control of star travel and space trade that escalated into the Administration declaring its secession from the UCN. This lead to the UCN to retaliate by dispatching the United Colonial Army to Alpha Centauri which swiftly crushed Helghan's military forces within a year. The war had long lasting repercussions, which resulted in the Helghan exodus, the rise of the Helghan Empire, and laid the groundwork for the Second Extrasolar War.
Prelude[edit | edit source]
In the late 22nd century, the Helghan Corporation more or less held a highly lucrative monopoly over the vital worlds of industrial Helghan and luxurious Vekta in the Alpha Centauri system because of UCN colonial grants. This allowed the corporation to tax all ships going through the system, on top of the considerable income from trade and re-fueling. The UCN grew concerned and frustrated by Helghan's domination over star travel and space trade—traditionally under UCN control—and profiting off colonial endeavors that the UCN itself has underwritten. In response, the UCN impose new taxes and regulations on space travel and shipping, in which the money was then use to expand the United Colonial Army—the UCA Navy received the bulk of the new budget to develop highly advanced warships principally designed to outclass ISA fleets and invade the outer colonies by force. As part of the new regulations, the UCN rescinded the Helghan Administration's privileges that were granted in the Helghan/Vektan Purchase; specifically its right to a large home fleet and tariffs on shipping.
The Helghan Administration refused to obey the UCN's regulations, but agreed to enter into talks with the UCN to resolve the issue. However, in 2199, negotiations between Earth and the Helghan Administration failed to bring a mutually satisfactory resolution, and resulting in the Administration finally seceding from the UCN and declaring itself an independent colony. The UCN initially considered to place an embargo on all trade with Helghan, but deemed it as counterproductive as the Helghan Administration would prevent trade ships from reaching Earth, in the knowledge that Earth cannot survive for any length of time without colonial resources. Instead, the UCN Senate made the decision to send the UCA Navy to the Helghan system, to seize control of the navigation points between the colonies and Earth, protecting the flow of colonial trade to Earth that would allow a blockade of Helghan.
The Helghan Police Action[edit | edit source]
In 2200, the Helghan Administration attempted to expel all ISA forces from the Alpha Centauri system. A number of skirmishes erupted on and around Helghan and Vekta. Despite of their overwhelming numeric superiority, Helghan corporate forces were poorly equipped and inexperienced compared to their ISA counterparts, which managed to retreat intact and in good order during the initial battle. The ISA operated from hidden bases and conducted a guerrilla campaign that sapped the strength of the Helghan forces.
Arrival of the UCA[edit | edit source]
In 2201, the UCA Navy fleet arrived into the Alpha Centauri system, relieving local ISA ships and securing navigational points. The main fleet heads to planet Helghan and engage against the Helghan Administration's custom fleets in an hours-long pitched battle. The much more advanced UCA Navy Cruisers were proved to be untouchable by the much smaller Helghan vessels, and the UCA fleet obliterated their opponents, nearly rendering all Helghan ships destroyed or disabled, without the loss of a single vessel. In the heat of the fighting, the massive orbiting space station that served as a navigation hub for directing ships in and out of the system was destroyed; while it is unknown who was responsible, both sides blamed the other.
After gaining orbital control of Helghan, the UCA Navy fleet decided not to drop directly onto Helghan as they deemed it to be a waste of resources and lives. Instead, the UCA left a small picket fleet to blockade Helghan and patrol its surrounding space, before pushing onward to Vekta. The combined ISA and UCA Navy fleet quickly subdued the remnants of the Helghan Customs Service in orbit. The corporate soldiers on Vekta declared their intentions to fight to the death, but a demonstration of UCA orbital bombardment quickly convinced them to yield to the inevitable; they all quickly surrendered, without a single UCA ground soldier ever firing a shot.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
The Helghan Administration's defeat led to the arrests of the Helghan CEO and all members of the Executive Board, the seizing of the dual planets, and the corporation's assets being handed to the UCN. The UCN Senate turned Vekta over to direct ISA rule in order to monitor the Helghan corporate-affiliated population to prevent future unrest. Settlers from Earth were brought in to supplement the corporate-affiliated that was already on Vekta. The UCN's punishment of the defeated Helghan left an unspoken warning to the other colonies to never challenge the UCN's mandates—in essence Earth's authority—and its right to rule ever again.
Immediately after the ISA-occupation of Vekta began, tensions soon rose between the Earth minority and Helghan corporate majority, resulting in Helghan extremists conducting terrorist attacks on the ISA and Earth-loyal citizens in order to make the occupation too expensive for the ISA. In turn, the ISA government enacted harsh draconian punishments on the Helghan population. Eventually by 2220, the attacks ceased and millions of disaffected Helghan colonists chose to resettle on planet Helghan, which the UCN recognized the Helghan Administration as a sovereign nation and declared planet Helghan to be their territory in perpetuity.
The First Extrasolar War left the defeated Helghan, coupled with the mass exile to the hostile planet of Helghan and subsequent trade sanctions imposed by the ISA, to cement their bitter hatred of the ISA. For over a century, the inhabitants of planet Helghan adapted to the harsh environment in which the third generation of Helghan Administration subjects mutated into the pale-skinned Helghast. By the mid 24th century, the Helghast's hatred of the Vektan ISA—and most specifically toward the "lesser" human race—for the loss of their original homeworld ultimately led to the rise of the Helghan Empire led by the tyrannical Scolar Visari and the beginning of the Second Extrasolar War.