The Union Centered around Earth and the other worlds of the Sol system, as well as several extra solar colonies, including Alpha Centauri. The Union came about after the political upheaval following the end of the wars in the later half of the 23rd century. At the time, it was the only alternative to anarchy. Since then, however, restrictions borne of the necessity and fear of the day have become the bedrock upon which the Union is built.
The core of the Union’s political power is based on Earth. There is a prevailing sense that the ranking members of the Union Parliament views Earth as the ‘real’ world, and all the colonies and human outposts as secondary.
The Union has very narrow views about the nature of humanity and the nature of the soul. There is no official religion in the Union, which loudly touts itself as a secular state. However, several quasi-spiritual concepts, such as the human soul, are nevertheless considered ‘sacred’. As such, genetically engineered humans are not viewed as human, in the strictest sense. They have no legal rights in the Union, and genetic engineering of a human being before birth is strictly illegal.
Similar constraints exist for artificial intelligences, and “Uploads”, human consciousness that has been translated to a purely digital medium. Such existences are exceedingly rare in the Union… only a handful of it’s citizens are Uploads, and AIs are regarded as property according to Union law. This is one of the reasons for the AI Exodus in the early part of the 24th century.
Kingdom of Heaven
after it was clear that China would lose the Unification War, China crammed as much of it’s population into colony ships as possible, and launched for the far end of human space. The government that grew from the exodus now controls 10 worlds, and is led by an Empress, a descendant of China’s last prime minister.