Author Topic: Firefly History  (Read 8088 times)


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Firefly History
« on: July 16, 2009, 09:26:24 PM »
This is basic history. I didn't write it. If I can find where I got this from, I will post the appropriate credit. Also, one thing to note is that on the planet listings, it list the Georgia System. I take this to mean, contrary to the Serenity version of the 'verse, there are more than one solar system. This makes things a lot more believable given the accepted view of space than all of these are crammed into one solar system as is depicted in the movie and the RPG book.

I. A Bit of History
Earth That Was
Earth is the origin of all humanity, the common factor shared by all, Alliance and Independent alike. It is stated that Earth was "used up," but for whatever reason, mankind abandoned Earth generations ago and moved out into the stars. This must have been a profound cultural event, one that could have broken down the very essence of humanity. But, mankind held onto the tenets of culture and civilization in the exodus, carrying with it those things both material and spiritual that make us human.
Following true human nature, as time passed Earth took on an almost mythical status in the culture. It is now referred to as Earth That Was and myths and stories about it have arisen. One piece of such a story is related by Saffron in the episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds":
"...that when she (Earth) was born she had no sky and was open, inviting. And, the stars would rush into her, through the skin of her, making the ocean's boil with sensation. And when she could endure no more ecstasy, she puffed up her cheeks and blew out the sky."

Earth That Was is not like Atlantis. Many physical artifacts have survived the time between the exodus and the present. Most, if not all, are held by private collectors and perhaps, museums. One of the largest collections of Earth That Was artifacts is held by a man named Durran Haymer at his private estate on Bellepheron. Some items in his collection include a late 20th Century telephone booth, a phonograph with 2 LP records, a model sailing ship, a grand piano, artwork and until it was stolen, one of only two Lassiters, "the original hand-held laser pistol...the forerunner of all laser technology. (Trash)
However or whyever Earth was abandoned, mankind possessed the technology to take the recipe with them. New worlds were terra-formed to be as close to the old Earth as possible. Planets and moons were (and still are) transformed into "hundreds of new Earths." None were a perfect copy and all carried their own little quirks, but technology and/or human spirit overcome these. These new worlds were colonized and settled, built on and built up, and true to both our history and our pioneering nature, mankind continues to reach out further and further, transforming new Earths in the image of the old.

The Universal Civil War

Little is known about the specifics of the war in regard to its battles and tactics, its generals or the movements of its armies. We have been given little of what will be recounted in the history books. What can be deduced from the few facts we have is that it was a broad and sweeping conflict with roots in politics, economics and human rights. It affected every man, woman and child in the civilized and settled worlds.
The conflict began when some of the colonized "planets formed the Alliance and decided that all the planets should join under their rule." Quite a few people took exception to this, especially when the so-called Alliance moved in and began dictating the hows and wherefores of their day-to-day lives. These disgruntled folks joined together and the Independents were formed. The disagreement soon turned to all-out war with men and women fighting for what they believed was their freedom from over-bearing, totalitarian rule. "We're fighting the just cause. Independent thought, independent dreams, independent lives. It's a thing worth dying for. (Declan-Dead or Alive unaired script)
Although the Independents may have started out as a loosely organized band of rebels, we've seen evidence that they were an organized and trained fighting force. They were soon nicknamed Browncoats for the colors they wore. Most likely they suffered from a lack of resources and manpower throughout the war which, of course, contributed to their defeat.
Technologically, the war was fought with every weapon available. The Independents are seen to have had their own warships and gunships as well as heavy artillery and small arms. The Alliance is known to have used bioweapons, mortars, rollers (tanks), seekers (a sort-of airborne, heat-seeking grenade), and warships as well as artillery and small arms.
The war was played out on many worlds, with one of the final battles taking place on the planet Hera. The Independents suffered a crushing defeat there at the Battle of Serenity Valley. "Some say the war ended in that valley. (Bushwhacked) The Alliance forces were simply too overwhelming. The Independents were outmanned and apparently outgunned. Sgt. Malcolm Reynolds fought and lost on the side of the Independents in this battle and it made him the man he presently is.
The Alliance emerged the victor in the war and took all of the settled worlds under its rule. The end of the war is celebrated with an official Alliance holiday known as Unification Day or U-Day. Only six short years have passed since the end of the war and bitterness and resentment still abound among the people. Some on the side of the Alliance feel that all the Independents should have been killed. And, there are still pockets of resistance to the Alliance, underground movements fighting to subvert Alliance control. Its difficult for a man or woman known to have fought on the side of the Independents to find work and many former Browncoats have moved to the fringes of space, the Border planets. A number have turned to crime in order to survive. The arms of the Alliance government also look upon the former rebels with heightened suspicion and tend to wield their power with an iron fist. The transition from war to peacetime has not been easy and reconstruction is painful and ongoing.

II. The Union of Allied Planets

(The Alliance)
Totalitarianism in Action
"Alliance Rewards Those Who Reward Themselves"
(banner depicted in Dead or Alive-unaired script)
Totalitarian is defined by Webster's as "a form of government or state in which the lives and actions of every individual, and every enterprise, are controlled by a dictator or dictatorial caucus. The Union of Allied Planets, more familiarly known simply as the Alliance, is a totalitarian regime. It is a dictatorial government run by bureaucratic rules and a corporate mentality. It has been described as "cabalistic" which implies secret interests and agendas. Its roots can be traced to the boardrooms of corporate America and the oppressive dictatorships of China. It could be said that it, too, is a product of the blending of Eastern and Western cultures.
Physically, the Alliance is comprised of all the known settled worlds. There are Core or Central planets which are assumed to be the founding planets of the Alliance. They are prosperous, beautiful worlds with seemingly happy and hard-working citizens. They are administered and run with clock-work efficiency. The Core planets are strictly policed and offer the best in technology and amenities. Technology, however, is expensive. And the Alliance is not only in the business of government, but of industry as well. It is in their interest to keep the money close at hand. The farther you move outward from the Central planets, technology becomes harder to come by and more expensive to attain. The Border or frontier worlds are more recently settled and have little technology. Although part of the Alliance, they are largely self-governed by necessity. These worlds have little resources and the Alliance has only so much manpower to police the system. The Alliance provides settlers with supplies for basic colonization. The settlers then are expected to make their own way with what they have, to work diligently towards becoming contributing, productive members of the Alliance.
In order to maintain control of its member worlds, the Alliance boasts a highly effective and strictly regimented military force and a perhaps less effective and overly organized Federal police force. The vast size of the Alliance offers protection to many worlds and yet allows corruption to take root both within and on individual worlds. It is a giant entity that has many eyes and ears. But all of the information and data flowing into it has to be collated, analyzed, decided upon and then distributed through its many arms and legs. Like most man-made bureaucracies, it is flawed in the fact that the plumbing can become clogged at any number of junctures. And like most entities of its type, it overcompensates for these flaws by creating stricter rules, laws and controls which further clog the system with bureaucratic red-tape and suffocate the people it governs. It is an inefficient system which works by the sheer size and power wielded by the Alliance.
Although the Alliance is largely portrayed as oppressive and even evil in its intentions in some cases, the point can be raised that it was, in fact, an answer to a problem waiting to happen. Without the strength of an overbearing government alliance of the settled worlds, it is easy to see the potential for squabbles and even outright war being waged on many fronts between the worlds. Perhaps in time the Alliance will evolve into an entity more democratic in nature. As Shepherd Book pointed out, "a government is made up of people. The beauty of the Core planets and the numbers of people who supported Unification and the Alliance seem to be clear evidence that the Alliance government is not the evil entity sometimes portrayed.

The Known Worlds of The Union of Allied Planets

It is no coincidence that the crew of Serenity refers to being "in the world" when visiting a planet or moon. Each of the worlds of the Alliance appears to be a world unto its own. Each planet is technically a member of the larger Alliance and subject to its laws and government, but the Border/frontier planets, in particular, seem largely self-governed with their own laws, customs, traditions and methods of enforcement. The Central or Core planets are embraced by the arms of Alliance control where federal resources are more plentiful and the need for self-government is unnecessary. Out on the fringes of space in the border areas, Alliance resources are thinly stretched and like the Old West of the United States, settlements must rely on their own forms of government and justice. This creates a minefield of risks for a ship such as Serenity, but also rich opportunities for crime.

A central planet and an Alliance world; According to Inara, Ariel has "some beautiful museums" and "some of the finest restaurants in the core. It also has woodland areas for hiking and a bioluminescent lake for swimming. Its capital city is Ariel City where St. Lucy's Hospital is located. (Ariel)

A border planet with at least four moons, one of which is White Fall, the fourth moon. (Serenity)

A civilized planet. Characterized by Malcolm Reynolds as "a decent kind of place. It has factories that offer work in the cities or ranches that offer a rural work. New Dunsmuir is mentioned as one of the cities there. (Our Mrs. Reynolds)

A very rich Alliance planet with both a large ocean and an empty area of desert climate, complete with canyons, rock and sand. Isis Canyon is pointed out as the most deserted spot on the world.
Bellerophon is also the home of Bellerophon Estates, vast self-contained estates that float above the ocean waters, the epitome of the term "castle in the sky. Described as "gracious living, ocean views and state-of-the-art security. The estates have their own local security patrols, as well as Federal (Alliance) protection.
This is where Durran Haymer lives and keeps his collection of priceless Earth That Was artifacts. (Trash)

A group of settlers left from this planet on their way to the border planets. They were attacked by Reavers before they made their destination. (Bushwhacked)

A civilized Alliance planet. (Serenity)

Dyton Colony
Badger called this the "old homestead". It is unclear whether Dyton is the world or simply a colony on another, unnamed planet. (Shindig)

Niska's Skyplex is in orbit around this planet. It is where Malcolm Reynolds arranged to drop some stolen medical supplies and was captured by Niska along with Wash. (War Stories)

Georgia System
The system where Paradiso and Hancock are located, both settlements connected by the "flying" train line. Paradiso is a mining community which is ravaged by Bowden's Malady, a degenerative affliction of the bone and muscle brought on by exposure to the air down in the mines mixed with dust from the ore processors on the world. There is an Alliance installation and/or camp in the Georgia System. According to an exchange between the two Blue Hand Men in search of River and the Colonel of the Alliance vessel, the Georgia System is approximately 86 million miles from the Core. ("We didn't fly 86 million miles...") (The Train Job)

A civilized Alliance planet with state-of-the-art medical facilities. Located 10 hours from Jiangyin. (Safe)

Serenity Valley is located on this world. The Independence experienced a crushing defeat at the hands of the Alliance at Serenity Valley and it was perhaps the most decisive battle of the Universal Civil War. (Serenity, Bushwhacked)

Higgins' Moon
A moon that is host to the Canton Factory Settlement. The Factory settlement makes mud/clay that is used to make ceramic parts. Canton smells very bad. There are 2,000 workers in Canton, "mostly indentured." The operation is overseen by a Magistrate who is very wealthy. Jayne Cobb is revered as the "hero of Canton." (Jaynestown)

This world is mentioned as being the site of a salvage operation that the S.S. Walden was returning from. No other information is available. (Out of Gas)

Called a "backwater world," Jiangyin is a border planet. A souvenir plate on sale in the General Store of the frontier town depicts "Jiangyin: Prairie Paradise." The town boasts a sheriff and a host of deputies practicing Alliance frontier justice. There are posted alerts about Jiangyin which warn that "settlers up in the hills sometimes take people, tradesmen and the like." These hill settlers, who apparently do not mix with the residents of the town, are governed by a Patron and they take their Bible quite literally. It is stated that Jiangyin is 3 weeks from Persephone. (Safe)

The destination world of the settlers which left Bernadette and were attacked and killed by Reavers. (Bushwhacked)

New Melbourne
An ocean world that is briefly mentioned as being everything "fish or fish-related," specifically Sturgeon. Inara also calls it a "layover point for almost every planet this side of the system." (Objects in Space)

The Core planet where Simon attended medical school and worked as a trauma surgeon. (Objects in Space)

Mentioned briefly as a destination for Serenity in the past. (Out of Gas)

Penal Moon
Prison in the Firefly universe. It is spoken of in the singular, as if there is only one. (The Message)

A civilized frontier planet with a distinct class system and melting pot culture.
Eavesdown docks, located on Persephone, are a bustling commercial port with all the problems that come from a transient population. Persephone has been characterized as "not the kindest of places." It is where Badger has his base of operation. The crew of Serenity seems to stop here often to resupply and pick up work.
Kaytree Pond, also located on Persephone, was the site of the duel between Malcolm Reynolds and Atherton Wing. This could be a park-like location within the city or a nearby picturesque rural area.(Serenity, Shindig)

A settled moon where Serenity stops over to pick up work and where Mal robs a slaver in a bar and embroils Inara in the fight. (Shindig)

Malcolm Reynolds grew up on this planet. His mother owned a large ranch there. They were denied their local custom of celebrating the founding of the planet when the Alliance government took over. (Our Mrs. Reynolds, Dead or Alive unaired script)

The Core planet where Inara was born. She studied here to be a Companion. It's described as "beautiful, a sea of lights." (Serenity)

Silverhold Colonies
Unknown if this is a planet or colonies on another planet. It is located 8 sectors away from St. Albans. The Silverhold Colonies are Lt. Womack's jurisdiction and where he achieved his command in the Federal Police. (The Message)

St. Albans
The character Tracey's home planet. It is an ice world, very cold. There is an Allied Enforcement (Federal) station located there. (The Message)

Three Hills
Mentioned briefly as a location where Malcolm Reynolds would take cargo if the deal with Patience fell through. No other information is available. (Serenity)

A world hosting the Triumph settlers as well as a certain lawless element that take advantage of the settlers. Led by Elder Gomman, the settlers have their own particular customs and traditions. Unwed women are housed in a "maiden house" until they are chosen, bought, or bartered into marriage. They are a poor settlement and had no cash to pay the crew of Serenity. Frontier justice is the norm on Triumph as it is mentioned that hanging is the punishment for murder. (Our Mrs. Reynolds)

An Alliance frontier planet and the site of a new gearshift assembly factory for military skiffs. Verbena was undeveloped and very poor until the Alliance moved in and built the factory. The factory, however, was destroyed in a bomb blast. (Dead or Alive-unaired script)

The 4th moon of Athens. Patience owns a good portion of this little world. She claims to run it. (Serenity)
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