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[] This Day in History: The Perry Line Pact

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July 5, 2793 SET

The Perry Line Pact

To many, the Perry Line was known as the interstellar barrier between Humanity and the Xi’An. Tactlessly named by Humanity after old deities of war, these eight systems never had a chance to be anything but a no man’s land. The Perry Line represented an even greater wall of distrust, separating our two great cultures from engaging in meaningful diplomacy.

That is, until 2789, when the bold Terran Senator Terrence Akari defied the Messers and breached the Perry Line to meet a Xi’An delegation on Tohil III led by Emperor Kray himself. Aware of Imperator Linton Messer XI’s weakening power base, Akari and Kray spent days hammering out the details of the famous treaty that bears their names.

On May 29, 2789, Senator Akari called for an emergency session of the Senate to present the peace accord and ordered an immediate vote, capitalizing on the Imperator’s recreational break in Goss. By the time word of the surprise session reached the Imperator, he was unable to rally his lackeys to block the procedure. The deal was narrowly approved.

Though the Senate’s vote was nonbinding without the Imperator’s signature, the people of the UEE overwhelmingly supported it, proving the populace was sick and tired of being on the brink of war. The demonization of the Xi’An had been one of the oldest plays in the Messers book, yet after over two hundred years without an overtly aggressive action against the UEE, few truly believed the Xi’An were the boogeymen the Messers made them out to be.

Still politics and reality often exist on different planes. The Xi’An demonstrated their commitment to the agreement by withdrawing all military forces from Perry Line systems. Despite this display of good faith and the treaty’s popularity with the people, Imperator Messer XI refused to sign it. For years after the agreement, UEE military ships still patrolled Perry Line systems more uncertain than ever about what they were doing there.

It wasn’t until 2792, when the UEE had finally thrown off the authoritarian yoke of the Messer regime, that the Empire could officially focus on rebuilding their diplomatic relations with the Xi’An. The issue became a priority for Erin Toi, who was elected Imperator following Messer XI’s ousting. Initially, the position of Ambassador to the Xi’An Empire was offered to Senator Akari, but he turned it down to focus on rebuilding the UEE. After an extensive search, Imperator Toi selected Ramon Coen for the position.

The position was Coen’s first in government. Previously, he had run the Xi’An Studies department at Mentor University in the Rhetor System. Though he lacked any diplomatic experience, Coen was thoughtful, patient, soft-spoken and possessed of a deep understanding of the Xi’An language and culture. He was an ideal candidate to participate in the lengthy discussions necessary to normalize relations.

The Xi’An were understandably guarded about relations with the new UEE government. Though the Messers were gone, there were still many within the Xi’An ranks who believed that Humanity could not be trusted, as they vividly remembered life during the Messers rule. As a test of the UEE’s commitment to constructing a new diplomatic era, the Xi’An only brought one issue to the table during their first meeting with Ambassador Coen — what to do with the former Perry Line systems?

After bringing up the issue, the Xi’An delegation simply left, offering neither ideas nor solutions of their own. Ambassador Coen spent the next six months digging into every detail on the topic, including a two-month trip that saw him spend time in each Perry Line system. Reportedly, when Imperator Toi discovered Ambassador Coen had gone months without talking to the Xi’An, she demanded to know what was going on.

Coen explained that how they handled and presented the Perry Line proposal would set the stage for all future negotiations. A rushed, half-thought-out solution would be a sign that the UEE didn’t understand with whom they were negotiating. Eight months after that first, brief summit, Ambassador Coen presented his 92-page proposal to the Xi’An.

The document went into extensive detail, but could be summarized by its three main pillars. One, there would be joint military operations in each system to identify and dispose of all anti-ship mines that still littered the drift. Two, the eight systems that comprised the Perry Line would be evenly divided between the two governments. Finally, his proposal required that borders into what Coen called “transitional systems” always remain open to both the UEE and Xi’An Empire. These systems would be a living reminder that the universe was a better place when the two governments worked together.

Ambassador Coen and the Xi’An delegation spent months going over the document word by word — revising certain sections, tossing out others, and going into incredible detail on how key parts of the accord would be put into effect. At the end of that process only one issue remained unresolved. Who would get which system? No matter how they tried to sort it, the sticking point proved to always be the same planet: Oya III.

Prior to the Oya System becoming part of the Perry Line, a Xi’An settlement was established on Oya III. The Xi’An colonizers vacated the system once a jump into Human-controlled space was discovered, though many vowed that they would return once it was safe to do so.

Through negotiations, the Xi’An remained resolute that Oya III’s settlement must stay in Xi’An hands, which entitled them to the entire system. Their hardline stance stalled and almost tabled the entire deal because Humans were equally eager to claim Oya.

Oya was the only system in the deal that was full of resources and currently habitable. Imperator Toi was adamant that the UEE receive it. While Coen suggested Virtus as an alternate because it was also rich in resources, the expanding red giant star at its center meant Human life was not a long-term possibility for the system. It was deemed an unworthy substitute.

Worried that all his hard work would be for naught, Ambassador Coen crafted an unusual solution to the problem. Coen knew Imperator Toi would reject any idea that involved giving up Oya, so Coen carefully laid out a plan he hoped would work, which came to be known as the Coen Compromise.

Under the compromise, the UEE would be given control of the Oya System, including Oya III. However, the previously established settlement would officially fall under Xi’An control, making it the only slice of sovereign alien land within the UEE. Imperator Toi was less than thrilled about the idea, but agreed to it. Eventually, the hardliners within the Xi’An delegation did too.

Following days of intense negotiations to nail down the details of the Coen Compromise, the proposal was agreed to by both parties. Virtus, Pallas, Hadur and Indra would become part of the Xi’An Empire, while Tohil, Oya, Gurzil and Horus would be integrated into the UEE. With the systems finally sorted the delegates then returned to their respective governments for official authorization.

On this day, July 5th, 2793, the Perry Line pact was ratified and signed by both sides, officially bringing to end the cold war and birthing a new diplomatic era between the UEE and the Xi’An Empire, one that has stayed strong through today.

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