Moon Wars, The

Wars on the Moon after the Expulsion from Earth

Luna - nearside
Image from Steve Bowers
Political map of the Moon in the Interplanetary Age

The 'Moon Wars' were a series of conflicts between Great Expulsion refugees and the 'Selenians,' a catch-all term for the diverse, independent polities of Luna that pre-dated the Expulsion. The conflicts began almost immediately after the Last War's formal end in 628AT and ran concurrently through the last years of the Great Expulsion. The Moon Wars were initially quite bloody, killing about 150 million bionts in the first two years.

There had been tensions between refugees and Selenians from the beginning of the Great Expulsion, but the Moon Wars were almost guaranteed when the Treaty Org retreated from Earth to its wholly-controlled Zeno Base on Luna and sought to seize control of the resources needed to house refugees. From a modosophont perspective, the causes of the various, sometimes parallel conflicts were obvious. To briefly summarize major factors of a dozen conflicts between dozens of polities:

1) Population differences were at the core of the conflicts. The 539AT population of Luna had been 230 million. Owing to fatalities in the Technocalypse and 545-620 AT emigration to Earth (perceived as slightly safer), the lunar population decreased to 190 million Selenians by 621AT. The Great Expulsion sent approximately 2 to 3 billion refugees to Luna in the span of 19 years (the 621-640AT period).

2) In the refugees' opinion, the Selenians were unjust to them. They were initially crammed into miserable, mass-produced warrens with as little as 10 square meters of private and public space each and were extremely impoverished. Utilities - air, water, food, data - were limited and often harsh controls were imposed on refugees who tried to civilly express their dissatisfaction. Freedoms and suffrage were often limited until years-long naturalization paths were complete. Attempts to settle in unoccupied lunar wastes resulted in seizure of habitats and forcible relocations. Worse, the Selenians would often waste resources on projects that did not better refugees’ living conditions, like starships, warships, continued attacks on GAIA, seemingly remote infrastructure projects, and even museums.

3) In the Selenians’ opinion, the refugees were unjust to them. As stated by the more extreme rhetoric of the time, the “unwashed horde of incompetent dirtsiders” had been welcomed by the Selenians, even at the expense of consuming much of two decades of economic output, and the refugees responded with riots, crime, corruption, and attempts to subvert governments.

4) The Treaty Org exploited the situation in 629AT to re-establish its preeminence in cis-lunar space, and to avoid having critical resources for hab construction outside its control. Accordingly, it presented itself as the united voice of Earth's refugees while attempting to seize resources and territory from the native Selenians.

The transapient perspective is somewhat different, but falls roughly into the same groups: one group consisted of displaced Terran hyperturings looking to re-establish their influence portfolios (industrial, financial, military, etc.), while the others were Selenian (and orbital) hyperturings not interested in yielding their strained resources to newcomers. The Moon Wars were a manifestation of the hyperturings jockeying into a new pecking order, with violence taking place when financial, diplomatic, and political wrangling failed.


A major factor in the Great Expulsion and Moon Wars was the post-Technocalypse recovery of cis-lunar industry, where 'cis-lunar' means, 'Earth, Luna, and the habitats orbiting them.' This recovery determined how well cis-lunar space could absorb billions of refugees during the Great Expulsion and, in turn, how strained resources and tempers were during that event. Some historians suspect GAIA waited until 621AT to expel humanity simply because it was at that point cis-lunar industry, including unsuspected resources controlled by GAIA, were sufficient to handle the enormous spacelift.

The Recovery lasted 80 years because the integrated economies and industries of SolSys fell apart in the Technocalypse, and in many cases were outright destroyed. While older wars that devastated continents, like the pre-AT World Wars, saw full recovery within 20 years, such recoveries were aided by well-industrialized external regions unaffected by the wars and a continuous climb in technology during and after the wars.

The post-Technocalypse cis-lunar region had no untouched, external benefactors to aid recovery. It lost vast amounts of technology due to devastation of computer systems, industry, and skilled personnel alike. And when the worst of the Technocalypse was over for cis-lunar humanity (543 AT), the very environment of Earth had been mauled.

It was from this wreckage that humanity and its descendants also had to perform a borderline terraforming project on Earth itself. Resources that might have been applied to improving economic growth were instead diverted to environmental recovery programs. This was especially costly because the highly automated, nanotechnology-era industry that was still in cis-lunar space’s grasp could expand exponentially but, like any high compound interest function, it was easily stifled by the early, continuous diversions of industrial surplus to Earth’s environmental recovery.

(There were additional delays, of course. After the Technocalypse, even orbital and lunar colonies were leery of AIs, von Neumanns, nanite swarms, and many other technologies that could have accelerated recovery. It took time to develop and adopt safer versions like bicameral von Neumann architectures, and some groups militantly opposed such technologies in the hands of their neighbors.)

Still, the early Seventh Century was a time of optimism. Though technologically regressed by upwards of a century and still a shadow of its 539 AT self, cis-lunar space was once again meeting basic needs and had made headway against the ecological damage on Earth. Resources no longer needed to be applied merely to survival. It was in possession of technologies like von Neumann and nanoforges that would allow very rapid expansion of industry if there was need.

Some contemporaries suspect that the loud proclamations of Earth’s politicians and business communities about returning to the pre-Technocalypse high-energy, technological lifestyle might have been a partial trigger for the Great Expulsion. Perhaps from GAIA's perspective, humanity was setting itself up for a second Technocalypse in some decades or centuries. The best way to defend Earth against another nanotechnological catastrophe would be to remove the source: humans. As discussed elsewhere, the result was the Great Expulsion and the Last War.

The "early Great Expulsion," defined as the period concurrent with the Last War, saw only a few hundred million people expelled simply because the launch capacity to expel humanity in a survivable fashion did not exist in 621 AT. GAIA had been expanding launch capacities and the early 600s cis-lunar economic boom helped, but the Last War split Earth’s output. On the other hand, much of orbital and lunar industry ramped-up in anticipation of receiving billions of refugees. Their participation in the Last War was desultory at best because the orbitals and lunar colonies were simply too vulnerable to open warfare with GAIA, so they instead focused on absorbing refugees.

The resulting emergency habitats were imperfect, as was the reception of the refugees, which led to high tensions in overcrowded orbitals and lunar colonies in 628.

By the time the Last War was formally over in 628 AT, the exponential growth of both GAIA-controlled Earth launch systems and the similar growth of cis-lunar industry meant the remaining five billion could be expelled by the mid-to-late 630's. The date slipped to 640 because of a new delay: the Moon Wars.


Within a few days (often moments) of the Great Expulsion’s announcement, superturing, Su, and hyperturing colonial leadership had grasped the enormity of the challenge. The first refugees were addressed through existing immigration procedures but existing orbitals and lunar colonies soon began adopting plans to absorb the tsunami of refugees that would follow. This included frantic expansion of mining, construction, and transport to build new habitats; plans for maintaining political control (from security systems to memetic campaigns); and putting the refugees to work.

Contrary to some popular modosophont historical dramas, the refugees sent to Luna were not - could not be - simply imprisoned in claustrophobic lunar warrens or orbital habitats for decades until habitats opened up. Besides guaranteeing strife, doing so would leave the colonies were a dangerously ill-informed demographic that was only a burden on resources. So, instead, the refugees were sorted by skills on arrival, often put through work and survival training, and assigned jobs as needed by the desperately-expanding colonies. Though the exact method varied between colonies, most received utility rations for their work with extra credits and luxuries available based higher quality and quantity of work. Few colonies went so far as withholding basic rations - refugees would not die for refusing to work - but idleness was made unpalatable.

And there was work for them. The Technocalypse, Great Expulsion, and ongoing problems with swarms and plagues had inflamed fears of AIs, which made vecs, hab minds, and many other autonomous construction and maintenance systems unacceptable, especially if refugees could do the work. So, they were put to work as simple construction labor, laying down warren tunnels and heaping regolith. They were involved in keeping overstressed, hastily-built warren life support systems functional, from water lines to farm domes. The colonies that tolerated bots and von Neumanns employed human overseers and “bot wranglers” in quantities not used since the Second century AT. There were always factory, mine, and nanoforge work, much of it semi-skilled and thus easy for refugees to pick up. While DNI aivisors were unacceptable, interactive tool interfaces and real time, augmented reality guides allowed a handful of instructors and supervisors to manage hundreds of refugee workers.

These work programs tended to result in the early Great Expulsion refugees 'buying in' to the colonies, and most colonies had naturalization programs that encouraged such loyalty. Of the hundreds of millions expelled during the Last War, a majority had accepted their new homes and felt some loyalty toward them because they had built those new homes. They could see the day when their labor would lead to better, larger habitats and improved living conditions, and were ready to help billions of more refugees. Indeed, by 628AT, 7 years of industrial and workforce expansion had given the several hundred million early refugees noticeably expanded quarters and rations compared to earlier in the decade.

The situation was imperfect, though. A few colonies (like Mar das Chuvas and Indonesian Corporate Development Farside) used indentured servitude or company store techniques to keep refugees impoverished and dependent. Many were strict about policing and enforcing peace in the packed warrens, resulting in authoritarian uses of DNI control programs, 'killjoy' surgeries, universal surveillance, and even capital punishment.

Further, not all lunar refugees went to existing lunar colonies. Backyarders, in particular, were notorious for settling in seemingly unused locations and constructing their own habs - usually after rocketing blindly through carefully managed orbital traffic patterns. To the Selenians, it was outrageous that these 'squatters' were illegally claiming territory because the moon had long been completely divided among the colonies. If it was not in use today, then it was least a mineral reserve or a place where a future project might grow a field of solar collectors. These squatters were usually forcibly rounded up and their equipment confiscated, leaving them destitute, stuck in the warrens, and often faced with working for the very people who had just imprisoned them. (The matter differed from orbitals, where the matter was more one of orbital traffic laws. If one obeyed those, a backyarder hab was not a threat and there was plenty of cubic kilometers for everyone.)

Similarly, many colonies would confiscate volatiles and useful tools from refugees (squatters or otherwise). As GAIA ramped up the Expulsion toward the end of the Last War, she aided the orbitals and lunar colonies by including up to several tons of volatiles per refugee. (Ammonia being a popular choice because Luna had plenty of oxygen but negligible hydrogen or nitrogen.) When possible, refugees tried to bring more volatiles to buy better living conditions, which worked in some colonies. They would also attempt to bring the luxuries they expected to find absent in the warrens, like pocketfabs for favored recreational pharmaceuticals. The confiscations were aggravating to refugees who were reduced to barely more than the shirts on their backs, though the Selenians considered the confiscations necessary to better the entire colony.

Refugees, of course, protested their treatment. At the beginning of the Expulsion, the preferred courses of action were through appropriate channels such as colonial council meetings, elections, police, and the courts. However, most colonies were slow to grant full suffrage to the refugees to avoid disrupting political balances of power. The new residents needed to be naturalized - memetically engineered to favor a colony's perspective.

There were also negative biases at work among the Selenians: the newcomers were sometimes perceived as incompetent and unfit to make decisions about extraterrestrial survival, and the conditions in the warrens exacerbated negative images of the refugees. Bathing facilities were limited; restlessness and misbehavior were common in the cramped warrens; and rationing of all necessities and confiscation of valuables (effectively causing extreme poverty compared to Earth's arcologies) encouraged growth of crime, black markets, and corruption.

By 629, some Selenian colonies thus saw less legal protests by refugees: peaceful demonstrations, civil unrests like strikes and sit-down strikes, and even violent insurrections. When naturalization and peaceful de-escalation techniques failed, the colonies were ready with non-lethal crowd control, imprisonment, and behavioral correction. The worst colonies used extreme control methods including capital punishment ("recycling" was a popular euphemism), debt slavery, and withholding of vital rations.

It was those grievances that the Treaty Org attempted to exploit. Those grievances were also ready made memes to plant in the 2 billion refugees who would be settling Luna in the last decade of the Great Expulsion.


The bloodiest of the Moon Wars was the first, in five months of 629 AT-630 AT, when the Treaty Org backed widespread refugee revolts and launched its surviving military forces at perceived Selenian strongholds like Artemis, Yeung Koon, and Schmitt. The goals were to seize control of much of the largest solar farms, the equatorial mass drivers, major rotovators, key mines, and, of course, most of the population. The Treaty Org's colonies did not control nearly as much of the lunar economy as the Selenians, but it was starting with much larger, veteran military forces. Ideally, surprise would be total, victory swift, and then humanity could concentrate on the Great Expulsion and recovery.

In fact, the conflict had been heavily telegraphed and the Selenians were not only prepared for the internal revolts (a constant fear since 621), but also the frontal military assaults, cyberattacks, and special forces actions. On the other hand, the Org was not ready for 'neutral' colonies like Armstrong and Copernicus to support the Selenian faction, nor for the 'betrayal' by Aldrin, which had been incorrectly perceived as pro-Earth. The losses of military equipment were high, particularly for Earth forces, but military fatalities were small compared to the Last War.

After several months where the conflict could have ended in favor of either group, the abject and mostly bloodless collapse of refugee guerrilla groups swung the outcome decidedly in favor of the Lunar natives. Units freed from domestic counter-insurgency operations shifted the battles against exhausted Earth forces, liberating mines and transport facilities in a rapid series of victories.

The Treaty Org responded by the use of its amat reserves in a scorched earth retreat from those mines and transport facilities, attempting to emphasize the MAD option while only directly killing modest numbers of combatants. It seemed like a four-way win: intimidate the Selenians, disrupt some of their leading military forces, deny their opponents the mostly-automated assets under contention, and do so without killing many people. The Treaty Org’s thinking, which was captured in recordings of council debates, was that the war might have dragged on for years if amat had been directly used against colonies (or ended in rapid, mutual annihilation). Therefore, incinerating some remote infrastructure and mines seemed much more practical, and recovery by modern industry would be probably swift.

Instead, the damage was catastrophic. While lunar industry had robustness and redundancies necessary for extraterrestrial operations in the balkanized, post-Technocalypse solar system, earlier battle damage that the Selenians had downplayed had knocked out some redundancies. As a result, the amat attacks those contested central facilities caused a profound collapse in Luna’s industry and transport systems. Some 150 million bionts (almost all of them refugees) died before emergency infrastructure repairs were completed in the 630-631AT armistice.

To this day, some historians question how the hyperturings involved in the early conflict could have allowed the Treaty Org to conduct such a patently destructive action, since any transapient entity engaged in battles to control Luna’s population and industry should have understood the complexity and vulnerability of the system. However, the action might well have been instigated by hyperturings. Hyperturings at the time were not in de jure control of the Org, something that Org leaders claimed was at their desire, but many theorize they did have significant influence and allowed this to happen so that Org leadership could be maneuvered out of power and hyperturings could take a more direct role. The catastrophic biont losses were an acceptable cost.


Just as Selenian policies toward refugees varied between colonies, and just as refugee living conditions varied, the revolts engendered natively or with Treaty Org stimulation varied widely.

For example, in the thriving colony of Yeung Koon, refugees had been well-treated. Employment was high. The colony had established a progressive policy of giving refugee workers access to their tools and industrial facilities during their off days to expand and improve their personal warrens. Naturalization programs included mentoring, sponsoring, and productivity-based fast tracking that encouraged loyalty and friendship between refugees and Selenians. The revolts in Yeung Koon were thus primarily among the disaffected minority and a result of an observer bias: the malcontents only heard the rage of their friends and ignored the input of their "brainwashed" fellow refugees.

Their revolutionary actions were split among several different small groups that pursued different strategies. The peaceful reformers would sabotage factory equipment and stage sit-in strikes in administrative offices. The angry youth and power-seeking criminal gangs resorted terrorist acts like bombing and life support sabotage. Such revolutionaries found little support among other refugees but plenty from Treaty Org special forces, and eliminating resistance took months because the colony's security had not been focused on mostly-peaceful domestic threats.

Schmitt followed a similar path to Yeung Koon, but had a more paranoid domestic security apparatus. It incurred some harrowing industrial losses because it was not ready for Treaty Org-backed hacking and AI subversion, but its few domestic revolutionaries were often arrested in their homes or when they entrapped by undercover security personnel. A couple of modest riots simply served to gather many of Schmitt's malcontents in one area for the convenient arrest by security services.

At the other extreme, the reviled autocracy of Aldrin used a three-part strategy of luxuries, xenophobia, and omnipresent security to eliminate would-be dissidents, often before they were dissidents. It took fewer refugees than other colonies and, in fact, ran targeted recruitment programs on Earth while cooperating with GAIA during the late Last War to gain industrial equipment and resources for colonies. (This partly led to Treaty Org's misunderstanding of Aldrin's loyalties.) The avowed goal of the finicky colonist selection was to avoid dilution of resources, and this wasn't rhetoric: Aldrin warrens were roomier and had larger utility rations than most colonies. Similar to Yeung Koon, refugees were encouraged to improve their habitats in their spare time with grants from the central government. There were also colony-wide votes with refugee participation helped decide how to apply "small excesses" in labor and resource budgets to adding some low cost, high benefit colony-wide feature (e.g., higher wireless bandwidth or more communal virch memory). A complex system of social rewards were given for high productivity, habitat improvement, engineering breakthroughs, and morale boosting. The colony always generously received constructive criticism on minor matters.

On the other hand, Aldrin strictly controlled information and monitored its population carefully. Its tolerance for political dissent was notoriously low. The colony's all-seeing security apparatus proactively eliminated domestic threats, which sometimes saw innocent residents rounded up for technotelepathic interrogation when they unintentionally acquired the wrong combinations of reactive household cleaning products. This meant Aldrin's domestic would-be revolutionaries tended to be rounded up even faster than in Schmitt. The colony's close integration of foreign and domestic security monitoring usually identified foreign agents before they were through quarantine. Revolutionary activity in Aldrin thus mostly consisted of rants from holding cells before would-be dissidents were recycled into life support feedstock. The proud, relatively pampered residents of Aldrin accepted this as a cost of maintaining good standards of living during the Great Expulsion.

Other colonies fell along those spectra of refugee integration and security effectiveness. Abusive colonies with corrupt security systems like the Indonesian Corporate Development Farside not only had a well-organized guerrilla movement, it had been receiving support from other Selenian colonies before the Treaty Org began "stirring the pot." Revolt there was bloody, but the multi-pronged onslaught of security office bombings, seizure of life support controls, and invasion of government offices was effective and the revolutionaries had a well-developed and practical plan for post-revolution government.

Xenophobic colonies that strictly isolated their warrens from the the original colony were almost defenseless against Treaty Org revolutionary memes, but revolts varied in planning and effectiveness, just as did security services. Some warrens simply blew up into riots and ill-planned assaults on Selenian portions of the colony, but the very isolation of colony and warrens was a deliberate defensive feature and such colonies usually had prior experience controlling riots in the warrens. More effective was the percolation of ideas, equipment, and advisers into the warren populations to create an effective revolutionary force.

Perhaps the most effective revolt was in Artemis, where it found its first 629 AT convoy of 100,000 refugees to actually be 50,000 Treaty Org-trained insurgents with large cargo mass budgets for equipment, weapons, and supplies to arm Artemis's millions of older refugees. A joint task force from Copernicus, Armstrong, Aldrin, and Schmitt was required to break the revolutionary government and restore the Selenian faction, and Aldrin's expedient field insertion of DNI controllers on surrendered revolutionaries was one of the many evils that made Aldrin both hated and necessary to the Selenians.

Through 629 and 630, the Treaty Org had primed Terrans with negative memes about Selenians, which fed and sustained revolts during the initial Moon Wars. (Few colonies ceased accepting refugees during the Moon Wars, making them vulnerable to this infiltration. The Wars were about political control, not halting the Great Expulsion, which the Last War had settled.)

Like much of the rest of the early conflicts, though, the revolts had been anticipated and simply put malcontents in the open for Selenian security services to deal with. The most successful revolts - like at Artemis - required outside intervention to start and halt. Each member of the Selenian faction cleared of internal discord was able to contribute more resources to the conflicts, in turn leading to an exponential decay in revolutionary activity months into the Moon Wars. In turn, this led to the rapid end of the Treaty Org's first attempt to seize control of Luna.

The next wave of revolutions hit in 630AT after the Treaty Org's scorched earth retreat. Even the most inclusive and refugee-friendly colony found themselves making difficult decisions about conserving resources and entire warren districts found themselves suffocating or dying of thirst. What followed was less revolution than sporadic outbreaks of enormous riots, which accounted for several million of the deaths from direct riot control or destruction of vital systems by the panicked rioters.

There would be subsequent revolutions in the Selenian, Treaty Org, and other factions as 2 billion refugees deluged into crude warrens, but none matched the first waves in breadth.


After the initial bloodbath of the Moon Wars, the Great Expulsion did not halt. Treaty Org, Selenian, and other cis-lunar factions jockeyed for colonists to expand their work forces and capabilities. Indeed, a large part of the memetic aspect of the war was winning the favor of the billions of refugees rather than wrecking colonies. This meant the subsequent stages of the Moon Wars had a very different character than the modern warfare of the early stages.

(Though the cis-lunar orbital habitats, like the Bracelet habitats, did not often participate in the Moon Wars unless forced by political ties to one lunar faction or the other, they did struggle to obtain refugees for a labor force. The lunar factions had an advantage in access to raw materials other than volatiles: oxygen was as close as the nearest regolith, for example, as were metals and shielding for expanding habitats. On the other hand, the orbitals were often populated entirely by refugees and had the freedom to establish their own political systems with immediate enfranchisement, unlike the multi-year naturalization schemes of Selenian colonies. The approximately 5 billion refugees were roughly split between those two destinations, with the rest of Solsys getting a smaller fraction, and other star systems getting a trivial amount.)


During the armistice that followed the amat strikes, the Treaty Org saw sweeping changes to its leadership, more for its military failures than the terrible losses of life. Veterans of the Last War were replaced by a diverse array of cis-lunar corporate representatives and habitat leaders, arcology administrators from Earth, and a selection of technical experts familiar with everything from closed ecology maintenance to von Neumann industrial activities. It was the perfect council for a continuation of the Moon Wars ('to redress the wrongs inflicted on Earth’s refugees by the greedy, power-mad Selenians'), and also completely staffed with hyperturing minions.

It is possible that the initial, unproductive stages of the Moon Wars were an opportunity for terrestrial hyperturings to gain more direct control of the Treaty Org.

The subsequent six years of the Moon Wars consisted of eleven separate and sometimes parallel conflicts between the Treaty Org, its proxy colonies, and alliances of Lunar colonies. There was a clear effort by both sides to avoid repeating the widespread warfare of 629-630. The Treaty Org was definitely interested in a divide-and-conquer strategy because it entered the Armistice with even fewer resources than it had started. The armed conflicts rarely lasted more than a few days and were typically preceded by cyberattacks and special forces operations aimed at subverting control of opposing habitats (or mines and other facilities).

Parallel to armed conflicts, the Selenian and Terran factions maneuvered economically and diplomatically in a dance characteristic of transapient conflict. Acquiring refugees from the parallel Great Expulsion (the majority of whom left Earth in the 630s) was often a key element of the maneuvering to bolster political and memetic positions.


The superturing Mycroft brought an end to the Moon Wars in 640 AT by brokering the creation of the Luna States, though eir coordination and hosting of the various Lunar Constitutional Committees in Artemis were almost window dressing. By this point, the Selenian faction had jockeyed into a dominant industrial and economic position in cis-lunar space and some sort of peaceful, post-war diplomatic body was the likely result. Mycroft was at the right place and time for hyperturings to select er as a figurehead.

By 640 AT, the various lunar colonies had become primary suppliers of materials for still-expanding habitats (except for volatiles), and those colonies had the warships needed to safely acquire volatiles from elsewhere in the Dark Ages solar system. Further, the “refugee threat” had been successfully controlled with memetic campaigns that realigned refugee allegiance to their hosting Selenian colony.

Historians note that the Treaty Org’s scorched earth retreat in 630 AT did almost as much to change refugee loyalties as all the efforts of their colonies, which resulted in arguments about whether the amat attacks were prompted by modosophonts, terrestrial hyperturings, or Selenian hyperturings. For the refugees in Selenian colonies, the deprivations that followed soured them of any interest in joining the Treaty Org. It also badly hurt the Treaty Org position in the rest of cis-lunar space, even on Earth, but it hardly ended the Org as a viable force.

Further, the Selenians’ growing advantage in industry and resources meant they could offer better accommodations for refugees by the mid-630's, which made them preferable to the Treaty Org for most of the population. Finally, surviving megacorps had either settled in lunar colonies or were in habitats dependent on lunar resources by the late 630s because the Treaty Org did not suit megacorp needs.

Accordingly, the Treaty Org was happy to sign a treaty that guaranteed its autonomy and mutual defense against aggressive neighbors, who might have sought to eliminate it. And while the Selenians were much less worried about the Treaty Org by 640, the last century had seen countless struggles over resources during emergencies. There were plenty of other competitors, many of whom were only allies of convenience during the Moon Wars and Last War. Therefore, some means of mediating, if not arbitrating, resource disputes was necessary.

The result was the Luna States. This loose confederacy had a central parliament for inter-colony diplomacy, trade regulation, and resource arbitration, with an option to coordinate militaries. Otherwise, member-states were autonomous, and spent most of the next 200 years developing into closed, resource-conscious, and paranoid communities that had little contact with the rest of the Solar System.

Though often dismissed by contemporaries as a non-entity, the States did accomplish their goal of preventing conflict over Luna’s resources and thus enabled the colonies to rebuild decent quarters for Great Expulsion refugees. Its high point was in 737, when its diplomacy prevented the coup in Zeno (when the Zeno Loyalists deposed the remains of the Treaty Org) from turning into an international conflict.

However, lunar colonies were forming other groups (e.g., Alpes Water Alliance) by the 900's. The First Federation, though hardly a central government, was the excuse for many of the lunar and cis-lunar polities to secede from the Luna States. The States' final parliament was held in 983 AT, when the last few members formally dissolved the body.

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Text by Mike MillerInitially published on 31 March 2016.