VASA retains its role as the Protectorate, a body separate from the other Tripartite Powers of Viridia, Syntha and Junkers. The body is charged with enforcing their alliance, brokering settlements in disputes, and policing the grav-wells, upon which all trade and colonisation efforts depend. To carry out these duties, VASA has amassed a huge fleet and security force, financed by charging excise duties on trade through the grav-wells. VASA is essentially a massive galactic security force, which has increasingly come into conflict with its member factions as the Age of Tyrants erodes old alliances and treaties.
VASA grew by increments out of the Viridian space program, and while the faction never broke free of Viridia in a war, like the Syntha or Junkers, it did use those secessionist conflicts as a means of establishing its independence. The founders of the VASA faction were scientists working on grav-shunting technology, based on Vacillus. Vacillus is a distant ice planet orbiting the dead star Leviathan, and as such it had to be self-sufficient. In later years this colony, seen by all as sufficiently removed from Viridian influence to be neutral, brokered peace deals between Viridia and the other powers in the Secession Wars. Formalising its role as a peacekeeper, VASA adopted the name Protectorate and built a massive military shipyard on Vacillus’ moon Kothon.
VASA’s colonisation technique involves dropping prefabricated facilities, called pods, from orbit, onto the surface of the object they wish to colonise. According to a tried and tested set of rules based on its habitation potential, the object being colonised has different types of facilities dropped on it, such as life support pods, atmosphere processing pods and so on. VASA puts its colonies near grav-wells, for these are the n-space highways through which all trade and exploration takes place. If no suitable object is available near a desired grav well, VASA has been known to build an artificial planetoid in the region.
VASA pioneered the technology of grav-shunting, a faster-than-light method of transport used in all long distance space travel. Grav shunting involves firing high powered Xasers at massive objects to create wormholes through which ships can travel. On the back of this technology, VASA also developed efficient pre-fab colonisation methods. VASA’s military also commands state-of-the-art energy weapons and armour.
VASA has by far the largest and best equipped army and fleet in Pan-Humanic Space, but it is currently badly overstretched, quelling uprisings and brushfire wars across the whole galaxy. The Protectorate bureaucracy is poor at prioritising and often slow to act, but it does try to respond to everything. Consequently, the resource allocation to any given conflict is unlikely to be enough for a decisive victory. However, VASA security forces are highly mobile, well trained and well equipped, and they excel at heavy armour support tactics. Their weapons are often the most advanced and high spec available and can deal effectively with all tactical situations.