In a distant future, the Milky Way is home to a scattered and fragmented race of beings, who scavenge the galaxy for resources and territory, engage in endless quarrels and wars amongst themselves, and whose prime has long since passed. This race is ours, and its condition formed from centuries of ancient conflict.
At some moment in time, long forgotten, humanity accomplished what should have been its most glorious achievement: the ability to travel at faster-than-light speeds, to colonize other solar systems, and to explore the galaxy. But this discovery quickly led not to advancement but to war. The Colonial Wars almost completely consumed all that humanity had built, scorching every world that our race had touched. Soon enough a band of colonists, weary from strife and eager for a new, peaceful existence, bravely set out into the unknown, leaving the crumbling Terran colonies behind them.
These colonists eventually found a planet to settle, and after many years grew into a powerful alliance of worlds. The government formed to control this federation was named after the first of the new worlds, Initium Novum, or "New Beginning". The Initium Novum Federation (INF) prospered in an age of peace, but eventually it's people yearned for the knowledge of what had become of their homeworld, Earth.
An INF fleet was dispatched to Earth, and when they arrived they discovered the planet still full of life. They found out that their old brothers and sisters had at some point reconciled their differences for the common good, and under the leadership of the Terran Alliance had set out to rebuild Earth and the old colonies. The two peoples, now reunited, looked forward to a new chapter in their history.
However, not all of humanity was so forgiving, for a third people at this time began to mobilize themselves once again for war…
During the Colonial Wars, one of the outer colonies had been bombarded by an overwhelming attacker. The besieged colonists, fearful for their lives, retreated into underground caves in a last effort for survival. The attackers, unable to detect the people beneath the surface, assumed the colony completely destroyed, and eventually left. The survivors, realizing this newfound haven, decided to rebuild their colony underground to avoid future destruction. It was an arduous life, and the survivors cursed Earth for the pain it's wars had caused them. Calling themselves the Resurgence, they vowed to one day return "home" and exact their revenge.
That day came as the INF were returning from their trip to Earth. A Resurgence fleet, built from the massive underground factories of their now enormous city, encountered the INF and promptly laid waste to their vessels, thinking them to be a Terran fleet since they had just come from Earth. They then continued to the planet, where the Terran Alliance was scrambling to defend itself.
The battle was eventually won by the TA, but meanwhile the Resurgence had been destroying other colonies and occupying them. At the same time, the INF was angered by the loss of their fleet, since the only people they knew of capable of doing such an act was their new "allies" on Earth. The Resurgence gathered together all of their forces for a second attack on Earth just as the mighty INF sent out a massive retaliation force, and it seemed inevitable that Earth would once again be the center of a galactic war.
The weakened Terrans did not know what to do as two massive forces converged on their world. Eventually it was decided that they would evacuate, and preparations all over the surface began to be made.
Meanwhile, the INF met the Resurgance in orbit above the planet. There was no communication, no attempt at peace, for each side had their reasons. The Resurgence, knowing only of Earth and nothing of the INF, assumed this fleet to be a last Terran effort to fight them off. The INF, likewise knowing of no other powerful force in the galaxy, had no reason to contact the enemy since they assumed them to be the Terran military prepared for an all-out war. In this depressingly misunderstood moment, both sides rushed to begin the slaughter.
Eventually the greatest battle the galaxy had ever seen spread from orbit to the planet's surface, where frightened and confused Terrans were caught in the crossfire. The Terran Alliance had collapsed, and the thousands of refugee ships that managed to escape the carnage blasted away from the planet in every direction. The battle continued nonetheless, and the INF eventually rose the victors.
In the course of the fighting it had become clear that both sides had misunderstood their opponents identity. By then however it was too late, for both sides were utterly entangled in war. The Resurgence eventually fell back all the way to their homeworld, where they stayed dormant protected by the secrecy of their underground city. The INF, now kings of the galaxy, existed thereafter in peace.
Eventually the Terran survivors settled down on hundreds of different worlds all over the galaxy. Centuries went by, and these colonies soon gave rise to others, until every corner of known space had been touched. These colonies were primitive, having lost much technology in their escape, and over the ages the people began to forget their heritage as well. Colonies began fighting with each other, and soon the whole galaxy was reduced to the petty wars that had consumed the nation-states on Earth before space travel existed.
Eventually even former INF space was colonized, but the INF were no where to be found. Their cities were empty, with no trace of where they had gone. Only Earth remained populated by a highly advanced people, and no one dared enter its solar system.
And so in this way the galaxy enters its present state. The descendants of refugees, the fragmented human race exists in constant strife. Even now however there is hope, that someday a new order shall come to the galaxy and peace will return. As a potential leader of a new group of colonists, you could be the one to lead all of humanity back to greatness. By conquest, diplomacy, trade, or any other path you choose, you shall influence the history of this galaxy, and effect the lives of generations to come.
A fragmented galaxy awaits you, leader, you have only to take up the banner and guide your people forth!