VASA isn’t strictly a government or State in its own right, but it does behave like one in many ways. Its primary function is to act as an intermediary or debating forum for the federation consisting of the Tripartite Confederacy and associated powers. In theory, VASA is impartial and has powers of military intervention in the name of peacekeeping. In reality, and in common with the governments it administers, it is wide open to corruption, insider dealings and generally having its strings pulled. It is very easy for a powerful government, for example, one of the Gate worlds, to persuade VASA to look the other way while it pursues a military goal. VASA is so married to the status quo that it can even be influenced to act on behalf of powerful States against weaker ones that have something they want. Of course, VASA’s other key role is the policing of the grav wells and the collection of excise duty on all interplanetary trade. This makes them far and away from the richest institution anywhere in human space, and it also makes them really hate smugglers against whom no tactics are considered too extreme.

Because VASA levies the vast majority of its troops from governments signed up to its treaties it boasts the largest army and fleet in human space. Therefore VASA’s army is largely composed of standard troop types, vehicles and AIs, making it a good all-round army when it takes to the field. Usually, peacekeeping and containment are VASA’s priorities, so rioting civilians, guerrillas and terrorists tend to define their tactics as mainly urban pacification. However, it is not unusual for VASA to have to confront organised armies in situations where rebellions are well organised (i.e. they have Tripartite backing). VASA do have some of their own troops of course, and these represent some of the best trained and equipped to be found in anybody’s army. Most infamous of these, a name that strikes dread into the heart of any would­be challenger, is the Black Legion. Equipped with state of the art ion weapons and graviton jump packs, these are elite shock troops that are as hard as they come. And prominent within the Black Legion is the mysterious Commander X, a relentless and controversial military leader renowned for giving no quarter.

Currently, VASA stands as the main force between Koralons and the rest of humanity, though a string of defeats has forced them to consolidate their defences, leaving the Rim unguarded. They are also active in the perennial struggle with organised pirates and smugglers, which is a campaign as bloody as any interplanetary feud. They also maintain a strong presence at trouble spots throughout the galaxy in a peacekeeping role.

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