With the increasing importance of the InterStellar Concordium's War of Pacification to Starbase 23's timeline, me and my good friend Adrian Jones hashed out the likely timeframe and sequence of events from when the I.S.C. first encounter the Local Space powers until their campaign of forced disarmament. As such, this is a preliminary article and suject to major addition and minor alterations.
I decided to investigate their history in both S.F.B. and S.F.C., as they portray different versions of events. With the extensive history available within the original S.F.B. source material it became readily apparent that most of this Timeline would be based on that.
However, the nature of S.F.B. and S.F.C. is that they are 2-D games and play out as a map on a plane, instead of dealing with the realities of 3-D space. So, some creative "fact" juggling was necessary along with a more in-depth balancing of historical 2-D fact against a more realistic view of "borders" in space territory.
Currently the formation of the I.S.C. has yet to be detailed, as has the nature of the conflict itself. Stay tuned for future developments.
2265 T.C.E. (Terran Common Era)
An I.S.C. unarmed exploratory starship encounters a Romulan starship. They do not make contact, and the I.S.C. are forced to flee by the aggressive manoeuvring of the Romulan vessel.
An I.S.C. unarmed exploratory starship encounters a Gorn starship. They do not make contact, and again retreat but this time before any aggressive moves are observed.
I.S.C. vessels encounter more Romulan and Gorn starships and colony worlds.
I.S.C. vessels witness the ongoing hostilities between the Romulans and the Gorn. The I.S.C. vessels merely observe and retreat if approached.
I.S.C. High Command task more vessels with determining the territorial extent of the Romulans and Gorn. Their orders are to disengage at any sign of aggression from either party.
I.S.C. reconnaissance vessels encounter the Klingons.
I.S.C. reconnaissance vessels encounter the Hydrans.
I.S.C. reconnaissance vessels encounter the Sha'Kurians.
I.S.C. reconnaissance vessels encounter the Federation.
I.S.C. reconnaissance vessels encounter the Lyrans.
I.S.C. reconnaissance vessels encounter the Mirak.
I.S.C. vessels witness the end of an ongoing war between the Mirak and the Lyrans. The I.S.C. vessels merely observe and retreat if approached.
I.S.C. vessels witness the start a Lyran Civil War caused by the signing of a treaty of alliance between the Lyrans and Klingons.
I.S.C. vessels witness the opening of hostilities between the Klingons and the Federation. The I.S.C. vessels merely observe and retreat if approached, but the resolution of the two-day long war leads them to make contact with the Organians.
I.S.C. vessels witness the end of the Lyran Civil War only stopped by the beginning of a Lyran-Hydran War (the fifth). They further observe the Hydrans' use of fightercraft.
I.S.C. vessels witness the beginning of a war between the Klingons and the Mirak (the fourth). They soon after witness the Hydrans attacking the Klingons, and the Lyrans attacking the Mirak (the Four Powers War).
Worried by the apparent war-lust that grips the region of space they've begun exploring, I.S.C. High Command begin the consolidation of their outer provinces. More autonomous regions are fully integrated into the Concordium as ships are sent to garrison and annex the worlds and prepare defences within those systems.
The I.S.C. begins espionage efforts against all Local Space powers.
The I.S.C. begins the analysis of all Local Space powers' military capabilities.
I.S.C. vessels again witness the opening of hostilities between the Klingons and the Federation as the Klingons subvert the Organian peace with their "Privateering".
I.S.C. vessels witness the introduction of drone-armed shuttles by the Mirak.
I.S.C. vessels witness the end of the Four Powers War, with nothing having been gained in terms of territory or resources, and thousands of lives lost on starships alone.
I.S.C. vessels witness the end of the Klingon Privateering, but note that it was brought about by an armed incursion by the Federation coupled with the threat of a bigger incursion, and not by diplomacy.
I.S.C. vessels witness the relatively short war between the Mirak and the Federation.
I.S.C. High Command concludes that the region of the galaxy they've just started exploring is inhabited by dangerously insane barbarians whom they need to protect themselves from. Nothing during the ten years they've observed the Local Space powers for has done anything to counter the avalanche of evidence against them. The I.S.C. High Command further concludes that due to the nature of these barbarians, once the full extent of the I.S.C.'s territory and forces are known to them, the barbarians will see them as a threat and they will be attacked by them.
The I.S.C. finalise the re-designing of their Pacification Force ships based on the ongoing analyses into Local Space powers' military capabilities. These new vessels are designed to be able to individually take on the best of the barbarian nations' warships one-on-one and defeat them.
The I.S.C. begins refitting their existing vessels and constructing new vessels to these redesigned specifications at shipyards all across the Concordium.
The I.S.C. begins development of their tactical doctrines and formations.
The I.S.C. begins to define their contingency scenarios and strategic aims and develop battle plans to enact them.
The I.S.C. Frigate-hulled warships begin entering service.
The I.S.C. Battle Fleet begins operational training of the Gunline ships.
The I.S.C. Destroyer-hulled warships begin entering service.
The I.S.C. Battle Fleet expands operational training of the Gunline ships.
The I.S.C. Light Cruiser-hulled warships begin entering service.
The I.S.C. Battle Fleet begins operational training of small Echelons.
The I.S.C. Heavy Cruiser-hulled warships begin entering service.
The I.S.C. Battle Fleet begins operational training of light Echelons.
The I.S.C. Dreadnought-hulled warships begin entering service.
The I.S.C. Battle Fleet begins operational training of full Echelons.
The Outer Provinces of the I.S.C. have been fully annexed, garrisoned, and defended.
I.S.C. tactical doctrine is finalised and primary front-line training is completed. The I.S.C. is now fully ready to properly defend itself against the barbarians.
With their utter failure to keep the Local Powers from warring against each other without almost continual, direct interference which they at first found merely distasteful but now find utterly repugnant the Organians seal off their homeworld from the galaxy and entrust the I.S.C. with the peacekeeping they now forsake. The Organians have decided to let the "lesser empires" war themselves into war-weariness before they return to impose a final peace on them by means of the I.S.C.
With the mandate from and blessing of the Organians, the I.S.C. High Command begin construction of their Galactic Pacification Fleet. The unprecedented numbers of warships needed to pacify the barbarians occupies the I.S.C. for a decade and during this time, with the support and guidance of the Organians, the leadership and peoples of the I.S.C. come to view this Pacification as a Holy Quest and Sacred Duty to the rest of the galaxy to save them from themselves and each other.
I.S.C. reconnaissance vessels observe the Klingon attack on the Federation (the Taal Tan Offensive) as soon as the Klingons realise the Organians are no longer imposing restraint between them.
I.S.C. reconnaissance vessels begin to witness the growing spate of border skirmishes and low-level conflicts between belligerent nations and know that war will come.
The Mirak emerge from their decade of isolation and attack the Lyrans. With surprise on their side, they initially make great headway into the nearest Lyran Counties.
The Lyrans scream for help and the Klingons, honouring their defensive pact with the Lyrans, attack the Mirak in support. Not expecting such a strong Klingon response, the Star League's Klingon Border Fleet is pushed back.
Honouring their defensive pact with the Mirak, the Hydrans attack the Klingons to tie down important border units from leaving to attack the Mirak.
The Romulans attack the Gorn.
The General War has begun.
The I.S.C. has amassed sufficient confidence (through weight of arms) to begin setting up defences at the current limit of Gorn, Romulan, Klingon, and Sha'kurian territory, effectively becoming the I.S.C. border with those nations. This attracts the attention of the nearby Local Space powers and accelerates their advance in the I.S.C.'s direction, but totally occupied with their current wars only scouting and minor intelligence-gathering efforts are made by all these nations.
The I.S.C. begins diplomatic moves to persuade the Local Space Powers to end their wars and embrace peace and disarmament. Their efforts are stymied by intense racial hatreds, entrenched adversarial attitudes, unending distrust and paranoia, and interstellar ambitions.
Note: This is because on Sulu's narrative on seeing the return of the Organians with the I.S.C., he already knows all about the I.S.C. and he's kinda leading a fighter squadron in an attack on an I.S.C. heavy cruiser. While that later segment can indeed be weeks or months later, we can postulate that the I.S.C. don't just show up and start shooting. So, with Sulu knowing this stuff already, diplomatic envoys have been sent and received, and him making that narrative on that stardate.
The I.S.C. diplomatic efforts have utterly failed despite even using telepathic coercion on key negotiators; they would have to use this mind control on everyone involved to broker peace, and even then individuals would still willingly or happily violate this peace. During these years of diplomatic effort, some of their envoys have been killed, and some even eaten.
I.S.C. High Command feel their initial assessment of the Local Space Powers as insane barbarians has been confirmed, and that the only way to have peace is to forcibly disarm these nations and enforce the resultant peace until new attitudes can be emplaced. A diplomatic maskirovka is enacted to hide from the Local Space powers the I.S.C.'s military preparations and pre-positioning of forces.
The I.S.C. begins Phase One of their Pacification Campaign. Echelons of various weights are dispatched to uninhabited systems within Barbarian space to set up local resupply and repair bases, complete with resource mining operations.
The I.S.C. abandons their maskirovka and issue an ultimatum they fully expect to be ignored: "Make peace or we'll make a peace for you."
Their expectations are met, and when the deadline passes the undiscovered local I.S.C. forces begin their campaign. All forces are directed to commence the pacification of their targeted regions.
The I.S.C. War of Pacification proceeds as a cell-based virus-like infection of Local Space territory. Their overall strategic goal is the pacification of Barbarian space and their tactical objectives include the linking up of their pacified regions to form extensive pacified zones within each barbarian nation.
With surprise on their side, the I.S.C. is initially very successful. All interstellar conflicts end as border fleets are redeployed to interior regions to combat the I.S.C. infection. The I.S.C. then initiate Phase Two and set up new cells in the Neutral Zones or Disputed Zones between the Barbarian Nations. Their mandate is to prevent any armed ships or ships carrying military cargo to cross their own border into another nation.