Union is an interstellar nation and superpower founded in 2300 on Cyteen. Cyteen was the second survivable world found, but it had an environment toxic to humans, with abestos like woolwood and insectoid megafauna called platytheres. A group of dissident scientists from the Eastern Bloc on Earth colonized the planet from Cyteen Station and began terraforming. Terraforming was halted when it was discovered the native life could create rejuv, giving the colony immense power. The colony on Cyteen developed FTL through experiments by Estelle Bok and cloning in the form of the azi (artificial zygote insemination) by Olga Emory and her husband, and continued by their daughter Ariane Emory and her clone Ari II.
Union declared independence from the Earth Company in the 2300s causing the Company Wars. It began as a coalition of Cyteen with Fargone Station and its mines. Union's population was mostly Azi, who had limited rights as indentured clone servants but could gain full citizenship. This was controversial even within Union and there was an Abolitionist Party as well as a Centrist and Expansionist one after the war.
Union won the war with its large numbers of Azi soldiers and ships and the waning resources and resolve of the Earth Company and the Mazianni. In Downbelow Station, they seized or destroyed most star stations in an offensive lead by Admiral Sebastian Azov before the forming of the Merchanter's Alliance forced them to accept a truce with Earth to stop Mazian from taking power in the Sol system.
Union had an ideology of unlimited human growth and local autonomy but in practice it was a Soviet like totalitarian state with surveillance and clone servitude. It had a bureaucratic central government with various professional delegates like Science and Defense, with technocrats like Ari Emory, Catherine Lao and Wladislaw Khalid having undemocratic power. Union began long term genetic manipulation programs and colonization away from Earth.
There was a secret colony founded on Gehenna designed to fail, where the Azi population descended into barbarianism with the local saurian species. This was done to deny the planet to Earth or the Alliance, which it did, but it created a major political crisis and the Gehenna Doctrine, where landing on inhabited alien worlds was heavily restricted.
The assasination of Ariane Emory lead to the rise of her clone who was nurtured to be as much like her as possible, as she was a Special, a type of genius with legal immunity. This caused later crises in Union and the colonization of the ice world Eversnow and beyond.
In latter eras, Union mellowed out while Alliance became more militant because of the Mri wars, which possibly lead to Union ceding the colony on Merovin to the Sharrh.