About Kinship War
In the twenty-seventh century humankind has colonized over twenty-five systems within sixty light years of Earth. Using slower than light ships over a period of three hundred years, the Solar System has sent much of its excess population to the stars. Earth itself has over twenty-eight billion people, and while still the dominant power of the Consortium of Worlds, is no longer able to support further population increases. Due to the time involved in colonization, sending out ships that get up to point eight light in a little less than a year, then coast the rest of the way, Earth can do little about colony systems that declare their independence, as most do. Trains of stransports, five years apart, still link Earth with the colonies, sending more people out to the new frontier. Several alien species were discovered, and slowly incorporated into the cultures of the human colonies that had been planted their worlds.
Scores of years before the Alcubierre drive system, Alc Drive for short, was perfected, enabling ships to travel at of many hundred times the speed of light. The only problem? , the strange substance that pushed away from normal matter, was difficult to manufacture, which left Earth with the ability to deploy less than twenty ships over a period of a decade.
The planet Montana had been settled just over twenty years before by settlers from the North American continent. It has an intelligent indigenous species, the Xakalar, and it had a biosystem that was not compatible with human nourishment, precipitating the need to terraform large tracts of land for their own use, bringing on conflict with the natives. Eventually the conflicts were resolved, and the Xakalar became valued members of the colony, especially since they seemed to thrive in the weightlessness of space. Their legends spoke of them coming from the stars, and this was an indication that the legend might be true.
Large quantities of Nullium are found in the ring of a gas giant in the Montana system, enough to build thousands of ships a year for many eons. Earth and the more populated systems immediately stake claim, despite precedent established centuries before concerning the ownership of the resources of colonized systems. A shipbuilding boom has taken place, with ships growing in number. The drive not only allows ships to move extremely fast both in and outside a system, the field it erects around the vessel that allows it to slide through the compression/expansion drive, disrupts matter and electromagnetic waves that try to penetrate it, forming a powerful defensive field against normal weapons. This necessitates the development of new weapons that can penetrate the field while moving at superluminal speeds (though nothing really goes faster than light). The major powers are still stuck with thousands of the old fusion drive ships that can be upgraded with new weapons that allow them to strike at the ships, but nothing new in propulsion systems. And ships can communicate through warp pulse over long distances, not instantaneously, and with nowhere near the density of light speed , but enough to get messages across the light years.
This is the setup, and humanity is doing well, until one of colonies falls off the net. The first ship to investigate also drops off, and humanity, along with its alien allies, finds itself involved in its first interstellar war.