"Star Club" era
FedCom began life as a small club, on or about the 27th of May, in 1993 A.D. (perhaps about May 5, 1995; the surviving records are somewhat conflicting). Records of this era are incomplete, but a few artifacts survive (one of which bear these dates). The club was founded by Robert Lord, and he would have been 9 or 11 years old, depending on which date is accurate. The earlier date is generally assumed to be the beginning of Star Club history.
The club had a rather uninspired name: "The Star Club" (probably a reference to the design of its symbol), but it had all the trimmings of a modern micronation: territorial claims (any patch of wooded area that could be used to build "forts"), a flag, a monetary system, and a military government (based loosely off of the ranks from Star Trek). The government was called "Star Club Central", though nothing survives or is remembered about how it was run or operated. Members earned $200 each month (virtual money), though what exactly it was used for, if anything, is unclear.
Though secession was never a defined goal of the club, survivalism and emergency-preparedness were prevalent themes, as was a disdain for the American authorities. Members studied methods of surviving natural disasters, firefighting, and acquired skills in first aid. Other activities involved exploring and making maps of the woods around the headquarters site, long bicycle trips on the roads throughout the area, paintball games in various locations (including said woods near the headquarters, but not in the headquarters), crayfish catching in drainage ditches, model rocketry (most of these home-made rockets still exist), and the omnipresent "war" against the bullies at school.
The club reached the height of its power in 1999, with 8 members. In total, 9 people joined the club over its lifetime (2 would later found the modern-day FedCom).
The Star Club languished toward its last year of life, as members drifted off to school, lost interest, or simply moved away. By the middle of 2000, the club was effectively defunct.
The club built a variety of improvised structures (aka: "forts") in several locations:
- The headquarters were located in the woods next to the home of Robert's parents (41°29'16.2"N, 86°24'32.7"W), which consisted of a small hut-like shelter, several fences, and a two-storey lookout tower. Everything was built using branches, sticks, and other natural forest materials, which were lashed together with baling twine (Robert's mother raises horses, and hay bales meant plenty of twine that would otherwise be trash). Construction techniques were learned from the Boy Scout Manual (Robert was a Scout since moving to Indiana when he was 10). Today, nature has reclaimed this site, and only piles of rotting logs and branches remain.
- Later on, a secondary "fort" was constructed in a stand of pine trees (41°29'4.8"N, 86°25'7.0"W) next to the home of another member. This was more like a pillbox, and was built out of discarded sheet metal, which was nailed to the trees in a box shape. It was never completed, but is still intact and visible from the road.
In September of 2000, Robert resurrected the Star Club as a separatist group, and named it The Federated Commonwealth. Its stated goal was the acquisition of true political sovereignty, no matter the cost. The new organization echoed the Star Club in many respects, advocating equality, freedom, strength of character, solidarity, and steadfast resolve.
Initially, it was assumed that FedCom would be making its bid for independence from somewhere in the continental United States. No strangers to history, the founders realized that such an endeavor would be both difficult and dangerous: events such as the Waco massacre made it quite clear how the U.S. Government would react to any group that dared to challenge their hegemony. Thus, it was assumed that FedCom would be forced to fight for its independence, just as the thirteen American colonies had to fight Britain for the same thing.
Various brainstorming sessions came to the same conclusion: FedCom needed to build an impenetrable fortress before formally declaring independence, so that it could weather any siege outsiders may levy against it. Avoiding conflict was paramount, but preparing for the worst-case scenario was just as important. The search for an ideal location for such a facility, and the shape it was to take, would keep FedCom occupied for nearly a decade...
Early plans for such a fortress would have placed it beneath a mountain in central Montana, and the design would be something like NORAD's Cheyenne Mountain complex. Montana was chosen because it was remote, with a sparse population (no nosy neighbors), had rugged terrain, had few taxes and regulations, and was far from any major U.S. Military base. A simulation pitted this base and its robotic defenders against the military of the United States in a thought-based "wargame". The base lost, but inflicted a lot of damage in the process.
Fort Defiance (Wyoming)
The idea of building a NORAD-like base in a mountain was discarded. A new, square-shaped base with high walls, heavy air defenses, and a subterranean bunker system was designed, and dubbed "Fort Defiance".
The new base was moved to the northwest corner of Campbell County, Wyoming. This area was just as remote as the last location, but it was flat, which would improve air defenses by extending line-of-sight and radar capabilities, allowing for earlier detection of threats. Again, another "wargame" was played out, and FedCom fared much better this time, achieving its goal of independence, but at tremendous cost.
Fort Defiance went through several variations in Wyoming over the course of a year, and several prospective sites were picked out. Changing priorities and shrinking ambitions would see these plans abandoned, as they all demanded an extreme quantity of resources, personnel, and time, none of which FedCom had.
Fort Defiance (Michigan)
The fort was shrunk, from a 9-kilometer square to a 3-kilometer square, and a new site was chosen in the middle of Keweenaw County, Michigan. Like the western locations before it, this site was remote, far from military bases, and unpopulated. In this case, the terrain created a natural bottleneck for opposing ground forces (making it easier to secure the flanks), and the woodlands would provide effective visual cover while the base was under construction. These are features no previous plans had.
Air defense plans were further improved, and the need for a mobile military was cut in half.
- Robert began writing a novel about life in this base in the days following the delivery of a formal Declaration of Independence, but the story was never completed (and probably never will, since FedCom has changed so dramatically since then).
Urban Dead miss-adventure
In late 2005, Robert discovered the MMORPG browser-based zombie-horror game UrbanDead, and seeing that thousands of people used the game every day, decided to see if it could be used as a recruiting medium. A mock-up of the real FedCom was created, and drew a small crowd, but attracted no new members to the real nation of FedCom. Eventually, inter-group politics of the game turned against FedCom:UD, and the group folded. Inactive since 2007, it remains an important part of the game's history.
In late 2006, Robert discovered the MMORPG browser-based nation-simulating game CyberNations, and tried to create a virtual representation of the real FedCom. The game was unable to support the real FedCom's resource-based economy and unique military structure, but Robert made friends with most of the members of the OIN alliance. FedCom's second Flag and current Seal were lifted from the CyberNations site at this time, and adopted (they quickly came to symbolize FedCom, rather than this pointless online game).
The first "virtual FedCom" was accidentally lost (nations in the game are auto-deleted if inactive for 20 days) when Robert lost internet access. He recreated the virtual nation a second time to continue with his friends in the OIN. This second nation grew to be one of the top-10 most powerful nations in the alliance. Robert held a position as the OIN's Minister of Defense, and reorganized the alliance's battle strategy, supervising the testing of a new form of blitz attack that exploited the game's reset schedule to devastating effect. He also used his HTML-coding skills to create an impressive table for keeping track of membership activity, which was universally loved by the members of the alliance.
In the end, a second loss of internet access, boredom with the game and its politics, and the need to focus more on the real FedCom drove Robert to abandon the game.
Nullarbor Plains, Australia
In early 2007, seeking a cover story for the proposed construction of such a powerful fortress, FedCom dipped into the idea of cement manufacturing. Needing limestone to make portland cement, FedCom fixed its eyes on a strip of abandoned land in Australia: a shelf of lower land, sandwiched between the Nullarbor Plains and the Great Australian Bight (centered about 32.1°S, 127.5°E). Australia was picked partially because of their smaller military (less of a threat than America) and the success of the Principality of Hutt River.
Here, it was proposed that FedCom establish a major cement factory and a desalination plant, which would then provide plentiful fresh water to the local villages and roadhouses, as well as concrete for Australian construction projects (with the possibility of exports to cement-hungry China). FedCom would simply use its own products and the profits to secretly construct several Fort Defiance -type bases around the factories and a small support city.
It is this revision that introduced the idea of a capital city named "Valhalla".
The plan was far too ambitious, and was quickly discarded, especially after research into Australian law revealed there would be more headaches than advantages to this plan.
Entry into Micronationalism
In early 2007, FedCom discovered that it was not alone: there were hundred of micronational projects all around the globe. FedCom tentatively labeled itself a "micronation" too, and cautiously entered the community. Unfortunately, it started in a simulationist forum (MNN), and became a laughingstock. It would be another year before FedCom found a niche in the micronational community at MNO.
GabonStill seeking the ideal place to plant their flag and be free, FedCom looked to the tumultuous continent of Africa, hoping that it could establish some semblance of order and prosperity in those troubled lands (alternate proposals appeared for South America, but they were not pursued). This marks the beginning of an altruistic shift in FedCom, and the long-entrenched militarist attitude begins to soften, slowly.
After comparing a number of countries in central Africa, FedCom settled on a 17,600 km2 piece of Gabon, and began drawing up an impressive map of what its future territory might look like. Gabon was chosen for several major reasons: it was remote and sparsely populated, it had one of the smallest militaries on the continent (with no offensive training), it had a decent economy, and was politically stable and safe (unlike the neighboring Congo).
FedCom developed plans to move here for over a year, and such plans for infrastructure grew quite complex.
Notable changes FedCom underwent during this period:
- The nation's name was altered to The Federated Commonwealth of Valhalla, named after the proposed capital city.
- The Independent State of Novus Seres joined FedCom as a Member State.
- FedCom's money-less economic model was further developed.
- The government transitioned from a military-based meritocracy to a partially-democratic republic.
- Socialism gained ground within FedCom, driving further reforms (such as the abolishment of a half-implemented caste system, in favor of egalitarianism).
- FedCom encountered the Empire of Atlantium (a pro-globalism/pro-capitalism micronation founded on the exact opposite principles and ideals), and a year later, was forced to go to war with them: the conflict remains unresolved.
The claims in Gabon were too large, and although it was planned to annex and incorporate that territory in small pieces (by talking the locals into joining FedCom), internal political changes forced an even more passive and peaceful approach.
In late December of 2008, FedCom's territorial claim shrunk, from the 17,600 km2 in Gabon, to less than 900 km2, and moved to a location the nation decided to make privy only to its citizens (code-named "Malatora"). The code-name started as an in-joke, but has since grown to be a direct reference to FedCom's homeland. FedCom's name altered yet again, and became The Federated Commonwealth of Malatora, in reference to the name of this homeland.
Consensus within FedCom's population is to keep the precise location of its territorial claims a secret, to prevent outsiders from snooping around. FedCom admits that "Malatora" is indeed in west-central Africa, but is unwilling to pin down the precise location. Tourism is not wanted right now, and attention from the local macronational government is similarly unwanted.
Malatora could be in Gabon, Angola, Cabinda, either Congo nation, Equatorial Guinea, São Tomé & Príncipe, Cameroon, or Nigeria: FedCom won't tell which or where.In June of 2009, FedCom adopted a new flag. Resembling its second flag somewhat, the new flag features pan-African colors, as well as colors and symbols associated with socialism and anarchy.
- It seems highly unlikely that FedCom will move again, as Malatora has everything they need, and is an easy place to declare freedom without much trouble.
- Another book is being written that shows an accurate depiction of the "new" FedCom's vision for the future. It might be published in a few years.
FedCom recently decided to resurrect some of the old Fort Defiance ideas, and has designed a mountain-top fortress it calls the "National Redoubt". This facility encompasses approximately 39.4 km2, and is FedCom's new primary focus, taking precedence over the rest of Malatora. This is where FedCom plans to ultimately declare independence from, in approximately 30 to 35 years.
Transhumanist/life-extension interest groups and otherkin within FedCom presently advocate the development of Cytran technology, and call for such technology to be operational before formally declaring national sovereignty.
This technology has had an earth-shattering impact on FedCom culture, plans for the military, and timetables:
- Territorial ambition has dropped to virtually nil. FedCom still aims to eventually control all 900 km2 of Malatora, but is content to sit within the Redoubt for as long as it takes for the locals to decide to join.
- The pace in FedCom has considerably slowed. The prospects of living longer than the Roman Empire have put the brakes on just about everything, and FedCom no longer rushes into anything. From their point of view, nothing need be rushed anymore.
- Appreciation of the arts, philosophy, and aesthetics has exploded to the point of near religious reverence.
- Environmental stewardship and sustainable development are now the Golden Rules. FedCom architecture is no longer built on concrete & steel brutalism, but is now designed to flow in an organic fashion and blend seamlessly into the natural environment (Tatsu Eyrie, an arcology designed for the dragon Cytran population, is one such organically-inspired structure: the aesthetic concrete domes and arches are designed to look as if the entire structure was crafted from a number of trees).
- The last vestiges of capitalism have been expunged. There is now no concept of money in FedCom. The economy runs as a gift system, with everyone doing what they can to help everyone else, and all things shared equally. Anarchist ideals of total equality and maximum freedom have been woven into the very fabric of society. FedCom's citizens work to improve their community and themselves, rather than for the abstract concept of wealth, and all products of labor are accessible to all people (there is no such thing as a class structure and private property: "from each according to ability, to each according to need").
- All political parties have been dissolved. Every voter is their own unique party.
- FedCom culture has embraced practically everything counterculture, and shuns nothing. There is no discrimination of any kind.
Novus Seres becomes Libertalia
In May of 2009, Novus Seres (the former micronation turned Member State of FedCom) changed its name to Libertalia, in honor of the free communalist pirate utopia with a similar name. Libertalia shares very similar ideas of freedom and equality as the historical pirate haven.