Serendip Belt: History
5271-320AD The Years that Followed
Over the following decades, interworld tensions eased, as attention became more and more focussed on the conglomerates. It was a time of fierce corporate competition.
In 5280AD, SBC bought out Interworld Inc., one of its smaller competitors. Eight years later Starways and Amalgamated Engineering merged in an attempt to match SBCs size and strength. The new company was called Stargate Inc.
The precedent set by Waystation was followed by Glitter in 5295AD, when SBC won the contract to run the miniworlds foreign affairs. Over the following 17 years Faust, Shard, Harvest and Honeycomb all followed suit.
Why did these independent governments hand over such an important function to a corporation? The answer lies in the vast power of the Serendip Belt Corporation. After Waystation handed over its foreign relations to the Corporation, it was swiftly re-integrated into the wider Belt community. The Corporation aggressively stood up for the miniworld, and made the others treat it with respect. However, it scrupulously avoided dictating to the miniworld government, and so Waystations independence was seen to be preserved.
While SBC enjoyed widespread support amongst the miniworlds, the bubbleworlds, with their history of freedom and democracy, saw the corporation as a threat to their liberty. When SBC sought to buy out Angel Industries in 5314AD, the Angels fought the deal tooth and nail.
Once the hostile takeover was complete, the Lucifer bubbleworld immediately cancelled its defence contract with the Angels Industries division of SBC, and awarded it to Stargate Inc. instead. SBC appealed to the Commerce Council. After two years of deliberation, the Commerce Council came down on the side of the Corporation. Lucifer rejected the decision: By then the Serendip Belt Corporation sat on the Commerce Council on behalf of several significant miniworld governments. Lucifer argued that the Council was therefore not impartial. In 5317AD, the Council responded by ejecting Lucifer from the Free Commerce Agreement, and declaring sanctions against them.
Between 5322AD and 5325AD, Shipyard and Harvest contracted out their foreign policy to SBC. These were the last two important miniworlds to give up their independence.