The Angel Reach has long since been home to a myriad of small independent system states; carving out an existence for themselves since the first humans arrived in Aquarius some two-thousand cycles prior to the events of the current day. These States, while many were merely self-governing space infrastructure like trading posts established by early traders in the first Era of the UTN's expansion, some were indeed fully established System States - central governments on inhabitable worlds and their own trained armed security forces.
Their relationship with the former Aquarian superpower; the Unified Terran Nations, now known as the 'Old Federation' was a civil one - the UTN Senate and Government officially recognised many of the States as Legal Entities with their own right to governance, and, on many occasions, the UTN Federal Navy provided both logistical and military aid to them during the peak of the Tigershark Cartel raids during the turn of the 4th millennium A.D.
In fact, their very existence as civilisation in the comparably lawless expanses of the Angel Reach was largely owed to this aid; with many of the States enjoying warm relations with the incumbent superpower of the cluster. Their independence was guaranteed by law instated by the Senate; legal protection for self-governance and autonomy outside of the Unified Terran Nations. However, this relationship would ultimately break down during the turn of the New Federal Era; the new superpower rising from the ashes of the Old Federation, the United Aquarian Systems, abolished legal protection and recognition of the Independent States of the Angel Reach; and while no direct action was taken in the form of annexation, the locals of the Reach knew that it was all but inevitable.
The first direct action by the UAS in the Angel Reach was taken in 4349 A.D: during Operation Angel Liberty, conducted by the Aquarian Federal Navy's 1st Expeditionary Fleet. The motive behind one of the largest mobilisations of Terran military forces in the region was officially to quell a resurgent Tigersharks Cartel, infamous for conducting raids and acts of brutality throughout the sector. However, the States of the Angel Reach foresaw the invasion as a convenient cover for a sector-wide annexation that the Federals would justify under the guise of 'protection'. Without the legal protection afforded by the UTN Senate; there would be no barrier to a forceful assumption of governance in the sector, by the UAS Government.
During the former years, the States had arranged a loose, emergency council with a central board to manage the affairs of the region. almost two dozen individual governments were recognised by the new Independent States of the Angel Reach's Council Government; officially forming the ISAR entity in 4351, shortly after the UAS military arrived in the Reach. Diplomatic relationships with the UAS Central Government remained cool throughout the campaign, however ISAR security forces did co-operate with the Aquarian Federal Navy on numerous occasions to the common goal of ridding the cluster of the Tigersharks.
During the end of the year 4355 A.D, the conflict in the Angel Reach began to de-escalate with the withdrawal of Tigershark Cartel forces into the shadow of the Angel Nebula. However, the future of the Reach as an independent entity; free from the control of the Aquarian Superpower became uncertain as the UAS ordered its military forces to enforce permanent garrisons within each star system; local governments were allowed civil control but ISAR security forces were ordered to stand down.
Despite limited resistance, the ISAR council was well aware of the futility of any form of armed resistance, so they begrudgingly complied with the Federal demands. Not long after, the official conclusion of Operation Tempest Liberty by the UAS Federal Navy in 4355 A,D: ISAR was informed that the UAS had no intention of annexation and their legal governance was to remain intact. ISAR's own security forces were allowed to operate within each sector, under the overall guide and protection of the UAS Federal Navy. Despite having no legal protection in the UAS Senate on Lorentis; the Independent States enjoyed half a century of relative prosperity under the wing of the fledging Federal Government of Aquarius. However, this would not last.
The Dawn of the Imperial Era
When the illusive Red Sector assumed control of the Federal Government of the UAS in 4401 A.D, and the subsequent formation of the Aquarian Terran Imperial States and its Council on Lorentis, the reality of annexation into the shadow of the newly founded 'Empire' became clear to the Angel Reach states. Almost immediately after the transition, the ATIS Council set its sights on the Angel Reach - summoning ISAR's Council to an official diplomatic meeting in 4404 A.D; to take place aboard the Imperial Navy Dreadnought AINV Crimson Prestige as a visitor to ISAR's capital system of Helia.
During the meeting of the ISAR leadership and ATIS's diplomatic envoys, the Imperial States proposed a legal resolution to the governance of the Angel Reach. Despite the diplomatic channels, it was noted that the chosen venue - one of the most powerful warships of the Aquarian Imperial Navy - was a show of force, and indeed, the 'Treaty' presented was little more than a politely worded order to hand over all authority and power to the central ATIS Government.
Known as the "Imperial Treaty Of Governance of The Angel Reach of 4404 A.D", the new order required ISAR's immediate compliance as a subsidiary of the Empire's 'Civic Development Program' for the Angel Reach - while ISAR was allowed to remain in a position of governance; it was made very clear that the Angel Reach is now Imperial territory and the States would be subject to all the Laws and Taxations that comes with it.
While presented as a request, the Treaty was mandatory - Imperial Officials made it clear that any rejection of the proposition would be treated as an act of hostility and 'appropriate measures' would be taken - by the Imperial Military - to bring the sector into compliance with the Imperial law. With little choice in the matter, the ISAR Council signed the treaty and handed over their independence, and with it, the last self-governing states of the Angel Reach were dissolved.
Despite minor protests and armed riots by self-proclaimed freedom fighters of ISAR, the transition into Imperial control was smooth. The inhabitants of the Reach would find life under the Imperial Crimson Flag to be tolerable, due to the fact that despite the imposition of a myriad of often draconian laws, the protection afforded by the Imperial Navy was second to none; with essentially all outlaw activity in the sector ceasing. ISAR's local security forces were allowed to operate with limited autonomy for law enforcement purposes deemed unimportant by Imperial Officials; but the mighty shadow of the Imperial Fleet looming over the cluster was both a blessing and a curse.
By 4405 A.D, the Reach was fully integrated into the Aquarian Terran Imperial States. Several new Naval installations were constructed; many new logistics supply routes mapped the once lonely systems with new traffic, both military and civilian, many in support of ATIS's interest in the system of Varal, on the far G-West edge of the reach, in the direct shadow of the Angel Nebula.