The Freespacer Genocide is the common name of a large punitive strike by the Star Army of Yamatai against ships and planets of the Freespacer civilization on its Northern frontier borders. The YE 30 (2008) operation permanently changed the course of Freespacer history, ultimately causing the collapse of the Free State as a national power and pushing most Freespacers under the protective umbrella of the Democratic Imperium of Nepleslia.
The Freespacers re-established contact with the known galaxy in YE 30 after centuries of isolation in deep space. Their heavy reliance on automation and AI technology meant that their society had given machine intelligence equal status as individuals. The rest of the galaxy, however, had not. Some of the more radical idealists among the Freespacers formed The Guild of Cyberempathy, an egalitarian organization that sought to emancipate at first just AI, then eventually all sentient beings, throughout the known universe.
Their first major undertaking was the usurping of crime syndicates throughout the Nepleslian and independent worlds. This was primarily intended to establish a source of income for the Guild, by means of taking over smuggling and racket operations of the crime syndicates they displaced. However since the Guild's "Militant"-Series War Automaton enforced a zero-tolerance policy towards non-Guild criminal operations, the number of petty and violent crimes plummeted in Guild-controlled sectors (at least as compared to those controlled by crime syndicates). For this reason most planetary governments tolerated and even encouraged their presence, as it saved them the considerable resources of having to police these sectors themselves. Local populace, too, often found the drop in violent and petty crime to be preferable alternative.
Additionally. it was discovered that Freespacers had been in communication with Yamatai's enemies, the Mishhuvurthyar and has also been making hacking attempts against the Yamataian military.
Together, these factors led to Yamatai launching an attack operation.
Yamatai immediately mobilized a strike on the planets of Halna, and key Freespacer settlement. Included in the casualties were a significant number of Freespacer nomadic vessels carrying non-combatants, and at least one Mothership.
Due to the widespread public outcry both locally and internationally, the YSE eventually returned control of the now-decimated planets to The Free State and ceased hunting their nomadic fleets.
The majority of the fleets have accepted the unilateral armistice by the Yamataians. While most remain relatively hostile to Yamatai, there has been little attempt to initiate direct combat simply because the genocide has left them with insufficient morale, resources, and population for a prolonged campaign against such a large empire. For this reason the two sides remain in a state of uneasy peace.
The four planets that were bombed remain largely uninhabited other than small outposts by salvage and clean up teams. What few survivors there were have, for the most part, chosen to remain off-world due to their vulnerability to YSE assault. These Freespacer survivors are now refugees in the numerous nations in the known galaxy, or have otherwise taken shelter in the Blue Rift Expanse where non-Freespacer ships cannot safely navigate.
As a result of the genocide, the majority of fleets have given up their pacifist ideologies and have begun heavily arming their nomadic fleets. Most newer generation Freespacer vessels now carry heavy armaments; even their civilian freighters now rival older generation warships in firepower. A number of militant vessels broke off to form the Independent Worlds League. While Yamatai is not at war with the Freespacers in general, it remained at war with the IWL until the IWL collapsed.
See also: The Freespacer Schism
The YSE has issued an official apology for the incident and pursued a policy of peace, offering numerous ships as reparations (up to the start of YE 37).
Nepleslia has donated numerous freighter-class ships for conversion into nomadic habitats for the Freespacers