Beta Aquilae Convention
As the industry and economy of the Terran-Vasudan systems recovered from the Great War, support for a more powerful GTVA gained momentum. In 2358, delegates signed into existence the Beta Aquilae Convention (BETAC), named after the system where the constitution was drafted and ratified. BETAC dismantled the governments of the Terran blocs and recognized the General Assembly, the Security Council, and the Vasudan Imperium as the supreme authorities of Terran-Vasudan space.
Under BETAC, the Vasudans and the Terrans maintain separate fleets under a single command structure. A warship is designated GT or GV, indicating whether it is Galactic Terran or Galactic Vasudan. The two species openly exchange information and technology, and the most recent fighters and bombers can be modified to accommodate pilots of either species.
Technically, BETAC is but one of a series of conventions and treaties that define how the GTVA functions as a political, military, and economic entity. However, the significance of BETAC as the cornerstone of the Terran-Vasudan alliance has made it the favored target of Neo-Terran Front propagandists.
BETAC forbids GTVA forces to fire upon unarmed or civilian vessels, including escape pods, medical vessels, and transports carrying civilians. The Neo-Terran Front doesn't recognize BETAC, and so can openly fire upon the aforementioned vessels without remorse or penalty.
The Neo-Terran Front refused to accept the conditions of BETAC and completely ignored its existence, except (apparently) in instances where it could be used against the GTVA, who must follow the convention. For example, when the NTC Trinity was found in the nebula, Arthur Roemig, the captain of the Trinity, referred to his rights as a prisoner of war under the Beta Aquilae Convention. He therefore had no obligation to answer GTVA Command's questions.
Specifics of BETAC
We know certain specifics of the Beta Aquilae Convention from in-game data, though, of course, we can not expect to know everything of what is likely to be a long and complex treaty. However, the following has been confirmed by in-game sources:
- Prisoners of war may refuse to answer questions put to them by their captors.
- Civillians are not to be fired upon by either side during a conflict.
Overall, the specifics of BETAC resemble those of the Geneva Convention, and the Terran half of this treaty was probably based on this, or whatever had succeeded it by 2358.
Some user-made campaigns claim that BETAC prohibits firing on escape pods. However, considering that the player is specifically ordered to destroy Hermes in Secrets Revealed, it appears that the Terrans have no special taboo regarding destroying escape pods; on the other hand, given that GTI was probably at least partially rogue at this time, they may.