"Some would say that the Galactic Council is unnecessary or inefficient. I notice that the people who say that are usually not the ones that have fought Rin alongside Murrcioun Marines, or witnessed Naalu Tachyon weapons rip a Ravasect to bits."
-Captain Rockland Steel
The Galactic Council is a council that was formed a long while ago by the Jolnar, Arborec, and Mindnet, promptly following the Black Hole Wars fought between the Razorbirds and Metaforms which devastated much of the galaxy and its population. One of the first laws the Council made was the banning of weapons of mass destruction, which were responsible for much of the incredible collateral damage unleashed in the Wars.
It was formed in the Terran year 1236, and saw a very rapid gain in popularity, as many sought the protection of unity that membership in the Galactic Council offered during the dark days after the Wars. They also joined out of fear of the Razorbirds, the surviving side of the Black Hole Wars. While they had been greatly weakened, they were still a threat.
The Council saw rapid expansion, and started to bring about a sense of order in a chaotic galaxy. At least, around the Galactic Core, which is where their base, the Council station is located. Other locations, especially the Outer Rim, were far gone indeed.
Now, the Council didn't stop warfare, it could never do such a thing, not even between its own members, and interstellar nations came and went. In that time, change was the only constant. However, many times the Galactic Council was responsible for ending many threats. They quelled the rampant piracy, began to crush the thriving crime epidemic, and beat back opportunistic conquerors and barbaric, bloodthirsty races.
One of the more surprising events was when the Razorbirds, which returned to titanic status and caused the Galactic Council to fear a second galactic war, agreed to join the Council instead. However, even today the Razorbirds still hold some of the Council's laws in contempt, and occasionally even ignore a few.
Modern Day Council
Today, the Council isn't just a force of order in the Milky Way, it is THE force of order. Just about every interstellar nation is a member, and it has brought the law to even the unruly Outer Rim. These days, the biggest and most influential member factions are classified as "The Big 8", and the biggest of those are the Razorbird Empire and the Terran Alliance.
Among the most impressive of the Galactic Council's recent achievements have been the destruction of the Pathogen threat, and the landslide defeat of an attempted Rin invasion, though per Council law, once a ceasefire was declared the Rin were offered a place with the Council (though only the Rin's colonies in the Milky Way have to follow Council law).
The Council does not actually enforce their laws, and it does not actually unite its members into a single faction. Member nations are expected to follow the laws and govern themselves, and this mostly works out. Sometimes multiple members must intervene to stop another from breaking the law, but such incidents are rare. However, the Council does have its own private peacekeeping force, composed of many different species.
The Galactic Council is a very racially diverse organization, and its members represent most of the factions and races in the Milky Way. I will provide you with a list here.
Razorbird Empire (biggest member of the Big 8)
Terran Alliance (Big 8)
Murrcioun Syndicate (Big 8)
Naalu Collective (Big 8)
Arborec (Big 8)
Muaatians (Big 8)
Mindnet (Big 8)
Jolnar (Big 8)
Gatronite Empire (Moderate)
Ysvektan Fleet (Nomadic)
Kaktronian Empire (Moderate)
Empire of Ikthar (Moderate)
Legion of Raas (Moderate)
Kedorian Empire (Small)
Children of the Star (AKA Binai Empire) (Small)
Watchers of Terath (Small)
Saurian Tribes (technically hold seven seats as they insist that they are separate nations) (Small, each of them)
Union of Alsura (Small)
Darlok Empire (Small)
Ravasect Hives (Small, under Terran protection/patrol)
Ghosts of Creuss (Extremely Small)
Rin Empire (Milky Way colonies) (Extremely Small)
Unification through Standardization
The Galactic Council has created many things to ease interaction of interstellar factions and just generally improve life for everyone in the Milky Way. Here are a few things most take for granted that we have the Galactic Council to thank for.
The Galactic Credit
The currency used by every member race of the Galactic Council. There are no physical credits (this is the 26th century, who the hell uses physical money?), and is almost wholly accessed by a person’s portable communication and Extranet access device, such as the Terran Commlink. Those few who prefer something slightly more physical use Credit Chips, small octagonal pieces of metal with a unique account verification code that can be scanned to pay, like a credit card. Fifty Galactic Credits are worth about one British Pound Sterling, to put things in 21st century perspective.
You know the internet, right? Well, this the internet kicked right up to eleven. The Extranet spreads all across the galaxy, and can be accessed in many places. You have to have special receptors on planets or in spaceships or deep space stations to access it, but they are easy to build once the Galactic Council tells you how. The Extranet is used for literally all the same things as the internet is (though the percentage of porn usage is substantially reduced). The Extranet can even be accessed with virtual reality, and one can choose how they appear (for a limited fee in some cases). There are even Extranet night clubs, which some believe are better than the real thing, as paltry things like gravity and the laws of physics don’t have to apply there.
This is the language that has replaced more or less all other languages. It was created for ease of understanding and reproduction by all Council member races. The language was actually first created by the Murrcioun, and the vocal intonations are easily reproduced by the Terrans, Muaatians, Jolnar, Naalu, and even the Razorbirds with minimal difficulty. Really the only of the Big 8 that have issues with it are the Arborec, who simply do not speak, given that the Mindnet is capable of reproducing any language. Galactic Basic is now taught as the official language of almost every race, with older languages usually taught as language credits or elective courses.
The Galactic Council does maintain a military of its own, which they claim is more of a peacekeeping and security force than an actual military. In fact, it is called the Council Peacekeeping Force, or CPF. It does occasionally enforce Galactic Council law, however, it usually defends Council assets throughout the Milky Way. They're the only ones allowed to guard the Council Station, and are often the ones who escort Council ambassadors on intergalactic diplomacy meetings. They have occasionally fought in proper wars, namely the Pathogen invasions, and the second Rin invasion.
The Galactic Council allows any race to enter the Council Peacekeeping Force, though the most common races are the Murrcioun, Terrans, and Ysvektans. The CPF soldiers are usually former military, mercenary, private security, or law enforcement members, but each is given even more training upon joining. The CPF is also equipped with an array of highly advanced equipment that is built very specially for them by the Jolnar. They would like to have equipment made by the Razorbirds, but the Razorbirds aren't exactly willing to give others functional Razorbird weaponry.