The Grey Union is a conglomeration of corporations who run their worlds driving them forward by profit and greed. What little government structure exists is heavily influenced by these companies so that the money doesn’t stop flowing.
Crime and corruption are rampant in the Grey Union (GU). Any crime committed, no matter how inhumane, has a monetary price that will get the suspect cleared of all charges. Ships smuggling contraband have bribes for the Navy ready at the airlock so that there never is an inspection.
Many worlds of the GU have a huge disparity between the rich and the poor. Environmental conditions are poor on worlds that should be thriving with diverse ecosystems and clean air. Manufacturing plants churn out toxic chemicals and cheap product to keep their community going.
The Grey Union had been very aggressive with its expansion until ten years ago. Their navy would swoop into worlds out in the Fringe and even some locations within the defined borders of the Confederation of Embriss. Several large battles between the two warring empires brought an end to the rapid growth and an unsettling peace. If the last two societies go to all-out war, it is clear that mankind may risk extinction, yet these coalitions are always looking for excuses to fight. The GU wants to exploit all resources and make a profit while the Confederation wants order and civility in a situation that can afford neither.