Main article: United Arshan Federation
Just over 200 years later, on February 18, 544 AST, UAF border patrols made first contact with a Sol Empire expeditionary fleet. Communications were difficult at first as the two divergent human languages struggled to understand eachother, but eventually proper communications were established. The Empire introduced themselves as the descendants of Earth and humanity, comparing themselves to the Arshans and citing 'Extremely dangerous alien threats to all of humanity that we must unite to protect ourselves against'. The Solus then extended an offer for the Arshans to become a part of the Sol Empire. The offer was barely considered before it was refused, with a counter-offer of an alliance instead. Communications and negotiations continued back and forth, with the Solus continuing to request unification, and the Arshans refusing anything more than an alliance with the now bordering Empire.
Two months after first contact on April 39, 544 AST, during which the Solus continued to speak of uniting humanity and destroying the previously mentioned alien threat, the Empire contacted the UAF - This time, sending a large military fleet to the border. Instead of making another peaceful request, the fleet admiral demanded the Arshans submit or be destroyed as enemies to humanity. Refusing once more, the Arshan border systems were attacked. Official UAF reports indicate the Sol fleet destroyed the out-numbered border patrol fleet in the sector and bombarded several colonized planets, exterminating life without prejudice, before the UAF military was able to respond with the full might of their own fleets. The Solus were beaten back, and the Arshan border re-established with a heavy military presence. Open conflict has continued between the two nations, as the Empire continues to probe Arshan defences for a weakpoint.
Main article: Sol Empire
On November 3, 220 AU, the Sol emissary, Eun Landi, arrived at the point of first contact - The New Sibir star system. The Arshan ambassador, Netta Bullard, arrived only a day later, and communications between the two nations officially began. Despite the stark contrast in the professional militarism of the Arshans, compared to the civilian and partially corporate sponsored Sol ambassador, the two nations appeared to be looking toward a peaceful relationship. Landi told Bullard of the Empire's previous first contact experience, the loss of the Jameson Expedition, and the threat posed by the aliens whom called themselves the 'Varkesh'. The Arshan ambassador revealed they had already made contact with the Varkesh, and even had an ambassador to their alliance, but would keep the Empire’s warnings about them in mind. This eventually led up to Landi proposing a union of humanity between the Empire and the Federation, being pressured by both the Empire's government and population. Bullard refused the offer, stating the Federation will always remain an independent nation. Communications continued despite this, however, and it appeared the Empire and Federation would at least be able to see to a trade partnership.
Two months later, however, on January 1, 221 AU when Landi was meant to sign off on a trade agreement with Bullard to establish open trade with the Federation, a nearby Grand Navy patrol fleet surveying the border picked up a distress signal from Landi's escort ship. Responding quickly, the fleet managed to arrive in the New Sibir system just a few hours later, only to find they arrived too late - Eun Landi's ship had been destroyed. The patrol fleet, captained by Rear Admiral Tacito De Ven, transmitted a message to the Empire's government detailing what they had found, but the transmission was interrupted by a report of the fleet taking fire from an Arshan fleet in the system. According to government records, contact with De Ven and his fleet was lost a day later.
The Sol Empire officially declared war on the United Arshan Federation on January 2, 221 AU, and it became common belief that the Arshan's sudden attack upon the emissary and responding fleet came from Varkesh influence within the Federation.