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.
Eight months into the expedition, having covered a little less than two-thirds of the distance travelled by the Jameson Expedition when they made first contact with the Varkesh, Samuel Larigo made first-contact with another ship. With the recent loss of the Jameson Expedition still on everyone's minds, Larigo and his team were cautious but open to communication. This proved difficult at first due to the differing languages, but members of Larigo's team found a good portion of the language familiar - It was similar to English, enough so that proper communication could be started after only a few days of work. This similarity to the same language used by the Varkesh, however, only caused the expeditionary team - And the Sol Empire itself - to remain even more cautious with this meeting.
The vessel identified itself as the ACV Harold and a member of the United Arshan Federation, a nation of humans descended from one of the colony ships that had left Earth centuries ago. The Harold also stated they were the naval garrison flagship for the 'New Sibir' star system, of which the Larigo Expedition had entered. Word of this spread throughout the Empire like wildfire, and the previous fear of a repeated Varkesh incident turned to a new unifying event: The Sol Empire had finally found more of its own kind and had found proof that the efforts to preserve Earth's population in colony ships had succeeded.