There were no contingencies for an emergency of the scale suffered by humanity during the war. The Systems Alliance Parliament was destroyed; the Prime Minister was dead; and the constituent members of the Alliance charter were consumed by disorder. There was no precedent to call upon; no existing emergency measures to provide for the aftermath of such a disaster. All national governments had fallen. The Alliance leadership was paralyzed by indecision.
Admiral Hackett instituted martial law as a provisional measure to restore order. Without warning, he now found himself as the sole governmental authority on Earth. He knew that the occupation force was all that stood between stability and anarchy, and that as soon as it was withdrawn, Earth would lapse back into chaos. He therefore decided to press on. At an internal council of the Alliance leadership, Admiral Hackett declared the formation of the Systems Alliance Transitional Administration on Earth (SATAE) to oversee the reconstruction of the homeworld. The occupation was to be formalized into a provisional military government. Cities were reorganized as districts, under the command of an Adjutant; districts were agglomerated into provinces, under a Prefect; provinces were grouped into regions, under an Administrator; regions were subordinate to continental authorities, under a Director; and directors were themselves subordinate to the Director-General of Earth. The latter was based at the new Alliance capital, which had been established within the human embassy on the Citadel.
As the months passed, the Alliance administration consolidated its control over Earth. The devastation of the Reaper War at least funnelled the survivors to the remaining settlements, which greatly facilitated administration. Even so, the occupation force was overstretched. Large swathes of the surface remained ungoverned. Rations provided some relief to those left without employment or support. Bartering became universal, although the Alliance soon introduced a new credit currency to prevent total economic collapse. Most survivors took to scavenging for valuables from the ashes of fallen cities. Conditions were desperate and dismal, although slowly improving.
Supplies became more plentiful; want became less wanton. Stability was restored, and life resumed a semblance of normality. But far from being satisfied with Alliance rule, humanity seemed to grow restless. It was on the basis of the immediate threat of anarchy that martial law was declared - a sentiment supported by everyone at the time. But now that the threat had passed, people began to chafe under the occupation. There were calls for the restoration of civilian governance and an end to military rule. For its part, the Alliance leadership reiterated that martial law was a temporary measure that would be lifted as soon as possible. Admiral Hackett stated that it wouldn’t be possible to abolish the Alliance administration until reconstruction had been fully accomplished. Some agreed that it was too soon to lift martial law when only a year had passed; others grew sceptical of Alliance intentions.
As the Alliance sustained criticism at home, it faced new resistance abroad. The reopening of the mass relays restored contact to the human colonies, which had been isolated from the homeworld since the end of the war. The neglected colonies were glad to see the return of the Alliance Navy; they were less enamoured by requests to contribute to the reconstruction of Earth. Months of official neglect had instilled a sense of independence in the lost colonies. Some wanted to negotiate a compact with the Alliance by which they’d be granted autonomy in all matters; a small minority advocated complete secession. Federalism, as its advocates styled it, was the only way to preserve a unified human nation. This assertion met with little appreciation from Admiral Hackett, who claimed that the colonies were content to exploit Alliance protection but reticent to pay for it. The Alliance had grown accustomed to being in control of human affairs, and were unprepared to suffer the criticism of the colonists, never mind entertain the spectre of separatism.