Exile Intel Entries
|The following information is related to Exile mod and has not been confirmed by Volition. It is not canon for the FreeSpace universe.|
- 1 Factions and Colonies
- 2 History
- 3 From the The Martian War to the Second Interbellum
- 4 From Operation Mjolnir to the Shivan Incursion
Factions and Colonies
Main Sol Factions
Outer Rim Syndicate
A pact of Outer Rim worlds, colonies and corporations formed 13th June 2339 in opposition to the tyranny and exploitation of the GTA and Inner Rim corporations. The strongest players were ruling parties or governors of the gas giants' moons like Europa, Io, Ganymede, Calypso, Titan, Iapetus, Rhea, Ariel, Triton and Nereid. Multiple corporate consortiums like the Jovian Collective, Saturn Financial Combine and Miners League also wield the status of ORS members, as well as outlying colony associations like the Free People of Oorta Cloud.
At its peak (during Operation Mjornir, before the Shivan incursion) the Outer Rim Syndicate comprised of the following territories: - Jupiter and all its moons with the capital in Siraxta City on Europa. - Saturn and its all moons with the capital in Veridian on Enceladus. - Uranus and all its moons with the capital in Cefaliassna on Umbriel - Neptune and all its moons with the capital on Aphaea Station orbiting Triton. - Pluto with its capital in Agartha. - Oorta District 01 with the capital in Polyphemus Station - Oorta District 02 with the capital in Lagertha Station - Oorta District 03 with the capital in Gray Abyss on Aslaug - Oorta District 04 with the capital in Telsyma Station - Oorta District 05 with the capital in Teheran Station - Oorta District 06 with the capital in Nestor Station - The liberated or conquered provinces of Mars including Noachia, Nirgal Valley, Arabia Tyrrhena Plateau, Da Valley, Harmakis Valley, Hellespont Mountains, Malea Plain, Promethea, Cimmerian Desert, Hesperia Region, Nepenthe Valley, Aeolian Coast, Lake Guse, Elysium Island, Syrtis, Cydonia, Meridian Steppe and Xanthe District on Mars with the capital in Kepler on Tyrrhena Plateau.
At this time the Outer Rim was protected by 9 Galahad-class destroyers, 3 Orion-class destroyers, more than 600 frigate- and cruiser-grade warships and 900 fighter and bomber squadrons. The Syndicate Marine Corps included 11 400 000 ground soldiers and marines, 1 250 000 tanks and other ground vehicles and 914 000 hoover and atmospheric craft.
As per the Europan Convention the Syndicate guarantees its citizens economic liberties as well as freedom of speech, religion and association. Both small and medium sized businesses and big corporations benefit from free market policy, including far-reaching deregulation and radical tax cuts. THe Syndicate also provides duty-free zones within the Outer Rim, although maintains strict control over trade with the Inner Rim to prevent pro-EFN corporations from gaining influence.
THe ORS' executives powers belong to the Syndicate Magistratorium with its seat on Valhalla Station in high orbit of Europa. The Magistratorium consists of 27 Magistrates, each responsible for a different area of responsibility. Its members are elected on 6-year-long terms of office by the Syndicate Parliament. The Current head of the Magistratorium is High Magistrate Muhammad Al-Zardari who began his second term in August 2367.
The Syndicate Parliament, the ORS primary legislative body, comprises of 1265 representatives of Outer Rim colonies and associations, each member world elects a given number of MPs depending on their population, wealth and contribution to the ORS cental budget.
The Syndicate's central administration is responsible for defence, external affairs and key branches of the economy. Other areas, including economic, social and cultural policy, are mostly decentralized and left to local governors or parliaments as long as they do not violate Syndicate virtues as stated in the Europan Convention.
Syndicate Exodus Fleet
Formed shortly after the execution of Operation Moyses, the Syndicate Exodus Fleet is a planetless state that comprised of more than 1,500 ships which escaped Sol after the Shivan incursion. As per the moment of arrival in Cor Caroli the Fleet was home to about 1,19 million people, originating both from evacuated Syndicate moons and Outer Rim space stations. Almost half of the Fleet's population remains in cryo-sleep on three Abraham-class colony ships - Spirit of Hope, Abraham and Adrastus.
All non-military ships of the Fleet are grouped into Colony Fleet while the remaining ships of the ORS and EFN military formed up the Syndicate Exodus Navy which in turn was further divided into Escort Fleet, Heavy Fleet, Roaming Fleet and Federate Task Force.
The Fleet is governed by the Syndicate Magistratorium reestablished by High Magistrate Al-Zardari onboard ORCo Spirit of Hope. It currently comprises of 14 members of the pre-Exodus ORS government that survived the invasion, but there are plans to fill in the vacancies with surviving members of the Syndicate Parliament or even representatives of the biggest ships in the Colony Fleet.
The Magistratorium upholds many laws and liberties from the old Syndicate, although the character of the Exodus Fleet required many responsibilites to be ceded to military commanders.
The High Magistrate is also the head of numerous scientific projects vital for the Fleet's functioning. Above all he maintains a team of skilled specialists called the Navigators, responsible for analysing scans and recon data and selecting optimal path for the Fleet.
Founded in 2339 as the Church of Equilibrium, the ultimate goal of the Equilibrists was establishing a single unified spiritual system of philosophy or quasi-religion. The purpose of this manner was eradication of dogma-based beliefs, demagogy and superstitions among citizens of the Outer Rim. Also known as the Philosophers Guild, Equilibrists were spiritual leaders of the population of planets lying beyond Mars and Asteroid Belt. The initial concept of universal religion has been present since ancient times, but the actual organisation founded by Magistrate - then High Magistrate - Muhammad Al-Zardari was the first, widely distributed effort to establish a religious organization based on concept of one, universal and dogma-free philosophy. One of the major goals of The Equilibrium was accuracy with modern science and Quantum M-Theory considered as currently valid.
The Equilibrium philosophy represents an agnostic view on the old question about God's existence. It rejects the traditional concept of God as a target of cult, ceremonies and prayers represented by religions of old Earth and instead emphasizes natural balance and harmony of the Universe. There is a popular, although non-compulsory Equilibristic concept of a meta-creative, omnipotent being capable of influencing the physical world by interfering with zero-state quantum field of information, shaping events around all living, sentient, conscious beings and creating unique purpose for each of them. The direct reason for creating this concept was derived from official Syndicate propaganda. It was still centered around personal development and the concept of individual purpose, aligned with serving ORS interest and goals. Although initially criticized by early intellectual and scientific elites, it came to rise in popularity when wars raged across the Outer Rim, strenghtening the need of belief among both soldiers and civilians. This aspect of Equilibrium became dominant after the Exodus and is represented by several influential figures within the Fleet and Magistratorium like Fleetmaster Aasira Raji and High Magistrate Muhammad Al-Zardari.
Initial basis for Equilibrium was Zen tibetan buddhism. Official propaganda of the ORS supported all kinds of spiritual practices with scientifically proven, mental effects like reducing stress factor or increasing overall brain capacity. Meditation with the focus on internal calm, emotion tuning and eradicating negative behaviour was widely taught in all equilibrist cathedrals among the Outer Rim. Although the majority of early ORS citizens were Christian, Hinduist or Muslim, Equilibrist efforts succesfully managed to convert the majority of ORS citizens into the Equilibrium or made them adapt elements of Equilibristic philosophy into their old beliefs. The term Equilibrist describes both followers of the philosophy and activists of the Church of Equilbrium. Scientifically correct, spiritual philosophy has proven itself extremely successful in maintaining social peace mostly because it was compatible with main assumptions of already existing major belief systems. 'Leave all the dogma. Leave all the old books and people claiming themselves as saviors and prophets. Universe is not judging, not forbidding, not pray to heaven or hell. Universe is shaping your path in this life, listening to everyone, and shaping your purpose individually. You just need to look inside yourself, and help the Universe finding your place in this world'. Those and other simple watchwords were very successful and popular among citizens of the ORS. Unlike other main religions, there was no concept like creator of the universe. The Universe was actually supposed to be a creator itself, constantly maintaining it's own creation.
Although the Church of Equilibrium was established as a massive propaganda tool for the Syndicate Magistratorium, it wasn't only a tool in the hands of politicians. Equilibrium was initially planned to be a supplement to the ORS' free-market economy and individual liberties to boost already excellent economic growth and uphold political stability. Equilibrium was based off hundreds of years of psychological studies, and even more ancient teachings. One more reason, except for providing social stability, ensuring economical growth and supporting ORS military doctrine, was also eradicating all extremist and highly dogma-based beliefs from ORS society. The Church of Equilibrium is an insanely influential political tool, but it's priests were also responsible for observing the state of social mentality. Ensuring the happiness of ORS citizens was a actually real, long-term goal. A happy and wealthy society was a actually a reason for the economic supremacy of the ORS, and also a key to it's eventual victory of the Rim Conflict.
A handful of individuals actually discovered their psionic potential thanks to meditation practices taught by Equilibrists. There were also reported cases of establishing temporary mental contact with beings of unknown nature and origin. All alleged mystic experiences were examined as part of Blue Omega project, but it's results remain highly classified.
The dark, infamous part of the Church of Equilibrium were the Zealots - group of trained agents, specialized in hunting down cultists, fanatics, terrorists, extremists and EFN agents alike. Those BOD-associated individuals were sometimes considered as 'spiritual militia'. Although the ORS was liberal in terms of beliefs and philosophy, Zealots were active hunters responsible for erasing epicenters of so called 'dangerous thinking'. Although their covert operations were only meant to uphold ORS safety and were supported by the Magistratorium, ORS military and even Black Operations Department, they became grim urban legend among some social circles.
The Equilibrists survived the Great Exodus and restored the Cathedral of Equilibrium onboard the colony ship ORCo Spirit of Hope. They now continue to provide spiritual support and guidance for fellow survivors of the Exodus Fleet. They are answerable directly to the renominated High Magistrate Muhammad Al-Zardari.
Earth Federated Nations
An authoritarian (then totalitarian) regime that has ruled Earth and parts of Mars since 20th January 2341. Formed following a summit in Shanghai by 29 Earth factions existing after the collapse of the GTA more than a year earlier, including: - American Conglomerate - European Union - Indo-Asian Confederation - Republic of China 7th March 2341 the EFN was joined by a pact of 9 Martian provinces led by Xanthea and Meridia. Other territories owned by the EFN were: - Luna - Martian moons Phobos and Deimos - Outposts and science facilites on Mercury and Venus - Multiple installations and mining colonies in Asteroid Belt, including Ceres
At the beginning of Operation Mjornir the EFN fleet consisted of 12 Praetor-class battlecarriers, 6 Talos-class destroyers and 350 smaller warships. Their ground forces, including garrisons on Earth and Mars counted up to 16 230 000 soldiers, 1 750 000 ground vehicles and 1 200 000 hoover and atmospheric craft.
Earth Federated Nations is ruled by the High Council of Terra with its seat in Shanghai. It is a centralized, almost omnipotent body of technocrats that systematically acquired control over more and more aspects of life and the economy. The Councillors of the HCT are delegated by the local parliaments of EFN member states, but their election is usually under strong influence of military parties. There are still elections held in most regions of Earth, but they remain a facade because of the drastically limited freedom of association and rights to form up parties critical towards EFN agenda.
The EFN's economy was becoming systematically centralized and regulated, combining policies of pre-Unification Wars Earth regimes and fascist ideologies dating back to XX-century. THe biggest corporations remain under the strong influence of the HCT and focus their interest on military production. Society is under the strong surveillance of EFN's internal security services, from which the most fearsome and potent is the infamous Terra Security Office.
THe advanced and ubiquitous machine of control came together with the extended brainwashing of Earth citizens by government propaganda. Both Federation officials, government-controlled corporations and media flood society with the doctrine of new Earth nationalism, the need of unconditional loyalty to Grand Terra combined with hatred towards the Outer Rim.
Main Sol Colonies
For generations, Earth had been the political, economic, and cultural center of Terran civilization. Humans still measured time in hours, days, months, and years. They named their ships after the mythological figures of ancient Terran civilizations, and systems were still identified according to the constellations observed from Earth. The planet served as capital of the GTA, and the bulk of the Terran industrial base was located in the Sol system. Offworlders identified their nationality according to the old Earth boundaries, though nation-states dissolved after the discovery of subspace and the emergence of an interstellar Terran society.
Since the 21st century Earth was divided into several superpowers competing with one another in space colonization efforts. Out of these the most important ones were the American Conglomerate created after the bankruptcy of the United States of America, the federalized block of the old world nations known as the European Union, the Republic of China that in the mid 21st century eventually confirmed that the 'People's' part of its name doesn't make any sense. Despite local conflicts, arm races and constant rivalry none was able to dominate the others and the network of economic connections was too valuable for anyone to benefit from a total war. In the beginning they were sending mostly separate expeditions and the newly created colonies belonged to their nations just like territories colonized by the European kingdoms in the XVI-XIX centuries. However, the further the colonization process progressed, the less significant national boundaries between the colonies became, mainly because of the close integration of the Earth's nation states and the increasing role of the corporate sector in funding new expeditions. The process was even accelerated after the discovery of subspace in the mid 23rd century.
However, old hostilities returned at the beginning of the 24th century when Earth was hit by an economic crisis leading to a conflict known the Unification War. The devastating system-scale conflict lasted three years, but resulted in the ultimate dissolvement of these national states and creating a world government known as the Galactic Terran Alliance.
Earth remained the GTA capital world while the now united Terrans continued space colonization efforts and throughout the entire Great War. In 2339 the GTA collapsed as a result of the destruction of Zion Installation. A few months of chaos followed before the factions of the Blue Planet reunited into the Earth Federated Nations. Earth remained EFN capital until the Shivan invasion in 2367.
The smallest of the galilean moons. Terraformation of Europa was started by the American Conglomerate and European Union in 2134, as the main base for exploring Jupiter's deuterium-rich gas fields and other moons. Although less costly and less monumental than terraformation of Mars, the conversion of Europa was harder due to close proximity of Jupiter and the radiation generated by the enormous gas planet. Ganymede whose dipolar magnetic field protected it from the radiation of its home planet was the first alternate candidate while Callisto was the second. Enormous volcanic formations found beneath the frozen surface of Europa and finally - oceans of liquid water finally contributed to her eventual selection. A planetary-scale greenhouse effect was induced on Europa to melt the icy surface, generate s dense atmosphere and create voluminous layers of clouds to protect the new global oceans from Jupiters radiation. During the Dark Age of Europa, enormous floating cities were constructed on top of gigantic volcanic formations discovered in 2029 under the ice. Although the global ocean of Europa reached down to 120 km beneath the ice, many large volcanic formations were growing through milions of years and their pinnacles were relatively shallow, some of them only 3-7 km below the surface of the Europan Ocean, and those supervolcanoes became the foundations for floating cities. The biggest one - supervolcano Siraxta was even bigger than Yellowstone located on Earth and became the foundation for the moon's capital city. All main floating cities have been constructed on top of underwater volcanos, harvesting their natural, thermal energy. The highest volcano of Europa - the Sizifus - is located on the southern hemisphere and is 73-km-high. It is also the highest known mountain in the Solar System. Although only the light side of Europa was populated, shallow areas of Europa's dark side were sources of rare mineral resources.
Prior to 2192, a global, ultra thin shield made from leaden-graphenite fabric was finished. This semi-transparent material was developed to replace the dense cloud layers of Europa's atmosphere, allowing sunlight to reach the surface of the planet for the first time in 60 years. This event ended the Europan Dark Age. THe oceanic moon become a global greenhouse before the installation of the planetary-scale shielding system in 2344-2350. Based directly on technology salvaged from the shivan Lucifer superdestroyer, the Europan government decided to scrap the artifical shield and replace it with global shielding system mounted on a network of stations around Europa. The shield was powered by the natural energy of Jupiter itself and was thin enough to keep Europa safe from both radiation and cooling processes, but unable to effectively stop any solid object. In early 2360s the ORS government started conversion of this shield into a protection barrier to prevent EFN bombers and capital ships from bombarding the cities floating on the surface. This monumental enterprise was stopped by the Shivan invasion.
The floating cities of Europa were well known symbols among citizens of the ORS, and ultimate proof of the technological advancement of the Outer Rim. Before the Shivan invasion, Europa was home to 430 million people living in floating cities and on numerous orbital installations. Also, Europa was the main provider of water for the Outer Rim. Ganymede, Enceladus, Umbriel and some other icy moons went through a similar process but only Europa ended her Dark Age and became a prosperous garden-world. For many years, Europa was a shining beacon of Outer Rim independence, economic and scientific progress and individual freedom.
From the Great War to the First Interbellum
ORS TECH ENTRY #34 - Post-Great War Solar System
The Great Perserverence Plan (GPP)
The end of the Great War in 2335 marked the start of a new era for the Sol system. With all communication to the rest of Terran space severed, millions of people in the Sol system lost contact with their families in the Terran colony worlds. With fear of the Shivans continuing to grow, it became clear that the Galactic Terran Alliance needed to change radically to adapt to new circumstances. For the first few months however, the Earth-based GTA government concentrated on internal political reforms rather than restructuring the Alliance governmental and economic system as a whole.
From an economic point of view, the highest price of the collapse of the Delta Serpentis node was paid by large Earth and Martian corporations including the Han-Roland Corporation, the Mesa Corporation and Triton Dynamics. They had been the corporations most strongly dependent on resources from other systems. Losing their supply routes to the rest of Terran space resulted in the loss of trillions of credits and forced them to reorganize their corporate structure and seek new resources.
And they found them. Their attention, once focused on offworld colonies in Delta Serpentis, Beta Aquilae and other star systems, was now turned back to Sol's outer planets of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and their numerous moons. Those corporations entered these new markets very aggressively and began construction of new colonies, mines and gas refineries.
Their fast expansion, however, threatened the position of minor economic players still dominant in the Outer Rim, including Valhalla Shipyards, United Heavy Industries, Bamiyan Development and Massive Dynamics. Old and new corporations began intense competition for the most valuable sources of gas and minerals which quickly evolved far beyond standard free market rules. As Inner Rim corporations based on Earth and Mars eventually failed to dominate the Outer Rim, they requested aid from the GTA government still based on Earth.
On January 11, 2338, the GTA announced a controversial Great Perseverance Plan (GPP) meant to respond to the political, economic and social consequences of the Delta Serpentis jump node collapse. The GPP was a 784-page-long document involving administrative reforms, military service reforms and other additional changes in a variety of areas. Its size, however, was intended to disguise its basic purposes:
1. Grant corporations based on Earth and Mars exclusive rights to the most precious mineral sources in the Outer Rim; 2. Guarantee Earth and Martian corporations a primacy over Outer Rim corporations in all future spaceship construction programs; 3. Enforce massive resettlement actions from overpopulated areas of Earth, mainly African, Arabic and South-Asian regions, to the newly constructed colonies in the Outer Rim; 4. Centralize the structure of the Alliance Revenue Service and allow unrestricted taxation of Outer Rim colonies by the Earth-based GTA government.
It was later proven that the GPP was heavily influenced from strong lobbying by the Han-Roland Corporation. The other Inner Rim corporations' involvement in the GPP’s legislation was never confirmed, but speculation about their influence in crafting the GPP continues to this day.
Enforcement of the GPP began on March 7, 2338, with the first corporate freighters arriving at their designated mining sites at Ganymede. Miners employed by Ganymede Works, a subcontractor for Valhalla Shipyards, were ordered to abandon their stations. Between March 7 and April 12, a total of 651 mining and gas extraction sites were taken over by Earth and Martian corporations following the first stage of the GPP. In most cases, the takeovers were carried out peacefully, although more than 50 incidents of violence did occur.
In order to oppose enforcement of the GPP, Outer Rim corporations began suing the privileged Earth and Mars corporations and accusing them of unfair lobbying and corporate malfeasance. Protests also took place in major Outer Rim colonies as people expected the new employers to provide inadequate working conditions. These actions were for naught, however, as the GTA judicial bureaucracy dismissed the lawsuits and the protests swayed the opinions of virtually none of the GTA politicians. Meanwhile, several of those same GTA politicians began an organized campaign of propaganda against the Outer Rim corporations. Hobart Ericsson, the GTA's Secretary of the Treasury, accused the Outer Rim corporations of becoming 'a criminal syndicate that is destroying the stability of the Alliance and threatens our jurisdiction in the whole sector'. Almost fourteen months later, Secretary Ericsson’s words would become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
On May 1, 2338, the GTA announced a new warship construction program involving 12 new Orion-class destroyers equipped with a new generation of weaponry. As the GPP guaranteed, all of the construction contracts were given to corporations from Earth and Mars. Following further enforcement of the GPP, new taxes were introduced in Outer Rim colonies in order to meet the increased government expenditures. In fact, the Jupiter and Saturn colonies were required to pay Earth and Martian corporations to fund the construction of the new GTA fleet.
The GPP brought numerous economic problems to the Outer Rim colonies. By the end of 2338, Europa, Io, Calypso and Ganymede were all struck by recession and unemployment following the shutdown of so many shipyards and factories and further tax increases introduced by the GTA government. Massive protests and rioting raged across the Jupiter and Saturn colonies and many of them were violently suppressed by GTA security forces and corporate mercenaries.
Spark of Rebellion
On April 15, 2339, one of Han-Roland's supply convoys was ambushed in the Asteroid Belt. All of the freighters in the convoy were hijacked while the entire escort was destroyed. There were no survivors. In the following month, eighteen more attacks occurred, all taking place beyond Mars and all involving targets connected with corporations based in the Inner Rim. A Han-Roland spokeswoman called the attacks 'an organized terrorist activity probably sponsored by Outer Rim native industry.' GTA Command responded with the deployment of the GTD Holmgard, commanded by Admiral Marcus Rossendarch, to maintain the security of the Asteroid Belt supply routes. This move, however, did not quell the attacks, but only further inflamed tensions throughout the entire Outer Rim.
On May 29, 2339, the GTA government declared martial law throughout the Sol system and accused Outer Rim corporations of supporting terrorist attacks. Marines were deployed throughout the largest Jupiter and Saturn colonies and corporate security forces demanded unrestricted access to all Outer Rim shipyards. More than 80 representatives of United Heavy Industries were arrested and interrogated. One of these UHI representatives, Robert Sharif, then made a sworn statement that UHI shipyards were secretly producing fightercraft for terrorist groups. (Though rumors claimed that Sharif had been forced to make that statement, it was never conclusively proven if Sharif’s testimony was made under duress. Only a few days after making his statement, Sharif disappeared and was never heard from again.) The GTA used Sharif's sworn statement as a pretext to justify taking the Outer Rim shipyards by force. The GTD Salvation, under the command of Admiral Ivanov, was thus dispatched on June 1 to take over the Adamant Shipyard in high orbit over Europa. The shipyard's personnel refused to obey the order to stand down and evacuate. GTA boarding parties then tried to capture the shipyard by force, but met with armed resistance and were forced to withdraw. Although Ivanov had been ordered to capture the Adamant Shipyard intact, seeing his Marines repelled by a bunch of poorly armed, ragtag civilians so humiliated him that he commanded the Salvation to fire on the shipyard despite his orders. As a result, all of the 4,000 civilians onboard the shipyard were killed when the Salvation opened fire and a further 40,000 civilians died when debris from the destroyed shipyard impacted several of the cities of Europa below. (Ivanov was never punished or disciplined for firing on civilians.)
This tragic event turned out to be the spark of rebellion. Two days later, leaders of the 19 largest colonies of the Outer Rim gathered at an undisclosed location on Europa and unanimously signed the Europan Convention. This document was a formal declaration of independence from the Galactic Terran Alliance and became the genesis of the Outer Rim Syndicate.
In response, later that very same day, GTA High Command issued emergency orders to the 1st Gaian and 2nd Martian Fleets to set out for the Outer Rim, join up with the 3rd Jovian Fleet and end the rebellion by any means necessary.
ORS TECH ENTRY #35a - The Secession War, Part 1
Shifts of power
Following the proclamation of the Europan Convention, the rebellion began to spread throughout the Outer Rim. Mass protests and riots raged across the Outer Rim and armed resistance groups began taking over the seats of GTA governors and corporate offices. In some cases, mostly in small remote colonies, local authorities decided to surrender, flee or even join the protesters. In others, however, especially in strategically important mining sites on the moons of Saturn and Jupiter, corporate security forces, determined to protect their employers’ property from the angry crowds, responded with violence. This only further fueled the fire. Turmoil was also spreading among the personnel of the 3rd Jovian Fleet, the majority of whom had been born and raised in Outer Rim colonies. With open rebellion in the Outer Rim now a reality, the GTA saw no other choice but to wage open warfare to restore its authority. Naturally, many of the soldiers and sailors of the 3rd Jovian Fleet had no desire to go to war against their homes and families.
After the collapse of the Delta Serpentis node in 2335, the GTA had reorganized the Terran 1st Fleet of the Great War era into three separate units: the 1st Gaian Fleet guarding the core sector of Earth and Luna; the 2nd Martian Fleet securing Mars along with its moons Deimos and Phobos as well as the Asteroid Belt; and the 3rd Jovian Fleet stationed in high orbit above Jupiter, responsible for patrolling the Outer Rim sector consisting of the entire Sol system beyond the Asteroid Belt. The GTA’s initial move of the Secession War was to deploy elements of the 2nd and 3rd Fleets into the low orbits of the rebelling colonies whose leaders had signed the Europan Convention. Their orders were to destroy or capture orbital defenses, major shipyards and primary industrial infrastructure, then deploy ground forces to take over the cities and arrest the leaders of the rebellion.
Showing the cards
Because of growing unrest among members of the 3rd Fleet who hailed from the Outer Rim colonies, the GTA created mixed taskforces consisting of both 2nd and 3rd Fleet elements and tried to perform shifts in command structure so that major operations in the forthcoming offensive would be performed by commanders of unquestionable loyalty. This move forced some pro-Syndicate officers to reveal themselves, beginning with Admiral Glenzmann, commander of the 3rd Fleet. Glenzmann's flagship, the GTD Lazarus, refused to submit to GTA military police officers and fired upon 2nd Fleet ships that arrived to take Glenzmann into custody. The Lazarus then defected to the Syndicate and became the ORD Lazarus, a destroyer in the newly-formed ORS fleet. Glenzmann's renouncing of the GTA was followed by defections of many 3rd Fleet cruisers, carriers and utility vessels, the commanders of which refused to fight against their own kin. Other loyalist purges turned out to be successful, however. One such purge involved GTA boarding parties successfully taking the GTD Adrasteia by surprise and relieved pro-Syndicate Admiral Thanou of his command. Admiral Ivanov, who had already proven himself loyal to the GTA at the Adamant Shipyard, became commander of the remaining pro-GTA elements of the 3rd Fleet.
Personnel shifts in the 2nd and 3rd Fleets delayed the execution of GTA High Command's standing orders. On June 6, 2339, elements of the 2nd and 3rd Fleets including the Adrasteia and the Salvation arrived at Europa, Io and Ganymede, but the colonies had used the delay to mobilize their local defense forces. Following heavy fighting, the GTD Salvation's taskforce obliterated Ganymede's orbital defenses and commenced orbital bombardment of the moon's largest industrial complexes, resulting in more than 300,000 dead. Europa's defenders suffered great losses at the hands of the Adrasteia's taskforce and Europa was very close to sharing the fate of Ganymede as a result. However, the tide of battle was turned by the arrival of the Lazarus and a large ORS battlegroup formed from 3rd Fleet defectors. After taking critical damage, the Adrasteia was forced to withdraw from Europa, resulting in the first major, though costly, victory for the Syndicate. At the same time, Admiral Tessandras of the GTD Apam Nepatis, commanding the 2nd Fleet's taskforce dispatched to Io, switched sides. Instead of attacking Io’s defenses, he struck at the remaining loyalist forces and decimated them, as treason was the last thing the loyalists expected from a ruthless Martian admiral. The outcomes of GTA incursions at the other colonies varied. The colonies that began preparations early enough were able to drive off the loyalist forces, but the vast majority of the rest were not prepared to confront regular military forces and could only evacuate and watch from a distance as their factories and shipyards were reduced to rubble. In total, GTA raids and bombardments resulted in more than 10 million casualties and crippled the infrastructure, defenses and industry of most Syndicate colonies except for Europa and Io.
Path to unity
The GTA offensive against the Outer Rim colonies was a major blow for the newly-formed Syndicate. Infrastructure damage ruined ORS plans of using small remote shipyards for decentralized construction of a new fleet to confront the GTA. 3rd Fleet defectors also took heavy losses in the colonies' defense. On the other hand, the scale of atrocities committed by the invading loyalist force resulted in further radicalization of Outer Rim citizens and brought even more volunteers under the Syndicate banner. The ORS was swamped with volunteers determined to avenge their friends and families killed in the bombardments. Outer Rim citizens were more than willing to fight; they only needed leadership and organization to form them into a force that could confront the powerful GTA.
On June 13, 2339 all the signatories of the Europan Convention gathered at an undisclosed location on Europa once again; some arrived in person, while others, having to deal with the aftermath of their ravaged colonies, were only able to attend via holoconference. Accompanied by representatives of many colonies that did not initially join the rebellion but were now outraged by GTA crimes, they formed the Syndicate Magistratorium, a joint council of colony leaders, corporate officials and military officers united by their vision of an independent Outer Rim free of Earth's tyranny, oppression and economic exploitation. They appointed Admiral Glenzmann supreme commander of all ORS forces and gave him the task of creating a new unified command structure that would better suit the decentralized character of the ORS and its unconventional warfare style. Two fleets were formed under the commands of Glenzmann and Tessandras. Fleet commanders were now called "fleetmasters" and ship captains were renamed as "shipmasters"; the other ranks in the ORS military hierarchy were likewise changed to emphasize their much wider autonomy and responsibility than in the GTA fleet. Befitting Glenzmann’s greater authority as the supreme commander of the ORS military, he was awarded the rank of high fleetmaster, while Tessandras, as his subordinate, was given the rank of fleetmaster.
While Io and Europa were secure for the moment, other colonies still suffered greatly, either harassed by GTA raids or occupied by GTA ground forces. In order to maintain their war effort, the ORS began to upgrade old transports, freighters and miners into mobile production centers. The most successful redesign was the refit of the mining ship that became the ORFS Enutriet. In the following weeks a number of Enutriet-class factory ships began extracting minerals and gas throughout the Outer Rim, processing them into fuel, ammunition and spare parts, and delivering them straight to the warships and shipyards of the ORS. The ORS fleet at that time consisted mainly of Fenris- and Leviathan-class cruisers and Sagittarius-class light carriers that were reintroduced into service by the GTA shortly after the Great War. The fleet was soon strengthened by multiple refitted pre-Great War vessels that had been either docked idle near remote installations, used by local security forces or even already sent to ship graveyards waiting to be scrapped. Three Zagreus-class destroyers, the ORD Calixta, the ORD Enyalius and the ORD Leander, soon joined the Syndicate fleet, alongside 15 Atropos-class frigates and 40 Damocles-class cruisers.
While High Fleetmaster Glenzmann was organizing the new Syndicate fleet, Fleetmaster Tessandras acted on his own initiative and took his fleet into battle, combining ORS guerilla tactics with his own combat experience from the Great War. He began aggressive hit-and-run attacks against GTA-controlled colonies and installations in the Outer Rim as well as GTA supply lines between Earth, Mars and Jupiter. The Asteroid Belt in particular became a site of several fierce battles between Tessandras' forces and the GTA taskforce commanded by Admiral Rossendarch of the GTD Holmgard. As both commanders possessed impressive tactical skills and unpredictable strategic acumen, this cat-and-mouse game lasted for almost two months and brought no decisive outcome. A major part of Tessandras' strategy involved deploying elite squadrons, such as the famous 199th Eviscerators, flying significantly upgraded Athena Mk II-class light bombers. Tessandras’ attacks managed to keep Rossendarch and his forces at bay, thereby taking some pressure off Glenzmann's forces battling the loyalists across the Outer Rim. However, the Holmgard kept eluding Tessandras' traps and even managed to launch several impressive counterattacks.
Once Glenzmann had finished gathering his forces, the ORS launched a large counter-offensive on August 15 to retake GTA-occupied colonies and convince hesitating, skeptical or threatened colonial governors to join their cause. The ORS taskforce joined up with local anti-GTA resistance forces, liberated Ganymede, Callisto and Rhea, and fought GTA forces at Iapetus and Titan. This ambitious offensive, however, spread the ORS forces too thinly and the GTA counterattacked. The Syndicate was forced to give ground at Iapetus and Titan, but managed to repel the GTA counterattack at Rhea. After holding and fortifying Rhea, the ORS successfully created a strong perimeter near Saturn. At the same time, local resistance forces grew stronger in the smaller colonies like Uranus' moon Ariel and Neptune's moon Nereid, so the GTA had to dispatch additional marine detachments to maintain their hold on those colonies.
ORS TECH ENTRY #35b - The Secession War, Part 2
Operation Punisher (1)
At the beginning of September 2339, the Secession War was still far from concluded. GTA and ORS forces had fought to a stalemate. The Syndicate fortified its positions on Europa, Io, Ganymede and Rhea while the GTA's control remained secure on Titan, Iapetus and most of the moons of Uranus and Neptune. Fleetmaster Tessandras and Admiral Rossendarch continued to keep each other in check in the Asteroid Belt and neither could gain an advantage over the other.
On September 4, Admiral Donathan Walker, an up-and-coming GTA officer, took command of the GTD Proteus and the entire 1st Gaian Fleet. He appeared before the GTA Security Council and presented a bold and audacious plan: Operation Punisher. Walker proposed to break the deadlock by dispatching the majority of Earth’s defensive forces to aggressively hunt down the Lazarus, penetrate its perimeter over Europa, and commence bombardment of the Galilean moons. Unlike previous bombardments of the Secession War, Walker did not intend to make precise strikes against factories, shipyards and military bases. Instead, he planned to decimate the population of Europa, Io, Calypso and Ganymede with massive thermonuclear explosions and thereby discourage other colonies from continuing the war. Other GTA admirals opposed this plan not only for moral and humanitarian reasons, but also because it would leave Earth vulnerable to an ORS counterattack. In particular, Admiral Hector Caliphtys of the GTD Ironclad very loudly insisted on continuing the war of attrition and crippling ORS infrastructure rather than leave Earth unprotected. Walker, however, remained committed to his strategy. To ensure that Caliphtys could not interfere with its execution, Walker reassigned the defiant admiral to a flotilla stationed in Earth orbit as a reserve. With Caliphtys sidelined, there was not enough opposition to keep the GTA Security Council from approving Operation Punisher.
On September 20, final preparations to launch Operation Punisher were underway. The 1st Gaian Fleet had been ordered to strike simultaneously at Europa, Io, Calypso and Ganymede. Luckily, ORS Intelligence found out about the offensive only a few hours before it was scheduled to begin, allowing the ORS to withdraw ships defending Rhea and several other colonies and redeploy them around Jupiter. The Lazarus maintained its patrol over Europa, while the Calixta, the Enyalius and the Leander defended Io, Calypso, and Ganymede, respectively. When Fleetmaster Tessandras, still fighting Rossendarch in the Asteroid Belt, learned of the upcoming attack, he had the Apam Nepatis launch its fighters and bombers against incoming GTA forces while he ordered the destroyer itself to redeploy to whichever moon first needed reinforcement. As the ORS fleet rallied to stand against the GTA invasion, civilian liners, supply ships, miners and transports from all over the Outer Rim began rushing to Jupiter to evacuate the moons' civilian population. The threat of genocide, this time at the hands of their Terran brethren instead of by the Shivans, rallied the Outer Rim's citizens to a common cause.
As both sides gathered their forces, the fate of the Outer Rim hung in the balance.
Operation Punisher (2)
The GTA invasion force, consisting of almost the entire 1st Gaian Fleet and elements of the 2nd Martian Fleet, arrived at the four Galilean moons simultaneously at 07:43 hours on September 21. The GTD Proteus, the GTD Dauntless and a large flotilla of GTA warships engaged the ORD Lazarus-led defense force in close combat while GTA bombers, hoping to divert some ORS forces from the main fleet, attacked civilian convoys fleeing from Europa. The same strategy was used at Io, Calypso, and Ganymede as well. After a fierce engagement, both sides suffered 70% casualties. The GTD Dauntless was so badly damaged that it was forced to withdraw while the Proteus and the Lazarus gave each other a wide berth to continue fighting at long range.
Io became the first of the Galilean moons to fall to the GTA. Having destroyed the ORD Leander and its entire fleet at 08:50 hours, the GTD Salvation began firing upon the surface of the moon with thermonuclear bombs. Fleetmaster Tessandras dispatched the Apam Nepatis in a desperate push to prevent further bombardment. Despite heavy losses, bombers from the Apam Nepatis' 199th Eviscerators squadron destroyed the Salvation's missile launchers. The Apam Nepatis then managed to destroy the majority of the Salvation's escort ships. However, the Apam Nepatis was soon caught in a cross-fire when GTA reinforcements led by the GTD Holmgard arrived. The Apam Nepatis' jump drive was damaged and Tessandras, unable to retreat, put the Apam Nepatis on a collision course with the Salvation and ordered his crew to abandon ship. As Tessandras and his surviving crewmembers dashed to safety in their escape pods, the Apam Nepatis collided with the Salvation, resulting in the destruction of both ships as well as the death of the Salvation’s commanding officer, Admiral Ivanov, the Butcher of Adamant Shipyard. Tessandras and his crew were quickly rescued by the rest of the ORS fleet. With his flagship destroyed and unable to hold the line at Europa any longer, Tessandras withdrew the remainder of his fleet to reinforce the crumbling defenses at Ganymede.
Operation Punisher (3)
The assault on Ganymede was led by the GTD Adrasteia. The ORD Calixta had been critically damaged while defending Ganymede alongside the remainder of its fleet when Tessandras' ships arrived. The remaining Eviscerators, along with fighter escorts from other squadrons, were sent to destroy the thermonuclear missile launchers on board the GTD Adrasteia. However, the Adrasteia’s fighter screen was stronger than expected and the Eviscerators lost more than half of their squad members as well as all their escort fighters. The surviving Eviscerators were ordered to retreat but refused to withdraw and they continued pushing forward while surrounded by GTA fighters. The last three bombers, designated Falchion 2, Falchion 4 and Illusion 3, managed to reach the Adrasteia’s missile launchers and destroyed them seconds before they were finally overwhelmed by the Adrasteia's fighter screen.
(The 199th Eviscerators' ultimate sacrifice would be honored many years later when their squadron name was given to the BOD elite gunship squadron stationed on the ORD Vermillion.)
At 09:20 hours, after a hard-fought engagement at Calypso, the GTD Excelsior destroyed the ORD Enyalius and began bombarding the moon. The ORS' last reinforcements, led by the frigates ORFg Alexander and ORFg Antaeus, were deployed to destroy the heavily damaged Excelsior, but were stopped when the GTD Holmgard arrived from Europa. (No one is sure why Admiral Rossendarch chose to reinforce the EFN forces at Calypso rather than bombard a now-defenseless Europa, but some have theorized that he thought reinforcing the Excelsior was the greater priority since he could return to Europa at his leisure afterwards.) As a result, the Excelsior was able to bombard Calypso without interference. The moon's largest cities were completely destroyed, resulting in at least 128 million dead or missing, the greatest genocide committed by humans since the Unification Wars.
Operation Punisher (4)
At 09:40 hours, the Lazarus and the Proteus closed to within striking distance of each other over Europa once again. With both destroyers heavily damaged and their escort flotillas decimated, Admiral Walker called the GTD Ironclad and its fleet for help. After standing on the bridge of the Ironclad for hours hearing numerous reports of atrocious civilian casualties from the GTA bombardments of Io, Ganymede, and Calypso throughout the battle as well as the GTA attacks on civilian convoys at Europa, Admiral Caliphtys came to a sudden decision and ordered his fleet to leave its assigned position near Earth and jump to high Earth orbit.
At 09:45 hours, the Ironclad and its fleet arrived in high Earth orbit at GTI Zion, the installation which housed GTA Headquarters and was presently hosting the members of the GTA Security Council who were monitoring the progress of Operation Punisher. The Ironclad destroyed Zion Installation with the entire GTA High Command and the whole Security Council on board.
At 09:55 hours, the Ironclad then arrived near Europa and outflanked the GTA invasion force. The Proteus lost all its remaining escort ships and was forced to retreat back to Earth orbit. At the same time, the Ironclad's fleet split into three units that separately arrived at the orbits of Calypso, Io, and Ganymede and engaged the heavily damaged GTA flotillas. Working together with the remaining ORS forces, Caliphtys and his forces destroyed the GTD Adrasteia and the GTD Excelsior and forced the GTD Holmgard to withdraw to Mars.
Operation Punisher had finally come to an end.
With Zion Installation destroyed, Earth collapsed into political chaos. GTA Fleet Command had been totally shattered. Several commanders of GTA forces tried to act independently and continue the invasion of the Outer Rim, but without coordination they were easily driven off by ORS forces. More and more colonies of the Outer Rim rebelled against GTA authority and joined the Syndicate. Admirals Walker and Rossendarch returned to their home planets and began regrouping what was left of the GTA fleet. Mars itself wasn't saved from political turmoil, as many poorer provinces like Hesperia, Nepenthe and Syrtis used this opportunity to secede from the GTA. Despite Martian local governments sympathizing with Outer Rim ideology, the Syndicate did not possess the means to reinforce Mars with ground troops to defend autonomous provinces from GTA counter-offensives. For this reason, the Martian secessionists did not join the ORS; instead, they proclaimed their neutrality from both the GTA and ORS until the differences between the two powers were resolved. Thanks to Rossendarch's political efforts, Mars' most resourceful regions remained loyal to the old order and even became the most active political players within the GTA, preventing it from total collapse.
Although victorious, the newly independent ORS was devastated and exhausted. Thermonuclear bombardment decimated the population of Calypso and inflicted heavy damage to cities on Io. Less than 30 percent of ships created by or defected to the ORS survived the final stage of the war. The only destroyers left in the ORS fleet were the heavily damaged Lazarus and Calixta as well as the newly-joined Ironclad. Admiral Caliphtys sent his forces to secure the Outer Rim, look for survivors in bombed colonies and fight any GTA holdouts still remaining in the Outer Rim. Many ship captains from Earth and Mars, suffering from lack of supplies and without orders from Command, surrendered or defected to the Syndicate. On September 24, Admiral Caliphtys met with High Fleetmaster Glenzmann, Fleetmaster Tessandras and several Syndicate Magistrates to merge his forces with the ORS military and officially accept the rank of fleetmaster. Although his attack on Zion Installation over Earth generated a lot of controversy, many in the ORS agreed that his actions prevented further bombardment of the Galilean moons, saving millions of Outer Rim citizens and the Syndicate as a whole.
On October 18, a summit was called at Covenant Installation, located in neutral territory at the edge of the Asteroid Belt. Among the participants were Admiral Walker of Earth, Admiral Rossendarch and Prime Minister Bryant representing Mars, with High Fleetmaster Glenzmann and High Magistrate Helena Smithson representing the Outer Rim. As both sides were unable to continue the war, they agreed to a ceasefire and set a demarcation line along the Asteroid Belt. The Covenant Treaty signed between the Galactic Terran Alliance and the Outer Rim Syndicate was in fact the first recognition of ORS independence from Earth’s government. It would be 12 years before the GTA's successor state, the Earth Federated Nations (EFN), would attempt to restore Earth's control over the Outer Rim again.
ORS TECH ENTRY #36 - The First Interbellum
Freed from GTA rule, the Outer Rim entered a new era of economic growth. Far-reaching liberalization of economic policy combined with government help to regions struck by GTA bombardments allowed the colonies to recover from the war faster than anyone could have expected. Outer Rim corporations invested powerful financial and material resources in rebuilding Syndicate infrastructure and restoring the Syndicate’s largest production centers. Two of the strongest participants in the reconstruction process were United Heavy Industries with a total expenditure of 118.8 billion credits between the years of 2339 and 2345 and Bamiyan Development Corporation with 61.4 billion credits spent during the same period.
In exchange for their investments, several corporations gained a dominant position in Outer Rim markets and received government contracts on constructing new ships and military infrastructure. Shipyards around Jupiter and Saturn began mass production of the new Vitalius-class frigate, a fast, cheap and reliable frigate designed by Bamiyan Development Corporation that would form the mainstay of a new ORS fleet.
Economic growth was followed by closer political integration of the Outer Rim. From a loose confederation and a military alliance of colonies dispersed throughout the Sol system, the Syndicate evolved towards a more centralized unified state. While respecting wide autonomy of the colonies' internal policy and their economic freedom, the Syndicate Magistratorium consistently acquired prerogatives over ORS' defensive policy, technological development, and maintaining diplomatic relations with a problematic neighbor -- first the GTA and later the EFN.
After losing the Secession War and the destruction of Zion Station, Earth lost both its central government as well as its privileged position within the Sol system's balance of power. Administration of Earth's remaining colonies was taken over almost entirely by Mars' pro-GTA factions and military commanders like Admiral Walker and Admiral Rossendarch. Earth's local factions, the boundaries of which mostly reflected pre-unification national borders, took over the administration of ‘internal affairs.’
By the end of 2340, Admiral Walker and Admiral Rossendarch had regrouped the remnants of the GTA fleet and secured the GTA’s remaining territories, so they intensified efforts to reunite quarrelling factions of Earth and Mars into a new centralized government. On January 20, 2341, leaders of the American Conglomerate, the European Union, the Indo-Asian Confederation, the Republic of China and 25 other factions met in Shanghai and formed the Earth Federated Nations. In a 74-page-long document called the Charter of Federated Nations, they announced that it was 'high time for Earth's government to stop existing only theoretically' and that 'Grand Terra needs leadership that will not fail her as the GTA of old did'. The radical, nationalist, and xenophobic wording of the document was a harbinger of the EFN's authoritarian nature. Despite initial reluctance, pro-GTA factions of Mars eventually joined the EFN, sealing the reunion of old GTA territories.
The new Earth government made far-reaching political, social and economic reforms, centralized government administration, created a new fleet command structure, and passed strict corporate laws. Old corporations like Han-Roland initially protested against the new regulations, but their losses were promised to be compensated by the new EFN fleet construction programs. These privileges turned out to only be a facade as the quickly expanding EFN police and security services began removing disobedient management under false charges and made the corporations totally dependent on government policy. Propaganda showed corporations as a public enemy to justify deeper and deeper state interventions. It was just the first step towards a total surveillance state that would later become a routine fact of life for EFN citizens.
Government-dependent corporations directed huge funds to construct a new fleet for the EFN. New ship classes were introduced like the EFC Evangelist-class cruiser, the EFFg Solomon-class frigate and the EFCa Praetor-class battlecarrier. With its surveillance state and terror machine growing, the Federation began to close the power gap between itself and the Syndicate.
The EFN introduced a new militaristic doctrine that included mass conscription, universal military education in schools and emphasis on order, law, and public service rather than freedom as well as the needs of society rather than the needs of an individual. The EFN spread propaganda of the 'New Earth nationalism' proclaiming the superiority of the 'true sons of Terra' over societies of other worlds with exceptions made for 'Earth's eldest children' -- Luna and Mars. To reflect this propaganda of favoring Luna and Mars alongside Earth, the EFN fleets were reorganized into the 1st Gaian, 2nd Lunar and 3rd Martian Fleets.
Seeds of conflict
In the late 2340s the ORS still benefited from the Post-Secession Boom and the EFN mostly restored its pre-Secession War economic potential. Since the end of the Secession War, the ORS and EFN maintained cool, if not overtly hostile, foreign relations (and even made a few bilateral trade agreements). As the Federation and the Syndicate continued to rebuild, however, the more hawkish factions in both states began to come to power. Shifts in government funding resulted in a rapid increase in spending on fleet construction, military infrastructure, and national security.
It wasn't long before an arms race between the ORS and EFN resulted in growing unrest. An unfortunate chain of events took place between border outposts and patrols in the Asteroid Belt. Typically, a cruiser or frigate 'accidentally' fired upon the other side's convoy or a fighter wing got dangerously close to the demarcation line.
The first serious incident happened on March 19, 2350 when ORS and EFN patrols clashed near Vesta resulting in the deaths of 2 Syndicate pilots and 8 Federate pilots. In retaliation, the Federation cruiser EFC Cretheus destroyed an ORS mining base on Ceres, killing 38 civilian miners and 9 military crewmen. Further escalation was halted by an emergency conference between High Magistrate Nehru and Federation Chancellor Archambeau where they both promised to restrain their more hawkish military commanders.
Although the situation had officially calmed down, both the ORS and the EFN switched to waging covert actions. Across the Sol system unidentified fighters and bombers began attacking supply convoys, outposts and patrols, but both governments denied any responsibility for the attacks, instead claiming they were the work of ‘unaffiliated terrorists.’ Military intelligence agencies and secret services also intensified their efforts to infiltrate the opposing side. The Federation had discovered the existence of the Syndicate’s Enutriet-class factory ships and was determined to take away this strategic advantage from the ORS. EFN agents were given high priority orders to find the factory ships’ staging areas and managed to find over 30 of them by the end of 2350.
In January 2351, under pressure from the pro-war faction led by Admiral Walker and Admiral Rossendarch, Archambeau was forced to resign the EFN chancellorship and was replaced by Thomas Warfield. Walker, Rossendarch and Warfield were all determined to start a war with the ORS as soon as possible before the newly-gained intelligence on the Enutriet factory ships became outdated.
From the The Martian War to the Second Interbellum
ORS TECH ENTRY #37a - The Martian War, Part 1
The Martian spark
Instead of challenging the Syndicate directly, the new Federation government started with restoring control over the seceded provinces of Mars. A now mostly terraformed planet with a population of 11.4 billion, enveloped by a slightly thin but breathable nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, and covered with several landmasses of arid and temperate climates as well as several small freshwater oceans, Mars was divided into rich pro-Earth central regions and poorer, pro-ORS outlying provinces. On January 28, 2351, the EFN issued an ultimatum to the neutral provinces of Hesperia, Nepenthe and Tyrrhena, demanding unconditional surrender to the ‘legitimate EFN government.’ Nepenthe and Tyrrhena agreed to surrender and submitted to Federation control. Hesperia, however, chose to fight. 90,000 EFN marines invaded Hesperia and the 3rd Martian Fleet commenced bombardment of Hesperia City. Sixteen days and 300,000 dead or missing Hesperians later, the Federation had full control over the province.
Frightened by EFN expansion on Mars, the provinces of Aeolis, Cimmeria and Promethea requested Syndicate aid. The Europan government publicly refused to ‘interfere in the Inner Rim's internal affairs,’ but secretly began sending convoys of supplies, weapons, and ‘military advisors’ to endangered provinces. On February 19, a demand to surrender was sent to Cimmeria by the EFN and was immediately rejected. 20,000 Cimmerian soldiers, reinforced by 6,000 ORS Marine advisors, defended the province against 50,000 EFN marines and the full power of the 3rd Martian Fleet for three weeks before they were eventually defeated. The Cimmerian soldiers and ORS marines who weren’t killed or captured fled to several still-free provinces like Eridania and Elysium to prepare them for the inevitable expansion of the Federate invasion.
In the meantime, the EFN military positively identified ORS soldiers among the captured Cimmerians. This violation of the ORS’ publicly stated neutrality was used by the EFN as a pretext to attack the Outer Rim. On March 29, 2351, the Federation began a full-scale invasion of the Outer Rim, starting a conflict that would later be known as the Martian War.
The Fog of War
The initial EFN strategy of the Martian War was similar to the strategy the GTA had adopted during the Secession War. Aggressive fighter, bomber and cruiser raids took place throughout the entire Outer Rim, forcing the ORS fleet to spread themselves thin in defense of their own territory. The Federation deployed their new Praetor-class battlecarriers to serve as heavy command centers and forward bases for attacks on remote ORS outposts. This time, however, the Federation did not concentrate only on installations and moons, but struck mainly at the staging areas of the Enutriet-class mobile factories they had discovered beforehand. The Outer Rim infrastructure was heavily damaged again, although the Syndicate had several surprises for the EFN such as an experimental energy shield that protected Europan cities from orbital bombardment.
At the same time, EFN ground forces supported by elements of the 3rd Martian Fleet conquered Elysium Island, completing the process of reuniting Mars under Federation rule. Remnants of the pro-ORS provinces' military formed a resistance movement and waged guerilla warfare on the invaders, but with no air support and limited supplies their combat capabilities were negligible.
Perhaps the most intense battles were fought in defense of primary ORS shipyards like the ORI Valhalla where new Galahad-class heavy destroyers were being constructed. Three Galahads in various stages of construction, including the lead ship ORD Galahad herself, were destroyed during the raids. Four others, however, including High Fleetmaster Glenzmann's new flagship, the ORD Thor, survived the raids and soon joined the ORS fleet at full combat readiness after they were completed. (Since then, no Galahad-class ships have ever been destroyed by the Federation.)
For the first weeks of the war, however, the EFN failed to realize that their focus on the Enutriet mobile factories was part of a Syndicate ruse. In fact, by this time the Syndicate had already developed a new-generation mobile infrastructure program and by focusing EFN attention on the Enutriet mobile factories, the Syndicate kept the existence of the newly-constructed ORFS Hephaestus factory ships and ORSh Qadesh mobile shipyards secret. The new mobile factories and shipyards remained hidden mostly beyond Neptune's orbit, secretly processing minerals, manufacturing weapons, and constructing ships. The EFN discovered their existence in late April 2351 when fresh Syndicate reinforcements began appearing from nowhere and heavily damaged Syndicate warships were returning to the fray after only a few days when they should have been in space dock for weeks. In total, Qadesh shipyards constructed 68 Vitalius-class frigates and 14 new Tychicus-class heavy escort frigates during the Martian War.
Having forced the EFN to waste its time trying to negate the now-obsolete Enutriet factory ships, the Syndicate was now preparing to strike back.
ORS TECH ENTRY #37b - The Martian War, Part 2
By June 2351, the Syndicate was still on the defensive, but with continuous support from their new mobile shipyards and factories, they were mostly able to hold the line and even eventually go on the offensive to attack and heavily damage the EFCa Septimus and the EFCa Hadrianus.
Determined to bring the fight back to the enemy by any means necessary, Fleetmaster Tessandras formed the Black Operations Department (BOD). Comprised of upgraded Tychicus-class frigates and squadrons of next-gen gunships, bombers, and fighters, the BOD was created to take the most difficult assignments, strike far beyond enemy lines, and attack enemy supply routes, infrastructure, and utility ships. With this new unit, Tessandras perfected his ability to conduct covert operations, launch hit-and-run attacks, and withdraw before the enemy could react. The BOD performed long distance raids on EFN military installations orbiting Earth and Mars, ambushed Federation forces trying to bomb targets in the Outer Rim, and hunted enemy carriers in order to take pressure off regular Syndicate forces. Aside from precision strikes, the BOD also developed a vast network of spies, assassins, infiltrators, and saboteurs covertly placed in the EFN-occupied sectors of Mars as well as on Federation installations and even front-line Federation units.
On July 27, 2351, the Syndicate launched a massive offensive against Mars. The battlegroup led by the ORD Damascus destroyed the Orion-class EFD Invictus at the Battle of Deimos, a costly victory for the ORS. Simultaneously, the ORD Thor attacked Augustus Station, the primary EFN shipyard in Mars orbit, destroying the still-under-construction Praetor-class EFCa Churchill and the entire 3rd Martian Fleet. Both victories were only made possible by the ORS’ new Galahad-class destroyers, which outmatched the Orion-class destroyers as well as the Praetor-class battlecarriers.
The Iron Rain
While the ORS fleet was still battling the EFN 3rd Martian Fleet, preparations were made for a ground assault on Mars. BOD operatives had spent several weeks infiltrating occupied provinces, seeking remnants of the resistance, and organizing volunteers to take up the fight for the liberation of Mars. It wasn't long before open rebellion broke out in the major cities of Cimmeria, Cydonia and other provinces. Several important Federate governors were assassinated in the confusion. Simultaneously, ORS forces led by Fleetmaster Caliphtys of the Ironclad began bombarding planetary defenses and military garrisons located in pro-EFN provinces on Mars.
At 17:00 hours on August 1, the Syndicate commenced Operation Iron Rain. 2,800,000 ORS soldiers began the liberation of Mars, making it the largest planetary invasion since the Unification Wars. ORS forces landed mostly in the EFN-occupied provinces of Cimmeria, Aeolis, Eridania and Elysium Island where they joined forces with the resistance. On the opposing side, the EFN ground forces on Mars comprised of more than 2,200,000 regular soldiers, 900,000 militiamen and mercenaries and 9,000,000 conscripts. However, they were spread thinly across the surface and morale among the irregulars was very low. Using their temporary orbital superiority to their advantage, the Syndicate made a special effort to bombard only those areas where the regular EFN ground forces were concentrated and leave the irregular forces alone in an effort to sway the native Martians to their side.
After initial victories at Elysium and Cimmeria, the ORS offensive headed west to the heavily fortified regions of Eridania, Tyrrhena and Hesperia. There, however, they encountered heavy resistance and got bogged down. Until mid-September both sides struggled to advance, but despite several hundred thousand casualties on both sides, a stalemate ensued on Tyrrhena Plateau and Hesperia's eastern border. As all attempted offensives were held off by the opposing side, both armies used their numerous construction drones to build huge fortifications hundreds of kilometers in length and garrisons placed mostly under the planet’s surface. The stalemate wasn’t broken even by intensive orbital bombardments commenced by both sides nor by biological and chemical weapons reintroduced by the Federate military.
Lion of the Federation
While the bulk of the ORS ground forces was occupied on Mars and the majority of the ORS warships struggled to support the invasion, the EFN fleet under Admiral Walker regrouped after several setbacks and started a counteroffensive from Earth codenamed "Heaven's Fury." Walker's flagship, the EFCa Tiberius, as well as the EFCa Executor and the EFCa Praetorian, launched a combined strike against the Galilean moons. After having stormed the defenses of Io and Ganymede, destroying two Orion-class destroyers, the ORD Cataphract and the ORD Vesuvius, the Tiberius and its fleet commenced orbital bombardment of both moons. Simultaneously, Walker dispatched small hunter-killer teams comprised of 3 Solomon-class frigates each equipped with advanced jump drives to harass ORS second-line units with devastating shock-jump attacks.
Forced to choose between continuing the offensive on Mars, making a surprise strike at a now vulnerable Earth, or withdrawing to defend the Outer Rim, High Fleetmaster Glenzmann chose the last option, leaving the ground troops still fighting on Mars with the support of only the Ironclad's war-torn battlegroup. The Thor then headed for Io to confront the Tiberius. Familiar with a Galahad-class' close combat capabilities and having learned a hard lesson from Operation Punisher, Walker gave Glenzmann's flagship a wide berth and sent bombers to destroy the Thor's primary railguns. The strategy worked and the partially disarmed Thor became an easy target for the Tiberius' battlegroup. Luckily for Glenzmann and the Thor, BOD frigates arrived and inflicted enough damage to the Tiberius' escort to allow the Thor to escape. The Tiberius continued to bombard Io and damage the moon’s orbital infrastructure for eight hours before the Thor and the BOD frigates could regroup chase the Federate battlegroup away from Io.
For the next few weeks, the ORS was on the defensive again. Walker kept striking at Syndicate targets across the Outer Rim, earning himself the title 'The Lion of the Federation'. His hunter-killer teams and Tessandras' BOD taskforces continued to stalk each other while the bulk of the Syndicate fleet was forced to defend the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.
ORS TECH ENTRY #37c - The Martian War, Part 3
Tools of destruction
In the meantime, Admiral Rossendarch, now commanding the EFCa Sovereign, returned to Mars orbit and confronted Fleetmaster Caliphtys’ battle group. As both commanders were too cautious to risk a frontal assault, they sent skirmishers on flanking attacks, made precision orbital bombardments and launched bomber raids against their opponent's ground forces still stalemated on the planet’s surface. In the following months, Martian cities were pounded into rubble and –- according to post-war estimates -- more than 30,000,000 civilians were declared dead or missing.
Hoping to break the deadlock, the Federation began preparations to use Xanthean Gas, an experimental chemical weapon of mass destruction named after Xanthea, the Martian province where the secret facility that had created the weapon was located. Although after the war the EFN banned the weapon and classified all data pertaining to Xanthean Gas to prevent it from ever being used again, it was revealed that the gas was in fact a swarm of self-replicating nanobots that could direct its poisonous cloud in any desired direction. Each nanobot performed a micro-scale chemical reaction that transformed components of the terraformed Martian air into a deadly poison gas.
The EFN first used small samples of Xanthean Gas on several remote sectors of the front lines. The poisonous cloud directed by the nanobots was capable of penetrating or damaging air filters and gas masks, entering deep into ORS fortifications, and even choking entire battalions in their own barracks. Syndicate marines were forced to leave their prepared positions and defend in the open field, making them vulnerable targets for EFN bombers and artillery. More and more garrisons were being decimated and the ORS saw no way to counter Xanthean Gas other than to destroy entire infected facilities. Hoping to prevent the total defeat of their forces, the ORS prioritized finding the source of the deadly weapon.
BOD operatives managed to locate the Xanthea facility where the nanobots were being produced and stored. On October 6, the ORD Ironclad entered Mars' low orbit and, while under the heavy fire of EFN planetary defenses, destroyed the facility with its cannons. This action, however, instead of removing the threat, merely opened the floodgates. The data that ORS Intelligence agents had gathered on Xanthean Gas nanobots indicated they could not survive a planetary bombardment of that scale. However, unbeknownst to the ORSI agents, the facility also contained the next generation of nanobots that were more resistant to physical damage and high temperature. After the bombardment, these nanobots were damaged and became nonresponsive to remote shutdown attempts, but were still operational. As a result of the bombardment, they went haywire and began poisoning the atmosphere. Larger and larger areas of Mars became contaminated, previously breathable air became poisonous, and toxic rains began destroying the terraformed vegetation so difficult to grow and adapt to Martian conditions.
The Hesperian Armistice
While the battle for Mars remained inconclusive, both sides were now under the threat of a planetary-scale cataclysm which would render the planet uninhabitable. Terrified by this prospect, more and more soldiers of both decimated armies, many of whom were native Martians, refused to fight. The ORS and the EFN held an emergency summit on October 9 and agreed to a ceasefire, despite internal opposition on both sides. Soldiers of both armies who were still able to act were sent to provide humanitarian aid to Mars' civilian population and deal with the damage dealt by Xanthean Gas.
EFN and ORS fleet commanders, who could not bring themselves to believe the scale of the cataclysm on Mars, were initially reluctant to cease hostilities. Admiral Walker's hunter-killer teams and BOD operatives continued to fight minor skirmishes in the Outer Rim for a few more days before both the EFN and ORS governments convinced their military commanders to abide by the ceasefire.
On October 29, a second Martian summit was held, this time in Hesperia City, where both sides agreed to an armistice that would divide Mars into EFN and ORS zones. The rest of the Sol system mostly returned to pre-Martian War boundaries.
Xanthean Gas contaminated vast areas of Mars’ surface and caused several million casualties. It took several years to eradicate all the nanobots and stop the contamination from spreading further, and decades more would be needed before the damaged environment could fully recover.
ORS TECH ENTRY #38 - The Second Interbellum
The Decline of the Federation
The Martian War ended in a draw, but its aftermath was far more consequential to the Federation than one would have expected. A peace initiative undertaken by Martian leaders was taken as an insult by the Earth regime as well as by the military units under Admirals Walker and Rossendarch, both of whom insisted on continuing the war. Open and successful opposition to the EFN agenda by Mars encouraged Earth's less radical parties to demand political reforms such as restoring GTA-era individual liberties and restraining internal security services from persecuting their own citizens. Mass protests broke out in New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and other major cities on Earth, but they were brutally pacified by police and military alike. The government responded with more radical propaganda, greater restrictions on freedom of speech and even more government surveillance of the civilian population. In October 2352, a year after the Hesperian Armistice, the EFN had become a fully totalitarian regime where every aspect of life and the economy was controlled by a paranoid, fascist government.
The direction of EFN policy was another reason for further tensions between Earth and Mars. The assorted provincial governments of Mars concentrated their efforts on fighting the Xanthean cataclysm, clearing the atmosphere of the nanobots, decontaminating the Martian environment, and providing humanitarian aid to the residents of the most vulnerable areas. EFN-aligned Martians had no problem working with the governments of pro-Syndicate provinces or even accepting aid from the ORS itself to clean up the Xanthean disaster.
No dictatorship could remain in power without directing social anger against an enemy -- real or imagined. In August 2354, the government in Shanghai nationalized Triton Dynamics and arrested their board members officially for fraud and tax evasion, but the real reason was because the corporation supported the Hesperian Armistice and cooperated with ORS rescue and decontamination teams.
This policy of full centralization and terror adversely affected Earth’s economy. In December 2354, following the nationalization of Mesa Corporation, the stock markets collapsed and resulted in Earth’s greatest recession in 120 years. The political officers and statesmen that replaced corporate management made a series of tragic mistakes and military production began to drop.
In order to save the EFN from total economic collapse, Admiral Walker announced martial law throughout EFN territory and gave power to a new government comprised entirely of military officers and technocrats loyal only to him. They began a purge in the EFN administration, arrested politicians and statesmen responsible for previous disastrous policy and sentenced them to death or imprisonment in show trials. They restored some of the previous more liberal corporate laws, but they didn't end the persecution and government surveillance of civilians. The economic crisis in the EFN ended in 2358, but even then, the Federation hadn’t regained its former vitality. Admiral Walker continued to be the strongest force in EFN politics while Admiral Rossendarch focused on reorganizing the 3rd Martian Fleet and his own secret military projects.
Throughout the 2360s, the ORS was the dominant faction in Sol and the EFN's influence was restricted to Earth, Luna, the central provinces of Mars and several outposts on Mercury and Venus. However, as the economic situation on Earth began to slowly improve, Admiral Walker's agents in the EFN government began a new fleet construction program, introducing new ship classes like the EFC Viscount, the EFFg Vidar and the EFD Talos, the latter of which was specifically designed to confront the Syndicate’s Galahad-class heavy destroyers in close combat.
Meanwhile, in the Outer Rim, seeing the EFN’s weak but improving economy as an opportunity that could soon slip away, the Syndicate began preparations in early 2367 for a preemptive strike to bring the Federation to its knees once and for all.
From Operation Mjolnir to the Shivan Incursion
ORS TECH ENTRY #39a - Operation Mjolnir, Part 1
In late 2367, after the Syndicate had made numerous secret preparations for war throughout the year, High Fleetmaster Glenzmann mobilized the entire Syndicate military for a new, third war with the Federation. This time, however, the Syndicate would be the one to strike the first blow. For several years the Federation had been struck by economic crisis and political turmoil, but it had begun to recover. The choice for the ORS was simple: either the ORS could make a preemptive strike from a position of strength now, or the Federation would rebuild its military power and start yet another war with the Syndicate in a few years anyway. Seeing no viable alternative, the Syndicate Magistratorium approved Operation Mjolnir, Glenzmann’s plan to preemptively strike the EFN.
Fleetmaster Tessandras and his BOD operatives had spent several years reconnoitering the defenses around Earth. After the Martian War, the Federation's strategy had been focused on defense rather than launching large offensives. Earth itself was protected by a barricade of warships, heavily armed installations and sentry guns. Meanwhile, several Praetor-class carriers were randomly patrolling near the EFN-ORS border ready to provide fighter and bomber support. If an offensive on Earth was to have any chance of succeeding, those carriers had to be tracked down and destroyed.
After years of effort, a BOD sleeper agent successfully advanced though the ranks in the EFN military hierarchy to become chief engineer on the EFCa Praetorian. While undercover, he created an undetectable quantum network connected with other deep cover BOD agents operating on the EFCa Hadrianus and the EFCa Septimus. Through these agents’ efforts, the ORS was able to discover that all three battlecarriers were stationed at several rally points near Ceres.
On October 3, 2367, the agents sent their locations to the ORS via subspace micro-tunnels. The ORD Thor, the ORD Sultan, and their battle groups jumped to the rally points and attacked the three EFN battlecarriers. During the battle, the quantum network was activated and a techno-virus sabotaged the jump drives and primary weaponry on all three battlecarriers. The ORS destroyed the battlecarriers and their escort ships, opening a path for a Syndicate offensive on the Inner Rim.
Operation Mjolnir was now in motion.
ORS TECH ENTRY #39b - Operation Mjolnir, Part 2
The Liberation of Mars
By 2367 many of the pro-EFN leaders of Mars were very concerned about the situation on Earth. Another wave of political purges by the EFN government left the Federation unstable, divided and vulnerable to external threats. Although Martian participation in this political turmoil was rather half-hearted, fear had begun to grow for the planet's future within the Federation. Even in central, traditionally pro-Earth provinces like Xanthea and Acidalia, a pro-ORS political party began to rise in popularity and influence.
Two hours after the launch of Operation Mjolnir, when the first ORS raids hit several Martian orbital facilities, a secret offer was made by Fleetmaster Caliphtys to the leaders of several hesitant Martian provinces. In exchange for formally joining the Syndicate, or at least disarming Federate military and planetary defenses, the Syndicate promised not to bomb any targets in these provinces and guaranteed them full autonomy within the Syndicate after the war. While the previously independent provinces of Hesperia and Cydonia were more than eager to get rid of Federate rule once and for all, Xanthea, Meridia and most central provinces remained loyal to the Earth government.
The Syndicate offensive on Mars was led by Fleetmaster Caliphtys, now commanding the Galahad-class ORD Demetrius. His old ship, the ORD Ironclad, was also present under the command of a young and promising fleetmaster named Horatio Tyrone. Admiral Rossendarch defended Mars for four days, but eventually withdrew his flagship to Earth and undertook no further actions apart from launching fighter and bomber raids.
With almost full domination in both space and air support, the ORS ground forces advanced rapidly on the planet’s surface. Hesperia, Cydonia and several other provinces were captured after only a few weeks of fighting. Entire EFN battalions from these provinces defected to the ORS with the blessings of their local governments. The ORS planned to take the fight to the central provinces where the pro-EFN loyalists were too strong for those provinces to switch sides. Unfortunately, the EFN had turned their major cities into mighty fortresses surrounded with thick walls and packed with artillery batteries and aircraft bases. To soften these defenses, Fleetmaster Caliphtys began massive bombardments of the central provinces. This stage of the war came to be known in history as the ‘Eighteen Days Bombardment of Mars.’ During that period, the EFN military infrastructure was shattered, including the famous Acidalian Military Academy, numerous garrisons and several starports.
On November 14, the ORS flag was waving over the capital of Xanthea while several other EFN provinces were almost overrun. Soon after, the Syndicate accepted the unconditional surrender of Meridia. The total liberation of Mars was at hand.
Wounded beast's last breath
With the ORS' chain of victories on Mars, the EFN had written off the Red Planet. Admiral Walker focused on preparing the defences of Earth while Admiral Rossendarch launched a series of aggressive counterstrikes on the Outer Rim. ORS High Command was surprised with how easily Rossendarch puts the dwindling Federate fleet at risk knowing he cannot truly harm Syndicate's production capabilities. The greatest battles were fought near Ganymede, Titan and in Mars orbit and they were all won by the ORS. Rossendarch's task forces attacked in many places simultaneously, but they immediately withdrew soon after the arrival of Syndicate reinforcements. Rossendarch's flagship EFCa Sovereign was ambushed by ORD Thor in Europa's orbit and crash-jumped after taking moderate damage. Our Federate sources indicate that the overeign's jump drive exploded in subspace, resulting in the destruction of the battlecarrier with Admiral Rossendarch and everyone aboard. Many other ships participating in the counter-offensive met similar fate.
It is unclear till this day what Rossendarch's intentions truly were. The most probable theory is that he tried to buy time for Admiral Walker and the First Gaian Fleet to prepare the defences of Earth. It is possible their jump drives were hacked or sabotaged, but the ORS never confirmed such operations took place. Eventually the EFN counter-strike inflicted only minor damage to ORS infrastructure, although it forced ORD Thor and its battlegroups to temporarily withdraw to the Outer Rim and therefore delayed the Syndicate offensive on Earth by two or three days.
By mid November 2367 the only EFN forces that posed a threat to the ORS was the fleet gathered around Earth commanded by the Lion of the Federation himself. Admiral Walker was clearly ready to fight until the bitter end. The siege of Earth began on 15th November with aggresive ORS raids on the Blue Planet's orbital installations. On 16th November the ORD Sultan destroyed the massive Teheran Shipyard in lunar orbit and the next day the ORD Thor and ORD Damascus nullifed EFCa Executor and the gargantuan G1 command facility floating above North America.
However, the ORS had never been given an opportunity to hunt down Admiral Walker and finish off the sinister Federation.
The Shivan Incursion
On 17th November 2367 ORS science vessels reported a strange subspace anomaly beyond the Kuiper's Belt. Syndicate dismissed it in the beginning as regular subspace fluctuations. Two days later ORSc Sentinel was deployed to take a closer look at the anomaly. Shortly upon arrival it came under attack by Shivan fighters and was destroyed before it could withdraw. Before that it performed scan of an anomaly and sent it to ORI Lagertha. The scan clearly showed that an anomaly is an active subspace jump node.
The Syndicate fleet was put on high alert and Operation Mjornir, including an attack on Earth, was immediately ceased. During an emergency call ORS and EFN leaders agreed on a ceasefire and relocating the fleets against the new threat. The Plutonian fleet's task force led by ORD Agnostica was deployed to form a blockade of the jump node. By the time it arrived the Shivans had already began moving their fleet into Sol. The Plutonians secured the jump node, although they quickly began to take damage as more and more Shivans were pouring into Sol.
Fleetmaster Glenzmann arrived aboard the ORD Thor to reinforce the blockade and a BOD task force under Fleetmaster Tessandras was deployed to the other side which turned out to be Beta Volantis system. While BOD harassed the Shivan armada approaching Sol, the ORS packed the Orion-class ORD Lazarus with heavy neutron bombs and sent it to destroy the node. However, before the BOD managed to withdraw back to Sol, a massive Shivan armada led by a colossal ship that was later named SJ Sathanas arrived and tied down Tessandras' ships while the Sathanas itself jumped to Sol, destroyed the Lazarus and heavily damaged the Thor, forcing Fleetmaster Glenzmann to retreat. The Shivans then brought a huge battlegroup of 6 destroyers into Sol that drove off all other ORS attempts to restore control over the jump node. The BOD task force was never heard from again and was pronounced MIA.
The Shivans have begun their invasion on Solar System.