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Bruce Langmuir was an officer in the Star League Defense Force (SLDF); in 2575 he held the rank of Major and was serving as the commander of the SLDF detachment located in Camp Cameron, a small SLDF base located in the Rhodes Province of Apollo, the capital world of the Rim Worlds Republic. Camp Cameron had been constructed in 2573 and held a contingent of some forty MechWarriors and their equipment plus other personnel drawn from various trades such as the Engineers. The Camp was well-fortified and well-stocked, and the SLDF cadre stationed there had been making good progress at building a positive relationship with the local community when the Rim Worlds Republic Civil War erupted in 2575.
The Civil War had been brewing for some time, in part because of the high-handed actions of First Consul Gregory Amaris when it came to his long-term economic policy for the Republic - policies that favored foreign companies over domestic companies and an unfair taxation burden. Other key factors were the actions of the Rift Republican Army - a fiercely patriotic organization that was part veterans association, part loyal opposition - and Amaris' reactions to the RRA. Following extremists within the RRA seizing a barracks and prison at Efrimal Long and making demands of Amaris in 2573 Amaris had clamped down on the RRA; in January 2575 Amaris had passed the Manchester Directive, outlawing the RRA as an organization, and his forces had seized assets and property belonging to the RRA and its members as well as arresting those members. The vast majority of the RRA were respectable former Rim Worlds Army personnel and it was considered an honor by many to be allowed to join the RRA; Amaris' actions angered a wide swath of the population, When Amaris ordered military units to suppress a civilian strike in the Diplass Technologies plant it was enough to push the population into open rebellion; defeating the first armed forces sent against them, the workers declared that Amaris had lost the morale authority to rule and formed their own government the Rift Provisional Government. Two of the Rim Worlds Army regiments on Apollo with a significant number of RRA members in their ranks declared their support for the new government, and Amaris was swiftly forced to retreat back to his personal estates, guarded by those forces still loyal to him.
When the Civil War erupted Langmuir found himself suddenly surrounded by hostile natives. Agitators within the RRA had been at work, and while not directly advocating violence against the SLDF, these agitators had been encouraging people to take a stand against those they considered invaders - particularly foreign troops on Republic soil. Those at Camp Cameron quickly noticed a cooling in the attitudes of locals who had previously been friendly, but weren't prepared for outright hostility; however, the fortifications at Camp Cameron were such that the rebel forces were unwilling to attack, even with the population generally on their side.
The result was a siege, where the rebels attempted to starve the SLDF garrison out; initially, water was expected to be the biggest problem for the SLDF cadre, but the engineers attached to the cadre solved the problem by drilling wells to tap into the local water table. Langmuir knew that Amaris had sent word to Terra and that he could expect assistance if his forces held out long enough. While the RRA had the advantage of numbers Langmuir's forces had supplies, a qualitative technological advantage and a far greater sense of discipline. The RRA and the SLDF both began looking for weaknesses in their opponents that could be exploited, with the RRA repeatedly shelling the compound only to be hit in turn with devastating counter-battery fire from the SLDF troops. The stalemate would continue for almost three years as each tried to gain the upper hand.
The siege was finally broken in April 2578, when RRA commandos used a heavy storm as cover to infiltrate Camp Cameron. The storms were a common occurrence on Rhodes, and having infiltrated the compound the commandos were able to cripple the sensor net that was a part of the SLDF security measures. The SLDF began repairs on the sensor net, but while they were working Langmuir was assassinated and the RRA launched another attack. Suddenly bereft of leadership and blind, the SLDF cadre was unable to resist the RRA, who overran the camp. The commander of the RRA forces, Catherine Dormax, declared that prisoners should be considered prisoners of war, but the SLDF survivors - twenty-eight MechWarriors in total - were instead executed by RRA extremists, who then went on to mutilate the bodies. Dormax couldn't sanction such an act of brutality within her forces, even though she was a determined supporter of the RPG, and the extremists' actions divided the RPG against itself. The massacre also proved the deciding factor that prompted First Lord Ian Cameron and the SLDF Commanding General to accept that they finally had to act on the civil war, prompting the beginning of Operation MAILED FIST - the SLDF intervention in the Republic Civil War.
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 130-131, "The Spark"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 127, "Efrimal Long"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 130, "Manchester Directive"