Mitch Hibbert

Mitch Hibbert
Character Profile
Affiliation Federated Suns
Tortuga Dominions
Title(s) Duke of the Tortuga Dominions

Mitch Hibbert was a soldier from the AFFS that ended up leading the Tortuga Dominions, as the leader of the Red Raiders.


When Frederick "Krasny" Konoliv, an officer in the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns during the Reunification War that was serving in the 237th Light Cavalry Regiment, a BattleMech regiment,[1] saw his 237th badly damaged in a wasteful action against the Taurian Defense Force on Sterope.[2] Konoliv and the other surviving members of the 237th decided to desert from the AFFS, taking their dependents with them into the Periphery.[1][2] Mitch had been a child when the 237th arrived on Tortuga Prime.[1]

In 2588, Konoliv and the rest of the deserters arrived at the planet they dubbed Tortuga Prime; the planet had mild seasons, a reasonable climate and a lack of infectious diseases, so they decided to settle on it. Konoliv was elected as leader of the new settlement. The colony struggled, because while Tortuga Prime had its positive characteristics, it also had extremely alkaline groundwater, making it difficult to irrigate crops or provide potable water without water purification systems. The colony was soon running short of rations and spare parts, leading Konoliv and the other officers from the 237th to settle on a new plan of action.[1]

Konoliv settled on a plan to take the demi-battalion of BattleMechs the 237th had managed to bring with them, and raid border worlds for the supplies needed to sustain Tortuga Prime. Renaming his troops as the Red Raiders, Konoliv led them on an initial raiding campaign that lasted from 2589 to 2597. Konoliv had his troops focus not just on looting food, but also on kidnapping skilled farmers and their families, herds of livestock, and whatever machines and equipment could be carried away; he also ordered his troops to torch any evidence that they had been responsible for any of the raids. As Konoliv targeted outlying settlements on worlds that weren't monitored, many of the raids went unnoticed for months.[1]

When Konoliv led a failed raid on the Federated Suns world of Memphis in 2604, with Three BattleMechs were lost in the raid - a precious resource the Red Raiders couldn't afford to lose - he was challenged on the bridge of the DropShip Crossroad by one of his officers, Lieutenant Mitch Hibbert. Hibbert killed Konoliv, running him through with a shard of armor taken from a heavily-damaged BattleMech, and demanded a new election to select a replacement ruler. Hibbert was subsequently elected "Duke" of the Pirates of Tortuga, in Konoliv's place.[1]

Under the first Duke Hibbert, Tortugan society became what it would remain until at least as late as the thirty-second century. Workers had little incentive to do more than the bare minimum necessary for survival, as their families were ripped away and dispersed across other worlds across the Tortuga Dominions,[1] leading to every project becoming an exercise in inefficiency, as large numbers of manual workers had to be forced to engage in work projects that could elsewhere have been performed by a small group of skilled workers - or even a single worker - with the appropriate equipment, while local strongmen competed with and undercut each other. The various smaller settlements and forced relocation camps were still notionally elective democracies, but those elected into authority only lasted for as long as they could continue to provide protection for the people under their rule and provide the required standard of living.[3]

The pirates based on Tortuga Prime grew increasingly bold during the Star League era as other groups of pirates joined them, building the Tortuga Dominions into a small empire and becoming a plague on nearby nations.[4] Gang members often ended up in conflict with each other, such as in the infamous case of the construction of the HM-49 uranium mine complex in the mid-twenty-seventh century; when a gang leader known as The Dutchman was refused access to heavy equipment by Duke Hibbert, he resorted to forcing 2,000 men, women and children to dig the mine manually. Seizing the forced laborers in question threatened a nearby local grain harvest owned by another gang member, leading to raids between the two, attacking settlements and claiming resources. The escalating conflict nearly became a full-blown civil war, and stopped only when Duke Hibbert executed both leaders, leaving the mine unfinished; the lack of harvested food resulted in 40,000 deaths from starvation in the following winter.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Touring the Stars: Tortuga Prime, p. 4
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Periphery, p. 154, "Tortuga Dominions"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Touring the Stars: Tortuga Prime, p. 5
  4. First Succession War, p. 125, "Antallos and Tortuga"