Outer Reaches Rebellion
|Outer Reaches Rebellion|
|Part of Age of War|
|Terran Alliance||Independent Rebel Planets|
The Outer Reaches Rebellion was an interstellar war fought by the Terran Alliance between 2236 and 2237.
Prelude to War
The rebellion started on the world Freedom, as a protest against taxation and directed at the corrupt Alliance government that controlled the planet. The proverbial straw that broke the camel's back came when Colonial Terran Governor Ardath Rathill imposed one tax scheme too many. He issued the Freedom Marriage Tax Bill, requiring that a mandatory dowry be paid to his office before it would issue appropriate marriage permits. This proved too much for the natives, who to this day are noted for their hot-tempered natures. The Freedom Declaration was issued by the citizens of Freedom, announcing their desire for liberty from a decaying Terra. Denebola followed quickly after. The rebellion spread quickly; by the time the Alliance responded to the revolt, four more planets had revolted and many sympathetic systems refused to support the Terran military. When Terra received the colonists' rambling, semi-coherent declaration of independence, Parliament took some semi-coherent action of its own. Armed, troop-carrying naval vessels moved quickly from Terra to Freedom's jump points and beyond. Upon arriving at the frontier, they carried out their orders. Jump points were blockaded, detachments of Alliance soldiers patrolled the streets and colonists possessing weapons were summarily detained and harassed. Smuggled reports carried out at great risk by blockade-runners spread from world to world, helping to fan the flames of rebellion.
Escalation of Conflict
Obviously, the Alliance would not acknowledge a peaceful act of secession. This could only mean war. In 2236, Terra's Second Interstellar Strategic Combined Assault Force, under the command of Major-General Gunther Stein, was dispatched to suppress the rebellions on Freedom, Ryde and Sevren.
As the conflict on Freedom and nearby worlds quickly escalated from martial law to full-scale guerrilla warfare, the Alliance's military response to the situation grew increasingly unpopular. When word of the fighting slowly spread throughout inhabited space, many still-loyal colonies expressed extreme dissatisfaction. Within a matter of months, what had begun as a mere handful of rebellious colonies had grown to several dozen. The Alliance military, which had been having enough trouble coping with the colonists' unorthodox tactics on just a few planets, now suddenly found its resources being stretched throughout known space. The sheer cost of mobilizing and transporting troops and matériel to the frontier, not to speak of the actual costs of combat, rose to astronomical levels. Reports of colonists being executed (true but exaggerated), rumors of biochemical agents used (completely untrue), and Alliance casualty reports (increasing hourly) led to discontent on Terra.
As the flashpoint for full rebellion, Jefferson City, Freedom was the site of a two-month siege. Freedom President Tudella Dupont maintained the defense of Freedom from General Demond between June 15 and August 25, and vowed to either defend the city, or watch it burn. The siege was broken when General Van Dorne's Twenty-third Alliance Strikers arrived in-system and used orbital laser batteries to destroy three quarters of Jefferson City.
The war was especially brutal and irregular. The Alliance lost roughly 10 percent of their Marines as armed merchant ships harassed troop convoys at jump points.
During the Battle of Izar, Alliance soldiers were attacked by partisans, and even murdered by prostitutes.
- (April 2236) The Battle of Summit ended in the massacre of over 10,000 civilians, including women and children, by the Twenty-third Alliance Striker Regiment following orders from Alliance General Seth Van Dorne.
The Colonial Marines were sent to Denebola. They returned to Terra one year later, after a final major defeat.
- (2237) Captain Robert Davion of the Sixth Colonial Marines deserts his post and provides rebels with Marine equipment and military advice, eventually joining as one of the senior Lieutenants.
Despite the military victories against poorly-armed adversaries, the Alliance faced an uphill battle. David Ryan, son of Rudolph Ryan, and head of the Iceship cartel, was able to supply rebels with weapons and transport communications and officers between worlds in rebellion. Ultimately, a combination of lack of supply, poor morale, increasing numbers of rebellions, and antipathy at home ended the rebellion in autumn of 2237. More than 50 planets had successfully fought the Terran Alliance to a stalemate.
- (December 2237) After one year of running battles on more than fifty worlds, the minority Liberal Party - and many Terrans normally disinterested in politics - made their feelings known. Describing the war as "unwinnable," this group managed to vigorously block all efforts to obtain additional military funding. Low on supplies, manpower and vessels, the Terran Alliance forces were slowly being forced to withdraw on most worlds. On other planets, only a few small garrisons remained. The colonists had 'Won', if either side could win such an insidious conflict. Military and civilian casualties numbered in the hundreds of thousands. As for the material cost of the rebellion, it was estimated in the tens of billions. The following stagnation of Terran politics led to the demise of the Terran Alliance, some eighty years after the beginning of the Outer Reaches Rebellion.
- (2239-2244) Lucianca was a major staging area for Terran Alliance raids against neighboring systems and harbored close to three divisions of Terran Alliance Regiments. With the collapse of the Terran war effort, a small reserve contingent, the 151st Altairian Fusiliers replaced the Regiments, who rotated home. The Fusiliers were still on Lucianca when Hector Worthington Rowe and his band began looking to settle a score. Rowe was a veteran of the battles that occurred on Alexandria. Like so many veterans of past wars, Rowe could not adjust to the broken remnants of his postwar existence, his experiences having completely changed the former student's perspective on life. Rowe and his fellow embittered Alexandrains were searching for a way to pay back the Alliance for the destruction visited on their homeland. Rowe formed a quasi- political club to instill Alexandrians with a rabid patriotism and profound hatred of the Alliance. It was not long before this club became an anti-Terran Alliance paramilitary force seeking to strike at the "Great Alliance Devil." After learning of the presence of the nearby Fusiliers on Lucianca, Rowe recruited a band of Alexandrains, the Theban Legion, to cleanse the Outer Reaches of the last vestiges of Alliance "barbarism." [7 July 2244] Rowe and his 500 followers stole several JumpShips, forcing the Captains to chart a course for Lucianca. Disguised as a long-awaited relief convoy, Rowe's freebooters slipped past the Fusilier defenses, taking the troops completely by surprise. After personally executing the garrison commander and XO, Rowe set up kangaroo courts, which condemned the surviving 170 troops to death by slow torture for their actions as "war criminals". Over half of the garrison troops were brutally murdered before one of the JumpShip Captains managed to jump out of system. Realizing that he and his followers would now be hunted down mercilessly, Rowe decided against returning to Alexandria. After giving the remaining merchantmen the option of making their fortunes beyond the stars or dying with the remainder of the Lucianca Garrison, Rowe stripped the garrison of its supplies and jumped into the unknown. Before he left, however, he watched the last of the Fusiliers burn at the stake. Eventually passing through the Dark Nebula, Rowe discovered a small G5 star with one habitable world orbiting it. [8 Sept 2250] He named the new world Apollo and officially proclaimed the Rim Worlds Republic.
After several years of conflict that damaged most of the colonial infrastructure, the Terran Alliance elections resulted in the replacement of the Expansionist Party with the Liberal Party. The new government withdrew all its forces to a thirty light year radius around Terra, and left the colonies of the outer reaches to fend for themselves.