Captain of Dragons
- Jan 5, 2014
How could something so beautiful, so brilliant, have gone so horribly wrong? When do the ideals of man turn into grudges? Even after we grasped further than the close-knit squabbles of Mother Terra, we still couldn't avoid our nature. I guess that it is Man's nature, after all, to make war. And when we reach higher, grow ever stronger, war's coming leaves even deeper scars.
It all started in the year 2139. It was a year of turmoil, and a year of hope. Poverty, overcrowding, and disease ran rampant across Earth, and misery dominated daily life. Signs of hope never faded, however, and mankind's brightest light had detached itself from its muddy home. And that light, in the form of the largest Space Station ever built up to that point, reached its destination, a planet named after, ironically enough, War.
10 billion pairs of eyes turned to our sister planet, Mars, as the great expedition ran its course. That expedition, mainly composing of the great station, Columbus, created something never before seen in human history: A home on another planet. The rest, as they say, is history, but Mars has always remained the favorite of all of the Earth-side governments, the jewel in the crown of the first solar empire. At least, it was until now.
Men and women on Mother Terra ruled the colonies strictly, but fairly, and they ran them for 100 years. Then, they asked too much. Who knows what the breaking point was? Corruption had grown quietly under a complacent system, dissent grew as cultural identity surfaced, and at the end of the day the Colonies saw themselves as little more than puppets of Earth-side puppeteers, forced to dance for their masters. Add to this a growing bureaucracy too inflexible to adapt to intra-solar travel, and all of the ingredients were ripe for conflict.
Even then, however, war came slowly. Nobody expects a war, and nobody wants it. Diplomacy was, of course, the first channel that the Colonies used to show their discontent. 250 men and women from all over the solar system, even 3 from Terra and one from Luna, formed a "diplomatic envoy" to the great meeting of the Rulers of Earth. At first, this measure seemed to be working, that is until a startling fact came to light: the Solar Fleet, the most powerful military force ever created, was planning on building a new, fortified military base on Deimos, one of the twin moons circling Mars.
Shortly thereafter, the Jewel fell off of the Crown, and the envoy returned home in bitter disappointment. Construction began on the military base, named Citadel M-7 Cerberus, and open revolt began in the colonies. It started, unsurprisingly, on the blood-red planet itself. The surface mines and great farming communities of Mars steadily produced less and less, and protests were constant news in the subterranean cities. Spes Magna, the great capital of Mars, broke the trail in this matter, and just a few short years later, in war.
The first step of the war crippled the Terran War effort: the utter destruction of Deimos as a military base, killing perhaps 1 million civilian workers and hundreds of thousands of marines and sailors. Deimos was mined, and the forces of the colonies settled in their fortress, their impregnable defenses on the planet of Hope and War, and waited for the enemy to come to them.
Simultaneous to the Martian declaration of independence, a great alliance of Planets, from Neptune to Mercury, declared their own acts of defiance (including Pluto, which is NOT a planet). Fighting broke out throughout the great mines of the asteroid belts, and on every single planet and dwarf planet in the system, aside from Terra and Luna.
In the next year, Venus, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn and Pluto would successfully overthrow their Terran foes, while Mercury, the two central-most Asteroid Cities (codenamed A-3 and A-4), and Jupiter all fell to superior might. But what of Mars? The red planet endured the greate4st military conflict in history, overshadowing every other War in both sheer destruction and loss of life. The very first measure taken was to bombard the surface of Mars, to crater it like Luna or Mercury, to drive the bloodthirsty Martians from their fields and into their caves, to teach them a lesson for killing hundreds of thousands of helpless soldiers and civilians.
As the long campaign reached its bitter end, more explosives had been used than in any hundred mining operations or wars combined. And the Martians waited. Then, the largest organized landing of forces ever coordinated or attempted, a grand total of nearly 100 million Terran conscripts and soldiers, with air-support, artillery,and the most advanced weapons of war, set foot on red dirt. The true battle of Mars had begun.
A great dust storm, produced by the billions of tons of dirt knocked loose by the extensive aerial assault, clouded the field as nearly 2,000 colonial Warships engaged a Terran force twice their size. Nearly 50 million sailors took to the upper atmosphere of Mars, and many of them would not live to see the next martian year. Meanwhile, on the land, the Earthling soldiers were ambushed by an army nearly rivaling their own in size, if not in equipment, while they were only halfway through landing. Fighting raged, millions died, and eventually the Martians and their allies were forced underground. By that point, nearly 40 million casualties of war were confirmed on the planet, and the surface owed its red hue more to blood than its famous soil. It would only grow worse. Details of that gruesome, bloody, stalemate in the bedrock of War and Hope (the moniker the planet has adopted) have scarcely survived, and even now the Republics of Earth are still compiling their full reports. All that is known for certain is that by the end of fighting on Mars, nearly 200 million individuals were confirmed dead, and the Martian cities were laid to waste. The jewel in the crown had come tumbling into dust.
You are at the edge of a dark path, if the colonies are to earn their freedom and finally end this brutal dispute. Along with your crew, all of whom have seen combat in the war, you have taken a ship from one of the more remote outposts the Colonial military set up. You have stolen a ship, the Sirius, and have loaded on-board as many weapons as could fit in the combat ship's admittedly limited cargo bay. Bidding farewell to your home planet, you take to the skies, but quickly determine that there is only one way off the planet, and that is by passing an inspection from the Solar Fleet. And so, you and your comrades decide to join the shipyard holding hundreds of other ships, each of them salvagers that the Admiral has commissioned to round up the armaments and contraband that the Colonials stocked their planet with. The next step is up to you, but the ship contains a cargo more valuable than perhaps any other: a detailed holograph that intricately describes the great weapons of fleet and army that the Terrans set loose upon Mars. Far-Reach, a great space-sysem established on the edge of the Solar System, houses the unified Rulers of the Colonies, and is the home of millions of refugees. It is the single strongest remaining base for colonial Fleets, and it is here that the data must be delivered.
((At this point I'd like to point out that you can sell your cargo, two tons of ammunition and weapons, for a considerable profit, or have the engineer make weapons modifications at the expense of his own skill points. However, selling the weapons requires the Captain to make a Negotiation roll of 15, and the Pilot to make an evasion roll of 15))