We came to that out of way moon because of the promises of a large quantity of Ataraxite gems. By we, I should say my partner Margaret Blake and I. She is a good skiff pilot, and really enjoys blowing things up with her rpg launcher when she gets a chance. The gems are hugely valuable on our home world of Shinon; about 400 or 500 alliance credits for gold ataraxite, around 1200 for the green, and 2000 or more for the white. The crime lord who set up shop near the free port of Freefall promised us almost a chest full of the gems. However, that was almost a year ago already. She kept asking us to do odd jobs, and promising us that we’d earn the gems after the next one, and the one after that. Until it came to a few nights ago, when the Freighter Waxwing landed. It’s appearance didn’t really affect us until the next day, when the alliance dropship landed. The two-man ship we came to Ataraxia in, was tagged for some crime or another over by Persephone, and if we launched off the ground our ship would trip the dropship’s sensors. Then, the alliance would, very politely, blow us out of the sky. So even if we got the gems, we would be stuck on that gorram moon.
It’s never easy, is it? My business partner – a former geologist name of Christopher Dennett – and I take an excursion out to our trash heap of a ship, intending nothing more than to stash a certain piece of less-than-legal artillery onboard and come straight back. Easy, right?
Wrong. And the real galling thing about it? It weren’t even the Alliance that nabbed us on the way back. Apparently, that young gun longshoreman had made a bid for the position of Crime Lord and subsequently decided that holding his sometime-coworker at gunpoint would be a good idea. We end up getting frog-marched the rest of the way into Freefall by a trio of brainless thugs. They’re lucky they weren’t stupid enough to try and loot me (not that I had anything but medipacks, a year on this rock had used up every penny we had on our persons, but it’s a matter of principal) or I’d have taken a special care to shoot them on some later date.
Alliance Federal Task Group 7
Entry Log 7582
Quell hostilities in the Freefall area by separating the violent striking miners called the Browncoat Resisters from the forces of the Magistrate of Ataraxia.
MISSION SUCCESSFUL. Most of the browncoats are dead, left planet, or have been working with Federation troops on planet. The magistrate’s authority has crumbled and his jurisdiction replaced by Task Group 7. Both sides may cause more trouble in the future, but for now have been reduced in strength and fighting power.
I was approached by the local store owner, who was concerned for the safety of her store. Being a member of the Guild of War Harbingers, I was more than happy to provide weapons, support, and intelligence to all sides. I accepted the store owner’s request to provide security for her store and assisted the Sheriff with in-town duties while he was away.
The local Crime boss attempted to bribe me with her worthless money, not knowing that my sheer love for destruction and mayhem would be all the payment she needed to secure my services. The concept of money, bribery, and greed sickens me. The embrace of destruction and death is my salvation.
I provided weapons to all sides right underneath the nose of the Federation. My one hope was to get off that greedy backwater world to spread wanton destruction across the galaxy. But I was viciously maimed by roving thugs and left to die in the hot sun while the sheriff crawled away.
Here I find myself on backwater moon thats way to hot, my last credit spend on the trip here and not a familier face around. I’ve spend most of the morning in town trying to find work while watching the Magistrate hire the bigger groups of mercs. It’s a little after noon when an alliance squad comes marching into town. The last thing I needed was for the alliance to show up and smooth things over befor I can get a peice of the action. Luckly while in the trading post I overheard they are here to set up some bank. The Alliance moves on while I cool off in the shade of the trading post were I find my frist job. A merc (I think) wants me to ask the Magistrate some questions about some murder. His money is good and whats the worst that could happen, one of the Magistrates goons could stun me. While waiting for the Mag to be alone
My Associate and I were just minding our own business, which was nothing at the time, when a dusty, nervous miner approached us with a business proposal. He stated that the miner’s revolt had begun on ataraxia and the “revolution” if you could call it that needed some help holding one of their mineheads. I volunteered our services for 4 gems, plus one per kill. We set up our ambush by the mine and waited. Before too long, that nervous miner sent some of his buddies after us to make sure we didn’t take off on them. some people just don’t know how to trust. I could tell these miners had never held a gun, except maybe for some squirrel hunting. Before too long we found out why they hired us and not the other wannabe shooters around town. They had an alliance patrol after them. They came in with their typical alliance fanfare, oh so predictable. Making so much noise you could shoot them in the dark. we popped the first one that came within 20 yards of us. While he was on the ground moaning and groaning, his team leader asked us to hold fire. clearly a master tactician. we “agreed” and let them come closer, and wouldn’t you know it they were all practically holding hands when we lit them up again.
After Action Report Introduction: Freefall, 28-29 July, 2007
‘The captain of the Waxwing was nervous as his Angel Class C Light Transport settled into a berth next to the Freefall Trading Post on the Border Moon Ataraxiain the early morning hours of 28 July planetside. He had a holdful of guns to be smuggled past the Magistrate’s prods, and an Alliance dropship following him in on the glide-path down to the mining town of Freefall from high orbit, and not cargo nor passengers booked for the return trip to the Core Planets. To add to the uncomfortableness, he’d just received a wave from his contact on the ground tellin’ him that the miner’s revolt had spread to Freefall Mine as well, which meant that his quiet little gunrunning spot was bound to be crawlin’ with lawmen lookin’ for Browncoat Resisters, and mercenaries nosing around for easy pickin’s.
The Ataraxian Civil War has reduced in intensity as the various competing offworld corporate interests have tied each other up with suits and countersuits in Alliance Federal Court, thereby choking off the flow of arms and money that was fueling much of the violence planetside. Alliance vessels on patrol along the shipping lanes leading to Ataraxia are aggressively enforcing a court-ordered arms embargo, and the deployment of space-based heavy weapons systems in Ataraxian space has been expressly prohibited. Offworld corporate spending and investment is also being strictly limited pending the findings of the court in a series of cases that may take years to unravel. In the meantime, the Council of Six has been returned to Freefall after giving depositions and hopes to use this erstwhile ceasefire to bolster Freefall’s indigenous economic base through diversification. The Council was able to secure Alliance permission to encourage the introduction of herds of cattle in addition to the already-established herds of pine sheep, and Ataraxian cattle ranching operations are beginning to spring up; unfortunately, in the absence of offworld war funding, many of Ataraxia’s former warlords and armed factions have turned to cattle rustling. The locally-based M3 Mining Corporation, not being party to the lawsuits and embargos currently limiting offworld spending, has succeeded in automating their ore processing operation and used the profits to construct Force 10 Station, an orbital agri-business and trade platform. Force 10 Station’s Heavy Lift Shuttle allows a quick turnover of goods for both legitimate and shady operators who need immediate cash flow, while transport ships still offer the ability to make higher-return offworld trades for those who can afford to wait for their cash. Of course, that first-come-first-served shuttle can fill up with cargo mighty quick. An independent miner, rancher, or rustler looking for a quick fistful of credits or first crack at the next shipment of general supplies is gonna want to get to the landing site as soon as the Spaceport Docking Whistle sounds!
These are turbulent times on Ataraxia. The newly-formed Council of Six and the recently-elected Territorial Sheriff represent Freefall’s latest attempt at government, but the rest of the moon has descended into civil war. The withdrawal of Federal troops and Dexldyne security forces from the planet surface before anyone could legitimately claim the title of Magistrate of Ataraxia left a power vacuum on Ataraxia. All across the surface of the little moon, armed factions of locals as well as offworld mercenary groups and corporate “security” units are vying to claim the resources of Ataraxia and carve them up into defensible turfs. This means that the traditionally self-governed Freefall territory, with its trading post, open spaceport, and valuable mining operations is surrounded by hopeful would-be conquerors who might just see Freefall as the most tempting piece of turf on the moon. Will the Council of Six and the Sheriff be able to defend Freefall’s borders from the factional chaos that is engulfing the rest of Ataraxia, or will the territory become the turf of some would-be warlord or fanatical faction?
Stories of the bloody and mysterious events on Border Orbit Space Station 0G76885 and its subsequent abandonment have spread across the ‘Verse to reach even the remote Border Moons. Official Cortex reports speak of a shadowy terrorist bomb plot carried out with the collusion of known criminal elements, but the grim Rimside rumor that this destruction was actually a vicious, long-range Reaver attack has sent a collective shudder down the spines of the residents of Freefall. Known to spaceship crews as “ZeroGee,” this space station was an important refueling stop along the transport route from Ataraxia to Persephone and was well outside the usual range of Reaver activity. If this violence was the work of a large and ambitious Reaver raiding party, Ataraxia would be in the Reavers’ direct path as they return to their usual hunting grounds. Reavers or no Reavers, however, with ZeroGee temporarily inoperative, transport ships leaving Ataraxia will need to take on additional fuel before lifting off. Offworld shipping and local fuel prices have both risen as a result, but there are also rumors that a new high-speed cargo cruiser link will soon be running directly out of Freefall to Persephone.
For supporters of the Alliance, the most ominous news of all is the Federal decision to withdraw the Alliance Cruiser Vargo from patrol service in the quadrant. The Alliance’s official position on ZeroGee is that the station was damaged not by so-called “Reavers” at all, but by a terrorist bomb attack that triggered a panic onboard that led to abandonment of the station and subsequent looting by illegal salvage operators. In order to ease anti-Alliance tensions, therefore, the controversial Vargo has been recalled and a policy of “Border-Based Management” is being instituted. Henceforth, the Alliance presence on Ataraxia will be supported by the Orbital Planetary Defense Platform (OPDeP) Basilisk. Among residents of the Border Moons in the quadrant, this move is generally perceived to be yet another example of the Alliance’s “cut and run” attitude towards protection of settlers from the unpredictable threat of Reaver attack.
Despite these drawbacks, the mining trade on Ataraxia continues to boom. Dexeldyne, along with many other smaller extraction operations, continue to hold title to their mines and work their claims. As local wealth increases, the Alliance is anxious to see a recovering Ataraxia begin to take responsibility for its own affairs under the Border-Based Management initiative. The Federal outpost at Freefall has been tasked with organizing local elections for municipal offices with an eye towards reestablishing the old trade tariffs and tax collection once carried out under the authority of the Magistrate of Ataraxia. These funds will be used to finance a new Magistracy and rebuild an effective Ataraxian Defense Force. The Alliance is particularly eager that the next Magistrate be a successful Border Moon businessperson with a strong working knowledge of local conditions; to that end, it has been decided that the title and privileges of Magistrate of Ataraxia itself will be sold to the highest bidder at the annual Freefall trade auction.
With the promise of more jobs, more money, a greater need for mercenaries to protect mines from Reavers and bandits, and the high-stakes game of reestablishing government on Ataraxia, settlers from all over the Rim are flocking to Freefall to try and strike it rich. There will be lots of action this year, along with more opportunities for beginning players to jump into the game right away and make some cashy money. With the pending restoration of the Magistracy, there will be a new area in play on the field that is outside of the jurisdiction of both the Feds and the Freefall sheriff.