The Magistrate’s leasehold on the Border Moon Ataraxia has been suspended pending his indictment by the Alliance Terraforming Authority on charges of illegal mining and trafficking of the rare gemstone ataraxite. Since he has not yet been convicted of any crime, the Magistrate insists that this suspension constitutes a gross violation of his contract rights under Interplanetary Commerce Law and has vowed to resist any attempts by the Alliance to forcibly seize his property. To this end, he has allied himself with his former foes, the Browncoat Resistance, and offered forgiveness of indenture to any miner who will join the struggle. Together, they are waging a low-intensity guerrilla campaign against the various Alliance forces sent to occupy Ataraxia’s key strategic areas.
An Alliance peace-keeping force has been dispatched to Ataraxia to quell the lawlessness. As part of this force, Alliance Federal Task Group 7 has been assigned the unenviable mission of pacifying the notorious port town of Freefall and its environs. From previous missions in the sector, AFTG-7 is well aware that the area around Freefall is a seething hotbed of mercenary thugs, petty thieves, smuggling space-trash, and unreformed Independent guerrillas.
Freefall itself remains a neutral open port, since it was never part of the Magistrate’s leasehold on the planet and its legal status is therefore not in question. The townsfolk are suspicious, however, that the nearby Federal Task Group is actively looking for an excuse to declare martial law and usurp local control “for the protection of Alliance citizens.”