The following is based on actual gameplay that took place within the Tau Scorpii historical server whose result has now been permanently incorporated into the Starborne universe.
Major participating alliances included, but not limited to, are the following:
For Union of Sol
Gentleman of Death, Sword of Brotherhood, Space Mercenaries, Little Red Corvette.
For Lunar Directorate
Valiance, Knights of the Holy Snail.
For Martian Commonwealth
Ministry of Truth, Remnants of the Trains.
“A Gentlemen’s Agreement”
Tens of millions of lives sacrificed. Countless credits lost to the void. And even though the battle is over, the war has just begun.
It started almost by accident; the three blocs arrived in the Tau Scorpii region at nearly the same time, lured by unusual gravitational signals that had been detected through the galactic sensor network. While it remains unclear who fired the first shot, all accounts agree that the hostilities began on 24/09/2411 when Solar and Martian forces were surprised by the arrival of a Lunar dreadnought fleet.
Captain Martine Halloway, UOS Destroyer Liberator of Grawinrad:
“We were engaged in driving Martian scouts away from one of the gravitational mechanisms when the Lunar ships bridged in right on top of us. Some of our forces moved to engage. I don’t know why, maybe they thought the dreadnoughts were Martian reinforcements. Regardless, when the Directorate opened fire we took heavy damage, and had no choice but to request immediate backup.”
The ensuing battle was quick, bloody, and indecisive. It was soon apparent that long term occupation and reinforcement of the region would be necessary. With the bloc’s militaries focused on combat around planets and existing colonies, resources for colonization and raising infrastructure were scarce. To amend this, they began to recruit experienced frontline commanders, individuals who had proven their abilities to build up and defend territories on the frontier. The choices made by these commanders would shape the conflict in fundamental ways.
Although countless skirmishes and minor battles took place throughout the region, most of the heavy fighting was confined to the inner zone of Scorpii. Commanders forged alliances on behalf of the blocs, each of which began to implement their own strategies and diplomatic endeavours.
Early on, the most aggressive were those alliances representing the Martian Commonwealth. A major push into the Union Stronghold area took place not even weeks into the conflict, securing outposts and tactical positions under the cover of constant raiding operations.
Pilot Baharat (family name redacted for personal safety):
“We wanted to punish them. The upstarts. The ‘freedom fighters’ of Sol. It wasn’t hard to identify the weak ones. We struck at their infrastructure, their resource generation, the distribution hubs. They may have seen us coming, but there was nothing they could do. Our commanders carved them up like meat from a bone.”
At the outset, the main action took place between the Union of Sol and the Martian Commonwealth. Adopting a more defensive posture, the Lunar Directorate seemed content to consolidate their holdings, perhaps hoping that the other two blocs would wear one another down. A few skirmishes broke out around the stable pockets at the edge of the Directorate Staging area as several alliances of Martian commanders coordinated through a council-like structure
The Martian offensive continued over the coming weeks, but perhaps made reckless by their recent success, their forces were soon overextended. In contrast, under the pressure of the attack, a core group of UOS commanders was able to consolidate into an effective coalition to maintain its grip on key positions within the Unions core territories and the Union Stronghold zone. With the Martian offensive grinding to a halt, UOS commanders began to push back. Previously lost territories were reclaimed, and interviews with commanders on both sides indicate a level of mutual respect despite the harsh fighting.
Lt. Zoe Li, Systems Engineer on a UOS Mining Colony:
“The Martians came at us hard. It was hell. Constant raids and attacks. I wasn’t sure if we could hold the line. You could hear the confidence in their communications, the hateful bile the Martians were always calling ‘the Truth’. I lost a lot of friends at Tau Scorpii. But you know, diamonds are formed under pressure, and maybe something similar happened to us.”
Anonymous sources indicate that it was around this time that UOS forces reached out to commanders allied with the Lunar Directorate. A secret truce was negotiated, one which would see a strategic victory for the Union paired with a substantial increase in individual holdings and influence for the Lunar commanders.
This “gentlemen’s agreement” created a united front between the Directorate and the UOS against their common adversary, Mars. Over the following weeks, UOS forces managed to penetrate the Unstable Void between Solar and Martian territories, pushing the previous aggressors back into the Commonwealth Bulwark area. Demoralized, many Martian commanders reduced their fleet commitments and offensive activity, resulting in substantial Union gains.
By the end of the conflict, the Union of Sol achieved strategic victory and was left in a prime position to secure Tau Scorpii and further their research on gravimetric anomalies. Meanwhile, Directorate commanders could boast the most significant individual holdings. The gentlemen’s agreement was fulfilled. However, Martian authorities were quick to point out the hypocrisy inherent in the situation.
Quentin Asverald, Speaker of the Assembly of Peers:
“Make no mistake. The outcome of this battle is by no means a reflection of the martial prowess of our enemies. It is, indeed, only a result of the crooked bargain struck by the Union and the Directorate. I ask you: where are those high ideals they proclaimed? What was the worth of their glorious revolution if in the end, their actions just fatten the pockets of Lunar elites once more?”
While public criticism was present within the Lunar Directorate, members of the leadership were more pragmatic about the outcome.
First Citizen Xander Laurent:
“Our commanders were in a difficult position in terms of resources and manpower. Remember, after the loss of Admiral Tanee, it was our valiant defenders who stepped up to maintain the interstellar order. If there was a temporary strategic coordination with UOS forces, that isn’t something we should overemphasize. Instead, let us be thankful for the foothold these strategies have granted us in the region. Elsewhere, we are fighting against the Union with enduring determination and any insinuation to the contrary is nothing more than Commonwealth propaganda.”
In the Union of Sol, there was widespread celebration of the victory. While some members of congress criticized the decision to cooperate with Directorate commanders, among the general population the success of Union forces has led to an all-time high approval rating of frontline commanders.
Anh March Sui, President of the Union:
“It is with great pride that I announce our victory in Tau Scorpii. This is another step forward on the march towards liberty. I want to congratulate our forces on the frontline. All of you are part of something greater today. But let us not forget the martyrs who gave their lives over the course of the campaign. Let us celebrate the hundreds of worlds liberated. Let us thank every patriot for their sacrifice.
We are now working to secure our position across the central cluster and reinforce our holdings in the wider region. Meanwhile, we will continue to provide our researchers with whatever resources they need to delve into the secrets of these gravitational mechanisms. This war is not over. Let us seize the momentum of this victory and carry it forward to greater heights.
Thank you, and may justice and liberty prevail.”
While these events may have concluded the fighting within the inner zone of Tau Scorpii, the blocs are still at war. The campaign has transformed into a multi-front battle for control of the wider region (colloquially called ‘the gardens’). History, as it always has, continues to unfold before us.