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Serendip Belt: History

5094AD The Battle of Gabriel

A week after the publication of the Court’s decision, the government of Shard repudiated the Prime Claims Agreement. Shard’s patrol force swiftly moved to re-assert control over the defenceless people of Gabriel. Shard was unexpectedly opposed by the C-Jammer and Shipyard, whose captains claimed that defending freedom and the rule of law was more important than their own short term interests.

Soon there were skirmishes in space, and inside Gabriel itself. Then after a week of fighting, a combined patrol force from C-Jammer and Shipyard bombarded Shard’s patrol headquarters, on Shard itself. Ten-thousand Sharders were killed, and Shard’s ability to supply its forces in Gabriel was badly disrupted. After only another week, the invading forces in Gabriel had all surrendered.

The Battle of Gabriel had been won, but the war was only just beginning. The whole Belt was shocked by the carnage at Shard, and combatants subsequently shied away from bombardment of inhabited bodies. However assassination, terrorism and subversion became commonplace.

C-Jammer and Shipyard were rewarded with special access to Gabriel, which enabled them to increase their population at a much greater rate than the other miniworlds.

The next year the miniworld Michael was completed. It was rigidly controlled by a council of all the Inner Belt captains. Inhabitants were forced to sign contracts that forbade them to apply for homesteaders’ rights. In any case the population was regularly rotated between parts of the bubbleworld, so that no one would live in any one place long enough to homestead it.

5122AD Lucifer Completed

In 5122AD Shard completed Lucifer, the third and final Angel. Lucifer was governed directly from Shard. All dissent was brutally suppressed, especially the nascent ‘Free Lucifer’ movement. The Lucifer Patrol soon became the most notoriously savage and feared police force in the Belt.

Just a few years later, in 5129AD, Gabriel’s homesteaders’ union established a formal, democratic government for the bubbleworld. Gabriel was declared a free zone; formally neutral in all of the conflicts between the Captains.

For the next two decades the False War continued. Each of the miniworlds manoeuvred for position, and spent a fortune building up their military capabilities. Alliances shifted and flowed as the Machiavellian world of Belt politics and intrigue slowly wove its inevitable way towards war.

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