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Gaia Conflict

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The Gaia Conflict was a conflict between the Sol Central Government and the Terran Colonial Confederation. The conflict lasted from the 16th of January, 2545 until the 11th of October, 2550 and ended in a Pyrrhic victory for Sol. Today, Gaia is a neutral planet and marks the DMZ between Sol and the TCC, with detachments from both the Confederation and Sol militaries stationed in the system.

History

Note: This timeline is not exhaustive, nor does it cover all viewpoints or aspects of the Gaia Conflict.

Terran Territorial Gains at the height of the war, late 2547

2542-2544

Year Events
2542 The TCC annexes Providence after a system-wide referendum votes in favour of joining. The referendum is widely suspected to have been manipulated by external forces. The TCC proclaims it as a great day for stability and security of the Confederacy. Sol send diplomatic observers to Providence.
2543 The TCC enters Valy under the guise of intervening in a civil war that was raging across the system. The fighting ceases almost entirely upon their arrival. The Confederacy do not leave. The move is widely protested by Sol and a number of independent systems.

The SCG place tariffs on Terran foodstuffs and weaponry. The TCC places tariffs on Sol industrial chemicals and steel. A trade war begins.

2544 The TCC move into the formerly unoccupied Kvasvezda system and begin the construction of a massive naval installation, ostensibly under the justification of border security and anti-piracy measures. The Fourth Fleet move additional vessels to Partheno, but otherwise take no more action.

November: Gaia, the only planet in the Galile system, vote to join the SCG by a small margin, prompting widespread unrest and rioting. Sol send a large peacekeeping force. The TCC object directly to the Gaian government, on the grounds of border security, an unclear majority and the safety of Terran expats living on Gaia, who proceed with integration despite threats by the Terran President. The Confederacy goes quiet.

2545

Month Events
Overall Sol's darkest hour, Gaia falls, Helios falls, the Fourth is crushed. The year also sees the death of the Admiral of the Fleet Thomas Beckham, the rallying of the Third, the destruction of the Fourth, the fall of Gaia and the beginning of three long years of Terran occupation of numerous Sol systems.
January The TCC launches a surprise attack along the border at multiple points simultaneously, utterly overwhelming the Fourth Fleet. Victor's Star, Partheno and Lacaille are quickly overwhelmed, with the Terran Navy and Marine forces capturing numerous SCG installations.
February The Fourth Fleet presence at Gaia finally falls, having been decimated. Carrier Group Bravo is lost. The TCC begin preparations for planetary invasion, with the Terran Ground Forces being deployed to the system. Meanwhile, the First Fleet rallies and (except for Ceremonial Group Terra) flies for Gaia while the Second Fleet rapidly mobilises most of its forces to Tau Ceti, Alpha Centurai and Kruger. The Fourth Fleet retreats en masse under Rear Admiral Diwalli to Helios. Not all remaining vessels arrive. The Fourth is tasked with holding Helios at all costs while the Second prepare for an expected Terran push directly from Gaia to Tau Ceti.
March The Terran Naval Marine Forces and Army arrive above Gaia and engages an orbital invasion. Gaia, in possession of a larger than usual complement of the SCG Army because of SCG integration and subsequent rioting and planetary unrest, is ready to meet them along with the Gaian PDF, which is kept in line only by the presence of SCG Troops. The Terran Navy, which have only instituted limited orbital bombardment because of a desire to capture the planet intact, have inflicted minimal casualties on ground forces. The First Fleet continue their journey to Gaia.
April The first Terran troops land on Gaia and are met with heavy resistance, especially around the Lake Cabot region, home to the Gaian capital of New Venice and numerous farms and resorts Much of the planet falls within the month with much of the Gaian PDF breaking into civil war as the SCG Army elements retreat and focus around New Venice. Fighting continues.
May The First Fleet arrives at the Galilei Gateway, entering the system without being attacked. Indeed, the Terran Navy is nowhere to be seen. Suspecting a trap, Admiral of the Fleet Thomas Beckham holds much of the First back around the installation while sending forth Assault and Support Groups Alpha. Both groups enter orbit around Gaia and rapidly deploy many of their Armsmen and engineering staff to New Venice after establishing contact with Colonel Montgomery, the highest ranking Officer alive on Gaia.

By the second week Admiral Beckham moves his own personal flag group out of orbit around the Gateway installation into orbit over Gaia. It is at this moment the trap is sprung. The confederacy, using unstable bluespace portals away from the Gateway installation, enters the system in a surprise assault. While the instability of the portals causes the loss of a number of Terran vessels, most make it through. Fighting immediately breaks out. The SFV Terminus, a resolution class vessel and the Flagship of Admiral Beckham, engages directly with the Flagship of Admiral Yevgeny Novikov, the leader of the Terran Naval Forces at Gaia. Despite having the technological edge, the Terran Flagship is critically damaged by Beckham, but not before Novikova sends his vessel on a collision course with the Terminus. Both vessels are destroyed by the crash. The First Fleet, demoralised and panicked by the loss of the Admiral of the Fleet, is routed and retreats en masse through the gateway. Dooming the remains of Support and Assault Group alpha to die or surrender in Gaian orbit. Many launch their smaller support and strike craft and remaining armsmen, medical and engineering components to New Venice before scuttling or surrendering.

The rest of the Terran Navy continues to consolidate its new holdings in Sol Space and regroups for further assaults.

June The Remnants of the SCG army on Gaia continue to fight fiercely, now without hope of additional support. Though never equipped to fight a planetary invasion, they are bolstered by the arrival of the Naval Armsmen, medical, engineering and air support of the now defunct First Fleet. They heavily reinforce New Venice and its surrounding areas while many Naval Armsmen and strike craft move to relieve loyalist PDF elements. Colonel Montgomery puts his engineers to good use erecting fortifications and defences around and in New Venice.

The First Fleet remnants arrive back in Sol space, where they remain for the rest of the war as a last defence force. Rear Admiral Barbara Andersson of the Second Fleet is promoted to Admiral of the Fleet and takes over coordination of the war effort.

The Terran Navy Valy Strategic Command regroups and prepares for an assault of the Helios System.

July The assault of Helios begins. Admiral Diwalli, having dug in and taken advantage of the numerous space stations in the system, has moved them into a protective ring around the Gateway Installation. His orders are to hold Helios at all costs as the capture of the installation would provide the Terrans with direct access to Sol. Fighting rages on for a further two months as the remnants of the Fourth gradually stagger back and become increasingly reliant on their orbital installations.

Meanwhile, on Gaia, fighting continues. More Terran troops pour onto Gaia. Much of remaining Loyalist PDF elements surrender. The Terran Navy Altair Strategic Command consolidates itself over Gaia and begins the construction of a new naval installation.

August Terran Scouts test the defences of Kruger and Tau Ceti. Few return. The Second Fleet has not been lax. Fighting continues elsewhere.
September The Fourth Fleet begins its infamous last stand at the Helios Gateway installation. Seeing that the battle is lost, Admiral Diwalli lures much of the Terran Navy forces as close as possible to the Gateway installation before forcing a localised Bluespace cascade, resulting in the release of a massive amount of energy, destroying both the remainder of the Fourth Fleet as well as much of the Valy Strategic Command. The loss of the gateway installation dooms Helios, Partheno and Victors Star to uncontested Terran control for the next three years.

The Fourth Fleet effectively ceases to exist. Over the next year or so many lone vessels in the void between systems limp home to Sol and are absorbed into the Second Fleet or surrender to the Terran Navy.

SCG Army detachments and PDFs across numerous occupied systems surrender.

October Fighting on Gaia begins to slow, Colonel Montgomery has withdrawn much of his remaining forces to New Venice.

The Second Fleet reinforce Tau Ceti and Kruger further and begin heavily mining the void near most Sol systems on the Terran front.

The Terran Navy creates the Galie Strategic Joint Command and attaches the majority of its newer and experienced vessels to it in preparation for further incursions into Sol Space.

November Colonel Montgomery declares the defence of New Venice Untenable and, in a surprise move, orders his forces to disperse into the Gaian countryside and to spread out across the planet to continue fighting a Guerrilla war. The Gaian Resistance is formed, mostly consisting of the remnants of the SCG Army and some loyalist PDF Troops. It enjoys widespread support in the planets southern hemisphere, which is predominantly pro-sol.
December The first battle of Tau Ceti begins and ends swiftly, with the Terran invasion force repelled by the Second Fleet. Admiral of the Fleet Andersson decides that, in spite of the victory, the Second does not have the power necessary to fight a defensive war and reclaim lost territory and orders the Third Fleet to begin rallying at Tau Ceti.

The Third, heeding the call, begin the long, slow and arduous task of assembling an entire Fleet in a single system, compounded by the fact that the Third is greatly dispersed across the border, with many vessels being out of easy contact for months on end. They would not fully regroup for another two and a half years.

2546

Month Events
Overall The year saw some of the hardest fighting for the Second, with the twelve battles of Tau Ceti taking place as the Terran Navy constantly regrouped, repaired and rearmed for assaults on the system. The Third fleet continues its long regroup, leaving behind a number of unfinished missions, patrols, peacekeeping projects and aid deployments.

Terran Morale is at an all time high following the destruction of large swatches of the Sol Fleet and territorial gains across the board. An orbital memorial is erected above Gaia in memory of Admiral Novikov. Parades are held on Terra in celebration of the Terran Ground Forces and the Terran Navy. Concerns of supply issues and a lack of manpower in critical areas are ignored.

On the civilian front, Sol conscripts most of the private corporate fleets to serve in minor peacekeeping missions in areas with a minimal Fleet presence, but which are not directly at risk of Terran attack. Prices rise in many areas. Morale is low.

March Planetary PDFs are drafted into serving with the regular SCG Army, and many reservists and those on the inactive list are called up for service. The SCG Army readies for full mobilisation and many worlds begin the process of fortifying themselves against orbital assault.
June The Terran Navy launches three assaults in as many weeks against Tau Ceti, passing through the gateway en masse and making use of unstable bluespace portals. The attacks are repulsed each time by the Second Fleet, at some cost to both sides.
October Reports surface of incidents involving the SFV Sugihara Chiune, previously thought destroyed during the fall of Victor's Star. The Sugihara is reported to be roaming deep space behind Terran lines, attacking supply lines and logistic points along with a ragtag collection of other Fleet vessels. Contact is not made with the Sugihara in spite of the rumours, though they go on to motivate many in the demoralised and shattered Fleet.
November The Terran Navy launches its final assault of the year on Tau Ceti. A minor breakthrough is made before ultimately being pushed out toward the end of the month.
December The Year ends with no major gains on either side. Terran Morale remains high. Sol is exhausted, but hopeful that they will, at least, not lose more than they have.

2547

Month Events
Overall The year sees renewed aggression on the part of both sides. The Second Fleet makes a desperate gamble, forgoing its stonewall tactics of the past two years to take back Helios. The lack of Fleet presence on the border vacated by the Third Fleet begins to fall into lawlessness, rampant piracy and insurrections outside of gateway installations and well developed policed colonies and systems.
January The absence of the Third Fleet on the border begins to take its toll on numerous systems they used to defend and aid. Insurrections and rebellions sprout up in numerous unstable colonies and piracy becomes rampant outside of a few, well developed planets and systems.
March Terran vessel manufacturing begins to slow down owing to a lack of resources and manpower. Much of the Terran Economy is locked into full war production and luxuries for civilians begin to thin.
July Using the threat of Terran aggression Sol coerces a number of independent systems to render material aid to support their war effort with promises and loans being made in the process.
November Colonel Montgomery's Resistance movement on Gaia continues to be moderately successful against the occupation forces. A new head of planetary police is brought in from the confederation, Sasha Alistratova. A reign of terror begins on Gaia, upsetting Terran and Sol supporters alike as the newly invigorated planetary police force begin hunting down any guerrilla forces and insurrectionists indiscriminately. A great many Gaian citizens are caught in the hunt, innocent or not, and summary executions are regular as Terran Martial Law grips the planet.
December The Terran Navy launches an assault on Kruger. The Second Fleet is initially overwhelmed before being reinforced. Heavy fighting takes place in the system around the Gateway installation and numerous planetary bodies. The Second fails to repulse the Terrans entirely, and both sides enter an uneasy stalemate in the system.

2548

Month Events
Overall The year saw the Third Fleet finally regroup, a surprise move from the Terran Navy, mounting resistance to occupation from Terran forces as well as rampant piracy in the Terran occupation zone.
January Fighting continues in Kruger, which continues to show no clear victor. The Second is becoming heavily taxed with the amount of fronts they are forced to maintain.

Terran Naval Activity seems to have dramatically lowered in much of the occupation zone.

March The SCG Army is completely mobilised, having assembled fully in the Sol System.
June The Third Fleet is finally fully regrouped in Tau Ceti. Preparations are made to take Gaia. The Army mobilises transport craft and join them.
July The SFV Sugihara Chiune emerges through the Sirius gateway, much to the surprise of everyone present. The vessel, dented, damaged, its paint long faded, limps into drydock along with its equally ragged myriad collection of ships. They bring vital intelligence with them on the state of affairs in the occupation zone, as well as worrying news about the Terran Navy. Kruger is a feint. Much of the Terran Fleet has come around "the long way" and is preparing to attack via Sirius. The Second is thrown into disarray when reserve forces meant for Kruger are relocated to Sirius. Captain Lee Kyung collapses of exhaustion.

The Second Fleet deploys station-based kinetic artillery and missile mines near the Sirius gateway and prepare for a siege.

Oddly, and of note, midway through July a Gateway Installation worker is killed in an electrical explosion. It is quickly discovered that the worker is not, infact, human, as previously thought, but a Poistronic brain inhabiting a complex human chassis covered in synthetic flesh. Questions abound, colleagues recall knowing the worker for years. Many questions are raised and left unanswered by the incident. Root remains silent on the matter.

August The Battle of Sirius Commences and sees the hardest fighting of the war the Second has experienced thus far. The Terrans, having banked on surprise being on their side, are not prepared for the fierce resistance they encounter.

Sasha Alistratova of the Gaian Planetary Police Force is assassinated while inspecting a section station in southern Gaia. Colonel Montgomery is rumoured to be personally involved though the identity of the killers is not discovered. Retaliatory raids and even harsher action from the Terran created Police Force begin. Many perish in the witch hunt.

October The battle for Sirius ends with great damage inflicted upon the Terran assault Fleet. Their navy withdraws, shattered. Much of the Second Fleet in Sirius reroutes to Tau Ceti.
November A two pronged assault is planned by Admiral Andersson. In a surprise move, the Third Fleet is re-routed to Kruger, where they smash through the Terran naval blockade. Their plan, relying on speed, means they do not hold in Kruger, with the Third immediately flying through to Altair system where they engage in the fiercest boarding action of the war, with Naval Armsmen and Exosuit pilots boarding the system and sector headquarters of the Terran Navy. Fighting persists throughout the night aboard the massive orbital installation above Altair II.

Terran Forces cease attacking Tau Ceti and withdraw to Galilei.

The Second Fleet regroups its localised forces and prepares to push.

After two weeks of vicious combat, the Altair system is fully in the hands of the Third Fleet, freeing up Second Fleet defenders in the Kruger system who advance to reinforce.

December The Second and Third Fleets prepare to take Galilei.

Terran Morale is at an all time low following news of the destruction of the Sirius assault fleet reaching Terra.

The Terran Navy pulls out of much of the occupied systems, consolidating its forces in Gaia and other Terran systems connected to Altair, anticipating further attacks from Sol.

Public opinion on Gaia is turned massively against the TCC after years of oppression. Some theorists believe this was the intention of Colonel Montgomery's campaign.

2549

Month Events
Overall The reclamation of Gaia, the redemption of the Fleet, the downfall of the Terran Navy, and increasing criminality across human space.
January The Third Fleet launches its assault on Gaia. Fierce fighting begins. The SFV Ulysses Grant is the first Fleet vessel through the gateway and is destroyed when its reactor suffers a direct hit by an unknown TCC projectile.
February The Third either destroys or pushes out much of the Terran Navy from the Galilei system. The Third orbit Gaia and prepare for an orbital invasion, which is somewhat delayed by the late arrival of the SCG Army as well as poor communication between the two forces, a lack of cohesion that becomes readily apparent by the end of the war.
April Luxuries and common goods across Terran worlds are at an all time low. The economy spirals. Total War production has been forced to scale backwards in order to manufacture many vital and necessary consumer goods.

The Third continue to hold Gaia, while the Second push out of the Galilei gateway and into Helios, only to find it has been abandoned by the TCC the year before. The Second quickly begin retaking nearby systems, met only by token Terran Navy forces.

June The Third Fleet and the SCG Army begin the orbital invasion of Gaia. Fighting is fierce, the Terrans have dug in hard over the previous four years. Initial resistance is fierce. Landings in some areas go smoothly thanks to the intervention of Colonel Montgomery's resistance troops. "Monty's Milita" proves a valuable asset during the SCG landings.

The 15th of June marks the day of the landings, and is subsequently celebrated as "Liberation Day" in the southern hemisphere of Gaia.

August The Terran Economy partially collapses. Sol avoids the same by leveraging its nominally independent allied planets and systems.

The Terran Navy is unwilling and unable to mount further aggressive action, and goes fully defensive.

The SCG Fleet is, likewise, exhausted and worn down from years of war, and, having taken all lost territory with the exception of Gaia, Admiral of the Fleet Andersson urges the Secretary General to sue for peace.

Fighting continues on Gaia.

October The stalemate continues. Excepting Gaia, which continues to experience heavy fighting between well equipped, dug in and fortified Terran forces and the SCG Army.

Colonel Montgomery finally embeds back into the regular SCG Army. He is present when New Venice is liberated later that month where Terran Forces, lead by General Arthur Lee, surrender to SCG forces. Much of the Terran army on the planet continues to fight, either unaware of the surrender order or unwilling to surrender to SCG forces, believing they will suffer retaliatory actions for Gaia.

November Minor border skirmishes flare up between Sol and Terra. Neither side makes any gains. Of note, a previously unknown Terran class of vessel is discovered in the vast military docks of Altair. Rumours abound, though it is supposedly a "stealth craft." It is quickly whisked back to Sol for further study.

2550

Month Events
Overall 2550 marks the end of the Gaia conflict, the partial dismantling of the Terran Navy, the collapse of the Terran Economy and a large influx of Terran immigrants into SCG and unaffiliated systems.
January A general ceasefire is called between the SCG and the TCC. Gaia finally falls silent.
February Negotiations begin in earnest. The TCC makes no apologies for its imperialistic attitudes, dismissing it as necessary. Talks quickly move away from this point before they break down entirely. Gaia is a sticking point for both sides.
March Negotiations conclude. The TCC is forced to pay reparations to Sol and Gaia and fund the rebuilding of the Helios Gateway Installation. Sol is forced to ease border restrictions and allow the granting of work visas with minimal restrictions to Terran citizens.

The die is cast, the fate of Gaia is sealed. Gaia and the Gailei system are to be turned into a DMZ between the two states. Gaia itself is split into two, a north and a south with the capitol of New Venice being designated an entirely neutral entity.

April Colonel Montgomery is promoted to Brigadier and is appointed military governor of Southern Gaia. His opposite is General Arthur Lee, Overseer of Northern Gaia, returned to Terran hands as part of the peace agreement.

In a surprising snap election, Arthur Roosevelt IX is voted in as Mayor of New Venice, a position that, in time will become a vital mediator between North and South Gaia.

July The SCG Army begins demobilisation, planetary PDFs returning to their own worlds. A large number of SCG Army regulars remain on Gaia, and become the beginning of the regular Army posting of the Sol Army, Cabot, named after the lake on the southern side of the DMZ, next to New Venice.

The Third Fleet begins its long journey back to their own posting, leaving the Second to handle the work of itself and the Fourth while the latter is rebuilt.

August The Fifth Fleet is established.

Terran immigrants begin flocking to Sol space looking for work.

The TCC slowly rebuilds. Half of its Navy is intact, though they suffered an exceptional loss of life over the course of the war.

The TCC invests heavily in its intelligence services.

November Admiral of the Fleet Andersson resigns with immediate effect, citing "tiredness" and a number of health concerns.

Work begins on what is to become a prototype of the Rockfish-Class stealth craft.

The Sol-TCC Cold War begins.