Boon of the Colonies
Back in Sirius spirits were high. Humanity had emerged victorious from the Nomad War. Tattered and in need of resources to rebuild, the Houses turned to the untamed frontiers of their sector. Debris fields were salvaged. Asteroids were strip mined. Gas clouds were harvested. Investigation of these remote and dangerous places yielded new jump holes to plot. Most colonists of the era were cagey and knew the risks of their use. They held back with patience. Eventually an intrepid Rheinlander exploring Omicron Alpha discovered a more stable, Nomad jump gate. It led to a strange, backwater system: X-3043. Deep in the tiered asteroid belts rich lodes were discovered by prospectors. An exodus occurred. Corporate titans vied mercilessly for claims. In their explorations of the system a large formation of jump gates were discovered. An entire Nomad network lay there at rest.
Researchers examined these gates, and thought them to have been dormant since war’s end. This network connected X-3043 to every corner of Sirius, raising great alarm in the international community. After all that Sirius had been through, the Nomads could never be allowed to use these gates in another campaign. Order officials agreed with this judgment. Acting swiftly, the Houses collaborated to assemble a great armada in the X-3043 System. Its purpose: to hold this strategic bottleneck at all costs. Mines were laid. Checkpoints were established. Monitoring stations were built to scan all arrivals and departures. The governments of Sirius established strong oversight over civilian activity. Ore from the asteroid belts was shipped constantly back to the Houses, usually through the Custodian System on its way to Planet Manhattan.
To improve security for these commercial interests, an additional military attaché was dispatched to Custodian and granted jurisdiction there. Frontier regions being frontier regions, society’s most detestable characters found ways to bypass security and strike at the miners and their cohorts. Violence broke out. Measures were taken. Incidents occurred. The stronghold in Custodian was reviled by the criminals of Sirius, and they came to know it by the grizzly moniker of “Planet Blood.” Priding themselves in their principles and dutiful service, the label was taken on as a badge honor. So it was that they became the Blood Guard. Dedicated military and police personnel like these fostered stability and flourishing commerce in X-3043. Men went from rags to riches. Life was adventurous and fruitful in the mining outfits. Alas, tragedy then struck and brought an abrupt pause to it all. Little did the colonists realize of the imminent danger, or the enormity of the ambush they had stumbled into.
The planet known casually as “X II” amongst the locals supported an undetected Nomad colony. Preparations were underway since the moment the first humans jumped into the system. They struck with resounding force. All at once their battleships dropped out of cloak and commenced the attack. Casualties were staggering. Hundreds of colonist ships were destroyed, crippled, or soon to go missing. The Houses mustered the remnants of their fleet and, with civilian support, hit back with all their might. During the historic battle that ensued, the Nomads would go down in a blaze of horrific self-immolation. Their planet was scuttled, reduced to little more than rubble, to deny colonists any acquisition of their technology. To this day the charred remnants lie scattered across the system. Indeed, without the heroism of the servicemen and women that day humanity could never have been delivered such a resounding victory. The human settlement on another planet survived bombardment. It was renamed Crossfire, and immediately built upon by the Houses as part of their spending package for reconstruction. It would go from dusty, arid wastes to metropolitan sprawl virtually overnight.