In the days leading up to the battle, scouts arrived in the Nephele System. They were investigating an SOS call from an allied, Red Hessian pilot. Instead they found in its final resting place the sleeper ship Stalin. Abandoned scaffolding and heavy equipment blanketed the adjacent asteroid. No survivors were found. All was desolation, with evidence of a gunfight discovered on site. The new owners, Bundschuh rebels exiled from Rheinland, proceeded to salvage the vessel. In doing so they came into acquisition of an impressive databank. It contained knowledge lost since the times of the Sol War. Of particular interest to them were the designs for several Alliance ships. Examination of the logs revealed that the Coalition had planned to manufacture them. They were meant to infiltrate colony space and be covertly supplied to rebels. Standing orders had been to topple all enemy establishments and await reinforcements. Unable to locate the Alliance colonies, the crew instead perished trying to establish their own. That was centuries ago.
The news spread. Nothing short of a technological revolution occurred once the data found its way back to the Houses. Defeating the Nomad threat would be easier now with possession of their ancestors’ cutting-edge armaments. If only they had not arrived too late for the battle high over the skies of Crossfire. The smoldering hulks of stricken ships were still being towed to Crossfire Docks. A long salvage queue could take several months to clear. With the entire Kusari fleet missing, an exhaustive hunt was on to find it. Pockets of Nomad resistance were turned up but there were no signs of friendly vessels. It was in “Death Valley” that they took their stand, having pursued an alien battleship back to its base. There it was that the Kusari became bogged down in combat. Relentless waves of Nomad craft pounded their ranks and prevented couriers from breaking free of the system. Finally there came a lone, brave pilot who was able to break free and deliver a data-disk to X-3043. The pilot’s saving grace allowed the floundering, Kusari fleet to receive desperately-needed relief and reinforcements before all was lost.
Meanwhile, with the Nomad planet literally turned inside out and prospects still viable in the belts, the population of Planet Crossfire grew exponentially. Eventually the system would be rendered sterile by miners. They had greedily raped and plundered its resources and now turned their attention to the neighboring systems. Plans to develop these by both public and private entities provoked the uninhibited wrath of the Outcasts. A regional war broke out. To the cursed descendants of the Hispania crew, to colonize a world more hospitable than their own was considered a birthright worth dying for. With the Houses weakened by their clash with the Nomads this was the opportune moment. Efforts to halt expansion were in vain. Planet Crossfire assumed its rightful place in Sirius as a major hub of commerce. Yet droves of pioneers who come to X-3043 are still met by the blazing guns of the maskers. The conflict will likely carry on for decades more.