3116 The South-Moon Mercenary Rebellion

An uprising of slave-soldiers in the south polar region of the Earth's moon. Mercenaries from earth are rebelling against their alien masters not wanting to fight each other anymore.

The uprising begins in the Shoemaker Crater open area, where Dellian protectors are engaged in armed conflict over spheres of influence. Only a few extrasolar mercenaries are involved. Both sides use primarily human troops from the earth. The Dellian rulers of the Solar system have not been able to afford extrasolar mercenaries for several decades. Therefore they are increasingly forcing humans into military service. These humans are called mercenaries, but they are mostly slaves having been provided by regions of Earth under the threat of orbital bombardment.

The Dellian protector of Earth – Terrax – lives by supplying the other protectors with human soldiers. The Protector of Earth does not venture down to Earth himself ruling from orbit and forcing cities to cooperate by threatening them with kinetic bombardment. The earth has no choice but to keep providing people with the requested skills. Besides technical know-how, Terrax specifically demands combat units for the many territorial conflicts between other protectors in the Solar system.

A hundred years earlier, the earth had only sent personnel while the equipment was provided by the customer, so basically by the other protectors. Now Terrax demands fully equipped high-tech combat units able to act autonomously. Even the command structure has to be staffed with humans up to the division level.

The Dellian protectors buying these units from Terrax can trust their human troops, because all combat personnel originate from one of the 1000 megacities on the earth. And all of them had to leave their families behind. Their obedience is ensured by threatening their cities with extermination.

At the so-called Shoemaker Clash, one of many armed conflicts among protectors, units from the Jakarta urban megaplex fight on both sides. As prisoners are taken during the fighting, soldiers get into direct contact with their opponents. Friends, acquaintances, and colleagues come face to face. Some of them had even been trained at the same academy. Fraternization leads to first strikes among the slave-soldiers, when they decide to stop shooting at each other. This news spreads like wildfire. Within hours, most fighting units lay down their arms. Extrasolar mercenaries and human troops wanting to continue the fight are disarmed by the rebels.

Human forces stationed in the vicinity of the Shackleton Protector's palace take control of the palace and its military installations. They soon start attacking military facilities of other lunar protectors. Human palace guards all over the moon join the rebellion trying to take control of command centers and military equipment. However, most of these small localized coups are thwarted by loyal alien forces and the human troops are killed in the attempt.

When the dust settles, the rebels hold 15% of the moon. However, Shackleton Crater commands as much as half of the moon's firepower. The reason being that the Protector of Shackleton is a service provider for the collective defense of the Dellians in the Solar system to which all protectors must contribute. Since it is inefficient for the smaller protectorates to provide interplanetary combat resources themselves, many lunar protectors have outsourced their mandatory contribution to the Protector of Shackleton. So, there is lots of long-range firepower concentrated at Shackleton and now in the hands of the rebels. And after the initial ballistic strike against them, the rebels control two thirds of the remaining operable long-range weapons systems on the Moon.

With these weapons, the rebels now attack protectors in the Earth-Moon system. Wanting to prevent Terrax from taking revenge on their hometowns the rebels threaten his palace in high Earth orbit. Terrax defenses being unable to withstand a concentrated attack by the lunar arsenal, his palace and court are at the mercy of the rebels. Terrax turns to threats and negotiations.

Unfortunately, the rebellion remains confined to the southern hemisphere of the moon. Other garrisons of human mercenaries in the Solar system do not join the uprising. Meanwhile, the lunar protectors are organizing themselves mobilizing their forces to retake the Shackleton area. The rebels are running out of time.

After the stalemate has continued for several days, the Shackleton rebels come under pressure by forces of lunar protectors. While they have to retreat to fortified bases, they are still able to resist recapture of the Shackleton area employing their missile arsenal against the advancing enemy forces.

In a spectacular commando action, the rebels manage to simultaneously destroy most of the kinetic strike capability threatening Earth as well as Terrax's palace. Thus, they are able to neutralize the kinetic threat to their cities. Feint attacks and diversionary maneuvers for this liberation strike use up much of the available long-range missile capacity under rebel control.

However, before the strike, Terrax had secretly left his palace while negotiating. The rebels were able to destroy his palace, but they failed to kill him. Terrax now buys nuclear missiles from L5-based protectors and has 25 of them fired at the island of Java, specifically at Jakarta, Bogor, and Bandung, the three cities together constituting the West Java Jakarta Megaplex.

For 500 years, Earth had a solid defense against non-kinetic missile attacks. The defenses were completely destroyed in the First Kisor War. Later, they were rebuilt with Kisori support and then continuously upgraded to protect Earth's population against a potential Chinti attack. A regionally limited attack by only 25 missiles should not pose a problem for the planetary defenses. The system had been designed to withstand a million times higher loads in total interstellar wars against Chinti and Kisor. But after 200 years of economic decline under the Dellian occupation, the defense system is in poor condition.

On the other hand, the 25 missiles are also not fully functional. They are as old as Earth's defenses. Two of them detonate during launch, destroying their launch splatforms and the other missiles still sitting there. Nine projectiles get on their way.

The first line of defense usually operates in a high orbit. It is supposed to neutralize long-range missiles before they release their daughter munitions. However, this component is not available because the orbital platforms have been taken over by the Dellians.

Of the nine missiles, three fail to release their daughter munitions. The remaining six eject 80 warheads each – a total of 480 – together with the usual breakthrough aids. About 15% of the warheads burn up in the atmosphere due to navigational errors. 400 remain.

The second line of defense has railguns and interceptors engaging individual warheads in the upper atmosphere. They must deal with the full spectrum of electronic warfare unleashed by the attacking missiles' breakthrough aids. The defenders' sensors are flooded with false signals. However, the electronic fireworks is nowhere near as powerful as it would be if all breakthrough aids were working properly. Electronic warfare is complex and vulnerable, especially in the face of electronic countermeasures. In this case it works only in a limited way. So do the countermeasures.

Railguns and interceptors neutralize 80% of the approaching warheads despite half of the defending firepower being misdirected by decoys and too many active defenses fragmenting on activation. On the other hand, the attackers' high-speed evasive maneuvers and their protection mechanisms also work only partially. 10% go off course due to their own evasive maneuvers. Deficiencies and functional failures on both sides essentially offset each other. 40 warheads get through.

The last line of defense consists of point defense lasers. The lasers are able to neutralize half of the remaining warheads. Another 30% are eliminated by the premature detonation of a faulty warhead. Of the remaining 14, only 10 actually detonate, two of them over the open sea after poor evasive maneuvering just seconds before impact. Yet, Bogor and Bandung are hit by a total of eight antimatter warheads with several megatons of explosive power. Jakarta is spared a direct hit, but it is affected by the Bogor explosions.

The rebels in the Shackleton region on the moon have to watch the destruction of their home cities without being able to do anything about it. The military situation on the Moon becomes hopeless. The other moon protectors continue to advance, now being supported by reinforcements from Venus. In their desperation, the rebels fire their last long-range assets at protector palaces at L5 and in Earth orbit. With their morale faltering, they are overrun within a few days. There are no survivors.

A month later, Terrax makes good on his threat against the mercenaries' home cities on the earth. All the cities of rebel troop contingents are attacked. Earth's defenses are ineffective against the fast projectiles of kinetic strikes. The metropolitan areas of Jakarta, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, Istanbul, Lima, Cairo, Paris, Chicago, Boston and Kinshasa are obliterated by thousands of projectiles traveling at speeds of up to 100 km/s, each with a non-nuclear explosive force of 10 kilotons of TNT.

Most of the affected cities were evacuated though. 140 million people were brought to safety in the five weeks since the uprising began including 70 million from other cities that were finally not attacked. However, the attacks on Tokyo, Chicago and Kinshasa come as a surprise as the cities were not on the priority list for evacuation. In total, there are 85 million casualties. Half of them in regions were an attack was not expected. For most victims death is final. 30 million people were able to afford mind-backups. Though five million would really be needed, most are never reactivated due to the lack of android hardware. Some continue to live as simulations, but most of the backups are finally deleted for cost reasons.

So the South-Moon Mercenary Rebellion of 31 16 failed. It had been too early, like many other uprisings over the years. The Dellians were still strong in the inner system, and the liberation of the entire Solar system from Dellian rule was not yet in the cards. It took another 32 years until the so called earth orbit coup finally liberated the earth and the inner planets.