Titan is the most populous world in the outer solar system. Sure, the Jupiter system has more people, but they're mostly spread across three moons. In 2520, there were over a million people on Titan and it was a more or less functioning democracy. The Titanese didn't care much for arrogant Belter traders, and the coalition government in charge at the time rammed through a vote to allow the Martian Imperial Marine Guard use of an abandoned base and spaceport up by Kinder Bay. In early February, the Third Cohort of the First Legion -- flying all the way from Mercury, followed in the wake of Task Force Three. While the Navy was busy reducing the Belter bases at Phoebe and Janus to rubble, we broke orbit to head for our new quarters.
Well, the thing with functioning democracies is that there is always a minority party. Turns out the bigwigs down in Culver City didn't have much support in the Northern Lakelands, and the settlements up there had their share of armaments for self defense. My company was aboard the Odysseus, the first transport in. Just as we approached the shore, a pretty big missile blasted away from the hills. Hit the ship in its underbelly, whacked one of the reactors, and we fell out of the sky before we could get the power stabilized. Good thing we were low and the gravity is only a bit under half Martian.
Nobody got killed, and only a few broke anything. We were suited up and ready to go -- there was supposed to be a little ceremony and parade. The Centurion sent me out with a squad of my platoon to scout the shoreline, and we called in for help. The Nestor was behind us, at their skipper decided to set down far off shore. We got some fighters from the Wasp to fly cover, and the Colonel called in a "specialist" elite unit to support my patrol. Elite my ass. We're all Marines. We're all elite.
Never did find out who fired the shot. Couldn't find any evidence except a burnt piece of ground. Ruined our parade, though.
It was quite our first night. Then the snipers started up on us. We didn't take kindly to that. Wasn't long before the Titanese got nostalgic for those arrogant Belters.
-- Major Raul Gaultman, MC, Martian Imperial Marine Guard (retired)
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