Spartan Brigade
This is a CoreNet series on people and cultures.
The helmed planet insignia of the Brigade

The Spartan Brigade is a political body founded in its original form in 2296 from a military coup overthrowing the Colonial Authority of the Van Ryan Nebula. In the aftermath of the Human-Skaald War, political schisms with the rest of the Terran Stellar League led to the Spartan Brigade's ejection from that body.


Pre-Skaald War

The Terran Stellar League first colonized the Van Ryan Nebula in 2248. A rare oddity, in that many of the young stars inside the nebula had livable planets, the original colony quickly expanded throughout the sector under the auspices of the sectoral Colonial Authority and showed signs of becoming the economic powerhouse of antispinward League space.

Olivia Carson Cruz, former VRCA Planetary Administrator of Mendel. (2239-2332)

The War

see main article at Human-Skaald War

Expansion coreward from the nebula to Prometheus Sector met with tragedy when a Terran research colony in the Oppenheimer System was first blockaded, then invaded by hitherto unknown creatures in 2291. Van Ryan Colonial Authority, who had nominal responsibility for Prometheus Sector, chose to ignore the pleas for help and downplay the incident as rumor. It wasn't until escaping ship crews and VRCA officials fleeing the destruction of Prometheus Sector colonies made the media in the sector that outcry began, and Colonial Authority was forced to deploy their limited forces to challenge the Skaald battlefleets.

A military coup took place in 2296 on the heels of several dramatic and crippling defeats that put the Skaald on the nebula's doorstep. Storming the VRCA's offices and command centers, the coup was not technically illegal under League law - colonies were allowed to choose to govern themselves when they were able - but was frowned upon as a rash act of panic. The coup leaders then spoke to all citizens of the nebula - that utter destruction or subjugation awaited them if nothing changed, and so all citizens must become weapons of the state. In a few short months, the entire nebula's industry was nationalized, its citizenry conscripted or assigned to build weapons, ships and supplies. When the Skaald attacked the jump point into Van Ryan space, the newly-minted People's Navy - under the auspices of the Brigade of the Spartan Ideal - ambushed it, forcing a Skaald rout and notching the first real victory in the war.

Through the 2300s, Spartan citizens felt a growing undercurrent of resentment towards the Terran Stellar League. After all, it was Spartans dying for their safety - no League vessel had come closer to the frontlines than Mainz! However, it soon became obvious that while the Spartan Brigade could fend off Skaald attacks, it couldn't push them back unaided, and the Skaald showed no willingness to surrender.

Therefore, in 2392, the Spartan Brigade's delegates to the Stellar League Presidium asked for full League intervention in the conflict, and were roundly rebuffed. It was only three years later, when ceasefire offers were made to the Skaald and rebuffed, that the League narrowly agreed to military intervention. In the years to come, it was Spartan admirals at the heads of League fleets, and as such the battles to come were carried out to Spartan philosophy - that every ship was expendable to achieve the objective, and this attitude led to heated strategic meetings between these Spartan admirals and their League Navy staff.

Once the Skaald began assaulting human-held planets with virus warheads and tectonic disruptors, Spartan strategists took the gloves off and began using their nuclear arsenal against any Skaald planet they could find. This decision to match the Skaald's use of weapons of mass destruction brought about alarm and outrage in Titan and Phoenix Sectors, leading to calls for censure of the Spartan representatives in the Presidium. Enough of the fringe members - the Penitent Brotherhood, the Mirandolans, the Kanbei Group and others - sided with the Spartans in the necessity and rationale of the weapons' deployment that official repercussions were avoided.

The decision to deploy Dr Goroh Taguchi Behrwell's reworking of a captured Skaald tectonic disruptor was made by Grand Admiral Electra Manakotos of the Spartan People's Navy, and much of his research was sponsored by the Spartan government. Reportedly, when it came to light that all means of reproducing the Candle Snuffer's effect were destroyed along with the doctor and Eta Prometheus, Admiral Manakotos ordered his laboratory guards hanged for treason.

The League's Dissolution

The pent-up grudges between the Spartan Brigade and the League proper boiled over during a meeting of the League Presidium on 28 December 2450 regarding the status of war-era space fortresses in the Van Ryan Nebula. The Spartan delegation vehemently opposed the proposal, and had enough clout with other committee members to prevent the matter from coming to a vote. The meeting went on for some three days, and it was at some point in hour seventy of the discussion that a stressed League dignitary made a rather undignified comment maligning the Spartans' mothers. That comment met its retort in gunshots, as the Spartans took up their 'ceremonial' arms and opened fire in the Presidium.

After the bodies were carried out (seventeen Earthers and the three Spartans), the League voted to oust the worlds of the Spartan Brigade from the political body - a controversial vote, and one where several League member-states withdrew their membership and seceded from Earth.

The Spartan Brigade was not without allies, but the salient point was that they were astronomically isolated in the Van Ryan Nebula from their supporters in other nascent nations. The same survivalist attitude the Spartans took towards the Skaald during their war turned into a similar attitude towards the new Core Systems Free Republic.

The Core Systems-Spartan War

The Spartan Brigade took their ejection from the League with varying degrees of apathy - after all, they had been self-sufficient for nearly two hundred years - focusing mainly on the insult dealt them by the League's actual motion to eject them from that body. The Brigade continued its strong military buildup, continuing to accept Republic defectors upset by their government's growing indifference to Skaald War veterans. By 2462, tensions on both sides of the border had reached a head and the Spartans used the high patriotic fervor of their people - whipped up by continual SpartaNet propaganda programming - to fuel the opening battle of the war, a push into the Core Systems-controlled Strymon System on the edge of the Nebula.

The opening battle was a gruesome, bloody affair - but the tightly controlled, exceptionally orchestrated assault plan managed to overwhelm the defensive forces the Republic Navy had in-system at the time, forcing a retreat. The war effort was heavily slanted in favor of the Spartans in the early years of the war, but as their fleets got further and further away from the Nebula, the clockwork organization of the Peoples' Navy began to break down and the CSRN was able to fight them to a stalemate on both the Rimward and Coreward fronts - in such engagements as the Battle of Hudson, where Republic Kyrie-class battleships were unveiled in an ambush on Spartan ships jumping in, and the Battle of Danube, where the lone cruiser CSRS Rackham fended off an entire Spartan battlegroup until reinforcements arrived.

The Spartans' war effort began to falter once even larger Republic ships like the Ramsgott-class dreadnought began to attack Spartan systems, and the Republic's expertise with multi-parsec Jump engines led to numerous supply chain raids and the destruction of many reinforcement groups and SpartaNet transponders, removing the Spartan fleets from their logistic needs and strategic assets. Pushed back to Strymon System in the 2490s, the Spartan Brigade laid down the threat of resuming Skaald War-era tactics, using their considerable nuclear weapon stockpiles to scorch any and all Republic planets in their reach if the CSRN pushed into the Nebula. The Republic, already showing the strain of the now over-forty-year-war and without any way to safely jump through Spartan systems in the Nebula, acceded to the threat and the war quietly spun down in a series of pushes and counterpushes that ended in the Treaty of Harbin in 2495, in which the Core Systems both ceded the Spartans' territorial gains and recognized them as the legitimate government of the Van Ryan colonies instead of a rogue state.

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