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Markham

C44A584-9

by Lewis Roberts

In 1093 the planetary government of Markham was overthrown by SolSec, with the backing of the Confederation Army. Allegedly the planetary president and much of the government were plotting with Imperial agents, to betray the Solomni Cause. A military government was put in place, until all the disloyal elements could be rooted out. A new naval base was established in support of the new government. Not much changed until 1128, when a large percentage of the planet went into open revolt While the rebels made early gains, much of these were lost as the government received offworld support from the Confederation. That changed once the Virus hit and cut off the supply of high tech weapons and supplies. Also the chaos caused by Virus weakened the government's hold on power. In 1134, the head of the occupying government and her command staff were captured and executed. This effectively ended the government's hold on power, though a few holdouts fought on till early 1135.

The rebels reinstated the planetary president and took on the task of rebuilding the planet. Until this time the effects of Virus had been relatively light. The starport took heavy damage from infected starships and several power plants had been destroyed. Estimated causalities were around twenty thousand.

In 1142 several Vampire light cruisers jumped into the system. The few surviving system defense boats tried to stop them, but they were quickly swept aside. The cruisers started a four day bombardment of the planet. Then small craft landed and disgorged hundreds robots to hunt down the survivors. Five days after this, the cruisers unexpectedly jumped out of the system, leaving the robot hordes behind.

Many of the populace were veterans of the earlier revolt, and were able to form an effective army and after several years they managed to defeat the robotic army. It also helped that the robots had no supply of spare parts and had begun to wear out. At the end of the Great Raid, as it became known, the planet had gone from a population of 900 million to only two hundred thousand. Over 99.97% of the population was dead.

The planet was shattered, and but the people clung to their president, who remarkably had managed to survive throughout the bombardment and robot war. President Grayson was a veteran of the revolt and personally lead several raids against the robots. He managed to establish communication between the scattered survivors and began to rebuild civilization. He served as president until 1157, after that he was a senior statesman. In 1183, he was assigned to be ambassador to the Hive Federation. He recently died in 1191 at the age of 95. His tomb is a national shrine.

Today the planet has mostly recovered, though the technological base is not what it was. Families tend to have many children in an effort to rebuild the civilization that was. Silverton Memorial Park encompasses the twenty five mile diameter crater where the former capital stood. It's destruction was the first blow from the Vampires. The crater is still slightly radioactive.

The planet is still officially ruled by the President, who is up for reelection every six years, but over the years the bureaucracy has taken over most functions and the president has little power. Occasionally reformers will take office and try to reverse this, but the bureaucracy has defeated them all.

The people of Markham hate Virus with a passion. They would never stand for any alliance with any strand of Virus. The government spends 10% of its income on defense systems. Markham has no relic starships and they would dearly like to purchase defense boats from either the Renj. Negotiations are underway and it looks like soon several SDBs and monitors will be stationed at Markham. Until then the sole defense are planetary missile batteries and the patrol ships of the Hive Federation navy.


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