Arth: After the Lugh War

Midgeley DockArth is a small system out on the outer reaches of Sol housed safely in the vicinity of numerous productive systems providing it with the raw materials it needs to supply its never ending thirst for production. It is by no accident that this small system containing a single station would later find itself governed by a greedy psychopathic governor hellbent only on self gain. Wise men know that in the cut throat race for power it is only those that are willing to forego all scruples to gain that power that will eventually ascend to claim that lofty prize. For so it would seem to be at Midgley Dock where the current governor – Harriet Margo having since gained the name ‘Hatchet Margo’ for her reputation for slashing working conditions, has chosen to work the economy to bursting point.

Living conditions aboard the station have gone steadily downhill in recent years while production soared. A loop hole in Federal law has enabled Margo to enforce a regime that cuts break and meal times in half and disregard civilised working hours. Recent strikes among Arth’s workforce were met only with import duty taxes raised on the basic human needs. Quite simply, the Arth system and particularly Midgley Dock have gained the reputation as a sweat shop in all but name.

Under such horrid conditions, it came as no surprise when riots were put down by local security forces. Representation for the workforce arose but was quickly put down and so it has remained in Arth until the recent events in the Lugh system.

When war broke out in Lugh and the Federation attempted to rest its boot heel once more upon that bitterly defiant system, a new wave of social unrest awakened in Arth. The example shown by their vigorous neighbour sowed the seed of revolt and the workers union gained courage forming around a man known as Scar-Gill. This new figurehead of the people became notorious for his vicious arguments with the authorities and ability to rouse the working class. The people of Midgley Dock were recently forced into 24 hour working days and having had their breaks reduced has raised the question of slavery within the Federation disguised cunningly as badly paid labour. Scar-Gill’s popularity among the workforce is now unquestionable and loyalty to his cause is increasing day by day.

But trouble now blooms in Arth after recent rioting has again ensued. This first came to light recently as a reporter questioned Margo outside a red carpet function in the Sol system. Having been questioned by the cheeky reporter as to the current situation in Arth and the spiralling working conditions, he quickly pointed out that the current shortage of tea being imported into Arth system has left the workforce restless without the basic wholesome requirements deemed necessary for the common man to function in a civilized society. Margo’s reply of “Then let them drink Coffee!” quickly went viral and spread dissent once again amongst the System back home.

Arth is now in a state of disruption as every other day the news is filled with reports of violence and striking. Hatchet Margo has done little to quell the picketing and rumours abound of paramilitary assistance gathering on the systems borders. Still the Federation in Sol has sat back and done nothing to address these current disturbances or address Arth’s many problems. Scar-Gill may not have the military clout to wage a full cu of the system, but with the aid of other like minded freedom fighters, he might just find what he needs…

Recent reports have commented that the situation in Midgley Dock is now reaching a crisis point. Rioting over the past few days has led to government forces sealing off recreational facilities and open space gathering points for fear it will allow trouble makers to ‘talk’ onboard the station. This decision was met with further hostility from the workforce who have allegedly destroyed a number of production facility machine tools essential for the robotics industry.

While currently out of the system, Harriet Margo has reputedly endeavoured to cut her business consultations with the Zeaex system short and due to return to restore order onboard the station. This in itself has raised concern given the fact that new reports of a band of rogue ships working from the outer reaches of the system have waged a mini campaign over the past days against the defence forces of the Arth system. Nobody knows for sure at this time just who these mystery commanders are but there is little doubt that tension is quickly mounting within Midgley Dock as support grows for the disgruntled working class. The notorious ringleader ‘Scar-Gill’ had this to say:

“Working conditions aboard this station have simply become unbearable. I’m not so sure Miss Margo is living in the real world. What sort of life is a man supposed to live? when he sees nothing but work before him and still cannot have the basic things he needs to live a normal life. She would have us work 24 hour shifts and then would have us drink coffee? Coffee? Has she gone completely mad? If she sank her heels into reality in any way she would see that it is the workers on this station that keep this clock turning. She can’t do it without us! This is people power and no Federal law is above the people when the people say no! Go change your laws. The people of this system have had enough. If it is a fight she wants, lets see how well she does when she has to explain her production figures to that fat sow Halsey! Come and have a go if you think your hard enough Margo. We won’t have it ya hear? We won’t!”

Inside Midgeley DockStock prices in robotics took a sudden drop for Netcoms Automation Ltd. last night causing quite a stir in surrounding sectors after the political situation in The Arth system took a major shift in direction almost overnight. Recent disturbances among the workforce aboard Midgley Dock has resulted in disruption of basic trade and a heightening of security leading to widespread discontent. The overall opinion of the masses has since been brought into question.

Upon return of the current governor Harriet Margo, staunch procedures and retaliations were put into place to curb the resolve of the picketing workforce. A policy of ‘fire and hire’ was slammed down on the table for all workers who refused to go back to work where they would be stripped of employment under sub-section 42 of the Federal intensive labour act and their position be offered to another suitable candidate on the basis of double pay for the limited period at the discretion of the employer.

Instead of having the desired effect, violence erupted on deck 9 as the strikers took over the production facilities of the robotics plant ceasing all production. The violence suddenly came to an abrupt halt after security peace keepers surrounded the facilities leading to a withdrawal inside by the mob.

Later in the night in an emergency press conference, Harriet Margo addressed reporters playing down the situation as “an unfortunate over reaction on the part of the workforce led astray by a few bad eggs”.

How this latest mishap will be corrected has been called into question by investors further afield. Margos latest declaration that “The Federation refuses to negotiate with self appointed trade unions” has met some concern. As share prices fall in Netcoms Automation, concern also grows amongst those in the pharmaceutical sector who also depend upon Arth for much of their production needs.

The Governor of Midgley Dock, the single orbiting space station of the Arth system – Harriet Margo’s position was called into question today at the Mars senate as productivity continues to spiral into chaos in this once exemplary system . This is in no small part due to the mobs of discontented workers currently controlling deck 9 and many of the stations landing pads rallying behind a man called Scar-Gill and calling themselves ‘The Arth Justice Party’. Over previous days having seized control of all production facilities on the stations robotics industry, the workers have managed to use the emergency blast doors within the facility to successfully deny access of the large numbers of peace keepers currently surrounding all access points.

The Arth Justice Party which seems to be centred around a charismatic leader known only as ‘Scar-Gill’, last night started shipping out robotics from the station in a ‘business as usual’ manner as production once again resumed raising the question of whether this was an attempt to set up an alternative, viable and yet rival civil structure aboard the space station. If so given the weight of support at present for the striking workers this could be the first signs of a real threat to Jet Netcoms’ control of the station and thus the entire system.

In a defiant attempt to put an end to all disruption Margo declared a halt on all computer component imports into the station declaring that:

“Order and efficiency aboard this station shall not be held to ransom by ruffians and dreamers who would do better to know their place! This is a Federal system and under that jurisdiction all workers are compelled to follow Federal Law. Every citizen is required to comply to that law and will be punished under the laws protection as is deemed appropriate by the Federation.

This nonsense stops now! This station shall not fall into disarray while under my care. If these ruffians believe they can take over production of this facility we shall see how they fare when supply of their much needed raw materials dry up… The Federation controls trade in this sector and will not be dictated to by a haphazard conglomeration of busy bodies who would seek to destabilise a perfectly civilised system. “

Hangar in Midgeley DockThe latest reports from the Arth system and indeed Midgley Dock itself have left few with any doubt that conditions within the station have now finally bottomed out. Peace keepers who up until this morning blocking all access and exit from the production facility were forced to call off their siege as they were called away to deal with the sudden violence that erupted on decks 4 and 5. It would seem that in the passing days that while production had resumed, one failed attempt to disengage the blast doors to the facility resulted in a fierce show of strength from the defenders followed by chemical defence tactic employed by the peace keepers. The resulting corrosive fumes are said to have severely damaged the cooling fans on the lower deck resulting in heat levels increasing by over 200%.

Support for Jet Netcoms took a severe blow yesterday as a vote of no confidence was issued by the rival Pharmaceutical sector representatives championed by the Federal ‘Movement for a Free Arth’ party. Disillusionment amongst key investors has led many to speculate a downturn in the pharmaceutical production might lead to the financial ruin of Federal interests system wide. Squabbling and boardroom bickering quickly escalated two nights ago ending in the alleged accidental death of a leading supporting statistical analyst. Outrage quickly spread where this latest backdrop of events quickly led to the arrival of considerable military Federal support from the pharmaceutical sector with a full scale takeover now entirely in question. Federal relations between the two controlling factions seem irepairable as they continue to decline. Some speculators are now saying civil war is almost certain.

Meanwhile, on deck 9 the workers led by the infamous Scar-Gill having reengaged production in the ensuing confusion have started shipping robotics out of the station leaving many onboard Midgley Dock to rally behind them in this gathering insanity. While Harriet Margo has ensured that no raw materials have been forthcoming from the surrounding Federal systems, it has recently come to light that the Arth Justice Party themselves may have sought intervention from outside sources. One worker was reported to comment

“Hatchet Margo ain’t gonna shut us down, no. Margo may well have forgotten see, but we ain’t. There are those that have the guts to stand up to this sort of thing and those boys whats calls themselves the Sons of Conn or whatnot in Lugh have all the raw material we need. If Margo and the Federation would rather let this system starve than feed it’s people then we will turn to any ally that has the grace to send us aid”

Events in the Arth system quickly came to a head in recent days after a bid for control was made by the Movement for a Free Arth party fuelled by much military clout from surrounding military systems. Federal militia from the Khaka system quickly poured in to secure share holders interests as Midgley Dock and the pharmaceutical exports fell further into decline. Unable to solve the problem peacefully and a strangely less than active input from Federal leadership in Mars has led many to speculate how many credits have jumped between accounts of all effected parties during these troubled times? For indeed it would seem that someone somewhere had something to gain with the inevitable downfall of the Jet Netcoms control of the major industrial robotics facility. So it was that the Federal system found itself embroiled in a bitter civil war between the two rival Federal factions and the near annihilation of the controlling faction. With battle waging both onboard the station and the surrounding sector, confidence quickly slid among the working population leading to the sudden favour of the Arth Justice Party whom still have control of all production facilities onboard the station.

After a failed attempt to retain control of the system, Harriet Margo is reputed to have fled invading forces in an escape pod and thus evading capture. The sudden fall of Jet Netcoms and lack of Federal military backing however has done little to bolster the position of the financial takeover of the Movement for a Free Arth and their own financial backers. Having seized control of the station it would seem that their victory fell fully short of achieving its objective. In the wake of the war and without the ability to properly police the incoming traffic to the port, the workers union has taken it upon itself to import their raw materials from outside the Federation resulting in the only financial stability coming from an independently operating core workers population in what is now a deeply damaged yet once thriving system. If Arth’s new masters are not quick to secure their control over the Arth system and its native inhabitants, it seems certain the systems troubles may have only just begun…

During a time while civil wars raged amongst the surrounding systems, fierce fighting erupted between a rag tag group of independent combat pilots aligning themselves with the Arth Justice Party and the Federally backed Movement for a Free Arth party. For three long days the battle raged above planet number two in the system before victory finally came when The Crimson State Group threw their hardened pilots into the fray coming to the aid of the Workers Union of Midgley Dock and the Justice Party.

With their forces spread thinly fighting in I Carinae and Lugh itself, The Lugh Freedom Fighters refused to leave the people of the Arth system to their fate and kept their solemn word to defend the peoples interests. Federal response was slow and in the final moments proved unforgiving. The Pharmaceutical workforce spurred on by their brothers on the robotics production decks went into a full strike and actually sabotaged the production facility. Needless to say in the coming hours the ripple effect of this spread like a virus through the local stock market causing vast quantities of share being sold and a virtual crash overnight. As suddenly as the battle began it was over. Finding themselves with no executive backing the Movement for Arth party could only watch on in horror as Federal support was gradually withdrawn from the system to try and bolster battles elsewhere. Quickly the workers Union led by Scar-Gill took control of the station and all production facilities.

“this is a new era for Arth and it’s people! No more shall we work for the fat cats hell bent on squeezing the lifeblood from its people! This union means to set things straight. From now on we work for ourselves. We work to make Arth a better place to live and not to line their slimy pockets! We mean to make sure all will receive fair working hours and breaks, yes tea breaks! Arth will be a civilised society with all the basic requirements thereof.If a man wants a cup of tea damn it, he shall have tea and not be forced live like an animal!”

Recent reports have now confirmed production has resumed again aboard Midgley Dock with the Justice Party and union heads themselves setting up a Co-Op government.