The Far Planet Revolution describes the attempted revolt and reprisals centred around Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. Before the advent of Faster-Than-Light travel, the Solar System had a booming economy. Factories on Earth, Luna and Mars built the equipment and supplies to further develop infrastructure on the moons of the more far flung planets, often referred to as the Far Planets. The work to settle and tame these environments was labour intensive. With the exception of Europa (ironically claimed by the British) and Titan (settled by the United States) the other moons were part or fully projects of the multinational megacorporations. These groups hired labour en-masse from the overpopulated countries of Europe and Asia and shipped them off to the remaining moons on the promise that they could live there, providing they played their part in making it fit for human habitation.
These remaining moons (Triton, Enceladus, Gandymede and Callisto) involved hard labour and toil to settle. It was during this period that the first FLT jump was successful. This fundamentally shifted human horizons beyond their own solar system and shifted the priorities of these megacorporations accordingly. Resources were taken away from the moon projects in order to develop and manufacture the ships and infrastructure involved in interstellar exploration.
The Far Planet Projects were considered more expensive to abandon than they would be to continue. Additionally, the Sol governments had no room to accept hundreds of thousands of people back onto planet. So the megacorporations continued their work, but with significantly less in the way of resources. For the people working on these projects, times went from bad to worse. Food, materials and safety measures were slashed and workers were expected to do much more with much less.
A series of deadly accidents cumulated with an explosion at a fuel refinery on Gandymede which left 60 people dead, including children who had been working in the admin block. A leaked report found fundamental flaws in the corporation’s safety procedures and risk management. It went on to suggest token changes to procedure but was widely regarded as a corporate whitewash. Sol governments, tied up with interstellar exploration, ignored the incident. And colonist anger grew, simmering under the surface.
One day in June, the workers on all four moons declared a general strike. One corporate manager on Callisto ordered his small security detail to break the picket line. They were mobbed by strikers – weapons seized and taken prisoner. News of this spread like wildfire, causing the remaining corporate personnel to go on lockdown and the colonists to move against the remaining infrastructure, raiding stores for food and supplies.
These four moons declared independence and set out a list of demands – including self-rule – in exchange for release of the corporate hostages. Having already sunk major investment capital into the projects, the multinational corporations refused to give in to the would-be democrats. Following a meeting of CEOs and security officers, they made the bold move of contracting various mercenary agencies, including (it is rumoured) the Agency, to disarm the revolutionaries and restore order.
The colonists were large in number but mostly civilian, with little experience or taste for war. The mercenary groups elected for a brief and bloody campaign against the leaders of the would-be democracy. This approach paid off: the majority of the populations, seeing the brutal reprisals meted out to their leaders, backed down and agreed to go back to work.
At continuing cost, the megacorporations kept mercenary brigades stationed around the sites until the construction was complete. It was only by the end of the Second Age that these colonies began to sustain themselves, export goods and become less fearful places to live. Liberal political groups of Sol paint this is a modern day war crime and regard the entire incident as a stain on the ruling governments of the time, the majority of whom veto’d a proposed UN Resolution on the matter.