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Ninety Days of Thunder


Free Miner's Collective
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The Free Miner's Collective (Kalosian: el horda djamin el djamaaya) was a revolutionary government that briefly ruled major portions of Kalos 1 and the entirety of Kalos Prime from 28 May until 30 August 29485, commonly referred to as the "Ninety Days of Thunder."  The killing of the Omni-Tek Kalos Board of Director's and the refusal of the Collective to accept the authority of the ICC lead to its harsh suppression by Omni-Tek forces in a 42-day offensive.  Debate over the policies and goals of the Collective continues.

On 2 September 29484, after the assessment of the FY84 gas harvest revealed multiple missed quotas, OT-K CEO Brody Grosvenor announced new restrictions on food distribution and increased work hours.  When the news reached 1st shift workers on 3 September, shocked and angry crowds came out into the streets.  The BoD left the moon's surface, and the OT government quickly collapsed.  Radical elements in the crowds went to the former BoD buildings, proclaimed the People's Republic of Kalos, and formed a Government of System Defense.  Though the OT administration had left, fighting continued in the streets and habitat blocks, and Omni-AF forces restored order by 8 September.

In 29484 Kalos was deeply divided between the large urban, native Kalosian, and radical population of the mining class and the more corporate and conservative population of off-worlders and native bureaucracy living in the highest towers.

Of the approximately 40 billion people on Kalos in 29479, according to the official census, there were about 10 billion gas extraction workers, plus another 8 to 10 billion workers engaged in refining, hazardous byproducts storage, and other related enterprises.  The remaining half of the population was split between work-avoiders, administrative personnel, and workers engaged in service industry professions, i.e. food distribution, sanitation, etc.  In addition to the native Kalosian population, there were about 1 million immigrant workers, mostly of the atrox breed, the largest number being from Old Earth and Rubi-Ka. 

During the September Revolution, a large number of middle and upper class administrative personnel departed Kalos 1.  The mining workers and immigrants were the sections of the population that suffered the most from the crackdown after the Revolution, and they were the basis of popular support for the Collective.

Radicalization of the Gas Miners

The Collective resulted in part from growing discontent among workers involved in the gas industry.  This discontent can be traced in part to earlier worker uprisings in the 29430's.  There is also evidence of decades of agitation activities on the part of operatives from other hypercorporations.

Many Kalosians, especially the poor and miners, supported a move away from corporate leadership.  A specific demand was that Kalos should be governed by native citizens via an elected board, something enjoyed by some other planets in the Omni-Tek system but denied to Kalos by a corporation wary of the planet's unruly populace.  They also wanted a more "just," if not necessarily socialist way of distributing food shipments, summed up in the popular appeal for "dosuya tu'azhba!" ("a vote and a meal!").

The most extreme revolutionaries on Kalos at the time were the followers of a popular crime lord known as Hades, a charismatic criminal turned revolutionary who had spent most of his adult life avoiding capture by Omni-Tek security forces.  He had about 10,000 followers, many of them well-armed, in cells of ten persons, which operated separately and were unaware of the members of the other groups, who communicated only with the leaders of their groups.  The groups communicated with each other by code.  Hades had written a manual on revolution, Theory and Practice of People's Revolution, to give guidance to his followers.  Though their numbers were small, the Hadeans provided many of the most disciplined soldiers and several of the major leaders of the Collective. 

The Cannons of Rabat
At the end of the September Revolution, four thousand obsolete 720mm howitzers, whose cost of use had been paid for via garnished wages from the population of Kalos, remained on the moon.  The new OT-K BoD, led by newly promoted CEO Lyra Beckenstein, decided to store the howitzers in three different Omni-AF munitions facilities, to keep them away from Omni-Pol, considered unreliable, and to defend the BoD headquarters against any attack by radicals.  The leaders of the revolutionary movement were equally determined to bring them under radical control.

Benos Ellis, a doctor from Rochefort who had risen to the position of Chief of Omni-Med Kalos - and who was secretly a friend of many of the revolutionaries, tried to negotiate a compromise, by which some of the howitzers would have been given to a newly created native militia, falling under Omni-AF control, while the others would remain in the control of the regular army; but Beckenstein and the other members of the Board did not accept his proposals.  Beckenstein wanted to restore order and corporate authority on Kalos as quickly as possible, and the howitzers had become the symbol of that authority.  The Board also refused to suspend the garnishment of wages imposed after the Revolution, and suspended two radical newletters, sarhat shuad (The Cry of the People) and anevam ja'deid (New Order), which further inflamed radical sentiment on Kalos.

The Spark of Revolution
Early in the morning of 28 May, two hundred revolutionaries from disparate brigades made a 700 meter vertical climb to a Omni-AF outpost near the BoD HQ/Rabat, where 17 howitzers were stored.  A small group of OTAF soldiers were stationed at the outpost, and there was a brief confrontation in which one revolutionary, named Nabila, was shot dead.  Word of the shooting spread quickly, and members of multiple revolutionary brigades from near the outpost hurried to the site to confront the soldiers.

Elsewhere in Rabat, OTAF rapidly moved their forces to secure strategic locations, but crowds gathered and continued to grow as worker's left their posts, and the situation became more and more tense.  The vehicles needed to move the howitzers were blocked by strategically damaged roads, and many of the OTAF forces were cut-off.  The soldiers at the HQ outpost were surrounded, and some began to break ranks and join the crowd.  OTAF General Feathers tried to negotiate a withdrawal, and then ordered his soldiers to charge their weapons and fire.  He gave the order to fire three times, but the soldiers refused.  Some of the officers were disarmed, and taken to a hastily established revolutionary HQ in a Rabat slum district, under the protection of Ellis.  General Feathers and his staff officers were seized by the revolutionaries and taken to a nearby dance club for midgrade administration employees.  The officers were pelted with chunks of roadway, struck, threatened, and insulted by the crowd.  In the middle of the afternoon Feathers and the other officers were taken out into the street by members of a group calling themselves The People's Committee of Justice, who conducted a brief trial, found the accused soldiers guilty of crimes against the worker, and executed them against a nearby wall.

By late afternoon, a series of unorganized OTAF counter-assaults had failed, and crowds and barricades were appearing throughout the city.  General Gunnerson ordered the army to pull back to the Rabat spaceport, and Beckenstein began to organize a withdrawal of critical personnel to orbital facilities, where they could await the arrival of additional OTAF forces from other systems. 

Three OTAF soldiers defend a position against a revolutionary assault.
Corporate Retreat
In the evening of May 28, following Omni-Tek's failed attempts to retake the city center, revolutionary leaders ordered three of the better-organized battalions to seize the BoD complex, where they believed corporate leadership was still located.  They were unaware that Beckenstein, the rest of the BoD, and OTAF leadership had withdrawn to the Omni-Tek Media building, and were in a critical position with few remaining guards.  They were also unaware that OTAF Field Marshal Wyatt Corelli, the future commander of the forces against the Collective, had just arrived at his primary residence, having just returned from legal proceedings against him on Omni-Prime.  As soon as he heard the news of the uprising, he made his way to a nearby transit center, where revolutionary soldiers were already stopping and checking the identity of departing passengers.  A sympathetic station manager concealed Corelli in his office and helped him board a fastmover, and he escaped the city.  While he was at the transit center, soldiers sent by the recently assembled Revolutionary Committee arrived at his house looking for him.

On the advice of General Laval, Beckenstein ordered the evacuation to high orbit of all the regular forces on Kalos One, some four hundred thousand soldiers, including the soldiers in the low orbit fortresses around the moon; the regrouping of all the army units in high orbit; and the departure of all corporate directorships from the moon.

Revolutionary Committee Takes Power
Late on 28 May, when they learned that the regular army was leaving Kalos, the units of the Revolutionary Committee moved quickly to take control of the moon.  The first to take action were the followers of Hades, who went quickly to the Clerk's Quarter and took charge of the munitions stored in the OTAF Citadel, and to the remaining transit centers.  Four battalions crossed the Skybridge and captured the Omni-Pol Prefecture, while other units occupied the former headquarters of Omni-Reform at Enterprise Plaza, as well as the Omni-Med buildings.

During the night of 28-29 May, the Revolutionary Committee occupied the empty offices vacated by the corporation; they quickly took over the facilities of Omni-Com, Omni-Trans, and Omni-Mining.  At eight in the morning on the 29th, the Revolutionary Committee was meeting in the BoD complex. By the end of the day, 200,000 revolutionary soldiers, part of the newly minted Revolutionary Vanguard Army, were camped in triumph in the square in front of the BoD HQ, with several hundred newly acquired armored fighting vehicles; and a green flag was hoisted over the building.

The extreme left members of the Revolutionary Committee, led by the Hadeans, demanded an immediate orbital assault on the high orbit stations, to disperse the Beckenstein directorship and to impose their authority on all of Kalos; but the majority of the Committee wanted first to establish a more solid base of legal authority on the moon.  The Committee officially lifted the state of martial law declared by Beckenstein, named commissions to administer the government, and called elections for 4 June. They also sent a delegation, led by Jenny Sevenex, to negotiate with the ICC to obtain a special independent status for Kalos.

Elections (4 June)
The Collective elections held on 4 June elected a Collective council of 100 members.  In advance of the elections, the Revolutionary Committee gave out the lists of candidates, mostly from the extreme left.  The candidates had only a few days to campaign.

The government of Beckenstein in orbit urged the citizens of Kalos to abstain from the elections.  There was fine weather on Election Day.  When the voting was finished, 8 billion Kalosians had voted, 18 billion qualified voters, or forty-four percent.

In the administrative hab-blocks many abstained from voting: 77 percent of voters in the 7th and 8th precincts; 68 percent in the 15th, 66 percent in the 16th, and 62 percent in the 6th and 9th.

But in the mining hab-blocks, turnout was high: 76 percent in the 20th precinct, 65 percent in the 19th, and 55 to 60 percent in the 10th, 11th, and 12th.

A few candidates, including Hades (who was elected despite reports of his arrest and incarceration in orbit), won in several precincts.  Other candidates elected, including about twenty moderates and five radicals, refused to take their seats. In the end, the Council had just 60 members. Nine of the winning candidates were Hadeans (some of whom were openly identifying themselves as members of the Clan movement). Twenty-five, including Estrada, and al-Ghebbi, classified themselves as "Independent Revolutionaries;" about fifteen were from the Miner's Party; and the rest were from a variety of radical groups. One of the best-known candidates, Jenny Sevenex, received only 750,000 votes.

The professions represented by the Collective council members were 33 gas miners; five refiners; 19 clerks, accountants and other office staff; twelve previously unemployed citizens; and a selection of workers from the remaining industries. Approximately 40% were women.

The winners of the election were announced on 7 June, and a large ceremony and parade by the Revolutionary Vanguard Army was held the next day in front of the BoD HQ, decorated with green flags.

Organization and early work
The new Collective Council held its first meeting on 8 June in a euphoric mood. The members adopted a dozen proposals, including an honorary presidency in absentia for Hades; the abolition of the death penalty; the abolition of military conscription; a proposal to send agitators to other planets to help launch collectives there; and a resolution declaring that membership in the Free Miner's Collective was incompatible with being an employee of Omni-Tek. This was aimed particularly at Nadine Sacramenda, the representative from the 2nd precinct. Seeing the more radical political direction of the new Collective, Sacramenda and some twenty of the most moderate members decided that it was wisest to resign from the Collective, at which point they were allowed to leave Kalos for the orbital facilities above. A resolution was also passed, after a long debate, that declared that the deliberations of the Council should be secret, since the Collective was now effectively at war with the government in orbit and should not make its intentions known to the enemy.

Following the model proposed by the more radical members, the new government had no president, no mayor, and no commander in chief. The Collective began by establishing nine commissions, similar to those of the Omni-Tek structure, to manage the affairs of Kalos. The commissions in turn reported to an Executive Commission. One of the first measures passed declared that military conscription was abolished, that no military force other than the Revolutionary Vanguard Army could be formed or could be introduced onto the moon, and that all healthy citizens were reserve members of the RVA. The new system had one important weakness: the RVA now had two different commanders. They reported to both the Command Staff of the RVA and to the Executive Commission, and it was not clear which one was in charge of the inevitable war with the government in orbit.

Despite internal differences, the Council began to organize the public services essential for a moon of 40 billion residents. It also reached a consensus on certain policies that tended towards a progressive and highly-democratic social democracy. Because the Collective was only able to meet on fewer than 60 days in all, only a few decrees were actually implemented. These included:

- the abolition of rent payments;
- the abolition of 12+ hour work days;
- the granting of pensions to the unmarried companions and children of RVA soldiers killed on active service;
- the free return, by the corporate stores, of all citizen's previously pawned property;
- the postponement of commercial debt obligations, and the abolition of interest on the debts;
- the right of employees to take over and run an enterprise if it were deserted by its owner;
- the prohibition of fines imposed by employers on their workmen.

Other legislation proposed to make advanced education freely available to all. It was not implemented because of the lack of resources and time.

Local Organizations
The workload of the Collective's leaders was enormous.  The Council members (who were not "representatives" but delegates, subject in theory to immediate recall by their electors) were expected to carry out many executive and military functions as well as their legislative ones.  Numerous organizations were set up in the precincts to meet social needs, such as canteens and first aid stations.  For example, in the third precinct, school materials were provided free, three closed corporate schools were opened to the public, and a free orphanage was established.  In the twentieth precinct, the new schoolchildren were provided with free clothing and food.  At the same time, these local assemblies pursued their own goals, usually under the direction of local workers. Despite the moderate reformism of the Collective council, the composition of the Collective as a whole was much more revolutionary. Revolutionary factions included Cochranists (a form of moderate anarchism developed in the 25th millenium), members of the Clan movement, Hadeans, and more libertarian republicans.

War with the Corporation
In high orbit, Beckenstein had estimated that she would need 1,500,000 soldiers to recapture Kalos, and she had only about 200,000 reliable first-line soldiers, plus about 50,000 Omni-Pol personnel.  She worked rapidly to assemble a new and reliable regular army.  Most of the soldiers were shipped from Omni-Prime.  Others were requisitioned from planetary Boards in the nearby systems. To command the new army, Beckenstein chose Wyatt Corelli, who had won fame fighting Sol Banking forces during the corporate wars, and who had been seriously wounded at the Battle of Rossetti. He was highly popular both within the army and with the Board. By 10 June, less than two weeks after the rout of the army in Rabat, OTAF forces began skirmishing with the RVA in orbit around the moon.

On the ground, the members of the Military Commission of the Collective and the Executive Committee of the Collective, as well as the Command Staff of the RVA, met on 11 June and decided to launch an offensive against the remaining OT presence in orbit within five days. The attack was first launched in the morning of 14 June by five salvaged assault cruisers against a OTAF-N orbital carrier. The RVA ships were quickly repulsed by the regular OTAF Navy, with a loss of 2 cruisers.

Five RVA escape pods were captured by the OTAF Navy; two contained deserters from OTAF while the rest were RVA troops who were caught with their weapons in their hands.  General Laval, the commander of the Low-Orbit Military Theatre, had ordered that any prisoners who were deserters from OTAF should be shot.  The commander of the OTAF-N carrier, Captain Beswick, went further and ordered that all the captured prisoners be summarily shot.  The practice of shooting prisoners became common on both sides during the bitter fighting in the months ahead.

Assault on High-Orbit
Despite this first failure, the Collective leaders were still convinced that, as at the start of the revolution, OTAF soldiers would refuse to fire on the soldiers of the RVA.  They prepared a massive offensive of 270,000 soldiers and 15 captured warships who would advance in three battlegroups. They were expected to converge at the end of twenty-four hours on the BoD orbital station.  They launched on the morning of 19 June—without fighter cover to protect the ships, without sufficient vacuum gear, with limited supplies of ammunition, and without sufficient escape pods—confident of rapid success.  They passed by the line of low-orbit fortresses just above the atmosphere, believing that the forts were unoccupied, not knowing that OTAF soldiers had reoccupied them on 17 June. They soon came under heavy cannon and laser fire from the OTAF batteries, broke formation, and fled back to the surface. Once again RVA soldiers captured with weapons were routinely shot by OTAF units.  The Collective forces, the Revolutionary Vanguard Army, continued skirmishing with OTAF forces in orbit.  Neither side was ever willing to negotiate.

OTAF-N orbital carrier Free Enterprise deploys fighters against RVA assault cruiser Spirit of the People
Support beyond Kalos
Abroad, there were rallies and messages of goodwill sent by other independent planets and revolutionary organizations.  But any hopes of getting serious help from other planets or organizations were soon dashed.  The ICC negotiating part, led by now-Ambassador Sevenex, returned with news of the ICC's rejection of their bid for recognition as an independent system.

Decree on Hostages
The leaders of the Collective responded to the execution of prisoners by the BoD by drafting and passing a new order on 20 June, which became known as the Decree on Hostages.  Under the decree, any person accused of complicity with Omni-Tek could be immediately arrested, imprisoned, and tried by a special jury of accusation. Those convicted by the jury would be imprisoned for an eventual execution.  Article 5 stated: "Every execution of a prisoner of war or of a partisan of the government of the Free Miner's Collective will be immediately followed by the execution of a triple number of hostages held by virtue of article four."  Prisoners of war were to be brought before a jury, which would decide if they would be immediately executed or held as hostages.

Under the new decree, a number of prominent leaders of the administrative personnel were promptly arrested and confined at the al-Ha'ir prison.  The Board of Directors responded swiftly, on 21 June, with its own decree, allowing OTAF tribunals to judge and punish suspects within twenty-four hours, a law which was broadly and frequently applied during the suppression of the Collective. When the new law was introduced, independant journalist and author Oleg Nishimura wrote, "It is not enough that they slaughter each other with artillery, they must also do so with decrees."


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