Following the arrival of the first colonial assemblies into the asteroid belt, an establishment named the Ministry of Colonization took over the process of developing the sector. Lead by the rather incompetent Minister of Colonization, the Ministry, also known as MinCol, gradually developed more and more base structures. By the time of Andarin's revolution, there were approximately a dozen colony structures.
But the incompetence of the organization and its lack of spirit gradually wore away the patience of the first arrivals. The colonists were discontent with the state of affairs and decided that the time was ripe for the break away from MinCol control.
The Hunt for Rebels
Andarin led the first faction of rebels as they broke away from the MinCol colony of Gettysburg more or less silently. There were various indications that several shuttles were leaving the colony without a warrant, and despite the incompetence of the administration the Minister was made quickly aware of the situation. He realized immediately that he would have to take action or face consequences, namely a string of rebellions against his rule. The rebels might try to sabotage his colonies, but more likely they would try to escape.
As Andarin's shuttles departed, the Minister set up shuttles with the old military-grade laser weapons systems and linked them with infrared detectors that could locate the engines of the fleeing shuttles. Minutes after the rebels had departed from Gettysburg, the MinCol fleet was on the chase.
What followed afterward was not as glamorous as some may think, for a space battle. There were absolutely no weapons on board Andarin's shuttles, and while some were located by the ID's (Infrared Detectors) and IFF's (Identification Friend or Foe) and subsequently destroyed, some survived, including Andarin, their leader. As a result, the escape was still deemed a success by the rebels who survived.
Speaking of Triumph
Back at Gettysburg, the Minister made an announcement:
- "Today there has been an adverse current to the ubiquitous progress made by our skilled colonists. These rebels were helpless nobodies, not deserving of any attention by us hard laborers and determined workers. They were out to undermine the Ministry of Colonization and more importantly the Hegemony, but they were not successful. They did not escape. They were annihilated. They were a futile opposition earlier. They are nobody now." --The Minister of Colonization
The speech was an obvious piece of propaganda, and the use of "nobody" was intended to downplay the disconcerting effect that Andarin's rebellion held for all of the bureaucrats of MinCol, especially the Minister himself. But the name stuck. Thereafter, MinCol called Andarin's faction just that--"nobody"--while others poked fun at the term and Andarin's rebels themselves decided to use that as the name of their faction.
The Shuttle is the workhorse of the colonization of space, composed of a hollowed cylinder for the transport of men, materiel, and machine parts to set up part of the next colony. Attached are engines, fuel tanks, and basic sensory apparati. It would see plenty of action in the Battle of the Belt, forming the core of the military fleets of each side as well as transporting items from base to base.
Identification Friend or Foe (IFF)
IFF was a piece of equipment installed on the MinCol shuttles as they chased after the fleeing rebels. Remarkably simple, it is a combination hardware and software that traces incoming signals and decides through various means such as trajectory of the craft, any beacons or signals displayed by the craft, armaments of the craft, and positioning, whether the target craft is allied or opposing. This piece of equipment was possessed by both MinCol and the rebels, and would remain a crucial but under-mentioned technological aspect of the Battle of the Belt.
Infrared Detectors (ID)
ID was another piece of equipment; when hooked up to an IFF program, the combo enabled the MinCol shuttles to locate crafts. Infrared has a lower frequency and longer wavelength than the visible spectrum and is resultant from heat. The most obvious sources of heat are the sun, the stars, and the engines located on various craft. As the stars do not move over time while the engines do, this method allows easy detection of craft from many thousands of miles away. The one weakness in the system was its inability to locate craft that had stopped firing their boosters, escaped behind an asteroid, or was between the detector and the sun. This was a preliminary device for tracking targets that would later see significant improvement.
- Challenge: We already have technology that can easily see objects against the sun. Also consider use of low-cost unmanned probes that can relay signals, so giving a view from another angle. For more info, Google for images produced by the ISO and SOHO solar observatory satellites.
Communication Radio (ComRad)
Using hyperprime sound encoding, the communication radio device (COMRAD) allowed communication between the various shuttles with each other and with other bases, in this case with the sole base in the asteroid belt, Gettysburg. Hyperprime encoding was nearly impossible to break, but the technology was open to all sides in the Battle.
MinCol Visible Laser Weapons Systems (I-1)
Only MinCol had this piece of equipment during First Strike. It was a high-intensity military-grade laser that could be linked to the IFF/ID combo and thereby target crafts with pinpoint accuracy. Laser beams could travel at the speed of light and much much faster than shuttles or any other crafts. However, due to the time lag between one craft's emission of infrared rays from its engines to reception by the receiving craft, processing to the I-1, warming up the laser, and firing, the one craft could have dramatically shifted position. Even a shift of a few meters could mean that the laser did not hit. This problem would later be taken advantage of by evasive maneuvers.
Following the only partially successful First Strike, a group of three officials in the MinCol bureaucracy--a triumvirate of Inguz, Janus, and Sylph--decided that it was time to split from MinCol as well. They too were more than dissatisfied with the progress that the colonization of space was making. Moreover, they had behind them the support of circa twenty percent of the population of MinCol's colony of Gettysburg, and therefore could easily establish a base.
However, these rebels also did not want to cause the death of any of the population and were therefore not willing to incite civil war by attempting a coup de 'etat. In one of the more controversial and idealistically driven moves in the Battle of the Belt, these three men and woman and their followers abandoned the colony but did not subdue it. Before the MinCol hunting fleet came back to dock, the remaining shuttles departed to found a new faction, which called itself the Sons of Space.