Historical Event: The Kildare Earthquake



Wolcott has been known for decades as a regional capital of Aerilon. With a slowly building population of just under a few hundred thousand before the earthquake struck, the city served as a major trading center for all of the outlying areas and increasingly as a higher tech farmer's market. However, in the years leading up the City Council had passed taxes on more and more produce and finding ways to control and take profits from those selling their goods there via the Pembrooke Spaceport. The goal of the City Council was to provide funding to expand and modernize the city in order to attract higher-classes of business and commerce. However, the taxes were slowly strangling the populations who subsisted off the sales of their crops and products. Protests had begun forming in 2035 which led to some accusations of police brutality. In one such instance, more than 20,000 farmers and ranchers marched on City Hall and began throwing bottles at the building. Police were called in and after two days of waged street battles that resulted in more than five hundred arrests, the uprising was put down. It seemed to be the apex of the problems as it appeared to now attract all sorts of people who had governmental grievances - all the way down to monotheists and anarchists. Then the earthquake struck.

In the early morning hours of Monday, 13 May 2036, a 7.6 hit the city. Centered just twenty miles outside of Wolcott at the small village of Kildare, it toppled some of the largest buildings in Wolcott and brought the residency to its knees. Aerilon appealed for aid before the Quorum of Twelve and it was agreed to send in the military as it could handle the massive amounts of casualties and get supplies distributed as fast as possible. However, with communications to the outside world reduced to nothing within the territory, the outlying residents saw things a bit differently. They saw a local government that had taxed them into near starvation and still couldn't provide basic emergency aid. Those outside of town with CB radios got into contact and armed-up. The plan was to get into the city and take what they needed. As word of the movement spread like wildfire, more and more people bandied together and went into the city. It started as looting until Patrol Sergeant Cecilia Emerson was shot and killed when she tried to intervene. With the radios suddenly alive with calls of 'Officer down!', the looters suddenly became cop-killers. Gun battles erupted all over the city within fifteen minutes and the ruins turned into an all-out battle against the local government. Martial Law was declared.


Meanwhile the Colonial Fleet had arrived on station and begun delivering aid. First to arrive in orbit was the Marsyas, an Escort Carrier retrofitted for humanitarian relief and medical aid. Raptors had already begun delivering supplies to the remains of Pembrooke Spaceport when the shooting started. Some of the armed citizens from outside of town had moved on the location when they saw the Raptors landing and were waiting patiently when Sergeant Emerson was gunned down. Law enforcement moved in to strip the patient citizens and things quickly got out of hand. The spaceport turned into a firefight, catching the unarmed members of the 873rd Medevac Squadron in the middle. Five aircrew were killed with an additional six wounded before they could get off the ground. The Raptors warned-off their incoming comrades and returned to the ship. The Marsyas immediately reported to situation to Fleet Headquarters.

In a grand failure of communication, the military was forced to inform the Quorum Representatives that what they perceived to be a coup attempt was underway against the city's government. Luckily, this assertion turned out to be correct as the Mayor and City Council members were executed over the span of the following three hours. The Prime Minister appealed to the President for help as she feared that the rebellion would spread across the planet (which was later to be an unfounded concern as much of the population was horrified at the events) and the President ordered the military in. The 173rd Marine Infantry Division would spearhead the retaking of Wolcott.



The Hairetos was the first to arrive on station. Carrying the Headquarters Company for the 173rd, this ship immediately set into conducting low-level recon of Wolcott. It found that the majority of citizens had fled the city's pitched battles and that there were dozens of firefights going on between armed mobs attempting to assert control of what was more or less 'their territory' while supplies were stripped. The only apparent hold-out of government forces was at the hospital where nearly one hundred police officers, firefighters and off-duty or retired military personnel had bunkered a defense of close to six hundred people inside. Within hours, a battleplan had been drawn up and submitted to Fleet for approval. With the nod given, Raptors buzzed the city and warned the citizenry to throw down arms and leave post haste. Most people just opted to shoot at the Raptors. The only landings conducted were resupply operations and combat evacuations of the wounded from the hospital.

With the arrival of the Battlestar Argo, the attack began. The Hairetos, a trans-atmo Marine Landing Ship, dropped to the surface and disgorged two heavy infantry battalions Northeast of the city to establish a beach-head for the Colonial Marines. The landing was initially peaceful with the Marines securing a nearby town and the Marsyas began resupply right away to the secured area. However, as the Marines pushed closer to Wolcott, resistance was met. The Argo's Vipers were called in for air support and precision strikes were conducted, providing the Marines with the ability to rapidly advance. Once on the outskirts of the city and surrounding it with Marine and relief groups, air support was halted and the remaining citizens offered one last chance to evacuate. RADM Manning, a veteran of the Taurian Uprising, came up to the front and made her famous announcement that was captured before television cameras:


"This is Rear Admiral Evelyn Manning of the Colonial Marine Corps. The President of the Twelve Colonies has ordered us here to secure Wolcott. You have two options and only two. Here is your first option: You will put down your arms and proceed to evacuate the city where you will be greeted by CMC personnel who will provide medical relief. You will get food, water, and medical attention free of charge. Any crimes committed will be dealt with at a later date. I have ordered a halt to the offensive action of all Marine Ground Forces for three hours to facilitate your compliance. If you cannot evacuate in three hours, bunker in place and we will find you. Disarm and wave any material you can find and you will get aid.

"Your second option is to stay in the city and fight. In three hours, my offer expires. We will roll in with twelve infantry battalions, air support, and naval gunfire from six frigates we have in orbit. Anyone seen wielding a weapon of any sort will be face the grave consequences. I suggest that if you prefer this option that you spend the next three hours making peace with the Gods for my Marines will make none with you. Think of your husbands and wives. Think of your children. Get out of the city and spare them more anguish than you have already caused. Consider this your first and last warning. There will be no further announcements. See you in three hours."

An estimated 90% of the armed rebels threw down their arms and evacuated to the lines in the following three hours. The other 10% called the Admiral's bluff. While there was never a threat of naval gunfire, the 173rd ID did roll in with light armor and infantry forces. It was accompanied by the 33rd Mechanized Infantry Division and the 29th Infantry Division (Heavy). They swept the entire city, block by block, house by house. The operation caused the Marines to suffer fifteen killed and thirty-one wounded. Most of these were due to the wide-use of molotov cocktails as the Marines prevailed with every engagement. The final count of those killed or wounded by the Marines is officially stated as 142. The clearing operation took five days - a full twenty-four hours longer than planned. This is widely attributed to the stalled operations where Marines began rescue efforts for people who couldn't evacuate the city or were trapped. An estimated 2,180 men, women, and children were rescued.

Wolcott was slowly rebuilt with federal money and a new City Council was elected - one that didn't have to be warned about the citizenry. More than three hundred people were tried and convicted for their actions during the regional coup. Most are serving life sentences.

Affected PCs

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