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The Ranger Mercenary Corps (more commonly referred to as the RMC) is a large, wealthy paramilitary force founded in 698 A.S. and based in the Omicron Lost system in the outer edges of the Sirius sector. Their zone of influence extend to most of the middle and southern Omicrons, as well as more recently pushing in to the Omegas. Their zone of operations extends throughout Sirius, however their sizeable capital fleet is solely restricted to the Omicrons and Omegas with few exceptions.
The RMC originated with six independent pilots who made their name escorting those explorers ambitious, insane, or desperate enough to explore the newly discovered and almost entirely uncharted Omicrons. In 695 A.S, Warran Hawthorne, Asara D'anternie and four other pilots took up their first contract with the GMG, escorting a survey team that would be flying close to hostile (later known as Corsair) territories. The convoy was ambushed by multiple fighters, but this was quickly repelled as the Corsairs cut their losses and ran, realising it would not be worth their while to take the equipment of the GMG vessels. News of this success spread quickly around the Sigmas, Rheinland and Kusari, and as their reputation grew, the Six soon had a large increase in the number of contracts they received, further lining their pockets and also allowing them to further upgrade their lethality through modernized ships and equipment. This continued for a year before the six, who had become known as the Rangers due to extensive fuel tank modifications to escort longer range voyages, realised that more profit would be made if they split in to two separate groups. The plan was for there to be 2 groups of 6 pilots each, lead by Hawthorne and D'anternie respectively. 3 of the pilots from the first 6 would be in each group, while they would fly alongside 3 recruits per group, who would be trained by the six in the ins and outs and details of escorting in such a dangerous environment, as well as of course learning how to fight at the standard that they upheld. This tactic was met with amazing success and as a result their small organisation grew in this fashion over the next two years. Their group would be formalized as a faction in 698 A.S. as the Ranger Mercenary Corps, which still stands to this day.
In 714 A.S, as the mad rush for the Omicrons was coming to a close, the Corps settled somewhat and expanded their operations. They expanded in to providing highly effective escort in house and inter-house trade. Due to their renown and skill, the pilots, who were used to much more difficult routes than simple house piracy, were in high demand and had little difficulty making profit from even some of the larger house corporations. This also provided and opportunity to reinforce the RMC and expand it further. The original six who still lead the faction agreed that all of its pilots would rotate in and out of the Omicrons, to keep a high average of skill throughout its forces while simultaneously keeping their toe in the market of house contracts. Despite their best efforts, the standard of flying did drop a little, however their effectiveness remained higher than most other mercenary groups, with the exception of some independent mercenaries.
Their new presence in the house market drove the RMC in to conflict with the Bounty Hunters Guild, who in 717 A.S. demanded that the RMC left the house territories to them and returned to solely operating in the Omicrons. This demand was promptly ignored and this resulted in tensions between the two factions. A year later, a drunk bounty hunter pilot got particularly irked by a pair of RMC pilots taking a low-grade contract with a small independent trader. He opened fire on the two pilots without warning, and was quickly dispatched of by the sober RMC pilots. This was fuel to the fire in the already heated debates between the two factions. The BHG decided enough was enough and struck at the then-RMC headquarters based in Sigma-19. The attack was moderately successful, crippling the station but suffering very high losses in terms of snubcraft. This triggered a short but deadly 6 month war between the two factions that ended in the RMC coming over with a minor victory, but ultimately it was pyrrhic as the BHG still outnumbered the RMC 3 to 1, therefore their superior pilots were mitigated by being vastly outnumbered. This attack also kickstarted the effort to relocate deeper inside the Omicrons, as to better secure their territory there and have a secure base of operations. The near-uncharted system of Omicron Lost was selected due to its lack of territory claims for any other faction, and completely remote location. A vast amount of money was spent moving resources to the system, and a vast complex of shipyards, hangars, storage, logistics, training areas, command rooms, bunks and more. This construction would last for 30 years, but in 749 A.S. would finally be completed as Hawthorne Orbital Starport and Asara Shipyard.
In 750 A.S, the RMC began to construct a capital fleet. Initially this fleet was built to protect their home against incursion, however this later grew to provide offensive support against primarily the Corsairs. RMC capital doctrine was focussed on heavier warships that could be easily repaired and also stay in the fight for as long as possible, while overwhelming the enemy with frontal firepower. Due to a common lack of power among most warships of the time, twin powercores were installed on the RMCs larger ships which added weight but also redundancy and increased power generation. This powercore trend would later end with the development of new cores which provided ample power by themselves. The last twin-core design would later be RMCS Hyperion, constructed in 808 A.S.
The capital fleet was moderately successful but hampered by design flaws in their early stages, due to a lack of experience in ship building. Their frontal firepower however did provide an advantage against lighter ships and also was on par with the Corsairs warships, which was their primary opponent at the time. The Corsairs had always had a vehement dislike of the RMC, as they had in fact built their reputation more or less by fighting and (usually) winning against the Corsair's raiding parties. This however broke out in to all out war relatively quickly as they had tolerated the RMC camping in sigma 19, a system they did not own, however in 755 A.S. the Corsairs had tolerated the RMC holding their own territory long enough. A vast raid was planned and executed in an attempt to permanently oust the RMC from the Omicrons, and secure Corsair dominance of the southern Omicrons. The raid was the first true test of the RMC as a paramilitary, operating larger classes of ships. Their inexperience resulted in the loss of several capital vessels, however the station defences were in the RMCs favour and disabled several corsair cruisers, helping them to fend off the attack. The siege lasted for 6 weeks, with the Corsairs sending periodic attacks, some large and some small, every six hours or so. This was extremely taxing for the RMC, however not impossible. Despite severe losses, the losses for the Corsairs were more severe still. The siege was broken off as the station defences had not been breached once, and the station despite suffering a few torpedo hits was largely intact. The cost had been extremely high for this defense, with hundreds of pilots sacrificed. However, their home was secure and the RMC had proven that they could withstand adversity, and send a message to those threatening them. Furthermore, the attack gave the RMC valuable insight into their capital ship designs, what their strengths were, and what their weaknesses and vulnerabilities were. This then allowed them to take more or less their entire fleet in to drydock to modify them to rectify these weaknesses, as well as construct future ships with the lessons learned. This would also trigger a vast recruiting drive by the RMC, who almost bankrupted themselves through recruitment and construction of a new, much larger fleet. They also expanded their operation in house space (much to the chagrin of the BHG, who stayed quiet about it this time) to support this growth. This new phase in the RMC's history would also result in a change in leadership. Up until this point, the original six pilots who founded it in 698 A.S. were still leading the faction. They decided that their time had come, and that a new, more rigid chain of command would take over. They quietly retired and still lived on Hawthorne Orbital, where they helped in engineering but more like civilian contractors than full fledged members of the Corps.
The next few decades would be relatively quiet for the Corps until the founding of the Core in 790 A.S. when they began to contest otherwise relatively uncontested RMC space, such as Omicron Delta. In order to avoid making historically poor Guild relations worse, a generous amount of territory was given up to avoid yet another unnecessary war with the rapidly growing Core. The Core aggressively took control of the Omicron Rho system, which was otherwise uninhabited. Despite this however, the Core aggressively contested RMC forces in the Omicron Delta system, sometimes engaging if they deemed the RMC patrols too close to the Omicron Rho jumphole. Though there has been no official conflict, tensions over this area remain high to this day.
In 800 A.S, the RMC began losing patrols to an unknown threat in the deep Omicrons. Blame was initially placed on the Core, due to their proximity and previous hostilities. However, when some ship remains were recovered, traces of biological signatures were detected on the blasted hulls. Shortly after, a group identifying themselves as the Order got in contact, claiming they knew the cause of this. The group was tentatively allowed to examine the fighter remains under intense surveillance. The Order provided evidence that a species identified as the Nomads had begun infiltrating human society and gathering their strength. Though RMC command initially dismissed this as the ravings of madmen, nonetheless, if for no other reason than to stop the Order from pestering them, they cross examined the ancient relics and scripts provided by the Order with independent explorers and archaeologists whom they had contact with through previous business. To their immense surprise, the Orders claims were confirmed, and the scale of the threat was larger than the RMC had ever assumed. To prevent igniting conflict with other factions, the RMC could only provide logistical support and manufacturing to the Order. They provided the Order with a small contingent of 'Anubis' fighters, as well as provided materials to maintain the stolen battleship Isis. Furthermore, they reached out to the Zoners, who had provided food, oxygen and water to the RMC ever since their own headquarters was constructed, and put together a deal with them on the Orders behalf to do the same. After the end of the Nomad war in 801 A.S, relations with the Order were kept tight and RMC patrols frequently assist the Order in keeping the Nomads in their own space. The RMC also attempt to prevent as much Nomad technology from falling in to the hands of the Core as possible, though it is impossible to prevent all from reaching them.
In 801 A.S, just after the nomad war, a chance patrol in the fringe of the Omegas, close to Bretonian space, picked up several extremely large vessels approaching the border of the system. Though initially put down to faulty sensors, two of them were identified as sleeper ships, while the third was a large class of previously unseen battleship. Due to a possible threat, the RMC scrambled two of their battleships equipped with experimental jump drives to jump to the Omega-49 system, and attempt to intercept these vessels to determine their intentions. However, the actual series of events unfolded very differently. A corsair raiding party of two cruisers was moving towards the unknown vessels, while the unknown battleship was running around planet Fuerteventura, seemingly in an attempt to distract them. Notably, the Corsair Titans that were escorting the cruisers were being decimated by the fighter complement of the unknown warship, causing the pair of RMC battleships to approach with caution. The unknown warship had turned towards the two other unknown vessels, as the RMC warships had jumped in relatively close to them. As they seemed unarmed and completely unwilling to engage, the RMC vessels accelerated past the two vessels and set course to engage a corsair Legate that was heading in to the fray. The two battleships launched their fighter complements and fired their forward guns, as well as let off a salvo of their magnetic accelerator cannons. The legate broke apart, and upon seeing this the remaining corsairs fled. The warships turned their attention to the unknown vessel. So far all they had proven is that they were hostile to corsairs, a mutual enemy. The battleships turned about until their anti capital batteries were aimed squarely at the enemy battleship. Against his better judgement, the admiral aboard the lead ship, Grant Tycho, boarded a light shuttlecraft and ordered that it attempt to board the unknown ship to attempt to establish some kind of semblance for what they were dealing with. Fortunately, the risk paid off. Two of their fighters escorted the vessel in to the starboard hangar of the ship where the two admirals met. The ships were from an abandoned sector that was near forgotten in ancient history, the Crayter sector, and was long thought to be a failed colony. These ships were the last of its population and sought refuge in the Sirius sector, initially completely unaware that it was already populated. The RMC offered protection to the Crayterian population until a suitable home could be found, in exchange for access to study their technology and weaponry. This was accepted, and the ships were brought back to Omicron Lost to fulfil both parts of the deal.
Two years passed, with the Crayterian vessels studied and incorporated in to RMC designs. The IMG contacted the RMC with an offer for the Crayter Remnant. The CR would move to the Coronado system, and the RMC would assist in the construction of facilities there. To this day, this assistance is still continuing.
As it stands today, the RMC are in a comfortable position militarily and economically, although still suffer Core and Corsair pressure on their borders. This does however mean that their pilots are some of the best in the business, constantly dipping in and out of combat, only stopping for repairs, fuel and ammunition. They maintain close relationships with the CR, Order, and Zoners to sustain themselves and rely upon should they need to. Their base remains in the Omicron Lost system, and they gather many of their supplies from the relatively new Omicron Surt system which they lay claim to due to the immediate access from Omicron Lost. They may well maintain the title of the largest capital fleet of any independent organisation not born of a Sleeper ship, with the only potential challengers being the Core in that regard. Regardless, they are a force to be reckoned with in their home territory and around Sirius.
RMC Structure & Information
The RMC operates as four separate battlegroups, each lead by a high ranking member of the organisation. These battlegroups are:
Lead by the head of the faction, but also the smallest battlegroup, consisting largely of the most experienced pilots in the faction. That said, this battlegroup has the largest ratio of capital ships when compared to the number of people that makes it up of any of the other battlegroups. Currently under the command of Gaelon o'Donnell
Battlegroup Delta maintains the bulk of the RMCs snubcraft, and is home to many an ace pilot. They do maintain a number of capital ships, however not as many as the other battlegroups. They are often the first choice for conflicts revolving around light skirmishes and hit and run tactics. Currently under the command of [redacted]
Battlegroup Gamma is a mixed battlegroup of capital ships and snubcraft. They are arguably the most "standard" of the battlegroups as they are designed around versatility more than specialising in a single task like the other three battlegroups. Currently under the command of [redacted]
Omega maintains a large portion of the RMCs capital ship roster, and are the appropriately-named final word in any conflict they are involved in. Omega does use a number of snubcraft, however its ratio of bombers to fighters is much higher than the other battlegroups as to better suit its primary focus. Currently under the command of [redacted]
Ranks of the RMC
Promotion is entirely optional, if a member wishes to stay at their current rank, they may indicate they wish to do so.
Sabre Six - G. Admiral Gaelon o'Donnell
RMCS Hyperion - Hyperion class Dreadnought
RMCS Donnager - Sol class Battleship
RMCS Arbiter - Sol class Battleship
RMCS Savannah - Centauri class Battlecruiser
Destroyers and Cruisers
RMCS Rocinante - Proxima class Destroyer
RMCS Infinity - Proxima class Destroyer
Gunships and Gunboats
RMCS Serenity - Condor class Gunboat