"This is Captain John Sheridan. We are here on the authority of a multi-planetary force, that can no longer stand by and watch one of their greatest allies falling into darkness and despair. We are here on behalf of the thousands of civilians murdered under orders from the current administration, who have no one else to speak for them. ... We are here to place President Clark under arrest, to disband Nightwatch, and return our government to the hands of her people. ... The time to act is now! This is not the voice of treason. These are your sons, your daughters, whose loyalties have never wavered, whose beliefs in this alliance has forced us to take extraordinary means.
For justice, for peace, for the future... we have come home!"
The Earth Alliance Civil War was an armed conflict brought about by a division in Earthforce and the citizens of the Earth Alliance over the conduct and policies of EA President Morgan Clark and his regime.
The Conspiracy of Light and the Declaration of Martial Law[edit | edit source]
Earthforce's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General William Hague, had suspected for a long time that Clark was involved in the assassination of former President Luis Santiago, and had begun a low-level counter-conspiracy that included Captain John Sheridan. Because of Sheridan's war record, Clark thought he would be an anti-alien warhawk that would support him. However, Clark failed to realize that Sheridan was by nature a truth-seeker and considered aliens to be potential allies. Sheridan eventually persuaded the Babylon 5 command staff officers to join the counter-conspiracy.
A year after ascending to the presidency, Clark's doctor, Everett Jacobs gave testimony that Clark's claim that a case of the flu kept him off of Earth Force One was a lie, that he hadn't been sick at all. In danger of the truth of his assassination conspiracy coming to light, President Clark acted quickly: citing the destruction of an Earth Alliance base on Ganymede, which he falsely pinned on the then-unknown White Star, President Clark declared martial law throughout the Earth Alliance. After an executive order was issued dissolving the Earth Senate, Earthforce troops stormed the Senate building to put a stop to any impeachment hearings, then stormed the office of the military Chiefs of Staff who weren't loyal to Clark. Military patrols were then put on the streets in every major Earth city. The Interstellar Network News revealed that they had been intimidated into keeping quiet about what they knew about what Clark was doing the last year, as Earthforce troops descended on the ISN building and cut the transmission shortly thereafter.
"I have received orders this day, April 9, 2260 from the President of the Earth Alliance declaring a state of emergency. As of this moment, Babylon 5 is under martial law.
A curfew of 1900 hours will be maintained until further notice. Station personnel reserve the right to intercept and monitor communications in and out of Babylon 5.
There'll be stiff penalties against anyone caught inciting to riot or taking any action against the security of this station, Earth or any of its holdings."
- – Captain Sheridan, CO. Babylon 5
Hague's Coup and Colonial Secession[edit | edit source]
Before he could be captured, General Hague attempted an unsuccessful counter-insurgency. Taking a few Omega-class destroyers with crews he could trust, Hague tried to escape the solar system at the Io Jump Gate transfer point, but was intercepted by a fleet loyal to Clark. Hague's flagship, the EAS Alexander, was able to escape, with the other ships loyal to Hague shot down by Clark's forces within a few days.
A few days later, the governor of Mars publicly stated that he would defy Clark's order and not implement martial law. In retaliation, President Clark ordered the full scale carpet bombing of civilian population centers on Mars. Outlying colonies like Orion VII and Proxima III seceded from the Earth Alliance in protest, and set themselves up as independent states until Clark had been removed from office. Cutting off Proxima and Orion with a blockade, Earthforce troops also occupied Mars, and though there was fierce ground fighting the Martians were losing, leaving Babylon 5 standing alone.
The Alexander stopped at Babylon 5 for repairs after shaking its pursuers, followed shortly by the EAS Churchill, another Hague-loyal destroyer. Intercepting attack orders relayed to some of Clark's forces, the Churchill's captain informed Sheridan that an Earthforce fleet including the destroyers EAS Agrippa and EAS Roanoke, was heading to Babylon 5. Ordered to seize command, the orders also included arresting the command staff and put the station under the direct control and jurisdiction of the Nightwatch.
Taking a public stand against Clark, Sheridan decided to follow Orion VII and Proxima III's lead, making a public announcement that Babylon 5 was seceding from the Earth Alliance shortly before Clark's forces came through the jumpgate. In the battle that ensued, the Churchill was critically damaged and elected to ram the Roanoke, destroying both vessels while combined fire from B5's defense grid and the Alexander resulted in the eventual loss of the Aggripa with all hands. As opposing Starfuries engaged in dogfights outside, Clark-loyal soldiers attempted to force their way aboard the station, resulting in heavy casualties against the Babylon 5 security forces and their Narn supporters.
When a second wave of loyalist ships came in, Sheridan was prepared to order a stand down when Delenn arrived, leading a force of Minbari cruisers behind her. Warning Clark's forces that Babylon 5 was now under the protection of the Minbari, Delenn gave the ships a choice: withdraw or be destroyed. Despite some initial opposition, the appearance of the Minbari force prompted the Earth vessels to quickly depart once Delenn reminded them of what happened the last time that humans and Minbari clashed. Following this battle, Babylon 5 would become a bastion of opposition against Clark, since effectively it was the only Earth Alliance planet or base that Clark did not control.
"Only one Human captain has survived an encounter with a Minbari fleet. He is behind me, you are in front of me. If you value your lives, be somewhere else."
- – Delenn
Proxima III and the Road to Mars[edit | edit source]
Babylon 5 took only limited action against President Clark until midway through the next year, having taken a central role in an alliance of alien races in the fight against the Shadows. After the Shadows and Vorlons joined the remaining First Ones beyond the Rim, Clark lost his allies amongst the Shadows and became obsessed with Babylon 5 since it was outside his control. Knowing that Sheridan and his supporters would come after him sooner or later, he levied an embargo against the station, while at the same time using ISN to launch a propaganda war in an attempt to destroy Babylon 5's credibility. To counter Clark's campaign of half-truths and outright lies, the Voice of the Resistance was created, with Commander Susan Ivanova as its spokesperson.
A few months after VoR started broadcasting, it was learned that Earthforce ships loyal to Clark had attacked several civilian passenger vessels attempting to leave an contested area. At Clark's order, the ships opened fire on the transports, killing 10,000 people who had no possible way to fight back to set an "example", as one person put it. Furious over the killing of innocent civilians, Sheridan finally declared "enough is enough", deciding to go on the offensive against Clark in September of 2261.
Starting with Proxima III, Sheridan used ships from the White Star fleet to break the blockade of the planet, this worked mainly due to the fact that Sheridan had convinced more than half of the EarthForce ships guarding Proxima III to either stand down, or join his side. The battle now heavily favored Sheridan due to him having a superior numbers advantage and effectively dividing the Omega fleet in half: with half of the Omega fleet now on Sheridans side the other half still loyal to Clark. This resulted in a brutal battle with the EAS Pollux being destroyed, the EAS Heracles disabled, and severe damage to another destroyers before the order to surrender was finally given. One White Star was shot by the Pollux, causing it to crash into the Pollux and destroy both ships, while a few other White Stars suffered moderate damage. This battle had more importance than most note, as the EAS Vesta was on the verge of firing on the White Star 2, and possibly killing Sheridan, when the crew of the ship removed acting Captain Robert Philby (field-promoted by Captain Trevor Hall) from firing control and returned control to her original captain, Edward MacDougan, who stood down as he had originally planned. Offering the remaining captains a chance to join up, several defected to Sheridan's side.
Having secured Proxima, over the next several weeks Sheridan began a systematic campaign against Clark's forces, taking great care not to kill Earthforce personnel unless left with no other choice. This resulted in multiple brutal battles between Earthforce ships and Sheridan's White Star fleet, with both sides taking many losses. Sheridan said to Captain James when asked if he had lost any battles fighting Earthforce and Sheridan stated "we've lost a few battles to Clark... but are making damn sure not to tell anyone about it!" The fight to liberate Earth proved to be very costly with both sides taking many losses. Searching for a way to halt the enemy's momentum towards Earth, as well as trying to staunch the flow of ships and people from Earthforce who had defected to follow Sheridan's cause, Clark's forces captured Sheridan's father, who had gone underground on Earth. Transferring command of the combined force to Ivanova, Sheridan headed to a clandestine meeting with a contact on Mars in the hopes of staging an operation to free his father, although this was later revealed to be a setup. Captured and tortured for over a week, Sheridan refused to be broken. Eventually rescued by Michael Garibaldi, Lyta Alexander and Stephen Franklin, he returned to the fleet.
Gathering a force of advanced model destroyers which had been fitted with Shadow technology and crewed by people loyal to him, Clark attempted to set up an ambush for Sheridan's (now Ivanova's) fleet, but the plans were revealed to Ivanova by defecting Earthforce officers. Realizing the Earthforce ships would be the primary target, she took a force of White Stars with her to the ambush site to engage the destroyers. Her forces were successful in eliminating the advanced ships, but it came at a price: many White Stars were destroyed, including White Star 2 with Ivanova in command. Ivanova herself was grievously wounded in the battle.
Homecoming[edit | edit source]
As the majority of Earthforce by now was either allied with Sheridan, destroyed, or had been otherwise incapacitated, the rebels started coordinating with the Mars Resistance, laying plans to defeat Clark's remaining forces. Selecting the EAS Agamemnon for his flagship as a fulfillment of one of Ivanova's last requests, Sheridan resumed command over the fleet.
Under the command of General Robert Lefcourt, a fleet of 36 destroyers had assembled in Mars orbit as part of a last-ditch attempt to fend off Sheridan's advance. Smuggling Shadow-altered telepaths on board the destroyers with the help of the resistance, Sheridan then launched a two-pronged attack. Attacking the Earthforce bases planetside first to divert attention from their primary goal, Lyta then sent a signal to the telepaths on board the destroyers, awakening them. Upon reviving, they followed their Shadow programming: finding the first open computer terminal they could and merging with it. Neutralizing at least 26 out of the 36 destroyers without firing a shot, the remaining ships still in operation were easily overwhelmed and disabled by Sheridan's White Stars.
Finally giving the resistance on Earth the support they needed, Sheridan's forces jumped from Mars into Earth orbit. Led by Senator Crosby, a group of civilians and military personnel marched on Clark's office in Earthdome with the intention of placing him under arrest. Realizing that he would soon be captured, Clark committed suicide with a PPG. In one last vindictive act, he turned the planetary defense grid towards Earth, leaving a note with the words "Scorched Earth" as the only clue to his intentions. Apart from the projectile and other weapons installed on each platform, the particle beam weapons alone had the capability to destroy 40% of the planet's surface. Supported by a coalition fleet of alien ships led by the Minbari, Centauri, Narn and the other League worlds, Sheridan and his forces quickly moved to destroy the platforms, eliminating almost all of them, but not without taking heavy damage. Her weapon systems disabled, the Agamemnon prepared to ram the last platform before its particle beams could fire, destroying it before it could fire on Earth. However, Leftcourt's flagship, the EAS Apollo, arrived at the last minute to engage and destroy the last platform.
Aftermath and Political Fallout[edit | edit source]
"I'm not here to argue ethics with you, Captain. Right or wrong, you led an insurrection against your own government. That's mutiny at best, treason at worst."
"So, morally I was right, but politically I'm inconvenient."
"Inconvenient doesn't even begin to cover it."
- – Susanna Luchenko and John Sheridan
After Clark's suicide, Susanna Luchenko of the Russian Consortium was named as the Acting President of the Earth Alliance. With ISN no longer serving as the new order's propaganda arm, former ISN reporters were freed, and returned almost immediately to their jobs. At a press conference, Luchenko issued a statement that the Justice Department would prosecute those who had committed crimes during Clark's reign of terror, but pleaded for patience from the people as they tried to figure out who had been willing participants and those who went along with Clark only out of fear of retaliation.
Later meeting with Sheridan, she pointed out that while morally he had done the right thing, politically it was inconvenient to say the least. Offering amnesty to Sheridan and those who had followed him, Luchenko convinced Sheridan to resign from Earthforce, although he agreed to do so only after she put the amnesty offer in writing. Soon thereafter, Sheridan was elected President of the newly formed Interstellar Alliance.
As per his promise to the Mars Resistance for their help, Sheridan secured Mars' independence by making one of the conditions for membership in the IA that the rights of the member worlds' colonies be respected, stating that if a majority of a colony's population voted for independence, they had to be freed. Despite the political changes that would be involved, Earth was convinced to join the IA with an offer of more-advanced technology, particularly artificial gravity. Several days later, President Luchenko signed an executive order declaring Mars an independent world.
References[edit | edit source]
|Battles of the Earth Alliance Civil War|
|Battle of Io • Battle of Orion VII • Bombing of Mars • Battle for B5 Independence • Battle of Sector 49 • Blockade of Proxima III • Battle of Proxima III • Pursuit of Earthforce Destroyers • Battle of Beta IX • Battle of Sector 300 • Battle of Mars • Liberation of Earth|