Io is the fifth moon of Jupiter.
The transfer point on Io is an important outpost for the Earth Alliance since the primary jumpgate of the Sol system orbits the moon. Space Station Io also orbits nearby; the base is second in size only to the Earth Alliance colony on Mars, and is the one most generally used by Earthforce. Similar in some ways to the station Babylon 5 itself, Io functions both as a civilian and military way station for most out-of-system traffic, especially those ships too small to have their own jump engines. The area is always heavily patrolled since any damage to the jumpgate could cripple or seriously harm Earth's interests.
As the Earth-Minbari War neared its final conclusion in 2248, Earth lost all contact with her colonies, including Io, before the Minbari fleet bypassed Mars and jumped straight to Earth at the Battle of the Line. However, it is unclear whether Io was actually destroyed or merely had its communications and defenses disabled.
Susan Ivanova had served under John Sheridan for a time at Station Io prior to 2258. He had great respect and professional admiration for her, and they quickly became friends again once they were reunited upon his assignment to Babylon 5 as commander.
On December 31, 2258, Station Io was the site of an official visit from President Luis Santiago prior to departing on a goodwill tour of the outer planet colonies. According to Interstellar Network News (ISN) at the time, "sources close to the president have hinted that he'll give a major policy speech New Year's Day from the jump point on Io. The speech is likely to concern human-alien relations over the remainder of his five-year term."
At the same time, a shipment of jammers set to broadcast static at a location near Io was discovered on Babylon 5 by Security Chief Michael Garibaldi just before he was shot in the back. He was able to warn Commander Jeffrey Sinclair only as he lost consciousness, but there was not enough time to warn the president that he might be in danger.
Just as it was about to dock with Space Station Io, the president's transport, Earthforce One, was utterly destroyed by a massive explosion, killing President Santiago along with many others. The explosion was broadcast live across the galaxy on ISN, who reported that Vice President Morgan Clark had previously disembarked "suffering from a viral infection, and had been hoping to catch up with the tour as it returned from Io."
Operation Sudden Death
In 2259, General Richard Franklin used the official story that his 25,000 Earthforce troops arriving on Babylon 5 were relief troops for Io. This covered the fact that they were really being deployed on Operation Sudden Death to attack the rebel stronghold at Matok, on the planet Akdor in the Sh'lassen Triumvirate, at the request of the Sh'Lassen government.
In mid-2260, the transfer point on Io was again in the news when President Morgan Clark declared martial law, ostensibly because of the nearby confrontations between the insane Shadow Vessel discovered on Ganymede, Sheridan's White Star, and the EAS Agamemnon.
Shortly after, Io became the scene of the first space battle in the Earth Alliance Civil War when five rebel Earthforce ships led by General William Hague attempted to flee the Solar system via Io's jumpgate, but were ambushed by a superior force loyal to President Clark (including the EAS Schwarzkopf and EAS Excalibur). Three of the rebel ships were destroyed (or four according to ISN). After disabling or destroying their pursuit, the two surviving ships, including General Hague's flagship EAS Alexander continued onwards to a rendezvous at the Orion VII Earth colony.
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