Io is a volcanic moon of Jupiter that was utilized as a Federation colony that went online on January 1, 2196. It holds a place in Federation history as the Site of the Io tragedy.
Points Of InterestEdit
Flush with the success of every colonization effort thus far in the Sol system, the Federation confidently moved forward with simultaneously on food-rich Europa and resource-rich Io. The moon's volatile, volcanic nature posed some significant problems for the establishment of a functional, permanent base but by applying the experience learned with other colonies, the Federation was finally able to build a small but secure colony site on the moon's surface. It was named McManus Base, in honor of John C. McManus, the man considered by many to be the Founder of the Federation. For a handful of years, McManus base seemed like the latest in the line of Federation success stories, harvesting the gases, the geothermal and electrical energy of Io for use elsewhere in the Federation. Unseen beneath the placid surface of the colony, however, discontent was growing.
The Io tragedyEdit
Working conditions on Io were exceptionally harsh but that fact had hardly been hidden from the colonists recruited to McManus Base, who were extremely well compensated for their service. However, for some of the civilian colonists such a compensation was not enough.
Led by a gas mining technician named Alfred La Rocque, a small group of dissidents began to form on Io. They were careful to keep their presence invisible, meeting in secret in small groups, where they slowly formed themselves into a coherent band of insurrectionists, with the self-styled name of Free Io. When LaRocque and his Forces moved at last, they did so swiftly. They stormed and raided the Federal Service armory on the base, then took control of the major installations of McManus Base before sabotaging its spaceport and herding as many colonists as they could capture into the base's enormous dormitory buildings that had not been used in more than a decade, not since the earliest days of McManus Base.
Once they had claimed control of McManus Base, LaRocque and his followers flashed a message to the Federation, listing a number of demands they wanted fulfilled before they would agree to continue Io's support of the Federation. Chief among these were higher wages, nationhood for Io and abolition of the citizen franchise. In response to these demands, and aware that Free Io could erupt into a full-scale rebellion, the Citizens' Federation moved swiftly. As diplomats worked nonstop with Io insurrectionists, a military mission was dispatched from Mars to intercept any threat that might come from Io but to only use military force as a last resort. While the military task force was still en route, however, the negotiations between Federation diplomats and Free Io dissidents broke down.
Upon detecting the arrival of the military ships in orbit, the Free Io dissidents made a monstrous decision. Rather than seeking out and accepting a peaceful solution, they chose death. Within moments of the Federation ships' arrival a series of immense explosions battered the moon's surface and left a smoking crater where McManus Base once stood. The Free Io dissidents had chosen death not just for themselves but for every citizen and civilian in the colony. More than 17,000 souls were lost on April 21, 2199. The tragedy marked the single greatest loss of life due to violence since the Federations Founding.