Fort Simpson


Fort Simpson is the capital colony of the revolutionary government The Galilean Confederacy. It is located on and under the palimpsest crater Lagash Sulcus on Jupiter’s moon Ganymede.

  • Government: Federal democracy
  • Head of state: President Edmund Markham
  • Sovereignty: Owned by the Galilean Confederacy
  • Location: Ganymede
  • Established: 2054
  • Major ports: Port Independence
  • Industries: Textiles, munitions
  • Currency: USD, XNY
  • Population estimate: 1,200,000
  • Languages: English, Mandarin
  • Religions: Christian


The American colony at Lagash Sulcus was originally named Ganymede City, settled in 2035 alongside the other offworld colonies of China, Brazil, and Nigeria. The relatively hospitable conditions on Ganymede - the presence of a magnetosphere, mild background radiation, heated regolith from tidal flexing, and surface ice and other minerals which could be accessed by small scale industry - encouraged private or ‘wildcat’ colonialism. Relationships between Ganymede City, other national colonies, and the wildcat colonies were at first mutually supportive, but soured as corporate interests attempted to prevent outgoing aid and/or trade. The corporations’ hostile attitude toward the wildcat colonies mounted for decades. It finally exploded into what is sometimes known as the Ganymede Coup, or as the War of Galilean Self Determination.

The Galilean Confederacy, largely composed of Old-American nationals, currently controls the region, and the amalgamated settlements, by virtue of holding two of the three spaceports on Ganymede and Porto Nuevo at Europa. However, dozens of small to medium settlements still claim sovereignty, even down to contiguous neighbourhoods in the original domes.

The Galilean Confederacy

American and Chinese corporations in the national colonies pressured local authorities to outlaw the wildcat colonists, or to tax them. At the same time, they hired detectives from agencies like Obeid to investigate wildcat stakes. These detectives, often posing as labour for hire, would search the stakes for anything criminal or immoral which their contract holders could use to leverage public interests against the colonists, and then force the authorities to take action. The colonists, however, quickly grew accustomed to this skulduggery, and their reprisals against the spies were brutal.

The McCluskey killings

The friction between corporations and freeholders came to a head when Obeid responded in force to the execution of one of its agents. A posse of twelve heavily armed detectives entered McCluskey, subdued the adult men and women, and one by one removed their helmets in the settlement’s courtyard, lethally exposing them to Ganymede’s thin atmosphere. Microlight drone footage of the event was leaked back to the cities. In response, six other homesteads formed a posse numbering fifty-two, and retook the compound in a one-sided firefight.

As the second posse retreated with the rescued adults and children, gunships from Ganymede City arrived. After firing air to ground smart missiles at the homesteaders, the gunships were seen to break off, and the few remaining homesteaders fled. The order to stop the attack was found to have originated within the Governor’s office, and then from Governor Simpson herself, leading to her resignation one week later.

Civil war & the Ganymede Coup

The wildcat colonists, knowing further reprisals were inevitable, organised under the banner of The Galilean Confederacy. They agitated for a violent revolution and the ban of uber corporations like Allied Chemicals and Troy Jupiter from the Galilean moons. In the cities, revolutionaries, mobs, and disparate factions rallied independently in the name of the Confederacy. While former Governor Simpson joined the wildcat colonists at Essex, a revolutionary mob in Ganymede City lynched her replacement, Carl Stoupis, an Allied Chemicals executive. In Xilai, revolutionaries destroyed a hydrox facility and commandeered three interplanetary freighters in drydock. In Novo Salvador rioting and looting by Confederates left sixteen dead to decompression.

Ganymede authorities were unequipped to handle organised dissension, and sent for assistance from private military forces in Ceres. From request to arrival, this process took well over a month. In the intervening period, the militias on Ganymede made contact with each other and set about waging guerrilla warfare on the major cities. The defenders, though better armed and trained, were fewer in number, and rapidly losing public support as pro-revolutionary propaganda flooded local feeds. The assassination of the exiled Governor Simpson by Obeid detectives backfired spectacularly, effectively martyring her. After Ganymede City fell to the Confederacy, it was renamed Fort Simpson in her honour, amid frantic attempts to fortify the colony against the approaching Ceresian forces.

Colonies at Io and Callisto declared their allegiance to the new Confederacy, however their relative size resulted in commensurately fewer and smaller revolutionary actions. Porto Nuevo on Europa allied itself with the Confederacy, but the much larger colony Atlantis remained neutral to the conflict.

The Confederacy, the Guns of Ganymede, and the aftermath

By the time the Ceresians reached Ganymede space, none of the Confederate cities were well-prepared to fight a space war, lacking both significant surface-to-orbit thrust capabilities in the form of ships and fuel, and long range armaments. Nevertheless the cities refused the terms offered by the hostile military and resolutely prepared to fight. The unlikely victory of the Confederacy is attributed to the devastating effects of a few key orbital defences disguised as asteroids or space debris. The Guns of Ganymede, as they are known, fragmented many of the decelerating mercenary ships, severely limiting their offensive capabilities, though the guns were quickly destroyed by the invaders once they were known. In the end, after landings at Xilai and Fort Simpson and initially successful surface battles, the mercenaries withdrew, citing a contract dispute and unpaid damages. The older colonial interests were unwilling to continue hostilities. The Galilean Confederacy had survived.

Over the next year, the Confederacy divided its territory into states according to its constituent factions, and incarcerated both dissenters and enemy sympathisers. The abuses of human rights by the early Confederacy, including indefinite detention without trial, torture, and unlawful executions, are a matter of record offworld, though strongly denied by its current leadership. In response to Europa’s continued neutrality, Confederate ships blockaded its spaceport, without apparent effect.

Nearby, mines belonging to Troy Jupiter suffered month-long strikes at Jupiter’s L4 supercluster, copycats inspired by the Galilean saga. These strikes were ultimately viciously quelled, as the miners lacked the resources, personnel, and other advantages of the Galilean moons.