The Skye Province, particularly the worlds around Skye itself, have long held themselves apart from the Lyran Alliance (and Commonwealth before it), at several points attempting to secede from their parent nation to form an independent state. Tensions in the region increased during the early years of the Civil War, particularly after the Archon dragooned many of the region's JumpShips into government service, giving priority to military cargos and the transportation of Loyalist units.
Efforts were made to ensure the delivery of staple goods such as food and clothing was unaffected by the calkip but short ages did occur and Skye, a hub of interstellar commerce, was particularly hard hit, It was therefore predictable that by early 3065 tensions were at boiling point. The LIC bolstered operations by its Lohengrin operatives wrthin the province, seeking to neutralize dissident elements.
Similarly it came as no surprise that Duke Robert Kelswa-Steiner, Duke of Porrima and since January 3065 the husband of Duchess Hermione Aten of Skye, referred to the Archon's actions in his public addresses. Kelswa-Steiner stated that once more Skye was the battlefield for factions who cared little for It, and that Katherine was using the crisis as an excuse to tighten her grip on the "free people of Skye." The Archon and her Duke danced around each other in the early phases of the Civil War, with Robert blocking Victor's attempt to seize control of the industrial world of Hesperus and informing Katherine of her brother's intentions, and the Archon allowing Robert slightly more freedom
of action than some of her other dukes. Nonetheless, on 16 April 3065 Katherine decided enough was enough and ordered the Duke's arrest on charges of sedition and treason, hoping to forestall another secession attempt. Her actions, though understandable, only played into Robert's hands; with the duke's arrest, elements of the Free Skye movement began their operations to seize control of military facilities throughout the Province. Of course, should the revolt fail, the Duke could deny all responsibility as he was in Alliance custody in Donegal's infamous Garvinny Prison.
The initial phase of the Free Skye campaign was non-violent. Protesters seized control of the Skye Legislature on April 21, while the militia on Accrington, Alexandria, Lyons and Nekkar declared their support for the Free Skye cause, making the worlds they garrisoned the first "liberated" from the oppression of the Lyran Alliance. The Skye Jaegers were careful not to make any overt statement regarding their affiliation with Free Skye but made no effort to deal with the protestors, leading the LAAF to question their loyalty. Queries as to their allegiance went unanswered or were met with cryptic replies. It would be several months before the LAAF was sure of the Jaeger's affiliation.
The apparent leader of the rebellion was John Claverhouse Dundee, a former member of Duke Robert's staff, who assumed the title of General of the Armies of Skye. April 29 saw an assassination attempt on General Dundee, which the provisional Skye leadership placed squarely at the door of the Alliance's Loki terrorist operatives. Dundee was unharmed in the attempt but two of his bodyguards received fatal wounds. The assailant fled the scene and Dundee used the press conference that followed the gun battle to call on all supports of Skye to rally to the cause and drive the despised Lyran tyrants from their borders.
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