|2.17 2189 CE - Pirate base discovered
|2189 CE: Several decades of vigorous interplanetary trade had passed by this time. Trade routes were well established, and major colonies had been constructed on most of the major worlds in the Sol system. To date, five merchant ships had now disappeared. The LaCroix, Hounds Tooth, Gabrielle, Murmensk, and Yoshiro. Amidst building pressure from the GCC, the SDO conducts a covert operation to determine what is going on. Agents are specially trained and distributed among almost all of the merchant ships of the time. They make a startling discovery when their agent on board the LaSalle reports back that his ship is being boarded and captured by unknown assailants. The homing beacon their agent smuggled on board leads the SDO to a hidden asteroid base being used as a pirate outpost. Here they find not only two of the other missing ships, but a thriving black market. The pirates had rigged up a sort of magnetic rail cannon for their ships, allowing them to fire on other vessels. While significantly less powerful than a torpedo, these weapons allowed them to hit much more maneuverable and smaller targets than a torpedo-equipped ship was capable of handling, as well as a significant reduction in power requirements and greatly increased tactical engagement range. Realizing that their Guardian ships would be woefully inadequate in a battle against such ships, the SDO petitions the GCC have a fleet of six new ships be built. These ships would be based off of the original Guardian hull, but would sport two Rail Cannons and combat rated armour (which was deemed an unnecessary expense up until this point) rather than a torpedo launcher. Approval is given for this, and ten months later the first of these new Guardian ships coasts out of Bifrost Station.