Far from Earth, beyond the orbit of Pluto, the penal colony Blackstar Alpha drifted in its long circuit around the sun. An artificial space station placed in the remotest region of the System, it housed the most dangerous criminals humanity had ever conceived. They and their kind were kept in Blackstar and other penal stations like it. The Earth itself had been rid of criminals and indeed most other fringe elements. The run down and the savage of humanity made their way on the various colonies and space routes scattered around the System. Earth had become a haven solely for the wealthy and powerful.
Those the Earth found no longer acceptable were dispersed across the System and lived in various planetary colonies and orbital space stations. To oversee this new interplanetary population the Terran Authority was created. The Authority had control of all colonies and outposts in the System. One of the most populous and traveled way stations was the Mars Habitation Ring, or the Ring, as it was usually called. The Ring was a space station of previously unimagined scale. As its name suggested, it was a giant ring built around the planet Mars. It spun opposite the planetís rotation to allow for easy transit between the station and the surface.
The ruthless denizens of Blackstar Alpha were often so organized and powerful on the outside that a special breed of bounty hunter was required to bring them down. These elite were loners and certainly not welcome on the Earth they protected. Among these hunters one was acknowledged as the best: Zach Mair. Mair was personally responsible for the capture of half of Blackstarís population. He had few friends in the underworld and even the worst criminals got a little nervous knowing Mair was after them. Zachís ship, the Aegis, was one of the most fearsome and most welcome sights in the System, depending on who you were.
A supply ship made its scheduled rendezvous with Blackstar today, but the mission did not go as planned. There was a revolt among the prisoners and most of the small complement of guards was dead before the shipís crew even cycled the airlock. The leader of this revolt was Vector Gage, on the outside an interplanetary pirate and confirmed sociopath. Gage took his closest allies on the supply shuttle and went to hijack more ships. As new vessels were acquired the prisoners packed aboard and headed out into space to wreak havoc upon the unsuspecting System. After the convict fleet was well on its way, Gage gathered a compliment of his best men and set out to hunt down Zach Mair. Luck was on their side and they managed to capture him and the Aegis intact. In what Vector considered to be splendid irony, Mair was taken back to Blackstar and imprisoned so the convicts could have the run of the System without his interference.
The business of the System continued, unaware of the storm of chaos that was about to be unleashed upon it. Only men of Mairís caliber would be able to fight off the Blackstar convicts. Far away, living on the Ring, was a young Authority Police officer who just might be equal to the task.