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The Free Navy is the self-styled naval military branch of a faction of the Outer Planets Alliance (OPA). Originally, it was formed from a student-led organization. Their members are sometimes viewed and/or referred to as "OPA extremists", especially by the incumbent OPA leader, Fred Johnson.


History[]

The Outer Planets Alliance, or OPA is not as unified and solid as many believe. The organization has become even more fractured as time goes on and as clear leadership is vied for. While Fred Johnson assumes the outward label of "leader" of the OPA, various cells and sub-factions have splintered off from the core OPA group. In addition to various small grass roots cells such as Far Horizons Foundation, a student led organization that came from the OPA, larger cells have emerged.

One such is the self-titled "Free Navy". The creation of Naomi Nagata's ex-lover Marco Inaros, this cell of the OPA wants to focus on controlling the newly discovered gate system that has emerged at the edge of the Sol system.

"OPA Extremists", as Fred Johnson refers to them, led by Marco, the Free Navy has begun initiating pirate-like and even terrorist attacks against the Martian Congressional Republic (MCR) and OPA held facilities. The MCRN Callisto shipyards and Pallas Station were two particular targets of the Free Navy. Marco and his group fear that the appearance of the gates (and thus travel to distant, habitable worlds) will cause the Belt to fall into economic collapse.

The Belt was once the frontier and the destination of many travellers and thus held much influence in trading. With the gate in place and other worlds looking to be more highly desired realms of exploration, the Belt would be abandoned. In reaction to this, Marco channels his already established resentment of the Inners into the creation of the Free Navy.

The Free Navy begins strategically attacking targets and stealing ships, weapons, cargo, water, ship parts, and other supplies. Most alarmingly, ships begin to disappear on their way through the gate system. While the ratio isn't too high, enough of them begin to go missing that it raises some eyebrows. Some of the missing ships were indeed being captured, pirated, refitted, and re-purposed into the Free Navy's growing armada. They attempt to disperse the newly fitted and branded ships throughout different stations along the Belt.

Marco, on behalf of his Free Navy organization, delivers a threat/ultimatum to the Inner Planets. He officially declares, that the United Nations (UN) and MCR will be allowed to exist and govern themselves, but they must submit the gates to the Free Navy and will no longer have any jurisdiction over the Belt.

Filip Inaros, the son of Marco Inaros and his former lover Naomi Nagata, is being groomed by his father to equally hate Earth, Mars, his mother, and the inner system. He plans to "inherit" the Free Navy organization. Filip has already participated in multiple attacks and raids and is soon on the run from the MCR.

In a brazen blitzkrieg of attacks, the Free Navy, which had slipped away with its newly re-purposed and stolen cache of ships and equipment, successfully launch a near-apocalyptic attack against Earth. They also strike against Mars in an assassination attempt against Nathan Smith, and Tycho Station, the corporate arm of the OPA. The strikes present themselves as a sort of declaration against all and come with immediate shock from the big three organizations. The major attack, which involved launching and hurling stealth coated asteroids down on Earth in a massive bombardment, was initiated and given the "go ahead" by Naomi's son Filip, who took major pride in the devastation.

During the final stages of their planned first attacks on the inner planets, a Free Navy ship, the Chetzemoka is caught flatfooted, and is involved in a direct standoff with all the other major players. A UNN (United Nations Navy) escort fleet arrives, along with the Rocinante and Julie Mao's old racing skiff, the Razorback, which has Bobbie Draper and Alex Kamal aboard.

Marco Inaros and his Free Navy continue to wage a war against James Holden and Fred Johnson. There is growing doubt over charismatic leader's vision within the man's core organization, including Anderson Dawes and Michio Pa. Even more, his prince, Filip Inaros, is becoming disillusioned.

Marco has commissioned Michio Pa to capture inner planet colony ships headed through the gates with stockpiles of goods, which she is to redistribute to the Belt.

At the behest of the Consolidated Fleet, Bobbie Draper commands a mission for the Rocinante crew, now with Clarissa Mao, to disable the prospector ship Azure Dragon, which has been responsible for propelling asteroids on trajectories to slam into Earth. They are ambushed, as Bobbie becomes trapped in an airlock bridge while attempting to board the Free Navy ship. The Azure Dragon sends three mechs to strip the Rocinante in a surprise counterattack. Amos Burton and Clarissa risk their lives to rescue themselves and their shipmates.

The Free Navy abandons Ceres Station, Anderson Dawes' home and governorship after Filip hospitalized a station peacekeeper. To Michio Pa's chagrin, Marco Inaros orders not only the abandonment of Ceres but other stations along with abandoning their commitment to feed the Belt.

Michio abandon's Marco and arranges a pact with Fred Johnson representing the Consolidated Fleet on Ceres. This allows safe passage while she distributes goods to Ceres.

As Fred Johnson once again attempts to unify OPA factions against Marco's Free Navy extremists, he organizes a meeting with OPA factions on Tycho Station. Marco leads an attack against Johnson and the enlarged crew of the Rocinante as they travel from Ceres to meet the others. Marco leaves Filip in weapons control. Fred Johnson manages to summon missile support from Ceres, which draws one of the pursuing attackers off the Rocinante. Alex and Bobbie manage to claim victory after a tense fight with the remaining two Free Navy ships, but not without Fred Johnson succumbing to a stroke.

At the alliance summit on Tycho, Holden and Bobbie plan a daring scheme unifying the inner planets with OPA to take Medina Station from Marco and the Free Navy.

Having obtained stealth technology deposits from corrupt officials of the MCR (Martian Congressional Republic), the Free Navy began collecting iron-nickel asteroids and coating them in these materials. These were then artificially accelerated and slung towards Earth.

When one of the asteroids broke apart by the gravitational pull of the Sun, it was spotted as a debris field by the science vessel UNS Hasami near Venus which moved to investigate. Unknown to the crew however a Free Navy gunship was following them. The gunship disabled Hasami and launched a boarding party. Once onboard, the computer cores were removed and the crew executed. Afterwards, missiles fired from the gunship hit the science ship destroying it, removing any potential evidence for their activities. While individuals on Luna such as Chrisjen Avasarala suspected a potential danger from the Free Navy, the UN (United Nations) remained largely oblivious to Inaros' plans.

When the first asteroid reached Earth it remained completely undetected by UNN (United Nations Navy) planetary defences, making an impact off West Africa. While the UN was quick to organize humanitarian relief efforts and the senior government under Nancy Gao was evacuated on board UN One above South Asia, the second and third impact proved disastrous, however. The initial impacts killed millions, while seismic activity and tsunamis devastated major cities on Earth, most notably New York City; most of the government and senior military infrastructure was presumed to have been eliminated with the attacks. However, it was possible for Avasarala to convince Gao to connect the Sentinel asteroid spotters to the sensors of the Watchtower spy satellites as to penetrate the stealth coating of the remaining asteroid. With this method, three other asteroids were successfully destroyed before impact.

Simultaneously to the attacks on Earth, a presumably Free Navy terorist bombing plot was successfully conducted at the Parliament of the Martian Congressional Republic (MCR), with a yet unknown amount of casualties and damage. On Tycho Station, a hostile takeover of the last remaining Protomolecule sample and the defection of numerous OPA and station staff led to the killing of Fred Johnson.

Subsequent to the row of attacks, Marco Inaros as the figurehead of the Free Navy claimed responsibility to the attacks, setting its political and ideological demands to Earth and Mars and igniting the Free Navy Conflict.

The Razorback sights the Free Navy fleet

Investigating the theft of Martian military equipment Alex Kamal and Bobbie Draper took the unarmed racing pinnace Razorback out following at a distance the MCRN Barkeith and its two frigate escorts. They followed them towards the Hungaria group asteroids where they spotted them with Free Navy ships some of which were MCRN built and others Belter ships. At this point, the Razorback was spotted and fired upon with a torpedo. The Pinnace attempted to flee at High-G but was forced to drop core to destroy the torpedo behind them.

Leadership[]

  • Marco Inaros.
    • Karal, Commanded Drummer faction fleet for Free Navy.

  • Known fleets[]

    Designation Commander Appears Notes
    Command fleet Marco Inaros TV Contained several advanced stolen MCRN warships.
    Michio Pa fleet Michio Pa (Books) Books Consisted of eight stolen MCRN frigates.
    Drummer faction fleet Camina Drummer (TV) TV Consisted of three torpedo armed Belter ships.
    Golden Bough fleet Unknown TV A fleet of five armed Belter ships. Engaged two UNN cruisers, along with an MCRN Heavy frigate taking four losses in a pyrrhic victory. Used engagement to hide the transfer of stolen MCRN Frigates to Free Navy.

    Known Ships[]

    Designation Class Ship type Notes
    Pella Corvette-class (presumed) Light frigate Stolen from the MCRN and served as the Free Navy's flagship. Later destroyed by a Ring network anomaly. Coated in stealth composites for improved stealth capabilities.
    Connaught Stolen from MCRN for the Free Navy. Later when Michio Pa defected the ship fought alongside the Consolidated Fleet against the Free Navy. Eventually heavily damaged in battle.
    Shinsakuto Coated in stealth composites for imporved stealth capabilities.[1] Utilized in the ambush on the Rocinante, but forced to turn back to fend off torpedoes from Ceres.
    Koto Utilized in the ambush on the Rocinante. Crippled by the Rocinante's railgun when its reactor is pierced.
    Andreas Hofer Stolen from the MCRN for the Free Navy.
    Solano Part of Michio Pa's Fleet. Used to blockade Pallas Station after Michio's forces take out its defenses.
    Panshin Part of Michio Pa's Fleet. Heavily damaged in the Battle of Pallas Station.
    Serrio Mal Part of Michio Pa's Fleet. Destroyed or heavily damaged in the Battle of Titan.
    Witch of Endor Part of Michio Pa's Fleet. The Witch of Endor and the Munroe were hunted down and destroyed by the Free Navy for supporting Pa in her defection.
    Munroe
    Ando Part of Michio Pa's Fleet. The crews of the Ando and Dagny Taggart denounced Pa when she broke off from the Free Navy.
    Dagny Taggart
    Azure Dragon Unknown Prospector ship Used by Free Navy to coordinate meteor strikes against Earth.
    Frank Aiken Unknown Transport ship Used in attack on the MCRN Callisto shipyards.
    Toreador Unknown Freighter Seized at Medina Station.
    Hornblower Unknown Cargo ship Seized by Michio Pa for Free Navy. Later given by Pa to Iapetus Station.
    Alastair Raunch Unknown Cargo ship Seized by Free Navy.
    Bedayadat Jadida Unknown Colony ship Seized by Michio Pa's fleet for Free Navy.
    The John Galt Unknown Colony ship
    Mark Watney Unknown Colony ship
    Helen R. and Jacob H. Kanter Unknown Colony ship
    San Pietro Unknown Colony ship
    Caspian Unknown Colony ship
    Kingfisher Unknown Colony ship
    Brilliant Iris Unknown Colony ship Seized by Solano for Michio Pa's fleet.
    Minsky Unknown Colony ship Given to Consolidated Fleet by Michio Pa after defecting from Free Navy.

    Designation Image Class Ship type Notes
    Pella PellaConceptship.png Unknown Light cruiser[2] Marco Inaros's flagship and commanding ship of the Free Navy.
    Aryabhata S05E10SciroccoFNfleet.jpg Scirocco-class Assault cruiser Present at the Battle for the Sol gate.
    Zmeya S05E04zmeyacropped21m23s.jpg Unknown Armed transport freighter Used in the Tycho station Coup to steal the last remaning Protomolecule sample. Crippled by Rocinante railgun round, destroyed itself.
    Chetzemoka S05E03Chetzemoka33m06s.jpg Unknown Transport freighter Taken from Naomi Nagata. Used to lure the Rocinante into a trap as a proximity sensory bomb. Later adrift and destroyed by Rocinante torpedo.
    Bashi Bazouk S05E05belterskiff45m05s.jpg Unknown Belter skiff Armed with external torpedo racks and PDC turret. Attacked the Razorback when discovered. Drive cone sabotaged by Alex Kamal and ship destroyed.
    Unknown Marco Pursuit ship.png Unknown Armed civilian ship Used to coordinate and execute the asteroid strikes against Earth.
    Serrio Mal S05E10serriomal02m41s.jpg Unknown Heavy frigate Given to Free Navy by MCRN Barkeith crew. Involved in the Free Navy engagement of the Rocinante, destroyed by the Rocinante railgun shots.
    Panshin S05E06heavyfrigatenumtwo43m11s.jpg Unknown Heavy frigate Given to the Free Navy by MCRN Barkeith crew.
    Unknown S04e10shipyardmeetingambush27m32scropped.jpg Morrigan-class Patrol destroyer Used to escape the Mariner Valley shipyard bombing.
    Koto S05E10Koto02m34s.jpg Morrigan-class Patrol destroyer Part of Marco's command fleet. Involved in the Free Navy engagement of the Rocinante, damaged and disabled by Rocinante railgun rounds.
    Unknown S05E06morrigantwo43m09s.jpg Morrigan-class Patrol destroyer Part of the Free Navy command fleet.
    Unknown S05E01FilipgunshipFN04m54s.jpg Unknown Belter skiff Used by Filip Inaros for the destruction of the UNS Hasami.
    Tynan OPAS Tynan Concept Art Exterior Stripped V1.png Unknown Torpedo boat Became part of Free Navy when Drummer faction joined. Defected after the Free Navy engagement of the Rocinante.
    Dewalt DeWalt concept.jpg Unknown Armed civilian ship Became part of Free Navy when Drummer faction joined. Drive cone damaged in combat. Defected after the Free Navy engagement of the Rocinante.
    Mowteng Mowteng concept .jpg Unknown Armed civilian ship Became part of Free Navy when Drummer faction joined. Defected after the Free Navy engagement of the Rocinante.

    OPA/Belter factions attitude to Free Navy[]

    Faction Supported or Opposed Notes
    Inaros OPA Supported Founded Free Navy.
    Tycho Station OPA Opposed Was attacked by the Free Navy at begining of conflict. Fought against Free Navy alongside Consolidated Fleet.
    Anderson Dawes' OPA Supported Supported until the scorched Earth policy used by Free Navy on Ceres.
    Ganymede OPA Supported Officially Ganymede declared itself neutral, however was operated by Free Navy forces.
    Zig Ochoa's OPA Opposed. (presumed)
    Ostman-Jasinzki OPA Opposed
    Al-Dujaili OPA Opposed
    Goodfortune OPA Opposed
    Carlos Walker OPA Opposed

    Faction Supported or Opposed Notes
    Inaros OPA Supported Founded Free Navy
    Tycho Station OPA Opposed Was attacked by the Free Navy and its leader, Fred Johnson was assassinated the Free Navy.
    Black Sky Supported Combined with Golden Bough would convince half the OPA to join the Free Navy.[3]
    Golden Bough Society Supported Combined with Black Sky would convince half the OPA to join the Free Navy.[4]
    Drummer faction Supported (Later opposed) Joined despite hatred of Marco Inaros by leader Camina Drummer.
    Matar Kubeliya Opposed Refused to join Free Navy. Later had at least one ship destroyed by Free Navy.


    References

    1. The Expanse Novel Babylon's Ashes - Chapter 26: Filip
    2. https://twitter.com/JamesSACorey/status/1320087800125911040
    3. The Expanse TV Series - Season 5, Episode 6: "Tribes"
    4. The Expanse TV Series - Season 5, Episode 6: "Tribes"
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