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This article's name, Free Navy Conflict (TV), is conjectural.
An official name is yet to be given to the subject matter and may change at any time.
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The Free Navy Conflict was an interstellar conflict between the extremist Free Navy faction under Marco Inaros against the nations of the Inner Planets, the United Nations and Martian Congressional Republic, and the Outer Planets Alliance.

Background and prelude[]

With decades of Belters feeling oppressed by the Inners, and the opening of the Ring gates making their place in the system become less valuable, an extremist element of the OPA prepared to seize the Belt and system from the grip of the Inner Planets' nations over years.

Mariner Valley shipyard bombing[]

Main article: Mariner Valley shipyard bombing

After trading for various military materials including stealth technology on the Mars black market, the Belters led by Filip Inaros decided to assassinate the Martians supplying them. The Martians were led to a final high paying deal in order to be killed. However, Bobbie Draper, early on involved in the activities, suspected the ambush and stopped the assassins. Two of the Belters escaped, but had a bomb device planted that denonated, destroying the Mariner Valley shipyard and most of the potential evidence with it.[1]

Tynan boarding of Granicus[]

Main article: Tynan boarding of Granicus

The crew of the OPA Navy ship Tynan and its captain Klaes Ashford attempted to kill Marco Inaros before he could cause more trouble with his activities. The Tynan disabled Marco's ship before its crew launched a boarding mission. The operation turned out to end desastrous however, and all members of the boarding party, including Ashford, were killed. Before being spaced in an airlock and killed, Ashford was able to extract information from Inaros about his plans which he was able to covertly record and store.[2] Inaros left the stripped Tynan as a reminder for his enemies.[3] The ship was retrieved by Camina Drummer and the secret recording discovered by her, which she then sent Fred Johnson.[4]

Destruction of the UNS Hasami[]

Main article: Destruction of the Hasami

When one of the stealth asteroids launched by Inaros came too close to the Sol star and broke up it was spotted by the UNS Hasami as a rogue debris field. With the risk of them discovering the true intention of the rock a Free Navy ship under Filip Inaros attacked the ship, killing its crew and stealing the data logs before missiles destroyed the ship and covering-up their activities.[5]

Bombardment of Earth[]

Main article: Bombardment of Earth (TV)

The first stealth-coated asteroid entering the atmosphere above West Africa

With nine asteroids coated in stealth technology launched at Earth as part of Inaros' grand plan, they were undetectable to UN Sentinel asteroid spotters. While efforts have been made by Chrisjen Avasarala and Admiral Felix Delgado to expose the operation and prove their speculation of an impending attack to Nancy Gao,[6] the acting Secretary-General, and her government, the asteroids were able to remain undetected.

Before Avasarala could provide solid evidence to Gao in the form of Ashford's recording provided by Johnson, the first asteroid hit Earth off the coast of Dakar, West Africa, completely obliterating the entire area.[7] The triggered tsunami swept across the Atlantic Ocean and devastated New York City's flood barriers, flooding the city.[8] When the second asteroid impacted on mainland North America, the UN government was able to understand that it in fact had been attacked. Gao and her principal government and military staff, currently in South Asia, were evacuated with the UN One and briefed on the global situation. Avasarala was able to contact Gao and persuade her to use the stealth-penetrating sensors of the Watchtower satellites to detect any incoming asteroids, before the UN One was critically hit by the shockwave of a close third asteroid impact in the Gulf of Bengal, killing all on board. A fourth asteroid inbound for the western Pacific was successfully destroyed by planetary defences using the Watchtowers. A fifth and sixth asteroid were also averted as well.[9]

MCR Parliament bombing[]

Main article: MCR Parliament bombing

Simultaneously to the bombardment of Earth, presumed Free Navy operatives planted and detonated a bomb at the Parliament of the Martian Congressional Republic. Neither the extent of the damage nor the amount of casualties are known thus far.

Tycho station Coup[]

Main article: Tycho station Coup (TV)

Fred Johnson is fatally shot by Sakai during the coup

After reporter Monica Stuart had been kidnapped by unidentified individuals seemingly wanting her information on the location of the last Protomolecule sample being researched on under the supervision of Fred Johnson and Anderson Dawes and subsequently rescued by James Holden and Tycho security officer "Bull", Fred was made aware of the potential danger of a hostile takeover of the Protomolecule.[10] This hunch was further supported by the kidnapping of Paolo Cortázar, the last remaining Protogen scientist, by an unknown Belter strike force on Ceres.

After following potential clues that might have revealed the group's identity ultimately turning out to led nowhere, Johnson discovered that an incoming Belter ship, the Zmeya, was supposed to pick up the container in which Stuart was held in.[11] Suspecting them to think she is still in there, Holden and Johnson prepare a boarding party led by "Bull" hidden inside the container to board the Zmeya and simultaneously trap it inside Tycho Station's logistics port, hoping to uncover the true identity of the group. However, the plan backfired dramatically, as the Zmeya engaged in hostile fire and part of the station's and OPA staff defect to assist the group. Tycho chief engineer Sakai betrayed Johnson and shot him in the back, and concurrently a mech robot successfully stole the last Protomolecule sample. While the breaching pod successfully returned to the Zmeya before leaving Tycho, Sakai was captured by Holdon and Stuart and most of the defected staff killed. However, Johnson later succumbed to his fatal wounds.[12]

In response to the coup and in possession of the knowledge on the flight path of the Zmeya, Holden and a provisional crew embarked on a flight with the Rocinante to hunt down the ship and the sample.[13]

Free Navy announcement[]

Marco Inaros claiming responsibility for the attacks on a news feed

Subsequently, the Free Navy claimed responsibility for the attacks and stated its demands to Earth and Mars, requiring them to abandon claims on any colony world accessible to the Ring and any claims on the Ring itself, respect the full independence of the Belt and submit to the political authority of the Belt beyond the planets' respective atmospheres. Otherwise, both planets might be faced with the exposure to the last remaining Protomolecule sample. In return, the Free Navy and the Belt would respect the UN and MCR as independent nations, albeit significantly reduced in military, political and economic influence.[14]

The announcement led to riots and insurrections of Belters in opposition to the Inners on numerous stations in the Belt, most notably Pallas and Ceres. The UN and MCR also redeployed its fleets from the outer planets to the inner Solar System in order to safeguard their homeworlds.[15]

Razorback spots Marco's fleet[]

Main article: Razorback spots Marco's fleet

Following the MCRN Barkeith (suspecting it was sending stolen MCRN supplies), the Razorback crewed by Alex Kamal and Bobbie Draper spotted a fleet of the Free Navy and MCRN ships at the Hungaria asteroid cluster. Upon being spotted themselves the Razorback fled at high-g, but was targeted by a torpedo. Having no other alternative but to dump core thus knocking out the torpedo, the ship was then left adrift.[16] The Belter ship then attempted to board them, but was taken out by a sabotaged drive cone.[17]

Rocinante engages Zmeya[]

Main article: Rocinante engages Zmeya

The Rocinante intercepting launched torpedoes from the Zmeya with its PDCs

After leaving Tycho Station the Rocinante hunted for the Zmeya using sensors from Tycho station to search ships along its flight line. Upon identifying the Zmeya the Rocinante engaged. In response, the Zmeya launched multiple torpedoes, which were intercepted by two torpedoes and the PDCs of the Rocinante. A railgun round crippled the Zmeya's drive cone, and before the Rocinante was able to board the ship, the Zmeya's reactor core overloaded, destroying the ship and presumably the Protomolecule sample entirely.[18] In reality though, the sample had been transferred via a torpedo to the rogue MCRN faction during the Rocinante's engagement.[19]

Free Navy engages Matar Kubileya[]

Main article: Free Navy engages Matar Kubileya

The Matar Kubileya refused to join Marco's Free Navy and left in peace. They later hijacked two skiffs out of Ceres which the Free Navy had claimed as under their protection. Two Martian-built ships from Marco's Free Navy command fleet chased and attacked three Matar Kulibeya ships, destroying them. Later ships of the Drummer faction operating as part of the Free Navy fleet scavenged the wrecks for parts and munitions.[20]

UNN strike on Pallas[]

Main article: UNN strike on Pallas

The habitation ring of Pallas destroyed by the UNN attack

As tactical and symbolic retaliation of the Bombardment of Earth, acting Secretary-General David Paster ordered the destruction of Pallas Station mainly for its importance as the largest fuel refinery of the Belt, the origin place of Marco Inaros, and its radically inclined Belter population. While opposed by civilian members of the UN Security Council, including Chrisjen Avasarala, Paster ordered the execution behind their backs.

The habitation ring of Pallas Station was destroyed by the United Nations Navy, and an unknown number of civilians were killed. In response to the news reaching Earth and Luna, Avasarala, Dahane, Cebotari and Yilmaz all resigned from Paster's government in protest.[21] Without a functioning government, a vote of no-confidence was held by the UN Parliament, deposing Paster as acting Secretary-General and Chrisjen Avasarala being inaugurated as his successor, despite no snap elections being held.[22]

Engagement near Patroclus[]

Main article: Engagement near Patroclus

As part of the battles of the Free Navy conflict, an engagement between two UNN cruisers and one MCRN heavy frigate against five Golden Bough raiders took place near Patroclus. One UNN cruiser was destroyed, the other withdrew, and the MCRN heavy frigate was reported lost. The engagement served as pretext to secretly transfer the reportedly lost MCRN vessel to the Free Navy via the rogue MCRN element.[23]

Free Navy engages Rocinante[]

Main article: Free Navy engages Rocinante

A small Free Navy fleet of five ships composed of two Martian-built warships, the Serrio Mal and the Koto, alongside three Belter ships of Drummer's faction, the Dewalt, the Mowteng and the Tynan, moved to destroy the Rocinante before it could reach the Chetzemoka. Before the Free Navy fleet could engage the Rocinante, however, Drummer seized control of the Tynan, betraying Karal and the rest of the Free Navy loyal to Inaros. TheTynan fired a single torpedo at the Dewalt in a surprise attack to disable its drive and subsequently ordered the Mowteng to disengage. TheTynan and the Dewalt then fired torpedoes at the Koto and the Serrio Mal. The Rocinante attacked at the same time, disabling the Koto and destroying the Serrio Mal with its railgun. All ships of Drummer's faction proceeded to disengage and Drummer identified herself to Holden.[24]

Battle for the Sol gate[]

Main article: Battle for the Sol gate

The Free Navy and rogue MCRN fleet engaging the EMC ring fleet

The Free Navy command fleet moved to the Sol gate to try and capture it. In defense of the ring gate was the EMC ring fleet of three battleships, the UNN Tripoli, UNN Montenegro and MCRN Sagarmatha prepared for any large engagement. As their first move, the EMC fleet ships were attacked by a swarm of micro-meteors, potentially stealth-coated, to extensively damage their hulls and weaponry.

Then, the Free Navy engaged the damaged battleships with their torpedoes and PDCs, when a MCRN fleet arrived near the battle, only to defect from the MCR and side with Inaros' fleet. Additional fire as torpedoes launched from Medina Station behind the EMC fleet overwhelmed the MCRN Sagarmatha, destroying it completely. The Tripoli and Montenegro were then swarmed by torpedoes of the rogue MCRN fleet and obliterated. With the entrance to the Sol gate now open, the Free Navy and defected MCRN fleet advanced into the Ring Space; the latter approached the gate leading to the Laconia system.[25]

Free Navy takes over the majority of the Sol system[]

Hygiea Bulletins news broadcast on the Free Navy takeover of the Belt and outer planets

With the remnants of the United Nations Navy and Martian Congressional Republic Navy being forced to stay at their homeworlds to defend from further attacks the Free Navy gained control over most stations across the system. These included Tycho Station and Ceres despite them having been the former source of power for the Outer Planets Alliance. Other major stations of note taken control over included Vesta, Hygiea, Prospero, Ganymede and Iapetus. With Fred Johnson and then Anderson Dawes both killed by the Free Navy the Belt lacked strong leadership to oppose Marco Inaro's Free Navy.[26]

Drummer engagement with Jotunn[]

Main article: Drummer faction engagement with Jotunn

The Drummer faction now consisting of two ships, the Tynan and Dewalt, were salvaging the wreck of an MCRN Donnager-class battleship after the preceding battle when a Free Navy bounty hunting ship, the Jotunn, discovered their location. The Dewalt was quickly emptied of crew, fuel and what little supplies they had time to remove and used as bait. When the bounty hunter ship moved close the Tynan tried to fire a weapon in direct line of sight due to its unguided nature, however a mistake by Michio prevented this and they were forced to overload Dewalt's reactor destroying the Jotunn along with the Dewalt.[27]

UN reconaissance missions in the Belt[]

The United Nations sent ships out to scout the Belt for possible further asteroid attacks. These included the Rocinante which discovered an asteroid in the Belt with an Epstein Drive attached for remote launch by a spotter ship, most likely the Azure Dragon. The orbit of the spotter vessel around the Sun was approximated and the Rocinante continued to pursue the Azure Dragon in hopes of incapacitating the Free Navy's ability to co-ordinate further asteroid attacks.[28]

Rocinante boards and captures Azure Dragon[]

Main article: Rocinante boards Azure Dragon (TV)

The Rocinante docked with the captured Azure Dragon after the boarding

Upon discovering the location of the Azure Dragon that was coordinating all asteroid strikes the Rocinante was tasked to capture the ship intact with all its data. Roberta "Bobbie" Draper was assigned to this operation as UN mission specialist and temporary operation commander, and the Rocinante was able to intercept the Dragon after UN signals intelligence had uncovered its exact location.

The Rocinante initially tried to remain undetected behind the Azure Dragon's drive cone, but as soon as it noticed the frigate and initiated a hard escape burn, the Rocinante attempted to pursue it and enable a first strike team consisting of Draper and Clarissa Mao to deactivate the drive and a secondary team of James Holden and Amos Burton to breach the airlock and subdue the pilot. After brief firefights, the ship's personnel was killed and the Azure Dragon captured, intact and with most of its data. Its intelligence on Inaros' asteroids was quickly ascertained and forwarded to UN Secretary-General Avasarala. With the full knowledge of future asteroids headed for Earth, the Sentinel network had newfound acquisition of the threats; the UNN fleets defending Earth were quickly retasked with bringing the fight to Inaros, and they departed Earth. Inaros was also made aware of the defeat at Ceres Station through the Dragon crewmember's transmission. [29]

Ceres Offensive[]

Main article: Ceres Offensive (TV)

The EMC joint fleet in their deceleration burn arriving at Ceres

The Ceres docks ravaged by the detonation of hidden Free Navy explosives

With Earth and Mars no longer pinned down the Earth-Mars Coalition sent the EMC joint fleet to capture the Free Navy capital Ceres. Upon entering the station they found no Free Navy defences and the station stripped of resources, quickly occupying and assuming control over the station and its docks through the deployment of UNMC and MMC marines.

The lack of supplies and resources meant the civilian population of Ceres would face a humanitarian crisis within weeks, and the EMC fleet mounted a supply mission to temporarily provide the station with resources.[30] However, hidden mining charges left by the Free Navy detonated in coordination, heavily damaging Ceres' docks and remaining facilities such as water and air tanks, killing 976 Ceres civilians, dozens of UNMC and MMC soldiers, and damaging two docked MCRN heavy frigates.

The retreat of the Free Navy from Ceres was seen by many in the Belt as betrayal and cowardice, and subsequent violent riots and protests erupted in the Belt's major stations. The staging of a humanitarian relief mission overstretched the fleet's resources and MCR Naval Command opted to abandon the station and in turn concentrate on a Sol gate offensive.[31]

Free Navy ambushes Rocinante[]

Main article: Free Navy ambushes Rocinante (TV)

The Pella in pursuit of the Rocinante

Whilst travelling to Ceres the Rocinante was spotted by the Free Navy command fleet. Attacked by the Pella, Lauber and Granicus, the Rocinante was outnumbered three to one, but engagement was protested by Rosenfeld Guoaling which Inaros ignored. Exchanging missile barrages without any effect, the Rocinante was forced into using its railgun as its only advantage, instantly crippling the Lauber and forcing the Granicus to fall back to aid. The Pella repeatedly dodged the railgun's projectiles in the same manner, and thus Draper and Holden devised a ploy to shoot with their railgun in the same manner and saturate the expected location of the Pella with PDC rounds. The plan was ultimately successful, and the Pella was heavily damaged and lay adrift. A final torpedo to destroy the Pella was disarmed by Holden before impact, sparing the ship which retreated after the tense standoff.[32]

Drummer faction raids Free Navy supply base[]

Main article: Drummer faction raids Free Navy supply base

Having gained the support of several former Golden Bough ships, the Inazami, Galt, and Saberhagen, the Drummer faction boarded a secretive Free Navy supply base to steal its content. The brief firefight with the base's guards ended with Josep's arm trapped under a cargo container and later amputated by Michio. Drummer publicly broadcasted her condemnation of Inaros and the Free Navy following the retreat from Ceres, and assumed control over the entire base's supplies.[33]

Iapetus Station rejects Free Navy[]

After Camina Drummer's public announcement denouncing Marco Inaros, Iapetus Station rejected Free Navy rule killing Marco Inaros loyalists and removing Free Navy forces from the station. Iapetus then declared its neutrality in the conflict.[34]

Concurrently, the political fallout of Iapetus, the abandonment of Ceres and Drummer's public statement caused Belter support for the Free Navy to plummit by 83%.

First Battle of Medina Station[]

Main article: First Battle of Medina Station (TV)

A MCRN task force enters the Ring Space after having destroyed the Free Navy sentry ships during the First Battle of Medina Station

In a show of force the Martian Congressional Republic Navy sent a small fleet to capture Medina Station and assume control over the Ring Space. The fleet successfully ambushed the Free Navy sentry ships destroying them before pressing into the slow zone. However, the MCRN was completely unaware that the Free Navy had installed six railguns onto the Ring Station. The Martian fleet under the command of MCRN Admiral Sandrine Kirino was annihilated in seconds before being able to react and take evasive manuevers. The ultimate failure of the offensive made the EMC aware of the Ring Space's defenses.[35]

Drummer faction relief mission to Ceres[]


Having captured a Free Navy supply base Camina Drummer had her faction (now having expanded to eight ships) brought humanitarian supplies of food and fuel to Ceres to relieve the station. Despite some resistance from a UNN officer initally Drummer was contacted by Secretary-General Chrisjen Avasarala who gave her and her crews full unmolested access to Ceres and insured that Drummer's ships would be treated as sovereign territory and cleared to dock. At the Ceres docks, both agreed to an alliance between her faction and the EMC.[36]

Combined Fleet Offensive[]

Main article: Combined Fleet Offensive

With the Free Navy withdrawing towards Ring space and the safety of Ring station railguns the Combined fleet of the Earth-Mars Coalition and Drummer faction attacked three Free Navy flotillas whilst the Rocinante and a freighter launched a massive assault to capture ring stations railguns

UNN-Free Navy battle[]

Main article: UNN-Free Navy battle

MCRN-Free Navy battle[]

Main article: MCRN-Free Navy battle

Drummer faction-Free Navy battle[]

Main article: Drummer faction-Free Navy battle

Second Battle of Medina Station[]

Main article: Second Battle of Medina Station (TV)


  1. The Expanse TV series - Season 4, Episode 10: "Cibola Burn"
  2. The Expanse TV series - Season 4, Episode 10: "Cibola Burn"
  3. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 2: "Churn"
  4. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 3: "Mother"
  5. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 1: "Exodus"
  6. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 3: "Mother"
  7. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 3: "Mother"
  8. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 6: "Tribes"
  9. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 4: "Gaugamela"
  10. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 2: "Churn"
  11. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 3: "Mother"
  12. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 4: "Gaugamela"
  13. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 6: "Tribes"
  14. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 4: "Gaugamela"
  15. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 7: "Oyedeng"
  16. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 5: "Down and Out"
  17. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 6: "Tribes"
  18. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 7: "Oyedeng"
  19. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 10: "Nemesis Games"
  20. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 8: "Hard Vacuum"
  21. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 9: "Winnipesaukee"
  22. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 10: "Nemesis Games"
  23. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 9: "Winnipesaukee"
  24. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 10: "Nemesis Games"
  25. The Expanse TV series - Season 5, Episode 10: "Nemesis Games"
  26. The Expanse TV series - Season 6, Episode 1: "Strange Dogs"
  27. The Expanse TV series - Season 6, Episode 1: "Strange Dogs"
  28. The Expanse TV series - Season 6, Episode 1: "Strange Dogs"
  29. The Expanse TV series - Season 6, Episode 2: "Azure Dragon"
  30. The Expanse TV series - Season 6, Episode 3: "Force Projection"
  31. The Expanse TV series - Season 6, Episode 4: "Redoubt"
  32. The Expanse TV series - Season 6, Episode 3: "Force Projection"
  33. The Expanse TV series - Season 6, Episode 4: "Redoubt"
  34. The Expanse TV series - Season 6, Episode 5: "Why We Fight"
  35. The Expanse TV series - Season 6, Episode 5: "Why We Fight"
  36. The Expanse TV series - Season 6, Episode 5: "Why We Fight"