They got the sample, Whoever did this? They now have the protomolecule
— Fred Johnson, Nemesis Games, chapter 23

The Tycho station Coup was one of the opening assaults by the Free Navy against the Sol powers in the Free Navy Conflict. The objectives of the attack was to kill Fred Johnson, steal the Protomolecule samples in his safe, and seize control of the station. In these they were only successful in stealing the sample as Fred and loyalists defended the station.


The attack of the station was pre-planned in secret by elements of the Outer Planets Alliance disloyal to Fred Johnson that would form the Free Navy along with Admiral Duarte and his supporters within the Martian Congressional Republic Navy.

After reports of an asteroid hitting Earth followed by a further two asteroids Fred Johnson was in his office within Tycho station's habitat ring contained a safe on its wall in with the sole remaining samples of the Protomolecule. In in the office with Fred Was James Holden when Fred received a station communication stating that a ship waiting near the docks had just put target locks on the main engines and upper habitat ring. Simultaneously the stations defense grid failed to active. It was at this moment that the door to Fred's office opened with three belters Tycho station uniforms and a duffel bag and guns. Fred and Holden dropped behind the desk and exchanged fire with the intruders killing two of them, whilst the third fled[1]. Looking at the duffel bag Holden noticed it contained emergency environment suits.

It was then that they noticed that the comm panel on Fred's desk was receiving a call from Drummer. Holden guarded the door whilst Fred spoke to Drummer who informed him that torpedoes had been fired at his office and the defense grid sabotaged. They fled the office where they found a loyal staff member Garret Ming wounded. Fred helped carry the man whilst moving to engineering to repel an assault on it. They traversed through the construction dome to engineering where they contacted Drummer on the radio where they learned that main engineering was shut down due to approximately twenty hostiles were holding auxiliary engineering. Neither side could disengage and were in a mutual holding action.

A torpedo hit the stations drive cone and and another hit Fred's office but seemingly failed to detonate.

With Garret Ming being an electrician Fred decided to take him to the environment controls for the auxiliary engineering to shut down the air supply. They attempted to reach this location but Fred moved in a different direction revealing that he had an ambush team prepared as part of several plans in case of an attack. He knew this team would be available after Drummer spoke a secret code to him "Don't stop for beer, sir"[2]. He had set up different codes with Oliver, Chu, and Stavros as well as Drummer incase anyone of them would turn out to be a part of any hostile force. The plan he had discussed with Drummer over the radio was a decoy for anyone listening into the radio.

The decoy team consisted of three men and one woman all of whom appeared to have been Earth born equipped with light armor with riot guns and suppression grenades. Garret was given a short-barreled shotgun and placed in the rear of the group. They then moved directly to within ten-meters of auxiliary engineering doors. Fred then messaged Drummer stating that he was on his way with an assault group, but that it would take him ten minutes to reach it knowing that the hostiles were listening in and expecting them to take five minutes to decide whether to fight or flee. The hostiles exited from auxiliary engineering to quickly assault Drummer's group unaware that Fred's assault group was already in position and ready to attack. Fred gave the signal to attack and his team fired on the hostiles. Drummers team also moved to engage and within half a minute the fight was over.

Within fifteen minutes of retaking auxiliary engineering the defense grid was reactivated and the attacking torpedo boat had fled towards the Trojan asteroids.

Within an hour order had been restored to the station and received damage reports. This was when Fred and Holden learnt that the station's drive cone was cracked and could have to be replaced, and that the dud torpedo that hit Fred's office was actually rigged with a salvage mech on it so as to steal the safe from Fred's office. This coup had been used to steal the Protomolecule samples in the safe.



  1. The Expanse Novel:Nemesis Games, chapter 23 - Holden
  2. The Expanse Novel:Nemesis Games, chapter 23 - Holden
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