Outcry from citizens in the Core leads to General-in-Chief Ambrose to be replaced by Etienne Mordeau. Ambrose defects to the Independents, taking several hundred men with him. They begin guerrilla attacks on Alliance ships and fortifications. Fearful of their losses, the Alliance Directorate initiates a wartime draft.
Despite Mordeau’s sudden increase of troops, the Fourth Battle of Verbena proves a horrible defeat for the Alliance. Independent General Vaughn is injured during the attack and succumbs to her wounds, dying on May 20.
After two years of blockades and battles, the Red Sun System is officially declared “occupied” by the Alliance. General Pruitt’s victory continues as he replaces Mordeau as General-in-Chief of Alliance Forces. Pruitt successfully deflects Independent General Li’s assault on the Core, and later retakes several Independent worlds in Kalidasa.
In the Blue Sun System, Alliance General Francis Booth dies on his command ship under mysterious circumstances. Yu Kwan, former General of Alliance forces in the Georgia System is transferred to Blue Sun to lead combat against a pro-Independence upsurge.
Supplies for both sides of the war run thin in the Georgia System, but well-timed attacks by Evan Ambrose on Alliance targets delivers aid when it’s most needed for the Independent forces.