Friends for Life
Sanjuro and Toshiro Makabe were orphaned at an early age and ended up at a military academy on the colony world upon which they were born. At the academy, they befriended two sisters, Kura and Kathryn, daughters of Commodore Nathaniel Akkaraju, stationed there with his family. They also befriended Baku Ogata, a scrawny runt of a kid who was often the victim of bullies.
Sanjuro, who was younger than his brother, was successful at whatever he attempted to do. He was also popular, for he was a smart, spunky kid with a lot of bravado and a good sense of humor. Toshiro, tormented by their parents' deaths, was more cunning and deliberate than his brother, but he was also quiet and difficult to get to know. As any child would, Toshiro resented his brother's facility with people and social situations. More importantly, he resented the favoritism Sanjuro earned simply by being so damned likable.
Kura and Sanjuro had a love/hate relationship. They thrived on teasing and abusing each other, but it was merely an elaborate, na´ve form of flirtation. Eventually, as pretty much everybody who knew them had predicted from early on, they became lovers.
Shortly after the friends graduated, Commodore Akkaraju's wife died in an attack on the colony. The situation was complicated. He knew she was in danger, but his orders were to remain at his post. He asked for a replacement to cover for him while he went to find her, but the request was denied. Rather than disobeying orders, he stood by his post, even when his daughters found him and pleaded with him to go. When his wife died in the attack, Akkaraju swallowed his shame and grief. Kura railed against him, calling him a murderer and a coward. He let her have her say without defending himself or trying to calm her, for it was his duty as a father.
Kathryn, meanwhile, coped with the situation very differently. She knew that her father could have done nothing except get himself killed as well, so she never blamed him. But the implications of the military career she was about to enter suddenly crystalized. She vowed never to use a weapon against another human being and arranged to enter a non-combatant position in the UCASF so that she could still be with her friends.
For his courage and commitment during the attack on the colony, Akkaraju was given command of the UCASF Leviathan, the flagship of the UCA, and promoted to admiral. That the defining moment of his career should also be such a defining moment in his personal life drove him to pursue his duty to the UCA even more religiously.
Meanwhile, with the beginning of the Cronian Revolution, Admiral Akkaraju was sent to Cronus by UCASF high command.
The Cronian Revolution
At first glance, Cronus (technically 46CronusD, the fourth planet in the nearly dead Cronus system) seems like an unlikely place to play such a critical role in the future of humanity. It is a hostile, barren world with a poisonous atmosphere, incessant volcanic and seismic activity, and an unexceptional collection of minerals easily mined from hundreds of thousands of more accessible asteroids and moons, not to mention the handful of human-colonized worlds.
However, when a deep space probe sent to the system to collect scientific data for cataloging purposes detected chemically compelling organic material in soil samples, the United Corporate Authority (UCA) was formed by three dominant megacorporations (Andra Biomechanics, Armacham Technology Corporation, and Shogo Industries) and a jointly funded manned expedition was launched.
That early venture found rich deposits of the organic material, dubbed kato for the probe that discovered it (the Shogo DSP Katoki).
It would be over a decade before the benefits of kato energy would become apparent and interstellar travel would change forever...