The universe of Pirates of Mars is a rather unusual creature. It is not exactly science fiction nor is it fantasy. The best way I could describe it is Pulp Adventure in the Future That Never Was. A future of swashbuckling and ray guns and flying ships and strange aliens.So far we’ve been looking at the planet Mars and the struggles of its peoples. This conflict has been very deliberately modeled after the American revolution but viewed through the lense of a crew of privateers who have been dragged into the conflict out of necessity.
Mars is the far reaching colony on the frontier of the relatively young Terran Empire. The movement of ships through the void is slow and costly, so Mars has enjoyed a great deal of autonomy after being settled/invaded/infested with Terrans. Then the Jovians noticed this undesirable element on its doorstep.
The Jovian/Terran war was a civilized and bloody mess. Unfortunately for the Martians, the Jovians decided that they wanted a buffer between themselves and the thoroughly unpleasant inner worlds. The colonial Martians objected. The Jovians nodded and invaded anyway. Nothing galvanizes patriotism like a foreign threat on your front lawn. The combined Imperial Marines and Colonial Militia managed to make things so miserable for the invaders that they decided it wasn’t worth the hassle and returned to Jupiter.
Now as it turns out, wars are rather expensive. It’s why only governments can afford to wage them and why everyone else thinks it’s not worth the money. So when the bill came due the Imperial bureaucracy thought it all well and good that the Martians help foot the bill for the defense of their world. The Martians, just saw yet another foreign power trying to rob them of their independence and said no. And by “said no” I mean they boozed up and rioted. By the time everyone sobered up the damage had been done and Terra sent in forces to put the Rum Rebellion down.
Which brings us to the mess we currently find ourselves in. All of which could have been avoided if accountants and cheap drink specials had not gotten involved.