The Neptune Mutiny was a conflict that took place aboard the Leif Erikson during the Great Solar System Tour. The mutiny lasted from January 16 to January 30, 2131 and resulted in the deaths of fifty-seven individuals as well as the orphaning of ten children born during the Tour.
A month before the arrival of the Tour in Neptunian orbit, it is believed a rumor was spread around the Leif Erikson that one of the stops on the tour would be Pluto which was at the opposite end of the Sol System at the time and would take the ships around ten years to reach the dwarf planet. The origin of this rumor remains unclear as the original flight plan did not involve a visit to any dwarf planet.
Representative of a minority of the passengers went to the command crew and requested that the ship be turned around and head home immediately. However, when the command crew explained that it would waste more energy to turn around than it would be to slingshot around Neptune for a boost. When the passengers asked about the rumor, the command crew explained that Neptune was the last stop before heading back to Earth.
Upon arrival in the Neptunian system, the minority passengers made a petition once again to turn the ship around and head back at the ship’s top speed. However, the majority of the passengers still wished to stay the full three months around Neptune.
This caused dissent among the minority who began planning in secret to take control of the ship and return to Earth.
Around 4:00 AM ship time on January 16, 2131, the 121 passengers began their mutiny. They stormed onto the bridge and tried to take control away from the command crew. However, the captain initiated a lockdown before he and six other members of the crew were killed. During the first day, twenty-two people were killed in the first altercation between the command crew and the mutineers, three being members of the command crew including the captain.
The first three days of the mutiny were chaotic and not much is known aside from some of the accounts from the other passengers. What is known, however, is that the desperate mutineers began to search for the remaining command crew in the hopes that one of them knew the passwords that would unlock the controls so that they could take total control. As it was, the mutineers had control over the command bridge.
Most of the passengers were sympathetic to the remaining command crew led by the widower husband of the former captain of the Leif Erikson. Various families and couples concealed them in their small houses and various other locations, switching the hiding spots every few days.
By January 20, the Santa Maria, the closest ship to the Leif Erikson’s position, pulled up near and attempted to send a landing party to investigate the now silent ship. The landing party was met with violence at the airlock in the form of makeshift spears made with kitchen knives tied to large sticks cut down from some of the small trees. The mutineers had even formed makeshift bows and arrows. Not expecting an armed resistance, the landing party retreated, four suffering injuries, two fatal, bringing the total casualty count up to twenty-four.
One of the passengers on the Santa Maria was a former hostage negotiator who had paid his way onto the ship and was asked to help negotiate with the mutineers. The mutineer demands were simple: complete control of the Leif Erikson so that they could return home.
Meanwhile, news of the mutiny had reached the other three ships but there wasn’t much they could do since the five ships were in synchronous orbit around Triton at the time.
The negotiations between the mutineers and the negotiator only lasted for about a day before an impasse was reached and the mutineers cut off all communication.
On January 22, a band of the mutineers encountered a small group of other passengers who were escorting five of the command crew to another hiding location. A massive fight ensued, resulting in eleven deaths in total, seven being the mutineers who were all killed by gunshot wounds and three of the passengers who stood between the mutineers and command crew. This brought the total death count to thirty-five.
While the mutineers kept this information from the Santa Maria, one of the braver passengers used a handheld radio to attempt communication with the Santa Maria. The passenger managed to communicate what had happened on the ship.
It’s unknown how, but the mutineers somehow discovered that someone on board had been communicating with the Santa Maria. Growing more desperate, they began rounding up the other passengers and forcing them to endure cruel interrogation in order for the informant to show themselves. However, said passenger was never identified and is simply known to this day as the Informant.
The informant continued communicating with the Santa Maria, informing them of the daily happenings on board the Leif Erikson.
End of the Mutiny
On January 29, three small lifeboats were secretly launched from the Columbus which would stealthily dock with the lifeboats. With the Informant’s help the mutineers remained unaware of the approaching lifeboats. The boats were filled with armed members of the Columbus, the majority of whom had military experience and had been awarded spots on the Tour by their respective militaries. A day later, the lifeboats attached to the Leif Erikson and the volunteers stormed the command bridge and took it back. Twenty-two mutineers were killed in that final altercation, bringing the total dead to fifty-seven.
The remaining seventy-three mutineers were brought up on charges of murder and were confined to their houses until a jail was constructed. All the mutineers were held in said jail until they returned to Earth where they were tried and sentenced according to their crimes.
With the captain of the Leif Erikson dead, her former husband and first mate was appointed captain and with the official confirmation from Earth he was able to unlock the ship’s systems and resume the tour.
During the mutiny, five sets of parents were killed, leaving ten young children orphaned. Childless couples on each of the five ships volunteered to adopt and raise these children and within a few weeks each child had been officially adopted.
The week after the mutiny ended was set aside for the mourning of the dead. The bodies were placed in cold storage for later burial on Earth and a ceremonial cemetery was placed on the Leif Erikson.