Toufet, Mary, Madam Librarian (2571) “New Stars, Old Animals” - The Official history of the Terran Empire, Ch 10, page 1371-1372
…historians were quick to judge it the turning point in Shallom’s war against the Imperium. With his forces destroyed, his will weakened, with only the fumes of vengeance keeping his heart beating, a final stand was the only possible outcome. The Terran Navy planed for it, even the members of Kill4 were on record at the time expecting Shallom to be quickly erased from history. (Though the classic vid ‘The Gift’, glorifying his theft of the TCN Concordia proved otherwise).
But Shallom’s genius lay in the unexpected. He layered his motives with moves and counter moves, sometimes so deep Shallom himself didn’t know where trickery started and truth ended.
It was the fourth week of his isolation in what is now known as the Shallom stellar system that Shallom’s brilliance shone1. Rather than retaliate, Shallom literally smashed his remaining fleet of ships together to form a ring of steel and Shallom’s Anchorage was born.
The ring was welded airtight, two ships engines were kept operable to maintain the spin for artificial gravity and like the Futurist Larry Niven of Old Earth, Shallom had made his own ringworld. It was small at first, barely five hundred metres in diameter, but the beauty of ‘The Anchorage’ was not what it was, but what it represented. A safe haven, away from the eyes of the Kill4 and TCN, where pirates or citizens of low repute could trade, barter and sleep. Docking fees paid for maintenance, the customer numbers grew and eventually so too did the Anchorage, upward of a kilometre in diameter at its peak.
With popularity came wealth, and with both, came increased scrutiny from both within and beyond the pirate community. While the Terran Confederation Navy and Kill4 both had marks on Shallom’s head, they took opposing strategies to destroy him. The Kill4 Collectorate settled on the ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ strategy and Shallom was inducted as an honorary member of the Kill4 on the 2nd May 2473.
This is still a point of historical debate, with some suggesting it was rather an admission of failure, or surrender on Shallom’s part rather than brilliant strategy.
TCN tactics also evolved. The order for his execution was waived. Shallom wasn’t useful if he was dead. Dead he was a martyr. Alive he was an example. A public trial was required, one that could be broadcast to the entire Imperium. And so small taskforces were dispatched to find Shallom and bring him back.
News of Shallom’s Anchorage reached official ears early 2473 but by July the TCN had ruled out any known inhabited system. It had to be an uninhabited system, which meant a jump gate.
Technology had always been a strong tool at Shallom’s disposal, utilizing the ingenuity of the desperate. While Imperial scientists worked to brute force gate coordinates, Shallom developed a ‘busy signal’ for his home made jump gate, stopping any wormhole forming unless the correct password was transmitted, a technology only recently being wielded by the Navy.
Security and wealth were not why Shallom began his crusade however; such mortal trappings were merely means to his ends – something much darker drove his actions.
No sources agree on the date, but most put it sometime in October 2473 when Shallom took a ship from the Anchorage and flew out into the Abyss. His ultimate goal of retrieving the mythical ‘ABanax artefact’ lay out of reach, for now, so he had settled on a stepping stone to get him there.
The ‘Far Nest Radio Blip’.
His lieutenants continued the work of the Shallom Clan, keeping the anchorage running while Shallom searched. He wouldn’t be seen again until...