Void Rangers

TL;DR
Former armed forces  of the Belter League, the Void Rangers was a private enterprise, patrolling and exploring the asteroid belt on the behalf of the Belter League government. With the formation of the Terran Federation, the Void Ranger group was disbanded. Members were invited to sign up with the AstroNavy and FedPol. Some did, most didn't.

History of the Void Rangers

The 22nd century was dominated by what most refers to as the Age of Expansion – but commonly referred to as the Frontier Wars in the Belt. During the last century and a half the Belt was protected and patrolled by a paramilitary group calling themselves  the Void Rangers. This started as a group of miners and pilots that banded together to form a security force patrolling the hazardous Belt, protecting miners, habitats and prospecting for new resources. It moved on to become a professionalised paramilitary organisation keeping a watchful eye towards the inner planets, and hunting pirates and thieves.

At their peak the Void Rangers were the most feared or perhaps begrudgingly respected force in the solar system. They were picked from the best of the Belters military types, trained mercilessly and outfitted with the best equipment available, they were the Belters elite force.

While the rest of the solar system still used dated naval terms and still though in terms like "horizontal" or "north", the Belters were evolving; growing up in space removed that world view and replaced it with something more flexible and harder:

There is no up, nothing is safe, unite.
-The Void Ranger motto.

The Rangers were specialists at starship combat and close quarter breaching, they either outmanoeuvred their opponents in space or boarded enemy vessels like ants invading a rival hive.

A common tactic was to disable the enemies antigrav generators and board them eschewing the common axis of up and down: while the enemy was struggling with their orientation and trying to reassess and fumbled for handholds, the Rangers would charge along walls, down elevator shafts, and striding along the ceiling.

They also operated in smaller teams than most military, since ships often were cramped, extra troops only meant more people getting in the way, so the Rangers used several small teams of skirmishers coming from different angles instead of the traditional platoons of marching riflemen the Earthers still preferred.

At the end of this era they were the best at boarding actions, and most pirates would flee rather than risk a dogfight in space, but like with everything else, simple politics would be their undoing.

As something representing peace between the various planets, factions and corporations in the Sol system started settling, many political sacrifices were made, among them were the Rangers - they were disbanded as the fledgling Outer Systems Union joined the Terran Federation.

Most Void Rangers rejected the invitation to join the AstroNavy and the Starsoldier Corp, many who applied were also turned away, deemed "unfit" for duty.

There was simple no room for them in the new regime, and they were too differently trained, too independent and disciplined to fit in to normal military units. Overspecialisation had made them unrivalled, but also incompatible with the new order of the Sol system.

Some Rangers became leaders within the military structure, where they could do thing their own way, with little or no oversight. Others became private contractors and continued doing what they were good at for various corporations or the Syndicate. A large number of Void Rangers simply disappeared; either killed by "accidents" involving other military personnel that had lost friends fighting them in the past, and substance abuse claimed some.

Many of them were rumored to have simply received their discharge with a stoic stare, saluted their comrades on last time, then left, never to be seen again.

Conspiracy nuts keep coming up with explanations for where they all went, what they have been doing all this time, what the plan is – but maybe the explanation is simpler: They were never that many to begin with, and many died in the line of duty, the other could have simply started a new life somewhere else, like many Belters are known to do.

More inspirational art

Void Rangers

Carathumpian of Tethys GMLovlie GMLovlie