The Roughriders

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The Roughriders
1st Calvary Regiment.jpg
Roughriders unit insignia; adopted from the US Army unit.
IndustryMercenary Company
Founder(s)Benjamin Rhodes
Gina Langley
Headquarters36 Atalante
Area servedSolar System
Key peopleBenjamin Rhodes
Gina Langley
Jess Ayanami
Anika Springfield

It was during the SOS-Con that Haruhi Suzumiya, leader of the SOS-dan, cornered Benjamin Rhodes in a back alley as he was trying to escape a mob of femme-fen and made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

Benjamin, being a smart individual, made a counter offer and gained himself an SR-71 Blackbird in the process.

That secured, Benjamin then used the money that he had saved up from winnings in asteroid races to purchase the services of the Rockhounds to begin the outfiting of his residence and base of operations on 36 Atalante. He had selected the asteroid due to its size and how the name seemed to fit. It was when he took delivery of the Blackbird that it occurred to him that while there were definitely factions that had their militant sides, there was no particular faction with a dedicated fighting force geared for the sort of prolonged, fighter-craft oriented action that the SOS-Dan was calling for.

Benjamin and his faithful, if combative AI, Regina Langley began doing research and soon discovered the existence of a viable mass-produced space fighter, the F-EZig. Based on Associated Composite's design of the Long EZ pusher-type personal aircraft kit, it was a fast fightercraft that was so tiny that several could be carried by a Blackbird and released into a furball. The biggest plus was that after releasing the tiny menaces, the Blackbird itself was still a force to be reckoned with due to the planned weapons loadout for the ship that would become the Magnificent Midnight.

Even so, Ben and Gina figured that the Blackbird could only carry four F-EZigs, so further plans were laid down for more Blackbirds. When Benjamin approached Haruhi and Kyon with their plan for expansion Haruhi was thrilled but Kyon was pragmatic about it. He pointed out that after the adventure involved in acquiring Lackland AFB's Blackbird that it would probably be taken as an act of war by the 'Danes if the act was repeated.

Gina then came up with the idea of manufacturing their own Blackbirds. Using information acquired over the course of the Midnight's refit and handwaviumization, they struck a deal between the Rockhounds, Hephaestus Mining and Metalworking, Unltd., Gnarlycurl, and the SOS-Dan to rush-build five more Blackbirds and twenty-four F-EZigs to fill out their fleet, plus spare parts and facilities to maintain the new fleet. 36 Atalante certainly had the space for it.

A flight of Roughriders SR-71 patrol ships making a "glory pass" by Phobos
What followed was an orgy of controlled chaos as 36 Atalante became the home base of the Roughriders. Soon after operations commenced, Benjamin had taken a strike team out to respond to a peculiar mayday signal that had been received on the high-gain antenna. At first, when they discovered the source of the mayday, they thought that the USSR Ptichka had come under a Boskonian ambush. They were even more surprised when they discovered the truth: the ship was a NASA mockup that had been handwaviumized by a group of school children from an orphanage and the damn thing had suddenly taken off with them onboard!

Since a biodome was currently under construction on 36 Atalante, he decided to take in the erstwhile crew of Fen-kinder and their shuttle, named Pegasus. What he had expected the least was that each of the children were all very brilliant due to the cross-contamination biomods they received over the course of their adventure. This, subsequently, led to the establishment of The Roughrider's science division, which dedicated itself to the intelligence side of their OGJ operations, and then afterwards did the majority of science missions from NASA and other sundry organizations.

During Operation Great Justice, The Roughriders of 36 Atalante were pivotal in dropping the hammer on Thionite trade between the inner and outer systems, putting down raids on Belter communities, and making their own raids on established Boskonian bases.

Post OGJ, though the organization behind the Boskonians had been shattered, the Sol System was still a dangerous place. With that in mind, The Roughriders became a mercenary force. With the OGJ base on 36 Atalante (built and paid for by Great Justice) awarded to The Roughriders for their courageous services, Benjamin sought to expand their coverage by using profits to establish bases in the inner and outer systems, as well as bases outside of the Sol System as soon as self-sufficient out-of-system colonies were established.

To this day, The Roughriders remain a household name that symbolizes courage, determination, and sheer grit. They are recognized by other big factions such as the Trekkies, Warsies, Blue Blazers, and Heinleinians to be the people to call upon when you need a force of crack-shot fighter jocks that have no idea what the meaning of fear is.