Fred Johnson was just following orders. Or, so he thought when he attacked Anderson Station. Fred and his troops breached the hull of the station and marched in, guns blazing. He carefully monitored the progress of his forces as they cleared corridor after corridor. There were pockets of resistance that they overcame quickly since the troops wore body armor and were armed with high-powered rifles. The “terrorists” on board the station wore nothing but coveralls and were armed with anything they could get their hands on – a few guns, but mostly tools and other hand-made weapons.
Unbeknownst to Fred, the “terrorist” were only employees of the company that owned the station. They were protesting that the company rep was wrongfully withholding pay and critical resources from the station’s inhabitants. It wasn’t until after the massacre that Fred learned the truth about the people who now floated dead throughout the station. They weren’t terrorists. They were hungry. They were sick. They needed clean air.
It was this truth that made Fred Johnson turn his back on the people of Earth and pledge himself to the protection of the people of the Belt. Ironically, he becomes their figurehead.
Watch this episode of The Expanse on Amazon Prime: https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B08B48L4CQ/ref=atv_dp_season_select_s1
The Butcher of Anderson Station is a short story that provides a glimpse into the back story of one of the main characters in James S.A. Corey’s series, The Expanse. I really enjoy reading this series for its action and speculative vision of the near future. There’s a fair amount of language in this series, which I don’t care for, but if you can read past the curse words, the stories are otherwise very well written.